June 0003


Voting Rights In The USA, Further Jings, Frotty Pinkerton, More Gunk and St. Jake Of Pasadena. Also, a letter

from Vienna.

A little known factoid.

Some parts of the US offer their citizens a bewildering number of opportunities to vote. Citizens of these places should beware. They may be voting too often. Federal law states that an American citizen can only vote in a public election (this includes referenda and any other public consultation) 600 times during their lifetime. This is enough for most people, but it can cause problems. One unfortunate example is Charlie Wayne, of California. This 87 year old has always been a keen voter, and during the last presidential election, was outraged to be told he had used up all his votes, and could never participate in another election. In an astute bid to maintain universal public sympathy, he has refused to say who he intended to vote for.



Mavis Trench (See last month) can rest assured that Wonderful World is not being unfair to Jings. He isn’t around to speak up for himself. I channel for “Mildred”, who was the astrologer for The Lady magazine in the 1930’s, who was certainly above any such petty personal squabbles. She tells me that Jings also made himself rather unpopular in the Celestial City. It appears that he was depressed by the sight of the Wilson and Heath era in Britain during the 1960’s and 70’s (

an era of high inflation and economic decline – DRS),
and, perhaps influenced by this, predicted a shortage of harps. He also complained about the low quality of recent entrants to Paradise, and, possibly under the influence of another politician, predicted “rivers of blood” there. What happened next is not entirely clear, but he seems to have moved to yet another, still higher plane, from which he is now completely unable to contact us.

Penelope Usher, Peebles

As the president of the International Jings Society, I was delighted to Mavis Trench’s letter. Of course Jings was right about something. On the 22

nd of August, 1940, he predicted that high and low tides throughout the country would occur as foreseen in Admiralty tide tables. Granted, this is the only incident in his career where we have been able to find him making a correct prediction, but the fact remains that he was 100% right on this occasion , and this proves beyond doubt that his abilities were genuine. It was also a characteristic act of generosity on his part to lend credence to the Navy’s ability to see the future, when many other astrologers, and Sprog comes to mind here, would have seen it as a matter of professional rivalry, and done everything they could to undermine the credibility of the admiralty.

Magnus Fuller, Charlton.



The first Marvin Gunk Newsletter generated loads of interest. Here’s one of the messages received. It’s from Frotty Pinkerton, of Gainsborough UK.

Marvin, I thought your newsletter was wonderful. I do so like to hear about young men repenting and being converted! One little criticism though. I don’t think you should have mentioned those two terrible books. Don’t you think there’s a danger you’ll get cast into everlasting perdition just for knowing about them? Anyway, I’d like to hear all about your conversion, so be sure to send me a nice long e-mail telling me about all the sins you repented of. Especially the Wiccan ones. I’m sure they’re really bad!

Love in the Lord, Frotty Pinkerton.

And without further ado, here’s the Gunkster himself:

Gunkster calling! Boy have I got a mixed mailbag for you this time.

First off (The really good news)! I made it up with the Dean! Last Thursday he said he had this big old tree in his garden that was blocking the light, and could I take it out for him please. Anyway I had to dig down really deep, because it had this thing called a tap root, and in the end I got it out and chopped the tree up, and boy! Was the Dean angry with me! He said I shouldn’t have dug such a deep hole, and that I shouldn’t have left any wood chippings on the lawn at all, and that I shouldn’t have taken all morning over it. But I made up for it! I spent the whole afternoon cleaning his car, and the Dean said he’d never seen a better job done on an auto!

So all’s well that ends well, thank the Lord!

 Second! Here’s the good news! I got my letter from the Dean officially unrusticating me! Here’s what it says:

From: Dean Ira B. Stanton, University of Alabama in Hicksville:

To: Marvin Gunk,

Re: Re-admission to college.

Sir or Madam,

I have concluded that subject to your satisfactory completion of a re-admission interview with myself and your attendance on a re-orientation course (separate fee payable in advance, no course credits) you may recommence your studies.

Yours etc. I.B. Stanton

Wow! It says “signed pro persona” Is that Latin? Does anyone know what that means? Is it specially good?

Third! The not so good news.

I tried to convert one of my tutors. He’s called Rutherford Schlink, and he teaches Pure Math or Pottery or something. Anyway, he looked like a really nice man, so I thought he’d be easy to convert, and good practice for Agnes Schwarz, who isn’t nice, and won’t be easy. When I got to the bit where I start telling him all about the straight and narrow, he looked at me, like, coldly, and said

“Personally, I prefer the broad and bendy”.

