Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crime and Punishment


I’ve been wrestling with something for quite a long time now, readers, and it’s the issue of capital punishment. It’s a big old question: Should we reinstate the Death Penalty.

You read these stories in the Metro, like the one I read this morning, about horrific crimes. Three thugs broke their way into a young couple’s house in North London with a shotgun, forced the wife, who was seven months pregnant, to perform fellatio on them and then stole a load of their stuff.

For some reason this is extra bad because she was pregnant. I’m not sure if I understand why this is extra bad, unless it’s because the trauma could have harmed the baby. Otherwise I don’t think being forced to do that to somebody who’s broken into your home is any easier for you if you happen not to be pregnant.

Anyway, why should we keep these people alive in prison (assuming they get caught)? Do we really believe that they can be rehabilitated? Do we really think that five or six years in chokey will turn them into the kind of people that, when seized with the criminal urge will stop, take a breath and count to ten and then opt not to break into somebody’s house and rape them? Do they get lessons every day where somebody holds up cards with various scenarios on them, and they have to decide whether that scenario represents acceptable or unacceptable behaviour?

“Ok chaps, so on this card we have a man buying a newspaper in a shop. Is this acceptable or unacceptable?”
“Er… Acceptable?”
“Great, very good. Well done. That’s right, it’s acceptable; we’re off to a flying start. Now, what about this one… On this card we have three men forcing a woman to have sex with them. You can see that she’s crying, so we can assume she doesn’t want to do it, but they’re going to make her do it anyway. And they’ve got a knife, there. Do you see? So, is that acceptable or unacceptable?”
“Er… Acceptable?”
“Oh dear me, no. I’m afraid that’s unacceptable. What a shame, you were doing so well. Ok, we’ll pick it up again tomorrow.”

Say they don’t change their ways. Why spend so much money giving them somewhere to live, giving them food and water and encouraging them to associate with other people who seem unable to control their most aggressive, bestial urges? Why not, in fact, concede that taking these people out of the gene pool is the best thing we can do for society?

Why should they be able to wreak the kind of havoc they wreak and then end up cosseted by the system. Television, gymnasiums, basketball, rock hammers to make chess pieces, cushy jobs in the library, table tennis. I bloody love table tennis. That’s not a punishment, it’s a reward. They’re not prisons, they’re bloody holiday camps. It’s disgusting. Oh dear, i've done a rape, i'm going to have to go and live at bloody Center Parcs. Sentenced to water flumes every day for ten years.

No, I’m sick of it. Let’s line the buggers up, get them to dig a trench and shoot them in the face with machine guns until there's nothing left but the bloody stump of a neck, then get the next lot to fill the hole in and start all over again. An eye for an eye, that’s what I say. We’re too bloody soft in this country. We should put their heads on bridges to deter other criminals, like they did with Mel Gibson in that film about the Scotch. Rip their bloody entrails out and hand them to them in a bread basket, steaming in the frosty morning sunshine. Scum!

There are arguments against it, of course. Some people suggest that the state cannot outlaw the taking of a life, and then take a life itself. These people seem to have no problem, however, with the state outlawing the incarceration of one civilian by another civilian while at the same time incarcerating people itself with gay abandon. They also seem to have no problem with one country defending itself against another country in a situation of war, through the use of deadly force.

Other people say that it is simply inhumane to kill another person. How can it be inhumane, though, if humans are forever killing one another?

The most powerful argument against the death penalty, though, is that you could kill the wrong person. In the end, though, there’s no smoke without fire, is there. If you’re arrested and executed, then you’ve probably done something bad. Unless you’re Jean Charles de Menezes, of course. But let’s chalk that one up to experience. To err is human, after all.

The Chinese have a refreshingly practical nature to issues like this. Not only do they execute people with an enthusiasm that suggests they really enjoy it, they then harvest their organs. That strikes me as a really useful way to repay your debt to society. He knew a thing or two did that Chairman Mao. Mind you, I wear glasses sometimes, so I'm glad he's not my chairman. Nonetheless, change must come from the barrel of a gun!

Or maybe not. Perhaps I’m just in a bit of a bad mood today. I guess your head has to rule your heart when you’re making big policy decisions about issues like capital punishment. On balance, I think perhaps we’re right after all. The Death Penalty is probably wrong.

We could just break their legs, though.

Newsdesk out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Dice of Doom

I am not a man to be meddled with, I think that much is clear. Well, it will be to my loyal readers. Not so, perhaps, to the six so-called Facebook friends that I have been holding virtual hostage here on the pages of my blog.

At the time of writing there are still just 24 followers. That means my ultimatum was roundly ignored. That's to say, none of the six Facebook 'friends' I selected, decided that they would follow the blog.

SO, true to my word, I will roll the Dice of Doom.

First though, I will allocate each 'friend' a number.

Firdos Anjani = 1
Elena Firstova = 2
David Doze = 3
Caroline Anne = 4
Beatriz Carvalho = 5
Alan Stevens = 6

Here goes.....drum roll please......

FIVE.

There we are, I'm terribly sorry Beatriz Carvalho, my 20 year old Brazilian chum, you're for the high jump. Consider youself de-friended.

OY-flippin-G readers....I've just scanned down my list of Facebook friends and guess what?

David Doze has taken the law into his own bloomin' hands and ALREADY defriended me!!! The friggin cheek of it. Doze by name, dozy by nature I say.

Seems my hardline tactics have now cost me two Facebook friends. Still, I guess it's for the best really, they weren't really my friends were they?

I have to say I feel a little deflated though. I kinda thought that at least one of my Facebook friends would join the fold. A small part of me thought that maybe one of them would start a group up on Facebook, maybe called something like 'Friends of Barry Newsdesk' and then loads of people would join up. People love joining groups on Facebook. I once joined a group called 'I'm joining this group to have one more group on Facebook'. It was hilarious.

I was planning to repeat the Dice of Doom recruitment tactic, but I think I might have to get a little bit more hardline.

I might have to up the ante readers, and become like the Taleban of the blogosphere, Osam bin Newsdesk they'll call me. Hang on though, before the FBI send down a can of whoop-ass on yours truly, I'm not going to hijack a 747 and fly it into Canary Warf. For starters, I'm not an Islam and I don't buy all that nonsense about going to Heaven and having 26 virgins, or whatever it is.

No, for my hardline follower recruitment drive I think I'm going to have to reach out to ALL my Facebook friends and issue a new ultimatum.

I will send a Facebook email to each and every one of them (excluding Mess and Jennifer Walker Shannon - that makes 167 'friends') saying that unless they join me I will defriend them, one per day (working my way through the alphabet) until they're either a follower or gone.

There are to be no more dice, it will be a war of attrition....it's my way on the virtual highway.

Yours, not in a cave in Afghanistan, but in a two bed flat somewhere in deepest South London.

Peace be with you.

Barry

Monday, September 28, 2009

Deal or no deal?


There are some strange people out there, readers, I’m sure you’ll agree. On Saturday I was minding my own business, out for a walk in the park when I saw a person walking towards me. I don’t say it was a man or a woman, because the lines were blurred, shall we say. So how should I refer to the person who was walking towards me? I can’t keep calling them “the person who was walking towards me”, can I. But “it” sounds a little bit harsh.

My judgement is to refer to the person as “she” because she was clearly dressed as a woman. That said, she was a bloke. You’d have to have been blind not to spot that. But that’s not the point, is it. Massive hands and a big Adam’s apple she may have had but, if she wants to be seen as a woman, then she should be allowed.

If Ray Davies can show this kind of tolerance in his classic song Lola, then I can show it too. I’ve always thought that Ray missed a trick by not employing the rhyme “Tombola” for that song. After all, “Tombola” is one of those quintessentially British quirks that the Kinks usually love sticking in their songs. I’ve thought of writing to him about it in the past, but he’s known to be mad, so I’ve let it slide.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand. It’s topical stuff, isn’t it, what with the scandal surrounding South African athlete Caster Semenya, who recently won gold in the 800m at the World Athletics Championships, in the women’s event. She’s a well built lass, is Caster, no two ways about that. She ripples with muscle – if I had a physique like that I’d be proud, and I’d probably be able to beat a bunch of girls in a foot race, too.

Unfortunately for Caster she was forced to submit to a number of unspecified “gender tests” that sounded very sinister indeed. Surely there’s only really one that matters, and that’s to have a good scout around to see if you can find a cock and balls. If there’s no cock and balls there but there is, by contrast, a lady’s opening, then job’s a good-un. She might be no oil painting, but she’s a lass, and a pretty nippy one, at that. Well done Caster!

Of course they didn’t go into details about the tests, so we don’t know if they demanded to look in the athlete’s undies. If they did it to Caster, though, they'd have to do it to all of them. Perhaps it would be like a weigh-in ahead of a big title fight, with all the press watching.

“Right, now, miss, if you could just hop up on this rostrum and show us your monkey, we’ll be on our way.”

It would never happen. Imagine, just imagine, if they tried to do that to Paula Radcliffe. There’s be an outcry. She’s a national treasure. Mind you, she’ll happily cack in the street when she feels the need, so perhaps she wouldn’t be averse to flashing her bits at the camera. By the way, am I the only one who thinks her relationship with her trainer/husband is a bit bleak? He shouts at her when she doesn’t win. And I bet he’s got the key that undoes the padlock on their kitchen cupboard, the one where the chocolate digestives are kept. It’s a real worry.

