I find it best not to move around too much in winter. Body heat and energy need to be conserved at all costs. Expeditions from my desk to the kitchen are fraught with danger. There’s a reason you don’t poke a bear with a stick while he’s hibernating and tell him to get off his hairy arse and find some food for the family.
That’s why I have had a bar fridge installed under my desk. I went foraging earlier in the week and my little metal friend is now stuffed to the gills with beer, cheese and chunks of boiled pig. According to Tim Noakes, this is all I need to live a long and healthy life. I even have a slab of duck fat that I rub on my face to keep the warmth in and the diabetes out. It’s a trick I picked up watching a video of Lewis Pugh swimming to the North Pole.
I also have an ichthyoallyeinotoxic fish that I take out and lick now and again to offset the carbs in the beer. Another beneficial side effect is that it makes me hallucinate. I’m surprised Noakes hasn’t mentioned this in his Banting diet. It’s a species of bream called sarpa salpa, although in KwaZulu-Natal he prefers to be called Karanteen. Down the south coast, where the holidaymakers hang out, he goes by the more informal name ‘Strepie’. However, he can’t speak Afrikaans so don’t waste your time trying to strike up a conversation. Club him, cook him and eat him. Enjoy the trip.
On my desk is a computer, a printer and a fax machine in case someone from the 1980s needs to send me a document. I have an array of remote controls within easy reach. One for the hi-fi, two for the TV and three to alert the armed response company that I am being attacked by a swarm of flying wombats. I have since cut back on the bream.
When I pause between sentences – because every good writer takes a break between sentences – I flick between CNN, Sky, BBC World, eNCA, al-Jazeera and Russian Television. I know everything that happens anywhere, sometimes before it even happens. And when I pause between words, I flick between Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes I pause between letters and check my email.
If I were a child, I would have grown-ups fighting among themselves to get Ritalin down my throat. If I could tear myself away from my computer and the television, I would go to a doctor and get my own Ritalin. No, I wouldn’t. I would never make it. I’d log on to Twitter while I was driving and plough into someone’s house. Into their lounge. Where the TV would be on. The paramedics would find me bleeding and tweeting and when they tried to strap me to the stretcher I would resist and scream, “Fuck off! The Israelis are bombing kids on the beach! Leave me! Save the Palestinians!”
There is too much information coming in and not enough going out. Something’s got to give. But it’s not just information. Facebook, a bottomless reservoir of inconsequential froth and mawkish inanity, is heroin for the easily distracted. Like the collapse of a star – and I don’t mean Lindsay Lohan – it creates a gravitational force that sucks you in. And the deeper you go, the stupider you get. It won’t ever spit you out. You have to climb out by yourself, minus several IQ points, clinging to the ephemeral tendrils of … aww, cute! A Husky wearing sunglasses! What was I saying? Oh, yes. The effort it takes to drag oneself from the suck-hole of Facebook is often … Oh, no! Kirstin has lost her iPhone! It’s midnight and Vuyo can’t sleep! A miniature horse! John is going to Mauritius! A talking cat! Ravi just had an ice cream! Ooh, a test to see what kind of dog I am!