Saturday, May 27, 2006

read all about it

From the Cottingham Advertiser, Friday 26th May, 2006:

Blame dead writer, not phone masts

Residents of the Cottingham area of Hull who have been experiencing strange phenomena over the last ten days have been told by experts that the cause lies not with mobile phone masts as first thought, but rather emanates from the cemetery in Eppleworth Road.

The phenomena were first noticed last Tuesday by night security staff at the nearby School of Nursing who reported a ‘groaning cloud’. Employee Rex Vile, 54, described how he had seen the cloud in the atrium of the building. “It was about the size of a small car, like a Lancia, black as your hat, and it made a groaning, muttering sound.” Other staff reported difficulties with computer equipment and telephones.

The problem persisted, and by Thursday police were called. A nearby restaurant proprietor, Mr K. Rupra, 43, of the Next of Kin take-away in Birstall road saw the cloud too. “It put out my grill,” he said. “Very bad for business.” In other developments, recording engineer Martin Cowan of the nearby Nine Bar rehearsal and recording studio had to bin hundreds of hours of recordings after they became affected by the muttering sound. “This could put Hull music culture back six months” said Mr Cowan.

Local Authority and Police opinion at first pinned the blame on a clutch of phone masts recently erected. Professor Laszlo Tenebrus, however, Chair of the Department of Speculative Theory, Hull University, soon located the real cause. “This phenomenon is uncommon, but not unheard of,” said Prof. Tenebrus. “We call it a POEM, or Postmortem Operation of Extreme Malignity. In cases where a person has lived a life of thwart, regret, pessimism and misanthropy, and has also developed a high level of functional articulacy in tandem with a hatred and fear of imagination and creativity, there can be a kind of ‘perfect storm’ of unpleasantness so impacted and solid that it actually creates a kind of psychic kidney stone which, after the subject’s death, very slowly degrades. It has a half life of 20 years, and after that point is apt to leave the site of bodily internment, and roam the immediate area causing upset and dismay. Fortunately, and for reasons that remain unclear, it is unable to cross Electoral Ward Boundaries, and cannot survive long in the present. Modernity burns the POEM like shame burns the cuckold. In this instance I have traced the emanation of the POEM to the grave of the poet Philip Larkin, interred in Cottingham Municipal Cemetery in 1985.”

Professor Tenebrus advised the Local Authority that the best way to quiet the POEM was for the soil of the poet’s grave to be rendered alkaline by the application of urine.For technical reasons related to diet and hormonal profile, the Professor explained, it was necessary that the urine came from young female persons, whose ethnicity differed as much as possible from the subject’s. By chance, a visiting Fellow in Speculative Theory, Ms Yinka Ogunsiji of the University of Benin, happened to fit the specifications and was happy to help the people of Cottingham return to normality.

A spokesman for Kingston-upon-Hull Local Authority said “We are very grateful to the Professor and to Ms Ogunsiji for their assistance in this difficult matter. We would advise other Local Authorities to conduct risk assessments of their own cemeteries so as to maintain operational resilience in the face of this avoidable problem.”

Last night, the resting places of Kingsley Amis and John Osborne were being guarded by the TA while investigations were carried out. In a late development, the film-maker Mike Leigh has been asked to submit details of his prospective funeral arrangements to Camden Council for approval.

Ha bloody ha. Apropo of nothing: post DJ set I was talking to an educator of our aquataince and was (as I seem to do alarmingly often these days) complaining about Johnny Cash's Def American recordings. I got to the bit were I said it was a kind of Death Porn and our educator friend said "i know what you mean, I mean I like porn but not death porn"
I see Neil Diamond's having a go as well. Who next d'you think? Barbara Streisand? William Shatner? That bloke out of King with the big shoes?
Smart money's on Willie Nelson. Outside bets are currently ranging from Neil Sedaka to Axl Rose.

Thank fuck all the sodding Rat Pack are dead, that's all I can say...
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