The Sins of Our Fathers… and Also Our Mothers.

I have previously shared works from the great Hubert J Watergipridget. As it happens, I have a great deal more to share for Watergipridget is the single most prolific writer that has ever lived. In his time, he wrote 42 novels, 95.3 short stories and countless essays. Literally. People have tried counting but have either gone insane, died or got bored before finishing.

It is well known, like Samuel Johnson or Winston Churchill (and practically everyone post-2012), Watergipridget suffered from bouts of depression. Always keen on one-upmanship, he did not refer to his depression as a black dog, but rather a black bear. His reasoning was, not only would a bear be harder to tolerate, but there’s also the risk of being mauled. The following is perhaps my favourite essay by Watergipridget, taken from the collection ‘Stuff and Nonsense’ and is entitled:

The Sins of Our Father’s… and Also Our Mothers (Unless They’re Adoptive Parents, in This Instance They’re Exempt).

When a woman falls pregnant, people are quick to congratulate both her and he who provided the semen. Strange that we feel this is worthy of congratulation, or any sort of praise. It’s a process mammals have gone through once or twice a year since they emerged, and many of them give birth to far more than one at a time and their mating rituals are often far simpler.

There are many acts of cruelty that humanity naturally abhors. Violence against others, injustice, theft, mental and/or sexual abuse to name a few. The righteous majority will often rise up against these and condemn them for the sins that they are. And yet, the birth of a child is celebrated. The miracle of birth it is often referred to. And what is a miracle? By definition, it is an extraordinary and much welcome event, one that is inexplicable and beyond the power of nature or science, it can only be explained by divine intervention. As I’ve already said, mammals have been giving birth and producing offspring thousands if not millions of years and scientists feel confident in being able to explain it. Having studied the literature, I feel they’ve constructed a convincing argument at the very least. Childbirth then, is not a miracle.

If anything, it is the opposite of a miracle. A veritable elcarim if you will. Pure disaster. A couple with child should not reveal the news with excitement to a loving family, rather they should beg forgiveness at confession. They shouldn’t be congratulated but scolded for their selfishness.

We, having lived enough of life to see the truth of it, know the hardship it brings. We know the torment that comes with each new day. We know the pain of existence and the unbearable length of it all. We know what it is like to wade waist-deep through the trials of each day, struggling against the overwhelming pull of the destructive current. We know what it is like to lay awake at night despite our exhaustion, feeling the dull ache of loneliness. We know what it is like to be burdened by our failures, to feel the sting of loss and succumb to the grip of fear.

In short, we know the pain of existence. It is a state of being that would be considered barbaric to inflict upon a criminal. Yet, without first gaining their consent, we push it upon our children without a second’s thought. There is, of course, no way of gaining consent, seeing as nothing exists before it is created. Before two have come together to jumble up a random mixture of their genes, good or bad (often ugly), there is no life to gain consent from. In other situations, we would decide to leave well alone, for we have no right to interfere with others who have not permitted it.

Yet, we deliberately bring children into the world. They know they have nothing to look forward too and as such are dragged into being literally kicking and screaming. They howl in anguish at the torment you have inflicted upon them. From an early age, they are aware of their mortality and ultimately, the futility of any action they take whilst they live. They are innately aware that happiness is a fickle and fleeting thing.

To bring a child into existence is an act of cruelty. With each passing year it becomes all the crueller as the world they’re destined to inherit becomes harder and more unforgiving. Resources dwindle, disease runs rampant, the environment changes and sea levels rise. Wars loom over every horizon because of our actions. Yet we bring children into being, we raise them, and we cast an arm out gesturing over the scarred and ruined landscape, the concrete jungles populated by bureaucracy, financial strife and isolation. We sweep our fingers over the poverty-stricken scene showing them all the woe their tiny minds can hold, and we say, “all of this is yours”.

Whatever we feel in life. They shall have worse. There’s a reason old folk are known for reminiscing about their day. It was always slightly better. All the way back to our mindless ancestors, scrambling around in the dirt, blissfully unaware of how ashamed they should feel. It all went downhill from there.

We’re more evolved than they were. Wiser, more intelligent some might say. If that is the case, why have we not decided to call it a day?

