Okay, publishing contract and all the rest of it are done and tonight, for the first time ever, Gmail went crackers on me. I knew I should have used one of my own domain addresses for this. Finally persuaded it to send. The real-paper one goes in the post tomorrow. Now I can drink again - but not too much, there are another 60 samples on the way. Hmm, a lifetime of making up stories or a lifetime up to the elbows in infected shit... it's a tough decision.
Not as tough, perhaps, as deciding whether to have your firing pin removed for £200-worth of smack. Pat Nurse is furious at the implication and with good reason. It is possibly the most ridiculously stupid, dangerous and counterproductive idea ever to pass through a human mind.
Most druggies - and I'm not talking the occasional snort of septum-remover, I'm talking can't-find-a-vein-that-isn't-scarred druggies, have at the back of their heads the thought "I don't want to be like this." Many try to kick the drugs but it's not an easy thing to do. Not when you're addicted, when you live where pushers are always offering you a little bag of escape-dust so you can forget the squalour of life for a while, when you come down to find the world is just as shitty as when you left. Getting out is difficult. I've never had to, I've known quite a few who tried and most failed. Some failed all the way.
In the drug-addled mind, £200 is ten £20-hits. It has no other meaning. Giving them £200 while adding to their debasement and sense of worthlessness simply guarantees that the whole lot will end up in the pocket of the nearest dealer. Yes, telling people they can never hope to be fit to be a parent is debasement. These people are not jolly suited Yuppies snorting a bit of nose-rot through a rolled-up £20 note. These are people at the very bottom and the only way to make them feel worse is to tell them they have no hope of ever getting out.
Consider this - if you're doped up, someone offers you £200 to have a vasectomy while telling you that you are guaranteed to abuse any child you father, what does your mind do? It doesn't do the logical thing of "£200? That's £100 a nut. Not nearly enough to encourage me to embrace a lifetime disability". No, the druggie mind translates £200 into however many bags of whack powder the dealer will give them and thinks "She's right, I'm a failure."
So now you have a druggie who is sterilised. Why would he ever try to get straightened out? What would be the point? He'll never have a family now. He might as well stay on the dream dust because there's nothing to come down for.
Further, why would that druggie worry about using condoms? He's firing blanks anyway. STDs? Why would a druggie care? What are his chances of getting old enough to experience tertiary syphilis or full-blown AIDS? 'Slim' is the word you're looking for there. Why worry about getting old? He'll never be a father, much less a grandfather. By removing all possibility of future responsibility, you create a loose cannon. Female ones too, of course, but I wasn't going to fill that with 'he/she' in the interests of being inclusive. Anyone with sense can see the wider picture and those without aren't worth worrying about.
You know what makes many druggies make the effort to quit? Becoming a parent. They don't all feed the kids on Pot Noodles and end-of-day cakes and LSD. For many, the responsibility of parenthood is when they grow up and think "Shit, my life is a mess and my kid is going to think I'm nothing". It's the kick they need.
You don't hear about those cases. They don't make the news. 'Druggie stops taking drugs' is a headline you'll never see. The ones you hear about are the bad ones, the kids in three-day-old nappies and the parents on a three-day high. By all means, let the SS intervene in those cases. take the kid into a foster home and get those parents sorted out. But sterilise them? Yes, they are unfit parents now, but will they always be so?
There are many problems with this American woman's eugenics program and she can't see any of them. I heard that her gang accosted a woman leaving a clinic in Glasgow. A woman who had never taken drugs but who just happened to be leaving a clinic that deals with addicts - among other medical things. The woman was, shall we say, on the portly side. Not a body shape you would associate with the heavily addicted. They tend not to look well-fed. Yet she was accosted by a gang who tried to get her to agree to sterilisation for £200.
Not a particularly discerning organisation. Unless their ultimate aim is a little more than drugs?
You're too fat to be a good parent. You must be sterilised.
Is that a bottle of gin in your shopping? You are an unfit parent. You must be sterilised.
IQ too low? Snip.
Buying cigarettes? The horror! Off with his knob!
She doesn't realise what she is starting here. This idea of hers is not new and it has been put forward by some of the nastiest people ever to walk the planet. They have supporters who will take this idea and widen it until it encompasses all who do not fit the Standard Human Image and while it will start with bribes, it will end with compulsory. Such ideas always do.
Then of course, there is the problem of people like me. I'm fifty, I have no intention of future fatherhood, so a vasectomy would be no more than a trivial inconvenience. Sounds like an easy £200, and all I have to do is pretend to be a druggie. I'm not going to because voluntary surgery is against my religion (the church of pain avoidance) but others will.
With any luck, she'll get fleeced by pensioners and go home skint. Maybe some of those pensioners will be those who helped dispose of the last eugenics fanatic who wanted the Aryan ideal.
It does give me an idea though. I wonder if I can get 'Druggie Monopoly' ready for Christmas?
...your little metal syringe lands on Chance. You take a card. It says "Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass the vasectomy room. Do not collect £200"...
I wonder if it'll sell?