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From my first English book at Fairburn County Primary School in 1980, Apeth was my cocky way of showing I was very good at spelling by creating a character who's very bad at it. The story itself is pretty much nicked from Superman but, as usual for the early me, my comedy characters aren't really funny at all, just completely crackers, and very dark. Apeth not only lost his home planet, but also, specifically, his family. He manages to find his wife on Earth but unfortunately she is dead. He then joins up with a bunch of other oddly-named super-idiots and they manage to bring her back to life, after which she promptly dies again. Why I thought this was a suitable subject for comedy I have no idea, but if nothing else it just goes to show I was a bit of a weirdo with a dark sense of humour who somehow found death utterly hilarious. Especially if it was spelt wrong.

 

The word "apeth" itself may not be in common parlance around much of the English-speaking world but it was a word you'd definitely hear quite often in Yorkshire back then. In short, it means "idiot" - the sort of thing my Gran might call me every now and again: "You daft Apeth!" Naturally it conjured up images of stupid apes but these days I'm more likely to think the word is an abbreviation of "halfpennyworth" (shortened to 'a'p'orth) - it certainly makes sense in the context of the Yorkshire dialect, which has often been fond of removing consonants from words until no one from outside Yorkshire can understand their meaning.

 

Note this is the first appearance of "The Nutty Gang", who appear in a slightly more fleshed out form in the following story, Tedosaurus. I must have intended to use the gang more frequently in future, but apart from another couple of Apeth tales, these two stories (written on the same day) mark their only appearance.

Tedosaurus (Feb 26, 1980)
Look at My Dad
My First Poem
1977
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Look at My Dad (1977)
Look at My Dad
Apeth
Tedosaurus
Half teddy, half dinosaur
Feb 26, 1980
Grobschnitt's Page
A violent alien prankster!
Feb 1980
The Yellyog Gang
Would you like to join?
Mar 1980
Robschnitt's Age
ith irst etters issing
ar 980
Gary Le Strange relaxing in the Comedy Store
Tedosaurus - half teddy, half dinosaur
Grobschnitt - an alien prankster inspired by German prog
Mystery Personality was just one of the ever-fascinating Yellyog Gang - or at least he would have been if I'd ever written anything about them
Grobschnitt was one of the few characters I did actually return to