Johann Von Smirkenweld

From Plastic Tub

Smirkenweld is one of those mysterious historical figures who crop up suddenly with a kind of messianic fury and then as quickly disappear, leaving a tantalizing yet tangled trail of "clews" and Associations with various other obscure and equally untraceable historical phenomena. We know for example that he was involved in the notorious "Gallic Bracelet Affair" and then again with the scandalous de-flowering of a prominent nobleman's young daughter, but the details are all very tangential.

The only thing for certain is that for a brief two years he was employed as a clerk for the city of Avignon, where he seems to have participated in all the requisite intrigues with a certain élan that won him favor with many local schemers.

An anonymous Frenchman has given us an account of the founding of La Ligue d'Agenda de la Pinque in which he describes the leader of the first conclaves as "a fiery rhetoritician, a-tremble with a kind of rage, an ecstacy which sent him into a cataleptic fit leaving him spent and his listeners in awe.....after which he recuperated with a large platter of pancakes." (Henley, The American University Translations of the Avignon Reports, p.35; II). This fits with other known reports of Smirkenweld, one of which includes an amusing acount of his spittle being "sweet as his adamant lips flung it upon the table....he must have been partaking of some of that Maple sap as they do in the New World" (Rodriguez, 50).

Smirkenweld, though Dutch, probably from Rotterdam, was outwardly a Catholic. His League was chartered and listed as being headquartered in the Rue St. Cyprien, Avignon. It participated in civic life, bearing statues in seasonal religious processions, but no actual details of its private activities are known. In 1613 an argument ensued and the League was banned from public activity. Popular scholarship has traditionally taken at face value the charges levied against it by the Catholic Church; namely, that the League intended to destroy the structure of European Civilization through a complex program of propaganda aimed at raising mass hysteria, carefully selected perverse rites aimed at undermining all known thought at certain critical junctures and prankish acts aimed at de-stabilizing the most mundane details of quotidian life.

Smirkenweld's death has gone unrecorded.

See Also