May 19th 2016: Monsieur Hunchback returns to London after a few months on the move testing out ‘minimum wage’ in other countries. We’ve missed Twonkey in Brighton after four consecutive years, and missed the one-off show at the Comedy Museum. Gutted, we were. We get back on the 19th in the hope we could catch Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel at the Wandsworth Fringe. But just 16 minutes after our return on the 19th, our Aunt Bethany, who lives in Farnborough, gave us a call.
Auntie B: Remember last year when you had all those back problems?
Auntie B: And you said the doctor gave you pills that had you buzzing like a fridge?
Auntie B: Got any more, love?
Auntie B: You don’t have any stashed away? Your back problems finished the same moment you finished your prescription?
Us: No, Auntie Beth. The problem vanished overnight, but we still had three weeks o’ the pills. And we took em as quick as our gob would allow, then got the sweats and were climbing up the walls for a fortnight shouting ‘God, why have you forsaken us, you fictional bastard!’
She claimed a bad signal and hung up despite us both being on a landline. Anyhow, the whole sad story became clear a few hours later when we caught up on the news. In the most preposterous fashion, Prince’s death from painkillers ended up robbing our Auntie of hers! And Mr. Twonkey was involved! Balls deep.
It all kicked off when when Prince died on April 21st. Anyone who knows their arse from their elbow knows he was the greatest songsmith in the history of fucking history. So, come Apr 21st, the vacancy for Best Living Songwriter was suddenly flung open. To everyone. Only, before we even have the result of the autopsy, no one was going to apply for that post so soon on account of taste. Well, almost no one.
Come May 8th, those miserable pricks Radiohead threw their hat into the ring with their new album. The same night, Mr. Twonkey was closing his Brighton ‘residence’ with a whole new set of songs. Everyone else was keeping their distance, but two heavyweight gloves were now in the sawdust. At least Mr. Twonkey had pre-booked his shows. Radiohead’s album came out of nowhere in a desperate bid for the vacant title. ‘Best Songwriter’ is given on a little silver fish-shaped plaque, which was in a helicopter just floating in the sky on the evening of May 8th. In Farnborough, which is equidistant between Oxford and Brighton. They were keeping their options open, as one group of adjudicators listened to Radiohead three times in a row whilst another were front row for Mr Twonkey at the Brighton Fringe.
Now, sadly we didn’t make it to the Brighton Fringe. But we’ve heard the story from someone who watched this shit go down. Apparently, every time Mr Twonkey used his iPod for a new song, he had a quick look at Twitter updates to see where that helicopter was. And when it looked like it was on the move – and in the direction of bloody Oxford! – he pulled out the big guns. Thinking on his feet, he claimed Stan Laurel, Lon Chaney and Bess Houdini were staying at the Mumbo Jumbo Hotel and belted out three of his most beloved numbers. Soon that copter was in turnaround, and the title of Best Living Songwriter arrived in Brighton Hooray! And best of all for us Twonkey fans, by Wandsworth he’d kept those songs in the show! Heavenly.
Sadly though, the helicopter was floating above Farnborough for far too long. It was giving the locals the fear. Class A drugs were immediately flushed down the toilet. An hour later, the hash went the same way. When the locals knew it couldn’t be the jellies or the weed, our 80 year-old Uncle Bill, who is more than halfway to Daftsville, flushed his wife’s painkillers down the bog just to be on the safe side. Prompting the first phone call we’ve had from her in 40 years.
Anyway, you know what we’ve just realised? We saw the legend that was Prince 23 times, larger than life but around the same height as Ronnie Corbett. God, they’re probably doing back-to-back right now like a couple of ten year olds. The Wandsworth Fringe was our 24th Twonkey gig!
A Changing of the fucking Guard! And not in the direction of Oxford and all those university scum. Dry your eyes Thom, you miserable prick, you lost!
Prince 1958 – 2016
Reviews of the uber-splendid Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel and new album, Peggy Spaghetti at the Raspberry Waffle House, will be along hopefully before Halloween.