Nightmares in a Damaged Brain

Dusk fell.

The hand of night swept over the city, settling like a velvet cloak thrown over a puddle. The air sighed in resignation, and a million leaves scurried for cover like frightened rodents. Neons flickered and gained the upper hand, street lamps warmed to orange and reflections danced on paintwork and glass. Electricity flowed in the city’s veins. Time to move.

I snapped up the collar on my trenchcoat and pushed open the glass panel door, noting that they didn’t take any of my credit cards, and were, in fact, closed. It looked like this lead was about as useful as a parachute that opened on impact or a boot spoiler on a Volvo, but desperation was the better part of invention. I guessed I’d think of something. An answer perhaps, but why stop there, I needed plenty.

Answers to questions like is there anyone out there with skin the same colour as sticking plaster and where do blacks get black plaster, what language do angels sing in and who writes the words and why do French supermarket trolleys have steering- wheels at the front? Then again, perhaps that explains why the French have the highest road fatality rate…

My casual entrance ran into credibility problems when the door ran out of movement and I ran into the door, but I needn’t have worried. I could have been a passing alien in a fluorescent tutu or Margaret Thatcher and attracted less attention. The walls held everyone transfixed, but if there was any Warhol in this gallery, it was on Beta or VHS.

The titles seemed to be organised on quite different lines to a newsagents. The sickest slime occupied the fifteen-year-old eye-level shelf while artistic classics languished on the top shelf, safely out of harms way. Each cover vied for attention, with the awards for grossest title, largest breasted female star and heaviest hand- held weapon all hotly contested, with more than a few combined entries. There was a common thread, they shared a healthy obsession with destroying property, poking fun at authority and filling the intervening periods with sex. I reckoned there could be more miles of sex and violence here than in Mary Whitehouse’s private collection, but without the really sticky bits.

The whole place was more than just a reinterpretation of the Victorian library, more like the most complete collection of the obsessions and fantasies lurking in the mind of man ever assembled. Yours to rent at two nuggets or less. I figured it was worth trying everything in life once, except perhaps incest, morris dancing and vespas.

But did this sleaze deprave people or reflect their depravity? It was too big a question to handle, like why people vote for politicians when it only encourages them or why no-one has invented a finger friendly supermarket carrier bag.

Perhaps after those I could have a go at working out how did ladies get the lids off jam-jars, why same-day dry-cleaners always tell you to come back tomorrow, and why people keep giving Ken Russell money to make films. I figured there must be good money in psychiatry…

I also figured that looking for something good here was like looking for a working phone-box in Peckham – out of order. But I was wrong. I scanned the shelves for a few seconds and duly found what I was looking for. I thanked her and coughed the cash. She was mine, in “Assault of the Killer Bimbos”. Mine for a night.


Damn. Another one of these awkward gaps at the bottom of a page. I suppose it’s the penalty I pay for using up the excess this issue – rather than writing articles to fit pages, I’ve got to fit the pages round the articles! Here’s some more letters :

Glyn Williams, Mickleover – “Borderline Cinema is serious stuff which makes me uneasy…because it brings up doubts again in my own mind about some of the scenes in some of the seedier tapes I’ve watched. I’m afraid that I’ve always managed to convince myself that my suspicions…are unfounded…The lid on this particular can of worms is showing signs of strain”

Alun Fairburn’s views came in for some flak.

  • Mike Kosminski, Dumfries – “If he’s a genre fan then we’re well & truly sunk.”

I have to accept a fair chunk of the blame for this one – my editing left some people thinking Alun was ADVOCATING banning magazines that reviewed illicit films, when all he was doing in his original letter was pointing out the illogicality of the current government position. That may have got lost in the translation…

Congratulations go to Wendy James, for getting another Time Out cover – she might not be TOO pleased about this one, as it’s thanks to her appearance in their Hated Hundred, under the heading ‘tits out for anti-sexism’.

Difficult to believe rumours #23. A sequel to ‘9 1/2 Weeks’, provisionally entitled ‘Four Days in February’. Basinger & Rourke return for a second helping of ice-cubes and peanut butter, and ROMAN POLANSKI of all people is supposed to direct it. Hang on, I thought Kim Basinger was twice the age of his usual, er, interests…

Forthcoming Attractions

Rumour time again. Take your pick from the following crop of sequels, follow-ups and the odd, very occasional, original idea. Starting with the biggie, “Batman II”, rumoured to be costing, wait for it, $100 million, is being planned, pitting Keaton and Basinger against Nicholson (if he accepts the ‘write your own cheque offer’) plus the Penguin (Dustin Hoffman?? I kid you not…), Catwoman (Cher) & The Riddler (Robin Williams). Michael Jackson for the soundtrack this time?

Alien III, scripted by William Gibson, will have Arnold Schwarzenegger playing alongside Sigourney Weaver & Michael Biehn. It doesn’t take place on Earth or the aliens’ planet and may not be until 1992 however. Terminator II, also with big Arnie, is shelved indefinitely. Predator II doesn’t have Mr. Schwarzenegger in it and is set in New York – the preds taken on his brother instead.

Robocop II, written by comics man Frank Miller is being/has been filmed, with both Weller & Allen returning. In it, Murphy is ‘retired’ and his replacement goes wrong necessitating a swift come-back. Also on the comics front, we have ‘The Watchmen’ which is now being directed by Terry Gilliam, after a brief flirtation with James Cameron. The name of Mickey Rourke to play Rorschach has been heard.

On the ‘wise move’ front, Bruce Willis has realised that ‘Die Hard’ was the only good thing he’s done since ‘Moonlighting’ and has signed up for the sequel, which shows startling originality in being called, not ‘Die Hard 2’, but ‘Die Harder’. Renny Harlin, having parted company with ‘Aliens 3’, is down to direct. Set on a 747, the lead villain may well be Steven Berkoff.


THE 1989 TRASH CITY AWARDS.

Nominations, please, with descriptions where appropriate, for the following categories, ideally based on films you saw in 1989. Should I still have a video or two left from the competition, I’ll give them to the senders of the best suggestion.

  • a) The ‘Bambi’ Award for the film which gave the censors LEAST trouble.
  • b) ‘Manon des Sources’ Trophy for most blatant moment missed by the censors in a U/PG certificate film.
  • c) ‘Ghostbusters’ Shield: the BBFC certificated movie with the smallest chance of getting turned into a Saturday morning cartoon series.
  • d) ‘Man is the warmest place to hide’ Cup for best line used to advertise a movie…
  • e) ‘The name in laughter from the hereafter’ Dagger …for the worst!
  • f) ‘Son of the Return of the Sequel II’ Tombstone: most uninspired general cash-in.
  • g) ‘Prison Ship Star Slammer’ Bust for the most totally gratuitous piece of nudity.
  • h) The ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ Furry Dice for the best car chase.

Ho, ho, ho! The Trash City Christmas Competition

Those of you with us back in the prehistoric days of TC0 may remember me giving away some videos that I didn’t want, to encourage people to subscribe. Since then, I’ve acquired more of these, and our anniversary seems a good time to offload these on you, sorry, offer these up as superb prizes. Hence this contest, not to be taken TOO seriously…

THE RULES.

  1. All entrants must be subscribers to Trash City, with enough money left in their sub to cover the cost of p&p – say one pound. If I’m giving these films away, I’m not paying the damn postage too!
  2. Prizes can only be sent to UK subscribers, since it’d cost too much to send tapes to America. ‘Foreigners’ get a pat on the back instead, especially if they can understand all the obscure British cultural references.
  3. 10 points for a correct answer, 1 – 10 for an interesting, apt or funny answer, regardless of truth, at the editor’s discretion.
  4. Top score gets first choice, next gets second, etc. Contestants must supply an order of preference for the prizes, otherwise I choose which one you get…
  5. The editor’s decision is final. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Fun, eh?

THE PRIZES.

