Excerpts From a Conversation (Part the First)
I am sitting here, next to Mr Ken Frog, occultist, organist, occasional gardener, and professional hen teaser.
Mr Frog, what, in your own words, would you say to be the highpoint, the very pinnacle, of your career so far?
‘Well, I’m very glad you asked me that, Tom, as I’ve been looking forward to this interview immensely.’
‘Oh yes, I simply adore your style.’
Well, thanks, I guess … but what about the question?
‘Well, Tom, you see, at my age – if you’ve lived the sort of life that I have, that is – you begin to accumulate a certain amount of things that one is both proud of and … not so proud of. But the main thing that I am most proud of, I would say, is the ability to laugh at others.’
Laugh at others?
‘Yes, you see – laughing at others is, for me at least, a necessity. I can’t walk out on the street without laughing at all the bonkers twits, twats, wankers and losers that mingle there in some disgusting orgy of idiocy, bad genes, questionable hygiene and—’
Yes, yes, I do believe we get the picture. But, another question I wanted to ask you, was, what about your beliefs about reincarnation? I gather that you’ve mentioned on several occasions that you are the reincarnation of several distinct personalities. Who exactly are these people you used to be?
‘Well, Tom, practically everybody, at least everybody that matters. Doesn’t mean a tinker’s cuss if they lived at the same time, I been ’em both.’
But how is that physically possible, though? I’d imagine it would be a bit of a stretch, wouldn’t it?
‘Oh, you’d think so, yes. But the trick is that time doesn’t at all work in a linear fashion, as we lead ourselves to believe.’
‘My, yes; in fact, I’m not actually here right now, this is a memory, right? But, I can change that memory in an instant by, say, walking out of here, or hitting you over the head with a hammer.’
But surely we’re in the present now?
‘You’re beginning to sound like wearisome, overly sceptical doctors from bad science fiction movies whose only role in the whole deal is to be an utter bastard onto which the audience can latch their distress. Of course this isn’t the present. By the time you can comment on what you believe to be the present, it’s already the past. All you’re seeing is the afterimages of the entire universe copulating, so that you can view it on your bioscreen.’
‘The bioscreen. The neurocam, the biological, holographic cinemaplex inside your head; the one that’s being projected in front of you. That’s just information that you arrange into tiny bits so that you can understand it. Well, at least part of it. And what is the past, anyway? If it was real, shouldn’t you be able to go there? After all, sceptical people like you don’t much approve of things unless they are physically present, do you? You’d have to be able to knock your head against it, and then the headache would prove to you that it’s real. Well, you can’t bloody do that to the past, mate.’
‘I doubt that you do, but I will continue anyway. As I was saying, you’ve got this screen thingy, this holographic image/sound/thinking-feeling world that you call reality, which is really just a quickly mashed together guess, or at best an estimate, of what is really going on. And the future, it’s always just ahead of us, innit? I mean, you can’t go there either – well, of course you can, we can’t help but go there, that’s the point. But you can only go there so fast. Or can you …? Anyway, my point is that, as everything is just a memory at any given time, the key to changing things both inside you and outside of you – because, let’s face it, where do those borders even really exist? In your head – is to go about changing the way you perceive, and especially the way you perceive your memory. Of course, then you have the memory of perceiving your memory, which you can then later recall and reflect upon, if that’s your idea of a good time.’