Then, suddenly, everything hits the industrial fan

By Lindsay Slogrove Time of article published Feb 20, 2021

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Then, suddenly, nothing happened.

Monty Python’s “nothing happened” from Flying Circus and And Now For Something Completely Different is one of the gang’s finest works of art in a body packed with genius.

From some quick memory-refreshing research, and Python fans who know every line can yell at me if this is not 100% accurate, it seems “Then, suddenly” was an import.

Nowadays, suddenly nothing happening is like being in a Zen state. Just about every day, then suddenly nothing happening would bring delight and joy to millions of people.

The car alternator didn't suddenly crack and stop working. The grass-cutter thingy didn’t suddenly run out of nylon. Load shedding did not suddenly power itself up again. The wifi did not “suddenly nothing happened” when you tried to connect it.

Covid suddenly didn’t happen more suddenly than it did. And the suddenly available vaccines actually were, to everyone.

Suddenly Covid happening has added another certainty that goes with “death and taxes” – change.

It’s inevitable for everyone and all things, and one has to learn to roll with it, grasp it or get trampled by it. It can be difficult or exciting. There’s so much of it it can be overwhelming, and lead to mental health problems.

Suddenly nothing happening means routine. Some call it a rut. But routine exists for a reason: it works.

Take a family getting ready in the morning for school and work and shopping and cooking and cleaning and all those other daily happenings. The routine ensures things move apace, with the least disruption. No one loses a shoe/shirt. Homework, car keys and cellphones are where they were left. Uniforms and work clothes have been washed and ironed, and sweat-free gym bags are packed and ready to go. Aaaah, the joys of a rut where suddenly nothing happens.

When suddenly nothing happens, no one falls victim to the desperation felt on the couch this week.

Put it down to heat stroke. In spite of a nest of five fans around the sofa and four around the bed, and the two in the kitchen, the February heat was just swishing around in sweat.

Some online searching revealed a mist fan on special and, dragging my son along as muscle to carry said fans, we headed into the heat.

Even the store aircon didn’t provide relief, but the misty fan on display did if you got within 6cm of it.

However, the shelves were empty – clearly others had seen the special first and they were all gone, bar the ones with fancy names and even fancier price tags.

While sheltering in the wonderful gale of another massive fan, we searched for alternatives. One was the industrial fan I was nestled against and there was one other on a pallet, both the sole survivors of the cold rush.

We wove them into the nests.

Lesson learnt: in a busy superstore with folk bustling and PA systems buzzing, other sounds are muted. My two precious purchases make the same noise as a helicopter. A little one, but with big, noisy rotors.

I’m cool with that, though. Now the neighbours can listen to our TV and ear plugs are the order of the night.

At least I can’t hear when suddenly nothing happens.

The Independent on Saturday

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