“Merry Christmas... by the time you hear this message I'll be dead!”

Those are the words that I left on Verity's answer machine over eight hours ago, and as yet she has not even bothered to call back. Now, even if she does, I will not answer purely out of spite.

Other than that the day has passed much like any other – only with even less going on. Apart from an ambulance crawling the street, then leaving with the old woman with the beige surgical stocking, there has not been so much as a snow flake to disturb the peace. I suppose I should be thankful for that. I was half expecting Little Dick Tracy and his Goons to swoop in, punch me in the liver and then charge me with murder. He would have loved that. Reading me my rights on Christmas day.

But that wasn't to be. And so instead, I passed my Christmas destroying the central heating system, dialling free phone numbers and sitting there staring at Jaws and trying to feed him the crumbs from an anaemic looking mince pie which I'd found behind the bookshelf. Jaws I'd only brought out to try and curb the loneliness, but my deformed reflection in his bowl and the empty trashed room in the background just made me feel more detached than ever. And I don't think Jaws was any less miserable his side. He's gotten all withered and has lost the golden sparkle from his scales. He looks like he's been smoked and survived.

God, how quickly things change. Last spring, when I bought him, he personified a future filled with hope. Back then he even moved and would come to the surface of the bowl when he saw my hand above sprinkling food mix down. To get him to move nowadays you have to lower a pencil in the water and jab the sharpened tip into the top of his head. Even then he just sinks lower down on the same spot. I would have been better off bringing in one of the window boxes and passing my day alongside that. At least window boxes have no reflections... Not ones you can see anyway.


  1. If there's a tree at the bottom of that song, you're a very insightful woman. Though whether you fit the description of a woman or not, well, thats still under debate. X

  2. I'm trying my hardest to be nice

    In the run up to our farewell

    But you seem determined to be nasty

    Norweigan Wood

  3. At last, I am able (allowed?!) to comment. There are a few things that need to be discussed:

    1 - Sarcodina von Mastigophora is clearly a great writer, and there is much that can be gained from reading her elegant Portuguese prose and verse. 'e nas provas de pizzas e das Pisa's de provas' is a very astute observation.

    2 - Those window boxes have bothered me for the whole of this story. For instance, having (allegedly) dismembered John, how was his head dealt with? Firstly, it weighs about 4.5 to 5 kg. Secondly, it is pretty bulky. Personally, I would have taken a tyre iron to the skull, to make it a bit more 'compliant' but the amount of spatter would have been considerable. Tristy would not have done that, I think. So we face the fact that we need a window box at least 350 mm width and depth, to accommodate the complete head, with a decent covering of soil. A big box!

    3 - Tristy has been systematically destroying his council dwelling. This is might get him sectioned by his local constable, but is more likely to attract a design award from the Arts Council.

    4 - Unless those window boxes are a common feature along that street, I would find it hard to believe that Little Dick would not have managed to 'borrow' one for a closer inspection.

    5 - And so; I am left to think that either John is not actually in the window boxes, but is dangling in a drain somewhere. Or that he is not dead at all. Perhaps, in fact, he is Little Dick, and we have been witness to a complex role play.

    6 - An even more ghastly thought comes to me: that this is actually some ghastly reality TV show, with faded stars acting out the plot - the winner taking on the latest part on Coronation Street. That last thought makes me shudder the most!

    Happy Christmas, Tristy! =]

  4. Doomed but cheerful..
    We all know that Tristram has a "Big box" as he likes to wander around in his underpants so much.. and we also know he loves "head" so maybe he just couldn't get rid of that part of John .. who did have a rather slender one....
    I am feeling very sorry for Jaws..maybe just cleaning him out would cheer him up.. Tristy I hope your not dead.. not yet xx

  5. Hiya Gurney,

    Yes you're correct about the head but what you refer to is it's circumference. But from ear to ear or back of skull to nose the width is less that half that. So the window boxes are normal depth but wider than average. Ok, there's not much soil covering but there may be a reason for that. Also, there was a reason why Tristram grew tomatoes. I never stated but it was because most vegetables (I know its not a true vegetable) need to be planted out in larger window boxes than what are needed for plants. So that was why he bought the larger sized ones.If it still doesn't ring right, just put it out off mind. Any little things like this will be cleared up for the book and I will have much more space to explain better how some things happened.

    Also, John did have a very small head. He was even worried about it... well, we all were. A few years ago he sent this mail to a top online head doctor:

    To: DR PAUL MICHAEL REA MBChB, MSc, DipFMS, FHEA - 6/8/2007

    Hi, I am a 24 year old man with a very small head, I measured it around the ears and came up with a figure of 14 to 15 in. for the circumference! that's crazy! I would like to know what the average head circumference is for an adult male of height 5'11'', or the average head circumference/size for an average adult male in general. I was unable to find any useful information about head size in adults on the internet. I always wore my hair medium long, but just about four months ago I shaved my head and testicles and people who knew me and those who didn't know me were shocked, and I almost fell into a deep depression thinking I'm some kind of freak. I don't understand, I don't have any mental retardation and I do very well in Trivial Pursuit, which brings me to my second question; what sort of correlation is there between head size and IQ?

    Little Dick not figuring the window boxes.

    My thinking on this is this: it seems impossible that a body would be in a window box. And even though you know it, you still tell me “it's not possible.. the heads too big.” So Little Dick probably thinks the same. But I don't even think that. I just don't think he has even consider that a body is in the window boxes... it's too bizarre. No one reading ever even sussed what the boxes may be used for and they were advertised for months, in the clues section on the sidebar, TEN of them. With me telling everyone: The Window Boxes are not here by accident! Not one person imagined that John's body could end up in them. I reckon that if I hadn't revealed where the body was put no-one would have thought of the boxes.And yes, every other house around here has window boxes. They're very common in London streets.

    Concerning your other points, there will be no bizarre twist at the end. It really is what it is. It's a tale of domestic violence, mental illness, decisions and consequence. Yes, there are a few magical/strange happenings along the way, but kinda just to show the magic of life and sometimes really weird things can and do happen.

    I think thats enough.... I've a post to write as well!!!

    The Real Tristram Spencer. X

  6. It looks like things are shriveling up here. Heads, Dicks, Fish and Tristram.

  7. Sarcodina: you've made a fan here. X

    Ruby: At least there's you on my side! Cleaning him out? You mean the intestines... to gut him? X


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