Death by Horrifying Junk Shop Novel

August 17, 2012

Like many people on the borderlines of society, with borderline incomes and borderline personalities, I like to browse junk shops. No-one who is well adjusted patronises or works in junk shops. So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when the proprietor of one such establishment beckoned me over, presented me with a lurid, crumbling paperback and said “You can have this. It’s really sexist.”

The book in question was by a G. G. Fickling, and was titled Honey West: This Girl for Hire. It was published by Mayflower in 1966. I mention all of these details merely to illustrate that this is an actual book, and that all of this actually happened. Like everything else on this blog. But in case my word isn’t good enough, follow this link and see for yourself.

Upon perusing the novel, I was disgusted and horrified by what I discovered. Fickling was evidently a man who related to his family members as one would relate to a coat or blouse. Insofar as he probably fashioned garments out of their skin. Everything about the book was utterly nauseating. Naturally I bought it then and there.

Shortly after purchasing the book, I died. Whether this was a result of the toxic glue that seeped out of the paperback’s spine, the belief-defying content, the purple prose or some other, unrelated incident (e.g. another dog-tuba mishap), I really couldn’t say. In any case, I have reproduced some of the original text from the book. To reiterate: this is all genuine material that appeared in the novel:

Note the tagline at the top of the page

DEDICATION:

To Tina and Richard Prather. Ongalabongay! And to Shell Scott who can play house with Honey any old time!

BLURB:

With a deadly .32 and a lively 38-22-36 , HONEY WEST is on the prowl for a murderer. From peeling down to rescue a ‘drowning’ man, to playing strip poker with four murder suspects, Honey’s hunting a killer – and she doesn’t mind hunting bare!

SELECTED EXCERPTS [note that the novel is written in the first person from the perspective of Honey West. Note also that the second sentence in the following paragraph is probably the best sentence I have ever read – JLB]

(1) Swanson switched on his hi-fi and the throbbing rhythm of Tamboo filled the house. As casually as possible, I mamboed into the modern kitchen area. The all-electric stove, oven, roaster and charcoal broiler were housed in a long, low-slung, orange-colored case. The sink faced a floor-to-ceiling window that looked out into a green landscape. Glancing over at Golden Boy, who was bent over a bar built low enough to serve kids at grammar school, I silently cursed his idea of no walls. You couldn’t do a thing around this place unnoticed. I reached quickly down and tried to pull open a cabinet drawer. It wouldn’t budge. A try for another drawer yielded the same results. The next instant, he was breathing down my back.

“Wha’cha doing?” he asked curiously. (p.26)

(2) I studied the big-bellied emperor of television. He was in a tight spot, and he knew it. If Sam Aces turned up with a stomach full of that powder, not all the TV in Chinatown could save the lord of WBS. But, for a moment, there was no corpse. That made a big difference. (p.73)

(3) Arch, a runt with a gutsy-looking face, arched his back. I could see we were going to have trouble. Real trouble. Danny’s three friends were feeling no pain, but aching to create a little. It suddenly struck me that there were neither glasses, liquor bottles nor the smell of alcohol in the small room. These kids were high, but from what? They all wore long-sleeve shirts. If there was any possibility they were on heroin, I had to bare their arms to check for needle marks.

“How about a game of strip poker?” I suggested quickly. (p.114)

(4) After a few minutes I went on deck. The storm still slashed at the darkness, ripping it intermittently with crooked orange daggers. Hell’s Light rolled and pitched with new vigor. It was difficult making my way to the bow and I fell several times, once nearly going over the side, and almost losing the oversize dungarees Rod had loaned me. (p.67)

(5) Ann was dancing on top of the bar and her wiggle was a smash hit. All she wore was a blue denim yachting cap. The headdress looked familiar. It had the word CAPTAIN sewn across the front. (p.57)

Death by Nasal Hair

July 12, 2012

Everyone these days has a beard. Babies have beards. Glamorous women have beards. You have a beard. Beards come as naturally to modern homo sapiens as leaves to the tree. So why can’t I grow a beard?

Beardless am I, it is true. And yet! Nature famously abhors a vacuum. Thus I have been compensated with prodigiously thick and bushy nasal hair.

I greatly enjoy the documentaries of Jacques Cousteau. What is more, I have been inspired by Cousteau’s exploration of undersea life to conduct a similar journey of discovery. Not in the ocean, you understand. Rather, in my own nose. My findings will eventually be published in an academic journal. In the meantime, here are some snippets. Did you know, for instance, that the hairs in my nostril can be separated into four broad categories:

1. Rim-Dwarf. The Rim-Dwarf is in essence a short, thin spine which, when dormant, resembles the light downy furze more commonly found on the pelvic region of penguins or the jawlines of elderly women. When alert, however, the Rim-Dwarf is prickly and rigid. Its main function is to guard the perimeter of the nostril. Anything from a loud noise, to an incursion of minute particles, to persistent teasing can cause it to switch from a dormant to an alert state.

