The Curmudgeon

YOU'LL COME FOR THE CURSES. YOU'LL STAY FOR THE MUDGEONRY.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

The Father of Teeth

Text for today: Dentures xciii-cxvii

On the contrary, before his extraction from office the Father of Teeth was entrusted by the Creator of the universe with all manner of tasks. Some were menial, such as the ventilation of throats which did not praise the Creator loudly enough; and some were not so menial, such as the biting into shape of various geological formations. His most delicate task was placing souls into human blastocysts, for then the Father of Teeth had to chew his way into a tiny clump of cells using only his most delicate diamond-sharp dentures. With tweezers he would extract the squirming soul from its angrily buzzing capsule and then push it into the cavity, and all the while the cells would continue to divide and multiply, as mindlessly as if the whole process were a purely physical phenomenon which had evolved through a series of accidents.

Strictly speaking the Father of Teeth was required to insert the souls at the moment of conception, but there were so many conceptions that he could never get the timing exactly right and generally contented himself with completing the operation when the blastocyst comprised something between sixteen and 65,536 cells. Even this relaxed timetable was barely satisfactory, as the souls were all well aware that they were destined for reunion with the Creator of the universe and, truth to tell, were often in no great hurry to avail themselves of the privilege. Such was their sense of anticipation that they would scream all the way to the womb, and occasionally the Father of Teeth would become so distracted as to leave one of his most delicate diamond-sharp dentures embedded among the cells; whereupon the foetus, having reached a certain amphibious stage of development, would gnaw its way outside in a most inconvenient and untidy fashion.

Managerial reconsiderations were clearly called for, and the Creator of the universe eventually decided that ensoulment should occur at a later stage of growth. Eventually the matter was placed in the hands of a committee, with the inevitable result that the majority of the world's blastocysts were never ensouled at all, but divided and multiplied with mechanical regularity until they became big enough to walk the earth. Eventually, in compensation for their spiritual vacuity, they started gathering together in little clumps to chorus their demands at the Creator. Of course the Creator heard nothing of these prayers, since the petitioners had not been ensouled and were therefore unworthy; but often in his wanderings the Father of Teeth would observe them, and snigger at them with his most delicate diamond-sharp dentures.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Spicy Pork Special

Among the less explored paradoxes of taking back control is the Government's eagerness to sell off British assets to beastly foreigners; and in many cases not even to fellow buccaneering entrepreneurs, but to state-owned monoliths among the perfidious French and the Heathen Chinee. One possible explanation for the latter's favoured status has emerged with the news that Heathen Chinee scientists have been breeding suitable love partners for Conservative members. It is true that the monkey-pig hybrids died within a week of becoming sexually available; but dead sex-objects don't whine to be fed, clothed and housed in return for their labour, or go tale-tattling to the scandal sheets when a chap decides to spaff his wild oats up a different mucous membrane. Typically for state-owned human resources, and true to their sinister, inscrutable Heathen Chinee ways, the scientists themselves claim to have bred the hybrids in the interests of mere public health, since so few dead people are inclined to donate their organs for transplant unless there is something in it for them.

Friday, December 06, 2019

More British Meat for the Grinder

Record numbers of people involved in breeding new Britons are old enough to know better. Parenthood is at best a morally dubious proposition; given the likely quality of life amid the consequences of runaway climate change, the creation of more pain-sentient minds at this point is nothing short of criminally insane. The attitude of the Conservatives and their little yellow enablers to the mentally ill is tolerably well known, so it should come as no surprise that resources have been cut (thirty-three new midwives in England this year, against a shortfall of two and a half thousand) and that the punishment meted out to mothers in the country's scrounging and shirking areas is statistically somewhat greater than among hard-working families.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Borderline Genius

Although the fall of the Soviet Union made Russia a playground for plucky little entrepreneurs, the authoritarian tendencies of the well-known election winner Vladimir Putin have led to something of a freeze on British values. This no doubt explains why the beastly Russians have arrested an enterprising gentleman who erected his own border near Finland and charged illegal immigrants for the privilege of being led across it. Much like those swashbuckling Libyan businesspersons who have flourished in the wake of the 2011 wog-bombing, he promised "work and a better life" in Europe, and even brought along an inflatable boat just in case. The Russian authorities are taking a dim view of the matter, but it is to be hoped that Whitehall's Department for Exiting the Shackles of Euro-woggery will take note, and perhaps even have a whip-round to bribe a kindred spirit out of jail. Given that we may well spend the next few years drawing various imaginary lines in the Irish Sea, it would be just as well to have someone around who can make them profitable.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

The Handmaid's Tale One and the Other One

The BBC has apologised for "the offence caused" by a report on its news channel which referred to a Booker Prize winner as "another author". The prize was divided between Margaret Atwood for her cash-in on a popular television series, and Bernadine Evaristo, who has one of those piccaninny names that might so easily cause offence among Conservative Party members. What the BBC did not apologise for was the fact that its reporter was apparently not very well acquainted with the issue on which he was supposedly informing the public; which is, after all, merely the job for which the public pays him. Fortunately, nobody in the Conservative Party is likely to be very offended about that.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Labour's Mote and Lambeth's Beam

Other than the Conservative Party and our free and cantankerous Press, the British institution best qualified to comment on prejudice is undoubtedly the one that has spent much of the past few decades contorting itself into ever more complicated knots over whether women and homosexuals might qualify as fully human. As a leader of the spiritual community whose founding documents include a quartet of increasingly violent anti-Jewish screeds and whose record of intolerance is second to none in history, the Archbishop of Canterbury last week continued his endless crusade for headlines by endorsing Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis' attack on Labour in the Murdoch Times. Apparently under the impression that the spiritual leader of Britain's Orthodox synagogues is some sort of Archbishop of Jewry, Britain's most over-promoted trendy vicar hurried to tout "British values" as opposed to racist exclusionism, thereby provoking a genuine anti-racism campaigner to walk out of the church's charmingly-named committee for minority ethnic Anglican concerns. Gus John, an academic with some little history of serving sanctimonious hypocrites their own arses, cited "discrimination and exclusion, benign and sugar-coated or otherwise, at every level of organisation in the church" and was even tactless enough to mention the hostile environment policy of Justin Welby's sister in Christ, Theresa May.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Available Now


My novel Ringmaster Grin is now available as a paperback or a PDF ebook. That superb cover photograph is by Giovanna Ceroni, who provided sinister illumination for Providence Fell and suggestive shade for Shadows With Claws. Ringmaster Grin is a nightmare with jokes and journalists, and should be purchased, read, reviewed and recommended with all possible alacrity.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

The Father of Teeth

Text for today: I Pulp cliii-clxi

When the Father of Teeth returned, however, the civil war was over and they were busy digging for the great traitor's bones. Amid the devastated buildings and the unpatriotic screams of the wounded, the bereaved and the starving, soldiers of the legitimate government were recruiting expendables to help demolish the tomb. The great traitor had committed the unpardonable outrage of dying in private from natural causes before he could be publicly tried, humiliated and executed, so in the interests of national unity the legitimate Life President had turned the desecration of his grave into an uplifting cultural event.

The Father of Teeth joined a line of crunchy refugees and gnawed his way gradually up the queue. The soldiers watched with equanimity, for they knew that the virtuous dead would be resurrected on the day of judgement and would enter into an eternal bliss made all the more piquant by the thought of their less deserving compatriots shrieking in eternal flame. Besides, there were many shortages, so the fewer refugees the better for all concerned.

At last the Father of Teeth reached the great traitor's tomb, where the demolition crews had just about finished their work. The last few expendables were being prodded inside to neutralise the last few booby-traps, and the legitimate Life President and his spiritual advisers were making ready for the ceremonial exhumation and desecration of the corpse.

"What's all this in aid of, then?" demanded the Father of Teeth. "Why all this messing about in the dust?"
"The great traitor will be scattered to the winds and sunk in the waters," they said, "for in this way he will not be resurrected on the day of judgement, and will be denied all chance of eternal life."
"Well, what if I chew him up a bit?" offered the Father of Teeth. "His dust will get all mixed up with the crunchy refugees, which ought to make for a difficult resurrection all round, and even in the best of circumstances my digestive tract isn't the most merciful environment to await the end of time."

The legitimate Life President and his spiritual advisers were still discussing this proposition when the last stones were shattered, the last booby-traps closed upon the precautionary expendables, and the great traitor's tomb fell open for all to see. Alas, there was nothing in the coffin except a great hole through the bottom, leading into a long-collapsed tunnel which had once led who knew where. The great traitor had faked his own death and then dug his way out on the sly, and there was nothing for it but to resurrect the civil war in order to give the nation a satisfactory sense of closure.

The soldiers and refugees all cheered when they heard the news, because the job opportunities would be considerable, and before sneaking out through the tunnel a second time the Father of Teeth started a rumour that the whole business with the tomb had been a vast conspiracy and the great traitor unjustly maligned.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Tough Love and Fair Play

The International Red Cross, which has an unfortunate history of attempting to aid those whom Her Majesty's Government has declared unworthy of bothering about, is unlikely to redeem itself with its latest intervention. Although Her Majesty's Government has condescended to make grudging provision for selected Islamic State orphans, it has refused to restore the British citizenship arbitrarily stripped from people such as Shamima Begum, who was groomed as a child and might respond unprofitably to any attempt at rehabilitation. Meanwhile, not only has the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross proclaimed, against all natural justice and common sense, that British Untermenschen should be repatriated as if they were ordinary migrant swarms; he has even gone so far as to imply that the party of law and order should have some sort of regard for legal process.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Outside the Box

Fun-loving legislators in the Christian state of Ohio are attempting to pass a law requiring doctors to defy the will of God or else be charged with abortion murder. Among much else, the bill is designed to stop women escaping their motherly duties by undergoing an ectopic pregnancy, whereby God leaves the newly-ensouled one sitting on a fallopian tube instead of in the womb. The bill orders medical staff to scrape the little tykes off and deposit them in their proper place; mere experts claim that such a procedure does not exist, but that, of course, is also what they say about God. Besides the "abortion murder" offence, the new law will provide for a charge of "aggravated abortion murder", which will incorporate that other great favourite of the Christian state of Ohio, the death penalty. What aggravating factors will be specified, beyond the obvious ones of using bad language and operating without consent from a quorum of fathers and brothers and husbands, remains as yet unclear.