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Updated Every Weekday!

11/1/2003: International Diplomacy, Me-Style

As most of you have probably already noticed, it's the festive season. (Not anymore it isn't. -YZ) Little kids sing Christmas carols and clear food courts in record time. Website authors are violated by their own hardware, and fall unconscious for weeks at a time. God wonders why we celebrate the birthday of a being that claims never to have been born, and never to die. I receive a pair of socks reading "Office workers have 3.5" floppies," and wonder what pills my aunt took that made her think this was amusing, let alone something to have me unwrap within 20 yards of my parents, whose appreciation of the subtleties of innuendo is rivalled only by that of the Queen herself.

But, say I, bollocks to all that. If you bastards are expecting a nice tinsel-wrapped Christmas update, you've got another thing coming, bucko. Buckos. Buckae. Um.

Anyway, just to make sure there's no hint of Christianity about this week's ramblings, I've decided to assess the Right Rev Dubya's battle (crusade?) tactics when it comes to ridding the world of Satan. Here's my assessment: utter shite. I mean, come on. Let's have a quick look at what will be used to resolve an argument that essentially goes:

Dubya: Adopt democracy! Respect my authoritah!

Saddam: No!

Dubya: Alright, just keep the oil coming this-a-way.

Saddam: I'll think about it.

Dubya: Oh, and try to tone down the ethnic cleansing a bit while you're at it.

Saddam: Well, take all the fun out of my job, why don't you?

Now, to solve this dispute, the current plan is to pour thousands of lives and billions of dollars into the Middle East, and see which ruler goes 'bang' first. Call me simple, but there must be another way. In fact, there IS another way. Many other ways! In this spirit, I now present you with my 10 suggestions to the esteemed leader of the Church of the Latter Day Morons (apologies to who/whatever I stole that from) (Private Eye. I read it myself. The magazine of choice for the current generation's pretentious whingers. -YZ), which I mailed to him just yesterday. I keenly anticipate making fun of his dyslexia exhibited in his reply.

1. Death by 'Chicken' - rules are simple. Each leader is given a Nissan Micra, and aren't allowed to leave their cars. Bush gets Dick Cheney in the left seat, and the Joint Chiefs in the back. Saddam gets his favourite camel at his shoulder. The last man alive gets to rule the known world.

2. Death by Milk Challenge - each ruler is handed a gallon of humorously dyed milk, and must attempt to down the gallon without their digestive systems initiating a revolution and seizing control of their higher brain functions. The first ruler to become incapable of reciting 'Peter Piper' is henceforth shot.

3. Death by the 'Don't Mention Panties' game - hopefully bears no explanation.

4. Death by Old Age - each ruler is hooked to an intravenous nutrient feed which will sustain him without any independent action. The two are strapped to upended tables, and placed in a studio, surrounded by gawking onlookers and 'experts' who give their medical assessments to the billions of awe-struck viewers world-wide. He who lasts the longest gets to rule the world until they succumb to the inevitable.

5. Death by Celebrity Big Brother - As above, except with summary execution for any man to suggest a game of strip poker.

6. Death by Leylandii - Saddam and Dubya are placed in neighbouring houses, and told that the rapidly encroaching Leylandii bordering the two belong to the other leader. The loser is the first to succumb to temptation, and scale the fence, hedge trimmer in hand, and attempt to decapitate his neighbour.

7. Death by Sid Meier's Civilisation 3 - Each major world leader is allotted a slot in a big game of networked Civ 3. A UN committee is appointed to enact the result of the game, including the launching of a Lebanese colony ship to the nearest star, the French achieving world-wide cultural dominance, or the Canadians successfully developing Iron Working, as appropriate. In the event of a draw, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is played, with Bush playing Brother Lal of the Peacekeepers. Should he fail to appreciate the irony, he will be summarily executed.

8. Death by Popstars: The World Leaders - self-explanatory, surely?

9. Death by Vogon Poetry - If you don't get the reference, you probably shouldn't be here in the first place.

10. Death by Celebrity Boxing - Not only would this be entertaining, but Sport Relief would get a nice 5000 out of the deal!

10/1/2003: Things I Did Today

Here are some things I did today.

- Sent the first two chapters of Articulate Jim to Time Warner Publishers UK.

- Sent a pilot script for a TV series about a vigilante crime fighter to the BBC New Writing Initiative.

- Uploaded an article about Spider-man.

- Elevated Paul to the status of Secret Government Scientist and bought the best sofa money can buy in The Sims.

- Killed a man just to watch him die.

- Had lunch.

That's all from me this week, as it's CSFS' turn for a weekend update tomorrow. I suppose I should get around to giving him and Space Monkey little profiles on the About page, but I don't think there's any urgency.

Oh, and would you want to live here?

9/1/2003: For Want Of A Better Update

And now ... more silly search strings people used to get to this site!

"aircraft hump seals"

I'm just trying to imagine what this person was looking for that lead him or her to type that in, because I really don't want to think that there are people out there who consider amphibious mammals being raped by a Harrier jump jet a turn-on. For the life of me, however, I can't think of any other explanation. 'Seals' could mean 'Navy seals' I suppose, but that doesn't make it any less disturbing. One wonders which part of a plane would be inserted into the appropriate orifice. One also wonders what the children would look like.

OK, OK. I guess 'hump' could mean a speed bump. Maybe this person was looking for pictures of airplanes being piloted by seals going over speed bumps. That's the kind of ambition that could take a whole lifetime. Kudos to you, mysterious internet search engine person.

"amount of bacteria/germs on doorknob of a public bathroom"

I'm guessing this was entered by someone from California, the most health-obsessed part of the entire world. For their benefit, I will provide an answer to their dilemma. That answer is 'a lot'. Cholera, rabies, herpes simplex ... bathroom doorknobs have got them all. Smart people always go to the toilet wearing disposable surgical gloves, and when you're finished, burn them, scatter the ashes into the Atlantic, and put on an innocent look when people start talking about an epidemic of pubic lice among fish. If I had my way, bathroom doorknobs would be sealed in quarantine for at least six months whenever someone goes to the toilet. If during that period people go in the bathroom and can't get the door open again, great, that's one less person to spread the dreaded toilet lurgy around.

"are you having a nice day over there watching my searches"

Actually, I am. Thank you for asking.

"smoker fish cabinet"

Oh, come on, now we're just jamming random words together. Either that or there's a special aquatic kind of tobacco I've never heard of, possibly made from the infested pubic hair of the Atlantic fish population. Actually, this reminds me of a game you can play with search engines. You give the players some random words to search for, and then, only by clicking on links, they have to locate a website devoted to a specified subject. For instance, I could tell you to search for the words "Stocking donkey carp", and you have to find a website devoted to Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Websites that only mention the specified subject in passing don't count, except in the event of a tie.

"pink panties"

I mention this because this is one of the most popular things people search for to get to my site, just below the obvious ones like 'ramblomatic', 'yahtzee' and 'shannon tweed naked'. The regularity with which people search for 'pink panties' never ceases to amaze me. Why pink panties? Why not white, or black, or Autumnal yellow? No-one ever searches for any other coloured panties, why pink in particular? Either this is another of those highly specific sick fetishes, or this is one single person repeatedly searching for the same thing, constantly coming to my site in the hope that I'll have uploaded some pictures of pink panties. If this is the case, then rejoice, mystery freak, for your prayers have been answered:

8/1/2003: Nobody Nose

Cocaine's very popular among the showbiz types these days, isn't it? If you don't like a celebrity, all you have to do is tell the papers that they've snorted cocaine. Chances are they have! Go to the highest echelons of the TV and film industry and the stuff is falling like snow upon the bathroom carpets of a generation. Personally, I think it's because of Sherlock Holmes. Irresponsible fellow.

Anyway, cocaine's here and it's here to stay. I can't help wondering, though, how it came into being. Was it some fellow's abortive attempt to make sherbert, or home-made talcum powder? Or maybe, like penicillin, it was discovered by accident. Someone left a few bags of dangerous chemicals lying around and found their bubbling remains a few months later with funny white powder lying around.

Mmm, I love the smell of showbiz sherbert in the - KKKKK! KKKKKH! KKKKKKKH!

Whatever the process involved with making cocaine was, here's another conundrum that occurs to me: at what point did the inventor work out how to administer it?

You know what I'm talking about. His nose. Why did it occur to him to stick it up his nose? That sounds more like a last resort to me. When you invent a fabulous new device that can make cappucinos and travel through time and runs on air, your experimentation does not begin with jamming it up your proboscis. Maybe I'm being silly; you can't compare white powder to miraculous devices. I suppose he did quite a few things before it occurred to him to stick it up his nose.

"Right, so eating it just made me ill, baking it into a cake didn't do much, the goldfish didn't seem to enjoy it, it doesn't help my athlete's foot when I sprinkle it over my toes, stuffing a cushion with it was a bit of a mistake ... I think now I'm going to try sticking it up my nose. And if that doesn't do anything, I'm calling it a day."

Alternatively, he got the idea from a misunderstanding.

A: Hey, Bill, you look flustered. Why are you wearing your pants on your head?

B: Simon! I've invented this amazing white powder but I have no idea what it does!

A: ... what the fuck is wrong with you, Bill? I thought you said you were working on a time-travelling cappucino maker.

B: Forget the time-travelling cappucino maker! What should I do with this amazing new powder?

A: Stick it up your nose, Bill.

B: Right!

You can ask this sort of question about a lot of things. The aforementioned sherbert, for instance. Sherbert is made from chemicals. Why did the bloke who invented it just casually try to eat it? Go back even further in time; how did the first makers of bread figure out how to make bread? Was it just pot luck?

Bread is not a very easy thing to make. First, you have to mix together flour, water and yeast. Even if someone did accidentally throw these three things together, perhaps when hungry and drunk late one night, he or she would then have to pretend the dough was someone they didn't like and knead it for half an hour. And then, even if they did do that, perhaps if they were a little frustrated, their product at that point would be very unappetizing and probably make them ill. Did they give up at that point? Nope, they baked it. For quite a long time. And then, eureka, bread.

The enigma.

This isn't like electricity or surgery. It didn't take centuries of work and experimentation to get it right. Bread is one of man's earliest inventions; the Ancient Egyptians had bread, and it's mentioned in the Bible. Around the time we were still clubbing mammoths over the head and nicking their tusks for toothpicks, some cavewoman was somewhere working out how to make bread.

For me, this is the best argument for the existence of God. The only explanation for how mankind discovered bread so quickly is that the Lord (or the Elohim, if you're a Raelian) came down from the sky and gave them the recipe on a glowing holy scroll. One would think God would have more important things to give his children, like world peace or a second willy, but no, he decided to give them bread. Hey, I said it was an argument for the existence of God. I never said it was an argument for his intelligence.

7/1/2003: Burger Me Backwards

I know that, technically, is a blog. I'm sure you are all aware that it is an unconventional blog in that I rarely mention my personal life, or at least details about it I didn't make up, but a blog nonetheless. In the spirit of this, here is today's update.

Yesterday Sarah and I went into town. It was raining. I went to the library and read magazines. Sarah went and bought things. Then we went to McDonalds. I had a Big Mac. It was quite nice. Here are my McDonalds food ratings.

1. Quarter Pounder with Cheese

The thing I hate about all the burgers in McDonalds is that they seem to have this 'onions and pickled gherkin go with everything' philosophy. Onions and pickled gherkin are not welcome in my Quarter Pounder with Cheese. I tell them I want one without those two particular accoutrements. Then they make me wait for twenty minutes while they make one specially. There's, like, ten ordinary Quarter Pounders on the little slidey thing, I really would not mind if they just took one of those, surgically removed the bits I didn't like, and handed it to me. Even if they had dirty hands. Even if they spat in it afterwards. Even if they got a trained monkey to do it. A trained monkey who had just been flinging poo.

2. Big Mac

Now, this is what I call a MANLY sandwich. I just wish it was a little easier to eat. Aside from the fact that you need a mouth that could comfortably accommodate low-flying aircraft before you even think about taking a bite, when you actually do so half the contents squirt all over whoever's sitting opposite you. I put the problem down to lettuce; lettuce is the universal burger lubricant. When all is quiet in the McDonalds kitchens and the humans have all gone to bed, the burger produces the lettuce and waves suggestively at the bun. Remember that; whenever you're eating at McDonalds, you're eating the results of culinary coitus. You didn't really think that was mayonnaise in your McChicken Sandwich, did you?

3. Chicken McNuggets

Avert your gaze. Only the pure of heart can look upon the McNuggets without going insane.

I have picked things out of my teeth that contain more meat than a Chicken McNugget. I have found things in the back of my fridge covered with so much green fur it could pass for a Muppet that are more appetising than a Chicken McNugget. If I was stranded in the middle of the ocean with nothing but Chicken McNuggets, I would use them for shark repellent and eat my own legs instead. I'm just trying to get across how much I loathe these hunks of poultry spleen jammed in soggy breadcrumbs. If I was in Afghanistan and had ravenously tore open my American food parcel to find a Chicken McNugget, I would join the Taliban without delay and volunteer for the suicide bombing squad.

But on the other hand, the honey mustard sauce is nice.

4. Milkshakes

Milk, by all accounts, is terribly good for you. I think it's the only thing besides organic vegetables that haven't been linked to cancer at some point in the scaremongering press. The trouble is, after it's been whipped into ice cream, flavoured, frozen, kept in a big tank for days on end, poured into a cup and drunk with supreme difficulty through a narrow straw, it probably no longer retains enough goodness to be accurately described as 'nutritious' or, for that matter, 'milk'.

5. Apple pies

Here's American initiative at it's best - for some reason a circular pie wasn't trendy enough for McDonalds, so they made it into the shape of a long thin strip instead. Thing is, I always thought that a pie is by definition round. I have personally never seen a rectangular pie chart. So calling it a 'pie' is like calling a mutton chop a sheep. When you eat a McDonalds apple pie, you generally have to rely on the chance that you'll start eating from the end that won't cause the other end to squirt hot filling all over your crotch. Sometimes this will be both ends. Sometimes it will be neither. This is just one of the many challenges that face you in McDonalds. Other challenges include "Guess What The Curious Pink Stuff In The Big Macs Is" and "See How Many People You Can Annoy By Standing At The Counter And Staring At The Menus For Long Periods Muttering 'Hmm, Now What Shall I Have' While An Enormous Queue Develops Behind You". I hear they're making that last one into an Olympic event.

6/1/2003: Life and Sim

Lately I've been playing The Sims a lot. This has surprised me more than anyone else. For a while I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot bargepole, openly mocking the curious gibberish language the little people speak and which sounds a bit like French. But then I sat watching my girlfriend play for hours, and had the curious compulsion to play myself. I designed some custom skins to help me get more into the game - Yahtzee, Rob and Paul from the late YTOTW - and put them in a custom-built house. This was at around 10am yesterday morning.

It was quarter to 6 in the evening before I realised I had been playing all day. For a moment, I was ashamed of myself for getting so into a game favoured largely by girls, leaving my most recent game purchase - Serious Sam - to gather dust. Then I got back to grooming Rob for his next promotion.

A crisp packet looks on, waiting for a chance to escape.
The boys discuss their horrible dining table.

When I start a new house, like always, my three musketeers always troop around their new home looking at things and either groaning or breaking into applause. I can understand them groaning at a crappy little clown painting, but I've noticed that they always groan when they see the bath. Hey, you know what? Fuck you guys. That bath cost good money, and it gives you hygiene points as WELL as comfort points. If it really offends you I'm sure you could find a nice puddle somewhere to roll around in.

There are a lot of odd things about The Sims. Like how the fridge seems to be some kind of exotic device for converting money into food. When two people get in each other's way, one or both stand around accusingly for half an hour. And let's not forget that jobs are handed out to anyone without an interview process and regardless of experience and qualifications.

Quite appropriately, Paul found work in a lab, and at time of writing is, appropriately enough, an inventor. Rob ended up in the acting profession, while Yahtzee eventually gave up seducing a local woman for the sake of more money, reluctantly took a position as a 'Daredevil' and now flies a bush plane in a curiously Steve Irwin-like outfit to fund his evil schemes. It soon became obvious that I needed to make more friends if I wanted to get any further, which proved difficult, as there were only three other people in the whole world and I'd already seduced one of them. I did what any sensible person would have done. I made a new house and populated it with Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, and a vigilante crime fighter of my own creation named The Face.

Paul politely decides not to point out that you can't eat through a mask.

In the initial housewarming, Adolf and Rob got on famously, and I soon had a new chum to show off to whoever decided on promotions in this bizarre world. While the ex-Defender of the Universe distracted the leader of the Third Reich, Paul busily got to work on Eva, successfully making her swoon into his puny arms. Yahtzee couldn't make it to the housewarming. There was obviously some bitter rivalry between him and the Fuhrer. I had carefully engineered the dark, brooding character of the Face to not get on with anyone, and to my delight he spent the housewarming party silently reading the newspaper in the corner of the room. Fittingly enough, he quickly took a job as a security guard.

Later, I designed some more custom skins and opened up a new house. Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers became housemates and then close friends, in a kind of extreme version of Men Behaving Badly. Jason found a job as a team mascot, so I'm obviously not the only one who thinks he's cute, and Michael's legendary endurance will no doubt serve him well in his new career as a daredevil. A shadow was cast over proceedings when the Face turned up while on his daily search for wrongdoers, hurled abuse at Jason and hit him in the hockey mask until he started crying. Thankfully, Paul was around to cheer him up, and those two formed an unlikely friendship. Michael, meanwhile, cast his roving eye on Paul's girl, Eva, who also showed up. I don't recall ever being this interested in an episode of Neighbours.

You can't see it very well, but I think Jason is leading.
Jason and Michael get to know each other.

My goal is simple: to continue saving up and build Yahtzee and co. the ultimate party house, with a swimming pool and a top floor devoted entirely to a huge party room. Snooker table, minibar, the works. Then, as soon as it's done, I will make a few more households and invite the whole damn town over for an absolutely royal piss-up. Think about it! Hitler will hold court in the centre of the dance floor, ranting about his past glories, while Himmler attempts to make him sit down and Yahtzee looks on making occasional notes. Paul and Eva occupy the jacuzzi while Rob flexes his muscles to the delight of a small audience of nubile young bikini girls. Meanwhile, The Face has lost his inhibitions after a few drinks and is attempting to Macarena in front of the stereo with Batman and Robin. Captain Jean-Luc Picard is in the bathroom, snorting cocaine off the toilet seat. Michael and Jason are chummily trying to drown each other in the pool. Spider-woman and Darth Vader are awkwardly humping on the snooker table. It'll be like the same destructive force of a volcanic eruption being applied to a house party. It would be the reason why the French word for 'party' is the same as the French word for 'explosion'.

Alright, I know, this update is making me out as the saddest bastard in the world. I'd better go and do something really non-sad, like have sex with a woman or play a game of Rugby. While I go and do that, I suppose if anyone in the audience enjoys Sims they might like to download my custom skins. Yahtz, Rob, Paul, Hitler, Face, Jason and Michael heads and bodies are included in the zip file. I couldn't find a baseball cap with glasses model so Yahtz wears a beret and shades. Sorry. Paste the images into your sims/gamedata/skins directory in case you didn't know.

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