[insert usual lame excuse about not posting for months here]
The new life in Indiana is going well. My eldest daughter has moved down with me for the summer because Dad will pay her the most, not because she actually wants to be here. Soon the Summer will be over and she can scoot back of to Northern Michigan and freeze her butt off.
To make herself not be so bored with her surroundings she plays X-Box. She has one of those dancing games. I watched her the other day and I was convinced the Napoleon Dynamite had moved in. She also takes the dogs for walks, goes for bike rides, but does not mow the lawn.
She also bought a load of wool. And has been taking the scrap wire from work.
“What are you doing?” I asked when I finally ran out of beer and actually was ready to pretend to show an interest.
“Making a cos-play outfit.”
And then it hit me. My daughter was a nerd. One who wanted to dress up as a Pokémon.
I sighed and realized I had more beer so all was good.
We talked about the Sci-Fi conventions she went to. How everyone was really cool. How everyone liked giving hugs.
Hugs? Conventions are not about Hugs! They are about catching up with your mates, getting drunk, doing stupid stuff.
So I told her about my Sci-fi con going days.
To start this out I feel like I should mention HG Wells “The Time Machine.” The young man who listens to the Time Travelers story mentions that in telling the story he feels inadequate and conveying the full splendor of the Travelers story. I too in telling my own tale feel inadequate at retelling the tales that are to follow. Mainly because I was drunk most of the time and/or hurt from some kind of injury sustained from me arsing about.
So as the Time Traveler said. “It’s true, all of it, take it as some kind of fantasy if you will, some ramblings of a deranged old man….ah, sod it, you don’t believe me then Tough S**T!”
It all started with a book. Not an ordinary book, a book that was a wonderful read and was so good I read it all while siting in the bath. As the water grew colder and things starting to shrivel and wrinkle I realized that this Author was a genius, a stark raving genius. Not since the ramblings of Spike had I been so impressed and I sought out more from this man….well after I got out of the bath anyway.
So what was this life changing book. Who was this writer of tales sublime?
The Book: Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
The Author: Robert Rankin
OK for my English readers, if you’ve not heard of him, shame on you.
For my American readers. You’ll have to order his books as Borders or Barnes and Nobel are bloody useless.
I read as much Rankin as I could lay my grubby hands on. His madness appealed to my not so straight sense of humour. Eventually I joined his fan club, “SPROUTLORE” a group of like minded individuals who weren’t the slightest bit worried about legal ramifications.
I think The first time I actually met Guru Rankin was on the infamous Riverboat Shuffle. What this entailed was around 50 or 60 drunks renting a largish boat and terrorizing the natives of the river Thames in London. All started well, then five minutes later the boat broke down underneath Tower Bridge. Luckily for everyone involved the ship had a bar. When the boat finally got moving again, we were all incredibly happy and just a tad sunburned. The boat meandered its way westward to the borough of Brentford. When 50 or 60 drunks followed His Highness Rankin around the Borough pointing at various building and posing for slightly wonky photos outside of places that appear in the books. Most of which are pubs!
That was kind of tame really. Then Next time got a little silly. I flew of to Dublin, crashing on the floor of my pal James Bacon, who really is to blame for everything that has happened in the world ever. This was Octocon X.
Again this was a little tame, drunk yes. I do remember jumping down a flight of stairs and doing a barrel roll into the parking lot.
Aliens Stole My Handbag was another great event, I spent my nights sleeping in a broom cupboard, my days fairly close to a bar. I also remember being naked and surround by smoke, baked beans and a game or Hurley. Invading Horshell Common too, or did I sleep through that?
Then In Birmingham there was the night that ended my dancing career, It may be a theme here but I had had a small sherry or two and a night of pointing at exploding things going OOH, AHHH, and RUN AWAY!
I ended up in a disco, something I hadn’t done since the 70s and was dancing like a nut job. In all honesty I cannot dance, I can however jump around and have a laugh. The level of my insane dancing is totally proportional to the amount of beer in my system. I was bouncing around to Baggy Trousers by Madness when something that had been well overdue happened. I twisted my ankle. Even the booze didn’t stop me wincing in pain. I stumbled back to whoevers room I was crashing in and ran my foot under the cold tap. Nope, that wasn’t gonna sober me up. So I put my sock and shoe back on and hobbled back to the bar.
For two days I limped around, stopping only to refill my glass and play human buckaroo with whoever had passed out. As all good things have to end, I caught the train back home. I have always been a walker – Its only since I moved the United States have I got lazy and started driving – So walking the two miles from the Railway station to my hovel was nothing. Even though I was carrying three very heavy bags it shouldn’t have been an issue. On a good day it would have taken me twenty minutes, today was not a good day. It took me two hours. I kept stopping because something was bothering me greatly. T’was me foot!
When I got home I removed my sock and shoe to reveal something quite unusual. Remember my foot had not seen daylight for two and a half days now (most people at cons fall asleep in their clothes for some reason) and to my surprise my foot was not it’s normal hue. Purple is more the word. A very dark purple. This I thought to myself if not normal. And after spending eight hours at the hospital the doctors agreed with me and decided that six weeks in a plaster cast should mend the broken foot that I had been walking around on. Apparently I should seek medical attention right away next time. Funny that.
Before ASMH came one of my proudest moments.
This is a quote from Ansible 154.
Mark’s Favourite 2Kon Moment: ‘A clump of Sproutlore/ZZ9/Aliens Stole My Handbag people were hanging out in the bar in the early hours of Sunday morning. One was wearing shorts and the others were merrily singeing the hairs on his legs. Just to pass the time, you understand. A barman came out to investigate the source of the strange burning smell, but was presumably content that there was no risk. “It’s all right,” he yelled back to a colleague. “They’re just setting fire to one another.”‘
Yes it was me who was on fire!
Good Old days..
I miss them.
I miss my pals, James, Stef, James, Lee, Elvis, Jim and the others.
I need a hug