I started my new job this week. I should have started last week, but if you don’t demand another five days to get your affairs in order, they’ll think you have no worth.
It’s all part of the workplace game. I think the tactics involved in negotiating the shameful world of gainful employment are the only thing stopping the masses from getting a job. This complex strategy - juggling a deity-like reverence from every new human you meet with suckling the teat of ‘The Boss’, until His milky-white cash sloshes out of your mouth and speckles your wallet with the faintest of cloudy stains - is just too much for the average man’s identity. The identity of being sometimes white but always stupid. Whatever you do: Don’t blame them. Every aspect of a 9-to-5 is mentally taxing. Finding it, applying for it, getting it, turning up late for it, doing it badly, getting fired from it and then spending weeks trying to link the company’s name with the word 'Cunt’ on Google searches is a process at odds to the effort, care and lifestyle hygiene issues of the common chap. Nor is the reason for the 2.6 million sofas being used to masturbate to guests on daytime TV shows due to a shitty operation at the top. These power men and women can’t help but mould jobs from the dungheap of an Ass’s ass waste, buckling under so many asses on top. They can’t help it because they’re assholes. Assholes do as an assholes does; shit. It’s crap, it stinks and time has taught us it’s always worse in Germany. I think what I’m saying is that we’re one step away from Germany. War, obscene pornography and a steadfast determination to win at everything (such as 'Who can start the most World Wars?’ and 'Who can have the most porn films featuring one or more people defecating?) Sometimes I think there are two sides to the world; the horrible people who control it, and the horrible people who have to decide whether to play ball. And I’m the referee. But I don’t know the rules of the game and everyone’s shouting at me. It’s a vicious circle. If there were some justice in said vicious circle, I could analogise with an anti-rape device. But there isn’t, so I can’t. Either way, I hate rapists.
Sorry… it’s been a tough week. I thought waking up at all was horrible. Try it in the morning. Cold, bleak light refracted directly into your eyes by every reflective surface in your room. Torture. Sunshine boarding.
So, I started my job this week. I was supposed to turn up on Monday, but everyone starts on Mondays. So they said, “What about Tuesday?” but if they think I’m starting on the same day as all those pretentious wankers who refuse to start on a Monday… they can think again. Wednesday for me… and nobody else. I could hear the mutters of my fellow copywriters when I swanned in on the Wednesday morning. “What’s so special about this guy?” “Look at his belt!” (It was just a standard black belt, but I wore it like nobody else. Inside out and around my hairline) “He’s starting today? But today’s a Wednesday… [impressed silence] …Wow.” As the mutters gathered pace until the whole room was abuzz with the exclaim of newness, I shifted my weight to my heels and span round, ensuring every last eye was on me, and fell to one knee with two pairs of gun-fingers pointed at myself. “Copywrite…” I turned my digit’s aim at my colleagues. “Copywrong.” A small, self-assured laugh and I was up, on my way to the kitchen, to start writing my name on the tastiest food.
Maybe this job will be good for me. It’ll make a change from the freelance gigs I’ve had to fill my time with. A gentleman named Oliver asked me to do a stand-up comedy routine on geography for a group of Somerset-based professors. Armed with my wits, my tits and Weston the Super Mare (see below) I bowled in with confidence of Third Reich proportions. Turns out Oli said geology. To their credit, a room full of rock experts gave 15 straight minutes of horse-based-location-jokes some solid, if confused, laughter. Already in their happy place of comedy, this stellar group’s highlight was a throwaway line I used in a setup - “…I left no stone unturned…” - which they seized upon as the only tenuously-linked geology reference and brought the house down with. Despite the negatives, I’m fairly sure I’m the only stand-up comedian to have ever ended a set with roaring applause from a sentence that was devoid of any humour. Oh, apart from Michael McKintyre. Still, it’s never a nag to get paid a pony, even if KFC is only ahead of suicide in the 'what to do tonight?’ stakes by a nose. Don’t worry, I’m only horsing around. Etcetera.
I did make a friend at the office. Heimlich. He liked my quip regarding walking down Fleet Street… something like, “I haven’t seen so many pricks suited up since I put a condom on in a hall of mirrors…” but I wasn’t even talking to him. I caught my reflection in a toaster and decided to give my ears a break from everybody else. Heimlich seems quite attached to me already. I told him about one of my ideas - a feature film named Blade. A gritty, rollerblade musical. I was worried about confusion with the similarly-titled vampire flick, but Wesley Snipes made the mistake of being a rich black man and not tickling the white man’s balls when deepthroating their miniature rod of steel. The system has him now, surrounded by garlic, and I’m free to do whatever the fuck I want. Heimlich seemed quite enamoured with me, to the point where our entire future friendship flashed before my eyes. A sort-of cut-price Robin lackey, he’ll blindly follow me. I can see that. It’ll be useful, because perhaps it’ll be down to me and him for a promotion, or a sacking. That’s when I’ll whisper the secret about Blade - it’s actually going to be set on a beach, and everyone’s wearing ice skates. It’s a think piece. Doubtless, this would send Heimlich temporarily insane as all he’d want is that level of understanding where he could begin to ruminate about it. This admittance of inferiority would probably compound his misery, letting me get my way. As usual. I do have the inkling that, if this were the case, Heimlich’s infatuation might lead him to view me as some kind of messiah. I’d have to eventually get rid of him, of course. It’d probably be a meet in a wooded area, ending in me me taping him to a tree with three key ingredients - a look on his face screaming, “Save me,” a stomach tree-bark-struggling-graze suggesting, “Help me,” and a sign on his back reading, “Fuck me,” in large, black, permanent marker.
I was a genius once, you know. They wanted to move me up in primary school. From year 3 to Headmaster. I don’t know what went wrong. Sometimes I think back to the time I was ill, and I blew out my nose a large, thick chunk of bloody sinew. Half mucus, half undeterminable and wholly disgusting, I often ponder - was this, whatever it was, the secret key to my intelligence? Did expelling this nose-object make me stupid? Then I think… I just questioned whether expelling an object from my nose made me stupid. If it didn’t, it doesn’t matter.
Because something has.
Best, Ronnie James Jones.
P.S. Sorry it’s taken so long for another post. I used up all the words I knew in the last one, so I had to find some more. I’m such a lexiconical sycophant.
I have a degree in scriptwriting. I write scripts. Shorts (comedies, pathological horrors), half-hour comedy pilots, low-budget features. I write prose; a short novel (pathological horror). In three weeks I’m starting as a copywriter in London, based on my abilities to massage The Rich Man’s brain with colloquial, authoritative, persuasive writing. Syrup.
I mean, I’ve never been paid for anything I’ve written. That would make me a successful writer. My scripts float around on a wave of belly-laughs and confusion, the proletariat grasping for the ring buoy of meaning with laughable futility. Sucked in by the ocean of narrow thinking, watched from the shore with a strange, pleasant sadness. Their balls tickled by the sharks of inevitable mental staticity borne out of lifetimes of circular living; intellectually, socially, artistically. Or vaginas, whatever.
I see knee-slapping. I hear laughter. The best kind of chemicals flood my brain. Well done, Ronnie. Mission accomplished. But with the aroma of serenity comes the faintest whiff of mental doom; a stench that abruptly sours with the cessation of laughter. Laughter sucked into the black hole of sudden and unexpected majesty with such existence-shattering force that it makes the time they watched their cousin get undressed through a crack in the door seem like bacon and fucking eggs.
Their eyes bead across lines of text that won’t translate. Intricate ideas composed over months, years, of intense personal and societal reflection; concepts, lines, dialogue, characters, jokes at a register out of their drowny reach. I sit and watch what happens to their face as my words rape their synapses. No Ronnie James reach-around. I scan their features as they implode in a devastating haze of personal failure. Their eye twitches. Always.
They look up. I brace myself. They part their lips, stuck together at the corners. Saliva buildup? Or the last, subconscious urges of their ego to save face? Your call. Then, right from the bottom of the throat, comes the inevitable gurgle; that precursor sound people make when when they’re using everything they have to focus on the clarity of their words. Because everything else seems too much. They’re on the beach in Milton Keynes.
They speak. Garbled rubbish. It’s a blur. I drift in and out, but at the wrong pace. The only things I pick out are, “Like,” and, “erm.” Maybe the occasional, “You know,” if they were feeling eloquent. When they eventually get their shit together, I zone in to hear the gushing compliments.
Nasal snort, “Oh man,” laughter, cough, content sigh, “that bit when,” eyes closed, wheezy laughter, “that guy bottled that dog.” Pause. “I haven’t laughed like that since the woman who purposely got pregnant from my seed to extort money from me died the week after it happened.”
Then their smile secedes. Maybe a tongue onto a dry lower lip, definitely an intake of breath with a side of cold, hard, finger raising. “But, like, why does the rain brigade dance the fertility conga of Pulitzer?” If their right eye tightens, so will the right corner of their mouth. “When the Holy Spirit absorbs the antagonist’s sister-in-law, where do the ducks go?” A nasal flare, setting free a coiled jet-black hair. I make sure I wear my glasses. “Exactly who is Clive?” I realise I’m sitting, staring and not saying anything. Every time.
An awkward silence. For them. I sit and stare as their shame fills the room. I contain myself to the best of my abilities. Usually, I stand up and walk to the door. Sometimes I take stuff. Needless to say, I don’t speak. The atmosphere already says too much. I storm out and slam the door. Then I get the bus home.
I’m in the boat, wishing desperately I could save them. But I can’t. And the people from the shore wave to me and I wave back, not really reassured that everything will be alright.
Best, Ronnie James Jones.
P.S. Yes, I was named after Ronnie James Dio. It was the last contribution to my life that my asshole father made. Most likely better than his first. He went out on a high, [my] mother fucker.