 

Some may say that this goes some way to explain why Watergipridget never had children of his own. Though there is evidence to suggest that he had dozens of illegitimate children running around the four corners of the globe (except the Americas). This he touched upon briefly in the essay Consistency is for Cowards, Hypocrisy for Heroes.

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Dave the Crab and the Giant Called Ned

Here is a children’s poem wot I did.

There once was a crab who lived under a rock.

He had a nice sofa and a grandfather clock.

It was big and proud

And ticked ever so loud

And stood atop an ornate marble block.

The crab was called Dave and he was ever so brave,

For he once fought a giant called Ned.

 

Ned was huge and ugly to see,

And refused to let good people be.

A tattered old cap sat atop his big head

And he needed nine mattresses to make up his bed.

He’d growl and he’d roar and with one rumbling snore,

He could shake the whole Earth to its molten rock core.

He wore no shoes for his feet were too big,

And weighed him down when he did his giant’s jig.

But he wore one large and heavy and ever so smelly

Polyester and cotton blend sock.

It may sound silly, or come as a shock,

But the one thing he feared was a grandfather clock.

 

Ned came thundering along the beach one morn,

Swinging his club and blowing a big brass horn.

And anyone he should chance to meet,

Narrowly avoiding being crushed by his feet,

He’d bend over and shout right in their face:

“Get out of my way, make some space!

Get off my beach right now I say.

This is not a place for children to play.

I shall smash any sand castles on my way to the sea,

And anyone that should try to join me, I shall gobble them

Up – I’ll eat them for my tea!”

 

Now Dave worked nights, so was attempting to sleep.

He’d never been in a fight and this record he wanted to keep,

But a rude man eating giant was something he could not abide,

This brutish bully he would not let slide.

So Dave poked his head out from beneath his rock,

He strolled up to Ned’s tattered and horrible sock

And gave his toes one heck of a pinch.

But the giant did not move not even one inch.

Ned scooped up Dave and looked him in the eye

And said “Silly crab, I will make you cry!”

 

He gave a big laugh and he raised his club,

“any last words before I make you blub?”

 “Yes,” said Dave as of his life he took stock,

“Please take good care of my grandfather clock.”

Ned paused and he spluttered, he stammered and stuttered,

He whimpered and shivered until at last he muttered:

“don’t mention them or I’ll knock of your block.”

Dave said “Just listen, you might hear a tick-tock.”

Ned pricked up his ears and listen he did,

And from under the rocks from where it hid

He could hear those doleful tones of the grandfather clock,

He could hear every tick and every tock.

Dave, well he couldn’t believe his luck,

And like a chicken he began to cluck

“Mr. Giant I don’t mean to mock,

But imagine being scared of an old silly clock.”

 

Ned dropped Dave back onto the sand

And covered one ear with one very big hand,

And said “never again will I come to this land!

Get away Mr. Crab, get back under your rock,

Attend to that terrifying grandfather clock.

One second it ticks and another it tocks

It never ends and it never stops

The tolling of hours, oh that nasty chime,

The constant plodding of unending time!

It makes me shiver, it makes me feel cold,

Reminding me that one day I’ll be old!”

 

And with that Ned left never to return,

All the beach goers need fear now

Is a spot of sunburn.

So, when next on the beach,

Give Dave a thought,

Should there be a giant you need to thwart,

Make sure a grandfather clock is in reach.

 

 

There weren’t that nice? My collection of ridiculous and utterly pointless short stories is currently free to download, so if you don’t you’re a fool.

My New and Improved Coffee Shop

This may seem absurdly melodramatic given the subject nature, but I’m afraid it definitely needs to be said. It is no secret that coffee shops are big business, they have become cultural epicentres of our society where folk from all walks of life congregate to catch up on the recent news, global and social, read books, write things, have meetings and all that nonsense, whilst getting our caffeine fix. We love coffee, it’s sophisticated. There are no longer any shops, just coffee places. Schools have been bulldozed and replaced with Costas. Hospitals have been demolished to make way for Starbucks and your house is soon to be knocked down so they can put in one of those infuriatingly pretentious cafes, where everything is organic and cruelty free and your latte is made by a bloke with a ‘quirky’ beard and haircut or a woman with an incredibly pierced face.

Now, I could get worked up into a sweary tirade at our pathetic existence, the way we cannot go a day without a latte. I could lament the fact that we all gladly spend £3 for a cappuccino (which according to adverts is enough to save an abused child, or a hard worked donkey). I could decry our obsession with Frappenappiatos and various quantities of frothed milk, but I shan’t. Instead, I shall – with almost zero self-awareness – that we need a coffee shop that tailors exclusively to the sad, single losers with no friends.

I.E me.

The first reason for this, is I fucking hate other people’s children.Unless they’re somehow related to me, and therefore have some evolutionary reason not to hate them, or at the very least a social obligation to somehow want to keep them alive, I find them the most irritating creature on the planet. Yes, they are more irritating than the pigeon that keeps me up at 3 in the fucking morning with its relentless cooing. The world is too densely populated, yet people insist on churning out sprog. I shan’t go into that here, as we haven’t the time, nor have you the patience. Also, every time I speak about it I question my sanity.

I am by no means an expert on the human child, but I’m fairly certain that should you ask one what it would see as a pleasant day out, it would not respond ‘Oh, that nice little coffee shop, the one that does the paninis.’To me it is obvious that, to a child, there is nothing more boring than a couple of long hours in an establishment where the primary purpose is to produce drinks children do not like. They get restless, they get bored and they start to fucking run about making endless amounts of noise. They become the definition of little shits, whining moaning, pointing at things or giggling away like the stupid little twats that they are. It is for this reason that I hate them. Their parents are usually of a middle-class persuasion and therefore less than useless, because the middle-classes are raised to believe that whatever happens in life, one must never make a scene. Even if their legs exploded they would politely sit there and wait until someone offered to put them in a wheelbarrow and wheel them to the nearest hospital, before it is turned into a Pret a Manger. So kids run riot, and the parents ineffectually shush them whilst reddening with embarrassment and social unease, making it very difficult for lonely old me to sit in the corner contentedly staring into the abyss.

Then there are babies, the smaller variant of the human child. On the whole, these aren’t as bad in themselves, but modern parents are no longer content in wheeling them around in what is effectively a potato sack on wheels. Now they must have the best all terrain vehicles to transport their child. HUge things with gargantuan wheels, wing mirrors, sat-navs and wide screen tvs. They decide that the best place to take these things are our coffee shops, forming the most challenging of obstacle courses that even the fucking SAS would struggle to complete. And if you dare bump their pushchairs, or look at them in exasperation, they look at you like the scum you are. They pull Tomahawks from their handbags and kill you dead.

New mothers think it acceptable to meet in these coffee shops, they are naive, think they can still have lives despite the little parasite feeding off them. They take their babies and try to chatter away about their school catchment areas, what was on the telly that evening, what Beatrice the nosy cunt of a neighbour has been up to.

‘She’ll get a jar of acid in the face if she isn’t careful.’ They say as their babies start to fuss.

‘That’s if she’s lucky.’ The babies will get louder as their mothers try and pacify them everything to hand.

‘I’d knock her down with my car, then when she’s incapacitated cover her in petrol and set her on fire!’ they’ll continue with that strained and desperate look to their eyes as they try to ignore the fact that they’ve ruined their lives.

All the while making it harder for sad sacks of shit like myself to plot how they’d go about hanging themselves.

Then there are those with friends and families. Those that enter a busy coffee shop when I am at the front of the queue, when seats are scarce, but I am at the front. I have waited patiently, listening to the hiss and whine of the machines. I have waited without complaint as the gormless turd behind the counter fumbles with my change. I am at the front, so I should be fine, there are a few seats left. Then they come in.

‘Ooh, it’s busy, do you want to get the drinks I’ll get us a table!’

Fuck you. Fuck you until you die!

You can’t do that. It’s not fair.

It puts those without friends at an unreasonable disadvantage.

Some times these bastards are old. And seem to use their age as an excuse. Because of their bad legs. But they spot a table and they’re leaping over scattered pushchairs, weaving between bored and misbehaving children, intent on getting that seat before me – who being at the front of the queue – deserves that table. It is my right! Fucking old people, why don’t they have the decency to die like in the good old days.

So in short, I have a dream of a coffee shop in which people like me can get coffee in a place they feel at ease, where they needn’t even make eye contact with another living creature and can contemplate the pointlessness of it all in peace.

And they sell whiskey.