The Minute Collection of Absurdity.

Below is an extract from my latest waste of time – I mean work in progress.

 

Hubert J Watergipridget is, without a doubt, the greatest novelist that ever did live. It is said that his texts are so important, that many have cured seemingly incurable diseases. It seems that no genre, subject or medium was beyond his talents. His subtle political satire ‘All Politicians are Cunts’ is still as relevant today as it was when he wrote it some time in the forties.
Little is known about the author’s private life and education, in fact only a scant 5 800 page biographies have been written about him, as well as one ‘speculative biography’ which makes a few guesses as to what he may have been like.
Following the phenomenal success of The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness and the huge sums of money it brought in, researchers have conveniently uncovered another collection of previously unpublished Watergipridget works. These are for a more mature audience and as such, explore more daring issues and controversial topics. The Head of Humanities at Oxford University has gone on to say of the collection that it ‘is very much more of the same’, so we can be rest assured that The Minute Collection of Absurdity will do just as well as its predecessor.

When asked of his success and what advice he’d give others, Watergipridget remarked that “In life, there are those who work hard and with dedication and those who seek the easy path. Both are good options, as it’s all down to luck anyway. There are those with more success than they deserve and those with more failure than they deserve and the simple fact is, whatever choices they made, however talented they were and however hard they worked, none of it made the slightest bit of difference. We are all particles being fired through space, occasionally by sheer chance some of the right particles smash into one another and create something interesting, but more often than not they explode and fuck everything up.”
Watergipridget’s acceptance of the chaotic nature of the universe went beyond explaining the perplexing career advances of the undeserving, going on to become the driving force in everything he did, as well as the excuse for everything he did. He was once charged with drug possession, three counts of soliciting and the assault of a police officer. In answer to these crimes he simply stated “We’re nothing but insects scurrying around in the dust, a slave to electrical impulses in the brain and chemical reactions in the body. I have no more control over my own actions than a worm does whether he gets eaten or not.”
He was later released without charge. However, the policeman in question and a number of his friends did leap out from behind a bush and break his legs. They were let off as a result of using the same defence.
So, the volatile and bleak nature of the universe is often reflected in Watergipridget’s work, which of course, by his own admission, he can’t possibly take credit for because his thoughts are the result of the afore mentioned chemical reactions and electrical discharges.

This collection contains the following.

The Man Who Believed Himself to be an Octopus.  (An earlier draft can be found here https://thefuzzyrambler.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/the-man-who-believed-himself-an-octopus/)
I’m Old and Likely to Die Soon.
Of Mice and Slightly Smaller Mice.
He Who Watched All The Porn
She Who Watched Most of the Porn.
Never Let It Be Said.
And more, if the researchers bother to find any.

The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness can and should be bought here. If you don’t own a kindle, message me and I’ll phone you up at night and read the stories to you.

 

Advertisements

Late night editing.

As I edit yet another draft of my novel that has already seen rejection from several agents, I got the urge to share some. It’s by no means the most interesting bit, as if it was you could just read that and never have to buy the book if it eventually gets published. It’s a fairly mundane part.

The novel is currently titled ‘Nothing Happens’ and is a satire of sorts, mocking the ‘Wealthy white man unhappy with his life’ narrative that seems to pop up repeatedly in literature and films as well as pointing out that in most world renowned novels or old classics, nothing happens.  The book follows a self-confessed alcoholic suffering from a sense of nihilism as he recounts his fairly dull and uneventful life and laments the current state of his dull and uneventful life and fears for the future which he assumes will be dull and uneventful.

Anyway, here’s a dull and uneventful extract:

 

 

Work is not much fun at all. ‘Work’s not supposed to be fun, it’s work.’ My dad always used to say (and still does). I don’t think I’ll ever understand work, the concept of it. Not the modern concept anyway. I could understand if it was fishing… farming… other such necessities. When it was providing food and only food. Now it doesn’t make sense. Why am I forced to spend day after day staring at a computer screen for hours on end?

