Wednesday 26 September 2012

UK Top Secret

As The Tunguska Event is the least visited place on the Internet, I have opened its pages for the storage of the UK's most secret papers from the last 100 years.

The Queen Memorandum

Dear Associates of the Executive Council,

As you are aware Queen Elizabeth II retired in 1990. Unfortunately we, of the council, couldn't allow her to abdicate in favour of her successor as Prince Charles is clearly away with the fairies.

Since 1990 her role has been taken by a number of fine actors and actresses. This has both strengthened the monarchy and reduced the number of exciting re-interpretations of the works of William Shakespeare we'd have otherwise endured. Allowing foreign actors and actresses to play the role during leap years has really kicked it into a higher gear.

There have been many notable turns as the monarch and some minor gaffs:

  • Sir Patrick Stewart, who tapped a man on each shoulder with a sword and then spoke the words he will always remember - Engage. Warp 6.

  • Samuel L Jackson who told Prince Harry he was too old to be trained as a Jedi.

  • Scarlett Johansson could have made the role her own, if it were not for a double back flip during a royal premier. We attempted to cover this by releasing a story about the issues with extra powerful springs in replacement knee joints.

  • Julie Andrews was simply terrifying during a Royal visit to an umbrella factory. You will have seen the videos. We don't want a repeat.

The weekly meeting between the monarch and the Prime Minister has been unaffected, most PMs having attended public schools like Eton and Harrow and having their heads shoved so far up their posh arses as to be unable to notice. Even Charlton Heston's turn as the Queen wasn't spotted despite leaping onto a palace drawing room chair and yelling "Every man should have the right to carry a gun."

There have been instances where an actor as suitable as those referred to above could not be found. For example, during much of a diamond jubilee a slightly pissed-off looking mannequin was used. Notably for the river Thames trip.

None of the Royal Family have been aware of the substitution of the Queen by an actor. Centuries of in-breeding certainly have advantages, but intelligence and observational skills are not amongst these. Maybe if the extreme wet weather continues the webbed feet will be of value after all.

Please reply with suggestions of actors and actresses we can approach. Anyone who suggests John Barrowman will be unlikely to be heard of again.

Sunday 5 August 2012

The Final Part

Our heroes have been fed, followed a trail of notes requesting help, driven by bus, flown in a stunning replica of the Starship Enterprise, shot, killed, resurrected by the bus driver, who turned out to be Death and finally reached the source of the notes where a fate worse than, er, Death awaited them.

The seventh part of the trilogy:

Skimming time like a stone on a pond

It's turned out weird again

Trail of Crumbs

An unfortunate bullet in the head

Death And Taxes

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The orderly walked down the corridor. He paused at each of three doors opening the flap and looking into the room. "Poor souls," he muttered, "Hallucinating for weeks. The tall one keeps muttering about wresting a laser from a shark, cutting open the door and escaping."

His supervisor arrived just as he closed the last flap. "I've heard him. Sharks with lasers. Pah! Found on the pavement outside the Euthanasia Curry House in 1979."

"Curry too strong for them?"

"No, apparently it was the after dinner coffee. Eolistblend prepared the Turkish way. Not recommended by the World Health Organisation and banned under the Geneva Convention."

The supervisor lifted the first flap, "Bloody hell, we're going to get crucified for this!"


"This one has gone! Check the others."

In 1979, a cracked trio was sent to the loony bin by a psychiatrist for windows they didn't lick. These men (and a woman) promptly escaped from a maximum security mental hospital to the Slobering-under-the-Bed underground. Today, still wanted by hardly anyone, they survive as crazies for rent.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The Caffeine-Team.

Thursday 2 August 2012

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The sixth part of the trilogy:

Skimming time like a stone on a pond

It's turned out weird again

Trail of Crumbs

An unfortunate bullet in the head

Death And Taxes

"The next note is in the cave, Death said," said Eolist.

"Well, this is the only cave I can see," I said.

"Why does it have to be halfway up a mountain, and in the baking heat," complained Roth. He was hungry and hunger always makes him tetchy. We had last eaten in 1979.

We climbed the rock strewn slope. Every time we reached a point where we thought the next rise would lead to the cave, we would get there only to be disappointed. The bullet hole in my forehead was still bleeding and painful. You'd have thought when Death resurrected us from the dead he'd have attended to minor details like this.

"Anyone got an aspirin? I've got a really sore head," asked Eolist.

"Get down!" Roth hissed. We ducked behind an outcrop of rocks that was next on our list to scrabble over. In the distance three horses and riders were galloping towards the cave. They stopped and one of the riders looked straight at us. He turned back and the three of them continued.

"Did you notice anything odd about them, because they really gave me the willies?" I asked.

Roth thought for a moment and said, "No shadows. It's blazing hot, brilliant sunshine and they had no shadows."

We decided to approach the cave more slowly, moving from rock outcrop to stone cairn to laying flat on the hot rocks. Whatever we did, we didn't want to be seen.

The sun was setting before we arrived at the cave. Dusk was an advantage we hadn't planned for, but were grateful for nonetheless. The mouth of the cave was not at all as expected, being made of metal rather than the more traditional stone. I picked up a small rock in entrance and turned it over. Underneath it said made in china. We looked around. There was no one there and thankfully no sign of the three horsemen. We walked further into the cave taking care to keep to places where we could hide easily. The entrance was now hidden from us but there was enough light to see, although from where it came we couldn't make out.

We sat down on a "rocky" outcrop, although it felt chilly and metallic probably because it was cold and made of metal.

"What do you think this place is?" I asked.

"And where's the note?" Eolist added.

"Do you think they have a vending machine?" Muttered Roth under his breath.

Before Roth finished his sentence the wall of the cave slid open and blinding lights shone down upon us. We were in a huge control room with a giant boardroom table and chairs. On the opposite wall, framed like a huge picture, was glass window onto an aquarium. A giant shark swam up to the glass before being bitten in half and gobbled up by something much scarier with tentacles.

A voice boomed out, "Ah, Mr Roth, we have been expecting you!"

The figure standing on the gantry was black, oriental and immaculately dressed.

"Who's that?" I hissed at Indigo.

"That is Dr Wang. He's probably trying to take over the world. Again."

"Seize them," shouted Dr Wang.

The three horsemen we saw earlier appeared out of the shadows.

"Who are you?"

"We're the three horsemen of the apocalypse," a dark reverberant voice said, "For I am War." He bowed slightly. "This is Famine," he gestured to the very thin horseman to his left. "And this," he paused, "is The Other One."

"Dammit, I'm Pestilence. Do I need to wear a name-badge?" he wheezed.

"It would help," War agreed. The Other One shot him a daggared look.

"I thought there were FOUR horsemen. Where is Death?" I asked.

"He is no longer a horseman. He drives buses. We were supposed to be the four horsemen of the apocalypse: Death, War, Famine and The Other One."

"Pestilence," The Other One interjected.

