The Beginner’s A-Z of D.I.Y Subversion (DDT to Devil)
DDT Hydrocarbon compound, an effective insecticide. Many of the people you will encounter in the pursuit of your subversive activities would benefit greatly from a spray down with this. Pay special attention to all warm, moist areas: The Amazonian Rain Forest, North West India, all regions generally covered by underwear.
DAMAGE To injure or impair. It is a legitimate course of action to cause damage to those who themselves cause damage on a much greater scale. There are those who would damage our communities, our countries, our planet and, were they to be given the opportunity, probably several others across the universe. Now is the time to rise up and damage their cause. It is impossible for even the seasoned subversive not to take sides. Sit on the fence and you will get your balls creosoted. Think of your children. If you don’t have children, think of somebody else’s children. If you don’t like children, think of yourself.
DANGER Exposure to injury; jeopardy; risk. Oh, dear me, no! No, no, no, no, no! Exposure to injury is to be avoided at all cost. Besides serving no useful purpose whatsoever, injury is in itself a foreign word to the subversive. It translates as ‘Pain’. Pain is exclusively reserved for the benefit of others. Pain is to be inflicted. Pain is most certainly not to be endured. Some people thrive on danger. To the brave, it is like a drug. To the subversive it is like a laxative. It is best never to get involved in anything that could, in anyway, be considered dangerous.
DEATH Extinction of life. Death is not a skeletal figure dressed in black, carrying a scythe¹. Death is an insurance salesman. Death is called Nigel. Death works at a call centre in Mumbai. He got your phone number from the HMRC website.
1. An agricultural hand-tool for mowing grass or reaping crops. How it became associated with Death, I am not certain. A scythe is used in the reaping of crops and Death is, of course, The Grim Reaper. I Googled ‘Grim Reaper’ and got a short piece about a heavy metal band from Droitwich. I also accidentally Googled ‘Grim Reeperbahn’, which I do not recommend as a course of action, and I would like to make it known, here and now, that I have never met the lady.
DEBACLE A confused rout. Now here is a word I know all about. My whole life is confusion – at least I think it is, I’m not sure. A rout is any overwhelming defeat, which just goes to prove that my wife is completely correct when she describes my entire life as a debacle.
DEBATE Contention in words or arguments; discussion; controversy. To dispute; to deliberate. Forget it. Politicians do it all the time – and look at them. The gentle art of persuasion is best served with a baseball bat. Do not deliberate – it merely postpones the painful realisation that you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. Debate requires at least two parties and has three rules:
- Don’t get involved.
- If you do get involved, always stand by an open door.
- Write down very clearly the points you wish to make and, in an emergency, use the list to set fire to the other person’s trousers.
DEBAUCH To corrupt; to pervert; to riot; to revel. Excess in eating or drinking; lewdness. This sounds like so much fun, the government will almost certainly tax it in the next budget.
DEFEAT Frustration; overthrow; loss of battle. Try to avoid all possibility of defeat by never openly being drawn into battle. If you should become embroiled in a literary battle, use a pen-name and, if possible, somebody else’s typewriter or cut letters out of the newspaper. If you are drawn into a verbal battle, remember always to speak slowly and quietly. Very quietly if your opponent is bigger than yourself. Keep calm when stating your own arguments and listen carefully and patiently to those of your adversary before destroying them with your incisive wit and perception. It is also a good tactic to stand behind them and pull faces. Should you get drawn into a physical battle you have two basic choices: flight or fight. Of course, one of them is right and the other one is fight. If all possible escape routes are blocked, and a physical confrontation becomes inevitable, you must immediately adopt the correct stance. This is best known as the foetal position. Roll up in a ball, as tightly as you can, and whimper softly¹.
Never worry about losing face – it does not hurt as much as getting beaten up.
1. Foam at the mouth if at all possible: your opponent will a) believe that you are in need of medical attention and will not want to get involved in all the questions that are associated with a 999 call (the answers to which are all ‘I don’t know’) b) will not want to get sputum all over his brand new linen trousers and c) will have just the vaguest suspicion that you might have rabies and/or a trapped fish bone – the consequences of either being far more messy than they would want to risk.
DESPERADO Desperate fellow; reckless ruffian. A media word for subversive. If you like the sound of this title, do not wash or change your underwear for a week.
DESPOT (See Dictator – below) A king or other ruler with absolute, unlimited power; autocrat; any tyrant or oppressor. Everything that you most revile. Everything that you’d most like to be. You could buy a dog, but remember that even the dimmest of canines might be inclined to answer back now and again – also it is not easy to remain imperious with dog crap on your slippers.
DEVASTATE To lay waste; render desolate. The effect that the dedicated subversive can have on an ‘All U Can Eat Oriental Buffet’ during its £4.95 Afternoon Special session. Also the effect that certain prawn dishes in the above may have on the hungry subversive after they have sat in lukewarm water for four and a half hours under a dodgy heat lamp. (You know that I meant the prawns and not the subversives.)
DEVIL (1) The supreme spirit of evil. I drank some of this on holiday in Bulgaria and spoke Swahili for three days afterwards.
DEVIL (2) An atrociously wicked, cruel, or ill-tempered person. You will meet a lot of these. Tell them that you have wandered into the Job Centre by mistake and, anyway, you can’t attend a job interview right now because you have a bunion.
DEVIL (3) A person who is very clever, energetic, reckless, or mischievous. Exactly the kind of person that you do not want in your band of desperadoes, but will almost certainly be first in the queue to join you. Allow them to become a member at your peril. Finding your shoes super-glued to the pub floor is all well and good the first time it happens, but can become seriously annoying, particularly when you are trying to evade the landlord.
DEVIL (4) (Cookery) a grill with Cayenne pepper. Something that you do with kidneys – although God knows why. As far as I am aware, kidneys serve only one purpose in the culinary world, e.g. something to pick out of steak and kidney pie.
© Colin McQueen 2022