Tuesday 25 July 2023

"Someday my fat gendered THEM will come"

Most Hollywood productions seem to have gone woke these days with inevitable consequences. We see the debacle that is the latest addition to the Indiana Jones franchise (Dial of Destiny). Typical woke agenda peddled with a pedestrian, addled, befuddled, aged, incompetent Prof Jones being outsmarted by a sassy, smart, strong independent woman. With total production costs reckoned at a smooth $400 million and total box office returns predicted, as of date, to be around $310 million, the film is unlikely to turn a profit. But it gets much worse from a financial standpoint. For the film to enter the true 'profit zone', the production company, Lucas Films, needs to turn in box office receipts in excess of $600 million. This is due to all the subsidiary costs of filmmaking, such as marketing and advertising, etc. 

While I'm mid-rant, why not throw in a couple other cinematic disasters. Disney appears to revel in altering classic, timeless stories for the sake of inclusivity and the promulgation of diversity. Thus it has been revealed that the redoing of the Disney masterpiece, 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' from 1937, is to feature a brown-visaged Hispanic actress (Hola!) and a coterie of associated mystical forest denizens (wot no Dwarves?). In fact, the new title of the extravaganza is just 'Snow White', and although the production is still a year away, a leaked photo illustrates the characters involved in the screenplay. To be fair, there does appear to be one dwarf lurking among the forest critters. The other companions fulfil the gamut expected from the 'Diversity Checklist'. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words: see below. I would like to suggest an alternative title for this extravaganza: 'Off White and the Seven Gypos'.  Apparently, the producers are running free and wild with this classic 19th-century German tale, and our intrepid/tepid heroine will not be saved by a handsome prince this time.

Shit on a fucking Stick 

"Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to a Safe Place We Go"

And to conclude. The 'Little Mermaid' film of 2023 is shite, but it does have the saving grace of sporting a black Ariel. Here is my rendition of a mermaid-themed story, as related by a renowned West Midland journalist with a silly name.

Breaking news from the beautiful and majestic spa town of Tipton West, incorporating North Dudley and the environs thereabout. This reporter can conclusively report a confirmed sighting of the legendary aquatic mammal, ‘The Mermaid', frolicking in the Tipton canal at closing time. Mr Eli Mugumbo (who else?) relates the story with habitual poise: I had just left the ‘Felching Ferret’ hostelry after a particularly heavy session of imbibing alcoholic beverages. On this particular occasion, I had consumed 15 pints of Tipton Best bitter, 12 malt whiskies, sweet sherry and a magnum of baby sham. As I lurched down the towpath of the Tipton canal, wending my way home precariously after imbibing large amounts of alcoholic beverages which comprised………I digress. Although the light was poor and my vision befouled and bespeckled, I discerned out of the corner of my good eye a splishing and a splashing emanating from the said canal. On further inspection, I distinctly saw a mermaid reclining on a partly submerged fiat uno. It had the lower body of a fish and the upper body of a ferret (surely some mistake). As I approached, it transfixed my visage with steely blue eyes and rasped. “Fancy a good time, sailor?” Although taken aback, I recovered my composure and retorted with fortitude born of extreme inebriation: “Yer my bessie mate, I love ya, can ya lend me 20 quid for a case of Special Brew Extra, burrrrrrrrp".  Afterwards, as if in a dream, I distinctly remember being assailed by a large dorsal flipper which robbed me of my sensibility, and I fell arse (arse) akimbo into the broiling morass. I wrestled with the watery fiend fighting for my life. Luckily at that very moment, I emitted a vast fart, and the bubbles engendered propelled me forthwith upon the very towpath I had recently vacated, nay relinquished.
 Although later, the rubicund and abashed Mr Mugumbo stated that he may have tripped over a dead itinerant, and the flipping flipper may have been a figment of his frenzied imagination. After all, at the time, he was as pissed as a Rhino's arse (Arssssssssse. arse).
Piss Artists Impression of the Watery Tart

Afterwards, whilst encapsulated in a brief moment of sobriety, Mr Mugumbo admitted that he might have seen half a bloater cunningly nailed to a rusty perambulator.
Are merferrets a product of our atavistic and overwrought imagination? A mere fevered wraith of fancy. Or are there creatures lurking in our canals (dead tramps excepted) unknown to science waiting to be flung flapping into the light of day by brave and intrepid researchers, boldly ferreting (steady Shagger) into the dark, dank, slimy, ordure at the bottom of the recesses of our………. (Arse).   

Monday 24 July 2023


Tarrare, bum te a, tareare bum te a...... Arse!

This rendering/rending is a little different to my usual bollocks. Today's offering is about a human prodigy of a very singular and peculiar type. An individual so unusual that his equal has never been observed before or since. A man imbued with a unique talent of prodigious, nay preposterous, proportions.

Tarrare was born in rural France circa 1772 to a poor peasant family. As a child, it was soon noted that Tarrare had a phenomenally abnormal appetite. Unfortunately, his poor family could not continue to support his gluttony, and he was asked to leave some time in his teenage years. Alas, he initially joined a group of thieves, prostitutes and vagabonds but soon teamed up with a travelling charlatan. Prior to the 'salesman's' pitch, Tarrare would 'warm up' the crowd by devouring various inedible items such as rocks and corks as well as live, viable critters. After a while, he moved to Paris, where he became a successful street performer reprising his disgusting act. It was noted that Tarrare stank. A rank miasma seemed to emanate from every pore, and it was stated that the stench was more profound after a feed. 

Tarrare lived in restless/desperate times. A time when France was revolting. As Tarrare was also revolting, he joined the Revolutionary Army. However, the army rations, although quadrupled, were insufficient to satisfy the new recruit's appetite, and Tarrare resorted to foraging rubbish heaps. His unusual food-acquiring activities attracted the attention of the army medical authorities, and thus he became a willing subject to 'scientific' experimentation. 

The doctors pandered to Tarrare's obsession and provided mounds of food. Initially, the fare was of a conventional nature. However, the good doctors decided to try unconventional fodder such as nutritious puppies, live cats, lizards and crunchy eels. After consuming huge amounts of 'food', our hero would become somnolent and descend into the deep sleep of the righteous. Soon, the army wanted the patient back in order that he complete his military obligations. Due to his unusual talent, it was decided that he would be best employed as a courier to transport information across enemy lines. He was tasked with swallowing a message encased in a wooden box. As our intrepid chevalier spoke no German, he was promptly caught by the opposing Prussian troops. After a brief imprisonment, Tarrare confessed his mission, and the Prussians decided to hang him as a spy. Inexplicably the general changed his mind, and Tarrare was severely beaten before being set free to return to the French lines.     

Tarrare, chastened by his experience, begged the doctors to find a cure. The good docs tried a variety of treatments, including tobacco pills, vinegar and laudanum, but to no avail. In order to assuage his constant hunger, Tarrare would drink the blood from patients undergoing bloodletting. He also developed an unhealthy habit of hanging around the morgue. One day an infant disappeared from the hospital, and poor Tarrare was suspected. While no evidence could be found to implicate him in the affair, it was decided that his stay at the hospital was at an end, and he was ejected forthwith.  

Four years later, Tarrare turned up at a hospital in Versailles, dying of tuberculosis (age 26). At autopsy, it was noted that his stomach almost filled the entire abdominal cavity. In addition, Tarrare's gullet was found to be abnormally wide, and his stomach was a morass/mass of ulcers. Unfortunately, the autopsy was curtailed mid-through due to the stench emanating from his fetid corpse. Sadly, no definite diagnosis could be arrived at.

It appears that Tarrare's condition is unique in the annals of medicine. So, what was ailing this poor, smelly, gluttony-fueled Frenchman? At first acquaintance, I thought he may have been suffering from a chromosomal disorder known as Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). This condition is associated with hyperphagia and attendant obesity. However, Tarrare was noticeably skinny and, although described as apathetic, was of normal intellect. The intellect is not to be spared in PWS patients. In addition to the symptoms previously described, Tarrare suffered from lax skin prior to eating, and he was in a state of constant fever and sweated profusely. These symptoms, together with the observation that no matter the amount of food consumed, he absolutely refused to gain weight, indicate a complex physiological series of maladies. Taken together, these diagnostic signs are indicative of a metabolic disorder, perhaps in combination with a disorder of the hypothalamus, which controls satiety.  

Tarrare's case appears bizarre and, as far as I can find, absolutely unique. There is no other recorded instance of an individual with all the features of Tarrare's condition. I suspect poor Tarrare endured an exotic mix of several independent medical ailments. Otherwise, how are we able to explain his singular condition? If Tarrare had been born two hundred years later, our advanced diagnostic tools and enhanced medical knowledge would have certainly enabled a diagnosis and, hopefully, treatment. Mayhap, this strangely driven and tortured soul would have been able to obtain some degree of solace and peace.    

