Writing Exercise: “Darkness” and “Vessel”

•February 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

“So, before we get any further into it, I must ask…are you both Satanists?” The dark-haired priest asked earnestly, steepling his fingers. The young man and woman looked awkwardly at each other.
“Well, I have been brought up in the dark faith, but Darren, is, umm…” The young woman said anxiously. The man, Darren, stepped up to finish the sentence.


“I’m a Baptist.” He blurted, almost guiltily. The priest frowned. This sadly wasn’t an uncommon situation when it came to marriage petitions from some of the congregation.


“Strictly speaking, I’m not allowed to officiate over such a union.” This edict visibly deflated the young couple. He sighed and continued. “And whilst I may personally agree with such doctrine, our Lord of Darkness has, umm, been changing his views a little of late.” The following silence held the pressure and tension of a particularly devout mexican stand-off.


“We could make for a way to allow such an…unorthodox arrangement.” Breaths were released simultaneously. The priest had a passing notion to hold such silence longer next time. Oxygen deprivation can be such a practical social tool…


“All we would require is for your offspring to be committed to us, as a vessel.” The youngsters exchanged excited-but-nervous looks.


“We can marry if we give you our firstborn?”


“Oh, only spiritually and soulfully. And not just the firstborn.” They exchanged the kind of looks done so when buying a car, or renovating a kitchen: socially aware looks.


“You don’t have to agree now. Just, think about it, and drink a lot beforehand. Bloodletting can be such a chore…”

A Thought Ex-Peppermint

•January 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The story of Theseus’ Ship is a question of existence wrapped in a story of a physical constant and the inherent identity we prescribe it. It’s not a real event, it’s a thought experiment in the same vein, and as factual as the more well-known “Schrödinger’s cat”. The difference is that the question of the Ship is more applicable to everyday questions of permanence and continuity, and results in the deaths of less imaginary animals.

The story goes (and I paraphrase) thus:
Theseus was quite the strapping young lad. With a fair whack of god-blood in his veins, he went on various adventures, smacked up the Minotaur, and (most importantly today), had a ship. And boy was it a great one. When he and his crew of young Athenians returned from Crete, the ship was definitely noticed. “What a great ship!” they all cried, probably in ancient Greek.


Our hero, pictured as a young statue

At this point, the Athenians decided they would look after the ship. They agree, it’s a pretty great ship, and they really want to keep it looking it’s best. So the Athenians maintained the ship. Over time, parts of the ship invariably wear out, as the sea is a harsh mistress, and salt, water, and salty water are the natural enemies of most everything mankind builds. The Athenians meticulously replace these broken parts so that the great ship remains great.

Time marched on, and the Athenians themselves also begin to suffer the same fates as they are worn out by salt, water, and salty water. Having learnt a bit about how to keep things going in good condition, they too replace their worn out Athenians with new Athenians, and thus kept Athens great. Still the ship was maintained.

But Time….Time, Time, Time, you tenacious bastard. Time waits for no man, or ship, and our story reaches a point whereby some bright spark was replacing a board on the deck, (or adding a new oar, or something), and had a realisation. This has happened so often that the ship had at some point lost the last original element of its construction, and became a wholly replaced thing. Miss Brightspark steps back and says “hmm” – the question is raised: if no part of the original structure still remained, is it still the Ship of Theseus?

This is where the Athenians turned on each other, and Ancient Greece began it’s decline*. Athenian turned on Athenian, made their case, and then quickly added on an appendices of vulgar facts about their opponent’s mother. The battles raged, the ship was burnt down, and then no one could be sure whether the bigger travesty was the burning of Theseus’ Ship, or the burning of the Ship of Theseus.


Reenactment of the “Sinking of the USS Theseus”

It’s all a moot point; it’s a now-sunken boat. I write about this because I read an interesting article about rock bands that continue on after replacing many members, and are they still the same band?


Is A Band Without Its Original Members Still Same Band?

This article. Right here.


My favourite band recently had the lead singer replaced for a stint when he was unwell, and as he was the only original member of the band left, it made me wonder – is my favourite band close to becoming Theseus’ Six? No, no it is not. But it might be. Um.

I want to start a band. I want to make it big, and then gradually replace each of my other band members with new musicians. Then I’ll replace myself. The name of the band?

Sonic Voltron.


(“Ship Of Theseus” is, weirdly, taken)

A Crowd Sourced Punchline.

•August 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Late Saturday night, under the influence of caffeinated drinks and good company, I stumbled across a play on words that amused me more than it had any right to. This is often the catalyst for a comedic sketch or piece of writing. Many of the posts on this very blog had similar, dumb-but-entertaining beginnings.

In this case, it was an idea that, to implement, required a framework – it was not an idea for a sketch itself, but rather a small seed of a thought that could evolve into something more fully-formed with but a bit of coaxing and questioning from myself. I will not share it here, as it may still bear funny fruit, and I would like to make that harvest and subsequent marmalade myself. That metaphor is getting weird.

So, as much as I’d like to be the gardener solely responsible for this produce, I am also not foolish enough to think I know all. I am the moron who watered lettuces on their leaves during a very hot spell. (This kills lettuce, FYI) So I put the two variant sketch ideas to a group of people who are either co-conspirators in my comedic writing, or a group of others who I just value the opinion of; writers and just great people. Did you get asked this question? Sorry. I don’t know who you are. How’d you get this number?

What surprised me was the variant responses. Firstly, the polled peers seemed to split evenly between the two concepts. Unexpected, that. Often when I’ve done similar in the past I’ve found that whilst both choices may have appeal, people will gravitate one way or the other for distinct mechanical reasons (one option just “works” better) What I was surprised by was the leaps of creativity that each made to justify their choice. It allowed me a little insight into their thinking, and also to see a correlation in the connections that they made, both in contrast and similarity to my own. Both ideas were mechanically sound, and both had potential to go in directions that people are familiar for my writing to take.

I did not expect this response, and was very prepared for a Solomon-style response of sacrificing one in place of the other, quite readily. But this threw a spanner in the works; can I simultaneously cultivate both approaches? Do I write both into fully-fledged concepts and see what the end result is? Or do I blend the two like some kind of Frankenstein-joke? Under a midnight sky rippling with thunder, and swept by gale-force winds, I decided to take the third path: I collated their responses, and will now turn the resulting brainstorm worth of content into a feature film, and reap all the praise for myself. Please check back in for the undoubtedly exciting legal battle for recognition that this crew now engage in. I’ll be holding my own, and claiming insanity. It always works in the movies…

(For those playing at home, try and picture if you will, an AA-type meeting for vampires)

It’s so hard to find it…

•June 7, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Three months ago to the day, in a more sudden-than-anticipated manner, I lost a really good friend. One of the absolute best. I’ve previously lost grandparents, but there’s something more understandable when an elderly person passes – it’s not a happy event, but it makes sense. When a young man is taken by cancer, with not even a year between diagnosis and passing, it feels wrong. I felt personally wronged. I was furious.

The funeral came and went, my friends were understanding and supportive, but I found I was still angry. Close to boiling over a lot of the time. Knowing how I go at expressing such things (I get more fired up, and say things I don’t mean), I elected instead to avoid the scenario all together. I didn’t want to discuss the feelings, the circumstances, and so instead I locked it down, put it aside in that mental locker known as “Later”, and got back to work.

As mentioned, that was a few months ago. Last week I finished up delivering one hell of a massive project, and I now find myself taking a figurative breath, and wondering what to do with life. That mental locker was just in my line of sight, too.

Last week I also received a message from a friend I hadn’t seen since the funeral. Nothing profound or of massive importance, but it reminded me how much of the world I had simply walked away from in my decision to avoid the problem. So we caught up, we talked, and it was good to do so. I did end up talking about how I had felt, how I had dealt with it. The irony of having to explain why I didn’t want to talk , as I talked it through wasn’t lost on me. I felt better for it – social interaction was indeed the solution to my self-inflicted social embargo.

This week I have set about switching everything back on. I’m making social plans, I’m replying to emails, I’m making lists of things to do and write, and I’m feeling happier for it. But I’m far from over his passing. There are so many things I do, places I visit that I used to with him. Listening to our old podcasts have made question how I can retain these digital memories and create something in a permanent form. All of these events now feel not-quite-right, because there is literally something missing from the experience. I’ve now worked through that feeling a measure, and I realise now that for all the oddness the NQR feeling brings, I don’t want it to go.

Michael Bradshaw, you are very much missed, and due to you I’m now channeling my red rage into green willpower, and continuing to remember you in the best way.

Hey world, how’s things. What have I missed?

