Bletherinho, Bletheringus Bletherato
Glasgow. A city of great bletherings. A city over run with bletherers. It is said that we Glaswegians possess some of the most muscular and dexterous tongues in all the world. Here’s the thing though. I’m sick of it. I’m not putting up with it any more. The bletheratti and their mouths that never cease. The flappy tongued brainless ones. Enough is enough! Oh, ye of infinite platitudes. Be silent!
I’ve had to phone a taxi and I’m sat here waiting in furious anticipation. Anticipation of whatever inane voice offerings my taxi driver has in store for me. What’ll it be this time? What glorious psuedochattery will they bestow upon my tired ears?
I get the text message telling me that my driver is outside.
I open the front passenger door and take a good long look at the driver before getting in. There is a buzz about him that cannot be fully explained by his stench. An energy. Like he’s had too much coffee. He looks at me expectantly, eyebrows raised, a wee smile on his face. The friendly type. No. This is not a good sign. I make a point of frowning at him, all the while shaking my head and then I close the door and get in the back. Maybe he’ll get the hint and leave me alone. I can see his wee confused eyes in the rearview mirror. His furrowed brow doesn’t linger though and his face resolves into an optimistic “always look on the bright side of life” expression. A worthy adversary?
I place my hands together in prayer and close my eyes tight shut. Dear Lord, I don’t really believe in you but if you can hear me then please, do not allow this man to assault me with sentences and questions. I finish my prayer and gaze resolutely out the window, scrunching my face up in what I hope is a perfect mask of raging unwelcome.
“whe..” the driver begins but I cut him off.
“Glasgow Central Station” I respond flatly, without turning to look at him.
I’m just trying to be the change I want to see in the world. That’s all.
At some point into the journey I sense the driver shifting in his seat. I see the corners of his mouth twitch. His mouth opens and then closes again. You bastard. I counter this by getting my phone out and pretending to text by tapping my thumbs with rapid purpose upon the screen. His head is turning towards me now, his mouth half opening. He hesitates and turns back but catches my suspicious eye in the mirror. Oh good Christ no. Here it comes. Great unstoppable wheels have been set in motion. I can feel it. A blethering so humungous it looms dark and menacing over my entire being.
“Some weather the day?” He says. He sounds like a budgie.
“What?” I respond. I am beside myself with rage now and I’m having trouble containing it. My body constricts, and I nearly snap my phone two.
“Am just saying, it’s some weather the day” He says with horrendous optimism.
You relentless son of a bitch. I glance at the door handle and wonder how fast we are moving. Tuck and roll. No. I will not go down without a fight. I respond.
“Some weather? What do you mean … some weather? Are you telling me that there is weather and that we have some of it?” I ask him.
“What?” He snaps his head round quickly to get a good look at me before turning back to the road.
“Or perhaps you think me incapable of sensing the current weather with my own eyes, my ears and my sense of touch. You think to yourself, here is a man who needs to discover the current state of the weather through the second-hand descriptions of simpletons”
“Eh…Look mate I was making small talk it’s…” said the driver before I cut him off because that’s quite enough as far as I’m concerned. My pot boileth over and I raise my voice this time.
“AND THERE IT IS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. THERE IT IS. JUST. MAKING. SMALL TALK.
“Are you awright?” He asks.
I’m satisfied that a look of alarm has replaced his pathological friendliness. I bring myself back down to base level.
“Let me out” I tell him.
“You serious?” says the driver
“STOP THE CAR AND LET ME OUT!!!”
“NOOOW!!!” I bellow as loud as I can raising my hands like I’m summoning the power of God.
He pulls over wildly, right up onto the pavement. I plunge my hand into my pocket and grab a bunch of coins and fling them into the front of the car, relishing the violent clattering sound they make against the dashboard. As I vacate the vehicle the driver rolls down his window and shouts after me.
“Your aff yer nut, mate. Yer lucky I don’t phone the polis!”
I’m barely listening. He chose this, not me. I refuse to accept that this is way of things and I will stand strong. Strong against this city of perpetual Nothingspeak. I knew I was taking a risk with that taxi but I am thoroughly satisfied with how I dealt with the situation.
I see a bus stop close by and make my way towards it. The bus stop is pleasantly empty. Silence is a virtue.
It is not long before I see it coming from a short distance off. An old female human. She is hunched over and walking slowly, holding a blue poly bag in a gnarled hand and dressed head to toe in varying shades of beige. Here we go. After what seems like an age in which I was sure the bus would arrive, she sits down next to me. Christ almighty she’s not even trying to hide her abominable intentions.
“Congratulations” I say
“What’s that son?” She asks in what I can only assume is her best attempt at confusion.
“Oh, spare me, will you”
“Come on. You, an old person. This, a bus stop. Could you make it any more obvious? Lets just get it over with, shall we?
I round on the tiny woman.
“Wowee look at the weather. Oh my God these bloody buses are always late. Oh, I know why don’t you tell me about your boring grandchildren? No wait, the full shebang! Your bleeding life story!”
She sat there staring at me for a few seconds before speaking.
“You might look at me and see nothing but a daft auld wumin but I like to think I’m no like most people. I still fit the stereotype of the pensioner in a lot of ways. I live alone. I go through a fair amount of tea. I have no family who visit. Any friends I had are dead or no longer themselves. My mind trapped in a dying body full of aches and pains.
I was computer programmer back in the day. Back when computers were size of a hoose. And let me tell ye, it’s those computers and their constant progress that’s helped keep me sharp all these years, trying to keep up with it, ye know? I used to work for IBM. That’s where I met my husband, Charles.
We took psychedelics together in the 60’s. Around the same time we were following the work of J. Alan Robinson and the like. All that artificial intelligence. It was fascinating, so it was. We used to dream up these mad experiments that combined hallucinogenics and AI. Cos here’s the hing, see when ye take yer mushies or yer acid or whatever hallucinogen it happens to be. And ye go oan yer wee trip. As profound as the experience can be, the information presented tae ye is too much for the human mind to manage, to decode, to comprehend.
So we had the idea. If we could connect oor brains up wae the AI then the AI could interpret the psychedelic experience in real time. But Charles died. And all those ideas just sorta died too. It never felt right doing it without him. But I knew I would have to eventually. He’d go aff his nut if he knew I wasted the rest of my life not going after the answers we had longed for. I continued the research but could never bring myself to take that final step.
It wasn’t until 5 years back that I decided I was gonnae dae it. On my 100th birthday. I went down to Ruken Glen Park and got maself a load of mushrooms. 10 grams. There are some that might call that an “heroic” dose. I wasn’t sure I’d make it back, ye know? Make it through the trip being as frail as I was but at the same time I didn’t really mind. I was tired. Tired in my bones and tired in my soul. I missed him too. Every day. I thought maybe it might be a nice way tae go oot as well. Sorta like Huxley did with the LSD.
I merged my mind with the AI interface and I took the mushrooms and ye know whit? I did die. I died about 1000 bloody times over. Couldnae tell ma arse fae ma elbow. And downward I went. Downward and inward forever. Stretched off to infinity. I was as small an atom. I was as big as the universe. But further I still went. Beyond… Beyond the beyond.
It took me 6 weeks to recover. It took me a further 3 years to interpret the information the AI had recorded. But in the end, I had an answer. The answer that Me and ma Charles had worked so long for.” An answer given to me by the universe? The mushrooms? My own mind? A biker mouse from Mars? I’ll probably never know.”
“What was it. What did you find? What were you told?” I asked.
The universe told me…It told me that… you’re an arrogant wee prick who should be grateful for even the most mundane of human interactions.
The bus pulled up to the stop at that moment and the wee Granny got on. As the bus pulled away a she stuck her middle finger up at me.
Glasgow. Oh, Glasgow. You blethericious old beast.
A Merry Stinking Christmas Fart and a Happy Shat My Undercrackers New Year (An End of Year Smell Dream)
He was waking from a dream. A dream filled with low rumbling sounds, factory pollution and the deep vibrating hum of the universe. The images faded as his mind transitioned into reality. The noise continued. Even when he opened his eyes, the noise continued. Maybe there are road works going on outside, he thought. But no that was impossible. There were no roads around here for miles. As his senses came fully online it became apparent what the noise was. He was farting. Indeed, he was farting so loud that it had woken him from the dead of sleep. He now sat upright in bed. About 10 seconds had passed and still a furore of malodorous demon breath issued forth from his pyjama bottoms. The edge of his quilt was flapping like a flag in the wind at the end of his bed. Eventually his sick breeze came to an abrupt halt. He dove for the window and lifted it fully open in a hurried frenzy amidst his sleep inertia. He didn’t want to allow his nose to catch up to his wakefulness and experience the full onslaught of the foul hot box he had created for himself.
After giving the room a little time to air he rolled out of bed and slipped into yesterdays clothes. Pinching his chin between thumb and forefinger he considered changing the underwear he had worn to bed. Not all of that fart was dry, he mused. He resolved to change them only if someone else pointed out the smell to him. For breakfast he had two Mars bars that he dipped in milk. And some toast with the jam spread thicker than the bread. He dipped two fingers into the jam jar for a customary dollop before returning the lid half sealed. Today was Saturday. So, after breakfast he sat down in front of the television, peeled the remote from the couch and tuned into his favourite cartoons.
Soon he would be leaving for his girlfriend’s parents’ house for Christmas dinner. This was somewhat problematic for him because of his unusual flatulent condition. However, he was rather adept at surviving most social situations with various techniques he had devised for hiding his “extra loudies” and his “mega smellers”. He hadn’t yet wrapped his girlfriend’s present but he could always take five minutes in a spare room and wrap it while he was there. Doing things last minute was the only way he ever got anything done.
His girlfriend was already at her parents’ house so he would be driving over there by himself. This suited him because it would give him time to assess the state of his bowels. Ten minutes into to the drive all four car windows were down. Which also meant he had to turn the radio up full blast to cover the sound. If he didn’t do this people would often suggest that he take his car to the garage on account of the strange noise his engine was making. But it wasn’t his engine, only he knew that it was his thundering arse.
He arrived late and dinner was already being laid out on the table where the family sat. He introduced himself to his girlfriends parents and grandparents. He scanned the table for foods that may betray him. Foods that would add fuel to a potential atomic reek fest. He simply could not allow that to happen. He had to make a good first impression. The feast that lay before him was a who’s who of food that would definitely make him fart like fuck. His heart sunk. The table was tiny, the seats were wooden, none of the windows were open not even a single candle was burning. What could he do? Fake a stomach ache and not eat anything or better yet leave? No. He had to see this through. It would be challenging, perhaps the most difficult thing he had ever done in his life. All he had to do was make it through the next few hours without being the undeniable culprit of a massive fart. His well-developed diversion strategies would see him through. He just had to have faith in his abilities.
His stomach was already bubbling as he made small talk. His condition exacerbated by the stress of his situation. His first course of action was to allow this first wave of gas to seep in a continuous stream whilst simultaneously chatting away to the grandparents. The trick was to keep the bum cheeks parted throughout the expulsion and slighted lifted away from the hard, amplifying wood of the chair. This took some leg strength and a subtle sensitivity in the cheeks, but he was well practiced. It was also imperative to keep the hands busy and the mouth talking to serve as a sort of misderection. He relaxed after five long seconds of silent seepage. Hopefully a table full of hot food would cover the smell.
He had barely dished himself out a plate of food when he felt the next one brewing. This was bad news. The Grandmother had made frequent enquiries about eggs since his last fart.
“Is that boiled eggs I smell? I could really go a boiled egg. Eggs aren’t very Christmassy, why did you cook them?”
He wished she’d just shut the hell up. The next fart seemed to be brewing slowly. He thought he could control it in the same way he had the first one but at the last second it moved towards his now expectant and gaping butt hole with unprecedented speed. The fart slammed hard against the seat of the chair. He acted on instinct. The gas had barely made contact with the wood when, with a mouth full of turkey and broccoli, he burst into an impromptu Carol spitting some of his food out in the process.
“I’M DREAMING OF A WHIIIIITE CHRISTMAAAAAS”.
To his relief the old Granda joined in and sang the next line with a chuckle. A change in the density of the air told him that the fart to air ratio was reaching a critical point. Soon the stink would be undeniable. However, that did not implicate him as the perpetrator. The pressure within him was building again, double quick this time. He could only contain so much so he let it out in short one second bursts. Each fart was louder than the last and each time he attempted to cover the noise.
“Absolutely (BLAHP) delicious food!”
“BLOODY cold (PRAPAPpapapap) today, isn’t it?!”
He was starting to sweat now and he was drawing some startled looks. In an act of desperation, he whacked his forehead off the edge of the table to cover the sound of a particularly loud one.
“WOOPSEE. (FLAABOBOBO) SLIPPED!”, he cried out through a pained grin.
Now his girlfriend, resting a hand on his arm spoke up. “Darling are you having stomach problems? We might have some WindSetlers in the cupboard.
“Stomach problems?? What are you talking about?” (PRAPALABOLO). That one went completely uncovered. “I think there’s something wrong with your pipes you should get them checked out!” He said pointing to the walls with a little too much desperation in his voice. The room smelled like all the food had suddenly gone off. The family just stared at him. Now the father had something to say “Look, son..” but that was as far as he got. An exceptional volume of putridity was on its way from Buttsville.
“NAAAAANT INGONYAMAAAA (RRRRRRRRABBOBPLAPPLAPPLAPUBOBIBO) BAGITHI BABAAAAAAAA!!!”.
“Lion King! I fuckin love that movie!”
“You know you can use the toilet, it’s just up stairs on your left” said the mother, willing him to go.
“I will. I’ll go to the toilet but only because I need to pee, nothing else just a pee. Too much coffeeEEEEEEEEEEE (FRRRRRRRPP) EEEeee. Need (BLORT) to (FLOMP) cut (BRLABIT) down to be honest”.
And with that he left the living room and made his way to the toilet. He could hear the grandmother retching as he left.
Now that he was in the toilet he could breathe easy. He believed he’d managed to detract all attention away from his accursed pipe. He grabbed all the towels available, folded them and stacked the about 3 feet high. This would act as a silencer for his arse. The extractor fan was also reassuringly loud. He sat, relaxed, and let loose. He must have sitting there for a while because there was a knock at the door.
“You OK, honey?” It was his girlfriend.
“Yes. Why wouldn’t I be?” He said, with mock confusion.
“Oh, no reason” she said.
It occurred to him that he still had to wrap her present.
“Hey. Could you bring me up the wrapping paper and some tape and scissors? Just leave them outside the door”
“Sure. No problem” She said, and he heard her leave.
Once he was sure his backside had abated he stood up and inspected the towels. What he saw almost brought him to tears. He had burned a large hole through every layer of towel. He poked his arm through the ring of towels in disbelief. This isn’t so bad he told himself. The first chance I get I’ll buy new ones. There’s literally nothing else I can do. With that thought he left bathroom and dumped the towels in a hallway cupboard. His girlfriend had brought the requested items and left outside the bathroom door. He took the wrapping stuff into a spare room and sat at the end of the bed feeling a bit dejected. He was exhausted. How can I keep this up? He had only just begun unravelling the wrapping paper when there was a knock at the door. His bowels shifted again like tectonic plates. That Coca Cola Christmas music spontaneously started playing in his head. Instead of “Holidays are coming” the words were “Stinky farts are coming” played out by an ominous choir.
“Hello?” said a tentative voice from behind the door.
It was the mother. Shit shit shit. The sudden panic had his bladder inflating like an expanding universe. The door was creeping open. In a flailing panic and thinking on the spot he whipped the wrapping paper open like he would a wet pair of jeans before hanging them up to dry and unravelled the entire role. In a mad rush of arms and wrapping paper and incredible but bizarre contortions of his body he began to wrap his fart as it came out. This all happened in a blink of an eye he could barely believe what he was doing.
“Oooooh. Look at that. That’s the biggest Christmas present I’ve ever seen she’ll be delighted” Said the mother.
He could barely comprehend what was going on. Eventually his eyes began to focus on the massive sphere of wrapping paper that stood before him. It nearly touched the ceiling.
“I’ll take it down and put it by the tree. I don’t think it will fit underneath it. Wow! It’s so light. What could it be?” she said gleefully.
He didn’t protest. He just watched it all happen as if from outside his own body. He followed behind her to the living room. He didn’t know if he even cared what happened next. He was almost curious. He watched as the family “oohd” and “aaahd”. He watched his girlfriends face light up with joy. He watched the Dad gently poke at the “gift” with a confused look on his face. He watched as the family cat appeared out of nowhere making a B line for the gift and begin to bat it about the living room.
“Oi you stop that. That’s my present not yours, you cheeky little scamp” said his girlfriend.
That cat wasn’t listening. At some point a claw must have caught the wrapping paper and pierced it. A thin blast of pressurised fart hit the cat full on the face. For a few seconds it seemed to be paralysed in shock and then it simply passed out on the spot. He watched the wrapping deflate. He could see water filling every eye in the room. Then, all at once every member of the family projectile vomited. He slipped away from the ensuing anarchy for some fresh air outside. He saw his car and wondered if he should just drive home. This was surely the end of his relationship. After all that has happened how can I be considered anything other than a complete psychopath?
He resolved to go back inside. The family to his surprise were all sitting around the dinner table chatting quite calmly. He was relieved to see the cat had regained consciousness. He got their attention by blasting out a short sharp fart.
“Look guys. I fart a lot. I ruined your Christmas. I’m sorry”.
His girlfriend gestured for him to take his seat at the table. So, he sat.
It was the Grandfather who spoke now.
“Son. Everybody farts. Now I’m going to show you something. A family secret which has been passed down for generations. You have proven yourself worthy. My Granddaughter has chosen wisely”.
And at that moment the family all held hands around the table. His girlfriend took one of his hands and the mother took the opposite hand. Then it seemed to him that the house began to shake. A number of things all happened at once. The seat of the chair he was sitting on retracted so that his rear end poked through. He could tell by the way that everyone shifted in the seats that this had happened to each and every chair. A hatch in the floor beneath the chair also opened revealing the earth under the house and letting in a cold breeze. The Grandfather spoke again. This time in a grand and ancient voice.
“Now my son. I want you to fart. We shall all fart together. For the love of each other and the love of our ancestors.”
And so, completely without inhibition. Without fear. And for the first time in his life with utter joy and exuberance, he closed his eyes and farted. They all farted together. When he opened his eyes again he felt weightless. He was floating. No one was holding on to his hand so he floated freely around the living room.
His girlfriend beckoned him towards her
“Come and look out the window”.
He floated over to the window and gazed outside. They were in space. He could see the earth large and beautiful.
He turned to her
“I’ve shat myself”
“Me too” she said. “Me too”
And they kissed.
The Actual Dangers of CRISPR/Cas9
I was in work one Monday. I worked in one of those big open plan offices in a wee team of about 10 of us. I got on with some better than others, you know how it is. Anyway, it was lunchtime and a few of us were sitting around a table in the cafeteria. It was the usual shite. Talking about what we had been up to at the weekend. Me and this one guy Dave, however, were having a bit of a disagreement over the football. With me being a life-long Cellic boy and him being, lets just say a Rangers fan, to be nice shall we? Things were getting a bit heated. There was a bit of back and forth and to be honest, I kind of felt that he was taking it a bit too far, as was Dave’s tendency. I’d had quite enough and tried to put him in his place by bringing up the whole tax thing and Rangers being relegated. I laid it on quite fuckin thick and I was having fun in doing so. It wasn’t until I was in full flow about the demise of Rangers Footbal Club that I realised everycunt sitting at the table was a fuckin blue nose and they were all starting to turn on me and gang up. That put me on the defensive a wee bit. I’m going to have to take these cunts out one by one, I thought to myself
I started with Auld Agnes, a woman in her 50’s. She was saying something about Celtic being shite since Martin O’Neil left but I cut her off with a comment about her fanny being stinking. She went bright red and shut the hell up. Wee Andy came to her rescue and started spouting some shite about Henrick Larsson being over rated but a slick one liner about his divorce silenced him. Larsson was a fuckin legend was wee Andy fuckin mental? Next thing, Dave turns to me and he just goes like that “Aw shut up ya fat ginger prick” laughing as he said it as well.
I swear to fuck, see if it was a film. The camera would have slowly zoomed into my rigid barely concealed rage of a face, dead close, while discordant violent music played. I tried to show I wasn’t bothered of course but I’m sure everybody sensed that he’d hit a nerve even though he was seemingly oblivious, the cunt. Somebody else started talking to change the subject and fill the silence with some noise about this and that but my mind was far away. Already plotting my revenge.
Here’s the thing. I knew exactly how I was going to get this cunt back the moment the insult left his mouth. I had been reading a lot about this new DNA technology CRISPR/Cas9, you see. CRISPR/Cas9 they say, is a powerful gene editing technology that had the potential to change the world. Scientists were already trying to try and cure all sorts of genetic diseases. That’s fuckin brilliant, I thought but here’s the thing what if I stuck the genes for gingerism and the genes for fatness into that arrogant cunt Dave. What then? Well, I was going to find out.
The mad thing about CRISPR was that you could buy all the stuff for it online. It came with step by step manuals and you didn’t have to be a fuckin rocket scientist to understand it. You just followed each step like you were making a fuckin curry. There was tonnes of stuff on youtube as well, showing you how it all worked. It cost me a few grand but it was going to be so fuckin worth to see the look on Dave’s face when he was all fat and ginger.
Polymerase Chain Reaction machine £1, 843
GeneArt™ Precision gRNA Synthesis Kit £300
Seeing big Dave’s confused and horrified face when he doesn’t know why he’s turned into a big fat ginger cunt? PRICELESS
So I set to work putting my genes into the adeno associated viral vectors and all the rest of it. In no time at all I had my all my wee viruses full of fatness and gingeritis ready for administration. This would potentially be the most difficult part because obviously I had to get them inside Dave without Dave realising. It turned out to be easy as pie in the end. I got him pished and when he passed out I jagged his pimply arse full of my diabolical CRISPR. In the mean time I had another wee idea. If I could transform Dave into a big orange boy then why not transform myself? So that’s what I did. Using CRISPR on myself I got rid of my growth differentiation factor 8. In other words, I made myself muscly as fuck. I didn’t stop there though. I made my hair black, courtesy of the MC1R gene. So, with the body of a Greek statue and thick Elvis hair I could really lay it on thick when I next saw Dave once he had fully transformed.