Tarrare ate my baby

Friday 14 July 2023

The Man with the Golden Nose

                                                    Tycho Brahe Sporting Artificial Appendage 

Tycho Brahe is not a historical character well known outside the rarified halls of astronomy. And yet, in his day, he was a prominent astronomer at a time when the observer relied on his own patience, meticulous record taking and visual acuity. The telescope, as an instrument of macro-inspection, was awaiting to be invented.  

Young Tyche (he was no older than a day) was born to a rich Danish family in 1546. He went on to study law, mathematics and astronomy at the University of Copenhagen. Whilst a student and during a heavy drinking bout, he became embroiled in a heated argument with his cousin over a trifle. The dainty viand in question remained unharmed, however, as the disputants were equipped with side arms, a duel ensued. I have already mentioned elsewhere the noble habit of bearing arms. During the altercation, Tycho received a blow to the nose, and the member promptly fell orf, never to return to its former elevated station. Tycho survived the indignity and soon crafted a nasal prosthesis. There has been much said with regard to the material used in nasal reconstruction. It has been passed down that the nares were craftily fashioned from gold or at least a gold/silver amalgam. Portraits of the man show the prosthesis blending with the wearer's skin tone, which suggests a judicial application of flesh-coloured pigment. Tycho was dug up in 2010, and the nasal bones were examined using the latest technology. Sadly his false nose was absent. This was not the first time Tycho's corpse suffered the indignity of exhumation as he was dug up on the 300 anniversary of his death in 1901. Anyway, the 2010 analysis of the skull fragments strongly suggested that the strap-on was fashioned from brass. Enough about Tycho's wayward, nay fleeting, nossuk.

The man is not just famous for his misplaced allia. Tycho Brahe, in his youth, became enamoured with the heavens after witnessing a total eclipse.  Later, at university, his law studies were curtailed as he concentrated on the majestic nature of the vault above.

In the late 16th century, our intrepid astronomer gained patronage from the incumbent Danish king. The king was exceeding generous and provided Tycho with a lavish observatory on the island of Hven. He was provided with the best scientific instruments of the time, sans telescope and nose. Thus, he was able to exact very precise measurements of the celestial heavens. He was particularly interested in tracking the wandering and inexplicably erratic motions of the planets. At the time, the Ptolemaic model of the solar system reigned supreme and had done so for nearly 2,000 years. According to this system, the sun, moon and planets orbited a static Earth in perfectly circular orbits. In order to account for the apparent haphazard movements of the visible planets, a complex system of epicycles was introduced. The model was extremely cumbersome, but it had the advantage of being approved by the Roman Catholic Church. From his observations, Tycho came up with an alternative model of how the planets moved within the solar system. Although not correct, it was a step in the right direction. According to Tycho, the Sun continued to orbit the Earth while the planets orbited the Sun.

In 1572, Tycho noticed a very bright star suddenly appearing in the night sky in the constellation Cassiopeia. We now know that this rare event documented the throes of a dying star or supernovae. This phenomenon went against the prevailing Aristotlean system, which considered the heavens as static and unchanging. Previously, celestial anomalies would be explained away as atmospheric disturbances. However, Tycho's knowledge of parallax enabled him to determine that the 'Bright Star' was beyond the orbit of the Moon. Therefore, Aristotle's thesis was found to be in error, and as this ancient savant was held in extremely high regard by scholars, this revelation caused a bit of a stir amongst fusty intellectuals of the time. Arse

In 1597, the new king, Christian IV, renounced the royal patronage, and Tycho moved to Prague, where he became the official imperial astronomer. A purpose-built observatory was provided, and he gained Johannes Kepler as an assistant who, after Tychos's death in 1601, used his data to frame his own three laws of planetary motion. His data lived on and was used by subsequent scientists, such as Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, to further their own studies into the universe.  

His Demise

It is said that during a banquet in Prague, our hero drank copious quantities of wine. Apparently, it was considered bad form to move from the table before your host, and so, being a polite Renaissance gentleman, Brahe stuck it out. The most dramatic outcome, so it is said, was that Tycho's bladder burst asunder. Although, it is more likely that he developed a bladder and or kidney infection. Regardless, our intrepid hero died 11 days later. Politeness is a killer.

Legacy Akimbo  

Tycho Brahe's role as a pioneer of astronomical observations cannot be overstated. His meticulous and precise documentation of celestial events, along with his innovative use of instruments, established a new scientific paradigm for studying the cosmos. Brahe's work not only challenged prevailing beliefs but also paved the way for future advancements in astronomy. His collaboration with Johannes Kepler and his influence on subsequent astronomers cemented his place in the annals of scientific history. Tycho Brahe's legacy continues to inspire astronomers to this day as they strive for a deeper understanding of the universe.