The Bubblegum Chronicles ( nip four ) .
Aston Campbell was the bastard offspring of Captain Nigeria the prophylactic mogul , and Stacey . The captain disappeared one dark night without Stacey who eventually perished alone with her shoe collection , the sad victim of a Taliban hit squad , leaving poor little Aston all alone with the one thig money can't buy at any price - destitution .
He was found at three years old by a fallen nun , he had been living under the dumb waiter in a local Ugandan juice bar . The nun , Sister Rastus , immediately mailed the child by parcel post to a safe house in Amsterdam . Fortunately he was accidently delivered instead to the Peppermint Hippo club , a converted hovel in the seedier part of Bermondsey's bohemian quarter .
The proprietor , a quick-talking lazy-eyed gentleman of Bangladeshi extraction , recieved the package reluctantly . Taking a curved dagger from a drawer full of curved daggers , he sliced the package open . Aston gazed into the lazy eyes of his first stranger and saw pure benefit fraud for the first time .
Aston ran through wasted streets stalked by listless amputees and into a world of refugees , out of the dregs of the cold war and into the terrorist deep-freeze .
He grew up quickly . He ran out of money , he ran into trouble .
He was adopted by the Bankrobber and the Bishop , a dog and an owl , who eyed the boy with easy ambivalence . They lived together in a neo-classic writing bureau by the back entrance of Bethnal Green car pound .
They were devout buddhists .
Aston attended the local school of Our Lady of the Seven Primark Veils , run with totalitarian efficiency by the Little Sisters of the Pious Robbing Bastards under the iron rule of Mother Khan .
Mother Khan was everything objectionable to Aston . She had a malignant slit of a mouth in a death mask face , her fetid breath steamed up his glasses . Her eyes were like rusty ball bearings . She had a mechanical stare .
Religious teachings taught him treachery , betrayal and deceit . Incense filled his head with perfumed ideas and sexless choirs droned in his ears .
Aston was encouraged to spend time with the Knights of the Secret Handshakes and this immediately appealed to the lads naive sense of chivalry .
The knights held their twice weekly meetings in the open-plan lounge of the Peppermint Hippo club , chaired by the sinister but fading Bush Man who affected a pro-fascist manner and had a psychotic and paranoid attention to detail .
Bush Man went nowhere without the Shadow Men at his side , and behind him , and in front of him . The Shadow Men were a titanic collection of ill-fitting suits and anthropoidal arms , their physical intimidation fully emphasized the power of the Bush Man wherever they went .
The Peppermint Hippo lounge was furnished with rows of worn leatherette sofas and greasy formica tables . The heavy curtains were the colour of flat beer embellished with the stars of the Bush Man motif . The walls were flock daubed . The carpet pattern gave the impression of little animals puking at regular intervals . The scene was backlit by a silent colour tv , and rows of dirty orange table lamps in which molten wax shifted and drifted like globules of aimless snot .
Mother Asher was here , flanked by the Bush Man and the Shadow Men . Bush man looked like a bush man posessed , but no one knew by what .
Mother Asher climbed on a table and spoke to the Knights of the Secret Handshakes -
" We will not rest until global terrorism is eradicated from the face of ...'ere , what's this shit ? I think this is your speech paper George..oops sorry , Bush Man .
Ahem...order please ! Now where was I ? Ah yes ... Even as I speak a tide of bolshevism issues from the tandoori dives of Brick Lane and we have become the underground playground for lounge lizards and nouveau lotharios who their Chelsea pockets a jingle with Moscow money go wantonly about their evil business and take chinesed cathedrals ransack churches turn laundrys into tae-kwon-do schools and convert jehovah temples into bordellos for lumpenproleteriat gratification and what with the licensing trade on it's last legs and the land running fallow because of money making put-a-side schemes I leave you with this parting thought......."
The latest offering from the Ting Tings cascaded from the Dansette stereo system . Everyone performed secret handshakes and left hurriedly . The Shadow Men left in their purple Messchershmidt bubble cars and headed for the other side of town where they were employed on a casual basis as knuckle-merchants at the Lithuanian working mens club .
Arriving back at the Bethnal Green car pound Aston found , to his horror , the writing bureau in flames and his devoted guardians , Bankrobber and Bishop , slaughtered in the latest foot and mouth scare , rendered on the pyre to just so much runny tallow .
Aston was now homeless once again but shortly found a place in Bush Man's broom cupboard , which he had to share with a faceless vacuum cleaner called Henry and a slender loris called Doris who was the Shadow Men's domestic pet and reminded Aston of the Lazoon in Fireball XL5 .
The Bush Man imbued Aston with the tactile beauty of automatic weapons and introduced him to the quaint prose of Spike Milligan . However , it was the imminent prospect of nude Greco wrestling that eventually drove Aston out . Leaving a bottle of lychee juice for Doris the loris he exited via the laundry chute , thereby avoiding the attentions of the Shadow Men .
That winter he secured employment for himself at Tony Bear's Happy Smile Emporium , selling elephant's graveyard accoutrements and accessories to the lost and lonely . It was during this time that he moved into a disused public convenience with an all-girl motor cycle gang and wrote his first poem on an old pot noodle container :
The cars go to the seaside
Looked up at the clouds
And her stomach lurched .
" That is arguably the greatest poem in the world today " , enthused a dislocated voice .
Aston turned to see a loose-limbed young man dressed in the beatnik anti-mode of the severely depressed , his hair hacked into a coupe-sauvage style favoured by all existentialists . Aston was alarmed to see that although the lips were moving the voice seemed to come from the side of the neck .
His name was Reg Company , the heir to a drooping spaghetti empire , who had secured work experience at the Khmer Rouge ping-pong club . He invited Aston to the club's variety night that very evening .
Among the acts appearing were Harry and Barry the brothers McGarry , reading a five hour hardcore poem entitled , ' Maybe it's an interlude ' ; a neo-fascist mime troup presenting a two-act play called , ' Stop the cattle train , we want to get off ' ; a public book reading by Doctor Paige Turner concerning the Jewish Zionist ethic of self as not self , and a demonstration of hari-kiri by a very committed gentleman of Japanese extraction and terminable life span .
It was here , in a vain attempt at bourgois credibility , that Aston changed his name to Babayenyen , and under this monicker embarked on a polysyllabic excursion throughout Hitsville , UK .
Yes , it was be there or be square as , dressed in the slum chic of the mosh pit , he issued the new anthems of the zipper age in the language of the hip boppers . Babayenyen : the name behind the pull-down shades . The cliches that walk in the hi-fidelity grooves of misapprehension were about to be taken for a bumpy ride. From now on things would never be the same again .
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