29 October, 2013

The Doncaster Choice

Bobby was the Doncaster decision-making champion 2024. In independent assessments run by

Direct Line, his purchasing, holidaymaking, hiring of staff and critically, not claiming on his pet

insurance has led to the calculation that he made the best decisions in the whole city. Now he was

going head to head for the Direct Line Choice of the North title and had a week to be as astute as

practicable. Now he found himself at the top of a flight of steps pushing a piano. Toward the drop.

The dilemma was twofold:

a) Winning would gain him W-List celebrity status straight off. He would be broadcast

throughout, meet U and even V-List celebs and, critically, have his less-pertinent affairs de-
listed from the Public Register, meaning he could block them on his profile.

b) Winning doubtlessly would ruin his life. He didn’t need a Life Consultant to tell him that.

So his only solution was to make some bad decisions. He had already got drunk and poisoned the

cat, but the likelihood that his receipts would be mis-read as an act of financial acumen followed

by an effective and healthy degree of drunken solace (records weren’t always great at showing the

order of unrecorded events).

So. This upright Piano. For a moment he hesitated. He weighed up his options using various systems:

1) Loss Aversion People are more averse to loss than they are for

making gains. Clearly, fucking up a piano was a bold move, would this be

seen straight through?

2) Framing After any change people tend to see how they are better off.

Could this be re-framed by Direct Line with their ├╝ber-meta-data as

somehow cathartic. It was true that he never really played the piano and

had endured years of nagging from his mother about lessons with plenty of


3) Rationality Breaking things is rarely as irrational as it would seem. When

the red mist descends somehow it is always the cheapest or ugliest vase that

whizzes past the heart-breaker’s head.

Bobby took a deep breath. He scratched a little. Turning, he leant for a moment, his sweaty back

arch against the cool pinewood of the piano’s end. Maybe this was a little obvious, still the exercise

had surely done him good – he’d skip the gym in the morning. He turned, bent his knees and

trundled back into his apartment.

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