Updated Every Weekday!

23/8/2002: Nobody Loves Me

It's Friday, so it's article day! This week, since it's been a good solid three weeks since I put up the last one, it's time for the Search for Something chapter 6, in which our hero runs into an old face from the past and the Fellowship takes a very risky wager. Read it! I don't care if you haven't been following the story, read it anyway! Then tell your friends! Then get them to tell other friends who happen to own literary agencies and publishing houses! Please, I'm nearly skint!

What, you want an update as well? Give me a break, there's a whole novel chapter for you up there.

Why aren't you reading it? It's really good, honest!




There's no point reading all the way down here, I haven't got any wry observations today, just scroll back up like a good lad. Or lass. Or hermaphrodite.




I notice you're still here.




Alright, alright. Have you ever noticed that hair ties are sold in packs of ten or other large numbers? I always thought you only need one at a time, do they really think we're so stupid we'll lose them or give them all away to the poor?

There, that's your update.

Now come back on Monday.

22/8/2002: In Vino Vomitas

Let me try to describe the situation I am in at the moment.

I'm sitting in this little computer room in my parents' house which I am so desperate to move out of, typing up this update. To my left is the sofa that used to be in the living room on which a pile of clothes and human wreckage which calls itself a friend of my brother's is trying to sleep. I, meanwhile, have cranked up my MP3 playlist to shut out the world. I don't want to write too much about how much I loathe my brother and his abhorrent chums. Let me just say that the only thing that stops me from brutally stabbing him to death in a frenzied orgy of destruction is the knowledge that prison attire really doesn't suit me.

My dear sibling and his rowdy chums were doing their thing in the house last night, and are now sleeping it off, leaving my parents and I to try to establish, Holmes-like, exactly what took place over that fateful night. The evidence?

1. Little yellow things

There are little yellow, organic-looking things all over the floor in this room, circulating mainly around the occupied sofa. They look kind of like pieces of chips, and since the dog seems to be finding them tasty, I suppose that is what they are.

PRIMARY DEDUCTIONS: Someone spilt something containing dissected chips.

SECONDARY DEDUCTIONS: The chips could conceivably have been put in a plant pot for fertiliser, or they could have been eaten and partially digested before being hurled back into the world.

FINAL DEDUCTION: Either my brother and his friends knocked over a plant or got completely rat-arsed and threw up everywhere.

Interior of Oliver Reed's drinks cabinet (level four)
Fig. 1: Booze

2. A vacuum cleaner

The vacuum cleaner has been removed from its designated position and sits in the middle of the living room, like a child suspected of setting fire to his school, sitting guiltily in a police cell waiting for the big man with the truncheon to come get him. This is combined with the fact that, late last night, while in bed, I distinctly heard said vacuum cleaner start up.

PRIMARY DEDUCTIONS: Something was spilled on the floor last night that needed to be hoovered up.

SECONDARY DEDUCTIONS: It clearly wasn't hoovered up very well as there's still a whole bunch of little yellow things all over the floor. What things impede a person's ability to hoover? Large amounts of alcohol, or being shagged out after recent strenuous activity.

FINAL DEDUCTION: My brother and his friends either spent the night break-dancing and knocked over a plant or got completely rat-arsed and threw up everywhere, deciding with the usual drunken imbecile clarity that the vacuum cleaner would be just the job.

3. A lingering smell

There's a very curious aroma wafting around the place, circulating around this room and others. It's vaguely like the smell you tend to find in the corridors of old people's homes.

PRIMARY DEDUCTIONS: If there's an old people smell in the room, it must be because there was or still is something in the room that makes old people smell.

SECONDARY DEDUCTIONS: The two things that make old people smell are old people and stale vomit.

FINAL DEDUCTION: My brother and his friends are running a break-dancing class for old people late at night when we don't know about it, and knocked over a plant. Or they got completely rat-arsed and threw up everywhere.

Hey, that IS realistic.
Fig. 2: Vomit

Now that we've narrowed down the possibilities to two, let's introduce some further information to help us decide which is the correct one.

- My brother and his friends enjoy death metal music. The kind of music that is sung by a sufferer of downs syndrome with a sore throat having his teeth pulled out and which stretches the term 'music' to an incredible degree. Not the sort of thing one can easily break-dance to.

- Old people rarely take break-dancing lessons for fear of damaging their hips, which are typically so weak and brittle that they tend to shatter when the old person in question is putting his or her underpants on.

- Occam's Razor teaches us that we shouldn't introduce hypothetical third parties to explain a situation when it can be explained just as well without.

- I'm not an idiot (this still debatable).

From this we deduce the following: that my brother and his friends got completely rat-arsed and threw up everywhere. Hell, I guess the idea I had a few years ago for opening a private detective agency wasn't stupid after all. That's this case closed.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to employ me, you know, for actual money and stuff, then don't be shy, do get in touch. I fear if I stay in this house for much longer I'm going to have to kill someone. Possibly myself.

21/8/2002: Death and 'Faxes

Lately I've been doing a spot of temporary warehouse work to get a bit of pocket money, to make up for the 20 quid I blew buying this domain name. I don't want to spend too many bytes wittering on about the temporary work I do, because Lord knows there are more qualified people than I to talk about these things, but I do want to share with you the warehouse I worked in today.

If there's one thing that I've learnt from the small amount of industrial and warehouse work I've done, it's this: there are specialist warehouses and factories for EVERYTHING. There are factories that make nothing but those little plastic screws you find with some self-assembly furniture that the instructions don't refer to at all. There are warehouses that store nothing but vacuum cleaner attachments of all make and size.

And do you know what the warehouse I was in today stored?


Nothing but.

Forgive me, but I always thought that Filofaxes went out of style about the same time as Wham and mullet hairdoes did. I thought Filofaxes must have to share a warehouse with other stationery, kept between the notepads and the correctional fluid. Yet here they were. Every single type of Filofax one could ever imagine, packed into boxes that filled shelves that towered higher than my house. And this wasn't a little itty bitty warehouse, this was bloody enormous. Lots multiplied by shitloads and squared by fucktons of Filofaxes is the point I'm trying to get across here.

Try to imagine the presentation boxes.
A straightforward summary of my day at work

Perhaps this is just where the Filofaxes went after they stopped being fashionable, but somehow I doubt that. There's a Filofax for every occasion here; from cheap-arse poo brown pocket ones to deluxe moleskin leather ermine-lined executive ones that come in presentation boxes and have to be carried with both hands. I know this because my job there involved using a vaguely phallic measuring device to log the size of every kind of Filofax in the accursed place into a computer database. I have no idea why, but I overheard some boss-type fellas say that "it's what the customer wants" (translation: "it's what I want"). So I guess there was a public survey and the majority really felt they needed to know the volume of their Filofaxes. I can just picture the buying customer in the aisle of the local Filofax Superstore, reading the side of the Filofax boxes and going "33.4 x 4.8 x 15.0cm, eh? Well, fancy that." Before putting it down and buying the latest electronic personal organizer.

Getting back on track, why does anyone need so many different types of Filofaxes? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure, if you REALLY needed one, you'd only ever need one single Filofax in your whole lifetime. Am I really expected to believe that you need to upgrade your Filofax every time a new model comes out? It's a posh address book, dammit, I don't think there's a single Pentium chip in it (with the exception of the UltraMeister Executive Bastard Filofax Mk. 12 of course). Or perhaps it's some kind of game rich executives play, the same one they play with their cars and their trophy wives?

EXECUTIVE 1: Hey, guys, did you notice me drive into work today in my new red Buick with an incredibly hot woman? Oh, and check out this new Filofax! It's an UberDeluxe 2000 with optional electronic bookmark!

EXECUTIVE 2: (walking in) My, what a great day it is to turn up at work in my brand new red Porsche with Cindy Crawford. Oh my, look, I have casually placed my Managerial Type 6000 Filofax with built-in spin dryer on the desk.

MANAGER: Hey, Executive 1, be a good lad and get someone to clean my new red Ferrari with time travel capability I had specially made, would you? And Executive 2, could you take my wife Helen of Troy to the shops at lunch? Thanks. Oh, and tell her thank you for the Penis Extension 10K Filofax with free African slave boy she got me for my birthday. It's bound with real Puerto Rican baby skin!

(Executive 1 and Executive 2 burst into tears of jealousy)

Personally, I doubt this supposition. If it was true then the Filofax people would have lots and lots of money, but if they had money, they would have been able to afford a chair to go with the desk I had to work at all day.

Excuse me while I go find someone to walk on my back.

Bitch bitch.

20/8/2002: Dead Before the Watershed

I knew I was right all along.

For years I've contended that the walking dead shamble among us. I've seen them with my own eyes, usually working in the local newsagent and coffee shop, but no-one has believed me. Now I finally have the proof! I now know for certain where all the zombies are hiding out. They're working selling advertising space in daily newspaper pullouts.

Don't believe me? Get a load of this advertisement I spotted in the Daily Mail TV listings:

They called me mad, you know...

NOW DO YOU BELIEVE ME?! For years I've felt like that one kid in the horror b-movie who knows what terror is about to befall his home town but who no-one will believe. Now I have all the leverage I need to bring an end to these corpselike cretins!

From the evidence it is now clear that the zombies work in the highest echelons of the newspaper industry. It's time to root them out! Here's my three step plan for ridding the world of the evil dead.

STEP ONE - All existing journalists suspected of being undead will be lined up in Fleet Street and shot in the chest with twelve guage buckshot. If they get up and begin mumbling about brains, they will then be shot in the head. For starters we'll go for the celebrity gossip columnists. They have no more reason to be zombies than anyone else, but I just don't like them.

STEP TWO - Any zombies that remain will undoubtedly be the sneaky ones who eat brains on the quiet and cover up their disgusting pallor with flesh tone make-up. But even these fellows can be fooled! Everyone in the newspaper industry who survived step one will be invited to a big party in a big dance hall, where they will be served expensive champagne and those cocktail party nibbles with the cheese and the pineapple. At the zenith of the evening, someone with a sniper rifle (I was thinking of me, actually) would get up on the stage, shout "Oi, zombie!" and put a hollowpoint through the skull of anyone who says "Yes?"

Can you tell which of these pictures represents a zombie?

STEP THREE - Once I get out of prison, it's time to finish off all the loose ends, the zombies who were clever enough to not go to the party in step two. Fortunately even the wiliest zoms have their Achilles' heel. You may have read in certain zombie-rearing handbooks that zombies have a certain weakness for human brains; this is a weakness I intend to exploit. I propose that we get a homeless person to stand in front of every newspaper building we suspect contains a zombie, each wearing a sandwich board reading "FREE BRAINS! ASK ABOUT OUR ZOMBIE DISCOUNT!". When the zombie comes up to the homeless person to eat their brains, I and my team of operatives will remotely detonate the five hundred pounds of Semtex sewn into the homeless person's garments. It's the way these brave people would have wanted to go; filling a vital role in the ongoing human-zombie war, as well as a few nearby potholes with their smoking flesh.

Right, now we're all clear on this matter, I'll meet all those who are with me outside Broadcasting House in London. I'll bring the guns if you bring the ammo. Must dash for now, my job agency has a two-week placement for me. Sweet!

19/8/2002: Beating the Heat

I made a mention in my introductory update last week that the weather's been pretty darn uppity of late. It's been hot enough to boil the bum of any primate you'd care to name. It must irk God somewhat; first we're complaining about how freezing it is and how it doesn't seem to want to stop raining, then we get all cross 'cos our earwax is melting and dribbling down our necks. It's only a matter of time before the big feller gets out his cosmic sniper rifle and climbs the bell tower of heaven.

In the meantime, though, I think it's my public duty to advise people how best to beat the heat. Which is why, to this end, I compiled a short guide to keeping your cool in the summer sun.

1. Keep your cool

The sun will doubtlessly make you feel a little bit hot at some point. Don't panic! There are simple ways to remedy this situation. Most shops sell these great little cooling packs (usually with names like 'Solero' and 'Orange Fruitie'). Just buy a couple of these and pack them into your shoes. This will keep you cool all day long! Eventually a curious squelchy, fruity-smelling mess will appear in your footwear. Don't worry, that means it's working. Also, when you get home you can tip all this goo into a glass and enjoy a fruity treat as a reward for beating the heat! (BONUS TIP: Don't use this technique if you wear sandals)

You killed the dogs of a generation, you bastard.

2. Ignore the sun

If you can ignore the sun, then it might just go away. Walk around in a thick winter coat holding a hot water bottle with your back to the sun, commenting in a loud voice how unbelievably chilly it is today. If people ask you what the hell you're doing, wink knowingly and tap your nose. If they try to point out that the sun is out and it is very hot, look around theatrically with your hand shielding your eyes, then shrug and say 'I see no sun today!'. If they persist, punch them in the face and run. They are obviously sun sympathisers.

I always use this technique in hot weather and it hasn't failed me yet. Every single time the sun has eventually gone away. Usually at some point between eight or nine pm.

3. Stare the sun down

If the above technique doesn't work (it will, but just in case) the next thing you can try is frightening the sun away. Bullies are usually cowards who will run away if you show any steel. Stand your ground. Put a defiant expression on your face and stare at that sun with narrowed, gimlet eyes. After a few hours of this your vision will start to fog, but don't worry, that means it's working. After another few hours everything should be totally black. Congratulations, you have scared the sun away! Just try not to run into any lampposts on your victorious journey home.

4. Avoid the harmful rays

The sun emits radiation just like any barrel of glowing green stuff, and if you spend too much time under these rays your skin will redden and peel off, leaving you a freakish, bloody mess of exposed muscular tissue. To combat this, there are these fantastic plastic suits you can buy from the local nuclear plant surplus store that cover your whole body. Wear one at all times and you will probably be safe.

No, you fools! Flee! The vengeful sun will destroy you all!
Look very hard at this picture.

If you see sunbathers like these lying around, they must be warned right away of the danger. Run up and down the beach shouting at them until they go away. If they don't go away, get hold of a high-powered machine gun and fire a few shots into the sky. If they still don't move, they are obviously SPIES for the sun, sending information to their satanic leader through coded messages written in suntan lotion on their sweaty, filthy bodies. Show these mothers the error of their ways and empty a few clips into their unclean flesh.

5. Move

If the heat is really getting to you and nothing seems to work, then I'm sorry, it's time to pack up and move somewhere where the heat is less intense. I suggest Quebec, or Finland, or the Arctic Circle. If none of these really float your boat you can always try Mars, or even one of the moons of Jupiter if you're really sensitive. Maybe there you won't have to worry about that mean old sun picking on you, you blubbery little big girls' blouses. You filthy coward. You disgust me.

So there you have it! All the tips you need to combat our natural enemy, the evil cute-puppy-killing sun. Now you've got no excuse to be complaining about the heat, soldier. What's that? A tan? Down on the floor and give me fifty, you traitorous swine! Since you like the sun so much maybe you'd like to be staked out on the roof for a week, eh? Eh? We'll see what kind of tan you'll have after that! Dismissed!

16/8/2002: It Begins

I've arrived home after walking half a mile to town in the biggest heatwave all year, losing about ninety percent of my body's water supply through my sweat glands, then getting it all back again by walking all the way home in the biggest rainstorm all year.

And to cap it all, now I have to start my daily updated humour site.

Yes, here it is, Fully Ramblomatic.com, my first venture into the world of owning my own domain name, hosted by my lovely lovely friends at Lance and Eskimo. Why did I decide on such a ridiculous name as Fully Ramblomatic.com? Well, mainly so I could be pretty sure no-one would pinch the domain when I wasn't looking. As for what it actually means, it's made up of four elements:

"Fully", meaning "completely",
"Ramble", meaning "to talk endlessly about total bollocks",
"O-matic", meaning "machine",
and ".com", meaning "this is terribly hip and modern".

The whole meaning "completely endless bollock talk machine which is terribly hip and modern", I think sums up this site pretty well. I'll be posting a new article here every Friday as well as updating EVERY WEEKDAY with wry observations and humour (I just know this is going to come back to haunt me soon enough), but that won't start until Monday.

For now, I have the conclusion to the thrilling tale that began last Friday at L&E - What I Did Over The Weekend. Click here to read it, unless you haven't read the first part, in which case click here first.

If that doesn't quite float your boat, then you could always go through all these archives I painstakingly converted to the new format.

Essays! Long diatribes about my experiences, opinions, and who I think it would kick arse to be!

Reviews! Highly dubious opinions on horror movie sequels, crappy roms, and other obscure media! Now with more pictures added!

Features! Anything I've come up with that doesn't fit comfortably into the above two categories!

Cartoons! Badly-drawn people telling supposed jokes!

Games! Those godawful graphic adventures I made years ago which everyone wants me to write more of! Ha, ha, ha! Where's my noose?

Novels! Bask in all my terrible attempts to hit the big time, and enjoy the ongoing adventures of Articulate Jim in my latest, the Search for Something!

About! Read my profile and a highly fictionalised account of how this site began!

Contact! Send me pages of mail and get two-line replies three months later!

Forum! Talk about me with a bunch of weirdos!

Links! Find a better site than this one!

And oh so much more! So, buckle your safety belt and pop your prozac bottle, 'cos there's a party on the 'net and everyone's invited!

Right, I'm going back to bed.

All material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw
Copyright 2002 All Rights Reserved and other legal bollock language