014: The Catalogue


There’s an unusual catalogue being delivered throughout the city that’s very easy to miss – but with the offers inside, it’s well worth a look.

The catalogue requires a subscription to be delivered, but without having actually seen a copy of the book, it’s impossible to get the details required to make a subscription – the people who compile the catalogue (listed only as “G & J Distribution”, apparently also the title of the catalogue) have arranged its circulation such that only those “in the know” about the catalogue’s odd contents can pass the details along to like-minded associates. However, the catalogue can sometimes be found on the doorsteps of acolytes and people involved in the occult, “accidentally” left on subway trains in the morning, in the magazine rack at a certain dentist’s office in the East End, or, very occasionally, at one of the desks in the Mitchell Library. The details for subscription are found inside the front cover – they are not reproduced here as per a previous agreement with G & J Distribution.

The catalogue is usually around fifty pages thick, printed in black and white on flimsy off-white paper, with the occasional grainy, low-quality photograph, rather like a poorly-made version of the telephone directory; most of its contents are described in a sparse, economic way that does not immediately make obvious the true nature of what is on offer. However, for those of discerning or unusual tastes and interests, the catalogue lists a smorgasbord of items and services in the city of Glasgow to peruse and purchase. The catalogue has a section for furniture and personal effects of the deceased – disguised, innocuously, as a “previously owned” section – where the lucky buyer may snatch themselves up a genuinely-haunted mirror or cursed engagement ring. The “marketplace” occasionally lists dubious bargains such as vials of Milk of Mary, bundles of hair clippings with names of acolytes attached, videotapes of unnameable rites, bottles of ritually-prepared water and the rarely-seen Glascau Tarot.  The “personals” section contains a number of acolytes at various stages of cognizance looking for companionship, collaboration or Keys (and, recently, listed an ad for people to assist in the “reclamation of a certain book” which resulted in the first and only robbery ever successfully committed at the Hidden Exhibition). The services page has a number of permanent advertisements by people and small businesses (like a listing for the Voice of Other Glasgows radio station and a number of pirate television stations) as well as the occasional listing of various unusual services, for example the Guided Tour of the Gideon Keys of Glasgow, or the Search for Remains Foundation, which invariably are listed once before never appearing again. Alongside every service or product in the catalogue is a set of numbers that you can call to arrange orders and get additional information.

It is crucial that the acolyte only purchase or place something from the catalogue if they are in great need – if you call to do business, they will ask for your home address, and irrespective of what address you may give them, G & J Distribution will always, always know exactly where you live.

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