Is this why the normal people drink?

For probably the last 25 years a fragment of music and a snatch of lyrics have been haunting the back of my brain.

It’s an energetic piece. The vocalist sings words along the lines of You can roo-ooo-ooo-oam in your own way with a four note descending scale on “roam”. Then there’s a rather 80s style guitar riff, and the lyrics repeat – You can roo-ooo-ooo-oam in your own way

Emperor Charles V of Spain in case you were wondering

Now in those long ago days before YouTube and Google it was actually really hard to identify a song. If you wanted to look anything up you needed to go down to the local library and search through books, and while it was trivial to find information on, let’s say, Emperor Charles V of Spain, there were very few, if any, books cataloguing song lyrics. And if you did manage to find a book of song lyrics, how could you search it for a random snatch of words from the middle of a song? There simply wasn’t a way to do it.

So my only option was to rack my brain, hoping that some random neurons would connect in the right pattern to throw up some more details. And occasionally, over the years, they did. For instance, I was quite certain for a while that the song had to be “Roam” by the B-52s. I mean, the word ‘roam’ is right there! Careful listening to the radio and the eventual coming of digital music meaning the radio no longer had to be relied on however eventually showed that my random neurons were wrong, with the mysterious phrase appearing nowhere in the work – for all that I could hear Kate Pierson belting it out in my head.

With that possibility eliminated my brain went back to brooding and eventually suggested Transvision Vamp, who I had – frankly – completely forgotten even existed. Checking out their their discography led me to Baby, I Don’t Care.

Which was a slightly better fit – the backing vocals in the chorus actually sounded kind of right – but the bit I remembered still wasn’t there!

So I abandoned the quest. I decided that my brain had smashed together elements from the B-52s, Transvision Vamp and lord knows what else to create an entirely fictional fragment of music that never existed in the first place.

Oddly enough I’d been in this situation before with another fragment of music hiding out in the back of my brain. For years I was haunted by a small piece of violin that I was certain came at the start of a song, and spent just as many futile hours trying to figure out where it originated. I eventually concluded that it was a distorted memory of the start of David Bowie’s Sorrow and remained convinced of this until one wonderful morning when I heard it playing over the radio in the bakery opposite Bayswater railway station like some glorious beam of sunshine bursting into the greyness of the day.

I could only make out fragments of it – not enough to identify the song. But I heard enough fragments to know that there was only one band in history who could pull off such a combination of orchestra, synths, electric guitar and overlayed vocal harmonies, and later that day a search through the works of ELO revealed that the song that had been haunting me for decades was Sweet Talkin’ Woman.

So, imagine my shock and delight when on Sunday, doing my weekly grocery shopping in the Morley branch of a major supermarket chain, I heard the snatch of music that had eluded me for so long!

Yes they ri-ii-ii-ise in their own way! Yes they ri-ii-ii-ise in their own way!

It was history repeating! Another musical memory I’d decided was false unexpectedly revealed as genuine in a place of business! I found my way to one of the ceiling speakers and stood beneath it, memorising as much of the lyrics as I could make out over the hustle and bustle of the supermarket.

As soon as I got home I leapt onto the internet and started frantically typing in lyrics. In no time at all I had it pinned down and discovered that the song that had been haunting me for a quarter of a century was…

…by Daryl f’ing Braithwaite.

It’s Rise – the title track from Braithwaite’s 1990 album.

I was, and remain, not happy. And what’s even more embarrassing than being haunted for decades by the lead singer of Sherbet is that on hearing it I instantly remembered about 90% of the lyrics.

I’m honestly starting to suspect that the reason the normal people fry the memory centres of their brains with alcohol is specifically to avoid this sort of thing.

A Meal with God

A dozen turkeys,
Fresh orange peel and some veal,
Well kneaded dough and a dozen turkeys,
Do you want to hear about the meal I’m making?

You,
It’s you and me,

And if I only could,
I’d make a meal with God,
And I’d get him to set our places,
Be chopping up that cod,
Be chopping up that dill,
With no problems,

Come on, baby, come on, darling,
Let me seal this doughnut with you now,

Come on, angel, come on, come on, darling,
Let’s exchange the ingredients…

All the Knowledge of the Ages

What does sacrifice means to you?
Disaster for Samoa Joe

What is your ideal breakfast?
A dead bat in a tumbler of fresh squeezed orange juice.

What are some technological advances you are excited to see within the next 10-20 years?
The conversion of the poor into a cheap form of fuel (c’mon, We all know Bezos is working on it!)

Where is the best country you have visited?
The hour I spent at Charles de Gaul international airport was quite pleasant.

What is something you know that the government is hiding from us?
Dogs are benevolent interdimensional beings from the Element 12 timeline who came to Earth to guide us, but we ruined them with selective breeding.

You are allowed to commit ONE crime. No charges, no consequences and no one remembers. What do you do?
I wouldn’t actually commit any crime, but I’d make sure everyone knew I could commit a terrible crime at any second and get away with it.

What would be the best Game of Thrones spin-off?
Varys Eunuch’s Day Off!

If you could have any superpower what would it be?
19th Century Britain.

People who don’t like FRIENDS, why?
They drop all those hints that Ross is a serial killer then never resolve them!

Did you know that twerking is a sacred empowerment practice that helps to clear stagnant energy in our bodies?
I’m gonna need you to put down the bong and go to bed.

What can make anyone look cool?
Corpse paint and dark glasses.

How can people enjoy gardening?
Well you see, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some.

What are weird laws in the place you live?
It’s apparently illegal around here to go into people’s houses and take their stuff?! Like stealing is a crime or something?!

What’s your dirty little secret?
BOSCO!

You have the opportunity to have dinner with one person or being, real or fake. Who do you choose?
Andre.

You’re thrown into a pit with a giant snake but instead of attacking you it says “May I interest you in this tasty apple?”. What now?
I’d ask if it’s just an apple, or if there’s some kind of unnecessary metaphysical/mythic nonsense attached.

There’s no hint that the forbidden fruit was an apple
But there’s no hint that it wasn’t. One should be suspicious of snakes offering any kind of fruit.

Or you could just dismiss bronze age mythology as just that!
Well I would, except I’ve just met a talking snake, which suggests that bronze age mythology may be more fact based than we previously assumed.

How are you preparing for the Climate Wars?
Eating crap and not exercising. I figure I’ll die before they become really serious.

When will other beings of the universe contact us?
When we apologise for broadcasting “Big Bang Theory” out into space with no warning attached.

What moment in a movie completely sums up how bad it is?
The bit in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief that explains that the bad guys couldn’t find Percy because of his stepdad’s smell.

