I OPENED the washing machine and discovered all my white shirts had turned pink. It was the final straw in what was a particularoly bad day in 1996. One of my housemates offered me his Big Issue to sell and the other took me to the pub.
Life is largely a game of luck and, contrary to what people say, you often don’t make your own.
You can play it safe, stay in, be sensible, save up, get married young, have kids and probably have a nice life as a result.
You could choose to live on the edge, go out every night, frequent dodgy establishments, stray from the straight and narrow and it might possibly end in disaster. Or it might not.
Most of us, I would imagine, have balanced the above two scenarios and ended up somewhere in the middle ground.
We’ve bemoaned our luck and complained that it’s ridiculous that so and so off a reality TV show or whatever, never tried at school, hasn’t got a job, has millions in the bank and can’t even spell wierd (!!!) right, while I’ve worked hard, done what I was told and got little reward.
They chose to take the risk though. It could have gone wrong and might well yet do so. It could have gone badly awry for Liam and Noel, Shaun Ryder etc, but it didn’t — well, not always.
The other side to the particular coin — or lack of — is the homeless person, the bloke who has just lost his job, the woman who has walked out of an abusive relationship, and is left walking the streets asking for money.
They may well have got involved in a life of risk and the throw of the dice didn’t land in their favour, or more accurately, is currently not doing so. Life doesn’t deal most of us a static standing, it changes through the years and a person’s current state should not bring about any final judgement. All sorts of factors could have come into play.
That day in 1996 I lost my job, crashed my car and accidentally (honestly!) dyed all my light coloured shirts pink. Within a month or so I reached a stage whereby I didn’t have enough money to buy a cup of tea.
It was a brief period of being down on my luck and things improved, but as we move through what is probably the most uncertain time in the lives of the majority of the collective current population, I wonder how many will be experiencing a similar downturn — okay, they might not end up with a shirt collection that is almost entirely pink.
The mental health problems that come with this can be equally catastrophic and will be a long-term consequence of the events of 2020. When the virus goes, the winds of change that constantly blown in most people’s lives will still be sweeping through this town.