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Have you ever been... bemmed?

Thus begins the ominous beginning of the amazing and controversial new book, Whelmed By The Bemming. It lifts the lid on a terrible act which is sweeping the world, an act which is being kept secret by some of the highest powers on earth. To explain the concept of bemming is beyond this writer's ability, so I arranged an interview with the book's author, Robert Davies, for an explanation of his findings.

I met with Robert in a small coffee shop in a quiet part of his hometown. Despite my initial shock at his appearance, he was very friendly. He is apparently used to such shock and insists that his "deformity" was implanted into his DNA by the "powers that be" who want to discredit his work. For those who have yet to see this man, let me explain: Robert has a giant chin, extending not only in the usual downward direction, but curving back up in a sort of huge chinny crescent. As an avid hat-wearer, Robert has gone through his collection of headgear and created an exact copy of each hat, precisely one sixth of the original size, so that when he wears a hat he can place its diminutive counterpart upon the upward-pointing end of the chin. Thus, his appearance is odd to say the least.

"I think nothing of it," he explains over a capuccino. "Part of their programming was to make me think all my physical deformities were perfectly normal." He takes another sip. "They also made me do the hats," he adds. I ask him about bemming - for starters, what exactly is it?

"Bemming is impossible to describe in 3-dimensional terms," he explains. "The closest I can come to is calling it a sort of violent sideways arse-buggery of the soul. You see, the sorts of people who engage in bemming aren't like you and me - they're extremely powerful in the higher realms, masters of space and time. They draw power from unsuspecting victims by bemming them. Bemming drags the ordinary third dimensional human being into an unnatural fifth dimensional state where their souls are then raped up the astral arse, sapping their very life-force. After bemming, the victim will likely age prematurely, if not die straight away. Any unfortunate enough to survive are mere shells of their former selves, utterly broken and barely aware of anything except their undying agony; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual agony."

I nod and take notes, then ask how he knows all of this. He tells me with a residual shudder how he happened to witness a bemming once upon a time. I ask what it looked like.

"I can't possibly describe it accurately," he says, shaking his head, "but try to imagine, if you will, someone captured in freeze-frame as they are being shot in the back whilst trying to run away, a look of agony on their face. At the same time, they are vibrating as if trapped between two frames of film bouncing back and forth. This is because they are, in fact, trapped between the third and the fifth dimensions. All the while their scream of agony is trapped in the same way; a fraction of a second of a desperate shout, looped incessantly. Meanwhile, imagine the bemmer behind this poor hapless victim, floating sideways in the air and moving up and down very slowly but almost mathematically in precision of movement. The noise he is making sounds like someone going 'aaah' very softly and quietly but very close up to your ear. This is the closest I can come to explaining it in human terms, in three dimensional terms. The human brain is actually incapable of taking it in for any length of time - in fact my brain started to ache horribly after a mere three seconds, and began twisting sideways in my skull as all the neurons started firing diagonally. It really messed my brain up, but I managed to escape to tell the world."

I digress a little to ask what the title of his book actually means.

"When I witnessed the bemming, it was so fundamentally wrong, so utterly sideways that there really is no word to describe the effect it had on me. Take the word 'whelmed' - you can be overwhelmed and even underwhelmed nowadays, but that is typical up-down three dimensional language usage. If you take whelmed sideways, no matter how far you go, you're still whelmed. Bemming is so alien to this universe, so skewed, that it is utterly sideways. Thus, even looking at it is... well, whelming."

I take all of this in, and ask how such a thing can go on under our very noses, with only one person knowing about it.

"There are some very powerful people in charge of the world," he tells me. "They control what the public do and don't know. I was obviously a glitch in their little plan, which is why they are out to discredit me. To be honest, I don't think they are even of this earth. I traced the locations of many bemming incidents all over the world, and in each case the town or city where it happened had an office belonging to a huge multi-national corporation which is owned by none other than a reclusive businessman called Gordon Bem. I tried to contact Mr. Bem to no avail, although in a curt letter to me detailing why I should really stop investigating the whole bemming phenomenon, Gordon hinted at a higher power in control of him and his associates. I did a little digging and found that each and every bemming outbreak was preceeded by sightings of a mysterious man wearing a straw hat. Some local newspapers would run bizarre headlines just for one day, such as 'Man In Hat Forced To Wait In Traffic Jam' or 'Man In Hat Buys A Bread - Pays Cash' or something, then all mention of him would disappear. That's when all the bemming begins. I don't think this 'Man In Hat' is really human you know, because one day I came home to find my computer chair in the hallway facing away from me, and I realised that someone was sitting in it. All I could see was this straw hat, and whenever I tried to walk around to see the front of this man, the chair seemed to swivel around with no visible means of propulsion so that he always had his back to me. He spoke briefly in a very soft and quiet voice, saying something like 'You should stop now.' and then he just disappeared."

Robert goes on to explain his theories about Gordon Bem and Man In Hat, and tells me about the fifth dimension.

"Being pulled into the fifth dimension is like trying to run through treacle. I've seen people trying to escape a bemming, and they try to run but just slow down until they stop, trapped in that weird freeze-frame juddering. You just can't escape them. You're always being watched, and if Man In Hat has found you to be a prime bemming target, they'll reach out of the fifth dimension and bem you. You can't escape."

We talk about the repercussions of bemming some more, but soon our time is up. We stand and shake hands, as I try not to stare at his ridiculous chin, then we part. I feel strange, having all of this information revealed to me in such a short space of time. Even the information itself had some sort of fifth dimensional feel, as if it were somehow too sideways for my brain to contain fully. I walked home that day feeling subdued and a little helpless.

When I awoke the next morning I was quite relieved to realise that I'm a complete nutjob and that I made it all up for the Halloween quest.

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