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Satyr Tales

Twisted stories to amuse and confuse.

SATYR RANT: Killing Time Or Time To Kill?

Dear Reader,

Allow me to commence this post with a long, loud, ear splitting: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!! And then the swear word of your own personal choosing to garnish.

Other possible beginnings or even titles to this post could be: ‘You’re kidding right? Or ‘Fact, much stranger than fiction. Discuss.. How about, ‘You just can’t make this stuff up’ or indeed ‘Stupid people of Britain, pack it in! It’s not becoming! 

Ahem, I apologise. But continue reading and you will understand the causation of my vexation and outrage…

Some of you will know from a past post that I am owed a sum of monies by her Royal Highness’ termagants in the governmental department for Driving, Transportation and Petty Recriminations.

Bad judgement calls were made, lack lustre administration took place, inadequate systems and procedures were half-heartedly followed, complacency and incompetency occurred in abundance.

But I am not one to hold a grudge. No sir. The matter has been resolved with the minimum of swearing, hair loss and ranting on my part. I haven’t put in a formal complaint because I will be happy just to be getting my money back…which I needlessly gave to them in the first place due to an admin cock up on their part. And I did receive said money back a few days ago…in the form of a cheque…two cheques actually. Why two you ask? Because of reasons. The mind boggles…

But to the point – some of my readers will have prior knowledge that I am a humble, rugged, chisel jawed goat boy living on my tod at the fringes of civilization. Now I put it to you: what the Gordon Browns’ bonk stick am I supposed to do with a cheque? Nay, two cheques!

But hold! Fret not readers, you’ll be surprised to hear that this is not in fact a problem for yours truly. I merely employ the powers of my apposable thumbs and the sorcery of a modern day telephonic communications device with Go Ogle capabilities. And lo and behold, after a few minutes research I determined that the nearest village to my dwelling sports something called an ‘Post Office’ where I can deposit my hard gained monies. Huzzah and happy days!

Modern tech, right? Gotta love it, right? And modern services and conveniences, right? Wrong…

So all one should have to do is hike the odd mile to said village with these tatty bits of paper with monetary sums doodled on and have these services exacted upon them by a professional in the know as stated on their interwebs page. It’s almost too easy…

Therefore I braved the searing heat and humidity and stalked confidently across the countryside towards quests’ end. What ho! And this sleepy little village convenience was open at its publicly designated time too! Lady luck is with me today, I chorused. A deuce of hurrah all-round!

Sweaty, exhausted and bedraggled I proudly proffered my pathetic papers to the mysterious, wizened, owlish gentleman hiding behind a counter in a box of glass (not sure what the deal is with the box. At first I thought he was a coin operated vending machine). But anyway, our interaction progressed a little something like this:

‘My good man,’ I chimed, ‘I have reason to believe that if I give you these two slips of paper you’ll somehow transmutate them in to digital money for me!’

‘Of course, Sir’ beamed the mystical Alchemist over his nose-perched seeing apparatus. An aura of benevolence filled the pokey room with his kindly smile and twinkly eyes. He continued, ‘all you will need is one of my special envelopes here and of course your bank paying-in slip…’

The dusky radiance faded somewhat into a sombre gloom. ‘Ahem,’ I began, ‘the what the whom the when now? Your inter nets literature specifically said you could provide me with both pointless bits of paper to accompany both my pointless bits of paper!’

‘Oh no sir, must be a miss-print. Head office deals with what goes on the Inter-Googles and Bing Coms.’

The cosy glow evaporated entirely until there was just the air of a long unvisited cemetery on a misty night.

‘So you don’t actually provide the service advertised then?’

‘No. Not as such, sir.’

That which I specifically needed and have travelled on foot, nay hoof, to acquire? Or you do, it’s just I needed to have visited a bank first…’

‘Correct. Well, I have the envelope?’

‘But what good is that?’

‘Hmmmm….’

‘Hmmm, indeed. So what services can you offer me?’

‘I could sell you a disposable BBQ or a pack of sparklers?’

‘And let me guess, the disposable BBQ can’t actually be recycled; standard waste receptacles state upon them ‘no hot ashes’, so the thing has to remain on the scorched grass in the park then? So not that disposable really. And I can only assume that the sparklers can only be lit by a children’s’ safety blowtorch, hm?’

‘…Erm…’

Vast and unwieldy swear words occurred.

POST CLERK

So a trip into town would seem in order.

Now then, I am most un-fond of British Public Transport. I must check my Moaning Records to see whether I’ve dabbled on this subject previously*. But never mind onwards; on this particular venture it wasn’t just going to be the puke on the seats, the litter in the isles, the Chavs that live there or the simpleton employed to drive the damn thing that irked me. No, in this instance I was feeling more wretched about having to give a government-owned body my money in order for me to reclaim my money back from them in the first place. Bastards!

    *Just in case I haven’t yet – it’s pathetic. Laughable even. Ask a German what they think of our system and he will smile and say, ‘didn’t realise you had one’. I once waited at the bus stop in this self-same village for 3 hours for two buses that never materialised. Sigh. I had a good rant about that but I’m not sure I published. 

Anyway, so out to the outskirts of the village and toward the bus shelter I meandered. On checking the timetable there in, which hadn’t been updated since 2016 by the way, I finally deduced that there wasn’t to be another bus due any time soon for at least another couple of hours. If it arrived at all!

So what to do to kill the time until then? The public house isn’t open yet, so I suppose I’ll have to wander to the other side of the village and visit the convenience store. Where upon I might procure some rejuvenating caffeinated refreshment and a sustaining sandwich of undiscernible content…

…It was not to be…

There were unmarked police cars and un-uniformed official personnel surrounding the place and barring my way. I spoke to a rather jovial and loose lipped officer who couldn’t help but reveal that this was now the scene of a foiled armed robber and they were going to need a good couple of hours yet to finish faffing around and eating cake.

I laughed the laugh of the exhausted, bemused semi fictional goat person and told him of my trials of the day thus far. He shared a giggle and a consoling word, but never the less I still had to hop it until they’d sorted things out.

So to the butchers? And get some much needed nourishment? No because the only currency I had other than the two naff bits of paper was the bus fare need for my town trip. Dilemma. AAAAGHH!

Bigger, hairier, swearier words.

Deary me this day just keeps on getting better and better doesn’t it…

By now I am a very hungry, very tired and very thirsty goat boy. It’s been hours since second breakfast and my water bottle is hot to the touch. The contents of which taste remarkably similar to the aforementioned container.

But wait, a eureka moment bonked me on the noggin; an old acquaintance lives around hither somewhere (let’s call him Big Brother Billy Goat Gruff), I shall call in. Furthermore I have his back door key upon my person. I’m sure he’ll understand…I can replenish my water supply, take the weight off my hooves and possibly raid his fridge in the process.

Sigh, again it was not to be. The family was all either out at work, or at a disco-tech or something. Furthermore, they’d left a key in the back door…So, a long thirsty wait at the bus shelter then…

Much later than expected I finally alighted the bus, parting with the last of my real monies not quite knowing how I’d be able to get back again. Spin on. 3 fudging hours later…3 funking hours later, and I disgorged an exceptionally angry and exceptionally exhausted goat boy. Someone was going to get a good telling off. Who and for what I didn’t care.

It should have been a twenty minute ride! I was to find out later, by valuable and official sources that all traffic to the nearest town were delayed inevitably because of unforetold and unforeseen road works on the main entry point to the town. On information derived from hastily constructed diversion signs, a hapless and exasperated lorry driver drove his rather tall lorry under a rather short bridge on the other end of the town’s main route. Thereby, effectively grid locking the whole town and shutting it down completely.

Huge, foul words of curse.

But eventually I made it without altercation to my bank branch and relievedly placed my bits of torn, chewed, ratty paper on the counter, wept a little, knocked on another wall of glass and politely asked the teller withinst to do his business. He looked at me with a soft, hope inducing smile, and golden glory shone in his eyes and in a happy, confiding, friendly voice said… ‘No.’

‘N-n-no?…’ I spluttered, lower lip a quiver, hair falling off my head in tufts.

‘Sorry…er, Sir, but we closed half an hour ago. We close early on Wednesdays.’

‘But, but, but…why? Everywhere else is open…’

‘Sorry sir, we leave the doors open so customers can use the machines…’

I bellowed the biggest, hairiest, sweariest string of words I knew to the gods and with righteous fury slammed both fists on the counter. At precisely that moment a kind of gas sprayed me full in the face and a metal curtain replaced the glass wall in front of me with a resounding kerchung! Incredibly loud alarm bells assaulted my keen ears and big red flashy lights circled the roiling fog.

SATYR ZEN

An uncertain amount of time later I awoke on a comfy, blue bank manager’s sofa; very dazed and very confused. I was eventually allowed to leave the premises via the escort of the talkative undercover policemen I had met earlier outside the village convenience. The town and surrounding villages were on high alert after that morning’s ruralized robbery (or bucolic burglary if you will).

Turns out this gentleman was actually in charge of the armed robbery response team of the town’s police force and was now doing the rounds in town. He must have just popped in to the branch after me to get some cash out for evening cake or something. He vouched for me to his heavily armed colleagues and the bank manager telling them he’d spoken to me earlier in the day and knew that I wasn’t an urban terrorist*, I was just a little angry and upset and had had a very long and trying day…

    *Apparently and luckily for me angry-ist and terrorist are two totally different things. Not sure how. All the terrorists I’ve ever heard of seem frightfully angry.

…Not only that but he bought me a bucket of Colonel Mc Coronary’s Deep Fried Chicken Buttocks and gave me a lift home in his special under cover car too. Funny old world isn’t it…

But what have I learned from this little escapade? Well put it this way, from what I understand – all you real people have to deal with this type of nonsense every day throughout your rather short lives. Many a rod for you own collective backs. So I’m just glad I’m not one of you. Furthermore, never try and get money out of the government. It’ll always cost you more in the long run.

 

Kind regards

 

The Satyr

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Mind Murmur:   My Office for the Season

(Originally penned around 18th April)

SPRING! Let’s all bellow it together now, SPRING!

Gosh I’ve missed her…

I am a warm bloodied goat-boy so I need to hibernate. It’s quite important. Personally I think we should do away with the tradition of winter altogether. Ban the damn thing I say. What good has ever come of it? And whose silly idea was winter anyway? I bet it was the romans. Probably Caligula.

Anyhoo, I’m technically an all-weather goat but your-own-personal-god, damnit! I need my sun!

Its 21 degrees out here (At the time of writing)! Id almost forgotten what vitamin D tastes like. And I’ll tell you precisely how British Vitamin D tastes. It tastes exactly like a great pint of British ale in a great British beer garden with a great British book or note pad and writing implements. Boom. One happy British goat boy.

And oh what it is to be alive in British spring time.

Ladles and jelly spoons, I present to you: my office for the next few months.

2018-05-13 18.05.30

I may dip my hooves in the lake, I may rax out upon the jetty.

Occasionally the odd fisher-person, holiday maker or nature pursuer will pass me by and we’ll exchange a pleasantry or two.

The water here is almost always calm. The geese are boisterous but still worth a gander. Like I, the proper water fowl round these parts are demure and un-encroaching.

There’s the odd bit of litter hither and tither – a can of Monster Sugar Content, or crumpled packet of Lambert and Butler, or a Colonel Mc Coronary’s burger wrapper that some dullard or other has discarded. But otherwise the place is relatively clear, clean and sterile of human impingement.

Yes, I shall be most happy here. There’s the odd honk of the aforementioned gooseys and digital bleep from the hard core fishing enthusiasts’ rig.

But otherwise, we are peaceful and calm. Tranquil.

So, the next few posts published will undoubtedly have been fruited from this spot.

I consider myself very lucky.

There follows a little taste of the spring time awesomeness that I have been lucky enough to spot and things I have missed over the long and barren cold season:

 

A fine, happy and healthy summer to you all.

The Satyr.

SATYR RANT: My Ox Cart – The Fast and the Furiously Fined.

SATYR RANT:       My Ox Cart – The Fast and Furiously Fined.

My ox cart likes to go very, very fast. Especially when I’ve fed it its special oats (a concoction of my own making similar to that which Santa feeds his reindeer.) It’s a Dual Bovine GTI with the aforementioned top of the range fuel injection and the most incredible exhaust system which actually makes me go even faster! It does tend to make the cart rather fumy and nidorous but what the hell do you expect?

Anyway, every now and then I get a speeding fine or parking fine or some other seemingly implausible violation of vehicular conduct, which causes me, my ox cart and my bank manager considerable grief. But not such a big beef. They are your laws and in this democracy I have to adhere to them. However, in my defence, I have to inform you that it’s pretty hard trying to a fix a speedometer to an oxen’s bottom. They don’t like it. That and the fact that I’m flying cross-country about 3 meters above any traffic is irrelevant. However, I still have to account for my actions.

Onwards, as I’m a dwindling fantastical species previously thought to be extinct on this isle the government has set up a benefits system for me*. Lush! I don’t actually have any real monetary coinage per se. I just get it paid into something called a ‘current account’. When I go to a shop or pub if you will, I wave a tiny, little bit of plastic, about the size of a business card, and lo and behold the lady behind the bar says thankyou and walks off. So I take my beer and I sit down. What a wonderful world, eh?

*It’s very important to the government that they give me money so I can pay my council tax for my hut. And then in doing so I…give it back to them…for reasons unknown.

Anyhoo, when I get court fines, as I don’t really earn an income, monies-for-being-naughty exit directly from said benefits before they visit my ‘Current Account’. I have nothing to do with it. It has nothing to do with me. It just sort of…happens. Sorcery!

But a few months ago I was merrily and obliviously about my business, writing prose about baby swans and puppies and cloud formations, when I got a rather nasty red inked-letter from a company called Collectica, a debt collection agency. These rather abhorrent administrators work on behalf of her Majesties Royal Government (I assume because they themselves don’t want to get their hands dirty with any real work or tarnish their good name. Gotta love a Patsy).

This distressing array of threats and lists of monetary sums proclaimed that I hadn’t paid my most recent fine to her Maj and all her little minions. I therefore elected to respond by contacting them through an telephonic instrument and shouting ‘bollox’ at them in a proud and happy voice. Then put said celestial apparatus down. The results of that communique were in no way encouraging….

Turns out that if I didn’t settle up within 24 hours a pack of large gentlemen with dull tools were to be set about my person with gusto and brevity. So naturally, I had to self-extract then sell on a kidney in order to able to pay them off immediately. It might be worth noting at this juncture that on the back of the letter was another list, full of bailiff and auctioneers costs for the privilege of them flogging all my stuff!

FEES

But here’s the thing, a bit of plot as it were, it turns out that a duplicate account was set up by person or persons unknown, by establishments unknown at the advent of my last vehicular faux pas. Fined monies were being paid out of my usual benefits before they reached my ‘current account’ as is their want and nothing untoward was awry. Happy times. Low stress plays.

However, the other account was left bear with nothing in the cupboard and nothing under the stair. Except for mouse shit. So three months down the line, after not a nugget of gold was deposited therein, her Majness decided she’d had enough and sent the debt collectors after me. No communiqué in the meantime what so ever. No telephonic herald, no electronic mail, no facsimilia, no surly letter with reserved amounts of red ink. No Royal Messenger Pidgeon. Nothing. Nada. Diddly squat. F%$k all. Or as footballists would say F.A.

So straight to the arse as it were: ‘you owe us lots of money, so were going to come round and seize what paltry possessions you do have and when we realise that you are poor and have no material wealth we will take our toll in blood.’ God save Her Graciousness.

Some might say I was a little bemused by this. Some might say I was a little outraged by this. While others will say I went postal and carved up the nearest hamlet and drowned them all in a flood of carnage, blood and bile.

But I did none of those things really, fun though it might have been. Instead I sat down with another borrowed cellular telecommunications device and set about sourcing the bottom line in all this nonsense. Easier said than done. Let. Me. Tell. You.

