What the Dickens! — Just How Great are Our Expectations Really?


Christ in Limbo (c.1575) by a follower of Hieronymous Bosch

Now, just to set things straight at the outset, let me explain that the “Dickens” referred to in the title to this piece must in no way be confused with the similarly-named Victorian novelist of some considerable note. Cool.

Instead, the Dickens being referred to here is actually the Devil. So really the phrase “what the Dickens?” is a pious way of saying “what the Devil?” or “what the hell?”.

And, ultimately, I’m writing this thought-piece so as to highlight the kind of personal hells we create for ourselves by way of our expectations. So you can see it all sort of ties in nicely. Yeah?

Moreover, as an added bonus, I’ve also included a little literary pun by making a passing reference to Charles Dickens’ famous novel Great Expectations in the title as well.

But that’s just the problem, isn’t it? You’re still expecting more. “Where’s the deeper meaning of all this?” you demand to know, fighting back your growing sense of indignity.

Hmm, I’m afraid there isn’t one. Other than what I like to call “the expectation limbo”, which simply means one should always keep one’s expectations so low that they are already met.

Is this the key to human happiness? Well, I for one, personally reckon it just might be.

What, you wanted mooore?!


“Please, sir — I want some more” scene from Oliver Twist (1948). Photograph: Rex


About Lorem Ipsum

Just some guy trying to figure out where the "on" switch is hid on the remote control—ah, forget it. Because, you know what, I'm also the kinda guy who always likes the book waaay more than the movie! View all posts by Lorem Ipsum

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