The Untimely Passing of Mark Ingman

Mark Ingman R.I.P.

It is with mixed emotions that I report the untimely passing of Mark Ingman.

Mark was known for being one of the most judgemental people to have ever lived. There was nothing he wouldn’t award a mark out of ten. Sometimes we would drive together and all it would take for us to have a good conversation would be for me to point at something as we passed. Three, Mark would say. I’d point at something else, say a tree, or a cow, or a cloud. Two, he’d say. There was never a need to respond, because Mark didn’t need to hear anyone else’s opinion. He was his own man. Opinions were a thing Mark was never short of. And one thing Mark was always certain of, was that his opinion was good.

But please don’t get the wrong opinion of Mark. Although the above may sound like an obnoxious personality trait, Mark was very easy to get along with. If you disagreed with him he wouldn’t take offence. Generally he’d just ignore you, sometimes turning away, sometimes walking off.

In fact he only ever became involved in any sort of controversy on two occasions, one of which was when Mark Hebwood posted a comment on a Goodreads forum, and the other was when he was attending a stag party prior to a destination wedding in Roshambonesia.

The First Controversy involving Mark Ingman

Mark and the lads got themselves a wee bit too shickered to comply with the norms of polite Roshambonesian society and were arrested, tried and convicted for crimes of depraved indecency. Out of respect for the deceased, and pity for the innocent, I will not go into the details of the indecencies that occurred, although I will say that I doubt whether most of the boys would have been caught dead doing such things had they not been absolutely hammered, except probably for the best man, the groom, and his cousin Billy, two of whom have previous form.

The judicial system in Roshambonesia has some fairly unique characteristics which can be a trap for unwary tourists. Although the 18 members of the bachelor party were all convicted of the same offence, the judge handed down 18 slightly different sentences and asked each convict to choose a different one of them. The sentences were either, 1 kick in the nuts by an 18-year-old, 2 kicks in the nuts by a 17-year-old, and so on, all the way down to 17 kicks in the nuts by a 2-year-old and 18 kicks in the nuts by a 1-year-old.

Under Roshambonesian law the kickees (the convicted parties) don’t get to see the kicker before choosing their punishment and the kicks in the nuts are administered at a frequency chosen by the kicker, who can also set the position of the kickee, usually opting for the traditional Roshambonesian variation of downward facing dog with knees on the ground, widely separated. Handily for most Roshambonesian criminals, it’s very close to the traditional prayer position, because it doesn’t take many tolchocks in the old yarblockos to draw a hallelujah from the lips of an extremely drunken atheist.

Justice is served swiftly in Roshambonesia, with sentences in this case being handed down within an hour of the commission of the crimes. Having had more than a few drinks, Mark took a moment to comprehend that neither hesitation nor good manners would serve him well, and by the time he’d begun to get his head around the situation, his good mates had already taken the options of 1, 2, 3, 16, 17 and 18 kicks in the nuts. Which made the situation more confounding.

What should he choose? 4 kicks in the nuts by a 15-year-old, 15 kicks in the nuts by a 4-year-old, or something in between? If you’re looking for a conversation starter the next time you’re faced with an embarrassingly long lapse in dinner party banter, you should feel free to tell the above story and ask each person to consider what their choice may have been. It’s a real head scratcher, that’s for sure.

We’ll probably never know what his decision was, as Mark mercifully lost consciousness after just a few kicks in the nuts, and he subsequently refused to discuss the incident, other than to say that he would award it a negative mark out of ten if such a score were permissible.Mark was not alone in being unwilling to jam his massively swollen testicles into an economy class seat for the long flight home, and so the holiday was extended for a few weeks for the slower-witted members of the team. Some cynics say that the unusual form of punishment is designed specifically with this in mind in order to boost the flow of tourist dollars into the Roshambonesian economy. The bride’s father was decent enough to pick up the tab for the lengthened stay of the groom’s friends, as he was really quite pleased that the incident had caused his daughter to come to her senses and leave Roshambonesia without soiling the dignity of her spinsterhood.

The Second Controversy involving Mark Ingman

The second controversy that Mark was involved in, as mentioned above, was when Mark Hebwood posted a comment on a Goodreads forum. It is printed below in its entirety as is my response, which briefly explains the untimely passing of Mark Ingman, who was not even in a hurry at the time he opted to dangerously pass a number of vehicles. (It should be noted that Mr Hebwood was not aware of Mark’s passing at the time he posted.)

” Neel, In the introduction of your book, you say that your brother holds the opinion that “at least 99% of everything is crap”. I understand you cannot speak for your brother but the concept is nonetheless intriguing. Can you ask your bro what type of crap distribution he perceives in the universe? Is it uniform or somehow skewed?

If it is the former, he would need to think that 99% of your book is crap. I see on Amazon that the book has 201 pages, suggesting that Mark believes 199 pages are full of crap. Conversely, he will believe that 2 pages are not full of crap. What are these 2 pages?

Of course, if the distribution of crap in the universe is perceived to be skewed in some way, this argument may not apply. In that case, your entire book may fall into the category “non-crap”, but of course also into the complementary category.

Any commentary you will be able to make is highly appreciated.”

My response –

Mark, thanks very much for your query.

I’ll do my best to speak for my brother although I can’t ask him right now. I can say that he’s an imprecise and often ambiguous theoretician, with poor mathematical skills to boot.

Rather than everything in the universe, I believe he was referring to things created by humans, whether they be practical inventions or artistic endeavours. Houses, cars, paintings, movies and poetry are the sort of things he’s more than happy to judge.

If I understand it correctly, his theory states that ninety-nine percent of all things created by humans are one hundred percent crap, as opposed to one hundred percent of all created things being ninety-nine percent crap. Meaning that he occasionally came across things that pleased him one hundred percent, but it would serve no good purpose to dwell on that thought.

Given the above clarification, I don’t think the question regarding the two good pages in the book is valid, at least according to Mark’s theory, although I’d like to think there are at least two good ones. If the reviews are any indication, some people think the book is one hundred percent crap (which is a bit rude as it took more than six days to write) but thankfully others have taken a different view.

One day I tried to point out to my brother that he seemed to like almost every glass of wine, or beer, or cheap sherry, that passed his lips, and that being the case, surely his theory was crap. But he smacked me down by correctly pointing out that one man alone could not possibly attempt to pour even one millionth of one percent of all delicious alcoholic drinks down his throat so what the hell was I talking about. I don’t remember exactly how that particular debate ended as we were, unsurprisingly, having a jolly good go at pouring at least some percentage of the available drinks down two men’s throats at the time.

I would love to try clarify this issue with him, but alas, as I alluded to earlier, that isn’t possible right now.

Last week he was riding a rented electric scooter at high speed down a steep hill, weaving through rush hour traffic, when the front wheel fell off. The separation of the wheel from the rest of the scooter occurred as he tried to arrest the progress of the scooter before an intersection where the traffic lights clearly indicated that he should stop. Ninety-nine percent of the scooter was possibly not crap, but the bolt holding the front wheel in place, which, by weight, was approximately one percent of the scooter, certainly was.

Mark would no doubt have had an opinion on that situation, and would, I imagine, have given the scooter a big fat zero out of ten, but tragically he hasn’t regained consciousness. He wasn’t wearing a safety helmet at the time, although having been run over by both the left front and left rear wheels of a fast moving, bright yellow Hummer, it wouldn’t have made much difference even if he’d been wearing a five-star-rated safety helmet.

Anyway, thanks very much for asking, and I hope that clarifies things somewhat.

Cheers

Neel

P.S. It was a lovely funeral, though the eulogy was at least 90% crap.

Mark Ingman is survived by numerous siblings and cousins including Rob Ingman, Will Ingman, Phil Ingman, Jack Ingman, Digg Ingman, A Paul Ingman, Mark Ingman (a different one), Wade Ingman, Roger Ingman, Jack Ingman, Pierce Ingman, Bern Ingman, Bill Ingman and Lee N Ingman, most of whom agreed that it was an appropriate and considerate gesture to use a yellow Hummer as Mark’s casket vehicle.

Vale Mark…

Just before the untimely passing of Mark Ingman, Mark reported that he’d been writing down a lot of his opinions, which he was intending to compile into an expert anthology of critical judgement, and he was going to get to work on that right after he sorted out his photos. It may turn out be a treasure trove of insight and intellectual critique, although it’s just as likely to be a list of words with numbers next to them. We may never find out.

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