BOKO OF THE MONTH
In the country of the bland, the one-idea man is king
CHAPTER ONE – The imperfect storm
Bellicose thunder belly-rumbled, furious forked lightning crackled and fizzed; the firmament was fundamentally upset. The brooding, bloated, slate-grey sky gushed and sobbed, its miserable tears battering, rat-a-tat, like the military drumming of tiny marching Orangemen on a thousand protesting Roman Catholic umbrellas. Suddenly……
MYSELF: Hang on! What’s all this?
READER: It’s my Irish novel. I’m trying to finish it before lockdown gets lifted.
MYSELF: An Irish novel Bejabbers! That’s more like it, so it is! What’s it about?
READER: Well I don’t exactly know yet, I’ve only done the first page.
MYSELF: But surely you know what it’s going to be about?
READER: That’s the most difficult bit. All I know is it starts with a thunderstorm but I’m sure I’ll be able to give you a rough idea once I’ve written a few more words.
MYSELF: The thunderstorm’s a corker, you’re off to a great start there but here’s a thought – if you’re having the owld writer’s block why not write the last page next? Then all you have to do is fill in the bit in the middle and your uncle is Bob.
READER: Of course. Brilliant. You’re not as green as you’re cabbage-looking are you? Why on earth didn’t I think of that?
MYSELF: Don’t mention it at all, only too glad to help so I am. And while you’re at it, a few laughs wouldn’t go amiss.
READER: I’ll get on with it then.
TEDDY BOYS IN BLUE
After a nationwide spate of pro-democracy demonstrations by primary school pupils in Hungary, riot police have been issued with teddy bears. The cuddly toys will be equipped with 30,000-volt tasers concealed in the arms and have mustard gas sprays built into the eye sockets. Not to be outdone, Hastings’ Chief of Police Hydra Gorgon has reportedly purchased a job lot of 500 remaindered copies of Harry Potter and the Policeman’s Balls, which all constables will be obliged to carry after 8th July. Questioned about exactly how much of a criminal deterrent that would be, she replied enigmatically, “The last two pages are missing”.
Matador (n) what the Spanish wipe their feet on
Haiku (n) the sound made by a stoned pigeon
Facebookland (Carroll Lewis, Drinkme Press, 10/6d)
In Lewis’s extraordinary new novel we are introduced to a topsy-turvy world inhabited by imaginary creatures, where the voracity of actuality is tested to its limits. Truth is elastic and able to swerve in whichever direction the recipients prefer, according to whether they belong to a sinister system which Lewis calls The mutual algorithmic feedback bubble.
In Facebookland, facts waft around like confetti, and its inhabitants quibble constantly about whether things are true, half true, or not in the slightest bit true, based entirely on conjecture, hearsay and unfounded rumour.
Facebookland is not suitable for children but highly recommended for younger readers. Available on Kindle unless not available. Soon to be banned by the BBC or in developement as a 12-part series.
AT THE THEATRE
The first night performance at Upper Dicker Theatredrome, of Dame Labya Thrush’s seminal play The Song of the Goldfish (reviewed elsewhere), attracted a star-studded audience which included Hastings’ eminent inventor, Professor Gordon Thinktank. During the interval, he took to the stage to demonstrate his latest contraption, The Theatrical Periscope. Powered by compressed air and concealed inside a mechanical fedora with an elevated crown, its patented adjustable height feature affords the wearer an unobstructed view when seated behind a very tall person, or one who declines to remove his enormous hat. “There are teething problems,” the professor admitted, “one of them being that the device itself is housed, out of necessity, in an extremely tall hat. Effectively, this means that anyone sitting directly behind the wearer will now have his view obstructed, thereby obliging him to resort to wearing his own Theatrical Periscope, with the height adjusted upward accordingly, resulting in a sea of Theatrical Periscopes, each one taller than the other, stretching all the way to the back row of the theatre.”
By this month’s guest astrologer The Great Marzo
Scorpio (24 October-23 November) Your sun sign of Mercury is deteriorating, due to the pressure being put on Venus by the dominant house of Aquarius. Currently under the thumb of Mars, Aries, your rising sign, is sulking, and will do anything to get attention. An unexploded egg causes unexpected complications.
Sagittarius (24 November-21 December) Sagittarians as a rule are stupid, and will believe anything. Let’s face it, if brains were legs, you wouldn’t have to bend over to tie your shoelaces.
Capricorn (22 December-20 January) Take that smirk off your face, your flies are undone.
Aquarius (21 January-19 February) They say an ill wind blows nobody any good, but with Pluto in the forecourt and Uranus suspended, don’t count on it. Remember, German is a difficult language and not to be trifled with.
Pisces (20 February-20 March) It’s all about footwear at this time of year, so take full advantage of Jupiter’s domineering shyness. Brogues, sandals and tennis shoes could play a significant role where romance is concerned, unless you are Scandinavian or in the grocery business.
Aries (21 March-20 April) Aren’t you suspicious of sausages? What do you think goes into them? With Pisces just around the corner, resist the urge to join the armed forces, particularly the navy. An aunt sends you a postal order, which you spend on sausages.
Taurus (21 April-21 May) Everybody loves a matador, but pull yourself together! Your wardrobe is a mess. Pink spandex tights and a fluffy cardigan are no match for a huge angry bull.
Gemini (22 May-21 June) Bad news for Twinsters as June falls on a Friday. If you must dabble in the occult, remember to wash your hands afterwards. A tall monk laughs at your bicycle.
Cancer (22 June 23 July) The colour green turns out to be not what you expected. A so-called friend arrives unexpectedly with some snorkeling equipment. Take my advice and decline his invitation, as it has nothing to do with diving in the conventional sense.
Leo (24 July-23 August). The bad tempered nature of Leos is well documented, and will be exacerbated this month by the full moon’s unrelenting sarcasm. Stay calm, take a deep breath, count to ten and stop masturbating.
Virgo (24 August-23 September) Career matters seem less important as a recent accusation of breaking and entering rears its ugly head. A not guilty plea is inadvisable, as 47 exercise bicycles are clearly not for personal use.
Libra (24 September-23 October) Your formidable strength of character will be called upon this month, as a tempting offer from a Swiss cheese manufacturer appears to be the solution to all your problems.
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