Tag Archives: spoonwalker

Spoonwalker Blues

Pinned up behind the bar of the Squid and Teapot is a yellowing scrap of paper upon which are the written a few verses of a song. There would be nothing remarkable about this other than the fact that the lyrics are specifically about Spoonwalkers. That in itself is, as far as I am aware, almost unique (you may recall that, although he had no idea of their identity, W.S. Gilbert referred to them in his song ‘Why is the cutlery moving?’).

What makes these verses especially interesting, however, is not the subject matter but just three letters and a date written carelessly at the bottom of the sheet: RLJ 1936.

Looking through the guest-book of The Squid and Teapot (which is not a particularly time-consuming activity) it seems that no one with those initials appears to have stayed at the inn during the year in question. One entry that does stand out, however, is that of ‘J Shines and friend’.

Could ‘J. Shines’ be Johnny Shines, a musician and travelling companion of the blues singer, Robert Leroy Johnson? Although usually associated with the southern states of America, it is well documented that Johnson and Shines performed as far north as New York, Chicago and even Canada. Excitingly, if ‘RLJ’ is  Robert Johnson it is proof that he came to Hopeless in the last couple of years of his short life. Sadly, however, the why and how of his visit may never be known but it would be safe to assume that the two men would have shared a room to save money.

Now for a leap of faith; if Johnson was on the island could it not be that his famous ‘Crossroads’ was actually penned here on Hopeless? There is a school of thought that the blues singer sold his soul to the devil on a crossroads in Mississippi – but Hopeless is a far better candidate for diabolic dealings, surely. if Johnson was here in 1936 and stood on the crossroads that lead to the caverns just as the sun was setting, who knows what he might have experienced? There are demonic forms enough on this island to make him think that the devil was after him. All this is speculation of course; the blues song pinned up behind the bar may be nothing to do with Robert Johnson at all. What do you think?

 

Spoonwalker Blues

 

Woke up this mornin’

Got them Spoonwalkers on my mind.

Woke up this mornin’ baby,

Had them Spoonwalkers on my mind.

They been in my kitchen

Takin’ all that they can find.

 

Soup and puddin’s off the menu.

Stir my coffee with my thumb.

Soup and puddin’s off the menu.

I’m stirring coffee with my thumb.

Since them Spoonwalkers been here

I been living like a bum.

 

Got no eggs for breakfast,

Got no butter on my bread.

No, I got no eggs for breakfast,

Got no butter on my bread.

How I hate them ol’ Spoonwalkers

And now they gotten in my head.

 

So I went down to the doctor

He say “Get some walkin’ shoes.”

Yeah, I went down to the doctor,

Told me “Get some walkin’ shoes.”

He say “Walk away from Hopeless, boy,

You gotta lose them Spoonwalker blues.”

 

RLJ  1936

Art by Tom Brown

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Do spoonwalkers write poetry?

It washed up in a bottle on the beach here at ‘Morrigan’s Bay’ and was not easy to decipher, being sloppily scrawled with many ink blots. Reminiscent of Vogon Poetry, it alludes to both Hopkins and Leer in a most amateur and offensive way, showing little grasp of the works it clumsily references. It is almost as if some spoon obsessed creature with tentacles has stumbled across the tatters of a beach-washed poetry book and this is its sad attempt at mimicry. I am not sure whether to feel pity or repulsion…

The Runcible’s Lament

The Demitasse and Bouillon set to sea

In a vessel of pea green glass

The runcilble sighed to be left behind

And he called it a terrible farce

No ducks here to sieve,

To quinces to give

Only caviar, soup, and tea

And many strange

ephemera of spoons

With holes in for company

He sighed at his own

Pied beauty alone

Reflected grotesque

In his bowl

And prayed for the end

That fate would soon send

Some demon to feast on his soul.

 

 

Words by Lou Pulford

Art by Tom Brown

The Hopeless, Maine arts and crafts movement.

This is a rather grand title for a thing that we are doing. We are combining the philosophy of Wombles ( “Making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folk leave behind”) and a cottage industry/arts and crafts movement. It began because we are having a week-long exhibition as part of the upcoming Stroud Book Festival. We thought it would be much more interesting to create a Hopeless, Maine environment than just to have pictures framed and stuck on a wall. (There will be those too, but the things we have done to the frames make them the sort of thing you might actually find on the island in a home) All of the best things we have made so far (I think) have been things that Nimue and I passed back and forth, so it’s great fun to find a new sort of collaborating for us too. In the photo above, there is a thing that we are still not certain is a bowl or a pet, though we expect it needs regular feeding in either case.

We’ll be talking more about all of this closer to the event, and as we Womble further.

Hoping (as always) this finds you well, inspired and thriving.

A Mystery Solved

(by Frampton Jones)

Cutlery thief exposed

Ladies and Gentlemen of Hopeless, I present to you photographic proof of the existence of spoonwalkers. A recent explosion in their population no doubt accounts for the unusual number of missing spoons our island has suffered of late. Spoonwalkers are shy creatures, tending to be active at night. At this time, their glowing eyes are the most notable feature, should you happen to encounter one. As you will notice from the image I captured, spoonwalkers have no discernable feet, and when deprived of aids, find mobility difficult. I assume that the wild entities they descended from employed wood and other natural debris as a mode of transport, while descendants have moved into homes and adopted cutlery as a preferred source of material. These borrowed leg extensions enable them to take longer strides and move at remarkable speed. It also explains why spoons and sometimes forks will turn up in the most unexpected places, abandoned perhaps when the borrower no longer has need of them.

 It is my great pleasure to lay this mystery to rest, thanks to that most remarkable of modern innovations, the camera. Given time, science will provide answers to all such mysteries.