The only problem is choosing where to be exiled from. It’s not as silly as it sounds.
If you are going to be exiled from somewhere, it is far better to be barred from the more horrible parts of the earth. I would hesitate to use the term ” shithole ” as this has negative political connotations, but I think we can all recognise ” troubled land ” as a pretty good description of a lot of places. And that is the basis upon which I intend to proceed.
Governing an entire nation is difficult – doing so in exile even more so as hardly anyone ever listens to you. Unless you are Charles Degaulle and have the British army behind you ( pushing you away from themselves…) the business is hardly even worth pursuing. So I intend to start my crazed lust for world power on a much more modest basis; I intend to become the government in exile for a suburb.
Not a local one, I hasten to add. Local suburbs are far too easy to get to and people who learn about my assumption of power may come looking for me to actually do something for them. The last thing I want is a line of supplicants at the door.
I shall become the ruler of some other suburb or shire located on the other side of the country. In view of the recent catastrophes I will be careful to choose somewhere that is sparsely populated and reasonably fireproof. Somewhere with no natural resources, attractive coastline, or prominent tourist attractions will be perfect as it will require the least governance.
Currently I am looking at maps of the Adelaide area. Being banned from Adelaide is sounding more attractive year by year.
For I am not fearful. The smile is real, and conceals nothing but the back of the teeth and a fair few fillings.
Do not praise me, because I am not praiseworthy…or at least not for the things that you think. If I need praise I can do it myself.
Do not be my enemy – because we are judged on the quality of our enemies, and you may not measure up.
Do not try to seduce me with offers of commercial sales. I have all the goods I need. If you offer to buy some of them off me we can talk, provided you are willing to load them on the back of your truck yourself. I don’t do heavy lifts.
Please do not sell me a plan or a program. I’ve had many plans in the past and have learned to be wary – some are futile con games that take my money and leave me disappointed…and some come to glorious fruition. Of the two results, the first is a lot easier to bear.
I can always be purchased with coffee, tea, and cakes. I am not greedy and I do not slurp or drop crumbs. The quality of my interest in your problems is directly proportional to the quality of the coffee and cake. Barista special and rich fruit cake will enlist my deepest sympathy – a plastic cup of Pablo and Nice biscuit will get you what you deserve…
And never be afraid to ask me for money – make the sum as grand as you wish. I shall be equally brave in my refusal, and the higher the demand, the greater the saving. You may be treated to a hollow laugh and a hearty handshake or vice versa.
And don’t you forget it, Grandad. Don’t try that old business about having seen it all before just because you did actually see it all before. If I didn’t think of it after watching YouTube, it doesn’t count.
And don’t try rolling your eyes at me, old man. None of that senior sarcasm or you’ll be sent to your room with no supper. Wait? What do you mean it’s your food? Just because you’ve paid for it and cooked it and served it at your own table doesn’t mean you have a right to enjoy it if I disapprove. There are principles involved and the main one is I am young and right and you are old and wrong. And I am the judge of it all…I’ve got the internet.
And in a few years I’ll be able to vote and drink beer and smoke cigarettes and get the dole and post angry memes on social media whenever I want to. I got rights.
Then I toned it down a little and became empathetic.
Lately I haven’t had the time to maintain either facade and have settled for just being pathetic. It’s a great relief and people don’t press you for things as much as before. Not after you’ve thrown up on their shoes.
A fiend* suggested that I spend some time and develop my ability to become antipathetic… but I was hostile to that. Active meanness requires a good deal of time and a surprising level of expense – what with the cost of whips these days. A few years back you could get a good dog whip for a tenner and expect it to last you through an entire kindergarten class. No more – the rubbish they import from Asia just doesn’t stand up to the wear.
Of course there is always the Buddhist road – where you don’t give either a good or a bad goddamn – or the atheist one that removes the religious component from that apathy. I am tempted – it would certainly cut down on charitable contributions to the people who do good works and the cost of the ammunition for those who don’t. But would it make no difference at all in the end ? Who cares?
- A fiend is a friend who keeps their “r’s ” out of your face…
This is an idea so cool that it needs to go viral. Or at least bacterial. Howzabout a pre-mixed pressure can of germs that can be purchased over the counter in any convenience store or chemist shop? With a fold-out nozzle like you get on a WD-40 can. Then you could spray a room or just one sandwich by merely flipping out the little red plastic tube.
