Thursday, February 23, 2006


Down in the groove

The story so far: Kim Ayres has been left reeling by the rapier-like arguments of the reanimated corpse of Dag Hammerskjold. Can his counsel, Binty McShae, save him from certain doom? Read on…

Coughing after an unpleasant lunch of gravel and mouse droppings, Kim was led back into the dock. The courtroom was full already but Judge Anti-Barney took a few minutes to appear. His lunch had taken a more liquid form and he stumbled to his bench and was helped into it by his assistant, Miss Andraste, who responded to his goosing of her by sticking the tip of her little finger in her mouth, giggling and flouncing off on stiletto heels.

Binty sat in silence for a full minute, marshalling his thoughts, then rose. With his lantern jaw, steely gaze and brawny physique he cut an impressive figure. As a strict teetotaller he could barely disguise his contempt for the judge’s condition.

“Hoots mon, Ah dinnae ken why ma client is even heer, Jimmeh,” he said.

Judge Anti-Barney stared at him. “You fucking what?”

“Ah cannae understan’ why tha puir wee shite has been arrested, och aye the noo.”

“Are you calling me a cunt?”

With panther-like speed and grace, two members of the jury saved the day: Jokemail told Binty a gag whereupon Dr Evil popped one of his new patented Translation Capsules(TM) in his laughing mouth.

“Can you understand me now?” asked Binty. The judge motioned for him to go ahead.

“My client,” Binty resumed, “has instructed me to rebut in turn the points made by the learned prosecutor. [These are in fact some of Kim’s own responses which he sent to me – FE.]

“First, The Bearded One is hardly an uncommon moniker. A quick Google reveals over 34,000 references. In fact there's even a reference to comedian Bill Bailey. Mr Ayres's blog comes up number 5 and there's no sign of El Barbudo.

“Second, can you blame a man for being ‘The Bearded One’ instead of ‘The Beard’?

“Third, my client points out that he displays his Tugged Beard Award with pride, and has been reticent about linking to any of the more vulgar-mouthed blogs in case he alienates his core audience, as he stated in his post about Blunt Cogs.

“Fourth, El Barbudo was indeed the creator of Blunt Cogs, although almost immediately he ran into technical difficulties and realised he needed help.” Binty broke off and looked at the jury box where an extremely ugly man was sniggering. “What was that?”

“Heh saied, ‘fukcin sycihatric hlep,’” piped up the stenographer.

Binty continued. “Fifth, if he wanted to take on an anonymous blogging persona unlike his own, my client could have adopted that of any one of us and not necessarily El Barbudo’s.”

“Yes,” cut in the judge, “but the El Barbudo persona appears most diametrically opposed to Ayres’s own and is therefore a bit fucking suspicious.”

“Objection, your Lordship,” thundered Binty, “you’re supposed to remain impartial.”

The judge gave a sharp whistle and a few seconds later a large wolf crouched growling with its drooling maw inches from Binty’s groin. “At ease, Glark,” the judge grinned evilly. “Fucking continue, McShae.”

“Sixth,” whispered Binty, “in regard to the posts by both my client and El Barbudo on global warming, it's not unknown for someone to use a comment or thought that they've picked up from something they've read elsewhere. Plus, my client and El Barbudo have known each other from university and share several outlooks on the world.

“Seventh, there are no comments on Dr Maroon's post of 23rd October 2005, as they all disappeared when he switched over to Haloscan, and thus the proximity in time between comments by Mr Ayres and Mr Barbudo cannot be proven.”

“Aha!” snarled the judge. “A Google search will reveal the lost comments even if they’ve disappeared from Dr Maroon’s site. Got you there, ye dorty fecker.”

“Eighth,” Binty said, ignoring him, “the mystery of ‘who posted the Sordid Truth post’ is solved by reference to the fact that Blunt Cogs is registered by El Barbudo as his site on Technorati, so any link coming from Blunt Cogs will say it's from El Barbudo.”

Binty drew himself up, held the moment and then delivered the coup de grace. “Finally – and this is my own observation – Kim always refers to Foot Eater correctly, with two words. El Barbudo invariably uses one word, Footeater, largely I suspect because he knows this irritates Mr Eater who has objected to it on the El Barbudo site before. Such consistency would, I submit, be devilishly difficult to maintain over so long a period.”

He waited for a response from the judge but the latter personage, the worse for drink, had succumbed and sprawled across his bench, a puddle spreading from his trouser leg across the courtroom floor.

Things happened very quickly then. The rear wall of the courtroom erupted in a shower of masonry and dust as the front end of a Churchill tank rammed through it. An angry rabble stormed into the room and Kim felt himself borne up and over the heads of the crowd. He was dropped on the ground in the square outside and hauled to a kneeling position with his neck over a groove in a stone block. Poised over the block, an enormous axe in his hands, was the turncoat SafeTinspector, still bitter at the reception his 27 Inches character had received. A figure appeared on the periphery of Kim’s vision and he twisted to look at it. Humanoid it was, but covered in fur of a dazzling blue. It spoke in a high-pitched cackle.

“Me am Monstee! Me have launched military coup and am in command now! Me am starting new Respect Agenda. Me am only one allowed to be hairy! If you am really El Barbudo, you place loyalty to your own beard over respect for me’s all-over beard, and you must die!”

It spread its arms and smiled up at the sky beatifically. “But me am fair! Me am willing to give you benefit of doubt. Me put the verdict to democratic vote. If majority say you innocent, me let you go (though you must lose beard). If majority say you guilty, you get glarked.”

Kim closed his eyes, praying that the good sense of his peers would prevail and trying to ignore the steady chant of “Glark him! Glark him!” that was rising about his ears.

Kim's fate is in your hands. On the left is a poll where you can cast your vote. You get only one each (or one per computer, anyway). Voting closes 12 noon GMT on Saturday 25 February. If no-one votes then the default verdict is that Kim’s guilty, and he gets the chop.

Translation capsules, Heehee - I know a lot of people who need those.
Hang on a sec, you can't accuse me of being El Barbudo because we share certain outlooks, and at the same time accuse me of being him because we are diametrically opposed personalities.

OK, you can, because you have, but in the process I think you've just undermined the case for the prosecution.

And however this turns out, I will not be renaming my blog "Ramblings of the once-the-bearded-one-but-it-got-lost-in-a-travesty-of-justice-on-another-blog"
Who said he could talk?
Address your comments to the bench if you would and through your counsel.
I was swithering but now I see your blinding guilt shining through all this black sophistry.
Harumph Harumph Harumph Harumph.
Excellent writing. You made your case and made me laugh reading these installments. You can't take the man's beard from him. Whatever happened to a nice, old-fashioned caning?
SB: hguX5y sd-))m $wlfi?

Kim: no, if you remember, that bit about you sharing certain outlooks with El B was part of your defence. The voting's looking good for you so far, by the way.

Doc Maroon: get in there!

Jupiter's Girl: caning sounds great! Where do I sign up?
This is a travesty,the Judge should be allowed vote as often as he likes.

Maroon,it would serve you better if you fucked off back to your own site to finish your story and not have us standing like cattle at the barn-door waiting for the next episode.Grouting,me bollix.
AB, if you feel that strongly about having multiple votes nobody's stopping you from buying more computers. And give the Doc a break, he's been on jury duty. That said, he doesn't have any excuse now.
This is one epic story here, FE. I'm enjoying this well-researched, and well-written tale.

However, I am puzzled at the characterization of Andraste here. Finger in mouth? Giggling? Allowing herself to be goosed without violence ensuing? "Flouncing off on stiletto heels"?!

What the...?

unexpected chortle of the year so far - "a strict teetotaller"

fucking guffaw!

footsie, you've excelled yourself with this!
heh.. the bailiffs apparently have nothing to say about the loss of order in the court.

it's looking pretty good for you so far Kim.

Well done Foot.. you fucker.
Best courtroom drama I've seen since Judge Wallaby. I shall vote not guilty, of course - not that I have a reasonable doubt, but it'll be fun to see what the Blue Guys do to him, as soon as he walks out the door, to prevent him suing for compensation.
OH fucking hilarious!

Foot, you do very good with you monsteespeak! ME am impressed.
Me also noticed fact that no matter how vote go... me am still in power!!

The power... The power...
So, it's past 12 noon. What happens now?
Kim you really ARE on edge!
Quite, Doc Maroon. It makes me wonder if he doesn't have something to hide.
My axe thirsts...... it thirsts for the milk of the infidels.

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