titleMartin Hemmingway vs. the Scorpion

name. Chris Henson

right now. Second year studying English Literature at the University of Edinburgh

Martin Hemingway vs the Scorpion

Note to reader: What follows is a true story. Through fear of the response of those involved, all names have been changed. In the interests of artistic integrity, all names were changed back again.


Martin Hemingway is a teacher of Geography and Law, and a Green Party policy officer. He stood for Parliament for Leeds North West in 2005 and 2010, and for Morley and Outwood in 2015. He lost all three, the last one to the disgusting soggy Spaniel’s ear, Andrea Jenkyns. Before his political career began, he worked as an archaeologist.

I met Martin Hemingway when I accidentally became an agent for the Green Party on the night of the 2015 General Election, May 7th. It was the night that saw dancing sensation (and user of the phrase ‘I must have a quick slash’ on his way to discover the final Morley and Outwood result, to which I was lucky enough to bear witness) Ed Balls lose his seat to stick insect with a fringe, Andrea Jenkyns. Hemingway lost by loads, but took it well. A few weeks afterwards, I was invited to attend a Green Party party in a mid-range Leeds pub. It was here that Martin Hemingway beguiled me with a story from his archaeology days. A story that engraved him into my brain as the most interesting, virile and sexy, sexy man in the world. A story full of tragedy, comedy, and regional stereotyping.

This is that story.


It was the morning of October 8th, 1981, some place in Namibia, Africa, Earth. The sun was beating down onto the sand, of which there was flipping loads. A long shadow laboured across the desert plains. The owner of that shadow removed his hat (a fedora but a cool one), wiped his glistening forehead, and took a swig of water.

“Shit me it’s hot”.

Martin Hemingway, future Green Party candidate and current sex beast, had stopped to rest. The layers upon layers of heat, constricting, turning the air to syrup, had all but broken Martin and his team. It was hot. And it shat him.

“’Ere Mr Hemingway, when dya fink we might fwind dis mystic cave or some such type o’ fing?” asked Wilkins Scragamuffin, the cynical, world-weary Cockney comic relief, “me foot is a ‘rubbin sir, I can barely walk. And as me old muvver used to say, if yer foot is a stunting, you’re in for a cunting”

“I don’t know Wilkins, but hopefully, for the sake of brevity if nothing else, it appears soo- “

Before Martin could even add an ‘n’ to a word, just over the horizon there appeared an enormous cave opening. It was a cave which entered deep into a set of mountains, which were also there, just over the horizon. Which was convenient.

A short while later, Martin and his team had made their way into the cave mouth. They set down their bags, lay out the hammocks, and began to set up their archaeological equipment. They savoured the shade as they would a glass of iced water.

But, as the old saying goes, relaxing in the shade of a cave mouth is all fun and games until a giant boulder drops and traps you inside it.

Right on cue, an enormous boulder thudded in front of the mouth of the cave. The very earth shook. It eclipsed the sun. Martin Hemingway and his team were swallowed in a throat of darkness.  Which was inconvenient.

“We’re trapped!”

“’We won’t be able to move it!”

“Flippin’ ‘eck bleedin’ Nora cockles and jellied eels!”

“We’re going to die here! Woe, woe!”

Only one man remained calm amid the ruckus. Martin Hemingway sat on a rock, sipped on his Horlicks, and cast a discerning look over his colleagues. Martin Hemingway was unfazed. Martin Hemingway was enjoying a delicious sleepy milky beverage.

“We shall survive”, he said, “so quit your jibber jabber. Before we left I provided instructions for this exact scenario. If we don’t check back in with base camp by morning, they know to send a rescue team. Throughout our journey, I have been leaving a trail of mint imperials. The team shall follow the trail to this cave, remove the boulder, and you can go back to your wives, husbands and jellied eels.”

And so, life in the cave began. The team carried out what archaeology stuff they could by torchlight. Martin took on the role of head chef, creating absolute wonders with his reserves of Spam and rusks. A toilet area was designated behind a large outcrop that weirdly, with its crumbling features, crude outlines, patches of moss and lack of integrity, resembled future Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns. Wilkins fashioned a crude hammer from sticks and stones, in case anyone got lairy and he had to bash their nut in.

About a week into cave life, Martin Hemingway, full of Spam and rusks, went behind the outcrop. And here his legend status was affirmed.

Once he had finished defecating, Martin Hemingway peered around for something to wipe with. It was then that he saw it. A scorpion. Scuttling around. Swanning about. A scorpion which was covered with, for want a better term, steaming fresh faeces. Unmoved, uncaring, Martin reached for a rock, picked his moment, and squashed the scorpion. He killed it dead. Was it an act of mercy? Or an act of self-preservation? It doesn’t matter. Martin Hemingway shat on a scorpion, and then killed it with a rock.

Martin Hemingway, whilst squatting down and voiding his bowels, squished a flipping scorpion with a rock.

I don’t know if they found anything interesting in the cave. To be honest, after the whole shitting scorpion squishing episode, I stopped paying attention. Martin Hemingway had already laser-beamed himself into my heart. Martin Hemingway might never have been elected and no longer does anything actually cool like archaeology and works in Bradford which is a massive shithole, but one time he murdered a scorpion on the toilet.

Thus, the story of Martin Hemingway comes to an end. I mean he hasn’t died yet, but his life has peaked so he might as well have.

Thanks for reading.