Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The King is Dead

Well, the Brigadier anyway.

Guess he'll never get back from Peru now.

You'll be missed, Nick.

I end with a scene from the 1971 annual story A Universe Called Fred:

"We'll need a highly-skilled electronics man, an expert in printed circuits, and a microscopist. Will you lay that on, Brigadier, please?"

"Certainly. Take my whole force. We are, after all, just a rather special detachment of the Army, detailed to carry out your every whim."

"I'm glad that is at last understood... Sir."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

ROTB 7/1


[Morning over the Yang Household.]

Nigel: [VO] Well, it’s October 1st and World War III has yet to start.

[The kitchen. Togi is making breakfast for everyone.]

Nigel: I think things might be on the up.

Akiro: That complacency will be the death of you, Nigel.

Nigel: Not if I use you as a human shield, Akiro.

[Togi starts to serve out toast and juice.]

Nigel: Onto brighter matters, any of you want to be driven to school by the Big N?

Akiro: No.

Kenji: Nope.

Benny: Uh-uh.

Nigel: Charming.

Kenji: Sorry, Nige. I have to jog to school for physical fitness.

Benny: Yeah, and I’m already committed.

Akiro: While I wouldn’t trust you to drive a Matchbox car, let alone the real one.

Nigel: Oh, brilliant. I finally get my license and no one wants to take advantage of it! All my senseless generosity is thrown back into my face like some kind of pie-custard-thing that [penny drops] what?! Benny, what do you mean, “you’re committed”?

Benny: [evasive] Someone already offered to drive me to school today...

Akiro: [knowing] Ari, right?

Nigel: Ari? What sort of name is Ari? Sounds like some kind of musical operatic term...

Kenji: He’s her boyfriend.

Benny: Shut up, Kenji!

Nigel: Boyfriend? You mean a friend. Who is a boy. In the literal sense.

Akiro: No, he’s a boyfriend in the colloquial sense.

Benny: Ixany, Akiro!

[Nigel is bewildered, unable to get his head around it. The doorbell rings. Brightly, Benny runs off to answer it. Nigel and the others follow. A good-looking young man is at the door.]

Ari: Ready for the drive, Benny?

Benny: You bet.

[Benny blows the others a kiss and skips away. Kenji and Akiro laugh and return inside, leaving Nigel standing on the doorstep, expressionless at this development. For a moment he looks longingly after her then he turns and storms off.]

[Benny and Ari embrace and kiss.]

[Nigel slams the door to his bedroom. He hurls his mobile against the wall, kicks over a table, spreading books and papers across the floor. He flings open the window, angrier and angrier. Down in the window he can see Benny and Ari kissing. Nigel’s knuckles whiten around the window ledge. Benny and her boyfriend hurry off, laughing and without a care in the world. Nigel spins away from the window, his legs crumpling until he ends up crouching on the floor, holding his face in his hands.]

[Nigel is in Wynona, his face like thunder, hurtling down some streets. Nigel is driving if not recklessly than very aggressively. He is the worst mood he’s been in for a while. His knuckles are white around the steering wheel. He waits impatiently at the lights, then pulls down the sunshade. In the mirror on the reverse is a photo of Benny. Angrily, he tears it out, crumples it and throws it on the passenger seat... where it joins a surprisingly large pile of Benny-related knick-knacks.]

[Wynona screeches to a halt in the parking lot. Jason is sitting on the steps nearby, flipping though a textbook. He looks up excitedly as Nigel emerges from the car, tugging his backpack over his shoulders.]

Jason: Morning, my liege.

Nigel: [glares at him] ‘Morning’?

Jason: You know. Good morning.

Nigel: Not particularly, Jason.

[Jason looks around in confusion.]

Jason: No, it’s definitely a good morning. No clouds at all. Did they give a special weather bulletin on the radio or something?

Nigel: Shut up, Jason.

[Jason shrugs and follows Nigel across the road to the school.]

Nigel: My ungrateful, deceitful cow of a stepsister has got herself a boyfriend.

Jason: Oh.

Nigel: Some athletically gifted Philippino Adonis with too many teeth in an infuriating slack-jawed grin. Just because the bastard goes to her school, is incredibly popular and friendly, and helps out at soup kitchens. The smug, shit-eating head of the year who is a pillar of a community and a well-known supporter of children’s charities and volunteer worker at the Salvation Army depos... Answer me something, Jason, how could ANY self-respecting woman POSSIBLY find him attractive?

Jason: ...I’m not entirely sure how to answer, my liege.

Nigel: Yes, precisely, Jason! It’s a total mystery! Women!

[They enter the schoolyard. Andrew is sitting on a wall, smoking, with Harry and Katy nearby.]

Jason: Still, at least she’s happy.

Nigel: Happy? Jason, how could that sanctimonious hypocrite possibly be happy with a git like that?

Jason: I dunno. Is she happy with him?

Nigel: [kicks a can] Seems to be. God damn it I’m tense.

[He looks around and spots Andrew.]

Nigel: Hey, you. Maddog. Got any spare cigs?

