‘Daddy! You can’t write things like this, it’s redeckless! [sic] It’s so badly written, it’s unbelievable. Besides. Your sentence structures, are all wrong.’
‘Give me that! What would you know?’ Julian was stunned that Blank 1 had managed to get hold of his book 2, but still, at that moment he loved his son and felt grateful (as I imagine I will at some stage) because: a) he had finally finished writing his novel, and b) someone had read The Grand Illusion of Goats, Time, and Actuality — especially as Savanna had been parrying his solicitations for readership since her hernia operation as deftly as she deflected his desperate pleading for sex: ‘not tonight, darling — headache’, ‘early meeting tomorrow, remember, hun’, ‘I read something last week!’ (she hadn’t); and mass dumping paperback copies in public toilets had so far resulted in only one one star review on Amazon which simple stated: ‘Not as soft as Andrex’ 3— ‘it’s experimental and self-referential,’ Julian continued, ‘it draws attention to the artifice of the medium by deliberately manipulating the structure and language, and thereby disrupting reader expectations and revealing the canvas 4 around which our own sense of everyday reality is built.’
‘Meh,’ Blank said blankly, ‘Harry Potter’s more entertaining, and, as a metaphor for life’s struggles against exist-genital [sic] anguish and eternal values it kills this‘; Blank held out The Grand Illusion of Goats, Time, and Actuality with his outstretched finger tips as if it were something toxic (and/or shameful) and said, ‘and anyway, Harry Potter’s far more believable. This is full of redundant tautologies, it’s like a bad joke; nobody talks like this in real life, especially youthful children of a certain generation, cultivation, and disposition.’ 5
1. An argument caused by the presence of his mother-in-law, caused by the sudden passing of her husband (Elvis), caused by a piece of filet mignon becoming lodged in his throat during an anniversary meal resulted in a misunderstanding at the register office and his son’s name being entered simply as ‘Blank’.
2. I later learned that Julian had been deliberately planting copies around the house: under door mats, beneath pillows, inside cereal boxes, and, at one stage walking around the house with pages ‘accidentally’ stuck to his arm.
3. An unverified purchase by a Mr Jacques Goffe dated 23 July 2017.
4. He meant frame.
5. Blank was not wrong.
Image credit: Ben White via Unsplash