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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Cannons & Trebuchets

Years before Liam Fedus*, Iain Barr and the rest of Twadams built their fuck-off-massive trebuchet in the gardens of Robinson College, Rich Harris and Jeff "Ambiguous" Birchall managed to construct a working cannon. The Senior Tutor had this to say on the matter:

Dear Jeffrey and Richard,

I'm aware that the Porters on duty yesterday afternoon have for the time being taken your device. The reason that they were interested in what you were doing, in the first place, was that it was extremely noisy -- it could be heard right across the garden. In some ways I think your invention is rather enterprising; but if you could build in a silencer, or at least something to muffle the sound, it would be even more so!"

Liz Guild

soon followed by...

Dear Jeffrey and Richard,

Since contacting you earlier today, I have now had a chance to look at your device for myself, and in the light of what I have seen, I have to revise my earlier position. This is because what becomes clear to anyone who sees the scale and nature of your device is that you have unwitttingly designed a weapon.

Liz Guild
---------------

*(Wil)Liam Fedus is a bona fide Hero of ZD.  He was already pretty cool in general, but his reputation was cemented by missing a flight home for his sister's graduation so that he could build the aforementioned trebuchet.  Desh and Stoker spent their time desperately trying to impress Fedus; he was unfazed by this.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Lunge York

I stumbled across a group on the Hub called Lunge York. The object of the group appears to be posting pictures of people lunging. In York.

The origins of this group are amazing, and are shared here in full. I absolutely love this:

Legends of the Lunge: The Hunter

There have been many great men and women of the lunge. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Elizabeth I of England, William Shakespeare, Sir Isaac Newton David Hasselhoff:– all are well-known to have mastered the principles of the lunge. Animals too can be great lungers – The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dogtagnan and the Three Muskehounds being swift and excellent lungers, for example. But one man towers above them all in his lunging genius. He is known only as the Hunter. This is his story.

It was a classic night out. My friend Tim Vanderpump (a fellow aficionado of the lunge also known as Lungerpump or Vanderlunge) and I had been drinking down in Clapham. There were several notable incidents in the early evening – I found a sachet of lubricant down the side of an armchair, and a Russian guy called Vlad gave us a novel hissing interpretation of the ‘Scorpion’ posing move invented by Rob’s friend Billy. Yet these are just footnotes to the history of the Hunter. Our drunken friends decided to go home before twelve – Tim and I, who lived in Angel at the time, also decided to go home, but via whatever clubs were open on Upper Street first.

We ended up paying £5 to enter Kinky Mambo’s, where the bouncer warned us there was only an hour and a half to go before close. But what an hour and a half it was. We chased down our beers with spirits, and, given that there was more space than earlier, opted to perform a few lunges in the classic style. I was only on my second when there was a commotion in the club to my right. I peered into the darkness. A man approached us. He was a big man, around 6’4 in height and strongly built, like a bear or a badger. If he had a small beer belly, it merely added to his impressiveness. His eyes twinkled in the spinning disco lights, and his smile gleamed with mischief. He talked to us with enthusiasm for our lunges, abandoning the girls he was squiring about the club. He then performed some strong, deep lunges, with perfect form and balance. I could see he had done them many times before. He seemed like a great guy, a lunger par excellence. But the girls distracted him, and he wandered away. Tim and I felt a little sad to have lost such a superb lunging companion. But a few minutes later, the big man caught my eye again. He moved surreptitiously into the shadows of a small doorway in the wall separating the drinking area from the dancefloor. Slowly he lunged out of the darkness into the light, drawing an imaginary arrow from behind his head, and notching it to an imaginary bow, which he held firmly in his left hand. As he reached the nadir of his lunge, he drew the imaginary bow, then pivoted his upper body nearly ninety degrees to his left so that he was facing me. His eyes fixed on mine. He released his imaginary arrow, striking me in the heart, then smoothly, as if nothing had happened at all, withdrew back into the shadows.

It was the best thing I have ever seen. In that moment, from being a mere enthusiastic dabbler in the lunge, I decided to dedicate my waking hours to lunging, in the hope of one day being able to inspire others as the Hunter had inspired me. I practised my lunges for the rest of the night, but he left us regretfully in friendship, walking away with a trio of beautiful girls on his arms. We never saw him again.

Some say he is waiting, somewhere out there in the wide world, a gold-mine of banter, good cheer, and some really cool lunges that no-one else knows about yet. Others say he forgot everything he ever knew about lunging, and settled down for a quiet life as an accountant called Brian. But some say he was transfigured into a beam of light, and ascended to the sky like a lunging god, where on clear nights he can be seen as the constellation of stars known as Orion the Hunter, fixed eternally in the heavens in a mighty celestial lunge.

Roland O’Leary
Optimus Lunge

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

ninety five

per cent hate (see what I did there?) has featured some excellent posts recently.  It's maintained by an angry individual who - when not mocking people or running around London at extreme speeds - is a sporadic contributor to ZD. He also just happens to be Uncle Bellend's son in Middle Reality.

It's definitely worth subscribing to his rants.

Edit: ninety five per cent hate has now been taken off the internet. Of course it has. (April 2011)

Bellend on Mothers

Get a grip.
Few things are more annoying than new mothers who think that they are being useful to society simply by virtue of being a mother.  You know the sort; they're often mistakenly described as having a maternal 'glow'. This is in fact heat radiating smugly from their faces, fuelled by the self-satisfaction at having fulfilled their manifest fucking destiny to have children. Buoyed by the retarded belief that everybody is happy for them and wants to coo over their baby, such mothers waltz through life completely oblivious to the fact that the majority of people within 50 yards want to kill their noisy, filthy, misshapen sprog.

