A Musical: Morrissey & the Courtroom Menagerie

Ray rabbit 674 x 280

Morrissey stands in the dock accused of a heinous list of offences ranging from necromancy to crimes against planet Earth. The prosecution is led by Princess Mary-Beth Gigglenot, whilst a troop of bunny rabbits make up his defence. What really happened and will he be found guilty?

Fluffy Bunnies Cannot Lie

  

You’ve read the stories about him, who’s to say what’s true
So much propaganda and lies
But the animals speak the truth
We’ve brought them all here for you
They just can’t wait to testify
There are cats, dogs, bunnies, some birds and marmosets with proof

Fluffy bunnies cannot lie
Fluffy bunnies cannot lie
With a hop to the witness box
Furry friend takes a breath and imparts her tale:

“Us bunnies love to show jump when he asks us to
We leap and we twitch and why? Because it’s fun to do
And as we bink and we play, sometimes
Magicians are misunderstood
Well, we’ll tell you what is true

Fluffy bunnies cannot lie
Fluffy bunnies cannot lie
It all began with a black cloaked man
Who’d dance through the clouds with blurs of furry tails

Us bunnies love to show jump, when he asks us to
We leap and we twitch and why? Because it’s fun to do
He’d take us jumping under the sea
And we’d go hurdling on the moon
We’ve got some tales for you

Our courtroom menagerie
Courtroom menagerie

Testify, fluffies testify
Oodles of cuddly friends lining up today
Black cloaked man this is for you!”

 

8 months earlier:

Morrissey is standing on the summit of the fluffy grey cloud dressed in a long black cloak, top hat and silver trousers. He is holding a splendidly sparkly magic wand in one hand and a rabbit leash in the other. At his side Miss Flufflebinks is barely able to contain her anticipation: her nose is twitching double-quick, her ears are straight up. Everything about her suggests a desire to break into a gleeful jig. Ahead lie acre after acre of glorious jumps.

The Manchester streets are miles beneath their feet as together they break into a trot. Morrissey’s cloak is streaming out behind him. Miss Flufflebinks is performing glorious binkies of spontaneous joy. They quicken their pace. The first hurdle approaches. Morrissey raises his wand and flicks the leash. On cue, Miss Flufflebinks pushes her back legs down hard and sails through the air like a furry bat. The bunny showjumping has finally begun…

 

Day 1: Morrissey trial – Manchester Crown Court

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Good morning folks, it’s 8.55am and you’re joining us outside Manchester Crown Court as we wait for the trial of the century to begin. Mr Morrissey, acclaimed singer / songwriter… and now celebrated author has been charged with a laundry list of crimes ranging from necromancy, to rabbit brainwashing, latent ozone destruction… and crimes against the planet Earth.

Press from around the world have been camped outside the Courts of Justice here in Crown Square for the last two days, waiting for the performance to begin. Then at around 5.00am this morning, a procession began to arrive. We were expecting a show of solidarity, but nothing like this: the rhythmic clump-clump, thud of marching was certainly no disappointment for the snappers and cameramen waiting for the first shots of his supporters. Growing louder, we heard them shaking their way down Bridge Street towards us, before they came flooding round the corner with a collective bellow.

Lolling tongued giraffes, a sea of waddling penguins, long-toed sloths rode in on roaring African elephants, slow lorises… and what appeared to be the entire contents of Manchester Zoo followed in their wake. Then the domestics: dogs, cats and hamsters in protective balls rolling along in a gently swaying rhythm. Taking their position by the far side of the court steps, the stomping gave way to an eerie silence. Then quickly in a rush of ever-twitching noses, a wave of furry hoppers stormed into the square; binking, leaping and flying over each other as they raced for the steps. The star supporters had arrived.

The police cordon went up fast, animals are separated from humans, and it seems that law enforcement agencies from across the land have been called in to help. We, the press, were allowed to move freely between the groups until an unfortunate incident between a polar bear and a cameraman resulted in further segregation. The cameraman sustained minor injuries and the polar bear has been taken in for questioning.

Around half an hour ago a limited selection of animals, humans and the press were admitted into the public gallery at Courtroom No.1. We’ll be bringing you live coverage throughout the entire proceedings, sticking with the action as it happens and delivering all the important developments. We’ve also got a slew of experts on hand to analyse everything going on inside the Manchester court… as well as taking a behind the scenes look at the historic Morrissey phenomenon.  And now we’re going to go live to our reporter inside Court No.1.

