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The Sniffer - Issue No. Three

The Sniffer - Issue No. Three

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Published by The Sniffer
Issue Number Three of The Sniffer, the biweekly newsletter that accompanies The Ballad of Cocky the Fox.
Issue Number Three of The Sniffer, the biweekly newsletter that accompanies The Ballad of Cocky the Fox.

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Published by: The Sniffer on May 20, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/17/2013

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1
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The 
 niffer 
 
ERIODICAL
OXY 
C
OMPENDIUM 
 I
SSUE
O
.
 
T
HREE
 —
 
20
 
AY 
2010
F
ROM
T
HE
S
NOUT
 
‘Rrrrrrr… I’ll take ’em ALL on! I’ll do them like THIS —’ I gave a feint with my head,to my left, a flycatcher, snapping at air. ‘And like THIS —’ To the right! 
Nyap!Nyap!
‘And then a little bit of THIS —’ A flurry of shadowboxing, and I fell over and scraped my nose.
Has Cocky yet balladeered a more poignantverse? There he is, swaying and reeling inanother narcotic brain fug. He ducks andweaves and skips. He tries to jab former glories awake and uppercut future ones into being. But, drunk on these delusions, hefalls arse over tit. He is Randy “The Ram”Robinson, Jake LaMotta and Travis Bicklefused together in vulpine form. He is a plum covered in fur. He is Cock-up the Fox.In the first two Fits, we watched Cocky trotin lordly fashion around the manor. Hisducking and diving was expansive andpratfall-free. He was the man about townwho knew all the nooks and crannies. Foxesdidn’t fuck with Cocky. He turned Hughesinto Laurel and Hayes into Hardy with acouple of flips and a dance. He left usthinking that he was the de facto guv’nor of the Borough.But after the whistlestop prologue and thefighty fireworks,
Fit the Third 
invites us totake a breather, make a cup of tea and havean existential ponder. Who is Cocky? Weeavesdrop on his chummy chat with Paul.We’re party to his snout-to-snout with Billy.We get drawn into the inebriated haze of hisinternal monologue. And we realize, with asip of PG Tips and a frown, that Cocky isn’ta fox. He’s a messy amalgam of foxy fragments. He is no one-dimensional Ratty or two-dimensional Bigwig. He’s a 10-dantihero for the modern animal age.Cocky is ballsy fighter and balls-outphilanderer. Pisshead, rabbit-cuddler and bullshitter. He’ll scratch and snap to thedeath to defend you. But then he’ll screw 
 
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2
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your missus and steal your dinner. Cocky ispathetic. Cocky is ruthless. Cocky isdepressed. But, above all, he is Cocky.
O
VER
A
 
P
INT
 
The author of 
The Ballad of Cocky the Fox 
 and the editor of 
The Sniffer 
are known toenjoy a chinwag over a pint. In each edition,
The Sniffer 
eavesdrops on their beery  blathering and presents a randomly chosenchunk of it to the readership.
The Editor:
Is Cocky going to evolve into atrue antihero along the lines of a Tony Soprano or a Vic Mackey from 
The Shield 
?
The Author:
I don’t want to become thesort of ponce who critically interprets hisown work for the benefit of the reader. But Iwill say this. I chose a fox as the maincharacter for a reason. Foxes occupy thisstrange territory between the human worldand the animal world. And this is especially true of urban foxes. They are pulled indifferent directions by the competingdemands of the environment. And survivalrequires slyness, cunning, whatever you wantto call it. But it’s not just bestial cunning;there’s an almost human element to it. Infact, Matt [Matthew Battles, Co-editor of The Ballad of Cocky the Fox andHiLobrow.com] thinks Cocky is a HiLoHero. He’s both highbrow and lowbrow. Hehas a foot in both camps.
The Editor:
Genius!
The Author:
Yes. It’s a great way of looking at it. I’m going to try and sneak it insomewhere, I think. Maybe via an insult:“He’s such a lowbrow.” “There he is, hangingout with those highbrows again.” “Don’t besuch a middlebrow.” Actually, that’s it. Thatwill be the worst insult. “You’re such amiddlebrow.”
The Editor:
Excellent. I can see it now.“You calling me a fucking middlebrow?”Followed by a humungous clash of teeth andfur.
The Author:
Ha! “You middlebrow bas-tard!”
T
HE
I
NFOXICATOR
 
Imagine a swaying drunkard proppinghimself up against the bar well after lastorders. He is expounding blearily upon thecomplex connections betwixt fox and booze;you are nodding and trying not to breathe inany of his sour ale-itosis. In each issue of 
The Sniffer 
, a fragment of this inebriatedmonologue is slapped around the face, told to behave and then presented for your attentionas
The Infoxicator 
, a tribute to Cocky'soccasional tendency to get off his tits onaftershave and glue. In this installment, youwill learn about a shower gel called FlyingFox.
The Sex-Appeal Honey Shower. Lascivious,licentious, vivacious, and insatiable. With the finest aphrodisiac essential oils – masses 
 
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3
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of jasmine! (Plus the best three for controlling PMS.) 
 Could this septic twaddle seep from any pustule other than the LUSH marketingdepartment? Of course not. You haven’theard of LUSH? You will definitely havesmelled LUSH. Walk through any upscaleidenti-mall in a large cosmopolitan city.You will pass Kiehl’s. You will pass J. Crew.You will pass Borders. Abercrombie & Fitchwill then waterboard you with a giantquasi-liquid stench of terrible cologne. Onceyou have told them all you know, you willrecover your sense of smell. And at thatexact moment, a sharp, fizzy, citrusomnipresence will overwhelm your adenoids.You will spin around, clockwise andcounterclockwise, confused. “Jesus Christ.Someone has flooded a soap factory withgallons of hot orange juice.” That’s LUSH.So what of Flying Fox, their bottled gloop of honey, vegetable oil and booze qua sex toy?When you pay $30 for it, are you gettinganything other than a pseudo-sexy word-spew from a copywriter’s thesaurus? Itdepends. I have given myself a rub-down inthe shower with Flying Fox. The sweet andfruity scent doesn’t overpower, you get adecent lather and you end up like a smooth,plump grape rather than a wrinkly,desiccated raisin.But $30? No. To get your money’s worth, youneed to regard this soapy concoction from aninfoxicatory perspective. Pour the fucker into a pint glass and hold it up to the light.Spring marigolds, summer sunsets, autumnleaves and winter log fires. All at once!That’s not shower gel in the pint glass, silly.It’s a bold and brilliantly beery nectar thatwould embarrass any prize-winning honey ale. Have a glug! It slips down like JesusJuice at a Neverland sleepover. Soapy andoily, yes. But inordinately sweet and unfor-gettably noxious.(Editor’s Note: Don’t drink shower gel. It’sprobably bad for you.)
F
OX
F
ACT
 
The male fox, who hunts and scavengesalone, be it for dormouse, worm or macaroon, is sometimes known as a “tod”. Itis this characteristic solitude of Cocky andhis ilk that lies behind the expression
onone’s tod”
, meaning “on one’s own”.
T
HE
C
OCKY
C
OMPANION
 
Each edition of 
The Sniffer 
features anextract from 
The Cocky Companion 
, aRosetta Stone for decoding the less obviouselements of Cocky's London vernacular. Thisextract covers the argot of 
Fit the Third 
andshines an exegetic light on sex, slurs andsuburban geography.
S
PINNEY
Spinneys are small, dense,wooded areas usually found peppering theoutskirts of British towns. They affordsuitable cover for underage drinkers,peeping toms and pornography hoarders.

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