The Great Moustachio, or, The Hair Artist

The Great Moustachio claimed to be the hairiest man alive, and hired two barbers to shave his body from head to foot each morning, leaving only a topknot and, naturally, the latest inhabitant of his sturdy upper lip.

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His stage act was predicated on the claim his hair grew so fast you could actually see this happening. Two members of the audience would be invited onstage to watch his moustache grow. Of course, he was secretly hypnotising them.

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Eventually one would faint in astonishment, whereupon his glamorous assistant, Bearded Beatrice, would rush to their aid. While they recounted their extraordinary moustache-based hallucinations to the audience, The Great Moustachio would slip into the wings.

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He would re-emerge at the climax of the act with a moustache exactly conforming to the strange ‘tache tales told by the volunteers.

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They’d then be invited to test it was real. This inevitably ended in slapstick scenes – often a gentleman, tugging with both hands on the moustache, would be positioned with a foot on each of the Hair Artist’s shoulders, and then the Great Moustachio would carry him around the stage, howling.

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Of course, the audience was in on the act from the outset, and would frequently call out for favourite recurring moustaches: ‘Give em the Spanish galleon!’ ‘Where’s the archaeopteryx, Archie?’ (The Great Moustachio’s real name was rumoured to be ‘Archie’.)

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Sometimes, if heckled, The Great Moustachio would threaten to grow all his hair back at once – he’d then apparently transform into a murderous bear, and bars would fall to protect the audience.

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On other occasions, he’d ‘top the act’ by shouting ‘Release the moustaches!’ whereupon all the moustaches – including the one on his face – would fly around the theatre, swooping on the audience, and snatching ladies’ bonnets.

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At such a moment, he’d reveal he was wearing a smaller, secondary moustache in yet another pattern. He often favoured a bat motif for this ‘under-moustache’, which he would then sport around town between shows.

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His favourite moustache was the one he cultivated into the shape of a hair ukulele. Often he would slip a George Formaldehyde 78 onto the gramophone, and pretend he was playing it.

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As Chimeramas approached, he liked to grow his moustache and beard into the shape of a Chimeramas tree, and paint the end of his nose as a rubicund bauble.

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(Indeed, it was rumoured he asked the barbers to shave, trim, and shape his entire body’s hair so that it formed the outline of a Chimeramas tree front and back, which he would reveal to Bearded Beatrice on Chimeramas Eve.)

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The problem was this made eating almost impossible, and the Chimeramas tree/beard would end up festooned with a slowly rotting advent calendar of his festive menus.

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Recently, then, he had decided to grow a neater transverse tree moustache, though you had to tilt your head to one side to see it properly, or, like Beatrice, simply watch him when he was sleeping.

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The Wineman

I was up so early this morning I met the wineman in his little winefloat delivering the fresh wine to everybody’s doorsteps and whistling a very merry tune.

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As so often, he had crashed the winefloat onto the roundabout, so many of the bottles in his wine crate were broken and he was trailing wine up and down our garden paths.

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He didn’t seem to mind at all and gave me a cheery wave which caused him to overbalance and land in a holly bush, which he didn’t seem to mind at all.

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Morning just isn’t the same if you don’t have fresh red wine to pour over your cereal.

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Many people are just not people until they’ve had their cuppa of hot white wine with a teabag in!

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Dead posh people have their champagne plumbed in, but for us plebs, there’s nothing like a cheery bottle of Asti Spu upon the doorstep!

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Remember when winters were so cold that the wine on your doorstep froze solid in the bottles?

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The glass would shatter, and it’d be like you had a set of skittles: six moulded from urine, six from blood.

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Remember that time we found the wineman frozen in his winefloat, and we had to put him in the bath and mull him in his own wine with orange peel and cinnamon sticks?

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Remember that look in his eyes when he finally came to – like a hate-filled stoat or an atheistical otter.

Mooby Dick

Mooby Dick shunned all the other whales because he was embarrassed about his pronounced man-boobs, pronounced ‘man-boobs’.

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Why couldn’t he have mwoobs, or male whale boobs, like all the other middle-aged whales?

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His only friend, ‘Moogy Dick’, always carried a Moog synthesiser, together with an electricity generator, wrapped in a giant plastic bag, in his throat. Nobody thought he was weird.

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(Actually, everybody thought Moogy Dick was going through the most colossal mid-life crisis, but because Mooby Dick didn’t speak to the other whales, he didn’t know this.)

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Mooby Dick wondered whatever had happened to his other old friend, Moggy Dick, who used to wear a giant mask of the Cheshire Cat at all times?

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The mask, which was made of chewed-up wrecked ships’ timbers, required continuous repair-work, which meant that Moggy Dick never really had much of a life.

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Of course if, in the meantime, Moggy Dick had given up wearing his Cheshire Cat mask, Mooby Dick realised he would probably be unable to recognise him.

Facts about Bats

Bats hunt chocolate using echolocation.

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Bats and people attempting to give up chocolate should try e-chocolate, which still contains an echo of actual chocolate if you insert it into your giant ears.

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Gianteers are people who climb giants instead of or as well as mountains.

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Giant tears are defined as tears so large that the weeper can themselves bathe or swim in a single giant teardrop.

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Victorian teardrop baths were often used to capture the lachrymations of mourners, the repentant, or the miserable, as instant immersion was deemed most efficacious.

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Hot giant tears were felt to be the best, as chocolate could be heated in the tub, creating a delicious if salty bath. If you could drink it all, you would never be sad again.

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After immersion in a hot chocolate tear bath, people would lie naked all night by open windows, and bats would come and lick them clean.

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Bats’ tears are so tiny they have to weep two tears of hydrogen and one tear of oxygen before anyone realises they are crying.

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Every bat carries a small salt cellar in their armpit to sprinkle on their tears. These are family heirlooms, handed down through bat generations.

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Bats’ favourite habitats are inside the ears of giants, who do not know they are there, and believe they are suffering from a giants’ disease called ‘tiny tinnitus’.

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Giants’ favourite habitats are mountaintops, where they blend in and remain so perfectly still that people believe mountains are hundreds of feet taller than they actually are.

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Gianteers, climbing in giants’ ears, have had the chocolate plucked from their rucksacks by light-clawed bats in mid-flight, and not had a clue it was gone.

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Bats use the silver paper from bars of chocolate to wrap their young in so that they can survive at the high altitudes of the upper galleries of giants’ ears. These twinkle at night, deceiving climbers they are unfamiliar constellations.

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After years of symbiotic coexistence with bats, the accumulated layers of tinfoil in giants’ ears block out the lullabies of star music, and they awaken, hungry for chocolate, and the flesh of climbers.

Undead Shoal


Vampire mackerel were the most awkward of supernatural fish: barely able to fly, they would take hours to travel to land in search of prey.

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As they flailed their tiny fins, bobbing inches above the surf, vampire mackerel hunters would simply pick them off with wooden darts.

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Only the fact they travelled in bloodthirsty shoals enabled enough vampire mackerel to get ashore where they would descend on weasels and mice.

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Anything bigger than a weasel could punch a vampire mackerel out of the sky, and even the weasels had to be caught unawares in case of biteback.

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Vampire mackerels’ most convenient sources of blood, pinnipeds and cetaceans, heard them coming due to subaquatic lisping thru their fangs.

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Narwhal Van Helsing dedicated his life to hunting down Count Mackerula, but he would hide in the heart of his Undead Shoal and could not be found.

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As the sun descends below the nautical horizon, there is a green flash which reveals that Count Mackerula is nothing but rune-covered bones.

The Adventures of Doc Moreau and I, 16: Good Dog Patented Nose Brain Grafts


Doc Moreau has been working on a nose/brain graft that will enable us and/or dogs to smell bad ideas.

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‘Dogs with human brains or humans with dog’s noses?’ he said at a recent press conference. ‘I don’t know, it could go either way.’

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In a rare move, Doc Moreau will run two advertising campaigns simultaneously, and see which gets the biggest take-up from people or dogs.

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‘Do you ever dither?’

‘Er…’

‘Have you ever havered?’

‘Um…’

‘Try Doc Moreau’s Good Dog Nose Grafts: everything’s coming up nosethinks!’

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‘My dog has nose idea.’

‘How does it think?’

‘Terrible!’

‘Get Doc Moreau’s Patented Canine Brain Grafts today: wake up and smell the cerebella!’

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So far dogs have been slow to grasp the advantages of Doc Moreau’s Patented Canine Brain Grafts so the Doc is throwing in a free opposable thumb!

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‘A big problem at the moment is the dogs bury the thumbs, so I give them an IQ booster jab and we talk, Doc to dog. Then they form militia…’

The Thirteen Fridays

It was the 13th Friday in a row and victims were sick of the hockey masquerades-slash-slashfests, the sheer badluckcliffs and the slipping on black catskins.

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Letters of protest sent to the Ministry of Time were purloined. Phonecalls were made but the handsets turned into lobsters and snipped off ears.

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The Ministry finally announced that the run of Fridays was caused by sunsprat shoals, and victims should increase their Sprat Factor to 13.

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Victims pointed out anything over Sprat Factor 11 caused your face to melt and your eyes to migrate to the top of your head like flatfish.

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The Ministry of Masks undertook to issue their famous face wax, which replaces victims’ original faces with those of historical figures.

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However, due to the ectospasmodic effect of a sunsprat megashoal the size of Mercury, the wax took on the features of famous murder victims.

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When Saturday finally arrived, the airports were full of exhausted serial killers heading out to abduct a few day’s R&R on Murder Island.