A good old-fashioned gentleman’s duel between The Lecherous Bandit and the Keeper of the Crimson Quill. Cue gargantuan ridiculousness.
Suggested Audio Candy
Flight “Goodbye Horses” should you side with the Bandit
Aphex Twin “Windowlicker” should you side with the Keeper
When two men come together to wrestle mentally, it is critical that every last detail be considered in advance. Setting the tone is paramount; in order to wear this prose like liquefied latex, one must be provided opaque passage and should there be two of you, then even more so. A local pub, this benign hill tumor is separated from the existence of the tangible, and antiquated in both tasteful and wretch-worthy parallels. Crimson curtains dance along the entire frontal fascia, inviting us in with meandering intent. This establishment is evidently daubed in cruor and, for two wearying pilgrims, hosts an inimitable cauldron for our twisted mental brew to percolate. Let clarity commence. The two I speak of both have quills with poised claws, carved from platinum ore. Dipped in delectable mind honey, excreting our souls akin to a pair of rowdy kestrels. Nonsense is commonplace; comfort discomforting, our cerebral guano spatters the cheap frosted glass currently flogging a poppadom and pint curry night. Remnants of previous face beards, brushing perpetually past its nobbled surface. We’re the only beards here now. Keeper of the Crimson Quill has company sitting perched in his mental side car, cradling his glassful of blackened madness with slackening gladness.
The Lecherous Bandit or El Lecheroso Bandito for any Togan witch doctors, the criminally retarded, or bashful megalomaniacs among us sits squirreled in the same corner, knees touching my bony patella; ogling my succulent peepers with undisguised intent, readied to insert his neuron-guzzlers and suck my very brain from inside of me. However, we shall be slurping in unison this night.
During our planned trolley dash, we shall be pillaging one another’s frontal lobes, burglarizing the musty mental muskets, performing a mental Charleston, and trawling for rejoinders. Indeed, we shall be asking posers. Whether gobbledygook or advanced nitrous nuggets depends largely on the rods cast and fish biting. As Keeper my rod flies first as I must delve into the mind-space of our roving Grue-comer to make sure he’s kosher. You see, he may well be carrying some kind of tropical disease or, worse still, the dreaded head lice. You won’t be familiar until now with this provocative trespasser but, by the close of this particular tête-à-tête, you will know him only too well and perhaps wish you didn’t. Me either come to think of it. And so it begins. God help us all.
Keeper: What drives your mind forward when armed with your own feathered quill, how festering is your mind’s trough?
Bandit: It is unashamedly rotten to its pulpy core my good man. Filled with oodles of inquisitiveness, perversion and injustice if you really must know. It also contains a number of rather delightful fruit-based recipes. I love words and general silliness, but yet I am more visual than anything else. I am by trade, an artist. Women and hedonistic hijinks are subjects that dominate proceedings and, though my brain cells die by the day at an alarming rate and I seem to be only too keen to wave them on their way with an almighty ta-dah, I am permanently on the trail of artistic brilliance. A wandering, sordid pilgrimage that is less about the destination and all about the journey. Futile? Of course. Fulfilling? Heavens yes. But here’s a question for you now – How has Rivers of Grue changed you? Do you find it fulfilling when spilling with willing?
Keeper: Beyond my wildest whiskers my dear brother. My previous skin has now shed, I keep it ironed and folded in my boudoir for fancy dress and bar mitzvahs. I am transmogrified, rebuilt from my own ball sweat and coated in delectable deep red grue, which pleases me infinitely. My filter’s off, nay, busted. I no longer hide behind my own shadow’s shadow. That delights me more than an incessant self-defillation machine on deluxe setting.
Bandit: I seem to recall putting that in the McDonald’s suggestion box. The question being “What could we do to improve our service?” Answer: A machine that tosses you off while you eat. Remember that? I’m sure you were there.
Keeper: Indeed, I was very much present. As I recall we weren’t fulfilled by the hollow choices available. A distinct lack of sexual clarification. What good is a box if filled with banal nothingness? Why not ask a poser that every man imagines to accompany his warm apple pie. Which reminds me brother, you bandit you, didn’t you have one erupt on a tepid summer’s day when entering your vehicle?
