Updates to Nipple Regulations


  • Remember that nipples may only be displayed when labeled with a Y chromosome invisible to the naked eye.
  • Since nonfunctional male nipples may be safely disported, impotent genitals may now also be flopped in public.
  • Functional nipples may not be displayed in public. Functional firearms are fine.
  • It has come to our attention that around 10% of men may be excited by the sight of male nipples. For this reason a random one in ten men will be selected and forbidden from showing their nipples in public, yet constantly exhorted to show their nipples in public.
  • Remember that you can billboard more curves than the Monaco grand prix circuit as long as you don’t show reveal an areola. To remain consistent with this, you may now also publicly display your ass as long as you don’t show the anus, the vulva as long as you don’t show the vaginal opening, and the penis as long as you do not show the entrance of the urethra.
  • If you wish to breastfeed in public, please assure passersby that you are actually advertising shampoo.
  • Should the she-devil persist in advertising the devil’s tacks, aye, she shall be transported to the new continent. (INTERNAL NOTE: we may need to review the wording here)
  • Moobs are fine even when far exceeding the size and pendulosity of breasts.
  • Ladynips remain bad because they remind a small group of old white men of sex. Maybe other people too, but it’s important that we utterly disconnect a small group of men from regular life then put them in charge of it. And everybody knows that the most pleasurable act of love people can share that’s required for the survival of the species is the worst thing there could ever be.
  • Guns: still fine. Stick ’em on the side of buses to sell toys to children.
  • Okay, tell you what, we’ll use this inter-net thing to see what else is sexy and we’ll ban that too.
  • Holy crap, sandals are now banned you filthy footmerchants.
  • Armpits must now be covered at all times.
  • If we see you open your mouth you’ll be fined for public indecency.

Remember, be able to publicly display your nipples to claim your bonus thirty cents per dollar!

New Life From Zombies

Zombies! The plaguehorde of unoriginality. Their very definition is “take something which already existed and keep it going long after it should have stopped”. They’ve died twice over: the first time to create themselves, the second time as the internet ran them further into the ground than the six feet deep they started at. Every zombie horse is now a two-dimensional tartare picture, that’s how hard they’ve been beaten, but I’ll always have a necrotizing soft spot for them. Because they gave me an amazing new life as a writer.

Back in 2007 I was screwing around in a laser physics lab and spent a stupid amount of time making a Zombie Safety Poster.


It was fun, it was stupid, and I base my behavior on both so I slung it up on MySpace (I did tell you this was a long time ago) and forgot about it. And then an editor contacted me and asked if I wanted to write for money.


I wasn’t a popular author. I had no online friends. My page had about two visitors, counting me and Tom, but somehow a search had thrown up and this guy looking for writers for the new Cracked magazine wanted to know if I could write something for them, as long as it wasn’t about bloody zombies, because even back in 2007, Jesus Christ, even Jesus Christ was sick of things coming back from the dead and that was his entire deal.

The magazine folded before I could get paid, so they decided to run with the website idea instead, I made a list of internet safety signs and the rest is life-changing history. I even got to use one of the zombie posters in an article, and that article was being paid to nerd out about zombie plan weaponry. I never even dreamed this job because my dreams wouldn’t have believed this. And wouldn’t have paid me to watch my favorite terrible movies of all time.

And just like any internet creator, oh holy shit has it been ripped off more than the face of someone slower than shambling zombies.


My favorite theft has to be the Zazzle print.


That makes me feel so good. Looking over your own writing from seven years ago is like finding your own corpse from seven years ago — crawling with disgusting horrors and the awful knowledge that your younger self somehow did something impossibly wrong — but this makes me feel like Shakespeare. That’s like a schoolkid squeezing Wikipedia through a thesaurus and destroying every single joke in the process. I wouldn’t call myself a master prosodologist, because people would think I wanted to stick my fingers up their ass, but that text has less rhythm than a dead Dalek. And Zazzle put in more work just to destroy things.

So what’s the most important part for anyone who wants to write online? The stupid part. Specifically, the “stupid amount of time” part. I spent an appalling amount of time on that first poster back when I thought it would only be seen by ten people, half of whom wouldn’t care. I matched the colors to the existing posters, I wrote and rewrote the text, I spent ages sucking at drawing (in fact I’ve spent years sucking at drawing and foresee many more) but kept at it until I had something I was happy with. And I’ve never stopped. It’s not about how much you’re paid, it’s about how good the piece is. Especially when you’re being paid nothing, because it’s your only reward. Make it great. Then put it somewhere and get on with the next.

I overanalyse for living! Keep going with Pink Alert on the Starship Enterprise and How Terminator: Salvation Should Have ended.

The Spy With 29 Names


  • Paul
  • Billy
  • BondJamesBondYesReallyNoImNotASpy
  • Jimbo
  • Jack
  • Jacques
  • Jacqueline (deep cover)
  • Jax (with cyborg arms and fatality)
  • Aloysius
  • Peregrine Q Whimplethumper the third
  • Captain Spyguy
  • Slam Bulkhead
  • YouMustBeThinkingOfMyBrother
  • NoIJustLookALotLikeHim
  • The Queen
  • Banksy
  • The Nameless One (extremely false, excellent spycraft)
  • Elvis Presley (an unremarkable name at the time)
  • C’thulhu (an extremely remarkable name at any time, and yea, past time and through time to the shadowed deaths beyond)
  • Michael Ellis Week
  • Smoke Monster (more disappointing than mysterious)
  • Doomguy
  • Sigerson
  • Sigerdaughter
  • Sigercousin
  • Sigercommitedtomorenamesthaneasilyimagined
  • Bob
  • Legion O’Thatstakendamn
  • Hisnameislegionwould McAmuchbettertitle
  • That guy in the book whose title sounds less impressively espionagey than perhaps was intended.


We Must Build A Friendzone

The “friendzone” is like the Star Trek neutral zone: it doesn’t exist, but it’s been made up as an excuse to treat every minor interaction as if it’s with an alien species where everything can be interpreted as an attack. With the constant threat of violence. So we should use an equally imaginary level of technology to build one.

Whining about a friendzone isn’t an innocent complaint but a verbal zipfile compressing an appalling amount of misogyny. It describes a woman’s friendship as a hostile action. “She friendzoned me” is the same phrasing as being poisoned, blinded, or otherwise cursed. This status attack automatically implies the right to sex, and automatically interprets and the failure to deliver as a conscious hostile act. They view her friendship as an attack. Not even second place, which would be toxic enough, but as a booby-free booby prize, an insulting wooden spoon awarded instead of the golden cup of vagina. Females are fuck-or-fail. Which is the  attitude usually implied by anyone describing them as “females”, defining them entirely in terms of sex and a worrying pseudo-scientific distance from the idea of being people.

Complaining about the friendzone isn’t just tragic, it’s toxic, so let’s build an actual friendzone to contain it. A maximum security FriendZone (FZ). As soon as someone complains about being fizzed, transporters lock on and beam them into a specially programmed holodeck. Which is everything they’ve ever wanted, but instead of making things great this incredible world of technology will be used only to spread hate and frustration. Because that’s what they’re already doing on the internet.

This simulated “friendzone” will be a vast comics convention filled with all the other idiots complaining about the same thing. But holograms will make them appear as the only attractive woman in the room. Here’s the cunning bit: technically this shouldn’t work – everyone should as an attractive woman to everyone else, so that each person feels flattered instead of threatened – but these are the same men who can look at the entire modern world and say they don’t see any sexism. They’re already capable of maintaining a fantasy gender worldview in stark contradiction to every single aspect of reality. This just reverses the polarity of their delusions for educational purposes. So each one gets to experience what #yesallwomen have to put up with every day.

