Irrelevant Reverence – St Roch And His Dog

In times past, my writing has been referred to as “irreverent” and this infuriates me.

My writing is not irreverent.

It is IRRELEVANT.

And that matters.

As follows are some other statements of things that matter.

Testosterone is qualifying.

Flying liquid is frighteningly free.

And capitalism is sexier.

Decreasingly important to people however, is faith (bear with me; even if you’re not a bear).

I’ve been toying with the idea of Catholicism. Not that I wish to be a part of the family of utter horrors for much of Europe’s history, but rather more because I do enjoy the pageantry.

Nice outfits.

Hats that have forever out-done their protestant competition (a protestant hat might be more suitable for a job interview though).

‘Carnal sin’ (the good kind) and ‘Cardinal purple’ both outstrip (literally) the Protestants’ ‘Stop smiling!’.

There is something very assured and cool in the gaze of a senior catholic priest that suggests: “You know all that fucked up shit outside the cathedral door? That was us.”

My dog and I walk one another when either of us is in the mood and is prepared to do what they’re bloody-well-told by the other.

We walk through orchard and bramble, flushing out the rabbits and restraining one another from giving chase because that would just count as snacking before our evening meal.

It was on one of these dashes that I saw a glare of silver in the mud, and stooped to examine.

The shimmer was a saint, Saint Roch, winking at me with his knee exposed; as sultry as you like.

“Pray for us, Saint Roch, Italy”, said the small pendant, likely inadvertently dropped by one of the European pickers in the orchard.

A man flashing me with his knee, whilst his own dog watched on irresponsibly, had been found in the orchard and I could not leave it there, nor at that.

So I pocketed St Roch, and took him home for a bath.

A little further research disclosed much about the canonised fellow, chiefly that he apparently posed for many a painting with his trademark sultry pose of leaning on his staff, hoisting his lower robing to reveal the revelation of a rather smashing knee.

And a dog.

Still further research unveiled that St Roch is a patron saint of many other reasons I wish to become Catholic.

Knee wounds.

Dogs.

The falsely accused.

Bachelors (as he lifts his robe to share his knee with me, I always imagine him saying “Hmm. A bachelor hmm?” I wish I didn’t).

Istanbul.

Surgeons.

And many more.

The dog as it turned out, favoured St Roch during his plague days by bringing him bread (not the Jesus-body kind), therein earning him the title “Good boy”.

At some point there was a baker, burgled by a dog soon to be immortalised as the saviour of a saint, but that just doesn’t put money in the till, particularly during paltry plague times.

According to the Golden Legend, a compendium of these stories, this same dog licked St Roch’s unfortunate knee wounds, undoubtedly adding just that little bit of extra flavour to the pilfered loaf.

His popularity and legend caused Roch a sainthood, a brotherhood, a mass following, and before all of these, his death by starvation in a jail cell. I presume dogs were not permitted visits. Nor were loaves.

And I found him in the mud of my local orchard.

I don’t know how regularly he is idolised these days, particularly considering the lack of truly species-ending plague that we used to handle so poorly, in addition to the fact that those with knee problems are unlikely to bend onto them to begin praying.

Perhaps St Roch is making the underdog (sans bread) come back – ala St Rocky of Philadelphia?

I’m not a Godly person, but perhaps it’ll help to worship something I feel sorry for, such as St Roch and his dog. I could end each dedicated prayer with “Awwwwmen”, but then again my knees are dandy and I’m not a bachelor, though I do pity diseased cattle.

I just feel I need some religion in my life.

Not spirituality though, because that amounts to an unseemly mix of both being haunted and bullshit, and I’ve no time in my day for either.

I need religion, a quiet place to be, a solemn thought to think, a good thing to remember, and preferably a view.

I need a saint, someone in the ‘something’ category of people that I can send good wishes to. Although, unlike the archetypal prayer maker, I don’t really want for anything, nor doing I fear eternal damnation as I’m already a Crystal Palace fan. Therefore, it would be nice to send a prayer to someone, such as St Roch, just to check in on them and see how they’re doing for a change.

Do they need anything? What have they been up to recently? Did they catch the match (bloody Palace)?

All before signing-off with the aforementioned “Awwwwmen” and then returning back to Earth with a sense of civic saintly duty done, and hopefully with less diseased cattle (if you ever find yourself with cattle, now you’ve got something to hope they’re not).

And that’s why I’ve really brought you here today; pity.

Have a little pity and give an irrelevant writer with an irrelevant saint a break and give us both a Like and a Follow. Just think of that poor little dog, unable to woof properly owing to being corked with bread, just wanting you to Like and Follow the Lateral Column.

Awwwmen.

Sam

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The League Of Mongrel Messiahs

There are somethings that are missing from yesteryear (which was apparently at some point in the mid-fifties) that this world is in dire need of.

Sense of community (“sure”).

Being able to fix your own car (“uhuh”).

Children playing in the streets (*yawn*).

And the only food that was bad for you was too much for it (“and who really gives a basket of warm, fluffy fucks?”).

Not to mention that there’s no real music anymore…

Perhaps the problem is that these are issues whined by those who came from those times and are now, regrettably, dying to the tune of some K$sha ballad whilst their grandchildren are too fat to get out the door and play in the streets where they will be preyed upon.

What we need are some new things to miss from the past.

Such as Leagues.

Why aren’t there any Leagues anymore?

There used to be Leagues bombarding your front doorstep with still-warm prints of their latest campaigns to do away with this or to bring forth the that and many other times simply stating their existence as any good League surely has the right to do.

And I refuse to permit any form of online gaming groups to be classes as a League on the grounds that they are useless (thus far), proffer not even a single leaflet and really are simply not the sort of people you’d want to be stranded with in a dark zombie-strewn forest.

Keyboard skills do not translate well to activities that do not require keyboards.

More activities without keyboards; they’re long missing too. I’m now at the stage at which writing with a pen hurts my hand after only a few sentences and I – being cursed with verbiage – am left feeling overly impassioned by the toll and toil of my inky craft in what amounts to the longer nouns on my shopping list. I’ve stopped buying croissants as a matter of…it hurting.

Croissants are the food of the typing-types.

And Messiahs. There used to be tonnes, as though it was raining with Messiahs and we were up to our blessed ears and had our holy hands full with the constant barrage of those who had come elected by their own relative Almighty and were seeking my salvation and bank account details (plus free cool-aid).

I can cure you.

Especially your sciatica.

Just kick my dog in the face, like I do.

Of course, don’t kick my dog in the face as I’ll consider that an invasion of my personal property (as well as an invasion of my best friend’s face with your foot). And when I say ‘kick’ – I mean: nudge him in the face with your foot whilst he nibbles you. And when I say ‘dog’ – I’m referring to my Lurcher/Greyhound of whom it requires a good deal of height so as to foot-nudge properly; the effect might not be the same on your pug. But kick that too; it’s good for the species (ours).

And the species matters to me, just like it should to a Messiah.

I’m not the Messiah to canine-kind, but they’re welcome in the healing process of your sciatic nerve.

Dogs are another thing that used to be done better.

Mongrels were proper mongrels; full of salty beans and with a hint of wolf and whiff of poodle mixed together into something that wanders down the street with as much swagger as any worldly millionaire that knows that one day it’s steak and women as an evening’s entertainment – the next it’s soup for dinner and soup for romance.

The League of Mongrel Messiahs.

I’d take their leaflet.

This might be a little beside the point since you’re not in the room with me but – gosh my typing sounds good today. Although at times it can be a little stalted as I try to remember the spelling of “stalted”, as though it were a pleasing piano melody that contained an unneighbourly and offbeat pause that could ruin the piece altogether.

Perhaps that’s the key to good writing. But how should a scribble sound?

Short sharp dashes aplenty, with many pleasing whooping whirls too; just like a good signature. I’ve always felt that when writing with the passion of really writing, it should be a highly physical and audible thing with just the right amount of shoulder pulse and groove amongst the melody of those nifty little z’s and capital N’s that the young folk and Nazis are so fond of (whilst also including some woo’s for the older pups and owls; for I’ve also always felt that ‘woo’ looks like an owl laying down and imitated).

Hmm.

A tad off topic but somehow more to the point.

How very me.

I imagine the League of Mongrel Messiahs would have their leaflet written only by the most audibly-pleasing of writing techniques.

But which sounds most musical?

Skywriters.

The only form of writing that provides a “whooooosh!” throughout; such an essential aspect that emails and texts insert it onto a sent message just in imitation of those fabulous flying machines.

But all I’ve got is a keyboard.

And a croissant.

And a large dog.

And what more would you expect from my League of Mongrel Messiahs?

Hope?

What could be more hopeful than a chap looking to be your Messiah with croissants and a dog as such vital aspects of his arsenal?

Salvation?

Whilst a good-looking slogan (especially on a sash and even more especially on a slash and keeping the question mark) – I hardly think this is something to be provided by a Messiah. Promised, perhaps, but not provided.

A manner in which to wait until the final finality?

Sure!

I can do that.

It’ll involve sticks and shouting, large amounts of general things, landing hard, smoking a pipe, a large ego with just cause, meadows, fishing via the stabbing method, boulders and some saintliness.

Or just some occasional blog-articles.

Either way…

At least we have some new things to reminisce about now.

Sam


I Want My Dog’s Face. Because Nuzzling Is Tremendous

If you could have one attribute from another species, what would you choose?

And nothing smarmy, like the strength of a bear or the power of flight, something that puts you more into the oddity category, rather than smarmy-superhero. It has to be inconsequential in all manners aside from how it effects your humour.

I’d go with a tail – I think that makes a lot of sense for our species.

Balance is one thing, plus climbing, but mainly I think it’s about our mindset. For one thing, there’d be no more campfire stories, and hence no culture, because before we start to weave a subtle narrative from the holding-end of the marshmallow stick – we’d go: “Oh look, a tail – better go get it.”

I think mainly it’s about company. Try and spend the evening with your hair, or a foot; it’s lonely and only worthwhile if it becomes expensive and weird, but with a tail – that’s a very flirtatious and flicky sofa companion.

More tails please.

What else?

Swivel-ears? Because it’d be cute. An animalistic attribute is only really worth it if people’ll think you’re adorable – like how my wife adores how I smell like a dog stirred with honey.

I’ve a dog, Freddie, and Freddie is my first dog and that’s of great importance to me.

He’s titled: ‘My Dog’, and he responds when called that – partly because of the importance he knows that term denotes, partly because I keep calling him “My Dog”.

And Freddie does something that I couldn’t agree more with.

He nuzzles.

I cannot think of a more total show of affection than shoving your face into something with such emotional ferocity that it’s almost technically ‘eating’.

It’s as though Freddie wishes to become one with my knees, my palms, the top of my head, and I can’t blame him since those are all the most smashing parts of me.
And I’ve done this too, for many years, with my love – Jenny (particularly in the back of the neck as the sun rises).

You’ve probably done it too, when you’ve buried your face into the shoulder of a co-cuddler during a more intense an embrace, and you feel like you just want to be as close as possible that you’re quite prepared to enter their shoulder as a means of feeling better.

I can only recommend it – rub your face into the object of your affection and just see if you don’t feel well expressed.

The only issue is that I’m quite fond of dinner and I cram my face into my bowl of – it doesn’t really matter ‘of what’ – and then live with consequences for the rest of the dinner party.

So if not my dinner, and it not nuzzling on my own behalf, I’ll just take My Dog’s nuzzle when I get home from work.

I’ll take my dog’s face, because he gives it to me.

That’s ‘Brief…Therefore Witty’ enough, I feel.

Ta ta.

Sam


Watching the Sun Rise is Unproductive

An enormous gaseous globe rose from the sea’s end and illuminated my world in moments more beautifully than much I have seen, much as it has succeeded in so for eons, epochs, millennia, all of time and yesterday.

High hopes for tomorrow too.

So I didn’t get much done that morning, although my land was golden green, ruby blue, sun fire yellow and a purple only the cosmos can lay upon us.

Am I a good person? Because I’m guilty thus.

Bullfighting is something I would, if so empowered, flick a switch to end the elderly and embarrassing sport, yet I would also pay to see it if opportuned so.

It is an experience this world offers, and with life being so short and all the more apparently so since watching following watching this; how can I yield myself?

Yet still I would end it, with that switch of mine.

I would eat dog when offered and well cooked.

Dogs are amongst our oldest and greatest tools, the species would not be where it is if it weren’t for our identifying of the tremendous power of canines.

This remains with us today.

For amongst those great powers is the intelligence of personality, providing us a companionship of such strong and loving bonds that one cannot be called a “master”; but perhaps older brother will do.

It says so much for both our united species in that throughout all the monstrosity of ancient living in prehistoric life, these two great groups found each other and the inter-species bond proceeded from there.

My children will grow with a dog, my wife and I will die with one, and I would still eat the roasted flesh of one simply being that it is an experience to experience.

I would not kill a man to eat him, but should it come to combat I would like to give him cause to never wish us encounter again.

I would cut off and eat nothing vital, yet something he’d miss.

Not his heart or vitals. Not his eyes or brain. Perhaps just an ear, or a pinky.

What is missing, taken, leaves a mark and I jolly well just might.

In Samoan history the greatest threat and then insult was to say to your enemy: “you’re shit, I’m going to make you shit”, defeat him in battle, butcher him into entrees, eat some and turn him into shit.

No greater defeat.

No greater insult.

I’d eat your pinky, so don’t fuck with me or I’ll shit you.

I don’t know if the ancient Samoans had a ceremony for the first poo following the post battle brunch. I wonder if they looked forward to it, presuming this poo was once you? I just don’t know.

This went through my head as the sun rose.

Perhaps I should have laid in.

Watching the sun rise is unproductive.

Sam