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My most hearty and luxurious greetings fam, hope all are doing well. Friends, I feel like I often start this column by saying I can’t remember what happened in the previous episode. Today, I honestly cannot remember a single thing that happened last time. Fam, so many things happened lately and my brain has been all over the place. I had to move! I am getting too old for this kind of lifestyle and now I’m not going to unpack anything because I will just have to repack and move again at some point. I don’t know if that is a healthy outlook but it’s where we are right now.

I would now like to share something which has nothing to do with speculative fic, horror, or sci-fi etc. I was looking through some old issues of Maclean's magazine from around the sixties. I was not ready for the sheer volume of laxative ads that basically made up the entire magazine! There were laxatives for normal people aka white men, for older men who work in offices and have moustaches, for women above 60 who feel “headachy”, for young women who “have been constipated since marriage”, for children with sour stomachs, and for people who have had a laxative but still feel like they haven’t “evacuated completely”. I probably shouldn’t have shared all this here but fam I was shook. And now, for something completely different, episode three of The Slide!

I have somewhat refreshed my memory and am fully excite for all the shenanigans from this sentient mud.

This episode is called “Analysis”. Not very exciting but anyway here we go.

In the archive.org descriptor for this, it says that a lot of vintage BBC recordings were lost, possibly because the BBC just didn’t bother to record them. I remember hearing that some recordings were destroyed in a fire, but others just turned up in random places, like old biscuit tins etc. Which feels like something I would do to be honest.

Mr. Sorenson the irresponsible cave guy is being chewed out by a police inspector because two men have died due to a harebrained scheme. I’m guessing it was Mr. Sorenson’s harebrained scheme.

I vaguely remember this and also fellows just wandering around caves when they were supposed to be rescuing people.

The inspector raises another good point, re why were you descending into the bowels of the earth when there were earth tremors.

I’m not an expert or anything but that seems like something you shouldn’t be doing.

Some other fellow called Bernie (?) has broken his leg also.

Mr. Sorenson just said that potholing isn’t just a sport, it’s an important scientific survey. But Google says that potholing is just a sport. One of you is lying.

Now the Doctor is yelling at Mr. Sorenson because let’s face it, he is not putting safety first.

And Ted, the mysterious old man is also missing somewhere in the caves. All in all, a fun day for everyone.

Bernie is convinced that he saw Ted down there, but why would Ted go down there? How did he go down there? Who is Ted? So many questions.

The Doctor recommends that they seal the caves and I have to say I agree with him.

Mr. Sorenson is against all this because he’s Mr. Sorenson.

I wonder why it’s called potholing.

I’m not invested enough to actually find out though.

A professor has called Mr. Deverill back from London but I can’t remember who either of these people are.

The professor is telling Mr. Deverill about how there is more mud spewing out and they have been up half the night trying to put it all back in the fissure.

Why are you doing that though?

If a volcano is spewing lava we don’t try to put the lava back in, no?

Is that a bad analogy? Idk probably.

So it looks like once they put some mud in, some more comes out. See, I told you it was a bad idea.

The mud has already dried and is as hard as concrete, so can’t really clean it up now which is great.

And two new fissures have been discovered.

Maybe y’all should move.

The Americans have also reported tremors near Chicago.

Maybe don’t move to Chicago then.

The professor is shocked that the mud sample they collected has grown to three times its original size, which frankly seems a little rude.

Now we have cut to Mrs. Deverill who has been told to leave the tap running.

Someone is mentioning all sorts of chemistry words, reminding me of all the times I failed chemistry in school #sad.

The mud apparently only swells in its liquid state and they are all stunned by this.

I am not stunned because I’m getting bored now.

Mrs. Deverill has now been told to turn off the tap. Whatever will happen next??

All these dudes are like Mrs. Deverill why don’t you leave us to our manly scientific duties.

They didn’t actually say that of course- they said “you must be tired” and “your husband must be home by now”.

Small particles are now floating off the mud YAAAAAY

The Doctor has entered and is telling everyone about all the dead animals.

He’s taking an awful long time to essentially say “hey guys there’s dead animals everywhere”.

The Chilean (?) professor is saying that the same thing happened in his country after the 1960 earthquake.

Could all of these things possibly be connected?? I JUST DON’T KNOW!!

The water in the tank has turned green and that is apparently very shocking? I’m like whatever.

I think Mrs. Deverill is screaming now.

No, it’s someone called Miss Marshall. I don’t know who that is.

