"If you would like to have the last word at a discussion, you
could try 'You could be right there'"
Funny Funny World
THE SECOND PART OF IT
by Bryan H. Joyce
Every idiot, on the Burlington Citizen Band radio circuit who
enjoyed annoying other users, started calling using croaky voices
and calling themselves the Jawman. Philip King was one of them.
He wasn't totally stupid, he never gave anything away. Just
behaved like dozens of other nondescript 'muppets'.
"I'm gonnie get you!" says croaky deep put-on radio voice.
"Who's that? Come in on the side," says nice lovable respectable
Citizen Band radio user.
"The Jawman," croaked deep put-on radio voice.
"Not another one! Go and do a ten-two thousand on yerself pal,"
says nice lovable respectable Citizen Band radio user.
"Okay. I'll do it right now."
Followed by lots of deep breathing, gasping, breaking wind,
swearing and - perhaps - the occasional burst of someone blowing
down a straw into a cup of water. Nice lovable respectable
Citizen Band radio user turns off in disgust. Jawman, number
hundred and one, laughs and goes off to find someone else to
Shortly after the third murder, Philip decided to catch up on
his meditation. It took him a while to relax properly for he was
well out of practice. He had stopped meditating because he had
been feeling too ill to concentrate properly since the first
murder. Although he was eating no more than usual, he appeared to
be putting on weight. Maybe it was the drink?
I slipped into his vision without any difficulty. The way he was
going, he wouldn't get caught murdering anyone for a long time.
My first priority was to delay the next murder for as long as
possible. The day after that last murder, I adjusted his memories
of the event so that he thought he had been seen in the act.
"We got that one real good," he said from his meditation.
"Yeah, I know. I was watching," I said.
"Don't be modest. You helped guide my hands. I was shaking too
much. I couldn't have done that one my self."
"Well, perhaps I helped a bit," I lied.
"Serves him right for being a homo," he sniggered.
"How could you tell? He seemed okay to me."
"It was obvious. His clothes were too tight and he was too good
looking. Most homos are macho and good looking. Thought everyone
knew that? How about, we get a black dude next time? Just to
prove we're not racist?"
"Sounds good to me, but I think we should wait a while."
"I think someone saw us."
"Yeah, I thought that to. It was weird that one. Almost as if it
was a dream? Someone watching from behind a tree or a bush or
something? Can't think why I didn't do anything about it at the
"Perhaps we should give ourselves up?"
"Na, we need to get lots more first. But you're right. Let's
play it safe and give it a rest for a few months. Maybe even a
year. That way it'll have much more impact. They'll think the
Jawman has gone. It'll be so great! We could wait at least six
months and then send a deliberately misleading letter to the
papers telling them that we've moved to another town. We could
even give a date and time for the next one."
"And the best bit is, if we do the letter properly, they will
think its a hoax and do nothing. Imagine their faces when a black
dude turns up in Burlington with its jaw missing," he started to
laugh again, "I can't wait. Let's do it this weekend."
"NO..." I panicked, "...up until now the only clue was the fact
that they got done on a weekend. Even the times were different.
They think we used a scalpel. The idiots are looking for a
medical student. If that witness goes to the cops we're sunk!"
"It was too dark for them to see us. Anyway, it will be in the
papers if he goes to the cops," he said uncertain.
"Don't bank on it. If he described us, the beat cops'll pull us
in the next time we're out at night on a weekend. It's routine.
They won't be able to finger us, but we'll be in deep dodo when
they find the knife."
"I always change the blade. There's no traces on it. In fact,
this time I travelled to Glasgow and bought a whole new knife."
"I know. I was with you Mr Jawman," I mocked him. He didn't
"If we're caught out at night with the knife, I'll say that its
for my own protection. Say that I'm scared of the Jawman getting
I didn't admit it to him, but he was right. Without a
description of the murderer, that story might work. Half the good
citizens of Burlington were probably carrying something when they
went out at night.
"I still think we should wait a while before the next one."
"Oh, all right. We'll wait at least six months," he reluctantly
Two weeks went by and his parents told him that they would be
spending the weekend at the caravan. Philip began to think about
breaking his promise.
"Could you make some of that lovely soup whilst we're away? The
heating in the caravan is still okay at this time of year, but
the car is freezing. A good bowl of hot soup would go down a
treat on Sunday night," said Philip's Mother.
"Sure Mom," said the loving son.
"Probably be the last trip to the caravan this year. The weather
is getting far too cold. The snow will be here soon."