She’s often held up as an inspiration to young girls because of her high achievement in the sporting world. But if she wasn’t good at running, then she’d be held up as an example to girls of what they shouldn’t be trying to look like. She’s very thin after all. It’s a tricky line to walk, isn’t it. Those super-skinny models that only eat lettuce and chewing gum and then throw it up again get a bad press. But if they did the Great North Run with a smile and a wave, they’d be lauded. It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, as Mad Ray once wrote.

But I was telling you about the woman I saw in the park. She was walking towards me, and making eye contact. When she got closer she said:

“Yeah but spunkin’ up in my face wasn’t part of the deal, was it?”

I walked by with my eyes turned to the floor, as she took a seat on a bench. I think she was on one of those hands-free mobile phones, and talking to somebody else who, presumably, had breached the terms of a contract they had both entered into. I wondered what that contract could have been for.

Had the man on the other end of the phone engaged this person to, I don’t know, sell his flat? To clean for him? To visit his cats every other day and sit with them for an hour for a two-week period while he was on holiday? To fit a new coil and thermostat to a faulty hot water tank in his bathroom? To deliver a box of fresh, organically grown, locally sourced seasonal vegetables to his house once a week? To do some freelance marketing work for his small business? To manage the funeral arrangements for his recently deceased, dear old dad? To provide legal counsel in a case of corporate fraud? To cut his lawn, or his hair? To supply him with a banned substance of some kind?

If it were any of these things, then I should imagine that the person in the park had a legitimate grievance, because I can’t see how spunking up in her face would be part of any of them. No, my guess is that it was some kind of sex-for-money arrangement and he hadn’t ticked the ‘Bukake’ box on the booking form.

You do have to be careful when making commercial arrangements with people – whatever it may be for – and it’s best to keep a record of what’s been agreed. Then, at least you can settle the matter calmly, and not unnerve peaceful pedestrians by shouting about people spunking over your face while they’re out for a walk, trying to clear their heads and think about life.

Newsdesk out

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friend or foe?










































Firdos Anjani
Elena Firstova
David Doze
Caroline Anne
Beatriz Carvalho
Alan Stevens

Yesterday I announced my new plan to gain followers to my blog. The last act of a desperate man? Maybe, but who cares?

I selected six Facebook friends (from A-F) their pictures are shown above to each of them I sent the following Facebook email:

Dear Facebook friend

We have been friends on Facebook now for quite some time. I'm not sure how long, because we've never actually met and the only reason I approached you to become a friend is that I thought you looked quite nice - I don't mean that in a sleazy wierd way either, I just thought you looked like you might be a good friend.

Anyway, we haven't really been hanging out or doing the things friends do, which is a shame, still I'd like to ask of you a favour, it's quite simple and will not take any kind of financial transaction (unless you're that Nigerian Prince who keeps emailing me!! lol). All this year I've been writing a blog (http://barrynewsdesk.blogspot.com) and managed to attract a following of 26 lovely people - well, 24 lovely people really because TWO people left me quite recently.

The thing is, I've tried everything to get my number of followers up. Twenty four might be a nice number of hours in the day, but it's a laughably low number of blog followers.

I announced on yesterday's blog posting that I would choose six Facebook friends and place their pictures on the blog (you were one of the chosen few) and I would invite them all to become a follower of the blog. In the event that not one of the six become a blog follower, I will roll the Dice of Doom and de-friend you from my Facebook friend list.

Please come and follow the blog, I do not want to defriend you, but if no one joins the fold, I will roll the Dice of Doom and let fate decide.

Your friend

Barry

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another one bites the dust

I've lost yet another follower. How did it come to this? Mr London Street reckons I lost some people when I started posting Fur Wars, he also suggested that I need to start commenting on other blogs. He knows what he's talking about when it comes to blogging, at the time of writing he's got 174 followers. One hundred and seventy four! This guys knows a thing or two about blogging.

Mind, the most popular blog in the world according to Technorati is The Huffington Post, with a an auithority of 17,236. Just to put that into perspective, yours truly has an authority of one, ranked 1,603,173 in the world - I've been mentioned on three other blogs (Mr London Street's (authority 12) Frou Frou Frippery (authority seven) and From Little Acorns (authority five)).

I do comment on the occassional blog, but I haven't really got time to enagage with other bloggers, I'm too busy concentrating on myself. Back in May I came up with Barry's Theory of Followization, I didn't comment on blogs, I simply started following them, and people started following me back - I dreamt up this paradigm shift as a direct result of a similar tactic I had employed on Twitter. At the time on Twitter I had 1600 followers (I've currently got 1983) and I'd discovered that by simply following people they would follower me back. I've stopped following people on Twitter these days, people still follow me, but I think other former followers are unfollowing, so my total number isn't really increasing much over the number I follow.

When I first started using Twitter, people did hit links that brought them to the blog, but they don't bother any more. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that using Twitter as a blog marketing tool is pretty pointless, unless you're Stephan Fry.

Of course, I dare say Mr London Street would suggest that I 'engage' with my Twitter followers, that it is, after all, a social media!!

Now, I have to confess, I had tried something similar to this before on Facebook. I simply started befriending people in a cynical attempt to get people to become my friend. I know, amazing isn't it, that people would stoop so low. That they would have such a low opion of themselves and others that they would attempt to drive up their online popularity in such a way. It's almost as though Iwas unable to make friends in the real world. Laughable stuff!

I currently have 171 friends on Facebook. Which is only just shy of the number of followers Mr London Street has. If only I could persuade those friends that they should come and follow my blog! Well, then I'd be more popular than MLS for starters.

The thing is, I've tried persuading my Facebook friends to come and follow me on the blog by posting the occassional status update alerting people to the blog's existance. It kinda works a bit, every so often someone drops by that saw the staus update, but it's not 'driving traffic' as much as I would like. It's for this reason that I have decided to kept RUTHLESS!!!!!!!

Yes indeedy, I'm going to take six Facebook friends - one from the As, one from the Bs, one from the Cs, one from the Ds, one from the Es and one from the Fs - then I'm going to post their Facebook pictures on the blog, then I'll send them all an email (via Facebook) suggesting that since they are my Facebook friend, they should come and become a Barry Newsdesk follower.

In the event that none of the six sign up and become a follower, I will roll the DICE OF DOOM!

Then, according to the number that shows up on the DICE OF DOOM! I will de-friend one of the six.

I know it sounds ruthless readers, but it has gotten to that stage, where I am quite prepared to start blognapping my Facebook friends, holding them to ransom and virtually executing every mutha feffing last one of them until my blog followership starts to look respectable.

OK dude - keep em peeled, I'll start the hostage campaign of cyber terror tomorrow...I'd best nip off now, that Fray Bentos is gonna get burned baby.

Barry

NOTE - Mess and Jennifer Walker Shannon are immune from the DICE OF DOOM, since they're my Facebook friends and they already follower the blog.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What a difference a day makes

OK, I admit it, I was fishing for sympathy. I know, I'm pathetic really. But I was totally bowled over by the wonderful comments of Mr C and Tennyson. Mr C, I think you're right, maybe it's time I patched things up between Mum and I.

Before I got on the phone to Lincoln though, I checked my emails and was thrilled to see two amazing emails offering me cash for blogging!

The first was from someone called Arrica Lee who said:

Hi,
I would like to advertise in your blog for USD25 for 3 months. It is just a text link. Please let me know what you think.
If you have any other blogs in these category:insurance,finance, travel and auto which are higher than PR1, please let me know too.
P/S: Do you have any blogs above PR3 for sale?

I was excited and intrigued to say the very least. However, it reminded me of the time that Wu Travel approached me with an offer that looked too good to be true. Thankfully, my good friend Mess pointed out that the Wu Travel are bunch of fraudulent scumbags (my words, not his) intent on robbing innocent bloggers of their hard earned cash.
I have yet to respond to Arrica anyway, because the second of the two emails I received looked even more amazing. It was an email from someone called David who works for something called Blog Distributor. Here's what he said:

Hey Blogger - My name is David,

I have been searching the Internet for the most well-written blogs and was impressed by yours. I wanted to invite you to become a paid blogger at Blog Distributor. (please understand that I do not send this invitation to every blogger I come across.)

Here is a link that describes how it all works in a little more detail: https://www.blogdistributor.com/bloggers.php

Our system is set up so that bloggers can make more money with us than with any other blog-for-pay firm. In short, we are the middle man between you and the advertiser. We match the correct blogs with the correct advertisers, who pay us to do so. And then we pay you, the blogger on behalf of the advertiser. You only take the advertisements that you want and are comfortable with. In no way does this alter the owersship of your blog. You simply get paid to write postings on your blog that you choose to write. You do what you want, when you want.

To submit your blog, go to https://www.blogdistributor.com/bloggers_signup.php If you have any questions, do visit the FAQ's area of the site: https://www.blogdistributor.com/bloggers_faq.php If you have more than one blog, you are more than welcome to sign those up as well. If you have any other questions, please contact me at:


Thanks, David


Phone - 702-317-4256

Amazing stuff eh readers?? Guess I won't be giving up on the blog just yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe I'll write the personified onion story for the Secret Seed Society afterall.
Baz

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Feeling blue

Hey ho. Apologies for my lacklustre blogging performance of late, I've been feeling a bit down. It's only natural I suppose, I was on such a high after the bike ride and when Mr C got home safe and sound, that I think I've been suffering from some sort of come down.

I think this is probably how mothers feel when they finally give birth. After years of waiting to find Mr Right then settle down, couples 'try' to have a baby. Conception happens, then after nine long months, they're presented with a sleeping, shitting, thankless brat.


Matters weren't helped greatly when I went to the cinema at the weekend and saw Meryl Streep's latest movie Julie and Julia. I don't want spoil it for you guys, if you're planning to go and see it, so if you are, look away now!

It's billed as being based on two true stories. One follows the life of Julia Child, she was basically the Delia Smith of America. She helped write a book called Mastering the Art of French Cooking and then become a TV super chef. She was married to Gandhi.

The other true story follows the life of New Yorker, Julie Powell, who is fed up with her rubbish job, and the approaching doom of turning 30. She decides to write a blog in hommage to her hero Julia Childs. She sets herself the goal of cooking all of the recipes in Julia's book in the space of one year.

Amazingly, the blog of her simply ripping off someone else's recipes becomes an online sensation. She gets revied in the New York Times and then her blog is made into a book and then a film.

FUCK ME. All she did was copy someone else's work?!?!?!?

How is that fair? How? Where's the art? The craft?

In the film, Julia is reported to say that she's not best pleased ith Julie's blog. Julie is crestfallen, for about ten minutes, then her long suffering boyfriend tells her it doesn't really matter, and so she gets over it and forges on regardless.

Where's the bloody justice eh? eh? I toil, night and day to bring the blogosphere high quality Citizen Journalism and what do I get?!?!?!?!?

Well, granted I do get some lovely comments from among others Mr C, Mess, Tennyson and Mr London Street. But even so...surely I'm more worthy of a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep as Mum!

AND - to top it all off, my blog following has diminished in number by one! I'm down to 25 followers. How can I make this blog more popular? I'm struggling to come to terms with my mediocrity. I've bared my soul to the blogospehere and been roundly ignored.

As you can imagine, I've been feeling quite low about it all. I'm not sure I can be arsed any more. I was going to write a short story for Peter Parsnip and the Secret Seed Society, but what's the point!??!?!?!?!?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet the ancestors

Howdy y'all. After my brush with TV's Julian Richards it got me thinking about my roots: who exactly are my ancestors?

Geneology has been popularised of late, not just by shows like Meet the Ancestors starring Julian Richards who I met last week, but also by shows such as Who Do You Think You Are? on the beeb.

According to some scientists we (the humans) orginated in Africa, I doubt very much whether my amatuer attempts at geneology will plot a root back to the Rift Valley! lol...probably only just get me back to the Trent Valley!!!!

That's where I know, for sure, that Mum and Dad met. As regular readers will know, I don't really like to speak about my Dad, not after the way he left me and Mum to fend for ourselves. Well, it seems the heartless fiend had more in common with Mum than I'd given her credit for, since she's now left me for her new fancy man.

I was forced to divorve Mum a while back and that spat has put a bit of spanner in the works of me building a Newsdesk Family Tree. I know that my parents met in Nottingham, before moving to Lincoln when I was born.

I think Mum's parents were from Nottingham too, while Dad's were from Ireland or possibly Scotland. Maybe one from each, maybe that's where I get my temper?!

I've got an uncle from Germany. But I think he married into the family so I'm not sure that counts. That's where my trail runs a bit dry I'm afriad.

I do know that the East Midlands was under Dane Law once upon a time, so there's a good chance that my relatives (on Mum's side) originated in Scandinavia. And, I suppose if Dad's were Celts, they too might have been Vikings.

I like spicey food, so maybe one of my relatives is from the Indian sub-continent. Oh and, I love Cobra beer!!

That all said, I've got blue eyes and fair skin, so that would fit in more with the Viking theory. I am also fearless and quite partial to heavy metal. Although, and I feel it's necessary to point this out, in case you're thinking the worse, I have never been raping or pilaging. It's just not my style ;-)

It wouldn't be a very good edition of Who Do You Think You Are? would it? The thing is though, it's not where you come from that defines you, it's where you're going!!

And I'm off down the pub....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Home is where the heart is...

Well readers, I made it. One hundred and fifty miles, one puncture, one roast beef dinner, a steak and chips, roast pork, two fry-ups and 12 pints of Stella later (saldy no Cobra en route). Barry, road warrior, Newsdesk cycles on his stomach. I think I must be the only cyclist to gain weight on a long bike ride! arf, arf.

It was a great ride for so many reasons, first up having massive TV celebrity Julian Richards, out of Meet the Ancestors, asking me directions! Ha! Me. I was in the middle of Leicester at the time looking at a map. What are the chances?

Second, helping Wayne and his friend Sean honour the memory of their friend Rich Wildman whilst raising some cash for charity. Now I can walk past the charity muggers on Oxford Street without feeling a twinge of guilt.

Third though, and possibly my favourite bit of the journey was getting home and logging onto the Internet to see the AMAZING news that Mr Coleman came through his heart surgery in one healthy piece!!!!

How brilliant - Mrs C, over coming massive technophobia, even posted a blog comment to let me know her hubby was a-OK. I'm so glad everything worked out. Mr C is a keen cyclist it seems and his doctor reckons that really helped. Maybe next year Mr C will join us on the Tour de Wildman. There are some quite big hills on the way, Wayne and Sean can zoom off ahead, but I'll walk up them with you. I'll be the first to admit that I'm no Lance Armstrong.

I tell you another thing too readers, I've never seen so much roadkill in all my life. The highways and byways of the English countryside are postitively plastered with rabbit, rat, fox, badger and pheasant. At one point I thought I saw a pussy cat, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be an old gardening glove. lol :-)

I also discovered a direct correlation between population density and friendliness. The more people there are, the ruder they become. Honestly, people in the middle of nowhere would wave and say hello as we cycled past, but as soon as we got to anywhere a bit bigger, the friendliness stopped. It made me a bit sad for Mankind.

I had an epiphany readers. I think I might move to the countryside. I might sell my place (my place which is now almost completely over bloody run with Dan Bantam's gym paraphernalia) and buy somewhere out in the sticks. I could live off the land and be a farmer.

We saw a farmer who told us that there was no right of access through his land, but then we showed him the map which clearly showed the Oxfordshire Way going through his land - he conconcted some cock 'n' bull story about Google maps, the local police and hikers getting attacked on his land. We didn't back down though, and he let us through. It's called a Right to Roam!!! If I become a farmer I'll let people walk through my farm no probs. Guess I'm just reasonable like that.

Having said that, running a farm must be quite hard work, so maybe after the runaway success of Fur Wars maybe I should get into writing more stories. Writing seems to come naturally to me. I have a literally bent as it were.

Also The Secret Seed Society is running another competition. My tales of Marvelous Marvin Mung Bean didn't make the grade. This time though the society, led by the wonderful Peter Parsnip, are after a story about personified onion. I'm sure I can come up with a real multi-layered, tear jerker!!! LOL, ;-)))

OK - I'd best be off to think of some onion-based story fodder, until next time - au revoir!

Baz

ps. Mess dude - thank you for your email regarding your affairs of the heart. I think congratulations are due! Congratulations to you!! (And yes, I agree, Mr C would probably have some words of wisdom regarding your story). Be warned though, I fell in love with Amber not so long ago and it didn't work out. I don't want you to get hurt! But as Dave the roofer is keen to say, you can't win the raffle, unless you buy a ticket.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I like to ride my bicycle

Hey lovely readers, remember last month when I wrote about my friend Wayne doing a charity bike ride?

CLICK ME for a reminder.

Well, Wayne and another one of his friends, Sean, is doing his bike ride from Nottingham to Maidenhead this weekend....and he's talked me into doing the ride too!

I must be mad. It's ages since I last rode a bike, but if the old adage about bike riding is to be believed then I should have no trouble getting back on the saddle.

I'll be donning my lycra shorts and eating my energy bars. Nottingham to Maidenhead is 150 miles. Which doesn't sound too far does it? I've borrowed a bike from Dave the roofer, he's off to Canada soon and says I can have it on permanent loan since the ride is for such a good cause. Although, he said he wasn't going to sponsor me, since he does his own charity work - last weekend he did the roof of a local hospice for free.

I tell you what though, bikes have come on a bit since I had that Grifter. Dave's wheels weigh about the same as a small dog. Definitely heavier than Mrs Bradley's Raffles, but then he is a Burmese mountain dog, he probably weighs more than my old Grifter.

Remember the Grifter readers? They were launched onto the UK market as a competitor to the much cooler Chopper and just before the BMX craze swept the nation. I was the laughing stock of Lincoln on that boneshaker of a bike, I guess that's what put me off cycling. Dave's bike's got tiptronic gears!!! The saddle doesn't look to comfy, but I suppose comfort comes a distant second when you're riding a perfomance road bike.

I've been wathcing this hilarious video for inspiration.

I shall take some photos en route and blog about it next week.

Wish me, Wayne and Sean luck. I think we're going to need it.

Baz

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Is there anybody there?

Well readers, it's been two days since I finished posting the last post of my epic story of good versus evil. Two whole days and George Lucas has yet to bother writing a comment.

I must say though, I did enjoy the comments from my gorgeous followers. Particularly those of my dearest follower Mr Coleman.

He wrote to me from his hospital bed, readers, moments before he went under the knife prior to heart surgery!!!

The only trouble is, he missed the end of Fur Wars - Oh GOD readers, I hope he's all right, I really do, I can't think of anything worse than missing the end of Fur Wars. The dramatic finale.

I wonder if Mr C had an out of body experience, perhaps he floated up above his hospital bed, and tried to log on to read the last two chapters, only his ghostly fingers passed through the keyboard - maybe the thought of missing the last chapters urged him to return to his body!

Or...maybe he didn't make it. I'm not going to think the worse, but I only hope that if he didn't make it that up in whatever heaven he's living in (he never did reveal his religious beliefs) that the God he happens to follow allows His angels to log onto the internet and read the blog. I suppose it would be unrealistic of me to expect that God to allow Mr C to communicare with the living from Heaven via the comments section of my blog.

But imagine if this blog became a communications channel with the afterlife!!!! That would be wicked I reckon. I'm pretty sure it would become one of the hottest properties in the blogosphere, I could probably name my price in terms of sponsorship opportunities.

Just think of the questions we could ask. Will the Beatles reform when Macca pops his clogs? Did Hitler still get let in despite all that stuff he got up to? Is it true that when my body involutarily shivers that someone has walked over my grave? Is playing the harp compulsory? Who's the hardest scrapper in heaven? Do you retain your age at death for all eternity or can you choose resemble the person you were at time when you had a bit more hair? Can you sex in heaven? Does everyone have to go to a different heaven or is it a multi-cultural melting pot? Do animals go to heaven? Is it true that God made the bee and the devil made the wasp?

There are so many questions that Mr Coleman could answer. Hopefully though, of course, he'll be back in a little over a week for his online paty.
Get well soon Mr C.

Baz
x

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fur Wars - Chapter 37 (the END)


Albert looked from the hatch of his ship at the fireworks in the sky above. Derek looked up at Albert. “But how?” he said.
“Simple, I knew Vimto would have his cleaner droid’s number in his phone. I just punched the code into my navi droid and it did the rest.”

“Right,” said Albert after a moment’s pause, “has anyone got any fruit juice, my mouth feels like the bottom of an oolah-oolah’s cage.”
“We’ve got something better,” said Derek, “it’s called bea.”

Albert took a sip from the pale brown liquid that was sloshing around in the mug he’d just been handed, “urghh,” he said spitting out the fluid, “it’s just tea with cheese in it.”

Skoda’s voice echoed inside Albert’s head: “This is not the end…nor is it the beginning of the end, but it may well be the end of the beginning…”

Fur Wars - Chapter 36


The world below filled Mong’s observation deck almost completely. “I have you now,” he cackled.
“Sir,” shouted an Imperial Trooper, “we have an incoming hostile.”

Mong looked over to the monitors and saw what was unmistakably Lord Vimto’s star destroyer heading straight for the Def Jam Super Star. “Bu, but how?” he stumbled to himself as the giant craft careered headlong into the Def Jam Super Star’s Annihilator Beam.

Simultaneously, on the flight deck of Vimto’s star destroyer a DY-son-3PO cleaner droid was receiving instructions from a TomTom-D2 on the planet below.

BING! Clean as you go, clean as you go. BING! It said, shortly before being blown to dust along with everything else within a half-mile radius by the explosion of the ensuing collision.

Fur Wars - Chapter 35


Duncan Duncanson held the phone up to his furry ear, but all he heard was the ringback tone: “Through these fields of destruction. Baptism of fire. I’ve watched all your suffering. As the battles raged higher. And though they did hurt me so bad. In the fear and alarm. You did not desert me. My brothers in arms.”

“There’s no answer,” said Duncan as the Bunnies stood around.
“I knew it,” said Prime Bunny Dave, “you should never send a Derekson to do a Daveson’s job.”

SMASH!! The Hutch door flew off its hinges as Derek Derekson burst in. “Dragon Dragonson will save us,” said Derek.

The assembled Bunnies were too dumbstruck to speak. “He’s outside checking his rocket ship. He reckons when the lightening from The Sacrifice struck his ship it did recharge his batteries,” said Derek before spinning on his heels and heading back to Albert.

Dave Daveson and his advisors sat motionless for a moment or two, before charging out of the Prime Bunny’s Hutch in time to see Derek scampering up to Dragon’s ship by The Pyre. The large green monster was already climbing aboard, he half turned to face the crowd.

“Fine Bunnies of The Village, I Dragon Dragonson returned from space to lead you to salvation. And it is back into space that I must go in order to rid you of destruction. Thanks mainly to the help of young Derek Derekson the explorer. His father and his father’s father, and his ..well, you get the picture, they were all explorers. Like me. Searching out new and interesting worlds with excellent parking. I urge you to explore your world, and world beyond. Until the next time, I bid you farewell.”

The Bunnies cheered. They cheered and they cheered, and they cheered some more. Albert felt the warm glow of self-satisfaction washing over him. He closed the hatch of his ship, the Bunnies’ cheering of approval still clearly audible.

“Right,” said Albert, “let’s get this show on the road.” He pulled down the visor of his helmet, flicked a couple of buttons on the control panels in front of him and watched the display unit light up. The instruments of his ship came alive, he looked down at the fuel gauge. Half full, not bad. He waggled his joystick, and the ship’s flaps flipped back and forth.

He turned on TomTom-D2 BEEP! Insert co-ordinates. BEEP! Albert punched in the coordinates of the moon. He would smash through Mong’s Def Jam Super Star en route, the ultimate, self-sacrificing, kamikaze, martyr. He pressed the big red button with ‘Engage Boosters’ written on it. The boosters engaged and the rocket started to vibrate reassuringly.

The engines were now easily drowning out the sound of the Bunnies’ cheers. But the craft was not lifting off. Inside the cockpit Albert pressed the button marked ‘Engage After Burners’. The after burners engaged and the noise grew louder, and louder, then it sort of peaked at a level of loudness that could be heard at least a couple of miles from The Village. Then it started getting quieter, and quieter. Soon the sound of the Bunnies’ cheering could be heard again over the engine noise and shortly after that the sound of the Bunnies’ cheering also started getting quieter and quieter.

Eventually the ship’s engines fell still. Albert strained to hear, but was pretty sure he could no longer hear the jubilant Bunnies from without. This was going to take some explaining.

Albert took out his phone, “maybe I can talk dad out of it,” he said to himself.

His eyes lit up inspired, Albert quickly took out Garth’s mobile phone, looking over at the control panel of his TomTom-D2 unit Albert pushed a few buttons.

BEEP! Re-calculating, recalculating. BEEP!

Fur Wars - Chapter 34


Neither Derek nor Albert had been prepared for what they’d seen as Darylena led them through The Workplace. Row upon row of cells lined the cavernous space, each with a Doe chained up surrounded by chocolates, cakes and grooming products.
In the corner of each cell was a showerhead above a trapdoor. The whole place hummed and whirred, ticking over relentlessly, the entire subterranean eco-system an idling hellish machine whose sole purpose was the systematic slaughter of millions of Bunny Does for pelts. If PETA ever finds out about this place, there’s going to be trouble.

Eventually, the gang found themselves standing at the bottom of a ladder clinging to the wall, going up into the black unknown. “I’ll never make it up there,” said Albert, “not with my big fat arse.”

Darylena smiled and reached over to the wall besides the ladder, there was a grimy panel with an alphanumeric keypad. “We don’t have to climb the ladder, we just need to put the code in and a secret door will slide open leading us to a teleportation unit that’ll take us anywhere on Nob,” said Darylena.
“Go on then,” said Derek.
“…ah,” said Darylena, “slight problem there. I’m afraid I can’t actually remember the code.”
“Think,” demanded Albert. “Can you remember anything? Anything at all about what that mad cow with the earmuffs did?”
“Well no not really, she just kind of came up the panel, stopped still for a sec, said ‘oh bollocks’ got out her phone and then just punched in some numbers. A second later we were in the teleporter.”

Albert looked at the number panel of his phone, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0. “Hmmm, maybe it’s 0 80110245, that looks a bit like ‘o bollocks’ to me,” he punched in the digits.

BING! Incorrect pass code. You have two more tries before The Workplace self-destructs. BING!

“Bugger,” said Albert, “Anyone else got any bright ideas?”
“Well, maybe each of the numbers stands for one of the letters on the keypad of your magic talking box,” said Derek pointing at Albert’s mobile phone.

Albert considered this for a second, turned on predictive text. “Hmm, let me see. So, oh, now that’s six and four. B, two. O, six. L, five, five. O, six. C, two. K, five and S, seven.”

He punched in 6426556257.

BING! Incorrect pass code. You have one more attempt before The Workplace self-destructs. Be lucky. BING!

