John Walker's Electronic House

A Typical Thursday

by on Jul.30, 2005, under The Rest

So, I want to tell you about my life. I’ll pick, oh, let’s say Thursday, and talk you through it.

I get up at about 7.30am, and jump in the shower. Coffee is made, thrown in a travel mug, and I get in the car. DVDs are dropped back at the rental shop (because I don’t want to be barred from both video stores in Bath), and then I drive for twenty minutes around a town I’ve lived in or near for three years trying to find a route through the crazyman one way logic problem of Bath’s streets until I can get to the road with the Odeon on it. (Anyone who lives in Bath now thinks: ‘Um, you just drive onto it.’ Those people are witches). I manage it just in time to pick up Kieron, and then we drive to Stansted airport.

We don’t fly anywhere, that’s not why we go there. We just go there to have games presented to us before getting into a coach and being driven to a mystery location containing a giant stately home in the beautiful green countryside. Here we have an incredibly nice buffet lunch with barbecued meats of every variety. We drink green orange juice and red or blue water, and sit with the very most strange of games journalists, who all fawn over Kieron, asking if they can just, just maybe, touch his hand so their lame foot may be healed.

We meet with Craig, and then after lunch are surprised by a large group of men and women dressed in combats, faces, arms and chests smeared in camo, who run into the room and tell us all to put combats on. They then shout at us until we all go outside, in our correct groups, as designated by the number on the caps we’re forced to wear, and not the colour of the cap. Red is human, yellow is biomek, black is mutant. As you’re probably well aware.

Outside, we are then shouted at by incredibly cute girls putting on cross voices.

So, so pretty

Divided up, Kieron (human) goes off with the number 5s, while as 2s, Craig (human) and I (mutant) go in the other direction.

At this point, it’s probably quite important to point out how some people are Cap People, and other people are not. For instance, me:

I like zee riflez

Variously described as “handsome” (thank goodness for Jim), “a Serbian war criminal” (cheers Stu) and “The right-wing nutcase we always knew you were” (from dearest, dearest Alec, who just keeps finding that joke funny, bless him), I think it’s safe to say that I’m… not a Cap Person.

Craig, however:

look at the pretty girls in the background, not him

is clearly of the Cap People. The natural smile, and long, girly hair, means that he looks as pretty as a peach in anything.

And Kieron:

THIS is the man they worship

Well, he’s grateful for the chance to go outside and spend time with the grown ups.

So Craig and I will go to the quad bikes and inflatable outdoor indoor quasar first of all.

Damn traffic.

When we are done there, terrfied by the shouting, insane, shouting, shouting German man

Someone, for the love of God, someone make this man shut the hell up.

and the woefully over-confident guy from Boomtown, we move on to the hovercrafts.

Craig, controlling hovercraft with witchcraft

Hovercraft? Witchcraft, more like. More difficult to steer than my Fiat Punto, and with a thumb-twitch cut-off cord, they are quite impossible to control, and Craig is a demon, spawned upon this earth in the approximate form of a human. Here we also drive things called ‘Argos’, which devastatingly is pronounced “Arr-goes”, and not like the laminated halls of plastic misery-queues. (I’m sorry, Greek who?). These are not controlled by the two metal levers that must be pulled up and down willynilly while the ludicrous six-wheeled metal crate lurches about in its own choice of direction, which is inevitably through the thick trunks of trees.

This rubbish finished, we move on to pure, sweet joy – vehicles formed from the very tears of metallic angels: Little buggies that go everso, everso fast.

We love you, little guys.

A fool might think it enough for us to just drive these beasts at hairy speeds around the large grass track. Sad fool. The only way for this experience to be complete is for two teams of enemy races to be armed with semi-automatic paintball guns, who must fire their little balls of emulsion-based death at you as you hurtle past their cowardly nests.

All finished, we head back to the vast, astonishing house/hotel, and are told that the cheating human scum cheated their way to a cheat-based victory, and then Kieron and I drive back via our own unique and patented route. This involves my ignoring Kieron’s correct suggestion of which way to get onto the M25, and immediately realising that we’re facing the wrong circumference of a big, slow circle. No matter, we just drive the nine miles to the next junction and turn around. Of course, we don’t drive those nine miles, but instead move at a speed only slightly faster than if we just allow the surface of the earth to pass beneath our wheels, because everyone, and I mean everyone, wants to get a big old nice slow gawp of the burned out winnebago that’s blocking all three lanes of the motorway in the other direction. So we don’t turn back and join the carpark on the other side of the barrier, but instead take a scenic route through the countryside, taking us back to the same junction where I made that one stupid decision one hour previously. Hours later I drop Kieron off in Bristol, and then get home, watch a couple of episodes of Scrubs, and get myself to bed.

That’s pretty much a Thursday for me. It normally means I really can’t wait for the weekend for all this crazy work to be over.

(Full-sized pictures, with a load others, here)

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