Waves of Bullshit

I’m bored so have decided to work on an ill conceived series of posts called the Waves of Bullshit. Enjoy.

There are various waves of bullshit that we have to endure as we tread the waters of life for as long as possible, until we eventually succumb to exhaustion and sink beneath the surface for good. Every aspect of existence is tainted by the foul stench of metaphorical excrement, there’s simply no avoiding it. Positive people with an unnecessary amount of optimism will accuse me of being a cynic, chastise me for being overly dour and not appreciating that I have what might be called, a particularly easy life.  Whilst this may be true, it ultimately changes nothing.  Sometimes you’ll find that there’s so much bullshit that the only way to get through a day is to drink heavily until things start making sense, or at least you get so drunk you cease to care that it’s all nonsense. This, tragically, makes tomorrow’s bullshit all the harder to deal with.

I would spend some time talking about the farce that is Brexit or the bizarre twist that was Trump being elected president of the united states, but everyone’s done that to death and by the time I finish writing this we’d have all moved on.

***

We humans, we had it rough to begin with.  Our cavepeople ancestors were not at the top of the food chain and had an extremely laxed approach to health and safety. Our insistence on standing upright means that our young are born having not had the time to fully develop, heck, they have a hole in their damn heads. They have next to no survival instinct, struggle to regulate their body temperatures and have an almost non-existent immune system. On average, humans give birth to one baby at a time, assuming we’re talking about the mode, which we are obviously, the other averages can fuck off. Up until as late as the industrial revolution, children (particularly in working class families) often had the annoying habit of dying before their fifth birthday. This is why parents tended to have as many children as possible, to up the probability of their family enduring. Children dying was so common that frequently, parents would refrain from naming their children until their fifth birthday, where upon they were sent out into the world to earn a living.

What has this got to do with the bullshit of today?

Well, historically, life was hard. It’s crazy to believe that we survived, let alone dominate the globe. Life was a complex daily struggle against a world that confused and terrified us. Now we know more than we ever have. With a quick Google we can get access to a wealth of knowledge. Almost everything is automated and has been handed over to our good friends ‘the machines.’ We have beat nature in many respects and now babies don’t die very often and life is not a constant struggle. For us westerners anyway.

Yet, I can’t help but feel we’ve been unable to shake off the mindset of our caveman ancestors. We’ve invented complex languages, so can now express ourselves more eloquently, but the gist of what we say is probably the same. Life should be easy, but we humans seem to have the need to make it complicated.

This book is not going to change anything. It will offer no wise ruminations, no quotable messages of motivation or of unity. It’s mainly a self-indulgent account of some things I’ve done in the past and why everything is bullshit.

The World of Work.

You will find CEOs and managers in the world of work can only communicate in clichés or laboured analogies and metaphors. This is one of the most single frustrating habits anyone can have and speaks of a lack of independent thought. Only an idiot speaks in sayings and analogies. You know this is true because if you spare a second’s thought, you will realise that none of them make any sense.

In a story I will get to later, a CEO once told me that ‘there’s an old saying that goes: loose lips sink ships.’ Which is the very height of bullshit. In the history of human’s traversing the seas, very few ships if any have been sunk by lips, loose or otherwise. Ice bergs sink ships. Poor ship manufacturing sinks ships. Bombs, torpedoes and explosions sink ships. Lips are very unlikely to cause even the smallest amount of cosmetic damage, let alone anything of consequence.

I was so annoyed that this phrase even exists I had to research why it exists in the first place. As it happens the phrase originates in those golden years of 1939 – 1945, humanities second attempt at killing everyone. The third one has been on the cards for some time now, but we all know it’ll all be CGI and explosions.

As it happens it was a piece of propaganda with variations around the world, all of which made more sense. Great Britain had ‘careless talk costs lives,’ which is straight to the point. The Germans went with Schäm Dich, Schwätzer! Which translated into English reads ‘Shame on you, Blabbermouth.’ Which I’m sure we can all agree is the single best piece of propaganda the world has ever seen or will see again.

See I wouldn’t mind if he said ‘shame on me, blabbermouth.’

Anything to do with a company is so far removed from a ship, that the phrase has no bearing.  Anyway, I responded with ‘there’s another lesser known phrase that goes “pay your web developer lest he delete your sites.”

I no longer work for that company.

Another manager of the past used phrases like ‘onwards and upwards’ or ‘eyes on the prize’ like he was some weird game show host.

Another would say things like ‘That so and so, he’s like a hurricane, he blows on through here and we’re left to clear up the mess. Then once we clean up the mess, he’s back again, blowing everything over.’ And ‘It’s like doing a million piece jigsaw puzzle, except you can’t see the picture and there are two puzzles mixed up.’ At which point I asked, “why on earth would you do that? More to the point, how do you know there two separate jigsaws if you can’t see the picture? If someone asked me to do that I’d say no.’

Sayings and phrases are the badges of idiots and tragically, they wear them with pride.

***

On another note, starting from tomorrow my stupid collection of short stories will be free. Download them, read them and laugh. Or download them, read them and don’t laugh, or just download them, I don’t care, the stats make me happy. It has 5 stars, customers who also bought it bought The Great Gatsby and that has 4 Stars, meaning my book is better than The Great Gatsby.

 

 

 

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Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness: Sales Report

3 copies this month. 3.

That is the worst number there is. 1 has a brooding loner quality. 2 can be as bad as one, since it’s the loneliest number since the number one, but 3… that’s boring.

Since I have no real marketing going on, I suppose I should be proud of that 3, but I’m not. You people need to hurry up and realise my genius so I can get a proper publishing deal and live a life of luxury. All I want to do is never work again, is that so much to ask?

Look, just go and download my Amazon book. It’s like 99p in the UK and some amount of dollars, euros and other silly money.  It’s less than a coffee, and you all drink excessive amounts of coffee, so you can afford it damn it.

‘Yes, but we enjoy coffee.’ I hear you say, ‘reading your contrived collection of ‘comedic’ short stories isn’t enjoyable.’

In which case I say buy it, and then don’t read it. I don’t care. Give it a terrible rating, let it be known as the worst book ever, then people will buy it out of sheer curiosity. And I’ll get a publishing deal, much like the 50 Shades of Grey woman. It’s the way the world of literature is going. We’re taking the written word away from the pretentious, intellectual elite and revealing it for what it really is, a pointless collection of ultimately meaningless words. Which was the original tagline for the dictionary.

Buy it.

 Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiny-Compendium-Ridiculousness-Hubert-Watergipridget-ebook/dp/B00NX63R1W

Recreating Success.

My collection of short stories The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness has sold around 50-60 copies. This means I only need to sell about 700-800 more for it to be considered a catastrophic failure.  It is perhaps very niche in its appeal and marketed entirely on this blog and my Instagram account, so 50-60 copies is surprising. Whilst I attempt to find an publisher for my actual hard work and full serious novel (three rejections so far), I keep myself sane by writing more short stories. Therefore, it is a joy and a privilege to announce that there will indeed be a follow up to The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness called The Minute Collection of Absurdity.

This is a work in progress at this moment and I can only confirm a handful of the short stories that will be appearing in it. They are as follows:

The Man who Believed he was an Octopus:

This has appeared in an early draft on this very blog if you were paying attention, which of course you were not. It got 8 likes, 8!  It follows the story of a young boy growing up and struggling to accept himself for who he truly is, which is an octopus.

The Establishment’s Eating Habits.

Frank works in the Houses of Parliament. He regularly sees, and sometimes interacts with, members of the governing elite. Had this been published sooner I’d be hailed as the genius who correctly predicted the EU referendum result and the American Presidential Election.

Anyway, Frank works in the Houses of Parliament. It is a cold winter, a now independent Scotland is clamouring for war. They finally got what they wanted, only to find that reality is always a bitch. Frank begins to grow suspicious of the elected officials he works for. He always sees them with food, but never eating. Against the advise of friends and colleagues he investigates to find that it’s not just their own heads that they constantly shove up their arses.

The Woman Who Has Everything and is Incredibly Happy.

Money cannot buy you happiness, but it can buy you things and that’s pretty much the same.

The Life Lesson.

Various people from various backgrounds all do shit and learn something.

The Snake Summoning Tennis Racket.

Jamie Kendall wants nothing more than to win Wimbledon. She asks her local demon to grant her this one wish. The demon gives her the greatest tennis racket that ever did exist, forged from the spine of an angel and the guts of … I dunno… Jesus? she cannot lose if she uses that racket. However, every time she hits something with it, it summons snakes.

 

and maybe some more, who knows the last two were just made up on the spot.

Download the Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness.

 

 

 

The Man Who Believed Himself an Octopus

Below is potentially the stupidest thing I’ve ever committed to paper… digital paper, but I hope you read it, enjoy it, and send me lots of money, or at the very least some food.

The Man Who Believed Himself To Be An Octopus.

The first thing you ought to know about me, is that I am an octopus. To your untrained, human eye, you may think I am one of you, but you would be wrong. I first realised I was an octopus at the age of eight, an oddly convenient year to come to that astonishing realisation I know, but that is when it happened. Octopus are you? You might be asking – where are your eight legs? The answer to that would be, octopusses (most would say octopi, but it is a contentious issue, octopi has no entomological basis) do not have 8 legs. What they do have, are six arms, and two tentacles that are utilsed as legs. See, that is proof that I am in fact an octopus, as who else would have such knowledge?

As I was saying, when I was eight, I started to realise that my arms were covered in these little rings… suckers if you will. I remember running to my mother and asking in my childish, high pitched whine – what are these mummy? Coaxing her out of her Valium induced trance. She looked at me, bleary eyed as though I were a stranger, her greasy, unwashed mouse coloured hair falling across her slanted face.

Those – she said – are tiny portraits of Burt Reynolds. You’re absolutely covered in them baby.

I had no idea who Burt Reynolds was, but I was young, the age when adults – particularly parents, knew all, so I did not question.

I went to school, my coked up mother driving erratically and swearing at the other drivers on the road and almost killing the lollipop lady. In class the teacher, Mrs. Borridge, who I would later learn earned money on the side as a PVC clad dominatrix, glanced at the many portraits of an aged actor, who at the time meant nothing to me.

What unusual markings – she said. You must remember this was a different time. Teachers often pointed out flaws and insecurities and made spectacles of them. I remember Jonathan McLaren had a problem with his arm. It was much smaller and bent at a funny shape, his hand was deformed and only had three stubby little fingers. When he first joined the class, upon answering his name when the register was taken, Mrs. Borridge look up and fixed him a cold little stare.

