Life currently feels like a series of obstacles with increasingly dire consequences. A bit like Squid Game, but with grown-up challenges. So, we bring you Squidult Game: December is anxious-making enough, so why not add an element of violent death as a cherry on top? Relaxing.
To take a compliment without making it excruciatingly awkward for everyone. Ok, so you bump into someone in the arena, and they tell you that they like your shirt. Every fibre in your being wants to say, “What this old thing? I found it in a skip. I think I look like kidnapped shed. I hate it. I haven’t washed my hair since the first lockdown and my face is collapsing.” Instead, the Killer Doll is watching, so you have to say, ‘Thank you. It’s from Zara’.
Next, you have to respond to all your emails, WhatsApp messages, texts and missed delivery slips as they come in. Immediately. Without deviation or hesitation. Even the ‘do you know a handyman/can you sponsor me/does anyone want to go out for a drink?’ Not only will this be exhausting and unprecedented territory but, as you reply, you know that you are simultaneously throwing the person who asked the question into a turmoil too. No one wants an immediate response – but hey this is Squidult Game.
You are on a call. Another call comes in. It flashes hold, accept, decline or send a “custom’ text message presumably explaining why you never answer the phone and why you will never call the person back. You are rooted to the spot, what the hell should you do? You need to tell the person you are speaking to that you are going to put them on hold, accept the other call, or send a custom message to the second caller telling them why can’t talk right now but you will call them back (you won’t). All without anyone getting cut off. OR YOU WILL DIE. You probably die at this point from stress.
Parking. Maybe you can be on the phone, with music playing and whoosh your car into the tiniest spot with other drivers queuing behind you – and all with supreme confidence. Or maybe you would drive to another postcode/continent in order to find a bigger, easier parking space. But for this test, you have to whizz into an underground car park – through the narrow barriers (*closes eyes*), round the tight turns – murdery tyre screeches – then squeeze in between the 4X4 (which has taken half the space next to it) and a pillar. The in-car radar is beep, beep, beeping. Dead.
The sleep challenge. You just sleep through the night. Turn off the telly. Switch off the light. Say a little prayer. Do some gratitude. Breathing exercises. Arrange the pillows and go to sleep in a lovely ladylike way (not dribbling on the sofa). You are monitored. Sensors. Cameras. Electrodes. You have to stay under for at least 7 hours, or you will be punished. Given that you haven’t achieved more than 3.5 hours in a row for 8 years and you are punished daily….well….
You are not allowed to adjust anything about your person for a whole day. No picking knickers out of your arse. Got a wedgie? Take yourself to a higher plane. Trainer sock has slipped and is digging into the bottom of your foot making you feel unhinged? Higher plane. This is the adult equivalent of not chewing a fruit pastille. Higher plane, people.
No self-surgery. Ingrown hair. LEAVE IT. Big fat ripe spot? Squeeze it and die. Chin hair? Tough tit. And suddenly you have a full beard. But you have won Squidult Game. And now you are very, very weary.