Sunday, 18 November 2012

An Ode To Yo Momma

Since I started hanging out with a new group of friends earlier in the year, it has opened up many more creative outlets for Yo Momma jokes (which as we all know, I adore beyond rhyme or reason). The below started as a perfectly normal conversation between me and a friend and then, as most of our conversations tend to do, escalated quickly into a spiral of increasingly inventive insults.

The results are as follows, and do get progressively not safe for work. You have been warned...

Cricket: I've been watching Lord of the Rings. I tried your mum's ring of power but it was more like a bangle.

Me: Yeah? Well I heard your mum's ring was forged by eleven kings, not elven. And when I say 'forged'...

Cricket: Your mum blows the horn of Gondor, if you know what I'm saying. Dirty stewards.

Me: Your mum's vagina is so deep, they call her the Mine of Moria.

Cricket: Your mum's so loose not even an Ent has enough wood for her.

Me: Your mum's so ugly, Gandalf let her pass! Bazinga. Also, your mum's such a whore, they call her the Gap of Rohan. The internet is responsible for that last joke, I admit, but it was too good to resist.

Cricket: Okay. Your mum's such a slut not even ten thousand orcs could fill her Helms Deep.

Me: Oh it's like that, is it? Well they don't call them the 'Riders' of Rohan for nothing. We should totally play my drinking Harry Potter Cluedo game sometime.

Cricket: Awesome! Count me in. By the way, I heard there was a big dead snake in your mum's chamber of secrets.

Me: Your mum may not be called Luna but she certainly knows how to Lovegood.

Cricket: Your mum lets schoolchildren enter her Goblet of Fire.

Me: HA! Okay, but the Triwizard Tournament happens every weekend... in your mum's bedroom.

Cricket: Your mum's so dirty, anyone who puts his wand in her catches the Dark Mark.

Me: Your mum's so ugly, they call her She Who Must Not Be Naked.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Organ Donors

I came into work yesterday morning, and had only just logged into my computer when a message from Wetsoks flashed up on instant messenger.

Wetsoks: (brightly) Morning buddy!

Me: Morning, brah.

There was a pause of several seconds.

Wetsoks: Is it too early to show you pictures of a dead guy?

Me: I.... can you wait til 10am?

Wetsoks: Okay!

Me: I just need a coffee first. And then you can show me all the dead guys you want. Wait. I didn't mean that.

Wetsoks: It's not gory.

Me: Thank god. It's from Reddit, I assume?

Wetsoks: Yep.

Me: Are we normal?

Wetsoks: Yep.

After examining the photo, which was some poor guy who'd smashed headfirst into a lorry while on his motorobike, I had some questions.

Me: It's a pity the helmet didn't save him. How come he's barefoot?

Wetsoks: Shoes flew off. Apparently they were found a bit further away.

Me: Huh. Buddy, if that happens to me, could you do me a favour and put my shoes back on?

Wetsoks: Crocs?

Me: NO.

There was a brief pause.

Wetsoks: Dude ...I kind of want a motorbike.

Me: So do I. The internet has taught us nothing today. In fact, I believe it has actually somehow decreased the common sense I previously possessed.

Wetsoks: (sagely) The internet is a cruel and unyielding mistress.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Parents Of The Navigator

I visited my parents last weekend. As usual, they were in top form, and freshly tanned from their recent holiday.

Mum: It was lovely. We went paragliding - you know, with waterskis.

Me: Isn't Dad afraid of heights?

Mum: Weeeeell. It was on my bucket list.

Me: Uh huh.

Mum: He got over it.

Me: I see.

Dad: (giggling in the other room) Did she tell you about what happened in the airport?

Mum: Shh, you!

It turns out that my parents got off the plane and wandered around for a while trying to find the bus depot. The conversation apparently went along the these lines:

Dad: Right, so we're looking for bus number 10.

Mum: (brightly) Okay!

Dad: Um. These buses end at number 9, but there's another couple over there, so let's have a look to see if it's one of those.

Mum: What's the number 10 in Spanish?

Dad: What?

Mum: The number 10. What is it? We could ask someone where it is.

Dad: We're... we're in Rhodes, honey.

Mum: Oh. So we are.

Dad: I... I don't even... just let me handle this, okay?

Mum: (totally unabashed) Sure, whatever you think!

The worst part is, this is a totally normal conversation for them. My parents, ladies and gentleman! They're here all week! Tip your waitress, try the veal.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

An Apple A Day

When I sat down at one of the tables in my work canteen at lunchtime on this dreary Thursday morning in a pointlessly rain-soaked country, Wetsoks eyed me suspiciously over her box of fruit for a few minutes without saying anything. Eventually, she made a tentative enquiry.

Wetsoks: Um. Did you do something to your hair?

Me: Yes.

Wetsoks: Did you.... dye it?

Me: Yes. Last Thursday.

Wetsoks: (poking at the fruit box) Eww, apple. I don't like apple.

Me: Also, I had it cut. Last Tuesday.

Wetsoks: It looks different. 

Me: That's because it is.

Wetsoks: At least I noticed. Eventually. I don't like apple.

Me: You're such a dude. And for goodness sake, don't eat the apples if you don't like them.

Wetsoks: (stil eyeing my hair and putting a piece of apple into her mouth slowly) I don't like change.

Me: Technically you've been getting used to it for a week, you just didn't know it.

Wetsoks: (chewing the apple) I don't like change or apples.

Me: (pinching my nose and sighing) You know, sometimes I feel like we inhabit entirely different universes and then every day around 12:30, they collide for a few minutes resulting in total mental chaos.

Wetsoks: .... What?

Me: I'm glad we're friends.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Wedding Dance

Sorry for the delay in blog posts, otterlovers, but my aunt got married last Friday. It was an all-day wedding and both I and everyone else had a thoroughly wonderful time. (Note to readers: if you read that and mentally chalked "the otter was drinking for 10 hours" then well done and a small fishy prize will be sent to you shortly). I even had a particularly nice time during the first dance, during which I had been instructed to waltz with my 16 year old male cousin. We behaved well for about 3 minutes and then broke into mutual robot, to the amusement of the watching crowds. It would have brought a tear to your eye, let me tell you.

After dinner but before the second lot of food (we like to be extreme in my family) the main area was cleared away by the hotel staff and turned into a dancefloor. I spent a while eyeing this with caution - mostly because the shoes I was wearing were both thoroughly unsuitable for dancing and totally unprepared to meet a polished wooden surface while the owner was inebriated - but eventually tottered over to it and spent the next few hours in rapturous delight. The live band played a number of excellent tunes, including The Jam, Billy Ocean and Barry White. The following conversation occurred slightly later in the evening (which I am afraid to say does not excuse it from taking place at all) between myself, my mother and father.

We had somehow all found each on the busy dancefloor, when the guitar riff started up and was instantly recognisable as a classic.

Me: Oh, I love this song! *crooning* Once I was a boogie singer...

Dad: Play that funky music, white boy! Now there's a real song. They don't make songs like that now.

Mum: Who did this one again?

Dad: Wild Cherry. The lead singer was... do you know?

Me: (dancing frantically) Not a clue.

Mum: Er...

Dad: George Clinton! Write that in your blog.

Me: I don't actually think that's right.

Dad: It is.

Me: (staring around at all the damns I don't give) Sure. Why not.

Mum: (puzzled) George Clinton? Wasn't he the President?

My father, who after 30-odd years of marriage no longer picks up on all the crazy things my mother comes out with, simply danced off happily by himself into the crowd without paying attention.

Me: That was Bill Clinton.

Mum: Are you sure?

Me: Am I sure? How can you possibly-

My mother's face was a picture of sincerity as she looked up at me.

Me: (pinching my nose) Yes, I'm sure. Shall we get another drink?

Monday, 27 August 2012

The Lion Tweets Tonight

Normally I don't experience any kind of excitement on a Monday morning, but today was quite, quite different. A lion is currently free and ambling around inhabited parts of England (cue all Aslan jokes) and the media is whipping itself into a frenzy of excitement.

Wetsoks: Dude, look at this link -

Me: Awesome! Wait, how the hell does a lion just wander off without anyone noticing?

