Something for the Weakened

The Crow Gets Comfy – The Eleventh Chapter

Thursday, April 24th, 2008 by

Following the previous couple of days pleas for direction, almost five percent of the readership got in contact! Here’s what he said:-

I mean, surely not many people write to you?

That’s a fair point.

The idea of a policeforce staffed by Jeffs is remarkably similar to a Not The 9.00 News sketch about a factory filled with Bobs. Although that had the punchline “Handbuilt by Roberts”, which is a pun on some advert back in the day, I believe.

Don’t remember the sketch myself, so doubt it had any influence. I’ve still yet to see a full episode of NTNOCN and don’t think that that one appeared in any of the compilation episodes that John Loyd put together. I won’t rule it out though.

You can post more if you like…it’s not as if it has any discernible narrative arc, so we’re unlikely to be left any the wiser.

And with that conclusive endorsement I shall continue with the last three and a bit chapters. I might dispute the ‘discernible narrative arc’ at some point, but it’s probably not worth it. Was there anything else?

I’ve read worse, though…

Just you wait. Thanks to regular correspondent Dick Gappy for the words of praise. Okay, roll the credits.

The Crow Gets Comfy is an incomplete novel that I began writing in 1994 and I am transcribing here for posterity, shits, giggles and to see just how poor a scribe my eighteen year old self was. I will cease when I either become bored with doing it, when enough people beg me to or when I reach the end of what was written. The only alterations I am making to my original manuscript are for spelling or grammar – everything else was spilt from my half formed mind at the time (frankly my grammar hasn’t improved immensely, so I doubt you’ll notice much improvement). I have not read it in almost a decade and am only reading as I type, so am almost as much in the dark as you before reading the next chapter. The preceding episodes can be found below or in the archive found at the top of the page. Annotations to references, rip offs or other items of interest to me (if no one else) will be inserted in italics at the bottom. Ladies and otherwise, I give you The Crow Gets Comfy. Enjoy if you can.

THE SECOND BOOK – STROLL ON WITH THE DELUDED

THE ELEVENTH CHAPTER – SURVIVING IN A STAINED, YET COMPROMISING POISE

The Crow found himself sitting in a room. This seemed exceptionally bizarre to him due to the large number of squirrels dotted around the room, apparently foraging for nuts. Several of them appeared to be charred, while others seemed to be missing numerous limbs. He looked to his right, to see a number of seats filled up with various people sitting in them. Several of them were chatting in a large variety of accents and languages, whilst a number of the others had injuries of some kind, primarily the fatal kind.

He looked around for Bertha and the cultists but could see none of them lurking around. He recalled the events that had occurred before things became dark, causing him to look down in panic, only to be greeted by the sight of soup stains gazing up at him. The compulsion to scream filled him briefly until it was quelled by a great sense of inner calm.

“Shit,” he said to himself. “I suppose I’m dead.”

An elderly spinster, who appeared to have a large slit across her throat and happened to be sitting opposite him looked over and attempted to speak. Sadly she failed due to the vocal cords that had been housed in her neck, having been sliced in twain, were rendered to the extent of useless.

“Djar,” said a Jamaican sitting next to him.

“Bugger,” said The Crow. “I think I left the gas on.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gas is an odd thing. It surrounds most solid and liquid things on the planet and is one of the most important things needed to all life, be it animal vegetable or otherwise. Despite this, people pay huge quantities of cash yearly t have it pumped into their homes.

Life’s bizarre when you think about it literally.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Crow searched his pockets and found them devoid of any content except for a long piece of paper. He examined it, only to find a large 30 figure number typed along one side of it. He waved it at the Rastafarian sat next to him and shrugged in a pitifully feeble manner.

“Dat dere’s yo’ numbah,” said the large dreadlocked character.

“Mmmm,” said The Crow, who had fortunately become an expert in Jamaican thanks to an extensive collection of authentic Bob Marley recordings. The elderly woman with the sliced vocal cords attempted to join the conversation, but to no avail, due to the lack of any sound emanating from her in any way, causing a total ignorance of her presence by both The Crow and his Jamaican chum. “Well,” he continued in a generally uncertain manner, “er, what does it actually signify?”

