Frivolous Monsters

Toilet Tales 04

When I was at Bangor University there was an edict passed down by the head of department that no visiting prospective student should be taken above the sixth floor, because they didn’t need to see what went on up there; for a clean-living physical chemist like himself he considered the organic research groups to be dirty, seeing as they actually did proper chemical experiments, and for him, safely ensconced in his first floor office, they were the departmental shame.Bangor View

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Toilet Tales 03

Friday, market day, and so in amongst the coach-loads of visiting pensioners to our World-famous market I was compelled, once again, to become the Costa Coffee toilet monitor.

Executive washroom membership card. Admit one.

Executive washroom membership card. Admit one.

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Toilet Tales 02

Having given up a so-called proper job to become a writer I reviewed my end-of-year accounts where in the In column I had fifty pounds which I’d won on the premium bonds, the two tickets I’d won to an American podcast recording in a science-fiction bar, and the two I’d also won to a National Theatre play. And that was all. I’d once been disillusioned about the paltry sums earned by writers, but even so this was going some.Space Monkeys Manchester Bryan Johnson Brian Q Quinn

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Toilet Tales 01

     The Daily Telegraph finally got with the programme and printed an article on “café conquerors”, and “coffee shop lingerers”; those hardy souls who consider the price of a coffee to be the rent for office space, which they then proceed to hog, so it’s nice to know that I’m clearly a trend-setter seeing as how I got in on the act before it became over-fashionable. A trend-setter and an all-round menace to society, it seems.

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Local Legends

I do love a local legend; the affectionate term for the group of characters who, combined, can be defined as the people who make our communities unique; whilst, individually, they can be summed up as that nutter who lives down the road. I once found a national website called Local Legends, compiled from local contributions, which chronicled some of these hardy heroes who clog up our high streets. Looking up the local area the most amusing feature seemed to be someone called Mad Denis who had a biography which lets the reader know that he’s mad, and that he’s ginger, and that he’s well known for “showing off his large belly and shouting “I am the Lord” at the top of his voice”. I like it how his biographer felt compelled to finish off this Who’s Who entry with: “Not to be approached”.

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My Bread Roulette Trilogy

I’ve been sifting, pulping, and editing my writing in the hope of better things and I’ve collected together my Bread Roulette trilogy.

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Kill Dodo – Part 02

I don’t know how my parents would have gone about procuring the services of a rogue solo clown back then and, to be honest, aside from hanging around outside the Job Centre after the circus has just left town I wouldn’t have a clue how you’d go about doing it now. But find him they did. Dodo. Him with the white face paint which made him resemble an albino Black & White Minstrel in the more sensitive eighties where the term half-caste was still de rigueur. Dodo the clown.02 Dodo 2 500

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Kill Dodo – Part 01 (or the Case of the Mystery Sweetheart)

I can remember why I did it. I think I can explain why too. I was pretty sure at the time that it all made some sort of sense as, after everything in my life, I’d finally worked out that this was all part of the normal human ritual and how it was the obvious thing to do.01 Sherlock Magnifying Glass

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The Last Highwayman

I was going to go out, the road to hell paved with good intentions as they say, but the rain arrived before I could commit myself and so I ended up doing some tidying up instead which included opening all those bank letters and statements which I’ve been hiding from for several months.03 plunkett

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Journey’s End

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a little boy who read a blog post which mentioned how Bagpuss, the stripy cat from the classic stop-motion TV series, had come to Salford. To cut a very long story short I rushed to the Working Class Movement Library to discover that their exhibition was on the radical roots of his creator Oliver Postgate; their Bagpuss only figurative.

All I wanted was to have my photo taken with Bagpuss and so, after the staff of the WCML allowed me a sad snap with their false idol, then and there I declared it my life’s aim to find and meet the real one. You have a dream, you make it happen… Either that or you just sit around for long enough until he does come to Salford.  Bagpuss 02 Read more…

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