Since half of my visitors come from internet searches for Mugwump (the other half from searches for Jeff Fahey) I feel a few words on the subject are in order.
From the outset I will disregard the old meaning of mugwump, that which concerns the slang term for Republicans who deserted their party to vote for the opposition; it’s an obsolete term, one never used, and certainly has no relevance in this context.
The mugwump to which I refer is the creature brought into existence by William S. Burroughs in his amazing novel Naked Lunch. The following is an excerpt from the novel (stolen from elsewhere for convenience):
Mugwumps have no liver and nourish themselves exclusively on sweets. Thin, purple-blue lips cover a razor sharp beak of black bone with which they frequently tear each other to shreds in fights over clients. These creatures secrete an addictive fluid though their erect penises which prolongs life by slowing metabolism. (In fact all longevity agents have proved addicting in exact ratio to their effectiveness in prolonging life.)
These were given physical form through David Cronenberg’s adaptation, or rather translation, of Naked Lunch. The above picture is how they appeared to Peter Weller and is how I have come to visualise them.
What a magnificent creature they are. Rendered tangible they are grotesqueries of the highest order. Had Frank Oz placed a bunch of them in Labyrinth it would have been greatly enhanced as a piece of cinema. They secrete milk/jissom from their head-teats, smoke, and have a voice rather akin to Mr Burroughs himself (i.e. as creaky as a warehouse full of rusted doors). It must be said that in the film they have a much more cuddly and endearing character, unlike Burroughs’ description of a vicious, belligerent fiend.
I hope to attain one as a pet some day. It can sleep under my bed, emerging every now and again, preferably when I’m thirsty for mugwump jissom.