Wetsoks: I think it escaped from the circus.

Me: And the circus just left? I can just hear the conversation now - "We're down one lion."
"Did you look everywhere? Under the bed? In the secure and locked cage where we normally keep them?"
"Yep. It's not there."
"Well, screw it, we have to leave now or we'll be late. We can buy little Jimmy a new lion in the next town. He won't even notice."

Wetsoks: I know. Who does that?

Me: Only in Britain.

Wetsoks: I think it's been out for a few days at least. They've got the army looking for it.

Me: Well it shouldn't be that hard to find. Follow the trail of dead animals. It's got to be feeding itself somehow. If you find a sheep with its legs in one field and its ribs in another, it probably didn't die of natural causes. I'm just saying.

Wetsoks: I can just imagine that episode of The Only Way Is Essex... "And so I was like, 'oh my god Michelle, you are such a drama queen! A lion did not eat your boyfriend!' She should just admit he dumped her for being a slut!" Cue posh, horsey laughter.

Me: I can say with sincerity and joy that I have no idea what you're talking about.

Wetsoks: The article says that Essex police enlisted the help of experts at Colchester Zoo to identify whether the animal in the photo is in fact a lion.

Me: Naturally when I see a huge, dangerous animal, my first instinct is to whip out my smartphone and snap away.

Wetsoks: Colchester Zoo is adamant that the lion did not escape from them.

Me: Well, establishing blame is the first priority. Then we can catch it. But let's make sure we know whose fault it is before we make any rash decisions.

Wetsoks: Should we be alarmed that they had enough tranquillizer guns to arm a whole squad of soldiers? They'll probably bring down every animal in a forty mile radius just to to be safe.

Me: "Private, can you explain why you shot this cow?"  
"Sir! It looked like a terrorist, sir!"
"...Carry on."

Wetsoks: I am absolutely not looking at the price of a train ticket to Essex right now. In addition, the police are looking for a witch and a wardrobe, who are believed to have information about the lion's whereabouts and motives.

Me: I'm seriously rolfing.

Wetsoks: The lion doesn't stand a chance, I'm pretty sure everyone in Essex is armed.

Me: There are already two Twitter accounts tracking the lion's thoughts as it roams through the countryside. I love modern technology.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Meat And Greet

Since I've actually been to quite a lot of things at this year's Edinburgh Festival, I'm planning to write more about it later. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the below interim post.

A month or so ago, I held an Exotic Meat Birthday Barbeque for my friends, in honour of turning - get all the you-look-like-a-child jokes in here now, because sooner or later they're not going to apply any more - the grand old age of 27. We had many different meats, including the following:

Wild Boar

For those of you wondering, the crocodile tasted like fishy pork. I know that sounds awful, but it was actually pretty nice. The only thing I was missing was kangaroo, as the particular butchers we ordered from were out of stock on the day. Now, you guys know I love meat. I also love new experiences, and I'm especially not afraid to try something most people would deem weird, so this was a perfect blend of the two things. However it seems to have sparked an unusual drive in me - an ambition to eat ALL THE THINGS.

Well, most of the things anyway - I draw the line at 'kittens' (that's spiders, to the uninitiated), actual kittens, and otters. Everything else, as far as I am concerned, is fair game. So when I found a meat catalogue at the Foodie Festival last weekend, and opened it to find an even wider range of exotic meats, I got understandably overexcited and started yelling about how they had reindeer and oven-baked squirrel and how I was going to put all the meats in my face, much to the confusion and terror of nearby people.

My friends exchanged glances during this tirade, and then subtly chose to ignore me (they really should have known better, because once a crazy idea worms its way into my little brain, it tends to stick) However, I plan to remain focused, like some sort of meat athlete. I'm going to get one of those posters for children, the ones with the alphabet and pictures of animals on it, and I'm going to eat my way through as many as I can. Do you even know how many species of antelope I haven't eaten yet? Tens, hundreds, possibly thousands. It's mindboggling.

Life is so short, and I intend to enjoy it as much as possible.

Preferably while holding a roast haunch of something in one hand.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Eight-Legged Kittens

My friend Wetsoks text me the other night from her flat, which is unfortunately situated near to the field where my old house was, and therefore is perfectly positioned for constant attacks by the... well. The following text conversation should explain everything.


Me: Ahh! What?!

Wetsoks: Two is classified as an invasion, right?

Me: Get the lighter and the spray! Man the boundaries! Do your duty!

Wetsoks: Okay, good plan.

There was a brief pause while I waited anxiously.

Wetsoks: Uh oh.

Me: Sweet baby Jesus, what have you done?

Wetsoks: There are spider guts all over the wall, brah.

Me: Don't use the S word!!! You know how I feel about that.

To read the original recap of why we refer to spiders as kittens, please read this earlier post -

Wetsoks: I didn't even know that 'kittens' had guts. They do. They're pinkish yellow. In case you wondered.

Me: I never wanted that knowledge. I'll cry forever now. Thanks.

Wetsoks: Sorry buddy! Truthfact!

I waited a couple of minutes to allow her to carry out her mission.

Me: Have you executed the kittens yet?

Wetsoks: Yes, and there are kitten guts all over my wall.

Me: I don't know whether to be happy or sad about that.

Wetsoks: Technically only one left its guts on the wall. I hit the other one real hard with a book I didn't like.

Me: At least you had time to choose your weapon. I almost hate to ask but how big were they?

Wetsoks: I chose this book specifically because I wasn't sure I could touch it again, far less read it. And the kittens were huge. Properly huge.

Me: I need to know my enemy. 

Wetsoks: Let me put it like this - there aren't just guts on my wall, or a red mark, there are actual organs.

Here please just put some imaginative expletives in place of what I actually said in response to this, which I am sure was much worse.

Wetsoks: I know, right? They were so big I almost offered them coffee.

Me: I'm going to have to blog about this this. And then weep copiously.

Wetsoks: Why? There aren't any giant kittens in your house, smushed over your furniture and wallpaper.

Me: Yes, but its just a matter of time before they come looking for me.

Wetsoks: Ha! Guess who wrote the book I killed the second one with? Karin Slaughter. 

Me: Genius. However, I worry if something happens to me right now and then someone finds my phone, checks the texts, and the last thing they read is something about killing kittens.

Wetsoks: You know who can deal with that? Future you.

Me: Totally. She's great at that stuff.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Get Fish Or Die Trying

As you might remember, last weekend I travelled back to see my family and to attend a hen night (which I had in fact been tricked into, as my mother had left several important pieces of information out - namely that the entertainment in the hotel was a Take That tribute act - and covered this by saying that she'd pay for my room - later known as 'our' room - etc etc. It was essentially a web of lies from beginning to end).

When I visit my parents, my mother tends to feed me up. It's her natural instinct, which is only heightened by the fact that despite my best efforts I've remained rather firmly entrenched around the 55 kilo mark since I was 15 years old. However, I eat a lot for my size. My friends and family joke that I have hollow legs, because I am usually the first person to finish dinner and ask for dessert, and then two hours later start poking around to see if any dinner has been leftover and needs attending to.

The problem with this is that when I visit my parents, I automatically start eating my way through their food supply, to my father's horror. Luckily when Mum and I got home on the Sunday, he was out playing golf, so I was free to graze as nature intended.

Mum: Sometimes I'm really glad we only had one child.

Me: What?

Mum: Nothing.

Me: Have you got any more cheese? Or ham? Or both? Can I have some of these crisps as well? Is that cake?

Mum: (sighing) Yes to everything.

My father arrived eventually home, delivered a short speech detailing exactly how his golf game had gone while my mother glazed over as soon as he started using the actual terms, and then headed for the kitchen.

Dad: (yelling) Where are my biscuits?!

Me: (slowly crunching) No idea.

Dad: I see. We must have rats.

Me: You know what it must be? Cupboard Ferrets. I hear about them on the news.

Dad: Really.

Me: Yes, they're awful. Apparently an infestation of Cupboard Ferrets can eat one, sometimes two whole packs of dark chocolate digestives in one day.

Dad: Uh huh. And the other stuff?

