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Malcolm must die

November 1994: After shooting rapidly down the offshore sewage outlet of life, I finally hit the vomit-streaked tarmac of utter dejection. My girlfriend had left me for a Swiss ex-porn star turned accountant, who had kept the genital extension surgery and thus possessed larger genitals than either myself or a mature sperm whale. My friends had forsaken me to mingle with sexually active drama students who could perform amazing tricks using ping pong balls and KY Jelly. My parents had moved house and left a forwarding address that turned out to belong to a mentally disturbed ex-convict and breakfast television presenter. My bank manager had closed my account and then forced me to date several of his ugliest counter staff in order to repay my debt to society. And, most depressingly of all, the bar staff at the Glen had stopped serving me. Come to think of it, the bar staff at the Glen never would serve me anyhow. I was frustrated, trapped and desperate. With the aid of several copies of "Nude Librarians Monthly", I was able to relieve the former but it was only a partial solution and now my underwear needed laundering too. I needed a way out. I needed a scapegoat. I needed to stop looking at pictures of librarians holding their pages spread wide. It was obvious that I had only one final gambit left in the great Scrabble board of existence:

Malcolm must die.

Malcolm, the man who once talked every passenger on the 1531 Shrewsbury express into flushing themselves down the toilet in order to escape his conversation, whilst in Newtown station. Malcolm, who had bored for Britain in the 1992 Olympics, easily beating three Germans and a Swede. Malcolm, the man whose name had never once been linked with David Mellor. Malcolm, Deidre Barlow's greatest fan. Malcolm, entirely unconnected to my present troubles but also deeply implicated by virtue of his kamikaze personality and Somerfield own brand sex appeal. If I was ever to regain my self-respect and the acclaim of my peers,

Malcolm must die.
Malcolm, who had bored for Britain in the 1992 Olympics

if Western civilisation was ever to rise again from the ashes of French cinema

Painfully, at my hands. Over the next few weeks, my plans were hatched. I followed his movements carefully. They ended up in the harbour like the rest of Aber's sewage. Undeterred, I started watching where he went. I learnt how often he visited the Clinic for the Terminally Dribbly, the people who most often had to jump into cement mixers to avoid him, the joke he regularly told at parties about Class 58 locomotives, his least favourite flavour of pot noodle and why he regularly purchased cotton buds and depilatory cream at Superdrug. It was soul destroying, agonising and suicidally tedious but I knew that if Western civilisation was ever to rise again from the ashes of French cinema and collections of old bus tickets,

Malcolm must die.

Once I had mapped Malcolm's weekly activities down to the smallest ejaculation, I set about gathering the equipment I would need. One prototype Iraqi nuclear device; two turbo anal intruders from a back door Soho supplier; five AK47 assault tin openers decommissioned by the Soviet military; three litres of Strawberry flavoured cyanide; ten yards of durable lower intestine complete with fluid. Regrettably, Boots had sold out of every single item and only a five pack of Bic disposable razors was left. Whilst the idea of peeling Malcolm slowly in micro-thin layers had some appeal, I felt certain that someone would notice me doing it, perhaps even Malcolm himself. I settled for spending Sunday afternoon sharpening the radiator grill on my Peugeot. Whether it would work, or whether I would be forced to burn him slowly to death with the cigarette lighter instead, did not matter because

Malcolm must die.
three litres of Strawberry flavoured cyanide

I revved the engine; it stalled

Monday, 10:45am, I drove round to the grocery seconds shop I knew Malcolm would emerge from shortly, having purchased his weekly supply of used Pampers, and waited. To while away the time I put a suitable Beatles track on the cassette player: "Yellow Submarine". At 10:47am, Malcolm left the shop and commenced crossing the road. I revved the engine; it stalled. I got out and kicked the front tyre several times. The engine fired again and I got back in to find Malcolm still wandering confusedly in the centre of the road, as usual. With a squeal, I took my hand off the handbrake and let it fall out of the window. The car leapt forward as Malcolm turned suddenly to find three ounces of deadly French engineering bearing down on him. His eyes started to widen as he disappeared underneath the nicked Silver Lady I had stuck to the bonnet; possibly he was trying to remark that he had once owned a Dinky car in the same colour. I felt the suspension bounce twice as a joyous scream left my lips. Glancing in the rear view mirror, I saw Malcolm standing upright on the white line waving at me. How could this be? Then I realised he was holding most of my exhaust pipe. Cursing every single employee of Peugeot and fervently hoping their designers would be melted down for glue, I executed a quick nine point turn by the simple expedient of driving into an outdoor pursuits shop, thus lending it a certain authenticity. Malcolm was walking towards me offering the exhaust system back. I couldn't miss this time. At least, I wouldn't have if I hadn't run out of gas just then. I saw my life whirling down the great pube-filled plughole of destiny with a rude slurping noise because

Malcolm wouldn't die.

But then, fate intervened. A savage predatory animal appeared as if from nowhere, seized Malcolm in its powerful jaws and darted away with him trailing from its salivating fangs. Witnesses later said it looked like a large panther or possibly a psychedelic killer unicorn (never take a statement from a new age traveller). Only I recognised it - Lollipop, my next door neighbour's cat. It was a sign; I had been spared and Malcolm had taken my place. Police later recovered scraps of Malcolm's interesting jumper from Lollipop's cat basket. They were tossed off the harbour wall in a short, unaffecting ceremony attended by joyful crowds and several brass bands.

Malcolm was dead.
a psychedelic killer unicorn

elation, ejaculation and chocolate sauce

The next day, my girlfriend returned. She found me lying naked in a huge pile of wanton women's rugby players, and later gave up her own life by marrying a local councillor. Within days, my friends had all resumed lending me money and cannabis resin. My bank manager invited me to make a trolley dash through the vault. Even the bar staff at the Glen sneered maginally less contemptuously in my general direction. I was a saved man. In place of dejection, frustration and depression were elation, ejaculation and chocolate sauce glistening on flushed thighs.

So if you ever find yourself in the doldrums, if the future looks bleak and your life starts to feel like a washing powder advert with Danny Baker, look in the phone book and remember that

Malcolm must die.

Almost any resemblance between the characters portrayed above and nearly anyone living or dead is approximately entirely coincidental. Names have been changed to protect the stupid.

Ade Rixon & Paul Coombes, 1995


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