A recent bout of Pythonism — it happens every so often — prompted me to break out the apparently out of print Dr. Fegg’s Encyclopedia of All World Knowledge, as written by Messers Jones and Palin of said troupe. Much like good ol’ Hitchhiker’s this is inextricably a nostalgia fix (and in comparison to Adams nowhere near as strong, being by definition a bunch of scattershot one-off bits, from Famous Five parodies to a five page newspaper story about Miss Ireland) but I liked the fact that it wasn’t much to do with Python outside of a sentence or two and more to the point was mostly about blood and gore. Well, sort of.

An uneven book but it has its moments — the Gilbert and Sullivan/pantomime parody Aladdin and His Terrible Problem contains a showstopping bit by one Depravo the Rat, there’s a board game included called Plaguo! (goal: to catch the Black Death and die), while buried near the back is a joke that my dear friend Brian loves to this day, provided as part of a series of camping tips:

Select your camping spot very carefully. Very often, you will find people in tents and caravans blocking your view and generally getting in the way. These can usually be dispersed by naming your dog ‘Cholera’ and calling him in loudly last thing at night.