Sunday, March 15, 2009

Famous Last Words


My favourite character has just uttered them. And now he’s disappeared behind the final full stop of his final chapter, never to be seen again.


Maybe this is why my current batch of edits have been such a pain in the rumpoid wherewithal. I’ve killed off plenty of characters, mostly with considerable vim, but as my festival of gore turns out not to be so mortal for the entire cast as (say) The Blair Witch Project or Annie Get Your Gun (the unsung pinnacle of the zombie movie genre if ever I saw one), a handful of characters get to make it to the end — and I have to let them go.

So, nearly finished with the WIP, now, and I’m feeling kind of happy/sad (cue sound of violin & howling dog. No — make that Stan Laurel playing a saw. And Felix the cat).

Here’s his first appearance (on TV, as it happens — but that’s another story)...

Flambecchioooooo!
Haloumi burst through a shimmer of steam into the stainless steel sheen of an enormous kitchen, accompanied by the mustachioed restaurant manager and his team of goggle-eyed chefs and waiters.
‘What-a-will it be tonight, Mr Haloumi?’
‘Tonight, I’m going to deep fry an omelette — my own special recipe. Sauteed with striplets of baby zander and fresh razor sliced ostrich eggs seasoned with pistachio nuts and myrrh, ready in forty-five seconds and — who’s your favourite pop star, Franco?’
‘Don’ listen to pop. Is opera for me.’
‘Julio Castratio?’
‘Is OK! Very nice! Yes!’
Haloumi swang himself up through a maze of scaffolding till he was stood over a spa pool of bubbling extra virgin olive oil. Three dancing underwear models caressed a sparkly aqualung onto his back, and with a trademark cheeky wink to the housewives of the nation, he somersaulted backwards off a springboard, casually throwing out his hand to catch a spinning bowl of pinky yellowy omelette mix the second his head plunged into the sizzling liquid.

SPLOOOOIIISSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHH!

26 comments:

JaneyV said...

Now that's a TV chef worth watching!

Robin S. said...

I love him! I'd watch him any time.

Serious congrats to you.

Natalie said...

That end is always a bittersweet thing. I always miss my books when they're done.

Whirlochre said...

Somewhere, I have a drawing of a glitzy quizmaster I did some time in the mid 70s, upon whom I based this character. Must dig that out some time.

BTW — do people say 'upon whom' any more? I've just been involved in a heavy duty glueing incident and confess to being knocked out by the fumes.

writtenwyrdd said...

I say 'upon whom' but rarely hear it drop from anyone else's mouth.

Your writing is so...you. But I'm left wondering how this Houlini guy survives the oil, or if he does. And if not, why not?

Whirlochre said...

Talking of cliffhangers, here's a thought for you all.

Is it me, or has the mobile phone sounded the death knell for certain types of cliffhangers? Where once, characters in dire emergencies (ranging from crocodile attack to the unwanted advances of Slim Whitman lookalikes) might have languished on the horns of peril, they're now only a phone call away from the emergency services — or some other 'way out'.

scarlet-blue said...

Ah, but people now get stranded places where there is no mobile phone signal... or they make a big thing about the battery running low... or they've run out of credit. There is always a way around the mobile phone...
Sx

Whirlochre said...

This is true — but is the dead battery the new anti-deus ex machina?

writtenwyrdd said...

Whirl, I don't own a cell anymore because where I live you just do not have cell service outside of town!

So if I had a dire emergency such as a moose trying desperately to woo my car (it has happened) I would just have to close my eyes against the burning of my retinas (retinae?) with the obscene goings on.

Just so you know.

Whirlochre said...

