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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Ploggers, I don't understand you. I dangle ominous slapping noises from my parents' bathroom in front of you, and you want to know about padkos (Google it) and rollercoasters? I despair, and, in this case, ignore your editorial input.


Several weeks ago I did a course in Neuro-Linguisting Programming, and we learned of a strange habit that a one of the tutor's previous clients had adopted. At 11 p.m. every night, he would slap himself vigorously until 11.03. They solved this by hypnotising him not to recognise 11.00 on the clock. I worry about how this may have impacted on his life when he had to attend meetings.

That is kind of an aside, but also potentially relevant.

So, Sunday morning at Mr and Mrs Nunn's house. It's a full house. There's Mr and Mrs Nunn, TheBloke (TM), Jack and Jack's girlfriend. We are at full capacity. It's about 8 a.m. TheBloke (TM) and I have already woken up, but are doing that Sunday morning dozing thing where you almost drift back off to sleep, then wake up again, then doze again.

Then, through the dozy fog we hear a door open. I wasn't sure which door it was, but it sounded like it might have been the door of Jack's girlfriend's room. We heard someone go into the bathroom and lock the door. All normal so far.

Then we heard six rapid slaps. One after the other. Then the bathroom door unlocked, and whoever had been in there went back to their room.

TheBloke (TM) and I simultaneously burst out laughing. Why on earth would you go into a bathroom, lock the door, slap yourself a few times and then come out again? Thing is, I don't really know Jack's girlfriend all that well. She seems nice and normal and everything, but you never really know, and - let's be honest - she is dating Jack, so chances are something is wrong somewhere.

I didn't want to bring it up in front of her. Curiosity ate away at me for the rest of the morning, until one point where just Jack, Mrs Nunn and me were in the room together.

Tentatively I said, "Did anyone else hear someone go into the bathroom this morning and slap themselves a few times?" I'll be honest, you can't really say something like that all that tentatively.

"Yes, that was me," said Mrs Nunn, matter-of-factly.

"You went into the bathroom and slapped yourself?" I asked. Mrs Nunn is eccentric certainly, but clearly this was reaching new levels of loopy-dom.

"No," clarified Mrs Nunn. "I went into the bathroom to get a tissue, and saw a nasty magpie trying to attack the baby blackbirds, so I scared it off by clapping."

Obviously. This is classed as normal behaviour in the Nunn household. For most people, obsessive compulsive slapping disorder might be slightly less unusual.

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