In this final episode, our intrepid reporter managed to secure an audience with Professor Elemental. Though only lasting a few minutes, the torturous interview seemed to drag on for an eternity. Read on to discover the truth about this frankly bizarre member of the British elite.
The contamination of oriental infusions
Written by Julian Von Trumpe
Upon my escape from the country estate where Professor Elemental lived, I returned to the local town nearby. It was a beautiful picturesque medieval market town with it’s lazy river, weeping willows and manicured green. Brown signs from the main carriageway featuring poorly executed drawings of icons that are only vaguely connected to the feature that they represent direct tourists here. Upon my immediate return I began questioning the residents about the nature of the Professor. I hoped to grab bits of juicy gossip that I could bend into a story. I spoke to one person who refused to be identified because – as he so eloquently articulated – “Peoples go missin’, see”. He asked me to use a pseudonym and asked that I don’t mention his apprenticeship chewing food for diners at the Gastropub or his third nipple.
The information I obtained was incredible. According to Derek*, life in the town was pleasant until the Professor moved in just over nine months ago.
“I really enjoyed my life here. It’s quiet, see, I had no problems. I was getting on well at work and I’d even caught the eye of a young lady. I was going to ask her to attend a dance with me,” he moaned.
It’s all so Splendid
This certainly sounds like the kind of idyllic lifestyle that we all aspire to in our twilight years. But the dream was to be catastrophically interrupted when the unoccupied mansion house was purchased by Professor Elemental.
“Strange things started happening almost overnight. In fact it was over the course of the first night he was home. There was a bad storm that night but all the lightning seemed to be centred around the Mansion. My mate was out lamping in the grounds that night and he saw some incredible sights.”
When pressed of those events witnessed, Derek – of 38 Horseferry Way – clammed up. Eventually he said that he wasn’t sure because his friend had come back and not said a word ever since.
The truth gets weirder
Day after day strange things happened. For example, the local butcher went to dinner at the Manor House with the Professor. Days later he returned a vegetarian. The Landscape Gardener changed to portrait. There was also the time when the owners of the local Equestrian centre discovered a stable full of pantomime horses. It was going to take 4 months of recovery from my last visit to the Professor’s mansion. But I knew I had to go back. Therefore after four months of recovery while on full company expenses, I left my five star presidential suite and requested my driver take me back. This time it was in the day and I was going to infiltrate it under cunning disguise. Dressed as a Lord with full Peer robes, I knocked on the door and awaited an answer.
A pet Orangutan with a mechanical eye
I heard banging and some shouting followed by what sounded like a Cow blowing a kazoo. Finally the door was flung open and I was ushered inside by a large Orangutan in an ill fitting suit and bowler hat. The hat had copper pipes built around it like scaffolding or those 3D pipe screensavers on Windows XP. There was even a smoke stack with soft, white clouds billowing from the top. I was led into the parlour. Via the sign language of being pushed down firmly onto a sofa, I was asked to await the Professor. I had a few minutes to cultivate my story as to my arrival, but instead decided to use the time to have a snoop around.
Avoid arrest or detection
I slid through the gap in the doorway so as to avoid any creaking hinges and sprinted quietly up the stairs. As I passed the dozens of bedrooms I managed to sneak a peek inside. Most were empty but for a single bizarre item sat in the centre of the room. As if by some ritualistic notion. One room had an open umbrella balanced on the ferrule while another had a small basket of kittens. One had a man dressed as a small child asking for a lollypop. In another was a small bottle of potion (empty) with the faded words “Elixir” printed on a green label and scratch marks in the wooden floor boards all around it.
I came to the end of the corridor and descended some servant stairs before happening upon the Kitchen. A loud, well spoken voice boomed through room, amplified by the sheer enormity of the space. It was the Professor talking to Geoffrey, probably giving instructions to his suffering assistant about how to deal with me. I peeked around the corner of the chipped door jamb and saw the Professor wearing a Union Flag Mankini, an ill fitting poncho, a pair of wellington boots and some pink Marigold gloves. As Geoffrey left, the Professor turned to a tea pot and began to relieve himself in it while chanting some sort of rhyming verse – probably an incantation. The words were along the lines of:
“I need a cup of the gold stuff,
the shade of pure honey,
made warm by my body…”
It was at that point I left and made my way back to the Parlour to await my “tea” feeling slightly repulsed. Several moments passed upon my return before the Professor crashed into the room like a Unicorn on a beachball. Thankfully, he’d changed into his trademark safari suit as he sat down awkwardly close to me. I edged further over to the end of the sofa and used the powerful communicative display of body language to give him a clear message that I wasn’t here to be toyed with.
“I say, would you care for a biscuit?” As the Professor gestured toward a plate of broken rich tea, it was offered up in front of me by what looked like a small monkey but with the body of a Penguin. I coughed lightly and politely declined. I began to explain why I was here. There began a long winded tale about how I’m researching the leaders of steampunk and I knew that the Professor was at the forefront of British steampunk (I decided flattery would stroke his ego and would help me gain his trust). For some seconds, the pendulum of the large grandfather clock was the only sound.
Don’t call it a scene, it’s more of a movement
Finally, he seemed to relax somewhat and began talking about how he came into it. As he retold his tale, I froze in shock. “I never set out to make steampunk music,” he said. “Far from being a purist, I am a chancer who happened upon a comedy character just at the right time and it opened up a world of lovely new friends and amazing artists of all sorts to collaborate with.
“I don’t have any particular interest in historial Victoriana or creating a vintage sound. I don’t really listen to much Steampunk music or live in a house made of cogs (although I dearly love the bands when I get to see them live). I’m more interested in telling stories, creating Hip Hop for nerds, making people laugh and ensuring that I can make a living by appearing at parties in a silly hat. Professor elemental and Steampunk in general is a lovely way to do that and long may it continue.”
Not a steampunk?
The Professor is NOT a steampunk! My fingers tightened around my pencil and I could hear the wood creaking as it began to snap. Here was someone who is parading themselves as a steampunk, someone who is looked up to by newcomers to the scene and by young children who may have nothing at all but the shoes on their feet and who may have lost their parents in a tragic snowball accident. Geoffrey probably looks up to him as a father figure.
I managed to suppress my sickness until he brought out the tea and I saw that it was the same pot that I’d previously seen in the Kitchen. Unable to hold it any longer, I managed to catch it in my mouth. I winced as I forced myself to swallow it back down, the stomach acids burning my throat as I did.
Later the Professor (I’m loathe to call him that given that his entire persona is a lie, could he possibly not actually be a Professor? Could he simply be a normal person with a mundane name like Paul? From somewhere normal, like Brighton?) embarked on a tiresome and obviously made up story about his past.
The Professor was born in a size 5 shoe box, underneath the stairs, in a house at the end of the street in a small village outside the town where Richard Branson once drove through. He was an awkward child, not because of his love of comics and super heroes, but because he had a tendency to talk to his own shadow and tied his shoes backwards. Elemental dropped out of school on his first day because it was an airship and it was the only way out. At the tender age of six he’d already made his first million but that was in toothpicks because that was the job he had in the evenings and weekends. The Town Mayor selected him as chief toe cleaner just a year later.
Come take a look at my oil travel trousers
At the age of 17 he was hired by Small Fry – a team of nomadic dwarf chefs – as their Oil-Boy. He spent many years touring the Eastern Bloc with them. It wasn’t easy as they all spoke in either Dwarfish or Yorkshire and the Professor can’t understand either language. Still, he reports that he enjoyed his time with them. He even gave up a chance to join Una Stubbs, Patricia Routledge and that girl who played Twinkle in Dinnerladies on a Can-Can dancing tour of Western Prussia.
“I remember as a young man, it was back in the 1840’s, that I had received a telegram from Lionel Blair. It said ‘My boy! You have got it!’ adding that if I wanted to take advantage of that, I was to contact him immediately to make my millions on tour with the Roly Polys, Russ Abbott and Crow from Saturday Superstore. Of course I had absolutley no idea what he was talking about and I didn’t fancy making millions of toothpicks. I had to sharpen them with a really thin pencil sharpener, then smooth them on my tongue. Not to mention that I was completely clueless as to what I “had” because I always wash my hands.”
Whatever it was that Lionel Blair – the nation’s sweetheart and everyone’s favourite satsuma – thought that the Professor had got, he was either keen to exploit it or contract it.
Right place, right time
“I returned to Britain at the height of the industrial revolution. Much to my surprise I discovered that before I left I had deposited a thrup’ny bit -quite by accident – into the shares of a company owned by a gentleman called Richard Arkwright. I thought I was investing in a new flying ship that could withstand biblical floods but Ark Wright was a misunderstanding on my part. When I returned, the British Empire had spread and my thrup’ny piece was worth £17,000!”
This led him into the lifestyle he leads today as an aloof megalomaniac with a microphone, a warped brain and too much time on his hands. By now darkness was starting to set in both outside and around my peripheral vision. I arose making my excuses in order to leave. With that I stole away into the twilight and back to my prestigious apartments.
It was with a heavy heart that I left the small town where I had made my base. Now, with a journal full of stories and photographs so saucy they’d make Frankie Howerd blush, I returned to my ramshackle bedsit in Bethnal Green. It is at this stage I pass my research onto you, dear reader. So that you may know the truth about the Professor and his dastardly lifestyle of loose cars and fast women. Of his despicable lifestyle of music and fun and of his lurid lifestyle of friendship and laughter… erm…
*changed to Mildred for the purposes of this interview.
Since publishing this article and the first part, which you can read here: Professor Elemental Part One the Journal has been in contact with the Professor’s solicitors. We would like to point out that he’s a jolly decent chap and we don’t want to go to court. We feel that we’re too pretty for jail.
In return for allowing us to maintain these articles online as good exposure for the Professor, we have been asked to provide links where you can find out more information about the superb work that he is actually doing in real life.
His new ongoing project on the Patreon website is underway and you can view it here: Professor Elemental on Patreon.
You can also purchase music and other paraphernalia on his website: Professor Elemental website
Now do please go and visit his pages and support a fantastic bloke who is quite obviously open for a good gag.