[Untold Tales Pic]
[The World Tastes of Arsenal] The World Tastes of Arsenal

Thanks to Kevin, Sarah, Silvana, Emma, Debbie, Taher, Andy, Mandy, Maria, etc, etc


Being the absolute verbatim truth of some several years spent in That London. A truly harrowing account of depravity and degredation, sex, drugs, remorse, terror and ultimate absolution.
The World Tastes of Arsenal was written in London between 1987 and 1993


chapter 1

"I have remonstrated with you on many occasions, requesting that you desist from employing the T-word."

They had learned to speak on a small scottish ireland some way from the coast of that faroff country where nobody liver.

They had been castadrift as tiny children without the power of speech finally finding themselves thrown up with their sole possession, a tiny italian dictionary with all the pages after 'S' missing.

Thus they grew up and acquired communication skills and all was peaceful. Everything was absolutely deacon blue. The dichotomy began when that abcreative Emma returned from a trip abroad to spread her furry-legged heresy round all and sundry.

"I've toad thee a-foo-a, we'll 'ave nowt ta dae wi yoo-our hair-necked schemes", her father bellowed, "And just look at the state of your costume. Have ye no shame?"

"But Father..."

"No, I've a-said awl ah'ma gonna say, and that's THAT! We'll have no more T-words in THIS house!"

chapter 2

I found myself in a total dreamworld... Trying to get a bus to Grays Inn Road... Staring at my photocopied hands, looking like a little Norf London 'Innit" girl wiv awl me posse arahnd me an we seez a geezer over the road wot looks like a student an SHE sez "ee'z a stoodent, eeez doin' a degree in "Goin' on 'oliday" at Norf Landon Poly!"

chapter 3

The pen cast its shadow on to the white writing paper on the moonlit old wooden table in front of the sash window through which the moon and the New York skyline were clearly visible which is the exact silhouette of the Empire State Building. The Alien from the Dreamworld Ff Urg X3 was clearly visible through the telescope of Ros the Telescope who lived above Harry's flat.

Harry was the secret one of seven brothers. He had just bought an icecream van to go away round the world in, which was why I was staying in his flat for a few months, maybe six.

chapter 4

"Do you know my photocopied hands?"

"When the days come truly by, you will know them."

Gawain Big Inches chanced upon the question of whatever happened to Mary Marriott. It was a matter that was never spoken of. It was better that they never knew. Gawain, who refused to be moroccan told us about the quickest way to travel the world. Told us about this friend of his who found himself at a border post in Iraq, attempting to smuggle dope back to England. In fear and desperation he decided to swallow the dope. When he awoke he found himself beside an autobahn in Germany, and THAT is the fastest way to travel the world.

The Norf Landon Innit Girls had rivals from Saaf Landon, the Untold Girls. Their favourite food was Untold Chocolate and caffeine free diet coke and Sainsburys Strawberry Yoghurt Juice. These were the real mullucks in their lives, and what we all needed was More Mullucks. In fact, we needed Mulluck Entire! We were already experiencing the joys of communal life. Yes, I could sense an atmosphere in the kitchen, a definite atmosphere.

chapter 5

We enter a royal state of the mind.

The worst thing is not to take yourself seriously. The second worst, not to have other people take you seriously. Confidence is strength. The war is on. The prize, the future.

chapter 6

He had one of those kind of faces that you just can't take your foot off. But the sex... How good was it, on a scale of 9-10?

"No, no. I couldn't really".

"Listen, ah've towd thee, tha's not goin' out this 'ouse till thee's 'ad sum puddin' inside a thee".

"Just so long as you don't call me names".

"Names! Names! Names!"

chapter 7

I walked back from Kevin and Sarah's in Highbury. As I turned the corner I had to step over a large chunk of killer seaweed just lying there on the pavement. I walked on up the road past Arsenal football ground. In front of me there was a group of large mutants wearing leather jackets that said 'PUMP UP THE REICH' and 'SATAN'S WAGE SLAVES'.

Orgasms like wild white roses.

chapter 8

Achtung. Minehead Revisited

A great red and black and white nazi flag flying with 'REUNIFICATION' writ goth all over the top and all the lads beneath singing "Here we go, Here we go, Here we go..."

Reading a book called 'The Invasion of the Lovely Ninja Pigs from Planet Zog (their breath smelled)". Going to Adult Education Classes in Islington for 'Spontaneous Chuckling', studying the history of the development of the Spontaneous Chuckling Engine. Thinking about those old friends you had at school: "Last time I saw Jenkins, he was timesing by 3".

A pinup picture of Marylin Monroe wearing a gas mask.

About twenty people walked into the pub the other night, all wearing long white teeshirts with the words 'ADMIN ASSISTANT' on them in big capital letters.

We used to go to the corner shops and the supermarkets, competing to see who could find the most expensive tin of food.

chapter 9

Ringmainman. He's been terrorizing the district, and now, there he is in your living room.

"Well, I'd only just turned me back for a second, and before I could say anything, there 'ee was rippin' me floorboards up! Then up 'ee comes wiv 'is 'and aht, "Right love, that'll be a grand please!"

chapter 10

We went to the Vegetarian Takeaway and ordered a duck in chicken rolled in beef. After that we made an attempt on the world record for sobering-up which was last set on 22nd July 1980. Then we flicked thru the Complete Book of Ross McWhirter Jokes and contemplated the greased lighting in The Appalling Arms in Penge.

chapter 11

She's red and stupid and slumped in a doorway.

We met her at Islington Adult Education Classes (where UB40's were welcome). We had marched right in there, right up to the reception desk and demanded that we be given their cheapest course. So that's how we all ended up speaking Subsidised Spanish.

Now you all know me, I HATE woody thinking. Especially when it hits me in the head. But she's a relic of the sixties, man. A petrolpump of the mind!

chapter 12

We spent a lot of our time in That London avoiding Prince Charles. We called it 'Avoiding Prince Charles'. We would all have to get the tube into town and spend the whole day trying not to bump into Prince Charles.

And in the evening we wrote a book called 'Great Messes of the Twentieth Century', Keith Richard, George Best, the 5th Beatle Paul McCartney.

And what does Heaven sound like? Is he getting into electric sound. "And now, direct from Heaven, the sound, the voice, the being of almighty god himself."

And then you hear this sound. A sound, quiet but noisy. A sound of noisy tenement blocks full of happy smiling people who are secretly a little bit disappointed because they expected a bit more.

And then you hear this other sound. The sound of the lapping sea forever.

chapter 13

"I know what you're thinking."

"What am I thinking?"

"I know what's going on."

"What's going on?"

"You know what's going on."

"No, I don't know. YOU tell me what's going on." "Just think about it."

chapter 14

"Mum, It's the man from Mum's Deodorant."

"Yes madam, sure we do deliver, right up to your own front door. Mums Deodorant is better than masturbation. It is our opinion that masturbation is silly. And we can deliver at the speed of what fast, and the speed of what fast is pretty damn fast, I can tell you."

But what of reality?

Dissolve to Fancy Dread Party:

"Flat and round, you got to go round."

Pan to Fancy Dread People talking:

"I'm afraid for me, football will always be just loads of ignorant bastards all gathered together in the same place wearing the same colour clothes..."

And again:

"What do you mean 'You've forgotten'? That thought could have saved the Planet, and now it's gone!"

And more:

"What do I owe my parents? What do I owe my parents?? I'll tell you exactly what I owe my parents. Nothing! Absolutely bloody nothing!!. THEY WANTED IT! THEY NEEDED IT!! AND... THEY GOT IT!!!"