Andrew: [blows smoke rings] Drugs are not the answer, Nigella.

Nigel: That’s a bit rich coming from you! You’re a ten-a-day man... if, indeed, you ARE a man.

[Andrew peers at the cigarette, as if noticing it for the first time.]

Andrew: So I am. [takes a puff] Oh, fate deals her cards like some Mississippi boat whore.

Katy: How did you get onto them in the first place?

Andrew: No idea.

Harry: Come on!

Andrew: Seriously. No idea. One day I noticed I was smoking them. Must have had a black out and totally forgot the circumstances in which I started smoking. But I’m pretty certain I had a good reason.

Harry: So you carried on smoking them?

Andrew: Well, I can be fairly sure it wasn’t down to sexual frustration over my own sister, eh, Nige?

[Everyone is stunned at this outrageous claim. Nigel stares at him for a long time.]

Nigel: [icy] Piss. Off.

[He turns and storms off. Jason shrugs helplessly at the others and hurries after him.]

Andrew: You ever met his sister? Charming lady. I met her once, you know...

[The bell rings. Nigel, Jason and Betty are climbing steps, surrounded by other students.]

Nigel: Me? Sexually frustrated? Bollocks. I’m one of the few miserable members of this school to have lost my virginity... and that includes the teachers! As if lack of hardcore top-line shagging could possibly affect my state of mind, I mean seriously?

[Benny passes him, heading down the steps. Nigel whirls to look at her, but suddenly she’s turned into someone completely different. And male.]

Nigel: [unnerved] Still, it’d be stupid of me to overlook easily-remedied problems, eh?

[He hurries off ahead, leaving Betty and Jason looking equally confused as they follow him.]

[Classroom. As the students take their seats, Nigel is talking desperately to Simone.]

Nigel: You’ve got a free period next, right?

Simone: My biological cycles are none of your business, Nige.

Nigel: Oh, please, dear, my sides can only take so much this early in the morning.

Simone: [taking books from bag] Nigel, it’s a Monday morning. I’m not in the mood.

Nigel: You, you, you. What about me, me, ME?!

Simone: Look, if you want some empty-headed slut to work off your frustrations...

Nigel: How ever did you guess? The way I asked you first?

Simone: What about Aileen?

Nigel: Aileen?

[He turns to look at a chubby Indian girl in the back row, chatting happily to Maurice, who looks bored.]

Nigel: Isn’t she the girl who thinks Mr. Sheen is the Prime Minister of Australia?

Simone: Uh-huh. Cause Martin Sheen plays the President in The West Wing.

Nigel: So she thinks Mr. Sheen is the President of Australia?

Simone: Austria, actually. That’s where she thinks we are.

Nigel: Oh.

[They both sit down at the table and get out their pens.]

Nigel: Well, I’ve always liked girls who aren’t an intellectual threat.

Simone: [smiles] Is that an insult?

Nigel: [smiles] Actually a gesture of equality, but don’t let it bother you.

[The teacher enters, looking very depressed and sits down at the desk.]

Teacher: Right. You lot. Vietnamese Wallflowers, chapter seven.

[Simone lets one hand slide under the desk. A moment later Nigel’s eyes widen.]

Nigel: [tight-voiced] Oh, two can play at that game, bitch.

[He lets his free hand fall under the table. A moment later Simone reacts.]

Simone: [deep voice] Don’t you want to save that for Aileen?

Nigel: I’ll stop when you stop.

Simone: [shudders slightly] You. First.

[The teacher is staring directly at them, having witnessed it all.]

Teacher: You two. Hands out of each others’ pants and get reading like others.

[Long pause. Everyone is staring at Nigel and Simone who self consciously put both hands on the desk. Nigel innocently pretends to be really interested in searching for the right page in his book. He glances at Simone and nearly freaks out – he’s sitting next to Benny. No, wait, Simone. She gives him a curious look. He hastily returns to the book. The teacher’s seen this too.]

Teacher: [face palms] Christ I hate teenagers.

[The bell rings and students leave classes. Nigel drifts spookily in front of Aileen.]

Nigel: So. Aileen. You doing anything next period?

Aileen: Um, yeah. Technical drawing.

Nigel: Skip it.

Aileen: Oh. [shrugs] OK.

[Nigel double-takes, and needs to catch up with her.]

Nigel: Um, yeah, actually, since you’re free next lesson, how about climbing the walls of orgasm chasm with me?

Aileen: Is that geography or something?

[Nigel struggles to think down to her level.]

Nigel: Um. No. I was offering to deflower you, and make you a woman.

Aileen: Flowers? You want to make flower arrangements?

Nigel: No, I... oh, what the hell!

[He leans and whispers in Aileen’s ear for a very long time.]

Aileen: [giggles] Oh, that! Sure. I was kinda horny anyway.

[Nigel blinks, taken aback by her change in attitude. He links arms with her.]

Nigel: [sotto] Making out with Aileen Sun? Sexual ecstasy? Here I come!

