Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from Flann O’Brien’s novel The Third Policeman:
On the other hand I could not help recalling what the Sergeant had told me about his fears for his bicycle and his decision to keep it in solitary confinement. If there is good reason for locking a bicycle in a cell like a dangerous criminal, I reflected, it is fair enough to think that it will try to escape if given the opportunity.
Bang bang bang, ring ring, on the door at 3.11 am. I got out of bed pulled on a pair of my daytime summer shorts and a t-shirt and barefooted down the stairs catching my ankle bone on the corner of the base of the newel post on the way, ouch!
On the doorstep was a surprisingly short, and quite young, policeman.
‘David Whatt?’ he said.
‘Yes…’ I said.
‘ Do you know someone called…’ he looked down at his notebook, ‘Simon Doom?’ (Doom: an ‘acquaintance’ of mine, a ne’er-do-well poet from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League.)
‘Unfortunately I do,’ I said, ‘What’s up?’
It turned out that Doom, very drunk, had been apprehended whilst relieving himself against the back-end of a parked police car, with two policemen sitting in it, in the Dulltown city centre. Apparently when bundled into the back of the car and the officers tried interrogating him he laughed quite a lot and also seemed to be speaking in some foreign language. They tried a bit of Polish and some basic Arabic on him, but he didn’t respond other than to laugh even more. The constable said that his words were shouted and ‘seemed to be made up ones’ and were ‘silly’. The only intelligible things they could make out were, for some reason, my name and address. The teenage cop asked if they could leave him with me, as they were ‘fed up with him’ and that ‘no charges would be brought at present’.
‘Hm, alright’, I said.
‘By the way,’ he said, ‘what nationality is he?’
‘Surrealist,’ I said.
‘I see…’ he said, ‘we don’t get many of those in these parts.’
Doom slept it off on my settee, and when I got up in this morning my living room smelled like a dirty pub, and he was gone – but he did leave me a scribbled ‘spoem’ (spoof poem) for me.
He calls it his Periodic Table Spoem:
Practil diagona phum chellotok-hydrogen,
Dikda dikda dikda dikda dikda-helium,
Bloot amadore setfog trasmus-lithium,
Takmuck splonik bumlite kno-beryllium.
Aggadandy spoomed chath silth-boron,
Paxy paxy paxy paxy paxy paxy-carbon,
Jymetry steng gongo amamalad-nitrogen,
Takmuck splanik hoomy kno-oxygen.
Hibby denth wolmoid supsup gah-fluorine,
Omdo omdo omdo omdo omdo-neon,
Nylong phen zaddamyl shoodie-sodium,
Takmuck splunik quibs kno-magnesium.
Silthy rosandal phum pakalade-aluminium,
Zotix zotix zotix zotix zotix-silicon,
Setjaw mumdil thatherdig ump-phosphorus,
Takmuck splenik wottle kno-kno-sulphur.
Simon Doom 2016.