Trenton Babbage & The Bacon Smugglers – Part Five

Here we rejoin guest writer Trenton Babbage for the next part of his epic bacon smuggling adventure…

Part Four can be found HERE

muroidal anus about the price of champagne; I can concoct my own insipid libation for free by making bubbles in the bath; nor do I care for your diamonds and pearls and pretty little trinkets, please attach whatever price-tag a healthy conscious would balk at.

But I do care about bacon.

A wise woman once said, ‘I strongly believe that it is through bacon that world peace will finally be achieved’, and I’m inclined to agree; but I also believe that quality bacon should not just be restricted to the elite – they can have gout and like it – it should be available to the masses, and that is what we intend to achieve. We are not interested in supplying the aforementioned quality butchers; they already have quality bacon. We are on a quest to supply the Spars of the world, the Premiers – not the co-ops; they’re bastards – for the bacon in these places is crap; cheap and crap, and we think it should be cheap and excellent. That is all.

I have recently come into possession of some rather interesting documents (real actual paper documents found in a stereotypical wooden chest in a stereotypical wooden attic; anyone who says it was originally written as a blog is a lying poo poo head) detailing the exploits of a young explorer searching for the mythical land of Shangri-La. This in itself is obviously fascinating and worthy of much deliberation and discussion; however, what intrigued me immediately was his mention, in a transcribed radio interview, of a man referred to under various monikers as ‘the map maker’, ‘the crazy canadian cartographer’; an ethereal being by the name of Winter Lent. This man has been recommended to both Perl and me as someone we must visit if we’ve any intention of finding that which is not of the common conscious; something that this young explorer was certainly looking for.


The following is that transcribed radio interview conducted by a person called Sacha Inchi (gender unknown; possibly irrelevant):

SI: Welcome back listeners and thank you for staying with us for what will be a most fascinating interview I’m sure. Today I have great pleasure in introducing to you all, the explorer and Shangri-La expert, Thatch Herringbone.

TH: Thank you for having me.

SI: Thatch’s primary, nay solitary, exploratative purpose is that of the discovery of Shangri-La; it has taken him to such far-flung places as Sheffield, Hampstead Heath, and soon the sight of his latest expedition, Upper Tooting Road, specifically the junction where Moffat Road meets Kellino Street, just down from the Tooting Islamic Centre. But Thatch will give us more details about that in a minute; first let us get to know the man; Thatch, tell us a little bit about yourself.

TH: Thank you again, Sacha, for having me on your show. Well, my name is Thatch Herringbone and I’m a twenty-three year-old explorer living in Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A place that as you may or may not know, is steeped in superstition, myth and folklore; undoubted influences on my subsequent infatuation with Shangri-La.

SI: So when did you first have this seed planted within you?

TH: Really as young as I remember I’ve always been fascinated with the notion of a mythical place that could actually exist if people only knew where to look.

SI: As I’ve mentioned, you’ve explored various places but have been unsuccessful in finding Shangri-La. What makes you think that Upper Tooting Road will be any different?

TH: Well, the ‘Crazy Canadian Cartographer’ not to put too fine a point on it!

SI: And who is he?

TH: A man recommended to me as someone I must visit if I’ve any intention of finding that which is not of the common conscious. He provides maps of the soul you could say; a most enlightening experience.

[Here the transcriber got bored, and doodles a picture of a frog.]

SI: That is one of the most fascinating things I think I’ve ever heard. So tell us about your latest venture!

TH: Upper Tooting Road! Yes, I’m extremely confident about this; I am aware of course that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants for this one. The original exploration by the Monty Python team climbing up the north face of the Uxbridge Road was groundbreaking in its discoveries and methodology, and gave a whole new idea as to how to view these places you were aiming to discover.

SI: So tell us a little bit about your plan of action.

TH: We shall be parachuted in to ‘Harringtons’, the pie and mash shop; this is the closest I can get because of the permanent no-fly zone in operation, and of course we’ll probably be a bit peckish. We shall head south east along Selkirk Road until we reach the junction with Upper Tooting Road itself – should I realise that we’ve forgotten anything, I can just nip in to ‘The Travel Shop’ for supplies; I hear they do a fine line in crampons.

Our first camp is intended to be outside ‘Tooting Dental Care’ – we’re still waiting for written permission but the conversations we’ve had have fillinged us with nothing but confidence.

SI: Was that a dentist joke?

TH: ……..No…………… anyway, we’ve no real idea as to the local costs but by the time we reach ‘Tooting Dental Care’ we hope to have a good idea of how much we’ll need to travel the rest of the way, and whether we’ll need to pay VAT on anything in ‘Greggs’ [This gives an idea of the date of this expedition.]. We’d rather not go in to the fiscally volatile bank of ‘Santander’ so we’ll opt for the far more trusted and reliable firm of ‘Habib Bank AG Zürich’ opposite our base on the corner of Upper Tooting and Gatton.

At the end of the second day we aim to arrive at ‘Greggs’ for our evening meal. Our intelligence suggests that this is a relatively quiet and simple stretch of road to navigate and traverse so we may get to pop in to ‘Oxfam’ for a bad lampshade and some pornography on VHS.

The third day should see us reach our goal of the ‘Sajna Hair and Beauty Institute’ where, I believe, we will find Shangri-La, and hopefully enter it. We’d like to have a look at how buoyant the local property market is at ‘Bernard Marcus Estate Agents’ but our head cameraman’s new house has dry rot, which he is suing the Estate Agents through whom he bought it for not telling him, and he’s subsequently developed a mortal hatred of all their kind – we wish to avoid conflict at all costs. We’ll stop for a coffee of course at ‘Coffee Max’ and most probably a bun or two depending on our finances, and should anyone require any drugs, plasters, ointments or pointlessly small nail clippers, then a trip to ‘Barkers Chemists Tooting’ will be forthcoming.

SI: Well that all sounds extremely interesting and exciting; please come back and tell us all about it as soon as you can.

TH: Thank you I will.

SI: And the very best of luck to you.

Now I don’t know about you, but I

Trenton Babbage – Diary Of A Bacon Smuggler Part Three

Back once more – and still sticking rigidly to his optimum 637 word limit – is Trenton Babbage with his epic tale, The Bacon Smugglers…

able to get the lifeguards involved too, and complete the holy quadfecta. Until that blessed day we make do with linking up our various explosive devices and saunter out the tradesmen’s entrance. Via the half price milk chocolate hobnob stand.

Outside the air is thick with freshness, one can chew on it, literally; not like in that stupid advert. So we do, we stand together taking great big bites out of the air, chewing greedily on the concoction, drooling almost in our childlike glee; in fact, if there hadn’t have been a local co-op exploding at this very moment, showering the surrounding area in three for the price of two own brand butter, people woulda thought we were a right coupla nut jobs! As it is they are conveniently indisposed to paying us any mind, so we make our way back to the train station … you know the route.

On the train I disclose my experience of the buffet car bacon sandwich to Perl, and its subsequent treatment and allusion to the work of Pannerberg. Oddly enough she’d had the same ordeal with her purchase – or perhaps not odd at all; pick any random person who’s eaten a bacon sandwich, or anything bought from a train’s buffet car, and defy them to wax lyrical upon it, or even border on as good as slightly dissatisfied – what may be odd though is how certain people deal with these below par food stuffs; not many I imagine use them to recreate the victims of a serial killer active on the Danish island of Zealand during the latter half of the 1800s…though I could be wrong. Perl’s killer of choice was of course Dagmar Underhål, who was perpetually perturbed by the constant lies people told each other. Not the big ones; the affairs, the fraud; it was the little ones; back in two seconds, I’ll do that in a minute, sarcasm. Her literal understanding of the words people used left no room for nuance, sarcasm, metaphor. She used to roller her victims, render them transparent essentially, using one of the first cricket wicket rollers brought over from England by the rail engineers. “I never go anywhere without my little roller, Manfred. So I placed my one sixth eaten bacon sandwich on the buffet counter, looked the server in the eye and began to roll. All the while explaining to him how and why Dagmar used to do this to members of her community; she was squeezing out all the bullshit, all the layers becoming one, nothing else left to hide, just a pure human spirit.” “Bloody hell, Perl; I just pinned the bits of mine to a chair, I didn’t mess with a poor bloke’s mind!” “Who is reading your notes? Who now thinks that there might be some crazed bacon sandwich fetish psychotic on the loose?” “Touché.”


