Google+ A Tangled Rope: Popular Culture
Showing posts with label Popular Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Popular Culture. Show all posts

Friday, June 13, 2014

Britain's Greatest Living Olympian

Splurge Debunker is probably the UK’s most famous contemporary athlete. Especially since her stunning victory and gold medal in the Freestyle Ladies Radiator-Bleeding final in London 2012. A contest where she won gold against some very strong opposition, especially from the Norwegian Sopwith Fjordbasker.

It was, of course the controversial decision by the Spanish judge to award Debunker 17 (out of a possible 9) points for artistic interpretation, which enabled Debunker to get through the semi-final against the Russian Expectyouto Diebondski. After the match, the Russian team complained against the ruling. However, later analysis of the slow-motion replay of the Norwegian judge’s calculations, carefully examined by the Olympic Federation’s own mathematicians, showed there had been no foul play and there was nothing illegal in his use of the calculator.

Debunker survived a doping scandal early in her career, when it was discovered her ability to bleed up to seven radiators a session was fuelled by excessive amounts of strong black coffee and digestive biscuits. However, the use of coffee as well as her aerodynamically-designed ergonomic radiator-bleeding key was ruled not in contravention of the strict Olympic standards for competitive radiator-bleeding.

Debunker’s radiator key itself was designed by the Olympic team also responsible for designing the ears of Britain’s gold-medal wining cyclists and high divers. There, the problem of wind-resistance against such protuberances can seriously diminish the scores of such athletes by an astonishing 0.000001%. Enough – at this level of competition - to have an almost discernible effect on both the athlete’s performance and their results. Or at least to make a suitably-adjusted graph look impressive in Olympic funding-allocation meetings.

So, Debunker herself is bound to go down in British sporting history as one of the all-time greats of competitive radiator-bleeding. There are rumours that their will be some recognition of her great achievement in the next New-Year’s Honour list. A recognition that is both timely and more than well-deserved.

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[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Coming Apocalypse

When it began, we – of course – were ready.


As is the way of these things, popular culture had prepared us well for the threat. Everyone who’d watched a film or some TV, played a computer game or read any genre fiction was well-prepared for the immanent zombie apocalypse.

So, when word of the apocalypse spread, building rumour upon rumour, everyone was ready. We all expected the streets to be thronged with legions of the undead, thirsting for the fresh brains of the living.

Ah… if only it had been that easy.

Everyone had been wondering, well, quite a few people anyway, just why the world need quite so many celebrities. Of course, if is a well-known tenet of media theory that the world’s tabloids need a constant fresh supply of young ladies falling out of their dresses at various high-profile celebrity events. But that alone could not explain just why there were now so many so-called reality TV programmes churning out a constant stream of these new celebrities, most with the media half-life of a fatally-irradiated gnat.

But, as some conspiracy theorists pointed out, every army needs its infantry, its cannon-fodder.

Then everyone laughed at the paranoid imaginings of the conspiracy loonies.

Until it was too late.

No-one is laughing now.

Not now the brain-destroying celebrity hordes are on the rampage down all our High Streets. There they surround innocent people going about their own business. The celebrities then force the ordinary people to engage in mass inane conversations about trivia and banal minutia until their brains explode. Then the ravening celebrity zombie hordes can feed and gorge until it is time to seek out the next victim.

And people used to laugh when some warned of the dangers of celebrity culture for our precarious civilisation.

Who is laughing now?

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[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Monday, June 09, 2014

The Superhero Saves the Day... Probably

Then… suddenly…!

No… hang on….

Then with all the haste and alacrity of a Public Inquiry she strolled into action.

He trembled in terror. Well, there was a frisson of irritation. ‘Yet again,’ the supervillain, Upstart Naughtyman, snorted, looking down. ‘Yet again have you thwarted my plans for world domination. Curses!’

Fixed-Penalty Notice Woman stood for a moment, arms crossed, as she glared down upon Naughtyman as he tried to find something in the sub-clauses of the fixed Penalty that would enable him to evade justice yet again. ‘It says here I have to pay a fine for attempting world domination without the necessary permits?’

‘Yes.’ She smiled to see him cower and tremble in the face of the notice. ‘There are…’ she added, ‘also some concerns about the health and safety standards at your secret volcanic island lair.’

‘What? How did you discover all this?’ Naughtyman felt his plans crumbling all around him.

‘You had to apply for planing permission for your secret island, didn’t you?’

‘Curses, foiled again.’ Naughtyman knew there must be some way he could complete his plans for world domination without some interfering superhero thwarting him. Last time it had been VATInspectorman and his sidekick PAYEboy who stopped him. Thwarting his plans to build a secret nuclear-missile submarine base in Tewkesbury, when they discovered inconsistencies in his VAT returns. Also that he’d been paying his horde of devoted minions less than the minimum wage. But, now this…. He looked up into the uncompromising eyes of Fixed-Penalty Notice woman and he knew he’d failed again.

‘My job here is done!’ Fixed-Penalty Notice woman said. ‘So, if you’d just countersign this receipt for my legitimately-incurred expenses. I can be on my way to fight for truth, justice and the bureaucratic way!’

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[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Friday, June 06, 2014

Undercover Policing and its Drawbacks

Of course, those that first met PC Splank Horology off-duty, knew little of his secret life as an undercover policeman. The persona he adopted, of Hotwire Treehugger, was part of an attempt by the police to infiltrate one of the UK’s most notorious extremist environmentalist organisations. The first such operation since PC ‘Stan’ Nark had posed as a dandelion to gain entry to the nascent underground Free Festival scene back in the early 1970s.

As the police eventually realised, many extreme environmentalist movements are far from being the benign force for good that a naïve glance at what they claims to be true would suggest.

Therefore the decision was taken to insert an undercover police agent into one of the more extreme sects of this proto-religion. A group then known as the Eco-Taliban. An extremest sect that even refused to walk on the ground in case they traumatised an earthworm. Only making an exception – of course – for their compulsory treks to the dole office.

Many of the sect’s activists attempted to overcome the crisis of conscience caused by the walk to the dole office by attempting to master the art of levitation. Something that even their shaky grasp of science and/or reality should have told them was doomed. Especially when one of their leading lights, Daisy Birchkisser, failed to levitate off the White Cliffs of Dover. Thus becoming a substantial source of nourishment for those very imperilled earthworms she’d sought to save.

This irony was not entirely lost on her followers. Two of whom also lost their lives whilst trying to erect a sustainable shrine to her in the very spot - just a few feet from the cliffs - where she’d failed to levitate above. They and their shrine did the same as Birchkisser, also failing to levitate. All much to the delight of all the - now morbidly-obese - earthworms in the vicinity of the area they plummeted to.

It was at this point that Hotwire Treehugger appeared on the scene. Arriving just as the Eco-Taliban were about to stage their most spectacular protest. They wanted to attempt to stop several local gardeners from mulching their allotments and thus – they believed - upset the karma of the local earthworms.

Treehugger warned against this action, knowing, though his experience as a local bobby, how handy several of the allotment-holders could be with a well-aimed dibber.

However, Treehugger’s reluctance was put down to cowardice and he was sent for re-education with one of the group’s wise philosophers and activists, Geoff Monobrow. Monobrow explained to Treehugger just why bunnies were so fluffy. Also explaining how everything would be eternal summer and wonderfulness as soon as the group assassinated every Briton with a car. Then they would turn the motorways back into ley-lines. Every motorway services would then become a place of sanctuary for local wildlife. A place where the birds and earthworms, the foxes and the newly-liberated domestic fowl could all live together in universal peace and harmony.