Me: Well, they'll eat anything. Or so I hear.

Dad: It's funny how they only seem to appear once every few weeks. Must be a seasonal thing, or perhaps to do with the moon.

Me: Mmm. You should probably put traps down.

Dad: No, don't worry, I'll just guard the biscuits and then break their necks when they appear.

Me: Right. That might be kind of inhumane. I'm just saying.

There was a brief silence.

Mum: What's happening? Have we got mice? I don't understand you two half the time.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A Bride's Day Out

I did something I've never done before in my entire life, this weekend. I attended a hen night for my aunt who is getting married at the end of the month. Despite protests, she continued to claim that it was not a hen night (instead choosing to call it a "bride's day out") in blatant disregard of the penis straws, banners, fairy wings, tiaras and other assorted lady crap that made the inside of our minibus look like a chick flick threw up in it.

I know what you're thinking, and you'd be right. It was... interesting. I won't go into detail but rest assured that some memories have seared themselves rather vividly and regrettably, probably permanently, into my brain.

The real amusement came when I had to share a double bed with my mother, something I have not done since I was a child and ill. It's been at least 15 years, but it never occurred to me that she'd been using this time productively to come up with...well. I'll let you read for yourself.

Me: (sarcastically) This is fun.

Mum: (cheerily) Isn't it?

Me: Um...

Mum: Oh, now I have to explain the rules to you.

Me: The rules of sleep? Can't I just close my eyes like normal?

Mum: No. You need to know some things first about how I like to do it.

Me: I don't think I do.

Mum: Just let me explain.

There was a brief silence, during which I mentally prepared myself for the insanity to come since there was clearly no way of preventing it.

Mum: Well, I have this thing. It's called "starting'.

Me: Okay.

Mum: So when I say "I'm starting", that means I've started to prepare for sleep. Don't talk to me after that because if you do then I'll have to start again.

Me: Do you know how bizarre it is for a person to have sleep rules?

Mum: There's something else as well.

Me: Of course there is.

Mum: I also like to have "reserve".

Me: What the bloody hell is "reserve"?

Mum: I start by lying on my back, and then when I'm ready I roll onto my side, but I need to start with enough space to do so, which means I need to start in the middle of the bed.

Me: Dad is such a lucky man.

My mother shuffled over, closer to me.

Mum: Right, I'm starting.

Me: Wait a second. Your arm is on my side and its touching me.

Mum: Well, what am I supposed to do with it?

Me: At least let me have my own little bit of space! You don't even clear 5 feet, you don't need all this area!

She huffed and shuffled away about two inches. I accepted this as the best I was going to get. There was a short silence, during which I did my best to restrain myself from pointing out how insane this all was.

Me: Well, goodnight then.

Mum: Ahh! I'd already started!

Me: But you didn't say you were starting!

Mum: Well, I was.

Me: Well now I'm starting too.

Mum: Good, then we're both starting.

We lasted about 10 seconds before we both burst into hysterical laughter.

Mum: Do you think I'm mad?

Me: Well, a bit. But I already thought that.

Mum: That's alright then.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

50 Shades Of Despair

So it's been a couple of weeks since I wrote my post about 50 Shades of Grey.
Back then, I was innocent.
Back then I was pure.
Stop laughing.
Okay, back then I was at least ignorant of what a massive pile of inexplicable tripe this book is. Let me break it down for you. My friend Wetsoks, after reading that post, kindly and very nicely (read: she's a unforgivable dillhole) found me a pdf copy of 50 Shades. I sat down to read it one night, cup of tea in hand, mind crowbarred partially open, and felt ready to try not to make a snap judgement. 19 horrendous pages later, I quietly shut down my mac and went to lie face down on my carpet (which is my equivalent of the foetal position when experiencing trauma and/or a state of over-inebriation). I gave it a few days and tried not to think about how angry it made me, or how much I wanted to set my mac on fire. Then another friend  @Stavvers, of angry blog fame, sent me the original fanfiction pdf, complete with Twilight names. I sat down again, twitching slightly this time, and tried again.

I have always thought English to be a poor language. It can sometimes be very hard to convey exactly what one means using only English words, which is why I really enjoyed learning both French and Portuguese (and come to that, Greek and Latin). However, it might be for your benefits, readers, that I cannot quite express how much I despise this book. If you can imagine a giant spider astride a giant camel wearing Crocs, and yelling about how it just didn't understand Shakespeare and especially the DiCaprio version because he was cute but the words made no sense and how could you even tell what was happening and wouldn't you rather watch a Jersey Shore marathon while debating about how marriage should be between a man and a woman because that's how it's always been and nothing in history has ever changed or needed to change in the last 3000 years, well. That comes pretty close to combining ALL THE THINGS I HATE. Never mind my mac, I wanted to set everything on fire, including myself and my literary beliefs, which are clearly out of date in this modern world.

I haven't been able to continue reading it because I value what is left of my IQ, but this brave soul has -  - so do check out her various ranty posts about it. Some of them are absolutely priceless, unlike the book itself, which is absolutely worthless. For everything else, there is Mastercard, or alternatively, stabbing yourself in the face.

One thing that I will point out from my trudge through those 19 or so pages, was that Christian Grey: Dreamboat Extraordinaire turns up at the hardware store where You/Ana/Bella works. I have a number of issues with this whole section. First, he's a billionaire. People build stuff for him. People run errands for him. He doesn't need to do anything for himself. He has MONEY. So when You/Ana/Bella starts to think "hey, maybe he came to see me... nah" - it makes me want to punch you. Then after leering at you openly, he reels off a list of items he requires for his "hiking" trip, such as rope, duct tape, and cable ties.
Cable ties, people.
It's the murder bag post all over again. Sigh.
So instead of You/Ana/Bella swooning and gibbering like you're in heat at the sight of a nice jawline and pants that 'hang off his hips' (boy needs some braces, by the sounds of it), you should really be nodding, smiling politely, then sidling into the backroom and frantically calling the police. Because this guy is clearly going to leave your body in a woodland area.

If I can bring myself to slog through any more, I am sure that it will provide plenty of fodder for a further rant.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Just Like A Prayer

This is a short post, but the conversation amused me enough to make me want to splash it around on the internet. Behold!

We've got a new Tesco now. It opened recently, and while it's not exactly huge, it stocks a decent amount of products. I dragged Wetsoks along with me this afternoon, despite her complaints, only to find that there were crowds of people meandering slowly along the pavements, blocking our path.

Me: Oh, what fresh hell is this?

Wetsoks: I know! Madonna is performing tonight at Murrayfield.

Me: Ah! You know, I would have liked to go to that but it was kind of pricey.

Wetsoks: I don't like people. I don't like being outside. I don't know why I'm here.

Me: It's good for you to see sunlight occasionally.

Wetsoks: It really isn't.

Me: Don't you want to cherish these moments?

Wetsoks: No.

Me: Open your heart!

Wetsoks: Sweet merciful lord-

Me: Wetsoks, don't preach. We're in trouble deep.

Wetsoks: NO! Stop that!

Me: We've only got 4 minutes to save the world. Tick tock tick tock.

Wetsoks: I am unhappy in all the ways.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

50 Shades Of Otter

My dear otterfriends, I am sure that - unlike the oblivious parent of almost any Disney protagonist in the first 5 minutes  - you suspected this was coming. After all, even though my posts tend towards stupid conversations and small snapshots of my life, I have on occasion written about current events.  I really tried to ignore this one, but people kept asking me if I'd read the much-publicised and apparently very poorly-written 50 Shades of Grey (I haven't, and I genuinely really don't want to but I will, as soon as I can find someone to lend me a copy since I refuse to part with actual currency for it) and whether I was planning to blog about it.

Honestly - I wasn't. It seemed like one of those things that happened despite everyone's best efforts ( much like Rebecca Black, or the global financial recession) and I was really hoping that I could ignore for a while until it went away and stopped yelping at me, or at least until the initial fuss died down. However, 50 Shades Of Grey is cropping up more and more in my  life every week. There are people on my Facebook timeline talking about it. There are people on my Twitter timeline talking about it. And, more seriously and much more worrying, I have seen people in real life reading it on public transport. I can no longer avoid it.

