Thursday, 30 July 2009

A Story

The smoke curled elegantly from her cigarette, expanding and filling the small booth we shared together. It crossed the table, first caressing me gently, then pulling at my whole person like an old women stroking a cat. I watched her silently take another drag from the cigarette, before she returned to look at me.
"Jacques, I dreamt of Paris last night."
I watched. Her pale face gave away no sign of lying. I don't know why she thought I was called Jacques, but the way she said it made it sound... Right.
"No wonder. This place..."
And no wonder it was too. The bar screamed Paris like my soul screamed for freedom. Around us, waiters bustled, bringing wine and baguettes to the nearby tables. They smiled, sure, but their eyes were as cold and grey as dead fish, their actions as programmed as a watch. They moved with unwavering purpose, but it didn't come from the soul.
"I dreamt that Paris burned. That the streets ran with blood. I wish to see Paris once more Jacques, once more before I die."
I nodded. There was little point in disagreeing. Words would move her only so much.
As I watched, she took another drag, coughing violently.
"We should have stayed. We should have stayed and fought. We could have died doing something Jacques. But instead, we wait to die here, like rats."
"It could not be done. For us, the war is over. And nothing we do can change that."
Outside, the crowds cheered and counted down towards zero. Inside, there was no counting. This was not a place of celebration, but a place of old men sharing a drink with death. A place to wait, and regret.
She looked at me, and sighed. When she spoke, it was nothing more than a whisper.
"I know you don't believe that Jacques. You say these things to reassure me. It is kind of you, but I know it pains you. I know you left your humanity behind, in a time before we left Paris."
"You may be right. But it doesn't matter my dear - whatever we feel, the war is behind us now. We can do nothing."
Outside, the crowd reached zero, and the bells chimed. It was 1994, and I felt no different.
I finished my drink and left her sitting there, with only the stub of a cigarette for company. She was right, of course. Her eyes penetrated me like a worm through soil. We should have stayed in Paris, and we should have fought the occupation. But she was wrong to combine these thoughts into one. We had left Paris to travel. As for the war, we had both been born in 1967. We could not have intervened in it as easily as we imagined, regardless of our regrets.
I haven't spoken to her since. Too many bad memories. Sometimes I drop into the bar, but only when I can't avoid it, or the nostalgia overcomes me. She's still sitting there, like Buddha dressed in black with crimson lipstick, but she pretends not to notice me.
For my part, I do the same. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if we'd stayed together and fought in Paris. But it didn't happen, and there's no point dwelling in the images of an imagined past I sometimes dream of.
Its cold out. I think I'll have another for the road.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A Super tale...

Silently, I dropped down from the wall. I watched the two youths spray-paint their graffiti onto the walls. I imagined how to solve this. Upstandingman would probably give them a lesson in manners - quite literally.
He was an obnoxious little man, and had been ever since school. He'd teach them to respect their elders and clean up after themselves. Afterwards, they'd probably clean this alleyway right up. Hell, they'd probably even clean the drunken tramp I was using to silence my footsteps. Sure, those were good lessons, but I wasn't one of those morally upstanding superheroes like Upstandingman or Superpope. I was the Gramminator, and I was one of those bad-ass heroes.
I'd even worn a leather trench-coat for a while, but the damn thing was too tight to move my arms in. These days, I went for the simple, edgy look - black, military style clothing, and some lightweight armour.
I read the wall. In a pained, spray-painted voice it told me that 'Drew was ere 2K9'. I listened to the word on the walls some more, and it told me, "Call Stacy for good time's"
"That's enough."
I stepped out of the shadows, pointing with barely concealed rage at the two youths.
"Eh? What'ya mean?" Asked the first.
"Here. The word should be 'here'. If you insist on using 'ere, it should have an apostrophe at the least," I turned to the Second teen. "And times doesn't need an apostrophe. It implies ownership. Move the apostrophe. NOW!"
They laughed, and turned to walk away. I'd warned them once, and that was one time too many. I made them eat the spray-paint cans, and left them in the alleyway. If they manage to survive that, then maybe they deserve another chance. I'd like to have made sure they didn't, but I was in a rush.
A Supervillian is on the rise. His plan is to open a string of shops called "Markies". His name is Mark, and someone needs to stop him.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

There was a knock on the door. With a sigh, Professor Schrödinger moved to answer it, adjusting his lab-coat as he did so. He opened it to find two men with stern expressions standing on the doorstep.
"Erwin Schrödinger?" The first asked. After Schrödinger nodded, the man continued.
"Can we come in please? We need to talk to you."
"What is it?" Schrödinger replied. "I'm in the middle of an experiment."
"Yes, that's rather the problem you see. We're here because some of your neighbours reported their cats had gone missing. Apparently, you were seen with several of the cats in your back yard."
"Yes. Yes, of course. Please come in, this is a simple misunderstanding," Erwin replied. He lead the two men inside, taking them into his Laboratory. "You see, I put the cats in here"
The group paused, and the two men looked at the steel chamber in front of them.
"Sir, we take mistreating animals very seriously. Is the cat all right in there?"
"Oh, yes, of course. Well - partly. You see, I've placed the cat in the chamber with a flask of poison..."
Here, he was interrupted, and the men shoved him aside as the rushed to open the chamber.
"Wait," He cried. "While the chamber is sealed, the cat is both alive and dead! You see, there's no harm done to it."
"Alive and dead?" Queried the second man. "Don't be so stupid. You're under arrest."

Sunday, 26 July 2009

dog in the t-shirt...pipe...

If you google "dog in the water pipe", this is the second thing to appear (after this blog, of course) (From Zazzle)

I don't know who would want this, but I'm sure it's great. If you own one, or know someone interested in such a product, I'd love to hear your opinion on it.
Also, if you have a dog who can actually use a bong all by himself, I'd be interested to hear from you.

Friday, 24 July 2009

A Theological Tale.

I sat, cross-legged, and watched as the trees around me burned.
"Your garden's on fire." I offered.
"Yes." God replied, "Eden is burning."
He was a lot shorter than you'd imagine. Around the 4-foot mark, I suppose. He cut a dashing figure in his beige suit, black shirt unbuttoned down to his chest. He was sporting a small goatee, and his dark hair was styled stylishly. However, I could see his roots and he was obviously dyeing it.
I cast my glaze across the garden again.
"So... Still annoyed about that "Original Sin' thing?"
"Yes. They were both my children you know. I can't believe people think I'm annoyed about the fruit.
"They really shouldn't have had sex. Allegorical genetics show you're really very inbred."
"Yes," I replied. "That would explain the webbed toes. But you know... It was a long time ago, why not let it go?"
"You forget," God replied. "I'm very old. And old people like to hold on grudges. Even if they don't entirely remember why."
"Yes, they do. And they also like to watch Countdown with a nice cup of tea, don't they? Let's get you inside now."
I led God towards the patio door. One of the staff members met me there.
"Thanks for visiting Mr Jenkins like this. Your little visits are the highlight of his week."
I smiled politely, and looked on as she took God into the TV room. I have no idea who Mr Jenkins is, but I'm glad I could help him. I watched until I was satisfied that God was seated comfortably and nibbling a digestive. Then I went to fetch a fire extinguisher.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

It annoys me when...

people say "Sex, drugs and sausage rolls". It's not funny.
To be honest, it just sounds messy.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Actually, I'd have to be pretty heavy for this to work...

I took another glance out the window. Yes, there was definitely someone hiding behind my tool shed. Normally, I would ignore such things - they happened often enough, and it was unusual for the lurker to do me any serious damage. However, as I casually watched, I caught sight of the man's face, and there was something eerily familiar about it. Slipping my stab vest on under a jacket, I went outside to investigate.

There was no reply. There was however, a faint squeal as the man retreated further into the tree's shadow. I was not put on, and crouched down. I stretched out my hand to offer the man some bird seed, in case he was nervous. After a moment, he emerged. Shock overcame me as I looked at him, and I dropped the bird seed all over the lawn. I must remember to tidy it up before it takes root and grows birds.
It was now no surprise why the man before me was familiar - It was me! Sure, I looked a few minutes older, and worry had spread across my handsome face, but it was certainly me! Still, I had to be certain.
"Are you me?" I asked. It seemed a good, if somewhat bland, way of discovering the truth.
"Yes," He replied. "I'm from the future. But... [And here he looked really worried] We shouldn't meet! If two of us exist at the same time, the space-time continuum..."
He trailed off here, whimpering slightly.
"But... Where did you come from?" I asked. Again, boring but straight to the point.
"In two minutes, you'll fall through a time vortex in your kitchen sink. You'll land over the wall, about 5 minutes ago. Quick! Go away. I can already feel the fabric of reality tearing!"
I have messed with the space-time continuum before though, and it doesn't worry me. Obviously, I'm not worried. I think I might do the dishes in fact.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

What does it all mean?

I took another bite of the lasagna. It was no good though - as hard as I tried, I just couldn't chew through the thick sheets of pasta. Surreptitiously, I separated the sheet from the rest of the food and scraped the sauce of. It was as I thought - a thin sheet of plastic coated the pasta. Home made, they'd said.
"So Ann, you made this whole lasagna yourself then?" I queried.
"Oh yes," She replied. "All of it's home-made. The eggs are fresh too - from our own hens, out front."
I had been out front for some time earlier, and I can assure you there were no hens there. However, Ann wasn't the only liar here, so I let it pass.
"Yea!" Exclaimed Chuck in his thick Welsh accent, "We don't have none of that store crap here, no Sir. Just good, honest food. Tell me Son, do you like them shop meals? Just stick them in your microwave and bam, ready made devil food! Then, I suppose a modern queer like yourself doesn't have the time for cooking or women, yea?"
To be honest, Chuck's homophobia was getting rather annoying. However, I would up with it for Mick's sake.
It's always hard to meet your partners parents, I suppose. Throw in the fact your partner is gay, and his father is a right-winged homophobe, and it gets worse. The whole situation was compounded by the fact Mick wasn't my partner and I wasn't gay. In fact, I'd only met him today, at the bus stop. However, he'd offered me £500 to fake my way through this meal. I hadn't anything better to do, so I'd accepted.
"Right boy, want to see my gun room? Of course, they're not the sort of guns I imagine you like to look at. Not that I imagine that kind of thing."
With this, Chuck gave what should have been a joking nudge to his wife, sending her flying into the wall.
Chuck took me to the gun room. It was quite a display of handguns - this being Britain, there were none. In fact, the room appeared to be a study, completely devoid of guns.
"Right, the game starts any minute lad!" He exclaimed excitedly. "Of course, you'd rather ballet, of course. But some sweaty men on top of each other should keep you amused!"
He took me into the tv room. It was a large room, with a tiny television in the middle. It was full of waxworks of Oswald Mosley, many of which were dressed in tweed suits. I took a seat next to a waxwork dressed in traditional Cossack clothing and reflected that I should have asked for more money.
When I look back, I often wonder if Chuck though he was an American Cliche. It's a strange old world.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

I heard the shuffling of a well-oiled butler...

coming down the corridor. I have recently upgraded my house - apparently, I had been entered into a loyalty scheme some time ago - so you won't be hearing any more doorbells. No sir. Unless you're near a door, of course. Or have tinnitus.
Alfred entered slowly. His name wasn't actually Alfred (I think it was Timmy) and he wasn't a butler. In fact, he was a 27 year old home help assistant who lived in the probably correct assumption I was dangerously insane. He tolerated my whims generously, and this explained why he was suited in morning dress, and had added chalk dust to his ordinarily dark hair. As I pondered how else I could improve his appearance, he arrived at my side, and bent to my ear.
"There is a... caller at the front door Sir. A... gentleman, I believe."
Normally I don't care for callers, but TimmyAlfred's description suggested it may be a effeminate man, or perhaps a bearded lady.
"Thank you Alfred. I shall meet him."

When I reached the front door, I found it had closed over, obscuring my visitor. With some trepidation, I leaned forward and opened the door. The site before me was rather disconcerting.
"Hello! It's me!" Yelled the thing excitedly.
"Yes. I can see that." I replied, "But what are you doing here? You should be next to the German border"
"Yes!" Replied France, "But I'm here to tell you about Jacques' cheeses! They're so great, they could lure a Frenchman out of a brothel and convince him not to be lazy and surrender in a fight"
I looked closer, and it soon became apparent that the man in front of me was not actually the country of France. He was a bald man in a foam costume. He also had a bag full of flyers, and I briefly entertained the idea of France on a paper round. He continued:
"Jacques' cheeses are so good, you'll become as legendary a lover as a real Frenchman after eating some! Also, something about onions and berets!"
"You sprout many cliches, and this flyer is badly set out." I replied, "Please leave my property. If you don't do so, I will be forced to make you part of my Superhero group. And I seriously doubt your crime fighting abilities."

Stay tuned next week, for the exciting adventures of FRANCE and THE TERROR!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

I have made first contact with an alien species

Surprisingly, they look like toasters. They react surprisingly well to having bread stuffed into their head, and even go as far as to toast it. Their only weakness seems to be that they need to be plugged into the mains to function. Who'd have though alien life would have such parallels to our own?

Monday, 13 July 2009

Beep... Beep...Beep.

I stared sadly at the wreckage of my house. What had been a rather nice semi-detached townhouse dating back to the Victorian era was now a crushed pile of rubble. On top of it, the similarly buggered wreckage of a television satellite glistened in the midday sun. A device that had, until minutes ago, been broadcasting sports, drama, comedy and lunchtime porn to millions had now destroyed most of my life. A life, rather ironically, dedicated mainly to sports, drama, comedy and lunchtime porn. Behind me, a Sky news team filmed live coverage of the disaster, unaware that they were unable to transmit it.

Billy Bragg was right. It's wrong to wish on space hardware.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

The haunting of Paul Blanchard.