What is wrong with your arm? – she asked.

I don’t know miss I were born this way – he replied.

So you’re a freak then are you? – she snapped back – a disgusting little freak! Look at the freak children, look at his disgusting little nub of an arm. It’s enough to make you sick. People like that ought to be drowned at birth. It’s the kindest thing to do, for us that is. Save us looking at such monstrosity.

I heard Jonathan McLaren got the last laugh, bullied and alienated as he was. Ten years later at the the age of eighteen he stumbled upon a website, Mrs. Dolores’ school for naughty boys who needed strict punishment. This aged, saggy skinned woman, spread in to a PVC corset like cream cheese on a poor quality bagel stared back at him. He’d recognise those judgmental eyes anywhere. He phoned the number, booked her services, and killed her with a hammer.

They’re tiny portraits of Burt Reynold’s miss – I responded to her question. Her sharp little eyes, almost black in hue, narrowed. She pinched and prodded at my skin.

They most certainly are not – she said – they are suckers my boy.

Now, there is one type of person who is more likely to speak right than your parents when you are eight years old, we all know these people to be teachers.

Suckers? – I asked dumbly.

Yes! Now shut up and continue with your maths, and don’t forget to throw disgusted looks in Jonathan’s direction!

I made sure to scowl at the boy with the mangled arm, feeling a pang of guilt as I did. Other than the arm, which I’m sure was not a boon in his life, he was a nice boy, still is – prostitute murdering aside.

I told my mother what MRs. Borridge said that night, just as she was readying her heroine. She released the belt she had clenched in her teeth, leaving little pockmarks on the leather. She studied me very closely as she laid down her needle. – like an octopus? She asked.

HAving had very little interest in my sea dwelling brethren at that point I didn’t really know how to respond to this. I suppose yes, it was very likely to be like an octopus, but it was only over the following weeks that I began to notice other similarities: My big, swollen bulbous head and large eyes, my multiple limbs and a natural inclination to eat small crustaceans.

It was a tough time, coming to terms with my true identity. I felt like an outcast at school. I found myself picking on Jonathan a lot more – looking back I can only assume it was to take the attention off myself. When my mother was forced into rehab by a judge, I stayed with my uncle Vladimir down at the coast. I spent a long time shuffling along the coarse sand staring at the sea. Iron grey waves, crested with bubbling foam hissed onto the shore. I hated it. It was calling to me and I hated it.

I shouldn’t be an octopus. I thought. I am a human. My mother is a human, my uncle Vlad is a human, presumably my absentee father should be a human too. I suppose my father could have been an octopus, using his third arm (the hectocotylus) to inseminate my mother by releasing spermatophores into her. It’s possible, but unlikely I think. Therefore, I shouldn’t be an octopus.

I stayed with Vlad, who earned his money by playing the accordion in the street, for five weeks. I avoided the sea mostly. Until the third week. Every night I would toss and turn, unable to sleep. I could hear the waves. The rush of the sea. I could taste the salt. I… I could feel its wetness. Sweating, in a rush of anxiety I left the house. I meandered down the poorly lit streets of the quaint little seaside town. My hearts, all three of them, were beating like mad. My arms were flailing madly as I broke into the run. I could resist it no longer. The shame of it. What kind of a human was I? I reached the sand. I could see the lights of boats dotting the horizon, a drunk man was lying face down on the beach, mumbling a non-existent tune to himself.

I splashed into the water, up to my ankles – no not my ankles, I don’t have any ankles.

I stood there for some time, feeling the cool water swirl around me. I was scared – I felt guilty – but above all… I felt – I felt free.

I carried on going, deeper and deeper. Eventually, my head was covered. I kept going, water rushing all around me. I could breathe under water, it didn’t matter, I was an octopus. I let water rush into my nose and mouth and filled up my lungs with my true home.

I passed out. It must have been too emotionally overwhelming.

I woke up to a blinding light and the sound of agitated voices.

Can you hear me? – a voice said – if you can hear my blink.

I complied. I tried to sit up but was pressed down again.

Please, stay still – the voice urged me.

The voice, it turned out, belonged to Doctor Saxon, a slightly tubby man with a large mole on his chin and tired looking eyes. For some time I was left alone, Doctor Saxon would wander in occasionally and ask me some simple questions. Apparently testing for some sort of brain damage.

Do you know who you are? Was one such question. A seemingly innocuous question. Do you know who you are? Do you? I’m not sure I do. I could have told Saxon that I knew my name, I knew where I was raised, that I currently lived with my uncle whilst my mother was in rehab. I could have said all of this, but did that answer the question? That was more a response to – What is your history? Who am I? Do I know?

I’m not sure I understand the question – I responded after a time. I was sitting up now, I felt tired and strangely empty. Saxon raised his eyebrows. His gray, world weary eyes took on a momentary sympathetic sort of glean.

Do you know why you are here? – He asked.

I passed out – I replied.

Do you remember what caused you to do this? – he was looking seriously now. I focused on his mole, the harmless proliferation of skin cells, a very human trait. I don’t have any moles as far as I’m aware, though I’ve never seen my back. I can stare in a mirror and spin round really quickly, but my reflection is too swift.

I remember – I began – I remember I was going home.

You washed up on the shore, you almost drowned. – Saxon’s voice had taken on a stern edge – Had you gone for a spot of night swimming?

I was going home.

I’m referring you to a friend of mine – Said Saxon – Doctor O’Shea, she is a psychiatrist, she will just ask you a few questions. In the mean time get some rest.

As it turned out, Saxon had thought I was trying to take my own life. An act I guess doctors of all people would have very little time for. They devote the majority of their adult lives trying to prolong the existence of others, trying to cure, trying to heal. I doubt they have any respect for someone who chooses to end it prematurely.

Do you know who you are?

Odd how little questions like that can leave you reeling.

O’Shea was a skinny woman of middling years. Her black hair was streaked with gray and tied in a little bun on the very top of her head. It made it look as though she had another little head on top her of her main one. Perhaps she did, perhaps the top head had full control.

For all the television shows depicting a consultation with a psychiatrist, they bear very little similarities with reality. There’s no lounging chair, no questions of your childhood, very little delving. It’s all rather clinical. How do you feel? Why did you do what you did? Stress levels? Over worked? History of mental illness in the family.

I’m an octopus – I told her flatly. She looked at me silently for some time, then scribbled on a piece of paper and handed it too me.

Please – she said – take these for two weeks and come back and see me.

Upon return to my uncle’s house he greeted me with a smile.

Where have you been? – he asked jovially.

I went into the sea and then spent a few nights in hospital? – I replied.

Ah, to be young. – he said.

My mother left rehab having acquired an intense love of Yoga. She was always doing Yoga, even when driving. In some ways I think this was just another addiction, that and her constant urge for sex. Men were zipping in and out of the house, always leaving rather flustered and red in the face. Humans and dolphins are amongst the few creatures on the planet that have sex for fun. I think Dolphins are obnoxious. It would be much easier if humans mated like us octopuses, just stabbing an arm into the woman or something. Or maybe they should mate like the Salmon, traveling up stream for weeks on end, risking a bear related death, reaching the top and finally releasing the eggs and sperm an then dying of exhaustion anyway. It would certainly keep the population in check.

I covered up my arms as often as possible, keeping the suckery things out of view. Out of sight out of mind they say. I tried to get a paper route, but soon gave that up after reading the headline in a copy of the Daily Mail one day.

Foreign Octopuses Invade British Waters To Take Advantage of Benefits System.

I couldn’t seem to escape it. Everywhere I looked there were things reminding me of what I really was. Documentaries on Ocean life, fancy restaurants serving Octopus, and recently, a large billboard had been erected in the center of town with the ominous warning.

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE NOT AN OCTOPUS? GET A FREE CHECK NOW.

As time went on I did my best to get on and live a normal life. As I aged I got a job and rented a small flat. I was Ten by this point. With the emergence of online gambling my mother had taken to it like a duck to processed bread. She won big and immediately moved to Hollywood to become a movie producer. She became famous, but ultimately fell back into old habits and was said to have died after drinking a cocaine/heroine/lard and carrot smoothie. She was found bent in the most complex of Yoga positions. She casket – I remember – was unusually shaped.

By the age of eleven I had a steady job in the financial department of a big automobile company. I chose the job because the address of the building was as follows:

22 – Nowhere Near the Sea

Somewhere In England

Wherenoonementions the Coast and sea creatures.

HE10 4NR

It was perfect. For a while I lived a simple life, until at the age of twelve – once I had risen through the ranks Gary Hodgekins, my boss came to me one lunch time.

He was dressed in a fine pressed black suit. His dark brown skin glistened with sweat as it was a hot day, his jutting chin almost poked me in the eye.

I’m going to need you to go to our coastal division to sort out the financial shit they’ve managed to fuck up!- he said to me.

Coastal Division? – I asked worried – Where’s that.

Somewhere along the coast – he replied curtly.

I can’t do that! – I exclaimed.

Listen here, your the best guy we’ve got on this team. All the other bastards in finance are a bunch of useless fuck-ups who’d end up fucking up an unfuckupable job. – he declared, his eyes narrowed. – Get this done, and you’ll get a bonus so huge, I’d make a giant octopus look small.

I was stunned by his sudden mention of such an obscure creature, considering there were creatures much bigger than said giant octopus, though I did fancy having lots of money.

I’m not sure – I said.

Put it this way – said Gary, putting a hand on my shoulder and squeezing firmly – if you don’t go, I’ll murder everyone you hold dear, before murdering you.

Say what you like about the man, Gary had a certain way with words that was very convincing.

I took a train down to The Coast and found our Coastal Office sat on the beach rising high into the air over looking the sea. I gulped, my throat dry and my trio of hearts beating like mad as I plodded along the sandy beach. Children were making sand castles. Men and women were lying pointlessly in the sun trying desperately to make their skin a little darker, but the sea… the sea was what captivated my attention. It was as if my very soul was hurting with longing. The waves hissed onto the shore, the sunlight glistened on top of the water like slowly disolving diamonds. The air was deliciously salty and filled with the irritating din of seagulls.

My office window looked out at the watery expanse. It seemed to go on forever, or at the very least, until it hit France. I drummed nervously on my desk as my assistant put the finances on my desk. It was a great wobbly cube, looking extremely fragile and incredibly fucked up. Finances weren’t supposed to be cubes, as every good finance guy knows, they should be round.

