From his collection of interviews “Archie Scudclog” Truthologist-(VD&bar-HIV-RIP)
Last week I was called to the Lizard Point, Cornwall to interview a fisherman called ‘Fergus Haddock’ who telephoned me claiming he’d found something that could change history. I was to meet him no later than 6.00pm on his fishing boat ‘Old Nellie’ which was moored to the jetty. “And bring some rubbers with thee laddie, it could get pretty rough out here,” he said. By rough, I assumed he was referring to the conditions at sea, but he said “No mee-artie it’s in case I fancy giving youz a jolly good rogering,” then he roared with laughter before putting the phone down.
I don’t know about a rogering but this fella had already put the willie up me, so I was in two minds whether or not to cancel the whole thing. However, like all good journalists curiosity overpowered my common sense in the end.
I arrived and parked my car as near as possible to the jetty in case I needed a quick getaway, then climbed gingerly down the stone steps. As I neared the fishing boat I slipped my hand in my jacket pocket, finger poised on the trigger of a small can of extra strong hold hairspray I’d previously hidden there. Apparently it works better than ‘Mace’ in the face and I wasn’t taking any chances. Next, I made my way slowly along the boats creaky old gangplank calling out. Hello!!!! Anyone there!? It’s Archie Scudclog from the ‘Now then Cocker’ Gazette. A second later the whole boat was rocked by a great tumultuous voice bellowing up from below;
“Ahahhhhrrrrr mee old hartie, come aboard lad! I be working down below giving mee jib a jolly good work out, but I be coming soon lad,” he said.
I must admit that the picture this conjured up in my mind would’ve got me ten years in jail. Suddenly, I heard that normally quiet little voice inside my head cry out, GET THE HELL OUT WHILE YOU CAN! But my legs decided otherwise and carried me off regardless down into the galley where I was met by a giant navy blue Arran jumper with feet.
It was Fergus Haddock.
“Ha-haaarrrr,” he roared, slapping me hard on the back. “Sit youz down laddie,” he said, so I sat opposite him at the galley table where he poured me a drink.
“Eeerr lad, get this dram o rum down youz lad, it’ll put airs on thee chest,” he said.
The guy was at least 7foot tall, with a face like a perished old wellie and nose quite resembling a massive blob of Swiss cheese. I took out my note pad and pencil.
So Mr Haddock I believe you have quite a story to tell me sir, I said.
Fergus puffed on his large clay pipe then blew smoke rings at me.
“Aye lad and it be a yarn that’ll leave thee chillier than a cods crutch in a cold war,” he said.
“It were a couple o nights ago, while me and old Nellie were out near Barnacle cove. It be first time I’d took the old girl out since she had her bottom done. A night like no other afore lad, he said. With Yonder Moon bright and fuller than the breast of a buxom barmaid from Smugglers Inn.”
He swilled his rum down and poured another.
“The sea were quieter than a nuns trump, and not a gull nor gannet to be heard,” he said. “Aye...it were just the right conditions for a nibble or two so I gets me tackle out and relaxed, letting me rod dangle loosely over port side, waiting for a leisurely tug. Aye lad there’s nowt better than the feeling of old Nellie under me, gently rocking. Up-down-up-down she goes in perfect rhythm with yon sea,” he said.
Fergus threw the second dram of rum down his thick neck.
“Youz not touched yon rum mee hearty. Shape up young land lubber cos I’ll not let thee go till youz supt it lad.”
It was a no brainer for me, either sup up or stay for who knows how long with this fisherman who was clearly quite insane. So I swigged down half of it, planning to finish the interview and the rum in another two swigs. So Mr Haddock what happened next? I asked.
“Then....... he said, I get’s a tugging alright laddie. It were like no other tug as gone afore. I were reckoning on summat big, summat more fearsome than anything afore were pulling me rod,” he said.
By now my rum had taken effect bringing on the rush of proverbial Dutch courage. So.... what was it Fergus? An old Supermarket trolley, or Nessie maybe? I asked sarcastically.
Fergus banged his fist hard on the table sending my drink hurtling to the floor.
“Nay...Nay lad, not this time!” he bellowed. “This thing were moving, human I tell thee.
Then he light his pipe, took a deep puff which seemed to calm him.
“Sorry mee hearty, eer...have another dram,” he said picking up and refilling my glass.
I thought, BUMMER! that’s what sarcasm gets you Archie lad. Fergus raised his glass in a toast.
“Bottoms up,” he said forcing me to down the whole glass. This meant I had about 20 minutes or so before getting out or passing out. So....was it a mermaid cos they’re sort of human looking do you reckon Fergus? I asked. He shook his head,
“Nay...Nay lad, they never come up at full Moon. Nay.... it were an edd, a living edd I tell thee, alive as you and me.”
But how did you know it was human? I asked him.
Fergus poured and swilled down another dram.
“Ha-harrrr!!! cos it were singing, a singing edd it were.”
Oh so it wasn’t just some dead head then Fergus? I said.
He tutted. “Shibba mee barnacles the dead don’t sing lad, Although some have been seen dancing on a dead mans chest afore...aye that be true,” he said.
By now my Dutch courage was off the scale and I slurred out the words, Was this edd some sort of nut then Fergus? What was it singing...Beatles, or maybe Tracks from a Stevie Wonder album even? Or was it more of your classical nut maybe?
The old man shook his head again,
“Nay....nay....it were the edd of that scurvy cut throat pirate, ‘Black beard’ the scurvy swab.”
Oh...so it was a black edd you mean Mr Haddock?
“More like ‘black heart’ laddie,” said Fergus. “I’m telling thee true when I say it were black beards edd, sure enough mee hearty. The scurvy lily livered swine got blowed to pieces when Long John Silver poured gun powder on his edd then put a light to his filthy beard....aye that he did lad,” nodded Fergus.
Ah right, I said, so what song was the edd singing then Fergus?
“Ha-harrrrr.....well me laddie, one more dram and I’ll sing it to thee,” he answered gulping yet another glass.
“It goes like this............”
“My body lies over the ocean, my body lies over the sea.
My right leg is somewhere near Brighton, my left one was seen in Torquay.
My willie was washed up in Ipswich, my gonads at South end on sea.
My arsehole was somewhere near Portsmouth, but they still haven’t found all of me.”
At this point, I passed out.
Written by Nannabot