I’d like to announce that this will be the year when I achieve immortality; 2015 will be remembered as The Year of Ian McMillan. People who know me will be nodding wearily at this point; they’ll be trying to change the subject or they’ll nip off to make a cup of tea and leave me talking to myself because they’ve heard all this immortality stuff before. They’ve heard this song every year since 1965.
They’ll remember that one year I was going to be immortal because I’d invent a Lancashire/Yorkshire translation mask that would slip easily over your face so that when you spoke the folks from the other side of the hill could tell what you were saying and vice versa. That one failed at the prototype stage, to be honest. The rubber bands were too tight; that was the problem. They’ll remember my attempt to achieve immortality by eating the most Yorkshire puddings ever eaten in one sitting without gravy. Ah, the humiliation when I had to stop at 16, covered in pudding-dust and gasping for breath like a lathered hoss! They’ll recall my attempt to introduce another day into the week, tentatively called Catchup, which did just that; it allowed you to catch up on all the things you’d not had time to do in the previous seven days. I thought immortality was assured until the calendar and diary manufacturers sent the boys round and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Not if I wanted to see the next leap year in one piece.
Anyway, those were just silly ideas that, if I’d examined them closely enough, would never have worked. So when I thought about this year’s stab at immortality I realised where I was going wrong: I was being too practical, too physical. I’m not dextrous enough to make a mask, and I’ve not trained enough to eat all those puddings, and I’m too daft to invent a new day of the week and convince people that it will work. What I’m good at, what I make my living at, is language, so what I need to write my name in the annals of history is something linguistic. And I’ve hit on the perfect idea.
I’m going to invent a new word and use it every day until it worked its way into the dictionary; think how the coiner of “selfie” or “twerking” must feel? A word they uttered and/or wrote down has ended up being used all over the world and every time they hear it or see it they feel proud and excited; well, I am going to join that gang.
And my word is Slooperton. Yes: slooperton. Great word, isn’t it? It describes that feeling of utter satisfaction and comfort when you put your feet into your slippers first thing in the morning. Imagine it: you come downstairs in the dark. Your feet are chilly. You feel for your slippers with your toes and a sense of absolute luxurious slooperton flows through your veins. What a beautiful word, though I say it myself.
So now, readers of The Yorkshire Post magazine, you must play your part in writing my name on history’s wall. I’d like you to use the word slooperton at every possible slipper-based opportunity.
Posterity will thank you. So will I. Slooperton!