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All my semi-written articles are on my broken comp, and I can't be bothered to move the hard disk! This is a last minute effort here, so it won't be very funny, I don't think.
Tim the Barbarian stood atop the crest of the chalk cliff. His hair blew in the breeze. It got in his eyes. Today was his first quest to this particular village. Today would be the day he had his hair cut.
To the village he strode; great gusto in his stride, marking him out as the slightly hairy barbarian he was.
In the village square he stopped and a crowd formed. "I've come to have me hair trimmed, and I've heardst that someone in thine village is capable of doin' me hair!" His manly hand gestures barely countered his high camp voice. It was his one true weakness.
"I am he who is so trained. What is it I canst do thou for?"
"Verily," he spake, "just a trim luvvy, none of that short back and sides, I don't want to look like Julian Clary, do I? E-hehehehehehe!" His high pitched laugh sent shivers down the crowd's spines.
Tim took his seat in the chair. He was surprised to see a handle on the side. Truly this barber was a pro.
"Hast thou done anything interesting lately?" asked the barber.
"Well, I thwarted the evil machinations of the tyrant Dave, single-handedly destroyed the Undead legions of the necromancer Bill, and then had a secret affair with that lad from Boyzone. How about thou?"
"I was chosen to go to the city and I didst trim the beard of the Prince Regent, Jeff the Pink. It was quite a scene. Verily, his armed guards were topless and heavily muscled, and he did not even keep a harem."
"No harem you say? Well, once this is done I think I'll go see Prince Jeff. I'm sure I can help him find what he's looking for, if you know what I mean. E-heheheheheh!"
And yay, once his cut and blow dry was completed, Tim the barbarian didst pay the barber a handsome tip for his work, and strode off into the sunset, handily positioned in the direction of the capital city, Clapham.
"I've always wondered what 'verily' actually meant. I hope do so it isn't anything rude. E-heheheheh"
Oh boy, I've got a real stonker of an essay for you to read this week. I honestly believe it's the most amazing one I've ever done. I call it 'Why It Would Kick Arse To Be A Piece Of Chewing Gum That Has Been Chewed A Little Bit But Not Too Much'.
Disappointing as this may be to the search engine people, it's back to business as usual for the remainder of the week. It's time for another thrilling episode of:
Unappreciated Computer Game Character Of The Week!
UCGCOTW continues its unashamed rocketing back and forth from age to age. First we had a character from Kingpin. Then I went all the way back to the late 80's to talk about Dizzy. Now we're right back up to the modern era to discuss a figure in one of the most popular games of all time. A man whose tragic end came when in his best mates couldn't keep their mouths shut.
Yes, it's Gunther Hermann from Deus Ex!
Okay, so maybe ol' Gunther was rather uncivil to the game's protagonist. Okay, maybe his accent seemed to change with the moon. Okay, so he ends up trying to kill you with a napalm launcher. But I still think he's one of the coolest characters in the game.
An agent of UNATCO, Gunther was imbued with cybernetic implants which made him look like some kind of semi-mechanical version of the Honey Monster, but I have since gotten over that and no longer hold a grudge against him because of it. He had a strong bond with his fellow implanted agent Anna Navarre, but I'm not sure they were getting it on, because when I try to imagine it I hear the sound of metal clanging rhythmically against metal. When Anna was brutally murdered in any one of a dozen different ways by that scoundrel JC Denton, Gunther was bawling his little robot eyes out, which just shows how sensitive he is under that mean, macho exterior.
But perhaps the coolest thing about Gunther Hermann (and indeed Anna Navarre) was the kill phrase. Yes, all you had to do was say an obscure couplet of words and the big guy would explode in a shower of metal and smoking flesh. What an amusing concept! And what fertile ground for comedic rambling! I wonder how many agents they got through before they mastered the process.
A: Okay, agent, I've put in your cybernetic implants.
B: Cool beans!
A: Now, I'd better tell you your secret kill phrase. It's "Atomic Lavatory".
(Ten days later)
A: Right then, I've finished your implants. Now, you need to know your secret kill phrase, so I've written it down on this piece of paper.
B: "Repugnant Vestibule?"
The phrases were supposed to be really obscure, for obvious reasons, but it seemed to me UNATCO were taking a rather obvious risk that it'd come up unexpectedly in conversation. I mean, you can't predict that sort of thing. It would make more sense to use nonsense words, like 'flibbertygibbert', surely? Or some kind of code number? Personally, I think the scientists were having a little joke. They toyed with the idea of making the kill phrase "good morning", but figured they'd get into trouble. So they made it something that wouldn't come up regularly, but just might some day in regular conversation to scare the fuck out of someone. Gunther's killphrase was 'Laputan Machine'. Might seem obscure enough, but consider the following.
A: Help! Help! Gunther's exploded!
B: What? When?
A: Just now! We were just talking and he went boom! B-body parts flying everywhere...
B: What were you talking about?
A: Well, he was telling me about these robots that are really, really small, and I said "That sounds like some kind of Lilliputian machine!" Then he exploded!
A: Well, I may have mispronounced 'Lilliputian' a little. I was a bit pissed.
So, Gunther Hermann, despoiler of terrorists, wielder of heavy weaponry, the only person in the world who can't truthfully say a certain well-known phrase which begins with "sticks and stones", you are today's Unappreciated Computer Game Character Of The Week!
Well, unless there's a big news story about how sex makes squirrels explode tomorrow, I guess this is going to have to be the last orgasm-related update. I made it to three! That's not so bad for a six-letter word whose comedy value declines around the fourth letter! I was stuck for an idea for an update related to orgasms until I finally realised that 'orgasm' sounds a bit like ... well ... I wrote a short story to illustrate it.
Sir Thorvald, finest knight of the good King Xerox IV, brought his small army to a halt and called forth his advisor, the mighty wizard Gibson.
They stood on the lip of a huge ravine, a great crack which split the earth, countless miles long and a mile wide. Leaning forward and peering over the edge, Thorvald saw that there were numerous caves dug into the wall of the steep valley, so close together as to give the impression of a gigantic wall of stone honeycomb. Shielding his eyes from the glare of the sun with his gauntleted hand, he saw that the opposite side was similarly pocked.
There was definitely the impression that a great number of beings had recently occupied these caves. Small fires were still burning in many of the cave mouths, the boney carcasses of horses and cattle were strewn about the place untidily. Thorvald's heroic brow creased in confusion, and he turned to his advisor.
"What make thee of this, O Gibson?" he said.
"'Tis what I have feared more than anything else, good sir knight," said Gibson, leaning upon his oaken staff that was almost as gnarled and ancient as its owner. "Forgive me if I drop the stupid ye olde-style dialogue to save time."
"Whatever," said Thorvald. "What is it?"
"It is a breeding ground for orcs, Sir Thorvald. A place where warrior orcs of all breeds and sizes are grown and trained for battle. I have seen these many times during our long war with the forces of darkness."
"Yes, Sir Thorvald," said Gibson dramatically. "This is an Orc Chasm."
There was a mutter of disquiet among the footsoldiers, and a few of the horses whinnied in fear. Despite its obvious abandonment the Orc Chasm still exuded an air of great evil.
"The work of the dark sorceror Teflon, I have no doubt," continued Gibson. "Only he would have the power to construct such an enormous one, and the gall to raise an army of darkness of this size."
One of the squires muttered "Hail to the king, baby," and those close to him fell about laughing.
Thorvald and Gibson, however, remained deadly serious. "This isn't the only Orc Chasm he's built, I'll wager," said the wizard.
"You think there could be more?"
"Several, undoubtedly. Scattered throughout the land."
"Multiple Orc Chasms?"
"I'm afraid so." Gibson shook his head gravely. "I wouldn't be surprised if there were several on the go at the same time."
Thorvald's almost eyes popped out of his skull. "Simultaneous Orc Chasms?"
He didn't need to see Gibson's miserable nod. He ordered the men to set up camp, and spent most of the evening inside his tent, attempting to sleep but failing. A single Orc Chasm of such size was bad enough, but multiple Orc Chasms? No man could handle such a thing. To make matters worse, Teflon was renowned throughout the land for the length and splendour of his Orc Chasms. The product of Teflon's Orc Chasms was always of extremely high quality. If Gibson's predictions were correct, it could not be long before the mighty armies of King Xerox would have to instigate an early withdrawal, and face bitter defeat.
He was still awake at three in the morning, when one of the scouts he had sent out arrived back. He seemed flushed, but happy.
"Great news, my lord!" said the scout, holding his helmet at his side. "We found an enormous army of orcs just seven leagues west, but they were all dead!"
"They were?" Thorvald said, relief flooding from him in waves.
"Every single man Jack, my lord! Most of them seemed to have killed each other, but the rest had died of dehydration and hunger."
Gibson, who had been sitting quietly in the corner, suddenly stood up. "Of course!" he said. "Teflon must have been in so much of a hurry, he built his Orc Chasms before he could produce enough food and water to keep such a vast army! He did everything too soon!"
Thorvald smiled a cruel smile, and nodded with satisfaction. "How typical of Teflon," he said. "Premature Orc Chasms."
It's day 2 of my attempt to get as many updates as I can out of the word 'orgasm', and already I'm starting to dry up. I'm wondering if I'll be able to come up with much more than three. But inspiration can strike at any time, so don't quote me on that.
Here's today's update. I'm going to see what kind of words we can get out of the letters in 'orgasm'!
GROAMS - This sounds like an old man word. It could either be the last name of an old man ("Hector Groams was a very mean man") or something old men do ("He groamed out of his chair with a sickening creak"). Also, I've just noticed it's only one letter away from 'grooms', which is something you do to a horse. So, maybe it could mean something you do to a very old horse.
MORAGS - 'Morag' is an olde Scottish woman's name, so 'Morags' would no doubt be more than one old Scottish woman. Incidentally, during the time of William Wallace, most Scottish women were kept as a reserve battalion for when the menfolk fell in battle. Usually left behind to defend the base, Morags could be very vicious brawlers when the time came, and were experts at flinging haggises and small, overcooked pastries. Many an English legion was turned away by a horde of screeching harpies armed with stale raisin scones. You'd be surprised how much of this paragraph isn't true.
RAGSMO - If I ever invented a superhero who in his spare time was a homeless degenerate (I've just realised this quite accurately describes Rorschach from Watchmen), I'd call him Ragsmo. His amazing superpowers included the ability to survive for many years without spare change. This might seem like an unimpressive superpower to you, but you'd be surprised how many homeless people don't have it. Also, he could fling razor-sharp copies of the Big Issue. Please don't think I'm talking down the misery and indignities suffered by homeless people, but I have a funny feeling I'm going to be one of them some day.
SMAGOR - Also SMORGA and SMOGAR - who'd have thought you could get so many names that could very easily be the names of dragons in high fantasy novels out of 'orgasm'? Not just dragons, even. Maybe 'SMAGOR' could be an evil wizard enslaving the land, and 'SMOGAR' could be his virtuous twin brother. Hell, you could populate an entire fantasy novel with names derived from 'orgasm'. Then you could call it 'The Jewels Of Magros'.
Well, I was kind of hoping I could make this update longer, but I apparently can't, so I'm stopping now. Tomorrow, come back and watch me struggle a bit more.
I have a reason to celebrate, dear readers. Recently, the word at the top of my search engine findy list, the thing that tells me what words people use to get to FR.com, clocked up a massive 100 hits. Yes, 100 people, enough to fill a very small theatre, were brought to Fully Ramblomatic because of this word. Nearly 15% of the people using search engines to get to this site used this word. That's more than any of the other phrases, like 'yahtzee' or 'fullyramblomatic' or 'internet humour', PUT TOGETHER. A staggering feat.
So, what is this magic word?
(sing choirs of angels!)
Yes, ORGASM! And by astonishing coincidence, ORGASM just happens to be the word of the week! I'm going to see exactly how many updates I can get out of the word without retreading old ground, hesitating or sinking to the floor in a weeping pile and beating myself about the head with my trusty steak tenderizer.
To begin with, I thought we'd take a look at the origin of the word.
Orgasm is one of the few words in the English language that was carried over from the haphazard languages of the early Stone Age, the others being 'Ugly', 'Truffle' and 'Thatcherism'. It was invented by a tribe that occupied lands now known as Wolverhampton, but which were then known as Dudley. At this time, life for the early manifestations of sentience was hard. Sabre-toothed tigers hunted them. Woolly mammoths considered an impaled human on each tusk an enormous status symbol (even more so if they had matching hairdoes). Worse still, this was too far back for archaeology to be of any real interest, and as such 'Time Team' was unheard of. Mankind as a whole was restless, frightened and bored.
So, ironically, they spent all their time looking for new ways to occupy their time. First they invented fire, and would spend long hours sitting staring at it. Then they invented the wheel, but it kept rolling away when they were trying to invent another one. So, finally, they invented sex.
Before this, of course, neither man nor woman had a clue what to do with the often unpleasant-looking pieces of organic machinery that hung between their legs. They tried using them to play Swingball, but the less said about that the better. It was until some bright spark discovered what happened to his when his beautiful female neighbour took all her clothes off that they put two and two together. Figuratively speaking.
Sex was invented in 12,000,000 BC, but it wasn't until 12,000,005 BC that the orgasm was discovered. Before that, people just went in-out in-out until they grew bored and went back to staring at the fire. It was until an individual named Neanderthal Ted found himself having a long telephone conversation with his girlfriend, during which time he idly played with his privy member (this was before twiddling with the phone cord was invented). To his astonishment, it suddenly started spewing stuff like a little glue volcano.
The word 'orgasm' itself is believed to be an onomatopoeic word, describing the noises Neanderthal Ted made upon discovering this wonder of nature. Here's a transcript of that fateful telephone call.
NEANDERTHAL BETTY: And then you know what happened?
NEANDERTHAL TED: Uh-uh.
N.B.: Neanderthal Roger walked in!
N.B.: So there's Neanderthal Jules and Neanderthal Tiffany spreadeagled out on the cave floor, playing Neanderthal Twister, and Neanderthal Roger just can't believe his eyes.
N.T.: Oh really - er ... URR! GAH! SOME - SOME WHITE STUFF IS COMING OUT OF MY TORSO STICK!
N.B.: You never listen to anything I say, do you.
And that's how the orgasm was discovered. Neanderthal Ted was later murdered by his lunatic neighbour with a lawn edger, but his legend continued. And orgasms have been with us ever since.
The female orgasm, however, was only quite recently invented in the early 20th century by the Oxford Anthropological Society. It was thought to be just the thing to stop the suffragette movement, but the plan kind of backfired.
More climactic fun tomorrow!
material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw