Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scott of Arabia

My forthcoming novel:

A mix-up at Thomas Cook finds Capt Robert Falcon Scott and his chums deposited on the shores of Arabia Deserta.

Undeterred by blistering heat, expiring huskies and the constant chafing of sand under their thermals, the men of the Terra Nova Expedition trudge off, Aqaba-bound, shod in tennis rackets and furs.

With foul pipes clenched in sunbleached teeth, they drag sleds of fermenting pemmican and donkey corpses across the Devil's Anvil.

Salvador Dalí, a young Catalan artist diverted from Tangiers by a Cox & King's clerk with a loathing for Modernism, strokes the unshaven half of his chin thoughtfully, and pens a pneumatique in betel juice to Luis Buñuel.

But, as Scott approaches the Red Sea to turn the Turkish guns, he sees a Norwegian flag fluttering above the Mameluke fort...

Meanwhile, a North German Lloyd cruise ship debouches etiolated Welsh invert Capt T.E. Lawrence near Ross Island, Antarctica.

His white robes billow in merciless squalls while he pitches a tent of sheer muslin. Lawrence squints into the ebbing Sun. His etchings and easel fly out across McMurdo Sound.

"I shall name this frigid landfall Cape Dahoum..." he apostrophises an iceberg, just as an orca describes a perfect arc through the inky skies and snaps his head off.

Lawrence's body teeters on the marbled strand for a moment, before toppling into the deep.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Integrae servandae

BBC types, like Eastenders, the panda-eyed weatherman in Groundhog Day and wrong-trousered Alpine symphonist Anton Bruckner, wake up every day and make the same mistake, as I've noted before.

They derided my advice over Brand, Ross & Sachs - who really should be a firm of Borders solicitors specialising in sheep-rustling - and spurned it over Savile.

In the hope that they might listen this time, I'm suggesting that they should grovel to the Tories gangbang-style by handing over their news output to The Royal Horticultural Society, broadcasting proper war films all day on BBC4, and launching the following right-thinking programmes elsewhere:

Police, Camera, Traction!

BBC3: Warning from History Jim Davidson comments wryly on webcam footage of minor villains being helped down the back stairs of Britain's busiest police stations, then takes some ratepayers and mental patients round to visit them in hospital.

Moominsummer Murders

CBBC: Inspector Hemulen and Det Sgt Groke drive around Moominvalley in a vintage motor, eating berries and scattering Snork Maidens like petals.

Episode 1: Mrs Fillyjonk is found impaled on her own broomstick. Hemulen and Groke supercharge some Hattifatteners and lie in wait in the Lonely Mountains until springtime, for Romany rover and therefore prime suspect Snufkin to come rambling through.  

I'm a Celebrity, Get It Out Of Me!

BBC1 & Interactive: Viewers with shires phone numbers select dyed women and men with piercings from off the telly, who are then literally carted off to Clun for the recently relegalised Marches Eel Festival.

Revenue raised from DVD and programming sales worldwide will more than cover the inevitable legal fees, and Newsnight and Panorama can spend all year investigating leaks of the uncut footage onto the Internet.