Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A review



Well, here we are again at the end of the year, having to put up with another of Witchface & The Host's hurried attempts at squeezing a years worth of events into a few thousand words and some hastily put together pictures.
They'll never do it, you know. I don't know how many times I've nagged and cajoled to put this thing together throughout the year when events are fresh in our mind.
You're right. I don't know why we even bother - They never take any bloody notice!
I've a good mind to-
Ssssshhhhhhh! Sssshhhhhhhhh! Here they come now!

Oh, thanks, you two. What a welcome.
Yes, bugger off!

* huff *
* double huff *

Bloody SubCs...
Right. Where were we? Ah, yes. This year's Coven Awards and blog review.

Hmmph! The blog review shouldn't take long. Lazy articles...

We are still here, you know?!
As before, I'll do the blog review and The Host will present the awards. Anyway, without further ado, I bring you:

January: We took a look back over The Cusp at our many adventures; Tim turned from stalkee to stalker; and an ill wind caused arial nanny-based chaos to Norwich's skies.

February: We inadvertantly shared some of our 'reference' books with you; Tim was once again the object of our affections in The Valentines Day Mascara; and we prepared to move out of Castle DeVice.

March: Ah, our birthday. Celebrated over The Cusp as per usual!



The frontrunners for this award - The most engaging film - were: Star Trek and District 9. I really wanted District 9 to get the gong over Star Trek because it hooked me almost from the get-go (although it did take a little while to get used to the documentary-style beginning). However, the rather lengthy fight/chase scene at the end stretched my belief to snapping point as the singleminded and relentless Colonel Koobus Venter wasn't killed in the constant hail of weapons fire.


Star Trek, on the other hand, was at once polished, emotional (especially George Kirk's sacrifice as Captain of the USS Kelvin and the beam out of the Vulcan elders), entertaining, voyeuristic (Hello Kirk in underpants! - More on that later) and gripping. Much as I wanted to be slightly dismissive of this reboot, I found that I couldn't. And still can't - I'm watching it tonight with SP (who says it's his favourite film EVER! - And this from someone who'd never watched any Star Trek before)!


The most disappointing film was easily Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. How could it have failed so epically when the first film was so awesome? What happened?
Next time, let's have less gung-ho giant robot fights where one can't tell what's going on, fewer new transformers, absolutely no John Turturro (or however his name is spelled), and a lot fewer clothes on Josh Duhamel - Rawr!



April: Mini-Tim; and the first book read this year.

May: The attack of Beaky's clone; and we were almost haunted by Yvette Fielding.

June: A Hellishly wrong number; and we became reconnected with the intermaweb in New Castle DeVice.



I think I've watched more TV this year than the last two years put together - Well, it seems like it, anway. You see, SP has the TV on almost all the live-long day (when he's not at work, of course)! However, I have managed to stick to my usual discerning viewing, so the nominees for my favourite TV show are: Ugly Betty (yay!), Being Human, True Blood and Pushing Daisies.
The winner, for the second year in a row (narrowly beating Being Human), is Pushing Daisies!




The biggest disappointment is an easy one. After waiting what seemed like an eternity for the TV movie of Dead Like Me, it was finally shown in the UK (albeit on Virgin pay-per-view) five years after the series ended.
I wish I hadn't bothered.
The worst things weren't the lack of Rube, or the different Daisy. No. The most disappointing thing was the way the characters seemed two dimensional, as if they'd forgotten who they were and were just going through the motions. Whose motions, I don't know, but they sure weren't happy about it.




An odd one this as it's not something I rediscovered, but something that SP did. This rediscovery leaves me free to blog while he's absorbed by dreadful 80s/90s hair and fashion (and I say 'fashion' in the loosest sense of the word), godawful cheap prizes (did anyone ever win that crappy Daewoo Nubira estate?), craptacular answers from stunned looking contestants (were they tasered to get them into the studio?) and Les Dennis's 'please-kill-me' style of presenting (plus his outrageous racism).

What is this rediscovery, I hear you ask? None other than Family Fortunes!



July: Ah, a month of gardening - Both domestic and exotic; plus we brought you the real Mary Poppins.

August: A glimpse of SP in the jungle; (hardly) inexplicable filth at MJ's; a blogger-birthday (yes, you, Dinah!); and a visit from an incubus.

September: An odious sea-cow; a book update; our holiday in poofiest Yorkshire (complete with sensational pictures of yours truly in a hot tub!); and another, rather moist, blogger birthday.



I'm not going to do a full-on review for this category because I've already posted book reviews here, here and here (call me lazy if you will). Suffice it to say that the winner is: The Never Ending Sacrifice, by Una McCormack (the first linked 'here').


This was a very difficult category from which to chose a winner. Nominees included Royksopp, Lady Gaga, Escala and Kelly Rowland amongst others. In the end, I couldn't decide between Sebastien Tellier's La Ritournelle (which featured in an episode of Ugly Betty this year) and Freemasons feat. Sophie Ellis-Bextor Heatbreak (make me a dancer), so they both win.




Move over Trekmovie.com and Memory Alpha. Io9 gets my vote!


October: Continuing CyberPete's Over-The-Cusp birthday celebrations; a very understated fourth blogiversary; miniature crop-circles (for navigation purposes only); and Hallowe'en!

November: Tim's birthday over The Cusp; and wishing for a new Broom.

