Part 41: Fit the Thirty-Seventh : Lust For Life
Fit the Thirty-Seventh : Lust For Life
It was time for The Factories to go. They'd been the industrial backbone of the town since the very beginning, but now Funkytown was more of a commercial centre than industrial, it was clear that these factories were occupying land that could be better used.
So we told their owners they could fucking hike it to the edge of town.
And so the new lords of the city were given their fief.
But as I said, we were not abandoning the industrial sector completely, they were to be moved to the clear land around the outskirts of town, but not too far from the housing areas to keep commute times reasonable.
For instance, the southern hills continued to develop. The houses on the edge of the plateau would have a nice view of the chambers where the very substance of heaven and earth was split asunder to burn with the heat greater than the Great Inferno.
Back in the centre, things had started building up again already.
While that was going on, the manufacturies were then allowed to settle near the field of flying machines.
We weren't done, yet. The newly established guildhalls and lodgings were still quite across the street from the remaining manufacturies, which would not do. Begone, smokestacks!
And lo! The promised land was revealed!
Now let the ground be struck again, let with the riches of faraway lands flood into my glorious citadel!
Petitioners, seeking to curry favour with their omnipotent overlord. Ugh. I had Beryl usher the wretches in, one by one.
Hark, Greta! Say your piece and leave!
Wallace? I have some wonderful news for you!
Oh, great tidings do you bring! I forsaw that my great wisdom and compassion would bear fruit in the near-immortality of my people. And rightly so that the heralds should sing my praises throughout the land.
Heheh, yes, Wallace.
But what is this talk of magical lozenges bearing my visage, being given away as a indulgence to the huddled masses in the royal infirmaries? IS THIS WITCHCRAFT?
What? They're only vitamin pills!
Nonsense! Sergeant-at-arms!, take this wench away and put her in the stocks. I WILL NOT HAVE THIS WITCHCRAFT UNDER MY BANNER.
That is an order, sergeant!
Very well, then. Greta, come with me.
Wal, WAL! there must be some misunderstanding! WALLACE what...
But I heard no more of her meek protestations as she was dragged away to the town square. The next soul was then allowed into my chamber.
Oh, it's you.
So nice to see you too.
So, mistress, I see you have prospered ever since I turned you away from my bed for the last time.
Yes, Wal, but that's been nearly eighty years.
Really? So it has been. So long ago. And yet you still appear as ripe as a peach.
So long ago, yes. You never ask about your daughter.
What daughter? I do not recall. You must be mistaken.
*sigh* Very well then, to the purpose of my visit.
Ohhhh, so you want more handsome wizards in town to consort with. Forsooth! your desires are so unwavering.
Wal I don't know what the hell you're on but I think I'll be off now. You arsehole. GOODBYE!
And with that she stormed off.
Hey I didn't dismiss you ... oh whatever. Beryl, send the last sod in.
The local master of the manufacturing guild shuffled his way in, obviously cowered by the purge of their workshops beyond the town walls.
Eoin, isn't it?
Ian, Ian. I've always despised you. You snivelling little worm. And yet you continue to befoul my chamber with your odious presence. Ugh. Speak now, before I rip out your tongue!
Shit, Wal. Sophia wasn't bloody kid...
But he ceased his flummery as I stared at him.
Waste not your words, make haste!
Ooooohhhh, so you want the sanctions against excessive smoking lifted. You know that before I brought in the edict, you goddamn hammerers kept banging away at your anvils through the night, keeping the whole town awake at night, and worse than that, the stench! The stench of burning coal, of sulphur and flux, of rancid milk and tanned hides, of horseshit and stale piss, of the unwashed urchins whom you force to gather wool from under the looms even as they thunder away in your infernal worksites. I can even smell the stink wafting off your very clothes as we speak. HAVE YOU NO SHAME?
Wal that's hardly fair...
Hardly fair? Is it fair that you and the rest of your guild conspire to turn the jewel of the kingdom into a pestilent sore oozing with pus and bile? Fair that the mercenary wizards that you have recruited to perform the foulest of deeds mistake "newt" for "nut" and end up summoning uncanny creatures from the bowels of Hell that escape into the streets, wandering around looking for chaste lasses to violate with their serpentine appendages? I would wager that your guild is the cause of all the whirlpools in the river. Do you know how bridges I've had to replace because of them?
Dear Ian. Why do I put up with this? I have had people tarred, feathered, drawn and quartered for less. You ask me to give you leeway because your enterprises are essential to the progress of the city. I turn a blind eye to the dark arts that you practice. That is the leeway I give you - much more than that pompous knackwurst who reigns over Achewood would give. Now hush, you gormless fool, for I need to consult with my advisor. Maid Constance! Come with me, we must parley.
Sure thing, Wal.
Give me your honest appraisal. He wants me to rescind the edict prohibiting his dark artisans from blowing smoke up the arse-sphincter of the city.
Well, he has a point. But on the other hand, I do love my sleep, hee-hee.
I see, you unable to give me a profound reason to rebuff him, so I must once again wield the cudgel myself.
I guess. Wal, you have not quite been... yourself, lately?
Oh, with all the woes and demons plaguing me of late, how can a man have peace of mind? Even a man of towering intellect like myself.
You seriously need to take a vacation, man.
Hmm. Perhaps. A royal feast, perhaps! That may brighten my mood. But before that, the burdens of the lord await.
I returned to my throneroom. That worm was still waiting.
Good news, Ian!
Really? You're going to repeal the ordinance!
No, the good news is that I'm not going to stick your head on a pike and posting it next to the High Way as a warning to all snivelling pillocks not to snivel. The edict stays.
Now, Sir Ian of Stinking Armpit-Upon-Whine, leave while you still have legs to convey you away.
Ian left in haste, and Constance appeared next to me.
And then she clocked me right upside the head.
When I came to, I noticed I had been laid up in my bed at the mayoral mansion.
Randall was standing over me.
What year is this?
What the hell happened? Ow, the side of my head is sore?
I think you'll find there's a bruise there.
Right. Umm. What's going on.
Well, let's see, apparently you were carrying on like some feudal lord. It would seem that the power had finally gone to your head.
Uhhh, shit, now I remember. I was carrying on like a total knob, wasn't I? When was this?
Just yesterday. Constance took matters into her own hands when she saw how you were.
Uh, yeah. Damn, she packs a wallop.
She's got a mean left hook, so I've heard.
Right. Uh. Enough jibber-jabber, let's get back to business. Hang on, before I forget, is Greta still in the stocks?
Yeah I ordered her to be restrained in one of the public parks.
Oh, shit. Why?
Well, you know how I was. Mad with the power and all that. Plus she was encouraging pill-popping. Could not be condoned. Had to show discipline.
I'll get right onto that.
I don't know what brought on that episode, but I seemed to be over it - though when I looked in the mirror I did notice a pretty hefty bruise courtesy of Ms Lee.
As always, interesting new buildings kept cropping up in town.
It looked like a big red shed but I bet the mercenary wizards inside were up to something.
The ducats kept rolling in.
So I decided to splash out on something to gird the harbour.
It seemed like a good idea to look Penis Peninsula up to the nose, so that if the residents of Snottingham needed to travel to Balzac and beyond they wouldn't have to go through the middle of the city.
Very pretty. A nice place for a suicide, almost.
The Nose itself, after years of geological contortions, seemed stable enough that we could run a road up the side and plonk down a lookout on top. On clear day you could see as far as Buttsville.
And with a good pair of binoculars you could see the hopeless men and women of the city off themselves off the bridge in spectacular fashion.
Pity there wasn't an ordinance for city-funded Therapy and Counselling Services.
I'd certainly use them.
But you know, people just lived so damned long around this place that some people had to take matters into their own hands.
The prospect of nuclear apocalypse not thrilling enough to live for?
Whatever. It was all good. At least for the living.
Overhead View of Funkytown (fig. 3731a)
This didn't really look much like a pyramid, but you know those crazy German architects.
Thingo Ridge or whatever I'd decided to call that part of the world was looking good now the houses had been built and people had moved in.
The now increasingly misleadingly named Factory district gleamed with power and decadence.
But still more to do - the last of the inner-city workshops were levelled...
... making room for more Temples Of Mammon.
And more Temples of Mammon meant more CA$$$H to spend on hookers, unicorns and crystal skulls.
More and more people lived in opulent surroundings worthy of kings.
Yes, very swanky.
Dirty filthy money. I like rub it all over myself. Oooh yeah.
And, I'm ashamed to say it, but I could even share the wealth around and not feel like I was turning into a Trot.
Funkytown Über Alles. Except we'd be nice about it.