Why I Don’t Do Appendices

Bryant and May

I only ever added an appendix to one Bryant & May novel – the very first one. I gave it up after that. I think I wanted to parody the entire practice but can’t quite remember now why I did it. Maybe I wanted it to prove useful for anyone wishing to locate that section of the book dealing with Germans using ginger people during blackouts. Anyway, here it is, and good luck.

Appendix

NOTATIONS MADE BY MR ARTHUR BRYANT IN AN ACCOUNT OF HIS FIRST CASE WITH MR JOHN MAY

Abyssinians, uses of when stuffed For purposes of ventriloquism,

Possession of by squadron leaders

Actors, unreliable behaviour of

Agoraphobia, dangers of

Airships, German, poor performance of

Amateurs, abilities of encouraged by Home Office Architect, incomprehensible explanation by Armitage, Maggie,

Psychic powers  of

Price charges for ectoplasm clearance

Link between horseracing and women’s suffrage

Ability to use harpsichord as boiled-egg slicer

Astaire, Fred, appearance at Palace Bananas,  as weapon  against Hitler BBC, hilarity  caused by bombing of

Bengal tiger, as shameless plug for other published Bryant and May cases

Betts, Corinne, as murder witness,

As stand-up comic

Biddle, Sidney,

Bovine addiction to law and order

Enjoyment of complicated paperwork

Pleasure derived from hitting geography teacher

Bombs, used in destruction of police stations,

Falling on London like jellyfish

Exploding in tube stations

For use as stage props

Bridge, Waterloo, as conduit for rumination

Psychic phenomena on

Bryant, Arthur, displays of temperament against  constables,

Addiction to illegal narcotics

Insensitivity

Rudeness

Uselessness with opposite sex

Poor dress sense of

Comparison to tortoise

Inability to read flags

Love of tachygraphy

Hopelessness with technology

Association with tontine, Savoyards,  butterfly-covered corpse etc.

Possibility of being mistaken  for mental patient

Preference for wood carving to having sex

Unflattering  description of

Capistrania, Tanya, thankless  role in tale as unloved murder  victim

Carfax,  Sergeant, similarity of wife’s face to witch doctor’s rattle

Caterpillars, poisonous, use of in teapots

Cats, ginger, arrival through kebab shop windows  of

Stuffed, as conduit for dead squadron leader

Cheese, see Skittles

Chorus  girls, unlikeliness of wearing knickers

Davenport, Farley, highly unflattering description of

Emotional constipation of

Dental  records, pertinence in murder investigations

Likelihood of use in identifying werewolves

Dwarves, gigantism amongst

Finch, Oswald, inflexibility in humorous situations,

As butt of cruel practical jokes

Under attack by dangerous vegetation

Forthright, Gladys, desire for assonance of,

Peculiar taste in role models

Unsuitability of choices where men are concerned

Ginger people, use of by Germans  during blackouts

Greeks, shipbuilding and theatrical enterprises

Incendiary devices, inadvisability of using as paperweights

Mistaken for thermos flasks

Jack the Ripper, ability to melt pavement slabs

Landladies, unlikely swordsmanship abilities of

Lift, as device for removing feet

Lithuanian botanists, incidence of vampirism amongst

London, bus standing on end in

Matthews, Jesse, eerie power to drive men mad

May, John, predictability of female dinner dates

Peculiar ability to turn women’s knees to jelly

Last chance to have sex of

Stoic qualities  of

Claustrophobia suffered by

Memory, lost, revived, unreliable

Muses, as template for murder spree

Norwegians, anaemic condition of

Norwegian painter, similarity to medical officer

Offenbach, Jacques,

As progenitor of Gilbert and Sullivan

As inspiration for deranged serial killer

Opinion, Public, violent death of

Orpheus mythology, as motive for murder

Palace Theatre, resemblance of to Borley Rectory

Paperweight, use of for incendiary purposes

Parole, Helena,

Heartlessness of

Alcoholism of

Medusa-like qualities of

Pepys, Samuel, talent for tachygraphy

Petri dishes, mysterious existence of under Bryant’s bed

Phantoms, ability to walk through walls of

Likelihood  of picking a fight with Claude Rains

Planet, as symbol of freemasonry

As murder weapon

Plants, tropical,  propensity for sickening cats, wives, etc.

Poltergeist, dangers of intrusions by while saying grace

Pope, violation of with roofing  tiles

As condom spokesman

Pork, as substitute for human  feet

Senechal, Charles, clouted by planet

Skittles, as a boring esoteric hobby for aged detectives

Statuary, as esoteric clue in criminal investigation

Stone, Miles, unfortunate choice of pseudonym by

Inability to be faithful with women

Technology, peculiar backfiring of when confronted by technophobes

Teeth, as clue in criminal investigations. see Dental records

Theatre critics, climbing abilities of

Thwaite, Olivia, floral solution to prominent nipples by

Tortoises, life-threatening habits of

Uses of in spiritualist rituals

Trammel, Betty, mysterious true identity  of

Traps, star

Traps, grave

Turk, body parts  found  in chestnut  brazier  by

Varisich, Anton, orchestra conductor forced to work with buskers

Wagstaff, Edna, psychic sensitivity of with dead pets

Whittaker, Geoffrey, unorthodox sexual arrangements of

16 comments on “Why I Don’t Do Appendices”

  1. Paul C says:

    I have a book which mentions a bizarre index entry : In Copyright and the Value of Performance, 1770–1911 by Derek Miller there is an entry as follows :

    Macklin, Charles Copyright performances, 208
    Kills fellow actor in quarrel over a wig, 34

    I’ve always wondered what the story was………..I’m off to Google him

  2. Helen Martin says:

    A number of those entries are subsets and should be indented and it should surely be “harpsichord, ability to use as boiled egg slicer.” It seems to partially refer back to the military lists “hats, officers for the use of” sort of thing. Bear in mind I was a sort of librarian.