December: Hell Hound: Attack of the Moom!; Joey!
Eeeeeeuuuuuuwwwwwwwnnnnnngggrrrh!" (fx: tongue behind lip, drool, contort); and (really-not-that-rude) Consequences.



Ooh! Who to choose?
Seann William Scott, Aidan Turner, Connor Trinneer, Chris Pine or Zachary Quinto?

Hmmm... I think today I'll have Aidan.

Or maybe Eddie Cibrian?


Clockwise from top left: Chris Pine, Tim, Jared Padalecki and Ryan Kwanten.


What? I can have all of them, can't I?


Phew! After all those men from the last two categories, I'm flummoxed as to who to choose for the Hottest Sci-Figure winner. It goes without saying that I would choose Connor Trinneer again if I could, but, as far as I know, he hasn't got his kit off in the name of sci-fi this year.
Perhaps I'll just go for Chris Pine?

Except that I can't find a good enough picture of his buffness.

Why don't you tell me who your hottest Sci-Figure is?



Right. That's it. All that remains is to thank you all for tuning in for another, somewhat lacklustre, year here. I know I said I'd try and do better last year, but it obviously didn't happen, did it. I really will try harder in 2010.
And finally, thank you all for keeping us amused, entertained, shocked and enthralled this year.

Happy New Year!



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Loose ends


I thought I'd better tie up the loose ends before the year is out, so, without further ado, I will.


Consequences: Game 2

Beast met her royal highness Queen Elizabeth II at the fish counter in Walmart. He wore a Lone Ranger mask, chaps and boots, and she wore nothing but a smile. He said "Can't read my, Can't read my, No he can't read my poker face (She's got to love nobody)". She said "What makes you think that I liked it when you showed me your Willy?" And the consequence was that they were both forced to watch Ellen Degeneres in the throws of passion.

This game almost died a death, but luckily Princess sashayed onto the scene for the penultimate part, and I utilised Eros' guess for Wednesday, 23rd December film quote title, to finish it off, so SNAPS to him even though he didn't guess correctly. The quote is actually from A Fish Called Wanda. John Cleese's character's wife says it to their daughter when they're about to leave their house.
Needless to say, I won't be doing another one of these in a hurry.


Items of Interest: Saturnalia edition

The item of interest was guessed correctly by Eros, with: "It looks like a smooth, shiny, polished ball--one that hangs on a Xmas tree." Your effort shall not go unrewarded, Eros, but as I have yet to find a suitable prize, you may have to wait a week or so.
Here're a couple of photos of the item in its natural habitat at Castle DeVice:



All that's left is to wish you all a happy new year just in case I don't get time to conjure up my usual Coven Awards on the 31st, and to apologise for my lacksadaisical and somewhat sporadic posting this year - I'll try and do better next year.



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Items of Interest: Saturnalia edition


* sigh *

It's that time of year again, and as usual I am not prepared. So, in a last minute panic I bring you this special edition of Items of Interest. Well, it was either this or a reposting of this.
I'm sure you know what to do: Just guess what this particular photo is of and, if you're very lucky, win a prize (yet to be decided on).

Here it is:




P.S. The comments for the Consequences: Game 2 post are still open, so you can still email me with what she said and what the consequence was.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh, do hurry up Portia!*


Come on! I want to get this consequence wrapped up (no pun intended) before Christing Christmas!
Tim, Miss Smuggersham; pull your fingers out and get to it. CyberPetra; Stop whining and get on with it. The rules are a couple of posts down: 6 is He said, 7 is She said, and 8 is the consequence.
The rest of you; feel free to jump in if the aforementioned slackers remain slack! Don't make me come down there.

I'm closing the comments to this post to encourage you to complete the game in the last post.



* Snaps to whoever knows which film this quote is from.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's give it another go


You clamoured in your thousands (ok, two of you did), so let's play Consequences again. You know the rules - And if you don't, just scroll down to 6th December post, or click here.

Phew! This should keep them occupied long enough so we can churn out something a bit more meaningful.



And on a different note, a certain Coven member has returned from beyond the ether. Now our number is complete. Cower before us, puny mortals!

Mwah hah hah hah hah hah haa!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Consequences: Game 1


Phew! For a while there I thought this was going to be a wash out, then Eros & BEAST popped back and saved the day.

So here is the fruit of your labours:

Eroswings met MJ at Disney World. He wore a Superman cape and she wore Wellington boots and a wimple. He said "This is so creative! I love it!*" She said (quoting Mae West) "Good sex is like good Bridge... If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand." And the consequence was that they ended up starring in a Filthy Friday Photo essay featuring Piggy, Tazzy and an egg whisk.



* Either someone forgot to email me, or I lost their email amongst a pile of spam.



Sunday, December 06, 2009

Consequences


Now, I'm sure you all know of this parlour game. You must have played it with a group of friends - ideally whilst consuming alcoholic beverages. But, should you be unaware of the laughter and disgust that goes hand-in-hand with this particular game, here are the rules:

Each person takes a turn choosing a word or phrase for one of eight questions, in this order.
  1. Man's name (or close approximation of a man)
  2. Woman's name (or close approximation thereof. You get the drift.)
  3. Place name
  4. He wore
  5. She wore
  6. He said...
  7. She said...
  8. The consequence was...
Then the story is read (for example):

Tim met IDV down the cake aisle in Waitrose. He was wearing chaps and a bandanna. She was wearing a smile. He said "I like your style". She said "Are you coming on to me?". And the consequence was that their love-making brought the house down. Literally!

Traditionally, the game is played by writing the words on paper and folding the paper to hide the previous words before passing it to the next player. However, as this is the age of technological sophistimacation and paper has gone the way of the dinosaurs (ha!), we shall play it slightly differently.
Instead, each player (you, the visiting bloggers) shall declare which of the eight subjects you are answering by submitting the question in the comments, and then email your response to me (my email address can be found in my blogger profile). These questions must be answered in order, so, for example, if MJ is the first commenter, she will only comment "Man's name" and then email me the name she's chosen. If Eroswings is next, he will comment "Woman's name" and email me the name he's chosen. And if CyberPete is third, he will comment "Place name" and email me his chosen location. And so on and so forth. This way, each commenter can see what subject has gone before but not see the answer, so making the outcome hilariously random. Or just plain weird. Of course, rudeness is encouraged (not that I would expect anything less...).
If more than eight people want to play, or you want to play several times, just keep going. So, once the eighth commenter has commented, the ninth just starts the game again. In a few days time (date to be confirmed), I shall post the outcome of each game for your amusement/disgust, so stay tuned.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Joey Deacon


Today we remember.

It is the 28th anniversary of the death of an icon to millions of former Blue Peter viewers*, an inspiration, a National Treasure, a man without compare: Joey Deacon.

Non Britlanders probably won't have a clue who I'm talking about. Not even if I do this:
Eeeeeeuuuuuuwwwwwwwnnnnnngggrrrh!" (fx: tongue behind lip, drool, contort), so here's a clip of the great man himself:


It's a bit quiet, so turn up the sound.

And if you still haven't a clue, then you are
Denied a full understanding of the subtler nuances of flapping their clawed, twisted, limp-wristed hands together and biting their shoulder while standing behind someone who is doing something stupid. Forging their way in the world, being shafted by the government, and denied the small solace of being able to comment on some particularly imbecilic piece of govern–mentalism by pushing their tongue between their lower lip and their teeth and going Eeeeeeuuuuuuwwwwwwwnnnnnngggrrrh! I mean, look at Iraq... they didn't find any WMDs and now the whole place is one gigantic clusterfuck. What's the most cathartic reaction? You could go "Oops, silly Tony got it wrong"... or you could go "Well, what the fuck did you expect, Joey Blair? Eeeeeeuuuuuuwwwwwwwnnnnnngggrrrh! (flap, spasm) Tony is a deacon, (tongue behind lower lip) Ttttwnnnyyyyy zzzzzthth uuuhhh dddddEEEknnn (contort, drool) Mwwthmm gghhuuuuu nnnngh". Which - and be honest with yourself here - would you really prefer to do? Which one would be more appropriate to the situation, which one would provide the greater emotional release? It's the Joey one, isn't it... it has to be, unless your life has been impoverished by missing out on the whole Joey experience. I suppose it's a case of "what you don't know you can't miss", but the life of one who does not remember Joey Deacon must surely be sorely lacking.

Well, it's one of those things... if you weren't there at the time then maybe you'll never grasp it. You have to remember watching that seminal Blue Peter broadcast, you have to have that vivid memory of, the next morning, seeing someone's inadvertent clumsiness or stupidity inducing a reaction of "You fucking Joey! Eeeeeeuuuuuuwwwwwwwnnnnnngggrrrh!" (fx: flap clawed hands, tongue behind lip, bite shoulder). You have to remember your reaction - whether it was the kudos of being the first one to call someone a Joey, the shame of being the recipient of the insult yourself, the immediate feeling of being slightly shocked but within five minutes calling people Joeys yourself, or perhaps you were the stuck-up git who made out that you found it really offensive while refusing to admit to yourself that really you thought it was just as funny as everyone else did. You have to remember the craze growing as Blue Peter continued in blissful innocence to feed the flames, until less than a minute's conversation was more than sufficient time for someone to have gone Eeeeeeuuuuuuwwwwwwwnnnnnngggrrrh! and flailed spasmodically about. You have to remember the variety of insults in use, ranging from a quick and discreet shove of the tongue behind the bottom lip to the full-blown drooling-and-convulsing-on-the-floor spaz-out. You have to have been there.

So, if you are a member of said segment, you may be wondering what this is all about... Well, it started at the time - which, if I remember rightly, was between The Wall and The Final Cut (just to keep up the irrelevant Pink Floyd reference, because I like Pink Floyd) - that the BBC programme "Blue Peter" made a series of broadcasts featuring Joey Deacon. Joey was a cerebral palsy sufferer who had been in institutions since childhood. When another inmate, Ernie, proved able to understand Joey's attempts at speech, Joey decided to write a book about his life and used the proceeds to build bungalows for himself and his friends. This heartwarming story was shown bit by bit on Blue Peter, along with plugs for the book, and we eventually got to see Joey and his friends move into their new bungalows and live happily ever after, or rather until they died, which was sad, especially as it wasn't very long after, not much of an "ever" at all in fact, at least for Joey, though I think the others lasted a bit longer.

