Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star. Website – www.philevans.co.uk
You know when you read a newspaper headline and it takes a moment for it to register?
Well, I read one the other day that took a full minute to sink in.
And this is it…
“Since 2011, 259 people have died while taking selfies!”
According to the American Journal Of Family Medicine, 159 of these selfie deaths occurred in India, followed by the United States (14 deaths) and Pakistan (11 deaths).
The most common selfie-induced death was from drowning and the second was . . . wait for it . . . while trying a take a selfie in front of a moving train!
Let me clarify for any of you in doubt.
The trains in question weren’t moving away from them; they were moving towardsthem!
The researchers admit the figure is probably much higher than 259 because many deaths aren’t linked to selfies.
For example, if someone falls from a great height or is swept out to sea by huge waves, their smart phones tend to go missing.
In our narcissistic selfie society everyone with a smart phone thinks they’re a star (It’s partly your faultMister Cowell!). Selfie-takers think the world hungers to know where they are andwhatthey’re doing 24/7.
Over a year ago I wrote an article about how a theatrical performance I attended was spoiled by a self-obsessed couple (don’t write and tell me a couplecan’t be self-obsessed because they definitely were).
They were sat in the row immediately in front of me. Before the show (and all through the intermission) they took selfie after selfie of themselves, in basically the same pose.
No. I don’t know why, either.
Had they been upstairs in the balcony and stepped back a little too far in their eagerness to photograph themselves, there might have been two more added to the 259 in the headline.
But, at least, I would have enjoyed the show in peace.
The world has gone mad for sure.
I’m often asked, “How long does it take you to write these columns and where do the ideas come from?”
So, it’s about time I shared the secret, despite the fact that it’s not a secret.
There are always ideas floating around in my head.
Sometimes I overhear a conversation and I instantly see this as an idea that can be expanded upon or developed into an article.
There are also other voices floating around my head, but I’m having therapy for those.
Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV can and often be a source of material and inspiration.
Often, my close friends share ideas with me and encourage me to write about certain topics. Most are thought-provoking and topical. Some I couldn’t possibly publish!
These ideas are scribbled down as rough notes in the first instance.
Sometimes, the notes remain there for months until the opportunity arises to turn them into a story good enough for you, the reader.
After all, my main aim is to inform, entertain and sometimes stimulate or challenge your thinking. Yes, there is method in the madness.
So, in general, the collation of ideas is an ongoing process. However, pulling it all together is where the hard work comes in.
Like most things in life, perseverance through the doubts and insecurities is the key to success.
Not everything works all of the time. But, from the fantastic feedback I get, I think we might be getting it right most of the time.
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk