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Naked in the Nettles, and Oscar Revisited

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message 1: by Roger (new)

Roger Kent | 2 comments Ok, I'm not a friggin' robot, I've verified my email address and I've kissed Donald Trumps arse. Can I now post a topic please... sir?

Sorry, I digress.
Fair Morning Gagsmiths all.
If you would like to read the latest 2 completed chapters of The Flatpack Observer, as named above, please let me know. If you do not wish to read the latest 2 completed chapters of The Flatpack Observer, well frankly I’m with you, and don’t blame you in the slightest – such a load of meandering tosh.
Fond Radishes

message 2: by Rob (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 386 comments Mod
Send immediately stop looking forward to it stop

message 3: by Andy (new)

Andy Paine (andypaine) | 74 comments Yes indeed. I’d love a read.

message 4: by Raymond (new)

Raymond St. (raymondstelmo) | 40 comments I remember Flatpack!
Not finished; but damned funny, quirky, sometimes moving.
Made me brood WHY the not-quite-nice hero was chosen for such a strange adventure. I decided: because he needed it.
Best of reasons.

Unless I'm thinking of the Hobbit?
Don't think so.

message 5: by Raymond (last edited May 07, 2018 07:27AM) (new)

Raymond St. (raymondstelmo) | 40 comments Notes from 2015:
Teacher's Study Guide: The Flat-Pack Observer

Overall themes to focus on: social humor, disbelief, wonder, acceptance, redemption; comic insights into the human condition viewed fourteen and a half degrees from the horizontal.

Questions to ask the class:
1) When the story begins, are we given any reason to like Edward St. Claire? What do we see about his character as he looks at Malleable? Do shallow judgements of others indicate that we ourselves are shallow?

2) Why does the writer have Malleable recite the romantic poem 'Summer'? Edward does not seem a romantic soul. His sorrow is the loss of his job, not his wife or mistresses. Can the poem count as a foreshadowing of something that Edward is missing in his life, and may yet find?

3) Malleable: "What I’m offering you is a truly outstanding opportunity for someone with your qualities to really shine in a fast-moving, dynamic environment." Edward seems a sour, numb, acidic soul. Does Malleable see special qualities in Edward that we do not? Or is Malleable hoping in certain possibilities present in every character?

4) The currency in Flatpack is the Brogue. There are 12 Slacks in a Danish, and 24 Danish make 1 Brogue. Some shopkeepers still price their wares in Cringes. Pies are priced at 1/3 Brogue apiece or three for 47 Danish. I have 33 Slacks, two Danish and a Canadian Cringe. How many Flat-Pack pies can I buy on my way to St. Ives?

5) Edward attempts to return but finds "the end of the road". Discuss whether this is best classified as a metaphor or an allegory or a just something psychotic. When Malleable directs Edward over the stile towards the town, is that a clear reference to "Pilgrim's Progress?"

6) The flower-decorated noose. Omen, or mere stroke of silliness?

7) "The Flat-Pack Observer" is the local newspaper for the town of Flat-Pack-On-The-Water. Discuss whether the reader is also an observer of the doings of 'Flat-Pack'; discuss what the heck is a newspaper.

8) In flat-Pack, cats talk, fish walk, dogs purr. Citizens carry on non-linear conversations untypical to 21st century commercial civilization. Ask the students whether they would like to visit such a place; or even to live there.

9) Everyone seems to know Edward already, though they call him 'Jack'. Is that a hindrance to Edward starting a new life, or is it a help? Ask the students if they would feel at ease in a magical place that seemed to take them for granted as being part of it already.

10) A bush is named Derek, a bench is named Hugh. Inanimate objects have personality, and animals can talk.
Discuss whether Flat-Pack is special in this regard, or whether it is a point of view concerning the world (as in 'fourteen and a half degrees from the horizontal'). If Flat-Pack is actually a wider, wiser, more imaginative way of looking at reality, can Edward really escape once he has been there?

11) Chapter 15 is a flash-back to Edward's childhood.. His parents are indifferent to his sorrow; his tears are narrated as mere raindrops. This is an confusion of the internal and external (a defining characteristic of his future home of Flag-Pack), as well as giving us a hint of why Edward is emotionally stunted.

Source materials and further study and discussion:

"Last night at the Brain-thief's Ball"
"White Matter"
"Pilgrim's Progress"
"Rutabaga Stories"
"The Wizard of Oz"

Uh, I don't think this link works but its fun to keep it:

Mr Savage Cushions esq (scushions) | 71 comments Raymond - I'm afraid the link doesn't work any more. Incidentally, the answer to all of the questions you raised is 'Dr Jeffries'.

