The Ultimate Insult Generator is a fabulously fun flipbook whose pages can generate over 60 million different insults to fling at friends and family. For what is probably the first ever time in the history of journalism, we asked this hilarious book to interview its very own creator, the writer, poet, performer and award-winning cartoonist Mike Barfield.
TUIG (The Ultimate Insult Generator): Thank you for agreeing to be the first person to let a book interview its own author. What should I call you: Mr Barfield, Mike, or would you prefer ‘Daddy’?
MB: (Mike Barfield): Mike will be fine, thank you – though, of course, I have in the past been called a lot of worse names than that, some of which are in the book.
TUIG: I’ll bet you have!
MB: Careful! I could have you re-written, you know…
TUIG: Sorry. Now, Mike, tell me a bit about the rest of your family. Is it true…
MB: Sadly, yes. But it could be worse, it could be foxes.
MB: Look, that's a bit insulting.
TUIG: That’s my job.
MB: But don’t you think people would rather hear how you came about?
TUIG: Not, really. But, if you insist.
MB: Well, it started back when my two human children were quite young. You get those funny children’s puzzles where you can swap heads, bodies, legs and feet and I wanted to see if I could do the same thing with sentences. So I bought a little spiral bound notebook, cut across the pages with scissors and began writing silly things in it in pencil to while away the time on train journeys.
TUIG: Really? You sound like a nutter to me. Trains are full of them. Your Dad's probably just as bad, I bet…
MB: That may be true, but everyone needs a hobby. Anyway, after I filled up the notebook, I found that if I gave it to children to play with, they thought it was hilarious and didn’t want to hand it back. So, I’m delighted that it’s now come out as a very handsome-looking hardback book.
TUIG: Trying to flatter me, eh? It won’t work…
MB: No, you are clearly a very difficult book to impress. But I am sure my old English teacher would be very proud to hear I have had you published.
TUIG: That isn’t saying much. I have it on good authority that…
MB: Really? I thought teachers were always busy doing marking. Anyway, back to the book. I did some maths on the back of an envelope, and I reckon there are over 60 million different insults you can make using all your pages.
TUIG: I heard you were rubbish at maths.
MB: What? That’s enough! I won’t hear another single insult.
TUIG: But I still have at least 59,999,995 crazy wisecracks left.
MB: I don’t care. I have clearly made an awful mistake. You are a rude, cheeky, and totally inappropriate book that should never be given to children.
TUIG: Because I might corrupt their innocent little minds?
MB: No – because grown-ups will want to get their hands on you first. Goodbye!
The Ultimate Insult Generator is available now from Laurenceking.com