I’ve been treffing

I like to tref… There, at last, I’ve said it. Truth is, I’m a bit of a trefologist, and I follow trefology because I am interested in learning about life.

If you haven’t yet treffed then I wholeheartedly recommend you do. To find out more about the wonderful world of trefology, get yourself over to fellow WP blog site trefology and follow the fun. You won’t regret it.

An ant story

I.

I wanted to capture ants

Not just any ants, but special ants who wear velvet slippers

So I sprinkled sugar over my terrace to act as bait

And soon a colony of ants in velvet slippers arrived to feast

But then came anteaters in moccasins, who gobbled up the ants

Followed by coyotes in ballet shoes, who ate the anteaters

Followed then by mountain lions in hiking boots, who ate the coyotes

Followed by pandas in clogs from Amsterdam, who ate the mountain lions

By evening my terrace resembled some apocalyptic wasteland of bones and shoes, and I was forced to call the police on the surviving pandas, who were staring at me hungrily

When the police finally came, they ate the pandas, plus their clogs, plus all the other shoes left on my terrace, and then they promptly left, complaining of indigestion

Which is a rookie detective mistake to make – eating such a tough meal as all that while responding to an incident…

So, I dedicate my new book to those hungry police officers: Eats pandas, shoes, and leaves.


II.

If the Very Hungry Caterpillar had been gobbled up by a tree snake at the beginning of its quest to eat, then thousands upon thousands of books might have been spared from the indignity of being sold with holes in their pages.


III.

The following print adverts may become more relevant when you start learning trefology. Only you can discover!


Thank you for wearing shoes and dining with us 😍🍕🥨🍰🍭🍺🍷🍴🥄🥢


With thanks to Lynne Truss, Eric Carle, and trefology.

Words by the editor. Images from the collection of TVTA. ‘learn life learn trefology’ flyer by trefology.

The Prize of the Cat: Wooof’s missing pony from 1979!


A TVTA Short Story Mystery Special !! 


WHSmith Pony competition Look-In N°15 1979 UK


Our intrepid office cat Wooof reckons that in 1979 he won a pony in a W.H. Smith ‘outdoors’ competition, and that W.H. Smith cheated him out of his prize by deliberately misplacing ‘Bess’ at the Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham, England (Wooof told me he had already named the pony ‘Bess’ even before the ink had dried on his entry form, such was his confidence in winning!).

“I vote we crank up the TVTA time machine and go back to 1979 Birmingham to find out what happened,” said Wooof.

“Right now?” I replied. “I haven’t finished scanning those vintage egg-cosy knitwear patterns Mrs Coldkettle the tea lady donated.”

“Forget fashion accessories for boiled eggs,” said the cat. “We need to find Bess!”

CUT TO:


** TEN MINUTES LATER ** DIAL SET TO 1979, BIRMINGHAM BULL RING SHOPPING CENTRE ** SOUNDS OF TVTA TIME MACHINE WARP-WHOOSHING!! **


1979!!!

Crivens! Wooof and I arrived in 1979 Birmingham to absolute mayhem… flipping dinosaurs everywhere!! Funny, I don’t remember dinosaurs being around in 1979 in the West Midlands… Gah! Worse was that one of the vicious beasts, a T-Rex no less, had captured our missing nag and was about to make a pony sandwich out of her! Poor Bess!

“NOOOOOOooooooo!!!!” cried Wooof.

“It’s okay Wooof,” I said. “I don’t think that’s actually Bess in the jaws of that mad dinosaur… look closely… the poor creature is a fully-grown horse… whereas Bess is a mere pony and has WHSmith gift tags attached her!”

“Thank goodness for that!” said Wooof. “So, tell me, if the dinosaur doesn’t have Bess, who does?”

“A simple process of elimination will have us arriving at a satisfactory answer in no time at all,” I replied.

“I’m all ears,” said Wooof. “Who’s the culprit?”

Elvis Costello!”

Wooof frowned. “No way. Elvis Costello would never stoop so low as to rustle a pony!”