50 Shades Of Grey is, from what I can gather, a very basic concept. A naive but beautiful student called Anastasia Steele meets a wealthy young businessman called Christian Grey, and falls in bed/love while ignoring his abusive nature in favour of the fact that he's super chiselled and rich. It was originally based on the author's Twilight fanfiction, and the excerpts I have seen certainly read like total fangirling wank. Let me assure you, this is not Saramago, or Hemingway, or Bulgakov. This is not even in the realm of the most insane fanfic ever written, 'My Immortal'. I'm fairly sure I'd rather read Kafka's The Castle again than attempt to trudge through 50 Shades Of Vom but I will in the name of Doing Science. Also because sometimes even when I know something is so awful that it will give me nightmares if I look at it, I can't help but look anyway. I blame my otter curiosity.

I won't bore you by going over the many issues that I am sure others have already covered in detail (the amazing stupidity of the protagonist; the fact that although she was supposed to be a student, she didn't have an email address until he set her up with one; the fact that the purported BDSM apparently amounts to little more than a light spanking, some rope and a buttplug; and something that bothers me more than anything else - the continued mention of Ana's 'Inner Goddess' and the unusual physical things her Inner Goddess gets up to during various events which include gymnastics, dancing and ice skating for totally inexplicable reasons).

If I do get around to reading it, I will of course review it for your reading pleasure. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this beautiful, amazing video, which you do not need any prior knowledge to enjoy.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Disney Life Lessons

Last night, Wetsoks, Fleetch and I watched a range of Disney films. As a sidenote, the Fleetch came over to see if I still had a power drill she thought she left with me (like I'd know where any of the DIY things are) and then got suckered in. No one can resist the power of the first film we watched, my ultimate favourite Disney film of all time, Hercules.

That might surprise some of you, given how often I make terrible Lion King quotes, but I have always adored Hercules. It's genuinely funny, has excellent characters including the snarky-but-with-a-heart-of-gold Megara, and intertwines classic Disney storytelling with Greek mythology (albeit a bit sporadically and with some artistic license) without it being such a forceful propaganda piece for marriage. Not like the next films we watched - The Little Mermaid, and then Aladdin. Now, I don't know if you've recently watched either of those, but the life lessons they teach are pretty appalling:

1. If You're Unattractive, You Can't Be Happy
During her busty rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls, Ursula - you can tell she's the villain because she's mainly black and purpley, which is classic Disney stereotyping - tells Ariel a story of a girl who wanted to be thin, and a homely boy who wanted to find a girl. They came to her for a magical remedy, which fixed everything and presto! Love! She sort of sweeps over the fact that they couldn't pay the price afterwards and ended up being one of those wormy things attached to the floor of her lair in favour of touting her magical wares, as expected of a villain, and points out that Ariel won't need a voice to secure a man because she has her looks. Yes... men don't want you to talk. Ever. You won't need to have an opinion or a personality, as long as you're pretty!

Fleetch: Oh no, I'm a beautiful mermaid princess! My life is hell!

Me: Girl, please. First ocean problems.

Fleetch: Listen to to the lyrics "the girl who has everything" - yes. You have everything you could possibly want, and you're still whining.

Wetsoks: The seaweed is always greener.

Me: True dat. Incidentally, someone should be concerned about her obsession with collecting shiny things. The lyric is "but who cares, no big deal, I want more". Hoarder much?

Westoks: There's a show about people like her.

2. If You Wait, The Universe Will Hand You Stuff
One of the things Aladdin says in the first few minutes is "some day, Abu, things are going to change." Are they? How? You are not even trying to better your situation. The universe owes you squat, street rat.

Fleetch: You know what would solve a lot of Aladdin's problems? Getting a job. Does he think those bakers and fruit vendors can afford his constant theft? I bet they have starving families to feed.

Me: Good point. And sure, I can believe she's a princess, but I refuse to believe that she doesn't understand what 'payment' is. Oh Disney, trying to convince us women need help for even the simplest things.

There was silence for a few minutes while we watched Aladdin descend into the sand tiger cave, and get the lamp. And spoiler alert, Abu the greedy monkey can't help touching the largest jewel even after they've both been warned not to touch anything but the lamp. The flying carpet grabs Aladdin and they sweep towards Abu who is about to be melted into the lava lake created by his own greed and stupidity.

Me: I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion, but... look. The monkey got you into this mess. Leave him there. Who's going to know?

Wetsoks: Wow, dude. That is cold.

Me: I'm just saying. If we're ever in a situation where we're told "touch nothing but this one item and come right back" and you then touch something that endangers all our lives, I won't hesitate to leave you at the lava lake. Consequences. Face them.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Two Can Keep A Secret (If One Of Them Is An Otter)

My friend Wetsoks is a very special person. Her bedroom is full of Harry Potter memorabilia, zombie survival kit items (some of which this Otternator purchased, during a spree at Amazon, figuring that it might get me brownie points or at least shotgun seat in the car when the inevitable apocalypse actually happens) and a crazy, crazy amount of pills. Don't get me wrong, they're all relatively safe and were prescribed or legally purchased at one point or another, but it blows my mind - as a person who owns approximately one pack of paracetamol at any given time and can never find it when needed - that she has literally drawers full of various tablets, pills and other medication.

Some of these she takes for her back pain (see previous postings for descriptions of said pain) and some she keeps, according to her, for various reasons, up to and including being able to run a black market pharmacy during said apocalypse.

Me: So, at the Taste festival last weekend, I saw a really cute barbecue

Wetsoks: Cuteness is not the point of a barbecue.

Me: Well if you need a portable device to grill meat, I find it nice to be able to choose from a range of pretty pastel colours.

Wetsoks rolled her eyes at me.

Wetsoks: I saw one on I Want One Of Those which folded up into a briefcase. That was cool. You know, when I had the car, I used to keep a bag of stuff in the back in case I ever needed to leave or was stuck anywhere.

Me: Oh yeah? What kind of stuff?

Wetsoks: Like.. a clean set of clothes, a shovel, an extra pair of shoes, um-

I looked at her with unease.

Wetsoks: (ticking things off on her fingers) - a first aid kit, some black bin bags, lighter fluid...

Me: (horrified) That's a murderer's bag!

Wetsoks: What?! No it isn't! I also had some of these pills. And, er, plastic cutlery.

Me: Then it's a cannibal's murder bag.

Wetsoks: (sulkily) It wasn't a murder bag, goddammit.

Me: Buddy. That's... messed up. I can't believe you had a murder bag.

Wetsoks: It was all stuff I couldn't live without!

Me: I genuinely have nothing more to say to that.

By the way, check out I Want One Of Those. It's full of pretty cool stuff, although you'll have to put together your own murder bag.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Holding Out For An Otter

I really have nothing to say that could adequately preface this post. I think it speaks for itself. I also love that my friends indulge my daily insanity.

From: Otternator
To: Wetsoks

Buddy. I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero until the end of the night, and I have several specifications he should adhere to in order to attain the position.


From: Wetsoks
To: Otternator


Thanks for your request. Do you have a full job spec for this role?

Kind regards.

From: Otternator
To: Wetsoks
Cc: Cublet

Thanks, please find list below.

1. Strong
2. Fast.
3. Fresh from a fight (might be negotiable since am aware this may be more difficult)
4. Sure
5. Larger than life.

Basically we're looking for some sort of superman who can sweep me off my feet. Ideally we're looking to get this position filled asap.

From: Cublet
To: Otternator

I don't think you should negotiate on the "fresh from a fight" aspect - demonstrates physical prowess and ability to protect lesser members of the team

From: Otternator
To: Cublet

Fighting skills are indeed necessary for the role, however I don't believe that it is legal to request that the candidate is fresh from assaulting another human in order to proceed to the next stage.

From: Cublet
To: Otternator

I'd go one further and suggest that they should be holding the severed head of their opponent. It'll separate the wheat from the chaff.

From: Otternator
To: Wetsoks
Cc: Cublet

Hi - please see attached email containing project manager's advice. Severed head desirable, candidate should bring with them to first interview.

From: Wetsoks
To: Otternator

I will keep this information in mind when reading CVs - however must add that given today's priorities, your role is 36th in line to be processed.

From: Otternator
To: Wetsoks

This is totally unacceptable (and I will be addressing the issue with your manager once she's finishing dragging down her IQ points by reading poorly-disguised Twilight fanfiction, masquerading as real books) as you well know I am seeking someone for this position by the end of the night.

From: Wetsok
To: Otternator

Good luck with that.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Birthdays And Otters And Whiskers On Kittens

Dear otterfriends. It was my birthday yesterday.

27 years ago, at 8:49am, a small infant was delivered into the world, (after causing my mother some distress since she began labour on the Sunday afternoon and I wasn't born til Tuesday morning - haha, you're welcome, Mum!) opened one eye, gazed suspiciously at the surrounding team of medical staff, decided there was nothing of interest happening and then promptly fell asleep. I think this was a pretty good indication of the kind of person I was likely to turn out to be.

The entire tale of my entry into Life is quite amusing; from the point my mother claimed she was going to have a totally natural birth and then caved about 10 minutes after her first really painful contraction, to the moment she grabbed the nitrous oxide mask from my father's hands so fast that she didn't realise she'd ripped it away from the tubing and was in fact inhaling only oxygen (much to his amusement) to the moment she woke up in agony and stitched to the nines, to find my father sitting in a comfortable chair with his feet on the bed, enjoying a cup of tea and a selection of chocolate biscuits. Apparently his gentle and loving enquiry as to how she was feeling was met with a much less loving and gentle tirade of verbal abuse. I can kind of see her point.

In any case, my parents drove through to Edinburgh yesterday to take me for dinner. Wetsoks joined us, and I am so glad, because without her the following conversation would never have occurred.

Mum: (almost at the end of one glass of wine and already giggling a lot) So, let me tell you about the time she-

Me: Mum, please!

Waiter: Can I get you anything else?

Me: No, I think we're fine, thank you.

Waiter: Is it someone's birthday?

Me: Mine.

Waiter: Ah! Happy birthday!

Mum: (leaning forward conspiratorially) It's almost my birthday too. I'm going to be 40, aha.

This is untrue on a epic scale.

Waiter: (uncertainly) Oh?

Wetsoks: Yes... 40 plus VAT.

Mum: What?

Wetsoks: Value added tax.

Dad: What is it now - 20%?

Wetsoks: Yep.

Mum: (pausing for a moment in outrage) I'm not 60!

Dad: Darling. Think about that for a moment. What's 20% of 40?

Mum: You know I can't do percentages!

Me: (pissing myself laughing) Best birthday dinner ever!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Sun Does Not Have His Hat On

It's been a while since I wrote about my parents, and in fact earlier this week, while walking home from the hairdressers (in the pouring rain, I might add, which rendered the lovely man's services quite pointless for the time being) my mother called me.

Mum: Now, I just wanted to discuss the details for your aunt's wedding.

Me: Well, okay. But I can't write anything down right now.

Mum: (cheerily) Oh that's fine!

She proceeded to rattle off a list of a million things to remember and various things I had to yay or nay on.

Me: Mum. It's pissing with rain. I am walking home. I am not currently in possession of pen and paper. I will in all likelihood forget some of this.

Mum: No, you won't! It's all quite simple.

She continued to rattle off more details. At this point, a car about fifty feet ahead of me beeped its horn at the car in front.

Mum: (yelling) WHAT WAS THAT?

Me: A car, Mum.


Me: No, Mum.


Me: I'm walking on the pavement!


Me: I don't even- (pinching nose)


Me: Yes, fine, alright.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

We Built This City On All Your Souls

Fellow Edinburgh inhabitants, you have probably been surprised that I have hardly mentioned the most controversial thing to hit the city in the past decade. I live around Haymarket, so it affects me on a personal level, and indeed has caused me more rage in the past year or so than the mere existence of Crocs ever could hope to achieve.

Yes. I'm talking about the tramworks.

For those of you who don't know, some time ago Edinburgh City Council decided that it would be a very good idea (read: horrific thought) to destroy the entire foundations of the roads (you know, those grey paths that cars, buses and cyclists use to get around when they are not flying) covering a huge part of the city, to make way for trams.

The project, they assured us, would set Edinburgh apart! It would make it shiny and fresh and somewhere cool that people want to visit - since no tourists ever come here, except for those few months every year when we host a massive festival full of performing arts, music, food and literature and are swamped with about half a million extra visitors (and then all the other months of the year when we have masses of stuff going on too and a constant stream of people on holiday enjoying the city). Apart from that though! Nothing! It's like the Marie Celeste! No wonder they came up with this brilliant idea (read: you are all dillholes and the amount of sheer loathing I have for you threatens to overspill from my soul on a daily basis).

You know what I have to say to your idea?

I don't normally rant that much in any post, but this genuinely winds me up to astronomical levels.

My bedroom, for many months, overlooked one of the areas being dug up, tarmacked, re-dug, considered, left for dead, filled in, and then re-dug again in a fit of what I can only imagine is pure whimsy on the part of the overseers.

The above poster, which I saw on the way to work one day and loved so much that I almost smothered the glass with tiny fervent otterkisses of smug satisfaction, pretty much sums up how everyone else feels about the tramworks. The thing is, we didn't want them. We didn't ask for them. And if we had known not only how much the entire project was going to cost the taxpayer, but how utterly enraging it would be to every inhabitant, and how long it would drag on beyond the expected deadline for completion, I think we'd have petitioned to bring back public flogging. At the very least, we'd have thrown some soft vegetables and Irn Bru mush in the faces of those responsible. And it would be no less than they deserve.


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Killer Joe

I had an extra ticket for the premiere of Killer Joe, a new William Friedkin film premièring yesterday for the first day of the Edinburgh Film Festival 2012. The director himself was there to present it, as was the delightful Gina Gershon. However given that it featured Matthew McConaughey, I couldn't find anyone to go with me for love nor money. In frustration, I bribed Wetsoks, which in both foresight and hindsight was a terrible idea.

Wetsoks: (wailing) Ugh, we're outside! It's awful! Look, there are Muggles everywhere!

Me: Buddy. Just... deal with it.

Wetsoks: No! Outside bad! BAD!

Me: (pinching my nose) Oh for goodness sake.

Wetsoks: Why do you take me nice places? You know I hate that.

Me: Because no one else would - oh, never mind.

There was a brief silence.

Wetsoks: What's this film even about anyway?

Me: Um... as far as I understand it from the trailer-

Wetsoks: Is it set in space?

Me: What? No.

Wetoks: Does it contain dragons or any kind of fantasy?

Me: No.

Wetoks: Oh god, it's all the things I hate, isn't it?

Me: I -

Wetsoks: It's not one of those emotional films, is it? Like, with feelings, and stuff?

Me: Well, it has Matthew McConaughey in it... so probably not.

Wetsoks: Actually I quite like him.

Me: There's no accounting for personal taste. Anyway, it's supposed to be about a guy who hires a contract killer to murder his mother, so he can collect the insurance policy.

Wetsoks: This sounds awful.

Me: The Guardian gave it 4 stars. And said it was Matthew McConaughey's best work yet... which frankly wouldn't be that difficult to achieve...

I have to say that in all seriousness, I actually really enjoyed Killer Joe. I found it vastly entertaining, even if the beginning was a little rushed; however give the personalities of the characters, the plot still felt pretty plausible. I can't say that I take back all of my earleir criticism of Matthew McConaughey, because I sat through How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, losing approximately 2 hours of my life that I would have spent happily spent doing absolutely anything else, up to and including participating in a Crocs fashion show, and I can never forgive him entirely for that offence. In fairness, I blame Kate Hudson equally, but I don't think she is actually capable of offering anything more, whereas Killer Joe showed that Matthew McConaughey is actually a pretty decent actor when given something chunky and worthwhile to work with.

A quick word of caution to those of you who are planning to see this film - it is violent. It is shocking in places. And you'll never look at chicken in quite the same way again. You have been warned.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Get Dry With A Little Help From Your Friends

Earlier this week, my friend Wetsoks approached me, looking oddly sheepish. This, I knew from previous experience, was a sign that something vastly entertaining was about to happen. As it turns out, I was correct.

Wetsoks: Hey, buddy.

Me: Dude. What's up?

Wetsoks: Um. Look.

Me: (immediately panicking) Oh god, no one ever starts a good sentence with "um, look"!

Wetsoks: No! Everything is fine! It's just... well...

Me: Seriously, what?

Wetsoks: (uncomfortably) We had some free products at work. Um. Like, samples, and stuff. You know?

Me: (slowly) Yes?

Wetsoks: So I got you some.

Me: Thanks - wait, samples of what?

Wetsoks produced her hands from behind her back with some embarrassment, and thrust a small brightly coloured box at me.

Wetsoks: They're tampons.

Me: Yes, they are.

Wetsoks: Um. Is it weird for me to give you tampons as a gift?

Me: Well... no one has actually presented me with tampons for years, so I suppose it's quite nice?

We stared at each other in mounting puzzlement.

Wetsoks: Um. They're scented.

Me: I see that.

Wetsoks: Camomile.

Me: Indeed.

Wetsoks: (beginning to sweat) I mean, I'm not saying anything!

Me: Right.

Wetsoks: They were free!

Me: Uh huh.

There was a brief silence.

Wetsoks: You should totally blog about this.

Me: No, it's much too embarrassing.

Wetsoks: More embarrassing than... (and here she listed off a number of things which correctly, were much more embarrassing than this post and the least of which involved the fact that earlier this week, I asked for a cup of tea while in a pub, and was ID'd. This isn't so bad until you consider that I am going to be 27 in less than a month and have been attempting to carefully cultivate wrinkles for some years now with only the scantest success) ...with the Lithuanians?

Me: (irritably) Yes, yes, fine, point made.

And so it was.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Please Feed The Muse

It can sometimes be difficult, as a writer, to get your family and friends to read your story while it is still a work in progress. Mine tend to say things like 'send it to me when it is finished', or 'I am so snowed under with work', or 'I'm suffering from a specific kind of leg pain which means I cannot possibly use my eyes right now,' or 'is this ANOTHER zombie one? Can't you write something else?'

Usually I try to be as polite as possible about this - after all, there are only so many different angles on a zombie story that one ordinary person can handle in a short space of time - but my frustration built to epic proportions last night.

Me: I'm going to send my story to you. It's a zombie fairy tale.

Cublet: (tapping on her iphone) Oh... good.

Me: I'd like your opinion.

Cublet: (still tapping) Uh... sure.

Me: I'm serious. I need to know whether the general audience gets where I'm going with this.

Wetsoks: Buddy, she's not going to read it.

Cublet: DUDE! No, you're right, I'm probably not. I don't have time.

Me: Don't give me that, I know you read a ridiculous amount of fanfic. Would it help if I changed all the names to Harry Potter characters to ease you in?

Cublet: No. I don't care about anyone except Fleur.

Me: Then I'll change all the names to Fleur. That's going to get confusing.

Cublet: I'm probably still not going to read it.

Me: I am appalled. You read the entirety of Chauvinistic Coquette!

My dear readers, to spare you from the horror of this particular fanfic, daringly entitled Chauvinistic Coquette, I will give you only a brief summary. Don't go looking for it, I beg you. It is a 100k+ word count story between Hermione and Fleur, full of bad spelling, bad grammar and bad taste. It features such incidents as Fleur throwing Hermione through a glass window, 70 storeys up, and then while Hermione is falling to her death she has time (it was 70 storeys up after all) to realise that Fleur did this because she loves Hermione so passionately. I know when I love someone, I also have an uncontrollable urge to throw them through a window. Damn these spindly otter arms.

Incidentally she doesn't die, because of 'magic'. Don't even try to make sense of that. There is also a horrific public incident with a banana, which is almost exactly what it sounds like, and many other moments which made me weep in despair and beg Wetsoks to stop reading it to me. Eventually, out of kindness, she did. We never finished the story. I am still afraid that one day she will somehow trap me in a box and continue reading until the end. There may or may not have also been a sequel. I can't even bear to think about it.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

O Diabo

Good morning all! This is just a quick post to say that my twitfic story 'O Diabo' has been posted over at - please do check it out!

It's been quite an exciting year for me already and there's still half of it left. At the moment I'm currently working on a story for an ebook prompt about zombie fairytales. It started one way and has now dragged me off in a totally different direction (like a lot of my stories tend to do). I'll keep you up to date on that and all future developments. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Made By Chronos Himself

I was in my friend Wetsok's bedroom the other night, watching Battlestar Galactica. I'd never actually watched it before this year, but Wetsoks had purchased the entire boxset at a very reasonable price, and so we'd spent some time working our way through the substantial amount of discs. While this was happening, Wetsoks was also playing on her laptop.

Me: Hey buddy. Whatcha doing?

Wetsoks: Playing Ranch Rush 2.

Me: Is that like Farmville?

Wetsoks: (glaring at me) .... No.

Me: Okay, so - do you grow crops?

Wetsoks: Well, yes.

Me: And do you raise livestock?

Wetsoks: Well, kind of-

Me: I see. And could it be said that this game covers basic elements of the noble art of farming?

Wetsoks: I.... guess.

Me: I see. Dude, I hate to break the bad news but you're playing Farmville.

Wetsoks: I'm not playing Farmville.

Me: You are. You just don't know it.

Wetsoks: It's Ranch Rush 2!

Me: It's totally Farmville.

Wetsoks maintainted a sulky silence while I started yelling quotes from the amazing Farmville parody on Youtube ("Farmville - pushing the limits of the imagination... BACKWARDS!" and "Farmville, just like real farming.... BUT WITHOUT THE BENEFITS!" are two of my particular favourites), which is below. Enjoy!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Can't Hug Every Otter

Remember when I used to do posts about stuff I found on the internet and wanted, no, NEEDED, to share with the world? (link here Well, you're in for a treat, because this post is exactly that sort of madness. I promise at least one of the below will make you glad to be alive in a country with internet access, and more than one may make you wee yourself in sheer unbridled joy.

First up - this amazing classical/rock version of Game of Thrones. It started normally and then hit new levels of awesome that made me go all wide-eyed and twitch excitedly.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably already know that sometimes I find it hilarious to be an utter dick to my friends. It's one of my favourite hobbies. I have therefore included below a picture of me "Rueing" my buddy Wetsoks during one of her naps. You know, "Rueing" - that Hunger-Games-inspired art of finding a sleeping person, covering them in flowers, doing the three-fingered salute and taking a photo to capture the moment forever. This picture is dedicated to Kristin over at Taming Insanity (link here for more awesomeness, who has not yet done this to her children and therefore obviously has much, much more self-control than I will ever possess.

It's okay to be a dick to one particular group of my friends, because we all pick on each other equally without malice and things are always done with a good natured vibe. The Cublet, for example, has a crush on actress Clemence Poesy (who appeared as Fleur in Harry Potter, and a lot of other stuff I was forced to watch at various times and have deleted from my brain), for reasons unknown and inconceivable to the rest of us, especially because in a lot of her photos Miss Poesy appears to be totally cross-eyed. This has led to the affectionate nickname 'Pontoon Poesy'. So naturally it's totally normal for me to email the entire group with links to ebay auctions of taxidermied foxes simply to point out how much said stuffed fox resembles good old CP. I must admit, I have an urge to start my own collection of taxidermied woodland creatures - partly because of the below link to the Bloggess and her post about a fabulous stuffed weasel, but also partly because I'd love to recreate scenes from various films with the inanimate cast of The Animals Of Farthing Wood.

And finally, to top it all off, a woman who is incredibly sad about the idea of her not being able to hug every cat in the world, ever.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Postcards to Zombies

Good morning all! Just a quick note to say that one of my (very) short pieces was accepted over at Postcard Shorts, link here -

It's only four lines, and it's basically about zombies, so you've got no reason not to clicky. Come on. I even made it obnoxiously yellow so you couldn't help but notice it. Clicky. You know you want to. Clicky. Just hover your mouse over the link and... almost... yes... clicky! Thank you.

