the state of things

 

The Line of Scrimmage

by Douglas Lindsay - 00:26 on 29 December 2008

The school holidays continue. Now in their one hundred and fifty-third week. Or so it seems. At some stage I hope to be able to start working again, but for the moment it seems unlikely. In the American variety of football, when the two teams of big sweaty fifty stone men line up opposite each other, they call it the line of scrimmage. Each morning this holiday we have had a line of scrimmage across the breakfast table. Kids on one side, adult(s) on the other, and blood is spilled each day on the battlefield of Christmas holiday disenchantment. Hardly a day of the holiday passes without the hot scythe of parental despair slashing through the butter of my id, like a hot knife through....well, you know... 

At the start of the holiday I made a work plan. Rather than struggle though The Final Cut, constantly getting lost through lack of continuity, I thought I’d start the re-editing work on Barney Number Two, the re-titled Barney Surgeon’s Hairshirt (Cutting Edge of Barney Thomson.) I started this five years ago and stopped. Now I need to pick it back up again for next year. It seemed like a reasonable thing to be able to pick up at spare moments through the holiday. An hour here, half an hour there. Get a little bit done. Every little helps, in the words of the supermarket behemoth.

The Stretch Target was to finish it. I missed that. The Hard Target was a hundred pages. I’ve missed that too. The Soft Target was ten pages. Nope. The Spongy Over-Ripe Fruit Target was five pages. Not close. The Fetid Gungy Swamp Target was fifteen words. I missed that one as well.

Not a page, not a word, not a letter nor a mark of punctuation. Been having too much fun; that’s what I’ll write in my memoirs in thirty years time when I’ve forgotten about the Line of Scrimmage.


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