Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Leader of the Pack.

The suggestions for reality TV shows which I made in a previous posting may take a while to filter through so meantime I’ve had another career-change idea. If I’m honest, I want something which doesn’t involve that strange concept of a work ethic. I’m not looking, either, for a luxury yacht, a Monte Carlo pad (do people still say ‘pad’?) or a cellar full of Château Pétrus. And, despite my unflagging egocentricity, I want to keep my carbon footprint as small as possible.

So I think I need to become a guru. It’s nice having followers on this blog but it’s no substitute for followers in the flesh who come to my hut to ask for guidance, waft about singing ethereal songs, making Peace signs and, basically, worshipping me. Or not even that. They can worship someone else if they like. The only problem with that is, if I’m their guru, then it’s up to me to tell them whom or what to worship, and I don’t want to create a religion. All I want is a little sect. (Ah, think of the gags I could have written if, grammatically, it had been legitimate to make that noun plural.)

Now, how do I get to be a guru? I don’t think there are courses or degrees in it yet but it seems that all I need is some gullible people (Simon Cowell – again – has shown there are plenty of those about) and stuff to preach. The last bit’s easy; I’m a writer so I can just make stuff up. Let's see then. What do I need? Gnomic utterances. OK. How about ‘The sweetness of the butterfly is the only true way’? Hmmm, not great. To some people that might seem to make sense. How about ‘The sweetness of the butterfly drowns daily in the morning’s echoes’? Yes, that’s better.

So a follower (let’s call her Helen) stands at the open door of my hut. I smile and beckon her in. She sits beside me on the goose-quill bed (no, I don’t know what that is either) and says: ‘I’m troubled’.
I smile again, stroke her hair and say ‘The sweetness of the butterfly drowns daily in the morning’s echoes’.
She nods quietly, head bowed. ‘I know,’ she says, ‘but what does it all mean?’
I take her hands in mine.
‘Helen,’ I say. ‘Feel the swan in your blood.’
We sit there for twenty minutes. Not another word passes between us. At last she smiles again, kisses my fingers and says ‘Thank you’.
‘No sweat,’ I reply, before realising that’s not a guru thing and adding ‘Inhabit the crystal’.
‘I will,’ she says, and goes to water the cannabis.

See? It’s not hard. I might have to expand on some of these little pearls, make them into sermons. No, not sermons – they explain stuff, draw conclusions. Parables are better. Just have to remember to get the context right. None of the people working in vineyards stuff. They’d better be IT consultants or media studies tutors. Something like ...
‘A lifestyle coach was walking along a country lane when she passed a garage. Inside, a mechanic was leaning over an engine. She stopped and asked him what he was doing. “Cleaning a carburettor,” he said.
“Have you cleaned many?” she asked.
“Hundreds,” said the man.
“Different types?’ she said.
“SUVs, Jeeps, Dodge 58s with the old-style overhead camshafts, Aston Martin DB8s ... even a flat four overhead valve 1486 cc Jowett Javelin with twin Zenith carburettors,” he said.
The woman stepped towards him and laid her white hand over his.
“I have a collection of over three hundred Barbies,” she said.
The man looked at her and a tear formed in his left eye. The woman raised her finger, collected the tear, placed it on his grease-smeared lip and turned away to continue her walk.
The mechanic watched her go, the tears welling in his eyes once more. He reached for a hammer and began hitting the carburettor with fierce, unrelenting blows.
Every molecule is worth preserving.’

OK, I think I’m ready. Just need maybe twenty or thirty followers. And a hut.


  1. I'll build a hut outside my back door and you and the wee fella can compete and see who comes up with the most "guru-like" utterances.

    V.V.funny, Bill. Made me laugh after another one of those days at work. HEY, I know what you could guru. Me. Tell your followers to send me money so I can pay my bills and write guru-like shit.

  2. I saw something in this posting that I would not say here- not to offend some other readers.
    V. funny indeed.
    I think you probably won't make a good guru for the same reason i could never be one- you would not keep a straight face while you say all that crap to your followers.

  3. Hmm, there seems to be a recurrent theme in these comments - Michael identifies my wisdom as 'shit' while Scary sees it as 'crap'. Looks like I haven't got off to too good a start.
    But I'll never pit myself against the Wee Man Michael - he'd win with just one of his looks.

  4. Count me in as a follower, Bill. You always come up with a post that makes me laugh when I need one. Guru Kirton to the rescue . . . :)

  5. How on earth do you think them up, Bill? But then a true Guru should be filled with such insights...

  6. Hi. You can make a good hokku writer, Bill.

  7. OK, a little balance is being restored to set against the 'shit' and 'crap' assessments of my Gurudom. I have a follower (thank you, Jean) and Rosemary (perhaps ironically) used the expression 'true Guru'. To go with that, there's encouragement from Sofisticos (welcome) to pursue at least the hokku aspect of my calling. This is looking promising.

    I also found out this morning that the Samurai used to wear make-up, so I may have to revisit my theory about Neanderthals. Gurus have such busy lives.

  8. You will always be my guru, Bill; God knows I can't get that swan out of my blood. Now I'm going to clean my spiritual carburettor. Or go on Facebook. One or the other.

    (And what is this word verification 'ematio'? Sounds like a good name for a sect to me.)

  9. It's a good start Bill, but I can see that you need the expertise from a professional to make this into a success. I mean talking about cash flow.
    Fortunately, for you, I just graduated as a guru expert and I'm happy to announce that I can offer you guru coaching.
    A few hints: a special book, preferably about 'ancient'wisdom is important. It's no problem if it's fiction, that's what Gerald Gardner, founder of the wicca movement, did in the early 20th century and he was very succesful.
    Furthermore, special clothing will help. Followers might hesitate if they have to adjust their wardrobe to be your follower, but once all their clothes are orange they won't leave you anymore, simply because they already invested that much.
    Ok, the issues about sex and obedience I will discuss on our first session in Skype. You know where to find me. I can assure you, you won't regret it. Once you start following my guidance you will get filthy rich (and so will I)

  10. Gillian, I’m appalled to hear that that bloody swan’s still in your blood. I thought I told you to send the ferret in after it.
    As for ‘ematio’, you have me at a disadvantage. Apart from ratio, I don’t know any other words with such an ending. Honest. No really, I don’t.

    And Anneke, what a kind offer. I knew of your elevation to respectability but hadn’t thought of employing you as a consultant. How perceptive of you to make cash-flow the hook for your pitch. I expect I can quickly knock up a book of wise saws (for ‘wise’ read ‘incomprehensible’) but I hadn’t really thought of followers wearing anything at all. As Guru I’ll necessarily have to wear Gucci or Dolce e Gabbana but Jean, Gillian and the rest can surely forego vestments. It’s in such a good cause. And if I accept Michael's offer of a hut, he'll probably insist on it.

    You’ll notice I was careful not to mention either sex or obedience. I know how that upsets some women. However, if that’s what’s involved in getting filthy rich, I’ll make an exception.

  11. I'll be a follower, Bill. Always wanted a Guru. When will you be getting the fleet of Rolls Royces then?

  12. Ahhh, I should have known that was the answer - The sweetness of the butterfly drowns daily in the morning’s echoes...have you been checked lately by the fruitcake police? Seriously, though serious I could not manage while reading this blog, you. are. a poetically strange man.

    And I think I want to be a follower, lol. I want to feel the swan...

  13. Personally, the McHenry part of me senses a bunch of blarney being tossed about. Or is that BS? (I had to hop on the "shit" and "crap" bandwagon!)

    Bill, you are so full of it! But so long as you continue making me laugh out loud, I'll continue reading.

    Shoot me the address of your hut.

  14. So. Is feeling the swan a euphemism?

  15. Hmmm, this isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I thought Gurus’ followers were supposed to be passive, accommodating, peace-loving people who swallowed all sorts of garbage. Apparently not, (unless I’ve been particularly unlucky with my followers). Apart from the ‘crap’, ‘shit’ faction – which has now been augmented by Marley’s call for the ‘fruitcake police’ and Linda’s accusation of ‘blarney’ and ‘BS’, I’m faced with Catherine’s demand for a fleet of Rolls Royces. Of all of you, only the faithful shed-provider Michael shows the innocence I was hoping for. His intellectual curiosity about the Swan (a spiritual apophthegm so cruelly and gratuitously lampooned by Marley), suggests that he is the sort of empty vessel I was seeking. Which means that, if it’s just him and me in the hut, the dress code will need a drastic rethink.

  16. ROTFL, you really should write fantasy, Bill, this is pure joy. And so many fun responses, I mean, you were kidding right?

    You forgot the chant to call your followers. What would it be? Ours would of course be that old song, "The Leader of the Pack", and I can see us joined in one of those dancing chains while we sing it. Hoot, hoot.

    Michael, Michael, keep your mind on the etherealistic plane...

  17. Marley, it never for a moment occurred to me to imagine that anyone might take anything I say seriously but I know some people do, so thanks for the reminder.

    And the 'Leader of the Pack' chanting is very appealing (until you remember what happened to that particular leader). Nonetheless, that'll be a regular evening feature, after the special brownies have been eaten. But be warned, now that Michael knows you use big words, too, he'll be following you round like a wee puppy. Be gentle with him.

  18. Right - what to reply to first...mmmm, Bill. Me and you in a hut. The dress code has to be shirt n tie, grey jogging bottoms and leg-warmers. We'd be laughing for days. And that is the best medicine.
    Marley, 3 syllables and I'm yours. Particularly if it's an abstract term. This is me panting like a puppy at the very thought.

  19. Michael, last time I was in Milan, they went wild for my leg warmers so I'm with you there.

    Everyone else, eyes averted please from the moment Marley utters that polysyllabic abstraction.

  20. Oooh, leg warmers! I'd like to see that...

    Flotsodim! Kimasabe!

  21. Michael, the words have been uttered. Go to it, young man.

  22. You bloody intellectuals! There's paradise staring you in the face and you want to know what it bloody means. Just go and feel the bloody swan. I have spoken.

  23. The Ballad of Swanny McGuru
    A bunch of the corps was campin it up
    One night at the dangerous Swansea Ballet,
    A Tale of Two Cygnets, The Egg-Cracker Suite,
    Swannery Row in a single take
    But when we gets ter that famous Swan Lake,
    They ‘ad ter ring dahn the curtin sheet
    Cos I’d forgotten me strides, OK?

    Well, the Leda of the ballet flirts,
    Was a feathery-headed bit of a sport
    And she flashed me a meaninful Lohengrin
    With a derriere and a pirouette spin
    “Ooh Bishop, yer Eminence!” - unfrocked me tutu,
    And she sez, “You’ve forgotten yer strides, ye beaut you!”

    Then she took me downstairs to her undressin pantry
    Letting me Parsifal none too andante
    You want to bump ugly ducklins? I axt,
    Are you quackers, she sez, but whipped orf ‘er vest
    Positions developpé, wot ‘appened to Posh?
    En croix, en dedans, en dehors, Magic Flute!
    Carmina Burana, Allegro con Brioche
    Then I puts on me strides and goes back ter be Mute.

  24. Donnie - your determination to be known as the new McGonagall is duly noted. However, what will not be countenanced or forgiven is the rhyming of 'tutu' and 'beaut you'.

  25. Yep, I think that may be a first in all of the wondrous golden realms of poesie & apophthegmatologia and that. Do you think Shakespeare may be some kind of euphemism? Let's hope Dan Brown never gets to hear of all this. Sh*t, you're not him, are you??

  26. Do you really need to ask that question, Donnie? Don't you remember once catching a fleeting glimpse of my wallet and being unable to suppress the pitying smile it provoked?

  27. Ahhh, yes. But misunderstanding, that smile was one of astonishment that you were paying for the drinks. BTW how many iterations of this intellectual stuff do we have to go through before we can start using terms like "quasi-New Pitsligoid"" and "preterite Brocher" and so on?

    High time we came round to your house and broke some cutlery, er, I mean crockery of course.