Final Space – is Meh

I rarely write reviews.  I owe my 124 followers more than that. I know that’s a very low number for a blog that has been going on for a number of years, but they’re my followers and they deserve quality. They are not fickle like the followers of those blogs that have hundreds upon hundreds. I once read a post that had 327 likes and it was just pictures of logs. I know I can’t compete with pictures of logs.  Also, my best-viewed blog was entitled “13 Reasons Why is Shit” so I guess it’s what the people want.

I have nothing of value to say today. So, I will write a review of Final Space, I say review; it will devolve into a longwinded, directionless ramble.

Recently, I wrote about my current viewing habits. That was current back then. Now circumstances have improved somewhat, and I can afford Netflix again and my viewing habits have changed a little. However, to return to the article I linked (yes, I refer to my posts as articles; it makes me feel superior), I briefly touch upon the likes of Adventure Time and Rick and Morty. It’s worth reading for the nonsense I’m going to spout upon in this one. Go on, open it up in another tab and read. It gives me extra views.

A friend of mine repeatedly told me to watch an animated show called Final Space. He did so by saying it was hilarious. As it sits, I have watched three episodes. I have not laughed once. Admittedly, I haven’t laughed much for some time, which probably hints at a deeper psychological problem than the quality of an animated show.

Here is the premise, lifted from IMDB.

An astronaut named Gary and his planet-destroying sidekick called Mooncake embark on serialised journeys through space in order to unlock the mystery of where the universe actually ends and if it actually does exist.

Wikipedia quotes it as being an “… animated space opera comedy-drama.”

Thus far, I can say that it is indeed animated and it is set in space. As for the rest. Well…

Having been promised by my friend (who up until this point I trusted) that Final Space is hilarious, my first observation was that it wasn’t all that funny. I’m sure it was supposed to be. Gary screamed words and waved his arms around. At first, I was certain he was voiced by Chris Pratt. He is in fact voiced by Olan Rogers, who is also one of the creators. This is perhaps one of the issues. I find Gary’s voice and delivery irritating. Rogers seems to take the view that if you shout it manically, then it must be funny.

It also has the voice talents of Tom Kenny and John DiMaggio because every animated show has to have one or the other. Surprisingly, it also features an unrecognisable David Tennant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter who’s doing the voices because the scripts largely consist of something ‘whacky’ happening and Gary shouting ‘Woah! That whacky thing just happened.’

Rick and Morty (which this show is seemingly trying to be only without the wit) would have whacky things happen, to which the characters would hardly comment upon before continuing their regular conversation. Rick and Morty (the first two seasons anyway) has a great deal of rewatch value because amongst the surrealism are some great lines and little subtleties that can be missed on first watch.

Even at it’s best (thus far) Final Spaced has to have Gary spell it out, in case we miss the joke. I came close to laughing at this exchange.

Gary: Are you the Helper?

Helper: No, I am his assistant.

–   That would have got a laugh out of me, that’s all that’s needed. Only the scene has an extra line. –

Gary: So… you’re a helper helper?

It was funny when it wasn’t explicitly said damn it!

The sci-fi setting allows the show to be crammed full of ‘whacky’ (I will now donate money to charity every time I use ‘whacky’ within quotation marks) characters that seems to be a necessity to get an animated show produced these days. If Matt Groening wanted to get the Simpson’s made today, Marge would have to be a lizard woman, Bart a floating Brain and Liza an embodiment of the metaphysical concept of guilt.  Case in point will probably be Disenchantment if I ever get around to giving that a watch.  My only experience of that thus far has been to look at the poster, and I immediately think Adventure Time.

Final Space has a cat-like alien called Avocatdo. See, that’s funny, isn’t it? Mad. Absolutely crazy. A cat person… whose name is similar to avocado but with cat in it. Sure, the joke could be that it’s so banal that it’s funny. Like an ironic ‘this is a shit dad joke but we’ll include it anyway’ kind of thing, but thus far I’ve not seen any evidence that this show is smart enough to lift any irony.

Relax, it’s a kids’ show. I hear you cry.

