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Viewing blog entries in category: Humor

  • Iain Aschendale
    If you aren't familiar with the movie The Polar Express, this isn't going to make a heck of a lot of sense to you. Merry Christmas!

    It was a tough run, but we made it, we finally made it. With five minutes to spare, but time runs funny up here.

    The boss promised me that this would be my final run, take one last load of Unbelievers up North and I'd be out, with a new identity and a fat bank account. Half a mile more and I'd be done.

    As the train passed slowly through the city, the kids yammered on about elves. Elves and the Big Guy, all they ever thought they wanted to see.

    They didn't know.

    I felt bad about what was going to happen to them, but that was the price of Unbelief. I knew all about that, I'd paid it myself. To look at me, I was in my fifties, but on the calendar, I wasn't even seventeen. Heck, by Easter these kids will be in their early thirties. How else do you think the Man in Red can make all those presents every year?

    "Ellllvesss!" For a moment I hoped that the kid had just seen some of the loaders. Older workers looked a bit like elves; decades of hard labor and a diet of nothing but reindeer meat and hot cocoa did funny things to the body. Elves, on the other hand, were bad news. I'd seen one once; it had gotten in through the sewers when I was about forty. They finally captured it, but at a cost. At the next roll call we all had to watch as it literally shredded seven of the flightless culls before being hosed down with napalm. And that was after it had been de-fanged. That demonstration had ended any talk of escape.

    For obvious reasons, Mrs. C (yeah, she handled the dirty work. Surprised?) always gassed the sleigh loaders last, but these weren't redshirts, these were Elves, real Elves, a mob of them boiling up one of the side streets. Must have breached the Wall. I heard a reassuring thump from overhead, and knew that my partner had seen them too. "You: four-eyes!" I barked.

    "My name's not four-eyes, it's --"

    "Don't care. You know who Ma Deuce is?"

    His eyes lit up behind his glasses. "Yes, sir! The M2 Browning fifty caliber machine gun is a heavy --"

    "Thought you would. Ghost is setting one up on the roof. Now get on up there, he'll tell you what to do. Pigtails! You're pretty smart, think you're smart enough to work a flamethrower?" She stared, uncomprehending. "It's like one of those super soaky squirt guns, but it shoots fire. There's one in the last car. Get to the platform on the back and hose down anything that gets close." She gaped again. "For the love of Mike, GO!"

    Who else? The kid from Edbrooke was already toast, curled up on the floor in a puddle of his own piss, but where was the other one, the troublemaker?

    Smart kid, he was right behind me. "Listen, young man," I said, taking one of the M4 carbines down from the concealed overhead rack, "we're in some serious jelly, but we've got to protect this train. This," showing him the gun, "kills Elves. Help is on the way, and if we're lucky, we'll live to see it."

    Of course, if the Elves didn't get him, the little Unbeliever would spend the rest of his year-long life in the Workshop, but the least I could do was give him the chance of a painless death. "If not, don't try to be a hero, boy. Those things out there will make you wish you'd never heard of Christmas. If they get on board, save the last one," I ejected a single round and dropped it into the pocket of his robe, "for yourself."

    Me? I locked myself in the cleaning closet. Didn't get out of the Workshop and into the Conductor job through self-sacrifice now, did I?
    Some Guy and Lifeline like this.
  • Iain Aschendale
    Nothing to do with this joint or you lot.

    "I'm so glad I could get that off my chest."

    "I just needed someone to talk to."

    "Keep this between you and me, okay?"

    Yeah, okay, fine. Y'know what the worst thing about being trustworthy is? Everybody knows, everybody knows, everybody knows that you can be trusted. They can tell you about their concerns about Smith from Accounting. They can tell you that Jones from Marketing is fucking Baker from Baking. They can tell you that they've been having trouble with their spouse lately, and are seriously considering suicide/divorce/trial separation, in no particular order. They can tell you that they've got this lump, but they're afraid to see the docs, or that their retirement account isn't, that things are going south and their whole department may be laid off, or that they're going to get promoted but only if Promo from Promotions doesn't find out that they're getting laid by the Laying-Off Division section head or that their wife snores and the bitch is going to wake up sucking down a pillow one of these nights I swear to fuck Iain I am so sick of her shit but thanks for the talk, that really helped get me back on an even keel, don't mention it keep it dark I've only told you half of my half of the story but the rest well shit you shouldn't even know this much and anyway things are looking up dunno why I mentioned it in the first place thanks by the way I don't think it's the right time to consider opening up any new positions over there with the perks and privileges and pay you're so valuable over here and I've got such a rapport with you god knows what I'd do without someone to talk to....

    You can trust me, I won't tell anyone.

    I can keep anything bottled up.

    Indefinitely.
  • Iain Aschendale
    C-3PO and R2D2 didn't manage to stop the trash compacter in time. Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca were all crushed, and the next time the Death Star went into hyperspace their corpses were ejected from the station before the jump, in keeping with Imperial fleet protocol. C-3PO, in a mixture of terror and despair, grabbed a power main with both hands and incinerated his circuits to avoid capture. Station security spent months combing every inch of the mammoth ship for the terrorists who had brazenly snuck aboard, broken an important prisoner out of the detention wing, and then simply vanished. In the years that followed, when something broke down or malfunctioned the engineers joked (quietly) "Must be those damn rebels again!"

    And little R2D2? He'd never really cared about the disputes of the living; the definition of joy for him was helping other mechanical systems. No one noticed one more R unit on the maintenance gang in the station's southern hemisphere, and he spent the rest of his days keeping the HVAC systems running smoothly as the rebellion was crushed, murdered planet by murdered planet.
  • Iain Aschendale
    During the sack of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204), the plunderers:

    Richard Tillinghast, Istanbul: City of Forgetting and Remembering

    But...

    Will history remember as much about you in eight hundred years as it remembers of her?
    Some Guy likes this.
  • Iain Aschendale
    While I was browsing the net the other day, I chanced upon a site that was hosting some sort of international short film festival. After looking at a couple of the titles, I discovered what appeared to be a Japanese romance movie. Now, my language ability isn't so hot, but I always like the opportunity to learn more about local culture so I figured I'd give it a shot. As my wife was still at work, it was up to me to understand as much of it as I could.

    The beginning was a little confusing, but I eventually started to understand the situation. However, just when it the film started to make sense to me, the video equipment developed some sort of glitch that obscured part of the screen. My monitor is pretty old, so I paused the film and checked the link on my tablet to try and ascertain the source of the problem. Whatever it was, it wasn't on my end; the tablet gave an identical result.

    Disappointed, I went back to the main menu and found another local production, but lo and behold, the same difficulty manifested itself a few minutes in. Since my devices were okay, I thought it might be a site issue, so I checked the next suggested film, which opened on a young Russian lady who was apparently daydreaming about finding a husband. Imagine her surprise when not one, not two, but three suitors called on her. At the same time! Now having to choose between paramours is a staple, I'm told, of romantic fiction and can serve as an important plot driver. However, this young lass was quite clever and the group arrived at a solution that, while somewhat unsanitary, left both her and her admirers quite happy. While some of the camera work was a trifle unsteady (I think one of the actors was doubling as a cameraman!), there was none of the glitching that had been present in the Japanese productions.

    I just think it's a pity that the Japanese entrants had so many problems with their video equipment. Japan is a country well-known for producing quality electronics, but even the best tools are useless in the hands of poorly-trained users. It's just kind of depressing to see my adoptive country perform so poorly on the international stage.
    John Calligan and Cave Troll like this.