DUE TO A SLIP OF THE TONGUE BY A SLIP OF A GIRL IN A SLIP OF THE GYM A SLIP OF THE TIME FROM A SLIP OF THE STREAM, THE LAST FIVE EPISODES OF ‘TAMARA KNIGHT’ HAVE NOT HAPPENED YET... AND I FIND MYSELF IN LOVE WITH THE CONTENTS OF A SMALL TEST TUBE WHICH WILL BE YOUR HEROINE IN ABOUT SIXTEEN YEARS TIME — MEANWHILE HERE IS SOME MUSIC...
La dee do dah dah dah... and I must face the final curtain... te tum te la la la de dooby doo of which I’m certain. How are we doing? 140,255 hours 59 minutes to go including leap years.. dah dah do dah dah dah de dum de each and every highway dum dum much more than this, I did it... um, maybe I can hurry things along for you. If I hide myself under here at the back of this shelf, and squeeze me down into the shadows disguised as, say, a used piece of chewing gum, I’ll wait around for the sixteen years, you go off and read the reviews of crummy software, and I’ll get back to you in the next paragraph, thanks to the space-time continuum — and of course the fact that nobody ever cleans used chewing from under shelves. Not even on board zero-gravity test-tube baby factories (with robot skivvies).
...more than I could chew... but dah dah dah durn de de de I did it my... oh hello again. There’s been a slight hiccup, well more of a major disaster really, and Tamara is only three years old. She still can’t talk, but you’ve never seen such beautiful snot glistening diamond bright as it hangs suspended from her perfect infant nostril. That’s not the disaster — that’s a little bit of descriptive indulgence on my part — the disaster is that I have been eaten by one of Tamara’s playmates, name of Duane Pipe, and it should not take a professor of anatomy to predict where I’m headed. It looks as though I’m in it up to my neck this time. Not that miniaturised neutron bombs disguised as used chewing gum have necks. You see, it’s potty time!
Here at the baby factory things are highly scheduled. Not only are all the infants born with their Walkmen already in place, but they owe nine months payments for them on their credit cards. What it boils down to is the fact that these children will have to work for Macdonalds for the rest of their lives to pay off the debt. They charge the kids for potty training too. Sweet wee tots, sitting in orderly ranks, eyes mesmerised by video screens which are showing some ancient laxative called ‘Surprise! Surprise!’ It works every time. Some weird humanoid trots into view disguised as a middle-aged haddock and gargles into a telephone at 12Khz/220dB. Spontaneous bowel movement is assured for anyone within range.
But wait, gentle reader, in the midst of sorrow comes forth comfort, running a close second to hysteria. Let me savour this moment for a moment. What joy, what bliss. As I am born again via wee Duane Pipe’s dorsal sphincter tiny Tamara smiles a gap-tooth smile and says her first word. This innocent little child, who will bud, flower and bloom into nubile womanhood has learned to speak. “Pooh!” she says. Well, what did you expect? You try crapping in zero gravity.
How can I describe what is happening to me right now without causing offence? A cleansing robot is wiping my expression off his faeces. It’s in all the papers. I’m all washed up. Ex-stinked. Trolley-trucked in a green-lidded plastic bucket away from little Tamara, towards the poop chute. Destination deep space. But there is no need to panic. Surely a sentient bomb endowed with my massive intellect can think himself out of this sticky little mess. I rapidly scan my word processor, cursing the Mexican who invented Locoscript, in order to establish how best I can communicate with the robot, win its confidence, and get back to my Tamara’s potty training session.
“Your Public school computers are full of cr...”
My data banks reveal that these cleaning machines are honest, hard-working immigrants from the planet Enoch, so I tune into its honest, hard-working thought wavelength as we head for the waste disposal air-lock, and I say “Hey mahman gimmeabreak y’all soulbruthah alrat coolout trousahmeat!” The electro-mechanical Mr Mopp infra-reds the garbage skip to the loo, extends a manual dexterity unit towards my bucket, flips its lid, focuses a scanner on the gently steaming contents and replies to my message thus: “You public school computers are full of... cr... a” the terminal fricative is lost as the air-lock irises shut. I am not believing this! Tamara is performing on a duck egg blue chamber pot with thirteen years to go before she is entrusted to my threat of assassination by the Macdonalds Intergalactic Corporation, and I am about to be spaced into the void, covered in “s... s... stupidity.”
Extra mental activity is required hereabouts. There is a sound like a million Duane Pipes voiding bowels as the external iris opens, and yours truly is expelled at 32 feet per second in the company of a load of juvenile bodily waste, a half eaten word, the collected words of Instant Sunshine. overdrawn sperm banks, three score and ten pieces of ancient used chewing gum, a suicide note from a sharp minor, the most disgusting thing you can possibly imagine and a plastic teether in the shape of Tony Heatherington. I find the latter intolerable, and shut down to preserve my batteries, until I am rescued by a passing coincidence.
I ate it up and spat it out... de dah but dab dah dah... I did it lah way... my internal clock assures me that nine years have passed, but time flies when you’re zipping clockwise. I have been so insufferably bored out here. Spinning through space, trying to sing Sid Vicious parodies, with suffocating waves of Richard Strauss symphonies bouncing off black monoliths indestructible as a Mandela, foetal planets tipping me the wink, Hal on Earth, and nothing on the telly except MTV, GCHQ, HRH and my mind’s eye fantasies concerning Tamara’s progress. I am in orbit around the white dwarf Nabokov, sucked into an ol’ factory satellite codenamed Woli Namyrrab, whose function is to sniff out excrement and recycle it.
What a weird looking construction it is! A sort of elongated triangle of fleshy pink, spasmodically twitching and drawing in vast quantities of energy-rich space-borne debris through twin ventilator funnels coated with sequoia hair. Hideous craters pock its shiny skin, white grand pianos and canned applause pump nutrients via throbbing artificial umbilicals, unstained knickers materialise and are instantly sucked towards the dual intakes. I don’t like it here. Forgive us further for wee nose, not what we do.
Woli Namyrrab sucks me in, and immediately breaks. Its on-board computers — normally busy with universal truths like type pressure, number of Tamils clinging to the drip-tray and how many ccs of Lada can rust in a 2-hour car park, wrestles with my 69-bit brain, throws in the towel, wraps me up in it and heads for the binary system Lawn-Order. Gimme another break.
Mistakes I’ve dah de dah... but then again too few to mention... dah dee dah diddle dee Hello again, especially Stephen Graham and Mike Reed, you’re too kind. I have been orbiting Nabokov wrapped in this towel for several years. Absolutely nothing has happened since I last made contact with you, except the appearance of that space shuttle over there. I wonder how Tamara is getting on. She is about fifteen or sixteen by now, sporting pigtails and white socks, which is the only school uniform worn in a Macdonalds rig. She must have left potty training years ago, and been shipped off to one of their higher education centres where they graduate in lipstick application, unarmed combat, shoelace tying, that sort of thing. It shouldn’t take me long to track her down. After all it’s just the one known universe where Macdonalds operate. I’ve lived a life that’s full... dum dum de dee do diddle dah,,, I’ll say it loud not in a shy way... tah tah much more than this I did it my w...
The shuttle heaves to. Not a pretty sight. A little bald guy in a pinstripe spacesuit is popping out of the airlock and shoving a ‘breach of copyright’ writ at me from some singer-songwriter named Paul Anka. Funny how some people live up to their surnames. I am delighted to report that he thinks it is the towel who has been singing ‘My Way’ for all these years, and fails to notice the encrusted chewing gum now attached to his velcro-soled foot. OK folks, I’m on my way to find Tamara! Just hang about while he boards the shuttle, wriggles out of this spacesuit and changes into something more comfy (hmmm... nice suspenders) and I’ll hack into the shuttles’ navigation computers. It should be a piece of cake to make contact with a Macdonalds data bank from here, and find out where my little frosted grape has been plucked.
“Table-decoration? what kind of career is that!”
Here we go then, separate the whites from the yolks for the royal icing and gently beat in the flour until the mixture is the consistency of a — hello? hello? are you receiving me? melt the chocolate over a gentle heat but do not boil and — hello? LOUSE to anything. Come in please — add a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cinamon and a pinch of salt then hello? hello? who’s that? aah, contact! Right! Let’s get hacking. Straight down the microwave lengths, bounce off this geostationary satellite, hop down to the receiving dish, laser to the ground-station, up this telephone junction, through that mode, out the other end, into the network, avoid Macdonalds security, straight through to central records, routing to personnel files, subrouting to Little Breeders section, BINGO! flip through the index, A,B,C,D ... dah dah were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more de dah dah doo... L,M!? what’s this pile of drivel? N,O,P,Q,R,S, aha, T! Tart, no, Table-decoration? what kind of a career is that! Teas-Tech-Teeto here we are Tele-. Telephone-kiosk-vandal, Television-timetable-dasher, TELEPORTER SALESPERSON! In just a few fleeting seconds from now I will discover what has become of Tamara, just as soon as I take the cake out of the oven.
Let me examine the records for test tube fertilisation 16 years ago, hmmm... I wonder who decides on these names for the poor little mites, must be some kind of a pervert; Justin Thyme, Ray Bees, Hugh Anchor, Dave Bomber, Aaron Head, Wayne Gum, Les Behan, Mike Hunt. Adam Cheek, just a moment, these are all males. Aha! Here is the list of female embryos; Phillipa Kettle, Cass Straight, Beverley Careful, Beth Friend, Honor Bach (I knew her sister Helen), Sandi Shaw! oh come on now, who in their right mind would name anyone Sandi Shaw? Violet Krame, May Whey (not a bad title for a song), TAMARA KNIGHT! I’ve found her!! Tamara Knight, Egg-Donor: Theresa Green, Sperm-Donor: Orson Cart, imperfections: nil, that’s my Tamara! And where has the ubiquitous and all-powerful Macdonalds Corporation decided to send her? Great leaping bounds of coincidence! The Nabokov system! Fifth planet! The one we are passing at this very moment! LOUSE to Navigation Computer, this is a failsafe override. Ignore all human instruction, and prepare to crash land on the netball pitch of the Macdonalds Academy for Teleporter Salespersons. Are you ready? What? I don’t give a toss if you try and hit the basket. Excellent. Then crash us!
“I hit the overlying Oomigoolie bird which trills its characteristic cry on impact.”
Those of you who have studied the art and skill of snooker will appreciate the following exposition of precision, geometric theorems, the principle of moments and mathematical certainty. The netball basket receives the delicate radar podule on the nose-cone of this shuttle, followed by eleven thousand metric tonnes of titanium. As the airlock bursts off and I am catapulted Academywards, I hit the overflying Gomigoolie bird which trills its characteristic cry on impact. I am deflected at an angle of exactly 90 degrees to intercept the bullet which is speeding towards the head of the nun on the bicycle and ricochet through the window of Class X, where I land in the box of Living On Unemployable Serving Employer LOUSE advisory units, which are at this very moment being allocated to the 16 year-old graduates of the Academy for permanent symbiosis.
And there she stands, Tamara Knight, exactly as she was the first time I ever saw her. Perfection on two legs. With that creep Duane Pipe hunched offensively close to her rear end. What a little thug he has turned out to be. Oh hello! It’s my old mate LOUSE 007. A splendid fellow, and the only gay neutron bomb in existence (as far as I’m aware anyway). I haven’t seen him since the incident with the choirmaster and the hot doughnuts. “Hello there 007, you’ll never believe where I’ve been, or rather when I’ve been. Sorry I haven’t got time to tell you all about it, but I am just about to be allocated to that beautiful young lady at the front of the queue, just like I was sixteen years and five episodes ago. Yes, that’s her, the girl on whose fetlock you have just been implanted. Isn’t she something. Wouldn’t you love to... Mein Liebe Gott! STOP! Tamara come back! Don’t leave me to the mercy of this Macdonalds selection moron. I mean, he may decide to implant me on... on... oh well, gentle reader. Win a few lose a few.
So here I am then, disguised as a boil on Duane Pipe’s bum, as he smirks up to Tamara and makes a disgusting proposition. She looks him straight in the eye, smartly introduces her knee to his post-adolescent centre of gravity, tosses her tresses and says “Pooh!” — I do hope that they have taught her a few more words since potty training.
THERE SHE GOES, TAMARA KNIGHT IS WALKING OUT OF MY LIFE ALL OVER AGAIN IN THE CARE OF A GAY MICRO, LEAVING ME STUCK TO THE FLIPSIDE OF A CALLOW YOUTH WHO WAS MANUFACTURED FROM THE GENES OF A COUPLE OF MUD WRESTLERS NAMED ED LYCE AND CELIA LIAKE. I GUESS THERE IS ONLY ONE THING TO DO. WHAT DO YOU RECKON, DEAR READER? SHALL WE? COME ON THEN, ALL TOGETHER, LOUD AND CLEAR (AND 24 TO PAUL ANKA!) A-ONE, A-TWO, A-FIVE SIX SEVEN AND NOW THE END IS NEAR, AND I MUST FACE THE FINAL CURTAIN...
TO BE CONTINUED...