The Ghost of Vodaphone Past

The final strictly. The cast dance through the audience. The audience have been encouraged to join in, but meat has just been served, they want meat. I look for meat, but find only a stringy, wool substitute. Dogs hide under tables, waiting for scraps. A friend has a long, burnt, flatbread. He chops off the burnt end to give to me.

He is the opposite of generous.

Others leave. Only the two of us are left. We are in a mental asylum, thought to be haunted. A ghost appears, drooling blood, and then another walks into it, it’s face superimposed. This ghost is not mad. He explains, with the use of a black and white film presentation, the decline in the importance of vodaphone business contracts, how everyone used to have them, but now they are superseded.

He finishes, and exits into a cupboard. I shout ‘bye’ after him. My fellow inmate is trying to get the lights to stay on. They flicker like a poltergeist is trying to control them. I leave the room to use the toilet. I knock on the orderlies door, and they escort me. The orderlies ask if I usually spend time staring at and talking to still images. I explain the ghost of vodaphone past. They look bemused.

As I urinate, one of the orderlies stares at the stream of my urine. I realise this must be something that he has to do, as part of his job. I look down and see that I’m urinating into a container with clothes in. My clothes.

My fellow inmates come in. We talk about bad acid in the 70s. I can’t remember our names. I tell them that it’s important, when we get back to the room, to write down our names and job titles.

As we leave the bathroom, we are all younger, and afraid. If we stick together, we will be safe.

Back in the room. It has changed. More like a school room. Paper, covered in children’s scribbles, on every table. We sit together. I look for some paper to write down my name and job title before I forget who I am. There’s a separate pile of folded papers in the middle of the table. I grab some to write on. As I unfold them, I see they are identical Pisces horoscopes. We weren’t meant to see that they are all the same.

People hover over my shoulder, like teachers, watching as I try to write. I grab one guy and hold him down, threatening to rip open his carotid artery with my sharp pencil if they don’t back off. His boss ignores me. The teachers are dispensable. I release him. I just want to write without being closely observed.

I can hear singing. A repeated phrase. The boss teacher takes me into a large, black, hangar sized room, lined with speakers. There’s a spoken phrase, repeated at different pitches, processed until the voice is synthetic. I fly up into the hangar, circle, and land by the boss teacher, punching him in the face as I land.

I must punch him at every opportunity.

As we leave the space, I punch him again, he falls out into the street. He transforms into a cow character, that detaches itself from a building. I am now a stylised lion, of a heraldic type. From a nearby building, a dragon appears, it transforms into a bull and pursues the cow. All the while ZZ Top style music plays, a song about British Beef, the name of the cow. The bull follows with sexual intent.

My lion gives way, at the bull’s request.



Witchy Winds in the New Outer Hebrides

Air demons.

I lift myself into the air and fly from the room. A door slams. The wind, she says. They are the wind, I say. I fly across a restaurant. A white witch and black witch fly to challenge me. Our fists bump in mid air. They spiral down, crashing into tables, starting fires. I pass through the closed window without causing damage. In the shop window opposite, a man has his head stuck in a hole in a wall. I gesture and he is released. He’s grateful. Middle aged women witches stream out from the restaurant, hoping to discover who I am. I make a most hasty departure, out of the arcade and up Fore Street, Exeter. The ladies are excited. I remind them by my actions that they are alive.

As I walk, I’m reminded of Notting Hill. Not the film. I remember a pub, a park, a friends house with a blue door. No other details. I was too stoned. Snapshots.

I am become Bond, shaker of Martini. I decide to steal a car, as the streets are full of driverless cars, and I’m unsure who controls them. I choose a battered green Citroen 2cv. I jump in and start it up, and join the flow of traffic. The steering doesn’t work. I slow down and drift to a halt.

What a bad choice I made.

I exit the vehicle. Across the road, in the 50s cinematic night, another secret agent observes me. I signal him with my mirror. Not a language as such, but a series of gestures that can be interpreted at a distance, to indicate my intentions. He signals me back. I am to continue.

Possibly earlier. I am in some kind of care home. My friend Steve is living here. I’m there to recover a map of the secret north of Scotland, and learn of the secret route to navigate the globe faster than normal geometry permits. Another patient talks to me, he wears garish makeup on a white base. He’s anxious and concerned. I hug him, and his face is replaced by a featureless plastic moulding.

I let go, and roll a handful of pens across his inner forearm. This relaxes him, and his features return. Alice is next to me, berating Steve, in his absence, for hoarding all the pens in the place. We leave, to follow Steve’s instructions and recover the book of the map.

Myself and the Madre Padre of the RAF are in a fancy building, some kind of folly. In her usual dramatic way, she is explaining the dangers and the signs of witchcraft. Much gesturing and casting of scary shadows. To me, it looks like a posh restaurant with a central mezzanine floor that is also a book shop. We walk up the steps to the bookshop. I know we’re looking for a map of northern Scotland, and roughly where Steve said it would be. As I search, I notice an ancient television camera behind me. Tommy is operating it. From a pulpit, the Madre throws me a book. A member of staff mumbles “bloody parents”. I catch the book. Inside is the map I seek. The top of Scotland is tagged, in wavy psychedelic writing, ‘The New Outer Hebrides’. I start to plan my global travels, using this knowledge, kept secret by the monarchy for generations. A girl walks past, the draft created turns the page. A door slams.

“The wind”, she says.

“Air demons”, I say. “They are the wind”.