Is it/ was it a problem on Collecticas’ part? The DVLAs part? The benefits people’s part? Who knows? And to this day I still don’t. Because it didn’t matter who I called or who I even got through to or passed about by-

They don’t know their own departmental names! They don’t know their job titles or who their colleagues are! They don’t know what their voice mail/ switch bored messages say or what those numbers even are! They don’t know which department deals with what!

Who am I supposed to trust? Who am I supposed garner advice from?

OX CAM

Baby Jesus knows how many hours and ‘mobile-minutes’ have been wasted going round and round and round just trying to get through to someone who at least knows what I’m talking about.

I’ve spoken to hundreds of people and amassed and complied quite a tomb of names, reference and account numbers – I’ve realised Customer Service really isn’t the government’s thing, especially when giving back money. Bizarrely enough Collectica were quite approachable, who would have thought- eventually, when the immediate staff person I’m talking to finally realises they’re not going to be verbally abused and I’m not a psycho they finally relinquish their name and we established rapport. They can be quite courteous, respectful and helpful. Well, helpful up to a point…helpful as far as they can…we go round again, no one knows who is to blame, no one knows their own name, what their job entitles, where they live, what they had for breakfast etc.

‘What? Money? You want it…back?’

What if I had been a dear, sweet, old lady with an infirm heart and an even in-firmer bowel tract? Or perhaps any person unfortunate enough to be incapacitated in whatever capacity so that they were unable to work? Perhaps even someone of a nervous disposition? Doesn’t bare contemplating…

But let’s spin on just a bit. Eventually I got through to someone who knew what I was talking about, who knew what they were talking about and who knew how to remedy it. God bless America. Or Engtain. Britland. Whatever. He said just relax and we’ll pay you back quickly in instalments. Sorted. Let it lie.

Now let’s spin on a few months to now. Right this minute. I try to procure nourishment and sustaining beverages from a local comestibles purveyor. The little magic card of wizardry gets declined. I instantly get some concerned communications from my bank-persons urging me to speak with them as I have inadvertently raped and pillaged my ‘current account’, something called an ‘over draft’ (again, I think it’s something to do with my oxen’s tail pipes, but who knows) and it’s ‘overdraft limit’. To an insurmountable tune.

I panic. I weep. I leave the premises humiliated and embarrassed but more importantly: without a single drop of wine to bolster my nerve. I then proceed to go back through months and months of bank and benefit statements trying to find out where the issue is.

Turns out nothing happened. Not one bean was reimbursed. And I only found that out by calling all the people, places and department I previously had and going round and round and round and round and round again…so it appears…’whoever’ messed up again and the right paper work wasn’t even sent through and yada, yada, yada…

I am now two months in to debt with my bank-person-bloke because of the over payment to Collectica (including their astonishing ‘Admin. Fee’) which I didn’t need to make and subsequent bank charges from my ‘overdraft’ and further violation of its ‘limits’. Sigh.

I try my utmost to never asked anything from anyone in my life, but now I’m asking for something I’ve certainly never had the Gaul to ask for before, ever (what with being British) – an apology!

But I put it to you: Do you think I deserve an apology? Do you think an apology should have been forth coming without me having to rant about it and waste my time, energy, phone bills and already stretched sanity?

If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then I should proceed…But then, hang on…who do I ask an apology of?…

Believe me I’m not about to spend the next full week of my life phoning round to get some damn answers and going stir cray-cray in the process.

So therefore I’m going to do the only thing I can do and that thing is to make a special Satyr post ranting about it instead…oh look, yay me!

Kindest regards

A poor goat boy.

FANTASY FARCE: On A Pig Hunt

Another extract from the same, similarly titled huge piece that will probably never see the light of day in its entirety.

 

FANTASY FARCE: On a Pig Hunt

     ‘Gretchen, it’s still dark outside. Surely I need to be able to see our quarry in order to shoot it.’ Burr stumbled down the rickety tavern steps, ricocheted of a dozing horse’s bottom and landed face down in the muddy and empty street. The elven hunter, who was casually checking her fletches, rolled her eyes and sighed.

‘I told you we were getting up early’ she began, in that slow, monotonous droning Burr had come assume was how all elves spoke. ‘The best hunting is at dawn and dusk. And It is going to take us a while…well, you a while, to waddle out to the forest.’

The fat man lifted his grimy head from a puddle ‘But I’m still half drunk! All the delicious woodland creatures will hear me a mile off!’

‘And smell you…’ said Gretchen, soothing the startled horse. ‘Well it’s your own fault. I told you to get an early night. But instead you squandered the last of your time and coin on filthy rot gut and filthier floozy’s.’

Burr had managed to get a leg up under himself and was just gearing himself for the final heave toward verticality ‘Hey, I am a man!’ he panted. ‘A roguish, alpha-bull! I need to range and strut about my territory hollering and such…’

‘Quite. I am not sure I agree with any part of that statement, however this is precisely one of the reasons why we are out here in the first place. You have never slain anything wilder than a bacon sandwich. From adolescence, pauper or prince, my kin learns to track, kill, clean and cook his or her own food. And nothing goes to waste.’

Exhausted, Burr gave up trying to right himself and elected merely to fall sideways in the foetus position with a wet splat. Wheezingly, he rejoindered ‘Well back where I’m from all a young buck needs in order to provide for himself is a smartphone and the Just Eat app. either that or a conveniently localized fridge and microwave.’

Continue reading…

Kind regards

The Satyr

Satyr Strips: Strident Sparrows

A week or three ago I mentioned in passing the colony of barbaric sparrows ruling the roost from the eves of my cottage. Now as spring is marching its way back through the desolation of winter the tiny, seemingly diminutive creatures have gone into overdrive. Their activities and most noticeably their noise has increased elevenfold.

What are they doing up there?

To demonstrate their demonic ways I have stripped them in cartoon form thus:

snow satyr

Mining

Rat Drawn Chariot

captain-jack.jpeg

Regards

The Satyr

Satyr Rant: TV Licence?

Satyr Rant: TV Licence?

The following has been heavily edited for cuss words. However, given the nature of the post the odd one may very well have slipped through.

 

Since moving to a fresher glade within the wide expanse of my forest I have been inundated with impertinent letters from the British Broadcasting Cooperation. My forest has a PO Box don’t you know. These rather uncivilised communiques are frightfully dreary, rather pointless to read and have become increasingly and unnecessarily threatening.

Now call me a crusty, old, naive goat-gentleman, but what? A TV what? Licence? Are you mad? For what exactly? I watched a television once and fell immediately into a deep stupor. The quality of the broadcast was unnervingly idiotic. And not in the entertainingly humorous way either.

So let me get this straight Mr so-called Colin Bright from the Nottingham Enforcement Division of the BBC. You want me to pay you and Her Majesties government, for the privilege of watching plastic, orange people jibber, dribble and froth amongst themselves, whilst awaiting the oscillating 5% of quality broadcasting to come on?

Erm, no. Surely you should be paying me?

In The Beginning

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I used to own an televisual set. This is back when I resided further south along the River Camb. Although I almost never watched the damn thing then, my hovel-mate did. I was aware of the appliance in my domain and procured the requisite legal bum-wad to accompany such an hallowed item.

It was terrible viewing then.

Fast forward and a few years hence I was staying at sister-goats place. I tried to understand TV once more, but quickly realised that not a lot had changed and it had even less to offer. The teeth were whiter, the faces more orange and the topics even more pointless, trivial and patronizing:

I’d switch on the bloody thing and just catch the end of a hilarious anecdote on QI, or some such, only to be then rattled at and forcefully induced by a fog horn and kaleidoscope of commercialist, materialistic, superficial claptrap. So I go off and make a nice cup of pine needle and hedgehog tea to pass the time. But when I return, I find the only program worth watching had just finished and cut to a commercial break again.

Personal Taste

Now sports is not really my thing, but I understand the need to entertain the masses avec l’action. Each to his or her own. It is important to some people. It brings them together for a common purpose. Like the winter Olympics for instance. I understand some folk actually enjoy a run for no reason other than to be ambulating at speed.

My exercise and hobby of choice is both one and the same: writing words and drinking good wholesome beer. Oh and hiking. All of which require no unnecessary running about, sweating, casual racism or shouting at all. Or falling over on ice.

The news is all doom and gloom, warped and sensationalised – If no rich white people exploded or got naked on film then it’s just not news apparently. No, don’t wag your PC finger at me, I’m not a media mogul! I’m just a truth-sayer! I tell it how it is – Chiefly jaded, slanted, scaremongering propaganda merely to keep the tax dollars rolling in to a government with its collective heads up its collective self-serving arses. And that’s not going to change in our life time.

Watching a soap opera is like enduring a long slow, painful suicide interspersed with commercials and…

…Oh yes, the commercials. The Ads…(sigh) Come, come now; please don’t insult our intelligence…

And Who Wants to be Strictly Come Get Me Out of Here? All I can holler with bile and disdain is ‘dance monkeys, dance!’ If that really is all that real people wish to chat about in real public then I’ll just stick to the hermit life thank you.

The Law and the Order

Now then, I like to think of myself as a fine, upstanding, balanced, morally decent goat-man. I do not wish to hurt, steal from or anger any persons – living, dead, northern or otherwise. Least of all Her Queennesss – A well rounded sort of chap one might say.

My bovid-esque horns do not pick up digital or satellite or even intergalactic TV. And nor do I have a cable of any sort for any subscription plugged into my bottom. Therefore, I had been ignoring these letters for some time. I knew these documents were from the powers that be because for some unfathomable reason they are always addressed to, ‘The Legal Occupier’.

Withinst, the letter says it is very British and very official. Then surely that makes it Her Majesties Broadcasting Corporation? The body of the letter of demand itself – a long list of ‘do not’s’ and at select intervals ‘you are liable to a £1000 fine’ for not watching tele…I mean, for not having our nonsensical fearmongering twaddle beamed directly into your habitat daily.

Ye verily, Casa Satyr has a PO Box. My habitat is part of the British Isles. Therefore, I have to pay council tax for the rock that I live under. To-it I subscribe to a little internet site whose URL ends .GOV.UK where I pay for governmental services applicable to my address. Come now Mr Bollocking Blokey Cad, pull your finger out and use your intelligence, it’s the year 2000 and something. You can work it out. Show a bit of imagination. And while you’re about it, try and be a tad more personable.

If you are so concerned about the TV set I don’t own, with which to observe the pointless shows I don’t care for which you provide, how come you don’t know what my name is?

You’re so concerned that Her Majesties BBC programs are being eyeballed illicitly from a British post code by a British national who pays his British council tax and British utilities and is registered to vote Britishly but you still don’t know my name? I find this hard to believe.

