Leader of the Pack by Bill Kirton
I’ve had a career-change idea. If I’m honest, I want something which doesn’t involve that strange concept of a work ethic. I’m not looking, either, for a luxury yacht, a
pad (do people still say ‘pad’?) or a cellar full of Château Pétrus. And,
despite my unflagging egocentricity, I want to keep my carbon footprint as
small as possible.
So I think I need to become a guru. It’s nice having followers on Facebook, Twitter and blogs but it’s no substitute for followers in the flesh who’d come to my hut to ask for guidance, waft about singing ethereal songs, making Peace signs and, basically, worshipping me. Or not even that. They can worship someone else if they like. The only problem with that is, if I’m their guru, then it’s up to me to tell them whom or what to worship, and I don’t want to create a religion. All I want is a little sect. (Ah, think of the gags I could have written if, grammatically, it had been legitimate to make that noun plural.)
So, how do I get to be a guru? I don’t think there are courses or degrees in it yet but it seems that all I need is stuff to preach and a few gullible people. Well, thanks to Simon Cowell, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Nigel Farage, etc., I know there’s no shortage of gullibility. And the stuff is easy; I’m a writer so I can just make it up. So I’d start with a few gnomic utterances, such as ‘The sweetness of the butterfly is the only true way’. It’s not great, though, is it? And to some people it might even seem to make sense. OK, let’s add a bit more gnomicness. How about ‘The sweetness of the butterfly drowns daily in the morning’s echoes’? Bingo.
So a follower (let’s call her Doris) stands at the open door of my hut. I smile and beckon her in. She sits beside me on the goose-quill bed (I don’t know what that is, but I think it’s the right sort of thing for a guru to have) and says: ‘I’m troubled’.
I smile again, stroke her hair and say ‘The sweetness of the butterfly drowns daily in the morning’s echoes’.
She nods quietly, head bowed. ‘I know,’ she says, ‘but what does it all mean?’
I take her hands in mine.
‘Doris,’ I say. ‘Feel the swan in your blood.’
We sit there for twenty minutes. Not another word passes between us. At last she smiles again, kisses my fingers and says ‘Thank you’.
‘No sweat,’ I reply, before realising that’s not a guru thing and adding ‘Inhabit the crystal’.
‘I will,’ she says, and goes to water the cannabis.
See? It’s not hard. I might have to expand on some of these little pearls, make them into sermons. No, not sermons – they explain stuff, draw conclusions. Parables are better. Just have to remember to get the context right. None of the labouring in vineyards, baguettes and fishes or Good Samaritan stuff. They’d better be IT consultants or media studies tutors. Something like…
‘A lifestyle coach was walking along a country lane when she passed a garage. Inside, a mechanic was leaning over an engine. She stopped and asked him what he was doing. “Cleaning a carburettor,” he said.
“Have you cleaned many?” she asked.
“Hundreds,” said the man.
“Different types?’ she said.
“SUVs, Jeeps, Dodge 58s with the old-style overhead camshafts, more or less everything,” he said.
The woman stepped towards him and laid her white hand over his.
“I have a collection of over three hundred Barbies,” she said.
The man looked at her and a tear formed in his left eye. The woman raised her finger, collected the tear, placed it on his grease-smeared lip and turned away to continue her walk.
The mechanic watched her go, the tears welling in his eyes once more. He reached for a hammer and began hitting the carburettor with fierce, unrelenting blows.’
OK, I think I’m ready. Just need some followers and a hut.