Month: June 2018

Trenton Babbage & The Bacon Smugglers – Part Seven

We return to our occasional series documenting the mildly offensive sex, drugs & bacon escapades of our hero smugglers, as told by penman extraordinaire Trenton Babbage

“Are you still reading that crap, Manfred?” “It’s not crap, Perl; it’s…good.” “Good? Wow! Let me at it!” “Shut up. I was just thinking that it reminds of that book by whatshisname.” “What book?” “That’s what I’m trying to remember! I can’t think of the author either.” “What else have they written?” “Can I just stick to trying to remember this one first please?
“It had a blue cover.
“Bum. It’ll come to me later I’m sure.” “Let’s hope so, I cannot stand the suspense.” “Is something the matter, mardy arse?” “I’m glad you’ve asked.” “You could’ve just told me.” “I’m telling you now.” “Then tell me.” “I just think it’s the unthinking assumption; the idea that we’ll just do what he wants; he prides himself in giving his characters great personalities, minds of their own: “oh my characters have become almost independent, I never know what they’re going to do until I sit down and start writing” pompous tool; it would bloody serve him right if we buggered off and left him for a while, see how he gets on then; not such a great writer without his characters.” “Where would we go?” “Doesn’t matter, we could go anywhere; he doesn’t describe any of the locations in this story; we could put up a wall ourselves and hide behind it; we could take that stupid boat he highly values; I bet there isn’t even any bloody great bacon; it’ll be a sodding metaphor or something: “it’s not about bacon; it’s about the self” pompous tool; I refuse to be a part of his vanity project; this is my bloody life!” “Why don’t we have a word with him instead?” “Words shmerds; it’s actions what’s neededs! with us still here, having a conversation with him, it’ll still be on his terms; we need to shock him. I’m more than happy going on a bacon smuggling adventure, I like that idea, perfectly ok with sticking it to the man, but I will not have my very existence being used to make some metaphysical point.” “Won’t it be a little awkward though? if we let him stew for a bit and then come back with some kind of list of demands?” “He shouldn’t make assumptions then.” “What about the readers?” “What about the readers?” “Won’t it seem a little artificial for them?” “Who cares about the bloody readers? They won’t get their regular fix of imbuing their own bias, interpretation, and conclusion into my thoughts and actions?! Oh poor them! And if anything it’ll be less artificial because we’ll be doing stuff of our own choosing; it’ll be more genuine than letting that idiot decide our fate.” “It could be a good fate though; we’ve done some cool things so far.” “That’s not the point! I want control of my own life: if it ends up crap it’s because of my decisions; if it ends up great I’ll be buggered if I’m letting anyone else get the credit!” “What if we don’t have a choice? what if we’re just written out and cease to exist? or kept in to perform degrading and inhumane acts for the author’s own megalomaniacal perversions? because we chose to confront his world order?” “Shut up, Manfred.” “You can do better than that.” “If we can have this conversation, and do things outside the writing, he’ll have to write about us constantly, always giving us stuff to do in order to keep us here. As soon as he stops writing, we’re free.”

Manfred and Perl had popped out from the hotel in order to stock up on provisions for their ensuing adventure aboard the Good Ship Venus, piloted by the inimitable Neter Wrobahr (remember? course you do), who was at this moment aboard said ship, seeing to the maintenance, sustenance and cleanlinance of all his horses, dogs and babies, and a random parrot which had joined him en-route to Southampton from the delectable Bay Area of the oft mentioned United States of America – very big at the moment; should go on to do great things. Given that Southampton’s coordinates are 50° 54′ 0″ N, 1° 24′ 0″ W, and given the time of year, the weather was probably quite pleasant; t-shirt weather definitely, even in the shade (see, Perl; I can describe stuff!); but rather than avail themselves of a quality butcher, they ended up in a mosque instead. They sang the following hymns:

bacon hymns

Amazing bacon

Amazing bacon! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas bacon that taught my heart to fear,
And bacon my fears relieved;
How precious did that bacon appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis bacon hath brought me safe thus far,
And bacon will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion (of bacon) be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and bacon.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun refuse to shine;
But bacon, who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing bacon’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

bacon Chorus

Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Bacon! Bacon!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,

King of kings, and Lord of lords,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
Bacon! Bacon!