We’re not talking plague here – or anthrax, smallpox, or Canadian politicians. This is just good old-fashioned gastro of the sit-on-the-pot-and-groan variety. Something you could pick up on public transport or at the library. Only instead of being a random occurrence, the BGA Butt Blaster Bug Bomb makes sure that the people who deserve to be ill are the ones who get to be.
Of course you’ll have to be responsible about its use. We make you sign a waiver at the counter stating that the BGA BBBB will not be used on babies or the elderly. We’re not monsters, you know. But everyone else is fair game, particularly if they have a sense of humour. Or not, as the case may be. You’ll find out pretty soon.
If the product proves popular, we are thinking of introducing a commercial size suitable for fast food restaurants and large private schools.
It’s no good attracting attention if you do nothing with it once you have it. You must saw a log apart if you want to make a toothpick. So, too, with the human consciousness. No-one ever forgets a pest.
This is not an essay aimed at the young. They do not need coaching on how to annoy. They burst from womb, egg, or open sore with the ability to make people unhappy. They do not need help.
But the older person who has passed many decades being civil, polite, or kind may be handicapped when it comes to being really annoying – they have long had it conditioned out of them and may baulk at the restarting process. Fortunately, retirement gives a lot more time to re-learn old skills and the behaviour of the general public toward older people encourages a little bloody-mindedness in return.
- Drive slowly and well. That will annoy the young who wish to speed past. When you get to a car park, drive slowly and poorly. That will take care of everyone else.
- Witter. You need not use wit while you do it, but keep a razor tongue ready for when someone starts to become exasperated and/or smartalecky. Then fix them in your sights and let them have it. Polite and cold is better than vulgar and hot, but go with whatever feels good at the time. It’s hard to resist a round from a prepared position.
- Be frugal until the time comes to be lavish. Then keep on being frugal…and demand the senior’s discount on it as well. A penny saved is a penny earned and a penny denied to someone else is even better.
- Be overtly and overly friendly. Gush. Be everyone’s favourite auntie, especially if you are an uncle. Interfere. Pry. Advise. Judge. Pronounce. Nothing you say will be taken the slightest notice of…until later. Then it will be keenly resented at a time when nothing can be done about it.
- No-one likes a complainer. But who the hell wants to make a career of being liked? Was Al Capone liked?
- A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, even if the medicine is arsenic. Be sweet as you hurt people. They’ll still get hurt but you’ll look good.
- Nostalgia isn’t as good as it used to be. But it’s better than the cheap nostalgia you get down the shops these days.
- In the old days you could say and do many things that are considered socially unacceptable nowadays…by people who take drugs, public money, and advantage of anything going. Does this suggest a target audience…in the best possible sense of the word ” target “? I leave it up to you, and I’m sure you won’t disappoint me.
- General ignorance of history – both recent and ancient – means that if you are more conversant with it, you can edit the stuff to suit yourself…and your listeners hardly ever know different. Try not to go too far with the mythology but do feel free to bring every conversation round to your point of view.
- Be good to small animals. Even if you treat people atrociously, you are always seen in a good light if the cats and dogs like you. You can be a swine to a human, but treat pigs humanely.
I wish to address my readership; friends, acquaintances, clients, and others who have been following my columns over the years. We have just survived a holiday period and entered into a new decade – the 2020’s – and I’d like to set matters straight at the beginning.
Firstly – if there is anyone who has been offended by anything I have written in the past decade – either here or in the commercial column I write – could they please contact me with details of the piece that caused the problem. Whatever it was – outrage, grief, melancholy, or a vague sense of unease – just give me a brief analysis of the thing.
It is very valuable to know when a raw point has been touched – a nerve pinched or a powder magazine exploded. It allows for repeated and accurate targeting and really efficient destruction. Rest assured that any information is kept in the strictest confidence until it has been on-sold and a receipt given. The BGA is nothing if not professional.
Likewise, there are going to be topics which the users of this column long to read about. We’re not going to provide the winners of the 3:40 from Kempton, obviously. But we may do so for a cut of the profits. And it will be just the same with other things – if you want to read about something, just let me know. Any information will be gratefully received. If there is any story you wish me to suppress, just see appendix A. for the price list. Silence is golden, but misleading statements and rumours can be had for silver and copper.
Finally, some politicians have been concerned that they have been represented in a bad light throughout the last decade – made to look foolish or criminal or tawdry. They feel that their reputations have been tarnished here in the column by the inference that they are vile.
Rest assured that is not the case – they are vile because of their behaviour and their reputations are non-existent. If anything, we’ve made them look better…refuting that old adage about not being able to polish a turd. You can indeed do it, but it’s still hard to find buyers…