The ability of quizzes to bring about the dawn of an age of horror and eternal insanity has already been commented upon.
In an awful moment of coherence and utter illumination, I saw the execrable truth: not content to wait for the stars, in their aeons-long drift, to come into alignment, these quizzers seek to recreate the abnormal, non-Euclidean incubus that is R’lyeh in the minds of men. The strange angles, the alternate topography ne’er imagined, will become a stronger and stronger vision, a message of power that will penetrate Cthulhu’s endless sleep and resurrect It upon this earth. To the winners of the league will go the honour of being eaten first, while the rest of humanity plunges into shrieking torment for an age and an age.
And yet, all is not well. As quizzers, we strive relentlessly to raise the Great Old One into this world. But there is only so much we can do. A quiz comes only once a month. It has limited questions. Indeed, without a continuous supply of fresh initiates, the ability of the Master of the Cult to recreate horror and madness dies out. We need a fresh tactic to being about The Tentacularity.
McGonagall has been widely acclaimed as the worst poet in British history. The chief criticisms of his poetry are that he is deaf to poetic metaphor and unable to scan correctly.
I shall demonstrate the point of the incorrect scanning with examples:
And as she approached his body the hissing fuse burst upon her ears,
But still the noble girl no danger fears;
While the hissing of the fuse was like an engine grinding upon her brain,
Still she resolved to save Jack while life in her body did remain.
And when the day of his trial draws near,
No doubt for the murdering of his wife he drops a tear,
And he exclaims, “Oh, thou demon Drink, through thee I must die,”
And on the scaffold he warns the people from drink to fly,
Not to mention:
Then Shere Sing fled in great dismay,
But Lord Gough pursued him without delay,
And captured him a few miles away;
And now the Sikhs are our best soldiers of the present day,
Because India is annexed to the British Dominions, and they must obey.
And, one last before I get carried away:
In my opinion, what a man pays for he certainly should get;
And if he does not, he will certainly fret;
And why wouldn’t women do the very same?
Therefore, to demand the parliamentary Franchise they are not to blame.
Right. Enough examples.
With their bizarre and unconventional structure, the poems of McGonagall clearly follow Non-Euclidean metre. The odd turns of grammar are reminiscent of the unnatural and profane rantings of the Cthulhu cultists, while the way in which words are piled up over each other is a literary parallel to Cyclopean architecture. Clearly, a century and more before the Bombay Quiz Club began its pitiful efforts, McGonagall was attempting to rouse the Dread One.
The Bombay Quiz Club has stagnated. It remains unable to attract more than forty or fifty at a time. No matter what horrors the Master may attempt to summon, there is not enough fresh blood being brought in1. It is time to change tactics. Quizzing is no longer enough. To bring about the Age of Horror, we must move from quizzing to public recitals of McGonagall’s poetry. Schoolchildren must be exposed to its eldritch rhythms in morning assembly, and FM stations must play it during peak commuter hours. Broadcast to the masses, it will induce collective agony and spasmodic writhing in those who hear its unimaginable cadences. Those who endure the agony of reciting it themselves shall discover release in Being Eaten First, while the rest of the world shall find itself plunged into a madness far greater.
It’s a very pleasing thought.
1: Even after the infant sacrifices.