Later, when his parents had gone, Philip laid his 'collection'
out on his bed. There was little chance of it being discovered
for it was hidden under a screwed down floor board in his
bedroom. There was a red skirt, a ripped white shirt and a denim
jacket. All were washed and ironed. His favourite was the red
skirt. Sometimes he wore it and looked at himself in the mirror.
The last time that he did that, he tied the polished jawbones
together with a length of silver plated chain and wore them about
his neck. He looked at his reflection in the mirror and felt sad.
The sight of the makeshift necklace and the skirt beside his
large belly looked pathetic. I think he knew it. Now there's a
thought? Why was his stomach so swollen when he was not eating
and drinking any more than usual? I didn't think he would wear
the jawbones again.
That night - as he looked at his 'collection' - he laid the
jawbones on top of the red skirt. He was careful to lay them down
in the correct manner for he had noticed the similarity between
them and horseshoes. If a horseshoe was stored with its U shape
pointing down then the owner would have bad luck. Perhaps it was
the same with jawbones? Maybe they had to be stored the correct
way up in order to gather the luck?
It was whilst gazing at his 'collection' that he decided that he
would deliberately break his promise to me. After all - he
reasoned - who but a madman would keep a promise made to a
At around ten that night, he put his 'collection' back in its
hiding place and screwed the board down. Then, he took his knife
and a screwdriver, put on a thick coat and went for a walk. I
didn't know it then, but matters had been taken out of my hands
again. This time the horrible events, which were about to unfold,
were to bring good luck. This luck wasn't for Philip. Neither was
it for me. This luck was for the good (and bad) folk of
Burlington. The Jawman's horseshoe luck had finally run out.
Unknown to me at that time, two days previously some of the nice
lovable respectable Citizen Band radio users of Burlington had
taken matters into their own hands. They were tired of this
outbreak of 'Jawmen' who were spoiling their hobby and decided to
do something about it.
Brian, Ronnie, Kev, Stevie and Jimmy - alias the Slob, Werewolf,
Bandit, Kingfisher and Sonny Jim - were cruising in Ronnie's old
van which they had christened the 'Blues Mobile' after the car in
the film. They were all slightly drunk otherwise the idea that
Ronnie was about to have would not have been considered. They
were earwigging the C.B channels when they recognised the voice
of a 'Jawman' who was being particularly disgusting to Golden
Girl. This Jawman was in fact Reggie Stone, also known as Lager
When Lager Man had finished hassling Golden Girl, Ronnie went
down to the breaking channel and shouted for Lager Man.
"You got me Ronnie," he answered almost immediately in his
"Me and the guys are cruisin'. Got some beer. The Bandits here
too. He knows where you stay. Fancy an eyeball?"
"Ten-Four on that one. See ya soon Werewolf.
Before they picked Reggie up, they formed a plan to scare the
living daylights out of him. They would take him up to the
ordinance survey triangulation point by the water tower on the
edge of town. Beside the concrete triangulation marker was a
large rough stone set in the frozen mud. According to Stevie, it
had a three foot tall metal fence around it and a small plaque
declaring it to be a Roman altar. What it had been used for none
of the five knew, but it had a worn groove on top which looked as
if it might have been used to sacrifice animals or people on. Did
the Romans go in for that sort of thing? None of the five knew,
in fact Stevie wasn't even sure that it was a Roman altar. It was
more probably Celtic. They would have to read the plaque to
The plan was simple. They would hold a kangaroo court and
declare Reggie to be the real Jawman and sentence him to death by
decapitation. Ronnie was a marshal arts nut who kept an imitation
samurai sword in the back of the van. He would show Reggie the
sword. The other four would hold him face down over the alter.
They would have a pretend argument in which they would decide to
let Reggie go. Then Ronnie would slap the back of Reggie's neck
hard with a plastic ruler which was wet with engine oil. They
would all laugh like mad and take Reggie to the nearest pub to
help him get over his ordeal.
In practice, the warped plan worked pretty well as planned.
Reggie peed himself with fright and then blackened Ronnie's eye.
The rest of them found this hilarious and laughed themselves
silly. Reggie didn't go to the pub with them. He had to go home
and change his trousers. I, of course, didn't find out about all
this until much later.
Tonight was Philip's turn.
They spotted him as he crossed the main road. On the spur of the
moment, they decided that he would be the victim of tonight's
court. Brian wasn't too happy about this, but he agreed to go
along with it anyway.
"Eyeball the Nowhere Man," shouted Brian.
"Back at ya Slob," replied Phil.
The van drew up along side him. The white noise from the C.B
radio was uncomfortably loud.
"Where you off to?" asked Brian. He was riding in the shotgun
seat. Stevie was squeezed between Ronnie and Brian. The other two
were in the back.
"Need cigarettes," he said.
"Hop in," said Ronnie, "We'll give you a lift."
"'Kay," he opened the side door and got in, "What happened to
"It's a long story," he smiled.
"Beer?" asked Jimmy with a belch.
"Ta," he took the offered beer and the battered old van, known
as the Blues Mobile, started off.
"So what's going down, good buddies?" he said and took a long
slug from the can.
"Just cruisin' and breaking the airwaves," so saying, Stevie
turned the Midland 40 channeler off. The silence was deafening.
"Done any good wind ups lately?" said Kev, miming winding a
"Na!" He shook his head.
"Rubbish! I heard you last night noising up Silver Lady with
your Jawman voice," said Kev.
"Wasn't me," he lied.
"Sure it was."
"Let's have a vote on it," said Ronnie, "Brian?"
"It was him," said Brian.
"Traitor," said Phil.
"Yes," Brian smirked.
"Stevie?" said Ronnie.
"Ronnie?" said Ronnie pointing to himself. "It was him," he
answered in a Jawman voice, "He did it," then in his own voice,
"What's your vote?"
"It was me," Phil said in a Jawman voice.
"The aye's have it," said Ronnie.
"You rotten swine. Talking dirty to that nice old lady," said
"That 'nice old lady' isn't yet forty and is one of the biggest
bucketmouths on the airwaves!"
"Doesn't mean you've got to bucketmouth," said Jimmy.
"Ah, shut up. You've done it before! You've all done it at one
time or another," he complained and added, "There's the garage.
Let me out here."
"You won't need your cigarettes," said Ronnie as the van sped by
the well lit garage store. "We've got something to show you."
"You ever seen the Roman sacrificial altar near the water
tower," said Kev.
"Yeah. It's crap!"
"You're going to be looking at it real close. Real soon. Cause
we don't like mike keyers who call themselves the Jawman.
Especially, ones that really are the Jawman! You're going to get
a taste of your own medicine and no one but us will ever know!"
"Look on the bright side Kev, if anyone ever finds out that we
done the Jawman in, we'll probably get a bloody medal!" said
"Two medals," said Brian.
"Three medals," said Stevie.
"We'll be heroes!" said Ronnie.
This was the same lines that they had used on Reggie a few
nights before. He hadn't been worried at that point, but Philip
went pale and struggled to control a sudden surge of panic that
threatened to engulf him.
"You're NUTS!" he said.
"Yes..." said Kev, "...and we're going to NUT you!" He grinned
insanely and they all did Jawman laughs and moans.
Just then, the van stopped near the field where the altar was.
They all got out. Kev gripped one of Philip's arms. Jimmy held
the other. Philip was distantly reminded of the only time he had
been arrested. He was 14 years old at the time. Brian and himself
had taken a short cut through the partially built shopping centre
extension and had ran into some cops. They had been lifted for
trespassing. "Don't worry..." Brian whispered to Philip in the
back of the paddy wagon, "...in Scotland you can't be prosecuted
for trespass. They'll question us and then let us go." Brian had
Ronnie and Kev told Philip about their evidence that proved he
was the Jawman. It was, of course, made up on the spur of the
moment. Philip wasn't listening. He was in shock. He really
believed that he'd been found out.
Four of them took him over to the altar. The fence was broken
and the frozen mud cracked and flowed beneath their boots. Ronnie
got the sword from the van and showed it to Philip. Like the rest
of them, he mistook Phil's apparent calmness as willingness to
humour the game. Phil obviously didn't believe them and was
playing along. Maybe Reggie Stone had talked? It was time to
spice things up a bit.
"Time to die Nowhere Man. Ever had your head cut off before?"
Philip said nothing.
"Didn't think so. Right lads, hold him down."
They pulled him down, two guys on each arm, till the soft flesh
of his throat rubbed against the cold grainy stone. Ronnie rested
the blunt edge of the sword against the back of Phil's neck.
Reggie Stone had been struggling and shouting by this point.
"Cold steel. Eh?" said Ronnie.
"Is there any last words?" said Kev.
"Victor Torus made me do it," he said calmly.
"No I didn't!" I said, but no one heard.
"Who the hell's Victor Torus?" said Kev.
"The Man In The White Boiler Suit," he said softly.
They had all heard of that character. Philip's writing was
something he bored all the other C.B radio users to death with.
