Consistency is for Cowards; Hypocrisy for Heroes

It’s that time of the week again. I say time of the week well aware that my posting is as irregular as your mum’s bowel movements. I have previously posted several essays by the great Hubert J Watergipridget and, due to the massive interest in this esteemed wit, I have decided to bow to pressure and post his essay ‘Consistency is for Cowards, Hypocrisy for heroes’.

You’re welcome.

 

Like many men of my generation, I had the misfortune of fighting in what we now call World War II. Of course, dear reader, you are well aware of this. No doubt you have cast your eye over one of those slanderous articles, if indeed they could be called such. I’ve read more coherent pieces carved into stone tablets. Coward, they call me. Traitor. Opportunist. A man with no moral fibre.

There was a double page spread in last week’s Sunday Times. Two pages of drivel spat out by an uneducated cretin who wouldn’t know a comma if it fell on him. It referenced my role in the second global conflict, my time in the British Army, the Royal air force, the Luftwaffe and the Regia Marina. It said my literary work was typical of my character. It said I was a hypocrite, a man without consistency.

I tell you this: consistency is for cowards; hypocrisy for heroes.

Consistency is nothing but a great iron ball to which we willingly shackle ourselves. If I were a consistent man, I would have fought for the British the whole way through the war and learned nothing. Sun Tzu is often quoted:

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be put at risk even in a hundred battles.”

This has largely been reduced in the West to ‘know your enemy’. I fully grasp the meaning of his words. By switching sides, I knew my enemy and, by understanding their point of view, I became my enemy. As I was my enemy, they ceased to be my enemy and instead became my allies. By constantly switching sides, everyone became my ally and thus, I had removed my enemies, winning the war.  

The only reason other, more moral men did not think to give over (albeit temporarily) to fascism is because they feared they might enjoy it and thus, would feel odd about returning to fight it. I however, didn’t take to it. I found the Nazis to be dull little fellows. Goebbels was the worst. He constantly tried to get me to read his turgid little plays and practically begged me to help him find a publisher. I tell you, if it wasn’t for the angry little man – the one with the moustache – Goebbels would have been nothing.

Upon my return to Blighty I started to once again fight the good fight and command others do the same. I did not feel my brief stint as a fascist lessened my resolve or reduced my impact. If anything, my hypocrisy, if you want to call it that, meant I was in a better position to say who was right and who was wrong. I had seen both sides. I had taken part from both perspectives. I could speak with a sense of authority when I said the Germans must be stopped.

It is the same outside of war.

The priest who espouses celibacy and denounces sexual deviancy as a sin on a Sunday, before ploughing his way through hordes of prostitutes throughout the week is a priest I’m more likely to trust. Why would I trust the word of a celibate priest who has never known the touch of a woman? His conviction – his consistency of character – why, that just leaves him ignorant. I’d rather follow an immoral man than an ignorant one.

A man who has let no drug befoul his body warning me of the horrors of drug abuse is mere stuff and nonsense. A man who has consumed all drugs and devolved into a hunched and vulgar husk of a man telling me never to take drugs, in between his daily course of drugs, well… there is something to think about.

It works both ways. If said hunched drug addict stared up to me with glassy eyes and a toothless grimace before cackling ‘I’ve always taken drugs, from the moment I was wrenched from the womb. Not once have I been clean, you should join me.’ I would not give him the time of day.

Cowardice, that’s what consistency is. The man who has never taken drugs and denounces them, does so because he fears he might enjoy them, and by enjoying them, he might fall victim to them.

A man who says one thing and lives by his word, is a fool. A fool that will never know regret or guilt and will therefore die happily. But he will die ignorant. He will be half a man. A perpetual child steeped in what we might call innocence. Innocence is fine for a child, but something to be derided in adulthood, wouldn’t you agree?

To say one thing, but do the opposite is to allow yourself a sense of moral or intellectual purpose, but let your bodies feel the joy of the physical. In doing so, you can truly test your morals. A good man who has never punched a nun, or spat at a homeless man or harassed a widow, does not truly know he is a good man. A vile man who takes pleasure in it, knows he is awful. But a good man, who pushes a child into a lake or scalds a blind person and then feels bad about doing so, he is a good man.

He can go forth telling everyone how they must live. How we must choose peace and harmony. How we must treat everyone with a sense of mutual trust. He can do all of this whilst being racist or making inappropriate remarks to female co-workers. He lives life as a hypocrite, so you don’t have to. You must do as he says, not as he does.

For if you do as he does. Well… then you’re as bad as he is.

 

Like many of Watergipridget’s works. It doesn’t make a great deal of sense. He was often criticised of being xenophobic, sociopathic and generally a shit. To which he responded.

‘I am definitely two of the three, I’ll let you choose what two.’ 

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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.

By Plane or Boat I Shall Not Go

Recently, I was discussing the literary career of Hubert J Watergipridget and all that it entailed. Author, essayist, scholar and amateur taxidermist, Watergipridget was well known in literary circles, but has perhaps disappeared into obscurity, more so than many of his contemporaries anyway. This could be because he happened to get on the wrong side of George Orwell, who subsequently poo pooed his writing.

Others attribute Watergipridget’s failings to the fact that he never really made a name for himself in America. This was not due to his writing not being received well in the States, on the contrary, it was embraced whole heartedly. It is a complex matter. A part of Watergipridget’s allure was in his captivating, charismatic persona. Wherever he went, uproar and festivities followed. Love him or hate him, all admit that wherever Watergipridget was, interesting things would happen.

Alas, he did not set foot on American soil. In his essay By Plane or Boat I shall Not Go, he gives his reasons. It’s an interesting essay that I remember reading when I was studying at university. I forgot all about it until this fateful conversation. After searching for some time, I managed to track down a copy in a Cambridge library in a selection of essays named Endless Waffle edited by some professor called Henry Pretension. From what I gather, the essay is in the public domain, so I’m free to share it with you here.

You’re welcome.

It is often asked of me: why do I show no intention of travelling to the States? Many of my American peers have invited me to stay with them, so I might give a talk at one of their quaint establishments they consider a university across the Atlantic. That delightful fellow Hemmingway once invited me to his home. I remember him being determined that we discuss his latest manuscript ‘A Farewell to Arms’. A farewell to my sanity more like. The whole thing was a disaster. 92,720 words of nonsense. Half of those happened to be ‘Grappa’. What a disgusting drink that is. Wasted his time with that one he did. There was supposed to be a war on, how an ambulance driver got his hand on so much of the stuff was beyond me. I had to turn the old boy’s offer down via a letter. Dreadful refuse though it was, I couldn’t say it to his charmingly round little face. I left my critique in the form of an ironic P.S.

P.S. Read the manuscript. About as entertaining as the Spanish Civil War. Perhaps that could be the setting of your next book. “never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

The quote was of course in reference to his literary career, which I’m sure didn’t go much further.

I must admit, I have been tempted once or twice by such offers. It would, after all, be a fine thing to see the New World as it were.

The problem is the sea. The Atlantic Ocean lies betwixt Europe and The Americas, and I am in a position to say that it is quite large. The only way to cross it is by boat or by an aeroplane, two modes of transport I shall never use.

It is of my opinion that anywhere that cannot be reached on foot is a place one shouldn’t go. Of course, do not take me literally. I have been across to continental Europe having swum the channel. I’ve swum the Gibraltar Strait and explored much of Africa.

I tried to swim to America and got as far as Iceland before I gave up. A strange people the Icelanders. Made such a fuss, it’s as if they’ve never seen a middle-aged author attempt to swim the Atlantic before. Ruined my finest suit that did.

Cars and trains are acceptable, as what is the wheel but an incredibly round foot? One can only dream of a day when we build an underwater train to connect England to the rest of Europe. That’ll make my visits dryer. I hope they never connect Ireland though, if anything we need to widen the gap between that little scrap of land and the rest of the world. Blast it off into the abyss of space I say.

In short, that is why I have never been to America. That and I am a patriot through and through. Anyone who leaves the United Kingdom for longer than a fortnight should automatically have their citizenship revoked. I also hear the food is awful. Their buildings are too tall as well. It’s like they’ve never heard the phrase less is more. No doubt across the pond the phrase is more is more and there should always be lots.

