Weebl and Bob
8-bit Theatre


Updated Every Weekday!

3/10/2002: Plump Fiction

Set sail for what I personally believe is the worst chapter of the Search for Something: the seemingly irrelevant Chapter Eight. I'm so so sorry. Maybe I'll have a nice film review done for next week.

Meanwhile, your assignment for the weekend is to make a pirate costume out of other people's articles of clothing and swan about in it to see if anyone notices.

See you Monday!

3/10/2002: Language Barrier

Have you ever seriously sat down and thought about the words that make up the English language? I'm sure we've all at some point, while bored, read and re-read a word until it just becomes a collection of syllables that don't seem to make any sense.

There are words that sound like what they mean, of course. Words like 'sneer', or 'webbing', or 'glum'. But then we have words like 'stationery', which sounds more like a word you'd give to a collection of industrial equipment. Even what we're talking about now, 'language', sounds more like a kind of pasta dish. What I'm trying to say is that sometimes our dialect just doesn't make any sense at all.

One word that I particularly hate is 'movie'. I know it's a foreshortening of 'moving picture', but that sounds like what a medieval knight would call it if he suddenly found himself transported into modern-day Cannes. What we call a 'moving picture' is usually a two hour story which happens to be recorded onto celluloid, and I'm sorry, but the existing name just doesn't sum that up for me. 'Film' isn't any better. That's just what the story is recorded onto.

If you'll watch to the end of the credits in any 'film', to the bit with all the American Humane Association disclaimers and the funny symbol that looks like a Rugby ball with a circle in it, you'll notice in one or two of the disclaimers that the official word for a 'movie' is a 'photoplay', and that name I like. It's a play, but it's photographed. Photo-play. That works. Why can't we all go around calling it a 'photoplay'? If I started doing that no-one would know what I was talking about. It's completely insane.

If the bloke who came up with 'moving picture' named everything else in the world, our houses would be full of 'glowing boxes' and 'carpet dust removing devices' and 'washing machines'. Oh wait.

Wait until you see the whites of their ISBN numbers...
The Enemy.

Another word that I feel needs re-evaluation is 'computer'. Sure, this was a great name back in the 40's when getting a machine the size of a house to add up two and two was Nobel Prize-winning stuff, but now we can use 'computers' to write novels, play games, talk to people on the other side of the planet, or even put up silly rants about language on the Internet for the world to see. 'Computer' doesn't sum it up anymore. We need to get in line with science fiction. 'Home terminal' would be better, or even 'workstation'. Nice, eloquent words that actually make sense and make the whole thing seem suddenly a lot more important.

One source of the problem is tradition, which, to quote Warren Ellis, is merely "what conservative people use as an alternative to thinking". We call photoplays 'moving pictures' because that's what they've always been called. Half the words in the English language are derived from Latin or Gaelic or shit. Enough of this dead past, let's make some new words! Has the inventive spirit of that first caveman who came up with grunting in various different ways really gone from us? In the nineteenth century some weirdo managed to introduce the word 'QUIZ' to the dictionary by writing the word all over town and challenging people to work out what it means. That's just the kind of spirit we need.

So, here are a few words I've just made up. I obviously don't have the resources to write them all over town, so I'll just put them on the Internet instead.

'DRIMPLE' - noun. One of those drops of sweat that suddenly dribble from your armpit down your torso and feel really gross.

'SNOCULATE' - verb. To sniff heavily while the nose is full of semi-solid mucus and make that nasty burbling noise.

'MOASY' - adjective. Curiously attractive, like a car accident.

'PWINKLIES' - plural noun. The funny sparkly shapes you see when you press on your eyelids.

'RANTICULAR' - adjective. Endlessly and angrily talkative about nothing of any real interest.

Of course, I don't expect any of these to come into common use, because I'm just a penniless website owner with an audience that represents about 0.0005% of the Earth's population whom no-one ever really takes seriously. Frankly that really steams my pwinklies and no mistake.

2/10/2002: What Kind Of Mule Am I

After last weeks cowboy-related job interview adventure I walked into my local library actively seeking out dodgy Western covers just so I could make a comic this week. I'm going to make this a regular feature so I gave Cowboy Comics its very own page, partly so there'll be more than one link on the 'cartoons' index.

This week I made a thrilling tale of illness and spurned love called The Dreaded Lurgy made from not one but FOUR dodgy Western novel covers. I won't put it on the front page so as to not to clog up your poor defenceless bandwidth, so click here to read it!

By the way, you really have to get a load of some of the author names on these books. Elliot Long. Matt Logan. John Kilgore. Personally I think they'd make much better character names for the novels than the existing ones. Jonathan Grimm? Will Storme? Ash Colter? Jesus Christ. Why don't you just call them Big Jack McMuscles while you're at it.

I got the character names from the blurbs on the back of the books, by the way, just so you don't think I actually read these things.

1/10/2002: Slay Misty For Me

Let me give you a little insight from my notes file, the text document on my hard drive where I put ideas for updates when they pop into my skull.

"Red Dwarf Tribute
Dennis the Menace
Anything about Pokemon".

And the reason why I put that last one there, is because I had a gander at my site statistics the other day. Did you know that I get an average of 3000 hits a day, although it inexplicably soared to 6000 on September 24th for no apparent reason? Not that that matters. The point is that the second most popular page on this site, after the front page, is 'why it would kick arse to be a Pokemon trainer'.

So, I figured, give the masses what they want and watch the traffic roll in. Now, I'm kind of reluctant to talk about Pokemon. I was always rather embarrassed about my affection for it. I used to sit in my room watching the series on TV with the volume turned right down so no-one would hear. If it was ever even mentioned while I was in a room with someone else I would leave immediately and hide somewhere. So now, obviously, I'm going to tell the world about it. Or rather, 3000 representatives of the world.

