Ho Loyal Minions! This is your Fearless Leader speaking!
Well, maybe not. I just got a bit excited on account of having followers for my blog and even getting a few comments.
Mind you, there’s no reason why I couldn’t be a Fearless Leader of some sort if I wanted. Everyone has to come from somewhere and people love a story about "Nameless Hick from Sticksville Makes Good".
I reckon I have genes for greatness. My ancestors were bad-ass pioneers, taming the wilderness, making homebrew, appearing in interestingly contentious legal cases and in one instance even a murder enquiry (hehe I love studying family history – it’s almost frightening some of the things I’ve found out about my antecedents). Some of those pioneers survived coming here as city-bred convicted prisoners trying to figure out what real countryside was about. They learned quickly. Well they must have, they didn’t die straight away after all.
Some of my ancestors were seriously tough and survived the white man’s invasion. My indigenous ancestors must have been tougher than the pioneers. They didn’t just survive, they thrived for tens of thousands of years and all without civilised 'essentials' like metal shovels, metal axes, guns and trousers.
When I was at school I often used to speculate on what we’d all be doing in 20 years time. Who’d be in what job, who’d be in what relationship, who’d be in what prison. Most of us are somewhere in the upper working class, lower middle class Belt of Mediocrity. None of us are out there taking over the world. And what about me? Where did I imagine I’d be?
Wherever it was, I didn’t think it’d be here. But that doesn’t make here a bad place to be.
I always wanted to be a writer. I call it my maybe-one-day dream. Meanwhile, we live in a teeny weeny cottage in the middle of a swamp. I work for a wage that’s barely worth getting out of bed for, trying hard to support my Captain and the three sprouts. He works even harder than I do keeping the household fed, washed and in one piece, and we all put real effort into being the familiest family we can. We’re happy. Not rich or career successful or anything big. But very, very happy.
Which does raise a question: Have I lowered my sights, now that I’m content to be happy? Or is it that I’ve finally realized what’s most important?
Down the main street here they have plaques all over the place naming local notables. Some of them really ARE notable too. An author, an international jetsetting executive, one bloke I’ve never really figured out what he did but have always meant to look up. It was a common joke at school that people from round here would go far – cos it was the only way to make sure you could get out of town and stay out.
I like this town. I know it’s not much and hasn’t always had a good reputation, but you see, it’s MINE. When you haven’t got much to feel proud of, you can end up feeling immensely proud of what little you have. There should be a word for that but I think we’ll have to settle for Parochial Patriotism.
However it goes, I believe it’s time to strike a blow for bourgeois mediocrity. I want a plaque in the main street too! One for Captain Barnacle and me. I think we deserve one. We’ve worked really hard and now we’re world leaders in being happy.
Besides, I know this town. It’s quite possible that if we ever have a really world-class serial killer from here, then they’ll get a little bronze plaque down the main street too. So if Bonnie and Clyde can have one, so can we.