The Jamaican pointed up to an L.C.D. (Liquid Crystal Display to all you technophobes out there, not that you’d know what that means either) which displayed a very big number. “You goes op dayre,” continued the Rasta, pointing to an insignificant looking door at the other end of the room, “when yo’ numbah com’s op dere,” he concluded, pointing to the LCD.

“Ah,” said The Crow, with all the panache of a pregnant vole. He consulted his own number and compared it to that on the screen. He had three digits more than the screen. “Erm,” said The Crow, coyly, “sorry to keep on whinging ‘n’ all, but with this number, about how long will it take for me to get into . . . no, through the door?”

The wide dreaded head squinted at the number. “Roun’ ’bout sixteen year,” said he.

“Fuck,” said The Crow, only to be promptly struck by a shard of lightning. A man with a vague likeness to Dave Lee Travis burst into hysterical laughter as The Crow’s crackling and slightly charred ‘body’, if it could be described thus, plummeted head first to the floor. There was a bizarre smell of seaweed and burnt hair and suddenly ‘Cars’ by Gary NUman began playing in The Crow’s head.

“YES!” he shouted, leaping in the air and landing flat on his arse, “THIS MUST BE HEAVEN!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

With both Heaven and Hell being abstract concepts, it should be pointed out that The Crow’s assumption that he is in Heaven, simply due to the presence of songs by esteemed musician Gary NUman, is one that may not be wholly correct. Speaking candidly as the author of this piece, if I may briefly, um, I’ve just become somewhat aware of one or two discrepancies in the plot that may exist concerning mythical or legendary planes in this universe. Well, oh faithful reader of mine, don’t you worry one little bit, because I’ve just thought of a brilliant way to blag around it. So sit tight, true believer, and allow me to whimper at your feet for a minute or two for disrupting the gibberish you’re reading with my inane bollocks. Soz.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Here in my car . . .” sang Gary in The Crow’s now ringing ears for the two hundred and thirty-eighth time. The Crow sat, nearly motionless, except for the seven or eight twitches he had developed listening to the song for the first two hundred and thirty-seven times. He was awoken from his trance like state by something nudging his foot. Looking down with wide bloodshot eyes, he saw something that had probably once been a human form, but now bore more of a resemblance to a large lump of Swiss cheese oozing strawberry jam. The Crow looked on at the quivery mess and was stunned when it lifted something resembling a head and attempted to speak.

“B . . . b . . . bas . . .” stuttered Eric.

“WHAT?” shouted The Crow in the manner of someone listening to a walkman and not realising that they’re shouting.

“Bas . . . bas . . .” Eric croaked again.

“SORRY?” The Crow asked noisily. “YOU’LL HAVE TO SPEK UP, I CAN’T HEAR YOU.”

“B – b – b – bas . . .” Eric summoned all of the energy left in his limp and useless body. “BASTARD!” he finally managed to shout, thrusting himself into the air and grabbing The Crow by the throat. The Crow had never been throttled by a corpse before and, reasoning that he himself was dead anyway, thought that it wouldn’t really hurt to let this ever so slightly familiar figure have his fun.

Then, all of a sudden, as if by magic, a shopkeeper appeared, wearing a fez and a slightly dicey purple apron. “Tsk,” he said, made a vague gesture and vanished once more.

The Crow, being understandably perplexed by this blatant rip-off of ‘Mr. Benn’, had failed to realise something. “Hang on,” he said to himself calmly, Eric’s hands still wrapped tightly around his neck, “where’s Gary gone?”

Eric let out a gurgly yelp and leapt backwards, releasing The Crow in the process. He scrabbled around the floor seething to himself and muttering “‘kin Cars . . . ‘kin Cars . . .” through the foam building up on his lips.

“Har har,” The Crow laughed jovially and was about to put the boot in, having never had the opportunity to kick a heavily bloodied corpse in the teeth before, when a Scotsman grabbed him by the shoulder and span him around.

“Dinnae dae et son,” said the four foot high, grey bearded, kilt and sporran wearing dead man, “oor ye’ll have tae face th’ consequences.”

“Oh,” said The Crow. “Fair enough,” he sat down, crossed his legs and began comparing his numbers to those on the screen.

“Ye see,” the Scotsman continued blaring in The Crow’s ear, “this is nae ma firs’ time here. No sir, Ah’ve bin here before.”

“Do you mind,” said The row, distracted from his mission, “I’m trying to see when it’s my turn.”

“Ahh,” said The Scotsman managing to achieve silence for a second or two before he continued his wittering. “Ye see, en thes place, onny horrible, eevel or nasty” (he relished this word) “things you do huv a habit of causing you more grief.”

The Crow paused from comparing numbers for a moment, marking the position on his card with his thumb. “Does that include saying fu-” he began to ask, stopping abruptly as the air crackled above him. “Er . . .” he continued, “the ‘eff’ word?”

“Aye!” exploded the Scotsman.

“Aahh,” retorted The Crow.

“Ooohh,” said the Scotsman, taking things a bit far.

“Hm,” The Crow grunted, completing his part of the tet a tet, and returned to his numbers.

“Er,” scottished the Highlander, “whit ‘eff’ word might that be?”

“You know,” replied The Crow calmly, not looking up.

“Nae, Ah dinnae,” stated the haggis eater.

“You do,” said The Crow, a spot of annoyance creeping into his tone of voice.

“Nae ah dinnae,” repeated the caber tosser, this time with more feeling.

“Yes, you do,” replied The Crow in a stern monosyllabic way.

“Aahh,” came the jock’s realisation, as he mimicked The Crow’s earlier utterance. “You mean fock!” Lightning exploded into the Scotsman’s sporran, allowing the song ‘Camouflage’ by popular 1980’s pop star Stan Ridgway to begin blaring into the slumped northerner’s ears.

“Bummer,” said The Crow, looking down at the pitiful figure and instantly forgetting the number he’d got up to. Fighting back the compulsion to swear, The Crow began to check his numbers again. This took around twenty-five minutes, at which point he realised it was his turn.

“Hoo-rah!” he shouted loudly, leaping up from his waiting room seat, and began to stride down the lengthy corridor towards the door. It was at this moment that he realised that either the sixteen years had passed very quickly or he’d been listening to ‘Cars’ for a lot longer than he’d thought. He shrugged his shoulders and strolled on to meet his maker.

He was in for a shock.

Annotations

I nearly abandoned this altogether when I got to the Jamaican’s dialogue. I can only apologise for the two bits of extreme racial stereotyping found within this chapter. Especially the Scottish section, where it just descends into childish name calling. I again can only use misguided youth as a defence, though I’m not sure that it’s much of one. I’m certain that the idea of limbo as some sort of waiting room ahs been used before by someone far more talented than I, yet I can’t think of any specific instances that I may have been cribbing from. Yet, pinched it almost certainly is. Now some specific points and apologies.

Para. 5 – I meant of meant Jah, though it might have been more accent phonetics. I am sorry.

Para. 7 – That’s an appalling gag and I’m ashamed to have devoted a paragraph to it.

Para’s 10 – 14 – I am so, so sorry.

Para. 12 – The pomposity of the explanation of the initials L.C.D. doesn’t surprise me. I was sort of like that.

Para. 15 – Gary NUman has the double capital as that is how I shall always pronounce it. It is funny. ‘Cars’ appears particularly as it was one of several seven inches in my good chum Toylor’s vinyl collection I would insist on playing when visiting to mock his OMD records.

Para. 17 – ‘True believer’ is of course the phrase Stan Lee used to address Marvel fans in his Bullpen Bulletins. Excelsior!

Para. 23 – I’m uncertain whether this was written before or after I was actually throttled by The Duffy. It was because I woke him up by pouring a shoe full of water on his head. I grinned as I choked. I imagine it was after.

Para. 28 – I am sorry.

Para. 40 – 44 – I am very, very sorry.

Para. 44 – Stan Ridgway’s Camouflage was another seven inch that was spun quite regularly. It is a very poor song.

Next time – The Twelfth Chapter – In Which Things Happen. A Bit

Leave a Reply

Comment