The Life of Henry Fuckit
51 Henry's sermon at Aus
He made his way up the hill to the school, which he discovered was built like a monastery and faced west. From here it became evident for the first time that Aus was built on the edge of an escarpment and the hills fell away and merged into the flat desolation of the desert below. The view was wide like the way to hell and there was the suggestion of orange tingeing the brown haze on the horizon as the sun moved lower.
Back down the road past the hotel he sauntered. Across the railway track the road turned left along the opposite side of the valley and he followed it for maybe a kilometre before coming in sight of a church. Atop the squat bell tower a cross stood stark and black against the sky. At his approach two ravens flew up, their oiled plumage glinting like black mail as they drifted higher and higher in eccentric spirals. The windows were shuttered and the heavy doors padlocked. Paint was peeling and in places plaster was cracking and falling off like scabs.
He pushed at the doors and parched wood gave a groan of protest. A good shove and no doubt the screws would pull out of the timber. He circled the building, examining its state of dilapidation, marvelling at how a sound edifice like this could be shut up and left to deteriorate, fall into ruin because dreams had failed and the population had dwindled. At the western end he tried the door to the sacristy. Locked, as to be expected. He pulled the door towards him against the frame, stood back, breathed deeply, said "Ha-So!" in an Oriental accent and kicked flat-footed, karate style, beneath the handle. Neatly, without further ado, the door sprang open halfway before binding on its hinges. Yes, the keep had snapped and he was able to step into the room.
A table against the wall, thickly coated with dust, an open door revealing a toilet. Nails and rectangular patches on the walls showed where pictures and tracts had hung, stencilled by the sun and the priest's pipe smoke. The interleading door was unlocked and the hinges gave a dry squeal. In the dim light from the shuttered windows and a stained glass panel high up on the west wall he could discern the altar - a polished granite slab on rough granite supports. To his right was the pulpit, an elaborate piece of furniture for a small church. The incense of bats hung in the air, similar to the smell of mice but sharper like ammonia. An intermittent electric buzz came from the lattice of black painted trusses high overhead. Stepping down into the nave he walked between the pews to the doors at the back. A dune of fine sand had formed against them, fed from the crack between the rebates. No decoration remained, no crucifixions, no martyrdoms adorning the walls. And no hymn books or even church notices lying about. In fact there were no clues at all as to the identity of the minister and his congregation.
Henry retraced his steps and mounted the pulpit. This was a brand new experience and it amused him. He grasped the rail either side of the lectern and ran his eye over the rows of pews. Belligerently.
"We are gathered here today." His voice was loud and came back at him off the bare walls. "Ahem. Harumph. Harumph. May the blessing of God be upon thee." He paused and then shouted, His voice filled the church to capacity, boomed out of the vestibule and soared to the roof. What power! For long moments he stood motionless then turned and retreated to the sacristy. There he composed himself, straightened his cassock and strode forth with measured tread, making an entrance most becoming a high-ranking ecclesiastic. If Joyce could do it in the manner of Shem and Shaun, then Fuckit could have a go at Gudd and Sutt. Mounting the pulpit he fixed the congregation with a beady stare and spake thus:
"Buggers and Shitters, we are gaddered in the absinthe of the Lort, a mercy for which we must be most fulsomely gratudinous. Buggers and Shitters, I must implore ye to open your peepers, your tickers, your marbles, and your knickers, and look the horse in the moth. Be not afreed! Strangthen thy bools with the binding power of Troof! Cower not befear the insloat of accepted custard. What I am about to shay might cause thee to trimble and gnash thy dintures and thy gumdrops. What I am about to bear wetness to is not for the lily-livered; neither is it for the bangbroek, nor for the chicken-breasted. Bugs and Shits, this is for the bald, the breeve and the crude; it is for those who must brace their lugholes to receive the Troof. Bugren and Shitren, I place my missage bethree thee like the head of John the Hatless on a clatter: GUDD IS REALTY.
"Fall not off thy pukes. Let me expleen with the power of the wort, Crudders and Shitsters. It be acceptable custard to treat the Old Testicle as the wort of the Lort and as the unmicturated Troof. In days of gore it was tiken to mean what it shed; no more, no lesh, without the addition of sodium chloride. If, Buggers and Shitters, the Lort did stutter the worts, 'Let there be late,' and the Old Testicle did record the results of such stutterance as, 'Late,' then it was as final pudding that the origin of late did indade enamanate from the stutterance of Lort Gudd Allmatey. Now, my witless Bugshits, there do be a more sodden stool of taught which interpretates sich pissages from the Hooly Baybill in a less clitoral way and do suggist it be nuffink shot of a kind of parabola for the fable-minded and may be delegated to the world of fiery tiles. They do belief that Gudd created late, but not by stuttering, 'Let there be Late.' Buggers and Shitters, both stools have waddled from the path of Troof, for they both share an androgomorphic view of Gudd. This is indeed a case of cerebral dereliction. Let it be quite a parrot to you all: Gudd is Gudd, and Man is Man, and Gudd is not Man, and Man is not Gudd. It be the source of much inclement wailing and rendering of garments, this miscontruception regarding Gudd.
"Bugters and Shiters, my beloved flick, I am trying to lead ye by your short and curly acrylic to the safety of Troof. But bear this in moind: should any of the flick draw back and bleat, 'Erotic!' I shall not hesitate to excommunionize the recalcitrant ruminants and order them to flick off, post hoist. There be nothing erotical in what I say. I speak only Troof. O ye Karakul and Merino, ye Fat Tail and Dorper, open thy cardiac organs and thy cerebral organs!
"Hrrumph, hrrumph! Now, to enluster the crotch of what I am trying to penetrate, I shall take my reading form the Boook of Jeeb. Hrrumph, hrrumph! The die kime when the mimbers of the court of hebben took their plices in the absinthe of the Lort, and Sutton was there amang them. The Lort asked him where he had bone. 'Ag, ranging over the earth,' he shed, 'from ind to ond, this why and that, looking for shit.' The Lort drank deep from chalish of Vrotters and then proceeded to goad Sutton. 'Have ya considered my sivvant Jeeb? Ya find noon on earth like him, a man of blimeless and upright lafe, who fears Gudd and sets his fice aginst wringdong.' Sutton answered the Lort in coarse tones. 'Fuck it, G Hoover! Has not Jeeb good reason to BE Gudd-fearingk? I mean, have you not hodged him round on every side with your protiction, him and his fambly and all his positions? Whativver he does you have blist, but stritch out your handy and titch all that he has, and then he'll cuss you to ya fice.' Then the Lort shed to Sutton, 'That's what ya tink, Slimeball. So beat. All that he hashish zin ya hands. We'll she. Ony, Jeeb hisself ya must not titch.'
"Then, my woolly jumpers, we are beguiled with an epiphany of atrocities chamferred, nay, insicated even, by this weir 'n wunneful Gudd. The boontiful offfspring of Jeeb's randy old lions are slotted hoolsale, as are his sivvints, slivs and great erds and flicks of goots, cameleons, ships, bollocks, chackens, dunkeys - even the docks are not spared. But, amaze, amaze! Dis ole gunt Jeeb don't looziz cool wit de Lort. No fuckin wayz. No fool epitaphs, no obscene handrailings does he hurl at Gudd. No, no, no. He's no heart on sleeving whinger. All he does is tear up his cloths and squat in the fireplice. Oh yes, I figgits is chronium. E shive is ed. 'I knackered cummed from the cunt, knackered I return whence I cummed. The Lort giffs and the Lort tikes a Y; blissed be the nime of the Lort.'
"Dear Carruthers and Smithers, let terror and awe gollop through thy abominable tracts as I untold this nasty tile. Back in the boardroom Gudd check Sutton skew and inquire with greasy sneer, 'How now Sutt? Have ya considered me sivvint Jeeb?' And Sutton, exceeding vicious in his unger spike thus: 'Huh! Scone for scone! There be nothing the man will gridge to sive his scones. But stritch out ya hand and titch his bean and his flish, and see if the ficker don't curse ye to ya fice.' And the Lort kworft more Vrotters, korffed, and spate unto a golden shpitoon. 'Okay, boy, go frit. But spare his lafe.'
"Oh mutton heads, I see that even ye be shucked. Ye cry out. In what foul and frivolous pervorsities partiketh our Lort Gudd Allmatey? In the low company of this Sutton creep! Despair not, Buggers and Shitters. Ye art unalone in this hour of ongst. Yea though I wank in the alley in the manner of Onan, I shall hear no earful. I too have nivver enkintered sich indellible fleaze as this. Brace thy silvs till thy rod is as stiff as mine! Sutton, in full flish of manic aforethought, do smite Jeeb with running shores head to toe. So bad he tiketh a piece of a brikken pote to scritch hisself as he sitteth among the eshes.
