Twenty years ago if confronted by troubling episodes yours truly oft sought solutions to these unwelcome life intrusions by posing the simple question “What would H from Steps do in this situation?”
This strategy borne from witnessing H, one of the five singers from the pop band who brought us toe-tappers Stomp and Say You’ll Be Mine, displaying a seemingly constant chirpy disposition during any TV appearance.
Untroubled behaviour indicating to me that this kid appeared to have stumbled upon the secret of remaining calm and collected during pressurised situations. Leading to my conclusion I could do a lot worse than use this young fella as a role model when combatting times of irk.
Two decades on, though, as I remain an overthinking, anxious and unfulfilled ball of grump I’ve concluded the Steps warbler, named after my second favourite consonant after G, has done little to counsel my angst…… Not that it’s his fault I suppose – After all, it was his advice as I imagined it; not solutions the Welsh fella had actually directly advocated.
Incidentally, when writing ‘named after my second favourite consonant after G’ I’m of course not for one moment suggesting when selecting a stage name H told fellow band members “I’m gonna call myself after Gary Strachan’s second favourite consonant.”…… I’m merely pointing out a fact the eighth letter of the alphabet is only usurped by the seventh in my own personal favourite alphabetic symbol chart.
For a start, H (real name Ian Watkins) along with his band mates wouldn’t have been aware of my existence then, or indeed now. And even if they did, it’s unlikely during the naming ceremony, Watty (as no one calls him) would chose my second favourite consonant (or indeed the first) in deference to yours truly.
I neither know or care why Ian Watkins chose the stage name H. However, I can relay with some certainty that the nome d’plume wasn’t born as a tribute to that particular letter being my second favourite consonant.
Potentially, your biggest question manifesting from my previous few paragraphs may arrive in the shape of “What sort of an idiot has favourite consonants, Gary?!….. Or vowels, coming think of it!……. Well, that’s if you have a stacking system for your vowels!”
I’d admit this behavioural tic is idiosyncratic, but I’d argue everyone needs a hobby. Although, I’m unsure if gauging letters in order of personal popularity could be classed as a hobby. Even if it you could, I’d suggest it wouldn’t be a favoured pastime worthy of inclusion on your CV (resume for my US readership).
Unless of course you’re applying for the vacant role of Lead Letter Gauging Executive at Atkinson’s Lexicological Specialists. In which case the idiosyncratic sideline maybe worthy of mention.
Anyhow, the moral of this story is there maybe no I in team, but there’s most certainly an H in Steps…… Well, there was until the band split anyhow…….. Incidentally, if you’re interested, I is my second favourite vowel after E….. Oh, you’re not!…… Fair enough.
Blimey, is that the time?!…… I need to bring this essay to a conclusion. After all, applications for the vacant role of Lead Letter Gauging Executive at Atkinson’s Lexicological Specialists don’t write themselves.
Footnote – My life is pretty random at most times, but I think undertaking the drawing of H from Steps (above) at 3am this morning has to rank amongst one of the most arbitrary acts I’ve undertaken in a long, long time…….. Well, apart from the recent purchase of 12 false moustaches. (See A Barking Notion and Buying The World A Tash).