How To Ruin Your Life In Ten Easy Steps
By Simon Barget
1. Beget yourself to weak, neurotic, dissatisfied, intransigent, partially-educated but well-heeled north-west London middle-class Jewish parents, whose touchstones are wealth and status, but whose shame prevents the admission thereof.
Never let the silver spoon leave your bottom lip.
2. Absorb said characteristics from earliest possible age whilst harbouring deep scepticism of their worth, and an inkling of their poisonous and self-serving nature i.e. that they are designed to keep you from suffering.
3. Attend celebrated Hertfordshire-based academic sausage-factory/powerhouse, where stakes are high, competition excessive and teachers brutal. Even when you’re seven “you DO need education.”
4. Develop wild sense of arrogance, egocentrism, closed-and-single-mindedness, critical thinking faculties strengthened, but creativity crippled, leading to a one-path approach.
5. Be short and mildly bullied, but not enough to grant you the right to complain or to relive the pain with any clarity in later therapy.
6. Be the puppet of indomitably fatalistic, morbid, excitable, soft, confused, pre-anal, emotionally-stifled father; the self-styled loser, who complains openly of his lack of success whilst vaunting his very modest creative ability, passing his poems off as your own twelve-year-old creations, just to receive affirmation from teacher. (He never finds self-esteem or peace and correctly forecasts his own cancerous death at 59.)
7. Study law with reasonable success, lending further steam to critical, analytical garbage and the promise of a good correct life as a city lawyer. Fail at this career in a bungling manner. (Try and fail twice to be accepted to the University of Cambridge.)
8. Realise after 25 years that you are in fact: inquisitive, (sometimes) inspired,enthusiastic, zestful, thoughtful, enigmatic, so that overdeveloped critical thought processes break your will at any given moment, leading to chronic self-doubt and whiffs of depression.
9. Derive the magically absurd notion that you can write; but not only write, achieve worldwide renown: so, in deference to this notion, deliver your mediocre content for feedback to www.abctales.com -- unconsciously mimicking your father, whose surrogate is now Uncle Tony -- and poorly dissemble the burning need for widespread approbation, baskets of Cherries, Stories of the Day, Week, Month, and Lifetime, but be paralysed from further effort by chronic lack of concentration, and addiction to Facebook.
10. Be, at thirty-five, misunderstood by most, ignored by many and appreciated by few.