The column which, although it disapproves of what you say, defends to the death its right to punch you in the face.

READER: I really can’t believe this Brexit thing is dragging on like this. I mean the people have spoken and they voted OUT, so why can’t all the namby-pamby Remoaning Remainiacs just accept defeat and shut up so we can just leave and go back to 1959 where it’s all warm and comfy?


READER: We need firm leadership. That Jacob Rees-Mogg’s got the right idea.

MYSELF:  He certainly seems to have the common touch.

READER: Exactly. If you ask me, it’s about time top hats, tails and waxed moustaches were made compulsory.

MYSELF: (yawning) Sorry?

READER: Look, if we continue to allow ourselves to be dictated to by a bunch of unelected foreign bureaucrats sitting in judgement in some distant far-off land somewhere overseas…

MYSELF: You mean Belgium.

READER: Wherever….the next thing you know, we’ll all be eating straight bananas, reeking of garlic, and throwing dead fish into the channel. Nigel Farage knows all about this.

MYSELF: Speaking of dead fish, wasn’t Farage on the European Parliament Fisheries Committee
for three years?

READER: Yes, he was, which is why he is so fish-knowledgeable.

MYSELF: But out of a total of 42 meetings of the EPF committee, he only turned up for one.

READER: I expect that was probably the really important one. Nigel is a very busy man you know.

MYSELF: Exactly. I mean how is one supposed to find the time to claim one’s expenses? And let’s face it, beer doesn’t drink itself.

READER: Eureka. At last we’re singing from the same hymnbook.

Our latest recruit, ace investigative newshound Helen Harwater, headhunted from rival publication The Silverhill Bugle, has already uncovered a scandal, one which Tory councillor Onya Byche described as “an accident waiting to happen”. A 300-year-old oak tree in Harley Shute Road is still standing, despite being what Hastings mother of two Barbara Smuggs (43), called “a cat magnet”. “Once a cat inevitably does get up there,” she told HIP, “it might well be unable to get down, and the fire brigade will have to be called”. Pointing out that East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service possess only one turntable ladder, she added, “I wouldn’t like to be the person who had to break the news to someone that a relative or friend had perished leaping from the fourteenth floor of a burning building, simply because a cat was stuck up a tree”. A Facebook petition to have the tree cut down was signed by 3,000 residents.

During what Upper Dicker’s swinging vicar the Reverend Len Startling described as “a normal straightforward exorcism” on a possessed traffic warden in the crypt of an abandoned church in Hastings Old Town, a section of the ceiling slid away to reveal a secret loft. “It was a bit like Rosemary’s Baby meets Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the Reverend confessed, “and when Bill, the possessed traffic warden turned green and started swearing like a merchant seaman, I decided to get him a cab home and investigate further”. By standing on the font, he managed to haul himself into the loft, which was littered with bizarre fetish items, voodoo dolls and a large trunk full of ceremonial garb, which he took at first to be masonic gowns or pantomime costumes. Hidden in the concealed pockets of one of them, he discovered mysterious ritualistic scrolls decorated with magical symbols and several forged prescriptions for morphine and opium.

“Right away I knew I’d found a secret stash belonging to infamous Beast of Hastings, Alesteir Crowley,” said the vicar, “then, bingo! there, in a corner, buried amongst the mummified cat remains, heretical texts and a subscription to Punch magazine, I unearthed a box marked ‘tapes’, containing the artwork for the cover of a recording Mr. Crowley had made shortly before his death in 1947. That’s when I started to get excited.”

In the false bottom of the box, he discovered a cache of audio tapes, which he took to a friend’s recording studio. Disappointingly, most of the reels revealed nothing but manic ritualistic chanting and unintelligible babbling in tongues…except for one. Here,
in ‘breathtaking mono’, was the master recording for Alesteir Crowley’s Greatest Hits the black magician’s misleadingly titled bid for popular musical stardom.

Reverend Startling has had the tapes digitally remastered for general release on CD and download, and summed up the unique collection thus: “This album is a must-have for all collectors of audio-satanism. Alesteir’s mellow contral to voice belies his popular image as a blasphemous drug-addled charlatan. Here, on what turns out to be both his debut and farewell album, the fraudulent old goat croons his way competently through several popular standards”. This previously unreleased masterpiece will shortly be on sale at St. Botolph’s Episcopalian Chapel, Upper Dicker (just ask Reverend Starling
after the service) or as a download from www.crackpotrecords.con. After costs are deducted, all proceeds will go to Guard Dogs for the Rich.

Sausage Life!

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