It is not. It is another show that despite being animated, is in fact for the adults. Cartoons aren’t just for kids, man. They’re art. Yes, in the hands of artists perhaps. This series does have an overarching narrative, in which the adorable alien ‘Mooncake’ is, in fact, a planet-killing weapon and the evil Lord Commander (Tennant) wants to use it for his own nefarious deeds and there’s some sort of rift open somewhere. There’s violence aplenty and apparently, there are moments worth sticking around for that makes it more than just a ‘whacky’ animated comedy. Already, I know there are two Gwen’s, one apparently from the future who has come back to ensure Gary survives because he’s important. No doubt this will lead to the notion of alternate realities or timelines or lead us to question our very universe, but anyone who’s sat through one philosophy lecture can do that.

This is yet more evidence for my ‘everything is trying to be Adventure Time/Rick and Morty’ theory. There are lots of shows like this floating about, and it’s indicative of the dark times. We have had the luxury of passing through the Golden Years of television. We have seen the rise of streaming services. We are no longer slaves to terrestrial TV. We make the television schedules now. We can watch what we like, when we like and as often as we like. What we want is more, when is now and we want to do this forever.

It is consumerism at it’s very best. Great television and convenient services have created an insatiable demand and studios are desperately trying to supply. It is capitalism at its very finest. Endless, easy to digest blandness is coming our way. It’s the only way to keep us content. Greedy fuckers that we are.

It’s not that the show is necessarily bad it’s just not that good. I would offer a rating as critics tend to, but here I get confused. Do I offer stars or a percentage? Sites tend to vary. Also, Amazon’s maximum is 5 stars, IMDB goes up to 10. Does that mean one Amazon star is inherently more valuable than one IMDB star?

With IMDB, I refuse to watch anything that has less than a 7. Anything below that is going to be awful. People will watch anything so if it has 6.9, it’s not worth watching surely? And yet, that’s 69%. That’s markedly better than average.

So instead, I will rate it ‘meh’. It’s by no means a ‘bleurgh’ but it’s certainly not an ‘oooh’.

I’ll give it until episode 6 to change my mind. I gave 13 Reasons Why that courtesy before I condemned it.

The Golden Age is ending. All good things come to an end. Mediocrity goes on forever.



Where are all the Adults?

Where have all the adults gone?


I’m well aware of a large number of recent tragedies and moments of political upheaval that may well go onto have global repercussions, and a skilled writer would be able to generate an engaging an interesting article on any of these things. However, I am not a skilled writer, nor are the large majority of bloggers, yet it hasn’t stopped them. So instead of being another self-important piece on the cabinet reshuffle or terrorist atrocities, where I try and show how politically engaged and intelligent I am, I’m going to write another self-important piece on Pokemon Go.

Being roughly 24-25 (I honestly don’t know, I keep having to text my dad to find out), I existed in what you might call the Pokemon generation. You will notice I refuse to use the accented e. as Poke-Mon sounds cooler, like a Star Wars character. I watched the series, collected the cards, used cleverly worded tricks and promises to swindle my friends out of good cards in exchange for bad ones and even played the games. I used to dream about belonging in the world of Pokemon, so I can leave home at the age of 11 and wander the world, beating wild animals to the point of submission before keeping them in cramped conditions for lengthy periods and occasionally forcing them to fight others. So why, when I heard tell of a new augmented reality game that incorporates the real world and those scientifically questionable monsters, why was I not the least bit interested?

It turns out, it’s because I’m roughly 24-25. I have moved on. Pokemon was a huge part of my childhood and there it remains, for the very same reason I no longer hang out at The Ditch and pretend to be a Power Ranger.

Aside: The Ditch was a place situated between my house and the house of a good friend of mine. It was, as the name suggests, a large overgrown ditch, in which one might find a trolley, or on a good day, the door to a tumble dryer.

This week, I have been forced to endure endless conversations about Pokemon, where to find them and the where the gyms are situated. One heavily bearded “adult” passionately exclaimed how he found an Eve (spelling may not be correct) outside KFC. Grown men and women, with jobs and who pay tax venture out on their lunch hours in the hopes of finding that elusive Pigeott.

Why? Where have all the adults gone? When did we become this nation of the perpetual child? It’s strange, unnerving even. I’m accused of being miserable, pretentious even. I’ve even been accused of trying to ruin everyone’s fun, simply because I don’t get excited over the idea of using my phone camera to see a fictional worm sitting on my desk! Madness! Madness I say!

Someone even tried to defend it by saying, and I quote “It’s good though, because it’s helping me lose weight, because before I wouldn’t bother going out, but now I’m going for walks in the evenings to try and catch Pokemon.” He says this with a serious expression etched onto his features. Pokemon… convincing someone to go outside and walk to combat weight gain? Why is being a fat shit not inspiration enough?

It was recently reported that two people fell off a cliff whilst playing this game. I laughed. Admittedly as I continued to read I felt bad for doing so as they were really hurt, but that’s the news paper’s fault for starting an article simply saying that some people fell off a cliff because they were too busy looking at their phones. Once upon a time this might have featured in a satirical sketch show, but no, so engrossed in this endless obsession of ‘catching ‘em all’ people are walking off cliffs, off piers, strolling into the waiting arms of angry bears, crashing planes and all sorts.

It’s not just the current Pokemon Go fad that makes me feel this way. Recently, the Deadpool film hit the cinemas and people loved them. This comic book adaptation had an 18 rating, meaning it was intended for adults. I’ve not seen it, it may well be a clever dig at the superhero trend and Hollywood’s obsession with churning them out. I did see Captain America 2 not long ago. It was alright, but the story was (if one liked to over analyse) one of post 9/11 espionage and government policy and the changing nature of war and global threats and how we are all at risk of accidentally surrendering power to sinister, totalitarian regimes and organisations in the name of security, this is clearly not a theme aimed at children. It was still Captain America, and one in a never ending list of films about costumed folk beating up badguys in whatever form they come, which adults spent their hard earned money on watching.

Why WHY! Why can’t we just grow up like people did in the good old days, where they reached the age of twenty-two, decided their days of having fun were over and started wearing jumpers?

Because… the good old days.

Nostalgia, that’s what it is. We yearn for the carefree days of playing the Pokemon games, swapping the cards. Nostalgia is a good feeling. But Nostalgia is also dangerous! It’s more addictive than any drug. Just walk into a building and say “do you remember the Crash Bandicoot games?” and watch everyone go mental.

It can ruin lives nostalgia. People get so lost in the past they forget they’re in the present, they don’t see the future charging towards them before it’s too late and they’re dead. I lost my father to nostalgia, I asked him what school was like in the 70s. His eyes glazed over, he let out a long breath as he travelled back through time several decades. He’s been trapped in the 70s ever since. It’s a genuine fear of mine that he’ll try and do something differently and the paradox that ensues would leave me fading out of existence.

“So what do you do that’s so much better than this eh? If you so begrudge free independent people their moments of thoughtless entertainment in a world of constant uncertainty and woe?” I hear the Pokemon Go players screaming.

Well, I drink a lot, and when I’ve run out of money for drinking, I masturbate.


The Man Who Believed Himself an Octopus

Below is potentially the stupidest thing I’ve ever committed to paper… digital paper, but I hope you read it, enjoy it, and send me lots of money, or at the very least some food.

The Man Who Believed Himself To Be An Octopus.

The first thing you ought to know about me, is that I am an octopus. To your untrained, human eye, you may think I am one of you, but you would be wrong. I first realised I was an octopus at the age of eight, an oddly convenient year to come to that astonishing realisation I know, but that is when it happened. Octopus are you? You might be asking – where are your eight legs? The answer to that would be, octopusses (most would say octopi, but it is a contentious issue, octopi has no entomological basis) do not have 8 legs. What they do have, are six arms, and two tentacles that are utilsed as legs. See, that is proof that I am in fact an octopus, as who else would have such knowledge?

As I was saying, when I was eight, I started to realise that my arms were covered in these little rings… suckers if you will. I remember running to my mother and asking in my childish, high pitched whine – what are these mummy? Coaxing her out of her Valium induced trance. She looked at me, bleary eyed as though I were a stranger, her greasy, unwashed mouse coloured hair falling across her slanted face.

Those – she said – are tiny portraits of Burt Reynolds. You’re absolutely covered in them baby.

I had no idea who Burt Reynolds was, but I was young, the age when adults – particularly parents, knew all, so I did not question.

