The story of Angus

or: No sex, too many drugs, and nothing like rock'n'roll

Found on alt.peeves, Sun, 1 Jan 1995.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from nowhere in particular that all the world should have a good time, it being Christmas-tide.

And Angus also went up from London, out of the city of Middlesex, into East Anglia, unto the city of the university which is called Cambridge, to attempt to assuage the trauma that he had suffered through the agony that is known as Christmas shopping. And it was his intention to party hardy and to drink of strong drink and to talk with friends and otherwise to disport himself until his toils and troubles were quite forgotten.

For in that time it was decreed that there should be a great feast at a place whose name in the tongue of that land means "The place where the roads meet". And the name of Angus had been inscribed in letters of gold upon the guestlist.

And the friends of Angus said unto him, "Arise now, and come to Cambridge, because it would be really excellent if you could make it." And they offered unto him also a place in their vehicle, saying "Be thou with us at two of the clock, and verily we shall depart together."

And the vehicle was of passing great size, being many cubits in length and as tall as is a tall house, and it was painted within and without in a manner gratifying to the Lord.

But Angus that day was greatly occupied, so he said unto them "Lo, I can not ride with thee. But if I come - for I am sick also, nigh unto death - I shall make my own arrangements."

And this he did.

And when he arrived in the city of Cambridge, he walked down the Road of the Hills to look for the place which is called "The place where the roads meet."

And it was cold, cold even as unto the nether portions of a man that labours to dig a well, and if there was not fourteen feet of snow in the east, as is written in the song, yet was it not for want of trying.

And Angus was sick and he was not warmly dressed.

And on the Road of the Hills, he met a man who did say unto him "Behold, thou art going the wrong way."

And Angus did walk back down the Road of the Hills, and did summon a taxi which took him to the Place Where the Roads Meet.

And there he met with one, who did say unto him, "Behold, those whom thou seekest, they have gone unto another place, and further to, we are not yet open."

And Angus walked back down the Road of the Hills.

And before he had come to the place whereunto his friends were gone, behold, before him there did pass a vehicle which was many cubits long, and as tall as a tall house, and painted within and without.

And Angus ran after this vehicle, but he caught it not. And then did he open his mouth and say many words which were not known to the people of that land, for he was passing angry.

And Angus walked back down the Road of the Hills a third time.

And at length, he did come to the Place Where the Roads Meet, and he did find there the vehicle, and he smote upon the door, crying out unto his friends therein, "Let me in, for I am cold, I am sick, I am extremely pissed off, and I would come in."

And they let him in.

And there was therein a gas fire, and he did warm himself thereat.

And afterwards, they went together into that place which is called The Place Where the Roads Meet, and he that stood at the door, seeing the name of Angus inscribed upon the guest list, gave unto Angus a pass which admitted him, even unto the backstage.

And there were among his friends in that place those with whom Angus would fain converse, and he went in search of them.

And some he found in the dressing room, and behold, one sat upon a sofa with two others like unto her, and all passing fair. And all three had partaken immoderately of a herb that grows in the east, and the smoke they had inhaled into their mouth, and yea, even into their lungs.

And they were stoned.

And they spoke not, and they moved not.

And then Angus arose, and went out to the hall of that place, where were assembled many persons both young and comely. And the sight of these young persons gladdened the eye of Angus.

But the ear of Angus was not gladdened, for the music which there was therein was barbaric and uncouth. And it was not like unto the sweet sound of the harps, nor even unto the glad tongue of a Fender Stratocaster, but was characterised by a repetitive beat.

And the young persons did disport themselves with much abandon. And there were in that place many that were passing fair to look upon, but the music was like unto a crock of shit.

And Angus went unto the bar, and there he found others of his friends, and he did greet them.

And one who was there opened his mouth to speak and he said "I am very ... very ... very ... very ... stoned."

And he spake sooth, for it was true.

And Angus sat in silence, until one did speak unto him, saying "Keep the noise down." And Angus sat on.

And then arrived another and she said unto them in the wise of an advertisement for British Telecom, "It's good to talk.".

But they talked not, for the music was loud and characterised by a repetitive beat.

And Angus returned to the backstage.

And those who sat upon the sofa had not moved, for they were stoned.

And there entered another, who was young and comely, and she did also collapse upon the sofa, for she was stoned.

And she collapsed upon the knees of those who sat upon the sofa and, opening her mouth, she began to sing.

And she sang:

"Oh spliff, oh spliffy-spliffy-spliff. Oh spliff."
and more verses like unto the first.

And also she sang:

"Roll, roll, roll the joint, twist at the end. Take a puff and pass it on, pass it to your friend."
And she did excuse herself that she knew not what she did, for she was stoned.

And there were others there that Angus knew not, and one of them spoke unto him saying, "Would you like some skunk?"

And Angus was perplexed, for he knew not of this skunk, and he declined. And he did say unto himself, "Verily, the days of my years are as many, for I like not this music which is characterised by a repetitive beat, and I know not what is this skunk - unless it be a black and white mammal that smells bad."

And he did wonder greatly how a black and white mammal that smells bad might enter into a roll-up.

And they that sat upon the sofa moved not and spoke not, and Angus went once more unto the place where there was dancing and celebration.

And he did join in the dancing and celebration, but without much enthusiasm, for the music was characterised by a repetitive beat. And there were there many young women who were passing fair to look upon but to the eyes of Angus they were as children, and he did feel again the weight of his years.

And she who had said that it was good to talk was also dancing there, but she seemed angry and depressed and she spoke not. And then she went in unto the dressing room and did fall upon the sofa in a profound slumber.

And Angus did speak with one that said "Verily, he that shall drive thy vehicle back to the city of London, he is a mighty man, but he is also stoned and more thereto is he but recently emerged from the madhouse. And there is none here that may drive the vehicle but he."

And Angus pondered these things in his heart.

And it came to pass, after five long hours, that the dancing and celebration came to an end, and the order came for all to go home.

And one that sat on the sofa rose up, crying "Where are Chris and Chris and Josh and Kelly and Spesh and Louise?" and another answered her "They have gone home. And the vehicle that they shall ride in is warm, and swift. But the vehicle that we shall ride in is cold, and slow, and the rear indicators do not work." And all who were there grew wroth.

And when they came unto the vehicle, they found that the heater therein no longer worked, and behold, it was as cold therein as a very cold thing, yeah, even unto as cold as a penguin's bollocks.

And then came one saying, "Hold, and go not, for there is still much to be done." And they did busy themselves with wheelie boards and flight cases and SUBS and A2s, until all the PA was quite broken down.

And then he that was to drive, being stoned, did ascend upon a ladder with a Stanley knife in his hand, to assist in the removal of the decorations. And they said unto him "Touch not this decoration, but cut down this and this."

And he, being stoned, heard them not, and cut down the wrong decorations.

And Angus saw all this, and he pondered it in his heart.

And at last, when all was broken down, they went unto the vehicle and behold, it was as cold as ice therein. And there were those therein who had sleeping bags and blankets, and were warmly dressed. And there were two therein who were as boyfriend and girlfriend, and they had the best of it, in that they shared with each other the warmth of their bodies.

And much else besides.

But I digress.

And Angus was not warmly dressed, and he was sick, and he had no sleeping bag and there were none there that would share with him the warmth of their body.

And the brother of she with whom he would gladly have shared the warmth of his body looked upon Angus in the wise of one that would say unto him "Don't get any funny ideas."

And Angus called out piteously unto one that was there, saying unto him "Hey, man, are there any more frigging blankets?"

And one that was there heard him, and behold, a blanket was found. And Angus gave thanks therefor.

And after some hours, he that was to drive entered into the vehicle and said "Give unto me of the waters of the coffee bean, that I may restore my mind, for behold, I am as one that sleepeth." And they said unto him "We have only instant." and he grew wroth, and said "I will have fresh coffee of Columbia, or I drive not this vehicle."

But at last he relented, and he did take his place at the wheel, and they did depart.

And the noise of the engine was passing loud, loud even as the sound of a chainsaw falling down a fire escape in a steelworks is loud. And it was in the manner of this engine that it entered not willingly into third, but protested much, with great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And Angus sat upon a bench, which was strait, and there was no place for him to put his head, for on the one hand was there nothing, and on the other sat she with whom he would have shared his warmth. And the boots of her brother came between them on that bench.

And the cold air blew upon the back of his neck.

And the driver did call out unto him that sat behind him, saying unto him, "Take of the paper of Rizla and roll unto me a joint, that I may gladden my mind." And Angus heard these things, and was not reassured.

And it came to him then that it was passing likely that they would be stopped by the servants of the law, by reason of the indicators of the rear which worked not, or the driver who was as one stoned out of his gourd. And he grew fearful, for he had seen with his own eyes the stash of one who was there, and it was large, that all who looked upon it would cry out with one voice "Assuredly, this has a street value of three-quarters of a million." For it was the custom of those who lived in that land to overestimate the value of these things.

And he said unto himself, "Verily, there are but two chances herein, that either we may leave the road and be dashed upon the safety barrier, or the servants of the law may come upon us unexpectedly and we shall be thrown in chokey for the duration."

And then he said unto himself "Ah, what the fuck", and he did pull the blanket over his head, and did endeavour to sleep.

And while he slept, he that was at the wheel did bring them safe unto their journey's end, even unto the Town which is called Camden. And all praised him, that he was a mighty man, and had not caused them to be thrown upon the crash barrier or to be taken by the servants of the law.

And further to his praise, had he mastered the art of not changing down into second at traffic lights, that those who slept therein might be spared the sound of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And he that sat behind him had guided him that they might arrive by the shortest route.

And all praised them greatly, that they had done these things.

And the feet of Angus were like unto ice, but it mattered not, for they had come unto their journey's end, and it was eight of the clock, and the underground was running.

And Angus saluted them then, and went down into the bowels of the earth, and pondered deeply.

For there were, in those times, men of power who laid down the law saying "Behold, it is unlawful to gather together in numbers upon the land of others to listen to music characterised by a repetitive beat, for this is called a rave, and it is hateful in the eyes of the Lord. And it is unlawful to partake of strange herbs and chemicals. And it is unlawful to live in moving vehicles. And all those that do such things may be taken and cast into prison."

And Angus reflected that raving and partaking and travelling were in truth their own punishments, in that music characterised by a repetitive beat gladdens not the ear, and there was much dullness in the partaking, and as for living in moving vehicles, let him who hath a taste for being cold and uncomfortable go and do thereto, but none other. For there is much suffering and much boredom in all these activities.

And he cried out unto the Lord, saying "Lord, why do men these things?"

And the Lord answered him "Which? The making of laws, or the raving and all the rest of it."

And Angus knew not, and he answered "Both, I guess."

And the Lord answered him in this wise, saying "Buggered if I know."

And Angus pondered these things in his heart.

Here endeth the peeve.

|   |
|   "I am here by the will of the people ... and I will not leave    |
|    until I get my raincoat back." ['Metrophage', Richard Kadrey]   |


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