Victorian England News

Goldsworthy: Part 2

Miss out on part 1? You can read it here: Goldsworthy: Part 1

Goldsworthy

Part 2

A Mick Murton Story

PILOT’S LOG, ENTRY #3

I, Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, greatest inventor in all the British Empire, have sought the use of my extraordinary invention – the STEAM CARRIAGE (patent pending) – on this evening to test its viability as an emergency response vehicle. A rider by the name of Samuel Throckmorton came to me as I was testing the latest iteration of another of my brilliant inventions – the BUDE LIGHT (patent secured). A slight mishap occurred with this light, however I will not go into more detail in this entry, as this is the log book for my STEAM CARRIAGE (patent pending). Throckmorton, foolish young man that he is, at least bore enough wit to come straight to myself to request that I perform an emergency surgery, and who could blame him? All the Queen’s subject know that I, Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, the archetypal gentleman scientist, whose brilliance is only matched by his good looks,

“Sir Goldsworthy?”

It would appear that the young man seeks to get my attention. As I continue to fill out this log entry, I dismiss Throckmorton with a wave of my hand. He would do well to heed my dismissal, as-

“Sir Goldsworthy, your attention please?”

Not now boy,’ I tell him. Honestly, the nerve of some people. Were I not such a forgiving man, I would order Throckmorton to be punished for his insolence. Does he not know that I have been knighted by the Queen?

“SIR GOLDSWORTHY! Please!” At last, Throckmorton managed to get Gurney’s attention.

“Samuel, this had better be important.”

“With all due respect for your scientific procedures, I must request that we get going as soon as possible. Need I remind you that this is an emergency procedure?” Sir Goldsworthy tapped his chin as he pondered this for a bit.

“Murton! How is the steam pressure?” Barry Murton, a relative of mine and assistant to Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, took a break from shoveling coal into the firebox at the rear of the steam carriage to check the large array of dials and gauges used to measure the many working variables of the carriage’s engine.

“It’s, eh…” Murton scratched his head and squinted hard as he attempted to decipher the sheer volume of information before him. “Which one is it… I think we’re all set, guv!” Sir Goldsworthy nodded in approval.

“Very well, then. Samuel, Jonathan, you two will ride in the passenger compartment. Murton and I shall remain on the outside to operate the carriage.” Mister Jonathan, butler to the Goldsworthy family, opened the door to the carriage. Murton boarded first, then Mister Jonathan loaded a sizable picnic bag into the carriage before entering himself. “Now then, shall we… Ah, one more thing.” Goldsworthy reached into his pocket and produced a rolled package. “Murton, did you bring the teacups?”

“I sure did, guv!”

“Excellent!” Goldsworthy opened his package, removed two teabags, then handed them to his assistant. Murton used a tap on the side of the carriage’s steam boiler to pour hot water into the tea cups, inserted the bags, and handed one to his employer. “Good show, Murton.” Goldsworthy downed the entire cup of tea in one swig, then climbed back over the carriage to the driver’s seat up front. “Now then,” he started as he grasped the steering tiller and turned it back and forth to test it, “Full steam ahead!”

Inside the passenger compartment, Samuel Throckmorton took to drumming on the armrest with his fingers as he tried his best to wait patiently. Mister Jonathan sat across from him, ever attentive, showing no sign of concern for anything but his duties as butler. Samuel jumped slightly as he heard the carriage’s whistle sound, followed by a lurch forward. “We’re finally moving,” he said. Mister Jonathan simply nodded as the carriage rolled forward.


In a familiar pub, the owner busied himself polishing a glass as his sole customer sipped on his gin. Without warning, the door flew open and in came a group of hooligans. There were four in all, all wearing sleeveless shirts, led by a particularly mean looking man with a shaved head. With a scowl on his face he strode up to the bar counter and slammed his fist to get the owner’s attention. “OI! Get over ‘ere!” The pub owner nearly dropped the glass he was polishing, then headed to his new customer.

“May I help you?” he asked calmly.

“Me name’s Mad Barry Ferguson an’ I’m the toughest bloke around. Right lads?” He turned to the other hooligans and they all nodded in agreement.

“Ol’ Baz Fergo’s never lost a fight,” one of them chimed in.

“S’right!” Barry yelled. “Now I’ll take a round of pints fer all me lads ‘ere, an’ I ain’t payin’ fer it!”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t give away anything for free,” the pub owner replied. Barry Ferguson’s face turned bright red with anger.

“WOT! Do you have any idea who I am?!” Barry reached across the counter and grabbed the pub owner by the collar of his shirt. “I says I’ll take a round of ales, an’ I says I ain’t payin’ fer it! Now are you gonna listen or am I gonna ‘ave to clock ya in the gob?” The pub owner seemed oddly calm, despite the menacing snickers from Barry’s gaggle of hoodlums.

“With all due respect mister Ferguson, if you don’t stop threatening me I’ll have to call Percy.” Barry’s eyes widened and the red faded from his face, then he burst out laughing as he released the pub owner from his grip.

“Percy?! I ain’t afraid of no sod named Percy!” The rest of the hooligans joined Barry in laughing hysterically.

“Wot’s ‘e gonna do,” one of them asked, “politely ask us to leave?”

“Yeah!” another one added. “An’ then ‘e’ll get on ‘is little tricycle an’ try to flee!” The whole group of them kept laughing and poking fun, each comment resulting in uproarious laughter, until a shadow came down over them. All four hooligans stopped laughing immediately, their mirth replaced with terror, as they looked up at the massive figure who stood over them.

“Oi… Who’s makin’ fun of me name?” Standing before them was Percy, the largest and most fearsome man any of them had ever seen. He stood head and shoulders above anyone else in the pub, with his two boulder-like fists balled at his sides. He appeared as if he were already dressed for a fight, with the suspenders holding up his worn slacks being the only clothing covering his barrel chested torso. The man’s brow jutted out like a rocky ledge, casting shadow over his eyes, and the bald crown of his head rose up above his long grey hair and bushy beard like the peak of a great mountain rising above the treeline. He jabbed a big meaty sausage-like finger in Mad Barry Ferguson’s direction. “Was it you?” Barry gulped.

“I, uh… Well…” One of the hooligans chimed in.

“We was, uh, on our way out just now actually, s-sir.” Percy glanced over in his direction.

“That’s funny, ‘cause I swears I heard one-a you sayin’ ya wanted a round o’ pints, an’ ya weren’t payin.” He grabbed Barry by the collar of his shirt and lifted him into the air like a simple farm boy lifting a sack of turnips. “An’ I fink it was you!” Barry gulped as he hung there, helpless in the giant man’s grip.

“I-I didn’t mean it sir, I swear. I-I’ll pay for everything, I’ll even buy you a pint.”

“I ain’t no sir,” roared Percy as he tossed Barry back towards the entrance of the pub, “I’m a right bastard!” He pounded a fist in his free hand and rubbed them together eagerly. “An’ yer pissin me off!” Barry and all his hooligans fled from the pub, running as fast as they could.

The group of hooligans ran for a while down the street, then all stopped to catch their breath. “Do you… do you think we’re safe now?” one of them asked, breathing heavily.

“Yeah,” said Barry. “Yeah, we’re safe.” He straightened up, having caught his breath. “An’ if that sod Percy followed us ‘here,” he said as he jabbed his thumb into his chest, “I’ll clean ‘is clock, I will!” The other hooligans cheered, their spirits lifted by their leader’s bravado.

“No one can take Barry!” one of them exclaimed. Their cheering died down, however, as they heard something approaching.

“Wot’s that?” a hooligan asked. “It’s not footsteps…”

The hooligans cautiously backed into the shadows as they tried to figure out what was coming. The four of them listened carefully.

“Right, it’s not footsteps,” Barry said.

“Sounds like carriage wheels,” said one of the hooligans.

“But I don’t hear no horses,” another hooligan added.

“Look!” another hooligan shouted as he pointed down the road. The whole group gasped as they saw what was coming towards them. It was Sir Goldsworthy Gurney’s steam carriage. The hooligans, though, had no idea what they were looking at. Their hairs stood on end as they watched it approach, shrouded in smoke and steam.

“It’s moving without any horses pulling it,” said the first hooligan.

“Is it the headless horseman?” asked another.

“No, he’s got a head but I don’t see no horses,” said another hooligan, pointing at Sir Goldsworthy in the driver’s seat of the carriage.

“I’ll tell ya what it is,” said Barry Ferguson. “It’s a bloody haunted carriage! RUN FER YA LIVES!” The group of hooligans all ran off in separate directions, screaming in terror.

“Even Bazza can’t fight ghosts!” one of them yelled.


Barry Murton watched from the rear of the steam carriage as the group of young hooligans ran off screaming into the night, yelling something about ghosts. He scratched his head, wondering what they could be going on about, then heard something clearly.

“Run Bazza, don’t let the haunted carriage get ya!”

Barry Murton knew who that had to be. “That’s Mad Barry Ferguson’s gang,” he mused to himself. “And they call him Bazza? I like that.” He turned forward and yelled to get his boss’s attention. “Sir Goldsworthy!”

“What is it, lad?” Sir Goldsworthy asked. “A problem with the engine?”

“No sir,” he responded. “I was wondering if I could trouble you to call me by a new nickname.”

“What?”

“Will you call me Bazza, sir?”

“…What?!”

“Bazza, sir. I want you to call me Bazza.”

“I heard you the first time, Murton. Why in God’s name would I call you Bazza?”

“Well, uh… Mad Barry Ferguson’s blokes call him Bazza.” Sir Goldsworthy was dumbfounded.

“First of all Murton, I have idea who you’re talking about, and second, how can you possibly expect a gentleman such as myself to be influenced by the behavior of this… this… Max Harry-”

“It’s Mad Barry Ferguson, sir.”

“Right. This Mad Barry Ferguson and his bunch, who I can only assume are a group of street toughs or some other manner of plebeian?” Murton thought about it for a while.

“Well, I-”

“Forget it. Murton, I’ll have none of this nonsense. Now pour me another cup of tea.”

Inside the passenger cabin, Samuel Throckmorton was getting anxious. How long has it been so far? “Mister Jonathan, do you have the time?” The butler seated across from him shook his head.

“I’m afraid not, Master Throckmorton.” He reached into the picnic bag and withdrew a small parcel, which he unwrapped. “I believe this is Irish cheddar. Would you care to sample some?”

Many hours later, all the way across Victorian London, Sir Goldsworthy and his traveling companions finally arrived at their destination- the Throckmorton estate. Samuel peaked his head out the carriage window. “We’re here!”

“Excellent!” shouted Sir Goldsworthy. “Murton! Stop th-”

“Call me Bazza, sir!”

“Murton, you will stop this carriage immediately, and for the last time, I will NOT call you Bazza unless you wish to be out of a job!” Murton gulped and applied the brake, then shut off the steam flow to the engine. He opened another valve to release the built up pressure in the boiler, but something seemed off. Wasn’t there more steam to release last time? This was a long journey, perhaps the water tank was running low? But if that was the case…

“MURTON! Follow us!” Sir Goldsworthy waved for him to follow as he ran towards the house, with Mister Jonathan and Samuel close behind. They all sprinted toward the door, but before they could knock, it was open. Standing at the door was an older woman in her evening wear. She looked utterly deflated as she dabbed the corners of her eyes with a handkerchief.

“You must be the surgeon,” she said. Sir Goldsworthy straightened up and pounded his chest.

“At your service.”

“I’m afraid it’s too late,” she informed him. Samuel stepped forward.

“You mean… Uncle Nigel…?” The woman nodded her head in sorrow.

“Nigel is no longer with us.” Samuel was in shock.

“I am terribly sorry,” Sir Goldsworthy stated as he bowed his head in sympathy. “We came here as fast as we could.”

“Did you now?” Samuel responded, angrily. “It took nearly as long to prepare your horseless carriage as it did for me to cross the whole town on horseback.”

“It would have taken nearly as long to prepare Sir Goldsworthy’s horses and we wouldn’t have been able to bring Mister Jonathan with us,” Murton responded.

“And a fat lot of good that did!” Samuel yelled. “All he did was feed us cheeses the whole time, and Sir Goldsworthy stopped no less than six times because he decided that we needed sausages to go with it!” Sir Goldsworthy nodded as he took a bite out of a sausage.

“Master Throckmorton,” Mister Jonathan chimed in, “had we traveled on horseback, we wouldn’t have been able to bring Sir Goldsworthy’s surgical tools.”

“Surgical tools?” Murton exclaimed. “Blimey, I knew I forgot to pack something!” Murton, Goldsworthy, and Jonathan all began laughing hysterically, as if coming all the way across town for a surgery without any of the proper equipment was the most hilarious thing they’ve ever heard of in their lives. Samuel Throckmorton’s face turned bright red with anger. He was about ready to explode, until he noticed… golden light? Could it be?

“The bloody sun’s rising!” yelled Samuel. “I arrived at your place no later than 9 pm, and it took you until sunrise to get here!”

“So it did.” Sir Goldsworthy opened his log book and jotted down a few quick notes. “It would seem my steam carriage is not suitable for use as an emergency response vehicle after all.”

“And one more thing, Sir,” Barry interjected.

“Yes, Murton?”

“I think the boiler may be empty.” Sir Goldsworthy’s expression changed to one of deep concern.

“Murton, please tell me you put out the fire.”

“Why’s that, guv?”

“Murton, when water evaporates, it increases in volume by a thousand times. When the boiler runs dry, if you don’t remove the heat source, then if even a few drops of water find their way in, they’ll evaporate instantaneously, and then-”

“GET DOWN!” Mistern Jonathan shouted as he draped a picnic blanket over the four travelers. The steam carriage exploded with a deafening blast, causing broken pieces and flaming coals to rain down all over the Throckmortons’ property. The hoop of a carriage wheel, its spokes broken into uneven lengths, rolled by. Mister Jonathan uncovered the four and began re-folding the picnic cloth. Sir Goldsworthy looked over the wreckage, then back at Samuel Throckmorton.

“I don’t suppose I could trouble you for a ride home?”

Avant-garde McDonald's Story Art

The Connoisseur

by Large Dave

Our story begins in a McDonald’s. It is not a particularly remarkable McDonald’s- not by any means, no. In fact, it is, if anything, particularly unremarkable. The Golden Arches on the sign are cracked, allowing unfiltered fluorescent light to shine through. The pavement in the parking lot is crumbling after decades of soaking up rain, Diet Coke, garbage juice, and blood from the occasional street fight. The employees are bored teenagers, working hard to save up for the latest Cardi B single.

The store radio has been on the fritz for a while now. It is not as loud as it should be, and the worn speakers crackle as they play Train’s “Hey Soul Sister” yet again. Nobody is excited to hear that song anymore. Nobody.

Towards the back of the restaurant, just before the McDonald’s Play Place where overwhelmed mothers and lazy fathers on kid duty bring their children to wear themselves out after dazzling them with a Happy Meal, there sits a balding, sour-looking man in a sweat shirt and jeans. The look on his face just screams “I am not happy to be here,” and suggests that he may not be all that happy elsewhere either. He swears under his breath as he finishes a McChicken, then he picks up a french fry. He doesn’t eat it- he examines the fry, and becomes disgusted by it.

The teenager working the register checks her iPhone to see if her friends got back to her about the Cardi B single. ‘I hope Record Express doesn’t run out of tapes,’ she thought to herself. (Is that how kids buy music nowadays? Seriously, someone help me- I have no idea.) She posed for a selfie, but before she could press the shutter button she was confronted by our friend with the sweat shirt. He held a french fry. She blinked, unsure of why he’s returned to the counter. “May I help you, sir?” The man huffed

“Let me speak with your manager.” The cashier didn’t protest. The man’s demeanor showed that he is clearly not in the mood to be nice, so she stepped aside. The manager- a young man with sleeve tattoos- took her place.

“What seems to be the problem, sir?” he asked.

“Do you see this french fry?” asked the customer. He held it up inappropriately close to the manager’s face, causing him to recoil.

“I do, sir.” The manager took a step back. “What seems to be the problem?”

“The end is broken.” The customer was right- the end of the french fry was broken, as so many of his childhood hopes and dreams must have been for him to complain about a McDonald’s french fry.

“Oh.” The manager wasn’t sure how to respond.

“Is this what I paid for?” The customer ordered a small fries. He paid one dollar.

“If you don’t like it sir, I can get you another one.”

“And how long will that take?” roared the customer. “I ordered my fries with no salt, and you know that means you’ll have to make a fresh one.” He was right- though McDonald’s does keep a great deal of french fries on deck, ready to be scooped up into a little baggy for the kids or any of their variously sized red cartons, all these fries are salted as soon as they leave the fryer. The manager was speechless. “Why can’t you just get it right the first time?”

“Well sir,” the manager interjected, “I don’t think you’ll notice that the broken end affects the taste of the french fry in any way.” This really set the customer off. His face and his bald head reddened with anger.

“Is this how you treat your customers?” he roared. “All the money I spend here, and you give me a broken french fry! You know what? Here, keep it!” He threw the fry at the manager, who winced as it bounced harmlessly off of his uniform. “You just lost one of your biggest customers!” He started for the door, his feet pounding on the worn linoleum as he went.

“Before you go sir, how much money do you spend here?” the manager asked. The customer turned to face him, still irate. “I-if you don’t mind telling me, I mean.” The customer regarded the manager for a moment, then spat his reply.

“Four dollars every other Thursday.”

Discount Intellectual Property

Snake & Tea’s Discount Movie Ideas

by: Snake and Tea

You always wanted to make a movie, haven’t you? You have everything you need, but all that state of the art equipment doesn’t mean shit if you don’t have any clue what to make your movie about. Eventually that guy who has to hold up the microphone on a boom is going to say “fuck this” and walk out if you got nothing good for him to record. Lucky for you, here at Snake & Tea we’re in the business of making your dreams become a reality. Take a gander at this list of HOT movie ideas we’ve been cooking up that are begging for a spot on the silver screen! We’re willing to let them go for dirt cheap too, even though you’re probably a rich kid. **Like more than a few? Ask about special bundle prices!**

**BARTER OPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE**

“Will it Away”

Literally about a guy’s friend named Will who has the magical ability to cure any disease. Except Herpes. Which, ironically enough, is the only disease he chronically suffers from. Told from Will’s friend’s perspective.