Title lifted reverently from Warren Zevon’s “Sentimental Hygiene”…


•February 17, 2015 • Leave a Comment

After this long break, wanted to share something personal with you all. Here’s a memory that has stuck with me for many years, both due to the personal nature, and the philosophical bent it has to it. I hope you get as much from it as I do.

I spent all my money on a one-way ticket, a pilgrimage if you will. The destination was Silicon Valley, I was going to see the King. To get there was a journey of many smaller trips, my own methods for dealing with this travel time improving with each leg – this journey was symbolic, and important to me on a personal level. If things worked as I planned, I was going to meet one of the greatest minds of our generation, and he was going to give me knowledge of the utmost importance. I was going to ask him that which had vexed me for years.
Finally, I made it there. Waiting in his lobby, I enjoyed the cool, calm atmosphere as my mind raced a million miles a minute. Around me was a sleek, user-interface of an office, belying the genius involved in day-to-day work in this building. Would he answer? Would he know how important this was to me? Would I be happy with what he had to say? And then, he appeared. Like a heavenly creature, he stood in his office doorway, his skivvy and jean-wearing silhouette surrounded by a glowing nimbus. He smiled, and beckoned me in. I followed him into the office.

“Thank you, Steve. I have travelled all this way, given so much to be here. I must ask you a question.” He looked up at me – was it my use of his first name, or the desire to have answers? I continued.
“Please tell me. Is it ‘Jobes’, or ‘Jobbs’?” He looked out the window, his gaze surveying California, but when he turned back his eyes were full of tears. He looked at me, his eyes two pools of sadness and confusion. And he answered.


“Jobes, Jobbs. Jobbs, Jobes. I…Don’t know.”

Encore Of The Dark Knight

•August 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Remember that film “The Dark Knight Rises”? It came out a few years ago, right before which I wrote up a pair of hastily written synopses of the previous installments to help my friends get back up to speed. Sadly, none of those friends read my synopses, because they are Amish and fear the power of the internet (or whatever), so I was despondent and never completed my triptych of summaries. So here is the belated third part. To misquote Gary Oldman from part 2, I am the summariser that this film needs, but not necessarily a summariser that YOU need…

(It’s a long film)

CIA Agent Not-Patrick-Dempsey boards his plane in Foreignesia with a bunch of extra prisoners his men bring to him. He didn’t want extras. So sees them as “Bonus Prisoners”. Patrick McSmug is not the brightest CIA man. Once on board, he decides to play a party game with the hooded prisoners, pretending to shoot them and throw them out the door – he’s never been a very good host. The biggest of the hooded prisoners questions these ice-breaking methods, before being revealed as a guy with Darth Vader’s taste in face-pieces. It might also be a pair of headphones awkwardly put on the wrong way. This is BANE, he then shows Smugsy how a real ice-breaker does it, and blows the plane in half, saving himself and one of the prisoners he himself put on the plane in the first place. Smooth.

BACK IN GOTHAM CITY Eight years have passed. No, not since the plane-chopping shenanigans, but since we last saw Batman. No Batman in eight years. No Bruce Wayne in eight years. No one connects these dots. Gordon is giving a speech on “Happy Dent Day” or something, and is about to read a statement that says “Look, Batman is ace – Dent was a nutjob” but thinks better. Why? Probably because the guy before him stole his opening joke. Meanwhile, a waitress delivers dinner to Recluse Wayne, who now thinks he’s Green Arrow. You aren’t, you are a retired yuppie. You are reformed Patrick Bateman.  Waitress breaks into the Wayne safe, and swipes pearls and finger prints (who keeps their finger prints in a safe?!) – I guess she lied about being Waitress. She takes her leave by flipping out of a window, a stunt only ever attempted by Lady Burglars. Wait, could she be….ANNE CATAWAY?!

Anne goes on to sell Bruce’s fingers to that guy from Torchwood. You know, the one nobody likes. This whole scene goes to hell, and ends up with people getting chased into the sewers by Gordon and a bunch of police. This is a bit of a dumb move – everyone knows that the sewers are where the monsters live. In this case, there are no monsters – but there is Headphone Face and his crew who make Gordon their prisoner. One cop, Cop Wonder, didn’t go chasing, and he’s looking like the smartest guy in the city right now (Which really doesn’t say much). He ends up finding Gordon washed up (and in a storm drain), after Gordon escaped from Headphone Face. Good work, Cop Wonder.

Cop Wonder decides it’s time to talk to Patrick Batman about Bateman. He knows that Batman is Bateman, because he, Cop Wonder was also an orphan, and when he was an orphan, he remembered seeing Bateman’s grown-up-orphan face, and realised they made the same expression. Or something. Look, that bit isn’t a joke – that’s almost word for word from the film.
Bateman says he’ll think about it – but it’d mean shaving, and he REALLY likes his moustache. Also, Cop Wonder tells him that the Orphan Factories have closed down, because Bateman’s company won’t fund them anymore. This will NOT do.

Bateman shaves, and goes to a party. He meets Australian, French Lady, and Cataway. Australian seems shifty, French Lady seems French, and Cataway makes weather predictions. She also steals Bateman’s car after he reclaims his pearls – that doesn’t seem right.  Bateman goes to see his old pal Lucious Fox. He’s since changed the spelling of his name, as it sounds too much like a drag queen or pole dancer’s nom de plume. He now goes by Lusty Fox.  Lusty brags about his gadgets and a flying car, and gives Bateman a new leg. He also tells Bateman that the company is out of money, so he should do something about that.

Headphones uses Bruce’s finger prints to spend all his money in an ill-advised stockmarket spree. Really? No one needs PIN numbers, or signatures, or authorisations, they just say “sure, you’ve got that guy’s fingerprints – this is all a-okay!” Anyway, Headphones gets away with this, BUT NOT BEFORE THE BATEMAN returns! This gets the police all kinds of agitated, and after they reveal they’ve got a hell of a lot more cars than Bateman, he one-ups them by FLYING. He does so in that flying car that looks like a submarine. That flies. Called the Bat. I think Lusty’s lost his mind.

Seeing Bateman all shaved and new-legged worries Alfred. He’s probably still carrying some guilt about having let Cataway steal all that important stuff, but you know how butlers are. He ends up telling Bateman that no one loves him, everyone hates him, and that even RACHEL DAWES didn’t really like him, preferring Half-A-Face to Bateman. Ouch. Low blow, Alfred. The butler mutinees (I’m not gonna make THAT gag), and with a final parting shot about having always hoped to retire, and see Bateman at a cafe in Italy (Really? That’s kinda…precise), he leaves Bateman home alone, at which point he presumably splashes on cologne and defends his house against Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci. Presumably.

Everything kicks into high gear now. Cop Wonder is investigating dodgy building sites and getting a dislike for guns, Headphones is throwing out people he doesn’t like, Cataway is trying to steal stuff from people (stuff that sounds ridiculous, but she’s a Lady Burglar – you don’t argue with Lady Burglars), Bateman is flying around the city because he can, and Gordon wheezes from his hospital bed. Cataway and Bateman team up to take on Headphones, but, you know what? Cataway lied! Again! Bad cat. No biscuit. Headphones rearranges Bateman, and sends him to a prison at the bottom of a pit in Overseavlakia. Now he’s off to use Gotham like his own personal playground.

WITNESS! As Headphones leads the police on a merry chase underground. THRILL! As Headphones explains he’s got the entire city booby-trapped to explode! PONDER! Why he then tells them the big bomb will go off once he counts down from 1 billion. Okay, he doesn’t do that last bit, but after blowing the bridges, the tunnels (to trap the cops) and the football stadium (to ensure his team doesn’t lose), why have a bomb on such a long leash? SIMPLE! Bateman needs time to recuperate for Act 3.  Oh, and remember that guy he saved from the plane smash at the start? Yeah, Headphones bumps him off now just to prove a point. And what are Lusty, Alfred and French Lady doing? No one knows. No one really cares. Headphones drives his stolen Waynemobiles around Gotham like some kind of slot car set. He also lets everyone out of prison, after reading Gordon’s “Dent is a jerk” speech. Now Gordon looks like a dick for not having said something sooner. Even Cop Wonder is disappointed.

Back in Overseavlakia, Bateman is stuck in bed, forced to watch bad coverage of Gotham being ransacked by Headphones. He’s slightly completely crippled, but it turns out the jail doctor used to be an expert at unbreaking spines. No, really. He’d make a killing in one of those shopping centre massage parlours. After some faffing around, and seeing spectral images of a natty ghost (it’s Raaaaaaaaaaaa’s. One Ra’s, Many Ra’s’s?), Bateman decides it’s time to regenerate his body and become a new Bateman. He gets sorted out, and then climbs the walls of the pit-prison, using only a thick rope harness as a safety. He falls. Many times. And strangely, doesn’t get yanked in two by the unforgiving rope. Or maybe he does, and Jail Doctor just puts him right again. I’d believe that. He keeps trying. Maybe without the rope – at least that’ll be conclusive.

