Updated Every Weekday!
Once you've gotten over that utterly awful pun in the title there, I've got something a little different for you today. It's called Fight or Flight?, and it's a sort of small-scale webpage version of those old Choose Your Own Adventure Books. See how far you would have gotten in the process of evolution!
That pretty much covers what material I have today. Your assignment for the weekend is to write a letter to your MP/senator/head of state demanding that a razor blade be inserted into every tenth lottery ticket.
See you Monday!
There's been a series of adverts running for eons now that are trying to sell us fish fingers, fronted by a mysterious figure called Captain Birdseye. He's undergone a couple of minor changes, but basically he's an old British naval captain with a worrying fondness for cod wrapped in golden crispy crumb, and an equally worrying fondness for small children.
The oldest advert that I can think of involved a white-bearded Richard Attenborough-like jolly fellow who captained an old-fashioned sailing ship, even though he dressed in a modern naval uniform, stationed for some reason in the Arctic. Here he somehow managed to teleport a bunch of overexcitable kids who he sat down in his galley and fed fish fingers to. Now, call me suspicious, but exactly what are the children's parents going to think?
PARENTS: Where have you been?
KIDS: We were magically transported into the ship of this jolly old sea captain who fed us his golden crispy crumb and golly gee whiz was it swell!
PARENTS: (calls police)
After some management tosspot decided that kids were finding the current incarnation just too creepy, Captain Birdseye enjoyed a brief stint as a dark-haired, grizzled action hero fellow who piloted a submarine, forever hounded by a gang of evil people in heavy mascara who wanted to know 'the secret of his golden crispy crumb'. I guess none of them were able to read the ingredients on the box. So they hatched plans involving kidnapping small children, possibly so they could get them to read the ingredients to them, but Captain Birdseye would always show up in his submarine and stop their foul scheme. I guess, like the Secret of Monkey Island, we will never know the secret of the golden crispy crumb. Knowing the Captain, it's probably something along the lines of 'I piss all over them before they go into distribution'. The good news is, this incarnation wasn't too creepy. He was, however, a twat.
Which leads us to the current batch of Captain Birdseye adverts we're enjoying. It depicts him back in the white-bearded guise, now with a pronounced pirate accent and a habit of calling everyone 'shipmate', living on a tropical island, no doubt in the South Pacific (so he has no business calling anyone 'shipmate', there not being a ship to be a mate of). And while before he restricted himself to hanging around six or seven kids maximum, now there's a whole horde of the buggers under his control. I'm not saying he's a paedophile. He's probably just their mentor, a Fagin-like character, there to teach them all a lesson on friendship, giving and his golden crispy crumb. Having said that, I bet he puts his tongue in one or two of them when no-one's looking.
Anyway, the question that occurs is this: where are the parents of these children? And how did they and Captain Birdseye end up on this tropical island with nothing but a load of woodworking supplies and a pile of fish fingers? Read between the lines here, people. They don't hand out the title of 'captain' to any dirty old man with a frozen food company. Captain Birdseye was obviously captain of something, probably a cruise liner, which no doubt ran into a bit of trouble on the high seas and ended up wrecked off the coast of the island. As for why there aren't any adults besides the cap'n, I guess they went for the whole 'women and children first' thing, but there weren't any women, as it was a special cruise just for single fathers and their offspring, and the Captain went first too because he's an arse. And all those poor single fathers were left to drown while their children buddied up to some weirdo in a cap.
FIRST MATE: Captain, I think you should steer us away from that reef we're heading for.
CAPTAIN: Yarr, I know full well about the reef, shipmate! I'm gonna crash into it so I and a load of kiddywinks can live on that island together and eat fish fingers!
FIRST MATE: Have you been taking your happy pills, captain?
CAPTAIN: Yarr! (shoots first mate)
Alternatively, adults did make it onto the island, but they quickly found that, although they had plenty of breadcrumbs, they didn't have any proper food (eerie music creeps in). They were alone, hungry, and becoming desperate. The children had to survive, as children are our future. The parents were expendable. You don't neeeed them, said the Captain in a spooky voice, his eyes turning into rotating spirals. Your parents haaaaaaate you. But I don't haaaaaate you. I looooove you. You looooove your captain, don't you?
So the next morning the population of the island wakes to find the adults conspicuously absent, and an enormous plate of fish fingers and chicken dippers lying nonchalantly nearby, as well as a 'Children of the Corn' video box set. I'm not saying anything, but you just remember my words when you bite into your golden crispy crumb and find a signet ring.
My dad's response to yesterday's rant? "I once thought like you, but you have never thought like me". Well, I guess that refutes my entire argument. Hats off to you, Dad.
"That Yahtzee," they said. "He thinks he's all that. But I bet he'd never be able to get an update out of the cover of a dodgy Western novel he saw in his local library."
Well, look who's got egg on their face now!
Here's the cover in question:
HOLY FUCK, that woman's forehead is so huge it could theoretically reflect TV signals! I can tell that bloke on the horse in the top left with the aghast expression on his face is thinking something very similar. For now, however, let's concentrate on these fellows here:
Now, just look at this. I suppose you're going to tell me the bloke in the hat is punching the other bloke, but why is his expression so mild? Shouldn't his fist be blurred or have movement lines or something? He could be just checking his watch while his friend has an epileptic fit. Or maybe he's letting his chum smell his deodorant, and the chum is so impressed that he's doing a little sommersault with glee.
As soon as I saw this book I knew I had to check it out, scan in the cover, and make a little comic out of it.
[So far, the opinion on Sniper Smiley has been quite positive! So I guess he can stay. I'd still like suggestions for colour scheme and a slogan, though.]
Today is a very special day for me. Today is a day that will live on in my memory. A day that has been coming for a long time.
Yes, it's Shut-My-Dad-Up Day!
My dad is a retired British Rail engineer obsessed with television and making incredibly asinine home videos. Somewhere along the line he has picked up the belief that he is an incredibly wise philosopher and theologist. Sometimes we get into arguments of a dogmatic nature but, since I lack spontaneity when talking in real life, and because he never listens to me properly, I have trouble getting my arguments across. He also keeps talking about what I could put on my 'daily bulletin' as he puts it, apparently thinking I don't plan these things. Well, yesterday he suggested I talk about this inane theory he came up with, and since I can reason better and have more time to think up arguments when I'm writing it, and also since he can't interrupt me, I'm going to do just that.
So here's what he was talking about. There's been a story in the news about some terminal woman being cryonically preserved so that future scientists could find a cure for her sicky. I wonder why they felt this woman was important enough for the entire scientific community to devote their time to curing, but that's besides the point. My dad's argument goes like this.
"What if she's up in heaven, living it up with God and whoever, but she feels herself going back, and she goes 'What's going on?' and they say 'Ah, they found a cure for you' and she goes 'But I don't want to go back!' and they go 'Well, you should have thought before!' What about that, eh? You could write about that."
Immediately I put forward my first argument - asking that we please leave religious dogma out of this - but he didn't seem to listen. Then I made a few more arguments and he responded by repeating his initial theory, louder and in more detail.
So, here we go, with my better, more thought-out arguments to oppose this imaginary problem with cryogenic recovery.
1. I won't bore you with all the problems I have with the concept of God, or heaven. For starters there is no conceivable place in the realm of human knowledge in which heaven could occupy, except perhaps in the human imagination. For main course, the universe and the world is far too chaotic to indicate that it was purposefully created, or is being guided by some divine entity. Good people have shitty things happen to them, bad people can live it up all their lives. There's no order to any of it. Even if God does exist I certainly wouldn't worship him for making such a crappy place. But that isn't the main crux of the argument, anyway.
2. The human soul. What my dad is imagining is some higher plane that the soul ascends to once it vacates the body. Now, if there is a heaven, it'll no doubt be filled with wondrous things and gardens and those Laser Quest places that I really like, but my question is this - how would one SEE all of this? Your eyes are with your body, under the ground, or burnt, or frozen solid. Your ears likewise. All your sensory organs. Are we supposed to believe that you have special ghost eyes and ears? If there is a soul, it requires the biology to make the complete person. Without the body it'd just be some blind, deaf and mute spark of energy floating around invisibly.