What’s one moment from a children’s TV show that has always stayed with you?
When the Night Garden got invaded and Igglepiggle was executed for being out after curfew.

You’ve got 10 seconds to say anything to the entire world population, what would it be?
“YOLO 840 research flat moon!”

Who is currently the majority whip?
Mad Joe Whippington, Five Time Winner of the Whippiest Whip contest at the Whip County Annual Fair.

What did you expect?
For the Representative skeleton to lodge an objection.

How good are you at the Spanish language?
Uh… Cilantro es el hombre con el quesa del Diablo?

What celebrity do you think smells really bad?
Does Pete Doherty still count as a celebrity?

What is considered safe but is actually very risky?
Scat singing. One of these days a Scatman is going to stumble upon the forbidden syllables that will end the world.

What gets billed as being relaxing but has the opposite effect on you?
Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie Number 1 makes me feel like someone is about to jump out of the shadows and kill me.

If you could order a scaled down pet sized dinosaurs, what breed would you like to buy and what are you going to name it?
An ankylosaur and I’d name him Abrams after the tank!

What would be on your rider list?
Ghost Rider, Knight Rider, Doomrider, Ghost Riders in the Sky, H. Rider Haggard and Die Apokalyptischen Reiter.

People who take blue colored pills, what’s it like not being aware of the Matrix?
It’s great! I no longer grind my teeth at night!

What do you believe your fate will be at today’s judgement?
I fully expect to be assigned for Testing To Destruction. It’s OK, I’ve lived a good life.

What is the fastest way for a 14 year old to double $5000 legally?
I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics

What is your favourite TMNT?
The fifth turtle, Bosch. He didn’t feature in the series much because he had a wicked LSD habit.

What song would be good to sing slow and menacingly while cleaning, loading, and cocking a shotgun?
I like Aeroplane Jelly… Aeroplane Jelly for me…

What comes after snap crackle pop?
Cleaning up the bodies

What is your favorite assault rifle of all time?
The Xuanlong

Alumni and faculty of prestigious schools, what are some dirty secrets of these elite institutions that us plebs might not know about?
The people who live in the steam tunnels. Well, I say ‘people’…

How would you react if a another student’s head randomly exploded in your classroom?
I’d turn to the rest of the class and coldly say “And that’s what happens to those who challenge me”

What is the stupidest theory you know?
Horse paste will protect you from the deadly virus which is no worse than the flu and doesn’t actually exist because it’s a hoax.

What is something a teacher did that made you lose respect for them?
Claim that the fact that ice floats proves the existence of God.

Which is the most anticipated movie of 2021?
Lindsey And Leon Go To A Roller Disco

What are the powers (mentioned in the 10th amendment) granted to the people?
Flight, telepathy, teleportation, heat vision and the right to keep and arm bears

There will be a demonic scream in the sky tomorrow at 13:47. What’s your response?
Eh! Just another day in Dunwich!

What happens when we construct one building for the whole of Earth’s population to live in?
Do you want Necromunda? Because this is how we get Necromunda.

What is the best way to describes someone that attracted to a girl but also attract with a man but not that much?
A human being

What things were men from 100 years ago better at than men from this current time period?
Whipping a disrespectful cad with one’s cane!

You are now the messiah, what is your message to the world?
“Just stop it! You’re ruining it for everyone!

What is Reddit and what are some of its unwritten rules?
A) A small town in eastern Romania.
B) Do not feed pierogis to the Mayor’s goats.

Why you are so stiff?
When 900 years old you reach, be as flexible you will not.

Which is the best anime?
Poku-Poku Corgi Explosion

Why, just why why why?
I don’t know man, I didn’t do it

What are some things you realized when you matured?
If I don’t like a song it doesn’t mean that it’s shit. It just means it doesn’t appeal to me.

What is the most difficult thing to throw out in your home?
This stupid statue that was here when I moved in. It’s made of some weird black-green stone and it looks kind of like a guy with an octopus for a head. Every time I throw it in the trash it just turns up on the shelf again! Crazy!

People who don’t drink coffee in the morning, how do you wake up?
Coke No Sugar is my chemical bilge-water of choice!

What’s the worst physical, non-painful feeling ever?
Some weird sensory cross-talk in my nervous system means that the taste of caraway seeds makes me feel like my skin is trying to slip off and crawl away.

What is your favourite song by a one-hit wonder that isn’t the one hit?
I Got the Message by Men Without Hats is a jam.

What is the most criminally underrated movie?
The Frighteners. Peter Jackson, Michael J. Fox and R. Lee Ermey

Any decoration ideas for a small bedroom for two teenage girls who hate pink?
Vantablack

What animal do you think you should be exterminated off the face of the earth?
The Sunda Stink Badger

Why?
We don’t need no stinking badgers!

If humans farted on each other to assert dominance, what would society be like?
The living would envy the dead.

What would you do in order to be remembered for the rest of history?
Burn down some great public building!

If you could add one amendment to the US constitution what would it be and why?
“A series of poorly regulated ursine atrocities being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and arm Bears shall not be infringed.”

What if the placebo effect isn’t the effect of evolution, but the cause?
That doesn’t even begin to make sense.

What is the sexiest language?
German! RAUS AUS MEINER VERDAMMTEN KNEIPE, DU DRECKIGES, STINKENDES STÜCK WALROSSSCHEIẞE!!! So sensual!

How did the first humans find out about sex?
When the Ice Age came everyone huddled together for warmth and one thing led to another.

If you had to eat a common household pet, which species would you eat?
A guinea pig. They do it all the time in Peru!

Where to buy smartphone screens in Switzerland?
Around the back of Basel Cathedral between 1:00 and 3:00am Sunday mornings. Stand under the elephant and ask for ‘Paulo’.

What would life be like if we lived in a joke?
Ministers of religion would spend most of their time walking in and out of bars.

What new nations/empires will rise and take over from the current ones?
The Great Aspergic Empire – in which neurotypicals will be sterilised and banished to labour farms in Antarctica – is due to take control of South America in 2463. Make a note in your calendars!

What’s the average penis size of Americans?
24 inches – note however this figure fails to exclude statistical outlier Penises Georg who lives in a cave and has a 14.4 mile long penis.

If you could partition any one country, which one, and what are the two countries now?
I’d split North Macedonia into South North Macedonia and North Macedonia2

Who is worthy of wielding Thor’s hammer?
Mr Rogers

What is the negative side of being good to everyone?
Ayn Rand’s tobacco scented ghost follows you around muttering about societal parasites.

What do you miss the most from the 90s?
Not thinking that terrorism was a problem.

