Today I awoke with the dawn, fresh and refreshed. Last night after twenty seven cans of red bull and a bottle of vodka I ran into a benevolent fawn that offered to scream away all my rage and frustration with me. He took me on to the tightrope and we stood there and looked at the sleeping cows. We screamed. It was amazing. Screaming is the best way to get some of the horror out of ourselves. The cows didn’t even flinch. They just went on sleeping. All of them but one, that is. One “cow”… I saw it raise its head. Oh no. Jupitus. He had heard my scream. I saw his tooth glint as he smiled.
I returned to the festival, but now I had to confront him. I had no choice. The Blitzburgers were playing their difficult second album and Toby was in the comedy tent talking about sardines. It was a good time to die. I had to confront Phill. As is traditional I removed all of my clothes and painted the word “Catshit” all over myself in ogham. Then I carefully inserted a walnut into my left nostril, and marched towards the field chanting the lyrics to Abba’s breakthrough hit “Waterloo”. The fawn was back on the tightrope, screaming.
At Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
And I have met my destiny in quite a similar way”
My voice was cracking with fear as I tried to maintain the steady drone. All on one note. B-flat. It’s the only chance I would have to weaken him. Below me one of the cows separated from the herd, its flank shuddering. Jupitus. The Ogham on my body started to glow, the heat of it burning into the glue on the sanatogen still gaffered to my leg.
“The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself
Waterloo I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo couldn’t escape if I wanted to.”
In the dark, the form of the cow was melting, shifting, changing. I reached into my pack for the bionic arm. The walnut felt heavy in my nostril. I was going to sneeze.
“Waterloo knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo finally facing my Waterloo”
And he came at me. 3 tonnes of howling Jupitus rage. The tightrope fawn was screaming behind me to the indifferent world. On the wind I caught a snatch of Toby’s voice, talking about kale. And he was on me. I tried to hold him back but he was stronger. “Oh yeah” he snorted as his weight winded me and the bionic arm snapped. I realised that my only chance was giving up the fight. I went limp and collapsed under his weight. All the breath was knocked out of me. It was going dark. I could feel the call to oblivion as Jupitus’ hands scrabbled for purchase on my throat. And then the gaffer snapped. The sanatogen junior vitamins pinged into Jupitus, one by one, full of goodness as I slipped in and out of consciousness and suddenly volcanically sneezed. The built up hayfever snot behind the walnut gave it the power of a cannonball. Right on the head! Jupitus went still, knocked out, the vitamins working in his bloodstream, his tongue lolling, his cowsuit shredded. A momentary pause.
I was trapped beneath him though. Behind me the fawn was still screaming out all my rage and frustration. Toby had stopped talking. Perhaps he was having a meal. I took stock. Beneath an unconscious Jupitus full of vitamins, I looked at the stars in the night sky. Maybe everything was going to be alright after all. “I feel like I win when I lose.”
But I was tired. The ogham was smudged now. Cat sit, it now said reminding me that I hadn’t organised anyone to look after Pickle while I was here in a field in Smurgleburg under Phill Jupitus. The stars winked at me. Jupitus shifted. His eyes shot open. He winked at me too. The vitamins gave his eyes a shine. “Brother!” he howled, the tears flowing freely, and he kissed me on the mouth. “I’m sorry I didn’t laugh in Edinburgh!” I panted, trying to get my arm out from under him so I could wipe off the spit. “I was hungover and you were being too dominant. You annoyed me.” We hugged. “Let’s get some beers off my rider,” said Phill. We danced the night away. Eventually, exhausted, we said farewell and I went to my tent. As I went to sleep I could hear Toby talking about saveloys. Back on the tightrope, the fawn stopped screaming abruptly. Someone had cut the tightrope.
And I woke up fine. Phill and I are now good friends. He’s given up the cow impersonation. I still think he has an eye on my Woolworth’s fish finger sandwich. If I pretend I havent heard him when he says he loves me, the friendship works really well. But sometimes he says it three times in a row.
What will happen tomorrow? Has Al scheduled another one of these? Who cares? I’m off to dance to the Crafty Spuds. They’re teaming up with Norman Blitz.