Failing that, we could stick them on an island where everyone expects you to donate a pint of blood for the least act of common civility.

NOTE: The friendzone is actually a body part, the exact opposite of an erogenous zone. It’s located on the inside surface of the colon, exactly eye-height for someone whose head has been wedged up their own ass by a desperately failed attempt to suck their own dick.

Quick, learn how to defend yourself from Female Psychic Attack! Or read the other half of the Internet’s Worst Sexist Nerd Comment.

How To Defend Yourself From A Katana

Katanas now function mainly as warning signs. Anyone who wants to carry a blade is at least part-terrible, but katanas elevate that to an entire identity while maintaining maintaining total incompetence. Most people dedicating their lives to awful things at least gain some sort of skill – there are people out there much better at drawing and anatomy thanks to a lifelong quest to render My Little Pony vulvae – but mall-warrior katana-wielders can spend lives and fortunes without ever even seeing the real thing. Which is still designed for viciously ruining people.

To defend yourself against the modern katana-wielder:

  • Your best defensive option is to close your browser.
  • Hit them with a crowbar while they’re thinking about how cool it’ll look as they draw their sword.
  • In fact, just carrying anything except a sword means you’re more likely to get to the fight without being arrested and will win by default.
  • They’ll probably let you hit them because they’ll be too worried about damaging their sword, the exact opposite of how you’re meant to use a weapon.
  • If you don’t have a crowbar, just swing at them with anything you have to hand.
  • Chairs are particularly good. You actually have to be pretty skilled with a weapon to trump “WWE violence for real”.
  • Just run away for like thirty seconds. I like your odds of them not being able to keep up.
  • Ask them how many times its been folded. Their explanation of how stirring metal somehow renders it immune to materials science, fatigue, force, and thermodynamics will give you time to escape.
  • Distract them by shouting that anime sucks. Playing the odds here.
  • Have the fight anywhere public. Swords are worse than firing a signal flare saying “I AM A LETHAL THREAT BUT CAN STILL BE SAFELY TAKEN DOWN FROM ANY RANGE WHATSOEVER”, because signal flares actually have range.

I’ve written about sexism, racism, and homophobia, and I’ve never received as many angry comments as when I said katanas would suck in a zombie apocalypse. I could make a joke about priorities but again, I wrote about katanas sucking in a zombie apocalypse. And got paid for it. I have both won and lost this game of priorities.


European Parliament Election Choices

A summary of my options when voting for European MEPs yesterday:

  • The bastards selling off the health service
  • The bastards who went to war
  • The bastards who’ll do whatever the other bastards say just to sit on the other side of a hall
  • Racist bastards
  • More racist bastards
  • Even more racist bastards, to the point where they name their party after hating foreigners
  • This is actually a wonderful self-limiting factor of their urge to break with other organizations that would help them – if every one of these anti-immigration nutbars insists on forming their own party, they’ll all get exactly one vote and never achieve any power
  • I swear to god there was yet another “Everyone out of my country!” party with just one candidate and organizer. Honestly, if UKIP aren’t hateful enough for you, I’m glad you’re taking the effort to alert the community to your existence and name.
  • The “We think the word environmentalism means travelling backwards in time” party.
  • “We believe in peace, equality, and aha, you thought you found someone to vote for, but we also believe in reversing the flow of time, despite that making the first two considerably less possible” party.

Every election should have a “none of the above” option. When Richard Pryor can provide better options without even swearing there may be room for improvement.

Checklist 35

I’m 35 and that number feels more like a bank error in my favor than any kind of age. Most people might call this time for half-time report or a mid-life review, but most people don’t have several metric tons of rock as a spiritual adviser. Having your leg crushed under an inexpressibly massive boulder kicks the shit out of lying on a couch in terms of psychological adjustment, while radically increasing your love for lying on couches whenever possible.

