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You haven't got a chance

21 September 2000
See what happens when James' pen doesn't work...

He hates it when pens only half work. Tried everything - licking the nib, vigorous shaking, scoring endless blank grooves on the back of a notepad. Finally, he resorted to trying to draw small circles on the palm of his hand. That didn't work either. Then, with a sudden spark of inspiration, he stabbed the pen through his left palm until it stuck an inch out the back of his hand. The pen finally wrote again, and he finished marking the rest of the kids' books in a slightly darker red than he had started.

His head hurt worse than his hand. The six million monkeys in his head were working feverishly at their six million typewriters, trying desperately to eventually finish writing the Bible. What frustrates him the most is that he's just realised his mind-apes can't even come up with anything original. Typical, put ten million people in a swamp, and they'll make a city and call it London. You just watch.

It is all just pure accident waiting to happen. The huge inflamed white-headed boil on the chin of the universe is waiting to be squeezed, but you won't know what pattern the pus will make on the mirror. Until you've squeezed. And when you do, destiny squirts out into space like last night's wank.

Clever people will come to scrutinise the pattern of the stain, like all the other Rorschach tests they've done. This one is more pleasingly curious for them because it will hardly ever be totally symmetrical, but they'll try to read symmetry into it somehow, because that is all they can comprehend. But whatever they see tells you nothing about the stain itself, only volumes about how people peer at the speckled pattern of love-pus. It's like they all have to use colour tinted glasses, all the time, like their eyes are too sensitive to bright light, or something.

The only problem is, is that you realise no-one is wearing those lovely great hippy-ass plain pink or pale blue round lenses any more. The only ones you can find nowadays is your-dad's-sweaty-vest brown lens glasses that get darker when you go outside - economical, because you don't need to buy two pairs. So, now you see that the way they see is totally dependent on what is going on around them - each observer is but a tiny rocking rowing boat on the great swirling sea of uncertainty. Tossed about with zero control over which way their toss will be thrown.

Until, that is, you realise that that lovely, rolling, although obviously potentially violent, oceanic mega-beauty is actually purely made up of other rowing-boat people, each crawling over the other for air, fat pink maggots jostling to be the one picked to be skewered onto the hook, the fly-spawn's heroic revenge against the malicious fish of oppression.

Now the chosen one patiently waits, dangling naked and unsure as a babe in the mid-waters of chance, waiting to be gobbled up by the next hopeful predator waiting for the free-riding easy meal. And then it strikes, the bastard trapped on the steel hook of irony - caught in the act of catching. There is NO such thing as a free lunch, you see...

And once he is finally captured on the line, being reeled up struggling towards the surface and deliverance, there is little chance of stopping the locomotive chain of events from there on, charging down the track, ready to destroy the helpless maiden of childhood innocence.

But before he can charge down the hill and race rampant huge and shining towards the last seconds of precious beauty below at the bottom, there is this tentative wait at the top. Waiting for the rollercoaster to begin its final thrill-run, held back by the shoulders, aching to be released.

And it is anticipating the anticipation that excites him the most. The knowledge that what he does today, every day, will be one more nail in the child's coffin, which in turn will eventually, when him and his colleagues are finished with them, be silent and buried under the headstone of adulthood.

He greets Music as she arrives for work. As he holds the door open for her, History offers her a cup of coffee. Coming back to the table, he sees that she is holding her bandaged hand. "Couldn't get the pen to work?". He passes her the drink, which she takes gingerly.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps

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