Dine at Blank

Every person of note has dabbled in advertising. Salvador Dali did a commercial for Lanvin chocolates among other things. Al Pacino did a coffee advert as well as broadband. David Beckham has advertised just about everything that has ever existed and will ever exist. There is a product that has yet to be conceived that already has that beautiful man’s face attached.

Hubert J Watergipridget is undoubtedly better than all three of those men put together with an added pinch of Keira Knightly. He is better than them all, and yet even he has had to endure the weight of commercialism. Some cynics look upon his many ‘sponsored’ short stories as him ‘selling out.’ The author responded to such criticism. “Selling out? Heaven forbid it. No, I was selling in. Author’s need a roof over their heads to write, without that their manuscripts are likely to get wet when it rains. You see all the acclaimed writers in their illustrious homes and assume they were paid for by the page? Nonsense, half the population are barely literate, and the other half haven’t got time to read. Yes, I did adverts, did I enjoy them? No. I do like the mansion they paid for.”

The mansion in question was his third. He still owned his ancestral home of Pridget Manor and his second mansion was bought purely to store his collection of antique chairs.

Anyway, years since the great Watergipridget left this world to spread his genius throughout the afterlife, we have his many ‘sponsored’ short stories. Close to twelve restaurants at the time employed the writer’s pen. Known academic and Watergipridget scholar Henry Pretension has managed to edit all twelve together into a single narrative. For simplicities sake (and legal reasons) all restaurant names have been replaced with ‘BLANK’.

Enjoy.

Come one; come all. Dine. Dine here at BLANK. Where all are welcome from the purest of innocents to murderers and thieves. We judge not at BLANK.

Perhaps that is their only failing.

Sit yourself down upon a tall-backed chair and allow yourself to be tucked in tight by the waiter; the psychopath’s smile slashing a flesh coloured line across his face. Yes, there is no escape from the revelry. The lighting will be low and candles will be all a flicker. Time has no place at BLANK.

Come with friends, come with family, come with all who will follow. They will bring drinks, drinks aplenty. Ales to quaff and glasses of wine to sip, sourced from cellars from around the world with adequately exotic sounding names. Enough to fool the masses into thinking they are supping upon finery. At BLANK, you can pretend for one night that you are not slurping on peasants’ piss simply to addle the mind enough to find those around you tolerable.

They’ll bring a jug of water for the table. From that perspiring crystalline container, you shall cleanse your pallet ready for your meal. When each meal could be your last, let BLANK make it truly special. You shall unfold the menu to behold the delights they have to offer, whether you like it or not. The soup of the day, you will be informed, is a fleeting soup. Favoured today, cast aside tomorrow.

Slabs of meat dripping in BLANK’s Secret Sauce. Boxes of the Frenchest of fries dusted in their slightly mysterious spices. Then the incredibly obvious lasagne. Order this and you’re liable to be punched in the face.

Pork belly. Beef medallions. Lamb shank. Yes, any manner of dead animal you could conceive can be plated up for your pleasure. It is a dog eat dog world, but man will eat anything. If a human being was set before God himself, chances are, they’d take a bite out of him. In fact, as you peruse BLANK’s menu inscribed with endless flowery ways of describing a carcass, you will become aware of the music. Yes, you’ll notice how the ambient melodies get louder the longer you stare at the list of death. So loud in fact that it almost drowns out the screaming. The terrified bleating of sheep. The agonised squawk of the hen. The traumatic wailing of the cow. Whatever the hell kind of noise a fish makes. A veritable choir of slaughter. The music drowns it all out. It saves you having to wonder what the cries are really for. Is it fear of oblivion? Is it pain? Is it betrayal? The realisation that the dominant species were not feeding the weak out of a sense of responsibility, but to fill their stomachs?

This is yet another service provided by BLANK’s ever so conscientious staff. As is the dimmed lighting. Much of what lies beyond your table will be cast in an atmospheric gloom. A warm blanket of shadow, hiding the red seeping through the walls.

More wine sir? More beer madam? More? More?

Such is BLANK’s hospitality, their eagerness to please, that they will never let your glass remain empty. They want you to eat, drink and be merry. But mostly they want you to eat and drink.

They will sing songs of celebration should it be your day of birth. They’ll grin joyfully and bring along a cake adorned with the burning candle of youth, melting rapidly before your eyes. Come… celebrate with friends, for whilst you grow ever older, marching onwards towards debilitation, incontinence and an addled brain to the maddening beat of time, you can take in every line of their faces. You can live happily in the knowledge that, whilst your time will soon be at an end… so will there’s.

Take advantage of BLANK’s dessert menu. For no night of self-indulgence is complete without something sickeningly sweet.

More wine sir? More beer? An after-dinner liqueur? More?

More.

You will never be satisfied. So you may as well dine at BLANK.

Come.

Come dine with friends. Dine with family. Dine alone.

The world beyond BLANK is cruel and uncaring. Out there you are just a shell amongst a collection of other shells, many of which are far prettier. At BLANK, you are king.

So, dine at BLANK. Dine at blank now and forever. Dine on finery. Dine…. Dine.

Dine.

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My Current Viewing Habits

I currently sit practically naked in my new flat drenched in sweat, my stretchy, wrinkled testicles stuck to my leg. As you struggle to get that image out of your head, wondering whether I am guilty of some sort of harassment for forcing the notion of my naked form into your head or you are guilty for oogling me with your mind’s eye without my permission or simply visualising the naked form is neither a sinister act or one to be celebrated as a body is a body and we all need to chill out about the whole thing, I am trying to decipher my own handwriting.

I haven’t updated this blog for some time, seeing as I have been trying to move from my mum’s sofa into a new flat. I successfully managed this some time ago and subsequently spent a week sitting on a deck chair drinking beer. Then, of course, my new flatmate had the audacity to move in, so now I must, at the very least, maintain an illusion that I am a functioning human being.

Some time ago I was on a train. On this train, I tried to distract myself from the depressing reality that I was on a train by writing out my next blog post. Sticking to the ‘write what you know’ method, this turned out to be about my TV viewing habits at the time. This may become a two-parter, because reviewing my notes I see there are numerous pages stuffed with over analysis and wandering thoughts.

One day I will develop a thing called focus, or at least try my hand at this editing business. Anyway, we shall see where I get to in this write-up. Are you sitting comfortably? No, of course, you’re not, it’s too hot for that, unless you’re that one reader in Iceland who regularly glances at my ramblings. I’ll begin anyway.

***

Whilst I have not quite given up on my dreams, I have started to realise that they may not come true. This creeping realisation – that I might not become a top-selling author and celebrated actor by the time I’m twenty-four – started to make itself known around my twenty-sixth birthday. It’s becoming more apparent that I might need to re-evaluate my life the more I sit in my mother’s flat watching whatever happens to be on TV.

As my ten-year-old sister also lives here (perhaps with a more valid excuse to be doing so), what happens to be on TV is often Cartoon Network. When she eventually grows bored and wanders off to watch some insufferable YouTuber (it saddens me that that is a thing), my mother chooses the channel. This is often Alibi or UKTV Food.

Alibi shows various episodes of yet more varied detective shows. UKTV Food shows various documentaries on the history of Russia.

As I have no right to influence what can and cannot be watched on this particular television, I have no choice but to get up and better myself. Despite this, I remain seated and watch and continue to watch until my brain has melted, and I experience what it is like to be dead.

Instead of setting out into the world and perhaps finding a loving partner, saving up for a house and starting a family as is generally done, I will give a needlessly detailed rundown of my current and bizarre viewing habits.

Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network was once a safe haven. It was a world that contained Dexter’s Lab, The Powerpuff Girls and that shit Cow and Chicken show. Like most things in life, it has moved on and is no longer for me. I accept this. The world turns and a new generation emerges to lay claim to what was once ours. Unlike the Star Wars fandom, I accept this. I do not get angry, nor sad, nor do I take to the internet to harass actresses. One thing that hasn’t changed is there is still a lot of shit on it.

But it also has some remarkable programming.

The Amazing World of Gumball

Some years ago, Adventure Time come along. Its whacky colourful world was as imaginative as it was funny, rich and well thought out. Unfortunately, stoners got hold of it and started shouting pretentious shit much like they did with the more recent and much more adult Rick and Morty.