Somebody is wandering around with the TV remote saying "Who's turn is it to have total control?" There's a couple in the corner with a syringe. One is speaking: "Oh, come on now. It won't hurt. Would Wagner Hardliners have cowered before the needle?"

I am pursued by Tamil Nitrate. Sudden developmental Fear of Everything. Wonder if Steve's ever been to Tittenarse Bollock, one time stately home of John Lennon. Is Global Spanking the Next Step? My pellets were activating. I'd had a whizz implant. Gasfires are sexy. Take off that dress, we'll burn it together and pray for salvation. It was a smashing show.

chapter 15

Bill and Lolita. What can I tell you? They had everything. Absolutely everything. They had absolutely everything. They had Space. They had Time. Space, Time and Everything.

She didn't look too happy. Not entirely happy. Not sad or angry or totally pissed off. I asked he what it was. What was wrong. She said it was a not quite approving thing, like cream in her womb. It was all like sixties and all that. She was in full taking-in mode. As is. Till she fillipped out of writing mode and into dreams about the squeaking sands of australia. I tried to cheer her up. I told her how well I remembered our tiny writing classes. How small we had both become.

Suddenly she leapt to her feet. "Oh my god," she said "I think I may have inadvertently triggered off the bathroom!"

"To arms! To arms! The christians are attacking!"

"Aux armes, aux armes!"

chapter 16

"So how many sugars do you want?"

"Whaddaya mean how many sugars do I want! I'll have two sugars, same as every other red-blooded american boy!"

chapter 17

I was just thinking big red letters on a black starry background when she came back from college.

"How are you dear", she asked, reasonably enough.

"Oh come now. You know I can't talk about that! You know my work at the Plant is secret."

I had tried to tell her several times about the mental illness in her family, but she just laughed it off insanely.

And I'll tell you another thing: Of all the bastards in the whole world, there's no bastard more bastard than those little bastards. And the worst of them. Maria, please know, there is mental illness in your family. There are swollen rats upon swollen indexes, their swollen golden lips apart. They always go on backwards.

Just then she hit me with a gherkin. I thought it was a test so I shoved the rest of her dinner in her face and rubbed it around.

She is an actress. She wants to play the mad scenes. She wants to play the title role in 'Lady Macbeth In Three Stages', and scoffs at the idea of a man playing the lead. These are the three stages as revealed unto me: One. She does a load of breastfeeding. She is pregnant throughout. Two. The invocations, devil-worship. For maximum effect she performs this scene entirely with her back to the audience. Then the big bag of period bursts and. Three. She is red and pissed.

"Did you eat my cheese sandwich, bastard?"

ASIDE: She nuts him.

When it came to sweet nothings, she knew the the world between the lines.

chapter 18

The very next day we went over to Bernard Stone's Bookshop. Bernard was there. He was always there. 24 hours a day. He had not left that shop since the day he got it. He was still sat there, in the same chair, day after day, sat there in the same chair on a drip-feed, wired so he never had to move. He must have really loved that shop a lot.

On the way home we walked behind a man whose bum just kept on getting bigger and bigger all the time until finally he took off and floated away magnificently down the street.

Back home the neighbours were arguing in the garden.

"Look, I'm an anarchist, all right. So I'll bloody well do what I like. Just watch me. Look. I'm going to fall on the path!"

chapter 19

"Look, I just want HUMAN children, that's all! Is that really too much to ask for?"

"Ah, the sadness of screwing."

"Hey look, that couple in the booth, they've both got beards!"

Somewhere in the Serviette Union:

"Be careful. It's a dangerous fish. Those monkeys are smart."

"Are you chinese or japanese?"

"No. Just drunk."

"Well, all you drunks look the same to me."

"She said I could come at ten o'clock. Well, it's only 6.30 now. I don't know if I can keep it up that long!"

"There we were, up in the plane, flying, when suddenly Brandon decides he's got to go out for a walk!"

"Walking down Tottenham High Road, this cat with a big big head."

"Don't trust those trees, man. They's dangerous. Just crack open!"

