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Mr. K
Mr. K
Posts : 1954
Reputation : 33
Join date : 2018-01-07
Age : 72
Location : Below sea level

The Beard of Love: A Satire Empty The Beard of Love: A Satire

on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:41 pm

Let me explain. Long, long ago on the Capitol board, an enthusiastic poster hit upon the idea of an online story, to be written collectively by the posters on that board. Originally, the intention was to contribute a sentence each. But such was its authors' enthusiasm that those single sentences swelled into paragraphs and even pages. Some way in, I decided to compile the individual entries into a thread in its own right ("The Story So Far"), editing only the odd mistake in my own contributions and nowhere else.
This is from my original preface: "The principal authors of both this and [the related fragment] Makarios: The Wilderness Years [also included here] are Colin (its instigator and mastermind), The Hat [who being a character in the story tells it in the first person], Endless Anthropomorphism and yours truly. Other contributions [are] by Landlocked, Glenn UK, Margo P, Mark and possibly others."

This thread is dedicated to Colin aka The Hat, without whom no stories.

Chapter One

Once upon a time, back in the late 60's, there was a pop star called My Glove who thought it'd be cool to add some facial hair, Now not just a mustache but a birds nest to hide the diminishing returns on the crown of the lead slinger.
Mr Glove was quite dismayed when he realized that his beard was slowly being pulled back into his face. In an act of desperation he made a phone call to a certain doctor Landry and asked:
"Is there a cure, and if so, how much is the treatment likely to set me back?"
Landry [not to be confused with a quack psychiatrist of a similar name] had once treated a similar case of a certain Michael Finnigan and replied in his embarassingly high pitched girly voice:
"Were it so simple my esteemed Mr Glove. The fact of the matter is that in most cases of involuntarily retracting whiskers; the only known treatment involves both a good deal of time and patience, turban wearing and for the necessary distraction, protracted visits to your lawyers, who have to make a living too, you know. A little more altruism on your part if you please Mr Glove", Dr. Landry squeaked sillily, "and what's that other word... Phil and something else..."
"Oh you mean philanposophshipotty", replied Glove, relieved to get back into the conversation.
"Yeah and by the way, My, I've doubled my fee", Landry continued, only the rest was lost as his embarrassing squeak had ascended in pitch to beyond the reach of human ears.
"How about coming round for tea some time?" MG suggested helpfully, feeling the end of his nose for hidden strengths.
Really now..turbans indeed, Glove mused as he slammed down the reciever in a fit of childish pique...the last time he'd worn one of those he'd been savagely beaten up by that Mahareeshi bloke and his vicous retainers in Rishikesh. No, what was needed would be a personal visit to his old mate Al Bodine at the Idaho Institute of Equestrian Dentists. He knows a thing or two about stuff what grows in yer 'ead, he reasoned. Let's face it - and he brightened up somewhat - the worst Al could do was sue him for being follically challenged in charge of a pop group, which would only get him, what, ten years? He sank back into his chair with a contented smile.
All of a sudden, to his utter horror and disbelief, Glove realised that he had entered himself for "The 3rd Annual Moustache and Beard Association of America's Annual Beanfeast and Fried Egg Eating Competition" in just under a weeks time!!! What would...indeed what Could his Dentist pal do to rescue the situation and not leave egg on his face [as opposed to dribbling down the rapidly disappearing furry chin appendages....????]
To make matters worse, the competition rules had just been tightened:
- Competitors had to wear white clothes which had still to be white at the end of the evening;
- eggs were to be fried quickly on one side only out of environmental considerations, so that runniness was the order of the day;
- and as for the beans... well, even the merest suggestion of a f@rt and you were out on your neck.
Perhaps Al could fit him out with an additional set of bicuspids and maybe a dentist's tray round his neck to catch the drips. My quaked. Only one week left to practice! This made the dilemma of his wilting chin shrubbery seem trivial in comparison. He made a half @ssed attempt to levitate. Just then the phone rang..."Mr Glove?" boomed an unfamiliar voice from the bakelite horn.
"Er..." the teen idol sputtered by means of reply.."uh...yeah...who's this?"
"Mr Glove, I represent Beards Against Brains, Americas number one Follicle Pressure Group for the furthering of intellectual freedom from repressive legislature aimed at undermining us Beardiies. To come to the point, we've chosen you as our Beard of the Year and would like to invite you to our Spaghetti Bolognaise Slurp-o-rama tomorrow night. We'll pick you up at 7.00..." Click.
"Crivens!" squeaked Glove...could things get any worse???
Glove stood in the center of the room feeling anxious beyond reason, his gaze fixed on a figurine which stood prominently on the small table next to the fireplace. In his agitated state, the clock in the belly of the Murry Hawthorne statue made no sense to him. He couldn't remember what the big hand in one position and the small hand in another position meant. His mind was blank.

A bead of sweat formed on his forehead and he could feel his body trembling, then in a sudden outburst, he screamed at the top of his lungs..."BOLOGNAISE?...ANYTHING BUT F-----G BOLOGNAISE!!!"
That night he dreamt a terrible dream, that he was standing in front of the mirror admiring himself as usual when all of a sudden the remains of his retreating beard turned to spaghetti and slithered up the side of his face to hang there from the vast expanse of his pristine dome, leering at him as if to say, "Get out of this one, Glove"...

Still somewhat shaken, My was back in the studio next day coaching his band, the Beachy Heads. But his musical confreres had had a nasty surprise waiting for him when he arrived. It was a court order limiting his activities with the band to making funny f@rting noises on his sousaphone and - oh horror! - singing through his nose.
Well I'll be, he mused from the lotus position he'd adopted on the mixing desk. He'd taught these guys to sing and to play all their instruments from scratch, he'd even coached Bry, the funny one, on the fine art of modular composition. Hell, he'd even built with his own bare hands their beloved Flatularium, an exotic monophonic contraption that did a fair imitation of wind breaking in deep space.
Then he smiled. Now he knew how he was to solve the problem of the 3rd Annual Moustache and Beard Association of America's Annual Beanfeast and Fried Egg Eating Competition, the Spaghetti Bolognaise Slurp-o rama and the group rebellion in one fell swoop.
And it was all so very easy...

It was late one holiday and quiet as a mouse, not one merkin was mentioned. To tell the truth, the Missouri Merkin Marathon had ended the week before in a slew of litigation. My Glove and the Beachy Heads had provided musical interludes, ensconced behind a wire mesh screen to ward off the handfuls of hair flying in all directions. Glove himself was proclaimed Merkin of the Month in an outrageous ceremony best left to the imagination.
All this flashed through the pop idol's mind as he levitated his way across the studio, mentally assembling his masterplan as he went...

Yes!!!!! How could he have been such a fool??? The answer to his pressing problems had been within his grasp all along!!! Remembering that he had been largely responsible [along with that unbearable weirdo from the Parks Department] a couple of years back for that diverting ditty "She's Going a Bit Thin on Top", he visibly quivered with barely controlled excitement...That was IT!!! He would SING IT BACKWARDS!!!!!! Which meant it was now called, er, "Pot No Niht Tib A Gniog S'ehs".

It was now or never. He threw all caution to the wind and sang as he had never sung before:

"Erom on erom on erom on erom on
Daeh ruoy edispu 'nihton t'nia
Amam etal ootDaeh ruoy edispu
Erom on erom on erom on erom on
Daeh ruoy edispu 'nihton t'nia
Amam etal oot er'ouy
Daeh ruoy edispu
Erom on erom on erom on erom on
Daeh ruoy edispu 'nihton t'nia
Amam etal oot er'ouy
Aaaaaah ah ha
Kcab ti worg d'ti thguoht dna
Daeh reh no ti 'niruop detrats ehs
Eciuj 'o dnik lla debbarg dna
Moor reh ot enileeb a edam ehs
Kcas a ni ti werht dna
Dluoc I tahw egavlas ot deirt I
Tfel dah ehs tahw dehsurb dna
Placs reh ssorca bmoc reh werd ehs
An an ahs, an an ahs
Wold a tahw
An an an an an an an, an an ahs
Wold a tahw
An an an an an an an, an an ahs
Wold a tahw
An an an an an an na, an an ahs
Wold a tahw
An an an an an an an, an an ahs
Ho ho ho ho ho
Rove flesym welb I
Looc ym welb I
Dnim ym welb
I drah os dehgual
Dnuorg eht ot denoows ehs pots t'ndid
Daeherof gninihs reh was ehs nehw
Leek dluow I thguoht I riah reh tsol
D'ehs was I nehw dna ni dekeep I
Teef reh ta nwod xobllip reh raen yal
Riah neklis erom, riah neklis
'Niwolb saw dniw on dna ecaf reh no llef
Riah neklis erom, riah neklis"

There was a long silence. Slowly, very slowly, he turned towards the mirror and realized it had shattered because of his nasally whine. He gazed into the fragments and thought he spotted a sprouting facial hair follicle, but it was hard to tell in the tiny bits of broken mirror.

The manner in which the broken surface scattered the surrounding light reminded him of the great cosmic connection he had with the universe and understood that until his beard fully revealed itself, he needed to share his wonderfulness with the world by other means. Perhaps he could accomplish this goal by contacting the human cloning foundation. By carefully extracting the DNA from each sprouting follicle surely a whole generation of cosmically enlightened bearded wonders could be born.

My Glove gasped at the sheer genius of his idea...not to mention the boundless oppurtunities to the world of music a generation of My Gloves could bring. Tentatively he moved from the mirror to the phone and with sweaty fingers dialed, the odd musical phrase "No calls from Korthof, Parks or Grillo" playing in his head.

One ring... two... three--

"Hello?" the just-a-little-too-cheery female voice on the other end said. "Human Cloning Foundation And Dennis Wilson Appreciation Society Hotline. How may I direct your call?"

"What DID you just say you're called young lady?" bellowed back Glove with a barely concealed snarl, fumbling for his knuckleduster. Good grief...that randy bastard gets EVERYWHERE!!!
"Whilst I very much appreciate that Human cloning is a good 20-30 years away, I'd also very much like to know why that Casanova cousin of mine has HIS own appreciation society and all I've got is a lousy 'Beard of the Year' award!!!"

And speaking of beards... was it just Glove's imagination, or was there indeed some form of [perhaps dun de dun dun... DEMONICALLY backwards lyrically inspired] reaction taking place amongst his otherwise typically smooth svelte Southern Californian features? There certainly was a marked tingling feeling, not to mention a positive burning sensation beginning to spread itself..
The only trouble was...It wasn't his chin and upper lip areas that seemed to be affected, but rather his ear and nasal cavities...

Before there was time to ponder another single thought, rainbows and butterflies and snot and wax began pouring from his nose and ears. At first he was overwhelmed by this otherworldly phenomenon, but after a few seconds he felt calm as he recalled an inspirational quote by one of his heroes, Moose Bronston, who once observed, "Whatever induced my parents to have me christened Moose?" before trotting back to his bucket of half chewed saplings and tree bark. My felt an overwhelming urge to throw up. Might as well have all the facial orifices pouring out stuff simultaneously, he reasoned. Just then the door flew open to reveal the lean, girlish figure of Dr Landry. Glove's jaw dropped, landing among all the other debris littering the carpet. For Landry was not alone...
"Hiya !" squeaked the physician gaily, tripping lightly into Gloves' dining room as if nothing could be more ordinary than paying his unwitting client a surprise 5.30 am visit, simultaneously lighting a small cuban cigar; "I hope you don't mind too much, but I've brought along someone who I just know is simply dying to meet you!"
Indicating the otherwise austerily Jacob Marley attired [except for the brightly sequinned turban atop his almost overly bewhiskered head] figure to his immediate right, the dubiously titled 'Doctor to the Stars' continued with a manic flourish:
" It's none other than your, how shall I put this...ahem ...your quasi-ideal-self as it were" and here the giggling dwarf paused as if searching for the right term: "Allow me to introduce Anti-Glove!!!"

The garishly beturbanned and generously bearded apparition at this point turned and presented an unnaturally white-toothed grin to the speechless Glove and mouthed the following [and- dare I say- grossly and deliberately- misrepresented] ode- in order to besmirch one of Gloves' hitherto finest lyrical moments:

" Transcendental Medication can emasculate the man,
take some Percodan
Or some Tynodol
Will leave ya feelin' tall..."

"Waddya think?" chirped Landry as the Glove doppelganger finished his rendition with a leery wink, "pretty good huh???"
Fumbling for words and not finding any, the aghast Glove could only gasp in shocked awe as his evil alter-ego then shimmied across the broken glass, snot, wax and dead butterfly strewn shag pile that was his carpet [in an obscene parody of his own shimmy no less] in order to rejoin the wretched dwarf, his gloating employer; Eugene Landry.
" Uh..ah...I ...uh.." he replied, forcing a nod, "he's..ah.."
"Yes?" cooed the 4'9 inch shrink with a gloat.
"He's... CRAP!!!", bellowed Glove (the Proto-Glove if you like). Having somehow regained his composure, he turned and from the pile of snot-bespattered debris behind him extracted a large wind-up toy bearing an uncanny resemblance to his good buddy from the Idaho Equestrian Dentists Association. "This will be the undoing of both of you!", My proclaimed triumphantly. Winding it up, he then placed the automaton on a obstacle-free strip of carpet and the thing clanked into action, singing (to the same tune the Anti-Glove had borrowed) in a metallic voice the following refrain:

"Hi I'm Al
Your pint-sized dental pal
I have a size 10 drill
And cavities to fill..."

"HAHHHHAAAAAAA!" shrieked Glove demonically, "behold the ANTI-ANTI-GLOVE!!!!!!!!!!!" as he accidentlally stepped on the flailing toy sending springs and other vital components flying in all directions. By this time the diabolic duo of Landry and his vile creation [actually one of his 'patients', heavily sedated, painstakingly hypnotized then finally given extensive plastic surgery and 'singing' lessons] had had time to gain the relative safety of the shiney surface of Gloves formica topped dining table:
"Ner ner ner ner nerrr!" they tormented the hapless theremin virtuoso "You can't catch us!!!"
Whilst all this was going on, and unbeknownst to the participants involved in the above shenanigans, in an outlying suburb of Birmingham, England, construction work on a studio recently sneaked in from California was proceeding apace, accompanied by a cello, a piano and a vibraphone. Fact is, the other members of the Beachy Heads, by now thoroughly p*ssed off with My Glove's lack of talent and facial hair, had decided to ditch what was to have been his magnum opus and claim to immortality, a silly piece of sh*t called SNeER, and had flown in not only their entire L.A. studio plank by plank but a mile and a half of California coastline in 50-foot long chunks for scenic inspiration in an attempt to record what they hoped would be a more commercial offering, a potential money-spinner whose working title was Solihull. It was not their concern that the cover of SNeER, a hologram showing Mr Glove leering unpleasantly, his upper lip caught in a permanent quiver, has already been printed in vast quantities, mainly because the big bloody cog of the steam printer had jammed and no-one knew how to turn the bleeding thing off. Then little Bry, who often hid for days behind the flatularium (see Chapter 3), spoke up:
" Gee..uh...Mr Dragon..uh...dja reckon'ya could open a window or's ah gettin' kinda hot in here?"
Dragon [the spare drummer], so called because of his uncanny resemblence to one of these mythic beasts of yore let out a sigh, accidentally scorching one of the bands P & R guys in the process; "why is it always me who has to do everything?" he muttered. But before he had finally been able to locate the band's trusty window pole, and thus open said skylight , a terrible scream pierced the oppressively stuffy air:

It was Carlo [Bry's half Italian brother]. The reason for his bloodcurdling scream was immediately obvious: there it was in large print on the front page of the Birmingham Business Journal...


Carlo read on in disbelief:

"It was announced today by Hugh 'Flim Flam' McSwindle, CEO of Cannibal Records, that the company was putting the 'SNeER' project on hold indefinately. McSwindle explained that 'We are not in the business of promoting musical works, that under other conditions, would not be marketed in a reasonable manner, even if under circumstances where there was no objection relating to the acceptance of the initial proposal (presumably) and had expectations of reaching sales projections in the critical fourth quarter of the fiscal year when based on reliable calculations.'

"When asked to clarify his statement, McSwindle explained that he couldn't because he had no idea of what he had just said. He did, however, explain that any resulting litagation in this matter would be focused on Carlo and Bry [Carlos' half non-Italian brother].

"McSwindle further elaborated by revealing that 'My Glove is not a man to bear a grudge but if he were to bear a grudge - and now we're talking major grudges bristling with litigation - it would be against Carlo and of course Bry when he wasn't crouching. Mr Glove would like to make clear that he bears no malice against the other Beachies. He's scared of Dragon - who belches smoke and flames, whereas Glove merely belches - and is in fact quite fond of Bruise, some guy who turned up one day and never left, not to mention the sixth member of the BHs who's so small he doesn't have a name.'"

Meanwhile, back at his post down behind the flatularium Bry had hit upon the perfect way out of this quandary. Even the "genious" tag My Glove was desperately trying to shake off was inadequate to describe what he'd just thought up. It would leave everyone satisfied - Glove, McSwindle, Landry, Carlo, --, Bruise and Dragon. The solution was staring them in the face. The Beachy Heads would all go on a very nice holiday together to one of those new fancy holiday resorts that seemed to be springing up all over the place [but especially Benidorm and Majorca] these days. Heck, even that P&R guy writhing in agony on the floor in front of him with 2nd degree burns had been there only a week or 2 ago and had come back with glowing reports of all the English Pubs and Fish and Chip shops there were there. "It had been like a home away from home" he'd said. Not only that...he even had the [slightly singed] T Shirt to prove it!!
Furthermore, he remembered something My had told him during their last holiday together [in Tierra Del Fuego].."There's nothing I like more than a good knees up Bry", he had said.

"Gentlemen" he announced, after clearing his throat, "I know we have an album to produce - new working title Wild Haddock - but My's right for once. We need to get away from it all - well not exactly all because we're taking the studio with us." Bry barked out orders. "Bruise, start dismantling the organ loft. Dragon, go down to the corner shop and buy plenty of salt and vinegar to take with us in case of an emergency. Carlo, ring up that levitating fool and tell him to get over here pronto - and to bring his claw hammer with him. --, put down that saveloy and stuff that pile of Birmingham Business Journals into a crate as emergency wrapping paper for the Cod and Chips. McSwindle, tell those meathead execs of yours that the Beachy Heads are abandoning bleak and blustery Birmingham for the sunny Mediterranean!"
Cue in the strains of "Let's Go Away for a Fortnight"...

Meanwhile, not a million miles away [but about 6,000 or so] , Glove was still smarting over his crushed robo dentist when [yet again!] his phone rang. It was Carlo, calling from the charred remains of a phonebox on the Edgbaston Road. "My? Hi! Bry... I..." By this time he'd forgotten what he'd been planning to say and hung up.  
Meanwhile Landry, who was seriously allergic to formica, had slung the still grinning Anti-Glove over his not uncomely shoulder and was legging it down the corridor for all he was worth. The phone rang again...

Glove, still all in a tizzy over :
a] His retracting facial foliage;
b] The impending Spaghetti Slurporama;
c] His unwanted visitors;
and d] His [still whirring] miniature Al Bodine [who had now taken to singing 'Bluebottles over My Gloves Trash'' and squeaking occasionally];
well this was almost the final straw: "YES!!!!!" he almost shrieked, " WHAT THE F@#K IS IT NOW????"
A bad move. A very bad move indeed...
For no, it wasn't Carlo, nor was it Mc Swindle, nor indeed [however implausibly] was it that guy he'd been cosying up to from the Grammy Awards Panel recently. Oh no far far worse...
Unbelieveably it was none other than The self-pronounced "King of TM" [My's personal Guru in fact], the founder/propogator of Karmic Flying, the 'Enlightened One' himself: Jack "The Hat' Plankenspanker!!
"What DID you say???" Plankenspanker intoned [after a moments pause for much needed meditation]. Of all his students it had always been Glove who seemed the most cool, calm, [collected even], and to hear THIS from his Golden Boy and possible successor...Well...there had better be a mighty good explanation!!

"Well, Jack," began Glove, wondering what his next words would be, "it's my new mantra - you know, like you taught us all to be creative and invent mantras of our own. I've been rehearsing it all day, in my mind, in between bouts of circular breathing and the odd bowl of Scott's Porridge Oats, and I felt the time was ripe to release it into the cosmos - and luckily you were the one to hear it first. How would like to be our manager?"
"Great!" replied The Hat after only a moment's pause, "When do I start? I think, as a devout con-man, I could take you boys to the cleaners... I mean, the top. Otherwise my name's not Jack 'The Hat' Plankenspanker. And between you and me, my neophyte friend, there are times when I wish it wasn't."

Glove named a date and the deal was done. Wait till the others hear about this, he thought. He sank back contentedly into his leaking waterbed and intoned softly to himself, "What the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the f@#k is it now, what the..." and fell asleep.
As Glove's snores shook the building, he had a dream which seemed to warn him that the future was not going to be all roses...
Obviously there were going to be some roses, most notably Rosa nutkana, a large arching shrub that is quite winter hardy and tolerant of wet locations. And of course Rosa wichuraiana variegata, a climber/rambling rose of large proportions that will happily spread along the ground if not supported. A-and not to forget Rosa woodsii fendleri, a very graceful, small and tidy shrub which will grow to about 3 or 4 feet tall, producing a tight thicket over time.
But his disturbing dream also made quite clear that Bry, Carlo, --, Dragon and Bruise were going to have to be won over to his way of thinking - and that would mean...
Transcendental meditation of the most potent [and potentially even dangerous] kind . Transcendental meditation that went beyond the mere daily mantra and porridge ingestion practised by both himself and the literally dozens of fellow practitioners the world over. TM indeed that could [if used responsibly] even eradicate the need for 'two-in-one' shampoos........but one thing was paramount:
The Hat must NEVER know.
So deciding, Glove swung out of bed and padded off to his space age kitchen.

Carefully (or so he thought), he removed his new 30cm stainless steel Les Freres Semprini saute pan (sold exclusively at Harrod's. (Not the standard model with the aluminum base, but the unbelievable expensive copper clad professional model, endorsed on the popular syndicated television show by Wolfgang Puck.)) from it's rack. In his haste, a rather heavy cast iron roasting pan fell, hitting him squarely on his crown. For a few seconds he felt very faint. Visions of butterflies and rainbows flashed through his mind.

When he emerged from his brief dazed state, he repeated to himself: "Yes, the Hat must never know."

Glove poured a small amount of extra virgin olive oil into the pre-heated saute pan. When the optimal temperature was reached, he added minced garlic, coarsely chopped onions, a hint of sage and a dozen or so petals of Rosa woodsii fendleri.

He knew that the effect of the seasonings would certainly accomplish his goal.

Now it was simply a matter of deciding on the main dish. Perhaps this was the right time to finally cook the frozen books and ring for a pizza instead...
He then prized two rock-hard, almost rectangular lumps marked "Beachy Heads Hard-Earned Savings" out of the freezer where they had been kept safe from prying eyes and shoved them in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees. He waited. "So those double-crossing bastards think they can ditch SNeER and get away with it", he finally rasped, peering into the oven and fishing out one steaming tome and turning to page 23. There he crossed out various noughts at the end of various other members' hard-earned savings and added them to his own obscenely large amount. "Hee hee", he tittered, as back went the tome into the fridge - only this time he went in with it. As the fridge door slammed shut behind him, he heard a familiar evil laugh. His blood froze. "Oh my god," he gasped, 'It's not... It is...!" And indeed it was...
" Gluff" came an all too familiar [and menacing] Germanic voice from the other side of the decorously magnet bestrewn freezer door, "I sink vee are meeting again!"
"I..I..I.. thought you were..."
"Ja? You sort I voss??"
" What the f@#k is it now..what the f@#k is it thought you were ..."
Glove could hardly believe his ears. He had surely seen the last of Ernst Von Schlaubenboffler a couple of years ago when he'd unceremoniously shoved him off the roof of that cable car in the Alps after a high speed combined ski/sledge and bobsleigh chase...that fall would have killed anyone.
But obviously not...

"Vair iss she Gluff?"
"Uh..who'dja mean [what the f@#k is it now..what the f@#k is it now..]? "
"You Know ferry vell Gluff!" exclaimed the '[Kosher] Butcher of Berlin,' letting his words hang chillingly in the frozen air a moment or two longer: "ze bitch; Boyce!"
Glove thought for a moment and winced. A gruesome pun... about his FAVOURITE GROUP... a European pun!!! This was the last straw. He seized a deep-frozen blancmange and with both hands swung it at the fridge door with all his might in an explosion of eggs, butter and cottage cheese. The door spun clean off its hinges and made sickening contact with Von Schlaubenboffler's skull.  
"Was machst Du da für Scheiße, Scheißkerl?" Von S spluttered through a faceful of REAL BUTTER... Yukkkk! Everything was ersatz where he came from.  
"Here", said Glove, "please accept this present," offering him the blancmange.
"Nimm Dein Scheißgeschenk und schieb's Dir in den Arsch!" retorted Von S, and then on reflection: "Haben Sie Platz für ein Zelt?"
Glove decided to put an end to this charade. "You may think you're still our manager, Slobbensloffer, but I have news for you. We have another manager now. You're fired!!!!!"
Much to My's surprise, the Kosher Butcher of Berlin merely turned on his heel, glared at Glove, and headed for the door where he collided with the burly frame of the self-pronounced King of TM, the founder/propagator of Karmic Aviation, the Enlightened One himself if you know what's good for you - Jack "The Hat" Plankenspanker! And The Hat was clearly in a foul mood...  
Von Schlaubenboffler took one look at him and ran, tossing a parting remark over his shoulder: "Ich haue Dir gleich eine in die Eier!"    

Meanwhile, back in the relative tranquillity of Birmingham International Airport, Mrs Evadne Boyce [57] Glove's ex-cleaner [until he sacked her for not washing up his porridge bowl properly just that one time too many] was just wringing out her mop when she spied a familiar face;
"Well blow me down if it ain't Brian Wilton!" she exclaimed.
"Well, well, Mrs Boyce, what are you doing in England? I see you've escaped the clutches of that randy German manager of ours, Herr von Scheißkartoffeln. And by the way, it's Bry these days, just Bry. Ever since I embraced numerology, I haven't been able to count beyond three."
"Blimey", said Boyce, who originally came from England before she was lured to sunny California by stories of dirty porridge plates stacked sky-high, "who's that ugly geezer?"
"Oh that must be Bruise. And I believe you know Dragon..."
"Bleedin' right I do, he's an old flame."
"And --."
"Beg pardon?"
"--. Our rhythm guitarist. The one who got you in a half-nelson, remember?"
"You must remember Carlo..."
"I do indeed. Hi Carlo."
"Devo visitarle il seno."
"As the bishop said to the actress, no doubt."
"But you haven't told us why you're here mopping up vomit, Mrs Boyce. When you should be in California scraping stale porridge off Glove's cravat."    
"Well, Bry, I'll try and explain. The problem really is knowing where to start..."
Before the ex employee of My Glove [not to mention former paramour of Von Schlaubenboffler - of whom more later] could elaborate however, a decidedely 'Brummie' voice came over the provincial airports primitive tannoy system:
"Will passengers Wilton, Wilton, Dragon, -- and Chormondley-Smythe who are travelling to Benidorm kindly proceed to Gate 4 immediately..
Last call please for passengers Wilton, Wilton..."
"That's us chums!" said Bry, picking up his carrier bag full of duty free 'Benson and Hedges' cigarettes; "cheerio Mrs Boyce...we'll send you a postcard, I promise!"

It would be an empty promise however, The Hat had seen to that. The writing of postcards was sure to interfere with the balance, the natural flow of the universe. The Hat had drummed this into them repeatedly and they all understood the dangers and yet here was Bry, promising to send postcards. Carlo was perplexed, why in the world would Bry ever say this?

Then suddenly it became very clear, Bry's intention was to not only go on a package holiday to Benidorm but also to avoid making decisions as to how this particular episode in the life of The Beachy Heads was to proceed.
But unbeknownst even to Carlo, an unholy alliance between Landry, Von Schlaubenboffler and Plankenspanker - the Landry-Von Schlaubenboffler-Plankenspanker Alliance - had already made a decision that would change the destinies of the Beachies for ever.
"Enough of this shillyshallying", The Hat had suddenly exclaimed, splashing coffee everywhere, "there is only one way that those boys will ever attain true immortality and, much more importantly, that will see us wallowing in ill-gotten gains for the rest of our lives. And this is all we have to do. Now listen closely..."
When The Hat had finished outlining his outrageous plan to his attentive listeners, neither Von Schlaubenboffler nor the usually irritatingly verbose Landry could utter a word; so heinous, two-faced and [above all] preposterous was it..Landry, however, after a brief pause was the first to speak up:
Although not having fully grasped every twist, turn and nuance to Plankenspanker's audacious scheme, yet not wishing to let on his ignorance, the monocled and riding-crop toting 'Jerry' was quick to follow:
" Zat fool Gluff vill not know vot hit him!!!"
"Yes, and the beauty of it is" enthused the visibly hat wearing 'Hat' [in this case a black stetson]: "he'll think we're doing it to spite the rest of the band and make him rich!!!" [fiendish cackle]

Hat's cackling broke through the quiet and in a nearby pram, a young child was awakened by the noise. "Look here, see what you've done" the child's mother scolded Hat. "I've been desperately trying to keep my little Angus calm and quiet and all for naught thanks to the likes of you."

Hat turned in her direction and prepared to deliver a scathing reply but was stopped dead in his tracks. How could this possibly be? As unbelievable as it seemed, he found himself staring face to face with none other than... Gladys Glove, his bride-to-be of many moons ago before a certain follically challenged lead singer added her to his long list of spouses, number 19 to be precise. Glove had invited her home to peruse his collection of ancient wind instruments, showed her his shagbutt first and that was that...  

"Gladys Glove!" mused Hat as the memories (and the coffee he'd just spilt) came flooding back.
"Glettuce Gluff?" queried Von S, slapping his monocle against his thigh and peering through the leather loop of his riding crop.
Landry just giggled like the snivelling little pillock he was.
" that can't..." exclaimed the circa 300lb ex-circus dwarf who was Gladys Glove [nee Vishnagurtee], "Jack Plankenspanker??"
"'mon guys...uh..let's go get some burgers..lentil ..uh.. burgers or sumpin...." spluttered The Hat upon finally realizing what the effect that an arranged marriage [and similarly arranged divorce] to his protege could have on some people: " I er..thought you wuz uh someone else...".
Jeez, when he'd known her, he mused as they left the befuddled and increasingly hysterical sari beclad woman long behind them [shrieking such things as "How could you arrange such a marriage..I thought you loved me!!!" ]; she'd been a bit on the porky sure, but...but...

But back to the present....
Upon seeing off the retreating and butter besmeared Von S, My Glove [still suffering from the effects of the blow to his shiney crown from the pan] was the first to speak:
" mean...uh Jack...uh...what brings you here??"
Plankenspanker came straight to the point:
" Ya beard ...what's the story??"
" My beard??"
" Don't f#%k with me baby... the word is ya beard is involuntarilly retracting. And, as you of all people should know, no true practioner of the ancient art of TM can truelly attain Spertual Nervarner if their chins are exposed to th' elements boy!"
Glove was dumbfounded. Who had let on his appalling secret to the Hat?? Would he ever be able to attain Spertual Nervarner again?? before he had a chance to reply however, the festively Santa Claus type bobble hat wearing 'Hat' continued:
"Happy Christmas, My".
With these words, Plankenspanker produced from behind his back an amorphous package seasonally wrapped and proffered it to the bemused Glove. After contemplating it briefly, My inserted a finger into one of the many folds in the wrapping and ripped it open dexterously.
It was a plant. A large hairy one.
"Darn it, Hat, you know I don't smoke..." Glove began before catching sight of the label. "Read it for me, would you please, Jack? You know my reputation for illegitimacy."
Hat did the honours: "The plant you are now admiring is a very rare species with most unusual properties. Barba amoris chinshrubberii, the legendary BEARD OF LOVE, is a parasite of the human body. Attach it to any part thereof and within a few minutes it will have taken root. But be warned. Once entrenched it is impossible to remove. Not suitable for children under 3 years."
Glove surveyed the curious plant, taking care not to touch its leaves. Strange, it was almost as if it were recoiling from him. Just then Glove felt a tugging at the shoelace of his right shoe. At first he ignored it, as it was ever so slight, but within a few seconds it became much more pronounced.

Glove looked down and was rather startled to find a rather small emaciated ferret gnawing and pulling on his footwear closure device. He stared at the creature for a moment when the ferret reared up on it's hind legs and screamed "Just go about your business Glove, pay no mind to me unless you're prepared to deal with the inevitable sooner than you would like."

My reeled back in shock. He had no idea of what was going on, but felt a need to understand the ferret's warning.

"What do you mean Mr. Ferret? What do you mean by inevitable?"

The ferret continued "You need not call me Mr. Ferret when simply Arturo would suffice. And, of course by inevitable, I mean impossible to avoid or to prevent from happening."

My suddenly understood everything and was at peace with himself when Arturo went on to explain "This is all just a brief, strange detour from the main story and now it's time to move on."...
And indeed inconsequential as it may now seem [and indeed so it appeared to Glove as he turned his attention once more to The Hats' marvellous gift], the emaciated ferret Arturo's brief appearence was to have significant repercussions later on that very evening [specifically during the Spaghetti Slurp-o rama]. But we are getting ahead of ourselves...
" no circumstances allow contact with strawberry jam" Plankenspanker continued.
" eh..what?" grunted Glove.
" aint'cha bin listenin' " growled the TM Uberfuhrer, " ah said, "In no circumstan..."
"Alright, alright," Glove interjected, "in no circumstances. Now how about lunch? Pass me that French stick and I'll ransack the fridge for something sweet and sticky to spread on it. No need to open the door anyway, tee hee. Here, catch!"
The terrified Hat almost dropped the airborne jar of crushed and processed Fragaria x ananassa as it arced across the kitchen. Sweating profusely, he placed it gingerly on the table as far away from the weird plant as he could. Meanwhile, the plant seemed to be undergoing some kind of transformation; at all events, it suddenly let fly with a window-rattling belch - or was it a f@rt? Glove dropped the butter. Keep it together, MG, he thought, stay calm otherwise you won't be at your best for tonight's Slurp-o-rama.
Little did he know that nothing, NOTHING, would be of any help to him that evening, as - horror of horrors! - among the other competitors would be none other than Italy and The Rest of the World's Numero Uno Spaghetti slurper and former Beard of the year [1964-65 as well as runner up in 1967-68], 'Il Bardio Supremo' himself: Franco 'Gravy' Testeronio. A man not to be trifled with. Rumours had it indeed, that he had once half choked a man to death with a single whiff of his magnificent Parmesan [which he carried about with him at all times...yes, even in the bath].
Ignorant as he was as to the mans' reputation [and cheesey aroma], Glove would certainly not only have his hands full in trying to keep up with this behemoth of Pasta Lovers, but his mouth also.
Again, I digress.
"Well...aincha gonna try it on then?" demanded the Hat, indicating the gingery-coloured hairy plant.
Glove eyed the creepy plant across the table from him. Damn you, Hat, he thought to himself. He was in a quandary. Of course he wanted to get his beard (and his status) back but was this the way to go about it? (The Hat meanwhile was looking out of the window, contentedly munching a jam sandwich.) Still, if he refused, who knows what the heck kind of retribution the evil Jack had in store for him?
He inched his way round the kitchen table towards the plant, which seemed to be leering at him. Grabbing it with two hands, he was about to triumphantly attach it to his chin when Plankenspanker gave up gawping at the local talent and swung round from the window rather too quickly as huge globs of strawberry jam flew from his half-chewed sandwich... all over Glove's trousers! My let out a shriek and the plant, which had been millimetres from the arid landscape of his chin, slipped from his ketchup-sodden fingers and fell. Before Glove knew it, it had slid down his ragged sweatshirt and penetrated the fashionable tear in the left knee of his jam-bespattered pants. My, feverishly pulling at it for all he was worth, could feel its roots taking hold.
"Well...watcha gonna do now, neophyte of mine?" asked Plankenspanker, suppressing a guffaw.
Glove could only recoil with horror as the formerly benign ginger shrubbery, upon making contact with the sticky confiture began not only to sprout at an alarming rate from his left knee [upwards - not unlike a certain beanstalk], but also to wrap itself around [firstly] his trendy purple suede braided and tassled belted waist, then around his upper torso. ...He began to hyperventilate and sweating profusely could feel himself beginning to lose consciousness.
'This must be what it's like to smoke acid' thought the vehemently anti any kind of drugs what-so-ever role model for America's increasingly dissaffected youngsters to himself as he swooned into a dead faint.

The Tripped Out Dream Of My Glove
[ a momentary diversion into the surreal]

He was flying, of that much he was certain. The earth far below him seemed to resemble a vast bowl of spaghetti, but instead of the gravy and meatballs he normally associated with such a repast, there were great clods of strawberry jam. Banking sharply to the left in order to avoid certain collision with Dr Landry's rapidly approaching zeppelin, he was suddenly aware of another presence, Arturo, the emaciated ferret, was standing there upright and balancing himself on his left foot. "I am the bearer of sounds Mr. Glove", screeched the ferret. Arturo then handed a CD to My with his oddly articulated telescoping foreleg. (Arturo's foreleg, NOT My's, as if that needed to be clarified)

What sounds Arturo??? What sounds do you bear???

Glove nervously inspected his shoelaces, expecting a tugging, and yet there was none.

"TAKE THE CD, DAMN IT, I'M GETTING A CRAMP!!!", yelled Arturo, in a rather unpleasant tone.

My snatched it out of his claws and looked at the CD, not knowing exactly what to do with it. "Now what Arturo???"

"You can't possibly be that stupid. Play it. Just play it!!!"

Glove then placed the CD into his CD player when the ferret yelled one more time, "No!!!, not the CD player, put it in the microwave oven, 10 minutes at full power level*"

* please note that full power level can vary between 750 and 1250 watts depending on the manufacturer's specifications. Cooking times will need to be adjusted accordingly.

He set the controls for 10 minutes, at full level, and within a few seconds fumes started filling the room. My chuckled at first, finding it all a bit funny, until he detected the faint singing of Carlo performing "Mods Only Glow."

He then felt a bit uneasy. He realized that dealing with the vision of Landry's zeppelin was child's play compared to having to face Carlo's "Back to Microwave" campaign, a studio technique taught to him by Dragon (which basically entailed incinerating everything in sight) and elevated to a high art under the tutelage of Bry, sometimes aided by -- who doubled as an extension cable. Bruise's job was to sample the end-product as he was dispensable.

As Carlo's jolly tune leaked out of the microwave onto My's huarachi sandals, he couldn't help wondering whether he was awake (and the svelte Mustela putorius furo really was there) or still out for the count - and whether it mattered. He'd just decided it couldn't possibly matter to anyone when out of the blue The Hat seized him roughly and slung him over his shoulder.

"Let's not keep the taxi waiting, Glove. It's Slurp-o-rama time!"

Roused from his audio-culinary stupor, Glove was reminded of his arch-rival, Gravy Testeronio. Memories of last year's shootout at Spaghetti Junction flooded his senses like Ketchup from Hell. Who would be there to watch this time? The entire band? Landry? Von Schlaubenboffler? Angus and Gladys? Wolfgang Puck? Flim Flam McSwindle? Moose Bronston? Would he have to make a speech? In a rare flash of intelligent behaviour, he passed out again.

When he came to, Glove realized that instead of it being sometime in the early 1990's as he had presumably imagined, it was still only 1969, albeit towards the tail end. There was however a marked smell of burning whiskers as well as a sense of foreboding peril. Glancing down Glove realized that he was being roughly pushed along his very own garden path in a wheelbarrow...' curiouser and curiouser' he had time to think before relapsing back into his surreal dream...
The taxi glided to a halt in front of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel as Jack Plankenspanker and a particularly hairy representative of Beards Against Brains stepped out. They walked to the back of the vehicle and took a wheelbarrow from the boot. Brushing off the worst of the dirt, they wheeled it round the left-hand side to the back door, which was open by now. Reaching in, they pulled out the contents of the back seat which were still snoring in an agitated fashion. Sitting My in the wheelbarrow, they surveyed the fungus-ravaged teen idol, well past his best years, it was true - there'd never be another SNeER - but still good for a few million, enough to keep them and a whole bunch of folks rich for life. He was indeed a sight to behold. By now the parasitic plant had enveloped his entire head and was reaching in vain for something higher up. The man from Beards Against Brains beamed.

"Afro of the Year, don't you think, Jack?"

Meanwhile in his dream, Glove was losing altitude fast. The remains of Landry's zeppelin lay strewn about below him. Landry himself had bailed out just in time after the near-collision, ending up head first in a rancid clod of damson jam. Glove was dropping ballast as if his life depended on it. He'd never dropped as much as this before. And then something happened that usually happens in dreams when things can't possibly get any worse...
My gasped in horror. How on earth was he going to get out of this one?
He appeared to be seated at the head of an enormous dining table, surrounded on all sides by men [and a sprinkling of - mostly elderly - ladies] all of whom were sporting the most enormous beards he'd ever seen! Some were in fact positively biblical in their lengths and bushiness... But to make matters worse, he quickly realised, he could hardly see anything himself through this ginger-coloured furry substance directly in front of his very own eyes...what on EARTH was going on????

Last edited by Mr. K on Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:20 pm; edited 10 times in total

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)

Archive of Our Own--Stories by DJ Marlowe
Handel French Ouvertures Project
Mr. K
Mr. K
Posts : 1954
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The Beard of Love: A Satire Empty Re: The Beard of Love: A Satire

on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:42 pm
Chapter Two

To answer Glove's question, one need look no further than the introduction to that evenings programme ['The Beards Against Brains Annual Spaghetti Slurp-o-Rama for 1969'] written by none other than the late Bernard Shaw himself [as dictated to and related via the renowned Native American spiritual guide: Chief Tiddlee-Widdlee-Um-Pum-Pum]:

" which point, the reigning champion hands over the silver vittles to his [or her] successor with the words: Here ya go Champ. This is the sign for the new Beard of the Year to whip out his [or her] Parmesan [and other permitted similar sorts of cheese] grating apparatus and commence the grate. This [in accordance with the ruling laid down in 1932 by the Committee for Additional Seasoning] should last no longer than four minutes and thirty-five seconds. The next stage," continued the late inveterate Irish letter-writer after quickly implanting an abridged version of his 1895 play You Never Can Tell into the mind of an unsuspecting Chuck Berry, "the next stage, boiling the spaghetti, should adhere strictly to the instructions on the packet, not one second more or less than eight minutes approximately or ten for al dente [a name Glove thought he recognized]. Rinse the flaccid strands of pasta in cold water, drain in a colander until dry, using any method at all to speed up the drying process [where's Dragon when I need him? Glove wondered] but the spaghetti must be dry - could you put those last three words in italics please, Chief TWUPP? - and then heat again, adding a knob of butter. Then and only then are you permitted to empty the tomato sauce into a pan and warm gently. Umpires will be standing by with meatballs and seasoning as well as thermometers to ensure that the temperature of the tomato sauce is at SORST [Slurp-o-rama standard temperature, ed.]. Then tip the spaghetti onto your plate, pour on the sauce and let the slurping commence. Not one single spaghetto must escape unslurped, as I said in my early version of Arms and the Man."

"pour on the sauce and let the slurping commence.."
Scrutinizing these very words through the narrow gap he'd managed to extricate for himself through the annoyingly itchy mass of upwardly thrusting ginger fuzz that covered both eyes and face, Glove audibly groaned. He tried pinching himself with increasing viciousness in the vain hope that this was still part of that weird hallucinatory vision he'd been experiencing but a few moments ago...but alas... alas..nope.
It was all too real. No amount of meditation, no matter how transcendental; nor even mantra chanting was going to spare him from this. He was most definitely and inescapably REALLY in for it now...
Suddenly, and at a signal from the Master of Ceremonies for that evening [Burl Ives] the hall was plunged into darkness, save for a single spotlight that picked out the hapless Glove....

Glove took a deep breath and lowered his fuzzy head into the pile of spaghetti. His initial expectation of revulsion was quickly quelled when it became apparent that, for some odd reason, he wasn't slurping Bolognaise sauce.

With a newly found enthusiasm he dove into the pasta, but within several seconds it happened. His initial joy was shattered when a burning sensation numbed his palette. It was Fra Diavlo sauce, someone had substituted the fiery condiment for the Bolognaise sauce. He felt his temper rising. Who would have done this? Was it Hat? Was it Carlo? Was it McSwindle?

He couldn't gather his thoughts as the spicy sauce began to cloud his rationality. His primitive instincts took control of his better judgement.

Glove brushed the hair away from his face, covering his hands with Fra Diavlo sauce and suddenly sprinted across the stage towards Burl Ives and wrestled him to the floor...
Despite the obvious disadvantages of being a bespectacled sextugenarian slaphead himself, the tiny folkie was not about to be pinned [and potentially counted into submission] by the fiery breathed 'Beard of the Year' for 1969, no matter how many hits he'd co authored. Absolutely no way.
Utillizing a cunning trick he'd learned from the British Saturday afternoon Televisual wrestler Jackie Pallo, Ives was able to put his lack of height to advantage and manipulate himself into such a postion that he could grasp Glove firmly by the seat of his ragged tar-stained pants and finish him off with an off the top turnbuckle chair shot, a chinlock backbreaker, a double leg drop, a springboard backflip tornado, a wrist clutch michinoku driver II, a 3/4 facelock bulldog, a gory special into neckbreaker, an off the top turnbuckle corkscrew moonsault, a high-angle off the shoulder spinebuster slam, a spinning sit-out double underhook facebuster, a spinning modified side fireman's carry slam, an off the top rope double axe handle fist pound to head, a leg drop with chair, a springboard armbreaker, a sit-out wrist-clutch electric chair drop front slam, a powerbomb with kneeling pin, a suplex combo into spinning neckbreaker, a running one-shoulder crucifix powerbomb, a lung blower back breaker, a clothesline and Russian leg sweep combination, a sky lift double chickenwing, an inverted fireman's carry brainbuster, a double arm pumphandle into wheelbarrow driver, a cut-throat half nelson sleeper hold, a reverse electric chair and off the top turnbuckle bulldog combination or a cross knee backbreaker and off the top turnbuckle elbow drop combination - trouble is, he couldn't make up his mind which one. Not that it mattered - by then Glove had long wriggled out of Ives' less-than-firm grasp and upended the protesting American icon in the nearest cauldron of spaghetti, emptying into it an entire bottle of Fra Diavlo for good measure.

Spying a nearby microphone, Glove [knowing that time would be of the essence] ignoring the protests of the righteously outraged and sauce bespattered Ives, was quick to act.
"My fellow Americans" he intoned, placing his left hand over his chest in a gesture of heartfelt - yet vaguely inappropriate - patriotism;
"it would seem as if there may be here amongst us this very evening, a cruel and almost certainly mentally unbalanced person, so barbaric and indeed so villianously heinous as to quite deliberately sabotage my sauce [or 'gravy' as those of you of a wo- I mean... ahem.. Italian persuasion may call it]. Now I'm not one to bear a grudge, as many of you will surely know, bu-AAGH!!!"

There were certainly more than a few differing viewpoints amongst the 100 or so fellow slurpees gathered there that evening to celebrate their hard won freedom from some of the most oppresive [and in some cases downright draconian] anti-beard legislature anywhere in the so called 'Free World'; but all those priviledged enough to witness it could agree on one thing: the foreign object that struck Glove on his hairy left temple bore more than a passing resemblance to an enormous loaf of Italian bread.

It had been placed on the table as a gesture of tradition, after all, what would a bowl of spaghetti be if there wasn't some bread to sop up the sauce? Glove was taken off guard as the loaf made contact with his temple.

After the impact he was feeling rather dizzy and confused. When he became lucid, his eyes were stinging a bit from tiny amounts of Fra Diavlo sauce that had been dislodged from his facial hair with the crash of the baked goods. He also had a few sesame seeds under his eyelids.

When his vision was finally restored, he looked towards the attacker and screamed "Damn your eyes Archbishop Makarios III of the Greek Orthodox Church, just what the freaking gosh darn heck is wrong with you? What were you thinking? You could have easily got me in the larynx!!!"
The Greek/Cypriot Prelate rose angrily to his feet to remonstrate, [after all, wasn't he supposed to be the Guest of Honour?] but before he could get more than an angry "f#@k you pal" in, his neighbour, the aforementioned Frankie 'Gravy' Testeronio had also risen fuming to his feet and began to make his way towards the still rattled Glove. The scene was set....
" You-a gonna shaddapa ya face an' slurp a da pasta or what?" growled the stylishly navy-blue [wool worsted] pin-striped 3 piece suited [and impressively bellied] former Beard of the Year clenching his fists in a menacing fashion as he mounted the stage. Honestly, you come to these do's but once a year [excepting of course the many and frequent 'exhibition' Slurp-o-Ramas held almost daily in New York's Little Italy...but they surely don't count?] and waddya get? Some hairy friggin' freak denouncing all and sundry with allegations of gravy tampering...
"Yeah!!" joined in Burl Ives, his glintly little round silver-framed spectacles once again sauce-free, "this ain't no hootin' tootin' rootin' teddy-bears picnic Glove!"

This was no off-hand remark. Glove had on several occasions admitted to a lifelong obsession with the song "The Teddy Bears' Picnic". He had even recently filed a lawsuit (his 123rd) to recover millions of dollars of royalties for the new set of lyrics he had written "to make the %£*&%%£@ song a success". Armed with these new lyrics, he had worked for months and months in hundreds of studios to produce the ridiculous thrash metal version that put the teddy-bear industry out of business overnight. Why, there can't be a person alive who doesn't know where they were and what they were doing when that record sank without trace.

Meanwhile, Gravy Testeronio had grabbed Glove by his rampant personal shrubbery and was dunking his head rhythmically in the ceremonial bowl of gravy as Ives entertained the gravy-drenched gathering with a medley of his hits interspersed with some of his father's symphonies, accompanied by Archbishop Makarios on bouzouki and human beatbox.

It was then that the other Beachy Heads, who had been travelling all day from wherever they'd been travelling from, made their surreptitious entrance through a side door, clutching their instruments to them. Stealthily setting up in a darkened area of stage, they certainly cut an unlikely sight, especially the one with the sequinned turban [who was seemingly taking semi-squeaked orders from a gnomelike figure dressed to resemble a so-called roadey]. In fact, had there been any amongst the slurpees who could have been bothered to momentarily raise a gravy, parmesan cheese and spaghetti soaked beard from his [or her] bowl and pay close attention, it may even have been whispered that these otherwise stripe shirted and tight trousered figures were not in fact said Beachy Heads at all...but .... Landry Lured Lookalikes!!!!
As it was however, the guests that evening were either far too busy noisily slurping away at their bowls, or diverted otherwise by the unseemly four way brawl which had now developed between Glove, Ives, Testeronio and the Greek/Cypriot Gentleman of the Cloth.

"....and then, instead of going into 'Slurpin' Safari'," Landry continued gleefully to the attentive Anti Glove, producing what appeared to be a distinctly emaciated ferret shaped childrens' glove puppet from his roady's utility belt, "you shimmy over to that hairy buffoons table and whisper, whisper, whisper!!!"

It was just as the comely-shouldered yet ultimately psychotic psychiatrist was finishing giving his fiendish creation these last [but unfortunately barely audible] instructions that once more the houselights dimmed and the familiar opening bars of that Wilton/Glove classic "Slurper Girl" wafted across the stage. This was very naturally the Anti Gloves cue:
"AAAAAGHHHHH...EEEEEE.....AAAAAGHHHH...AAAAGHHHHH!!!!!" he screeched at the very top of his lungs in a laughably unsuccessful - yet not unseeming - attempt at a falsetto:

"Slurping pasta, slurping sauce,
Spilled some down my shirt of course
All licked off now by my slurper girl
(Slurper girl, my little slurper girl)
I have seen you on the floor
Licking sauce off the restaurant door
Waste not want not
Slurp on, slurper girl
(Slurper girl, slurper girl)


Why, there comes the Lonely Surfer
Skimming across my play-ee-ate,
He thinks I've finished, the f*** I have,
It's only half-past eight

So I burp 'From Me To You'
Do you like The Beatles too?
Burp along with me, my slurper girl..."

Before the Anti-Glove could rise to a climax with a final salvo of eardrum-demolishing falsetto screeches, a curious thing happened.
This is to say that the real Glove [as in My] who up until that point had been defending himself like a lion [which naturally included amongst other deplorable tactics, biting and scratching] suddenly gave up his struggle, returned dejectedly to his place at the top of the table and began to howl. Now this was no normal everyday howling no; rather it was the sound of an otherwise fully grown shrub resembling pop star in deep despair...
How had it come to this?? What had he ever done to anyone to deserve to be humiliated in this ungodly fashion.. beyond reason, beyond hope, even beyond the point of standing even the remotest chance of being nominated for that richly deserved Grammy nomination?
As if in answer, that weird talking ferret with the telescopic paws once more appeared from beneath the gravy stained tablecloth:

Dr Eugene Landry, amongst other arts, both noble and ig, had mastered ventriloquism many moons earlier in some trendy bendy 'Throw-Your-Voice-And -Reduce-Your-Inner Turmoil' weekend in Santa Fe [chaired by none other than Ms Shari Lee Lewis and her sheep-like puppet - but I forget its' name]. It should then surprise no-one that instead of there being a REAL talking ferret in this story [and wouldn't we all like to believe that they really do exist?], it had been Landry's perverse handiwork all along. His right hand [disguised of course as Arturo] visibly trembled with excitement as he prepared to deliver his [little deuce] coup-de grace:
"Glove," he squeaked, "your colleagues from the Beachy Heads have just arrived. After they have been announced, they will commandeer the microphone and fire you in public. There is one way to get out of this, Glove, but you are going to have to follow my orders to the letter. Are you listening, Glove?"
My stroked the reachable first few feet of his outlandish coiffure which was swaying gently in the wind inevitable at such pungent proceedings, and which was now whipping through the hall. The competitors' dilemma was evident: leave the room immediately and suffer loss of face (not to mention loss of prize) or stay and face medical difficulties. Most chose to stay - the steaks... er, stakes were too high.
My listened as Landry issued instructions in a thin piping voice.

Just then the tannoy burst into action - well actually it almost burst into flames but that's not our concern here.
"Bry Wilton", it announced through the general fustiness to the slurp-happy gathering.
"Carlo Giuseppe Wilton..."
"Dragon D. Dragon III..."
"Bruise Chormondley-Smythe..." This name was usually good for a few titters.
"-- --."
-- beamed. At long last he had been called by his full name. If only it were always so. At times he was addressed as - --, at others -- -, there had been times when it had been - and on one traumatic occasion even . He sighed contentedly, wrestling himself out of one half-nelson and into another, a rather amusing habit of his.
Landry stopped weaseling (or ferreting perhaps) as Bry strode purposefully towards the MC's microphone. Someone f@rted. Glove held his breath. I hope Landry knows what he's doing, he thought.

"Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen," Bry began...
But whoa there....hold on a sec my good buddies. You are quite probably thinking:
" I thought Bry Wilton [the real one as opposed to the Landry lured lookalike] was supposed to be sunning it up in Benidorm along with the rest of his musical compadres???" You are indeed in a state of what a certain curly haired folk singer once referred to way back in the 60's as 'mixed-up confusion?' How can this be...

Well let me try to explain:
First off, an apology to the "good buddies" who weren't thinking that. Be patient, friends, and we'll be back on track before you know it.
Now the rest of you listen good - if you were on holiday and you were tipped off that certain notorious ne'er-do-wells were about to engineer your demise as a popular beat combo by ridiculing you with a bunch of hapless impersonators (one in a sequinned turban, for crissakes!) and using that as an excuse to launch the solo career of your manically ambitious lead singer, what would you do?? (I know what I'd do - I'd say %#$% it, let's grab another pint and order some more cod and chips.)
As it happened, Landry got wind of the group's unexpected return from the Med and hastily put Plan B into operation. This was something the giggling shrink and his cohorts had been dreading. It was a highly risky venture, but it was the Alliance's only hope. As long as Glove followed instructions, there might be a way out for them all - maybe even a path strewn with bills of a massive denomination.
Landry settled down behind a nearby mountain of spaghetti as Bry launched into his carefully worded speech...
"I..ahem...uh...that is.. we uh..." he began, his gaze falling on both the increasingly restless audience [who, let's face it certainly weren't all that happy to have to divert their attention AGAIN from their busy sucking and slurping] and that odd hairy figure at the end of the main table whom seemed to be listening attentively to some kind of rodent. 'Funny...he seems kinda familiar', he thought to himself.
"Ah..we jus' flew in a coupla hours ago from uh..Benny-somewhere-or-other" he continued " ..we uh kinda got wind that um.."
Faltering for words, the composer of such well-worn and timeless classics as "In My Shed" and "I'll Get A Round [in]" decided to throw caution to the wind:
"They're a buncha fakes!!!" he yelled indicating towards the gloating and preening Anti Glove and his cohorts...

It was then that all hell broke loose. It began when Burl Ives, who had somehow got his not inconsiderable rear end jammed in a wayward bucket of offal, extracted himself and heaved menacingly in the direction of Landry and the smirking Anti-Glove. Seizing them by the ear, he marched them across the hall and (practice makes perfect) upended them in a cauldron of bubbling gravy, wedging them in place with wads of congealed tagliatelle left over from some stodgefest of years gone by.
Gravy Testeronio, warming to this show of violence, rounded ladle in hand on the remaining terrified members of the counterfeit Beachies who very sensibly fled.
Meanwhile, Spankenplanker and Von Schlaubenboffler, who all the time had been skulking in a corner waiting for an opportunity to sneak out, reared up in alarm as Archbishop Makarios advanced on them, muttering in ecclesiastical Greek and showering them with meatballs dipped in a fine yet spicy cherry tomato sauce. Panicking, they vaulted over a low wall, landing in the trough of festering pasta, gravy and offal used to fuel the ovens.
Across the room, a piercing howl issued from the owner of pants whose seat was singed beyond repair by the fiery breath of Dragon. The Beachies were doing their bit too. Bry, his gaze riveted by the strange beshrubbed creature sitting across from him at the main table, went to investigate. --, who thought he'd help, got a protesting Bruise in a half-nelson, tripped and propelled them both into a tub of grated cheese.
Bry, reaching his quarry, pulled apart the undergrowth and gasped. "Glove????...."

Knowing he could either wind up being held to ridicule for the rest of his days or [but very improbably] emerge from this debacle as the saviour of the day, the disgraced and grossly over-bewhiskered 'hero' of our story chose to follow the advice given to him mere moments earlier by the quack psychiatrist:

"I deny everything." He said.

At that exact moment a horrible, yet oddly comforting sensation, presented itself. A gnawing at his ankle. He knew immediately that Arturo, the emaciated ferret, had risen from the depths of "hell" (an overly dramatic means of describing a rather unsavoury western suburb of Los Angeles).

Arturo looked up and spoke in an annoyed tone of voice. "You've left yourself vulnerable and your only choice now is to speak with 'The Trivializer', and hope for redemption."

He completely understood the consequences of approaching The Trivializer, it would undoubtedly be a life altering experience.

He picked up the phone and rang up the operator.

"Hello, I hope you're having an adequate day, how may I help you?", the operator spake unto him.

"I need the number of The Trivializer with great urgency."

The operator gasped at the very thought of the request. "Do you know what you're about to do sir?"

He choked up for a moment and then weakly replied "Yes, I know."

The operator then replied "Dial 314159, then once the disconnect tone rings 17 times, press 7 (wait for the beep) then press 4 (wait for the third beep) and press 9."

"Then, if all goes well, you will have reached a certain Mr. Joseph Troistours, The Trivializer..."

To the incredulously watching Bry, it appeared as if his almost laughably over-befuzzed cousin had finally done what he had been threatening to do for some time now and completely flipped. What in darnations had happened to Glove since last they had met? Why was he talking to himself and who on earth was the Trivializer? Unless he was severely mistaken My had REALLY overdone it BIG TIME on the old Transcendental Meditation bit....

Meanwhile, back in Glove's version of reality, My paused and tried to recall what the operator had said. Dial 3415917, then the disconnect tone rings once, wait for the seven beeps, then wait for the 43 beeps - no, that wasn't it...
It took 49,238,673,254,904,562 permutations for Glove to get it right.
"Troistours", said a voice at the other end, "The Trivializer to you..."

"Ah, Mr Trivializer, I got your name from a glove puppet. Mr T, I'm covered in an aggressive foliage, two storeys of it. It all started when..."

"You think you've got problems", Troistours butted in, "when I woke up this morning, I had Epping Forest sprouting out me left ear'ole - and it was eating a sandwich. Don't come complaining to me about a spot of undergrowth. You think just because..."

Glove slammed the phone down. The Trivializer indeed... My wanted to hear how big his problems were - what he needed right now was a little sympathy. It wasn't that much to ask. He felt a tear run down his cheek. Or maybe it was some wayward sap. He didn't care. Perhaps he would feel happier if he were to "wind up working in a gas station". SNeER had met with incomprehension, the ones who had been his buddies since childhood had just been using him and having sucked him dry were now planning to dispose of him entirely.

It was just then that Glove realized that he was being watched...

My was well aware of the seemingly endless annoying tugging at his footwear closure device, but as he looked down he knew there was some other, more sinister force at work here.

Something was 'watching and waiting' (not the Moody Blues song) as My shook his leg violently in an attempt to dislodge Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, a domesticated polecat, typically an albino, bred for use in hunting rabbits or rats and often kept as a pet. The Latin name being Mustela Eversmanni.

Suddenly the sullen sedentary silence seemed to selectively subside from the sanctuary as the slithering snake of a somewhat familiar substantive character in this story slipped past the security sentries and slid silently southward and stopped abruptly at Glove's feet...
Naturally, there should be no prizes for guessing it was none other than a magical talking garden hose belonging to our old Kansan friend Al Bodine [the equestrian dentist]. Set on sprinkle, the green coloured pipe quickly piped up:
"Jump on my back Glove, we'll soon be flying, there's room on my hose for two..." [to the tune of Two Little Boys]
Needing no second bidding, the by now credulous for anything fuzzball straddled the rubbery garden accessory and in 2 seconds flat was airborne!!!!

As the hose and Glove gained altitude, My felt the pleasant rush of ice-cold water somewhere in the region of his personal bifurcation. Yet it felt warm to him. In fact he felt a warm, lambent feeling all over. Glove knew in his heart of hearts that this was a female hose and anyway it's about time for some romance in this saga. Glove knew he was falling in love. "What's your name?" he asked, his voice aquiver. "Rose", came the reply after a moment's coy hesitation. Rose the Hose, thought Glove. Even his hardened character could sense poetry in that name. As the sound of massed strings rose out of nowhere playing a Rolf Harris melody in that Mantovani style where each note runs sickeningly into the next, Glove threw up. He wasn't good with heights. As the two lovebirds entered a cloud and Mantovani and company swelled to a searing climax, a novel thought occured to the still vaguely nauseous Glove:
"What if I give up on the ol' music biz for a while and take up hosiery?" After all, he reasoned, he and his new found love would lack for nothing in terms of material objects; his royalties and stocks'n shares would see to that. Furthermore, there was a good chance that his fellow Beachy Heads would [in the fullness of time] come to realize that the money he'd just skimmed off their earnings would be put to good use, and that they might even be excused not buying him [yet another] wedding present.

The more he thought of it the more attractive this idea became. But alas, it was not to be.