Bandit: It went off like Etna. Liberally smothering the insides of the car with burning grey fruity snot. Thankfully I survived. I’m sure many have had encounters with those fucking things and emerged from the scuffle resembling Rocky Dennis. Still, it tasted alright. Waste not want not. It spilled its internal sloppage and licked the windows clean on all fours like a wanton, desperate spider. We had many adventures Keeper and that leads me conveniently to my next question. Of all our escapades, do any stand out from the rest?
Keeper: So many that it hurts a little. Where to possibly start? A liberal sprinkling perhaps. I have got down on all fours before you and placed an empty shoe-box on my back, mimicking a snail, in a crowded city centre. Precious few have seen the madness we’ve initiated. I fell through your older brother’s ceiling, leaving a gaping hole which he covered with a Bruce Lee poster. Then we clogged up the household hoover in a hysterical attempt to tidy his quarters before the imminent gatekeepers’ return. In my recollection, his plan was foiled by one crucial factor – the poster eventually bowed, allowing access for all number of long-legged beasties. Your kin, as a severe arachnophobe, dissolved in fear that very same dusk. When by your side I felt somewhat like Alice, the looking-glass beckoned each time our minds meshed and some of the funniest instances from my transience have come from our contorted cavorts. Have you any nuggets to share?
Bandit: Well, being a lecherous soul, One thing springs to mind for some reason. I vividly recollect walking up your fine garden path (no innuendo intended), rapping upon your back door (still no innuendo intended) and waiting until a fine young lady approached, glimpses of her fine figure clothed in very little, tantalizingly ethereal through the frosted glass, and then she opened the door, and a lovely lithe young body revealed itself, tanned and hairless. Muscular, smooth, and clad in a floral two-piece bikini, she stood before me and beckoned me inside. It took me a good five seconds before I realized it was you. Wasn’t expecting that. To be fair, as men dressed as women go, you so pulled that off (definitely no pun intended, though far more tempted than I should have been).
Keeper: Perfection my dear man, indeed it was I. When one has three older siblings and spends their infancy being dressed up like a bemused mannequin, it’s hard not for some of that to rub off (pun generally always intended). My grandmother’s stockings just felt so darn good against my legs and it was her who commented many times on my beautifully shaped pins. Something just felt right and here’s one you may not be aware of. This happened again but this time your own mother was involved.
Bandit: Hang on…
Keeper: Fret not sugarplum as she was merely an oblivious bystander. I was at my home with my first wife and feeling friskier than a pole-cat cum party so decided to don one of her rather resplendent gowns. It fitted like a clingfilm catsuit, all bar the crotch which bulged like a mole mound and gave your poor mother a most undesirable mixed grill. I say undesirable but she still came in and I’m pretty sure she was licking her gums as she did.
Bandit: Did she compliment you on your attire? Did she have busy hands? And come to think of it, is this a regular occurrence? Are you a blood-spattered Eddie Izzard complete with eyeliner, fish-nets and a craving for the macabre?
Keeper: She played along, forever a good sport your mother, and there may have been a tug or stroke here or there. As for fish-nets, they interest me yes, and I rather like the way they feel against my skin. I’m undoubtedly blood-spattered, have more a yearning hunger for the macabre and, whilst not owning eyeliner specifically, I’d probably go for deep red if I bucked the trend. Basically, there aren’t many things I wouldn’t consider. What good is a life if not used to explore the infinite possibilities.
Bandit: I have this profound vision of you prancing in front of the mirror, cavorting to Goodbye Horses, akin to Buffalo Bill in Silence of The Lambs, frank ‘n’ beans tucked away well out of sight. It’s very you. My mother copped a feel? That must be where I have obtained my inquisitive wandering feelers. The guy at the cinema with the slowly lurking flesh-mittens creeping round the back of the chair, stroking a stray lock of hair before moving onto more wet, succulent and engorged flesh… whoa there! I’m digressing, kudos to you for dressing as a dame. Why the hell not? Sex does pop up a fair amount in your work. Describe what defines you as a sexual creature.
