Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Wussy Wookie

So many things I could talk about today: shoes, wookies, pregnant people... Which one to go for?

Oh OK, wookies it is.

Chewbacca. What is he good for? Let us discuss the pros and cons.

In the dock stands one C. Bacca, late of Kashyyyk, Tatooine and various points along the Kessel Run. The charge: that of being pretty bloody useless when you actually think about it.

Let's look at the defendant: seven foot hairy bastard, evidently, and I stress that word, evidently strong enough to rip off young Skywalker's arm if he gets pissed off losing at 3-D galacto-chess or whatever the hell that game is. Armed with some sort of freaky laser crossbow and wearing nowt but what can only be described as a 'utility bandolier'. I theorise that the contents of the bandolier pouches are as follows:
  • throat soothing mouthwash,
  • blackcurrant lozenges,
  • grooming mitts,
  • detangler spray,
  • nit comb,
  • travel hairdryer,
  • dummy's guide to 3-D galacto-chess,
  • a pocket Wookie-Human/Human-Wookie phrase book (the Wookie section is very short),
  • and a soiled photograph of the defendant and Han Solo crammed drunkenly into the photo booth of the Mos Eisley cantina.

So far so whatever. But here's the thing: what, I say what, does he actually do in the course of three original Star Wars films and one cameo in the later/earlier trilogy? Admittedly I don't have an encyclopaedic recall of every scene, but to my mind his role in every scene consists of one of the following: doing a whiny growl, trotting along at Han's heel, hefting bits of dismantled C-3PO, flicking switches in the co-pilot seat of the Millennium Falcon, and getting captured. Oh yes, there's a lot of getting captured. If he's not putting his hands up for Vader and Boba Fett, he's rolling around Jabba's dungeon like a miserable orangutan without a tyre to swing in. I blame it on that bit in the first film where Han and Luke pretend to have captured him - I think that gave him a taste for the bondage. It happens.

I mean, for the love of the Force, he's a bigfoot with a gun, how come he's not the baddest badass in the Empire? Instead we get a hulking hairy co-pilot who sucks at 3-D galacto-chess and has a fetish for restraints. And is naked, let's not forget. I daren't think what's going on down there when the Gamorrean guards have got him chained up good 'n' snug. I rate him alongside that chickenshit bear in Wacky Races, but without the cool flying helmet. No wonder Leia never gave him a medal - she sussed he was all mouth.

If it's a co-pilot you want, you might as well go for Lando's little pal, whatsisname with the face like a prawn cocktail - Numb Nuts, I think. At least he'd be cheaper to feed.

So, Chewbacca, you stand accused of being a bit crap really. Though in your defence, I've seen your family in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (about which George Lucas has gone on record with "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.". Lotsa Luck George, you ain't getting my prized fifth-generation bootleg DVD), and frankly they're a mess. Especially that old pervy one - Itchy? Scratchy? I watched the smelly old bugger getting off on a tiny holographic Diahann Carroll. Or possibly it was the Jefferson Starship number. Either way, it's clear you've come from a dysfunctional family unit, despite living in a cool treehouse like the Swiss Family Robinson. No wonder you've sought the heterosexual life-partnership of a hairless smuggler with a great line in waistcoats and shooting Greedo first.

In fact the best thing about Chewbacca is his name, which I still strongly insist was first used in the Jungle Book. Listen to I Wanna Be Like You - the bit when King Louie does that freaky skippy thing with his hooped arms and he starts scat singing. I swear he goes 'Chewbaccachewbaccachewbacca'.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Pouch Of Many Things

Question: what do the following objects have in common?

• One Green Lantern power ring
• One purple v-neck top
• Two Wild Cards books
• One green-gray round-neck top
• One 28mm model of a Mexican wrestler
• One sensible brown handbag with lots of compartments
• One book of anti-war cartoons
• Some Long Tall Sally clothing vouchers
• One collection of Kevin Smith comics

Could they be…

1. …the personal effects of a bizarre double homicide in the latest episode of Cutting Up Dead Bodies And Finding Out Shit. The victims: an overly-tall middle aged woman with a dull but well-paid job in the City, and a seventeen boy with no girlfriend and a room full of comics in old cereal packets. Sceptical, by-the-book Detective Inspector Malcolm Prostate is convinced it’s nothing more than an unfortunate accident, the sort that could easily happen in an abandoned warehouse at three in the morning. But maverick forensic scientist Dr Janice Flange insists that the tell-tale grainy residue in the bodies’ nostrils shows they were beaten to death in a frenzy by a left-handed Frenchman wielding a packet of Hobnobs wrapped in a pair of tights. Catch the whole story tonight on Living TV (9pm).

2. …somehow connected to a mysterious caravan that moves back and forth through time. Each object possesses a unique ability which may be activated by whoever holds it. For example, the purple top can render the wearer invisible to dogs and teenagers; the cartoon book enables you to instantly teleport to any location that begins with the letter L; the wrestler model conveys the ability to see the Elvis in the hearts of men. Can you assemble the objects and discover The Secret Of Caravan 13? Out now on PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.

3. …the contents of a luggage locker at King’s Cross station, the key to which was slipped to bland paleocryptologist Tom Hampton by his old Cambridge professor, as he was dying of a fatal stab wound, said injury delivered by a mute Ghurkha assassin armed with a sharpened human sternum. Can Hampton work out the secret code concealed within these mundane objects? What is the significance of the brown handbag anagram Bob Gnawn Hard? And just how does this all tie in to the secret bloodline of King Arthur? Read ‘The Pendragon Cypher’ by Don Brawn, out now.

Answer: none of the above - they’re my birthday presents this year. A refreshingly eclectic mix, I think you’ll agree. Or possibly ample evidence that I’m a terribly confused individual with overly indulgent friends and family. Please don’t answer that.

Right, I’m off to choose a compartment in the handbag for my Green Lantern ring.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Too Many Cooks

Hello. I thought I’d have a bit of a rant today, so brace yourself.

What is there too much of on telly these days? Sport, obviously, reality shows for sure, but more than them, there’s a ridiculously disproportionate amount of cooking programmes infesting the airwaves/cable-substations.

Yesterday there was an entire section of BBC One’s Breakfast devoted to some new series about a couple of guys going around different venues every week, cooking for demanding guests. As I understand it, they’d already been on a cooking reality show of some sort, and this was a sort of sequel featuring the more popular characters. A bit like how the disappointing Going Straight was a sequel to Porridge. Or Joey was to Friends.

Now, I’ve got nothing against these fellows. They seems perfectly decent chaps who do a bit of cooking (though, thinking about it, I think only one of them could even manage that – the other was some sort of ‘front of house’ people-greeting sort of toady. What a career aspiration. Anyway…), but do we really, honestly need yet another frickin’ programme about cooking food? Let’s look at the current crop of repeat offenders:

  • Sweary shar-pei faced chef

  • Mad-haired double-barrelled chef

  • Brainiac Harry Hill look-alike chef

  • Roadies on motorbikes chefs

  • Pukka twizzler-scourge chef

The list goes on. Or it would, if I paid enough attention to the screen in the three seconds it takes me to grab the remote and switch channels as soon as I realise I’m watching a cooking programme.

And that’s not to mention the Lady Chefs (husky brunette fellates her sauce-drenched fingers, former fat model gets flour over her once ample bosom), the Celeb Chefs (comedians and sportsmen get shouted out by an ego-maniac in a white coat) and the Pleb Chefs (exactly the same, except these guys actually want to be chefs. That’s their dream. “One day I hope to open my own gastro-pub.” Good grief. The hope in their big round baby-chef eyes. You’d think they were talking about walking again some day.)

Still with me? I know some of you might well like watching cooking programmes, Gawd help you. You probably think they’re interesting or give you ideas for your home cooking. Not the hairy, sweary, loony chefs of course. They’re just special people who’ve escaped from secure facilities and are being rehabilitated by supportive TV producers who are indulging their delusion that they’re in some way important, as part of a long-term mental treatment plan. Yes, some of the cooking programmes, some of them, might just be worthwhile. I suppose. If you’re really interested in the stuff we shovel down our faces every day.

I’m not. It’s just food. Just something to stop me starving to death. I don’t care about cooking. And here’s where I lose your sympathy entirely, my dears – cooking is no big deal. Really, it isn’t. It’s just making food. It ain’t brain surgery, rocket science or decoding the bloody double-helix. And what’s more, it ain’t an art form. Good grief, it’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes on TV sometimes:

“Oh Gordon, despite subjecting me to a ten-minute Tourette’s-like tirade, your tiny blob of sauce and sprig of plant on a big plate is truly magnificent.”

“Oh, Heston, the things you do with a sausage roll and a bucket of dry-ice are just inspired.”