Price: $3.85, or one beer at a bar of your choosing

“The Pummel Horse”

A young man weasels his way into a position at a prestigious all-boys school by claiming he can drop the school’s notoriously high bullying rate. His solution? A class he made-up called “emotional gymnastics”. The intended curriculum being that he encourages the students to take notes on the range of emotions they feel every week, then openly talk about them in front of the class. However, it’s not long until he begins to have flash backs of the days he was bullied in school. As a result, he begins to force the children into break downs during class, through the use of fear-tactics and intimidation. He is fired a few weeks later. The remainder of the movie is him defending his actions in a court of law. It’s supposed to be a comedy.

Price: $9.95, or bar-style nachos at a bar of your choosing

“Mister Bucket”

What are some of the hottest blockbusters coming out of Hollywood right now? If you thought “Board game adaptations”, you were right! That’s why we came up with this red-hot concept, based on the classic 90s interactive game for tiny children. The drooling babies that grew up playing this game aren’t little boys and girls anymore; they’re grown savvy consumers with trendy haircuts, Robinhood apps, and money 2 burn! However, we’ll have to make this a gritty reboot to get their money. Not a problem, because Mister Bucket will make a perfect villain. Not only is he a terrible bucket (he just spits out whatever you put in him, what good is a defiant bucket?) but his ability to hover around the floor while flailing his arms gives him a downright satanic quality. He is a true anti-bucket.  In this suspense/thriller, an ancient Mister Bucket is introduced into an upper-middle-class family’s house in Flushing, Queens. The family’s nanny (played by Fran Drescher) is suspicious of this strange new toy, and for good reason. As the evil Mister Bucket gains more power from the children’s attention, he finally becomes completely autonomous and is out for blood. Locked in the house Fran has to protect the children (all played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) from the sentient bucket after it devours their parents in their sleep. Equipped with the ability to project something gross and/or scary out of it’s mouth (your choice i.e. bees, rats, tiny Steven Tylers), this will be no easy fight. Will they make it out alive? That’s up to you!

**Huge potential for sequels! Mrs. Bucket, Son of Bucket, Bride of Bucket the list goes on!**

Price: $86.75, or 9 pitchers of light-beer at a bar of your choosing and a ride back to our place (poster included)

“I Can’t See Me”

In a tragic and ironic turn of events, pro-wrestling super star John Cena becomes a vampire. After years of people not being able to see him, now he can’t see his own reflection. Despite his father’s (a humble hot-dog salesman who owns and operates a cart on the town green, played by Jon Voight) support of his new vampire lifestyle, John is having a hard time adjusting. Mostly due to the fact that his long time crush, and notorious vampire hater (Kate Hudson) is a clerk at the local Mirror Store. If he goes in, she’ll discover he is a vampire… if he doesn’t, she’ll marry his nemesis Pheten Dockerson (played by Jason Alexander in a toupee). What will he do? Hilarity and hot-dog eating ensues.

Price: It’s not the best, but since you read this far… this one is on the house! Cheers! We’ll still be at the bar though, if you wanted to come hang out.

 

If any of these appeals to you, please contact us! At these low prices, they won’t last for long. The barter options ARE flexible, but we would still insist that they remain items you can get us at a bar (hence the term bar-ter). Also, just to sweeten the pot a bit more, here is a little taste of what kind of movie posters we are capable of producing:

 

 

Victorian England News

Goldsworthy: Part 1

by Mick Murton

It was a rainy night in Victorian London. The dim glow of gas lights lit the streets as the shoe shine boys packed up for the evening, and gamblers made their way to the dark alleys and abandoned buildings where they conducted business. Inside of a poorly maintained pub the owner sat, reading the paper while his sole customer sat at the bar, sipping a warm English ale. It would seem that the British Empire could soon be faced with a tonic water shortage. What, then, would he sell his customers to go with their gin? He couldn’t possibly offer them gin and regular water. Would anyone drink gin and root beer? Just then, his customer spoke up.

“Pardon me, could I trouble you for a gin?” The pub owner nodded.

“Of course. One gin and tonic, coming up.” Just as he reached for his ice tongs, his customer spoke up again.

“No no, not gin and tonic. I’ll have straight gin.” Straight gin?, thought the pub owner. The absolute mad lad! Why hadn’t I thought of that?

“One gin, coming up. Straight.” It would seem that he would make it through this tonic water shortage after all! The pub owner poured his customer a gin, and as he did so a rider on horseback galloped by.

The rider was cloaked in dark heavy wool to protect him from the rain. He was on the way to fetch Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, the world renowned surgeon and scientist. He knew he was headed in the right direction, but he didn’t dare check the paper he brought with the address – in this rain, it would only disintegrate. He knew, though, that Gurney’s home would be easy enough to spot as he drew near. Just then, he saw it.

