Carbuncles and Constipation

As a child, my mum taught me how important it is not to hate: to appreciate people simply because they are people, and that is how I have tried to build my life.  I try very hard not to be blind to colour, to race, to religion or sexuality, but to see them all and celebrate them equally.  Life is beautiful because of, and not despite its infinite variety.  Blindness to variety robs us of its beauty.  And yet I constantly fail my mum because I cannot completely turn my back on hate, and what I seem to hate the most is people who cannot turn their back on hate.  I am a twenty-first century man (admittedly in twentieth century clothes) and I hate the ‘isms’ and the idiots that perpetuate them, the hurters, the abusers, the exploiters and then, because hate is a very broad church, there is okra, pickled beetroot, people who stop unexpectedly just inside a shop doorway, people who walk slowly and diagonally in front of me when I am in a hurry, good chocolate abused by the infusion of orange, the mis-use of language, ‘peated’ whisky, litterers, loiterers, those who say ‘it is not my fault’, my inability to eat a Curly Wurly without losing teeth and many more:

  • a stone in my sock
  • the person ahead of me in the queue taking all three remaining doughnuts
  • internet banking
  • everybody in the Post Office queue
  • the itch that always develops in the arch of my foot at the start of a long car journey
  • the pronunciation of the letter ‘aitch’ with an ‘aitch’ at the start of it
  • ‘it was before my time…’
  • parents swearing at children
  • my mobile phone
  • my laptop
  • my inability to say ‘No’
  • my inability to say ‘Yes’
  • young, fit people who walk inexplicably slowly
  • the intolerance of others
  • life as a mirror
  • grit in my muesli
  • muesli in my teeth
  • brown teeth caused by black coffee
  • milk in my coffee
  • the knowledge that we are unconscious for one third of our lives – which keeps me awake at night
  • hiccups
  • I will forget what I want to say before I get the chance to say it
  • nobody cares about what I have to say

You are rational people.  I know that you will argue that the items listed above cannot be compared with one another, and I will wholeheartedly agree.  I must admit that I have a tendency to concentrate on the smaller scale hatreds, but I think that might even be my point: the scattergun nature of hate is as likely to take out an elephant as a mouse – and you would have to ask a mouse spouse which matters most.  There is no difference between the word to express extreme dislike of a vegetable and 50% of the human race.

I know, we all know for we are privileged and educated, that there are many words to describe types of hatred, but in the end it is still hatred, and it is still something we have to fight against.  Right, so you’re old, you’re feeling shit for any one of a million legitimate reasons, yet you have to watch a group of people being overtly young and happy: don’t you hate them?  Don’t you want to kick their shins?  Suck it in!  What you really want is to be them.  Embrace their joy.  Remember that you used to feel it too, before your hair fell out, before your tits fell below your knees and your prostate turned you into a gibbering slave.  Before you started calling the morning television presenters by their first names; before you started talking to the Sat-Nav; before you gave the Hoover a name.  If you can let it in, joy will easily overwhelm backache and dodgy knees.

Of course, there are those whom it is impossible to love and, for the majority of us who are less than holy, impossible not to hate.  I could give you a list, but you all know who I mean.  I am happy to feel this hate because, to tell the truth, I have no desire to be good enough to not feel it.  I need to believe that there are some people who can never be forgiven.  It is why we invented Hell (and it must be a human invention as an all-forgiving God would have no possible use for it) because we have to believe that, for some, there can only be eternal damnation and a Forever filled with carbuncles and constipation.

Sorry mum…