From an early age we try and make sense of the world that we are born into but we learn far more than we are actually aware of. Sometimes you can almost catch an indirect glimpse of the truth. It's that sudden feeling that something just isn't quite right like the feeling you get when you know that the phone is about to ring before it happens, that feeling that you knew what someone was going to say as they were saying it. Your thought process seems to sharpen as you struggle to grasp on to this valuable revelation before it fades and you return to the real world but for a fraction of a second you felt you were on the verge of understanding. This world isn't quite what it seems. There are rules in this world that we are not fully aware of. Am I as mad as a box of frogs (playing banjos) for writing this? Are you mad for reading it? Read the following scenario and decide.
You are in your car and you have to get to your destination which isn't far away. You don't have much time to spare but you've estimated how long it should take you to get there and you should have enough time. The first traffic light you encounter turns red and holds you up for a minute or two. The next traffic light turns red as you are approaching it and it seems to take an age to turn back to green especially as there doesn't seem to be enough traffic to warrant it staying red for that amount of time. You should recognise and have personal experience of this type of story whether you drive or not. It isn't just the lights that are causing problems. Other drivers are taking too long to decide what to do or are making bad decisions which delays you further. You re-estimate how long it will take you to get to your destination. It will be tight but you should still be able to make it. After all the law of averages mean that some of the lights should be green but on this particular day that doesn't happen and you end up being late.
You may recognise this situation as one that you have experienced and may also recognise that I omitted one aspect of the story. After a few hold ups whether they are caused by other drivers or inanimate traffic lights, you start to object vocally. Some people are really quite good at this. You object to the unfairness of it all but the lights aren't listening. The other drivers can't hear you. There may not even by anyone in the car with you and even if there was surely they couldn't help you. To the casual passer-by you look like an angry red faced baboon that has just arrived at the banana shop only to find that it has closed for the weekend.
Why do you do this?
You somehow recognise some underlying rules to this world. It's the toast that lands butter side down, it's the checkout queue that stops moving as soon as you join, it's the automated phone system, it's all of the above that seemingly make a conscious effort to frustrate and annoy you. It doesn't matter that there is no one around to hear you object but it does help. Just by stating aloud that the events are unfair you hope to address and influence them and force the game to change back to its default random fair state.
Why am I writing this?
I had contacted all the Welsh universities to ask if they were interested in my proposition. Some said no. Some showed some interest and wished me luck but there were no cash pledges. I expected some to say no but I was also counting on at least one showing some interest but I didn't get any return phone calls. I felt as welcome as an unexpectedly eager fart during a funeral eulogy. Maybe a Welsh guy from a nowhere town couldn't succeed. Maybe the more I tried then the more obstacles I would come up against. Maybe the rule below that I had long suspected existed really did exist.
You can only live your life within a predefined corridor of possibilities.
Any attempt to deviate from that corridor will result in a correcting force.
There was only one course of action available. I crossed my fingers and made a blood sacrifice to my lucky gonk, stroked a black toad and licked a cat while throwing a pinch of salt over my shoulder. I also wrote down the above rule and made sure that someone read it and by reading it hopefully they would nullify it. That person was you. Thank you.
I also changed my plan just in case. After all I am not really superstitious and don't believe in any of that astronomy stuff. I'm a Taurus. I increased the amount of money I was pledging from 10% to 20% of the ticket price (£13,000) and I wasn't going to ask universities for any money but would instead look to get four commercial sponsors to match my 20%. I never had the initial pledge money so doubling my pledge kind of made sense to me. If no sponsors came forward then I would save double the money that I didn't have. If everything worked out then I would end up in space and uncle Visa card would have to take care of my pledge.
This was a classic gunfighter type standoff. I would be up front and let everyone know that there were only four sponsor slots available and then wait for the first potential sponsor to make a move. Once at least one sponsor had backed me then further press coverage was likely to follow and that in turn would help me attract further sponsors. Once one sponsor had pledged support then the whole process would become unstoppable and I already had an ideal apt sponsor in mind.
Understand the game and change it from within.
How could anything go wrong?