My, foolish infatuated follically challenged latterday icon that he was, dropped down onto one knee to pop the question. Now as many of my readers will no doubt confirm, this is a hazardous venture at the best of times with the relevant knee and the remaining foot firmly ensconced on terra firma. Yet here we see a besotted Glove, thousands of feet up in the rarer reaches of the lower stratosphere, astride a simple garden hose not given to supporting the weight of a spaghetti-stuffed adult human handicapped by a monstrous coiffeur more likely to be encountered in the theatre of the absurd than in anything approaching everyday life... Well to cut a long story short, Glove toppled over and plummeted, for thousands of feet, saved only from a fate worse than coming second to Gravy Testeronio in the Spaghetti Slurp-O Rama by the shrubbery that enveloped him. Before he knew it, he was back in the same seat he had been sitting in minutes earlier. And there in front of him, sizing him up and wondering whether this was the same My he had hero-worshipped in the early sixties, was Bry, now joined by Bruise and --, still covered from head to foot in parmesan, as well as Dragon and Carlo. By the look on their faces, they meant business.
"My", began Bry, "I er that is to say we um..". Still sporting a cheap and rather tacky sombrero [bearing the legend 'Kiss me quick, Squeeze me Slowly'] he'd picked up from the Spanish resort mere hours earlier, Bry Wilton knew he'd have to choose his words carefully to avoid Glove's certain wrath. This was certainly not going to be easy.
" er... " Luckily for Bry, he was saved the embarrassment of having to publicly sack his erstwhile frontman by the timely intervention of one Burl Ives who at that very precise moment [and in a move reminiscent of Mick 'Not the Ears' McManus] double bounced off the ropes and gave his unaware victim [Glove] such a body-slam that even the watching Kendo Nagasaki [who always sported HIS beard inside his mask] had to gasp...
Glove lay on the floor winded. He emitted little pig like squeaks whilst he fought for breath:
" Eek...eek...eek..." He squealed.
Seizing his chance, Bry bent over to where he guessed the winded singers right ear ought to be and whispered:
"Now I'm only going to say this once, Glove. You're fired!!!! For levitating during recording sessions, levitating during meals, before and after sex... it's more than a down-to-earth gravy-train-hopping, theremin toting serious musician can take." Bry grabbed My by what he assumed was the singer's throat and applied pressure to where he guessed his windpipe ought to be. "What do you have to say in your defence, Glove??"
Out of the corner of his eye, Bry caught a glimpse of a tiny dot through the gaping hole Glove had made in the roof when crashing back to earth. Only the tiny dot weren't tiny anymore. A wildly flailing hose (still set to sprinkle) came hurtling through the roof and knocked them both out.

On stage, -- and Carlo were tuning up while Dragon seated himself at the drums and Bruise just stood there as he usually did, leering horribly.
As they lurched into a familiar surfing riff, Burl "Not the Groin" Ives vaulted onstage, struck a pose and burst into song:

"It's just my funny way of slurpin'
Yeah, my funny way of slurpin'
Your al dente spaghetti didn't bother me
It's just my funny way of slurpin'
I'm as stewed as I can be

"If you see me with a great big smile
At some slurpfest where the gravy runs wild
If the vino start to flow and my cheeks start to smart
Please don't think you heard me ****

"It's just my funny way of slurpin'
Yeah, my..."

At this point Ives vacated the stage fast amidst a barrage of meatballs and overripe tomatoes.
There were angry shouts.
"We want the Archbishop!"
"Yeah, sing us a song, Makarios!"

The Greek-Cypriot man of the cloth dropped his spoon, grabbed his bouzouki and adopted a stance familiar [nowadays that is] with fans of Heavy Metal favourites Saxon. "For those about to slurp... We salute You!!!" he screamed in Greek [alas], and struck the opening power chord of the yet-to-be recorded Demis Roussos classic 'Forever and Ever' [again, unfortunately, in Greek].
To say the crowd went wild would be an enormous overstatement. It scarcely responded even when the Archbishop slammed his instrument through Dragon's bass drum, trampled it, set the splintered remains on fire and attempted to perform an indelicate act with it. ****, he muttered (in Greek), I got the order wrong again, and plunged into the nearest tub of gravy to put himself out. The band pushed on stoically with their surfing riff. Makarios emerged smiling from the tub, brown and steaming yet extinguished, only to leap back in as a fire-belching Dragon relit him for molesting his kit.

Just then the umpire's bell rang. It was time. Gravy Testeronio and Kendo Nagazaki, festooned with spaghetti, peered at each other through the murk and downed spoons. The moment of truth had come...

Which was more than you could say for the still prone figures of Bry and My.
At this particular moment in fact, Rose the Hose was positioning herself to give Bry a darn good squirting as an act of futile retaliation for daring to sack the new man in her life - the once more [!!!] unconscious Glove.
And speaking of whom...we rejoin old fuzzy features once more in his bizarre dreamworld as he prepares to take to the air again. In dreams if not in real life, an intrepid balloonist he. Seeing that Landry's zeppelin had met a sticky end - literally - in a lake of damson jam, there was nothing for it but to inflate Landry himself. Whipping his trusty bicycle pump out of his trousers, Glove attached said appliance to the effeminate psychiatrist's nearest orifice and pumped for all he was worth, which, judging by the general tone of this tale, was not an awful lot. In time the hapless shrink was the size of a small whale and already drifting. A few more pumps should do it, muttered Glove. And indeed, in the shortest time the massively enlarged Landry threatened to take off vertically. My turned him on his back and stretched his braces/suspenders until they were long enough to accept passengers. Having settled himself comfortably astride the fork in Landry's braces, he gathered Rose the Hose in his arms (no mean feat in itself), unhitched the large sack full of a questionable substance he had attached to Landry's nose as ballast and off they sailed into, well... into some strange corner of Glove's mind actually. But let's have compassion on the poor bastard just for once and say it was the sunset.

Last edited by Mr. K on Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:49 am; edited 3 times in total

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)

Archive of Our Own--Stories by DJ Marlowe
Handel French Ouvertures Project
Mr. K
Mr. K
Posts : 1954
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The Beard of Love: A Satire Empty Re: The Beard of Love: A Satire

on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:44 pm
Chapter Three

"...Ever was the best of pals ol' chum!" said the figure seated at the end of his bed, when Glove finally awoke.
Goodness gracious... surely not... it couldn't be ...could it...?? Repeated bumps on the head aside, this must be stretching things just a little too far?
"Joe? Joe... Gargery?" he spluttered.
Faithful, pig-ignorant, yet ultimately dear old Joe, whom he'd repeatedly insulted, mocked and indeed pretended not to recognise, when his elder sisters' husband had paid that disastrous visit to his LA mansion a few months ago; "is it ... can it it really you?"
"What larks eh Moy?" beamed the strapping bumpkin happily at the bemused pop star, pulling on his clay pipe with a noisy but contended suck.
And then it all suddenly came flooding back to Glove: the attempted beard, the retraction thereof, the visit of Dr Landry and that vile creation of his, the broken mini-Bodine robot, the Hat and Von Schlaubenbofflers unexpected appearences, his shoelace, the emaciated ferret, that beastly Spaghetti Slurporama, Burl Ives, the Landry-lured Lookalikes, cousin Bry and Rose the goodness!! What could it all mean????
"Mrs Joe's makin' yer a noice Pork Poy Moy", went on his rustic brother in law, as if reading his mind, "Urzem say's it's the best fing for a multiple personality disorder or summink ol' pal..."
"OK, JG, pipe down, so to speak, you're giving me the pip."
"Moy" was not feeling up to small talk, even with this jovial yokel of an in-law. His mind drifted back to that fateful day in LA last year. But this time he remained conscious...

Suddenly the door flew open. More visitors??? Glove nearly soiled himself when he saw the crowd that came pouring into his private hospital room. Well, to start with, there were his "ex" bandmates and their musical confreres of shortly before, Ives and Makarios, then came Testeronio and Nagazaki, Landry, the Anti-Glove and fellow Lookalikes, even the Anti-Anti-Glove clanked into the room. The next glut to squeeze through the door were McSwindle, The Hat (wearing a topper), Schlaubenboffler, Arturo the ferret and - ye gods! - his ex-wife Gladys and little Angus. And if this were not enough, who should wind up the procession but the real Al Bodine, Moose Bronston, Evadne Boyce, Rolf Harris and, last but not least his future wife and handy garden appliance.

What's more, they were all carrying presents!!! If Glove hadn't wondered what it had all meant a moment ago, he was certainly wondering that now...

First up with a present, and planting a firm smacker on his [once more] smooth forehead was his ex-cleaning lady, Mrs Boyce:
"Here you go ducks" she cooed, handing the bemused singer a somewhat soft and lumpy parcel "I hope it fits!"
Undoing the string with undue haste [Glove just LOVED getting presents] he was somewhat taken aback to find a hand knitted pullover [obviously several sizes too large] bearing the epiphet 'TWAT' carefully embroidered in gold....
"Er... thanks", muttered My more to himself than to the giver of this vaguely insulting garment.
"OK, next." Glove's patience had run out. Actually, most of the patients in the entire hospital had run out when they saw this motley cavalcade descending on reception.

Next was Rolf Harris, who settled himself down in a corner with a Tesco's bag full of paint and brushes and did a rapid-fire sketch of the recuperating happily folically challenged Glove. Only he drew him with the shrubbery still rising treelike from his person. "Just for old time's sake, cobber", Rolf managed through a mouthful of ostrich steak, "May your didgeridoo more than my didgeridid."
Glove thought about this for a moment.
This time it was his ex, "Glettuce Gluff", who with a bawling Angus in tow, presented him with... a crocheted theremin.
"I know the Beachies have always wanted you to have one of these, right lads? A noiseless theremin. Their fans will be pleased."
Glove winced, a habit of his second only in frequency to losing consciousness.
Their fans, he repeated blankly to himself. What about my fans?

That was when Testeronio and Nagazaki approached the bed, walking close together and clutching something bulky behind their backs, to titters from the other visitors, some of whom were holding their noses. There was a gasp (from Glove) as the two champion spaghetti slurpers stepped aside and held out the [not quite fully] gutted remains of what had previously been a very large [and obviously violent] Boston Crab, still steaming and even now menacing in its aspect.
" Uh..." gasped Glove in disbelief as the masked wrestler and his Italian/American accomplice dumped the enormous crustacean on his lap. Alas, and to his horror the beast wasn't quite dead, as a huge horny claw suddenly shot out and grabbed him by the nose!
" Yarrrrooooo!!! Crikey!! Ouch!! you rotters!!!" he squawked, attempting to loosen the hold the crab had on his throbbing proboscis, "This blighter really hurts!!"
To the obvious mirth of everyone in the room, Glove attempted to struggle free from his bedding, but alas in doing so he discovered to his horror that he had been strapped in. What was the meaning of this? Was he a headcase? How much of all this had he imagined? Was the crab real? The dull throb of his nose told him it was. Meanwhile the miraculously revived crustacean had lost its grip on My's swollen snoot and got entangled in his generous helping of nasal hair (nature does play cruel tricks at times) and was now running around the room trying to find the door, hauling Glove's seemingly inexhaustible supply of nasal shrubbery behind it. In the shortest time friend and foe alike were lashed together in overfamiliar contact, resulting in fistfights, foxtrots and in one case a proposal of marriage. My struggled frantically with the straps as the Anti-Anti-Glove spontaneously broke into song, only to be viciously kicked to pieces by Makarios and McSwindle (no relation) who had been knotted together with a double-loop bowline. Just then the doctor breezed in. Surveying this scene of chaos, he realized prompt action was required. Throwing aside his stethoscope, he reached inside his coat and pulled out his copy of "The Complete Works Of Edgar Allen Poe."

He thumbed through the worn pages until he found the verse of interest. Then, in a very clear, impressive L. Ron Hubbard voice, he began his dissertation and thus he read:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately ferret, Arturo, a rather small emaciated mammal of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony non-bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth, Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, `Nevermore.'

And Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Laying down his trusty leather bound volume of Poe with a smirk, the good Doctor [who's real name was amazingly Richard Chamberlain... but relation] sauntered cooly, through the ongoing melee, and peered over his half-moon spectacles at the cowering [and obviously in some discomfort] Glove.
"The problem as I see it," he said, " is to ascertain where exactly this monstrous growth originates."
"The Thatch Point of My Glove?" suggested Burl Ives, helpfully.
"Exactly," said Dr Chamberlain.
Before the good Doctor could give Ives his sedative, Burl burst once more into song, accompanying himself with a spoon applied rhythmically and with vigour to Glove's already painfully swollen nose.

"It's been a long, long while
Since we've been strung out on Fra Diavlo
And there's no Arturo the emaciated ferret
Who can advise us on this and other matters
Through your personal shrubbery I hear
Only the distant burpings of Il Bardio Supremo
I guess this must be the thatch point of My Glove

"Early in the game when you broke me
Spaghetti in half
We shoulda walked off with the sauce
But we both didn't have the bottle
So we slurped awhile with Rolf Harris
And the crab and as push comes to shove
I'd say this must be the thatch point of My Glove

"No one ever sprinkled me the way you did
Or grated my Parmesan
How did Landry get that big?

"In life's lonely slurp-o-rama
Flatulence can let you down
And tho' no one's to blame
Glove is still the only twat in town
When it's Glove's last spaghetto one can only sing in falsetto
That this must be the thatch point of My Glove..."

It was as the vaguely homely [as opposed to homey] folkie hit the last note of his musical homage to My's thatch point, that suddenly Mrs Joe burst into the room carrying both her medicinal pork pie, and - ominously - 'The Tickler' [her thwacking stick].
"Whaats* all this then Mr Joe???" she bellowed at her sheepish husband, who was feverishly trying to pull his floppy yokel-style hat over his face in a futile attempt to conceal himself, "didn't oy say young master's nart s'posed ter be disturbed???"
[ * To rhyme with 'apple-cart' or similar]
"But..but.." returned her dolt of a partner: "Ouch! Ouch!"
"Don't yew be givin' me no ouch ouch Mr Joe" Mrs Joe replied, bringing 'The Tickler' down once more [but with noticeably more violence] on her long-suffering husbands head, "Oy's be askin' yews a question, baint oy?"

Dr Chamberlain, not understanding a word of what these bumpkins were on about, being from the Bronx himself, turned to My and asked, "That's an impressive drip infusion you've got there, Mr Glove", only to receive a hefty thwack across the temples by an irate Rose.
"Do you mind? I'm his fiancee, you great clod!!"
The conversation, such as it was, paused momentarily as Moose Bronston trotted between them and proceeded to dump at length. The Boston Crab, still wildly charging about looking for the exit, skidded to a halt in the generous pile produced by the palmate-antlered deer and expired. Meanwhile the Hat had somehow located a machete (in a hospital?!!) and was hacking a path through the unsavoury tangle of Glove's nasal hair which by now had enveloped everything in the room except Glove of course, the doctor and Mr and Mrs Joe. The periodic thump of The Tickler continued as the light faded and night began to fall.

Under Glove's bed, the beturbanned Anti-Glove had struck up an unlikely friendship with Evadne Boyce and they were now exchanging cigarette cards of famous footballers.
Across the room, McSwindle and Makarios, who had been congratulating each other on giving the Anti-Anti-Glove what for ("We sure fixed that little ****er, eh, Archbish?" "Yes my son, indeed he's well b*****ed!" ), were having a difference of opinion about the Greek Cypriot man of the cloth's right to the Three Privileges granted to Archbishops of Cyprus by the Byzantine emperor Zeno. Makarios, who was no match physically for the burly McSwindle, dived under the bed to avoid a series of uppercuts only to receive a knee in the groin from Evadne, who was in the process of swapping the entire Manchester United team (including George Best) for Stanley Matthews...
Suddenly, and as if by magic, or indeed dun-dee-dun-dun dah... FATE!!!
A card bearing the photographicular image of the great Robert 'Bobby' Charlton was wafted upwards. Up, up, up it went out of the reach of the Anti Gloves grasping sweaty right mitt and ...wafty waft .... down onto the bed of the unsuspecting patient.
Glancing down at young Bobby's unique side-parting, Glove was suddenly hit by a moment of divine revelation!!! This was the hairdo he'd been waiting for!!!! This was the look for him!!! It was all so simple! All he'd have to do was feign [relative] sanity and head out to the nearest comb shop as soon as opportunity would allow!!!

And.. as luck would have it, his chance would come sooner than either he, or indeed anyone could have imagined, as, by an astonishing plot twist, Patrick Duffy [presupposing his role as Bobby Ewing from 'Dallas'] dashed into the nasal hair-and assorted visitor-packed private hospital room; ignoring the protests from all around, and unfastened the befuddled Glove from his restraining bonds. Then, and [just as suddenly] swept out of the room with the wincyette pyjama'd crooner in his arms!!!
Still clutching his cigarette card of the as yet unknighted Charlton guardedly to his breast, Glove could only gasp in astonishment as the future 'Man From Atlantis' legged it through the hospital canteen and out into the balmy night air of downtown Los Angeles.
Duffy, still a relatively unknown actor at that point in his careeer, had but one destination: 'The Aspiring Thespians of Los Angeles Reperatory Theater' in the City of Angels' notorious Gay Quarter.
Mistaking Glove for a well known 'resting' Thesp, the foolish young future soap star was under strict orders from his room-mate [Lee Majors] to break into LA General and snatch "That Guy with all that nasal hair" [actually Charlton Heston] for his [Majors'] own forthcoming debut as a director; a play none other than Chekhov's " The Cherry Orchard."
Glove was thus due [and imminently] onstage to play the popular character ' Yermolai Alexeievitch Lopakhin.' .... and with NO rehearsal!!!!

The next hour was a nightmare for My. Whisked off to the theatre, he was unceremoniously stuffed into clothes three sizes too small and shoved into the wings. Here he was joined by Duffy, wearing clothes three sizes too big.

The light were dimmed. Duffy, who was playing Epikhodov, pushed Glove to the edge of the stage. My could see it was done up to look like a room in a house. There were real cherry-trees beyond an open window. And there was a rather large audience.
"Action", hissed the prompter. And what happened next was not quite as Chekhov intended. If there had been a script for that evening, it would have read something like this:

DUNYASHA comes in with a candle, followed by a quaking LOPAKHIN/GLOVE holding a book.

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. [Whispers]. What's my first line?

DUNYASHA. [Whispers back] The train's arrived, thank God. What's the time?

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. [Clearing his throat and almost soiling himself with fright. Oh, to be back on stage with the Beachies!] The train's arrived, thank God. What's the time?

DUNYASHA. It will soon be two o'clock. [Blows out candle] It is light already.

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. [Throwing caution to the wind and improvising] It's at platform three. [The prompter promptly reaches out of his box in full view of the audience and hands Glove the script. Glove peers at it in the poor light] How late was the train? Two hours at least. Yawns and stretches. I have made a godawful mess of it! I came here deliberately to meet them at the station, and then overstepped myself. [Peers at his script]. Overslept myself. It's a pity. You should've woken me.

DUNYASHA. I thought you'd gone away. [Listening] I think I hear them coming.

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. [Skipping half a page] I'm rich now, with loads of cash, but just think about it and look me over, and you'll find I'm still a twat down to the marrow of my bones. [Turns over the pages of his book] Here I've been reading this book by Andrew Doe but I understood nothing of it. I read and fell asleep. [Pause.]

DUNYASHA. The dogs didn't sleep all night; they know that they're coming.

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. [Shrugging] **** it.

DUNYASHA. My hands are shaking. I shall faint.

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. Get a grip, girl.

EPIKHODOV/DUFFY. [Enters with a bunch of flowers, wearing a huge jacket and ridiculously polished boots which squeak audibly. He drops the flowers and accidentally squashes them] The gardener sent these; he says they have to go in the dining-room. [Gives the tattered remains of the bouquet to DUNYASHA.]

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. Bring me some nosh.

DUNYASHA. [Considering what else she would like to do other than acting] Very well. [Exit.]

EPIKHODOV/DUFFY. [Gradually losing the plot in more ways than one]There's a bit of a frost this morning - three degrees, and the cherry-trees are all in flower. I cannot approve of our climate. [Sighs] I simply cannot. Our climate is indisposed to favour us even this once. And, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, allow me to say to you that I bought myself some of them harajuku shoes a couple of days back, and I do assure you that they squeak like a m**********r. What shall I put on them?

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. **** off. You bore me.

EPIKHODOV/DUFFY. Something unpleasant befalls me every day. But I don't complain; I'm used to it, and I can smile. [DUNYASHA enters and brings LOPAKHIN/GLOVE some kvass. LOPAKHIN/GLOVE has no idea what it is (he's not the only one) and puts it in his pocket] I shall **** off. [Knocks over a chair] There. . . . [Triumphantly] There, you see, if I may use the word, what circumstances I am in, if I may say so meself. It is even bloody wonderful. [Exit.]
DUNYASHA. I should confess to you, Ermolai Alexeyevitch. Epikhodov has proposed to me!

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. Sheez! What a wimp!

DUNYASHA. I don't know what to do about it. He's a nice young fella, but every now and again, when he begins talking, you can't understand a bleedin' word he's saying. I think I like him. He's madly in love with me. He's an unlucky SOAB; every day something happens. We tease him about it. They call him....

[LOPAKHIN/GLOVE lets fly with a stupendous belch]

DUNYASHA. They're coming! What's the matter with me? I'm cold all over.

LOPAKHIN/GLOVE. Isn't there any more crumpet in this show?

DUNYASHA. [Dying to get offstage away from this idiot] I shall faint in a minute... Oh, I'm fainting!

Carriages are heard driving up to the house. DUNYASHA leaves quickly, dragging a hyperventilating LOPAKHIN/GLOVE behind her.

Well... and without wishing to put too fine a point on it, the reviews the following morning were simply dreadful. So appallingly bad were they in fact, that neither Duffy [as a promising young actor] nor indeed Lee Majors [at that point, a budding director for both Stage and Screen] were ever taken all that seriously ever again. Which was a shame really, because it had, up until that evening, been a lifelong ambition of the future Six Million Dollar Man to not only adapt and design, but also star in and direct his very own version of 'Finnegans Wake.'

But anyhow, getting back once more to our [short] story; having manfully struggled through his challenging role as the former peasant Lopakhin, and finding the story both far too tedious and Russian for his liking, My Glove [still dressed in his stage costume and clutching his Bobby Charlton cigarette card] was quick to make for the exits once the curtain finally came down. His goal was simple: to try to find somewhere in this somewhat effeminate neighborhood where he might purchase a comb, and thus achieve his desired new look. Which was not going to prove as easy as he thought.

My spied a corner shop and strode in purposefully. The proprietor, a regular theatregoer as fate would have it, recognized the hapless Glove. Seizing by his collar and the seat of his pants, he dragged him to the door and upended him in the nearest dustbin.
Then Glove nearly jumped out of his skin (quite a feat when you're upside down). For cowering beneath him in that same bin were Patrick Duffy and Lee Majors! And they were both dressed in Duffy's grossly oversized stage outfit. The mob outside the theatre had grown so ugly that Majors, afraid of being lynched, had been forced to secrete himself in Patrick's trousers to make good his getaway. Naturally no-one paid even the slightest attention to Duffy.
Glove, sans comb and still clutching Sir Bobby, was the first to speak...
Just then everything went dark. No, Glove hadn't lost consciousness again. Duffy and Majors noticed it too. It was as if a huge object had just blotted out the sky. They looked up (down in Glove's case) and were astonished to see a - Glove racked his brains but there was simply no better word for it - nubile dirigible drifting past, emitting ultrasonic squeaks. And there, perched precariously in the passenger department, were Evadne and the Anti-Glove, still swapping cigarette cards...
"If you haven't got Charlton, then it's no deal" came an all-too-familiar [to Glove anyway] voice, belonging to the Anti-Glove.
"I don't know what's 'appened to 'im Anti" replied the disembodied voice of My's former cleaner, "I could swear I 'ad it a minute ago..."Over the dirigible's tannoy system, a third voice [belonging to the inflated doctor himself] was then heard to pipe up:
"Attention approaching...prepare to land...I repeat target approaching..."

Swapping glances with each other, although unbeknownst to the alarmed pop idol on top of them, Majors and Duffy [who were both under the mistaken impression that they were being squashed by the hairy nostrilled NRA supremo Charlton 'Chuck' Heston] were quick to repond:
"He's in here!!!" They yelled in unision.. "He's sitting on us!!!"
"Excellent!!" squeaked the Landry-Like Balloon..."prepare to disembark!"

As we have seen earlier, albeit in one of Glove's frequent hallucinatory episodes, Dr Landry possessed [in his rectal passage] a device similar to a valve, allowing for both automatic [ie self] and manual assisted inflation. Resorting to the automatic method [which was less physically painful], and with a sound almost rasberry-like in its resonance, the quack trick cyclist deflated himself, whilst the Anti-Glove [for good measure] hurled the blimp's anchor from the gondola window. Which [to add yet more insult to injury] struck Glove on his already much-abused crown as he emerged from the trash can in order to make good his escape.
"Gnnn!!" he grunted, before once more blacking out.

The Return of the Tripped Out Dream of My Glove

He was in Bry's custom built and oversized cat litter tray, filling one whole compartment of the spacious and billowing tenth-rate custom built and oversized cat litter tray liner Bry called home. The big cats were restless tonight. (Big cats? Big litter tray, big cats, stupid!) The leopards were in a particularly foul mood. They had ransacked Bry's home studio in search of monkeys, birds, fish, reedbucks and wild pigs - even a snack of beetles would have been something - and found nothing, not even a measly Thomson's gazelle. My hoped none of them had developed a taste for human flesh. Stepping gingerly over two lions amorously engaged, he headed briskly in the direction of the bathroom. He had been drinking beer for nearly two days non-stop and his bladder was beginning to feel the strain. He tried the door. Locked! Then he realized it was Tuesday. Bry's bath night! Blast! There was nothing for it. Spying a large defenceless potted plant, a rare species from the Himalayas, Glove unzipped his blue denim policeman type shorts and aimed his shrivelled member at the foliage. However, hallucinatory visions do not often provide for such 'acts of nature' without at least something psychedelic happening; which in this case turned out to be that instead of a relatively harmless potted plant becoming the beneficiary of the intended stream of wee-wee, the greenery 'morphed' bizarrely into an oversized effigy of the Mahareeshi sculpted from a substance that looked suspiciously like the delicious sponge trifle Glove's mum used to make. My sniffed the air. "Sherry", he muttered at a passing zebra, zipping himself up and pulling out of his back pocket a spoon liberated from the Spaghetti Slurp-O Rama. Being a trifle peckish, he tucked in without further ado. "Mmmmm!" he managed through a mouthful of custard and strawberry jam. It was yummy. The whipped cream wasn't bad either. If only Gladys had made him such desserts instead of baked banana skins day in day out, their marriage might have survived. It was then that the Mahareeshi spoke: "Why haven't you written a song about me, you levitating fool?" Glove leapt several feet into the air, showering a nearby pride of lions with his current oversized mouthful of fruit and jelly. "M-m-m-m-mahareeshi" he began, but even in his fright he couldn't resist at least one more scrumptious mouthful of sherry trifle. And another... Until, well, he had eaten the malpractising guru entirely. He was just wiping the smile on his face when the bathroom door opened and Bry appeared. Only... only, now Glove truly feared for his sanity as he watched open-mouthed the following scene unfold...

Bry was on the Oche.... He was obviously aiming for double top to clinch the match, and thus the 1969 Embassy World Title for a record 14th time. Darts in one hand and pint of Double Diamond in the other, the crowd was now hushed as the composer of such non-darts related 'hits' as 'The Warmth of the Bun' [about an overly cooked Danish] took a deep breath and launched his projectile towards the board.
However, in mid-flight, the gaily flighted missile suddenly changed course, became decidely custard pie like in both shape and density and was hurtling in HIS direction!!!!!!!!
It was obvious what was happening....
This lunatic story had now fallen into the hands of a mad baker out for doughnut dare-devilry inspired japery!!!! But just who could it be????????? And, more importantly why?????

If Glove had had a decent education instead of constantly skiving so that he could spend all day on his front lawn indulging his childhood passion - throwing turds at passers-by - he might have discovered what was afoot. And besides anatomy, he might also have uncovered The Mystery of the Dart That Turned Into a Custard Pie. Ignorant twat. He had never read any of the classics. Keats meant nothing to him - he'd never even seen a bleedin' keat. Nor did Kipling - not that he had the patience to kipple. If he had pored over the great books, instead of over cheap magazines, he might have realized in time that only one man could have engineered that feat - not only that, but that that one man had to have been dead to do it. The man in question was of course George Bernard Shaw, who after having been "a cannibal for twenty-five years" had gone seriously veggie. Aided by the mediumistic hi-jinks of a certain unmentionable chief of the Tewakona tribe, Shaw had averted the dangers inherent in a pointed projectile to his fellow members of the animal kingdom by turning it into the acme of cordon-bleu vegetarianism and familiar film requisite, the custard pie.

No. Glove had a far more logical explanation, at least The Hat thought so...

Ah...The Hat...
Now some folks thought he looked a bit like Zubin Mehta....
and truth be told, he did a bit.
Anyhow, as the yellow-ish [but mottled with brown specks of cinnamon] confection came hurtling towards him, Glove had time to reflect, albeit in a hallucanogenic manner, on things of a bakery related nature. Perhaps it was inevitable that after ingesting an entire Swami [soaked in sherry], come-uppance of this sort was inevitable. Whilst he may have preferred to be struck by, say a sausage roll or even a slice of fruit-cake, and the custard would be sure to leave a gloopy mess down his cheeks, surely it was better a fate than to receive a Black Forest gateau full into his otherwise pristine features?

Before we continue, the question on a whole bunch of Glove scholars' lips, and a major issue that would trouble many eastern mystics for years to come, is "What's an Oche? Bry was on it?? Sounds psychedelic, man."

To cut a long story short, the Oche is the line you have to stand behind when thowing your darts. Its origins? Well, to begin with, you pronounce Oche as if it were saying 'ockey, as in "jolly 'ockeysticks". There have been attempts from time to time to relate it to an Old French word, ochen, meaning to cut a deep notch in something, though the darts connection is obscure to say the least. Except perhaps to cut a deep notch in your opponent's reputation (or wallet). Hoggins line has been cited as another possible origin, Christ knows why. In actual fact, it was spelt hockey from the 1930s until the late '70s when education went downhill and everyone started dropping aitches all over the place and the King's English counted for nothing (to say nothing of the Queen's English). [Stop rambling and get back to the storyline! Ed.]

The custard pie, which had been heading at speed towards an increasingly agitated Glove, swerved off course and hit Bry full in the face. Putting down his baton, Zubin Mehta, Bry's contestant for the title, knew he'd have to produce something extraordinary out of The Hat in order to pull off the sensation of the year [darts Moon landings would probably strike most people as being slightly more significant?]. Reaching into his plastic Londis Supermarket carrier bag, the respected Conductor/Denizen of the Oche was quick to whip out some macaroons. Stuffing two of these delicious biscuit-like cakes into his cheeks in a hamsterlike fashion, his next move caught Custardy Bry completely off guard.

Utilizing both animal stealth and his overly-stuffed cheeks, Mehta proceeded to bamboozle not only his competitor [and let's not forget.. reigning champ], but virtually everyone present that night at The Crucible in the charming Yorkestrian hamlet of Sheffield. How he did it is still talked about today in fact; but needless to say , it was all over before the still hallucinating Glove had time to register the full significance [yet alone import]....

And speaking of whom... Glove, realizing that the bathroom was unoccupied - well, by humans anyway - sauntered in and was about to go about some long-awaited business when he saw, lying there on a glass shelf, the very item he had gone off in search of following the debacle of The Cherry Orchard (he shuddered at the memory) - to wit, a shiny new ivory comb! My fumbled in his back pocket and eventually retrieved his cigarette card, now slightly crumpled and smelling of sherry, emblazoned with the follically challenged image of Bobby Charlton. Wiping the green gunge off the mirror and sweeping a family of cockroaches off the shelf, he placed the 1966 European Footballer of the Year upright before him and picked up the comb. He gazed into the mirror for a while. God, he was a handsome bugger! It took a little longer to realized that it wasn't himself he was looking at, but someone standing behind him. Someone with an evil grin slowly breaking over his face. Someone clutching a machete, fingers tightening...
Just as his would-be assailant was raising his lethal instrument to strike the petrified Glove, Dennis Law and his cake-loathing team-mate, Brian Kidd happened to materialize from out of nowhere in full Man United [home] strip. "Hoots mon Jimmy" began Law, his thick Highlsnds brogue all but inpenetrable to the bewildered Glove and his machete wielding potential assassin, "Och aye the noo..."
Being wholly unfamiliar with the European Cup winning 'Red Devils' team of 1968 [or indeed any so-called 'Soccer' teams whatsoever], Glove failed to recognize the significance of the dreamlike manifestation before him. Indeed, it was only the dramatic appearance of Mr Charlton himself, his immediately recognizable head [with 'side parting' still miraculously intact] emerging 'Apocalypse Now' style from Bry's toilet bowl that finally caused the 'penny to drop'. For wedged firmly in the corner of Bobby's mouth was the biggest spliff My had ever seen. And cunningly constructed it was too. The roach was the cardboard tube from a used toilet roll; the joint itself consisted of layer upon wound layer of three-ply toilet paper of a superior type decorated with tendrils and other Art Nouveau motifs.
Charlton's face was a picture of serenity. His mind, however, was running riot - this stuff was opiated. The England captain was having horrible hallucinations - he imagined he was being forced to eat spaghetti in a crazy competition with rules drawn up by a dead bloke and presided over by a folk singer, aided and abetted by some nut from Cyprus. An underfed ferret was yelling at him in one ear, while his other ear was being filled with gravy out of a bicycle pump by an even crazier-looking geezer wearing a turban!
Bobby wanted out, and pronto. So back down the toilet he went, leaving the spliff balancing on the seat. Glove eyed it suspiciously. Alas! Before he could come to a decision, Zubin Mehta threw a thirteen, a seven and a double nineteen to win, beating Bry and the Red Devils and forcing Brian Kidd to eat cake...

