Turnips are not just
And so Su Tenderdrake finishes her reading. Trembling
sensitively, her poetry-voice rises in expectation of sycophantic applause. The
Tabard Inn is rammed full to its fake beams for the prize-winning poet.
“That was a feast of ennui.” grumbles our
Host. Turning to Turnip, he hisses:
“Where did all the poetry bastards go? What about you…we’re owed a bitter
Old Possum's Sweeney is the last that Turnip recalls; now it's all saints and
madrassas, detached views by bien pensants (sharp as whips in truth).
He reels. Gags at the smug aroma wafting over Tenderdrake’s "slim
volumes": Turnip finds more beauty in barbed wire on allotments; the crucified
light over gravel pits.
Dave Turnip gets thinner in the wind: has elbowed old ladies in bus queues; was
used as a mop in Bluewater shopping centre, surviving on ciabbata detritus
and pizza crusts. His dreams are of death on submarines or when climbing
Everest. The cherry red carboxyhaemoglobin – Das Boat clanking – or lungs
ripped apart ascending "the chimney" – see also Jesus Coll, Cantab
– passing Mallory and Irvine playing conkers.
Prior to hallucinations, Turnip taught English – "An Inspector
Calls" – planting catcall questions: "Who's the Inspector?";
"Who's to blame for Eva's death"; "How would our modern police
handle such a sensitive enquiry?":
05:45 raid...use of sweeping anti-terror powers...front door rammed in by
face-masked and unnumbered New Labour compliant plods...Birling’s mobile
seized and child porn planted...sympathetic liberal papers forewarned and in
attendance...local theatre group rewrites play...”The Daisy Renton Monologues”...audience
addressed by Chief Constable pleading for inclusion...parading of locals who moaned
when travellers hard-cored their babbling green fields...
Which is to say: Turnips are the English national vegetable. They taste of
school pepper and pre-Conquest ditch water, fenland light and legends of
Hereward the Wake.
And yet in these straightened times, I predict a resurgence...a
renaissance...Resurgam! A beacon for benighted villains and heresy peddlers.
Turning to our Host, Turnip splutters and starts.
See The Chronicles of Dave Turnip by Paul Sutton, original plus
press, for details:
© Paul Sutton 2009