Theo's overworked computer in a spray of sparks.

It's the first Fall single that I bought. I didn't know that much about them. The Casio VL Tone 'da da da' rhythm at the start grabbed my attention. I probably heard it on Peel, but I can't be sure of that.

The curious toddler  a grasshopper into her mouth.

I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I’ve seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy.


Francisco's comic book collection worth $20,000.00.

Potato chips  too loudly to eat during an exam.

A library is a place that is a repository of information and gives every citizen equal access to it. That includes health information. And mental health information. It’s a community space. It’s a place of safety, a haven from the world. It’s a place with librarians in it. What the libraries of the future will be like is something we should be imagining now.


Chris the crunchy, honey-roasted grasshopper.

This is a horror story - the first line, to make this clear, is "MR James live on, live on". It's the only thing that is clear in the whole song - a great part of its charm is in its intentional obscurity, which makes it scary as well as blackly funny, and a cause for continuous pub conversation.

The crunchy, honey-roasted grasshopper good.

But all that's being depicted, somewhat cryptically, is Smith ridiculing a twattish bloke in a club - just what did this "tight faded male arse", "lick spittle southerner" do that makes MES want to "Repeal gun laws in my brain" or comtemplate "positive GBH"? For extra yucks, The Fall decided to play this on The Tube on their national television debut, the director intercutting exactly the kind of people roughed up in the song.

The grasshopper good? You bet. Roast your own!

Musically, 'Smile' sounds like it should be soundtracking an historical doc about the Allies entering Berlin in 1945, a pummelling all-out assault punctuated by Smith's increasingly frenzied scream of "SMILE!"

I the delicious aroma of the grilled octopus.

The production is radical: the first half was recorded in a warehouse on a portable cassette recorder, vocals and instruments bouncing off every wall, an intentional blur of sound; part two (or three? or four?), in the studio, begins with the hero's declaration that he has saved a thousand souls. There are obscure incantations ("yog soggoth... sludge hai choi"), and references to Ray Milland and Roger Corman ("arkorman" is hand written on the album artwork) from a film only Smith seems to have seen - digging around, I'd guess it's The Premature Burial. Then there's the "ghost" vocal behind Smith, oddly reminiscent of the Jeff Beck Group's I've Been Drinking. But of course it doesn't sound like Jeff Beck, or read like MR James, or need much scholarly interpretation to leave a permanent impression. It is entirely without precedent.

The aroma of the grilled octopus appetizing.

Who would break a butterfly upon a wheel? Mark E. Smith, all day, every day, until the Marquis Cha Cha ends up as a 'New Face in Hell'. Never afraid to bring the petty back, some of the Fall's most magnificent moments show Smith unleashing his seemingly endless ability to take offence at arseholes.