Inside Exeter’s Eighth Day Inventionist Church

By Phillipha Manglider

They’re wrong. God made the world in seven days. The problem is the others are not counting right. They say God made the Earth in six days but that’s because they start on “1” but that’s a whole 24 hours gone before he did anything, according to them. Look, do it yourself; like God you start with nothing, so 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 – that’s seven days. That’s why the Eighth Day Inventionists are the only people who know what they, we, are talking about.” (Carlton Jones – Pastor of the Eighth Day Inventionist Church)

Inventionism is a relatively new denomination of Christianity, started by Carlton Jones and his sister, Carltonella Jesus-Jones. Both were previously Creationists but after a frank discussion one evening at Bella Pasta they realised their faith had been misplaced and that Christians around the world had been mislead. The name “Inventionism” came about when they realised that God started everything with the planet Earth so he didn’t ‘create’ it, he ‘invented’ it. Carlton explained “There were no other planets at the time so he didn’t just make one, he had to come up with the idea and that, as anyone will tell you, is an invention. The first car wasn’t created until after it had been invented. So obvious when you think about it.” On Monday 23rd December 2012 they opened the first Inventionist Church of Great Britain in their home town of Exeter, at the local cub Scout hall, and hit the streets during the pre-Christmas shopping rush to attract followers. Some 47 people signed up that very day, and a further 8 on Christmas Eve. They held their first service on Christmas morning.

“We believe that God’s word inspired the Bible directly and we believe in a literal, corrected, interpretation of it”, Carlton told me when I went to meet him and his sister, who share a bedsit in Exwick which is where I met them. According to Inventionism the Earth is not 6000 years old, but 6876 years, to account for the extra day in the week God originally intended, the Eighth day that other Christians have failed to account for, which brings us up to the year 2016 AD. “When you consider all those extra days we’ve lost that could’ve been spent speaking to God, it makes me want to cry, loudly”, Carltonella revealed to me while we drank tea in their cosy shared kitchen.

With Christianity losing followers rapidly in an increasingly multi-cultural Britain, the challenges facing a “new” interpretation of the Bible, one in which all the mistakes have been corrected, is a considerable one but both Carlton and Carltonella have made a vow to dedicate their lives to the teachings of Jesus Christ, our saviour, having carefully studied what was written about him in the Bible and ensure the mistakes in the translations we know of today are put right in the Inventionist Bible. While this is serious work the siblings can and do laugh at some of the more glaring errors in, for example, the King James Bible.

Deut

“Most people would agree that if a man rapes a woman he should marry her if he’s caught, especially if she falls pregnant because child birth out of wedlock is definitely a sin, except for Jesus, obviously. However, the Bible also says that if on her wedding day a woman is found not to be a virgin, she should be stoned to death. Obviously if the reason she’s not a virgin is because the man who’s marrying her raped her, it would be pretty silly of him to stone her to death! So, the Inventionist interpretation is that if the man rapes the woman and gets caught he has to marry her but he should not stone her to death unless she’d already lost her virginity before he raped her and she didn’t tell him. I think we can all agree that’s a much fairer and more accurate interpretation of God’s intended word.” Carlton’s logic is surely undeniable and is doubtless one of the reasons that after just four years in existence the Church of Inventionism has over 350 followers worldwide, including one or two very famous people who requested I not name them.

While its followers are in no doubt they have chosen the right path, Inventionism and its natural spin-off, Inventionist Science, have endured considerable scrutiny from many parts of the Christian world and the Science Community, most of which focuses on the all-important Seventh day of Genesis that’s not specifically mentioned in the original Bible. Unsurprisingly, Carltonella has an answer that is not only scientifically sound, but debunks the theory of Evolution completely, something she is not only proud of but visibly delights in. “Dinosaurs, obviously. On the extra day God made the Dinosaurs. Look, nobody’s trying to say they didn’t exist any more, but the Bible doesn’t mention them because God didn’t tell the goat-herders he’d asked to write it (the Bible) when he visited them. It was an oversight on his part; he’d had a busy few days and when he was re-telling the story of Genesis he just skipped a bit by accident. We know that Noah had Dinosaurs on the Ark so that’s the gap filled, referencing the Bible itself. I don’t understand why people like The Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury are so upset at the idea. The Bible is true because it’s God’s word and God cannot lie, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a bit forgetful. He has a lot to think about.”

A number of Scientists in Britain have attempted to de-bunk the truth of Inventionism, claiming it makes the same mistakes with regard to Evolution that Creationism does, but Carlton is in no doubt that where Creationism fails, Inventionism succeeds and can cite one example off the top of his head: “The most obvious criticism of Evolution is that it cannot explain how life started on Earth, but where it really falls down is when making sense of what we see in the world today. Apparently we are all descendants of apes, according to Science and the Religion of Evolution, and yet there are apes in zoos everywhere but there are no half-man/half-apes or half dog/half apes. A better example is to ask if children descend from adults, why are there still adults? The thing is, adults die of old age while children die of horrible diseases or at the hands of abusive parents. They can’t explain that contradiction, now can they? Evolution simply doesn’t have the answers and until it does there’s no good reason not to believe in our invisible inventor,friend and protector, God.” Obviously It would’ve been remiss of me not to ask them both what they thought of Darwin’s theory of natural selection; Carltonella had a quick-fire response to that too. “Darwin got caught up in circular reasoning, so basically he’s saying the fittest are those who survive, therefore those who survive are the fittest, but you only have to look at all the fat American, Mexican and Saudi Arabian adults who live long enough to retire, without needing a heart transplant, to realise fitness has nothing to do with it. God decides who is born, who lives and who dies. Who the hell did Darwin think he was, trying to change knowledge that was nearly 2000 years old when he had his silly little monkey ideas? Whose opinion on Evolution would you take: a 2 year-old’s (Darwin) or an 80 year-old’s (the Bible)? What does the 2 year-old know? Nothing, not a thing.” Take that, Darwin!

Inventionism has also been targeted by Secularists and Atheists who claim that despite the many “corrections” contained within the Inventionist Bible, much of the alleged “bigotry” (which Carlton dismisses simply as “stone-age thinking from apparently modern people”) of the original text remains. Both Carlton and Carltonella were chomping at the bit to respond to this godless claim:

Carlton: “We found a few things in the Bible that used to happen back then but don’t anymore. Given God is all-powerful he should probably have updated the Bible himself by now, without us even realising, but if he did then then we wouldn’t have free will, would we? No, he wanted us to learn from our mistakes and correct them, which is what we’ve done. So, for example, Timothy 2:11-12 says a woman should not teach a man anything or assume authority over him, and should basically not talk. Well, God obviously hadn’t accounted for the Spice Girls coming along with their “girl power” because, while he would’ve known it was coming, it would’ve been out of place in the Bible. So, Inventionism simply adds the words “You can agree to disagree about this and come to some sort of arrangement if it helps” and that’s probably what God would say now if he was one of us.”

Tomothy

Carltonella: “The Bible mentions the gays a bit, and God obviously wanted a man to have sexual relations with a woman only; clearly he made humans with a bumhole to poo out of, not to have stuff put in; that’s what the vagina is for, you put stuff in the vagina. Or the mouth. However, as with the women-related issues Carlton spoke about, God would’ve known that man-on-man stuff was always going to happen and left it up to us to learn and correct our mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s disgusting you’d want to make your dick all covered in poo and there’s AIDS too, but as long as they stick to their own pubs and nightclubs and don’t put it in my face, then it’s no worse than fisting in my book. So, in Leviticus 18:22 it says “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” but we know God wanted us to learn through free will so we just added a bit so now it says “It is an abomination, right, but as long as nobody sees or hears you doing it you can get away with it” which is much closer to what God would’ve said if he’d written the Bible in 2016. None of this means God doesn’t think bottom sex is a bad thing, that men shouldn’t have sex with each other or that homosexuals aren’t sexual predators, but given what the Catholic Church have been doing to young boys with a frequency and ferocity that only the ancient Greeks could’ve matched, I think God wants us to say as little about gays and paedophiles as possible as things can get pretty awkward pretty quickly.”

Levit

Inventionism is literally re-inventing the Bible for the modern world, correcting the obvious mistakes God left for us to find and put right, as was always his intention. While Fundamentalist Christians, especially right-wing Christians, believe we should live according to the precise terms laid out in the Bible 2000 years ago, Inventionism teaches us that free will to learn, make mistakes and correct them, is in the truest spirit of invention itself. Of course, this could leave the Inventionist Bible open to abuse and interpretation, allowing people to cherry-pick the parts that serve them best in any given circumstance, something Christians and indeed all religious people, even the Muslims, would never, ever, do. Not in a month of Sundays. With this in mind I asked the siblings what they thought about the afterlife and what is required of a human being to find their way to Inventionist heaven. Carlton was very clear that in order to get to heaven one must dedicate their life, from the moment they become a born-again Inventionist, to doing good and spreading the word of Inventionism at all costs, as any good Christian would. “The Catholics seem to think that you can do whatever you want in life and still go to heaven as long as you confess your sins and beg for forgiveness before you die. That’s obviously flawed because heaven would end up full of criminals who’d asked to be forgiven for all their sins. Our uncle Freddie used to touch our bums whenever we went to theirs for the weekend, and he put his hands down my trunks once when he took us swimming. If he begged for forgiveness before he died and ended up in heaven I would be pretty unhappy about seeing him once I got up there, especially as he’s the sort of person who says anything to get himself out of trouble. God sees everything, he’s the inventor of the universe and he takes the time out to speak to each and every one of us whenever we need a chat. Would something that powerful fall for a cheap trick by our uncle Freddie? I think not.”

