* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

No Fun Here

19 July 2001
George is not too old.

1. Worthing, West Sussex

This is the theory.

Worthing is beyond death. Old people don't go there to retire or to die. They move there to stop. To stop worrying about anything. To wander down the seafront past the pier day after day, looking at the seagulls and buying teacosies in the Cats Protection League shop. To be able to buy "OAP discount roasts" at the pub.

It's odd to walk through. The slow tide of grey and beige knit cardigans passing past through will brush against your very mortality, sucking it away and replacing it with some nice comfortable slippers. Yet simultaneously that same geriatric ooze will remind you how young, how virile and how damn sexy you really are. You, you lump of machismo with your shiny new trainers and pristine copy of FHM - you don't have to stay here and watch the seagulls defecate on your fiesta whilst waiting for a pensioner-special haircut with Dominic. You will feel fast and brightly coloured.

As you may have guessed, it's all a conspiracy. A con. The old 'uns aren't here for fun, for pleasure. Not for them to taste the last bittersweet joys that life has to offer them before they pop their clogs. They're here to pour their savings away willingly.

Consider - houses and trinkets. Shiny trinkets. Every British citizen over 55 loves a trinket. Brass elephants, Chinese-style water features, Diana memorial crockery. Ceramic giraffes. Thimbles. Victorian-style candelabras. Such things give meaning to a life long gone desiccated. But where to get the cash for such lovelies? Easy - sell the house that you and your loved one have lived in for thirty-odd years, get the mortgage back and spend spend spend on bright tack. The companies that buy the houses can then keep them until the old folks die, then sell them to their children. These are the same companies that make the trinkets. The money cycles through, increasing with each grey turn.

And. The oldies of Worthing have no need to worry about spending their grandchildren's inheritance on such foolishness because they have no grandchildren any more. Their grandchildren were taken to Camber Sands.

2. Camber Sands, East Sussex

This is the theory.

There are swungs1 and death trampolines2. The frame of the swungs is still intact and painted pink and blue and the trampolines don't seem too rusty.

Five minutes after arrival we saw a child's abandoned blue jelly-shoe on the sand. It's the only sand in Sussex, a thousand metre break from the usual pebbles on the rest of the coastline. Children like sand - they can build sand cathedrals, bury their younger sister or just eat it. No child complains when told that they'll be taken to Camber Sands. They don't realise that they'll be left there.

About two hundred metres from the jelly-shoe was a single child's footprint. Not part of a walking track - the nearest other footprint was an adults a good stride away. Some child had been pressed into the sand and then removed.

The K**** K** cafe sells the usual chips sausages pies fare. There are inflatable bright animalistic things. The slush puppy machine slowly pushes the red icy gloop round and round. It topped up with blood to keep the colour. Outside on the wooden steps leading down to the beach was a dirty plastic tub half-filled with water. It had "DOG WATER" written on it in fading black felt-tip.

The sky was grey when we went and neatly complemented the wet sand. The children there were all happy in their games, unaware of their future. The small naked running ginger child with no clue that her elderly uncle would soon drive back alone. The parents of the two toddlers burying their feet in the beach thinking about whether it would be better to leave them when they were happy and oblivious or when the danger and fear was upon them.

There are massive concrete huts near to the tea-bar at Camber Sands. The children are put there until they are needed, hired out by the company. Possibly for hard labour. Organ-transplant maybe. Cleaning the tricky little corners of gigantic silver sculptures with their tiny fingers.

The parents receive a monthly payment from the company for this. It stops after five years, by which time they will have forgotten that they ever went to Camber, and will have new carpets.

The only people who could bring them back again are their grandparents, who traditionally pay more attention to the children than their own parents do. More spare time and all. But their grandparents have forgotten too that the children ever existed. They are hypnotised by the candlelight reflecting off the brass elephants.

1 [back]
Swings without the swings - only the chains and the frames.
2 [back]
Trampolines without the trampolines - only the elastic ropes and the frames.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
10 November 2003. George writes: Dead beat
20 October 2003. George writes: Shortening
29 September 2003. George writes: Manhattanites are Cleavage-Starved
11 September 2003. George writes: How to Bring Us in Line With the Future
18 August 2003. George writes: Slashtastic
28 July 2003. George writes: Underground Independent Small Press Comic Fight Club
7 July 2003. George writes: Careering
16 June 2003. George writes: Choose your own adventure
26 May 2003. George writes: Revelations
8 May 2003. George writes: Picture Perfect
14 April 2003. George writes: MetaPirate
24 March 2003. George writes: Preparation X
3 March 2003. George writes: F of x
13 February 2003. George writes: Three is the magic number
23 January 2003. George writes: Recorded Delivery
30 December 2002. George writes: Meat Bingo or Death
12 December 2002. George writes: Royal Inquisitor
21 November 2002. George writes: This Clown is Cancelled
28 October 2002. George writes: Shopping with God
3 October 2002. George writes: SaferSpoony
16 September 2002. George writes: Supercalanthropomorphicexpealidocious
26 August 2002. George writes: The deformed animal menagerie
5 August 2002. George writes: Plaice that Funky Music, Whitebait
15 July 2002. George writes: Safe as Houses
24 June 2002. George writes: Two Lions (DB/DS)
30 May 2002. George writes: Series 8
9 May 2002. George writes: Market Stall
11 April 2002. George writes: I, the Enlargened, Crunchy Product
18 March 2002. George writes: Cakexterminator
21 February 2002. George writes: Fiction Suit
28 January 2002. George writes: Spunk Gunk
31 December 2001. George writes: Fairytale of New Pork
10 December 2001. George writes: Circular
15 November 2001. George writes: A Man With No Ass Is No Man At All
22 October 2001. George writes: One Night in Heaven
27 September 2001. George writes: Uncut
3 September 2001. George writes: Porn Pants
9 August 2001. George writes: Names of the Roses
19 July 2001. George writes: No Fun Here
21 June 2001. George writes: All Your Elections are Belong to Us
28 May 2001. George writes: Pierced as Fuck
3 May 2001. George writes: My Lovely Horse
9 April 2001. George writes: Eight Hundred and Forty-Three
12 March 2001. George writes: Kill 'Em All
19 February 2001. George writes: Formal
25 January 2001. George writes: Sticks and stones
11 January 2001. George writes: A Thought on Morality
11 December 2000. George writes: You can't put that into a soufflé
13 November 2000. George writes: Lyrical Genius
19 October 2000. George writes: Wet wet wet wet wet
25 September 2000. George writes: Built on an Indian burial ground
31 August 2000. George writes: This Way
31 July 2000. George writes: Runt of the Litter

Let meeeeeee entertain you

We are all Upsideclown: Dan, George, James, Jamie, Matt, Neil, Victor.

Material is (c) respective authors. For everything else, there's

Never come here again

And weeeeeee can entertain you by email too. Get fresh steaming Upsideclown in your inbox Mondays and Thursdays, and you'll never need to visit this website again. To subscribe, send the word subscribe in the body of your mail to (To unsubscribe, send the word unsubscribe instead.)


... On this page: ... Archive ... About ... Subscribe ... ... Upsideclone