Friday, November 26, 2010

Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy - part four!

Bit of an Electric Goose exclusive here. During my travels in India I stumbled across a manuscript - not literally, of course, I'm perfectly capable of remaining upright in the face of paper obstacles - which I believe to be a fragment of the fourth book in Stieg Larsson's bestselling Millennium trilogy, a follow-up to third and supposedly final book The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. People, on the day the movie version of the aforementioned novel is released, I give you an extract from the new Lisbeth Salander/Mikael Blomkvist crime epic: The Girl Who Went to the Shops...


THE GIRL WHO WENT TO THE SHOPS

Lisbeth Salander put on a T-shirt which read You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps and went into her kitchen. At 8.58am, she placed a white ceramic bowl on her Svasbo breakfast table. She poured some cereal into the bowl, followed by some milk. She ate the cereal. At 9.10am, she washed the bowl and spoon, then dried them. She picked up her Apple G4 PowerBook with 60GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM and 15" screen with two USB sockets, and put it in her bag, along with a small canister of Mace. Then she went out.

***

Jerker Strömström was a noisome, vital man. He was one metre sixty-three, with vigorous long blonde hair, an untidy beard and a noisome expression. He had noisome grey trousers, a blue shirt and black shoes. He watched as a childlike young lady with a number of tattoos and piercings walked into his shop. Fucking lesbian whore. The girl picked up a basket.

Shops are business establishments that allow individuals to purchase items for personal use in exchange for money. Items can be bought using cash, debit card or cheque, although in 1993, the Swedish government in their wisdom had introduced draconian legislation forcing anyone using a credit card to pay a 12 percent surcharge on all transactions under 100 Kroner. In 1995, a group of rebel MPs had tried to overturn the ruling, but had failed. In 1998, they had tried again, but had also failed. In 2001 they had tried and failed again. In 2003 they had tried and failed again. In 2006 they had tried and failed again.

Strömström looked at the girl suspiciously.

***

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist sighed with satisfaction. He had just finishing writing and editing the latest issue of Millennium magazine and an accompanying book, having worked for 19 hours straight with no breaks. He flicked on the radio in his office. The song that came on was 'Reach' by S Club 7. He stood up and reached for a copy of The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. Being one metre and eighty-three tall, he managed to grasp the book from its place on the top of his bookshelf with ease. He sat down and started to read.

***

Salander looked around the shop, deciding what she was going to need. She picked up a basket and began to shop, taking a tube of Colgate toothpaste, two pencils, an apple, a 1.5-litre bottle of Coca-Cola, four packets of ready salted crisps and a pair of shoelaces. She walked further down the aisle and took a 200g tin of baked beans. I really like baked beans. She went to the cashier, who told her the items came to 98 Kroner. She took out her card to pay.

***

As the girl took out her card, Strömström narrowed his eyes, and smugly began to tell the girl about the 12 percent surcharge. Before he had even finished his sentence, he felt a sharp stinging in his eyes as Salander sprayed Mace directly into his face. What the hell? Out of nowhere, he felt his jaw break as she kicked him in the face and he fell to the floor in agony. She took out a hammer and he moaned in pain as she smashed him in the ribs. Another woman-hater had learned not to provoke Lisbeth Salander.

***

Blomkvist looked across from his office window, frozen with shock at the supermarket scuffle he'd just witnessed. What the hell? Then he recognised Lisbeth Salander. Of course. Despite being only one metre fifty tall and weighing less than 90 pounds, she truly was the smartest and most introverted person he'd ever met. She was just so... odd.

***

As Salander left the shop, she happened to glance into a nearby window. A man was watching with a look of surprise on his face. She couldn't believe it. Kalle fucking bastard bloody idiot Blomkvist.

THE END

(Posted with apologies to the late Stieg Larsson and his translator, since I did actually really enjoy the books. After finishing this, I noticed Nora Epron had written her own parody for The New Yorker - it's rather good, and you can read it here.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

India, part 1: Benaulim and Varca, Goa

Okay, let's crack on, shall we? I'm not going to write much about the first few weeks, because that was the honeymoon period (literally), and my brain was switched off for much of it. But my camera was on, and it recorded the following things with the help of my right index finger:

Men disguised as beach shack roof
Men disguised as a beach shack roof!

Pebbles
Pebbles looking pretty!

Boat name FAIL
Inappropriately-named boat!

Beach parasailing
People actually doing some anal parasailing!

Pay phone
Entropy!

Cross
Me trying to recreate the Easy Rider bad acid trip/graveyard scene using my new camera!

Scary red door
Scary Kubrickian red hotel door!

Benaulim beach at dusk
A man bringing some petrol to a beach party!

Sarah
Sultry new wife!

Click here for a few more pics from Benaulim. Next up, another part of Goa ending in 'im'. You can hardly wait.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our last day in Kennington

So, Sarah and I decided to get married, quit our jobs, move out of our flat and go to India for a while. I'll skip over parts one, two and three and move straight on to the fourth bit, because that's where we're at now.

It was the last week of October and we were still reeling from both the wedding happiness and the packing stress. We rose early to catch our flight - but it was hard to tell whether the man who controls the sky was pleased about this or not.

Our last day in Kennington

And then, we were off... Goodbye, big city, friends, flat OHGODWHATAREWEDOING&$%*&

Our last day in Kennington

More pictures will surely follow. You may have guessed this.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Atherton rides again

Long-term readers of this blog may remember my failed attempts to organise a film festival in my flat in Stockwell dedicated to the films of the actor William Atherton (Die Hard, Ghostbusters, etc). It was with much delight on my wedding day I got to hear a special message from the man himself (or at least someone who sounded very much like they could have been the man himself) - all thanks to my best man, also called William. For your listening pleasure, dear reader, I've posted it below. Damn right the happiest day of my life!

Message from William Atherton by willparkhouse

(Posted with apologies to the real William Atherton and my wife for the comment above. Wife! It still sounds weird.)