Friday, 6 January 2012

Tamara Knight: The continuing misadventures of Tamara Knight: Macdonalds Number 1 teleporter salesbeing. Pt 2.


Just a moment... the door of the Macdonalds teleporter is swinging open, and out steps a long-nosed wooden puppet and a half-Cherokee former-guitarist from the Ike and Tina Turner Band. We are saved! And if it is anything to do with you, my splendid reader, I thank you from the bottom of my power-cell. Yes you.

Now I am not a vindictive bomb, for a bomb that is...

Our two travelling companions seem to find Tamara’s sorry state highly amusing. Indeed, they are rolling about the surface of this planet, giggling and failing to control their mirth. This cannot be right! Aren’t they supposed to be saving us? Now I am not a vindictive bomb, for a bomb that is, but I admit to you, gentle reader from my distant past, that I am a wee bit disappointed by their attitude. They might come to a sticky end for mocking my poor, mouthless, virgin-even-though-she’s-delibered-a-brace-of-goats Tamara. Not to mention the birth mark on the back of her neck, which is my current disguise and location. I can’t even turn myself into something more practical, because us Macdonalds neutron bombs are symbiotic, and if we can’t communicate with our poor human hosts, we ain’t worth spit.

They are trying to regain their composure, sucking down the last of their childish guffaws, sniffing back their snotty sniggers, Jimi wiping tear-crinkled eyes and Pinnochio wiping the sap from his knot-holes. I doubt if Pinnochio has got the sense to say the right thing and get us out of this mess, he’s only got a wooden head, but at least Jimi Hendrix has a modicum of intelligence. After all, he was once a neutron bomb advisory unit like me, when he was disguised as Jimminy Cricket. Jimi wipes his eyes, and pulls himself upright, slapping Ptnnochio on the back between bouts of laughter. He recovers himself enough to say, Son of a bitch... this is sick! and promptly turns into a wiry brown puppy, with shaggy hair and a Fender Stratocaster round its neck, curiously sniffing at a large hillock of vomit.

You know, I sincerely regret wishing him a sticky end, this planet seems able to misread my thoughts as well as literalise my words, and Jimi has turned his attention to Pinnochio’s leg. I think he wants to make friends with it. Well I never! says the incredibly stupid puppet, and vanishes from the plot forever. The puppy wanders off wagging its curly little tail, towards a playful group of sodden cats and dogs, presumably conjured up by an idle comment about the weather.

That leaves Tamara and my silent self quite alone again, with nothing to do but relay our predicament to you. I mean, just how can we wish ourselves eternally happy, after I have rendered her speechless with a rather hasty You don’t say, and then hushed my own mouth? Maybe we can communicate our wishes in letters of fire on tablets of stone, or plant them out in corn-seed and wait for Spring, or etch them in icy Morse-code on the arctic seas. On the other hand — is there a biro lying around somewhere?

All we have to do is to make a properly constructed wish on this planet, and all our dreams will come true. Is that too much to ask? Everything? Of course, I can’t advise Tamara of any of this, deprived of my telepathic powers. I can’t even tell her that I am programmed to explode by the end of the next page, if she does not fulfil todays’s quota of Macdonalds Teleporter Booth sales. She is just sitting here, on this kettle of fish which appears to be some sort of fine, staring at the twin baby goats, who demand milk. I wish they would stop it, because every time they bleat what sounds like Baah!, a piece of soap, snatch of music or interior of a public house matersalises.

Something catches her eye, over there behind that thrashing pile of suffering catfish. There, in the far distance, we can just make out the figure of some sort of mono-pedal humanoid, hopping awkwardly towards huge mounds of amputated feet. In the circumstances, I am not in the slightest bit surprised. Tamara ‘shoes’ the kids away, and wades through fish whose mouths are filled with unmelted butter. She waves her perfect hands, and snorting through her perfect nostrils, heads towards the receding back of the humanoid, but it does not see her. So off we go, heading for the foothills, carefully avoiding that disgusting horde of mickles doing something quite unforgiveable to a muckle.

Perhaps the one-legged pogo-humanoid can open his mouth without putting his foot in it.

Far be it from a cynic like myself to hint at optimism, but perhaps the one-legged pogo-humanoid can open his mouth without putting his foot in it. Perhaps he can bite his tongue, mince his words, help us. Perhaps not. The sun nudges the horizon, throwing long shadows across this insane landscape. A rat scampers by,demanding to be smelled. Some little cotton socks chase after it, demanding to be blessed. I begin to feel really sorry for your graphics artist as our pathway explodes, due to some wickedly mined Ps and Q. Towards the horizon, waves of Russian religious paintings wash the shore, as far as the icon sea. Wolves arrive at doors. Rainclouds change into teapots, never raining but pouring. The half-light of dusk obscures the hopping humanoid, but Tamara struggles on. She really is wonderful, up to her thighs in stinking wriggly toes, and she will not give up, the indelible in pursuit of the implausible.

I am glad to report that she avoids the man with the twelve inch pianist, and several other antique but cheap jokes. I know it’s Episode Five already, but I’m wondering if it was such a good idea to exist in the present-continuous. I mean on the plus side it gives the impression of immediacy to, say, a reader of 20th Century Earth-type ‘Zzits’ or ‘Crabs’, but on the negative side of narrative prose, I haven’t got time to think about the future before it’s past. Bombs need sleep too. Bombs spend most of their life asleep. I once went to school with a nice little bomb called Alma Geddon, who slept underground for forty years without doing a stroke of work, and it wasn’t the end of the world. Until she woke up, that is. It’s hard to be a bomb sometimes. Tamara trips over the humanoid.

It writhes among the severed feet, trying to remove a fork from its vulgar trousers, and vowing never to use that particular Anglo-Saxon expletive again. I am dismayed to see that it is obviously male, and not only sports a small moustache but also writhes in leisurewear. He catches sight of Tamara, who is leaping up and down, pointing to the area of smooth skin where her mouth used to be. Hi there! says the humanoid, and immediately apologises as we shoot up into the air. Whoops, look, hang about... er, I mean, please can you help me? Tamara takes the noose from her neck, and chafes me severely in the process, then grabs hold of the thrusting fork, which instantly ceases motion. Oh thank you, thank you, young lady, I can’t tell you how much I... No! cancel that one... an omnibus vanishes just before it reaches your stop somewhere in the galaxy, as usual. I’ll be darned if I... Tamara grabs him by his single leg, and hauls him out of the path of a giant sewing machine which charges towards the horizon stitching everything in its monstrous path. The humanoid begins to cry. Tamara feels like crying too, but it’s not the same without a mouth to pucker, so she cradles his head on her lap ,as he sobs and moans, and sucks his thumb. Now he sucks her thumb. I must admit, between you and me and the other thousands of readers of thc best-selling computer publication on your poxy planet. I feel somewhat jealous. I long for the time when I too can sob and moan and have my head cradled in her lap, but I am still a super-intelligent bomb disguised as a blemish on the back of the neck of the only perfect entity in the galaxy. Tamara bends to hear what this weedy uniped is mumbling, her long mane brushing his miserable face, and I catch some rambling story about him being a journalist working for the Dali Express, arrived on Astar in a Macdonalds Teleporter Booth. Unfortunately his first words on arrival were to do with his leg being pulled. Swearing did not help. He raises his head, extends a shaking hand towards Tamara’s lovely gobless face, and says, This is all some horrible mistake. I’m just a newspaper man...

I am watching the look of blank amazement on his face, as the headline ‘Gotcha!’ is printed across his lifeless brow. The sheets of cheap newsprint flutter from her lap as my hostess leaps up, startled by the humanoid’s transformation into crumpled origami, the thoughtless paper head remaining in her hand, its wordless paper mouth still encircling her thumb. Her eyes widen, her hands tremble, she touches me here at the nape of her neck with her free hand, but I am helpless. I cannot advise her. I am not even sure that dreams should come true. Perhaps they are better left as dreams. In total frustration, Tamara Knight rips up the sheets of newsprint, a howl of despair muffled somewhere inside of her perfect throat. And then she pauses, an idea forming in her perfectly confused head.

