It's almost like being blackmailed; this arsehole, father of too many children to too many women, is, of course, entitled to some sympathy, some fellowship, from those less profligate with their seed, from those less promiscuous, more self-reliant but Christ it's hard not to despise him, especially when people are piling garage flowers outside the scene of the crime and all our commentators are saying that the national heart goes out to him, to the children's mother and to whoever else was in his grisly menage. Well, fuck it, my heart doesn't go out to him, he's a waster and a scrounger who, after, let's just say ten children, should have had his tubes snipped. This bastard is my age and he's fathering children with a woman in her twenties, he was a worthless piece of shit before the fire and he's still a worthless piece of shit.
FATHER OF NIGHT
I knew a junkie, once, in Birmingham, he and the Mrs were hooked on duramphetamine, black-and-whites - then prescribed as appetite suppressants, which could be bought at eight for a pound, half-a-crown each, in the Trafalgar 'pub - to get them up and on Tuinal and Mandrax to get them down. I was sitting in Gipsy Blake's flat one day, my fingers raw from bashing-out endless twelve-string, twelve-bar blueses to Blake's ghostly electric bottleneck when someone came in with a Birmingham Evening Mail, Three Children Dead in House Fire, wailed the front page. A few minutes later, in came Arno, his face all blistered, Fuck, it was his house that caught fire and his kids who'd died. The cops tried to nail him and Brenda but the inquest returned accidental death or some such and no charges were brought. Arno reckoned that some imaginary visitor had fallen asleep with a joint lit, or some such. But it was the chaos that killed the kids. They're buried in Kings Norton churchyard.
Children aren't safe in chaos. To some adults chaos is addictive and takes on a life-force of its own; okay if you're an artist or a house renovator - my friend, Dave, the ex jumbojet pilot, is constantly restoring houses and I have never seen him in anything that stops short of what to must people would be unendurable, brain-shredding chaos but to him is just an essential process, crates of tiles, reels of wires, mountains of plumbing goods, slates, mortar, floorboards, baths, showers, drills, sanders, hammers, nails screws, saws, paint, filler - in either of his homes you have to negotiate mountains of this stuff just to find a place to sit down and have a cup of tea. I do projects which can render parts of the house unuseable but every space in Dave's two houses is like that. It's OK, he knows what he's doing. And he's rich, to boot. Main thing, though, with both of us, is that we don't have young children. And nor should we.
And maybe Mr Philpott, banging-out children like he was fucking Noah or someone, populating the entire Earth in some contra-Malthusian delusional project thought he knew what he was doing, but he didn't, he was and is a stupid, selfish, cock-waving bastard; nothing artistic about his fucking about, the prat.
My former nephew is a senior claims negotiator in motor insurance, one of those stonefaced arseholes who explains to you exactly why and how his company is wriggling out of it's obligation to settle your claim as per its advertising spiel. He says that the accident is comparatively rare, there is always contributory negligence. And he's right, so it is with Mr Philpott. He must've known he was pissing people off, he must've known that there are stupid and nasty people, pissed and angry, who do not or cannot think beyond setting the fire at the letterbox, never imagine that people are going to die and that they are likely to spend twenty years inside one of skymadeupnewsandfilth's holiday camps; people whose own lives are so limited by circumstance that his bleating for a larger house in which to house his brood and his harem are like a red rag to a bull. Around his children and his wife and girlfriend he willingly conspired in creating a miasma of resentment and hostility. And with multiple mothers, multiply pregnant, with caravans in the back garden, with overcrowding and excessive fecundity how could these lives have been other than chaotic, enslaved to an idle father's mangy, overactive cock. For some, in this sort of intolerable chaos, the celebrity-noire of the Jeremy Kyle show - a decent society would expel Kyle - is better than no celebrity at all; for their dependants, however, the price of a moment's shabby infamy is steep indeed.
And now this, the final smouldering fruits of Philpott's loins, his smoke-dead infants providing him with a lifelong ticket, perhaps, on Grief's gravy train. And no doubt he'll be back on the nest soon enough, after the multi-funerals maybe, his scabby arse sawing away like a fiddler's elbow, flooding some other poor bitch with his old man's rank semen. It's not just momentary, manipulated sympathy that Mr Philpott needs; it's a quick rub-down with a housebrick and a sharp, salutory kick in the testicles; that's what he wants, what he really, really wants.