Monday, 29 April 2013

Sticks And Stones

As your Cat recovers from the shocking revelation concerning the tragic demise of the terpsichorean troupe Jay Less, yet more song and dance routines are currently being exercised in the Northumbrian public domain. While this stage is somewhat different from the ones upon which Jay Less are accustomed to performing, the entertainment factor is nonetheless the vital ingredient which binds Jay Less to this new act.

Co-incident with the return of the popular travelling show 'Northumbria's Got Talent', this is an act which this Cat could see was inevitably bound to be played out through the Kingdom, since the participants in this fresh incarnation of popular amusement are none other than the politicos, who've been assiduously rehearsing a chorus of their own. Not - I might hasten to add - in praise of the wonders of love; nor is this in lament of a lost paramour, although the element of ritual dance certainly does feature.

The theme of these new strains has been the vilification of the charismatic and well-loved straight-talking Nickwald the Forager and the Northumbrian Independence Faction, whose stance against the devious and sinister machinations of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) have earned them a great deal of respect and affection on the part of the long-suffering Northumbrian taxpayers. In view if the forthcoming elections for the Northumbrian Shire Witangemots, the three manifestations of the One True and Holy Northumbrian Faction (i.e. the Trees, the Redistributionists and the Liberationists) are starting to realise that they are going to have to sing for their supper rather than assume that an automatic place in the corridors of provincial power awaits them.

Thus a chorus of insults, half-truths, innuendoes and full-blown fantasies is now being sung by various politicos in deference to their Northumbrian Independence Faction challengers. Words like 'shifty', 'bedwetters', 'fanatics' and 'lunatics' are now assaulting the ears of the Northumbrian populace. These did not figure in the strains of Jay Less's anthems...

Naturally, there are those among the diversity of Northumbrian humanity who will unquestioningly accept whatever they hear - especially if it comes to their ears through the good offices of Beeby See, Guardy-Ann and the Windy Pedant.

However, many more are now realising that the two themes that ring out loud and clear from these new and discordant strains are... desperation and jealousy.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Tragic Demise

It has taken me over a week to recover adequately from the hysteria, hype and biscuit surrounding the passing of Hilda the Roofer; I've been one exhausted kitty.

Despite my fatigue, the demands and responsibilities of my empire have still remained; mice have had to be stalked and seized, territory has had to be patrolled, and would-be feline invaders have had to be repelled with a torn ear for good measure. All of this normality has helped to keep maintain some measure of pleasure and sanity.

After a relatively blissful respite from the affairs of human folly however, yet another astonishing development has arrived unannounced (and equally unwelcome) onto my euphoric horizon. It arrived through the good offices of Feaxede the Fox, who has often been the harbinger of bad news, doom and desolation. But it's not his fault; he's as tormented by these developments as I am, and I regard him as a kinsman, since he shares many of my griefs. Whatever.

Please sit down and take slow, deep breaths, for what I'm about to impart to you. Today the news has filtered through the soothsayers of the Northumbrian Kingdom of the dismantling of Jay Less. When I heard this from Feaxede's mouth, my instinctive reaction was to disgorge the entire contents of my alimentary system; it wasn't pretty. But I feel so much better now, and I can almost relate this to you without signs of colonic distress.

Should any reader be unaware of the matter to which I allude, Jay Less was a small troupe of young singers and dancers who gained fame and notoriety throughout the Realm for their remarkable terpsichorean prowess. Established about five minutes ago as protegés of the influential cleric and Lothario impresario Father Simeon the Cowl, they set the Realm alight with their ditties and lays about lost love, magic mushrooms, dancing and unrequited affection. In every town, village and hamlet where they wandered to dump their artistic skills, they had myriads of small girls in thrall while accumulating a sizeable collective treasury of Holy Groats. The universe lay spread out before their dancing feet.

But now the dream is over; the hopes and expectations of myriads of young female Northumbrians lie dashed in a million shards. If a Cat could weep, it would be right now. But I can't. So I won't.

A great wail of anguish has resounded throughout the Kingdom, and the banners now hang at half mast - in deference to the pantaloons that Jay Less were accustomed to half wearing. Since this morning, an entire generation has been failed: let down by gods who held out such transient promise.

Sick transit gloria mundi. Excuse me.. nature calls. Again..

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Dancing On Ice

Since the recent demise of Hilda the Roofer - the former Tree Administration Leader - a lot of excitement has boiled to the surface in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. In part this has been fuelled by the soothsayers, who never fail to deliver cartloads of bombast, rhetoric, garbage and cabbage.

