This weeks prompt was about being first. I can't remember the last time I was first at anything. Oh well, why should that get in the way of the story.
Great Britain has a proud history of firsts. The first to discover places, the first to achieve things and the first to invent stuff. You can rhyme off all the people who were first. Think of Roger Bacon, Thomas Harriot, Henry Briggs, George Dalgarno, Dee Caffari and Neil Barnett Pioneers of space, medicine, sport, science. endurance and exploration. True achievers who deserve to be remembered in history but they’re not exactly household names. Anyone know any of them. Didn’t think so.
In contrast, I’ll bet you all know of Sir David Livingstone who set out to discover the source of the Nile or Captain Scott who wanted to be first to the South Pole, General Gordon of Khartoum who wanted to secure the Sudan, Lord Cardigan of the light Brigade who wanted the Russians out of Crimea or Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards who just wanted to be an Olympian. I can see by the nods around the table that most of these guys are household names but none of them came first. Livingstone never found the source of Nile but died of malaria and dysentery, Scott froze to death after being beaten to the pole by a Norwegian, Gordon was beheaded trying to fight of invading hordes with a cane and Cardigan lost 158 men and 335 horses in an ill thought cavalry charge into the valley of death. Still at least Eddie the Eagle survived to secure last place in the 90m ski jump event.
The British stiff upper lip demands heroic failures. They’re not that interested in winners. Dunkirk Spirit is the key to recognition. Epic failures are a key mark of British success.So in true British response to the prompt. This is not a first. It’s not a master piece or a literary gem. It’s just something I rattled off that is no doubt an epic literary fail. It’s an ill thought out and disastrous attempt at prose which can only ever result in authorial suicide or the last stand of a written discourse.
So if you never forget it, remember you heard it here FIRST.