#DarkBargain Gain the power to leap up to 100 metres safely BUT every time you do so, there's a 1/3 chance that your memory of one of your relatives will be replaced entirely with memories of Gollum off of Lord of the Rings
"How the hell did you get to the other side of that chasm?"
"Ah, I used the old 'Gollum's hop', mate."
"Ah ok phew. Btw how's your uncle Jeff doing?"
"Oh you mean the thin grey monkey guy, with the spindly hands and the haunted ring? Yeah really good cheers why do u ask?"
I mean, think how bad it would be to have the memory of a relative replaced with that of gollum. You wouldn't even know it had happened so you could be like "oh no I got gollumed, wonder who I lost?" They'd just be gollum in all your memories now, and it would seem normal to you.
OK sod it, I may as well just do a thread of greatest hits from the last couple of years. Here's one from springtime where I got stuck in a weird series of instant coffee reviews that became a metafiction about the labours of hercules:
Quite often I start drafting a tweet about how much I loathe reaction gifs and pun replies, before remembering all the times my mates have done really good ones & worrying that they won't realise they're the exceptions. THERE, I'VE SAID IT. IN THE MOST COWARDLY WAY POSSIBLE.
(That tweet was the Twitter equivalent of the fool hobbit knocking the cobwebbed helmet down the well; jester's rattles echo in the deep as the horde awakes from slumber and fires up the GIF button)
The only universally acceptable reaction gif is the one where it looks like a whole chicken is sliding out of shakira's bum
Annihilated my dad's brand new hifi system at age 3 by using the turntable as a merry go round for toy dinosaurs, because that's what I thought it was; he was alerted to the scene by the gruesome scratch as I swung the stylus arm to knock off 'naughty' dinosaurs.
Begged my aunt to build a bridge across the ceiling with wooden blocks. Became increasingly distraught at her protests that it was impossible, and every time she asked how it was meant to be achieved, I flailed my arms and hissed 'you just do it like this' with weary resignation.
Came in to the living room at age 4 to find my dad watching the football:
ME: Daddy, what are those men trying to do?
DAD: They're trying to get the ball into the net
<five minutes of solemn contemplation>
ME: (worried) But however shall they get it out again?
For the record, if anyone's been hit by a diabetes diagnosis & is freaking out about dietary change, I'm here to offer my large adult love. 6 months ago I was a mess of collapsing organs & eating disorders, and there's been a lot of madness since then, but it gets so much better.
(That's not me being some smug fitness cultist either. I have had an incredibly toxic lifelong relationship with my physical health, and it took the whisper of the reaper's scythe for me to find ways to work around it - but I did, and it feels sustainable.)
But yeah, when I was panicking about it all last December, some great people offered me reassurance that my life wasn't about to become a joyless trudge w/r/t food, so it seems reasonable to pay that on.
Hi folks I'm here to change your life: a tablespoon of raisins soaked for a day in a double shot of Diplomatico rum, and then mixed with a tablespoon of clotted cream, produces the best dessert known to man or beast. I'm not kidding, that was life-changing.
It's also not a complete shit show healthwise. After six months of eating next to no sugar, I can't really stomach desserts any more, but this creates a concoction roughly the size of an egg, which is pretty much perfect
If you want to go full Tropical Mike, I reckon you could stir in a teaspoon of crushed coconut too. I'm going to perfect this monstrosity; it shall be my beautiful frankenstein.
As I get older I'm increasingly obsessed with just sitting in warm water. Honestly if I had a ton of money I'd just commission someone to build a really swanky tropical house, like where crocodiles live at the zoo, and then I'd just live in it instead of any crocodiles.
Or I'd just have a bungalow or whatever, but every room would be connected with waist-deep channels of warm water so I could just move everywhere with my smug little face just protruding from the water. I'd have a laptop in a plastic bag so I could work and all, it'd be great.
By the time I'm an old man I want to be like that geezer off of Dune, living in a big glass tank and getting wheeled around by space monks
Ah come on what the fuck westworld, just tell me a bloody story already
Westworld S1 was a great adventure with a fun amount of weirdness. S2 was a weak, convoluted mess with its interesting bits drowned under lashings of tepid, needless mystery. (Apart from the strange standalone episode 8, which was somehow a heartcrunchingly beautiful story.)
I hate criticising things that have been clearly involved vast amounts of talented human effort, but I just don't think westworld needed a season 2. I really *wanted* one, but then I'd also quite like to spend all my money on oil paintings of my cat; doesn't mean it should happen
As a kid, I really liked elaborate parental fictions around mythical characters like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy etc. As such, I'm going to go one better for my daughter and invent characters nobody else has. I'd like to introduce you to the concept of 'Tropical Mike'.
So Tropical Mike would be played by some friend of any gender who visits us roughly once a year. We would plan their visit in secret, then have our daughter start putting up pictures of palm trees, islands etc in order to 'begin summoning' Tropical Mike.
On the big day, our friend would walk in wearing an exuberantly colourful outfit, holding a really choice pineapple. We'd make a big deal of it. Then Tropical Mike would set us challenges - stuff like crawling through a tube or making up a song - in order to win the pineapple.
