David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 260 – The Pain inducing Hubris Of The Autonomic Nervous System, And Other Stories

Download the audio version of today’s Dollop here

I bit my lip today, oh boy. “Please, tell us more, David!” Well don’t you worry your pretty little head, I very much intend to.

I seem to bite my lip about once every six weeks. I wonder why. I wonder what happens in my brain to somehow, once in every six weeks or so of chewing, miscalculate the chew and chomp right threw my lip. I have no idea how many chews an average meal consists of, but I would imagine that within 6 weeks I will have clocked up tens of thousands of chews. My brain clearly knows how to chew, yet after thousands and thousands of consecutive successful chews, it’ll make an error of judgement and I’ll bite my lip.

I had a discussion with my friends around the table about this, and they too estimated that they bite into their lip about once every six weeks. Obviously this is just an approximate guess by everyone. We’re not weird and sad enough to keep a diary of these malmastications (how’s that for a term? Malmastication. I just made that up just then, check me out!). We are however weird and sad enough to have a protracted conversation in which we spend our entire meal swapping anecdotes about times when we’ve bit into our lips. Then again, you can’t exactly judge us, baring in mind that you are now reading this blog all about this very subject, and be honest, you’re really enjoying it, aren’t you?

So it seems as if it’s a congenital human trait for the brain to very occasionally miscalculate the chew, even though it manages fine thousands upon thousands of times. I wonder whether our subconsciouses just get a bit complacent. Maybe after six weeks of successful chewing, it starts to get a bit cocky and thinks, “this is a piece of cake; and chewing this piece of cake is easy. It’s a bit boring though. I think my mouth should be aware of what to do without me for a bit. I think I might take a walk and see what’s going on in the rest of the brain and maybe help out with a more interesting autonomic function, maybe have a dabble with the respiratory system. Just for a bit of a change … ouch, shit, the lip! Oh damn, the sympathetic nervous system is going to be furious with me.” I’m not sure if that joke was particularly scientifically accurate, but what it might have lacked in scientific validity, it more than made up for in hilarity, as I’m sure you’ll all agree.

Tonight’s gig was supporting Richard Hauley at The Unthanks’ festival in Newcastle. With just ten days to go until the festival, the Unthanks were informed that their intended venue was going to be out of action due to emergency construction work. So the venue was changed at the last minute. The new venue used to be a factory, and I think it must have only recently been converted, because while the venue was perfectly acceptable from the audience’s perspective, there wasn’t yet a properly established backstage area. Our dressing room therefore was more or less a dark dingy shed, and access to the stage was somewhat inhibited by a series of obstacles, including pipes, metal bolts stuck out of the floor, and very low beams on the roof. Either this place was still in the process of being converted, or it had been very poorly designed.

I hope that this wasn’t down to poor design consultancy work from David Eagle and his cronies. That man has already caused me enough problems, taking up hours of my life forwarding his rogue messages onto him, without him almost killing me with his low hanging beams and his jutting out pipes and sharp metal bolts. It might have also been David Eagle and friends who were responsible for the original venue having to undergo emergency construction work. Maybe me and this David Eagle have history, maybe we are sworn enemies from a past life. Well, if that is the case then I am clearly winning this karmic battle, given that I diligently forward on his many stray emails, whereas he can’t even be bothered to thank me. Keep going the way you’re going David, and in the next life I’ll be a wealthy prince, and you will be my domestic servant, and I will make you spend your days forwarding emails to people, just to teach you a lesson.

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