The Ghost with the Granny Smith


Down with the system!!!!!!

Every time I sit down to read in the library, an anarchic presence decides to sit as close as it possibly can and eat an apple. I say presence because I am not talking about any person in particular, but about an evil spirit that has the power to inhabit the bodies of otherwise upstanding citizens.

When the spirit takes hold, there is no limit to the chaos that follows. Susan Awesomepedestrian one day decides that she has had enough of ordinary pedestrian traffic rules and from that day onward starts walking in front of people, then slowing down without moving to the side. Herbert Readsveryquietly suddenly starts bringing Granny Smiths to libraries and utterly crushing them. Total chaos and decay of civilized society ensue. I cry silent, harsh tears on the inside and dream of a world without noisy apples or unpredictable walkers and realise that there truly is no God. Surely the German Romantics that invented Weltschmerz must have spent considerable time either in libraries or busy town squares before they could experience the vivid pain that they so vicariously explore and express in their work. When Hobbes warned of the natural state of man, he was not, as popular interpretation would have us think, speaking of the consequences of lawlessness, but of the ruinous effect that wayward fruit can have on worldwide mental health if we let it fall into the grasp of evil spirits.

So anyway, like any reasonable person with an unhealthy grudge, I regularly issue complaints about this spirit amongst friends and relevant authorities alike. “But it haunts me!” I say. “It doesn’t care about respecting universally accepted appropriate sound levels when eating, or any other fundamental rules of the world for that matter!”

“You’re wrong. You’re naive!” the friend or relevant authority responds. “Stop right there, sir. The world does not owe you anything. Kindly remove your head from the clouds and your foot from your mouth. You’re right about the apples, I’ll give you that. Adam and Eve didn’t get kicked out of that garden because the fruit was evil: God just couldn’t stand their horrible munching. But no, I point out that you are not free from possession either, because right now somewhere some pour soul has to read on Writer’s Block the gripes of what is undoubtedly the pettiest part of your character.”

And fair enough. A balanced, nutritious yet tasty diet is good. Freedom of movement is good. Confronting evil spirits in clear-spoken, communicative language is g – and unfiltered expression of BLAH is even better! Ha! Bring it, you dastardly apple eaters, cyclists and pedestrians of Amsterdam! I can see all of you, ALL of you conspiring against me. Whether I’m on my bike or taking a stroll, all of you coordinate yourselves to be either much too slow or way too fast compared to my excellently paced walking speed. When I visit the store, I can see how all of you slyly form lines to lengthen my path to Cheetos. Don’t think I haven’t got you figured out!

As both The System and the spirits have turned against me and have shown me that rules are for suckers, I have no choice but to declare revolution1. Down with the libraries, down with the sidewalks, down with maniacally clicking pens and opening cookie packages as slow and shamefully as one can! Down with you, person who spreads their legs over as many chairs as possible in public transit. Down with politeness and negotiation and taking other people into account! Down with being considerate and letting people explore spaces at their leisure! Down with putting your headphones in when you don’t like a sound, or counting to ten! Redrum, redrum!

Down with being consistent or coherent! Let the streets run awash with murky sticky green and yellow from the blood of fallen pomme-fruit!

1Viva la revolución!


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