I felt horribly dry, always aware of the great wetness that lurked just behind me. My assistant placed a latte on my desk. It cost £3 and was my third of the day, and paid for out of the petty cash. That was the first thing that had to go, coffee was expensive and largely unnecessary.

I had to call everyone in to a board meeting, to discuss the precarious state of our finances, they were leaning on the edge of the shelf and could fall at any minute. There were lots of people there, all of different shapes and sizes. A wilting pot plant sat next to the water cooler, that every so often would belch with a great bubble.

Everyone had a coffee, some people had three.

Thanks for coming everyone – I said nervously. All eyes were on me. – as you know, our finances are in disarray, and drastic things need to be done.

There were serious, almost mournful nods of agreement.

Starting with the fact that I will have to fire ninety percent of you, you cost too much and don’t really do anything. – Again there were nods of agreement.

Those… those of you that stay on… will- I paused and licked my lips. The water cooler belched, causing me to flinch – will have a greatly reduced salary. In fact, in many ways you will become slaves.

They were nodding, their heads like those of nodding dogs but thrice as fake looking.

The health plans will be cut, and your houses will become our property and we plan on selling them rendering you homeless – nodding, nodding all nodding.

The water cooler bubbled, I could hear the waves sloshing on the sand behind me. I could taste the salt on my tongue. I could feel my tentacles flexing eagerly.

And of course – I started, I took a deep breath – You’ll no longer be permitted to buy coffees with company money.

Pandemonium broke loose. Outrage, outrage all around me. Men and women alike were red in the face with indignant rage.

How do you expect us to live?- they cried.

This goes against our employees rights! We have contracts – they lamented.

I know this will be a difficult transition –

Difficult, I’d rather die! –

But I’m sure, together we can… we can… Octopus – I felt wobbly, distant almost. I looked at the bemused faces all around me.

Do you know who you are?

Their eyes looked a mix of barely restrained anger, confusion and horror. After a lengthy pause, one bald man mustered the courage to say – What did you just say.

Octopus – I replied feeling defeated, there was a slump in my chest, it had beaten me.

I don’t quite understand? – said a woman.

OCTOPUS! – I roared at the top of my voice, startling them all. – I AM AN OCTOPUS! – I leapt upon the desk and charged for the door, a man was walking by carrying a steaming bowl of soup, fresh from the microwave. I knocked him down, scalding soup splashing over his face. I ignored the screams as I pounded towards the lift, ripping my clothes off as I went. It was rather anti-climactic standing in the little metal box which seemed to stop at every floor. People got in and eyed my naked, octopussy form warily. Eventually, we hit the ground floor, and I shoved past people screaming.

OUT OF MY WAY! I’M AN OCTOPUS GET OUT OF MY WAY! – I ran out of the building, across the sand, not caring for the hundreds of sand castles I was destroying. I dove head first into the shallows, rolling around with glee, laughing and revelling as the cool water slapped against my naked form, lapping it up with my tongue, tentacles flailing.

Do you know who you are?

No… I don’t think anyone does.

Do you know what you are? That’s easier to answer.

I am an octopus.

The end.

 

Everyone Likes Free Stuff

So my publishing experiment recently proffered some sort of results. To fill you in, I decided to write a collection of utterly ridiculous short stories and then publish them on the Kindle with minimal marketing and see how many people actually downloaded it. Funnily enough no one did. Strange really.

I originally wanted to upload it for free, but Amazon didn’t like that and said I had to at the very least charge $0.99 for it. This wasn’t too bad I supposed, as I would get $0.29 for each copy sold, I would only have to sell roughly 21 copies to buy a cup of coffee (maybe 25 if we take the exchange rate into consideration – which I sort of have to, as this morning when I tried to pay for my coffee in rupees they told me on no uncertain terms that I had to leave). I personally feel we ought to return to the bartering system. I have lots of useless junk lying around that I’m sure I could trade for caffeine. Anyway, I’m getting side-tracked.

My collection, entitled “The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness” sold 2 copies in it’s first month, but I’m fairly certain one of them was my Nan, and she didn’t quite get it. Fortunately, my nan isn’t my target audience.

After a period of stagnation I found that for a five day period I could enrol my book in some sort of promotion, which altered the price a little for this limited time.

Within those five days I managed to shift 22 copies! I finally achieved my coffee benchmark, where I could stroll into my coffee chain of choice, demand an overly priced latte and pay for it with my royalties. Or at least I would have been able to, had the promotion not made my book free to download (my original intention, stupid Amazon).

Within this period I picked up a 5 star review. It states as follows:

“A fabulous collection of short stories. Rich in detail, well written and showing a remarkable ability to push a joke to the very edge without feeling a sense of being overused.

The addition of an ‘afterword’ by the perfectly named Henry Pretension offers a perfect satire of those stuffy English Literature professors you will encounter that analyse far too much but say too little.

The stories are varied enough to keep your interest; and they are short enough to read whenever you have a spare moment.

It is well worth the price.”

Considering it was free I can’t help, but feel a little stung by the last line, as that means all my hard work is worth nothing, and I refuse to believe that. As previously stated, I seem to believe it’s worth at least a coffee.

“What is the point of this post?” I hear you ask.

