Life's a gas for a feisty high-flyer

WILLIAM DONALDSON'S week

Share
Related Topics
I'd like to get some sort of Prozac debate going here - at least a discussion of its effectiveness over, say, laughing gas, which is what Michelle happens to be taking at the moment. My initial trials with the stuff suggest that it's excellent for depression, but I have been unable to discover whether it would be any use if you were depressed already.

This is where you can help. I'd be grateful if you could let me know whether your experience of Prozac is the same as mine: that it's quite subtle in its operation, having no effect at all for several days and then scything you down with a depression which sends you whimpering back to bed. Equally, I'd be grateful if you could let me know whether, like Michelle, you find laughing gas, generally speaking, to be of more assistance to you as you go about your normal business.

I do realise that this isn't the health page, and I should apologise, perhaps, for burdening you with research I could, at a pinch, conduct myself. I could seek the advice of a doctor, I suppose, but I've never got round to having one of them - the consequence, I think, of never having felt quite up to it. You have to be pretty much in the pink, I imagine, to handle a visit to the doctor.

If I feel like experimenting with something on prescription, I consult my friend Honest John, who, some years ago, had the foresight to have some letterheads printed in the name of "Dr Honest John - Consultant Psychiatrist". He then wrote to all the top pharmaceutical companies, asking them to supply him with their latest stuff. They obliged, the upshot being that Honest John was compelled to rent a warehouse in the Great West Road, such was the volume of clever new drugs which arrived by every post. Further, and in an emergency - not that there's been one - I consult my nephew Tom, who trained to be a vet. No, he didn't. Having an interest in sheep, he studied for some time at Cirencester College. He's in showbusiness now, but he could still patch me up in an emergency, I think.

Meanwhile, the coffee table's gone for six again. I'd been about my single- parent duties in the kitchen (and here's a useful tip: it's always a false economy to skimp on the price of pasta; equally, when boiling it (no oil), never cover the saucepan - it'll boil over and leave your cooker in a frightful state) and had just returned to the front room, when Michelle told me to stand where I was.

"Don't move," she said.

Then she went into a very weird routine, first fisting the air and making funny little grunting noises like a Maori prop trying to intimidate an Irishman. Then she put all her weight on to her left leg and extended her right leg in front of her in small, speculative, circular movements, as if it were a mine detector. Then, lunging suddenly in my direction, she swung herself through 180 degrees and landed on her arse.

I wasn't particularly surprised. Women, I've found, have quite an appetite for violence but little natural aptitude. Unless you let her get behind you, a woman can be boxed off pretty easily, I've always found. If she gets behind you, you can have a fight on your hands. I once let Mrs Mouse get behind me and she flattened me with a salad bowl.

"What was that?" I asked Michelle.

"Jujitsu," she said. "It's a bit old-fashioned."

"I can see that," I said. "Where did you learn it?"

"Bournemouth," she said. "The gourmet blue cook next door belonged to the Bournemouth Ladies Jujitsu Club. She took me along. It doesn't hurt. We've been taught how to fall."

An unnecessary precaution in Michelle's case. As I say, Michelle these days is usually on the laughing gas - the upshot of her discovery that nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is used in industrial whipping machines supplied to ice-cream parlours. If it wasn't for laughing gas, your knickerbocker glory would be as flat as a pancake. Every evening, Michelle hops along to Covent Garden, where she nicks tomorrow's delivery of laughing gas from outside an ice-cream parlour. Then she does stuff with balloons and so forth and the next thing you know she's on the ceiling. Of course she wouldn't hurt herself flying through 180 degrees and landing on her back. Michelle on laughing gas could be bounced off all four walls of a squash court and she wouldn't feel a thing.

It came as no surprise, therefore, when she picked herself up and said she'd like another go.

"Stand there," she said.

The same thing happened again - the mistake being, I think, that they hadn't told her at the Bournemouth Ladies Jujitsu Club that she should remain standing on at least one leg when swinging at her opponent with the other. Up went the little fists, a short sequence of Maori grunts, and she flew through 180 degrees again, landing this time on the coffee table, which she smashed to bits.

Normally, and without Prozac, I'd have laughed like hell. Without Prozac, and as I now told Michelle, this would have been the best laugh I'd had since Nights at the Comedy in 1964, when a 28-stone black-belt Buddhist monk from Streatham challenged anyone in the audience to knock him off his feet.

"I'm as agile as a cat!" he cried.

An utterly harmless-looking chap in a dinner jacket climbed on to the stage and had a go.

"What happened?" said Michelle.

"Nothing at all," I said. "The chap in the dinner jacket couldn't budge the fat Buddhist in the least."

"That's a completely pointless story," said Michelle.

And so it was, of course - but that's the trouble with Prozac. On Prozac, everything seems pointless - which is why I'd be grateful if you'd pass on your experience of the stuff. I could stop taking it, I suppose, but that strikes me as being the easy way out. I'd rather beat the little buggers at their own game. Otherwise, it's the laughing gas, and we've seen where that leads.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

 

Naturism criminalised: Why not being able to bare all is a bummer

Simon Usborne
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on