Unfortunately, the programme producers had not thought through the consequences of showing lengthy sequences of a drooling, grunting spastic at peak viewing time. As implied in preceding paragraphs, the next morning people up and down the country were rapidly developing Joey impersonations into an art form. Kudos was obtained by going to new extremes in twisted and clawed hands, jerking arms, facial contortions, drooling, spasmodic vocalisations, attempts to eat one's own shoulder, and for special emphasis dropping to the floor, adopting a foetal position and undergoing violent grunting convulsions. "Doing the Deacon" was the hot new performance art, "Joey" was the hot new insult, and woe betide anyone with the misfortune to have the surname "Deacon" or a given name with the initial syllable "Joe". A whole vocabulary of mangled vocalisations developed, finely tuned to express different degrees of "Joey–ness" in whatever the recipient of the insult was being insulted for. A quick shove of the tongue behind the lower lip could be used to discreetly insult someone without (in theory) anyone not in the line of sight noticing. Joey was a phenomenon. Just not in the way Blue Peter had hoped he would be.

Looking back, it's hard to see what else they expected. It's human nature to take the piss. People know it's wrong, but that doesn't stop them doing it, and once you start laughing at it it just gets funnier the more out of order it is. And look at the size of the stimulus - a whole bunch of 25-minute programmes, each with most of the time devoted to the Blue Peter team patronising Joey as he grunted and twitched in his wheelchair, and watched by several million people. Given that sort of input, any group of people of non-negligible size is going to contain at least one person who starts taking the piss, and once one in the group starts doing it everybody's doing it. That's what people are like, and it's no good being all wishy-washy and trying to pretend everybody's nice, because real-world experience suggests that the most useful definition of a "nice person" is someone who manages to refrain from doing Joey impressions when someone in a wheelchair is actually present.

I was going to write my own version of the above but couldn't get anywhere near the 'subtlety' of the original, so I just copied and pasted from Pigeon's Nest. Besides, I haven't got much time right now (18:20 02/12/09) as I'm supposed to be getting ready to go to the cinema.

See ya later, you bunch of Joeys!



* Although, some of them may still be watching.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Pet toy cemetary


Huh? What's that? It looks like a... A paw?!


Eww! More paws and... What is that? Intestines?


Yeeuch! A decapitated duck.


Ooog... I think I'm going to be sick. I wonder what type of monster could inflict such carnage?


Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgh! Run away! Run away! A Hell Hound!




Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bookend: The Never Ending Sacrifice, or: Return to Trek


I know... I know... I was doing so well, too. I'd just like to let you know that I didn't have any choice in the matter. You see, I was bombarded* with Trek books, so I just had to read them. To ignore them would just have been rude!
Actually, I did give it a month or so before reading them as I already had a few books lined up to read. Then, I started to read Pyramids, one of the early Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. I'd read this book loads of times before, but I was in the mood for another go, which leads me on to the first reacquaintance with Trek novels. Typically, I'd started to read Pyramids on the day that The Soul Key dropped through my letterbox and onto the doormat.
I'm not going to dwell on The Soul Key because I have bigger fish to fry, suffice it to say that it continues on from where Fearful Symmetry left off and resolves the Mirror Universe plot line quite nicely. I don't particularly enjoy the Mirror Universe as I'd rather catch up with this universe, not its dark, faux-sexy, hammy** counterbalance.

And now, the feature presentation:



The Never Ending Sacrifice, named after the multi-generation spanning Cardassian novel once mentioned by Garak as the "finest Cardassian novel ever written."

Oh my gods! I love this book so much! When I first heard of it, I thought it may be a literal version of the Garak-mentioned Cardassian novel and immediately thought it'd be boring. Especially as the original is a repetitive epic that spans seven generations of service to the Cardassian state. I'm glad to say that my first thoughts were incorrect.
The novel follows the life of Rugal - biologically a Cardassian boy but brought up on Bajor by a Bajoran couple - after his enforced return to Cardassia. The Cardassians had occupied Bajor and enslaved much of the population, the Bajorans in turn resisted and bombed many Cardassian facilties, including one where Rugal and his parents were stationed. His father survived but his mother did not and neither, Kotan Pa'Dar thought, did his son, Rugal, so he left Bajor and returned to Cardassia. Rugal was found and adopted by Proka Etra and Migdal and therefore regarded himself as Bajoran.
Some years later, Kotan Pa'Dar discovered that his son was alive and returned to claim him, much to Rugal's horror:


This clip is from the Star Trek Deep Space Nine episode "Cardassians" where Rugal first featured.

As you know, I'm not one for writing reviews, what with being so lazy, so here's Trekmovie.com's review for your perusal. All I'll say is that this novel is so good that it made me well up not once, but twice. This is no mean feat, as SP says I'm as emotionless as a robot. Which, to be fair, is kind of true...

Anyway, that's that for now. I don't have any more Trek books lined up to read. In fact, the next one I want to read isn't out in the UK until next year, so you won't be suffering more Trek-related bookends for a couple of months, at least.



* OK, so maybe bombarded was a little bit of an exageration. I'd ordered a couple of books back in Spetemeber.
** Honestly, have you seen some of the 'acting' in the Mirror Universe episodes of Deep Space Nine? One would expect William Shatner himself to turn up and start chewing on the scenery.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wishing and a hoping...


No, not wishing for a new man/warlock/incubus. No. I'm wishing for a new broom. I'm quite taken with this one featured in this week's Occult Express.



It's quite expensive, but it's a Clawhammer, so reliability is guaranteed. And just look at those sleek lines! What do you think?

Friday, November 20, 2009

In the closet

Oof!

* CRASH *

Drat.

