Friday, September 30, 2005

Movies...The Silent Killer! (Unless you've got 5.1 surround)

A while back, I walked into the local Walmart.

I strode purposefully to the Outdoor Sports section, and said:

“Hey, how are you? Can I get a brick of .22 Long Rifle ammo please? Winchester Dynapoints, if you’ve got them.”

The shaved monkey replied :


He handed me my ammo, I handed him some cash.

A few minutes later, I met up with Sunny in the electronics/entertainement section. We picked up some DVD’s. I walked up to the second shaved monkey, and said:

“Just these, please.”

The Shaved Monkey replied:

“These are M-Rated, can I see your ID please?”

I said:

“I don’t have a valid state ID, I only have my British one. Will that do?”

It said:

“I’m sorry, I need a valid state ID.”

I said:

“But I’m 6”1, and I’m sporting a rather fetching goatee beard. I’m here with my wife. I’m 24.”

It said:

“Sorry, I need an ID.”

I said:

“Fine, I’ll get my wife to buy them.”

.22 bullets are neither big, nor particularly powerful, and I was buying them for nothing more dangerous than to punch holes in paper targets, and to help my brother-in-law control the musk-rats down at the fishing pond.

However, it’s a sad and scary time when a foreigner, with an obvious foreign accent can walk into a store, by 500 bullets without a blink or second look…but is not allowed to buy an M-Rated DVD without ID.

Priorities, priorities...

Ammunition, sir? Fine, but you can’t have a slightly violent DVD that may contain strong language or adult situations! I wouldn’t want to be responsible for one of those falling into the wrong hands!

Now, I love shooting, but I gladly support any initiative or program that makes it as hard as possible for criminals or suspect people from buying guns or ammunition.

Hell, if I’d tried to buy an M-rated video game, SWAT probably would have been called.


Jack Thompson : “So, let me get this straight. You bought your son a 12 gauge ‘youth model’ shotgun, gave him a box of shotgun shells, and without any safety instruction or training, you sent him into the woods to play?”

Mr. & Mrs. Fuckwit - Dumbass parents : “Yup.”

Jack Thompson : “Then he shot three of his friends, buried their bodies, and headed to the school, where he murdered the entire teaching staff?”

The Fuckwits : “Yup.”

Jack Thompson : “We may be in trouble.”

Hillary Clinton : “Wait! I’ve just heard that once, last year, he stood next to an X-Box in a store! He may have also watched an M-Rated movie!”


The Fuckwits : “What?”

Jack Thompson : “It’s the video games fault! It warped his mind! He trained himself on it to be a more efficient killer! Muhahahaha! Any chance we can blame Rockstar Games for this?”

If only Jack Thompson hadn’t been molested by that copy of Pong when he was 12...things might have been so different.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dog Thinks, Cat Thinks...

There pretty much hasn’t been a pet that I haven’t owned in my lifetime so far. Three dogs, two cats, various homicidal tropical fish, goldfish, parakeets and a one eyed guinea pig called Nelson.

However, I’ve come to the conclusion, that when it comes to pets, you simply can’t beat a good dog. (Errr, I mean, you can’t get a better pet than a dog, not that you can’t actually beat one).

Dogs are much more work than your average cat (training is more than showing them where the food bowl and litter tray is), but they’re much more rewarding.

They also have one major advantage over cats:

They’re not evil bitch-mongers from hell.

To explain this, I give you:

Dog Thinks, Cat Thinks

You walk in the door after a long, exhausting day of work:

Dog Thinks : “YAY! MASTER’S HOME!!!! Oh, I’m so happy to see you, look at my tail wag!"
Cat Thinks : “Oh, it’s you is it? Well, go ahead, help, fix me some more of that inedible slop.”

It’s 3am, and someone is trying to break in:

Dog Thinks : “Ggggrrrrrr. You feelin’ lucky punk? You wanna get to my family, you gotta get through me first…and I will bite your balls off!”
Cat Thinks : “Oh, hello! What’re you hear for? If you’re after a spot of murder, they’re upstairs, first door on the left, but leave one alive, I need SOMEONE to feed me. If you’re here to steal anything, she keeps her jewelery in the top drawer

You tell them to get off the couch:

Dog Thinks : “I’m so sorry Master. I know the rules, and have no excuse. Please forgive me.”
Cat Thinks : “Ha, screw you, Human! Just be glad I allow YOU on here.”

You have to give them a bath:

Dog Thinks : “Traaaaa laaa laaaaaa, la, leee, laaaaaa. Singin’ in the Tub is so much FUN!”
Cat thinks : “I will kill you for this, human. Be careful putting your shoes on for the next few days.”

You give them an order like ‘sit’:

Dog Thinks : “Sir! Yes, Sir!
Cat Thinks : “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!! Oh, that's just PRICELESS! Do it again!"

You have to punish them:

Dog Thinks : “I’m sooooo sorry! I promise not to do it again!”
Cat Thinks : “You have to sleep sometime, Bitch, and you never got me de-clawed.”

You’re getting ready for bed:

Dog Thinks : “Time for security duty, I’ll be at my post by the door.”
Cat Thinks : “Time to lie in the middle of their bed and refuse to move…must remember to stick both my tail and tongue out to take up more space.”

You feed them something other than their usual brand of food:

Dog Thinks : “Mmmmm, yummy, not as good as the other brand though, but I’m lucky to get it!”
Cat Thinks : “If I had thumbs and the necessary upper body strength, I’d throw this at you.”

When you first get up in the morning:

Dog Thinks : “Good Morning, Master!”
Cat Thinks : “Bout time you dragged your lazy ass out of bed, staff.”

When you’re busy:

Dog Thinks : “Time for a nap, I reckon.”
Cat thinks : “First I’ll spit up a furball on their shoes, then I’ll climb up the chair, ‘slip’ and rake down their back…and if I have time, I’ll break-dance on his computer keyboard.”

And finally…

Dog Thinks : “This person feeds me and takes care of me. He must be God!”
Cat Thinks : “This person feeds me, and takes care of me. I must be God!”

It’s true. Dogs see you as family. Cats see you as staff.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Reality Workplace

Have you ever noticed just how annoying some of the people you have to work with are?
You know, the guy who never washes. the girl who latches onto you and talks to you for two hours about her latest hair color. The boss who takes credit for your ideas, then awards himself a pay-raise.

I think I may have finally come up with a solution.

Every office would be equipped with the ‘Big Brother Server’.

Now while the Big Brother TV show sucks great big fat donkey dicks, the format could actually work in real life.

Everyone would have access to the Big Brother Server through their work station. The rules are simple. If someone pisses you off, you give them a ‘bad’ vote. If someone helps you out, you give them a ‘good’ vote.

The number of good votes or bad votes you receive affect you at work. For example, a few good votes let you go home early, a few more get you a long weekend, and once you’ve amassed a shit load of good votes, you get things like a new company car, or get to go punch the boss in the face.
At the other end of the spectrum, a few bad votes have you working late, a few more, you lose your weekend. Get enough bad votes, and you find you’re working for less than a dollar an hour, you no longer have a parking space…get enough bad votes, and you suddenly find that security have a ‘shoot on sight’ notice out on you.

Before long, everyone would be helping everyone else, and your boss would think twice before stealing your idea to earn himself a new company car and a 50k a year raise.

It could work, couldn’t it?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Absolute Best Britain Has To Offer!!!!!

Ever had one of those moments when you just want to bury your head in your hands and groan: “Ohhh, Noooo!”?

Not necessarily because of anything you’ve personally done, but because something has happened that makes you ashamed… something that will reflect on you.

Believe it or not, this is something that happens quite a lot to immigrant types like me. I’ve posted before on the fact that once you move to a new country, you suddenly become a lot more patriotic to your old one. You’ll defend all the things you used to complain about, and find yourself pointing out that your countries version of something is just as good, if not better, than what your adopted country has.

That’s why when a British TV show that I like finds its way on to American TV, I make sure to let everyone over here in the USA know. Shows like Monty Python, The Office and Little Britain fit this category.

However, once in a while, a British TV show will hit the American airwaves that makes me think:

“Oh my GOD!!! They’ll think we’re all like that!! They‘ll think that we think that this is Entertainement!!!”

The most recent of these ‘British Imports’ is called something like “Sex Doctors”.

Let me first explain this type of show.

First of all, the hosts are Brits that never got further than doing one or two commercials in the UK. Or maybe they managed to get a supporting part in a pilot, shown on a backwater channel at shown at 3am, that never got picked up.

In other words, the show is a failure, a flop. The British public turned on this show…then promptly turned it off again.

However, once this televisual vomit-laced diarrhea soaked effluent has been palmed off on some poor, unsuspecting American TV executive… it’s suddenly described to the American public as‘The Best British TV has to Offer!’, “The next amazingly great import from Britain!”, “The British Smash-Hit that’s found it’s way to America!”

For some reason, American TV seems to be a magnet for washed up British actors, or British wannabes or neverbeens. It’s become standard practice for British actors that if they completely fail in Britain, or their career begins to peter out, they have a stab at America.

Sometimes this works. For example, Hugh Laurie was a very famous British actor/comedian in the late 80’s - early 90’s, but his career took a definite downward slide.. He moved to the USA and is now the star of the successful Medical-crime series ‘House’ (He also manages a damn good American accent).

American TV is attractive, because it allows a British actor to try something new that they would never be accepted as in Britain. For example, no one would ever buy an iconic American actor, like John Wayne, as a comedy actor. Jim Carrey would have difficulty being accepted in a traditional, straight dramatic role.

This was the case with Hugh Laurie. He’d never be accepted as a serious character in Britain. But no one in America had heard of him, prior to ‘House’.

Basically, moving to a new country for an actor effectively erases any typecasting that they may be suffering from.

The other side of the coin is just plain sad. Take Harry Enfield, for example.

Harry Enfield was an INCREDIBLY popular comedian in England, in the early 90’s. He had a very successful sketch show, and everyone in England knew all of his catch-phrases.

He was a real A-List Star. Since moving to the USA, he is currently starring as Dr. Angus on the Burger King commercials. He also does the voice overs for the gnome in the Travelocity ads.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

They make you want to scream, quit acting, and at least leave the media with a scrap of self-respect.

Some British Actors come to America to find that America was just waiting for someone like them. They fill a void and end up with a second successful career. This is also true of some imported shows. For example, ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionairre’ was a British show, and was very successful over here in the USA.

However, the USA has also become a haven for all the talent less British wannabes, who see America as a sparklingly new fresh start, where no-one knows just how badly they suck…yet.

‘Sex Doctors’ was a failed British TV show that only lasted a couple of episodes. To give you an idea of how bad this show is, even the network that it was on only lasted a few months. It was called L!ve TV, and consisted of such great shows as ’Topless Darts’ (women playing darts with their boobs out), and a midget that would give the weather forecast while bouncing on a trampoline to reach the top of the map.

I swear on my life and marriage that I’m not making this shit up.

So what is ‘Sex Doctors’?

Basically, it’s a show were men and women sacrifice their self-esteem and dignity to buy their 15 minutes of fame. A couple with embarrassing sexual problems will go on TV, tell everyone the problems they’re having, then two self-proclaimed sex experts make fun of it, laugh at them, then give them advice, tips and tricks to solve their problem.

Then we see an extremely non-explicit and badly-cut sequence of these people trying out their new ‘techniques’ in the comfort of their own home. After all, they have to please their target audience (IE, 12 year old boys who will watch it purely because it has the word ‘sex’ in the title, who will gladly sit through an hour of meaningless drivel in the hope they’ll see a nipple.)

I mean, where do they find these people? Who thought this would be entertaining?

What self-respecting man is willing to go on national TV and admit that he can’t ‘satisfy’ his wife/girlfriend? What type of woman is willing to go on TV, and list every single sexual deficiency her boyfriend has? What type of man is going to go on TV, and call his wife, to all intents and purposes, a fridgid block of ice, or a dirty whore?

The people on ‘Sex Doctors’, that’s who.

I mean, who honestly cares that some guy they don’t know has ‘intimacy issues’.

Even some of the problems aren’t problems. One guy spent 15 minutes going on about how terrible it is that his wife has a high sex drive, and wants some sweet, sweet lovin’ all the time.
Don’t count on any sympathy from 99.9% of the male population, buddy!

I just don’t see the point in these shows, or what these ‘sex therapists’ get paid for. I mean, the usual format of the show is a woman comes on and says something like:

“My partner is far too passive in bed, which makes sex boring for me.”

Then the sex ‘therapist’ gets involved, and gives an ultimate pearl of wisdom.

“Hey, Mr. Passive. Why don’t you try not being passive? Maybe try being active?”

“Wow, Mrs. Sex Therapist lady, I’d have never thought of that!”

Cue footage of the two people drooling on each other for 4.5 seconds, then 15 minutes of the sex therapists having an “Aren’t we just amazing?” discussion. End Credits.

Here’s an idea people. Instead of dragging your personal problems onto TV, have you ever considered talking to your partner? I mean, you tell the therapist the problem, she tells your partner to either do (or stop doing) whatever causes the problem, then it’s problem solved.
Why not just cut out the middle man?

I can understand wanting to have your 15 minutes of fame, and get on the TV…but who in their right mind wants to call up their mum and say:

“Hey mum! I’m going to be on TV tonight!”

“That’s great! What are you doing?”

“Well, first Maureen is going to call me a disaster in bed, then we’re going to discuss our personal and private sexual problems on TV…then they’re going to show a few seconds of us going at it.”

“Who are you? Why are you calling me? I don’t have a son! Go away! Prank call! Prank call!”

I mean, imagine going into the office the next day:

“Hey Phil! I saw you on TV last night! Have you considered Viagra?”

“Hey Joe! If your wife’s that hard to satisfy, I can help her out, if you know what I mean?” “Has she considered getting a REAL man? One who doesn’t cry like a sissy girl because she wants it more than once a week?”

Let me get this straight, for anyone who has been, or is considering going on one of these shows:
Being on TV does not make you famous. If you’re that desperate to get on the box, you’re a shallow, shallow person. No one cares or wants to know about your personal life, and no one will congratuate you for getting on TV.

Oh, and to the creators of these shows, just because it comes under the uber-fashionable banner of ‘reality TV’, does not automatically mean that it’s going to be more entertaining than getting root canal surgery through your ass.

Oh, and for Christ’s sake, stop repackaging crappy, non-entertainment from Britain as “Great British TV”.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Hi everyone,

Let me start today by thanking everyone for their kind words here, and on Sunny's blog. Your support is greatly appreciated.

I know I haven't updated in quite a long time (at least for me), as Sunny and I have been very busy, and I'm obviously having to help her through this difficult time.

However, as the funeral was today, I'm hoping that over the next week things will start to return to normal (or at least become as normal as things can be after the loss of a parent). So please stay tuned for updates.

Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and let me give a public thank you to our friends Lois and Bob for the floral arrangement they sent for today....Thanks guys.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Charles Miller. Rest In Peace.

If you've read my wife's blog , you'll know that her father passed away in the early hours of this morning.

I hardly knew Charles, but it didn't take me long to know the type of man that he was. You can see it in the faces of every single member of his family.

Charles was first and foremost a family man. It would be hard to find a more caring individual. He was always there for his family and friends, whether it was to offer a kind word, some sage advice, or even to write a cheque.

Charles was the kind of man who would knowingly and deliberately make life difficult for himself, just to make life a tiny bit easier for those around him.. To Charles, his family and friends always came first, without hesitation or a word of complaint. To Charles, there was no choice in looking after himself or others. Taking care of others was the right thing to do, and that is what he would do, automatically and without thought for himself.

He hardly knew me when I moved to America, but he and his wife, Nancy, did everything they could to make me feel welcome. From day one, they treated me like family. In fact, that's wrong, from day one I was family.

I find it amazing, in this cynical day and age, how Charles opened his family to me with such grace and ease. It's a strange feeling to feel like you truly belong when surrounded by near strangers, but that's exactly what I felt.

Charles died at 12.15am this morning, in his bed, in the house that he built with his own two hands, surrounded by his family. He leaves behind family, friends, but not one single enemy.

If you know nothing else about Charles, the fact he left this world without making a single enemy should tell you all you need to know about him.

It is said that no-one truly dies as long as he is remembered and their name is still spoken. If that is the case, Charles will live forever, in the hearts and minds of his family, and the legion of friends he left behind.

I know that right now, wherever Charles is, he's on the bank of a river enjoying a day's fishing. Probably telling anyone who will listen his stories from when he worked on the railroad.

All I know is, wherever he is, it's a much better place thanks to his presence.

Rest in Peace, Charles, you will be missed.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I don't really have time for a real blog post today, so I thought I'd just pass on a short funny true story I heard a while back.

Tech support in a small business was called in because the new accounts software they'd bought wouldn't run. The tech support operative, a young female, walked into the office to find that someone from middle management had dismantled the computer, and left it lying in in pieces on a desk.

Apparently he was an 'expert'.

After finally getting the computer back together, she discovered that the problem was that the system simply didn't have enough memory.

However, Mr. Middle Management jumped in and 'diagnosed' the problem himself. The tech support professional was wrong, the computer had plenty of RAM, but it definitely needed more 'meg'.

Not wanting to start an argument, the tech support op offered to go out and buy some RAM.

"No, no, no!" Mr. Middle Management said again. "This machine has plenty of RAM, it needs more meg!"

Ms. Tech Support tried her hardest to explain that there was no such thing as 'Meg', and that 'meg' was simply a contraction of 'Megabyte', a measurement of memory. (It's like saying your car has plenty of gas, it just needs more gallons.)

Mr. Middle Management was having none of it. He knew what he was talking about, and wasn't about to be talked down to by 'some girl'.

Finally, Ms. Tech Support snapped. She turned on Mr. Middle Management and said "Fine! Why don't you go to the suppliers and buy some 'meg'?"

Accepting the challenge, Mr. Middle Management stamped off.

He returned a few hours later with a small anti-static bag with RAM in it. Written on the side of the bag was written '64 megabytes of meg'.

"The young guy at the store tried to tell me the same thing you did." he said, imperiously. "I demanded to see the manager, and he sorted it out. Now go install this Meg!"

Nothing like a good laugh at an idiot to brighten your day. It's almost as funny as watching a really, really fat man trying to chase a small dog.


I don't really have time for a real blog post today, so I thought I'd just pass on a short funny true story I heard a while back.

Tech support in a small business was called in because the new accounts software they'd bought wouldn't run. The tech support operative, a young female, walked into the office to find that someone from middle management had dismantled the computer, and left it lying in in pieces on a desk.

Apparently he was an 'expert'.

After finally getting the computer back together, she discovered that the problem was that the system simply didn't have enough memory.

However, Mr. Middle Management jumped in and 'diagnosed' the problem himself. The tech support professional was wrong, the computer had plenty of RAM, but it definitely needed more 'meg'.

Not wanting to start an argument, the tech support op offered to go out and buy some RAM.

"No, no, no!" Mr. Middle Management said again. "This machine has plenty of RAM, it needs more meg!"

Ms. Tech Support tried her hardest to explain that there was no such thing as 'Meg', and that 'meg' was simply a contraction of 'Megabyte', a measurement of memory. (It's like saying your car has plenty of gas, it just needs more gallons.)

Mr. Middle Management was having none of it. He knew what he was talking about, and wasn't about to be talked down to by 'some girl'.

Finally, Ms. Tech Support snapped. She turned on Mr. Middle Management and said "Fine! Why don't you go to the suppliers and buy some 'meg'?"

Accepting the challenge, Mr. Middle Management stamped off.

He returned a few hours later with a small anti-static bag with RAM in it. Written on the side of the bag was written '64 megabytes of meg'.

"The young guy at the store tried to tell me the same thing you did." he said, imperiously. "I demanded to see the manager, and he sorted it out. Now go install this Meg!"

Nothing like a good laugh at an idiot to brighten your day. It's almost as funny as watching a really, really fat man trying to chase a small dog.


Technology is a strange thing.

You see, I’m a ‘latest and greatest’ kind of guy. When I buy a new piece of technology, I don’t want just any old thing, I want the newest shiniest thing…preferably with lots of buttons. I’m a dyed in the wool gadgetophile.

(Just so you know, just because I WANT the latest thing, doesn’t mean I get it. In fact, I usually wait for the latest and greatest thing, then buy the previous version…save a lot of money that way.)

There are, however, lots of people who are my exact opposite when it comes to this. I don’t mean technophobes, people who are afraid of new technology (neither of my parents in law would touch a computer with a very, very long stick)…I mean the people who tend to say “I’ve used pen and paper all my life! I don’t care if a computer can let me do things in a half hour that used to take a day! This is the way I’ve always done it, and this is the way I’ll always do it.

They suffer from acute “I’ve always done it this way!’ Syndrome.

My mother is one of these people. She takes an awful lot of convincing to use any kind of new technology. “What we have is good enough.”

For example, my mother is the one who does all the family budgeting, and still does it with pen and paper. I tried on numerous occasions to convince her to do it on the computer. It would have reduced the few hours a week she spends budgeting for a couple of minutes. At first the argument was “But things change every week, so I need to be flexible.” That I said the computer could be just as flexible fell on deaf ears.

Put it this way, at the dawn of TV, my mother would have said. “Pictures? What do we need pictures for? We have a radio, and that’s good enough for me!” If she’d been around at the dawn of radio, she would have preached the practice of just shouting very loudly.

I’ve got to say, she has changed in recent years, and become a lot more tech-savvy.

People’s attitudes towards technology is a very strange thing. People seem to fall into one of four categories:

Technophiles : Who love advanced technology in all forms, who want the latest, shiniest gadgets.

Habitat : Any store that sells tech-gadgets

Most heard Quote: “Have you seen version 2.3? Leaves 2.2 in the dust! Has a hyper thread jingleflocker! (or other unintelligible techno babble)”

Middle-of-the-roads : Who appreciate technology, but don’t really care if they have the latest version, as long as it does the job it’s designed for.

Habitat: The middle of the road, Duh!

Most Heard Quote: “Does my DVD player have a 5.1 encoder? Buggered if I know, it plays my movies, I know that much.”

Get-thee-behind-me-satan’s : Who refuse to use any form of technology, pride themselves on the fact, and refuse to believe that technology can make things much quicker and easier. Will come up with any excuse to glorify the non-tech version.

Habitat : Behind a mound of paper, trying to find something, while scowling at their colleagues who are using computers.

Most heard Quote : “You can stick your computer up your arse! Pen and paper will always be king! We‘ll see who‘s laughing when your computer breaks down!”

Refuse-To-Learns : Who flat out refuse to actually learn how to use anything, or how it works…but complain very, very loudly (usually to long suffering technical support staff), that they can’t get whatever gadget they’re using to work. Pronounce any new technology worthless, because they can’t spend 10 minutes reading a manual. These are the people who attempt to talk into their mouse, or send a computer back to the store ‘because it won’t get on that internet thing’, when they haven’t bothered to connect it to a phone line or network.

Habitat : Middle Management

Most heard quote : “Listen, you scruffy little oik. I don’t want to hear another thing about ‘system requirements’, this software I bought won’t work, and I want you to fix it…and if you tell me my computer won’t run it one more time, I’ll sue!”

I know someone in each of these categories.

The Refuse to learns are the most annoying people in the known (and unknown) universe. They will occasionally acquire a piece of technology, and will never even consider opening a manual. Whether this is from fear, a misplaced sense of superiority or sheer laziness, I’m yet to work out.

Two prime examples of this are requests from members of my family.

For example, back in the day, I was called to an uncle’s house on Christmas morning to ’set up a computer’. It turned out that the ’computer’ was a Sega Mega drive (called a Sega Genesis in the USA). This thing needed to be set up as follows:

Plug the controllers into the front and the power cord and the antenna lead into the back. You then plugged the antenna into the back of the TV, and turned it on.

When I arrived, it hadn’t even been removed from the box. Inside was a guide to setting it up, including pictures. It was the equivalent of putting the square plug in the square hole, the round plug in the round hole…etc. They hadn’t even considered opening the thing and trying themselves.

After that, any calls from my family for technical support help were met with:
“Open the box.”

“Ok, done.”

“Take out the manual.”

“Ok, I‘ve got it.”

“Read it. If you haven‘t figured it out in a couple of hours, call me back.”


I don’t think that was too unreasonable. I figured that after working things out for themselves a few times, they would realise it wasn't’ as difficult as they though it was, they wouldn’t have to go to the bother of calling me, and getting me to come fix it.

I was my entire family’s technical support…anything from TVs to computers…since leaving one of my cousin’s husbands has filled my role, and God, I pity him.

You see, they all learned one thing…and that was to prefix their cries for help with “I’ve been sitting here with the manual for hours, and can’t figure it out!”

Liars, the lot of them!

Oh yes, I know they were lying. A few Christmases ago, I got a call to help set up and tune in a new TV.

Yes, they’d read the manual, and yes, they still couldn’t figure it out.

I’ve got to give them credit, tuning that TV was incredibly hard.

Step one, plus in and turn on the TV.

Step Two, press the button marked ’menu’ on the remote.

Step Three, By pressing the down arrow on the remote, go to ’auto tune’

Step four. Press the button marked ’ok’ on the remote.

Oh, and it came with a quick start guide that showed how to do this, complete with pictures of what the screen looked like, and where the buttons were on the remote control.

Auntie Les, I’m calling you out. There’s no way in hell you read that manual. If you couldn’t figure that out, you wouldn’t be able to tie your own shoes!

Another member of my family also got pissed off when I told him a game that he bought for his kid’s computer wouldn’t work, because the computer didn’t have a 3d accelerator. Apparently, my one tech-savvy cousin had built it for him and told him that it would do anything he wanted.

The fact that he’d had that computer for two years, without a single upgrade didn’t factor in for him.

Even the thickness of manuals is enough to scare these people. My cousin called me to help him set up his mini-disc player with his computer. He hadn’t opened the manual, because it was so thick, it was obviously far too hard.

It’s a shame that the manual on;y had four pages written in English, and the rest was all foreign translations…Oh, and that also came with a one-page ‘Quick-start’ guide.

Put it this way, one day, I spent a 4 hour marathon session fixing one of my cousin’s computers (her mother had called me, saying that ‘the colours looked funny’). I go to their house expecting to find that they’ve inadvertently set the desktop to 256 colours…it turned out the computer was starting in safe mode, was riddled with about 60 million viruses, and needed to be completely wiped. (Oh, my assertions that they needed a virus checker before they started web surfing fell on deaf ears).

I tallied it up:

Four hours at the going rate, in home tech support : 120GBP
Call out fee: 50GBP
Extra time at home downloading drivers off the internet: 50GBP
Re-installing all their software (They’d lost their discs, so used mine) 250GBP
Total : 470GBP (nearly $1000US)

I have to say, I never charged any family member a single penny for tech support, even if I was out of pocket. (CD-R’s etc). Turns out I should, I’d be living like a King, or at the very least, they wouldn’t be able to afford me, and might have considered opening a manual.

In closing…RTFM

Read The F**king Manual!

You just might learn something.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Just a thought.

This isn't today's post, scroll down for that.

I was just thinking. Do you reckon those insufferable assholes WHo TYpE LiKE ThIs are the ones who design the 'word verification' images for blogger?

They sure look alike...and almost as hard to decipher

"You're holding it wrong!"

I saw something on TV today that gave me a flashback to college.

No, not that kind of flashback. I didn’t have one of THOSE college experiences…my mum would’ve killed me, and trust me, my mum’s got radar.

No, the show was all about self defence for women.

What this reminded me of was a lazy Thursday afternoon. I had a couple of free periods directly after lunch, so me and some friends were sitting in the refectory, just shooting the shit. The conversation slowly turned around to one of the girls, who was talking about the self-defence course she’d just finished. According to her, it was the greatest thing ever, she could walk the streets without fear, and was ready to kick some ass.

So I asked her to show me something she’d learned. So she said she’d show me how she’d defend herself against a knife attack.

So I found a ‘knife’ (a ruler from my rucksack), and I held it in front of me, ready to do the required slow-mo attack.

“You’re not holding it right.” She said.

What? Not holding it right? Surely an attacker is going to use his personal preference? I was holding my ‘knife’ with the ‘blade’ coming out of the top of my hand…a position that gives me the most options, I can stab, slash and keep the blade under control…not limit myself to one telegraphed stabbing motion that would leave me open to attack and off-balance.

“Hold it in a fist above your head.” She explained, You know, the way that leaves you with only one option, and telegraphs what you’re going to do a good week before you do it.

“Nah, I’ll hold it like this.” I said.

“But you’re supposed to hold it like I just said!”

Suddenly, I had a vision. Mr. Mugger, Mr. Rapist or Mr. Plain-old psycho attacking this girl, and her stopping him and telling him the way he’s supposed to attack her:

“Err, Mr. Psycho? I’m meant to have my left hand free, and you’re meant to stand where I can stamp your instep, and follow up with a punch to the balls!”

“Am I? Sorry. I’m new at this. I usually just knock you out, rape you and take your money…but this is much more interesting!”

I mean, what’s the point?

I’m sorry, ladies out there, but I think those self defence classes are the most useless things in the world.

Now while I think ANY self-defence training is better than none, your run of the mill 3 week self-defence course is not only useless, but is dangerous as well.

You see, plenty of women go to these things, spend a couple of hours learning to defend themselves from a guy covered in padding, who attacks them with rubber knives in perfectly choreographed routines…and leave feeling like superwoman.

The truth is, life isn’t choreographed, knives aren’t made from rubber and the majority of women don’t stand a chance against your average man, just because they’ve had a few hours training.

Now before I get flamed to hell for being sexist, let me explain myself.

I’m 6”1 tall, and weigh roughly 250lbs. If someone my size decided to attack or mug a female, there’s not much they could do in a fight against me. Yes, I know that there are some women who could very easily crush me into a fine powder, but in general, your average man is just simply stronger than your average female. If you weigh 120lbs, and you’re around 5 foot 5, you just don’t have the body weight and strength to hurt me…yes, lots of training, learning where the pressure points are, and gaining the speed to get to them before I can react makes the odds a little more even...but a fight is still inadvisable.

These quick-fix self defence courses teach plain stupid things as well. Shout “NO!” in an authoritative voice. That’s not going to scare anyone. Maybe screaming "HELP! HELP! I'M BEING ATTACKED!" would be of more use.

One of the most stupid things I ever heard was to put your car keys in your hand, with the tip of the key protruding from between your knuckles, kinda like a home made knuckle duster.

Great, not only is this woman going to get attacked, she’s going to get her car stolen as well.

A 110lb woman attacking a burly mugger with her car keys is like shooting a grizzly with a .22, all it's going to do is piss him off.

The worst thing is they teach how to defend against very specific attacks. You hit here, here then here, and when he does this, do that. What happens instead of doing ‘this‘, I decide to do ‘that’ instead?

Unfortunately, your attacker didn’t take the same course you did, and likes to improvise a little. Seriously, only a retard attacks someone with a knife in the classic over the head stabbing motion. It lets their victim know exactly what they’re going to do, is very easily blocked or dodged, and knocks you off balance and leaves you vulnerable.

The one thing they don’t teach is the best self defence move you can learn…Run away while screaming at the top of your lungs.

I’m not just saying all this for the ‘benefit’ of the ladies out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re a black belt at karate, or how big you are, running away is always the best possible option. It may not be very macho or manly…but I’d rather be a live coward than a dead hero.

To illustrate my point, here’s a direct quote I read from a book on the British Special Forces, spoken by their hand to hand combat instructor:

“Forget martial arts. They may help a little, but if you’re going up against someone twice your size and weight, knowing a few fancy punches and kicks isn’t going to help very much. Look at this guy (he points to a trainee, 6”7 and over 300lbs of muscle)…If he decides he wants to hurt me, there’s not a lot I can do…other than bite his nose off and run away.”

I had the “Karate” argument with a guy I used to work with. He said that because he was a black belt, he could beat up anyone…despite the fact he was only just over 5 feet tall. I told him to give me his best punch. So he wound up, punch my stomach…and I just stood there. Don’t get me wrong, it hurt, but it wouldn’t have stopped me in a real fight, ad I let him prepare and throw his most ‘perfect‘ punch.

You see, it doesn’t matter how many techniques you know, if your attacker doesn’t let you use them. If I was fighting a martial artist who was weaker physically than me, I’d just grab them, hold them down, and let them tire themselves out. Yes, self defence training may give you a few more options to get out of my hold, and they may work. But if I have you down on the floor, arms and legs pinned, and I’m repeatedly head butting you in the face…you’re not going to have much of a chance.

Now, I’m not saying that ALL self defence classes are completely useless, whether it’s a three week special, or a lifetime of kung-fu. Any training is better than none. The truth is that any fight between you and an attacker is unpredictable. While you’re going for that neck pressure point, he might just stick a knife between your ribs. The big problem is that the quick-fix self defence courses always assume that the attacker is dumb. If an attacker grabs your from behind, there’s a damn good chance he’s not going to leave you an arm free, his head perfectly placed for a backwards head-butt or his groin unprotected.

I’ve just read over what I’ve written, and I don’t want to come across as saying “Learn anything you want, I’m invincible!” I’m not saying that at all. What I’m saying applies to you, applies to me as well. I could learn all the martial arts I wanted…it’s not going to help very much against a guy who is bigger and stronger than me.

Basically, If I had to give anyone advice on how to defend themselves, here’s what I’d say:

Rule #1 : Run the fuck away!

Your first objective isn’t to fight, it’s to get away. If you can, run away, while making the most unholy racket you can. This counts if it’s after midnight or the middle of the day. Chances are, you can’t overpower your attacker, but you can out run him, and no attacker wants to be seen chasing after anyone who‘s screaming for help, and your screams will attract attention. Forget the ‘personal attack alarm’, a scream is unmistakable. A high pitched alarm will simply have most folks bitching about someones car alarm, and turning their TV’s up.

This is a good thing even when it looks like you could easily beat seven colours of shit out of your attacker. He could have a knife, and gun, of 10 buddies waiting around the corner.

I’ve read about lots of cases of kidnapping on crowded streets where someone has stepped out of a car, pulled a gun, and ordered someone into a car. Do the same thing, run and scream. You see, attempted kidnapping doesn’t have nearly as heavy a sentence as shooting someone in a crowded street filled with witnesses.

Rule #2: If you’re cornered, and just being robbed, give the robber whatever they want.

This isn’t just for women. If I was walking down the street and a guy stepped out of an alley and demanded my wallet…the fucker can have it. Yeah, it might look like I can take him, but like I said above, he also might have a knife, a gun, or 5 other people waiting around the corner. In this situation, your life could literally be on the line. I’d rather be alive to miss the contents of my wallet, than have it in my cold, dead hand.

Rule #3 : If you absolutely HAVE to fight, fight dirty.

‘Rules’ to fighting only belong in one place…professional sports. In real life, bite, scratch, gouge and go for the nuts.

Forget ‘fair‘. Fair implies that both parties have an equal chance. If the guy’s attempting to rob/kill/rape you, you want every advantage you can... if that means spitting in his eye, biting his nose off, before stamping on his balls…go for it.

Defending yourself is all about one thing. Putting your attacker down. The point is to take away his ability to harm you as soon as possible. Yes, it may be more ‘manly’ to trade punches, but a stiff kick to the balls is going to stop him from hitting you much, much sooner…and that’s the point.

Rule #4 : If your country or state allows it, carry pepper spray, a stun gun, or an actual firearm.

It doesn’t matter how big or strong your opponent is. With a face full of pepper spray, 100,000 volts passing through them, or a bullet put through their head, they’re only going one place…and that’s down.

This brings me to guns. If you’re going to carry one, make sure you know how to use it and practice regularly. There’s no point carrying a gun if you don’t know how to use is, and don’t know how to aim. Many people advise against carrying a gun, as ‘it could get taken away from you, and used on you’.

This is just plain stupid. It implies that a gun in your enemies hands in an insurmountable weapon, yet a gun in your hands is a liability. Crap. Plain and simple. If someone pulls a gun on you, it’s a good idea to have one to pull on them. Also, if they pull a knife, pointing a gun at them is going to make them shit their pants and do whatever you say. Also, having a gun doesn’t mean you have to kill someone. Personally, if it came down to a choice of an attackers life or mine…sorry, but it’s his. I’m not going to apologise for killing someone to prevent them from killing me. However, if your attacker isn’t carrying a gun, but is trying to stab you, or otherwise putting your life in imminent danger, a shot to a kneecap will stop anyone.

The two best pieces of advice I can give about self-defence weapons are:

Carry them all the time. Treat them like a condom. It’s better to have one and not need it, than to need it and not have one.

When it comes to lethal weapons, such as a handgun, pull it only if you intend to use it. If you’re only going to pull a gun to intimidate an attacker, leave it at home. This is how a gun CAN be taken from you and used against you. Only pull out a weapon if you fully intend to pull the trigger if you need to. To be honest, I think a gun is only advisable if that’s you’re only choice. Pepper spray does the same job (stopping an attacker from being able to harm you, and is non-lethal.

In short, I suppose my whole point is that self-defence classes can be useful. However, they just add another tool to your self-defence toolkit. If you come away from an self-defence class feeling ‘invincible’…you’re just plain wrong.
I had the serious misfortune today of catching an episode of ‘Fast Lane’ on G4. What a complete pile of crap that is. Nothing like a really, really bad blatant rip off of a no-so-good movie.

I started thinking. G4 has started a lot of car-based programming recently. The Whip Set, Formula D, Street Fury as well as the aforementioned pile of rancid llama droppings that is ‘Fast Lane’.

Why in the hell are they starting up a whole block of street racing TV shows, on a network that’s supposedly dedicated to gaming?

I’ll tell you. It’s all because some Jackass in an expensive suit hired a team of consultants, who told them that street racing is what the kids find ‘hip’ these days. These are the same people who did a ‘study’ and discovered that shows with ‘X’ in the title are popular.

I mean, come on, it couldn’t possibly mean that a few really good TV shows had the word ‘x’ in the title, but were watched because of the good writing, acting and sheer entertainment value! No. According to the team of ‘consultants’, all you need for a successful show is to put the letter ‘X’ in the title.

Go on, people, I’m jumping on the bandwagon. This Blog is soon to be titled “Life, what the hell is going on - X!”, I’m also changing my name to Paulius X! That hit counter will just spin around so fast, it’ll make your eyes hurt.

“Yes, your little network is good, honestly. However, you’re not trying to sell them enough things. Put in more ads, and something else that the kids find ‘groovy’ these days! It’ll be great.”
So we get lumbered with a complete and total ‘Fast and the Furious’ rip off, and a whole bunch of shows featuring a very generic ‘cool’ black guy, with a generic ‘cool’ name (Big ‘C’…hmm, he should change that to Big ‘X’, and I’ll automatically like him)…saying lots of generic things like ‘let’s get sideways!’

There really is nothing like a whole two hour block dedicated to the most obscure pointless sport I’ve ever seen. It’s like racing, but the skid around corners! Wow!

Anyway, back to my original topic. That is, rip offs.

I find it amazing that today, when the RIAA will come down on you like a ton of bricks for downloading a few music tracks, that the makers of original movies, TV shows and music don’t sue the OTHER media producers who rip them off.

Take ‘Mutant X’, for example. This is a TV show that features a group of ‘mutants’, who are part of a special organization, all have special powers and fight crime, conspiracies and anything else that comes their way.

Does this sound eerily familiar to anyone? Can you imagine the pitch meeting?

New Guy : “Errr, isn’t this a complete and total rip off of X-Men?”

Suit : “No, it’s completely different. You see, X-Men has a school for mutants, and Mutant X has an ‘institute’ for mutants.”

New Guy : “But that’s just semantics, they even have the same powers.”

Suit : “Are you blind? Instead of firing lasers out of his eyes, our guy fires electricity from his HANDS! They have Wolverine, but our mutant named after a big cat is a GIRL!”

Anything that’s popular gets completely and totally ripped off. The saddest thing is that the copier doesn’t even attempt to camouflage it.

Pokemon, that very annoying but popular cartoon, gave birth to ‘digimon’. Only in this one, instead of being actual creatures, they were DIGITAL!

I wish someone had pointed out that pokemon is Japanese for ‘pocket monsters’…whereas ‘digimon’ is meaningless.

How do they get away with it? Surely someone somewhere must say "Hang on a minute! This guy is totally cashing in on my idea!"

To close today, I finish with an open letter to all producers of main-stream media:

Dear Buttholes:

Listen, fire your consultants and hire some writers. If you have a network dedicated to a particular subject, stick to it, or at least, if you must branch out, decide on something that’s at least related to the original subject. Ignore your advertisers. Yes, they may think something is ‘cool’, but we don’t.

When a competitor comes out with something that is incredibly popular, this is a time to be creative as possible. Come up with something new to over shadow them. Yes, I know you’re disappointed and upset that you didn’t have their idea, but that’s no excuse for blatantly ripping it off. You’re not fooling anyone.

Ever heard the saying “Always be original, a copy will always be second best.”?

Have it tattooed on your forehead.

Yours Sincerely

Everyone in the f**king world.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I've Been Scammed! (Or at least someone attempted to scam me)

We've all heard for those nigerian scams. You know the ones:

"Dear sir, I have a squijillion dollars and need your help to smuggle it from my country. Despite the fact I have a squijillion dollars, I need a $50,000 investment from you for legal costs, and then I'll give you half!"

Here's the email I receieved (Text in red is written by me):


Hmmm, looks like hello/friend is an either/or...I'll take a friend...I can always use more friends!

I am Mr. Abu Al-Karmel, I am working in Economic Development and Foreign contract payment Operations Department, in the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI).My aim of writing you is to seek for your kindness assistance to allow me quickly transfer the sum of US$15.million dollars, into youraccount. Ohhh, hoe can I resist! fifteen mill for nothing!

It will interest you to know how this huge sum amount of funds came about.About two days before the United State (United State? Which one?) and British (Go the Brits!), bombing began,Saddam Hussein, ordered his youngest son, Qusay, to remove the sum of US$1.billion (£640 million) from the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) The cash which was loaded on to three lorries. (640 million does not take up three lorries (eighteen wheelers) worth of space.That memorable day Qusay and a senior aide to the former president Saddam Hussein delivered the instruction in person to the bank's governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI). And the money was removed without proper official documentations. The money was not debited. It was just remove from the foreign reserve vault. This illegal withdrawer created opportunity for our staffs working in the foreignpayments department.We hastingly remove from the vault the sum of US$75.million, which we shared among ourselves working in the department, five in number. OoooOOOoooh! That's naughty! Why didn't 'ole Saddam nick the rest of the cash, he had all that space left on his lorries!

My sharewas US$15.million, the deal which was absolutely successfully.Then,after the fall of Saddam,a Finance Company based in Jordan assisted me to move the fund as a Bond Deposit into Bank in EUROPE. (He constantly refers to The Bank of Europe...this doesn't exist...The Central Bank of Iraw probably doesn't either.)

Due to recent probe in our Apex Bank (I thought it was the Bank of Europe?),i decided to leave and i am under cover in SENEGAL -AFRICA (Hmm, and Iraqi, putting money in a European Bank, hiding in Africa, using a French Hotmail account. Guess he thinks I don't know that I can open a french hotmail account from anywhere in the world.

What I needed now is your "TRUST" HONESTY and "TRANSPERENCY" since i would want you to receive the money into an account from the EUROPEAN BANK. Why is 'trust' and 'transperency' in quotation marks. Is he doing the email equivalent of 'air quotes', insinuating that I don't have to be trustworthy or transparent?

I will also front you in any kind of investment that we might decide to enter later. (But you have 15 mil! Why would you possibly need money from me? OOoooh, that's right, you're a dirty scamming bastard! As a matter of fact,if i am convinced and with your declaration of interest in this deal,then,i will tell you the procedures to follow.For security of this transaction,i do hereby implore you to treat and maintain it with absolute confidentiality.Please,if you are not dispose to assist,kindly destroy this letter forthe sake of Humanity. (For the same of humanity? I'm meant to be helping some robbing bastard hide his money, after he stole it from another robbing bastard...and not turning him in is for the same of humanity?!? What's next? 'Don't prosecute me for raiding that Gas was for the sake of humanity!)

Looking forward to your urgent response.

Best Regard (Regard? Just the one then?)

Mr. Abu Al-Karmel(

I'm publishing his email address in the hope people will junk mail him out the ass. I would also find it incredibly satisfying if his email address got picked up by a scammer.

I sent the following reply:

Dear Sir,

I am very interested in your proposal. However, I wonder if all this is legal, and how you came to email me, and how you know my email address.

Please send me more infomation


Mr. Spanky Robertson.

Not one day later, the following arrived:

Dear Robertson. (Awww, he couldn't bring himself to write 'Spanky'...I'm pissed he didn't call me 'Mr.' though.)

About where i got your contact,i got it from this site where you write So get writing, and email your stories, along with your blogshares ID (If you have one) to

Might be an idea if you actually spent an extra five minutes to get the actual title of my blog, not just some random snippet of a post about a story competition I ran months ago, with my email address on it. Why not wear a big hat that says "I'm a dirty scammer!"?

I thank you so much for your prompt response to my previous mail and I am particularly glad for your acceptance to assist me in receiving this money (Whoa, whoa, whoa! I don't remember accepting anything! I just asked if this was legal and for more info! Why not actually read my email next time, you fuck-stick?) and for further investment in your country. (Huh?)All that I need is your total co-operation (ALL you need is my total co-operation? That's ALL?) and assuarance that you will not sit on this money when it is recieved in your country. (Here's an idea, Mr Al-Camel, or whatever your name is...why don't YOU 'sit on it'?)

I deem it necessary to bestow my sincere life and trust into your hands and I beleive that you will also whole heartedly accept me as your own for me to be strong and live a new life again in your hands by the wish of Almighty Allah that I serve. (You serve 'Almighty Allah'? Aren't you asking me to be an accesory after the fact, to Bank Robbery? Don't you get your hands cut off for stealing in the Middle East? You've pissed off a lot of real Muslims with that one, you African asshole!)

Like I did mentioned in my last email, this money (US$15,000,000.00) (Don't forget to keep mentioning how much money you're offering. I'm creaming my jeans in anticipation...that's right, buddy, keep that pressure up!) was moved as a Bond Deposit into a security company in Europe in form of family treasure. (There is no such thing as a 'family treasure' bond, dickhead)

Upon your kind acceptance to assist me receive this fund, I shall guide you accordingly. Over here, I shall send to the security comaony letter of authority authorising the release of the fund into your custody. (What's a Comaony letter? Look, you're pretending to be a clever banker/bank robber, hoping I'll have something against the people of Iraq. If you're pretending to be clever, at least learn to spell, it's like 'doing business' with a 4 year old.) To proceed further with this, I shall require your full/company's name, postal address, Telephone and fax number to enable the security company perfect the ownership of the deposit and contact you for the delivery. (Ok, that last sentence made no sense whatsoever, he much be getting excited at finally finding a 'sucker')

Please, I want you to understand that I am in total dilema at present because of my illness,(You're ill? Sorry, I'm a germophobe! Where's my lysol?) and as soon as this money is delivered into your care, you will assist me to come over to your country where I will take proper medical attention. (I will assist you? I 'will' assist you? where's the love? Ever heard of asking?

Please, I need you to assist and deliver me from this ugly situation which I am facing here in Senegal. I want to live a new life again.

Almighty Allah will continue to reward you in abundance. I am waiting to hear from you very soon.

Yours Faithfully,

Mr. Abu Al-Karmel

What a dickhead! Who actually falls for this crap? I was going to string him along for a few weeks for my own entertainment, but in the end, I sent him this email:

Dear Al-Karmel,

I find it amusing that you, for some reason, think my blog site is titled "So get writing, and email your stories, along with your blogshares ID (if you have one) to" At least try to get that right!

I'll also find it incredibly presumtious of you that you have interpreted my email, asking you if this is legal as my 'acceptance to help you'.

It may surprise you to learn, that I'm originally from Europe, and know a little about European Law. Namely that there is no such thing as a bond under 'family treasure'. I also think that a debit into a European bank, for $15,000,000 from an Iraqi source would have the police and Tax services all over it.

However, I can understand you completely ignoring all my questions and interpreting my questions as to whether this is legal as my 'acceptance', as you can barely speak English and just have a set of form letters that you bulk post to every single email address you can find.

I'll level with you. I knew just from the title of your first email that this is an obvious scam, and an old a tired one at that. I was planning to string you along for a few weeks in numerous humorous ways (whaddaya know, I'm a poet!)...possibly capitalising on your low intelligence, as I made you wait, panting for weeks, for money that I was never going to send. I was planning on pretending to have a 'golf' accident (I was going to sit on a golfball, then have to fly to rio de janero on my private jet to have a specialist remove it...which was going to lead to even more hilarity!) But in the end, I couldn't be bothered.

Let me guess. Despite the fact you have access to $15,000,000, I was going to be told I had to 'invest' a few grand for legal costs? Hey, at least you didn't try to use the one about transferring banknotes from nigeria coated in concrete...and then sell me a special 'chemical' to disolve the concrete....whoops! Which then turns out to be water...and there's no money in the concrete!Oh, laugh? I almost felled my granny with a right cross!

Oh, and I suppose that the fact that you were just going to trust me not to take your money and run was supposed to make me trust you? Or was the idea going to be that you were trying to tempt me further with the fact that I could easily screw you over and keep this fictional fortune for myself?

It might have worked. As everyone knows, all us Westerners are greedy, retarded morons.

Let me close, Mr. Abu-Karmel, if that is your real name (it isn't), you made one big mistake.

I am neither greedy, retarded or a moron...and I know how to use a computer.

You see, my blog, that you found my address through, tracks every visitor...including country, city, name it. Also, have you ever heard of neo-trace? That's a program that lets you track the source of all incoming emails. (Your attempt to hide your real address was amateurish at best...anyone who can read an email header could have found your real address).

When you combine the two, I get your location. A location that has been forwarded to the proper authorities (namely the FBI and Interpol). Oh, and the fact you use a Homail address is no protection. You see, the computer you're on has to contact Hotmail first, see? Oh what am I thinking! You can't find your ass with both hands! You have no idea what an IP address is!

Oh, and just so you know, you people who seem to insist on keeping up this very tired, old scam, have become a staple of humor on the internet. People who get emailed by people like you like to string you along for weeks and weeks...publishing your every email on the internet for the amusement of others. I know I'm going to!

This serves three purposes:

a) It exposes you for the morons you are.
b) While we're stringing you along, you're not scamming anyone else.
c) It's really, really, really funny.

In short. Get bent, you pathetic fool. Hope you enjoy prison.

Oh, and I know the second part of this scam also. You get caught, come over all 'Christian', and send me some sob story about having to feed your family...hoping I'm Christian as well, and will send you money to help you out, so you can 'get out of this life'.

That part is almost as dispicable as the first.

Oh, and chances are, you won't even read this email (I've made it very long in the hope you'll skim it with your poor English skills, and will send me another email with more information as to how I can get my greedy, idiotic moron hands on this fictional cash). Please do, my blog readers will enjoy a good laugh.

Yours Most Unsincerely

Senor Spanky Robertson.

(In Spain, they call me El Terrible)....and thats Ter-eeb-lay, not 'terrible'.

What a pathetic attempt to scam cash out of people. Mr. Al-karmel? Prepare for multiple email bombings. That can't be illegal when I'm interfereing with someone who's attempting to scam people, can it?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Online Forums Are God's Way of Saying He hates You

Have you ever had the misfortune to be forced to consult a (shudder) online forum for technical support?

I absolutely detest online forums. I used to be a member of a few, and ‘some’ of the time, they can be a great way to get advice and information from people who share your interest, and may be able to help you out.

However, no matter what forum you browse, be it a forum for Antique Collectors to Tech Support, they’re always spoiled by the same set of people. These people make up around 85% of all online Forum users.

They are:

Personality #1 Mr. Superior:

This guy spends 24 hours a day in the forum, and acts like he owns it. He’s not there to get, or give any advice. He’s just there to brag. In computer forums, his signature has his system specs, and he answers every single query with “Buy a new one”, “Your system is crap,” and “You’re stil using that? LOL!” He brags constantly about how great his system is, and talks like he has unlimited cash tot throw around.

He is, in fact, 12 years old, has no friends and is using an ancient 286.

Personality #2: The Yes Man.

This is the guy who, for some reason, finds it necessary to post things like “Yeah” and “I agree.” What a complete waste of life. If you’ve nothing to add, don’t…you waste of skin, oxygen thief.
Personality #3: The Instant Expert (Also known as Dumb Ass Shit for Brains).

Whatever the subject, this is a guy who watched a Discovery Channel special, read a magazine article, and became an instant expert. He will argue for days that white is black to an actual expert. They will insist that they’re right, regardless of the evidence against them.

For example, I used to be a member of a sword-collectors forum. One guy argued for days about how a particular sword was made, and that the person he was arguing with didn’t know what they where talking about. Oh, and the person he was arguing with was the swordsmith who actually MADE the sword.

Personality #4: The Protocol Whore.

This guy treats the forum like it’s his child. All rules must be followed, no exceptions. As an example, while trying to get a game to work, I knew my video card was the problem, so wanted to know if there was a fix. So I put up a quick post saying “Hey all, I’m trying to run Knights of the Old Republic in a Radeon Xpress 200. Getting frame rate issues. Anyone else have this card and having similar problems and know a way around it?”

In reply, I got a two thousand word post explaining that I should have posted the error log from the game, my system specs etc. Why go to all that trouble when I only have a simple question?
Personality #4: Mr. State-The-Obvious.

These people absolutely, positively HAVE to post, even if they have nothing to add. They’ll come up with such pearls of wisdom as: “You car won’t start? It probably has something to do with the engine.” “No sound on your computer? Have you checked the speakers and sound card?”


Personality #5: Mr Vague.

This guy, who usually has all the language skills of a stoned autistic lemur, expects solutions to his problems while giving NO INFORMATION WHATSOEVER.

His post usually read like “My computer dunt wrk. How to fix pls?”. “I bght a game, and it wnt run. Wots rong pls?”

Not only do they not give any information about their system, they don’t even explain what the problem actually is. Computer won’t work? Do you mean it just won’t turn on? Won’t boot? What?

I’ll tell you what’s wrong, Mr. Vague. You’re too f**king stupid to own a computer.

Personality #6: Mr Warning. (Also known as Mr. Worst Case Scenario)

This guy likes to warn you of all the possible dangers of whatever you want to do. He’ll warn you that a computer runs on electricity, and could shock you, that knives can be sharp, and the programs may have viruses. According to him, everything is dangerous, and he assumes that you actually have shit for brains.

Yes, I know to unplug my computer and earth myself before tinkering with the components….Dickhead.

Personality #7: Mr. One Fact.

He knows one thing about the topic of the forum, and will repeat it as often as possible, even if it has nothing to so with the post. This fact is usually so elementary, that even tribes previously undiscovered by man would say “Duh? Everyone knows that!”, yet Mr. One Fact will parade this fact as a badge of honour and as proof that he knows what he’s talking about.

“The hard drive is where all your programs are stored”.

They’ll also offer the same solution to every single problem, no matter what it is. “Have you checked your memory?” “Try de-fragging your hard drive.”

Then they go away, patting themselves on the back, because they know the word ‘de-fragment’.
Wow, you know a piece of computer jargon that’s been in general usage for decades. You expert, you!

Oh, and if you say CPU one more time, I’m going to find you and bite your nose off.

Personality #8. Mr. Grammar.

Now, while I hate people who post in I33t-speak or phone-text English “What do u need 2 do 2 fix ths pls”, this guy takes it to the extreme. He’ll point out every mis-spelling, wrong use of a comma and that a semi-colon would have been more acceptable. He points out that your pronouns don’t agree, and that you’ve split no less that three infinitives. He treats every post as if it was an English exam.

Up yours, Grammar Bitch! Is that grammar good enough for you.

Personality #9. Mr. Grammar-smart-ass.

Takes extreme pleasure in pointing out the grammatical errors in all of Mr. Grammar’s posts. The irony is that his post also has grammatical errors. This usually leads to a 1200 post long thread, where each post points out the grammar problems in the last one.

Get a life, Grammar whores.

Personality #10. Mr I-Know-More-Than-You.

This guy isn’t on the forum to help anyone, or get help. Here’s here for one reason. To show ‘he knows more than you’. No matter what feasible explanation you offer someone, he’ll offer another explanation, and tell you that you’re flat wrong. For example, if someone says that their car won’t start, and you tell them to check the battery, he will insist that the car is out of gas…even though both explanations are feasible…he’s right and you’re wrong.

Personality #11. Mr I-Know-More-Than-You Version 2

This guy is like the previous Mr. Know-it-all, except that he’s actually asking for help. However, if you give him an answer that he doesn’t want or like, he’ll tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about, that he’s more knowledgable and experienced than you, and he knows exactly what he’s doing.

Here’s an idea, fuck-stick. If you know so much, and are so knowledgable…why are you posting, asking for help?

Personality #12. Mr. Fake Celebrity

These ABSOLUTE LOSERS, for some reason feel the need to pretend to be a celebrity. It’s amazing to go into a computer forum, and find that there are posts from 15 separate Adam Sesslers, Morgan Webbs ad Kevin Periera’s

You sad bastards. Enough said.

And finally…the worst offender in the forums:

Personality #13. Mr. Bullshit

(Also known as Mr. Liar, Mr. I-Make-Shit-Up…more commonly known by his universal name “Oh-God-Not-That-Dickhead-Again’)

This person takes the ‘Instant Expert’ personality to the extreme. No matter what the subject, he’s the most knowledgable person in the world. Computers? He founded Microsoft. Martial Arts? He’s a Ninja ‘Grandmaster’. Cars? He’s Henry Ford.

This may sound like an exaggeration, but there really are a huge number of people like this, who think the anonymity of the internet lets them create a whole new persona. I have actually read a post where a guy said he was a Ninja Grandmaster.

You’re not fooling anyone, you cock-rockets. In the end, you’re a 12 year old loser, whose only Martial Arts experience comes from watching Power Rangers and The Karate Kid. In turn, you end up arguing for days with another ‘Ninja Grandmaster’, who is also a 12 year old loser.
Go out and get some friends, you sad bastard.

Forums. Avoid them.

Here's a selection of all my blog posts randomly spliced together: (Not Really)

I visited my local library today. Quite frankly, my local library is the best library in the world. It beats up other libraries like the disobedient, literature whores that they are.

Picture this, my local library back in England could best be described as a shack, although that would be an insult to shacks. It consisted of a very small building that contained a single room. Their entire selection consisted of one shelf of children's books, one shelf of fantasy/sci-fi, a two shelf reference section, and about 12 shelves of ‘Family Saga’ fiction.

Just before I left, it laughingly called itself ‘hi-tech’. Or in other words, they put in three aging computers, that all shared the same half-meg per second internet connection.

The bigger main library was better, but it was a fair distance away.

Anyway, my new local library is great. Although the selection of books isn’t great yet (the library is new), and all the books are, for some reason unfathomable to me, arranged by author alphabetically.

This makes no sense to me. It’s great if you know exactly what book you want to check out, but if you just want to browse, it would nice to arrange the books by subject also.

However, they have one of the best DVD selections I’ve ever seen.

I know, I know, going to a library to check out movies is redneck as hell. But every library I’ve ever been to has the worst selection of movies in the world (that’s right, all of them have the worst selection in the world. Even though this disobeys the laws of physics, it’s true). However, the selection at my library is a sight to behold.

Not only do they have movies that came out within the past two years, they also have a large selection of British Comedies. The Office, Black Adder, Vicar of Dibley etc, etc. (These will probably mean nothing to my American readers, but if you get the chance, give them a try…especially the Office, the American version is absolutely crappy).

I was also ecstatic to see they had the entire first season of ‘Dead Like Me’. Did I mention there’s no charge? Not even a deposit like so many other libraries force you to pay?

‘Dead Like Me’ is, quite frankly, one of the top three greatest TV Series of all time. When I first heard of it, I dismissed it out of hand. The premise sounded stupid. However, one day, when I was extremely, extremely bored, I gave it a try. I was blown away. I won’t spoil it for you, but check it out.

The writing is genius level, the acting is superb, and the casting is absolutely amazing. You simply cannot find a greater show.

However, like all great TV shows (and most crappy ones as well), Dead Like Me has contracted the most vile disease known to TV Viewer-kind.

The Dreaded ‘Clips’ Episode.

Here’s what I think happens:

Someone comes up with an idea for a show. This person pitches the idea to a TV exec. The TV exec likes the idea a green lights a pilot.

The pilot is then made, and blows people away. Everyone sees dollar signs, and the network picks the show up.

They then sign a contract which specifies, among other things, how many shows will be made.
The writers then shit a gold brick when they realise how many episodes they have to write. (This is another thing I’ve noticed about America. In England a Season usually lasts anywhere from six to ten episodes. In America, a season usually consists of around 15 episodes.

So the writer is faced with a dilemma. He has 15 shows to write, but realises by about the 12th or 13th show that all his good ideas are used up. He can probably squeeze out a few more that a mildly entertaining, but then inspiration strikes:

“I know, I’ll do a clips episode! That way, I only have to think of a way for the main cast to reminisce, shoot 10 minutes of new footage, and fill the rest with filler from the rest of the series!”

I’m sure the fact that it only costs one quarter of the cost of filming a regular episode fits into this as well.

So the viewer sits down, expecting another great episode of their favourite show, only to find the cast sitting on a sofa, then one of them says “Do you remember when X did Y with Z?” Wavy lines fill the screen, and you get a clip of something that happened 5 episodes ago.

That heavy feeling in the gut settles in, and you know that although this is technically a new episode, you’ve seen it all before.

I mean, who in the blue hell is this show for? Regular viewers have no interest, because they’ve already seen everything that’s being shown. People new to the series find themselves with a disjointed mish-mash of clips from a show that they know nothing about. If you haven’t seen the show before, you don’t know the context of the clips being shown, so the episode has very little entertainment value.

To this end, I’m making my own TV project, that I’m going to send to every major network. Here’s my screenplay.






PAULIUS : Remember that time we watched that TV show?

SUNNY : Yes.


SUNNY : Yes, I do.

PAULIUS : Great wasn’t it?








PAULIUS : Wasn’t that great?


SUNNY : Yes.


SUNNY : Yes it was.

PAULIUS : Remember that other time, when we watched that other TV show?

SUNNY : Yes.


SUNNY : Yes I do.







‘Dear Mr. TV Executive,
What you have just witnessed has exactly 15% MORE entertainment content than your average TV Series clip show.

Not fun, is it?

Here’s an idea. If you sign up a show for fifteen episodes, and that show is popular, but the writers approach you and tell you they have less material than they thought, let them write one or two episodes left.

These filler shows are the Devil. If you continue making them, you will DEFINITELY go to hell, and I will come to your house and beat up your kids. This is not an idle threat. Yes, I really do have that much time on my hands.

Stop making Clip Shows, or I swear I will dislocate your Grandmother’s hip with a soldering iron.

I believe I have made my point.



Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hunchbacks + God = Hilarity


There’s a word that conjures up images, especially for writers. Inspiration is that magical experience when your ‘muse’ drops a tactical nuke on your brain, and you find yourself staring at a new, amazing idea (that is, until you slowly pick it apart and notice all the holes in it).

Inspiration doesn’t just apply to the creative process either. Hearing a success story can inspire you to work harder for your dream job. You can be inspired to do a nice thing for someone.

However, as Paulius Law #42 States : No matter how pure, good and noble an idea is, there is always someone who will drop trou, squat and give birth to a basketball sized, chocolate mud baby on top of it.

Speaking of basketball sized chocolate mud babies, that’s what lead me to today’s post. I was stuck in the middle of a ‘really have to go, but have no reading material conundrum’. So I picked up the closest magazine, and headed to the bathroom (Now there’s a mental picture for you).
It was only after the festivities commenced that I realized I’d made a critical error. I’d picked up one of Sunny’s ‘Women’s World’ magazines.

Now, I’ve nothing against women’s magazines, some of them can be quite funny (especially the problem pages…I once read a letter from a 40 year old woman who asked, in all seriousness, if masturbation can make you pregnant).

However, Women’s World is not that type of magazine. Sunny buys it just for the recipes (in the same way men buy Playboy just for the articles).

It consists mostly of pictures of babies, recipes, ‘inspirational’ stories, and (shudder) excerpts from ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’.

The inspirational quotes are my favourite. They remind me of when young children start to learn about humor. They learn the format of a joke, IE ‘what did the X say to the Y? Z!’, but don’t understand it actually has to make sense and have a meaning. Leading to ‘What did the elephant say to the kangaroo? Water!”

In that particular edition of ’Woman’s World’ the ‘You deserve a little lift!’ inspirational quote was:

“Give someone the gift of you! What greater gift could there be?”

…err, new car? 80 inch plasma?

Can you imagine the author of that little gem’s house on Christmas morning?

“Here you go, Sweetie! Here’s that 24 carat diamond in the platinum setting you wanted! Where’s my present?”

(Throws arms out wide) : “I’m giving you the GIFT of MEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeee!”
“No, seriously, where’s my present?”

Bet that would be a fun Christmas day. Spending all day at the emergency room waiting to have a 12lb turkey removed from her colon, while her husband points, laughs and mutters “I’ll give you the gift of me, you narcissistic bitch”.

‘Ride a rainbow of your dreams all the way to the stars!’ (The exclamation point shows how important it is).

Here’s an idea, ride the bus of your failing career all the way to a writing class. Learn that things actually have to have some semblance of meaning…you word-raping, language defiling Viking Raider of the literary world.

However, no matter how bad these quotes are, they will never come close to the sheer manipulative, cheap shot, literary vomit that is ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’.

For those that have never heard of these books, let me explain. They’re meant to be sad, bitter sweet or inspirational stories that are meant to teach us to be proud of what we have, and inspire ‘There but for the grace of God, go I’ feeling in all of us.

Basically, they follow a formula. Couple meet, one dies. Couple get married, one is struck by a terrible disease. Homeless girl gets fostered by a loving family, foster parents die.

You see, this is another misunderstanding on the format of the ‘tear jerker‘ genre. Tearjerkers are supposed to be an actual interesting story, that is written very well to the point that you become emotionally invested in the characters. Then, when something bad happens, you feel you know the character and get upset for them.

A good tear jerker is an excellently written essay on the human condition. ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ is the equivalent of someone saying: “Imagine a dead puppy! Isn’t that sad? Oh, and it was a little starving orphan girl’s only friend!”

In other words, they don’t bother writing a story. They just think of incredibly sad things and write them down. Rather than inducing emotional investments from their readers, they just try to be as cheap and manipulative as possible.

Here’s a true example of what a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ ‘inspirational’ story actually is. I swear I’m not making this up. Here it is in synopsis form:

A man with a hunchback (no shit) falls in love with a beautiful woman. He asks her out. She, being evil and shallow (like all good-looking women are in Chicken Soup) turns him down. He continues asking her, she continues turning him down. Finally, she asks him for one good reason why she should give him a chance…

Hold it there.

What could this reason be? “I’m a good person?”, “I love you, and will never leave you?”, “Please look past my deformity, an you will see that I’m a worthwhile person?” These would be a sickly sweet ending, but at least half way respectable.

No, what the hunchback actually said was:

“Before I was born, I was talking to God. He pointed you out and told me that when I was born on Earth, you would be my wife. But he told me that you would be afflicted by a terrible deformity that would give you a hunchback.

‘No, Lord!’ I said. ‘For it would be wrong to let such a beautiful creature suffer such a deformity. Instead, give it to me, and I will carry it for her”

Of course, the woman swoons, is swept of her feet, and they get married and live happily ever after™

Anyone spot what’s wrong with this picture?

First of all, I pretty certain no one can remember being in heaven with God before they're born, which means the hunchback is lying through his teeth.

This story should be titled “How to Pick Up Hot Women with Pick-Up Lines…Even if You’re
Deformed… Guaranteed!”

That’s not the end. Think of what he’s actually saying:

“Look, this hunch should have been yours. I took it from you. You owe me, bitch! If it wasn’t for you, I’d be good looking and wouldn’t have to spew made up, sickly-sweet pick-up lines to get a hot girl to talk to me. How would you like a hunch, huh? Huh?”

The other title to this story could be: “How to Pick Up Hot Chicks through Emotional Blackmail."
Also, think of this. Even if his story was true, and he did speak to God, here’s the deal. What he’s saying is:

“I’d rather be deformed and be married to a hottie, than be good looking and married to a hunchback.”

Who wouldn’t? Who cares what they look like, if they’re guaranteed a hottie no matter what?
To further illuminate the situation, here’s the Hunchback’s conversation with God. The Complete and Unabridged Version:

(It’s Monday morning in Heaven. The ‘Earth Orientation For New Souls’ Seminar has just ended. Our potential hunchback is talking with God while waiting to be conceived. Just making conversation, God points out Mr. Hunchback’s wife, He also accidentally lets slip about her potential Hunch. Mr Hunchback thinks for a minute before speaking):

“Errr, God? Here’s the thing. No matter what, that girl there is going to be my wife, right? I have no choice?”

“NONE, MY SON. FOR IT IS WHAT I HAVE ARRANGED FOR YOU.” (God always speaks in Caps).

“So, what you’re saying is, despite the fact that I am, in fact, pure, unadulterated beefcake, no matter what, I’m going to end up married to a drooling, Quasimodo lookalike?”


“Any chance of some action with a Playboy bunny before our wedding? I mean, I’ll be able to ‘play the field’ and score with some hotties at college, won‘t I? Go on, give me a few years of hot, hottie-filled fornication before my wedding, and you’ve got a deal.”


“Errr, God? Did you just say ‘one of us’ has to have a hump?”


“So, let me get this straight. I can be a prime example of Man-beefcake, and only ever get any from a circus freak…or I can be a circus freak, and end up with with an absolute stunner?”


“Ahh-HA! But you created me, right?”


“And you, what with being God and all, control everything, and everything that happens is your will, and part of your master plan, good or bad?”


“So, if I choose to take the hump, and marry the hottie, it’s actually all your doing, nothing to do with me, meaning it’s perfectly ok, and does not jeopardise my return ticket here in any way?”


“Now, now God…Universal love, remember?”


“One hump, please!”



“Thanks, God, you’re one cool Deity!”

(Hunchback vanishes in a puff of smoke as a college student on earth rolls off the head cheerleader, not realizing his condom has split. As an aside, Mr. Hunchback grows up without a father, as the cheerleader‘s father is an ex-commando with anger management issues.)


“I’m here, my Lord.”


“At once, Oh Almighty! I‘ll get right on it.”


“Yes, lord?”


“We’ll have to be quick, Oh Lord, the frat party is in full swing, and her father has just rounded third base. Oh, and may I ask why, Oh Lord?”


Peter grins.

“Might I also suggest we install ‘Retch inducing farts #23’, Oh Lord?”


“The one Satan invented before he fell, Master. Permanent, frequent and capable if making the paint peel off the walls. Iraqi insurgents are currently researching how to bottle it and use it as a chemical weapon. I think it’s scheduled to become a war-crime in 2306, Lord.”


“You should know, Lord, You created me.”


“Ha, ha! Very droll, Almighty Master.”


“Cooking with gas? Farts? You just made a funny, Oh Omnipotent Master of the Heavens.”


“Of course, Oh Lord.”


“Yes, Oh Lord?”


“At once, Lord.”

Chicken Soup for the Soul? You can kiss my ass.

(Note. The opinions on people with deformities are that of the hunchback alone. The creators and contributors to this blog (namely me), does not condone, glorify or share these opinions. In other words, don’t email or comment to call me prejudiced, a bigot or anything else. I’m not. The hunchback is a bigoted character, that’s all. If you really want to write hate mail, send it to our good friends at ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’.)

Thou Art Barry, The Chosen One!

You know that feeling you get when you really look at something you see on a day to day basis, and notice something new about it? That ‘How the hell did I not see that?!?!’ feeling? I had that today…in a sense.

I was playing Zelda : Ocarina of Time. Now, all the Zelda games follow a classic narrative. Some normal every day guy (in fact, the more of a nobody he is, the better) gets summoned by an authority figure, told that the whole kingdom is in jeopardy, and that because of a prophecy, he is the only one who can stop it.

This is very noble. It makes the reader/viewer/player feel good. It puts across the message that whatever your start in life, you are capable of achieving great things.

It’s a good story. However, what struck me today was one simple fact:

It bears absolutely no resemblance to real life, whatsoever. In fact, the very notion is absolutely ludicrous.

Let me explain.

Picture the scene. Steve, a swineherd, has been summoned to the Kings Chamber:

King : “So, basically Steve, can I call you Steve? There’s some pretty nasty shit going on. It turns out that the evil wizard Overlylongname the Overthetoptitle, has stolen the Amulet of Power. Now this thing is not your mother‘s earrings. With it, he can destroy the entire kingdom, and we want you to head off to Mount Doom, past the eight invincible dragons, through the Valley of Eternal Pain, through the Forest of Certain Death, past the Village of Embarrassing Smells…then defeat Overlylongname the Overthetoptitle, the invincible, all powerful Dark Wizard and get it back.”

Steve: “But why me, sire? Surely your mighty army would have greater chance of success!”

King : “It was foretold in a prophecy that has been handed down through the royal family for generations, that in our time of greatest need, a simple swineherd, clothed in the green of fields will come forth. Within him he will hold the spark of life that will bring Overlylongname the Overthetoptitle to his knees. Our greatest seer, Agnes, through meditation, the burning of magical herbs and consumption of secret potions, has foreseen that this Hero is you. Will thou taketh up the sword of truth and banish this evil?”

Steve : “Of course Sire!”

At this point, Steve charges from the castle, screaming a defiant battle cry. His journey is one of self discovery, he faces mortal dangers, makes life-long allies and he saves the day. He returns years later, covered in scars, possibly with a limp and carrying a magical sword. He is given a true Hero’s welcome. Then they send him off to do it all over again.

However, if this was real life…

King : “…will thou taketh up the sword of truth and banish this evil?”

Steve : “Bugger that!”

King: “What? I mean, Whateth?”

Steve : “I mean, no way, Kingie! Not a chance!”

King : “But the prophecy!”

Steve : “Prophecy? Ha! I don’t even read my horoscope!”

King: “But Agnes the Seer has decreed that you are the chosen one!”

Steve: “Agnes? Bloody Agnes?!? Some mad old bat, cooped up in a tower all day, burning ‘herbs’? Smoking crack, more like! Spending all day over a hot fire brewing and drinking potions? There’s nothing magical about that! Come to the pub with me on Friday night! After 12 pints of McClusky’s Olde Peculiar, you’ll think you can see the future as well! I can show you a 'herb' that one toke of can blow your tits off!”

King : “You would stand idly by, and watch our kingdom burn in flames?”

Steve : “I’d toast marshmallows, Kingie! You see, this is your kingdom. You get to live in this fancy castle, drinking from golden goblets, while I spend all day up to my knees in pig shit. You can have your Kingdom, I’ll just move. You’ve got something to lose, my hut’s made of mud, shit and sticks, I can knock a new one up in an afternoon, if ’ole Overlylongname’s headed this way, I’ll just leg it. I may not be able to fight very well, but I can give it toes like a demon!”

King : “Dost thou know nothing of HONOUR?!”

Steve : “Nope. Not much room for ’honour’ when you’re sharing a bedroom with five pigs suffering from explosive diarrhea, because if you leave them outside they’ll freeze. Anyway, why don’t you do it?”

King : “What?”

Steve : “Yeah, you do it! You’re the ruler, the Great King, placed on the throne by the Gods. Fighting the baddies is your job, not mine…although when you’re thinking of sending me off, alone no less, against the greatest threat the Kingdom has ever known, when you have a huge army that like the whole fighting thing, it’s a wonder this place is still standing!”

King : “But the prophecy says nothing of an army. It says…”

Steve : “Who cares? Some bloody story, told Chinese whispers-style for thousands of years, and confirmed by a 102 year old bint with Alzheimer’s, who’s so smacked off her tits she doesn’t even know what day it is? THAT’s your reason for the dumbest tactical move in history, since Bogrod The Bloody Stupid had the idea of setting all his own troops on fire to intimidate the enemy?”

King : “But you are the Chosen One!”

Steve : “There’s your problem, ‘choose‘ someone else. Crawling through zombie infested dungeons? Swordplay? Fighting against an invincible wizards? That’s volunteer work that is. Send that lad there.”

(Steve points to one of the Royal Guard)

Steve : “Look at him, eight feet tall if he’s an inch, carrying around three hundred pounds of shiny, shiny spiked armor as though it was nothing. Look at his face! He’s just dying to cut someone’s tonker off! I couldn’t lift his sword with an intricate pulley system!”

King : “The Royal Guard are my personal bodyguard. They do not venture forth into battle.”

Steve : “Oh, that's great that is. You want to send me off to face certain death hundreds of miles away, while keeping Young Barry there right by your side, to protect YOU? Seems to me like I‘d be the one needing protecting. I wouldn‘t have these bloody great six foot thick granite walls around me. What do you need protecting from? Slightly cold venison? A bad vintage with dinner? Overly starched sheets? Sod the fact that there might be a major battle going on, as long as the most highly trained and powerful military unit in the Kingdom is stuck in the castle, protecting you from slightly rough toilet paper. You can stick your Personal Guard up your bum, your Highness.”

King : “Barry, I mean, Royal Guard Captain Stokes is NOT the chosen one. You are. You are our only hope.”

Steve : “Oh, the chosen one thing again. Look, I know Barry‘s mum. She says he was a raving psychopath before he cut his first tooth. Murder that one was at school. Beat up the entire senior year’s football team when he was six, because one of them looked at him funny! Barry’s nearly four hundred pounds of barely contained rage-fueled killing machine. He’s the one you want. Send him with a couple of the other lads. They’ll sort out your problem, toot sweet!”

King : “Get out.”

Steve : “Now you’re talkin’, Kingie! I’ll be off then. Good luck with the invincible evil thing. I’ll be moving to Runnenshire to live with my sister.”

King : “I said GET OUT!”

Steve makes a rude gesture and leaves. Slowly the King turns to Barry, the Royal Guard Captain.

King : “So, Barry, what do you reckon? Do you want to….I mean, Dost thou want to take up the Sword of Truth and Smiteth The Evil Wizard Overlylongname the Overthetop title?”

Barry’s eyebrows meet in the middle. It’s obvious he’s not used to thinking. A few long minutes go by before he finally speaks.

Barry : “Nah, Sod that! Sounds a bit dangerous to me.”