Dubai diaries: It's Sunday, embrace the silliness
Banish the workday blues and bear-hug the barmy
As we career into yet another week, I’d like to start this Sunday with a salute to silliness. Too often the beginning of the day rush instantly dissolves any memories of frivolity the weekend may have served. Even blearily putting on your smarter work clothes, having pressed snooze on that alarm one too many times, can affect your posture and general demeanour don’t you think? Gone is that slovenly relaxed jaunt down to a delicious breakfast, replaced with a stiff upright trudge for a portion of dry toast and lukewarm coffee tipped into a flask. Well I’m here to say, ‘no more!’ Just because you’re being called back into work doesn’t dictate instantly relinquishing all the good feeling your days off provided.
It was whilst watching the latest series of joyful British celebrity game show Taskmaster (all episodes available in the UAE on YouTube) that I was reminded a positive mental attitude can not only put a great spin on the time you’re contractually obliged to be pried away from the sofa, but could possibly lead to greater opportunities. Let me explain. TM hosts five comedians and comic actors who, through 10 weeks of shows, are set different challenges which must be completed in an original and often hilarious manner. Tasks can be as simple as ‘create the biggest mess and completely clean it up in 10 minutes,’ to the more complex ‘order a pizza over the phone without saying the words pizza, cheese, or tomato.’ Lateral thinking is encouraged and, given the contestants’ jobs, the results are duty-bound to be amusing. Season 11 possesses a typically strong line-up with Australian stand-up Sarah Kendall so far streaking ahead in the results table. The eye-catching performer for me, however, has been sitcom star Mike Wozniak. The only previous work featuring the brown-suited mustachioed funnyman of which I was aware is the television series Man Down, available on Netflix. Whilst decent, Wozniak didn’t particularly stick in the memory as someone who could change my views on behaviour. Looking in real life as straight-laced as the financial advisor he plays, I believed the act went as far as the words in the script. Yet watching his elated embrace of the dopey trials on Taskmaster has been a revelation.
Absent-minded phrases which pop out including ‘it’s bamboo o’clock, tick tock’ when constructing something out of the wooden material are sights and sounds to behold. Not only have audiences embraced the gentle kindly madness, fellow competitors who are paid to come up with jokes cannot help but roll about. Such is the whimsy’s power, I have gone from really not being aware of Wozniak’s charm to solely tuning into the programme for his contributions. What if we all took a leaf and bear-hugged the barmy? What changes would that bring about?