When youre weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
Im on your side. when times get rough
And friends just can't be found,
Like a — FOR FUCK'S SAKE THERE'S A MOOSE ON THE ROAD!!! OMIGOD!!! HUNDREDS!!! IT'S LIKE A WEREWOLF MOVIE, ONLY WITH MOOSE (MEESE? MEESAE?)!!! AND THEY'RE HUMPING MY 4X4!!! LOCKING ANTLERS LIKE VELCRO AND FORMING A MOOSE PYRAMID REACHING WAY UP INTO THE STRATOSPHERE, TO COMMUNE WITH A RACE OF MOOSOID ALIENS ABOUT THE FUNKY THEME TUNE TO NORTHERN EXPOSURE...

Love to say "been there, done that", WW, but the best I can manage is a humourous anecdote about a rabbit that nearly ran under my bumper, but then, actually didn't.

writtenwyrdd said...

OMG that had be spitting coffee,literally. Damn near spewed on the laptop, a first.

I didn't say it happened to me, Whirl. And how could I have forgotten to mention when Moose Luuuurv Cows? (Yes, this also does happen. Bull moose in rut epitomize the male being overwhelmed by hormones. Like teen boys, almost.)

Whirlochre said...

Hmmm. I feel moosey inspiration coming on.

Suggestions, please.

scarlet-blue said...

Goodness me! It all happens here... mooses? I have a few foxes...
Sx

writtenwyrdd said...

*cracks knuckles* Inspiration... hmmm... I'll have to get back to you, unless a Northern Exposure (I mean what that title, why not?) parody is something you could get behind. (Now everything I write seems loaded with meaning.)

but, so you know, I drive an AWD not a 4x4. The guys I work with have 4x4s though. Trucks. I have an SUV, not because I don't love trucks (used to own a 3/4 ton monster that would haul a semi trailer if I were careful about it) but because I have better gas mileage. But then, we get lots of snow and drive through it unplowed a lot of times. ("Essential government services" have to go to the office and don't get snow days.)

But, whatever. Back to moose ideas. Moose are inherently funny but I find the more learn about them the funnier they get. I mean...cows? And yet I can't think of anything worthy of your humor, so you are on your own buddy.

Kiersten said...

Puts Iron Chef to shame!

As far as the moose, I'm staying far, far away from that conversation...

Whirlochre said...

The following morning, Kiersten woke and threw open the curtains to greet the glorious sunrise.

From the heavens, dark clouds of moose, texting feverishly on their mobile phones, descended by parachute.

'She's here somewhere,' cried the leader. 'Soon as we find her, remember: speak of nothing but moose, moose, moose...'

Kiersten said...

Make that mousse, mousse, mousse, of the chocolate variety and I'm game.

Whirlochre said...

Here's the link...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTIUikZIZYI

Ello said...

I had a comment but absolutely lost it when I shrieked over the Moose exchange. Seriously - you are dangerous to my bladder dude!

And awesome on the WIP!

Whirlochre said...

Moose exchange?

Sounds like a Canadian swingers bar.

writtenwyrdd said...

"Moose exchange? Sounds like a Canadian swingers bar."

Aye aye aye aye moosey, it certainly does. I think that what that hypothetical bar called the Moose Exchange needs is a bizarre plot and cast of surreal characters like Twin Peaks. Only set in Canada. That would make a great beginning to a Northern Exposure parody, too.

By the way, instead of basing your chef on a mid70s glitzy quizmaster, I can't help but think you must have somehow crossbred Liberace and a Mexican wrestler.

Whirlochre said...

Tell me more about Mexican wrestlers...

writtenwyrdd said...

You know, that would be a funny pick up line in a book, Whirl. By the way, started reading yesterday. Funny beginning. :)

writtenwyrdd said...

And Mexican wrestlers? Here http://www.wrestlingmuseum.com/pages/bios/masks2.html and here http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=mexican+wrestling&aq=f&oq=

*bows* Glad to be of service.

Whirlochre said...

I did use it once: sadly, a vengeful Californian hermaphrodite.

Whirlochre said...

My new hobby.

I used to love watching the wrestling on World of Sport every Saturday afternoon.

It lacked the full-on glam of WWF, but our boys had the better stomachs.

Check out the guys in the blue shorts...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93a493POu4U