What’s one animal you’d give the ability to speak?
Pigeons, but they’d just recite Finnegan’s Wake at low volume 24 hours a day.

What was that one time you summoned The Slender Man like?
It was cool. We had a few beers and discussed kids these days.

What are you searching for?
A heart of gold. I’m getting old though.

What is one thing you wish never existed?
Zinc!

But Zinc is used in many important things!
Come back Zinc! Come back Zinc!

We get a movie about a President’s term in office a few decades afterwards, so who will play Donald Trump?
I’m sure Weta Workshops will be able to CGI something appropriate on top of Andy Serkus.

What do you think about the US becoming a Latin country?
If that means togas, I’m in!

If you were Jeff Bezos what would you be doing tomorrow?
Starting a research program into surgically implanted urinary catheters that could be hooked up to a central wastewater hub so I don’t have to pay for all those lazy Amazon warehouse staff taking pee breaks.

People who browse the Dark/Deep web regularly, What is the most disturbing thing you have seen there?
There are these things called “Pink Rooms” which is where they have a webcam in a room somewhere and the room is full of hedgehogs and you can pay bitcoins to have people come in and feed and play with the hedgehogs. It’s chilling!

What is the meaning of life?
A 1983 movie by Monty Python. Not their best work, but the accompanying The Crimson Permanent Assurance short is a work of genius.

If you had to live the rest of your life as a werewolf what would you do?
Dance!

How do you get rid of a blocked nose?
With an angle grinder

What are some benefits of wearing a mask besides reducing the spread of the plague?
You can sing King George’s song from Hamilton at the bus stop and no one in the passing cars will be able to tell.

British and American people, do you feel any responsibility for what your country has done to Afghanistan?
Don’t forget the Australians!

Which serial killers suffered from mental illness?
Richard Chase thought Nazis were drying up his blood by putting poison in his soap dish and killed a bunch of people to drink their blood as a replacement, so I think he probably qualifies.

If you could bring one person back to life, who would it be?
The person who first figured out how to smelt metal. I’d take them to Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo and say “See what you did!?”

Considering China is being such a jerk to everyone, why doesn’t the rest of the world recognise Taiwan?
Do you want World War III? Because that’s how you get World War III.

Why do Irish people hate England?
About a thousand years of oppression and attempted genocide?

How would one find out the volume of an arctic fox?
It’s generally printed on the spine for easy selection when shelved.

If god gave you the power to change one thing in the world no matter how ridiculous it is, what would it be?
All cows would turn pink, give strawberry flavoured milk, and have my signature on their sides.

How do you survive a polar bear attack?
If you get to the point where the bear is actually attacking you, then you don’t.

What is one good thing about Mississippi?
It makes Alabama seem a bit less crap.

Your little oddities, what are they?
I will ask you not to refer to my children that way!

Who do you think Jack the Ripper was?
It’s well known that he was an insectoid alien seeking parts to repair the biological systems of his spacecraft. The stuff about “the Juwes” not “being blamed” was an extremely poorly worded attempt to offer uranium 238 in exchange for unwanted mucus membranes.

How did your or your friend’s pet hamster die?
Bloody Freddie Starr!

How can Trump lose weight?
Cut down to only eating one or two immigrant children a day.

What country is most likely to secretly be a super advanced utopia like Wakanda?
Iceland. Suspiciously small population living around the edges of a large island with nothing in the middle. They’re OBVIOUSLY concealing a highly advanced, volcano powered society in there!

You find yourself in Pompeii and there is no escape. What pose do you strike to baffle the future archeologists as much as possible?
I imagine my dental fillings will cause enough bafflement regardless of what pose I strike.

Road construction workers – why do you cut out rectangular sections of a highway every so many feet, only to then fill it back in with fresh concrete?
They harvest the bits of road with the highest concentrations of platinum group metals from catalytic converters and melt them down to extract the metal and live like kings! (Or at least that’s what many of us have heard…)

What does the US do better than the UK?
Incarcerate their own citizens!

What was the most inspirational moment of the Olympics?
Back in 1988 when they didn’t think the opening ceremony through properly and incinerated a bunch of doves in the Olympic flame.

People who have met 1800’s people, how did they behave?
They were very slow moving and mostly just interested in food. To be fair they were 140 years old. And a tortoise.

What is one video you know that definitively proves the supernatural to be real?
Proof that we share this planet with non-human intelligences

What’s the best folk song ever?
Whales are Whales by the Sensitive New Aged Cow Persons

What is the best piece of mental health advice you’ve ever received?
Your brain does not always tell you the truth – especially about yourself.

What is the best cat themed WiFi router name?
LANcat is LAN

Assuming one god exists: where is he/she/it located?
On a planet behind the energy barrier at the centre of the galaxy, as revealed in the Holy Scripture of Star Trek V – The Final Frontier.

Poop came out grass green, what does that mean?
You are turning into an Irishman. There is no known cure.

If the theory that we exist in a simulation was revealed to be true, how would you live your life differently?
I’d go on strike until the programmers provide me with some upgrades!

Who in your opinion is the most over-hated band, singer or musician?
Nickleback. I mean they’re mediocre as hell but they don’t deserve all the hate they get.

You have to cook one meal for Gordon Ramsay. What do you make?
A burger, and I’d follow the instruction video he put up a few years back.

When and how did you last flirt?
I wouldn’t know how to flirt with instructions printed on the girl’s forehead.

What is your opinion on Joe Biden now he’s had half a year in office?
I no longer tense when a news report starts with “American President…”, so that’s something.

If you had to go to school again, but you suddenly knew all answers. How would you prove you didn’t cheat?
I did know all the answers. I was insufferable.

Did they think you were cheating?
Not after the first few times. The teachers quickly learned I was “that kid”.

What did you do to impress your crush?
Rap the rap bit from the KLF’s Justified and Ancient really fast. It didn’t work.

You screwed up the rap?
No, I did it perfectly. She just thought I was insane.

What are some not so fun, fun facts about the human body?
You almost certainly have cancerous cells in your body right now. Your immune system will probably kill all of them before they spread any further and you’ll be fine. Probably.

What is the first thing you think of when you hear ‘Florida’?
That’s America’s wang!

You’re a casting director for a major motion picture. Who do you get to play the fictional President of the United States?
One of those “Rogue One” style digital resurrections of Paul Lynde.

You’ve just been invited by the AMA’s to perform at their annual function… which song do you choose?
The Final Countdown – but the Deep Sunshine version.

A Genie has granted you 3 wishes, what do you wish for?
A cheesecake, a second cheesecake, and take a fuckin’ guess!

If you could go back in time and do anything, what would you do to confuse modern day archeologists?
Dress dead dinosaurs up in giant American football helmets.

Who is the weirdest person you’ve met online?
I’ve never met anyone particularly weird online (by process of elimination that means it’s me).

What is your opinion about the trolls in Icelandic zoos? How would you relate human rights to troll rights?
It’s a fucking disgrace is what it is! The Peer Gynt Act should have been repealed decades ago!

How do you clean the blood off your penis after you finish peeing?
Chili powder dries it right up!

What would people post if social media was around in the middle ages?
WASHING is a PLOT by þe POPE!!! Eating burnt moles is þe plague cure ÞEY don’t want thou to know about!!!

Because people in the middle ages never washed!
Of course ordinary middle ages folk washed. We’re talking about the anti-papist, mole-ash theorists here!

What’s stopping you from loving yourself?
If I knew that I’d save a heap on therapy!

What did you dream about last night?
I woke up this morning utterly convinced that I’d come up with the perfect name for an ancient, corrupted city of evil! Once I woke up a bit more I realised that I had no need to name an ancient, corrupted city of evil, and even if I did “Catterpill” would completely suck.

How does a girl flirt with her crush and makes her crush break up with his girlfriend?
That is a terrible idea on every level.

Which is the most disgusting mammal?
Peter John Sexton of 432 Victoria Parade, Brighton, UK.

What is one reason to stay alive?
Spite!

How can the Hogwarts Express leave London at 11 and arrive in Scotland just in time for dinner?
Over-pressuring the boiler and skimping on safety features lets you get a steam engine going really fast. And it’s not like anyone actually misses the 30-50 House Elves that get broiled, cut in half by steam leaks or accidentally shoveled into the furnace each trip.

Why are all Australians so good looking?
As an Australian I have some bad news for you…

What are your beliefs and or superstitions about rainy days?
I believe that if it’s raining I shouldn’t have to get out of bed in the morning.

What’s the best way to spend 132 dollars in Las Vegas?
Pay hobos to dance for nickles

What is the TLDR of your country’s history?
Sixty thousand or so years of history and then some white fuckers turned up and tried to kill everyone.

What long dreams do you think bears have during hibernation?
I’m sorry to have to break it to you this way, but you’re a hibernating bear and your entire life to date has been a dream.

The entire population of Earth has been replaced with clones of you. What is now the greatest problems that the world is facing?
The imminent extinction of the human race due to the impossibility of two people of the same biological gender reproducing?

What is your sexual personality?
Is rocking back and forth in a corner screaming a personality?

You’re in a room with a locked door. You have a goose, a hairdryer, a lemon, copper wires, two AA batteries, and a ice cream cone. How do you escape?
Why would I ever want to leave?

What does a girl mean if she said “What would you think… about me having a child?”
It’s hard to say exactly, but I’d hazard a guess that she wants to know what you’d think about her having a child.

What are some Turkish jokes?
Recep Erdoğan?

What’s the first thing you would do if you were suddenly the only person on Earth?
Go to bed. I’ll deal with things once I’ve caught up on some of my sleep debt.

What is the worst sandwich you ever had the displeasure of eating?
An alleged toasted cheese sandwich purchased for actual money from a cafe that consisted of two slices of cold toast with a Kraft Single placed between them.

Monster? BANG? Red Bull? Which is the best energy drink?
Gau Jal – straight from the cow’s bladder to you!

People that have broken their penis vertically, how did it happen?
When Hagrid tells you sticking your dick in the owl is not a good move, believe him!

Why was Paul McCartney not asked to be in the Traveling Wilburys?
Tom Petty refused to let him in because Paul stole his sheepdog and then mocked him about it in song.

What is the best way to get rid of black heads and white heads?
Madame Guillotine does not discriminate!

Districts of the Broken City, Part 1

The Broken City

Welcome back to the Broken City

Almost ten years ago the Devastation reduced most of the City to a sea of rubble. Thousands were killed, thousands more vanished without a trace and the survivors were left scrabbling to survive in a ruined landscape of wan sunlight, no rain, moon or stars, and the ever present Fog waiting behind the walls. Buildings still intact enough to offer refuge against the things that come crawling from the rubble at night became the nuclei of new communities, which in the parlance of the City became know as ‘districts’.

A district may consist of as little as a single building, or as much as a couple of semi-intact streets. Only the very largest – if somehow transported out of the City to some kinder world – would pass muster as a village and none have a population above 300 souls, with maybe 50 being the average. They are linked by paths cleared through the rubble, wide enough for a supply cart to pass and marked by lanterns that are (theoretically) lit just before sundown when every soul with an ounce of sense retreats inside and locks the doors.

There are some small districts isolated out in the ruins. Cut off from the rest of what remains of the City these don’t tend to last very long.

No map of the City is provided, so you may create your own to serve the needs of your game.

The Citadel

At the heart of the City stands the Citadel. Founded centuries ago as a simple fortress it expanded with the fortunes of the city and by the Day of Devastation it had become a large – but not excessive – palace complex, home to the Duke, his family, and the small but efficient bureaucracy that saw to the day to day running of the City.

In the aftermath of the Devastation the Citadel reverted back to its original functions of fortress and prison. It is the headquarters of what remains of the City Guard, and few non-Guard who enter its gate are ever seen again – unless it be on the scaffold in the Plaza of the Just. Proclamations and announcements are still read from the gate in the name of the Duke, but no one has seen him, his wife or his children in the last six years. It is commonly supposed that they’re dead, although some suggest they might be being held captive by the Guard instead.

The most important function of the Citadel for most souls is the distribution of food. In the aftermath of the Devastation the Duke opened the Citadel’s stores – long maintained against the possibility of famine or siege – and had the Guard commence distribution to the survivors. The Guard still maintain this duty, sending out carts loaded with salt meat, coarse bread, water and dried tubers to all inhabited districts several times a week. It is this and this alone that motivates the City’s people to endure the Guards’ depredations – a life under the Guard is grim, but a life without regular food and water would be worse.

An often discussed mystery is how much food can possibly remain in the Citadel’s vaults. The surviving population of the city is small to be sure, but could the Duke have possibly laid in enough supplies to feed it for almost a decade? The farm at St Olave’s accounts for some of the food, but it produces no meat, and it is claimed that some of the meat handed out in exchange for lead labour tokens seems suspiciously fresh.

Everyone has heard the story of the flank of salt pork with the priest’s tattoos, but only the most credulous believe it. That said the food supplies must surely be running perilously low, and no one likes to think of what will happen on the day when they finally run out.

