I sincerely hope you will be disappointed by this book. To disappoint, anger and dismay has always been my ideal. Of course I’ve made the book a fairly commercial collection of light-hearted topical comments. This is so I can dismay you further by pocketing a huge advance and spending the rest of my life surfing, reading crime thrillers and fucking.
If I had it my way this book would be an impeccably researched novel about the friendship between Tom, a young white boy, and Jefferson, an old black gardener, set in turn-of-the-century Mississippi. It would possess an air of complete authenticity. The old gardener would have an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs and their uses, but he would be an illiterate and solitary curmudgeon. He would heal the boy’s broken arm with a poultice and later save his little brother from dying of a fever. Young Tom would convince Mr Bridges, his schoolmaster, of the gardener’s gifts and together the three of them would start to write a herbal encyclopaedia. The three protagonists would come from very different worlds, so there would be a lot of conflict but also a lot of wry humour and wisdom.
After the first 50 pages the reader would wonder what kind of follow-up this was to the jokey autobiography of a panel-show contestant. After 100 pages they would be completely drawn into the world of Tom, Jefferson and Mr Bridges. After 150 pages they would be nervously wondering whether Tom’s stepmother could really have been so spiteful as to burn the manuscript.
For the final 50 pages I would have a description of Old Jefferson surprising Tom in a hay barn and the two of them having brutal, unprotected consensual sex. As he fucked the boy, he would scream about how he didn’t give a shit about plants. Perhaps in modern words, because he was a time traveller or something.His cock would grow to a fantastical size within the boy, and glow and hum like a lightsaber. The boy’s arsehole would start to talk. ‘I clench and unclench just like a vagina’ it would note cheerfully in poor French.
Perspective would shift jarringly to a microscopic civilisation that lived in the hay under Tom’s face. They would be a poetic, romantic people for whom time moved incalculably slowly. Tom’s face would have hung in their sky like the sun for millennia before Old Man Jefferson started fucking him. Its gradual change to a rictus of pain would excite and disturb the minds of their greatest philosophers. Eventually, the glowing tip of a huge black cock emerging from his mouth would cause the whole society to commit mass suicide.
Ideally, the title of the book would be an endless binary number and it would scream when you opened it and then a brawny fist would shoot out from between the pages and rip the nose right off your face. As you fell to the ground squealing, the hand would hail a cab that would run over your head. A passer-by would film your death on a mobile, making it an internet phenomenon. Huge crowds of Japanese teens would gather at stadium events to masturbate each other as they watched it on overhead screens. This footage of your nonchalant and motiveless murder by a book would attract a billion YouTube hits and not a single sympathetic comment. In a million years a super-advanced civilisation of androids would misinterpret the film and you would become a figure in their culture analogous to a paedophile Guy Fawkes.
Through advanced scientific methods they would re-create your consciousness and you would re-live your whole life over and over again, but with all the enjoyable stuff taken out. On the day of your 18th birthday someone would hit you so hard on the back of the head with a polo mallet that your eyes would pop out. Crawling from your burning house you would have your arse clawed out by a mountain lion and when you reached the hospital you would be diagnosed with AIDS of the leg and cancer of your empty eye sockets. Through a synaptic quirk you would have one image frozen in your mind so it was as if you were looking at it constantly – your long-dead Chinese stepfather’s dead arsehole. The only way to treat your eyes would involve, every night just before bed, playing the screams from a horror movie loudly to encourage a wolverine to fuck the sockets. Somehow its stinking cock would numb the holes even as its scrabbling feet shredded your face and scalp. You would continue to re-live this life in ever-increasing detail long after the universe had ended, praying for death to a God who was already dead himself.
I got into comedy because I loved watching comedy as a child. I later discovered that’s a bit like loving burgers as a child and deciding to become a cow. I’ve never found anything in life particularly heart-warming or uplifting. Except the smiles of my children and even those are ruined by the knowledge that someday my children will die, their smiles having long gone as they struggled with the mental and social handicaps they developed from having a cunt like me for a dad. If you want to hear something uplifting go read something else. You are well catered for in our culture; there are hordes of halfwits who want to help you find an upside. One day both you and I will be hipbones and shinbones buried in a box being eaten by worms. You will find no solace here.
Just fuckin witcha! I’ve always had an instinct to laugh at everything, the good stuff, the horror, everything. With laughter comes perspective. You might be scared of the dark, you might be sitting alone in the woods in the dark but if you suddenly heard laughter … no, wait a minute. Some people don’t hold with the old ‘gallows humour’, it’s not civilised, there’s some stuff you shouldn’t laugh about and so on. I think we’re all in this trench together and everything is fair game. Do me a favour. Any time you have a problem with somebody having a laugh, have a think about where your grandparents went, look around and tell me what you think a gallows looks like.