Tales from Tantamount: January of the Year of the Sad Plastic Bag, part one

Being a continuing found record of the town of Tantamount. May contain newspaper headlines and humour in bad taste. Trigger warning for mention of suicide (remarkably brief).

Headlines in Tantamount, January 1st
The Tantamount Herald
Surprise triumph of Heathens over Anglo-Saxon forces in History Battle: all time losses! Story on p2
Auspicious end to the year with ascendance of local choir, photos on p12
Oakshade Primary shock at first year in Battle: headteacher statement here!
The Tantamount Life
Journalist spots big cat on towpath – cat was wearing a cravat and bowler. Are cats no longer fashionable? p9

RE:RE: Chef required
TO: laurallovelace@hotmail.tan
FROM: management@pinprickcafe.tan

Dear Laura Lovelace,

Following your email and perusal of your references, as well as some intense stargazing, we would like to invite you for an interview at Pinprick Cafe. Please bring any totems that you feel are appropriate, as well as your past life feedback from Aethel and Aelfred. We expect to see you on the fourth.

Best wishes,
Thora Hope,
Proprietor, The Pinprick Cafe.


The Heretical Order of Trombonists will be holding a recital at 5:55am in the town square this Monday. This is in honour of the extended working day, and also celebrating the 60ishth anniversary of the Battle of the Blang, which may have been fought here, and was famously won or lost by a legion of brass players.
Many thanks,
Tantamount District Council.


Cycling, skateboarding, rollerskating, hovering, ascending and scuba diving are all banned from this shopping centre. Penalties include instantaneous electrocution and fines of up to T50.00
Many thanks,
Tantamount District Council.

Proverb of the Day: Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him until the incessant pollution of water kills all the marine life and you still haven’t fed any women!!! Found in the abandoned homework of a student at Tantamount College.
Tantamount District Council would like to take this opportunity to remind residents not to feed the ducks while they are in the lake. The bread pollutes the water, and the naiads will only throw the bread back at you anyway.
Many thanks,
Tantamount District Council

Weather Report
Today the weather was as frigid as your ex when they bumped into you outside a coffee shop a week after you broke their heart, and realised that you were already seeing someone else. Poets and serial sleazeballs were especially affected.

A Case for Carrion by Aethel Erdinfast
The Carrion Phenomenon, as it is widely known, appears to be utterly unique to Tantamount. There are some similar phenomenon across the globe; Armenghast, for example, has the Black Cloud which passes daily over the streets and disappears at precisely 12:34pm, taking with it the skeletons of those outside at the time. Records indicate that Carrion has existed in Tantamount since time immemorial, or perhaps since the Year of the Badly Drawn Dog, and that it was not always as well organised as it is now.

Where the name ‘Carrion’ came from is something of a mystery. The word itself is of French origin and refers to ‘the dead or putrid body or flesh of any animal’. This is an interesting association, as Carrion does not typically affect the body (with some notable exceptions, to be discussed later), but rather sets the mind to rotting. It is without argument that a brush with Carrion has terrible consequences, although these can be ameliorated by the correct tiding of magpies and sometimes cured completely if the Forgiveness Well can be found.

Some people theorise that Carrion, much like lightning, is the result of a build-up of particular energies… (here the leaflet becomes rainwashed and unreadable, crumpled from time spent in uncaring pockets)

Weather Report
Today the weather was inexplicably dull, as if everything you saw was overlaid with a veil of smoked glass. Interspersed with hail and overly hopeful barbecues. Everyone was affected except the one insufferably cheerful neighbour who always talks to you and who you secretly loathe.

Warning: Live Rail!

Do not disturb the traintracks by stepping on them! Trespassing on the railway may incur a T1,000.00 fine, and may result in injury and serious disturbance of the traintracks, who are temperamental at best. IF YOU ARE ATTEMPTING SUICIDE we recommend you contact the Tantamount Suicide Counsellor, who can help you with your plans and who also has a collection of extremely fluffy animals on hand. Contact the information desk for further information.

Contact your past lives!
Run by an experienced practitioner, this course is a practical and down-to-earth workshop on making contact with and understanding your earlier selves. Taking place near the renowned Dumpsy Tump, we will use the energies gathered in this place to facilitate conversation with earlier versions of you. This course will allow you to begin on a true soulquest, to finish unfinished business with earlier iterations and to make friends (old and new). Completion of this course will also upgrade your employability and comes with a Level 2 Communications Skills Certificate, endorsed by the IPLA (International Past Lives Association).

Aelfred has 36 previous lives and is on friendly terms with all of them. He has been running past life workshops for fifteen years, often in tandem with his sister Aethel. He is a strong advocate for Nationalised Spiritual Development, and last year survived a trip to Glastonbury.

Expect to hear more from Tantamount in mid-January. If you enjoy this silliness, consider fuelling my blogging habits by buying me a drink.
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gothicmangaka
    Jan 01, 2018 @ 15:19:17

    Reblogged this on The Moth Festival and commented:
    Tantamount is one of the best things in the world-ever.


  2. gothicmangaka
    Jan 01, 2018 @ 15:20:01

    OH. DEAR. GODS. this is so bloody wonderful!


  3. Nimue Brown
    Jan 02, 2018 @ 11:19:11

    Greatly enjoying this!


  4. piesandwich
    Jan 17, 2018 @ 11:59:40

    The “Proverb of the Day” makes me very happy.


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