01-01-2014 – Wednesday
The other day I discovered I have no magical powers whatsoever. I tried all the incantations from the Harry Potter books, but none worked; using The Force wasn’t successful; my broom did only that what it was meant to do: sweep up – but only when I’m handling it – and my magic wand turned out to be nothing more than a piece of plastic made to look like wood. After I have successfully sued the company that sold me the so-called magic wand, I might put up some things on eBay; maybe some of it will work for somebody else.
So, my name is Arthur. I am a socially awkward 14-year-old boy from London who – contrary to other teenagers – knows absolutely nothing. I decided to start writing this book after a long Christmas Day of walking through London, looking at all the lovely decorated – but closed – shops. Mum had taken us up and down Oxford Street for the fifth time, after which we went home and I lay down on my bed to continue reading a book called ‘Hippo Eats Dwarf’ by a man named Alex Boese (you might want to remember that book, it’s a good read).
In his book Alex writes about fake websites and false identities on the Internet. Apparently, there was a cartoon in the New Yorker magazine in 1993 that said something like,’ On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog’. Even though it was supposed to be funny, it had some kind of truth in it. There’s even a saying – or so Alex says – that goes,‘ On the Internet men are men, women are men and children are FBI agents’. A kind of scary thought but it does bring me to one of the reason I started writing. I figured that I, too, could be someone on the Internet. For all you know, I could be a dog (I am not, by the way) or a cat (which, for some reason, doesn’t sound more likely than a dog). My though was,’ Let’s fight this socially awkwardness of mine; Internet, here I come’ … so here I am.
Grandma came up with the idea of setting up a Facebook account to make friends and let the world know I am alive and kicking. Which is kind of ironic because Grandma is barely alive herself and hardly kicking anything anymore (she is not allowed to). No, seriously, she is falling apart. Her breakfast, lunch and dinner is made up entirely of pills. After having swallowed all those pills and tablets and what have you, there is hardly any room left in her stomach for some real food. She is driving around in one of those motorized (bumper) carts, because her hips are bad and her bones are brittle. Her teeth are not hers anymore either, but I must say that the false teeth do make her look younger. Besides all that she is wearing a wig, because she was getting bald, although she claims it’s to keep her brains nice and warm so they will stay fresh a little longer. I am sure I have left out some of the less interesting stuff; if I come up with anything else I’ll inform you.
After having started a Facebook account I opened a WordPress account. Trust me, it’s more difficult for someone my age (or anyone’s age) to open a bank account than it is to open any account to these kind of things on the WWW. WordPress lets me write down the things that happen to me in my life: it’s a blog. Which is something like a diary, but not really, because the whole world can read it. Diaries are supposed to be secret, aren’t they? Since nothing secretive was going on in my life, I didn’t see any reason why not to post about it on the Internet.
I became the hero of my own life and hopefully, through the power of the media, I can become the same for others. As with every hero – or should I say anti-hero? – I needed a sidekick. As I was not good with people I decided you would just have to deal with my dog: a lovely Jack Russel – or, as Mr Bent would put it ‘Jack Arsehole’. When we bought it I gave it a somewhat unconventional name, because that’s the kind of guy I am. I dubbed it Cheddar. For those who have never heard of a dog named Cheddar before, now you have. So as long as no person volunteers to be my sidekick, you’ll have to deal with my dog.
That is how it got started. You’ll get to know my parents too, at least Mum, because Dad is mostly out to work. Before I continue the story of my life, here is someone I would like to tell you about before I continue: Mr Bent. Mr Bent is my friendly neighbour next door. He’s been ill for as long as I know and if anybody offers him any help, all he ever says is,’ It’s no use, love, I’m beyond repair.’ So, most people have stopped offering help. What’s wrong with him? I don’t exactly know the details, but it has got something to do with his muscles not working properly. Maybe it’s because he has overused them. Is that possible? I don’t know.
Mr Bent is just as socially awkward as I am or maybe even worse. This is kind of weird because he can talk for hours on end about the most fantastic things. You’ll find out about that soon enough. He lives next doors, hardly ever goes out and has no idea what is going on in the world. Sometimes I wonder if Dad is really Dad, if you know what I mean.
Obviously I am going to encounter more people throughout my life, but I am not a psychic, I don’t have a crystal globe, and as I told you before, my magical powers are non-existent so you’ll just have to read and see. And so it begins.