Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Reality Lock

 Last night I had what was potentially the coolest dream I’ve had in years. I don’t normally share my dreams, especially on here but this one was cool.

I was in a car that was a new, gadgety invention. It had a cruise control so superbly awesome that it would drive for you. It also had a screen you could slide across to turn the driver’s seat area into a shower room and bed. Cool or what?!!

I hit the cruise control button, slid the Perspex screen across, and was tentatively enjoying myself when the car failed to stop at a red light. I instantly whacked the button to “off” and took control again. Before I knew what was happening the wheels of the car had twisted and morphed and become four propellers, facing downwards and the car was now, a flying vehicle…buzzing through the skies to avoid traffic.

Now at this point, this is merely a badass boy’s fantasy about a super bloody brilliant car/ hover ship. BUT…then the truly and utterly remarkable bit happened.

As is usual in dreams, the scenario started to drift and I found myself looking out the back window into someone’s bedroom. I had a blanket or curtain over the window and the liney defroster thing was in my vision as I saw the woman who works in a local charity shop and two other people (one of which was a kid) pointing at the car and looking curious. I realised that the cool car would almost certainly disappear and I’d have to put up with a new dream narrative with no possible hope of ever getting back to the one I was so enjoying. So I reached down to the dashboard and pushed a button (that I had willed into existence a nano second before) marked “Reality Lock.” This held the scenario at the current theme and meant no more familiar looking people peering in via a bedroom at me. It remained just me and my uber-cool, super grand car that was still flying.

I took control of the dream narrative and was able to continue in what was a very pleasant and diverting story within my own sleeping head.


It occurred to me today as I remembered this, that in real life we have Reality Locks BUT they are too open to being fiddled with by others. Eventually the Lock is set in place by whoever is the biggest bully or has the biggest mouth.


Years ago I worked in Gateway, a crappy supermarket chain in the UK. It was a part time job to give me some pocket money while I retook my GCSEs at college. I asked for holiday, quite close to the Christmas break (and therefore the store’s busiest time) to attend my cousin’s wedding. I had forgotten to book it earlier and the manager wasn’t having any of it. He called me into his office and in front of the Chief Cashier we had this Reality Lock conversation.

Fat, Moustached, Twat Manager: “You want time off?!! We were short staffed the other day when you came in. Angela here asked you to work (look over at her, she nods, looking a bit embarrassed) and you REFUSED!!! Said you had a video to watch. You should help us out, if you want us to help you out! Watch a video? We needed your help and you refused!!!”

(Reality is locked in his favour here. It would indeed be hypocritical and naïve to expect time off after refusing to help out when I had nothing better to do than go home and watch a film).

Me: “I’ve got two jobs. I review videos for the Kenilworth Weekly News. I’ve got a column in the paper every week. I thought you knew that. I had made a promise to them to review the film I had in my hand when Angela asked me to work. The video had to be back the same day. If I’d worked for you I would have let them down. I’d already made a promise to them.”

(Reality is now locked in MY favour. I have a cast iron excuse for not working at short notice as I had committed and given my word to someone else. I would be an oath breaker and dishonest for not following up on that).

Fat Ugly Sweat Stained Cunt Manager…(after a long pause): “You should have worked for us.”

Me: “I couldn’t work for you as I’d already given my….”

Fat Fucking Cunt Bastard Fuck Manager: “You should have worked for us. You can’t go. It’s only your cousin’s wedding. If you go I’ll sack you.”

(Through bullying and blunt hammering at the argument, Reality is locked again in HIS favour once more. He has ignored my rational argument and is simply being a cunt. BUT he wins so the Reality is “you refused to help us out, you can’t go to the wedding.” Even though I had a very good reason. **

This type of thing happens in life all the time. Reality comes down to whoever has the strongest personality and the biggest mouth, not a Universal Truth that shines through like in movies. A rather harrowing movie named Eden Lake has the heroine being abused and tortured by a bunch of Chav kids who murder her fiancé and chase her around trying to capture and kill her. She kills one in self defence and the movie’s denoument has her stumble into the house of the gang’s ringleader. The boy’s father is a drunken, powerful thug who believes his son is a good lad and the woman is a paedophile who has “killed a little ‘un”. The finale has him and two of his friends dragging her screaming into the bathroom to rape and murder her. The Reality Lock is that she becomes a person who will be justifiably butt fucked and then killed….although that isn’t what happened at all.