Courthouse Reporter:
The prosecution is being led by Princess Mary-Beth Gigglenot, direct descendant of the House of Wettin, whilst Morrissey appears to be represented by a small gathering of bunny rabbits with Mr John Snuffle-Bump QC acting as lead barrister. From what we understand, Mr Snuffle-Bump has some very successful animal rights cases to his name, but this is his first time defending a necromancy charge.

The jury is now seated and the menagerie of animals, which make up the overwhelming proportion of the gallery, are finally beginning to settle down. They let out a huge, decidedly un-court-like cheer when the defendant was ushered in… and it still feels like the atmosphere could turn frisky at any second. Morrissey, wearing a smart suit and bright red tie, looks calm and his defence team appears ready to proceed… although one of his bunny barristers keeps gazing up intently at a walrus in the animal gallery, I’m not sure why. It’s beginning.

Bailiff:
All rise for the Honourable Judge Smyth.

Judge:
Please be seated.

Steven Patrick Morrissey,
You’ve been accused unsparingly:
Earth destruction and bunny brain washing,
Evil cloud walking and life-quality squashing,
But worst of all is necromancy,
So on your feet Mr Morrissey
And please avail us with your plea.

Morrissey:
Not guilty

Animal Gallery:
You’re standing in the dock,
We’re your innocence bedrock,
Please, please don’t change your plea:
We know you’re not guilty!

Judge:
Silence!
There will be order when I speak.
I will not take a single squeak,
Or with a massive crash and boom,
I’ll strike my gavel, clear the room.

Madam Prosecutor, are you ready to present your case for the Crown?

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Okay, it appears that there’s still a bit of a kerfuffle going on in the courtroom. Let’s take a quick recap of what’s happened so far. Mr Morrissey has been charged with a variety of offences against planet Earth, ranging from necromancy to ozone destruction, and enthralling an unknown number of impressionable rabbits. In an unprecedented move, his defence team also appears to be made up of rabbits… earlier on we heard a rumour that, Miss Flufflebinks, the animal who sits at the centre of this story will be attending court today, but as yet there has been no sign of the mysterious bunny show jumper.

At present, the facts of the case certainly sound a tad confusing… especially considering Mr Morrissey’s subsequent silence. We’re now joined by our Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent, Cliff Ford, for his take on the proceedings. Over to you Cliff…

Cliff Ford – Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent:
This case will undoubtedly be about facts, Jim. What was done, when and by whom. In a nutshell the Crown, represented by Princess Mary-Beth Gigglenot alleges that last June, Morrissey brainwashed, then show jumped a young, impressionable rabbit, called Miss Flufflebinks across the Manchester skyline. In doing so, he damaged cloud cover in his wake, causing irreparable harm to the ozone layer. More alarmingly for the people of Manchester, he is also accused of spearheading a mass uprising of dead people at the Southern Cemetery. These un-dead are said to still be rampaging through the Manchester area.

The defence, who at this stage look like they could very well be out of their depth, firmly refute all charges and claim that whilst Morrissey did indeed take Miss Flufflebinks showjumping up in the clouds on the day in question, this was no case of duress. Morrissey is a well-known supporter of animal causes and issued a statement in which he said he was “a firm friend of all animals”. Upon the other elements of the case Morrissey has remained resolutely silent.

Many of alleged facts that have come to light so far certainly seem open to interpretation. We will just need to wait to hear the defendant’s version of the truth: a subject that Morrissey has always maintained a strong passion for in his own unusual way.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
A passion for the truth? Can you explain what you mean by that, Cliff?

Cliff Ford – Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent:
Morrissey is forever complaining about being misquoted, or having lies written about him. So I was extremely surprised to find his recent autobiography chock-full of incorrect information. For example, Morrissey claimed that one well-known NME headline read: “Is Morrissey Flirting with Fascism”. Whilst the actual printed version read: “Flying the flag… or flirting with disaster?”

Jim – Outside Reporter:
And what does that tell us Cliff?

Cliff Ford- Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent:
Well, there may not be a huge amount of difference between the two lines, yet Morrissey had already spent scores of previous pages in his own book talking about accuracy and being misquoted. This shows that he may not be trusted to speak the truth all the time. One can only speculate on what this revelation will mean for this current court case.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
I’m afraid we need to cut you short there and go back inside, Cliff.