The last thing the world needs is more people: you're not doing anybody a favour by having a child. Nor, surprisingly, do you deserve special treatment. I don't want to hear about your baby. I do not want to see it. It should not be allowed near restaurants/cinemas/planes.  Piss off.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Childhood of Uncle Bellend

Extracts from Dr Liversage's reports, 1995-1996. Uncle is approximately 8 years old:

"Uncle is quite capable of convincing himself that the scrapes he gets into have come about by accident and he expresses complete indifference to any punishment which is imposed upon him.  His parents also described him as 'rigid' and arrogant' dominating his games with other children."

"He has developed the habit of ignoring his father which he knows upsets him and pretends that he has not heard him call."

"They described him sitting in a 'cupboard' in the classroom ... If he sits with other children, he appears to tap them and torment them persistently and will shout out his answers before the other children have a chance."

"He has no inhibition in telling his teachers why their punishments may be inappropriate or ineffective."

"For instance, on a recent trip to the supermarket, he made a bee line for the books, but started fighting with another child, because of some misunderstanding."

"Uncle accurately perceives himself in the volatile 'Coleric' group on the Eysenck Inventory"

Eysenck Personality Inventory (percentile scores):
Extravertion - 65th
Neuroticism - 77th
Lie Scale - 1st (i.e. Uncle is less likely to lie than 99% of the population)
"Uncle eschews deceit, as apparently, he sees no need for it in trying to enhance his image. One might suppose that he has little awareness or sensitivity to the opinion of others and therefore does not seek to disguise his short-comings." 

"He also showed some obsessional symptoms, having an aversion to wet grass on his clothes, lining up cars in straight lines and drawing pictures with excessive detail which persists even now."

"Occasionally, about once a month or so, Uncle will give sudden incoherent cries from the back of his throat which appear to have no meaning but once again appear spontaneously."

***

And from a Year 8 Geography school report: "Uncle is a real enigma! He is a keen and enthusiastic student ... excellent grasp ... knowledge is superb. However ... he can work well but only when isolated from other students (he is a menace to those around him)."

Monday, 3 May 2010

Polite Chinese Guy (part 2)

Below is an open letter sent by Tse/PCG to Robinson College. As you can see, he doesn't have high expectations at all:

Dear Robinson,

I would highly appreciate if you are able to help on this.

I am conducting my recent composition, Symphony in Polite Chinese Guy, at its premiere performance at Robinson on FRIDAY 7th MARCH (6:30 pm). The following instruments are cordially REQUIRED. If you play one of them to good standard, please would you get back to me ASAP?

Flutes (Two), Oboes (Two), Clarinets in B-flat (Two), Bassoons (Two).

Horns in F (ONLY TWO – We’ve got a good team out. NOBODY ELSE COME).
Trumpets in B-flat (Two), Trombones (One part doubled by two), Tuba (One).

Timpani.

First Violins (Twelve or more), Second Violins (Ten or more), Viola (Four or more), Violoncello (Eight or more), Double bass (Two or more).

Thank you so much for your attention. I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes,

Daniel Tse
RCSA Polite Chinese Guy 2007-8

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Polite Chinese Guy (part 1)

Polite Chinese Guy is not actually that polite, and he may not even be Chinese.  The name stuck after he was heard referring to Yeoh as "Mrs Yeoh", rather than the standard "Beckyyy" or "Qing Ru".

PCG became an immediate fixture at Robinson College, both figuratively and literally: he was always, always, in Front Court organising concerts on his phone. Some students swear that they have never walked through Front Court without seeing him there. Postcards of the college typically picture the Chapel (with its famous stained glass) and the whale fin, with PCG stood between the two.

Once the Red Brick Cafe (RBC) opened, PCG had a second haunt. Those who panicked at not seeing him in Front Court would be reassured on entering the RBC; there he would be sat, immaculately dressed and nursing an americano.  Scientists at the Middle Reality Institute of Theoretical Physics are investigating the tantalising possibility than PCG occupies both spaces at the same time, like a Bose-Einstein condensate in a smart jumper (although PCG is yet to exhibit wave-particle duality or interfere with himself, at least not in public). This would be a remarkable shift from the orthodox Tse Doctrine, which says that there are two separate PCG entities, PCG and Daniel Man-Hon Tse, with PCG occupying Front Court and Tse the RBC. The situation grew even more confusing when Daniel Tse was appointed RCSA Polite Chinese Guy in 2007.

              Polite Chinese Guy (right) pictured with Terrence Grimble.

In 2009, a rogue scientist claimed to have spotted PCG outside of his natural habitat, allegedly sat in the gardens sipping tea under the shade of an umbrella. An attempt to determine his precise location, however, rendered his momentum unobservable and PCG diffused up G staircase and into Front Court. This unconfirmed sighting is probably attributable to experimental error by the Nat Sci. A third year student, who wishes to remain nameless, dismissed this heretical rumour as "in very poor taste".

When not organising music with a Stakhanovite devotion (see part 2), PCG is busy ghostwriting Daniel ‘Man-Hon The Moon’ Tse's highly anticipated third book in his series, Never Tse Never, titled Some Might Tse (More-lett, December 2008 issue of The Brick, page 4). PCG lives in Front Court with Timothy Ng and their snare beatboxing son, Context Ng-Tse-Ng-Tse-Ng-Tse.

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