Albert fell to the floor, eyes welling up with tears. “It’s hopeless, it’s all been for nothing,” he said blubbing away.

“It’s never hopeless,” echoed the voice of Skoda inside Albert’s head, “You are Captain Flash Albert, Jud Space Cadet Extraordinaire. You left Jud in the Year 281071. Your mission is to discover new and exciting planets with excellent parking. You must complete your mission, it is your density.”
“My density?”
“That’s not what I said,” argued the voice inside Albert’s head.
“Yes, yes, you definitely said ‘density’.”
“Maybe you misheard?”
“No look, I know what I heard all right.

“This isn’t really helping all that much,” interrupted Derek, who are you arguing with anyway?”
“Skoda. He says it’s my density.”
“No I didn’t,” argued Skoda, but Derek didn’t hear that.
“What else did he say?” said Derek.
“He just told me who I am, I know that already.”
“If you’re not Dragon Dragonson. Who are you?” Demanded Derek.
“I’m Captain Flash Albert, Jud Space Cadet Extraordinaire. I left Jud in the Year 281071. My mission is to discover new and exciting planets with excellent parking,” said Albert.

Derek looked at Albert and back to Darylena, “well, if we don’t get out of here, Mong’s going to destroy the place anyway,” he said reaching over to punch in the sequence 281071.

Albert’s mobile phone rang. He looked down, and saw the number. Grabbing Derek’s hand he said: “it won’t be my number, it’ll be dad’s!”

Albert called up his father’s number on his mobile phone and punched it into the panel.
BING! ….whooshswish. BING!

Fur Wars - Chapter 33


The Bunnies of The Village looked up to the sky as one. The full moon of just a few hours ago was being eaten up by a dark and ominous presence. It was impossible to judge the speed exactly with the naked eye, but the Def Jam Super Star was moving slowly into full lunar eclipse position.

“How the bloody hell are we supposed to stop it?” asked a frantic Dave Daveson to his trusted staff.
“Throw a brick at it,” said Dave’s witless second in command Daniel Danielson.
“We could prey to The Forest Spirits,” said The Village’s chief cleric Daedalus Daedalusson.
“What about building a gigantic see-saw out of trees and using it to propel us into orbit?” said The Village’s chief scientist Daren Darenson.
“No, it’s no good, we’re doomed,” said Daveson, “all doomed.”
“Well, we could always use the magic talking box,” said Duncan Duncanson recently appointed head of Bummy Welfare.

Fur Wars - Chapter 32


The pale blue disc painted on the black white-specked canvas had never looked so majestic. Spinning at over 1000 miles per hour at its widest point, it looked completely still from the observation desk of the Def Jam Super Star. The continents were in constant state of flux, yet the planet’s geography was timeless for its residents. The ball of Africa would fit neatly into the socket of South America, the boot of Italy kicking the head of Sicily, either end lavishly coated with think white icing, and all about the cotton wool swirls of immense and unpredictable weather systems.
“Ready the Annihilator Beam,” ordered Mong, “when the eclipse is complete, fire at will.”

Fur Wars - Chapter 31

Darlyena Daryleson had never looked so beautiful. “Am I in Warren?” Derek asked. Darlyena smiled, “come on now Derek Derekson, we don’t have time for this nonsense.” Grabbing him by the hand she led him over to where Albert was now crouching over Garth.

“What happened Darylena? How come the crazy dude with the purple outfit is dead and how come Albert Dragon Dragonson is crying like a big green girl? And, where’s the crazy cow with the ear muffs?” asked Derek.
“After The Sacrifice I suddenly found myself down here,” said Darlyena, “I was put into a cell and given loads of cakes and personal grooming products. I was being fattened up Derek.”
“Fattened up?!”
“Yeah, they were fattening me up for my fur. There are millions of us down here. The crazy cow with the earmuffs was talking to someone called Mong. They’re going to destroy the whole place, they needed to make sure Vimto—that bloke with the purple outfit—was here first though. That’s why I came back to The Village. She thought she’d drugged me, but I never swallowed.”
“Well, that’s not what Dave Daveson said.”

Darlyena’s eyes narrowed while she considered responding. “Anyway,” she said, “When Vimto appeared in the delivery bay the crazy cow with the earmuffs suddenly shot off, that’s when I escaped. She was halfway through finishing him off when you guys arrived, she had him tied up, so I nibbled through the ropes and he was able to get over there and finish her off!”
“Wow, you’re amazing Darlyena,” said Derek more in love than he’d ever been before, “but how do we get back home?”
“I know how to get back to Nob. Like I said, I wasn’t drugged, follow me there’s a special door back into The Forest. We’d better hurry before Mong’s Def Jam Super Star Hipperty Hopperty Annihilator Beam kills us all!”

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fur Wars - Chapter 30

Albert punched his number into one of the rabbit’s mobile phones and handed it to Duncan Duncanson. “If anything happens, just call me.” Albert and Derek then boarded the former’s space craft. “When the lightening from your sacrifice strikes my ship, it’ll boost the battery, the starter motor will fire into life and we’ll shoot off into space,” explained Albert.

Duncan Duncanson stepped up and struck the Sacrificial Gong.

BOOOOIIINNGGGGGGGG!!!!

Neither Albert nor Derek saw the blinding flash of lightening nor heard the deafening clap of thunder that usually followed the sound of the Sacrificial Gong. Albert certainly didn’t feel the immense g-forces pushing him down as he had done on his previous take off 165 million years ago. This, Albert reasoned, was probably bad news. Skoda’s plan hadn’t worked. The batteries of his ship were flat and they were stuck on Nob, or Jud, or whatever this place was called.

It took a moment for Albert to realise he was no longer buckled up in his spacecraft’s cockpit. It slowly dawned on him that he was sitting in some sort of harness or chair. Peering out into the gloom, neither Albert nor Derek had any kind of idea where they were, but they knew they were no longer in the Bunnies’ village clearing.

They both heard a familiar sound: ZZUMMMMM!!

Albert grabbed his lightsabre and turned it on. ZZUMMMMM!!

“You’re too late,” said Harden, “as usual.”
“..er, too late for what exactly?’ replied Albert.
“To save the Bunnies.”
“I didn’t want to save the Bunny I just wanted to get off this rock and back home.”
“Well then, you’re more of a fool than I’d imagined. Because now your fate is sealed.”

With that, Dale Harden charged headlong towards Albert, her lightsabre tearing a line through the air above her head like a giant red sparkler of Damocles. ZZUMMMMM!! KSHHHHHHHZZZZZZ!! Albert lifted his lightsabre instinctively. The lightsabres crossed, as the warriors came clashing together in deadlock.

“Your powers are strong,” said Harden, “Skoda taught you well.”
“He did bugger all, the stupid goblin twat,” said Albert as the two fighters struggled to gain purchase.
“Oi. I heard that,” said the voice of Skoda in Albert’s mind, “any more of that and I’m off.”

Temporarily distracted by the voice in his head Albert didn’t notice the knee rising rapidly towards his groin.

“Oooof, ye bogga.”

Harden smashed Albert on the back of the head with her lightsabre’s hilt. He fell to the floor, but before Harden could strike the final death blow she yelped out in pain jumping into the air.

Derek Derekson had attached his razor sharp teeth to Harden’s backside, and he wasn’t about the let go. Harden spun around like a dog chasing its tail, before suddenly stopping and ramming her arse again a nearby wall. Derek fell unconscious to the floor. Harden span around again, but Albert was gone.

“You cannot hide forever, Albert,” she said.
“I will not fight you,” came the response.
“Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends,” she said. “Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for... brother. So, you have a brother. Your feelings have now betrayed him, too. Skoda was wise to hide him from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side... then perhaps he will...
“But,” said Albert, “he already has hasn’t he?”

Dale Harden considered this for a moment. “Well, OK, but before you got here he converted back, albeit moments before I was about to kill him most horribly.”
“You mean Vimto is still alive?”
“Not for much longer I’m afraid,” said Harden, “you should have joined him when you had the chance.”

ZZUMMMMM!!!

Harden span around and came face to face with the dark, purple robed figure of the Imperial Lord Vimto. “And you should have killed me when you had the chance,” he said swinging Albert’s lightsabre through the air with unerring accuracy and slicing Harden’s head clean off her shoulders.

Vimto slumped to the floor. “Albert... help me take this mask off.”
“But you’ll die,” said Albert.
“Nothing... can stop that now. Once again... let me... look on you with my own eyes.

Albert removed Vimto’s deep purple helmet one piece at a time. Underneath, he saw a pale, scarred, bald-headed old man—his brother Garth had chosen to have his brain transplanted into the body of an old, bald man, what a plonker.

“Now... go, my brother. Leave me,” said Garth, “You need to destroy our father and the Def Jam Super Star.”
“No. You’re coming with me and Derek. We’ll not leave you here, I’ve got to save you.”
“You already... have, Albert. You were right. You were right about me. Tell our father... you were right. Take this,” he said handing him his Empire Issue mobile phone, “it might come in handy. It’s got an excellent flash and the battery life is superb. It’s the remote control for life.”

Fur Wars - Chapter 29


The grinding of heavy metal machinery was all he could hear, the odour of oil and rotting flesh was all he could smell and intense heat was all he could feel. Lord Vimto didn’t know whether it was completely dark or whether he was blind, he didn’t know whether he was alive, awake, dreaming or dead.

