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Baxter Gumshield (1953 - 1999)

by shandypockets 

Posted: 09 May 2005
Word Count: 593
Summary: Making a fist of it
Related Works: Funkel Nostrum (1858-1921) • Malachi of Hereford (1190 - 1227) • Myopia Darjeeling (1889 - 1936) • 

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Baxter Gumshield (1953 - 1999)

Gumshield caught public imagination at an early age, enjoying brief notoriety as "The Beaver Boy of Glebeville", when he was discovered fending for himself aged two and a half on the banks of a woodland river in rural Alabama. Having apparently survived by eating grubs and licking discarded fast food packaging, it was assumed he'd been raised by friendly river mammals, before cursory investigation revealed that his parents, Nurlene and Amadeus Gumshield, did in fact live less than half a mile away, but had been confined to their living room since the invention of television. He was hastily removed from the twig-laden cage he'd been housed in at the Glebeville zoo, where locals had queued round the block to throw him small, boneless fish.

The local journalist who originally broke the story, Joss Livid, suffered great humiliation, and spent the next thirteen years insulting Gumshield in his spleen-venting column, "What Makes Joss Tick?" Weekly rants questioning his parentage and genital normalcy made life for the young Baxter a traumatic, incontinent, living hell.

Striving for a sense of acceptance, Gumshield sought the company of other outsiders, such as out-of-work alcoholic circus geeks and the criminally insane. In fact it was with former combine-harvester molester Larry Metaller that he launched his first business venture, debilitating rowdy cattle for farmers too inbred to work stun guns. Metaller was the brawn of the operation, whilst Gumshield concentrated on financial dishonesty. The partnership ended messily when Metaller returned to his old ways and lost both hands trying to fondle a seductively inaccessible axle.

Losing his job when the public grew tired of his charmless guff, Joss Livid had meanwhile dedicated his life to murderous revenge. In a botched scythe attack, Gumshield lost a significant amount of back hair, but Livid rendered himself permanently incapacitated, and to this day is able to communicate only through delicate control of his nasal mucus.

After this brush with death, Gumshield decided to change his life, vowing there and then to join the first crackpot religious cult he could find. This was not a successful change for Baxter, and he was expelled from every organisation of gurning lunatics known to the FBI, and quite a few that weren't, mainly due to his new-found tendency to beat anyone wearing sandals into a writhing, bloody pulp.

That year's chronic toothbrush shortage forced many to leave Glebeville, and in desperation, Gumshield found himself stowed on a ship bound for Boston. His food rations were well exhausted by the time he realised it was Boston, Lincolnshire, on the east coast of England, and he survived only by drinking his own urine, sometimes siphoning off his fellow stowaways whilst they slept.

A series of ugly incidents on his way to London persuaded Gumshield that his true talent lay in attracting and then dispensing with violent lunatics, and on his arrival, he set up a one-man vigilante group to dispense physical justice on the London Underground. He called it "The Watching Fist". Refusing to take on any recruits, he patrolled the tube network alone night and day. Initially, it was hailed as success, immediately clearing the carriages of muggers and people who worked in events management.

The tide soon turned, though, and after a series of embarrassing and particularly brutal attacks on three girl guide groups and the Bishop of Durham, Gumshield was forcibly removed from the underground network. Wracked by remorse, Gumshield took his own life by sitting at the exit of Camden Town Station and eating discarded travelcards until his colon ruptured.

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Comments by other Members

bjlangley at 12:39 on 12 May 2005  Report this post
Wow, what a life our poor Baxter had. That said I think the image of a seductively inaccessible axle will stick for a scarily long time.

All the best,


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