Monday, 5 January 2009

Flying monkey business

Fellow grendler of random anorak-wearers No Good Boyo has recounted an incident in which he dealt with a green-inker who had a thing about vampires. Apparently.

The same file of correspondence also yielded a complaint about something we had published about Sri Lanka. "Please to correct this article!" the person of injured pride had written "If you check the holy book of Ramayana you will see that Tamil was in Sri Lanka before Sinhala!" Or perhaps the other way round.

The shambling, haunted-looking colleague of ours whose daily task - mandated presumably by a community service order - it is to plough through the assembled lunacy of the interweb-viewing public around the world passed it over to me, asking how on earth he should reply. Now I may not know a lot about Sri Lanka, but I do know the Ramayana, having spent a lot of time studying performing arts in parts of Southeast Asia where the Ramayana and Mahabharata form the bedrock of all dramaturgy. I reassured him he could leave the problem safely with me, and drafted the following:

"Dear Sir,
We have indeed checked the 'holy book of Ramayana', and come to the inescapable conclusion that the correct order of arrival for ethnic groups in Sri Lanka was as follows:
1) Ten-headed demons, some of whom were capable of flight and self-transformation;
2) Talking monkeys, at least one of whom was also capable of flight;
3) A couple of guys from Uttar Pradesh, who then went home again.
We shall correct our article forthwith to reflect these important findings.
Best wishes,
&c &c"

He never sent it.


No Good Boyo said...

Flying monkeys, you say? Was this Ramayarna also the basis for The Wizard of Oz?

scarlet-blue said...

Yes, everybody knows that the tin man comes along after the ten headed demons.
Would you like a chocolate digestive?

M C Ward said...

When I was at University I knew a ginger-haired lad from Stoke who used to wear tracksuit trousers and brogues everywhere, and would always leave the pub early to go home and watch Mahabharata on TV.

Gyppo Byard said...

Boyo - arguably. There's probably a PhD in comparative literature in that...

Scarlet - yes please. And happy new year.

MC - That's just weird. Trackies with brogues? What the hell was he thinking, semiotically speaking?

No Good Boyo said...

Stoke, tracksuit trousers, brogues - sounds like the sort of disguise a flying monkey might affect.

Suddenly it all begins to make sense, doesn't it?

Gyppo Byard said...

Boyo - if there were flying monkeys in the Mahabharata you would have a point. Although given that the Mahabharata is supposed to be a subsequent period, maybe he was finding out what happened next. I suggest you develop this thesis to present at a forthcoming seminar in SOAS bar, to be entitled "Hanuman was a ginga from Stoke. Fact, that is."

Gadjo Dilo said...

Ha! Please oh please oh please come over here and settle for once and for all the who-was-here-first Romanians or Hungarians dilemma, then we can start being to one another.