There’s also the matter of their insistence of removing the Us from perfectly good words that have always had Us in them. Color! A Co – lOr. Sounds like a character from one of Tolkien’s detestable books with the little hairy people in them… Greeks I think they’re supposed to be. It’s the English language, you can’t just arbitrarily remove letters from words and replace a few Ss with zeds (or is it zees?) and say you’ve got a culture. Either use the language properly or get your own. You Yankee bastards.

My god if I ever set foot on your soil with my rifle you’ll be sorry. Thankfully you seem to be taking care of that yourselves. You fucking morons. I can’t believe….

The essay continues in this vein for some time, somewhat losing the point. Four pages later it continues.

Grappa? Fucking grappa. It’s the most absurd idea. He spent so much time writing that novel and it was just time wasted. He could have done something more productive with his life, but no, he wrote endless pages about a bed ridden man drinking grappa.

This circulates back to a tirade against America and its people before concluding.

Lewis Carroll was shit as well.

So, there you have it. Hubert J Watergipridget refused to use boats and planes. Or so this essay would have you believe. His military records show he spent time in both the RAF and the Luftwaffe throughout WWII, flying a variety of planes for both, and when not doing that he was in the Italian Navy.

Some sort of end of the world novel

I was incredibly impressed with my last blog post. I spent a lot of time on the graphs. It got four views. So back to the extracts it is.  Here’s something i started working on when it was too hot to do anything else.

Chapter 1

A night to remember.

Andrew woke up with what could be described as the exact opposite of a start. His eyes were open but weren’t quite registering images. He was only vaguely aware of existence, and that awareness mostly manifested itself in the form of a horrific taste at the back of his mouth. Slowly, but surely, other sensations came into being, almost none of them pleasant.

His brain felt as though it was too big for his skull and his gurgling innards gave him the distinct impression that he had eaten a donna kebab last night. There are only two kinds of people who eat donna kebabs, incredibly drunk people and those who gave up on life years ago. He assumed, as hazy memories started floating back to the forefront of his mind, that he belonged to the former.

He sat up and instantly regretted it. The four white walls that made up his box of a room became smeared into one, and for a small moment, he was convinced he was in some sort of afterlife. Spears of obnoxious sunlight pierced his small window and highlighted his generally clean room. Everything was in its proper place, save for his suit trousers which lay in a crumpled heap on the floor not, as they should have been, hanging on the small hook on the back of his door.

He instantly became aware of an immense pressure squeezing his bladder and made an unsteady dash for the toilet. His vision clouded, and his memories became momentarily jumbled as his head failed to adjust to its new altitude. At the age of 28, he could no longer handle his drink. In fact, he had been unable to handle his drink since he was 25. Before 25 he could drink until he could only perceive reality in patches and still make it to work the following morning. One cup of coffee and he’ll be close to okay.

That changed on his twenty-fifth birthday.

He fumbled with the flap in his boxer shorts, searching for his elusive and incredibly sweaty member. At long last he managed to release it from its cotton, polyester blend prison and the bathroom was filled with the sound of his piss.

‘I wish I was dead.’ He groaned to himself. It was not the first time he wished it, and he doubted it’d be his last.

In the kitchen he almost tripped over an empty bottle of sambuca. He stooped to pick it up and almost toppled into the overflowing bin. It always took a while to regain one’s balance after a night of heavy drinking. And heavy it must have been if sambuca got involved. Sambuca is a drink only the already drunk think to drink. Andrew dropped it into the small recycling box, only for it to clink off the top of numerous other bottles and retake its position on the floor.

‘Have it your own way then,’ he hissed before whacking on the kettle. The aged white appliance spluttered indignantly as it went about its task.

They had been at the Rising Sun, a large pub complete with a pub garden… there may or may not have been a gazebo. The summer was trying really hard to prove itself the last couple of weeks. The sun shone from morning to late at night scorching the world below. Needless to say, this meant that there had been hundreds of people squeezed into garden.

Jack had been playing. He had been booked to play. There had been a chalk board outside saying, ‘back by popular demand: Jack Readly.’ Andrew hadn’t really seen much evidence of this popular demand. He had known Jack for years and he only agreed to watch him with great reluctance. It was had been the same old set list. The same one he’d played since the university days.