And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!

What A Friend We Have In bacon

What a friend we have in bacon,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to bacon in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to bacon in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the bacon in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Bacon knows our every weakness;
take it to the bacon in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious bacon, still our refuge;
take it to the bacon in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the bacon in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

Breath Of bacon

Breathe on me, breath of bacon,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of bacon,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of bacon,
Blend all my soul with Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of bacon,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.

Give Me bacon In My Heart

Give me bacon in my heart, keep me praising,
Give me bacon in my heart, I pray;
Give me bacon in my heart, keep me praising,
Keep me praising till the break of day:

Sing bacon, sing bacon,
Sing bacon to the King of kings.
Sing bacon, sing bacon,
Sing bacon to the King.

Give me bacon in my heart, keep me loving,
Give me bacon in my heart, I pray;
Give me bacon in my heart, keep me loving,
Keep me loving till the break of day:

Sing bacon, sing bacon,
Sing bacon to the King of kings.
Sing bacon, sing bacon,
Sing bacon to the King.

Give me bacon in my heart, keep me serving,
Give me bacon in my heart, I pray;
Give me bacon in my heart, keep me serving,
Keep me serving till the break of day:

Sing bacon, sing bacon,
Sing bacon to the King of kings.
Sing bacon, sing bacon,
Sing bacon to the King.


And finished with the bacon’s prayer:

Our butcher, who art in Copenhagen
bacon be thy name
thy cut be thick
thy rind be thin
on back as it is on streaky.
Give us this day our daily bacon
and forgive us our overcooking
as we forgive those who overcook against us.
And lead us not into the fakon
but deliver us from Linda McCartney.
For thine is the Boston butt
tenderloin and the shank end
for ever and ever

‘I Do Not Pilfer Victory’ – Alexander The Great

The relentless blaze of afternoon sun baked the dry circle of green situated inexplicably in the middle of miles and miles of corn fields. The air was thick with hope and sweat and Deep Heat and I scanned the unforgivingly flat horizon of Cambridgeshire countryside in vain search of some small corner of modesty and found none. To my left, team captain Francis was disrobing with gusto and a distinguished member of the Queen’s Royal Hussars was already down to his underpants (blue) to my right. It seemed there was nothing for it but to wriggle into my whites right here in the open. This was not the first time I had found myself semi-naked in a field and, God willing, it won’t be my last, so I took a deep breath and cast aside my attire in favour of cricket wear. 

Following an embarrassing incident during the last match, I had spent most of the week fielding enquiries from concerned people (some of whom I don’t know very well) regarding the  welfare of my groin. I put said groin through its paces with some vigorous physical activity on Friday afternoon and it held up remarkably well, however I was still worried about the occurrence of  a repeat injury – not least because of the pain, but equally due the humiliation involved. In preparation for today’s match, I had bolstered my groin with a hearty pub lunch beforehand, which seemed like the best precaution.


Rain Men 

Back row – Sam, Posh Tom, David, Adam ‘Posh Smith’ Smythe, Francis, Adrian, Simon

Front row – Tim, Martin, Major Tom, my good self

Despite misgivings about my own fitness, Rain Men had high hopes for the game. We had the rare advantage of having not one but two star players at our disposal – Major Tom and Posh Tom. Both gifted all-rounders, their appearances are limited by Major Tom’s frequent ‘invading of defenceless third-world countries’ and Posh Tom being very busy, as posh people often are. The exemplary bowling of both Toms occupied the opposing batsmen while the rest of us were able to enjoy a largely untroubled fielding experience by admiring a passing kestrel and ruminating on amusing cloud formations. There were occasional bouts of foraging for lost balls amongst the surrounding chaparral, which brought an acceptable amount of low level drama to proceedings. After the first 30 overs, we retired for tea with our rivals on 146 for 6 and Rain Men feeling unusually confident about our turn in the crease. 


Our 30 overs began so well, some of the team opted to take themselves off to sunbathe or chatter with the thronging masses of picnicking spectators.


