Suggested Audio Jukebox ♫
 The Trammps Disco Inferno
 The Bee Gees Staying Alive
 Maceo and The Macks Cross The Track (We Better Go Back)
 Laid Back White Horse
 Kool & The Gang Celebration
I know how this sounds. Ominous right? When you hear the word “meltdown” thrown into conversation, it ordinarily means one of the following three are on the cards. Either a disastrous event or breakdown, an uncontrolled emotional outburst or mental collapse, or an accident in a nuclear reactor in which the fuel overheats and melts the reactor core or shielding. Whichever of the above trio you choose to represent this word, it seemingly equates to being shit out of luck, but not on this day it doesn’t. You see, I’ve actually spent the past few weeks in a state of meltdown and wouldn’t have had it any other way. While this may suggest me to be a sucker for punishment, it has felt far more like being let off the hook, and all it took was lighting a fire beneath my tail feathers to start the big defrost. Indeed I’m more than happy to continue thawing out for the foreseeable, and would recommend it to anyone. Before you all go dusting off those flamethrowers, please allow me to further elucidate why I’m all about the meltdown.
For the past few months now, I’ve been something of a prisoner and have spent this time detained largely against my will. I would liken this to being incarcerated in a slow globe and there’s a clue in there somewhere for anyone who is aware of my personal fight with addiction. While I have been able to see what’s going on outside of this bubble, I’ve not felt in a position to do a damn thing about it, and the result has been the ever-infuriating lockdown. With things all set for a white Christmas, it appeared that parole was off the cards, and I was all set to become a lifer. Gradually those around me began to lose heart and, for all their best attempts to break me free from my confines, there appeared no way of breaking through the defences I had constructed on my very own. Of course, there was only to be one way out, and it didn’t involve me accepting the goodwill of others on this occasion as they can’t be with me 24/7 and, sooner or later, I had to face up to some harsh realities or else be frozen out permanently.
Needless to say, it was comfortable within my hideaway, and frequent sweeteners were on hand to convince me to stay. It’s all too easy to settle into a rhythm when held captive and this is precisely what happened. Meanwhile, I was growing ever more numb to those around me, and at risk of squandering everything I had spent so long working on tirelessly. My presence on social networks was effectively zilch, my output on the blog suffered too, and that meant no discernible footprint being left for others to learn my whereabouts. This is precisely what my jailer desired and, for those unfamiliar, please allow me to introduce you to my personal chimp, Percival Mandrake III and don’t be seduced by his winning smile as he’s a bastard I tell you. Or un bastardo to those partial to paella.
Any monkey business goes directly through him and he inhabits the limbic gland in my brain. From here he offers his unruly suggestion and it’s left up to me whether or not I take heed of his proposals. Naturally you’d expect me to be able to overthrow a mere gibbon, especially when I know deep down that his intentions are of the cruelest variety imaginable. Well that’s easier said than done when your primate speaks louder than the two other parts of your brain tasked with keeping him at bay. I’m speaking of the human and the computer, twin engines that share jurisdiction of my think tank, and a force to be reckoned with when working in unison or so you’d think. However, when you introduce a cantankerous primate into the mix, it’s all too easy for them to find themselves at sixes and sevens, which is precisely what occurred as Percival started to throw his weight around.
In his opinion, I was way better off flying solo, as it meant not leaving myself open for any emotional air marshalls to urge me to deviate from the flight plan he had so cunningly devised. That makes him something of a terrorist but far more eloquent than your everyday extremist, while every bit as radical in his methodology. Seemingly he misheard his brief when it was stated that he should go “guerilla” and it’s hard enough navigating such slender aisles with a duty-free trolley without this anarchist tossing banana skins under the wheels and causing a general ruckus. I kindly requested that he return his seat to its upright position and do you know what his response was to that? I’ll offer up a clue. There are five digits on the average hand and one of them is slightly longer than the others. You would traditionally hear the words “fuck you dick split” or “bite me gums” not too far from erection although I believe “suck it and see” were his exact words as Mandrake III introduced me to his elongated phalange boner in terms not nearly uncertain enough.
There had to be a way of getting this plane down safely and I knew I couldn’t bank on the auto-pilot as it was far too busy fondling Julie Haggerty’s fun bags to spot the gargantuan glacial peak we were hurtling towards at terminal velocity. To land this bird, I would be required to commandeer it from the cockpit, and this bought back bitter memories of the whole Macho Grande debacle. Moreover, I’d ordered the fish from the in-flight menu and digestion was proving something of a bone of contention. Unless I acted fast, the entire vessel would likely burst into flames before I could say “don’t call me Shirley” and my chimp friend had taken it upon himself to procure the only available parachute. Let’s see… altitude: 21,000 feet. Speed: 520 knots. Level flight. Course: zero-niner-zero. Trim and mixture: wash, soak, rinse, spin. This was about to prove catastrophic and my shabby landing gear didn’t appear up to the challenge so I placed my head in my lap as per the attendant’s pre-flight safety demonstration and commenced licking my balls like a thirsty pug.
