#reverb10 Wisdom and Wonders.

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

It pains me like you wouldn’t believe, because now #reverb10 will always feel like a failed task, but I think I’m gonna have to admit defeat on this one. Didn’t do a lot of wise things. Or, you know, any. That come to mind anyway.

I gave up on The Event three episodes in. Does that count?

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

For me, wonder comes from stepping back and getting a little distance from the rest of the world, and always trying to look at everything fresh, as if for the first time. Every day, I am Kasper Hauser, released from my dungeon into the wilds of polite society, and I get amazed, and amused, pretty easily.

In my previous #reverb10 entries, I mentioned People Watching, and how I practically live at the beach during the summer. Indulging this hobby is a nice side-effect of spending so much time there by myself. For this prompt, I’ve flipped through one of the little notepads I took to the beach, dated June 2010, and transcribed a small selection of some of the stuff inside. You may find these to be wonders in the most loose of senses, but clearly I found enough value at the time to note them down for prosperity.


A sneering Nick Knowles plays crazy golf, a sour look on his face, while being filmed by the BBC.


A dog stares in rapt attention as its elderly owners eat ice creams on a bench. It’s a look I’m familiar with. They finish up, and the dog doesn’t get a single lick. I wonder how many thousands of meals he’s sat through, snaring them both in that unbroken gaze, and knowing they’ve never fed him from their plates, but still not daring to look away, just in case today’s the day.


Entrenched in my Unattractive Single Beach Man nightmare, I somehow find a whole section of beach to myself. Glorious. A hugely fat couple waddle noisily and clumsily past on the pebbles, inches away. At the exact moment she passes, the morbidly obese, salmon-pink woman parps out a loud and rippling fart.


A furious schoolteacher yells impotent threats at a hundred eight-year-olds that she will take them all back home, right there and then. There was a stone-throwing incident, she shrieks, again and again, and “a member of the public” has taken one in the face. 300 yards down the prom, I can still hear her; the words “stone,” “face,” and “I mean it!” carrying on the breeze long after they are out of sight. I find myself picturing the children rising as one and stoning her to death with pretty shells and dried up cuttlefish, cheering joyously as she hits the floor.


A posh, plummy voiced six year old boy asks his friend if he knows what it means to become Blood Brothers. The boy explains that both of them must wee into a cup and drink it, before shaking hands. “…then we will be Blood Brothers forever!” he says, skipping away.


Three men load a bed onto the back of a pickup truck. They are respectively dressed as Superman, Wolverine and The Hulk. Wolverine’s claws are fully extended as he grapples with the bed, and The Hulk is a sixty-year-old man in all-over green body paint and purple shorts.


An overweight and puffing couple carrying motorcycle helmets sit directly in front of me, obnoxiously close. The back of his t-shirt depicts a dragon stabbing a castle with a sword, while she wears a faded Planet Hollywood shirt, circa 1989, and joylessly balances a fingerless bike glove on her forehead as a makeshift sun-visor.


A group of intimidating looking bikers, straight out of central casting, march aggressively onto the prom, looking as though they’re about to fuck shit up. “Look!” says one. He is 250lbs and toughing out the 30 degree heat in leathers and a bandana. He points at the sign for Sharksville Adventure Golf, and the bikers ascend the steps for a game.


I am sat on a bench on the prom facing directly out to sea. Two very posh girls sit down on the far end of the next bench along and discuss one of them’s new job working at the British parliament. They loudly talk about people with names that are so middle class, it’s almost a cliché. A gigantic and extremely hairy man with learning difficulties emerges from the ocean like Goya’s Colossus, and stands a few yards away on the sand, where he changes back into his clothes. The trunks come off, and he’s completely naked, and as unashamed as if in his own bathroom. The toff women giggle, gasp and make retching sounds, as he bends, squats, and eventually manoeuvres himself into the legs of his underpants with all the grace of a concussed gorilla. During the five minute show of hairy anus and balls, I wonder if the women will later tell their twattily-named friends, guffawing over glasses of Bolly and sneering at the memory of his arse, while I think that I will probably just tweet about it when I get home.



This is our world. How can you not feel wonder? Plus, all that stuff is just people being people; a tiny slice of the wonder-pie. Any time there are people involved – that human element – anything can happen. There’s other stuff too, like sunsets and animals, feelings and well…stuff? 2010 was full of wonders. From the naked man, to a shooting star (This is turning into that ICP video. Fuckin’ tourists’ ballbags, how do they work?), to being surprised by a feeling – there are wonders everywhere. Sometimes, you just need to be in that Kasper Hauser mindset to appreciate them.

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~ by Stuart on December 12, 2010.

2 Responses to “#reverb10 Wisdom and Wonders.”

  1. Your beach sounds like kind of s scary place!

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