The dreaded day has arrived: Today, I'm 60. No big deal you say, just a number. But whatever way we parcel it up, I'm officially old, or am I? I write this from the comfort of my bed. My wife is preparing a cooked breakfast- breakfast in bed. I can't recall the last time this happened: Bacon, sausage, eggs and pigs pudding. Not a healthy concoction admittedly; hey I've made it thus far, so I must be doing something right. Later today my daughter, her partner and my granddaughter will be joining us for a BBQ. Sadly my son won't be with us as he is working in Perth, Western Australia.
As the hackneyed old phrase goes: ''If I'd known I was going to live this long I would have looked after myself better''. Actually, I'm not too bad. Still have all my hair and teeth and I'm reasonably fit, for my age. I'm going to have to get used to that expression: 'for my age'.
I dare say, later in the day, I'll crack open a couple of cold beers.........
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
"Aelius Sejanus was a Tuscan (Etruscan) by birth. He obtained in his youth a commission in the Praetorian Guard, and rose from post to post till he became chief-in-command, first as his father's colleague and then alone. It was he who made the Praetorians the formidable force that many a time in after years gave the Empire at its will. He collected its scattered regiments into one corps, and gave it a camp outside the walls. He spared no pains to make himself the idol of the troops, not only in Rome, but in the provinces, and he succeeded so well, that his bust was commonly placed beside the Emperor's at headquarters to be common objects of veneration."
Aelius Sejanus of ancient Rome makes the perfect study in the use and misuse of power. The man, at his pinnacle, had it all and controlled the greatest Empire of the ancient world: Rome. But his position was always precarious, and he knew it. His time as Praefect of the largest military force in Rome gave him immense power due to the unique trust afforded by the Roman Emperor, Tiberius. I feel sorry for Tiberius. I get the impression that he never wanted to be Emperor. It was foisted on him by his ambitious mother, Livia. Although in truth, he really had little choice in the matter.
Augustus had established a dictatorship. By 26BC the Republic was no more and could never be reinstated. Dictatorship was the only political reality for Rome. If Tiberius didn't take the throne after Augustus' death, then someone else would. And by necessity, Tiberius and perhaps his whole family would be killed; this was the political reality in post-Republican Rome. Tiberius was a competent soldier and what we would call, an 'academic'. He was no fool and fully recognised the position he was in. He once said: "Ruling Rome was like holding a wolf by the ears". He almost lost that grasp.
The Praetorian Guard was originally scattered in lodgings outside the city. Sejanus took the important initiative of bringing 9,000 troops into a single barracks close to the city walls. Tiberius deserted Rome for the island of Caprae in 26 AD never to return. He had grown tired of Imperial administration and was happy to devolve this onerous task to the able and hardworking Praefect. In the absence of the Emperor, Sejanus became the master of Rome and therefore, by default, the Empire. It is easy to see how one man could be seduced by such power. Sejanus controlled access to the Emperor and anyone seeking the ear of Tiberius had to do so through him. In this way, Sejanus cemented a sycophantic following amongst the Senators of Rome. Any dissension in the ranks was swiftly dealt with and miscreants found themselves summarily brought before the courts on 'treason charges'. The outcome requires no imagination. Tiberius' family proved more of a challenge. Haughty and aristocratic they considered themselves immune from, or so they reckoned, from state-sanctioned destruction wrought by Sejanus, or more correctly, Sejanus' agents. Tiberius's son, Drusus, no doubt resented the power entrusted in this mere knight. Naturally, Drusus was feted to be the next Emperor. Drusus from his exalted status and perspective was under no illusion about Sejanus' ultimate intention. His unique and privileged position gave him the means to check the power of Sejanus, if only he had applied some subtlety. But subtlety was not part of a noble Roman's makeup and he was openly hostile to the Praefect. On one occasion, Drusus struck Sejanus during an argument. Sejanus' response was calculated and far-seeing; he seduced Drusus' wife, Livilia.
Sejanus was an intelligent and more importantly, a patient man. He would have to be. Even after he convinced Livillia to poison her impetuous husband he still had to remove other members of the Imperial family and it would have been prudent to do so before the death of Tiberius. If Tiberius died suddenly, and with heirs apparent Sejanus would have a problem. Although he was in the perfect position to seize power, as he commanded Rome's troops his position was not overly secure. Apart from Drusus, Sejanus had Germanicus’ children to deal with. Germanicus had been a popular soldier and member of the royal family who had died whilst on campaign under suspicious circumstances. Although Germanicus’ children were dissolute they still attracted love, prestige and respect from the common people and more importantly, the legions, especially the powerful Rhine army. He may have been secure in Rome, but Sejanus did not have enough loyal troops to fight a civil war if the Rhine legions marched south.
There is disagreement amongst modern scholars concerning Tiberius's motivation and stance toward Sejanus. Some reckon he was a simple dupe who left the running of the Empire to his able associate and ultimately trusted Sejanus, implicitly. Others suspect that Tiberius was playing a fine game. He would have found Sejanus useful but was under no illusion as to his true intention. Therefore, he gambled that Sejanus would not make a bid for power whilst he lived. A reasonable assumption, I think. I lean toward the second interpretation. Tiberius was a highly intelligent man and not without guile when it suited him. I can't believe that Tiberius was totally unaware of Sejanus' machinations even though secluded on the delightful island of Caprae. Perhaps Tiberius was a cunning old goat, after all? Of course, we will never know for sure. This neatly brings us to the ancient sources and the problem of interpretation. We are much reliant on the ancient authors, Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus and Cassius Dio. All are unsympathetic commentators on both Tiberius and Sejanus. History is not a scientific appreciation of events but an interpretation. Clearly events happen, but motives and a consideration of the complex interaction between parties involved can be lost or conveniently, not reported. Historians are not as objective as they like to think, or above prejudice or partisan involvement. As for the Roman writers, there is another consideration: they wrote for a limited audience. They wrote for the Imperial family and the Roman ‘ruling’ elite. And so they were inclined to reinforce and defer to the views of the incumbent Emperor. At the time of writing, Imperial feeling was overtly antagonistic to the memory of Sejanus and Tiberius. Roman writers walked a thin line between ‘artistic freedom’ and pandering to rulers who could end their livelihoods and even their lives. Modern revisionist historians have, on the whole, produced a more balanced and sympathetic view of the second Emperor, but not of Sejanus.
Sejanus, working through agents, progressively discredited Germanicus’ male children in the eyes of the Emperor. Drusus, Nero (not the future emperor) and their mother, Agrippina were imprisoned and eventually suffered a pitiful fate. The only male sibling to escape was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ( future Emperor, Caligula). Unfortunately for Sejanus and the future Empire, Caligula had been sent to Caprae and was impervious to Sejanus’ guile and machinations.
It is said that Tiberius received a letter from a kinswoman (possibly Antonia) informing him of Sejanus' intent of taking over the reins of power from a senile old Emperor. Anyway, regardless how Tiberius arranged it, he secured the allegiance of Sejanus' second in command, Macro. Thus, Sejanus's fall was swift and brutal. In the Senate, one day (31AD), a letter from the Emperor was read out. At first, it praised Sejanus, but as it continued it became chiding and culminated in Sejanus' denunciation. Macro's troops were quick to react and Sejanus was promptly arrested and strangled. Poor Sejanus had always a flimsy power base secured by fear alone; at least among the Senators. Once arrested, any genuine support he may have had evaporated clean away. A purge followed and Sejanus’ family and friends were ruthlessly murdered.
Sejanus’ legacy: The concentration of such a large military force outside Rome’s walls would have some unpleasant repercussions for the future of the Empire. The Praetorians soon learned to use their power to extort money from ruling and potential Emperors and eventually became ‘King makers’ by virtue of their power base within the heart of the Empire, civil wars notwithstanding. More than a few Emperors, from Claudius onwards, if they wanted to continue to rule and ultimately valued their lives would have to 'donate' a generous largesse to the troops.
Well, bugger me sideways with a sharp stick! As my diligent readers will recall, I posted about the delightful Jehovah’s Witnesses just a couple of weeks ago. In that post, I bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t received a visitation for many a long year. I put it all down to sinister motives and suspected I had been consigned to the ‘black list’ of doom. Jehovah/Yahweh must have heard my heart felt and plaintive cry and decided to send a visitation. Thankfully the Warrior Storm God curbed his wrath and in his infinite wisdom decided to send a couple of his devoted acolytes and not a plague of ferrets.
Consider my excitement when a couple of well-groomed fellas knocked heartily on my door last Saturday morn. I rushed to the door promptly followed by my three trusty hounds. Who could be knocking on my door at 10.00am on a brightSaturdaymorning- surely it could be none other?
I immediately recognised the pair of gentlemen as Jehovah's Witnesses and addressed them as such. In return, I received a beatific smile. The dynamic was quite interesting: A man in his late teens/early 20s stood close to the door while his much older companion stood a way back, at the top of the drive. The young man opened with one of JWs stock gambits and I replied in my usual fashion. Within a few minutes it was clear to the young fellow’s companion that his disciple was out of his depth and the older man came close to intervene verbally. At this stage, the young man deferred to his older companion and took no further part in the discussion. The other chap was a veteran of the door step and well versed in JW doctrine. However, so was I. We bantered back and forth for about 15 minutes and eventually the duo admitted defeat and made their retreat. During the second stage of the discussion, I could see that the young chap, although quiet, was listening intently to my ripostes to the standard JW arguments. I would like to think I made an impression. Anyway, as they turned to leave I looked the young man in the eye and said: “There is a whole big world outside of Jehovah’s Witness teaching. When you have read some secular wisdom and reflected upon it come and let me know what you think”. The lad was taken aback and stammered an incoherent reply. It was then he received a stern admonishing look from the elder. And so they left.
My wife, who had been lurking in the background, and occasionally giving me ‘that look’, eventually said: “You bastard, why don’t you tell them to fuck off like everyone else”? "But my dear, I was having so much fun”. To which she replied: “Weirdo”.
Once out of earshot, I'm pretty sure the older gentleman would have given his younger companion a lecture about the dangers of 'worldly ways' and how the cunning devil is adept at using 'mortal instruments' to deflect the righteous from the one true path. And thus suitably chastened the young fellow would undoubedly refrain from casting a wide intellectual net and thus remain firmly rooted within the JW fold. But then again, you never know……………
I attended a funeral today. Well not really. When we arrived the deed had been done and the deceased had already been rendered unto ash.
What I attended was a celebration of life. The dour bit had gone and his friends and extended family were all there to say goodbye to a good and well-loved man. No religious sentiment here; a truly secular affair. So on a sunny and windy day just north of Wellington in a venue beautifully supported by the back drop of the wild Pacific Ocean (surely an oxymoron) I came to say goodbye. A series of poignant but upbeat speeches ensued. Not morbid, but soberly reflective on a man with a wicked and constant sense of good humour. Bruce's grandson (for it is he) made a great impression on me. If we leave anything behind it is our offspring. Here was a good young man; the spawn of another. Also, no one mentioned his passing but boldly stated that he had died. The Kiwis are the most practical and sensible people on earth and eschew religion in all its guises. Tis one of the many reasons I love living in New Zealand.
The Kiwis are not great at expressing emotion and not easily moved to tear. But on that day, I caught a few silent sobs. Not me though, I'm tough and anyway my contact lenses were playing up that day.
Characteristically of the daft old bugger he wanted a 'pre-funeral' so he could be there to hear what was said about him. Also, characteristically, he decided to hang around for his daughter's wedding. Although desperately sick he walked his daughter down the aisle. Two weeks to the day, he was dead.
As I talked to a few friends and shared our reminiscences, a couple of us recalled his earlier wish of receiving a Viking funeral. Looking out of the window of the 'Yacht Club', I could see his body ensconced on a longboat. Covered in pitch and tar, the sail would take Bruce's body out into the ocean whilst bowmen sent flaming arrows into the boat. And so it would sail, burning into the sunset. Sadly, on this day the waves were high and the prevailing wind was onshore and thus, the badly burnt corpse would have been tossed unceremoniously on the jagged rocks. Probably best he was cremated then. The proceedings finished with a bugler playing: 'Last Post'. Moving and incredibly sad.
I'm not getting younger and I'm starting to attend more funerals than is good for anyone. I remember attending funerals for my grandparents and dad. But now I'm attending the funerals of my friends. Tis a reminder of my own mortality. But as one cheery soul told me: ''If I'm blessed/cursed with a long life, eventually the funerals will cease''. Of course, there is always the last one where attendance is obligatory.
As he lay dying surrounded by family, Bruce said: "Be sad, but not too much and not too long". Basically, this sums up my dead friend in a kernel. He was about life. He knew that this life is all we get and he enjoyed it - although he did have a questionable taste in beer; I forgave him in death.
Sadly, I couldn't stay long as I had to be back to work. So I could not celebrate death with alcohol, which is the custom. However, later, once sequestered in my study, I will lift a glass or three to a good old mate.
I was approached by my flaxen-haired son the other day. ''Father'' he said, ''I come seeking your wisdom on a grave matter''. The following exchange ensued:
FS: ''You are not gay, are you''?
FS jnr: ''Of course not, Papa. How silly for you to think this way. In fact, I intend to ask for the hand of my beloved Emily. If she refuses I will surely end my life''.
FS: ''She's not Welsh is she? And why are you talking like a heroine in a Jane Austin novel?
FS jnr: ''Enough of this insane banter. And no she is not Welsh. I have an interview tomorrow for a prestigious IT job and I would like some advice''.
FS: ''Well son you have come to the right person. Who better to ask than a mad old bugger with a tenuous grip on reality''.
So here is Flaxen Saxon's sage advice on interview technique.Arse.
1. When asked, ''How are you''. Say, ''Goal orientated''. See number 8.
2. Remember the interviewer's name and use it in the interview. If you forget, call them 'Jobbo face' or if a woman interviewer, 'Jobbo face, baby'. Try it, it works.
3. Leave a gap in your CV for 2011 .When asked for an explanation, just say: ''Arab Spring'', wink and point to yourself.
4. Don't forget that employers check Facebook accounts. Delete any photos of you posing in Nazi regalia. Instead, substitute photos of you looking at pages of programming code. A picture of Steve Jobs looking wistful in the background can only help.
5. Make eye contact. If two interviewers, move your eyes independently to regard both at the same time. If three interviewers present use your 'third eye' or borrow one from a friend.
6. Tell them you are not an applicant, but an appliCAN.
7. If you have to fart, look intensely at one of the interviewers and frown.
8. Don't forget to lard your answers with the latest business speak, such as: 'Moving forward'; 'core competency'; 'empower'; 'bleeding edge' and my favourite, 'corporate values'. Put them all together in a sentence.
9. When asked about hobbies, don't mention your proclivity to 'burn stuff' and your ability to crush small animals with one hand.
10. If you have to belch, burp out the word, 'enthusiastic'.
11. When asked to describe yourself, say, ''Goal orientated with an inordinate propensity to empower bleeding edge colleagues with corporate values and core competency, moving forward''.
12. Only SHOUT out the word, 'ARSE', if panicked and as a desperate distraction.
Let me know how you get on, son. I think he'll be okay.
You receive a notification in your inbox saying you have won millions in a lottery you didn’t enter. Or perhaps an email from someone trying to shift 50 million dollars from a dormant account and they need your help? Have you been contacted recently by a close family relative of the deposed African dictator Colonel Ipod Mugumbo? For help in transferring some outrageous sum of money, you will receive a generous percentage. What do all these offers have in common? They are all scams designed to part you from your hard-earned gelt. You already knew this, didn’t you? Surely no one in their right mind would fall for this obvious fraud? But they do. This is particularly perplexing as the email solicitations, are in main, remarkably crude and are often well larded with spelling mistakes and laughable grammatical errors. Perhaps these emails are intentionally unsophisticated in order to convince the victim that they are dealing with a simple individual incapable of deceit or guile. Or maybe the perpetrators are semi-illiterate? I'll leave you to judge. Advance fee fraud, also known as the 419 scam, is a very common form of scam. Whatever the story, the fraudster will eventually get round to asking for money. The amount varies depending on the scenario. It may be $90 or several thousands of dollars. The scammer will say it is for taxes, insurance, bribing of officials or courier fees. Whatever the amount, or whatever the reason, you will be invariably asked to send the money by Western Union or Money Gram. This ensures that the transaction is untraceable. Advance fee fraud is big business. Many of the emails emanate from West Africa and most come from Nigeria. Although it is true to say that this is an international phenomenon and increasingly scam emails can arrive in your inbox from Europe and Asia. It is estimated that $13 billion was lost to scammers in 2014 alone and this is likely to represent an underestimate. Often the crime goes unreported because victims feel duped and foolish. In terms of income, for Nigeria alone, advance fee fraud comes in third after oil and bananas. Returning to the original question: How can people fall for these scams; how can people be so gullible? I suppose the easy answer is greed and desperation. Greed can cloud the clearest of minds and blind even intelligent folk to stark reality. People in dire economic straits may clutch at ‘opportunities’ that seem to answer all their financial woes, but first they just need to send off that pesky processing fee. Most of us would like to think that we are 'worldly wise' and 'internet savvy'- and to be fair, most of us are. Unsophisticated souls and internet newbies are easy prey for predators. Today over 1.3 billion people have access to the internet. This represents 25% of the world’s population and internet use is growing by 8 people per second. This is a lot of potential suckers and it only needs a small percentage of the internet population to send money to scammers to make the activity highly profitable. As in most things in life, education is the key. Good old fashioned common sense and a nose for things that just don’t ring true are always sound protection. How can you win a lottery that you never entered? Why would anyone give you 40% of 60 million dollars for just handling a cheque? In the final analysis, an old adage is worth pondering and applying: ‘If something sounds too good to be true then invariably it is’.
On a lighter note, a whole industry has grown up scamming the scammers. 'Scambaiting' has become a popular pastime for creative folk with too much time on their hands. Some of the exchanges are hilarious and you can check out these sites here:http://www.419eater.com/ ; https://www.thescambaiter.com/forum/ . The premise is to string the scammer along, wasting their time and if possible, their money. The really good exponents of 'scambaiting' obtain photographic trophies of their 'victims', usually doing ridiculous things. Of course, the scammers eventually catch on..... Apparently in the scambaiting community, to receive a death threat is considered a 'badge of honour'. As you have guessed, anonymity is the way to go for 'scam baiters'. For all the japes and fun, it has to be remembered that scammers are criminals and frankly not very nice people. Be careful out there.
Now if you would like to learn more just simply send $499 by Western Union.
Kanye West has released a series of Tweets, pleading poverty. For those who don't know: Apparently he's a big celeb married to one of the Kardashians - the one with the big fat arse. Arse.
It looks as if the poor bugga/nigga can no longer support a billionaire lifestyle on a millionaire income and bleats that he is $53 million in debt. He has made an impassioned plea to the billionaire owner of Farcebook for a billion dollar donation. This is mere pocket money for Mark Zuckerberg. Here are some of my favourite Kanye Bleats, er Tweets.
Hey, he might have a point here. Why give money which only gets siphoned off to black General, Teapot Mugumbo, when you can give it directly to an equally deserving black 'gangsta rapper'. And of course, charity begins at home. Or in this case, at the local insane asylum for deluded arsetistes.
Tis a good idea to enlist the world to put pressure on one of the world's richest men. I’m sure everyone would like to help the deserving Kanye to achieve his dream of being handed a billion dollars for nothing. I’m convinced, and would like to initiate a charity directed toward nurturing millionaire so-called celebs facing cash flow problems or when their over-priced branded goods are not selling too well. Please send your donations, care of Flaxen Saxon, PO 234, Wellington Central Mail Office, New Zealand. Please ensure you make the cheques out to CASH:Cash for Artists too Stupid to realise they are Half-witted and talentless.
A mere $1,000 will support a cocaine habit for a night.
$10,000 will ensure that an ailing celeb will be able to stay for a night at the Ritz and dine on the finest caviar and champagne.
An extra $1,000 will provide the services of 'Candice Marie'. A local actor, model, exotic dancer and burger technician at MacDonalds.
C’mon, you know celebs are special people and not like us simple proles. Dig deep in your pockets and help support their lavish lifestyle. I promise to forward the gelt to the most deserved of self-absorbed, shallow, egotistical twats. Honest.
Later this week, the Tipton Broadcasting Corporation airs its flagship reality show: ‘Keeping up with the Gypos’. A ‘fly on the Dogshit Documentary’, follows the trials, tribulations and tax avoidance of an average ‘Gypo family', the Mugumbos.
In the first episode, we are introduced to the matriarch of the family, Ma Mugumbo. Ma is the glue which keeps the family together and sticking to the floors of their sumptuously appointed, garishly adorned caravan. This week the family faces a real dilemma when Ma declares she wants to spend all the family money on a big fat arse reduction as she can no longer squeeze through the caravan door. Predictably, the family is divided. Grampa Mugumbo reasons that the money should be spent on beer, fags and ferret sexing. Whilst Ma's recently estranged husband, Pa Mugumbo (call me Candice-Marie) wants the family funds spent on whipping orf his man bits and replacing them with an inverted plastic bag from Aldi.
Watch the antics of the Mugumbo offspring, all 37 of them, not including several classified as none human life forms, as they negotiate the never ending cycle of drinking, stealing and haute coture.
Saviour the excitement as the Mugumbos branch out from their customary industry of stealing cars to the salubrious world of selling stuff they haven't stolen. Watch amazed as they market their new exotic fragrance aptly called: ‘Toilet Water’. It has no artificial ingredients and is composed entirely of toilet water (with solids), scooped lovingly and with sumptuous care from the pond at the edge of the encampment. It contains only the purest most virulent effluent and is priced competitively at 15 hedgehogs a gallon.
As the series develops we will gain exclusive insight into the mysterious world of the 'The Gypo' as we pick through the detritus of their culturally diverse, enriching, empowering and exhilarating lives . Arse.
Friends are undoubtedly a boon and a gift to mankind. But like most unsolicited gifts they are unwanted and you end up swapping them for an acquaintance. It will come as no surprise, that I am bereft in the ‘friend department’. Indeed, a very wise man once told me: “You should never have more friends than the fingers on your left hand after a chainsaw accident”. Wise words indeed, Mr Mugumbo.
Here are a few uplifting bon mots concerning ‘friends and friendship’ to make your heart soar…..
Friends are like trees, they fall down if you hit them multiple times with an axe.
Friends are like snowflakes, they disappear if you piss on them.
Imaginary friends are like real friends, except you can't chop them up and feed them to the pigs. That is of course if you are friendly with a pig farmer. Then it gets complicated, especially if the pig farmer decides he wants to hang out with you. And all you want to do is rock gently in the foetal position in a small, darkened room. Pig farmers are so needy. This is not totally correct and I need to add a caveat: At least imaginary pig farmers go away after taking medication: ''Isn't that right Mr Mugumbo?" Unfortunately, Mr Mugumbo is generally none compliant.
Friends are like a ferret. When you least expect it they bite the end of your finger clean orf and shit on your carpet......
I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy inside and out. What about you?
Why do Jehovah's Witnesses always travel in pairs? I suppose it is one of the universe's impenetrable mysteries. Sadly, the JWs no longer knock on my door. I suspect I have been placed on their 'Blacklist'. Quite an accolade especially as they are directed to proselytise to all. And it is not as though they are concentrating their evangelism on more worthy neighbourhoods. I often see them floating about my area and let's face it they are easy to spot. To be honest, my neighbourhood has a certain reputation as a hot bed for 'swingers' Too many 30 something professional couples with too much time on their hands. Lots of sinners of questionable morals waiting to be saved by the men in suits.
When we first moved to the area we received their ministrations for about a year. I know most folk consider the JWs a minor irritation but I was always welcoming and polite. I would enthusiastically invite them in for a 'chat'. I could see the joy in their faces as they contemplated a miraculous conversion. Hallelujah, Brother! Once they were comfortably seated sipping tepid tea and munching on rich tea bikkies, I would unleash my opening gambit: "The concept of God is irrational and contradictory- discuss". At this stage, I would receive a smile that didn't quite reach their eyes and the pair would exchange worried glances. And so it would begin......
Their stock response to questions of this ilk, and there is always a stock response, is to fall upon the argument of the Reverend Paley. I'll not go into Paley's riposte here, although I've added a link for the curious. Suffice to say it is a piss poor argument and easily refuted.
Indeed, all doctrines of the JWs are easily refuted. Tis all very superficial. Although they state they are engaging in a rational debate, they are doing no such thing. There is no real depth to their arguments and when you push them into the contemplation of the metaphysic and rational they flounder like a floundery thing. Cruel I know, but I have been made so by the delightful JWs themselves.
I grew up in a Jehovah's Witness household. I realised from an early age that the so-called doctrine was a load of horse shit. I was prone to ask questions and was always provided with stock, glib and ready made answers and when I questioned the 'answers' I was referred to the Elders. The Elders would come forth with their second tier answers, replete with warnings and injunctions about the 'fool' who asked too many questions. I was soundly given the impression that the prudent JW should shut the fuck up and take on board the doctrine without discussion or dissension. Of course, I was stubborn, so I received the third tier approach which involved physical beatings. To be honest, this approach was counter productive. I still asked provocative questions but I became inured to the beatings. Of course we are going back to the early 1960s, I'm sure methodology has changed a lot since then. By the time I was 10 I knew I was an atheist and the beatings didn't bother me. In fact, it has become enshrined in the family motto: "Strength through pain". Shout that out on your child's sports event to invoke the full displeasure from other parents.
If the person we ultimately become is governed by our early informative experiences, and to a large extent I do believe this to be the case, then I have to admit that my childhood brush with JWs has left an imprint on my body (I have the scars) and my soul. Luckily I don't have a soul, so I'm left totally unscathed in that direction. Phew! As for the mental welts, and memories, I've placed them in a dark mental vault and they can only be accessed when I can be bothered to bring forth the right mental key. As I age I'm less inclined to delve too deep into that area of my psyche. Too frequent access would likely tip me over the edge and invite frank madness. Arse bucket akimbo.