Sorry I've been a bit neglectful this past week or so - I've been trapped in the airing cupboard. Not in the Narnia-esque land back there (with its opening behind the hot water tank), as I had it closed off not long after I'd moved in after finding small hoof-prints and faun shit all over my best tablecloth and runner. Ooh, I was livid. It seems SP bought the house without having an occult survey conducted first. Naturally, I commissioned one when I moved in and discovered the house was built on an intersection of ley lines. Typical.

No, I was trapped in the less mystical world of vast expanses of old sheets and dusty towels, plus the occasional empty spider exoskeleton and odd sock. It's a good job I'd had a big meal before going in there to search for a fitted sheet to fit the spare bed, otherwise I might have starved to death. Well, I certainly wouldn't have eaten those spider skins!
Anyway, I'm back again now. SP came looking for me as he was fed up with making his own sandwiches for work, then getting home and having to cook his own dinner. Not to mention that he'd watched all his porn and needed further 'relief'!
So, that's what I'm up to now. Well, not right now as I'm writing this update and SP had to go to work, so I'll tidy the house because it's a bloody pigsty, do some washing and walk Moom.
I was going to carry out an occult survey on the garden with my patented portable crop circles to check for other unwanted openings, but SP's used all the cress in an egg sandwich. Still, at least he managed to make his own lunch today.
Right. I'd better get on. See you out there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cusp Trek II: The Lust of IDV


or: A Tale Of Two Tims


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
"


Two Tims? It's the bloody best of times, then!
I'll say. Rawr!
Shush! We'd better let Witchface get on with it otherwise we'll be here all day.




 In a sealed room in Castle DeVice, some of the Flying Monkeys had been working on the SpinTwist Portal, a new fangled but somewhat eldritch teleportation contraption. Suddenly, a wall that turned out to be massive doors split open spilling bright light into the smoky room.
 A tall slender figure with a very pointy head appeared from within the light, walking forwards until it became recognisable as a witch. The witch flinched as the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog lunged out of the smoke, tearing past and into the depths of the castle.

 "Hmmm..." I said, surveying the corpses littering the room and adjusting my hat. Stooping, I nudged one of the fallen 'Monkeys with my boot. Not to my surprise, it grunted. "Are you sure you're dead?" I asked.
Silence greeted me.
 "Hmm?" I prompted again.
 "Of course I'm dead" hissed the corpse. Another fallen 'Monkey to the left groaned in dismay, then remembered that it was also supposed to be sans life, and stopped.
 "Fine. Suit yourselves, then" I snapped, turning on my heels and heading towards the shadowy controls of the SpinTwist Portal. "He has evaded me for long enough" I muttered to myselves through gritted teeth. "And I don't care if it is his birthday."

 I flailed wildly at the switches until Tim's image appeared within the targeting sensor. "Excellent!" I crowed.
With a few more deft flicks of my fingers, followed by a mechanical hum that crescendoed to a coruscating electronic warble, Tim coalesced on the platform before me, having untwisted out of thin air. He appeared to be wearing black boots, red athletic leggings and nothing else. Oh, yes!
He gazed around him, a look of wonder on his handsome face. Then he caught sight of himself in the reflective shielding around the platform just as I stepped out of the shadows towards him.
 "Rawr!" he growled, flexing his muscles and grinning at his buff reflection.
 

* faints *

* faints *
* faints *
* fai- *
 

 "I've got you" Tim declared, catching me easily in one arm. I looked up into his cheeky yet sexy face and:
 

* -nts *
 ~

 "What'd you go and give it away for, Beast?" MJ seethed after Tim had carried me out of the room.
 "I told you he wouldn't care if we were alive or dead" Beast said. "I knew we wouldn't get a look in - It's always about him and that Tim. And now he's proved it."
 "Oh, that didn't prove anything. This story's only just got going. Besides" she sniffed smugly, "I always get a starring role" and she rolled her eyes in derision at Beast.
 Suddenly, the contraption clanked to life again. Another rabbit - this one placid and cute - materialised on the platform in the centre of the room where Tim and then the vicious Rabbit of Caerbannog had originally appeared.
And a few moments later, the machine sputtered into life once more, depositing another unexpected guest.
 "That was unexpected" MJ said. This time Beast rolled his eyes then leaned over and stroked the fluffy white bunny, studiously ignoring the semi-naked man who staggered off the platform and out of the room.

 ~ 

I came to with my face pressed against a rather familiar bulge. Hello! I squinted upwards, attempting to confirm my suspicion before letting the bulge's owner realise I was awake. My gaze travelled up, skimming the chiseled six-pack, ascending the impressive fuzzy chest and over the clenched jaw to - Ding, dong! - Yes, my suspicions had been confirmed. My saviour really was Tim!
My gasp of surprise gave me away. Naturally.
 "Ah. You're awake" he observed, raising an eyebrow and smiling from the corner of his mouth.
 "Uhhhh..." I drooled, but hastily wiped it up. "Um. Yes. Where are we?" I asked, somewhat confused at the pink and purple clouds of sunset racing by the edge of my vision and the wind whistling past my ears, and trying not to leer.
 "We're on Broom in pursuit of my duplicate" Tim answered matter-of-factly.
Two Tims? I marvelled to myself at the possibilities as I hauled myself into a sitting position in front of Tim on Broom's shaft.
 "Your... Your duplicate?"
 "Yes" and the affirmation was filled with sexual intrigue. "It seems your SpinTwist Portal was infected with a strange magnetic type of ore - probably brought up with one of your test subjects -
" Tim explained, "and malfunctioned, creating an evil duplicate of whatever was teleported next."
 "An evil duplicate? But why are we after this other Tim? I mean" I continued before Tim could answer, "I know why I'd chase after him, but why would you? Unless you're trying to prevent him from getting up to no good?"
 "Chuh!" he scoffed. "Haven't you seen how studly I am? I want me as much as you do!"
 