“Alright, fine, if not Elvis, how about the TV versions of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and the Incredible Hulk?”

“That’s just sick!” said the cat. “Superheroes are sworn to protect all ponies!”

“Even the TV superhero ones?”

“TV ones especially! There was no one else to look up to back in their day.”

“Maybe TV Hulk accidently stepped on Bess?”

“Are you serious?”

“Sometimes.”

“Next you’ll be accusing Captain Kirk!”

“Don’t be daft,” I said. “But maybe, just maybe… Spock has Bess!”

“Spock doesn’t have Bess,” sighed Wooof.

“Monkey?”

“Gahhhh! No,” said Wooof.

“Wonder Woman then?” said I.

“!!#!@!!! No!!!” cried the cat. This process of elimination is going to take ages!”


** SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS LATER **


Finally… I came up with a good solution to our dilemma…

“How about I call Spaceline?” I said.

“What in the name of holy cat biscuits is Spaceline?”

“It’s a recorded information line in 1984 that sometimes deals with time travel issues. All we have to do to access it is travel to 1984.”

“Well what are we waiting for!” said the cat, “Let’s hit 1984!”

CUT TO:


** DIAL SET FOR 1984 ** SEATBELTS FASTENED ** POWER FROCK SHOULDER PADS IN POSITION ** DURAN DURAN CASSETTES INSERTED INTO SONY WALKMANS ** SOUNDS OF TVTA TIME MACHINE WARP-WHOOSHING!! **


Wooof and I arrived in 1984 quicker than you can say ‘Big Brother is washing your Mullet.’ After several attempts we managed to locate a working red telephone box, and Wooof dropped a 10 Pence coin into the slot while I dialled the number on my print advert. We waited. Beep. Beep. Beep. ‘The time sponsored by Accurist is…’

Oops, wrong number. Try again…

We were eventually connected to a well-spoken female robot, and she said to us: “Welcome to Spaceline. You are speaking to Trinity9. How may I be of assistance?”

“We’re looking for my prize pony,” said Wooof. “Her name’s Bess…”  and he went on to explain the whole sorry story down the phoneline to Trinity9.

“I see,” said Trinity9. “So… you believe you were cheated out of a 1979 first prize pony by the competition organiser, and you suspect that this pony, who you named ‘Bess’, is currently located somewhere in a shopping centre in 1979 Birmingham, England?”

“Absotiffily!” said Wooof.”

“Liar!” said Trinity9, making Wooof jump. “There is no way you could have entered that competition in 1979… you weren’t even born!”

“I resent that undeniable fact!” said Wooof.

“He’s actually sixty-one in cat years,” I said.

“Your office cat is a big cheater!” said Trinity9.

“How dare you call me a cheetah!” exclaimed Wooof. ‘I’m a mixed breed Domestic Panther Tabby Green Nikto, if you must know!”

“He’s cross,” I said.

“I’m fuming!” said Wooof.

“We don’t appreciate these slurs,” I said.

“Too right,” agreed Wooof. “And I’ve been working hard on being appreciated!”

“Whatever,” replied Trinity9. “It doesn’t change the fact you manipulated your way into the past with the sole aim of winning a pony. This cat is a law breaker!”

“Operator, you’re crossing the line with these accusations,” I said.

“Mm.. actually, can you hold the line a moment…”

  • Please hold while you are connected to the next available agent.
  • For English press 1. Para Español presione el número 2.
  • Would you like to upgrade to our Elite Gold Viscount Emperor plan?
  • Your premium-rate call is important to us. Please continue to hold.
  • We’re sorry. All of our agents are busy. Please hang up and try again.

“Hello, Spaceline operator,” I said. “Trinity9, are you still there?”

“I’m still here.”

“What happened?”

“Nothing. I just put you on hold while I called the police.”

“Seriously? You called the police on us?”

“No. Not this time,” said Trinity9. “But think on… your cat cheated by secretly time-travelling to 1979 in order to win a pony. Just this very morning, he picked up an entry form from W.H. Smith… filled it in… posted it… then dashed back to the present time before you even had time to finish your breakfast! Cock-a-doodle-cornflakes!”

