Category: fiction

Bearing fruit

Now class, I want you to tell me what you think is the best profession in the world. The best profession….

Delmar, what do you think?

Emmy-Lou? Any idea?

Madison? Stop picking your nose.

Tommy – is your hand up? Yes, Tommy.

— Eh, is it writer, Miss?

Writer? Why do you say that, Tommy?

—  Well, cos, you know, without writers all the other professions would be totally meaningless, wouldn’t they?

What does your father do, Tommy?

— He’s dead, Miss.

Choose an orange from the basket, Tommy, and enjoy.


New year therapy

— Doc says I should get in touch with my feelings:

Dear Feelings,

Hello, how are you? Long time no feel, ha ha. Any news your end?

Not much happening here, same old same old.

How about a drink some time in Twemlow’s, when I’m out? Maybe a light supper of cold cuts in Spelman’s? I hear they do veal now.

Anyway, just to say hello.


— That went very well. New year, new man.


Comp. Lit.

Call me Twemlow. A while back, I decided to take the first bus to come along, and just go wherever it took me. At the time, I felt that if I didn’t do something, I might start knocking people’s hats off in the street. That’s the mood I was in. Anti-social, I know, but I was down in the dumps and my feet were cold. The bus was my substitute for the pistol and ball. So I jumped on the 46A to Beaconsfield (via Town Centre) and never looked back. The man you see before you today was born on that bus.

In an earlier era, I might have gone to sea in the Pequod, à la Melville, or travelled around the world in a hot-air balloon, à la Verne, but Catweazle can only rise to the Beaconsfield bus (via Town Centre). Not for me to say, of course, but has there been a sharp decline in literary standards of late? Discuss, and illustrate your answer with examples of your own, if you wish.



My old dad used to walk with me
along the country lanes.
Side by side in silence, then:
‘Listen son, about our little games.
It’s just a bit of fun, you see,
no need to be distressed.
So don’t tell your fuckin’ mother,
or I’ll break your fuckin’ neck.’

Then we’d walk home together,
silent as the grave.
He died before I had the chance
to make him pay.


The consultation

The Doc asked me if I’d had any contact with frogs recently.

— What you mean?

— You know, frogs.

— Frogs.

— Yes, frogs. Ribbit, ribbit!


— Green chaps. Slimy.

Then he starts jumping up and down, skinny legs flexing like an Olympian. Across the floor —ribbit, ribbit! — onto a bookcase — ribbit, ribbit! — back to his desk — ribbit, ribbit!.

— See? Frogs.

— No, I mean how recently is recently?


Dander’s up

Bloody annoyed right now, and with good reason: I ate a Mars bar earlier and did it help me work, rest and play? It did like fuck!

Bloody Martians coming here, taking all our jobs. If my old granddad was alive today he’d turn in his grave. There ought to be a law. And…. and…. I’m fairly sure oranges used to be a lot bigger.

I’ve a good mind to fire off a broadside — letter to the Times, I think. Strike while the iron is hot, and my dander’s up.

Started to rain again, too.

This bloody country’s gone to hell.

There, I’ve said it!


Mot juste

Just had a call from Country Life. They want to do a feature on Castle Catweazle, apparently cos it harks back (their words) to a bygone age of excoriating wit and scintillating jeux de mots, now sadly rare among our literati. Told ’em to bugger off.