How To… Forgive and Forget

Yes, Mr President one of the awesome powers you have courtesy of your position as supposed leader of the free world (it’s a title up for debate thanks to his actions in office. Also, he was terribly disappointed after taking his oath that he hadn’t somehow gained the ability to fly or shoot lightning out of his hands. It was in a documentary he watched about some sort of war, honest) is the pardon. However, like everything else in your new job, it’s something to be used with discretion.

You’re not invulnerable I’m afraid you fragile little snowflake. Shouting about how unfairly you’ve been handled and how so many people out there simply aren’t appreciating all you’ve done for them (how dare the Republicans not get down and literally lick his toes in thankfulness that he got them into office once again?) isn’t going to solve anything. And indiscriminately handing out pardons to yourself and your inner circle (which includes a nepotistic level of your own family) isn’t going to wash these stains away.

So really it’s not about any ability you yourself have to forgive whatever nefarious actions that didn’t actually happen anyway and even if they did weren’t all that bad and were just in the service of definitely making America great again. If you did that there’s no way anyone (fine, most people) would allow you to sweep such an event under the rug and force everyone to forget it ever happened. What you need to do is to get the public to forgive you.

I know, everyone else, it’s going to be difficult. Gaslighting and fake news and everything else that’s been pulled over on you in recent times is getting increasingly hard to stomach. None of the glittering promises have been followed through on and you’re becoming steadily more and more pissed. I reckon the only way anyone’s going to forgive is if Trump immediately resigned, promised to do a Game of Thrones style naked shame walk through the streets, retracted that pledge and, as everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief, donates the entirety of his personal wealth to a charity for needy donkeys. It would be hard to try and forget but I promise we would try.

Forgive and forget – The Kooks

How To… Never Do Anything

The facetious among you will claim that the mere concept of not doing anything is literally and utterly impossible. Even the most entirely unmotivated among us will find it difficult not to breathe or find themselves carrying out an array of automatic human functions. It’s just one of those things, we need to do stuff in the course of that whole living thing. However, outside of these activities, it is entirely possible not to do anything with your life, it will merely take some effort at the start to facilitate that sort of experience.

Down to the overwhelmingly necessary nature of those pesky human functions, you’re going to make sure you have plenty of food and water set by as well as a dependable shelter. This is of course if you’re planning on doing nothing for any particular length of time, perhaps you’re planning on a glorious retirement filled with a great many hours of absolutely bugger all.

So be prepared to put in plenty of time and effort into stockpiling canned food and paying off a mortgage. If that’s just not within the realms of possibility (not surprising in this infuriating economic climate) then you could concentrate your efforts instead on assembling one really badass shack out in the woods (making sure that the land isn’t of interest to anyone else of course).

Once you have the ideal everlasting place to rest your head, hang your hat, whatever and enough long lasting food to see you through, you can advance to the next stage of the plan. Namely, this would be the doing nothing. So lie back, transcend the need for all these media devices and troublesome distractions. Clear your mind to the point of nirvana, occasionally shovel in a little canned food and enjoy that reward of free time filled with nothingness.

Never do anything – Barenaked Ladies

How To… Show Me How You Live

Ah, the look of abject horror on your face. The very notion of someone having a window into what you get up behind closed doors. It would almost be interesting if you indulged in hedonistic orgytastic pleasure. Those varieties of exploits demand rather a lot of effort and would no doubt impress folk who when they get home simply strip down to their pants, hunker down on the sofa, consume frankly heroic amounts of crisps and watch whatever happens to be on telly for several hours at a time.

I’ve no doubt that even if you don’t surrender yourself to man’s worst vices in your spare time you still have plenty to say for your leisure activities. Perhaps you’re training to be a pastry chef on the side or have the knowledge of several different languages under your belt. I’m sure that even if your energies are focused towards making your home around you the very best it should be you could claim interior decorating experience.

So whatever it is, marathon episodes of Love Island (I can’t help it, I don’t care if it’s an entertainment phenomenon, it just sounds frivolously stupid. Maybe I’m getting old) or administering to the poor or infirm, show me how you live. Throw open the barriers to your private life and lay it bear for all the world to see. I promise we won’t laugh.

Perhaps you could turn it into some funky kind of social media project – place webcams every which where (fogging it up for toilet activities and the like of course, I’m not suggesting some sort of soft porn situation naturally. Unless that’s your bag during downtime) and allow the world to view what you get up to. Or just send me the private link and I swear I won’t write about it. In gory detail.

Show me how you live – Audioslave

How To… Wake Up Alone

Waking up alone can be somewhat disconcerting if it wasn’t quite what you planned. If you expected someone to be at your side like some variety of faithful hound and then find yourself alone it can give you pause. On the other hand, it can be even more disorientating if you open your eyes to find some stranger next to you. I can vouch for this happening to me at the age of eight or so as I awoke to find an unrecognisable man slumbering next to me. Only after a few minutes of panic did I realise that my dad looked somewhat different to me without his glasses on.

But we were discussing finding ways to rise from the land of dreams as a solo entity. A good way to do this clearly is to enter that stat on your own as well. However, with modern relationships being the way the are, you’re considered something of an eccentric if you insist on separate beds.