I think all our problems start at school. You’re told from a young age, with a bit of hard work you can be anything you want to be. Whatever you set your heart on you can achieve. That’s just some clever indoctrination to the capitalist system. It’s propaganda of the highest order. They get you when you’re impressionable, get these little ideas to worm their way into the centre of your brain where there’s no chance in hell of dislodging them. If what they say is true, you best hope that some people want to work on the tills in Tescos, otherwise you’ll never get your potatoes. You best hope people really want to be sewage maintenance workers, otherwise everything would be covered in shit.

No, you do whatever you can to get paid. It’s usually monotonous and pointless. It’s usually unfulfilling and soul destroying. But you can’t complain because “you’re lucky to have a job in this current climate.”

I sit looking from my screen to my phone. A desktop phone, one with the curly spirally chord. They still exist. The phone’s not ringing. The computer’s not computering, or if it is it’s not making a big song and dance over it. I don’t really get computers.

‘Moring Rob,’ says Derek as he passes my desk flashing me his large smile. His some sort of executive, wears fancy trousers and shiny shoes. He’s on some ridiculous sum of money. I don’t begrudge other people their success or affluence, but occasionally I like to imagine following him to the open area, where everyone makes their tea and coffee, it’s all rather snazzy. I imagine following him there and maybe throwing scalding tea in his face, before shoving him out the window. That will teach him for having a better job than me.

‘Morning.’ I grumble back. ‘How was your weekend?’ I ask, my cheeks immediately boiling with embarrassment. It is Wednesday.  It was an instinct, it just came out. You can’t ask someone how their weekend was half way through the week. It’s absurd. It’s positively insane. What a fucking idiot I truly am. I don’t look up to his – I don’t doubt – look of abject ridicule. He’d be pulling up his expensive trousers and smiling a self-satisfied smile.

‘Evening sorry, evening I meant evening. How was your evening?’ I ask looking up with a goofy grin on my fuzz covered face. He laughs. It was a good natured laugh, I like it when people laugh. When they genuinely laugh, and I can always tell when it’s not genuine.  You can always pick out a fake laugh. Nervous laughs usually. Nervous, please don’t kill me laughs. Self-conscious ‘accept me!’ laughs.

‘It wasn’t bad at all Rob, very quiet.  Was told to give you this.’ He says, handing me a package. It’s an officious looking brown envelope with my name written on it in black marker pen. It’s not for me, it’s “for the attention of” me. With this in mind I throw it upon the desk onto the pile of other things that are no doubt also for my attention, but have lain neglected for some time now.

‘Thanks Derek, how’s the –

He’s already wandered off. He’s a busy important man, he can’t linger too long at the desks of the not particularly busy unimportant people. People’d start getting ideas. They’d start thinking that, maybe he isn’t that busy after all,  or worse that he isn’t that important.

Actually, I’m fairly busy. Or at the very least I should be. As far as important goes, well that’s very hard to gauge. I don’t really know what it is I do so it can’t be that important, otherwise they’d notice me not doing it. But at the same time, I’m important enough for them to decide the company does need to pay me to not do whatever it is I should be doing. It’s a complicated position to find yourself in and happens completely by accident. One day you have a clear vision as to where you are and where you’re going, the next thing you know everyone’s screaming at you, you’re naked and something’s on fire.

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.

Well it wasted a bit of time.

I haven’t posted in a while, mainly because it seems an exercise in futility, but also because I’ve been busy with work and life (which is mostly work). I have an Instagram (@entirelyforced) for my ‘art’ as I realised using a blogging platform to show off pictures was foolish when there is a tool especially for that, which has a bigger market too. Anyway, I recently sent a novel off to a literary agent and I thought as a way to cope with the imminent rejection I’ll write my own rejection letters.

Here’s one that made me chuckle (yes I laugh at my own jokes, as some one has to).

 

Thank you for your interest in our company and the submission of your manuscript, we thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Unfortunately, it is not what we are looking for at the moment. You see, publishing is a dying industry. Had things been different and your work was published you would not have earned any money from it anyway, it would have been copied and put on the World Wide Web in pdf format, the most disposable of all formats.