It is not good to get stuck in a house with the ghost of Jean-Paul Sartre. Since death, he has put on a huge amount of weight and become very cranky. His return as a incorporeal being has only made him smug, as he uses his continued existence as proof of existential existence. He is as annoying in death as he was admirable in life, often appearing at inopportune moments to beat me around the head with a copy of Iron in the Soul. He has began dating the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. As a result, Simone de Beauvoir's spirit just mopes around the place, making awful flower arrangements.
My social life has been irreversibly damaged, and as such I am looking for a qualified exorcist to help me rid my house of the annoying dead. Qualifications made in MS paint will be accepted, so please forward all applications to me as soon as possible.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Workspace adventures in time and space

I don't suppose I should complain - I mean, the office wasn't what I was used to, but that didn't make it bad. My doctor had said I needed more fresh air, as well as more Zotepine. He was a tall, balding man though, with a scar down his left cheek. Apparently, he'd served in a Panzer company during the war, before being captured. It was safe to assume he'd liked Britain, since he stayed after the war. This story did seem a plausible explanation for why he prescribed German drugs. It did not explain the fact that he was about 50 and American.
But I digress. The office was not conventional, I'd been told. It was however rather roomy. 17 acres, I'd been told. After some searching via horse and carriage, I found my seat - a rather old-fashioned Iron bench. I sat down at it and opened my laptop case. It then occurred to me that there was no-where to plug my laptop in. I set off for help.

"Ah, I say my good man"
The man, who we shall continue to assume is good, turned to look at me. He was not, as I had first thought, a janitor. In fact, he looked rather well-off. Well dressed in an elegant suit, and with giant sideburns.
"I say." I continued, "Do you know where the nearest plug is?"
"Plug?" He asked, "Plug? This is late 19th Century England my friend. Electricity is a mere dream of the future. Now get off my land!"

I must stop time travilling by accident. It is not good for the libido.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Prison is an illusion of the mind.

I looked at the dingo. He looked back at me. We were looking at each other.
His eyes stayed focused on mine, and mine stayed focused on his. The pane of glass obscured his features a little, but I could still see him clearly.
"Why did you do it?" I asked
He shrugged.
"Why?" I asked again. "I mean, I knew it was in your nature. But the president's baby? You should have known you'd never reach him, let alone manage to eat him."
Looking at the phone clutched in his dingo hands, he replied:
"It is in my nature, nes pa?" he replied. His thick French accent masked the faint hint of his native Australian.
"I have read of the subject mon ami. The bibliotheque of this prison is most well-stocked."
He leaned back in his seat, lighting up a cigarette as he did so. He continued
"You humans, you have created your superior being- God. And he, you say, has created me as I appear before you. So it is. But the blame is not mine.
I will not live more than six years, in all likelihood. This prison will not confine my mind."
I looked at him, thinking. Then, I continued:
"Dingoes can't read, let alone talk." I said.
"You're right, friend. This is the situation most ridiculous."
I left the prison, and vowed never to return. Animals that sound like Poirot scare me a little.

Friday, 3 July 2009

I don't like cruel jokes

I prefer minor teasing instead. Yup, I smile at them, wink a bit, maybe buy them a drink. Then I lean in real close to them, and the police arrest me...

Thursday, 2 July 2009

A sad story

I looked sadly at the child in front of me. He was, I must admit, a disappointment. This was in no way my fault.
"Dad," he said, "can I have a cigarette?"
"No," I replied, putting the packet back into my pocket and lighting up. "You're too young. Besides, I don't have any."
"But dad, I'm 22. Besides, I just saw you holding some. You're smoking one now."
"No," I replied again. "I don't touch the things. It's a lie your mother told you. She's a bad person."
"I wish you wouldn't talk about her like that," He replied.
"Look!" I addressed him, "I have no idea who you are. You just followed me off the train. You're not my son. I'm very sorry."

However, there was nothing I could do. I looked after the boy for several more years, until he decided he wanted to teach and went to University. He kept in regular contact, but he recently found out I really wasn't his father. Since then, we have grown more distant.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Too hot?

The MicrowaveImage by Alan_D via Flickr "Callum? It's your brother here. Jake, remember?"
I didn't remember. In fact, I didn't remember being called Callum either. However, more phone-calls to my house were for me, compared to the relative few that were wrong numbers. Therefore, statistically, I was Callum. Having reached that conclusion, I replied:
"Yes. Sup?"
"Hmm... you sound different? Everything all right?"
"Erm... Yes. It's a little hot, maybe that's it."
This appeared to convince him. After agreeing lengthily, he continued:
"Tell mother I've joined a group of anarchists and totalitarian fascists fighting the Lizard Government. As such, I can't make it to Aunt Eliza's birthday. I've sent a card though. And wish Timmy the best of luck at his piano recital. I know how hard it was for him to cite the piano in the first place, so I hope he can pull it off again all right."
"Right." I replied, "Anything else?"
He started to reply, but I put the phone in the microwave with some petrol and went out to the shops.

Wireless phones are a true miracle of the modern age.
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