HOW TO BE CALM
..Are you filled with self-loathing and
paranoia? Is your life one long silent scream of rage and resentment?
Do you feel as though every day hideous ego-mutilations and psychic
amputations are being performed upon you? Do you have dreams in which
your mouth is sewn up and your limbs and organs are removed one by one
until all that's left of you are your pain-filled eyes staring in
horror at what has been done to you and mutely framing the question
Why? forever and ever?
..Do you look in the mirror and want to
perform cosmetic surgery on yourself with a hedge-trimmer? Do you think
Franz Kafka was too upbeat? Do you scurry furtively along streets like
a hunted animal, your guts knotted with fear, hated by everyone, chased
by the mocking laughter of girls, men, old people, children and priests?
Do you believe that the world is the plaything of bastards, thieves,
whores and murderers and that you were born to be their victim always
and forever? If your boss asks you to do something, do you look to see
if he has an erection from ordering you around? Do you think about
stapling his tie to his forehead? Or his tongue? His tongue would be
better. Do you think you are the only sane person left? The only human
in a world of cruel and savage carnivores? Do you think you must be the
most evil person who has ever lived and you deserve to be degraded and
shat on and submerged in slime? Do you get tense toenails? Does the
speaking clock hate you? Does God hate you? Would Mother Theresa have
punched you and spat on you if you'd ever met? Do you feel as though
you are strapped to a conveyor belt hurtling you towards some hideous
and inescapable doom you probably deserve anyway? Trapped in the toils
of a vast and elaborate mechanism designed to grind you into tiny
pieces? Do you feel like you're always walking across a very thin sheet
of ice which could crack at any moment, dropping you down to drown
forever in an infinite inky-black lake of unnameable horror?
..Well for Christ's sake snap out of it.
Jesus, you're worse than I am.
..What you need is to be calm. Here is a page
to help you do that, full of simple but effective relaxation techniques.
Practise them daily and soon you will be as well-balanced and together
..I have taken cues from various popular
works on relaxation and self-help, but nothing I could be sued for.
Incidentally, why the hell is the Little Book of Calm so small
and easy to misplace? The number of times I've ended up smashing up
my room with a cricket bat looking for the fucker, yelling, "Come out,
you evil little paper turd, I'll kill you when I find you!" Also,
if you read it for long enough it starts to look like it's a
normal-sized book and you've got huge hands, very calming I
don't think. And for those of us with unpublished manuscripts
lying around, the mere fact that such mindless pap can sell 2 billion copies
is enough to make you want to run amok with an axe. Little Book of Bastard, more like.
..But we are being calm now.
The Joy of Calm
WEAR A BIG GRIN
..A smile a day keeps the electro-shocks away!
..Smiling can help you through any
stressful situation. When your boss calls you a cretin, grin. On
crowded public transport, smile manically at the people around
you until your cheeks start to hurt. They'll feel so friendly
they'll move up to give you lots of room!
WAGGLE YOUR EARS
It's impossible to be unhappy whilst waggling your ears. If you can't
do it, get someone else to do it for you!
TALK WITH A SOFT VOICE
A really sinister one like Donald Pleasance's. Stare intently at
people's jugular veins or the place where their ears join onto their
..You'll be surprised by the increased
respect you get.
BARRICADE THE DOOR
..Every day, shut yourself away for a while
and attend to your own needs.
..Masturbation is nature's own way of easing
stresses and strains.
..Do it for at least an hour a day.
MAKE A DATE TO ARGUE
..If you have a disagreement with someone,
don't have it out there and then. Arrange to meet later to discuss it
when you're both in a calmer frame of mind. Get there early and be
waiting for them with a baseball bat.
CHOOSE YOUR COMPANY CAREFULLY
..It sounds harsh, but avoid people who are
good-looking or successful or naturally happy, as they can be very
depressing to be around. Hang out with glowering wretches like
yourself instead. Make friends with people uglier than you, if there
is anyone, which there probably isn't.
LISTEN TO YOUR HEARTBEAT
..Is that a slight arrhythmia? You'll
probably be dead soon. You'll have no problems then.
THINK OF SOMETHING POSITIVE
..Make a list of ten people who have
achieved something with their lives. Now imagine them all on a
mini-bus going over a cliff. Imagine their screams as they lie
mangled in the burning wreckage. Grin. Waggle your ears.
STEAL SOMEONE'S PEN
..Rather than harbouring grudges or engaging
in stressful confrontations, get back at annoying bosses or workmates
by stealing something belonging to them or hiding rotting food in their
MAKE FRIENDS WITH A MASSEUSE
..Or a lapdancer.
DO TAI CHI
..This soothing brand of herbal tea is
available at most health shops.
DO THAI WEED
..The THCs in cannabis are nature's own
magic recipe for calmness.
ELIMINATE THE NEGATIVE
..As much as possible try and use positive
words, such as 'Yes', 'Oui', 'Javoll', etc. Avoid negative words like
'No', 'Non', 'Nein', etc. If you absolutely have to use negative words,
be vibrant and upbeat about them. If your boss asks you if you've
completed a project you should have finished three days ago and you
haven't, cheerfully tell him, "Good Christ, no!" and grin. Then steal
..If there is something you want to make
happen, visualize it happening.
..For example, if you want to ask someone
out on a date, visualize yourself asking them. Visualize them saying
yes. Visualize the date being a great success. Visualize them coming
back to your place and taking their clothes off. Visualize them
lying on your bed in an attitude of erotic abandon. Now barricade
..This is much safer than really asking
them out. They would have just laughed at you anyway.
SMOKE LIKE A CHIMNEY
..Smoking is relaxing, and it gives you
something to do with your hands. Otherwise, they'd be fidgeting
around and people might notice how gnarled and ugly they are.
HAVE A SECRET
..Having a secret none of your workmates
know is healthy for your ego.
..It could be quite a big secret, like
sending death threats to establishment figures or selling dope to
..Or it could just be a cute little secret,
like coming to work in rubber underwear, or having milk-bottle tops
sellotaped to your nipples, or keeping a Cadbury's Mini-Egg in
..Now look at those peasants surrounding you.
They don't know.
SNIFF SOME KNICKERS
..Sniffing knickers is nature's way of
releasing calming hormones. That's why racing drivers wear them over
TAKE A BREAK FROM THE ROUTINE
..At work, sit at someone else's desk for a
change. Pretend to be them. Mimic all their mannerisms and only respond
to their name. Follow them home and try to sleep with their spouse.
HAVE A DIVINE MISSION
..Feeling you have a divine mission to
punish wrongdoers or lead the world towards the light is beneficial
for your self-esteem. And if you let other people know about it, they
will be more careful of your feelings.
..Practise muttering something like this:
'I am Jehu son of Nimshi, appointed by Elijah to slay all sons of
..Did I say to do it for an hour a day? Try
two and then build up to four. Do it on stressful bus and train journeys.
Remember to smile at people.
PRETEND YOU ARE A GOLDFISH
..Open and close your mouth. Have to have
things repeated to you every 4 seconds. Waggle your ears.
HIDE IN CUPBOARDS
..It's really fun.
DON'T EAT SENSIBLY
..Pretend your elbow joints don't bend
and you have to throw food towards your mouth. You'll be surprised
how much more fun mealtimes become. In a canteen or restaurant, it
will make you lots of new friends.
LICK A BALD PERSON'S HEAD
..Licking scalps is nature's way of
releasing natural endorphins.
CALL AN OLD WOMAN A SLUT
..You'll be surprised how empowered you feel.
LAUGH HYSTERICALLY AT NOTHING
..Suddenly sober up. Cry.
..Taking fewer breaths is very relaxing.
..Don't barricade the door in case the
police need to get in.
BE A WINDMILL
..Wave your arms around like the sails
of a beautiful big windmill. Isn't that fun? Now run down the
street like that blowing raspberries at people. Now take your
..Mental hospitals are very relaxing