Who’s Put Off By Virginia Woolf?

The sun was shining and the birds were singing, although they were singing that mainstream corporate birdsong they have now, rather than the real birdsong of your mid to late teens which was definitely not motivated in any way by commercial interests.

‘Oh my god, a food truck!’ said Mary Shelly (not that one). ‘I love how the food is prepared in a truck instead of a kitchen, and yet still costs the same despite the considerable savings on rent and staff!’

‘I know!’ said Virginia Woolf (or that one). ‘And by not providing somewhere for us to eat they don’t just save money, they can serve more customers than a traditional restaurant which is limited by it’s physical seating capacity, without passing any of the savings on to us, the customer!’

‘I’m going to have a simulacrum of fast food made with healthier or more ethical ingredients to convince me I’m a foodie,’ said Mary Shelly.

‘I’m going to have a bland meal from my past and enjoy nostalgia in place of actual flavour,’ said Virginia Woolf.

‘Wait, what’s that falling towards us?’ said Mary Shelly.

The refrigerator hit Virginia Woolf with the full force of a refrigerator dropped from a window forty floors above.

‘Jesus fucking Christ!’ said Mary Shelly.

‘Don’t worry, I’m fine,’ said Virginia Woolf.

‘I was about to bring you back to life by stitching you together with parts from other corpses but then I realised I wasn’t that Mary Shelly, I’m just someone with the same name,’ said Mary Shelly. ‘Wait, what?!’

‘I’m fine,’ said Virginia Woolf, again. ‘Is my hair alright? I don’t have a mirror.’

‘How can you be alright? You were just crushed by a fridge!’

‘It fell on me, it didn’t crush me.’

‘That’s not an explanation!’

‘Look, the truth is I have amazing powers. I’m indestructible, I’m incredibly strong, I can shoot miniature versions of myself out of my hands, basically I have all Superman’s powers.’

‘This is incredible! This is… Miniature versions of yourself our of your hands? Superman can’t do that!’

‘Yes he can. Look:’


‘As I was saying: This is amazing! You could be a super hero!’ said Mary Shelly.

‘You’d think so, but I’m also cripplingly insecure,’ said Virginia Woolf. ‘See those people over there?’

‘In that burning building?’

‘I’m afraid to rescue them in case they don’t like me.’

‘Why wouldn’t they like you?’ said Mary Shelly.

‘I’m very shy around new people, which is often mistaken for bitchiness. And I collect stuffed animals which most people think is immature.’

Mary Shelly dismissed these concerns with a wave of her hand and the confidence of the confident. ‘You can’t worry about what other people think of you. Just be yourself.’

‘Would you say that to Donald Trump?’

‘Well, no, but…’

‘Being yourself only works for normal people or at best the only slightly odd but attractive enough to make up for it. The truth is, a lot of people are just unlikeable, and the only reward for being themselves is crippling solitude. I’d rather be unnoticed in a group than stand out at the centre of an online shame campaign.’

‘I suppose now that you mention it I have pretty much always liked what everyone else liked, and I’ve never had any strong opinions of my own, so being myself was more or less indistinguishable from acting like everyone else.’

‘If I save one person, they’ll only blame me for not saving someone else. It’s better just to blend in.’

‘Oh look,’ said Mary Shelly, ‘that fridge was full of food. We could eat for free!’

‘I think I’d rather pay too much for food made in a truck,’ said Virginia Woolf. ‘Just like everybody else.’


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