Welcome to the skipped gear IQ, a series of posts in which I answer the imaginary question I will hopefully have thought of asking as I write the skipped gear IQ post you are reading, in place of anyone actually asking me any questions apart from ‘Where did you put the car keys?’

Previously I have written many other IQ posts, which can be accessed from the categories widget that you can ignore over there somewhere >>
or by following the link here, although the stats page tells me no one does that either.

This paragraph traditionally contains some befuddling and aimless waffle, mainly as it is really intended as just some bridging text before the main point of the post is revealed to us all. Obviously the length of it varies according to how soon a point does in fact reveal itself to me, before I can then write it and reveal it to you.

This paragraph normally then makes a kind of twisted and meta reference to the preceding one, particularly if the question still hasn’t made itself known to any of us. It may be intended to be funny at first, but it invariably I’ve forgotten the joke I was going to make by the time I get to the end of it, so it ends up just being just as befuddling and aimless as the one before.

Some people may get some entertainment from ‘reading between the lines’, which is a mildly disconcerting thought to a writer, as it intimates that there might be more entertainment to be gained by the reader if they were just looking at a blank sheet of paper rather than reading the writers words.

I do wonder why I go the trouble of writing these posts sometimes, but I am left in absolute awe at the sheer determination that any reader getting to the bottom of one must have. Perhaps pressing ‘like’ at the end of it is a sign of triumph for you, like you have won a battle of wits. Me, in the testing-your-patience corner, knowingly toying with and taunting you. And you there, on the other side of the screen, battling through it all, determined not to be beaten by the deliberate banality of the whole thing.

One thing is sure though. It is Friday morning as I write, and hopefully it’ll still be Friday morning when I press Publish. This means, approximately 1.2 seconds after I do click on that button, a notification that Sebastian likes my post will appear.

He likes a lot of my posts that are published on a Friday morning. And he’s a really fast reader.

If there are any more likes after his, well, I take my hat–that I haven’t currently got on, but will have later– off to you.

Right, let’s get to today’s imaginary question.


IQ: What do you think happens to us after death?

Blimey, that’s a bit of a change from the normal line of questioning.

IQ: I think it was on your mind after that extra glass of whisky you had last night.

Ah yes, an unexplained throbbing of the left knee as I was dropping off to sleep.

IQ: You want to be careful with unexplained throbbings at your age. They can lead to bigger unexplained throbbings. Perhaps even unacceptable palpitating. Or a decidedly rude fibrillating.

Yes, well at a certain age, some thoughts of mortality can easily enter into your mind with just the arrival of a previously unknown point of pain appearing. Nine times out of ten, it’s because you’ve been using different muscle groups to avoid using the ones that were painful before. Or you had beans for tea. Soon settles down after a big, long and burbly fart. And a good hard slap from the wife soon after that takes your mind off it too.

IQ: Shall we get back to the question?

Have you got an easier one? Or at least, one with some relevance to the present condition of ‘being alive’?

IQ: So you don’t subscribe to any of the religious comforts of an afterlife waiting for us? Or even a reincarnation perhaps?

No, sorry, I am staunchly of the rational and humanist persuasion. And most of these ‘woo-woo’ magic aspects of religions annoy me intensely.

You know that program on telly, The Repair Shop? I love the skill and the craft. But some of it annoys the fuck out of me.

Firstly, the experts are repairing people’s sentimentally valuable possessions, like a clock or something, that stopped when Grandad died and hasn’t worked since or something, and they say they’re ‘bringing it back to life’. And I think ‘No, you’re not, it wasn’t alive before, you numpty.’

And then they give it back, all repaired, and the owner, through their tears, says something like “I’m sure he’s up there somewhere looking down….”
No, no he’s not. He’s dead. Buried or incinerated. Gone. Where ‘up there’? How far up? Higher than the Space Station? As far as Voyager 1 on the edge of the solar system?

“We cross to NASA for an important message from Voyager 1, forty four and a half years after leaving Earth. It says
‘Hey, I’ve just bumped into Grandad here, fourteen and a half billion miles from Earth. He says thanks for mending his clock, and by the way, Grandma is still on his case about the washing up. Funny thing is, his eyes were rubbish before but now he can see sharply over 14 billion miles, even though he never even owned a telescope when he was alive, and he says ‘Aye lad, you’ve made a right grand job of repairing that clock’

Pfftt… looking down on me… he’s dead!

IQ: Yes… perhaps you are taking that all a bit too literally. And I’m sure the religious people will say there’s things we don’t know about all the possibilities, that it’s human arrogance to assume we can know…

Yes, well they do exactly what I do here. If I don’t know something –and I choose not to find out for myself, you know, using science like they never do because it unravels everything very quickly– I’ll make something up that might sound plausible as long as you don’t think about it too much. Although I don’t worry about it being plausible really either.

Anyway, if you ask anyone to explain anything about how any of this could possibly work, they go all ‘ineffable’ and ‘it’s not for us to understand‘, looking past the fact that we do know an awful lot about how it works, from the tiniest particles of matter to the mapping of the known universe.

IQ: Ahhh.. known universe… see, there’s some unknown universe.

Good grief… It was you doing that nagging throbbing wasn’t it?


“It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.” –Terry Pratchett

11 thoughts on “the skipped gear IQ: a big burbly one

      1. Hey, I’m not one to kick back against any ‘Like’ but when you put out an effort that you sweated blood over for hours and takes the reader- or should take the reader, any reader- ten minutes to labour through, and you get a ‘Like’ a second after ‘publish’ I tend to think they have hit the ‘Like’ a little too quickly. At least a tad too zippily to fully digest the twaddle on the screen. Then again, everybotty has limited time, so we should be grateful for any response, however cursory.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. There was a famous episode a few years back when Nigel (I think) fell off the roof. All the addicts (like my wife) were shocked. t was then parodied beautifully on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

            Liked by 1 person

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