Today I have been pondering on the issue of choice.
Which sounds like Serious Stuff – but this is the Daily
Blog and we reserve Serious Stuff for a few special occasions. You can always try my News & Views page if you want something a little more thought-provoking, you know...
Why I was thinking about choice is that I was in the local butcher’s trying to decide between Pork & Leek, Prize-winning Jubilee or Lincolnshire. As in sausages, of course but I’m sure you guessed that. Our butcher has won prizes for
his sausage-making. He hangs a banner across the shop-front declaiming “Champion Sausage Maker.” When it comes to choosing where to shop for your sausages – well, there’s no question about it. It’s when you get inside the
shop that you hit the problem. You can have too much choice, you see.
Mr B likes to recount the story of our first trip to the U.S. of A (back in 1992 –
Mr B has a long memory) and his first experience of trying to order a sandwich. Having floundered through the extensive list of fillings and finally made his choice, he was then faced with another, equally extensive, list of types of bread. “All
I wanted was a sandwich!” he says, in an appropriately despairing voice. It usually raises a laugh – and a few nodding heads from anyone else who has experienced the American Dream, sandwich-style.
I was still thinking about choice when we joined our Afternoon Cribbage Group at Delia and Jim’s house. First of all we had to choose who we would play with. This doesn’t happen at our Evening Cribbage Group
where we all have to draw numbers out of a little bowl to see who will be partnering whom. But this afternoon, Mr B, in particular, had a choice to make. As in, did he want to play with me? Or not?
Surprisingly, he chose me as his partner. He really must think I’m improving. Mr B always plays to win and wouldn’t saddle himself with a no-hoper, even if that no-hoper was his ever-loving wife. Especially if
it was his ever-loving wife. I was feeling quite energised by this show of faith until one of our opponents asked if we had developed any secret signals which would help us as a team. “Hardly!” said Mr B, with a look in my direction which suggested,
more clearly than any words, that such subterfuge would be well beyond the likes of me.
Half way through the afternoon, the phone rang, a merry tune which our
hostess chose to ignore. “It’s neither Family nor Friends,” she explained, as the answerphone kicked in. Apparently her ring tone has been set to different music for “Family”, “Friends” and “Other”
– which must make it, oh, so much easier when choosing whether or not to answer your phone. I’m thinking now what tunes I would choose.
Perhaps “We are Family” by Sister Sledge would be a good one. And the Beatles “With a Little Help from my Friends.” But what tune could I possibly choose for all those calls we keep getting from people wanting to sell us double
glazing, loft insulation or personal protection insurance? Especially those calls which aren’t even from a “real” person, but are from computer generated robots? “Show Me the Way to Go Home” might work...
I ask Mr B for his views on choice. I think it would be good if occasionally the Daily Blog encompasses his views as well as mine. He says, as far as he is concerned, there’s only ever one choice
to be made. That sounds interesting, I think, just the kind of thing my readers will find valuable and insightful. “What’s that?” I ask him, happily.
“Like it or lump it!” he replies, succinctly.
PS I chose Lincolnshire sausages, by the way. We haven't had our dinner yet but if Mr B happens to ask why I didn't buy Prize-Winning
Jubilee or any of the other sausages on offer instead, I have my answer all ready. "Like it or lump it," I shall say.
Sweetly, of course.