What Is This Thing You Humans Call…

love  /lʌv/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [luhv]
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3. invented in 1968 by the writers of Star Trek in order to give William Shatner a new emotion to play, as he was getting bored of the other two. It has grown in popularity since then, and now even non-actors like to pretend to be “in love”.

The Story of Grass

Gus Hughes and I have found a publisher for our upcoming ‘zine, The Story of GrassAloha ‘Ino Press. We like them because they have nice shoes and because they don’t actually exist in any meaningful way.

The zine itself is progressing quite quickly. Just had a googlechat with Gus (he’s based in Dublin so we’re doing everything remotely) about what we still need to do. Best part of the conversation:

today im facing having to draw a woman nailed to a cross behind a desk giving directions james

There’s a man happy in his work. I don’t know when it will be finished; Gus is a very busy man, and I’m very lazy, but every day Gus sends new pages and i’m just blown away by how they are looking.

Need to look into how to sell the thing, I suppose. Anyone out there had any experience flogging a zine?

The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody

Animal steals this one. “Mama?”

This is the latest in a series of original Muppets virals, sorry, virmups, beng posted to the web. Hard to see how they’ll top this one though.

Answer me this – how is calling somebody a muppet supposed to be an insult? I’ll be pleased and proud next time someone points at me and says “you f*ckin’ muppet!”*

*which happens all the time, usually when I’m doing blags with some tasty geezers and I’m norsing fings up good and proper.

Army Man

I’ve been reading Simpsons Confidential by John Ortved. Delving behind the scenes of the making of The Simpsons, it’s absolutely fascinating, particularly when it concentrates on the writers who made the show as funny as it was. Two names stand out: John Schwartzwelder and George Meyer, both of whom stamped their personality and humour on the series.

The book mentions that Meyer produced, and Schwartzwelder wrote for, three issues of a self-published comedy magazine called Army Man.

Sam [Simon] got quite a bit of his writing staff from the list of writing credits in Army Man… In a sense, that little magazine was the father of the show.
– Simpsons Confidential

Quite a claim for what was basically a few photocopied pages of jokes and cartoons.

The only rule was that the stuff had to be funny and pretty short.
– George Meyer

After reading about it, I really wanted to get my hands on a copy. Oh! Thank you internet! You can download the whole thing here: Army Man.

It’s rough, and funny, and weird and well worth a read.

And it’s sparked the idea to do something similar. Well… similarly photocopied anyway. So Mr Gus Hughes and I have started work on our own little magazine, with words and pictures and all that good stuff. It’s looking fine in our heads, but we understand that this isn’t good enough and that we need to get some of it on paper. Wish us luck!

Friday’s Short Story

Between brainbursts of agony, as the branches pushed his head apart from the inside, one thought, repeating: Mum was right about not swallowing apple pips.

(Another really short one this week, written for Laura Degnan’s 25 word short story challenge. I misread the brief, it was supposed to be for kids. But, y’know, there’s a vital lesson for the youngsters here: DON’T SWALLOW PIPS! I can’t stress that enough…)

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This
by Harris
more tiny tales

Look Around You

I love songs in the key of S. Might have to get a Harrington.

Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz’s Look Around You was an absolute treat. Made with tremendous attention detail, it looked and sounded like a genuine schools science programme from the 70’s and 80’s, only the facts were slightly less believable and the haircuts slightly more believable. Or is that the other way around? I dunno, I didn’t pay much attention in school. Anyway, it’s all up on youtube. Hoorah for the murky grey area of copyright infringement!

This isn’t the best episode, but I like the mouse song so this is the one you’re getting today.

Guess Who?

Do you ever find yourself meeting somebody, and they totally remind you of somebody else, but you can’t quite work out who? You’ll be chatting all casual but in the background your brain is whirring away, going through hundreds of faces and trying to match them with the one in front of you, like one of those unrealistic police computers you see on the telly, or a really long and irritating game of Guess Who.

It happened to me the other day. Everything about this person’s face was annoying me just because it really reminded me of somebody else and I couldn’t for the life of me work out who. I felt such a surge of joy and relief when, an hour in, I finally twigged who it was. In fact I was so happy it was all I could do to stop myself from clapping, pointing and shouting “TIM ROTH!”. I’m glad I didn’t. I mean, it was a triumph for me personally but I don’t think she would have appreciated it. She really bloody looked like him, though.

Mind, she probably had to stop herself from pointing and shouting “ELVIS COSTELLO!” halfway through the afternoon so it all evens out.

Me and Kevin Bacon


Bacon, yesterday

I just found out I have a Bacon Number of three.

Thank you, Scali Delpeyrat! I can officially be played in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Awesome!

This good news is tempered a little by the discovery that on IMDB I am James Harris (XXIX). XXIX? XXIX?

I am not impressed.

One more Harris in that list and I could have been James Harris (XXX) and how cool would that have been? Quite cool, that’s how cool.

The Global Short Story Competition

It’s a monthly short story competition, with a top prize of £100 and a runner’s up prize of £25 every month.

The downside: £5 entry fee.

Still, it’s local (Darlington), it has the backing of Bill Bryson, and it gets entries from around the world. Worth a punt. I just uploaded Them Bloody Kids, which is well below the 2000 word limit. Maybe I’ll get a prize for brevity.

Anyway, if you’re interested: The Global Short Story Competition.