Hilda the Roofer was a formidable Principal Minister during her thousand-year tenure at the helm of the good ship Northumbria; such was the measure of her achievements that she won admiration and adulation from fifty percent of the Realm. This was mainly attributable to her resolve to adhere doggedly to whatever policy decision she made - a rare quality in politicos, who are normally given to swimming with whatever the prevailing tide may be. Her decision to allow serfs to purchase their own strips of land from their local municipalities also endeared her to tenants, who quickly profited from the reselling of their vegetable plots; this ushered in a new Age of Plenty for the common or garden Northumbrian. Her decisive victory in the war against the bellicose Patagonians who had forcibly occupied the Farne Islands also won her admiration and respect from many.

However, the other fifty percent of the Northumbrian population were far from enchanted by Hilda's tenure of office. Her victory against the striking lead miners (led by their tribal chief, the charismatic rabble-rouser Arthur the Scarface), which resulted in the ultimate closure of their mine workings, attracted a great deal of hatred from those communities, and her refusal to make deals with their leaders earned her bile, opprobrium and biscuit from the Redistributionists, who henceforth regarded her as the Sum Of All Evil.

Since the announcement of her departure from this vale of tears, sycophantic tributes have poured in from all quarters - most of which owe more to selective - or false - memory syndrome than hard realities.

As a mark of their own expression of grief at her departure, the Redistributionist Workers' Faction have organised carefully choreographed synchronised events throughout the Kingdom. This has consisted of dancing, marching in goose step and singing cheerful Redistributionist ditties to the cooking of beansprouts, the beating of countless bongoes, the barking of dogs and the chewing of countless magic mushrooms. This Cat has reason to believe that this has in large part been inspired by the warmongering King Yung'Un, the Beloved Leader of the Northern Kingdom of Goryo, who commands a great deal of love and devoted affection, which is tenderly extracted from his subjects at the point of a spear.

Nevertheless, most of the Redistributionists who are dancing and rejoicing at the demise of their perceived foe don't actually know anything about Hilda the Roofer, since they weren't even born when she ruled over Northumbria. Nevertheless, their celebrations are informed by their Sacred Volume, The Redistributionist's Book Of Erudition and Wisdom, which consists of two empty pages; they read between the lines.

Meanwhile, the remaining fifty percent look upon them with a mixture of disgust and loathing, since their way of expressing public grief over Hilda's passing appears to convey ignorance and spite in equal measures. They certainly know how to make friends...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Tax Attack

The Northumbrian Kingdom has been in a perpetual state of uproar, desolation, consternation, constipation and biscuit following the resignation of Dagwald the Miiliborg from the Redistributionist ranks. This has contributed in large part to the collective headache of the Kingdom; however this is by no means the only reason for the present cerebral pains.

Steadily in the background, Dunstan the Smithy, the Tree Faction's former Supremo and Revered Tree Decoration has been industriously labouring in his workshop, crafting Something Beautiful for the Northumbrian population. Among the fruits of his labours - as cherished as those of his loins - is a complete overhaul of the Northumbrian Realm's benefit system. This is by no means an easy task, considering the millennia of changes which have developed it into the Bountiful Provider it has become - as well the envy of every other tribe, kindred and nation under the sun (hence the rush to these beautiful shores by the myriads of Bactrian tribesmen and assorted flotsam and jetsam from the exotic shores of the Levant.

Dunstan's principal rationale for his reshaping exercise is so that he can reduce the colossal sum of Holy Groats spent by the long-suffering Northumbrian taxpayers, thus helping to reduce the Monumental Treasure Chest Deficit (which was carefully and lovingly cultivated by the Redistributionist Faction during their ten-thousand year tenure of the Northumbrian government. During this time they succeeded in impoverishing the average Northumbrian through excessive taxation in order to fund their own lavish lifestyles, to legitimately help the Poor and Disadvantaged, and most especially to reward the work-shy, thus cultivating the loyalty of their core base of ne'er-do-wells and professional layabouts).

One of the Significant New Developments emerging in a red-hot glow from the Smithy's forge is the new Bedroom Tax - a brand new wheeze designed to extract more Holy Groats, half-pennies and farthings from those members of the population who pay rents for their hovels from their municipal landlords. Any unoccupied sleeping quarters in their diminutive hutches are to incur an extra charge. Naturally, the Redistributionist Faction has been on the warpath, and has wildly accused the Tree Faction of penalising the Poor - something, dear reader, that they would never ever do. Honestly.

Some Redistributionist municipal landlords - out of the goodness of their hearts - as well as a desire for future votes and a political advantage - have already been helping their tenants by redefining their unoccupied chambers as pigsties, stables and chicken runs.

What more enterprising tenants could do is to make their spare rooms available to members of the Redistributionist Workers' Faction; this would help to reduce the present alleged accommodation shortage throughout the Realm.

However, the smell of cow, chicken and pig dung along with the sound of lowing, clucking and grunting is probably preferable to the chewing of magic mushrooms, the smell of beansprouts and dog breath, the sound of bongoes and the random babblings of nonsense that their new tenants would produce...