Friday, 23 October 2009

Monstrous Wigs

Savage Crangle Chambers
Chancery Lane

Dear Ms Moptop

Your publication of the confidential Minutes of the NVKKK was brought to our attention. Whilst the appellative Klu Klux Klan may partially fit the description you provided, our clients, the real Ku Klux Klan, have never previously been accused of "non-violence".

You may wish to direct an inquiry to the diverse communities within the Southern States of The United States of America for confirmation of this fact.

The real KKK has been in existence for many years and has consistently engaged in acts of violence, intimidation and incitement towards racial hatred. They have never engaged in competitive napkin-folding, nor have considered reducing their robes and hoods to neatly hemmed squares, irregardless of whether pinking shears were available at Trade Prices.

My client also hotly disputes the inclusion of the extraneous letter L, which makes a mockery of their proud and noble name.

Our Client insists that you desist dissemination of these vile slurs forthwith.

Sir Peter Farter-Duck

"It is best not to mess with Farter-Duck"

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Minutes of the Non-Violent Klu Klux Klan

Matters Arising
As agreed at the previous meeting, all hoods and robes are now to be used to practise napkin-folding. Pinking shears are available at Trade Prices.

1. Imperial Wizard, Mr Snow demonstrated how to make a swan out of purest white linen. Miss Alabaster, the Imperial Cyclops, fashioned a lily. Mr Snow opined that Oriental Lilies had no place on a NVKKK table setting. Miss Alabaster questioned whether the swans were black-necked swans and whether they had an place on a NVKKK table setting. A motion was passed that swans were acceptable providing they only had a right wing.

At this point the Chair intervened and reminded Members that as a newly constituted NON-VIOLENT branch of the KKK, Miss Alabaster should replace the vase on the sidetable and Mr Snow should take his bovver boots off and leave them by the back door.

2. It was agreed that the accidental burning of a synagogue was due to a mishap with a bottle of Sambucca and a tapered candle. No intentional arson was committed and that the inflagration was poorly reported by the Loony Left Press (in an inflammatory manner said Grand Dragon Mrs Payle) and was more of a singe than anything.

3. Mr Wann, the Mighty Titan, proposed that the NVKKK issue a dinner invitation to one Nicholas Griffin. Miss Alabaster said that NG was the just sort to call a napkin a serviette. It was agreed that the shocked silence following this statement should also be minuted.

4. The Membership voted unanimously that NG was indeed the sort of person to call a napkin a serviette and, as such, no official NVKKK invitation would be forthcoming. It was also suggested by several members that NG might chew with his mouth open. This met with nods of agreement. Mr Snow pounded the table and, in his excitement, squashed a swan.

5. The dress code of the next Social Luncheon was raised. Mr Wann objected to Black Tie and insisted on White Tie. Mrs Payle said Any Fool Knows that White Tie is to be worn after 6pm and accompanied by a ballgown, and that she hadn't finished the catalogue payments for her robe and hood and would look darkly on suggestions of further expense.

6. Mr Wann objected to use of the term darkly.

7. Ms Alabaster suggested putting on the kettle and asked who wanted coffee? Mrs Payle said she would drink tea; the great British drink. Mr Snow said he had both Chinese or Indian tea and which would she prefer? And, as the milk was sour, would she drink it black? Perhaps with a sliver of lemon?

8. Mr Wann objected to the term black.

9. Mrs Payle objected to both Chinese and Indian tea. Mr Snow pointed out (testily) that tea didn't grow in Burnley and crushed the remaining swan. (He may have muttered ****ing old dragon although this is still in dispute). Ms Alabaster said she had come over a bit queer and had to sit down suddenly - sadly upon several lily napkins.

10. Mr Wann objected to the term queer.

11. Mrs Payle said she didn't think she'd ever get the creases out of her napkins and that certain large posteriors had put her behind in her NVQ Level One.

12. The Finance Sub-committee - in a quick change of subject - reported that the recent payment of subs meant the accounts were currently in the black.

13. Mr Wann objected violently to in the black - in as violent a manner as a non-violent organisation would permit within the guidelines of its non-violent Mems & Arts.

In Any Other Business, the Members were encouraged to research a Christmas theme for the next meeting; napkins folded to look like trees, presents or Father Christmasses.

Mr Wann said that Father Christmas was a bloody foreigner, and he would insist on a home grown tree, none of that Norwegian rubbish.

The Minute Taker at this point was compelled to unilaterally revoke the non-violent constitution and later, upon restitution of his spectacles (slightly chipped), jotter and pen, declared the meeting closed.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Banned List #1

An occasional series of things that should be banned in creative writing...
1. No character should be allowed to "smirk". You would be amazed just how many characters smirk. Sometimes they smirk several times in consecutive sentences. Sometimes all of the characters smirk, in all of their scenes, all of the time. They even manage to avoid speaking; instead they smirk. "How are you?" he smirked. "Fine,"she smirked back at him. I imagine them sounding like end-of-the-pier ventriloquists, speaking through tight, smirking mouths. "Gottle of geer?" he smirked. "Gow agout a glow gob?" "I good," she smirked back, "Gif guy good get gy guluddy gowf gopen gide genough."

2. Solitary tears. Where have these characters learnt such self-control of their tear ducts? I weep and turn into a big, bawling, snotty mess. I have never managed to squeeze out a solitary tear. Nevermind one that trickles slowly down my cheek. Perhaps I am irrationally jealous of such sophisticated shows of emotion? Give me a pained expression over a solitary tear any day. (Though, to be honest, I'd rather have neither).

3. Eye colours do not characterise. Why do so many writers insist on including piercing or startling blue eyes? What does all this blueness tell us about a character? (Startling green eyes don't do much for me either). How often do we actually notice eye colour? I've just spent a fortune on lotions and potions in Harvey Nicks and not one person has commented on how startling or piercing my eyes look - curse that saleswoman and her theories about the colour wheel.

4. Some characters really do not know what to do with their hands so they either light cigarettes or run their fingers through their hair. Sometimes they run their fingers through their hair having forgotten that they are already holding a cigarette. And if they've been profligate with the hair lacquer, then WHOOSH! It's an accident waiting to happen... And no author ever mentions just how messy their characters' hair is looking after it's been rummaged through for several pages.

5. Only sounds. On a par with solitary tears. "The only sound was the beat of his heart/ her footsteps on the cobbles/ the clock ticking". (You'd be amazed just how often clocks ticking are the only sound). Well, I bet it blimmin' wasn't.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

I know #2

How to flirt with Italian waiters
Moka pots make delicious coffee
Crisps taste better after eating chocolate
Kirkby is twinned with Albania
More cross-Channel swimmers have come from Albania than any other country
I have no desire to ever swim The English Channel
French perfumes use cat pee as an ingredient
All cats are secretly plotting to eat their owners
How to be a good friend
I am rubbish at emnity
I cannot spell enmity correctly first time round
A Small Boy in Bolton thinks the violin is completely bob
That life is too short not to be silly
The difference between fiction and fact
That in 1872 a Miss Edna Gussett invented the Elasticated Haversack