Hooting Yard: Disquieting Ploppy Noises From Behind The Panel

Dobson wrote extensively during the period when he was hunkered down in a janitorium. The key pamphlets from this time were collected in a compendium and published as a thick paperback with a garish cover design suitable for sale at airport bookstalls. It is thought to be the only instance where Dobson’s name was embossed in gold. Alas, this failed to impress the reading public, and very few copies of the book were sold, although we should bear in mind that I write of a time before mass commercial aeroplane travel, so there were fewer airports, and even fewer airport bookstalls, and only a handful of customers frequenting those that did exist.

One early airport bookstall worthy of note was that opened at Tantarabim Rustic Airfield by Marigold Chew’s cousin Basil Chew. Basil was a peg-legged pear-shaped man with tremendous Ruritanian moustachios, a fuddle-headed entrepreneur whose every business scheme failed. He simply had no grasp of reality, his view of the world being at once mistaken, hallucinatory, and plain wrong. If one were unkind, one would call him a blockhead. But he had charm, and winning ways, and when he twirled those fine moustachios people swooned with besotment. Thus he was able to convince a few foolhardy financiers to back his airport bookstall, where, under the delusion that aeroplanes flew at the speed of a peasant trudging along a muddy country lane and that passengers would need extremely fat books to keep them occupied.

This episode was recorded on the 24th April 2008. A complete transcript of this episode can be found on Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Accompanying Hooting Yard On The Air, the two publications Unspeakable Desolation Pouring Down From The Stars and Befuddled By Cormorants are available for purchase.