Leftwing Idiot and I were having dinner together last night when I suddenly said:
“Salman Rushdie had AIDS.”
Leftwing Idiot did a double take and then with a quizzical look asked ‘Was that a tic?’ Surprised he’d had to ask, I said ‘Yes, of course’.
He went on, ‘It’s just that it didn’t sound like a tic. It sounded like you were saying something you’d ticced before turned out to be true.’ This has happened before, like the time I discovered Keith Duffy really did have a peanut allergy long after I’d ticced it.
It was a tic, but Leftwing Idiot was right – it’d sounded slightly different from normal. Most of my tics have an audibly different quality to them from my ordinary speech, and this means it’s very rare for my friends to ask if I’ve said something deliberately or not. But every now and again a tic comes out that throws us all.
It says a lot about the oddness of life with Tourettes that Leftwing Idiot and I were both more shocked by the way this tic sounded than by what it said.
As far as I know Salman Rushdie doesn’t have AIDS. But in the process of confirming this online, I did discover that he’d had a cameo in Bridget Jones’ Diary, wrote tag lines for cream cake adverts and was the first major author to release an eBook with a synchronised soundtrack. I’m not sure even my tics could’ve come up with any of that.