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Wednesday: [w] Life has never been the same since Shaun of the Dead.

I don't understand a single word that these people are saying.

It might have been the lager. Somewhere down the line, a major brewery bred a herd of donkeys for maximum bladder capacity and output. How all these people have gotten drunk on dilute uric acid, I have no idea, but they were shambling everywhere.

They staggered around before the monitors at Waterloo, colliding with me as though my powers of invisibility had finally made themselves manifest. When their trains were called, they bolted in lurching packs. Fast zombies, subverting the genre. Fast zombies with severe bleach jobs, all straw and eyeliner. Fast zombies in low-rise jeans.

Low-rise jeans, and briefs.

Briefs.

In between glimpses at the monitors -- if I run, and I catch the 23:15 to Portsmouth Harbour, will it take me to the right one? -- waiting for the inevitable announcement of platform nineteen, I tried to unravel their conversation. Occasionally, I made out an assortment of terms for the female genitals. It seemed obvious that these people are having entire conversations consisting of terms for the female genitals; the ambitious among them will occasionally reference the male's.

It's finally happened. I'm twenty-nine, and I'm already too old to understand English anymore.

For no apparent reason, I found myself dueling insomnia earlier this week by reading websites about borderline personality disorder. One symptom which kept jumping out at me? A tendency to suddenly drop rude, inappropriate non sequiturs into the conversation. How would I tell if any of these people are borderlines? I wondered.

Thankfully, I had my iPod. And, once I mounted the 23:30 to Reading, the tiny hutch next to Passenger Assistance turned out to be empty. I could temporarily escape the consumption of my brain through frequent proclamations of "twat!" I could watch the decelerating zombies try to work the door to first class.

Jamming their thumbs around the glowing, pressure-sensitive mechanism, the door's opening simply eluded them. Some, coming back the other way, pressed themselves against the frosted glass for minutes on end. No one should learn their button-touching skills from early seventies adult pulp novels, but apparently that was all that remained: darting and jabbing, clumsily missing the target.

Inevitably, one of them began to miss by miles. He strafed back and forth for a moment, incompetently dancing to his own internal half-speed Sisters of Mercy album, prodding the air. The door has no forcefield trigger, I thought, before the zombie dribbled ectoplasm on the carpet.

Three times.

I am, in fact, serious when I say ectoplasm. You owned this toy as a child; you dropped it onto your He-Man toys, or your Ghostbusters figures, and never could get it out of the upholstry. It was flourescent green, the devil's own non-toxic phlegm. This is clearly the sum of the zombie's humours, and this one spluttered his in the fashion of a disillusioned geyser.

I got up and moved down the train, triggering the door with a simple, fluid motion. Pushing through first class to the next empty car, I couldn't hear the Argyle Park song for all the cries of "Twaaaaaat.... twaaaaaaat..." around me.

Posted by Wednesday Burns-White at August 14, 2005 7:59 PM

Comments

Comment from: Sundre posted at August 14, 2005 8:34 PM

Clearly not the Queen's English.

Comment from: SeanH posted at August 14, 2005 9:09 PM

Ah, a good old stream-of-consciousness, like what we had when I were a lad.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at August 14, 2005 9:13 PM

Surely more slice-of-life narrative? It doesn't do the veeroffs of stream of consciousness.

Comment from: miyaa posted at August 14, 2005 9:19 PM

Stream of consciousness makes good short stories, lousy novels.

Come to think of it late night Portland (Oregon, not Maine) was lot like this, especially in the free-zone train district where I was hotelled at for about a week. (Meteorological conference where I tried to present a powerpoint presentation, except no power that day. And I was the last present for the entire conference. Somehow getting through the presentation without the magic of Powerpoint for the alloted fifteen minutes is something akin to a miracle.)

Speaking of books, every large metropolitan in the world should have a Powell's. I may go back to Portland just for Powells.

Comment from: Cadete posted at August 14, 2005 10:21 PM

Everytime I read something like this I thank the powers that be for not letting the low-rise jeans fad be very popular among men in this tiny land at the edge of Europe. Well, at least not low-rise jeans with briefs...

I also think that I should try some of this thing you call writting, so as to aim for the same level of coolness. Unfortunately, it has been classified as a thing-to-do-during-Summer-vacations and as is well known and docummented, those are never accomplished.

Comment from: Tangent posted at August 14, 2005 10:42 PM

It's finally happened. Eric grew breasts and moved to England. Er, I mean Wednesday's conversion is complete and she's now POSTING like Eric does. *shudder* I fear for mankind...