He sometimes called himself The Man In The White Boiler Suit on
the C.B. They all laughed.
"Maybe we got the wrong guy? What do you think guys?" said
"I think I'm freezing my butt off!" said Brian.
"Hold on a minute 'till I think." Ronnie quietly pushed the tip
of the sword into the ground and left it sticking there. He went
back to the van and got the plastic ruler. Previously, he'd
covered the ruler with some oil simply because there was nothing
else to hand that would help to make the necessary wet smack as
the ruler struck the back of Reggie's neck. Tonight's events had
been more contrived. He had brought a bottle of tomato ketchup.
"It's amazing," thought Ronnie, "how much ketchup you can get on
a ruler!" He went back to the cold group gathered at the alter.
"I've decided to do it,"
He bent down to Philip's right ear and had another go at scaring
"I've heard that decapitation is painless and instant. However,
I think that it might take two or three seconds before you die.
Just in case I'm right, close your eyes cause if your head turns
over as it falls you might end up looking down your own neck.
Nasty! You wouldn't want to see that. You might get blood in your
"Gross!" said Kev.
"Yuk!" said the rest of them.
Ronnie carefully raised the ruler behind Philip's head.
"DIE!" he shouted.
Philip was paralysed with fear. His bowels loosened. Adrenaline
spurted into blood vessels. Brain endorphines surged through
synapses. Something in his stomach moved and headed for his
Ronnie flipped the ruler up, turned it over and brought it down.
Inertia from the pushing ruler kept the tomato ketchup from
falling to the ground. The wet plastic struck his neck
They let his arms go and he fell to the mud clutching his
stomach. The thing in there writhed. I shared the pain. It felt
like dying and being reborn at the same time. It was the
endorphines. Their heroin-like effect was splitting our mind.
Driving us apart! The mind's own drug combined with the terror to
do something which in retrospect - like so many other things in
my life - should have been impossible. I was being expelled from
the host. I was no longer part of Philip King. Yet a supernatural
link remained. I could still see through his eyes. Feel his pain.
And that pain was truly obscene. It was so pure, it was
The thing flowed up Philip's throat, out of his mouth and into
the cold liquid mud. It was over a meter long. Its thin pale warm
wet body steamed in the cold night air. It writhed in torment
with us. Its coiling body struck Philip in the face. He screamed
by himself and begun to choke on the following vomit. Is this how
it ends? The same way it begun? Has my un-natural life went full
The rest of them had been watching in stunned silence. The
wriggling thing rolled in the mud and moved closer to Brian. He
flinched. For a second, I thought that he might run - I thought
they all would. Brian picked up a heavy rock and held it up high.
The eel-like thing paused in its terror. One end turned like a
head towards Brian. There was no face. No eyes. No mouth. If it
could have talked, I somehow knew it would have pleaded for help.
What was it? What was going on? And then I knew. Brian started to
bring the rock down on the thing's head...
"NO! IT'S ME!" I screamed. Everyone heard. Things went black.
The pain stopped. I was dead.
* * *
At that point, the ghost of Victor Torus started to cry. The
ghostly tears flowed like water. I guess he had a lot of crying
to do. Since it hadn't been my conversation to begin with, I felt
I had outstayed my welcome. I slipped away to my rooms and went
Next day, I was surprised to find Victor still in the Tavern.
The ghost seemed in good spirits (groan).
"Hello Victor," I said.
"Hi, my dearest Tony," he said enthusiastically. He hugged me
and gave a smacker on the cheek.
"You can touch me?"
"Yeah, Richard kept his word. Great isn't it?"
"It's brilliant Victor," I smiled. And it was.
"Don't call me Victor. From now on call me Sheila. Sheila
Stevens. That's the name I've picked for myself. I was never
Victor Torus. He was always just a character from one of Philip
"But that's a girl's name?" Where had I heard that name Before?
"But, I am female! Well sort of! My kind are hermaphrodites.
I've spent years analyzing my personality type. I'm definitely
female. What you see here is a projection of what Philip King
imagined me to look like. When Brian killed me, I had no self-
image other than the one Philip had given me. Shortly after my
death I realised that I was female, but didn't know how to change
"But you still look like Victor Torus?" I said.
"Self-image is an unconscious act. Richard has shown me how to
change it, but it will take a few weeks to happen. I can't do it
consciously, just use Richard's techniques to allow my
subconscious mind to reshape my physical form."
"What's your real self-image like?"
"I don't know. Can you describe yours? I'm sure it's female and
I still feel young. Maybe I'm wrong. Would it matter if the
Tavern is haunted by an ugly old woman?"
"Thought you were haunting Brian Jones?"
"I can haunt who I want to now. Until I came here, he was the
only person who could see me. That was the only reason I stayed
with him. Death is monotonous when you've only one person to talk
to. Now I can make anyone see me and I can touch them. If I can
concentrate hard enough, I can be solid for short periods of
Victor Torus was what a woman would call good looking and a
polite guy would call effeminate. Wonder what Sheila Stevens
would look like? Imagine being haunted by the ghost of a
beautiful young woman! A woman who would always look young! A
ghost who could solidify so that you could touch her. Would sex
"Watch it buster! I heard that thought!" said Sheila sternly.
"Sorry?" I mumbled and felt my face go red. It was the psionic
device's fault. I had let a thought or two slip out. Alburt
Greshin had warned me about that possibility ages ago. I thought
the field off and Sheila faded away. I thought it on again and
the ghost popped back.
"Thought you didn't need the device any more," I asked.
"I don't, but its quite difficult to make myself visible. I'm
using that thing until I get some practice in. Could you leave it
"Sure. If you can fill out the rest of your story for me. I
missed the end. You were very upset. I felt I was intruding."
"You were." He - she, I corrected myself - fluttered her
eyelashes and smiled. I felt very uncomfortable. Now that I
thought about it, Sheila's chest was rather protruding for what
I'd taken to be a man's body. In fact, when you realised that the
person inside the body was female, the body didn't look at all
masculine. The face I'd taken as effeminate was kind of nice.
"Why, thank you Tony!"
The device had done it again!
I changed the subject.
"What happened after you died?"
"Oh, there's nothing much left to tell. The shock of separation
was too much for Philip. His mind was destroyed. He became a
vegetable and was put in a special hospital. Nobody ever
discovered his 'collection' hidden under the floorboards of his
room. It must still be there. Brian and the others were the only
ones to get into trouble. They got their pictures in the local
newspaper with 'PRANK GOES WRONG' headline. That was when Brian
first grew a beard. He didn't need glasses then, but he started
to wear shades. It was a disguise."
"One thing still puzzles me?" I said, "If all this happened over
ten years ago, why does Brian still look twenty years old?"
"Just the worry. He went through hell after Philip's mind was
destroyed. My appearance couldn't have helped much. If you ever
see someone who looks ten years younger than they should, that
person has either suffered or has just always been a miserable
sod. Perhaps that's Gods way of compensating."
"I know what you mean. Do go on."
"I hung about in a sort of limbo for a few weeks. I gradually
realised that I was still existing and took on the form of Victor
Torus. I wandered about Burlington for a few days, before it
occurred to me to look for someone I knew. I was surprised when
Brian Jones could see me. No one else could. I scared him pretty
bad at first. When he calmed down enough to talk to me, he told
me what a ghost was. I told him my story much as I told it last
night, though I left the bit out about the soup."
"That was kind," I said.
"In fact, my story is kinda the reason we returned here. Brian
wanted to tell it to you to make up for 'borrowing' those bits
from your journal."
"Stealing," I corrected.
"Whatever. Anyway, he chickened out, but you still got your
tale. I've probably told it better than Brian ever could. He left
early this morning for his own time. He left this!"
Sheila lent down underneath a nearby table and pulled out a half
gallon pickle jar. She put it on the bar.
"What is it?" I asked picking it up.
"A pickle jar full of alcohol," she said.
"I mean what's the thing inside it? You ninny!"
"Part of a rolled up fire hose?"
"Don't be silly!"
The thing moved suddenly. I dropped the jar with a yell. It was
made of plastic and didn't break. Sheila laughed.
"Don't worry, it's dead alright. I reached out with my mind and
gave it a twitch just then."
"What on Earth is it?" I picked the jar up again.
"It's my body. Didn't you hear the end of the tale?"
"No. I told you, I sneaked away near the end," I said.
"Sorry. So you did!"
And that was when Sheila Stevens finally told me what was in the
I put it on the shelf at the back of the bar next to Richard
Thrum's mirrored head. When I'd put it there, months ago, I'd
hoped Richard's head would have been an ice breaker for
customers. It hadn't been. Most people thought it was an ornament
and ignored it.
There was no way they could ignore the contents of that jar.
Even although the head was bashed in, maybe a medical man would
recognise the contents. I doubt that anyone else would recognise
a 'pork' tapeworm when they saw one.
This version for ST NEWS feb/1993
(c) Bryan H. Joyce
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.