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Profile for Yo 'Ho of Charlie:
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I have written a couple of soppy fantasy-romance-type-epic books, though they have pictures of goatse and smug bastard in them. Really. **plugs** The first one in the series can be downloaded for free in its electronic format.

Some self-indulgent blurb about what I do: here

Places where I sell my filthy wares: here

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» Bad Smells

Mr Charlie has some kind of dead animal decomposition bio-reactor installed in his rear end -
- and it frequently emits the foulest stenches ever to have wrought havoc upon the innocent receptors of the mammalian nose. Of late, however, I have trained him.

He now goes into the hallway to make his gaseous utterances when they are due, but unfortunately this does not always work. So viscous are his farts that they are brought in behind him when he returns to the room, as if still attached to his anus by a bungee cord. And there they will bounce around, searing nostrils and teasing uvulas for a good three minutes or so.

I recall there was one night before his training had begun, when I had partially drifted off to sleep beside my love and he 'let one go'. This might have been fine, if his bum gas had been sealed beneath the covers and I already unconscious, but sadly the eye-burning fumes had raised the duvet enough for the effluvium to be liberated. To compound matters, it was the middle of the summer, and there was a fan switched on to blow directly at the bed. Instead of blasting the horrors away, the airflow merely trapped the defilement in the air above our heads, and it proceeded to rain its toxic fallout upon us. An open Dutch Oven, if you will.

I still remember how my eyes watered in a vain effort to protect themselves from the acid breeze, my stomach tried to eject everything it still held from the meal I had consumed not three hours previously, and my throat tightened from some sort of inflammatory, asthmatic reaction. No amount of window or door flapping would free me of the air-borne sewage, and all the while Mr Charlie lay in my bed giggling as if he had planned this with the devil and now shared his mirth with the creature at his shoulder.

I have since tried revenge bottom belches, but the worst flavour I can come up with is roast chicken, and I simply cannot produce it in the same volumes as he :( No one ever talks about the glass ceiling of flatulence, or how vile your gut needs to be to shatter it.
(Fri 17th Jan 2014, 15:36, More)

» Driven to Madness

"Baby/Child on Board" signs in cars.
I'm not sure whether I find these offensively patronising or offensively presumptive. Perhaps a bit of both.

Patronising: People who put these in their cars seem to think that I would treat their vehicle with greater respect than I would a car containing only adults. But of course! I'm much more likely to try to crash into a car full of grown-ups because adults are rubbish and don't deserve to live as much. And better yet, I'll make sure that if I do crash into a driver and their offspring, I'll do it more gently than I would otherwise.

Presumptive: Sign bearers appear to think I care about the welfare of their ill-begotten, snotty spawn. I understand that parents think their child is the most precious and valuable creature in the world, and a conveniently mobile package of the genes they wish to disseminate, but I fail to understand why they assume that I should think the same. It's only going to grow up to be as repulsive as its inconsiderate parents, who often seem utterly unable to indicate correctly.

Do these signs make other road pricks any less moronic or less likely to tailgate the baby-laden vehicles? I doubt they have a positive effect.

Personally, I'm interested in making the right judgements and not killing people or crashing when I drive; I'm not interested in knowing whether someone has successfully bred.
(Sun 7th Oct 2012, 21:25, More)

» Driven to Madness

My mum
She does this in two ways (apols in advance for lack of lolsomeness).

1: Inheritance. She has bipolar with some mild paranoia. Through genes and/or environment, she gave me the monopolar bit (occasional depression). So, quite literally, there have been times when she made me mad.

2: Behaviour. She's fucking nuts, and that drives me fucking nuts (we fuck a lot of nuts in our family). She'll take a nugget of information she vaguely remembers and blow it up into a dramatic tale about how terribly she's suffered in the past. No mum, you weren't abused and assaulted by the neighbour; they wrote you a politely worded letter expressing their dislike for the revolting state of your property. However, if someone is ever genuinely nasty to you, it is now unlikely that I'll ever believe you.

