Friday, April 1

novel writing

1st Announcer: Novel writing which comes today from the west country from Dorset ....

2nd Announcer: (we hear the sound of a crowd in the background) Hello and welcome to Dorchester, where a very good crowd has turned out to watch local boy Thomas Hardy write his new novel The Return of the Native on this very pleasant July morning. This will be his eleventh novel and the fifth of the very popular Wessex novels…. and here he comes! Here comes Hardy walking out to his desk, he looks confident, he looks relaxed, very much the man in form as he acknowledges this very good natured Bank Holiday crowd. And the crowd goes quiet now as Hardy settles himself down at the desk, body straight, shoulders relaxed, pen held lightly but firmly in the right hand, he dips the pen in the ink (the announcer becomes excited) and he's off, it's the first word, but it is not a word….. oh no, it's a doodle way up on top of the left hand margin. It is a piece of meaningless scribble, and he's signed his name underneath it.... oh dear what a disappointing start, but he is off again and he goes, the first word of Thomas Hardy’s new novel, at 10:35 on this very lovely morning, it's three letters, it's the definite article and it's THE, Dennis.

Dennis: Well this is true to form, no surprises there. He started five of his eleven novels with the definite article, we've had two of them with the IT, there has been one BUT, two ATs, one ON, and a Delorios. Oh that, of course, was never published.

2nd Announcer: I am sorry to interrupt you there Dennis, but he’s crossed it out. Thomas Hardy on the first day of his new novel has crossed out the only word he has written so far and he is gazing off into space…. Ohh! Oh dear, he’s signed his name again.

-- Monty Python's Flying Circus Matching Tie and Handkerchief

Side B of Matching Tie and Handkerchief had two grooves, unbeknownst to people who bought the record. Depending on where they dropped the needle, they could hear side two or side three with different tracks.