Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Shoutyknackers File

Previously, on SubGrubStreet:

Rubbish publisher Louis Lovestone and top Internet marketing guru Nigella Seedlung colluded to drop Nathan’s Touching the Starfish memoir from the New Bastion list after it achieved an impressive zero sales over a six-month period. Worried sick by the disappearance of Jane, Nathan realizes that the key to all the recent weirdness may well lie in a cache of documents known as The Shoutyknackers File.

It seems strange to me now that Shoutyknacker’s journals (*) lay unread on my desk for so long. In part I can attribute my negligence to the foul spells that Nigella cast over me (**), but mainly my aversion stems from a terrible fear of what I would find in these folders (***). Now though, ever since I came back from my meeting with Louis (****) I’ve been riveted to my desk, sifting and sifting the notes, collating them into a useful format, trying to find clues in what Nigella once said were ‘especial papers that may have some bearing on matters’ (*****).

What are the ‘matters’?

1) No one remembers the events of Touching the Starfish, even though they really happened and on a world scale.

2) Top Internet marketing guru Nigella Seedlung was turned into and then mysteriously out of being a vampire.

3) Shoutyknackers couldn’t help writing about masturbation due to ‘pain between the cauliflowers’ (******).

4) Shoutyknackers was bored to death by Bollock-On John just as he was about to confess to me the nature of the pain at his temples (******).

5) Jane has disappeared. In fact, I can’t remember anything that happened between Jane and I since being in the crowd outside Dewsenburys (*******) and my first meeting with Louis (********).

6) Until I woke up from Nigella’s bite (*********) I hadn’t even realized that Jane was missing. It was as if she never existed.

I want Jane back. I want to know what’s happened to her. I want to know why this has happened.

Behind all this I sense that belletristic ponce, James O’Mailer. The pain Knackers described between his temples is the giveaway. That’s how he gets to us. And the proof is in the Shoutyknackers File.

I feel like Dan Brown going through this, decoding, interpreting signs and arcane scripts.

Most of Shoutyknacker’s journals are just scribbled-out poems about wanking, the sort that made him a fortune as a so-called performance poet (i.e., someone too ugly to be a rapper, too unfunny to be a comedian and not astute or talented enough to be an actual poet) (**********).

But there are earlier ones in the sequence in which you can sense O’Mailer’s influence pressing down on Knackers. For example;

April 10th:

Cold, crisp autumn morning, so quiet
So I stayed in warm, flat bed and had
A ferocious and dirty great naughty wank.

April 17th

Like recycling bins we put them out the back
But when I got out there the moonlight catching
On the roof of the B&Q shed reminded me of my
Sexy hole-punch so I cracked one off in the alley.
A fox stared, glistening, avid.

The pattern is obvious. Shoutyknackers is O’Mailer’s creature, another pawn to toy with and thwart (***********).

Then in the file are a lot of the notes that Nigella said were ‘genius ideas’ (************), conversations between celebrities, in rhyming couplets, all about his favourite subject. None of these are complete. They’re just jottings.

For example:

Diddy from Fen Dubz
In a pub

Florence Tawdry
In a laundry

Pattie Krice
Ten times
A night

Peter Andrex
Drops his spandex

Vajazz Ling
In a frenzied spin

The thing is, out of the loop and dismissive of all things youth and celebrity as I am, I’m pretty sure that none of these people were celebrities before I first met Louis Lovestone, before I first started to try and promote Touching the Starfish.

They are figures from a bad dream. A bad dream designed by someone else to wind me right up.

Something is going on. The question is: how do I get out of this? He isn’t in my head, like he was before. I am being urged to no action (*************). The rules of the game are even more obscure than before.

But there is something else here, something at the end, something written in block capitals and so clean and decent that it almost stands out as obscene when juxtaposed with the adolescent, smutty tone of the rest of the writings of the celebrated young poet, ‘the Thomas Chatterton of the iPhone generation’ (**************). It reads:


It means that Shoutyknackers must have had some predilection of what was going to happen to him. And outside, it has just started to snow,

To Be Continued …

*See SubGrubStreet 19: Compromised and Dirty.
** See SubGrubStreet 21: Yes is the Only Word and SGS26: The Diction of Carrots
*** See SubGrubStreet 14: The Bulletin of the International Onanological Society
**** See SubGrubStreet 32: Netherworld of Delusion
*****See SubGrubStreet 19: Compromised and Dirty.
****** See SubGrubStreet 16: Between the Cauliflowers, and Touching the Starfish.
****** See SubGrubStreet 17: Why I Hate Bob Dylan
******* See Touching the Starfish, page 511.
******** See SubGrubStreet 1: The Great Experiment.
********* See SubGrubStreet 31: Resurrection Lovesick Blues
********** See SubGrubStreet 14: The Bulletin of the International Onanological Society
*********** See Touching the Starfish
************ See SubGrubStreet 19: Compromised and Dirty.
************* See Touching the Starfish
************** See SubGrubStreet 18: The Stars are not Wanted Now


Word Count – 2900

Sales – 0

Insults – 0

Next Week: Bad Things Always Happen in the Snow

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