"Whatever!" War continued. "We were meant to be the four horsemen of the apocalypse, not the three horsemen and the one bus driver of the apocalypse. Besides he gets all the limelight, for instance I hear he has appeared in The Tunguska Event, whatever that is, no less than five times. Am I not photogenic enough?"

The three horsemen grabbed us and hauled us off to a musty and damp prison cell. Actually "hauled" was overstating it, they were really quite gentle and just cajoled us in the right direction. Roth muttered something about "having a word with Dr Wang about his henchmen training."

"I was rather expecting a note. Not Dr Wang and three supernatural jockeys from the Bible," Eolist complained. She had a point.

"He could have killed us. Did you see the automatic machine gun emplacements? It was like something out of Aliens," I said.

"It's not Dr Wang's style. He likes nice elaborate death settings. Something slow, painful, humiliating and basically anything I can escape from. He's a gentleman genocidal manic, with impeccable manners," Roth filled us in on this aspect of his former life. Normally all he talks about are the fast cars and the expense account.

We sat in the cell for hours before the two of the three horsemen came back. The cold and the damp was quite pleasant after the long dry climb up to the cave.

"We've been told to take you to the dining room. Dr Wang would like a word over dinner," said War.

"Hang on, you're War, he's The Other One, so where is Famine?" I asked.

"Pestilence," hissed the other horsemen and was promptly ignored.

"Famine is cooking dinner. He's quite the Gordon Ramsey when he has the chance you know," War replied, "Loves Hell's Kitchen."

As we stepped out of the gloom War looked us up and down. We were still wearing the uniforms from the Enterprise, but the knees of our trousers were worn through, there was blood from our gunshot wounds and we looked a mess. "I better take you somewhere to get cleaned up."

We arrived at dinner, showered and very well turned out. Roth and I had Saville Row suits and Eolist was wearing a black designer number.

"Ever felt he might have had this planned? This suit is a perfect fit," I said.

"Dr Wang is like that. Never play battleships or noughts and crosses against him. His anticipation and forethought is legendary," Roth replied.

"So, Mr Roth, how did you deal with my three trigger happy henchmen down below?" asked Dr Wang, "I was most annoyed to hear they had shot you dead."

"We got a little surprise help from Death. He decided to bring us back to life and dispatch your henchmen. Not that we knew they were yours, of course," Roth explained. "We were puzzled as to why Death was involved."

"I needed some unusual assistance, and I found this lovely little vein of rivalry amongst the four horsemen. The three who are here, War, Famine and The Other One are really fed up with Death. It seems they hate him getting all the big speaking parts and roles in adventures whilst they are the also-rans. Also they seem to really resent his driving of a London Bus instead of the riding a horse."

"War could make a good living as a voice over artist," I interjected.

Dr Wang ignored me and continued the explanation, "Between us we concocted this idea that there was someone in trouble, who needed rescuing, and they were leaving a trail of notes. I knew Indigo Roth would find that irresistible, especially if the someone, possibly, was female. Death was lead to believe that the rescue was essential and that whilst Roth might die it must go on. I needed to get the 'Roth might die' bit in so as I can kill him at my base in a fiendishly clever manner."

"So that's why he saved us when we were all killed," said Eolist.

"Indeed. The other three horsemen will be delighted to make Death feel like an ass."

We ate in relative silence. Famine could have been a Michelin stared chef in another life.

At the end of the meal, Dr Wang got his supernatural henchmen to take us to a room. It looked like the bottom of a missile silo. In the middle was a shaft in the ground which we were taken over to inspect. At the bottom of the shaft was molten lava. It was rising gently. When we looked up there were the rocket exhausts of a missile. One of the walls of the silo was glass.

Dr Wang explained, "You three will be tied to these metal poles. The lava will rise in the shaft until it covers the floor and cracks the glass, whereupon a shark will break out with millions of gallons of water. The shark has a laser on its head. The laser will ignite the rocket exhausts."

"Dr Wang, you fiend!" Roth exclaimed, with cool English composure.

Eolist and I remained quiet as the three of us were tied to the metal poles. It didn't seem fair.

"Dr Wang, this doesn't seem fair. Your beef is with Roth here, not us. Let us go," said Eolist.

"My dear woman, there are three poles and the apparatus needs a little testing do you not think?"

"What do you expect from us?" I asked.

"Dr Tunguska, I expect you to die!" replied Dr Wang. He paused and made some corrections in his notebook, shaking his head slightly.

He left the room, locking the hatch and leaving us to our fate. The lava rose, the shark butted the glass and the rocket exhausts loomed over us threateningly. Soon the lava flowed over the rim and edged towards our feet.

Are our heroes doomed? Again?

Monday 9 July 2012

Scratch & Sniff

You may have wondered what your favourite characters smell like. Well, due to the power of technology I bring you the scratch and sniff guide to The Tunguska Event.

Scratch and sniff below to get the authentic smell of Max Tunguska:

Now try the fine aroma of Eolist Petite:

Then the heady wiff of Indigo Roth:

And finally for the brave, the Squiddrel:

Unfortunately the technology required to make this work isn't available in your century. I recommend you move forward to the next century or attempt to scratch and sniff Max Tunguska, Eolist Petite, Indigo Roth and the Squiddrel personally.

Actually, forget about scratching and sniffing the Squiddrel. He might not like it much. And then you wouldn't like it much.

Monday 2 July 2012

What's on your Mantelpiece?

An intense study of the lives of people in Britain called Mass Observation was started 75 years ago. One of the questions in this study was "What's on your Mantelpiece?"

So I thought I would start the study again but with popular* contemporary bloggers.

Dr Max Tunguska has, working from left to right, on his mantelpiece over a fine open log fire, the following:
  • A jar of nitroglycerin.

  • A human brain in a jar covered in formaldehyde with some wires sticking out of it. The label has Max Tunguska scribbled out and Vacant Possession written in underneath.

  • Some green glowing rocks sitting on a wooden plaque with a brass engraved plate showing the wording Essential Power-source from Atlantis.

  • Discharge paperwork from the mental asylum (forged).

  • One dead bonsai tree.

  • Two small reel-to-reel tapes left here by Jericho Roth.

  • A cup of coffee.

  • Eolist sitting swinging her feet.

If any other bloggers would like to document their mantelpieces, be my guest.

* Starting with The Tunguska Event is stretching popular to breaking point, so bite me.

The original BBC article can be found here:

Sunday 17 June 2012

Death and Taxes

The story so far,

Following a trail of notes asking for help has lead our three heroes to a small red planet where they have been unexpectedly shot dead.

The fifth part of the trilogy:

Skimming time like a stone on a pond

It's turned out weird again

Trail of Crumbs

An unfortunate bullet in the head

"You useless, slow witted, pompous, stupid Englishmen," the thin, ethereal, yet strangely resonant voice began, "Have you got you heads stuck up your respective bottoms?"

"I'm American. And a woman."

"THEN YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER." The voice cut her off dismissively.

"We're alive?!" I said, looking down at myself and feeling my head.

"Of course you're not alive, you bloody half-wit. You were shot in the head. Right through your brain. You are dead as a dodo."

"I'm alive. I was sure I was a gonna there," said Roth, now suddenly standing next to me.

"I'm not going through all this again, look over there." A single skeletal finger pointed from under his black cape to an untidy pile on the ground.

"I'm dead and that's my body over there?"

"There is some hope for you, the tall one who smells faintly of pepperoni catches on fast. Yes, you are all dead. Those are your bodies."

"Why is the outer casing of a ball point pen sticking out of the bullet hole in my head?" asked Roth.

This was quite a lot to take in. The three of us stood facing the black caped skeletal figure holding a scythe. He was deep in thought.

Eventually he spoke, "I expected one of you to get shot and killed, hence my warning on the bus where I told you one of you would not be returning. I didn't expect the other two to stand around in the open arguing until they got shot too."

He paused and thought some more, "Your mission is too important, you must go on and help the writer of the notes."

"You are here to reap our souls?" I asked.

"I am the Grim Reaper, the personification of Death. I live with three other guys who also like horses. Of course I'm here to collect your souls."

"But I didn't eat the salmon mousse," said Roth.

"I hear this three or four times a day since that sodding Monty Python sketch. It is wearing really thin." He pointed a bony finger at Roth, "I would suggest you shut up."

He thought some more. "I have three souls to collect. You need to continue with your mission. So I think I have a solution. Look over there."

In the distance our murderers had broken cover and were walking over to where we lay. Clearly they couldn't see us or the Slightly Peeved Reaper. There were three of them and they were dressed like scrawny versions of John Rambo. They suddenly froze in mid-step.

"I'm going to collect their souls, pop yours back in your bodies, and fudge the paperwork. If I switch the mental records I shouldn't get found out." As he spoke, six folders appeared on the ground, three really fat ones and three slim ones. He picked up the three slim folders and flicked through them, "Fairly straightforward murderers." He picked up the three thick folders and read through them, "Wow, you guys have mental problems I've never seen before. And the pages are all out of chronological order. I think some of the time stamps are wrong too. That page is marked with the date Atlantis sank."

Eolist coughed and Indigo Roth looked down and shuffled.

Death waved a bony hand, the folders switched contents and vanished. "Stay here and don't move."

He walked over to the three murderers. Our murderers. They unfroze and fell to the ground. From their bodies we could see their souls drift out and upwards. A slight wind blew our way so we could just catch the conversation.

"But I didn't eat the salmon mousse," protested the first murderer.

The Slightly Peeved Reaper swung his scythe and the three souls vanished.

He stomped back.

"Right you three, I don't do this very often, so hold on."

"Will it hurt?" Eolist asked.

"I don't believe I shall feel a thing. But you'll be in agony. For hours."

I woke up. It was dark, my mouth was full of dirt and the throbbing in my head was unspeakable. I realised after a few seconds I had fallen on my face and slowly lifted myself up. Eolist and Roth were sitting on the ground. Eolist was extracting a pen casing from the bullet hole in Roth's forehead.

Death spoke one more, "The next note is in that cave over there." He pointed a bony finger again. "I could die of boredom waiting for you to find it. I can't actually, that was just a figure of speech, but you know what I mean."

He added, "Please don't let me down. Or else."

What will our heroes find in the cave? What agency is powerful enough to have enlisted Death's help? Surely our heroes must be hungry again by now, so will they get to eat?

Wednesday 13 June 2012

An Unfortunate Bullet in the Head

The story so far...

Your three heroes have been fed and are following a trail of notes left by a person as yet unknown, asking for help.

They have been on a bus ride driven by Death. They have sat in perfect darkness until they worked out it was an Imagination Powered Spaceship. They have traveled on a pretty good approximation of the Starship Enterprise to a red planet, whereupon they received a further message and beamed down to the surface.

It was here the story took a darker turn.

We rejoin our heroes on the surface of the planet. Indigo Roth has been shot.

"Max, I think they've shot him in the brain!", screamed Eolist.

At times of stress I have a tendency to say stupid things. I didn't fail this time, "Damn, they must have been extraordinarily good shots."

"You're a doctor, do something!"

"I'm a PhD in Fabrication & Lies. I have a Master's degree in Being Useless."

"That's simply great. I was hoping you might be able to save his life using the outer casing of a ball point pen or something."

"We could stick the outer casing in that hole in his head."

"Help me drag him somewhere safe."

At that point another shot rang out and Eolist collapsed across Roth. I had but a few seconds to assess the new situation before I heard another bang, felt the pain, light-show and then darkness.

Are all our heroes dead? Will we ever find out who the note is from? What were the other horsemen doing whilst Death drove the bus?

Saturday 9 June 2012

Trail of Crumbs

The story so far...

Our heroes (the tall one, short one and fat, bearded one) have been fed, then transported by the one bus driver of the apocalypse to help an, as yet unknown, person or persons in distress.

As we rejoin them they are sitting on the floor in an impenetrable supernatural darkness. They have already discovered the floor has the single word HELP inscribed in it.

"OK, let's stand up, link hands so as we don't loose each other and try to find something," Roth suggested.

"Hopefully that something might be a light switch," added Eolist ruefully. “Or, possibly, a nice cup of coffee.”

"Yes, this dark is really tiring on the eyes," I said.

Roth reached out in the darkness, holding Eolist's right hand and I holding her left. This was a slow way of searching but the best we could do since it didn't look like assistance was going to turn up soon. Most of the time it was less like exploring and more like stretching a small person.

"I can feel something. It's big and curved. Partway up one side is something. It's like a hoop sideways," said Roth. "It feels like it's made of ceramic - really smooth. And warm."

"Can you smell something?" Eolist asked.

"COFFEE!!" we all said at the same time.

"I think this is a giant coffee cup. It's as tall as me!" exclaimed Roth, although he was probably exaggerating.

We moved around until we could each feel the cup ourselves.

"Who would have a cup of coffee this size? Have we been miniaturised?" Roth mused.

"Yes," said Eolist.

"You have!" Roth and I said together.

"There is only one place this is likely to exist," I said, "The one place in the multitudes of universes and through the breadth and depths of space and time where such a thing could exist.”

“Could you possibly be any more long-winded?” Roth interrupted.

“I think this exists in Eolist's imagination."

"Hmm. Interesting. I've read about this somewhere before." She paused. “They've really built one?" asked Eolist.

"I think so. We're in an Imagination Powered Spaceship," I said. "If it is I’m sure the three of us shouldn't be allowed within miles of one."

"How do you control it?" asked Roth.

"By holding a clear image of what you want in your mind. But it's unstable, a slight deviation, distraction or inconsistency and we're in trouble." I said, re-iterating what I too had read. “Try not to think about really deep mineshafts with spikes at bottom."

"So, if we're going to get out of here, rescue the person from whom the notes are from and get back home, we need to get ourselves a ride. Let's all focus our minds," suggested Roth.

The darkness began to lighten, shapes were visible and began to focus. Distinctly odd. Circular openings. White walls and floor. In the middle was an octagonal console.

"The TARDIS!" I said. "We all thought of the TARDIS?"

"Well, with one of these we could get anywhere," Roth justified the choice made by our imaginations.

"True, but there is a bit a of a problem here."

"Yes, none of us know how to fly one," Eolist caught the essence of my argument.

"OK," said Roth, "Let's concentrate again."

The column in the octagonal console began to rise and fall - nice touch I thought - before fading to darkness again. In front of us a screen appeared. It showed the stars and below the Earth. There was a captain's chair. Everything, but everything, made bleeping noises.

"The Enterprise NCC-1701. Not bad at all," I looked around some more, and I was very impressed as to how detailed our imaginations had been. We were even dressed for the occasion. Eolist was in blue, I was in gold and...

"I'm in RED!!!" Roth picked at his top. "Dammit, I'm a dead man."

"OK, we still have the problem of flying this thing," I said, ignoring Roth and his red uniform.

"I'm not so sure. On the console here is a big red button marked GO with a note underneath saying Help. Desperately need your help.", Eolist informed us.

"Go on press it. If there is a big red button, someone has to press it," I encouraged her. It was an unwritten rule of science fiction that if there was a big red button someone has to press it.

The Enterprise went to warp. The noise of the engines was truly impressive, with an ever growing whine, and the star-field on the main viewing screen streaked past us.

We had little to do but wait until we arrived. The Enterprise was on auto-pilot to a destination none of us knew. This was a puzzle - everything here was from our imaginations, but the destination and the note for help came from somewhere else. Who was leaving messages in our imaginations?

“I’m going to explore,” I said and walked towards the exit from the bridge which slid open with a satisfying whoosh. “I've changed my mind.”


“Which one of you thought of the mineshaft? It's just outside that door.”

Before we could get to the much needed attribution of blame, the Enterprise dropped out of warp. The stars stopped streaking by and it seemed we were in orbit around a small red planet. A voice spoke over the bridge speakers. It said, “I need your help. Please beam down to the planet below.”

This time when we went to the exit from the bridge, there was a turbo lift, not a mineshaft. Someone somewhere was forcing our hand. Manipulating us, first blocking the exit then letting us through to get to the transporter room.

We arrived on the planet. It was all rocks, red soil and pink sky.

“Be careful everybody,” Roth said.

A single shot rang out and Roth fell to the ground. Eolist ran over to him and checked his injuries. “He's dead Jim,” she said.

Is Indigo Roth dead? If he is will the takeaway pizza industry survive? Is this the completion of the bus driver’s prophecy? Will he find being dead an issue, or just get on with things as before?

Monday 28 May 2012

It's Turned Out Weird Again

The day had started out in an average normal way with a trip from 2012 to 1979, via a triumphant curry at the Euthanasia, and then back to the cold winter of 1979. During the meal I met up with my regular travelling companions and against normal rules they were returned to my time-stream. We were not allowed to be told why under the Temporal Confidentially Act 2057 Clause 189 of which none of us had heard.

Roth, the taller of my travelling companions then found a strange note, pinned to a lamppost, suggesting that we were his/her/their last hope and we needed to catch a bus. Now, we couldn't just go ignoring a note like that...

We got on the bus as instructed to find it was from London roughly around 2012.

That is the story as so far told in Skimming Time Like A Stone On A Pond

“There is no one else on this bus,” I said. I had taken courses in stating the perfectly obvious.

“By the feeling in my stomach, this isn't a normal bus ride, I think we’re going through time. Again,” added Eolist.

“I think it's a alternative reality," Roth suggested.

“I'm not sure anyone has ever accused any of us of spending much time with reality, let alone a alternative one,” I thought a moment. “Anyway what makes you think that?”

“Like Eolist, it was a feeling in my stomach. Different from time travel. Not as much week old sushi as bad fairy cake."

"You’re right. It was different," she agreed.

“I shall speak with the driver. He must know the route,” I didn't feel too positive about this but I walked to the front of the bus, past the please don't disturb the driver whilst the bus is moving sign.

“Driver, where is this bus going?”

The voice that spoke back was like an icy wind. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. The voice had no substance to it, no life, yet it reverberated. “You are nearly at the end of this part of your journey. One of you will not return."

I leant forward to draw level with the driver. I didn't want to, but I was compelled. The driver was tall and wearing a black hooded cloak. The fingers that held the steering wheel were so very thin. I was about to ask another question when the bus stopped.

The voice spoke again. “It is time for the three of you to leave."

I looked out of the window. There was nothing there. Darkness. “Here?” I queried.

“Yes. HERE.”

The doors opened and I walked back down the bus to my companions.

“What did the driver say?” asked Roth.

“He said we should get out here.”

“There is absolutely nothing out there.”

“He was really insistent.”

We got off the bus. It was the only light. As soon as we were all off it simply faded. The bus faded. It didn't drive off, it faded.

“It's turned out weird again,” said Roth. He couldn't have been more right.

“Where do you think we are?” I asked.

“Has anyone got a torch?” Eolist suggested.

“Yes, hold on.” I pulled a torch out of my pocket and twisted the barrel. Nothing happened. No light. “That's odd.”

“Maybe if we just feel around and see what is around us,” suggested Roth.

We walked around slowly. As far as we could tell there was nothing for as far as any of us were willing to walk. Certainly none of us wanted to get out of earshot of the others. Being in a strange place in absolute darkness is unnerving.

Eolist suggested trying the floor. We all felt around. It had the texture of concrete. Hard and rough but basically flat.

“I've found something,” said Roth, “I think it’s indentations in the floor. I can feel shapes. Letters. Oh. It says, H. E. L. P.” I think he may have looked quite shocked if anyone could have seen him.

All three of us sat upon the ground and started checking for more letters. If there were any we couldn't find them.

“Any idea what we should do now?” asked Roth.

“No. I think maybe we should wait and try and work out what is going on,” I suggested.

While we waited I recounted my conversation with the driver and his warning. This didn't help much.

Will Eolist, Roth and Tunguska be able to a) find help, b) find the lightswitch and c) work out what the driver’s warning meant?

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Skimming Time Like a Stone on a Pond

It was cold and snowing in early January 1979. The high road in Slobbering-under-the-Bed was in darkness due to a, not uncommon, power cut. Some workers somewhere were on strike.

Apart from a chap in the distance, I was alone in the high road. The buildings were a mixture of half-timber, some more modern brick and a couple of 1960's concrete delights. The full moon made up for the lack of man-made lighting.

I had been quite young in 1979 and lived somewhere else, so it was interesting to go back in time and see Slobbering during this era.

The chap in the distance was closer now. He was very tall, dark haired and Olympic-swimmer-broad across the shoulders. I could hear his feet crunch in the snow. In 2012 the flow of traffic would have drowned the sound out. In the late '70s there were few cars and all I could see were parked. A Ford Anglia sat under an extinguished streetlight a few yards away.

I contemplated what each of the shops had become by the early 21st Century. Most of the banks had become pubs. The quaint little wool shop would become one of about six mobile phone shops. The cafe across the road would degenerate into the Wrong Topping Pizzeria. The gents outfitters would still be having its closing down sale. Where I was standing was just at the join between a tobacconist and the butchers shop. They had become rival Estate Agents - awfully sad.

