Friday, April 15, 2011

Carry That Weight

Operation Swimming Trunks began on Monday (I don’t want to go to the Wedding of the Year with a muffin top). And thanks to my BCP diet (Be Careful Puddinghead!), I have already lost a couple of pounds this week.
Before I go any further, however, a word of warning: BCP can seriously improve your waistline, so please don’t try this at home unless you’re barking mad and/or fat. All I can say is that the BCP diet has always worked for me. Basically, it means you have to avoid anything that begins with B, C or P – hang on, there’s more – if and only if you would normally gobble it down like there’s no tomorrow. In my particular case, this means:

NO beer, biscuits, bread or buns
NO cakes, cheese, chocolate, chorizo, croissants, champagne or caviar
NO pizza, pies or potatoes

In brief: don't eat anything you like.

So, for example, I could still eat bananas, beetruit, cabbage, cauliflower, pears and petrol if I wanted to – because I rarely do. Besides, have you seen the price of petrol these days?

Finally, I should also point out that I have decided to spell koffee with a K until I decide to call an end to OST. Life without koffee? Now that would be krazy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We Can Work It Out

Celebrated my birthday earlier this week by getting up on the 5th at 5am to start work on my new book:

 200 stories . . . of 200 words . . . in 200 minutes.
And this is the first story I wrote (and recorded):
We Can Work It Out
‘Er, Menu A, please. I’ll have the spring roll, special fried rice and sweet ’n’ sour pork.’
          Except I ordered in Spanish, of course, because the menu was in Spanish. ‘Gracias.’ This particular restaurant was nearly always empty, and I had never understood how they could stay in business. Perhaps they couldn’t. Whatever, the service was fast and friendly, the food was pretty damned good, and Menu A was the cheapest set menu in town. In fact, the only drawback was that here was a Chinese family trying to make a living in the Basque Country. It was an unlikely marriage.
          The waitress reappeared shortly with my spring roll.
          Rollo de primavera.’
          ‘Thank you,’ I said, this time in English. My defences were down – you should have seen the spring roll – and my brain had gone into autocruise.

          ‘Bu ke qi,’ she said, smiling mischievously, then taking her leave.
In retrospect, it was one of life’s beautiful moments. So beautiful, I just had to rewind:
            Rollo de primavera.’
            ‘Thank you.’ It’s no good pretending I’m Spanish. I’m not fooling anyone, am I?
            ‘Bu ke qi.’ Hey, don’t worry. I’m not Spanish, either. But we can still be friends, can’t we?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gonna Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse

I'm delighted to hear that the funniest unpublished author on the web, Greg Levin, has at last been offered a publishing deal for his superb Notes on an Orange Burial.

Here is Greg in fine form (presumably written before he got offered a contract):

Dear Literary Agent:

Thank you for your recent rejection notification, but I am afraid that I cannot accept it at this time.

Please understand that I receive a high volume of rejection notifications and must be highly selective in choosing those that I am able to handle.

The acceptance of rejection notifications is a highly subjective process; the fact that I have decided to pass on your rejection in no way signifies that your rejection writing is sub-par. In fact, I strongly encourage you to continue rejecting the queries and submissions you receive each day, and wish you luck in all of your hope-crushing and dream-dashing endeavors.



Saturday, April 2, 2011

Absolute Beginners

Facebook for the Intellectually-Challenged
I think I'm getting there. Slowly but surely . . .
If you click on Home, you get a random string of posts from a load of people you may or not know. The technical term for this is News Feed apparently. This is also the place to go if you want to poke people. Where or how, I do not know. Strictly speaking, the invitation is to "poke back", which I find worrying, as it suggests they have already "poked" me without my even realising it.

If you click on Profile, you get an even bigger picture of yourself, and suddenly the only posts you can see are yours. There are also a few other differences to the Home page: it tells me when my birthday is (always good to know), and suggests I could do with more friends, together with pictures of "people you may know" who I have never heard of in my life. I suppose "people you may know" is short for "people you may know one day".
So much for the basics. After that, it's simply a question of clicking randomly and manically, and writing as many silly comments as you can think of in 15-20 minutes. Clicking for a living is all well and good, but it won't get the dinner on the table. Well, not in my household, anyway. I definitely did something wrong in a previous life, I suspect.
It's always good to read that Tammy Whammy and Lemmy Hammy - or whoever - "are now friends". It seems that a lot of people must spend their online time arguing, and it's a pity that we don't get any "have fallen out (again)" messages. Possible improvement for version 2?
Particularly rude are messages like "Jo Boghead is now friends with Sam Bignose, Jeff Bumsore and two other people". How come Sam and Jeff get their names in print, but poor old Colin Raphead and Mike Church are dismissed as two insignificant blobs in our virtual universe?
I think I'm going to go off and have a sulk. But not for long. I've got to get the breakfast, do the shopping, make the lunch . . . Oh, and work for 10 hours, I nearly forgot. Living in the real world is pretty tough, too, sometimes.