Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Firm Decision is Reached

Yesterday I heard the eerie human voice a second time, once again promising the ants "great strength" in return for their unfettered obedience and worship. I fear that this will ultimately prove ill for myself and for the ants, though I am less concerned for the welfare of those insects to be honest with you.

Today I charted the movements of the General ant. While the population was genuflecting and the human voice sang its haunting doggerel, I noted that this sneaky blighter slouched off by himself and, unseen by the other ants, approached a Bossert statue near to my bedroom door. This he tickled with his mandibles until its tiny eyes blinked open and its mouth stiltingly began to move.

I leaned in closer and heard a whispering from the statue. This is what was heard:

Om Mani Padme Hum! Keep up the good work Comrade Frack - you have brought me 10 thousand souls as I have commanded. For this you will be rewarded. And yet, Comrade Frack, before I can grant you your reward, I require more. Bring to me one more devoted soul and I will give to you the secret of the Cube. This soul must be human. Just one human soul. I'm sure you know where you must look to find this. Bring him to me, and the secret of the Cube is yours. Om Mani Padme Hum!

With that, the traitorous General scurried back and joined the congregation. This surprising and disturbing turn of events has led me to the inescapable conclusion that I must leave the house and buy some ant spray.

Shouldn't have put it off for so long really.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ant Watching

Susurrations and murmurs can just now be heard emanating from the ant city. I have been spying on my insectoid invaders for much of today, though I allowed myself half an hour recess from observations to watch Come Dine With Me at 4:30pm, an excellent programme in which celebrities compete to host the best dinner party. Each time I watch it, I entertain unlikely fantasies of inviting the likes of Linda Robson, Roland Rivlon, or Sidney Poitier into my own home to treat them to a feast of my own devising. I would serve potted hough for starters, bible tripe as a main, and quince froth/cochineal as a dessert. I would probably win, but I would donate my winnings to charity as I believe it is immoral to profit from cookery.

I am still confused regarding the preponderance of Patrick Bossert iconography around ant city. At noon, I beheld the ant general lead a team of tough ants around the city. I saw that any ant they discovered not bowing to a statue or poster of Bossert as they passed was disciplined by being killed. These creatures are ruthless in their efficiancy. At 8:00pm I heard a great rumble of whispering scritching from the city. Every ant congregated in city squares and began an almost inaudible chant which continues as I speak.

Wait! Gentle reader, as I type, I hear a human voice! It seems to be saying, just on the cusp of hearing:

My ants, my ants, my nice little ants,
Do as I bid and you'll come to no harm,
Worship me ants, come sing and come dance,
I'll give you great strength and your foes I'll disarm.

Dear readers, I fear these ants may be mere pawns to some greater evil!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ant City

I have recovered my senses somewhat thanks to some nimble thought-work on my part. Realising that the ants aspired to enfeeble me through pillaging my earwax and nostril gunk, I began to replace these substances with surrogate versions comprised principally of chocolate.

These have worked tolerably well as I am now restored to a state of robust physical health, though I am still unable to recite the Apollo Creed, a worrying deficiency which tells me that my wits are not yet wholly replenished.

While I was incapacitated with fever, the ants went to work turning my undefended home into a network of ant cities. Only my bedroom/office remains free of their constructions. Immediately outside my bedroom door is a series of tiny buildings and roads (the ants ride on the backs of woodlice and earwigs as we ride about on horses and trams). The topography of this city suggests strongly to me that this is a miniature replica, accurate right down to the Starbucks coffee houses and the fountains, of the English town of Hull.

On each street corner an image appears in poster form. This image can be seen again in the forms of sculptures and statues everywhere. I note that each time an ant walks past any of these images, it pauses to bow. How curious!

I struggled to recognise who the human figure depicted in the statues and the posters was, but after the expenditure of much thought I have remembered that it is the author of You Can Do the Cube!, none other than child prodigy Patrick Bossert. Bossert will be familiar to you as the genius that the popular press dubbed 'schoolboy cubemaster' when, in 1981, he became the only person in the world to solve the Rubik's Cube. He wrote a book detailing his 6-year struggle to complete the puzzle, with hints and solutions on offer to those who sought to repeat his success with their own cubes. Unfortunately, the Cube is so difficult that no one has ever been able to follow his instructions, and Bossert now holds the world's only completed cube, which he makes available for public viewing at the Tower of London on most bank holidays. He is a modern-day folk hero.

Why his image appears repeatedly throughout this vast Ant metropolis, I cannot imagine.

Schoolboy Cubemaster Patrick Bossert bamboozling a dullard

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Teh General is Free!

Dead readers, my circumstancers are now grimmer than even the moss twisted imaginings of Edgar Allen Pob or Bram Stoked. Thanks two some unknown malady, brought aboun no doubt by the machinations of the ents. My mine is befiddled and I am funding it excessively difficile to writhe correctly. You must forgive my poultry efforts at spelling and grammer, but rest arsesured that I am not attempting to reptilate the writhings of James Joys or the conical speech of teh policeman on 'Allo 'Alla. Bare with meat for the mormon, and I will do my breast to make sence.

The ants half successed! Dead readers, the situations is distemperous! They half realised there General from my makeshift prism, whair I had him imprismed. They send forth two bulky specimens of ents, which I assume were they're equivalence of "strongman" ants. In the same way wee hughmans send the likes of Geoff Caped or Hulk Hogarth off to war to lift tanks ans so on, these ants have sent there toughest brutes to do the durdy wok.

These too ants lassoed the handels of my burrow drawer and pooled with oil there mites until the drawer opened. The General wasted no thyme in lepting oot of the drawer to freedoms.

I am domed!

Today, they have stepped up they're theft of my irewax, butt half also begun steeling my nasal mucus. Like earwab, this is nessecary to the smoot running of a body und pretects it against viruses. I am now convinced that the initial pert of teh ants plan rests in rendering me crippled ans unable to mole. Why, I donut no.

Hear is a drawering of today's events, drawn befour I became so befiddled. Maybes it will explain things a bit butter.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Struck Down by Illness

I have lain spread-eagled across my bed for the past few days, suffering from a debilitating head-cold. I believe that this was caused by airborne germs easily making their way into my ear passages, bereft as they are of precious earwax thanks to the malfeasance of the ants.

These insects are besting me with depressing ease - I am now much too ill to defend myself and my home from them. As reported earlier, the ants have among their number a squadron of flying ants. These creatures are capable of carrying small items through the air, such as almonds and drawing pins, with which they have used to bombard me, to my great detriment.

I still hold their General hostage in a drawer and I fear that this is the only thing preventing them from proceeding with whatever grand scheme they may be entertaining. Dear readers, I begin to despair - it is surely only a matter of time before the ants devise a way of opening my bureau and releasing their leader. At this point, my life may be forfeit.

Pray for me.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Set Back

Many of the ants are winged!

All is lost!

Friday, July 14, 2006

I Have Gained a Small Advantage

Whilst I was considering my options and waiting for the right moment to make my move, the ants seized upon my indecision and made numerous further bids for my wax. I am happy to report that they remain unsuccessful at present, although they are relentlessly breaking my spirit.

As a temporary measure I have loaded my ears with Blu-Tack to shield my wax from the theives. Similarly, I rolled a Brillo Pad into a stiff wiry bung and wedged it into the ants' hole. Regardless of how strong their tiny jaws might be, I reasoned, they will surely be unable to chew through the steel wool.

I now believe they have a secondary exit to their nest because during the last ten minutes of Deal or No Deal? (the only part of the programme worth watching in my opinion), I once again beheld the slow, insidious march of the ants. With great rapidity I sprang from my armchair, admittedly through instinctive fear, but to my credit I turned the reflex to my advantage by picking up the lead ant and flinging him into the uppermost drawer of my bureau and slamming fast it shut.

The rest of the ants speedily retreated. I hold an important tactical advantage now, for I have their General captive and will not release him unless they agree to my terms. My copy of Sun Tze's The Art of War will be well-thumbed tonight as I ready myself for tomorrow's excitement. No doubt the ants' revenge will be swift.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Resolution is Made Regarding the Ants

I have resolved to annihilate the ants. Though the deaths of many hundreds of living creatures will doubtless cost me dearly in terms of karma, I feel that this is the only way forward. Experts I have consulted have informed me that there is no pain-free, ethically-sound mode of removing ants from my property. I looked into the possibility of buying one tiny blow dart per ant to knock them unconscious. It was my intent to take their comatose bodies out to a forest to allow them to roam free when they regained their senses, but one expert told me such a scheme was improbable and another told me it was impossible. A third told me I was an imbecile and could be persuaded to say nothing more.

I am thus convinced I must murder these insects.

Today I tried capturing all the ants in a large cardboard box. Had this been successful, I would then have taken the box into the back garden and set it ablaze. I can hear your words of warning now dear reader, but believe me, I am one step ahead of you. Obviously, I was aware that the fire would have attracted vagrants, but I had planned against this eventuality by lining up a row of Wellington boots along the verge of the lawn, knowing that the vagrants would at once become distracted by the footwear and forget the flames.

To first tempt the ants into the box, I decided Shreddies were the best option as ants famously crave wheat. I had no milk in the house so was forced to manufacture my own in the usual fashion. I deposited the cereal into the box and waited for several hours, but no ants came. I fear they have seen through my ploy and foresee my murderous intent. They will not risk entrapment, even for wheat. What am I to do?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

March of the Ants

I have found myself plagued by ants today and am at a loss as to what I might do. Though I am fiercely independent and can solve most problems on my own, I must admit a crippling phobia of ants that renders me unable to react rationally to my current infestation. Who among my readership can suggest a solution? Perhaps Graham Souness, whom I assume is a regular visitor?

When I awoke, I observed a line of these tireless, hateful creatures marching upon my pillow towards my face. My horror held me vice-like. They advanced single-file onto my cheek, and headed determinedly towards my ear. One, apparently exhausted after his hike from the bedroom floor, stopped to sup at my eye-juices in order to refresh himself. A larger ant, evidently a General of sorts, immediately approached and disciplined the tired ant for his unsanctioned break by biting off his head. I am repulsed to report that the punished ant's headless carcass toppled into my right eye, where it twitched and flailed against my pupil, leading to a brief production of overmany tears.

I became aware that the ants were proceeding towards my ear, performing some unseen activity, then returning in a separate string of ants down the other side of my face. Forcing myself to be brave, I flung myself out of bed and at once realised they had been stealing my earwax. Many hundreds of ants could then be seen scurrying away into a hole in my wall, each of them clutching a small nugget of precious wax.

Earwax is the human body's method of cleaning and lubricating the ear canal, protecting it from bacteria and fungus - without it, I will be vulnerable to many airbourne toxins. I fear this may be what the ants seek to achieve. Why, I do not yet know. My natural terror prevents me from confronting them, yet I must not allow this thievery to continue. What am I to do?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How My Computer was Reclaimed

To continue my tale of the stolen computer, it is first necessary to furnish the uninformed among you with a brief history of Nazism, to improve your chances of understanding the context of my narrative.

The Nazi Party was led by Adolf Hitler, an evil man with a moustache who sought religious relics such as the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail to bring immortality to himself and supernatural power to his troups. He funded such projects by stealing famous artistic masterpieces, among them Van Clomp's Das Gefallene Madonna mit den Grossen BrĂ¼sten, and selling them for profit. He was eventually killed by William Blazkowicz who managed to penetrate Hitler's robotic suit with an array of powerful weapons. After his death, the Nazi Party fell out of favour, though some devoted fans managed to smuggle Hitler's brain to Mandoras with the aim of reviving him later, while in a similar project, Dr Mengele successfully cloned 94 Hitlers in the 60s. To this day, one of Hitler's testicles remains on display at London's Royal Albert Hall.

With this information in mind, you can appreciate that the sort of person who still follows the teachings of Hitler (vegetarianism and hatred) in this day and age is clearly unhinged. I realised I would have to be on guard when confronting the Nazi thief who stole my computer. So I took my revolver with me and set off into town to track the bounder down.

I traced him to a place called Comet and was shocked to discover that he had evidently stolen at least 30 computers from different people and had them displayed in his shop as though they were completely new. They were for sale at prices exceeding £1000. The fiend had the audacity to approach me and offer to sell me one! I would not take such cheek from a Nazi, so I pulled out my revolver and threatened to shoot his ankles if he did not return my computer to me. The coward quickly buckled and, weeping, gave me a large heavy box which held a computer far superior to my original. This was his attempt at reparations. I accepted the superior model, though his gesture did not earn my forgiveness.

I returned home and installed the new machine by following the instructions provided. This is a boring part of the story, about which you need only know that I was eventually successful. It is my hope that this computer will not be stolen, and that the Nazi does not seek petty vengeance for my humiliation of him.

If he should attempt it, however, you can be sure I will be ready for him.

Monday, July 10, 2006

How my Computer Came to be Stolen

I will begin this entry with a quotation from 'Saidleafon Cuaraidh' ('The Stolen Diary') by the famous Gaelic poet Somhairle Camshron:

Cofaidh le bainne, mas e
ur toil e. Cait a bheil a' fuireach?
Ubhalghort agam. Tha isean
taobh a-staigh dhinn:
'S e bancair a th'annam...

Evocative and hauntingly soulful. To those of you who are too ignorant to speak Scottish Gaelic, I will provide a translation, though so much of its power is lost through translation that your understanding of the poem will be limited, and you will remain an emotionally stunted dwarf for the rest of your days. Here, Camshron says:

Each man lives by words
alone. Cannot stories reach beyond the veil?
[Untranslatable. lit. Ugliness is found among the old clans of the island of Eigg, traditionally bereft as they are of written language.] Cursed are
those who steal books:
They steal the men who write them.

Such were my feelings when I awoke a few weeks ago to find my computer stolen, apparently by a Nazi. The woe I felt was not from the realisation that I would be denied my daily access to people's personal webpages with photos of their cats and links to their favourite bands, but rather through my inability to communicate my life via this electronic diary.

I wept to think of each of my readers clicking 'Horton's Folly' in their 'Favourites' folder only to be met with no updates, and sinking further and further into melancholy as the days went by. The man who stole my computer did not merely steal a steam-powered machine assembled from metal cogs, microwaves, buckles, pegs, and chips. No dainty reader, he stole me from you. That is his crime.

That the thief was a Nazi I have no doubt for he also perpetrated a small hate crime all over my bedroom carpet. Despite several buckets of bleach, I have been unable to remove the stain. What is more, he stole a pile of DVDs, but did not take Robin Hood: Men In Tights. This parodic romp of a film is a cinematic delight - I find it impossible to believe that anyone stealing DVDs would reject this one, unless through some devoted anti-semitic stance, for the director is the renowned Jew, Mel Brooks.

Such bigotry disgusts me. I must now go and recover myself, for my anger still stings and will taint further writing. Tomorrow I will reveal how I at last recovered my computer from the thief.

Somhairle Camshron in traditional Hebridean dress

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Grail is Found!

My dear readers, my failure to update this electronic diary for the last two weeks must surely have convinced you that I am a prodigious idler, lazier and more carefree even than Nigel Havers when wearing a billowy cotton shirt, reclining on a private beach, sipping endlessly from a pitcher of gin and tonics, constantly refilled throughout the long summer afternoons by a small arab boy.

This picture you are entertaining of me indulging in shameful indolence is grossly unfair and it surprises me that you have stooped to such accusatory imagery. My dear readers, I have been anxious to update you on my many exciting adventures, but my computer was stolen by what I think was a Nazi. I have thus been denied access to the interweb and its many flash cartoons about George W. Bush and what the fans think of the latest episodes of Doctor Who (largely positive I have since observed). I have also been unable to update this diary, for which I apologise, though quietly and only out of the corner of my mouth because it was not really my fault, and most likely the fault of a Nazi.

To quickly fill you in on my grail-quest...I sought Zeppelins on the top of the Law Hill in Dundee, spending many fruitless days there. I became so familiar with the famous War Memorial and the penguin statue at the top of that hill that I began to see them as friends. Yet they refused to be friendly and help in my search for Zeppelins. In the end, I found only a buck-toothed child with a helium balloon that said "Get Well Soon", which I purloined (the balloon, not the buck-toothed child), reasoning that a helium balloon was the closest approximation to a Zeppelin that I was likely to find in Dundee. When I got the balloon home, I punctured it, but there was nothing inside. I was about to commit the balloon to the flames in my impatience, but I noticed that the "Get Well Soon" slogan, readable easily when the balloon was full and plump, now read "Get Elson" due to shrinkage and the folding of the latex.

At once I picked up the phonebook and looked up "Elson". I came across a single entry for one "J. Elson", who I quickly telephoned. The conversation proceeded as follows:

-"Hallo? Is that J. Elson?"
-"No, I am Horton Carew. I just phoned you looking for J. Elson. Are you J. Elson?"
-"Yes, I am J. Elson. Who is this?"
-"I am Horton Carew."
-"Is that Clive? Have you been drinking again?"
-"My dear man, I do not know what you mean. I was led to your number via a series of clues. What can you tell me?"
-"What do you want me to say? Is this the police?"
-"I need information regarding the [here I whispered] ...Grail..."
-"That's a small village in the East Neuk of Fife isn't it?"
-"Thank you. I will say no more."

I hung up. I then caught a bus to the East Neuk of Fife, where I discovered a small village called Crail....

...Dear readers, I could go on to relate every last detail of my adventures, but to be blunt, they are tedious and rambling, and I cannot remember much of them. I will "cut to the chase" as the Liverpudlians might say if they were imitating an American, and reveal the end result of my quest.

The last few weeks have seen me uncover countless clues and leads from unlikely sources, astral-project to Marrakesh, receive a visit from the ghosts of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Frank L. Baum, sculpt a makeshift idol from pulped fig rolls, and read extracts from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to placate a troupe of unruly savages, all in an effort to uncover the Holy Grail.

Yesterday morning I discovered it. It turns out that the Holy Grail is to be found in the smiles of every child in the world, and in the hopes of everyone who ever dared to dream. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I was hoping for at least a magic cup.

I will fill you in on the case of my stolen computer tomorrow.