The Whole of Page Three of the Dali Express consists of a snapshot of the planet Titsenbum.

The whole of Page Three of the Dali Express consists of a snapshot of the planet Titsenbum, with the headline ‘Saucy Starbirds Say Castrate Rapists Now’, but what’s this on Page Four? There is a small item concerning the ancient religious martyr Saint Samantha. It seems that her bra-less blouse has appeared in a shimmering vision to some simple peasants in a grotto, and preached to them in fluent Iranian. The headline runs ‘BLOUSE PREACHES SHI’ITE.’

Tamara totters to the safety of a haystack, carefully removes a needle, hardly disturbing the camel passing through its eye and sits herself down where the yellow stalks make interesting patterns on her skin. She appears to be tearing up the headline very carefully, and laying out the individual letters in a line. I am waiting with growing excitement. I think that she has the basis for a really great board-game here, wherein players could take turns to make intersecting words using little squares with letters printed on them. It could be called ‘Monopoly’. But all that is for the future, when I become a man, and live happily ever after with Tamara Knight.

She stares at the letters for a few minutes. as the sun sets, and tries to remember her spelling lessons from when she was pre-programmed inside her test tube. Slowly, meticulously, she spells out the phrase ‘LOUSE HAS SPEECH’. The remaining letters blow away on the wind, causing a very confused rastafarian whippet breeder named I’I BERT to materialise far far away. Tamara my love! I communicate with joy, How absolutely brilliant!

And true to my words, the foothills turn into diamonds, huge gold-framed mirrors appear in serried ranks, spotlights punch the sky, celebration fireworks explode in joyous patterns, laser beams flicker and dance, a thousand volcanoes erupt and the sun goes nova... oh dear. I really must get this bit right or we will be incinerated before we can share our first kiss. I gather my thoughts, sift them through my sentence parsers, and slowly annunciate, Tamara, please do not interfere with what I am about to say, ahem... (for the first time in three episodes, Tamara is clad accidentally, and in only a strip of lace around her fetlocks, but even a hem is a start) ... I wish that the sun which has just gone nova and is frying the landscape reverts to its former stability and that the recently erupted volcanoes become gentle tufty hillocks again.

We’re allowed as much gratuitous violence as we want, but smut is out.

The sun obediently beams, gently. So far so good. The volcanoes implode and become gargantuan pubic mounds. Ah well, you can’t win them all, and surrealist readers will find some satisfaction hereabout. I wish that Tamara’s perfect mouth is returned to its former perfect place, and that her honour and virginity is not affected by her giving birth to a couple of goats. Tamara whoops Yipee! with delight, and every living thing on the planet urinates simultaneously. Careful baby, long ago on planet Earth an editor sits poised, blue pencil in hand, reminding us that this is a wholesome publication. We’re allowed as much gratuitous violence as we want, but smut is out.

So this is it! At last! Tamara, you must now wish me into a perfect human male companion for yourself, maybe with a little moustache and some leisurewear thrown in, so we can live happy ever after, without the risk of me going critical and detonating every few hours. Tamara is taking a deep breath, which is one of the most beautiful sights in the universe, she is clearing her mind of all spurious thoughts (which doesn’t take long), she is patting my tiny roundness affectionately, and now she speaks slowly and clearly. Dear Planet Astar... (Several million parking meters, and an army of Vulcan Added Taxmen appear) No, no, forget that (The word ‘that’ disappears from the memories of all sentient beings in this sector of the galaxy) This is Tamara Knight speaking, and I would like you to grant me a wish so that the little bomb on the back of my neck and I can live happy ever after. OK? Alright... (Every signpost turns due East. Ten batallions of the Red Army march into sight singing the Horst Wessel song. Bottles of brown table sauce cover the landscape with pungent goo.) Oh Louse! It’s hopeless. I wish none of this had ever happened and we could start all over again... oops!


