Dear Friends

DF 23 - Marathon man

January 2002

Sometime in the mid-seventies I came down to the West Country and met a man called Mike. We became friends and a while later went for a drink. We found ourselves in a typical pub and after a pint or two I went out to the Gents; it was an outhouse shared with the Ladies. As I came back into the yard I noticed some chalk marks on the opposite wall.

A series of ascending lines with accompanying initials and dates; I was intrigued.

'What's that?' I asked Mike.

'Oh. That'll be the pissing competition'

He explained…….the idea was to have one part of your body touching the old trestle table that defined the equidistance between the Ladies and the Gents, and then you had to pee against the opposite wall, as high as you could.

I felt a surge of confidence, because; as a vile underage youth, I'd spent many an hour, with my callow circle, sitting outside the Travellers Friend (pub) in Hounslow, nursing bottles of illegal brown ale.

The highlight of the evening would be sneaking around the back of the alley, which screened the outside toilets, and then pissing exquisite parabolas, of a Mann's dilution, over the wall on to the emerging full-grown-men-type-zipper-uppers; then running away; damply sniggering.

I was an expert.

I pointed out to Mike that the highest mark on the wall was no more than Three Foot Six, the trestle table was a mere Six Feet away and (using my Quantum version of Pythagoras), I quickly reckoned that I could double the record: Seven Feet, No Problem.

I was an expert.

The word got around, and after two or three more pints I was fully prepared for the challenge.

The in-house drinkers assembled round a singer with a mission.

I unbuttoned and let the pressure build up……then…..all of a sudden,

'Ere, what you doing'? barked a toothless wench.

Red-faced me, 'Madam, I am going to break the record'.

'Mike, 'ave you told 'im the rules'? she pissisted.

By now I was bursting with determination, and so I side-mouthed nastily to yon harridan that I had quite enough information to work with for the time being, i.e. some part of my body had to be touching the trestle table.

'But Mike, you never told him the other rule'.

'WHAT'? Me, gasping…'What other rule'?

'NO HANDS' she said 'NO HANDS, that's my record that is, up the wall there, you can't use HANDS, 'tis not fair'.

The word impissobolity sprang to mind as the small crowd scattered in panic.

They've banned education in schools, health care in hospitals, training for train drivers, fish in the North Sea, organic farming anywhere, justice for victims……..

………..Prosecuting Counsel (PC),


'Can you explain the lead-up to what some might consider to be an unusual situation?'

'Well, they broke in and surprised me.

I was doing the crossword and, all of a sudden, the windows were smashed in.

All these blokes jumped into the room; waving guns and screaming 'you're dead'.

The cat flew under the table and I spilled my whisky.

Then the front door burst open and another load of them just rampaged into the place.'

'Did you feel…..and I want you to think carefully before you answer this,

Mr. Gillan, did you at any time feel threatened?


'No, not really, I mean we often have people dropping in unannounced, but it seemed somehow different this time. I wouldn't say threatened, more like uneasy, because, you see, I didn't know any of them.'

'Can you describe, Mr. Gillan, the circumstances which required you to use such overwhelming and inappropriate violence; leading directly to the deaths of seventeen innocent men?'

'That's what you might call a pernicious question, isn't it sir? I will tell you what happened.

When the first wave came through the window I didn't know what to do, but I was stung into action when I saw the look in the eyes of the one with a knife, coming at me like a train.

'You were able, pardon me for interrupting, but are you telling me Mr. Gillan, that you were able to analyse his intentions by interpreting the look in his eyes?'

'No, it was the knife in his hand.'

'It didn't cross your mind, at any time, that this might have been a prank, the boys having a laugh, a bit of harmless fun.'

'Yes, just for a moment, then he stabbed me.'

……….PC (Addressing the Judge)
'My Lord, at this point I would like to introduce photographic evidence showing that the defendant suffered no wounds, abrasions, bruises or physical damage of any kind whatsoever during this, erm, massacre of innocents.

……….Judge (to the jury)
'You will disregard that last remark.'

'Forgive me my Lord (turns to the jury and then slowly re-addresses the defendant) You say he stabbed you, and yet there is no wound.'

'It went through my coat, but I knew he meant the business. We struggled for the knife and got tangled up with someone who started shooting, I heard screaming and then we fell and somehow the knife had turned matey into brown bread.

I'm lying on top of him with a blade in his chest, and there's three deaduns from loose rounds off the gunman, who's now thrashing around having an asthma attack and pointing to his inhaler.

Looking back I should have known, but, in the heat of the moment, I thought he had arthritis and epilepsy. My first thought was to go in the kitchen and get a spoon or something to put between his teeth and stop him swallowing his tongue.'

'You were concerned about his condition?'

'Of course, the man was in trouble.'

'So, what happened next?'

'The lights went out, don't forget I just heard another load of people come in the front door, so I left the mayhem and went out into the hall.'

'Did you have any idea of the numbers in each party?'

'Oh yes, ten came in through the window and seven came in through the door.'

'How can you be sure of that?'

'I saw ten come through the windows and seventeen were found dead. It adds up.'

'Mr. Gillan, it has been forensically established that the bottom seven, in the pile of bodies, i.e. the group that entered through the front door, had their heads broken by a baseball bat, not dissimilar to the one which you keep in the hall.'

'Yes, that makes sense.'

'So, you admit that you kept a baseball bat near the front door.'

'No, I kept the baseball bat near the glove and the ball; it was a set you see, a souvenir.

'And so you picked up the baseball bat instead of the ball, or the glove?'

'It was instinctive; I tried to whoosh them away by swinging the bat around my head. I did think about it for a moment, but decided against the ball or the glove.'

'And the other living five? Who had survived your first assault.

'It seems they must have dragged their friends out into the hall, with the intention of making their escape in the vehicles which are still parked outside; A Volvo 240GL estate (1983) and a London Taxi, both of which have similar turning circles, although I can't see how they'd all have squeezed in.

I reckon they just laid their friends on the other bodies in the hall, for the time being, when disaster struck.'

'We now have twelve in the heap. All innocently slain, Mr. Gillan, and you are expecting us to believe that a further disaster struck. A disaster in which, of course you played no part.'

'That's right, well I played a part I suppose, when I realized things hadn't turned out the way anyone planned, so I called a truce.'

'A truce?'

'Yes, I said I was sorry a few of you blokes had got accidentally a bit roughed up, but there's no need for alarm. You take the weight off your legs, sit on that pile there, and I'll get you a drink.'

'A drink?'

'I once made this for Michael Jackson.

It's an advocaat base; after that you whack in some vodka, whisky, drambuie, strega, lemonade or cream soda (I forget which I used), cherry brandy (just a drop), port, tequila, mescal and an absinthe float.'

'Guilty, five years, take him down.'

Where was I?…Oh yes….justice for violent criminals, etc. Then of course all of the bans were overturned by Brussels; it turns out Westminster doesn't have the authority to ban any of these things in England. Because everything's been banned already, so there, na na na na na

Comedy Sex (CS). It's a concept I came up with many years ago. Here are some headings:

  • Running the hoop (also OS)
  • Doing it in separate rooms
  • The pink helicopter (OS after lift off)
  • Afterburn (don't do this at home)
  • Reasons why you can't
  • Charades
  • Rude food
  • Holding it in (OS)
  • 96
  • Cross dressing (not in the conventional sense)

Subcategory: Olympic sex (OS)

  • Wazzing for height (see above, not yet adopted by the International Olympic Committee; the IOC)
  • Multiple orgasms (CS in the later stages)
  • Pole vaulting
  • Pentupathlon
  • Dickathlon
  • Relay (passing the baton)
  • Long/High/Triple jump
  • Show jumping/Dressage (if you have the space, then also CS)
  • Marathon
  • 50k walk
  • Crawl/breaststroke/backstroke (no, not swimming, wimmin!; No Laughing in Heaven)
  • Diving
  • Lighting the Olympic Torch (CS)
  • Snooker (soon to be adopted by the IOC)
  • Darts (no chance)
  • Wrestling (clean and jerk)
  • Slug wrestling (or French kissing, as it's known amongst football team-mates)
  • Steeplechasing
  • Tossing the hammer (Olympic in value, if not status; Highland Games)
  • Hurdles
  • Medal ceremony (CS)
  • Choosing the next venue (cerebral)
  • Tiddlywinks (so I've heard)
  • Gymnastics (men on asymmetric bars also being CS)
  • Intercourse Galactica (?, dunno)
  • Thanks to the sponsors (Kellogs ?)

The best additions to either category will result in a prize, 2 VIP Tickets/Passes to any Deep Purple Show Anywhere.

Continuing upon the sporting theme, there used to be a saying in England, along the lines of……. 'I say old man, that's just not cricket'.

In essence, cricket embodied all the higher sporting values. If a batsman knew he'd snicked a ball to a slip fielder, and had been caught, he'd walk. Thereby relieving the umpire of a tricky decision.

Now it's de rigeur to stand, and glare defiance, even when your wrist is still tingling.

So, the walls are crumbling. Very sad; it's just not cricket any more.

Instead of saying 'It's just not cricket' maybe we should be saying 'It's just not rugby.'

I'm making a blue movie. Not exactly blue, more ultra violet really, as that is the lighting effect I'm working with. It's for the song 'Am I getting through' which is based upon, well you can read what it means in the Wordography section.

I don't know how it's going to turn out as I'm still reading the instructions for the editing suite, however I'm all set to shoot the roughs. I'll keep you posted.

Look forward to seeing you all back on the road.

Peace & love,
Ian Gillan
Copyright © Ian Gillan 2002

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