Furthermore, I’m sorry Mr TV Inspectorman, I don’t open the stack of letters you send to this address because I’m British. And her Maj doesn’t look too kindly on those of her subjects that open mail not directly addressed to them. But then, you should know this.

Merely addressing it to ‘The Legal Occupier’ is portentous and smacks of circular mail and spam and the like. Every time I pick up one of your vile letters I assume it’s from some down trodden Zimbabwean prince in need of a financial bailout with promises of mind boggling rewards if I act immediately.

Why would I waste my time and effort on opening it? Straight on to the fire with you. What a waste of good trees, eh? Then again it does make for a nice warm goat boy come winter.

Tut, tut, tut and impersonating a member of Her Majesties governing authorities? I get electronically mailed spam like that at least once a week! Complete with a .GOV.UK URL. ‘You have been awarded tax compensation rebates. Send us your account number and pin within 24hrs to receive it straight to your bank’.

And if it is the legal occupiers you wish to call to order then may I suggest you approach both families of sparrows living in the eaves of my roof. Generations of them have been in residence much longer than I, and therefore have a greater claim to it. After all, possession is 9/10s of Her Maj’s law.

And do you know what would happen if I try to relegate the aforementioned ornithological squatters into my HRM’s County Council appointed wheelie bin? I shall receive a court order from her Maj’s bird fanciers club wont I. The RSPCA or B or what have you. And I bet you a penguin’s liver they will be able to work out my name and address. Before I know it I’ll have Chris Packham and Billiam Oddie hammering on the door swinging cricket bats and nine irons around their heads ready to knock seven shades of guano out of yours truly.

Shenanigans I say! Fear tactics! Bureaucratic terrorism. Monkeyshines! ‘Pay damn you or we’ll send round da boyz!’ it’s all a very Dickensian approach don’t you think?

Her Queeness herself knows my name and where I live. I know this for fact as she routinely sends me fan mail. I mean, hate mail. But then that’s what one should expect after one is caught poaching ones favourite pet swans. I’m sorry but corgis just don’t taste as nice with neeps.

When I lived on the Camb/ Granta I frequently had irritating and forceful notes stuck under the wiper blades of my ox cart for parking ‘illegally’. And on the odd occasions I may have been cajoling the ox to go a little too fast along a Big Road and tripped a nasty little camera trap thingy. Guess who wrote to me demanding money for committing such an heinous crime? And guess who I had to make the postal order or cheque out to, to ensure no further proceedings were actioned against me or my poor oxen? They knew who I was. They knew where I lived too. They knew exactly where to send their strongly worded letter in bold red type. And what was the address of the site I had to pay the fine to? Something along the lines of Theresnowheretobloodyparkincambridge.gov.uk I think you’ll find.

So to Put It Bluntly

I understand the ‘civilized’ masses need to be appeased, sedated and subdued in order to protect public order. Usually with a common feel involved, something everyone can relate to. And television is a most powerful tool for that. A national sport for instance, an election, a riot, or a stretch of major road workings for no apparent reason. Black Friday Sales. That sort of thing. Pacify the people = peace. Give the people something to moan or gloat about collectively. Give them what they want. Guts and glamour.

The Romans got this down to a T. they needed something to sate the overthrown populaces of their new world order and cement the restoration of public order in the form of the colosseum. In fact, fine example – I hear bare fisted, gladiatorial style combat is back in fashion now in the form of MMA. But not a lot of folk can access, afford or understand that type of barbarity. But for the majority of the angry, sexually frustrated alpha males of the species it is a most welcome venting exercise.

So in order to appear civilised we must become slaves to the shiny frame in the corner of our living rooms which depicts imagery demonstrating what it means to be uncivilized? Either that or lording it over us teaching us how we could and should become better civilized?

Bugger that, I’d rather remain uncouth, uncivilised and warm by my fire fuelled by HRM’s idiots of the lowest order. Mind you, it could be quite entertaining to scrawl along the top of any further indignant letters, ‘Mr. L. Occupier, Not At This Address. Return To Sender’.

I thank you.

The Satyr

Mind Murmur: Ale Survivalist/ Beery Bushcraft

Here’s some twaddle I just hashed up. A hypothetical quandary based on my own non-existent science. Just a theory.

 

Dedicated to my favourite YouTubers: AlfieAesthetics, Emelie’s Out Door Adventure, Joe Robinet, Haze Outdoors, Hiker in Estonia, My Self Reliance, Stephanie Margeth, Survival Lilly, TA Outdoors, Victoria Lune and Zed Outdoors.

If the great outdoors, hiking, bush craft or survival is your thing, check these wonderful people out. Say I sent you!

Marooned Satyr-inked ST

Mind Murmur:  Ale Survivalist/ Beery Bushcraft

If you were marooned  on a desert island or a piece of an artic pole and you had to choose between a huge stockpile of good ale or a huge stockpile of clean water, and that was all that was washed up with you, which would it be?

See believe it or not, it has recently been proven by…er…scientists* that it is infinitely better for you and almost assuredly improves you chances of survival if you choose the ale.

*(I believe the same pocket of folk usually responsible for developing new lines in ladies hair products and gentlemen’s multi-bladed shaving apparatus.)

And I concur. Time for the science bit:

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photo credit: almostsummersky left to drown via photopin (license)

You see real Ale is more fortifying than water, it has more sugar and calories in it, it won’t perish/ dehydrate/ stale/ stagnate or whatever it is that water does. And furthermore, once it’s been left lying about for a bit it won’t give you typhoid or dysentery. Ale will hydrate you to a point but more importantly and beneficially of all it increases moral 10 fold!

Whether you are aware that rescue is on its way or that it is merely a hopeless pipe dream, which would you rather do? Just sit about and bake or freeze to death whilst staring at the horizon praying for a reprieve? Or get drunk as a skunk and have a wander about? Do you dare venture away from that vantage point and miss a potential fleeting reprieve knowing that each moment that passes a ship could be drifiting by on the other side of the island or iceberg? Do you dare wander away from that vantage point and possibly stumble across something that will help you the most in your time of need? Like a kebab.

The extra fortification and everything provided by the Ale will give you this power, strength and assertion to go forth! You can go on reconnaissance, forage, collect firewood and shelter building materials. You could even give hunting a go if you manage to lash together a rudimentary elephant gun and telescopic sight. You would also capable of creating a half decent signalling beacon without having to resort to desperately waving your underpants above your head. Furthermore, the mystical powers of the ale will embolden you to source fresh, clean water. Win, win!

The list goes on, without the reassurance and emboldenment of ale you may not have the courage to seek higher ground, attempt to build a boat with little to no knowledge of seamen ship, or hunt inland beasties with only compacted balls of your own dung. Even attempting to create a flying machine out of nothing more than bamboo twigs and eczema flakes is not beyond you if you are constantly topping yourself up with good, wholesome, reliable ale.

Whilst merrily carving out a basic existence in hostile environments you may need to fend off the odd marauding polar bear, tiger or merekat; but as any David Attenborough will tell you, pinch the nose of the offending beasty and it will simply lay down and play dead rather than risk coming to blows with an inebriated goat-man.

It’s probably also worth noting that water freezes. Warm water is foul and not hydratative (if that’s a word). But we’re British and damn it, we can drink good ale at any temperature and find it revitalizing and rejuvenating (to those observant types I realise those last two verbs mean the same thing but I love them both equally. What are you going to do?).

Ale is like liquid bread. A meal in its self- wheat (possibly) hops, malts, yeast, butter, jam, cheese and onion crisps and alcohol-all the main food groups any growing goat-boy needs to survive adverse heat or cold conditions.

Beer is thicker than water and is so dense and so frothy that its foamy head can be used as a crude sun cream. Beer and water freeze before alcohol does. Try leaving your foamy beverage outside your igloo for an hour or two with a stick in it. Before you know it you will have a clean, tasty, semi hydrating beer-cicle and an easily separable source of raw alcohol.

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photo credit: Leo Reynolds CAMRA via photopin (license)

But of course, woe betide anyone who imbibes alcohol whilst freezing to death. Apparently it restricts the blood flow around body…And your blood flow isn’t already restricted due the onset of hypothermia? All this means is that your heart has less extremities to pump blood to. And what ho? Alcohol thins the blood? Well blow me down with a penguin in pita bread, all of a sudden I’ve got twice as much claret to go around a smaller area. Happy daze.

Drinking water alone gets very, very boring…Good ale will never become boring. Fact! That I base on very little evidence. And it’s not like you’ll be operating any heavy machinery whilst marooned or going out for a nice drive any time soon. And it’s not like you will be able to inadvertently make a drunken phone call to your ex-partner.

So, I put it to you: If it were you, what would you do? Good Ale or clean water?

Suggestions and actual fact based opinions in the comments section below.

Incidentally if there are any real ale companies out there who fancy a spot of sponsorship, hit me up…

Yours

The Satyr.

  1. Always drink responsibly. No matter how far you are away from civilisation.

photo credit: Leo Reynolds CAMRA via photopin (license)

photo credit: almostsummersky left to drown via photopin (license)

MICRO FICTION: Snatch and Run

Dedicated to Sallyann, Brian and their favoured getaway destination.

MICRO FICTION:  SNATCH & RUN

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Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Like all good thieves, no-one saw this one coming. Not even me-the erstwhile protector and keeper of the ‘precious’. That which is most sacred.

Like with all good thieves, it took its target right from under my very nose. Just a slash of monochrome and my charge, my reason, my insurance for the near future, was gone.

Like all good thieves, he made his livelihood in the tourist destinations. That’s where the bounty’s at. It’s where victims are at their most vulnerable, relaxed; carefree enough to demonstrate their wealth- flaunting it openly. Not a care in the world.

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photo credit: TommyClicks Treasure Chest via photopin (license)

The ‘Precious’ in question was typically traditional. A national treasure. The epitome of the British Isles. Sought by countless thousands, from abroad and at home. Coveted by those in the know, those ‘in the business’; Indeed, independents and corporations alike have pursued its secrets for at least a century. Tried to duplicate its simplistic but perfect quality. Dreaming alchemists aren’t we all.

And like all good thieves this one left its calling card: Something simple. An unmistakable black and white slash…

And like all good fortune-it can disappear in the blink of an eye…

 

 

 

BLOODY SEAGULLS!

Kindest regards,

The Satyr

Further enjoyment:

The Night Before Christmas-Revisited

Merry Christmas one and all!  A modern retelling of a classic seasonal verse, with additional silliness. Originally posted a year ago…funnily enough. 

And of course, once again, the biggest things at Christmas time are the littlest people. So this for Jack, Martha, Ethan, Conrad, Kobe, Harrison, Albert and Grace.

The Night Before Christmas-Revisited

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

Well, except for two villains, a’ prowling the night

Creeping round Old Mrs Palins’ house, led by torchlight.

 

Gary and Jordan, were a veritable pair

United in crime, clad in counterfeit sportswear

T’was that time of year again, when they must provide for their kin

All the luxuries expected, to welcome the New Year in.

 

Neither had had, a real job up to date

Preferring to sponge, off of the welfare state.

So over to the rich side, of their town every year

To pilfer some presents and other assorted gear.

 

But what the pair didn’t know, was that Grandma Palin was a witch

A peaceable respectable one, homely but not kitsch.

Indeed the seasonal bunting, was all but for show.

Being a pagan she cared little, for reindeer’s and snow.

 

But she played along every Christmas, for it was both happy and wry;

And she baked breads and cakes, for the elderly nearby.

But the men bound her to a chair, then set her aside

And carried on pillaging, without breaking stride.

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photo credit: JLS Photography – Alaska 24 days to Christmas . . . via photopin (license)

 

Quite rightly Grandma Palin, became quite hotly vexed

To teach these thieves a lesson, she would have them both hexed

So the old dear did mumble and an incantation she did weave

Jinxing the villains and all they touched and perceived.

 

Lo all of the plunder did significantly alter,

Into big lumps of coal causing both rogues to falter.

The burglars were enraged and turned on the old crow,

‘Turn it all back, we need gifts to bestow!’

 

Said Mrs Palin, ‘Well Mr Burglars, I would if I could.

But first I need you both, to do something good.

To atone for your crimes and lift off your curse:

Make an honest festive gesture: Open your hearts not your purse.’

 

‘To dispel my magic’s, all you need do

Is give something back, to the community you eschew.

It need not be pennies or Frankincense or gold

Merely show a little love for all to behold.’

 

But the chums would have none of it and both curtly said

‘To hell with you woman, we’d rather be dead.’

To this the witch rounded, ‘So be it, it is done!

Not a gift you will enjoy ‘til the spells’ course is run’.

 

‘Now be off with you both, for I’m a busy gel

And you and your new coal, can go burn in hell!’

The two thugs did huff, then threw down the fuel

Ridiculing the old woman and humbugging the yule.

 

So off into the night, they went in search of more stock

But alas every gift unwrapped, turned out nothing more than black rock.

The duo began to quaver, as they considered their plight

A change in plan was required, at least for this night.

 

Gary knew a charlatan who liked to prey on the Ebayer,

And Jordan went to his local, to pick up a hot DVD player.

But the pub had just closed and the hacker was asleep,

So both men moaned wretchedly and into their palms did weep.

 

Whined Jordan, ‘There’s nothing else for it, we’ll just have to submit;

Do the witches bidding, or our families will fit!’

Cried Gary, ‘Let’s do some good, for the people we’ve done wrong.

And hope to god it works or we’ll have no household to belong’.

 

So the thieves turned to thinking, a somewhat dubious notion

How to repay the town, and prove to their kin their devotion.

Hence they made a plan, both brilliant and bright

Then ran back to old Grandma Palins to set everything right.

 

Sang the Witch, ‘that’s the way lads, I knew you’d come through;

Now up and dashing both, you’ve got lots to do.’

So the pair spent the dawn, diligent on their plan

And soon it was finished with a little help from the old gran.

 

A carefully worded contract, up the witches enchanted chimney flew,

Promising their hard labour once the night’s dilemma was through;

They solemnly promised Santa, they would help him this year and the next

If he could possibly help them, what with them being both destitute and hexed.

 

High above the land, a familiar sleigh did soar,

Carrying a rosy cheeked fat man and presents galore;

Pulled by eight little reindeer, galloping on through the black,

When an unopened letter arrived, top the bearded man’s sack.

 

‘Ho, ho, ho, what be this?’ said the jolly old man.

‘A late letter to Santa? Well, I always do what do what I can.’

But then he read more closely and immediately understood

Then hastily changed course for Gary and Jordan’s neighbourhood.

 

The pair were most shocked, when Santa’s sleigh came to land

Their mouths did drop open as he proffered his hand

Their plan had worked! Who could have wondered?

Santa shook both their palms and smiled as he thundered:

 

‘Come on then lads you’d best climb aboard,

And let’s get to delivering this yule tide hoard.

There’s something for everyone, ho, ho, even your kin;

Now let’s all hustle, before they realise the trouble you’re in.’

 

So in jumped the pair and the sleigh took off at speed

So high and so fast that Gary almost wee’ed.

Back on with Santa’s rounds and the duo worked as hard as they might

Depositing gifts in stockings, throughout the rest of the night.

 

No one was left out, and some households were even repaid

To make up for the previous year’s seasonal raid.

Santa made quite sure, the pair’s homes were both filled

With everything their kin wished for, just as the contract had billed.

 

Returning to Grandma Palin, the sleigh finally empty of toys

Jolly St. Nick boomed, ‘well done, same again next year boys?’

‘Of course Mr Claus’ they replied full of cheer;

‘We can’t thank you enough, we’ll start work in the New Year.’

 

Grandma Palin was gleeful and said with a grin,

‘Glad to see you’ve learnt your lesson, now get home to you kin.’

‘We thank you too Grandma Palin, for teaching us right.’

Now Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!’

photo credit: JLS Photography – Alaska 24 days to Christmas . . . via photopin (license)

photo credit: Jutta M. Jenning Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes Neues Jahr – Merry Christmas and a happy new Year via photopin (license)

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