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Pretty Fly For A Beige Guy

August 27, 2009

Robot Jesus


Many Things Very Considerable or Trout Fishing With Robot Jesus

And an ingenuous Spaniard sayes, “That both Rivers, and the inhabitants of the watery Element, were created for wise men to contemplate, and fools to pass by without consideration.” And though I am too wise to rank myself in the first number, yet give me leave to free my self from the last, by offering to thee a short contemplation, first of Rivers, and then of Fish: concerning which, I doubt not but to relate to you many things very considerable. –Isaak Walton, The Compleat Angler (1653)

The poor dope. He always wanted a pool.
Joe Gillis (William Holden) in Sunset Boulevard (1950)

“He’s supposed to have a particularly high-class style: ‘Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole’ … would that be it?”

“Yes,” said the Managing Editor. “That must be good style.” –Evelyn Waugh, Scoop (1938)

I come from haunts of coot and fern, where the curious Pyrenean wombat barrels through the lush undergrowth in search of….ahhh, fuck good style. I doubt it suits me.

Greetings scribblers, versificators, assorted creatures (and Mowbray, who’s sui generis). Politely Homicidal is back in harness…goddamn it. Back to the city I love/hate, where the dulcet tones of the Lesser Spotted Crackhead echo in the detritus-strewn streets; where pimply teenaged policemen club you to your knees and taser you for being beige and politicians and ‘celebrities’ make the air hideous with their noise and unseemly contortions. Ah…London. Where I might, if I cared to, emulate the Blessed Freep and ‘slink sullenly through Slough, or prance petulantly past Penge.’

I picked up the robot Jesus image from a souvenir stall in the portico of Girona’s cathedral. Even given Spain’s long predilection for blasphemy, I was a bit surprised. I’m not sure why, but I was very struck by the image and carried it with me throughout our varied fishing jaunts around the peninsular.

I must mention, in passing, the Aragonese hamlet of Sant Jordi des Arroyo or, as I came to think of it, The Village Of Ghastly Headgear. For some inexplicable reason (and believe me, I was too disconcerted to actually ask) the entire population of the village (all 200 of them) wore what are called in the US ‘gimme’ hats, i.e. baseball caps with a corporate logo emblazoned across the front. (‘Where’d ya git thet hayat, Gomer? Feller down the John Deere place gimme it‘).

It was passing strange to see an 80 year-old crone shuffling down the main drag, shopping in one hand, fiercely-smoking Ducado firmly plugged into the corner of her puckered old gob as she emitted metronomically regular puffs of smoke like The Little Engine That Could, a Microsoft baseball cap planted on her old grey head. The local priest wore a cap that declared his fealty to Metallica and the local game warden advertised his penchant for Dr. Pepper. I suspect some US Air Force plane, winging its way to an American base with the necessities of US-style existence (hamburger patties, guns, crack, Percocet, baseball caps), was forced to jettison its cargo over the village.

Yachting Noah

Even more intriguing, I came across firm evidence of our friend Steven Augustine’s double-life (something I’ve long suspected him of, the dog). A local establishment bore the sign:

Estaban Agustin i Germans-Pernils (‘pernil’ is ham in Catalan, ‘germans’ is brothers)

Berlin hipster/artist provocateur by night, purveyor of quality pork products to gnarled Catalan rustics by day: if I had one of those gimme hats, I’d take it off to him. That’s what I call subversive.

I’ll be back later on to bore you all comatose with tales of derring-do: how I matched wits with the cunning trout in the eternal battle for primacy between Arab and fish. But lest you imagine that trout are the only wildlife of interest to be found in an Aragon trout stream, disabuse yourself of this notion. Many shy and lovely creatures may be observed in these bucolic mountain landscapes.

Aragon Trout Stream

a bientot...

  1. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    August 27, 2009 6:18 PM

    That may be an optical illusion. She looks like she’s been refracted very recently.

  2. InvisibleJack permalink
    August 27, 2009 6:39 PM


    I sent my clockwork son to them
    (who sullied bright Jerusalem)
    in hopes His golden radiance
    would fire in them a second chance
    and lead them out of sinful ways
    (as I had tried in earlier days
    with Noah, Moses, Abraham
    and all those Hebrews on the lam
    from Egypt, Sumer, God knows where –
    of course I do, I really care)
    anyway, lest you lose the thread
    of any secrets so far said
    back we’ll go to My Clockwork Boy
    (the Saviour, not the Chinese toy)…
    what was I at? I can’t recall
    (My mind immense, My memory small)
    something, I think, about the Christ,
    eternal in his sacred rust….
    oh that’s it now, I do recall
    (My mind immense, though memory small)
    of sending wind-up Christ to them
    (who sullied bright Jerusalem)
    in hopes His golden radiance
    would fire in them a second chance…

  3. Daisy permalink
    August 27, 2009 7:13 PM

    Welcome home, mishari. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve invaded your blog?

