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

El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love

24 November 2003
Jamie spots a gap in the market

"Ladies and Gentlemen. We live in the world of the quick fix. Does something ail you? Then there's someone over there who can cure you of it - provided, of course, that you have the necessary funds. A headache, Madam? May I recommend some brand-name Ibuprofen. Can't sleep? Not to worry, a small dose of Valium will send you on your way to Slumberland. Erectile dysfunction for the gentleman in the felt hat? This magic blue rhomboid will put you back on track.

"Even the most abstract, intangible problems can be solved. Consider the emotion of guilt - perhaps the main evolutionary flaw in the development of humankind, preventing our ultimate ascent to total supremacy on this planet - can be assuaged, albeit temporarily. Those who feel (irrationally, to my mind, but let us ignore my feelings on the matter) some sort of pang that their hard work and occasional opportunism has brought them success, power and wealth beyond that of their peers, can purchase momentary relief from their conscience from any number of street vendors, be they box-rattlers collecting for the latest terminal disease or homelesses begging for Tennents tokens. A quick exchange, and a temporary burst of self-love and goodwill is theirs.

"But what of that most dangerous and potentially destructive of human emotions: Love? We sacrifice our jobs, we risk our dignity and reputations on something so transient and intangible no one has yet proved its existence. And when the non-existent condition ends for one party (if it ever existed), the remaining partner is devastated, hollow. Not being a subscriber to this practice, I set about analysing the various causes and symptoms evident in these infatuations, in a bid to find the cure that would free us from frippery forever.

"First, I looked at the symptoms of love. Insomnia; coronary palpitations; obsessive behaviour; an inability to focus on anything else. All of which are eminently curable with current methods and medicines. The rush of endorphins that generally accompany thoughts of the 'beloved' could be easily compensated should this be deemed necessary. After experimenting with various levels of dosage, with varying effects, we finally embarked on a year-long, intensive test programme.

"The results were greater than we could have anticipated. We took multiple fledgling couples, half of whom were given the drug, the other half of whom were given a placebo. No clue was given as to the nature of the drug on offer. The former developed tempestuous relationships, most which ended after varying lengths of time; for the entire period of the relationship, and for a not inconsiderable period following its end, other areas of their life - work, friendships, leisure activities - suffered noticeably. In contrast, while the 'success' ratio of the relationships (did they stay together) in the control cases was not significantly greater, a degree of perspective was kept by both parties with regard to other areas of their life. Decisions to continue or end the relationship were based on purely practical reasons such as compatibility of background and lifestyle, suitability of the partner for raising a child in the future etc. Projection of the results of this study suggests that relationships would, on the whole, have a thirty percent greater chance of long-term success, with considerable benefits such as success in other areas of life and well-balanced offspring.

"We therefore consider these trials to be a resounding success, and are looking to bring our product to the market. Considerable interest from leading pharmaceutical distributors has followed. We therefore ask you to join us as we usher in a new age of logic and practicality, free from obsession and heartache, with the global release of Balance in chemists worldwide. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the world seen through the eyes of the truly rational."

I've never known a reception like it. Of course, my interest wasn't in the product that would turn our youth into sallow-faced automata. I was hanging around to see if they'd isolated active ingredients that would have the opposite effect; I quite fancied cornering the market in the one and only true love potion. There's got to be a lot more money in it.


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:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
13 October 2003. Jamie writes: The Persistence of Memory
22 September 2003. Jamie writes: The Email Eunuch
1 September 2003. Jamie writes: Credo
11 August 2003. Jamie writes: Brad and Jennifer and Me
21 July 2003. Jamie writes: Interruption
30 June 2003. Jamie writes: Do you remember the first time?
12 June 2003. Jamie writes: Forthcoming Attractions
19 May 2003. Jamie writes: Stupid Mistake
28 April 2003. Jamie writes: Hoping and Praying
7 April 2003. Jamie writes: Strangers on a Plane
17 March 2003. Jamie writes: Q&A
24 February 2003. Jamie writes: Altered States
3 February 2003. Jamie writes: How to say goodbye
13 January 2003. Jamie writes: In A League Of Their Own
23 December 2002. Jamie writes: What's in a name?
2 December 2002. Jamie writes: Lies, Damned Lies and Spastics
11 November 2002. Jamie writes: Memoirs of a Gaysian: A Preface
21 October 2002. Jamie writes: Love is blindness
30 September 2002. Jamie writes: Time for bed
9 September 2002. Jamie writes: Angry Exchanges Can Be Puzzling [10]
19 August 2002. Jamie writes: High Speed
29 July 2002. Jamie writes: Firkin Hell
8 July 2002. Jamie writes: Do you, er... haiku?
13 June 2002. Jamie writes: Unnatural Porn Thrillers
20 May 2002. Jamie writes: The Triumphant Return of the Septic Fiveskins
25 April 2002. Jamie writes: Meeting People is Easy
4 April 2002. Jamie writes: I Want I Want I Want
7 March 2002. Jamie writes: The Player of Games
11 February 2002. Jamie writes: Fat Man Walking
17 January 2002. Jamie writes: Passive/Aggressive
3 January 2002. Jamie writes: Love (classified)
29 November 2001. Jamie writes: A Lil' Nite Muzak
5 November 2001. Jamie writes: Natural born liar
11 October 2001. Jamie writes: All I need
17 September 2001. Jamie writes: Postcards From The Edge (of the pool)
23 August 2001. Jamie writes: Class act
30 July 2001. Jamie writes: Ritchie Neville is dead
5 July 2001. Jamie writes: A Letter from God
11 June 2001. Jamie writes: "If it's in French, it must be deep"
17 May 2001. Jamie writes: Reportage
23 April 2001. Jamie writes: Show me the Logos
29 March 2001. Jamie writes: Sobering Thoughts
8 March 2001. Jamie writes: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid
8 February 2001. Jamie writes: Spent
15 January 2001. Jamie writes: Full to the brim
21 December 2000. Jamie writes: fuck xmas
27 November 2000. Jamie writes: Eye Candy
2 November 2000. Jamie writes: World-wide-web?
9 October 2000. Jamie writes: Kids' stuff
14 September 2000. Jamie writes: Scatological Warfare
21 August 2000. Jamie writes: I can't stand up (for falling clowns)
10 July 2000. Jamie writes: The Etymology of Greatness

Let meeeeeee entertain you

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