Although, not especially spiritual, he was more than aware of a wide variety of religious beliefs including prophecies of an eternal afterlife to be spent according to one’s actions during the main event or being reincarnated on a sliding scale from cow down to worm, once again according to one’s prior karmic output. But having spent the past 165 million years having his brain implanted into the body of various creatures throughout evolution he hadn’t really considered that process ever coming to an end.

“Am I in heaven or am I in hell?” he asked himself out loud.

“Neither,” came a response that Vimto had not been expecting. It was the voice of a young woman. He recognised the icy tones. “For me this place is heaven, while for you it could be considered hell.”

“Dale Harden,” said Vimto. It was not a question, but she answered regardless.
“Very good Lord Vimto,” she said, “do you have any more questions before I make your position redundant?”
“Redundant?!” exclaimed a somewhat surprised Vimto, “but you can’t, I mean, I’m the first Admiral of the Imperial Fleet, I’m Lord fucking Vimto for fuck’s sake, I’m Emperor Mong’s only son.”
“Well, you know as well as I do that nepotism is frowned upon in the Empire. And besides, you’re not his only son are you?”
“Yes, but Albert ran away in 281071. Dad disowned him, and besides I’ve just seen him, I asked him to join me, but he tricked me into this trap. Hang on. You’re not in on it with him are you?”

Harden laughed so hard that a small amount of pee escaped.

“In on it with him?” she cried through tears of incredulous mirth, “that’s priceless, absolutely priceless. He’s been gone 165 million years and you think we’re in on it together.”
“But what is this place?” asked Vimto.
“This is the Workplace Vimto. It’s what became of Jud after you helped Albert to escape. Your father, Norman, a lovely man, was crippled with rage when Albert left, he too could see what was becoming of Jud. The place was on the verge of self-destruction. So he helped it on its way.”
“I know, I know all that, but how can this be Jud?”
“Your father took you away, through time and space you travelled, transplanting your brains into the bodies of those creatures and races that you conquered, building your Empire. All the time, this barren, forgotten corner of the universe continued to grow. Eventually a species of creature known as man came along. They called this place Earth.

“Your father kept a watchful eye on Earth’s progress through time and he heard tell of this species and he came to admire its resilience, but much more than that, he came to admire its ability to show almost limitless cruelty not just to the other creatures, but also to its own kind.

“Eventually, as with the Judy before them, the humans became technologically advanced, too technologically advanced for their own good, they were on the brink of destroying the planet. But rather than wipe them out, as he had the Judy, Mong conquered them and took them prisoners. He built them a place to live and subsist, he gave them a job of work, he gave them a Workplace.

“The Empire has been controlling life on Jud by persuading its so called earthling residents that they were all Employees working in the Workplace. At first Mong simply created something that he called a Career. He called it this because the humans simply careered through their pitiful lives from pillar to post not ever knowing what the point of anything was.

“In the end though, he decided they needed a purpose. So he turned the whole Workplace into a massive fur factory that supplies the entire universe with coats, scarves and earmuffs made from the pelts of the Bunnies. Jud is covered with Bunny farms feeding the factory. Every day the creatures hold a Sacrifice and a single Bunny from each farm is fed into the machine, they are not burned, they’re placed in a fireproof space shuttle from which they are beamed into the Workplace for processing.

“But we need to relocate, the sun is dying and with that, our supply of Bunny pelts will run dry. We’re going to blow the place to smithereens using the Def Jam Super Star Hipperty Hopperty Annihilator Beam. And when the loss adjuster finds out that you planned the entire thing due to an obsession with some hair-brained prophecy regarding the reappearance of your 165 million year old long lost brother, we’ll collect on the insurance. HAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHA!!!”

“You’re mental,” said Vimto, “that’s bonkers.”

“Am I? Is it? Is it really Lord Vimto? Well, maybe it is a bit mental, but it’s the truth, and sometimes there’s nothing stranger. And now that I have taken the completely unnecessary step of explaining at great length our evil plans in their entirety, I can kill you using a time consuming and pointlessly complex method. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!”

Fur Wars - Chapter 28


Albert looked on mystified. They’d come into the clearing in high spirits, but in keeping with his recent exposures and experiences in this strange yet familiar world, things didn’t quite pan out as expected.

For starters, as a God, he kind of assumed that maybe the locals would have been a bit more welcoming. Instead, when they made it into what was presumably the rabbits’ forest headquarters, they’d come face to face with a collection of hostile looking rabbits accompanied by a much taller, female, smooth-skinned monkey.

“Which God is she?” Albert had asked of Skoda, but his translator remained silent.

Then all that happened was the small rabbit that Albert been tied up with earlier, climbed out of the armoured vehicle that he’d been travelling in and proceeded to have a fairly heated exchange with another rabbit that Albert assumed must be some sort of leader.

The large, smooth, pale-skinned creature had looked over to Skoda at one point and started shaking her head. Then, amazingly she and one of the rabbits had climbed into what looked like some sort of shuttlecraft. The lead rabbit set light to a stack of wood beneath the craft, there was the sound of large gong being struck and ZAP! A flash of lightening connected with the top of the shuttle. The rabbits then all started singing some bizarre incantation, before the lead rabbit opened the door of the craft to reveal—not unlike a corny stage magician—that the occupants were no longer there.

The rabbits then carried on chattering away. Skoda, notably, remained resolutely silent throughout. Then, from nowhere, there appeared a multitude of other rabbits. Albert and a number of the rabbits that he’s been travelling with were being ushered towards the large stack of wood that had been on fire. Skoda, however, was singled out by the lead rabbit and marched into one of the larger huts.

Then, faint at first and far off, Albert heard the unmistakable sound of engines. He looked skyward and caught sight of the moon, familiar as ever and smiling down. To the right he noticed a star, brighter than the rest, much brighter, he may have been imagining things, but he felt sure the star was moving.

The engine noises were growing much more noticeably now though, and so Albert’s attention, along with the attention of pretty much every living, breathing, creature in the forest clearing, turned in the direction of the noise. What they saw stopped them in their tracks.

Moving into view above the treetops was a spacecraft like nothing Albert had ever seen before. Bristling with armaments that swivelled around maniacally, occasionally releasing a volley of laser fire into the clearing disintegrating the rabbits where they stood, bright strobe lights flashed in unison giving proceedings an eerie staccato slow motion effect. Along the front of the jet-black craft in letters as large as a house were the letters O-T-M-I-V.

“Otmiv,” mused Albert, “nope, never heard of it.”

The ship moved over the clearing, completely obscuring the moon, the strobe lights went off and everything was thrown into darkness. All that remained was the deafening roar of the engines overhead.

A beam of light, so bright that Albert was forced to shield his eyes, connected the ship with the ground. After no more than 10 seconds the light went out throwing the clearing, once again, into darkness. Moments later, the ship above the clearing shot into the sky until it became another sparkle in the firmament and the forest was thrown into silence.

Albert’s eyes, which had been cast skywards, were drawn back down to earth by a new but familiar sound: A deep ZZUMMMMM. Its source was at exactly the same point that the bright beam of light had just touched down in the clearing. It was an orange light sword not unlike the one Skoda had been wielding earlier. This one, though, was being held aloft by a much taller figure. Proportionally, it looked much larger than the female in white robes that Albert had seen only moments earlier, this creature though was dressed in purple armour, with a flowing purple cape and a deep purple mask with wide dead eyes and sneering grilled mouth.

“At last we are re-united brother Albert,” said a deep metallic voice from within the shiny purple helmet.
“Who the bloody hell are you?” asked Albert.
“You know me only too well.
“I’ve never seen you in my life.”
“Did you sleep with your arm above your head like I told you?”
“Garth?”
“I’m afraid Garth died some time after you fled Jud. But by that time we had discovered the science of re-animation. Enabling an almost limitless line of sequels. My name is the Imperial Lord Vimto—more machine now, than man.”
“It can’t be, it can’t be true…” screamed Albert.

“It’s all true,” said a voice from the other side of the clearing, it was Skoda stepping out of the larger hut.

ZZUMMMMM! Skoda’s green lightsabre sparked into life. “I have something here for you. Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn’t allow it. He feared you might follow old Skoda on some damn fool idealistic crusade like your brother did. It’s your father’s lightsabre. This is the weapon of a Judy Knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster, but an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Judy Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic of Jud. Before the dark times, before the Empire.”

Vimto stepped towards Skoda and vice versa. Then Skoda turned off his lightsabre. “You can’t win, Vimto. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine,” he said.
“Don’t talk bollocks,” said Vimto whose lightsabre then sliced through the air and then through the space where Skoda had once stood.

Skoda’s lightsabre and robes dropped to the floor. Vimto turned to Albert, “Join me brother and together we will rule the universe as brother and, er brother.”

Albert pondered this proposition for a second. “OK,” he said, “but if I could just capture the moment for posterity that would be great?”

Albert took out his mobile phone. “These things have got excellent cameras y’know?” said Albert.

After a moment’s consideration Vimto agreed. “How do you want me?” he asked.
“Well, we’re going to need a bit of light, because the flash on this thing isn’t much cop. So perhaps over by that fire,” suggested Albert.
Vimto made his way over to the fire. “Now,” said Albert, “just lift your head up a bit, that’s it, now just turn your body, but keep looking at me. OK. Now just move your cape out of the way so I can see your outfit, that’s it, maybe put your lightsabre on and kind of hold it at an angle. Lovely, lovely. Now, if you could just go back a bit, go on, just a bit further, go on, keep going, keep going, just another couple of ste…”

Vimto tripped backwards into the shuttle craft that lay on the fire.

“Now!” shouted Albert.

BOOOOIIINNGGGGGGGG!!!! Went the Sacrificial gong. Then, as is ever the case, moments later came a blinding flash of lightening and clap of deafening thunder, the shockwave of which knocked Albert, Derek, all the other rabbits from their feet.

The leader of the rabbits, slightly stunned, made his way over to the shuttlecraft, opened the door and then turned around and gave the universal thumbs up signal that everything is OK. Vimto had completely disappeared.

Albert slumped to the floor exhausted. “What the boggin’ hell am I supposed to do now?” he asked himself.
“Force it,” said a voice in Albert’s head, “understand you now the Bunnies can.”
“Skoda?”
“With you always I will be. Talk to the Bunnies, through me you can. Use the lightening strike of their Sacrifice to power your ship’s batteries you will, back into orbit you must go to save the Bunnies. Face your father you must.”

Fur Wars - Chapter 27

“What do you mean, you got bored?” hissed Mong.
“Well, I was waiting around for ages, and all that happened was a bunch of the Bunnies appeared carrying Skoda and what appeared to be a giant lizard on top of a knackered looking rocket. There was no sign of Vimto. Let’s just nuke the place,” said the Princess.
“Lizard, you say. Can you describe this lizard more?”
“Dunno really, he was bigger than your average lizard, a bit like a small dinosaur. Green, scaly and frankly a bit stupid looking.”
“Albert,” said Mong, “Vimto was right.”

Fur Wars - Chapter 26

The full moon shining brightly was low in the sky, a bright new star sparkling alongside, but sitting—as he now did—alongside his father and best friend Duncan, Derek Derekson no longer feared returning to The Village after sundown. With good reason too, for not only was he was riding in the head of a fire spitting monster, but outside an army of ‘rogue’ warrior Bunnies were now carrying Dragon Dragonson and his curious translator Skoda along in the giant self-Pyre propelled flying Basket that Derek had seen zooming across the sky the previous day.

The amazing events that Derek had seen unfold over the past two days though could not prepare him for what he would see when the Bunnies entered The Village. Roughly in line with what Derek had been expecting, he saw the Sacrificial Basket sitting next to The Pyre. Everything else though came as a complete surprise.

Standing outside The Village Hutch was Prime Bunny Dave Daveson, with him stood a giant, gangly, shaven, pale-skinned, Doe dressed in white robes. On either side of her head she appeared to have perfectly furry, if a little round, Bunny ears. Even more amazingly, alongside Daveson and the Bunny-eared giant, was Darlyena Daryleson.

The welcoming party, such as it was, said nothing as Derek and company made their way into The Village. Weirdly, none of assembled Bunnies appeared even slightly amazed at the sight of a giant, white, armless, head walking out of The Forest accompanied by a veritable army of Bunnies long since considered dead.

“Brother Derek,” said Dave Daveson, “we’ve been expecting you. I received warning on my magical talking box. You have displeased The Forest spirits,” he added pointing at the giant, shaven, white-robbed Doe.

Derek stared, incredulous, out of the eye-hole of the armless, fire-spitting, head that had transported him through The Forest. He had expected to see fairly widespread panic in The Village at first, followed shortly after—once he’d revealed himself and revealed the presence of Dragon Dragonson—by a hero’s welcome.

“Show yourself brother Derek, we have much to discuss,” said Daveson.

Derek looked over to his father. “You’d best go lad,” he said, “but remember this, you can never trust a Daveson.” Derek nodded sagely, flipped open the lid of the monster’s head and climbed out.

There was something deeply unsettling about the smile on Dave Daveson’s face as Derek approached. Derek looked over to Darlyena, it was definitely her, but she didn’t seem to register Derek, the gigantic, furless, Doe appeared to be holding Darylena tightly.

“Brother Derek,” said Daveson motioning towards the giant Doe, “I’d like to introduce you to someone very special.”

Derek looked up into the unsmiling eyes of the Doe. “This is Dragon Dragonson,” said Daveson.
“Bu, bu, b..” stammered Derek looking back to the large green lizard-like creature that he had found in The Forest.
“He’s an impostor,” said Daveson registering the direction of Derek’s gaze. “I’m afraid you’ve been duped Derek.”

Derek’s attention wavered only briefly from the giant Doe, who in turn, was shaking her head while looking towards Derek’s Dragon Dragonson and his translator Skoda.

“The Forest is a dangerous place for the uninitiated,” continued Daveson, “that is why we felt it necessary to abolish exploring. It was for your own good Derek. But you ignored the wishes of The Village Elders, and your wilful disobedience and ignorance could have led to our destruction, rather than our salvation. If it wasn’t for Dragon Dragonson here,” said Daveson looking up at the giant Doe, “we’d all be bloody well dead by now thanks to you. You’ve led evil Lord Vimto directly to our homes.”

“But it’s not true,” said Derek somewhat feebly, “that’s Dragon Dragonson over there on his silver pointed Basket. The goblin is his translator, he’s called Skoda, come on, come on, I’ll prove it.”
“You’ll prove nothing Derek,” said Daveson, “except how stupidly na├»ve you are. This is Dragon Dragonson, the proof you need stands before you. Who else but Dragonson could bring a Doe back from Warren?”

Derek looked at the giant Doe and then at Darylena. Daveson had a point. He’d seen The Sacrifice with his own eyes, he’d seen Darylena enter the Basket and ascend to Warren and now here she was standing before him.

“Now that you and your friends have finally arrived,” continued Daveson, “we can proceed with today’s Sacrifice. Personally speaking I’d throw the lot of you on The Pyre, but Dragonson here insisted that we wait for you lot to appear before she’d personally take Darylena back to Warren to ensure our salvation.”

“But you said you didn’t believe in Dragonson,” said Derek.
“Times change Derekson, it takes a big Bunny to accept that maybe he was wrong, it takes an even bigger Bunny to do something about it,” said Daveson rather pompously.

The giant Doe and Darylena then started making their way towards The Basket. Darylena did not complain or struggle in the slightest as the two of them climbed in. The Sacrificial Gong was sounded. BOOOOIIINNGGGGGGGG!

Dave Daveson lit The Pyre. Then, as is ever the case, moments later came a blinding flash of lightening and clap of deafening thunder, the shockwave of which knocked Derek, all the other Bunnies and the huge, white, armless, fire-spitting head from their feet. Darylena and the Doe that Dave called Dragonson were on their way to Warren.

The Village Elder’s Wurlitzer sparked into life as The Pyre burned around The Basket, and the Bunnies present sang in unison the traditional song of Deliverance to Warren.

Oooooh. You know that it would be untrue
You know that we would all be liars
If we were to say to you
Doe, you couldn’t get much higher
Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love becomes The Sacrificial Pyre
Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah..!

Without further ado, The Pyre was duly extinguished before too much good firewood went to waste and The Basket door was opened enabling Daveson, to give things the once over. Turning around to greet the assembled Bunnies, Daveson nodded reverentially and gave the thumbs up. Darylena Daryleson and the giant, Doe that Daveson called Dragon had both disappeared from The Basket, and were safely on their journey to Warren. Unusually, The Basket was not taken back to The Village Hutch in readiness for the next day’s Sacrifice. Instead, it lay upon The Pyre, door wide open.

Derek looked over towards the giant, armless, white, fire-spitting head, which now lay prone on one side, his father and Duncan were now both being dragged out of the monster’s head flap by a gang of The Village Bunnies. Something wasn’t right, he was sure of it.

Derek became acutely aware that it was he and not Dave Daveson who had been the unwitting victim of a surprise ambush as more and more of The Village Bunnies appeared from nowhere, herding the rogue Bunnies towards The Basket and The Pyre.

“Dad,” pleaded Derek.
“He’s not your father, you stupid boy,” said Daveson.
“Dad,” pleaded Derek louder than before.
“He’s not your father Derekson. Or should I say Brother Daveson?” said Dave Daveson.
“What?”
“We are brothers Derek, you and I, well, half brothers at any rate,” said Dave.
“We’re not brothers, don’t be ridiculous,” demanded Derek, “I’m a Derekson, through and through. Exploring’s in my blood.”

Daveson smiled, “why not ask your so-called father then?” he asked. Derek turned to Derek Snr.

For a moment Derek Derekson senior remained silent. “It’s true lad, I’m afraid,” he said eventually unable to meet the gaze of his adopted son, “I left The Village all those years ago because, well, me and my friends here we’re not like other Bunnies.”

Derek Jnr said nothing. “We weren’t welcome in The Village,” continued Derek Snr, “so we jumped before we were pushed.”

Derek looked to Duncan: “Bummies?” he said.
“Aye lad, I’m afraid so. We cannot go to Warren, but we could not live our lives in The Village, forever persecuted. So we chose to go rogue.”
“But you said I could never trust a Daveson,” said Derek.
“Unfortunately, this time, he’s telling the truth,” said Derek Snr, “your father was his father, Dave Daveson Snr.”

“Join me, brother, and together, we’ll rule The Forest,” said Dave Daveson.
“NEVER,” shouted Derek.
“Then you will die.”

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fur Wars - Chapter 25


Somewhere deep in space, about 99,999 miles behind the moon of an insignificant planet in a solar system far, far away from anything else much, the power being generated by a series of super-massive thermo-nuclear generators was being redirected.

This not so sleeping satellite of the third rock from the sun had adjusted its thrusters, decreasing its orbital radius, the Def Jam Super Star was moving closer to its host planet.

“His fate is sealed,” hissed Emperor Mong, “he suspects nothing. You must go to the Workplace immediately in order to oversee that his redundancy notice is served.”
“I don’t really know why we’re bothering,” said his female companion.

Mong sighed. Even rulers of the known universe sigh.

“From the year 281071 I have controlled this planet with my complete ruthless authority. Its existence ensures my immortality and with it, your income, long satin robes and exquisite furry earmuffs don’t come cheap. If we’re to move the operation to a new location, we have to expect a certain amount of right-sizing. I learned about right-sizing the day my son left me. I thought the pain would kill me, but it only made me stronger. Now I must lose another in order to continue my reign. Sixty five million years after I took control of this puny planet by destroying the dinosaurs, a race of homo sapiens calling themselves Romans invented the word ‘decimate’. In their time and society this word described the process by which the poorest performing ten per cent of the population were slaughtered. It was, essentially, an anthropomorphic evolutionary process—a survival of the fittest, if you will, rather than a rewarding of the strongest. Over the following millennia, the humans though grew stronger and stronger. In time they, like the Judy before them, discovered flight, nuclear power and ultimately space exploration. They would have discovered our little business empire too if I hadn’t decimated them first. We must destroy Vimto and decimate the Workplace one final time, if we’re to survive and continue to …”

Mong’s soliloquy would have continued, were it not for the fact that his companion’s snoring had started to drown him out.

Fur Wars - Chapter 24


It was unmistakable, the PING!… shhhhhhhhhhhhh…PING!… shhhhhhhhhh... PING! of the distress signal had come back on at coordinates of exactly BZT173690-HRW373028. Distress signals don’t just turn themselves off and on again all by themselves, just as crack teams of elite Imperial soldiers don’t get overrun by creatures so technologically retarded that they still live among the branches of trees. Something was happening on the planet below. “It’s him, I know it’s him,” intoned a deep, unseen, metallic voice.

The screen flickered and blinked into life illuminating the flight controls of an Imperial Landing Craft. Lord Vimto looked down as the disfigured face of his direct Imperial Line Manager, ruler of the known universe, Emperor Mong fizzled into pixelated view.

Vimto spoke: “Master, I believe I have located a Rebel stronghold at the coordinates BZT173690-HRW373028. I intend to go down to the planet’s surface, however, I may well require ground support. A number of our elite forces were over-powered during an earlier reconnaissance mission.”

Mong stared silently out of the holographic display unit for a moment, his lips started moving, his face scowling with disapproval, but nothing came out.

Vimto spoke once more: “…er sorry Emperor Mong, but can you say that again? I’ve got a bit of a weak signal, you’re cutting out a bit. These new holographic display units are OK over a couple of parsecs, but the antennae leave a lot to be desired. Hang on, I’ll move the aerial over to the window. Go on,” said Vimto, “try now.”
“BZT173690-HRW373028,” said Mong, “why do I know those cooridinates?”
“…er, no reason really. It’s just some coordinates. Could be anywhere.”
“No. No, I’ve definitely heard those coordinates somewhere before.”
“Well, it’s just that, well, it’s just that those happen to, y’know, quite coincidentally, be the same ones that the recon droids said they’d found. And I er…”
“SILENCE VIMTO!” ordered Mong, “You have disobeyed me. The Rebel leader Dale Harden is ready to capitulate. This prophecy that you pursue so relentlessly will be your undoing ..”
“Nope,” said Vimto taping his thumb against the screen, “you’re cutting out again.”
“I demand that you return immediately to the ..”
“No, no. Sorry my Lord, it’s no good, we’ll have to try another ..” Vimto reached down and pulled the plug of his holographic display unit before reaching up and punching the coordinates BZT173690-HRW373028 into his navi droid.

“BEEP! Re-calculating….BEEP! Re-calculating” squawked the droid.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fur Wars - Chapter 23

Lying up against the trunk of a tree, the skin of Albert’s green tormentor smouldered from heavy burns. Albert had been too mesmerised to be scared as the goblin’s expertly wielded light sword deflected the first volley of laser beams into the swamp. When one of the second batch sneaked through the defensive parries making contact with the shoulder of the goblin, Albert’s focus came back with 20:20 accuracy.

“I’m next,” he’d thought, and rather than his whole life flashing before his eyes, Albert’s brain chose to focus in on the memory of his tutor Professor Webber at the Jud Space Institute telling him and his assembled classmates that the only reason they would ever amount to anything was because of their lineage—the irony wasn’t lost on Albert, he’d desperately wanted to escape the life of privilege on Jud that destiny had handed him and all that his adventurous spirit had given him so far was one disaster after the next. But then, miraculously, the shooting stopped and even more miraculously, the furry little rabbit-cum-teddy bear creature tied to his chest opened its eyes and started chattering with a sequence of clicks, grunts, squeaks and squeals.

In a matter of seconds, Albert’s furry companion had been freed and the green smouldering goblin was put in its place as a host of other little rabbity teddy bears appeared from nowhere scampering about, excitedly chattering away with each other.

“Oh bollocks,” said Albert. The furry creatures all jumped back, clearly alarmed. “What the fuck is going on?” asked Albert, this time to the barely conscious green goblin now tied to his chest.

The goblin, however, didn’t respond as Albert would have expected or indeed hoped. Instead, he proceeded to chatter away to the new captors in a manner that they clearly understood. Though, when one of the larger of creatures started to stab the goblin repeatedly in the backside with the point of his spear Albert concluded that whatever he was saying to the furry warriors was not having the desired effect.

“Bunnies they are,” said the goblin, this time to Albert. “But live not they in The Village.”
“What village?”
“The Village in The Forest.”
“This forest?”
“The Forest of Nob.”
“Nob?”
“Nob.”

The assembled Bunnies were now standing around their prisoners with looks of quizzical awe. The one that had been tied to Albert squeaked.

“What know you of the dragon?” asked the goblin.
“I don’t know any dragons, and I don’t know any fucking Vimtos or Dale Hardens,”
“The dragon, the small one calls you,” said the goblin, “argue among themselves they do.”
“Do you mean to say, you can understand them?” asked Albert.
“Them. You. All the same sounds it to Skoda.”
“Skoda?”
“Skoda of Nob, Skoda of the Workplace, Skoda of Jud. Same-same only different.”

Skoda then started chattering at double pace with the Bunnies. This time though, rather than poke him in the bum with their spears, they remained silent. With a smile creeping across his face, Skoda turned to Albert, “tell them your name strange dragon,” he said.
“I’m Captain Flash Albert, Jud Space Cadet Extraordinaire. I left Jud in the Year 281071. My mission is to discover new and exciting planets with excellent parking,” said Albert.
“Now, Space Cadet Flash Albert of the planet Jud, louder say it if you could? And this time, if manage you can, important a bit more will you try to sound?” requested Skoda.
“I AM CAPTAIN FLASH ALBERT, JUD SPACE CADET EXTRAORDINAIRE,” announced Albert self-importantly.

The Bunnies to a, er, Bunny, fell silent, eyes widening by the second. Skoda talked once again to the Bunnies in as reverential a tone as it’s possible to manage when chattering using a sequence of clicks, grunts, squeaks and squeals.

“A God they think you,” said Skoda to Albert, “Dragon Dragonson, son of Dragon Dragonson. To save them you come, into salvation you will lead them.”
“Where are we?” asked Albert.
“The Forest of Nob. The Workplace of Earth.”
“Nob? The Workplace? What are you talking about?”
“Same-same. Sleep you long time Flash Albert Space Cadet. Things change. Things stay the same. Evolution, revolution.”
“But I’m not Dragon Dragonson son of Dragon Dragonson, things don’t change that much.”
“They think, therefore you are,” said Skoda, “help you, I can. But help me you will also.”
“Why should I help you, if they think I’m a God?”
“Speak you Bunny all of a sudden Space Cadet Flash Albert of Jud? Forget you not, you are no God. Broken can reputations be made, as quickly as they’re gained. Great things these Bunnies expect from you. Alone, perish you will. Join me though and together we will rule The Forest.”
“NEVER!” shouted Albert sending a good number of the Bunnies scattering into the undergrowth.
“Then you will die,” leered Skoda somewhat melodramatically.

Albert remained silent for a moment or two. “Really?” he asked.
“As sure as eggs is eggs,” replied Skoda.
“Well, OK, since you put it that way, I will join you. But if we’re going to rule this place, I’m going to need to recover my rocket from the swamp.”