Suddenly, and most unexpectedly really, Glove came to. Images of a grimacing Kidd eating an entire Madeira in one enormous gulp kind of went 'pop!' He was back once again on Terra Firma.
Not only that, but to all intents and purposes he was sitting in his very own Parker Knoll recliner, and apparently watching some dumbass television show featuring one of his all-time least favourite actors Burl [Big Daddy] Ives - and what would appear to be some kind of emaciated ferret-like glove puppet.
"...haw haw.." yucked Ives unconvincingly, "yew puttin' me on boy??"
"On the contrary" replied the ferret in a laughably false squeak, "unless Glove hands over his publishing and all future royalties, I'm gonna grass him up big time to Bry and the guys!!"
Before Ives could reply to this bombshell however, and thus cause the incredulous Glove to once more relapse into shock, an 'ad break' rudely intervened:
"Do You suffer from unwanted and embarrassing gas?"

Glove's ears pricked up immediately. Now here was an ad he could relate to! As if to drive the point home, our hero let fly there and then with a prodigious blast of probably unwanted and most definitely embarrassing gas, shattering a window and weakening the structure of his Parker Knoll.

"You do?" the voice over continued. "Well just lay off the ****ing beans, buddy! Or buy this cork for a mere ten dollars! Guaranteed to last a lifetime of flatulence... Pop into the offending orifice prior to important social occasions (except f@rting contests) and hold on tight as you ascend post haste into the highest social echelons."

Reaching for a dictionary with one hand and fiddling around in his left nostril with the other, Glove made a decision that would change the course of popular music forever. Yes, he would finish SNeER!!! Those other bastard Beachies were just going to have to lump it. This wasn't just some run-of-the mill next step in some run-of-the-mill career, oh no! The whole history of art was at stake! Exhilarated beyond belief, he let fly with another triumphant salvo and the Parker Knoll gave way beneath him.
This was actually a highly fortutious accident, as [cunningly hidden] directly beneath the luxury jointed stool were none other than the glove-puppeted Landry, The Anti-Glove, Ives and [flown in especially from Manchester England] Bobby Charltons' hairdresser [Trevor]. The plan had been to decieve the pop star relaxing directly above them in his recliner by showing him [via a remote feed] the somewhat doctored 'Crazy World of Burl Ives and the Puppets of North Inglewood' documentary television show. Now however the boot was firmly on the other foot as the scheming gang of swindlers struggled beneath the dead weight of the chair and My Glove [not to mention his noxious emissions].

Glove, whose attention had been drawn to these interlopers by the sight of a flailing arm with a mustelid puppet (probably not of North Inglewood) hanging off the end of it, slowly lifted himself up from his collapsed recliner and sat down again - hard. There was a chorus of gasps and a cri de coeur from Trevor.
"What the ****'s going on, Eugene?"
"Stop wingeing, Trevor. I'm paying you enough, aren't I?"
"Yeah, shaddap, Trevvie", added a seriously squashed Burl Ives, "and for God's sake do something about Bobby's ridiculous hairstyle before it becomes the rage among idiots like Glove. What a prat."
The Anti-Gove hummed a popular tune.
Unconcerned, My reached for the phone and dialled the number of West Ferret Studios. It was time to get SNeER back on the road.
"Hallo, is that...? Oh, it's you, Bruise. I suppose you'll have to do. Has that crate of theremins arrived yet? Book the studio for the rest of the day, you ugly bugger, and tell the others to stand by. And put the kettle on. [Cue in a trumpet fanfare] For this afternoon we shall make musical history. In the words of Dennis Law, och aye the noo."

Last edited by Mr. K on Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:24 pm; edited 6 times in total

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)

Archive of Our Own--Stories by DJ Marlowe
Handel French Ouvertures Project
Mr. K
Mr. K
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The Beard of Love: A Satire Empty Re: The Beard of Love: A Satire

on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:45 pm
Chapter Four

SnEer; A Potted History [1966-1969]

To many Beachy Head aficianados, the [best] 'lost' classic SnEer has come to represent something of an Un Holy Grail [at least for literally dozens of - primarily - Glove enthusiasts]. Containing as it does such legendary titles as 'I Like to Eat Worms' and ' Gab-in-a-Sense' [about the great Blues 'shouter' Gab Galloway, author of the beloved 30's classic 'Moanie the Whinger'], Glove thought he was onto a certain winner when he presented the returning [from Butlins Holiday Camp, Minehead, England] Beachies with demo tapes of his Magnum Opus in the summer of 1966.
Immediately recognising that his compatriot had broken cardinal rule Number One, and had indeed been f%#king with the legendary formula, Bry had been quick to point out to the expectant Glove that the regular record buying public may very well balk at forking out their hard earned dollars for a gramaphone record containing such controversial lines as "Who Broke My Ironing Board?" and "Over and Over The Blow Flies Lay Eggs on my Garbage."
But what upset them the most and made them fear for even their hard-core fan base was the inclusion of a suite inspired by Glove's ecstatic visions of Bry's bathroom, more particularly his toilet. Its four movements were entitled Symphony of Wind, Bogbrush Bagatelle, Flushed with Pride, and, regrettably, Threnody for a Lost T**d.
Yes, the Bathroom Suite had to go.
Another thing that irked them was that Glove insisted they all wear toupees during the vocal recording sessions, even though most of them had hair, and sing his silly and mostly monosyllabic lyrics through their noses. Not only that, they were to act out what they were singing, with much exaggerated gesticulating and grimacing - even though this was an audio recording. And to their complaint that there were 18 theremins and a maximum of 8 people in the studio at any one time, My's retort was "Ever heard of overdubbing?"
SnEer, or SNeER, or even sNEEr - it didn't matter that much - was dOoMeD from the StARt. The bits that did eventually leak out were undiluted sh*t - and the critics panned it deservedly:

"History will show that SnEer, whilst it would certainly have provoked some raised eyebrows amongst the record buyers of the time [what with it's over reliance on the Theremin as a lead instrument amongst other conceits] was probably wisely 'shelved...'"
Nick Sussex [NME June 1972]

"Although it certainly had it's moments, most of them were before the tapes started rolling"
Jan Wiener [ Rolling Stone 1977]

and perhaps [memorably] the most damning of all [from Glove's own Mother in an aside to Graham Nash]:
"It really wasn't all that terribly good was it?" [as reported by 'The Nash Monthly' in its second - and alas last - issue in February 1981]

One of the recurring criticisms of Gloves' unreleased Meisterwerk, and one that even Glove himself [albeit unofficially and very grudgingly] acknowledged is that it manifestly fails to achieve any cohesiveness and appears [at least to most casual listeners] as little more than a hodge-podge of half-baked themes swathed in Theremin tedium.
["...Yeah, but if you try an' print that Buddy, I'll sue yer f#$in'ass off...Dig?"
Gloves' retort when being asked [at a 1987 record signing] if the rumours about SnEeR being turned down by 'Das Kapital' records on the grounds that it was 'frankly worthless trash' were in fact true.]

One must remember however, that given the context of the times, and Glove's almost slavelike devotion to TM, SnEeR is really no more unsuccessful in attempting the unrealisable than say Elvis Presleys' "Girls, Girls, Girls" soundtrack album, or indeed virtually anything by Roger Whittaker [with the exception of, perhaps, one or two of his earlier Schlager lps].

Moreover, should Glove really be alone in being asked to shoulder the blame for this monstrousity? One must not discount the turgid contributions of his co-lyricist [the former Assistant Park Keeper from Redondo Beach] Terry 'The Clod' Mazurkist.
Was it not in fact 'The Clod' himself who came up with the infamous recurring couplet [in the Bathroom Suite]:

"Lavat'ry cleaner/ scrub please, my Khazi"

Mazurkist, as is now common knowledge, was not wholly averse to lining the gusset of his Y-Fronts with 'Brasso' during his lyric-writing sessions with Glove. Again, this being the mid/late 1960's there was an anything goes attitude prevalent, and public feeling towards bizarre behaviour of this sort would have been far less critical than is the case these days perhaps?
A lesser known fact however, and one that has only come to light recently, is that both Mazurkist and Glove shared a common interest in getting laid (though not by each other).

Back to the music.
It might be pertinent at this juncture to check out the tracks that were to have comprised SnEeR; whether anyone gives a monkey's **** is another matter. Originally planned as a single LP, the last minute inclusion of a disco melody at Glove's insistence brought a change in plan (and puts Glove in the unlikely position of having invented disco).

This, to all intents and purposes, was the intended track list:

Side One
Burping For World Peace (5'23")
I Like To Eat Worms (3'56")
Gab-In-A-Sense (9'06")
Side Two
The Bathroom Suite
1) Symphony Of Wind (0'36")
2) Bogbrush Bagatelle (2'21")
3) Flushed With Pride (6'08")
4) Threnody For A Lost Turd (20'12")
Side Three
Uncle Vanya Meets Roger Whittaker Down The Bridport Co-Op (0'01")*
Get Me My Planispheric Astrolabe, Quick (8'55")
[special guest: Boyd Beaver on kazoo]
I Like To Eat Worms (Version For 18 Theremins) (11'10")
Side Four
Burping For World Peace (Disco Version) (29'03")

*a throwback to Glove's Chekhov period
Down the years of course, certain fragments of the scrapped long player were cunningly utilized, the most notable being 1978's Blight Album which contained a good 4.3 seconds worth of "Gab-in-a-Sense's" outro [conversely employed as the intro] during "Lady Landry".

Glove's [up until now] one and only solo effort, the 1989 Looking Bleak with Glove is also notable for its extensive use of the coda to "Uncle Vanya Meets Roger Whittaker Down The Bridport Co-Op", all 0.0000364 seconds of it. By sheer coincidence - isn't life a miracle at times! - this was exactly the longest period of time My had ever managed to levitate. He'd worked his way up to this figure gradually - "one little nanosecond at a time now", to quote another Glove classic - and was now in the process of teaching his skills to "The Clod", not least in an effort to get the Y-fronted lyricist to kick his Brasso habit. Why, he even planned to found a School of RDL. RDL? Random Dental Levitation, a mind cleansing phenomenon revealed to him by Al Bodine, equestrian dentist of repute, while they were both on laughing gas.
"All it requires", Bodine assured him between fits of the giggles, "is for someone - you for example - to lie face down on the kitchen table, you know, the way you often do. Then somebody else - me for example - suddenly pulls the table away. The next step is that you briefly hover before crashing teeth first onto the stone floor, scattering bicuspids everywhere. Then we make an appointment to repair the damage and I charge you an exorbitant fee, plus levitation tuition costs."
"&%^$ off," said Glove.

Before we return to the levitating leviathan of pop, and his imminent departure to set to work once again on his yet-to-be cruelly rejected opus, a quick note would perhaps be in order vis a vis 'The Clod', and what became of him in the years immediately following.
Realizing that he had a way with words [and 'Brasso'], the Ex-Parkie applied himself shortly thereafter to a full time, yet non-supervisory position in Heinz's Alphabetti Spaghetti canning factory just outside Columbus, Ohio.
Landing himself in hot water for filling the cans he was responsible for, with such potentially offensive letters as 'C' 'K' 'F' and 'U' exclusively, Mazurkist was soon to be out on his ear, and once more seeking suitable employment. And that being said, job opportunities for aspiring wordsmiths back in the early 1970's were unquestionably few and far between - "sensitive singer songwriters" aside that is.
Mazurkist, to his credit, was briefly involved in a project with 'Little' Jimmy Osmond [when the pint sized 'Lover From Liverpool's' voice had broken, alas], but this was non-musical and would later be cited as evidence of the onset of early dementia [on Terry Mazurkist's part, I hasten to add].
It wasn't until the mid-80's, when there was a brief upsurge in 'Glovemania' [cf the singers' legendary appearance (as himself) in one of those Mutant Teenage Ninja Tortoise movies]* that 'The Clod' once more found himself in the spotlight.
Everyone can certainly understand the significance of this. Archbishop Makarios III of the Greek Orthodox Church, being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles "Junkie" and the leading proponent of all things 'Little' Jimmy Osmond could not have envisioned a more suitable outcome, a more meaningful destination, a better way to spend a fortnight than to retire to ones very own private ecclesiasticaly temperature controlled and jasmine scented tree house with a pile of 'jazz' mags ['Lesbian Mud Wrestling Nuns' being a particular favourite] and a thermos flask filled to brimming with delicious steaming cocoa.
Makarios, perhaps alone amongst Greek Orthodox Clergymen was not averse to a spot of Onanism every so often....but never ONCE fantasized about LJ Osmond nor indeed Mutant NinjaTortoises/Turtles or any other popular cartoon characters in rubber/leather or indeed any other fetish-related gear.

Now, to get back to 'The Clod'....
As he stood outside Grumans Chinese Theater for the premiere of 'Ninja Mutant Teenage Tortoises III that balmy August evening in the hopes of attracting his former songwriting partners attention, the down-at-heel Mazurkist knew instinctively it would be all or nothing.

Glove meanwhile was still onstage in the middle of a particularly mutant dance routine. He really did look a fright. Had there been extraterrestrials looking in at that moment to see whether Planet Earth was a place to be, and had they caught sight of Glove getting down with his bad self, they would surely have soiled themselves or whatever equivalent they have out there in deep space and scuttled back to their own galaxy without further ado. My was dossed out in a tawdry papier mache shell several sizes too small with his hands and feet stuck into ridiculous-looking flippers (one of which he had inadvertently kicked off into the audience where Gloveheads high on TM were tearing each other limb from limb to get at this rare trophy of their hero).

The Clod, fed up with waiting, decided to gatecrash the show. Backing up fifty paces to get a decent run-up, he charged shoulder first at the door of the emergency exit. Of course, being a Chinese Theatre, this was made of ricepaper. Before he knew it, Mazurkist had galloped halfway through the building and suddenly found himself onstage amidst a row of high-kicking ninja turtlettes scantily clad in some kind of seaweed. For some reason he was reminded of Archbishop Makarios. Glove, who was just embarking on a medley of Roger Whittaker favourites, paused to belch. Catching sight of Mazurkist, who was now high-kicking along with his new ladyfriends, his first reaction was to guffaw. Still full of wind, he let fly with a prodigious f@rt. And then it struck him. He could turn The Clod's impromptu onstage appearance to his own advantage. Why had he never thought of this before, bodypopping fool that he was? He would somehow entice that Brasso rubbing dimwit [by means of an erotic dance] to hand him over that half empty bottle of white spirits he was carrying, whereupon he would then dowse those nearby nubile turtlettes, ignite them and then have a jolly good laugh as they begged him to extinguish the resultant blue flames. It was foolproof!
However, before Glove could begin his lewd performance, before even he could hitch up his nylon superhero type briefs to a revealing crotch-line level, the strains of his ex-erstwhile companions latest platinum seller suddenly out burst over the PA... "Verucas, Thrombosis, Crabs, Tuberculosis..."
By all things sacred!!! That vile DJ swine was playing that paen to all things arthritic: "I Should Cocoa!!!"

Released only weeks before on Makarios's Onan label and featuring the Archbishop's famous scratching technique which propriety forbids me to describe in more detail here, "Cocoa" had scalded its way up the charts, passing en route Glove's own rapidly plummeting summer hit "Ever Cohabit With A Tortoise?"
"What an injustice", Glove fumed, "I give that Marzurkist bugger the biggest break in his career and all he does is upstage me..."
Indeed, in this respect things would go from bad to worse. While My's career went through one of its many bad patches, The Clod would leave Makarios's stable and, aided by the massive royalties "I Should Cocoa" had earned him, set up his own Dementia label, continuing to record under the name Dick Turd and the Turdlettes (no prizes for guessing the identity of these young ladies) until well into the next century.

Not that this is our (or anyone's) concern here (or anywhere). Back in 1971, Archbishop Makarios III, climbing down shakily once again from his Secret Hideaway Tree House Type Den, was struck by a [possibly inspired] vision.
It was a premonition of spikey haired and acne ridden youths spitting at each other, whilst wearing the most outlandish clothing imaginable and very likely 'high' on solvent abuse. If this wasn't bad enough, the music that these spotty herberts were grooving down to resembled nothing whatsoever like anything he'd ever heard before.
Then...all of a sudden:
"MAKARIOS!!!"boomed an otherworldly and obviously belonging to The Lord Himself type voice; "Unless you do your level best to prevent this monstrousity happening in England in 1977...I will personally smite you down ...D'ja hear me MAKARIOS!!!!!"
The rest of course, is history. The Greek Cypriot man of the cloth rent his garments in anguish, only to realize moments later that he had a major gig down the cathedral that evening. Appalled, he frantically safety-pinned together what relatively presentable bits of clothing he could salvage and inadvertently invented bondage gear. At least one otherworldly being was not amused. Arturo, the rather small emaciated ferret, a domesticated polecat, typically an albino, bred for use in hunting rabbits or rats and often kept as a pet. The Latin name being Mustela Eversmanni gnawed at the patriarch's ankle furiously.

The archbishop knew instinctively that he had fallen afoul of Arturo's will. There was no mistaking it, this was not the slightly irritating ankle gnawing of 'Little' Jimmy Osmond, this was the agonizing vengeance of Arturo.

The rather small emaciated ferret lurched backward and peered into Makarios' eyes in a menacing manner, in a frightening way that Makarios had not experienced since (a large body of text deleted due to pending litigation in an unrelated legal matter).

Arturo growled loudly "Your secret hideaway tree house can't protect you from facing the truth anymore. The time as come to reveal what you know...this may well be your last chance."

At that point, Arturo (realizing the dramatic importance of his words and hoping to bring the significance across fully), rushed hurriedly backwards several feet before clumsily tripping over some debris and inadvertently emitted a noisy, noxious belch.

Makarios was slightly amused, but dared not ignore the words of Arturo. His holiness then sped off on his bicycle heading westerly towards the sunset. And out of this story.*

[*Makarios, of course,was to fatally suffer a suspected heart attack some 6 years later in 1977, during his attempts to thwart a gig by Sham 69 at the 100 Club in London's West End [which, some people claim to have been Divine Retribution]. It was, of course his son, Wayne, who was to set up the record label some years later to which Mazurkist was to sign....just thought I'd clear THAT up....]

And now, let us return pray [as Makarios may very well have said at least once] to the situation in Glove's still snot and butterfly strewn living room as Trevor [Bobby Charlton's haidresser], Dr Landry and The Anti Glove prepare to ransack Gloves' fake teak veneered sideboard [a snip from MFI stores in Basildon, England for just five pounds and 2 shillings ha'penny] in search of Burl Ives, who had sneaked into Glove's apartment (and under Glove's recliner) with them but was now nowhere to be seen. And yes, they had guessed right, there he was in the bottom drawer of the bogus sideboard, sleeping off the concussion incurred when Glove sat down heavily and squashed him. He mumbled profundities as he slept. "Where's my meat and two veg?" Ives was a notorious glutton.
Unable to resist the temptation, Trevor withdrew from his barbers jacket a pair of scissors and a comb and commenced work on the sleeping Ives. Under the watchful eyes of Dr Landry and his vile creation, the Anti-Glove, the experienced Trafford based stylist had soon given the snoring actor/folk singer both a comb over a la Bobby, and had trimmed his greying beard [adding a scarlet ribbon or two for effect].
Whistling all the while, and making occasional chit-chat with his companions, the barbers work was soon done, leaving only Ives's shockingly hairy ears for the piece de resistance so to speak. Knowing that this would be the most fiddly part of the operation, and that stealth would be of the utmost importance , Trevor pulled open the top drawer of the sideboard and clambered in. He hoped that from this aerial vantagepoint he would have a better view into the mangrove swamp-like interior of Ives' listening gear so as to perform this delicate operation with all the professionalism and lack of bias expected of a qualified hairdresser. Unfortunately the sideboard, unbalanced by this additional weight at the front, toppled over. It hit the floor with a thud, closing the two drawers as it descended and shutting their contents well and truly in. There was a yowl from Trevor - "What the ****'s going on, Eugene?" - and a grunt from Ives, who was still sleeping soundly.
A new problem presented itself. The massive item of bogus furniture was far too heavy for the Anti-Glove (weak from his recent fling with Mrs Boyce) and Landry (merely weak) to set upright again. There was a muffled whoop of triumph from the depths of the sideboard. "It's here, Eugene, we've found it!!!" Though elated by this news, Landry could only simper in reply. They needed reinforcements, and quick, before Glove, who was at the studio overseeing renewed attempts to get SnEeR back on the rails, returned and threw them out empty handed. But they could never have foreseen what a Pandoras Box [in the shape of a fake teak veneered MFI sideboard] they had opened. Nor could they have.
This is to say that unlike most [if not all] self assembly flat pack furniture, Gloves' particular State of the Art Sideboard [and let's not forget we're talking 1969 Sideboards here] was not only equipped with drawers that actually slid both in AND out; but a front flap ingeniously hinged in such a manner that it would only get stuck about three times a week, as opposed to the regulatory sixteen.
Glove had been so impressed by this particular sideboard in fact, that during one of his infrequent visits to the furniture emporiums of Essex, England, he had actually ordered one on the spot and paid cash [for which he was given a valuable 10% discount].
It is of course common knowledge these days, what with the Web and whatnot that a lot of 60's stars were addicted to not only "Smack' and "Pot" but self-assembly furniture. Indeed both 'Big Mama 'Cass [from the 'Mamas and Papas'] and electric guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix himself, had personally assembled and self-assembled entire kitchen cabinets and furthermore, the bushy haired 'Axe' ace was as comfortable in many respects with an Allen key as he was with [for example] a can of lighter fluid and a 'Strat.'
But anyhow, to return to the startling scenes at 1132 Beluga Way S.
" Bye ''s bloody dark in 'ere Gene" piped Trevor after a moment or twos indecision from the scheming Psychiatrist had alerted him to the fact that not an awful lot was being attempted vis-a-vis the righting of the Sideboard, "not to mention stoofy..."*

[*For those readers out there who would like to read this story both aloud and phonetically, the words in the above paragraph "bloody" and "stoofy" should be pronounced as Graham Nash himself the 'oo' is pronounced the same as in book. Those who choose not to read aloud and phonetically can ignore these instructions. Thank you.]

"Stoofy?" queried Landry with a wimper, "Is that stoofy spelled S-T-O-O-F-Y, or S-T-U-F-F-Y? Not that it matters. You and Ives can stay where you are, you for perpetrating a blatant Nashism with a reckless disregard for public safety and Ives for being treasurer of the Graham Nash For President Campaign Committee." [For God's sake just shut up about Graham Nash! Ed.] "Er... a-and for giving me that merkin-style coiffeur."
"Don't forget, Eugene", the poncey hairdresser replied, abandoning his recent accent, "I have the evidence here that can send that bastard Glove to prison and make us all fabulously rich. But if you persist in your endeavour not to help me out of here, I shall be forced to eat it."
There was a stony silence.
The Anti-Glove, who had been happily ransacking the fridge, was about to add his two cents' worth when the phone rang. Throwing caution to the wind, Landry picked it up gingerly and listened.
"Glove? Zubin here. We're just leaving for the studio in three buses. Get down there quick and organize some sandwiches, would you? The second violins are ravenous. And leave out the margerine this time. We'll do two or three takes and then drink some beer. Ciao, buddy."
There was another stony silence, punctuated by snores from the sideboard.
"Of course," said Landry at length, "today's the day they do the orchestral track for 'Threnody For A Lost Turd'. Silly me."
It was then that alarm bells suddenly went off in Landry's revolutionary rectal zeppelin....
"My butt!" he shrieked over the ensuing din! ""Quick! I think I've got an intruder!!!"
Designed by top Swedish arse avation specialists, the Doctors posterially situated blimp had several failsafe mechanisms built into place for eventualities of this sort. Alas, these were negated by being in the close proximity of any form whatsoever of teak [or formica] veneer, leaving the wealthy owners of said hi-tech bottom-balloons really up the creek [or so to speak] should they find themselves [as Landry now did], intruded upon [primarily but not exclusively in kitchens and dining rooms.
Self inflating bottom-blimps were not the only airborne modes of travel that suffered from this so-called 'veneerial problem' however. Leading French scientists working on the prototype Concorde in the late 1960's even went as far as to use Vermeers instead of veneers in an attempt to circumvent this problem. Which goes some way to explain the price of tickets.

Meanwhile, back in the relative squalor of Glove's apartment, the Anti-Glove, hearing the word "quick" and sensing the seriousness of the situation, bundled a protesting Landry into the fridge and padlocked the door.
Burl Ives, his beauty sleep rudely interrupted by Landry's squeals, emerged through the back of the sideboard in an explosion of cheap splinters. After an inordinately long session of hi-fiving with the Anti Glove, the pair left the apartment armed with the all important evidence which Trevor, under the illusion that they'd free him in return, had slipped out of his drawer to them.

Spying a waiting taxi, Ives and the Anti-Glove clambered in.
"West Ferret Studios - and pronto!"
"OK, Glove", Ives muttered triumphantly, rubbing his hands together, "it's payback time...!
"My sentiments entirely," the Anti-Glove added, studiously scratching his gonads.
And the end of this mighty short story is quite possibly looming into sight, we ask ourselves do we not:
Just WHO exactly IS this Anti-Glove character? Where did he spring from? What is his general purpose in life and does the guy actually have any morals whatsoever? Furthermore, what are his musical influences? Does he like soup, and if so, what kinds might he be partial to?
As was stated earlier in this tale, The Anti-Glove was at one time a former patient of Landry's who was cunningly hypnotized into believing that he was actually My Glove himself. Given painful convulsive electro-shock therapy for behaving in any non-Glove-like fashion [standing up for little old ladies in crowded buses for example], the 28 year old former insurance salesman, Walter Broekplasser [originally Pennsylvanian Dutch] had initially only sought Dr Landrys help for his obsessive addiction to cheese...

Well, Landry, never one to look a Gift Horse in the Mouth, noticing that Broekplasser bore a strong physical resemblence to one of his most famous [albeit least favourite] patients, Glove ['suffering' from a persecution complex, whereby he couldn't/wouldn't stop persecuting other people] was quick to offer his services at "special low, low rates." It was thus, that with supreme confidence that his new found cut-price psychiatrist would cure him once and for all from his constant cravings for 'Oude Belegen' that Broekplasser allowed himself that fateful September day in 1969 to be hypnotized by the scheming Landry.
In actual fact Walter B. was originally of German stock and had been called Werther Trauserwetter, of the Hamburg Trauserwetters. His ancestors had moved to that Hanseatic port from Berlin once they realized that the bratworst was cheaper up there. Ironically in light of future events, Werther's greatgrandfather, Gottfried von Trauserwetter (they dropped the "von" when the First World War broke out), had sung baritone in a barbershop quartet, Die Vier Herrenfriseure, and even had a minor local hit, the familiar "Wenn Mein Zucker Hinunter Die Straße Geht". (Yet it was the B-side, "Sardellen in meiner Badwanne", that would attract the attention of collectors in the decades that followed.) Of course, once the Trauserwetters moved to Hoogezand-Sappermeer in the north of the Netherlands and traded juicy German sausages for boring Dutch cheese, they changed their name to the more prosaic Broekplasser, in the hope of making a splash in Dutch high society. Finding themselves utterly ignored, they broke all ties with Europe and set sail for Pennsylvania, where they founded a successful chain of waffle houses and finally made their fortune. It was at their San Francisco branch that Walter Broekplasser first met Eugene Landry...

Once poor Walter had been successfully hypnotized into believing he was My Glove, and subsequent plastic surgery performed [Gloves own backside was a trifle flabbier, which die-hard Gloveheads would very probably have spotted], there still remained a tendency for The Anti-Glove to call people up [from public telephone boxes] at inconvenient moments of the day in order to try to sell them insurance. Landry could live with this however, as no-one would possibly believe that a pop star of Gloves' repute and social standing would ever stoop to do such a thing.
The Anti-Gloves' taste in soups by the way [to answer that important point] ran almost the full gamoot incidentally, although Oxtail, Chicken and French Onion were certainly amongst his very favourites.

Pulling up outside the recording studio, Burl Ives was quick to notice that the fare was getting on for eleven bucks, which with a tip of say 10% was going to work out at around twelve fifty tops.. say. Normally of course, one would 'Go Dutch' [ie split the bill fifty-fifty] on such matters, as is custom the world over. However, and much to the bespectacled Ives' surprise, when he uttered the magic words: "Go Dutch?" to his fellow passenger/conspirator, instead of pulling out his wallet, Mr Sequinned Turban suddenly broke into a gutteral [Germanic?] tongue and semi-shrieked:

"Rot op!!! Gotverdomme!!! Denk jij dat ik van geld gemaakt ben je stomme klootzak jij? Als ik jou was, zou ik nooit zo'n stomme dingen zeggen, je hoogbejaarde oude vent jij!"

Which, for those many readers who either don't speak nor understand even a single word of this peculiar language, means something along the lines of:
"Come off it! So you want us to go Dutch, do you? You know I couldn't possibly accept that from a senior citizen!"

Ives, who was under the illusion that the Anti-Glove was swearing at him, riposted with a weighty and categorical oath in High Appalachian.
With the taxi meter still running, and with no end to Ives's Appalatiory cursing in sight, The Anti Glove decided to take matters into his own hands and grabbed a hold of the crimson ribbons still attached to his companions beard. Giving them an almighty tug, and simultaneously reaching his left hand into the indignant folkies right trouser pocket in order to extract the genuine sows ear purse in which Ives kept his cash, the villainous doppelganger, with a gloat of triumph held aloft a twenty dollar bill. Waving it briefly in front of Burl's alcohol-ravaged olfactory device, he thrust it (the bill, that is) into the taxi driver's outstretched palm with a devil-may-care "Keep the change, old fruit".
With a brief glance at his watch (time was clearly of the essence) the Anti-Glove aka Walter Broekplasser dragged the blustering beribboned singer from the cab and frogmarched him into the artists' entrance of West Ferret Studios. He had scarcely got Ives inside the door when they were swept away as Zubin and all 106 members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra came stampeding out en route for the nearest pub. Many of the musicians were pointing to their open mouths as they ran. There were wild cries. "Beer!" "Booze!" And one cry of "Martini!", but that was the second flute, Adolfino Martini, just trying to draw attention to himself as usual. So what if he was the only flautist in the world to master the contrabass flute in F sharp, which Glove had personally built out of a kazoo, a sewage pipe and some of his unwashed socks especially for this SnEeR session...

"Oo Mr Glove!!!" squealed the diminutive brunette 19 year old receptionist Norma Bates as The Anti Glove [still hauling Ives by his scarlet ribbons] strode purposefully into the lobby of the recording studio; " there's a message for you from Mr Plankenspanker sir!!!"
"Yes sir!! He says it's urgent!"
Whilst the Anti Glove racked his addled hypnotized brains to see if he could remember anyone of THAT particular name [Landry had chosen to be rather selective as to just how much his creation needed to know in terms of the secret plan], it suddenly occured to the turbanned ruffian that indeed there was this manager, some TM freak whose girlfriend Glove had stolen and then married. He harrumphed. That complicated matters no end. And some German geezer... He was torn from his reverie by an excitedly eructing Ives who had clearly taken a shine to winsome Norma and was giving her his nicest smile, which in human terms was more of a hideous saliva-festooned leer. The Anti-Glove, who'd had enough of romance since that episode with Evadne Boyce and had enough on his mind anyway, ended the budding relationship there and then by stomping Ives repeatedly in the groin with a nearby fire extinguisher.

All this time, the strains of a theremin had been leaking out of the main studio and wafting ethereally down the corridor. Now somebody was practising scales on an autoharp. That dull thud must have been Dragon. And that was definitely Bruise's guffaw. Suddenly, the real Glove's voice rang out as the studio door opened and out stepped the hero of our tale dressed as per usual [when he was recording] in a vividly turquoise and gold silk kimono, fishnet stockings and a rather battered pair of pumps. His 'Bobby Charlton' hairdo beginning to slip a few strands, owing to the heat in the studio, Glove had also affected a topee with the name 'GLOVE' clearly stencilled in blue crayon on the front.
Spying his nemesises [nemesi??] the overheated multi talented vocalist audibly cursed and made as if to return to the relative sanctuary of the studio. Until, that is, he spotted what his cussed 'twin' was holding in his free hand [as the other was still grasping Ives by his peculiar beard appendages]....
"Yikes!!!" he blurted...
"Yikes indeed my friend" replied The Anti Glove, a sadistic sneer beginning to form as he held aloft 'That Which Had Been Lost': "The Sacred Crystal of TM" itself !!!
Formerly forming the centrepiece of Jack 'THe Hat' Plankenspankers very own 'Holy and Majestic Crown of TM' this gaudy plastic jewel had 'gone missing' almost 2 whole years before, causing TM followers the world over much cause for concern, but none more so than Plankenspanker himself. Believing that without the 'Magic Crystal' the world might very likely be taken over by trolls and goblins by the year 2000, the sage of TM had offered [not quite] huge rewards for information leading to its safe return...

Well now, for those of you readers out there who are still of a credulous disposition, what had happened once the reward had been put up was that Herr Von Schlaubenboffler, Evadne Boyce [at that time no more than a petty criminal] and Dr Eugene Landry, each correctly believing that Glove had swiped the cheapo plastic crystal [out of both almost an insane craving and rampant jealousy] had set about trying to locate this 'wondrous' garnet and thus claim the reward for themselves.
At this point in time [late 1967], none of these three individuals actually knew each other personally, although Von Schlaubenboffler [as the then Beachy Heads manager] had certainly crossed paths with both The Hat and Dr Landry from time to time .
Moreover, it must be stressed, that along with Plankenspanker, all three of these shady characters were practitioners of the sacred art of TM, and, like Glove himself, were prone to 'wondrous visions' when under the influence.
It was in fact, after a particularly heavy bout of said consciousness-altering meditation that The Hat, finding himself in "Toys R Us" one sunny afternoon, happened to spy the very Crown [and accompanying inset 'Sacred Crystal'] itself amongst other novelties in the fancy dress section. Instinctively knowing that it possessed magical powers, he was quick to hand over the necessary $1.99 asking price and repair as soon as his little legs could take him, back to his magnificent Temple of TM in order to put it on and admire himself in one of his splendid gilt-trimmed full-length mirrors.

"Not so fast, bluey!" came a voice from behind him. The Hat swung round in alarm. "Yes, you with the face like a bashed-in sh*t can..." Why, it was Rolf Harris, who had been recording an album of Tasmanian madrigals in an ancillary studio down the hall and couldn't hear himself warble through the ruckus absolutely typical of a Beachy Heads session, which usually ended in fisticuffs and great plumes of vomit.

"Euurrrrrggh!" Rolf continued, bringing his free hand up to his nose, "who's playing the bratwurst bugle - cutting muffins, shooting bunnies... who's just stepped on a duck???" The stench was indeed overpowering. Memories of the 3rd Annual Moustache and Beard Association of America's Annual Beanfeast and Fried Egg Eating Competition came flooding back.

Dropping the anteater he'd been cradling, Harris disappeared into a cupboard and reappeared with a gigantic framed portrait of the Archbishop Makarios which he lowered at speed on The Hat's Adonis-like skull, which in all honesty looked quite good in an Archbishop's mitre, albeit a two-dimensional one.

Arturo, the emaciated ferret with the telescopic paws, eager to prove that he was a puppet of neither Glove nor Eugene Landry was next to enter the fray as he shot out of one of the Australian Ubermensches ornately carved Aboriginal Didgeridoos with an alarming squeak:
The Hat, recovering his senses in time to make out the delapitated rodent-like creature before him, was quick to act.
Realizing that in order to secure possession once more of his prized crystal, both hot buttered crumpets and scones all round would be in order [not to mention a freshly brewed pot of delicious English tea], the former co- owner of "Ye Olde Yet Very Hygeienic Tea Rooms" in Godalming, Kent repaired to a nearby sideboard in order to see what the studio had to offer in the way of that ancient and refreshing beverage. He beamed, as was his wont when pleased, which was rarely ever since he had lost the Sacred Crystal of TM itself. H'mmm. Many brands to choose from. He perused them carefully: caffeine-free fruit teas from Bigelow's, including Constant Comment (yuk!); Brook Bond; Japanse Amanatsu (large orange) and Sakura (Cherry Blossom) flavoured tea from Fauchon; Earl Grey of course; herbal tea and fruit infusion products from Twinings; Lady Grey, Whittard Original, Vintage Darjeeling, various China teas in several strengths and smooth flavours...
"Nah," he concluded at length, "let's have coffee!!!!"
"Norma!!!!!!", he yelled, causing Arturo's paws to wildly telescope in and out with fright, "Get onto The Murry Hawthorne Crumpet and Scone Emporium, mention my name and just ask for 'the usual'. And put any thoughts of romance with Burl Ives out of your mind this instant!"
Now all he had to do was wait, not least because The Murry Hawthorne Crumpet and Scone Emporium was 200 miles away.
Back at Glove's pad, the intrepid if considerably poncey Trevor had somehow managed to squeeze through from his own drawer in Glove's fake antique sideboard to Ives's drawer and crawl out of Burl's hole. Opening the padlock on the fridge with his trusty hairpin, he couldn't help laughing as a deep-frozen Landry clunked into the room.
"Shut up, Trevor, this isn't funny," snorted the winsome psychiatrist, whose face seemed to have thawed first...
The fact of the matter was that Landry, sensing that his appalllng protege had pulled a fast one, even in his deeply frozen state knew that only speed and devious cunning of the most conniving kind was going to save the day now. Luckily for him, he possessed these necessary attributes [and some] and not only that, he happened to have in his ownership, the secret telephone number of the very person who could even yet pull the irons out of the fire [or so to speak]:
Normally speaking, at this time of day, the well-known [if barely respected] British television 'comic' actor Benjamin 'Benny' Hill would be either chasing or being chased by a large number of young girls in bikinis. Today however was different. For one thing, he'd only been able to rustle up a rather prudish [and obviously matronly] Hattie Jaqcues and the insufferable Margaret Rutherford [both actresses visibly well past their prime] into taking part in todays futile beachwear pursuit; and secondly [and more alarmingly?], his heart just didn't seem to be in it quite so much of late.
So when the telephone rang [in his secret briefcase] it was with a sense of relief that he heard the familiar tones of his ultra-expensive American Psychiatrist and noted charlatan, Eugene "Dr Cuddles" Landry.
Actually, Landry had that very week taken on the client who would arguably ensure his (Landry's) immortality in the anals of psychoanalysis for centuries to come. Patrick Duffy, fresh from rehearsals for Die beiden Grundprobleme der Ethik - The Musical, was known for carrying his role of the moment into his normal life away from the stage, and until now this had been merely a source of merriment among the few friends he had. However, since accepting the role of Arthur Schopenhauer in Lee Majors' latest Broadway flop (the role of Hegel had gone to his idol, Benny Hill, whom we shall return to shortly) his behaviour and particularly his language was getting decidedly odd. That first morning, he had scarcely entered the simpering shrinkette's office and flung himself world-wearily on the couch when the first signs of Duffy's curious condition made themselves known.

"Birds are by surprise access the daily."
"I see. Did you read the table of fees on the door?" Landry enquired earnestly.
"Clinicians are risk of exception imal potency."
"Well, it's 500 dollars for the first session, 5000 for the second..."

"You can't be serious!!!" spluttered the saucy comedian as his 'shrink' outlined what was going on in Los Angeles with regards to The Anti Glove and the Sacred Crystal; "blimey!!!"
Never one to mince his words, the inveterate double entendre merchant was this time almost speechless as Landry continued. This was indeed serious stuff.
"....and so" Landry concluded, "unless we can somehow convince The Hat that the 'Sacred Crystal' is just a cheap imitation, and that that fiend Broekplasser is nothing but a Glove stooge, the game could well and truly be up for us...."
Hill faltered for words, but [as usual] managed to summon up a limp gag:
"...And that's not all that will be up? Phwoah!!!"
"Yes, quite," replied Landry absent-mindedly, as his attention had been distracted by the sound of a German accent in the corridor and a squeal from Norma.
"Is Rolf there?" enquired Hill, who had once sent a postcard from Paris to a colleague in London demanding to know the French for soixante-neuf, yet in essence was an intensely private man.
"He is," Landry answered, "but he's busy at present."
He hadn't the heart to tell Benny that the quickdraw artist and every wallaby's friend had taken over Burl bashing duty from The Hat and was furiously stomping Ives in the lower abdomen with a bass theremin.
"Hang on, Ben, he's finished" - the theremin had somehow lodged itself in the US icon's groin, leaving Harris no alternative but to adjourn to the coffee-maker.
"Rolf," called Landry, "Ben for you."
"Rolf, tell me. This has been preying on my mind for some time now. Does The Hat really have little stumpy legs?"
"Let me see - uuuuuurrrrgghhhh, jeeziz! This studio smells like a dingo's @rs'ole!"
"Beg pardon?"
"Right, sorry, The Hat. Yes. Well no, actually. To be quite honest he reminds me of a famous conductor...."
"Pierre Monteux?"
"Nah, that guy who works with pop musicians."
"Sir Thomas Beecham?"
"I'll pass you back to Eugene."
"Ben, let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? Now, I'd like you to think hard before you answer. Would you be prepared to tickle Margaret Rutherford's fancy? In the interests of science?"

Landry, not knowing that the very lady and her fancy were even now at this very moment being unceremoniously escorted off Hills' premises [along with Hattie Jaques] by that little bald guy who kept getting smacked on the top of his head by his employer, was somewhat perplexed to hear the 'blue' funnyman actually curse with a real swear word:


"What was that? What did YOU just say?" Landry returned. And incidentally, just in case you were wondering how on earth the good Dr had made it over to West Ferret Studios in time to catch up with the goings on there, AND simultaneously still be on the phone with Benny Hill, well please allow me to explain....

Well, good reader, let us return briefly to Glove's apartment one hour earlier. Trevor, who had been banging away at Landry with his little hammer in a vain attempt to break the ice, gave up after twenty minutes. It was time for Plan B. Using a mop and a minibar, he levered the psychiatrist up onto Glove's capacious drinks trolley and trundled the still considerably frozen Landry out into the warm summer sun where he (Landry) dripped steadily. Before they left the apartment, the ambisextrous hairdresser had dialled the BBC in London as instructed and thrust the zero-generation briefcase model mobile telephone into the first of Landry's hands to thaw sufficiently (his left hand according to the literature). Out in the street, they were soon en route for the studio, where, as we know, all hell had broken loose (again).
In the meantime, Benny Hill had been called away from an important business transaction with some young girls in bikinis and was now deep in transatlantic conversation with the ambulant shrink.

As the athletic if slightly poncey Trevor legged it up the drive to the studio, he couldn't help noticing a suspicious foreign type skulking in the shrubbery wearing a monocle and carrying a very peculiar looking plant...
It was at this point that Hill uttered the immortal words "And that's not all that will be up? Phwoah!!!"

If there was one thing Herr Klaus Von Schlaubenboffler couldn't stand it was disorderliness; whether in his own private life or [and more importantly], his 'Kosher' butchers shop in Berlins' thriving Latino Quarter.
It was for this reason that he had first become involved in the illegal 'Cleaner Smuggling Trade' in the late 1950's. This dubious practise involved kidnapping a cleaning lady [usually as she was 'doing the lav'] putting a bin-liner over her unsuspecting head and then preparing the victim for export. Mrs Evadne Boyce had been one such "Cleaning Lady". After several sightings (see Appendix III, Section 2 - "Red Letter Days"), Evadne was captured down the Potsdamer Platz loo (she was on an exchange programme) in 1956 by Schlaubenboffler's thugs. Trouble was, while reading the best-by date on a Vim tube she had inadvertently stepped into a toilet pot. During the ensuing scuffle, accompanied by language the likes of which make Benny Hill's lone expletive sound like the Archbishop Makarios blessing his congregation, her foot only became more firmly entrenched. Ripping out the entire porcelain receptacle roots and all, her assailants dragged the struggling, cursing, clanking Boyce up the stairs and into the square. As luck would have it, the Berlinale Film Festival was in full swing and Potsdamer Platz was one seething mass of film-goers. Everyone was pissed out of their skulls and paid no heed to the curious little group scuttllng in the direction of the Latino Quarter. Indeed, next year's festival saw many revellers wearing bin-liners on their heads, although nobody could say for sure where the idea came from...

Boyce had, of course, after escaping the depravations of being forcibly transported in a wooden crate [along with literally dozens of other 'Mrs Mops'] to California; and then having 'to do' for Pat Boone in his luxury [and positively filthy] Santa Monica condo, been taken on by Glove.
It was here, coincidentally, that she was to make the aquaintance once again of the shady 'Jerry' who "sought" he might have "seen zat face somevair vunce before ja?"
Although we will, of course, later explore just how it was that Glove, Sunny Southern California's foremost clean-living [vegetarian] propogator of TM had come to be in the company of [perhaps] West Berlin's most notorious 'Kosher' Butcher, this will have to wait just a little while longer.

For the moment then, let us return to the current situation as Von Schlaubenboffler [emerging from behind the plastic shrubbery] prepares to exact his revenge on Gluff 'vunce-and-for-all', with his mysterious plant.....

And speaking of 'Gluff'....
Realizing that if The Hat [ie me] ever got wind of the fact that he had been responsible for the theft of the semi-semi precious crystal, any and all chance of being made a 'Grand Master of TM' would be right out of the window, the nervous and sweating profusely pop idol was swift to act.
Turning smartly on his heels and dashing back into the vaporous studio, the kimono clad singer leapt with surprising agility into a conveniently empty flight case.
"Not a word!" he hissed to the astonished Chormondley-Smythe who was eating a baloney and cream cheese submarine sandwich, putting a finger up to his quivering lips for added emphasis as he closed the lid....

Meanwhile, outside the doors of the studio, in the capacious lobby, the scene was as follows:

The Anti Glove was being pinned to the floor by the Makarios framed Hat; Rolf Harris was remonstrating with Arturo the emaciated ferret for fouling his didgeridoo; Burl Ives was doubled over in agony rubbing his severely inflamed groin with a circular motion hitherto unknown in these parts, but soon to replace the Mudshark in your mythology, and Von Schlaubenboffler was creeping stealthily along the wall, all the while hiding behind his sinister shrub.
Norma Bates, meanwhile had returned to her desk and was answering the telephone [to a certain Roger Whittaker, who was desperately ringing around all the studios in LA in order to find one prepared to allow him access to their facilities].

"Zo!!! Vee meet again Gluff!!!!" Von Schlaubenboffler addressed the prostrate Anti-Glove over The Hat's comely shoulder, but then he happened to look down.
"Ach, du liebe!" he chortled Germanically, "Benjamin vas right, nicht wahr? And Rolf ist ein Scheißkerl. Ze Hat hast ze shtoompi lecks! Neffer haff I zeen lecks dat are shtoompier!!!! Ja ja, hahahahaaaaaa!!!!"
He guffawed in one mighty gush of saliva. As he did, he dropped the plant, which the attentive readers amongst you will have long concluded was the legendary Barba amoris chinshrubberii, the BEARD OF LOVE itself.

And then a very curious thing happened...
Rolf Harris had just sat down on the very flight case where "ze real Gluff" had secreted himself. Tired yet content after his run-in with Burl Ives and with Arturo - who was now diligently engaged in scraping the shit off Rolf's didgeridoo - he poured himself another cup of The Hat's delicious coffee (a Dutch brand as it happened), pulled out from his back pocket the book he had stolen from Hammersmith Public Library (the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's bestseller Confessions of a Devout Conman) and opened his lunchbox, which today was jampacked with, well, jam sandwiches - strawberry, his favourite... yummy!
The weird plant, picking up a whiff of the strawberries, lurched menacingly in Rolf's direction and was almost within pouncing distance of the increasingly agitated Harris when without warning it swung round and clamped itself limpetlike to the flabby rear end of the Anti Glove...
Now, and as most males know [even if they won't admit to it] 'Bum Fluff' [as it is called] in itself poses little more than an occasional inconvenience [eg tagnuts and dangleberries, call 'em what you will]. However, an entire beard-like growth 'down there'...well that's something different entirely.
The Anti-Glove, still being pinned by stumpy-legged Plankenspanker was uncertain quite what was going on, but one thing he DID know: it itched like a bastard!!!

Meanwhile, outside the studio complex, a gigantic articulated lorry had pulled up into the parking lot.
Stepping out from the massive 16 wheeler, three roadies from the enormously popular combo 'Bodily Fluids' [a bit BS &T-like, but much heavier and louder] checked over their manifest once again to see what it was that needed picking up for tonights gig at Candlestick Park. They were all grumbling about having to open for some cheapskate guitar-driven quartet from some other country. They were still grumbling when Zubin and the L.A. Phil came stampeding back from their extended liquid lunch for more overdub sessions. Whooping and yelling and singing Burl Ives hits (they were all major fans), the well-oiled orchestra ploughed through the Bodily Fluids' bus, trampling the terrified BFs and putting 23 of them in hospital.

Back in the relative tranquillity of the studio lobby, the Anti-Glove was pulling like a man possessed on the irritating object that seemed to have clamped itself limpetlike to his @rse. Trouble was, he couldn't turn round to see what it was. Our anti-hero was still in the vicelike grip of The Hat, who had managed to extricate himself from the large oil painting of the charismatic and popular Greek-Cypriot role model and transfer it to the neck of his opponent, who looked utterly incongruous among the crowd of cheering Makariosheads. To make matters worse, Arturo had just dumped again in Rolf Harris's didgeridoo [he'd had a terrible case of the "Whirling Pits'" ever since overdoing it a bit with the ol' Fra Diablo sauce at the Slurpo-rama a week or so earlier].

"Ok youze guys" grunted Jeff 'Skids' Skidmarski, the chief 'roadie' for 'Bodily Fluids'; "it says heeyah, one th-therry-uh....ah guess they mean this heeyah Mother!!" he added, indicating the flight case Rolf was happily chewing his sarnies on.
"Hey you! Four eyes!! Gitcha mutherf#*kin'ass offah theyuh!" rejoined one of Jeff's burly companions.

There was a stony silence, broken only by nervous whistling from inside the flight case.

Now Rolf, lest you forget, was an Australian (still is actually) and Aussies are loath to take shit from no one, especially some dinosaur-brained redneck of a roadie. (Some of them even eat roadies for breakfast but that's not our concern here.) Seizing his trusty didgeridoo, which unbeknownst to all was now full from end to end with ferret excrement (and a ferret), he cracked one of Jeff's burly companions across the skull (probably the one who called him four eyes although the literature is silent on this matter), showering everyone in the studio with fresh ferret droppings and catapulting Arturo deep into the cleavage of Norma, who had rushed in to see what the %£$% was going on. So had the Anti-Glove, still wearing the Archbishop and with the Beard of Love hanging off his @rse, followed by a belligerent Plankenspanker, his little legs going like the clappers. And when Zubin Mehta and company (bearing instruments) crowded into the already overfull studio looking for whiskey, the circus was complete. Or one would have thought so...
We are however forgetting one [actually two, and likely even three] person[s]:
Dr Landry, plus the ultimately expendable, if undeniably poncey, Trevor.

"Ahem..." The Doctor interjected, in as manly a tone as he could summon [which wasn't saying much].
At this, the Anti-Glove, knowing that all was likely lost, and that a fiendishly itchy backside would be the least of his problems, with a sob, let go his thieving hold on my magic crystal, and thus returned it to its rightful owner [ie ME!].
I rose to my feet in triumph [all 5 foot seven and 3/8ths of me, which I'd say is actually fairly average, and certainly NOT stumpy!] and held aloft: 'That Which Had Been Lost.'

Bells in nearby churches began pealing; cheers rang out, there was spontaneous applause from all those gathered [except from The Anti Glove] and dare I say it, there were even a few tears shed. If I may say so myself, it was just like the scene in 'Snow White' where she [White] marries the Prince.

And if things couldn't get any more magical, it was at this point that Dr Landry's unwelcome bottom intruder, in a puff of purple smoke, suddenly appeared out of the psychiatrists backside: brushing the stray lock of hair from his forehead, Bobby Charlton made his triumphant entrance into the studio. Applause rang out on all sides. The horns of "Bodily Fluids" broke into a spontaneous fanfare. Even Trevvie did an imitation of clapping.
But there was more to come...

Last edited by Mr. K on Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:28 pm; edited 4 times in total

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)

Archive of Our Own--Stories by DJ Marlowe
Handel French Ouvertures Project
Mr. K
Mr. K
Posts : 1954
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The Beard of Love: A Satire Empty Re: The Beard of Love: A Satire

on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:53 pm
Chapter Five

"Alright lads!" yelled the England captain back into the purple smoke, "The Hat's got his TM crystal back! Don't forget to bring the ball with you!"
Out of Landry's rectal zeppelin traipsed the entire Man United team, including Denis Law pigging on a puff pastry, followed by the referee carrying the ball.
"Where's the Southampton team?" Bobby enquired earnestly.
"I think their bus has run out of petrol", suggested Law through a mouthful of cream.
"No cause for alarm!" said George Best, peering back through the purple haze, "some of the spectators are helping to push it..."

Needless to say, Landry wasn't among those applauding...

Under difficult conditions, and with a prevailing South- Westerly Wind, it was hardly surprising that by half time, it was still goalless, although Stepney had turned a brilliant diving header from Channon onto Chormondley Smythes still half eaten Baloney/Cream Cheese Sub in the dying seconds.
Knowing that they would need to pull something special out of the bag in order to break down their stripe shirted opponents, Sir Matt Busby, just managing to beat the transfer deadline by a matter of seconds, signed the enigmatic but tempermental French Film Director Francois Trouffaut to partner the ailing Stiles in Manchesters midfield [pulling off Pat 'Patsy' Crerand at the interval.... or so to speak].
The whistle blew for the second half....and right from the off it was clear that Busby's move, whilst causing several raised eyebrows amongst the purists in the crowd, was indeed a masterstroke.
With Trouffaut directing things in midfield, it wasn't long before the breakthrough came:

Kenneth Wolstenholme:
".and it's Law to Best. Best takes on Kellog, passes to Trouffaut. The Frenchman plays a one two with his tripod...passes to Charlton...OH WHAT A GOAL!!! Charlton from fully 20 yards!!!!!!!!"

But Southampton had a few tricks up their sleeve too.
Their lineup for the second half contained a whole host of familiar names - and a few new ones, signed on at the insistence of Sir David Frost, a major fan of Southampton FC and American beat combos.

Sydenham, Paine, Walker, Davies, Wilton, Byrne, Gabriel, Wilton, Kirkup, Chormondley-Smythe, Dragon and -- as token reserve. Token reserve because i) nobody noticed when he was on the pitch anyway and ii) the Saints were certain they had an unshakeable team that day in the Eugene Landry Stadium.

Still, there was the Best-Trouffaut-Charlton axis to deal with, and they were one nil down. Hopefully, Chormondley Smythe's still half-eaten Baloney/Cream Cheese Submarine could still save the day. Down in the catacombs (actually, Landry's large intestine) at half time, Terry Paine had surreptitiously rubbed cream cheese all over the unsuspecting Trouffaut's tripod while the master of new wave film was visiting his French crapper flown in at mind-numbing expense from Montparnasse.
Things took a turn for the better when Charlton was temporarily felled by a timely belch of flame to the left knee from Dragon. And then the impossible happened...
From a deadball situation near the halfway line, United's latest signing, the enfant terrible of French New Wave cinema in a typical fit of pique threw up his arms in frustration and lashed out with his greasy tripod at an unsuspecting supporter. Claiming in court months later that he had been provoked by 19 year old Wayne O'Shea [of Portsmouth] eating popcorn noisily instead of paying attention to the onfield action, the future star of 'Close Encounters of a Third Kind [Special Edition]' was lucky to escape with a five match suspension and a promise to never be naughty again.
He was also [naturally] sent off by the officiating Clive Thomas, despite the remonstrations of Kidd and Law, who both recieved yellow cards for their futile protestations.
What happened next of course has made both footballing and French political history, as the watching General De Gaulle himself entered the fray. Despite getting on for eighty by this time, the legendary President of France managed to persuade both Sir Matt Busby and the normally ultra-stickler for the rules Thomas, that if HE were not allowed to don the shirt of the departing Trouffaut, the next French nuclear test might very well not be anywhere near the South Seas, but a lot closer to home. Naturally the Southampton players and fans were up in arms over this, causing the match to be held up for several minutes.
However, and after at least another seven players entered Mr Thomas's book, De Gaulle took to the field.

From the restart, the French midfield General was clearly quite at home on the pitch, hobnobbing gaily with the other Man United players.

"Ah Denis, passez-nous la boule de saignement, vous coagulent. Comment diable allons-nous gagner si vous continuez à pêter autour comme cela? Ou avez-vous parié fortement sur ces merdes de barrer-chemise de Southampton?"

Law, who had studied French at Borstal, riposted in like fashion.

"Fermez votre piège, vous grand-avez flairé le fils de grenouille d'une chienne et obtenez l'enfer ensuite que la boule je vous a juste passé ou je vous étranglerai avec de la votre propre corde des oignons!"

In reply the General, engaged as he was in some intricate footwork (although the ball was at the other end of the field), merely broke wind. Soon the pitch was swarming with medics as De Gaulle pushed on stoically with his onion-driven gas attack. Southampton left winger Terry Paine, taking advantage of the poor visibility and seeing a chance to turn the tables, whipped out some more Fromage Frais from his shorts in order to coat his studs, and thus increase both his speed and savouriness.
Not knowing what was about to hit them, the previously resilient United defence, could offer little in the way of response as the putrid smelling striker bore down on the sixteen yard box...

In football there are few surprises. A team will either win, lose, draw or be disqualified from European tournaments as a result of the loutish behaviour of their fans.
Cheesey and slippery studs as well as renowned French politicians of the 20th Century may cause the occasional ripple of amazement in "The Peoples Game" but surely no-one could have expected quite what would happen when, with only De Gaulle and Stepney to beat, the rank Paine suddenly and without warning, was set upon by hordes of almost-starving mice, gerbils and hamsters pouring seemingly endlessly out of De Gaulles presidential bullet-proof limousine, parked near the half way-line.
"Mon Dieu!" the almost Octogenerian General spluttered, as his prized rodent collection [in a feeding frenzy] attacked the hapless Paine:
"ah 'ave er.. ow you say, seemingly forgotten to feed mon petit furry amies!!"
Shrieking in agony as two ravenous hamsters attacked his privates, all the Southampton striker could manage to squawk in response was:
"Gordon Bennett!! These little blighters [ouch!] certainly are decidely ravenous [gnn!] still, with only a decidely [eek!!] decrepit French midfield general [cah!!] and Stepney to [yeow!!] beat, one really should try do one's [ooyah!] level best..."
And saying that, and with this positively starving menagerie of gnashing beasties attached to nearly every available inch of his Southampton strip, not to mention the two hamsters furiously stuffing their already puffed out cheeks [in Mehta-like-fashion] with his offensively cheesey smelling gonads, the undaunted striker let fly with a stunning left footed strike:

"...And it's Paine, obviously in some discomfort there, he goes round De Gaulle...he's only got the keeper to beat... he gets it onto his left...OH I SAY!!!! WHAT A SCORCHER!!!!"

But now, perhaps we should leave association football aside for a while, as I'm pretty darn sure a lot of you will be wondering to yourselves:

"But what on Earth was Glove doing whilst all this was going on????"

Last time we saw him, he had of course, secreted himself in a Theremin flight case which was [unbeknownst to himself] bound for the big concert that evening in Candlestick Park....

Whilst all the other participants in Landry's rectal stadium-come-recording studio were marvelling at the skills of Best, Charlton, De Gaulle et al [not to mention the eleven hardy combatants that made up the Southampton team], and were busy cheering on their favourites, 'Skids' and his fellow 'roadies' had manouvered their 'Glove Box' onto a pallet-truck and were even now preparing to load the bizarrely clad Popstar/Theremin substitute into their gigantic lorry.
Still not daring to breathe hardly, for fear of being found out for the thief he was by The Hat, and not really knowing quite what was going on, the fretful Glove continued to lie low.
Suddenly, and with a bone jarring THUD, the flight case was set down on the floor of the articulated truck and the heavy steel shutters pulled downwards. Then, Glove could make out the unmistakeable sounds of the massively powerful engine being gunned into life, and then, just as suddenly and jarringly...they were off!
After a bumpy few minutes the giant vehicle turned onto the freeway and My settled down for what he feared was going to be a long haul.
All at once there were gunshots, followed almost immediately by howls of pain. An ear-spitting crash caused My to rattle in his confined space like a bean in a maraca. They had stopped. There was an angry exchange of voices, followed by the swish of something that sounded suspiciously like a machete. Glove did his maracas act again as the truck rumbled to life again and set off at a roar. Once again he heard voices but none was familiar to him. Then the awful truth struck him. They had been hijacked.

"Hi Jack"...Glove had heard it before but when... think,think think. Yes the first time he met Mr Reiley in the 70's. Didnt he owe him some money? Memo to self "ring lawyers in the morning".

But what was Jack doing here with machete brandishing villains, heroes not around here. Of course the Theremin Case, they are the notorious Theremin Freedom Fightgers (TFF) - "my God", thought Glove through every orrifice, they want the theremin, not me.

"Ok, think man, think, what would the Marashitsu do now? of course, stay in here as long as possible, lay my mat out and put my feet over my shoulders."

Assuming the position, Glove noticed the soles of his sequined shoes and dined that night on a feast of Fromage Frais and Hamster...

Hours later, maybe days, for Glove was in his trance, he felt movement. "this it" he nasseled to himself, "this is where i find what Jack and the TFF really want"...

As luck would have it, their demands were rather meager. A basic farmer's breakfast was all they wanted. Perhaps not as basic a breakfast as one might imagine. After several hours of negotiation, Jack and TFF had become hopelessly deadlocked on whether or not whole roasted cabbages belonged in a traditional farmer's breakfast.

Jack insisted that the cabbages were essential, but TFF thought otherwise. To prove his point, he took a very large, but extremely wilted head of cabbage and [with great dexterity for someone of his somewhat untoward sexual bent], removed all but one of the wilting outer leaves, all the while humming the theme to 'The Stripper."
"There" he announced with a lavicious grin, "what did I tell you?"

Glove meanwhile, had dared to creak open the lid of his stuffy [stoofy?] enforced temporary confines in order to take a peek at the bizarre proceedings.
There was no doubting it...It was certainly Reilly [part owner - with J Edgar Hoover himself - of a seedy niteclub going under the name 'The Seven Tease'. And the villianous character immediately to his left [The 'TTF 'representative no less]...Jimminy Crickets!!! Surely not!!! It was none other than the much respected British historian and author/presenter of one of TV's biggest all time number one smashes ['Civilization']: Sir Kenneth Clarke, dressed highly inappropriately [given the already searing 90+ degree temperatures] in Oxford Bags, Tweed blazer and [bizarrely] one of those funny World War One German helmets with the spike on the top. Odder still, was the object impaled on top of this impractical spike.
Although at this distance, and through the narrow slit he was peering through, he felt he might be mistaken, to all intents and purposes, it would appear to be a rapidly melting packet of [plain] chocolate biscuits!!!! There was unquestionably something odd going on here!!!

Those who dare to stoop so low as to go around stealing such priceless artifacts as Sacred Crystals must of course expect to pay for their crimes. And so it was that I, The Hat [although at this time I had absolutely no idea a few people were calling me this ridiculous name behind my back] had slipped a little something into Glove's pasta sauce [disguising the taste with a liberal amount of spicy Fra Diavlo] way, way back in this bizarre story. I knew who it was of course. You don't get to be the Numero Uno in the highly competetive world of TM without a little nous if you follow me?
Thus, it will take but little imagination on the readers part to realize that all of the above goings on had actually taken part in Gloves mind, and he was...even now...being given smelling salts and other inducements to wakefulness by the concerned figures of Master of Ceremonies, Burl Ives; as well as being read his last Rites by the frankly upstaged [and somewhat resentful] Guest of Honour, Archbishop Makarios, and was in fact nowhere near the outskirts of El Paso, like he pictured himself at that point to be....

