Tuesday, May 06, 2008

About the Author

Born in 1837, the son of a nymphomaniac woman and any one of a group of fourteen sailors, Benjamin Zacharias Euphemia Rainbird was a stillbirth. However, people were made of stronger stuff in those days and, pulling himself up by his bootstraps, Rainbird won a scholarship to St. Asmodeus' College Oxford, studying taxidermonomy. This led to a job dusting the Royal Society's extensive collection of stuffed owls. His place in the world seemed secure, But things took a downturn at the age of 22, when it was discovered that he had been supplementing his income by taking rubbings of the owls and selling them to Hebrews.

"Rendering likeness or likenesses of Her Majesty's owls unto the licentious Jewry" was a High Treason offence at the time (comparable to the modern crime of failing to pay your TV license) and he was sentenced to death. Rainbird spent an unspecified number of months awaiting execution at Newgate prison, enduring many depridations, including the loss of his nipples in a horrific Badminton accident. Fortunately, a contemporary fad for extremely tall and spacious top hats meant that he was able to smuggle himself out of the gaol in an accomplice's headpiece over the course of several visits, gradually replacing himself with an albino simpleton who would go on to be executed in his place.

Although believed dead by the Crown, he decided it was best to leave the country until the shit had cooled off, and so enlisted in the Army, joining Rear Colonel Willie Long-Pinkshafte's legendary "Coventry Double-Enders" regiment, and going on to distinguish himself in the Glorious Welsh Punitive Bloodbath of 1851 by killing eighteen Chinamen and one duck, having evidently boarded the wrong train at Paddington.

Over the following year he continued to carve a one-man bloody swath across Asia, nobody having the heart to tell him to stop, as people were a lot more polite in those days. Eventually word reached him that the infiltration of the Zionist Global Conspiracy into the British government had caused a change in the law, and he was able to return home and reveal his true identity. Even better, albinos had been causing a lot of unrest in London at the time, and killing one by treachery now carried a substantial financial reward, so he claimed the bounty for the man he had duped into dying in prison.

This money, added to a windfall from decades of incapacity benefit fraud (he claimed inability to work due to laziness brought on by French ancestry), provided him funding for a successful campaign to take over the prestigious post of Professor Emeritus of Incorrect Shapes at Uttoxeter Polytechnic, a position he would occupy for the rest of his life.

He married his office bureau, and they had three medium-sized desk chairs together before he found his glasses and realised his error. He quickly obtained a divorce and married his assistant, as he had originally intended to, and together they had several mostly human children. It is not known what fate befell his bureau, but it likely ended its days peniless in a Temperance House for Fallen Furniture. Rainbird only once expressed any remorse for this, when he was heard to wistfully remark; "it was a very nice bureau". He continued to teach, and published several important papers including the now-famed Absolute Wrongness of the Quadtrapezohedrix.

Benjamin Rainbird died in 1903 in a Turkish whorehouse, after losing a long battle with obstinacy, and a rather shorter battle with fifty-eight stab wounds to the groin and anus. This was ruled to have been suicide, bought on by feelings of guilt for his office bureau. He died again in 1954, this time for publicity, and was not heard from again until 1996, when his bestselling autobiography, Life Ain't Nothin' But Bitches And Money, was intercepted by SETI as part of a garbled and extremely weak radio message, which had apparently emanated from an unknown point outside our own galaxy, at a time roughly sixty million years ago.

To date, Rainbird's autobiography is still unique among such works in that it can only be "read" by trekking deep into the desert and having it screamed at you by a maniac sitting on top of a pole, while savage Bedouin hill nomads try to blow your head off with antique rifles.

Now officially retired, he lives a simple, pastoral life in Hell with only his vast ego and seventy-two insatiable wives for company. He enjoys collecting mildew and his favourite food is the red Smarties.


"In a very real sense, Rainbird is the unsung villain of his age. A 19th-century dry run for the true monsters that were to come in the 20th, every bit as vile and self-serving as Stalin or Pol Pot, only loads better looking."
- TV Historian the Historian David Starkey (Historian)

"Avaunt! Here laid before us an inveterate poltroon, gad-about and lecchour, who verily doth still owe me fifty fucking quid!"
- William Shakespeare

"This is an incredibly safe car specified to a very high standard, but we could have expected that from Honda. The Legend’s real X-factor is the car’s handling ability which should put a smile on the face of most drivers."
- Adrian Higgins, Auto Trader (quote unrelated to the author)

"Last night was incredible. For the first time in my life I know what it feels like to have a real man. Please, please call me."
- Allyson Hannigan.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Work I've Done With Hoover

Zero Punctuation, Ben Croshaw's weekly video game review thingy on pretentious video gaming site The Escapist, is one of the few reasons why the Internet is worthwhile. It's a weekly three-to-five-minute session of unadulterated joy, topped only by my other weekly three-to-five-minute session of unadulterated joy, the one involving a secluded location, three long distance lorry drivers and your girlfriend.

When I finished watching this week's edition, however, I suddenly found myself watching an advert for a documentary titled "Where Did Ian Huntley Go Wrong?". Personally I'd say he went wrong right around the time he abducted and murdered two small children, but then I'm not a criminal psychologist or lazy documentary maker. If I was, I would be doing coke off of someone's tits in between brief sessions of half-heartedly writing sensationalist drivel for my tabloid exploitatainment, rather than sitting in my living room complaining at the Internet.
Speaking of detestable media cocksuckers, BBC 6Music's George Lamb show tomorrow will be infinitely improved by none other than the Internet's Delightful Claudia, who will be appearing at the beginning and end of the show, which runs from 10am to 1pm. Make a note in your diaries, Claudia fans!

There is now a functioning Hoover in the house, and today I used it to give my bedroom the first good-an'-proper vacuuming it's had in about 15 years. Now I am free to put down any object without fear of it being instantly leapt upon and devoured by a carpet of dusty grey goo, and I am an instant convert to the Hoovering Way. The Hoover extends life. The Hoover expands consciousness. And if you are one of those tedious bastards who likes to point out that 'Hoover' is a company trademark and shouldn't be applied to 'vacuum cleaners' made by other companies, then the Hoover will shortly be used to remove your nipples. Be warned.

I have recently been making ends meet by doing gardening for Will's mum. It is a great source of work as her garden is huge, like space. Unfortunately, also like space, it is inhabited by monsters, and chief among them is her dog Boo. Boo is huge, in love with me, and expresses affection through random violence. Last time I was there, I was strutting around the garden minding my own business doing incredibly manful things like ripping out stinging nettles WITH MY BARE HANDS and sweeping the FUCK out of some leaves like Conan the Barbarian would, when I turned around to find the great shaggy bastard bearing down on me with inexorable forward momentum.

I have always had slight issues with dogs, as they in turn seem to have with me. What concerns me about dogs is that they don't know what size they are. What concerns them about me is that I am there, and they are either very angry about this, or far too overjoyed by it. This means a small, yappy dog may attack me ferociously because he thinks he's a giant motherfucker, just as a massive dog like Boo may hug me to death because he doesn't realise he's grown way past the point at which "giant motherfucker" ceases to be appropriate, and now is more in the category of "cave bear" or "Welsh person" or "Space Ork".

Anyway, all of a sudden Boo was upon me, running around me in circles, enthusiastically headbutting my kneecaps and attempting to climb on me, so as to bring me down like a gazelle. I picked up and threw a nearby ball to attempt a distraction, but Boo simply watched its trajectory in a half-interested manner and then returned his gaze to me, EXACTLY like the little dinosaur that kills the fat bloke in Jurassic Park, which only served to freak me out more.

Boo continued his good-natured but psychopathic asssault on my person, while I awkwardly tried to fend him off without actually doing anything violent to him. I was very aware that if my employer were to emerge from the house and find me beating the shit out of her beloved dog, my future would contain substantially less money and potentially a lot more imprisonment. In the end, I staggered back into the house with his vast bulk more-or-less riding piggyback on my shoulders. After Boo was apologetically removed from my person, I had a nice sit down and booked some sessions with a post-traumatic stress counsellor.

I may be returning tomorrow, so wish me luck - since my awkward battle with Boo, I feel only pity for any poor sod who might try to burgle that house. If that's the kind of treatment you get when Boo likes you, then you can expect nothing short of dismemberment should you make an enemy of the great beast...