On Roseanne and other cock-ups.

I know exactly how Roseanne feels. I’ve never taken Ambien, but I had some hay fever pills once which knocked me out, and I made some very disparaging comments about The Netherlands, which even now I deeply regret. I also once took a paracetamol – just the one, mind you – and I scowled at a bus driver.

I decided I would look back through history and see what else was caused by a dose of Ambien, and the results were quite astonishing. The destruction of the library at Alexandria was due to a particularly potent blend following nights of insomnia. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. Ambien. The visitor from Porlock who ruined Coleridge’s Kubla Khan. Ambien. (Actually, the visitor probably saved millions of school kids from having to plough their way through another weighty epic, so that was probably a good thing). And that rapper. You know the one. Who made all of those homophobic tweets a couple of years ago. That was all down to eating a gone off plumb.

Once a set of occurrences has been put in motion, one never knows what the consequences might be. I took a vitamin pill this morning and I’m already watching what I say. Perhaps this blog is a result of it. Just a small amount of chemistry in our bloodstream, and we change entirely. And it’s amazing, how some pills make some people suddenly racist, whereas before they would definitely not show any such symptoms. Didn’t that Farage bloke once blame one of his social media rants as being a result of a lack of sleep? I’ve had a lack of sleep often, particularly when travelling, and never once become a Nazi. Perhaps it effects some people more than others. And poor Katie Hopkins, she must be kept up every night.

We all react differently when there’s something in our bloodstream. One only needs to hang around in Paignton on a Saturday night to see what the usual cocktail of booze and other substances has on the average person, turning a law abiding citizen into a ne’erdowell of the highest calibre. Those silly hats and stuffed donkeys that people come back from Spain with. Tattoos, acquired in drunken nights out, misspelling the names of fleeting loved ones. I once had a small white wine and then bought a Steps CD.

So I know how she feels. The fact that she constantly has to police herself from making silly comments in normal discourse and only forgets to do this when she’s had an insomnia pill demonstrates that a certain amount of social editing was always occurring. And that poor sap in the White House, my goodness, he must be very, very tired.

 

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Author: Robert Garnham

Performance and spoken word artist.

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