**SWEET AS YOU ARE**
A Sequence of Alternate Actualities, Taking Place in _Some Other Time
Round_, the Darkside Bar Outside Continuity.
*Episode 2: Gangbang Gold-Digger Follies A-Go-Go of 2003!*
As we return from the great Gentlemen's Cloakroom Outside Continuity,
our eyes are drawn willy-nilly to the Grey Stewite's redoubtable Muse
and professional companion. Let us, Gentle Reader, by all means have a
good ogle. But forget not that Candie is... not entirely what she
No, not like *that*.
No, nor (despite appearances) has she ever come into contact with the
Spring of Drowned Pop Floozette either. Have patience, my friends. For
we are in the presence of a living legend, or at very least an after-
dinner anecdote, from the fabulous City of Dreams itself!
Like her bright counterpart Carrie, Candie Harddd is short and blonde,
with electric blue eyes, and an enchanting smile that lurks ever and
anon about the corners of her mouth. However, the discerning eye may
register a few subtle differences. Is not the shade of blonde somehow
different, for all the world as if emergent from a rather sloppily
applied bottle of bleach? Is not the makeup applied with a careless
magnificence that bespeaks one whose suppliers freely grant her a
wholesale discount? And whilst, as a recently-embodied Artificial
Intelligence, it follows naturally that she retains some of the
qualities proper to a silicon-based life-form, here this silicity
appears to have been preferentially distributed between succubaceous
lips, swelling bosom, and callipygean graces; so that many phrases of
the order of 'stacked like copies of _Escape Velocity_ at a remainder
stall' would rise naturally to the mind of anyone less politically
correct than your humble Omniscient Narrator, who loathes and detests
all such bourgeois fetishist commodification of the sacred human corpus!
Fwoarrgh, cor, ahem! And then there is... The Dress Sense.
The stilletto-heeled form-a-meaningful-relationship-with-me pumps, with
those kittenishly cute Lotte Lenya blades concealed in the eyewateringly
acute toes... the genuine latex-look leather mini-hotpants... the
lewdly-inscribed leather jacket over fluorescent, real-radium-paint
spray-on tank-top... the chains, the Suspicious Implement Holster riding
at her hip, and the buttonhole flower tastefully and intricately folded
from a Turkish Delight flavour condom... Well, we shall pass lightly
over these, partly in view of the fact that the diamond rings thickly
encrusting Candie's ultraviolet-nailed right hand oft have been seen
doing double duty as a collectively vicious knuckle-duster. Let us
just point out that the overall effect would not be out of place in a
straight-to-video production called, for example, _Gangbang Gold-Digger
Follies A-Go-Go of 2002_, although it would almost certainly lead to
public order charges just about anywhere else. There is really nowhere
to go from the position this esteemed lady currently occupies, without
actually changing one's quantum signature to Christina Aguilerite.
Such, then, the Great Muse Equal of Anyone, Buster -- Candie Harddd!
-- Oh yes, that name. Well, you try calling yourself 'Errica
Committeesdaughter', and see how far *you* bloody get in your auditions
for _Gangbang Gold-Digger Follies A-Go-Go of 2003_, then! Or indeed
_of_ anything else that may seem more appropriate. At least, this is
the reason one is led to infer, since Candie herself has proven rather
militantly reticent on the subject, and that diamond knuckle-duster is
scarcely among our most Favourite Things.
Despite this slightly unliterary and starletty appearance, however, we
must remember that the esteemed Candie is, as oft and aggressively
proclaimed by she who ought to know best, a genuine all-services Muse
whose spirit burns with the divine fire of makerly genius! In witness
whereto, the jury will kindly observe her majestic indifference to the
sex'n'violence'n'rock'n'roll currently diverting the majority of the
audience, instead preferring to capture the moment's precious
inspiration in gems of imperishable prose in her beat-up little
reporter's notebook. Good show, old girl!
Let us, then, in our capacity as literature-lovers and no other, stoop
to peer over her ivory shoulder. Cor, what a pa...rity of esteem we
must observe between the words of herself and her bright counterpart!
Get a load of these, mate!!!!
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a pair of show-stealing
splattersluts in possession of far more awards than are good for them,
must be in want of a nasty and terminal group-therapy experience with a
company of lloigor-possessed Raelian clones of Howard Stern; and by the
grace of Dame Fortuna, just such an engagement was this very moment
about to present itself unexpectedly to our charming hur-hur heroines,
Saia and Selkie.
"'_Bonsoir_, M. le Marquis!' quavered that so-called Saia, her
haughty -- '"
But Candie has been pouting steadily for some minutes now, in diligent
search of the _mot juste_ or possibly just of a sufficiently offensive
descriptor. And it is at this very crisis -- where, having now sketched
our scene with such deftly economical verbal brushstrokes as could
scarcely disgrace a genuine and authentic haiku-master, if we *do* say
so ourselves! -- that we now find ourselves finally impelled to launch
upon our great big narrative voyage.