The crunching noise became louder, I turned to face him and as I did so he changed. His hair remained dark, but he lost nearly 12 inches in height, his breadth across the shoulders shrank, facially he altered from heavy boned Englishman to fine boned Asian. Even more strikingly his attire mutated from a council style donkey jacket to a most splendid tuxedo complete with a white napkin draped across his right arm.

He spoke, "Sir, your reservation is ready. If sir would like to accompany me to your table, the other guests will be waiting in about half an hour."

I opened my mouth to speak when a scraping noise filled the air. I looked to where I thought the sound had arisen. The split between the tobacconist and butchers shop grew wider. First one Taj Mahal style arch appeared, then another and finally a third. It was through the third the door was situated. The waiter ushered me inside.

The odd events of the last few minutes had masked my realisation of how cold I had become. The winter of '78 to '79 had been particularly bitter and my attire wasn't really adequate. I made a note to do better research in future before travelling into the past.

The Euthanasia was a very special restaurant indeed. The little booths seemed to disappear off into the distance. There was a world supply of flock wallpaper on show.

"Waiter," I said, "I didn't think there were any curry houses in England in 1979."

"Sir was in 1979? We had wondered why it took so long to pick sir up. In answer to your question, there were many fine curry houses in that era."

"What time is it now?"

"Roughly seven thirty. It is always seven thirty in the Euthanasia before one has eaten. Afterwards time progresses nearly normally."

"Sorry, I meant what YEAR?"

"Does sir think he is standing in a curry house in Slobbering-under-the-Bed's high road?"

We walked further until we reached a large booth. It was empty, but there were balloons on the table. Many helium filled balloons. Some had numbers on them.

"I thought you said the other guests are waiting?"

"Sir, they'll be waiting in about half-an-hour's time."

I sat down. There was a small notice on the table. It read "In case of problems of a personal nature, patrons are advised to fit their own oxygen masks before helping friends and family members to fit theirs."

"Would sir like a drink whilst he is waiting?"

"Yes please. Glenmorangie please."

"Your usual pint?"

"Ohhhh yes."


The gentle sitar music faded out for a moment and a disembodied voice asked us all to pay attention to the waiter standing in the isle. He will present safety instructions it said.

An unfamiliar waiter stood in the isle with an inflatable life jacket. He started speaking. "Sorry about the life jacket. One of the guests had a vindaloo and was attempting to inflate it in the traditional manner." He threw the jacket on the floor. "We are about to head back into space-time again. A slight feeling of nausea is common, although it can be counteracted with a little of the lime-pickle - it's very good. Should we crash, I wouldn't recommend going through the emergency exits here, here or here." He moved his arms from behind himself to in front, "as there is a good chance you will walk into the vacuum of space or into the mouth of a long dead creature from the prehistoric past. Thank you for listening. Enjoy your meal."

The music started once again. I've never heard Lady Gaga's Poker Face played on a sitar before.

I started reading the menu. It contained a list of fine curries, each with its official name and description of the cooking technique, spices and an indication of whether CO2, foam or water was the best extinguisher to use. In the margins were offers of help from the Samaritans and the Red Cross.

Almost together Indigo Roth and Eolist Petite arrived. Although they arrived together it was pretty clear they had been involved two quite separate activities (or one really weird one). Indigo slipped off his flippers and wet suit to reveal a perfectly pressed tuxedo. Eolist propped up her skis and ski poles, sat down and said "Man, that was the frothiest cappuccino I've ever crossed."

"Hi you two - what is it with the balloons? They seem to have lots of different numbers on them." I thought about this. "Are they for my birthday but you couldn't decide how old I would be when I got to the Euthanasia?"

"No," said Roth, "They are a promotion from my local chinese takeaway. I don't think you'll ever be 43A."

"How did they get here before you did?"

"I got help from the Badgers."

"Let's order. What is the today's special?"

"Dodo tikka masala, Sir. It's very succulent." The waiter had appeared silently at our table ready to take our order.

"Isn't the Dodo extinct?" asked Eolist.

"They are now madam."

"Perhaps you would prefer the Bang Bang chicken? Very tasty, but armed like the A-Team and more dangerous than a bear with a toothache."

A voice sounded from the next booth. It was a dark brown hairy kind of voice. Our friend Bear leaned around, "Sorry, but that's a very bearist comment. We don't all have very bad tempers or defecate in the woods."

The waiter bowed and apologised. Bear leaned back in.

"Excuse me waiter, but what are the figures in the margin? Have you been forced into including nutritional information?"

"Oh no, sir, those are survival percentages. We like our guests to know whether they need to get their affairs in order before ordering."

We ordered. The food arrived promptly and was every bit as special as we have come to expect the Euthanasia to serve.

Like most good evenings, the conversation flowed and it was all over much too quickly. Plates lay with half-finished food and gently bubbled and dissolved.

"We normally return our guests to their original time and place, but I received a message that you must all be returned to Dr Max's point of origin."

"Who was the message from?"

"I am not permitted to tell you. Temporal Confidentially Act 2057 Clause 189."


It was 1979 again. The three arches closed behind us with a scraping noise. The three of us stood in the snow, Eolist holding her skis, Roth back in his wetsuit and I was back in my brightly coloured Hawaiian shirt. Nicely inconspicuous I thought. Whoever sent the mystery message could have included an improved wardrobe.

"Shall we go back to 2012?" I suggested. "I have some particularly fine coffee beans. Genetically engineered them myself. I was just talking to one the other day whilst I was roasting it over a slow flame..."

"Hang on, there is a note attached to this lamppost," said Roth, cutting me off in mid-flow. "It says, Help me - you three are my last hope - catch the next bus."

At that point a double decker red London bus appeared. We climbed aboard, not really knowing what to expect. We sat down by the middle exit and waited to see how things would unfold. This was a bus from London 2012. It shouldn't have been in Slobbering in late '70s.

Eolist pointed out the notice over the doors. It seemed appropriate for a bus ride after a good curry.

Tunguska, Roth and Eolist return shortly in "The lion, and which flat-packed wardrobe"

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Misfortune Favours The Brave

The rain was pouring. I stared out from the end of the pier at Paralytic-in-the-Wardrobe, the neighbouring town to my home town of Slobbering-under-the-Bed. There was no sea to be seen and nor would there be until erosion, global warming and possibly plate-tectonics had worked their magic. Paralytic was more than 30 miles from the coast, no matter how out of date your sat-nav. Only an English town council could have decided to make the town a fully fledged seaside resort, complete with pier, without the sea.

I was sitting in one of the little covered seats often found on seaside piers wearing my seaside hat. I had a little time to wait, so I sat down with chips wrapped in newspaper and enjoyed a little lunch. There were a variety of stalls this end of the pier. Hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, fish and chips, shellfish and jellied eels. Numerology, palmistry and a little place that will give you a certificate with the meaning of your name. I'd tried this one earlier - yes, that's Tunguska. How do I spell it? T-U-N-G-U-S-K-A...