Today, I have a day off work in celebration of a treaty signed between the British and the Maori in 1840. Anyway, in order to commemorate this very special National Day, I have decided to resurrect an old post of mine from two years ago which characteristically takes a humorous glance at this most solemn of occasions. Happy Waitangi Day. Although written as a jocular interlude it does make some salient and serious points. For those who would like to view my opinion on 'Maori Affairs' you can catch it here:Waitangi Day reprise.
Shouldn't have brought a stick to a gun fight
Happy Whitiwhangi day! For you dozy benighted Pomms, Whitiwhangi day (6th February) is New Zealand’s National Day. It celebrates the signing of a solemn treaty between the ‘British Colonial Governor of Her Majesty’s Government’ and the Maori in 1840. As a slight digression, I would like to introduce the less educated amongst you to the noble race which is Maori. Ethnologists are of the opinion that the first Maoris arrived in New Zealand as Asylum Seekers sometime in the Middle Ages. They found a bountiful land colonised by a peaceful and equally noble race, called the Moriori. Mutual respect was only marred by the fact that the Maori had an irrepressible appetite for human flesh. As it was against their culture and religious custom to eat their own, they decided to eat the indigenous people. In very short order they had porked their way through this fair people and moved on to eat all the large birds, mammals and frogs. Today, the only indigenous creature left in New Zealand is a highly camouflaged, fast moving and slightly tasteless marsupial, known in the Maori language as ‘donttastlikeKFC,ehbro.’
To return to our Solemn National Day. It is reputed that the Governor of 1840, Sir Effingham-Peffingham was suffering from syphilitic ague prior to and up to the signing of the treaty. Some say he deviated from standard British Colonial Policy, of the time. Usually, British Army drill was to send the local chocos off to an early grave and at double time. Of course, when faced with the local duskies waving fruit and sharpened sticks the best response was always to ‘fire a volley’ and finish off the wounded, and less fleet of foot, with the bayonet.
Unfortunately for the Empire, Sir E was suffering from delirium tremens on the day of the signing. For his entertainment, the local Maori Warriors performed their formidable war dance, ‘The Haka.’ The stout warriors, all painted and covered in feathers, reminded the Governor, in his delirium, of the Nelson Rep chorus line. After all, the Governor was notoriously short-sighted and thick.
The treaty was duly signed by the Governor and the Tribal Leaders. Luckily the Maoris could not read or write English. The clause they failed to notice (stupid Maoris), was the bit about allowing White Folk, known in Maori as Pakeha to shoot any Maori on sight on Whitiwhangi day, as long as it was before noon. Good man that Governor.
As usual, I celebrated ‘Whitiwhangi Eve’ with four bottles of medicinal red wine (as is the custom) and awoke next morning feeling like a Frenchman’s crotch. After retching up over the dog, I noticed that it was 11.50am. I panicked somewhat as I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to legally shoot someone. So without further ado, and without getting dressed, I reached for my father’s trusty 303 Lee Enfield rifle. The same weapon he had used to shoot unarmed German prisoners at the battle of El Alamein. Shortly after this incident, my father’s contribution to the war effort was permanently curtailed due to wounds inflicted during a brisk encounter with the renowned, and much feared SSSeamStress division. These Valkyries could sow SS runic insignia, in silver thread, on your epaulette in under 20 minutes and double stitch at that; fucking amazing! During the battle, my father received a puncture wound to the arse from a rusty bodkin. The infection rapidly spread to his cock and as a consequence, he spent 6 months in a Venereal Disease hospital in Blighty. The word around the camp fire, at the time, was that my father had caught the infection after an intoxicated and ill-judged liaison with a wild, desert, she-goat; absolute nonsense. It is well known that you can catch this sort of thing from toilet seats and dirty sewing baskets.
With shaking hands I slammed a fresh magazine into the Lee Enfield and rushed onto the porch. Luckily for me, I saw a Maori in the adjacent field, not a 100 paces away. I raised the musket to my shoulder, took careful aim and slowly squeezed the trigger and was promptly rewarded to see my quarry spiral to the ground. I rushed inside for my trusty scalping knife and bounded over to the fallen Maori to gather my well-deserved trophy. Imagine my disgust when I realised that I hadn’t shot a Maori after all but shot my Dutch neighbour, Mr Neils Van der Pump. In mitigation, I have to say that his Indonesian wife had been standing close by and she does look a little bit Maori. I did consider shooting her as well and could hardly miss from two paces. But I suppose I’m a sentimental old fool and it didn’t seem quite right to shoot her under the circumstances, as her husband had suddenly took quite poorly. I did offer to apply a tourniquet to the wound on his neck, but neither of them seemed too keen on the idea. So I left her to administer first aid and retreated back to my bed to sleep off the previous night’s excess. I had hardly fallen asleep when I was rudely awakened by the local plod. Thereafter all is a blur. I remained in custody for several months prior to trial. Poor Mrs Saxon had to work 20 hours a day to keep the farm afloat. She did contact my flaxen haired cunt of a son to ask for help. But he was too busy finding ‘spiritual enlightenment’ on a commune in Perth, Western Australia. Spiritual enlightenment, my arse! From what I can see, he spends his days banging small breasted Asian ladies, sometimes two at a time (nice work if you can get it) and judging from the photos some of the ‘ladies’ aren’t real woman at all.
I finally had my day in court. I must admit I raised a spirited defence. However, things looked bleak after the prosecution’s final summing up: “Your Honour, I submit that Mr Saxon is a demented, chronic alcoholic with a tenuous grasp on reality. It is recorded your Honour, that after a particularly heavy and prolonged drinking bout, he thought he had turned into a canister of ‘Shake N Vac’ (Alpine Dew) and was found by his wife rolling naked on the carpet shouting: ‘I am fragrant, suck me off with the vacuum.’ I rest my case your Honour.” But bugger me if I didn’t have a stroke of luck. Poor Mr Van der Pump had lost the power of speech after my ill-fated shot had destroyed his larynx. This same lucky bullet had also divided nerves in his spinal cord and consequently he was paralysed from the nose down. The upshot, of course, was that he was unable to provide a verbal or written deposition; in other words, a piss poor witness. The case against me rested on the sole testament of his Indonesian wife. This poor cow couldn’t speak a word of English and her Court appointed interpreter had just been deported as an illegal alien. The outcome was not in question, and I was promptly, and deservedly, found innocent and freed.
I confess that after this encounter with the law, I am truly a wiser but not a sober man. Although, I have to say I can’t wait for Mr Van der Pump’s children to grow up so I can shoot them on Whitiwhangi Day, before noon. After all, they do look a little like Maoris……..
‘Baby Doc’ Vowel, the Mayor of the svelte (surely some mistake) supine town of Tipton, has declared a ‘State of Apathy’ after a further case of Big Fat Arse disease was discovered nestling in the nether regions of the principality. Vowel immediately closed the borders to prevent incipient spread of the disease to the neighbouring boroughs. Although Dr Fearmonger, Chief Medical Officer and Chanteuse of renown, fears that Vowel’s measures are too little too late. In a statement, Dr Fearmugumbo (steady Flaxen) had this to say: “We are in the grips of an epidemic of unprecedented portions and big fat arses are erupting everywhere. You have only got to walk along Tipton High Street to see the expansive waistlines. This is the first symptom after the wretches become infected with a big fat arse. This is a terrible affliction for which there is no known cure. This condition is easily passed on between families and is exacerbated by sloth and extreme fuckwittedness. This disease is much worse than the previous epidemic of ‘Mad Ferret Disease’ and the ‘Black Breath’. In the first instance, the Tipton ferret population was only mildly livid and the ‘Black Breath’ was occasioned by the injudicious and copious consumption of pickled eggs. Mr Vowel reckons that the only way to control and isolate the condition is by applying a severe and punitive tax on ‘fat stupid bastards’.
However, it is not all gloom and doom and many pundits predict that this epidemic, like others, will have little impact on the overall health of the population. Professor Mugumbojumbo of the Epidemiology dept. at TiptonTechnicalCollege pontificated sagely upon this very issue: “We have always had a vast reservoir of fat arsed bastards in this pert borough of ours and I suspect this won't end due to proclamations and rapacious revenue garnering by the Civic authorities. The World Health Organisation (WHO?) are forever waxing lyrical about the next apocalyptic pandemic calamity which will lay humanity low and produce a population of sub-human brain eating Zomboids. However, recent evidence suggests that these creatures have always existed amongst us. Luckily, and as always, the virulence of these conditions is directly proportional to the poverty and stupidity of the disease addled/riddled recipients".
When the Lord doth taketh away he does so with a very large bucket