Andrew selected two pristine white mugs and poured a generous amount of coffee granules into each. He put the kettle out of its misery and poured the day-old water into the mugs. The bitter scent wafted into his nose, making him feel even more sick. With trembling fingers, he lifted the mugs and strolled towards Jack’s door.

Jack’s room was larger than Andrew’s, which meant he had decidedly more room to fill with crap. There was a behemoth of a desktop computer on a desk, around which gathered a number of figurines and tiny statues. Iron man, Captain America, Spider-Man, a xenomorph, Sonic the Hedgehog… they were everywhere. Andrew regarded them with derision… and a hint of envy. Whilst he judged his flatmate for squandering what amounts to hundreds of pounds worth on crap for children, he also envied his ability to take pleasure in having never grown up.

He placed one of the coffees on a cluttered bedside table near Jack’s sleeping head. The head was round and covered in black hair and scruffy beard. His mouth was agape, and Andrew could smell his breath from where he stood. It was not pleasant.

‘Coffee,’ he said.

Jack said nothing. He was dead to the world and once again, Andrew envied him.

Back in the living room Andrew sat down on the sofa, still dressed only in his boxers. He sipped the coffee that was still too hot, but he’d be damned if he was going to wait. He stared at the black television screen, into his own tired eyes. His own cheeks were covered in a smattering of light brown fuzz. His large ears looked larger than usual and his thick hair splayed out in the most remarkable of formations.

His brain must have shut down, as the next thing he knew, Jack was emerging from his room and his mug of coffee was empty.

‘Morning sunshine,’ said Jack grinning. Though it was a forced grin, Andrew could see that he too, was regretting so many life decisions.

‘Don’t use that word around me,’ Andrew groaned. Already he felt uncomfortably hot. His back was sticking to the leather sofa and his testicles were swimming. He detested the sun. He detested it with every fibre of his being. Not only was it painfully bright, stiflingly hot and incredibly intrusive, it also had the remarkable ability to turn everyone into idiots.

‘Must have been a night to remember,’ said Jack. ‘I only wish I could.’ Andrew heard the kitchen tap hissing and cringed at the disgusting slurping sounds his flat-mate made when the idea of filling a glass seemed too much.

‘How was I?’ he asked as he returned to the sofa.

‘Hmm?’ Andrew avoided the question.

‘Last night, the gig, did I kill it? I seem to remember it going well.’

Andrew had been to almost all of Jack’s gigs. A generous person would have said he was very good. A tactful person would say ‘I’m impressed that you got up and did it in front of all those people.’ Andrew opened his mouth and then closed it again.

‘I remember it too,’ he said. Which was only a partial lie. He remembered shutting his eyes and groaning as he moved onto his second ill advised tequila as Jack enthusiastically informed the crowd that ‘this next one is one of my own.’ Andrew couldn’t remember if it was Lisa or You Took My Heart. Both used the same chords, he was sure of it, and both were about Lisa, whose real name was Elizabeth.

‘Two hundred quid they paid me.’ Said Jack, ‘not bad for a night’s work.’

‘You spent one-hundred-and-fifty on drinks.’ Andrew reminded him.

‘No I didn’t… how?’ Jack protested.

‘We moved onto Bluebells.’ Said Andrew, remembering this detail the first time.

‘Bluebell’s is terrible, why would we go there?’

‘Because the Rising Sun was closing. And there were women at Bluebells.’

‘You don’t even like women,’ said Jack.

Whilst this was not strictly true as there are plenty of women in the world Andrew liked, he had to concede the point.

‘That’s what I said, but you were having none of it. Buying rounds for everyone you were.’ He said.

‘Damn… did I get with anyone?’

‘No.’

‘Damn. Well…. Fifty quid is still better than a poke in the eye with a blank stick.’

‘Blunt stick.’

‘What?’ Jack fixed him with a vacant stare.

‘The phrase is a blunt stick. What the hell is a blank stick?’ said Andrew.

‘Oh… I’ve always said it that way. Why a blunt stick. Surely a sharpened stick would be just as bad.’ Said Jack.

‘I can’t imagine either would be pleasant.’ Said Andrew, concentrating very hard on not being sick, ‘You spent eleven-twenty five on a kebab, cheesy chips and a can of coke.’ He added. Jack’s face contorted painfully as he struggled with the maths.

