Day 23

5.01: Names are difficult, but you can’t get anywhere without them. Spike Milligan realised this:

1st June 1971

The Lady who answers the ‘phone
at 580-4034
Animals Vigilantes,
51, Harley Street,
London, W1N 1DD

Dear Madam,

I am the impossible person who actually dared to ask you your name the other day. I find it almost unbelievable to think that your parents took the loving care to baptize you as a child and you ignore that because you have become over bureaucratized. The world that George Orwell predicted was opened up to me when you said the immortal lines “I am only allowed to give names of people of those in authority”.

Supposing I would not give my name, how would we ever communicate? Cogitate that dear nameless lady.


Spike Milligan.

But they also have to be good. Why is it so difficult to come up with a name that doesn’t sound like a blender full of semi-familiar syllabic grunts? It’s true that you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, but nor can you make one out of a liquorice bootlace and half a furry throat lozenge. Infinite monkeys and typewriters in this case wouldn’t help. They’d just throw up the same calamity of un-names I’ve already evacuated myself. Here are a few: Wallace Turner, Fraser Banks, Michael Eustace. Doubtless the quiche will flow freely when that triumvirate next throws a party.

Suggestions welcome.

6.50: Today has delivered by far smallest return of words since this began. Hardly surprising, it’s because the inevitable has arrived, and the sex has to be written. This isn’t easy, I’m telling you. Beth’s suggestion (“do it in French”), while probably sensible, is about as practicable as if she’d said “why not act it out in an extravagant mime routine, a la Marcel Marceau?” or “how about rendering it in a series of life-size matchstick models?”

I take my hat off to the nominees for this year’s Bad Sex awards that I was blathering on about on Day 19. I even take my hat off to Jonathan Lethem for this:

“At two that same morning he’d had Georgina swinging in a rope chair she’d had installed at his whimsical suggestion, hung from a bolted hook on her ceiling, her legs spilling over the sides of the mesh seat in which her splendid bottom lay helpless to his savage ministrations. The situation was wildly odd and erotic.”

At least they all took a deep breath, a swig of whisky, and forged ahead. Sometimes it seems to be all you can do.

~ by David Thorley on November 25, 2009.

5 Responses to “Day 23”

  1. If you do decide to go down the monkeys & typewriters route for naming, can I suggest switching to science fiction?

  2. Nice idea: Does it only extend to names though, or is the futuristic intergalactic dystopia the natural métier of the gibbon? In which case I could just leave everything to the experts…

  3. As long as they’re not rage-infected monkeys it’s all ok. ‘In order to cure, you must first understand’. Genius.

  4. To concern up an erotic ambience, how about:

    ‘She began to breathe faster. She could feel his hands caressing her body. Her senses exploded, and the room itself seemed to melt from top to bottom. As a teeming hoarde of the infected burst in through the window, and discombobulated her inamorata.’

    Worked for Pride and Prejudice (and Zombies…)

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