Well, in answer to that… shameless self-advertisement really. Now that the book is no longer free, I at least have a 5 star review, and can say it’s been read by 2 people in Germany, and if they found it amusing, even slightly, then it’s got to be doing something right. Buy it. it’s 99 cents (about 75p?), it’s not going to bankrupt you. even if you hate it what does it matter? It boosts my ego, so you’d have done your good deed for the day.  I know everyone loves free stuff, and if I could I’d give it to you for free (though that’s probably a lie), but come one, quit being stingy. Give me some money. I mean all I want is to start a literary career in which I can eventually earn enough to never work again, drink champagne all day and eventually die in some sort of orgy. Is that so much to ask?

The link will appear several times, do not mistake this for pushy salesmanship, but rather a technical inability to work WordPress.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiny-Compendium-Ridiculousness-Hubert-Watergipridget-ebook/dp/B00NX63R1W

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiny-Compendium-Ridiculousness-Hubert-Watergipridget-ebook/dp/B00NX63R1W

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiny-Compendium-Ridiculousness-Hubert-Watergipridget-ebook/dp/B00NX63R1W

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiny-Compendium-Ridiculousness-Hubert-Watergipridget-ebook/dp/B00NX63R1W

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiny-Compendium-Ridiculousness-Hubert-Watergipridget-ebook/dp/B00NX63R1W

Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness [Extract]

The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness is available for download on Amazon kindle for as little as 75p, that’s right, I am shamelessly self-promoting. As the title suggests, most of the content is stupid and rather banal (I should really get into advertising), but for 75p you can’t complain really can you? Well you can, but people’ll shake their heads at you and say things like ‘not really the end of the world is it mate, 75p, that’s nothing. There are people in the world that are starving to death and you are complaining about spending 75p on a digitally formatted book and not being thoroughly entertained. You’re a prick.’ And then they’ll stab you.

So without further ado, to give you a taste [though the other stories have more of a thoughtful element] here is the introduction and first short story of the collection to wet your appetite. Or to convince you not to buy my book.

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INTRODUCTION

The name Hubert J. Watergipridget never fails to stir powerful feelings in all who hear it. The renowned, often controversial novelist is famed for his stirring – and at times haunting – coming of age novel ‘I Can’t Seem To Find My Hat’ as well as its critically acclaimed follow up ‘Oh Wait Here It Is’.  Both novels poignantly tackled the pressing themes of his time (1933-1956 – though not 1938, that was a good year without any pressing themes) with his now iconic artistic flair and esteemed wit.

This collection, which you are about to read, is in fact selection of previously unpublished children’s stories. Each story weaves a rich tapestry of culture filled with life lessons and moral messages that resonate through the ages. They may be considered ‘dark’ by today’s condescending standards, but what one must bear in mind is that many were written with the backdrop of the Second World War, a time Watergipridget spent constantly switching sides.

“Well my friend Jimmy is English, but David’s German and he’s pretty funny. Also I have a villa in Italy, so I can’t be expected to route for one country the entire time now, can I?’”[1]

This was typical behaviour from Watergipridget, as perhaps one of his most infamous moments was when he met then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Upon being offered a cigar he was quoted to have said “No thank you; you know what they say about a man who smokes cigars don’t you? Probably got something terribly wrong with his anus.”[2]  Which of course lead to the German propaganda song “Churchill Has A Dodgy Arse.”

Despite these bold statements, it is understood that Watergipridget was a reclusive fellow, who battled with periods of mental instability. There is perhaps, some truth in this, as he once published a four hundred page novel which recounted the life of swan in intricate detail in which he refused to use the letter S. Though others have argued that this was in fact a clever critique of British capitalism.

Each story shall be followed by an analysis written by myself, because it’s not enough that you simply enjoy them. You need to know precisely what he was trying to say. You can’t possibly work that out for yourself, because you are without a doubt a simpleton.

Henry Pretension.

      School of English

     Cambridge University.

The Girl Who Would Be  A Caterpillar.

 

There once was a young girl named Atefeh. She lived in a tiny village near the Weetabix factory. She was a girl of simple ambition, bright enough not to suffer scorn and ridicule. When she grew up, she wanted to be a caterpillar. Well, in actual fact she wanted to be a butterfly, but had been told by a passing biologist that that was impossible as butterflies came from caterpillars. She wanted this more than anything in the world.  Her father, seeing this great desire threatening to consume his daughter’s mind, did what any responsible parent would have done. He told her of a wise old witch that lived in the depths of a vast and ancient forest.

‘There is a wise old witch who lives in the depths of a vast and ancient forest.’ He said (see?), pointing with a long bony finger that was usually seen pressing the buttons of his favourite calculator. He had very little to calculate, for he was very poor, but he thoroughly enjoyed calculating for calculating’s sake. His favourite sum was (81×4)-3 / 8.

Atefeh left the house one night, under cover of darkness, whilst her father slept in front of the old television set. His skin was bathed in the pale blue light of the screen. He was watching his Countdown video again; one he had made himself, editing together all the number rounds. She packed a bag with food supplies: Jacob’s crackers and packets of corned beef and the odd bit of creamy stilton.

The moon was her only source of light as she stepped outside, if of course you didn’t count the multitude of streetlamps that painted the village a sickly orange hue. The ominous shadow that was the Weetabix factory was still discernible in the distance, the yellow W shining out like a beacon. She followed it instinctively, like a guiding star. The air had a furry chill to it, especially when the wind blew which was almost constant, jostling her hair with invasive invisible hands.