[The common room is deserted. Nigel and Aileen hurry inside. Nigel immediately begins to unbutton his pants as Aileen idly looks in the fridge.]

Nigel: Shagging hot girls during class time. I hope I’m not developing a fetish...

Aileen: You think there’s any food around here?

Nigel: No idea. And I’m sure as hell not going to home ec to get some raw ingredients...

Aileen: It’s just I’m so hungry...

Nigel: Aileen...

[Her stomach grumbles very loudly.]

Nigel: OK, OK...

[Nigel looks around and spots a chocolate bar in a wrapper in a pigeon hole. He snatches it, tears the wrapper off and hands it to Aileen.]

Nigel: There you go, babe. Pure caramel.

[She snatches the bar and starts taking bites out of it.]

Aileen: [muffled] These are great!

[Nigel embraces her and kisses her chest passionately. Aileen chews on the candy bar, seemingly oblivious as he tears at her clothes.]

[Outside the common room, a group of younger kids are taking a shortcut past to the library opposite. A teacher spots them and hurries towards them, passing a window to the common room. Just behind the window, Nigel is passionately having sex with Aileen, who is stuffing her face with a jar full of jelly sweets. Her eyes widen slightly at one point.]

Aileen: You know, this really works up an appetite...

[Breathing heavily, Nigel stares at her in annoyed disbelief.]

Nigel: Are you even paying attention?!

[Aileen stuffs another handful of lollies in her mouth.]

Nigel: I always suspected you were dead from the neck up but I never thought you were EXTRA DEAD FROM THE NECK DOWN!

[Aileen rolls her eyes in ecstasy... from the lollies, very obviously.]

Aileen: But it feels so good!

Nigel: Are you actually aware I’m even here?!

Aileen: [moans happily] Actually, I think I’m getting thirsty...

Nigel: Look, if I wanted a blow up doll with a compulsion to stuff itself with food, I’d buy one! I tell you, if it weren’t for the way your tits have gone all shiny from the sugar rush, this would not only be a complete waste of time but the most embarrassing moment of my life!

[Outside, the teacher finishes shouting at the students and heads for the common room. As she pushes open the door, Nigel spins behind the fridge and out of sight, awkwardly dragging Aileen with him in a tangle of limbs. They are left kneeling into each other on the floor, eyes wide with fear. The teacher crosses to a shelf, takes out a folder and then wanders out – never once spotting the copulating pair. As the door shuts, Nigel lets out a shuddering sigh of relief.]

Aileen: Wow... that is so cool! Doesn’t that turn you on?

Nigel: Bizarrely enough, I think it might be the one thing that doesn’t!

Aileen: Shut up!

[She slaps him across the face. HARD. Nigel is utterly stunned by this as she turns around, forcing him against the cupboard, grabs a bottle of Coke and starts to drink it dry, riding him faster.]

Nigel: [dazed] My god, woman... you’re more perverted than I am!

[She slaps him again. His head snaps against the wall, very painfully.]


[Another slap.]


Nigel: What is WRONG with you...?

[He gets a full punch in the face this time.]


[She grins stupidly, climaxing. Nigel, bleeding from the nose, lets his eyes roll back and finally passes out.]

[Blackness. The bell rings. Nigel groggily opens his eyes. He is alone in the common room, lying face down on the floor, his trousers round his knees. He looks around, realizing Aileen has abandoned him. His annoyance focuses his thoughts.]

Nigel: ...bitch!

[Nigel staggers to his feet, pulls his pants up and heads for the exit. The playground is already filling up as recess begins. Nigel leans against the railings and rubs his eyes, tired.]

Benny: [vo] Oh, Nigel you bad boy.

[Nigel whirls around to face Benny... no. It’s Lucy.]

Lucy: You skipped Legal Studies. Mr. Tapaht was NOT pleased.

[Nigel looks at her unsteadily.]

Nigel: [groggy] You ever made love to man before, Lucy?

Lucy: [shocked] Are you hitting on me?

Nigel: Once in a lifetime opportunity, Luce. Either take it or be very, VERY sorry you didn’t.

Lucy: My god. You are actually serious.

Nigel: As serious as anti-terrorist legislation. It’s just... you look AMAZING and I don’t think it’s your clothes doing that. D-cup, definitely. You’d look freaking AWESOME out of them.

Lucy: You’re obsessed, Nigel.

Nigel: You ever had sex with ANOTHER person, Lucy?

[She rolls her eyes and turns and walks away.]

Nigel: Fine. Live alone, eat alone, sleep alone, die alone while all the cute blondes with the fake-looking tits get all the men. Turn away from someone who doesn’t want a girl who injects her face with enough botulism to dissolve a bull elephant...

[Lucy pauses for a moment, but nevertheless keeps walking.]

Nigel: Mighty fine posterior you got there, Gau. [sighs] I need a drink.

[The bell rings. Nigel is at the front of a queue of students for a classroom. Tegan is behind him.]

Tegan: So, what were YOU up to second period?

Nigel: [groans] Do I have to make it a school policy that none of you plebs speak unless spoken to?

