Thursday, September 09, 2010

Karrottenstein will rise from the grave

Readers slavering in anticipation after last week’s mention of comedy vegetables will be delighted to know that our preposterous carrot won first prize at Weston Flower Show last weekend.

An in-depth trawl through Mrs D’s carrot patch produced a specimen of such ugly weirdness (or indeed weird ugliness – there’s not a lot of difference between the two) that it didn’t take much imagination to come up with a winner.

The carrot in question was broad and sturdy. It already had a knobbly protuberance that would make a passable nose, and markings suggestive of a mouth. We rifled one of the children’s old craft kits for a couple of googly eyes, and stuck them on with Evo-Stik. We grabbed a pair of spare stainless steel coach screws from the stainless steel coach screw cupboard and drove them into the sides of his neck.

A jubilee clip for a collar and a brass curtain ring round one of his carroty ears completed the ensemble.

(Money spent on DIY is money well spent. QED.)

Then we simply connected some electrodes to the carriage screws, awaited a passing thunderstorm, and faster than you can say “Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley”, Karrotenstein was born.

To quote unashamedly and at length from our inspiration, Mrs S:

 “I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion.”

Scary stuff. And Mary Shelley could just as easily have been writing about the Dixon kitchen on the night before the show as about Frankenstein’s gloomy laboratory at the University of Ingolstadt.

On reflection, “born” is the wrong word to describe the arrival of Karrottenstein. His roots are in the ground (or they were until Mrs D pulled him up). Maybe it would be better to say that he was propagated.

Be that as it may, The Big K presented a frightening prospect to his creators, the latter-day Victor and Igor.

We did take some pictures, and offered them to the editor of The Bath Chronicle for publication. But he felt that they were a little too disturbing to see the light of day in a family newspaper.

If you have a strong stomach, though, and a stronger internet connection, you can see Karrottenstein's picture here.

Like Frankenstein’s monster before him, Karrottenstein met an early and unnatural fate. Following his triumph in the humorous vegetable stakes, the only way was down. None of us fancied eating a carrot covered in glue, so we removed the screws, the clips and the rest of the metalwork and consigned him to the compost heap.

But don’t sleep easy: his vital force lives on among the potato peelings.

Be warned, gentle reader: Karrottenstein will rise from the grave, and walk the earth once more.

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