Keeper: I have been caged for much of my existence after being led blindly into darkness with my hands as the only tool for discernment. I remained undefined for long stretches but have recently augmented my thinking and am now open to acts which I never considered previously. I’d happily be bound, tormented, stalked, have a curiosity for pain and have entered into a second prime. For so long, my heyday appeared passed but I have found reassurance through Rivers of Grue that my sensual pilgrimage is still in its infancy.
With that, the witching hour beckons. For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for thee, the cold blank night beckons with urgency now, so we shall bid you adieu and continue our discussion another dusk. Until that time comes, these two reprobates will be back walking the streets, which is dreadful news for any Algerian milk maidens out after curfew. The next meeting plans to be even more explosive as the pair have locked antlers once now and unfortunately haven’t found a way of untangling them yet. Fret not as you can stop this anguish by simply clicking the link below. Go on, do it or I’ll dress up as Tootsie and molest your auntie with a rolled-up copy of Good Housekeeping.
You may recall that we last left the Keeper of The Crimson Quill and his closest friend and sworn enemy The Lecherous Bandit in a local pub where they assaulted one another with all manner of cutting questions in an attempt at earning themselves a sniff of the landlady’s soiled bloomers. Things swiftly got personal, tears fell like Tom Cruise’s stock shares after his rant on Oprah’s couch, and the ale was simply to die for. Did we learn anything useful? That would depend on how fast the dementia has spread by this point. Is this an exercise in sanity? If it is then we’d better drink up fast and bite down on those sponges. For the return bout, both parties have requested to remain in their own quarters. Whether masturbation has anything to do with their decision is irrelevant as we live in an age of carrier pigeons and managed to snag a couple with a slingshot filled with brown rice. Let’s check in on that Bandit first shall we? See if we can catch him at it.
No furry dice Mr. Narrator as I am actually navigating my way very slowly around my chambers at this moment and you’ll discern no goose in my noose. Both arms are outstretched for balance, using all the tricks I picked up in aerobics class, while painfully attempting to forget the groin injury I picked up on the horizontal beam and the public mockery it incited. I happen to possess a peculiarly long pair of legs that unfold before me as I prance and scamper on tiptoes like an amphetamine-fueled arachnid over the total chaos that my office brings. Everywhere I look, pilfered goods and broken furniture tumble and bar my progress. Books and DVDs tower above me, teetering on the verge of a cataclysmic disaster. Twenty years ago I would have performed a delicate double pike with full twist and emerged smiling, back arched, and arms raised triumphantly. But regrettably those days are long gone along with the leg warmers. Oh how I miss the way they felt against my calves.
You see, my office is tiny. It’s even more miniscule than Bruce Forsyth’s eyes, if you can imagine that. A space so small that Nicaraguan hunting ants once described it as poky and subsequently boycotted it as a holiday destination. Indiana Jones may escape poison darts and runaway wrecking balls but even he would die horribly here, likely trapped like a pensioner’s gas and afflicted with some strain of muscle wasting disease, if he set a singular piggy in this squalid hell hole. Right now, death by blunt force trauma beckons. I know this as I clamber to the misted up windows and peer outside. They are black and cold and show only desolation. I pull myself up the window ledge with a grunt this office hasn’t heard the likes of since the Summer of ’95 and the Inaugural Saveloy Games to get a better look.
My chin rests on the cold timber and I find myself looking blankly at a curious pigeon staring back at me, no more than three centimetres from my very nose. I fish around in my pocket for the tiny book that I need and upon finding it, flick through to the correct page. I look back at that gormless avian visage with a fresh determination and say to him “cheep chirrip squaarrr”. He nods at me, kisses me on the forehead then flies through the open window and into the cold, dark night.
“You have to know how to talk to the birds” my Uncle Salvator used to tell me and I know that, if he were alive now, he’d be proud of my performance. As it is, he died tragically when attempting to retrieve a staple gun from this very office. A terrible business. Death by Jeeves & Wooster box-set. As I gaze out into the darkness and the softly swaying trees, I sense a transmitted presence, and remember the reason for the pigeon. The Keeper of the Crimson Quill beckons him, and it is this nefarious blood-caked cretin that I have felt stirring the air like ruby red flatulence. Right now, the pigeon is carrying my message to him, and I’m sure the Keeper would have no trouble interpreting Colin the pigeon’s insane gobbledygook into something succinct and immeasurably thought-provoking.
“Colin? Colin MacGrover! Well knock me down with a mauve feather duster. Is that really you? Or to use your native tongue “charp chirrup”? He assures me it is so I unfasten the note strapped to that slender pin. Bandit wishes that I name one woman I would love to seduce does he? Easy. Wait…hold your horse whispering. Shall I name but one? Surely the options are far too plentiful. Feeling impish I plump for one more than six, a sevenology of terrorized titties to gnaw upon. Time to knuckle down like a gibbon on a growth spurt and produce some typically insightful results. I pull my visor down like Irene Cara and weld seven sirens for my lecherous pen-pal. However, I cannot resist spicing it up just to get the ball rolling.
Jessica Tandy with the egg whisk in the pantry
Kathy Bates with the rolling-pin in the attic
Lionel’s mom from Brain Dead with the phallic gnome on the guttering
Beryl Reed with the Beast in the Cellar
The shit demon from Dogma with the plunger in the downstairs toilet
Anne Ramsay with the cordless sander in the workshop
Zelda Rubenstein with my right thumbnail in the walk-in shower
Hope that answers your poser Bandit? No need to reply as I shall send Edgar back with my own poser for you.
I awaken with a jerk and spasm as the sciatic nerve in my back twinges as though one of RuPaul’s stilettos has been thrust upon my spinal cord. But my pain lessens as the soothing smoke from Edgar the carrier pigeon’s herbal cigarette floats past my nostrils. As he sits down in his tiny high chair, I implore that he recounts to me all the Keeper has uttered and, after translating it very slowly, I chuckle like an overweight twelve-year-old boy from Sweden with candy floss pubes. “What about a Zelda Rubenstein and Beryl Reid combo? Quite a night methinks” I mutter quietly to myself, to which Edgar bursts into uncontrollable pigeon giggles before informing me of the Keeper’s poser. I nod respectfully, plunged into deep consideration of this most testing teaser – one which threatens to strip away my fleshy outer wrapper and suckle away at my cerebral reservoir.
What is your opinion on paisley socks and how many pairs can you pack in your pencil-case?
The answer to the latter is elementary, for only three days ago, I decided to try and find the answer out for myself. Twelve. All neatly rolled and snug. My pencil-case contains many magical items but it is, alas, quite small. Normally just enough room to hold my Bermudian hunting pencil, a pink eraser and a shrew with learning difficulties.
Revealing my opinion of paisley socks, on the other hand, is a much harder proposition. I’m not sure whether the Keeper is deliberately antagonizing me with such a question, for surely he knows well of the terrible evening I endured when I was made to sing Walk Like an Egyptian in a busy wine bar wearing nothing but a solitary paisley sock. My tears and sobbing made it difficult to finish the rendition and I was soundly booed and coated in mashed eggs and Blackcurrant cordial.
With bitterness in my eyes and swimming in a frothy percolating bile, I turn to Edgar and tell him of my response and a newer, more pertinent question for that sneaky Keeper. I shoo him off into the night sky and settle back and absent-mindedly play with my nipple tassels.
Colin is wheezing. Sounds like that Lecherous Bandit has forgotten he’s asthmatic. I offer Colin some light snacks as fortunately I have a cupboard crammed with packets of sun-dried mouse snouts in case of such an eventuality. We make sweet love as is customary but Colin is more hesitant than normal so I roll up his feathers to inspect him more closely. He has a small berry-sized tumor on his upper chest, the sort of stymie which could have been prevented with early action taken. My dear hapless Colin, how do I tell you the bad news? I don’t, I strap you to Edgar’s backpack and ask him to dispose of your corpse later once you’ve croaked. Then, on arrival, it shall be Edgar who pitches my next poser. I’m rubbing my hands together as we speak, chuckling internally like a swallowed joke book.
