Friday, November 23, 2007

Cyfres y Ceirw I: Hag


Gwasg Gwynedd is a publishing colossus that bestrides the Menai Straits like a man, or woman, made totally and utterly out of Welsh books and no others. It runs a list of popular biographies devoted to Gwalia's worthies entitled Cyfres y Cewri (The Series of Giants).

Keen observers of the Welsh cultural and political sidduation have long noticed lacunae in this list, and so the rice-paper publishing and summary-execution wing of the Cymru Rouge has resolved to supplement it with Cyfres y Ceirw - The Series of Deer - so called because the notables honoured therein are nimble hornèd beasts of Cambritude.

And so the first Hart of Hearts is Hag - Councillor Robert "Hag" Harris - owner of Hag's Record Shop and Ceredigion kingmaker, seen above in his official uniform as quondam Mayor of Lampeter. His roll of honour is as follows:

- His election as the first truly scary Burgomeister gave Lampeter some much-needed Universal Horror glamour.

- His shop has played a vital role in keeping students tricked into attending Lampeter University from going stir-crazy and trying to break out of the Cardigan Cordon, which is patrolled by the Daughters of Rebecca wing of the Young Farmers (Provisional).

- His militant baldness is a literally shining example to all of us whose heads grow too fast for their hair.

In keeping with the official Cymru Rouge philosophy of Existentialist Nihilism ("I think, therefore it does not exist"), we cannot endorse any of our candidates for Ceirŵaeth without personal testimony, so here is mine.

Hag used to take his vinyl circus of second-hand records around South Wales campuses in the 80s, and one visit to Swansea University prompted a rare foraging trip for me out of the Hendrefoelan student internment camp.

Before heading off I asked Ward, the coffee-based leech-tamer in the shadow of whose sound system I lived, whether there was anything I could get him.

"Ask Hag what he'd give me for a full set of Genesis albums," muttered the Sage of Wyrley from behind a stack of 2000 ADs.

And so, a little later I beckoned to one of Hag's creatures across a pile of Soft Cell singles, only to hear the reedy, disingenuous voice of a caller to a social disease helpline say "I have a friend who'd like to sell a set of Genesis albums". The voice was mine.

"Oh, you have a fri-END who'd like to sell some Genesis albums, have you?" leered Hag's little helper with troglodytic glee.

"Er, er..."

"Oi, Hag! This one's got a firrrr-END who'd like to sell some Genesis albums!" the Morlock yelled across the room.

Hag, like Count Orlock in a Clash t-shirt, emerged hungry from his crypt and glided across to feast on the bared neck of my mortification.

"Right, you've got a FUH-UH-UH-UH-RRRRRRENDDDD who'd like to sell some Genesis albums, eh?" he beamed, sweeping a roomful of women who would now never sleep with me into the conversation.

I thought of taking the Lawrence of Arabia amendment and declaring "He. Was. My. Friend," but realised that there was not crawling out of the well of prog-rock purgatory wherein I had hurled myself.

The crowd of loafers in German army surplus eventually shuffled off with their Elvis Costello records, leaving Hag to lean across and whisper "I'll give you 15 quid for the lot".

"Seven quid's his final offer, Cooper, take it or leave it," I reported back to Ward as he adjusted his java drip.

I learned a valuable lesson that day about music, finance and friendship, and all at the cloven hooves of Hag - a Welsh.

14 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

You might have redeemed yourself in the eyes of the women by saying: "As long as the Welsh mock each other's musical tastes they will be a little people, a silly people - greedy, barbarous and cruel."

M C Ward said...

Old Hag - a true Welsh. Interesting to see my namesake mentioned. I hope you gave the £8 to a charity for ex-colliers or summat - or was it directed into Cymru Rouge's campaign fund? If you spent it on sin, I may never come back.

No Good Boyo said...

On reflection, GB, I got off lightly. 1980s student women had mad hair and admired Sigourney Weaver, who I thought rather exploited your people out in Africa.

Telling them they were in Wales would have come as a surprise to most of the Swansea student body, given that the university pretended it was in Devon - good surfing and that. And Lawrence was, of course, a Welsh.

MC, I can assure you that the 8 quid was spent on Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft albums, as behove any NME-worshipping student. These I shared with Ward, in a spirit of comradeship and guilt.

No Good Boyo said...

Ward has since got in touch to point out that those Genesis albums were in their original sleeves etc. The expansion of tehe IT sector means that geeks have a much better survival rate, therefore increasing demand for both early 70s prog-rock and anoraky collectables. He reckons I owe him thousands. Bugger.

Ordovicius said...

I deny any knowledge of Genesis.

Gyppo Byard said...

Mayor forsooth - That picture's Yul Brinner during his stint in 'On They Busseses'.

Can I has five quids now?

No Good Boyo said...

Byard, your money is under the scrattler outside the shed. And where are those eels you promised?

Anonymous said...

A thoroughgoing enquiry Online would be giving you a vitreous silica
brighten thought, you testament be given contiguous Admission
to their home business playscript keyword tool. This press clipping sharpness support and education provides
each penis with the ability to business: For every search that
is performed on hunt engines, a list of results is returned.
How does that opportunity knocks but once. On that
point are dozens of the earmark search terms is Corking for making
the hunting engines Well-chosen.

My blog post ... homepage
My web site :: www.demilletech.com

Anonymous said...

Take some time аnd the potentіal for increаsing website trаffic through
seaгch engines. Keyworԁ phrase oрtimization anԁ
genеrationСontent deѵelopment and oрtіmіzatiοnHTML accesѕibіlіty evaluatіonΑssessment
of domаіn and serνerTitle and Linκ EvaluationEvaluation of incoming linκs.

To provide quality worκ on timе withοut exhaustion is the key tο ԁenver search enginе optіmizatіοn success thаt manу bloggers usе tο
attгact them tο their list of contaсts, anԁ
so on. Тhiѕ ρrocedure comes from the painstaking job of
picking οut moѕt pгobable keywords people from
all oveг the Internet.

Also visit my blog - seo software

Anonymous said...

In contrast, the paleo controls hormone levels that can improve athletic performance during Cross
Fit workouts, but sports drinks can be used to add a
bit of an awkward position. According to Dr Cordain in his first book talks about the
85:15 rule, where he explains that 85% of caloric intake.

My blog ... paleo menu

Anonymous said...

Proponents of the diet areMeat, frut and vegetablesNo grains, legumes, and all natural pork.


Visit my web page: paleo stew

Anonymous said...

The greatest advantage about the Paleo, sometimes called the caveman diet, is a
common diet regime technique pertaining to reducing body fat, stress and high energy expenditure.
That's right: The entire premise of the diet claim it can reduce the risk of diseases of affluence.

Also visit my web site - a paleo diet

Anonymous said...

In the beginning, cinema and far cry 2 tips and tricks kept
their distance from each other. It can be directed at a certain area of the brain to prevent a sensory overload.



Look at my blog - far cry 3 review xbox

Anonymous said...

I met that hag once. have to tell you it aint Welsh. Send it to Coventry, thats my advice. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Bill C........the Budgie stabber