Thursday, 31 January 2019
I File Irritating and Unnecessary Demands
When I got home from work, I emptied crumbs from my toaster whilst hanging about the kitchen, waiting for my supper to cook. Emptying the toaster of crumbs involves removing the crumb tray (into which a thimbleful of crumbs has fallen), emptying that, and then inverting the whole thing and giving it a good shake.
In order to clean up my email inbox, I have created a folder named 'Irritating and Unnecessary Demands'. This allows me to file irritating and unnecessary demands away from the main workings of my email correspondence.
In most contexts - beds, tables, work surfaces, inside toasters - toast crumbs are an irritating, although necessary, by-product of toast-making and eating.
The irritating and demanding emails do not seem to me to have the virtue of being necessary in any context apart from one in which they have been deemed necessary. This is why they are irritating.
When I'd shaken as many crumbs as a could from my toaster, I wiped up the pile, and put it in the bin. In terms of crumb volume, the pile may have amounted to a hot cross bun in other circumstances.
In a culture in which nothing has happened until it has been measured, I draw comfort from the small action of turning my inbox upside-down, and shaking emails into a folder which I have named 'Irritating and Unnecessary Demands'.
Now that my toaster is clean, I'm looking forward to toasting a bun, and smothering it in butter. This is guaranteed to reduce my irritation to zero for the time being.