Nothing Doing

WordPress’s topic is “Try to Think about Nothing: What Happens?” They then suggest we describe it in a short post.

The second sentence hints that they think we won’t be able to do it, but since nothing is generally what comes to my mind whenever I am confronted by my netbook and a blank white screen, I reckoned it should be easy enough.

I gave it a go this morning. I looked at the clock on the netbook, noted that it was 7.07, and resolved to try and think of nothing until 7.12. I was determined to succeed, unlike Dan Ackroyd in Ghostbusters who was told to think of nothing and promptly thought of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

I immediately got a picture in my head of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

I shook my head metaphorically (at least I hope it was metaphorically, I was on a crowded bus) and decided to try again. I found that I was listening intently to the Duran Duran song that was on my iPod, so I turned it off.

But not before I started thinking about Yasmin LeBon.


Which reminded me (I can’t think why) that I read somewhere that men think about sex every seven seconds. It took me a long time to get that out of my head, and then longer still to think about whether that sentence needs re-writing or not.

I sneaked a look at the computer clock. It was 7.09.

Looking back up at the screen I noticed how many red squiggly lines Spellcheck had applied to my post so far. It doesn’t recognise the “Puft” in Stay-Puft, which is fair enough. It recognises neither “netbook” nor” iPod”, which seems odd in a service that exists only to help you deal with technology.

It recognises neither “Yasmin” nor “LeBon”, which tells you a lot about its compiler, and I spent quite a few seconds thinking that he needs to get a life, or at least some magazines.

Most interesting of all though, is that there is a red squiggly line under Duran, but only under the second one.

This reminded me that I noticed once before that Spellcheck recognises the word “Scooby” yet not the word “Doo” and I thought for a while about the sheer daftness of that.

By that time it was 7.38, I was three stops from mine, and while I’ve utterly failed to think about nothing I have written a post that I had no idea I was going to write.

I must try to think of nothing more often.

14 thoughts on “Nothing Doing

  1. Inspiration to Dream

    Loved the irony of this post – in trying to think about nothing you created a whole lot of something which made total sense.

    Creating something out of nothing – didn’t someone sing a song about that, if they didn’t then they should

    1. Tinman Post author

      Glad you liked it, Fi – I think you’re right about the song, I just can’t remember it either.

    1. Tinman Post author

      When I thought back on it I don’t think there was even one second when I was actually thinking about nothing.

  2. kateshrewsday

    Something usually comes to the rescue, Tinman… doing nothing can generate such creativity. I love that urban legend about the psychology experiment which found that some 90 per cent of all men, when left in a room, sitting on a sofa, and nothing else in the room but a tea cosy, will end up putting the tea cosy on their head.

  3. Janie Jones

    For some reason this made me think of multiplying any number by zero and getting zero. That’s one way to think of nothing. You never really have nothing do you? Because nothing is nothing, there’s nothing to have. But you can define it as nothing so if it has a definition it must exist as something, even if it’s just the idea of nothing. And yet, if you multiply that nothing by, say, 3, you have three nothings. But in order to have three nothings, you have something, which you don’t because you have nothing. And, nothing is nothing no matter how many nothings you have.

    My brain hurts now, and I suspect it has nothing to do with MRIs and everything to do with nothings.

    You know, the Romans didn’t have zero. They apparently were smart enough to know you can’t have nothing.

    1. Tinman Post author

      That’s very true about the Romans, I’ve never thought of that.

      As for your first paragraph, I read it very carefully and now my brain hurts too.

    1. Tinman Post author

      Trust me, Patti, when you try to thinking about nothing your brain just keeps saying “now I’m thinking about nothing”. I suppose at least that means you’re not thinking about anything else but it’s still not thinking about nothing.

    1. Tinman Post author

      I don’t agree, GM, your story is much more entertaining than mine, and I didn’t use the wonderful phrase “where it stuck like s**t to a blanket”.

      I used to leave home regularly too, carrying a tiny cardboard suitcase and I always brought my baby brother with me. I never got further than the end of the road before I’d find some reason to come back.


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