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Great novelists: Dougal McDougal

by Audiman 

Posted: 08 June 2004
Word Count: 214

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Dougal McDougal was one of the great Wessex novelists of the late 1800s, despite his mother's claims that he was born in Yorkshire in 1957. McDougal’s career was blighted by accusations that he plagiarised Thomas Hardy, and the public were not slow to voice their disapproval when, in 1954, he published Dave the Obscure, although Hardy himself described it as ‘gripping stuff’. However, McDougal was forced into a court of law, where a judge ordered him to be poked by a syndicate of disillusioned midgets.

An intense man, McDougal was troubled by a dwindling religious faith, a condition relieved only by laxatives and poorly written self-help manuals. For 40 years, he studied Anselm, Aquinas, Charles Darwin and Tommy Steele, eventually concluding on his deathbed that the force controlling the universe was Don Revie, manager of the wonderfully violent Leeds side of the mid-70s.

McDougal’s downfall was in believing his characters were real. When Hermione Thuggery, in his masterwork, A Mighty Fine Bladder, loses her hard-won virginity to the Dorchester Rugby Club second team, Dougal McDougal is plagued by guilt. An awkward attempt to save Hermione by physically forcing himself into the story post-publication, fails on a legal technicality, and he dies of confusion while trying to impregnate an unconvincing plasticine model of his sweetheart.

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Comments by other Members

ShayBoston at 07:54 on 08 June 2004  Report this post
Fantastic Audiman! Utterly surreal.


Al T at 09:06 on 08 June 2004  Report this post
Audiman, this is very amusing. I love Thomas Hardy, was last interested in football when I supported Don Revies Leeds Utd in the early 1970s, and have a friend whom I nickname Dougal McFrugal, so I wondered if you'd written this specially for me :-).


P.S. was in the TT again on Sunday - nice little car.

Fearless at 09:20 on 08 June 2004  Report this post

Liked this. Not enough midgets, laxatives and fecund plasticine models in literature these days.


Davy Skyflyer at 12:54 on 08 June 2004  Report this post
Official line of the century:

"For 40 years, he studied Anselm, Aquinas, Charles Darwin and Tommy Steele"

Nice work Audiman.



Anj at 22:11 on 09 June 2004  Report this post
The first three sentences of this were just instant classics, pure genius. When it strayed closer to the typically surreally-funny (midgets, plasticine models) it was still funny, but for me, not as.

But Dave the Obscure will have me tittering for days.

Take care

Audiman at 23:34 on 09 June 2004  Report this post
Thanks, everyone, but I do wish everyone would stop commenting on this piece and go elsewhere. I think it's the weakest of all those I've uploaded. 'Beasts of myth and fable' is much closer to what I'm hoping to consistently achieve.

Terry Edge at 11:56 on 11 June 2004  Report this post
I'm sorry, but I'm going to comment on this piece too, and I haven't read anything else by you yet. Very, very few things make me laugh out loud but this did, pretty much all the way through. I could bore everyone by picking apart the technical skill with which you've put this together, but why bother: it's just very funny. Even worse, I can identify with the first sentence of the second paragraph. Worse still, I've written some of those manuals. Oh, all right, there's even worse: the first record I ever bought was by Tommy Steele. It's people like you who should be writing newspaper columns or TV reviews wherein we learn nothing about the programmes (but then who wants to?) but get a few good belly laughs. The first sentence is one of the best I've ever read.

I'm not sure if he's still on this site, but you may want to check out Richard West's writing, especially 'Porn Free', a piece I read at work and literally had to bite my hand so as not to sound like a guffawing looney.

Georgette at 13:07 on 11 June 2004  Report this post
I've been reading your recent submissions and accompanying readers' comments with interest. I find your work very funny and do omit blasts of laughter at regular intervals whilst I'm reading. There is no doubt that you have a flair for comedy writing and inventive imagery.

I was surprised to read your thoughts on your own work. I think that your writing is most successful in the quick, sketchy pieces like this one. 'Beasts of Myth and Legend' is a very clever piece but I feel that it is somewhat over-written and there are so many styles of comedy packed in that the jokes start cancelling themselves out.

I feel that you should focus on your comic strengths (unique voice, memorable one-liners and memorable imagery) and think twice about striving for more and more comic effects.

scoops at 09:30 on 18 November 2004  Report this post
Another fantastic stumble thanks to the Random Read. This is very witty and beautifully paced. Shyama

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