3. Lastly, Dad completely misunderstands the process of cryonics. You can't just take any old cadaver, stick it in the deep freeze, and wait until they have amazing future technology to bring it back to life. In order to be re-awakened in the future a person has to be frozen at the very POINT of death. In other words, the person is never actually fully dead - just teetering on the very very brink. Ho yes, once you're dead there's no backsies I'm afraid, unless the soul does exist and someone finds a way to trap it in a jam jar as it leaves your body, to put back in later. Anyway, who decides when it's the future? There is no future, only the present. Someone in 2557 is going to find the cryonic chamber, look at the label saying 'OPEN IN THE FUTURE', shrug, and go back to his desk.
So there you go, Dad. Doubtless you will combat all this with the usual argument you fall back on when you've run out of points - "you haven't lived as long as I have, so you can't understand" - but for now, I've WON. And I think, deep down, you know that.
Sorry to everyone else for this update not being very funny, I was concentrating on getting my points across. Here's a funny joke to make up for it.
A tourist bloke is visiting the Vatican, and realises he needs the loo. He goes into the holy gent's, and finds the Pope sitting on the floor vigorously masturbating. Thinking quickly, the tourist takes a quick photo. The Pope offers him five thousand quid, or lira or whatever, for the camera, which the tourist readily accepts. A little while later the Pope is out with one of his cardinals, and sees a rare squirrel scurrying up and down the Vatican trees. Quickly he whips out his new camera and takes a picture.
"How much was that camera?" asks the cardinal.
"5000 quid, or lira or whatever," replies the Pope.
"Wow!" says the cardinal. "The bloke who sold you that must've seen you coming!"
Thanks to Brendan O'Sullivan-Hale for the five bucks; Rest assured I will thoroughly enjoy the McDonalds Extra Value Meal that will buy me. For the moment, however, I've decided to stop badgering perfect strangers for their hard-earned cash. I mean, we all dream of making a living from running a website, but really this isn't gonna happen. Besides, I felt guilty about demanding money for nothing but regular daily humour.
So logic therefore dictates that I should find a way to make money while giving the original owner of the money something in return. At first I gave consideration to making up some FR.com wallpaper to give to donators, but then realised that this would not only be stingy but would rely on people who are actually prepared to put advertising up on their desktop. I guess the next step is a Cafepress store.
I've looked at the Cafepress site and it looks like a simple enough process, but before I start slathering the site logo onto shirts, I want to get a new logo. I've had bad feedback about the current one - nicknamed Sniper Smiley - and it is rather cheaply constructed. So I'm looking for a new logo to put in that little space up there, and soon maybe a new colour scheme for the site, some rearranging in the left sidebar, you know, the complete works. I don't want to be like Not My Desk and change the site design completely every week, because that would be a bugger and a half, I just want to find something nice.
I'm opening up the floor. If you have an idea for a FullyRamblomatic logo, preferably the same size as big ol' Sniper Smiley, do tell me about it, or even make it yourself and mail it to me, as well as any suggestions for the site layout. If you just want to tell me that there's nothing wrong with Sniper Smiley and if I take him down then you will bludgeon me to death with a stale saveloy, do tell me anyway. There's also a thread on the FR forum on this subject you could post on.
Secondly, I'd like some ideas for shirts. When a new logo's sorted out I'll obviously have some simple shirts with just that, but if there's anything else you'd like to see on an FR.com shirt ... maybe a particular image you liked from one of my articles? Terminator Kevin Warwick, perhaps, or the God of Google Image Search? Let me know!
I've already got an idea for clothing. The other day I saw some guy in town walking around wearing a shirt plain but for the word 'PANTS' emblazoned across his chest. This sounds intriguing. Like the brief fad for music stars to wear the name of other music stars on their chest while performing, it seems clothes have started to bear the name of other articles of clothing. On that note, here are some rough designs of mine.
Can you see yourself walking around in any of those? It could happen if you let me know your thoughts on the subject! Also, a few days after the above encounter I saw a man wearing a shirt plain but for the word 'BENCH'. It's not just clothes, it's all mundane items getting in on the act! Here're some more rough samples!
Yes, I can tell that a store is the way to go once I've done some sorting out on the site. Don't forget to mail me on any of the subjects I've written about today!
material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw