It has been a busy season and some stations on the social railway have remained necessarily unattended. People have had to embarrass or insult themselves in the absence of trained staff members. The mental porters have not be available to help with the psychological baggage and passengers have had to lump it themselves.
With such a busy world – and so many people wanting to be angry and offended – the job of the Backstabbers Guild of Australia might be thought to be idyllic. A victim at every turn – treachery by the carton – coups to be struck all day. This is the case, of course, but we in the BGA have to plead the limits of inhumanity. We can do only so much to worsen your lives. You really must learn to make yourselves miserable when we are not available.
Let us take simple case of a person – say an ordinary man or woman who is a pillar of the community – and ask whether we really need to exercise the full fury of the Guild on them – with attendant expenses and time needed. Would it not be better in 58.3% of cases to enable them to make fools of themselves, and save our efforts for the exceptional? I think it would be.
To this end we will be sending out BGA Paks to a wide range of households in Australia this coming winter. Each Pak will contain banana peels, metal caltrops spikes, mercaptan oil in breakable containers, and a handy guide to public embarrassment that will enable the recipients to produce their own regrettable incidents. As an added incentive to use the kits the Guild will include three free Golden Tickets per 1000 kits that entitle the lucky winners to nominate someone to be publicly humiliated, with the full compendium of Guild fiendishness.
It looks like a good winter.
a. What is wrong with you.
I know what it is, because it is the same thing wrong with me.
I have a Facebook account and so do you. I can post either the most outrageously false material or provable scientific truths and it’ll pop through on your screen just the same.
c. Everything. About my life, my lunch, and my love affairs. All the little intimate details that I dare not breathe for fear of scandal. I’ll just post them on social media.
You don’t want to know? But, Darling, you don’t understand. This is me I’m writing about…
e. Something to your advantage.
This is the classic phrase used in 18th century advertisements in the broadsheets when wicked lawyers wish to find victims for their plots. I know, because I have read novels written in that period. The advantage generally concerns a legacy or a mansion somewhere in the mist.
f. A story.
Once upon a time there was this columnist who reviewed social media every day. One of his late friends was a doctor in a VD clinic and he reviewed social connections every day too – long before the internet existed – and from a different angle. He had the advantage that they issued free rubber gloves.
From conversations with him many years ago I gathered that his opinion of the social behaviours he was called upon to peer at were much the same as the Facebook posts I read. They seemed, sometimes, to ooze…and not with life, either…
g. Goodbye. And a good day to you. I shall have one, in as far as it is in my power to make it for myself. You may choose to do likewise. It will only require a cheerful thought that rewards you or an evil one that succeeds undetected. I shall go cut fuses now…
When is charity not charity? When it is extorted in consequence of threats. Then it becomes demanding money with menaces. A police matter…
In this unsavoury category I include nearly all professional fund-raising ventures that bombard the householder demanding money for unspecified people with sufferings that can only be assuaged through the accountant. They are but one stage cleaner than the ragged beggar that bails you up in the street or the thuggish hoodie who tries it on in the shopping centre car park.
Occasionally the organised charities will try it on with co-religion, national identity, or consanguinity. They will play the guilt harp as loud as the strings will stretch. They will try to inveigle you to fund-raising dinners that scour your pockets and then spotlight you to make sure you give out plenty.
Some will send you valueless goods – trinkets, stamps, stickers, or cards – that purport to benefit their poor makers – and dare you to reject them. Or they will expose a more ambitious range of quasi-ethnic junk in shops upon the premise that there is some sort of fair trade going on. Consider whether you need the tribal mask or the Australian dollars it takes to buy it. You can buy bread and vegetables with the dollars but try taking that mask to Woolies at grocery time.
But is it all bleak? Is it all hell with heels? Perhaps not.
The Sally Ann – Salvation Army to non-Australians – has had some dodgy money practices and some dodgy administrative policies in the past, but they still save bums from the street and still help poor families. The normal Salvationist is not dipping the till. They are still worth crossing the street to put money in the tin. And remember to tip your hat.
Have you ever been horribly kind? It is one of the most delicious pleasures that a treacherous person can enjoy.
We don’t mean kindness in the ordinary sense – holding a door open for a person struggling with parcels or speaking to the neglected at a party. These are all very well, but you can rarely twist them to your own ends -they are kindness wasted, as it were.
No, really treacherous kindness can be practiced only after studying your victim and the general circumstances closely. You need to know when to help to do the maximum damage.
The prime example of this was in Huysmann’s novel ” Au Rebours ” where his protagonist pays for a poor gutter-boy in Paris to be given good food and clothes and to be treated to the affections of expensive ladies for three months – and then to be turned out of doors penniless thereafter. His benefactor then contemplates the ruin of the boy’s life – spoiled for any pleasures save those that cannot be had, and doomed to a life of crime to try to obtain them again.
I do not suggest that you ruin anyone, least of all with ladies, but do give some thought to encouraging the weak to overexert themselves and the shy to obtrude where they are bound to receive contempt. Do it with a polite smile.
If you are compelled to be kind and it cannot be avoided, be kind to those more fortunate than yourself. Do it with a modest ostentation that cannot fail to be observed and resented. Offer charity to those who take pains to show that they never need it, and offer it when others can see.
Note: If you do hold the door for the person with the parcels, check and see whether the return spring on it will be fast enough to catch their heel before they get over the threshold. Remember to say ” Whoops A Daisy “.
Or, ” How To Slag, Sledge, And Slur Like A Professional “.
If you are of a delicate constitution, stop reading now, go make a pot of camomile tea, and light an incense candle. If you’re a hardier sort, welcome to the column. Your Australian host will be with you shortly – they’re just whetting the knife at present.
Overseas visitors to Australia are very often treated with deference, kindness, and polite language. We’re cruel that way. It is our method of seeming to conform to standards of gentlemanly or ladylike behaviour while trampling you underfoot. The fact that you never know it makes it even better.
I have seen someone treated this way – indeed I was tempted to be join in and be polite myself, and it is only my better nature that drew forth a vile curse from my lips. The occasion was one that saw a number of Australians and New Zealanders meet and greet in their normal style. Bastards and buggers and shitheads were everywhere, and pleased to be so called. Sheep shagging was mentioned and a person from Queensland was advised on where the pineapple could be inserted and in what orientation.
And in the midst was a person who was not liked at all. It was not that he was not respectable, or rich, or glorious, or famous…he was indeed all these things…it was because he knew it and had mentioned it publicly on a previous occasion. So he was given respectful, formal, lawful greetings whenever anyone had occsion to speak to him. He was ” Mr. So and So “, and ” Sir “, and any number of similar insults. The thing started small but eventually everyone was engaging him in conversation in a similar formal vein – then turning to someone else and calling them an ” Old Bastard “. If he knew what was happening, he never said, but I suspect he did, as he left in a short period of time.
And was never seen in the same company again.
My forthcoming trip to Melbourne and Sydney will be enlivened this year -and I hope in every subsequent year – by the opportunity to conduct the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia Annual General Meetings in each city. I am preparing my address for each location.
The Guild was founded in Melbourne several decades ago and has flourished – so much so that backstabbers can be found in every state of Australia. The Perth AGM has languished for several years but this will also be re-instituted. Given the boredom and despair – not to mention the red-hot anger and viciousness – that an AGM can generate for any society, the BGA ones are memorable.
I am planning, as Right Evil Bastard, to award medals of dishonour to several people. My chemist has assured me that the pins on the medals are tipped with curare. He was unable to obtain suitable amounts of ricin or polonium but fortunately he has a cousin from Brazil. I always think the organic poisons are the best for the environment, in any case.
In both Sydney and Melbourne I have authorised agents to book tables – a pizza restaurant is the traditional venue – and allowed them the freedom to round up the usual suspects. I am happy to say I expect the worst. If it is to be a German restaurant that would be wurst.
Will there be sadness? Will there be fear and horror? Will there be treachery and madness? Look at our name – it says it all.
Care for an invitation?
The BGA wishes to call for submissions from concerned Australians that can be used to allude that Scott Morrison colluded with the Royal Ruritanian State Security Service ( RRSSS ) to influence Saturday’s election.
We are particularly interested in any packets of letters sealed in wax that may have been couriered between Canberra and Strackenz in the period leading up to the polls. Pencil sketches of hooded riders galloping along dark roads in the dead of night will be particularly useful.
We have selected Red Green to act as Special Investigator as soon as he finishes his Lodge meeting. While Mr. Green is not an Australian citizen, we feel that his name alone should be sufficient qualification to put him in good standing with at least two of the disappointed political parties – the Greens and the Socialist Alliance.
During the period of this investigation we will be issuing calls for writs of impeachment, impearment, and …in honour of Queensland…impineapplement. As well, we will be including macadamias and the chief produce of Kingaroy in the mix.
Think of it as a fruits and nuts campaign.