Thursday, March 30, 2006

Some Good Fortune

My dear readers, I have some good news to tell you. Upon completing my poem, I decided, on a whim, to submit it to an internet poetry competition. I am pleased to inform you that it won! They have accepted my work and are desperately keen to publish it, in order to bring my art to the masses.

All that they require is $500, which seems like a bargain to me.

I have sent the money stapled to a postcard. I will let you know when my work is in print, so that you can all buy yourselves a copy. The $500 outlay will quickly be recovered by the profit, and I will be able to retire a millionaire before June or July this year.

I must go now to practise my autograph for when I become famous.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hooray for Poetry

Today I sat and mused on my recent misadventures. I was reminded of that populist trash, Dante's The Divine Comedy, in which the protagonist visits Hell, Purgatory, Paradise, and Waitrose.

I concluded that I should exploit my similar journeys and turn them into an epic poem for the modern age, which I might sell to the lumpen proletariat for a nickel a chapbook. After lengthy procrastination, I came up with an opening line:

"There was an old man called Futtocks"

True, this appears less an epic poem in terza rima, and more a bawdy limerick, but then, I have never claimed to understand the ways of Art. My muse is mysterious even to me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Yesterday, I died of ennui and prepared myself to ascend to the heavenly realms once more. This time, however, a gulf opened beneath me and swallowed me. I tumbled down for about 4 feet and banged my chin on a pipe.

An adder walked up to me and said "Howdy y'all" in a rolling Texan drawl. The creature informed me that I had descended to the chthonic planes, and that I would be tortured for exactly half of eternity as punishment for sins that I had committed in life.

I explained that I had eschewed evil for all of my days and had never indulged any solitary pleasures, but the adder produced a notebook from its sporran and read a list of sins. These were:

1. Staining an oven glove as a youth.
2. Drinking brine.
3. Unflatteringly mimicking Tim Curry.
4. Making light of a cripple.
5. Buying Kerplunk from a self-help guru.
6. Twelve counts of mur...

...and so it went on, each instance with a date and time that seemed to ineluctably incriminate me. I began to weep as the adder sniggered at my misfortune, and led me by the hand down a set of stairs, where I was met by various criminals and villains throughout history. Among them were Bill Sykes, Moriarty, Al Capone, Attila the Hun, Jack the Ripper, Dennis Norden, Dr. Crippen, and Skeletor.

They welcomed me to their gang, then warned me that daily punishment was about to commence. A troop of imps appeared from unseen alcoves and pelted us with bat guano for several minutes, then pinched our flesh with clothespegs and crocodile clips.

The adder held out his hand to indicate that the demons should desist their torments. He fumbled with his notes, blushed, and told me that there had been a bureacratic error, and that I wasn't due to die for several years yet.

I awoke in bed this morning feeling cheerful and gay. I did not like hell, and will refrain from toying with death from now on, lest I descend there a second time.

Monday, March 20, 2006


My dearest readers, I must again apologise for my tardiness and slack attitude towards updating, but I must reassure you that I had a good reason for this. I was dead once more.

Something intriguing happened on this occasion - I believe I ascended to heaven. On Thursday I propelled myself down the stairs at great velocity and snapped some part of my neck, which resulted in an instant but average death. All in all, I would give it 6 out of 10 and recommend it to other men of my age with similar interests.

Upon dying, I witnessed a transcendent biege light and floated upwards. For two days I ascended, my hair becoming ever curlier as heavenwards I soared. My gut plumpened, my skin adopted the hue of a brown fruit, and a majestic beard flowed from my newly-jowly chin. At the same instance, a toga replaced my cardigan and cords. I believe I took on the outward appearance of an ancient Greek philosopher.

When I arrived at my mysterious destination, I was greeted by a parakeet. He introduced himself as St. Peter, and quickly explained that in heaven, people take on the appearance of whatever image best symbolises the state of their soul (thus Elvis and Lassie, who were the first good souls I met, appeared to me as a monkey wrench and an anthropomorphic plum duff).

St. Peter gave me a halo and a bottle of extra virgin olive oil to polish it, and ushered me through the gates. My meagre human vocabulary fails utterly to describe what I there beheld. Observe: "Flagurt meen sappletap, galifrey toopeck flink" - see? Gibberish!

I met many people: Elvis, Lassie, James Stewart, Beatrix Potter, the man who played the Artful Dodger and whose tongue fell off, Luther Vandross, Dame Thora Hird, John Merrick ("the Elephant Guy"), Frederick Nietzsche, Jesus H. Christ, Walt Disney, and the original Paul McCartney. They all seemed agreeable.

I spent a few days drifting serenely between dead relatives having picnics, and famous celebrities, before I met God. He was played by Brian Blessed. He was sitting at a desk in the middle of a forest, eating a tray of scones. He offered me one, which I gratefully took. It was a little dry.

"Well Horton," boomed God, "It isn't your time to join us. You must return to your life in the outskirts of Dundee."

And with that I awoke at home in bed, feeling cheerful and gay. I must try this again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Visit from Pumpherston

Yesterday, a female knocked at my door. I was understandably wary of her, but allowed her to gain access to my home. She was dressed in trousers, of the type worn by males, but was clearly a person of the female gender. I deduced that she must be one of those feminist characters who throw themselves under horses and break windows with toffee hammers. I frantically tried to remember my lessons on modern political correctness and sexual equality, and decided that my initial impulse to offer her a cup of tea might be construed as demeaning, so I adopted an air of surly disinterest and periodically flicked her earlobe.

She introduced herself as Miss K. L. Pumpherston, and announced that she was a psychiatrist sent by my friend Dr Anthony Gland to make sure that I was okay. Evidently Gland had read my electronic diary and feared that I was delusional and was putting my life at risk. I patiently explained that I am imbued with multiple lives, an assertion of which she strove hard to dissuade me.

I am afraid I alarmed her when I offered to demonstrate my immunity to death by hanging myself. She was not interested in such a display and indicated that she would arrange to have me sectioned under the Mental Health Act if I continued. She was a tolerable female, and stayed to watch Neighbours with me, but she would not believe my claim. I had to promise not to kill myself anymore before she would be satisfied.

After she left I hung myself, then drank some bleach. Tremendous fun! I have now concluded that the numbers on the bathroom mirror are a life-tally, for after these two recent deaths, it has become "21".

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Fun Suicide

I was somewhat wary of leaving the house today after the alarming events of last week. I believe that I perished at the hands of the thug, but that somehow I was resurrected and allowed a second chance at life. Perhaps I have some feline in my lineage, for it is my current supposition that I am possessed of nine lives.

To test this theory, I heated some water to boiling point and submerged my head in it for as long as I could bear. This caused a horrendous amount of pain to me, and I promptly passed out. I awoke on the kitchen floor with my face swollen and blistered beyond recognition, throbbing to an intolerable degree. I cursed my stupidity - I had succeeded only in disfiguring myself. I decided that I would try a different method of terminating my miserable life. I went to my airing cupboard and took out the secret jar of change I keep there.

I set about swallowing each coin, one by one, until I'd eaten all £78.34. I jangled as I walked and felt a terrible crippling pain in my stomach, but this did not kill me. After many other unsuccessful suicide bids, including electrocution of my hair, cutting off the circulation to my wrist, and excessive consumption of caffeine, I remembered that I had a revolver hidden under the stairs. I first shot my shin, but this just caused further pain. In a panic I shot my own face, which funnily enough did the job, as I can remember no more.

I awoke just hours ago feeling cheerful and gay: my face is no longer sore, and there is no currency in my guts. My revolver has six bullets once more. My bathroom mirror now reads "23".

My theory is correct - I have multiple lives. If I am correct, and I am some form of cat, then I have 7 of my 9 lives left. I will have tremendous fun using them up.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Lost Days and an Attack on my Person

My patient readers, I have a confusing series of misadventures to relate. On thursday, I awoke feeling cheerful and gay, and left my home in order to procure food - I fancied that gelatine, or at least pectin, would satiate me.

A strange and inexplicable event happened as I made my way into the centre of Dundee. A rough woman approached me in the Blackscroft area and at once I was appalled by the state of her crude accoutrements and coarse demeanour. Her chief faults were the appearance of dried egg around her lips and an unnerving pallor that served only to highlight the crop of sores that peppered her countenance. I shudder to recall her.

She began to recount an obviously fabricated tale designed to extract monetary gain from me, her 'dupe'. She claimed that her baby had been born inside-out and that she needed money for to catch a bus to Ninewells hospital to visit the creature, and that she would also be grateful for any spare change I might offer towards buying a Teletubby doll for the child, or some damn thing.

Of course I refused, and spat upon her in order to communicate my distaste. At beholding my phlegm upon her lapel, she flew into a rage, and a burly gentleman of similar social standing appeared from behind a building where he had been watching the unfolding events. Together they roughed me up, and battered me to a limp, wheezing pulp.

The rough thug produced a long and intimidating breadknife and proceeded to stab at me some 18 or 19 times in the chest, and some 12 times in the face. I lost consciousness, and, presumably expired. Nothing else can I remember.

Today I woke up in my bed as though nothing had happened - there was no mark on me, and I felt cheerful and gay. In the bathroom, where the curious mushrooms grew, I note that a number 25 has been carved into the top left corner of the mirror, but it has been scored out and replaced with the number 24.

I am confused - what can this signify?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


The punctuation seems to have disappeared now, as I can no longer remember anything about it. I fear that this misrecollection may only be temporary, that I have somehow suppressed it through unendurable horror, and that it will make one day announce itself again and embarrass me.

I have decided that I need to begin eating again, as I have eschewed the practise for too long. I have heard that the fashionable gentlewomen of Paris forego eating, so I sought to mimic them in an effort to appear like a dandy. Today I have embraced the tenets of communism and elected instead to portray myself as a common man. Therefore, I must shovel food down my gullet as though there were no tomorrow.

There was no food in the kitchen, but I discovered a great many toadstools in the bathroom, which I attribute to the uncanny homunculus that plagued me several weeks ago. The toadstools were inviting, though odd. Brlliant white spots cover their shiny green heads, and an underdeveloped set of eyes appear upon their stalks. They radiate a sense of awe, and I felt drawn to consume them.

I ate 25, and feel somehow immortal.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Folly of Punctuation.

The new punctuation, when placed upon a page, is more monstrous than I would have imagined possible. The chief evil of the glabback lies in it[insert glabback]s gargantuan size - it is approximately 500 times larger than a common full stop, and quite ruins the natural flow of a sentence, and crushes nearby letters. It is an enormous chore to draw it every time, and wastes a great deal of indian ink.

The hurd-glabback is approximately 2000 times smaller than a common full stop, and invisible to the naked eye. All books and newspapers will have to be read with the aid of a powerful microscope. This is wicked folly.

I have buried all today's writing in the back garden, for it provides painful proof of the devlish punctuation, and I check every hour to see if it has rotted away. It has yet to decompose. I must think of this no more, and strive to forget my sins. Through this, it will be as though the sins never existed to haunt me in my waking hours.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Remarkable Incident of the Hurd-Glabback

Yesterday, the repugnant purpose of the hateful hurd-glabback unveiled itself to me. I can scarcely bring my mind to set in print what this new punctuation makes possible. My soul sickens at it; my life is shaken to it[insert glabback]s roots; sleep has left me; the deadliest terror sits by me at all hours of the day and night. Dear god, what have I wrought?

The hurd-glabback is akin to an exclamation mark or a question mark, in that it stands proudly at the end of a sentence and smuggly changes the tone of the sentence you have just read. I have always championed the Spanish method of placing an upsidedown question mark at the start of a sentence, as well as a rightsideup question mark at the end of the sentence, so that you can properly prepare yourself for the fact that a question is about to be asked, and the question mark at the end does not come as a terrible (potentially fatal) shock. But that's beside the point.