Tegan: [laughs] I was passing the library and popped into the common room. My caramel swirl bar had disappeared and you, for some reason, were lying unconscious on the floor, naked from the waist down. Any explanation?

Nigel: It was performance art.

[The group enter the classroom as the teacher arrives.]

Nigel: [frowns] Hang on, you saw me lying there and didn’t help?

Tegan: You look cute asleep. So what happened?

Nigel: Let us just say that if you’re ever in desperate need of girl-on-girl action...

Tegan: [sighs] Always.

Nigel: ...then avoid Aileen. She’ll eat you out of house and home and smack nine colours of crap out of you. So, avoid. Unless you’re some kind of masochist on the Atkins’ Diet.

Tegan: Everyone on the Atkins’ Diet is a masochist.


Nigel: [sighs] Good point.

[The last bell of the day rings. Students mill around the school, making their way home. Nigel, looking tired, sore and depressed, crosses the road to the car park where he left Wynona. He unlocks the door, opens it, then pauses, a thought striking him.]

Nigel: Hang on...

[He’s not got his backpack. Nigel looks around, realizing he’s left it in the school. He looks at the kids piling onto the school bus, then sighs.]

Nigel: Oh, who gives a shit?

[He clambers into the car, pulling the door shut, and sagging over the steering wheel, exhausted. Lucy rises into view in the backseat (she climbed in when Nigel was distracted by his lack of a backpack).]

Lucy: Cozy.

[Nigel starts in fright.]

Nigel: [shaken] By the H of Bidmead, you scared the crap out of me! You’re not going to put on a mask and start stabbing me, are you? Why are you in the backseat of my car, anyway?

Lucy: I was thinking of taking you up on your offer.

Nigel: Wow. You know, I’m beginning to think girls are almost as sex-crazed as I am.

Lucy: Aw. Self-pity. Is that just for me?

Nigel: [unflinching] One way to find out.

[Lucy beckons him into the back seat.]

Lucy: Nice arse, Nige.

[She grabs it with both hands.]

Nigel: Do you always smell of lilacs?

Lucy: [kisses him] Guess so.

[They fall out of sight. Outside the car, Jason approaches, carrying Nigel’s school bag. Wynona’s windows have all fogged up.]

Jason: Oh, my liege, you left this in History...

[The car is now rocking on its suspension.]

Lucy: [VO] Oh, for god’s sake, just put it in already!

[Shrugging, Jason tosses the bag through the open driver seat window, turns and wanders off. More grunts and cries come from Wynona.]

[Benny, arms folded, looks very disappointed.]

Benny: [hurt] Nigel...

[Bang. Nigel snaps out of the doze he was gripped in at the wheel of Wynona while waiting at the lights. He’s covered in lipstick prints, his hair is a mess, and he’s half-out of his shirt, which is on back to front. Nigel looks around, realizing what the hell’s going on. Other motorists are honking.]

Nigel: Musta zoned out there for a second... [groans] Damn, it didn’t work! She still haunts my mind!


[Glaring, Nigel reaches under the dashboard and hits a control. The grille over the rear window seals up, Venetian-blind style, turning into a sign of a fist with a middle finger extended. Beneath it are the words “GET STUFFED”. Wynona revs off across the intersection.]

Nigel: [VO] That was so worth all the money that gizmo cost...

[The Yang household. Wynona is parked in the garage. Nigel emerges, smoothing down his hair and zipping up his pants. His shirt is still on back to front. He enters the house and heads for the kitchen. Kenji is at the table, feet up, reading “Disney Adventures Monthly”.]

Kenji: What the hell happened to you?

[Nigel heads straight for the fridge.]

Nigel: Do you really care, Kenji?

Kenji: Well...

Nigel: No, I didn’t think so.

Kenji: You’re so full of yourself nowadays.

[Nigel grits his teeth and takes a can of Solo from the fridge.]

Nigel: Tell you what, brother of mine, from now on, how about you only speak to me when you’re saying something that has never before in the history of the world been said. Do you think you can do that?

Kenji: [slowly] I think so...

Nigel: No, no, no, no. Only things never said before. Understand?

[Kenji starts to speak, then, with a look of great concentration, nods slowly.]

Nigel: Good. Ah, I could listen to you going on all night, like that...

[Nigel’s mum enters.]

Nigel’s Mum: Nigel, what have I told you about tricking your brother into taking vows of silence?

Nigel: [sips can] It’s not a vow of silence, mum. Just a vow of vague originality.

[Kenji is annoyed and concentrates hard to speak.]

Kenji: [with effort] Nigel... you have... elephant abandonment... problem.

Nigel: See? [to his mum] You’re home early today.

Nigel’s Mum: Getting ready to head overseas again.

[Nigel sighs. Kenji rolls his eyes and leaves the room.]

Nigel’s Mum: It’s the price we have to pay for our lifestyle, Nigel. [strokes his cheek] Besides, you’re a big man now, you don’t need me around all the time to look after you.

Nigel: Guess not. But it’s nice when you are.

[His mum gives him a hug.]