So, if you happen to be coupled up as such and yet still treasure your nighttime personal space there are plenty of things you can do to maintain it. Cultivating certain behaviours such as rumblingly interminable snoring, night terrors and general thrashing about would go some way to bringing about the circumstances you desire.

Of course, you’ll want to strike a balance between pushing someone far enough away for them to not want to sleep with you but keeping them sufficiently close by that they’ll not want to be rid of you entirely. It’s a tricky sweet spot to hit. An alternative would be for the person you’ve decided to spend your life with to have a lot of business trips abroad. You’ll be waking up alone rather a lot if that happens to be the case. Not speaking from experience or anything.

Wake up alone – Amy Winehouse

How To… Let It Slide

I was almost sure that I must have done let it slide before given that I have a distinct recollection of encouraging folk to slip about any hardwood floor they could find in their socks but then again that was almost definitely just straight up slide. Anyway, I’ll sure you’ll be sufficiently magnanimous as to allow this one to pass on through because you’re simply stuffed with benevolence and the milk of human kindness. Plus I’m finding it difficult to come up with something solid to write about today so this is what you’re getting.

It’s all well and good to psych yourself up to sliding, perhaps you’ve found yourself positively enraptured by the exploits of your local luge team (really wasn’t sure if I had the spelling right for that one. Then again, I’m an excellent speller, even with purportedly foreign words like blasĂ©, I knew there was an accent and everything). However, it’s rather more difficult to passively allow it to happen. I know what you’re like, you enjoy being at the very centre of things and can hardly bear to not have an active role in proceedings.

However, you’ve let things happen before. Seen something terrible going down like someone unsteady on their feet stumbling on a slippery section of pavement and not called out a warning. Or been content for a friend to head into the world on a night out in an outfit that definitely does make their bum look big and not in a good way especially as it draws extra attention to the loveliness of your own derriere. So you can totally do me a solid and not call me out on the fact that I’ve quite definitely phoned this one in by waffling until I hit the word limit and not said anything even remotely constructive.

Let it slide – Nikki Flores

How To… Break Free

For all those keeping track, Donald Trump seems to have fundamentally misunderstood yet another facet of holding public office. He is accountable for his actions not only to those who voted for him but all those whom he represents. They don’t hold with kings in that country any more and as such there is no such thing as absolute rule. Sure, gallivant with your Russian buddy at a G20 function but don’t get touchy when people ask why such actions weren’t previously disclosed to the general public.

As his legislation goes down in flames (come on, is anyone actually surprised that he hasn’t proved to be quite as effective as his extravagant promises), he may well feel regret at leaving his old life behind. You know, the one where he could sneer at those in power without having to have his actions compared with his predecessors (presidents who didn’t spend their lives on golf courses or in properties that bore their own name or complained constantly about unfair covfefe, I mean coverage. They got on with the job in hand rather than skipping from one photo op to another).

There are plenty of reasons to feel sorry for little old Donny. But rather than just expressing empty sympathy, let’s actually do something about it and spring him from the jaws of uncomfortable office. Then again, sometimes the best help is that which you can do for yourself. Mr Trump, I know it’s hard but you can do this, you can step down.

It almost definitely won’t make any of the Russia mess go away and you may even find yourself behind bars with your charming son. The daughter you place so much faith in will probably come out of this smelling of roses because of that hold poise thing she’s got going on but at least she won’t have to go through with becoming your successor in an increasingly poisonous political climate. Just step down, go out on your own terms and go have some fun on the links before the federal agents come for you.

Break free – Ariana Grande

How To… Follow the Heron

There are a few different ways to interpret this. Especially when it comes to your motivations. If you’re planning on doing something nefarious or untoward when it comes to that heron, well, I know they can defend themselves but I’m just not comfortable with setting up that sort of situation. Should herons in particular be your fancy then for the love of propriety can’t you just use a stuffed toy? Maybe with bird calls piped in if you insist on that level of depravity?

Oh sure, that’s not remotely what you meant. I think thou dost protest too much but people will start accusing me of being odd if I continue down this particular track so let’s pretend it was based on your innocent obsession with interesting ornithology. Or possibly an impulse on a purely metaphorical level. It could happen.

So, for you to attempt to shadow a heron like some kind of birdwatching ninja the first step is to hang out somewhere that herons are likely to congregate. And before you go giving yourself a pat on the back for coming up with a remarkably clever idea, zoos and the like definitely don’t count. If a heron doesn’t have the opportunity to go anywhere, how would it possibly be considered an accomplishment to follow it? No, into the wild with you, keep quiet and wait. Then get your skates on because I’ll bet they can fly faster than you can run.

On the other hand, you might have acquired some strange notion that you ought to observe the heron in order to apply some level of its philosophy to your own life. So silly, it’s owls who are renowned for their wisdom. For some reason. Maybe you simply admire the heron and aspire to have its… I don’t know, skill when it comes to fishing. You might want to investigate an evening course. Or set up your own and create new acolytes in the ways of the heron.

Follow the heron – Karine Polwart