  4. MeltonMowbray permalink
    August 27, 2009 7:46 PM

    That bloke in the pic should see a doctor. He’s got lumps on his chest.

  5. mishari permalink*
    August 27, 2009 7:48 PM

    You’re very welcome, Daisy.

    Jesus, MM…you’ve been out of circulation for longer than I thought.

  6. InvisibleJack permalink
    August 27, 2009 8:40 PM

    MM, you are sadly lacking in religious education. Those are not lumps, they must obviously be stigmata. I reckon it’s a picture of the Ascention into Heaven. If you look very carefully you’ll see that his beard has fallen off his face and onto his lap. Obviously a sign of heavenly perfection. I don’t quite understand, however, why Mishari has returned with all this mystical paraphanalia. I thought he was supposed to have gone fishing…

    …oh, it’s just come to me: Fishers of Men etc etc.

    A suitably revelated
    Jack Brae

  7. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    August 27, 2009 9:24 PM

    For bonnet and casquette
    Or stetson or sombrero
    A skull cap for your casket
    Or the bull for your torero
    An inverted wicker basket
    Or a stovepipe straight and narrow
    For baseball caps and sundry props
    Try a Barcelona hat shop

    There’s porkpie and kippa
    Balaclava for dessert
    There’s chullo, chupalla
    With matching polo shirt
    There’s beanie, zucchetto
    With toques on the alert
    Forage for berets or a Tyrolean crop
    In a Barcelona hat shop

    A bowler for Derby
    A beanie for a boater
    A hard hat for hardee
    Distributor for rotor
    A peaked cap for Busby
    When he’s driving in his motor
    It’s tit for tat, a direct swap
    In a Barcelona hat shop

    Your yarmulke cocked a turban
    When you felt fedora’s beaver
    Her tarboosh, pillbox, pompom,
    And you couldn’t bear to leave her
    Your pith helmet had a leghorn
    You were coming down with fever
    Just say ushanka then slouch and flop
    In a Barcelona hat shop

  8. freep permalink
    August 27, 2009 10:01 PM

    Yeah, where’s the sardines, guv? I’m off to Kirkcudbrightshire, to dynamite some salmon out of the River Cree.

  9. mishari permalink*
    August 27, 2009 10:11 PM

    Brilliant, HLM…as ever.

    Sardines, freep? Do you think I dragged a fucking trawler around the mountains of Spain? That would have been…excessive…

    ..anyway, sardines are hard to catch with a fly rod. The hook gets no purchase on the tins.

    Dynamite some politicians while your at it and if you bump into Sting and his odiious harpy of a wife…well, you know the SP…

    Meanwhile, here are some more erm…odd search terms that brought people here:

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  10. August 27, 2009 11:05 PM

    “self-bondage” mistake stuck despair : I wonder whether that searcher was typing with his nose? Quite impressive use of the shift key.

  11. freep permalink
    August 27, 2009 11:20 PM

    Just catching up. Went to see the French gangster film Mesrine part one. Worth a look, very macho. Two and a half stars.
    Mish: Much obliged for the GU verses outing me as a card carrying geriatric. The prostate is doing very nicely. The poem made me feel quite odious, which given my chronic lack of self-esteem, was gratifying. I would never, though, admit to having visited Sunderland; it is not a place, but an exhibit in a coroner’s inquest.

    What do you mean, you couldn’t cart a trawler around Catalonia? Werner Herzog dragged a paddle steamer over hills in the Mato Grosso, so what’s the problem? Trouble with the young these days, no spunk, no gumption, no ‘gan on’ as we say. Now that young man with bumps in the Aragon trout stream, he looks as if he knows a thing or two. have you got his number??
    HLM, that hatful ditty was a triumph. It needs a title like The Milliner From Panama Who Mistook a Mantilla for a Thesaurus.
    I am still trying to get my head around Jack’s clockwork Jesus. It puts my lapsed catholic Calvinist atheism out of joint. I had always assumed that Jesus was steam-driven or hydraulic. I will now have to consult my old engineering pals about the most suitable technology for ensuring efficient and non-invasive Redemption.

  12. mishari permalink*
    August 27, 2009 11:36 PM

    Relax, Pops…I’m gaining on you fast. I recently spent half an hour searching the house for my reading glasses only to discover I was wearing them.

    That’s all very well about Herzog, who in addition to being a madman is German, so an efficient madman…a terrifying combination, as they proved 1939-1945…

  13. MeltonMowbray permalink
    August 27, 2009 11:37 PM

    Transvestives in Alnwick, that was mine. Couldn’t sleep one night in Northumberland.

    I was brought up in the Church of England, Martian, so I know nothing of Christianity. My litany is composed of the classic call and response enshrined in Good Morning, Good Morning, How are you? I am well. How are you? I, too, am well. And how is your family? They were killed in a car crash last week. I’m sorry to hear that. Yes, it was unfortunate. Looks like rain, do you think? I think so. Well, must get on. Yes, goodbye. My collect is performed at the ATM and consists solely of oaths. I suppose my benediction would be ‘More tea, vicar?’ or ‘Thank God’ as the last relative drives away.

  14. freep permalink
    August 28, 2009 12:36 AM

    Sorry about wor geordie trannies, MM. Forgot to warn you. They don’t mean harm, but they are visually offensive. I suppose in the South you probably call them ‘men’. Or ‘dogs’. Mistakes are often made here, so visitors can be excused. I hope you noticed our free toilets..

    Astonished at your grasp of Anglican doctrine. I expect your father was a bishop. Soon it may be possible to have a bishop for a mother, and then we shall have problems regarding transubstantiation. Can Christ truly be present in a Madeira cake?

  15. InvisibleJack permalink
    August 28, 2009 2:28 AM

    Can Christ truly be present in a Madeira cake?



    God Almighty sent His stripling
    to the cakes of Mr Kippling
    to transubstantiate High Tea
    from 6pm to Eternity

    Jack Brae

  16. August 28, 2009 9:38 AM

    ‘is greg lake from elp gay or bi?’

    Many of the other searches are what one might expect. But I find it rather wonderful that somewhere, one night, one person was thinking about this.

    Beautiful summary of the Anglican creed, MM. My grandfather was a canon in the CofE and, growing up, I never remember hearing God mentioned. I don’t think anyone wanted to make a fuss. Seemed a bit vulgar.

    He was also, I’ve since learned, part of a low-key and unofficial group of Anglican exorcists (had to be low-key, the CofE officially threw out demonic possession with transubstasiation and kissing mummified feet at Whitsun).

  17. InvisibleJack permalink
    August 28, 2009 10:00 AM

    C of E Version

    God Almighty sent His stripling
    to the cakes of Mr Kipling
    to consubstantiate High Tea
    from 6pm to Eternity

    Please forgive my Papal upbringing, but I realise now that this rhyme will have to be rendered in several versions lest I be accused of non-PC behaviour. I am currently working on the Hindu version…

    Jack Brae

  18. mishari permalink*
    August 28, 2009 10:55 AM

    Hello, XB…how’s things in the land of bland cheese and schpliffs? I’m going to read the The Beachcomber this weekend and comment. Apologies for so belated a response, but circumstances….

  19. August 28, 2009 11:35 AM

    Yeah, Mishari

    How you could spend your time gazing at naked women in idyllic hillside streams rather than read my story is beyond human understanding.

    These Dutch weeks have been rather interim and unsettled, prior to heading to Ronda, which we’re doing next Thursday. Have stayed in five different places, with family and friends, inlcuding a week on my own when I had to put down Blood Meridian for a while for fear I’d flip out and rampage for scalps through Zevenaar. I’ve not finished it yet but feel it surpasses Outer Dark in ambition and scope. It’s quite extraordinary how such unrelenting bleakness doesn’t become repetitive; the pages covering the first indian attack were virtuoso and the Judge is a wonderful creation. Will rhapsodise on Oxiana another time. Suffice to say that both my mother and best friend now have copies.

  20. mishari permalink*
    August 28, 2009 11:40 AM

    I knew you’d like them. Oxiana is a masterpiece and I think Blood Meridian is, if not a masterpiece then so extraordinary and powerful as to make no difference. It is, I think, McCarthy’s magnum opus…

  21. September 1, 2009 4:49 PM



  22. September 1, 2009 4:54 PM

    “Estaban Agustin i Germans-Pernils”

    (It’s a typo, btw. Persils. Always dreamed of opening a laundrette in a sweaty climate and hiring Krauts to beat the y-fronts on rocks in a stream)

  23. mishari permalink*
    September 1, 2009 6:42 PM

    A laundrette? …the potential for symbolism and metaphor is almost too rich.

    Incidentally, I met a couple of Germans who were traversing GR10, the trail that covers the length of the Pyrenees.

    Their conversation, such as it was, consisted of highly detailed accounts of their calorific consumption, the dirtyness of Spanish hostels and the high standard of hygiene maintained by Munich’s prostitutes.

    They were singularly charmless. 30 minutes of their company and I was contemplating shooting them…or failing that, myself.

  24. September 1, 2009 9:47 PM

    “30 minutes of their company and I was contemplating shooting them…or failing that, myself.”

    Imagine one of these cu…. I mean, cuh-reatures… resembles a scowling bureaucrat of the same race, who had faced you across a desk today, holding important documents of yours in one hand and rifling through one of their codexes (a list of non-Aryans they missed the first time ’round?) with the other… and you thinking *the pre-ellipsis half of the very same thought* as cited above. And then how happy you’d be to meet this very same bureaucrat… or anyone who could pass for him (actually, it was a her)… on a mountain pass with no witnesses. You lucky bastard.

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