Comment from: DarkStar posted at August 15, 2005 12:48 AM

Too true, Tangent. Except for context and location, remove the [w] and we would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Their writings were made for each other. It is beneficent to us that they have come together within this singular forum of discussion to provide us entertainment. These are the reasons I come here. Sure, the webcomicry is all well and good, but this lends spice and insight. This is entertainment and escapism. This is delight.

Comment from: Aerin posted at August 15, 2005 12:52 AM

"Twaaaaaat" puts me in mind of PvP. "Gaaaaaaay..."

Comment from: Merus posted at August 15, 2005 1:05 AM

I'm just trying to work out what Shaun of the Dead has to do with all of this, unless it's to do with the joke in the opening titles.

(If you haven't seen Shaun of the Dead, this will make no sense. Clearly, the problem is that you haven't seen Shaun of the Dead, and you should at least watch the first half of it and, if you're squeamish, turn it off pretty much after they flee the flat.)

Comment from: Wednesday posted at August 15, 2005 1:36 AM

That'd be the part at the end with the social commentary stuff.

Comment from: Merus posted at August 15, 2005 6:57 AM

That was social commentary? I thought that was 'humanity adapts with surprising ease' sort of stuff, which I guess is social commentary but it didn't really come to mind. Maybe I was still a bit shellshoked at the gruesome death scene not five minutes earlier.

I would have gone for the joke over the opening credits, myself, because they say explicitly that these people act just like zombies.

Comment from: SeanH posted at August 15, 2005 8:25 AM

Eric: Yeah, you're right, I was just struggling for a way to characterise Wednesday's style.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at August 15, 2005 10:16 AM

Or as I would have put it - it can't be stream of consciousness, because it doesn't suck.

It might just me being half-tired and thinking wrong thoughts, but now I'm imagining someone doing zombie porn. Instead of a title like "Zombies Ate My Teacher," well, you can figure it out.

It could be right up there with the infamous Canadian musical, "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter."

Comment from: SeanH posted at August 15, 2005 10:42 AM

32_footsteps, I simply cannot let you continue to exist in blissful ignorance:

http://www.repenetrator.com/

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at August 15, 2005 11:21 AM

Whoa there, SeanH. Some of us are at work - given the topic of discussion, I'm going to guess that needs a NSFW tag and look at it later. In the future, though, think of the wage zombies.

The question is, though, if they decided to make it incredibly funny or not. I mean, that could be absolutely hilarious if done right.

Comment from: SeanH posted at August 15, 2005 12:04 PM

Since the topic of discussion was "zombie porn", I'd assumed the NSFW went without saying. Apparently it's a send-up, I've yet to watch the trailer.

Comment from: Crashlander posted at August 15, 2005 6:19 PM

Dude, I actually come from Reading, Berkshire. I can comfirm said zombie levels. Also, people pressing the 'Close' button to try and open the train doors.

Is it something in the town's water supply? Was I spared?

Comment from: lostandthedamned posted at August 16, 2005 8:19 AM

Having had go into Reading alot recently for the army recruitment centre I can confirm that I easily prefer walking or cycling the 25 mile journey rather than brave the train. These are the end times people it's just no-one else has noticed yet.

Comment from: Tyler Martin posted at August 17, 2005 2:32 PM

The problem with comparing "Webcomics" to "alluring printed comics", is that many webcomics are or will be available in print. With many of them, the idea is to have them printed, but they are put online to advertise and/or develop readership. Also a way to get the most recent strip/pages to viewers.

Basically I got from this article that webcomics are inconvenient, not as nice to read as paper, clunkily trying to use new media and many are needing subscriptions. What the hell fantasy world is this in comparison too? Does the NY Times not need a subscription? Does the paperboy show up at my door with it for free, opened to the comic page with his thumb on my favorite comic? I'm picking on paper, because books still cannot compete by delivering a daily comic... daily.

If we are comparing print to digital, then why not compare the same comic, it's printed form and its web provided form. Rather than try to pidgeonhole webcomics in general as trying to be some new religion.

It's a friggin liberty that I get to view the beautiful "Copper" online at no cost to me and not wait for it to be put into a book, at which time I'll still have the option to purchase it and flip through it's "alluring" pages.

This is not good times for webcomics. I no longer produce a "webcomic". I now produce a full color online brochure for a comic book that I am producing. =)

-Tyler

Comment from: Tyler Martin posted at August 17, 2005 2:34 PM

LOL, ignore that, having some troubles with Typekey logging in.

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