I appreciate all your support and lovely words of encouragement. I will of course keep you all updated on future stories, whether short or long. I accept praise, constructive criticism, outright criticism with no sugar-coating, backhanded compliments, and pie.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Formal Misery: RSVP

My good friend Wetsoks has managed to do something awful to her lower back over the past day or so, and has been in agony. This seems to spike drastically every time she laughs, which is unfortunate because she's been around me daily and we have a multitude of hilarious in-jokes.

Wetsoks: You know this pain in my back? Well, I think it might be a new kind of pain.

Me: How can you tell?

Wetsoks: There's no word I can think of that describes it properly. It's not stabbing. It's not shooting or prickling or throbbing. The closest I've come to finding an apt description was 'informal misery' as suggested by Google.

Me: Huh. I wonder how you upgrade from 'informal misery' to 'formal misery'.

Wetsoks: It's not the kind of pain where you want to cry, either. I mean, if I stabbed you, you'd cry, right?

Me: I'd cry if you sent me a strongly worded email.

There was a brief silence. All I could hear was the frantic tapping of keys.

Me: Don't send me a strongly worded email!

Wetsoks: Too late, buddy. Anyway, I meant to say earlier, because I thought you'd like this - there's a butchers in Edinburgh who now apparently stock some odd things - crocodile meat, zebra, kangaroo and so forth. I saw it on the way home from work.

Me: That's AWESOME. The Cublet asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. Now I know. Brace yourself, here comes the best idea ever!

Wetsoks looked afraid, possibly because I've said this a lot and sometimes it has turned out that my idea of fun is not always everyone's idea of fun, or normal.

Me: I want an Exotic Meat Birthday Party.

Wetsoks: ... You.... want....

Me: Possibly an Exotic Meat Birthday Barbecue.

Wetsoks: Um...

Me: Possibly also featuring zombie facepaints?

Wetsoks: Okay. I'm in.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A Tale Of Two Otter Blogs

Before I even begin this post properly, I'd like to note that the Cublet followed my previous blog post with a text asking if we could make a TV show called 'Pimp My Cane'. My friends are wonderful, if slightly unhinged, people, and I really do adore them all.

Now, onto some serious stuff! I have had my second story accepted onto Ether Books - the first, if you recall, was  'Hook and Line' which also sneaked onto an ebook by Raging Aardvark (which should in fact be published shortly on Smashwords as a free download, which I will shamelessly cajole/bribe/blackmail my friends/readers/random pedestrians into downloading) - and the new one is called 'Locks'. It's slightly more of a horror story, but in a more traditional way than 'Hook and Line' was. You can only get the Ether Books application on ipods and iphones at the moment, but there is some talk of branching out into Android at some point this year.

I'd be grateful for that move since I am attached (read: fused by the fingers) to my HTC, but I know some of my readers are rich enough to afford such exotic luxuries as iphones - mostly because I like to check the blog statistics to see what kind of operating system my readers are using, and how they found me (note to people who stumbled upon this blog by Googling phrases such as "penis tortoise" or "hot Irish women" - I apologise that I presumably did not provide the satisfaction you sought, and can only hope that you were at least faintly amused while you were here). So please do check out my stories here at and you will receive many, many otterkisses if we ever meet.

I've also been contemplating something else; another blog. Woah, I hear you cry, in oddly harmonious unison. Woah there, little Otternator! You've got a day job and a day blog and you already don't sleep nearly as much as you should, which admittedly still isn't giving you the wrinkles you require to venture out into town ID-less, but we think Moar Life and possibly Moar Sun could help with that. Anyway. Is this wise? And to you, I'd say...well, probably not. But when have I ever chosen the wise option? I thought perhaps it could be another twitfic or perhaps even flash fiction site, but with the difference that I'd handpick the pieces myself. I already have an excellent name in mind - Does Your Mother Have Ninjas? - chosen from the excellent Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. What say you, readers?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Mighty Morphin Power Otters

My friends Cublet, Sarahnator and Wetsoks went to London last weekend to visit the Harry Potter studios (which they described as, amongst other gushing praise, a "magical experience") and brought me back an otter handpuppet, which might well be the greatest gift anyone has ever bought me - excepting of course the singing Justin Bieber toothbrush. I am amassing quite a nice collection of otter toys, and even given that my 27th birthday is fast approaching, I see no reason to stop this. During their trip to Harry Potter studios, Wetsoks and Cublet discovered what I can only reasonably refer to as 'Lucius Malfoy's Pimp Cane, You Know, The One He Has In The Films That Looks Totally Badass'. I'm going to assume you all know what I'm referring to. The below conversation requires you to keep the Pimp Cane in mind, as well as have a rudimentary knowledge of children's television from the 90s.

Me: Thanks for the otter handpuppet, guys. You rock! I haven't named him yet, but I'm thinking maybe King Fluffy the Third, or The Hulking Judginator, or Steven, or something.

Cublet: There is a surprising lack of otters in shops. You almost got a seal. Thankfully I pointed out the difference between seal flippers and what otter feet look like. Not sure what this says about our friends and their anatomical knowledge of animals, or possibly the quality of toys these days.

Me: Yes, there is a worrying merge in the seal/otter toy department. I noticed this previously and thought maybe it was just me. Even though the internet has promoted a love of otters in recent years, it seems that designers have not quite cottoned on to the idea.

Cublet: Are we on for our Glee catch up on Friday, by the way? It's a special cubter activity. Get it? Like Cublet merging with Otter?

Me: Cubter, activate! I imagine that we’re making like a Power Rangers figure by standing in front of each other awkwardly and kind of leaning, like that time you were in my parka with me.

Cublet: OMG - that should be our Power Rangers move—zipping into one parka…!

Me: Yes! Genius. Can we somehow include the pimp cane? SO HAPPY.

Cublet: Totally. We hold the pimp cane: you at either end, me in the middle (not yet sure how this will work with the zip as my hands really need to reach out from there). So we have the might of 2 pairs of uncoordinated!hands. That’s twice as many as normal. And four times the lack of co-ordination. Stand aside, Batman…there’s a new hero(es) in town…

Wetsoks: I thought it was Transformers who joined together?

Me: Wetsoks, I’m appalled, and feel like I don’t even know you anymore. Cublet, that’s a good idea re: the pimp cane. We can work out the fine details (read: actual logistics) later when we actually have it. I think this could become an awesome webseries, or at least a series of horrific Facebook photos…

Wetsoks: Sorry but I’m super busy.

Me: Busy like a Power Ranger?

Wetsoks: Yes. But not the pussy pink one.


Wetsoks: Mediocre.

Me: Take that back!

Wetsoks: Name one thing that made her stand out from the other 4 or 5, or however the hell many of them there were?

Me: She did gymnastics, you bastard. OH MY GOD, YOU DONT EVEN KNOW THE FIRST GENERATION NAMES!

Wetsoks: They were just another Steps - only instead of singing and dancing they did karate and bad acting

I’ll end this here, because at this point I was reduced to raging incoherently without using many words one could appropriately use, say, before the watershed in hell. I hope that those of you who watched the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers can sympathise and remember it fondly, even if it was totally plotless and exactly the same thing happened in every single episode.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

An Otter Abroad

I had a lovely time in Portugal last week (so much so that I genuinely considered not returning home, before realising that much to my annoyance, I have various things that I can't just pick up and leave, including two rather heavy cats who possibly would not appreciate being forced into quarantine without an explanation). Many amusing situations occurred as I'm sure you can imagine, because normally I am a walking basket of disasters even in a country with a language I can speak fluently, but the below was one of my favourite exchanges to date. My Portuguese and I were out in an area called Bairro Alto, which is an awesome night spot in Lisbon.

Me: So, what do you recommend I drink?

Portugal: Caipirinha!

Portugal's Sister: No, you should have a shot.

Me: I like the sound of that. Look at all these drunk people! It feels like home.

Portugal's Sister: So, there is a shot called... I don't know how you translate this. Um. A kick in... the...  (she gestures at her crotch)

Me: Vagina?

Portugal: Yes, that! Except, it's worse than vagina. Is there a worse English word?

Me: (suppressing hysterical giggles) I can't think of one right now.

Portugal's Sister: (seriously) Are you sure?

Me: (straining my jaws to keep the laughter in) I ... simply can't imagine what that could be. I'll let you know if I find out. English is such a limited language. Ahem.

It was a great few days and I visited many interesting locations in Lisbon, got seriously hooked on the tiny coffees and pastel de nata (best cakes in the world, I promise you) and generally had an awesome time. Upon my return, I discovered that I'd been made Runner Up in the Flashbang fiction competition (which you may remember I mentioned in a previous post). Please find my story linked here and do comment if you feel that it deserves any praise or whatnot -

In addition, one of my stories has been accepted into the Raging Aardvark's Twisted Tales ebook for National Flash Fiction Day on Wednesday 16th May! This is amazing in itself, but I also discovered that the lovely people over at Ether Books are going to publicise my story as a free download on both 16th and 17th May. When I know more I'll update with a link. It's been very busy over here in Otterland, but I'm enjoying every moment of it.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

1001 Books You Otter Read

This week I've been going through the rather dubious list of 1001 Books To Read Before You Die. I actually spent some time on this, checking off the ones I had read (78 in total, which as a lifelong avid reader I find very surprising) and was disturbed to find that I am missing out on a large chunk of modern literature. Over half of the books I had read on this list were written before 1900. I have vowed to correct this, although I'm damned if I know where I'll find the time. I agreed with certain choices from more recent centuries - The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by the late and great Douglas Adams - but some choices stood out as awkwardly as a toddler in a police line-up.

I realise when people say things like "in my opinion" and "it's not for me to judge, but" - it usually means they are about to be dicks. With that in mind - it's not for me to judge - but in my opinion the following things are important facts when considering this list:

 - All of Sarah Waters books were vastly overrated and in fact I would rather read Kafka's The Castle again than any of them (see link to find out exactly how bad that statement is -, excepting perhaps Fingersmith whose only triumph was that I did not feel like someone was grating both my eyeballs into a mixing bowl for the entire duration of it. You have been warned.

- While I don't doubt that Maya Angelou did in fact contribute much to society and literature in her other books, my lasting memory of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is that she wee'd herself a totally implausible amount as a child, although I did read this a decade ago and may be a little hazy on the details.

- Everyone should read The Master and Margarita, Pride and Prejudice (the version without zombies, and then the version with zombies, just to squeeze the full comedy potential out of it - it is very pleasing to discover that in the zombie version, Elizabeth Bennett rejects Mr Darcy and then roundkicks him satisfyingly into the fireplace, smashing the mantelpiece, which I'm almost positive must have been in the first draft of the original. It also has ninjas, and Lady Catherine is just amazing. Go and read it now) and The Last Temptation of Christ at least once. I enjoyed each of these books immensely.

- Why the absolute sodding hell was there no Terry Pratchett on this list? This is no joke. Terry Pratchett's works have shaped me both as a writer and a person. I would quite literally give any limb to have written Thief of Time. In fact, Mr Pratchett, should you ever read this - I still offer said limb, if you can find any use for it around the house, whether as a doorstop or teacup-holder or similar. I regularly reference his books, to the bewilderment of most people around me, and have been known to yodel my own version of the Hedgehog Song after a particularly debauched evening out on the town. I consider myself a combination of Captain Carrot's steadfast honesty and loyalty (and misplaced sense of justice) and Granny Weatherwax's implacable conviction that she is correct in all things even when the current situation does not reflect this. (I suspect that people who know me would also throw in a Casanunda comment at this point, which I shall ignore but be amused by)

In addition, as I did promise an update, I have now been shortlisted for the Flashbang fiction competition. It's all very exciting as there are now 10 of us and 3 prizes plus 5 runners up. Paws crossed, otterlings!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Shiny Shiny Peck Peck

I have some news, dear otterlings. The news is twofold, so I'll start with the most important thing first - I have a new jacket. Remember what happened the last time I bought a jacket? (link here -

This time I decided to go for a winter coat, regardless of the fact that we are almost in May, because let's face it - this is Scotland and sun is something we only glimpse for three days every year. So, with this in mind and my paycheck sizzling and burning a hole in my pocket, I chose a long military coat from Superdry. It's black. It's suave. It cost a lot more than I wanted to pay. Basically it was everything a coat should be, except that it has one massive design flaw - there are, for some totally implausible reason, zip teeth around the pockets. This does actually look quite pretty, but it means that every time I put my hands in said pockets, the zip teeth graze my skin rather sharply. It would be correct to say that I have in fact just paid £150 for a jacket which bites me.

The second part is, if I'm honest, slightly more exciting than my new jacket. As some of you know, although I didn't broadcast it particularly loudly out of sheer shyness, I was awarded the Cazart Short Story prize for February. This was one of the first competitions I ever entered, and it gave me a massive boost of confidence to push myself harder. I received news on Sunday that my entry into the Flashbang 2012 crime competition has now been longlisted among 24 others. I may not make it any further, but I'm amazed and totally grateful for the credit I can now add to my writing CV.

Otterkisses to all of you, and have a great weekend!

Monday, 23 April 2012

This Is A Blues Riff In "B"

We went on a road trip this weekend for the Cublet's birthday to Loch Fyne, which was a beautiful scenic place and only rained about fifteen times while we were there, which as a national average probably ranks pretty well. The drive there took about two hours or so and was accompanied by the aforementioned Playlist of Epic, which featured awesome songs like "Moves Like Jagger", "Ride On Time", and of course my favourite classic party anthem by Lionel Richie, "All Night Long". At one point, the Adele song "Set Fire To The Rain" came on. As I'm sure you all know by now, I like nothing being better than being annoyingly pedantic about things that were never meant to be taken literally, to comic (or possibly not-so-comic) effect, and thus the following conversation happened.

Sarahnator: Adele is wrong. I'm pretty sure you can't actually set fire to the rain.

Me: Now that you mention it, that is a logic fail - water does not burn, Adele. Where were you during primary school science class? I had issues with her other one, 'Chasing Pavements' too. I mean, you can't chase pavements. They're right there. It's like "oh where's the pavement? There. Done. Let's get ice cream."

Sarahnator: Don't forget "Rolling in The Deep".

Me: She's obviously taking notes from Rihanna's school of misinformed lyrics. I mean,  how deep? Deep like Charlie Sheen's despair? Deep like the Marianas Trench?  Could you even really 'roll' down there?

Since the other people in the car could only endure so much dickishness at that time in the morning, I eventually let this go, with a longing look and some swelling, wistful orchestral music. Our hotel was a charming little place just by the side of the loch, with winding stairs and lovely staff who patiently put up with our excited banter and vital questions about how late the bar was going to be open. Wetsoks and I were sharing a twin room. The first thing I did upon entering said room, naturally, was to run around touching everything and poking into every crevice while yelling about my findings to a tired Wetsoks two feet away.

Me: Hey look! There's an old style radio in here attached to the wall, but there's only one channel and it's playing Nelly Furtado.

Wetsoks: Turn it off! It's like a nightmare!

Me: You do it. I need to use the bathroom, dude.

I ventured into the bathroom for private time and a chance to peruse the selection of shower gels the hotel had provided. I was considering whether or not to don the shower cap or to keep it for a later drunken moment, when I heard Wetsoks calling me.

Wetsoks: Um, Otternator?

Me: Yes?

Wetsoks: The radio just informed me that Nelly Furtado is number 14 in the charts right now with "I'm Like A Bird"...

Me: Oh my god, we've travelled back in time!

Wetsoks: And a shit year too!

Me: The year is not my primary concern. The time travel is.

Wetsoks: 'It's not a question of where we are, but when we are'. Ha!

Me: Ugh, if we are ever in a  time travel situation then please refrain from using that. It's totally overdone.

Wetsoks: .....What do you mean, if?

Me: ..... Damn.

It was a wonderful weekend all in all, featuring much alcohol, many board games (including what we will now only refer to as the "Pictionary Incident", and a new card game called Ho-Bra which I may explain in a later post) and a Clemence Poesy birthday cake featured below.

Happy Birthday Cublet!