Put a man in a wheelchair and you will get lists, as sure as eggs is eggs.
Men produce lists as a default thought pattern. If you want to talk to men, you must learn to talk lists. A list excites a man like no other object in the world.
Here is a list of the kind of lists men find fascinating. Note that they must be in a ranked format, and the most popular . . . but not the only . . . one is the 10 Best of list. Thus:
- The ten greatest singles
- The ten greatest (add sport of your choice) Players of all time
- The ten best albums
- The ten best films
- The ten best presents (sometimes known as The Amazon Wish List)
- The ten best cars, but don’t forget
- The ten Worst cars, records, films etc
- The ten worst people to get stuck in a lift with
- The ten best books
- The ten best shades of red, as used by Mark Rothko.
The list is endless!
That is the beauty of the list. It is an inexhaustible fund of conversation, wherever and whenever men are gathered together.
By definition, the list is always provisional, always up for debate and amendment.
Therefore, when you put a man in a wheelchair, with loads of empty time spent waiting . . . for a drink, for the toilet, for a doctor, for the pain to subside enough to think again . . . you will get lists.
And these aren’t just any old lists. They are considered and honed, while waiting for sleep, while lying on the floor like an abandoned beetle, or while sitting in a car outside a shop.
I have been working on this list, the Ten Best Human Beings of All Time., for several days now, and I am just beginning to feel confident enough about it to publish it to a sceptical world. It is but a baby, a mewling pup of a list.
When constructing a list, the qualifying criteria must be considered. The title must be defined. This list is of the “best” people, not the most famous. In my view, to qualify as one of the “best”, he or she must not have knowingly killed someone; they must have been good at what they did, but also have done more than just write a good book or play some good music, and so on. They must have had an influence on humanity beyond their chosen field.
Finding women to go on the list was more difficult than finding men. This is not because men are better than women, but because history does not record their deeds.
Having said that, I have tried to be as fair as possible about gender and racee, but I admit there will be massive omissions. But, that’s the point of all lists. They need to be argued over.
So, here it is:
10 Great Human Beings
- Nelson Mandela
- Emmeline Pankhurst
- Marie Curie
- Aung San Suu Kyis
- Mary Kinsley
The order of the names within the list of 10 has not been decided.
I should get a life and get out more!