Nigel’s Mum: I know that look. What’s wrong? You worried about school?

Nigel: No, it’s just... I tried to sort something out today and it failed, that’s all.

Nigel’s Mum: If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying. Law of averages is bound to swing your way sooner or later.

[She gives him an Eskimo Kiss, rubbing her nose against his.]

Nigel’s Mum: Now, be good. I’ll be back before the month’s over.

[She hurries out. Nigel finishes his drink, his mood not much better.]

Nigel: “Keep trying”?

[He hurls the can into a bin.]

Nigel: [bitterly] Why the hell not?

[The school bell rings to commence another lesson. In the art department, students are working on their various projects while the teacher dozes in the corner holding a half-empty bottle of gin. Dave is sadly putting the finishing touches on a painting of Phoebe. Katy is working on a giant Lichtenstein-style comic strip panel, sitting cross-legged on a table to do so. Others are using plaster of paris, matchsticks, etc. Andrew is brooding over a very crude statue of someone covering their face with their arms, as though warding off horror. Harry hurries in with a bag of shopping.]

Harry: I got it!

Andrew: Brilliant! How much?

Harry: Eighteen bucks!

[Andrew takes out the shopping – various brands of pasta sauce in jars.]

Andrew: I’ll pay you back.

Harry: When?

Andrew: When you pay ME back the twenty bucks I gave you to buy it in the first place!

Harry: [thoughtful] That is not as crazy as it sounds.

[Andrew struggles to open a jar, then sighs and offers it to Katy. She effortlessly opens it.]

Andrew: Thank you ever so much.

Katy: What do you need all this tomato paste for anyway?

Harry: You going to make a really big spaghetti bolognaise?

Andrew: No, no, no. This is an entirely new form of disposable art.

[Andrew empties the opened jar over the statue. Red gloop drips down it.]

Andrew: The work itself actually becomes more and more profound a message as the days pass.

Katy: And how does that happen?

Andrew: Simple. This will be the first HSC artwork DESIGNED to attract flies!

[Andrew starts emptying other jaws over it with insane enthusiasm.]

Harry: I’m not sure that this is what the HSC markers are actually looking for, Maddog.

Andrew: Who cares what THEY are looking for? This is imagination! Creativity! Oregano and garlic! And it’s INCREDIBLY fun! Have a go!

[He hands Harry a jar, and he flings the contents over the statue, laughing. He tosses the half-empty jar aside, and then realizes it’s landed over a square tile of rubber in the process of having bits carved out of it by a scalpel.]

Harry: Oh, shit...

[Harry rushes to try and clear it up.]

Katy: What’s wrong?

Harry: I’ve got bolognaise mix all over Verkoff’s linocut!

Andrew: Oh, suffering always makes a greater artist.

Katy: Where is he, anyway?

[They all look around. No sign of Nigel.]

Harry: Come to think of it... where’s Emma?

[In another part of the art section, near the kiln, Nigel and Emma are kissing lustfully and pulling at each other’s clothes. We pan across to a closed door as someone knocks on it.]

[Andrew is that someone.]

Andrew: He’s locked us out.

Harry: Someone’s in there, I can hear them moaning...

[Dave hurries back, Jason in tow.]

Dave: All the blinds are down over the windows, I can’t see a thing.

Jason: Yeah, and none of the windows open from the outside.

Dave: Should we wake the teacher up?

Katy: Oh, no, no way. Not after last time.

Andrew: Yeah, she’s not a happy drunk. Plus, there are all these scalpels around the place...

[A loud groan comes from beyond the door.]

Andrew: The idiot’s probably tripped over and broken his leg.

Katy: We’ve got to do something!

Harry: It’s his own fault, Katy, he locked us out!

Jason: Well, kick the door down then!

Andrew: What do you think this is? Some American cop show? Besides!

[Andrew kicks the door. It is part of a classroom partition, so the whole wall sways back and forth but doesn’t yield to the door.]

Jason: I’ll try the other door.

[Jason runs out.]

Dave: There’s another door?

Katy: Hang on, I’ve got an idea.

[Katy snatches an unused tile and jams it between the partition and the floor, wedging the wall into place.]

Katy: Try now.

Harry: [to Andrew] Why don’t YOU ever come up with clever ideas like that?

Andrew: [mildly annoyed] No idea, Harry, probably the same reason they call me “Maddog”.

[Jason runs into an empty classroom with an identical partition. He tries the door. Unlocked. He steps through into the kiln area, and looks around. No sign of Nigel or Emma, though the sex noises can clearly be heard. Jason hurries over to the locked door.]

[Andrew is on the other side of the room. All the students are out of the way.]

Andrew: Rightio, here we go...

[In the kiln area, Jason undoes the latch on the door.]

[Andrew shoulder-charges a door, which slams open and sends Jason reeling into an art project in the corner. It collapses, bringing down a huge pile of paintings, tarps, supplies... and revealing Emma and Nigel, caught in the definitive compromising position.]

Emma: What the fuck?!

[Andrew sways unsteadily from his uninterrupted velocity, and he and Jason register the scene.]

Jason: My liege...

Nigel: Piss off!

Andrew: You ungrateful bastard, Verkoff. Here we are, trying to save your life and...


Andrew: [sighs] Come on, Jase.

Jason: B-but...

Andrew: Your parents will be able to explain it, I’m sure.

[Andrew leads the dazed Jason out of the room.]

Nigel: [to Emma] Now, Miss Ngeun, where were we?

[Nigel gasps. It’s Benny. Again. And then it’s Emma.]

Nigel: Damn. Failed again. Oh well, started so I’ll finish.

[They go back to snogging.]

[The school-bell rings again. The students lumber out. Andrew is lingering behind with Harry, struggling to get a big plastic bag over the slime-spattered statue. Nigel is packing his stuff away.]

Harry: Doesn’t this defeat the whole point of covering it with sauce in the first place?

Andrew: Well, I want it to really BEGIN deteriorating when it’s on display... not before. Besides, think of it as a giant contraceptive if certain amorous sex machines lose control of themselves.

Nigel: Is that some kind of reference to me, Alsatian?

Andrew: [busy with bag] The fact you automatically assumed so says more about you than about me...

[Furious, Nigel snatches up an art scalpel and grabs Andrew’s shoulder, twisting him around and holding the scalpel at his throat.]

Andrew: [unafraid] Oh, get real, Verkoff! Slashing my throat? What good is that doing you? You haven’t been on TV all year, you can’t honestly think you can get off a murder charge...

Harry: [meekly] Um, should I wake up the teacher?

Nigel: Just shut up, will you? I have got enough problems without some brain-damaged hermit pissing about and winding me up...

Andrew: You? Problems? HAH! The only problems you’ve got are mental ones! You live in a mansion with a personal servant, chauffer and walk-in-fridge, internet connection and satellite TV! You have your own car, record deal, and financed your own theatre play! And you’ve got the bare-faced chutzpah to claim you’ve got it tough? When was the last time you went without food, Verkoff? When you had to walk home because you couldn’t afford a bus pass? Or panicked at getting your clothes dirty because you don’t have any to spare? Or sick from cryptosporidium poisoning because you don’t have a medicare card? No, you have sex with a girl in the kiln when the rest of us are actually doing and THEN start bitching?

[Suddenly furious, Andrew flings Nigel’s arm away – the scalpel imbeds in the blackboard behind the sleeping teacher, narrowly missing her ear.]

Andrew: You should be down on your knees thanking the universe for giving you such a huge start in life instead of wallowing in self-pity, you arrogant fuckwit.

[Nigel is shaken at the sudden critique.]

Nigel: Do you have ANY idea who I am?

Andrew: Yeah. More than you do, it appears. [to Harry] What have we got next?

Harry: Study period, Maddog.

Andrew: Oh good. It means we don’t have to put up with our resident Tortured Genius.

[Andrew picks up another scalpel and suddenly slams it at Nigel’s groin... but merely pins his trousers to the table rather than harming Nigel at all. Andrew and a shaken Harry leave.]

Andrew: You know, your project would probably be finished by now if you didn’t get... distracted. [mutters] Fucking amateur.

Nigel: [gulps] Y-you... I could get you deported for that you stupid ape-shape! After all my family have done for you, you dare to stand in judgment of... oh, WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK?

[Nigel turns his attention to delicately removing the scalpel from his crotch.]

- to be continued...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Support the Tea-Spitting Man...

...because he's better than anything sparacus ever came up with.

The above was created for the old GB gang as a gesture of solidarity in their noble struggle.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Return of the Nigel

Idly looking through the backlog of material on the computer, it twigged to me I could easily finish huge chunks of Rise of the Big N. So...

Act 1 - Way to Go
Act 2 - The Price We Pay
Act 3 - Speak and Destroy
Act 4 - Change the Channel
Act 5 - The Eighth Wonder of the World
Act 6 - Throw Your Arms Around Me
Act 7 - Calling All Lovers
Act 8 - Don't You Wanna Feel?
Act 9 - Voodoo Child
Act 10 - I Never Liked You...

We join the story in the dying days of 2001. The twin towers have fallen, the war on terror has begun, and Nigel's had his virginity broken and lost his heart. Well, SOMETHING along those lines...

NOTE: The following installment with its sex scenes, violence and very poor set-up gags rates a clear scale 3 on the Bidmead Meter. (You put Chris Bidmead in a chair and show him the most infantile, imaginative, unscientific crap you can. If his head explodes, you might have gone a wee bit too far.)

You have been warned...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mad Larry's Birthday Present

Ah, in a gesture of bloggosphere solidarity, Lawrence Miles gave a half-decent post for once (rather than saying that Matt Smith is Jar-Jar-Binks and we're all fools). Larry's post, one of the ones likely-to-stay-up, concers a new Doctor Who monster. To be honest, given the sheer contempt for the franchise he shows (even in this imaginary scene, he insists the only way for "dramatic impetus" is to have the exposition shouted while the Doctor rewires something), I dunno why he bothered. But he has a brand new monster, to rival his previous efforts:

  • Faction Paradox, some pretentious 18th century emo goth wankers who thrive on the ability to be clever about stuff no normal people give a shit about
  • the Remote, some amoral pretentious wankers who are just photocopies of ordinary people and exist only to get into moral arguments with people
  • the Cold, some Lovecraftian monsters that never would do much
  • the Babwyns, a bunch of angry baboons who are defeated by being invited to the Doctor's wedding to a hooker he's shacked up with
  • the Quiesence, a bunch of of Skeksi-style space vultures who talk like Jerzei Balowksi and are based on the evil Steven Moffat's "power pats"
  • the Drudges, a bunch of mute zombies wholesale stolen from the last season of Buffy when they were called the slightly-more-ominous "Bringers"

All of them, curiously enough had the shock reveal THEY'RE REALLY HUMAN BEINGS and not proper alien monsters at all. Got kinda old, to quote Larry's favorite line from A Christmas Carol.

Added to this not-so-much-carnival-of-monsters-but-sideshow-of-gits, is a new villain.


Sounding like a cross between the generic evil chemical company from The Secret World of Alex Mack and being a pedantic git with no sense of humor, the Semanticore are an evil from the dawn of time!

Yes, another one.

They are sentient nightmares!

Yes, another one.

They exist in human language!

I know, I know, but something's bound to be interesting...

They take the forms based on grammatical errors and spelling mistakes!


Yes, basically, this monster is nothing more than an excuse for the Doctor to turn to people and correct the entymology of the words "nightmare" and "pandemonium". Because, retards who spell the latter "pandamonium" will find themselves attacked by Stephen King's It... if It was a panda.

I quote verbatim:

But here they come, out of the abyss of the misspelt mass-mind. Eyes as black as the pit, blunt teeth that chew bone oh-so-slowly, almost as if it were bamboo. Why the big paws...? So they can rip out your soul. Imagine that rage, the schizophrenia of being pitied (pitied...!) for your inescapable doom while being mocked (mocked...!) for your failure. The horror of imagined impotence. In all of our dreams, nothing else has become such a symbol of despair. So loved and given so much contempt. A golem of hatred and muscle that was only ever treated as a punchline.

As an animal, near-extinct. As a demon, a living, shambling scream.

Now is the age of the on-line. Language evolves, faster than ever, and so do all Semanticores. Combine this with humanity's increasing sense of wrongness, a guilt-fear that injustice has been done to All God's Creatures, but an equally-balanced guilt-fear of doing anything about it. The result is inevitable.

Prepare for pandageddon. basically, we've got a generic rampaging alien monster.

That, because of poor spelling in useless chavs of today, looks like this.


Ah, Larry, a monster that looks shit and it's canonically all the audience's fault.

Where were you when JNT needed you to save the Myrka, huh?!

Next up are...


Yes, they are Raxicoricofallapatorians... but a different colour!

They're blue!

See, blue blood? Aristocratic, crime families, funny, little bit?

And they've got really big heads!

And, yes, no doubt Mad Larry would be the first the diss the SJAs when they tried something a bit similar with the Blathereen, Raxicoricofallapatorians that were orange. And had an inordinate amount of pride in their crime family heritage. And they also had monkeys on their back in their uncontrollable addiction to alien Krynoid-lite weeds.

But Mad Larry, a bloke who gets "subtlety" the way I get Kath and Kim, isn't prepared to waste time with metaphors.

The Kilquireen have giant pineal glands on their head that control their brains with the most base of drives and emotions. A bit like drug abuse, but only pissy little kid shows with no imagination would do it. It's much better to have evil tumors on their heads that MAKE them evil. And when one of these blue bastards is in a skin suit, they take the form of someone giving their kid a piggy-back, and the kid is in fact the evil monster controlling them.

Fair enough, but the fact that Larry introduced the monsters thus:

No, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I'm going to present these shoulder-childer as parasitic aliens, controlling the minds of the ones they straddle. Not at all.

I dare say Terry Nation did something similar.

Nazis in mobile tanks? Not a bit of it! There's no anti-fascism at all in these Daleks, not at all...


And while the Semanticores are there are to piss off linquists and make people think of pandas as evil monsters, the Kilquireen are there to make us hate new dads proudly carrying around their children. Only vile chavs that abandon their parental duties are safe!

Men; fathers; young fathers, especially. They walk the streets with their offspring on their shoulders, toddlers with fat little legs wrapped round their dads' necks, a tower of generations that somehow never topples. In prehistoric times, a man would be satisfied with the task of re-purposing mammoths for food. The modern male needs reassurance that he can make his fatherly duties look macho and look twenty-first-century at the same time, and will therefore let his child (usually a son) ride bareback on his head. These men stalk the cities, occasionally pointing at things that look interesting but not too feminine, shouting "what an enormous bridge!" while secretly thinking "see, I'm lifting my own child's weight, that proves I'm sensitive yet strong."

Getting a bit broody, Mad Larry? Did you get lucky and now fear possible consequences? Oh well, you're better off childless. There's only room for one psychotic temper-tantrum-throwing attention whore in your life, right? Plus, the ungrateful little bastard would probably be an open-minded, friendly individual able to show a bit of restraint in polite society. Not worth the hassle mate.

So, basically, Mad Larry's new monsters are Carrionites and Slitheen with new names. What an imagination that man lacks. And a quick round up of things Doctor Who is apparently supposed to demonize:
  • pandas
  • people who make basic spelling mistakes
  • single fathers
  • small children
  • anyone of aristocratic decent
  • the mentally ill, in particular schizophrenics


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rue the Day of Birth

When I was younger...

...oh, so much younger than today...

...I couldn't quite grasp the concept of my birthday - or anyone's birthday, come to think of it - being anything other than an occasion of celebration, presents, wonder and love. On some level I got that grown-ups weren't QUITE as fussed about the special day as kids, I boggled at the idea of actually hating your birthday.

I first encountered the idea when I was a wee bairn myself, watching Gina Riley's breakout While Your Down There skit show. This particular skit was about two little girls appearing in some Playschool type show, and how in between takes they were bitter, dysfunctional actresses who saught comfort in the bottle of ribina bottle and smoked candy cigarettes. "Six years old," Gina reflected bitterly in her ribons and school dress, "so much OLDER than five! I told my parents I didn't want a birthday but did they listen? There was cake, candles, presents, a clown... I COULD HAVE DIED! I fled to my room, Teddy Bears' Picnic ringing in my ears..."

It was funny coz... it's not true, right? How could anyone hate their birthday when nothing bad happened on the day and they got everything?

Amusingly, Paul McDermott provided the alpha and omega of my understanding of this. First, with DAAS Kapital when he played his axe-crazy Big Gig persona who has a nervous breakdown when none of the others apparently remember his birthday. Of course, Tim and Rich were just pretending... mind you, beating Paul up with a baseball bat and pretending to be members of the KKK were a bit extreme...

And then, in 1996 I think, Paul was in Good News Week doing one of his deadpan gags: "Why would the idea of a birthday depress anyone? Apart from being another year older, poorer, fatter, more cynical and realizing the last year has amounted to absolutely nothing and things will never improve."


I once had a proper birthday party once. A proper one. Cake, balloons, pretty much everyone I knew at the time invited, party hats, everything. And I found the experience excruciatingly embarrassing. I didn't have many hardcore friends and so most of the kids who turned up I either just knew or actually disliked. I cringed as we sat down to watch The Goodies and the Beanstalk. It was MY birthday, and I was - for some reason - worried about how everyone else was feeling, if they were bored or thought my homelife boring or pathetic. The party went reasonably well, but I never wanted another one like that.

And then there was the problem of the date - it meant that, 9 out of 10 times, my birthday was the first day of school. Bit of a mood killer it had to be said, and it also means that there's a very long stretch of the year without a birthday to lighten it up. And I've have to go to school on my birthday. In 97 it was worse, I had to start a new school full of people I didn't know and the knowledge that everyone who might have been even remotely interested it was my birthday were all gone and having much better times.

Yeah, the birthday fun bled away rapidly after that.

Was part of it down to my gross consumerism? When I started high school it meant I could, if I chose, visit the city after school with bookshops and ABC retailers and generally places I normally went to with parental control to get presents for birthday and such. I didn't have to wait till Christmas to get the latest EDA, I just had to wait till I had the cash. In Christmases gone by, one of my major presents was a copy of DWM. Nowadays, I often struggle to remember if I've bothered to get an actual copy or just the CBR on this very computer.

This meant, basically, my parents could rarely get me presents. I mean, my dad wanted to surprise me with a copy of RTD's The Shooting Scripts - awkwardly cut down since I already snatched a copy with my Santa wages. My mum tried to get me new books, but I already had them. Shit happens, but it means that no one is really getting me presents and I'm so into instant gratification I can't save stuff up. I've only got myself to blame.

I hate my birthday. I feel old now. I feel my life is, for better or worse, wasted and I've betrayed any principals I once held. My last birthday was a week before an attempt at self-harm and being diagnosed with severe depression. In recent years there was a vague kind of attempt at a tradition, with us visiting an amazing Mexican restaurant in Newtown. But my dad suggests I do something different - like WHAT?! It's my birthday, if I want nachos I should fucking well get them, but now I could never go there without cringing and thinking my parents were sick of the place after the previous three times they had ever been there. I continue to obsess over others. I spent under 200 bucks on myself following my near fatal accident and could barely live with myself. Thank god Jahan Redsen was there with his flintlock to keep me from throwing myself under one of those curiously old fashioned busses.

On December 6 last year I nearly died.

Yet ever since the nasty thought has popped up making me wish I'd gone all the way and not chickened out like everything else I've ever done in my life.

I was going to do a list of my prior birthdays, but it turned into a list of presents I could barely remember. Things spluttered to a death circa 2002 and ever since then, I've just been more and more depressed every 4th of February.