However, these are trivial matters considering the environmental challenges humanity faces as a whole right now. Arctic sea ice is at an all-time low, and global temperatures are rising faster than scientists previously predicted, as a result, harvests around the globe have suffered. We are vastly over populated, stretching our extremely finite resources to capacity. The planet is dying, and we all played our part in its death, hastening natural temperature fluctuations and failing to do a thing about it despite dire warnings. So publishing your book ‘about some bloke doing a thing’ would seem a rather trivial thing.

Even if the world survives its current plight, our doom seems assured. Petty disputes and wars occur each and every day. Religious zealots pray on the young, the isolated and the vulnerable, rallying them to an absurd and destructive cause in which the result is always the deaths of innocent bystanders. As a result the displacement of people is so severe that the infrastructure of neighbouring countries simply can’t handle such a sudden influx – though more distressingly they don’t want a thing to do with these poor unfortunate souls who had the audacity to be born in another country and have no right to a life in another.

Social media and the constantly connected world has left those not in immediate danger of death, has left them isolated and crippled with insecurity and severe neurosis. Body dysmorphia is currently more prevalent than it has ever been 50% of the western world are prescribed anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications.

The future is a bleak vortex of doom at best and humanity is no doubt in its final and desperate stages. We are soon to shuffle off this mortal coil making way for the next dominant species. The whale perhaps.

So no, we shall not be publishing your ‘funny’ novel as we see nothing to laugh about! We suggest you give up, purchase a gun, crack open a bottle of Macallan and save yourself.

Yours sincerely,

A Redundant Figure.

Behind Closed Doors.

It’s been a while. I’ve been busy trying to keep a job, and move into a flat. A really bohemian flat where I can truly focus on achieving my ambition of being a pretentious douche.

When it comes to writing most seem to think it’s a good idea to plan, write, read and rewrite. I can’t work under these conditions. As someone who is constantly told he seems like he has some form of ADHD, I just don’t have the patience for such nonsense. I much prefer to plant a word seed, and let nature take its course and see what beautiful cherry blossom might grow, or what disgusting foul smelling word weed. Anyway. Here’s something I let evolve from not being able to sleep last night. I hope you find it delightfully melancholy.

Behind Closed Doors.

7B or not to 7B? Or perhaps first we should delve into 7C.

Here we find a man lying on his back, head half submerged in a soft pillow, smelling synthetically sweet from detergent. A cool, damp summer air drifts playfully through his window, gently rattling the wooden slats of his post-modern blinds. He’s not entirely sure what post-modern means, but he was assured that they were, and thought that sounded cool and interesting. He’s lying on his back, in the dark, heaving shuddering sighs of loneliness, much as he had done the previous night and the night before that, much as he no doubt will do all the nights that stretch oppressively before him.

He almost feels envious of the angry and violent noises emanating from 7B. From the sounds alone, he finds it difficult to tell which one is getting a severe beating, the man or the woman. Perhaps both are giving as good as they get. They’re speaking, or rather shrieking in their own native language, so for all he knew it was simply part of their culture, who was he to judge? As he listens to the dull thuds the, hefty slams and the yelling and the screaming, he feels as though he might be dreaming, but all the while he couldn’t help but feeling, that the touch of a fist to the face, was better than no touch at all. That words spat in malice, cruel taunts and aggressive jibes, were all preferable to the endless silence.

He lies awake wondering whether to call the police, or try and force sleep, before attempting the latter. Thinking of the faces of all those he wished he had had the guts to be rejected by. He lies there, as the light, late night, swing music from number eight makes his feet twitch in some absent little dance. He wonders what it would be like to be loved. To be loved unconditionally and endlessly, what would that feel like.

All good things must come to an end, that includes love and life my good friend.

Sleep won’t claim him for some time.

Alas, his brand of melancholy is somewhat cliché, if we spend too long watching him our minds might decay, our sympathies wane.

Now 7B… no let’s go with 8.

