Archive for March 2015

Feathered bomber dyes the top of motormouth. No strand survives

March 30, 2015

Over here at Whizz towers we pride ourselves on our professional reporting. Unlike the tabloid press we have never ventured into the world of hyperbole and exagerration. We report the facts as they are without embellishments. And not for us trivial stories we deal with the topics that matter. It Sandy Galls us that other outlets try to entice readership in with ill-founded and made up commentary. Rest assured we will never tread that path.

One of the wife’s work friends always phones a few times a week with sensational news. All delivered at a frantic pace. And apparently, we’re not alone in receiving these action packed bulletins.  She does the rounds of many of our colleagues. Sensational news  is just a call away. The challenge for me is to decipher what the sensational news might be by the gasp factor of my wife’s replies. Factors can range from- What, no way, that’s terrible, are you sure, well I never and the most sensational of them all…gasp. Whenever she phones I let my imagination run riot about what the sensational news might be.

After the call I can’t wait to find out what the sensational news is. This turns out to be mundane minutiae along the lines of- Julie Andrews is getting bullied by the neighbourhood toughs. Danny Boy got sick when he was abroad and he had to stay an extra week costing him a lot of money. Mr Hart has lost all his wages at Hamilton racecourse and the most sensational of all…prices in the canteen have gone up.

Sooner or later I find out all these sensational news bulletins have been “sexed up” or completely wrong; she will need to check her sources more carefully. Turns out Julie Andrews is bullying the bullies and top dog in the block. Danny Boy was abroad for an extra day and Harty got a couple of winners that night. Sensationally, she was right about the canteen prices.

Last week my wife and I met this friend while shopping in town. We’d barely met when off she went on a gallop at a hundred miles an hour with even more sensational news. This discourse was very one-sided and to fight gossip with gossip I was ready to launch an imaginative sensational story of my own when …it… happened.

God knows what the pigeon had to eat that day but its accuracy was unerring. I’ve never seen such a display of bombing that was both beautiful in its delivery and devastating in the aftermath. The friend’s hair was splattered with the biggest load of pigeon waste I’d ever seen. She had turned grey in an instant. Whoever she was going to phone that night, they were going to hear some really sensational news.

Downstairs

March 30, 2015

“Good morning Mister Brand, welcome to hell.”

 

Adam Brand rubbed his eyes and they gradually became accustomed to his surroundings. The first thing he saw was a sharp dressed man in black sitting behind a desk. Scanning further Adam could see that he was in an ordinary, run of the mill, type of office room: chairs, desk, paperwork, flat screen computer, executive toys; though strangely the stranger at the desk had no framed photograph of family members. If this was hell and he was in the presence of the devil it would make sense. Was it true that the devil could not be photographed or was it his shadow that couldn’t be seen? He was all mixed up. This was hellish. The stranger spoke again.

 

“Not quite what you expected, is it? Hellfire and demons were soooo last millennium that the boss thought we should revamp the place, make it more modern. He also passes on his apologies that he’s not here to greet you personally. This is a busy place and there were a few big shot arrivals earlier today so he’s interviewing them. He likes to tend to the big fries.”

 

“This is hell?” asked Adam.

 

“I’m afraid so. Your time on the other place is gone. Can you remember the accident?”

 

“Accident?”

 

“You fell down some stairs, silly boy. Though it wasn’t the stairs’ fault. It was nothing but the good old fashioned liquor that got you in the end. Blind drunk. Staggering. Stairs. Tumble, tumble, tumble. A little twirl and it’s goodnight Sarajevo.”

 

And now Adam recalled the works party. Drinking with friends, dancing with varied females, more drinking and revelling. Someone did say those steep stairs will be the death of someone. And, if he wasn’t dreaming, that someone was him. Now fully sober he exclaimed. “So now I’m in hell. Well, as you say, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be.”

 

“Don’t let my informal manner put you at ease, mister Brand, this is the embryonic stage of your spell in hell. This shooting of the breeze is the precursor to a more serious time for you.”

 

Adam smiled. This could all be an elaborate joke concocted by his workmates: an ultimate haze. He looked at the stranger behind the desk more closely. The devil’s personnel assistant was like every other official that pulled on a suit. Nothing in the stranger’s make up was sinister; he was mister normal personified. The lack of a hangover was the only thing that put a spanner Adam’s theory that this was all make believe. Still, maybe he’d done an alternative Jack Bauer and slept for twenty four hours. Adam stood up.

 

“Tell you what- in fact I never caught your name. Mister…”

 

“You didn’t catch it because I didn’t pitch it. Now sit down, Mister Brand.”

 

Adam smiled again and dismissed the stranger.

 

“This gig is over and the stage is being dismantled. The game is up mister no name, you’ve had your fun and you can let the buddies know I think this was one of the best scams ever. I hope it’s all on a secret camera, we’ll laugh about it later but this interview is closed. You just don’t light my fire and I have reconsidered the position on offer. Goodbye, I am going to walk out the door.”

 

Adam headed toward the only door in the room. Before he could open it the man with no name said.

 

“I wouldn’t open that if I were you.”

 

Something in the tone, a hint of menace, a slight shift in the atmosphere in the room, a sudden detection of a grave being stepped over, Adam sensed that circumstances had taken a turn for the worse. That last statement sent a chill through his bones. He backed away from the door.

 

“Glad that I have got your attention.”

 

Feeling a little bit unsteady Adam fumbled for the safety of the chair he was designated. He’d give his right arm to be comfortably embedded in the womb of the chair. He managed to reach the seat using an unorthodox technique that resembled the outrageous skills of Faustino Asprilla.

 

“Now that you are packed into the seat let us move on to the second stage of the cycle, where I can give full rein to my talent as a ringmaster. Get ready. Ta-da.”

 

Using the jargon of the fanfare, at the ringmaster’s cue the room cut its colour leaving a bible of black. This darkness lasted for a few seconds before a full-size projection appeared on the wall. Adam’s eyes gazed at the screen. It was horrible.

 

A man was screaming, a petrifying banshee scream. He was lying in a pit full of crabs. The angry crustaceans were pinching him all over with their claws. The screen was a vivid blood red as the crawling crabs continued their onslaught. Writhing, sliding, nipping.

 

“He dies this death every day, although, technically he’s already dead. Fear of crabs was this fellow’s phobia. Well, we like to give the customer what he doesn’t want. I’ll show you more, Mister Brand.”

 

With a snap of his fingers the picture changed and the crab man disappeared to be replaced by another poor soul in torment.

 

There were clowns everywhere.

 

They were tormenting a gibbering man. It was as plain as an angel wing that this man was terrified of clowns. The deformed harlequins pulled out all the stops in their mad masquerade. Their hellish act of stilt walking ended with the clowns falling onto the individual. They were laughing in his face as they crashed down on him. This was a novel way of bringing the house down.

“Coulrophobia is common these days,” said the man in black “to tell you the truth I’m getting pig sick of it. Give me an emetophobia victim any day. I could definitely go to town with one of them. What do you think, mister Brand?”

 

Adam was transfixed by the horror on the wall. The clowns were now up to a new caper. They were stripping their victim and dressing him in clown clothes. The man screamed as big, hulking, misshapen boots were being forced onto his feet. With the images becoming more and more distressing Adam closed his eyes. When he opened them the screen had gone and he was alone in the office with the stranger. Adam thought back over his life and wondered why he was in this pit of hell.

 

“Why am I here?” he asked.

 

“You know what …you did.”

 

Adam looked at the wall expecting more pictures of anguish but they didn’t materialise. Instead the other person got up from his seat and put a comforting hand round Adam’s shoulder. Adam could see that the stranger’s suit jacket had a tail, a pointed one that could only be described as inhuman.

 

“Come now, Mister Brand, it’s time.”

 

They both got up and walked towards the door.

 

“Where are we going?”

 

“You’ll see.”

 

The devil’s associate opened the door and Adam could see what was in the next room.

 

“Oh no, please, please. Anything but that. I beg you…stop…please, please. Oh help me God.”

 

 

 

 

3.3 The Pain, The Pain

March 13, 2015

“Some friend he is.” thought Jeff.

Visiting time at the hospital was over and Ralph had not appeared. No doubt he was manufacturing a lame excuse. Having a broken leg limited Jeff’s mobility so, stuck in this hospital room with the leg raised in a stookie, he switches on the TV. An episode of Phantom Hospital was on the screen.

How do painkillers know where the pain is? Why can they identify the exact spot of discomfort, pondered Jeff. It must be metaphysical or something. His musings over he eyeballs the box.

“Scalpel” said the doctor on the TV. He was performing a heart transplant operation and the tension was building in the theatre. A phalanx of white suited medical experts hovered over the patient.

“Jubilee clip.” It was nearing the change over of parts. Tense music played in the background.

“Hand me the good heart with the shovel” demanded the surgeon. An assistant passed the parcel but the doctor dropped it on the floor.” Silly me. Butterfingers. No harm done though. Think of the five second dropped food rule. This is just the same.” Behind the face mask he smiled.

He picked up the heart and was about to sew the patient up when an aide remarked. “Doctor, there’s a piece of dust on top of a ventricle.”

“Dust buster” shouted the doctor.

“Heyyyyy” good old Ralph enters the room.

“You nearly gave me a heart attack,” gasps Jeff “and you’re late. How did you get past security?”

“Ducking and diving, Jeffy boy. I’ve brought you some hard candy balls and carrots.”

“What kept you anyway?”

“I was watching an episode of Phantom Prison but I didn’t realise it was on Phantom channel plus two and a half hours so I lost track of time.” Explains Ralph.

“Well you’re here now. Answer me this. How does a painkilling pill know where the pains is?”

“That’s a good question. A better one is what does it do if you have two separate pains? Does it rush to the sorest or split the difference and halve each pain?”

Jeff was the curious type and knowing the answer to this riddle would benefit all mankind. He could become as famous as the man that split the banana. He crunches on a carrot which gave him an idea for an experiment. “only one way to find out. You have to break one of my fingers then I will take a pill and we can see if it treats my finger or leg.”

“Jeff, I worry about you sometimes but then other times you can be an absolute genius. Right, give us a finger. You ready.”

Ralph pulls Jeff’s finger back causing him to scream violently. The noise alerts a nurse and burly security guard that rush into the room.
Ralph releases his hold though Jeff still howls with pain. The pain is coming from his finger not his leg. The stookied leg hides a smirk.

“What are you doing?” Asks the nurse.

“He wanted me to break his finger.”

The nurse was having none of it and says to the guard “Take him away and phone the police” the nurse then tends to Jeff’s wounds.The guard grabs Ralph by the wrist and gives him a half Nelson. Ralph is man-handled by Big Daddy out the room.

“Ow, ouch. You’re breaking my shoulder.”

The money is in the post

March 12, 2015

It was while surfing the obscurer cable channels that I heard a presenter inform the audience that the rouble is having a stotinka against the dollar. Well played, that man. His sentence made sense to me as one of my few areas of expertise is the names of foreign currencies. The stotinka is the coinage used in Bulgaria; similar to pence and pounds, 100 stotinka=1 Bulgarian Lev. It is a close homonym of the beloved English word -stinker. The anchor’s commentary tells us the rouble is taking a pounding at the moment.

Let us forget about the rouble’s trouble and instead have a little quiz. The sub-editor said we should call this blog All the Quiz from Bizz. I Don-Vetoed Corleoned this idea as naming posts is above his pay grade (roughly 10 stotinka an hour).

The quiz concerns foreign currencies. To make it easier I am only dealing in the main currency of a country and not its fractional lightweight. So the worthless kopek and other assorted minnows are disqualified. The rules are basic. Just guess the country. Only one term and condition. No googling, binging, ask jeeveseing or Pears cyclopaediaing.

A: the guarani

B: the togrog

C: the metical

D: the ariary

E: the kyat

F: the colon

What about prizes, asked the S/E. I’ll give him prizes. He’ll wake up with a horse’s head in his bed. But he’s right and after careful consideration I have decided to copy the gifts handed out by Stan Lee whenever anyone wrote in after spotting a mistake in the Marvel Comics universe and bringing it to the man’s attention: a Mighty Marvel no-prize: a big, empty envelope. Anyone correctly guessing a country will receive a whizz from bizz no-prize. This is something that money can’t buy.