Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A shameless plug...and a Corkscrew

I guess it's wrong to use this blog as a vehicle for the shameless plugging of my book, but as this is my blog, I'm thinking 'what the hell!'

That's right, folks - Part 2 of 'The Book That THEY Do Not Want You To Read' is now available for download to your Kindle (other e-readers are available) at the spectacular bargain price of £2.99 - see
...what's didn't know about Part 1?
Come now, my friend, did you not notice that subtle link on the side of my blog page?
Just click on that and, hey presto, you're about to start on the literary equivalent of the Corkscrew, a ride of such excitement...what's that...? They've dismantled the Corkscrew and have replaced it with something I need to find another metaphor...?
But I really liked the Corkscrew metaphor...damn this thing called progress...

For those of you not familiar with the 'Corkscrew', it was a roller-coaster ride at Alton Towers (between Leek and Uttoxeter) shaped a bit like...well...a corkscrew...
Hang on...have a look at this:

I went on it during a school-trip to Alton Towers back some time around 1983 - it has stuck in my memory because I was sat next to my old geek-pal, Dean 'Stampy' Stamp (we weren't particularly imaginative with nicknames when I was at school, it was generally the rule that your nickname was either your surname with a 'y' added (as per Stampy), a long surname shortened so that it ended in a 'y' (O'Sullivan shortened to Sully, Pennington shortened to Penny), your first name, if you were fortunate enough for it to end in the 'y' sound (e.g. Dougie, Eddie) and you were considered hard enough to warrant the respect of having your first name used; or, very occasionally, something random, like 'Chipper', as in Mitchell 'Chipper' Berry...I think that was because he already had a surname that was short and ended in 'y'...anyway, I'm rambling).
Back to the Corkscrew and Stampy.
At the start of the Corkscrew ride, the cars are pulled up high and then released to the mercies of the forces of gravity (but I guess you'd all realised that, being fairly familiar with the theory of how roller-coasters work...) - however, on the Corkscrew, the release was not followed by an immediate, stomach-churning drop; instead, the cars dropped just a little bit, as if the designers were trying to lull you into a false sense of security...whereupon the cars then fell like a stone and the world became a blur of fast-moving shapes and colours and, if the people in front did not possess strong stomachs...vomit.
At the commencement of the initial drop, Stampy (and I'm sure he won't mind me telling you this...and even if he does, I don't care) gave out a weird, guttural moan of what can only be described as 'pure, unadulterated terror' - it is still, to this day, one of the most disturbing sounds I have ever heard; he then screamed like an absolute girl when the big drop finally loud, in fact, that it was audible over my own girly scream! Stampy continued screaming like a girl (drawing breath only three times in total if I recall correctly) for the entire ride, the pitch and timbre only changing when the cars entered the actual corkscrew element of the ride and the occupants were twice turned upside-down, whereupon his scream went up by several octaves to a pitch capable of shattering windows. I think he continued screaming for several seconds even after the cars had finally stopped!
It still makes me smile when I remember it...though how I got to talking about a screaming Stampy I'm not sure...
Let me look back...

Oh yes, the shameless plug for a book that is a literary Corkscrew...

Go my book!!
I guarantee you won't regret it!