This is a Gastrotrich. It may look like a detached and unhappy penis, but it is in fact a microscopic animal that lives in water. It is covered in bristles, giving it the nickname ‘Hairy Back’. It is also a hermaphrodite, although it probably wouldn’t be too bothered, as it only lives for 3 days. This poor, phallic-looking beast spends only 3 days alive on this earth, covered in hair, drifting through water and occasionally having a nibble, before it floats away into the oblivion of death (or whoever else is waiting in the Gastrotrich afterlife).
Well, that was depressing. Why have I told you that?
It has recently come to my attention that there are certain individuals in the world who take great pleasure in complaining. I’ll point out now that I am excluding anyone who has a real problem in their lives – I’m talking about those who are comfortable, vaguely affluent, well-fed, warm and educated, but have somehow developed an extraordinary power to complain about the terrible lives they lead.
I’ve decided I won’t be standing for it any longer. I believe I am, as they say, optimistic. Yes, I have problems. Divorced parents, no money, blaaaa. These things are irrelevant. What’s worse are the hours filled with dread for the day my hamster dies, and sometimes my hair does not look as it should. Furthermore, I keep entering competitions and never winning, and I think I must be cursed.
How could these people think they have problems?
There are many terrible things that have already happened this century: terrorist attacks, all these civil wars everywhere, and the death of Heath Ledger, to name but a few.
So I shall bring this back to Gastrotrichs. In 2010, the average life expectancy for a human was 67.2 years. The average lifespan for a Gastrotrich is 3 days. From what I can tell, they don’t seem to have the desire or the capability to enjoy those 3 days in any kind of hedonistic fashion.
So all you awful, moaning cretins that feed off misery and share it around like an STD, I would like to ask you to stop. We are alive 8,176 times longer than a Gastrotrich, and I’d like to think we could enjoy ourselves slightly better.
So, over the past 3 days (in which a Gastrotrich would be writhing its way towards doom), how much time have you spent complaining (I’d just like to acknowledge the irony of this post, but I assure you friends, I really don’t complain as much usually)? If the answer is:
‘Oh, actually rather a lot, whoops’
…then you are no better than a Gastrotrich, and I must insist you don’t talk to me about your troubles. I jolly well enjoy being alive, and I’d rather you didn’t swoop in on me with your imaginary angst.
(On the other hand, if you are genuinely about to kill yourself, feel free to chat.)
I shall leave you with a quote and a picture.
“So do all men who live to see such times. All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.” (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings)