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Updated Every Weekday!

8/2/2003: I Think Therefore I Am (A Weekend Updater)

Alas, it has happened. Though undeniably great my writing was for all of three essays, I have finally run out of ideas and, like so many other things in my life, including but not limited to my social life, turned on myself. Whilst the world around me may appear dull and depressing, at least my trusty right hand will never fail me.

For those who were wondering, yes, that's the hand I write with.

Now, it'll be about now that all three of you who're still reading are wondering what exactly I'm alluding to, unless you are in fact my mother, in which case, please leave. You are not the intended audience.

Well, I'll tell you. By weeks of careful analysis of Spacemonkey, and the use of my pocket CAT Scanner, I have succeeded in mapping out what makes both he and I special; what it is about our minds that makes us Weekend Updaters as surely as Matthew Kelly is spending the evening at the pleasure of "Slugger 'Nancy' McPie". So, with no further ado, and the mental scarring of the Kelly reference still fresh, I will begin.

1. The Depression Centre - this centre takes a key role in the brain of the Weekend Updater, to the point that the Penis Control Centre is crushed up against the skull, or, in some cases, actually hanging out of the unfortunate sufferer's ear. Note the links to all areas of the brain, and its stranglehold on the Perceptional Lobe.

2. Penis Control Centre - usually, the words 'penis' and 'control' are actually illegal when used in the same sentence, but in this case, 'control' is used in the loosest sense. Note the complete lack of connection to the Higher Thought Mass, and its disturbing habit of merging with the Appetite Reticulator, which is frequently blamed for the Black Incident of 1987. Also, note that Updaters suffering from the condition described above may behave erratically if the PCC is abused by the forces of evil. Responses to a gentle poke can vary from the spontaneous dancing of the Charleston (described by many as 'God's Cheat Code') to the immediate desire to mate with the nearest solid object. In 1976, psychologists attempted to investigate this phenomenon, and took three Weekend Updaters to a secluded location for testing. Unfortunately, the experiment was presumed a failure after the psychologists were found, hanging by their gonads, with only a note that read "you brought this on yourself."

3. Appetite Reticulator - as described above, this has almost entirely merged with the PCC. This, coupled with the ludicrously small size of the average Weekend Updater's equipment, may be responsible for the spawning of the Depression Centre, and, consequently, the merciless quest for chocolate that typifies the Weekend Updater, as well as the sadly typical, not to mention mysterious, fruitless search for courgettes.

4. Bobby Davro Impersonation Region - does exactly what it says on the tin.

5. Speech Centre - the Centre itself is much like the average human brain; the key to the Weekend Updater's inability to communcate effectively is caused by the twinned links with the Penis Control Centre and the Bobby Davro Impersonation Region. Whilst studies of brain-damaged Weekend Updaters have shown that Updaters who lose one of these links become either ludicrously amusing or incisively seductive, whilst the forces of sex-drive and its antithesis do battle, it is unlikely that the Updater will speak a comprehensible word, as long as he lives.

6. Perceptional Lobe - here we see the root cause of Weekend Updating. Note that the Depression Centre almost totally envelops this; the obvious upshot is that the Cheeky Girls sound like a war requiem, Slipknot sounds like a group of disillusioned youths fantasising about suicide, and "come, make love to me, you sexy beast!" comes across as a slap in the eye with a wet lettuce, immediately followed up with a stab in the eye with a blunt stick. Oh, and she wasn't very attractive to begin with.

7. Confidence Generator - like the PCC, this has been suppressed and, in some cases totally ejected by the Depression Centre. In the most extreme cases of Weekend Updating, the PCC and Confidence Generator hang a full three feet out of the right and left ears, respectively. The tragically obvious upshot is that the when the updater walks, the two alternately smack into passers-by. Among fortunate sufferers , this simply results in an occasional Charleston, followed by the unquestionable confidence that not only will it not happen again, but actually, that was pretty snazzy, and they're laughing with me. Him. The few unfortunates with the inverse response to prodding of the PCC (see above) were years ago exiled to Darkest Wales to restore social order; it is feared that some, however, have successfully bypassed the Cleansing. Keep your doors locked tonight, kids.

7/2/2003: Story Time

This week, it's the return of the Don't Mention Panties Game, number two in a series of three.

That's it.

6/2/2003: Correspondence Coarse, part deux

Remember that letter I sent not too long ago to the cinema company that has a branch in my home town, about the lame introductions to the movies? If you don't, it's on this page somewhere. Well, Cine-UK (for 'tis its name) has been kind enough to do me a nice reply. I was kind of hoping they'd offer me a job, or enclose free tickets, or even just tell me to fuck off, but they just went with a few paragraphs to placate the madman. Let's take a look.

"As you may imagine, we had many discussions when our policy trailer story board was first presented. We wanted a way to introduce our company and our policies that was explicit in its intolerance for those who disrupt the movie-going experience but humorous to those who don't. We hoped to tap in a light way into growing anger by decent movie-goers against those who smoke, talk and use mobile phones during the movie and help get the point across that we do not expect to be disciplinarians."
I hate it when people try to distract me with big words. Note that last bit: "we do not expect to be disciplinarians". Please let me remind everyone that the trailer in question depicts a woman bringing acts of violence down upon smokers, talkers and mobile-users. If that isn't a bold-faced threat, I don't know what is. I also love the bit in the second paragraph where these cinema crimes are described as 'antisocial behaviour', while of course beating the crap out of people is perfect etiquette.

I can understand the smoking thing. I hate it when people smoke around me. I'm sure they think it's tremendous generosity to share the joy, but it gets on my tits and no mistake. But talking and using a mobile ... in the trailer, when the dissenters who commit these acts are punished, the film hadn't even started yet. In fact, the girl with the mobile had only just entered the theatre. For all we know, she was going to turn it off as soon as she sat down. We will never know, as she was soundly karate-kicked and her phone was crushed beyond repair.

"As you know, the final work was based on common computer animated game female heroine imagery and was NOT intended to reflect our staff."

I'm noticing a growing trend here to take too many words and smash them all together at once. First we have "policy trailer story board" in the last nugget, and now "common computer animated game female heroine imagery". Now they're trying to drown me in adjectives. I expect management tossers to speak like this, but I would have thought they'd think twice before writing it all down. And thank you for the 'as you know' at the beginning. They at least give me enough credit to understand that I don't think they actually employ karate-kicking slightly mannish chicks to instigate corporal punishment.
"The cartoon action in the trailer has received a 'U' classification from the BBFC yet we have a further edited version that we use for 'U' and 'PG' films."
I've seen the edited version: it takes out just enough for the trailer to suddenly make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Also, I saw the edited version on the occasions I watched Halloween Resurrection and the new Lord of the Rings film, certified 15 and 12 respectively. I think whoever decides whether or not to include the edited version needs to be soundly smacked about the head.
"I apologise if this was not the effect it had on you and you perceived our company and our intentions in a bad light."
Hey, I'm with you guys. I hate people who smoke in cinemas. I just think they should be given a chance to stub it out before they get hurled against walls. Oh, and I'm not sure, but this paragraph gives me the impression that they take me for an idiot. I keep getting the odd feeling that someone just patted me on the head and gave me a lollipop.

The last paragraph is just a boring one about how the magazine I complained about is written by an outside publisher, ending with "I will pass your comments about their grammar along". Somehow I don't think the anonymous writer of this letter is being entirely honest with me. Who is this guy, anyway?


(indecipherable signature)

Al Alvarez,
Vice President of Operations

Hold the phone. Al Alvarez? This guy's name is far too fucking cool to be responding to letter-writing gits like me who think they're amusing! I feel so guilty now for having written such a tossy letter to such an amazingly fantastic-sounding bloke.

Well, that's the letter. And it's really just confirmed what the trailer already made me suspect: Cineworld has absolutely no sense of humour. Oh wait, there's a PS:

"(PS. The Lara Croft bubble is still fully 'round. Keep an eye out for TOMB RAIDER 2 coming this August)"
If I had respect for Al Alvarez before I read this, now I'm thinking of pledging allegiance to him. Not only is he such a master of marketing that he has worked a plug into a response to a complainy letter, but he also slipped something approaching a joke in there too! Damn, I feel like such a jerk, now. Al, if you're reading this, which you aren't, I'm sorry I took the piss. You're alright. From now on, whenever I go to the cinema and see that lame trailer, I will think of Al, my new role model. Kudos to you, Al Alvarez.

5/2/2003: World of Shirt

For years, I was a hopeless wastrel. I couldn't hold down a job for more than a few days because my fearful ugliness kept distracting the other employees. I tried to get a job as a lighthouse keeper, but then realised I lived in the Midlands, hundreds of miles from the English coastline. I was so poor, I had to live in the bottom third of a milk carton, the other two thirds occupied by a family of four and some bloke called Frank who kept getting erections at the most inappropriate moments. I had to wear clothes stitched together from the hairs you get poking out of the end of parsnips. My only possession was a steak tenderizer, and for the last ten years I'd been trying to find a way to beat myself to death with it.


I was the most pathetic, unfortunate soul you would ever meet. But now, I'm the third richest man in the world and I live in the entire top floor of a luxury casino hotel. I wear only the finest clothes designed personally for me by the leading fashion designers of the time. I'm wanted by so many women I had to install a ticket machine outside my master bedroom. My entire serving staff is composed of clones of famous dead film and music stars.

Yes sir, it all changed for me the day I got my FullyRamblomatic T-Shirt!

It was given to me by a mysterious benefactor, who told me that it had brought him more good fortune than he would ever want, and he wanted to pass it on to someone who needed it more than him. He then pranced off, dropping gold bars as he went and driving away in a car made of naked supermodels.


I was dubious, but I began wearing the FullyRamblomatic T-Shirt everywhere I went. In just one day, all of the following happened:

- My doctor phoned up to tell me I didn't have cancer after all!

- A mixup at a hospital where I was due to get my ingrowing toenail fixed led to me receiving millions of pounds worth of cosmetic surgery!

- A traffic warden apologised and tore up a ticket, thinking I owned the Ferrari she was placing it on. The owner was so grateful he let me keep it! Then I shagged his bird!

- Milk carton apartments suddenly became fashionable among the showbiz elite, and I was able to flog my lease to Guy Ritchie for 120 million English pounds!

- I spent the money on 120 million Lotto tickets and three of them won! The rest only had five numbers and the bonus ball, but hey, can't have everything.

- The United Nations passed a resolution saying that you CAN have everything! I immediately put up my bid on eBay for the entire universe.

- The entire universe eventually went to, but he felt so guilty about it that he let me have the Betelgeuse system! Then I shagged his bird!

- The Betelgeuse system was found to contain massive gold reserves and more than one tropical paradise planet which I immediately leased to tourists for extortionate sums of money!

- The holidaymakers were all eaten by carnivorous alien plants!

- The judge ruled in my favour as his mother-in-law was in the party!

- Then I shagged his bird!

So, beat the rush! Get out there and buy yourself a FullyRamblomatic T-shirt TODAY for the low low price of $13.99! Yes, for just 14 piddling American dollars (approx. 27p in English money) you can enjoy the same success I have!

* webmaster may be lying

4/2/2003: A Tribute to the UK

[Someone called Zach Gershkoff sent me this guest update in response to this old article of mine. Fair's fair, I suppose. I'll try not to make too many smartarse asides but sometimes you just can't hold them back.

- YZ]



Whoever came up with this must have been really bored! What fool wouldn't kill for the taste of boiled leaves in water? And if that weren't enough, you can add milk and sugar to it if you feel like it! The solid equivalent of this would be leaves imbedded in a block of cheese. Why hasn't anyone tried that yet?

2.European Football

What better way to spend the evening that in the local pub, grasping a two-gallon pitcher of beer and watching a football game from the TV screen in the corner of the room? Maybe they would realize how idiotic the sport is if they hadn't killed off the brain cells responsible for thinking years ago in drunken revelry.

3.Edison and Franklin

Well, how about that? Kind of strange how a country that's only been around for a couple of centuries could have inventors that surpass those of its parent country. But then again, the British inventors were probably too busy getting high off of crumpets, or whatever it is you do with crumpets, to invent. I guess we can give you British guys a little credit for Franklin. If you're not too drunk to hear us.

[I could list all the British inventors who were more important to the modern world than Edison and Franklin, but I think that might seem a little confrontational. -YZ]

4.British Cinema

When was the last time you rushed to the box office to reserve tickets for the latest British blockbuster? What's that you say? Never? It would appear that the United Kingdom is a low priority of the cinematic domain, considering how they take our scratched movie reels only once the theatrical run in the U.S. is done. We clearly need to start a relief program in this country. It would be a nice way to express the unconditional love we have for our mother country, because if it was conditional love, we probably wouldn't have it.

5.Western Civilization

The United Kingdom has certianly done its part to contribute to Western Civilization. Specifically, it defined the hemispheres, and... that's about it, actually. And because of the narcissist opinion of some guy in Greenwich, the country can't decide if it's in the western or eastern hemisphere. It must be sad for these people to live in eternal confusion.

6.British Media

Has a month gone by without a scandal in the British government? Maybe the royal family and Parlaiment pride themselves in their sexual activity, and maybe it's good for the newspapers, but it doesn't do much for governing.


Some anthropologists studied the Parliament like they would some isolated island where people run around with ritual scarring and loincloths. Their findings were shocking: the members behaved with some strange etiquette involving a lot of physical contact and sucking up to older members. And they never realized they were doing it. What's happening here? Is Britian run by a small rune filled with primitive old men?

8.The Royalty

Okay, to my knowledge, the royalty of Britian is a family that once ruled the country, but they had to give all their power to a body ruled by the people to avoid revolution. So now they're just a bunch of people who feed the a media ravenous for scandals and live off tax dollars. But they're "symbols" of the country, so it's all right.

9.The Revolutionary War

Some fat guy (bearing a striking resemblance to this Fatty McFat character; which, if he was Fatty McFat, would make Wales Fatland) who happened to be king decided that his western colonies were an endless source of wealth an started giving them extra taxes. The colonies chose not to pay them. They bickered over it for a couple of years, but the king decided he was missing too many meals by planning for the war, so he withdrew all his soldiers. Eventually, the sons of this fat guy (who only had children because he could order a wife to be brought to him) lost more than ninety-five percent of their land, including Australia, South Africa nd Belize. My pity goes out to them for not being able to hold a single colony, except for a couple of islands.


For some reason, the same set of fat guys who ran the country decided to set up a prison colony on the other side of the world. Of course, the plan was doomed to fail, being led by fat Brits, and the prisoners founded their own country why now hwas a slightly lower crime rate that that of its mother country. If "Great" Britain could do a single thing right when trying to expand their empire, they would be more than a couple of islands right now.


My sincere congratulations goes out to Britian for their quality telivison shows that we "stole". Take Survivor, for xample. Only a Brit could perfect vouyerism to such a degree. And Who Wants to be a Millionaire, where contestants are asked trivia questions and are made to think they got the answer wrong. The excitement never ends! Not to leave out The Weakest Like, where contestants are insulted and then sent home. From now on, all the bloody Brits have my respect just for living in the country of such achievements.

12. World War II

"Germans building a military? Rubbish! Everyone knows that treaties are physically binding!" "Hitler crushing local countries? Maybe I'll invite him over for tea and crumpets to convince him to stop." "Hitler committing genocide? It doesn't concern me quite yet..."

Thank you, Mr. Churchill, for probably thinking for a second or two about preventing this disaster!

[Me again. I could say something along the lines of how it took America an additional three years to join in the fun, and that they needed prompting from the Japs first, but again that would risk a new-found friendship. Instead I'll just say "Shut the fuck up, Zach." -YZ]

3/2/2003: Tally Me Banner-ad

This is the best banner ad I've seen in a long time:

Rub it in, why don't you.

Fantastic! It's like my computer knows my innermost thoughts! Of course, there's always the risk that this ad will be seen by people who are enormously wealthy and fulfilled or (more likely) people who don't have jobs, but that's the kind of risk ads that attempt to be personal take. I love this marketing strategy. "Your life sucks, so you might as well buy our stuff". Harsh reality. Nice. And quite ripe for parody.

Almost as much fun as the rather questionable font used in this ad I saw on Gamespy today:

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