  3. Helen Martin says:

    Why would a mystery story need an appendix? A real crime book, yes, but it’s fiction so it would mostly be a bit of an affectation, wouldn’t it?
    Please, may I complain about the ampersand in the Bryant and May titles? There is no need for the under line. The only horizontal line would be connected to the ending diagonal and there’s no space for it and the character is clear otherwise. Don’t like that thing. Sorry, it’s been bugging me for a long time and today is really stinky hot.

    Snowy, I haven’t given up, life is just a little complex.

  4. snowy says:

    Helen:

    A] Don’t worry about me, it comes when it comes. And there are much more important things than pictures. [My latest effort is at the bottom of a comment about The Two Daves’, your thoughts very welcome, BUT only if and when time permits.]

    B] It’s not really an appendix, is it. “APPENDIX: noun, A separate part at the end of a book or report that gives additional information”. Above is a sort of list, that is styled like an index, but has no page numbers and the sub-cat’s aren’t even in alpha order!

    C] The underline is purely stylistic, [I think], it used to happen to the ‘O’ in ‘No.’ a lot as well, [abbreviation for Numero in Latin, rendered as No. 1, No. 2 etc.]. It is used to de-emphasize a purely functional glyph but still balance the case sizes, hard to explain, [grab a tea/coffee/beer and a scrap of paper: try writing Bryant & May with a full height ‘&’, it looks too big/dominant. Then with 3/4 height ‘&’, which looks a bit small/lost.

    [One fix is the compound of a 3/4 ‘&’ with a ‘_’. ]

    [Another way would be to make a feature of ‘&’ by making it ‘big and swirly’ , but this wouldn’t fit in with what is supposed to be a homage to Johnston Sans.]

  5. Brooke says:

    Above comments reinforce the sentiment expressed in the title of the post.
    As notations by Arthur, the list works well. A discursive mind at work.

  6. Dawn Andrews says:

    I think an appendix is currently needed for the complexity of the comments section to keep up with threads, possibly needs a Jane Marple style champion knitter to stop me unravelling. I’m just off to pick a fight with Claude.

  7. Liz Thompson says:

    Helen and Snowy, thanks for your posts, they are always interesting and entertaining. And I agree about the sub headings need to be indented.

  8. Peter T says:

    I’ve found appendices can be very useful in technical reports. They serve for answering *!*! and other questions without spoiling the flow of the main text that I’ve already spent hours on..

    For work that doesn’t involve customers or reviewers, appendices are better avoided as they distract. After all, if the content is good, it should be in the main text. If not, then leave it out. The same goes for little asides in boxes.

    To avoid overloading the typist with double and triple spacing, but still satisfy my supervisor on number of pages, I added some extra appendices to my dissertation. During the oral, one examiner was going through his list of mistypes, the other was quiet. I was thinking, as he actually read it? Then, when we’d more or less finished, he said, “I think there’s a symbol missing from (obscure) equation .. in (obscure) appendix ..”

  9. snowy says:

    I’m rather addicted to parenthetical speech, [stuff in boxes], it was good enough for Jeremy Bentham, [his manuscripts are full of it & ” ()” as well].

    Perhaps I could mix it up a bit, {bit rococo for my tastes these – but what else can one do?}. ☠ Gothic ☠, ♫ Musical ♫, [*Jazz Hands*] ?

  10. admin says:

    Quite like the rococo { } although I have no idea what it’s used for.

    I was going to indent all sub-entries beneath names but I couldn’t be arsed. The blog takes up far too much of my day as it is, and is eating into my novel-writing time.

  11. Peter T says:

    Admin, you left it as an exercise for the reader.

  12. Paul C says:

    Further to my first comment above, there really was an actor called Charles Macklin (1690 – 1797) who killed an actor in a quarrel over a wig – see below. This would make a good film…………

    In 1735 he quarrelled with a fellow actor named Thomas Hallam, whom he accidentally killed by thrusting his cane through Hallam’s eye. The pair had argued over a wig whilst performing a new farce, Trick for Trick. The incident occurred in the Scene Room of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in front of many witnesses, and Macklin, after the sudden fit of temper, was sorry and arranged for a physician to attend to Hallam. Unfortunately, the cane had pierced through Hallam’s eye into his brain and he died one day later. Macklin was tried for murder, conducted his own defence and, though not acquitted, escaped with manslaughter. His hand was branded with an M and his acting career continued.

  13. Helen Martin says:

    Paul, definitely a great movie – or at least a dramatic video.

  14. Ian Luck says:

    There are extremely funny appendices at the back of ‘The Meaning Of Liff’, by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd. Probably worth reading first, for the full “What in blue blazes?!” effect.

  15. Bruce Rockwood says:

    Macklin is featured in Midnight Riot.

  16. Ian Luck says:

    Mr Fowler – I love the word ‘Rococo’. Used to it’s best on the soundtrack album of ‘Monty Python and The Holy Grail’, which is a work of mad genius in itself.
    There is a phrase used, which is so beautifully constructed, it has stuck with me for many years, so ludicrous is it’s premise:
    “The Rococo intricacies of Geordie abuse.”

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