Resonance FM: Hooting Yard On The Air
Summary: Baffling, erudite, funny, vertiginously bizarre, digressive, obsessive, eccentric and poignant. Hooting Yard the home of legendary pamphleteer Dobson, Blodgett Marigold Chew, home of the picnic for detectives and location of the palace of Hoon.A splendid place, much cake is eaten there.Written and presented by Frank Key.
At some point, into the room padded a huge black spittle-flecked hound, which planted itself in front of me, growling, quite obviously preparing to pounce and sink its fangs into my little infant throat. I wanted to cry out for help, but was so frightened I could neither move nor make a sound. I was eventually rescued by Mrs Flack popping into the room, seeing my stricken state, and leading the ungodly beast – which had not, after all, attacked me – away, assuring me it was a loveable harmless pooch. In subsequent years I have noticed that dog owners always make such assurances, which I treat with deserved contempt. I remain convinced that the vast majority of dogs mean me harm, and would tear out my vitals given half a chance. On Dog Nomenclature On Vultures On The Bisky Bat Eggs Soaked In Tea This episode of Hooting Yard was first broadcast on the 12th July 2012.
The raking of gravel in the grounds of a rented country cottage is usually the lot of the handyman-gardener who comes with the property. You will first meet him when he comes to the railway station to meet you off the train. He will load your luggage on to the brake after the briefest greeting, and drive like the clappers along twisting bosky lanes. When he has debouched you outside the cottage, and unloaded the luggage, he will drive off again to park the brake in a nearby barn. You will not see him again for some hours, until evening, when, looking out of the cottage window, you will spot him raking the gravel. On a Prang On Scroonhoonpooge Marshes On the Raking of Gravel Kill Sin Pimple & Others This episode of Hooting Yard was first broadcast on the 28th June 2012.
Let us imagine you are sitting at home, in an armchair, with your feet up, listening to Scriabin on the radio perhaps, or reading Martin Amis’s very sensible new novel Lionel Asbo : State Of England, or simply gazing vacantly into space, like a dimwit or a simpleton, though you need not actually be a dimwit or a simpleton, merely dozing, half-asleep, at the border of the Land of Nod. Then imagine that your poppet rushes into the room, from the front garden, crying “Dennis! Dennis! Come and see!” Whatever you have been doing, or not doing, you sit bolt upright and ask “What is it?” “Come and see the shoveller!” cries your poppet. Knowing your Shovellers On Headbag On the Daily Strangling of Serpents This episode of Hooting Yard was first broadcast on the 21st June 2012.
To the Director Dear Sir I have come to enquire if I have anything left on account with you. I wish to change today my booking on this ship whose name I don’t even know, but anyway it must be the ship from Aphinar. There are shipping lines going all over the place, but helpless and unhappy as I am, I can’t find a single one – the first dog you meet in the street will tell you this. Send me the prices of the ship from Aphinar to Suez. I am completely paralysed, so I wish to embark in good time. Please let me know when I should be carried aboard… Thus Arthur Rimbaud’s last recorded words, dictated in a delirium to his sister Isabelle from his Marseille hospital bed on the eve of his death on 10 November 1891. As Charles Nicholl notes in Somebody Else : Arthur Rimbaud In Africa 188-1891 (1997) On Aphinar On Dumbing Down On Poptones
Another thrilling of Accidental Deaths Of Twelve Cartographers. The previous section can be found here.
The parents of the great cartographer Ken Buttercase were employed by a small railway in a remote country. They lived in a wooden hut which served as a signal-box. A threadbare curtain of rep divided the hut into two halves. In one half, the Buttercases ate and slept and baked and washed; the other half contained the signalling controls and was also used to store an ever-changing collection of broken locomotive machinery. Once a day, at noon or thereabouts, a cart would trundle to the door of the hut; two railway workers would deliver some broken bits and pieces and take others away. Mr or Mrs Buttercase would sign one chit for the deliveries, another chit for the pieces removed, and help the two officials – one of whom was tubercular – to load and offload the invariably rusty pieces of metal. Their duties left them little time to devote to their only child. Let us examine these duties in some detail. The railway itself was not busy – the one train passed the hut four times a day; heading north at 4 a.m. and 4 p.m., and heading south at 10 a.m. and 10.15 p.m. Before its passing, the signals had to be set; the cranks, winches, levers, pulleys, knobs, fulcra, and transistor motors all had to be adjusted with frightening precision. In order for this to be done, the broken locomotive-parts had to be shoved out of the way, into the other half of the hut. They could not be kept outside, exposed to the elements, as the company regulations forbade such a practice. Nor could they be stored permanently on the other side of the rep curtain, as not only was this – as we have seen – the family’s living quarters, it also served as the work-room devoted to carrying out the many other tasks they had to perform, which we shall examine in due course. Once all the broken stuff had been moved out of the way, the signalling equipment could be set. Readjustment, back to the original coordinates, took place once the train had passed, after which the day’s conglomeration of broken bits and pieces could be shifted back to the other half of the hut. Accidental Deaths Of Twelve Cartographers, No. 8 : Ken Buttercase (Part One)
I am angry, I am ill, and I’m as ugly as sin. My irritability keeps me alive and kicking. That was me, sitting bolt upright in bed upon waking at dawn, singing my little heart out, like a chaffinch or a linnet. I sang A Song From Under The Floorboards by Magazine. Now, regular listeners to my radio show on Resonance104.4FM, Hooting Yard On The Air, will be well aware that I cannot sing for toffee. Recite prose, yes. Sing, no. But while I would never dream of assailing the ears of an unsuspecting public by singing – or attempting to sing – on the airwaves, there is no reason why I should not do so in the privacy of my own home. On Wings of Song On the Owl of Celestial Protection Simple Simon On Hiking Pickles
The plot of King Jasper’s Castle, Etcetera is so convoluted that I am not going to attempt to summarise it here. What you need to know is that the setting is a castle, belonging to King Jasper, situated on a bleak promontory overlooking a bleaker sea. The castle’s electrical wiring system is as complicated as the plot of the play, if not more so. Its maintenance and seemingly endless tweaking and repair is the responsibility of the janitor, who is employed by the castle’s chatelaine. Neither the janitor nor the chatelaine has a given name, though whether this is an oversight on Pickles’ part, or an oh so clever literary device, is moot. Arguments have been thrashed out on both sides. There are other Pickles plays with nameless characters, some where characters swap their names around between acts, and several where, though every character has a name, those names are unpronounceable in any human tongue, or indeed in bestial grunts, howls, or birdsong. Not for nothing is Pickles labelled a “difficult” playwright, just as he was called a “difficult” child by those paid to watch over him in his infancy. King Jasper’s Castle, Its Electrical Wiring System, Its Janitor, And Its Chatelaine On King Jasper’s Bones On Easter Sunday This episode was recorded on the 12th April 2012. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Frank’s new eBook By Aerostat to Hooting Yard is now available for purchase.
Dobson was no stranger to controversy, but rarely did he create so tumultuous a brouhaha as was caused by his pamphlet Hints And Tips For Intrepid Explorers In The Polar Wastes (out of print). Dobson himself had of course never been anywhere near either the Arctic or the Antarctic, and one of the many puzzles he left behind for the unwary biographer is the question of why he ever thought he was qualified to address the subject. He was only too ready to admit to his ignorance of certain matters, made plain in pamphlets such as My Blithering Ignorance Of Vast Swathes Of Ornithology and When It Comes To Ice Hockey, I Have No Idea What I Am Talking About, both of which are tragically out of print. Yet he felt able to compile a list of hints and tips for polar exploration, and ensured that Marigold Chew ran off more copies on the Gestetner machine in the potting shed than she did of almost any other pamphlet he ever wrote. Indeed, a number of their breakfasts were ruined during a period in the 1950s when the pamphleteer insisted that his inamorata gobble down her kedgeree in double quick time so she could hurry off to the shed to crank out another dozen copies. Oddly, he does seem to have actually had some success in selling them, though this may have been due to the breathtakingly gorgeous mezzotint of a polar bear, by the noted mezzotintist Rex Tint, which was used on the cover. There was a sort of polar bear fad at the time, occasioned by the popular radio serial The Adventures Of Martin The Polar Bear, starring Cicely Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert. The historian and cultural commentator Bevis Sebag has suggested, compellingly, that most of the people who bought Dobson’s pamphlet tore off the cover, placed the mezzotint in a frame and hung it on the wall of their parlour, and chucked the pamphlet itself into the bin. On the Livers of Polar Bears On Eggheads On Horst Gack Calamaties and Disasters This episode was recorded on the 5th April 2012. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Frank’s new eBook By Aerostat to Hooting Yard is now available for purchase.
It was late on a winter’s evening when I turned on to the lane leading to the Bad Vicarage. There was ice in the puddles and the thorn bushes glittered in the moonlight. On the other side of a filbert hedge a peasant person was worrying the ground with an agricultural tool. “Good evening, peasant!” I called, “Can you tell me who is vicar nowadays in the Bad Vicarage?” It was twenty years since I had been in these parts. I doubted that the Bad Vicar of the olden days was still in residence, but I wanted to make sure. On Scree On Certain Ants On The Bad Vicarage Marching This Way and That This episode was recorded on the 23rd March 2012. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Frank’s new eBook By Aerostat to Hooting Yard is now available for purchase.