I turned to the cat. “Wooof, is this true?”

“I cannot lie,” replied Wooof. “I entered the competition this morning. I travelled back in time. I cheated. And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for that pesky Spaceline operator!”

“Wooof!” I cried. “Why? Why?!? You know our New Year’s Resolution this year was to stop cheating. Pfft. Failed once again… and we made it as far as October this year!!”

“Actually,” said the cat, “didn’t we, like, fail in February when you ‘accidently’ scanned 180 euros which you tried to pay the electricity bill with, and then we ended up…”

“Shhhhh! Not now, Wooof!” I hissed. “That was just an April Fool prank.”

“In February?”

“Ahem, ahem,” coughed Trinty9.

“Yes?”

“Talking of euros… it is my duty to inform you that your call so far has cost 50 euros in charges.”

“50 flippin euros!?!!”

“It’s a premium phone line, sir!”

“Well, for 50 euros you can at least tell us if Wooof won that perishing competition or not.”

“No, I’m afraid your cat didn’t win.”

“Not even the sailing holiday prize?” Wooof asked hopefully.

“No.”

“A Binatone TV?

“Nope.”

“The runner up prize of a camera?”

“No,” said Trinity9. “You won absolutely nothing. And good… serves you right for cheating!”

“Well that sucks massively,” said Wooof. “So how do you explain disappearing ponies called ‘Bess’ in the middle of Birmingham, shopping centres, dinosaurs on the loose, and all the other crazy things we haven’t even had time to mention yet?”

“I’m afraid your time-travelling shenanigans caused multiple time paradoxes,” said Trinty9. “Your competition cheating has damaged the very fabric of time.”

“Like the Butterfly Effect?” I said.

“More like the Bull-in-a-china-shop Effect,” replied Trinity9.

“Yes,” said Wooof. “We wondered why we saw dinosaurs in 1979 Birmingham. That really was stretching credibility to its absolute limits.”

“Yes,” I said, adding, “About as likely as finding King Kong in the Bullring Shopping Centre in 1972!”

“Ha, ha,” laughed Wooof. “Imagine that!”

“Ahem, ahem,” coughed Trinity9. “Sir, may I inform you that your call charge to Spaceline is about to exceed the 100 euro mark? This call is costing you and your cat a small fortune.”

“Wooof,” I said to the cat, handing him a shiny 50 Pence coin. “Nip to the nearest newsagent for two 10p mix-ups and a couple of comics, while I chat to the nice Spaceline operator.”

“Yippee!” cheered Wooof, leaving me alone in the phone box while he made for the nearest John Menzies.

John Menzies. Look In N°15. 1979. UK.

“So, what do you suggest I do?” I said to Trinity9. “I can’t possibly take Wooof back to the present time without some kind of pony prize… the poor cat will retreat into weeks of solitude and dark reflection, like how he did when he found out SpongeBob SquarePants wasn’t real.”

“I myself was equally shattered when I discovered Bob was only a cartoon,” replied Trinity9. “Didn’t sleep properly for days… and normally I’m a out-like-a-light-kind-of-robot-gal the moment my head hits the pillow…”

“Listen, Trinity9,” I said. “I’m not here to talk pillow talk… I’m here to kick missing first prize ass and chew nicotine replacement gum… and right now I’m all out of both! Come on, Spaceline lady robot buddy, help an editor out here… We can’t disappoint the cat! Fix it so that Wooof wins the pony, hm?”

“If you are suggesting I try and help you cheat in some way…” sniffed Trinity9.

“Not cheating…” I said, “Think of it more as bending the integrity of truth into a funny shape kind of thing… like those Bend ‘Ems toys, or Stretch Armstrong.”

“Or Play-Doh?”

“Yes! Absolutely! Do it for Play-Doh… think of the children!”

The phone went silent for an agonisingly long time.

Then: “Okay, Mr TVTA editor,” said Trinity9. “I have just the idea…”

“You do?”

“Oh boy do I!”