Rather he was face down in a bowl of by now rather tepid spaghetti.

It was getting on for half past midnight, long after the other contestants had finally wiped their sauce soaked beards and given a polite little burp of satisfaction and then climbed into their waiting imousines, that finally the wildly hallucinating pop singer began to show signs of coming around.
Though still thoroughlly surrounded by his thicket of knee-sprouting gingery beard, and thus unable to make out the features of Ives and Makarios clearly, Glove was aware that another, and indeed far more menacing figure was close to hand. Indeed rifling through his pockets [for the umpteenth time it should be said].

"Uuurgh!" he spluttered as Burl Ives proffered a particularly foul smelling and still sweaty gym sock under his nose, "Uuurgh...wozzat???"
Jack 'The Hat' Plankenspanker, upon hearing these garbled words, removed his hand from Glove's sweetie wrapper filled right trouser pocket, leaned in close and whispered:
"Where is it Glove? I know you've got it...."

Just then, The Hat felt a gnawing at his left ankle. Something compelled him to look down and he recoiled with fright. For it wasn't Arturo, much to the dismay of diehard members of The Beard of Love Appreciation Society and Emaciated Ferret Danglers Anonymous alike. It was Arturo's cousin Antonio, inveterate jailbird and unrepetent pachyderm-basher, and there was nothing emaciated about him. Rearing up to his full height, he was positively fearsome to behold.
"OK Hat", he rasped, somehow twisting Jack's tiny little legs into a sheepshank, "how would you like to spend the weekend in a darkroom with Zubin Mehta and all 106 members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra?"
Plankenspanker winced, a habit he had picked up from My Glove. He'd heard stories about these depraved weekend sessions. Seasoned roadies had been known to emerge from them as quivering wrecks, mere excuses for men. Why, he'd even prefer to settle down to a three-course meal of Burl's unwashed gym socks. On reflection, he took that back.
"Wha-wha-wha-what's the alternative, o non-herbivorous one?" Jack began hesitantly.
Antonio made it a double sheepshank.
"Now listen good, Plankenspanker..."

Well I need hardly add, I'm sure, that talking ferrets and the like hold little fear really for muscle bound and bronzed nearly 6 foot tall hunks like me. Ok, I was momentarily thrown I would have to admit, but after listening to the rubbish this preposterous weasel was spouting I took a firm hold of this furry freak of natures scrawny neck and said:

"Ok ferret-face, now you listen and you listen good. That mass of bum-fluff down there stole my sacred crystal of TM d'ja hear? If you honestly think I've got the time to go and fix you a rabbit steak done rare with a side order of fries with mayo, then I'm afraid you're sadly mistaken my friend!'"
And with this I kinda strolled over to a vat of [by now cold] greasy gravy and upended the little mother in it, head first.

"Now then Glove..." I continued.....

My Glove, the awful truth beginning to dawn, and realizing 'The Hat' indeed knew everything, could only marvel at the ingeniousness and influence of his mentor:
Firstly, to go to such lengths as to contact not only 'Beards against Brains' and have himself [Glove] chosen as Beard of the Year 1969, but also [presumably as some kind of failsafe] to have invited him to that 'do' with the fried eggs next week. What a vainglorious idiot he had been to accept this award, and why on earth had he been foolish enough to help himself so liberally to a sauce that had so obviously been 'doctored?'
He should have known that 'The Hat' was an expert on illegal additives and 'erbs [as Americans pronounce 'Herbs']. How could he have been so blind???
And what about that awful plant, still attaching itself from his right knee upwards... what a stroke of genius!!
Obviously as soon as the news had got out about his retracting beard [and it HAD made front page news in 'The Hawthorn Beard Growers Weekly' no less], word had reached his nemesis, who, using his expert knowledge of 'erbs and 'orticulture, instinctively knew what steps would be required.

Ok sure, Plankenspanker was a touch on the short side, and was very probably as bald as he was underneath that ever changing panopoly of hats [something he himself had learned from and indeed copied], and yes, he was scared of fat people, but there was no getting round it...this guy was ultimately one smart dude!!!

" It wasn't me..." he replied once Plankenspanker had finished calling him a rotten thieving good-fer-nuthin'.
"I didn't steal it...honest!!!"

This immediately transparent lie only made matters worse for the scoundrel however...

This is to say that I, Jack Aloysius Plankenspanker, the World Number One [according to ' The TM Quarterly Gazette' no less] in the noble art of meditating transcendentally, I the Supreme Meditator and not one to be taken lightly, especially in matters of a meditatory nature, gazed down upon my squirming disciple and said, in as grave and authoratative a tone as I could muster:

"Yes you did!"


"I promise Jack, I cross my heart and hope to die...I promise...."

"In that case," I replied, giving the shyster my most intimidating glare..." prepare yourself for


Amongst the many and varied ways of meditating transcendentally, most of which are fairly harmless, there do exist one or two exalted states of mind, that can, if attained in an irresponsible manner, lead to minor headaches, a slight feeling of disorientation, or [in extreme cases] recurrence of pre-pubescent acne and bedwetting.
There is one path of meditation however, and one alone, that if not adhered to correctly, and absolutely to the letter, which has even been known to lead to paralysis and [although very rarely] mild brain damage:
"The Meditation of Complete and Absolute Truth."

As soon as Glove heard 'The Great Master' say these words, his insides instantly turned to a blancmange-type consistency, and he involuntarily expelled a small [but audible] quantity of gas....


Fearing that a gas main had ruptured, or that there was something amiss with the plumbing of the building, and that the lavatories had perhaps 'backed up' I had no alternative at that point but to seize hold of the quivering Glove by his monstrous growth. I bid the incredulous [and also sniffing the air with distaste] folk singer and his ecclesiastical companion adieu and hauled my prisoner towards the nearest exit.

"I beg of you Jack.." he pleaded as I opened the trunk of my Nash, " I'll do anything...just not the Medi-"
"You should have thought of that before you stole my crystal you thieving piece of crap!" I retorted [all the while chanting my secret 'Mantra 'in my head, otherwise I doubt if I could have handled the situation so calmly]: "you've got no-one to blame but yourself!!'
And with that, I threw the blubbering singer into the capacious, and slightly stale porrige smelling [it's a long story] trunk and slammed the hood cover...

...and then with pedal to the metal he sped out of there in the Nash, he was just hoping that Crosby and Stills did not see his premature evacuation.

His mind still reeling over his captive in the trunk, his stolen crystal and just as importantly why, oh, why he couldn't reach the last current page any more; he was not paying attention to the road... or the flashing lights in his rear view mirror.

Maybe it was the gas getting to him; he pulled over and opened his window for fresh air...when he looked up a few minutes later, he saw the figure of a man in uniform, both hands infront with a gun in-between pointed at his head.

it took a few moments to assemble what this man was jibbering; then, finally he got what he was saying - "YOU'RE UNDER ARREST"...

For someone of my immense personal charm and stature, it was of course but a minutes work, to whip out my genuine sows ear purse [a gift to me from a certain diminutive and bearded folk singer....but not Roger Whittaker] and hand over the requisite crisp green fifty dollar bill in order to placate the obliging LAPD officer.
Apparently I had been [albeit unwittingly] driving on the kerb in my attempts to reach the current last page [a technical term known only to the innermost circle of TM followers] and had inadvertently knocked over a donut stand and scattered several bystanders in my wholly understandable recklessness...

Meanwhile, in the rank Scotts Porridge Oats smelling trunk of The Hat's Nash, the sweating Glove was considering his options [of which there were only two]:

A] He could persist with his hopeless lying and thus find himself being forced to undergo the dreaded meditation that the bastard had planned for him, or:

B] He could come clean and admit swiping the cheap plastic jewel.

Either way, the consequences were likely to be both humiliating and very unpleasant. He remembered that time a couple of years ago when he had dared to whisper that he needed to go to the toilet when he and The Hat were gathered at the feet of the Maharishi in Rishi somewhere-or-other, absorbing some wisdom [along with several other noteworthy pop stars].
The look that Jack gave him would have been enough to reduce even Charles Atlas himself to a quivering wreck.
And that wasn't the worst, oh no...not by a long shot. Back in their spartanly furnished straw hut after the session, his 'Master 'had seen fit to ensure that not only would the cowering sycophant be truly repentant for breaking the spell of The Maharishi Yogi's magical insights and teachings; but would also be roundly chastised into recognizing who the 'Real Boss' [ie ME] really was...

To this end I sprinkled some of my valuable 'Ready Brek' instant porridge powder on the mud floor of our hut [in a rough circle] and bade the recalcitrent and jibbering singer to sit in the centre of this improvised ring [with his eyes closed].

"Do you know what the punishment for interrupting The Blessed-One is Glove?" I commanded, and then added for emphasis
"especially for trivial matters like ahem... 'needing to go to the toilet'?"
"N-n-n- no... J-J- Jack..." my quaking neophyte answered in a gulp..." I..I..c- couldn't help it...honest!!!"
"Prepare yourself Glove" I boomed, as I reached into my Top Secret Hat Box and retrieved my one and only 'One True Crown of TM' [the one with the awe inspiring 'Magic Crystal' centrepiece you'll very likely recall]...

Before he knew what was happening, the self-styled 'Sultan of Shim' [ie shimmying] and critically acknowledged 'King Leer' found himself beginning to levitate. The instant flakes of porridge, disturbed by Gloves upward motion began to scatter wildly in every which way. Whatever he had been expecting by way of punishment for his unwarranted interruption of The Maharishi earlier, was miraculously swept away by an almost childlike wonder!
Meanwhile, "omming" away furiously as if his very life depended on it , with eyes firmly closed as if in a trance, Jack 'The Hat' Plankenspanker concentrated with an almost manic intensity on the job at hand:
Slowly, but perceptibly, the lotus positioned and notably airborne Glove began drifting towards the open window of their sparsely furnished accomodation ...

Ah yes...Rishikesh in those Swami balmy days of 1968. You had to be there in all honesty. Besides me and Glove we could also count members of Freddy and the Dreamers, renowned British politician Enoch Powell, stars of stage and screen like Sid James and the as yet relatively unheard of Charles Bronson in our devoted gathering. The Maharishi himself was always resplendent in a long flowing Mary Quant miniskirt and matching shiny plastic thigh length boots [with just a hint of 'Old Spice' aftershave to drive the ladies amongst our group crazy...though primarily the very lovely Nana Mouskourri, whose sexy horn-rimmed spectacles would always keep steaming up in the presence of the Inspired One].
But I digress.
As was the case back then with at least 99% of agrarian India, basic plumbing let alone proper toiletting facilities were very few and far between. And, as you can probably imagine, in our remote mountain hideaway things were basic indeed.In fact, not to put too fine a point on it, we followers all had to make do with one communal cesspit and NO toilet paper! Naturally, of course, these basic conveniences were not shared by the Blessed One, as he had [and at his own expense I hasten to add], one of the very first Port-O-San portable WC's ever to be built especially 'choppered' in and erected next to his gaily coloured ribbon festooned and genuine teak hardwood-floored pavillion. And, it may be prudent to mention, a case of triple-ply Andrex [Peach coloured] would always be within his easy reach.

Glove had not, at that time, sued the Andrex corporation for failing to give him royalties for allowing the word 'Peach' to be used - after all it sounds just too much like 'Beach' as his lawyers would agree at a later date.

And so with thoughts of the ner-to-be court case Glove continued on his TM flight out of the window. His thoughts of 'where are my God damn free peanuts' were soon out of his mind as he looked below to see the traffic slowly queuing on the M25 below. I really need my Port-O-San toilet right now he thought. But still his mind went back to the room before and the magic crystal intalled within 'that must be mine' he thought as he he floated over junction 3 on his way to the Dartford Tunnel. The people below, looking not so much like ants, but more like small people below, were now pointing and looking at him, like one does when a hot air balloon goes over, or indeed a lost Glove floats overhead. 'Is it a man', 'is it a plane' - 'no its a Glove!'; the minions below would exclaim. Normally he would get drunk in the admiration, but his mind was elsewhere, that is where the crystal was. Once he had the crystal in his hands he would be at 'one' with the 'one' that deserves to be at 'one' with. Complete 'oneness'. No one had been there, it was like the holy grail, without the bloodshed; and his movie would be better.

As luck would have it, he had the world at his fingertips - Glove got the Mat-Nav out of his dressing gown pocket - a device for telling one where to place ones mat at each meditation as well as giving locations for all michelin starred restaurants along the way.
Glove typed in 'Magic Crystal', closed his eyes and hoped for the best...

Last edited by Mr. K on Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:44 pm; edited 2 times in total

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)

Archive of Our Own--Stories by DJ Marlowe
Handel French Ouvertures Project
Mr. K
Mr. K
Posts : 1954
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Age : 72
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The Beard of Love: A Satire Empty Re: The Beard of Love: A Satire

on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:54 pm
Chapter Six (part one)

Quite how it was that my erring disciple had got it into his thick head that he was airborne over a stretch of an-as-yet unfinished British motorway instead of en route to an [in all probability] equally insalubrious location is neither the time nor place for discussion at this juncture.
The fact of the matter is, that almost exclusively through my immense talent at meditation, I was levitating the dreaming idiot towards the very cesspit alluded to a paragraph or two earlier. Whilst the smell and general quality of life in and around the Dartford Tunnel area may certainly be comparable [or so I would imagine] to this communal 'lavvie'; I would find it hard to believe that there would be anywhere else in Essex [let alone the rest of the United Kingdom] that there could be a square yard of land/trench quite so positively vile and digustingly rancid [save perhaps Dagenham]...

"Ah... Dagenham!"

Glove was drifting dangerously in the direction of unconsciousness - not that his brain noticed the difference. Dagenham, of course - as all Glove scholars will know - was the home of his forebears, the Gloves of Dagenham. His grandfather, Hector "Kid" Glove, had been at school there with Jimmy Greaves and the future Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey. Rumour has it that it was the gruesome stench emanating from said Hector that caused young George to join the Church at the age of three.

Glove gradually awoke from his reverie and surveyed the M25 beneath him - at least he though it was the M25, for nothing seemed certain anymore. Then he caught his breath. There was something that looked suspiciously like a dirigible approaching from the direction of Chelmsford. Odd, he swore he could hear singing coming from it, filthy songs they were too.
Just then, and with a quite almighty PLOP!!! which jolted the otherworldly Glove rudely awake, he found himself in the putrid muck of the communal cesspit, with the somewhat spotty rump of Enoch Powell himself towering over his head!
Powell, it was, who had been reciting the filthy lyrics to 'Four-and-Twenty Virgins" as he was at his ablutions, was [naturally] somewhat alarmed by the smelly splashback that the just descended singer had caused with his splash-landing:
"What in God's name?" the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton barked as his backside and the tail of his freshly laundered shirt ['Jermains' of Baker Street] absorbed the momentous detritus thrown up by the displacement Glove had involuntarily effected....

Gasping for air, the hapless frontman took a moment to take in his surroundings. Up to his waist in waste and with a bellowing Tory immediately over him [naked buttocks and shirt tail psychedelically pebbledashed with specklets of faecal matter], Glove could hardly believe where he now found himself. This was certainly a far cry from performing for hundreds of swooning teenyboppers at the Hollywood Bowl!

As for myself, coming out of my trancelike condition, I too took a moment to take in my surroundings. Carefully removing my magical crown from my luxuriously follicled head I surveyed the porridge bestrewn floor of my shared accomodation. In no mood for cereal, I instinctively knew that trouble was brewing....

And, as I think we have very probably learned by now... if The Hat was to ignore these self-same instincts [as other perhaps lesser mortals might], the consequences could be dire for all concerned.
But especially for Glove.
Donning his magical crown once more then, Plankenspanker tuned his inner vision to the general direction of The Great Swami himselfs luxuriously appointed pavilion:

"I am being very much of the opinion" said the greyishly bearded object of devotion, in a conspiratorial tone, to a certain besotted and bespectacled singer [ Nana Mouskourri??? Freddie Garritty??? even Roger Whittaker perhaps????], "very, very much of the opinion indeed, that my beloved and highly valued follower, Mr Jack Plankenspanker is not being up to any goodness... if you are getting my esteemed driftiness...."

Imagine my shock and surprise at hearing these words from one of my all-time greatest idols and [let's not forget] Father Figure. Was there somehing wrong with my crown? Were the balmy weather conditions playing havoc with my inner eye, much like stormy weather can influence ones televisual reception? Or..could the worlds greatest living Swami perhaps be coming down with something?
All these thoughts and more were swimming through my mind as I tried to make sense of it all. One thing WAS certain however. It was time to get the hell out of there before things started getting ugly with, or [preferably] without my erstwhile companion and hopelessly devoted follower: Glove.

Speaking of the cesspit smelling dolt, the last time we saw him he was up to his belly in raw sewerage....

However, the peach coloured Andrex gave Glove the best idea he had in ages, he would form a retro surf rock band in peach Hawaiian shirts called The Peach Boys. As he was sinking into the sewage, he thought, "hey, man, if I get out of this cesspit alive, I'll form the best surfing band in the world even if the world has moved on since 1963." Luckily, as Glove began to sink into the sewage, Enoch Powell managed to pull him out at the last minute . Glove then had the brilliant idea of making Enoch his manager and then put an advert in Record Collector to seek musicians interested in joining his new band dedicated to "keeping the real spirit of surf music alive and defending the spirit of rock and roll from leftist agitators, drug freaks and a certain Brian Wislon, who has undermining my music for the last three years."
Glove got his band together, which comprised of two overweight ex teddy boys from Canvey Island to provide the harmonies, a keyboard player who taught music at Dagenham Secondary Modern but thought he'd go along as the pay was better and a drummer who had been thrown out of 76 bands for being no good. Their first gig at Ilford Conservative Club, introduced by Enoch Powell, attracted 400 people who wanted to hear Enoch discuss politics, but soon dropped to 3 people when The Peach Boys began their set with Surfin UK. "Not much surfing in Ilford," was the retort when the steward pulled the plug on the band's first gig.

The repercussions from this much-criticized debut performance were to be felt for many years afterwards. Most notably,the Right Honourable Enoch was to quote a line from "Surfin' UK" a few months later in his notorious 'Rivers of Blood' speech, since misrepresented literally dozens of times:
"Everybody has gone surfing, surfing United Kingdom" was what Powell actually said, upon being asked if he saw any end in sight vis a vis the plight of Britains disaffected West Indian population [primarily the younger males] and NOT [as has been frequently cited] "they're all a bunch of scrounging c**ns."
In his biography ['They Should all be Strung up'] a few years later, Powell was to claim that My Glove had not only ruined his career as a politician, but also nipped his embryonic bid to be a Pop Promoter in the bud:
"....perhaps one of my biggest regrets in life [he wrote] is pulling that toe-rag out of the cesspit in Rishikesh."*

* 'They Should all be Strung Up' Hodder and Stoughton 1976 [p.443]

Glove had to act fast and then decided to sack his band and then move with the times, renaming the band Peach and wearing a peach kaftan and growing his beard long. Glove moved to San Francisco to try to recruit a new band, "as this was where it was happening, maaan", only to be told he had arrived a year late, but still perservered with the Peach concept recruiting four hippies with the offer of free acid to record a concept album about love, peace and trasncenendental meditation, with plenty of references to surfing, to keep the old fans happy. However, the hippies took so much Brown Owsley during the first session of the untitled Glove project that they thought they could fly and ended up jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and never being seen again. Glove again had his plans for musical domination thwarted.

It was around this time, that the imbecile first began to hatch a fiendish plan in his otherwise rather limited mind as to how to go about stealing my magic crystal...

However, returning to Rishikesh.
Unaware that The Conservative Member for Wolverhampton had taken pity on the pathetic figure cowering beneath his speckled buttocks, and knowing that time was of the essence with regards to The Maharishi [and his henchmen... and henchwomen], I hastilly packed my meagre belongings into my Gladstone Trunk and scribbled the following note to Glove:

Dear Glove,...

[to clarify] Plot summary:
My Glove has, in all likelihood, stolen the "Sacred Crystal"of TM from the cheap plastic crown of Jack 'The Hat' Plankenspanker [previously a mere chartacter in this story, but now active in it's narration]. This is as a direct result of his Rishikesh experiences. However, the cunning Plankenspanker has been equally devious in his drugging of Glove through doctoring his spaghetti sauce [during The Slurporama] into forcing Glove to admit that he [Glove] is the culprit. Along the way, we have seen appearences by such luminaries as The Beachy Heads [Bryan and Carlo Wilton, Bruise Chormondley-Smythe et al], Patrick Duffy, Rolf Harris, Dr Eugene Landry, Arturo [an emaciated ferret] and sundry others.
A good deal of the action has been in Gloves imagination so far, whether drug induced or via simple concussion. Anyhow, the most important thing to remember is that there is NO set story as such and that anything can happen...literally! It's basically just an exercise in pointless creativity for the amusement of both the writers and readers...
Now read on...

"Dear Glove,

Please don't take 'Dear' as a term of endearment, it is not, it is merely a salutation and used the world over to friend or foe; as in Dear Lawyer, Dear Brian, Dear Deirdree etc.

By the time you read this i will be far away, not because i am scared of you or the safety of my crystal, nor the fact that being near you makes me retch, though since you have taken to sleeping in the communal cesspit, i must say many people have done so in your prescence, they are not bowing to you Glove. No, i have to leave becuase you bore me. I was hoping you would be a fine adversary to me - a Moriarty to my Homles, Rommel to my Montgomery, Cooper to my Clay. A Joker to my Batman would be good but you can't even be Laurel to my Hardy. You are a joke; the number of times i have purposefully left my crystal for you to take have been too many to mention; just so that i could have the challenge of retreiving it; but it's been too easy. you are no longer a challenge to me, and so i must go and find something else to amuse me.

oh, by the way, i think i should tell you before you make yourself look even more stupid; the 'TM' that you see behind company logos is not the corporte giant sending a subliminal message. It has nothing to do with Transcendtal Meditation. Oh, how me and the Matashitsu laughed about that when you went to your cesspit bed..."

i wanted a breather, i would finish the letter shortly, i knew time was not on my side, but i wanted that last bath in elephant milk, with a hint of peach foam...

my head was under water, so i didnt hear the first knock at my door, the fourth knock i had partly dried and was ready to go back to finishing my letter. Who was disturbing me now? I knew what i wanted it to be - those Rishikeash Double Burgers are sent from heaven and as i last treat i had ordered one.

So, with only a towel around my waist, dripping water all over the tiles'r'us flooring, for which i felt no guilt, i answered the door.

It was not my burger, but i was shocked, and i must say scared at who who was standing in front of me...

"...Oh Jack..." she squealed as she saw my gaily patterned towel fall to the ground, " I'd forgotten quite how hu.."

"Gladys!" I replied, bending to retrieve my towel, "how many times do I have to tell you; you're engaged to Glove now!"
And this was true. Gladys Vishnagurtee [whom I had rescued from a life of weight-lifting drudgerey] was a dwarfette [female midget] with a mission however, and the slight inconvenience of being betrothed to an incredibley stupid [not to mention vain] pop singer with a penchance for nearly anything in a skirt or bikini was but a mere trifle to her:

"But Jack my beloved" she pleaded...

"But Jack nuthin'" the ruthless Hat snarled as he slammed shut the chalet door with a decisive thud. Honestly, as if he didn't have enough to do without mollycoddling those even more vertically challenged than himself!
Unbeknownst to him [and Glove] however, the poor woman was 'with child' and was not to be brushed aside quite so lightly.
Instinctively knowing that circusfolk were unlikely to allow a 'bastard' [G]love-child amongst their ranks, and that the paying public were likely to be even more unforgiving, Vishnagurtee was desparate to attach herself to either Plankenspanker and/or Glove; one of whom was almost certain to be the childs' father [alongside Freddy Garritty, with whom she'd also had a brief flirtation].
Thus, with a count of three, the barrel-shaped and impressively musclebound Gladys lowered her right shoulder and charged with all her might against the cheap plywood door:
"HI-EEEYAHHHH!!!!" she shouted...

Hat heard a loud noise, 'my burger, at last' and he opened the chalet door, which apart from turning the handle needed no effort, as Gladys the Midget flashed passed as she came hurtling through the doorway at break-neck speed with the momentum of a 10 foot, 5 ton, elephant crouched in a ball, rolling down a one in ten hill; only a lot, lot smaller. Her performing slippers offered little resistance on the tiled floor and her scream turned into an "oooohhhhh shhhhhh...." as in no time at all she had reached the end of the chalet, was out of the balcony doors, across the balcony and straight over the edge; plumetting down three stories to the communal cesspit below.

Hat stood rooted to the spot looking from the doorway to the balacony and back, several times, trying to let what had happened sink in and to make sure there were no more midget lemmings on their way...then Hat snapped back to his senses; he could not bring himself to look over the balcony as he feared the worse...

However, by freak good timin' [good, good timin'/you need good etc etc] Gladys had not landed on either his protege [Glove] nor The Right Honourable Powell, who even now were making their way back to Enochs' chalet [whose fellow occupant was none other than actor Charles Bronson] eagerly discussing their plans for 'The Peach Boys' [whom Powell had originally wanted to call "My Glove and the Enoch Powell Sunshine Valley Skinhead Stompers"... but that's another story].
Gladys Vishnagurtee had in fact just managed to clear both the cesspit and the adjoining laundrette, and was just beginning to make her descent in the region of The Maharishi's compound [easily recognizable by the red and yellow bouncy castle conveniently placed in his holinesses front garden]....

Hat was still rooted to the spot, staring through the balcony wondering whether to go and look below, when he thought he saw Gladys, fly up in the air before his eyes and back down again. Hats brain working fast, this was not dead Galdys, rising to angelic heights, Hat put this down to too much caffine and not enough sleep; when again Gladys the midget was shooting up through the air. This happoened two more times the third time Gladys was not shooting straight up but angled like the trajectory of a failed missile...

...Gladys had let herself down, her circus training had always instructed her to land with two feet, the last time she landed on the bouncy castle with only one and shot off through the air towards the peasants quarters. The straw roof broke her fall, without any harm to her or the miracle she carried inside her, she dropped through the roof and landed upright in a chair. She was not happy to find herself sitting next to Enoch, but rather pleased that the person sat infront of her, with his feet behind his ears in typical TM pose, was non other than her former lover.. Glove...

"Oh golly gosh!" ejaculated Gladys, as she took in her surroundings with amazement; " it is with some astonishment that I am being seated in the same room as not only one of the greatest orators of the 20th century England" [at which Powell gruffly nodded in agreement] "but also the marvellously talented and deeply humble Glove sahib with whom my marriage has been so masterfully arranged!"
"Eurgh!" spluttered Glove, going a deep shade of red, "eurgh...I ah..."
Before the somewhat embarrased [and 'marvellously talented'] object of Vishnagurtees gushings could form a coherent sentence in reply however, in stepped Charles Bronson carrying a tray laden with a pot of tea and some freshly made Bakewell tarts [whom some of you may remember were Gloves favourites?]
"Cakes anyone?" the Hollywood hard man grunted, as he entered, "careful... they're just out of the oven..."

Charles put the tray on the centre table, the steam from the cakes and tea seeming to join and dance together, upwards and out of the new hole in the roof. Charles took his gun out of its shoulder holster, once a prop now for real after his latest role as Head of Security for the Mahirishi complex. The other three people in the chalet looked on nervously, but Charles just put the gun on the table, a stark contrast to the tea and cakes, and proceeded to take off his boots...Chalres smaked his hands together and continued to rub them, as if about to announce his plans for world domination...

'Right, who's up for a go on the bouncy castle before it gets dark?' 'No, thanks, i just had a go' Gladys replied; Enoch gave Charles his best Paddington Bear hard stare and Glove didnt speak, just looked around the room in any direction but that of Gladys. 'Your loss' Charles shouted over his shoulder as he was out of the chalet door.

Enoch looked at Glove then Gladys and decided that, in fact, a few rounds bouncing in the air would not be a bad thing at all and before you could say 'when did you last change your socks', Enoch had slipped off his loafers and was running out of the door 'Wait for me Chuck..'

Glove and Gladys were alone. Glove now cross legged on the floor which put him at the same eye level as Gladys; the only thing seperating them was the table of tea and cakes and the gun...

True to form, Glove stretched out a hairy hand and snatched the plate from under his fiancee's nose:
"Mine!" he shrieked in a shrill voice, before scuttling off to Bronsons adjoining bedroom and barricading the door. The truth be known however, as her husband to be still stank to high heaven of the cesspit, [and as yet hadn't washed his hands] Gladys Vishnagurtee was not as 'put out' by this outrageously selfish behaviour as one might perhaps imagine. Indeed, knowing that her best chance of escaping both rural Rishikesh and India itself lay with the repugnant smelling singer [and his promise of marriage], the idea of criticizing his piggyish behaviour would most certainly not be in her best interests. That could wait until after the wedding she prudently intuited.
Instead, the pint sized weight lifter helped herself to a nice cup of freshly brewed tea, as she sat listening to the animal like sounds of Glove filling his face with piping hot Bakewell tart [severely scolding the roof of his mouth in the process]....

Whilst all this was going on, I had finished my packing, completed my farewell note and was just about to depart from our temporary accomodation when suddenly a flash of inspiration hit me. 'Why not' I thought to myself, 'why not land that odious little jerk in it REALLY big time as a sort of parting gift?' I reasoned.
As the Maharishi had somehow got it into his head that I was hatching something behind his inspirational back, why not go along with this, but pretend that Glove was behind it? Knowing that my companion kept a journal of sorts [full of his pathetic rantings and crazed notions] and that he'd 'hidden' it underneath his straw mattress, it was but a moments work to whip out the cheapo imitation leather-bound book and flick the pages through to the latest entry:

"I serialusly think" he had written, "that Jack dusent like me sumtimes. All I sed to him was that he is not very nise to me sumtimes and he got all angry and stuff and sed that I diserve it and that if I dident stop wineing that he wood send me back on the first plain..."

As I said: pathetic.

Anyhow, picking up Gloves well nibbled biro [with that odd plastic bit from the end oddly missing] I began to write [copying his feeble style and spelling as best as I could]....
"Wile I was lissning to the swarmy, it suddenly dornrd on me that he is an old frord. I meen, all this boring meditashun bisnis.wot duz it meen? i am going to say to jack that i wont to leev but that furst we shood go and set fire to the silly old gotes beerd or sumthing. jack will probly say that i am beeing stupid or sumthing, and mite even go and tel the barsted that i am planning to get him but i beleeve its wurth the risck."

That should do the trick, The Hat muttered to himself, as he placed the journal [open on the offending page] on top of the shack's 'occasional' table. Not having time to hang around however, lest one of The Maharishis roving bodyguards happen by, Plankenspanker snatched up his bulging Gladstone bag and briskly set off.

Hat was pleased that he had purchased the latest Gladstone with wheels at the back as it made for easier work over the rough terrain; he had turned past the bouncy castle and was within sight of the exit when he heard banging, shouting, and muffled voices coming from Enochs chalet. Hat's inquesitive nature got the better of him and though he knew he should be on his way he decided to wait to see if there was any action, even if he could not hear what was being said. and hid himself behind the eastern turret of the castle.

CHARLES banging on shack door: "Glove, come on now, there is no point barrackading yourself in the room..."

GLOVE: "Mmmmph otumpt moff"

CHARLES: "Stop mumbling man, i can't understand a word you are saying"

GLADYS: "My silly love glove sausage has burnt his mouth eating all thoses cakes"

GLOVE: "phaapt ooft"

CHARLES: "Please open the door, its not exactly fair you locking yourself in Enoch's room when you have a perfectly good room in your own shack to lock yourself in"

Enoch just sat sulking in the corner of the main room

GLOVE: "mmm phforry"

CHARLES: "Listen i will go and check your shack for spiders, as usual, so that you know its safe to go in, if you promise to come out"


Chalres turned and headed out.

The commotion had died down, then from his viewpoint, Hat saw Charles Bronson emerge from the shack and stride purposefully towards Gloves abode (and the journal). Hat was sniggering to himself as he carried on with his way to the exit.

A quick note to clarify just who's bedroom it was that Glove was stuffing his face in, as [to the observant reader] there may appear to be some confusion. Whilst earlier stated that Glove had barricaded himself in Bronsons room for the purpose of masticating some piping hot Bakewell tart, after a moment or two, Glove had noticed a 'Daddy-Longlegs' [cranefly] on the wall, and being scared of insects of this and similar airborne ilk, had repaired to Powells more commodious sleeping quarters with all due haste immediately thereafter. Thank you for your kind indulgence.

We resume the story as Bronson finds the cleverly forged entry in Gloves open journal....

As Bronson read the incriminating scrawl, his first instinct was for revenge. Had Glove some kind of death wish he thought?
And then another thought hit him almost instantaneously. A thought that would reap him millions in the coming years and launch him into the Hollywood 'A' list. But it is neither the time nor place to discuss Charles's brainwave now, as matters are much more pressing. As the Youngster just so correctly pointed out, it IS a long story isn't it?

Taking matters into his own hands was second nature to the squinty eyed star as he clenched his fists and gritted his teeth in a vengeance seeking stance. He'd see just who was gonna git their manky beard set alight first! And it sure weren't gonna be The Swarmy!

At about the same time, Glove [completely unconscious as to what was just about to befall him] finished brushing the cake crumbs from his knee-length bermuda shorts onto Powells otherwise spotlessly clean bedroom floor and heaved a deep sigh of contentedness. It was [of course] just then that something gleaming and sparkly caught his beady eye as he happened to glance over at the renowned British politicians immaculately polished travel-hatstand. Why... it couldnt be? Surely not? But it was!!
It was a turban! And, oh no... not just any old turban.....

...'it must be The Magic Turban that i have heard of' Glove thought to himself. To the untrained eye, a turban that is not sitting on a head can just look like any lentgh of cloth; but Glove having a very keen eye knew other wise. 'Fiddlesticks, i wish i paid more attention in my "how to wrap a turnban classes"' Glove muttered to himself as he struggled with the 6meter pink fabric. After nearly strangling himself several times Glove finally put the last bit of cloth in place and looked at himself in the full length mirror; "resplendent, rather dashing!" Glove lied to himself - for he was attuned to lying to himself as well as any one else; and he believed himslef too. (To be honest, he looked like a bad day at the archery club). He must try the magic right now. He closed his eyes, put his hands on his hips and said out loud "There's no place like home" while clicking the heels of his sequined slippers together.

When he opened his eyes he was rather upset to find himself; well infront of the mirror in Enochs room. 'too much bad Karma in here, man' Glove ran out of the room screaming, grabbing Enochs lighter off the nightstand on the way. Enoch came out of his sulk by the sound of Glove screaming and the shack door slaming after him; 'how rude' Enoch said to Gladys, for Enoch was upset as he had quite a few more hours of sulking to do yet; still he could now go and claim his room for himself once more. 'this place just gets worse, the bed is not even made yet'. At least the maid had taken his dirty, soiled bed sheet.

Glove took position in the middle of the yoga field - the best place he thought for The Magic Turban to work. He held the lighter aloft and lit it, clicking his heels and crying 'Freedom'. Bronson saw Glove and the lighter and knew what he had to do, he sprinted, as best he could, towards Glove...
"That's odd.." thought the Zippo flicking singer, "I could swear I can hear someone bearing down on MMPH!"
The next thing the startled, semi-succesfully turbaned Glove knew, he was being unceremoniously pinned to the bakingly hot [midday sun-scorched] ground by the distinctly out-of-breath, and sweaty Slavic actor, and [to his horror] was having his beautifully manicured gingery beard soaked in what smelled distinctly like vodka!
"What the-" he squealed as Bronson adeptly prised the lighter from out of his desperately clutching fingers..
"Set light to our Swami's beard wouldja?" snarled Bronson as he succesfully retrieved the chrome plated lighter, "a lil' no-count like you would dare to ignite the Supreme-Being's magnificent growth!!!" and so saying, the increasingly incensed Bronson fumbled with the lighter and it was a matter of seconds (and it would seem later that those seconds counted against him) before he flipped the lighters lid with one hand while easily keeping his yelping quarry pinned to the ground. He flicked the thumbwheel and the flint sprang into life, just then he thought "i swear i can hear someone bearing down on MMPH"

Although small, Gladys could certainly do some damage while flying through the air at 80 miles and hour (as the circus human cannon ball she was used to it). She hit Bronson full in the chest and the actor, losing his balance, fell to the ground. Three bodies lay on the ground, slightly entwined, with the closeness of a collapsed rugby scrum. Two were gathering their thoughts and strength; Glove was on a second drunken verse of "Barnacle Bill the Sailor", a reaction of getting rather tipsy after having sucked all the vodka from his beard.

All were too engrossed/drunk to notice the Zippo, still alight, flickering just a whiskers length away from the cloth of Gloves now unravelled Magic Turban.
In fact, it wasn't until My Glove, beginning to feel slightly nauseous from his earlier beard sucking [as the field began to spin]; it wasn't until the inveterate womaniser and kimono wearing lead singer with California's Numero Uno Surf band happened to notice that his Bermuda shorts were alight, that the cause of the vision blurring and smoke smelling vapours became apparent to the tangled trio:
" Help!" he managed to shriek..
"I think I'm on fire!!"

Leading Polyester/ Cotton expert Dr Frank 'Loopy' Lopez of The University of Michigan:

"Of course, when the singers Polycotton shorts ignited , allied with the highly combustible nature of Powells synthetic turban, a sort of mini-meltdown was inevitable. Both Glove and Bronson were lucky to escape with only second degree burns, and [in my opinion], had it not been for the quick thinking of former circus weightlifter [cum emergency substitute Human Cannon Ball] Vishnagurtee, we could have been thinking in terms of emergency skin grafts and acting lessons. As it was, Vishnagurtees use of her phenomanal lung power in blowing out the fire could also be seen as a highly dangerous action, but undoubtedly it was this, plus the lack of any prevailing wind which facilitated the fortuitous escape of her companions. How much did you say you were gonna pay me for this again?"

As Lopez points out above, it was indeed the diminutive 'Untouchable' [although not for Glove or Freddie Garritty as we have earlier seen] who saved the day and ensured her place as bride number 12 [or was it 13 ?] for the irrascible Glove.

Subsequently, and to keep a long story not quite as long as it might be otherwise, Glove [more than anything to placate the furious Powell, whose nylon turban had been scorched almost beyond repair] was to return the long way round [via Essex] with his new found bride, to his swanky Hawthorne home and resume work once again on the 'SnEer' project . As we have also seen [but quite possibly forgotten], Glove, very likely as a consequence of his experiences in India, had developed an almost all-consuming mania with respect to getting his filthy mitts on my fabulous Crown of TM. He just had to find a way how, that was all...

We now return then, to the trunk of my rather splendid Nash, as Glove is forced to accept the inevitable....

Approaching his rather impressive [in a tacky sort of way] "Temple of TM", The Hat took the time to check his reflection in his rearview mirror. Certainly, he did look a bit like Zubin Mehta, as has been earlier noted, what with his swarthy eyebrows and romanesque conk. He also, and arguably, could be seen in a certain light to resemble Marlon Brando [with a hat on]. Life was good. Mostly.
Readjusting his vision to the deserted streets once more, the undeniably pink stetson hat-wearing Plankenspanker hummed a bar or two of "Climb Every Mountain" [from the popular Rogers and Hammerstein musical 'The Sound of Music'] as he flicked up his Nashes indicator switch to show that he was going to take the next right. It might be dark, it may very well be the early hours of the morning and there may be no one about, but the very last thing he wanted was another overly keen LAPD officer stopping him again...not when he was so close....

I am , as many of you will have come to understand by now, I am [essentially] a humble man. All I really need in this world is a modest meal or two, perhaps a glass of pasteurised milk occasionally and the time and space to meditate. The trappings of success: flashy fast cars, expensive jewellry, huge mansions filled with priceless antiques, whilst all very nice to own [as I am prepared to admit] are mere material belongings. Trifles.
So, ok yeah, I may be the World Number One practioner in the field of TM, I may even have invented the sequinned turban [in 1966], but know, when all is said and done, I really haven't changed all that much from the snotty nosed little brat that I once was all those years ago in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Except that I have obviously grown [upwards] quite a bit since, and always carry a fresh supply of freshly laundered, monogrammed [in gold lace] silk handkerchiefs around with me. Just in case.
When it was then, that I first discovered that someone [or something] had brutishly torn my beautiful [and magic] 'Sacred Crystal of TM' from out of its setting in the pride of my TM crown collection [the VERY CROWN of TM ITSELF !!!], and [in all probability] stolen it, I was quite understandably rather upset.

Unable to focus his inner eye [a bit like Sauron in 'The Lord of The Rings'] because of the missing artifact, Plankenspanker was forced to adopt slightly less esoteric methods in his attempts to confirm the identity of the thief. Suspicion of course pointed almost exclusively at his most devoted, yet least trustworthy pupil: Glove. There were however, also reasonable grounds to suspect a further two of his disciples: Dr Eugene Landry [for whom the ability to 'see' into his patients minds and bank balances would be of enormous value,] and the relatively new recruit Herr Von Schlaubenboffler, late of Germany, Europe.
Von Schlaubenboffler certainly was an odd one, make no mistake. Resolutely refusing to adopt a macrobiotic vegetarian diet on the grounds that "ze glorious Fuehrer voss made half crazy by haffing to be eating such garbich", the mystery hun also seemed hell bent on trying to make friends with "Gluff." Although why anyone would wish to do that was completely beyond even Jack 'The Hat' Plankenspanker....

Hiring a detective agency to trace the miscreant was thus naturally the best option to follow....

it was at this juncture that Hat found himself on a beach in LA. Not the beach that one would see later in life; full of sand, surf, drowning bodies and The Hoff and his entourage adourned only in bronzed flesh and skimpy bits of red cloth; but a mild shingle affair with two vans insitu. One was selling 99's to any passer-by who could not tell a Mr Whippy from a Ben & Jerry as long as the 99 was nice and proud. This van Hat passed by, although a Mr Whippy at this twilight time was very tempting. Hat went straight to the other van - a van that for somer reason, only known to tv producers, was parked there.

He banged on the caraven door, and awaited probably the only person who could find the TM crystal and its thief, he had heard about his files - shortly PI Duckford came to the door...

" that you?" gasped the detective, as his one good eye widened in wonder.
"The same.." replied The Hat, as he unceremoniously barged past the thinly-framed former Detective Sergeant, into the dank and shabbily furnished caravan. "I see you're doing well fer yerself.."

This was [as we have seen earlier] one of Plankenspankers less pleasant traits; this gratuitous use of sarcasm. Fact of the matter was, Jack Plankenspanker, for all his prowess at TM and dogged vegetarianism; [when all was said and done] was actually a rather shallow sort.
This tendency to demean others, whilst amusing to some [primarily his more wealthy followers], had of course also made The Hat some enemies down the years. My Glove, however, through virtue of a particularly thick skin [and his innate stupidity] was not one of them.....quite yet.

This would change in due course however.

Someone once said, although quite whom I do not know, that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour. And I quite agree, should the recipient of one's barb be too ignorant to appreciate the witticism bestowed upon his or herself. This is not to say however, that the recipients complete understanding [followed by an act of violence upon oneself] is desirable either. No. The truly succesful variant is a comment that although unlikely to be true, is yet just about plausible enough to pass muster as it were.
My mention then to Duckford that he seemed to be prospering, whilst pithy enough, was more in the realm of the ironic than true sarcasm.
Enough. The facts Plankenspanker...stick to the facts!

I had known Eddie Duckford for a number of years. Formerly, as has been noted earlier, a Detective Sergeant [in Manchester, England] the former 'plod' had once visited the same public library [although unknowingly] as one of Graham Nash's ex-milkmen. The years since however had seen a marked downturn in his fortunes.

Duckfords....not Nash's ex-milkman, naturally.

Anyhow, getting back on track. The Hat came to the point:
"I might have a little job for you Eddie."
"A job? What kind of job?"
"I need you to find a missing jewel. And the thief what stole it."
"The thief who stole it surely?"
"Look, let's not get hung up on words pal, just find the stone ok?"

Eddie Duckford paused a moment to reflect as he considered the job in prospect. It was true that he could certainly do with the work, not to mention the readies. Also, and of no less importance, here was a chance to show that he still hadn't lost any of his powers of deduction. Ok, Plankenspanker was a vile toad of a man, and yeah... he was certainly a sarcastic little bugger....

"What'd ya say Eddie?" Plankenspanker interjected.."Ya innerested?"

Duckford, whilst not especially interested in what was bound to be some kind of fools errand, knowing Plankenspanker to be at least a prompt client in terms of paying his fees, pretended to mull it over for a second or two and then nodded:
"Ok Jack.." he whispered with a sigh, "let's have a list of your suspects..."

A half an hour or so later, when The Hat had climbed back into his Nash and noisily sped away, the down-at heel 'Dick' took another Camel out of his half full pack, lit it, and went over the list he and Plankenspanker had cobbled together

1. My Glove [Chief Suspect]: Beluga Dr, Los Angeles

2. Dr Eugene Landry: c/o "Landry Psychiatristy and Ventriloquism Services" Lower 2nd St, San Fransisco

3. Herr Manfred Von Schlaubenboffler: 'Kosher Butcher' Berlin, Germany [Currently resident at The Hyatt on 5th and Main]

4. President Richard [Tricky Dicky] Nixon: The White House, Washington DC.

Ok, I admit...this last entry may have been slightly far-fetched, however in those days my sphere of influence was indeed far reaching. Who was to say if the less-than-trustworthy occupant of the highest office in our fair country hadn't gotten wind of my fabulous crystal. What lengths would he go to to get his sweaty little mitts on such a valuable artifact?
The war in Vietnam was not going as well as could have been hoped, relations with Russia and China were somewhat strained and scumbag hippies had threatened to levitate the Pentagon. Who's to say what 'Tricky Dick' could have accomplished with just a few dozen lessons in TM and my stolen jewel?
Conjecture of course, pure conjecture.

Anyhow, as I left the shabby caravan and sped off into the cool night air, I had pause to reflect on something Mao Tse Tung himself had once begged of me [in the strictest confidence of course]:
"Mistah Prankensplanker!" he had almost sobbed, " I have aw tea in countly. You gimme faburous jewer, you take tea yes?"

This was no ordinary mark my words.

Duckford wiped some grime off one of his windows to see Plankenspanker, his latest client, drive away muttering and marking words to himself. He picked up the list of suspects while lighting another camel and setting into his favourite chair, well, his only chair.

Looking at the list he was kicking himself [a habit he had got used to since a football accident while playing in goal for the Salford Sappers Under 11's and a misunderstanding bewteen him and Knobby, the centre half, saw the end to his potential footballing career; since moving to LA football was seemingly game with no Charlton-a-likes and most were girls, which annoyed him immensley] for not asking Plankenspanker for an advance in expenses. He allways tried to get a few hundred bucks from his clients for adavance expenses, but this client was different and he darent ask for a bean.

Looking at the list, and he knew them all - even Dr Landry he had heard about quite directly actualy, as one of his contacts in the LAPD had an ageing aunt who went to Landry for help for kleptomania; Brownies and Twinkies were never safe on the shelf with her around; and though Landry cured her of her compulsiveness, she had signed all rights over to him as producer and co writer for her next gramophone album. well her first album actually, and because of that 'From Under Your Noses' never saw the light of day and nestles quietly as one of those unreleased masters inbetween 'Smile' and Whittakers 'Whistle if You're Happy' - due to funds, or lack of, he thought it best to start with the nearest. So he got out his PI's AtoZ to check out My Glove c/o Dr Beluga...

Last edited by Mr. K on Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:44 pm; edited 2 times in total

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)

Archive of Our Own--Stories by DJ Marlowe
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Mr. K
Mr. K
Posts : 1954
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The Beard of Love: A Satire Empty Re: The Beard of Love: A Satire

on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:55 pm
Chapter Six (part two)

Doctor Beluga was just finishing his last glass of Cabernet Sauvignon for the evening [actually getting on for 3.30 am] when suddenly the phone started to ring.
"Who could it possibly be at this time of night?" he thought as he reached for the reciever.
"Beluga" he grunted, "what seems to be the problem?"
"Eh?" came the reply, "isn't that My Glove?"
"Your glove? What do you mean your glove?" the itinerant doctor retorted, "do you know what time it."
Glaring at the telephone in an almost impotent rage, the 61 year old Hungarian former 'Mr Universe' did something he didn't ordinarily do of a Friday night.
But quite what that was, is of little or no importance to us now. Is it readers?
Realising his mistake, the flustered Duckford once again consulted his telephone directory...

My Glove was not in all honestly a 'Creature of the Night'. Figuring, incorrectly as it turns out, that lack of sleep causes premature hair loss and flakiness of the scalp, the late 20's-ish singer usually tried to be in bed long before midnight.
Thusly, he was happily snoring away, dreaming that he was being pursued by a bevy of bevvied Glaswegian lovelies when his reveries were rudely disturbed by the trill of his bedside telephone.
"Urgh!!" he managed to splutter, as he reached for the reciever, "Urgh??"
"Mr Glove?" inquired a [for him] unfamiliar voice from the other end; "am I speaking with Mister My Glove of popular singing group: The Beachy Heads?"
Momentarily confused by this 'stumper', Glove instinctively went on the defensive:
" mean I mean.." What in tarnations was going on? Why was someone calling him at this ungodly hour? Was he in some kind of trouble? Or..and this was a LONG shot he had to admit, was this finally someone from the Grammy Committee?

"Is that Glove or not?" drawled the unfamiliar voice again as the still groggy singer groped for his night turban and dressing gown, "make yer mind up!"
"Um...yes...I'm Glove" My announced firmly, "...and uh..??"
"I represent an individual" replied the 'Dick' in a conspiratorial tone, " whom I work for."
"Eh?" murmured Glove as he attempted to untangle the unsightly mess that was his night-turban, "how do you mean exactly?"
"I am not at liberty to disclose my clients name" Duckford said, "but let's put it this way shall we....where's the crystal Glove?"
"It's in my..hey! hey! Hold your horses there buddy...what'dya mean 'sacred' I crystal?" the thieving scumbag almost shrieked, "I didn't steal no crystal from no-one..... ya got me?"
Knowing that he had almost given the game away at the very first hurdle, My Glove could have almost kicked himself with embarrasment. Next time he would have to do much better...
"Now you listen here Glove and you listen good" the dog-tired P.I semi shouted back [why was it always HIM who had to deal with these weirdo's?], "I wasn't born yesterday you dig? If that there crystal isn't safely back in its owners hands by lunchtime tomorrow...or today lunchtime rather...then there are gonna be some serious ree-pur-cussions...ya hearing me?"
Undaunted by such vague threats however, and in fact, really beginning to quite enjoy the challenge, despite the ungodly hour, Glove retorted in shrill tones:
"Ree-pur-cussions my white ass! Just you tell that jumped up little client of yours that the only way he's gonna get his pissant crystal back... er..which I haven't got by the way...uh...the only way he... or she.." ]smart thinking Glove!]" is ever gonna get their stupid goddam jewel back is"
"Yes, come on..the only way my client is gonna get his- or ahem.. her pissant-"
"Semprini!!" barked the momentarily lost for words singer in a fit of illiterate frustration, before slamming down his reciever with a final [and demonstrative] CLICK!

I distinctly remember waking up the following morning [to my moonlit visit to Duxfords mobile home] with an intuition that the day would bring me news. So certain was I of this in fact, that to pre-empt matters somewhat, I decided to go and pay a surprise visit on Glove myself.
When I arrived [sometime around lunchtime] at the dimwits pathetic imitation of my 'Temple of TM' [complete with a hand painted flag with the letters 'TM Palass" hanging limp from it's improvised pole; actually a broom handle roughly implanted in the unkempt front lawn], I was amazed to hear the sound of what would appear to be a scuffle from within the bungalow.
"... off your bleedin' rocker you stupid twat!" yelled a female voice "I ain't never seen no stupid bleedin' crystal!"
"I'm gonna give you one last chance Boyce!" rejoined a [to me] familiar nasal shriek...

Glove let go of his own throat...and lay gasping on the floor, while catching his breath. When he came too he was somewhat surprised to find himself alone in the bungalow. Well, not completely surprised as he knew before on his times spent alone meditating he had taken on another perosnna, and having Stalin in the same room gave him a buzz, but he had never meditated to the point of him trying to strangle himself, or rather Boyce trying to strangle him.... maybe she was here; in the dizzy haze after a good TM session Glove was not sure, no one else was in the room and it was a still night and he was alone...apart from some creeping, rustling noises outside; which disturbed Glove.
it could be Boyce outside or even worse, that Duckford fella. Pannicking Glove snatched the Crystal from the mantle, where it was sitting nicely next to a photograph of himself and that fine actor Ronald Reagan, and put it in his dressing gown pocket...and legged it to the bathroom...
His heart racing as he bolted the door shut, the noticeably thinning- on- top author of some of the best-loved compositions of 'The Swinging 60's' barely had time to accidentally skid on the inconveniently placed bathroom mat [narrowly avoiding bumping his increasingly shiney dome on a somewhat tacky chandelier] before coming to a halt in front of his personalized w.c.
"Goshdarn it!" he managed to splutter as he noted that the last occupant hadn't flushed properly.
Running the fingers of this hairy right hand through his sparse thatch, the balding superstar couldn't help but allow a little stamp of annoyance at this act of barbarism. With little beadlets of sweat already beginning to form on his increasingly high forehead, Glove placed the imitation crystal carefully on top of the glass shelf above his washbasin and...
[from his other pocket] withdrew what to all intents resembled a small roundish sugar sprinkled pastille, red in colour.
This he popped into his mouth, with a satisfied [some might even say enraptured] glom.
Sucking away noisily on his titbit, the blissful lead vocalist cast a more considered glare at the object floating in his lavatory.
Goodness Gracious!!! wasn't a poo after all! Or, rather, since when did a number 2 ever have hair and little furiously paddling arms and legs!!

"Glove" squeaked the drenched and bedraggled marmalot type-creature as it trod water with an emaciated yet oddly dextrous doggy-paddle;

Surely not? Surely he was imagining things?
Glove, almost choking on his fruit pastille took a step closer to the pan. Whilst bedraggled ferrets and stoats had been known to infest celebrity cisterns before now in LA, and indeed even the occasional baby crocodile, surely only man was capable of intelligent speech? Ferrets couldn't talk....could they???

As if reading his mind, Arturo [for it was he] spoke up:
"Beware of he who calls himself Plankenspanker Glove...uh...what are you doing with that handle Glove?? Don't fl...!!!"
But it was too late. In a fug of confused fear, the ashen faced pop star had taken it upon himself [for the sake of his own sanity] to flush the unfortunate rodent up, down and then around the 'u-bend' and thusly into the noxious sewer waters several stinky fathoms below...
"Plankenspanker!!" gasped the shaken singer, as the whooshing/gurgling sound of his desperate flush finally began to recede.
Crouched, as I was, beneath the slightly open window of Glove's palatial lavatory, I clearly caught the bemused gasp uttered by the startled entertainer. Fearing that I had been discovered in-situ as it were, and that my reputation as a ladies man might suffer from such a revelation, I hastily improvised:
"...and if I ever catch you hanging around my buddy's john again..I'll..I'll... hey you come back here ya little punk!!" I yelled.
The frosted glass window squeaked open further upon this outburst, and out poked a familiar auburn beard, followed swiftly by its owners nose.
"J-J-Jack..." gulped the visibly disturbed buffoon, "w w-what-??"
Not allowing him to finish his sentence however, more for fear of discovery, I quickly butted in:
"I was jes' drivin' past My" I said, "and I spotted this goddam sneaky lil' pervert with some kinda tape recorder or sumpin' right outside this heeyuh window..."

Glove, who would later learn to trust absolutely no-one, was, at this point in his career, still quite as gullible as hell, and [believing every devious word of The Hat] was quick to extend a nervous giggle to the perplexion of the still crouching TM guru.
"...hee hee" he chortled, " uh..hee..heee..... hee"
Momentarily stumped as to why his prime crystal stealing suspect could possibly find a tape-recorder wielding prowler stalking about outside his wc so amusing, Plankenspanker, completely out of character, removed his beret and scratched his comparatively sparse crown. Whilst not as visibly thinning as Glove, it would certainly be no exaggeration to say that Jack didn't just wear a constantly changing parade of hats purely for the novelty value...
"Anyhow Glove" continued the shameless charlatan, replacing his headgear with a barely audible plop, "I just thought I'd drop round, uh.. seein' as how I was kinda in the neighborhood...kinda see how you was doin' and all."
Not knowing quite whether to believe his mentor or not [Jack never just 'kinda dropped' in on anyone...there was always an ulterior motive], My Glove, still shaken by his recent meeting with the talking ferret played for time:
"Uh..I..uh...that is... er..uh..." he stalled.
"Ever eaten spaghetti My?" I ventured, flashing Glove one of my most winning smiles, "you look like a pasta kinda guy."
Completely thrown by this unwarranted and obviously unexpected inquiry; the thieving if bountifully bearded Beachy Head shot me a look as if to say 'crikey...he knows!'
"That is to say" I continued, skillfully pressing home my advantage, "the long stringy variety so beloved of our Italian cousins?"
Obviously unsure if I were referring to his half-cousin [Carlo] directly, or the Italian race in general, the panic-stricken Glove could only nod in assent....


An enormous divergence perhaps? A confusing tangle only rivalled by the works of James Joyce himself? A mess by any other name, but hey!! What the heck...this ain't meant to be taken seriously fer chrissakes!!
As The Hat himself alludes; it was at about this precise time that the plan, the nefarious and hugely sneaky scheme to publicly shame and embarass Glove into revealing the exact whereabouts of his plastic trinket began to take a distinct form.
If only he could have kept it to himself, the vainglorious fool, instead of blurting nearly all of the details out over a particularly revealing session with his shrink....
And no prizes for guessing who that might have been eh???

"So Jack" grinned the diminutive Dr Landry, folding his hands behind his head, "you seem to be displaying symptoms of shall I put this..."

"Utter stupidity way beyond anything one might rightfully expect of a human being?", Plankenspanker suggested helpfully.

"That's right", simpered the shrinkette, leaning forward in his chair. "Now Jack, you realize this is going to cost you a..." he managed before losing his balance and falling headfirst onto the floor, knocking himself out.

The Hat helped himself to one of Landry's cigars. That booger had been bothering him for weeks. He returned the cigar to its box.

The phone rang. The Hat waited briefly and then gingerly picked it up.

"Eugene?" rasped a familiar voice, "tell that little squirt Plankenspanker I'm onto him..." The Hat quaked, and dropped the phone. It couldn't be! It was!!! His worst nightmare had come true. His little legs all but gave way beneath him. After breaking wind for what seemed like an eternity, he made a beeline for the door. It was then that...
It suddenly dawned on me that doctored spaghetti sauce alone might not be enough to force that idiot into admitting his crime. Compulsive lying and latent megalomaniac tendencies [as Eugene quite rightly states in his marvelous book: "The Incredibley Manly Shrink"] can also lead to such extreme cases of self-denial that the sufferer, [in this case Glove] actually start believing their own fibs.
As my hand gripped Landry's hardwood knob, I had pause to reflect on something Chairman Mao had once advised me about the head Beachy Head:
"I no tlustee Gruv," he had opined over a steaming mug of cocoa "he ruv himseff rots and rots. Ownwee fing that I rike about him is his big bushy beard Prankenspanker. You wanna be rike me Jack...gotta have five year prans... just one plobrem, Prankenspankel, gotta have rong regs too. My boys invent method duling wondelfur Curtular Levorution fol stletching regs. They say tie velly velly big blicks to regs and thlow ovel criff, hey plesto, rong regs."

The Hat, his head spinning from replacing r's with l's and l's with r's, stopped refrecting... er, reflecting. Letting go of Landry's knob, his thoughts turned to the voice on the phone and whether it might have any connection with the all-important quest for the holy TM trinket-style crystal thingie. Just then he felt a faint tugging at his trouser leg, accompanied by a godawful stench. It was of course, the as yet semi -conscious 'quack' , Landry, whose fall had been broken by a lump of mature Parmesan cheese, similar to the one carried at all times by 'Gravy' Testeronio [if you recall].
"I think I've squashed my cheesey piece" he mumbled deliriously, "please Jack..ya gotta help me, it was a present from Rolf Harris...he'll kill me if he finds out!"
Luckily for Landry, Plankenspanker always kept a plentiful supply of cheese glue about his personage , and soon the Parmesan was once more looking as good as new.
"Ya owe me one Gene" The Hat grunted as he handed the thankful psychiatrist back his repaired Italian cheese....

True, the voice in Landry's reciever had temporarily 'thrown' me [or so to speak]. Ordinarily, of course, the supplicating doctor's pathetic squeakings would have left me cold and I would have wasted none of my precious cheese glue on the ripe Parmesan. Knowing, however, that this particular shrink may very well prove useful [and, in the not too distant future] discretion got the better of me.

You will, naturally be wondering by now, just who this mystery caller was ? Who could have gone to such lengths as to make such a pathetic bid to discredit me with such a [potentially libellous] slander? Not Glove of course, for despite the warning lately recieved from his lavatory, the idiot remained far too in awe of me to believe such an emaciated, if not to say soggy, source.
Nor was it either The Right Honourable Enoch Powell MP or the cake craving actor Charles Bronson [both of whom were still unsure as to what precisely had gone down that day in Rishikesh]...although they at least, had good cause.....
Truth being, by its very nature, stranger than friction [carpet burns notwithstanding], it may come as a shock to some that Landry's mystery caller was someone who's name [athough familiar] has yet to appear in this bizarre saga.
Born plain Barry Scruggs shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, the prodigiously talented banjo player had since reached the dizzying heights of Earldom. Naturally this had led to difficulties, not least with his fellow Earls, Lords and other 'toffs'.
Unable to flatten his vowels, and having a head at least 2 sizes too small for the traditional 'topper' [or top hat], young Scruggs had been both teased mercilessly in the Upper House, and suffered a debagging at Claridges [in the gents]. Seeking solace from these unwarranted attentions, Scruggs had unsuccessfully consulted a countless succession of genuine Haaitian witch doctors and French ventriloquists in his fruitless attempts to cure these deflictions.

Not surprisingly [and true for many others in those days] The New World had thusly beckoned, and [more out of a sense of misplaced hope than anything] young Scruggs had packed all his worldy belongings [namely his precious banjo and a used cinema ticket] into a cardboard box and had managed to stow himself onto a tramp steamer bound for Halifax.
Alas, and much to Scruggs initial confusion, swiftly turning to horror and acute embarassment, it was the wrong Halifax:

"Eeh 'oop" barked a gruff northern voice, as Scruggs [and several tramps] disembarked from the steamer " 'appen ah reckon ah've found ooz a stowaway 'ere 'arold!"

It was of course, many many years later that I was foolish enough to make the acquaintance of the so-called 'Earl'.
April 1958 in fact.
At the time, I was playing stand-up bass for an otherwise non-descript rhythm combo going under the name: 'Duke Chormondley-Smythe and the Captured Wood Elves of Mordor [featuring Swingin' Sal Sauron on Sax]', purely to flesh out my [as yet] embarassingly low income as an apprentice Swami.
Scruggs, chancing upon our bizarre moniker in The New York Daily Herald, was intrigued. Was Chormondley-Smythe a real bona fide Duke as such, and [if so], would he be prepared to help out a fellow distressed gentleman?
The Earl had seemingly fallen on hard times of late y'see...

Plankenspanker [as he rightly - for a change, states] being at that time, a mere apprentice Swami, was immediately taken in by the noble. Mistaking Scrugg's pleas of incipient poverty for lordly grandeur [the likes of which the humble double-bassist could only dream] The Hat was so deeply under the spell of the banjo toting figure before him that he allowed himself a fatal slip:
"I'm just as rich as the Dook" he blurted... "whats say we go's an gets us some boyguzz???"
Over the following week or so, there was literally nothing the foolish Plankenspanker would not do for his new found aristocratic friend. No gifts were too lavish: socks, underwear, Belgian chocolates, banjo strings...the works.
But how was The Hat finding the cash to support his profligacy? How could the lowly and frankly inpoverished sycophant, possibly afford all these expensive trinkets??
The answer is as simple as it is [oddly] sad: Plankenspanker had resorted to shoplifting.

We all make mistakes. Or rather, we can all be hoodwinked at some point in our lives into doing things we may regret later. Which is most certainly the case here.
Yes, it was that swine Scruggs on the line to Landry, and yes, he was attempting to besmirch my name, but no; this time the so-called 'Earl's little ruse never even got off the ground. Unlike Landry however.
Brushing tiny particles of Parmesan from his immaculately coiffured locks, the controversial 'Doc' had risen to his feet and was admiring his skillfully reconstituted [by me] cheese.
"Ooo Jack!!" he gushed, "it's's..."
But before he could summon up an adjective suitably impressive enough for my restoration work, who should come barging into Landry's ultra hip and expensively Feng-Shui'd office but the arch-buffoon: Glove himself!!!

But was it??
"Wat heb ik nu aan m'n fiets hangen?" barked the to all-intents and purposes Master Lyricist [after all, hadn't that line to their latest smash ' I'm pickin up the wifes' vibrator/ she told me I could use it later'* been cited by Dylan himself, as a motivating factor behind his so called 'comeback' following his little moped 'accident'?].
"Wie is dit klootzak Gene?" continued the Glove lookalike angrily " Ik heb het nu helemaal zat met jouw zogenoemd patienten!"
Plankenspanker, completely aghast at what would seem to be the complete mumbo jumbo his protege was spouting, and assuming that he was speaking in tongues or suchlike, was utterly dumbfounded...

* line kindly reproduced from "Good Vibrators" (Wilton/Glove) copyright 1966 Tea and Spoons Music.
The full text is as follows:

I, I like the poly- cotton clothes she wears
they make me want to part my head of hair
I like the way that she cuts her nails
She don't use clippers
Like they do in Wales

I'm picking up the wife's vibrator
She tells me I can use it later

Close my flies
they're somehow open now
forgot to zip up once I'd had a wee.
I hear the sound of a flushing loo
I hope I didn't get none on my shoe

Good, good, good vibrators
Good , good GOOD vibrators

etc etc etc.....

Last edited by Mr. K on Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:12 pm; edited 2 times in total

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)

Archive of Our Own--Stories by DJ Marlowe
Handel French Ouvertures Project
Mr. K
Mr. K
Posts : 1954
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The Beard of Love: A Satire Empty Re: The Beard of Love: A Satire

on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:56 pm

It would have been some time around 7.35 AM or so on that fateful December morning back in 1971 that Archbishop Makarios the Third of Cyprus and/or Greece woke up and stretched his large, hairy and powerful ecclesiastical shoulders and yawned.
"JESUS H. CHRIST!!!" he managed to splutter, "it's some time around 7.35 AM or so on!"
He wondered what this fateful December day was to bring, as he nervously pulled on his omophorion. Would Roger Whittaker be there to meet him at the quayside? Would he have the consignment with him as agreed? Or would he not have the assignment as not agreed? Realizing that it was now even later than when he first spluttered, he hurriedly fed the chihuahua and was out in the street before he or anyone else could say "Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston". As he turned the corner of Xanlithinionopolous Street, and crossed the busy thoroughfare which led in due course into Xamorphonopopopolous Avenue, the still fairly rugged [in an evangelical sort of way] 'Man of the Cloth' began to whistle. The tune was, possibly a tad predictably, "If I was a Rich Man"; one of his very favourite melodies, made popular of course by Topol in the musical comedy 'Fiddler on The Roof'.
Singing aloud the "zub-a-zub-a" bits, it wasn't long before the Father of Modern Greek/Cypriot Orthodoxy had stepped in a big turd. Luckily he was wearing his turdcrunchers and so he sloshed on into Xabadabadooflopalopolous Square where he bought a newspaper which he quickly held up in front of his face as he walked, outwardly to give the impression he was reading it (he'd bought Yeni Düzen by mistake) and more importantly to hide his identity. No one was to know that he, primate and archbishop of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the very first President of the Republic of Cyprus to boot, was on his way to transact a heinous deal with the disreputable likes of Roger Whittaker!

And then fate took over. Although his Turkish wasn't up to much, Makarios was stunned to see, leaping out at him from page three a name from the past, the seedier side of his past to be exact. And there was a photo! He caught his breath and sat down (in another turd). It was none other than the Liberal Member of Parliament for Rochdale, and well known salad dodger: Cyril Smith!!!

"Holy Moses!!!" Makarios yelped as he read the caption under the photograph:

"Cyril Smith MP will today be opening Limassols newest Kebab Parlour "Donna's Doners" in the company of our beloved Archbishop at 12.00 noon. All customers who present a copy of this newspaper will be entitled to help themselves to FREE salad [once] at Donna's super salad bar."

Glancing down at his bejewelled watch, the Prelate was aghast to see that it was already getting on for eight o'clock. This would certainly be leaving things a bit fine if he was to meet up with Rog' [and his 'special' Hamburg shipment], and make it over to Limassol in time for the opening...........

Deciding that he would have to 'toss for it', so to speak, ie Roger and his shipment vs Cyril and the 'Grand Opening', Makarios removed his Archbishops hat [a useful place to store his valuables he'd long since discovered] and removed his genuine Sows Ear Purse [a gift from one Burl Ives no less...but it's a long story....].
Extracting a shiney silver sovereign, Makarios decided that 'Heads' would be Whittaker, thusly making 'Tails' the obvious choice for the grossly overweight Liberal. Tossing the coin dexterously into the as yet still fairly cool morning air, the clergyman caught the spinning discoid on his left wrist immediately covering it with his sweaty right palm. "Ooo... please, please, please let it be 'Heads..." he inwardly prayed, before uncovering the sovereign to reveal the stylishly embossed symbol of the noble goat of Pyros...tails thus.
"Best of three" muttered Makarios to himself sending the coin spinning upwards again.Once more it was the goat rather than Nana Mouskourris bespectacled head beaming up at him when he uncovered the sovereign;
"Holy Mother of God!!" the disappointed Makarios exclaimed; it seemed there would be no getting out of it.
As if it wasn't bad enough waking up each and every morning to find himself a sodding Archbishop and have to go round in this ridiculous garb all day long, he also had to attend these poxy openings and act as if he gave a rats arse about such things.
Honestly! And, to cap it all, this time it would be with that effing English pig Mr Cyril "I Ain't 'ad me Thirds Yet" Smith again. Surely this was some sort of joke being played on him by some bastard Turk.
His mind drifted back to the last opening he'd had to perform with that fat buffoon, a year or two back admittedly, but it still rankled with him...

"I tairk grairt deloight" the idiot had announced, "in pronouncin' this 'ere bairkery open!!"
The trouble , and it should have been foreseen by someone at the planning stage, was that the Liberal Member of Parliament was such a greedy guts, that by the time he [Makarios] had been able to make it to the free 'Bun Buffet', in order to partake of one of those very sweet honey soaked pastry thingies that he was especially partial to, the great fat git had stuffed the lot!
"Ee ...ahm sorry Mr Makarios," he had said, "boot ah 'ardly ad 'owt fer me elevenses yer see?"

The good Bishop was nothing if not resourceful however, if not to mention duplicious [should the circumstances arise]. Scratching the tip of his greying beard, Makarios weighed up the likely consequences of 'pulling a sickie' [ie calling the organizer of todays big opening and claiming a 'dodgy' tum/headache or similar sudden ailment]. Everyone would take the word of an Archbishop surely?
OK, he had - and only a month or so ago - sworn off officiating at some very important wedding in St Tropez [some 'Rolling Stones' geezer or another] claiming a bad back, and would hate to develop a reputation for this sort of behaviour...still...

"Er...could I....urgh... speak to ...aagh...Mr Stakisopolous cough, cough... please?" Makarios groaned into the reciever of his emerald encrusted Bishops telephone, once safely back inside his palace; hoping to make himself sound as enfeebled as possible...

A few minutes later, the heavily disguised [in Foster Grant wraparounds, very loud Hawaiian shirt and well worn Panama hat] Catholic priest was safely esconced behind the wheel of his brand spanking new 1971 Ford Cortina MKIII and on his way to meet his old pal Roger.
As he drove, he had time to reflect on the real reasons why his friend had been forced to leave 'old' Durham town a couple of years ago. Far from the popular image given in the song that the untimely death of his dear old Mother had prompted this drastic action; closer to the truth was that Whittaker hadn't so much voluntarily left as it were, but had been initially politely requested to leave and then been finally 'railroaded' out by the outraged torch bearing citizens themselves.
Since relocating to Hamburg however [the notorious 'Reeperbahn' to be precise], things had changed infinitely for the better for the bearded and bespectacled singer.
At the very least, he felt a certain comfort knowing that, a rather small emaciated ferret called Arturo would not be able to cause any problems, having recently been run over by a Ford Cortina (although, oddly enough, not the one you might imagine).
However, Arturo's beneficiaries included one Antonio, who was far from emaciated and had done time for kicking the **** out of a tapir. And Antonio, who thought it had been the Archbishop at the wheel, was lusting for revenge. "Makarios, your days are numbered!" he managed, seconds before the same Ford Cortina reduced him to an unedifying pile of gristle.

"This can't be coincidence", muttered Roger Whittaker to himself, as he put down the Hamburger Morgenpost and picked up the Hamburger Abendblatt. And there it was in black and white:
"Tod des fetten Begünstigten des abgezehrten Frettchens ist keine Übereinstimmung!"
He shook his head and shuffled off desultorily to empty his bowels.

At which point the heavily disguised Makarios quietly slipped into a dark alley, being careful not to be seen by passers-by. He knew that remaining anonymous was essential, after all, if he were to be seen there could be very serious consequences. The most frightening of all being that his cunning deviousness may be once and for all exposed to a shocked and horrified world of Resolute Card Carrying Christians and the Godless Swine alike.

Then, and to the heavily disguised clergymans initial surprise, quickly turning into rank frustration and then outright horror, he found that the alley he'd driven into was far too narrow to open his car doors [including the passenger egress]. Being a 1971 MKIII Cortina also, sunroofs had yet to be invented!!!

"Saints Preserve Us!!!" he bellowed as he tried to find reverse.

Then, unexpectedly, with potentially catastrophic results, he found reverse. The car lurched with a violent shock, careening madly through the streets and alleys. He closed his eyes, expecting to crash at any moment, yet he managed to avoid every obstacle that appeared in his path.

It was as if the car was being guided by otherworldly forces. In all likelihood, the reason he had not met his end was that his innate and underlying faith in some 'Higher Power' [whether it be Fate, Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles - or even The Big "G" himself], for some reason or another, had actually inspired the manic monk into avoiding the above mentioned catastrophe... at least this time around.

And so, once the heavily perspiring and visibly quaking Archbishop had finally managed to wrest control of his mighty cherry red Ford Cortina [with a completely pointless black vinyl covering on the roof], and stamped his leather sandalled foot on the brake, it was with an almost almighty sigh of relief that he finally managed turned off the key to the ignition:

" Phew!!!! Thank Christ for That!!" he breathed.....

Still being at least 20 minutes from the docks and his rendevous with Whittaker, the inconspicuously clad Makarios lit himself a Rothmans with his 'Jesus on The Holy Cross' embossed Zippo lighter and took stock of the situation.
As he would not be able to make it through that narrow alleyway in his Cortina [he'd always used his cream coloured 'Raleigh Runabout' 30cc moped for such trips before now] he knew he'd have to improvise or find a completely different route entirely.
Spotting a black clad elderly lady disembowling a chicken into a plastic bucket nearby, and taking a heavy drag on his middle-tar cigarette, Makarios suddenly had a brainwave:
" S'cuse me doll," he growled, in as convincing a South East England as he could manage [it was essential that she should not recognize him];
"you wouldn't 'appen to 'ave any spare chicken fat wouldja?"
"Xnapoxos xos kraz??" replied the old crone, glancing up disapprovingly at the 'tourist'.
Knowing that letting on that he knew perfectly well what the old bag had just said to him, [roughly translated: " why don't you go and urinate up a rope?"], but also realizing the potential dangers inherent in showing this, the crafty clergyman was quick to resort to markedly different tactics. Thus, shoving the old biddy quite roughly off her stool, Makarios grabbed hold of the semi-plucked fowl and made a sprint towards his [still idling] set of wheels.....
It was at round about the same time as his valued and esteemed customer [not friend though; friendships in this business were both wasteful and potentially dangerous] was busily applying the slippery chicken fat and entrails to the surface of his Ford Cortina, that Roger Whittaker arose from his breakfast table. After a hearty repast of Coco Pops and coffee [black, no sugar] the ruggedly plain looking singer took a firm grip on his imitation leatherette suitcase [dark green] and made for the double doors of his hotels superbly appointed restaurant. Although he still had the best part of twenty minutes before the designated time, and the docks were but a five minute walk, Whittaker wanted to be absolutely sure that he wasn't being followed.

Since being forced to abandon his shady operations in Durham Town a year or two earlier ["people can be such hypocritical prudes at times!" he'd often had pause to reflect], and knowing that Interpol had been keeping tabs on him ever since, the richly velvety voiced baritone instinctively knew that discretion was the watchword in rackets of this particular stamp.
Life in Hamburg had definitely been an improvement however, even if he'd been forced to teach himself to both speak and [more importantly - albeit with great difficulty] sing in German. For some reason or another in fact, the Bavarians had taken him to their lederhosen clad bosoms in far greater numbers [and affection] than their British counterparts had ever done. Naturally Mr Whittaker also knew that he was, of course, talented beyond almost all measure, and that few other native born South African Artistes [or English ones for that matter!] could ever say that....

No, all things considered, Roger mused to himself, life had been good to him so far. His private ship [lying rigged and ready in the harbour] could attest to that.
Whilst it may have been true to say however, that his plentiful golden records had been largely responsible for the acquisition last April of his late 19th century German three masted schooner "Das Razzle", this would not quite be telling the whole story as Whittaker [ruefully] was forced to acknowledge. No, the simple fact of the matter was that he, Roger Whittaker, the darling of silvery-permed grandmothers and admirers of German Volkslieden the world over had a somewhat more dubious, yet equally profitable 'earner' keeping him in the black; as the contents of his leatherette suitcase could certainly prove to any alert Customs Officer.
These dubious items [needless to say] also went more than a fair way in explaining just how it was that "Das Razzle" was [even now] beginning to pay back his vast outlay [and then some!]

Just as Roger was reflecting on the vagaries of life, and at precisely the same moment that Archbishop Makarios was applying the finishing touches to his Cortina, the grossly overweight and soberly suited Cyril Smith MP was being somewhat brusquely hurried into finishing his mammoth breakfast by his personal secretary, the long-suffering Margaret 'Madge' Vadge [pronounced: 'vage' to rhyme with 'page'].
"Come on Mr Smith" she flusteredly hectored her boss, "there's bound to be lots of nosh at this do....oh do hurry up please..."
Her employer however, was not to be distracted from the huge task at hand. Breakfast was certainly not a meal to be taken lightly, nor for that matter were any other meals. Since lately reaching the magical figure of one ton in weight, and with no end in sight to the piling up of the pounds, Cyril now had only one object in mind: marrying third in line to the throne, the lovely Princess Anne [and thusly obtaining the chance to barbecue her impressive stable of horses at Sandringham].

Vadge could barely suppress an involuntary stamp of impatience at the sight of Smith tucking into his 17th boiled egg [runny] with one of those infernal toast 'soldiers' he was so partial to. Honestly, she thought to herself, of all the politicians she could have been Personal Under-Secretary to, why on Earth had she been assigned this gargantuan blob? Life could be so unfair!!
Given her own way [which she hadn't ], she'd much rather be under that dishy Enoch Powell any day of the week. Ok, he might be something of an old fashioned rascist, she had often mused, and had also seemed to have developed an almost manical hatred of any and all music originating in California [but especially well known surfin' band 'The Beachy Heads'], but he had such kind, staring eyes she thought.
Furthermore, he wouldn't be forever making her [always!!] embarassingly late for these public appearences with his appetite she pondered. Powell was renowned throughout the Houses of Commons for only eating All Bran and tinned prunes....

Esconced in her reveries, Vadge was momentarily caught off guard, when a seasoned member of Cyril's personal team of highly trained breakfast waiters [flown in at great expense to the British taxpayer needless to say] noisily collided with one of the hotel's unusually situated stuffed pelicans, and sent his heavily laden silver-plated tray of freshly grilled kippers flying.
The commotion and uproar that ensued, as his and Vadge's employer [bellicosely bellowing like a bull] rose from his table in order to try to salvage an aromatic fishy treat or two from an adjoining plant pot; would have been enough to wake the good Archbishop himself from his beauty sleep at the 'Bish's' Palace a good 30 miles away. Should he have actually been there [still blissfully snoring away] that is.
We of course know differently.

It was, in fact, at almost this precise moment that the duplicious hero of our tale began to notice a curious 'purring' sound emanating from around his ankles. This came as he was just about to apply the finishing touches to his Cortina. Glancing down, and to his immediate horror, he was being surrounded on all sides by a whole host of happily lapping stray alley cats licking hungrily away at his handiwork!
"Go away! Shoo!" he barked, kicking out at a particularly emaciated looking moggy, "go on f*$k off!"
The tortoise shelled tabby puffed up its mangy looking tail and hissed at the itinerant clergyman, as if to say "f%#k off yourself pal!" before angrily lashing out with her claws at Makarios's hairy hams!! At this, all hell broke loose as the enraged Prelate [cursing like a demon] began his own [Greek/Cypriot] version of what closely resembled Irish River Dancing, delivering a series of well aimed kicks at the ravenous strays; himself recieving several more painful scratches for his troubles....

However, and at last, Archbishop Makarios III managed to scare off the last remaining scraggy old stray and climbed once more behind the wheel of his lubed up Cortina. As he still had a couple of moments to spare, and because he'd seen fit to order one, the materially minded Head of State for [then] modern day Cyprus decided to flick on his brand new [and necessarily highly fangled for its time] car radio.

"..and news is just coming in" announced the presenter "of an incident at The Royal Palace Hotel in Limassol, where the British Member of Parliament, and honoured guest of our beloved Archbishop, The Right Honourable Cyril Smith is staying. Although the details are sketchy, it would seem that the British politician has been involved in something of an altercation with other guests as well as hotel management..."

"Holy Mother of Mary!!" Makarios cried aloud, "now what has that f#@kwit been up to!!!"

This was now an entirely different kettle of fish for the conniving Makarios. They would be bound to try to get in contact with him at the palace, despite his orders that he was not to be disturbed on any account. He should certainly have gone for a more serious complaint than "a bit of a sore throat coming on". Damnations!
Pondering what he should do now, what with his meeting with Rog' being literally only five or so minutes away, the Archbishop was forced into making the sort of decision that most of us surely would dread, namely a choice between State and Country or self-gratification.
One thing was for sure however. Whittaker was a very busy man and most certainly would not wait. Not even for an ordained Archbishop.
He [Makarios] could of course, just go ahead with the assigned meeting and dash back as quickly as possible to his supposed 'sick bed'; but how would, indeed how COULD he avoid being seen by some poxy government lackey or another?

While not busy drawing up plans for the creation of an independent African State [tentatively to be called Zumbibwee], the great statesman Ndabaningi Sithole liked doing nothing more than the odd bit of 'whizz' with his close friend the very Reverend Bishop Abel Muzorewa. 'Poppers' were also frequently on the drug menu for these two deviant radical political activists, but amyl nitrite was getting rather hard to come by in these straitened times. Rumour had it that Mr Ian Smith himself, had personally embargoed all government stocks of the soft 'party' drug, strictly "for personal use."
This is where Ndabaningi's acquaintanceship with the celebrated Anglo-German folksinger Roger Whittaker had often proved handy.

"I is sure that him got the 'whizz' my brother" Sithole barked down the phone for at least the umpteenth time that morning to his impatient friend, the noble bishop, "we just has to wait that's all. He coming in that big yacht all the way from Germany man. Bound to be some delay or something."
Muzorewa, a man driven by his twin cravings for sulphates and religion however, was not to be put off quite so easily. He had personally commandeered a Hawker Harrier Jump Jet [and none-too-obliging pilot] for this little jaunt to Mombassa, but [and this was a big but] was also due back that very evening in Lusaka for a very important scripture reading. If he couldn't get his hands on any 'gear' by [say] five o'clock at the latest, goodness knows what might happen!
"You shittin' on me bro?" he yelled back into the bedside telephone [his Ambassador Suite at The Intercontinental had all conveniences naturally], "if I ain't getting me no whizz by lunchtime, your nigger ass is as good as frying in the hell fires got me?"
Whilst all this was going on, back in Cyprus, Roger Whittaker, with a final glance at his watch cursed aloud:

"What a bloody twat!" he growled. He'd definitely told 'Mak' that he would meet him in the 'gents' at the main terminal at 10.00 sharp, and it was now nearly quarter past. With a full suitcase of 'Holy Yucky Wrist' books [a clever pun, or so thought Rog' on 'Holy Eucharist'] to get rid of, and a very tight deadline to meet, the bearded crooner was almost beside himself with impatience.
What on Earth had caused the Archbishop to miss the drop? Why hadn't the swine 'phoned? This would most definitely be the very last time he did any favours for higher ranking members of the Greek Cypriot Clergy and NO mistakes!!

That being said, as Whittaker once more gunned the powerful engines of 'Das Razzle' into life, in preparation for his voyage to his next destination [he was due to meet some godawful old Israeli hag named Golda something or other with a consignment of bondage gear], the singer couldn't help feeling a small pang of regret. He'd known Makarios for quite some years and this was the very first time the Archbishop had stood him up. Still, and as he had frequently had recourse to tell himself down the years: it was frequently the clergy who were the worst.
It was as he was musing on this conundrum in fact, that his radio transmitter suddenly started to beep:
BEEP..BEEP..BEEP it went.

"Whittaker here. Over" he said, as he clicked the transmit button.
"Where my whizz?" rejoined a [for him] unfamiliar African voice.
"Who's that? Over," replied Roger, a feeling of uncertainty and possibly even fear beginning to bubble up .
"You shut up with that 'over' business d'ja hear!!" Yelled back Bishop Abel Muzorewa, his anger audibly mounting: "You just get your goddam ass over here this goddam minute and you give me my goddam gear man.. do you friggin' hear me...?!!"

Little did the short tempered African Bishop know, but if there was one thing Roger Whittaker absolutely would not tolerate from anyone, but least of all his customers, it was taking the Lords name in vain. For Muzorewa to have cussed out the 'Big G' three times in the space of one short sentence was the verbal equivalent of an outright declaration of war.
"Now just YOU listen!" Roger vehemently shouted back: "I don't give a toss about your bloomin' Whizz matey, and I don't give a monkeys who YOU are either, but if you ever blaspheme again over a long range transmitter I'll..I'll.."
Before Whittaker could finish his sentence however, his luxury yacht was suddenly and violently rocked almost backwards by a huge plume of water!! Closely followed by another and yet another!!
He was under attack!
The drenched and badly shaken ex-native of Durham Town barely had time to 'trim his dish' [a nautical term] before he heard once again the sound of powerful Rolls Royce Hawker Siddley engines bearing down upon him.
Closer it came, and yet closer, before suddenly [and with an ear splitting screech] the Hawker Harrier jump jet came to a sudden halt, and began to noisily hover, mere yards above his foremast...

And then,a most peculiar thing happened.
The canopy of the powerful fighting machine suddenly swang open to reveal not just a helmeted and goggled pilot, but what would appear to be a bespectacled African clergyman complete with purple cassock and clerical collar, clearly in a high state of agitation.
This was apparent from what would appear to be a marked foaming at the mouth and angry shaking of tightly clenched fists:
"Where my Goddam Whizz!!!" the diminutive figure distinctively began to yell over the cacophonous roar of the jet fighters engines...

As this bizarre scene was playing itself out just off the coastal waters of Cyprus [in fact in the plain vision of many shocked holidaymakers and native Greek/Cypriot trinket vendors and ice cream merchants], back at Police Headquarters, an equally bizarre scenario was also reaching its climax:

"... an' ahm bloody boogered if ahm gonna miss me Grand Urpenin' fer no bastid bloody stoofed pelican!!"
"I no theenk you unnerstan' Meester Smeeth" snarled the Chief Inspector through gritted teeth, "eet ees just not any old Pelican you have being eensulting, eef I may say so, but the entire family of..."
But before he could finish what he was going to say however, in swept the noble Archbishop himself, Hawiaan shirt and Bermuda shorts nowhere to be seen, although [alas] battered panama hat and shades still firmly in place:
"And just what in the name of The Father, the Son and The Holy Ghost is going on here?" he bellowed commandingly....

It had been a close shave, the heavily bearded Greek Orthodox annointer of newly-borns [amongst other onerous tasks] would have to concede, but luckily, with Ford Cosworth engines and a complete disregard for other motorists [ie the norm for most Mediterranean drivers], he'd just made it. Guessing correctly that the overweight Liberal parlimentarian would be in custody, Makarios had made straight for Police Headquarters, instead of either his Palace or The Royal Hotel. Aides had been dispatched, it was true, to his Holiness's sick bed, and had raised the alarm upon not finding him in said gold-leaf adorned four-poster, but this was a bridge he could cross later....hadn't that Lazarus fellow himself not once done something similar, he vaguely seemed to recall?

"Your esteemed Holiness!" ejaculated Chief Inspector Xenononypopulopous in shocked surprise...

Makarios, still smarting from his aborted mission was in no mood to banter pleasantries with members of the 'filth' however.This was made immediately apparent by the way he banged his sacred sceptre down hard on his Police Chief's [veneered] teak desk [specially imported from MFI in South Ockendon].
CRACK!! splintered the not very authentic-looking laminate!
" 'eck!" hooted Mr Cyril Smith MP as he bewilderedly took in the bizarre scene acting itself out before him. 'Elevenses' notwithstanding [and it was getting on for that magic hour] this was certainly a pickle and no mistake!

"By the Blessed and Holy authority invested in me" the irate [and thwarted] Archbishop interjected with a pronounced snarl, "I hereby absolve this gargantuan lardy-arsed half witted...."

Roger Whittaker, still a few months shy of his 35th birthday, but having the physique of a man at least 10 years older, had seen a few things in his life. For example, he'd seen the popular Scottish singer Lulu marry one of the 'Bee Gees' live on prime time Saturday evening television [alas the marriage was not to last]; he had also sat aghast as the snub nosed Chelsea defender David Webb had snatched a last minute headed winner in the dying seconds of extra time, to avoid a second replay of the FA Cup final, a mere 18 months or so ago at Old Trafford, against his beloved Leeds United; Sprake, Gray, Charlton [Jackie] and all...
What he had never seen before however, was an ejecting African clergyman suddenly shoot several yards up into the air and then [with purple cassock acting as some kind of makeshift parachute] begin to descend, slowly at first, but with an increasingly gathering momentum in his very direction...
Unless he was very much mistaken, Roger had time to think, there was an excellent chance of being personally landed on.
By now Muzorewa's gaily coloured stretch nylon underpants were clearly visible, and unless he was very much mistaken, they bore the imprint of an-
"Mmmmph!!!" gasped Whittaker as he bore the full impact of the Bishops improvised descent; the billowing cassock instantly enveloping him. By crikey, he thought as both men collapsed to the deck, he HAD seen those underpants before!!!
They were namely exactly the same as those worn by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; replete with those dinky little [yet oddly menacing] 'Robinson's Golliwog' faces [available free of charge, by saving 20 jam jar labels plus 2/6 shillings postage]. How could this be??
Whittakers mind raced back to that time he had first met the Royal Duke. When had it been? The late 60's certainly, and [unless he were very much mistaken] at Burghley Park, where both he and Philip had been competing with each other at Dressage on [oddly] Shetland ponies. That the Duke of Edinburgh had come a 'cropper' during the very first round of this prestigious event could still bring a smile to Whittakers face, was testament to not only-
"Where mah Goddam Whizz?"
Snapping out of his reveries in an instant, and springing into immediate action, Whittaker sank his strong white teeth into the itinerant bishops upper right thigh, simultaneously lifting the heavy velvety cassock from the all-entangling obstacle it was swiftly becoming.
Muzorewa, stung by the pain, and in no mood for pleasantries, shrieked in agony:
Seeing he had his opponent on the ropes, or so to speak, and semi-snarling in triumph, Roger raised himself to his feet and towered over the beligerent Bishop:
"Get off my boat!" he commanded in a tone that would brook no nonsense.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the outraged yachtsman was, by this time, almost livid with anger. Why, he'd wasted almost a whole morning on that bastard Makarios [and had a full suitcase of smutty titles to prove it], he'd been blasphemed at [and landed on] by a full-ranking African Bishop [currently writhing in agony at his feet] and, to cap it all, it was beginning to rain.
"Now!" he added for emphasis.

Meanwhile, and only a nautical mile away or two, the freshly absolved of any improprieties Mr Cyril Smith MP was being escorted down the steps of the Police Headquarters by Margaret Vadge and his Royal Holiness, Mihail Christodoulou Makarios [nee Mouskos] himself. Each of whom, incidentally, had a firm grip on the outsized politicians elbows:
"Ee that were raht foon!" Smith exclaimed, "boot ah'm beginnin'ter feel a bit peckish lahk..."

Upon hearing this, Makarios, who up until that moment had just about been able to keep his temper in check, despite all the setbacks of the morning, visibly flinched. Tightening his grip on his charges chubby elbow, whilst simultaneously leaning his bearded chin into the politicians ear he mouthed:
"I swear verily upon everything both sacred and virtuous Smith, that if you once more mention that you are feeling...ahem...'peckish lahk'....that I will personally rip off your very gonads and verily I shall smear them with tzansiki and..and.."

Faltering for words, the itinerant Head of the Greek Orthodox Church began to physically quake with impotent rage. That the monstrously overweight and [let's face it] vulgar member for Rochdale, could write off his experiences that morning as mere 'foon' was bad enough, but to have to wait possibly another 2 weeks before his friend Roger might be once more in the vicinity with a fresh supply of indecent reading matter was.. well.. it was...

Speaking of Whittaker; at this precise moment, the bearded crooner was frantically grappling on the deck of 'Das Razzle' [his luxury schooner you'll recall] with the object of his ire: the equally apoplectic Muzorewa..
Having regained his footing and adjusted his cassock once more, instead of signalling to his waiting pilot that he wished to be winched back into the Harrier, the African Bishop had sprung at his captor with a viciousness surprising for one of his size and religion:[/i]


he had literally screamed, nearing almost the very peak of his drug driven delirium ..

There was however, as Whittaker was forced to concede to himself, at least one more length to which any determined speed freak could go, should they find themselves deprived of substances. Although, currently in a rudimentary headlock, and thusly restricted in the usage of his powerful beard, the cunning Roger still had one more trick up his sleeve to throw off his deranged assailant.
" K..Krios.... has it..." he grunted between clenched teeth, "I gave it all..grr...urr.. all.. to Ar..Archbish..."
"Wossat you say Brother?" Muzorewa snarled as he tightened his hold, simultaneously raining white specks of spittle down on his captives head.
"Mak-..Makarios..urgh! Makarios has got.. urghhh..[pant].. your whizz..."
"Makarios? Archbishop Makarios the Third?? What the f#*k he want mah Goddam whizz fo'?"
"Argghh!! I...ugh..dunno..eurgh..ow! I only know..argh..he's got it..urgh..that's all."

Knowing that his sly manouever had temporarily piqued Muzorewa's interest, and instinctively realizing that he once more held all the cards, Whittaker decided to press home his hard won advantage...

Shunning controversy and only causing the most occasional ripple in public consciousness down the years, the Catholic Church has generally made more admirers than enemies. Whilst some may say that this is more down to prudent leadership [and funny hats] than mere good fortune, one thing is for certain: pornographic literature and sulphate abuse are generally frowned upon by most in the upper echelons of this venerable organization.

Thus, on that fateful morning of the following day, when banner newspaper headlines the world over screamed out the shocking story that not only a high ranking African Bishop, but a senior member [perhaps the most senior no less] of the Greek Orthodox Church stood publicly accused of both importing 'adult literature' and alledgedly [albeit unproved] 'Speed' into the formally staid island of Cyprus, it is easy to picture the furore that arose.

Consider the following:
'Immediately surrounded by armed troops as he alighted from his commandeered Hawker Harrier' [reported the 'Times of Cyprus' ]'Bishop Abel Muzorewa was forced at gunpoint to hand over the green coloured leatherette suitcase that he was holding...'

"I don't want to go out. I want to stay in. Get things done." (David Bowie)

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