Posh Tom & Sam mingling with the crowds

Before long, our star performers were padded up and striding onto the field. Observing the scorching double-Tom action in the crease, it became obvious that none of the rest of us would need to bat, so Tim and I decided to create a Sunday evening ITV series, ably assisted by the assembled creative genius of David, Adam ‘Posh Smith’ Smythe and Sam. Tucking into the remaining sausage rolls, we outlined a humorous cricket-based detective series, featuring a hapless cricket-obsessed investigator who shows complete ineptitude for the sport but ironically has an uncanny knack for solving murders, despite having no interest in crime whatsoever. 

Just as we were making real headway with this, it was announced that we had won. I can’t tell you how we did this or what the score was (that’s cricket for you) but everyone was very pleased. There was a small amount of hugging, even. Going to the local pub after a match is mandatory, but this time we were able to celebrate our glorious victory, rather than pick over the rancid bones of defeat.


Victorious Rain Men!

And – just for the record – my groin is absolutely fine. You can all stop asking about it now, thanks.

(With thanks to the photographic skills of Francis Peckham – Rain Man extraordinaire)

Bigger Than Hitler. Better Than Christ

Now, there’s an attention-grabbing title for you. Which is no doubt exactly what Rik Mayall thought when he chose to name his eccentric tome in this very manner. Or perhaps I should address him him as The Rik Mayall, which is how he refers to himself through the text. Even though it is a book all about the life and times of the man himself in his own words, I am loath to describe the book as an autobiography. It is notably short on the things you would normally expect to find in an autobiography – such as dates and facts – and most of it appears to be complete bollocks, but this is rather beside the point. This is full on, unfiltered Rik Mayall!

Rik describes himself endlessly as a giant of light entertainment and a talent of God-like proportions. I happen to agree with him but it is true to say his particular brand of humour is an acquired taste. Those not already enamoured with his work will find little in this book to change their minds. However, for those dedicated followers of The Rik Mayall this is an absolute scream and, I would say, essential reading. For all I know months and months of careful planning and research went into the book but it reads like the manic stream of consciousness of a man convinced of his superiority in every way to the rest of mankind – and convinced that everyone else knows it, too. 

Sorry about the very rude word

It is wildly offensive to absolutely everyone of every gender, race, religion and sexual orientation and unapologetically so. One gets the feeling that if this was written by anyone other than Mayall, no publisher would touch it with a barge pole. But despite the bad language, poor taste and terrible syntax, it is completely devoid of bile or malice of any kind and for all the ranting and random threats, we know that Rik is imploring us to laugh at him, not with him (yes, that way round). And laugh I did, it’s bloody hilarious. At several points I had to actually put the book down and have a proper guffaw, on occasion doubled up with mirth on my bed. 

And it was during one such outburst that I thought to myself – this book really reminds me of something. Obviously such things as Bottom, The Young Ones, Dangerous Brothers, The Comic Strip (for all of which Rik takes complete and sole credit) come to mind but, no – it was something else. Hang on, I thought – random, impassioned stream of consciousness… complete disregard for facts and a linear narrative… unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy… This is rather like Finnegans Wake! Alright, it’s a Finnegans Wake you can actually understand, but the similarities are uncanny, I reckon. So, much like James Joyce, we must assume that Rik was either a raving lunatic or complete genius. In truth, he was probably both.


Nicked this picture from Google. Copyright is owned by the BBC and I don’t have permission to use it, which would make Rik proud.

Carefully enveloped in the anarchy and fury is an unusually heartfelt passage referring to the notorious quad bike accident in 1998 that almost claimed his life. As Mayall contemplates his own mortality in surprisingly beautiful prose, I thought a little tear might find its way out of my eye. But, just in the nick of time, normal offence-laden banter is resumed and we are back on the literary rollercoaster before anyone gets too emotional.

I don’t usually talk about books as I prefer writing them to reading them but I couldn’t let this one slip by unmentioned. Whether you believe Rik to be (as he continually professes himself) the most brilliant and original entertainer in the entire history of the world, or the very worst example of humanity, this book will prove you right. What we can all agree upon, however, is that when he burst onto the public stage in the early 80s – wild-eyed and relentlessly anarchic – the world really wasn’t ready for him. But when he died suddenly in 2014, we were nowhere near ready to let him go. I personally cried for three days. Not continually, obviously. On and off. I mean, I still had to go to work and the shops and things.


I would say rest in peace, but I suspect that rest and peace would be the last things The Rik Mayall would want.