Original tapes of the following films. No guarantee is made as to their quality, but most have been watched once. They are thus likely to be good tapes, if not good films. Naturally, all have BBFC certificates…

Demons * Demons 2 * Friday the 13th * Surf Nazis * Creepozoids * The Hunger * Satan’s Dog * Avenging Angel * Pray T.V. * The Marriage of Maria Braun

THE QUESTIONS.

Two sections, one factual, one to ‘use your imagination’ on.

Section 1) – Scattered throughout TC4 (look out for the “****”) you’ll find quotes taken from movies. All you have to do is identify the movies – none are especially, or even mildly, obscure.

Section 2) – The tiebreaker. Suggest appropriate film roles for the following non-actors:

  • a) Wendy James
  • b) Jim Bakker
  • c) Mikhail Gorbachev
  • d) Gabriella Sabatini
  • e) David Gower
  • f) Salman Rushdie
  • g) Edwina Currie
  • h) Kate Adie
  • i) Bob Monkhouse
  • j) Pamella Bordes

The Section With No Name

Dark Star 5 (36 A4, 1.50) – So there was SOMEONE who liked ‘Batman’! This issue is mainly devoted to said movie, and is a fair digest of all the previous hyper-hype – interviews with FX men, previous ‘Batman’ films, comics, etc. Interesting, even if like me, you thought Jack Nicholson was it’s only saving grace. Otherwise, broad ranging – Sherlock Holmes, cinema going in Greece, James Bond and a good few film reviews. Rob Dyer, Publishing House, 50 Wrotham Road, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0QF.

Death Bane 2 (22 pages A5, 1.00) – Some good ideas here; the foldout middle and (at least on my copy) a colour pic stuck to the front cover. Spoilt rather by the execution; the layout is VERY messy & unclear, and someone ought to buy the editor a dictionary! Just, 77 Crystal Palace Park Road, London, SE26 6UT.

Fantasynopsis 2 (80 A5, 1.70) – After a lengthy wait, another issue rises from the grave. An appropriate simile, for this ‘Zombie Special’ features pieces on ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and ‘Plague of the Zombies’, a history of undead cinema and a prize cross- word. Dear, but well-produced with good photographs and a ‘classy’ feel make this just about a coffee-table fanzine! Paul J. Brown, 1 Bascraft Way, Godmanchester, Cambs. PE18 8EG.

Gore Gazette 100 (4 pages tabloid, Special freebie, send an IRC?) – Now been going for nine years and it’s general couldn’t-give-a-toss attitude is getting endearing. This special freebie has a list of all horror(ish) films issued theatrically in New York this decade; 641 in all, ranging from the known to the totally obscure. And any ‘zine has class that reviews de Palma’s ‘Casualties of War’ with “If you ever got your kicks out of torturing some nerd in gym class, should be pleasantly nostalgic”! c/o Rick Sullivan, 469 Hazel St, Clifton, New Jersey, NJ 07011 U.S.A.

Samhain: An index to Issues 1-17 (39 pages A4, 1.00 including p&p) – One of those “now, why didn’t I think of that?” ideas, essential for anyone who reads Samhain. It lists all the films, books, soundtracks, authors and people that have been written about in Britain’s premier ‘zine, and will save endless hours trying to track down that bit on Jess Franco. Only minor complaint – the ‘authors’ section sends you to ‘books’ rather than to the piece direct, which’d have been as easy. Otherwise, invaluable. Glyn Williams, 219 Ladybank Road, Mickleover, Derby, DE3 5RR.

Strange Adventures 10 (12 A4, 50p) – From the Isle of Wight we have this varied selection of reviews – videos, films, comics & books are all covered, concentrating on mainstream product with a fantasy content. A bit too ‘normal’ for me perhaps, though I enjoyed Tony Lee’s list of “Horrible Things”, ranging from grouting tiles to Russell Grant! Stephen & Tony Lee, 13 Hazely Combe, Arreton, Isle of Wight, PO30 3AJ.

