It always starts the same way.
June 16, 2012 5:47 PM   Subscribe

"You are in a spooky cave. Lying on the floor you can see a skull covered with cobwebs and there are rats scurrying through the shadows bent on who knows what acts of unhygiene. You shudder and clutch your terrapin to you for comfort. You review the poor life choices that led you to this unwholesome spot. On a walking holiday in the hinterlands, you foolishly walked off the designated walking path and struck out on your own. In a deep scary forest you saw the cave entrance and in a moment of rash curiosity ventured in. Little did you suspect what was about to befall... Now in your dismal predicament you deplore the neglect and slovenliness around you and prepare to leave. But just then there comes the faint sound of singing drifting out of the depths of the cavern. It seems... somehow familiar... Curiously, you venture in that direction, descending deeper and deeper into the bowels of the earth as sinister stalactites drip around you and evil bats wheel overhead and shriek like your ex-wife when you had suggested playing certain harmless dressing-up games with her. At the end of the tunnel you come to a rotting oak door with rusty iron hinges. The handle is in the shape of a skull! From behind it you hear a vaulting tenor voice singing forlornly...
The Roy Orbison in Clingfilm Adventure Game, by Ulrich Haarbürste

Read the first Roy Orbison in Clingfilm story
Also, here's two recent interviews with Ulrich Haarbürste, by Brian Warfield at his website, and by A. Wolfe at Vice.

The conceit has been extended to YouTube, unsurprisingly. Here's an advanced and enlightening xtranormal animation of a Roy Orbison in Clingfilm story. And a musical adaptation of the first Roy Orbison in Clingfilm story.

Previously, Ulli's Novel of Roy in Clingfilm and, almost a decade ago, Roy Orbison in Clingfilm.
posted by carsonb (22 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
posted by tim_in_oz at 5:59 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

A strange game.
The only winning movie is to wrap Roy Orbison in clingfilm.
posted by Nelson at 6:04 PM on June 16, 2012 [18 favorites]

I am so, so confused.

I had no idea this was a thing.
But every time I think I've seen it all .... this sort of thing happens.
And makes the Brony thread seem sensible.
posted by Mezentian at 6:08 PM on June 16, 2012

It should be noted that the Vice piece includes torrid fanfic by the author of the interview in which indie rocker Doug Martsh runs for office.
posted by carsonb at 6:09 PM on June 16, 2012

Martsch, dammit, is nearly impossible to spell correctly in one go.
posted by carsonb at 6:11 PM on June 16, 2012

So weird!
posted by limeonaire at 6:16 PM on June 16, 2012

Did someone say "brony"?

The Great and Powerful Trixie Wrapped in Clingfilm Story #1, Written by Twilight Sparkle.

You're welcome.
posted by mendel at 6:18 PM on June 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

I've given the novel as a birthday gift. It's a great conversation starter, especially if you wrap it in clingfilm instead of wrapping paper.
posted by Nomyte at 6:19 PM on June 16, 2012

Oh my. I'm so glad this concept hasn't died off the internet. I was unaware the ROIC culture still lives, although in secret, dark, kind of grippy corners of the web.
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 6:26 PM on June 16, 2012

Luckily for me, I have the above Youtube link on MP3 and listen to it every time it comes on so I knew exactly what to do in this situation.

Ever since hearing that song I can't hear the word "Roy Orbison" without adding "In Clingfilm" in that voice.
posted by bleep at 7:20 PM on June 16, 2012

Some days I just want to cry over the majesty of the internet's bounty.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:27 PM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

I still remember the first time I encountered ROIC. I laughed SO MUCH. It was the best laugh.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:03 PM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Anything you want? You got it. Anything at all? You got it.

This is where I talk about one of the coolest co-workers I've ever had. He was a legit rock musician, paying for tours by holding down a full time gig as an IT wonk. His favorite artist in the universe? Bob Dylan. He actually went to go see him in Paris.

His most hated rock icon? Jeff Lynne. He used to say "Fuck!" by going, "Jeff Lynne!" This guy was an enormous studio and production nerd, and believed Jeff Lynne set back the art by decades.

Now, I went through an "Early Rock" phase, where I had The Big Bopper playing in my car everyday, so I knew Roy Orbison, and idolized Roy Orbison. It is through this obsession with late '50s rockers that I come into contact with the Travelling Wilburys.

The Travelling Willburys are a supergroup - its members are Tom Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison... and, get this, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne.

* * *

"I went over my Dylan bootlegs last night and..."

"Bob Dylan - he's the backup singer in that band with Jeff Lynne, right?"


* * *

"Jeff Lynne you, you rotten sonova..."

"Hey, wasn't Jeff Lynne in that band with Dylan?"



He was in the band that realized they were a goth band only when a sold-out audience of goths showed up for their first large-venue gig, and then decided they weren't going to be a goth band by playing Beetles covers until the crowd revolted and they got thrown off stage and blacklisted in Boston... he had a lot of issues with image I considered silly. Still, he was cool and smart and I miss working with him.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:04 PM on June 16, 2012 [8 favorites]

Wait, is that the band that Rob Liefeld did all the posters for?
posted by Nomyte at 8:30 PM on June 16, 2012

They were called "Tinyfeet and the Thighpouches"
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:33 PM on June 16, 2012 [7 favorites]

If this is reference to the game, I'm pretty sure that the terrapin is the animal variant - in some parts you knit her booties and in another she hangs her head.

Otherwise, no idea.
posted by YAMWAK at 1:25 AM on June 17, 2012

The terrapin is of course a recurring motif in the Roy Orbison in Clingfilm stories. The first lines of the very first one:

It always starts the same way. I am in the garden airing my terrapin Jetta when he walks past my gate, that mysterious man in black.

'Hello Roy,' I say. 'What are you doing in Dusseldorf?'

'Attending to certain matters,' he replies.

'Ah,' I say.

He apprises Jetta's lines with a keen eye. 'That is a well-groomed terrapin,' he says.

'Her name is Jetta.' I say. 'Perhaps you would like to come inside?'

posted by hap_hazard at 1:31 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I found it amusing that I knew the subject of this post when I read the word terrapin.
posted by snofoam at 4:24 AM on June 17, 2012

I remembered the ROIC the other day!

A uni friend of mine swore blind that Roy Orbison was a secret albino, and would get really shirty with me when I told her this was not the case. Apparently it's a common delusion.
posted by mippy at 10:43 AM on June 17, 2012

Is it significant at all that Haarb├╝rste is the German for Hairbrush?
posted by misteraitch at 4:28 AM on June 18, 2012

>Is it significant at all that Haarb├╝rste is the German for Hairbrush?

Perhaps. Perhaps.
posted by Naberius at 11:07 AM on June 18, 2012

It is indeed more luxurious with the meaning elaborated, and perhaps significantly so, as Naberius says, perhaps.
posted by carsonb at 11:39 AM on June 18, 2012

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