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Well hello there. Take off that snow covered coat and step into the warmth of the LETTERSENTERTAINYOU Christmas party for 2021. We understand that certain restrictions are in place, but some people are above the rules, and that certainly includes people who write letters into a comic. We would ask that if you are collared that you say that only dropped in for an eye test or to molest some badgers. Don’t say you are in the Government - our brand couldn’t take the tarnish. Little bit of politics there!

The party is attended by all 41 writers on The Beast all time table and it’s great to be in the company of 39 celebrated letter writers. Tom Proudfoot is here too, but only because he has a long white beard and can dress up as Colonel Sanders and feed the masses.

Predictably enough we are doing a Christmas party theme this week and our well planned gags about all the attendees being INCEL men before it became fashionable has been upset with that rarest of beasts - a lady writer! Get the guts sucked in lads, Kathryn Morton of Leeds is here to show us how it’s done.

Kathryn is a regular Mary Christmas as she adds a touch of glamour to the sea of Primark jumpers and Blue Harbour jeans. This is Kathryn’s first letter, but  amazingly she’s not the first lady Morton as she joins Miranda of Aberystwyth who is still mentioned in dispatches following her Prog 406 appearance. To add to the fun we also have Rob and Ron Morton who appeared in Progs 1059 and 1079 although that may be him having fun or a Beast input error. Hardly likely!

Kathryn is an occasional reader who is celebrating her longest run of purchasing the Prog in ages. She’s liking it so much that she’s reading all of the stories - high praise indeed. She waxes lyrical about her favourite strips and suggests an all female creative team for Judge Anderson. I wonder what Alan Grant will say when Mek-Quake shows up with the scissors! Overall an enthusiastic and complimentary letter. Down with this kind of thing.

Next up we’re having a gang bang, which can only mean that John Bateson of Grantham has commandeered the tape deck with his ‘Black Lace’s Greatest Hits’ cassette. John is an old hand with this being his fourth outing on the letters page. His last offering, in Prog 2133 was a letter of the week as was is first in Prog 1555 in 2007. He has always lived in Lincolnshire but has become more open in his last two letters by being more specific with his Grantham listing. Had to Google that - please be more consistent when writing your letters!

Despite his Lincolnshire abode John is clearly from the Land of the Righteous but lets us all down with a bit of patois - c’mon John, only Elaine C Smith and Rab C Nesbitt actually talk like that! To be fair it looks like John hasn’t forgotten his roots as he’s clearly been on the bevvy with this outpouring of consciousness.

Secret Santa time now as Iain Harper of email unwraps his first gift to the lettering masses. He joins two other Harpers ‘DG’ in Prog 490 and Matt in Prog 2041. Sadly the gift will have to go back and be exchanged for Matalan vouchers as this one isn’t for the keeping. Iain  likes the Regened Progs but thinks that decision time has arrived. Tharg agrees and says he’s sticking with it, so there. Iain lets his 8 year old read the Prog so maybe the lad can explain ‘Proteus Vex’ to us?

Right stop the party. Someone has spewed up over the coats and passed out - better call in Dr (call me Doctor) Rob Beattie of Blainslie - which is in Scotland (Google again). The good Doctor is pushed to the floor by  Dr Rich Evans who holds 10th spot on the Beast all time list on 27 and doesn’t appreciate anyone encroaching on his territory. The two other Beatties on the list  Chris (Meg 8) and Jack (Prog 281) try to assist but their single letter scores don’t get them by the bouncer.

Dr Rob’s letter is a bit hard to follow - I blame the handwriting - but we think he’s saying his kid likes the Regened issues and he’s into ’The Out’ - it’s all inconsequential as he leaves with his Christmas cake - and his teeth - in a bag, out the emergency exit.

Well that’s us past the halfway mark and time to roll out the buffet. Sadly the order got mixed up in the pandemic chaos and it’s three sheets of toilet paper for everyone washed down with a cup of hand sanitizer. We’ve had worse nights. None of which were spent with Gary & Zack Pickup of Salford. We’re not clear why they are named after a truck but it does explain why they are drinking cans of Monster. Zack is a new entrant on the Beast Database but this is Gary’s 3th offering following a quick double header in Progs 1405 and 1409 in 2004. Guess he must have lost interest in writing in and started seeing women. What a weirdo!

The letter reveals the truth as Gary used his Prog money to procreate and now has Zack to continue the cycle. Gary is onside with the Regened issues (Can we have a moratorium on this topic please?!) and Zack is now a convert much to Tharg’s delight. One of us! One of us!

As the night begins to wind down the lights go up and the celebrity guest is revealed - It’s Steve Frame from Thurso! Yay. Steve is the only Beast Leader board participant to get a letter printed and for that we have to say ‘damn it’s always a double pager at Christmas, what was I thinking?!’ This is Steve’s 33rd letter to see print and it cements him in his longstanding 4th place over all, fewer than a dozen behind Grant Goggans on 44. Steve has his place on the LETTERSENTERTAINYOU Mount Rushmore, but over to the side a bit. Next to Jimmy Carter.

Steve first letter was in Prog 1405 which amazingly was the same as that for Gary Pickup in the letter above! A Christmas miracle! Steve uses the tired and tested method of having a theme, saying that things are ‘Smart’ and ‘Dumb’. We have our own -  ‘Boring’ and ‘Predictable’. Boring : This letter! Predictable: also this letter! Good to have you here Steve!

The lights are beginning to dim and it’s time for the erection section in the company of Will Fairbairn of East Lothian who celebrates his 3rd offering with this issue. In Will’s first two letters printed in Progs 1930 and 2039 he went by ‘Willie’ - don’t hide your light under that bushel Willie, we’re all friends here.

Willie gets a ‘one hit wonder’ in by asking a single question and getting out. It’s a good scheme as Tharg loves to be pitched soft balls that he can knock out the park with a big Pluggg!

Right the caretaker has arrived and you can all bugger off and take that tinsel with you. Someone in no mood to argue is Anthony O’Connor of Email who has gotten merry on this his fourth letter to see print. In his first three he was in Ireland starting with his Prog 1940 début n 2015. He was last seen in Meg 372 in 2016 so he has five years to make up for which he has done with aplomb and with Happy Shopper cider.

Being tired and emotional Anthony barely manages a sentence in his letter before passing out. Sleep well sweet prince and come up with something better next time.

Right that’s it - we’re off to pull some crackers and we don’t mean have relations with ladies.

Happy Christmas!

norton canes:
So with the 'Brimful of Thrills...' feature apparently a fixture on the inside back page, is that it for readers' letters for the foreseeable?

apparently not(e)!


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