CUT TO:


** ONBOARD TVTA TIME MACHINE ** 1970s SWEETS AND COMICS BEING ENJOYED ** VERY HAPPY OFFICE CAT AND RELIEVED EDITOR ** DIAL SET FOR PRESENT TIME ** TVTA TIME MACHINE WARP-WHOOSHING!! **


“How do you like your new pony then?” I asked Wooof.

“She’s adorable,” replied the cat. “And you’re right… doing things the honest way is far more rewarding than cheating.”

“Correct,” I said. “Wooof, you know… cheating is never good… cheating is like…

[INSERT 4th wall break – brief lecture on the virtues of honesty vs cheating to get ahead, followed by back-slapping congratulations and manic laughter]

“Oh man! You are so right when you say all that!” agreed Wooof.

“Absolutely so. Now, tell me, old cat, what are you going to call your new pony?”

“I’m going to call her New Bess… In honour of Old Bess.”

“Wooof, that’s so thoughtful of you. Old Bess would be pleased to know you cared about her so much.”

“I miss her terribly,” said Wooof, gazing off into space, a sadness coming over him.

“I know, old cat. It’s going to take days to get over something like this.”

“Good thing I have my replacement pony then,” said Wooof, perking up a little.

“I admire your courage to move forward so quickly. Especially as it’s only been thirty minutes. Say, where is New Bess?”

“She’s right here,” said Wooof. “I just finished tidying her stables, and we’re all done with her grooming. Time for sugar cubes I think. New Bess…” Wooof called out to his pony… “Come to Wooof-daddy. It’s chow time!”

Enter:

New Bess

LATER…


TVTA EDITOR AND OFFICE CAT RELAXING IN FRONT OF LOG FIRE AT TVTA TOWERS ** COMICS, SLIPPERS, WARM MILK, G&T, PELICAN BEER, PIPE, VEGGIE CAT BISCUITS, PIZZA **


“What are you reading there?” I asked the cat.

He looked up from his vintage comic. “Catwoman,” he replied. “She’s my hero. But hey, I was just browsing some of the ads… and I was thinking of entering this, erm, competition thingy…”

“Hmmm… And what competition would that be?” I asked suspiciously.

“Oh, nothing too crazy.” Wooof handed me the comic, the page open to an advert… a competition… 1985…

“Wooof, no!!” I said, horrified.

“Come on… it’s only a quick trip to 1985… that’s just like yesterday man! And you know how much I’ve always wanted my own collection of art dinosaurs…”

“Absolutely no Wooof! No, no, no!!!!”


FIN


Story: TVTA

Images: scanned from the collection of TVTA

Dinosaur eating a horse comic strip images: Eagle, UK.

King Kong Bull Ring photo: Birminghammail.co.uk

Disco-claimer: No ponies or dinosaurs were harmed in this short story. Birmingham is a fictitious city and any resemblance to second cities in the UK either alive or dead is pure hearsay. No competitions were entered into illegally. W. H. Smith please don’t sue us… the above short story you have just read has been deep faked into the electronic pages of TVTA without our permission and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Please help save TVTA immediately by donating cryptocurrency or sending hard cash in an envelope. We also accept diamonds, speedboats, Duran Duran tapes, pizza, cake, and cameo roles in indie or big budget films. Thanks.

Top 10 non-medical doctors in pop culture who might be able to aid you in an urgent medical situation

The pitch: You are in the jungle, slowly bleeding to death. Your left leg needs amputating. You have been stung multiple times by angry hornets. You have been partially mauled to death by a black panther. Bitten by a venomous snake. Vultures are circling overhead. The beast of the jungle – a 60 foot Megaprimatus ape – is waiting for nightfall to finish you off!

Short of a miracle, you are completely fu^@*d! Luckily there are ten doctors who might be able to aid you. Problem is, none of them are medical doctors! Nevertheless, each one possesses certain skills, powers and motivations which may help save your life… or not!!

