Yes… I remember it as if it were only last week. In actual fact it was this morning. My memory must be going a bit hazy in the autumn years – no doubt it will come good by spring.
I was sitting on my writing stool, staring at a blank screen, wondering how to fill it up with something sufficiently interesting, or at least non-offensive to place on SGR. My eyes drifted from the screen, past my collection of blu-tack, past my ornately carved box of Cubans (some still demanding to be let out), and eventually fell onto an open newspaper. I quickly picked them up an inserted them back into my orbital cavities.
The afore mentioned newspaper, the Newcastle Herald (which has recently and rather presumptuously taken to calling itself ‘The Herald’) lay open, as do most of our newspapers on the comics and crossword page.
[Packer, Murdoch et al., if you're reading this, I suggest you put the comics and crosswords on different pages. That way I might be inclined to glance at more than one page - just a suggestion. And get rid of The Phantom, it's good but at one strip a day how can you expect us to keep up? Punks!]
On this particular page (and I suspect all other pages – though must admit, I didn’t check each one – not a great deal of research goes into these things) was the day and date. Saturday, 29th January 2005 it said. This may not seem an important date to those of you for whom it isn’t but for those for whom it is, it just might be.
It was on January 29 in Bolton, Lancashire that Sean Adrian Brickpit was brought into the world. At only 13, Brickpit had all the knowledge and genius of a NASA space engineer; unfortunately in 1533 this was knowledge was useless and dismissed as early-onset dementia. So Sean turned his hand to the world of music. Brickpit picked up the piccolo extremely quickly – at only 150 grams (215 lb.), this is nothing to be particularly excited about until the said piccolo reached Brickpit’s lips and began to emit music under the guidance of his slender fingers.
So impressive was Sean’s skill that King Henry V called him “…the best gosh-darn fluter I’ve ever seen…” and was seen on more than one occasion to invite Brickpit back to his place for some mead and table tennis. Sean was able to play “The Fight of the Bumble-bee” flawlessly in less than three minutes. This in itself is no mean feat, but was made particularly trickier by the fact that Rimsky-Korsakov would not compose the tune for another 342 years.
On his 35th birthday Brickpit became the first man in history to eat and regurgitate his own hand. This eventually led to the founding of the Adrianic Brothers, an order of monks devoted to silent worship and developing party tricks.
In his 63rd year, just four days short of his 70th birthday Brickpit was struck on the head by a falling meteorite this size of New Zealand. He died peacefully in his sleep two days later.
Many called Brickpit special, some called him a genius, his own brother was known to call him a butthead.
I’m Tom of the Close, this has been a moment in history.