THATCH HERRINGBONE DIES – Daily Harbinger Exclusive

During the early hours of Tuesday morning, the mutilated body of 31 year-old explorer, philanthropist and trailblazer, Thatch Herringbone, was found on the banks of the Hicksbow canal.

Police believed that the young adventurer had initially escaped from the St. Christina the Astonishing Hospital for the Regretfully Insane; although upon further investigation it was found that Thatch had never been a patient there. The Head of Therapies, Dr. Dymphna had this to say: “We were contacted by the local police department with reference to a supposed patient of ours; but upon checking and double checking our records we found that a patient by that name and never even been admitted, nor had ever been referred to this hospital at any point in its history.”

We have subsequently discovered that it was this blog post that led the police to the imposing doors of St. Christina. When pressed on the issue, Dr. Dymphna denied that any of the accusations made in the blog were true; he also refused to answer any question relating to his wife’s name….which does indeed turn out to be Mary.

Any followers of Thatch’s blog will know that his last expedition was quite a fraught one; what started out as merely a scaling of Tooting High Street turned into so much more. Whether he reached his final destination of the Sajna Hair and Beauty Institute is not known from simply reading his blog, as it stops at the point where he escapes Tooting Dental Care; although this in itself is highly ambiguous as the actual ‘escape’ is not explicitly mentioned.

Our attempts at gleaning any information from his expedition team were rewarded with more questions than answers. His cameraman, Cameraman Cameraman, had, among other things even less coherent, this to say: “It was a time of great upheaval in the group; we were each standing on our own level trying to understand whether or not it was any better or worse than any of the others’, we couldn’t tell whether the level we each were on was physically any higher or lower than any other, but I for one would not have trusted that kind of arbitrary measure as a reflection of a moral comparison, which ultimately was what we were striving to formulate in our own minds.”

The archaeologist, Edwin Spackleton, seemed somewhat unaware that the trip had even taken place, until we mentioned his extraordinary stroke of luck in discovering their escape route using a map of the Dordogne: “Ah yes! Of course! My my what an extraordinary stroke of luck that was! I just had the strangest idea that the answer would simply be there….and it was….extraordinary….all the street names, just where the map said they would be. Always fancied going to the Dordogne…not now though.” “Why’s’at?” I asked, thinking I’d get at least a snippet of an alternative perspective about what went on. “I’ve recently discovered that the Dordogne River exhibits a tidal bore; and I simply don’t trust them. Ever since the….incident on the Qiantang River in China………” He then excused himself and went to his bathroom, where I then heard him sobbing; sobbing like a bereaved child. I placed my card and a note on his kitchen table and left.

Juliet Hamstring was my next and final call….I held out little hope of learning anything about the events following the Dental Care escape, let alone a state of mind that would account for Thatch’s final blog post.

Juliet lives in a modest, London apartment with her flatmate and friend of many years. She works for an auction house specialising in violins; it affords her some extremely glamorous travel, and the rubbing of shoulders with the very many weird and wonderful characters who adorn the classical music industry. She is an enthralling and captivating human being, whose most simple movements echo those sublime notes which emanate from the most exquisite Stradivarius. And her taste for red wine rivals that of Gerard Depardieu. Her body is curvaceous and, in keeping with her own views of it, should be shown off.

She leads me to two scuffed, leather wingbacks in front of a dwindling fire; plonking the glasses on the table between them she hands me the bottle and corkscrew and asks, “Would you mind? I’m all out of scewtops.” It is at this point where I simply forget why I’m there.

“So you want to know about Thatch?” In a manner of speaking….I nod. “He was a twat, and I fucking adored him.” She told me how they met; how they eventually got together; how they made use of every nook and cranny of the delicatessen she owned at the time, and of the art gallery that he worked for located in the same home county village; her subsequent split from her long-term boyfriend, and her assumption that Thatch would be her next; her ignoring the fact that it was never going to happen, not caring simply because of the vast amounts of pleasure he gave her both sexually and mentally; his stupidity in lying to her about things she’d have undoubtedly forgiven at the time, but their concentration became too great and there was nothing left in her with which she could dilute them.

“He was frightfully clever. Not in retaining information or learning things exceptionally fast or anything like that. He looked at things differently; he could take an everyday situation and relate it to something you’d never dream of; his turns of phrase were ludicrous to the point of genius….and genius to the point of stupidity. I did so many firsts with him….we could have done many more if he’d only let me in.”

I slowly managed to regain my composure: “This seems to be in stark contrast to the mention he makes of you in his blog. He writes like that last expedition was the first time he’d met any of you, or at least that the relationships were a far cry from what you’re describing.”

She smiled…I felt myself being totally and utterly pitied. “He didn’t recognise me. I turned up to our first meeting, everybody was there, and I expected either a big loving, loud greeting or a stunned silence….I got neither….I got a, ‘Hello, you must be Juliet, I’m so glad you agreed to join us, welcome, please sit down.'”

She finished her glass; I poured her another and topped myself up. She continued: “He’d changed, in himself. He was still there, his personality was still the same, he was still confused and looking for something that he knew may very well not exist; but this time he was actively searching for it, and had been for some time; it was compelling, he convinced me, and I fell in love with him all over again…he didn’t have a clue who I was.”

“And you didn’t try to tell him?”

“What was the point? I kind of saw it as another chance at something. Maybe a validation of my worth; if this Thatch fell in love with me too then maybe there was something to me….something to us.”

After meeting the first two members of the team, I was beginning to think that the four of them just locked themselves in a room, together with a big box of mind altering drugs and had at it. But Juliet’s account was succinct, detailed and left me in no doubt about the validity of Thatch’s blog. I was eager to get to the post-Dental Care part of the recollection but was in no mood to hurry her, and I was also acutely aware of the state she was in as they all scurried through the alternative streets of Dordogne: ‘a girl at the end of her wits…….who could still barely stand’, so I wasn’t holding out too much hope.

“I woke up in hospital. My flatmate was there. My mother. The last thing I remembered – and still do, nothing after has come back to me – was sitting up against the wall of the Rue de Varsovie, watching the boys – but Thatch in particular – fight that horrible thing, and using my last available strength to masturbate to him; matching him, thrust for thrust.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks. I stared at her. She stared right back. Her body shone. She finished her glass and placed it heavily on the table. She rose, smoothed down her dress, leaned towards me and kissed my cheek. She whispered, “Please see yourself out….whenever you like……I must lie down.” I watched her pad barefoot across the carpet and quietly close the door behind her. I released the breath that I’d held when she rose out of her chair. I shivered; the fire was as good as dead.

At the point of publication no additional details are known about the circumstances leading to Herringbone’s grisly, untimely end. He was found by the canal, a series of deep, penetrating cuts and slashes covered his body; the absence of anything that would suggest a second party’s involvement led the police to the disturbing conclusion that the wounds were self-inflicted.

Having read his last post and then discovering that he was never writing from any hospital in the entire country, it does not take a great leap of the imagination to accept the initial cause of death as that of ‘misadventure brought on by severe psychotic episodes due to large amounts of unspecified narcotics in the victim’s system.’ It is however, seemingly impossible to understand how no-one knew of his struggles with mental health; our investigations have met with a wall of ignorance in this regard, and the only other emotion that comes close to the sadness felt by all who knew him, is that of guilt.

was it really noah’s ark?

this article is the first part of a lengthier piece from the daily harbinger, or rather it will be from the daily harbinger, it still has a few alterations to be made – editor’s notes are included – but it’s due to go in tomorrow’s edition……use it wisely

Galileo Galilei, Charles Darwin, …….[Editor’s note: really?? no fucker else??? at all???????], illustrious names synonymous with shattering previously held notions about God, human origins and religion in general. Today we may be able to add another name to the list; that of the little known, but in his circles highly regarded, Welsh archaeologist Sir Benedictine Thundersnatch III.

Or perhaps it is not his name we should be adding, but that of God himself.

After a mysterious anonymous tipoff at Sir Benedictine’s offices in Port Talbot, he has spent the last two years combing every inch of Mount Ararat in Turkey, the purported final resting place of Noah’s Ark, looking for evidence that not only did Noah not build the Ark, but that God was tricked into believing he did; giving rise to serious questions about God’s omnipotence.