I went to school, my coked up mother driving erratically and swearing at the other drivers on the road and almost killing the lollipop lady. In class the teacher, Mrs. Borridge, who I would later learn earned money on the side as a PVC clad dominatrix, glanced at the many portraits of an aged actor, who at the time meant nothing to me.

What unusual markings – she said. You must remember this was a different time. Teachers often pointed out flaws and insecurities and made spectacles of them. I remember Jonathan McLaren had a problem with his arm. It was much smaller and bent at a funny shape, his hand was deformed and only had three stubby little fingers. When he first joined the class, upon answering his name when the register was taken, Mrs. Borridge look up and fixed him a cold little stare.

What is wrong with your arm? – she asked.

I don’t know miss I were born this way – he replied.

So you’re a freak then are you? – she snapped back – a disgusting little freak! Look at the freak children, look at his disgusting little nub of an arm. It’s enough to make you sick. People like that ought to be drowned at birth. It’s the kindest thing to do, for us that is. Save us looking at such monstrosity.

I heard Jonathan McLaren got the last laugh, bullied and alienated as he was. Ten years later at the the age of eighteen he stumbled upon a website, Mrs. Dolores’ school for naughty boys who needed strict punishment. This aged, saggy skinned woman, spread in to a PVC corset like cream cheese on a poor quality bagel stared back at him. He’d recognise those judgmental eyes anywhere. He phoned the number, booked her services, and killed her with a hammer.

They’re tiny portraits of Burt Reynold’s miss – I responded to her question. Her sharp little eyes, almost black in hue, narrowed. She pinched and prodded at my skin.

They most certainly are not – she said – they are suckers my boy.

Now, there is one type of person who is more likely to speak right than your parents when you are eight years old, we all know these people to be teachers.

Suckers? – I asked dumbly.

Yes! Now shut up and continue with your maths, and don’t forget to throw disgusted looks in Jonathan’s direction!

I made sure to scowl at the boy with the mangled arm, feeling a pang of guilt as I did. Other than the arm, which I’m sure was not a boon in his life, he was a nice boy, still is – prostitute murdering aside.

I told my mother what MRs. Borridge said that night, just as she was readying her heroine. She released the belt she had clenched in her teeth, leaving little pockmarks on the leather. She studied me very closely as she laid down her needle. – like an octopus? She asked.

HAving had very little interest in my sea dwelling brethren at that point I didn’t really know how to respond to this. I suppose yes, it was very likely to be like an octopus, but it was only over the following weeks that I began to notice other similarities: My big, swollen bulbous head and large eyes, my multiple limbs and a natural inclination to eat small crustaceans.

It was a tough time, coming to terms with my true identity. I felt like an outcast at school. I found myself picking on Jonathan a lot more – looking back I can only assume it was to take the attention off myself. When my mother was forced into rehab by a judge, I stayed with my uncle Vladimir down at the coast. I spent a long time shuffling along the coarse sand staring at the sea. Iron grey waves, crested with bubbling foam hissed onto the shore. I hated it. It was calling to me and I hated it.

I shouldn’t be an octopus. I thought. I am a human. My mother is a human, my uncle Vlad is a human, presumably my absentee father should be a human too. I suppose my father could have been an octopus, using his third arm (the hectocotylus) to inseminate my mother by releasing spermatophores into her. It’s possible, but unlikely I think. Therefore, I shouldn’t be an octopus.

I stayed with Vlad, who earned his money by playing the accordion in the street, for five weeks. I avoided the sea mostly. Until the third week. Every night I would toss and turn, unable to sleep. I could hear the waves. The rush of the sea. I could taste the salt. I… I could feel its wetness. Sweating, in a rush of anxiety I left the house. I meandered down the poorly lit streets of the quaint little seaside town. My hearts, all three of them, were beating like mad. My arms were flailing madly as I broke into the run. I could resist it no longer. The shame of it. What kind of a human was I? I reached the sand. I could see the lights of boats dotting the horizon, a drunk man was lying face down on the beach, mumbling a non-existent tune to himself.

I splashed into the water, up to my ankles – no not my ankles, I don’t have any ankles.