Then it suddenly dawned on me, we’re going down faster than a whore’s breeches dagnabbit. Unless I grew a decidedly bushy pair and fast, my jet would soon be crash landing in a Turkish prison and I saw no delight in their particular translation of the word re-entry. Taking a full length of Mehmet’s sheesh in the showers didn’t appeal and it was time to pull the nose up on this plummeting bird before the inevitable splashdown could play out. Basically my body was at breaking point and another few weeks of negligence would likely have finished me off or seen me doing myself some permanent mischief. It’s one thing getting high but, with every take-off, there must come a corresponding low and I didn’t much care for the turbulence. With cabin pressure rapidly dropping and any hopes of recruiting to the mile high club now looking slimmer than a stick man in leggings, there was only one thing left to do and it meant banking on R-Kelly’s claims that flight needn’t be such a fight. Spreading your wings to span is all well and good but not when said flappers are torn like surgery scars. One thing was for sure, the shit was about to hit the fan and I was the reason it was airborne in the first place. I blame the boner, just knew that thing would land me in hot water eventually.
If Homer Simpson can successfully pilot a snow plough without incident then there seemed no reason why I couldn’t endure this blizzard with a little perseverance and a fair few strokes of luck. Thus I headed on back to the vague heat sources in my peripheral vision and prepared to bid adieu to the white horse in question once and for all. Should you still be unsure as to the identity of this thoroughbred, well then I guess there’s no other way than to paint you a mental picture. In the interest of not letting things get too dark, I have invited a pair of flaxen-haired Swedish sexpots along to assist in this process. Grueheads, I present you Elsa and Linnea (no relation to Quigley although you wouldn’t know it by my throbbing testicles). And in case you’re wondering, mine are indeed the meatballs in this particularly flavorsome sandwich as someone’s got to check their passports.
So you see, I never actually stood a chance once the pony reached full canter and the thing about coke is that it wants you all for itself. After agreeing to its initial terms, I set to work on building myself a protective shell so that our courtship could play out uninterrupted and here I remained throughout the long hot summer, totally oblivious to the world rotating around me. Given that a horse’s main USP is its colossal schlong, this nag dropped its tallywhacker to half mast and used it with the purpose of hypnosis. It’s this kind of skullduggery that Percival Mandrake III is known for and the reason why nobody could seem to reach me, despite some fairly valiant efforts. It’s true what they say about the walls closing in around us when we’re feeling off-color and this is how my chimp went about his entrapment. What he managed to overlook was that I would eventually grow tired of the charade and wish to go back to less extreme measures for my daily kicks. After a struggle that can only be described as titanic, I shot the white pony in the back of the head and the meltdown began in earnest.
While I fully expected to feel like death reheated for a couple of weeks at least, it was the numbness that truly caught me off guard. Without the artificial aid of this stimulant, it was troublesome for my mind to host a solitary thought and I’ve nary felt so frozen in all my years. However, with a spotter close-by to ensure there were no slip-ups or relapses, I made it through phase one of my thaw out intact and, as the ice began to drip away, suddenly there was feeling once more. Just like Han Solo, it wasn’t deemed advisable to pilot my own Millennium Falcon during the transition, and I’m not entirely sure that I could have if I’d tried. So instead I began to formulate a plan of attack and this is where you find me currently, right back in the thick of it. It must be damn near impossible right now to keep track of my output as I’m firing them out faster than a ping-pong ball firing contortionist named Ming and even I cannot account for every last ping to the pong. But, with every day that passes, it grows a little easier and I reckon that the meltdown is all but complete now you know so let’s mark the occasion with some Kool & The Gang shall we? Seems topical enough don’t cha think?
Anyhoots, there’s a party going on right here and, should I play my cards right and avoid the call of the white horse, then it may just last throughout the years. Just an idea but I propose you bring your good times and your laughter too as I have every intention of celebrating this party with you. Ultimately it’s all up to you, what’s your pleasure? Whatever it may be, feel free to toss me your ideas and I shall do my level best to accommodate your wishes. The last thing I should be doing is making promises I can’t 100% keep but here’s one I don’t mind imparting for free. I will make this work dagnabbit or bloody well die trying as I still doggedly believe that the Grueheads are a monumental family unit and that will never be subject to change from this point forward. You see, all that chilling out wasn’t for nothing. One more thing, do you reckon it would be safe to tug on a frozen penis? I swear I’m steadily becoming a eunuch here but I’m a tad concerned that it will snap off in my palm if I attempt this. And would you think me obscene if I referred to it as my dicksicle from now on? By my estimations, that makes it time to come together. Can I get a yahoo?
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Grueheads Films 2016