Courthouse Reporter:
Princess Mary-Beth Gigglenot has just concluded her closing statements for the Crown. She used the term necromancer no fewer than 32 times. The Princess, second cousin, twice removed to the Queen herself, clearly has no truck with the defendant’s views on the royal family. Morrissey’s barrister, Mr Snuffle-Bump, is just about to make his own brief opening statement.

Mr Snuffle-Bump the Barrister:
Over the course of this here case,
We’ve got some epic tales to tell,
For these charges there is no base,
And my client serves the bunnies well.
I am a Barrister bound by truth, capped proud in wig and tie,
But above all I’m a bunny… and fluffies cannot lie.

Courthouse Reporter:
As you can hear it’s going mental in Courtroom No.1, the animals are chanting that fluffy bunnies cannot lie. At this rate the judge will clear the courthouse. The walrus up in the gallery is looking increasingly agitated. If the strength of Morrissey’s defence is to be that ‘fluffy bunnies cannot lie’ then his barrister would appear to be even greener than everyone has been predicting.

Judge:
Order, order stop your yells,
Or I’ll have you locked up in the cells.
Contempt it is a most serious business,
For the love of god bring in a witness.

Courthouse Reporter:
The Crown has called the Night Watchman of Planet Earth. He was on duty during the alleged unpleasantness and… wait a minute, is that? Yes… it appears he’s stepping into the stand with what looks like a chicken drumstick poking out of the pocket of a rabbit skin waistcoat. This is not going down well with the animals in the gallery. Morrissey and the rabbit table look positively sick.

Night Watchman of Planet Earth:
I was keeping watch on the Earth below,
When I heard a great, ferocious bellow,
Then the sound of paws and drag of a sled,
I knew in my bones this was something to dread.
Over stratocumulus clouds the sled raced faster,
The poor brainwashed animals pulling their master,
Bunnies on leashes were jumping through obstacles,
With his wand and cape he seemed quite unstoppable.
Then the true devilry really began,
This was an evil man with a vicious plan.
He got to his feet and started to moan,
This cry was inhuman and chilled to the bone.
Down underneath him the dead heard their call,
Up from rotten coffins they started to crawl,
And soon they were gathered at the Southern Cemetery gates.
Now they’re walking free, more destruction awaits.
The rampaging has started it will only get worse.
It will be long and expensive to undo this curse…

Mr Snuffle-Bump the Barrister:
What an absolute pile of…

Animal Gallery:
Lies – you are destroying a flower-like life!
Lies – you are corrupting an innocent time!

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Oh my! The lone walrus has stormed the witness box.

Judge:
Right, clear the courtroom!

Jim – Outside Reporter:
My word! It’s all going off in there. The Night Watchman of Planet Earth has taken one hell of a tackle. Mr Morrissey appears to have broken into his first grin from the dock. The animals in the gallery are chanting: “You’re the one for us fatty” in support.

The judge is now having the courtroom cleared completely – but with a menagerie of whooping animals refusing to move, it looks like it’s going to take quite a while to sort this one out. Let’s use the opportunity to try and work out how we all got here. I’m joined by Bill Smudge, Morrissey expert and biographer. Bill – what is the controversy over Morrissey all about?

Bill Smudge – Morrissey Expert and Biographer:
How long have you got Jim? Morrissey has been courting infamy and dividing opinions for the last 30 years. This is down in no small part to his abilities as an illusionist and publicity expert. There was no better example of this than his recent controversial autobiography. The prose was slippery and illusive, embraced warmly by his fans but splitting the critics down the middle… in fact AA Gill’s uberly-harsh review has just won him the Hatchet Job of the Year Award. With a history of outrageously offbeat comments and complex lyrics – which appear to bring you close to the man but never really do – this finally feels like we’re having real peek into his private life.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Well folks, it appears that the gallery has finally made its way outside under protest. The police presence has certainly increased and they appear to be kettling the protestors.

Menagerie Chorus from the Court Steps:
We’re ready to defend.
We’re here until the end.
On us, Moz can depend.
We’re standing by our friend.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Bill – can you explain to the audience why the animals are rallying such support?

Bill Smudge – Morrissey Expert and Biographer:
Of course it’s partly because rabbits are involved. But Morrissey has a long history of friendship with animals. This is ongoing and seamlessly threaded through his entire recent autobiography adding a real human dimension to famous songs like ‘Meat is Murder’ and all those big publicity statements like eating meat being like paedophilia.  There was one really moving scene in the book where he described monitoring the daily progress of a baby bird who had fallen out of a tree. The singer even made sure to handle the bird with gardening gloves so that his smell didn’t put its parents off. It was extremely touching.

