I hesitate to say this because I can’t be certain about the facts but I suspect that what I do know is considerably less than what I do not know. Lets start with the basics: two plus two equals four. How do I know that. Well I was taught it at school when I was young by my maths teacher. Ok, he said it but how do you know it. There is a pause for thought here while I scrabble around for some other authority which can corroborate this treasured fact. Sadly I can’t think of one so I fall back on the “well everyone knows that”, and they probably do unless they’ve spent their life locked in a tin pretending to be a sardine. Still you get the idea. It is a fact for most because it’s accepted as such rather than because I can supply the mathematical proof for it. Ok I’m boring you now and even I’m beginning to fall asleep so I’ll try to swerve nearer the point I’m trying to make.
Most “facts” people state or assert are not so bizarre as to make you do more than shake you’re head, mutter “rubbish” under your breath or just pour a pot of treacle over their shirt but sometimes people really go over the top leaving you breathless.
I went round to see some family members yesterday. Grandmother was sitting there and she seems to be experiencing something of a rebirth as a result of the impending birth of her first great grandchild. Can you imagine it. I don’t have any grandchildren yet, so the idea of a great grandchild is almost beyond my imagination. Anyway it’s a cause for great excitement and even I am swept up in the anticipation and looking round for some small gift with which to mark the occasion. There is this chap there and he starts making the most astounding assertions. It’s one of those awkward situations where you don’t know someone well enough to go for the “rubbish” or treacle options so you cling to politeness with that glazed nodding concentration which always betrays desperation.
My partner, bless her, showed admirable levels of concentration while he explained the “factual” basis for his new and astonishing”fact”, It’s a bit hard to understand this as , where I to spout the same rubbish myself she would be the first person to tell me I’ve slipped my mooring, popped my rivets or some other analogy to show I’d finally lost the plot. Quizzed later she says, “Well, I know you but I was just being polite”. You can’t fault this, and I don’t but it just goes to show that the better a relationship the less manners there are in it and the more gut reaction you get once you stray away from what is acceptable or credible.
As always, I end up feeling I have much to learn from her. As for the man, there is much to like and admire in him but this habit for grabbing your attention with startling relevations of the quality of “Martians are now the secret majority shareholders of Harrods” and the like is baffling to me. It’s a harmless enough eccentricity but for Mr Fact Checker it is hard to swallow. I am aways puzzled by this approach to conversation and my inability to not go on about it. Ok, I’ll stop there. No I won’t. I’ve just found out that every prune you eat makes you look thirty seconds younger. How do I know. well just look in the mirror. I would explain this in more detail but I’ve got to rush off now and gobble my way back to youth. Yippee