In their insistence on saying how good it was,  how clever it was and how underneath the quirky characters and silly humour, was actually a very adult show with some serious and emotional stories to tell, which it does in unique and interesting ways, these fuckers allowed Adventure Time’s Ego to swell. In pushing boundaries and doubling down with the weirdness and trying to consistently tell interesting stories, it forgot about the quirky characters and the silly humour and well… how to be entertaining.

Rick and Morty suffered the same fate. There were two fantastic seasons with some of the sharpest comedy writing yet seen, interspersed with some subtle depressing moments that led people to declare it was the cleverest thing, it was so deep and blah blah blah. This eventually led to season 3 which was largely shit. The wit was gone, the characters became too inconsistent (unless we’re watching different Rick and Morty’s in various episodes, which is a theory), and all because they kept trying to prove how fucking clever they were. Some of the silly, sharp humour was simply replaced with smug, self-referential ‘meta’ humour. Meta humour is not clever, meta humour is easy and should be used in small doses. Done right it can add an extra element to a show. Otherwise, it simply becomes easy references or an excuse to use clichés (but it’s okay because they admit their clichés so it’s not a cliché).

What does this have to do with The Amazing World of Gumball?  Well, these shows were popular, and as such, spawned copycats. Every show became whacky and self-referential. Every show became ‘lol random!’ every show became ‘quite adult clever, avant-garde and  blah blah blah.’

At first, I assumed The Amazing World of Gumball was just another one of these. Weird animal families, a goldfish that evolved into a member of the family, a whacky world populated with insane characters (one is a piece of toast), but the more I watched, the more I realised its brilliance. With it’s ‘randomness’ it feels like a safe bet that fits in nicely with the millennial trend of said ‘randomness’. However, whereas with a lot of shows offer ‘randomness’ with no substance, The Amazing World of Gumball (in my humble opinion) simultaneously uses this self-aware randomness to its full effect (by which I mean not overdoing it) whilst also satirising shows that try and fail to do the same. It is incredibly juvenile (it’s a kids’ show), but certain elements will appeal to adults (Richard is my spirit animal). There are intelligent, well developed and fleshed out characters that whilst appear insane and ‘out there’ deliver lines of dialogue in an incredibly dry manner. It expertly balances the colourful and quirky with the down to earth and simple.

Most importantly, it doesn’t take itself seriously. It makes no claim to be unique. It does not attempt to be intelligent. It doesn’t try to appeal to both adults and children, it instead does its best to be entertaining, and it succeeds.

Teen Titans GO!

The phrase ‘childhood ruined’ or words to that effect come up a lot. Strangely, they are never said by children, who realistically are the only ones who can have their childhood ruined. It comes up a lot in reference to this children’s TV show. I work in marketing so I can tell you that a children’s show branded something that ruins childhood is not ideal.

The reason so many people have been lamented that their childhoods have been ruined is (fortunately) not due to some chilling realisation that uncle Barry wasn’t actually a doctor and… nope, can’t even finish a paedophile joke, they make me want to cry. Not to mention someone might dig it up in 10 years’ time, successfully getting me fired by Disney.

Note: yes I did add in that James Gunn joke to be topical. I’m trying to appeal to all manner of readers.

Rather, people feel that Teen Titans GO! Is responsible for their childhood being ruined, albeit retrospectively.

Teen Titans GO! Currently has a rating of 4.8 stars on IMDB, which isn’t good news as I view anything below a 6.5 to be unwatchable, and obviously, everyone goes by my technique. To quote the title for one 1 star review “If you loved the first time out for the Teen Titans, don’t watch this”, and the body of another equally negative review

“When I first saw the commercials for this show, I thought, “Oh, hey, they’re remaking one of my favorite childhood shows, I hope it’ll be good.” But I was severely disappointed, and insulted.”

I can see the beginnings of a pattern. The people that don’t like this show dislike it seemingly because it is not like a show they watched at some point in the past. I remember my friends telling me how good the original Teen Titans was and that I should watch it. I didn’t because I was obviously reading Ulysses and had no time for cartoons, titanic or otherwise. This was some time ago. A quick google tells me the final episode aired on the 16th of January 2006. Those who are number savvy will realise that was twelve and a half years ago.

This would mean that even if you were say, as young as eight when you watched the original Teen Titans that would make you currently twenty years of age. Following this line of logic, I can conclude that Teen Titans Go! IS NOT FOR YOU, YOU WHINING CHILDISH FUCK!

I briefly alluded to this current pandemic whilst referencing the Star Wars fandom. These are people that simply can’t let go of their childhood. These are fucking snivelling cowards who can’t accept that time is marching ever onwards and they are now of an age of responsibility, they must take charge of their own lives and make their own decisions. They’ve realised their parents were right when they told them, ‘these are the best years of your life, it’s all downhill from here.’ Rather than sucking it up and accepting their mortality before trudging boldly towards their demise, they turn on Cartoon Network and hope that the magic colour box will give them back their youth.

It won’t. Fucking grow up you creepy adult children.

I don’t see how a children’s cartoon can leave someone feeling insulted, unless a character turns to the camera and says, ‘Graham Smith of 21 Dryden Crescent, you’re a prick!’ (apologies if anyone reading is called such and lives at such, it is mere coincidence). From my limited knowledge, Teen Titans Go! Is actually very respectful of the original, not just due to the many subtle references, but by not trying to imitate the original series. The original series is done. It told a story. Doing the same would serve no purpose and ultimately tarnish a good thing.

So, in this superhero obsessed age of reboots and gritty superpowered punch-ups, where Marvel and DC desperately try and monetise as many of their properties as possible before the bubble bursts, why not reuse the Teen Titans? Except, instead of attempting a gritty, violent reboot like the live action appears to be (which seems very odd. Why market a thing called Teen Titans, which is clearly aimed at a younger audience, Teen is in the title, with gratuitous graphic violence? Unless they’re trying to appeal to the aforementioned fuckers, who will no doubt say that this is shit too before they hang themselves), why not just make it a light-hearted romp in which nothing matters? Wouldn’t it be funny if we took the characters of a show known for its serious story-telling and emotional climaxes and make them caricatures of themselves and put them in silly scenarios? That’s the premise of Teen Titans GO! The Titans are put into comical shorts in which they do surprisingly little superheroing. It’s like a flat share sitcom, starring the Titans.

Sure, the humour doesn’t always land, but at these points, I have to remind myself, I’m a 26-year-old loser watching  Cartoon Network.

Well… that got out of hand.

Tune in next post to read why British detective shows are probably racist and how I often can’t tell which version of Law and Order I’m watching.

Life of extremes

Life has got to the point where all I seem to do is speak to this guy about the most exciting way he could end his life to end the shame of his general lack of success. This is despite the fact that his blog is getting more views than mine recently. My money is on him launching himself from a trapeze and landing anus first on a metal spike.

I’ve often professed that the world is a dull place. If I haven’t I’ll do it now. The world is a dull place. It is an incredibly mundane planet we inhabit, but one we seem to treat purely in extremes. Things are either awesome or awful. It is as simple as that, there is very little occupying that vast chasm in between those two words. Everything is profound, or it is nothing.

People never have days where they feel a bit blue. People no longer feel sad. It is depression. That’s not to do people’s feelings down. Maybe we are all truly depressed. In outsourcing all our responsibilities to technology and living in a climate that allows us to live a life of plenty we have given ourselves time to feel the natural state of being.

If we have a few nights of poor sleep, we say we have insomnia. A party is amazing or it is a disaster.

Is our insistence upon extremes because of this dull world?

Even I am not exempt from this inclination towards exaggeration. I currently need a haircut. If I thought about it reasonably, I’d be able to say it’s fifteen minutes (in an ideal world) of someone snipping your hair, which is the most useless part of our biology. It doesn’t cover enough of our body in such away as to provide any reasonable protection against the elements, but keeps growing nonetheless.

But I don’t get my haircut because it’s awful. Getting a haircut, not my haircut, which is a matter of opinion. I hate getting a haircut so much that for a year I used a pair of clippers under the idea that it can’t be that difficult to trim some hair.

