Jazza's Secret Code
By Cal 'buzz_clik' Skuthorpe - 18 Jul, 2006
Everyone who considers themselves a fan of Mean Machines would most likely say that they've read every issue from cover to cover. But how many of you have really done that? I'm sure every 'fan' in the true, fanatical definition of the word has done it. But for the rest of you, this may be your introduction to five minutes o' fun you never knew about...
Reading the credits for each particular issue of Mean Machines would always garner some nuggets of ribald comedy gold. The amusing nicknames wedged between the first and last names of each staff member. The over-the-top descriptions of the grisly fate befalling anyone foolish enough to copy the magazine. The competition rules that would exclude some poor sod that had been singled out for humiliation (although in the context of Mean Machines, that's probably an honour). And then there was Jazza's Final Bit, where Rignall would twitter on about something or other.
In Issue 22, Jazza went all smartarse (well, a touch more than usual) and had the following inserted into his column (oo-er, missus, etc... man, I could have been a writer for MM):
JAZZA'S FINAL BIT
Anyone out there a code cracker? If so, crack this simple code and you'll find a special message waiting for you. J smdf nssh ms jale dh cslevm qhvder bsf gmd bdyd dnf qwio xkd efjty fsuk pys mnnhs. There's a prize for the first person to do it. Send in the cracked code to: IT'S SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN THAT ELEPHANTS ARE BORN ALCOHOLICS, MEAN MACHINES, PRIORY COURT. 30-32 FARRINGDON LANE. LONDON, EC1R 3AU. And if you can't crack it - guess it!
It remained unsolved, as in the next issue Jazza's Final Bit saw him chastising the public for not being able to decipher it. Seems there was a good reason for this - as Jazza himself contacted us to reveal:
"The "Final Bit" on the contents page was indeed always the last bit of the magazine I wrote – the contents page couldn't be finalized until all the other pages had been finalized, so it was always the last to go off to the printers. Because it was the last page out of the door, it was usually written very late at night at the end of our final deadline day, which explains the bizarre and often totally random crap that could be found on it. The "Secret Code" in question is unfortunately more difficult to crack than an Enigma machine – thanks to the fact that it is in fact a load of random letters I pecked out at the keyboard sometime in the early morning. I actually had a bunch of people write in with what they thought it was (I have no idea how they "cracked" the code), and I sent them some t-shirts or something for their creativity (and cos I felt guilty about them being taken in by my "joke"). Sorry for anyone who spent time trying to figure that out. Yep. I'm a bastard. A very tired and grumpy bastard who just wanted to finish up the mag and go home"
James Martin - 27 Mar 2008, 14:12 GMT
Man, that is funny!