Shining from the third floor windows of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney’s home was the brightest artificial light that the rider or anyone else in Victorian London had ever seen. Having been commissioned by Parliament to build a lighting system for Westminster Palace, he was currently in the process of building the latest iteration of the Bude Light – his own invention – and it would be the most powerful yet. He took a step back to admire the light. With welding goggles on and his sleeves rolled up, he wiped a bead of sweat from his brow. Truly this would be the most powerful gas light ever built! The heat was unbearable. The light was blinding.

Perfect? Not yet.

“Murton!,” Sir Goldsworthy yelled. “More gas!” His assistant, Barry Murton – a relative of mine – was hesitant to comply. He readjusted his welding goggles and, hands shaking, reach for the valve. “Do it, boy!” yelled Goldsworthy. “Give it all the gas we’ve got! I must see how my light shines!”

Meanwhile, downstairs, Goldsworthy’s butler, Mister Jonathan, was preparing a tray of fine cheeses when he heard a knock at the door. “I’m almost there!” he announced. Mister Jonathan made his way to the door and opened it to see a cloaked figure.

“Is Sir Goldsworthy Gurney at home?” the man asked. “It’s an emergency.”

“What sort of emergency?” asked Mister Jonathan.

“A medical emergency, across town. We need a surgeon imme-”

Before he could finish, a loud explosion from the third floor shook the house violently.

“What on Earth was that?”

“That would be Sir Goldsworthy,” Mister Jonathan answered. “He’s upstairs working on a new gas lighting system.” The rider was speechless.

Back upstairs, a soot-covered Goldsworthy Gurney was putting out small fires throughout the workshop with a watering can while a panicked Barry Murton shut every gas valve he could find as quickly as possible. Just as the last flames were quenched, he heard a knock at the door. “Ah! That must be Mister Jonathan with our cheeses. Murton, clean up this mess.” Murton first looked at the destroyed Bude Light prototype, then the burnt crisps of wallpaper that had first peeled off the wall from the heat, then been incinerated in the blast. He let out a defeated sigh and grabbed a broom.

Goldsworthy opened the door and greeted his manservant. “Well met, Jonathan.” Mister Jonathan raised an eyebrow.

“Is everything quite alright, sir?”

“Of course it is, my assistant is just cleaning up after our experiment.” As Murton swept, a large tube fell from the destroyed light and hit him in the head. He dropped his broom and clutched his head in pain.

“Well sir, your cheese platter is here, and you have a guest as well.”

“Oh?” The rider, now no longer covered in his cloak, took a step forward.

“My name is Samuel Throckmorton. Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, we need you across town for surgery. It’s an emergency.” Goldsworthy considered the man for a moment.

“Did you come by horse, Samuel?”

“I did, sir.” Goldsworthy nodded in acknowledgment. “Mister Jonathan, have the stable boys put up Samuel’s horse for the night.”

“But sir, I must come with you!” protested Samuel.

“And you will. Murton! Enough cleaning, prepare the Steam Carriage!” Goldsworthy hurried out of the laboratory with Murton close behind. Samuel Throckmorton was puzzled.

“What on Earth is a steam carriage?” Mister Jonathan raised an eyebrow.

“Would you like to sample any of these fine cheeses?”

Psychological Thrillers About Breakfast Food

This is Not A Denny’s

A short psychological thriller about America’s Diner, by The Big Snake

I came to in a well-lit booth, sitting with a group of people. My senses still hazy, I scanned their faces… They looked familiar, but I couldn’t put a name to them. Not a single one. Scrambling to get my bearings, I darted my head back and forth and took in the surroundings. We appeared to be in some sort of diner, nothing too fancy… each booth was accented by its own hanging light, the tables seemed relatively clean and the seats had the kind of vinyl wrap that could be wiped clean with a moist rag. No family diner would be crazy enough to splurge on outfitting their booths with a plush fabric, not with all that maple syrup getting slung around. I peer over my shoulder and see a waitress walking away from our booth.

“Where is she going?” I ask out loud. “I’m quite hungry, I would like to order soon…” I was indeed quite hungry, but I was mostly hoping that a humble diner sandwich would calm my nerves… I felt incredibly uneasy.

“She just took our order, Jacob.” said the man sitting next to me in the booth.

“Yes, don’t worry Jacob. I’m sure the food will be out soon. The service here is usually very fast.” The strange yet familiar woman across the table said, leaning forward in an attempt to comfort me.

“But… I didn’t order… did I?” I slumped down in my seat. Considering the position I was in, perhaps I did order and just didn’t remember? I still couldn’t figure out who these people were, let alone where I was. I looked down at the floor. Something felt wrong. Very wrong. “Don’t worry, we ordered for you Jacob. We know what you like here,” said the man.

“Yeah, you get the same thing every time, Jacob!” The woman chimed in right after.

