For those born into this ‘modern-age’ the concept of dawdling can seem a little daunting, if not bewildering. The ability to saunter along at a leisurely tempo whilst appreciating the architecture & landscape, is for many at odds to the angst-ridden, ‘snooze & you lose’ attitude that is culturally rife in society. Therefore, I have decided to produce a small, but perfectly formed aide-memoire for those who need a little guidance on how to approach dawdling for the first time.
But before one even takes a step outside the front door, one has to be suitably prepared for what may lay ahead.
In my past it has been said that I possess the fashion sense of a 1980’s German man, but in my defence, my wardrobe tends to veer towards ‘the functional’ as opposed to ‘the in-vogue’.
When it comes to clothing I personally avoid man-made fibres on the skin, due to the fact that after an hour or so on the hoof one can start to emit a smell that would make even the hardiest of yak herders turn green. Therefore lightweight, loose-fitting natural garments, such as cotton & merino wool are the order of the day, as they stay fresher for longer & can be layered if necessary.
Gentlemen on a personal note, when it comes to underwear be mindful of garments that are too loose & unsupportive. There is nothing worse than chafing & wedging around one’s nether regions, & if one is wearing less than the regulation length short trousers, a chap must always be aware of his chap inappropriately taking the air/the mouse coming out the house/Private Wiggly falling-out without permission, particularly when in a relaxed, seated position.
Unless one plans to dawdle up the north face of the Eiger, a pair of supportive, adjustable, shock-absorbing rubber soled shoes should be adequate & in warmer times, trail-type sandals may be worn.
Warning: On a serious note, the wearing of ankle/knee socks with any form of sandals is strictly forbidden in the British Isles & one is likely to be arrested, or even shot on site should you be spotted in public sporting such.
Functional Equipment to carry about one’s person
Being the experienced dawdler that I am, I am always accompanied by my trusty knapsack, within which I carry some essentials.
- A method of making tea (Known as a ‘Brew kit’)
- A selection of assorted snacks
- Emergency assorted snacks
- Snacks in case of dire emergencies such as nuclear war or even missing the last train home
- A map & compass
- Beer tokens
Stepping out the front door
It is jolly easy for me as an experienced dawdler to spout-on about how to get outside & just dawdle, but for some the simple act of stepping out of the front door can seem like an impossible challenge, especially if one is suffering with the condition known as lazybastarditis a debilitating affliction which attacks the motivational centre in the brain, rendering a person utterly incapable of any form of physical exertion. Therefore, as way of assistance I have included a small refresher section on the art of simple walking.
If one still has the capacity to use their legs, it is highly recommended that the initial dawdle be one of simple walking. This can be defined as the act of repetitively placing one foot in front of the other, whilst at the same time holding one’s torso in an upward position. It is important that the shoulders are held in a relaxed but slightly retracted position to allow the chest to naturally expand & contract, with the arms pendulously swinging contralaterally with the action of the feet. If you have the tendency to take a step with one foot whilst moving the arm of the same side (an action known as ‘tick-tocking’ in the military), you are either a member of the RAF or simply just a numpty. Similarly, on no account must one walk as though one is carrying breeze-blocks under their arms whilst at the same time attempting to crack a walnut between the cheeks of their buttocks. This rigid & hilarious gait is reserved for chavs of a skinny disposition, or army physical training instructors who have over-indulged on the ‘roids.
The position of the head is also of paramount importance, as if one holds their head forward & tilted down one could be mistaken for a lurcher, (those who lurch about in public places usually with their eyes glued to their mobile device) whereas if there is too much tilt in an upward direction, as though looking down one’s nose, one could be mistaken for a pompous arse.
The moment a person stops the act of simple walking, it is said that they are in a standing posture. Once in a standing posture, a gentleman is legally allowed to rest one hand in their pocket, especially if one is in deep conversation with other chaps at the bar.
Note, the placing of both hands in the pockets, or even worse, down the front of elastic sports trousers is reserved solely for the chav-classes, who have a particular penchant for playing ‘pocket billiards’ in public. For us gentlemanly types though, a safer option is to keep the hands externally occupied, by holding a map, a walking stick, an umbrella, or even a newspaper. Failing that, one may adopt the ‘Prince William’ – a hand position whereby the extended digits of one hand are inserted just inside the vertical opening of their jacket in a location just above the umbilicus.
