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A third outing for the naughty Richard Forsythe and his dysfunctional family, this time yet another Christmas. And finally I manage to prove he really is me by spending the whole of the first paragraph listing my favourite BBC Sound Effect records.

 

Strangely, despite the violent nature of the sound effects, Richard's not quite so violent in this one - rather than pulling off cats' tails or allowing other students to take the blame for killing his own teachers, all he's doing is giving his family a bit of a scare.

 

Somehow it then weirdly turns into A Christmas Carol and, though it could be better written, I'm quite impressed with my restraint from over-egging the thing with jokes, then landing a pretty good one when the ghost of Christmas Future punches Richard in the mouth. I hope to God I didn't nick this from somewhere else, I actually really like it.

 

Even more strangely, the story then lurches beyond A Christmas Carol to the Ghost of Christmas Far Future, who assumes the tape recorders and sound effect records are all for him. And finally, having done something good for a change, Richard finally gets his comeuppance when the ghost disappears, taking the tapes and machines he now needs to help cure Grandad's deafness (somehow - did I know anything about science when I was 12?) and leaving him with nothing. I don't know why this means his family all have to beat him up, but I guess they're all just violent idiots.

 

So in some ways, this is actually quite sweet, admirably restrained and contains at least one killer joke, which is all it really needs. OK, it's still a bit rubbish, but what I do see here is the sign of someone relaxing. Maybe this new school wasn't so bad after all?

 

"Amusing, strange and accurate, Waen," said my teacher, Mr Shaw. Accurate about what? About how ghosts steal tape recorders and gory sound effects cure deafness? Cool.

Good Comic (1984)
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Shane Wepherd
The Arspain
1983/1984
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1971-2016
A Cautionary Tale (Nov 3rd, 1983)
A Christmas Tail - Page 1
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A Christmas Tail - Page 3
Good Comic
Last outing for old chums
1984
WS is Ace
A tape of me boasting, badly
May 1983
First Day at School
Do I secretly wish I was him?
Oct 17, 1983
A Cautionary Tale
Animal Lovers Beware
Nov 3, 1983
Arspain knocks down the Leaning Tower of Pisa
An angry bird called Raven Mad - blimey, how do I come up with these names? I must be some kind of genius
Gary Le Strange relaxing in the Comedy Store
Yep - that's how ace I looked in 1983
My teacher Mr Shaw brands my character Richard Forsythe 'evil' but I just think he's bored and misunderstood
A picture of someone nailing a Catherine Wheel to a dog's head - something I didn't expect to find in a story written by a 12 year old