I felt truly inspired by my conversation with Carlton and Caroltonella, so much so I pledged myself to Inventionism right there and then. I am both happy and proud to reveal that I am now a born-again Inventionist, ready to spread the word of invention to anyone who’ll listen. After a brief ceremony in which Carlton dipped my head in his sink, I heard God speaking to me in inventive new ways I had never known before. It’s one thing to be able to hear, it’s a different thing to truly listen. After the ceremony we had another cup of tea and I asked them what the next big thing they were going to do, in order to spread the word of God’s Inventionism, was. Unsurprisingly, given my experience in their bedsit, they both said, at exactly the same time, “Education”. Carltonella explained what that meant:

“We are about to approach a number of local Comprehensive Schools about introducing Inventionist Thinking into the curriculum. Right now children are taught, if anything, that God ‘created’ the Earth, which is important for children as they’re learning that God is all-powerful and he knows everything and can invent anything. However, we want the word ‘created’ replaced with ‘invented’ as it is a far more accurate word to use in the context of Genesis. Also, we want schools to stop teaching Evolution as ‘accepted science’ because it is not, not by us, and make room instead for Inventionist Science, and other subjects too. Children should be taught about the magic of electricity, a gift God has given to us because, despite what traditional Science has brainwashed people into believing, nobody knows where electricity comes from, we only know how to harness it. Students could enjoy cross-curricular projects such as producing an illustrated guide to modern inventions and how they have copied God’s own inventions, such as aeroplanes modelled on eagles or tanks modelled on Rhinos and Elephants. In Geography, students could enhance their map-making skills by plotting the route from the Mountains of Ararat in Turkey where Noah’s Ark came to rest, back to Australia so the Kangaroos and Koalas could get home after the great flood. Or how about in Performing Arts, where students could get really creative and make a big song and dance about God’s perfection in his invention and design of all the aspects of our lives? And for disabled children, who God has forsaken, they can play with boiled eggs or paint them if they’re actually able to hold a brush without trying to eat it. Inventionist Education supports the truth we all know of, that God invented the Earth and everything on it, and he is all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. Schools who do not teach the word of God are committing child abuse, presenting a Secular worldview that is hopeless and purposeless; what a harmful thing for children to learn. The story of Jesus should be as important to children as the story of Santa Claus and the similarities, the miracles, the magic should be encouraged in children, not denied them. Atheist Education teaches logic, reason, encourages children to seek out truth and evidence, none of which are mentioned or referred to in the Bible. We need to work around the intellect of Atheists and Secularists in order to teach the Bible, and not only to children but to adults as well.”

It was with a heavy heart that I said my goodbyes to Carlton and Carltonella but my train journey back to Manchester passed by in what felt like just a few minutes as I thought about what I’d learned and my new life as an Inventionist. I have always believed in God, and that belief has always been strong, mainly because an Atheist will tell you they don’t believe in God and simply saying to them “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist, therefore he does” is enough to leave them open-mouthed and scratching their heads. I had never considered God to be anything more than a creator; it had never occurred to me to think of him as an inventor! Even now as I put the finishing touches to this article I can see how critics and sceptics might not have been able to accept God as the creator of all things, but when you say it to yourself, “God is the inventor of everything” it makes so much more sense to me. To all Christians out there, and indeed people from the other (incorrect) religions, I implore you, I beg you to seek out the truth of Inventionism before it’s too late.

Advertisements
Posted in God, Human Origins, Inventionism, Politics, Religion, Sexism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shit Car Gumball Rally

By Simon Pennycross

In 2011, painter/decorator Colin Blagthorpe had an idea that came to him while he was replacing the radiator on his 1983 Lada Riva for what seemed like the hundredth time. What had long been a cause of frustration and annoyance to him, the constant repairs required to keep his “old bird” on the road, might actually be a cause for celebration for every man out there who dedicated their evenings and weekends to keeping their vehicles road-worthy by picking up spare parts from scrapyards and consulting the pages of their well-worn Haynes manuals. For the best part of 18 months Pete reached out to fellow repair-enthusiasts through the pages of magazines like Auto Trader and his once-vague plan, “to do something for people like me” quickly attracted not only interested followers but a community of like-minded people who all wanted something done for people like themselves.

Colin had never heard of the Gumball Rally until he met Dan Cropston, an FSO owner/enthusiast who was the first person to respond to the advert he placed in the classifieds section of the great northern newspaper, The Lancashire Advertiser. They met for a pint or six just before Christmas 2011 and by the end of that boozy evening they formed the SCGR movement (although it was known as OCGR back then). “Dan knew his stuff when it came to FSOs, in fact I’ve never met anyone who knew as much about Polish cars. What he doesn’t know about the Polonez isn’t worth knowing.” Dan is equally complimentary about Colin, who he describes  as “the only man who can not only find but use a piece of scrap from a merchant and give your motor another 10,000 miles, with his eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back.” High praise indeed.

Dan introduced Colin to the Gumball Rally via his extensive and carefully organised collection of VHS recordings (dating back to 1982)  which he keeps in his shed to this very day. Colin was immediately converted and the two of them set about plans for staging their very own Rally right here in Britain. An inaugural meeting at the famous old “Slung all-old-men-in-the-pub-kilkeeHook” Pub in Runcorn brought fellow “old” car enthusiasts from all over the north of England into the fold and the turnout, no less than 18 people, was not only enough to get the ball rolling, it started a movement that was to change the lives of everyone involved forever. Colin still finds his eyes become dewy when he reminisces about that first meeting and the enthusiasm of the people, their stories and their experiences. “I must admit I shed a tear or two when Tony from Stocksbridge told us about his Hillman Imp, a car that had been passed down from his grandfather, to his father, to him and, just that very day, to his son. There was almost no part of that car that hadn’t been replaced at some point and it would still run 30-50 miles before overheating. That’s some achievement, one Tony is rightfully proud of.”

The group agreed that they needed to show people who did not repair their own cars what could be achieved with a little time, love and effort. “Everyone just throws stuff away these days, nobody repairs anything. £5000 home computer machine not working? Bin it. That’s what they do now. Not us though, we’re made of sterner stuff and we’ll keep our cars on the road until they die of death and not a moment sooner…” said Billy, the youngest member of the group at 38. Dan and Colin both knew that they didn’t just need to tell people what they did, but show them. After several weeks of brainstorming, with the group regularly sending each other letters full of ideas Colin decided there was no need to be fancy; the best ideas are the simple ideas and so at 3am one day in April 2012 he walked down to his nearest phonebox and called Dan. “I’ve got it” he said “The Old Car Gumball Rally! We’ll drive our motors from John O’Groats to Land’s End!”

“People thought it were right funny that I called him at that time in the morning” Colin told me, “but frankly that’s a trailer-load of old fuck in my opinion. When you have a good idea you don’t hang around to wait for someone else to think it up, you do something about it.” For the next ten months the gang of 18 worked tirelessly on their cars as well as planning the route they’d take in order to gain as much exposure as they could for their inaugural rally. Rather than simply stick to the motorways Dan felt the convoy should cruise through towns too, where people would see them and point. Arthur Davis, a retired mechanic known well to scrapyard owners up and down the land, contacted the group and offered to give the cars a once-over before they set off while Neville Frankson, the landlord of the “Slung Hook” contacted his brewery to see what he could rustle up by way of sponsorship. After some considerable negotiation on Neville’s part a cheque for £125 was gratefully received by the gang and that was not the only large donation that came their way.

By Christmas the route was planned and the three-day long Old Car Gumball Rally was ready to go. “We had t-shirts done and everything, hats too. We sent letters to all the newspapers we could and told them what was happening. I’d come home from work and the Mrs would tell me the new phone had been ringing off the hook; sometimes I had as many as five messages a week. People would stop me in the street and ask me how I was and I’d tell them all about it. I knew we were making history, I just didn’t know how.”

With a week to go Arthur made good on his promise and the 18 vehicles were carefully inspected. A local journalist had come along out of curiosity after being asked to follow-up on Colin’s many letters. Everything had been going so well it was inevitable there would be a hiccup or two along the way but it was unfortunate there was a member of the press on the scene when it happened. Arthur called everyone together and gave them the news, Colin recalls. “I’m sorry you lot, but most of these wrecks won’t last 3 minutes on the open road, let alone 3 days unless you’re going downhill all the way. I’ve seen some shit in my time but this lot takes the biscuit. I wouldn’t drive one of these to the local shops.” It was a body-blow for all, but rather than be discouraged the gang were motivated to prove Arthur wrong. The Local Newspaper didn’t see it that way, however, and after a particularly unkind article the “Old Car Gumball Rally” was quickly mocked and became known as the “Shit Car Gumball Rally”. Luckily, everyone saw the funny side of it. “It just stuck in the end, we all had a bit of a laugh about it” Dan remembers.

In order to give the gang the best chance of completing the race, the planned route was shortened slightly on Arthur’s advice and so the first ever Shit Car Gumball Rally eventually took place on a crisp February morning, beginning in Blackpool and ending in Hull, a cross-country jaunt the like of which Britain had never seen. Now, on the eve of the third Shit Car Gumball Rally, I’ll let Colin and Dan take up the story. This interview was conducted just a week ago with Dan, Colin, Bryan Hamper and Tony Harpherp in attendance.

Me: “So, we’re just a couple of weeks away from your third Shit Car Gumball Rally. Looking back, how different does this one seem compared to the first?”

Colin: “Well we’re a lot more professional now, for starters, but I’m not nervous about this one. We’ve taken big strides in the last couple of years.”

Dan: “That first one were a nightmare, a good nightmare like, but still. We were taking this massive step out into a much bigger world and there were responsibilities on us. If we’d got it wrong then self-taught mechanics like us would’ve been laughing stocks and it would’ve put people off doing their own repairs for life. I remember thinking that back then, what it would do if we didn’t finish the race.”

Colin: “Dan’s right, mind. We had the weight of every do-it-yourself car mechanic on us shoulders and that’s a hell of a responsibility.”

Bryan: “I was really looking forward to driving. I’d bought two tins of fruit crumbles f’journey and I had excuse to wear me driving gloves.”

Me: “Of course, yes. Did you know what you were trying to achieve the first time around, what statement you were trying to make?”

Dan: “Well it were all about raising awareness, really.”

Me: “Awareness of what exactly though?”

