Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Something I wrote a few days ago but was too daft to send.

Years back I did a subject in Uni called Chinese Philosophy and Religion. The way I remember it, at one stage the examinations to get into the public service (one of the only courses of advancement for young men) was via the extremely difficult entrance exams. The way I was told it was thus: The exam lasted five days. The candidate was lowered into a doorless room by crane, having brought his own food, water, etc. The examinations were basically regurgitation of great reams of Confucius, etc, tens of thousands of words. Pressure was vast, stakes high, suicide a frequent occurence.

Looking back on it now I doubt either my meory of the subject or the veracity of the lecturer. It all sounds a bit too Sax Rohmer for me.

Anyhow, makes my exams look simple. I have realised that that two ro so weeks sick is possibly going to make the difference between passing and failing, but the thing is I am learning stuff, even as I grow fat and weak and friendless hunched in front of the computer week after week.

Look on the bright side - after this I'll be able to survive anything.

SCENE: Chernobyl.
General (in Russian): We need someone to go in there and shut down that flaming nuclear reactor.

Scientist: But sir! It's certain death! The gamma radiation is enough to read a book by and the local reindeer are already festering. The surrounding lichen has evolved into a four-piece banjo outfit, and the sniffer dog we sent in has developed Dutch Elm disease. And the containment suit is off at the cleaners, and is a most unfashionable colour. No-one human could survive in there.

General (dramatic pause): Maybe not someone human. But perhaps... someone who once was. Someone who's survived every hideous, festering, mind-melting horror that this world can throw at them.

Scientist, recoiling in horror: Not...

General: Yes. Send in the third year medical students.

In the interim I continue with the kidneys. They are close on my least favourite vital organ, although I've never had much time for the hypothalamus. Kidneys don't even taste good, which is not surprising considering they spend all their time making urine. This is probably why those pies with giblets in them taste so foul. Think about it:

Kidneys - make wee
Liver - makes foul-tasting bile
Gall bladder - stores foul tasting bile, occasionally flavoured with stones made out of something like chalk.
Pancreas - makes chemicals so toxic if you rupture your pancreas you actually dissolve yourself from the inside
Bowel - makes poo
Slippery little jubbly bits - don't know what they are, but they're in there, and they can't be up to any good.
Eyes - they don't SAY the pies contain eyes, but what else would the butchers do with them? Where else would they go?

Okay, perhaps its time to take a walk outside.



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