Some say that “these days” (urgh) teenagers are a waste of life- a blotch of folk in the human tapestry- a clumsily-bred generation that do not know how to work hard and are satisfied with sitting-down as a pastime.
I can’t disagree, the only difference between myself and the elderly complainers here being that I’m not confused by new things.
In previous generations, the dead language of Latin was forced onto the young minds of school children who were to listen, repeat and bloody-well learn it if they didn’t want to receive the birch to the palm or buttocks. I feel…I’d have to choose the buttocks.
I suggest that the lack of option in having to endure this unpleasant practise of useless Latin, with no reason other than the fact that it built character, may have actually…built character. I’m not about the suggest that the benefits of Latin were the architects here, but rather the fact that no option but to proceed with the boring and inapplicable did.
Whether there is a decline in constitution over the past few decades or not, I recommend that those amongst us with the necessary true grit with which to achieve a little personal ambition…do it.
It must be easier whilst the competition is watching a dog do what it’s told. Think of it as reacting before the rest of the population was clever; their choice being not only one of lack-luster experience, but also favourable stupidity in the view of those looking to achieve.
As long as reality television exists; intelligent folk with be paid more than their dull neighbour.
I have found some personal reasons for living that I am particularly fond of. I am, however, unfortunately tragic in my outgoings owing to repeated attacks of that well-known opponent to progress (yet loving ally to sofas) known as procrastination.
Now whilst I might, should such a furry-occasion arise, be able shrug-off a tiger bite to the ready-to-shrug shoulder, it does not mean that I’m going to have the personal fortitude to keep retrieving that anti-tiger spray from my bundle as long as I can find something slightly less productive to do. Like brushing my hair. Or having a good hard think. Or watching that tiger get fascinatingly near.
Perhaps this is owing to my upbringing. I was only hit once, in a vicious attack by my father with a rolled-up copy of The Radio Times, which really did not hurt but the message was well conveyed. As it turns out, he wanted me to stop talking. The fact that he was wearing a kimono at the time made the incident doubly amusing, if only with a decade of hindsight to aid my guffaws. My parents were and still are liberals in kimonos. They’re why I wear jumpers and they’re why I know who Desmond Morris is.
I have wanted to find something to do that is hard, like the old days of hard Latin- for the sake of doing something monotonous and tough, mostly pointless, save for the strength gained from regularly doing something un-enjoyed.
So, I began to carry a pumpkin around with me. It’s fairly weighty, is a great conversation starter, can be applied to various situations (footstool, medicine ball and a humorous fake-head) and makes me stand out. And it has its restrictions; being that I have to place it done carefully before I vault whatever I seek to vault (I’m one of nature’s vaulters).
In the vein of making a difference, I think I’ve found a tactic for tackling obesity (a term I love if imagined to be happening physically. Picture those Greys on the television speaking with grandfather-clock sternness about the need to “tackle obesity” as though they have an urgent urge to knock the tubby to the ground and proceed to mount).
As a personal and, perhaps therefore, short-lived campaign to integrate my own idiosyncrasies with the sheer suggestion that I’ve had a tough-time at some point, I went about carrying a pumpkin with me whenever I went hither. And sometimes thither. Usually both.
‘Usually both’ was the point of it in entirety, as by injection some discipline into my life (via such means as a powerful wife that would offer me and my pumpkin no quarter to be left sitting, as well as colleagues at my place of work who are undoubtedly ‘wifey’ according to many pros and cons) might accomplish something a little further than my list up-till-now. Till now, the best of me had been realising that there’s no shame in scratching yourself with what you’re eating.
Two days back and forth I made the experiment last, with a somewhat weary arm and a multitude of gazes in the street, before I finally lay her down (leave me with an object for long enough and I’ll give it an appropriate gender for my ambitions) upon the 7th stair down of the flight in my house.
Then, the weekend began, and I somewhat ended. Responsibility and procrastination likely grin to one another, as one departs via the window and the other slams it behind them on entry. The pumpkin was ignored for the following two days, whilst I slept and ate- at times enjoying becoming confused. Then push-ups. Followed by more confusion. Pleasant.
The little black hole, which I had two days earlier considered something like a beauty-spot for her, had not merely ‘widened’ but… ‘gapened’, and this was sad. The pumpkin had wept.
This was saddening because by the evening of the Sunday, as I made my way downstairs to shine my shoes (I’m a good boy)- I could smell pumpkin in a way that I never had, nor had ever yearned to, before.
Fishy…to the point of anger.
The black-hole beauty spot, some form of puncture I was neglectfully ignorant of and likely responsible for, had leaked and streamed down her side and down, down, down the stairs of my home.
Fishy is a smell pleasant only when realising your nose finally works once again, after all these years. My nose had been operating well within its regular confines of appropriate sniffing, and so the fishy smell was both unwelcome and overly-pungent.
Of course, this was not actual fish- rather the stench of a penetrated vegetable rotting on the stairs.
As I said earlier: “Fishy to the point of anger”…and so I took it out the back of my house and taught her a damn good lesson.
With all my might, which is considerable when versus a pumpkin, I threw her (who was hurriedly returned to ‘it’) against the brick wall with a squelched thud so satisfying that I was tempted to purchase another pumpkin.
And here, sublimely, I was reminded of my childhood. A bag of shabby old golf clubs and a bushel of broad green apples.
The squelchy thud brought it all back.
My father, brother and I (and more lately my friends and lovers) have, with three-wood, baseball bat and at least 1 sword, brought a distinct lack of mercy to various fresh and rotting fruit over the past 17 years.
There is an excitement in the splash and spray of the fruit, as well as a taste to the debris which can delight or repulse you, good sportsmen or not.
The weapon becomes sticky, as do your hair, glasses and more-proximate friends. For a while, you are all flavoured. My preference is apple. Or pineapple.
Plus it spreads seeds in a natural, if irregular, way. My natural, if irregular, way.
Good exercise too, and- as again previously stated: the exhilaration is tremendous to the point of this…
You don’t want a cake.
Now then, now then, now then…here we are in a position where you are pumping your heart, your are eating a literal spray of fruit (albeit of varying freshness) and…you have the idea of burgers by far removed as a thing to eat as it has been violently usurped by being ‘a thing to do’.
So my suggestion is this:
- Take your cuisine-vice and then make your way to either a field or some disused location.
- Along with this bring a bat of some form- I recommend baseball.
- A music player of any kind, for this shall make it all the more jolly, though you may find yourself jolly enough.
- Be it pie, burger or chocolate cake, toss it high into the area, whilst your brethren stand back, and SMACK THE SHIT OUT OF IT WITH A BASEBALL BAT.
- Retrieve your breath. Remove remnants from your hair. Ensure your friends are coping with this well.
- Do it again.
- Enjoy the sensation of your heart in full motion and of cake, the now repugnant luxury of wasters, being far from your mind, mouth, stomach and baseball bat.
What you have there is a free tactic to override the enjoyment of eating unhealthy foods with the ludicrously good-feeling of beating it to smithereens.
With your friends and family it is a tremendous movement and celebration of not-eating-food together. You’ll think to yourself: “Damn I’m hungry, but it’s going to be so good when I go whackamamy with the chocolate pie! Gosh! Just gosh!”
And my conclusion is therefore that by the tough-time of carrying a punctured pumpkin to the point of it weeping juice upon my stairs, the vengeance distributed against a wall, and a memory recalled from a distant creative childhood…I have detailed an extraordinary exercise and weight-loss programme that is free for all.
There, is how to use a pumpkin instead of Latin.