Solid Sharkey
Weebl and Bob
8-bit Theatre


Updated Every Weekday!

1/11/2002: Bite Me

And, appropriately enough, this week's article is a Horror Movie Sequel Theatre review of a little film called Halloween: Resurrection. If you do not read it then I will never forgive you. This was the first time I've ever actually seen a horror movie in a cinema and later reviewed it, and let me tell you, I stand by my previously documented opinions on cinemas.

That's about it for today. Your assignment for the weekend is to write a funny update so I can have some time off.

See you Monday!

31/10/2002: Kill Me

I had written a beautiful piece for today. It was a rant about how much I despise Halloween. It was witty, well-written and a shining example of a writer at the top of his form.

Then I tried to save it, and my computer crashed.

So I guess you won't get to read it. Out of all the people in the world, I am the only one who had the opportunity to read my brilliant Halloween article, and now the text is already fading from my cruel, cruel short-term memory, the paragraphs lost in a whirling sea of data, never to be seen again.

If only you could have seen it, dear reader, if only. It would have driven all thoughts that I was losing my touch from the head of existing readers, and would have instantly hooked to my site any new ones who happened to turn up for the first time looking for a quick giggle. If only you could have read the beginning. I opened with a short description of how at this time of year children's television presenters decorate their studios with plastic bats and skeletons. Then, while you would have been pondering on that, you would have gone to the next paragraph, consisting of only one, short sentence - "I fucking hate Halloween" - which I believe was a masterpiece of comic timing. Sadly, however, you will never appreciate this as you could have. All because of my unreliable rig.

I seem to remember, after the above revelation, I conceded that Americans would no doubt think of me as some Scrooge or Pontius Pilate-like figure, for hating such a wholesome event as Halloween. I went on to explain that, while for Americans it is a time when sparkly-eyed children in elaborate costumes go around the community requesting sweets from their smiling neighbours, for us British it is merely a bastard relative of the same event, copied from the American television in which our channels are drenched.

But now all that is lost.

I was going to put a really clever picture here, but it hardly seems worth it now.

I spent the next paragraph explaining how the British TV channels really began a flood of cheap American programming a few years ago, and how neither I nor any of my friends would have even considered going trick-or-treating when I was nine. I complained that American culture was infecting our youth, that their slang featured prominently in conversation, and that even Independence Day, a holiday which has no business being celebrated outside of America, especially not here, is marked. At this point I was even considering submitting this article to a newspaper or magazine, but now this can never be, my dreams of freelance journalism savagely torn from my beating heart by a computer that simply refused to co-operate.

I went on to describe trick-or-treating in this country. Small platoons of unruly youths, rarely costumed, roaming the darkened evening streets, knocking on doors and demanding succour from the people within in such an underlyingly menacing manner that one feels if you don't placate them you'll have broken windows by dawn. I made the only slightly exaggerated revelation that, in this house, we usually put up a sign on the door stating that everyone within is allergic to sugar and as such have no goodies on the premises. Of this paragraph I was most proud of the way I summarised British trick-or-treating: "Brutalisation of innocents without the excuse of 'tradition' to support it".

Going on a slight tangent, I then condemned both British and American Halloween for perverting the original Pagan holiday, which was a time of blood and sacrifice, a black celebration of evil. I believe those were my exact words, but I can't be for certain, as the original text is gone forever. I said that if the original spirit was still in operation today, if the first-born of a randomly-chosen house were dragged screaming from their parents and murdered on a cold altar stone by hooded chanting men, then I for one would be absolutely A-OK with that. Then, in brackets, I wittily reminded the readers that I am a second-born, an addition almost cheeky in its subtle humour. Now all I can do is lament the fact that this little joy is lost on my three to four thousand strong readership.

Finally I confessed that I had the urge to put on a mask and cut the hearts out of anyone bothering homeowners on October 31st, then put the reader momentarily at ease by saying I would not do this, as there are laws against murder in this country. Then, just when they would have least expected it, I went to a new paragraph and said I would stick to inflicting flesh wounds. On that note the article finished. Now I will never know what effect that literary device would have had on my friends all around the world.

