The Distracto-mat

You are probably nodding wisely to yourself at this stage and saying “Yes indeed my friend yes indeed as always you are absolutely right in your analysis of the situation… I am in full agreement with you on this point and shall proceed bravely on this ridiculous basis.” That’s the only way to get anywhere after all. The only way, the only way. If you can’t agree with yourself then who can you agree with, after all? Answer me that, if you can…


“One opposite is good, the other bad” the teaching machine explained to me patiently for what must have been the two-hundredth time. I was a very poor student – prone to being distracted at the drop of a hat, and also prone to bouts of immense moodiness. I was a prisoner of my own horrifically distorted ego.


“What does that feel like?” you want to know. “Is it as bad as it sounds, or is it perhaps even worse?” The worse it is the better far as you’re concerned! You can’t wait to find someone in a more difficult situation than you are. And we’re all in a difficult situation, aren’t we? I mean we all are when it comes down to it. You probably just don’t know you are. You don’t know because you’re too busy distracting yourself.


If you feel chilled out and relaxed then that’s probably because you’re so very good distracting yourself, you see. So very good, so very good. You invented the ‘Distractro-mat’ and fell victim to your own uncanny ingenuity. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up and inspect the amazing Distractro-mat. Look into the whirring Distractor-Rotors and tell me what you see!


Can you see little figures hopping and skipping, hopping and skipping? What are they up to, these little figures? Can you tell me what they’re doing? “They’re contestants in a game show, that’s what they are!” you reply. But no, look again – they’re magical elves, competing in the Eurovision Song Contest! No – look more closely again – those aren’t elves you see but zombies and they’re dancing the Zombie Dance. They’re giving it everything they’ve got, which isn’t that much…


“Dance you little zombies, dance for all you’re worth!” you cry out, clapping your hands in delight. Dance for all you’re worth. Dance until your eyeballs fall right out of your heads. Dance until your head drops off. It’s all gone very dark now, hasn’t it? We’ve fallen under shadow. Can you fear how chill it’s suddenly got? You not chilled out any more, just chilled. You’re chilled to the very bone. A Dark Force has entered the room now and you are only too aware of it. The ambient temperature has just dropped by fifteen degrees. At least. You wish you could tear your eyes away from the spectacle that you are watching but you can’t. You can’t break free from the Distracto-mat. You realize that you’re trapped in your very own tailor-made nightmare only it’s actually real.


And then all of a sudden the darkness is gone and everything is great again. It’s like Disney on Ice. You can see Mickey Mouse leering up at you. Mickey Mouse and all his friends, having fun, having a great time. You wish very much that you could be there in Disney World with them of course, but you can’t. You are excluded from all that innocent happiness. You are excluded by what you know, but won’t admit that you know…


“Spin you Distractro-mat, spin!” you shout, half delirious with excitement and longing. “Spin, spin, spin – as fast as you can.” The Distracto-mat is spinning faster and faster now. Faster and faster and faster. It’s spinning faster than it was ever meant to. It’s as if someone has put a spell on it! An evil spell. The machine is rocking to and fro in a frightening fashion and there’s an ominous hum in the air. It feels as if reality itself is about to come off its rails. Reality is coming unstuck. The terrible frightening bad thing is about to happen, just as you always knew it would…









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