Porl’s Showbiz Chums

Celebrity responses have varied somewhat. The Queen was ‘interested’, Timmy Mallett said “Good Luck with your funny idea!” Mr. Bean had had ‘many similar requests’, and the Beckhams sent signed photos of themselves. We did, however, acquire some delightful Porls from a small handful of celebrities, including Richard O’Brien, Richard Wilson, and Bruce Forsythe.

Porl Wilson

Porl O'Brien

Porl Forsythe

Artists: Richard Wilson, Richard O’Brien and Bruce Forsythe

Operation Porl

One fine Summer’s day in the popular seaside town of Felixstowe, where rich Victorians still flock to this day, Sailor Karen had honed her grabby-machine-thing skills to the point where she was lucky enough to win a beautiful plush horse. Anyone else would be thrilled to bits with this acquisition and content to live out their days in ownership of such an item, but not our Karen. While staring into its wonky eyes she saw a kinda grotesque yet strangely beautiful vision: why, this horse is one half of something much better! It just has the wrong head!

Naturally we were horrified. We thought perhaps we could deter Karen from her Frankenstein-like plan by attaching some sentiment to the horse, and so we gave it a name. But we realised to our despair that this would not work, and Alvin’s fate was sealed.

At this point I agreed to help Karen fulfil her vision, as if she was going to butcher these animals, it might as well be done well.

What took place next was a noble quest to seek out the other half; the “brains of this operation” if you will. We scoured toy shops, charity shops, random shops and other shops and went through many possibilities including the head of the Incredible Hulk, stuffed animals in a posh shop whose owner told us we “couldn’t cut up his animals”, and a sock. In the last charity shop we visited Karen disappeared, returning a few moments later with a small white carrier bag. She had discovered, she told us, a small green tortoise with a head that could pass for a fluffy lizard. If she had had any doubts, they were quickly dispelled by the tortoise’s bold proclamation emblazoned upon its chest… “Go for it”.

“That’s nice” said the lady behind the counter as Karen paid, little did she know what awaited our furry friend.

And so armed with beady-eyed Alvin and the erroneously-named “Go for it Turtle”, we chose the next day for realization of the dream.

The operation was a success. Later, we took him t’ pub back home in the Swich where he met a fair few admirers, but luckily enough was not asked for ID.

Operation Porl

History of Porl

Let us paint you a picture. The year is 2001. Two young school girls, wishing they had a bigger role in the annual school show, sing their part* over and over again in the dimly lit drama changing rooms. Inspired by the very fact that things exist, they ponder: Imagine a creature with… the head of a lizard and the body of a horse. Is it a horse with a lizard’s head? Or is it a lizard with a horse’s body? No, they decide, it is neither! It is… ‘Paul’, no wait… ‘Porl!’ He is not a horse, he is not a lizard. He simply has a horse’s body and a lizard’s head. That’s all there is to it… for now.

A year later, one unimpressed Laura draws Porl roasting on a spit. A spit! A challenge is set and we endeavour to tell one person a day of Porl’s wonderful existence to rectify his sacrificial burning.

An interested Suzie asks if she can draw him, and she goes on to produce a depiction of Porl so compelling and obscure that we are forced to consider, “Perhaps Porl isn’t who we thought he was? Who can possibly capture his true likeness?” Within a few days we acquire 30 drawings. Why stop now when they are all so different and bizarre? Our task is set: 100 Porls before the year is through. One thing leads to another and six and a half years after Porl’s original conception, we finally achieve our final, glorious, goal:

ONE THOUSAND Porls

…and all because Laura drew him roasting on a spit…

Porl roasting on an open fire

*To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go