Some of you may not know the infamous chuckle_monkey, so you may be surprised to discover that he is indeed a monkey, and one who recently started a hate campaign against English writer, editor and publisher markdeniz. This campaign involves everything from crude words to actual muck-flinging when they come face-to-face again at this year’s Conflux in Canberra.
As part of the campaign, I agreed to interview Chuckle Monkey. No doubt Mark Deniz will soon be in touch with his side of the story.
SH: Greetings Chuckle Monkey, and thanks for honouring me with your presence today.
CM: Not a prob Hal, always cool to chat to someone as funny as yerself. You know I like a good chuckle. *winks*
SH: Actually, I’m not Hal. He’s the main character in my novels.
CM: But I thought I was being interviewed by the pilot, the funny one?
SH: I’m the funny one. Hal’s made up.
CM: No, really? Are you sure you’re not him? Go on, you’re amongst friends…
SH: Interesting you should mention friends, because while your muck-flinging antics don’t bother me too much – especially if they’re targeting this Deniz guy - the book In Bad Dreams features a number of Australians and some of them are friends of mine. This hate campaign you have going could involve collateral damage.
CM: I am aware of that Hal, it’s just that things don’t always go your way in this industry and they have to realise they made a mistake. It is my hope that they will all avoid In Bad Dreams – Volume Two, when the submission form rolls around in September. You didn’t write for the first one, you have sense.
SH: I don’t usually write horror. I write science fiction novels.
CM: You do? Oh I love to read those things; you’ll have to let me know the titles.
SH: The first is Hal Spacejock. There’s no muck-flinging but there is urine-hurling. I think you’ll like it.
CM: Hal Spacejock? You mean you named the novel after yerself? How strange!
SH: No, that’s the character’s name. I’m Simon.
CM: So you’re not Hal Spacejock?
SH: Not the last time I checked, no.
CM: You sure?
SH: Yes. He’s shorter, wider and hasn’t been born yet. Now, about this launch you’re sabotaging, I’ve heard there’s going to be muck and brown bananas, a truly delightful combination, but have you anything else up your sleeve?
CM: Yep, I’m going to spike a couple of people’s drinks at the con, you know liven things up a bit. Ever heard kaaronwarren singing I Will Survive at the top of her voice? Well you will there! I’m going to convince amandapillar that she can juggle three drinks at a time, egg Robert Hood on that he can breakdance, that sort of thing.
I’m also off to the US to put beetles in Donald Jacob Uitvlugt’s rosebush and break into Michael Bailey’s flat and chuck his TV out the window…
SH: Why would you do that to his telly?
CM: You obviously haven’t read the book.
SH: Is it out yet?
CM: Paltry excuse! So much for community spirit, eh?
SH: But you’ve read it and you’re dissing it, so why should I bother?
CM: You have to know your enemy, Hal. You have to know what you’re up against when you write your next travelogue.
SH: I think you’ve got me mixed up with someone else. I don’t do travelogues.
CM: What about when you wrote about that place Lamira?
SH: Oh, you mean the planet Hal Spacejock visits in book one?
CM: Yeah, where you travelled around getting into all sorts of scrapes and Clunk had to save you.
SH: You have trouble distinguishing fact from fiction, don’t you?
CM: Don’t worry, I know it must be embarrassing having a robot save your butt so often. How do you think Mark felt having me save him all the time?
SH: So, aside from Monty Python sketches, what’s going on between you and Mark?
CM: OMG you spotted that?
SH: Didn’t everyone?
CM: *looks nervous* I didn’t think so.
SH: So, you and Mark?
CM: Look we had a falling out. It happens. Sometimes you forgive and forget but other times…
CM: Look Hal, I only came cause they said you would be funny, that you’d make me laugh. Are you sure you’re Hal, cause let’s face it he’s a hell of a lot funnier than you!
SH: I’m Simon.
CM: See, I knew I had you sussed. It just didn’t feel right!
SH: But I tried to tell you—
CM: Oh here we go get all defensive now, I see, I see… well I’m off!
SH: I would like to say it’s been nice but…
CM: Tell Clunk he’s my favourite character, he’s so cool!
SH: I’ll mention it next time I see him.
CM: I knew you were Hal! *hangs up*
SH: Mutters. *goes for a quiet sit down*
CM: Hey Hal, it’s me. Sorry about the mess.
SH: What mess?
CM: Oh, you haven’t checked your chair yet? *hangs up*