“Let’s say you’re romantically involved with a balloon animal. Society doesn’t understand - it never does - and you have to sneak out to this one Italian restaurant where the staff aren’t all that judgmental. Now one night, over a candlelit dinner, she wafts across the table and touches the candle flame. Pop! She’s dead! Do you tip the waiter for one meal or two?”
That was the description of a Wrongcard I created (for some reason?) a few years ago. I came across it the other day while I was working on the site itself. I’ve been renovating Wrongcards slowly, over the past few months, with an eye to making it better.
Ideally, I’d publish fifty new ecards this year, but that’s an ambitious target considering all the other things I have to do. In any case, if you stop by wrongcards.com, you should notice some improvements and changes – especially if you’re looking at it on a wider monitor. Anyway, in the course of my labors, I found some really good ones I’d forgotten.
I don’t know if I need to say this, but Wrongcards makes me feel weird. Something between pride and embarrassment. Lately, I’ve been wondering what my children are going to think about it all.
So, I did a lot of work on Wrongcards – and my blog website thingy because I have a busy year ahead, and there won’t be time later. But whilst I worked on it, I found myself thinking about it. I suppose there was a lot of why am I doing this? going through my mind. And also, why did I build this website in the first place? And, of course, this old chestnut, this really is a lot of work.
Inevitably, and every day, I found myself realizing that I’m not entirely sure what wrongcards actually is. It only lightly resembles an ecards website. The more time I spent working on it in the past few weeks, the more I had a general sense of the entire website being one man’s struggle to organize his unease about the world.
You know, I used to be a deeply mischievous person. Former colleagues will testify to this. They described me as Pan-like, meaning the cloven-hoofed being of mythology. I don’t know if that’s true anymore. I have these daughters you see. They’re like imps. They’ve inherited something from me, something genetic. And as I’ve said before, I find this deeply unfair.
When it comes to sowing doubt and discord, they can outpace me. Not that I’ve taught them anything. To a certain degree, my daughters have barely met me. In the hilarious comedy that is their lives, I appear in the reluctant role of ‘Straight Man’. They play tricks on me almost constantly, whilst I advocate the merits of responsible living, and the virtues of eating vegetables.
However, it seems my seven-year-old daughter, Hattie, has a dark sense of humor. I did not teach it to her, it just developed of its own accord. She was sitting at the table the other day, idly looking at her sister, when she turned to me and said, in a detached and empty way, “Daddy, never give me a machete. I can’t be trusted with them.”
It’s important to understand that Hattie is only seven.
Meaning, I published the above card two full years before she was born. Why is she like me? Consider that, from a certain perspective, Hattie has barely met me. She’s met an isotope of me. Someone who looks and sounds like me, but is oddly concerned with eating vegetables and being considerate of others.
Obviously, they know I have a sense of humor. But they don’t know that I suffer from a sense of humor. Or that I could write several books cataloging the various ways in which it has gotten me in trouble.
Once up a time, I assumed that my sense of humor had evolved slowly over time, through trial and error – or, rather, a vast assortment of errors. But now that I’ve met Hattie, I can recognize my personality is largely genetic. So it seems that none of this is my fault. Wrongcards was almost certainly predetermined to exist. On the other, God damn it …
Anyway, as most of you know, late last year I finished writing a fairly long Science Fiction novel. Well, I passed it to my mate, Cooldeep, who turned around and assured me it’s really funny. Which bothered me, obviously, because my intention was to write a serious novel this time and yet I couldn’t help sprinkling jokes throughout it. Totally unintentionally, and for the same genetic reasons I explained above.
I thought: this is going to surprise people. They don’t know the Serious Mr. St.Gabriel. I even made Cooldeep explain parts of the story to me, just to confirm he’d actually read it, and he had, so I don’t know. I’m scratching my head about this. Anyway, I really like this book, and I’m looking forward to getting it out there. I’m almost there.
Obviously, I must sound a bit busy, but I paused a few days ago to try to catch up on the news and world events. Which is how, for the first time ever, I heard the shrill, panicked siren-call from the media, bleating about something called the Woke Mind Virus.
Now, I don’t blame any of you for thinking that the Woke Mind Virus is simple misdirection. A cynical ploy by billionaire media moguls to divert the Poor’s attention from their worsening economic situation, the soaring cost of living, etcetera. And some of you might think that the billionaire class is deperately inventing false polemics to drum the masses into a frenzy, encouraging the Poors to fight among each other in the hopes they won’t turn on them..
But I reckon that’s just paranoia. Anyway, because the news pundits are so alarmed by the threat of Wokeness – and not the fact that the grocery store near my house is selling tomatoes for $17 dollars a kilo – I, too, have been worrying about Wokeness. So much so, that yesterday morning I made a new wrongcard about it. Here it is below. You’re welcome.
Oh, and keep an eye out for my newsletter next Monday. It’ll be a fun one.
With chaste affection,