Back at home, Headphones has turned Gotham into Detroit. That mad guy from 28 Days Later is still around, but now he’s being a judge. From Psychiatrist, to Drug Dealer, to Judge. That’s a common career path…in Detroit. Anyway, this time Headphones’ guys have got Gordon and a bunch of other good guys, and they are gonna be trialed by treacherously thin-iced river: you walk across the river, and you are free! Or drowned. You know, whichever happens first. It’s not good. BUT. Bat darts fly out of…EVERYwhere. Gordon is saved! Bateman appears, and says “Hey check this out”, then lights the entire bridge on fire in the shape of a Bate. He would have been there sooner, but it took a good six weeks for the Bate-bridge stunt. Gordon seems underwhelmed, but Bateman is sure the kids will love it.

It’s time to sort this city out – Bateman gets Gordon to rally the troops, and the underground cops. He gets Cataway to use one of his Bate-bikes to clear a bridge out of the city, whereby she immediately gets down to the business of deciding whether to cut and run, or help…. He then orders Cop Wonder to gather up all the children and get them out of the city (you know, that one that no one can escape)… and Bateman decides it’s time he makes his daylight debut! Headphones hears about the uprising and gathers his army of knuckleheads with guns to fight Gordon’s army of cops with sticks and angry expressions. It’s a bit one-sided, but then….BATEMAN BEGINS! AGAIN! With surprising stealth, he flies down on to the impeding battlefield, and leads his rag-tag army of malnourished prisoner cops against Headphones’ army of well-armed lunatics.

But…he’s Bateman. The fight goes as you’d expect in a Nolan Batman film – without blood. Even Matthew Modine, who was a good-but-selfish cop, fought…valiantly,and died…bloodlessly… Look, it’s a pretty messy sequence. Lots of extras. Hans Zimmer bashing on an orchestra.

Meanwhile, Headphones and Bateman are duking it out. Bateman knows Headphones’ weakness, and proceeds to damage the face-mask that Headphones loves so. This accessory damaged, he starts to lose his powers, and Bateman gets the upper hand! That is, until a surprise attack from…FRENCH LADY! But no, she’s not French Lady! She’s…Talia Al Ghul! Daughter of Qui-Gon Ji- err, Ra’s Al Ghul! She planned this whole thing! THis was all her doing! MWO HO HA HA. Now she’s going to blow up the last bits of Gotham, bye. She leaves Headphones to watch over Bateman, when she knows full well Headphones wants to turn him into an artisanal, hand-squashed vigilante jam. A rousing chorus of “not-gonna-happen”, sounding suspiciously like high-powered cannons, blasts Headphones out of the franchise, with a quick reveal showing us Cataway is responsible for the ejection. Time to stop Frenchy Al Ghul.

Frenchy made a bee-line for the bomb truck, planning to blow the city apart because, hey why not? That was actually her plan in the first place. But she doesn’t reckon in the interferences of those meddling ki- err, Bateman, Gordon and Cataway! Trapping her in her truck via squashing (of the truck), she gurgle-laughs her last monologue, revealing the bomb is ready to go off. Bates decides there is only one thing to do – fly that bomb out of the city as fast as he can.  Why?! Because when he was an orphan, he remembered seeing a cop’s grown-up-orphan fac- no, he tells Gordon in a roundaboutish way he his THAT ORPHAN, and then cranks the Bate-radio. Time to fly, bomb.

Cop Wonder is on a bridge with a busload of screaming orphans (no, really), and shouting at the cops to let them through, who are all saying no, with their guns. Things look really dire, because the countdown was getting well and truly dramatic by this point, wheeeeeeen THE BAT FLIES OVERHEAD WITH A LARGE BOMB IN TOW!  WOW WHAT A HERO! WATCH THE FLYING BAT GO WITH THAT BOMB! GO BAT GO! GO BAT G- whoops. Blowned up.