Feel all those slow moves. The world is still. The mind is turning.

chapter 20

End of 1991 they managed to get the first ever picture of an asteroid. It was shaped exactly like a giant human nose, floating out there in space.

We were thinking about animals. Pets, in fact. We considered the chicken. Chickens were good we all agreed. We decided it would be ideologically sound if we were to go to The Battered Chickens Refuge for our chickens. However, it wasn't long before Dylan got carried away and we ended up with the concept of having a battery farm in the kitchen. So we decided it was probably best to forget about the chickens before we lost all credibility.

The notion of having an ornamental garden with peacocks was mooted and rejected. What we needed was something funny and furry that made a lot of noise. So that was hamsters out. "Right, Hamsters Out!"

Get on down to the Exotic Petstore. You know that, right next to The Adult Cakeshop, The Erotic Petstore and Chicken MacCurry.

"How about leeches?"

"A Big Monkey!"

"Yeah, A Big Monkey is good. But what if we didn't get on? What if he didn't like us? And he'd have to have his own room. We couldn't afford the rent."

"Okay, what about Cheese? That would be pretty inexpensive to keep."

"Or Astroturf!"

"Cats are definitely the easiest to keep. You just bring the cat home. Feed it. Shave it. Paint it. Et Voila, Instant Pet!!"

"Nah, We need something more thought-provoking."

"Howsabout we get a very ugly dog then?"

"Or a mutilated pigeon!?"

"No, The Bad Neighbour Squad would soon be after you."

"I've a suggestion that could keep us in Rhino for months!"

The very next day we were off to Brighton in a stolen Icecream Van with Homebrew and Moonshine, The Amazing Mental Inverts, who's thing at that time was selling packets of Plastic Woodlice to schoolkids.

We lived in a total Idiocracy, populated with such luminaries as Buck Ramrod, Andrew Shags and The Sweatshop Boys, but most of all... KRILL!!! There was tons of the stuff. There was even Krill on the TV. "And on 'Plankton Tonite' we have..." Cut to Studio. "Yes, Yes, There IS anger in my work, but that's just ONE elephant!" Cut back. "And now it's time to go over LIVE for our special Spectacular Being Sick In The Livingroom In Public Spectacular." Andy Williams singing "Tra-Gic Mo-Ments... etc". ASIDE: "Try to pretend that this is a REAL show, a LIVE broadcast!"

Suddenly there is loads of spooky music. The place is full of mental patients, wandering hither and thither. They are all being VERY patient with one another. Trying to understand each others mental problems. Saying things like: "Oh, It's just your nerves" or "Probably a Guilt Complex", "Oh, No, He's a complete schizoid!"

chapter 21

A lifetime. 800 million heartbeats later.

On Saturday we went round to Big Mini's for Sunday Lunch. Both of his parents were men. We watched their favorite video, 'Kes", the simple tale of a Boy and his Haddock, and his pathetic attempts to teach it to fly.

Later we went to a Bongo Party, stood around sipping cocktails discussing our eternal organs, playing Surrealist Blind Date, jiving lowrent. Tapping our heads and saying, "He's a bit behind in the old woodwork!" His girlfriend came in looking a bit breathless. He asked her what the marks were on her neck. "Oh, just vampire bites!" And he believes her! He'd been on the muesli too long. I felt like I was on the brink myself. My hairline suddenly went back in time. We instantly became founder members of The Visionary Collective Force, though we didn't have our uniforms yet!

We were so poor we couldn't afford to go out, not even out of our minds.




OTHER BOOKS BY DARKLY

Bagged Gazunga 1991 Chrysanthemum 49.16742 1992 Cafe of Dinosaurs 1992 The World Tastes of Arsenal 1992 Terms and Contradictions 1993 The OS Report 1997 Last Will and Restaurant 1999 In the Days of The Land of Cockaigne 1999 Untitled 2000