Ladies and Gentlemen,
No doubt you are familiar with the old Chinese curse that runs, 'May you live in interesting times.' There can be no denying that it has fallen to the lot of every one of us gathered here today and to all of our generation to live in interesting times; challenging times; the times, perhaps, that try men's souls. Yet it is my firm conviction that this may prove to be not so much a curse, as, in the long run and taking a wider view, a blessing. A finer, cleaner world and the wisdom that comes from weathering a great storm are ours for the winning, if we can but resolve to meet our trials with courage, fortitude, and equanimity. Fuck, a wasp.
Sorry, edit that, Janet. Ahem. Let us vow to face the future with calm and not to take our hands from the tiller. Our forefathers whose mettle was tried before us have bequeathed to us a legacy of clear sight and valour. We are a proud and upright people and it is not in us to flinch from peril. Wurrrg! We will stand tall and face our problems with dignity. Woooaaaargh! At times as a nation we may be forced to duck, crouch, or whirl around suddenly, but let no man think there is fear in our hearts. Shite almighty, it is the size of a zeppelin. There is no such thing as total security. How many times have I told her not to leave the windows open? The path to victory leads through the valley of danger. There can be no negotiation. Even if we could achieve peace at the cost of appeasement, I for one would shun that choice. Leave me alone and I will give you an apple. All that eloquence and diplomacy can do counts for naught before an enemy that will not listen to reason. Piss OFF. They are puffed up with poison and their beady eyes brim with malice and they circle our heads relentlessly waiting for an opportunity to strike. Bold of heart though we are, we know that should they succeed the pain will be unimaginable. Eternal vigilance must be our watchword. Now where's the little bastard gone?
Let no man mistake the nature of the peril we face. Let no man seek to minimize it. Death stalks us: cold, calculating, remorseless, unremitting, spindly-legged evil. It may lurk in any nook or cranny and it may strike at any moment. Swift, agile, cunning beyond measure. I think they have the ability to teleport. The instinct is to say, if we leave them in peace, they will leave us in peace. Nothing could be further from the truth. They will hide under the desk or behind the couch and fly out and get us when we least expect it. We must seek them out in their dark hiding places and destroy them. We can run, we can hide, but if we succumb to that temptation, we may wake one day, God forbid, to find they have crawled into bed with us. We must take hold of our courage with both hands and run them to earth. We must act as men of foresight and reason, not children who fear the dark. What if it's nesting? I will have to sell the house. Above all we must resist the urge to panic. Let us rather with an unswerving faith and a simple child-like piety repose our trust in the goodness of Providence. HOLY HELL-SHIT JESUS MOTHER OF SUFFERING FUCK GET IT AWAY FROM ME.
It would be a mistake to over-react. Where the hell's my squash-racket? Let us seek to take a measured and mature response. Hahaa! You're for it now, turd. Let us stride boldly forth and take the battle to the enemy. The brave die but once. If I should fall, another will take my place. Yeeeeeeg! I have nothing to lose, and it is better to go out fighting. Take that! Oops. There will be some collateral damage. I never liked that vase anyway. We may sustain some casualties along the way. Arse! Janet, please order flowers for my wife, I have just backhanded her favourite china figurines halfway across the room and through her fish-tank. We must take care that excess of ardour itself does not expose us to new and needless dangers. Shite, was that a mercury lightbulb? The cost in blood and treasure must be borne by every one of us. Christ! Janet, please put in an expense claim for a new computer monitor. We must measure twice and strike once. Hiiii-yah! Um, and a window. But let us resolve to bear our losses, if not cheerfully, then with a becoming stoicism. Aiiiieee! My Glenfiddich! Now look what you made me do! Just you wait, I'm going to kill you and kill you and -
OH YES! HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT? BAM!
Ahhh. Where was I? Let us also strive never to forget our common compassion. Let us fight with chivalry and remember never to gloat over a fallen foe. YOU HAVE HALF AN ARSE NOW YOU LITTLE FUCKER. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO STING ME WITHOUT ANY ARSE? In victory, let us remember to show magnanimity. Let us remember that 'the quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.' Crawl all you want, mate, you're still going to DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE DIE DIE AND DIE! HA! Let us not forget our humanity; and if God should grant us victory, let us not exalt ourselves, but rather render humble thanks and remember that we too are mortal. I AM BECOME SHIVA, THE DESTROYER. BRING IT ON, WASPS. I DEFY YOU ALL. COME TO THE WIDOWMAKER. LOOK ON MY WORKS, YE STRIPEY, AND DESPAIR. Let us remember that all too soon there may come a time for remorse. Janet, put in a claim for a new laser printer. And a squash racket. And a fish-tank, if you think you can get it through.
Victory when it comes brings its mellow harvest of peace, wisdom, and an incredible surge of testosterone. Once the threat of destruction is past the life we have preserved against all odds by the exercise of our might and hardihood seems all the sweeter for it. The shadow will lift; our hearts will soar; the world will appear brighter and fresher as on a spring morn purged by cleansing rain-storms. Beaten, our foes will appear small, even pathetic. Urgh, urgh, urgh, hate. Therefore let us go about our lives cheerfully. Let us not be thwarted in the pursuit of happiness and let us not be frightened from our pleasures.
And so it is a great honour to be here today to blah blah, what the hell was it anyway? ... oh yes... it is with great pride that I hereby present the prizes for the Little Widgett Mothers' Society Annual Jam-Making Competition. Jam?? To hell with that. Call them and cancel, Janet, that's a death-trap.
12th June 09