Sunday, 15 May 2011

Do you believe in Unicorns?

Before you judge me please, stop and read this little plea, and think a while before you speak, and ask that dreaded question, that is sitting on the tip of your tongue, relentless in your unconscious pursuit of either polite or career assisting conversation.

The sentence that your itching to release, that I am with ever sickening realisation, loathing my requirement to answer is, 'What is it you do?' Now try as my mind might, I am not allowed to say, 'well breathing and listening right now' and maybe add 'standing up, and maybe wishing I wasn't here', or simply just 'I wish you hadn't asked that'. No society and manners dictate, that I must reply in timely fashion, with the title of my current means of making money.

This might provoke a further question or two, until you can establish that I am, one: earning less that you, or two: less intelligent or interesting, or even three: lacking in the education that you deem necessary to be part of valued society, and therefore worthy of your time..


This is not me! I am not defined by a job title, I am more than just a number, auto created by some software system in the human relations department of some dusty office, in some business that requires my time.

Intelligence moves on different lines to that of pure logic, some of the greatest minds, can struggle when asked to carry out the most basic practical of tasks. If your lack of creative thinking, cannot see past my mode of surviving, it begs the question, how interesting can you possibly be, that you cannot see, that I may have more to offer than you can possibly imagine.

So maybe you should ask a different question, after you have asked 'who are you?' or read my name, take the brave step to ask instead, 'what do you enjoy?' 'what makes your heart skip a beat with excitement?' 'Do you believe in Unicorns, if so why?'

Then maybe you will understand, what a vast pool of fascinating, wonderful, creative, imaginative and heartwarming people you have passed by, just by uttering that one awful closing question.


  1. Like it Abi ~ & agree with you wholeheartedly. The question I prefer to ask people is 'How do you be?' ... as opposed to what do you do.

    Oh! And yes, I do believe in unicorns ... & dragons, & fairies ... in everything, really :)

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  3. i think this imagination animal, but interseting to tell about it djembe

  4. Stupid smartphones.
    I'll try again.
    "You may have the most knowledge in the college, but your disposition betrays your dispossession of wisdom. Making you the biggest fool in school."
    An old tweet of mine.
    Your story reminded me of it.
    Very well put across.

  5. Maybe you should answer this question with another: Why are you interested in this? I guess most people will be left rather baffled. Maybe they should read first and ask afterwards.

  6. Brilliant and you have so captured why I absolutely hate that question! Thought once I reached 65 that people would stop asking but now it is, what did you do? I like Martin's suggestion of coming back with a question of why are you interested. And Peter's idea of how do you be is wonderful. Oh yes, and I do believe in unicorns, dragons, faeries, little people, etc. as they make life worth living! Thanks for a wonderful post!

  7. Thanks so much for your comments :)

    I wasn't sure how this would come across, but evidently how I hoped.

    Here is to all those wondeful folk who make sure they look beyond the surface..


  8. I suppose it depends who it is that asked the inane question, but you should consider answering that you are a writer or a poet. I still like the " breathing and listening" answer. You could of course answer in the mode of the cockney barra-boy grandfather I met on Saturday, who did use the phrases "ooh, a bit of this and a bit of that; ducking and diving to make a quid or two; never bin outa work since I left school at 14". That I really appreciated - that character is going to find his way into a poem one day.

    But all that said, it is, for me, often the sign of an inadequate personality that feels they have to patronise you with the 'pat on the head' type of enquiry. In this case it may be worth replying "if I told you, I'd have to kill you!"