If you’ve completed any of the Workouts that appear in Read Me, please send them to Gyles (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he’ll post them here for other readers to enjoy.
Lesson One, Workout One
Why everyone should commit an imprisonable offence some time in their life
Writer: James Pettecrew
How many career criminals are in the wrong job – tensely clock watching until they race off for their first breath of sweet freedom in the company car park, the success of their day judged by whether they are first out of the gate? Is there a Ronnie Biggs in your accounts department? A Reggie Kray in Goods Receiving? A Marketing Clyde who could mix it up with HR’s own Bonnie? We rightly teach children to follow their dreams. But what if that dream involves turning over that bookies on the high street or TWOC’ing a high performance BMW for a taste of the high life?
True crime TV, ghoulish rubberneckers and journalists the world over are being needlessly starved of material – and at what cost? Wake up, people: a forgotten and forlorn criminal cadre is being lost to us. We are living in a world where most current lawbreakers do so out of necessity – poverty being the prime factor but let’s not forget the importance of poor role models like the Presidents of FIFA and the USA.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to give crime a go. The quality of future criminals depends on it. Mark my words: granting immunity for everyone’s first offence would transform this country. Time to find out if defying legislation is your vocation!
Writer: James Brown
Close your eyes and think about the last time you found something that you thought was lost forever? Do you remember the hours, days and weeks of pain as you tried to find it?
It doesn’t matter if it was your wedding ring or a £5 note. The feeling you had as you spotted that missing item would have been the same. That relief and the rush of adrenaline quickly unties the knot in your stomach.
Now imagine losing your freedom and not knowing when you will have it again. Bang. The cell door closes.
The moment will come when the cell door opens and the warden says ‘you’re free to go’.
Now imagine how good you will feel for the following hours, days and weeks as you find everything that you lost during your time in prison.
Writer: Honor Clement-Hayes
Morality is the measurement of good against bad. We have an easy game with morality: it is largely dictated to us by the law, by society, and by our parents.
It’s inherited, with not much conscious decision-making involved. So are you really a good person if you’re just following the rules?
I put to you that making a conscious decision to do the wrong thing (wrong legally, socially and morally) will cause you to question your inherited comprehension of ‘good and bad’, and allow you to choose the right thing mindfully. One more time with feeling, we could say.
I’ve done it. Not a day has passed since that I haven’t thought of it. It instilled in me a healthy fear of the law and broke my belief in my own immortality. Useful lessons for a teenager.
My only advice: do it while you’re young. Breaking the law is much less cute when you’re 45 and caught with a packet of Richmond sausages in your briefcase.
Writer: Etan Yravas
Because if you don’t, you’ll never know what it’s like to lose it. You’ll never appreciate the fresh air you’re breathing right now — air you take for granted. Simply because your conscious mind, it doesn’t worry about breathing. But your subconscious mind? Runs the show. And that’s who got you into this mess. Yes, “who”. You’d think it was like a little person in there. Mind of its own. What it learned from your childhood? Picked up from your ‘rents? Got programmed to believe by society? All that led you here. But, in your defense, you had no control. Again, mind of its own. It’s just too bad you did what you did. But think about this: aren’t you glad? That you did it? You wouldn’t have learned how to get past that thing. You know which one I’m talking about. The thing you were running from without realizing you were fucking sprinting. And when it finally caught up to you and you had to confront it? You learned what was waiting on you (and your subconscious) this entire time. So even though it’s led to some really bad headaches. And even though most people wouldn’t wish it on anyone but their worst enemy. YOU know it’s value. And how, sometimes, that naughty little thing gives you everything you need to know to know what it’s like to WIN it.
(And keep it)
Writer: Javed Imthiaz
Have you not been to jail yet? What a shame. The thrill of an imprisonable offence is a lifetime’s experience that no person worth their salt would give a miss. It is an absolute must on your bucket list if you’ve got one made for living on the earth. I mean, really living. Not surviving like cockroaches and rats off what remains of the fun that more vivacious people have had. More than sixty percent of imprisoned offenders will tell you – and nobody else will tell you – of the quiet thrill of getting caught, being handcuffed and forced into a police car, questioned in a station, and getting thrown in a cell with scary stone-faced strangers. It is the final word in legally sanctioned masochism, and boy, is it fun for the darkest insides of your soul. And what’s better, commit the offence and get away with it. You know you’ll be hunted like a fox, and caught and skewered like a dead rabbit. But you also know it is fun to be chased, and you know you’re the possessor of a racy life story. What are you waiting for? There’s so much you can do right away.
You’re the owner of a racy life story
From the moment you commit this crime
That would land you in a jail full of
Unlike any you ever met
And get a chance to find out
What really got them in there
And find out what
Keeps them alive
And find out other things
You never wanted to find out.
And write it all
Into the story of your life.
But of course, if you can hold off
The getting caught bit
Your story would be racier
With a thrilling chase
Adding flavour to this story
That you tell your mates
As you turn into
A great character yourself.
Become a great character. Go to jail.
Lesson One, Workout Two
The case for cheating on your partner
Writer: James Brown
I bet you don’t eat the same meal for dinner every day or go the same holiday resort every summer. If you do then you stop reading now as I’m never going to convince you to cheat.
You still here?…ok…you should feel guilty for just reaching the end of this sentence. Thinking about cheating is just as bad as the physical act.
Many partners would say it’s even more of a betrayal. So what are you waiting for?
*Go to Google and search for ‘Tinder’*
Writer: Honor Clement-Hayes
Let’s look at it scientifically, since we feel the need to distance ourselves. It’s just not natural to stick with one jaded-faded partner for years, especially if all you’re procreating is Habitat nesting tables.
But that’s a lame argument. Humans don’t go in for the whole ‘natural’ thing much these days. My hair isn’t really red. The vanilla latte next to me has never heard of Madagascar, let alone been a part of the island scene.
I’m beating about the bush – as I said, it’s a controversial subject. So here’s the crux…are you ready for a dose of the Word?
We only truly value what we have when we think we might lose it. And never are we more in danger of losing it than when we’ve ridden roughshod over everything it believes, hopes and has been promised.
It’s a refresher by fire. You’ll feel physically sick that you did this thing to the one person who matters above all atomic constructs in the universe. And every day that they still look at you and see the human you used to be is a GIFT, one you don’t deserve but are desperately grateful for.
You can’t live as if it’s your last day until you’ve had a gun to your head.
Writer: Javed Imthiaz
Must we elaborate? If you aren’t doing it, we bet your partner is. And why make it worse for the both of you later: the tiring old arguments we’ve seen on TV, the lies you read in novels, the anger borrowed from old movies. Why the pointless fuss when you both know? Go get ahead on it, wink at that other person at work, brush hands in the elevator, ask them out for a quick drive, and you know what? It is only natural, so take it cool. Be chirpy about it, in fact. Isn’t it brightening your day? Isn’t it making that coffee a good bit sweeter? Enjoy the affair. It’s one of those things you don’t have to think about telling anyone. Least of all your partner. They’ve had it too, and it is best you don’t ask. Just wink at each other.
Lesson Two, Workout Two
Editing and reworking existing text
Writer: Javed Imthiaz
(Chosen structure: Problem>Solution>Results)
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