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28/6/2003: Things That Should Never Have Been Invented

Food Dehydrator

I admit I’ve never actually seen one of these; I just heard about it in the Book of Ratings, so I may be missing the point. But still, a food dehydrator? If my dictionary is correct, this device will take in food, and yield an inedible version of said food. Apples will become piles of fructose powder. Pieces of meat will become instant shoe-leather. Coca Cola will be stripped of its disguise, and rendered as a small chemical processing plant. Corpses, I suppose, would become unidentifiable and easily removable, but I doubt the marketing department were thinking of Dispose-O-Corpse when they made this one. Technically, I guess, you could pour water on the powder coming out of the dehydrator, and so make an appallingly disgusting pulp that resembles the original product only in colour, if that, but if you’re doing this, what’s your goal? Are you planning to break out your caravel and take a trip round the Cape of Certain Death? Useful I suppose if you happen to believe that the major white goods firms making portable fridges are in collusion to own our souls, but for the rest of us, a mystery.

Wrigley’s Extra Thin Ice

What kind of satanic meeting of the marketing department created this one? I can only imagine the Director of Marketing had sat on a VCR Remote that morning, and it had been irreversibly wedged up his ass, just far enough to be awkwardly stimulating every time he moved, but not quite far enough to prevent the appearance that he did in fact have a rod up his ass. Even then, he’d have to have been discovered unexpectedly impotent the previous night, and have fallen into a carelessly placed box of bear traps within at least four days. I mean, look at what you’re eating, people! It’s a sheet of biodegradable, mint-flavoured polythene! Personally, I’d actually prefer some actual clingfilm that’s been doused in flavouring; at least that way, it won’t suddenly lose its form and latch onto my tongue like it’s some sort of alien attempting to take command of my body, starting with my teeth.

American-style Cars

Or Armoured Personnel Carriers, to give them their original name. As far as I can see, there are three things you can do better with these than with your standard automotive product:

1. Smite your enemies. This is great when you’re actually trying to smite. Whilst the Mercedes A-Class has been known to bounce when in collision with pedestrians, a proper American car, properly modified, will enable you actually not to notice your smiting as it happens. The problem occurs when you’re not vested with divine power, and most of your smiting is accidental; when unable to open a fiery portal to the realm of dread and so make good your escape, the authorities don’t tend to draw the proper distinction between righteous smiting and Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, the bastards.

2. Burn oil. All very well if you happen to be named Alan Greenspan and so have an interest in propping up the oil industry, but a bastard when you want to travel between cities without draining significant portions of the Persian Gulf.

3. Create spatio-temporal anomalies. This actually happened once – a section of bridge collapsed, and a total of 1,483 drivers plunged to their fiery doom, one after the other. The resulting wreckage was found to be the densest material encountered by modern science, and though it was eventually cleared away, temporal and gravitational anomalies persist to this day. Rumour has it that as a consequence, there is actually a spot in America where time doesn’t move at all, and one can eat the fabled everlasting mince pie. Still more rumours have it that this spot is named Milwaukee.

The Clementine

We’ve got oranges for the large, tangerines for the small. There just isn’t room in the market for another orange-coloured, citric acid-filled fruit. If I urgently wanted one at short notice, I’d eat an old shirt and think happy thoughts.

27/6/2003: Flash, aa-ah

It's been a while since I made a Flash movie, mainly 'cos they're a bitch to get online, but somehow I muscled through and created this. If anyone has ever got you with one of those tiresome flash movies that make you stare at a still image for half an hour then surprise you with a scary picture and noise, you could send this to them and get your own back! Tee hee!

Tomorrow, the indefatigable Chris Smowton dazzles us with his boundless charisma.

26/6/2003: The Talented Mr. Myers

You know, it must be tricky for Jason to schedule all his resurrections so the subsequent killing sprees can all happen on Friday 13ths. I hope he keeps a year planner at the bottom of that lake.

Shrewd readers will remember that as a half-coherent rambling thought from last Friday, but it set me to thinking. We all know what Jason Voorhees does in between Friday 13ths; he's generally sitting around at the bottom of Crystal Lake, making awkward conversation with the little fish that swim around him and nip scraps from his decaying flesh. But what about that other bastion of lurking, Michael Myers? He can only kill people on Halloween, and between films, we have absolutely no idea of where he spends his time.

Well, now I can shed some light on the private life of our favourite white-faced freak boy. Eleven brave men died to bring you this; an account of what Michael Myers' does for the rest of the year!

November: Immediately after his latest massacre, Michael generally returns to his small rented apartment in Newark, New Jersey, and spends most of November emotionally recuperating, in a state psychologists like to call "Post Killing Spree Depression". After a few days of this, he returns to his regular job at the local chemist's, expertly skirting around demands to know where the hell he's been for the last week. This is also generally the time Michael's drinking buddy Clive starts teasing him, safe in the knowledge that Michael only actually commits murder on one day of the year. "How's the family, Mikey? Oh, that's right! You killed them all! HA HA HA HA!"

Michael advising a customer.

December: Christmas is a lonely time for Michael Myers. While all his friends go off to spend it with their families, Michael can't, cos his family have all been stabbed to death. Sometimes Clive or another friend will feel sorry for him and invite him to spend yuletide with them, but that led to an unfortunate incident when Clive's mum said "You're just like one of the family!" and was brutally stabbed to death the following October. Generally, he just stays at home eating turkey TV dinners and watching re-runs of Raymond Briggs' "The Snowman".

January: Winter makes Michael feel even more lonely. He buys a puppy to replace the last one, which he usually eats raw when Halloween rolls around. He names it John Wayne.

February: Michael's spirits are lifted somewhat by the usual valentine card from his 'secret admirer'. Michael has never been able to figure out exactly who this is, but has several possibilities in mind. Is it Irma, the girl who works the photo desk at the chemist? Arawn, the dark Pagan deity who demands Michael sacrifice his relatives in his name? Or is it Clive's hot sister Beryl who he felt maintained a soft spot for him after he failed to murder her the first time?

March: By this time, Michael has generally taught John Wayne his favourite trick: "Play dead while foaming at the mouth and occasionally twitching violently".

April: All Fool's Day, easily Michael's second favourite holiday, is marked when Clive walks into a room and a bucket of whitewash falls on his head. But he always takes it with a sense of humour, and Michael even offers to pay for the dry cleaning.

May: Michael's birthday is May the 12th, and it's generally up to Clive to organise a surprise bash. It's always a merry event when all their friends come around for a drink and a dance. Beryl even bakes a cake in the shape of a big stabby knife, and afterwards, when everyone's sufficiently pissed, there's the usual Friday the 13th marathon, during which Michael is encouraged to mimic each kill with a handy dressing dummy while his friends all chant "Stabbity death! Stabbity death!"

June-July: Summer is coming, and Michael spends increasingly large amounts of time hanging out at the beach. He hits upon the idea of entering the surfing competition to impress the local beauty, Kimmy-Sue, but wipes out spectacularly and comes to realise that Kimmy-Sue is a total bitch anyway. He secretly slips her name onto his hitlist. Arawn demands he only sacrifice relatives, but he's sure the old codger won't mind.

August: At the height of summer, Michael likes to get away from the heat and takes a short fishing holiday with Clive up at the lakes. Every year they enter the big local competition to catch "Big Jake", the legendary giant catfish of the waters. Although they don't succeed, Michael is almost certain he caught a glimpse of a fin at one point.

These images took fucking ages to make.

September: It's time for the annual psychopath union meeting, which Michael generally dreads. He can't stand hanging around all those jittery young white males who keep staring at him. He generally spends most of the time in the corner minding his own business, but every year Jason somehow manages to track him down. Michael doesn't like Jason, as he smells and keeps dripping slime all over his shoes.

October: This is it; almost time for the big day. Michael takes the preceding couple of weeks off to prepare. He decides on this year's primary target from the big family tree flowchart he keeps in his bedroom, then assembles maps of nearby schools and pumping facilities with plenty of hiding places. On October 30th he gets his favourite grey overalls laundered and his favourite butcher knife cleaned.


November 1st: Michael comes back home and picks up the leash, ready to take John Wayne for his evening walk. He thinks about this for a moment, then smacks himself in the forehead.

25/6/2003: Urban Warfare

[Before we get started, if anyone's been having trouble getting onto the Rob Blanc page lately, it's because mixnmojo is down and Netmonkey inconsiderately moved it to somewhere else without telling me. Big slap on wrist for all concerned! Here's the new site.

Secondly, Space Monkey, bless his little heart, has asked me to tell you all about his new domain name, I'm sure he'd be infinitely grateful if you were to go and have a looky.

Here's another guest update from Geoff 'Larrakin' Andersson, or as I like to call him, Lovely Larrakin!


Our cities are being ravaged by war. There are tactical assault squads rampant in shopping centres, snipers hiding in drains. Or so one would think.

These, students, are what we call "wankers". These people can be seen in just about any town or city with a population of five thousand or more, walking the streets in clothing made for blending into the backdrop of a jungle, or perhaps a bad colour scheme (Changing Rooms, I'm looking at you).

Now, I know these people have been around for quite some time, but I've noticed a recent surge in the concentration, and it's started pissing me off again, so here I am. Then again, one is really too many, so I'll complain a bit more.

Do these people honestly think they will go unnoticed because they're wearing camouflage clothing? Most of them don't even bother to wear that stupid grey "urban" camouflage, just your regular run-of-the-mill green jungle hippy shit. Which is all very good, if you are in one of the elusive parts of the city that is still rainforest. Those places are havens for muggers, and blending in could help protect you. Hell, you could attack the ruffians and be a hero. An invisible hero, when in your rainforest.

But what if your plan backfires, and you are injured? How will the paramedics find you, if you are invisible against the undergrowth? What if you drop your hat? Not only will you have difficulty finding it again, but also since your head is no longer concealed, anyone walking by will just see a floating head. You’ll have to set fire to your hair and say you’re an enemy from Doom.

And then there’s the psychedelic camouflage that required observers to be taking LSD to conceal anything. What these bright orange jokes are supposed to blend in to, I’ll never know. Maybe they’re preparing for the vegetable war when we’ll all be using giant carrots for transport. I don’t know if they’ve noticed or not, but most vegetables don’t have eyes. You could be wearing a giant Toohey’s can, and they wouldn’t notice you. I know, because I’ve tested it. I ran directly at the crisper drawer of the fridge, knife brandished, and they didn’t even blink. Again, maybe it’s because they have no eyes.

So in light of all these complications, why would anyone dress in this manner, I hear you ask? Well, I honestly don’t know. Many probably claim that they are making a statement by wearing it, but I don't know for sure. I avoid talking to them. I’m sure that if I did ask them what their statement was, it'd be some waffle that'd go on for half an hour involving military heritage, national pride and some form of dairy product, but could all be summed up by saying "I am a wanker and I'm not afraid to say so."

And so I implore you, mock these people. Poke fun at them. Steal their hat. Next time you see one walking towards you, I implore you to look straight past them, and walk into them. If they get angry, say you didn't see them with the camouflage gear on. AHAHAHA! Er...well, it's fun anyway, no matter how gay it sounds. Trust me.

UPDATE: Four days after I wrote this article, I saw somebody I went to school with in the pub wearing camouflage attire. “What an opportunity!” I thought to myself. “I could talk to her and find out exactly why she wears that absurdity!”

Then I came to my senses and went back to my beer. I should’ve left then and there, but I had to stick around, didn’t I? She came up to me and struck up a conversation. After all the usual crap about what we’ve been up to, where our friends are going to uni, when she got her breasts augmented et cetera, and I decided to ask her why she wears camouflage clothing.

“It’s to show that for someone to stand out in society, they have to try to blend in.”

“Arse,” I told her. “If you were trying to blend in, you’d be dressing like you were walking down the street, not like you were on a covert mission in Southern Peru. By your own statement, to stand out, you should be wearing jeans and a t-shirt."

She didn’t talk to me a whole lot after that. I can’t say I’m all that depressed about it.

24/6/2003: Matrix Retarded

Finally got around to seeing that new 'Matrix' film the other day. What a spectacular cinematic treat! Ten times the computer generated crap of the original! Ten times the fighting! Ten times more pointless since Neo is supposed to be omnipotent! Ten times the outrageously overdone symbolism! Ten times the confusing storyline! Starring Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, The Slightly Mannish Woman and A Big Keanu-Reeves Shaped Piece Of Wood!

Not that it isn't good-looking wood. Ho yes, some of the finest wood on this planet, but that doesn't distract from the fact that it is nothing more than a piece of wood. Actually, this film would be ten times funnier if Keanu Reeves was replaced by a cardboard cut-out which the other actors could propel and operate. Probably be a lot cheaper, too.

Surely it is not up to me to comment on how stupid most of this film was. Why does Neo even have to do anything if he can re-shape the Matrix whenever he wants? Oh, and I think we're supposed to forget that the Agents are supposed to be super-strong unstoppable killing machines, as suddenly everyone and their dog can beat them up.

Another thing that annoyed me was the huge numbers of innocent people who died in unspeakable ways throughout this film. I remember in the first film they went on about "whoever is not with us is against us" to excuse all of that. Well, fuck you guys. These people haven't got a clue about your stupid quest. They go through their lives, make friends, fall in love, get married, have children, then get killed horribly because it looks cool. Let's take a moment to remember some of these poor souls.

1. John Johansen

There he is!

John was a high-flying student all through his education until he came to college, where he fell in with a really bad crowd and ended up joining an armed street gang. However, after rescuing a fellow gang member from certain death while under heavy enemy fire, he was wounded and spent several weeks in hospital. At that point, he vowed to turn his back on violence. He returned to school and took courses in Ancient History and Paleontology until he managed to get a job as a museum curator. In just a few short years he had pulled himself up by his bootstraps and really made something of his life. That was until an agent jumped on his car while pursuing Laurence Fishburne, and he died tragically in the ensuing horrific pile-up, because it looked cool.

2. Maude Robinson

Maude was born in a bad neighbourhood in the lower east side of Manhattan, where she was often sung to sleep by the noise of breaking glass, car alarms and police sirens. But she remained optimistic, and even when her brother was killed by a wandering gang, she felt only pity for the poor wretched souls who had committed such a horrible crime. As she grew older, she founded a community centre to help disadvantaged youths. There she became an almost godlike, mentor figure to the grateful homeless children she took under her wing, helping them to make something of their shattered lives. That was until she witnessed Keanu Reeves and fifteen Hugo Weavings having a fight, at which point her body was hijacked by an agent and then turned into another Hugo Weaving because it looked cool. Her community centre was shut down after her disappearance.

3. Richard Perwick

As a child, Richard was regularly beaten by his alcoholic father, who saw him as a symbol of his failed marriage. Richard went through his life with a feeling of abandonment and inadequacy. But one day, a street gang broke into their apartment, killing his father while he looked on. Rather than feeling relieved, Richard vowed to avenge his parent and somehow redeem them both. After several weeks of training, he took to the streets as the fearsome vigilante "MIDKNIGHT", who punished wrongdoers with a mixture of brutal beatings and bullets. For seven years he defended his neighbourhood from the forces of darkness, eluding police and underworld assassins alike, becoming a symbol of justice and righteousness. Unfortunately, when Keanu Reeves was flying as fast as he could through the city to save his loser girlfriend, causing cars to fly around and windows to shatter, Richard was in one of the buildings and was shredded by a million shards of broken glass, because it looked cool.

He had some puppies at home. Adorable golden retriever puppies left abandoned for months, little bellies rumbling, whimpering constantly, wondering why no-one came to feed them or play with them anymore. When their little dead bodies were discovered, they were lying huddled together for warmth.


23/6/2003: Another Hilarious Pun Involving Angles

At the risk of turning Mondays into Angular Mike Day, three more strips. It's just that I only seem to be able to make them at the weekend. I'm guessing it's something to do with the alignment of the planets or something.

I'm afraid I'm a little morose today, dear reader, like you care. I've just been overdosing on Half-Life 2 press reports, and I can't afford a new computer. Also, I don't know how to upgrade. Plus, I'm hopefully leaving the country in a few months and it seems a bit pointless. Maybe if I spend an entire update crying loudly about it someone will take pity on me and send me something fun with a 3Ghz processor and enough RAM to impregnate an entire sheep farm.

Here goes:

(sniff) (snuck) Waaaah. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! A-huh, a-huh, a-huh, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

[update cut short by request of everybody]

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