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

Gripper goes bang

16 December 2002
Victor's is a heart-warming story.

"Uncle David, what's that on the mantelpiece?"

"That, my dear, is a golden coprolite."

"What's one of those?"

"Let me tell you a story..."

This was a welcome prospect. Uncle David always had been a soft touch, and it was a lot easier to persuade him and Auntie Marianna to let me stay up late than it ever was with Mum and Dad. I sat, breathless with anticipation, cross-legged on the hearth rug, so close to the fire that I could feel my trousers scalding my knees. Uncle David began:

"Many years ago, before you were born, before your mummy and daddy had even met, your Auntie Marianna and I had a West Highland Terrier called Gripper. It was about this time of year - everyone was preparing for the holidays, doing their Christmas shopping, dressing the tree and putting up decorations. I was working away on the ships then, and one day Marianna decided to go and get some bits and pieces in town. She left Gripper at home, as we didn't like locking him in the car.

When she returned, she found a guilty-looking Gripper, with a rather brown mouth, rubbing his muzzle on our nice lounge carpet. Gripper had eaten all the chocolate coins from the Christmas tree. "Gripper, you bad boy!", she said, and put the dog outside to teach him a lesson - but only for an hour or so, because it was cold. The next time Auntie Marianna went to the supermarket, she bought some new coins.

The following Saturday, she had to take Grandma Ivy to the hospital for her scan. She was gone all day, and when she came back she found Gripper curled up contentedly on the sofa. His beard was as white as snow, not a trace of chocolate to be found, but the coins had disappeared from the tree again! Where had they gone, do you think? Auntie Marianna had no idea. She just went back to the supermarket and bought some more.

And so this continued until Boxing Day. Your daddy and Grandma Ivy and Grandad George had come over with your Uncle Andrew and Auntie Liz and Samantha, who was just a baby then. We were all quite tired and full after Grandma Ivy's Christmas dinner the day before, so we decided to blow the cobwebs away by going for a walk. Gripper had been a naughty boy, stealing a mince pie from Uncle Andrew's plate, so we left him at home in disgrace. When we got back, the coins had disappeared again, even the ones at the top of the tree near the fairy! Gripper was nowhere to be found, but we concluded that he couldn't have gone far, and got on with our Boxing Day tea.

We were all in the dining room helping ourselves to a buffet of cold meats, pickles and salad, ready to settle down to watching the telly. Suddenly we heard a grumbling noise coming from somewhere in the lounge. The grumbling turned into a roar. Auntie Marianna and I went to investigate: behind the sofa, Gripper was straining to do a number two. I picked him up and deposited him on the other side of the patio doors - after all, we don't want doggies doing their business in the house, do we, Victoria? Then everyone else came in from the dining room with their plates full, and we made ourselves comfy.

About fifteen minutes later, we heard the most almighty noise, like a gunshot, or an explosion. "BANG!", it went. I stepped outside the front door but could see nothing. I then went to have a look out back, and found Gripper lifeless, like a deflated balloon, a shadow of his former self. Globs of canine flesh littered the patio and the shrubbery. To the right of Gripper's shattered rectum sat a neat little ball of gold, the waste product of so many misdemeanours with chocolate coins, the pain attendant on a dog's secret pleasure. The stupid fucking bitch kept leaving the bloody dog in the lounge. And that, my dear, is how there comes to be a shit on the mantelpiece, and why I no longer love your Auntie Marianna. Now then, how about another story?"

"Thanks all the same, Uncle David, but I think I'm about ready for bed now. I'm very sleepy."


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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