Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's True: Both Of Them! Completely Bust!

Looks like I’ve inadvertently wandered into a Meme Situation thanks to being the fifth person to comment on
the latest post over at Scarlet Blue’s blog.

I had intended to give up memes for good as they bring me out in a rash (typically of florid behaviour), but as this one is intended to help its victims flag up ten true facts about themselves (and I’m such an inveterate fantasist), I simply couldn’t resist it. Plus, nothing remotely interesting is happening in my life at present so what choice do I have? Unless I embrace it as a welcome opportunity to generate a blog post, I shall be forced to hold up a nearby convenience store or inflate my next door neighbour’s dog with a bike pump just for something to write about.

So here goes.

Like Scarlet, I’m not ginger. Neither am I a minger. But I am a pretty good singer. And I own a great sink plunger.

I don’t like bananas or all that insecty, flea-like, scrabbling, chitinous, yucky, antennoid filth they call “sea food”.

My favourite member of Take That is all of them. In a sealed metal box buried deep below Pluto.

I have never rubbed a buzzard the wrong way up and no buzzards have ever rubbed me.

I can beat anyone in the world at Yahtzee.

When aliens land and threaten mankind with extinction unless a champion is found to complete a thousand impossible tasks chosen (amidst clamours of blubbery-lipped laughter) by their evil, tentacled emperor, and one of those tasks happens to be saying the alphabet backwards followed by the letters arranged according to frequency of appearance in English in under thirty seconds, then the human race may be in with a fighting chance if it’s me that gets picked — though if there’s any actual fighting, we’re fucked.

Right now, from my study window, I can see a kid bouncing on a trampoline (Bonkers! It’s freezing!), a badly trimmed holly hedge (not mine), and a fluffy cactus I really ought to re-shave.

I own two vacuum cleaners, both of which are currently broken.

If my skin suddenly rotted away and I sprouted fungi, developed Tourette’s syndrome and doused myself in a cocktail of Lynx body spray and labrador sweat, I can think of at least three pubs within walking distance that would probably still serve me.

Bitter experience has taught me that nothing kills a conversation quicker than the phrase pre-op transvestite.

So, now I’m all truthed and memed out for the next year or so, it’s over to the fifth commenter on this post (should it attract such attention) to pick up the baton and run with it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Protrudio Says — Hey! 4

I can confirm that all of the entries for Protrudio's very fourth writing exercise have been collected, reflected upon, and presented on a bed of steaming waffles to the Custard Adventurer Extraordinaire himself.

First to post was that marsupial minx from Down Under, the delightful McKoala...

There was a young man called Protrudio
Who lived in a land of sweet ooze-io
But Whirl sickened of custard
And turned it to mustard
And Protrudio knew he was screwed-io

Being an extremely naughty sort of cuddly-yet-deadly koala, she cheekily suggested I post a photo from my own collection of ubervillains, so how about this bizarre apology for a Sinister Creeper Abouter? My attic cleaner...

He lurks, he skulks, but mainly he gads about the rafters, adopting pseudo-horror poses ad ridiculous. Consider him added to the list of Whirl's Imaginary Friends.

Next up is the magnificently awesome Kiersten, who has not only put the boat out for this one, but also filled it to bursting with the sort of fun and wonder we've come to expect from someone who will do anything for chocolate. Seriously.

The wobbly, yellow, slightly disturbing man rushed through the Swamps of Swimmingly Salubrious Stew. He was in ever such a hurry.
“Hiiii-YA!” A tiny, slightly out of focus Japanese girl jumped out of a particularly tasty looking patch of goulash, swinging a katana longer than she was tall. “Fat and wobbly man! You will never see the plains of custard alive! I make sushi of your sliced remains!”

Protrudio considered it. On the one hand, her twirly red bow and purple hair showed she clearly meant business—and not just funny business, the serious kind. On the other hand, he really, really wanted some custard. There was only one thing for it.
“Clearly you have not been watching my latest infomercial, Protrudio Does the Classics. If you had, you would have seen that I’m now offering, along with my full line of Terrifically Tumbly Tumms Like Mine workout videos, the new and improved Slasher-Dasher-Tumbleratorizer, perfect for neutralizing even the most stubborn vegetables and grisly chicken, or, in this case, miniature Japanese schoolgirls. Let me give you a demonstration.”
After a display so violent and bloody it would put even the horrors of the Teletubbies to shame, Protrudio was once again on his way, minus one enemy and plus one katana, perfect for slicing those foodstuffs too massive for his regular carving machete. Pleased with himself, he entered the plains of custard in his celebratory way, with a triple-loop-de-loop through the flaming bundt cakes of death and deliciousness—complete with cherry topping, no less.
He was greeted by a strange and horrifying sight.

Before he could consider whether any of them would be any good for fish and chips, he was pelted by wads of spectacularly specious spittle—spittle that soon began transforming him into the same nauseatingly Technicolor hues.

“Great gobs of galloping grease, I’ve been hit!” he cried. Fearing for his life, he swam past the treacherously adorable fish and straight to his undercustard lair. He made it just in time, discovering that not only was that much color tiring to the eyes, it also drained most of his considerable sugary energy. He crawled into bed among all of his undersea stuffed friends—each one waiting exactly where he left them. Just before his eyes sealed shut, he noticed one new addition.

It was already too late. Will Protrudio survive to mince, dice, boil, and season again?


And finally, weighing in with bo sticks blazing is the eerily prolific Natalie, with this Ninja Cyborg sketch...

It only remains for me to hand over to the Vanilla-Flavoured Gloop Guzzler himself for a few congratulatory words — and a recipe...

Vanilla? Vanilla? I have more than a few tales to tell of that crazed denizen of the underworld, I can tell you. But first, to the business of the day: the celebratory wahoos for our worthy contest winner, and — urk...aaaark...urghhh — before I open the envelope, let me slip out of this obscenely tight rubber costume and into something more comfortable. Like an obscenely baggy rubber costume. And this dinky partridge feather foot muff. Niiiice.

Ahem. And, the winner this time around is...Kiersten. Slurpilicious chocolate will be on its way soon enough, as promised, and in the mean time, here's one of my favourites from my forthcoming recipe spectacular, Protrudio's Spectacular Recipes...


One thing that never fails to heap uncheer on my colossal custardy shoulders is the amount of waste generated by supermarkets, so whenever I stock up on excessively fatty treats for my larder in between adventures, I make a point of seeking out the Clearance Aisle with my infra-red goggles.

The only ingredients you'll need for this recipe are the squishiest tomatoes you can find. Oh, and a Mom.

To help you choose the right consistency of squishy tomatoes, here's a quick guide...

If you're able to perform a drum roll on the tomato, it is TOO RIPE.

If the tomato is green, it is either TOO RIPE or MOULDY.

If you can depress the skin of the tomato by one whole centimetre and it doesn’t spring back when you remove your finger, it is JUST RIGHT. If it bursts, it is PERFECT.

If the tomato squeaks and bites you, it is A HAMSTER.

If you’re doing nothing in particular and harming no-one and you suddenly feel a sharp stinging sensation on your arm, back or bum, it is a WASP.

For those of you stuck for a Mom, I can personally recommend Moms-R-Us, Moms-UR-Kidding and Moms-4-Shops-Where-UC-No-Us (all of which boast free parking, crèche services and tranquiliser dispensers for the parents of larger families).

Now you have all your ingredients, let's get whupping them together in a frenzy of stomach-pleasuring glee.

First, secure your Mom. Have her seated, if possible, and preferably trussed. Remember, folks: linguine doesn't just taste nice, it's a practical alternative to rope, too. If you lack a suitable armchair/purpose-built Mom restraint, why not invest in a Captain Tootsie Tickly Seat (which currently ships with two free feather dusters and a selection of jokes by Ken Dodd).

When you've secured your Mom (and be warned, some Moms have been known to attempt an heroic escape at this point), hold the first of the tomatoes twelve inches above the top of her head. If you're small, you may have to stand on a box. If your Mom is small, she may have to stand on a larger box. If the whole family is gathered round taking photos and videos, boxes are optional as there may not be space — unless your Mom is secured in one of captain Tootsie’s Luxury Tickling Suites.*

Gently squeeze the tomato till the juice and seeds squish between your fingers onto the head of your Mom in a manner guaranteed to promote hilarity, enhance skin tone and, in all likelihood, accelerate Whirl's excruciating demise.

Then repeat, till all your tomatoes are duly squished and your Mom quits shrieking with boundless joy.

But remember — don’t eat the tomatoes. This is a recipe for fun.

• Holds 25 — 26 if someone pretends not to be there.

Thanks once again to Protrudio and all who sailed in him this time around. So, Kiersten, if you want that chocolate, email away.

More custardy fun soon, folks...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Upwardly Strobile

Occasionally, I'm minded to ask myself just how far up life's pulsating Wobbler Bobbler I'm prepared to shove my photo-sensitive feelers in search of excitement.

On a day like today, I've somehow managed it twice.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I've had any profound Eureka moments, or even witnessed my next door neighbour's dog stripping. Hey — my credit card couldn't stand that kind of stuff.

Nope. It's the snacky biscuity things.

I've got no idea what you all dunk in your tea whenever you're feeling flirtsy with your muse, or even if you dunk at all, but I've developed the hots for Penguin cake bars and I've been stuffing myself silly all morning to the point where a cliched remark of "if you eat any more of those Penguin cake bars, you'll end up looking like one" (assuming anyone loved me enough to (a) say such a thing jokily or (b) even be around...) might actually constitute a workable prophecy.

OK, OK, three times: I've been up life's pulsating Wobbler Bobbler three times.

OK, OK, OK — a whole packet. I couldn't help myself. They're fucking delicious. And the sugar rush, man, the sugar rush. It's like what licking Elvis in his heyday must have been like, only with more sugar. And Tony Curtis playing a raspberry ripple banjo. What a shame he had to grow old and never star as Obi Wan Kenobi or any of the roles miserably acted out by Brad Pitt. I loved Tony Curtis and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Oh the lights are flashing again, my my. More Penguin cake bars. I must have more Penguin cake bars...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Protrudio Says Go Write! 4

In the spirit of internet blogging and cyber-hugging, Abysswinksback is pleased to announce its very fourth writing exercise. Actually, it’s more of a multimedia event. Or maybe a waste of time.

