It has been two entire whole years since I last wrote on here. If you’re new, feel free to peruse past articles but don’t judge me too harshly. Remember, these essays are meant to be Humorous; they may not actually be Funny, but that doesn’t stop them from being Humorous. If you’d like to read more, and therefore require me to write more, please @ me on the usual channels.
As one arbitrary ten year period – defined by human beings as the amount of time from when the sun appears above the swampland of the River Thames and the birth of Jesus Christ – passes into another, many of my esteemed friends, casual acquaintances and downright despicable enemies post upon their social media grainy 10 year-old camera phone portraits and trite recaps of past glories.
It would be magnificently bitter of someone like me who is handsome, sharp, always on the tip-top of fashion to pour scorn on the idea of reeling off one’s humble hit parade. The upshots are there for all to see; a hit of self-esteem (much needed in a northern hemisphere winter), inspiration for the posse and the crew, gratitude and appreciation for those erstwhile comrades who held us up against the winds of change and a coded message saying ‘go-fuck-yourself’ to anyone who dared stand in our way.
Yet it occurs to me that something is missing. Like Columbo (where was he in 2019? I hope Peter Falk is OK. edit: he is dead) turning and shaking his cigar to add “Just one more thing,” I can’t help but point out that writing a list like this, or indeed comparing your 5 megapixel photos from 2009 to the LSD*-sharp image of an iPhone 11 Pro** involves looking back into the past, when really what we need to be doing is living for TODAY.
Why dwell in memories when they are barely even reality? The past might well be more real than the future; after all, we have cave paintings, postcards and YouTube to remind us that it all happened. Consider if you will, though, that persimmon you ate an hour ago. Does it still exist? Can you see it, feel it, taste it? Has it passed through your body in the form of poop? Is that fruit even still in season? On such branches grow thoughts of transience, of futility, of loss; of seizing the moment at every opportunity. What does not grow on those branches? Sharon fruits, also known as persimmons.
One should not look back on the past, lest we crick our necks and get stuck that way™. Oh, you had a bad day yesterday? Yesterday is gone. The morning sun burnt it up and a new day began in its place. Be fresh bro! What’s that lady? You lost your job? Guess what; that office grew legs, bust its foundations and strolled away leaving an empty lot where your career used to be. Today’s vocation awaits you. Hark! Say again friend! Your entire family died in a fire? Both parents, all children, partner and your bit of fluff on the side? You’re now completely alone you say? Fine. Those children had the stench of nostalgia all over them and your partner was holding you back. One thing’s for certain, love exists in the now and today is a fine day for a new mistress.
Let us delve into this theory a little more deeply. Look around you; what can you see? A wilted red rose reminds you that yesterday you campaigned for Labour, destroyed tories all over social media, voted twice using the name of a dead relative; and yet, today Jeremy Corbyn is selling off old manifestos to save up for a Berghaus jacket. He wants to get an outdoor hobby but he doesn’t know what yet; could be hiking, could be orienteering, but one thing it won’t be is Prime Minister of the UK.
Your eye veers left to an umbrella, reminding you of that awful weather disaster that befell your neighborhood. Maybe it was a Japanese typhoon, an earth quake in Albania or a bush fire in California or Eastern Australia (in which case, an umbrella wouldn’t help much. If you’re in Australia, get out NOW). Your house may have been reduced to rubble or flooded halfway to your genitals but that’s now in the past tense. There’s only one thing on the agenda today and that is painting jagged rocks, shouting to and at family members (it’s still Christmas after all) plus decorating your flood plain with floating tealights, available at IKEA worldwide.
That picture on the shelf of you with your friends catches your eye. OK, so you were living with R. Kelly and now you find yourself without a sex cult; what can be done about that? Allison Mack sure ain’t hiring. Starting a sex cult is a tall order but one thing you can do today is have sex with just one person, and try to hypnotize them at some point. Use a Derren Brown voice. It might not be an entire organization YET but if it helps solve your abandonment issues then how harmful can it be?
The past isn’t the only thing that we should be wary of. Around this time of year, many of us start to talk about a much more dangerous fictional creation. THE FUTURE. It seems bright, exciting, full of hope and spaceships. Really though, how can we rely on it? Unlike the past, we don’t even have pottery or Tweets to prove that it is really going to happen. Living in the now is 50% past denial and 45% future skepticism. Here’s a few suggestions on how you can deal with future-tripping without having to quit acid-or-mushroom-tripping.
American friends (if such a thing exists) might cast their eye to the television (if such a thing exists) and spot a screenburnt image of President Donald Trump permanently etched onto their Samsung. Whether you intend to topple him from power or help carry his saggy leather anus into another four year term, planning ahead to November isn’t going to serve you or your country (hold on; did you even SERVE your country?!***) Nay, act today; drive to Pennsylvania Avenue, run through the lawns and expose yourself to him. If possible, leap your genitals up onto his hand. Just one more sex scandal will certainly be enough to EITHER end his presidency for good OR endear him to a whole new generation of morally stunted perverts and self-hating women. Which side you take just depends whether you smile or not.
Ice melts in your freshly-guzzled daiquiri number 3 and your thoughts turn to global warming, climate change and melting ice caps. Will it be twenty years, ten years or five? Will we survive, will we stay alive? All the rhymes in the world won’t help you find a solid answer to that stumper; we might even limp along for another 100 years and by that time we’ll have run out of shows to reboot and precious metals to fill our devices with. Fret not about the long-term stuff; Greta Thunberg’s doing the heavy lifting on that. Leave it to the kids. Meanwhile, what you can do today is run your home freezer overtime and make more ice to replace the stuff that’s melting at the poles. The bears will thank you later when they’re fat and fighting again.
So, you get the idea. If in 2019 you started a charity, ended poverty, voted for the good guys, ate less lamb, recognized gender fluidity to the point that you stopped using pronouns altogether; great, good for…person, but that was last year and those things are out the window now. Maybe you’re planning a marathon next year, kids in 2025, off-grid home and all-cannibal diet by next decade? Hot stuff but what are you gonna do today? Invent a new type of bread? Start a chain e-mail? Get freaky in an abandoned shop? The choice is yours. Go forth! And worry not of tomorrow, for she is but a data-gathering spybot on your device, listening to your every conversation; non-existent according to official sources, despite what seems like overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Happy new year.
*Yes, I meant LSD.
**Suitable only for the professional mobile phone user. Amateurs need not apply.
***Thank you for your service.