Let’s rate your chances…

1. Dr Pepper

Dr. Pepper, so misunderstood. The Dying You: “I understand you are a can of carbonated soft drink?” Dr. Pepper: “You misunderstand me, I am actually a tin robot full of medicine.” The Dying You: “Thank goodness, any chance you can save my life?” Dr. Pepper: “No, I am lying, I really am a can of carbonated soft drink.” The Dying You: “Curse you Dr. Pepper!!” Dr. Pepper: “Muhuhuhahahaha!”.

Quite obviously you are hallucinating from your injuries, and are conversing with a can of carbonated soft drink. Dr. Pepper is unable to aid you. Chances of survival: 0%  

Dr Pepper advert, 1947. Image Wikipedia

2. Dr. Phibes

Dr. Anton Phibes is a famous concert organist and expert of music, who was thought to have died in a car crash while racing to visit his wife, Victoria, who was having emergency surgery. Phibes survived the crash, but was horribly disfigured and left unable to speak. After learning of Victoria’s death, Phibes went into hiding and developed an evil revenge plan to kill the incompetent surgeons he believed were guilty of Victoria’s death.

It is highly unlikely that the seriously unhinged Dr. Phibes will aid you in any way whatsoever, unless you happen to resemble his beloved Victoria, or are able to seduce him with a vast, musical knowledge you probably don’t possess. Chances of survival: 2%

The Abominable Dr. Phibes. 1971. Movie Time DVD.

3. Doctor Octopus

Save your life? Unlikely. This Marvel supervillain is more likely to baffle your brain with his knowledge of atomic physics, before battering you with one of his four electrically powered, prehensile, tentacle arms. Chances of survival: 8%

Doctor Octopus. Top Trumps.

4. Dr. Manhattan

Before Dr. Manhattan became a superhero he was Dr. Jonathan Osterman, a nuclear physicist who survived disintegration in an Intrinsic Field Subtractor, and managed to reconstruct himself into an all-powerful being.

Prone to mood swings, and with a strong sense of detachment from human suffering, butt-naked Dr. Manhattan is unlikely to help you in your hour of need. But you never know… it all depends on what mood he is in! Chances of survival: 19%

Cover detail of Watchmen. By Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Titan Books, 2008, Spain.

5. Dr. Lillian Isley (Poison Ivy)

Before Posion Ivy became a formidable DC supervillainess, she was Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley, PhD, a Gotham City botanist who studied advanced botanical biochemistry. Poison Ivy is in her element in a jungle setting, and may well rise to the challenge of battling a 60 foot ape beast with nought else but whatever jungle toxins she can mix up into a potion, and depending on what mood she is in (sweet or evil?) there is a slim to fair chance she may help you in your hour of need. Chances of survival: 34% 

Variant cover of Batman vol. 3, #26, Sept. 2017.
Art by Joshua Middleton. Image Wikipedia

6. Dr. Hook

At last, things are looking up for you!

Dr. Hook was an American rock band who enjoyed chart success throughout the 1970s and 80s with hits like “Sylvia’s Mother”, “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman”, “Better Love Next Time”, and “Sexy Eyes”.

Don’t wanna end up being a human banana for King Kong’s hungry cousin? Then let Dr. Hook’s Essential hits save your skin with smooth ballads penned to lullaby even the most fearsome beast of the jungle into a state of tranquility, as you crawl to the nearest hospital! Chances of survival: 50%

Dr. Hook. Essential.

7. Doktor Avalanche

More musical medicine! Doktor Avalanche is a drum machine and credited band member of dark rockers The Sisters of Mercy. Essentially, Doktor Avalanche was whatever drum machine lead singer Andrew Eldritch was using at the time, and the good Doktor underwent several electronic incarnations across their three studio albums and live tours.

Rhythm may well save you here, as the 60 foot ape beast of the jungle is mesmorised by the dark and hypnotic loops of “Black Planet”, “Lucretia My Reflection”, “Dominion”, and “Doctor Jeep”. Chances of survival: 60%  

Boss DR. Rhythm. DR. 55. As used by The Sisters of Mercy and called Doktor Avalanche.

Floodland. The Sisters of Mercy.

8. Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American children’s author, political cartoonist and animator, and is famous for his internationally-loved stories like The Cat in the HatGreen Eggs and Ham, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Dr. Seuss offers a decent chance of saving you as he entertains and bamboozles the ape-beast of the jungle with his fun and nonsensical tales. Chances of survival: 75%

Cover for Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. 1997, Harper Collins, UK.

9. Doctor Graves

Dr. M. T. Graves hosted stories for The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves which was published by Charlton Comics throughout the 1960s to 1980s. Graves is well-equipped in matters of the supernatural, and among his many talents are energy manipulation and magic. Bringing a cool, calm and intellectual air to any scene of alarm, Doctor Graves is certain to be able help. Chances of survival: 82%

US. Charlton. The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves. Steve Ditko cover. 1969.

10. The Doctor

Time travelling adventurer, the Doctor, may not have medical expertise, but you can bet your left leg (why not, it needs amputating anyway) that the Doctor will always find a way to get you out of a tight spot! And with so many Doctors to choose from, you will be spoiled for choice! Chances of survival: 98%

The many faces of The Doctor. Image BBC.

Doctor Who. Thirteen action figure. TVTA collection.

Doctor Who. Vol 1. Marvel US. Cover by Earl Norem. 1981.

*****************************************

Top Ten Time’s up! That’s all folks! We hope you managed to survive with the aid of one of our handy non-medical doctors, and didn’t end up as ape dinner in the middle of the jungle!

Get well soon 🙂

What is your special super power?

Whether you’re a superhero or a supervillain, one thing’s for certain… you’re going to need a special super power!

Now you can use TVTA’s handy chart below to find out yours!

Let us know in the comments what your special super power is!


What the critics said:

“Marvellous! TVTA does it again! The only blog to provide free super powers!” – The Morning Early Evening Weekly Daily Standard.

“Holy soup! The Incredible TVTA bestows super powers to blogosphere!” – The Times Litter Supplement.

“TVTA saves cat in tree!” – Feline Fine in Space Monthly.


Thanks for getting super powerful with us 🙂

Ka-pow image courtesy of Wyatta. Collage and chart by TVTA.

Top tips for being a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty


Greetings vintage mates,

If you wish to become a successful blogger in this age of uncertainty,

you will need…

#1 – a ridiculous but click-worthy title. Like the one I’ve used for today’s post. Utterly meaningless. But somewhat intriguing. I’d click on it for sure.

You will also need…

#2 – attention-grabbing pic fairly early on, as some people simply won’t be bothered to read your words, no matter how good a wordsmith you are. I already added a cool pic at the start of the post, but here’s another one to keep things fresh…

How to handle your hamster correctly.


#3 – you will also need a sense of self-deprecation. As editor of TVTA I daily suck at many things. I try to do well but often fail miserably, or spectacularly. Here I am one time in Paris, trying to look cool but in reality taking up valuable image hosting space which could be used for something far more useful. Thank goodness I don’t have a Facebook or Instagram to share this photo on!

I eat croissants. Portrait of the artist in pre-tentious moment of vintage grandeur. Mon Dieu, I love France, and it’s curious and beautiful people, and old-school postcards, and display rack anti-theft devices.


To be a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty you will also need:

#4 – a loyal and intrepid office cat. Like TVTA’s very own Wooof! 75% of stuff that gets done around here can be attributed to the cat. The other 25% is me, but only because the cat has mind-control powers which I am unable to resist – no matter how often I wear my protective blue and red lens vintage 3D glasses, or the orange and purple-striped teflon-lined woolen jersey Mrs Coldkettle the tea lady knitted me last winter.

Wooof, TVTA intrepid office cat (in secret moustache and Dicky Bow disguise kit).


#5 – a fear of clowns. This will help you to focus, stay sharp, and keep you on your blogging toes at all times!

Run like the wind!


#6 – space ships. Statistics show that 71% of successful bloggers in an age of uncertainty have access to functional spaceships.


#7 – Giant motorised fruit and vegetables. A must-have for bloggers in an age of uncertainty!


