Friday, 13 September 1996 3:48pm
I just had to write something on Friday the thirteenth. Just what I’m going to write, I’m not too sure. Ho hum.
Well, I could go over my personality metaphor that I came up with the other day. It’s not very good, so bear with me.
I reckon there are two types of people, When I say that, I don’t mean that these are the only two types there are, but theses are just two of the many ovals in the Venn diagram of humanity. (Here’s the metaphor bit). They could be looked at like energy sources, you’ve got your fossil fuels and your renewable sources.
Your “Fossils” are people who are interesting in the way they’re made up. You wanna pick them apart and figure out exactly why they are the way they are. You excavate their past layer by layer and figure out why they deal with the present the way they do, and that’s it. Their subterranean reservoir of oil is exhausted, and they’re really no longer of interest. Then you have “Renewables”. They’re the people who are interesting on an ongoing basis. You can rummage through their past, but the way they react to every different situation is still interesting in some way. This is the type of person you want to stick around. Unfortunately, they rarely do. I always seem to get stuck with the Fossils, clinging to my sides like the damned in hell in that story about the woman and the angel and the onion. Do you know that one? I’ll re-tell it (as my second-rate, soggy brain recalls it) just in case.
There was this evil woman, right? A money-lender if memory serves me well. Well, one day she keels over, and she’s up at the Pearly Gates with St Peter and he says “Sorry, luv. You’ve not done one nice thing for anybody at any time in your whole life. I’m afraid it’s the express lift, goooooin’ down for you.”
The steel doors whoosh shut on the celestial elevator and down she goes. She’s languishing with Beelzebub amongst the tortured souls down there when her guardian angel looks down with pity and pleads with St Peter to let her in to Heaven. St Peter reiterates the fact that she’s never done anyone a kind turn ever, and the guardian angel says “Wait, there was this one time when she gave an onion to a starving beggar in a market” St Peter scratches his chin, shifts his weight from one foot to the other and, feeling charitable as angels generally do, he says “Alright, I’ll let her in. Mind you, she’s on rocky clouds here, I’m not takin’ any shit from this money-lender of yours,” wagging his finger at the soft-hearted guardian angel. And with typical biblical love of symbolism he says “Take this here onion, and pull her up from hell with it.”
So the guardian angel swoops down to hell with the onion, resisting the urge to stop on the way for a fry-up with it on a barbeque in purgatory, to find the woman in a lake of fire and brimstone, in a sea of seething bodies, all aflame and screaming in endless agony. The angel reaches down and says “Grasp the onion, repentant money-lender, it’s up-up-and-away for you, ya lucky thing.”
The money lender grabs the onion with gratitude and the angels starts to lift her heaven-ward. But the others in the lake of fire and brimstone want out too, right? So they grab onto her skirts, and others grab onto them, and yet more grab onto them, until there’s like this chain of people trying to hitch-hike up to heaven with her. The woman’s skirt starts to tear and the people are grabbing at her legs and moaning and rolling their eyes like some Hieronymous Bosche painting. The money-lender gets a bit shirty and starts to kick them off, sending them plopping back into the brimstone. The angel looks down with a tear in his eye and gently lets go of the onion, sending the money-lender screaming with rage and sorrow back into Hell. Selfishness, you see.
I have no idea why I’ve gone into such detail over such a completely tangential story. I’ve always liked it though. The image of the woman snarling and kicking off the sinners, and then the betrayal on her face, her mouth working in that flummoxed O as she holds the onion that’s no longer attached to her angel (and Dad being allergic to onions and all).