However I was waiting for the fortune tellers stall. It was dressed to look like victorian tent although it was clearly more solid than that. I'd heard this one was very good with a deep insight into the future. I wanted to find out for myself.

I chucked my vinegar soaked newspaper into the bin and with timing of extraordinary luck a woman with a couple of plastic shopping bags walked out of the fortune tellers stall. I walked in.

There was a small lace covered table and a heavily decorated lamp hanging over it. The fortune teller was in the semi-darkness on the other side of the lamp. I couldn't make out his or her face. When he or she spoke the accent was so thick I was still no wiser.

"Take a seat, Mr. No, no, don't tell me."

I sat down.

The androgynous accented voice um'd and ah'd and finally said, "Mr Kissmequick." That's a cracking start I thought.

In the centre of the table was the traditional crystal ball, as made famous on the Wizard of Oz. It glinted wonderfully in the light.

"I can sense you are psychic and other-worldly?"

That made a change from 'bonkers'.

"Hold out your hands"

I held out my hands. The fortune teller took them. He or she had spent some time working on the land - possibly as a plough. Cats tongues have been less rough.

"The dream is within you."

That's nice and enigmatic, I thought. My turn to ask a question, "Are any of my relatives here?"

"I sense the spirit of your granny. She has a surprisingly deep voice for a woman."

"What does she have to say?"

"She said, 'Watch out for a creature which is half red-squirrel and half colossal squid.'"

Now that is good advice. "Anything else?"

"And, 'Would you like a pizza when you stop mucking around in here?'"

I blinked a little at that one. Before I had time to think he or she was off again.

"Stare into the crystal ball and tell me what you see. I can sense more spirits collecting to speak with us this afternoon."

I looked hard into the crystal ball.

"Let your mind go completely blank."

Easy one that.

"Keep an open mind."

If I kept a more open mind, my brains would blow away.

"What do you see?"

"I can see a lace table throw. It's really detailed looking through this ball."

"Get out. Go. Be gone. I curse your next sandwich to be really bland."

Sunday 29 April 2012

A Note for My Readers

Thank you, both of you, for your continuing visits to this most exclusive place on the Internet.

This year I have renamed the blog from it's old name of to the I've also restyled it - twice.

In a continuing effort to loose readership, I have now purchased a domain and become

Monday 23 April 2012

A Nice Cup of Tea

Time travel is a real labour saving device.

Early morning meeting? No problem. Lie-in until 10, have a shower, a light breakfast, slightly too many cups of coffee then dial in 7am and arrive before anyone else. Look smug.

Can't be bothered to wait 10 minutes for dinner to be done in the microwave? Easy pop back in time, put dinner on, return in time for the ping.

Neighbour's dog keeping you up at night? Easy pop the Squiddrel* over the fence and enjoy the silence (after about 10 minutes). Actually that has nothing to do with time travel, but it is fun.

Annoyed by the slow service at your local fried chicken takeaway? Go back 50 years, replace the Colonel's 11 different herbs and spices by a mixture of sulphur, charcoal and saltpeter. When you return to the present the orders will be literally flying out.

But my favourite thing of all is sharing a nice cup of tea with figures from the past. Marilyn, JFK, Thomas Edison, Brunnel, Granny Smith. Last week I went for a brew with Nikola Tesla. The conversation couldn't have been more interesting, but I was unable to make my hair lay flat for a month afterwards.

* No Squiddrels were harmed during the writing of this blog entry.

Friday 20 April 2012

Letter From The Royal Society

There was a letter on the mat by the front door. Thankfully it hadn't been chewed by the dog, as I don't have one.

I opened the envelope. It was heavy, slightly yellow with a course grain to the paper. I pulled out the letter which was folded into three. I unfolded it and it cracked in a satisfying manner. I was hoping I was finally going to be recognised by the Royal Society. It would be much more of an honour than being recognised by the local police.

It was from a Royal Society. Unfortunately the wrong one. It was from the Royal Society for the Protection of Unnatural Hybrid Animals Abandoned in the Wrong Timeframe. The RSPUHAAWT had to be the most specific charity organisation ever. I suspect they didn't have a huge case load.

In the corner of the paper was an embossed gold crown with the words "By appointment to His Majesty". The black writing was raised slightly above the paper and I could almost read the words with my fingertips. Expensive and classy.

Dear Dr Tunguska,

We understand you are the creator of an Arboreal Cephalopod, a Squiddrel in fact, and due to your carelessness have left it causing a bit of a disturbance in 1980.

The citizens of 1980 would like this creature removed as it is ruining their enjoyment of the great music of their era. It loves to dance, hogs the space on the disco floor and has eaten at least three DJs.

Please resolve this matter urgently or we shall be forced to take action.

Harold Wingnut.

The letter was lightly scented. I phoned Indigo Roth.

"Hello. Roth residence. Please leave a message after the beep." The answer machine then said "bleep."

"Roth, if you want to go for a pizza you don't have to go to this much effort. A phone call will do."

"What effort?"

"The letter from RSPUHAAWT. I know it was you."


"It smelled slightly of pepperoni."

The Squiddrel first appeared in Indigo Roth's The Silence of the Ducks

An Alternative to Writing

Like most bloggers at some point in their blogging career obsession, I found I wanted to do something with my blog, but had a complete lack of inspiration with regards to a topic to write about.

So I completely re-styled my blog.

I hope you like it. I think it is a tad more interesting than my teal, purple, black and white theme.

The background represents my desk at home. And yes, I do cut out letters in ransom note style quite often.

Thursday 29 March 2012

The Seach fo R

A tilogy in thee pats
Pat 1: Evey Action Has An Equal And Opposite Eaction
Pat 2: Houston, We Have A Poblem
Pat 3: The Seach Fo R

Afte a ecent time tavel adventue, Indigo Oth, Eolist Petite and, I, Max Tunguska discoveed a bit of the alphabet was missing.

We wee concened. Actually Oth was concened. "I've lost a quate of my suname!" he exclaimed.

"I haven't lost any of my name at all," I said. "Look, if I fold this napkin like this, and this, and then like this, tuck that though, I get... Voila!"

"Yes, a folded napkin with a tucky bit! And I haven't lost any of my name. And this place does nice coffee," Eolist folded he ams in a gestue of emove-me-fom-my-coffee-and-I'll-bite-you-ankles.

"I suppose you'd like us to go back in time and find out what we did to scew things up?" I asked Oth.

"No, I'd quite like to sit hee, dink coffee and fold napkins," he eplied.

"Oh, that's ok then. I thought you wee botheed about the missing lette."

We odeed moe coffee.

"What shall we do this aftenoon?" I asked.

"We could go looking fo the missing lette in my suname?" suggested Oth.

"This place does nice coffee."

”I thought you said you ween't botheed?” I asked.

”Would you be botheed if you'd lost a quate of you second name?”

”Pobably not. I mean, I suppose it's too long anyway. I have to help people spell it. And it depends upon which bits I'd lose. Leave out the wong bit and it could be eally had to say.”

”Could we go and look fo it anyway?”

”Do you emembe whee you last had it?”

”Well, we need to stat with the Semetic people, then the Geeks, then the Omans, then us. So, have we been to Ome, Geece o Egypt ecently?" asked Eolist.

We all shook ou heads and looked down at the table.

”I was planning to go on a tip next week. Quite fancied getting away fom it all in Geece fo a while. Maybe when I go thee I do something that affects now,” I said.

”Suely you can't be suggesting that something you haven't done yet is messing up now?” said Eolist.

”I think so. Cumbs, I'll have to ceate a tachyon pulse to affect my bainwaves so as I'll ealise going to Geece is a bad idea and I shouldn't do it. Maybe I should genetically alte my bain to make it moe tachyon sensitive too." I said, almost to myself.

”Could you not leave youself a note on the fidge suggesting you go to Slough athe than ancient Geece?" suggested Oth.

"My dear Roth, that is a rather remarkable recommendation."

Monday 27 February 2012


Her whiskers twitched and she frowned with frustration. There would have been a glint of anger in her green eyes but she was too controlled for that. A mouse was going to die horribly later.

"You cannot be serious! You think that came from where?" she pointed a ginger paw over to an object standing a good jump above the grass in the gloom of a spring night.

"It's alien. Most definitely alien. It came from the same place as the implant in the back of my neck," said her companion. His tabby fur and fine features were hardened by the take away curry tin he had moulded to his head.

"Listen Scully, there is more out there than you can imagine. When I got my implant I was taken in a box made of some material I couldn't dent with my teeth or scratch with my claws. Then they shone a bright light at me, inserted a probe - made my eyes water it did, and then I felt this pain in the back of my neck."

"I know how you must feel. I have a pain in my neck."

"Let me feel. You might have been abducted by aliens too."

"Raise a paw near my neck and I'll give you anal probing you'll not forget. "

Thursday 16 February 2012

Memory Bubbles

Just thought I share my “memory bubble” theory with the readers of my blog. Both of you.

Ever gone upstairs to get something and by the time you get there you've forgotten what you were there for? Then you go back downstairs and remember.

Well I have a theory.

Our memories exist around us in a huge invisible bubbles. For example, when you are downstairs and you think of something, the memory swims around in this bubble. You attempt to go upstairs, and the bubble jams against the end of the banister rail and the wall. You continue walking and pop, you come out of your memory bubble. You get upstairs and you have no idea of why you are there – because that is in the bubble at the bottom of the stairs. You go back downstairs, slip back into your bubble and are reunited with your memory.

It follows that you may have also left a memory bubble at the top of the stairs, when trying to go through the loft hatch or going through the wardrobe into Narnia.

Also bubbles must be exclusive to individuals. I mean you wouldn't want to walk downstairs into your partners bubble would you? That'd be just rude.

I'm off for a lie down.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Houston, we have a Poblem

A tilogy in thee pats
Pat 1: Evey Action Has An Equal And Opposite Eaction
Pat 2: Houston, We Have A Poblem
Pat 3: The Seach Fo R

Five minutes had passed since the events told in Evey Action has Equal and Opposite Eaction

As the thee of us sat dinking ou coffee, I pulled a business cad out of my pocket. I've no idea how it got thee.

"Oth," I said. "What is that stange symbol in font of you name?"

"What symbol? It's pobably punctuation - I've ead you blog and you nomally spit on it."

"The one that looks like this:"


"Oh cap! I think duing ou last time tavel we must have messed something up. Did you tap some eldely scibe on the shoulde at a monastey duing a moment of thought?"

Indigo Oth gabbed the time tavel device fom my hands. "I'll dive," he said, "Last time you dove I lost 1/4 of my last name."

Eolist pulled two things like handles with suckes on each side. "These ae fo us," she said.

"What ae they?" I asked.

"Panic handles. I emembe the last time Oth dove."

"Was that when he became ou ganny?"

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Evey Action has an Equal And Opposite Eaction

A tilogy in thee pats
Pat 1: Evey Action Has An Equal And Opposite Eaction
Pat 2: Houston, We Have A Poblem
Pat 3: The Seach Fo R

It was London. It was 2007. We wee pehaps unsupisingly in a coffee shop. By 'we' I mean of couse, the usual suspects. We had been on a little time tavel adventue and had stopped off in 2007 fo a quick cup of easonably nice coffee befoe going home.

Time tavel has consequences. Almost evey time something happens that needs fixing. You come back and then find out you no longe exist because you paents didn't meet. Then you go back and fix that and something else goes wong.

"Do you emembe the time we got back, picked up the family photos and discoveed I had become you ganny?" asked Eolist.

"Then we went back to ty to fix that, thought we'd got things staight and when we etuned, I was you ganny," said Indigo Oth, though a laye of milk foam on his uppe lip.

"I ty to check eveything I can think of out when I get back. Is the cappuccino light bown?" I said.

"Does the gaden gate squeak?" said Eolist.

"Is it indeed the geen geen gass of home?" said Oth.

"Beas, badges and lions wandeing aound and chatting to us like old fiends?"

"Hold on, I think that may be nomal."

"Yep, I just found a note to myself explaining that one."

"Thank goodness this time eveything seems pefectly nomal."

We aised ou cups, clinked them togethe and toasted ou successful tip.

Friday 3 February 2012

Would You Like Sprinkles On That?

It had been a long hard day. I needed to relax, put my feet up and generally chill out. I was walking through the town centre of Slobbering-under-the-Bed when I came across a newly set up coffee house.

I was unsure but I needed a good cup of something warm. So I entered said establishment. In the corner was a huge pipe organ and the man at it was playing Toccata and Fugue In D Minor by J.S.Bach.

It must be good, or the queue wouldn't have been quite as long. Either that or the barista was no where to be seen. Hmm - it seemed to be the latter. I looked up at the extensive menu above the bar which was subtitled The Freshest Coffee Brewed From North Sea Coffee Beans. I'd never thought of the North Sea as a great place to grow coffee beans. I remembered reading once that five minutes after falling in the North Sea you'd be dead from hypothermia. English seaside resorts beat the hell out of Amity Island with all that waiting around for a shark when here the water will get you way sooner.

The barista appeared out of nowhere carrying a large wet fish and a bucket of moist seaweed. He sprinkled seaweed over everyone and proceeded to hit us with the fish. We started to protest.

"Captain's orders. How can you appreciate the ambience unless you've been hit by a large cod and covered in seaweed?"

The woman behind me let out a yelp, "I've been bitten by a small crab!" she exclaimed.

"That'll be extra. Let the man behind the bar know and we'll add it to your tab."

Damp and smelly, we continued to queue. The music got louder as the man at the organ really got into the swing of things.

The chap in front of me got his coffee - it looked unexpectedly good.

"Would you like sprinkles on that sir?" The barista asked.

"Are they chocolate or cinnamon?"

"Fish scales."

It's at moments like this when you understand why tea is still a popular drink in England.