It came as something of a shock when I learned that my fate was written in the stars. I had no idea that every last particular of my life, from cradle to grave, was foretold in the barely visible movements, thousands and millions of miles away, of fiery burning rocks scattered across the sky. As soon as I learned this, I was avid to know what lay in store for me. Only then did I realise that I could not read the stars, so I went to consult a stargazer. He ushered me in to his observatory, high on a promontory, and tapped a spindly finger on the end of his telescope. He bade me peer through it, and I saw manifold stars, impossibly distant, burning bright in the night sky. “Gosh!” I said, “How lovely they are. Yet to me, senseless, devoid of meaning.” On Fate On The Love Song of Ah-Fang Van Der Houygendorp The Names of the Rivers On Reggae For Swans Little Severin, the Mystic Badger by Unit This episode was recorded on the 15th March 2012. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Frank’s new eBook By Aerostat to Hooting Yard is now available for purchase.
And the Lord came unto the plains of Gath. And he was footsore, having walked for many days without rest. And he sat him down upon one of the tussocks which grow upon the plains of Gath. Then there came a widow woman driving before her a goat. And the goat was thin and bony and of Satanic mien. And the Lord said unto the widow woman: “Woman! I am your Lord and I am footsore having walked for many days without rest. I have great thirst. Succour me with milk from your goat. This I command.” On The Plains of Gath On Groovy Bongos On And On And On This episode was recorded on the 8th March 2012. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Frank’s new eBook By Aerostat to Hooting Yard is now available for purchase.
You will recall the film Speed (Jan de Bont, 1994) in which Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves are aboard a bus which will explode if it goes below fifty miles per hour, having been primed with a bomb by cackling evildoer Dennis “Don’t try to grow a brain, Jack!” Hopper. I have been wondering if a similar adrenalin-thumping conceit could be applied to the writing of prose. I am not suggesting I do anything so foolhardy as to ask a disgruntled and slightly maimed ex-police officer to hitch me up to a bomb which will detonate if I stop writing… well, I suppose that is what I am suggesting. Cowardice, or sheer common sense, persuades me, however, to hit upon a less perilous incentive. On Speed On The Latin Mass and Moby Dick On Quadruple Points Local Recipe Map Phantom or Bees? This episode was recorded on the 1st March 2012. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Frank’s new eBook By Aerostat to Hooting Yard is now available for purchase.
There may be circumstances in which you wish to ascertain whether your dog is barking up the wrong tree. I wouldn’t know; I don’t keep a dog myself. But I can imagine a situation where such knowledge could prove critical. If I speak of the matter in the abstract, that is because of a total lack of hands-on dog-based experience on my part. Some might argue I am precluded from pronouncements about the issue – if we can call it an issue – by dint of this lack, but I beg to differ, much as a dog might beg for a bone from his master’s table. Note that in spite of a deep ignorance of dogs and their ways I am yet able to pluck from the storehouse a vivid illustrative example of common dog (or doglike) behaviour to get my point across. Let those who scoff be hushed, so we can get on with it. On Barking Up The Wrong Tree On Government Controlled Origami On The Devil In The Detail Nicknames This episode was recorded on the 12th February 2012. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Frank’s new eBook By Aerostat to Hooting Yard is now available for purchase.
The best thing you can do with your tin foil is to fashion for yourself a conical tin foil hat. It is important that you make a cone shape, rather than trying to mould the tin foil into the approximate shape of, say, a Homburg or a trilby or a stovepipe hat. Though the wonder of tin foil is that all these hat types could quite easily be made, you must stick to the cone. In part, this is in homage to Jimmy Goddard and the copper cone he used for daily communication with space people. But do not jump to the conclusion that your tin foil cone hat will help you to talk to space people. It won’t. Nor will it protect you from weird unearthly menacing electromagnetic rays and beams and invisible hoo-hah. If such phenomena exist, and can dislodge and jumble and even control the innards of your brain, they are hardly likely to be dissuaded by a sheet of tin foil, are they? On Tin Foil On Apps On Babinsky’s Idiot Half-Brother This episode was recorded on the 2nd February 2012. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Accompanying Hooting Yard On The Air, the six publications We Were Puny, They Were Vapid, Gravitas, Punctilio, Rectitude & Pippy Bags, Unspeakable Desolation Pouring Down From The Stars, Befuddled By Cormorants , Inpugned By A Peasant And Other Stories Porpoises Rescue Dick Van Dyke and Brute Beauty And Valour And Act Oh Air Pride Plume Here Buckle! are available for purchase