Jason Smendelflank

23/05/2010

Here’s a stream-of-consciousness story I wrote a while back:

It was a summer’s afternoon when Jason Smendelflank decided uncharacteristically to leave the house for a stroll. Uncharacteristic mainly due to the town’s mistaken belief that Jason had been dead for the past 15 years. He wasn’t dead that’s not where this is going, but he wasn’t a long way off in his current state of health. Not that he was terminal but he’d just not been looking after himself was all.

15 years previous Jason had ventured up to the loft to have a dig around and find what he could find, and there was plenty to be found. It was a full loft, full of curiosity and clutter and Jason’s imagination ran rampant for some time, a few hours, 5 hours 13 minutes if we’re to be exact, and we shall, there’ll be no complacency in this tale. There were boxes of old Mad magazines, lampshades mascaraing as ships, bottled ships with the ship removed, old cassette tapes, teddy bears, jam jars, hair nets, a big Barbie head where you could brush the hair if you so wished, and he did, loads of stuff, some of it more exotic and intriguing than the things I’ve just listed but I’m employing artistic licence here, you can fill in the blanks yourself it’ll make for a better story.

It was a large attic, but not large enough to warrant what happened next. Once Jason had fulfilled his curious urges and was no longer feeling moved by the relics of his generally happy past he decided to leave the loft and return by way of the stairs to the floor below which contained the rest of his life and all the objects and people that constitute it. Fine, but no not fine because in his reminiscence filled haste Jason had not exercised caution in his placement of boxes and antiquated things and had rendered himself completely lost. He looked upon the discordant jumble of faded glamour magazines, knitting patterns and glow-worm toys and could no decipher left from right, up from down nor any another direction in relation to it’s antithesis. Some may shake off this moment of vacant insanity, reassemble their thoughts and work toward a solution, in fact not even some, most, most people or even animals would, real or fictional. But for the purpose of the narrative I’ve pursued, Jason didn’t, he sat and like the clutter around him was forgotten. The strangest part of this was that Jason didn’t live alone, he lived with his mother, father and two younger siblings (a brother and sister) most of which or at least those that were in the house knew that he had ventured up to the attic, he was always in the attic. But no one came looking and Jason didn’t not expel the energy to even attempt to find his way out. So he sat. One thing that could be said of Jason by way of a compliment if you fervently insisted on finding one positive of his sudden unaccountable mental illness was that he was adaptable and over time assembled a relatively ordered lifestyle from the nostalgic bric-a-brac that surrounded and combined with his lethargy, imprisoned him. He located a brevel toasted sandwich maker with the same energy input as the dangerously retro looking outputs that extruded from the attic wall. He experimented with his own unique brand of nouvelle cuisine and developed a rather refined pallet in completely his own terms. Always prepared on the brevel, sometimes open, sometimes closed, the majority of substances in existence passed over or were compressed by the Brevel and then consumed by Jason, noting as he went those that were palatable and those weren’t. He developed a refined selection from which he formed menus and a weekly rota, so to maintain balance, his lifestyle choice may have been questionable but in his own terms he was no fool and knew that spider, ring binder and 5 pages of Jilly Cooper did not constitute enough variety for three nights in a row. He discovered that penguin classic editions published between 1972 and 1976 were the best vintage, he had plenty of time to deliberate on such things and so after much consideration he proffered it was down the varnish-like finish of the sleeves that accounted for their succulence, bare in mind we’re talking about softbacks here, Jason very infrequently felt the need to digest an entire hardback.

Over time Jason settled into his particular ways. He became less active and conentrated most of his efforts on thinking, he became a sage-like figure, a philosopher embittered at the state of his one man society, he projected disdain at the lack of courtesy the contemporary youth displayed by their very non-existence, their all night raves that did not occur and their free wheeling attitude toward sex that seldom reared it’s ugly imagined head. He fretted for their salvation and became increasingly erratic in light of the moral quandaries they didn’t continually force in his face. It was for those reasons that one evening, he presumed (he’d lost all sense of time and no longer had any concept of natural light), he resolved he could no longer share his once tranquil attic and decided to leave and embark on a new adventure, whatever it be. He was flustered from a bad batch of Hemingway and a questionable serving of Breveled mothballs and so began his search for the hatch he distantly remembered tentatively. It was under a cushion.

He descended from the attic a bearded shroud of dust. The house was seemed empty, that or the other residents, presumably still his estranged family were in bed, had moved out or died. None of these things occurred to Jason, he was overtaken with the conviction that he was going for a walk and walking was all that was on his mind. So he walked. First through the house, then into front garden and then into the street, for the most part blinded by the daylight to which he had become unaccustomed.

He his eyes adjusted abruptly two hours into his obstacle ridden jaunt. He found himself in what he vaguely remembered as being a highsteet, full of bad typography and erratic aimless shufflers. His dust encrusted skin was almost blasted clean by the cacophony that greeted him. Not only, it turns out, do Icecream men and women (Icecream people) appear to be unionised, but today was the day they’d chosen for their demonstration. Approximately 50 icecream vans had picketed the street each chiming it’s own saccharin theme at top volume with no attempt to coordinate the music between one van and the next. In front of the infeasible row of vans was an undulating mass of angered Icecream peddlers, in such volumes their white catering caps taking on the semblance of militaristic berets. What had angered the Icecream people so? This was the question on Jason’s lips and compelled him to approach the nearest Icecream person, in this case an Icecream man, to ask his burning question. Upon the final moments of the approach, while pursing his lips to make his enquiry he found his words stifled and promptly realised he had not uttered a single word for the entire duration of attic bound existence which unbeknown to him was 15 uneventful years. He tried again but could only produce a self conscious gurgling sound, it seems from the Icecream man’s reaction that the gurgle contained enough of a question intonation that it performed it’s function and the Icecream man cautiously handed Jason a flyer. Jason held it two inches from his face as he tried to bring the lettering into focus, all the while standing uncomfortably close to the Icecream man.

It seemed the world had become a much different place during Jason’s self imposed exile and today was the manifestation of a new kind of fundamentalism that had come to grip, at the very least, the British nation. That of the Icecream People. Jason slowly deciphered the flyer in a state of disbelief and here follow his findings.

The group protesting that day were known as The Anti Divisive Icecream League and this is their message:

We, the pacifist democratic union of mobilised icecream vendors operating under the collective banner of the ADIL wish to call an end the civil unrest and violence between the warring fractions of the wider Icecream distribution community.

It is with great regret that we look upon our ravaged sector that only 13 short years ago was marred by only the inconsequentially mildest and most sporadic instances of competitive inter-van violence and occasional ritualistic killing. Today’s, alas, proves an infinitly more morose state of affairs with divisions becoming evermore deeply engrained and reports of Whippy related killings rising by approximately 16% per quarter. Is it not time that someone took a stand for reunification and basic common sense? We believe so and so promote the line; Disengage from the debate.

The documentation is no longer available and no conclusive answer can be drawn, only pure conjecture and here say most commonly disseminated in the interest of invested parties. The answer died with our forefathers and we no longer possess the adequate knowledge to settle this infantile debate. Does it really, fundamentally matter whether our core brand Whippy originally had the prefix of Mr or Dr? No. Does it change the content of the lifeblood, the soul of our enterprise, the Icecream? No it does not. Was Mr/Dr Whippy even a real man (or woman as some of our feminist fractions suggest)? Historical evidence based upon marketing practice of the time indicates that there was no individual baring the name of Whippy, but rather it was a jolly brand name engineered purely to humanise a comfort food, in many ways the antithesis of the use of the hideous characterture entitled ‘Kerry Katona’ created by the Labour government in the late 2000s to stem the flow of cultural and intellectual rape perpetrated by the concept of celebrity at that time.

How many more lives must be lost before Icecream people can accept the simplisticity and pure hearted logic that underlies these questions and our want to move on.

To paraphrase the great rapper Jay- Z; We’ve already got 99 problems, Mr/Dr Whippy need not be one, thank you for your time.

Buy one get one free on Fab lollies with this flyer. Offer only valid for duration of protest, flyer may not be used in conjunction with any other promotion or confectionery/violence based demonstration.

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