‘Thirty-nine-seventy-five then.’ He said.

‘Then you paid for a taxi, was nine quid.’

‘Thirty pounds seventy-five.’ Jack’s face was falling.

‘You gave him a twenty and said keep the change.’ Said Andrew.

‘Why?’

‘Because you were drunk.’

‘Oh.’

Silence fell on the room for a while. A strip of light came through a gap in the curtains covering the balcony doors. Even that was enough to make Andrew feel incredibly irked, and that wasn’t a word he used lightly.

‘Wait where’s my guitar?’ Jack suddenly stiffened, a look of dread falling over his expression.

‘Roy put it in the back room at the Sun. Said you can pick it up later today.’ Said Andrew.

‘That’s good of him,’ said Jack.

‘Hmm,’ Andrew agreed, though in truth, Roy had forcibly taken it from Jack when he got stuck on an eternal loop when giving his best rendition of Hey Jude.               Jack stood up and made for the curtains. Andrew made to protest, but found he hadn’t the energy and sank into bitter resignation. His flat-mate threw the curtains asunder and the dreaded white light of the sun exploded into the room. Jack stood swaying slightly as he peered out the glass panels of the balcony doors. Nine-floors up they were. Gave them quite the view of the town of Pridgeton.

‘How much did we drink last night?’ asked Jack uncertainly, eyes transfixed on the world outside.

‘I dunno, too much,’ said Andrew. His tongue felt like a dry sponge and the coffee hadn’t helped at all. His head was throbbing and he still felt sick. The words ‘I wish I was dead’ was heading rapidly towards his lips.

‘Enough to miss a nuclear war?’ asked Jack. Andrew considered this question for a moment and recalled the empty sambuca bottle.

‘Probably,’ he said.

‘That makes sense then.’

Andrew frowned. Against the balcony doors, Jack was nothing more than a silhouette, a shadow against a backdrop of white and yellow.

‘What makes sense?’ he asked.

‘The town…’ said Jack slowly. His lips formed words that his brain had yet to form. Andrew rubbed his eyes and groaned before standing up.

‘It’s a shit hole, it’s always been a shit hole,’ he said holding out his arms to steady himself.

‘Yeah, but at least last night it was still standing… and wasn’t so… on fire.’ Said Jack. Andrew joined him by the balcony doors, squinting against the painful intensity of the light. He had to agree with Jack. He had lived in Pridgeton all his life, save for three years of university. It had never been pretty. It was what it was and that was a hastily constructed London overspill built as cheaply as possible. Charm was an expensive commodity and as such, Pridgeton had all the charm of a racist mullet.

It almost looked better in its current state.

Tendrils of black smoke twisted into the air at various points. Tower blocks which had definitely been standing tall the night before lay somewhat more horizontally in the morning sun. Rubble dotted the place, orange flecks of fires winked back at them here and there. Jack hesitantly put his hand on the door handle. It lingered there for a moment before he pulled it inwards. The living room became filled with the sound of distant sirens, the chug-chug of helicopters and the occasional shrill scream.

In short, the general sounds of disaster.

 

The Worst Book Ever

There are times when you stumble upon an old, mostly unknown book and it changes your life. The prose is thought-provoking, poetic and profound, the characters are rich and so well crafted it feels like you’ve known them for years and the story (or stories) so engaging you just can’t put it down. Then there are the times where you come across a largely unknown piece of writing and you wonder why it isn’t more known, primarily because it should be held up as the worst thing ever committed to paper.

I recently discovered a collection of previously unpublished short stories by one Hubert J Watergipridget. Some brief research tells me that he was active during the 30s-50s but was well known in literary circles long before and after. It is suggested that it was he who inspired Tolkien to write The Hobbit. I can only assume that this is the case because Tolkien read Watergipridget’s work and was inspired to write something good.

The collection I found is entitled The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness and was completely free to download, and yet, I feel ripped off. The only good thing I can say about it is short, but it won’t feel like it when you’re wading through what feels like an endless river of shit.

Each short story is needlessly introduced and analysed by a professor of English Literature because you can’t be trusted to form your own opinions. Yet, despite this, it’s impossible to make any sense out of the gibbering and morose texts.

