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The Anatomy of a Blogger

Part One —

The following contains short extracts from archived records of renowned psychologist Dr Karl Flechman and his findings within the now infamous published TV documentary — filmed at The Institute of Utter Implausibility and entitled, The Anatomy of a Blogger — over the course of which WordPress blog authors were invited to be interviewed in order to gain an insight into the minds of some of the most unusual online wordsmiths of the fledgling 21st century.

All interviewee bloggers were volunteers, and should any of the following characters bear the slightest resemblance to any living, dead (or undead) bloggers this is assuredly entirely coincidental, and also very flattering — so no one should get their pants in a twist about it and start complaining. M’kay?

* * * *

The Unusual Suspects

Subject One

Blog Title: The Rainbow in Louis Jordan’s Eyes (Or, Mr Mauveilleux at the Weekends)

Author: Mr Everard Mauveilleux

Dr F: Ah, good afternoon Mr Ma—

Mr M: [Cutting him off.] Oh really darling, you do go on and on. Let’s cut to the chase. [The denim-shorted interviewee runs round the room expecting to be chased. This does not happen so he sits down again, unchaste, sulks and glares furiously at the doctor.]

Dr F: [Looks down his nose over half-moon spectacles whilst stifling a gag at the cloying wafts of Annick Goutal Eau dHadrien.] So, tell me something of yourself, your general impression given, if you will.

Mr M: Some say I am a god amongst men, and I bow to their greater knowledge, but this is merely due to my dazzling good looks, superior intellect, moral rectitude, artistic sensibility, generosity, wit, charming self-effacement and so forth. Otherwise I’m really only mortal. [Mr M gives himself a loving hug and kisses his own hand seductively whilst looking forward to being probed again.]

Dr F: Fair enough. [Mutters something half-inaudible, sounding like, ‘self-effacement, my parse’, writes a short word on his pad, then appears to inscribe three large exclamation marks.] Your blog, though, what’s at the core of it all would you say?

Mr M: Do these shoes match my eyes? Tell me truly! If so I shall buy sixty pairs as they will also match my cravat collection. At present I’m arranging for Nelson’s Column to be moved to the garden at La Maison Grandepoo as I fancied something huge and imposing with good girth amidst the rhododendrons. Teddy, the gardener, would usually see to that. He’ll be sorting some of my best broom bush to adorn the big bottom, and I have two huge stone orbs — artefacts of ancient Greece; I imported them from Indonesia — to sit on either side. They cost fourteen billion rupiah each but are worth it; naturally, one has to pay for authenticity. I’m having them painted cerise of course. Some cheeky tenant said it would look like my own giant cock! How very clichéd; everyone says that, actually. He won’t be getting his deposit back, I can tell you, I’m swallowing that! Got any rum or voddy darling? Just a small snifter. Don’t look at me like that, it’s almost midday! No? Fancy some rather nice Colombian? It’s pure, much purer than my friend Alejandro the Colombian, but then what isn’t?

Dr F: Cut!

Mr M: No, I don’t agree with the practice — uncut for me every time, don’t you prefer it that way, doctor? [He winks, coyly.] — and certainly not at 600 euros for an eight ball, darling. Only the best here at Grandepoo. [Two dogs that look like Louis the 16th burst out of his Roberto Cavalli Hussar’s jacket and begin urinating on the aghast doctor’s trouser leg.]

Dr F: Cut! Cut! Cut!

* * * *

Subject Two

Blog Title: The Willy Wolves of Your Heart

Author: Tracey Boggs

Dr F: Miss Boggs, lovely to meet you; I hear you’ve published quite a few books based on the short stories from your blog?

Miss B: Yes, I’ve got twenny-three eBooks on Amazon, an’ I’m workin’ on me fifth in a sextology now. Bin a writer since I was four years old; even then they said I was quite literururuy, plus, I offer courses online to teach people how to right proper.

Dr F: A ‘sextology’?

Miss B: A series of six if it’s a romantic novel — a term I coined meself. Surely you’ve heard about it on Goodbonkreads?! [Rolls her eyes and looks at the doctor like he’s an idiot, whilst stretching her chewing gum out between her front teeth, almost to the point of Dr F’s swiftly withdrawing knee.]

Dr F: Silly me. Of course. How many volumes have you actually sold Tracy?

Miss B: If I’m addin’ it all up, which would really take, like forever, I’d say, guess at, maybe a shit load. Like dozens. An’ some of ‘em got three stars! Not from Trevor, though, me bruvva. Piss-takin’ fucker.

Dr F: [He sits in silence for a few moments looking as though all will to stay alive has fled his body.] I see. Sibling rivalry, no doubt. Dozens, you say, that’s, well, it’s something isn’t it?

Miss B: Yeah, not everyone’s like, as popular as moi; I’m the new Fifty Shades writer but with a top shelf edge for the more . . . mature woman, if ya get me? [Tracey winks slowly, reminding Dr F of a stroke victim he once met, whilst crossing her legs with deliberate though insufficient caution.] And yeah, I know, there’s a few shite writers tryin’ to skim a bit of that frisky fat off, but they don’t write as unusually as what I do.

Dr F: I’m sure that’s so, Miss Boggs. How about the titles of your books; perhaps you could tell us a few?

Miss B: Sure, well there’s ‘The Passion and the Prodding’, ‘Enter My Wide Garden of Love’, ‘All the Colours of the Clitbow’, ‘The Oasis Beyond Love’s Dry Hump’ and ‘The Midnight Heart Seeks Dick’.

Dr F: [Spits his coffee a good four feet across the room.] My apologies, Miss Boggs! I can assure you I don’t make a habit of spitting.

Miss B: Me neever. [She laughs like a horse with severe diarrhoea, then hands the doctor a tissue she has secreted about her bosom.]The Midnight Heart Seeks Dick’ was a big goer an’ all. Hey, I do live readin’s in bookshops, shall I’ll read ya a bit? Gotta lovely dark passage that never fails to raise eyebrows.

Dr F: Are you telling me bookshops ask you to read, that they actually stock these titles?

Miss B: Oh noo, I just go in an’ start readin’, then ask people to click me phone to buy a fifty pee copy off of Amazon. W. H. Smiffs were proper out of order about it all, an’ I’m bein’ sued by the cleaner at Warterstones for reasons I don’t wanna go into. Facts are, they just don’t appreciate true art; I wouldn’t mind but I’m nothin’ like as filthy as that Pee Haitch Lawrence eever!

Dr F: Pee?

Miss B: Down the corridor innit mate? An’ remember, if it’s yella, let it mella.

Dr F: I’m fine as I am, thank you. Do please proceed . . . with the text, if you will, Miss Boggs.

Miss B: [Putting her ‘posh’ voice on.] Anthony grabbed her tights and held her tight too giving her a long kiss with tongues, then Sharon said I have to have a wee but really she just wanted to have a think in the toilet and see if he was really fit enough to shag or a cruel minger. The moon was shining out and Sharon looked at it out the window and decided that actually Anthony was the love of her life and she’d marry him no matter what the cost it would be.

Anthony was sat in front of the TV watching Delia Smith wanking when she came back and she liked what she saw but said stop that and go and take the washing line down from the back yard and tie me up with it because I’m in love with you and trust you to be kinky. He was sexy and had the horn on like a bastard rhino so did as he was asked.

No man had ever treated her so great. And Anthony was thinking the same but had a dark secret she knew nothing off that involved a bag of pegs.’ [The subject slowly lowers the book onto her denim mini skirt, savouring the drama she had just affected in noble silence.]

Dr F: Must . . . [The Doctor is coughing in an attempt to stifle laughter.] . . . must wrap this one up now, Miss Boggs . [He wipes tears from his eyes with the once embosomed tissue.] Thank you for your, hmm, shall we say, taut, eye-opening prose?

Miss B: Oh no, I’m self-taught love, an’ yer welcome. ‘Ows about a signed copy so you can finger through me pages later on? Pop yer eye a bit in private.

Dr F: [Looking horrified.] No! I mean, yes, I mean . . . I really must be away now! [The doctor flees to the sanctuary of the Institute’s loo.]

* * * *

Subject Three

Blog Title: Dirty Wet Windy Mariner in a Dingy

Author: Mikey Dogcracker

Dr F: Good afternoon, Mr Dogcracker, delighted.

Mr D: Spanners.

Dr F: I beg your pardon?

Mr D: [Ignoring his interlocutor, Mikey hands over a note that makes clear that all his words, be they written or spoken, are provisional, first drafts, liable to revision, whether dashed-off after no thought at all or written over several decades, verbally adding a plethora of other caveats. He then dives straight into what seems like a soliloquy: a memorised moment of reflection from his latest novel.]

[He clears his throat and proceeds to read.] The shoe sat in the bucket of slimy Weetabix for a week before Nev realised it was his wife’s arse he was looking at. All he could think was ‘Chicken tits again’. It was fair to say no sunset had ever poked his ear so deliciously. [His gaze returns to the doctor, accompanied by a beaming smile.]

Dr F: I’m going for a wild stab in the dark here as your notes are somewhat . . . challenging, and suggest you may have difficulties garnering readers because your style, your way of thinking, is so very . . . individual; early Martin Amis meets Proust in a sort of tantric solipsism. Am I broadly correct?

Mr D: Readers? Pah! Miserable sidewinders, all of them! I don’t need readers . . . [He drains the last of his Buckfast Tonic Wine and meths, then slings the empty hip flask at his cat Ceaușescu, missing. The cat remains as it was — sat solidly on a copy of Spankers Monthly next to his satchel, a look on its face suggesting it has known worse in its time.] They’re all mooers anyway! No, not true, I’d like more, thousands ideally, but I’m a terrible writer, and they look at me like I’m touched by a cocklet, so fuck them all. Sock wankers. That’s not true either, I love them all and I’m brilliant actually — yes, Marble Roast meets Amy what’s-her-face; well-observed; that’s my style in a Cornetto cone . . .gotta fag old bean? [The doctor shakes his head sternly.] Furry muff. Anyway, yes, I’m the best writer I’ve ever met; the world isn’t sophisckertated, sockisterfate . . . fuck it, advanced enough to appreciate my genius, basically. [Mikey then picks up Ceaușescu and mumbles his next few words deep into his hide in a squeaky voice.] Or I’m really very shit? One or the other. Depends on my mood to be square. [He drops Ceaușescu, who returns to his magazine in an eerie fashion.] I do like some of my fans though. Apart from the ones I don’t like at all, arsewankers on the forum who are like dirty gerbil spit in many ways. Spatulas. But even the fans I warm to, well there’s every chance I might burn their garage down if I don’t get a ‘like’, a humble button stabbing . . . ah, my good wife springs to mind . . . within two hours of a post going up. [He shrugs, gives a lovable grin to the camera and blows a kiss whilst looking windswept.]

Dr F: May I enquire as to the extent of your education, your prior employment, Mr Dogcracker?

Mr D: Merchant Taylors, a child awash on the rough seas of my bestial brothers; any port etceteraah. No, fuck that, Bognor Comprehensive; oh yes, man of the street, pan of the meople, that’s me, many trades too; had a plethora jobs since those days: CEO of a hula hoop factory, a narked-off farmer, ice lolly licker, dog hair parter, Tonka Toy Fluffer, the list goes on — oh, and I won an Oscar for my performance in Braveheart as Mel Gibson’s sporran. [Mikey looks down at Ceaușescu, mumbling ‘gullible twat’, whilst the cat paws a paddle.] Anyway, what’s it to you? Fuck off four eyes! Wait! Is there a fee for this, swift tenner for a struggling artiste, or something, eh? [He loads his apparently longsuffering pussy into a catapult threateningly.]

Dr F: . . . Next!

* * * *

Subject Four

Blog Title: Hoots Mon, Find Yer Mindful Meddle Groond Will Ye No?

Author: Vera Lass

Dr F: Please Miss Lass, do sit down for a moment or two. [Vera is playing the bagpipes whilst meditating and balancing an enormous caber in her hands at the same time. Ed. note: ‘Caber’ is Scottish for wood that you toss, as most Scotsmen know very well.]

Miss L: Aye, fair doos, fer moments are all we need, d’ya ken?

Dr F: It’s Karl, actually, and would you mind awfully if we dispense with the droning, mellifluous though your pipes are?

Miss L: [Vera hoots and howls with laughter.] Whell newww, Doctor Karrrrl, mi oon fuzzussion up aways in Auchtermuchty would nay dare be so bold aboot a lass’s papes! Ya cheeky sod ye!

Dr F: I’m talking about the blowstick between your lips, Miss Lass.

Miss L: Awa’ an bile yer heid! I’m going to skelp yer wee behind, ya clatty bastard, Karrrrl!

Dr F: Pardon? Anyway, to the point. Now, I’ve spoken to some very interesting people today, bloggers are a curious crew are they not?

Miss L: Dunderheeds fer tha most part, bletherin on an’ on aboot feck all an’ pennin’ shite Haikoos ev’ry faive munuts an’ all tha’ bollocks tha’s nay the bard o’ Ayrshire.

Dr F: I beg your pardon?

Miss L: All of a ‘tis. They need tae find their meddle groond. [Sees his confusion and sighs, saying in what she thinks is a very posh English accent, ‘Their muddle grrrrooond Karrrrl!’]

Dr F: And what would that be?

Miss L: Yer meddle groond is all aboot steppin’ awa’ from stressful days an’ anxious wee minds, an’ tekin’ time tae pause an’ smell tha porridge oota space an’ feckin’ time, chillin’ ya crabbit bahoochie, ya scunners — yer a long time deid see? Mi sen ah wraights wudz aboot findin’ this place o’ connection, this Hogmanay o’ contentment an’ peace in the haighlands an’ loolands o’ life. I calls it oor Meddle Groond — like the feckin’ wee spot yer stood on that’s nay awa’ tae the left or raight, d’ya ken? — an’ it isne tha’ bastard hard to geet yer head roond, so think on Jimmy lad an’ keep yer lugs open, d’ya ken Karrrrl; or d’ya dinnae Ken Karrrrl?

Dr F: I’m just going to say yes now. Yes. Do you feel you successfully get your points across?

Miss L: Aye, a nod’s as guid as a wunk tae a blind horse, but ‘ave nay time fer jawin’ an’ tae haver aboot ya glaekit girn, gettin’ raight scunnered so I’m g’an skedaddle awa’, swiftly; yer bum’s oot the windae! Go an’ tek a dauner, keek ya sen some contentment wha dunt ye, tuck it under ya wee oxters? Git on tae read tha’ Bahari’s blog eh, the feckin’ chilled bahoochie bastard wi the confusin’ stuff nae fecker e’er gets? Lang may yer lum reek! Namaste mon. [Vera pulls a bottle of whiskey out of her sporran, takes a large swig, hoists her caber up again, and leaves without another word.]

* * * *

Subject Five

Blog Title: Possibly Fabulous? You Tell Me . . .

Author: Marmite Man

Dr F: Greetings Marmite Man. I’d like, if I may, to start by taking an in depth look at the About page on your blog, which is said to be an interesting one, an exemplar, even.

MM: But of course, though ’tis really a mishmash of blather, quintessentially sesquipedalian musings, no more, and certainly . . . no less—

Dr F: [Interrupting] Oh, I’m quite sure it’s indicative of the site’s content as a whole, and which some say needs to be archived for posterity, due to its unusual quality.

MM: Bequeathed the site to the fellows at ‘Shed of the Year’; left instructions as to the sesquicentennial post regarding my modest contribution to literature; penned a disquisition on my oeuvre for it. Nothing atiloquent or magniloquent, of course; just a few thousand words for my epigones. [He smiles out of one side of his mouth, raises an eyebrow Roger Moore style, bows, and steps back into the shadows where he swears like a filthy navvy as he trips over his Aldi bags which are stashed with three four-packs of Fosters and enough frozen potato waffles to feed an army.] Anyhow, the reading, to give viewers but a glimpse of my work? Go on then, chop-chop.

Dr F: [Reading from MM’s About page.] Go away, leave me alone, you’ll all misconstrue my writings anyway being the lowly lollergaggers you doubtless are; it really isn’t for types such as you. Consider it that I don’t like the cut of your jib sir, and you missus, do you call that a hat?! Begone from this place, for my words will taste as asinine arsenic to the tendrils of your etiolated brains which work on the premise of pure logic, and shall appear to your deadened megachiropteran eyes as naught more than the slobbering gibber of a blatherskite female baboon to its sickening baby, who, in reality, is naught but a very small man on poppers navigating his way down the Thames on a raft constructed of empty Fisherman’s Friends lozenge tins — Esse quam videri — who has a penchant for a nice slick cagoule of an afternoon and indeed, this may well be the case, but that’s for me to say not you, so sod off. I don’t know why you are here in the first place, there are clear warning signs all over my virtual door for such as you — and don’t give me any criticism either or I’ll be very unkind and possibly kill you dead. Who are you anyway, the fucking thought police?! . . . Now then, that should have sorted the wheat from the chavs. And for those of you who remain, the exiguous learned few who have fallen under my irrefragably charming, enigmatic spell; wildly in love with my charismatic and inimitable style, I say welcome, enter, enjoy my rollicking and wondrous wordplay, feel free to correct any obvious mistakes [At this point, hearing his own words read back to him and considering the implausibility of any mistakes, MM laughs horrifyingly loudly then sucks on a frozen ‘value’ waffle.] and please . . . do tell me how fucking fabulous I am. [Dr F. sighs and puts down the sheet.] Do you know Mikey Dogcracker by any chance, Marmite Man?

MM: He’s alright, yeah. We met on The Writers Forum and now share the same snood access every other weekend, you know, for the flings in the woods where we sit feathering nibs, inspiring each other with our passages in fluid exchanges . . . Ahem, I’ve said too much. Here, fancy a waffle? [He proffers a soggy Aldi carton.]

Dr F: I’ve already eaten, thank you. And I really couldn’t agree more, the occasional collaboration between wordsmiths can be a fine thing; but the woods you say, and a snood?

MM: Mikey’s massive snood, yes; fits six but I don’t care much for the other four; share few other things too; unicycle, ball gag, a small choir singing Carl Orff’s ‘O Fortuna’ a cappella; it varies, but that which comes forth in said forest is a fountain of inspiration! That’s how we roll, clever blokes like us. [Breathes heavily on his fingernails then buffs them on his jumper, looking incredibly pleased with himself. The jumper is brown and has a rainbow that lights up on it.]

Dr F: Quite so, the curious means by which one ventures to one’s afflatus; honing one’s style comes in many forms. Now, Marmite Man, how would you describe your unique writing style?

MM: Refined and rule-free abstraction packed with whimsy. I’m very whimsical. People find my whimsicalness mysterious and exciting, I’m sure of it, even though they tend to only manifest their glee by eye-rolling, backing away slowly and not following my blog, the Palestines! I’m like Marmite as my name states; I come in small pots but am much harder to spread on the missus’ muffin, if yer know what I mean? [Winks and makes a chk, chk, noise in the side of his mouth.]

Dr F: I do not. ‘Philistines’.

MM: Never heard of her. Mind you, if she’s one of Esme Cloud’s consorts I might have a spare ticket to the next woodland literary meeting where we howl our vowels, get consonant with our consonants and log our logorrhoea whilst discussing how to obliterate irritating alliteration amongst the titanic trunks.

[At this point the conversation is interrupted by a tapping at the window. There we see Mikey Dogcracker, hooting like an owl and clasping a pair of red velvet slippers in his mouth that are adorned with large gold pom-poms. He runs off as the camera pans over to the pane and we observe him galloping towards his wife who is stood in the middle of The Institute’s gardens dressed as a chair. He reaches her, she takes the slippers from his mouth, slaps his face with the pom-poms, whilst he smears jam on his knees, drapes his massive snood over her shoulder, sings an ancient Scottish ballad in which everyone dies horribly . . . then begins to solemnly hump her leg.

Dr F: What the?!

MM: My God I admire him.

Dr F: Cut!

Subject Six

Blog Title: The Soft Expilation of Contented Lady Fingers in Gratification and Contentment

Author: The Venerable Bahari Upekkhā Maha

[A hooded figure enters wearing a many-layered robe of saffron, ochre and orange, their face obscured within the cloth. They sit with hands gently resting, fingertips touching, and nod as if in granting the other’s existence.]

Dr F: Hello Venerable Bahari, I am honoured to meet one such as yourself, madam, oh, sir? My apologies, the robes, you see, lend a certain . . . ambiguity.

BUM: [At first in a hushed, high-pitched, reverential monotone.] I am gone far beyond such distinctions, lowly one, my purview thusly abiding beyond be-tittedness and the sex squirteresque, my organs peerless, yet of unknown form, so don’t press me, certainly not there, nor beyond! Analway, no, not yet! I meant, of course anyway — namaste good sir, I hope I find you well, that you bide in the pink, perform to a pulchritudinous par, that those felicitations flow from you having found yourself in fine fettle, strong as the cloven-hooved ox, the well-behooved and behaved, that beastie the well-yoked bovine, bright of eye, spectacular as regards the ocular, and bushy of tail as is the massively be-bushed . . . er, whatsit? Be-tailed one! [The Venerable Bahari then breaks into song; the first few bars of an opera: Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, the ‘Pappataci’ scene.] Piccola sala come nell’atto I. Elvira, Zulma, Haly e coro di Eunuchi. La-di bollocky salad Aloe Vera! Tra-la toss-it-off, tra-la toss-it-off, tra-la bollocky twat-it-off, snip-off a Berlusconi ball and tra-la bollocky-la!

Dr F: Most tuneful, venerable one, and I . . . erm, bide . . . okay; thank you for asking. I must say I was surprised to see you on the list of those partaking in this study. Your blog emanates waves of such wondrous self-satisfaction to the highest degree — I’d not think you’d feel the need to expand upon it beyond the obvious . . . forgive me, quirk you suff . . . rather, exhibit in finding it essential to say and write in several hundred words what most people manage in six words or less.

BUM: Let me not now feign an accismus, for in this matter I feel an afflatus upwelling [s/he adjusts his/her robes and crosses his/her legs] and I proffer not an apophasis here, sir. It is true, that my ataraxia subtly discomposes when I read others falling short, even in their causerie showing a contumacious tendency towards the noble word. They discommode me, the ultracrepidarians with their elisions and sloppy argot. Do you ever exercise your sloppy argot, doctor?

Dr F: I beg your pardon?

BUM: Slack whilst you bloviate, sir, failing in your lucubrations. Unable to oblectate and enubilate with your tiny diction? Thus failing in your entelechy, a flagitious factotum flailing your pabulum hither and thither.

Dr F: Keep it in plain-speak if at all possible, miss . . . ter? . . . Bahari, as I only have twenty minutes for lunch and Face Full of Flies is causing mayhem in the waiting room.

BUM: Pffft. . . . My aim was not to befog and nonplus you sir. I remain bemused as to why you fainéants, you rebarbative purblind heteroclites (a necessary obloquy) and . . . Oh, for fuck’s sake, look, turn that fuckin’ recorder off. ‘Ere’s the fing, oi can’t be fucked wiv the charade no more! I’m not posh an’ all Zen-like at all, an’ I swear like a bastard off-blog. All me followers ‘ave weird ideas about what I really am an’ stuff, an’ I loikes to wind ‘em up by talkin’ utter bollocks about bein’ contended — gets right on that Everard Mauveilleux’s tits it do. As though it fuckin’ exists as an attainable state. No bastard’s content; life’s shite and thassit. Mugs. Some even bought me ‘lectric book — they may look like idiots an’ talk like idiots, but don’t let that fool yer, they really are idiots.

Dr F: I see. [The Dr writes ‘Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins on crack’ on his pad and draws a cross-eyed face next to it.] Well, you have rather confused the issue of it all anyway, haven’t you?

BUM: ‘Ow d’ya mean love, I mean guv . . . I mean . . . confused what mush?

Dr F: I mean at present a third of your readers believe you are a six foot three, tennis loving lesbian, another third seem to think you’re some kind of Agatha Christie meets Celia from Brief Encounter figure, and the rest have you down as a filthy 92 year-old Sid James type — I can’t see your face, and your robes tell me nothing, plus you’re very softly spoken, even with the cockney accent. Technically you could be any of those categories. So which is it?

BUM: Bollocks to that yer nosey queef wagon! [Hoikes the robes up, displays a vast amount expanse of purple lace-edged knickerage, and moons an exceptionally hairy arse at the doctor that holds at its centre a sparkling white arsehole.]

Dr F: Call Security!! [Security appears and drags the robed figure away. He . . . or she . . . well, Bahari seems to be both self-flagellating beneath the cloth, and grinning too, but flagellating quite what we still don’t know, and, it would be fair to say, don’t need not know, fairer still to say that we don’t want to know what lurks beneath this enigma that is the be-robed and noble Vegetable Biriani.]

Subject Seven

Blog Name: The Cloud Collective

Author: Esmeralda Cloud.

Dr F: Good afternoon Esmeralda, you are the last of the day. [Wipes his brow.]

EC: Good day Doctor Felchman; I am the end of many worlds too, as it happens, and please, do call me Emse . . . Esme.

Dr F: It’s Flech—man.

EC: I believe you. [Grins.] And it was Emse I said, E S M E. Esme is me; and if you intend calling me ‘man’ for the whole session, I may well decide to call you ‘fanny-face’. Just so we’re clear.

Dr F: Shall we begin again, Emse, er, Esme? And would you mind not cartwheeling across the room so much? It’s not conducive to articulate conversation, I find. I would have thought you may have worn a trouser suit given your proclivity. And perhaps some undergarments?

EC: Of course — this isn’t about carnival instinctuals it’s a serious interview! But where are my manners? Where are my drawers come to that! Too soon for a moon! Do have a sticky bun. [Pulls one out from behind his ear, pinches his nose and stuffs it whole in the doctor’s gob; cartwheels away having forgotten the doctor’s counsel, as well as her drawers, singing ‘Lick A Vegan’ by Madonna.] Oo-er missus, bicky stuns, vegan too, terries on chop of my buns! Matron! Don’t get me started on iced mingers, erm fingers, either. [Esme falls off her chair laughing at how astonishingly amusing she finds her inadvertent spoonerisms and malapropisms and self generally, whilst Dr Flechman looks at his watch and believes himself to have aged just over a decade today.]

Dr F: [After choking on Esme’s massive morello.] Thank you for the bicky stun . . . sticky bun! That’s quite a laugh you have there Em . . . Esme. Do please take your seat again. [Writes on his pad: ‘Laughs like a flock of sheep farting in the Mersey Tunnel but has splendid buns. Claims to be a vegan (unlikely — has something of the predator about her and very sharp teeth).’ He has given up almost all of the ghost by now so just eats the bicky . . . the sticky bun.] Esme, your character lives on a cloud of some kind, that’s been loosely established, but who are you, and where do you really live? What is the purpose of this entity, ‘The Cloud’?

EC: Interested in my en-titties are you? [Winks, then slaps Dr F on the shoulder and tells him he’s awful, but that she likes him.] No, I live on The Cloud and this is me right here [Grabs his cheeks and shakes them briefly.] I’m not a character, I may burst with some at times, that’ll I’ll grant you, and The Cloud is as it has always been and shall remain, for all intents and porpoises, that’s to say without getting pacific or going off on a tandem, and knowing full well a rolling stone gathers no moths — an egg in ma. [Begins knitting with fairy lights whilst alternating between laughing hysterically and frowning with huge eyes.]

Dr F: An egg in ma?

EC: Yes, you know, with unfarthingamabel depths. You should join us in the Troposphere, upon the Cloud the world is your gobstopper doctor! [Continues with her singing: ‘But you made me feel, you made me feel, niney and shoe . . . Hoo! Lick a vegan . . .’]

Dr F: Uh-huh. Well, the only complaints I can find about you in log-bland . . . ahem, blog-land seem to be connected to how mysterious you remain; no photos, no ‘cloud address’ given out despite a variety of begging emails and threats, no hint of your age and physical state, your bell-weeing . . . damn and blast it! I’m getting as bad as you are! Why do you feel the need to remain so determinedly cloaked, such an egg in ma?

EC: [Esme is wearing a huge cloak with a Rita Hayworth mask strapped on her face. She stands and shouts ‘Ta-daaaar!’, whipping her cloak and mask off to reveal . . . Another, slightly smaller cloak, and a Groucho Marx mask.] Come, groin our merry chew upon the Cloud Doctor Felchman! No need to be auspicious of me; I’m quite normal, a suppository of wisdom, too, don’t you know?

Dr F: Dear God. Oh, I see, you meant ‘join our merry crew’. Phew. I think I need a drink, a cum and roke should do it. Arrgh! Sod it, you know what I mean! [He calls Mr Mauveilleux back in who has been hovering outside the door wearing a diamond-studded tracksuit, desperate for a bit more screen time, and grabs the bottle of rum off him. Esme nods, takes a litre bottle of Jack Daniels out of the depths of her cloak, has a quick glug then makes a Tarzan call. The Venerable Bahari, Marmite Man, Mikey, Tracey and Vera Lass vault in through the window, open Marmite Man’s tinnies of lager, the doctor whisks off his toupée, burns his tie and tells everyone to call him ‘Geronimo on a geranium’.]

EC: Ah, that’s better. Welcome to the Cloud Collective, Geronimo on a Geranium; what an outstanding member! [Again she winks then slaps him on the back hard enough for his dentures to fly out. He doesn’t seem to mind, giving a gummy smile to one and all, as Esme places an official Cloud Cape upon his shoulders. All applaud whilst hooting and the party really gets going . . .]

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