"Ah, so you're the evil Tim." He grinned and I marvelled to myself again just as we entered the clouds.
 "Hang on a minute. Why are we chasing him on Broom?"
 "Because he escaped from your castle on... Well, on another form of aerial transportation."
 "But I don't have the spare Broom anymore" I wondered, trying to think of what he could have used. "And Poppins took her brolly back ages ago... Unless-"
 "Yes" Tim interjected, clearly a bit miffed. "He got away on that vacuum cleaner that was gathering dust in your broom cupboard."
 I rolled my eyes and berated myself for not getting rid of the damn thing at last year's vacuum amnesty at the Classic Broom Show. If only I hadn't been so lazy and actually bothered to take it, rather than lounge about in the garden slowly pickling myself in wine.
 "Shit" I said.
 "Oh, we're never going to find him in cloud this thick" Tim moaned. "Full stop" he ordered, and Broom came to a halt. "Z minus one thousand meters."
 Broom descended gracefully through the various cloud layers. I was very impressed at Tim's piloting skills: He'd mastered Broom's little foibles easily and handled the old thing effortlessly.
 We came to a gentle stop in a break in the clouds. They encircled us in bands of pink and gold, lit by the almost set sun. It would have been a lovely setting to 'get to know each other' but unfortunately, we were rudely interrupted.

  From below and behind, a figure astride a vacuum cleaner rose through the clouds. It was the other Tim and he wasn't in such good control of his transportation as this one.
 "Yaaaaaargh!" he yelled, crossing his arms in front of his pretty face as he careered towards us.
 "Shiiiiiit!" Tim swore as he attempted to manoeuvre Broom out of the way, but was too late.
 The vacuum cleaner sideswiped Broom, it's hose caught on some bristles ripping them out of their binding as we veered away.
 "Oops! Sorry!" Other Tim shouted across the widening gulf. "Well, not that sorry. I heard you back at the castle and what you were planning to do with me and my muscular buttocks."
 "Oh, you'd love it" Tim shouted back as he wrestled with Broom's trajectory. "You know you want to!"
 "Urgh. Vom!"
 "Oh, come off it. I know you. I am you! You totally would."
 "I would not! Well... Maybe with you, but certainly not with IDV!"
 "There's no need to be rude, dear!" I yelled back. "If it's just the fact that I'm male, I could always drop into a new body?"























 "Fine!" I huffed, but didn't have time for a full-on pout as we were rapidly losing altitude. "We're going down" I declared without resorting to raising my eyebrow to force the innuendo any further.
 "I know" Tim grunted, his look of disappointment mirrored my own as we realised that sex wasn't going to be forthcoming. "Can't you do anything?"
 "Well, I haven't got Wand, so there's no way to discharge thaumic energy into Broom to keep us airborne" I almost wailed. "Wait! There is a way! But-"
 "I know. I just hoped we'd have more time together."
 "Noooooooooooo!" I cried as Tim gripped my Broom's shaft firmly then shoved his other hand right up
my the bristles. He was attempting to realign the bristles - A dangerous job when at rest, but pretty much fatal while in flight.
 "Remember..." I whispered to him as I touched his face in a certain way.
 He looked at me, his eyes alight with thaumic energies as his body dissolved in a magical fire that was absorbed into the bristles. Broom surged with power and broke out of the headlong plummet. Before he had fully dissipated, Tim spoke:
 "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."



Continued in Cusp Trek III: The Search For Sanity...


  ~

 "Well!" MJ sniffed. "Was that all I got?"
 Beast had nearly bitten his own fist off in an attempt to stifle his laughter.
 "Hmmph!" she huffed and stormed out.



Click here for the deleted scenes.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Cusp Trek: The old black & white talkie


Testing... Testing...

Ah, good. The continuity buffers are up to speed.

Right. Don't get your hopes up for much happening here. I've only posted this for continuity purposes. Nothing much happens in the first one, anyway - It's just to set the scene.
And the scene is this: It's someone's birthday on Tuesday, so be sure to pop back then for a journey over the Cusp...


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Arial navigation solutions


I've found a solution to the temporary misplacement that I griped about in my last post: Portable crop circles!




Just position one of these specially grown trays of cress (of which only I hold the patent, so don't even think about stealing my idea) over the ley line of your choice, and the seedlings should form a navigational circle to facilitate an expedient journey.

The idea came to me after stories of Pewsey Ogg's watercress circle reached me. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Although, there's not a lot of room for detail, so the 'circles can't give much information, but at least they'll get you home. Of course, one has to be able to 'read' crop circles first...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crop circle navigation


Oh, there you all are! Your Demon Boxes caught up, then?

This post is a bit of a gripe, to be honest. It's all because I got temporarily misplaced* the other day while flying back from Indescribable's...

There was I perched elegantly on Broom, ascending to 8000 feet hoping to rise above the thickening cumulus clouds, and therefore the rain, when I was rudely intercepted by a couple of yobs on a hoe. They came careering out of the clo
ud cover, yelling and jeering, and not taking a blind bit of notice of where they were headed. Unfortunately, their heading was me. I scrunched my eyes shut and swerved, gunning Broom's acceleratrix and altitudonator, just about managing to soar upwards and out of their erratic flight path. It was a close call as they rocketted past - So close that I could smell the stench of sweat and absinthe that emanated from them.
I opened my eyes just in time to notice the clouds at point blank range before hurtling into the damp puff of white with a very delicate whumph.
Eventually, Broom carried me up and out of the cumulus cloud, moist and squinting from the glaring reflected sunlight. I skimmed along the top for
what seemed an age before the cloud fell away beneath me, revealing land far below. Land that I didn't recognise. Bugger.
Slowing down, I scanned the farmland beneath me from horizon to horizon, looking for a sign that I recognised. After ten minutes or so, I saw what I was looking for way off to the south-west, and arced around towards it.
As I got closer, I realised that my target was not what I expected:


A crop circle that told me nothing. Nothing! It was a fake! Genuine crop circles are utilised by the arial denizens of Cusp, and those of us - let's just say "not quite alive" - in the more mortal realm, as a navigation aid when venturing further afield than our normal local air-space.
After the air around me had gone back to normal following its blue turn, and still almost incandescent with rage, I headed north-east towards what looked like a grey ripple in the landscape that I hoped was a road. It was!
Luckily, dusk had fallen by this time, so I descended far enough to see the road signs, hoping that no one below could see me in the falling darkness. Nearing a sign on the east-bound carriageway, I noticed that I was only a couple of miles from Devizes (must have been named after an ancestor). Drat! I was hundreds of miles off course. Bloody Warlocks!
And bloody crop circle hoaxers! They think they're so clever creating their ever more elaborate signs, but they're not clever enough to realise that some of us rely on crop circles for navigation and that their uppance will come.

And don't even mention those blasted aliens and their tawdry copies!


* Definitely not lost. Witches never get something as common as lost!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stand by...


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Please stand by...



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You have been timed out because your demon box is too slow. Please try again later.



Friday, October 09, 2009

Feem toon*


Today is the fourth anniversary of my arrival in the 21st century, and in The Host. It is also the fourth anniversary of this blog. Now, due to a combination of innate laziness and (when not being lazy) being VERY busy in Castle DeVice with wallpapering and the like, I haven't prepared the post I would have liked to mark this momentous occasion. Instead, you'll have to put up with this one, in which I ask you this:

What would be your theme tune? Either yours personally or your blog's.

After much deliberation - OK, it was the first thing that popped into my head - this is the official theme to Inexplicable DeVice, witch and blog:



Although, I'm hoping for a few more lives after my next untimely demise, in whichever century I may find myself in.



* for SP (if I ever let him read this blog).

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Bookend (the middle bit, and not a Trek book in sight!)


Remember I said I was going on holiday? Well, I went.

And read some books!


These are them:



Trillions, by Nicholas Fisk

This childrens - or, young adult, I should say - story, is a surprisingly chilling tale.

In a small town, a peculiar rain of tiny, multi-faceted, toroidal objects fall. Millions of them. Billions. Trillions! Within hours, they have fallen all over the world. Initially, they appear benign, but soon start to link together forming copies of manmade objects, including tanks, missiles and bombs. One boy finds a way to communicate with them. He asks what humans should do for the Trillions and they reply: Hate us.

I love this book so much! I first read it years ago when I was a boy and have read it many times since. Even though I know the story inside out, I still get something new from it with every read.



The Indispensible Calvin & Hobbes, a treasury of Revenge of the Baby-Sat and Scientific Progress Goes 'Boink' by Bill Watterson.

Ahhhh... A lovely, funny,
absorbing collection of comic strips. I don't think I need say any more.




The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.

I'd recently watched the film and had found the book stuffed in the wardrobe in the spare bedroom. Anyway, I decided I'd read it on holiday to see how it differed from the TV series I'd watched as a teenager, and from the film too. The film turned out to be a surprisingly faithful adaptation except for Zaphod Beeblebrox keeping Earth's destruction from Trillian (not to be confused with the Trillions from up there ^), and the Heart of Gold's detour to that planet of sneeze worshipers. I was surprised to learn that SP hadn't even read it, despite having owned it for years!


The Lord Of The Flies, the Nobel Prize for literature winning book by William Golding.

I remember reading this book at school and rather liking it - One of the few enforced reads back then that I did enjoy. About five or six years ago, I found this on Indescribable's bookshelf amd decided to 'borrow' it. And now, finally, it's been read!


And that's it for now. I hope to be back tomorrow as it's the fourth anniversary of this blog and also of securing The Host as, well, my host! Of course, laziness could kick in, in which case I'll see you some other time.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Splosh!


As predicted, Antenna turned up at the sea hag's lair, ranting and wailing.
"Oh, my dear, whatever is the matter?" Insulin asked, feigning concern and welcoming the over made-up young merpoof into her home. In between sobs, he told her how he'd rescued Prince Eros only to have him snatched away by Princess Ponita at the last minute. Insulin tried to stifle her yawns of boredom and look interested.
"Well, it seems to me that you'll have to go back out there and get your prince back."
"But how?!" Antenna whined. "I can't leave the sea."
"Oh, but you can. With this" and Insulin held up a vial containing a syrupy gold liquid. "This potion will split your tail in two and transform it into legs fit to seduce any mortal man." Antenna gazed at the proffered potion with a mixture of awe and trepidation. "But there is a price" the sea hag added, snatching the vial away from him.
"What kind of price? I've already spent this month's allowance on poppers and cake."
"Ah, the price is not a material thing. For this potion, I require your tongue!"