Trash TV

Well, the BBC did it again. The Saturday before Halloween, they showed David Cronenberg’s ‘The Dead Zone’ and the Tommy Lee Wallace directed ‘Halloween III: Season of the Witch’ (oddly, both produced by Debra Hill). In a startling display of idiosyncracy, they censored the former, removing the scene where the murderer commits suicide, probably leaving those who hadn’t seen it before wondering what the hell happened. Then, two hours later, “Halloween III” was shown in full, including a man having his head pulled clean, or rather, pulled messily, off. Not bad, given it’s cut on video. I can just about bear TV censorship, as long as it’s consistent – this semi-random approach is getting more and more annoying.

Advertisement time. Don’t know whether other regions have it, but down in London, we’ve been getting an advert for Cadbury’s Crunchies. I assume it’s supposed to be a parody of a 50’s musical – it consists of little more than a big-bosomed bimbo waving her cleavage at the camera while singing lines like “I’d rather have a Crunchie, than play a round with Sam”. How this sexual innuendo got past the IBA and what it’s all got to do with honeycomb choc-bars remains a mystery to me, but I can foresee trouble. If the looney feminist lobby can claim on ‘Right to Reply’ that an advert for the Peugeot 209 (I think it was) was a rape fantasy, they’ll be having an apoplectic fit about this one.

Assuming this gets out before Chrissie-mas, you might care to keep an eye out for the following. “Hazard of Hearts” (31st, BBC1, 2015) – it’ll be interesting to see the result when an irresistible force, in the shape of Helena Bonham-Carter, probably the best young actress in Britain today, meets the immovable, leaden prose of Barbara Cartland. “The Prince and the Pauper” (25th, BBC2, 1100), if only ‘cos Sybil Danning’s in it (I think!) and Jan Svankmajer’s “Alice” (2nd, Ch4, 0050); see TC3 for it. Overall the BBC wins, on the film front anyway: “Legend”, “Krull”, “My Fair Lady” (in English!), “The Name of the Rose” & “Clockwise” will do nicely; all I’ll be slapping on tape from ITV is “Escape From New York”.

Saw an interesting piece about Wendy James on ‘Hard News’. She was whining about the tabloid press telling lies and making up stories saying how she called Kylie Minogue ‘that Aussie bimbo’. “Bimbo is such a sexist term” said Miss James, as she sprawled on… Well, where do YOU think would be the most appropriate place to hold an interview, for a girl supposedly trying desperately to lose her bimbo image? A king-size bed? Right first time…


“After half an hour we saw a hooker on the street of a small town. In the DDR there are no prostitutes, peepshows or porn mags, but we knew what she was from Western TV programmes that we’d seen.”

—— East German refugee describing his first impressions of the West.

Trash Literature

“Assassin” – Shaun Hutson, Star, 3.50

Herschell Gordon Lewis once said that his films were the first ones where everyone died with their eyes open. Similarly, Shaun Hutson’s latest novel is the first I’ve read where everyone dies with their head in little pieces. Bloody gobbets of brain tissue and fragments of skull litter every second page like confetti, courtesy of a large variety of very offensive weapons.

It’s less of a ‘horror’ story than previous efforts, being more a gangland thriller with the only supernatural elements being four zombie gangsters out for revenge on the people who killed them. The rest of the story includes a Manson-style family of psychos, bent coppers, informers, a hit-man who listens to heavy metal on his Walkman while working and a LOT of ammunition. There’s a love story in there too, though don’t expect to see Mr. Hutson getting signed up by Mills & Boon.

Make no mistake, the man can write. While any fool with a camera, some fake blood and a few cow intestines can make a movie capable of grossing-out the viewer, to do something similar with letters on a page is proof of talent, and there are at least two scenes in the book, the execution of a ‘traitor’ by a gang boss and a ritual murder, after which I had to stop reading for a moment. Oddly, the scene the author was proudest of (involving a prostitute and a zombie – I won’t go into details), left me totally unfazed.

Despite, or perhaps slightly because of this, it’s a good read – I went through the 300-odd pages in two sittings. The pace is fast, you’re never sure exactly what’s going to happen next (though the most violent and messy alternative is usually a safe bet) and the characters are interestingly flawed. If perhaps occasionally they have ‘CANNON FODDER’ tattooed too conspicuously on their foreheads, this is only to be expected in a book where the mortality rate of the characters is close to 100%. Overall, nasty – very nasty – yet still recommended for those with strong stomachs.


