As humans we are storytellers. From going home and telling your partner/parents about your day; to thrilling your friends in the pub with the tale of that time you fought off fifteen ninjas while handcuffed to a pipe, we love to tell stories. Unfortunately we're not all good at it. We've all been there when a friend or acquaintance has been carefully explaining the finer details of a story we're just not interested in. Or a story that starts well but goes nowhere.
A few years ago my friend Preston and I were told one these terrible anecdotes by a pale faced, lanky friend of ours named Matthew Fear. Inspired by this exercise in insipidness, we developed the Marikar scale - a way to rate the banality of your friends stories and anecdotes.
We named the scale after our old Biology teacher Mr Marikar: the subject of Fear's story who, at the time, was due to leave for a school in Manchester - the same city Fear would be moving to the following year. As I write this I'm suddenly struck by the unfairness of attributing the scale to Mr Marikar - who, as merely the subject of the tale, probably doesn't deserve to have his name immortalised as a measurement of dull anecdotes.
The Marikar scale goes from 1 to 10. 1 would be an engaging, enjoyable anecdote that you would happily hear again. Fear's story, still the most pointless story I've ever heard, is a full 10. The complete, unabridged tale goes like this:
"I saw Mr Marikar the other day. He said to me 'I'll see you in Manchester.'
And I said 'OK.'"
Anything that is more interesting, entertaining or informative than that story gets a lower mark. Anything less interesting, entertaining or informative than that story doesn't actually exist.
Use the Marikar scale next time someone tells you a story. And consider it the next time you start one. Remember, anything above a 5 isn't worth telling. Your friends will thank you.