As it turns out I was misinformed and it’s incredibly difficult to trim hair, so naturally had to go bald for a time. I hate it so much, that I’d much rather someone break into my house whilst I slept and gave me a haircut. I wouldn’t even mind if they stole some stuff on their way out, or even let the door open, inviting more less haircut focussed people in to have their violent way with me. Maybe I’ll get lucky and wake up dead… I’ll never have to get another haircut. Unless that weird myth that your hair continues to grow after you’re dead (it doesn’t) turns out to be true, then I’ll have to employ the services of a dead barber.

I just can’t stand it. It’s the worst thing in the world. First you have to go to the hair cutting place which is packed with other people wanting to get their hair cut. Endless bodies topped with hair. Men with their hundreds of children who also need their child hair cutting. Your whole day wasted, sitting in silence as others get their hair removed.

Then you finally get called up and asked that most cryptic of questions, ‘what would you like?’

Obviously from context they mean with your hair. Not just, what would you like in general. They haven’t got the time for that. Even so, it’s a difficult one to answer. A haircut is what I’d like. If you ask for that though they look at you as though you’ve shat yourself.

It’s at this stage the realisation dawns that everyone’s watching you with great expectations. What do you want? Answer the question! WHAT DO YOU WANT!

I tend to panic and start throwing out strings of sentences that make barely a modicum of sense. ‘Shape it round the ears, then even it out?’

‘What?’

‘I want to be able to see my ears, then just, make everything match that.’

‘What do you usually do with your hair?’

‘Do with it? It’s hair I let it sit on my head!’

Eventually, they work their magic and you leave with an itchy shirt.

Then, the after a month or so, the ritual starts all over again.

I know… my heart just wasn’t in it tonight.

 

 

The Beard of Failure

It’s hot today and set to get hotter as the week goes on. I would talk about how this thoroughly displeases me, but I’ve done so in the past and no one seems to have done anything about it. Usually, I try to keep my blogs informative and offer an analysis of a particular aspect of modern life. If not that, I tend to offer newly found works of Hubert J Watergipridget. I try to refrain from talking about myself on a specific level. I do so for several reasons. One is that I’m not prone to vanity like everyone else on the interwebs, posting inane drivel about their trips to the shop or sticking up selfies of them walking through town, slurping a drink that’s far too colourful to be the drink of an adult.

What happened before smartphones? Were we more modest and more focused on the outside world? I honestly can’t remember. It could be that we all secretly harboured thoughts that we would love a platform to post the same picture of our heads over and over again, and it was the world’s loss that the technology for us to do so just didn’t exist.

Alas, we’re in an age of self-obsession. Some time ago, society fought for the noble cause of freedom of speech. Inevitably, this gave way to people thinking they had to speak their mind, not thinking for a second whether their mind had anything worthwhile to say. I can fight against this. Or I can give in.

As I decide this, I shall talk about my beard.

 

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This is my beard, there are many other beards like it…you know the rest.

 

I have a complicated relationship with facial hair. Having grown up reading books about wizards and watching Star Wars, I associated the beard with wise and complicated old men. In the many books I read, if a man with a beard turned up you could be damned sure that some exciting shit was going to kick off. Unless the exciting shit kicker offer was female, in which case she’d be stern and thin-lipped, but kindly and clever. The beard was the mark of wonder. It spoke of an experienced man who had seen much of the world and been on many adventures. He would never express such in simple words. He would allude to it. He would guide the younger generation on their own adventures, only ever stepping in when absolutely necessary (unless it’s Dumbledore, in which case he turns out to be a massive bellend).

Then, there were a number of years (quite recently) when everyone went mad for the beard. Beards of all ‘quirky’ styles adorned the faces of young, generally well-groomed men. Men who were not wise nor kindly, but vain and prickish. Men who had beards because apparently, that’s what men did. Men who thought a mass of facial hair was an adequate stand-in for a personality. The beard became another fad, another branded jacket that everyone must wear. The bigger the better.

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Like this man, sporting the timeless look that says ‘I don’t care what others think, as long as they think that I don’t care.’