Life goes back to normal. The Recluse Wayne will gives away all of his stuff, and the cops put together a statue that looks just like the Bateman from the comics they read as they grew up. Alfred goes on holiday in Italy and sees…wait, can it be? RECLUSE WAYNE AND CATAWAY! But they must be using fake names now. Maybe they are called Hathawanne and Wayne Bruce? They are incognito, and Alfred cheers them. Go Alfie go. Back in Gotham, Cop Wonder is given….a bunch of climbing gear and a geocache location. We also find out that Cop Wonder doesn’t go by his first name, because he doesn’t feel it suits him. That name? That name is….

SIDEKICK. He goes for a dive under Wayne manor and finds a big hole full of screechy mammals.

Now go watch The Dark Knight Rises, and tell everyone what you saw here.

A Year Of Running Around Parks

•August 14, 2014 • 1 Comment

Something weird happened on Sunday, August 10th. I hit a milestone, an anniversary of an activity which, had you told me a year ago was going to happen, I’d have glared at you (probably because I was having trouble breathing), and told you that there was no way in hell I’d inflict such a thing on myself for another month let alone a year.


Well, Year-Ago-Me would look like an idiot, but Current-Day-Me would take that in stride. See, Current-Day-Me has hindsight, and I don’t mean he’s a member of the X-Men with a pair of eyes in his…you know… No, rather Current-Day-Me knows the value in the personal torture that Year-Ago-Me has begun to endure, and he knows that whilst it feels like a regular 45-minute session of self-punishment, it works out for the best. Year-Ago-Me was being slowly killed by a boot camp program.

The author portraying the role of "Year-Ago-Me" (An idiot in reflection)

The author portraying the role of “Year-Ago-Me” (An idiot in reflection)

(I’ve just realised what you may have taken self-punishment to have meant. Seriously? How old are you? And for 45-minutes at a time?! YOU MACHINE)


Having been so melodramatic, I sit here a year later, happily letting you know that Year-Ago-Me did NOT die! No! He’s alive and well! Well, he WAS alive and well, but he no longer exists. At some point, Year-Ago-Me transformed into a new me. Maybe at 364-Days-Ago-Me, if we want to be REAL pedantic, but then I have to break down the past year into measures of time that make for an easy- Let’s not go there.


But there was perseverance! Not mine, truth be told. After that first session, I felt like I was being slowly murdered through burpees and planking. Let’s bear in mind that at that point I weighed a bit more than I do now, and I was nursing my right-shoulder which a year after a pretty crappy injury, was still not back to it’s normal self. In fact, based on what the doctors, physios, and radiologists had said, I fully expected it never to work well again. It did most things okay, but lifting weight? Getting things off high shelves? Pretty much anything involving shoulder strength, or raising the arm in front of me and above shoulder-height, was murder. So you can imagine how much I loved push ups. Also, I couldn’t run worth a damn. Two warm up laps of the park? I couldn’t run that. I had to walk, and that walking sucked. No, the aforementioned perseverance was mostly Miss N’s.


I was hating it. But, we had signed up for two weeks, so I was going to keep going, and get my free-money’s worth. Sort of, but mostly because Miss N is such a wonderful influence on me, and I wasn’t going to let her down. So I kept going, and I kept trying, and kept biting my tongue as I was on the verge of swearing. And then we put our money where our mouths were and we ate our money. No, we signed up for a long-term membership. And you know what? It seems to have been worth it.


So now, a year later, how do I feel?

This time last year, I couldn’t run 430m – I’d probably have died. I also weighed significantly more than I wanted to. Now, a year later I can run 3.2km in just over 16 minutes, and I’ve cut my weight by about 10%. And my shoulder? It clicks and grinds on occasion, but I rarely ever notice it anymore. I feel like going back to those doctors, that physio and the cross-eyed radiologist, and putting a 2kg bag of flour on a high shelf, and just saying “HEY CHECK THIS OUT??!!” I’m sure they’d be blown away. Or confused. Who cares?

The author portraying "Current-Day-Me": A lean, mean, shelf-stacking machine.

The author portraying “Current-Day-Me”: A lean, mean, shelf-stacking machine.

So how does it feel? It feels pretty good, Jack. A big thank you to Jess and Tanner, the sadistic but motivated trainers at Activate Fitness & Lifestyle – they haven’t paid me for this, I just feel they’ve done a good job. And a BIGGER thank you to Miss N for making me stick with something fitness-related, and to see the good that can come of it.


I still can’t fly though.