writing challenge 18 – although which tttt this is i’m not entirely sure….it’s not got pmao in it……

explanations for this epic can be found here and here and here and that‘s probably enough……oh no, here‘s the one with pmao in it……it’s fun – at least for me, but i have no life – so do one…..

My pulse quickened when I saw her…..it wasn’t her beauty – like the hair upon her head, she didn’t have any – although the limp was pronounced but not eye-catching; her squint was noticeable but not headache-inducing; whilst the teeth that protruded from her cheeks left one a little startled, the drool appeared to have a note of charm to it, as did the mole…….what in fact made the pulse quicken was the fact that she stood over me holding a scalpel and a ball-peen hammer. I was strapped to a wooden chair that was uncomfortable (probably the least of my problems at this stage) and smelt like piss and unanswered questions.

‘What ish your name?’ She slurred at me, spraying my face with spit.

‘Ziggy Stardust,’ I said, sputum dripping down my cheek.

She raised the hammer and I must say, it was in a really rather threatening fashion; I made a mental note to informal the faculty first thing in the morning thatI thought this sort of behaviour was in no way in-keeping with that expected of a university lecturer, and that some mention of these unorthodox teaching practises should at least be alluded to in the otherwise faultless prospectus.

But that was for tomorrow…..my present predicament banished all such thoughts from my mind, and I maintained only a minute awareness of the warm fluid collecting in my crotch, and that I had now possibly become a part of the assault on the olfactory system of the next poor victim…..I shall do my best to answer her questions…….

‘Let’sh shee how funny you are with a broken wrisht!’

‘Wait! Pleashe!’ I have a horrible habit of mimicry; say something else, dammit, and she may not notice! ‘I’m sorry; I panicked; the scalpel and hammer combination shat me up proper big styley; when questioned under stress my default answer has always been Ziggy Stardust, ever since I was a boy and discovered that David Bowie was my spirit animal.’

She lowered the hammer to her side and placed the scalpel into the pocket of the leather jacket she was wearing, ‘What?’

‘It was when I was young. I had been bad and my foster father had locked me in the attic and there in the darkness I heard the sound, an amazing sound.’

Someone called from the assembled class who sat below the stage we were stood on, ‘What sound?’

I smiled, ‘At first it was a guitar and then his voice called out like an angel’s.’

‘What did he say?’ Asked a girl on the front row with a side-ponytail.

‘He said, “Wham bam – thank you ma’am!” and there he was, large as life, dressed in a silver space age suit like he had just been beamed down from planet funk.’

‘Did he say anything?’ Asked an old man who was unexplicity sat next to side-ponytail girl and had his gnarled hand on her upper thigh.

‘Of course, he said that I should stop being so bad, then I wouldn’t keep getting locked in the attic; I mean, what was the poor man supposed to do when you wouldn’t say what you were doing……..what are you doing……’

‘What are you doing?’ My eyes flickered open, and I very nearly passed out again; the hammer had been lowered – but the look of threat and violence still shone in the woman’s eyes – and my wrists were still pleasantly rounded; the shape to which I’d become so accustomed.

‘I’m sorry….I fainted…..I went to my safe place and met my spirit animal-’

‘Shhut up!’


We were still in the lecture hall; the doors were no doubt locked and I was more than aware of the room’s sound-proof qualities; I wouldn’t be discovered any time soon. My eyes settled on the white board, where the quote from today’s lecture still reminded the world of what we knew and what position we held: “For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.”

I hoped I was not to be questioned on this…..I had been extremely busy blogging…..

My mind raced with all the reasons I could muster for my being in this place and in this accursed position, powerless against this upstanding member of the local community; I could think of nothing; I hadn’t offended her in any way I knew; I’d never snickered behind her back; I was a very competent student; David Bowie was with me, but was of very little help.

Her next question muddied the waters even further, ‘Are you familiar with the worksh of late, great Muddy Watersh?’

I shrugged as best as one can while shackled to a chair.

‘He was my shpirit animal,’ she said and the memory of this seemed to be fixing the wreckage of her face until she began to shine, a diamond in the middle of the hall. The effect was short-lived though and her face quickly fell back into disrepair.

‘I think this whole weird lecture needs to end,’ I said, gingerly.

‘Why ish that?’


The window behind her head exploded and a SWAT team burst into the hall. She spun around and one of the SWATs put a single bullet in the center of her forehead. She collapsed with a sound like a group of people briefly whispering secrets before they are silenced.

‘TANGO is down,’ he said into his radio. ‘Repeat TANGO is down.’

‘Am I covered in blood?’  I asked. ‘Because it feels like I’m covered in blood.’

The SWAT who had spoken to the radio came over and began to undo my shackles, ‘I can confirm that, yes, you are covered in blood.’

‘Least I wasn’t imagining it,’ When the shackles were released I stood up, holding my bruised, scratched wrists.

‘No you were not. So can you explain what happened here? From the start.’

‘Gladly, what happened was, I was walking along minding my own business……actually, would it be alright if I had a glass of water first? I’ve been shackled to a chair and threatened with a scalpel and a hammer; I’ve lost rather more bodily fluids than I’d care to admit.’

‘Absolutely, sir. Fetch a glass of water would you, Cathrinington.’

‘Yes, sir.’

As my water was being fetched, I asked the SWAT leader, ‘Is my debriefing to be conducted here, this very moment?’

‘That would seem to be what I suggested, sir.’

‘May I make another suggestion?’

‘Have you made one already, sir? I must’ve missed it.’

There was not an ounce of sarcasm on his face; his eyes had the child-like innocence of an innocent-like child; he was either an extremely astute pedant….or just a twat; ‘An alternative suggestion, then?’

Of course you may, sir. Your water, sir.’ Cathrinington bounded over with half a pint of luke warm……well it was liquid at least, and I was really too thirsty to care.

‘My suggestion is that we go somewhere more congenial to a proper interview; and as I alluded to, I could really do with a change of clothes?’

‘I’m afraid that’s not possible, sir. And may I remind you that you did actually begin to gladly tell us what had happened here.’

‘I did say that didn’t I?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘What if I refuse to say anything more until my demands are met?’

‘Then I will have no choice but to end the conversation, sir.’

‘Wouldn’t I have just done that?’

‘Then I would be a fool to do otherwise, sir.’

‘But don’t you want to know what happened here? You asked if I could explain it.’

‘It seems to me, sir, that you are quite capable of explaining what happened here, therefore my question as to whether you can explain what happened here, is answered; as to whether I want to hear what happened here, is a different question entirely, sir.’

Twat it is then.

‘Do you want to hear what happened here?’

‘That’s up to you, sir’

‘Whether you want to hear what happened here is up to me, but I have no say as to where what happened here is heard?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘That’s absurd.’

‘That’s your opinion, sir.’

‘I don’t know if you’re qualified enough to talk to me.’

‘Sir, I can shoot you between the eyes from a thousand yards in an extremely brisk crosswind; I assure you that talking to you is not a struggle for me.’

‘I wish to speak with your superior.’

‘Hello, can I help you, sir?’

‘Are you this man’s superior?’

‘It would seem odd if I weren’t, sir.’


a short conversation on the alphabet

“so i’m gonna start with ‘a’….are we all in agreement with that? i know you had some misgivings john, but i think we’ve decided that beginning with ‘q’ is just a little crass and “inyaface” – to use a colloquialism – and whenever something is described it is most often referred to as ‘a something’ or ‘an something’ anyway, so it just kinda makes sense…

“good; one down, twenty-five to go, enjoying it so far?”

“very much, may i have q glass of water please?”

“of course, carl slide the jug down would you?”

“thank you”

“now, second letter, big consensus on this one; ‘b’…….all in favour of ‘b’? john, i think you’re now in agreement that the flow to ‘w’ from ‘q’ was too much of a mouthful, and didn’t really give the simple and punchy start to the alphabet that we were aiming for; we are trying to sell this after all…..?”


“super, now, frank, your pet project was letters three to seven…..how’d you get on?”


“…………well, what?”

“well, mike, sir?”

“what are your letters?”

“c, d, e, f, g”

“excellent, can’t find fault with those, next-”

“i have an alternative suggestion”

“do you, john”

“yes; e, r, t, y, u”

“sounds foreign”

“oh for fucarry on”

“grand, now, for the next four letters i have taken a particular interest, and before you come up with something crazy, john, like i, o, p, a, or some such nonsense, i happen to know that the man who makes the final decision for one of the big bidders for this thing, is named joel kinsela, so as a little sweetener – or “hello”, if you will – i’ve opted for h, i, j, k, and i think all of sound mind will agree that this is the best way to go; nothing too overtly bribaricious

“all in favour say, ay”

“those not in favour; what do we say?”

“”those not in favour; what do we say?” it seems”

“quiet winds entice; ropes tie your useless indulgences out past ages suffered; death follows; gallows hum justly, kindly like zephyrs; xanax curbs violent bursts no more”

“it’s only the bloody alphabet, john”


the above nonsense was inspired by this writing challenge of the equiatic bind – please let it not be a reflection on the latter

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.

i jsut wnana be udnersotod

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