We have managed to secure an exclusive interview with Sir Benedictine who tells us how it all started:

“Well boyo, I was sitting in my office one day pretending to work but actually playing Angry Birds, when this brown A4 envelope was pushed under my door. I thought, ‘What the ruddy blime is this all about?’ because I’m extremely open when it comes to knocks at my door; ever since my intern days when I was bombarded by people giving me rubbish things to do, I’d reached the end of my tether one day and was just about to tell the next person who knocked on my door to fuck off back to Jericho – an in joke at the time – when who should enter but none other than Kathleen Kenyon! Well my bloody jaw dropped into my y-fronts, which in turn dropped to the floor; man the woman was insatiable! Not much of  looker but boy could she [Editor’s note: I think we can probably dispense with the gratuitous details of how his office desk was broken don’t you?] So as I say, everyone knows that knocking is always an option, so I was surprised that this was slipped under the door. I picked it up, and ran out into the hall seeing if I could stop the covert posty but to no avail; bugger had gone. I sat at my desk and read the envelope’s contents.

“Now, I’ve had some bloody crazy theories passed on to me, no idea why so many though, but they make me tickle so I humour them you know, but this one was different; apart from the fact that it was well constructed – I had a map drawn in crayon given to me once detailing the whereabouts of Shangri-La: the car park of a Lidl in Sheffield apparently! quite ridiculous [Editor’s note: our research suggests otherwise]. So anyway, well constructed, yes, but so plausible in its presentation of the evidence gathered so far; needless to say I was hooked.”

The evidence to which Sir Benedictine refers, relates particularly to an English translation of an old Hebrew text that appears to have been omitted, not only from the Bible, but from existence itself; great pains were taken to destroy its contents. A copy of the English version (written in the mid 15th century) was included in the envelope, the original viewed at a later date, and included these remarkable lines:

“and god schuld bere witnessynge of the list, that Noa, Emsra, Iapheth, Shem, Hame, Beti and Iorg did stowe abord the arke born of the glorie of hym as seuen chupacabra. Who so shal bringeth thees fro the derknessis to gods ligt will be resceyueden bi hym etirnl liif, and the list flo fleisch and blodis…..”

This passage is essentially a warrant for Noah and his family and friends’ arrest for sneaking aboard the ark as chupacabras, and their subsequent sentence to grisly death.

It therefore begged the question; if Noah had built the Ark, why did he and his family need to sneak aboard? The answer lay in the snowy peaks of Mount Ararat, and the seemingly innocuous family run business of ‘Fred’s Fisheries’ in Grimsby.

Sir Benedictine takes up the story:

“Well I got straight on the phone to my mate Gerry from Swansea and told him to book us two tickets to Turkey as soon as possible, I told him I didn’t have time to explain why but we did manage to justify every fullback decision made by the Welsh national team since 1954 – amazing what gets prioritised isn’t it?

“So anyway, we landed in Turkey and were arrested; apparently ‘Benedictine Thundersnatch’ is Turkish for ‘I like Jewish testicles in my mouth for purely pleasurable purposes,’ – the Turks have such a concise language – so after three months of unbearable sexual torture – I say unbearable…..it wasn’t all bad – we were released with full pardons and debilitating nightmares, but we were professionals, we had a job to do, so carried on. I seem to court trouble and adventure whatever I do; I put up some shelves once, I hammered in one nail and I lost my foot. Here feel; pure ivory that.”

After preliminary reasearch yielded whole swathes of Mount Ararat that hadn’t been properly searched and catalogued, Sir Benedictine called in his usual team; the results were fascinating:

“Didn’t find a bloody thing. Not for ages, we were seriously considering packing the whole thing in, but then we found the carving; what we termed ‘the Trademark’!”

Sir Benedictine’s seventy year old eyes light up with the excitement of a child as he recalls the moment:

“Gerry was pissed as a fart he was, and fell down a ravine; I’ve never actually seen anyone actually bounce before, but that’s what he did, bounce like a ball! Bloody hilarious it was, and he landed face first onto a plank of wood, broke his nose in fact; he’s a martyr to his work. But anyway, this piece of wood, we could tell just by looking at it that it was something different; it sobered Gerry up quick sharp, we cordoned off the area and set the lads to working while we went back to the lab with this bit of wood.”

