Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Edweird's Grand Day Out

Your Cat has awakened from his customary slumbers to announce that Edweird the Milliner has taken an interval from his astonishing victories; taking the Golden Opportunity of a lifetime, he's taken a ride on a barque, sailing to the distant shores of the as yet undiscovered land of Ultima Thule. How exciting!

Surrounded by an entourage of sycophants, elephants and assorted hangers-on, Eddy - the as yet undiscovered leader and Great Expectation of the Redistributionist Faction - has paid a courtesy visit to Bugrake O'Barmy, the as yet undiscovered High Chieftain of the aforesaid kingdom. All at the expense of the Northumbrian taxpayer, you'll understand.

The primary purpose for the Great Leader's outing is so that he can present himself before his adoring acolytes as a Great Statesman and potential Once And Future Principal of the Northumbrian Kingdom. However, such overweening ambition and delusion is fed by a constant diet of flattery, flatulence and a continual and industrial quantity of the Sacred Mushrooms, which empower the imaginations of their feckless consumers and carry the enraptured mind into states of glittering and unreflective bliss.

The secondary reason for the visit is so that Eddy can sit in dumbstruck reverence at the feet of the Grand Master, in the eager expectation of catching some of the morsels of holy doctrine that drip from his mellifluous chops. He's particularly interested to discover how Bugrake O'Barmy has managed to maintain his spellbinding power over his warlike clans, and how he rules over them without actually taking any constructive decisions. He also wants to learn the secret of Bugrake's phenomenal command of rhetoric, rhubarb and oratory - qualities which are conspicuously absent from the Milliner's otherwise awesome arsenal.

The Ultima Thule Chieftain will doubtless have been delighted to take a few hours of his time to spend in the presence of the Prince of Obscurity to chew the fat with him. I wonder if he'll have remembered Eddy's name - or where he came from?

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Caddy's Last Stand

Having inspired the Northumbrian football team and their mascot Wade Rune to lose the coveted Holy Roman Empire Cup and to return to their native shores to a rapturous welcome, Dagwald Caedmeron - the Loved and Revered Tosspot and Despot of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - has been fighting and losing battles of his own: not within the football fields of Ultima Thule, but rather within the hallowed halls and courts of the aforesaid Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire).

The bone of contention has been the appointment of the new Emperor and disappointment of the present Monarch, His Holiness Emperor Jose Borracho. The new Caesar-in-waiting is a hitherto unknown council warrior called Claudius Junkbond - a deeply loved and popular unknown among his immediate circle of lackeys.

It would appear that the new chieftain-elect - whose appointment (strangely) doesn't happen to rest upon the electoral support of the hordes of loyal tribes, clans and kingdoms - has a penchant for the finest wines of the Empire. At all times of the day. And night. Every day. All, of course, at the expense of the Holy Roman Empire taxpayer, who is too preoccupied with his survival as well as the latest football results from the soothsayers and other assorted rumour-millers. This is a golden opportunity for him to pass from obscurity to complete oblivion. In luxury and biscuit.

It isn't that Caddy bears any personal antipathy towards the new Emperor-elect, however; he's seized on a vital opportunity to curry favour with his disenchanted disciples back at home, who are rapidly deserting his teachings in favour of the anti-Empire rebel, the plain-speaking, mead-quaffing Nickwald the Forager. The logic is that if Caddy Boy is observed to make a valiant stand against the appointment, he will be perceived to be a Principled Princess of the People, and this will successfully woo hearts and minds.

Success is guaranteed... isn't it..?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Owl Be Blowed

One remarkable piece of news came to this Cat's ears recently; it appears that the Redistributionist Faction - led by their inspirational mascot Edweird the Milliner - have pledged every family in the Kingdom an owl.

As far as initiatives go, this certainly takes the biscuit for inventiveness and off-the-wall thinking. However, I wasn't content to let the matter rest merely with the ranting reportings of rabid soothsayers; I decided to find out more and to consult my recently-acquired friend and nocturnal colleague Doctor Hoo.

I found him sitting on a branch, keeping an eye open for mice and voles, as is his usual custom. I greeted him, and he swooped down to talk to me. When I asked him if he'd heard of the Redistributionist pledge to supply the human population with his fellow avians, he told me that he'd indeed heard about it only earlier in the day. However, in the course of the day's hunting, he'd subsequently encountered a remarkably tough and forthright mouse who answered to the name of McKee. After putting up a spirited fight with Doctor Hoo, the plucky mouse was allowed his freedom. Before the trusty Doctor released his worthy prey into the wild, he asked him who he was. McKee answered that he was a religious leader and prophet amongst his fellow rodents, and he predicted that one day his name would be a byword, an inspiration and a benchmark for all politicians and rulers throughout the human world.

Astonished by the mouse's prophetic insight, Doctor Hoo asked him if he'd heard about the plan to introduce an owl to every human household in the Kingdom of Northumbria. McKee sagely told him that the promise - as they do from all politicos - would come to nothing within hours of its initial utterance...

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Fighting Frenzy

The latest Great Issue to awaken this old Cat from his slumbers is the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) Cup, which is a football contest that is fought every forty thousand years between competing kingdoms for the coveted aforementioned trophy. The soothsayers are in a state of perpetual ecstasy and slobbering excitement about it all. Bless.

The noble sport of football was originally introduced to the Kingdom of Northumbria and the British Isles by the ancient Romans, but was - to all intents and purposes - invented by the Northumbrians so that they could complacently claim the game as their own.

The ruling elites of the Realm are naturally very enthusiastic about the game, since it's an ideal means to keep the Northumbrian citizenry in a perpetual state of docility, thus distracting their minds and hearts from more sinister entertainments - for example, rising up and lovingly severing the connection between King Alhfrith, his court and his politico executives from their heads. This therefore explains the prominence of teams like the world-renowned Madcaster Untied and its twinkle-toed prima donna Wade Rune, whose weekly salary exceeds the Gross Kingdom Product of the very Empire.

The Northumbrian national team is carried by a wave of eager expectation by the population; such anticipation however bears no correlation to the past endeavours of the Realm's side, who've signally and faithfully failed to deliver anything to the adoring crowds except disappointment, disillusionment, discombobulation and biscuit. In that order.

However the Team's Supreme Coach - Tondvig the Blur (who also serves the coveted role of Supreme Mendacious War Envoy to the Levant) has emphatically denied any responsibility for the team's past failures, and has urged the Kingdom to wage warfare on the barbaric and uncivilised hordes of Viking and assorted exotic teams. Such rallying cries are usually accompanied by the consumption of industrial quantities of magic mushrooms, which are the primary source of inspiration for such derring-do and dogbits.

Your Cat is equally excited.

....What was I just talking about? - My mind has gone walkabout...

Monday, 2 June 2014

Stepping Down and Stepping Out

Rumour certainly spreads fast here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. Here was I, minding my own feline business - you know, managing the affairs of state of my sovereign territories - when I was suddenly accosted by my vulpine friend Feaxede the Fox, who was approaching me at considerable speed and seemingly breathless with eager excitement. I knew from the moment my eyes beheld him that he had something terribly important to tell me.

Hardly able to get his words out in a coherent stream of consciousness, he eventually blurted out that the soothsayers have been animatedly telling the populace that His Excellency King Jose Borracho - the Most Elevated Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (which has no legitimate claim to holiness, Romanness or even the vaguest pretensions of being anything like an empire) has taken the Momentous Decision to step down from his duties as Supreme Posturer of the aforesaid realm to spend more time keeping bees, collecting fees, felling trees, making cheese, sailing seas and wallowing on the meagre trillions of Holy Groats that he and his delightful henchmen have lovingly extracted from the long-suffering taxpayers of the kingdoms under his sway. Hooray for Jose! Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow.

Naturally, Nickwald the Farrago - the fast-talking, slow-walking Supremo of the Northumbrian Independence Faction and expert quaffer of fine ales - will be highly delighted at this stunning development; having recently won a significant number of places for his acolytes at the Round Table at the Court, he'll doubtless be gratified and delighted in equal measure. However from all accounts, he'd better stave off his enthusiasm for now; this Cat gathers that the Supreme Posterior Parking Place of the Evil Intergalactic Empire is only reserved for close members of the Inner Sanctum, and plain-dealing outsiders are far from welcome to those hallowed halls of rhubarb and biscuit.

The professional wager-mongers of the Realm have already been placing bets on the Most Likely Successor to the Holy Throne, and the favourite by far is Tondvig the Blur, the mendacious gadfly Prince and former Redistributionist Satrap of the Northumbrian Province.

I think I'll take a nap...

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Story So Far - Part 79

The lovely Kingdom of Northumbria is gripped by a confederation of evil robber barons from the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), who have steadily tightened their grip over the land through the three major political factions, who are all worshippers of the false goddess Redistributia. Although the three factions appear to publicly disagree among themselves with regard to the way in which King Alhfrith's realm is to be administered, they are all part of this deadly collusion.

On the horizon emerges the figure of Nickwald the Farrago, the blunt, straight-talking chieftain of the Northumbrian Independence Faction, who has gathered a motley model army of broomstick and pitchfork-waving yeomen, who have all become disaffected, disillusioned and disgusted with the increasing dominance of the Holy Roman Empire in the affairs of common-and-garden Northumbrians - and who are Deeply Concerned about the increasing numbers of exotic peoples entering the Realm from the Norse lands, the Levant, Barbary, Outer Bongolia and other distant shores to steal their produce, tell unlikely fortunes, to sell poor quality clothes pegs and to proselytise unsuspecting aboriginal Saxons to the bloodthirsty Viking religion.

In desperation, the 3 established political factions wage a warfare of rhetoric, rhubarb and biscuit in an attempt to dissuade the Northumbrian populace from supporting them. Part of their foul strategy is to attempt to entrap Nickwald the Farrago into making a fool of himself by admitting to some measure of xenophobia, and at times, the intrepid hero, shaken and brain-addled through tireless campaigning, has fallen into their snares. However, these setbacks have by no means dampened the enthusiasm of the new model army, who are consequently more resolved than ever to decisively defeat the sinister triumvirate in the forthcoming Battle of Ballotburn.

Will Dagwald the Caedmeron make more false promises to the Northumbrian people and restore his grip over the hearts and minds of the Realm? WIll Edweird the Milliner provide umbrellas when he orates the weather forecast? Do Nickwald the Blaek Clegge and the Liberationist Faction really exist? Will Nickwald the Farrago win the day?

This Cat can hardly contain his.....  ...err....

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

At Large

Being an elderly feline, your Cat is sorry to have to interrupt his slumbers to inform you that a dangerous politico has absconded, thereby shortening his term of penal servitude in the Witangemot. If you happen to chance upon him, you must NOT by any means make any attempt to apprehend or even challenge him, as your efforts are likely to be rewarded by a swift blow to your cranium - or kneecaps. Mark this Cat's words well.

Magward the Gruff is a notorious politico blessed with a fearsome reputation; having been honoured amongst his fellow criminals of the Tree Faction as the Secretary for the Advancement of Kindergarten Learning, he's been granted the epithet of the "Schoolcrusher" for his less than delicate handling of the aforementioned educational establishments, not to mention their pedagogic attendants, who are devoted to the imaginary, magic mushroom-fuelled wisdom of their soothsayer Guardy-Ann and who are also faithful acolytes of the Blessed Cult of the Goddess Redistributia. These pagan worshippers have been treated by the Gruff with ill-disguised contempt, which in turn has provoked them to respond with characteristic venom, spite and biscuit. The children - innocent bystanders in such a conflict - have been dismayed, since their development into responsible and well-informed and rounded adult human beings has been subjected to significant setbacks as a consequence of several years' worth of teachers' strikes. Such a pity.

It had been largely hoped by the long-suffering Northumbrian public that the Schoolcrusher would be confined to an oubliette somewhere where he could serve out the rest of his days in solitary reflection over his misdeeds, but owing to the pernicious laxity of the contemporary justice system, Magward the Gruff has managed to escape his incarceration, and is currently wandering to and fro like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

I don't think he'll be recaptured anytime soon, though; I gather that most people would run a mile if they caught a glimpse of him...