"My tongue? Is that all?" Antenna fished around in his handbag until he found what he was looking for and thrust it at Insulin.
The sea hag recoiled in disgust at the worn and discoloured sex aid that had obviously had waaaaaay too much use.
"Eeeyeuch! No, I said not a material thing! Ewww!" Antenna hurriedly shoved the tongue back in his purse, looking shifty and not meeting Insulin's eyes. "No, I meant your singing voice!"
Antenna's demeanor changed at the perceived compliment, not realising his voice wasn't all that he thought it to be.
"My beautiful voice?" A look approaching smugness flitted across his face. So wrapped up was he at the thought of someone appreciating his talent, that he was oblivious to Insulin's eye-rolling.
"Now, listen" Insulin instructed, snapping him out of his thoughts. "You're to seduce the prince and get him to drink this" and her eel-servants produced another vial, this one contained a clear, slightly shimmering liquid. "His lungs will turn to gills so you can bring him back here where I will complete his transformation into a merman." Always one for the theatre of a situation, she added: "And you're to bring him to me by the next full moon, which" she said glancing at her almanac, "is tomorrow!"
Antenna's eyes widened in shock at the task set for him as he took the vials. He opened his mouth to gasp, too, but with sleight of hand, Insulin snipped his tongue off and held it triumphantly aloft.
"Now, go!" she thundered. "Leave my sight and do not return without that prince!"
From the corner, FlotPig and JetTaz hissed at him, narrowing their wonky eyes as they writhed disturbingly together. Still in shock, Antenna swam out of the dark lair as quickly as he could, heading for shore.

~ ~ ~

Hours later, as the sun hung heavy over the horizon, the little merpoof hauled himself out onto the beach below the royal palace. Having nothing to lose, he took the stopper out of the vial and gulped down the thick golden liquid like a pro.

A cool tingle suffused his body, a pleasantly refreshing feeling. Antenna smiled to himself, but a moment too soon. With a horribly embarrassing squelching sound, rather like a particularly wet queef*, his long tail pulled itself apart, forming into human legs complete with absolutely stunning Jimmy Choos.
"Oooooooooh!" he uttered, gazing in awe at his svelte legs and awe inspiring shoes.
Getting to his newly acquired feet, Antenna Bambi-walked over the sandy beach to the path that led up the cliff to the palace. By the time he'd reached the path, he'd almost mastered the art of walking. And by the time he reached the cliff top, his sashaying couldn't be faulted. A remarkable achievement considering how difficult it is to walk in sensible shoes over sand and up rocky cliff paths!
As he approached the palace, he saw the object of his affection topless and leaning on a balcony overlooking the sea. Antenna waved madly, but the cowboy-prince didn't notice and returned to his room. Stamping his foot petulantly, Antenna eyed the burly guards at the magnificent main doors and decided against trying to slip past them. Instead, he began to climb the trellis that led up to his prince's balcony. Yes, in Jimmy Choos!
Nearing the balcony, Antenna heard music. The Moon's A Window To Heaven if he wasn't very much mistaken. He attempted to haul himself over the balustrade, but caught a heel in some greenery, overbalanced and grabbed a couple of palm leaves to steady himself before falling unceremoniously onto his bum when they detached from the potted palms they were previously affixed to.
"Oof!" he said.
"What the-?" came the surprised voice of Prince Eros, and he rushed out to see what the commotion was about. Thinking quickly, Antenna put the palm leaves to what he hoped to be a seductive good use.



"Ummm..." said Prince Eros, clearly not enthralled.
Antenna sagged in despair and began to explain himself. Or tried to.
"I o'ee woh'e 'oo-" He clapped his hand over his tongueless mouth as he remembered too late that Insulin had taken it.
Panicking, he blundered into the prince's room and started flicking desperately through the TV channels until he found something that would do.


 
Prince Eros looked confused. 
Antenna just looked dejected until he spied the cowboy-prince's beer on his side table and remembered the other vial. Surreptitiously, Antenna found the vial in the depths of his handbag and dropped the contents into the beer, all the while grinning insanely in an attempt to look casual and non-stalker-like. 
The planets must have aligned or something, as Prince Eros took the proffered beer and downed it without a second thought. 
Antenna's mad, gurning grin suddenly faded and was replaced with a look of concern as he wondered how long it would take the potion to work. Would he have enough time to lure Prince Eros to the sea before his lungs became gills? 
The question became moot as another problem arose.  
Well, maybe it's not such a problem after all Antenna thought as the cowboy-prince's eyes glazed over and he advanced on the little merpoof, led by something arising that definitely wasn't a problem! 

At the same time, in her shadowy gloom-filled lair, the sea hag Insulin screamed in rage at her useless eel-servants, FlotPig and JetTaz, for their ineptitude. 
In her tentacles she held the potion to turn lungs to gills - found amongst the flotsam and jetsam of their foetid nest. The vial given to the wretched little merpoof, Antenna, she had realised, contained her supply of Rohypnol-laced Viagra!

 The End 


  * I've recently seen that South Park episode with the female equivalent of Terrence & Philip introducing fanny farts to the masses, mmkay?!