Dull Men of the World

Dear Dull Men of the World, 

I see that, once again, the anonymous internet 

Would like to make you feel bad about your Bakelite collection 

(Saved from landfill, though; repaired to live again, though – how neat is that?) 

Or your garden sheds full of milk bottles 

(Social history etched into the very glass). 

They want to shame you for your interest in trains and park benches, 

When they ought to be charmed that there is a Park Bench Appreciation Society, 

When the idea that traffic cones might lead to interest  

Rather than frustration, if not rage, 

Ought to delight – I’m not kidding. 

The anonymous internet would like to laugh and point at you, 

Because you give your names to these things, 

Because you’ll be pictured alongside them, 

Because you’ve got your clubs and your conventions, 

Because they think you’re wasting your lives, 

Being enthusiastic about things they themselves can’t appreciate. 

But remember this, when they sling their brickbats, 

And they put you down like children. 

You’ve kept your enthusiasm. 

You’ve still got the inner eight year old 

(And of course they’ll snigger at the allusion). 

You’ve read what the anonymous of the internet 

Like to put out into the world. 

Would you really want to be thought of like that? 

(And, in unrelated news, my collection of 1980s Transformers stickers is going really quite well, thank you very much.) 

Mike Hickman (@MikeHicWriter) is a writer from York, England. He has written for Off the Rock Productions (stage and audio), including 2018’s “Not So Funny Now” about Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming. He has recently been published in EllipsisZine, Dwelling Literary, Bandit Fiction, Nymphs, Flash Fiction Magazine, Brown Bag, and Red Fez. His co-written, completed six-part BBC radio sit com remains frustratingly as unproduced as it was the last time he updated this biography. And then there’s the small matter of the 10 completed novels… 14, if you count the ones that have been written off. Number 15 is now 60,000 words in.

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