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TIM
“I think I can speak for contemporary males… I dunno… If you guys agree, you know… You know you get to that point in your life, I think mostly in your early thirties, for men anyway, where you… Start to realise that… Uh… That everything you want to say… Everything you want to express… In your life… Can’t necessarily be expressed in comedy song… You know? And I think it’s at this point in your average mans life, when he might choose to write a nine minute beat poem…

This is a nine minute beat poem. It’s called ‘Storm’.

Inner North London, top floor flat
All white walls, white carpet, white cat,
Rice Paper partitions
Modern art and ambition
The host’s a physician,
Bright bloke, has his own practice
His girlfriend’s an actress
An old mate of ours from home
And they’re always great fun.
So to dinner we’ve come.

The 5th guest is an unknown,
The hosts have just thrown
Us together as a favor
because this girl’s just arrived from Australia
And she’s moved to North London
And she’s the sister of someone
Or has some connection.
As we make introductions
I’m struck by her beauty
She’s irrefutably fair
With dark eyes and dark hair
But as she sits
I admit I’m a little bit wary
because I notice the tip of the wing of a fairy
Tattooed on that popular area
Just above the derrière
And when she says “I’m Sagittarien”
I confess a pigeonhole starts to form…
And is immediately filled with pigeon
When she says her name is Storm.

Conversation is initially bright and light hearted
But it’s not long before Storm gets started:
“You can’t know anything,
Knowledge is merely opinion.”
She opines, over her Cabernet Sauvignon
Vis a vis
Some unhippily
Empirical comment made by me.
“Not a good start” I think
We’re only on pre-dinner drinks
And across the room, my wife
Widens her eyes
Silently begs me,
“Be Nice”
A matrimonial warning
not worth ignoring
So I resist the urge to ask Storm
Whether knowledge is so loose-weave
Of a morning
When deciding whether to leave
Her apartment by the front door
Or the window on her second floor.

The food is delicious and Storm,
Whilst avoiding all meat,
Happily sits and eats
As the good doctor, slightly pissedly
Holds court on some anachronistic aspect of medical history
When Storm suddenly insists
“But the human body is a mystery!
Science just falls in a hole
When it tries to explain the the nature of the soul.”

My hostess throws me a glance
She, like my wife, knows there’s a chance
I’ll be off on one of my rare, but fun, rants
But I shan’t, my lips are sealed.
I just want to enjoy the meal
And although Storm is starting to get my goat
I have no intention of rocking the boat,
Although it’s becoming a bit of a wrestle
Because – like her meteorological namesake –
Storm has no such concerns for our vessel.

“Pharmaceutical companies are the enemy
They promote drug dependency
At the cost of the natural remedies
That are all our bodies need
They are immoral and driven by greed.
Why take drugs
When herbs can solve it?
Why use chemicals
When homeopathic solvents
Can resolve it?
I think it’s time we all return to live
With natural medical alternatives.”

And try as hard as I like,
A small crack appears
In my diplomacy-dike.
“By definition”, I begin
“Alternative Medicine”, I continue
“Has either not been proved to work,
Or been proved not to work.
Do you know what they call “alternative medicine”
That’s been proved to work?

Medicine.”

“So you don’t believe
In ANY Natural remedies?”

“On the contrary, Storm, actually:
Before we came to tea,
I took a remedy
Derived from the bark of a willow tree
A painkiller, virtually side-effect free
It’s got a weird name,
Darling, what was it again?
Ma-Ma-Masprin?
Basprin?
Oh yeah, Asprin!
Which I paid about a buck for
Down at the local drugstore.

The debate briefly abates
As my hosts collects plates
but as they return with desserts
Storm pertly asserts,

“Shakespeare said it first:
There are more things in heaven and earth
Than exist in your philosophy…
Science is just how we’re trained to look at reality,
It doesn’t explain love or spirituality.
How does science explain psychics?
Auras; the afterlife; the power of prayer?”

I’m becoming aware
That I’m staring,
I’m like a rabbit suddenly trapped
In the blinding headlights of vacuous crap.
Maybe it’s the Hamlet she just misquothed
Or the sixth glass of wine I just quaffed
But my diplomacy dike groans
And the arsehole held back by its stones
Can be held back no more:

“Look, Storm, I don’t mean to bore you
But there’s no such thing as an aura!
Reading Auras is like reading minds
Or tea-leaves or star-signs or meridian lines
These people aren’t plying a skill,
They’re either lying or mentally ill.
Same goes for those who claim to hear God’s demands
And Spiritual healers who think they’ve magic hands.
By the way,
Why do we think it’s OK
For people to pretend they can talk to the dead?
Isn’t that totally fucked in the head
Lying to some crying woman whose child has died
And telling her you’re in touch with the other side?
I think that is fundamentally sick
Do we need to clarify here, that there’s no such thing as a psychic?
What, are we fucking Two?
Do we actually think that Horton Heard a Who?
Do we still believe that Santa brings us gifts?
That Michael Jackson didn’t have facelifts?
Are we still so stunned by circus tricks
That we think that the dead would
Wanna talk to pricks
Like John Edward?

Storm, to her credit, despite my derision
Keeps firing off clichés with startling precision
Like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition.

“You’re so sure of your position
But you’re just closed-minded
I think you’ll find
Your faith in Science and Tests
Is just as blind
As the faith of any fundamentalist.”

“Wow, that’s a good point, let me think for a bit…
Oh wait, my mistake, that’s absolute bullshit.
Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed
Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.
If you show me
That, say, homeopathy works,
Then I will change my mind
I will spin on a fucking dime
I’ll be embarrassed as hell,
But I will run through the streets yelling
“It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while it’s memory of a long lost drop of onion juice seems Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!
You show me that it works and how it works
And when I’ve recovered from the shock
I will take a compass and carve ‘Fancy That’ on the side of my cock.”

Everyones just staring at me now,
But I’m pretty pissed and I’ve dug this far down,
So I figure,

‘In for penny, in for a pound’.

“Life is full of mysteries, yeah
But there are answers out there
And they won’t be found
By people sitting around
Looking serious
And saying
‘Isn’t life mysterious?’
Let’s sit here and hope
Let’s call up the fucking Pope
Let’s go watch Oprah
Interview Deepak Chopra

If you’re going to watch tele, you should watch Scooby Doo.
That show was so cool
because every time there’s a church with a ghoul
Or a ghost in a school
They looked beneath the mask and what was inside?
The fucking janitor or the dude who ran the waterslide.
Because, throughout history
Every mystery
EVER solved has turned out to be
Not Magic.

Does the idea that there might be truth
Frighten you?
Does the idea that one afternoon
On Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten you
Frighten you?
Does the notion that there may not be a supernatural
So blow your hippy noodle
That you would rather just stand in the fog
Of your inability to Google?

Isn’t this enough?
Just this, world?
Just this, beautiful, complex
Wonderfully, unfathomable, natural world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
That we have to diminish it with the invention
Of cheap, man-made Myths and Monsters?
If you’re so into Shakespeare
Lend me your ear:
“To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw perfume on the violet… is just fucking silly.”
Or something like that.
Or what about Satchmo?!
“I see trees of Green,
Red roses too…”
And fine, if you wish to
Glorify Krishna and Vishnu
In a post-colonial, condescending
Bottled-up and labeled kind of way
Then whatever,
That’s ok.
But here’s what gives me a hard-on:
I am a tiny, insignificant, ignorant lump of carbon.
I have one life, and it is short
And unimportant…
But thanks to recent scientific advances
I get to live twice as long as my great great great great uncles’s’s and auntses’s’s.
Twice as long to live this life of mine.
Twice as long to love this wife of mine.
Twice as many years of friends and wine,
Of sharing curries and getting shitty
At good-looking hippies
With fairies on their spines
And butterflies on their titties.

And if perchance I have offended,
Think but this and all is mended:
We’d as well be 10 minutes back in time,
For all the chance you’ll change your mind.”

Again, Tim is openly discussing his beliefs and highlights how ridiculous he believes the belief of another to be. By forming a coherent argument in the form of a poem, and discussing his ideas in an alternative way, Tim derives comedy from truth: Homeopathy is fucking stupid.

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