Menagerie Chorus from the Court Steps:
Knee us in the groin, elbow us in the face,
We shall not be moving from our idol’s place.
Please back away with all your police batons…
We’re a 500 ton army with the power to flatten.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Blimey – they are extremely committed – can you shed some light on why Morrissey attracts such loyal fans?

Bill Smudge – Morrissey Expert and Biographer:
I think it starts with the fact Morrissey was always such a massive fan himself, hanging round the stage door as a youngster hoping to catch a glimpse of his own musical heroes. He was very inspired by poetry, and of course, also tackles extremely unusual themes in his music. His ability to find beauty and depth in the seemingly very ordinary seems to have struck a giant chord with many of his fans. They feel close to him because of his lyrics and however you regard his viewpoints, it is hard to deny that he is a true artist… and true art always manages to inspire loyalty.

Menagerie Chorus from the Court Steps:
Let us back into the court,
We want to show our support!

Courthouse Reporter:
Hi folks, sorry to cut in… but I’ve just had the word that the court will be adjourned for the rest of the day. We don’t know who is going to be allowed back in tomorrow and who isn’t… but as the entire gallery seems to be singing on the court steps it does not look promising. We have received word that the Night Watchman of Planet Earth has been taken to hospital with suspected concussion. He really didn’t know what hit him. If you’re listening Mr Watchman… it was definitely a walrus.

 

Day 2: Morrissey Trial – Manchester Crown Court

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Hello, it’s day two of the Morrissey trial and higher volumes of animals and people have turned up to watch the spectacle today.  The police presence has also doubled. The animals from yesterday are waiting to find out if they’ll be let in today. I’m joined by Cliff Ford – Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent.  Cliff, you were just telling us off camera about the Johnny Marr rumours flying around at the moment.

Cliff Ford – Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent:
Yes, Jim. Last night I received unconfirmed reports that Marr was in town, and possibly thinking about making an appearance. Whether this would be for a show of support, or something more official, we don’t yet know.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Do you think it’s possible that he’ll be called as a character witness… 25 years after they stopped working together?

Cliff Ford – Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent:
It was more than working together though Jim. The pair of them forged a sound which blended surging, hyperbolic tunes with bizarre literary lyricism. The alliance was tight and the split so horrific that it has impacted the public perception of Morrissey ever since. Does Marr know the true Morrissey? I’d like to think so… and if he were to speak this week it would be very interesting indeed. The thing is Jim, because of his public image and perceived curmudgeonlyness, people do not always think Morrissey is a very nice man. He’s always so cagey about relationships of any kind that this strange allegiance with Miss Flufflebinks – and judging by his defence team – the bunny world at large has provided quite a different view of him. Whether the rumours about Marr turn out to be fake or not, one thing is clear… everybody is champing at the bit for more details from the inner circle of a very private man.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
And even without any input from Marr, what is the reaction to this case like around the world?

Cliff Ford – Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent:
The global coverage for this case has been phenomenal with mass outpourings of support and condemnation everywhere. Morrissey is seen as quintessentially English… which is both a plus and a minus on the world stage. And, even though he often rails about how unloved he is in England, it’s clear from the response on the streets of Manchester that this is not the case. Animals and humans have turned out in their thousands. Morrissey is part of a tradition of miserable literary characters which include John Betjeman, Philip Larkin and Alan Bennett.

Courthouse Reporter:
Okay folks, we’re being let in… and amazingly, after yesterday’s shenanigans the animals are coming too. Morrissey stands in the dock, green tie today. The prosecution continues.

Bailiff:
Bring in Graveyard Jane – a Caretaker for the Southern Cemetery

Graveyard Jane:
I’m an honest working woman and I earn my pay,
Making sure the cemetery’s safe each and every day.
I guard against robbers, thieves and the base:
This is the dead’s final resting place.
Until one day last June… it makes me weep to recall,
The dead all woke up in that evil man’s thrall.

Courthouse Reporter:
The witness is pointing at Morrissey with tears streaming down her cheeks.

Judge:
Take your time, please dry your tears,
This is a court of justice, you’ve nothing to fear.

Graveyard Jane:
I was doing my rounds amongst all the headstones,
When I heard a terrible inhuman moan.
It was a horrible, indescribable, from above me on high…
Made by a black cloaked man, in a sled, in the sky.
He had a big troop of bunnies with him on a cloud,
And the wail from his mouth was disgracefully loud.
Then with a crack of a whip and a wave of his wand,
The long sleeping dead began to respond.
Underneath the gravestones the earth kicked up a stir,
Then the rest is hazy… a confusing scary blur.
I broke into a run. The ground was swaying like the sea.
I was shaking with pure terror and could only think to flee.
I can’t eat, sleep or relax… I’ve long ceased being normal.
Can’t go to work or earn a living – I’m plagued by the paranormal.

Courthouse Reporter:
The testimony of Graveyard Jane has caused quite a rumpus amongst the jury who haven’t appeared impressed by the animal activities so far. In fact I can confirm the smell in here is already quite overwhelming and one lady jury member has been holding a handkerchief to her nose through this morning’s proceedings.

The impact of this witness might be hard for the defence to temper. Graveyard Jane is sweet, nicely spoken and seems genuinely upset by proceedings. She’s the sort of witness the defence will surely be fearing.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
The reaction out here to Graveyard Jane has been mixed. It was certainly a moving speech and many people will empathise with the witness. Cliff Ford – Senior PR & Entertainment correspondent – how do you think this development will impact the case?

Cliff Ford – Senior PR & Entertainment Correspondent:
It’s hard to say Jim, it all sounded pretty damning. However, the more I hear about these goings on at Southern Cemetery, the more confused I seem to get. I know I keep going back to his autobiography, but in it there was one particular passage that describes how Morrissey was looking to exhume a dead uncle in Ireland and bring him back to Manchester. It was most odd, but respectful. And not the sort of thing you’d expect to hear from a practitioner of vile necromancy.

The man does have an undeniable knack of being able to direct events though, so it will be interesting to see just what the defence is going to offer up. That said, Morrissey also has a habit of losing seemingly unlosable cases. In summary Jim, I’m going to have to stick with being confused for the time being.

Courthouse Reporter:
Throughout the day the Crown has called in a whole host of expert witnesses to testify to the damage caused to the ozone layer and general crimes against planet Earth. These have mostly been scientists and environmental experts.

There has also been a slow procession of members of the public who all testify to seeing the dead of Southern Cemetery rampaging through the streets of Manchester over the last eight months. A lady from Duckinfield reported an unknown ghoul in the car park of the Foresters pub and a seemingly inebriated gentleman has just given a vivid description of seeing the spectre of Sir Matt Busby at Old Trafford. There’s now just one more to come before we adjourn for the day.

Canal Street Dave:
The dead rolled out down Canal Street.
I was smashed left and right, then off my feet.
A red eyed ghoul with a mind to kill and a distinctive lack of social skills,
Stood breathing fire whilst I lay still.
He was a malignant brute who dined off souls,
With a heart as black as South Lanc’s coal.
I leapt to my feet and jumped in the canal
Before I was mauled into their thrall.
Now I stand here a lifeless shell,
Scared I’ll be dragged down to hell.
The dead hurt the living by roaming free,
It must be down to vile necromancy!
It is all down to that evil Morrissey!

 

Vile Necromancy

  

 

They hiss and groan
And they rattle their bones
Cos now they have come out to play
And that’s down to vile necromancy

Corpses arise
Gaze up at skies
I’m horrified
Cos he’s up there:
Mr Morrissey

He does this black magic
Who cleans up his mess?
Putting demons underground doesn’t come for free

He crashes in on fiery sled
Screaming chants to raise the dead
So much suffering
Caused by necromancy

I know for a fact that he goes out brain washing
Now showjumping with a sled
Please! This is all an evil plan

Pure evil

There’s a dead squad
Around in our town
A corpse army
Controlled by Morrissey

Zombies are stalking Salford
Ghouls are in Moss Side
They’ve been seen on churches
Nicking lead off roofs in Hyde

Where’s the reparation
Someone has to pay
Who is going to suffer? Folks like you and me

He is a vicious man with a heinous scheme
And by raising the dead he is speeding his dream
He just wants immortality

Necromancy

You don’t know me but should heed me
Because I’m not wrong
We’ve gotta see this devilry gone
We’ve gotta see this wizardry gone

You don’t know me but should heed me
Because I’m not wrong
We’ve gotta see these zombies gone
We’ve gotta see these dead things gone

 

Day 3: Morrissey Trial – Manchester Crown Court

Mr Snuffle-Bump:
You’ve heard the claims in open court, that zombies plague our land.
Now I’m a little lost, perhaps you can help me understand?
I’ve sent the finest crack detectives, brave bunnies one and all,
They’ve not met a single spectre or undead walking soul.
So I’m pleading to the public and offering up a bounty,
10,000 of your human pounds to produce a ghoul in this here county.
I’m not trying to endanger life, or create any mass confusion,
I’m convinced that there’s no walking dead, merely somebody’s sick delusion.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
For those just joining us, that was Mr Snuffle-Bump first thing this morning making an unprecedented appeal for the members of the public to bring forward the undead for a cash reward. A bold move that could potentially prove both damning and dangerous.

Following his plea, he bounded inside to begin his defence of Steven Patrick Morrissey.  In his opening address he described how bunnies love to show jump, Mr Morrissey is a friend of the animals and that there is absolutely no solid evidence to support the range of other crimes levelled against him. Every point was punctuated by a unison cocking of ears by the defence team. This light hearted, technical approach led to stifled laughter from more than one of the jurors.

Over the course of the morning the defence has also rolled out core expert witnesses to testify that the ozone layer was not damaged during that now infamous cloud journey. On top of which it has been at pains to stress that there is absolutely no evidence of the sled that the prosecution has claimed the bunnies pulled through the sky.

Today’s lunch break is almost over and we are due to reconvene any minute, starting with the testimony of Miss Flufflebinks.

Courthouse Reporter:
Now the star witness, we’ve all be waiting for, is about to step forward. Miss Flufflebinks like Morrissey himself has remained firmly out of the media and is about to take to the witness box. The animal gallery and jury are all leaning forward in their seats in anticipation.

Miss Flufflebinks:
Yes, he took me up into the sky.
The show jumps were laid, way up high.
His hat stood tall, and his cloak streamed forth,
As I jumped and binked and I tackled the course.
Together we danced, we frisked and we vaulted,
From Hulme Street to Moss Brook; our spirits exalted.

Courthouse Reporter:
A map is being shown of the Manchester area. The route that Miss Flufflebinks claims she and Morrissey took on their showjumping journey over the clouds runs diagonally through the city centre from south west to north east. The Southern Cemetery, on the other hand, is due south of the Hulme area. If her evidence is to believed it would not have been possible for Morrissey to wake the dead at these coordinates.  When it comes to the vile crime of necromancy, it appears to be Miss Flufflebinks’ words against Graveyard Jane and the Night Watchman of Planet Earth.

Judge:
Please continue Miss Flufflebinks.

Miss Flufflebinks:
Past the finish line, a furry troop cheered,
An animal orchestra pulled out its gear.
We danced and we swayed, with not a care,
And down below us the public remained unaware.
There was no necromancy, or raising the dead.
There was no rancorous plan, or rabbit-pulled sled.
There was no ozone damage or crimes of the land,
Just some happy fluffies and a menagerie band!

Animal chorus:
We were dancing and laughing and finally living…

Jim – Outside Reporter:
The animals love Miss Flufflebinks, but will the jury?  I’m joined by Bill Smudge, Morrissey Expert and Biographer. What do you think this much awaited evidence reveals about Mr Morrissey?

Bill Smudge – Morrissey Expert and Biographer:
This is a real insight into Morrissey’s personal life. He is obviously an introvert and a perfectionist. He has been in the public eye since he was 24… and considering his massive international stardom has kept his life remarkably private. Through this entire period he has been quizzed, picked at and prodded and he has never before revealed that he dons a hat and cloak and show jumps bunnies in the clouds over Manchester. I think this tells us more about the real man than we have ever learned before.

 

Day 4: Morrissey trial – Manchester Crown Court

Courthouse Reporter:
It is the last day of the Morrissey trial and Mr Snuffle-Bump is about to present final, “conclusive” evidence that the accused is not a necromancer.

Mr Snuffle-Bump:
Before I make my final points, I’ll make a quick recap,
Of a couple of things that have been said, the court reporter shall read them back:

Court Reporter:
“Over stratocumulus clouds the sled raced faster,
The poor brainwashed animals pulling their master.”

Mr Snuffle-Bump:
That was the Nightwatchman, an expert in the sky,
When it comes to cloud types, he knows more than you and I.

