Once upon a time this was this monster called Grendel. He lived somewhere near the Arctic Circle.
One day he was out bumming around, feeling lonely and unloved, when he heard the sounds of revelry from the King’s new castle up on the hill. Feeling distinctly pissed off, he crept up to the walls in the dead of night and listened, with a growing sense of annoyance and envy, to the happy laughter of warriors enjoying themselves inside. He was really cross, so cross in fact that as soon as all the contented warriors went to sleep, he burst in the door, tore off a few of their heads, ate them, and went home feeling much better. True story.
Sometimes, I feel just like that (apart from the tearing off of heads). I’m sitting there at my desk or in my room or something, and across the way people are laughing and hob-nobbing, and I COULD go over there and join in – but for some reason I don’t. I have this strange and unlovable combination of feelings I call the Grendel Effect. It goes like this:
God you’re boring twats!
I wish people liked ME like they like you (singular or plural)
I bet you’re secretly laughing at ME.
Why can’t I be just like other people?
I hate youse all anyway!
Does anybody else have an inner Grendel? Poor old monster – be kind to him, he can’t help it.
By the way, the real Grendel comes from an 8th century epic poem. It’s a work everyone should read once in their lives. This guy does a great take on it. For really great modern re-tellings, try Michael Crichton or John Gardner).