High Weirdness By Mail

Andrej Karczewski, London – Okay, I’m a cunt and I know it, a bottom-of-the-barrel, low-life scum not fit even to lick the soles of Miss Kinski’s leather high heel shoes.

If you’re writing to the editor, a little bit of self-abasement never does your chances any harm. Alternatively, you could perhaps try to confuse the hell out of me:

John Worley, Northampton – Dear Mr.McLennan, (I feel like a corpse – hence the stiff formality). As I’ve been dutifully feasting my eyes, gloating my soul upon your accursed publication for the past five issues, I thought it was high time – not intended as a drug reference, please note – I wrote and made a few incisive comments about said zine-thingy; but as I’m not feeling particularly inspirational today, I’m just gonna ask for a bloody T-shirt.

Ah yes, the T-shirts. Or even the bloody T-shirts, using the word as an entirely accurate adjective. Civilization has not collapsed following their release into an unsuspecting world:

Steve Rag, Eastleigh – My own T-shirt has been officially declared garden-worthy. I wore it while I was cutting the grass last weekend, and not one single bird, grasshopper, slug, etc, etc, complained. The fish in the pond actually looked quite impressed. As for wearing it out on the streets…I’m not that adventurous.

Wise man, judging from this cautionary tale:

Glyn Williams, Mickleover – Derby is clearly not ready even for the ‘polite’ TC T-shirts! Upon wearing it for the first time in the city centre I was approached by an elderly chap who said that his wife found “The picture on your attire most distressing”. I told him that it was another Benetton promotion. Feel free to use this recommendation on any future sales drive. Talking of your T-shirts (but this time the ‘impolite’ version) I actually saw the movie ‘Heathers’ last weekend for the first time. The line about the inappropriate use of the chainsaw seemed contrived (perhaps the lousy actress blessed with the line didn’t help) and the whole film was very disappointing. Just remind me again: what is the attraction of Winona Ryder?

Ouch. How does it go? “For those that understand, no explanation is necessary. For those that don’t, no explanation is possible”. Perhaps the best justification is the simple one: she’s not Julia Roberts. While still on the ‘lust’ front, but someone else’s for a change:

Helen McCarthy, London – “Nice review of ‘Hamlet’; I’ve been saying for ages that Ol’ Blue Eyes is underrated as an actor, but sceptics put that down to mere lust…I had a long phone conversation with a friend about how much I was looking forward to Mel Gibson’s Hamlet; he sounded a bit bemused, said “I wouldn’t have thought it was a natural role for him” and listened for ten minutes while I raved about the ice-blue, opal-blue eyes, the remarkable quality of stilawess, the physical presence, and so on – then he said “Oh, the Australian – I thought you meant Mel who’s on with Griff Rhys Jones!”…It sounds as though your reviewer of ‘Violence Jack’ missed the bit where the monster eats the corpse of it’s transvestite, hermaphrodite lover after Jack has finished preparing it for the sushi chef, and the bit where the gang of cute kids gets chopped – purely for being cute as far as I can tell. After 28 years in the manga/anime business, it’s nice to see that Go Nagai [the creator of ‘Violence Jack’] still enjoys doing what he’s best at”.

And here are a couple of other people enjoying their work for one reason or another, starting with some info on the sort of book I wished we’d studied at school, instead of ‘Cider with Rosie’.

Todd Grimson, Oregon, USA – “I saw the mention of Trash City in the Joe Bob Briggs newsletter and I’d like to see a few issues, especially any that deal with Nastassja Kinski. I’m a writer…The novel I’m working on now, entitled ‘Brand New Cherry Flavour’ uses Nastassja Kinski as a sort of patron goddess -the heroine strongly resembles her and works in Hollywood, where people remark upon it… It runs on movie logic; anything can happen that would work onscreen. Zombie-bikers who once went to UCLA. Magic everywhere, spells using urine or piercing your tongue. Psychic tattoos (you wake up in the morning and they’re just there). An evil dwarf. Several litres of blood. Body parts nailed to a wall. Untold scenes of nudity necessary to the plot”.

Steve Moss, Liverpool – “I’m working in a new shop selling all kinds of cruelty-free/environmentally sound/political campaigning/etc stuff…Short of roadying for The Ramones, it’s the ideal job – no bosses, no uniforms, flexible hours and a say in every decision that’s made…If any cute babes come into the shop while I’m on the till, I ask them in my most innocent-sounding voice if they’ve signed our petitions, and then as soon as they go out of the door, go over and make a note of their names and addresses…It can’t fail!”

Tsk, tsk – such an appalling lack of political correctness.

Jason Parker, Bromsgrove – “Remember when I told you about my foray into ‘dingy shop land’ to get my Japanese magazine? Well, I asked the shop woman if she had any comics :-
“Er, manga!” replied I.
“Ah, you want Banga’s”, said she, as she then proceeded to lead me to a shelf and gave me a box of those “paper-snap-things-that-bang-when-thrown-to-the-floor”! After much patience, I bought a 120 page manga – £3 – and when I went to pay for it, asked her what the title was. After some scrutinising, she replied “Golf?” with a disconcerting lack of confidence…The content was remarkably similar to the Magic Cop/Encounters of a Strange Kind style of Taoist kung-fu magic. God only knows where “Golf” came into it…”

Finally, Andy Waller, enjoying life to the full at college – “By the way, if you print that at all, you’re dead.”

Probably the casual threat of the year so far. Hah! A brave writer like me doesn’t bow to threats like that. At least not when I am entirely aware of the lucrative possibilities offered by blackmail and will hopefully be able to wring a few pints out of Mr.Waller on the strength of his preceding comment. Unless someone wants to make me a better offer? Bids to the editorial address, please…