Maybe I should find out exactly what subject he teaches so I can study something else. Does anyone out there know if Agricultural Mechanics is easy? I need an easy subject, as the Dean says I’ve got to change the tiles on his roof, and I don’t think I’m going to have much spare time. Anyhow, like Pastor Wrigley says, that Rutherford Schlink is one guy that’s going straight to the pit when he dies! Hey! Does that mean some guys go to Hell, but don’t go directly there? Do they have to go to a waiting room or something, like waiting for a bus? Hey, that must be it! There’s not enough buses to take all those millions and millions of folks that’s going to Hell, so they have to sit in a waiting room, like for ten thousand years, but if you did something real bad, you get put on the first bus that comes by, like if you go first class or something. Maybe they give you a special ticket. I’ll ask Pastor Wrigley about it. Praise the Lord!

That’s all for now. I’ve got to labor in the Lord’s vineyard, and the Dean’s.

Marvin Gunk




The articles about St. Jake of Pasadena have generated a vast postbag. If your letter doesn’t appear here, don’t despair, it’ll be up as soon as our fact checkers have reported back. In the mean time, keep that e-mail a-rollin!

Dear Doctor Ropkind,

As a result of your inspired hagiography, ‘The Wildest Saint’ we, the sisters of St. Jake have converted the convent’s chapel into a wild west saloon where we serve communion whisky and smoke and chew and spit St. Jakes Holy Rollin’ baccy. Through reading your research and writings, we have come to realise that our beloved Saint just wants us to enjoy ourselves, so we have abandoned our austere life-style. Thank you for writing such a liberating book.

To assist you in your research on St. Jake’s relics I enclose a photograph of Sister Marcia, having abandoned her habit, wearing a Stetson, cowboy boots and gun-belt. ‘God and Jake want me like this,’ she insists. The two clothes pegs she is showing off in such an interesting manner were whittled by St. Jake when he was incarcerated in Dodge City prison.

Mother Shooter, (Abbess)


What a nice letter! Thank you Mother Shooter! I should point out that my biography of St. Jake hasn’t actually been published yet. When the Times Lit interviewed me, the resulting article had a typo in it which gave the publication date as 2006. In fact, it will not be out until 2008. They did also give away chapters one to five in a little booklet as a free offer in their magazine. I imagine you have one of these. I won’t show the picture of Sister Marcia here, because, with your permission, I’d like to incorporate it in chapter 27, How Jake Continues To Inspire The World.

You’ve also raised an interesting question: was Jake a genuine saint, or was he a bit of a lad in his spare time, or was he just a low down varmint masquerading as a goodie? He was, of course, an excellent gunslinger. Some say he was inspired to practice his drawing and shooting by the sight of a couple of two bit bandits being gunned down by Sheriff Sourdough somewhere just east of the Pecos: others say that no, he was simply divinely inspired every time he pulled out his six shooter. Contemporary witnesses were deeply divided over this issue, and it is impossible to say for sure now, but I’m glad to see you’ve come to your own interpretation, and are having such fun out of it. Don’t, whatever you do, let the austere Fraternity of St. Jake The Holy know what you’re up to. They take a completely different view of Jake, and have been known to enforce it with considerable energy.

PS Would you like me to come and give you and the girls a lecture on St. Jake some time?

Dear Doctor Scharf,

You are quite correct, Slow-draw Henry and Shaky Sam; the unsuccessful gunslingers’ short lives inspired Jake to achieve both speed and accuracy on the draw. As you say, these skills kept him alive in many tight situations and allowed him to live long enough to establish his church throughout the Southern United States. The Colt that he used, complete with crosses carved into the stock, is on display in our church.

Best Regards

Rev. B. Bill

Thank you Reverend Bill. I’d forgotten their names, and you’ve saved me the trouble of looking them up. Ofcourse, as a Catholic, Jake didn’t found a church as such, but an order, initially known as the “Rootin’ Tootin’ Mendicants”, and later as “The Black Dog River Confraternity”.

Dear Doctor Ropkind

I read your recent book, 'The Wildest Saint': a hagiographic account of St. Jake of Pasadena' with interest and delight. My father often quoted St. Jake and his “The ways of the Lord is more puzzlin’ than a whole mess o' sqaws." plaque hung over the hearth for many years. Thank you for bringing this important individual back into the public domain.

The Catholic Church is presently divided over how to view St. Jake. One group is embarrassed that such a disturbed, violent and ignorant soul should have been canonized. Another faction is proud that an American, however dissolute, should have been selected for sainthood. I believe that your account of the miracle of the busted still will go a long way towards healing the rift.

Yours Sincerely

Mrs C. Colt


Indeed, Mrs. Colt. As I told Mother Shooter, you’ve only got a preview copy, and there is lots more to come. Of course, we can’t be certain that he was, as you put it, disturbed, violent and ignorant. Maybe this was rather like the cleansing of the temple. As you mention it, I’d better give a short account of the miracle of the busted still. I must say I’m not entirely convinced of it myself. It seems to echo a story in the New Testament a little too closely. Be that as it may, Jake was invited to, aw shucks, let’s hear it in his own words:

One time, I was invited of officiate at a Christenin’ way down in Hucksville, near the end of the Sacramento Trail. When I got there my hoss was kinda lame, but I gave it no mind ‘cause the people at the christenin’ they was all a-weepin’ an a-hollerin’ that their moonshine still was busted, an’ so the christening would have to be put off till the next holy man came by. Well, I figured I didn’t want no darned Baptist or Episcopalian getting’ a slice of the action so I moseyed aroun’ an’ I reckoned I could fix that darn still. So I said to it “Still, produce whisky!” while I was a-mumblin’ of some prayers that I recalled an’ fingerin’ ma rosary, an’ sure nough, a torrent o’ whiskey gushed out of that there still as soon as I said them words, just as I knew it would. I was sure glad I hung aroun’ cause there was one hell of a party after. I reckon’ they must’ve put some o’ those special mushrooms in the mash. Ain’t never tasted nothin’ like it before or since, an’ I ain’t seen nothin’ like it neither. Trouble was, I had this real bad hangover the next mornin’, an all these people that was at the christenin’ they said they needed me to hear their confessions, urgent. An’ I had to oblige them”.


There are a few pages torn out of Jake’s memoirs at this point, but the Hucksville Monitor stated that Marshall Humperdink had to come and sort things out, and he ended up arresting quite a few people for a new crime he invented on the spur of the moment called “mystical violations”. Perhaps one of the readers would like to take up the story, as my kettle’s boiling………………..

Dear Doctor Ropkind,

Yes, your are right. Marshal Humperdink later confirmed that an incident occurred in Hucksville, after which St. Jake said: "I was a-fallin' over backwards 'cos a the whisky 'n there was a great roaring noise n’ I saw angels flying right o’er my head and what with the angel I was a-looking and the wind blowing right up those pretty skirts 'n all, shucks, I knew I'd gone straight to heaven right there 'n then.” Although Crash Harry, the famous aviator, and his wing-walking troupe, Wide Spurs Annie and her Bucking Belles, were performing in Hucksville on the same day St. Jake had this vision of angels, it is generally agreed that there is no connection between the two events. It is as you say, in the recording of St. Jake and the Holy Rollers performing later that same day, Crash Harry, Wide Spurs Annie and her Bucking Belles can be clearly heard doing stunts in the background. Thank you for illuminating this point.

Yours Sincerely

Mrs C. Colt

(Curator of the St. Jake’s museum in Little Willows on the Marsh)

Thank you Mrs. Colt! This is one of the earliest recordings made in the West, and it used to be a very scarce item, but you can now buy a re-recording onto CD from Vince Harrow, of Vince’s Vinyls. The Holy Rollers were, according to some, a group of devout nuns founded by Jake to enhance his appeal to Catholic minded women, and, according to others, nothing but a band of the lowest type of camp-follower. The organization now known as the Holy Rollers is believed to have stolen its name from them. All the other people you mention, Crash Harry, Annie, and all the Buckin’ Belles regarded Jake as their father confessor. If you’re interested in this aspect of Jake, you can read all about it when my book comes out. Apparently a lot of people found his penances imaginative, rewarding and a lot of fun. But you’ll have to wait to read about that.



Dear Dr. Scharf,

Delighted I was to read the letters of little Vince! Such a case! A condition new entirely, in my view and that of my colleagues! Anticipating your permission, write to him I will to offer a course of Psychotherapy that departs not one nanometre from the urprinciples laid down by Dr. Freud himself! Publicity we at the International Psychotherapeutic Association are seeking, and exceptionally in this case, full clinical progress reports provide we will to you and your readers, your acceptance granted!

Dr. Anna Kleinmann, Vienna.

Go ahead Anna. This sounds like fun.