An Escapologist's Diary. Part 5.

I’m still enjoying my planned escape, far away from home. Specifically I’m in Montreal.

In the city’s commercial districts, bilboards groan with high-profile advertising for a new interactive computer game called Beatles Rock Band. It’s an ingenious misappropriation of something that was once radical and important.

Forty years ago, John and Yoko conducted the third instalment of their Bed-In peace protest in this very city. Let us remind ourselves today that The Beatles wasn’t always an empty brand synonymous with inane, distracting tat:


Oddly enough, I recently found myself listening to “Can’t buy you love” in a branch of the HSBC bank. When it was my turn to see the bank manager, I said “What kind of message is that for a bank?” He laughed and said he hadn’t thought of it that way. Has it become just another piece of popular music that people enjoy without question? “this song is cooooooooooool´╗┐”, “this song is´╗┐ alsome”, “I love when Rino jumps´╗┐ ­čśÇ he jumps very high ;D” read some of the YouTube comments. Money can’t buy you love, but love can buy you money.

Anyway, to help wash away the taste of misappripriation, here’s a magical bubble from John Lennon’s little-known work of Aubsurdist prose, A Spaniard in the Works:


‘I, Barrold Reginald Bunker-Harquart
being of sound mind you, limp and bodie,
do on this day the 18 of Septemper 1924th,
leave all my belodgings estate and brown
suits to my nice neice Elsie. The above
afformentioned hereafter to be kept in a
large box untit she is 21 of age, then to be
released amongst a birthdave party given
in her honour. She will then be wheeled
gladly into the Great Hall or kitchen,
and all my wordly good heaped upon her
in abundance. Thus accordianto my will
will this be carried out as I lie in the
ground getting eaten.’

This then was the last will and testicle of I Barrold Reginald
Bunker-Harquart, which was to change the lives of so many
peoble – speciality little Elsie whom was only thirteens.
‘Are you sure I have to stay in the box?’ asked Elsie child-
‘Yer not deaf are yer?’ yelled Freud Q.C. what was helping.
‘Yer ‘eard the familias solister as good as we didn’t yer? ‘
‘I was only makeing conversation’ replied Elisie who was only
Just then Elisies dear Old Nanny Harriette broke down in
tears and everybody walked quietly out of the room leaving her
to her grease, except Dr (not the) Barnado.
‘There there Harriette, that won’t bring the Mastered back’ he
said knowingly.
‘I know I know’ she bluttered ‘its not that, its where are we
going to find a box to fit her foot? tell me that, where are we
going to find a box to fit her foot?’ Luckily the Dr knew a
carpentor in the village who was A W O N D E R W I T H
W O O D. ‘I’m wonder with wood.’ he used to say, as he sored
his way through life – with a naiI in one hand and polio in the
other (his light hand being stronger than his lest). ‘Children
should be seized and not hard’ was something Uncle Barrold
had always said and even Old Nanny had always replied
‘Overy clown has a silver lifeboat’ which always dried him ap.
Anywait, Elisie was soon entombed in her made to marion
box, and people from miles adavies would come and visit HER,
but only when it was sunny – for she was kept rightly in the
garden. ‘At least she’ll get some fresh air.’ argued Old Nanny –
and she was right.
Three years parst and a great change had come over Elsie. Her
once lovely skin was now roof and ready, some say it was that
last bitter winter, others say it wasn’t. Her warm smile which
made one forget her hairlip was now a sickly grin, but enough
of that.
Less and lessless people came to visit Elsie especially since
Old Nanny had put the price up. The Dr had kindly devised a
scheme whereby Elsie could call for anything she wanted. It
was a primitive affair, but effective – just a simple microphone
tied into Elsie’s mouth. This was attached to a louder speaker
in the kitchen. Of course when Old Nanny was away on holi-
day, she would turn the speaker off. ‘No point in her shouting
if I’m away” she would explain.
The years flew by for Elsie in her own box, sooner no than
it was coming round to her twenty-first burly. ‘I hope I get the
key of the door’ she thought, forgetting for a momemt she was
getting the whole house. The place was was certainly in a state
of anticipatient on the ear of Elsie’s birthdaft, and Old Nanny
celebrated by bringing her into the house for ‘a warm by the
fire’ as she put it. Unfortunately Old Nanny seemed to place
birthday Elsie too near the big old fireplace and her box caught
alight with Elsie still wrapped firmly inside like her Uncle asked.
‘She didn”t even eat her cake,’ said Old Nanny tearfulham
to Dr (not the) Bernardo the next morning.
‘Never mind’ he wryled. ‘we’ll give it io the dog, he’ll eat
With that the Dr leaped over and gave Old Nanny a
thorough examination on her brand new carpet.
‘You can’t have your cake and eat it’ said a cheerful paying
guessed adding, ‘Statistics state that 90% of more accidents are
caused by burning children in the house.’


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

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