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Ice-cream in Offworld

7 September 2000
Victor tells you more lies.

Cabo de S. Vicente is the most south-westerly point of Lusitania, a province known to you people as Portugal. Thereís a lighthouse here, not far from the place where a man with a mad hat decided to form a navigational school, and hence became universally known as The Navigator. This concept is in itself problematic: I realise that here at 'clown' we fart far too much about wordplay and linguistic meaning. I'm sorry for that, and will explain or excuse this only with the now obvious revelation that we are all pretentious sales reps (apart from the nicer ones). Nevertheless, a few phonemes on epithets.

Prince Henry, Infante Dom Henrique to our Lusitanian chums, will forever be remembered for his skill in charting nautical positions, a concept which I appear to have given an unwarranted sensual air. It's a particularly medieval/early modern thing, I think: Vlad the Impaler, Philip the Good of Burgundy, Charles the Bald, Henry the Eighth. Modern equivalents would be Matt the Hat (not to be confused with Jack 'The Hat' McVitie), Clinton the Bintfucker, Van Morrison the Fried. So we're all agreed: we're clearly missing out.

The pharos, aside from enabling fishermen more effectively to direct their bream, marks the end of the (medieval known) world. If you go out of sight of it, you fall off. Because you can. And if the narwhals don't horn you, you end up in a land where pigmies have hairy daughters and dogs for stomachs, where the boinga-boinga game is played with bamboo and the weakest little boys in the initiation and rose-budding is a top ten pastime.

The clashing rocks at the base of the cliff herald the appearance of the Scylla and/or Poseidon in the Clash of the Titans-Jason and the Argonauts-skeletons come from bones sown in the ground and fight Harry Hamlin while Honor Blackman and Laurence Olivier put little statues in the arena-Nigel Green as Hercules comes a cropper due to his greed and carries the blame of his friend's squashing kind of a way. The animation's better in Outlandia.

Offworld? The ultramarine people in fact replicants, Harrison Ford included, his sixty year old mind in a forty year old body. Purr. I get to spray-paint my eyes, do back flips and fraternise, perhaps fornicate, with young and albino Rutger Hauer. But Daniel Auteuil, Morten Harket's thong-clad lower arms and Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes are not there, and I fall back into a deep Old World sleep where Cathars delouse each other and Templars give each other mystical and satanic arse kisses.

Not only can one not set forth from the Cape: one is transported to a bazaar in which only ice-cream, sarongs and cocks of Barcelos are pedalled. A big ginger man hands me a cappuccino Cornetto, and I awake to find that a seagull has shat on the car.

In the real Lusitanoutlandia, there's a local archaeological museum (Lagos) that houses some of the most fantastic chimeras. Accompanying the usual Algarve folklore tat and the oh-so-remarkable cork icons, there is a collection donated by a notable taxidermist and proto-veterinary, a collection which shall henceforth be known as the Pickled Puppy Pet Prodigy. 4P consisted of stuffed animals the like of which crowns the art of Bosch and Brueghel - grotesque realism and the carnivalesque afforded to the realm of the demonic, devils with arses for heads.

In the one cabinet you will find a fish with ears, wings and claws and a squirrel-snake-bird. The artificial grotesque. Nature's grotesquery surpasses this: a cat foetus with two faces, a pre-puppy with an extra eye on top of its head. Not artificial, not art, not artistic. An abhorrent formaldehyde suspension testifying to the ability of nature to outstrip anything which our limited imaginations can produce. We can sew the bits together, but only in a studied, creative way which is devoid of the revulsion triggered by accidents. In 4P human ingenuity, including my fantasies, fails. And the bird shit wins.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
27 October 2003. Victor writes: Our Tune
6 October 2003. Victor writes: Sucking face (in a public place)
15 September 2003. Victor writes: You got any ID?
25 August 2003. Victor writes: Blood on the Boulevard
4 August 2003. Victor writes: In (paren)theses
10 July 2003. Victor writes: Island Fling
19 June 2003. Victor writes: Back (back) and forth (and forth)
2 June 2003. Victor writes: 300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds
12 May 2003. Victor writes: The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune
21 April 2003. Victor writes: ...just sitting there quietly contemplating suicide
31 March 2003. Victor writes: Victoria
6 March 2003. Victor writes: Relevant experience
17 February 2003. Victor writes: You will eat chips and go nowhere
27 January 2003. Victor writes: A bushy fish for fishy Mr Bush (after Juvenal)
6 January 2003. Victor writes: The Accidental Voyeur
16 December 2002. Victor writes: Gripper goes bang
25 November 2002. Victor writes: Bediquette
4 November 2002. Victor writes: Where have all the spastics gone?
14 October 2002. Victor writes: An Immodest Proposal
23 September 2002. Victor writes: Fastscan masterplan
2 September 2002. Victor writes: Dry Humping Social Club
12 August 2002. Victor writes: Beat the Mongol
22 July 2002. Victor writes: What life is not
1 July 2002. Victor writes: Stupor heroes
6 June 2002. Victor writes: Dry
13 May 2002. Victor writes: Muppet Suite
18 April 2002. Victor writes: gingermingeninja
25 March 2002. Victor writes: Sodomize with Pukka Pies
28 February 2002. Victor writes: Dave's problem
4 February 2002. Victor writes: King of the Aisles
10 January 2002. Victor writes: Here come the decorator gimps.
17 December 2001. Victor writes: Make war, not supper.
22 November 2001. Victor writes: Cough
29 October 2001. Victor writes:
4 October 2001. Victor writes: Green Gauges
10 September 2001. Victor writes: Blind weed
16 August 2001. Victor writes: Snout!
23 July 2001. Victor writes: You're not going to put this in a clown are you?
28 June 2001. Victor writes: What is a droll?
4 June 2001. Victor writes: Burt Pakamak
10 May 2001. Victor writes: Board to Death
12 April 2001. Victor writes: Tricolon with anaphora?
22 March 2001. Victor writes: Point of View
26 February 2001. Victor writes: Goth's Dinner
1 Feburary 2001. Victor writes: Les Miserables
4 January 2001. Victor writes: Flat-packed furniture
14 December 2000. Victor writes: Deliverance
20 November 2000. Victor writes: Bottomry: Exorcising Ghosts
26 October 2000. Victor writes: Body Art
2 October 2000. Victor writes: Disney must die
7 September 2000. Victor writes: Ice-cream in Offworld
14 August 2000. Victor writes: I like sweets that taste of medicine
26 June 2000. Victor writes: I've seen the future, and it's feathered

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