LIFE, readers.


For all the comedy, drama, intrigue, and tragedy you need to fill your day, you don’t need to watch the idiot’s lantern on the wall or TV cabinet.


All you need is to live your own life, and things will happen around you, to you, or you will cause them.

And the events that unwind as a consequence of your own actions will, when reflected upon, provide you with all the reality you need.


Understanding that living your own life is the most important thing you can do is vitally important to maintaining balance.


To illustrate the comedic potential of real-life, Badger will tell you about his experiences on the afternoon of Saturday, August 7.


Bad weather overnight had put the kybosh on Badger’s plan to spend Saturday peacefully grazing on a cricket outfield.


Thankfully(?), Mrs Badger was on hand with her list of household chores to fill Badger’s weekend with a range of tasks of varying tedium and importance.


Number one on the list was repairing a broken connector hose on the Badger household’s dishwasher.
Faced with an item as heavy, white, and square as Badger himself securely wedged under a kitchen counter, your correspondent managed to heave the machine forward.


An examination of the broken hose revealed that it was beyond repair and needed replacement.
Badger had a spare.


He hefted the machine onto its side, and there was a suspicious clatter from within.
There was still crockery and cutlery in it.


Badger returned the dishwasher to an upright position and removed the machine’s contents.
He pushed it over on its side again. He removed the base panel with a combination of genius, brute strength, and foul language.


He removed the broken hose.


At this point, he noticed/remembered he hadn’t removed the water inlet pipe.
He summoned Mrs Badger to the kitchen for assistance.


For generations, the Badger family hovel has been in Mrs Badger’s family. It came to her following her Uncle Egbert’s sad end as a most impressive radiator ornament on an Austin Healy frog eye Sprite during a classic car rally.


So, readers, Badger had every expectation that Mrs Badger would be familiar with the ins and outs of the home.


“My darling, is that the stopcock?” Asked Badger
“Yes, Badger.”


Badger closed the valve.


He then carefully removed the water inlet pipe from the back of the dishwasher.
 Five crowded and soaking minutes later, Badger called out to his beloved
“Darling, that’s not the stopcock.”


While Badger paddled towards the shallow end of the kitchen, Mrs Badger remembered another ‘stopcock’.


As Badger gasped for breath, the incessant flow of water stopped.


Badger’s default setting of flabbergasted rage dissipated, and he forced a toothsome grin.


“Thank you, darling, could Badger perhaps have a few towels?”


If only that were the end of Badger’s tale, readers. But it’s not.


Surrounded by sopping towels, Badger unwrapped the new pipe and carefully read the instructions for fitting it.


He lined up the new pipe with the appropriate bit of the dishwasher.


It was the wrong sort.


There was a brief interlude during which Badger vented his frustration at life, the universe, and everything.


When he finally ran out of swear words, Badger decided today was not a good day to quit smoking.
Now, readers, that is real life.


It’s funny, sometimes it’s sad, and sometimes it’s a bittersweet mixture of both conditions.


And sometimes, readers, life is just life. You trudge on because trudging on is what you must do.


So far as any lessons can be drawn from one fat mustelid’s misadventures with white goods, Badger suggests that life is a process in which sh*t just happens.


Anyone who’s watched Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern movie can tell you that.


There’s no vast conspiracy at the heart of events driving them onwards to a designed conclusion. And even if someone is attempting one, it’s about as likely to succeed as a clown car entering the Paris-Dakar rally.


There are no grand plans and designs; it’s all just events.


Harold Macmillan was once asked what the most significant challenge was he faced as Prime Minister.
“Events, dear boy,” he replied. “Events.”                              

                   
Sometimes what happens is connected to other events and other causes. Still, life mostly goes on regardless, beset by accidents, negligence, recklessness, and random acts of malice, kindness, or idiocy.


Otherwise, readers, how could one explain Boris Johnson?


As recent events have handsomely proven, there is a decided shortage of conspiracies when cock-ups can fill the void of human experience.


The legendary philosopher Forrest Gump once said: “Stupid is as stupid does.”
How right he was.


Idiocy, combined with an overweening sense of being right about everything while being blind to one’s own flaws, is more than enough to explain most of what appears in the media.


There is no grand conspiracy behind the workings of the world.


No cabal of sinister puppet masters tugs the strings and makes humanity dance to its tune.


That’s true in the general and global sense and even more valid at the more mundane levels of human existence.


It’s why Badger instinctively distrusts ideologies. They’re like religions or cults. They require an attitude of faith and submission to faith that Badger finds intolerable.


Ideologies are both prescriptive and proscriptive, and most of them deny human freedom of action.


Whether you’re an economic libertarian or a communist, to take one example, you believe that individual humans are rational economic units in the service of a whole.


No wonder economics is called ‘the dismal science’.


We’re not.


And then there’s the element of personal responsibility; that’s something too many seem to shirk by claiming to act for nebulous and ill-defined motives. For example, the public interest or justice (whatever they are).


You can’t lean on a set of abstract principles as a crutch for a wrong choice or as an object of blame when things go wrong.


Sad though it is, when things go wrong, it boils down to a series of mistakes. And some of those mistakes are entirely our individual fault for the reasons Forrest Gump articulated.


That’s a long way from a soggy Badger on a cold Saturday afternoon staring at the wreckage of his kitchen. However, his weekend experience confirmed to Badger that cock-up and not conspiracy govern life and lives.


And, readers, every day, our collective experience is a variation on that theme.