Struck by that sudden existential nausea to which her artistic
temperament (and penchant for cocaine-dusted pepperoni-jalapeno-and-
Haagen-Dazs pizzas) rendered her all too susceptible, and possibly also
by the fact that the gathering was breaking up in mickle discontent and
disorder around her, Candie squeezed her impassive Author's thigh
"What did you think of *that*, then, laddy-buck?"
"Bleeeeargh?" returned His Proximate Supremacy cryptically, his hair-
trigger reflexes inducing _inter alia_ a violent start in our anti-hero.
"Time we were going, casual-partner-in-X^N-rated-talent-abuse!"
"Aheheh. Just so." The Stewite doffed his spectacles, and blinked like
a voyeuristic owl. "My treat tonight, at nowhere less good than
O'Donal's. For I feel tonight is our lucky night for _Marty Sue and Ace
versus the Spice Girls in the Valley of Cream Buns_! And then, O
polypulchritudinous plaything of the -- !"
Candie fwapped him round the head with a coiled-up bicycle-chain. "That
hurt me more than this hurts you. *Which* century were we supposed to
be corrupting, already?!?"
"Spice Girls??? Why not _Louise Brooks in the Land of the Louche
Looks_? _Oxo Katie and Me and My Matey?_? _Dame Vera Lynn in the
Valley of Sin_?" Candie shook her head in fastidious disgust. "If
we're going to do historical romance, we might as well go the whole
hog!" Serendipititous delight transfigured her suddenly, like the very
Doctor himself at those magical moments in his adventures where the
scriptwriters begin to understand that they have nearly outworn their
welcome and must now hasten to extract the dramatic digit. "Miss Piggy,
"Here is a bit bucket."
"Nggghhh you very much, Candie!"
"But," she persevered, as his mandatory system-purge chuntered to its
appointed end, "what *did* you think of the show, then?"
"Well," the afflicted archvillain returned confusedly, "I loved the
understated dramatic irony of the bit where the heroine discovers that
Terileptils have *two* -- NGGGHHHH!"
"You weren't paying the slightest bit of attention, were you, bub?"
"Why bother? It's not like we were in the running, with all that
saccharine romantic crap you put into -- NGGGH...HAH!" At the All-
Highest only knows what cost to himself, the Stewite caught the bicycle-
chain around his own forearm, grinned fiendishly, and lunged forward to
give his over-militant Muse the shaking of her variously shaken and
"Those exotic dance lessons really paid off, Candie dearest!"
"Thank you, Stewie darlinger!"
"Please now remove the Lotte Lenya blade from the vicinity of my Adam's
apple, oh my dulcetest dumpling of digicraft."
"No Ace-fic tonight, my bodacious Boskonian buckaroo. Nor, and I can't
stress this enough, fantasies about tacky C-20th Instant
Celebriteez[TM], none of whom would know the touch of a Muse if one
goosed her in a rush-hour tube train..."
"How would you know that, oh predatory paragon of parodic pansexuality?"
"By mistake, oh alliterative arses to this, I'm not standing on one foot
all night holding Solekiller to your throat, buster! Just promise we
can start tonight on _Miss Piggy v. Mistress Mel Gelignite-Wrestling
Grudgematch O-Ho-Ho_, and I'm sure we can come... to... some amicable
Candie's voice could scarcely have become any breathier, short of a
severe asthma attack. Her iridium-painted eyelids drooped in a manner
which our neologism-loving, exotic-word-dancing heroine herself would
probably have described as 'slutry' -- and who are we by any means to
It is probable that the Stewite -- who, whatever his faults, was
scarcely so ungallant as to disoblige a lewdly-dressed nymphomaniacal
heavy-breathing Muse from Hell holding an amusingly named envenomed
blade balletically to his throat -- would have been prepared to come to
some easy compromise at this point, lest his fair lady's incipient
asthma cause her some mild inconvenience in some manner. But another
and darker presence cast its chill shadow over the happy pair at this
A clear, painfully and inhumanly musical voice spoke from behind them.
The voice of a presence who had *not* been amongst the audience when the
ill-fated award ceremony began...
Candie fell over.
The Stewite, in sympathetic action, fell over backwards.
"I do hope," said the dark presence dryly, "that I'm not interrupting
 Because, when all is said and done, striking a lady is Not.
 And striking a woman who is *not* a lady opens up all sorts of
horrid prospects of unladylike retaliation. Anyway, what slanderous
blackguard in cap-a-pie plate armour is going to tell Candie she ain't
no lady, huh? Do we have volunteers? 
 Fight her your bloody self, then!
 We use the adjective advisedly.
 We fooled ya, we fooled ya!
 And the Rock Island Line is a mighty good road.