* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Green Gauges

4 October 2001
By Dr Victor Barnes, aged crone.

I am a green grocer. I groce green. Eight days ago I decided to live up to my name/claim. You now find me clearing my shelves of red, yellow, orange, brown and purple. Purple? Don't forget the aubergine, the red onion and grape, the shallot. Please find only green produce in my mirrored refrigeration units.

Hence the cabinet reshuffle. Fruit: gone banana, norange, Gala, Russet and Pink Lady apple. In my shop Granny Smith enjoys a resurgence, more exotic products ordered to fill vacancies - high hopes for custard apples, even though they have the taste, smell, and texture of infant vomit.

This isn't fascism. I allow foodstuffs which are kind of green sometimes - Golden Delicious, celeriac, onions. I concede also that the task I have set myself is, to say the least, decidedly knotty. The Pink Lady apple often sports green patches, but there's no way in the world I can admit an item which has patent ungreen as a component of its title. By the same token selecting the greenest specimens of a variety which is green only once in ten will prove costly, wasteful and perilous. Supplier today tolerated such behaviour for just short of forty seconds. I shall have to refine my criteria.

As consolation to him for the rude shift in my order, I shall continue to receive a sizable consignment of ungreen fruit and veg. These I shall put to use in the pursuit of beauty and truth. In accordance with the principles of the Urr dog-people of Guatemala I am to create set-pieces from the surplus produce. The Urr see such art as a powerful symbol of mortality, the eventual rotting of the fruit and vegetables as a visual reminder, a totem if you will, of the decay attendant on all life.

Initially I shall think small, accepting private commissions on the basis of work exhibited on the gable end of the shop. As I become more confident, and opportunities present themselves, I will be able to be more ambitious. Perhaps night classes will bring my techniques to the masses. No doubt local councillors will ask me to coordinate the production of an Ulster-style mural. In time I will be directing eco- sound-bites on MTV. One world.


A smiley fruit face now graces the outside wall, something approaching the midpoint between full-frontal Pacman and Carmen Miranda. The greengrocing trade is fairly slow at the moment. The public's persistence in buying ungreen is unexpected and, frankly, distasteful. It seems that they are unable to appreciate the new aesthetic harmony of my establishment or the firm holistic principles which govern it. The mural has generally been well-received, although the residents of the block facing have ‘phoned the council to complain about the smell.

I for one am very pleased with the results. Last night down the pub I suggested to Mr Ruddock, the ironmonger, that he streamline his own business in a similar fashion. He told me to fuck right off.


This is the fucking archive

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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