Colin: “What we were doing, you know.”

Dan: “We was making people aware of what we were doing, raising awareness of it.”

Me: “Yes, I understand, but was there a particular message you were trying to convey?”

Dan: “Yes, I suppose there was. We were doing it because we thought we needed to raise awareness about what we were all doing.”

Me: “On the day, you mean?”

Colin: “Partly but just generally in the main. We just wanted people to be aware that we were doing what we were doing.”

Tony: “I think the main thing was that people didn’t know what we did before the Rally so we had to do the Rally so people were aware of what we were doing and the Rally, in simple terms.”

Me: “Did you want people to join you, more people than the infamous “gang”?”

Colin: “Well awareness was the key, really, cause once we’d done that we had people talking to us about it after, asking us what it was all about and why we were doing it and they were really interested in what we had to say.”

Me: “And what did you tell your new audience?”

Colin: “Well, for people who didn’t know what we were doing we’d made them aware of it, and for those who already knew we’d just have a chat about stuff, anything really. Cricket, I had a chat about cricket with one fella, don’t even play myself, soft lad game that, but it were interesting hearing what he had to say.”

Me: “And have you raised enough awareness of what you do or is there more work to be done?”

Dan: “Well, this year we’ve got 27 cars, so that’s 9 more than first year and 8 more than last year so that shows people are more aware now than they were but we can’t stop now, we’re only just beginning to taste the rainbow, so to speak.”

Tony: “Take me, for example, I didn’t know what the fuck was going on until Dan told me about the first race. It took that to make me aware of it, so there must be hundreds of people in the country who don’t know what we do or why we do it.”

Me: “And why do you do it, Tony?”

Tony: “I do it to raise awareness of what we do for people who don’t know.”

Colin: “If I had my way nobody would be allowed to take a car to a mechanic until they’d looked at it themselves, or asked a mate to look at it, and see if they can fix it. If they can fix it, they save themselves money and they learn something. If they can’t, or they bodge it up, then yeah, take it to a professional, but not everyone has a garage on their doorstep. Imagine if everyone went straight to the supermarket every time they snapped their toothbrush and just bought a new one. It would be crazy with all the broken toothbrushes all around. No, have a fucking go on it yourself for fuck’s sake.”

Me: “And is that the message? That people should get themselves a manual and actually try to repair something themselves, to get back to a time when people made do with what they had? A Simpler time perhaps?”

Dan: “Yeah, what you just said there, that’s it, that and raising awareness about what we’re doing too.”

Me: “So this year’s going to be the biggest so far. There’s no reason to think it won’t get even more coverage through traffic reports on the radio and even on TV. Let’s suppose you make the evening news on BBC. You have one chance to tell the people of Britain what you do and why you do it – what would you say?”

Dan: “I reckon I’d give them Colin’s mobile phone number and say to ’em that if they’ve repaired a car, or they’ve got an old car and they want to drive it with us next year they can. We’re probably doing Lake District to Great Yarmouth and then Yarmouth to Portishead next year, so if they want to do that they can, or they can just follow it on the Facebook page our lad set up for us. 300 followers now, and you can comment on it and find out what we’re doing when we’re not doing the Rally. You know, make people aware of what we’re doing and letting people know they can join in with us.”

Colin: “I’d tell them to buy a Haynes manual for their car, study it, learn about their car and how to fix it, so they don’t need a professional to do it. I think that would be the message I would say to them.”

Tony: “I’d tell them it’s a laugh. I take comedy tapes with me for the journey so I’m always laughing. I’d probably tell them to buy an extra flask too as we don’t stop except at traffic lights. Peter Kay’s great on long straight roads when you’re feeling sleepy.”

Me: “Do you think people might be put off by the name? The Old Car Gumball Rally sounded quite friendly and inclusive, almost?”

Colin: “Oh no, we don’t take us selves seriously or nothing. If there were a Crufts for cars, my old banger wouldn’t win it, but it’s a classic British Car, the Rover 3500 and mine’s that dirty yellow colour that nobody makes cars in any more. Last year when we started off there were people lining our street cheering us off. You wouldn’t get that if you had a poncy fucking Mondeo even if it were same colour as ours. I’m basically fine with anyone who can do an oil change, but if you can seal a leaky radiator too, that’s a bonus.”

Me: “So this is really about showing off your cars, classic cars, to people from a generation of drivers who have never seen them, let alone driven them, or even know they exist?”

Dan: “Back in the 80’s I had a Triumph Acclaim, four years old when I got it and rusty as fuck. No matter what I did it wouldn’t stop rusting. You don’t see that anymore.”

Me: “Isn’t that a good thing?”

Dan: “Depends, not if you’re living on next to nowt and need a car to get you about, then it’s a constant battle, sanding down, filling, painting, hoping it’ll last. People don’t bother with that nowadays, it’s a throwaway world.”

Tony: “My Austin Montego, beautiful car, all mod-cons and everything. I wouldn’t have taken three Vauxhall Cavaliers for one of these. You trying telling that to a kid who has mobile porn sex on his phone at bus stops – they’ll look at you like you’re an alien. We lived it though, we knew what it meant to be a part of it, and I don’t think people are aware of that, what we were and are a part of. I’m proud to say I own a Montego. I have a Lada Riva estate too, great family car for driving in moderate temperatures.”

Bryan: “I’ve got a Nissan Bluebird. You won’t find boy racers in one of those. It’s not my only car though, and the Mrs uses it more than I do.”

Tony: “Skoda Estelle. People laughed at them but they were cheap although it was hard getting parts for ’em. Bit loud, couldn’t hear medium wave radio if you went above 40 miles per hour.”

Bryan: “Yugo 45. It’s in the garden, kids use it to play in. You don’t see that much nowadays, except in Kent.”

Me: “Amazing. So, what are your plans moving forward? Thought about taking the race international?”

Dan: “We did have a discussion about going down to London, maybe even Brighton, but frankly I wouldn’t piss on either of those places if they were on fire. Cornwall’s alright, might go there but I really don’t like driving down south; if it’s not the M25 and all the traffic jams it costs £50 to park for 10 minutes in some places; that’s Fish’n’Chips ten times at the café round the corner. Fuck that for a game of skittles.”

Colin: “I don’t really want to mess with a winning formula. This year we’re expecting people to be cheering us on more than ever. Chris Evans did a thing about us on his Radio show last year, which now looks like he was using us to get the Top Gear job and how did that work out for him, eh? Can’t say I’m bothered, although I never liked Clarkson either, stuck-up twat. And the little one, Richard Hammer or whatever, he’s like what having piles in your eyes and ears would be like if he’s on the telly. No, we’re happy to keep it away from London, far away if we can.”

Me: “But you can’t just keep doing the same thing forever? You need to spice it up a bit, maybe bring some fresh blood in, someone who can find a different angle, or a different story to tell.”

Dan: “Funny you should say that, eh Tony? Tell him, about your book.”

Me: “You’re writing a book about the Rally? That’s fantastic!”

Tony: “Well, its not so much about the race as about the people, and it’s more about their everyday lives than the cars, to be honest. I think I only mention the race once or twice. Mostly it’s about what happens behind closed doors. It’s an erotic novel about a postman and a milkman who deliver more than just letters and milk, if you get my meaning. Alan, who’s got an Austin Maestro, the one that talks, he was telling me that last year while he was racing his missus had two fellas over for a bit of a threesome. They’re getting divorced now. One of them was black, apparently. Anyways, so I did some research and I’m writing a book about what goes on round our way and one of the stories is on Gumball weekend. I’m hoping ITV might make it into a programme.”

Me: “Well, I suppose a spin-off isn’t such a crazy idea. Finally, Dan, I know you’ve been trying to convince Sky Sports and Eurosport to cover the race. Have you had any luck?”

Dan: “Problem is it’s a race in name only. We draw lots before we start and we have a strict no-overtaking rule as we don’t want to knacker us engines out. We stick to the speed limit, we don’t push it. Eurosport said they would look at perhaps covering it but only if there were teams involved, maybe some celebrity drivers, but we don’t want some reality TV twat or some poof Shakespeare actor with us. They don’t know the first thing about looking after a motor, they have servants to do that. No thank you, this is a northern, working class man’s race and we don’t take too kindly to outsiders who are used to getting driven around in luxury cars all day and night.”

Bryan: “I heard Sting used to have a Ford Granada when he was in The Police. He’s from Newcastle, right? We could ask him?”

Colin: “If he wants to join in he knows how to find us, but he can ask us, we’re not asking him.”

Me: “Well gentlemen, all the best with this year’s Rally, hopefully we can catch up again next year and see what you guys have been up to. Godspeed to you all!”

Posted in Gumball Rally, Shit Cars | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Jedi Knights of Liskeard.

By Roberta Robson-Canoe

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…so the story goes, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca fought the evil Galactic Empire and brought freedom to the galaxy. More recently, a group of heroes (new and old) have taken on the task of fighting the evil First Order and winning the Force. There’s a good chance you knew that already. However, what you probably didn’t know is that there are Jedi alive and well and living in Liskeard, today. That’s right, a new breed of galaxy protectors and peace-makers have spring up in the most unlikely of places – The Jedi Order of Liskeard has been keeping a watchful eye on the town for several years.

Jedi1The founder of this new Jedi Order is 25 year-old Breca-Wan Calis (real name Karen Brest) from nearby Trevecca, a former nurse and huge fan of the Star Wars films, who has chosen to dedicate her life to the ways of ‘The Force’ for the betterment of all local people. She discovered she was strong with ‘The Force’ after fighting off two muggers at a bus-stop in Plymouth. “I don’t know what happened, they grabbed me and tried to get my handbag but I pushed my hands towards each of them to try to make them let go and they both fell over. I don’t remember even touching them. I started to scream and they ran off. I could feel power coursing through me and I knew right then I had become a Jedi.” After a period of days spent meditating in isolation she told her boyfriend about what had happened. While initially understanding, the burden of having a Jedi girlfriend became too much and their relationship came to an end a few weeks later. “I knew it was a sign as Jedi aren’t supposed to have boyfriends or girlfriends. The Force was calling me and I knew I had to follow it.”

