FROM THE CLIFF EDGE – Number 1 By Simon Lovell and Ned The Lemming
Joe, with an obvious loss of sobriety, asked me to sit, chained and roped, to my computer and crank out some columns for his Gemini board. I felt like asking, “What’s the board done to deserve that,? but by then, having double checked the locks and knots, he’d left me, armed only with three slices of bread and a case of whiskey, to begin the task.
As the amber nectar began to peruse my body I felt a golden, wafting glow coursing through my entire system. Strange tingling noise filled my ears and odd, blobby, shapes drifted before my eyes. A tiny squeak registered amidst the chaos and I realized that I had, at long last, discovered the furry coconut I’d been looking for since those early pram ridden days … I had discovered the secret of how to channel that most awesome creature rodentia — none other than Ned The Lemming!
I told Ned of Joe’s idea and amid much high pitched squeaking (sounding suspiciously like laughter) he entered my brain. Suddenly I could understand everything he said (especially the repetition of, “Is Joe mad?”), I was a spectator, yet also participant, to a wondrous theater taking place in my own mind! I made a note to Joe on his private mail to send in more whiskey and some alfalfa grass for my new frisky little companion.
I asked Ned if he could help with the column and, after a long chew on the grass and a Seabrookian like chug of my ever-diminishing whiskey supply, he agreed. I asked for his thoughts on Magic and its performance and how the column should approach such heady topics. He sat back to begin …
“Squeak, Squeak, Squeak … Squeak, Squeak, Sue …” I stopped Ned realizing although I could understand him nobody else would! The problem was solved when I realized that I’d found, with a strange and almost esoteric coincidence, a Star Trek multi-language (lemmings included) translation device in my breakfast cereal box that very morning! I attached it to my computer and asked Ned to begin again …
“I think,” he said, “that the column should be interactive. We should ask people to tell us about the topics they would like to see discussed. This would mean that the column would contain subject matter that would interest the reader and, cunningly, stop us having to think of a topic each month.”
“Brilliant,” I muttered, wishing that I’d thought of it first.
“Of course, for I am Ned,” continued my sage but suicidal pal, “I don’t want to talk about tricks though — Tarquin The Hamster … all hail Tarquin … has helped a bearded one in the south who they call the Answer Man. There can the tricks and methods amongst others be found. I would rather chat about performance, misdirection, body language and other topics which although important are all but ignored by so many in this tiny bubble you call the magic world. They may disagree with what I have to say but that’s good (so long as it doesn’t happen too often) for this speck of dust upon the cosmic bottom needs healthy argument to grow and become a hairy wart we can all be proud of. I suggest they send topics or questions to you via the board. They could call you on 203-832-8536 to speak personally or they could put goose feather (using tar as ink) to parchment and direct a pony express rider to deliver it to you at 2086 Stanley St. #110, New Britain, CT 06053.” “But,” I slurred with a sudden stroke of inspiration, “Surely we’ll need to fill up the first column with something. They won’t know we’re here until it’s posted — What are we to do? Tell me Ned, you who are so wise in the growth of strange warts!”
“You are yet a young lemming in the grand scale of things,” whispered the keeper of all knowledge of cliff diving, “For have we not already filled the first column with the news of my fictitious arrival and the tales of your factual whiskey drinking!”
“He truly is incredible,” I thought as I burped and slumped to the floor. Some time during my sleep Ned left me to recover. I didn’t realize to channel such a being gave one such a bad headache the next day. I think I’ll leave it awhile before I try to bring him back again.
Meanwhile send in topics or questions as Ned suggested. Meanwhile I’m going to take a Tylenol or seven … or maybe I’ll just chew on the alfalfa grass.
Bye for now.