The amount of times, as I grew up, that I saw women rare up at men (remembering that feminism was still finding its clit back in the late 80s and early 90s) and the guy would say “sorry”. No matter what the provocation, no matter how unreasonable the woman was being…the fact he said that one pitiful word meant that everything she had done up to that point was in a Reality Lock of righteousness.

I once said to my own mother in an argument about how hard it must be to be take astronaut training:

“How would you know, you’ve never done it?!!”

She pouted and looked at me with her lower lip on the dinner table and said in a hurt voice (and with unflinching sincerity) “that’s rather insulting isn’t it? You don’t know what I’ve done in my life before you were born.”

When I tried to argue that it was impossible she simply screamed at me until I backed off. The Reality Lock was that I had no right to assume she had always just been a mother and a wife. She could have done ANYTHING and I didn’t’ know about it. She hadn’t been an astronaut, but the current Reality Lock stated that she MIGHT have been and as I couldn’t prove otherwise I was wrong and she was right. ***

A case recently in the UK was of a man held hostage in his own home by masked intruders. They took his wife and daughter out the room and then implied they would shag and murder them. They kicked him around a little bit and he then somehow got free. He chased one of them down the street and rugby tackled him into a front garden. Him and one of his neighbours then proceeded to give the little cunt a richly deserved thrashing, that gave him even more richly deserved brain damage. He was arrested and convicted for this “assault” and sent to prison. The judge was sympathetic in his summing up and said that he totally understood why this had happened and that the man had received EXTREME provocation. BUT in UK law you have to act “reasonably” and this wasn’t reasonable by the laws as we have them. The Reality Lock was this was TWO incidents and not one. They did all the nasty shit to him and his family and then a TOTALLY SEPARATE incident occurred, which was him repeatedly kicking one of his tormentors in the head, on someone’s lawn.

Reality was fucked up but the Lock stated that this was an unprovoked and excessive assault.****

I was at work a while back when one of my supervisors told me to take a van which had a nail in the tyre. He insisted it was a slow puncture but would be ok for a day or so. When I refused he ordered me to, so I got the Union involved and he then denied ever telling me to do it. In exasperation I went “FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!” and the Senior Manager (who’d been listening the whole time) then jumped in and snapped:


I repeated it and he said sternly “you can’t talk to a manager like that!!!”

The Reality Lock was stretched to breaking point here but it dictated that, regardless of provocation, I was out of order for swearing. *****

I grew up with various Reality Locks. These could be simple ones like “I’m not surprised people hit you if you behave like that” to more sinister ones such as “no, I don’t believe the former Headmaster was a pervert….NO I DON’T BELIEVE IT!!!”

Reality can be shaped how you want it. Just ignore any arguments that prove you’re wrong. Pretend not to hear any conflicting evidence and continue with the belief that things are just how you want them to be.

My fave example though is this:

Something of mine gets damaged. My parents would always say "you shouldn't have left it lying around!"

Something of my parents gets damaged. My mother would always shriek "is NOTHING in this house sacred?!!"


** This fat fuck was sacked later on after being caught shagging another cashier in the accounts office. The fingerprints on the wall were the ickiest bit about this sordid shit.

*** Beaten about a year later with the same line delivered after I said "how would you know what a kick in the testicles feels like?!! You've never been a man!!!"

**** Appealed it and sentence was Suspended, meaning he was released immediately. 

***** Deliciously subverted when the supervisor then went "oh, yes I did tell him that actually" meaning the Senior Manager threw his hands in the air and walked off.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant . . !

    . . . and so, so true.


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