AUTUMN  2023



SIXTIES TIME – Alexis Lykiard


OLD AGE TRUTH Alexis Lykiard


REMEDIAL Alexis Lykiard


NOTORIOUS OZ CONS Alexis Lykiard27



MYAETHEIST WIFE Alexis Lykiard28





ON COVID (5) –Tanner




NIGHT LIGHT – David Birtwistle

TANGIER – John Lee

TWO CRAZY KRAUTS – Ron Horsefield

SCHOOLBOY – Martin Keaveney

KING OF KINGS – Andrew Hart





It must have been ten years since noted East Lancs poet Keith Howden stumbled across a Crazy Oik in some obscure charity shop. Was it on a shelf or the cat’s litter tray? Keith got in touch and his contributions proved a great boost to the Oik’s reputation. Our sister publishing venture Penniless Press Publications knocked out quite a few of his books. Then Keith dug out an hilarious collection - The Gospels of St Belgrano. These were the idle thoughts of institutional nut job James Bird Horobin. How we larfed! Pure Oik gold! Keith had considered it too crazy to place elsewhere – certainly not at Shoestring Press run by his old academic mate John Lucas.

Now we have a follow up with An Essay Upon The Lines Of James Bird Horobin. Birdy’s amanuensis is another Howden character Barlow. We sense, from his guarded, almost apologetic intro, that Barlow too feels uneasy at the contents. But it’s all very Nabokov/Kinbote/John Shade stuff. Keith is a great admirer of  Pale Fire. Belgrano is still available on Amazon for about a fiver, as is Barlow Unbound.

Another internal constraint (not that we had any concerning the sanity of authors) was the 3000 word limit. This might be letting other dogs see the rabbit but it struck me, during my brief period co-editing Alan Dent’s Penniless Press, that this straitjacket would result in a serialisation of a Victor Serge piece taking five years to complete. We could all be dead, Victor was already and soon so was the Penniless Press.  

This new freedom enables us to publish Alexis Lykiard’s Sixties Time. And if you seek the usual Crazy Oik scabrous detail cop the tomb of Victor Noir with its well-rubbed appendage. Not quite as inspiring as the toe of St Peter in the Vatican (see page 14 )

Then, after 59 issues, settling in to a decent obscurity, I get an email from a professor of Politics at Bristol University. He asks for back issue – No 23 from 2014. Wot’s this I wondered? Had Ron Horsefield’s incisive commentaries on the French Rev become recognised at last? I dug out the back number.  Reading it again I noticed John Lee’s piece on a mad Trotskyite, Harry Newton, he’d met at Hull. This was indeed the object of prof’s request. John recalled Harry being chucked in the Liffey for insulting the Pope and getting into Bert Ramelson’s cellar employed as a gas meter reader. He daubed on the wall saying the Trots would be back with an ice pick. Bert, at the time one of the top dogs in the CPGB, disappeared for a few weeks.

John’s new found fame is well deserved. I leave you to dig out this gem – if it hasn’t long-gone into the cat’s litter. How I larfed! I hope the prof does too.

Ken Clay Oct 2023

John Lee

I awoke the second day in Tangiers to the sound of the Eldorado ice-cream man sounding much as he had sounded all of those thirty years I lived in Urmston. "Ah!" I correctly surmised, "Tis Sunday soon I will hear the shrill squeals of future lager louts and United skins.." But I was wrong it was the call of rag-heads to the mosque. I rushed to the opaque green marble surrounded windows of the Rembrandt to view thousands of Bin Ladens queuing to go to church. It was just like St Mathew’s Parish Church  by the Stretford precinct only here there were more Coca-Cola  and less Carlsberg lager tins bestrewing the route. Generally the architecture was inferior to Stretford though the weather and the palm trees made the Tangier morning only marginally inferior. And so to breakfast-a very reasonable curry-like dip with as many flat mat bread cakes as you could eat and an abundance of treacle coffee that lined your gums with termite resistant tar. At breakfast one topic dominated - would Abdulla Rumpy-Pumpy be waiting for us outside the hotel to show us a good time and tell us the tales of "a poor man".      


We stepped into the sunlight to find that the way was clear to a rediscovery of the delights of the Blackpool of North Africa. On a grand open esplanade running across the high ridge of the town we discovered the department stores which seemed above everything to sell carpets and  booze to American and European tourists of which there were none except for the same panic stricken American of yesterday who wailed that he had lost his guide . I offered but he took me to be some European low-life and threw some dirhams at my feet  in  the hope that I would go away. It turns out that the Dirham isn't worth anything anyway as the official tourist agency refuses to exchange them for real money when you leave. This wouldn't be so bad were it not for the fact that you are not allowed to take them out of the country to exchange them for something real. We fully appreciated the reasons for this though as it was explained to us that it was an insult to the King to take his head away.  On our walk along the posh streets we noticed the black-windowed Rolls Royces  no doubt full of the King and his wives . Once again the beer halls were  full of Sunday-best dressed Arabs  supping mint-tea. The desire for genuine cross cultural experience was so great that we entered one and demanded tea for four. We were treated as  pucker gents and given our teas before the women who were properly seen as hangers on, wastrels  and unsavoury chattels. The tea tasted like hot Watneys Red Barrel full of spinach  and golden-syrup and with each sip your teeth became infected with vegetation. We decided not to eat more than we already had.    


At the end of the ridge we overlooked the bay, the port, and sweeping downhill before us the markets. To our right on the descent were dwellings which made Hulme in the old days look like Buxton Spa. So we commenced the journey down-hill through a gate that read to a grassy or rather weed ridden enclosure. It turned out to be a Muslim graveyard. With the morbidity and historical curiosity of Hamlets we decided that this was for us the peak of cross cultural understanding was before us. The stink was unbelievable and provoked the discussion as to whether Muslims buried their dead or left them on the surface to rot. There were old mattresses , Coca-cola tins ,plastic bags by the thousand all of which Muslims evidently use to honour the dead, but nothing other than the dead themselves which could explain the richness of the atmosphere. In the course of our beating a rabid retreat a Muslim voice bellowed at us in Muslim French the equivalent of "Get out of there you shitting Infidel bastards- that's a holy place" As we were suffocating and as he was clearly a holy man we did so . We tried to explain that it wasn't us that .had shat and he seemed to accept our innocence . Indeed he positively became friendly saying that he was a poor man and that for a little consideration he would show us round Tangier. Much wiser now and realizing that he was old and little and therefore not dangerous we explained to him that it probably wasn't a good idea as we were American agents looking for the El Qaida network . He went away sorrowfully to his two wives and his 23 children who he supports on 3p a week.    


A large part of the markets seemed to consist in traders sat on the pavement selling things like a bit of wire, a bent pan lid an old road sign. At least no one was as poorly off as at Brick Lane market where I once saw someone attempt to sell a second-hand Max Bygraves record. We ran to the boat and once safely installed we discussed how much we had enjoyed the trip.     

Research has started as to flights. It appears that very few who live over here ever use scheduled flights -Bucket shops and charters seems to be the main way by which people come cheaply although Chris came BA. Scheduled from Heathrow for £149 return. The cheapest schedules from Manchester appear to be British Midland though someone called Monarch Crown Service is There appear to be many more and people I know here say that a bit of research can save a lot of money.    It is interesting to find that there are still stone aged sociologists doing meaningless correlations I think it’s best to agree with him and recommend a holiday in Tangiers. Going to France sometime over weekend or Monday depending on the cessation of Montezuma’s revenge