The first short story, The Girl Who Would be a Caterpillar attempts to be a critique of the education system and the societal pressures put upon the young but has all the subtlety of a pig dressed as a nun vomiting on a pile of textbooks.

The second, Alec and the Magical Housetree reads like an Enid Blyton book, if Enid Blyton was a dribbling moron who could barely string a sentence together and her editor was a crack addict. Still, in Watergipridget’s defence, he’s considerably less racist.

The less said about the third together. The fourth, however, is where I really start to get mad. The Elephant Who Often Forgets and the Giraffe Who is Always Late for Things, is without a doubt the most egregious thing I’ve ever read and I’m not just saying that to use the word egregious for the first time in my life. Framed as an environmental novel, this patronising tripe exploits offensive stereotypes about elephants and giraffes and, once again, bangs on about how we need to protect the environment. I for one am getting sick of this view. We don’t need trees, they’re fucking cunts.

The book then delves into some awfully laboured poetry before finishing with a final short story The Man who has Baguettes for Dinner. I can’t help but feel this is where Watergipridget revealed himself for the weird and twisted pervert that he was. Admittedly, everyone in the arts back then was a pervert to some degree, much like they are now because some things never change. Anyway, it involves an unhealthy obsession with jam.

In short. This was one of the few literary ventures that I actually felt myself getting stupider the more I read of it. My brain cells preferred to commit suicide rather than work to process the information they were receiving. The only people that would like this book are those who have been lobotomised or have no appreciation for the written word. Alas, in the age of piss poor journalism, third-rate fantasy novels and poorly conceived (and ultimately tame) erotica, this could be a mainstream audience.

I beseech you all to download this text now so you too can see just how diarrhoea inducingly terrible it truly is.

The Keeper of Time

The world of the Time Keeper is a fairly pleasant one. That is if you don’t mind the constant ticking of an endless supply of clocks or avoiding the various hour glasses scattered haphazardly about. Most were merely ceremonial and served no real purpose other than to hammer home that this was a place where time was taken very seriously.  If the Time Keeper ever said, ‘I’ll be down in a minute,’ he’d be down in precisely one minute. Not a second later or earlier. Unlike in other worlds where one minute could be anything up to an hour.

As it was, the Time Keeper rarely had the cause to say something like this because it lived a very solitary existence, which is just as well. Others might get the urge to fiddle about with time, and that would cause no end of bother.

The Time Keeper lived alone save for Marian, a jet-black crow that had at one point in its life become extremely lost. The Time Keeper enjoyed the companionship and lived safe in the knowledge that the crow lacked any real interest in the concept of time.

‘Wazzat?’ Marian squawked. It seems crows do in fact possess a capacity for communication, at least on a basic level. Unfortunately, being quite stupid meant that it takes them a good couple of centuries to realise this which, in normal circumstances, means they’d learn their first word roughly one-hundred-and-eighty-years after they are dead. The ability to communicate is often redundant at that point.

‘It’s an inkwell,’ said the Time Keeper looking at its notes. The Time Keeper’s world was not like other worlds in the sense that it was not subject to time. Which was good, because the Time Keeper’s work required more than the standard forty-hour week sometimes. It also gave him plenty of … well, time (for lack of a better word) to develop beautifully written cursive.

‘Oh, wazzat?’

‘It holds ink, for writing.’ The Time Keeper enjoyed writing. It wrote many documents. Analysis on historic events across all realms and universes and the like, along with instruction manuals on the best way to keep time (it’s always best not to store it in intense light and to keep it at a low temperature).

‘No,’ said Marian.

‘Okay,’ the Time Keeper responded.  He paused and leant back in his tall backed wooden chair. The nearby fireplace crackled noisily as it set about devouring a thick log. The Time Keeper had no idea why it did this as the fire was infinite and the logs remained in a constant state. He had written a thesis that suggested that fire had some degree of sentience and crackled and spat because that’s what a domesticated fire ought to do.

Marian fluttered down from her place atop an ornate and foreboding looking grandfather clock and came to a rest by the study’s box window. She peered out into the pale grey light of the grounds beyond. The Time Keeper had designed them itself.  Originally, he had been given a mere four rooms, in the course of its tenure, it had been allowed to expand.

The Time Keeper had been selected for the job by the Powers That Be, due to its lack of ambition and the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures.

‘Wazzat?’ Marian tapped her short sharp beak against the thin, single glazed pane. The Time Keeper looked at the bird with eyes that had observed every moment of history from every possible universe, studied the various presents that were to be had and occasionally glanced into the tangled and indecipherable mess that was the future whenever it forgot what uncertainty felt like. It slowly rose from its chair and arched its back before shuffling over the windows, dodging a few hanging pocket watches and kicking an hourglass over. It peered out of the window, past the pleasant gravel path and through the grassy paddock it created. The tree he placed in its centre had a slender trunk and splayed out towards the top in an almost perfect sphere. It was still in leaf, it always was.

‘It’s a tree, Marian,’ it said, ‘I put it there for you to nest, like normal birds do.’ He said.

‘No, wazzat?’ the bird said again tapping once more at the glass. The Time Keeper squinted towards the tree, feeling that it’d very much like a cup of tea. Not that it needed to keep sustained, but because it enjoyed it. It did its best to follow Marian’s beady-eyed stare. The crow was looking towards the bottom of the tree where there lay a small bundle. A bundle the Time Keeper had not placed there. It doubted the Powers That Be had either. They hadn’t been in contact since It was given the job. They had a very relaxed approach to management, which largely consisted of not getting involved at all. The Time Keeper half contemplated the idea that Marian had willed it into existence, just for something new to ask ‘wazzat?’ at.

It dismissed the idea as preposterous.

‘I don’t know Marian,’ it said scooping the bird up and heading out of the study. In the corridor beyond were four doors, one marked past, one present and one that led outside. The fourth was marked future. The Time Keeper hurried outside.

Beneath the tree, the bundle stirred and made a noise between cooing and squawking. A tiny brown hand reached out and swiped lazily at the air and then retreated back into the rags that swaddled it.

‘Wazzat?’ asked Marian.

‘A human child.’ The Time Keeper replied feeling uncertainty creep into its very being. It raised the bird to the low hanging branches where she reluctantly hopped to watch the proceedings. It scooped up the child and looked at its chubby round face. A thin layer of frizzy brown hair covered her scalp. A flat little nose rested above narrow lips. Her dark little eyes glinted in the light.

‘What are you doing here then?’ It asked knowing full well it would not receive an answer. With nothing else to do and nowhere else to go, it turned back and took the child back into the cottage. There, it willed a small cot into existence and placed the child down in it. It made some more unpleasant noises, which he duly ignored turning his attention instead to the doors. The baby had to have come from somewhere, and as it was had the answer lay beyond the door marked past.

The Time Keeper glanced back at the baby before passing through the door.

Sci-fi Satire extract Pt II

The last extract of my current work in progress got me more likes than my blog has ever got apparently. A whole 11 or something like that. Anyway, here’s another bit because I want to capitalise on my success.

 

Chapter 3

Olliwoo chimychim mawoolie sooly.

  • An old Verdradt saying.

Loosely translated to English, the phrase reads ‘I have lost my hat.’ To a human this seems meaningless. Just buy another hat, they might say. That, again, falls down to a lack of understanding. See, the Verdradt were born with very odd shaped heads. No two heads were the same, but all were equally as ugly. The Verdradt condition was one of constant insecurity and self-loathing. They’d look at themselves in the mirror and feel nothing but disgust.

Then the hat was invented.

The hat was a marvellous thing as it finally allowed them to cover their unsightly noggins. Each Verdradt, as they came of age, would start work on their very own hat. It would, over the years, be added to. Ribbons, bells and all manner of ostentatious ornamentations would be added. Like their hideously misshapen heads, no two hats were alike. The hat became the individual. The hat became life. Everything a Verdradt did, everything one achieved was shown on their hat. The hat became them.

For a Verdradt to lose their hat meant to lose their way in life. To forget their purpose. A verdradt who lost their hat, lost all their drive and ambition. ‘I have lost my hat’ wasn’t a trivial complaint, it was a howl of anguish, a cry of despair. It was admitting failure, it was a thing of tragedy, it was crumpling in defeat.

Maybeck often felt as though he had lost his hat. Yet there were also times where he felt his hat sat too heavily upon his head and was going to crush him. He didn’t know what feeling was worse.