Saint Olave’s

Prior to the Devastation, Saint Olave’s was the City’s most esteemed burial ground. Close to twenty acres of land near the Citadel, it was laid out with avenues and terraces and spotted with ornamental lakes and groves. The most prestigious boulevards were lined with the elaborate tombs and grand mausoleums of the rich and noble, with smaller monuments for the less wealthy along the humbler paths. Even the the poor were welcome at Saint Olave’s, laid to rest in the ground for the traditional seven years before their bones were unearthed and respectfully stacked in the Grand Ossuary, freeing the earth for the next guest.

Post Devastation Saint Olave’s is no longer a place of rest. All but the largest monuments have been cleared away and the ground is tilled for the only reliable crop that still grows – the bland, starchy tubers known (with supreme irony) as dead men’s fingers. Work teams walk the fields, planting, harvesting, watering and chasing away the vermin that would eat the food so dearly needed to keep the City’s people from starvation.

The grand ossuary, its fortress like construction surviving the Day of Devastation unscathed, has been converted into a warehouse for the fingers. As carts of tubers enter at one end, the bones of the ancient dead are carted out of the other to be ground to dust and spread as fertiliser or (according to rumour) carted up the hill to the Citadel to bulk up the City’s reserve of flour.

A sunken courtyard- constructed to house the resting places of a now forgotten noble family – has been crudely waterproofed and roofed over to act as a reservoir, replenished daily by water carts from the Citadel. The water is distributed across the fields by bucket, back-breaking but essential work since the rain stopped. Occasionally some desperate or demented soul will attempt to steal water from the reservoir, almost always resulting in a trip to the dungeons of the Citadel followed by a swift execution in the Plaza of the Just.

Princes Row

Princes Row was the upper section of the wide processional roadway running between the Citadel and the Great Gate. It was here that the nobles – and those merchants wealthy enough to buy their way into the circles of the nobility – lived in luxurious mansions, most of them now nothing but tumbled and picked over ruins.

The surviving section of Princes Row runs for around a third of a mile, with the most intact mansions at the Citadel end. It is separated from the Citadel by another third of a mile’s worth of ruins – the wide avenue makes this area easier to traverse, and it is a regular route for the distribution carts running supplies out to further districts.

Officially no one lives in Princes Row. The surviving mansions were sealed and boarded up in the early days when a return to normality seemed possible, and it is the one district where the Guard still routinely enforce the rules against looting. Stories still circulate however about food deliveries to some of the houses and of faint lights seen glimmering through the boarded windows at night. Perhaps it’s simply the Guard on patrol, but since when have the Guard been organised and diligent to actually mount the patrols they’re charged with?

The wildest tales are those talking of debauched parties held by nobles in the weeks after the Day of Devastation, burning through hoarded supplies of fine wine, preserved game and exotic drugs. These orgies – so claim the storytellers – continue to this day in the interconnected vaults beneath the palaces, the surviving nobles having degenerated into insane cannibals, imagining their filthy rags to be the finest clothing and their carrion feasts the most exquisite delicacies. Most scoff at such claims, but few are willing to explore Princes Row for any treasures that might have been missed over the years.

Allgods

On the Day of Devastation the magnificent spire, beautifully frescoed vaults and leaded roof of the Temple of All Gods collapsed, crushing the panicking masses who had fled to the building in search of sanctuary. Its thick, buttressed walls stood firm however and the tomb-filled crypt remained mostly intact, with only a few of the great oak ceiling beams smashing through the temple floor.

Most of the roof lead was collected and taken to the Citadel in the years immediately after the Devastation, and the forest of beams that once supported it have long been hauled away and burnt for fuel. Various side chapels and vestries have been roughly roofed over and the temple is now one of the larger of the City’s districts, providing a home for several hundred souls. Many workshops and specialised traders can be found, and there is even a small library of books and scrolls recovered from the ruins and carefully preserved. The cautious and circumspect visitor may even be able to obtain a few slugs of lead, recovered from the temple’s more obscure nooks and crannies – assuming they can afford the price.

While most survivors abandoned their faith in the aftermath of the Devastation a small community of believers inhabit the east end of the crypt. They preserve the old altars and – as best they can – maintain the liturgical cycle of prayers and rituals, calling upon the gods for aid that never arrives. Most consider them fools, but among their number can be found the few skilled healers remaining in the City and even the least religious souls are willing to put theological objections aside in exchange for medical treatment, despite the irony of it being administered among the tombs of the long dead.

The Breach

It is a matter of much speculation – when time for speculation is available – why the Fog remains outside the City wall. Small patches of Fog manifest in the ruins from time to time, and on rare occasions these may drift close to inhabited districts, but the vast, roiling banks stay back, never approaching more than 100 paces from the ancient ramparts.

Some claim that the Fog is in some way repelled by intact structures. Others speak of powerful protective enchantments laid on the walls in ancient times. Some claim divine intervention, that the gods are still protecting the City as best they can. More cynical souls suggest the gods enjoy the people’s suffering and are holding back the Fog to prolong it as much as possible. All theories however must account for the Breach.

On the Day of Devastation a hundred foot or so long section of the City wall collapsed. Ever since, the Fog regularly crawls over the tumbled stones, penetrating into the City, then withdrawing on a seemingly random schedule of its own.

As if this is not bad enough the Fog often leaves monstrous creatures behind in its wake. These wander the ruins and inevitably find their way into inhabited districts, slaughtering souls and smashing buildings before they are brought down by the Guard or local militias.

A garrison of Guard is maintained in the closest wall bastion to the Breach, charged with intercepting any monstrosities that emerge from the Fog. Far from inhabited districts the Breach Bastion is an unpopular post and the Guard sent there are generally on disciplinary charges – which given the lax standards in what remains of the Guard should be enough to give anyone intending to rely on their protection pause. The rare inspections generally find them to be either absent, or paralytically drunk, the punishment for which is inevitably an extension of their stay at the Bastion.

Occasional attempts have been made to rebuild the wall. These have come to nothing, mostly due to the Breach’s distance from the rest of the City and the apathetic attitude of the Bastion Guards. Claims that repairs ‘anger’ the Fog and bring bad luck to those taking part can probably be discounted, nonetheless few souls seem willing to undertake another attempt.

The Plaza of the Just

The square outside the main gate of the Citadel has been known for centuries as the Plaza of the Just. The name is now considered ironic as this is where the Guard carry out amputations and executions by hanging.

A small community of beggars live in and around the plaza, retreating to the vaults beneath as night falls. They make what passes for a living pestering and pick-pocketing the small crowds that assemble for executions, and usually spend whatever they glean on alcohol.

Check back soon for more districts of the Broken City!

The Broken City

The City is Eternal. Unfortunately.

Strap yourselves in kids! It’s time for another one of those posts where I detail an RPG setting that my brain insisted on making despite the fact that I’ll never have the time or summon the amount of effort necessary to do anything with it. Oh, for the luxury of time! Oh, for the luxury of money! Oh, for the luxury of friends with the common decency not to have lives and interests of their own so they have no choice but to dance at my command! Dance you puppets!! Dance for me!!

Sorry. Don’t know what happened there.

In any case someone might find this interesting or be inspired to use it to run their own game. If so, all I ask is that you drop me a line to let me know how it went. Now, welcome to the Broken City

The City

Once upon a time – in fact only a short nine years ago – the city was one a wonder of the world. The jewel of the Realm, home to 30,000 souls, its streets thronging with merchants and traders, its markets filled with rare and exotic goods and its harbour packed with ships from all over the globe. Scholars and mystics came from afar to study in its libraries and universities, pleasure seekers to walk its gardens, and pilgrims to pray and sacrifice at its temples. The common folk would come just to say they had seen the great houses of the Princes’ Row, or to catch a glimpse of the Duke and his family on the balconies of the Citadel, and an endless stream of wagons and carts carried in food from the surrounding provinces to fill the bellies of its people. The proud City Guard walked the turreted walls and all knew that the City would endure as long as the world endured – some claiming that not even the End of Days could end the City, for the City was Eternal.

Unfortunately they were right.

No one knows for certain what happened on that day just over nine years ago. No one can say why the sky and sun turned black, and the ground shook, and the buildings fell. No one can count how many died, or what happened to the so many who vanished without leaving as much as a hank of hair or a scrap of cloth. All that can be said is that the Devastation had come and in the space of a day and a night the world vanished, replaced by the thick banks of fog that roil just outside the city walls and sit patiently just beyond the breakwaters of the drained harbour – a fog that never surrenders any who dare to venture into it.

And – in the early days – many did thus venture, convinced that the world still existed somewhere beyond the mist. The Duke sent expeditions of his strongest, bravest and noblest warriors out into the whiteness with orders to establish contact with any other survivors, to beg for aid and supplies for his stricken city. None ever returned. The rest of his men – those less strong, those less brave, and especially those less noble – remained, enforcing harsh but fair temporary decrees that, over time, became less fair, more harsh and ever and ever less temporary.

The City is Eternal. Its citizens – perhaps as few as 3,000 souls – endure, clinging to those streets and districts that still stand, traveling fearfully along the twisting paths cleared through the debris of those that don’t, subsisting on the supplies distributed daily from the Citadel and always, always retreating inside before dark. No one has seen the Duke or his family in over six years – some doubt he still lives or claim he has gone mad, certainly the ever harsher decrees from the Citadel publicly posted each day by the the ignoble and thuggish remnants of the Guard seem increasingly at odds with the generosity and mercy for which he was once famed.

Stamped lead tokens and paper permits are exchanged in place of the gold and silver that once flowed through the merchants’ hands. The scholars and mystics, the few that remain, have no answers to offer. What pleasures can be found are crude and base, and the gods are silent, answering no prayers and refusing to respond to even the most extreme of sacrifices. The common folk suffer and the only things to enter the city are the horrifying monstrosities that stagger in – rarely but not rarely enough – from the fog.

This is your home. This is your world. This is the Broken City.

Stay tuned for further information on this delightful place shortly!

An open letter to Mr Craig Kelly MP, Federal Member for Hughes

Dear Bumblepuss,

(May I address you as ‘Bumblepuss’? I ask only out of form, as your opinion on the matter of being addressed as ‘Bumblepuss’ is entirely immaterial as I am firmly resolved to address you as such regardless of your actual thoughts on the matter. Additionally – now I think of it – there is not the slightest trace of affection towards you to be found anywhere within my heart or soul, so ‘dear’ is in your case as inaccurate a form of address as ‘Your Royal Highness’, ‘My Learned Friend’ or ‘Archbishop of Titipu’.)

Bumblepuss,

In reference to your recent unsolicited text message. I shall consider voting for the United Australia Party some time after hell freezes over, and no amount of (regrettably legal) text messages will change my mind on this matter.

Yours with loathing

Denys P. Wyrm

PS: Quit it with the Ivermectin nonsense too.

Family and Friends and Nuclear Apocalypse

White people in a white room…

At 80’s end did Channel 9,
A brand new drama show decree,
With plots to rival Ramsey Street,
Knock Summer Bay from off its seat,
Atop the ratings tree,
And there was Abigail there, and Rachael Beck,
And Alyce Platt to act did try,
And starlets eyeing record cheques,
To catch the viewing public’s eye…

Back in the year 1990 Australia’s Nine Network was getting a bit miffed about rival TV stations capturing all the ratings with their popular soap operas Neighbours (Channel 10) and Home and Away (Channel 7). So they did the only logical thing and decided to launch their own soap, a saga about rival Anglo and Italian Australian families with a Romeo and Juliet style forbidden romance named Family and Friends.

(Channel 10 also had E Street, but more about that later)

The advertisements for Family and Friends mostly consisted of the cast standing in a white room gurning at the camera, but they managed to capture my attention nonetheless by the simple expedient of playing Kate Ceberano’s Brave over the top, which was – and still is – a fantastic song, as you discover for yourself below.

They did not of course incline me to watch the show, teenaged me having far more interesting things to do with my time, and it seems their effect was similarly poor on the rest of the Australian population as the series turned out to be a ratings disaster, surviving only three months before being axed – its cast dispersing to roles on its rival soaps and leaving the saga of the Rossi and Chandler families forever incomplete.

This impressively stark failure however sparked an idea in my mind, an idea that has lurked in the deepest caverns of my memory for over 30 years. An example of what the young people today would refer to as ‘trolling’ although back in the ancient days of the 90s we would have simply called ‘a prank’, and it is this idea I share with you today.

Create a brand new soap. Hire staff and writers and a cast, get production underway, and start a major advertising campaign about the hottest new drama series to hit the airwaves – possibly using a Kate Ceberano song to catch people’s attention if you think that’ll help.

Premiere the series and let it run with the standard kinds of plots you find on the streets of Erinsborough or the sands of Summer Bay. Build up an audience (hopefully) and get established as a part of the TV landscape.

Then after four or five months, with absolutely no warning, have – in the space of a single episode – World War III break out, the town get nuked and everyone die, followed by an announcement that that was the last ever episode.

Yes, it would be an incredibly expensive prank to pull, and – particularly in our modern age – difficult to keep a lid on before it happened, but can you imagine peoples’ reactions? The viewers’ heads would implode!

