The Friday Irregular

Volume 3, Number 24
27 April 2001

Edited by and copyright ©2001 Simon Lamont

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THE IRREGULAR ARCHIVE PROJECT

Here at Lamont Towers we are in the process of scanning all the print issues of The Lamont Times, The Lamont Times: The Next Publication and The Irregular for inclusion on a CD-ROM of the complete archive (together with various other files), and you might be able to help! Although archaeological excavation work in the junk room(s) is ongoing, we are still missing a few issues. If you have any of the following and would be able to lend them to us, we would be very grateful:

For the latest news on the project, and updates to the wanted list, check the progress page at

http://www.gizmo1.demon.co.uk/wip/archive/index.htm

 

TFIr ONLINE

You can also read TFIr in its enhanced online version, with links and graphics where appropriate. The latest online version will always be available at http://www.gizmo1.demon.co.uk/li/tfir/latest.htm - part of the Irregular site at http://www.gizmo1.demon.co.uk/li/

Who is the Editor? So far as we know there's no Malkovichian portal into his brain, but there is the recently-revised FAQ and the UndeadCam:.

FAQ: http://www.gizmo1.demon.co.uk/scblbiog/scblfaq.htm
Cam: http://www.gizmo1.demon.co.uk/undead

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Friday 27 April   -   Wallace Hume Carothers, inventor of nylon, born, 1896
Saturday 28 April   -   The Mutiny on the Bounty took place, 1754
Sunday 29 April   -   All-purpose zipper patented, 1913
Monday 30 April   -   Saigon fell to the Vietcong, 1975
Tuesday 1 May   -   Joanna Lumley, actress, born, 1946
Wednesday 2 May   -   Five prisoners died in a riot at Alcatraz, 1946
Thursday 3 May   -   Niccolo Machiavelli, diplomat and writer, born, Florence, Italy, 1469

THE WISDOM OF...

This week's guest speaker: Dr Robert Goodlad

"A lot of people have said that fibre is good... but if you look carefully at all the studies, the evidence is not so solid." (Daily Telegraph via Private Eye)

 

FILM QUIZ

This week's quotations come from films in which John Landis had been involved either as a writer, director or actor (or some combination thereof), but are not necessarily spoken by his character. Answers next week or from the usual address.

Dude! Last week's Keanu Reeves films were:

 

WEIRD WORLD NEWS

Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...

A new attempt to locate the Loch Ness Monster - believed by some to be a dinosaur, by others to be either a large sturgeon or eel, and yet others nothing more than a myth sustained to encourage tourism - found itself battling not just the Scottish loch's notoriously deep, dark waters but also Kevin Carylon, high priest of the British White Witches who cast a protective spell of the loch and its inhabitants. Jan Sundbert, project leader was unimpressed, saying "If he shows his face down here again, we'll throw him into the lake. I think he needs to be cooled off a bit."

54-year-old Hong Kong restaurateur Tung Kam-hon was last week sentenced to three years in jail after turning himself in for a crime committed 23 years ago. Tung failed to show up for his original trial in March 1978 on a charge of conspiracy to traffic drugs, fearing for the welfare of his then-11-year-old son if he was jailed. Since then he has lived as a respectable citizen, and decided to finally turn himself in to show his grown-up son that he is a good role model.

A survey of 500 drivers in London and Glasgow conducted by the Royal Automobile Association has found that most British drivers are confused by road signs. 60% of drivers questioned thought that "Beware of Cattle" indicated areas affected with foot-and-mouth disease; others thought that a sign for toads crossing was notification of a French restaurant and 5% thought that the sign indicating side winds meant "Beware of kite flying."

Plans to douse the platforms of London Underground stations with perfume every night suffered a setback on Tuesday, just one day after the trial scheme was launched, when the spraying machine at St. James' Park station broke down. The perfume, a variation of "Madeleine" used for the same purpose in the Paris Metro, is applied in a substance which breaks down under the weight of passengers' feet to release its fragrance

Brazilian legislation awaiting final approval will require pornographic films to carry a five-second safe-sex message promoting condom use. The legislation is the latest step in Brazil's fight against STDs and AIDS, which has already included extensive precautionary advertising and a policy of making anti-AIDS drugs free.

 

IRREGULAR WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

People build websites about the oddest things... great balls of string, the number 47, kayaks, Jennifers (*cough*), and now Phoons. What's a phoon? Basically it's a "running man" pose, and this site - "Phoons From Around the World" - has an extensive collection of them. Strike a pose and click your mouse...

http://www.phoons.com

 

THE AMAZING NOT-QUITE-RANDOM LOTTERY PREDICTOR!

Madame Jennifer, our in-house psychic predicts the following numbers will be lucky:

9, 14, 34, 35, 42, 44

 

THE LAVATORY OF OTRANTO

Chapter 3 - The King

As they drew nearer to the riverbank they saw that the man standing watching them was in his late sixties, but there was something oddly familiar about him. He was wearing an old white suit on which a handful of dirty rhinestones glinted dully, and trousers with flares big enough to hide a kayak under. His greying hair was styled into a large quiff. "Hi, how're y'all doing?" he asked, as he helped Lucy and Edmund onto dry land before picking up a fishing rod and a couple of large fish that he must have landed earlier. "My house is just over this hill, if y'all will join me for dinner."

As they strode over the grass Edmund whispered to Lucy "Does he remind you of anyone?"

"I think so," she replied, "but it can't be. He's dead."

"I heard y'all whispering back there," the man stopped and turned towards them as they crested the hill. "To answer your question, young man, you can call me Elvis, and it's the strangest thing, but you're the first people here to recognise me. You know," he added, striding off again towards the small wood cabin that lay ahead, the children running to keep up, "I've been here, must be 25 years now, and I still don't really know where here is."

Lucy, out of breath from running to keep up, gasped "How did you get here?"

By now they had reached the house. The door was open. "There's no need for security here," Elvis grinned, "There are a couple hundred people within a day's walk, and they're all good honest folk. It's a much easier life than I had before."

"So how did you get here?" Lucy repeated.

"Well, you know, that was the strangest thing too." Elvis put the fish down on a table worn smooth from use, and hung his fishing rod on the wall. "I was in my bathroom, and I guess it was all the bad stuff in me then, but I remember thinking that the lavatory was different - mine was gold, that one was white. Anyhow, I used it, stood up and pushed the flush handle, then I blacked out and woke up right here, in this cabin. I thought I saw the lavatory standing right there in that corner, but when I looked again there was nothing but air." He looked wistfully at the children. "I sure would like to know what's happened to everyone I knew."

Edmund had been staring open-mouthed since hearing about the lavatory. "We got here by a magic lavatory too, but you know, in our world, you've been..."

Lucy, more tactful than her brother, interrupted. "I think you'd better sit down. In our world, you died twenty-five years ago. I think you were found in your bathroom."

"Why that's how long I've been here!"

"So..." Edmund was thinking, "When the lavatory brought you here, a clone or something was left behind, but it must have died."

"Edmund!" Lucy cried, "Do you suppose there are duplicates of us running round the Professor's house right now, or lying on the floor in that room?"

Her brother thought for a moment. "It would make sense. Whoever's controlling this wouldn't want our absence to be noticed. Maybe you couldn't get back because your clone, or whatever, died," he suggested to Elvis.

"Well, I'm just an old singer, and this cloning business sounds like the stuff those crazy sci-fi writers dreamed up, but it would explain how I'm here," Elvis pondered. "But why am I here? Or you? And how you do know so much about that lavatory?"

"We've encountered it before - if there is just one of them."

Edmund explained about their previous adventure in Nurdia. When he had finished, Elvis shook his head in amazement. "Looks like I made a wise decision to stay put and settle down," he smiled.

"But if it didn't just disappear like this time, or for you," Lucy said. "Oh, Edmund," her voice took on a desperate tone, "You don't think we - the other ones of us - died do you? Maybe there's no way back!"

Edmund put a comforting arm around his younger sister's shoulder. "That's possible, Lu, but we don't know for sure. I say we keep looking for the lavatory and try to get home." Turning to Elvis, he asked "Are there any cities or big towns around here?"

"Not within a day's walk, but every now and then I see airplanes flying up high. They come from the west and head straight east."

"So we'll go west," Lucy decided. "Will you join us?"

Elvis shook his head. "I reckon I'm safe and happy here. If twenty-five years have passed back there all my friends are either dead or old, and I guess it'd be something of a shock if I was found to be alive after so long."

Lucy, who regularly read the most salacious of the American tabloids (although she would never admit it), laughed. "You know, there are folks who think they see you alive and well, and working in their local Wal-Mart."

Elvis grinned widely. "It's good to know people remember me, even if some of them are crazy. But I like it here. After all the press guys intruding into my life, this is a good place to live out my days."

 

The next morning, after a filling breakfast of kedgeree, Edmund and Lucy waved goodbye to Elvis, and started off towards the west.

...to be continued

 

AND FINALLY...

5th & 6th Grader Science Bloopers...


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