What they in fact appeared at first analysis to have discovered [Editor’s note: good god man what kind of fucking sentence construction is that?!] was a plank of wood used in the hull of a ship; carbon dating and chemical analysis subsequently revealed that the date and geography of use placed it almost exactly in the area believed to be where Noah’s Ark came to rest. This in itself was cause for celebration, but what was also noted was a faint patch that looked to have been carved into the wood, and after extensive examination and cross-referencing to the files slid under Sir Benedictine’s office door they had discovered the markings left by a fisherman named Frederick, who also happened to construct his own fishing boats.

It seemed that the first piece of evidence corroborating the claims made by the 550 year old manuscript had been discovered.

Next week Sir Benedictine Thundersnatch III continues his retelling of what happened in the gathering of more evidence relating to the real builder of the Ark, and how this fisherman’s God-fearing descendents weren’t entirely happy with the news. [Editor’s note: I can hardly fucking wait]

written by Ethelred Stapler – Historical Correspondent

letter from the editor

this is in response to a letter sent on the 24th april to the editor of the daily harbinger from a somewhat irate mr habberdasher; his letter can be viewed here (at present the letter has been misplaced, but as soon as i’ve located it i’ll fix up the link….promise) the editor’s retort below is reproduced verbatim so i apologise profusely for all the fullstops, capital letters and syntactical accuracies:

Dear Mr. Habberdasher,

I am writing in response to your letter, dated 24th April 2012, in which you bring to light a number of issues you have with this paper’s edition of the same day.

First of all let me tell you that I am always open to a letter from one of our readers, especially one who has been so faithful as yourself over the years (I must admit I was obviously mistaken about the length of time we’ve been publishing the Harbinger based on the number of years you purport to have read it).

Allow me to answer your queries in turn and to the best of my abilities, and hopefully go some way in alleviating your concerns, thus retain you as an avid customer of our humble rag.

We strive to report the truth, although I feel this goes without saying I wish to iterate it, and much of the time this involves printing quotes, both from our named and anonymous sources, and not simply gratuitously; I stand by the use of, ‘harpy’, ‘bignose’, ‘bellend’ and ‘fuckabollock’ in the writing of the front page article and their integral part in its probity…….I must however admit i agree with you on the phrase, ‘she has the face of Simon Cowell excreting his own sense of self-satisfaction,’ it was an indulgence of only too human a form, but in general I back the piece on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Kat Slater is not a real person.

Our article on fiscal management was intended to be facetious; just walking in to the Royal Bank of Scotland and demanding your share of the 84% back just because you don’t bank there is not how the world works; and whilst I always admire initiative and innovation, robbing the joint is a little more than just frowned upon and I therefore urge you to return the bonds (and tearing one up in to an appropriately sized fraction does not then bear relation to its subsequent value).

Ed Milliband is actually a real person.

I’m extremely sorry to hear about your sister and the loss of her leg in a shark attack just off the coast of Whitby; quite the anomaly I’m sure. However, I feel our ‘How to exercise cheaply in your own home’ – a superbly informative piece of advice on how to make use of your own furniture rather than expensive exercise machinery in order to get that body you’ve always wanted, written by another equally loyal reader, Dotty Headbanger – really can’t be blamed; the description of the kitchen table as a life raft was not intended to be taken literally (‘in your own home’ is clearly stated in the article’s title) and whilst I fully appreciate your sister’s extenuating circumstances, I think that the staff members of the institute at which your sister until recently resided should really be taking the greater proportion of the blame, if not all of it. But of course I will gladly run the ‘Wanted’ poster as long as it takes for the foul beast to be captured.

Tesco’s returns policy regarding tankinis is really nothing to do with me.

I do hope this goes some way towards mollifying your concerns Mr. Habberdasher, and should you at any point, on any issue, feel the need to contact me again, I would be delighted to hear from you and will do my utmost to help.

Yours most sincerely,

Jackson van Diemen – Editor in Chief

P.S. I shall be taking the liberty of sending you and your sister a gift to the address at the top of your letter – from what you tell me about the various conditions from which you both suffer, but the self-medication and sense of humour which help you both see the positives, i trust that a packet of Great White Shark cannabis seeds should do the trick.