So I'm afraid that there won't be an update today, all thanks to my bastard computer. You'll have to wait another 24 hours to enjoy another slice of my unique brand of observational writing. I'm sorry, but there it goes.


30/10/2002: X-Cruciating

I don't really get the X-Men. I sort of understand that a bunch of pubescents acquire superpowers because of the natural evolution of mankind, but the last time I checked, evolution doesn't work like that.

(Yeah, I know, spending an update complaining that comics are unrealistic is like complaining that the sky is blue, or that Professor Stephen Hawking is a jolly clever chap. I just thought this would be amusing. Sue me.)

Evolution occurs when a species finds it needs a special thing to survive. It might be longer leg bones so they can reach the higher, tastier fruit. It might be a special mechanism in one's throat that allows one to shoot saliva at dawdling insects. It does not, let me repeat that, NOT, have anything to do with someone waking up to find they can walk through walls. That is probably more to do with the influence of aliens, top secret military research, or illegal narcotics.

I can understand evolving a mutant healing factor - the X-men do tend to get in a scrap fairly regularly. But what conceivable environment would one need to live in for laser vision to be a necessity? The only one I can think of is if you happen to have no arms and live alone on a desert island otherwise inhabited only by seagulls.

And what about the other ones? Actually, I made a little chart.

Controlling the weather Being very clumsy and living in the Swiss Alps.
Walking through walls Living in a six foot by six foot hollow inside an enormous concrete block.
Telekinesis Weighing twenty pounds and being a quadruple amputee.
Telepathy Making a living as one of those 'I guess your weight and age' carnival attractions.
Teleportation Living in a six foot by six foot hollow inside an enormous concrete block.
Shapeshifting Living in a place where you have to shapeshift in order to survive.

This would also require hundreds of generations of ancestors before you all living in the same situation, not really something that can be arranged overnight without a team of workmen and a time machine. Besides, mankind stopped evolving a long time ago. Evolution is survival of the fittest; medical advances and shit ensure that even the non-fit survive in this crazy workaday world. However, what with medical bills and poverty and shit it seems the best way to survive in the present-day developed world is to have lots of money. With that in mind, here's what our evolutionary future has to look forward to. His name is Geoff.

In the future, we will all have our mums cut our hair.

1: Very wide feet with little rollerballs underneath, to make it easier for Geoff to accidentally trip on uneven pavements, fall over and injure himself, so he can sue the council for lots of money. For the same reason, the legs both have five joints each.

2: Second penis and enlarged scrotum so Geoff can father lots of children. That way the government has to pay him lots of child support benefit. These are also good for entertaining beautiful rich supermodels, whom Geoff can marry, then divorce, and steal all their money too.

3: Extra big hands for holding lots and lots of money, arranged perfectly for the taking of backhanders. Also so big that it's easier for Geoff to get splinters in his fingers and sue the owner of the wooden item in question for lots of money.

4: Big cheesy smile so Geoff can become a member of a boy band and bleed the pocket money from millions of excitable teenage girls.

5. Special money-detecting radar eyes, also flash and make 'cha-ching!' noises whenever Geoff comes into money from one of his many nefarious pursuits.

6. Extra big brain to think up even more ways to get money. This also makes Geoff top heavy, making it easier for him to fall over and injure himself so he can sue the council for lots of money (see above).

7. Mr. Sun. He will give Geoff sunburn so he can sue God for lots of money.

I hate the world.

29/10/2002: Runway to Heaven

I don't think the British government likes my home town much.

Maybe it's because it plays host to a writer of subversive websites, although somehow I doubt that my one-time letter to my local MP could have such far-reaching consequences. Maybe it's because dull, quiet, medium-sized industrial towns in the middle of the English countryside offend their big city lifestyles.

The point is that the government have been planning to build a major international airport slap bang in the middle of said countryside, right next to our quaint little town. This would of course require the destruction of certain villages and the introduction of massive deforestation and building work, then of course the price of houses nearby would plummet exponentially.

As you can no doubt imagine, the people of Rugby are a tad miffed about this state of affairs. We were alright with them building a multiplex cinema just outside town, hell, man cannot live on the occasional showing at a decrepit old theatre just off the town centre alone, but an airport? That's just being silly. In times of strife like this, it's a good thing we can rely on the local papers to produce such impartial and unbiased headlines as "BAN AIRPORT NOW!" and "WAR WITH THE GOVERNMENT!" and "FUCK YOU, BLAIR!".

It was this same local paper that ran a feature on a recent protest march the people of Rugby made. Says something about our town, really. The farming community wanted London to change their mind about certain legislation, so they formed a crowd the size of the Baltic Sea and marched through the streets of the capital. Meanwhile, in our efforts to change the government's mind, we just formed a rag-tag lynch mob and wandered around the town a little bit half-heartedly waving signs and banners with badly thought-out legends.

Speaking of which, I would really like to know what the fuck this is supposed to mean:

This is your future.

Now, maybe you can understand that great passionate stirring in the heart of this lad would explain away this cold-blooded massacre of the English language. What I can't understand is how this picture was chosen for the newspaper. Don't they have editors to throw away things like this? Did it not occur to the person cropping the background away that this was the stupidest protest sign in the world? Now, maybe we could still understand this if the picture was slipped into some rarely-seen page deep within the issue. But look closer. See that little black shape in the bottom right? That's the left-most portion of a large letter A, for Advertiser, the name of the newspaper. This photo appears on the front page, and not only that, to the immediate left of the masthead. Fuck me, I am seriously losing faith in the press corps of this town.

What the hell does it even MEAN? 'Eat my shorts darling! No airport?' The 'eat my shorts' bit makes the most sense if you leave it on its own. He's inviting the government to eat his shorts, kiss his arse, lick his kneecaps, you know, it's straightforward verbal abuse. But the immediate addition of 'darling' ruins the credibility. It's like making a nice fruit salad that everyone wants some of, then shitting in it. There's nothing wrong with the fruit salad around the edges, but no-one wants to touch it as it's got poo in the middle. Now it looks more like he's relaying a message to his girlfriend explaining that he's up for some kinky stuff tonight.

'No airport' makes sense too, but why did he then fucking put a fucking question fucking mark after it? Now it sounds like he's in favour of the thing. Or maybe he's just politely enquiring as to whether the airport's been built yet, or just making a heartfelt plea rather than a harsh demand. I don't think they'll be putting this guy forward to plead our case to the government.

GOVERNMENT: Now then, sonny, what's this about?

BOY: Erm, I was just sort of wondering if you'd be kind enough to not build that airport thing please.


BOY: Oh, okay. Sorry to take up so much of your time, darling.


I also like the way he's put a nice little smiley face on the side to juxtapose his rather glum expression. It's like he's saying "Yes, I am a little peeved that the government want to shatter the peaceful silence of the countryside, but that doesn't mean I can't spread a little happiness as I go by!" Idiot.

Here's my improved design for his banner. I think it sums up the public opinion on the whole affair, don't you?

A proper one. Not one of those cissy scout hut ones.

28/10/2002: Hail and well met

That's better. Skipping updating for a whole week did me a world of good. I even got round to writing a few in advance in case I don't feel like writing one some day in the near future. However, it's becoming more and more of a task to write something every single day, which is why I'm going to start accepting guest updates, as has been suggested to me on the forum.

Basically, if you have the skillz to write something clever that you think would be just the thing to stick up here, then by all means send it in. As long as it's original material and hasn't been shown anywhere beforehand, or at least hasn't been shown anywhere anyone looks at much, then I'd be much obliged. Who knows, you might find yourself giving me one day off a week regularly, or even doing weekend updates.

So, if you have a little update you'd like to share which you think is funny, and if I agree with you, then it could very well end up here for all the world - well, some of the world - to see. If I don't agree with you, try not to take it too personally. Send your updates to the usual address, preferably within the text of the mail rather than in an attachment, and I'll try to get back to you.

In the meantime, here's a brand new Cowboy Comic: a tale of forbidden love and unexpected death called Love Hurts. Enjoy!

Updates Archive

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