“Oh Surviving Fat Lady, that badger pie with pâté d’écureuil was to die for, once I’d picked out your hair.”

And these chefs, these cooks. They’re treated like superstars. Time was, you had one cook person on TV at a time. The cadaverous Cradock, your actual Galloping Gourmet, mumsy Delia, Hom of the Wok, Madhur Jaffrey and her bendy fingers. One at a time. Course, we only had three or four channels back then. And more channels equal more chefs, just like how I always end up carrying more and more crap around every time I get a bigger handbag (believe me, a spare umbrella, a pocket A-Z of London and a mini screwdriver set are indispensable).

These guys, they’re nothing special. So why, and this is the bit that winds me up more than anything else, do they get to be called Chef, with a capital Ch? “Yes, Chef, no Chef, three tiny glass dishes full Chef”. What’s that about? These men and women are in charge of the food, that’s all. They’re not army officers, or judges, or bishops or royalty. How’d they get to claim a title, for the love of all that’s decent?

Bolshie so-and-so that I am, I wouldn’t last five minutes working for some twonk in a daft white hat who demanded I accord him/her some spurious token of respect like that. Certainly not for knowing how to chop a vegetable up properly.

According to my in-depth research, ranking coppers get titles like “Guv”, which is both cool and informal. Plus, they’re police officers and quite possibly actually deserving of some sort of respect, on account of how they Fight Crime, not because they Baste Lamb.

Imagine a different world, if you will. Different yet eerily familiar. Everything’s the same except that our channels are awash with carpentry shows. Woodworking in all its myriad variations – joinery, wood-turning, marquetry, you name it. There’d be reality shows like Last Man Sanding, practical shows like One Mum And Her Lathe, celebrity shows like Carpentry Stars, and quirky shows like Two Chippies On Horseback, wherein a pair of hirsute equestrian woodworkers tour the country, demonstrating how to make your own sturdy furniture at a fraction of the cost you’d expect to pay at a four-star carpentoir.

Wood, wood, wood, You wouldn’t be able to flick through the channels without seeing wood shows at every turn. Posh wood, healthy wood, sexy finger-licking wood, wood vs wood in a fight to the finish. Can you imagine such a nightmare scenario? Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

Right, I’m done. Ranted out. Time to settle back and catch an episode of Got Wood? The things they can do with a two-handed rasp and a length of pine…

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Things To Do In The Office When You're Bored

The following article is in no way based on personal experience.

Here are some tried and trusted activities to occupy your time in the office. They all have the advantage of seeming like work to the casual passer-by:

Wikipedia. Not only is Wikipedia (allegedly) informative, its relatively plain page design means that you can browse it at leisure. Just be careful to keep the window shrunk to about one third of your monitor screen, just in case you scroll down to a glaringly obvious picture (articles on superheroes are particular giveaways).

Making a trip to the coffee machine. Or even better, a trip downstairs to the coffee shop. The acceptable alternative to cigarette breaks or trips to the loo, the coffee break can easily take up to five minutes, ten if you take the stairs instead of the lift. Plus, it’s a great way to meet people in the queue.

Role-playing character design. With the ever increasing complexity of tabletop systems, especially Dungeons and Dragons and offshoots like Pathfinder, the task of generating characters has become a number crunching task of legendary proportions. Needless to say, this has resulted in any number of electronic tools being written by technically minded role-players, to assist the rest of us. These automated aids frequently come in the form of Excel spreadsheets, ideal for tinkering with at work, due to their passing resemblance to project work plans and performance feedback forms. Again, be careful to keep your window shrunk down to a size where text like “4th Level Half-Elf Assassin” doesn’t shriek out too much.

Checking the pigeon holes for post. If you are lucky enough to work in a large office, there may be several locations for post to arrive, so there’s plenty of opportunity to ‘do the rounds’ of each post room, trawling for mail. Don’t forget to look for colleagues’ mail as well as your own – you will not only look useful within the team, but also increase the chance of finding some post to hold in your hand as you circumnavigate the office. A handful of envelopes is ideal work-camouflage.

Cleaning out your email. If like me, you delete from your Inbox as you go, you won’t find much distraction there. But in all likelihood, your Sent Items and Deleted Items folders will be a treasure trove of candidates for filing and/or binning. A variant on this activity is ‘Stripping out big email attachments’ – usually prompted by a ‘Your mailbox is over its size limit’ notification.

Taking stuff to the bin. If you have the pleasure of working in a modern ‘advanced’ office environment, you may be required to take all your rubbish to designated ‘refuse pods’, located strategically around the office, often in proximity to the mail rooms. Like taking a trip to the coffee machine, this too can consume five much-needed minutes, especially if you have built up a small display of used cardboard coffee cups on your desk throughout the day.

Writing a blog. Or indeed, any non-work writing activity. Blogs have the advantage of looking just like work reports, especially if you take the care to write them in Word documents, with appropriately official numbered headings and corporate fonts. Take care though not to type too fast or for too long. Unless someone is writing a particularly long email or report, they are unlikely to rhythmically bang away on the keyboard for several minutes without taking a break (like Jessica Fletcher in the title sequence of Murder She Wrote). So remember to pause in your typing at least every thirty seconds, and pretend to look over at some papers on your desk.

Friday, 9 April 2010

The Director As Bond Villain

Look at this clip of an interview with director Nicholas Ray:

Check out the eyepatch and the excellent cigarette work – it’s like he’s a conductor directing his own lips.

I’ve been watching this documentary about cinema – A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies – and you get to see a lot of clips of directors at work, especially from the first half of the twentieth century.

What struck me was the preponderance of eyepatches among them. Have a look at these chaps below. Lang in particular is just a white cat away from Bond-villain status:

Fritz Lang:

Nicholas Ray:

Raoul Walsh:

John Ford:

What’s the deal here? Maybe a lifetime of squinting through dirty viewfinders has a long-term effect on the body, like tennis elbow and jogger’s nipple? Perhaps they all failed to employ a conscientious lens-wiper, and fell afoul of unhygienic directorial apparatus. We may never know. And look – it’s almost always the right eye - Suggestive, as Hugo Rune might say.

I wonder what the incidence of eyepatch-wearing is among film directors, compared to the population as a whole? I mean, you just don’t see that many eyepatches on the train to work these days. Which is a pity. Not that I’m advocating the partial blinding of random commuters to satisfy some deranged piratical fixation, but you can’t deny that they look cool.

Thinking about it, I’m not happy about how both of my eyes look – one of them’s a bit droopier than the other - and it would certainly be a relief to only have to worry about getting one looking nice in the morning, and just bunging a patch over the other. I could even alternate, depending on how I felt.

Here are my top eyepatch wearers:

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. Obviously. He damaged his eye in World War Two, but only fully lost his sight in it years later, refusing to get it fixed straight away because it would take him out of the action for too long. A bit like Rocky and his dodgy eye in the second film, which they kind of forgot about by the third. Anyway, Nick Fury with an eyepatch = cool. I always wanted Sgt Nick Fury to be played by John Cassavetes as he was in The Dirty Dozen. Probably a bit late for that now though.

Claus von Stauffenberg – I’ve just tried to find a picture of him with his eyepatch on Google Images, and honestly, all you can find is Tom bloody Cruise in Valkyrie. Tch.

Kirk Douglas in the Vikings. At least, I thought he wore an eyepatch, but if you look at stills from the film, you’ll see that he’s mainly unadorned, and sports his milky scarred peeper with pride, out and proud. By the way, I’ve requested that my funeral be conducted in the style of Einar’s from the end sequence of The Vikings – long ship, flaming arrows and that soundtrack. Bloody brilliant.

Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken. Of course. Like Nick Fury, being blind in one eye is clearly no obstacle to being a crack shot (with a basketball even, if you acknowledge the existence of Escape From L.A.)

Travis off of Blake’s Seven. By which I mean the first Travis, who may have gone on to play Marcus in Birds Of A Feather. Not the second one – Brian Croucher? - who was a bit rubbish. I didn’t like the starey little peep-hole in the middle of Travis’ tar-like eyepatch. Must’ve been made by the same people who made the mutoid’s moulded Lego hair.

The Naughty Brigadier from Doctor Who. Was that Enemy Of The World? Or Inferno? The one with the primords. Anyway, Nicholas Courtney with an eyepatch from the alternate Earth. Brilliant, even if he was severely lacking in the moustache department, much like Jamie Lee Curtis in that respect (maybe that’s just me though). The best New Who could do for alternate Earths was Trigger in a wheelchair. Rubbish.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

My Favourite Dinosaur and The Best Football Matches Ever

Hello. Just to get a little topical here for a change, election fever has just broken out in the UK. Well, not fever exactly. Election sniffles. Possibly election tickly cough. At any rate, the media is abuzz with high-street interviews and vox pops. Who, they want to know, does Joe Public want as Prime Minister?

But they’re missing the big question of course. The question that’s certainly on my lips, and doubtless yours. What, I say what, is your favourite dinosaur?

I should very much like to think that your answer has sprung instantly to mind with nary a second’s deliberation. Of course it has. Surely, like me, you’ve had a fave dino since childhood. I have. Can you guess what it is? I imagine it’s quite a popular choice. It’s our old friend Triceratops. How about you? I mean, isn’t Triceratops the best one, hands down? Not the biggest or the fiercest for sure, but isn’t he the one you’d want backing you up in a fight?

To explain: I grew up on a diet of dinosaur books which were written in the present tense with stirring passages like

“The sluggish air of the cretaceous grasslands is stirred by the approach of a mighty predator. Look! It is Tyrannosaurus Rex, stalking the peaceful herbivores gathering by the water hole. His powerful hind legs and tail make short work of the distance as he lunges out, snatching a young Anatosaurus in his razor sharp mouth. But what is this? From behind come heavy footfalls and an indignant snort. It is Triceratops, ready to defend his grazing lands. Tyrannosaurus turns and bellows a challenge, confident of his savage power. But Triceratops stands his ground, lowering his tough bony frilled head to aim his long horns at Tyrannosaurus’ soft belly...”

I just made that all up, as you can doubtless tell. Factual corrections are welcome.

But riveting stuff all the same. By the time I had seen documentary-drama The Valley Of Gwangi, Triceratops’ role in dinosaur society was clear to me. He’s basically the sheriff of Dino county, always turning up in the nick of time to defend the weak against the obvious villain of the piece, T Rex.

Look at him – what’s not to love about Triceratops? He’s tough, armoured and he’s got a brilliant head. What’s Rex got? Yeah, the teeth, the legs, the tail, but look at them puny arms – they’re like Ma Rex was prescribed thalidomide or something. Plus, Triceratops is actually a herbivore – he doesn’t fight the Tyrannosaurus for meat, he does it coz it’s The Right Thing To Do. If he was a role-playing game archetype, his motivation would be Protect The Innocent. Rock on, Triceratops, you can be my wing-man any time.

There are people out there, amazingly, who have a different favourite dinosaur. Some will doubtless favour Johnny-come-lately Velociraptor, but I don’t count him as he was just invented by Michael Crichton in 1990. Herself’s favourite is the Plesiosaur, which she justifies convincingly by explaining that the Loch Ness Monster is clearly a plesiosaur and therefore great. Fair play. I always thought Nessie was an elasmosaur myself, but then I’ve always been a non-conformist.

A colleague at work said that her favourite is Stegosaurus. What she actually said was ‘that one with the things on its back’, which we eventually decided had to be Stegosaurus. I still have my doubts though, as this is the same women who described the monster in a horror film she once saw as ‘a muffin on a mop’.

Thinking about Triceratops got me thinking about my favourite living animal, which unsurprisingly is the rhino, surely the modern-day equivalent. I must have some weird thing for tough, horny creatures. Ahem.

Rhinos are cool though, aren’t they? I mean they were in Prince John’s royal guard in the definitive version of Robin Hood, which admittedly makes them baddies, but they do look fine in blue and purple uniforms. Not only that, but there was a rhino on the team in one of the three Best Football Matches Ever. Have a look:

The other two Best Matches Ever are Escape To Victory (Allies vs Nazis) and that Nike advert (Cantona and co. vs Demons). ‘Au Revoir’ indeed. Can there be any football matches greater than these? I think not.

I confidently predict that this summer will bring us a blockbusting vampire nazis vs demon were-rhinos footie film. It’ll probably be called Final Night, or Blood Match. It practically writes itself.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Cereal Offender

I had a bit of a shock at my local Sainsbury’s last week. On a provisioning trip to stock up on my favourite tiger-based breakfast meal, I chanced to spy the sign dangling over the aisle in question. It simply said “Children’s Cereals”

Children’s cereals? Looking around I could see that they had segregated all the packets with cartoon animals, elves and cowboys from the less excitingly-packaged fare. Presumably tiger- and monkey-free cereals are judged by J Sainsbury PLC to be Adult. Serious, responsible boxes of flattened corn and wheat. Cereals that do their taxes and stay out after 9pm.

Shuffling over to the newly-designated kiddie section of breakfast products, I experienced a strange disquiet. I, a grown adult, was now, through the miracle of aisle signage, buying Children’s Cereals. For myself. The filthy beast.

I could feel the suspicious glances from the betrolleyed mums trundling past me. They could smell a childless adult at 50 paces. They knew I wasn’t picking up a 750g packet of Sugar-Coated Tigger Flakes for twins Jermilene and Terrilene; there was something about me that screamed Cereal Offender to the breeders and their spawn in this now-partitioned aisle. In the space of a few seconds, I had gone from carefree shopper indulging my breakfastorial preferences to deviant filth preying on our nation’s underage cereals. I might as well flee to Thailand before the mob started shoving porridge through my letterbox.

And then I thought, what a cheek. What corn-flaking, rice-krisping cheek. Who’s to say what are children’s cereals and what aren’t? Is the mere presence of a suitably jolly character on the packet enough to warrant child status, or is there some arbitrary sugar-threshold at which point a cereal is consigned to the kiddie ghetto? Why should I be made to feel guilty for my innocent choice of morning bowl-filler?

So, what do I do now? Resign myself to the bland adult section of the breakfast aisle and foreswear tigrish goodness forever more? Perhaps some enterprising soul will take pity on childless Over 21’s such as myself, and open up a chain of specialist cereal stores where we can browse the aisle for our beloved breakfasts, guilt-free and in the company of our similarly demonised peers. The shop would probably be called Forbidden Packet.

What next? Surely the logical counterpart to Children’s Cereals is Adult Cereals. Proper cereals for proper adults, catering to today’s men and women on the go. War Flakes, as eaten by Andy McNab. Birds Bikes and Bran with a free poster of Jodie Marsh inside. Not forgetting That’s My Wheat! with a cut-out guide to all the latest Corrie goss on the back.

Stuff ‘em. I refuse to be dictated to by the supermarket cereal czars. I shall not be parted from my favourite frosted flakes of yum. And you know why? Because they’re great.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Internet Stole My Idea

Ooo, I’m mad. I’ve been trying to come up with a name for a blog, so I can inflict this and similar articles upon an audience greater than myself, Herself, and the spellchecker. Herself has kindly sent me a link to the Google blog creator, which is asking me for a name for my blog. Caution, it says, there may be other blogs out there already with the name you’d like, so choose wisely, dungeoneer.

Herself has suggested Transsexual In The City, which is both witty and accurate, but I dunno, it’d be like me waving the tranny flag in everyone’s faces. Or like someone else having a blog called Black Man With Tourette’s In The City. Strictly factual, and certain to tick a few demographic boxes on the old search engine, but maybe not what the blogger wants everyone in the whole bliming world to primarily associate with them. Could be just me though.

Anyhoos, I’m stuck for a blog name. The first I came up with is Mental Blog. Gettit? But to be sure it’s unique, I Googled it, and hey presto, there’s at least three matches already. Then I thought of It’s Bloggering Time, but the same deal. Better forget any puns on blog, they’ve all been done. Then I thought of using one of the amusing puns I’ve thought of over the years and taken the trouble to write down in my List of Cool Ideas. Yes I have a word document called List Of Cool Ideas. I imagine Dan Brown has something similar.

I fished out one of my favourite titles, Under Mirkwood, and Googled it. Some bugger’s already got there. Mordor She Wrote – same again, thanks to some Twittering oaf. I have others I could try, but by this point I’ve become rather disheartened. I thought of them there puns all by myself. Just like Samedi Night Fever, and Scooby Dubh. Have all my cool ideas already been thought of by other people, and posted up on the internet just to mock me with their ‘I thought of it first’ness? The bastards.

This wouldn’t have happened in the olden days, before we all got connected and posted up every damn thought that came into our heads. In the olden days, you thought of something clever, like, I dunno, calling your donkey ‘Hotay’, and everyone in your village thought you were bloody Oscar Wilde. If Oscar Wilde had been famous by then. Or maybe Moliere, if you were French and/or poncy.

The point is, the internet has collected everyone’s ideas so effectively that there’s precious little room for someone like me (moderate imagination, obsessive compulsion to create puns) to be the one and only thinker-up of things. In all the millions of people online, there’s always someone who’s thought of it as well, and usually before, me. Death to the internet I say, or at least death to those who think of cool things before me.

My current choice for a blog name is the Chocolate Ocelot’s Pouch. Let’s see someone come up with that.