A Mind @ Play

random thoughts to oil the mind

Tag: Keats & Chapman

Keats and Chapman at the Show

Sifting through a flurry of invitations that rained upon them with the approach of spring, Keats and Chapman eventually settled upon visiting a dear animal-lover, Geoffrey Malmouth, for what was billed to be the Greatest Cat Show in The North. Away from the blustery, biting winds sweeping in off the North Sea, what on first glimpse appeared to be nothing but a large warehouse had been converted into a true Aladdin’s cave for the cat fancier. Felines of all sizes and breeds, colours and patterns were present, and there were prizes for all manner of category, youthful and old, hirsute and bald, a veritable multitude of attractions to grab the visitor’s attention.

The highlight of the prize-giving ceremony was to be the awarding of the Breeder’s Achievement Award, conferred upon the breeder who had in the eyes of the panel done the most for his or her chosen breed in the course of the year. Whilst Geoffrey was not short-listed for it, he had been given what in his view was an honour greater than the prize itself: that of supplying the model for the so-called AilurOscar, a gold-plated, life-sized cast replica of last year’s champion. Said model, a superb Burmese specimen by the name of Mystique, had been put into a narcosis and taken to the sculptors just a few days earlier, and should have been returned with the unveiling of the prize. The latter now stood gleaming on the prize-winners’ table, but of Mystique there was no sign.

As the day wore on, it eventually came for the prizes to be awarded, the judges having had sufficient time to make their decisions on the vast quantity of fur and claws they had seen that day. Geoffrey started to get particularly agitated that he still hadn’t seen his cat, especially when he noticed the sculptor sidle into the room and take up a place at the back of the crowd, without word or sign of Mystique in tow. His agitation soon took effect on Chapman who, more suo, decided to take the bull by the horns and demand an explanation. Rather pale in the face, he returned.

“Well,” prompted Geoffrey, after waiting patiently for Chapman to begin, “where’s Mystique?”

“I’m afraid our friend over there seems to have gotten the wrong end of the stick about your instructions, dear boy,” came the stammered reply. “He took it that your feline companion was in something, well, far deeper than a narcosis, and the prize was to double as something of a sarcophagus.”

Geoffrey was aghast; his mouth working like a fish, he eventually sputtered out his disbelief. Chapman assured him he wasn’t tugging on anyone’s appendages.

“You mean that little statuette is my Mystique?” came the blurted response, to which Chapman nodded in affirmation. “But this is an absolute disaster!”

“I think,” offered the till-now silent Keats politely, “you mean a catastrophy.”

Keats and Chapman Return from the Continent

Our eponymous heroes returned to Blighty after a short sojourn on the continent, during which time Keats had become rather enamoured with practising his high-school German. Unsure what to do with themselves after such an extended period away, they took it upon themselves to visit an old friend of theirs, who had reputedly retreated himself from high society, to take up the role of school headmaster in a quaint village on the south-west coast of Scotland.

On their arrival there, they discovered that his institution at the school had provoked a little wave of anti-English sentiment in the village, with his demands that the pupils talk ‘proper’ English, none of this uneducated Scots drivel. Partly as a result of his estrangement by the village community, their friend had rather taken somewhat to the produce of the local distillery.

One morning during their stay, hoping to catch a glimpse of their pal in his element at the school, Keats and Chapman set off down the road from the inn. On their journey they began to meet an increasingly dense trickle of schoolchildren which, it not even being noon and in the middle of the school day, they found rather odd. The trickle of pupils turned gradually into a stream as they neared the school, and they arrived to find their friend locking up the school door.

“What the devil does he think he’s doing at this time?” exported Chapman.

“It seems pretty obvious to me,” retorted Keats with a slight wave of his hand, “er macht die Schotten dicht.”

Keats and Chapman and the Sino-American War

One bright morning in late spring, whilst the nuclear ash was still falling over the majestic cities of the east, Keats and Chapman were sunning themselves out on the terrace with a pot of Earl Grey. The Sino-American War over Central Asia was largely over, and for gentlemen of the west it was a time of relief and contemplation. The Americans had relented to the will of the darkest minds in the forces, and the bombs falling on cities had been like raindrops splashing on a frozen pond. The winter had been a nuclear one.

“You know, I find it hard to believe that they’re ready to start rebuilding their cities so soon after the nukes,” remarked Chapman. “According to the papers, those Pashtuns are about ready to announce a new name for their capital.”

“Indeed, and I’ve got a wager with the landlord as to the name they’ll announce.” Chapman looked on, flummoxed. “Why, what else could they call it?” continued Keats, “New Kabul.”

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén