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.