Youngsters and morons often enunciate mere statements in a manner that suggests a question is being asked, by raising the tone at the end of their sentences. They may only be relating to a chum what they watched on the television the previous night, but they will say, "I was watching TV last night, and Ten Years Younger was on? They had a woman on who looked like an orangutan?" and so on. Because no question is actually being asked, our limited grammar forbids a question mark being placed at the end of the steps the loathsome hurd-glabback. This detestable punctuation signals that the sentence was spoken in a tone that sounded like a question was being asked, even although there was no question asked.

With tear-dimmed eyes I look upon my creation, and even with wails of penitence, I cannot dwell on it without a start of horror. I fear that wide-spread acceptance of the hurd-glabback will only serve to legitimise the ludicrous mode of speech that it signifies.

Never again will I attempt to ape my betters and create new punctuation, for the glabback and the hurd-glabback can bring nothing but misery to their users.

I must destroy them ... or myself.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Shameful Purpose of the Glabback

I have spent the morning drinking endless mugs of fortified wine and lamenting my wicked folly in creating new punctuation. The purpose of the glabback has made itself known to me, and its function is far from the noble and elegant one that I had envisaged when I first hit upon the scheme.

As all proud grammarians know, an apostrophe is used in the contraction "it's" because it replaces the letter "i" in "it is" or the "wa" is "it was" or the "ha" is "it has". The possessive form of the pronoun "it" is "its" and never takes an apostrophe, unless you are a cretin of the highest order.

Thus, a silver-whiskered, erudite grammarian would write, "It's tragic when my gopher skins its tail", while a slack-jawed simpleton with one eye would write, "Its tragic when my gopher skins it's tail". Those who know this rule and can consistently apply it correctly have historically been elevated in society to positions of power, while those who do not know this rule have traditionally been birched and delegated to ignominious positions, such as watchmakers and fennel growers.

Alas, the glabback replaces the apostrophe in the contraction "it's" and is added between the "t" and the "s" of the possessive "its", so that the "its" apostrophe rule is now rendered null and void. There is now no reliable method of discerning who is an intellectual and who is a buffoon. For this I apologise tenfold. It is as though all my nightmares have coalesced and manifested themselves in the oddities of English punctuation.

The function of the hurd-glabback has yet to reveal itself, and for that I am grateful.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


My failure as a scientist has depressed me more than I'd care to admit. In light of my sobering deficiency in the discipline, I realised I had several options left open to me today:

1) Endeavour to master the Arts instead.
2) Remain in my stinking pit of a bed and sink ever further into melancholy.
3) Buy an Alsatian/Invent a new piece of punctuation.
4) Commit my body to the flames.

After the midday Neighbours, I settled upon the latter part of option three. I would create a new item of punctuation, one to rival the comma and the colon, and to capture some of the quiet dignity of the en rule. On this project I worked for many, many hours until I was oppressed with a slow fever and I became nervous to a most painful degree. Sometimes I grew alarmed at the wreck I perceived that I had become; the energy of my purpose alone sustained me.

It was after the dreary teatime repeat of Neighbours that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. Below is the finished product - a glabback and its companion, a hurd-glabback:

How can I describe my emotions? How can I delineate the freakish punctuation which with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? I had desired this with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. Unable to endure the aspect of the punctuation I had created, I rushed out the room, and continued a long time traversing my bedchamber, unable to compose my mind.

Things appear bleak once more.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Disappointing Results

I confess that I was somewhat hasty in concluding that I was becoming a bee. I put this misunderstanding down to excessive strain on my mental faculties during my last few days as a scientist. The carbuncle at the base of my spine was not a sting, but merely my vestigial tail, which I have been cursed with since birth. The possibility of worldwide fame as a consequence of my discoveries led me to see results where there were none - just one more scientist corrupted by fame. For this I apologise.

Today the dead bee I have been examining has posthumously sloughed its winter coat, and the tiny face on its stomach has withered away to nought. Within this hirsute bee-skin was a wasp. I now realise I have been wasting valuable time on this damn fool study, so I was left with no option but to commit the wasp to the flames, and temporarily abandoned my scientific ambitions.