Fortunately, that fad has died a death, like all fads. We’ve woken up from a mad and bewildering dream and returned to reality, where a beard is just hair sprouting from a face.

I currently have a beard… sort of.

The main reason for this beard is one of laziness. Just like the main reason for WWII was Hitler and his band of merry Nazis. But also, like WWII there are a number of other contributing factors that allowed Hitler and his merry band of Nazis to gain power in the first place.

Am I still talking about my beard? Yes, I believe so. Like the world-wide atrocity that was WWII, there are many contributing factors to my facial hair.

I have always been a somewhat ambitious person. I have always striven for greatness beyond measure yet have accrued nothing but failure. Since I was about 8 years of age, I have wanted to write a book. I would forever start things, but they would never take off distracted as I was by other things, like pigeons or small pieces of string. Then at the age of 11… ish. After forcing my imagination to work overdrive and instilling an iron discipline in myself, I sat down and typed. I typed and typed and then typed some more. I got type fingers and had to undergo a strenuous period of physiotherapy. Then I typed some more. After years of endless typing, I finished my first novel.

This turned out to be Lord of the Rings. Very soon after realising this, I remembered the Lord of the Rings already existed and was much better than my shameless knock off The Crystal of Doom. I still remember the adventures of the Chain Knights, Lord Syndus and Blakemere setting off with Martin, Keeper of the Dragon Pearls to acquire that damned crystal. So, I threw it aside – figuratively speaking of course, it was on the family desktop. Had I thrown that I would have been in serious trouble. But I had to accept I was a talentless hack. A plagiarist. A copycat, a smelly fat copycat!

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The original copycat, copying everything that cats had previously done. The uninspired hack!

I briefly had the idea that I could be an actor and got no further than an extra role in The Theory of Everything, which to this day I still have not watched. I assume Hawking has a theory regarding all things at one point.  At university, I got the delusion that maybe I could a comedian. After 5 fairly successful gigs and one disastrous one, I concluded that spending £24 on a railcard and then travelling 50+ minutes on various trains and getting lost in London for 5 minutes of stage time was probably not a good career choice.

But, throughout all of this, I have been writing. I have written a multitude of novels across numerous genres for various audiences. The one thing this diverse collection of works has in common is that they are all shit and remain unpublished. For my latest novel, I have thus far received 4 rejection letters from literary agents, the shrivelled leeches of the world of books. It’s their continued existence that makes me question these alarmist reports like this one that suggests that the publishing industry is dying. For starters that was written 2 years ago, and they are still going, so if they are it’s a laboured death Shakespeare would be proud of.  If these odd middlepeople earning their 10% on each author can afford to reject me, it either means the industry is alive and well, or I’m just a terrible terrible writer. I’ve invested far too much time to accept the latter.

book

For my next novel ‘The Big Book of Meaningless Shite’

Beards.

Yes. So, a friend of mine also harbours ambition. We regularly communicate electronically. We’re like the modern-day Tolkien and C.S Lewis, just minus the Christianity bollox… and the Oxford education and writing ability. In frustration of our lack of critical acclaim, we declared that neither of us would shave until we become successful. The logic being twisting and numerous, like the roots of an old oak. For starters, seeing our increasingly hairy faces in the mirror each morning will inspire us to work harder, or remove our mirrors. Secondly, all good writers have a writer beard. They can stroke it whilst looking stoic and thoughtful. Thirdly, shaving it off will come with such a relief when the event comes with hard-earned success. The faces lurking underneath will be renewed with a lust for life and the smiles of satisfied men.

beard 1

The Portrait of the Artist When Doing a Poo

My friend has already shaved. Not because he’s successful, but because he’s a fickle shit who wastes words like a rich man throwing pennies hard into the face of an old blind woman. Though his blog is getting more views than mine on a daily basis, so he has more right to shave than I do.

I, however, am a man of my word. If we do not do as we say, then words will start to lose all meaning and this blog will just be a handful of indecipherable shapes, typed out by someone with too much time on his hands. Despite the obvious bald patches and its ginger colouring, I will continue to sport my face fuzz in the hope that I soon may be rid of it. The alternative is I die with knee-length beard, moistened and matted by the bitter tears of failure.

