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The Sniffer - Issue No. Eight

The Sniffer - Issue No. Eight

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Published by The Sniffer
Issue Number Eight of The Sniffer, the slender summer issue of the newsletter that accompanies The Ballad of Cocky the Fox.
Issue Number Eight of The Sniffer, the slender summer issue of the newsletter that accompanies The Ballad of Cocky the Fox.

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Published by: The Sniffer on Sep 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ThisS n i f f e r is a slim one that celebrates the supinity of summer. For a month now, we have been led to assume that Cocky has been lying beneath a tree, mashed on mushrooms, fucked on fungus, trashed on toadstools, watching a fantasy world drift by while the real world sits on ice. Egged on by his hazy hallucinatory bender, I have embraced an aestival reverie of my own. A dreamy cloudy daze of bugger all. I too have squatted in my virtual woodland hideout and mused on Bob, black birds and Nora. And soon I will stretch and yawn and wipe the snot from my man-snout. I will blow the dust off the printing presses and crank the handle once again. All your favourite eructations, micturations and regurgitations will return in the ninth issue of this slimy organ we like to call The Sniffer. But for now, nibble on a snack of word and picture.

The Infoxicator is a tribute to our foxy
protagonist’s occasional tendency to get off
his tits on aftershave and glue. In each

installment, a Cocky-related drink or pub is put under the alcoscope with the result that you are gradually furnished with a complete compendium of boozy dos and don’ts, as filtered through a vulpine sieve. In this instance, you are requested to consider the hallucinogenic promise of badger-related sunscreen…

All the beer, wine, shampoo and aftershave has evaporated in the late summer sun. You’ve munched up all the mushrooms in every forest and glade. You’re in a psychoactive desert. Shit! Don’t panic, though. Just stop thinking and open up your schnozzle for a moment. There. That smell. What is it? Metallic, chemical, artificial. And it’s all around you. Sunscreen! Yes, you’ve slathered your body in it so you don’t end up looking like a podgy lobster-pink Brit abroad. But have you ever considered sucking the expensive white stuff from that plastic nipple instead of squeezing it into your palm?

On a recent trip to Whole Foods, home of
hemp footwear, yoga books and organic

lemons that cost $20 each, I browsed the sunscreen section and chanced upon a champion tube of the stuff: Badger SPF 30. The art on the outside tells a tale of infoxicatory goodness. There’s a badger look- ing especially monged trudging along in the late afternoon. The mongitude can’t just stem from heat-stroke. He looks like he’s “on one”. He’s tilting at the perigee of a ravey wobble and he’s lifting his clawed paws into a drum-and-bass juggle. To cap it all, we get a peek into his hallucinatory world. He imagines that he has a green basket strapped to his back and in that basket sits his melin- culus, a shrunken effigy of his badgery self. It all points to a few hours of getting off one’s nut.

But if you do as I did, you will open the tube and squeeze a globule of the salve onto your tongue, palpitating with excitement all the while. You will swish it around your mouth with a good measure of spit. You will gulp down the pasty mix. And then you will wait. And wait. And wait plenty more. For this Badger is not the loyal henchman of the

Ballad. He is a dissimulating bastard. He wants you to throw your cash at a crock of shit in a crock of gold’s clothing. There is nothing remotely inebriational about this potion despite the pictorial tease. It’s a big fat dud. It may keep out the ultraviolets and stop you frazzling your face off, but it won’t help you check out for a few hours. I blame the organic movement and the sunscreen scaremongers. If they hadn’t decided that oxybenzone is unsafe and that we should all be rubbing zinc oxide on our sensitive parts instead, we’d be on for a real rave.


Each edition of The Sniffer features an extract from The Cocky Companion, a Rosetta Stone for decoding the less obvious elements of Cocky's London vernacular. This extract shines a street-speak spotlight onF it

the Eighth and reveals a street-shuffling
conspiracy of crackers, crisps and crackpots.

Known to The American as “aluminum foil,” tinfoil is the stuff British people use for wrapping a decapitated turkey before roasting it, for keeping a cheese and pickle sandwich fresh until lunchtime, and for “chasing the dragon” (otherwise referred to as “smoking the heroin”). Americans may, however, know “tinfoil” in its adjectival sense.


The tinfoil hat, anecdotally worn by paranoiacs who want to stop governments, God or Hitler controlling their minds via satellite, is now the dunce’s cap of the conspiracy nutjob. If you are asked where your tinfoil hat is, you are probably being ridiculed for disbelieving that man landed on the moon in 1969.


Finish a bag of salt and vinegar crisps, pour the remaining crumbs into your hand and then vacuum them up all at once with your mouth. You will not be able to do this without contorting your face, sticking your tongue out, clenching your anal sphincter and stamping your foot. This last residue of potato-shard- drenched-in-acid-and-salt distills the economically devious essence of Britain’s favourite pub snack. So osmotically mouth-parching and tongue-punching are these addictive nibbles, that you need to buy at least three pints of beer to accompany each pack.


Knackers, and their recruitment into a metaphor for tiredness, have been discussed before in the Companion. But lest anybody begin to

decipher what the blazes a Cockney is talking about, the shrivelled, hairy and humble knacker has been encrypted in another level of East London blather. Cream crackers, the square, dry, no-frills accompaniment to a British cheese plate, are the nom de rhyming slang for knackers. And, by extension, when a Cockney mumbles into his dish of jellied eels that he’s “cream-crackered,” he’s telling you, if you’re still listening — and bully for you if you aren’t — that he’s knackered.


Allow yourself to consider this tautological teaser: Some tramps are probably tramps, but not all tramps are tramps. The lexical ocean that separates ex-colonizer from ex-colonized is responsible for the confusion. US tramps tend to be saleswomen of the body, be they call girls to Governors, crack cluckers turning tricks for rock, or both. UK tramps are walkingmen of the streets, tatterdemalions who snuggle up in cardboard boxes and beg for change with outstretched fingerless gloves. There has been and always will be some crossover between the two populations. But not much.

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