To our regret, Chocolate Lightbulb is on holiday for the past week and this week, and maybe the next. It is much better for the Experiment to decide this than for it to struggle to keep up. We look forward to seeing you soon.
When I was 6, a teacher told me not to run with scissors: it only made me want to try. I ran again and again, and survived unblemished every time. Now I rock-climb freehand, refuse to look both ways, dare the world to hurt me. I feel, always, disappointed.
“It’s not right” said Miss Spence. “All the other boys love the football. He’s ostracising himself.” Mr Watkins nodded, saying, “He says he doesn’t see the point. He says, ‘Why can’t they both win?’” Miss Spence harrumphed. “With an attitude like that, he’s a born loser.”
My parents were contemporary artists. They sung me to sleep with procedurally-generated plainchant; my cot’s mobile was hung with bird bones, microchips, chrome-plated sex toys. I moved out aged 16, planning to set up a motorbike garage. Whenever I see an engine, I want to hang it in a gallery.
Jefferson cracked the secret formula: Coke’s flavour to the last note and bubble. It passed every taste test, and the loans were easy to secure. The crates are still stacked in his garage; he’ll let you try a bottle if you ask. You’ll find it’s not the taste you love.
Whenever we argued, he’d hide in his jars and pins. I attacked the ceiling’s cobwebs with a duster, making a taxonomy of grievances. The arguments got shorter and the entomology papers got longer. I wrote up my findings in a beautiful illustrated chart before I left: I owed him that.
No matter how expensive our equipment, how impressive the fart, the recordings were always unreal-sounding somehow. In the end, it took the unexpected marriage of a Moog and a watermelon. Now, whenever I catch Fart #86 on a comedy soundtrack, I feel the pride I’ve lost in all my own.
“How does April make you feel?” asked the counsellor. Silence. “Why do you feel that it’s time?” Silence. “Why do you think the thunder said that?” Silence. And the poet stood up suddenly, raising his hand. But only whimpered.
He battled like a demon, spitting rhymes to a click-clack beat from beneath a big black hoodie. you couldn’t see his face, only hear his words, tearing you up. MC after MC took the stage and just died: he took them apart, like they were just wired bones.
Kim kept every envelope that ever hit her doormat: for forty years she filed alphabetically the royalty cheques, Christmas cards and catalogues of purported ex-residents. When she died, which she intended to do soon, she’d leave the filing cabinet to a famous artist. They’d know what to do with it.