Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Belinda Twaddle to help Doc Barbara's slug mission

   Doc Barbara has reconsidered her mission to curb the slug proliferation which has occurred after our unusually mild winter. She realised that there is little hope North of Wigan: it is virtually impossible to prevent a hermaphroditic slug from mating with itself once it has fallen in love. Her poem on geographical variations in slug libido is scientifically accurate as well as deeply emotive.

  She decided to concentrate her efforts South of that latitude and try to persuade these gastropods to contain themselves, or not as the case may be - if you see what we mean. Professor Ramsbottom-Thrutch is delighted as this is his native area and he feels at one with natural creatures in Lancashire. [All this unity is getting complex and a little unseemly: Ed]

  The difficult starting point was to find slugs with which/whom to start the anti-sex propaganda but Bob Twaddle said his sister, Belinda, would be thrilled to assist. Here she is helping out.

  We did wonder why she is in this posture and eventually found the explanation. She is energetic and devoted to whatever enterprise she undertakes but, as we saw previously, tends to lose focus. One of her prime intellectual interests is philology and Bob had told her that the words "slug" and "sloth" were connected in Proto-Indo-European because of their shared sense of torpitude. [I myself am beginning to lose the will to move: Ed]

   It is amazing that Bob uttered these words since he has a phobia about polysyllables, made all the worse when he recently discovered that his parents nearly named his sister Roberta, whereas he has to make do with one phoneme. [Such psychological neuroses bedevil the office of The Monmouthshire Mouthpiece and now we have an acrobat as well: Ed]  Belinda therefore took it upon herself to imitate a sloth in her inimitable enthusiastic manner in order to form bonds with the creatures [Here we go again! Can no-one round here stay single? Ed] It may take a while for her to work her way down from Lancashire.

    When told of these developments, Doc Barbara was pleased with our speedy response: "Procrastination is the thief of jam tomorrow," she opined. Although we may seem to have diverged from our original target (and some of you may be irately contemplating slug damage in your garden at this moment) we can assure you that the matter is in hand and Belinda will soon be coming to a tree near you.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Doc Barbara on the Lancashire slug



Doc Barbara

                                                     Through Wigan runs a great divide:
                                                     The slugs down on the Southern side
                                                     Are subject (as indeed are we)
                                                     To unrequited misery 
                                                     If they can't find a loving mate.
                                                     In this pathetic, lonely state
                                                     The slug is low in self-esteem
                                                     And takes the single life to mean
                                                     It has no charm, no winning grace
                                                     No wit, charisma, no real place
                                                     Within another's heart. And yet
                                                     Above that latitude, slugs get
                                                     Erotic satisfaction, joy.

                                                    A slug is born both girl and boy:
                                                    So sturdy Northern common sense
                                                    Finds in self-love, true recompense.
                                                    It reasons thus: hermaphrodites
                                                    Need never suffer from the blights
                                                    Of jealousy, rejection, scorn.
                                                    It's foolish to remain lovelorn:
                                                    There's someone here who thinks I'm great,
                                                    Who will, always, reciprocate
                                                    My passion.  Life will be complete
                                                    If only we can make ends meet.

This poetic perception (so mellifluously expressed in our opinion) has given its author cause for soul searching as the inspiration of the Muse led to approval of slug sexuality in all its forms whereas she had been trying to moderate it. Our heroine will ponder further.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Doc Barbara and the proliferating slug

   Our visiting learned Professor, Ramsbottom-Thrutch, showed great astonishment when we told him about Doc Barbara's latest proposed exploit and was puzzled as to how he, a sociologist, could shed light on it. She has read in the papers that the mild, wet winter has caused slugs to stay awake and breed profusely.

   Doc Barbara is a believer in Nature and its harmonious ways but felt that perhaps this was a moment needing human intervention and is determined to quell their libido and return it to its usual sluggish state. The Professor finally concluded that this is an ethnoecological reaction to a sense of threat and asked us to send out Bob Twaddle, our cub reporter, to take pictures of our heroine with the aforesaid gastropod mollusc.

   Bob was traumatised by so many polysyllables (he has never recovered from finding out that he was originally named monosyllabic Bob not Robert and has suffered from a feeling of deprivation ever since). He in turn asked if his sister Belinda could help, claiming that she is a cheerful, extrovert girl, whose only fault is a tendency to lose focus.

   This is the resulting image where we think she took the necessity to maintain focus too literally whilst becaming distracted from her main purpose in its metaphorical meaning. The Professor will investigate this phenomenon also and we will try to obtain a photograph of a slug.  (Sometimes the effort of running a local newspaper is too onerous for me. Ed.).

   We even suggested to Doc Barbara that she abandon her mission but she replied pacifically, " You can't teach your grandmother to let sleeping dogs lie" and reminded us of her poetic outburst about the sexuality of the slugs North of Wigan which we reprint elsewhere.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Professor's first finding

   Professor Ramsbottom-Thrutch (sociologist) is a cautious and scholarly man and so, before investigating the Doc Barbara phenomenon in full, he decided to consult a renowned colleague in the psychology department to delve more deeply into the inner make-up of our heroine (we all know she never wears outer make-up).  

  The psychologist reported the outcome of his tests to her and then we heard nothing. Finally, she rushed into the office of The Monmouthshire Mouthpiece several days later to tell us the result. She caught us all by surprise and so everyone was present.

   "He says I have too much super-ego, a normal ego but too little squid," she declaimed. "I have been all over Europe to track down squid or even octopus, wondering if it was such a creature commemorated for its importance in a stained glass window in France - but I eventually found some in Brixton market." It appears she ate enormous quantities before sensing that her internal mental mechanisms were unaffected - although other systems suffered.  We advised more cake in lieu.

   Our chief reporter, a man of wide learning, usually unaccountably absent when she is our topic, explained to her what he thought was the error. The picture below shows the delight of both Doc Barbara and the Professor of Sociology at the happy ending of this fabulous exploit (although he appears to be holding her back in fear that she might leap into the lake in search of more piscine delicacies. She does have a squid - sorry id - tendency to dive into water). "I thought quite early on I should have told the psychologist to stop bleating about the bush," she  opined merrily as she left. Her creative way with old sayings is proverbial.