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THE NOD CORNER
MELODY MAKER SEPTEMBER 22 1990
THIS WEEK: NOD GOES CAMPING

I've always yearned for the outdoor life. Maybe it's cos mine 'as been a life of confinement, both spiritual an' physical. 'specially larst year, when Pete, Paul an' Tony, the rotten bastards, locked me in the dining room cupboard for a fortnight while the rest of the band went away on holiday! Ten minutes before they left! I'd 'ave starved to death if I 'adn't fahnd a moulderin' packet of Crawfords Cheddars in there wot kept me goin' Then, a fortnight later, just as I reached my larst biscuit, they came back, an' 'oo should open the door and deliver me to freedom but -- Carl! How sweet to here his voice as He ordered me to do 10 press-ups for 'avin snacks between meals. I'll always be grateful to Carl for savin' my life. I could 'ave kissed Him, only I wouldn't want Him to fink I was a roarer.

Anyway, when Carl ordered the band to take a fortnight's camping in the Cotswolds, my 'eart filled with glee. Carl said He "sought peace, perspective and my own private Elizium. I demand absolute tranquility." Carl finks that cities are crimes against nature, an' rightly so. He finks we should all be livin' ahtside, among the trees an-rabbits, communin' wiv nature, speshully in the winter when the wevver's bad. Wot a man! I feel so unworthy beside Him.

An' so, we pitched our tents - or rather, I pitched the tents - it was aht of the question that Carl should participate in such menial labours, an' the rotten bastards refused to 'elp, unless you call frowin' clods of grass at me 'elpin'. Carl was to spend most of His time zipped up in his tent in the warm, warnin' us gravely that 'e demanded "absolute silence and tranquility." For His meditations.

"Right!" declared Pete, as soon as Carl was aht of earshot. "Let's get to work, eh?" And to my 'orror, 'im and the uvver bastards emptied a box full of trumpets, firecrackers, popguns an' suchlike - wiv the express intention of makin' as muchnoise as possible, knowin' I'd get the blame! I spent the next arf an hour divin' around in the mud smotherin' firecrackers that Tony was casually tossin' arahnd, getting my head in front of a gong just as Paul was abaht to bash it wiv a big tin spoon - ouch! - an' putting my hand in Pete's mahth to muffle his bellows of "CARL IS A C***!", which he bit till it bled. All to protect Carl's silence, which I 'eld as sacred. The rotten bastards!

Arfter all that I was exhausted an' dyin' for a crap. So I implored the uvvers not to make any noise, on their honour, while I was away, an' to their credit, they solemnly agreed. So I made my way over the hill wiv my spade, finkin' wot a good bunch of blokes they were deep dahn, underneaf it all. When I returned, 'owever, the sight that greeted me filled me wiv 'orror! A tent was on fire - Carl's tent! Throwin' dahn my spade I ran like the wind to the site, shriekin' "CARL! WAKE UP! WAKE UP, FOR GOD'S SAKE! FOR GOD'S SAKE, WAKE UP, CARL!!" My only fought was for His safety.

Imagine my astonishment, when 'oo should emerge from my own tent next to the one on fire but -- Carl! "Who's making that infernal racket?" He roared, angrily. At that point, the rotten bastards appeared on the scene.

"Nod, I fear," said Pete, wiv nauseating pity. "He cares little for your quest for absolute silence as a prerequisite for meditation, more for drawing attention to himself."

"Did this 'Nod' not know I had swapped tents with him, so as to align myself with the evening star and the mystical line it casts, according to my compasses?"

"We told him, Carl," lied Pete. He never! "But he insisted on setting fire to his own tent as part of his pathological desire to be noticed." Whereupon Carl glowered at me, an' uttered those words that made me quake wiv dread. "Ten press-ups!" He cried, like a prophet of the Old Testament. An', as I hit the grahnd pumpin', the uvvers smirkin', I realised these surly, damp clods of grass would be my bed tonight, my grim communion wiv nature.