I’m trapped in 1979. Please send help. And bananas.

Earlier today, curator of cool Todd Mason sent a link to the horror list for Richard Littler’s Scarfolk Council, a brilliant, disturbing, hysterically funny blog concerning a fictional town in the UK.

Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. “Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.” For more information please reread.

It’s apparently quite the cultural phenom but I’ve been living under a rock lately and was unaware of it.

I don’t know if it would have more or less resonance for me if I’d seen it prior to becoming lodged in JunglePete’s childhood memories circa the late 1970s. (I didn’t actually meet JunglePete until we started going to school together in 1982). The last few weeks have started to feel like an elaborate prank. Or an episode of Fringe.

There was that incident with the Siamong in the Wendy’s restaurant I told you about earlier in the week. Then, yesterday, I had a random conversation with a visitor while at my volunteer gig. Although it’s a public place, I don’t feel comfortable repeating conversations I have with visitors so I’m omitting most of the details, but you’ll get the gist from the post I’m lazily copying from my facebook update:

I don’t share much personal info w the public when volunteering in the forensic anthropology lab. Yesterday a retiree from Venice, FL visited & I said I was also from Sarasota. Then I took out an osteomyelitic tibia, like one does. The rest of our lengthy conversation can be summarized as (osteology)(bio archaeology)(osteology)(osteology)(my daughter dated a fellow who lived on a monkey preserve)(osteology)(bio archaeology)(osteology). I said nothing at the time, but when I got home I verified that I am, in fact, trapped in Jungle Pete Corradino’s childhood memories. Please send help. And bananas.

I didn’t offer up that I knew someone who lived in a monkey sanctuary. I don’t know if the story is true or not, although when I asked JunglePete about it he told me some vague story about knowing the family in question that took place in the late 1970s, which is good enough for me.

If you don’t have much patience or don’t understand why poking around the Scarfolk site is so entertaining, I just found a post by David Barnett, who wrote a rather lengthy summary review for Tor.com with some great examples of the images on the site. Barnett concludes:

Scarfolk is a triumph of psychogeography and pretty much what the internet was invented for, as far as I’m concerned. Go visit, by all means, but don’t say you haven’t been warned. And when—if—you leave Scarfolk, I guarantee that there are certain things you won’t look at in the same way ever again. For example… are those children looking at you in a bit of a weird way right now..?

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I need to go finish a conference paper abstract so I can delve back into the Scarfolk archives.

Sharing is caring!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • JunglePete

    As long as the angel of death doesn’t come around asking questions about me I’m cool with this craziness.

  • Curating what strikes me as cool, of course, doesn’t make me any cooler…I’m one of those who winces every time you refer to a gibbon/siamang as a monkey…’cause bears ain’t raccoons. We apes gotta stick together (and keep an eye on the macaques (they’re poised to be the most manipulative primates if that flu bug takes down we tailless ones). But I envy you your remarkable encounter…and that must’ve been one fool of a fast-food drone to scream at a little ape like that (either one of you!). Thanks for sharing, and stay out of dodgy polyesterous English town for a while, till things settle…

    • meanlouise

      JunglePete has always displayed a bit of a pro-monkey, anti-great ape bias, but now I understand more clearly why lesser apes got a pass in his opinion.