Why do old women all have the same ‘cloud on a head’ hairstyle? and why is this a look you have chosen?
I shall retort through Romanian verse, tunefully crooned as I pluck my Otter-stubbled harp. Hopefully this shall provide you the clarity you search for dear Bandit.
I once owned a thoroughbred Tony the Pony
His face was long drawn out pigmented and stoney
I’d feel like a champion with him sat below me
I loved him as much as my last nag Naomi
He had six hemorrhoids stubborn mule wouldn’t show me
So I checked their authenticity to ensure they weren’t phony
As my hand slipped inside him I felt pretty lowly
So I quickly back peddled jeered “Yo Tony Blow me”
Three autumns then passed and that git never phoned me
One unintentional breach and he swiftly disowned me
He may have been pedantic and his ass rather bony
But Tony the Pony was my one tender Roni
A steward’s inquiry was fate’s harsh way to show me
that Tony the Pony would forever own me
I’d woo him with vino and the finest cannelloni
Just to steal another kiss from this mare of a pony
Aha, fooled you Bandit. There were no clues in my gibberish limerick, only bare Bethlehem bones lightly dusted with gentle taunting. I shall cough up however, now that I’ve tweaked your tassels. I believe there is a door-to-door follicle salesman who saunters from house to house terrorizing old ladies with a catalogue containing only one choice. The Cloud on a Head: RRP $805.52. This Machiavellian mullet of moss is available for a limited time only at only $927.74 if purchased today. That’s a saving of nearly 73 cents. Put like that even the most rabid of grannies will be powerless to resist.
As for my own cloud, well I’m afraid I have been one step ahead of you friend. You see, I shaved off that alban rinse nearly thirty-nine and a half years ago and have been wearing nothing more than a collection of topsoil and crazy glue ever since. So you see my dear Bandit, I chose this hairstyle to flummox you perpetually, until which time your skull implodes and is reconstructed by a foot-and-mouth surgeon with myxomatosis by the name of Warren. Take this Edgar, take it and fly. Fly as though tomorrow was yesterday and next week is last Thursday. I have a trick or two up my trouser-leg El Lecheroso, just you wait.
A most worrying question has arrived in the clutches of Edgar’s suede-gloved talons.
How is your pet Mr Bandit? Riddle me a rhyme on the welfare of your own forbidden amphibian and then directly afterwards list the nine components which comprise to form Hungarian goat’s cheese.
So he has removed the sheep’s fleece from the top of his head. Why didn’t he inform me of this earlier? What has become of the discarded pelt? He knows that I am married to a shaved ewe. A barbarous sight that dreams of performing Barbara Streisand songs on cruise ships. Poor Mimsy. But more importantly, where the devil’s egg is my beloved dutiful carrier pigeon Colin? The bird with the word, the winged wonder, El Flappo.
Edgar tells me of his demise, then I move to the bathroom after making my way through my growing menagerie of randy Mongolian pigs, stick insects and tusk-faced wolf-children. Once inside I hunt desperately through the dental floss drawer until I discover the tiny battered little matchbox. I slide it open until it’s contents spread a warm gold glow around the interior of the room. Nestled inside, a tiny golden tree frog performs one-finger press ups and, though his horn-rimmed spectacles keep slipping from his sweat streaked face, he is not deterred. I tell him “it’s time” in a very serious deep voice. He whispers to me in frog, a devilishly difficult language to learn as it contains no recognizable human sounds but consists entirely of facial impersonations of drunken Latvian HGV drivers. I nod at him expressionless. “Yes Phillip. He asked about you. It can mean only one thing. He knows.” He glances away, face a contorted picture of frog-like concern. “He knows. He knows that you are the voice of the lottery draw. He also probably knows that you make rainbows using your enchanted back scratcher. He knows Phillip!” I finish on a screech but the tree frog interrupts, cutting me off. “I will kill him using only rhythmic waving and with accounts of my haberdashery collecting. Do not fear young one”. With that, he bursts into a rendition of Rabbit by Chas & Dave. So now you know, though I am sure you already had a good idea, Keeper. And for that you will have to cease to be. You will disappear as though you never existed. Much like Steve Guttenberg. Oh and before I forget…
HUNGARIAN GOAT’S CHEESE INGREDIENTS
The enlarged spleen of an unknowing victim
Practice Your Swing interactive Golf simulator
Sheet of A5 paper containing the word Pikey
The mouth parts of a decomposed house skunk
Collected writings of Mao Tse-Tung
Edgar is away and it isn’t long before I remove my sterling silver forceps from their case and give birth to a beautiful lamb-child covered in glistening afterbirth.
By the time Edgar has made his flight back he had undergone some notable changes. Nothing to be startled by as he goes into metamorphosis at least twice a year or occasionally as many as one time every three and a half years and, it just so happens, today he is deeply menopausal and secretly bitter about Colin’s demise at the hands of his Keeper. “Should have moved to Pigeon Street” he mutters under his beak as he stops off at Subway for a six-foot seeded sub. Once inside he begins the first stage of his triple-pronged transformation.
The first stage is relatively pain-free. He develops a penchant for literature written by Scandinavian anteaters with speech impediments which passes after a matter of seconds. The second requires some flexibility on his part as his legs transform to resemble those of Richard Kiel even though he had clearly requested his teeth. Stage three entails spitting noxious perfume at elves. And the fourth – well let’s just say that nobody has ever made it that far. Finally, with the sun gently reclining back into its ashtray, I spot the local village Elfstu imploding on my window ledge. “Enough is enough Bandit… you… you lecherous berk!” I wave my fist as I prepare to mourn the loss of another damn fine pixie. Then I see the dribbling persecutor licking his beak as he strides effortlessly inside. I discern that I will need to detach the note from his ankle fast before entering the dreaded fourth phase of his augmentation but, before I can drop my crisp sealed copy of Swahili Horses on Crack Edgar speaks eloquently of my poser in the dulcet tones of Gilbert Gottfried.
If you were to shape something out of clay what would it be and what would you do with it? Oh and can you please tell me what I will have for breakfast tomorrow, purely by looking at the soles of your plimsoles?
First I shall inform you of a passion of mine over the past three years or so, since spending that week in the dumpster filled with spam. Pottery classes – that’s right, place that in your flute and ingest it through your eardrum. I have sat at that wheel while Sam tickles my shoulders with a Rubix Snake, concocting delightful clay statuettes of various mundane philosophers from Zambia. But they do not give me the most pleasure. That inimitable honor goes to Gary Coleman’s brother Willis from Different Strokes with the legs of a rattlesnake and the arms of a Danish Pastry. As for your breakfast query, checkmate my friend as I have prepared your breakfast in advance this evening, ready to strap to the back of my newest pretty…a chinchilla named Terence P. Haggleworthy who wears a GPS loaded bow-tie to guide him to your doorstep before dawn. As you open all six of your peepers in the morning, there will be a continental breakfast before you, the likes of which, exceed your most rabid imaginings. Here are the menu options.
Entrée – Honey-smoked sheep wigs with a light drizzle of emu phlegm
Hors d’oeuvre – Burgess Meredith’s brazed ribs with baby potatoes
Dessert – Celery sorbet with sprinkles of goose fat
Entrée – Parsley and ferret sweat soup (lightly peppered)
Hors d’oeuvre – Mickey Rooney’s brow burger garnished with cracked heel remnants
Dessert – Keeper’s special top-secret highly poisonous fondant
Until we next meet El Lecheroso Bandito, the tree at my window, the squirrel in my jumpsuit, my fiercest rival and most beloved sister. I bid you adieu with a photo of Colin’s chirpy face taken way back in the good old days before the whole Bird-Gate scandal.
Dedicated to Colin MacGrover (aka Colin MacGrover)
Pilfering linen since the beginning,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Stealing your clothes since 1985,
The Lecherous Bandit
aka El Lecheroso Bandito