Sunday, July 30, 2006

Manitoba M. Parsnip 1953 - 2006

Manitoba came to fame in the great Canadian vegetable wars of the early seventies. Such was his dominance in the root vegetable section he won the right to change his surname to Parsnip in 1972. This was a great source of family pride as his grandfather had been King Carrot in the twenties. Being the seventies they were also pleased to move into another vegetable surname, with Jasper Carrot finding fame in the UK.
The vegetable wars started when people began enhancing their crops with banned chemicals to simply grow them as big as possible. Manitoba and his pals saw this as sacrilege and waged war on the freak show fairs, wrecking any veg that were just too big for their own good. On they went, wanging watermelon, chucking carrots and throwing turnips around with gay abandon. The GM growers fought back and boy were they strong. The chemicals have gotten in their blood streams and they had super human strength. One of them had three arms, but that may well have been because he was from Alabama. These fights happened on a regular basis over the intervening years, the stalemate apparent to everyone bar the two fighting sides.
Manitoba lost his way in 1999 after a particularly bad crop and hit the bottle. It started with beer, beer became whisky, whisky became toilet duck, before he eventually hit the hard stuff and overdosed on industrial strength fertiliser.

Woodcutting O. Rackets 1962 – 2006

Woodcutting came from a family of tennis equipment makers in the highlands of Scotland. Obviously these were the days when the players’ tools were made from wood rather than metal, a technological advancement that hit the family hard and from which they never properly recovered.
They tried other avenues of wood production. An attempt to become an Ikea supplier failed despite the family rechristening themselves as Bergstrom and buying a Volvo in a misguided attempt to win the compatriot vote.
They then won the contract to manufacture the extra leg for Rolf Harris’ character Jake the Peg. This was cut short unfortunately due to a severe case of woodworm in one leg. The leg collapsed during a Royal Variety performance and Harris tumbled head first into Princess Anne’s lap.
Following this they retreated even further north in Scotland and built their own log cabin with their remaining stock. As it is with the Rackets family luck, the cabin collapsed when Woodcutting was home alone one day, killing him instantly.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Deadbeat F. Busybody 1984 - 2006

Details of Deadbeat F. Busybody are scant but this we do know. He was a schizophrenic fellow and was forever chastising himself for his apparent hopelessness. And when he wasn’t doing that he was forever sticking his nose in his own business. By that, I don’t mean he was truffling through his own stools, rather that he used to invade his own privacy rather too often for his own liking.
All this makes more sense when you appreciate the fact that he was conjoined twins and spent his life, as sadly many with his disability have to, in a travelling sideshow. Deadbeat was also a big hairy chap, whose hair went a shocking white early on in life. This is when his condition was diagnosed as bi-polar bear disorder.
Sadly he never stood much chance of a happy, ordinary, long life. One day he got into a huge argument with himself over who took the last Fox’s glacier mint. He proceeded to offer himself outside for a fight, which didn’t stop until its fatal conclusion.

Burbled H. Teeniest 1964 – 2006

The smallest man on earth until his timely death, Burbled H. Teeniest measured a mere 9 inches tall. His unusual first name came from having a mother with a terrible speech impediment. When entering his name into the Births Register, the registrar had such difficult understanding her he gave up and made something up. And as she was burbling that’s exactly what came to mind. And it stuck, if for no other reason than his mother could say it.
Burbled’s first love was comedy. Nothing gave him more pleasure than to amuse his family with songs he’d written with hilarious lyrics. Just as he was about to embark on a career doing this Richard Digance came along and Burbled realised he could never match the perfection of ‘The Digit’ as he was known in comedy circles (we think that was his nickname, records show that sign being made an awful lot when Digance was in the building). It was however after seeing Ronnie Corbett live that Burbled realised there was no place for short arses with silly names on the comedy circuit.
This marked the turning point in his life. He started to drift, unsure of what to do next. He tried the usual avenues for persons of his stature. Initially he got the gigs as a Willie Mays wobbly-head baseball toy until an over eager kid threw him a curve ball and almost took his wobbly head off. A gnome-adic existence followed, selling his body as a garden ornament in DIY stores. He should have known the end was near when he graduated to the red hat and sure enough so it proved. Safely ensconced at his new abode, fishing rod in hand and gazing over the pond, he was more than a little surprised to when a dim-witted koi went for the non-existent bait on his rod, dragging him into and across the pond until he hit an ornamental fountain head first which knocked him unconscious. In a nice piece of symmetry his last words were also burbled as he went under.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Enthusing U. Ming 1946-2006

Born to Anglophile parents in rural China, Enthusing was named for his boundless enthusiasm for life. Unhindered by his parents' unusual choice of name, aged 20 he sneaked on board a container ship bound for Portsmouth and arrived in the UK with just the clothes he stood up in. Kindly sailors pointed him in the direction of a local boarding house, run by a formidable looking landlady. As wide as she was tall, Mrs Kingsley ran a tight ship, but her hard heart was meted by Enthusing's tale of high seas drama his longing to live in the UK. Mrs Kingsley arranged to Enthusing to start work as a barman in the local pub, the Green Grapes. Enthusing's sunny disposition and friendly nature meant that he made a perfect barman. Over the next few years Enthusing saved up enough money to move to London, and after a series of promotions and new jobs he finally ended up working in a cocktail bar. The movie Cocktail, staring Tom Cruise, had just been released, and the bar was a heady mix of leg warmers, spiral perms and neon signs. Enthusing would stun his audience with audacious barman tricks, spinning bottles in the air in time to music and performing complicated juggling tricks with bottles of Malibu. It was during this exciting time that Enthusing invented the famous "Panda Passion" signature drink. Containing green tea as well as a secret mix of alcoholic spirits, and decorated with a small twig of bamboo, the drink was a celebration of Enthusing's Chinese heritage as well as his happiness in the hand that life had dealt for him. Several people have tried to imitate the recipe but non have been successful, and this is a secret that Enthusing has taken to his grave.
Once the cocktail bubble burst, Enthusing moved into event management and built a very successful business empire. He retired in 1996 and dedicated himself to charity work, including the World Wildlife Fund for nature, who are helping to protect Enthusing's beloved Chinese Pandas. Enthusing's charity work was however brought to a premature end when he was unfortunately hit by a delivery truck crossing the road outside London Zoo. The world is a poorer place without the Panda Passion drink.