One late spring day, in what pagans (people who believe that there is only a single God and He had a single Son) call 1754, a good, but not great Infinitian baby boy, Matthew Muhndayne, was born to Liza and Leopold Muhndayne.
In truth, it was only Liza who did the bearing, but in the idiom of the day the birth was attributed to both parents. Leopold contributed only sperm, and that was nine months prior to the birth, so how he was able to claim half-credit for the birth, as opposed to merely the conception, is anyone’s guess.
Liza, Leopold and the townsfolk widely agreed that it was all for the best that Matthew was born a baby because bearing an adult would have meant certain death for the mother. That he was born an Infinitian was simply accepted as the way it should be; the way it must be. The people of that time and place were simple folk who tended toward shallow, obvious and asinine observations. Oftentimes, their observations were shallow, obvious and asinine simultaneously.
We know that Matthew was born a good Infinitian because Liza and Leopold were both devout Infinitians. As further proof, those scant remains of Matthew, Liza and Leopold that had not yet decomposed were recently exhumed. DNA testing verified that Leopold was, indeed, the father of Matthew
Liza never believed that such a creature as Matthew could have come forth from her loins, but there were reliable witnesses who swore on a stack of Infinitian bibles that he had. Then there was the DNA testing that also proved that she was Matthew’s mother.
Thus, the bona fides of Matthew’s Infinitian faith at birth have been conclusively validated.
Liza and Leopold had a loveless, humdrum marriage. They cared for each other much as a dog cares for a fire hydrant—it’s there, so use it when you feel the urge.
They stayed together primarily because they both believed that one relationship was pretty much as good as another. That was one of the very few things they shared. Matthew was virtually the only other thing they shared, although, all in all, they would have been just as happy if people other than themselves had shared him instead.
Matthew’s birth was an accident of the missionary position. Matthew would likely not have been conceived if either Liza or Leopold had been the least bit aware that sex is a leading cause of pregnancy. In they had known that, they would certainly have used one of the rudimentary forms of contraception then available or avoided sex altogether. Family meant less than nothing to either of them.
The date of Matthew’s birth is considered to be a miracle by those one or two people who bothered to think about it. His birthday, June 8, is one of the very few days of the year when, as far as anyone for miles around knew, absolutely nothing of any significance had ever happened at any time over the course of history to that point. It’s said that the word “humdrum” was coined specifically to describe that day. Then again, the region was known for its blinding ignorance, so they might have been wrong about that.
June 8,1754 was a uniformly gray day, with a steady drizzle dampening the spirits of the people of Vapidshire on the Thyes, Matthew’s birthplace. Vapidshire was a town in England that has long-since eroded back to nature. That is to say that Vapidshire on the Thymes has eroded back to nature, not England, at least not at the time of writing. The Thymes, once a tributary of the Thames, has dried up and no trace of it remains.
The weather, and particularly its effect on the townsfolk’s spirits, was generally not appreciated. On the other hand, it wasn’t disliked either. Because the natural disposition of Vapidshirians, as they were called, rarely raised above torpor, mood-dampening would have always been detested if the populace had not been universally apathetic, which it always was.
The temperature outside when Matthew was born was considerably below what most people would call room temperature. In contrast, everyone completely agreed that inside the unadorned, nondescript room where Matthew was born it was, by definition, precisely room temperature. In this case, the definition was not particularly relevant because most people kept their rooms much warmer than the temperature of that particular room. Did I mention that the people of that time and place were simple folk who tended toward shallow, obvious, and asinine observations?
Matthew’s birth was unexceptional. One could say even humdrum. There where no complications. It was no more painful than what one would expect when a human being is pushed through a small orifice of another person, which is to say that it was horrifically painful, but no more so than for any other human birth without the aid of what we now consider to be modern painkillers.
Praying and Praising
When Matthew was only a few days old his parents began to teach him to praise one hundred different Gods each day, pray to yet a different hundred Gods daily, and both praise and pray to still another fifty Gods that he felt particularly close to on that day. Of course, Liza and Leopold couldn’t be certain that Matthew’s incomprehensible gurgling, babbling, screaming and crying was, in fact, a baby’s version of praising and/or praying, but they had faith that it was.
As Matthew grew to be a toddler, his parents took great comfort in hearing Matthew’s first real words*, which were words of praise and prayer. Although, this might be attributed to the fact that, as an infant, Matthew never heard either of his parents say anything other than praise of or prayers to the Gods. And he wasn’t allowed to listen to anyone else because Liza and Leopold feared that other people might speak impious words.
Both Liza and Leopold hoped that by the end of their lives they would have prayed to and/or praised all of the infinite number of Gods. They hoped for the same for Matthew. This served to prove how little they understood about the concept of “infinite.”
A Humble Humdrum Life
Matthew’s childhood was uneventful. He had a few friends, but none of them were close. They came to Matthew’s house to play only because, even at a young age, they thought that Liza was a “hot babe.” Feminism had not yet relinquished that phrase to the linguistic scrap heap and the boys used it frequently.
Matthew did not stand out in school. He did not take a strong interest in any subject except recess. He left school after a course of study that was normal in those days, having achieved solid C averages in all classes and years. He did not go on to college.
In his childhood, Matthew did not play any sports or adopt any hobbies. He retained this disinterest in all things throughout his adulthood.
After graduation, Matthew took a long series of humdrum odd jobs. This gave him enough money to live comfortably, but no more than that.
Matthew died at what was, at the time, a ripe-old age of seventy-two, childless and never having married. In all of those seventy-two years he accomplished nothing of note, except for holding the local record for the number of belches in a single hour. There was little that the locals loved more than recording that sort of accomplishment.
Unfortunately for Matthew, his legacy did not stand. His record was broken just seven months after his death.
It would be fair to sum up Matthew’s life in one word: empty. If you wanted other words, barren, blank, devoid, void, forsaken, lacking, wanting, vacuous, mundane, humdrum, insipid, and prosaic, among others, would suffice.
The world would not have known of Matthew had it not been for a hard-assed editor. Prior to the harassment suits, many men frequently made what would now be legally considered to be rude comments about her solid derrière, but that is not relevant to this story.
The editor insisted that an Infintian history book include a few more pages than what the author originally submitted. The saga recapped above filled those additional pages. It is said that the author found the story of Matthew Muhndayne in a trashcan in the Church of Infinitiaty’s archives. Or the author might have made it up. The author refuses to say, so we can’t be sure.
* Some accounts of his life suggest that Matthew’s first word was “humdrum,” but his hasn’t been independently verified.