Today I’m going to ask for a small amount of help – although it will be disguised as an opportunity - and, in exchange, I will offer help in return. After all, if you give a little love in this world, you get a lot more back (NB does not always happen).
So. Firstly, request. As you might be aware, I’m doing my damnedest to complete this blog every day. Every day ever for the next ten years. I’ve not yet decided what I’m going to do about holidays and such like, but at this early stage, about 30-odd days in, I’ve so far got an interrupted record. Admittedly, nothing to get excited about, but longer than most diaries probably last (ordinary people’s diaries, at least; not like that showoff, Pepys).
However, over the past few days I’ve at times come perilously close to losing my 100 percent record, thanks to the difficulty of being a father, which, if it were a computer game, would be one of those levels where you have to bash a massive thing with spikes on its back. (I’m basing my knowledge of computer games largely on Sonic The Hedgehog from the Master System in 1992, which might be a bit out of date, but there we are.) Exactly why I chose to take on this task at precisely the time I’m busier than ever in my life is a fair question, but actually, the former is related to the latter; it’s something to do with trying to reassure myself I am still productive, and also, tracking a pivotal decade in my life and blah blah blah.
So anyway. Look. Rather than the threat of missing one, here’s what I’m going to do. I am going to advertise the position of Emergency Blogger. Essentially, the successful candidate or candidates agrees/agree to do a blog, at very short notice, on my behalf, in the event that I’m unable to do it one day. This doesn’t quite feel like cheating, because it’s a bit like in the 24-hour-shows when I got someone like David O’Doherty to fill in while I went to the toilet. Even endurance records are allowed to include brief respite. And I’d rather the blog itself kept going with me on the sidelines for 24 hours, rather than disappearing for a day.
So. This job would suit anyone who is/wouldn’t mind being a blogger, or just wishes they could do a bit of writing now and then in what is a very supportive atmosphere. The Emergency Blog can be about any subject – it can either carry on something that’s been talked about before, or it could be something completely new. As long as you don’t hijack it to incite a holy war or post pictures of naked people, unless they’re highly sexy naked people.
But the one really important qualification is, I have to be able to get hold of you, by email, at very short notice and you need enough time on your hands that you could be relied upon to do it.
Please post your applications below. If you’re appointed, you might never ever be called on, or you might be in action tomorrow. It’s like being one of the people whose job it would have been to initiate evacuations in the event of nuclear conflict in the Cold War. I can’t think of the name. But you know the sort of thing I mean.
And now the reverse. A NEW BLOG FEATURE.
The other day I helped three people. I gave directions to a lost man, carried something for a woman, and cheered up another woman who was sad (I knew the last one a little bit; the other two were strangers). It gave me enormous satisfaction to do this. We all know that one of the best bits of doing Good Deeds is gratifying your own desire to be a good guy. And any time I’ve managed to lift someone’s mood, I’ve always felt like a champion. And there’s no doubt that one of the keys to my ten years of self-improvement is to make it fun.
So, I’m going to introduce this new feature called Can I Help You? It’s a cross between an agony aunt column and 63336, the people who supply the questions for We Need Answers. Essentially, you can ask me for help on any issue - logistical, emotional, or practical. Every now and again I will round them up and try to answer them all. I don’t know how often, so you’d be well advised not to ask anything too urgent, e.g. ‘how do I get out of this burning building?’ But it might suit anyone who has something that’s been on their mind for a bit.
I’m not presenting myself as any sort of authority on life, but a lot of this blog’s readers are 14-18, so if only by dint of being an awful lot older than you, I might be useful. Also, as with the long shows and other ventures on this blog, the idea is to create a community: so I’ll probably throw questions open to the house if I can’t offer anything useful. I’m always fascinated by the way a group of people will nearly always be able to solve pretty much anything. Even if they don’t solve it very well.
As with TYSICs and so on, you can remain anonymous (send me a tweet or something) and you can even submit things without leaving them as a Comment (again, we’ll sort it out on Twitter). Just to reassure you that this isn’t meant as some kind of attention stunt. Except in the sense that the whole blog is an attention stunt. But a well-meaning one.
OK. Apply for the blog job! Hit me with problems! Let’s go, people!