Court Reporter:
“I was doing my rounds amongst all the headstones,
When I heard a terrible inhuman moan,
It was a horrible, indescribable, from above me on high…
Made by a black cloaked man, in a sled, in the sky.
He had a big troop of bunnies with him on a cloud,
And the wail from his mouth was disgracefully loud.”

Mr Snuffle-Bump:
That repost was Graveyard Jane’s,
Telling a story of anguish and pain.

However…

The ‘stratocumulus’ on which they jumped that day,
Might be the lowest of clouds, but it’s still 2000 feet away,
Now our defendant does have a carrying tone,
But surely this would not be enough alone?

Courthouse Reporter:
The atmosphere in the courthouse is electric. This is completely unprecedented. Mr Snuffle-Bump is asking the judge’s permission to conduct a live experiment.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
There is a crowd gathered on the courthouse steps. The defendant is being led by Mr Snuffle-Bump and a court official over to a large wicker basket, which is suspended from the bodies of two outrageously big gulls. Mr Snuffle-Bump is holding a video camera in one paw… and what looks like a big watch in the other.  Word is whistling round the crowd that this is an extremely complex escape attempt.

Okay, the basket is rising slowly into the air. Mr Snuffle-Bump has clearly been planning this stunt all week, the logistics involved are seemingly stupendous. It wasn’t long ago that the bunny barrister was described as being too green for this case… but he’s certainly earning his ‘human pounds’ today.

A large monitor has been set up at the bottom of the courthouse steps and Mr Snuffle-Bump’s camera is sending back footage of the ascension, and flicking between shots of gently flapping gulls, his watch-like altimeter – currently reading 1,700 feet… and Morrissey’s face. The gull basket has now drawn level with the lowest cloud, the altimeter reads 2022 feet. Mr Morrissey has stepped out of the basket and onto the cloud. It appears that Mr Morrissey is yelling something…

Mr Snuffle-Bump has made a signal to one of the bunny defence team.

Morrissey:
“Don’t make fun of Mozzy’s voi…”

Jim – Outside Reporter:
Amazing… the second chair bunny is toggling the volume on and off

Morrissey:
“Don’t make fun of Mozzy’s voice!”

Mr Snuffle-Bump:
My client’s voice cannot be heard,
That he woke the dead is plain absurd!
Sweet Graveyard Jane was telling lies,
The Night Watchman is someone to despise.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
The crowd is going berserk – the animals are chanting “fluffy bunnies cannot lie”. A whole battalion of gulls are accompanying the basket as it makes its way down to terra firma. Tiny fluffies are clamouring onto the heads of giraffes and elephants to catch a better look at the accused. He is throwing his arms out to the ardent fans below.

Courthouse Reporter:
The judge is about to deliver his final summing up before the jury go away and decide on their verdict.

Judge:
What happened on that fateful day?
Only a very few can truly say.
The prosecution is full of cracks.
You must ask: what are the facts?

Courthouse Reporter:
After three hours the jury has returned. The atmosphere is very tense. Now they are pronouncing their verdict…

Foreman of the Jury:
Rabbit brain washing: Not guilty.
Damage to the ozone layer: Not guilty.
Crimes against planet Earth: Not guilty.
Necromancy: Not guilty.

Animal chorus:
You’re standing in the dock.
We’re your innocence bedrock.
We’re so pleased you kept your plea:
You’ve been proved not guilty!

Courthouse Reporter:
Morrissey has been found not guilty. There is no stopping the animals in the gallery. They have stormed the dock and are literally throwing him into the air. The animals are giving Morrissey the bumps. Now he is suspended by dozens of furry paws… and he appears to be ripping his shirt off.

Jim – Outside Reporter:
The spectacle out here is incredible. There is a carnival atmosphere. Now the menagerie is outside, an elephant is lifting Mr Morrissey onto his shoulders. One by one small animals are being passed up to be cuddled by Mr Morrissey, before jumping off into the waiting arms of the crowd.

As you can no doubt hear, “his name’s been cleared today” is being chanted loudly by one and all. The procession is making its way down the road into the waiting throng of Manchester town. “His name’s been cleared today. His name’s been cleared today.”

 

Show Jumping in the Sky

  

 

So you’ve had some courtroom fun
Seen a walrus attack
Heard people swear white is black

At times the press have gone insane
And some wrong ‘uns called for blood
Behind him is where we stood

We are the Courtroom Menagerie
Here to see he gets set free
You have now heard the case from the Crown
Get exposed and shot down
There was no evil plan
Just showjumping in the sky. No lie

Mozzer was at large in the clouds
With his friends leaping proud
And it wasn’t a crime
This show jumping in the sky. Why lie?

Just some bunny showjumping
Not devilish necromancy
At Southern Cemetery

We are the Courtroom Menagerie
Here to save our Morrissey
You’ve heard our Bunny Perry Mason
Miss Fluffles’ declaration
And it wasn’t a crime
This showjumping in the sky
All hail bunny fun
Mozzer was at large in the clouds
With his friends leaping proud
There was no sled of deadly dread
Rising of the dead
Or churches robbed of lead

Morrissey just danced with the fluffies
Binked with the fluffies and jumped with the fluffies
And his name’s been cleared today
His name’s been cleared today
His name’s been cleared today
Today…
His name’s been cleared today…
Today…

 

8 months earlier:

Miss Flufflebinks’ ears are forward, her face a mask of concentration as she approaches the last jump. They have run from Hulme Street to Moss Brook and exhaustion is beginning to take its toll. This has been a grand journey. Now with one final effort they cover the remaining obstacle… and great party of animals surges forward to greet them. There is a merry troop of bunny rabbits throwing streamers and a line of deer, birds, badgers and moles chanting and holding banners. Morrissey removes his hat, takes a long deep bow and scoops Miss Flufflebinks into the air. The noise is deafening.

The robin red-breast conductor cocks his head and lifts his baton with his beak. There is silence before his band of squirrels strike up a tune. Slowly the sweet, crystal clear music swells through the cold air.
A giraffe begins to wave her neck. Then an antelope starts to prance in time to the beat. In a solemn line, a dozen penguins step out into a clean patch of slate grey cloud, form pairs and begin to waltz.

As the sound deepens in intensity a wave of butterflies from the clearing below, rise up, gather… and begin to sway. As the clouds shake with whirling feet and paws, the great mass of colourful insects fan up to meet them in a great technicolour extravaganza of beating wings.

On top of the stratocumulus things are starting to go wild. Round the perimeter of thick, heavy, vapour, flamingos are doing the Bolero, hamsters are jitterbugging, elephants are jiving, whilst a tiny white mouse is performing a solo Irish jig. The music is getting quicker and quicker. The whole cloud is vibrating with jubilation. And somewhere in the middle Miss Flufflebinks is leading an excitable conga line of koalas, pandas, marmosets, piglets and otters… all circling faster and faster round Morrissey, who at the centre of it all, is clutching his magic wand and giggling with delight.

– END –

 

Thirty years ago on Thursday, Manchester indie band, The Smiths, released its first, eponymous album. Few could deny that via beltingly intimate pop tunes about loneliness, depression and isolation, The Smiths offered a brand new musical experience. Yet underneath the surface things were far from peaceful, as this debut marked the start of a long journey through a famously severed alliance, high profile court case… and solo careers that couldn’t help but be tinged by a legacy.

In this time period, front man, lyrist and show-personality, Morrissey has gradually morphed from be-quiffed gladioli-wielding youth into a full scale publicity illusionist. Last year he released an autobiography which, in a cacophony of news splutter, went straight to Penguin Classics… yet arguably brought us no closer to the man himself.

Then last month in a quick online Q&A he lamented for the forty-seven millionth time that music was dead… but this time he stated his chosen antidote was a foray into fiction. Oh, along with two new albums… and a tour, with Tom Jones and Cliff Richard as his support acts, news which coincided nicely with the 30th anniversary and caused the Moz PR juggernaut to hurtle even faster than ever.

Now when Morrissey the novelist does put in his first appearance, we’re certain that it will be an experience to be reckoned with… because every word, lyric and T-Shirt is carefully calculated. And from his royal repugnance to his vegetarian vehemence, the media can’t get enough of it. Column inches are guaranteed, even if they’re only used to spit and steam.

Today Moz stands a modern day Houdini, wrapped in a cloak of smoke and mirrors truly commanding the international stage. This was our attempt to try and get a bit closer to the bloke behind all the fuss… and offer our own humbled, baffled tribute.

Comments

  1. Excellent courtroom drama….. and another Stella performance x 3 ….Show Jumping In The Sky…fab !

  2. Just finished reading this today. Very enjoyable & if I was going to rate it I would give it 5*

    All the best for your future ventures.

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