Sunday 29 January 2012

Gone Fishing

I sat by the river watching the rain drops expand in little circles on the surface. It was peaceful here. I like places like this. The rain didn't bother me because, although it was now quite heavy, my coat was more than a match - it had survived Welsh hillsides.

I had picked this spot on the bank as it was nicely away from everyone. There are times to be sociable and times when even two is a crowd. I was thusly a little annoyed when an old chap, wearing full fisherman's clothes came and sat beside me.

He stuck up conversation. It wasn't what I wanted, but I'm not a rude man. I just hoped he'd get bored and move on.

"So what bait are you using?"

"None at all."

"And are you being successful?"

"Indeed." It was true. Before coming here I was quite tense. Now I was relaxed and quite at peace.

He looked at my fishing rod and then back at me. "That must be quite some technique you have there."

I couldn't think of anything to say, and as I wasn't trying very hard, I said nothing.

"That's very thin line you must be using. I don't think I can see it."


"Yes, fishing line. Some of the brand new Dyneema stuff?"

"Oh no, there's no line there at all. Can't stand fish."

Monday 23 January 2012

Clock Watching

"Remind me why we've climbed all the way up here?" I said as the wind whistled past my ears.

"It's a fantastic view, isn't it?"

"Roth, you just answered a question with a question. That's supposed to be rude."

"Look down there. Eolist is doing a great job holding off the security people." he paused. "Oooh, that's gonna hurt in the morning!"

Below I could see a small woman, coffee cup outstretched in one hand to prevent spillage facing a burly security guard. It looked a truly unfair match. That said two other security guards were sitting on the ground, back to back rubbing their heads. The uneven opponents were circling each other. In a lightning move Eolist lurched forward and tweaked his knee. He went rigid and fell.

"First time I've seen that - the Eolist Knee Pinch. Like the Vulcan Nerve Pinch but so much lower down."

"I'm done. Time to climb down, if you'll excuse the pun."

We reached ground floor. Eolist was just finishing coffee. "Did you get it done?"

Roth answered, "We've got five minutes to get away from here. We should go."

We dashed through the backstreets and finally stopped by a little cafe. Then it happened. The noise was deafening.


Tuesday 17 January 2012

Out of Context

It was completely black. Up was black, left and right were black. The sofa we were sitting on was black. Down was black. I'm sure that if I checked, behind us would be black too. Occasionally there would be a shimmer in the distance and then the black would re-assert itself.

"Where are my legs?" asked Roth.

"We are both a little out of context here. Actually, quite a long way out of context," I replied. "It's probably normal."

"How am I going to eat a pizza off my lap? I don't seem to have one."

"Don't worry, there won't be a pizza delivery for at least 13.75 billion years."

Roth became the only white thing I could see and passed out.

Time passed, I looked at my watch and nudged Roth awake. I pointed him to a tiny pinpoint of light an indeterminate distance in front of us.

"Is that what I think it is?"


"It's fabulous."

"It might be. It has the potential to be. I've seen this a few times before and it doesn't always make it."

The tiny pinpoint expanded to a blindingly bright patch like the sun, only blue-white. Like the sun after it had been given a really good wash on a soap powder commercial. Then the patch forged outwards and overwhelmed us. The shimmer turned into ripples as the light hit us.

This time it had made it. The brightness calmed down and things shot past us, buffeting the shimmer. It was impossible to identify the things. They just weren't things we'd recognise.

"So that dot of light is the universe, and we were outside it watching it expand? The Big Bang."

"Yes, except we're not outside it, because there is no outside to be out in?"

"Then where are we?"

"Does the sofa seem familiar?"

"Yes. Are we still in my living room?"

"Does the Big Bang happen often in your living room?"

"I didn't think so, although admittedly now I'm not so sure."

"This whole construct is generated from the power of our minds. The mind can travel where physically we couldn't be."

"How do we get back?"

"It's very similar to the Wizard Of Oz. A sort of there's no place like home. To make it easy I have put the suggestion in our minds that we'll return when the stop button of the remote control is pressed."

"Where is the remote control?"

"Oh, bugger!"

Several minutes go by whilst we hunt for the remote control down the back of the sofa. It isn't helped by the black sofa, black remote control and generally black surroundings.

Roth succeeded. "Found it. Shall I push the stop button?"

"Yes, but make sure your mind is clear when you do. Remember this place is a construct of our minds."

There was a blinding flash. We were back in Roth's living room.



"You didn't clear your mind, did you?"

"I did so."

"Then why is there a zebra sitting on my lap with a swirl of cream on it's head topped with a cherry?"


Sunday 15 January 2012

I am not iDifficult

"I am not iDifficult" to paraphrase the title of Leonard Nimoy's autobiography "I am not Spock" (Although it should be noted the second volume of his autobiography is entitled "I am Spock").

I have changed the name of my unwholesome blog and my even more disreputable twitter account. I just got fed up with iDifficult. It started as weak joke and then developed life of its own. It was like using a placeholder name in a novel, and then discovering after publication that it was still there. Thankfully, I hadn't picked John Thomas. So for a while now I have looked for a new Non de Plume, or I guess since this is all typed, a Nom Du Clavier.

I thought about why I needed a pen name. Some of my friends write under their own names, so why shouldn't I? Mostly because the contents of this blog are works of fiction. It's not about my life, but about the lives of make believe characters doing odd and hopefully fun things. It doesn't feel right writing fiction using my own name. I also don't want comments made by my fictional character to be attributed to me just by googling my name. I'm proud of what I write (mostly), but I don't want words from my first person character(s) being taken of as my own personal viewpoint.

So after nearly ten minutes of really hard thinking, I have come up with a Non de Plume of Dr Maximilian Tunguska. I have renamed this blog to The Tunguska Event, as that is nicely fitting.

My blog's old URL or will be around until the end of March after which it will no longer work. has already gone the way of the pink finned dodo. The new URL is .

Likewise I have changed my twitter account from @iDifficult to @Dr_Tunguska. I'm applying the same rules - try to sell me something and I block you. Instantly.

I'm sure the character formerly known as iDifficult shall appear in a blog near you with Indigo Roth and Eolist Petite wearing a large friendly badge saying "Hi, I'm Dr Max" soon.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Memories of Unreal Things

I don't dream often. Or rather I dream as much as everyone else, but I seldom remember them. Occasionally I wake during the night, catch the edge of a dream and think, "gosh, that was interesting, I must remember it." Come morning, I've forgotten the dream, but annoyingly not the feeling of how fantastic the dream was, or of my desire to hold onto it.

So last night was a bit special. I had a most splendid dream and I can tell you about it now.

In my dream I went to see a film and it was a film I was really looking forward to seeing. I'd been to the concession stall and bought a bucket of coca-cola, some salty popcorn and something with melted cheese and nachos.

As I sat down and watched, the story unfolded. Now here's the weird bit - all the characters in this film were friends. Freud would have been taking notes furiously. The victorian doctors would have prepared me for a lobotomy.

The movie was fantastic. As I left, I turned an looked at the poster: