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  • Alexander Inglis

PORG People of Restricted Growth

In February this year I started writing a book about Algernon Bertram Baggywrinkle, Captain, PORG National Navy, Retired. I've written about him before, not much, just a few lines explaining what PORG are, but February was the start of marathon that's still going on . Now it's getting close to the end of the beginning. In the next few weeks/months the first draft of 'Baggywrinkle, and The Black Pig', [working title, keep checking back here and as soon as Baggy tells me what the final title is I'll let you know].

The plan was to write around five hundred to one thousand words a day and, if I'd managed to keep to that I would probably be working on the second draft by now. Best laid plans and all that.

As it stands, due to circumstances as they say, I'm still following Baggy along the trail. A well defined trail but one that is still throwing up side-shoots.

Baggywrinkle is PORG, he is not a superhero, he can think his way out of or round a problem. He can't jump tall buildings or melt tanks with his eyes. PORG can go where you or I can't which is helpful if you spend a great deal of your time avoiding humans.

In case you're not sure what PORG are then here is the official description from the beginning of Baggy 's quest.


A dissertation written by an eminent scientific observer once asked;

'Should we talk about the speed of light when the speed of dark is faster? Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it'

The hypothesis being, that if light travels in waves - electromagnetic radiation - or as particles - photons then, when a light is switched on, the waves (or particles) from the light bulb take time, however short, to travel to all corners of a room. If the room was in darkness then the dark must stay just in front of the leading edge of the light wave (or particle front), ergo dark is faster than light.

PORG are fast enough to stay in the dark; they don't outrun the light; more inrun the dark. In other words they are slightly faster than a hospital kitchen cockroach and slightly slower than The Cincinnati Kid dealing off the bottom of the pack. All except Boogle but that's another story.

Retired PORG live in antiques and as a rule, only the best antiques. Some of them live in new antiques (just over 100 years old) but by far the greatest majority, live in the oldest antiques they can find.

At this point it would probably be prudent to say what constitutes an antique. There was, at one time, a perfectly good definition, which was, if something is older than 100 years then it is considered antique. In recent years that definition has become, shall we say, a little flexible. I, and the whole of PORGkind, still adhere to the 100 year rule, anything less than 100 years old is a collectible, and as such not suitable for habitation by any self-respecting PORG, (well perhaps Boogle but that s another story).

Different types of retired PORG live in different types of antique, for example, in an 18th century drinks cabinet you could find PORG who consider themselves wine connoisseurs or whisky buffs and delight in telling anyone who will listen how good a particular wine or whisky is (Author's note: there are no bad whiskies only some that are better than others). Equally likely, in the same type of establishment you might be able to find a family of drunks who spend most of their time three-sheets-to-the-wind, especially if the cabinet is actually used to store drink.

A Georgian plate cabinet might house a gourmet food lover (fine food tastes better off of fine crockery) but there is always the possibility that it might be inhabited by the PORG equivalent of a Greek restaurant owner, these two are not mutually compatible.

In an antique Crimean war campaign chest a retired PORG cavalry officer could have taken up residence. Or, on rare occasions an infantry sergeant might have managed get his gear in before any of the Ruperts - all cavalry officers are named Rupert, and if they're not they should be - laid their claims to what would have been a prime site.

As you may have deduced from the above, PORG are small, small enough to fit into their chosen antique. (Not watches, they're too small, well perhaps Boogle might be able to squeeze into one but...).

They can be seen with the naked eye if they stay still long enough to reflect light.

The name PORG should actually be read as P.O.R.G. as it is an acronym for People of Restricted Growth but PORGkind have long since dropped the full stops and, under pain of a severe telling off, any reference to their stature. So PORG is both a collective term and a designation for a single being of that race, no plurals.

PORGkind as a race have the ability to smell time so know, to the second, how old something is. Therefore, if you can identify signs of PORG you will invariably have found an antique and not just any old antique - well, by definition, all antiques are old know what I mean - as PORG will consistently pick the best. Not for them an Ercol settee or a G Plan sideboard. No, it would have to be more along the lines of a George Hepplewhite Wardrobe or a Thomas Chippendale dresser, and never, ever a reproduction.

At retirement age PORG invariably give up rural life and move to an area which would be a source of suitable antiques to set up home in.


So, now you know. PORG are all around, suffering the same problems we are. The difference being the scale is far greater.

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