ABNEY SLOTH

by John Silas-Hall




Is he an artist, musician, writer or serial rapist? Abney Sloth claims he is all three.

Born Elvis Twiddley in Harpenden in 1983, he was the son of very unkind parents, neither of whom were actually called Twiddley. What can that do to you?

He soon adopted the identity of an alter ego named after a cemetery in Stoke Newington in combination with his favorite physical state.

He produced his first full-scale canvas, when he was only eleven. It was made out of a pair of his mother's discarded dungarees, but he neglected to paint anything on it. Later he wittily titled it 'Full Scale Canvas No. 1' and it went on to sell in auction at £ 5.000.000. He never quite repeated this success, possibly because his mother had stopped wearing dungarees and had adopted leotards and stretch leggings (well, she was taking an aerobics class).

He studied at the Slade (which is either a school of art or a prison, I'm not sure which) and at the Anna Schuul Stage School where he majored in 'Citizen Kane's Rosebud: Is it a sled or a flower arrangement?'. It was also here that he first gained his reputation for being a serial rapist, something he today vigorously denies, claiming it was acquired in some other establishment.

He was hounded by the press, and he was also subsequently actually hounded by a group of foxhounds, one of the infamous Berkshire Fives under the leadership of Sir Rolly Jolliet, which had mistaken him for the infamous Earl of Abney (a worthless socialite with whom we need not concern ourselves further, or in fact with any other conjugation of those words).

He spent the next five years drinking very slowly from a very large bottle of gin, in which someone had infused a large number of sloes, or possibly sloths.

Then, Max Clifford took him under his wing, and subsequently under intense media pressure to disclose both the size of his socks and his personal relationships with small furry mammals, Abney moved to the U.S.A in 1942 and then again, after he had been born, in 1996.

He moved among various schools of folk artists located mostly in and around the Texas towns of Lubbock and Flatlands, and settled finally in a small town called Groff, which had one rolling irrigator and a small carbody workshop to its name (not to mention 3,000 grain silos, ten caravan parks, and a paddywack shack advertising Nude Dancing).

Here he set to work to produce the first major installation of his career, which would consist of 200,000 miniature clay models of the country singer, Joe Ely. He set up a factory of 500 itinerant Mexican labourers to produce these, but he was forced to lay most of them off when the Immigration Authorities caught up with him, and claimed he had been paying them far too much. He was committed to seeing the work finished, but had to produce the rest of the batch by hand, personally. It (and the large bottle of Gin to which he was now constantly attached by a drip) nearly killed him, and he was forced to retire to a nursing home in Pasadena, where he still lives today, emerging only to cash his occasional royalty cheque and to appear on the David Letterman Show.

Walt Whitman once said, 'Despite the moral decline of our nation, there will always be a few people usually called Vince, on whom we can rely to monitor the subversive activities of our neighbours, and their young male children. They may be no more effective or reliable in meeting this ongoing threat of ennui, than if I were to twiddle with the curled leaves on the bracken, or to smear the juice from the broken stem of a dock leaf or a nettle upon my lips and go gibbergibbergibber, but we have to give them a chance. They may soften the sting of the wasp. But remember no amount of balm can stop a rash appearing later. Meanwhile call toll-free 0451 4783 4563




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