9 Jul


cartoon vicar photo 7871554-funny-hand-painted-priest-on-white-background--illustration_zpscaa86877.jpgThe Reverend Desmond Pew was a good man. There have probably been few better since mankind crawled nervously out of the African savannah and spread across the world, though if you’d told him how good he was he wouldn’t have believed a word of it because like all wise men he knew better.

His story is as follows.

He was born to Jenny and Barry Pew, and they didn’t want him. He was an accident that a visit to an ancient neighbour who knew a thing or two about abortion couldn’t shift. As soon as it was confirmed that Jenny was indeed pregnant and it was much too late for her to do more than she and the neighbour already had failed to do about it, Barry absconded. He took a carrier bag containing his personal possessions and went to live in the Highlands of Scotland where he got a reputation for poaching. It wasn’t that he was a particularly evil man, just that he needed to live and poaching provided him the means.

Jenny, on the other hand, couldn’t get away so easily so she attended to her favourite mind-destroying past-time with extra vigour and managed to sniff more cocaine than should be compatible with life as well as successfully submerge her consciousness under the palliative love of several other unbalancing substances. Somehow she managed to get copious quantities of her poison and she used it with relish, even quite enjoying the way he nostrils started disintegrating under the beneficial ministrations of her drug of choice. And she was hardly ever in her right mind. She was barely capable of acknowledging what day of the week it might be and who was who under the bright yellow sun, and she almost died more than once, but by some miracle came round before her heart gave in.

And the baby was born.

She called him Desmond because she was watching a programme on the television about a Desmond at the moment he found his way out of her unhealthy flesh a couple of weeks before he was expected. And he was his own midwife even though the ancient neighbour already alluded to discarded her abortionist’s hat and became, a temporary midwife’s assistant for the occasion.

Jenny barely knew what was going on in its young life. Several times she was quite perplexed when she discovered it attached to her skinny bosom and sucking as if there was going to be no tomorrow. And she was deaf to its squawking as slowly the child managed to cure itself of cocaine (and other substances) addiction.

This was the world Desmond was born into and this was the world he had to conquer, or go under.

The first four or five years of his life were a period of self-education. He taught himself what was good to eat and what made him retch – and a great deal in his environment did just that. He taught himself how to crawl from place to place and even up the stairs, learned that it was silly pooing where he was going to sleep and best to find a corner to mess in, and by the time he was three he had taught himself how to read – not everything but enough for his three-year old purposes. In particular, he learned the word “poison” and that substances with that word on their labels were best avoided.

And by the time he was five he knew that the one true obstacle to him growing up to be good and proud was the junkie he shared his life with. It was clear as day, and he needed to put it right.

So he killed her.

He had to. He used poison, which his self-education had taught him a bit about, and fed it to her until she stopped moving, and then, to be quite sure, he pushed some more down her throat.

And that was the beginning of life for Desmond. There was a certain amount of fuss involving questions about whether a five year old was capable of murder, and it was decided the mother, a diseased junkie, had died accidentally, probably mistaking arsenic for cocaine and that the child had nothing whatsoever to do with it, poor little mire.

From that point on his life was simple. He was taken into care (to a really good family) from where he was sent to an unreasonably good school where everyone loved him. He passed a whole multitude of examinations over the years until he found himself in an excellent University where he was taught a huge amount about life and how to live it. And it was there that he made decisions.

He wanted to be a good man. He had no desire to atone for what he knew had been a pretty naughty thing to do, matricide, because the mater in his life that he had disposed of was, and always had been, worthless and given the chance he’d probably do it again. But that first five years of life had taught him one important thing.

If you’re a Desmond and want to get along you’d best take control of your life. And the best way he could think of doing that was by rising high in an organisation, any organisation, and making himself indispensable.

So Desmond Pew became the Reverend Desmond Pew, and he fixed his eyes firmly on Rome.

© Peter Rogerson 09.07.15


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