Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Critical Flirtation Mass (A Theory)

Today I was introduced to the concept of Critical Flirtation Mass (the point when you've been flirting with someone for so long that it becomes obvious that something is going to have to be done about it).

Described by one of my associates (invented by one of my associates...I have better associates than a law firm! boom boom) as 'It is when someone walks up to you and says "for fuck's sake, everyone in the room knows you're going to hook up, just do it already," and you CLEARLY HAVE NO CHOICE.'

I'm not sure that's necessarily the best definition (I'd go for something more along the lines of 'the point after which either a passionate sex scene, a huge fight or a combination of the two is inevitable'), but it's still a term I like.

(For some reason when I first wrote the original definition down I put after it 'Critical Flirtation Mass - when flirtation reaches a critical mass.' Did I think I was going to have a dramatic drop in IQ before I got round to reading it again? Hmm)

Now, prepare yourself for The Token Crap Analogy! (Accidentally typed 'Alanogy' - which is of course the study of people named Alan - but that is not what we are talking about.)

Critical Flirtation Mass is the point at which you have climbed the steps of Mutual Attraction until you are standing (with the other individual involved - you can't get to CFM all by yourself) at the top of the Slide of Inevitability.
(You are in a children's playground. I forgot to mention that earlier.)
As you stand there at the top, thinking to yourself, "Is this really a slide I want to go down?" (for you can see the Messy Pool of Emotional Entanglement which awaits at the bottom a lot more clearly up here), a freak gust of wind comes along and pushes you off balance. As you teeter on the brink of the slide, arms pinwheeling wildly, about to fall off the edge forever, you realise that no matter what you do, it's too late! You have reached Critical Flirtation Mass.

(Well, what did you expect? It's not called the Token Crap Analogy for nothing.)

Incidentally, this is the only thing of merit this particular associate has ever produced (can't remember if he reads this blog - I don't think so. I think I never gave him the address because I've written about him before in a similar vein). He is best known for signing into MSN Messenger with a hideously pretentious sign-in name and wanking on about his love life. He is the barometer by which we calibrate our wankometers.

(Do barometers actually calibrate things? I don't know. My father used to have a barometer - he said it was for predicting the weather based on air pressure, but it (he?) was almost never accurate. In hindsight, I suspect his knowledge of barometers may not have been as extensive as he led me to believe.)

Three Beautiful Things (because why not stick them in here?)
1. One of my closest friends, who moved to Canada (Canada!) a few months ago couriered me a parcel. All the way from Canada! (I am always slightly amazed by overseas mail. It seems amazing that someone in Canada can buy something, pick it up, package it and sent it all the way across the world. Strangely enough, I have no such amazement about talking online to friends in America). A parcel for me, all the way from Canada, because someone cared enough to go to the bother of sending one.

2. A customer called me at 4 minutes to 5 (I finish at 5) and wanted to have a long-winded sales conversation (nice thought, crap timing). At the end of the call he said, "Sorry to ring up right before you knock off, love, I know it's a pain in the arse." So few people actually acknowledge that they're being a pain in the arse. What a nice man. (I said "No, not at all!")

3. The Mouse and his Child rode my bus this morning, which always makes me happy. See below for more on The Mouse and his Child.

The Mouse and his Child

It was a book from my childhood - I can't remember what it was about. Anyway, there are a man and his small son who catch the bus in the mornings, always at the same time as me. I walk on average 4 out of 5 mornings a week, but when I get the bus I'm always looking out for them and they always get on. I'm not sure why I call them TMahC, but it suits them and gives me a point of reference besides "that guy and his son who catch the bus in the mornings etc." I think maybe because my main lasting impression of the original MahC was of a father-son duo, with no Mrs Mouse in sight, and this is what the contemporary MahC appear to be (although apparently Mummy got on a Plane, so who knows really.)

The man is probably in his mid- to late-thirties and dresses in a very corporate manner. He always wears the same brown coat and has freckles, a bit of a five o'clock shadow and a lot of smile lines around his eyes. In one hand he carries his briefcase, and in the other hand he carries a Thomas the Tank Engine school bag (v small variety) which I presume belongs to the child. The child is about 2 or 3 and has masses of shortish curly brown hair and enormous brown eyes (it is a boy child).

The man is a great dad - he answers all the child's bizarre questions with perfectly sensible answers, all of which are carefully phrased to fit child-logic. "What are those men doing?" "Building something." "What do you think it is?" "Well, it could be a hotel." "What's a hotel?" "It's where people stay when they're away from their house for a long time." Pause while the child digests this. "Is it like kindy?" "Um...I suppose it is. A bit." "OK!!"

The child makes a lot of observations; to himself, to the man, and to other passengers. A current favourite is "We're on the bus." This is delivered in one of two ways -
Number One: child says gravely to the passengers at large, "We're on the bus." He turns to the man and asks, in the same solemn manner, "Aren't we, Dad?" The man nods. We are indeed on the bus, son, we are indeed.
Number Two: child announces in an excited yell that we are on the BUS! "Aren't we, Dad?!?!" And then it is much more exciting that we are on the bus.

I really like The Mouse and his Child. They are my favourite fellow commuters.

Anyway I am just tired and blathering on now, so I think I might go to bed.

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