Andy Stanton: Everything We Need to Know about Mr Gum

Andy Stanton: Everything We Need to Know about Mr Gum

A special report by our Special Report Reporter, Simon P. Ecialreporter

Hello. Throughout history there have been all sorts of incredible criminals: Lenny Nostrils, who stole over one million pounds from the Bank of England; Sheila ‘The Grape’ Harrison, who stole over one million pounds from Lenny Nostrils by hiding in a grape and waiting until Lenny’s back was turned; and of course, the notorious 19th Century criminal, Henry Puff, who stole the 19th Century. But of all the criminals who ever lived, there is one man who is worse than all of the others added together and multiplied by a toilet. And that man is none other than Mr Gum. But just who is Mr Gum? Who? Who? WHO? WHO? WHO? Sorry about that, I tend to repeat words sometimes. Sometimes. Sometimes. SOMETIMES. SOMETIMES.

Mr Gum grew up in Lamonic Bibber, a little town in England which lies between the mountains and the sea. Born with an enormous red beard, a menacing scowl and two bloodshot eyes that looked like someone had squirted raspberry ripple all over a couple of dirty golf balls, he was officially voted the World’s Most Frightening Baby Ever by the readers of ‘Frightening Baby Monthly’ magazine. We spoke to Old Granny, the oldest woman in Lamonic Bibber, who remembers Mr Gum well from his childhood years.

‘He was a dreadful boy,’ she told us, ‘always kicking blades of grass in the face, even though blades of grass haven’t actually got a face. You could often see him in the town library crossing out all the endings in the stories where the heroes win and writing “SUDDENLY ALL THE GOODIES WERE EATEN BY A WASP.” Oh, he was a disgrace, so he was.’

But Mr Gum’s real disgracefulness was only just beginning. Along with his only friend, a grubby butcher’s boy by the name of Billy William the Third, he spent most of his teenage years bunking off school, shouting at squirrels and dressing up as a giant grain of rice to frighten people who are allergic to rice. When he was twenty he started stealing a house by removing three bricks a year from it and re-building it down the road but five years later he gave up because he still only had fifteen bricks and it was too much bother. Eventually he just moved into a filthy, falling-down house in the middle of town that no one else wanted because it was full of smelly carpets and rats. ‘It’s me dream home,’ he would proudly tell people. ‘It absolutely stinks!’

As he grew older, Mr Gum stayed at home more and more often, lying in bed all day picking his toenails and rarely venturing out onto the streets – but that only made the townsfolk more frightened of him still.

‘Mr Gum’s become like a terrible legend in Lamonic Bibber,’ local man Friday O’Leary told us. ‘Like a ghost, or a bogeyman. Or a monster. Or a vampire. Or a horrible wolf. Or a shark. Or an evil rabbit called Nibbling Gary that’s always trying to get its hands on innocent baby carrots. Or a guy that sells you ice cream but then turns out to be a werewolf. Or you know when you get a ladybird and you put it on your arm and it’s really fun and you’re having a really brilliant time watching it walk up your arm and then from out of nowhere it opens its wings and suddenly it’s like a disgusting alien with all these weird yucky bits everywhere and you start screaming in terror and you flick the ladybird off your arm and run round the garden crying so much that you can’t see where you’re going and you smash into the fence and get a nosebleed? Well, Mr Gum’s a bit like that, that’s what I’m trying to say. No one’s seen him for ages – but we all live in fear that he’s about to do something really awful.’

Yes, it’s true. Even though he’s now an old man of about fifty or so, everyone in Lamonic Bibber is absolutely convinced that Mr Gum’s worst crimes are yet to come. In fact, they’ll probably be so bad that someone will write a series of books about them someday.

So there you have it. Now you know everything you need to know about Mr Gum: where he came from, how he smells and why everyone should be afraid of him.

This has been your Special Report Reporter, Simon P. Ecialreporter, saying – stay safe and sound, folks. Lock your doors! Lock your windows! Lock your ceilings! Lock your hair! AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGH!