Monday, 28 November 2011

#11 Dean Cromwell

What? No. I never did get to meet Mr Cowell. Even after gluing myself to his car. He has people you see. People who check things are safe for him before he gets in. And obviously with me glued to the bonnet of his Mercedes he just never came out. I suppose it would all have been quite funny but for the severe injuries I sustained and the several skin graft operations I had to endure afterwards. Never glue yourself to a car, that’s my advice.

Of course the most embarrassing thing about the whole affair was being wheeled into Mothwicke General, where I’m Chief Administrator. Very difficult to maintain disciple when you’ve contravened a number of safety pamphlets you yourself have co-authored. A harsh lesson learned let me tell you.

But it wasn’t all bad. Mr Cowell sent me a nice letter, asking me if I was all right and insisting I pay for the damage to his car, which was only fair.

Why did I do it? Well, I just think the country needs the chance to hear my voice. I genuinely feel that I could enrich people’s experience, touch them in a way that’s rare and precious. In a way I otherwise couldn’t. And this is coming from someone with keys to a mortuary!

That last part was a joke. You’ll have to forgive my crazy sense of humour. I’m quite the card around work. That’s what people are always saying about me. “Who’s that special guy?” they’ll say probably. “Who’s that guy who looks like he can really belt out a Howard Jones track?” “He looks like he’s crazy!” That’s what people say about me, I bet.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

#10 Wilson & Wyatt Delaney

Wilson: Do I enjoy the conventions? No, no I do not. But I do it for my brother. I personally find the whole idea positively loathsome. All these men, and they are almost all men, sloping around in denim and sport shoes and green kaki, pouring over these musty, foul smelling books full of silly stories about muscle men in their underwear? I wonder sometimes if they all gather at these foul smelling dust traps to mask their own collective pong, which let me tell you is eye watering to say the least. And why do they all have to have beards? Are we all Vikings now? Is that it? Orton would have had a few things to say about them I can tell you, Lord rest him. Ah, poor Joe. No. I do not enjoy the conventions.

Wyatt: One time there was this girl dressed as Femlocke from the Cyber Squad and her costume was very tight and showed she was pretty and I asked her to be my girlfriend and she said no and I asked her if it was because of the two heads thing and she said it was because she didn’t know me but then later when I asked her again she said it was because of the two heads things and that just made me like her more because she was honest. I imagined in my head that we kissed and her kisses tasted like chewing gum foil, sweet metallic. That’s what I imagined.

Wilson: She was very rude.  

Monday, 21 November 2011

#9 Harry “Pecs” Ravensthorpe

Oh goodness, where would one start? It’s certainly true that I am a descendant of one of the town’s most famous, or perhaps I should say infamous sons! But don’t worry! I don’t share his eerie ambitions!

As you may already know, John Ravensthorpe inherited our family home, Ravensthorpe Lodge, in 1899. He arrived back in Mothwicke a year later having failed to establish himself on the apparently arduous London puppetry circuit.

His interest in the occult started I think while he was in London as his journals mention how impressed he was on the occasion of meeting Aleister Crowley. He admired Crowley's intensity, his scholarly nature, his ability to get girls to “…do loads”.

Hoping for the same influence over the fairer sex, Ravensthorpe immediately founded his own organisation on returning home, however he was met with complete disinterest. He retired to Ravensthorpe Lodge vowing revenge on the apathetic townspeople. Little was seen of Ravensthorpe after that and he became a recluse, virtually a hermit.

Then, on a dark October night, strange lights and sounds were heard coming from the Lodge. When the locals saw fit to investigate in the morning, Ravensthorpe Lodge and my ancestor John were gone. Even stranger, from that day on Mothwicke has been ever so gradually sinking. No one can explain exactly why. Also as a result of that fateful night, it has become tradition that any Ravensthorpe living in the town must remain homeless and so I largely spend my evenings in the skip behind the greengrocers.

The no shirt thing? Well I lost that some time ago when a badger tried to come in and take over my skip and the lads down the pub started calling me “pecs” which I found quite amusing. So I never bothered finding another one. So they can keep calling me that. It’s nice to have a nickname. So nice when people know you.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

#8 Ina McGuire

“Do your worst.” That’s what I told the council. End of the day they can’t prove a thing, not now Sheila’s away. Oh, they act all high and mighty with their meetings and their community policemen and law this, rule that. But the bottom line is they just don’t know. They don’t know the bond you can form with someone when you care for them every day. How someone can come to rely on you.

I’m not saying I don’t know what it looked like. But Sheila wanted me to have her jewellery. No one can say she didn’t. I mean, she never actually said so in words, but she wouldn’t have grudged me. Payment for all those hours. All the hours of my life, helping people exist. Not to live, just to linger. Sheila knew how that felt, working away your own life tending to the coffin dodgers, trapped in the purgatory of their sad, broken bodies. I told her often enough. And what use is it all to her now anyway?

So “do your worst”, that’s what I say. That Little Miss Perfect from the social works wants to accuse me? Let her mop up an 85-year-old's shit. Then I’ll talk to her.

Monday, 14 November 2011

#7: Sunil Mukkar & Ilhan

Are you serious? You’ve never seen “Bloodsport”? Can you believe that Ilhan? He’s never seen “Bloodsport.” That film was an inspiration to me. Because of that film I’ve seen all the other good violent films about fighting. “American Ninja”, “Street Punch”,  “No Retreat No Surrender” all the greats. These films inspired me to strive towards physical perfection. One day I hope to use my muscles to help people, or maybe to get a good job like as a bouncer. But for now I work here in the DVD rental shop with Ilhan.

Ilhan is my trainer. He makes sure I stay in top shape. Are his techniques strange? Some have said so. All I know is it works. He never speaks. All he does is watch me as I work out. I see him urge me to strive harder with his eyes. Urging me to work harder, to dig deep within myself for everything I can give. He is always looking for more. Sometimes he takes off his top, to show me the kind of body I would have if I gave up, if I stopped pushing myself to my limits. Doughy. Inert. Obscenely sweaty. He is a great man. Sometimes a customer comes in and we have to put our tops back on and stop. I don’t mind. I like to help people choose the films they would like to see. But Ilhan. He gets upset and goes into the back of the store for a long time. You really haven’t seen “Bloodsport”? Unbelievable.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

#6: Craig Rivens

Yes, it’s true; I am Britain’s smallest winner of Jasper Carrot’s “Golden Balls”. Now I know what you’re thinking. What’s Carol Vorderman really like? But that’s a different programme. A stuck up cow probably, like they all are.

I won ten thousand pounds after deciding to steal in the last round. I was up against a man called Simon who chose share and left with nothing. I saw him leaving with his wife and he said goodbye and smiled but almost straight away looked sad again. I would probably have been sad if I’d left with nothing. Sometimes, I imagine it was me who left with nothing and I think about walking out of the television studio, through the revolving door into the street, the actual street, with everyone looking at me, looking at me knowing I left with nothing. Looking at me, the man who left Jasper Carrot’s “Golden Balls" with nothing. If I think about it for too long I get a kind of itchy hot spiky feeling in my head like someone is jagging me with needles that aren’t really there and I can’t sleep. When I can’t sleep I stay up late and watch my Midsomer Murders.

I gave the ten thousand pounds to a man who was supposed to come and fix my garden. I asked him to make me a new garden with a pond and a pear tree. My Dad used to make it a nice garden but it’s been all underneath grass and stuff for a long time. But the man just made a mess and he didn’t come back. Sometimes, I see him in the street or in a shop or something and I think that this time I will tell him off or go to the Police Station and tell them what happened. Then I have to go home and watch my Midsomer Murders. If you say you are going to make someone a nice garden, you should do it. That’s what I say.

Monday, 7 November 2011

#5: Mike Birtles

Conspiracy theorist? I prefer the word “realist”. But people can call me what they like. Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a thorough professional. A meticulous person. When you order an ice cream at Giggle Mouse Castle, you get exactly what you ordered. Or at least you do when I’m on my shift. And you get the right change. So when I tell you there something fishy about this “disappearance”, I hope you appreciate this is from a man who daily handles complex orders from the public involving sometimes many different kinds of confectionary.

I’ve known Rachel for many years. I sat behind her in geography. Once, I made a joke during class about how boring the Norwegian leather industry was, and she joined in laughing. School days, they really are the best days of your life aren’t they? Except for me now I think about it. I was horribly bullied. Yeah. Really badly bullied. Dunno why I said that. About them being the best days of your life. Because they absolutely weren’t for me.

Anyway, I’ve been looking into this so-called “disappearance”, checking press cuttings, asking around, that kind of thing. And you know what? All the people I’ve questioned about it either “…don’t know anything” or don’t want to talk to me. What does that tell you eh? Plus I’ve been looking at old town records for information about previous disappearances. The last person to disappear in Mothwicke? 1962, George Pratley. A 78 year-old pensioner. Checking up, I’ve found out he has absolutely no connection to Rachel. None. Not related, families don’t know each other, nothing. Now you’re not going to tell me that isn’t weird. What do I think has happened to her? A professional doesn’t speculate mate. Now what was it you said you wanted? A ninety-nine?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

#4: Arthur “Art” Popperwell & Martin Krafts

So yes, the rumours are true! We’re taking the old act back on the road! Too soon after Martin’s accident? Well, that’s for the audience to judge isn’t it?

Of course, many felt Martin would never perform again after he drove those poor pensioners into the lake. Most assume that a man who watched a mini-bus full of human beings drown would give up comedy. And to be fair, Martin has clearly had some doubts, difficulties even. I was shocked when I found out what he'd done to those badgers, of course I was. But as far as I’m concerned the local press went way over the top with their reporting. “Mutilated” is a very strong word.  Anyway, it’s not the Martin I know, that’s for sure.

But all those messages he daubed in the flat; “Please don’t make me Arthur!” and “Arthur, help me to die!” - these were just entrail-clotted cries for help back onto the straight and narrow. Help I’m only too glad to provide.

He’s wracked with that survivors guilt. “Why did I survive?” “Could I have done more?” Even when the answer is almost certainly yes, it wasn’t his fault the brakes failed, was it? It really was an absolute tragedy. Just as we were starting to get those really nice Jongelers gigs again. Of course, it’s a shame for everyone involved.

The act? Well it’s changed a little, of course it has. It’s been a good few years since our heyday. And of course, Martin won’t take off his “chicken face”. So yes, it’s a little different from our appearance on “Russ Abbot’s Madhouse”. But we both feel it’s important to fight on, as much for the victims as anything else. They wouldn’t want more lives ruined by what happened would they? Especially the life of someone who wasn’t even there and had nothing to do with it. Someone who still has to earn a living. Where’s the fair in that?