Thursday, April 11, 2013

...irk... fraa... shhk!

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Break in the Tale to Describe a Strange Sneeze

Apologies for the short break in the narrative. I will continue the account of my misadventures with the Dundee Mafia momentarily.

First I must tell you of a strange sneeze. I believe I have fallen subject to the infamous curse of the Tewari Eye, a gem which until recently was in my possession (see earlier entries). As any trustworthy man of science will tell you, the Tewari Eye is a deeply magical object possessed of arcane and eldritch powers.

Prior owners suffered terrible and baffling fates: many lost their fortunes and suffered the shame of dying as members of the working classes; one was allegedly transformed into a kind of Russian man with the arms of a hog; one could only ever speak in Greek; one was cursed so that whenever he caught sight of any species of crab, foaming yeast would froth from his ears; another was forced to live out his days with one leg slightly shorter than the other.

The curse manifests in apparently random ways and I believe I have discovered the miserable form that the hex has wrought upon me. Just as I had finished typing the previous entry in my electronic diary, I happened to sneeze, which I put down to a surfeit of hair and dust around my computer. The sneeze complete, I opened my eyes (for you know it is physically impossible to keep one's eyes open while sneezing), and at once noticed that the tea I had been drinking had solidified and was emitting a most putrid stench. It was also noticeably darker outside my window (the weather, not the tea).

Astonished and confused, I saw to my further astonishment and confusion that the date on my computer no longer read "30th July 2008" but instead read "3rd November 2008". Somehow I had instantaneously leapt forward some three months in time.

I believe the sneeze was the trigger for this eldritch time leap. If you bear with me a moment, I will instigate a second sneeze to test my theory. As I type, I am agitating my nose hairs with the elongated lead of a propelling pencil.

I feel the start of a sneeze...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Dundee Mafia Part 3

Readers, being familiar with all facets of my personality as you are, you will have correctly guessed that for all my attempts at bluster and for all the ideas I had entertained about being able to strike deals with the Dundee Mafia and convince them I was a major player in the world of crime, in actuality I quaked and sobbed and begged for mercy the very instant I was hauled into the inner sanctum of Cox's Stack in Lochee.

I was dragged into a lobby of sorts, where yet more goons stood around looking thoroughly vacant but ready to obey any order to smash my kneecaps with a hammer. The wiry and wily mafioso said, "Zip it kid! Geez! Stop the sobbing will youse? We ain't even given youse the old hoyteedoy yet!"

Between heaving sobs I made it clear to him that I did not understand his fancy street-smart gangster slang.

"Youse are kiddin' me?" he said. "Ya ain't never heard of the old hoyteedoy? The Roobidoo? The Kax-Macket? Gee-whizz, I'll dealin' with a real Pole-toes here!"

For a Dundonian, he had a peculiar way of saying things. I gathered it was the habit of the Dundee Mafia to welcome their guests in some way designed to show them who was boss, to quash any attempt, before any such attempt might be made, at outwitting them or any effort to best them in strength or swagger. Evidently, the fact that I was bawling my eyes out and genuflecting wildly was enough to convince him that I presented no real threat to the crime syndicate, as he forewent any such ordeal.

"Listen kid, youse'll have to quit with the wailing and tears. The boss don't appreciate no salty crackers in this joint. Now, let me clock the bead, chum."

I did my best to control myself. He translated for me, explaining that he wanted to see the jewel I was attempting, poorly, to conceal. Well readers, I was left with no other alternative but to do as the mafioso bade me. I suppose I could have refused, but then he may have performed the Roobidoo upon me and I had a feeling that whatsoever this act involved, it was unlikely to be altogether pleasant.

Taking the jewel, he peered at it closely. He whistled.

"I gotta show this to Old Charlie Noodles," said he, before disappearing through a door. As I waited for his return, the herd of goons approached, obviously interested in me. I talked softly to them and fed one a polo mint from my pocket, which seemed to satiate him.

The wiry mafioso reappeared, trailed by a wizened old coot chewing on a vile-smelling cigarette.

"This is Old Charlie Noodles," said the wily, shifty man. "He's the cheese when it comes to beads and gold in great store. And he reckons this" - here he indicated the massive green jewel - "is a meezer. Sort yourself out kid, Old Charlie Noodles needs a word in your curl about how a feeb like yourself managed to get your kitkats into an amazing buckjumper such as this."

I was up to my neck in this now and had to face the reality of the situation. I stood to my feet, because there is no other way to which one can stand, and tried to look composed as the ancient, bespectacled mafioso hobblingly approached.

Old Charlie Noodles (decrepit mafioso)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dundee Mafia Part 2

My dearest and most interested of readers, if you recall, yesterday's diary entry ended with me approaching a lummox in order to persuade him to allow me ingress to the headquarters of the Dundee Mafia. If you did not recall this, it was a simple matter of looking at yesterday's diary entry yourself, instead of wasting everyone's time insisting on this needless recapitulation.

Though I was nervous, I stepped up to the goon and said, "I demand entry" in as authoritative a tone as I could muster. It does not do to show weakness where goons are concerned.

The beast did not react in any way, merely standing impassively like a mighty golem awaiting instructions from a Jew.

I tried again: "Brute," said I, "You must let me in to see your boss. I have something important to tell him."

The monster's eyes slowly tilted towards me, as though noticing me for the first time. With no change of expression, he casually swung his hand at me in a vague swatting motion, as though I were a tiny gnat and he a mighty ox. I know that oxen do not have hands capable of performing this gesture but I expect you to grasp my simile's intent: I mean that I was to him a minor irritation and did not register to him as any sort of threat. However, he did look like an ox.

As the back of his hand made contact with my jaw, dislodging a tooth from my mouth, I fell heavily to the ground, dislodging the jewel from my cardigan.

The enormous creature rumbled as he saw the Tewari Eye escape across the concrete.

"Urrrgh...shiny..." he said, coming very close to forming an expression on his guarantuan bovine face. As I frantically gathered up the jewel and bundled it up once more beneath my cardigan, the goon turned, opened the door, and disappeared inside Cox's Stack.

Moments later, a scrawny black-suited mafioso possessed of wily eyes and a cigarette appeared and promptly hauled me inside the building before I had any time to protest...
The wiry and wily mafioso to be described in more detail tomorrow

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Dundee Mafia Part 1

Cox's Stack (headquarters of the Dundee Mafia)

Once I had settled upon my foolhardy scheme of visiting the Dundee Mafia for guidance and to offload the purloined jewel, I immediately took steps to put the scheme into practice. With no history of crime (except the recent murders and the theft of a priceless jewel) and not being criminally minded (apart from my devious intention to sell the priceless jewel for profit and hide my involvement in the recent murders), I obviously had no real knowledge of the Dundee Mafia. I did not know who was involved in the organisation, nor how far the filthy fingers of their crime syndicate reached throughout the city. I had no contact numbers or business cards. How would I, a mere civilian, get in touch with the man in charge?

The local yellow pages proved fruitless: they had no listings under 'M' for Mafia. The closest I could find was "Marr Brothers Lawful Businesses, Inc." which obviously had no connection to crime whatsoever.

Well readers, common rumour has for many years held that Cox's Stack, the former chimney of The Camperdown Jute Works, is the headquarters of the Dundee Mafia. The fact that it has no windows means that the mafiosos within the converted building are free to get on with their innumerable criminal activities unobserved. The high vantage point from the top of the 286 foot building allows lookout men to view the entirety of the city and also observe when the police are approaching.

Unlikely though this urban legend seemed, it was the only lead I had. It could not hurt to try, I reasoned (in hindsight, this was the exact opposite of the truth). Retrieving the Tewari Eye jewel from my loft and slipping it beneath my cardigan, I left the house and made for Cox's Stack in Lochee.

Paranoia plagued me as I sped towards the Stack, through bustling throngs of crowds of mobs of Dundonians doing their shopping. The jewel was ill-disguised beneath my cardigan and I became conscious that I appeared pregnant or the victim of an enormous stomach tumour. If someone had merely given me a second glance, I would have surely aroused suspicion. How easy too would it have been for some dithering old baggage to accidentally bang into me and dislodge the jewel onto the chewing-gum-spattered paving stones of Dundee's city centre. All would have been lost. When I think back to the number of times this could easily have happened, I realise how fortuitous I was to make it all the way to Cox's Stack with the jewel unspotted.

When I arrived, I noted with a thrill of fear that outside the door in the base of the enormous former chimney, there stood a colossus. This lumpen behemoth was at least seven feet tall and looked to be similarly wide. He looked as though he could crush both Geoff Capes and Giant Haystacks between his gigantic palms, then casually eat a couple of sumo wrestlers for lunch. The brute wore a tightly-fitting black suit and a shirt that would have billowed freely around the neck of an overweight orangutan and yet strangled this beast.

Everything about this creature said "the hired goon of a criminal fraternity". Taking a deep breath, I approached the door.

The Hulking Lummox guarding Cox's Stack.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Dundee Courier Reports the Crimes

Readers, the brighter among you will begin to realise the reasons why I was unable to update you during the grim events I have just described. The stupider among you will likely be so concerned with chewing your sleeves and banging your head against a cupboard that you will not have given the issue much thought.

Essentially, I felt it necessary to keep as low a profile as possible and decided I could not risk an online presence. I am not an effective liar and the circumstances would have necessitated my keeping up the charade on this electronic diary that all was well, a charade that the brighter among you would doubtless have seen through and the conscientious among you might have reported to the Dundee constabulary. I was not too concerned about the stupider among you because you likely would not have noticed anything amiss and would happily have got on with your usual business of dribbling and misusing apostrophes.

