Embracing My Inner Idiot

The first in an inordinate number of mug shots.

The first in an inordinate number of mug shots.

“God bless idiocy.” – James Cagney

Unless we live in a cave, and eat rocks for a living, we all rack up a number of labels. Some are generic, such as “Mum”, “sister”, and my personal favourite, “friend”.

Thanks to a quirk of Facebook, I’ve recently added “brainwashed Useful Idiot” to my ragbag of labels. I think it will look rather good on a calling card:

“Sheila North: Useful Idiot”

Beat that, Harry Dresden. “Wizard”, indeed.

The “brain washed” part is a bit redundant. Because who hasn’t watched hours of trash telly, with its endless breakfast cereal adverts, ludicrous complaints about foreigners, and soap operas about troubled Londoners who appear unable to do their own laundry, or toast?

Before I achieved Official Idiocy – prior to that, I was, like Emma Peel, a “talented amateur” – I was already considering a blog about labels, to be called something like “Got it? Flaunt it!

For instance, see Mug Shot 2:

Mug Shot #2

Mug Shot #2

When I learned Simon Saynor at The Notorious Aaardvark Record Shop was offering bespoke mugs, this was my inevitable choice. “Writer” is more flattering, “Weirdo” possibly more accurate. But, whilst I remain in my adopted home of Yorkshire, this is a label I might as well embrace.

Because, apparently, I still sound like I’m fresh off the peanut-butter-and-jelly boat.

At the risk of boring some of you with photos you’ve already seen, I also have this label:

Chair property of "Time to Change Leeds"

Chair property of “Time to Change Leeds”

And the fun I’ve had with it, too! Fancy spending week after week – or month after month – wanting to die? Tails, it’s depression. Or heads, for mania.

Cue the next mug shot:

Aka "Sheila Queen of the World"

Mug Shot #3: Sums up my experience of mania.

I thought I’d waved goodbye to mania, but I’m beginning to think my latest label, Mrs Angry, is not unrelated to the former Missus Manic.

And Mrs Angry is one label I do not choose to either embrace, or get stuck with. It’s not clever. And it’s certainly not pretty.

For now, I’m happy to shake hands with my Useful, Inner Idiot. So long as I know when to stress the “Useful” part: when trying to help someone, including myself. And when to embrace the Idiotic, such as when writing, or taking daft pictures.

It’s one thing to have a big box of labels. It’s quite another not to have a sort out from time to time, and chuck a few away.

The flip side of "Yank": my inner aardvark.

The flip side of “Yank”: my inner aardvark.

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