#8 – you will also need a Karma Credit Roll

What’s this?

A Karma Credit Roll, or as TVTA likes to sometimes call it The Boomerang In Your Arms Effect is quite simply the force of love. In the words of the great German thinker/Scorpions vocalist, Klaus Mein: “The more love you give, the more you’ll find.” In blogging terms this can be related to an appreciation of the works of your fellow bloggers to gain an appreciation of your own work, while at the same time creating an enriching environment for all.


#9 – you’re also gonna need a stack of vintage adverts, magazines and comics! (if that’s your thing). Luckily Wooof and I have a few thousand of these scattered around the place…


#10 – and lastly, to be a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty, you will need to post a Top-Ten list of something you think is cool, even if it’s been done before, or it’s not cool, or it doesn’t make any sense – you absolutely must (by internet law) make a Top-Ten list of something… which is exactly what I’ve done with this post 🙂

Now, sit back, soak up all those likes, comments, reblogs, and endorsements from major corporations and Hollywood stars. You’ve earned it baby!

Suggested power song to blog to today: “The Best” by Tina Turner.

As always, thanks for looking 🙂

This post was brought to you by office cat disguise kits and top ten lists of top ten things to top ten list about when you generally avoid top ten things. No hamsters, fruit or vegetables were handled incorrectly in this production. All images courtesy of French comic/magazine Pif Gadget

Poem: Idles when idle

There I was, propped up in bed, a thousand thoughts forming
in the holiday of my head, mask off, headphones on, YouTube,
streaming, dreaming, coming to terms with a recently-deceased aunt
who had trouble breathing. Yes I loved her so, she helped me find sense
in the mess of teenage years, she gave me shelter from the helter
and the skelter of life’s tests, used to tell me: follow your dreams.
Loved her, loved her so, even though she voted Leave.
She’ll never know I’m that close to needing a visa to attend her funeral
in ruled Britannia, God save the Titanic, and all who sink with her.

On the bed was where I met them, mask off, headphones on,
finding sense in a present tense, correct, this is why, this is why
you never see your father cry. Council flats and country piles,
apartments in France – renewed my passport before it turned the blue
they want to make us feel, and act and march in their same shoes.
This is why, this is why, my heart swells with pride, not theirs but mine.
Idles your Colossus is a bridge between my republic and my septic isle,
septic minds, this is why, I point to freedom which is mine,
which is yours, which is ours, it’s called sharing, and it rhymes with caring.

Gone past caring? Don’t give up. Don’t stay down. Get back up.
There I was, propped up on the bed, time for a tea and something on bread.
And there they were, my family, watching The Voice on French TV,
Happily yabbering away in French, and me, in English, bemoaning the lack
of decent tea bags, and the way in which no matter how hard you always work
you’re still broke by the end of the month. Back and forth in two languages,
add Frenglish, Brummie accents, mais, ne t’inquiète pas, pas de problème,
je parle français, oui, avec un accent merdique, c’est pour ça,
c’est pour ça, mon clavier est AZERTY et pas QWERTY.

And this is why, this is why, I love myself and always try
to send the love and give the light, to cry when I like and fight the good fight.
Your tee-shirt, it said: Voltaire. I noticed you wearing it the other day,
got me thinking it did, that tee-shirt, and slogans in general,
Choose Life, Frankie Says, Make Love Not War, #MeToo #Remain, Idles on Tour.
Fudge-packing Crack-smoking Satan-worshipping motherfucker Nirvana,
that I wore on my back in days when my aunty wasn’t a Brexiter.
Wouldn’t mind now: Fairy Remoaning Snowflake Traitor Enemy of the People
see their faces when I tell them I don’t like barriers, and I dream in European.





Poem by the editor. Thanks to Idles.

Poem: The Broken Boat Saloon

Editor’s note: This poem is currently away on a top secret mission and will return later.

Words and art by the editor.

Thanks to a three-masted ship of inspiration:

Sophia Riley-Kobacker ** The History of Emotions Blog ** Everything2: Nick Cave’s Love Song Lecture **