How to Use a Pumpkin Instead of Latin.

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.

Oh…the middle-class…

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.

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:

  1. Take your cuisine-vice and then make your way to either a field or some disused location.
  2. Along with this bring a bat of some form- I recommend baseball.
  3. A music player of any kind, for this shall make it all the more jolly, though you may find yourself jolly enough.
  4. 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.
  5. Retrieve your breath. Remove remnants from your hair. Ensure your friends are coping with this well.
  6. Do it again.
  7. 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.

Smooch,

Sam

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Everyone’s dying…even Hamster

Famous folk have been multiplying for the past 20 years.

In a sense- everyone could be famous with the internet being such a method and audience for ourselves; talented or hilariously-otherwise.

However, the fact that the pop-culture hero has been an increased branding for an overwhelming number of people, it also means that those famous individuals of the past 20-30 years are starting to pop-their-clogs…and die.

That’s what’ll happen if you watch things as opposed doing things. Not that there’s anything wrong with listening to your favourite band or viewing a black-and-white classic, it just means that you’ll know who we’re talking about when we say a person has died. You’ll know the year of their screen debut, the theme-song of their most popular series and you’ll say again and again: “I remember him! He had that thing with the actress, you know her name, the one who had that thing with that actor. And that cult!”

These people become a part of your life; either as important cultural aspects for enjoyment or as alternative babysitters.

The twentieth century- with the arrival of great archival technology (the damned internet) we are now, all of us, far easier to remember. So long as we have a computer.

As far as we can see, our digital footprint is eternal.

So: well done us. I suppose we’ve achieved what the alchemists of immortality never could- we are forever.

Good.

If all of Peter Cook’s comedy had died with him then I would not be the man-child I am today. Shakespeare would merely have been a dead-man who lived with inky fingers and Robin Williams would simply be a man who appeared to be in quite a hurry. Rather, Robin Williams was a man who taught me to laugh at such things as death (such as by suggesting that Robin was one of those rare men suffering from too many belts).

Looking back at his stand-up, post-mortem, I know that he might not have laughed owing to the joke being a tad-shit, but he wouldn’t have minded the cause. Humour is here to be forgiven.

These days, death is not quite the disability that it used to be. Communication ‘during the grave’ (since ‘beyond’ the grave might not be as far as some presume) is a lot less spooky than we might have thought.

But what of those without a computer or a Top 10 Hit? Like a Tudor electrician- a man who didn’t have much to do and didn’t know how to do it anyway. He is not remembered (not just due to him being fictional), but neither is the ancient caveman who had no talent for murals.

I’m afraid their memory must be only that the species is currently where it is. Without them, we would not be. And that’s all. Almost seems hardly worth being a peasant really. Other than this, all the tales and experiences of their lives simply fall in the beginnings and ends of eternity. Extraordinarily private moments and lonely thoughts in forgotten actions. Or joyous- yet still alone.

I have a hamster. His name is Hamster.

He’s just the best. My little champion. I’d trust him with anything- I’m sure he’d be on my side when the teeth begin to bite all around me.

He’s dying.

We’ve even got the shoe-box ready.

My wife made a point of putting it next to his little enclosure, to which I objected. You wouldn’t start digging the hole in full view of your almost-deceased relative; it’s hardly encouraging and equates to yawning and continually peeking at your watch towards the end of an evening with colleagues. To yawn and peek at my watch in front of Hamster with subtle nods to entering the shoe-box prematurely would be of no effrontery in the slightest towards him since he only hopes that I will continue to put him on my head when in high-spirits, though I could not bear to appear rude to such a comforting friend.

However, I’m sure to bury him somewhere smelly- he enjoyed busy nostrils. Plus I’m sure the foxes would appreciate the corpse to nibble on. I’m sure they’ll enjoy his once-busy nostrils too.

Or….or….I could use him for something. Like lobbing him at an enemy. That’d be pretty insulting.

Or I could render him for fat- that’s something I’ve heard you can do with the dead.

Personally I’d like to leave my body to science. Rocket-science.

But I’ll probably just bury him. In a shoebox. Old fashioned.

The only alternative would be that he didn’t die, in which case there’s no reason that anyone should die and now we are being wishful and fictional. I don’t know about you, but personally I adore to be able to swing cats, and the thought of that right being taken from me owing to the elderly-gentleman on my right eating up my elbow room with his sheer mass and numeracy freaks me out. That’s not how swinging a cat should be. It’s should be noisy, but it should not be compact. It’s expressive for all parties; just listen to it in motion.

With too many people comes too many problems, like we’ve always had. Our social-species is programmed to be concerned over how many of us there are. I’m not sure what the perfect number would be but whenever we dip below or rise slightly above, we worry we’re going to run out of oxygen or there aren’t enough of us to overwhelm a bear.

This is the ultimate issue however- running out of oxygen because too many new or old folk are inhaling.

This is one of those situations that can be solved either by murder or sex- thankfully not as one.

My advice to you all is to stop procreating. As politely as possible- we don’t want anyone to be offended by our sudden genital removal.

Although we’re not running-out of anything yet, we no longer have too-much as we used to. Remember all that buffalo and tuna? Well, although I’m sure you could go and get yourself a buffalo and tuna sandwich, the bread is becoming the easiest part of it and this is a negative.

In all seriousness, bread is peasant food and none of us are peasants.

Fuck bread. If you don’t pull it out of the ground or pounce on it from a super-secret hiding place then I shall remain uninvolved.

If this hamster dies then I’ll have to insist that this plant keeps the ghost going.

My last plant- Claire- had a massive stroke and died. If I’d have stroked her a little less heavy-handedly, she might still be blooming and green, rather than barren and an unpleasant shade of “You-did-this-to-me-Sam’ brown.

Hamster’s starting to turn a little that colour. A colour you can smell before you can see.

The new plant is a southern beauty named Barbara. And she will survive.

It’s what Claire would have wanted.

But what else is there to do aside from to die?

The ‘meanwhile’ is all that exists between now and then, so whilst I implore you to politely cease all procreation- remember that it is for the joy of swinging a cat as fervently as one’s human nature allows.

Be sure to live prior to what is likely unending-death.

Swing the cat and rub its tummy afterwards. Permit it to nuzzle into yours if agreeable.

Dance, sing, laugh, love and ‘all that’- but remember the point of man in the enlightened definition is to die upon your own terms: following the life you chose to have led or had died fighting for.

Either die fighting or loving, for that enormous shoebox coming to claim you will give no glinting eye nor slightest smile in concern for your words and deeds. Only those remaining on the blue-green rock have a concern for your passing, aside from one more: you. You are the greatest judge of a life well or poorly spent and my recommendation is that you give less of a damn considering the end and more of a moment exploding yourself all over everything you want to do prior.

If a man can choose and enjoy his poison then he is so: a man. Have you any idea of how much your body would prefer it if you were to continue what you’re doing: sitting? Even exercise is bad for you in the singular; only when it is regular is it of decent consequence. Your body craves for lack of danger in the form of you sitting most contently and eventually procreate. Sitting till procreation would be the dictation of your genes if only those predators would stop blending in with the Savannah-sofa and doing that splendidly provocative pouncing they do.

Why is it that only bad things (predators) in nature pounce, whilst pouncing is in all appearances and phrases a good thing? There’s nothing better than a physical pounce to make an argument memorable. Pouncing was how I met my wife. All of a sudden.

The people you love are on the final call of the stage, your parents and pets share a similar fate and you are sitting there- vaguely wondering.

Cease wonder and attack with all the ferocity that our species is known for, with aim focused mightily upon the experience of living with…only one more recommendation. Tolerate no tyrants, and enjoy the weather.

Tolerate no tyrants; forgive and love all weather for… really…weather is all there is.

Pounce.

Sam