“I feel readers are going think it strange that we, self-professed top quality bacon lovers, would eat a buffet car bacon sandwich in the full knowledge that it will be severely sub-par.” “What do you mean, ‘readers’? we’re not supposed to know about the readers; we’re characters in a story, unaware that we’re characters in a story.” “Yes I know, but it just seems weird that we would eat bacon we know to be crap.” “I assume the author was more concerned with introducing the work of serial killers in a way he thought was humourous, than he was with character consistency.” “Insulting to the reader?” “Not necessarily, a bit lazy possibly. The explanation may come later.” “I don’t think the author should leave it too long; it will start to niggle in the readers’ minds.” “Not yet though; we’re here.”

Sitting on a great South West Trains train arriving at the international hub that is Southampton train station, can only

Trenton Babbage and The Bacon Smugglers – Part 2

Back once more – and still sticking rigidly to his optimum 637 word limit – is Trenton Babbage with his epic tale, The Bacon Smugglers…

little, but it’s never coming back; we feel it at the same time, turning to look at each other swallow our own little co-op of sick – the collective noun for sick is in fact a co-op – these are the things that drive us; if you feel something so viscerally that your body expels its own nutrients, then you need to pay attention.

With that out of the way we can indulge in a little tab of bacid; a bacon-based psychedelic displaying the general properties and dose effects of lysergic acid diethylamide, but with the onset time of dimethyltryptamine: it is placed on the tongue in the traditional fashion but then begins to fizz, feeling much like popping candy; the ensuing vapour is then inhaled, thus arriving at the brain in an extremely expedient manner. People’s features become delineated; deep purple grid lines reveal facial contours we just never notice in the everyday. Then we enter the submarine, or rather the pig’s snout. The musac now beautiful, dancing along the liquified pews, synesthesia taking over; smells fill our ears, and euphonious notes daub the effervescent ceiling with hues not witnessed in the most ebullient of dreams; tasteless consumables shimmer and glow, their comforting lists of synthetic ingredients pin sharp, their prices reasonable on an Aristotlean level.


“You need to leave the church,” I say, “it’s going to exploooode.” Still he doesn’t move; I can see why he isn’t moving; his legs have been replaced by traffic cones, and not the ones students put on their heads in the age old fashion, handed down from one lack of imagination to the next; no, these were those really heavy ones used to keep jumbo jets off patches of the runway that are still a little tacky. No wonder he can’t move. But he can’t see what I see. It could be fear; fear does that to a man; I once saw a guy who’d broken both this legs in a motorcycle accident, he was so scared that he’d be unable to ever walk again that he couldn’t move at all. But this guy doesn’t have fear in his eye; he has belief, he has grit, and not the kind that requires a soft, saline eyewash; his hands upon his leather belt now, like it was the wheel of some big ocean liner [10 points for the reference]. I look deep into his swirling orange pupils as he stares right back into my dilated watery abysses; we meet somewhere across the ether, in a parallel universe we converse as brothers, an unspoken bond between us, we are about to have what can only be described as “a moment”. Then Perl appears and clonks him on the back of the head with a packet of half price, milk chocolate hobnobs – an open packet, I notice. We then drag our unconscious brother to a shopping trolley and hurl him down the cold meats aisle towards the exit [now remember this bloke, coz he’ll probably turn up again in, umm, oh I don’t know, part 17?]. The not insubstantial crowd of parishioners who have gathered outside the shopfront take care of the man who will forever view this time in his life as a near death experience. Fool; there’s no such thing as a near death experience, we’re a split second away from death incessantly, you’re either alive or dead; if you want an experience, choose a full-on life one…like blowing up a co-op whilst tripping off your nuts. With everybody now out of the shop, Perl and I mix the last of the chemicals together as we hear, or rather see, the cans of condensed chicken soup tell us that three of the emergency services are on their way – as soon as the co-op go down the inevitable route of floating shops, we’ll be


Psychedelic pig GIF by Arthur Browne