Just as I locate my mislaid mojo, and return to tippy-tapping, I’m afraid I must announce a brief hooting hiatus (hootatus?). I will be away in foreign climes, dressed like Fitzcarraldo, for about a week and a half. You can spend that time exploring the archive, and I will resume regular posting upon my return.

Bloated Janitor

There was a bloated janitor, and all his friends were dead.
Echoes of their voices bounced round inside his head.
He was terribly stressed.
And so, to blot out the echoes of the past, he fled
To Chris and Tim and Lindsay, to Dagmar, John and Fred
Who played Unrest.

(With a nod to The Plain People of England.)

The Nylon Duke

Behold the Nylon Duke. He is fashioned entirely from nylon, every last bit of him, yea, even unto his cartilages. He is a nylon wonder of the world.

The Nylon Duke is pulled along, flat on his back, on a cart, by a great grey drayhorse with its bright and battering sandal, from village to village. At each stop along the way, in villages leafy or otherwise, he is hoisted upright by a system of winches and pulleys. The villagers gather and gasp and gawp at the sight of the Nylon Duke. They bring offerings of potatoes and similar root vegetables, piled high on the cart before being transferred into sacks by the Nylon Duke’s attendants. These attendants are not made of nylon.

Elsewhere, there is a Nylon Duchess, and there may be a Nylon Dauphin, and there are even rumours of a Nylon Dunce. But in this land there are not enough great grey drayhorses to pull them on carts around villages. A Dearth Of Drayhorses is an oft-reprinted tract which goes some way to explaining this situation.

Consider the Nylon Duke in the round, in all his pomp and finery and nylonosity. Would you begrudge him your potatoes? Think hard before you answer, for fig eider remprent, scou binder ad fig, as it is written, as it is engraved, as it is tattooed upon the foreheads of the attendants.

The Nylon Duke’s given name is Bob.


I have previously expressed my intolerance of phrases such as “going forward”, “robust and transparent”, and, heaven help us, “diverse ‘n’ vibrant”. Another horror I have thus far overlooked is “nailed”, as in “he’s really nailed it there”. For the avoidance of doubt, there is only one thing that can be nailed, and that is Christ to the cross. If you are a barbaric heathen and have no idea what I am talking about, see below.


Crucifixion by Horace Pippin, 1943