2. Dark Ivy. This variety of nasal hair hangs like a threadbare curtain from the ceiling of the beak. Gravity is the friend of Dark Ivy. Obscurity is its foe. It is the attention seeker of the nostril. Scarcely an hour goes by in which it doesn’t obtrude into the world beyond the nostril, as if looking for action and/or a hot meal.

3. The Sea of Stalagmites. This landmass of fuzzy growth coats the bed of the nostril. It might be useful to think about it as the underscrub of the nose. This is where the smaller nosebeasts flourish, and it is here that they feast on the sweet, rotting fruits of the upper snout canopy that have been dislodged by high winds. It is here too that they mate, noisily and roughly. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months.

4. Deepnose Leviathan. These behemoths can grow up to 5mm thick and spiral round at violent and vertiginous tangents. Their roots are estimated (by me) to extend up to an inch below the surface. Their epidermis is shiny yet rough to the touch. They resemble great greasy centipedes that have reared up on their hind legs and decided to beat humans at their own game. If you cut one of them towards its tip and listen carefully, you can hear the hissing of water as it rushes out of the hair-hole. Truly, they are the proudest and also the most terrifying of all of the nose hairs.

At this very moment, several such Deepnose Leviathans entangle my throat and squeeze the last few sparks of air out of my windy puff-bags, as if they sense that I were divulging their most sacred, dark and jealously-guarded secrets, like a trumped-up Salman Rushdie. Soon I shall be asphyxiated by the wiry coils of snout-shag as they tighten their grip around my throat and push upwards through my nasal cavity and into my brain. I am the victim of a follicular fatwa. This entry may well be the last thing I ever write. Until I die again, that is.

Death by Tuba

May 22, 2012

Et tu, tuba?

 

Sometimes, after I have died, I like to make the best of a bad situation by helping others to learn from my experience. Once, for instance, I died in a tuba-related accident. So I wrote a little poem that would allow others to learn from my mistake:

 

The Tuba.

They call it Le Seau Furieux

Meaning ‘The angry bucket’

In France.

Do not put any water in Le

Seau Furieux.

For it will spit it back in your face

Then growl

Like an ungentlemanly sea

Lion.

Mon dieu! Don’t put any

Rice Pudding in Le Seau

Furieux,

Even if your Rice Pudding Bowl

Is broken and your Wife

Refuses to transport it

In the capacious floral hollow

Of her maternity dress.

Even if you know that in half

An hour you will desperately crave

Some Rice Pudding, but don’t really

Feel like eating any now.

For if you put your Rice Pudding in

Le Seau Furieux

It will vomit the pale chunks up

Like John Belushi

All over your Jesus Sandals

And mock you with a

Booming Bass Honk.

But O, my scholars, my pupils,

WhatEVER you do,

WherEVER you are,

Do not, under any circumstances,

Think of Le

Seau: that is, Le Seau

Furieux,

As a suitable place to imprison your next door

Neighbour’s dog. Even after your next door

Neighbour’s dog has kept

You awake at night with its

Yippety yappety yaroo

Or its

Rawk, rawk, rawk

And of course its

Wow, wow, woop

And, lest we forget,

That one evening, when,

In a fever-fugue of sleep-deprivation,

You were convinced that it had shouted

Twiddly-dee

Through the letter-box

Five hundred times.

For, rest assured, my scholars,

My pupils,

That course of action will lead directly to you

Taking a dog in the face

At 150 knots.

And, I should add, most likely perishing

As a result.

Le Seau Furieux

Is not an appropriate place

To put a dog.

Believe me. I know.

 

Death by Christmas Stocking

January 9, 2012

PREZZIES! PREZZIES! PREZZIES!

As the child of emotionally feckless millionaires, my yearly Christmas stocking is less of a Christmas stocking and more of an obscenely herniatic horn of plenty that never runneth dry. Such was my bumper prezzie harvest in 2011, that I died from overexcitement. My brain simply couldn’t cope with the stimulation and imploded, like the genetically-impoverished heart valves of an inbred show-hound that has just seen itself in the mirror for the first time.

This is what I got for Christmas:

Flat-pack fully-submersible Dangle-Droid with removable, articulatable inseminator cannon.

A Blimp

JFK ‘Death in Dallas’ Cadillac Replica plus wetwipes.

All back-issues for the following alternative comix: Zurt, Wut?, Shluck, Funny Schmux, Creep ‘Zine, Fut, Snup!, Meat ‘n’ Great, Gallthtone Comicth, Zoich.

Jesus Sweatband

Authentic Huddie Leadbetter molar.

Two tickets to JFK Shoot-a-Rama theme park, plus discount vouchers for Lee Harvey Oswald Nuptial Suite in Bamborough Travelodge.

Puberty

Zesty Lemon Spray

Bog Baby Doll

Fluffed-out, billowsome shirt with tasteful epaulettes, wispy tails and Big Boy buttons.

Jackie Onassis-brand Brain Catcher

Death by Centaur Joke

September 24, 2010

One of your aristocratic centaurs

My friend Stephen and I like to invent centaur jokes. In the broad scheme of things, one would think that this were quite an innocent pastime. One would think wrong! When our quipping caught the attention of the Merseyside Centaur Community Association, we found ourselves in deep manure . Such was their consternation at the thought of two gangly ageing youths making light of their proud homo-equinicus heritage, that they stampeded and hoofed us into tiny bits. We died, of course. Without wishing to add insult to injury, here are some of our best centaur jokes:

*************************************

Q. Did you hear about the halfman-halfhorse rower who powered his boat using the power of smell?

A. Yes, it was a scent-oar.

***********************************

Q. Did you hear about the Nobel prize-winning Indian economist who went on holiday riding a beast that was halfman-halfhorse?

A. Yes, it was the Amartya Sen-Tour

**********************************

Q. Did you about the halfman-halfhorse who was a mailman by day and an Elvis impersonator by night?

A. Yes, I particularly enjoyed his rendition of ‘Return to Centaur’

**********************************

Q. How are baby halfman-halfhorses nourished in the womb?

A. Via the pla-centaur.

**********************************

Q. Did you hear about the irate ostler who threatened to murder a shopkeeper who would not comply with his request for some paint with which to change the colour of his halfman-halfhorse’s coat?

A. Yes, the ostler reputedly said ‘Assent or die’ (a centaur dye) in a threatening manner.

**********************************

Q. To which leisure complex did the halfman-halfhorse take his family on holiday?

A. Centaur Parcs.

***********************************

Q. Which late 1980s Manchester nightspot catered exclusively for halfman-halfhorses?

A. The Hacientaur

***********************************

Q. Did you hear about the murderous halfmanhalfhorse that carries a shell around on its back?

A. Yes, it’s the assassin-tortoise (assa-centaur-toise)!

*********************************

Death by Begging Letter 3

August 27, 2010

Here is the begging letter that finally tipped me over into posthumousness.

Dear Cousin John,

After all of the incredulity and the mocking and the accusations of fraud, our predictions have proven well-founded. Your Uncle Ignatius has lost his left leg in a tragic three-legged race accident. It was terrible John, it really was. He’d got through to the regional semi-finals with his three-legged race partner, Professor Braintree, and was approaching the finishing line in first place, when their respective right and left legs, which were tied together, snagged on a hoop of wurzel-grass and came flying off. It was awful to see them hopping around in agony like a pair of deranged monopods, John, it really, really was.

Well you know your Uncle Ignatius’s generosity John. It knows no bounds. He offered Professor Braintree the £10,000 prosthetic leg you bought him right then and there. “Take it, Professor” he said, “I wouldn’t have it any other way”. Actually, it wasn’t too difficult for Ignatius, because he’s gone off the idea of having a prosthetic leg. He’s been reading up on it. Apparently they can be more of a hindrance than a help. And there is of course the stigma.

After all of the kind things you have done for your Uncle Ignatius, I really feel quite cheeky asking you for this. But I know that, for you, generosity is its own reward, so I’ll just spit it out: How would you feel about donating your left leg to your poor old Uncle Ignatius? You’ve always been quite an indoorsy person, with your reading and your silly little blog, whereas your Uncle Ignatius is more of a Captain Scott/Pele kind of person, with his three-legged races and his brisk walks and such. And you know he has always talked about doing charity work with children, which requires a lot of walking and squatting. It would be very difficult for him to attend to the little ones who desperately need his help if his big clunking prosthetic leg was always getting in the way. A real, flesh leg would be a real boon for him and the charity sector in general..

Please, take some time to think about it. It is a big decision and not one you should rush into (although the sooner you could get the leg to him the less likely he will be to bleed to death).

Thanks Cousin John. You’re a real star. You must come round for cake some time.

Your cousin,

Mifanwy

Death by Begging Letter 2

August 26, 2010

Here are some more of the begging letters that precipitated my early demise:

1) Dear John,

I’ve run out of sherbet lemons AGAIN. Send more “please”.

Fanny

2) Dear John,

When are you going to let me have a go with your dog? You know my mother won’t let me have one in the house. Why do you have to be such an ass about it? Just lend it me already.

