Epilogue (All the Things we Must Know)
In 1983, Antonio Gambini and the Muller Ltd. performed X-ray Fluorescence Imaging on The Zine, revealing a palimpsest of approx. 217 feet 11 inches by 123 feet. An overwritten chapter, the gaping gable end of a partially demolished apartment block, embodied a cross-section of a fertile mind’s Administrative Doxa. Occupied by plan chests, filing cabinets, galvanometers, (literally) faceless bureaucrats, and mechanical-telegraphy, the Doxa were skeuomorphs of things that preoccupy our [STATIC]: desktops, GPS, ^4files, GIFs, mB5s… e.g. The lever of Archimedes controlled the psychic air: Prana, or the Vital Principle. The filing Numskull, meanwhile, ensured that imagination cannot invent anything that is outside of fact.
With one exception, the monastic cells, were strictly delineated. Corresponding strictly by proxy, they gave great customer service. Each had a duty: e.g. the electric magnet and its practical application (91: 108), the failures of others (177: 171), the Koh-i-nur (27: 277), specific conditions (2,262: 2,132). One was responsible for drama. One year, 97 new plays were presented. 36 were musical comedies; 36 were serious or sentimental; 13 were melodramas; 13 were comedies; one was a pantomime; two were tragedies, and 14 were farces.
The Doxa’s anonymous Numskulls were polite, cheerfully comported and puritanically dedicated to minimising creative thought and sentiment. But the Numskulls were of a different factura to the craggy visage that comprised the gable end’s fenestration. The nose and eye of the body-politic they performed permanently embraced in a thewy sneer. (NB: nothing has ever been discovered which will restore the bloom of youth, and all articles advertised for that purpose are practically worthless).
The ship was entered by an escalator that ran from the fire exit at the rear of Braehead shopping centre; that palace of fame, between earth, sea and heaven. A landing half way up had a fire door into the deck of the ship itself; those travelling first class would enter here, via the RBS Platinum Lounge, a evenly lit room furnished with stylish and durable La-Z-Boy recliners and perfumed by the amusing aroma of Costa Coffee. â€˜Iâ€™d happily stick my face in itâ€™, Gregg mused, â€˜itâ€™s like a cinnamon snogâ€™. This room was hygienic and the fabrics vibrant because it was cleaned regularly by happy shift-workers. The rota was visibly inscribed in hieroglyphics on a Corinthian column, just above the 12ml UHT creamers. It was a sanctuary, a place to forget your troubles with a newspaper, Mini Mars Bar and complimentary refreshments.
But Gregg wasnâ€™ wasting money on luxurious travel these days, not when he had a Michelin standard mortgage to pay. He was going to have to blow his own historical trumpet. He pushed hard on the battered cabin class door marked â€˜Rose Roomâ€™, and started to negotiate the convoluted public guidance system. According to the map he had been making, this had been arranged in the circuitous route of Chartres Cathedral floor labyrinth â€“ he estimated that there were at least a thousand pilgrims ensconced in this maze of typical and standardised retractable post and belt crowd control mechanism. Greggâ€™s hypoglycemia was giving him the cold sweat. The uniform glare of 1,734 florescent strip lights bore inexorably upon his brow. He shuffled along the line like an extra in Dawn of the Dead, eventually reaching a branch in the queue. It wasnâ€™t obvious which way would be the quickest.
Follow Imber? Turn to Prologue
Follow Unthank? Turn to Chapter 38
Unburdened of his journeymen, Gregg used his lamprey limbs to fishily joust his way to the centre of the Pendle Wavelengths leisure pool. He was startled by what looked like a steak and kidney pie screaming loudly in his face. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, I would quite happily bathe in that. As he gazed in bemusement at the prone serf shouting at him, he noticed a strange coupon clutched in his interlocutors bloodied fist. It was the reduction sticker of Dr. Oetker. Ill have a plate of that! he exclaimed, eyes bulging. A volcano of food emotion, Gregg plunged head first into the open wound.
Inside the wound, whatd hed thought was an array of pizza toppings turned out to be a band of pilgrims - circling back and forth wearing police helmets and waving batons threateningly. Holding aloft his crown of anchovies only seemed to anger them more. In his haste to escape from the rapidly cauterizing lesion, Gregg tripped and fell over the body of a railway worker who had been lured in by the promise of deep pan action. He quickly patted the body down and found the SAUCEPAN, CHOPPING BOARD and MIXED HERBS. Add 5 vocation points. As he glanced back upon the railwaymans face, suddenly his eyes clicked open! Gregg retreated a few steps towards the waterslides and pulled on the TUSSLERS TOP and IMMORTAL TRUNKS. Add 2 Gap points. The worker was Greggs nemesis John Torode. He stood up and made an unsuccessful lunge at the utensils hanging from Greggs swimshorts. God youve got some bold flavours Torode!
Suggest a meeting? Turn to Chapter 23.
If he still has it, use the tin opener? Turn to Chapter 29
A leviathan-lynching, ball-busting masticonnoisseur hailing from the plague-pens of the Northern Grind. Instead of eyes, a single tattooed line circumscribed the upper-middle third of his smoothly ovoid head. His bottom portion consisted of cable-tied lampreys elaborately pierced by enamel tools designed for the mastication and divination of monstrously queer gastro-combos. Gregg Wallace was always one to go in for adventure; while travelling last year he had gained the accolade chef de cuisine de amore. He was at the centre of his core group; his Kingdome was to be in this world alone, his needs were what needed to be served now. The customer always came eighth.
Gregg awoke grumpily. Hed had restless night. He was still shocked at the news that PG Tips were doing animal experiments to boost evidence on health claims for tea. His emotions continued to ride high on top of a river of chocolaty heaven. After thirty-three days at sea, he was going ashore for a stopover in Pumelberg, Nova Scotia - the 'City of Annoying Steps'. Despite their precision military drilling, his North Korean catering guild had quickly become separated from the main party of explorers whilst chasing escaped livestock through this sandstone labyrinth. Although Gregg had made direct covenant with Pyongyang to rule over them, the ITVP&RC may well now have to wait until the end of the natural world. Or at least until Gregg the Egg had had his elevenses.
As it grew dark the rich stench of death was everywhere. As he stood retching outside a Kebab Shoppe, Greggs weary band of North Korean saucier, poissoniers, sous chefs and patty flippers stared up at him from trusting positions of exhaustion and hunger. The crumbling stone flooring was muddy and littered with skeletal footprints. Fire blazed from the windows of every third building. Quick, yelled a passing demonstrator, follow that tomato. Always seeking new flavour sensations, Gregg ran after him and into a small shop fronted by a huge tomato shaped street lamp.
Gregg thrust out his taste glands and flicked them stealthily along an array of bulging rotisseries, remaining ever wary of an impending ambush. The air tasted metallic. Satisfied at the lack of immediate danger he addressed the proprietor who was languorously dry-humping a classical pillar in an alcove above. He floated down on an inflatable cherub and proffered a sealed scroll. "Theres some things in life that are an absolute joy... thats superb!"
Join the proprietor? Turn to Chapter 41.
Abstain? Turn to Chapter 11.
Gregg was astounded to find himself inside a large amphitheatre. A celebrity butcher expo was being mc'd by Jimmy Krankie's skeleton. Crowds of apprentices watched gleefully as two burger kings dismantled a treacherous serf on a butchers block. There was much laughter and snuffling sounds. Leaning through a portal Gregg called on his cheiflings to join the party atmosphere. They made no movement at the sound of his voice. And then he saw why. Their heads were missing.
Some of the party were engaged in Richard and Judys book club. The book they had chosen was set in bindings of intricate tracings. It was written in a strange, unfamiliar language. Flipping through the pages, Gregg was impressed by the deep, rich, velvety goodness of the illuminations, none more so than that of a shortbread tin. He fingered gingerly at the picture of its ring-pull. To his delight, the lid of the tin ripped open, only to reveal another one. "Ooooooow Yeaaaaaah!" He opened this to find still another. "WOW!...That's just run up and kissed me!!" The tins only led to more tins. Impossibly each tin was bigger than the last, each one increasing Greggs rapture. "That is really really really not bad!"
Finally he found himself in a tin big enough to stand up in. In the middle of this there stood another tin, a tin of tins, hanging from a rope. The rope was attached to a fan spinning around and around...Greg stepped forward to find that the tin has the face of Father Fray Bentos grinning on the lid. "Mmmmmm....we likey!" Tinny laughter comes from inside. A voice whispered, You, Greggorius Wallimus, shall define the difference between yourself and all creation, by devouring everything that is dead and all that lives and breathes, all cattle and all wild. On your belly shall you crawl eating dirt, dandelions and dogs the days of your life.
Accept the challenge? Turn to Interlude.
If he still has it, use the tin opener? Turn to Chapter 29
This route ran from the entrance, around the gallery in a maze like fashion, and back to the entrance, forcing Gregg to retrace his steps! Finally, after three hours and forty minutes, Gregg was able to board the hull of the sailing ship.
Gregg was sponsored by ITV, the new owners of BBC 2. His voyage would take him from mid 21st century Scotland to medieval England where he was to research a new historical cooking programme Magistra Vitae that he would co-host with the former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Scargill. He was traveling cabin class the film crew monitoring his every move in the ships hull as he mixed with vagabonds and serfs. The prequel to the show would be important for teasers in between the ads for Hellmans Mayo and Cheese Strings.
The inside pocket of his Alexander McQueen jacket sported a pop-up travel version of the ITV Peace and Reconciliation Cuboid. Gregg fumbled to grab the cuboid, a completely opaque block of black glass, as it slithered between his olive oiled fingers. Sensing his greasy fingerprints, it mumbled into action. Gregg beamed a winning smile and sucked down hard on a lime, pulling in his cheeks. The startup instruction beamed out from the cube onto the hammock dangling above him, the light refracting off of his freshly shaven head to startle a neighbourly rat.
The ITVP&RC is a four sided beamer capable of projecting images (1,000 megawatt) from each of its facades. Each screen is configured to display an ITV online game (please visit and make your selection).
Seemed simpler than a deconstructed chicken pie. Gregg clicked the link with his forefinger and was soon online. The ITV games page popped up on the hammock. As head chef of the ITV P&RC Greggs four games of choice were:
1. Family Fortunes
3. The Price is Right
The ITVP&RC had been a big hit that summer. Members of the public were invited to interact with the games and, hopefully, win cash prizes. Currently ITV online were charging Â£10 for 50 credits, which is around 20p per game. Greggs plan was to charge a groat four days wages for a farmer, or the price of quails egg in late 14th century England. Those who had no money could indenture their cooking skills or barter food for a punt on the ITVP&RC. The camera crew would be able to get an authentic slice of dark age veg talk.
As curator of this project, this cooking womans crumpet would effectively be charging his medieval clients the real terms equivalent of 50p per game (=140.13 North Korean Won), bringing in a cool profit of 30p per game, enabling the ITV P&RC to pay for itself. Of course, if the participants did well, they could win a cash prize of up to Â£150, paid by ITV online each week. That money, the money they win, that will be safe, Gregg imagined himself saying to camera. The cuboid, would be placed in the heart of York, just outside the Shambles. It would be open to view 24hours per day during the period of lent in 1377.
While the cuboid was the size of a small jar of truffles, it produced only images. Sound was to be produced through 8 x 120 watt 'Gale' speakers and an amplification system kindly lent by Richer Sounds (who, in return, would be able to leave their latest catalogues alongside the cuboid for interested members of the public). The time traveling costermonger couldnt be arsed dragging these speakers and Richer Sounds catalogues with him on his medieval voyage, so he had pawned them and instead brought with him a set of Binatone Bluetooth enabled speakers that ran on solar power. The speakers were bought from Ca$h Convertors and would be sold back to Ca$h Convertors when the cuboid's residency was over. Gregg would get Richer Sounds kit back. This and the profits from selling the games to the villeins would cover his restaurant tab.
The cuboids projection screens would be assembled by the ground force of the Korean People's Army who would provide the scaffolding and canvas in return for having a recruitment ad shown on the cuboid during the breaks. The internet connection would be provided by KCC Europe, led by Jan Holterman in Berlin in collaboration with the North Korean governments medieval England investment committee. The connection would be established through a satellite link from North Korea to servers located in Heiligkreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross) in SchwÃ¤bisch GmÃ¼nd. In return KCC Europe would be offered first refusal on all other ITV online gaming cuboid ventures in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Published ....................Spring 2011