Tag Archives: bimbles

Living with Bimbles

Bimbles are creatures from the third book of the awesome Matlock the Hare series, but they are also a truth. When a person has a plan, bimbles will latch on to them, get in their way and slow them down. The bimble in your life needs you to stop when you are busy and hear a story you have already heard about a problem they won’t try a solution for. They need to regale you with a blow by blow account of what they saw on the telly last night. They will respond to the thing you are actually doing by wanting an indepth conversation about something similar they had once thought of doing. Online they’ll drown genuine issues in a swamp of maundering over the most trivial details. “But you said he was wearing a green hat when he did it, and clearly it was a red one.”

Much of it, no doubt, is motivated by boredom, loneliness and a desire for attention. However, one of the things that really sets a bimble apart from someone who is merely bored or lonely, is that the bimble has to be the most important person in the conversation. They aren’t doing much of interest, and will use their banality to undermine your enthusiasm. The White Wolf Changeling game used the term ‘autumn people’ to identify a similar trait set. Terry Pratchett talked about it in terms of the crab bucket. Banality that cannot bear the presence of genuine energy and activity, failure that cannot bear success, will try to smother it. It’s useful to have terms for these things and to be able to identify the habits of the archetype.

So, let’s imagine that you are working on something. The something in question is wild, radical, creative, innovative, life changing and big. The bimble will respond to this by trying to take energy from you. They will be quick to say how pointless, futile and silly your plan is. They will bring you down to earth with a bump, confident they are doing you a favour and then you’ll get to hear a long story about how the cat was sick on the rug last week, and they had to clean it up.

We are all obliged to deal with mundane reality. It’s an essential part of life. The trouble is that for some people, it’s only the most banal and repetitive things that have reality, and anything else, anything with a dash of change in it, looks like a threat. At the very least, the bimbling routine protects them from having to know about what you were doing. It helps them maintain the belief that change doesn’t happen. It leaves them feeling in control of their space.

A small dose of bimbling doesn’t do anyone any real harm. The problems come if the bimble is part of your household, workspace, or social network in a way you can’t avoid. A bimble who is in your life in an ongoing way will be an ongoing obstacle to anything and everything. My guess is that they try to keep others powerless and passive as a way of dealing with their own powerlessness, but if you want to get anything serious done, avoiding the bimbles is an essential part of the process.

More about Matlock the Hare here – http://www.matlockthehare.com/