ALL THE WAY DOWN TO HIS BOOTS IN FILTH, ARTHUR J. ROCK, OUR FEARFUL ACE REPORTER, PEERS OUT IN WEEKLY SEGMENTS, THROUGH A TOUGHENED MIRRORED WINDOW, AND TELLS US WHAT EXACTLY IT IS HE THINKS IS GOING UP . . . [strange man] . . .
[All characters described are over the age of 18]
Mrs. Goodbody is not her real name, never was her name, but we need to call her something - her real name is a secret; at least that's what she insisted upon; silly fucking mare. Mrs. Goodbody is an anti-porn campaigner, with all the corresponding ugliness required for such a futile position - boss-eyed, trembling arthritic claws, love of all things floral, obsessive dentures, dust caked genitalia, and possible, nee probable nylon wig. I met her last Tuesday at a garden fete in the tiny Suffolk village of Upper Cockshy. She was not pleased to see me. But given that I am a distant relative of her incontinent husband 'Ralphy' she felt unable to do anything but acquiesce to my loudly proclaimed demand for parlay in the scone tent. And it was there, over a pot of so called tea, that I put a number of explicit questions to her regarding her hatred of all things flesh. So, come with me now, as I recreate the scene, and describe, in as vivid detail as possible, the horrible afternoon I spent trying with all my limited might not to stab her with a plastic teaspoon.
'Okay, Peggy, in your own time, explain to me, without gagging on your own bile, why you entertain such reactionary views about smut - with particular reference to anything but children. After all, we're all adults here. And yes, before you ask, Uncle Pat is still required to sign the register - although I do believe he sometimes sends a young friend from the youth club in his stead.'
'Really? Does he? Well, I'm not surprised. Even as a child he had his funny little ways. Did you know that at Great aunt Lilith's funeral he was found with his lad out behind the font? Chuckling to himself, he was; something about the shape of the stonework. Though I suspect it had more to do with that moon faced strumpet in the choir-'
'Peggy. Please. If you could just confine yourself to the league.'
'Yes, sorry, the league. Well, it was in the summer of nineteen-fifty-six that I and a number of likeminded friends set up The Anti-Onanism League. We were frankly sick to the stomach. It all started when Gloria's fiancé was arrested in a High Wycombe convenience on a charge of supplying illegal views to a wandering doorknob salesman from Dulwich - a lovely man; he was instrumental in the opening of many doors; do you know he even got me an appointment with a former scullery maid of Winston Churchill; the tales she told! Scandalous! Anyway, the day after the trial - made all the papers, you know - Gloria ushered me into her mother's larder and divulged a number of revolting details regarding Raymond's penchant for . . . well, I'm not going to soil my lips with the word, but it rhymes with todomy.'
'Oh, yes. Raymond was a bugger for it. Had her bent over at the drop of a hat.'
'Please, go on.'
'Well, not being entirely versed in the ways of the pagan world, as you can imagine, I was intrigued. Todomy, I said, what's that? And as she unfolded the awful truth, I found myself retching with disgust - I mean, anuses; it's no wonder Gloria had to suffer that intrusive series of purposeless colonoscopies last spring. Even Trevor, the verger at St Vitus's - and he's seen a thing or two; SAS batman - said it was beyond the pale.'
'Trevor? Trevor with the comatose daughter?'
'No, Trevor with the leg'
'Ah. But how did this startling realization result in the formation of the league?'
'Well, the league was a direct result of my meeting Ralphy.'
'Ralphy? So Gloria had nothing to do with it?'
'Oh no. By the time the league was set up Gloria was engaged to her late husband, Grayson. Gloria was never in the league. I mean, how could she be? Not after Raymond had ruined her with his, well, how shall I put it, peccadillo?'
'Yes, it was Ralphy who first explained to me the kind of degrading activities that his wounded soldier chums, down at the Friends of the Foreign Legion, engaged in.'
'You mean Ralphy was into jiggy-jiggy?'
'God no! Not Ralphy! It was his friends. Ralphy never saw a thing!'
'But he explained the form?'
'Yes. He told me all about it.'
'What did he tell you?'
'I'm sorry Arthur, I'm not prepared to utter such utterances in a public place - let alone the refreshment marquee at a village fete! I mean, I know you're family, but what if it got about that I spent my afternoons consorting with the likes of you, discussing, well, discussing I-don't-know-what!'
'All right Peggy, calm down. We're only talking. It's not as if I'm insisting you divulge anything you haven't already spoken to the darkness - and you forget, I know all about your liaison with-'
'Well? . . . What did Ralphy explain to you - that hadn't crossed your mind already?'
'Ralphy? What did he say?'
'Oh, well, if you insist, he explained to me all about spunk.'
'Yes, spunk. He said that some men liked to squirt it in faces, and some of his friends had pictures, of the squirting; some of them even did it themselves; to their wives!'
'And this caused you to form the league? Anti-squirting.'
'No. The league was the direct result of an incident in St Albans high street.'
'Well, A month or so after Gloria's terrifying admissions, and Ralphy's frankly disturbing divulgence's, I was visiting an old girlfriend in St Albans - she was fresh out of the local psychiatric ward and at a bit of a loose end - and as we perambulated down St Peter's street, in quest of a pot of tea, she mentioned to me that one of the male nurses, an amateur gynaecologist from the Isle of Wight, had attempted to ply her with tincture of cannabis and a wad of homemade smut - told her any number of tales about young women and his insatiable need for extramarital photography.'
'Ah, now we're getting somewhere. And did she partake of his offer?'
'Oh no. She was a church goer.'
'Yes. Every Sunday. Even when she was unconscious from the therapeutic drugs she'd get the matron to wheel her into a pew - said the mere vibrations from the vicar's tremulous sermon had more effect than a thousand insulin shocks. She was, it must be said, slightly insane - intolerably so, actually. But that's not the point. The point is, what she described to me, over that plate of iced buns in Simmon's Tea Room, had me quaking in my patent leather boots for weeks - every time Ralphy suggested we take a walk in the woods I'd tighten up like a, well, like a-'
'So, is it fair to say that the formation of the league was the direct result of your fear of fucking?'
'Arthur! How dare you?'
'-And that you have a deep seated terror of taking anything sex related on board?'
'Really! - (I'm sorry Maureen, he's the pervert, the one I told you about) - Arthur! Could you please keep your voice down, this is not one of your brothel clubs! This is a deeply Christian refreshment tent!'
It was at this point that Maureen's husband, Gareth, arrived - Gareth, a staunch member of the league; known as Bum-Sealer to his revolting friends at the Grave-Digger's Club (I only know this due to a fruitless six year surveillance operation, undertaken at great personal risk, by DCI 'Snapper' O'Hoolahan; another member of the Grave-Digger's Club; the dirty bastard leaked everything the moment his name came up in the local rag). Gareth was not happy. Kicking me out of the tent - Peggy spitting apologetic invective at everyone she knew - he was heard to say, '. . . and if you ever return to Upper Cockshy again, I'll slice your dolly's off!' In the confusion, and subsequent need of medical attention, I regretted that I hadn't been able to question his use of the word 'dolly's' - I'm assuming he meant balls, but 'dolly's' implies a dereliction of the term 'dolly whacker', which of course is a singular item. But anyway, in the ambulance I put such whimsy far from my thoughts, relaxed back into the morphine and oxygen, and wondered for a moment if I really did share the same DNA with that awful woman's Ralphy . . .
Donations to the league are always welcome - often they can hardly afford the price of entry to the many filthy internet sites they feel duty bound to sign up to and scour for research purposes.