She created the Jedi Order of Liskeard shortly afterwards and began to use onlineJedi2 Star Wars forums and Craigslist to seek out fellow Jedi in the area. While many of the responses to her advert were obviously insincere she eventually received a message from Elili Folis-Plu (real name Linvoy Eli Jones) who told her he’d had a vision several years ago that matched the account she gave of the mugging she’d endured and quoted wisely from the Star Wars expanded Universe, explaining that he believed he was the reincarnation of famous Jedi Kyle Katarn. Karen knew immediately that his knowledge was proof of his sincerity and they met up a few days later. “I told him I’d started a new Jedi Order and he was excited about what we could do together. He’s like a big brother to me now, a mentor, very wise. I would not have come as far as I have without him. He’s taught me how to meditate and truly become at one with ‘The Force’ as its student.” Linvoy believes ‘The Force’ brought them together and while he admits he’s often found himself intoxicated by Karen’s power and aura, the Jedi way must come first. “If we weren’t Jedi I would obviously be very interested in Karen as a person, even a lover or wife or mother of my children but these things are not the Jedi way. Like I said though, if we were not Jedi I would want things to be very different but I revealed myself to her as a Jedi before I saw a picture of her. The Force can be a curse and I fear the Dark Side, although I would definitely explore the Dark Side with Karen if she wanted to, I would be well up for that. If things were different, If I’d not told her I was a Jedi, who knows what might have happened? Look, all I’m saying is that if she told me she wanted to go down a dark path with me I would do it, no question. I mean, I wouldn’t ever follow the quick and easy route unless she wanted me to. I can tell she has a great aura and I’d love to feel it myself, in a Jedi way though. Don’t tell her I said anything.”

As Karen and Linvoy learned more about their powers and increased their knowledge of ‘The Force’ by meeting regularly at her flat, people started to notice their presence. “We would walk around town, keeping an eye out for anyone who might be tempted by the Dark Side, usually in our Jedi robes although I did some alterations to mine to make them shorter and opted for thigh-high boots. It’s a modern look but authentic. Anyway, one day we were walking past the Supermarket car park when we saw two younglings looking suspicious. Using our powers we got close to them before leaping out to stop them from doing whatever it was they were planning to do.” The two Jedi4younglings were Wan-Ma Cllis (left, real name Maggie WaJedi3ng) and Blade Du-Lis (right, real name Deborah Blackson). The two ‘Padawan’ were planning to drink a bottle of cider between them despite both being under-age. After using “‘The Force” to persuade them not to do it in public for fear of turning down a path they could never return from, the two younglings (as they were then) reluctantly agreed, phone numbers were swapped and eventually they agreed to join the Jedi Order of Liskeard as protectors of the town, a decision they both agree was probably for the best. “Linvoy kept texting me” Maggie told me, “and wouldn’t let it drop. He kept saying he thought I had potential and if I spent more time with him he could show me things he had never shown the others. He’s a bit older than me but he works at the animal rescue place so I figured he wasn’t such a bad guy. He takes a lot of pictures of me when I’m in my Jedi costume.” Deborah, who is actually the most committed Star Wars fan in the group, loved the idea of being a Jedi and makes packed lunches for everyone based on the cuisine of the Star Wars universe. “My ‘Force Awakens’ smoothies are really good. You’re supposed to use Fringi Spices but I use raspberries instead. I also make Wroonian Fly-Catcher sandwiches using turkey slices so they taste pretty much the same. It’s fun, I like doing it.”

While they are a small group and always looking for members, Linvoy is particularly keen to ensure they get the right people, people who are genuinely blessed with ‘The Force’ and not just guys who think they might be in with a chance with Karen or Maggie although he’s not as concerned about Deborah. “Sure, we’ve had blokes approach us, Karen in particular, but they’re not serious enough about committing to the ways of the Jedi. As the oldest and the only man I make sure the girls are protected from Dark Side influences that might cause them to leave the Jedi Order. Young men aren’t always what they say they are when it comes to their relationships with young women and with Maggie being the only Asian girl in town she gets a lot of all the wrong kinds of attention. I’m not afraid to put my arm around her if I think she’s in danger, or get between her and someone who is giving her an uncomfortable amount of his time. After Karen she’s definitely the most attractive and alluring Jedi around but she’s facing a dangerous time in her training where she may be tempted by dark forces. I tell her that if she’s feeling temptation she should come to me, I can help her control those urges or bring them out in a safe, Jedi-like way, in private so the other two would never know. I would definitely do that for her if she needed me to, no question. That’s why I’m not sure we need any more guys in the Order, not unless perhaps they were gay as they’re much less likely to tempt Maggie or Karen with the Dark Side. Deborah’s fine though, she’s strong, butch, bigger-boned, so guys don’t really try anything with her. I haven’t and I wouldn’t, unless I suffered a momentary weakness and even then I would insist we didn’t tell anyone. I’m happy to leave Karen to take care of her if anything’s going on.”

