Tasting With Somebody Else's Tongue

© Denis Murphy 2003/04/05/06

Synopsis

Preface/Intro

Part One

The Big Match Build-Up: A Brain of Two Halves

Part Two

The Right-Hand Side's Mix

Part Three

Denis's Mix

Part Four

The Left-Hand Side's Mix

Part Five

Both Halves Pulling Together

 

Part Seven

Both Halves Still Pulling Together Instead of Apart

Part Eight

Conclusions

Appendix 1

Wedgwood-Trashing

Appendix 2

Any External Source

Part Six: Intermission

Denis calls time-out to keep us up to date with the master he has been cutting straight from the mixing desk while both halves of his brain have been playing their sets - The first signs of a rebellion and take-over bid? Both halves hijack the ideastorm and ignore the route Denis carefully scribbled for them on his Roadmap

The Story Of The Film So Far

The Real Story Of The Film So Far

Body Blows and Setbacks 1

Body Blow 1

Body Blow 2

Body Blows and Setbacks 2

Setback 1

Setback 2

The Story Of The Film So Far

If this book was The Album of The Soundtrack of The Trailer of the Film of Monty Piython and the Holy Grail (Executive Version), I'd be very happy. No! I meant to say, I think we would have progressed by now as far as the announcement at the beginning of Side 2, intended for purchasers of the cheaper version.

My first day's writing bagged just over 2500 words, so I took that as a daily target for my first week, which I'm pleased to say I kept up. I find that there has been an evolution which I hadn't counted on.

Although I thought I had a clear idea of how the account was going to go, I couldn't know for sure back then in the mists of the original liquid ideastorm what was going to happen. I was sure of the need for a separate screenplay, which would be Appendix 1, and I reckoned I knew what would be in it. Likewise with Appendix 2, the short story. Appendix 2 was the only existing idea before the ideastorm. And I have to admit that I have been a bit nervous about starting it. At least for the screenplay I can use chunks of the account. But no such recycling will be available for the short story. Unless my plans for its content change. Who knows! The way this book is going… And, the screenplay kicked off on day 2 and is chugging along. But I still haven't done anything about the short story, or I thought I hadn't.

I was going to use this announcement on Side 2 of the Executive Version to update you on recent developments. But I'm getting so mixed up, switching from screenplay to account then back again, plagiarising huge chunks of the account to be rehashed in the screenplay. And I've just come back from the short story.

I supposedly hadn't started yet. Well, the left-hand side of my brain apparently considered it too important to wait any longer for me to knuckle down, and has gone and started it behind the right-hand side of my brain's back.

So I started tinkling my keyboard myself! Short story, did I say? I have already given it chapter divisions, for crying out loud! Here I am, still agonising over how to split this account up into neat, thematic sections, and my short story, by definition supposed to be short, is up to chapter 2! It's not even following the route I'd drawn up for it!

It was going to be a heavy, sci-fi kind of brooding apocalyptic thing, with one protagonist: me. Now two others are hogging everything. Friends of mine. And one of them, Chris, is so busy getting off with all the women characters that he only comes back to the plot to bum fags off the other character, Spen, who's the mastermind. I hardly even get a mention. What's worse, the two of them are turning it into a Carry On film.

So far, they've only let me see the first chapter, which I grudgingly admit is better than what I was going to write. They assure me they've got a second done and a lot of the third. Why doubt them?

I'm in the story. Just. They have given me a bit part. A bit player in my own story! The only reason they haven't written me out is because we are set in Portugal at the moment, and as my Portuguese is better than theirs, I come in useful for getting rounds and buying fags for Spen for Chris to bum them off him! I think I need to take legal advice. And something liquidy.

I'm just nipping back to the short story to keep my eye on them. There's loads of Super Bock in their story, and I have been stuck here with SanMi. Hell! I'm the author round here! The author! Do you hear? I'm nothing but a skivvy in my own book! I deserve a bit more respect. Everyone's treating this as a free-for-all. I'm ditching this game of soldiers and going back to drawings and exhibitions!

The Real Story Of The Film So Far

Denis takes five from his time-out - Is the pace of the trail being blazed by both halves of his brain proving a strain on Denis? - What are they on?

I've calmed down now. Here's the updated draw for the next round.

Appendix 3 The DVD Experience with either a single version of Wedgwood-Trashing or as many versions as I can get finance for.

Appendix 4 A transcript of the screenplay's dialogue

Appendix 5 The storyboard for the screenplay.

What I haven't mentioned the storyboard yet? Silly of me. Oh, I'm just hearing that Appendix 4 has been scrapped. In my case, as opposed to that website which quotes Hal, the transcript wouldn't work because as it stands at the moment it's all virtually monologue. At least Hal interacts, there is duologue. He has a straight-man, a token humanoid astronaut. Whereas CJ is doing monologue. One-woman, sitting-down stand-up, to be more precise. Her feeds are off-mike, in her ear. For a transcription, sure I could come up with the questions she gets asked, but that's too much like an exercise every teacher makes their pupils do in TEFL classes: the teacher tippexes out the questions from a printed interview, and nips out for a 20-minute ciggie break while their class reconstructs the questions from the information contained in the interviewee's answers. So I've pulled the plug on it. It will still have an appendix reference, though. Appendix 4 was what I would ideally like to be able to give to any director willing to do a version of the short, remember? The bare minimum. Pure dialogue. Much better than giving them the screenplay. But if it ain't going to materialise, it ain't going to materialise.

This is beginning to sound like those mythical Factory Records catalogue numbers, allocated to releases or events that were slated but doomed never to see the light of day. I can see Appendix 4 amongst them.

FAC 389 No Drug Dealers Hanging About Outside Club (very rare withdrawn promo)

FAC 450 Last Orders At The Bar, Please, Last Orders At The Bar (available for a limited ten-minute period only)

Appendix 4 Transcript of Screenplay Dialogue (cancelled because it was just one long monologue)

The up-side of keeping the appendix reference is that without even producing something, it makes me sound creative.

I've left the screenplay at sequence 7, the Rosetta Stone dialogue. This comment will obviously be meaningless should I rework the screenplay and ditch that speech or move it around. Just out of interest, you could have a peek now at scene 7 to see if it begins:

Sequence 7

Is it just me, or is CJ taking more and more liberties?

CJ

(Pause)

How can you say that with any certainty?

That's how it stands at this moment in time. Boy, I thought that with this ideastorming I was going to be keeping you on your toes. But I'm the one who's doing all the running round! I was going to apologise for messing you round so much. I know you are an experienced book reader and are not accustomed to being put upon in this way. Jeffrey Archer has never given you this kind of hassle. My only excuse is that it is due to wholesale lacks of respect for literary convention and literary structure and lax respect for wholesale literary experience. But that would have been a cop-out. I am sorry for the confusion over the appendix numbers, though, and for the short story. You know it's taken on a life of it's own! Of the nearly 2000 words I've done so far, only about 500 are words I intended to be in it, and of those I'd say 60 are in an order that I would recognise as being part of the Roadmap. So I've gone from trepidation, doubting whether I'd start it and would I or wouldn't I have anything to say, to excitement, not knowing where it's going to take me. This literary lark! It's all go!

How these professional writers stand the pace, I'll never know. Dedication? Doesn't come into it! Selfless sacrifice in the quest for the betterment of our fellow humans' minds. And spirits. It's a calling. Has to be. It's calling me. Something spiritual. Is it my spirit? Everybody is calling for their own spirit. Where's my spirit? Ah, here's mine. Treble, no ice. Mmmmm.

On the South Bank Show and Front Row they always make literature seem so genteel and effortless. I suppose it is, once you're a pro. Once you've finally bludgeoned the beast into submission, couriered it off to the publishers, scraped all the blood off your shoes, put a clean shirt on and toddled off to meet up with Melvin, Mark, Germaine and Bonny for sherry at the Sheraton with Cherie and Tone.

Body Blows and Setbacks 1

Punch-drunk, Denis staggers away from the decks as both halves scratch on into the early hours - The referee gives him a standing count and reminds him to drink plenty of water to keep himself from dehydrating

Incidental to the goings on in the writing of this account, screenplay and short story, I've had two crushing uppercuts this week, which may or may not affect this particular game of soldiers.

Body Blow 1

I started this book at Easter, 2003. It is now the end of May. I have spent the intervening time since my initial writing binge proofreading and fleshing out what I had written. And I have been psyching myself up to carry on. Having said that, I have just received a book which I had bid for and won on eBay.

I had simply done a search for any listing containing the words 'DVD' and 'book', without even expecting any hits. But there was. I knew nothing at all about the book when I bid, except that it was about making shorts and came with a DVD. No big deal, I've got loads of DVD collections of shorts. But this one is called how to make great short feature films: The Making of Ghosthunter, by Ian Lewis (Focal Press 2001). I haven't read it yet. Something you must think I specialise in, as I still haven't read the book that kick-started this whole venture, Andrew Dalby's Languages in Danger. Remember?

If I were to tell you that the chapters in Ghosthunter include Putting the package together, The script and The shoot, that it has thirteen!!! appendices including The shooting script, Designer's sketches and Alison's Ghosthunter diary, that the DVD-VIDEO includes the Simon Corris short, Ghosthunter, The Making Of Ghosthunter and The Cannes Promo; whilst the DVD-ROM includes a whole bunch of things I can't even access because my second-hand computer can't cope with such wondrous miracles, you may be able to imagine how I felt. The fact that I got a bargain for £10.82 including shipping from the States is no consolation. This is virtually the book I have been writing. Obviously there will be nothing in Ghosthunter that compares to the material I am writing, so I am fine on that score. However many appendices I manage to cobble together, there will be nowhere near thirteen! Plus, there is not much chance of me actually getting the screenplay filmed, if I am realistic, whereas the Simon Corris DVD includes not only the short but the Making Of documentary.

I made a frivolous comment earlier about The Guerrilla Film Makers Handbook, suggesting I was attempting to do something they hadn't. I take it all back. Do I bother carrying on writing?

Body Blow 2

And as if that wasn't bad enough, Chris, who is one of the friends I have used in the short story, greatly exaggerating his reputation, ahem, phoned me the other day after reading everything I had sent him so far, with the great news that a friend of his reckons the plot in the short story is like a film called Brainstorm. Aaaarrrrgggghhhhh! I had a quick surf and found a picture of the film poster and a couple of film reviews, and I must admit there are elements in common. So what do I do? Where the fuck do I go from here?

Do I jack it all in, proud simply to have written something and pleased I had the discipline to do it? I could scrap it and dedicate my new-found discipline to something else. I could even start drawing again. After all, I've got two bars that have agreed to me exhibiting there, my friend Estibaliz's bar in Riera Alta, Barcelona, and Lamiak in Madrid. Both owned by Basques, incidentally. Their wall space is mine, all I need to do is turn up and put stuff up. Tempting.

This week has certainly been a watermark. No, a tidemark. A benchmark. Landmark. Landmine. Water margin. Damn, what's that thing that means turning point, a point where you stop, take stock and come to a momentous decision? Bike shed? Whatever! Like I care at this stage!

There is definitely going to be a before and after about this whole project, if I carry on with it, that is. I'll have to try and keep telling myself that the material is good, and mine, that I have started and must finish it. But I don't know if I can avoid looking over my shoulder at the Ghosthunter book and Brainstorm, thinking 'I will have to be careful what I put because they might have used that'.

I felt enthusiastic when I started, now I'm winded, with the stuffing knocked out of me. All bruised and battle-scarred. And the battle hasn't even started yet! What will I feel like when I have started submitting this to publishers and get those rejection slips dropping on the mat? I was seventeen when I first started getting rejection slips for cartoons I was submitting, twenty-one years ago. At first from Private Eye 'You are not funny. However be not deterred, try Punch'. And that monumentally unfunny bastard 'Your drawing lets you down' Hewison at Punch. Made me so paranoid, ashamed and dirty that the fretting made me shed tons of weight in no time at all. I kept on submitting, grinding through the motions for about a year. But the enthusiasm was gone.

Well, things have come full circle. I could do with losing weight again, so I have the perfect opportunity ahead of me: submitting the book to publishers. When I started this book I had a clear first goal: to end up with something to show for myself after the seven-day ideastorm binge. Now my next target is July. On 11 July I'm off for a month to Brazil. I'm not showing off when I say that. I'm still not sure it's a good idea, and I'm not sure why I'm going. I like Brazilian music a lot, sure, and Portuguese is one of my pet interests. But for a couple of years I have been getting music from Brazilian websites cheaper than I would be able to get it if I actually went there. Plus, whatever I buy online gets delivered, I don't have to lug anything around. And Portugal is nearer and easier to get to, so why not go there? OK, I've been to Portugal loads of times. But I love it. I'm going to Brazil just because I can. I've got no ties, no complications, my job lets me take the time off. Friends of mine who love travelling would love to go but can't. I can. I mentioned the trip to Chris, who said he couldn't go. I booked the flight anyway, just to call his bluff. But Chris outChrissed me by calling my bluff and failing to book. So I am stuck with the flight and have to go. Next year I mightn't be able to. So it must be a perfect opportunity for me. A sign.

The screenplay needs a bit of work, but as I have explained it can be open-ended, which means I can end it anywhere, even leave it as it is. The plot descriptions are the dénouement, they are the main point now behind the screenplay, to show how the sequences could be developed in different ways.

I've told you I don't give two hoots for the dialogue, I don't care what happens to the screenplay, or even whether a woman is cast or a man. You can be excused for wondering what I do care about. How can I be so cruel and unfeeling about my own little baby? Easy.

So my goal for mid-July is to have finished the account and the short story. Hopefully I'll be jetting off having sent the book off to a few publishers and agents, washing my hands of the whole sordid book episode. And I'll be able to concentrate on my caipivodkas.

What can you do at a time like this? More SanMis? No, I shouldn't really, I'm just getting over a wasted week's worth of a drowning-my-body blows'-sorrows stupor. What's that? The right-hand side of my brain is getting them in? This I must see. In that case, I might just stay for one.

Body Blows and Setbacks 2

Denis' self-doubting continues, so the left-hand side of his brain calls in the in the heavy artillery in an attempt to persuade him otherwise

Ghosthunter and Brainstorm are two body blows that had made me question what I have been doing. Well, there have since been another couple of set-backs. Whether they were technically set-backs remains to be seen. There is a referendum on it at the moment, and Florida-style hanging chards permitting, we'll have the results during the course of this latest section. What is certain is that I let myself be affected by them.

Setback 1

I have just come back from a weekend in Leicester where I met up with the two reprobates, Chris and Spen, who had taken over my short story. In addition to Brainstorm, a film which Chris mentioned and whose plot supposedly has similarities with Any External Source. Now Spen tells me of another film which he thinks has parallels with my short story, though I can't remember whether he told me the film's title. I blame the Marston's Pedigree in the Pump and Tap for this particular lapse. This Hammer-style film revolves around a wig. This wig apparently has sinister powers, and whoever puts it on comes under its power and is forced to kill. The wearer also becomes conscious of the gruesome actions of the previous wearers of the wig. This actually reminded me more of an episode in The Simpsons, which might have been a Simpsons parody of this film. But one direction Any External Source was going in, and might still do, involves a new device which when plugged into the brain, could drain a person's memories. So, yes, here there could be a similarity with the film Spen mentioned, something involving external manipulation of the brain.

I don't know why I let Ghosthunter, Brainstorm and this other film bother me. After all, in this very book, you have seen me argue against placing too much importance on originality. Why don't I listen to myself? What is the point in saying these things as if I mean them, if I'm not going to take any notice? Why should I let the news that something of mine reminds somebody of something by somebody else have such an effect on me? Does this mean that I can't write a love story because there has already been a love story written at some point in history, or I can't write something set in country X and century Y because somebody else has a monopoly on that? Or that I can't use the word 'aspidistra' because it is too associated with somebody else? Denis, get a grip! Get yourself a good dose of reality, will you! This isn't lack of originality. If anything, it is genre writing. And what is perhaps more important on a practical level, publishers and film producers actively encourage genre works. So, as set-backs go, if this is as serious as they get, I don't see anything to worry about. It might even be a good thing at this stage to pro-actively go looking for all the set-backs I can, and to be made to reflect on what I am doing and its validity. If, and I stress if my book gets published, and doesn't get ignored completely, it will inevitably be compared to other things and derided as derivative of this and a pale imitation of that. Reviewers have to show how clever they are and how much they know, by comparing the object to other objects. This to my mind makes reviewers seem rather derivative of and a pale imitation of one of my all-time favourite Monty Python silly sketches, the Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things, which has rather un-sillily adjourned for ever.

Setback 2

I might be losing my job in the next few weeks, before my trip to Brazil. I won't go into the reasons, but in a nutshell a mistake has been blown out of all proportion. This could be positive, and it might make me focus even more sharply on the work in hand. But certain worries are distracting me. Do I cancel the trip? After all, I would be losing my steady income, so I would have to reassess the management of my food and drinque consumption. Didn't I mention before about losing weight? Well, the purse-string adjustment resulting from getting the sack would favour that. Maybe it would sharpen my mind and make me more creative, an altogether leaner and hungrier animal. You can't be creative with a stuffed, satisfied and comfortable belly. You need precariousness, conflict, self-doubt. Everyone knows that. So the sensible thing financially, though possibly not the most positive thing creatively, would be to cancel my trip. How will I pay if I go ahead with it?

Right-Hand Side

The book?

Yeah, yeah, right-hand side, I hear you, the book will sell and everything will be fine. Thanks for the vote of confidence. That has really taken a load off my mind.

Uh, uh! Looks like the left-hand side of my brain has called time out for a pep-talk. Sermon alert! Denis and women first! Stuff the kids, this ain't a kids' book, kids shouldn't be reading this anyway! Out of the corner of my eye I can see the troops have mustered in answer to a call to arms by the left-hand side of my brain. All my muses are ganging up on me! They're peering over my shoulder, muttering to one another, making sure that what I'm writing isn't going to show them up! Oh, no, they are going to tell me they feel as if they've been wasting their time on me! Too late, they've got me! Looks like I'm in for a real-life dose of Fernando Pessoa's drama em gente, or people drama!

Jimi Hendrix

Denis, you can't let yourself get bogged down, worrying about a poxy job that's taking you nowhere. Don't you respect yourself?

Denis

You're so right, Jimi. But it is a job. It gets me money. Eats and drink.

George Orwell

You deserve something better than that, Denis. Not only that, your readership deserves the words only you can give them.

Denis

But you're being too harsh, George. It actually gives me a sense of…

Spike Milligan

A sense of what, Denis? Achievement? Belonging? What to?

George Orwell

You have a duty, which will be a greater reward than what that poxy job gives you.

Denis

Of course it will. I was forgetting my calling for a moment.

Zeca Afonso

You've never a truer word said, Denis, realise it or not! Your calling! Well, us calling you. God knows we tried for long enough to get it through to you. We saw you as our little Ulysses.

Fernando Pessoa

Thought you'd never get the message! Yes, we had this nice little Odyssey lined up for you. Not that we wanted to force it on you or make you undertake it against your will!

Vincent Van Gogh

Heaven forbid! No, we were just gonna be your managers. Virgils, you know, holding your hand through the modern allegorical versions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven we'd set up for you.

Douglas Adams

We weren't personally going to get much out of this venture. We were willing to waive our usual fees. Just till you got on your feet.

Ronald Searle

Yes. All the immortality, fame and adulation would obviously have been yours. We'd just have acted in the background. But no, it wasn't meant to be.

Jimi Hendrix

You chose your own Oddyty, some search for truth about languages and cultures dying out. Fair enough, so be it. We're not bitter about it.

Spike Milligan

Not in the slightest! If you want to ignore our suggestion, if you know better than us, we'll stand by you. That's what you've got us for. Thick and thin.

George Orwell

But Denis, don't go jeopardising everything on us now, for chrissakes, by worrying about work! We've stuck with you this far, don't let us down now!

Ronald Searle

Could you ever see any of us being bothered about toeing the line and tugging our forelocks just to bring home the bacon? How would that have given me my inspiration, Denis? You think I'm unique. How do you think someone can manage to be unique?

Zeca Afonso

Do you think it comes natural, being unique? It pure ain't, buddy, you gotta battle and graft away every second of the way.

Denis

You're right, Ronnie. But you're you, Zeca, and I don't know if I have enough hunger any more to see me through.

Fernando Pessoa

Doem-me a cabeça e o universo. Isn't that how you used to feel, Denis, even before you read my Bernardo Soares putting that feeling into words?

Denis

Too right, that summed up everything. My head did ache, and I did have one helluva universe-ache, never could get rid of it.

Vincent Van Gogh

And don't you feel that way any more? Be honest, now. After answering the bleeding phone all day and listening to caller after caller with their poxy complaints? Dragging you down into their world?

Denis

Yes, yes, neither of you could have put it in better perspective. I can appreciate that. I know now all too well that…

Douglas Adams

Sou do tamanho do que vejo e não do tamanho da minha altura. Remember Fernando's Alberto Caeiro saying that to you?

Denis

Yes, I realise I needn't let my dreams be limited by my physical reality. If I can envisage it I can be it. But…

Spike Milligan

Listen, man, there's tons of mediocrity out there. Waiting to grab you and have you drown in it. Ballast. Don't give in. So, you'll get the sack. Brilliant! What an opportunity to throw the ballast overboard and soar!

Denis

Yes, Spike, I can see that, don't let myself get dragged down to their level. I'm only as free and unshackled as my mind and my soul.

Fernando Pessoa

Denis, you haven't forgotten my Álvaro de Campos and his Ah, as praias longínquas…, have you?

Jimi Hendrix

os cais vistos de longe

Vincent Van Gogh

E depois as praias próximas

Ronald Searle

os cais vistos de perto

Douglas Adams

O mistério de cada ida e de cada chegada

Fernando Pessoa

A dolorosa instabilidade e incompreensibilidade

Denis

Deste impossível universo. No, Fernando, I haven't! Please, you've got to believe me! No-one here is more constantly gobsmacked and fazed by the thought first of the beaches being far-off one minute, seeing the quays from a distance, then the next thing you know the beaches are nearby and you are seeing the quays close up, and you are made to wonder about the mystery of every arrival and departure, and as you say, the painful instability and incomprehensibleness of this impossible universe. Believe me, Fernando, nobody's combined left- and right-hand sides of their brain could be further from getting totally wrapped round all that concept than mine are. Does my brain's head in, it does.

Zeca Afonso

Remember that drawing of yours where you had loads of Vincents in Jimi's outskirts of infinity, trying to hitch a lift to the centre?

Vincent Van Gogh

Then in another drawing you had loads of mes arriving in downtown infinity, where space meets time, and they collide and create pockets of interference…

George Orwell

…which you called God's Balls…

Vincent Van Gogh

…where you first brought me, Fernando and Jimi together.

Denis

Yes, but..

Jimi Hendrix

Well, that was as good an instance of anyone waving their freak flag high as we've come across yet.

Fernando Pessoa

Have you lost it? Denis, don't you wanna hear and see everything, wanna hear and see everything, wanna hear and see everything any more? You used to, and we wanted you to.

George Orwell

Yes, we were all rooting for you. Like Fernando said through Álvaro de Campos, Deixa-me tirar a gravata

Jimi Hendrix

e desbotoar o colarinho

Douglas Adams

Não se pode ter muita energia com a civilização à roda do pescoço. Kiss that sky!

Denis

God, how right he was! That's the nearest I ever had to an ambition before I even knew those lines. I might never have known what I wanted out of life, but I knew I didn't want any job that needed me to wear a shirt and tie.

Zeca Afonso

But when Fernando talks about tearing civilisation from around your neck, it's everything in life, Denis, not just loosening your tie and undoing your collar.

Vincent Van Gogh

How do you hope to have any energy with civilisation clinging around your neck? You have to free yourself from all artificial constraints and restrictions on your freedom. Your job's the least of your worries.

Ronald Searle

Other people can mortgage their desires and hopes in exchange for the merely attainable, but why let other people's limits shackle you? Break away from everything and aim higher than you ever dared.

Spike Milligan

Sou do tamanho do que vejo, Denis, not do tamanho da minha altura. Don't make do with the first crumbs that people throw to you…

George Orwell

… don't go letting nobody fool you into thinking you have to limit yourself to being as small as your size, when you can be as vast as your vision.

Denis

No, no, Jimi, George, Spike, Ronald, Zeca, Fernando, Vincent, Douglas! I do! I will! Just you watch me free myself from the ballast of civilisation! All of you! It's just that, as Fernando's Álvaro said, Preciso de verdade e da aspirina.

Exit à la espagnole, cagando hostias y echando leches.

Jimi George Spike Ronald Zeca Fernando Vincent & Douglas

Yo! Way to go! Bring that man some truth and an aspirin!

Left-Hand Side of Denis's Brain

Cheers, guys! See youz all round, some time! We owe youz one! I'll square up with youz later. Why don't we meet up later at the end of the book? There's a great place that we're taking over for an après-book party, with two groups of trans-century pan-cultural dudes who'd be right up your street. Youz'd all love it.

Fernando Pessoa

You wouldn't mean one of those Living Room places, would you? With all the beautiful young people, the city's tossbag elite, who wouldn't dream of going there if they thought they weren't going to be seen…

Spike Milligan

The other day I got dragged screaming into one of them swanky eateries. Glorified warehouses, all of them, with more fake air-conditioning ducts than Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

Zeca Afonso

Tell me about it. No-one but your arty-farty tat can afford to hang out in them places. Complaining all the time, whingeing about whose round it is…

Douglas Adams

My god, don't they go on and on, those footballers and wannabe Hollyoaks babes! 'Us artists should be exempt from paying taxes, all the bleedin nation-building we do!'

George Orwell

…'bleedin agents ripping us off left, right & centre'…

Vincent Van Gogh

Aye. …'and it's hardly worth doing Start the Week or Question Time any more, bleedin BBC have gone all penny-pinching with their drinks trolleys, gone downhill since that Dimblebum took over from Robin Day…'

Fernando Pessoa

…'and if I hear one more tut from that Melvyn Bragg the next time I go to top up me sherry mug, I'll…'

Spike Milligan

…and belly-aching about 'kids these days don't wanna share their gear like what we did in the old days!' Me, I'd rather start in the Poste House.

Douglas Adams

Any day. Your feet might stick to the carpet, like, but I can handle that.

Ronald Searle

Yeh, me too. Or we could taxi it up to the Peter 'Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb? A: Fish!' Kavanagh…

Zeca Afonso

And work our way down to the Poste House?

George Orwell

Yip, have the first one up there, then mosey on downtown…

Vincent Van Gogh

One in the Blackburne Arms. Might be karaoke night, if we're lucky.

Fernando Pessoa

All them funk and soul songs!?

Vincent Van Gogh

Slip a little one in up the Cracke…

Douglas Adams

Remember the Pilgrim? Still there, you know. Can't not call in there, can we?

Ronald Searle

Then go and see if we can all fit in the Roscoe Head. It'd be a tight squeeze…

Douglas Adams

… but the beer's worth it.

Jimi Hendrix

Aye. And that's too near to the Swan to not Wobbly Bob one in there.

Zeca Afonso

Hasn't it been taken over by pseudo-Goth-Skateoid-tadpole hybrids?

Jimi Hendrix

Yes, but the Swan is still the Swan, isn't it? Then we can wrap our gobs round a couple of slippery nipples in the Baa Bar, have one in the 3345…

Spike Milligan

What's Rigby's like now it's been taken over?

Ronald Searle

Attracts the nouveau yuppie tosser element, as you'd expect. Your Sunday drinkers. Afterworkers, who love all the trappings of civilisation around their necks. Mind you, at least it's useful to know where they are at any given time.

George Orwell

Makes it easier to avoid them.

Jimi Hendrix

Yeh. As a rule I don't mind your hoi-polloi. I can live with them. It's your riff-raff as makes me despair.

Vincent Van Gogh

But it still has the back room. We all know what that used to mean to Denis.

Spike Milligan

Lord Nelson and all that?

Douglas Adams

Yes, like Wellington and Lady Hamilton in the Lion Tavern.

Zeca Afonso

If we're going there, we'll have to nip in the Ship & Mitre.

Jimi George Spike Ronald Fernando Vincent & Douglas

(aghast)

Well, that goes without saying, doesn't it?///Why do you mention that?///Did anyone even suggest bypassing it?///Walking on treacherous ground, that is.

George Orwell

We should really start there. Or the Baltic Fleet and work our way round the other way, do you reckon? But not that Living Room, though.

Jimi Hendrix

No, no. Mind you, you only live once. Well, not us. But as Fernando's gonna be getting them in all tonight anyway, why don't we break in a new watering hole and show our faces in there?

Spike Milligan

We could take it over!

Ronald Searle

Leave our marks on it like dogs marking their territory! That'd tickle Denis.

Fernando Pessoa

Erm, why me, like? Can I ask why I'm the one getting all the ale in?

Douglas Adams

Cos it's your quotes Denis keeps falling back on. So the drinks are all on you.

Fernando Pessoa

It's not as if I was getting any royalties for it or anything. And what about Jimi's lyrics he's always using?

Zeca Afonso

Ooh, kiss that sky!

Jimi George Spike Ronald Zeca Vincent & Douglas

Ha, ha!

Fernando Pessoa

Hey, he's quoted you, too, Douglas! He even put one of the short's plots on ice because there was too much of you in it!

Jimi George Spike Ronald Zeca Vincent & Douglas

Ha, ha!

Left-Hand Side of Denis's Brain

No, I didn't mean the Living Room! What kind of left-hand side of Denis's brain do youz all take me for? I meant the Sassenachs' Heads. Youz should see who we're bringing together there later in the book for the first time ever!

Jimi George Spike Ronald Zeca Fernando Vincent & Douglas

(ever-disintegrating into old fogey 'I told you so' dotage à la Four Yorkshiremen)

Oh, well!///Take it all back!///Salt of the earth!///He'll see us right.///Wouldn't hear a word said against him, I wouldn't.///Me neither.///I knew all along he was gunning for us.///Me too.///I keeps saying to Denis, 'Denis, I says, 'you could do a lot worse for yourself, you know'.///Aye, he could that, too.///Fine left-hand side of a brain we've got there, if you ask me.///Hope you appreciate him as much as we do, Denis.///'You'll miss him if he ups and goes, you know.' That's my advice to Denis, never tire of telling him that.///Runs the risk of him getting a better offer from someone who appreciates left-hand sides of brains more, does Denis, if you ask me.///Aye, treats his left-hand side like muck, sometimes.///He'll only have himself to blame, as I keeps telling him.///You, too? That's what I'm always going on at him about.///Where's that Sassenachs' Heads, then, are we taxiing it or minibusing it or what?

or or

Copyright © 2005-2011 by Denis Murphy. All rights reserved. Revised: 04 Oct 2012 04:01 .