*creeping back onto twitter like a man who just left the room via a zipline while playing a saxophone, but who just remembered he left his car keys inside*
Thank you so, *so* much to everyone who sent kind messages and tweets about Saturday - we were completely overwhelmed by everyone's sweetness, and I'm only just now beginning to reply to people. You're a good lot x
Also, a quick shot from the post-wedding zoo trip, which is not photoshopped - @daniel_barker brought a huge sack of gorilla masks, which he had everyone put on without warning and begin to approach me like apes. Thought I'd had a psychotic break, it was amazing <3
If all goes well, 6 weeks from today I will ENTER THE DADZONE. I'm extremely excited! But folks keep giving me DIRE WARNINGS about sleep deprivation, as if I didn't know about it. Genuinely not sure why so many parents try to big up how horrendous it is to prospective babyhavers?
Lemme be clear, I've had tons of good advice too, and some really sweet messages from men on the other side of the DAD HORIZON, preparing me for some of the more subtle hurdles. But for every one of those, there's ten people acting like I'm about to fight WW1 with a super soaker.
The truth is, this is what I want to do with my life, and I'll throw myself at it like a soft and gentle train. I'm shit at many things, but one thing I can always do is find energy when someone else needs me to. So, just a heads-up that I'm totally good for ghastly warnings <3
Last May, I visited a Greek restaurant in Wolverhampton with an atmosphere so profoundly unnerving that it has haunted my subconscious ever since. Now, after 13 months of uneasy silence, I am finally ready to tell its story. I'm ready to tell you the Tragedy of Mr Darius.
Our tale begins on an overcast evening in early summer. As the pavement outside is flecked with tepid rain, the proprietor - we'll call him Adrian - is inviting in the first group booking. Maybe they're a hen party. Inside, the dim air smells of souvlaki.
Adrian is a gigantic man; an affable ogre cast in the shape of a cathedral bell, with a voice to match, and surprisingly nimble musician's fingers. As the guests are shown to their seats, they are too engrossed in each other to notice the way he anxiously licks his lips.
Yes the Forbes take was cliched shit, and this a crackingly worded bit of anger that it deserved, but it still bums me out a bit. I buried both my parents last year and it's really changed my perspective on the generational front of the all-consuming culture war.
Don't even really know what the point of tweeting that was. I guess that on this issue and a hundred others, it's just exhausting feeling like I've got a cultural/political duty to feel constant searing hatred towards people.
Like, you could make a sound political argument that it's only a function of privilege that means I feel like I have an option about whether to hate all the people this website tells me to hate, and I guess I'd have to agree if only to avoid getting beasted myself.
In this thread I will be gradually reviewing these flavoured coffees I just found in lidl (which i suspect are basically fart powder), and then comparing each to one of the 12 labours of Hercules.
Going by the same logic that dictates you should immediately punch the hardest man in prison, I started with this disaster. Would've been ace if it wasn't a mix of mint choc flavour & shit instant coffee, but it was that, so it was shite. Like pine needles in ashtray water. 2/10
LABOUR OF HERCULES: Nemean Lion
Much like Herc, I overcame my 1st labour with a mix of tenacity & gargantuan strength. Unlike the big man himself, I won't wear the skin of this enemy, but I hope an early exposure to something so rancid will armour me against the rest of my foes.
So I hear you folks wanted to hear about some weird ostrich stuff from the 17th Century, eh? Well, settle down and I’ll tell you all about it.
Weirdly, our tale begins where yesterday’s ended - with TOADS AND PISS. “Of the pissing of toads” is the title of chapter 13 in book 3 of Pseudodoxia Epidemica (or Vulgar Errors), by a bloke called Thomas Browne who was basically the early enlightenment version of Mythbusters.
Browne was a polymath and a proper eccentric, and even celebrated maniac Coleridge thought he was full on bananas. He REALLY loved making up words, and came up with some of the classics, like ‘electricity’, ‘medical’, ‘pathology’, ‘hallucination’, ‘literary’, and ‘computer’.
So at 6am, @Glitter_brawl & I are going to start a back to back marathon of the 3 LOTR films (long versions), and I've prepared a 14 course 'meal' to reflect what gets eaten on screen. Dad died a year ago, and this seemed by far the most reasonable way to commemorate that.
I'll be posting images of my hastily assembled courses here, as well as some key philosophical insights about orcs, and then writing it all up afterwards. Suffice to say I'll be turning a blind eye to my usual dietary restrictions today, as Gimli would be disgusted by them.
Here's the menu, which is based entirely of my rough memory of the key eating scenes in LOTR. Feel free to follow along if you like. LET'S GO
Mr Blobby, unshaven for three weeks, sits glowering on a park bench at dawn. On the end of a grubby string, Noel Edmonds looks glumly up at the joggers as they hurry past
Noel Edmonds, trembling as he fixes the last tiny spar to an intricate model galleon. As the door to his study creaks open and a jolly roar sounds from the hall, he doesn't even look round; just mouths the word 'no' and begins to weep.
Blobby and Edmonds, staring daggers at each other across a squalid bedsit. Realising it's 11pm & they've spent all evening arguing about which pub to go to, Edmonds throws a blanket over himself and extinguishes the flickering gas lantern. Blobby drinks pink custard in the dark.
Having a think about sperm whales this morning. Specifically, how they routinely make one of the most nightmarish journeys imaginable as part of the ordinary business of living.
For a start, imagine living in a world with no edges - no floor, no ceiling, no walls, and barely ever something large or tangible enough to even bump into. Just water.
And then, when you need to eat, you raise the back end of your body and you begin swimming down. Just... down. Into a place so prepostrously hostile to airbreathing life that it scares us just to think about.