Saturday, April 14, 2007


The greatest film ever made


The second best film ever made


No! It can't be!


It really IS as bad as some say!

I'm going to be sick. Then I'm going to take this film apart, limb by limb.

Martin Scorsese, you're a prostitute.


Jolly hockey sticks and a bottle of rum!

It's Friday night, the weather outlook for the weekend in this part of the Empire is glorious, and I'm feeling rather chipper. So I thought I'd do one of those cheery blog posts; you know, the type where one tips the wink to fellow webloggers and points out amusing and/or interesting things they've been up to this week and all that. Pour yourself a drinkie (I nearly said another drinkie, but I know you're not that naughty!), change that Vaughan Williams compact disc to something a bit more racy like the Beatles, and enjoy!

First up: Dr Maroon seems to have been peering a little too deeply into his cup of mead this week! His latest post makes even less sense than usual. The poor fellow's deluding himself that he's actually met another blogger, and that the two of them re-enacted the Yalta conference! Careful there, Jock, och aye the noo. Oops, bit politically un-PC, there, Foot...!

Next: Philip Challinor has just published his first novel! Beelzebub, it's called. Sounds a bit daring, doesn't it! Philip's a sound sort of chap and one you'd trust to open the batting against India, so I dare say his tale is something you could safely order for Aunt Flo for a birthday prezzie.

FatMammyCat is in thoughtful mood and reflecting on the state of the world. She's reading something about terrorism and the nature of evil. Steady on, old thing! I mean, there's a time and a place for seriousness, but it isn't as if the clergy has been completely extinguished, and they are paid a decent stipend to work out these sorts of problems for us, aren't they? That said, I'm all for ladies' power and their right to express opinions and that.

Mr Old Knudsen has some fairly fruity images for us on Friday the 13th. The delightfully goatish old rogue is clearly trying to shock, though those of us who have been through Harrow remain unmoved, having seen what we've seen back in the day! Eh? Lads? (Are there any 'smileys' to be had showing an index finger laid against a nose beneath a winking eye? If so, be a sport and pop 'em in the old email.)

Sorry if I've missed you out. It's just that Henrietta's braying from the bedroom and one doesn't want to keep one's filly waiting unridden for too long, does one? Bottoms up, I think (both with and without an apostrophe!)!


This is one of the stupidest bastard ideas I've ever had for a post. It will never happen again. I swear it on my grandmother's grave. FE.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Therapy Blues (part two of two)

‘Memory,’ warbled the speakers, ‘all alone in the moonlight.’

Georgie poured tea and beamed. ‘Nothing beats Miss Streisand for mood music.’

Zeke was supine on an antique leather couch in the living room. For some reason they’d covered it in a tarpaulin before inviting him to lie down. Night had fallen and the room was lit with a few dim bulbs almost masked by chintzy orange and brown shades. Two heavy oak chairs, also antiques by the look of them, were positioned at the foot of the couch, facing him. Rudy had brought in a tea tray and sat beside Georgie in one of the oak chairs.

Something fucking freaky was happening to Zeke. He’d gradually begun to regain control over his limbs, but instead of gathering his strength to strangle the two weirdos and get the hell out of there, he’d felt… held back. It just seemed wrong, somehow, the notion of killing them. He’d let Georgie lead him by the hand into the living room and had lain down on the couch when she’d patted it. It was quite comfortable here, with the aroma of the tea and the soft music in the background and Georgie and Rudy sitting smiling at him.

‘Now, Ezekiel,’ said Georgie. ‘By the way, you don’t mind if we call you that, do you?’

They must have looked at his driving licence. Yes, he thought, I do fucking mind. Hearing his full name brought back instant images of his father holding his head down the outhouse toilet pan and screaming at him for getting his scripture recital wrong. Old god damn bastard pissed his pants when Zeke gave him his fiftieth birthday present: an axe in the head. Thinking back now, he’d maybe been a little harsh. ‘No, I don’t mind,’ he said, surprising himself.

‘Good. Now, Ezekiel, the first step in the healing process is to admit what you’ve done. Before you can move forward you have to let out all that guilt. Secrets are like pus in a blister of denial. Prick that blister, Ezekiel. Prick it. We’ll deal with what’s inside.’

Christ, they were asking him to confess? And then he thought: why not? Why the hell not? It was getting so hard, so damn tiring to cover his tracks again every few weeks. How much easier would it be just to open up. He gazed beyond his feet at Georgie and Rudy, who grinned encouragement.

‘My name is Ezekiel Stone, and I’m a murderer.’

‘That’s good, Ezekiel,’ said Georgie. ‘That’s really good.’

‘I’ve killed four in Connecticut, two in upstate New York, seven in Pennsylvania and four here in Nebraska.’ He was unable to stop himself. It felt good. ‘Oh, and a couple of pigs in North Dakota.’ Georgie and Rudy were leaning forward in their chairs, still smiling, their breath coming a little quicker. The light twinkled off Georgie’s earrings and Rudy’s glasses and hair lacquer.

‘When was the last time you killed, Ezekiel?’ Rudy this time.

‘This morning.’ He pictured the good-looking girl he’d shot in the store. ‘Poor bitch.’

The therapists let out a sigh together and managed to glance at each other without actually doing so.

‘Excellent, Ezekiel,’ breathed Georgie. ‘Doesn’t that feel better?’

He had to admit that it did. Suddenly a feeling of love for this couple bathed his body like warmed milk. He sipped some tea.

‘Now,’ she went on, ‘it’s time for the next step. One can’t separate the psychological from the physical aspects of healing.’

Rudy got up and disappeared for a minute. When he came back he was dragging the refuse sack Zeke had seen earlier. The smell was there again, but it didn’t bother Zeke so much. Rudy placed the sack at the foot of the couch and went out again, returning with a large iron bucket filled with steaming water. Zeke watched with interest as Rudy reached into the sack and pulled out a mess of feathers stuck together with red glue. There was a head and beak attached, and it took Zeke a moment to realise that it was a dead crow, one that had been run over by the look of it. Rudy handed it to Georgie who dipped it in the bucket of hot water and began to massage it flat between her chunky hands. She grinned at Zeke.

‘Take off your clothes, honey.’

He did so and lay down again expectantly. She knelt by the side of the couch and spread the flattened bird over his chest, smoothing it down. Over her shoulder Zeke could see Rudy reach into the sack, withdraw a rodent with a tyre-track across its middle, and dip it into the water. Georgie caught his enquiring look.

‘It’s a poultice. Rudy and I find it very useful in the healing process. It’s important to reconnect in a genuinely physical way with the wrongs you’ve committed.’

It made sense to Zeke. Hold on; no, it didn’t. ‘But I’m a mass murderer,’ he said. ‘I’ve killed nearly twenty people -’

People?’ she laughed. ‘Oh, honey! This is rural America. Every second person’s a mass murderer or serial killer or something. If all of them had therapy there’d be no time nor room to do anything else. No, the reason you need healin’ is ‘cause you killed our Shirl.’

And Rudy lifted from the sack the head and powerful neck of the mastiff Zeke had hit. Its eyes had been removed. Rudy propped it on a small table at the foot of the couch and produced a small paring knife. Making an incision at the base of the dog’s skull at the back, he began expertly to skin the cranium.

Zeke lay back, content, watching them in turn: Georgie as she flattened and spread the roadkill over his torso and limbs, working the edges of the creatures up against each other with her fingers so that the poultice formed a growing whole, Rudy as he peeled the scalp and face and muzzle of the mastiff away in one piece from the underlying bones .

Hours passed, or perhaps minutes. The animal poultice now covered Zeke’s body entirely, forming a high collar at the neck. Georgie helped him sit up as, beaming radiantly, Rudy approached him and with exquisite care lowered the dog mask over his head and pressed it into place against his face and neck, making sure his eyes were aligned with the holes.

Georgie clapped her hands in delight. ‘You might want to pout a little to make that snout protrude,’ Rudy remarked.

Georgie fetched a mirror and held it up in front of Zeke. ‘We done healed you good, Ezekiel,’ she squealed.

Zeke stared into the glass and his mind snapped.

He never knew quite how he made it to the road – there had been screaming (his own), and shattering glass and the suffocating heat of the summer night and the awful hairy cloying of loose lips flapping in his mouth – but he scrambled to his feet and stood on the white line in the centre as the headlights bore down and although the driver trod on the brakes it was too late and Zeke realised he’d been hit only when he found himself staring at the taillights of the car. Then, nothing.


Cobb’s Bar n’ Grill nestles in a dip just off Creek Row, and mostly it’s locals who go there, seeing how it’s somewhat off the beaten track, though a fair few travellers stop by after they’ve taken a wrong turn on the prairie roads. As well as the finest sirloin in Nebraska, Cobb’s has got pool tables, Bud on tap, and, best-loved of all, its own house band, The Lost Boys. The 'Boys are a funny-looking bunch and folks often get put off when they first see them. I been a regular at Cobb’s for years now and I admit that I still find their get-up mighty weird: all those feathers and beaks and that fur. But my Lord, when you hear them play! The music is just the sweetest thing you ever heard, like honey from a rock, and you feel cleansed and healed after an evening listening to it (though it’s hard just to listen when the tunes are so damn catchy, and many’s the couple you’ll find taking to the dance floor on a Friday night). Then again, Cobb’s’s owners, Georgie and Rudy, are in the healing business themselves, so it’s no surprise their band follows suit.

The 'Boys got themselves a new fiddle player a couple months ago, and although he doesn’t say anything, he‘s a hit. Poor fellow’s got no legs, so he has to sit in this wicker chair; but he plays that fiddle so fast and so hard he damn near sets fire to it. He’s got the oddest face of them all, and in a crazy way looks like Georgie and Rudy’s old mastiff Shirl, God rest her soul. Last night he did something real funny. The band were winding down but were persuaded to do one last encore, so they gave us a kick-ass new song of theirs called Dog Gone Blues. It ended on a fiddle solo, and all through it the new boy threw back his head and just howled.

The End

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter
Hit me