VOODOO DIGEST #1 – TOMMY AND MUPPET EXCERPT

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About a month or so on from the lanuch of our first ever print publication, we have sold about half of our original print run of a hundred copies (order your copy here).

If you haven’t heard already, Voodoo Digest #1 features previously unpublished interviews with Birmingham R + B songstress Call Me Unique, a long interview with the organisers of techno institution House Of God as well as poetry, opinion pieces and fiction from Voodoo’s main contributors, Guy Hirst and myself, Johnny Kowalski.

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As we’d like to sell the rest of the print run, here’s an excerpt from the piece of fiction that finishes the zine, Tommy and Muppet. This story is an exaggerated take on my own life when I lived in Worcester and worked as a youthworker. This is where we meet the two shell suited villains of the piece, Nathan and Jed. WARNING – this piece contains swearing and drug references (two of my favourite things).

“What we got then kidda? ” said Nathan whilst trying to light the last dog eared third of a Lambert and Butler without his friend noticing. ” Save me twos on that will ya, you can have one of mine when I get some in a bit ” demanded Jed, before continuing to rifle through the blue sports bag . “You can’t even get served ” smirked Nathan, as usual taking the opportunity to assert his nine months of superiority in age. In your mid teens, any advantage is taken seriously. ” Nah man stub it out “Jed persisted. “Look, I found this, we can have a spliff.” Nathan rubbed the dust off the small nugget of bud Jed had found at the bottom of the bag and nodded.

The two of them were at the top of the viewing stand at the Pitchcroft horse racing course, another place where outdoor activity had ceased for the winter. In the strange, misinforming winter light it would have been easy to have mistaken them for wearing the exact same outfit of navy blue track suits, however each outfit had subtle differences which each wearer would claim made their outfit better. On Jeds head was an unbranded baseball cap, whereas nathans head nestled in the hood of his jacket. Jed was building up steam. ” Wa hey, we’re gonna have a party tonight, there’s some weird looking beers here..” And then finally, his finisher, Jeds money shot.”And look, we’ve got some fucking pills!” Jed offered a small baggie containing 8 or so bright blue pills with the kind of enthusiasm usually seen in small children who have just found a secret doorway to a land of technicolour candy. But to be fair to the lad, locating the pills was quite an achievement. By now, the bag had been emptied out on the bench, and the highlights of the assorted detritus included – one smelly black t shirt, one bright green sock (also smelly ), a notebook that started off with what could have been scribblings of lyrics or poetry but dissolved into manic biro drawings of eyes, a Mars bar that looked like someone had taken a few bites out of it, stamped on it, then gnawed on it some more, a vibrant assortment of twisted up pieces of paper, rizla and flyers, and most ominously, a plastic toy deer with a mutilated face. The deer had disturbed the pair so much that they fell into an uneasy silence for a few seconds after seeing it, until Nathan uttered the phrase “Sex aid, innit”, and Jed let loose reassuring sniggers.
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But now Nathan was impressed with the pills. ” Fair play mate, nice one, fucking sound. ” said Nathan in a rare instance of him showing his friend unbridled respect. They’d had a hard time getting their hands on pills (or what the Sun might call ecstasy ). Only last week one of Nathans older mates had ripped them off on some pills that were supposed to be “Neons” . It wasn’t until after three in the morning that someone told them that the “N” on the tablets actually stood for “Nurofen”,though Jed was later quoted as saying they “fucked me up anyway “.
“Let’s take one each now, then go to Perdi and then take some more or maybe give some to those fit girls”. Nathans mind was reeling with strategies and plans for their bounty. Jed was still caught up in the bravado of the moment. “Nah fuck that I’m gonna take two now” Jed declared with a cocky look on his face. “Fair play” replied his friend with a wry grin. Nathan secretly loved the way Jed was always in a mad rush to disable himself with drink and drugs.
Jed smiled back at Nathan whilst fingering the other, larger bag of about 20 pills he’d slyly slipped into his pocket when Nathan wasn’t looking. As if to complete his crime, Jed changed the subject. “Let’s finish that spliff, take some pills and go. It’s fucking freezing”.
Buy Voodoo Digest #1 online here.
Johnny Kowalski
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Voodoo Jukebox - promoting underground, independent and bizarre music, based in Birmingham.