Luke Upward’s Crime – and Punishment
In support of Patrick Moore’s campaign against “light pollution” Luke Upward wrote copious letters to influential journals and ghosted a special article for his old friend Lord Shortcake which occupied a double page in the Goldfish Gazette. When these methods failed, he took to impersonating Lord Shortcake (who had seldom been seen in the House of Lords since his accidental election as a non-party hereditary peer), and ambushing ministers and officials in the Palace of Westminster. Eventually he was detected at a State Opening by Her Majesty’s Rouge Dragon Pursuivant, who had been the real Lord Shortcake’s fag at Giggleswick.
When even these methods failed, Upward resolved on direct action. Not far from his Bermondsey residence was an especially nasty neon sign advertising a nightclub pretentiously named the Polo Lounge. As if to provoke Upward beyond endurance it promised “More Stars Than The Sky At Night.” He waited his moment – the opening of an engagement for his friend Ricky Rubato’s rival, Johnny Atempo. He stood in front of the sign at the nightclub (gratified en passant by the sparse attendance) and glared at its putrid purple letters. Summoning up the Latin he had learnt between school expulsions he intoned: “lux in vacuo supervacua” (which can be freely translated as “neon, who needs it?”) Then with a mighty cry of “Fiat nox!” (“Let there be night”) he raised a rook rifle, which he had acquired only for alliterative reasons and never used on the range. He nonetheless extinguished the neon sign with a single shot, prompting him to observe that “practice is no substitute for rage.”