The power of boredom

I think I read a quote once by Casanova how an intelligent man can never be bored as long as he has a supply of paper and writing implements. I like the thought of that and so I bring it out on any even remotely appropriate occasion. Sometimes the only excuse is that my partner has given me three minutes’ silent window.

Or, I could be projecting my own ideas and the quote doesn’t even exist.

Be that as it may, I am seldom really bored. I think the above quote has a LOT to do with it, so I try to carry a notebook with me when I know I’ll be spending copious amount of time doing not a lot at all.

Boredom is, for a writer, an incredible opportunity.

A few weeks ago I had the dubious pleasure of attending a conference, courtesy of my day job. Conference means talks.

Talks mean boredom.

Imagine a soft chair, fuck-this-o’clock in the morning*, a de-coffee’d Anders, and a lecturer who has said the same thing for the third time in a row.

Time to go playing with the fairies! I imagine the lecturer going home to his wife and children and donning a supersuit. He becomes StatisticsMan, his super power to implode a person’s mind with the strength of his annual budget planning alone.

I imagine the lady next to me, the one doing crosswords, is actually an alien in disguise, the crossword her means of communicating with the rest of her hive-spawn. Soon, they will unleash death and destruction upon this lecture hall.

The scrawny man scribbling notes next to me is actually StatisticsMan’s arch-nemesis, ChaosGuy. He’s discovered StatisticsMan’s secret identity, oh no! Who shall save us?

It’s our dashing heroine, CrochetGirl, by day a mild-mannered writer. With her SuperHook she will quickly crochet a treble stitch mesh around ChaosGuy and…

“Ms Woolf?”


“Ms Woolf? Everyone’s gone, I have to put away the chairs now.”

Ehehe, right, right. Gone, you say? I’ve been sitting here for how long?

“Fifteen minutes, miss, everyone’s at the bar already.”


Okay, so maybe the overactive imagination can be a bit of a bother.


*fuck-this-o’clock fluctuates based on amount of sleep squeezed in on the previous night, manner of awakening, presence of muffins for breakfast, presence of breakfast, presence of coffee, phase of the moon, moods of Jupiter, hue of grass and colour of tablecloth. It is usually before 10 in the morning.


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