Rupert Hannyhoney started life as a cartoon
invention of mine, a poor hapless elf
who screamed his head off at anything and everything in sheer terror
for no good reason. I usually drew him in the margins of magazines, his mouth stretched unnaturally wide in his terrified screams, sometimes spanning the entire height of the page. No-one understood why but I found him absolutely hilarious
, and despite the reputation these drawings earned me, to me he was the funniest thing in the world
But all was not well. It began when I decided to build a Rupert, a feat which I accomplished by drawing a screaming face on a used toilet roll tube. Having completed this work of art I rushed downstairs, giggling insanely to show my friends who stood staring in amazement and confusion. I could barely speak, or even stand up, as I laughed and laughed - to me it was a masterpiece of genius, the very pinnacle of my creativity!
However, things were not to remain so jovial. I began collecting used toilet rolls and drawing on them, building up a vast army of Ruperts. Soon I procured an empty shoe box and lined up my Ruperts within it. My Rupert army now had a special spaceship in which to fly forth and conquer!
My finest hour came when a family we were friendly with was over at our house. I ran down the stairs, almost falling over I was laughing so hard, and displayed my cardboard army in all its military might! Holding the shoe box aloft I managed, between manic giggles, to say "let's see if it will fly!"
Thus the tragedy began - the mighty spaceship of warlord Ruperts flew through the air and crash-landed in the corner, spilling out the once proud cardboard warriors all over the floor. I literally fell over laughing, not just at this tragic mockery of an army, but also at the vacant confusion on everyone's faces.
Another bizarre childhood phase? I would like to think so, only I was 18 at the time.