Klaus

3) John old pal,

Do you remember my cousin Boris? He’s the one who’s worn the same T-shirt for 14 years and whose nose bled in your ghoulash that time when you came to visit the family but who only remembered to tell you after you ate it all? Ho ho. Good old Boris. What a character. Well his VISA is about to expire. It’s terrible. He’ll almost certainly lose his job at the mortuary. The doctor has said that there’s a 97% chance Aunty Ludwigia will have another mental breakdown if poor old Boris gets deported, and then there will be no one to look after little Vladimir and his 8 sisters.

But don’t worry John old pal, there is a gleam of hope, and that’s where you come in. How do you feel about entering into a civil partnership with old Boris? It’d just be for a few years until he gets his full citizenship. You’ll only have to sleep in the same bed  while ever the immigration officers are carrying out their overnight inspections to make sure you’re a bona fide couple. And Boris’s nosebleeds really aren’t half as profuse nor as lumpy as they were back when you last saw him. He’s quite a wit really. He’s got some great stories about the mortuary. You’ll be great together. The ceremony is tomorrow.

Cheers chum,

Pavlov

Death by Begging Letter

August 25, 2010

Recently, my head exploded, fatally. My post-mortem revealed that I had suffered an excess of pressure in my brain as a result of receiving too many begging letters from grasping relatives and friends. Here are a few of them:

1) Dear Cousin John,

Please send a cheque for £1500 immediately. Your Uncle Ignatius is in dire need of a prosthetic leg. No, don’t worry, he’s still got both of his legs. But it’s better to be prepared.

Love,

Your cousin,

Mifanwy

2) Dear Cousin John,

I’m afraid the worst has happened. Your Uncle Ignatius has lost the prosthetic leg you kindly bought him (he says to say thanks). Could you make out another cheque for £10,000? He says that he has a strong conviction that the cheaper £1500 models will irritate his stump, should part of his leg happen to be amputated or severed. The £10,000 ones are hypoallergenic. They’re the ones that the astronauts wear, John. I know it seems like a lot but it will really lift your Uncle Ignatius’s spirits to know that he is wearing what the astronauts wear, in the event that he loses his leg due to an unforeseen accident or gangrene infection or attack of flesh-eating bacteria. Also, could you make out a cheque for an additional £250 for a velvet-lined gilt-edged waterproof prosthetic leg trunk that he saw in the Argos catalogue, just in case he leaves it in the garden by mistake, like he did with those glass eyes you bought him that time. Also, could you send £35 for a thigh-master and £150 for a trampoline?

That’s £10, 435, John. Thanks.

Love

Your Cousin

Mifanwy.

3) Hey Bapster

How’s it going buddy? Yeah? Great! Listen, thanks for having me round for dinner the other day. Great trough man. Yeah.

Anyway, while I was round I couldn’t help but notice that in your passport photo you looked freakishly like me. Like we were twins or some shit. It got me to thinking, why bother forking out an arm and a leg (sorry to hear about your Uncle Ignatius by the way buddy) for a new passport, when I could just borrow yours. Have you seen how much it costs to get a new passport? It’s like £550. WTF? It’s crazy. Anyway man, you’d be doing me a real favour. I’ll only be out of the country for 3 months, if that. If you want to borrow my Police Academy or Cocoon box sets just say the word. I’d be happy to lend them to you.

Cheers buddy. I’ll come round tomorrow to pick it up.

Bradster

To be continued…

Death by Spenserian Fruit Enchanter

July 1, 2010

Colin Cloute: Mr January in Cosmopolitan magazine's 2009 'Shepherds' Calendar

Here’s a stanza about how I ran into Colin Cloute, the alter-ego of the Elizabethan poet,  Edmund Spenser, and he caused my face to fly off, fatally, by using his ability to produce musical sounds out of fruit on a Braeburn apple stain on my face. That’s right: I too am a victim of the musical fruit decapitation epidemic that is currently gripping ‘Cameron’s Croakin’ Country’ (note to self: must find better catchphrase to replace ‘Brown’s Broken Britain’) . Here is the stanza:

John Le Baptiste was pricking on the plain,

Yclad in loafers and chunky knitwear

His face all y-spreckled with Braeburn stain

Which madeth the plain-folk to tut and stare.

Colin Cloute at this time did tune a pear,

For he could produce songs from any fruit,

He saw the Braeburn stain John’s face did bear

And eke he made it whistle like a flute:

Alas, off came John’s face with a rooty toot toot.

Death by Flatulence

May 19, 2010

Here lies John Le Baptiste.

On the doomsday clock of his bum

It was always Trump o’ Clock.

Some say roughage made him that way

Others say he was possessed by the

Spirit of a pig with dysentery.

He is now with his Maker

Parping contentedly

On a cumulo-nimbus

And smelling of rose-water.