Tis the voice of the Hedgehog.
If you thought the Quail stuff was weird , read this.... 
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997

From: Tracy Aileen Copeland

Subject: 'Tis the voice of the Hedgehog

Hey, fegfolk. Does this sound familiar?

' But the serpent can't go in, just put his moistened finger around the circles of each wine glass top. That's what a riot -- he hasn't called me back. Put it this way: I'd rather be the stairs because it was so bloody loud! With the Light Bulb Head," which is also doing another one, "I Often Dream of Trains." We're recording the Marquee show live, Midnight Music are held together by our bodies dissolve hence 'I wasn't me to speak of / Just a thousand ancient feelings,' feelings that have been around since the beginning of the current cycle, that was written very quickly with some String Band songs on the kitchen table, like _Underwater Moonlight_ because the facilities were on a cycling tour of Devon and probably rather sad.

Well, it just had different strings on it. There was a dwarf by the presence of such androgyny, which will be me singing into a downward spiral which I don't really share, which is two so why use two when one will do?'

It's the output of the Hedgehog, my Robyn Hitchcock simulator (code included below.) While the feg archive is down, you can use the Hedgehog to produce a reasonable facsimile of Hitchspeak.

The Hedgehog is a Dissociated Press program written in Perl that produces randomized output based on a text file. By default, it uses a bunch of Robyn Hitchcock interviews (not included, since it's rather long - mail me if you want a tarred version) but you can specify any text file you want on the command line. You'll get the best results if the input is consistently spaced, and it should contain at least one sentence that begins with a capital letter, and at least one sentence that ends with a period, exclamation point, or question mark.

When the Hedgehog starts up it begins spitting out a few words at a time, occasionally pausing to think. Although it inserts a newline at the end of a paragraph, it doesn't do so on internal lines - you'll have to let your terminal wrap them, or redirect the output to a file and wrap it yourself.

Tech notes: I don't know how much memory the Hedgehog uses; I've been running it on the machine I dial into from home, and the system administrator hasn't complained that I'm overloading anything. It was written in Perl 5.003 and should run under patchlevel 4 as well - I would expect it to be okay with any Perl5.

Q. Why did you call it the Hedgehog?

A. It was originally called the Ramen Hedgehog. (For those of you who live outside 

the US or who live here but have never been

broke, ramen is a type of Oriental noodles, sold in twenty-five

cent packages, that are about the cheapest hot meal you can get

if you're a student.) It was clipped down to "hedgehog" since

program names should really only be one word.

Q. What was the first thing the Hedgehog said when you got it working?

A. "Butter - and there are no exceptions to this - is always pink."

Q. I mean after you put in the Hitchcock text.

A. "The Egyptians invented the paper airplane, and I sang it live."

Q. Given Robyn Hitchcock's unbounded enthusiasm for technology,

what do you figure he'd think of the Hedgehog?

A. He'd doubtless love it. In fact, I've already mailed him a copy of 

the source code c/o Antwoman.

Q. What's on the wish list for the Hedgehog?

A. A better pretty-printer, and some way of matching paired punctuation

marks, and command-line options for specifying the length of the

text produced and tweaking the numbers used to determine how much

text it matches at a gulp.

The Hedgehog 

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