Back story blues….

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Scandinavia

Anna and Michael slunk into the phantom head laboratory on the top floor of the dental school. They were both very behind with the anatomy syllabus as first year dental students at the University of South West East Gotland, and it would take hours of hard work to catch up. They sat at their places and began to drill the teeth in the phantom heads, molars, premolars, bicuspids, canines, incisors, eye teeth and wisdom teeth. After an hour Michael said “Anna there is something wrong with my phantom head.” Anna screwed up her eyes, she was far too vain to wear the spectacles prescribed for her, and could see very little more than twelve inches from her pert pretty freckled nose.  

“That isn’t your phantom head, Michael,” she smirked, screwing up her pert pretty freckled nose, realising he had fallen even further behind her with his work. “That is the head of Professor Ivan Hatefulsson, the Dean of the Faculty of Biological Forensic Anthropologic Psychopathology.” “So it is,” said Michael, “I wondered why it was dripping blood on my trousers. Where is the rest of him?” 

As they searched  for a headless corpse in the adjoining dissection room, Anna was reminded of the morning she was playing in the garden of their parent’s cottage near Ystadoven with her twin brother Karl. They had made a large snowman with a carrot for the nose and oranges for the eyes. Their neighbour Torsten, the postman, who had been chased by their pet poodle Francois the previous day, had delivered a registered parcel that their mother was too frightened to open because it was post marked, Midsomer Norton; Torsten  decided to get revenge for being savaged by the poodle’s huge canine teeth so he cut off the snowman’s head and place it on the bird table. Later that day Torsten’s young daughter Elisabeth came round to apologise and she and the twins took the snowman’s head into the forest. They made a fire and cooked some sausages their aunt Gunhilde, a professor of Norse literature [six pages of back story about her trips to Iceland], had bought from the old farmer Blixen, who had fought with the Norwegian SS on the Eastern Front [twenty three pages of back story about this] and enjoyed lunch although the sausages were as a passing Masterchef judge said “slightly underdone”,, or as Karl exclaimed “These are B******* Raw” .

Elisabeth explained that her father, Torsten, had a difficult childhood, because when he was ten his mother and father had been killed in a car accident, and he had been raised by a Sami family in the very far north on the border of Sweden and Finland. ………[sixty more pages of Torsten’s life story]. Then the three children noticed the snowman’s head had melted, and returned home crying only to meet Torsten at the twin’s front gate. Torsten announced “That parcel I delivered this morning, wasn’t meant for you at all, it was for the Quislingsson family in the next village.” Anna and her pert pretty freckled nose would never forget going into the cottage and finding her mother screaming and screaming at the unwrapped parcel which contained a framed photo of Professor Hatefulsson. [another one hundred pages of back story about Lola, Anna’s mother’s affair with Professor Ivan Hatefulsson, when they were both students at Leipzig University, and Ivan was recruited by the STASI and Lola by the CIA over one romantic weekend break in Minsk.] 

“Anna, don’t you think we should call the police.” said Michael as he shook her awake. “Why?” said Anna dreamily, twitching her pert pretty freckled nose and wondering why Michael was smiling. “Well, we are already on page 375 of the book we are in.” “Don’t be ridiculous translators and authors are paid by the word, so there is plenty of time to get on with some action, and there must still be a few readers who haven’t forgotten what happened on page one, so we can ramble on with a bit of comparative dental histopathology for another twenty pages before we call the police, and then we have to make sure that the detective with the girlfriend with the tragic past, and the unfaithful budgerigar, gets the case.” “Are you sure that shouldn’t be the detective with the budgerigar with the tragic past, and the unfaithful girlfriend, or the detective with a tragic past whose girlfriend ran off with the budgerigar.”………………[two hundred and fifty pages later]

South Scandinavia’s special murder squad detective Joshua Bloom, wondered why his first ex-wife, second ex-wife, and buderigar had all left him, perhaps it was because of his difficult childhood brought up by a family of wolves in the far north of Sweden, after his parents had been killed in a car accident, or the fact that he was a whining alcoholic totally incapable of being faithful to any woman unless she had a pert pretty freckled nose. That morning he had argued with Lena, his bisexual computer hacker girlfriend because she was obviously in the wrong book, and did not have a pert pretty freckled nose. Now he was faced by the most testing case of his career, and a witness with a pert pretty freckled nose……..[only another three hundred and fifty pages to go….]

[This post was not intended to resemble any published or unpublished work of fiction produced by any writer or writers from any country or countries north of Hamburg, west of St Petersburg, Russia, or east of Great Yarmouth.]   

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Norman – If I were wearing a hat I would take it off to you! This is outstanding! Brilliant 🙂 and witty, too. Now, let me tell you the whole story of how I happened to be sitting by the computer looking at blogs today… 😉

  2. Norm, when I reached your Masterchef reference I knew exactly what I would write here:

    Satired to perfection, dahling!

    Thanks for the laughs. You are more cutting than an incisor.

  3. Maxine says:

    Oh this is hilarious, Norman! I am laughing like anything. Knock me over with a feather (a dinosaur’s one). Brilllll…..;-) You’re a very talented writer. Must be something to do with not being bought up by Sami wolves.

  4. *****

    Do I have to say more?

    Off to tweet this 🙂

  5. Norman says:

    Thanks ladies, I am blushing under the beard.

    A long time ago we were given a lift by a “kind motorist” outside Helsinki on a minor road covered in deep snow. I can understand how all these books seem to have characters whose parents are killed in road accidents.
    I’d better try and get a bit further with that dinosaur sized book. 😉

  6. […] if you’d enjoy more laughs this cold Saturday, go and read this delightful piece of satire on crime fiction, from Norm. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

  7. kathy d. says:

    Very funny Norm. Knock me over with a feather if I have to read hundreds of pages of backstory, for real. Aaaaaugh! No wonder I’m choosing books now with 300 or so pages. Otherwise, I feel like I’m on an Arctic expedition with hundreds of miles to go in snow and ice.

    There is definitely a great sense of humor there. I’ll send the link to a few friends.

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