She is obviously struggling with some feelings.

Mrs. Marshall wants to be left alone, the sun is hurting her eyes and she doesn’t want the injection they are going to give her.

I feel like all of us want and feel these same things.

Also she doesn’t want to sleep.

You’ve lost me there Miss Marshall.

I guess she is in a hospital.

They have given her an injection but apparently injections aren’t working on her.

I think the nurse is telling Miss Marshall she can’t sleep with her eyes open but like who are you madam, the sleep police?

Some sound effects are happening and I don’t know what we are supposed to make of them. Fear? Annoyance? Hunger?

Ok now I think we are at one of the fissures where they are trying to clean the mud.

Stop putting it back in omg!

Mr. Deverill says he finds it all invigorating, possibly because he’s not doing any of the digging and his house wasn’t eaten by sentient mud.

Mr. Deverill has also admitted he doesn’t like people, thus firmly establishing him as the villain.

Now it looks like the plants are also dying.

Mr. Deverill seems happy about this too because maybe he was bullied by wayward petunias as a child.

A man has now come across a woman sitting in the dark.

Is this that farmer guy and his wife?

Yes it is.

Mary is apparently not scared any more because she has started bonding with the slide and it’s making her feel better. Slide is the mud? And is bonding the right word here?

Meanwhile! The professors have discovered a white powder on the mud.

It’s chalk!

No! It’s salt!

Someone has now come in saying they have been digging up seashells all morning.

Not like at the beach on a nice day but from the mud.

Now they are going to try putting heat in a container? To break up the mud?

I mean ok, if you want to.

Now I think that Doctor has gone to see Janet but she’s like whatever bye.

Someone called Joseph has dropped Mrs. Deverill home and she has invited him in for a drink and then she asked why he isn’t married OMG NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Leave Joseph alone, he has to go back to the lab to do manly and scientific things.

Mrs. Deverill just said “did she hurt you” and Joseph said yes and she was like haha see I know all about you and he goes she was my wife and she died giving birth to my son I’m so dead right now.

Although I don’t think she died during childbirth to hurt you wtf.

Mrs. Deverill is adamant that he should have some sex because that’s what his wife would have wanted.

Wild conversation.

Now the Doctor has come to see the farmer, because Mary is acting bananas like all the other hysterical ladies.

The farmer just said “Imagine it doctor! Me! Being scared to meet the darkness!” and I wondered what kind of person would say that.

We now enter upon an argument between Mr. and Mrs. Deverill because Mr. Deverill gave an interview where he said bad things about Joseph.

Suddenly Mrs. Deverill is like Oh Hugh let’s get away from here, just you and me, what is happening.

It’s a roller coaster of emotion, fam.

Mr. Deverill is complaining about his eyes hurting, which I guess is significant.

Did I mention they are fighting again?

Now two men with very large working class accents are talking.

They are about to partake of some whiskey because they are very naughty.

Suddenly, the sound of wah’ah.

Meanwhile! The professors are doing that heating the mud thing.

The white powder has been analysed and it is salt.

Didn’t you guys already know this?

I think they just realized the mud has the ability to multiply in its liquid state and that it has organic stuff in it.

I thought mud generally has organic stuff in it but what do I know, I am not a manly scientific man.

So this guy Robert who was heating the mud has been hurt I think and the mud is going all over the place and squeaking like a rubber duckie.

*

That would have been a cliffhanger ending if this episode had actually been interesting. Since it wasn’t, it’s just the end of an episode that felt like it was about eight hours long. I remember liking the first episode, and thinking the 2nd one was just ok. This was super-boring. I am mainly here for the sentient mud, even if it does squeak like a rubber duckie, and there was hardly any mud action happening. And I keep forgetting who everyone is.

Fam, I hope to see you all in the new year and that you will continue on this journey with me, because this show is seven episodes long and who knows what will happen in the future. Bai dears.

 



Kuzhali Manickavel's collections Things We Found During the Autopsy, Insects Are Just like You and Me except Some of Them Have Wings, and chapbooks The Lucy Temerlin Institute for Broken Shapeshifters Guide to Starving Boys and Eating Sugar, Telling Lies are available from Blaft Publications, Chennai. Her work has also appeared in Granta, Strange Horizons, Agni, Subtropics, Michigan Quarterly Review, and DIAGRAM. She used to blog at http://thirdworldghettovampire.blogspot.com/. She's now at https://www.kuzhalimanickavel.com.
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