But at least I’ll die looking a bit like this guy…

long beard

Which makes me think… maybe the bearded men of those old books weren’t that wise. Maybe they were all failures too.

 

Sci-fi Satire extract Pt II

The last extract of my current work in progress got me more likes than my blog has ever got apparently. A whole 11 or something like that. Anyway, here’s another bit because I want to capitalise on my success.

 

Chapter 3

Olliwoo chimychim mawoolie sooly.

  • An old Verdradt saying.

Loosely translated to English, the phrase reads ‘I have lost my hat.’ To a human this seems meaningless. Just buy another hat, they might say. That, again, falls down to a lack of understanding. See, the Verdradt were born with very odd shaped heads. No two heads were the same, but all were equally as ugly. The Verdradt condition was one of constant insecurity and self-loathing. They’d look at themselves in the mirror and feel nothing but disgust.

Then the hat was invented.

The hat was a marvellous thing as it finally allowed them to cover their unsightly noggins. Each Verdradt, as they came of age, would start work on their very own hat. It would, over the years, be added to. Ribbons, bells and all manner of ostentatious ornamentations would be added. Like their hideously misshapen heads, no two hats were alike. The hat became the individual. The hat became life. Everything a Verdradt did, everything one achieved was shown on their hat. The hat became them.

For a Verdradt to lose their hat meant to lose their way in life. To forget their purpose. A verdradt who lost their hat, lost all their drive and ambition. ‘I have lost my hat’ wasn’t a trivial complaint, it was a howl of anguish, a cry of despair. It was admitting failure, it was a thing of tragedy, it was crumpling in defeat.

Maybeck often felt as though he had lost his hat. Yet there were also times where he felt his hat sat too heavily upon his head and was going to crush him. He didn’t know what feeling was worse.

The Minute Collection of Absurdity.

Below is an extract from my latest waste of time – I mean work in progress.

 

Hubert J Watergipridget is, without a doubt, the greatest novelist that ever did live. It is said that his texts are so important, that many have cured seemingly incurable diseases. It seems that no genre, subject or medium was beyond his talents. His subtle political satire ‘All Politicians are Cunts’ is still as relevant today as it was when he wrote it some time in the forties.
Little is known about the author’s private life and education, in fact only a scant 5 800 page biographies have been written about him, as well as one ‘speculative biography’ which makes a few guesses as to what he may have been like.
Following the phenomenal success of The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness and the huge sums of money it brought in, researchers have conveniently uncovered another collection of previously unpublished Watergipridget works. These are for a more mature audience and as such, explore more daring issues and controversial topics. The Head of Humanities at Oxford University has gone on to say of the collection that it ‘is very much more of the same’, so we can be rest assured that The Minute Collection of Absurdity will do just as well as its predecessor.

When asked of his success and what advice he’d give others, Watergipridget remarked that “In life, there are those who work hard and with dedication and those who seek the easy path. Both are good options, as it’s all down to luck anyway. There are those with more success than they deserve and those with more failure than they deserve and the simple fact is, whatever choices they made, however talented they were and however hard they worked, none of it made the slightest bit of difference. We are all particles being fired through space, occasionally by sheer chance some of the right particles smash into one another and create something interesting, but more often than not they explode and fuck everything up.”
Watergipridget’s acceptance of the chaotic nature of the universe went beyond explaining the perplexing career advances of the undeserving, going on to become the driving force in everything he did, as well as the excuse for everything he did. He was once charged with drug possession, three counts of soliciting and the assault of a police officer. In answer to these crimes he simply stated “We’re nothing but insects scurrying around in the dust, a slave to electrical impulses in the brain and chemical reactions in the body. I have no more control over my own actions than a worm does whether he gets eaten or not.”
He was later released without charge. However, the policeman in question and a number of his friends did leap out from behind a bush and break his legs. They were let off as a result of using the same defence.
So, the volatile and bleak nature of the universe is often reflected in Watergipridget’s work, which of course, by his own admission, he can’t possibly take credit for because his thoughts are the result of the afore mentioned chemical reactions and electrical discharges.

This collection contains the following.

The Man Who Believed Himself to be an Octopus.  (An earlier draft can be found here https://thefuzzyrambler.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/the-man-who-believed-himself-an-octopus/)
I’m Old and Likely to Die Soon.
Of Mice and Slightly Smaller Mice.
He Who Watched All The Porn
She Who Watched Most of the Porn.
Never Let It Be Said.
And more, if the researchers bother to find any.

The Tiny Compendium of Ridiculousness can and should be bought here. If you don’t own a kindle, message me and I’ll phone you up at night and read the stories to you.

 

Despise Change, but Hate the Everyday.

Pretentious title I know, but I like contradictory statements or oxymorons, they please me. Anyway, I feel that my obsession with doodles is some what reflective of a low state of mind. Not because they’re ‘out there’ or ‘messed up’ that people often like to claim to be when they’re definitely not, in a vain attempt to seem interesting. More because I tend to doodle most when overly anxious or taken by a miserable bastard kind of mood.

Many figures throughout history, when taken by such a mood create musical masterpieces, or paint glorious pictures or write works that last through the ages. I draw stick men in various situations and try to pass it off as ‘wit’. However, it’s easy to pass things off as wit, you just have to say it with a certain level of smugness or tilt your head to the side a little. Because I no longer have a scanner, I have taken pictures on my phone, and emailed them to myself and then uploaded them here, so the quality will be (as we say in the art world) shit.

Anyway, this piece is called “The Generational Gap.”

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The young and the old are destined never to understand one another . To one, eating a banana is a fairly mundane thing. to the other, it’s worthy of a ‘good ole fashioned axin’.’

This is called “The Hunt For the Loch Ness Monster”

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Turned out to be easier than the scientists first thought. They didn’t even get to unload their fancy equipment. Typical.

“Waiting for a Bus!”

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Because let’s face it, if you were Death, where would you choose to stand? Think of all those OAP’s with free bus passes, it saves him lots of time.

“Bendy Man Walks On Tiny Legs Whilst Whistling a Tune.”

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That’s pretty much it, not all art has multiple layers.

“Pyramid of Necessity.”

pyramid of necessity

The Beatles once sang “All You Need Is Love.” Bet they didn’t have to do a proper day’s work in their life, the lazy bastards.

“An Empty Day”
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I made this partially 3D, so it get’s marks for trying.

I’ll leave you with this. As I have to rely on public transport I spend a lot of time waiting for buses, the below is an angry email which I sent to one bus company. I have yet to receive a reply, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I will see justice served.

From:
Sent: 03 November 2015 20:37:38
To:

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Dear Lord Of All Buses,

I am a simple man, a humble man if you will. I want to do what is best for Planet Earth, which is currently my place of residence. I never learned to drive, thinking (perhaps arrogantly at the time) that I would forego the needless ritual of driving lessons. I did so under the impression that, not only will I have a lesser “carbon footprint” than most, but I would also save money and save myself from wasting hour after hour searching in vain for a place to park.

I have saved no money. Alas, rather than wasting hours looking for a place to park, I appear to be wasting numerous hours of my life awaiting the arrival of your elusive buses. £30 pound a week is no small sum, it is a sum that could purchase me a large amount of flapjack, and I love flapjack. For such a price I expect a good service. Several times your buses have failed to turn up at all, they are almost always late. I assume when creating your time table you take in to consideration variables such as traffic. 5 minutes late is fine, ten minutes is frustrating but sometimes inevitable.  Any more than 25 is taking the proverbial pee.

It is my suggestion, that you either lower your price to better represent the service, or replace all your timetables with a sign saying ‘Your Guess Is As Good As Ours.’

Waiting for many hours for a bus is probably not what Blaise Pascal (inventor of the bus service; if Wikipedia is to be believed – which of course it isn’t) had in mind. He’d be disgusted, and he’s French, he could take disgusted to the next level.

Now, I am not a vengeful man (or woman, you don’t know!) but, if I do not see improvements soon, I will have to come down to your headquarters and defecate upon the floor, with a rather stern expression. My diet is very fibrous, so I suggest – as I suggest to everyone – that you work hard to please me.

Yours Sincerely,

An Anonymous Man (Whose name isn’t in his – or her- email address)