How to be an insomniac

If you’re like me, and I sincerely hope you are not, your mental state really messes up your sleep patterns. Really messes them up, badly. Days with no sleep. That’s hard to deal with.

However, all is not lost. You get to watch BBC4 at stupid o’clock in the morning. Anything can happen there, since it’s clear everybody working at that time is stoned off his/her tits. It makes for entertaining if slightly incredulous watching. Saturday night I watched a retrospective of Top of the Pops. It made me realise again how crap some 1980s music was, such as the ska revival with Bad Manners and Madness. But the crap was outweighed by some of the genius including the New Romantics and the electro bands.

Of course, I had to deal with Simon Bates (gack) and Mike Read (gack). I had to suffer for my art. And who the fuck invented Poco, and why?? No excuse for them whatsoever. None at all.

But then, this being BBC4, that segued into an hour long documentary about the mating rituals of walruses. I am not making that up. Shagging (or not) walruses. Bloody hell, that is late night/predawn watching I can tell you. It was fascinating.

I don’t fully grasp human courtship. It’s pretty much a closed book in terms of understanding, as I have told you all before. I know that it works, but do not know why or how. If you’re a walrus, it is really really complicated. I mean it. Really complicated.

As a male you have to learn to vocalise. This goes beyond the Essex, ‘Fancy a quickie behind the skip?’. It’s very elaborate, more akin to whale calling, lots of clicking going on too. Flipper clapping. That’s big, a crucial component, and really noisy.

I sat entranced, because such subtleties had never occurred to me. How and when does a female walrus come into oestrus? How does a male know this is legover time? Who studies this stuff? Brilliant viewing.

I have to say the actual act, as is the case with human porn shagging, is not an edifying visual feast. However, humans do not in general weigh as much as a small car, because that limits the erotic possibilities.

Come to think of it, I’d wager there are specialist websites catering for people who are walrus-sized.

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