I continued to stare at the ground, as a matter of fact I couldn’t stop. There was something just downright disturbing about it.

“Oh… uh… and what would that be?” I asked, still fixated on the floor.

“A ham, egg and cheese sandwich!” The man replied in a jovial tone.

Just then something hit me… the floor, the reason I felt it was so wrong and disturbing finally revealed itself to me. It wasn’t carpeted! It was tile! I have never known a diner with tile floors! I’ve never been to a Denny’s that didn’t have a carpeted floor, and I was beginning to suspect that this wasn’t a Denny’s at all.

“What did you say I ordered again?” I picked my head up to look the man in the eyes.

“A ham, egg and cheese, Jacob. It’s what you always get.”

I sat quietly, leering at the man for several minutes. He began to look nervous, I could see tiny beads of sweat begin to form on his forehead.

“You mean… A Moon’s Over My-Hammy.” I said, with a quiet intensity that made it feel more like a scream.

“Oh, ummm, yes, that’s what I meant to-” I lunged forward and grabbed the man by the shirt.

“I don’t know who you are, or where you have taken me… but you’re not going to get away with this!”

“Jacob, please… I have no idea what you’re talking about!” I slapped the man in the face and began shaking him violently.

“LIAR!” I screamed. “TELL THE TRUTH”! At this point I had whipped myself into a panicked rage. “This isn’t a Denny’s at all! Is it?!”

“No, it is Jacob, I swear! He just forgot the name of the sandwich, it is an awful hard one to remember! We’ve all had a long night!” the woman across the table interjected urgently.

“Oh, is that right?” I said as I directed my hateful gaze upon her. “What was it that you said about the service here earlier? That is was usually very fast?? Doesn’t sound much like a Denny’s to me.” I exploded to my feet. “And I’m sure as hell not sticking around to find out what it truly is!”

I started making my way towards the door, until I heard someone yell “Grab him!” I was accosted by two large men from behind. I wildly kicked and thrashed about with all my might, like a salmon swimming upstream to it’s ancestral home- except theirs is a spawning pool… and mine is America’s Diner. Despite all my efforts, the large men overpowered me and began dragging me back to the booth I had fled. I could see the disgusting, non-Denny’s egg sandwich that was ordered for me sitting there, waiting for me. What was I going to do? I couldn’t eat it, just the thought of trying to made me absolutely sick to my stomach. As they were forcing me to sit down, I got desperate. So desperate that I soiled myself with the hope that the horrible smell would encourage them to let me leave the restaurant. This did not deter the men at all, as they held me down in place.

“Comfortable now? Jacob?” Asked the woman across the table. “We were just trying to buy you a breakfast sandwich, is all. I don’t understand why you must put up such a fight.”

Without a response or hesitation, I spit in her face.

She calmly wiped my saliva from her cheek, with an evil smirk on her face.

“Now, make him eat it.” She ordered the brutish men.

“No! I won’t do it! NO!” I screeched to the heavens, as one of them picked up the vile sandwich and the other grabbed my head and began to pull my mouth open.

There was nothing I could do at this point, I had to eat it and I did. It tasted fine. But it still wasn’t Denny’s. And I never drank that much again.

Niche Propaganda

Cool Things About Boat Ownership

by: The Big Snake & Mick Murton

Here is just a quick list we figured we should whip up just to highlight few of the many perks that come with owning a boat.

1. Word Play

The word “ownership” contains the word “ship”, which just so happens to be what you own. Pretty neat, huh?

2. Cool Hats

With head-wear like that, you’d double down on the thumbs up too!

As a boat owner, you can call yourself “captain” and wear one of those hats that only real captains and live acts like “The Village People” have the luxury of wearing.

3. The Christening

Just look at the serenity in the faces of these bottle-smashing party animals.

Always wanted a low-risk way to smash a champagne bottle, but never had a Jewish wedding? As a boat owner, it’s not just OK to smash a champagne bottle over your boat, but actually smiled upon as a rich tradition of boat ownership. Smash away!

4. Floating on Top of Yummy Food

Your boat might as well be perched on top of this delicious fish pile.

Try parking your stupid land vehicle on the side of the freeway and casting out a line. The only thing you’ll catch is a whole lot of guff from the state police. In a boat? A fish so fresh you’ll just want to bite right into it. Like an apple.

5. Conquest

You know what these little islands are missing? You living on one of them and not paying your taxes.

Your new boat has the power to take you to one of those little islands in the middle of your nearest river, which you may then claim as your own. I don’t know how legal this is, but who’s going to stop you?

6. Tuna Boat Inception

Shout out to the makers of “Gimp”, the FREE photo editing program which allowed The Big Snake to create this shitty picture of three guys holding a big tuna sandwich.

A tuna boat is a type of boat used to catch wild tuna. A tuna boat is also a kind of tuna sandwich served in a hot dog roll. You can pack a cooler full of these bad boys and bring them on your tuna boat, then eat a tuna boat on a tuna boat.

8. The Houseboat

The phrase “Now you’re cookin’ with gas!” should be changed to “Now you’re livin’ on a house boat!”

If you have a houseboat (or as we call them, a true boat), your backyard is a body of water as untamed and free flowing as your restless heart. Now un-dock that beauty, and enjoy a lifetime of floating down the mighty Mississippi to the sound of your own trumpet playing.

Petty Scams

The Big Snake’s Guide to Getting Free Shit

by: The Big Snake

I sat down about a month ago and thought to myself…. when was the last time I heard “Hey bud, this one’s on the house!” And I’ll be damned, I couldn’t recall! I also couldn’t recall if I have ever actually heard that before, or if it was just said on a re-run of Cheers playing in the background of a bar where I was already very drunk.

Semantics aside, there isn’t a soul on this earth that doesn’t long to hear those words at least once in awhile. Whether it be at your favorite bar, coffee shop, or used tire shop, those few simple words make you feel like dropping your hard earned coin there is noted and appreciated. In these “hard” economic times however, fewer and fewer establishments are willing to hand out a freebie. It’s like everyone has gone stingy on us hard working folks who are just trying to live ever-so-slightly above our means. What are we to do? Ol’ Snake has a solution…. Email corporate.

Now before you say anything, I understand this tactic will not work at one of your local mom and pop stores. That’s fine. My goal is to help you supplement your daily intake of whatever this consumable item is by cutting it with the corporate version. This way you can maximize your supply with minimal funding, like a drug dealer does. It’s gonna take work though.

First let’s talk about the history of “emailing corporate”. Long a tactic employed by perpetually unsatisfied white-couples and people who are angry about something else, emailing corporate will usually get you something you want. Whether that be an apology you DO NOT deserve or a coupon for your next drink half-off, they will respond with something for you. This “I’m angry at your staff” technique, however, gets you something at the expense of the poor people who have to work in a corporate hell-hole for a pittance. It also makes you look like a total asshole (but you wouldn’t care, because you are). While being really angry is an easy way to get what you want, my new and improved technique will get you what you want through other means: Being complimentary.

As a result of the behavior discussed in the previous paragraphs, corporations now almost always have a dedicated staff of human punching bags just to handle the deluge of angry complaints from retirees across the country. In a sea of unreasonable complaints riddled with grammatical errors and pending lawsuits your nice email is going to stick out like that balding, chubby Bee-Gee next to his handsome brothers with the beautifully feathered hair (see bottom for illustrated example). I like to call this the ‘Ugly Gibbs Brother” effect.

Don’t be afraid to really heap it on too, check out my example in an email sent to convenience store chain, Cumberland Farms:

Wow, now that is some high praise. Notice how I added in a few factors here to make this email really shine. One, I made it abundantly clear that it was my birthday. Two, I asked for way more than they could have possibly given me.

If you think requesting an entire film crew was a bit too much…. you would be right, because they responded with this:

 

 

Alright, fair enough Cumberland Farms. In retrospect this was my fault for painting myself as a lonely sad-sack who wrote a convenience store chain just to let them know his birthday plan was to go to a bunch of their locations by himself. While demanding a film crew.

This initial response did not phase me however, I wanted those free hot-dogs and/or coffees. Bad. So I decided to play into the pitiful role I had already laid out with this:

 

**ADDRESS CHANGED TO PROTECT MY PRIVACY, ALTHOUGH I DO FREQUENT THIS DENNY’S** 

This follow up email did two things for me. Firstly, it affirmed to the customer service center that my first email was not just a silly prank. I was serious about this birthday gas station tour, the film crew, the whole lot of it. Second, it heaped even more pity on top of an already unbearably pitiful story. The body of that text might as well read “Please respond to my email Cumberland farms, you are literally all I have…”

Then the magic happens:

 

 

Thank you, Maureen, for saving my birthday!

Finally, I have my prize. Two coupons for a free beverage worth 99 cents or less (retail value) and it only took seven days, four emails, and hours of planning my next move. Next time someone asks me how much my time is worth, I’m going to say “One dollar and ninety-eight cents, plus tax.” without hesitation. And so should you.

This is not an exact science, but more of an art, as you can see. So if you have any trouble with getting your free drink coupons feel free to contact me directly for guidance. Or if you represent a company that would like to send me free drink coupons, you can contact me as well. Just remember to never give up, not until you have claimed what is rightfully yours. As promised earlier, I will leave you with a little picture to help you remember my “Ugly Gibbs Brother Effect” Thank you.