The adventures of Doc Moreau and I, 18: Moreau on Eyjafjallajökull

‘Reality,’ Doc Moreau intoned, ‘is just the lattice within which Quantum Reality unfolds within our dreaming bodies – each of which generates a totally new world every second of every night!’

‘Doc, please step away from the volcano or at least stop inhaling the fumes.’

*

‘Right now,’ Doc Moreau continued, ‘there are ghost galaxies out there which are only visible after Universal Midnight. You cats are still on Earthtime, but I can hear the Cosmic Gibberings. We’ve got to get out there and harvest their spooky sheets for our interstellar craft!’

*

‘At this point I’m going to hand over to my esteemed colleague, Professor Backwards. Take em away, Big Bill.’

‘I have me here a square of geenuine spectral solar fabric, obtained at great personal expense by a brave Chimeric astronaut, God rest his souls. What am I bid?’

*

‘Now yew may be remarkin that that yew cain’t hardly see this here veronica of ghost galactic cloth, but all I gotta do is hold it before the Doc’s features… and lookit all them tentacules!

That’s alright ladies n gennlemen – the projectile vomiting will pass. What am I bid?’

*

… ‘We’re gonna need a few more zeros on the end of that sum, son. Capitaine Anoxia himself snipped this square from the hem of the garment of an intergalactic deity so terrible that the good cap’s brains started a-bubblin in his skull. You can use this to strain dreams, boy!’

*

‘Uh, sirs, we’ve been informed that the volcano has entered a unstable phase. We’re not sure why you wanted to hold the press conference here, but…’

‘Now hold yore helicopters, I’m workin here – the planet is bound to respond to the alien nature of this yoonique material.’

*

‘Well, Doc, most of the major scientific minds of our time seem overcome by the heat n the sulphoor. Them that ain’t already burned up.’

‘It’s always the same, Mr Backwards: they lack the imagination to purchase, unfold and shelter under the dead fabric of the universe herself!’

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Poisoned Pea World

That moment when you tentatively step on the frozen pond and realise that what you thought was thick ice was nothing more than a single, lightly chilled layer of pork scratchings. But who has perpetrated this illusion? Who?

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That moment when you can see tiny people have arranged the pile of nachos like a stockade or testudo, and are peering out from within, armed with cocktail sticks and tiny blowpipes.

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When hundreds of tiny people, having contrived to fill a balloon at least partially with their tiny breaths, manipulate its nozzle into the aperture of a peashooter, and ready themselves to fire a deadly poisoned pea by loosening their collective grip.

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That moment when, as the poison pea flies towards you, you realise that its surface is inhabited by millions of microscopic, featherless, bird-like creatures, for whom the venomous coating acts as a combination of atmosphere and nutrient.

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When you observe the turducken/octopoid/crab people observing you from elaborate stepped platforms as Poisoned Pea World hurtles toward the huge sun of your head, thousands of years of their history unfolding in frantic recalculations as you open your mouth.

*

When, as the dried pea strikes your uvula and jams in the old epiglottis, it sounds like a dead bell in the empty oval of your skull, and, as you pass out, the lovely resonance seems to bear you down a long corridor lined with the muffled skeletons of flightless birds.

*

That moment when you waken up inside a giant turkey carcass orbiting what you realise must be a distant planet. But who would live on a planet like this?

The Adventures of Doc Moreau and I, 17: Doc Moreau and the Giant Mutant Bees

A spokesthing for the Ministry of Hope has announced, ‘For the first time in a hundred fears, the Ministry is hanging out the Hopenets on the Cape of Can’t Cope, hoping against hope that a few scraps of hopeyness can be carried hither in the Great Wind of Despair…’

*

‘However,’ the spokesthing continued, ‘I got a bad feeling about this.’

*

Chimeric physicists have returned to dangerous work in their laboratory in the trenches of the Pessim Abysm, attempt to split the primary matter of Despair into two volatile components: the D particle, and the conjectured Sperare Principle.

*

‘If we can just implant the Sperare Principle into the minds of these giant mutant bees,’ lead scientist Doc Moreau explained, ‘then we’ve turned ‘despair’ into what I call ‘beespair’, which certainly sounds like it ought to be an improvement.’

*

‘The plan then is to release the giant mutant bees so that, by producing ‘Hopey Honey’, they shift the National Cosmic Balance. Of course, there is a small but manageable risk that they will sting everyone in their path to death.’

*

‘By ‘manageable’ I mean that most of the people they sting to death will be without hope in any case, thus reducing the overall quotient of hopelessness,’ Doc Moreau concluded.

*

Beside him, the spokesthing for the Ministry of Hope reiterated, ‘I got a bad feeling about this.’

Glass Heads

Forty watt glass-headed rabbits dotting the hillsides by night, apparently nibbling on grass, but electrocuting hapless foxes and foolish owls, then recharging by devouring their charred remains.

*

Sixty watt glass-headed deer so you can see their greenest thoughts on distant hills by use of tele-psi-scope. Like deer astronauts their dreams ascend like lightning from their antler tips into the clouds and bring down ghost riders.

*

100 watt glass-headed squirrels sending arrow showers of light through the forest as they dash up branches and hop onto the shoulders of fur-shrouded deities, biting their ears and drawing forth blood that groans as it slops down through the leaves.

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150 watt glass-headed mammoths blundering through the midnight forest, trying to get back to the steppe. Their heads are so bright they blind each other and crash into the trees, smashing the huge bulbs. Each light going out is one step closer to extinction.

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200 watt glass-headed plesiosaurs gliding rapidly through the peat-darkened lochs: their lights can be detected at considerable depths by nightboats crossing, as though looking out for the streaks of meteorites in the skies above.

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500 megawatt glass-headed Jörmungandr clearly visible crawling through the trenches at the bottom of the ocean by astronauts falling from space having forgotten where they left their spaceships.

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Forty gigawatt glass heads on either end of double-headed 500 km long space centipedes slowly arcing through the Oort Cloud in shoals of up to a million, lights pulsing in ornate patterns that appear to be some form of palindromic remorseless code…

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.

*

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.

*

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.

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.

*

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.

*

(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.)

*

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.