There is a picture that hasn’t quite gone viral yet of “me” poured into a slinky lame number, please read lame with an accent on the e.
If that’s not bizarre enough for you (it certainly is for me), it is accompanied by a tall story about a Mrs Hugh-Cry — allegedly an alias of mine — a python and a pedagogue, and ends rather badly.
Or happily, depending on your point of view.
I have analysed this story at some length and asked myself how such an idea got put about. Whether, for example, it could all be lightly dismissed as an old man’s fantasies.
Now if I am to be cast as any of the three characters in this modern variation on the lessons of Eden, it would not be as Eve!
Eve, turned into the personification of evil, gets the worst deal in every interpretation of the Bible and I simply will not play along with God on that.
I can see myself as a hapless and probably becardiganed professor and certainly identify with the slitherer but a bold Shirley Bassey entrance, I can assure you, is not me!
So I can only surmise that this pythonesque nonsense was the result of false logic and assumptions along the lines of the following: Jude has in the past made up a bored 13-year-old and a 19-year-old flower child – and yes, I did – therefore, ipso facto, she also (would have) created a wishful-thinking illusion of herself as the middle-aged but nicely toned Mrs HC.
But dear readers, I can tell you now, and don’t believe anyone else, she is more likely to imagine herself as a fuddy-duddy bookworm.
From her point of view, HC is a handbag and perhaps a trophy for the unphotogenic Mr Pickett, who is so easily overlooked with his quiet demeanour.
Please stay on the page, guys. There is more.
I may not know any more than you do why Mrs HC had to be invented or what the next hue and cry will be about, but if I am anyone in that story I am the python. Or the pedagogue.
I am, you see, both a skin-shedder and a creature of voracious appetites, not to mention cursed with a natural ability to set people on their mettle.
I do need to be handled with kid gloves sometimes, and was born in the Chinese year of the serpent.
And I am the pedagogue as well, in as much as:
~ I do rather fancy myself as an unkempt academic who observes life rather than living it and also doesn’t know danger when he’s in it.
~ I feel comfortable saying “he”.
~ I would rather be swallowed by a python than make an entrance as Shirley Bassey.
The story alluded to by “Cloggo” mentioned how the quick-thinking HC (couldn’t have been me) claimed “Mr Pickett” back from the snake by commandeering a steamroller and, “starting at the tail”, driving the roller along its length and squeezing him back out of its mouth.
She probably saved ITS life too, as the cardigan would have been indigestible.
The steamroller proved useful again later, when the lame (accent on the e) diva needed a costume change but I don’t know who would have driven it the second time as Mr Pickett wouldn’t be capable and I don’t have any other characters to work with.
I know a bit about Pickett, as a matter of fact.
He can’t drive and is quite useless in the practical sense. I, I mean he, couldn’t save anyone’s life to save myself.
I I mean he am or is, on the other hand, quite comfortable stepping into the shoes of a man who loves nothing more than to read books about (other people’s) adventures out in the wild.
So I came to my own conclusion about the origins of HC: either Clogiron or an equally eccentric gentleman called Stumbot (pictured above) invented her with the purpose of coming to her rescue.
It was Clogiron’s background in engineering and problem-solving that gave me the clue: he would wrap her in lame knowing she would need help getting out of it.
When the time came he would roll that steam thing over her very gently, starting at the feet, and squeeze her out through the top as if squeezing a man out of a python, until she was all but standing there stark naked.
For the final stage he would get a grip (an engineer’s vice-like grip) so as to prise her out with a firm tug, and there he’d have it, a real coup for the recently restructured and renamed Clogiron Appreciation Society for SU Drop-Outs.
(The link takes you to a dreadful picture of what look more like Stumblers than Tumblers, accent on the TUM.)
Readers, there is a bit of me in her, TUM and all, but you don’t want to see that.
And she’d be high maintenance wouldn’t she whereas I’m so much more comfortable in a cardigan, and perhaps putting questions to people.
Something I actually intend to do soon, in a formal classroom arrangement.