The next morning found me still crouching uncomfortably behind my couch, unsure as to how to proceed. I was startled out of my paralysis by a rattle at the letterbox. It was the newspaper. I ran to see if the previous night's terrible atrocities had been reported by The Dundee Courier.

"TWELVE DEAD AND MUTILATED IN McMANUS JEWEL HEIST" the headline read. Eagerly, my eyes flew across the page, frantic for information... "Tewari Eye stolen ... priceless ... twelve men murdered ... eyes torn from victims' heads ... no obvious leads ... witnesses sought ... police suspect the involvement of the Dundee Mafia ... victim's widow said, 'I just can't believe someone would kill my Jim out of greed for money' ... tragedy...", etc, etc.

Readers, you will now be imagining me, shivering by my letterbox, reading those awful words, tears stinging my eyes, my lower lip quivering and my heart quailing. You are right to imagine this because it is what happened.

There was also an article by Jack McKeown on page 8 where he interviewed local kite enthusiast Duncan Moonie, which was fascinating and briefly distracted me from my immediate woes.

The Courier's report (on the robbery and murder, not on Moonie and his kites) spurred me to action. I had to quickly get shot of the jewel. If police somehow found out that I was in possession of it, I would be in trouble. There was no escaping it. They would take one look at Fell and realise he was merely a tool, incapable of independent thought. I would be the one carried off to gaol forever and brutally abused by bullish prisoners for the remainder of my days, and that would be the story of me.

What could I do with the jewel? Commit it to the flames? No, it would never burn. I could not destroy it as it was made of some sort of precious material as hard as diamond. I could hide it, but it might be found. I would have to give it to someone else. Sell it to a greedy jewel lover? No, it was too famous. Who could take it? Something in the article pricked my attention again.

The Dundee Mafia! They were used to crimes and criminals - perhaps they would buy the jewel from me and take it off my hands. Perhaps they would use their clout to offer me protection. Perhaps they would take razorblades to my face. It was a ludicrously risky plan, but for better or worse (in hindsight, worse), it was the plan I decided to follow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Great Slave Scam Part VI (6)

My dearest and most anxious of readers, even if you yourselves have not been personally responsible for commanding a buffoon to steal a jewel only to have him murder twelve men and gouge their eyeballs from their sockets, you must have an inkling of the horror I felt at discovering that the idiotic Fell had murdered twelve men and gouged their eyeballs from their sockets. This inkling you feel is known amongst psychiatrists as 'empathy' and I thank you for it, although it does me no practical good so you might as well feel 'ambivalence' or 'begrudgement' for all I care.

That night, after I had expended the last of my frenzied terror and fury by pummelling Fell to within two inches of his life, I took to pacing restlessly up and down the length of my living room, occasionally pausing to curse, kick, and expectorate at the battered form of the wretched Dr Fell. In my pacing, I was of course careful to avoid stepping in the horrendous puddle of Museum Guard's eyeballs and gore strewn to the left of my Moroccan leather pouffe.

I was guilty of murder! I could not credit it! How could Fell have been so stupid?

These were just some of the questions I asked myself, even although the first two weren't questions as such and were more exclamations. Long that night did I pace. Countless times that night did I emit wails of anguish and tear at my hair. Often that night did I twitch at the curtains and peer out in paranoid fear lest someone had trailed Fell back to my home. Once that night did I stub my toe on the side of the television cabinet.

As the hours wore on and no feds showed up at my door, my nerves began to settle somewhat. After all, the thing wasn't my fault! I only told Fell to steal the jewel! I explicitly forbade the harming of any human beings! No court in the land would find me guilty and no priest or vicar would hold me morally accountable for the deaths of those men! Would they?

Readers, if ever you find yourselves in a similar predicament to mine and make the choice to turn yourself in to the authorities, confess your crimes to a priest, then willingly accept the strongest punishment that the Scottish Justice System can dole out, then and only then will I accept your opinion on the best course of action for me to have taken that night. As it was, I made the decision to do my utmost to save my own reputation and freedom by perverting the course of justice and hiding my connection to the terrible events of that night.

I hid the jewel in the loft, flushed the eyeballs down the toilet, unplugged my phone and computer, switched off the lights, and hid behind the couch until I could think what course of action to take.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Great Slave Scam Part V (5)

Readers, if any among you is squeamish then I suggest that you do not read this diary entry because it will sicken you. It will make beads of cold perspiration sprout from your forehead and will make semi-digested food and drink, combined with stomach acid, rise inexorably up your gullet and eject itself forcibly from your spasming throat across your computer keyboard. The ghastly sight of this pool of warm, lumpy, and froth-lathered mulch pooling around your soiled desk with its cooling spatter rapidly soaking into your trousers will sicken you anew and you will doubtless expunge yet more vomit until you are capable only of heaving up violent-smelling rivulets of thick brown bile down your chin. At this point, you will likely collapse, ashen-faced, into a tightly curled ball of weeping despair, begging gods you do not believe in for a speedy demise.

Readers, if any among you is emetophobic (fearing the act of vomiting and/or graphic depictions or descriptions of such) then I suggest you do do not read the previous paragraph as it will not be your cup of tea.

That night, Dr Fell dropped the Tewari Eye, the famed and priceless gem from a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khathmandu, into my eager hands then beamed proudly.

"I did it," he said. "I did what you wanted."

"Indeed you did, you delightful imbecile," said I, slapping him playfully across the cheek.

It was then that I noted his right hand was besmeared (i.e., smeared) with blood. I felt a little uneasy.

"Tell me Fell," I ordered manfully, "Why is your right hand besmeared (i.e., smeared) with blood?"

"Don't worry boss! It isn't mine!" he hooted. I felt a qualm in the depths of my belly. His blood I could readily handle, but this news boded ill.

"The plan went exactly as you commanded boss," said he. "I let myself into the Museum through the skylight in the roof, taking care not to be seen. I ran down to the floor with the jewel, smashed the display box using a bust of James Chalmers, inventor of the postage stamp, then swiped the loot. Immediately, there was a load of loud noises, but I didn't pay them any attention just like you told me. Well, I legged it back up to the top floor to escape through the skylight, only to find that I couldn't reach up. I was trapped."

I sighed. Idiot as he was, he had happily dropped some 1o feet or so through the skylight without realising he would be unable to climb back up later when he needed to flee.

"Then a chap in a uniform came in and pointed a gun at me, telling me to freeze," said Fell. "I panicked and threw the jewel towards him. Well it's a huge and heavy rock at the end of the day - it struck his temple and he fell to the ground, quite dead. I heard footsteps. I panicked again and grabbed the man's gun. More men with guns came in and I shot every one of them with my gun. Then there were no more footsteps."

Well readers, you will understand that my heart quailed at this news. Naturally, I subjected Fell to a barrage of punches to the face and neck. As he is a moron, he merely grinned at me throughout the assault, which did not satisfy my rage. I meant no murder to take place! The ninny continued:

"But I never hurt them!" he protested, "The bullets flew into them so quick and their lives flew out of them so quick that they can't have felt nothing! You said not to hurt anyone and I never did that, no I never did that! Anyway, I saw that I could use these men to help me escape - I heaped their bodies up into a pile and used them to clamber out to safety. But not before I..."

"Please, no more!" I said. "What other horrors have you committed, you wretch? What further madness have you wrought this night?"

"I'm sorry boss!" he said. "I got confused. I had the jewel, see, but then I remembered you saying something about fetching you the 'eye'. Well, I panicked - I find it devilishly hard to think at times. I am an idiot, as you know. I didn't want to come home to you with the wrong thing. I feared you might be cross. So I wanted to be sure I done the right thing, boss. I only wanted to be sure."

As he spoke, my own eye was drawn to the right pocket of Fell's jacket where I became aware of a red stain, slowly spreading, slowly growing, through the fabric. I had a queer feeling.

"Speak, man!" I stated. "What have you done?"

By way of answer, he slipped his hand into his pocket and removed numerous slimy balls, besmattered (i.e., smattered) with blood and grue. He let each one fall with a sickening plop to the living room floor. I shrank back, appalled.

"So to be on the safe side boss," he said, gleefully, "I just took every eye that I could. I prised the eyes from the heads of those dead men, boss. Just to be on the safe side. Then I came back to you boss. Did I do good?"

The Great Slave Scam Part IV (4)

The idiot Dr Fell proudly holding aloft the legendary cursed Jewel of Nepal

Again I must be divisive and separate my readership into Dundonian and non-Dundonian ones because those Dundonian readers will be more than aware of how events transpired on that fateful Tuesday night. I believe it made national and international news too, but I wouldn't know about that. At any rate, I ask politely that if you already know how things panned out that you keep it to yourself and do not pipe in and ruin it, like some loutish teen in an English classroom, flicking to the end of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men just as the pupils are about to begin reading the novel for the first time and malevolently revealing that it ends with the death of the idiot man-child Lennie Small.

Regrettably, my own tale does not similarly end with the demise of an imbecile for Dr Fell survived. However, as you will see, things would have been far more advantageous had he met his death that night, whether by a well meaning brother-figure shooting him in the back of the head or even through being crushed accidentally under the wheels of a bus.