La dee do dah dah dah... and I must face the final curtain... te tum te la la la de dooby doo of which I’m certain. How are we doing? 140,255 hours 59 minutes to go including leap years.. dah dah do dah dah dah de dum de each and every highway dum dum much more than this, I did it... um, maybe I can hurry things along for you. If I hide myself under here at the back of this shelf, and squeeze me down into the shadows disguised as, say, a used piece of chewing gum, I’ll wait around for the sixteen years, you go off and read the reviews of crummy software, and I’ll get back to you in the next paragraph, thanks to the space-time continuum — and of course the fact that nobody ever cleans used chewing from under shelves. Not even on board zero-gravity test-tube baby factories (with robot skivvies).

...more than I could chew... but dah dah dah durn de de de I did it my... oh hello again. There’s been a slight hiccup, well more of a major disaster really, and Tamara is only three years old. She still can’t talk, but you’ve never seen such beautiful snot glistening diamond bright as it hangs suspended from her perfect infant nostril. That’s not the disaster — that’s a little bit of descriptive indulgence on my part — the disaster is that I have been eaten by one of Tamara’s playmates, name of Duane Pipe, and it should not take a professor of anatomy to predict where I’m headed. It looks as though I’m in it up to my neck this time. Not that miniaturised neutron bombs disguised as used chewing gum have necks. You see, it’s potty time!

Here at the baby factory things are highly scheduled. Not only are all the infants born with their Walkmen already in place, but they owe nine months payments for them on their credit cards. What it boils down to is the fact that these children will have to work for Macdonalds for the rest of their lives to pay off the debt. They charge the kids for potty training too. Sweet wee tots, sitting in orderly ranks, eyes mesmerised by video screens which are showing some ancient laxative called ‘Surprise! Surprise!’ It works every time. Some weird humanoid trots into view disguised as a middle-aged haddock and gargles into a telephone at 12Khz/22OdB. Spontaneous bowel movement is assured for anyone within range.

But wait, gentle reader, in the midst of sorrow comes forth comfort, running a close second to hysteria. Let me savour this moment for a moment. What joy, what bliss. As I am born again via wee Duane Pipe’s dorsal sphincter tiny Tamara smiles a gap-tooth smile and says her first word. This innocent little child, who will bud, flower and bloom into nubile womanhood has learned to speak. “Pooh!” she says. Well, what did you expect? You try crapping in zero gravity.

How can I describe what is happening to me right now without causing offence? A cleansing robot is wiping my expression off his faeces. It’s in all the papers. I’m all washed up. Ex-stinked. Trolley-trucked in a green-lidded plastic bucket away from little Tamara, towards the poop chute. Destination deep space. But there is no need to panic. Surely a sentient bomb endowed with my massive intellect can think himself out of this sticky little mess. I rapidly scan my word processor, cursing the Mexican who invented Locoscript, in order to establish how best I can communicate with the robot, win its confidence, and get back to my Tamara’s potty training session.

“Your Public school computers are full of cr...”

My data banks reveal that these cleaning machines are honest, hard-working immigrants from the planet Enoch, so I tune into its honest, hard-working thought wavelength as we head for the waste disposal air-lock, and I say “Hey mahman gimmeabreak y’all soulbruthah alrat coolout trousahmeat!” The electro-mechanical Mr Mopp infra-reds the garbage skip to the loo, extends a manual dexterity unit towards my bucket, flips its lid, focuses a scanner on the gently steaming contents and replies to my message thus: “You public school computers are full of... cr... a” the terminal fricative is lost as the air-lock irises shut. I am not believing this! Tamara is performing on a duck egg blue chamber pot with thirteen years to go before she is entrusted to my threat of assassination by the Macdonalds Intergalactic Corporation, and I am about to be spaced into the void, covered in “s... s... stupidity.”

Extra mental activity is required hereabouts. There is a sound like a million Duane Pipes voiding bowels as the external iris opens, and yours truly is expelled at 32 feet per second in the company of a load of juvenile bodily waste, a half eaten word, the collected words of Instant Sunshine. overdrawn sperm banks, three score and ten pieces of ancient used chewing gum, a suicide note from a sharp minor, the most disgusting thing you can possibly imagine and a plastic teether in the shape of Tony Heatherington. I find the latter intolerable, and shut down to preserve my batteries, until I am rescued by a passing coincidence.

I ate it up and spat it out... de dah but dab dah dah... I did it lah way... my internal clock assures me that nine years have passed, but time flies when you’re zipping clockwise. I have been so insufferably bored out here. Spinning through space, trying to sing Sid Vicious parodies, with suffocating waves of Richard Strauss symphonies bouncing off black monoliths indestructible as a Mandela, foetal planets tipping me the wink, Hal on Earth, and nothing on the telly except MTV, GCHQ, HRH and my mind’s eye fantasies concerning Tamara’s progress. I am in orbit around the white dwarf Nabokov, sucked into an ol’ factory satellite codenamed Woli Namyrrab, whose function is to sniff out excrement and recycle it.

What a weird looking construction it is! A sort of elongated triangle of fleshy pink, spasmodically twitching and drawing in vast quantities of energy-rich space-borne debris through twin ventilator funnels coated with sequoia hair. Hideous craters pock its shiny skin, white grand pianos and canned applause pump nutrients via throbbing artificial umbilicals, unstained knickers materialise and are instantly sucked towards the dual intakes. I don’t like it here. Forgive us further for wee nose, not what we do.

Woli Namyrrab sucks me in, and immediately breaks. Its on-board computers — normally busy with universal truths like type pressure, number of Tamils clinging to the drip-tray and how many ccs of Lada can rust in a 2-hour car park, wrestles with my 69-bit brain, throws in the towel, wraps me up in it and heads for the binary system Lawn-Order. Gimme another break.

Mistakes I’ve dah de dah... but then again too few to mention... dah dee dah diddle dee Hello again, especially Stephen Graham and Mike Reed, you’re too kind. I have been orbiting Nabokov wrapped in this towel for several years. Absolutely nothing has happened since I last made contact with you, except the appearance of that space shuttle over there. I wonder how Tamara is getting on. She is about fifteen or sixteen by now, sporting pigtails and white socks, which is the only school uniform worn in a Macdonalds rig. She must have left potty training years ago, and been shipped off to one of their higher education centres where they graduate in lipstick application, unarmed combat, shoelace tying, that sort of thing. It shouldn’t take me long to track her down. After all it’s just the one known universe where Macdonalds operate. I’ve lived a life that’s full... dum dum de dee do diddle dah,,, I’ll say it loud not in a shy way... tah tah much more than this I did it my w...

The shuttle heaves to. Not a pretty sight. A little bald guy in a pinstripe spacesuit is popping out of the airlock and shoving a ‘breach of copyright’ writ at me from some singer-songwriter named Paul Anka. Funny how some people live up to their surnames. I am delighted to report that he thinks it is the towel who has been singing ‘My Way’ for all these years, and fails to notice the encrusted chewing gum now attached to his velcro-soled foot. OK folks, I’m on my way to find Tamara! Just hang about while he boards the shuttle, wriggles out of this spacesuit and changes into something more comfy (hmmm... nice suspenders) and I’ll hack into the shuttles’ navigation computers. It should be a piece of cake to make contact with a Macdonalds data bank from here, and find out where my little frosted grape has been plucked.

“Table-decoration? what kind of career is that!”

