The Thinking Quill

Good morrow bambini mea.

It is oneself, Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV. Author, teacher, bon viveur, and all-round example to the uncultured youth that surrounds one’s sainted head. Famed for the classic example of science fiction excellence ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooth’.

One is displeased aujourd’hui.
The climate displeases.
One’s maternal parent displeases.
And the taste of bile in one’s throat displeases even more.

One’s pater, it seems, is about to withdraw one’s allowance. Deeming, as his latest paramour declaims in tones of purest East Ham, that “thirty-whatever is fucking old enough for the useless twat to have a job and start supporting himself”. One’s mater, of course, finds the whole thing funny in the extreme. To quote her dulcet tones “I haven’t laughed so much since granny got her tits caught in the mangle.”

Such crudeness displeases almost beyond measure, and on many a night one has wet one’s pillow with tears of frustration and shame. But one shall survive. And the vulgarity of one’s progenitors brings one neatly to the topic of today’s lesson.

Lesson 29: The Write Euphemism

In the quest for literary perfection there are two parallel, but divergent, routes upon which one may set one’s delicate tootsies.

One may, if that is the limit of one’s creativity, embrace the route of sordid realism, whereupon every wart and wrinkle is described with anatomical precision. The road where a delicate sexual encounter may be described as a f**k. The dark alleyway along which bodily functions are both described and enjoyed. The foetid pit of filth and fecundity into which the crassly uncaring author pushes his anti-heroic characters with the sole aim of discerning whether they sink, swim, or come up smelling of hyacinths.

This, mes estudas, is not our way. It cannot be our way. It eschews the beauty of language and embraces the visceral. Should this be your inclination, why then one washes one’s hand of you. Should you wish to join the ranks of those penning ‘kitchen sink’ (pah! sewer more descriptively) fiction then avaunt ye. One will have thee no more in one’s tribe. The children of Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV shall never sink to vulgarity. One’s daughters shall never develop three chins and a heaving dewlap of belly fat. One’s sons shall never bake in the tropical sun for so long that their skinny bodies resemble some wrinkled denizen of the reptile house in a low-rent zoological park. Oh no, mes estudas, we shall be beauteous until the day we tread sedately to Saint Peter’s golden gate. And in order to retain our beauty, we shall eschew all that is coarse, elemental and unlovely.

Here, then, is where the euphemism is your friend above all others. The gentle euphemism, that courteous suggestor whose orchidaceous syllables allow us to infer the crude, the ugly, the sexual, and the painful whilst protecting the delicate sensibilities of both artist and admirer.

We shall not speak of drunkenness – rather let our persons feel tiredness and emotion exacerbated by the intake of glorious nectar.

We shall not speak of the bodily functions of the bottom – rather infer that time spent in contemplation eases the pangs of the inner man.

We shall not enumerate the vulgar grunting of the joining of man and woman – rather shall we speak of the tenderest of caresses, and of the female lady garden and of the male’s fleshy sword.

Let our pens not dwell on the reproductive organs at all if that is possible – instead speak of sweet peaks and masculine heat.

We shall not speak of death – rather should we gently suggest a walk to the side of one’s maker.

We shall not enumerate pain – rather allude only to discomfort bravely borne.

We shall never speak of physical ugliness – no, let those who are plain of visage and ungraceful of form remain undescribed wherever possible and where description is unavoidable let ugliness be veiled under such kindly words as homely, honest-faced, strongly built, and even, dare one suggest, the damning of little physical beauty.

Indeed my children, consider my words of wisdom with care and never be swayed from following the primrose path of euphemistic glory. Let others dwell on the ugly and misshapen while we rise above such crudeness in our flying boat with the wings of the whitest swan and the beauty of a golden twilight.

Study your euphemisms, whilst your teacher goes fort in the vain attempt to detach his female parent from the public bar in the Beagle and Bumhole in sufficient time to converse with her own parent who is now our sole source of financial support.

Au revoir. Etudez bon

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

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