So, I am one of the many who’ve bee using the Twitter hashtag #cameronmustgo. It is now obvious to me, and many others, that Twitter is censoring this hashtag, I suspect at the request of the government. Censorship is able to cause outrage, when applied in other countries, and in the UK we defend freedom of speech, and call those who impose such censorship tyrants.

Well today, David Cameron and his government are the tyrants. Censorship of public opinion indicates that he does not understand how the Internet works, that it is a conversation, not a top down dissemination of information.

I ask all of you who have blogs or websites or social media outside of Twitter to share this post, or write your own, condemning this censorious, out of touch, government.


Nonexistent Blues

A man, reminiscent of Mark Twain, arrives at an airport, from Japan. Here, he meets disabled girl and her non-disabled twin. This girl loves him but he becomes worried that she doesn’t exist. She disappears, and reappears-all blue.

He can’t find his shoes. Airport staff give him some of theirs. He knows something is wrong. He decides to go back to terminal one, to find his shoes and his luggage. He slips down the luggage shoot, like Alice down her rabbit hole. Staff clap him like Clapton as he passes. At the bottom, the girl is waiting. She is real. A princess in glitter, a wizard speaks. He explains that it is the man who is not real, who has no history, and has been brought into existence for this princess. He remembers. Being blue, the colour he is made from.

He storms off. The staff talk to him. He explains what’s happened by singing a blues song to them.
“Woke up this morning,
Found I don’t exist
Woke up this morning
And now I’m really pissed off
I don’t exist
Been made just for this
But I’m made of the blues
So that’s what I’ll do now” 🎡

He looks at his uniform shoes, ecologically approved, and wonders at the false memories, of how he arrived here.


Left Wing Pivot, Disaster Averted

I’m in Japan. The end of a long trip. The plane flies just above ground level, between two rows of concrete columns that seem too close together for the plane to fit. Below, so close I could touch them, there are trees and roads and houses. People walk on paths alongside the columns. I think how deafening the engine noise must be, but they seem undisturbed. Looking ahead, I see a dead end, a wall covered in plastic sheeting. It doesn’t look like we can stop in time. The plane banks right, apparently turning 90Β° by pivoting about the end tip of the left wing. Disaster is averted.

The plane fades and I am running along the ground with the other passengers. There’s a bridge, and two of them jump over the edge, into the torrent stream below. I hesitate. I become aware that I have no luggage, no passport. I wonder if I booked a flight back home. I walk along the riverside, rather than jump into the river. On a stone slab, mudskippers skip about. I remember watching a Ren & Stimpy episode with The Muddy Mudskipper Show as a component part. It made me laugh, and the memory makes me smile.

I enter a Japanese village. I’m staying with a Japanese detective. Not a Chinese one, like the 80s tv show. I believe I can help him with his current case, and I produce a small, demonic, imp, who offers to help. The imp is an expert on critical theory. The detective is not impressed. The imp quotes from the detectives favourite critical theory book, and explains that the inspiration for it is a book chained in hell, a master for all critical theory books.

The house becomes my home. Friends visit. I show them kitchen gadgets that I’ve bought. My friend Boo is tired. I tell her to rest. As she falls asleep, I flick through a stack of batik cloth prints. One is of the moon above a grassy hill. I lay myself down to sleep upon it.


An אור ΧΧ™ΧŸ Χ‘Χ•Χ£ of Tripe.

I’m sleeping. My body is a rolling landscape, under cloud sheets of honeycomb tripe.

Cold and clammy, tripe-lightning flashes onto my skin, making me itch. I scratch the front of my foot, and my movement causes tripe cloud-sheets to fold. Inside my body, I have changed the destinations of a thousand time travellers.

They course through my nervous system, a shortcut to their temporal destination. I am a living Vishnu universe, sleeping in an אור ΧΧ™ΧŸ Χ‘Χ•Χ£ of tripe.

A temporal terminal of tripe.


Ghost Hunting with Bernard Cribbins

There’s an annual ghost hunt. My team from last year had Bernard Cribbins and Eric Sykes. They’re here again this year. I decide to play solo this year, as last year they slowed me down by carrying a plank with them everywhere, for comic effect. I have a train ticket that gives me free reign on the London Underground, and I set off, on foot.

I walk through Marylebone. Homeless men with blue dogs argue in the street. I walk past, on into the park. The park is full of grand houses, the stairs up to them blocked with the later addition of huge gold statues of Charlemagne, in a tasteless, rococo style porticos. I’m guessing oligarchs live here.

It gets dark, and starts to rain. I head home. I have two dogs. A frantic Jack Russell, symbolic of my mania, and a huge black German shepherd, the symbol of my depression.

My black dog tries to hump me. Mr Manic digs into the furniture, trying to find his chewy hoof.

My publishers are observing this. I explain the symbolism.

I write, but my handwriting is so bad, that I change it into an ink drawing, creating visual portraits of people, characters from characters. The inks run into colours. I’m happy with the result, ink drawing with the original, terrible writing still visible beneath.

I’m back in the ghost hunt. I meet a friend, and tell her the Cranberries have offered to let me open a set for them. I can’t see how I can perform my stuff live though. My music is mostly electronic, I don’t have a band.

I visit Compo, another ghost hunter, in his tiny unlocked cottage. I let myself in. He doesn’t want visitors, but is very nice about it. We chat and drink tea, and I leave. I notice strange folds and mud stains on my jeans, I’ve no idea where they came from.