I stood there for some time, feeling the cool water swirl around me. I was scared – I felt guilty – but above all… I felt – I felt free.

I carried on going, deeper and deeper. Eventually, my head was covered. I kept going, water rushing all around me. I could breathe under water, it didn’t matter, I was an octopus. I let water rush into my nose and mouth and filled up my lungs with my true home.

I passed out. It must have been too emotionally overwhelming.

I woke up to a blinding light and the sound of agitated voices.

Can you hear me? – a voice said – if you can hear my blink.

I complied. I tried to sit up but was pressed down again.

Please, stay still – the voice urged me.

The voice, it turned out, belonged to Doctor Saxon, a slightly tubby man with a large mole on his chin and tired looking eyes. For some time I was left alone, Doctor Saxon would wander in occasionally and ask me some simple questions. Apparently testing for some sort of brain damage.

Do you know who you are? Was one such question. A seemingly innocuous question. Do you know who you are? Do you? I’m not sure I do. I could have told Saxon that I knew my name, I knew where I was raised, that I currently lived with my uncle whilst my mother was in rehab. I could have said all of this, but did that answer the question? That was more a response to – What is your history? Who am I? Do I know?

I’m not sure I understand the question – I responded after a time. I was sitting up now, I felt tired and strangely empty. Saxon raised his eyebrows. His gray, world weary eyes took on a momentary sympathetic sort of glean.

Do you know why you are here? – He asked.

I passed out – I replied.

Do you remember what caused you to do this? – he was looking seriously now. I focused on his mole, the harmless proliferation of skin cells, a very human trait. I don’t have any moles as far as I’m aware, though I’ve never seen my back. I can stare in a mirror and spin round really quickly, but my reflection is too swift.

I remember – I began – I remember I was going home.

You washed up on the shore, you almost drowned. – Saxon’s voice had taken on a stern edge – Had you gone for a spot of night swimming?

I was going home.

I’m referring you to a friend of mine – Said Saxon – Doctor O’Shea, she is a psychiatrist, she will just ask you a few questions. In the mean time get some rest.

As it turned out, Saxon had thought I was trying to take my own life. An act I guess doctors of all people would have very little time for. They devote the majority of their adult lives trying to prolong the existence of others, trying to cure, trying to heal. I doubt they have any respect for someone who chooses to end it prematurely.

Do you know who you are?

Odd how little questions like that can leave you reeling.

O’Shea was a skinny woman of middling years. Her black hair was streaked with gray and tied in a little bun on the very top of her head. It made it look as though she had another little head on top her of her main one. Perhaps she did, perhaps the top head had full control.

For all the television shows depicting a consultation with a psychiatrist, they bear very little similarities with reality. There’s no lounging chair, no questions of your childhood, very little delving. It’s all rather clinical. How do you feel? Why did you do what you did? Stress levels? Over worked? History of mental illness in the family.

I’m an octopus – I told her flatly. She looked at me silently for some time, then scribbled on a piece of paper and handed it too me.

Please – she said – take these for two weeks and come back and see me.

Upon return to my uncle’s house he greeted me with a smile.

Where have you been? – he asked jovially.

I went into the sea and then spent a few nights in hospital? – I replied.

Ah, to be young. – he said.

My mother left rehab having acquired an intense love of Yoga. She was always doing Yoga, even when driving. In some ways I think this was just another addiction, that and her constant urge for sex. Men were zipping in and out of the house, always leaving rather flustered and red in the face. Humans and dolphins are amongst the few creatures on the planet that have sex for fun. I think Dolphins are obnoxious. It would be much easier if humans mated like us octopuses, just stabbing an arm into the woman or something. Or maybe they should mate like the Salmon, traveling up stream for weeks on end, risking a bear related death, reaching the top and finally releasing the eggs and sperm an then dying of exhaustion anyway. It would certainly keep the population in check.

I covered up my arms as often as possible, keeping the suckery things out of view. Out of sight out of mind they say. I tried to get a paper route, but soon gave that up after reading the headline in a copy of the Daily Mail one day.

Foreign Octopuses Invade British Waters To Take Advantage of Benefits System.

I couldn’t seem to escape it. Everywhere I looked there were things reminding me of what I really was. Documentaries on Ocean life, fancy restaurants serving Octopus, and recently, a large billboard had been erected in the center of town with the ominous warning.


As time went on I did my best to get on and live a normal life. As I aged I got a job and rented a small flat. I was Ten by this point. With the emergence of online gambling my mother had taken to it like a duck to processed bread. She won big and immediately moved to Hollywood to become a movie producer. She became famous, but ultimately fell back into old habits and was said to have died after drinking a cocaine/heroine/lard and carrot smoothie. She was found bent in the most complex of Yoga positions. She casket – I remember – was unusually shaped.

By the age of eleven I had a steady job in the financial department of a big automobile company. I chose the job because the address of the building was as follows:

22 – Nowhere Near the Sea

Somewhere In England

Wherenoonementions the Coast and sea creatures.

HE10 4NR

It was perfect. For a while I lived a simple life, until at the age of twelve – once I had risen through the ranks Gary Hodgekins, my boss came to me one lunch time.

He was dressed in a fine pressed black suit. His dark brown skin glistened with sweat as it was a hot day, his jutting chin almost poked me in the eye.

I’m going to need you to go to our coastal division to sort out the financial shit they’ve managed to fuck up!- he said to me.

Coastal Division? – I asked worried – Where’s that.

Somewhere along the coast – he replied curtly.

I can’t do that! – I exclaimed.

Listen here, your the best guy we’ve got on this team. All the other bastards in finance are a bunch of useless fuck-ups who’d end up fucking up an unfuckupable job. – he declared, his eyes narrowed. – Get this done, and you’ll get a bonus so huge, I’d make a giant octopus look small.

I was stunned by his sudden mention of such an obscure creature, considering there were creatures much bigger than said giant octopus, though I did fancy having lots of money.

I’m not sure – I said.

Put it this way – said Gary, putting a hand on my shoulder and squeezing firmly – if you don’t go, I’ll murder everyone you hold dear, before murdering you.

Say what you like about the man, Gary had a certain way with words that was very convincing.

I took a train down to The Coast and found our Coastal Office sat on the beach rising high into the air over looking the sea. I gulped, my throat dry and my trio of hearts beating like mad as I plodded along the sandy beach. Children were making sand castles. Men and women were lying pointlessly in the sun trying desperately to make their skin a little darker, but the sea… the sea was what captivated my attention. It was as if my very soul was hurting with longing. The waves hissed onto the shore, the sunlight glistened on top of the water like slowly disolving diamonds. The air was deliciously salty and filled with the irritating din of seagulls.

My office window looked out at the watery expanse. It seemed to go on forever, or at the very least, until it hit France. I drummed nervously on my desk as my assistant put the finances on my desk. It was a great wobbly cube, looking extremely fragile and incredibly fucked up. Finances weren’t supposed to be cubes, as every good finance guy knows, they should be round.

I felt horribly dry, always aware of the great wetness that lurked just behind me. My assistant placed a latte on my desk. It cost £3 and was my third of the day, and paid for out of the petty cash. That was the first thing that had to go, coffee was expensive and largely unnecessary.

I had to call everyone in to a board meeting, to discuss the precarious state of our finances, they were leaning on the edge of the shelf and could fall at any minute. There were lots of people there, all of different shapes and sizes. A wilting pot plant sat next to the water cooler, that every so often would belch with a great bubble.

Everyone had a coffee, some people had three.

Thanks for coming everyone – I said nervously. All eyes were on me. – as you know, our finances are in disarray, and drastic things need to be done.

There were serious, almost mournful nods of agreement.

Starting with the fact that I will have to fire ninety percent of you, you cost too much and don’t really do anything. – Again there were nods of agreement.

Those… those of you that stay on… will- I paused and licked my lips. The water cooler belched, causing me to flinch – will have a greatly reduced salary. In fact, in many ways you will become slaves.

They were nodding, their heads like those of nodding dogs but thrice as fake looking.

The health plans will be cut, and your houses will become our property and we plan on selling them rendering you homeless – nodding, nodding all nodding.

The water cooler bubbled, I could hear the waves sloshing on the sand behind me. I could taste the salt on my tongue. I could feel my tentacles flexing eagerly.