Here we go then, separate the whites from the yolks for the royal icing and gently beat in the flour until the mixture is the consistency of a — hello? hello? are you receiving me? melt the chocolate over a gentle heat but do not boil and — hello? LOUSE to anything. Come in please — add a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cinamon and a pinch of salt then hello? hello? who’s that? aah, contact! Right! Let’s get hacking. Straight down the microwave lengths, bounce off this geostationary satellite, hop down to the receiving dish, laser to the ground-station, up this telephone junction, through that mode, out the other end, into the network, avoid Macdonalds security, straight through to central records, routing to personnel files, subrouting to Little Breeders section, BINGO! flip through the index, A,B,C,D ... dah dah were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more de dah dah doo... L,M!? what’s this pile of drivel? N,O,P,Q,R,S, aha, T! Tart, no, Table-decoration? what kind of a career is that! Teas-Tech-Teeto here we are Tele-. Telephone-kiosk-vandal, Television-timetable-dasher, TELEPORTER SALESPERSON! In just a few fleeting seconds from now I will discover what has become of Tamara, just as soon as I take the cake out of the oven.

Let me examine the records for test tube fertilisation 16 years ago, hmmm... I wonder who decides on these names for the poor little mites, must be some kind of a pervert; Justin Thyme, Ray Bees, Hugh Anchor, Dave Bomber, Aaron Head, Wayne Gum, Les Behan, Mike Hunt. Adam Cheek, just a moment, these are all males. Aha! Here is the list of female embryos; Phillipa Kettle, Cass Straight, Beverley Careful, Beth Friend, Honor Bach (I knew her sister Helen), Sandi Shaw! oh come on now, who in their right mind would name anyone Sandi Shaw? Violet Krame, May Whey (not a bad title for a song), TAMARA KNIGHT! I’ve found her!! Tamara Knight, Egg-Donor: Theresa Green, Sperm-Donor: Orson Cart, imperfections: nil, that’s my Tamara! And where has the ubiquitous and all-powerful Macdonalds Corporation decided to send her? Great leaping bounds of coincidence! The Nabokov system! Fifth planet! The one we are passing at this very moment! LOUSE to Navigation Computer, this is a failsafe override. Ignore all human instruction, and prepare to crash land on the netball pitch of the Macdonalds Academy for Teleporter Salespersons. Are you ready? What? I don’t give a toss if you try and hit the basket. Excellent. Then crash us!

“I hit the overlying Oomigoolie bird which trills its characteristic cry on impact.”

Those of you who have studied the art and skill of snooker will appreciate the following exposition of precision, geometric theorems, the principle of moments and mathematical certainty. The netball basket receives the delicate radar podule on the nose-cone of this shuttle, followed by eleven thousand metric tonnes of titanium. As the airlock bursts off and I am catapulted Academywards, I hit the overflying Gomigoolie bird which trills its characteristic cry on impact. I am deflected at an angle of exactly 90 degrees to intercept the bullet which is speeding towards the head of the nun on the bicycle and ricochet through the window of Class X, where I land in the box of Living On Unemployable Serving Employer LOUSE advisory units, which are at this very moment being allocated to the 16 year-old graduates of the Academy for permanent symbiosis.

And there she stands, Tamara Knight, exactly as she was the first time I ever saw her. Perfection on two legs. With that creep Duane Pipe hunched offensively close to her rear end. What a little thug he has turned out to be. Oh hello! It’s my old mate LOUSE 007. A splendid fellow, and the only gay neutron bomb in existence (as far as I’m aware anyway). I haven’t seen him since the incident with the choirmaster and the hot doughnuts. “Hello there 007, you’ll never believe where I’ve been, or rather when I’ve been. Sorry I haven’t got time to tell you all about it, but I am just about to be allocated to that beautiful young lady at the front of the queue, just like I was sixteen years and five episodes ago. Yes, that’s her, the girl on whose fetlock you have just been implanted. Isn’t she something. Wouldn’t you love to... Mein Liebe Gott! STOP! Tamara come back! Don’t leave me to the mercy of this Macdonalds selection moron. I mean, he may decide to implant me on... on... oh well, gentle reader. Win a few lose a few.

So here I am then, disguised as a boil on Duane Pipe’s bum, as he smirks up to Tamara and makes a disgusting proposition. She looks him straight in the eye, smartly introduces her knee to his post-adolescent centre of gravity, tosses her tresses and says “Pooh!” — I do hope that they have taught her a few more words since potty training.


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