Friday, 27 May 2011

Hubert Selby Jr

Hubert Selby Jr, you may recall, caused a stir back in 1997 when he guest-wrote a special episode of the long-running BBC sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine. The episode - Just One Fix, Cleggy - dealt with much weightier themes than viewers were used to, as Compo grappled with a debilitating heroin addiction. With the central trio's usual madcap escapades suspended, we instead follow Compo as he hustles his way through a single, terrifying night amid the wreckage of Holmfirth's forgotten.

And so familiar to us is this character that we share in Clegg and Foggy's grief, helplessness and bewilderment as they trail their companion on his odyssey of self-destruction, watching from the shadows as he's attacked by drunken townies, trying and failing to break into cars, weeping in a gloomy alleyway... It's difficult, demanding viewing - but well worth enduring, not least for its gutwrenching honesty.

The final, harrowing scene - in which a stricken Clegg, having lost all hope for his lifelong friend, tries to drown Compo in a filthy toilet bowl before Foggy arrives and intervenes at the crucial moment, tearfully hugging the two to his breast as the credits roll - left an indelible mark upon the memories of all who saw it.

Friday, 20 May 2011

John Kricfalusi

67

Norman Mailer falls down dead before you. Rifling through his pockets and manbag, you find a ripe Camembert (you may take this if you wish) and a well-thumbed copy of OK! magazine.

On the inside front cover, Mailer has written:

'John Kricfalusi 07853 778877'

Do you have the mobile telephone? If so, turn to 11. If not, your adventure ends here.

11

You dial the number, but the call goes directly to voicemail.

"Hi! You've reached the phone of John Kricfalusi. I can't pick up at the moment, but you can leave a message in my mailbox at the following address: John Kricfalusi, the Murmuring Tree, at the south end of Happy Spirit Lane, in the centre of the Big Forest..."

You hang up, and decide to make your way to Happy Spirit Lane immediately. Upon arrival, you quickly realise that Happy Spirit Lane is a misnomer: the spirits here are miserable. As you make your way down the lane, you become aware of a low rumble. The Murmuring Tree is in sight.

A piece of paper is stuck to Kricfalusi's door. It reads: 'To the milkman.' You take it and unfold it:

Milkman...
  • Quirky arrival
  • Unexpected shriek
  • Milk delivery
  • Meaninglessness

All of this behaviour has been observed on the last 5 of your 6 most recent visits. I will not tolerate it on my property. I have EVIDENCE!!!

"Milkman!"

You spin around. John Kricfalusi lunges towards you. A solitary, vibrating beam of sunlight has broken through the canopy, separating the two of you. Weak trickle of impotent energy, it cannot save you now. Kricfalusi passes through it with nary singe nor hiss. Something glints as he does so. This is all you see of the finely-honed blade that finishes you, opening you in the stomach, which coughs plapping red sicks of vital liquor into the dirt. The world falls away until all is green, and the leaves now dancing before your eyes melt and fuse as if the sunlight, all too late, has quadrupled its efforts. The rustle and the laughter and the murmur sink into a sea of white noise, a pure, high-pitched sine ringing from its depths.

Now darkness.

Now silence.

Your adventure ends here.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Tim Exile

Tim Exile
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6 minutes ago