Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Scruffianisation


Orphans, foundlings, latchkey kids. Urchins, changelings, live-by-wits. Rascals, scallywags, ruffians, scamps. Scoundrels, hellions, Scruffians STAMP!


With the last word the girl or boy playing hopscotch would come down hard with both feet, and the rest would all stamp a foot. Made it all like some... war-dance. Weird. And some of them was a bit old for hopscotch surely.


Orphans, foundlings, latchkey kids. Urchins, changelings, live-by-wits.


They all had such sharp looks on their thin faces too.


Rascals, scallywags, ruffians, scamps. Scoundrels, hellions, Scruffians STAMP!


And they was all looking at him on that last word.

So, if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen some of my dabblings in Scruffianising myself and, well, a bunch of random images off t'interwebs, to put some faces to the Vermintrudes and Puckerscruffs of the fiction. Well, I kinda like these creepycute little tyke faces that result, but Scruffianising random celebs is really just faffing, so it got me thinking: I should see if I can actually make this productivity rather than procrastination.

In the first instance then, I thought, I'd open up to commissions. A big part of the mythos for me, since its storybusking origins, has always been the importance of cribs and crib mates, and the way these fabbles try to engage with the audience to cast you as part of that. You wanna be a Scruffian or not? says Gob at the end of "Scruffians Stamp" and it's an invite to the reader as much as anything. A fabbler needs their cribmates after all, don't they?

So with those images I got to thinking about offering Scruffianisations--a JPG and a Scruffian naming by Teh Roolz (ish). Like a street artist doing caricatures. The JPG being a few hours work on four or five different apps, it's not so automated it'd be taking the piss to charge for it, but not so time-consuming I'd have to charge silly money. With a few photo to choose from, I could likely do you a Scruffian alter ego. With yer Scruffian name in place of that daft waterstamp as is left by one app.

See, while one fabbler and one crib-mate-to-be can't replicate Teh Roolz exactly, as per the game of eeny meeny in "How a Scruffian Gets Their Name", it's not entirely undoable. I mean, if a scruff knows their name already, well, Nuff said. If you're swithering though, so Gob and yerself have to take turns suggesting names until one sticks, knowing Gob, he could probably come up with some ideas based on answers to a few questions, like:
  • "Urchin or hellion or just plain scruff?"
  • "Scamp, scrag, scallywag, scofflaw?" 
  • "If yer was an aminal, what aminal would yer be?" 
  • "Is it eleven or oneteen?"
  • "Cake, shiv or Scalextrics?"

So, for a commission, you'd fill out Gob's questionnaire and send it in a few mugshots, with payment (it should be doable via Bandcamp), and by Teh Roolz, Gob would begin: Eeny meeny miny mo, catch a nipper by their toe. If they squeals, let em go, eeny meeny miny mo. You are not...? And "Scrumper Leggit!" ye'd shout out if it come to yer in a binding flash, or "Fucked if I know," if it don't--in which case Gob takes a turn.

There might be a limit, to be sure. If there ain't a name settled on after three turns each, I imagine Fob's guesses would be variations on Fusspot Pickybrat from then on in. But we'd want yer to be satisfied, eh? If that seems like an ace idea, by all means, in the comments below, do whatever yer equivalent is of a scamp bouncing up and down on their arse, waving an hand in the air and crying, "Me! Me!"

I'll have to think of what a fair rate is, but in the meantime, if it does appeal, I've plans afoot that would mean getting that for free, and more for one lucky winner. So hold that thought, cause Imma kick some more ideas about in the next post... for a Grand Competition!

UPDATE: A Grand Competition!

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