It took me a while to think of exactly what about Pokemon I could write, but one day while flicking through archives of other humour sites it suddenly hit me.

So now, let me present to you my nominations for THE MOST FUCKED UP POKEMON OF ALL TIME!

WHAT... Ah, here's our first nominee. He seems a happy kind of chap, but just answer me this - what the HELL is that thing hanging off his rear end? Does he even know it's there? Look at it! Tell me that expression on the pink thing's mush is anything other than blank ecstasy. And what about the seashell thing? What demented motivation does it have for putting its mouth in permanent close proximity to a pink furry creature's bowels? I've always said this franchise was a sordid front for a bunch of Japanese perverts getting their jollies.

...THE... Imagine something with me. Imagine the picture on the left is being slowly downloaded on some crappy 14.4k modem. The first thing our hypothetical website viewer sees is the tips of the wings, good, then as more of the picture is revealed we see the thing's ears, fine, then the top of the mouth, OK, then a little bit more mouth, yep, then a little bit more, and a little bit more, and a - steady on! - little bit more, then we finally reach its bottom row of teeth. Jesus, what does this thing live on to have evolved a mouth like that? Cannonballs? Hippopotami? American tourists? It's like one of those egg-eating snakes without the charm.

...FUCK... I haven't played the actual Pokemon game much, but when I did I have fond memories of spending approximately nineteen years trying to get this fellow to evolve into something with actual basic motor skills. This little shit is about as effective in battle as someone's vegetative grandmother. At least the latter can still emit a nasty smell you can hope your opponent will be put off by. Imagine playing Warcraft 2 but the only units you can use are trees. That's what using this thing is like.

...IS... Okay, it's a duck. That's not particularly silly. And it has a monobrow. Hell, we've seen worse from Pokemon. Now, the executives at Nintendo obviously felt something was missing, so they came up with making the little guy carry around a spring onion, or a stick of celery or whatever the hell it is. Bear in mind that Nintendo isn't some two-bit company working from a rented office in Chiswick above the local Blockbuster. They're a major multinational corporation. They actually spend time researching what people like and putting it in the product for more widespread appeal. And SOMEONE decided, after much deliberation, that the ideal companion for this otherwise nondescript birdy thing would be a GREEN VEGETABLE. BITE ME.

...THIS... NINTENDO EXEC 1: Right, we've got little bastards based on pretty much every existing animal we can think of, shall we wrap the game up now?

NINTENDO EXEC 2: No! We haven't done an owl yet! We must have an owl!

NINTENDO EXEC 1: But we have those Pidgey things, they look vaguely like owls -

NINTENDO EXEC 2: NO! We must have something that is very obviously an owl with exaggerated owl features and shit! And then we'll call it Twit-to-woo or something.

NINTENDO EXEC 1: Well, if you say s-

NINTENDO EXEC 2: WAIT! I've had the greatest idea! We'll make it look like it's wearing heavy mascara like that bloke from A Clockwork Orange! Bwa ha ha ha! I'm a genius!

NINTENDO EXEC 1: (backs away slowly)

...? Well, this guy isn't too fucked up until you start looking into his bio and shit - apparently this little killing spree waiting to happen wears his DEAD MOTHER'S SKULL on his FACE. There are lunatics in Broadmoor who grew up rubbing the family dog's intestines on their genitals who aren't as mentally fucked as THAT. And look what he's wielding! That's probably her femur he's twatting his enemies with! Bear in mind that there are more than one of these things in the Pokemon world, so either there's some seriously un-PC things taking place in the birthing ritual or the species as a whole is spectacularly unfortunate.

Hey, this article was kind of fun to write. Maybe I'll do another on more of the totally fucked-up little gits. Perhaps the huge amounts of new readers I'll get from this article would like to nominate a few themselves. Mails to the usual address!

30/9/2002: Dot the I's and Cross the T's

As you have no doubt noticed, has undergone a couple of little changes.

I've changed the colour scheme to something a little less hard and primary, given Sniper Smiley a complete makeover, changed the title graphic, menu graphics and basically everything to give the site a lovely new look. I also moved the links from their own page to the sidebar, to be more prominent. Of course, if there's anything about the page you find disagreeable do let me know.

Now then, I want to tell you a little story.

I was sitting at my computer, idly flicking through old projects and even older porn, when my eye fell upon a CD box sticking out of the small heap of them behind my keyboard. It was the Monkey Island Bounty Pack; the first three Monkey Island adventures on three CDs. 'I haven't played those in a while!' murmured a gleeful little voice in the back of my head, so I stuck the CD in and played Monkey Island I.

This is where it starts to get hazy. I remember some of the scenes from the game and thinking how brilliant and timeless the humour is, and how well-animated it was for the time. I remember wondering what I could come up with if I set out to make a game as good as Monkey 1. Then I have a very very foggy memory of downloading the latest version of Adventure Game Studio. After that, blackness.

When I woke up, I was slumped against my keyboard, and it was three whole weeks later. Saliva had glued my cheek to the desk, and my fingers ached. I pulled myself blearily upright, and blinked at the monitor. It was displaying a folder containing Adventure Game Studio. It also contained a subdirectory called 'Odysseus'. Oh yes, and I was wearing stocking suspenders and a bowler hat, but that might be more to do with the paint I was sniffing beforehand.

The point is, while drunk on the influence of Monkey Island, I had done what I had vowed never to do again. I had written an adventure game.

So what else could I do? I zipped it up, uploaded it, and made a little page for it on this site.

Here it is.

God help me.

Updates Archive

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