Why don't they make aeroplanes out of the same material they make black boxes out of, since it's always the black box which survives? How do snow-plough drivers get to work on the morning of a blizzard? How do the makers of kitchenware get the Teflon non-stick coating to stick to the bottom of frying pans?
Having discovered such imponderable questions at an early age, Darren Bane made it his mission to seek out more, from newspapers, magazines, live performances and conversations to, in more recent times, the internet. Now, he has compiled them all together in what he describes as the perfect book for the bathroom - and not because it's full of crap. It's also perfect for insomniacs - it gives them something to think about on those long sleepless nights, and gives their friends a few things that will most likely keep them awake at night - so they can keep the insomniac's company.
The story behind the story
In 1982, one of my favourite comedians, Jasper Carrott, released an album entitled The Best Of The Chat From Carrott's Lib, a compilation of monologues from his prime-time TV show, which I was an avid viewer of. Back then, of course, there was no internet or YouTube, like today; there were far fewer TV channels, and no "catch up TV". One of the only ways you could watch repeat performances of your favourite comedians was to buy their album releases.
This particular releases has a track called Black Box, in which Jasper asked why aeroplanes weren't constructed from the same materials as the black boxes, since whenever there was a crash, the black box always survived. He went on to say that, if planes were constructed from this material, should it crash into a mountain, then all you would lose is the mountain.
This tickled my funny bone. A short while later, I came across other such 'imponderable' questions, such as how do snowplough drivers get to work during a blizzard, and how do the makers of kitchenware get the Teflon to stick to the inside of frying pans. I was no well and truly hooked and made it my mission to collect and compile as many such imponderable or rhetorical or hypothetical (ish) questions as I could, without really thinking about what I might do with them.
Some I heard from comedians; some I read in newspapers, magazines and books. Then I found some websites which had some imponderable question sections. And, inspired by the ones I found, I came up with some original ones of my own. (My thoughts on 'barely black' tights being a favourite of mine).
April 2019 marked a year since I had published something new. Later in 2019 I published Uncle Prawn, but this was an (albeit substantially revised) a re-print of something I had first issued in 2017. I had not published anything new. My second children's story was written, but I was awaiting the illustrations. I had also not yet finished plotting out my next full-length novels.
It was while I was going through some notes, looking for some lines for one of my full-length books, that I came across some imponderable questions. And then I found some more, and some more....and suddenly, I thought, without requiring too much "plotting" or working out, that I could fairly quickly compile these into a book. And thus, Mission: Imponderable was born, helping to plug a gap in my publication output while I work away in the background on some more fiction.
During the process, I commiserated a milestone birthday, which made me become very reflective, and also to reinforce my firm belief that laughter truly is the best medicine.
There is definitely some humour in this title; other questions provide some more serious food for thought; others are just wistful ponderings. But hopefully, among its pages, there'll be at least a couple of entries which will raise a smile, generate a grin (probably a grimace, too) and maybe even prompt a giggle or chuckle.
And if that happens, then, as far as I'm concerned, it will be Mission: Accomplished.
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