The group now spend their weekends patrolling the town or visiting the local comic shop which is a potentially rich recruitment ground for them. In the main, however, Karen sees the role of the group in the town as that of protectors and she places a far greater emphasis on that than recruitment to the group. “The Force will guide us; if there are people we need to train or people we need to save it will tell us. Occasionally some of the rougher, more immature youths approach us but I have learned to master Jedi mind tricks on the weaker-willed and just talking to them for a few seconds about who we are and what we do is enough to make them run away, or walk away quickly.” The group have intervened with minor public order offences on countless occasions, with Karen, Maggie and Deborah often leading the “Aggressive Negotiations” while Linvoy watches the perimeter to prevent surprise attacks. “I’m the strongest out of all of us, but I do feel anger and rage at times and I don’t want people getting hurt, so I let the girls deal with it and just supervise. I could really hurt someone so, you know, I stay out of the front line action unless they’re obviously not going to be a threat. There’s no need for me to get directly involved though, I need to be able to see the wood for the trees. Yoda didn’t get his hands dirty, he had Jedi to do the messy stuff, he just dealt with the bigger issues. I very much see myself like Yoda, offering wisdom, guidance and comfort to the Jedi. I’m very big on comforting them, making sure they feel safe, protected, loved even. I mean, I kinda Jedi-love Karen in a way that ordinary people might not get, they might think it was weird but it’s not. I also have a lot of love for Maggie although that’s slightly different. Deborah, well that’s more of a father-daughter thing really. But yeah, usually I just hold back, keep my powers in check and observe when the girls break up a squabble outside a newsagent or something. Best for all involved really if I keep my considerable powers in check. Things could get messy as I know how to handle myself, oh yeah, don’t you worry about that. I just don’t want to lose it in the heat of battle but I’m telling you, if someone came for me they would be sorry, very sorry indeed, that they messed with me. I’ve seen all of Jet-Li’s English-speaking films so I know a thing or two, and people need to know that. You don’t mess with me, I’ll fucking kill you, with my bare hands, in combat. Mano-a-mano. I’m bloody lethal and dangerous…in defence, never for attack.”

The locals have warmed to their new Jedi protectors too, with one resident telling me “I think it’s lovely that young people can dress up and play out. It shows Britain isn’t broken after all.” A town council spokesperson added “While we don’t believe in vigilante action around the town these young Jedi people are more like the Girl Guides or Scouts, or a nice Christian Youth group or Duke of Edinburgh participants, than vigilantes. Lots of people are much happier having them around at weekends so as long as they don’t break any laws when they’re around we’re fine with having them around. We like having people in and around the town and when the Jedi are around everyone around town is glad they’re around.”

Recently, Karen promoted Linvoy to the rank of Jedi Master, with Maggie and Deborah now Jedi Knights. “With their new roles and confidence Liskeard will be better protected from evil influences than it ever has been before. I am very excited to see what they can all do, especially Linvoy who has always been so attentive, so keen to listen to what I tell him and take on board everything I say to him. On the days where we don’t see each other he remains in regular contact by text message and he always phones late at night to wish me sweet, safe, dreams. It’s cute, he’s such a softie, like the big brother I always wanted but never had, he’s Luke to my Leia. I think he’s going to make a smashing Jedi Master.”

Whatever you might think about them there’s no doubt that if an evil Galactic Empire wishes to conquer our planet anytime soon they’d better not start in Liskeard; the Jedi are trained, ready and more than capable of holding their own. For Linvoy it’s just about doing the right thing for the town he grew up in. “If I’d been brought up in a big city like Plymouth or Exeter I might never have found my true calling. If things had been different I might’ve been Karen’s boyfriend, or Maggie’s, though probably not Deborah’s. I could’ve been going out every night drinking with Karen, or going on nice dates to restaurants, walks in the park, day trips to Torquay, you name it. It could all have been so different if I’d not told Karen I was a Jedi, or if Maggie was just a little bit older than she is. I mean, age is nothing but a number for a Jedi but can you imagine if two Jedi got together, that would be amazing, especially if you kept all the Jedi clothes on when you did it. I mean, I’m sure girl Jedis have nice underwear but take Maggie, she’s got this black outfit and as Jedi go it’s pretty sexy, there’s cleavage on show most of the time. I’m just saying, if. It’s not the way of the Jedi way though, as I told Karen right at the beginning, before I’d even met her. I mean who’d have thought a girl Jedi posting on a Star Wars forum would look like Karen? They usually look like Deborah or worse. The last one I met before I actually became a Jedi was a right dog although she didn’t mind exploring my dark side a lot and that was surprisingly okay. It can be very frustrating being a Jedi at times, but like Yoda said, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering. I’m a Jedi Master now, whether I like it or not. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t, but there you go, no getting out of it now. Don’t tell her I said any of that though, not now I’m a Master, she’d go mental.”

Posted in Broken Britain, Chavs, Jedi, Jedi Knights, Relationships, Religion, Star Wars, Superheroes, The Universe | Tagged , , | Leave a comment