* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune

12 May 2003
Victor's going round in circles.

Every three weeks I promise myself that I will leave plenty of time to write my next clown: to come up with a blazing idea, give it the attention it deserves. Every three weeks I leave it until the last minute, can find sod all to write about, and end up with something introspective to the point of self-indulgent. It's a cycle.

I go running to clear my head and knacker myself out. It's always a circuit, never A to B, never there and back. A different route every time, but forever round and round and round and...

My work: I'm doing a PhD. My schedule for the next 6 months is as follows: read primary material, read secondary material, write Chapter 1; read primary material, read secondary material, write Chapter 2; read primary material, read secondary material, write Chapter 3; read primary material, read secondary material, write Chapter 4. Can you see a pattern emerging?

If I meet someone new I am, like you, inevitably faced with a series of questions. Unlike you, I always face the same questions:

1) So, Vic, what do you do?

2) And what are you working on?

3) Right. And what do you hope to do with that?

The first two questions are simple enough - factual. The third is ore tricky: I never have a knockout answer; invariably I say something vague about the PhD being an end in itself, how I would much prefer to regret having done it than not having done it, etc., etc. Without exception the interlocutor's response is,

"So I suppose you'll be a teacher?"

So, I've decided on a career change. Yesterday I wanted to set the world on fire; today I would be content as a housewife; tomorrow I will want to be a high-flier all over again. I want a job which is intellectually demanding, involves a certain amount of performance and pays well. I flit between the business world and the diplomatic professions: like a model on schoolgirl's favourite Fashion Wheel, the outfits in my mind's eye change daily. Back (back) and forth (and forth).

My love life? Didn't I tell you about that the other week (or was I pretending to be someone else?)? The big kids are pushing me on the swing, and it's going to fast for me to get off.

Interminable cycle, repetition, to-ing and fro-ing. Shakespeare was spot on:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them?

If only it scanned. And this is the second time in a row that I've ended with suicide - won't my friends be worried!


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
27 October 2003. Victor writes: Our Tune
6 October 2003. Victor writes: Sucking face (in a public place)
15 September 2003. Victor writes: You got any ID?
25 August 2003. Victor writes: Blood on the Boulevard
4 August 2003. Victor writes: In (paren)theses
10 July 2003. Victor writes: Island Fling
19 June 2003. Victor writes: Back (back) and forth (and forth)
2 June 2003. Victor writes: 300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds
12 May 2003. Victor writes: The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune
21 April 2003. Victor writes: ...just sitting there quietly contemplating suicide
31 March 2003. Victor writes: Victoria
6 March 2003. Victor writes: Relevant experience
17 February 2003. Victor writes: You will eat chips and go nowhere
27 January 2003. Victor writes: A bushy fish for fishy Mr Bush (after Juvenal)
6 January 2003. Victor writes: The Accidental Voyeur
16 December 2002. Victor writes: Gripper goes bang
25 November 2002. Victor writes: Bediquette
4 November 2002. Victor writes: Where have all the spastics gone?
14 October 2002. Victor writes: An Immodest Proposal
23 September 2002. Victor writes: Fastscan masterplan
2 September 2002. Victor writes: Dry Humping Social Club
12 August 2002. Victor writes: Beat the Mongol
22 July 2002. Victor writes: What life is not
1 July 2002. Victor writes: Stupor heroes
6 June 2002. Victor writes: Dry
13 May 2002. Victor writes: Muppet Suite
18 April 2002. Victor writes: gingermingeninja
25 March 2002. Victor writes: Sodomize with Pukka Pies
28 February 2002. Victor writes: Dave's problem
4 February 2002. Victor writes: King of the Aisles
10 January 2002. Victor writes: Here come the decorator gimps.
17 December 2001. Victor writes: Make war, not supper.
22 November 2001. Victor writes: Cough
29 October 2001. Victor writes:
4 October 2001. Victor writes: Green Gauges
10 September 2001. Victor writes: Blind weed
16 August 2001. Victor writes: Snout!
23 July 2001. Victor writes: You're not going to put this in a clown are you?
28 June 2001. Victor writes: What is a droll?
4 June 2001. Victor writes: Burt Pakamak
10 May 2001. Victor writes: Board to Death
12 April 2001. Victor writes: Tricolon with anaphora?
22 March 2001. Victor writes: Point of View
26 February 2001. Victor writes: Goth's Dinner
1 Feburary 2001. Victor writes: Les Miserables
4 January 2001. Victor writes: Flat-packed furniture
14 December 2000. Victor writes: Deliverance
20 November 2000. Victor writes: Bottomry: Exorcising Ghosts
26 October 2000. Victor writes: Body Art
2 October 2000. Victor writes: Disney must die
7 September 2000. Victor writes: Ice-cream in Offworld
14 August 2000. Victor writes: I like sweets that taste of medicine
26 June 2000. Victor writes: I've seen the future, and it's feathered

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