I’m halfway through nothing, I’m fourteen years into bonus overtime and enjoying every second. So let’s see how the high score is stacking up against all the goals I had when I was younger.

Have Optimus Prime: CHECK!


Growing up doesn’t putting away childish things, it means being able to afford them. As a child my only Transformers were minicheap “Pipes” and Sludge, a dinobot I found for 50 pence at a car boot sale, and no Antiques Roadshow millionaire has ever felt such joy at their discovery. His main enemy was his own shell when I was playing with a screwdriver.

Have the complete Constructicon Devastator:  Nope.

It’s effectively more expensive now because of collectors. I started buying one of the new sets of Constructicons until it turned out that the left side was just a repaint of the right side, and that’s such lazy bullshit it manages to make symmetry ugly.

Work with computers: UNEXPECTED CHECK!

My only motivation in going to university was to learn about computers, but the whole point of university is learning more than you expect. I ended up doing physics on the grounds that I could study physics and own a computer, but if I studied studying computers I wouldn’t be able to afford a laser interferometer setup. And now any job in the world involves more computers than my MSX 64k self could have imagined. When I fly I have to put more computing equipment in a tray than 1980’s NASA. And I still with computers, and enjoy it far more.

Buy all the video games I want: 100% COMPLETION

This was a bit of a Twilight Zone wish, with Sony and Microsoft making it easy for me to buy every game I wanted by destroying their ability to provide any. I’ll wait for the PS3 to get even cheaper and then buy every game I wanted from the last generation. On the upside, Steam means I now have enough games to play even if I turn out to be immortal.

Meet a girl: ULTRA CHECK

I didn’t have great hopes as a young teen. Luckily, like all young teens, I was wrong about almost everything and had a great time anyway. I’m now married to the beautiful Dr X. Who is so far beyond anything I would have dared to ask a genie for, I take care not to look too hard at optical illusions, and never wonder about mysterious bruises on my body, just in case this all turns out to be a coma-induced fantasy provided by my subconscious.


An Incredible Cocktail Cabinet: CHECK

I clearly remember my undergraduate self walking to the off-license counter with a six-pack of Dutch Gold and a septuple-checked kilogram of pennies which exactly matched the price. Walking past all the brightly colored bottles of joy I thought “Some day I’m going to own every single one of them.”

Now I not only own them, I get paid to drink them and tell people about it.

I even get the anti-genie joy of something better than what I would have wished for, getting to talk about videogames for money instead of the actually-pretty-annoying job of reviewing them.

All that with wonderful friends and family too. Any day I don’t feel like the luckiest person in the world, I recognize that as an error condition, and think about my life until I do. Then I thank anyone reading my stuff for making it all possible!





Solving Science-Fictional Problems

Growing up with science-fiction meant I spent my teenage years solving all kinds of high-tech fantasy problems instead of working out how to talk to people or wear fashionable clothes. Which worked out with me talking to more interesting people and wearing more comfortable clothes!

  • If I’m cloned or copied, the original should get to keep the existing life while the new Luke immediately does something huge and fun I’ve always wanted to so that we start differing as soon as possible. I have cunningly thought this for years, so that if it ever happens the clone will instantly agree.
  • If there’s no way of telling who’s the original, we just roll a dice (odds and evens) for the original life. Don’t try to trick your exact copy because duh.
  • If you’re caught in a time loop of an eternally repeating day, hurrah, you’re immortal and immune from consequences, which is the exact opposite of sucky regular immortality! Enjoy yourself!
  • If you become immortal immediately start working on space travel and terraforming technologies. An globe-spanning empire won’t count for shit when that globe’s ecosystem collapses or the sun explodes.
  • If you manifest any showy superpower, immediately get a lawyer and start advertising for a multinational product. Hiding your powers just means the inevitable mob/shadowy agency/covert assassins can take you out more easily.
  • If you’re sent back in time, just enjoy yourself. Simply arriving in the past has already displaced an army of butterflies’ worth of air, and anyone so much as glancing at you irrevocably alters the chain of their thoughts for the rest of your lives. Tiptoeing around trying to preserve the time line is like talking quietly in a church after motorbike-jumping in through a stained-glass window.
  • Never, ever whine about wanting a “normal” life when something awesome happens to you.

More overanalytic joy with Patch Notes for C3PO.1, and Why Cyclops Should Be The Best Boyfriend Of All Time.

Inspector Terrible

Police tape marks off an alley stinking in the sunlight. Forensic officers crouch around the body as the hardbitten detective looks down.

Inspector Terrible: “Victim was a card sharp working out of the poker place round the corner. Two bullets to the heart, both passing through the center of an ace of hearts in his shirt pocket. Deck of cards scattered around alley during scuffle before shooting. I guess you could say he was …”

… Inspector Terrible put on his sunglasses …

“… shot to death.”

It really was rather bright.

Captain Volume: You’ve got a new partner, Terrible, she’s black, she’s fresh out of the academy, and she’s got a degree.

T: That’s great. I’ve often felt our department was rather middle-age male monotone. And I’m sure her education in the latest techniques will help in the field.

Terrible hurriedly knocks various files and papers from the shotgun seat of his car to make room for Officer Opposite.

T: Sorry, I’m not used to having a partner since what happened with Nielsen.

O: Your last partner? What happened?

T: Oh, her husband got a great new job in New York. They transferred.

Captain Volume: You’re off the case, Terrible!

T: If that’s the way you want it, sir.

Terrible marches out of Captain’s office to duty sergeant’s desk.

T: Captain’s taken me off the Guiltiparti case. I think I’ll work that shoplifting ring.

Guiltiparti: I’m not gonna say nothin’, you get me? You got nothin’!

Terrible: Well if that’s the way you want it …

Terrible leans across and turns off the interview tape machine. Stands up, puts on his coat.

Terrible: Better let him go guys, he’s right.

Captain Volume: This is no time for a loose cannon! You’re on paid leave, you get me?

T: I get you.

Terrible buys an Xbox on the way home and spends the next month is his pajamas playing Grand Theft Auto.

Enjoy more criminal cation in The Murder, or enjoy the adventures of Ambassador Alana.

The Effect of Fractal Hobbits


“And if the scale has already been pierced, doesn’t that mean that anything could kill Smaug now? Like regular arrows of which there are thousands in the city, not counting the infinite number being carried by Legolas and Tauriel? I don’t want to labor the point, but it’s just that your family is apparently really bad at knowing how to use a point.”

The Hobbit’s good fun, it’s just a pity they were bribed into drawing and thirding the poor thing for extra money. Even in the most beautiful scenes you can feel where the plot’s sinews tear and pop a single fun romp is stretched out over a trilogy. And where they kept the unpleasant noises to try and lend a fun kid’s story some epicity. And no, the word “epicity” doesn’t work. That’s why I used it for that attempt.

It’s time dilation as caused by proximity to vast quantities of money, the spacetime continuum stretched by sales of tickets and DVDs. Behold how the property is endlessly extended:

  • Three epic books become three epic movies
  • One short book becomes three incredibly long movies
  • The Silmarillion becomes an entire encyclopedia set. The same number of people read it all the way through.
  • The mere mention of the War of the Ring becomes a multi-season epic on fantasy warfare. One where the writers don’t think they should add a few rapes, because sane non-terrifying people don’t ever think “I know, we should add some rapes”.
  • Roverandom becomes an entire franchise of big screen children’s movies despite every single person needing to google what a “Roverandom” is, and being proof that even the creator of Gandalf the Grey sometimes just says “a wizard did it”.
  • An old napkin on which Tolkein had scribbled “A ring??” become a twelve-week certified course in precious metalworking and jewelry design.

More movie magic with Patch Notes for C3PO.1, and Why Cyclops Should Be The Best Boyfriend Of All Time.