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Herewith a selection of quotes from chapter 5 of The Toyminator by Robert Rankin, wherein Jack takes his dolly girlfriend to Old King Cole’s jazz club.

Old King Cole’s jazz club was grand. It was stylish. It was magnificent. This was no gaudy piece of flash, this was old money spent well, the work of master builders.

It had been constructed to resemble a vast grand piano, atop it a gigantic candelabra, its candles spouting mighty flames. A liveried doorman, in a plush swaddle-shouldered snaff jacket with cross-stitched underpinnings and fluted snuff trumbles, stood to attention before double doors that twinkled with carbustions of cremmily, jaspur and filigold, made proud with Pultroon finials and crab-handle ‘Jerry’ turrets, after the style of Gondolese, but without the kerfundles.

On his feet the liveried doorman wore crab-toed Wainscotter boots in the trumped end-loungers style and [at which point a footnote interjects, ‘Stop it now! Ed.’]

On his head he wore a bowler hat.

Jack cruised up in Bill’s automobile, leaned out from his open window and bid the liveried doorman a good evening.

The liveried doorman viewed Jack down the length of his nose. A nose that had been considerably lengthened by the addition of an ivorine nasal Kirby-todger. [Footnote: ‘Last warning! Ed.’]

Above his moustache.

‘Good evening to you, sir,’ said he, raising a richly ornamented glove, richly ornamented with … [Footnote: ‘Careful now. Ed.’] ornaments.

Three pages later, we read:

‘Oh, look,’ said Jack, ‘there’s someone going up on the stage.’

That someone was Old King Cole.

He’d put on a bit of weight since the last time Jack had seen him. Put on a bit of age, too, as it happened.

‘He looks ill,’ said Jack.

And the old King did.

He had to be helped onto the stage by minions. It must be one of the best things about being a king, having minions. Minions and underlings. And if you are a wicked king, evil cat’s-paws, too. There’s a lot of joy to be had in being royalty. There did not, however, seem to much in the way of joy to be found in Old King Cole’s present condition. Even though he did have the minions.

And everything.

His minions struggled to manoeuvre his considerable bulk. They pushed and pulled. And two of them, who seemed to chuckle as they did so, went, ‘To me,’ ‘To you,’ ‘To me,’ ‘To you,’ which won some appreciation from those who were into that kind of thing. [Footnote: ‘And let’s be honest here, who isn’t? Because when it comes to royalty amongst the ranks of British entertainers, the Chuckle Brothers reign supreme. No? Well, please yourselves, then.’]

And overleaf we find one of several examples in this book of Robert Rankin’s ‘poetry’, here describing the singer, Dolly Dumpling:

She was simply enormous,
Her frock was a circus tent,
Her chins numbered more
Than a fine cricket score,
And her weight would an anvil have bent.

Her breasts were so large, and I’ll tell you how large,
For if larger there were, none there found them,
Her breasts were so large, and I’ll tell you how large,
They had little breasts orbiting round them.

‘What was that?’ asked Jack.

‘What was what?’ asked Amelie.

‘Must have been poetry, or something,’ said Jack. ‘But that is one big woman.’

Categories: Literature, Quotations
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