Thank you all for your interest. Is there a list of everyone's email somewhere?


message 7: by Rob (last edited Jul 28, 2022 01:12AM) (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 386 comments Mod
Mr Savage Cushions wrote: "Thank you all for your interest. Is there a list of everyone's email somewhere?"

Well, yes, there is, but in readiness for the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation, I have printed it out, burned it and had the ashes incorporated into a small block of concrete, which, as I write, I am currently taking out to sea in a pedalo. Upon losing sight of land, I intend to cast said block into the depths.

I am unsure of the legal implications of being my own witness in terms of knowing the location of this maritime deposit, but if anyone has any advice, I should be grateful for it. I'd rather not have to jump in after it, if that can be avoided.

Many months ago - years perhaps - I sent you all a copy of the CLOG members' email circulation list. I am sure there must be some convoluted and expensive legal process by which we must now give one another permission to use that data (or not), but quite frankly, I'm too tired to care. Padalos are by no means the most efficient nor streamlined of craft; I've been out here since before dawn and I'm still only 200 metres from the pier. (For those using Imperial measurements, that's about 0.9 furlongs, and for those Flatpackers amongst us, I think it's about a quarter of a chagrin.)

If I fail to return, do think sometimes of me.

And Mr Cushions, if at some future date you happen to receive an email purporting to come from me, it's almost certainly a hoax. The internet connection out here is terrible.

message 8: by Corben (new)

Corben (the_dook) | 139 comments Mr Soggy Curtains - Very pleased to hear that your Flatpackin' book has had an extension added. Did you get Planning Permission for your Flatpack erection? You need Planning Permission for everything these days ... unless it's under 4m high and not within 2m of a public highway.
Would you mind sending me your latest chapters, old chap. My address is corben dot duke at gmail dot com.

Thank you.

Mr Savage Cushions esq (scushions) | 71 comments Strange People

Thank you for your kind words. Corben has made some suggestions about the clunkiness of chapter 19, what a bastard eh! I plan to set his cat on fire in retaliation. Rob kindly pointed out that I’d made a complete pigs scrotum with the chapter numbers, (another bastard… has he got a cat?). To clarify, here is the running order;

1). An Encounter of the Malleable kind
2). A Vacancy in Vagrancy
3). Derek has a bad day
4). Fourteen and a half degrees from the horizontal
5). Wagging, tugging and growling
6). Ridley’s Practical Carpentry
7). Flatpack in the morning – vagrants’ warning
8). Puffs, pancakes and wooden sandwiches
9). Lady sucks the blues
10). The facts in the case of Squire Gossard Malleable
11). There will be no nipples this year
12). The water of life
13). Tea and Pinochet
14). The coarseness of strainers
15). Oscar
16). The three fields
17). The Colossus of Rump Hill
18). A primrose by any other name
- Interlude; The Grernock in the Copse –
19). Naked in the Nettles
20). Oscar revisited
21). Plié on the pie, (in progress)

message 10: by Rob (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 386 comments Mod
Mr Savage Cushions wrote: "Strange People

Rob kindly pointed out that I’d made a complete pigs scrotum with the chapter numbers, (another bastard… has he got a cat?)"

For the record, I have no cat.

message 11: by Roger (new)

Roger Kent | 2 comments Not a problem, I hear dogs are similarly combustible.

message 12: by Rob (new)

Rob Gregson (nullroom) | 386 comments Mod
Roger wrote: "Not a problem, I hear dogs are similarly combustible."

I don't have a dog either, but if you give me a couple of days, I'll get one.

message 13: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chapman (andrew-chapman) | 180 comments Mod
You've all gone mad. The most combustible pet, I've heard, is a parrot. I'll lend you one if you need it.

Monsieur Cushions, I'm a bit late to this thread, but could you chuck a copy my way?

Kind regarbles,

message 14: by Nico Meert (new)

Nico Meert | 11 comments I am also a bit late but if you’d like Some foreign advice you could send me a copy🤞

message 15: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Bruton | 33 comments I think you'll all find it's the Petroleum jellyfish

Mr Savage Cushions esq (scushions) | 71 comments Rob – that would be helpful. Would you be able to procure a long-haired one - a bearded collie or maybe a Shetland sheepdog? Either of these would make a good blaze and probably wouldn’t require dowsing with petrol in advance. The price at the pumps is so outrageous at the moment.
Andrew – a parrot? You’re not taking this seriously.

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