Two days ago I was walking along the street, slipped on some cobbles and reaching out to steady myself, grabbed hold of a man’s penis. It’s been two days and I can still feel the giggle bubbles of hysteria breaking over me every time I think about it. It gets better though. After grabbing his penis I then had to spend two hours in a meeting with him – he wasn’t a stranger. I knew him. I had to sit and eat lemon tart and discuss NHS commissioning with him whilst trying not to laugh or look him in the eye without thinking, ‘I just groped your penis.’ No matter how long I live, no matter how many Frankie Boyle podcasts I listen to, this will forever remain the funniest thing that has ever happened to me.
I met Mark Earls too – the author of Herd. He was really nice, I say that even though he got a gift hamper and I didn’t and even though his 8 minute session was better than mine and my work husband’s. He got me thinking about social behaviour and how we humans like to follow the herd. Mark says it’s because we’re ‘super social apes’. My penis grabbing is surely evidence of that very fact. He should use that as an example in his next book.
So we’ve proved I’m a super social ape but I think it’s really clear that I’m not following the herd. Or the shrewdness – because that’s the collective term for a group of apes. Bet you didn’t know that. I didn’t either until I looked it up. Resigning is not an example of mass behaviour.
The book Herd actually has this as a subtitle: How to change mass behavior by harnessing our true nature. So I’ve just ordered the book because I want to know how to create a mass movement of people who say Fuck it and jump off cliffs. Not real cliffs. I mean the metaphorical cliff called working 9-5 for someone else. I’m going to create this movement by figuring out how to harness our true nature. I think that my penis grabbing might be the first step on this path. But I also think that to do this properly I need to read the book. Then I might ask Mark for some help because he’s cleverer than me. Then I’ll get back to you when I’m ready to launch the movement. Until then buy Herd and Fuck It.