MY CHILDHOOD

The rain trickled down the window, due to the fact that it was raining outside. The temperature outside was cold due to the fact that it wasn’t warm. The day was the 3rd of January, eight days after my sixth birthday on which I’d received the gift of a can opener off my father and my mother had sung me the song ‘I’m In The Mood For Dancing’ by The Nolan Sisters from start to finish whilst crying. Despite both of these considerate gifts my mood was darker than a  panther in a bin bag, due to the fact that Canterbury had refused my plans for the redesigning of the Whitefriars Shopping Centre and also because my father had accidentally shot my mother the previous day. A double whammy of pain that still makes me shudder to this day. Below is a picture of Homer Simpson shuddering to give you a visual aide as to what I am doing now as I write this.

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Obviously the rejection from Canterbury council was a body blow but I was more upset about my mother’s death. I’d noticed that things between my mother and father were becoming strained due to the fact that I was perceptive and a genius, added to the fact that they had argued every night for three months. Different people react differently to grief, I had retreated into my make-believe world where I worked in a video rental shop with Beverly D’Angelo who played Ellen Griswold along side Chevy Chase in the National Lampoons Holiday films. Those imaginary days were some of the happiest of my young life and Beverly would always calm me down whenever imaginary people were late returning their imaginary videos back to the store – what a woman.

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My father, predictably, reacted very badly to the accidental shooting. In fact, looking back, I think that was maybe the period he went mad as all he did was laugh for days on end. I’d never actually seen him happier, it was very sad to see. Him and I had never been close but the accidental murder of my mother drove an even bigger wedge between us and we spent less and less time together. He began drinking heavily and staying out until the early hours with his friends whereas I took solace in my books during the hours that my imaginary video shop was closed.

It was during this period that my genius really began to take off. I would devour books like a tortoise devours cake, reading everything from Nietzsche to Nabokov. My intelligence grew tenfold which culminated later that year when I invented the disposable toaster. My father was never around to make me go to school so I schooled myself in mathematics, science, English, German and business studies (the imaginary video rental business is ruthless). I also took a keen interest in wildlife and spent hours at the local zoo. I felt a bond growing between myself and the animals in the zoo and I would often talk to them about the troubles I was encountering in my life. My favourite beast of the animal kingdom is the dolphin

A Dolphin.

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The following three years pretty much followed the same pattern of schooling myself, talking to animals and running the imaginary video store with Beverly but I was beginning to outgrow my surroundings and my feet were becoming itchy which is a metaphor for wanting to see the world. But what would happen with my father? That question was about to be answered…

 

MY BIRTH

It is always hard to know where to start when writing about one’s life but after much deliberation I have decided it best to start with my birth. I was born on the 25th of December (the same day as Christmas) 1974, almost two thousand years after the birth of Jesus Chris, the son of God. But I wasn’t the son of God, I was the son of Geoffrey and Maude von Stifle. They didn’t know it at the time but they had just given birth to a genius, me. My mother and father were hoping for a baby girl and so they were initially disappointed when their baby girl came out with a penis attached to its groin. I obviously didn’t know about the disappointment that they felt but it soon became clear over the course of the next 16 years, but I jump too far ahead…more of that to come.

My father was an inventor and enjoyed success with his invention of the tin opener with bottle opener attachment but also suffered some major disappointments with inventions such as  top hats designed specifically for horses, the 7-wheeled push bike, the electric comb, apple and coal toothpaste, the air-conditioned shoe, bacon soap and the shoe umbrella (see below).

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My mother was the real bread-winner working as a professional singer in pubs and clubs in and around Canterbury. My mother had a truly unique voice, a sort of mix between Simon le Bon and Johnny Cash. With Mother bringing in somewhere between £40-£50 a week and the royalties from my fathers tin opener we had a pretty good standard of life in Canterbury and I never went without anything during my early years apart from regular meals and warm clothing.

My routine as a baby was pretty much like any other baby’s, up early everyday, lots of crying and regular shitting but even though I didn’t know it then, something was different about me. My parents were staggered at how quickly I was learning new things, by the age of 14 months I could say the name of 8 different shapes (rectangle etc.) , 17 colours (green etc.) and by the age of 4 I was almost walking unaided. I just seemed to pick things up in an instant, my brain working like a sponge, soaking up information like a sponge soaks up water and by the age of 3 I had designed a new patio for the family home. I quickly moved on from patio’s and by the age of 6 I was making plans to redesign the Whitefriars Shopping Centre in Canterbury.

But being a child prodigy brought with it draw backs of which I will tell you next time…