So here’s the deal...

As you know, Protrudio battles all kinds of beasts and behemoths on his travels through the Plane Of Custard. But if you were such a creature, what powers would you summon to defeat him? Use as many or as few words as you like.

As ever, there will be a prize — most likely, chocolate (or, for UK residents, gravy) — but only if your entry is accompanied by a photo or sketch of your sea monster.

Please email entries by 11.55GMT Tuesday 24th February. Pencils and dressing up clothes at the ready...

All submissions will appear some time next week in the order they are received and, as ever, Protrudio will take a short break from his custard-guzzling exploits to reward any participants for their efforts.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bring On The Shakey, Bring On The Decibels

Once again, it’s time to venture into the fun-packed world of laryngial flexion action — thankfully, minus the porn stars.

Today, it’s the turn of not-particularly-romantic romance, a genre for which some come equipped with a genetic predisposition, but most of the people on the list of other contributors here no doubt have to work at very very hard on account of being so impossibly lovely.

This extract was recorded ‘on the hoof’, as it were, and it might help to turn your sound down a tad before you play it as it’s come out rather loud. Why, I even managed to scare poor Maurice and some weird looking bloke in an anorak.

As Frank Zappa once said: jazz is not dead, it just smells funny...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Slap My Wrists, Spank My Bottom, I'm Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

Quality Complaint

Recently I won a competition over here at Abyss Shrinks Back. I was promised a crap, crap, crap prize.

Unfortunately the prize I received was not crap, crap, crap at all. Or crap, crap. Or actual crap, which I half expected, having some prior knowledge of the ways of this Mr Ochre via my good friend, the highly intelligent and inspirational McKoala.

The only property my prize shared with actual crap was the colour. My prize was chocolate.

Now, in whose book could this ever be described as crap, crap, crap? I understand that Mr Ochre is a gentleman of slightly peculiar tastes, but even so.

This has led me to become slightly concerned about the judgment of Mr Ochre. A brief perusal of his previous posts has not reassured me. In fact, the most sane postings here appear to be those of his cat, Geoff. Geoff, of course, is another example of poor description, being a girl cat with a boy cat's name. One can only hope that Son of Mr Ochre's interest in adding appendages does not lead to inappropriate use of a carrot in an attempt to make Geoff match her description.

As for the chocolate, I fear I will have to take my own steps to make it match the description of crap, crap, crap.

Yours sincerely

Shona Snowden

Friday, February 6, 2009

For All Your Snowman Construction Needs, Call Whirl & Son, Carrot Inserters To The Stars

Aware though I am that a marauding koala claw could come swiping from under the mouse mat at any moment, I’ve continued to add very few new words to my novel today, preferring instead to chop away at my 200-odd footnotes — correcting spellings, amending inappropriate words, checking things for consistency etc — and build a snowman with Son Of Whirl.

(Actually, I did this yesterday, but I’m hoping to fool McKoala and buy myself a day’s grace. Cunning, huh?)

Wrapped up in so many layers we could hardly move, S-O-W and I waddled out into the snow, and by the time we’d rolled out the body, both of us were sweating so much we might as well have been in a Turkish bath with a selection of perspiring Turks.

Constructing the basic shape was easy enough, largely due to the instructions in the manual that fell out of the sky being impeccably clear (and in English), and even attaching the head to the body presented no problemo. Where we came a cropper, was the nose. I suspect our carrot may have been slightly faulty (or possibly not properly plugged in), but even so, it took several attempts to get it to stay in without drooping down or falling off. At one stage, we had to completely reconstitute the snowman’s face a la Whacko after an enthusiastic gouge removed half of its skull.

When we’d finished, we glowed with an Isembard Kingdom Brunel sense of satisfaction. Remarkable, really, when you consider what a shite snowman it actually was...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hot Mule Action In Freezarama Central

Inspired by this post, by the wonderful (and possibly shivering) Fairyhedgehog, I took a break from things this afternoon and zipped off through a portal to my local wilderness with my camera.

For the benefit of anyone currently residing where it’s always hot and sunny (like San Diego, or Oz), it’s been snowing here in the UK for the past 24 hours as part of a collective meteorological two-fingers-up to the concept (nay, the reality) of global warming. And if Sara Blizzard is to be believed, there’s more to come in the next 48 hours. For many, this will probably mean a few days off work to make snowmen with the kids (if they have them) or throw snowballs at the kids (if they don’t), but as I’m working from home anyway, I can’t see I’ll derive any benefit at all, in spite of the experts proclaiming that we’re in for the worst snowfall for a decade.


Fuck it, I’m having a couple of days off. I’m going to do that Stranded Beneath An Avalanche thing where you eat your own legs to keep yourself going. Only, of course, I’m not. Who needs limbs and teeth when you’ve got an unfinished novel to keep you occupied?

Oh, and btw — names, please, for the horse/mule/quadruped thing. For when I next venture out with a carrot...