The Joy Of Text

Christopher Fowler
'I say, sir, a missive from the Royal Mail has arrived for you from a Ms Maggie Armitage. It appears to have been up a dead bear's bum. Perhaps the sender has been incarcerated for many years and managed to smuggle it out to you. It smells of chewing gum and Toilet Duck.' 'Pray read it to me, Walter, then draw me a bath, the better to exude last night's intake of champagne.' 'Very well, sir. I'm afraid it is illegible in places as there seem to be er, other comestibles all over it. I shall endeavour to extract the key information. 'Mein liebling, I just visited Jesus. As usual our female vicar mumbled into her surplice and I couldn't understand a single word. She might have been giving hints about cultivating gooseberries for all I know. My church friends were all talking about The Queen's Funeral as if it came as a big surprise. I looked down at myself in church and kept thinking where did my breasts go? Amber did not come around tonight as she thought she had Covid but it was just diarreagh. I wish I had kept (dog) Bolivar's* teeth so that I could make them into earrings. I broke an upper molar last week, my fault, I should stop thinking I'm a bottle opener. I have put some obscure rap albums on the charity wall, and a book on sexual positions although I put that out after the 10pm. Everything went. I am shrinking again and must now be a dwarfe. Elliot (grandson) says I cannot say that so I do. I fancy a proper fag not a vape. Nicotine can ward off dementia. Coxy (agent) has invited me to a horror film festival In Leicester Square. I will have to bring an extra pair of knickers as I am easily scared. He  spoiled my chances with a nice man by telling him I once played an ape in a science fiction film. I didn't stay for the whole 24 hours because a woman got shot in the ear and wore a huge white bandage for the rest of the film and it wasn't believable.  I was supposed to have an operation but instead John the window cleaner cleared out my drains. The black stuff he collected looked quite healthy so I introduced it to my garden, except I got it on the sheets. John's prices have gone up but he turned down my offer to clean his tools (joke). I am so glad I didn't go under the knife or I would not have got my windows done. Love you xxxMags' 'Walter, I'd better have that bath right now. And two Aspirin.'


SteveB (not verified) Sat, 01/10/2022 - 15:59

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Carry on keeping it up!

Granny (not verified) Sat, 01/10/2022 - 17:29

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Oh that is wonderful! Thanks heaps, I really appreciate it

Helen+Martin (not verified) Sat, 01/10/2022 - 19:25

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

When written you can take Maggie's news in amounts of your own choosing. Oh, my!
Maggie, I don't recommend the gutter material for the garden because so much of it is the dust stuff falling out of the sky, washing off the roof, mixing with rain and turning into black gunk. It's good to have the gutters cleaned, though.

Jo W (not verified) Sat, 01/10/2022 - 20:43

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Mmm, still pondering how the black stuff from the drains got on to Maggie’s sheets?
No, second thoughts, I really don’t want to know.

keith page (not verified) Sun, 02/10/2022 - 11:53

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Poor old Maggie; does she deserve this?

Mary Ann Atwood (not verified) Sun, 02/10/2022 - 12:11

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

"Bolivar’s* teeth " Wonder what the asterisk referred to?
What a magical work Maggie inhabits.

Brooke (not verified) Sun, 02/10/2022 - 12:54

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

oh, do please say this note was handwritten! Ms. Armitage is so fashion foward.

Cornelia Appleyard (not verified) Sun, 02/10/2022 - 13:00

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

At least the envelope only has comestibles over it. It could have been black gunk.

Debra (not verified) Mon, 03/10/2022 - 03:53

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Hahaha! I love it! As I do all of your brilliant Bryant and May books! They provided many hours of reading pleasure. I had so much fun reading passages out loud to my husband, although I could barely make it through because I was laughing so hard. I never leave comments about anything, but I had to say thank you very very much.

David Ronaldson (not verified) Mon, 03/10/2022 - 06:09

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I recently met someone who knows the good (bad?) Lady and couldn't understand why she was mildly famous.

John Griffin (not verified) Tue, 04/10/2022 - 09:50

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Read that just before teaching a fairly dull Year 12 class. Could hardly finish registering them because I was laughing, and any attempt at explanation to the non-reading generation would be lost.

Liz+Thompson (not verified) Tue, 04/10/2022 - 10:55

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Wonderful! Thank you.

Peter T (not verified) Tue, 04/10/2022 - 11:26

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

It's unusual to receive a letter, more so one handwritten, but one with such exceptional content is gold dust. Thank you for sharing it.

Glasgow1975 (not verified) Tue, 04/10/2022 - 14:40

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

To answer Jo W, I expect Maggie hung her sheets outside to dry, and either dropped them, or they simply trailed onto the ground, and got 'the black stuff' on them...

Wayne Mook (not verified) Tue, 04/10/2022 - 19:32

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

As I read this The letter by The Boxtops came on, which was rather splendid.

I do have a friend I send occasional postcards to in that there London. There is something fun about writing to a friend.

Maggie's missives are always welcome, her train of thought is a joy.


snowy (not verified) Wed, 05/10/2022 - 22:23

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

If one is prepared to go very deep into the world of geekery, and take what there is written at face value; Maggie seems to be able to lay claim to have played both a companion to the fourth Doctor and a Time Lord.

She achieves this, if the information is to be trusted, on a slightly complicated technicality. [And subsequently holds the world record for being the person who spent the shortest time playing either or both roles].

Anna-Maria Covich (not verified) Thu, 06/10/2022 - 15:51

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Snowy, I have seen the footage and can verify that it the information is to be trusted.

I love everything i hear about her. I want to be Maggie Armitage when I grow up, but I suspect I'm far too normal and boring to even come close.

snowy (not verified) Thu, 06/10/2022 - 23:54

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I'd seen the footage, but I'm a bit face-blind. [A change of slap and an up-do is enough to leave me completely flummoxed].

By process of elimination: if she's not the one in Bacofoil, and not the one with half a Turkish tea-set covering her... chest, then she must be the one standing on a box?