The cameelious hump

Have you ever felt so sick of being unproductive that you wanted to curl up and implode? Of course you have. I call them “amoeba” moments, because at those times I wish I was an amoeba – but that might just be me.

There are a number of ways in which you may find yourself at this unpleasant state. Waking up to a blank day (that is, one for which you have no plans) or failing to carry out scheduled tasks in the wake of procrastination can both induce such horrid despair. Spending too long indoors has a similar effect. And, of course, prolonged spans of unsuccessful study are known to drain every student’s soul.

The causes may vary, but the symptoms do not. Universal, and impossible to miss: the grouchy, grumpy outward disposition coupled to that internal sense of distress and desperation. Know what I’m talking about? Enter the hump. The cameelious hump. The hump that is black and blue. All across the globe, people are growing and, with varying degrees of success, shedding, humps daily. Rather than attempt to explain, I shall relay the words of Rudyard Kipling, author of this uncannily insightful allegory:

The Camel’s hump is an ugly lump 
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get 
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven’t enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump-
Cameelious hump- 
The hump that is black and blue! 

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl 
At our bath and our boots and our toys; 

And there ought to be a corner for me 
(And I know’ there is one for you)
When we get the hump- 
Cameelious hump- 
The hump that is black and blue! 

The cure for this ill is not to sit still, 
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also, 
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind, 
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump- 
The horrible hump- 
The hump that is black and blue! 

I get it as well as you-oo-oo- 
If I haven’t enough to do-oo-oo!
We all get hump- 
Cameelious hump- 
Kiddies and grown-ups too! 

It would be remiss of me to leave without pointing out the most important part of this teaching: the hump has a cure. Importantly, the hump has a cure for those who are willing to seek it! “The sun and the wind” and the “Garden Djinn” will combat this ailment if you present it to them. So you think you have the hump? GET OUT! Do not pout and fester. Run to your saviours, run and sweat.

Needless to say, the loss of a hump translates into an instant boost of productivity. If, for reasons best known to yourself, exercise is not an option, do try the alternatives. Human company has been known to help, as does a brisk shower. Whatever you do, change activity as soon as you detect its insidious presence. Do not let the hump win.

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Author: Bruno Martin

I moved from Spain to the UK to study Biology. Now training to become a professional science communicator. I run, I spend too much time on my computer and I edit a science magazine. Ask me questions!

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