"Now at this puncture Jeeb say a very unlikely thang. His last pissplay of diety befear he cracketh like a pitcher, seven day and seven neat later. He shay, can you belief it, Bugs and Shits, he shay, whilst scritching his running shores wit a piece of gebreekte pote, he shay, 'If we acshept goot from Gudd, should we not acshept offal?' Haw, haw, haw! His wife be of far more prackical frame of moind. 'Oi, yoi, yoi! Good-shmood, offal-shmoffal. Cuss Gudd and die, ye ole schmuck!' See what I mean bout fleaze, Buggers and Shitters? But, dear Bugshites, let us not dwill on this livil of porfidy.
"I have tiken Jeeb as my taxt, for it is in this Boook that we enkinter a distempary pissplay of the twisted nitcher of Gudd. Allow me the lavatory to put it like this: Gudd be jussers rotten as ye and me. Frints, the whole of the Old Testicle is a corpse of ividence that Gudd is just like ye and me, only on a more extreme skile. The Old Testicle is filled wit milk and honey. But it is also filled wit pus and dang. Goodness and booty, offal and uckliness. That is the nitcher of Gudd, the nitcher of man. The Old Testicle IS Gudd. And that, Buggers and Shitters, is why I mike my foundling statement: GUDD IS REALTY. It is by ficing up to GUDD, by ficing the realty, the realty of Gudd, that we can fice the realty of oursilves.
"Ah, dear Bugshits, I am of the feverish heap that my worts are not falling off cleft palates. I know it be excessive wearisome to harken unto the testimonial of the Pritcher, specially if it be for more than five minute, and specially if it be within the coastlines of a horse of warship, where one is wont to wander at will within and without walls of wickfulness whilst wankin and blankin at Nod. But harken ye must. A cake! This is the wort of the Lort! Ye sapient ants and green reflectors, cease thy prostration and pay a tin shilling through the nostril. This be no bone-again Boswell-Wilkie pack of cards. Sit down and sit up strite and hear the mumbo of Jumbo.
"Now that the Old Testicle be under the belt we can tike out the New Testicle for scrotiny. A torrid tile, a sod saga, we now considereth. It be a tragical history of dambition and delusion and detrayal and misillusion. The Old Testicle was a mirror held up to our blamished nitcher, the New Testicle be the window of Hoop through which Krayst demonstrate us the principle. But not the meffod. Yiss, Buggers and Shitters, Cheesers Krayst was greet on principle but when it cummed to practick he did hit one helluva puntechnicon. 'How to Try Without Succeeding' could have been the total of the Boook. And the grite floor in the whole bangshoot lie not wit Seduction, Edmin or Mocca Ting. No, no, no. The rat was at the tap. The relitionship between the Emdy and the German sich that when the fish and chips were crunched and loaded with diced steak onto the shop floor, who was left holding himself in the carrier bag? Muggins, that's who. Silly ole Cheesers Krayst who had beliefed all along that Big Doddy would bile him out if puss ever kimter shiv. Dear Frints, wot Lort Cheesers do woz see de gop in de market. People got a neat, rate? Gif them what they neat. Summingk real nice like a kinda pickage containing Liv, Humidity, Fidelio - nothing nasty or concristic. That's what people neat. That's what you and I neat, Buggers and Shitters. Disparately. Something got nothing to do wit moolah, poor, eeko.
"Now, in theoretical, Cheesers Krayst had Mrs Beaton in the cauldron and the aroma smelling most delicious. How to live in piss and harmony and then retire to Happy Days Ghost Horse forivver. The people wanted it, the people still wants it, you and I NEAT it. But, Bugsies and Shitsies, the tradge be that though we be educate in WHAT to do, we be igrint in HOW to do it. And, and this be the real bibble of the bub, we'll NIVVER know how. Up there on the niles Cheesers did see final that he diddin know haw, and NO BIDDY could hilp him.
"Bugs and Shits, to cut a long shermon shot, I summarise this: The Hooly Baybill do comprise two Boooks - Old Testicle and New Testicle. Old Testicle do containeth two missages. One: Man, he miserable bogger. Two: Gudd, he symbol human nitcher. Likeways, New Testicle do containeth two missages. One: Cheesers, he goot gay. Two: Man, he go no hair. In the nime of the Farter, the Bum and the Hoolygoose. Ahem.
"And now, Buggers and Shitters, let us raise and join in that good ole herm, that stench fivrit wit all Kraystian offwits, 'The Wise Man broke his horse upon…' "
From without there came a brassy blare and the earth shook and trembled. Another trumpeting blast and dust and flakes of paint began to fall like rain. Henry's heart had stopped beating. And it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Clackety clack, clackety clack. He let out a great laugh and hurried without decorum from the church. In the twilight he trotted up the road after the red lamp.
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