My mood was already befouled prior to Fell's arrival home. Gordon Ramsay, demonstrating a recipe for halibat with caper tapinade on The F Word had moved through his instructions and list of ingredients too quickly for me to be able to write them down for future reference. Disgusted, I fell into a huff for the remainder of the evening, cursing the fact that I would ne'er (never) be able to enjoy such a halibut dish.

You will perceive that, despite my earlier boasts of treating this adventure in a care-free manner, that I was now becoming anxious and ill at ease. 11 o'clock came and went. Then midnight appeared, treated me to a cocoa and a digestive biscuit, but did not hang around for very long. Next, 1am slunk in, contented itself with dishevelling my hair and grinding my teeth, then left my home, leaving the door open for 2am. 2am in rarely a pleasant house guest - it has poor taste in TV for one thing. I tried watching a bit of televison but all that was on was the end of a poorly-dubbed film on Channel 4 about a Chinaman kicking and punching other Chinamen, and an Open University programme on BBC 2 about algae.

When 3am came uninvited in, I confess I despaired. What had happened to that chump Fell? Had he been caught? Was the idiot even now leading the police to my door? I could scarcely thole the suspense a moment longer.
At 3:42am, Dr Fell appeared, apparently unfollowed. Well do I remember his vacant, slightly-drooling face as he held aloft the famed Tewari Eye. Evidently, the plan had succeeded.

Of course, it had not gone completely free of hitches, some of them rather major ones. I will reveal all in my next diary entry......

(You will note that I have doubled the number of dots used in this ellipsis. I feel this is the only way to indicate to you that, although previous entries ended at tense points and justified the use of ellipses, this diary entry's ending is doubly tense and I felt I should formally recognise that in some way.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Great Slave Scam Part III

Well do I remember the fateful night I bade Dr Fell steal the Newari Eye from Dundee's McManus Museum. It was a Tuesday.

Well did I know it was highly unlikely to succeed: after all, Dr Fell was an irreemable buffoon of the first order and could not be relied upon to open a carton of French onion soup unsupervised, let alone purloin one of the world's most famous and heavily guarded jewels.

Well did I decide I did not much care either way, because if the plan failed, all that would happen would be that Fell would take the rap and face the wrath of the Scottish justice system. Thus the scheme was, for me, completely risk-free and so I treated the whole affair in as laidback and carefree a manner as that of Nigel Havers reclining on a beach lounger instructing his waiting staff to fetch yet another pitcher of gin and tonic.

"Dr Fell, you cretinous boob," I said to the cretinous boob Dr Fell on the night that I wished him to go to the McManus Museum and steal the famed Newari Eye, "Listen well. Tonight you are to go to the McManus Museum and steal the famed Newari Eye."

"Sure thing boss," he replied.

"You must break in through the skylight in the Museum roof and lower yourself into the upper gallery," I ordered, "Then run down to the Jewel room. Smash the display case and grab the jewel. You will likely hear a loud alarm at this point. Do not worry about it. Simply run back to the upper gallery and let yourself out through the roof once more. You are not to hurt anyone, is that understood?"

"Sure thing boss," he re-replied. Well, I did not wish to have murder on my conscious for what was simply a bit of a lark.

"Above all," I said. "You must not return here until you are sure the coast is clear. I do not want you leading the feds to my door!" I used the word 'feds' because I felt that it made me sound knowledgeable and seasoned regarding jewel heists.

"Sure thing boss," he repeated, grinning vacantly.

I opened the door and pushed him out. I sat back to watch Ten Years Younger and to await Fell's return...

(You should be used to the ellipsis by now, so I will refrain from explaining its presence)

The Great Slave Scam Part II

If any of my readers are of the Dundonian persuasion, they will already know that Dundee is rich in treasures just ripe for the plucking. They will also know that many of the city's choicest and rarest artifacts were mysteriously stolen over the last few months. If any of my readers are not of the Dundonian persuasion, they need not worry as they will likely have read the information I have just imparted in the last few sentences to my Dundonian readers and so will now be sufficiently up to date with the relevant exposition. In retrospect, there was no need for me to be quite so divisive in separating my readership into Dundonians and non-Dundonians, but I have done it now so we shall have to make the best of it.

One such treasure held in Dundee is the infamous and priceless "Newari Eye". Every Dundonian school child knows the history of this artifact, so if you are such a school child you can probably safely skip the next little section, though it isn't long and you might do well to refresh your memory anyway. Before it came to Dundee the jewel had a long and terrible history which I will not bother to recount because I do not know it. What I do know is that it was brought to Dundee in Victorian times from Nepal. It had been found affixed to a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu where it had formed the idol's green 'eye'. A brave British soldier (whom my mother always told me was one of my distant relations) was asked by a young lady to steal the jewel for her to prove that his love for her was genuine. Well, the soldier succeeded in prising the jewel from the statue and presented it to his sweetheart as a token of his desire to mate with her. Of course, legend has it that the jewel was cursed, and of course, the British soldier was brutally killed the same night. Well, the woman, the daughter of a colonel, kept the jewel and took it back with her to her family's mansion in Dundee. Within a year, all their fortunes had failed and she was reduced to hawking second-hand shoelaces in Lochee. She was left with no option but to sell the jewel, which she did - to Mark McManus who owned the McManus Museum and Galleries.

There it remains to this day. Or rather, there it remained until a few months ago, when I successfully used the slave Fell to purloin it. The jewel is priceless, which means it is worth about 10 million quid. I will explain the heist in the next entry...
(the ellipsis again indicates that more is to follow and is intended to excite you)

The "Newari Eye" (about the size of a watermelon)

The Great Slave Scam Described

Readers and lookers, the keener among you will have noted that I have not recently been keeping you updated regarding my many misadventures. There is sound reason for this and I will tell you what that sound reason is in the course of the impending narrative. It is a tale unlike any other. In turns it will astound you, shock you, disgust you, perhaps even stimulate you carnally if are the type of person who gains arousal through reading accounts of misery and suffering.

If you recall, I had enslaved my former enemy Dr Fell by rendering him idiotic through Bhujeum Pills and had been frittering away my time having him perform humiliating actions merely to amuse myself. If you do not recall this then it does not matter because I have just told you so you need only recall the information I have just imparted, which was a scant one sentence ago. If you struggle to recall that, there is no hope for you. In my previous diary entry, I indicated that I had in mind a grand scheme for the slave Fell. This grand scheme was the ultimate cause of my inability to update this electronic diary for reasons you will shortly discover.

My plan was this: I would use the slave Fell to commit various thefts around the city of Dundee. To my mind it was a plan with no drawbacks because if he succeeded, I would gain the numerous monies and priceless artifacts that I would order him to steal. Thus I would become rich and could afford a Nintendo Wii, etc. If he failed, and was captured by the filthy arm of the law, then I would lose nothing save an idiot slave and Fell would be the one incarcerated. Being as how he was now a moron of quite epic proportions, he would be unable to remember why he was stealing things and would certainly lack the wherewithal to pin the crimes on me: he would not even remember my name.

With the basics of the plan established, I next had to establish the complexities of the plan...

(Note that I made use of ellipsis at the end of the previous sentence. This is to indicate that I have more to say about the topic but am choosing not to do so right now. I will do so in the next diary entry, which I will begin writing now. The ellipsis was to whet your appetite and to excite your curiosity: I hope it worked.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More Fun with Slavery

My dearest and most fremulous of readers, as you are aware, I am, like honest Abe Lincoln and Taylor from Planet of the Apes, morally opposed to human slavery. That said, having access to a slave of my own has proven hugely satisfying. Readers, I fear that whatever cosy morality you cling to, all would be abandoned if your power too surpassed that of the common stock.

Dr.Fell, now idiotic through my forcing him to swallow countless Bhujeum pills, is a delightful slave. Whatsoever my whim, he satisfies it. On Wednesday night, purely for sport, I bade him rhythmically beat his forehead with a chicken thigh during the entirety of The Apprentice. When Sir Alan Sugar announced that he would be firing Simon, I bade Fell comfort me by submerging both of his elbows in a pot of scalding broth and chant, "Sir Alan Sugarpuff" until he passed out. The sight of this warmed the cockles of my heart.

At present, I have sent Dr.Fell to buy me a fish and chip tea. A slave is a great resource for avoiding such tiresome jobs, but I have a rather better and more ingenious plan in mind for Fell.

An eventually-aborted attempt to sketch Dr. Fell as though he looked like Gok Wan (TV fashionista)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Toying with my slave

Today I have enjoyed forcing my idiot slave to do my every bidding. This afternoon I bade him entertain me by playing the theme tune to Casualty upon a xylophone. This he can do tolerably well. I have illustrated his performance, choosing to depict Dr. Fell as an obese naked man.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Plan for Revenge is Undertaken

My curious readers, I am satisfied to report that my plan to gain revenge 'pon (upon) Dr. Fell has fallen out well. He has remained in my Dundee home since Monday and here he must be content to stay for I have no intention of ever releasing him.

Dr. Fell irked me from the off by eschewing my doorbell, choosing instead to chap repeatedly at my front door to boorishly alert me to his presence so that I might allow him to gain ingress to my home. With my heartbeat audible and perspiration prickling my brow, I went to pick up my copy of Samuel Richardson's Clarissa and prepared to open wide the door and promptly bludgeon the unwitting Fell. This huge and weighty 18th-century tome is dense enough to render anyone unconscious. Unfortunately, but understandably given my nervousness and concomittent confusion, I picked up a copy of Clarissa Dickson Wright: Spilling the Beans which is a different affair entirely, being a much slimmer volume of lightweight and fluffy prose. I won this in a church raffle some years previously, and, disasterously I now realised, had failed to commit it to the flames. It was as I opened the door and invited Fell in that I realised my folly and laid the autobiography down - to attempt to strike a (medical) doctor's head with such a floppy book would be foolish.

