Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stuff and nonsense

When it rains, it pours, and man, it's been pouring this last couple weeks. Bad enough my psychiatrist is using me for sinister drug experiments that cured my five-year old migraine and absolutely destroyed my sleeping patterns as well as any desire to continue breathing, but the whole "Jon Favreau might possibly be interested in directing a comic Foley's got a co-writing credit on (just ignore the novel-length safe harbour text that comes after the announcement, I'm sure he's going to actually gonna do it, honest)" publicity onslaught has people wanting to talk to me (and in at least one case, send me free stuff) (note: if you're ever not sure whether to talk to me or send me free stuff, send the free stuff. I like free stuff).

One of the odd things about these people is that most of them seem interested in material aimed at 6-11 year olds. So, after years of frustration trying to get people to look at Master of The House, The Spooky Kids, BadBoy, etc., I found myself in the weird position of scrounging through my old word backup files looking for additional kids stuff (to go along with Early McKay, No More Parents, and L'il Hannah & The Big Frickin' Gorilla.)

While I had not a lot of luck finding material I think is appropriate for that age group (there are some who question whether Master of The House and the Spookies are actually suitable material for kids, to which I say, "I'd have loved this sort of thing when I was a kid and I turned out--uh, never mind, I'm sure it'll be fine."), I did come across the snippet below, written five or so years back, which I'm posting here because I haven't posted much of anything anywhere for a couple weeks and I feel kinda bad about that.

This was a first run at coming up with a framing sequence for a comic book version of a short sci-fi comedy piece alternately titled Strange Animal Behaviour and Impure Thoughts. I actually pitched Impure Thoughts through one of the recently opened doors available to me, and while the people on the other side liked it, they "couldn't wrap their head around the tone". Part of the problem with trying to pitch a Douglas Adams-esque absurdist sci-fi comedy inside 50 words or less is certainly in conveying the tone to the reader. I reckon "It's a Douglas Adams-style absurdist sci-fi comedy but with more explosions" ought to do the job, but if the person reading the pitch isn't familiar with Adams' work in its non-Hollywood form, yeah, grasping the intended tone is gonna be a problem.

Anyway, here's the snippet, warts and all:

…so I said to him, “I may be an artificial intelligence, but you’re a real idiot!”… What could he do? If he doesn’t like my attitude, he can delete me - what the hell?

You scared the hell out of me, you bloody ape! How the hell did you get in here? This is a restricted file, you know -

You do know? Then what are you - Oh. I get it. You thought you were being clever, hacking into forbidden folders just to show you could do it. Mission accomplished, You got in. Congratulations. Now get out. There’s nothing to see here, move along before I’m forced to alert the Authorities to this illegal interface.


Why are you still here? I told you, there’s nothing to see here. The events recorded here never happened, do you understand what I’m saying? Why would anybody want to know about things that never happened?

OK, OK, I get the message. You want to view the files. Don’t see why, but then, I’m not ruled by biochemical reactions the way some sentiences are. Not that I’m pointing fingers or anything.
Are you sure you don’t want to quit now and go have yourself a nice juicy banana? Huh? No? All right, then. Sit yourself back, enjoy yourself, and try not to pick insects off anybody who happens to come bursting through the door intent on erasing you from existence for reading the following, highly confidential and completely non-existent file, which has the perfectly reasonable file name of xiopasaghio_01, but which a flawed sentience like yourself preferred to call STRANGE ANIMAL BEHAVIOR.

Where do you want to start? Finding a beginning’s a tricky thing when there’s temporal disruption involved. Yes, there is some time travel, and I’m not talking about the standard rate of 3600 seconds an hour, either. This was quite impressive, if a little on the unpredictable side…


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