It was only after she had been walking for precisely one hour and twenty-seven minutes that she realised her father’s words had been extremely lacking in specifics. There were many vast and ancient forests in the world, very few of which were situated near the Weetabix factory. There was no great forest of Kettering. No dense woodland of Corby, unless of course it happened to be made out of trouser presses, hah, imagine that – a forest made of trouser presses.

Unfortunately, Atefeh had gone so far that she had gotten herself lost in the darkness. She felt a liquid worry trickle about her body. So much so that she had to stop to have a nibble of a few crackers.

CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH, she went, crumbs falling into her lap. Her eating was so disgustingly loud, as the sound of other people eating tends to be, that she barely noticed the sound of scurrying going on all around her. She stood up just in time to see a large number of tiny crusty faced men charging towards her. Within seconds she was surrounded, there were dozens of them. She began to panic now, she considered kicking one in the head but decided against it, there was just far too many of them.

‘We are the Weetabix goblins!’ squeaked the closest, evidently the leader. He had a creamy headdress adorned with a scattering of summer fruits.

‘What do you want from me?’ Atefeh croaked fearfully.

‘EAT EAT EAT!’ Chorused the goblins.

‘Shh!’ hissed their leader sharply, ‘although they do have a point; we do wish to eat you.’

‘Eat me?’ Atefeh cried, ‘why would you want to do that?’

‘Revenge!’ bellowed the leader, shaking his long stick in a grand, threatening sort of way. ‘For too long have the humans been eating our kind by the bowlful, we are going to see how you like it!’ he went on, crumbs spraying from his crack of a mouth.

‘I should imagine people wouldn’t be all that fond of the idea.’ Atefeh stammered desperately. She did not want to be eaten, it was a notion shared by all creatures on the planet, apart from maybe the worm who lacks the mental capacity to fear being consumed. She was hurriedly trying to think of a way out of the situation.

‘And yet, you love to eat us,’ the goblin retorted.

‘I wouldn’t say love. In fact Weetabix are quite tasteless.’ Atefeh confessed.

There was a murmur of unease amongst the goblins, some started to shake their cereal spears whilst chattering ‘EAT EAT!’

‘More to the point, the Weetabix we eat tends to be just blocks. They don’t have legs, or talk or anything.’ Atefeh persisted.

‘Well, erm… they are… erm… our babies? Or our poo… I don’t know, I don’t think the author thought this through.’

‘Let’s just hope Weetabix don’t try and sue.’ Said Atefeh distractedly.

‘Maybe if we say something nice about them, they’ll see it as free advertising,’ suggested the goblin.

‘I don’t think we need to worry,’ piped up another goblin, further dismantling the fourth wall. ‘I can’t see anyone reading this drivel.’

‘People read Twilight.’ Sniffed the leader hilariously. The other goblins giggled at this slightly dated pop culture reference.

‘Anyway,’ said Atefeh, ‘I was only trying to find the wise old witch so that I could become a caterpillar.’ There was a jabbering of recognition from the goblins. Their heads bobbed up and down as they spoke.

‘We know of this witch.’ Said the leader mysteriously.

‘You do?’ asked Atefeh in disbelief.

‘Yes, by a magnificent coincidence we do. And instead of eating you, we will take you to see her instead, as it is said that those who see the witch, always regret it.’

With that warning echoing in her mind, Atefeh started to have second thoughts about seeing the witch. Had her father known about this when he told her about the forest dwelling lady? She started to wish she had never left the house, she longed for the warmth of her bed, the comfort of her blue pillow and the soothing sounds of the owls outside.

‘This way,’ said the goblin leader, with a menacing little grimace on his dried wheat face.

‘What if I refuse?’ she said boldly, though she didn’t feel it.

‘We’ll cut off your feet.’ Was the curt response. ‘Don’t you want to be a caterpillar? Isn’t it your dream?’ it was her dream. It was. She had always wanted to be a caterpillar. She wanted to be a butterfly. But of course, that was impossible; she needed to be a caterpillar first.

Though she had to admit dreams were funny things. So wrapped in delusional expectations they were, so edited by idealism, that to actually achieve them, risked suffering severe disappointment. Of course these were pretty intense thoughts for such a young girl to be having, so they in turn instilled a sense of confusion in her. She just wanted to be a butterfly.

‘Where is this witch?’ she asked with trepidation.

‘Why, she is nowhere… she is everywhere. She lurks in the laughter of children. She dwells in the shoots of new trees and in the husks of old dead ones… but if you want specifics – Brazil.’ Said the goblin leader. Atefeh felt her heart drop like a sack of potatoes, violently thrown into a lake. Brazil? That was so far away.

‘It’ll take ages!’ she complained. ‘How will we get there?’ she had no money for a plane ticket, and guessed that it would be difficult for a number of Weetabix goblins to make international flights.

‘It’s common knowledge that Weetabix can fly,’ said the Goblin, throwing up his hands extravagantly, shaking his stick again.  ‘We shall carry you!’ and with that many hands grabbed at her, scratching at her dark skin. Her heart was pounding. These goblins were kidnapping her, taking her across the world. Her father and his calculator wouldn’t be able to save her. Nor would the police, because they were shit.

‘Don’t be scared,’ spat the goblin, face contorted with maliciousness, ‘after all, you’ll be flying, just like a butterfly.’

Atefeh doubted the accuracy of that statement. She had seen many butterflies fluttering about in her garden, peaceful, tranquil, undisturbed and free. Though occasionally they did look clumsy, drifting from one flower to another, they had never been supported by several Weetabix goblins.

Her thoughts slipped from her left ear and were left behind as they whooshed up into the air. The wind tore at her and her arms were jolted painfully in the vicelike grips of the goblins, as they raced ever higher, speed increasing all the while.  Her poor watering eyes were pierced by great pillars of light. There was a tremendous wail of airplane engines. A silent scream burst from her lungs as they hurtled through the air at speeds beyond human conceptualisation. She must have blacked out, as before long she found herself standing in some sort of vast and ancient forest. The climate was hot and sticky, the air moist. A symphony of wild noise assaulted her ears. Hooting apes, squawking birds, splorting frogs and reptiles and the soft singing of wild barbershop quartets.

‘What have we here?’ asked a decidedly witchy voice.

Atefeh looked about in disbelief. In the small fern ridden clearing there was nothing to be seen. The distant sound of trees dying at the hand of manic sounding chainsaws filled the air.

‘What have we here?’ the voice repeated.

‘Me.’ Atefeh replied at long last, swallowing hard. She was sweating and her throat was dry.

‘And what are you doing here?’ asked the disembodied voice.

‘I want to meet the witch?’ she replied.

‘And why would you want to do that?’

‘I… I…’ what did she want? Did she want to be a caterpillar? Or did she just want to go home, away from these goblins?

‘You want to be a caterpillar, I can make it so.’ Said the voice.

‘I want to go home,’ Atefeh mumbled.

‘Are you sure? Home to your calculating father. Back to your monotonous life, at school where the adults condescend you, force information into your heads until you want to scream. Back to your life that will be forever influenced by test scores and other people.’

‘I… I…’

‘You want to be a caterpillar and lead a pleasant, simple life until you finally change into that beautiful butterfly you’ve always wanted to be. Then you can be free, free to live a life of tranquillity, not having to work and toil the rest of your miserable days. Not have to live with human fears.’ Said the voice.

Atefeh paused, chewing on her lower lip ‘I suppose when you put it that way, yes, yes I do.’ She said.

‘Done!’

And so Atefeh became a caterpillar. She was transported back home and into her back garden. She shuffled along quite happily, readying herself for the eventual change. Readying herself to be the butterfly she had always wanted to be. Beautiful, transient…

She was  eaten by a bird.

The End.

[1] Watergipridget – speaking at his trial for treachery.

[2] Von Speigel – Things Said By People Throughout History. Vol. 3 The Intellectual Press.

I would post a link, but instead I would say go on Amazon and search ‘The Tiny Compendium Of Ridiculousness.’

Finally, a space to write something pointless.

EPSON MFP image

I am oddly proud of my ability to ignore everything going on around me and put all my focus and attention into creating something of a fairly poor standard. I have recently been diagnosed with a rare condition, called Doodleitis, which means I am unhealthily obsessed with doodling. I am no artist, nor am I a poet… nor am I really a human being, but rather a small ferret like creature posing as one.

I have a book that is getting filled up with doodles, poems, writings, scribblings, collections of fallen leaves and pebbles that resemble political figures. As I am bored, I feel compelled to share with you some of my personal favourites that I have written/drawn/spawned this week. Prepare your mind holes for a grand feast of originality and wit.

 

EPSON MFP image

This is a drawing and a short poem. The poem reads:

“Sad Moon, Sad Moon

You’ll feel better soon.

   Or maybe you won’t

And if you don’t

I’ll still look up to you.”

 

It has a melancholy sort of feel, and I like that. Also the picture makes me laugh for no reason.

 

EPSON MFP image

There’s nothing worse than a badly drawn laptop telling you that ‘your concept of reality is flawed’. I’ve had to return many computers back to PC world for their constant need to make philosophical and/or psychological remarks.

 

 

EPSON MFP image

 

This one is fairly self-explanatory. It’s a man/pineapplelizard/fox with wellington boots. He’s yelling the word gherkin because he’s angry with society.

 

Now for part 2 of this art exhibition. The following are some statements I found scrawled in my book.

 

  1. The real problem with hindsight is that it’s never there when you need it.

 

  1. Violence is never the answer. Unless the question is what word can connect the following: Fight, War, Kill, Stab, kick….

 

  1. Never say never! Unless the situation calls for it.

 

 

If you got this far I thank you for your patience. Unfortunately, there is no payoff for reaching the end. I was going to reward you with a picture of a transvestite ancient Greek philosopher shouting obscenities but my scanner decided to stop working at this point. But I will tell you the obscenity was fuck. Which apparently is a really bad one. Fuck… FUCK.

I don’t fully understand why because I can say the word Duck with the same sort of aggression and in the same context and no one would really care. If I walked into a post office and shouted DUCK YOU, YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF DUCKING WASTES OF SPACE. DUCK DUCK DUCK! I’ll probably have to undergo some sort of psychiatric evaluation, but no one would be too offended. What’s that all about? Why are bad words bad? Surely it’s the context that makes a word bad. If Cunt meant ‘extremely nice person’ we wouldn’t reel back in horror at its utterance… cunt… cunt. Punt…

YOU DUCKING PUNTS!

 

Are you offended by that? You should be.