What a fine lady she used to be. Now at the ripe old age of seventy three. One might be forgiven – upon first glance – for thinking her trapped in some hypnotic trance. The swing music you see, was a passion of her husband’s, they met at a dance, he played the trumpet. Each night, she puts on her records, surrounded by her outdated wall paper. After dinner, she sits upon her chair, she brushes what remains of her hair and talks to her husband who is no longer there. The records go on, and she exclaims to the air ‘remember how we used to move? Remember how you used to play?’

She sets  the table for him each and every night. If someone should come visiting and enquire she’d say, ‘Why he’s just popped down to the shop. He’s playing at the club. He’s nipped across the way to help Mrs. Henderson with those pesky pipes of hers. You know how they leak away. Nothing’s built to last these days.’

Can’t click along to the music these days, arthritic fingers you see. But she can hum along. In that hum, lurks a spark of youth that you can tell once blazed furiously. Once it was alight with such potency it threatened to blind all that beheld it. In that hum you can hear the youth with a ferocious sexual appetite, a lust for life that now tonight, sits in her chair, talking to her husband, who is no longer there.

Before we get to 7B. It might be worth mentioning 7A.

There’s a man, or rather a woman who lives there. A man in woman’s clothing. A David who likes to be called Davina, or would very much like to if he ever let anyone know. There’s this one draw he has, filled with artistic polaroid pictures of him in an array of dresses and a number of wigs (unfortunately, despite his many efforts, male pattern baldness had ravaged his head of all but the thinnest of hairs).

In many ways, she looks beautiful. It doesn’t necessarily suit his life style as a club bouncer, or rather a doorman – they don’t like to be called bouncers, it has a negative connotation.  Only one person had seen these pictures. An old school friend. She had been very supportive, encouraging him to be – above all else – honest with himself. He shouldn’t have to live in shame, for there was nothing shameful about it, he shouldn’t have to hide away, the world needed to accept him – her for who she was.

She had moved away some time ago, started a family of her own. She was missed.

She stands in front of a full length mirror, admiring her full legged reflection as a purple sequin dress clung to her chunky torso. Clean shaven face made up to perfection. A curled hazel wig comes past her shoulders. A single tear rolls down her face.

7B

Jerzy is an engineer of some sorts, the details of which escape even his loving wife Cecylia – derived from the Latin Cæcilia meaning “blind” – a fitting name then perhaps, as they always said love is blind.

There’s no telling how this argument started. Perhaps it was with some seemingly innocuous comment, or perhaps it had been building for days, like an airtight barrel, being filled with water, eventually it would have to break apart. The first blow wasn’t entirely unexpected. It hit her in the cheekbone. White lights danced before her vision, little, juvenile fairies playing before her sight. It didn’t hurt at first, it was numbed, the pain came moments later as she leant against the kitchen counter. He was still screaming at her, she screamed back. She was shaking with fear and rage and hurt. It hurt her more than words could ever describe, how this man that she loved could do such things… but she did love him.

Why else would she stay with a man that blackened her eyes, split her beautiful lips and treated her with such callous disregard? Love makes people do strange thing. Love is not logical. Love is cruel… Love certainly does hurt.

She screamed at him, slamming her hands down on the counter tops for emphasis. Questioning his manhood. This does not sit well and the second blow comes, a fast open palmed slap to the other cheek. It makes a sort of popping sound.

In these moments she remembers their wedding night. Jerzy was slimmer then, had slicked his hair back, had shaved his face, revealing a sharp featured, strong jawed man with sparkling dark eyes, two spheres of polished jet. He looked genuinely happy. Happy to be starting his life with this woman – her. She had cried happy tears as they were joined in matrimony. Her mother had wept too.

She was running out of excuses. Her mother was beginning to think her exceptionally clumsy.

She was shoved to the floor. An angry grizzled face was snarling at her, foaming at the mouth, some rabid beast. All she could see was that smiling, black eyed man, all suited on their wedding day.

What goes on behind closed doors is no business of anyone’s. The following morning, all these characters might pass upon the stairs. They’ll nod a casual greeting, and start another day.