The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post
The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post.
Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.
Hoodie you think you are?
Every day as we walk, bus, cycle or drive around, we barely notice the million and one things we pass by because they’re so familiar – especially our own face in a shop window.
Which is no reflection on us . . .
Some people drive the same route to and from work day after day and frequently arrive at their destination unable to remember how they got there.
It’s as if they’re on automatic pilot throughout the commute.
I can’t do that because a comedian must observe the world and the weird, wonderful and sometimes worrying things that go on within it. Every day I look for ideas that might generate a routine or form the basis of this column.
Which brings me to last week - and the lady in her mid-20s I saw wearing a dark blue ‘hoodie’ on the back of which was written the slogan “BE WHOEVER YOU WANT TO BE”.
From her appearance, I assumed that she must ’want to be’ a 19-stone, pram-pushing wobbler who constantly talks on her telephone in between shouting at her young son for running off ahead of her.
But I’m prepared to be proved wrong on this.
It was the slogan, rather than the mobile advertising hoarding, that captured my attention.
I’m all for motivating people to be the best, whether they’re a barrister or a barrista.
But believing you can “Be whoever you want to be” is not so much motivational as completely delusional.
Before the end of the year I ‘want to be’ a headliner in Las Vegas and win £10 million on the Lottery, but my in-built reality checker tells me that’s unlikely to happen.
Not unless I buy a Lotto ticket occasionally!
Most motivational slogans come from America where the ‘can do’ attitude is encouraged.
While that’s admirable, telling people (especially impressionable adolescents) they can achieve anything in life, whether they want to be a President or an astronaut, is irresponsible.
Even if they work hard, it doesn’t take into account that millions are after that same goal, so it’s just not possible for everyone to achieve it.
Nor does it include the important yet elusive element of good luck.
The eminent psychologist Daniel Kahneman summed-up matters neatly when he said:
“Success = Talent + Luck.
Great success = A little more talent + A Lot of Luck.”And I’m sure he didn’t wear a ‘hoodie’ with this written on the back.
One burst of fine weather and everyone is out and about!
Over the past few days I have witnessed more cyclists and joggers on the roads than at any other time I can remember.
Sweating, red faced and panting heavily whilst maintaining that focused and determined look through gritted teeth is not something that I personally feel the need to participate in, but hats off to those of you that do.
A close friend recently challenged me to start training for the next Iron Man competition, which as many of you probably know takes part in West Wales later on this year.
I've now come to the conclusion that I don't need friends like this.
My exercise regime is far less strenuous and more of a leisurely pace these days, weather permitting of course.
Let's face it, there's no point suffering to stay healthy is there?
I've been a member of a gym for over a year now, but apparently you actually have to turn up for it to have any effect.
Love thy neighbour:
As a young lad, I was brought up in the days where everybody in the street on which you lived knew everyone else.
I am sure many of you reading this column can remember this time very well.
The good old days.
However, times have changed and, unfortunately, there are so many of us today that don't know who lives on the street, or in some cases, even who lives next door!
Gone are the days when you would pop next door to borrow a cup of sugar or your neighbour would pop in to share their copy of the Evening Post when they'd finished it.
My grandmother would always make the effort to check on her neighbours and get to know anyone new who moved into the street.
If she were still around today, they'd nickname her “Google.”
Keeping in touch with those around you was second nature.
These were life skills and values that would prove useful for all concerned.
Wouldn't it be lovely to see this sense of community make a welcome return?
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk