I don’t scare people

Really, I don’t. People are already scared. It’s a normal biological reaction to living in a world full of lunacy and danger. So, when I write a scary story and people complain they were scared by it (uh, that was kind of the point but yes, some people have complained) it’s not me who’s scaring you.

You were already scared. All I did was point out the monster behind the sofa.

People are scared all the time but that fear is unfocused. Their bodies are telling them they’re scared but there’s nothing tangible or immediate to focus that fear on. We’re set up to be scared of tigers and such, things we can see, but in the modern world there is no fixed point of reference. We just know it’s wrong and we’re scared but there’s no tiger.

All you need do as a horror story teller (and general prank playing bastard) is to give them a focus. The fear is already there for you to play with. It just needs you to give it a direction.

When I worked at Local Shop, Obelix the storeman (a veritable giant who was scared of everything) once mentioned his worry about something emerging from the toilet while he was sat on it.

I helpfully explained plumbing – the water in the toilet is only in the U-bend and the pipe after that is only wet during a flush. So a rat could easily get up to the back of the toilet and, since rats can swim, would have no difficulty popping under that bend for a quick nip of the danglies.

No evil smile, no cruel looks, just plain, calm, quiet speaking. I don’t think Obelix has shit since that day.

It does happen. Rats have appeared in toilet bowls – but it is exceedingly rare and the chances of one popping in while your tasty meaty arse is poised for a snack is very, very small indeed.

Actually it might not be that rare. Maybe rats pop into toilets all the time but finding them unoccupied and foodless, just pop back down again. Schrodinger’s rat, or maybe quantum rats. Who knows?

Probably best not to dwell on it though, eh?Β  πŸ˜‰

How about an anaconda or, more likely in America than here, a flushed alligator? Nah, the alligator won’t fit back up once it’s grown. The anaconda could do it. So could a cobra or an Australian brown snake. Maybe a funnel-web spider has moved into the bowl of the outside dunny…

You’d need a very, very good friend to suck the poison out.

Horror tales don’t need to be filled with violence and gore. Often, it’s the quiet explanation of plausible nonsense that works best.

I have told hand-waving antismokers that all the grey dust they see is 400 years of cigarette ash. They believe it. Why? Because the antismokers have told them that the residues of smoking never degrade and are in the environment forever. It’s rubbish of course but add up 400 years of smoking plus ASH propaganda and there you go. A plausible fabrication. Very scary bogeyman. It doesn’t exist but hey, they’re already terrified of smoking and that’s not my fault. I just nudge the fear a little further. The difference is, I don’t do it for money. I do it because it’s funny.

The plausible fabrication is the main technique of the antismoker. I see no issue with using their own weapons against them. All’s fair in smoking and war – and this is war. Okay, they don’t have snipers picking us off outside pubs so far, but many of them would like to. They even made a video game of exactly that. One Twatter user even said he wanted us taken out and shot in front of our families. Maybe ASH should become ISIS (International Smoker Inquisition of Spite), there’s not that much difference now.

So far, the war is mostly words and I’m fine with that. Words are the only weapon I’m very good at. I’m pretty good with a takedown recurve bow as long as you’re willing to take a seat and have a cup of tea while I put it together but otherwise, I fight with words.

Oh I have some big words. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychyndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch. So there. That’s like Conan with a dictionary instead of a broadsword. Yes, I’ve been there and no, I didn’t look it up first.

The antismokers tried training children to snatch cigarettes from the mouths of smokers in the street. They really did. With no regard to how fast those children would subsequently cross the road among rush hour traffic. That went abruptly quiet. They tried having gullible idiots testing smokers for breath CO levels on busy streets (never on quiet streets). That went quiet too. Presumably the gullible idiots eventually tested themselves and found their CO levels were the same. Exhaust fumes *cough*.

It’s all been a lie. Right from the outset, it was all lies. So why not lie back? You will never beat these people with the truth, they have already denied the existence of truth. Atruthists. You cannot fight them with the weapon of truth, they do not believe in it.

So fight them with horror. Fight them with fiction, the same weapon they use on the rest of the drones. The drones are disturbingly easy to manipulate and honour and decency says we shouldn’t – but we are not fighting an honourable and decent enemy. We are up against ‘anything goes’ bastards. We can only fight on their terms, we won’t win on ours.

Push the drones to the absurdity horizon. Some will cross and carry on to the Stupidity Singularity, some will stop and say ‘Hang on a minute…’

They call us ‘witch’. Be one. They call us ‘demon’. Be one.

Use absurdity. Use horror. Use the calm explanation of the terrible imaginary lumpy death they must surely face now they have encountered your unholy existence. Use fiction. The other side does and they dismiss our statements of reality with more fiction. You cannot beat that with truth. Use their own weapons against them. Make use of the dopey drones they have created.

Yes it is cruel. Yes it is immoral. We will be lying to people. But the enemy has shown that this works and it’s down to this. Do you want to die a moral hero in a death camp?

Not me. I will torment the antis and their drones right up until that walk in the woods where I get an accidental deer hunter bullet ion the back of my head.

Until then I will scare the drones harder than ASH do. it’s the only weapon I can reliably use. The weapon of words.

My weapon of choice.


18 thoughts on “I don’t scare people

  1. Great read. The first half of your article was a shade more scary than the second half. Prolly because there was an aire of teaching to it, as well as a more practical aspect of person to person relations/relationships.

    The second half is all bloodshed and the aftermath/cleanup types of thoughts. Not really that scary per se…just…disheartening.

    Lotta truth and honesty in both halves tho.

    On a less cheery note…being the sucker that I am, I took the liberty of looking up… Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychyndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch
    On Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
    (I had no idea what the fuck it could be cept possibly something from some medieval English poem or something)
    I must say…the Google results were disappointing…only 4 results, 3 of which pointed back to here/UBU. But I’ve noticed some strange trends with Google as of late…so…not really surprising. I will say that the 4th result in the Google search was interesting tho….a blog.

    Anyway…great read LI. Thanks for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A rat can indeed swim through a U-bend but can’t jump up and nip the virile member.
    It’s the same principle as the water-barrel trap; a wooden rod, such as a bit of broomstick is drilled down the middle which allows it to freely rotate about it’s longitudinal axis on a metal rod. It is placed across a barrel and baited in the mid-point with peanut butter etc. The rod spins when the rat crawls along it and dumps him into the water. Since he can’t leap whilst swimming, that’s him caught.
    A snake, on the other hand, given a minimal length to allow for a strike, could rip off your entire cluster if he emerges from the U-bend and detects a good heat signature, probably similar, in his tiny mind, to two fieldmice and a bank vole in close formation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leg’s was mocking the afflicted. Preying on one of his vulnerabilities. Mindfucking.

      If you’re property is attached to the sewerage system then the possibility of a bite from anything is sweet nothing. Your 6″ pipe goes into a larger street pipe that eventually emerges into a thudding great pipe that carries the waste from thousands of properties. It’s a fast flowing river down there.

      Creatures who live in those places are there for food and to breed. They don’t piss around exploring for the hell of it and, unless you live in a basement, there will be a vertical climb of a couple of metres to a ground floor property, with the real prospect that said creature could be flushed at any moment. They simply don’t do that and high rise buildings, well that makes matters worse for anything, especially if the pipes are plastic.

      What adult snakes that might find their way into the sewers will have a huge supply of food, namely rats, but very little likelihood of finding a mate.

      Mostly what happens is some dingbat flushes a pet that’s too much of a hassle – and if it’s a juvenile then its life expectancy is measured in minutes, same with alligators and crocks. Ratfood.

      It’s the folk who have basic septic tanks who are most vulnerable to this sort of thing, and yes some of our WW1 soldiers may have seen something like this in their billets, however most people in this country who have outdoor kazi’s keep them scrupulously clean and the door will be draught/rodent proof. That said, I’ve only ever been in one – poor area of Aberdeen – but that was half a decade ago.

      Snakes don’t bite to rip off anything, they bite to inject venom. For the most part they do this for their favourite prey, or if they feel seriously threatened. It’s hugely unlikely they’ll feel your crown jewels are either or.

      However, in the event you happen upon a kazi in some eco-paradise resort in the tropics and you feel what is a minute bite that’ll be very similar to an insect bite, then you’ll be a 1 in 100 million collateral damage. And the laughing stock of all your mates, if you happen to survive.

      And you’ll only survive if you have a first class description of said creature, or a photo, or it’s carcass and you can get to a hospital with the correct anti venom real quick. Though you’ll never have the need of a condom again!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Noo… you can’t tell people that kind of detail! As far as anyone knows, directly under the toilet is a pit full of shite-demons, monsters, and all sorts of unimaginable horrors, all fighting to be the first up that pipe.

        It’s certainly true here. I have a septic tank πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        • In time you’ll become familiar with some of the peculiarities of these devices.

          Like when the seasons change, especially when summer fades to cold, there can be a very nasty pong that comes back through the washbasins. Lasts about 72 hours as one set of microbes pops their clogs and another takes over.

          And you’ll know not to chuck fag butts into the loo, nor used condoms, nor tampons.

          In time you may get round to telling me what make’s your motor on the generator, whether the output’s single or 3 phase and the kva/kw rating of the generator. It’ll probably be a twin cylinder Lister motor, air cooled and the rating will be on a label riveted to the body of the generator. Get that going and all your power cuts become the start of an adventure, providing the junction box is up to scratch.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I lived with a septic tank before so I’m pre-warned. No bleach or heavy duty toilet cleaners either.

            I’ll look over the generator. I’s pretty rusted, it’ll be a long project. In the meantime I’m considering a 12V lighting circuit on battery backup, and I have the fireplace for heat in case of midwinter power failure. Also the hob is gas, run by gas bottles outside the house.

            I’m also thinking about a small generator that would only run the heating boiler. That could be a worthwhile investment.

            Liked by 1 person

            • The average element used in an immersion heater is 2.50 to 3.00 kw. No real stress on startup, but these things turn themselves on and off once they’ve achieved the temperature you’ve set on the unit. Mine’s 65 degrees C.

              Just to do that alone, with proper cable from your gennie through a switch to your household fuse panel means you’re best looking at something like 3.5 kw output.

              However generators don’t much like having no load at all on them, so you might want to include your fridge and a string of lights (fridge 100 w running, about 150 at startup – 500 w is what some of the older ones need if they’re frost free jobbies). A string of downstairs lights (your house may be wired with a fuse for upstairs lights and another fuse for downstairs – mine’s like that), so that’s just a case of counting those you use most then totting up the wattage of each bulb.

              At one point in a very backward posting in Oman, I had 4 generators. Two for the house, two for the office. Used the big one in each for days, then switched to the smaller ones at night, so 6 air cons in the house running during the day and just three a/c’s at night. The office was just lights at night.

              So if anyone fancied something that involved the kettle, well off went an a/c at night, or at the very least we’d turn the thermostat for the a/c up for the two to three minutes the kettle was on.

              (In other words we soon learned to work with these things, either because the engine would labour, the lights dim, or the trip would kick in).

              There’s a wealth of choice out there, both new and second hand. I’d avoid the dual fuel jobs and be a wee bit suspicious of the inverter ones. Just a standard Honda powered generator running on petrol’s the best bet.


              Getting one’s real simple. It’s where you put it’s the hassle (they’re all air cooled) and they do need their oil changed every 100 hours run time.

              Once that’s sorted do make sure you get a hold of a first rate electrician to wire your cottage. This is very serious stuff.

              Re the old fella you’ve inherited. Get shot of the oil in its sump. Get shot of the diesel in its tank (but don’t let air into the pipe leading to the generator – that means the injectors will be dry. If they are already then you’ll have to bleed them).

              Once the fluids have been changed, find the crank handle, then get a buddy to hold the valve lifter (very top of the engine, wee handle about 2″ high) while you crank the beast. Once up to speed, release valve lifter and when you get the first phutt, get the crank handle off real quick.

              Rust is not an issue on the motor, nor the generator outer casing, nor cobwebs. Your only concern is if the wiring inside the generator’s been degraded. If it has , the go for the portable 3.5 kva job, it’ll not be cost effective to change or re-wire. You can of course take your generator with you when you leave, any money spent on the inherited one can be got from the landlord, but your time and graft not.

              Liked by 1 person

              • The mains comes in through the garage (I have my own meter but it’s linked to the farm supply board, which is in the garage. Wiring for the original generator is still there but I suspect the house is now separate from that. There’s a modern circuit breaker board in the house so if I get an electrician to wire it in, I can just switch off what I don’t need to use and let the generator run the rest. Fridge, modem, downstairs lights and heating system. The laptop batteries should last for a short power cut.

                I should get a kettle that can sit on the hob too. That solves the tea issue πŸ˜‰

                Thanks for the link. I’ve been thinking about a generator for a long time. It’s about time I did something about it!


  3. Pingback: All’s Fae in Love and War… – Library of Libraries

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