The Ian Gibson column: sonnez les matins

Ian's local bell ringers are driving him slightly mad... learn the words, guys!

…Except I wish they wouldn’t! It’s a beautiful Sunday morning in early July, apart from the power cut which just destroyed all that I’d written! But the sun is still shining, a gentle breeze is wafting in through the open window and so is the cacophony from the local church.

It would seem that the local breed of bell ringer has never heard the quaint lyric of Frere Jaques, where the bells go: “Din Dan Don”. Here they go anything but! Dan don din is the closest they come. And that barely lasts a half dozen repetitions before it collapses into chaos. Campanologists are thin on the ground in this quaint little town. In fact all it does seem to have is Burton buried up on the West Hill and yours truly, the local ‘legend’. Though, personally, I feel more like an urban myth!

But an urban myth would suggest some form of strange, barely believable weirdness like characters from my stories invading this ‘reality’. And I can’t imagine the likes of Judge Dredd emerging from a crowd of locals to say:”Drokk it!” or even “I am the Law!” Though I have heard some bell ringers who need locking up! And the likelihood of meeting a dumb tin frog or a talking cigar, let alone an old man who shoots robots, seems even more remote.

Now, this is putting aside the fact that I have in the past encountered versions of Halo Jones a couple of times. But neither one had a robo-guard dog with her. Nor did they claim to have actually left the planet, though one was a little… ‘spaced out’!

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I met that one on Plymouth Ho, while I was being some form of entertainment in the Lord Mayor’s show, doing sketches for the uninterested locals. She emerged from the gathering gloom to smile coyly and ask if I wanted her to model for me. Sadly it was ’87 and Halo had finished her adventures by then, and I was busy with Judge Dredd and an assortment of caped superheroes. Last I heard – she’s gone to be a tour guide for wealthy white folk up the Zambezi, or someplace similar. Very Halo in character as well as looks!

More recently, in fact just a couple of weeks back, I met another incarnation of Halo on Myspace. A very pretty lady who has actually taken the name for her web identity.

Not a ‘Halo lookalike’ as the first one was. But worth a visit if you have an hour or so to spare to watch the video she has posted of ‘9/11’. Conspiracy theorists will love it!

Or will it eventually be considered a pan-global urban myth? Who knows?

Maybe Dr. Brunhaur, if that’s how you want to spell his name..?

An expert on myths; mythic and urbane. The stories that is!

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I was quite amused to encounter the real life version and learn how close I had unknowingly got to a fair likeness of him. His only complaint was that Alan had spelled his name wrong. 😉

It’s: “Din Dan Don”, guys! Pay attention!!!

Ian Gibson writes regularly for Den of Geek; read his last column here.