During her manic phases she'll blow all her money on some hobby or other, and then become so entirely absorbed by it that it is impossible to communicate with her.
"Hey mum, do you have enough money to survive until the end of the month?"
"Ask me again when I've finished doing this. I'm busy."
"But it's not work."
"It is my work. It's very important to me. If I didn't have this I'd have nothing." She then becomes defensive and angry if you continue to question her priorities.
Don't even think of going to her with your own problems, because you'll either get ignored or given a consolatory, "Oh, that's sad," before she returns to her 'very important work'.

During her depressive phases she will threaten suicide and tell you that you have always been horrible to her, that you are uncaring and cruel or simply incapable of understanding. She will also spout endless monologues about the cold nature of everyone she's ever known and how she has been abused by every man she's ever met. I'm worried about the next time I call her, as she'll probably claim Savile once did her, too.

Now, I have a great deal of sympathy for people who suffer depression. It sucks; it's debilitating; it often feels like there's no way out. But whenever mum has come out of one of her phases, you simply cannot get her to recognise that she has been depressed and ought to seek some treatment.
"Mum, I really think you ought to see someone - just to talk things through. I think this pattern needs to change..."
"Oh, I wasn't depressed last week, but when I have been down before I always sort it out myself. There's nothing wrong with me."
Arghhhhhhhhhhh!

Then there's the hoarding. Oh god, the pointless things she collects. Does anyone need twenty-year-old Viking Direct catalogues? And the farting twee country-style crockery? Why does a house with two people in it need fifty fucking dinner plates? And the coloured glass bowls? And the dust-infested newspapers? And the carrier bags! Why does everything need to be stored in carrier bags? She doesn't seem to have worked out that newer bags bio-degrade pretty rapidly, leaving lots of bits of flappy plastic everywhere.

I would love to be able to walk rather than stumble around her house when I visit, but it's become increasingly difficult over the last few years. Every time I offer to help her clear out she will accuse me of trying to take her precious things off her, or claim that she still can't get over the loss of something I 'callously discarded' ten years ago.

My dad had an affair a decade ago, and although it was a bad thing, I do understand why he felt he needed it. You see, he was a total saint to my mum for many years. He provided all the income while she indulged in her hobbies, he did all the shopping, he cooked for us, he forgave every one of her mental episodes, he took me to the park and he pretty much did most of the parenting. If you ask my mum what her marriage was like she'll tell you it was loveless, that he spent every weekend with a prostitute and that he was a waste of space.

And yet, even though she's a top shelf nutter, for some reason I still care about her. It's enough to drive a perfectly sane person crazy.

tl;dr - an excuse to moan about my mum's mental fucktardedness.
(Mon 8th Oct 2012, 14:29, More)

» Messing with people's heads

They say we choose to romance people who look like us...
Someone once asked me if Mr Charles was my younger brother.

Naturally offended by this, I said yes and proceeded to kiss my supposed sibling with full, frenchy-style tongues.
(Thu 12th Jan 2012, 13:33, More)

» Books

The book that made me like my degree again
Reading books when it's for work is a rather dull activity to participate in. I hated every dry publication and dessicated article I was forced to grate across my eyes over the course of my undergrad degree. Author x says blah, author y says meh... ad infinitum. All these writers and their damned, comprehensively explained, thoroughly argued opinions! I detested them... all bar one.

I found it nestling in between maps and journals in the Oriental Studies Library, and it was a thing of beauty. The covers were embossed, tooled and gold-leafed leather; they'd been worn from the fervid handling of a hundred-and-fifty years of academic fingers, and the spine was shot to buggery.

And inside was this intrepid, Victorian vision of eager archaeology in the wilds of Iraq - where locals were on hand to do the digging for tea and cake, and the overawed government was quite happy to sell its nation's treasures to the highest bidder.

It was highly romanticised, skipped over the horrors of disease amongst the workers and poor artefactual recording... but it was popular archaeology. It was written to entertain, enthuse, and decorate the coffee tables of the nouveaux riches. And the author's interpretations were the only bloody interpretations, because he wrote about them first.

I also liked it because it had nice pictures in it. Most academic books don't have pictures :-(

incidentally, it was Austin Henry Layard's "Nineveh and its Remains"
(Wed 11th Jan 2012, 21:20, More)
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