"Good to see you Horton," said Dr. Fell, before glancing at the copy of Clarissa Dickson Wright: Spilling the Beans and adding, "I see by your choice of reading material that the Bhujeum pills are still working. Most encouraging!"

"Hey Dr. Fell," I said, adopting a moronic mode of speech so that Fell would not realise that I was now free of the influence of his idiot pills, "Fancy a drink? I got Sunny Delight or Red Bull or pretty much any brand of isotonic sports drinks you like! I can't get enough of them!"

"Fabulous - the pills are working better than ever I could have hoped!" said Fell, smiling to himself in an infuriatingly smug manner. "I will take a 'Sunny Delight' if you please."

"Need any munchies? I got cheese-strings!" I said.

"This is just perfect. The pills are clearly a triumph. No thank you, Horton, I won't take any snacks," he said.

Readers, it was as I was preparing Dr. Fell's beverage that I arrived at a change of plan. Murder, I realised, was too final and would not serve as a satisfying punishment. My revised idea was far superior. As I had no Sunny Delight, I was attempting to create a convincing makeshift version (normal fresh orange juice with three pounds of sugar dissolved in it). The addition of superfluous ingredients to an otherwise pleasant drink gave me cause to pause. What if I was to add something else, unknown to Fell, to his drink? I toyed with adding bleach or horse tranquilizers or all manner of revolting possibilites, but hit upon an ingenious scheme. Bhujeum pills! I would grind up Bhujeum pills and watch, secretly delighted, as Fell consumed this concoction and succumbed to the terrible effects.

So that is precisely what I did. And I am pleased to report that it succeeded spectacularly. Dr. Fell is now an idiot of quite impressive stupidity. "Hoist by his own petrel", as they say. I have kept him well dosed on the nefarious pills for the last few days so that he is essentially my slave, helpless without me. I fully confess that it has amused me greatly to command Fell to debase and humiliate himself for my own amusement. As I compose this entry, I have forced him to improve the weft of the lounge carpet using only his shins. He does this with nary a complaint.

I have further plans in mind for my dimwitted slave, which I will tell you of tomorrow.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tomorrow's righteous atrocities

My dearest and most fragrant of readers, I have once again been considering the various ways and means by which I will gain revenge against Dr. Fell when he visits my home tomorrow.

When he enters my home I must quickly render him unconscious so that I can better prepare him for his treatment. Readers, do not be shocked by the premeditated nature of my actions: I am surely justified because of his initial cruelty to me. "A nigh for a nigh" as people inexplicably seem to say in situations like this.

I have devised one technique for knocking him out but worry that it may be too fanciful. I have provided a sketch of my methodology below. Dr. Fell is imagined as being played by the late Sir Harry Secombe.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Musing on Tortures Galore

I have spent all my waking hours today relishing convoluted fantasies of exacting gruesome revenge 'pon (upon) Dr. Fell who so cruelly rent the soul from out my body and left me a cretin.

In my mind's eye, I have visualised the various facial expressions that Dr. Fell will surely pull when I brutalize him. This activity has amused me enormously and has fully encouraged me to see my plan through to the end.

Here is a sketch of my favourite expression that I imagined Dr. Fell hypothetically adopting. I feel this expression (alarmed flabbergastment) would arise from me holding several heated teaspoons against his calves.

Although Dr. Fell is in reality a svelte and angular man, I have here depicted him as being portrayed by the late actor John Candy (heavily disguised) because I believe this lends the image a much-needed comical air.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Plan for Revenge is Hatched

My dearest and most obstreperous of readers, my plan to exact revenge on Dr. Fell has been hatched. I feel it must needs be severe because he tinkered with my soul, which is a serious offence.

My scheme involves all manner of grisly activities but ultimately ends in his death at my hands. Doubtless you are shocked and outraged because you do not think me capable of such a heinous act. I am morally good as you know, but I believe my cause is a righteous one. I think I will be able to go through with it.

Being subject to unspeakable tortures during my time as an inmate of Dundee's Home for the Irretrievably Demented, I have become hardened. Murder is no longer a great taboo.

Below is a sketch of an instrument I have designed with which I will torture Dr. Fell. It should be obvious what its function is.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Plan for Revenge is Mulled Over

My readerly and most writerly of readers, you may now like to gaily and daily release small ejaculations of joy for I am returned to my prelapsarian state! Forgive the reckless use of an exclamation mark but I feel it is warranted given the situation.

Since I was hoodwinked by the nefarious Dr. Fell into partaking of certain jelloids which he called "Bhujeum pills", I have been rendered arrantly moronic. You need only look at the previous few entries on my electronic diary to observe that this is the case. Why anyone would think their readership would find pleasure in considering an obese Yankee teenager flailing his arms about as if in combat is now beyond me. For making you endure such idiocy, I apologise, but only on the edge of hearing because none of the affair was really my fault.

I see now that Fell's "Bhujeum pills", although they undoubtedly succeeded in making my troubles softly and suddenly vanish away, performed the twin action of forcing all my wits to softly and suddenly vanish away also. Luckily, this stupidity ultimately led to me missplacing the pills, which in turn led to me missing my daily dosage, which in turn led to me recovering my wits. If you will indulge me, I will describe what my brief foray into the world of asininity was like.

I confess that it was wonderous and I can begin to appreciate why fatuousness is so popular: the most inane things at once become things to marvel over. I spent three consecutive afternoons joining internet message boards under assumed names and posting false weblinks to a Rick Astley video on Youtube, finding this the most deliciously hilarious thing imaginable. I watched entire catalogues of Internet Flash cartoons. For hours at a time I played internet games that answered such questions as "What Diff'rent Strokes character are you?" (Mrs Garrett), "What mid-Victorian philanthropist are you?" (W.E. Hickson) and "What curd are you?" (lemon). I bought (and shamelessly consumed) Pop Tarts. I watched multiple episodes of Booze Britain 2: Binge Nation. I even began writing Blog Fiction.

Readers, I enjoyed every minute of it. However, I realise now that I had no capacity for abstract thought. Since coming to my senses, I have returned to my habitual misery and gloom but have regained free will and intelligence. At times, I have felt like recommencing the dosage of Bhujeum Pills but have so far withstood the temptation. The dilemma is this: a happy imbecile or a miserable genius?

For now, I have chosen to remain a miserable genius. This will help me to concoct a ferocious revenge on Dr. Fell who so cruelly toyed with my wits - nay, my very soul. Fell is to visit me on Monday, ostensibly for a "check-up". He will find me far less maliable than he expects...

Yes, I am glad once more to be a genius, with all my faculties returned to me. Readers, when Fell enters my Dundee home, you will begin to truly appreciate exactly what devilish wonders this marvellous mind of mine, rich in thought and imbued with fierce and keen intelligence, is capable of...

Must go now - Flog It! is coming on the telly.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Star Wars Kid! ROFLMAO!!

Hey guys! One of my readers has been surfing some of the weirder areas of the internet and has found this total gem!! It's a vid of a kid (hey, I'm a poet and I don't know it ;-)). Basically, he's acting as if he's a jedi from the Star Wars films, but the funny thing is that he's only a kid so not really very good.

Totally random! I pretty much agree with all the Youtube comments left - my favourite one is fargis9 when he says: "this is like the worst star wars vid i''ve ever seen :( oh and by the way hes fat!!!!!!!!)" I guess the kid is kind of fat which makes it funnier.


I'm loving bringing you all these weird vids and pics that you won't ever have seen or heard of before. I'm pretty much loving the direction my blog is taking. You guys like it too? Leave comments plz!! Better shoot off now - I've got to take my pills again (drag!)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Badgers! LOL

Hey guys!! I'm here to entertain you again. Here's another wacky video I found when I was surfing the net, so thought I'd share it all my lovely readers. And some less-than-lovely! I kid! I kid because I love!! ;-) Sure you'll love this - I'm probably one of the first bloggers to find out about this so remember - you saw it here first! It's totally random.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Can Has Cheezburger?! LOL

Hey guys!! Spent today chilling out watching a bit of telly. Still trying to get my head around the weird stuff I've gone through recently - there's gonna have to be some pretty major changes round here. Need a bit of normality in my life...

Hey, just found this pretty funny picture. Thought I'd share it with you all - maybe give you a giggle!

Made me chuckle anyway! Lol!

Gotta dash - I've been on the net for way too long...just realised I'm really late in taking my Bhujeum pills today!! Yikes! Better get on and do that, lest my mind fissiparously dissipate and return me to my previously addlepated state.

...readers, an errant thought tugs at some metaphorical loose thread in my mind. Some nebulous, poorly-defined idea - perhaps a memory - gingerly tickles at my consciousness. I am perturbed. Something is not quite right. The picture of a cat that I have just posted is palpably ludicrous...why have I done such a thing? My perturbance has been joined by perplexity... perhaps these pills will clear things up, though for some reason the thought of them chills me to the marrow of several of my bones.

Whooa! Phew! Just taken the pills - feel a bit better now - back on track. Jeez, looks like I had some sort of episode there. Memo: MUST TAKE PILLS ON TIME FROM NOW ON!! That was weird.

The picture of the cat cracks me up though - totally cheers me up. Lol.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Matt Damon

So I've spent most of the last few days trying to basically clear out some of the junk round here. Jeez, I must of really been totally mad when I look at some of the stuff around my house. Most of the crap is pretty random stuff (dismantled Rubik's cubes and dozens of beige tennis shoes with no soles!?! Wacky or what?!) but I guess I'm pretty shocked at some of the kind of dark and heavy shit I've found (no, not literally!!) - at the back of a cupboard I found a drowned kitten in a bucket, an alphabetised collection of different pastries (which only had choux, puff & shortcrust!) with a number next to each one telling me how many pounds of that kind of pastry that a gypsy would have to eat before he/she would die, and some photographs of Billy Elliot with everything Tippexed out apart from his face and legs, with the words "Dance while you can Billy" written across it. Weird!

Meh, least I'm better now. I'm so glad Dr Fell managed to persuade me to take those pills cause without them I was clearly in a pretty bad way!

I've also been reading through this blog of mine. It's a total mind-bender let me tell you ;-)
I don't remember writing any of it and it's mostly all complete rubbish.

To be honest, it's kinda embarrassing and is taking me to a place where I'm not comfortable - I'd like some brain bleach! What I'm going to do after I've finished reading through all the entries is pretty much delete the whole lot. No one wants to read that guff!

From now on, you've got your all-new & improved Horton C. to entertain ya! The blog's going to have pretty much a totally new focus - none of the old shit. Basically, I'm going to be sharing with you some of my thoughts about the world of TV, music and movies and so on. Maybe chuck in a bit of my political rants and stuff too! Bloody Tony Blair, etc (Tony B-Liar more like!) Pretty much anything that takes my fancy! I'll have links to Youtube vids that I think my readers will like. Hopefully they'll be ones you haven't seen before - here's one to start you off - it's a really funny one about Matt Damon.

I'm probably one of the only bloggers in the world to pick up on this vid. You saw it here first!

Awesome. Anyway, like I say, you can expect more of this funny stuff on this blog in future. I'm gonna start deleting all the junk from earlier entries asap.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Well guys, I'm free. All I had to do was go up to Dr Fell and tell him that I'd taken the pills. He signed the release papers and said I was free to go. It was as easy as that.

So I said goodbye to the guys in the hospital and had to go and collect my stuff. See, this is where I'm kind of worried about myself. I must have been really wacked out when I first came to the home because some of the stuff I'd obviously brought in with me was just totally random and weird. What could I have been thinking? Tic-Tacs glued to a hard-boiled goose egg? I! Apparently, I'd insisted to the warden that this was a genuine Faberge Egg and had to be treated with respect. Carpet swatches, two dead tawny owls, a bust of Pallas made from plaster of Paris, a copy of The Blood of Dracula by Jack Hamilton Teed (signed by Nanette Newman for some bizarre reason), and five Tesco bags stuffed with loft insulation.

I mean...come on! I must of been on something - that is just so INSANE! Anyway, I'm glad to be out of there now. I'm back in my house, which is in a totally shocking state. I'm going to have a load of work to do over the next few days to get this place into a livable condition.

I'm remembering to take my Bhujeum pills three time a day - really don't want to forget about those and turn back into a mental!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I am cured

Dearest readers, after the majority of my week was spent being cruelly brutalized by male nurse Pugg Muckle in a particularly uncomfortable place (the television lounge), I have subdued the tawdry throng of doubts jostling for attention in my troubled mind, bolstered my resolution, and decided to take the Bhujeum pills at last. I can stand this asylum no longer: I must be free, and if this is the only way in which I can bring about my emancipation, then so be it. My intention is to take the prescribed dosage of pills for but a short time so that I might convince Dr. Fell that I am 'cured'. After I have won my freedom, I will refrain from partaking of the pills and all will be well.

As I type these words I have before me the bottle of Bhujeum pills, which if taken, promise to make all my troubles softly and suddenly vanish away. Almost at once, my determination is rent by treacherous doubts. I do not know if I am brave enough to go through with this task. The idea that my personality, my soul, will also softly and suddenly vanish away, is one that punctuates my thoughts and appends the prefix 'in' to my decision.

I will do this. I shall do this. A pang, almost physical, strikes at my heart. I cannot do this. I shall not do this. And yet I must. I will.

Readers, I have placed two Bhujeum pills upon my tongue and will shortly swallow them. Tears are welling up in my eyes for I am overcome with emotion. Unaccountably, I feel as though I am about to be severed in some way. This is surely the wrong decision.

Readers, I have swallowed the pills. I await metamorphosis.

Nothing has happened. I feel no different.

I feel betrayed and sit passive, sunk in a lethargy of sorrow.

That last sentence looks odd to my eyes. It seems a bit wordy. What I should say is that I guess I feel kinda sad that nothing's really happened to me, you know? The pills haven't had any effect.
Here's me - the same Horton Carew as always. No different. Don't feel like anything's changed. This whole pill thing's pretty much been a total failure. Which really sucks.

Jeez, when I read over this blog post, I can kinda see why I haven't been getting many readers, you know? It's sort of like longwinded in style and takes yonks to come to the point. How's this for messing with your head, but I don't even like recognise myself in this post. What was I thinking writing in that weird old-fashioned way for Christ's sake? Hmm, well I guess maybe Dr. Fell and Dr. Gland have been right and there has been something wrong with me. God, this is so freaky!

Well, guess I'll go and have a word with Dr. Fell. Sure he'll be able to keep me right.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I Tell Fell

Today's discussion with Dr. Fell, wherein I did my utmost to convince him I was cured of the insanity from which he mistakenly thinks I am suffering, went as follows:

Me: Dr. Fell, I have taken your pills and find myself cured.
Fell: I will need to test your claim Horton.
Me: Feel free my good man, feel perfectly free!
Fell: Okay. Let's start with some word association. I will say a word, you must respond by giving me the first thing that comes into your head. Okay?
Me: Dokey.
Fell: Sorry?
Me: Ronnie Corbett.
Fell: We haven't started yet.
Me: I see. Will this be held against me?
Fell: Not necessarily. Let's start.
Me: Okay.
Fell: Hope.
Me: Sanity.
Fell: Love.
Me: I am sane.
Fell: Ambition.
Me: I am cured.
Fell: Dream.
Me: Release me.
Fell: Death.
Me: Sanity.
Fell: Pain.
Me: Sane.
Fell: Work.
Me: Compos Mentis.
Fell: Sex.
Me: Well-adjusted.
Fell: Life.
Me: Cured.
Fell: Bed.
Me: I'm sane.
Fell: Dark.
Me: Sane.
Fell: Night.
Me: Sane.
Fell: Wedding.
Me: Sane.
Fell: Hands.
Me: Sane.
Fell: Mother.
Me: Wicked soul trapped forever in a pewter scottie dog from the board game Monopoly.
Fell: Pardon?
Me: Sane.
Fell: Well Horton, it seems abundantly clear to me that you have not taken the Bhujeum pills. You are unconvincingly feigning sanity in a feeble effort to persuade me to release you. This I will not do. You are still madder than three geese. Go back to your cell and never try to deceive me again. Begone!
Me: Sane.
Fell: Oh do go away.

Alas readers, I have not succeeded and remain incarcerated.
Perhaps I should simply take the pills.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I take the pills

Readers, as you know I am fully committed to the idea of making this electronic interactive, so I have posed a question regarding my life which I have left in your capable hands. Once more, I see that the majority of my readers wish for me to take the pills. Yet again, this was the wrong decision.

As genuine interactivity necessitates me doing precisely what the readers vote for even if it was not part of my original plan or imagined narrative trajectory, I am obliged to do exactly what you have voted for. Thus, I must set the poll again until you vote for the correct response, which is "Do not take the pills".

However, I suppose that the results will once again favour "Take the pills" and I recognise that I cannot go on setting these polls indefinitely, because I am desperate to flee this place and all this humming and hawing (and unrealted heaving) is merely wasting precious time. Thus, I propose a compromise.

My solution is this: I will pretend to Dr. Fell and to those malicious readers who wish for me to take the pills, that I have taken the pills, then pretend that I am suitably 'cured' for Dr. Fell to sign my release papers. Then I will be free.

My pretence will begin at once...

I have swallowed two bhujeum pills as per the instructions on the bottle. I feel a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. These agonies swiftly subside. Now I feel younger, lighter, happier in body. I know myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be cured. I stretch out my hands, exulting in the freshness of these sensations. I am cured! I am cured!

Now I will contact Dr. Fell and convince him that I can be released.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Readers Have Spoken

Well, my dearest readers, you have voted and I am honour-bound to follow the results of your vote. I have used my mind to tally up all votes placed and find that "Take the pills" has won by two votes.

Thus, I must take Dr. Fell's bhujeum pills. Perhaps I did not make the situation clear enough: these pills, although they will make all the bad things in my life softly and suddenly vanish away, will also make my personality, everything that makes me me, softly and suddenly vanish away. Although I will be happy, there may no longer exist the entity known as "Horton Carew" to appreciate the new-found happiness.

I will allow you a second chance to vote correctly. As before, I will do whatever you vote because this electronic diary is fully interactive.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What must I do?

My gipseian and pigmaean readers, I must tell you that my quandary has not yet been resolved. This week I have hummed and hawed (and hornswoggled, though that is completely unrelated), yet I cannot decide what to do for the best.

I will decide the matter on the toss of a coin. Yes - hang it all! - that is what I shall do. Excuse me, dearest readers while I throw myself upon Fate's mercy. If the coin lands on heads, I will take the pills. If it lands on tails, I will not.

...I have the coin. It is a tuppence. Destiny awaits, gentle readers, destiny awaits.

I toss (the coin).

It has landed.

...Readers, I am afraid that the best laid plans of mice and men, as they say, gang affy gay. The coin has landed in a small globule of mashed swede upon the floor, directly side-on. It is neither heads nor tails.

Alas, Fate means for me to be decisive.

Thus, I will set up a poll: readers, you must decide my course of action. For you, this will be akin to a Fighting Fantasy 'Choose your Own Adventure' game book because I will do whatsoever you choose. I pray that my adverture does not end here.

Kindly let me know what I should do. Take the bhujeum pills? Eschew the bhujeum pills?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Advice from an unexpected source

As thick-wristed male nurse Pugg Muckle was administering the second of my daily beatings this afternoon, utilizing for the sturdiness it offered a metal fire extinguisher, I thought long and hard about Dr Fell's offer. As Muckle was working on my shin bones, the excrutiating pain I felt as a sliver of bone split from burst skin and flew across the room momentarily distracted me from my musings and caused me to wail in anguish. Muckle answered my impromptu cry of agony by clubbing my gums with rough and blunt knuckles. His casual brutality and workaday truculence piqued my ire and I began roaring, expectorating a broken tooth in my fury. In my anger, I quite lost self-control and began speaking my mind, honestly and openly, for the first time since becoming incarcerated, telling male nurse Pugg Muckle precisely what I thought of his smug Irish face. Readers, my tongue became over-loose, not least because my styloglossus muscle had been terribly rent by Muckle's thrashings. Weeping, I told the pugnacious Muckle all about Dr Fell's offer of pills and, with a new-found boldness, told him that I intended to take these pills, quit this bedlam, then go straight to the Dundee Courier to expose the villainies and outrages daily committed in this den of terror.

Pugg Muckle sat bemused through my impassioned outburst, then struck me in the cheek with a tightly-balled fist.

"Now Horty, calm yerself down and shut yer trap, bejappers," he said (he did not actually say 'bejappers', but as Pugg Muckle is Irish, I feel obliged to sporadically insert such words into his dialogue so that you do not forget his ethnicity).

"You can choose to believe me or you can choose to disbelieve me: that's up to you, begorah," he continued. "I hold no special contempt for you Horty. This is just a job to me. True, I happen to greatly enjoy brutalizing lunatics, but there is nothing personal at work here. Truth be told, I've always looked forward to sessions with you and have enjoyed working with you, bejaysus. You rarely complain, and you can take a lot of pummeling before passing out. You always give me my money's worth! So let me give you a florin's worth of free advice: do not trust Dr Fell. At least I'm upfront about my love of torture, begob. Dr Fell is no better than me. He just hides his cruelty better'n a common or garden sadist, that's all, Bejam."

He then broke my nose by slamming my head roughly against a doorframe.

Food for thought though!

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Quandary Continues

Readers, I remain in a quandary.

Dr Fell, whom I do not like, though not for any particular reason, has raised the stakes in his proposition in an effort to persuade me of his point of view. If I follow his advice and take the bhujeum pills, not only will all the bad thoughts and events in my life softly and suddenly vanish away, but Dr Fell has also announced that if I take the pills I will be considered 'cured' and will be permitted to permanently leave Dundee's Home for the Irretrievably Demented. Readers, you will appreciate that freedom from this bedlam and house of horror is something I have craved since first I was immured. I am sorely tempted.

Perhaps having my personality softly and suddenly vanish away will not be as terrible a thing as I have been imagining. Perhaps the pills will just remove the negative aspects of my personality and leave me the good points. Maybe then my truelove, my ladylove, Carol Doocot will think more highly of me and I can be the man she deserves...

Dr Fell has left the pills in my possession. Even now I can sense that I am convincing myself to take the pills. But I must consider this more fully before making the choice. What should I do?

A hastily-sketched depiction of the Bhujeum pills

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Philosophical Quandary

My dearest and most pelargic of readers, I am in a quandary.

"But that is natural, Horton," you say. "After all, you are currently resident in a mental institution. A state of doubt or perplexity is the default state for a person in your predicament and should not be considered worthy of comment."

Dear reader, as usual you have jumped the gun and not allowed me time to elaborate. I must say that this lack of patience rates among your chief flaws and is not to be encouraged. Try to calm yourself for I am about to elaborate.

Today, I was visited in my cell by a Dr. Fell. I did not like him. If you were to press me, I would be unable to provide convincing or logical reasons for the dislike which I clearly felt towards the man. However, I am inescapably certain of how I felt: I did not like that Dr. Fell. He is a medical doctor and claimed to want to cure me of my supposed madness.

"In this bottle," he said (for he held a bottle, you understand), "I have Bhujeum pills. If you take these pills, all the strange things that plague you, all the aberrant thoughts that trouble you, will softly and suddenly vanish away. It will be like waking up from a terrible dream. You will be a completely different person."

I patiently explained to Fell that I am not actually insane and have been imprisoned in this asylum under false pretences. In a gentle and kindly voice he told me that the pills also work on sane people such as myself.

"If a sane person like you or I takes the pills, Horton," he said, "they just make the bad things in life stop happening and make happy things happen instead. They make us into different people. Better people."

This is the nature of my quandary, readers. I would like to live a life free of miserable events and tortuously episodic disasters, but I do not wish to lose my personality in the process. If I take the Bhujeum pills, I may become happy but will there be an 'I' to appreciate the happiness? If I take the pills and all the bad things in my life softly and suddenly vanish away, that would be indescribably wonderful, but will Horton Carew also softly and suddenly vanish away? This will require a great deal of thought.

On top of all this, I have developed scurvy through lack of vitamins.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Last Recitation

My dearest and most anonymous of readers, I shall share with you but one more example of Robertson's verse. Thankfully, this is his last day of being a visiting speaker at the Dundee Home for the Irretrievably Demented as he has fallen out of favour with thick-wristed male nurse Pugg Muckle. Robertson, having finished today's recitation to the inmates, was being shown out of the building by Muckle when he decided to try out some of his new material on the lumpen Irishman. Muckle suffered a small apoplexy, soiled himself, and has been left temporarily numb down the entirety of the left hand side of his body. Roberston has been told, in no uncertain terms, never to return.

Scheme Fowk Hae No Pretensions

See scheme fowk? They dinnae hae ony truck
Wi Markies food or ony o' that muck.
"This is no just food, but M&S food"?!
Aye it is! An' it's no even a' that good!
Thon Jamie Oliver says nae mair Turkey Twizzlers?
Thon ur scheme bairns' favourite treat, alangside rolled up Rizlas.
An' see thon Dr Gillian McKeith?
Aye, her wi the soor pus and squinty teeth?
Ah hear she's tryin' tae ban the butterie!
She'll hae nae luck persuading scheme fowk o' that. It's utterly
****** ridiculous, ken. An' takin' lettuce an' cucumber
Fur pack lunches? Talk aboot dumb an' dumber!
Nah, scheme bairns'll tak Cheezy Wotsits,
Curly-Wurlies, E-number flavour jeely tots. It's
Whit they thrive oan. Nah, gie the scheme fowk pehs
An' Special Brew an' chips wae deep-fried salt Ah sez!
Aye, scheme fowk hae no pretensions,
An' at the skale they goat detentions,
On baccy an' Buckie they spend their pensions.
An' tae the polis they dinnae pay attention.

See scheme fowk? Salt o' the ******* earth!
Are yiz mindin' Ah'm fae Fintry?

We are each of us relieved that we do not have to hear from Robertson any more. However, the sadistic male nurse Pugg Muckle has made it clear that if we do not do his bidding and submit to four daily thrashings all next week, then the next visiting speaker will be Dundee Courier columnist Anthony Troon.

We are on our best behaviour.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

More Hard-Hitting Street Poetry

Readers, I will share a further example of Robertson's poetry, chiefly as evidence should he ever go on trial for his crimes. He is rapidly wearing us down - one inmate today sneaked into the kitchen and submerged his head in a large pot of boiling lentil broth, ultimately killing himself. Unfortunately, Pugg Muckle has now locked the kitchens to prevent anyone else doing likewise.

Doon at the Chipper on a Seturday Nicht

See scheme fowk? They love eatin' chips,
An' stickin' battered bits o' haddock past their lips
An' ken, sometimes they like a black or white
Puddin' supper on a Seturday nicht (night),
An' some o' them spend hauf their wage
On a burger in batter or a deep-fried sausage.
Maist scheme fowk will ask fur vinegar and salt,
Tae be added tae their suppers (the vinegar's usually malt).

Ken, goin' doon the chipper on a Seturday nicht (night)?
Scheme fowk love tae first get pished then get intae a fecht (fight).
Yis huv tae watch yerself doon there
So's ye dinnae get a pickled egg stuck in yer hair.

See scheme fowk? Salt o' the ******* earth!
Did Ah mention ah'm fae Fintry?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Street Poet of the Schemes.

Readers, once more have we endured the recitations of the self-confessed 'poet of the schemes' Gary Robertson. Today he harangued on stage for two hours, enthusiastically bawling at us a great many of his poems. All the while, sadistic and thick-wristed male nurse Pugg Muckle, with cotton wadding in his ears to avoid hearing Robertson's poesy himself, laughed as we writhed and squirmed in our seats.