And of course – I started, I took a deep breath – You’ll no longer be permitted to buy coffees with company money.

Pandemonium broke loose. Outrage, outrage all around me. Men and women alike were red in the face with indignant rage.

How do you expect us to live?- they cried.

This goes against our employees rights! We have contracts – they lamented.

I know this will be a difficult transition –

Difficult, I’d rather die! –

But I’m sure, together we can… we can… Octopus – I felt wobbly, distant almost. I looked at the bemused faces all around me.

Do you know who you are?

Their eyes looked a mix of barely restrained anger, confusion and horror. After a lengthy pause, one bald man mustered the courage to say – What did you just say.

Octopus – I replied feeling defeated, there was a slump in my chest, it had beaten me.

I don’t quite understand? – said a woman.

OCTOPUS! – I roared at the top of my voice, startling them all. – I AM AN OCTOPUS! – I leapt upon the desk and charged for the door, a man was walking by carrying a steaming bowl of soup, fresh from the microwave. I knocked him down, scalding soup splashing over his face. I ignored the screams as I pounded towards the lift, ripping my clothes off as I went. It was rather anti-climactic standing in the little metal box which seemed to stop at every floor. People got in and eyed my naked, octopussy form warily. Eventually, we hit the ground floor, and I shoved past people screaming.

OUT OF MY WAY! I’M AN OCTOPUS GET OUT OF MY WAY! – I ran out of the building, across the sand, not caring for the hundreds of sand castles I was destroying. I dove head first into the shallows, rolling around with glee, laughing and revelling as the cool water slapped against my naked form, lapping it up with my tongue, tentacles flailing.

Do you know who you are?

No… I don’t think anyone does.

Do you know what you are? That’s easier to answer.

I am an octopus.

The end.


The Reaper’s Son (Extract From a Work in Progress)

Greetings fellow humans. This is the opening to a young adult book I have been working on. About death, death and its inevitability, that’s what the young people are into these days. I joke I joke. But it is about death and Grim Reapers and stuff. Give it a read and let me know if it seems like a good idea, otherwise I’m just wasting my time.

Here we go…


It was entirely fitting for it to be raining. Millie Hatcher always liked it when it rained. It made her job feel dramatic. Of course it was going to be dramatic for some people, one person in particular, but she had done it so many times that for her, it had become somewhat mundane. The rain helped make it… well it just seemed right.

She took one last glance at her list. She had committed the name to memory already, but there was little else to do for the moment. Henry Bantershot. A very colonial sounding name, Bantershot. She wished he had a moustache. A name like Bantershot deserved a moustache, a big bushy one, curled at the edges. Underneath his name, which was written in archaic curly lettering, there was a detailed picture of his decidedly unmoustached face. It was a plump thing, rosy cheeked, with round sparkling eyes peeking out from behind a pair of outdated looking glasses. His greying hair (a little long for a man of his age) was slicked back revealing a profound forehead. He had an authoritative looking mouth, with protruding lips and a little mushroom of a nose.

She rolled up the scroll and tucked it inside her pocket as a yellow car rolled by, kicking up a fine spray, making that lazy ‘Shwwwarr,’ noise they did. Traditionally speaking, Jessie should have been with her, but as it was raining she had defiantly refused. Millie glanced at her watch. Time to get to work.

She dashed recklessly across the road, not looking either way, flat shoes slapping on the damp tarmac. She hopped up the next curb just as a bus pulled up, spitting out a number of ragged looking students. It being eight thirty in the morning, they did not look pleased. They blinked through the drizzle with vacant eyes, scratching at their fuzzy heads. They paid her no attention as they passed, entering the university campus. It was a new, modern looking building, all red brick and fancy glass. The fact was, if Millie had wanted to, she could have marched right up to the zombified horde and slap each and every one of them in the face, and they still wouldn’t have noticed her. It had taken her years to get used to The Cloak’s many powers, even longer to get used to her own minor abilities. Although, it was only a cloak by name. She habitually brushed her hands down the breast of her suit jacket. It had been tailor made, in a way. It fitted her perfectly, hugging her thickly built form.

Not a single drop of water clung to it, but most importantly, whilst she was on the job, it rendered her invisible. Well not quite invisible, everyone could see her, she always felt sure of that. The Cloak simply convinced them that they didn’t. As the students entered the campus, Bantershot strolled out. He seemed like a man who could adequately be described as jolly. His ruddy face was decorated with a pleasant smile as he nodded at the early comers.

‘That’s what  I like to see, eager to learn!’ he half bellowed, to a chorus of half-hearted grunts. He walked in a way that required desperate swings of his arms, and made him look as though he was bouncing. He was no doubt about to cross the road to visit the nearby coffee chain for his morning brew. Millie sighed cynically. Had he just had a cup of instant, or a filter coffee from the cafeteria, he might have lived another day. She strolled casually into his path and reached out a hand. She brushed her pink fingers across his cheek and closed her eyes.

It only took an instant.

Millie used to believe in fate. She used to believe moments were set. She used to believe that death was preordained and a person’s time was their time. However, it was far more complex than that. There was no fate, Millie had learned, there was just luck. Death can occur to anyone at any time. It was all about The List. That was the one constant. That was the only thing that came close to Millie’s fate. Once a name appeared on The List, there was no changing it.

The trick was avoiding getting your name on the list for as long as possible. Henry could have avoided it by getting his coffee elsewhere, or at the very least waiting for the bus to pull away first, or maybe if it wasn’t raining.  Too late now, it was done.

He bounced off the curb, fixated on the red banner of the coffee shop. At the same time, an impatient driver hurrying down the road, pulled into the other lane to bypass the bus. There was a loud screech as breaks were applied. The tires squealed against the road. There was a hefty thunk as Henry Bantershot hit the bonnet and rolled over the windscreen.

Millie didn’t know if he was quite dead when he hit the ground, but he definitely was when she arrived by his side. There were shouts and screams. People came running out of the coffee shop, the bus driver got out his bus, some people just stared dumbfounded. For a brief moment chaos ensued. Millie heard the sound of someone calling for an ambulance. She was vaguely aware of the impatient driver standing nearby, head clasped in his hands, groaning in terror.

A thin pool of blood was being watered down by the steady rain around Bantershot’s head. It is often said that the bodies of the dead look peaceful, that they resemble a sleeping person. This is only ever the case if the person in question has the good fortune to die peacefully in their sleep. Millie reached down into Bantershot’s chest, through his tweed suit and damp shirt, and pulled out his soul.

He stood there looking at her for some time with a bemused look on his now translucent, blue-grey face. He gave off a pale glow, as though he were radioactive, which the soul may well be, Millie didn’t know. He met her eyes and smiled politely.

‘Can I help you?’ he said.

‘Nope,’ Millie replied, ‘unfortunately, you’re in no position to help anyone.’

‘What’s that now?’ He asked still confused, he licked his lips. This would have been out of habit than anything else, his lips couldn’t have been dry, but if they were, Millie doubted licking them would help. Not with an incorporeal tongue anyway.

‘You know, they should really put speed cameras down this road. That car almost hit me, did you see it?’ He asked shaking his head.

‘I saw… and it did hit you.’ Millie responded casually. This was a common occurrence. Very few people were ever immediately aware of their demise. The fact that they seem to continue to walk and talk gives them a false impression.

‘I err… what’s that now?’ he asked politely, though his voice faltered a little. He cast his eyes down to the crumpled heap that was once him. Then, he turned about to look at the car that just minutes ago he had been killed by. Then he looked to his despairing, accidental murderer. Then he looked back a Millie.

‘I rather think this is going to be a particularly bad day.’ He said.

‘We all have them.’ Millie agreed.


Just a short little prologue thing. Also, if you are a fan of surrealism and stupidity you might find this Kindle text interesting.

It’s not written by me, no not at all, I wouldn’t stoop to such shameless self advertisement. it’s a collection of highly absurd short stories. Here is a brief description.

This 20,000 word collection is an experiment in absurdity. Watergipridget, though a real person, is only real in an entirely fictional sense. These stories are NOT intended to be read to children, they are simply what happens when an unemployed man takes a joke (which wasn’t particularly funny to begin with) far beyond what is reasonably acceptable. If you choose to download this text, please take them in the whimsical manner intended.