Friday, May 04, 2007

Stumpy Greenisland at 40

I see that the hon Dr Stumpy Greenisland (sic) - for it is he, has clocked up four decades. It occurs to me that that is an awful lot of misery that has accrued both to himself, his family and friends and to the wider world, in fact that is roughly 14610 days of gloom and I really can't be bothered working out the hours. It is amazing to think, when one contemplates the man himself, that he really has only got four decades under his belt. When one considers such things as his infamous tobacco-less pipe, his minute and crumbling frame, his inhabitation of a cultural world which ceased to meaningfully exist in 1958, and his chess-game which progresses at the astonishing rate of one-move-per day, one would assume the individual concerned to be 70 at least, and have almost no chance of completing the current chess match within the confines of normal life-expectancy. So it is with a sense of quiet disbelief that we mark this point in the road, this milestone, this defining moment, this er.. descent down the concave curve of life, this expiration of the best-before date. We salute the achievement of this birthday just loudly enough to drown out the gentle music of the inevitable demise to which every day successfully navigated, brings us only ever closer.

And when we stop to consider forty years of this (thankfully) unique individual, we first note that the vagaries of providence are indeed beyond our finding out. This is indeed a cruel world. When we think of this man, what first comes to mind is the smell. For as we all know the imminent arrival of his bodily presence is usually preceded by the competing odours of foostie bookshops and snake-oil. Then we think of his arrival when we are, despite having known him for over a quarter of his many years, shocked by his diminitude which grows greater (or lesser, I suppose) with the years. Then we engage in conversation with the good Dr, a heady, even psychotic, melee of studiousness, lunacy and misery. We stand truly in awe of the breadth of the man's learning and his impressive record of academic publications, but equally rejoice in his determination not to restrict his remarks to subjects about which he knows anything at all.

We picture Dr Stumpy Greenisland in any manner of undignified poses; rolling with laughter on the floor like an inebriated chimp; staring blankly at the bottom of a whisky glass contemplating parenthood; hiding his face in the sofa contemplating the misery and futility of it all, or dancing with his children.

Ladies and Gentlemen - I give you the Hon Dr Stumpy Greenisland at 40.
Here's to another 40 wasted years.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a completely unbiased viewer of your blog, and one who has known said Dr S Greenisland (quote - on being asked in the street in Berne he knew the 'famous Prof. Barth' Karl Barth replied - 'Know him - I shave him every morning!).
Anyway...as being completely unbiased viewer of your blog, and one who has known said Dr S Greenisland etc etc I cannot but feel that various aspects of his personhood and nature have been strangely omitted. He ravishing good looks for example. His ever light hearted nature and relaxed personality. His being 'always ready for fun and capers'.
Surely no other man has levels of enjoyment of life equal to his?
I am reliably informed that the 'snake oil' of which you speak is in fact patchouli oil. An ointment needed to keep the fairer sex at bay & prevent them from overpowering him with naughtiness- as would be otherwise inevitable with one of such good looks and chiselled ears.
Yours etc, inter alia, anon et al

S Greenisland.... er I mean someone else entirely woh merely knows him & is willing to give an unbiased assessment of his merits...

That Hideous Man said...

And I completely forgot to mention his proclivity for drawring one's attention to his astonishing humility.

Anonymous said...

Well at least you've now corrected that mistake.

Anonymous said...

.... as I though it inapporopriate to mention it myself... on his behalf, you understand

Elron said...

With enemies like these, thank goodness you don't have any friends, 'Dr Greenisland'.

Anonymous said...

These awful ramblings reflect pretty badly on both subject and author alike.

That Hideous Man said...

How true, dear anonymous, how true!