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[Seems I forgot to upload Space Monkey's weekend update last night. Things on the mind, don'tcherknow. I apologise to all you monkey fans who were no doubt on the edge of your seats.
Jed was having a good day. Already this morning hed managed to get out of bed, have a shower, eat breakfast and leave the house. That was when the bad things had started.
Jed was perhaps the unluckiest man alive. In the last week hed been mauled by a dog (a poodle for gods sake!), attacked by all the pigeons in Trafalgar Square on his way to work, and, oh yeah, become rather dubious about his doctors practices after what he could only describe as an MOT when he went for a rabies injection. After that, hed thought things couldnt get any worse. Oh how wrong hed been.
On his lawn (copiously large, his parents wills had seen to that) sat a large black helicopter. What looked like a platoon of flak-jacketed, black-bereted soldiers was standing around, some casually smoking a fag. In front of them stood someone who could only be described as an officer and a young woman in a white lab coat. Apart from them, the only thing out of the ordinary was that hed forgotten to put any trousers on.
The woman in the lab coat, whom Jed realised was surprisingly attractive, was walking towards him, along with the tall officer-type. He looked horribly efficient and impersonal. Hello Jed Clambake, he said in a clipped German accent. I am Major Hübelgrüber. Ive come from the High Consulate of the Secret World Government to recruit you.
Jed was shocked. The secret world government really existed? Hed doubted the rumours from his conspiracy newsgroups for a long time. You see, although Jed was a huge conspiracy nut, his heart wasnt particularly in it. At all the big Conspiracons he was the one with the rational arguments for everything It really was a weather balloon. Look, I found records for the weather in New Mexico and the launching schedule of the nearest science station. Sadly for Jed, no one ever believed him. But this was different, wasnt it? These people were real. They didnt look like pranksters from one of the Conspiracons; they were far too casual about their jobs. If they were just conspiracy freaks then the only secret world army that they could possibly recreate would have been standing to attention constantly. Plus, there was no possible explanation for the helicopter.
Mister Clambake? asked the pretty girl in the white coat. Im Jeanette Hackman. Im a SWG science technician. Im here to explain as much as I can. She spoke with an accent that he couldnt quite place. She sounded bizarrely like his friend Pete from Sydney. Im sorry, where are you from? he asked.
Oh But isnt that guy German?
Hübelgrüber? Oh he is. You didnt think the world was ruled by the Germans did you? That made him blush. She chuckled. Follow me Mr. Clambake. Germans, I ask you. What were you thinking, neo-Nazi fascism to the core? Germans indeed.
Well who does rule the world then? Dont tell me its the Americans! he whined, turning to follow her towards the helicopter.
Bill Gates. He bought out the SWG a while ago, too many profits, no idea what to do with them, you know. He didnt. But before him it was the Welsh.
Jed stopped walking.
Yeah, I know. I couldnt believe it when they told me either. But youve got to admit, they do have a good cover.
She was right; he did have to agree. He stepped up into the helicopter, and then turned back to her before he sat down.
Do I need any trousers?
At the risk of bringing about some kind of impromptu theme week, this week's article is also Sarah-centric. I promise I'll get onto other topics on Monday. It's just, like all pretentious posers, when I get dealt a bum hand I like to dwell on it until sympathy occurs.
Well, she's gone. Disappeared into customs and that's the last I saw of her. All the way I was hoping there'd be some error with her ticket so she could come back and live with me for a little longer, maybe long enough for me to install some chains and manacles, but no, it was not to be.
So I'm on my own again, with no girlfriend and only my site to vent my spleen on until I can make the money to join her in Australia. I get a little bit more depressed every time something in the house reminds me of her (everything). And why not? Fuck, I love her.
Now, the one thing I hate more than anything is internet blogs where people go on and on about their personal lives which no-one really gives a toss about. This is supposed to be a humour site, where I can make people laugh. I don't want to get bogged down in depressing things. But sometimes I've just gotta, you know, talk about it.
Let me tell you about Sarah. And if she ends up reading this, she'll probably be as embarrassed as fuck right about now.
I suppose what surprised us both, and pretty much everyone, is how well the relationship worked out. There were a lot of pitfalls we could have fallen into. After all, we met on the internet. This was a couple of years ago, now; she was introduced to the Rob Blanc games by her cousin, and became interested in this mysterious game-designing Englishman. So, let that be a lesson to anyone who says that amateur game designers should get a girlfriend. Maybe that's what they're trying to do!
She e-mailed me with a nice little mail, and I admit my reply wasn't very in-depth, as I treated it as another of the fan mails I got with semi-regularity in those days long gone (sigh). But she persevered, and to her credit included in one e-mail that she read Robert Rankin, one of my favourite authors. It was this that led to me at first thinking that she lived in England too. Imagine my disappointment.
We continued exchanging e-mails and it wasn't long before we were chatting on ICQ, then MSN, every single night. It seemed eerie how much we had in common. Online friendship merged almost unnoticeably into love and finally Sarah came to this country to meet me.
We both knew we were running a lot of risks. Would we both be totally different people to our online personas? Would either of us turn out to be a burly truck driver called Frank? As it turned out, we needn't have worried. Although the first few days were kind of awkward, we grew comfortable playing computer games together like Thief 2 and System Shock 2. I still remember spending the whole of one day playing Princess Maker together trying to get the evil warlord ending but getting the bondage queen ending.
I always held that our relationship had more stuff going for it than others. With most couples they see someone they like across a crowded bar, start talking, and anything they have in common is a nice bonus. These are based initially on purely physical attraction. With me and Sarah, our first encounters were only in text. We only had each others' personalities to go on. We didn't even know what each other looked like for a long time.
I've got to get back with her. She liked computer games as much as I did, something I never expected in a partner. She even enjoys watching the weekly 'erotic thriller' with me. She encouraged me in my artistic pursuits and laughed at my ready wit.
Oh, and she has my Thief 2 CD.
So yeah, about this week.
I won't be updating the site tomorrow. At the time when I usually do so, I will be in the back of a car heading down to London in order to see my girlfriend off as she begins a long and arduous journey to Australia, because living with me is such a chore that she is immediately moving about as far away from me as it is possible to get without going off-world.
Actually she's going because that's where she came from, and she misses it. Frankly I can't blame her, since we've been living in my parents' house, with my dad who whistles loudly and tunelessly at every available opportunity, my odious brother, and the dog who barks every second the moon is still in orbit around the Earth. And tomorrow she's going back to Australia, leaving me with the unenviable task of scaring up enough money to follow her. After all, it took years to find a girlfriend, and do you really think I'd let slip one of the 0.01% of women who like computer games?
I'm hoping it won't take me too long, a few months at most, as I'm still working most days as Head Data Inputter at the most trusting company in the world, supervising a diligent staff of zero, or 2 if you count Lefty and Righty, my scrawny hands. My co-workers tell me, if I move to Australia, then I will have to change my name to Bruce. This is the most fantastically original joke I've ever heard and I wondered why no-one had made it yet.
I guess I should say now that I'm unsure with how much regularity I'll be updating Fully Ramblomatic (if at all) when I'm in Australia, soaking up the sun and consequently bursting into flame. I'm uncertain what computers I'll have access to. Maybe the site will continue being updated as normal and I'm worrying unduly, maybe not. I'm just telling you lovely readers this now so you don't get disappointed if the site screeches to a halt in a few months.
So, in summary, my girlfriend is going back down under and I'm going too when I've got the money. I've been making a list of all the things in little old England I will miss when I'm abroad.
...I'll probably add to that later.
For years I was convinced that The Producers was a good film. Nay, one of my all-time favourite films in the whole wild world. The combination of choreographed Nazis and Gene Wilder having a panic attack helped construct a permanent special place in my moviegoing heart, between Army of Darkness and The Great Escape.
That was until, one fateful day, I discovered the Halliwell's Film Guide 2003. A book to rival the Necronomicon in terms of pure evil (the Necronomicon is not to be confused with the Necrofamicon, which is a Japanese home gaming system that can be used to contact the dead).
Stumbling across it innocently one day while wandering the local library, I thought, hey, maybe it'll have entries on some of my favourite flicks. Eagerly I turned to The Producers.
I had to re-read it a few times to make sure I was reading about the same film. "Dismally unfunny?" What Bizarro version of the film did the Halliwell's people see? Did they not see the Nazis dancing in swastika formation? Gene Wilder's frenzied obsession with his blue blanket? Did they not know the film is more than 20 years old? YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO SLAG OFF FILMS THAT ARE MORE THAN 20 YEARS OLD, DAMMIT!
I thought perhaps they hadn't been able to concentrate on the film, what with their heads being lodged up their arses and everything. But no, it turns out these Halliwell's people are really quite smarty men. For years I had thought certain films were good when, in fact, they were total rubbish! I'll never forget that day. It was like having a shaft of ice thrust through my heart, the one with all the special places in it.
I turned to drink, and wandered the streets in a haze, driven to the edge of madness by the knowledge that I had crap taste in films. My beard grew until it was almost a quarter of an inch long. I slept wherever I fell, and often woke up with another article from my person missing. I felt like Wally in the first Where's Wally book. My life was a wreck, and it was all thanks to the Halliwell's Film Guide.
That was until I discovered the IMDB user comments!
Yes, it seems that there is at least one person who likes every single film ever made, and sooner or later all of them drifted into the IMDB. I challenge you to find a film on the IMDB without a single user comment advocating it as the best film in the world. After a few weeks of reading only select user reviews for all my favourite films, I was firmly on the road to recovery. I mean, compare the Halliwell entries with the IMDB user comments:
I was astounded how people would leap to the defense of even the most dire of films. Experimentally, I decided to look up the very worst film I could think of; An 'erotic thriller' named Sexual Magic I had watched the other day, which was about nympho witches and was narrated by a woman whose voice made me want to hit her with something heavy with sharp edges. Sure enough, there were people on the IMDB who had good things to say about it.
"I was fortunate to catch this on the Playboy Channel and to tape it. The sexually energetic Amber Newman gives what night (sic) be her best performance here, not withstanding "Body of Love" where she was paired with porn star Chloe Nichole."
Yes, well, maybe this wasn't the best example. The reviewer kind of colours my opinion of him with the information about his life he gives away.
EXHIBIT A: He subscribes to the Playboy Channel.
EXHIBIT B: He tapes stuff off the Playboy Channel.
EXHIBIT C: He has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of porn stars and their films.
material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw