Have you noticed the clouds lately? They are acting funny aren't they? They are acting kind of intelligent. Have you noticed? They are.
You know the way they come in shapes, like animals and countries and all that? Well, the other day I saw this cloud and it was in the shape of a cloud. A cloud in the shape of a cloud. That's irony. It was being ironic. Irony is a sure sign of intelligence.
The clouds are kind of coming closer to earth too. Have you noticed? It's as if they've had enough of floating around up there and they've decided to come down and stake a claim or something. I saw a gang of clouds walking up the road the other day and they were pretty intimidating. My mate said they weren't clouds. He said it was fog but I don't think it was. You only get fogs in Victorian London. We all know that from the telly. These were clouds.
Sometimes, when they are rolling across the sky, I can hear the clouds talking about us. Their voices mumbling in the breeze. They float by office blocks and mutter the word 'faggots' in the windows. I'm telling you, there's something brewing. The clouds have had enough.
'Enough of what?' you may ask. It's a good question and it's a question I have the answer to. However, it's a question that I am reluctant to answer. You see, if you knew the true nature of clouds, if you knew the designs they have had upon us for so very very long, well, I fear you would give up hope at once. You might take to the hills and leap from those hills. I don't want you to despair. There is still time yet. It is not time we can use to alter our inevitable fates, no, but we have some time left in which to enjoy life. Some time left in which we can contact relatives and friends and tell them how much we love them and perhaps put some things right and make some amends. We can set records straight and say what needs to be said before we gather together, arm in arm, looking up, men, women, and children of all nationalities and ethnicities. We will gather together and huddle on the roads and on the streets and in the fields and in the deserts and we will watch. We will only be able to helplessly watch as they, the clouds, . . .descend. Our time has come.
When you think about it, they're kind of doing us a favour.
Oh, it's all fun and games now Mr. Arab Guy . . .but you wait.
I'm giving maths grinds to a local girl (pictured above). Should be grand. She's arriving later on. Nice girl. Friendly. Should all be straight forward enough. A bit of maths and that. A few old sums. Ah yeah. I enjoy teaching. Should be grand. She arrives at seven. Just an hour of lessons and then she'll be off. Her dad will pick her up and off she'll go. Nice girl. Should be grand. Should be absolutely fine. I won't ask for a sponge bath or anything. Ah no. That wouldn't be on. That'd be unprofessional. No. Just a bit of maths and then the dad arrives and there'll be no controversy or anything. No controversy at all. It'll just be a bit of a sponge bath, I mean algebra, and off she'll go with her father and he won't hit me or anything. I like teaching. Nice girl. Friendly. Should be grand.
There's a lot of people becoming dislodged these days. Have you noticed? They're there with their feet on the ground one second and then, all of a sudden, they start to levitate slightly and float off up into the air, higher and higher, roaring out for help. Have you seen it happen? Have you noticed? It happens all the time. People don't talk about it much. Those close to the dislodged tend not to mention it. They know that others don't want to know. No one likes to think about it. Dislodgment is a scary thing. It could happen to any of us. Any of us could become dislodged.
However, there is hope for some of those who become dislodged. If they are caught early in their ascent and brought back down to earth they can be saved. Specialists can attach special weights to their feet and the dislodgee can continue to live a normal grounded life. Well, normalish. You often see dislodgees (or 'floater offers' as they are ignorantly referred to) struggling up the road with a sluggish gait, dragging their weighted feet. No one looks them in the eye. They get a bus pass. It's all we can do for them.
For those not caught by the feet or trouser leg as they ascend, the prognosis is grim. They just keep getting higher and higher. Higher and higher as their screams become more and more faint. Their tearful loved ones wave goodbye from below as they vanish into the clouds and are caught up in the currents of the troposphere. Freezing to death. Becoming ice mummies. The corpses of the dislodged often coalesce into frozen islands. The floating islands of the dislodged. Icy orgies of stiff limbs and horrified faces, spinning above the clouds. These islands can sometimes be seen from the windows of passing aircraft. Hot air balloonists and hang gliders swear that if you soar close enough you can still hear the screams of the trapped bodies. It's a horror story.
I have a terrible fear of dislodgement myself. I sometimes imagine that I am becoming unstuck. Sometimes I worry that it is the rest of you that are floating off and that I'll be left here alone. The last man on earth with his two feet on the ground.
My father rarely spoke of his parents.
We recently discovered this old photograph and now we know why. It
explains so much. My family's fondness for bananas. Our astonishing
agility. Why we playfully throw feces at each other. Why the males
amongst us are so often found lying in undergrowth, scratching their
balls. It also explains why I beat that cinema usher to death with my
bare fists when he requested I stop screeching and leaping about
during Rise Of The Apes.
My grandmother said her husband was an
animal in the bedroom but that he had a sensitive side too. They
would weep together at the end of King Kong. They knew no one would
understand their love so they made a home for themselves in a remote
rural backwater. She accounted for his odd behaviour and appearance
by telling locals he was French. The locals had never seen a French
man. One local sent a child up to the house for grinds in the
language. That child failed her exams but went on to become an
excellent zoo keeper.
I'd heard that my grandfather worked
for Posts and Telegraphs, fixing the wires on the poles. I have
since learned that he studied at night and went on to get a job with
the civil service. My grandmother told his new employers that his odd
behaviour and appearance were due to the Windscale incident. They
said it didn't matter. 'Sure any old monkey could do the job', they
reassured her. He excelled.
It was alcohol that did for my
grandfather at the end. One night they were arguing over his
excessive consumption of fruit (there was nary a grape left in the bowl
for the rest of the family) and he stormed out of the house and
bounded down to the pub. Sixteen pints later, he was leaping from
rooftop to rooftop and eventually slipped and fell. She rushed out on
to the road and cradled him as he breathed his last. So sad. So like
Most get buried in the ground. They put
his coffin up a tree. He liked it up trees. She joined him soon
after. My father told the locals it was a French tradition.
I don't mind paying charges just as long as I don't have to pay taxes. I'm not paying more tax. I don't mind the charges though. I don't mind the household charge or the water charge or the charge for the installation of the thing that tells you how much you owe for the water charge and I don't mind the administration charge for the installation of the thing that tells you how much you owe for the water charge and I don't mind the charge charge that charges you for charges and I don't mind the charge charge charge that charges you for the charge charge. I also don't mind the depth charge (not sure what that is for but it's being introduced in 2013). Just don't be increasing the tax. Tax is theft. Tax could be spent on any old shite. At least with charges you know what you're paying for. Don't you? Don't you though? Going forward. CHAAAARGE!
We can never see or discuss the whole picture. We can only discuss elements of the whole picture and examine facets of the whole picture. We can only manage little pieces. It’s beyond the capability of our comprehension to see how everything connects and adds up to a larger unifying picture. This leads to competing interests and narratives (public sector versus private sector, left versus right, one department at work versus another department at work, your sister versus your brother, all that shit). This is our tragedy. Another innate design flaw in the human being that was probably put there on purpose for God’s amusement. God is a bit of a bollox, as anyone who believes in him will tell you. Those who don’t believe in God believe in Dawkins. Dawkins is not a bollox. He’s just a pain in the hole. But that’s for another day.
So, here we are, unable to see the whole and just left with clashing portions of that whole. This will remain to be the case until we invent some kind of quantum computer that can sort through all the data and show us how everything connects and show us how we can improve our state of affairs in an objective and unbiased manner.
Until then, the world will remain a scary and confusing place. That is why I recommend that you just choose a narrative and stick with it. It can be a dogma or a conspiracy theory or whatever. Just stick with it and be thankful that you have been blessed with the reassurance found in conviction and absolutism. How’s that Get Kony thing going? You could always try that.
As for me, I’ve decided to blame all the world’s woes on the Jews. Jews overall that is, not just a few crazy Zionist types who actually love to be singled out because it confirms their narrative and lets them play victim as they take victims. ‘Ah, it’s the fuckin Jews’, I say when asked about anything at all.
Examples. . .
YOU: ‘Global capitalism is in a terrible pickle is it not Mr. Fugger?’
ME: ‘Well, that’s the Jews for you.’
YOU: ‘The pints here are a bit crap aren’t they Mr. Fugger?’
ME: ‘Yeah, well that’s the Jews y’see. Not cleaning the pipes.’
YOU: ‘My cat choked to death on a furball and I found her dead this morning.’
ME: ‘That’ll be the fault of the Jews, cutting corners on the production of quality cat grooming implements.’
. . .and so on.
I was recently banging on about how the Jews were hoarding the world’s wealth and attempting to enslave the rest of humanity when some know all pointed out that Jewish immigrants were on the frontline of the labour struggles that established many workers’ rights in the last century. What did I do when faced by this contrary piece of the whole picture? I just looked at the know all and said one simple, accusatory, and damning word. I looked at the know all, narrowed my eyes and growled the word: ‘Jeeeeewwwwww’.
Oh, it’s great. I’ll be sticking to the Jew thing until the quantum computer is built and sets me right. The reassurance is second to none. Good luck with whatever bullshit you’re sticking to yourself.
I’ve got a new job coming up with names for Irish memoirs that have yet to be written. It’s a good gig. Everyone loves a memoir and the publishing companies pay top dollar for titles that evoke memory, the past, crumpled bags of Tayto and all that sort of thing. The yanks love it too. You sell shed loads to the yanks if the right title is on the cover. The yanks love to see an evocative title on a memoir’s cover alongside a picture of a depressed seven-year-old in a tattered jumper or a crappy bike leaning against a derelict cottage or the sun setting over Inishbofin. The yanks eat that stuff up.
It’s an easy enough job. I start by getting myself in the zone, mentally placing myself in the past. I do this by drinking flat bottles of TK red lemonade, listening to old tape recordings of Late Date with Val Joyce, and taking Sunday drives out to remote shitholes to attend mass. That kind of thing provides all the inspiration I need and soon I’m frantically writing down the myriad titles flooding into my mind. Then I make a list and bring it to the publishers and they buy the titles they want and then they go and find some people to write the books.
Here are a few new titles that I’m currently pitching to publishers:
Hats and Memories of Hats
Minty Sweets on Sunday
The Rusty Hinge
Butter in the Pan
The Last Tram to Kingstown
Glenageary Nights (for when Joseph O’Conner finally gets around to it)
Prayers and the Preyed Upon
The Bendy Road
The Bitter Wind
The Bitter Wind on the Bendy Road
Mammy on the Stairs
Daddy was a Blueshirt
An Auld Flask of Tae
Busty Cream Pie Co-eds Do Ass 2 Mouth
Good eh? It sounds like you’d get a proper read out of that lot and no mistake. Not much interest in the last one actually which is funny because to me that sounds the most interesting.