For those of you unfamiliar with Robertson, perhaps a brief introduction would not go amiss. He is a 'street poet', who claims to write in an authentic Dundonian accent with brutal honesty about Dundee life. A denizen of one of Dundee's innumerable council house schemes, he claims to speak for all the poor 'schemies' who presumably do not possess the wherewithal to speak for themselves. I suspect he may be working class.

Though I do not feel comfortable making my readership suffer as I have suffered, I feel I should give you a flavour of what we inmates must endure. Here is an example of the verses today we heard:

Scheme Fowk at the Riverside Switches

Mind thon switches doon at Riverside?
Ken, when yis wur young an' starry-eyed,
They wis pure beezer. Eh, they wis magic,
Till the dodgems birled ye an' made ye sick,
A' ower some auld wifie and her bairn,
A' ower its heid an' bobble hat it wis wearin'.

Mind, when ye wis young, the switches were rare?
Toffee aipples stuck on sticks an' then yer hair,
As ye dunted the big 2p machines wi' yer erse,
Till the tinky carnie came ower lookin' a fierce,
Bawlin' at ye till ye started tae greet,
And ye got a skelp on yer lug and flung oot on the street.

Eh, ken, mind thon switches were braw?
A' the scheme bairns were taken by their maws.
Ye kent weel that the coconut shy wis a con,
But ye paid onywey fur a shottie then a play on
The puggies (but if yis won, a big lad aye stole it
Then bought baccy and a Rizla and then he would roll it).

But ken, when yis got older, ken, a teenage schemie,
Yis would still go tae the switches wi yer pals, twa or three,
But it wisnae rides yis had on yer mind,
At least, no rides on dodgems. Naw, yis wanted tae get entwined,
With some daft burd ahent the goldfish stall,
An' ******* **** her up against a wall.
Yer scheme pals and ye would get totally pished,
On cider and Buckie and, Christ, yis wished
Tae hae a fecht wi' the rival gang,
The 'Douglas Munters' or some ither bams.
Mind, you and yer pals wid chib them and batter their pusses
Wi' a length ae pipe an' they'd shout oot cusses.

See scheme fowk? The salt o' the ******* earth.
I'm fae Fintry ye ken.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Visiting Speaker

My dearest and most sympathetic of readers, I will now reveal the identity of the visiting speaker, whose company we must endure each day this week as part of a cruel torment devised by our sadistic male nurse. Rest assured that I now look back fondly to the days when our only recreation was the removal of coagulated cats' droppings from the bottom of wire cages.

This afternoon, thick-wristed male nurse Pugg Muckle, with his blunted, scabbed knuckles and his mighty belt buckles, lashed us into submission with a length of cable then he and his underlings hauled our protesting forms through to the community auditorium where they bound us to chairs with chicken wire. Laughing maniacally, he introduced us to the guest speaker, whom he had carefully chosen to offend our sensibilities and evince anguish and nausea in all residents. He then ran from the room so as not to suffer any injurious effects himself.

The visiting speaker appeared on stage clutching several manuscripts, which did not bode well for it meant that he intended to read from them for some considerable time. Dearest readers, the visiting speaker was none other than the Dundee 'street poet' Gary Robertson. He proceeded to read his work to us for upwards of an hour, either oblivious to the inmates' weeping and howling, or relishing the pain that he was able to inflict. At present, my nerves are too frayed, my hands too shaky, and my soul too despairing to permit me to relate much more of the horror I have witnessed today.

Suffice to say that one of my fellow inmates has just forced a propelling pencil into both of her ears and permanently deafened herself so that she will not have to hear anymore of Robertson's poetry tomorrow. Pugg Muckle promptly removed all such implements to prevent anyone else trying the same scam. As I write, the newly-deafened inmate sits smiling serenely, and we each look upon her with the greatest of envy.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fresh Misery

After dinner tonight (the scrapings from a navvy's boots and a three-inch length of garden hose), thick-wristed male nurse Pugg Muckle gathered together all inmates and announced that for the next two minutes, Dundee's Home for the Irretrievably Demented was to be a democracy. Certain inmates became excited at this notion and incautiously allowed their sense of hope to reawaken. I knew better and merely fortified my sense of despair.

Muckle declared that we were to take a vote. He felt that we were at risk of becoming mollycoddled so he had devised new tortures for us that would begin from Monday next week. As an example of, he claimed, unprecedented generosity on his part, we were to be permitted to decide, via due democratic process, which of the tortures we wanted to receive.

The options were as follows:

1) All footwear to be replaced with coils of barbed wire wrapped around the feet.
2) Our eyes to be sewn shut during the afternoon showing of Quincy.
3) Our current toilet arrangements (a bucket) to be replaced with a new system (our beds).
4) A visiting speaker each day this week.
5) Breakfast to consist of razor blades, with vinegar as a beverage.

After a little discussion among those of us capable of speech and abstract thought, we naturally opted for the 'visiting speaker' option. At hearing our decision, Muckle guffawed malevolently. He then told us, between laughs, exactly who that visiting speaker would be.

Readers, you will doubtless realise the horror of the situation when I tell you that I now wish we had gone for any or all of the other options.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Disappointing Turn of Events.

Dear readers, I must report that my spirit is quite sapped. Because the inmate's duties at the Mid Craigie Cattery ended when male nurse Pugg Muckle and Cattery owner Mrs Imogen Pottle slaughtered all their cats to use as the contents of faux-haggisses, my escape plan has failed. I had planned to flee last Wednesday when Muckle and Pottle briefly took their attention from us as they retired for their three minute grapple in the Cattery. Alas, all visits to the Cattery have ceased until Pottle and Muckle can restock their feline supply, so that particular route to freedom is now closed.

Thus, I remain incarcerated in this terrible place. I will have to rethink my strategy. Male nurse Pugg Muckle has promised us fresh torments next week, as he does not wish us to become complacent with his current brutalities.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Final Preparations

Well, my dearest and most crassulent of readers, this may well be the last time you hear from me as an imprisoned man. You should not assume from this that I will shortly become an imprisoned woman. No, my gender is not the state which will shortly alter, but rather the adjective 'imprisoned', for I am soon to flee this dire place. Tomorrow I will be unimprisoned after I make my daring escape.

I have smuggled a few items in pockets and beneath folds in the white dressing gown that we are obligated to wear at all times. Three drawing pins and a single shredded wheat were all I was able to conceal. Perhaps when I am on the run, I will have need to affix a poster to a wall (in which case the three drawing pins will prove invaluable) or win the favour of Ian "Beefy" Botham (in which case the shredded wheat will become of inestimable value). Time will tell.

As one last indignity before I flee tomorrow, male nurse Pugg Muckle today smashed all but four toes on my left foot with the corner of a chest of drawers. It was purely for sport. It is reasons such as these that lead me to think I have made the correct decision in aiming to leave this asylum. Wish me luck for tomorrow. If I fail, my punishment will be so severe that I may not survive it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Message to my Lady Love, My Dove

Today found me melancholy. I spent almost all of this sabbath fixating unhealthily once more on Carol Doocot, my true love, who awaits my safe return on the outside. Doubtless she is reading these words, her eyes jewelled with tears, her lip a'quiver, anxious for my well-being. Carol, I will soon be with ye (you), for on Wednesday I mean to make my escape.

I am certain you have good reasons for visiting me not once during my incarceration and I look forward to hearing about them when I flee this place.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Tales of Resident Lunatics

Readers, as my grim and miserable days in this grim and miserable asylum all follow the same grim and miserable blueprint, there is a paucity of interesting things to write about in this electronic diary. The only thing of any note that happened today was that the madman in the room down the corridor, who insists he is not insane and is actually a time-traveller from the year 2035 where a terrible pandemic has wiped out almost all of humanity, apparently disappeared mysteriously from his locked cell. Doubtless he has merely died of neglect and the wardens have disposed of his body in acid vats in the basement to cover their tracks.

To give you further evidence of the tediousness with which my days are filled, during teatime today, I found myself engaged in conversation to one Fyodor Myshkin, a somewhat dull young idiot who was impounded in this madhouse for his curious behaviour and worldview. However, I confess that when I spoke to him I found his hopelessly naive attitude and inability to understand the politics of the day actually highlighted many of the flaws and hypocrisies inherent to modern life. I found that this so-called madman's innate goodness and child-like questioning alerted me to many of my own prejudices and the depravity of our society. As is so common in this place, I again began to consider that we might well have things back-to-front and that it was not this simple-minded lunatic who was wrong in the head, but rather the rest of the world with all its ghastliness and horror. He quickly provided me with a definitive answer however when he began whooping like some manner of chimp, then pulled down his trousers and defecated in his bowl of soup.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Meet the Natives

My dearest and most curiously moist of readers, I suppose that I should tell you about some of my fellow inmates, whom, over our shared months of incarceration, I have come to regard as, if not friends, then at least as fellow inmates.

In the cell directly next to the left of mine is a slim young man who was jailed for pica. Pica is an abnormal eating disorder whereby the sufferer is driven to consume non-food items such as wax, sponges, bookmarks, convex lenses, snooker cue chalk, and Ginsters Scotch Egg Bars. This fellow eats all manner of crazy things and is therefore excellent entertainment value. Around the asylum, he will happily eat light-bulbs, Blu-Tack, bedding, forks, coat-hangers, and a poster of Rita Hayworth that I was intending to use as part of an escape plan. He was locked up because he developed a peculiar appetite for baby mice, which he ate alive and which led to his expulsion from numerous pet shops around Dundee. He also ate the kidney of a paperboy.

