The manuscript of John Lennon's bizarre and hilarious parody of Sherlock Holmes, published on pp.24-33 of A Spaniard in the Works. This short story was described by the author as "The longest thing I've written" (interview 18 June 1965), and this is one of the most extensive Lennon manuscripts in existence. Like many of the pieces in Spaniard, the wordplay is more obscene than In His Own Write (for example the great detective's residence is here sited on "Bugger St") and the story - such as it is - revolves around the killing of a prostitute, Mary Atkins, murdered in her "happy humping ground" by "Jack the Nipple" who is looking for revenge on the women who gave him the "dreadfoot V.D. (Valentine Dyall)". The cruel side of Lennon's humor is in evidence both in the wordplay - as when Jack vows to "kill them all womb by womb" - and in the description of the prostitute:
"...Mary Atkins pruned herselves in the mirrage, running her hand wantanly through her large blond hair. Her tight dress was cut low revealingly three or four black heads, carefully scrubbed on her chess. She addled the final touches to her makeup and fixed her teeth firmly in her head..."
It is also among the funniest of Lennon's compositions, for example in Shamrock Womlbs's repeated explanations to the befuddled Whopper:
"But how do you know Womlbs?"
"Alibabba my dead Whopper, I have seen the film."
or: "How did you guess?" I inquired all puzzle
"Alecguiness my deep Whopper, the mud on the inspectres' left, and also the buttock on his waistbox is misting."
"Lennon recalled the composition of this piece in a 1968 interview:
"I had a holiday after we first made it big as Beatles in Tahiti, and there was nothing on the boat but books. And Tahiti and all those Islands, great, but I still got into reading, so I was writing Spaniard in the Works and I knew, I never got past a story longer than a page, so I read a whole stack, sort of ‘The Madman’s Sherlock Holmes' where you get all the stories in one and I realised that every story was the same story, so I just wrote one Shamrock Womlbs after three weeks of Sherlock Holmes in Tahiti. And that was the end of it." (for BBC television, Release, 6 June 1968)
This holiday took place in May 1964, in other words less than two months after the publication of In His Own Write, and George Harrison also remembered Lennon's writing whilst in Tahiti: "I remember coming up with a lot of little phrases while he sat at the table making it up and speaking it out. If anybody said anything it would go in the book." (Anthology, p.135). Lennon even appropriated names from those around him: one character in the story, "Sydnees Aspinall", takes his surname from the Beatles' personal assistant, Neil Aspinall.
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