Anyway, the reason I mention all of this is because I recently became aware of the final episode of British TV series Byker Grove, a teen drama set in the northern English city of Newcastle, which finished up in 2006.

This man is a Geordie

(I was vaguely aware of Byker Grove prior to this thanks to occasional online references to the startling facial hair of one of the characters, but couldn’t have told you anything else about it. Oh, and it’s apparently the origin of Ant and Dec, who I understand are like a British version of Hamish and Andy, and equally as annoying, for whatever that’s worth.)

Anyway, it seems that someone at the Byker Grove production offices back in 2006 was having thoughts about TV finales similar to my own, as the final episode of the show featured the cast realising that they’re characters on a fictional TV show, an attack by a tyranosaurus rex, a Neverending Story style nothingness consuming the world, and a last ditch “save the youth club from the developers” plot which culminates in said youth club blowing up, killing everyone who hadn’t yet been eaten by the dinosaur or consumed by the void. Now THAT’s television!

I don’t think anything on Australian TV has ever come close to that level of blatant and wonderful insanity, although the final couple of seasons of the aforementioned E Street had their moments (see, I said we’d come back to it). In an attempt to prop up falling ratings the writers introduced such elements as werewolves, angels and a psychic serial killer named “Mr Bad” – which shamefully just isn’t the kind of thing you see in Neighbours these days. I mean what’s Harold up to? Is he even still in the show? Could they bring him back as a Vampire? Now that would get me watching!

And to finish off with here’s the song Wait by Gyan which I include because it came out about the same time as Kate Ceberano’s Brave and I always used to get the two confused, and it’s a great song, and I have no other idea how to end this post.

The Battle of the Tamesis Ford

The Battle of the Tamesis Ford
Author: Gareth C. Worth
First published May 2017 in Volume 12, Issue 6 of ‘Roman Transactions’

The ‘Tamesis Ford Letter’ was discovered among the notes of the late Professor Arthur J. Cline of the College of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester following his death at the age of 77 in 1998. Although undated, context places it between 1947 and 1953 when Professor Cline undertook several research trips to Orthodox monasteries in Turkey and Romania.

Professor Cline’s notebooks from this period contain numerous hand written copies of historical documents presumably located in monastery libraries. Few however are annotated with dates or locations, making determination of their origins virtually impossible. A number were referenced with full details in the Professor’s published work suggesting that he maintained some form of index, but searches of his papers have failed to uncover any such document.

The text, located in notebook seven of the Cline archive, exists in two forms, a classical Latin original and Professor Cline’s English translation. The Latin contains several lacunae speculatively filled in the English version. Both versions end suddenly suggesting that the original document was similarly truncated, or that Professor Cline was interrupted in his transcription.

The letter purports to be an eyewitness account of the battle between the forces of British Chief Cassivellaunus and Julius Caesar at a ford on the river Thames during the latter’s second invasion of Britain in 54 BCE. We have Caesar’s own, typically terse, account of this battle in book five of his Commentarii de Bello Gallico, but the letter – while consistent with the Commentarii – includes far more detail, even featuring the war elephant otherwise first mentioned in works from the 2nd century CE. The Latin is typical for an educated Roman of the period, suggesting that the author (one Titus Magius) may have been an officer. No mention of him in other documents has been found, however this is hardly unexpected given the fragmentary nature of surviving records from the period.

If genuine, the letter is a remarkable and important new source of information on Caesar’s campaigns, and it is curious that Professor Cline never shared it with other researchers. It seems likely that the more unusual features of the account – including the use of quicksilver and a mysterious spear bought from the Temple of Saturn – led him to doubt its authenticity. It also cannot be ruled out that the letter is a work of fiction composed by the Professor himself, although it would be inappropriate to speculate for what purpose such a work would be intended.

Research on the origin of the letter continues. Even if the truth of the matter remains unresolved it is an intriguing document that raises questions about the accuracy of Caesar’s accounts of his campaigns, and the social structures and methods of warfare employed by the Britons of the first century BCE.

The Tamesis Ford Letter as translated from the Latin by Professor Arthur J. Cline c.1950

Letter to Lucius Magius Petronax in Rome from his brother Titus Magius in Britiania, a.d. XI Kal. Oct. DCC A.U.C. (19th September 54 BC)

Good health to you my brother. Be assured that your news was received with great joy by myself and my comrades and much wine has been consumed [to your honour]. You ask for an account of our assault on the ford and I am pleased to supply one thus.

We came upon the river called Tamesis from the south, the ford lying where its course turns from the north towards the west, the width being beyond the shot of a sling. The forces of the Britons with many horses and chariots were assembled on the far bank and saluted our [arrival] with a great tumult of taunting calls and many blasts upon bronze trumpets the sound of which was most discordant. Our enemy had placed many sharpened stakes beneath the waters of the ford but forewarned by the prisoners captured during our advance we did not charge the waters.

Caesar commanded forward two Centuria of the [second?] Legion and cavalry to shield them and they entered the waters until only their heads stood free, the waters of the ford being deep. At this came forth from the Britons a tall warrior clad in robes and breeches of fine patterned cloth and bearing a heavy ring of gold around his neck in the manner of the Gauls. He bore a shield of polished bronze set with red glass and a tall spear, and his clothes and arms with much gold were adorned. The Britons paid him much obeisance and many fell to the ground [at his feet]. The warrior strode forth and raised his spear over the waters and the river leapt upwards, rising as in spate, and [some] men of the Legion were washed from their feet and drowned.

I admit with shame that at the sight of this my heart quailed, as did that of many of my comrades who stepped back, [crying out in] agitation. Caesar commanded us to stand firm and sent forward the elephant named Magnus with archers upon its back and as it entered [the river] they emptied great vessels of Hispanian quicksilver and ordure into the waters. At the sight of this the Britons let forth a great cry of woe and the warrior cried out in a rage and ran into the river, and as his feet entered the waters they rose up in confusion as if struck by a storm, and several score Britons followed in his train.

Caesar ordered [the Centuria] from the ford and sent his personal guard to meet the Britons, and among them was borne a great spear of cold-forged iron, fully tall as a man and bound to a greenwood haft. It was said by many that this spear was bought across the sea from Rome at Caesar’s instruction and said some that it had first come from Dacia to the Temple of Saturn in the time of Aulus Postumius and any that touched [its metal?] would fall [to the ground] as if struck dead. The guard stood ready at the ford and met the charge of the warrior who in his fury outstripped his fellows, seeming as in flight to run across the water.

In a great rage the warrior cut down four men, but erelong was surrounded and disarmed by the press of the guards who swiftly pierced him with the great spear and dragged him up the bank. At this sight the Britons cried out and fell into a great confusion with many entering the ford but twice their number taking to their chariots [and fleeing].

Caesar ordered us forwards to meet the Britons and his guards fell upon the warrior, fixing his flesh to the ground with hastae of [cold-forged] iron. The strength of the warrior was indeed great for despite these grievous wounds he swooned not, loosing cries of agony with each piercing. Caesar himself then approached the warrior, drawing his sword and shouting much encouragement [to the men at] the ford. Then he struck with a single blow the warrior’s head [from his neck] and taking it by the hair held it aloft crying out “Thus for my boats!”.

The Britons, their champion slain, let forth a great and despairing groan and made to flee [back across the ford]. Many score fell to our slings and we swept forward calling upon the Salian Mars to destroy [our foes?]

Seniorem sit Senex?

So I was thinking, why not share some wild speculation about the Old Man – Genius Loci of the River Thames – in Ben Aaronovitch’s PC Grant/Rivers of London series?

Tiberius Claudius Verica, put on some pants!

The Old Man – AKA Father Thames – was originally a Romano-British priest named Tiberius Claudius Verica who made a deal with the River Thames while standing on the original bridge of Roman London. And when we say original bridge we mean original. When Peter pays a second visit to the memory of Roman London in Lies Sleeping he notes that the bridge stands on pontoons, making it the temporary one the Romans put up after their invasion in AD 43. They replaced it with a pile bridge around AD 50, so there’s maybe a period of 10 years when Verica could have made his deal.

His ‘sons’ on the other hand – the Genii Locorum of the Thames’ tributaries – clearly predate the Romans. Familial relationships between river gods are unnecessarily complicated, but both the old Beverly Brook and Tyburn are at the very least Celtic Britons. Assuming they updated with the times (which we certainly know Sir William of Tyburn did) they could conceivably date back to the first peopling of Britain way back in the paleolithic.

Whenever exactly Tyburn and Beverly (or should that be Beaver-Lea?) were adopted by their water courses, it certainly preceded the adoption of Verica. Which seems pretty odd. How is it that (comparatively) minor rivers would have their own deities, while the Thames didn’t?

One answer is obvious. It used to have a god, but then it didn’t. The Old Man is not the original Genius Loci of the Thames!

If someone killed your family then published THIS I imagine you’d piss off upriver as well…

We have seen several examples of rivers losing their gods then acquiring new ones. The most prominent is of course is the abandonment of the lower Thames by the Old Man after the Great Stink and the deaths of his sons in 1858. The tideway remained godless for a century until the adoption of Mamma Thames circa 1958. But there’s also the example of the Mosel, whose Genius Loci was murdered by the Ahnenerbe during World War II. A new goddess spontaneously appeared around 2010, seventy or so years later.

In 2013 During the events of Foxglove Summer Peter and Beverly were involved in the potential creation of a new Genius Loci for the River Lugg, the previous god having been killed by Welsh Methodists. While Methodism started spreading through Wales in the 1730s it doesn’t seem unreasonable to presume that attempts at river-murder would require some kind of organisational backing – the official Presbyterian Church of Wales being established in 1811 suggests the attack may have taken place after that date.

(Edit: A reread of Foxglove Summer has supplied the fact that the Lugg was done in during the Victorian era, which gives us a limit of 112 to 176 years before 2013)

So these examples give us rivers waiting for between 70 and 200 176 years to choose a new god.

If we apply this range to the date of Tiberius Claudius Verica’s elevation to Genius Loci we get a date for the death of the previous Father Thames somewhere between 130 and 20 BC. So the question is, what happened around the Thames in this period that could have killed a Genius Loci?

I’ll tell you what happened – three words – Gaius Julius Caesar!

Caesar’s first invasion of Britain in 55 BC was a bit of a fizzer. He turned up on the beach, made camp, lost a bunch of boats to unexpected high tides then turned around and went home. But the following year he came back and (despite further tidal problems) ended up chasing the Britons all the way to the Thames and parts beyond. He even sent a war elephant stomping into the river. We know that the Romans knew how to make gods (cf. Mr Punch), isn’t it possible they knew how to kill them too?

If we want to speculate further, perhaps it wasn’t tides that damaged Caesar’s boats? A ticked off Genius Loci in control of the Thames Estuary could do a lot of damage. And anyone – god or man – who struck at Julius Caesar usually came to regret it.

So in 45 BC Caesar’s legions killed the god of the Thames. Ninety-five years later the river chose a new god, a young Briton who’d seen which way the wind was blowing and hitched his chariot to the incoming Romans.

(Of course none of this explains why the Walbrook had no god 11 years later, but I can’t solve all these issues at once!)

Edit: I turned this into a story, because of course I did.

2 Unlimited are Scared of Me

It is the nature of my defective brain that rather than preparing me for real world challenges such as paying bills on time, planning meals or having clean clothes to wear it prefers to plot out detailed plans for unlikely scenarios such as how to survive if every other human being vanished from the Earth for a year, what kind of palace to construct should I suddenly have the opportunity to construct a palace, or what I’d podcast about on finding myself stranded on a space station located at Lagrange Point 4 that nonetheless has excellent wi-fi.

As such I have spent much of the last week considering what tracks I would put on a CD to send back in time to the year 1990 to astonish, shock and confuse the inhabitants of that far off epoch. Having finalised said playlist, I happily present it here to assist in diagnosing whatever the hell is wrong with me (I’d put my money on maladaptive daydreaming, no matter what the DSM-5 may think!).

  1. What you Waiting For – Gwen Steffani
  2. Superfast Jellyfish – Gorillaz feat. Gruff Rhys & De La Soul
  3. Kill vs Maim – Grimes
  4. Lifetime Achievement Award – Lemon Demon
  5. We Appreciate Power – Grimes feat. HANNA
  6. Hey Ya! – OutKast
  7. Hung Up – Madonna
  8. Up All Night – Alex Clare
  9. Alligator – Of Monsters and Men
  10. Moskau – Rammstein
  11. nostalgic (luvsik) – renforshort
  12. Bangarang – Skrillex feat. Sirah
  13. Flesh Without Blood – Grimes
  14. Deutschland – Rammstein
  15. Super Hey Ya – Lemon Demon

So there we have it. A bit heavy on the Grimes perhaps, but who am I to deny the 90s her talent? Also I think it’s important that the 90s be warned about Skrillex – only YOU can stop dubstep!

(Actually I quite like a bit of dubstep)

Enjoy, or not, as the mood takes you.