The hair didn’t quite work out as planned though. It went a bit weird, actually. Like, too black, you know? Like, Vanta black. And when something is vanta black it actually absorbs 99% of light. I just looked fuckin weird as fuck. Like my hair didn’t exist but something was there. I’d be talking to people and they just couldn’t concentrate on what I was saying. They’d just be staring at my mad infinite void hairdo. It meant I had to shave as well, lest half my face look like it was lost in another dimension. I started wearing hats a lot. I couldn’t do anything about the eyebrows though which now looked like two holes in an empty head. Still it was better than being ginger.
The muscles though. Holy fuck, the muscles! I. Fuckin. Grew. A wee bit too much, though. As the weeks went by I sort of expanded in all direction, perfectly and symmetrically. If I stood the right way I was almost a geometric cube. I couldn’t keep up with my own strength either. After a month I’d ripped all the doors in my house off the hinges, , crushed the T.V remote, crushed my mobile phone, crushed this, crushed that, crushed fuckin everything! It was a fuckin nightmare. I had to relearn how I moved. Eventually, after endless hours of concentration and practice I managed to regain the dexterity and control over my substantial musculature.
I hadn’t seen or heard of Dave since I’d rendered him a mutant. At least I’d hoped he had mutated. The problem with CRISPR is it can just kind of kill you. It can cause cancer or there can be an autoimmune reaction to all the wee viruses. Don’t get me wrong I was fuckin ragin at Dave for whatever it was he said but I don’t think I wanted him to die.
Then one day, as was walking through the town centre I noticed what I thought was an actual monster. You know, like from a film or something. A big fuckin giant monster. But there was something not quite right. Because if it was a monster, it was also wearing a Rangers football top and nothing else. Fuck me! I thought. That’s fuckin Dave! Dave looked a barely human mess. He was shuffling along the pavement at a slugs pace. A shapeless mass of bulging doughy pink flesh. And to my absolute delight. His hair was ginger as fuck. What I’d at first thought was a Rangers top. Was actually, upon closer inspection, about 30 Rangers tops all stitched together that just about fit over his lipid abundance.
I burst out laughing. Even though I was on the other side of the street he must have heard me. He stopped. His eyes shifted over at me. I didn’t waste another second. I regained my composure, took a big deep breath and at the top of my voice I shouted “HA HA HA. LOOK AT THE STATE OF YOU. YA FAT GINGER PRICK”
Iain was a student at university. He had established himself as a bit of an outsider. He didn’t feel much of a connection with the other students in his class. Most of this was probably due to the fact that he didn’t drink, something that seemed to be a student’s sole purpose for existing. Most of what Iain did, his hobbies and interests were things to be conducted by one’s self. He wasn’t part of any teams or clubs that routinely socialised. He was not unhappy or resentful of this. It was simply how things were.
One day Iain was sat in large lecture hall right at the very back. There would be 10 minutes before the lecture started and the lecture hall was already near to full with about 100 students. Iain had set his phone aside and was listening to a group of 5 or 6 students in front of him recount a “how crazy was last night?” story. Here’s what Iain could gather from the excited, gleeful recollection of the previous nights proceedings. Everyone had been very drunk but one person, who was not yet present at the lecture, had been the most drunk. Every one of the group had their own take on the guys behaviour. He noted the way their eyes lit up and how they laughed at each recounting from a different perspective. People nearby who were not even part of the group were also listening in and laughing. Actually joining in with their own stories of friends who, at one time or another, had been the most drunk. Some of the guys and they were overwhelmingly male, had truly embarrassed themselves. One guy had shat himself, another had spewed all over a girl he really liked, and another had fallen into and smashed a brand new 50 inch TV.
But look at them, he thought as he watched them all so full of excitement and joy. Exhilaration at the fact that it hadn’t been them who had shamed themselves in front of their peers.
“I can’t believe he did that!”
“It was so funny when he…”
Those drunk people, Iain thought. The ones who had gotten more drunk than anyone else were martyrs of a kind. Sacrificing their dignity for the entertainment of everyone else. A truly selfless act. With that thought the lecture began and the ecstatic noise came to silence. The group in front of him who moments ago were shaking with energy were now still and silent. Bored. One of them fell asleep. Iain couldn’t stop thinking about those exemplars of human sacrifice, though. They had given their friends an experience. Something to commune over and talk about for years to come. They were what the world needed. Reminders of the heroism that had gone before us that we so easily forget.
A single celled organism takes up just the right piece of DNA that will allow it to survive and replicate in its harsh environment. A small rodent like mammal defends her babies against a ravenous predator. A woman hunting with her tribe is speared by a woolly mammoth’s tusk. Dying and using her own spear she delivers a piercing death strike to the mammoth. Her child lives on and finds its own mate. Pump, splat, baby. The baby grows up and narrowly escapes but is badly burned in a forest fire. He finds a mate. Pump, splat, baby. A few thousand years of this goes by. An unfaltering determined struggle. In Pompeii a young man on an errand to next city across for his master returns to a city submerged in ash. He moves to a neighbouring town. He falls in love. Sentinam, gaudens, infans. The pattern continues. A cobbler overcomes alcoholism. He murders a man in self-defence but is never caught. Pump, splat, baby. A heavily pregnant woman crawls from the rubble of her destroyed home and gives birth on the street. And here we all are. Unaware and uncaring of the past.
Like most of his classmates the most significant thing Iain had ever done was being born. But inspired by the happiness he had seen gifted to his classmates by those inebriated champions at the expense of their own self-respect, at the expense of their own bodies, he had begun to forge a plan. He needed a selfless act so that he too could deliver an unforgettable experience to his fellow humans who were so in need of incident.
Iain stayed up all night devising his plan to publicly abash himself. Now standing outside the lecture hall he knew what he had to do. Whoever said ‘True courage is being afraid and going ahead and doing your job anyhow’ was right, thought Iain. He peeked inside the door to make sure that the lecture had begun. OK here goes nothing.
Iain strode into the front of the lecture hall. He was completely naked. His body numb with adrenaline. Facing the 100 or so students he put his hands behind his head, circled his hips and helicoptered his penis. He continued for about 10 seconds before sitting down on the nearest seat in the front row. He wasn’t quite aware what was going on around him. His consciousness had completely turned inward.
Oh my fucking God this is fucking horrible!!! I might have to fucking kill myself after this. I need to cry!! I can’t even cry!! Fuuuuuck!!!
The entire time Iain had been sitting there he had been staring dead ahead at a single spot on the floor. The embarrassment he felt at that moment seemed to him more like a psychedelic experience. Truly a waking nightmare that didn’t feel like reality. He knew though, that through it all, he had to have the courage of his convictions.
“If you don’t leave now I will be forced to call security. You’ve had your fun now get out, you’re disrupting my class”.
It was the lecturer. He was pointing at Iain but not looking at him. Iain stood up and left the room. He retrieved his clothes from a nearby storage cupboard where he’d stashed them, dressed and went home. He decided that he would take the week off from university. He wondered if he’d ever go back.
Iain had shut himself off from society more than usual in the days after he had bared his spinning cock to a room full of strangers.
It’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done. He told himself. But was it enough?
Eventually he worked up the nerve to check his phone and e-mails. He’d been avoiding them the entire time since he’d left uni that day. 75 missed calls and 56 txts. Normally in the space of week he’d get maybe 5. 42 e-mails in an inbox he liked to keep clean. Mostly were from the university. A tingling exhilaration made its way through Iain’s body from head to toe. He allowed a short smile to sit on his face. He checked facebook. Ignoring 128 notification he searched for one of his class mates and clicked on their page. And there it was. A number of pictures had been uploaded under the title “OMG CAN’T BELIEVE THIS HAPPENED TODAY” and he could see that it was himself, naked at front of the lecture hall. It was strange to see himself like that. He didn’t want to dwell on it though. Or the fact that it had already been shared a few thousand times.
This is what you wanted. You set out to do something and you achieved it. Be proud. Everyone in that class now has a story to tell for the rest of their lives. You did that Iain. It was horrible but you did it for those people, those strangers.
You get a bit of trouble here and there in the city centre. As much as I try and avoid it, in a place like this, it will always find you. People leave the pubs and clubs on a Friday night and they take the anger and bitterness they have in their own lives and direct towards you. Standard stuff. Sometimes it’s easiest just to take it, let them shout it out until they get bored or until you get up and move on to somewhere else. Like most things, it really depends on how I feel in the moment. On this particular occasion I am confronted with such trouble. He’s right in my face giving it this and that about “scroungers” and “parasites”. He’s close enough that I can smell the alcohol on his breath but there’s also an alertness about him that suggests a different fuel source for his spitting vitriol. He’s standing over me as I’m sat cross legged in a cosy we corner on a now empty street. I’m not really listening to what he’s saying but I remain readily alert to any indication that he might turn this into a physical altercation. There is a woman there with him. Standing behind him, far enough back so as not to seem a participant in her boyfriend’s verbal assault but still close enough to enjoy a front row view of the night’s entertainment. I’ve experienced a few iterations of the girlfriend variable.
1) She joins in with her man’s 2 minutes of hate.
2) She tries to drag the man away (either because she’s bored and wants to go home or she’s horrified by her boyfriend’s actions and can even be apologetic (“…Really sorry he’s not normally like this…”)
3) She hangs around in the background, enjoying a decent end to a good night out. Not ballsy enough to get involved but silently willing the situation to escalate. Often she’ll film it on her phone.
Before this guy turned up I had been lost in a fairly deep meditation, my mind neither he nor there. It’s this fact that is working in his favour right now. I ‘m too relaxed and at one with my surroundings to care. I even feel a modicum of empathy for him. The man is bent forward at the waist in a 90 degree angle, his face inches from my face. I’m zenned out ma fuckin nut right now so his voice is nothing more than the sound of music in the distance and his breath is like a warm breeze on a chilly night. There’s something about the woman’s face though. As she watches on she’s looking at me, our eyes connect for a moment and I get it. I know what she wants. She is a subtype of variation no. 3. There’s a malice in her otherwise deadpan face. She doesn’t like this guy. It might be the case that they have been together for a while but she’s reached the stage where she could take him or leave him.
On another note. There’s a morality that comes with defending oneself. Especially if you possess a skill set that grants you a certain amount of power over another individual, within the context of unarmed physical combat. The true martial artist will always remove their ego and take the opportunity to either de-escalate the situation or simply run away. If pushed to defend themselves, the martial artist in their stoic, heroic majesty and with great sadness and regret, will use the least amount of force necessary, to either restrain or incapacitate a fellow human who has overstepped their physical boundaries. But the thing is, sometimes there are people who just need their fuckin cunts kicked in.
The man continues to berate me, a few flecks of spittle from his mouth land on my face and I decide, quite arbitrarily that this is the point at which he has crossed the line. I stand up with the intention of making some space between the two of us to assess the situation. The guy misinterprets this.
“Aye that’s right, Get yersel tae fuck, the Clyde is that way”.
Jesus that’s quite nasty, I think to myself. I must have said it out loud because he responds
“Nasty? I’ll show ye fuckin nasty” etc, etc.
When I’m comfortable with the amount of space I’ve made between the two of us I turn around to face him. About 12 feet of damp pavement separate me from this absolute fanny.
“Whit ye fuckin lookin iht?”
I cock my head to one side, smile and stare at him. I’m pretty sure this is all I need to get the desired response.
He advances towards me, arms outstretched and chest puffed out. How did we evolve such an impractical fighting posture? Unbeknownst to this total fuckwit, he steps an inch inside an invisible line, over which, violence is permitted. I hit him hard on the chin, my middle knuckle sending a shockwave through his brain. I anticipate that he’ll fall backwards so I reach with my other hand and grab his thin tie. His legs give out from underneath him and I let him fall to arse in a controlled fashion using his tie like I’m letting down an abseiler (the amount of people that die cracking the back of their skull on the concrete after a single punch. It’s just not worth it). As his arse hits the ground I give him another had hard dig on the nose, breaking it and watch the blood explode all over his nice white shirt. He gives off a weird noise like he’s squeezing out a massive shite. Hnnnnnnnnnngg. I place him carefully on his side in the recovery position and take a step back to admire my work. The woman trots over.
“Is he awright?” She asks
“He’ll probs be fine but I’d still phone an ambulance”. I tell her, shaking my head all disappointed in the world.
I start walking away but turn back just before rounding a corner and see the woman on her phone, she’s nudging the guy, who’s still lying on the deck, with her foot. I’ll have to find a new spot to sit for the next few months in case I run into him again. A guy can only take so much head trauma. I turn to jog off in the opposite direction but I almost stand in some dog shite. That gives me an idea. I scan the cobbled street for some fallen twigs and sticks. I find one that’s fit for purpose. It was just the right thickness and most importantly, it had a little bend in it. I use the stick to scoop up some of the dog shite and head back towards the unconscious guy. I try to get the woman’s attention. She’s talking to someone on her phone and standing quite close to the guy. The guy, had now rolled onto his back but still looked completely out of it.
“Watch out the way” I shouted, gesturing with a waving arm for her to stand to one side.
She looked up confused but complied. I was a good 50 feet away at this point. I held the stick out in front of me like an Olympic judge holding up his score for a gymnast. A small crowd was gathering now. Some of the night’s stragglers who were probably heading to the nearby taxi rank. Some people were asking if the guy was OK. I didn’t let them distract me though. I had to get in “the zone” Using the index finger of my other hand I pulled back the top end of the stick making sure not to touch the dog shite, I aim it slightly upwards and then let it go. The wee brown dod left the end of the stick and I knew within myself that it had taken a clear and true trajectory through the night air. As the dog shite reached the peak of its high arc, just for a second, it glistened moistly in the moonlight. And so it landed with the softest of splats right on the guys lips. He didn’t even flinch. It was Perfection.
The small crowd of 10 or 12 people all started applauding and whistling. People will always appreciate when something rare and special happens.
“Oh my God! What a shot!” Said the guy’s girlfriend. And then quickly back to her phone “Sorry yes…I’m still here…Yeah, he’s breathing but he’s not moving”.
There was once a billionaire. He was one of those billionaires that other billionaires looked at and said “Now that’s a billionaire”. He had a lot of money. As you can imagine, life was absolutely brilliant for this billionaire. All that money had bought him everything he wanted and stuff he didn’t even realise he wanted. The thing was though, he had made his money in things nobody paid a second thought to. It wasn’t like he was Bill Gates. Bill was a rarity in billionaires, in a weird way people actually liked him. They didn’t resent the fact that he had all that money. Maybe It’s because he gave the people something they all recognise and appreciate. People love technology. And then there was all that giving his money away nonsense. I give money to charities he thought. I’m not a household name. Nobody gives a fuck. This was in part due to the fact the he hated being in public eye anyway. But when all was said and done he was going to die. And nothing got his brain working and his body moving quicker than the thought of himself lying on his death bed, looking back on his life and thinking shoulda done that. In fact, when he eventually dies there will probably be a brief segment on the news Billionaire dies….he made his money through this and that…. he left behind a wife and blah blah blah. The thought made him queasy. When Bill Gates dies they’ll probably make a fucking movie about the cunt.
He had good reason to hate Bill. At a recent benefit charity gig. Bill had a made an introductory speech that had poked fun at Billionaires like himself for not giving enough to Charites.
We’re business men you prick. The billionaire had seethed to himself. We exist to make money. Giving money away is literally the opposite. It baffled the billionaire. Making all that money only to turn around and say “Woops made a mistake, giving it all away now. Oh, and you’re all cocks if you’re not doing the same” I guess that’s the difference between someone who has made their money through a passionate and artful will to create. And someone like himself who just had this basic need to have more.
The thing that irked him most was that he didn’t really have the capacity to create anything that would make people sit up and go There’s that guy who done that thing. Fuck Bill Gates! The problem was that he had made his money through smart investments. And even then, the decision to make those investments was based on the expert advice of his advisors. Even the initial money to make those investments was loaned to him by his Dad. He hadn’t invented anything and couldn’t even if he tried. He wasn’t really the creative type. He could hire a bunch of creative types and have them make something amazing, fuck knows what though. And then what? Have them all killed so that the credit goes to him? He could. He had the resources. No. Too much effort.
From his penthouse apartment the billionaire gazed out across the city skyline. It was stunning and he was bored. He made a call to his driver to be ready for him in five minutes. Getting up he moved over to the lift that acted as the front door to his apartment. He could have taken the helicopter straight from the roof but he had taken the lift specifically in the hope that someone else would get in with him on the way down. For no other reason than he needed to fart. He only passed by two floors on his way down before a janitor got with him. The billionaire owned the entire building and the janitor was one of his employees. The janitor, realising who he’d stepped into the lift with, rather unconvincingly tried to hide how nervous he was. This pleased the billionaire.The janitor gave a short nod “sir” and pressed for the ground floor. Good he’ll be with me all the way down. Thought the billionaire, smiling to himself.
The billionaire checked his wrist, on it was what looked like a watch. Indeed it wasn’t a watch, it was a control device. It controlled a number of different things both externally and, more interestingly, internally. The technology was only available to the elite few like himself whom could afford it. The device came with a whole host of features including increased life expectancy, resistance to most cancers and the ability to remove toxins from the body. What he was searching for at that moment was a parameter that controlled the millions of nanobots throughout his body. Nanobots that could become anything, rather like stem cells in a sense but far more flexible and easy to manipulate. One such ability they had was to change the chemical composition of his gut. This was designed to deal with fairly mundane maladies like lactose intolerance and keeping the so called good bacteria in check. After much experimentation however, a peculiar little gimmick had arisen. You could actually change the chemical composition of your feces so that when you move your bowels or flatulate, it comes out smelling really quite nice. There was lavender, fresh linen, summer breeze, bacon, petrol, the list was endless. It had amused the billionaire no end to fill himself up with Mexican food washed down with protein shakes and spend countless nights wafting the air escaping his anus to his nostrils, his mind deep in assessment of his most recently concocted bouquet. Quite often, actually, he would take a shit and just leave it there in the toilet, for the rest of the day. After enjoying the smell of your own shit you couldn’t go back to the harsh chemical smell of artificial sprays. A gorgeous smelling shit had a different character to it. More full bodied and organic. The darker side to this was that you could also make bad smells. Smells far worse than those that can be produced by the human body naturally. Even those with the most terrible diets imaginable couldn’t come close to the foulness the billionaire and his nanobots could achieve. Scrolling through a list of smells he had concocted and named himself, he found what he was looking for. A smell or rather, a stench, labelled “The Devil’s Own Eggs”. A rueful smile crept along his face as he set the nanobots to work.
There was no sensation whatsoever within the body of the billionaire. He could have been setting the time for all he felt. He knew that they worked almost instantaneously so he gave it another few stops on the lift. To his absolute delight more and more people were getting on. The lift was becoming quite cramped but he made sure to position himself near the front. With 22 floors to go he felt the time was right. Accessing his device again he logged into the buildings electronic interface and locked the lift doors. The fart he was about to release had been gently stewing just beyond the opening of his anus like a deathly ghost behind a curtain. He released it unto the world, expertly and without sound. He could see everyone’s face in the reflection of the metallic lift doors. The first to react was the janitor who stood directly behind him and slightly to the left. His reaction began with a slight furrowing of his brow which then deepened as his mouth turned downwards. Fuck the money. This is what I live for. Thought the billionaire, with eagerness fizzing throughout his body. The next person to fall victim to the ever increasing whiff was a serious looking man standing on the right hand side of the billionaire. He brought one fist up underneath his nose. It looked like he was trying to hide the fact that he was pinching his nose between his thumb and index finger. The billionaire pressed his lips together in an attempt to stifle a giggle. Although the billionaire’s gas was colourless he could almost imagine that he could see it. Tracing its path through the reactions of his sufferers. Rising among the nostrils of his fellow lift riders. Like a serpent under the charms of the pungi. Creeping. Slow to move but striking hard. “Oh!” said a woman at the back. Sounding like she’d just been told something incredibly surprising. Her reflex was the least subtle so far. She brought an arm up and buried her face in the crook of her elbow. Another muffled exclamation of disgust escaped her. “Jesus Christ”. That was almost too much for the Billionaire. He tucked his chin into his chest. Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh. The woman’s vocal distaste of the billionaires pollution seemed to give the others license to speak up. “Fuck that’s nasty!” and “Oh My Fucking God!” were among the many expressions of revulsion. It took every bit of the billionaires self-control to not burst out laughing. Only he knew that it would get worse. In those moments before the smell really hit, only social inhibitions stood in the way of an absolute breakdown. Only he knew that no one but himself could stand just how smelly his farts were. We can all relish the hum of our own sweet aromas Thought the billionaire with satisfaction.
The commotion in the lift was building to an almost hysterical frenzy. The billionaire wore a wide open grin. He couldn’t hide it any longer. He had begun to join in on the chorus of disgust. Half laughing as he said “oh my, that’s a bad one, huh?” and “Man that’s a bloody stinker, jeez” he said causally waving a hand in front of his face. Nobody paid any notice to the billionaire though. The janitor had taken to pressing all the buttons for each floor and wildly tapping on the emergency help alarm. The serious man was pounding on the lift doors screaming “HELP! HELP! LET US OUT!” The woman had curled up in a foetal position and was openly weeping. “Aw man, so stinky” said the Billionaire with a feigned look of mild confusion.
OK that’s enough. I’ve got places to be. The Billionaire thought to himself and with that he opened the doors to the lift via his wrist device. Everyone in the lift except him rushed out to the lobby, gasping greedily for fresh air. The billionaire immediately turned to the next lift, entered and went straight back up to his penthouse. He would have to dispose of the suit he wore which was now saturated with the honk of a thousand skunks. Oh to be rich. Chuckled the billionaire