Many dawdlers, myself included, have an uncanny ability for navigation. In my dim & distant military career, due to my prowess with a map & compass, I was volunteered to represent my unit at an orienteering event. Unfortunately, due to a minor malfunction with my footwear, I ended up running completely out of the competition area, before finally making my way to the finish-line just as the prize giving was concluding.
For those who have limited navigation skills though, I would suggest that you furnish yourself with an Ordnance Survey map (preferably of the area you wish to dawdle around). To begin with, it is a good idea to get acquainted with the map by spreading it out on the table of your local public house & then whilst you hydrate yourself, periodically stare at the map for a few hours. If you are still in possession of the map by the end of the session, you can then practice your skills by finding your way home, or if you are supremely confident, locating an eating establishment of Indian or Turkish origin Following this, should you then later find yourself in a ‘dubious location’, it is handy to remember the old adage ‘If in doubt, Google Maps will get you out’, although, I have it on good authority that activating the GPS locator whilst within the confines of the ‘Pole-dancing Pleasure Lounge’, may result in a ‘difficult situation’ should your Google account be linked with the rest of the family.
Dealing with undesirables en-route
It troubles me to say that when you are out & about on your dawdling excursions, you will often encounter individuals who are on the ‘Fuch-Witt Spectrum’ – a professional scale which is used by those who have the misfortune of dealing with the public in the course of their day-to-day employments. Although some of the more seriously-deranged facets of the Fuch-Witt Spectrum have been omitted as I wish not to scare those of a nervous disposition, the following list identifies some of the more routine pathologies that we Dawdlers, may observe in day-to-day life:
- EBD (Entitled Benefit Disorder): Able-bodied folks who are often diagnosed with Lazybastarditis, who will happily source & apply for every handout going without ever considering contributing back to society in some manner
- CSS (Chip on Shoulder Syndrome): People who are weighed down so heavily with the self-imposed burdens of their lifestyle that they develop a superiority complex making them view everyone around them as inferior (often seen driving white Range Rovers)
- Dickism: A broad-spectrum psychiatric pathology which makes people behave in an imbecilic manner, often for the benefit of other ‘dicks’, or to influence younger people via social media platforms
- Chav: Another disorder of psychological origin that usually affects people under 30, who due to a lack of moral guidance at an early age, lack the ability to grasp the concepts of law & order
Be smart of tongue & fleet of foot
As many on the Fuch-Witt Spectrum struggle to understand rudimentary English, (mainly due to the fact that they considered at the time that gaining an education was against their human rights), I would suggest that if cornered, the primary recourse would be to engage the scrotey miscreant in a conversation using words of more than one syllable delivered in rapid succession, which will inevitably add momentary bafflement & thus offer you ample time in which to make your escape.
Keeping suitably sustained
“I spent the afternoon dawdling about Basingstoke (a small town in the Northern Hemisphere). At about 1500hrs the heavens opened & I found myself amidst a downpour of almost biblical proportions. Having consumed my assorted snacks & my emergency assorted snacks in the previous hour, I found my energy levels were dropping faster than Neymar Jr in a goal area, & for a split second I imagined the headlines – ‘Famous dawdler dies of hunger/thirst/boredom in Basingstoke’. As I peered through the gloom (not the rain, just the gloom of Basingstoke) I spotted a neon sign that read JD Wetherspoons & with my last remaining ounce of self-worth I prised open the doors & sought sanctuary within. Thankfully, to my relief it was ‘Curry Night’ in the spoons & after two pints of Mr Chubbs & a lamb bhoona, I felt suitably replenished to continue my journey.”
As my diary entry suggests, I cannot iterate & reiterate how important it is to ensure one’s energy & hydration levels are kept up whilst out on a dawdle. Make sure to keep an eye open for public houses, bakeries, taverns, pie shops, inns, patisseries, hostelries & fish & chip shops.
I do hope that this aide-memoire has been an informative & educational insight into the art of dawdling. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me (unless you are on the Fuch-Witt Spectrum that is).