A rogues' gallery of mountebanks, charlatans and scoundrels
Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay
Saturday, 9 April 2011
Aintree - beware of headcrab zombies!
Grand National day - the thud of hooves on turf, the clatter of jumps, the excitement of the finish and, of course, hats.
Though they do seem to have shrunk rather in recent years; regardless of the quantities of bubbly sunk by Liverpool's lasses, there'll be a fair few sore heads tomorow after a day in the blazing sun protected by nothing more that a few feathers and a bit of netting.
I'm told it's all because of Kate Middleton - you just can't get away from the woman! Largely thanks to her predilection for the things, a whole industry has sprung up selling and even renting out what my milliner grandmother would have called 'scraps' for exorbitant prices.
Meanwhile they are, according to the Artful Dodger, causing much amusement in the geek world. You see - forgive me if I get this wrong but I'm off my home turf here - there was once a computer game called Half-life which featured a multi-legged menace to society known as the headcrab.
'A headcrab's primary goal is to attach to the head of a suitable host using its mouth [...] incorporating parts of its biological workings with the motor cortex of the host's nervous system. The victim is thus taken over by the headcrab and mutated into a mindless zombie-like being known as a headcrab zombie.' [Wikipedia]
Half-life in its turn spawned a so-bad-it's-good fan-fiction which has become an internet cult.
Now, thanks to the Dodger, the phrase 'headcrab zombie' has passed into family parlance at the Tavern to denote a mindless fashion victim, particularly one sporting a fascinator.
Macheath, the notorious highwayman, has retired from a life of crime and can now be found behind the bar of Peachum's Tavern, favourite haunt of the rakes, rogues and vagabonds of 18th century Newgate and setting of 'The Beggars' Opera'. Visitors are always welcome; help yourself to a virtual tankard of ale and read on...