No room for a real letter column this time, yet I couldn’t resist putting in the following extract from a reader – I think I’ll refrain from printing her name…

“You missed the obvious, didn’t you, tho’ it’s probably due to you being male – to be polite, it’s plastic, runs on batteries and often masquerades as a ‘neck massager’ in the Kaleidoscope catalogue…”

Only things that brings to mind are rechargeable batteries…

**** 10. “We just cut up our girl-friend with a chainsaw. Does that sound ‘fine’?”

Late News

Some things I hadn’t room to mention elsewhere. ‘Zines seen.

  • Creeping Unknown 11 ( 32 A5 pages, 50p + SAE from Nick & Cath, 29 Westland Ave, Hucknall, Notts NG15 6PW) is more legible than last time, and as literate as ever.
  • Imaginator 5 (36 A4, 1.25, Unit 1, Hawk House, Peregrine Park, Gomm Road, High Wycombe, Bucks) is getting better with each issue, tho’ Ken Miller’s fascination with castration is slightly worrying!
  • Dagon 26 (60 A5, 1.40, Dagon Press, 11 Warwick Rd, Twickenham Middx, TW2 6SW) is a D.F.Lewis special – he’s responsible for ‘Dreamaholic’ elsewhere in TC4, so if you liked that, you know what to do.
  • Green Goblin 12 (32 pages A5, 50p + SAE, John Breakwell, 170 Caversham Rd, Reading, RG1 8AZ) is a computer/fantasy/chat ‘zine, that’s pretty AND interesting at the same time.
  • And an error in the address for Prisoners of War in TC2. Wallace Nicoll, 48 Broughton ROAD, Edinburgh EH7 4EE.

On the book front, “Born to be Bad”, the follow up to “Lost, Lonely & Vicious” is out, containing 40 more postcards of posters from B-movies. 5.95, and I can see me having to buy TWO copies, one to use and one to keep. Cunning swines, these authors.

A well-informed source (James Furman, chairman of the BBFC) says that “The Exorcist” will not be out on video in the foreseeable future, contrary to popular rumour: “We don’t think the time is really right yet”. However, according to “Time Out”, “The Evil Dead” will shortly be available again, “albeit in a significantly cut form”. Meanwhile, for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, Furman said “several companies have asked us if there’s any point in submitting it on video and we’ve said no”.

TC5 should be out in April (I need the rest!). Contents: Sybil Danning, film reviews, Dangermouse, more European stuff, bits on Black Sunday & Splatterfest ’90 (if I’ve enough stamina for both of them) + how NOT to synthesize psilocybin.


Alun Fairburn’s Film Hit & Sh*t Lists

SH*T LISTHIT LIST
Alien EncounterFlesh For Frankenstein
Blood TracksThe Thing (Carpenter’s)
Body CountThe Terminator
BarflyStreet Trash
CujoBlood Feast
ConquestBlade Runner
Demons 2Dawn of the Dead
FrogsDay of the Dead
Haunted HoneymoonThe Stepfather
Mutant HuntHouse by the Cemetery

**** 9. “Although we may run out of Pan-Am coffee, we’ll never run out of T.W.A tea”

The Dinner Party Game

Glyn Williams rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck in.

“I’m not sure about the rules of this, but I’m assuming that I can invite 12 guests (6 male and six female). I prefer to include guests who are still living – deceased guests have little to say and tend to leave their food. I will place myself at the head of the table and send my wife to her mother’s.”

“When choosing guests I have preferred to ask people who are capable of intelligent conversation and who may have conflicting opinions to their fellow guests but who can argue in a witty and civilised manner (thus Mr. Tyson is excluded). The guests are not chosen because they have big breasts or have spent their careers inducing cinema audiences to seek out the nearest barf bags. I retain the right, however, to ferring in a whole platoon of bimbos through the back door whilst my dinner guests are taking their leave through the front.”

“Guests are selected from a variety of areas of artistic life with representatives from cinema (3), politics (2), music (1), literature (2), paintings (1), TV & theatre (1), and 2 guests who I consider to be capable of talking about anything and everything (but without hogging the conversation).”

“I think the assembled group would be able to keep a dinner party going well into the early hours of the morning, but in order to do so they need to be backed up by a good set of staff behind the scenes. I have, therefore, also added some random thoughts about selection of these back-room staff but, unlike the choice of dinner guests, this group is not to be taken seriously.”

“One or two notable absentees from my dinner table: it would be a real coup to have Salman Rushdie but I can do without letterbox flambe half way through the evening and Clive Barker is not included because I have already read or heard just about every opinion he holds on anything. Margaret Thatcher would be welcome if she was actually ON the menu.

MalesFemales
Michael CaineCatherine Deneuve
Dennis SkinnerEdwina Currie
Randy NewmanMaureen Lipman
Evan Hunter (Ed McBain)Julie Burchill
John ArlottJane Fonda
Peter UstinovBridget Riley
Meanwhile in the kitchen:
  • Waiter and general dogsbody: My boss
  • Washing up: Nanette Newman
Food Preparation:
  • H.G.Lewis: Meat dishes
  • Chesty Morgan: Fruit dish (Melons, obviously)
  • Royal Shakespeare Co: Fish dish (Cod pieces only)
  • Arsenal F.C.: a variety of vegetables
  • Man who sold Brooklyn Bridge: cons-some
  • Next door’s dog: whines
  • Kylie Minogue: tooth-pick
  • Julian Clary: After Eight mince

**** 8. “Don’t you fucking look at me!!”

Even if you can’t get all 10 (2 more in the supplement!), enter anyway – if last time is anything to go by, we may end up with more prizes than entrants and since I need the shelf space, it’s either you lot or the dustman! Closing date, round about March 1st, shall we say, and bribery isn’t against the rules…

And finally, the following piece. After reading it, I spent half an hour banging my head against blunt objects. You have been warned.

Once upon a time, there was a lazy old frog who sat in the middle of the pond and did nothing all day except catch gnats, All around him the other animals hurried and scurried, but the frog never moved. Eventually, the other animals got fed up and a deputation led by the lizard confronted the frog.

“Now, look here frog”, said the lizard. “All you do all day is sit in the middle of the pond catching gnats. It’s not good enough, animals should be active.”

“Actually”, said the frog, catching another gnat. “I have just been planning my skiing holiday. Would that be active enough for you?”

The other animals laughed in disbelief.

“You could never learn to ski”, said the dragonfly. “In fact, I’m willing to bet a six month supply of gnats that you couldn’t learn.”

“You’re on”, said the frog, and went to pack his bags.

Three weeks passed, and the frog eventually returned to the pond. The other animals were waiting and, once the frog had settled in and caught a few gnats for his tea, they demand proof of the frog’s skiing prowess.

Slowly, the frog unrolled a large certificate presented to him by the Skiing school, and across the top of the certificate it said in bright red letters:

GNAT CATCHER CAN SKI.

Thank you, and goodnight.

It Must Be True…

Start off with a story I read, but unfortunately didn’t clip. The rough details concerned a teenaged boy with a personality disorder which caused him to have periodic fits of depression. During one of these, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head with a gun – he didn’t kill himself but the bullet destroyed the area of brain responsible for his illness. He’s now leading a normal and happy life.

Technological cock-up of 1989, according to the Weekly World News – a computer that was supposed to issue fines for traffic citations went haywire and charged 41,000 people with murder, extortion and organised prostitution, reported police in Paris.

HUMAN BRAIN TRANSPLANTED INTO CHIMP – A team of surgeons at Humbolt University Medical Centre in East Berlin removed the brain of a clinically dead teenage boy and placed it into the skull of an adult female chimp. “To our great surprise, the chimp is not only alive…but she is already trying to talk like a human”. Apart from sounding not dissimilar to “Bad Taste”, the question uppermost in my mind is ‘which member of parliament got the chimp’s one?’

CYCLOPS SKULL FOUND – Japanese scientists claim to have found the skull of a Cyclops on an island in the South Pacific and there is evidence to suggest it didn’t die until WW II. This is accompanied by a photo of it, which I showed to a zoologist friend of mine – he thought it was probably two skulls cut and joined together, the lower half of a ‘normal’ skull with the upper half being another skull rotated so that the hole where the spinal column entered became the ‘eye’. Ingenious, huh? Though what a Cyclops was doing on a Pacific island is uncertain.

DINOSAUR WIPES OUT AFRICAN VILLAGE – The WWN works on the principle of if you can’t get a picture, draw it; the picture on the next page demonstrates this technique in action. The story tells how the village of Mokokou, in the north-east of the Congo, was almost wiped out by a creature that left foot-prints measuring nearly 12 feet across and ‘bigger than 10 elephants’. 175 people were slaughtered by the beast, according to a radio ham who’d just returned from the area. Meanwhile, whatever size feet the creature depicted might have, they certainly are nowhere near twelve foot across (unless the people fighting it are forty foot high or thereabouts – could this be a future story in the making? ) and the dinosaur itself looks very like a brontosaurus, or similar VEGETARIAN dinosaur, admittedly with a malevolent sneer on it’s face. The editor clearly chose the other accompanying picture (not shown ) at random from a box marked ‘African Natives’ as the background is desert, rather than the swamplands where this creature is said to live. Jeez, I don’t mind them making stories up – a little more consistency wouldn’t go amiss.

More evidence that drug-abuse screws you up comes from the imbecile in Alabama who went out to buy crack cocaine. He was well swindled and was sold soap instead – this lunkhead then went and complained about it to the police…

An idea to consider as a present for that special someone this Christmas, or to drop hints for perhaps, is the collection of stories from the Sunday Sport: ‘Bus Found at South Pole’. It’s only when you see the stories extracted from the sex adverts and presented in undiluted form that you realise just how nonsensical the entire paper is. Little wonder that other papers regard it as beneath contempt, since if people realise the “Sunday Sport” is quite capable of making stories up, they might start wondering what’s to stop the other newspapers from doing the same, in a slightly more subtle fashion? That would never do, though of course I realise that our papers are ALWAYS truthful and NEVER fabricate, lie or distort the facts. Except with respect to people rich enough to be able to sue them for libel…

SHOCKED COPS FIND CHILD’S MUMMY IN APARTMENT – Er, that’s mummy as in corpse…

A historical tale: Robert Liston was a 19th century surgeon renowned for being a lightning fast worker in the days before anaesthetics. Unfortunately, in his haste he was often a little careless. Once, he amputated a man’s leg at the thigh in just 2 1/2 minutes – it was only later he realised the patient’s testicles were gone too. On another occasion, he was even quicker, though the patient died of gangrene, his assistant also had three fingers sawn off causing his death too, and Liston cut through the coat and tails of a spectator, who was so worried his manhood had gone, that he dropped dead of fright. This operation thus became the only one in medical history with a 300% mortality rate.

I’ll finish with a WWN exclusive. I make no comment, & just print it as it appeared.

QUEEN FLIPS HER LID OVER FORGOTTEN POTTY SEAT – ‘Cranky old Queen Elizabeth was in a royal tizzy during a recent visit to Kenya, snapping and sniffing at everyone in sight – because some ignoramus forgot to pack her favorite goatskin toilet seat! “Her Majesty was a holy terror the whole time she was here” said an employee at Treetops, a ritzy game-viewing lodge in the African bush. “She snarled at the help, she grumbled at Prince Philip – she even growled at a buffalo. Everyone was shocked because all this ranting and raving was out of character for her. Then word leaked out that she was mad as hell because she didn’t have her Billy Goat.” Billy Goat is the name palace staffers have given the fancy white-kid toilet seat the Queen normally hauls with her on foreign trips. “Elizabeth has become very attached to the thing”, said one insider. “After all, a queen doesn’t want to plant her royal bottom on just any old throne. Somebody’s head is going to roll when they figure out who left the billy behind”…”That’s what happens”, said a royal escort, “when the Queen comes to town – and leaves the seat of power at home”‘.