In the cell across the corridor from me is Elwood P. Stewart, an amiable drunk and quite the nicest, most affable chap that anyone would ever hope to meet. A favourite around the asylum, he is friendly, kind-hearted, and honest. His only real "crime" in our blinkered and judgemental society is that he claims to be accompanied wherever he goes by an invisible six foot rabbit, whom he believes is just as pleasant and happy-go-lucky as himself. When I consider how relatively well-adjusted and stress-free Mr Stewart's life is, I begin to ask myself, "Who are the real madmen in this world?" But then I remember that Elwood also skinned his sister in 1979 and the answer becomes abundantly clear.

In the cell to the right of mine, is Amy Winehouse.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Dire Warning

My dearest and most alphabetical of readers, I have for you a dire warning. If any amongst you dwell within the city of Dundee and environs, then this dire warning is particularly applicable to you. If any readers amongst this subgroup plan to buy a haggis to consume tomorrow in celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, then this warning is very particularly applicable to you. But if any amongst this further subgroup plans to purchase their haggis from Aspick & Sons Family Butchers in Flensers Wynd, then this dire warning is especially particularly applicable to you. Take heed.

Today, we were woken at 2:00am and informed by thick-wristed male nurse Pugg Muckle that he had a special project upon which we were to expend our energy until late afternoon. All we inmates were birched to fully rouse us for the day's work, then led through to the kitchens where the rancorous odour of festering cat corpses greeted us. Many hundreds of them lay strewn about the floors and work surfaces: clearly, they were the recently slaughtered remnants of Mrs Imogen Pottle's Mid Craigie Cattery. It transpired that this repugnant harridan was by no means the animal lover that her ownership of a Cattery would suggest, for, in league with Pugg Muckle, she had butchered all the feline creatures in her charge.

We spent the day scooping out the decomposing innards of these wretched beasts, grinding them up, and mixing them with sawdust and loft insulation. Handfuls of the resultant glop we stuffed inside uncoiled gentlemen's contraceptives until they were the size of mangos. These were then collected and boiled for hours in enormous pots. Readers, here is your dire warning: these unspeakable items were sold by Pugg Muckle to Aspick & Sons Family Butchers, who intend to offer them for sale tomorrow as discount haggises. Do not eat them if you are a cat lover.

All inmates were forced to suffer the indignity of eating some of these pseudo-haggises for our repast this evening. I confess I found them deliciously moreish, though I was disguted at myself.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Plan to Escape is Devised

Today saw our weekly outing to Dundee's Mid Craigie Cattery. These trips are ostensibly intended to lift us from our torpor and provide contact with the outside world as part of the asylum's social integration program. In reality, the only human being we see on these visits is the Cattery owner, a po-faced woman named Imogen Pottle who makes no effort to disguise her obvious contempt for us. She is the dowdy, cardiganned mistress of our thick-wristed male nurse, Pugg Muckle, and together they exploit our vulnerable, voiceless position in society by using us as free labour. She only tolerates our presence because Muckle forces us, under the threat of a sound thrashing with a length of birch, to muck out the cats' wire cages with our bare hands. It is humiliating work for a man of my standing.

As we scrabble around their accumulated feculence and the heaped corpses of their departed brethren, the cats themselves are half-crazed with hunger and terror, so tear at our flesh with their unclipped claws and screech wretchedly. Further to this, Imogen Pottle openly flouts the recent ban on smoking in enclosed places by smoking in this enclosed place.

At 3pm sharp, her and the male nurse Muckle leave us unattended and retreat to the back room to noisily relieve their base urges. At 3:04pm they return, their lustful appetites evidently satiated. I have decided that during next week's visit to Mid Craigie Cattery, I will risk all by using this brief window of opportunity to make my escape. It is a risky strategem but, as no other plan presents itself, it is my only chance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Synopsis of my Daily Life

Roote, the boss of this institution, has allowed me access to the internet cobweb for 20 minutes today, so I have elected to use this time to tell my readers about my daily life in Dundee's Home for the Irretrievably Demented. It is with no small amount of shame that I must admit that I have squandered 12 of my allotted minutes in considering the user comments on King Ralph on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database (IMD)). You must understand that some hapless goon had suggested that the title role would have been better played by John Candy, so I felt compelled to register on the website to (a) champion Goodman, and (b) patiently tell this boob exactly why he was incorrect. You will appreciate that I could not let his comment go uncontested.

That said, I will now use my remaining four minutes to give you a flavour of my daily life. It is a wretched and debasing existence. My lower lip trembles, my eyes blur, and my sweetbreads wince as I write these miserable words. Nurse Pawl forces all inmates to rise each morning at 3am (we are allowed a long lie until 3:15am on Sundays), and we are roused into consciousness by a cold shower and a breakfast of flax and powdered limpet shells. Our daily thrashing is administered at 4:00am by a lumpen Irishman named Nurse Pugg Muckle, who has needlessly huge knuckles and mighty belt buckles. We are then forced into the 'Labour Room' where we must toil for hours crafting trinkets to titillate the noveau-riche. At 12:00, we are given sleeping draughts and innumerable concoctions that keep us comatose until 3:00pm, thereby avoiding the need to provide us with luncheon. If it is not a Wednesday, when we are taken on our weekly outing (invariably to the local cattery), then we are permitted to watch Quincy until 4:00pm. We then receive the second of our daily beatings to keep us occupied until teatime at 5:00pm, after which we are dosed with cheap gin and ether, and forced to play carpet bowls until 7:00pm lights-out.

Now of course, I, alone of all the inmates, am permitted the additional luxury of 20 minutes daily to type words onto the internet. Alas, I must go now, for those 20 minutes have now elapsed.

I must escape this place soon or else I will go mad.

Monday, January 21, 2008

An Exciting Development

My dearest and most ombliferous of readers, I have an exciting development to tell you of. My ingenious scheme to escape this Bedlam is nearing completion, but because this institution is no longer equipped with a mute Red Indian, which was intrumental to my plan, I must remain captive for the foreseeable future. The Red Indian choked to death yesterday on a piece of Juicy Fruit.

This is not the exciting development. Rather, the previous paragraph was more expositionary. Do not fear, however, for I will arrive at the exciting development before long. You must allow me some time. I felt it important to precede the exciting development by telling you that I had an exciting development to relate. That way, I meant to capture your interest and engage your galloping curiousity, but furthermore, had I leapt straight in and told you the exciting development, you might not have appreciated that it was an exciting development and you may not have given it your full attention. Your impatience to get to the exciting development, necessitating this cautionary digression in order to calm your nerves, has rather let you down. I see I have once again misjudged the maturity of my readership. You are obviously ill-equipped to deal with too much excitement, so I must quickly let you know of the exciting development.

The exciting development is this: though I am to remain incarcerated in this den of chaos and clucking, I am to be allowed regular access to my electronic diary! Dr Anthony Gland has arranged it, having successfully argued for the therapeutic necessity of this confessional outlet. Thus, I will be able to keep you updated with the grim and miserable events in my miserable and grim life.

I realise now that the exciting development, having been built up by myself in earlier paragraphs to be something truly phenomenal, will likely now be received by my readers as something of an anticlimax. I will apologise only once for this, because I do not think it is a serious enough crime to warrant multiple apologies, and I am sure most of my readers are reasonable enough people and would agree. Sorry.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

An Alacritous Update

My most anxious and preputial of readers, doubtless you have been worrying about my safety these last months. You were right to fret for me and I thank you for your compassion. I am having a terrible, miserable, episodic time of it in the Dundee Home for the Irretrievably Demented. Furthermore, I have no means of venting my overburdened spleen as I am forbidden from accessing the internet cobweb. It is only through weeks of planning, devious plotting, and some measure of degrading bribery, that I have managed to persuade the two hospital wardens, Perret and Sembadel, to allow me access to Dr. Biron's personal computer for just 20 short minutes. Such are the hardships I now endure. My time is limited so I must be succinct in my discourse and refrain from adopting my habital digressional mode of narration. Thus I must humbly beg my frustrated readership to weather the achingly sparse and underwritten prose you see before you now.

A grim update: it has become increasingly obvious to me that this carceral nursing home in which I am confined is, in reality, a sweat shop. We inmates are utilized as unpaid labour and are daily put to work crafting assorted luxury goods such as wickerwork, ribbon-weaving, Fuzzy-Felt collages, macaroni greeting cards, and gaudy baubles made with overmuch glitter. These are taken from us and presumably sold to wealthy merchants for vast profit, who in turn sell them to the bourgeoisie for even vaster profits. The inmates receive not one milky monetary drop from the plump udders of this cash cow.

I am languishing and dwindling in this ominous place. It has all the usual bleak accoutrements of mental institutions: white walls, nurses, restraining buckles, and a large mute Red Indian. The daily diet for all inmates is pemmican, carob, and medical gauze, all in tiny portions. As you will no doubt have observed, this diet is horribly lacking in the essential staple, bifidus digestivum, so we all suffer terribly. Further to this, we are daily pumped full of drugs which render the taker immobile and comatose. So at least it is not all bad here.

However, for the last week the wardens have devised fresh tortures for us, bringing in teams of small children festively bedecked with Father Christmas hats and tinsel, who sing carols to us in a manner that is little short of appalling. Their cacophonous screeching complete, they pass out shop-bought, budget mince pies then file out. I fear I may perish in this godforsaken place.

Thankfully, my plan to escape is nearing fruition...but, alas, I must leave that for another day because the wardens have returned to remove me from the computer. Farewell.