As this vision of bucolic nature living in harmony unfolded before him Treehugger broke down. He confessed that he was really PC Splank Horology and he would be resigning from the force the very next day to become a member of the Eco-Taliban as soon as possible. Thus enabling the worldwide eco-revolution to take the western capitalist world back to its rightful place in the Middle-Ages.

Later, in a press conference, the Metropolitan Police denied all knowledge of either PC Splank Horology, or his alleged undercover pseudonym of Hotwire Treehugger. The fact that several lorryloads of documents had been shredded as soon as the news broke was, as the chief constable said, ‘Just one of those things.’

Meanwhile, it can now be exclusively revealed that Hotwire Treehugger is now living with a female rabbit and their kits in a hole just off the ley-line formerly known as the M6.

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[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Politics in the UK

Pembroke Doolaly is probably best known to the UK population as one of the foremost exponents of riding the British political gravy train. He has been at the top of British politics now for almost forty years. Thereby surprising a great many of those who take an interest in politics by still being alive.

In his early days, as the son of the Earl of Doolaly, Pembroke, of course, joined the Labour party, anxious to be seen as one of the people. Providing of course, none of those people got too close.

He inherited the seat of Puddletown South in that great Labour tradition of nepotism from his uncle Bacillus Troutcock, who gave up the seat when he became Lord Troutcock. Troutcock entered the Lords pledging to work tirelessly to bring about the end of inherited wealth and privilege.

After serving in the Labour government as Secretary of State for Cabinet Meeting Chocolate Biscuit Provision, Doolaly saw the writing on the wall. He crossed the floor of the house to join the Conservative party in time for the rise of Margaret Thatcher. His constituents all bought their own council houses with money provided by Doolaly - which although technically illegal was covered by parliamentary privilege - and Doolaly’s natural aptitude for political blackmail.

In the Conservative party he rose to Chairman’s assistant in charge of buying stamps.

For a while when the Tory party waned through the Major years, Doolaly did consider joining the Liberal Democrats.

Instead, in a crisis of conscience and cash flow he rejoined the Labour party under Tony Blair.

While out canvassing in his seat, Doolaly saw real poverty for the first time. Pembroke was aghast to discover there were some households, after living for three or more work-less generations on benefits, who had TVs with screens that did not fill up an entire room. Some of them had been forced to choose between pay TV subscriptions and feeding their children. With some of those children reduced to eating as little as seven packets of crisps, and less than the national minimum of 14 litres of fizzy drinks, a day. ‘Some of the children weren’t even obese,’ a shocked Doolaly said on leaving one house where the woman and her 46 children had barely enough benefits to keep them comatose through ingesting cheap lager by the bucketful. The woman had even confessed she was forced to give her new born baby milk ‘like some savage in darkest France… y’know where the giraffes come from?’

Once more entering cabinet, where he claims he hid in a cupboard during the Iraq war discussions. He claimed he was out of the room fetching Gordon Brown a new mobile phone when all the wrong decisions were taken.

After that, he thought about joining the Conservative party again, but decided it wasn’t worth the bother of having to rejoin Labour at the next election after that. So, he decided to stay on the Labour backbenches in opposition and continue making money, where he remains to this day. He is almost as rich, wealthy and privileged as those on his front bench who taunt the Tories opposite for being rich, privileged and out of touch. Something that could never be said about Doolaly after his impressive parliamentary career, and his herd of libel solicitors held on retainer. He has promised to step down at the next election with his safe Labour seat democratically awarded to his own son, Trainshed Doolaly.

Truly, a fitting end to a glittering career in politics.

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[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Monday, June 02, 2014

More or Less

I don’t know.

There was a time back long ago when I thought I did know. I looked out on the world, out there, and I thought I understood it. I thought it made sense to me. I knew – at least, enough to get by – how the world worked. I understood, as much as anyone can, why people did what they did.

More or less… of course.

None of us really knows enough about the world, or about other people. But – somehow – we get by. That’s what I knew: enough to get by and that’s what I did – I just got by.

I had no great theory of the world, or the people in it. I just thought it more or less made sense, and the people – more or less – did sensible things. Although, any glance at the Evening News programme will bring some doubt about the latter.

Mostly though, even those people on the News in faraway places – more or less – lived lives like mine. They got up, went to work, looked after who they needed to look after and tried to do the right thing. Most of them did, anyway. They seemed just as bewildered to be on the News because of some catastrophe or cock-up as I would if I were in their place.

Then, though, she – Jeanette - came into my life. Then everything changed and things no longer made sense. I wasn’t even sure if those people I saw each day were human, not any more.

Sign up to the David Hadley – Author Mailing list to receive news about new releases, special offers, forthcoming titles and much more.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hollywood's Current Leading Star

Slingback Chaingun is probably still Hollywood's most famous leading slab of acting muscle, despite rapidly approaching his 85th birthday, or as his publicist insists, nearing 45. Still with a full head of jet black hair, the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime crossed with a mountain gorilla. He is also – allegedly – well-endowed enough to make a stallion feel inadequate, Chaingun is rapidly approaching his 65th year in the movie industry.

Some say he is typecast as the misunderstood rebel on the side of truth and justice with a massive gun. Other critics, however, see this more as an in-depth study of the modern world. An examination of the crisis of masculinity that forces men to take on overwhelming odds armed only with a miscellany of high-powered weaponry.

Many feminist critics, though, dismiss Chaingun and his whole oeuvre as conforming to outdated stereotypes of masculinity. In particular the role of the male in society as warrior with the innate male understanding of which end of the gun the bullets come out of.

However, in the real world, away from academia, Chaingun remains a star in the only way that matters. His last twenty-seven films have all been massive box-office successes, especially the last 14 films in the phenomenon that is Shooty Kill-Death Mayhem (parts V-IXX)

Here Chaingun plays the rogue Green Beret Steve Massacre in his seemingly never-ending quest to take on every failed state, dictatorship, terrorist organisation and jungle location. All in a solo attempt to rescue brave American captives from torture, abuse, un-American involvements and certain death. Each in a multitude of cinematically-gruesome ways as the scriptwriters can imagine. All while the US government does all it can to disown, discredit and abandon Steve Massacre to his fate. 

At least right up to the last act, where they discover he is winning. They then send a helicopter to take the captives back home to a hero's welcome and a massive boost in the polls for the incumbent president. Meanwhile Massacre is left behind in the jungle to await the discovery of yet more innocent Americans in peril.

All of which goes to show why even at the great old age of 85… 45, Slingback Chaingun is still at the top of his game, and long may that continue.

Sign up to the David Hadley – Author Mailing list to receive news about new releases, special offers, forthcoming titles and much more.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Friday, May 23, 2014

Supermarket Eroticism

Only then could we see just why she needed the tin of pilchards. Notwithstanding – of course – all the usual reasons a lady of her... inclinations engages in such a blatant – and full-frontal – display of full-on shopping.

Of course, in a society that doesn't like sex, but loves porn, such a display of uninhibited purchasing of domestic staples is bound to bring on a certain sexually-charged frisson. Especially if the young lady in question is more than averagely attractive and has a massive pair of shopping lists.

Of course, there are many who will take only one list on their shop. But such - known as 'vanilla' or 'ordinary' shoppers - to full-on supermarket fetishists, know little of the illicit sexual thrill having an extra shopping list can add to the experience. After all, at the top of most people's shopping sex wish-list is a desire to experiment with threesomes. For many people, that means the standard, 'buy two get one free' offers. For others, though, it can be more inventive. Right up to and including setting off down the aisles with two shopping trolleys. Of course, the dexterity, let alone the desire, needed to control two wayward and independently-minded shopping trolleys is of course not all that usual in our repressed society. We cannot deny it exists, at least, judging by the number of specialist websites displaying shopping women – and sometimes even men – in erotic poses with two – or even sometimes more – shopping trolleys.

Of course, the usual self-appointed moral guardians and religious leaders have condemned erotic shopping and all it entails. But we have to ask ourselves how many of them have ever felt the sudden overwhelming need to go out and buy a can of pilchards?

I know I have.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US)]

Monday, May 19, 2014

I Hold in My Hand a Piece of Paper

This is, of course, the question we all must ask of ourselves as we stand here on the cusp of the brink of the edge of a new world. Or, at least it would be, if we hadn't – temporarily – mislaid the piece of paper with that question written on it.

However, I do have a few other pieces of paper I've gathered over the last few... well, looking at some of them: many, many... er... years.

So, ladies and gentlemen of the world's press gathered here to bear witness to these momentous events on the world's stage. You will no doubt be aware of how hard all the world's leaders, politicians, statesmen and stateswomen gathered at this summit have worked to bring about this... this.... Well, whatever it is we have done at this moment of crisis in the world's history.


So, if you are as hungry as I am, and don't quite trust the banquets put on by our generous hosts, I have here on this historic piece of paper in my hand the phone number of an excellent takeaway. They do deliver, but only in a five mile radius of central West Bromwich. So I think we can put that particular piece of paper to one side and move on to announce that....

Ah, if you are looking for a good time then Lusty Trudy of Glamorga... er, probably not. If my wife is watching this press conference, as I'm sure everyone in the world is, then can I make absolutely clear that piece of paper was not mine. It was, in fact, handed to me by a member of the Danish delegation.

Right, moving on.... Ladies and gentlemen of the press, do any of you need a taxi in Glasgow?



Can I just say that the government of Great Britain will stand resolute and firm in its commitments. I pledge to you all here and now, that we will – in the fullness of time get half a pound of carrots, a small wholemeal loaf, a box of tea bags and a tin of chicken or fish flavoured cat food. At least, as soon as time and resources allow.

Ladies and gentlemen of the world's press, I thank you for your time.

There will be no questions.

Thank you and good night.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Cure for Politics?

Pilchard Defenestration is, of course, the UK's current most popular anti-politician. As we all know the rest of the population has grown increasingly disenchanted with both politics and the politicians who inflict it all on us. Consequently, there has been increasing interest in such election candidates as Defenestration. They are the candidates who oppose all the current political parties and their cynical electioneering. All of them hold out a promise to voters that they will – somehow – be different.

Although, as most people not infected with the political virusknow, anyone who takes even an anti-politics stance can become infected with politics. Especially if they get too close to anyone carrying the virus.

Although many people are immune to politics, it is always possible for them to catch a new strain. Particularity, if they have not – over the years – learnt to inoculate themselves against infection. Hence the sudden popularity of the Liberal Democrats during the 'I agree with Nick' TV debates a few years ago. Many people who had regarded themselves as immune to politics found themselves – often against their will and better judgement – feeling a need to vote Lib Dem after those broadcasts. Despite them having a contempt for the other two parties they thought would grant immunity to the political disease.

Of course the same happened when, recently, the UKIP and Liberal Democrat leaders attempted a debate. Many formerly immune to politics suddenly, in the days afterwards, found themselves considering voting UKIP.

Although, it must be said that, for most people, a dose of politics, although possibly worrying for friends and family of the infected person, soon passes. It goes, leaving nothing but a headful of meaningless statistics that prove nothing and a small scar on the memory.

It therefore remains to see if Pilchard Defenestration and his anti-politics stance are really all he claims. Is he a cure for politics or a carrier of another mutation of the political virus? The same virus that has infected many people who previously thought themselves immune to the banal inanities of politics and the political process.

Doctors specialising in the disease of politics say it is too early to tell if Pilchard Defenestration and his followers are really carriers of some new political virus. Or if they are – as they claim – the cure that mankind has been longing for ever since Aristotle was one of the first to warn the word about the disease he called politics.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Selling of Tales

What’s that?’

It’s a story.’ The artisan stood back, admiring his own work.

What does it do?’

The artisan glanced up, thinking it was maybe the inbreeding, but – still – as his old dad always said, the customer is always right. It is a series of events, written down.’

Oh.’ The (potential) customer leant closer, looking at the squiggles on the parchment. He’d had several expensive tutors, some of whom had strongly suggested he learn what these black squiggles represented. But he, (now, Duke) Farantzy, didn’t see the point. ‘Oh,’ he repeated. ‘What events?’

Well, this one is about a heroic knight,’ the artisan glanced at the (potential) customer’s dress and regalia. ‘A Duke....’

A Duke?’

Yes, a Duke.’ The artisan took a breath, he could always rewrite it before delivery, shove in a couple of references to dukes. ‘He journeys to save a princess from a dragon.’

Ooh, a princess, eh?’

Yes, a beautiful princess.’

How beautiful?’ The Duke made a gesture suggesting he was weighing a pair of grapefruit in his hands.

Oh, very beautiful.’ The artisan made a similar gesture suggesting he was weighing a pair of melons… watermelons. How he suffered for his art.

But… a dragon?’

Yes, a very brave… fearless Duke.’

And I… er… he kills the dragon?’

Well…. I wouldn’t want to give the end away.’

Oh?’ The Duke scratched his beard. ‘Then why have you written it all down?’

I… er…. To entertain… in the reading of it.’

It was the first time the Duke had ever heard the words ‘entertain’ and ‘read’ in the same sentence, at least one without any negative connotations.

The joy is in the reading, the unfolding of the tale.’

It is?’


Oh, how strange. Couldn’t you just tell me if he gets off with the princess?’


No?’ Nowas not a word the Duke was used to hearing. His hand reached towards the pommel of his sword.

No,’ the artisan repeated hastily. ‘The joy of the tale is in the telling.’


The artisan sighed. This was turning into a long sale. ‘You share the tale with the characters in it, as it goes along; share their adventures, their trials, their mista… their misfortunes and triumphs. So by the time he gets to fight the dragon to rescue the princess you feel as though you are there with him. You share his every stroke of the sword, every thrust of the lance is yours as though you yourself are fighting the dragon.’

Eeek!’ The Duke blushed. ‘I mean, poor bloody dragon….’ He gripped the pommel tight. ‘Wouldn’t stand a chance, know what I mean?’

The artisan nodded. ‘Of course, sire.’

So why don’t you just tell me what happens in the end, save me the bother of having it read to… of me reading it?’

Like I said, sire, the joy is being in the tale yourself.’


So, sire,’ shall I wrap it, have it delivered to your house?’

The Duke thought for a moment. ‘Nah,’ he said. ‘I’ll just wait for the DVD.’ He turned and left the shop.

The artisan watching the Duke stride away as he used several words, under his breath, he’d never used in any of his stories... yet.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US)]

Sunday, May 11, 2014

New Kindle Novel Out Now: Juggling Balls

Juggling Balls available here(UK) or here(US)
Special Low Launch Price: £0.77/$0.99

Martin Laws hates mysteries. 

So why has someone sent him a bag of juggling balls? 

Why has he no memory of buying a new computer?

Why has that new computer decided Martin needs to go shopping?

Why does a hairstylist he's never met before keep saluting him?

Most of all, why are so many Elvis impersonators trying to kill him?

Juggling Balls - a science fiction comedy featuring time travel, mind control implants and a future religion that claims an Elvis Presley clone as its saviour. 

Oh, and an interplanetary terraced house.

Juggling Balls available here(UK) or here(US)
Special Low Launch Price: £0.77/$0.99

[Other Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

New Kindle Novel Out Now: Juggling Balls

Juggling Balls available here (UK) or here (US)
Special Low Launch Price: £0.77/$0.99

Martin Laws hates mysteries. 

So why has someone sent him a bag of juggling balls? 

Why has he no memory of buying a new computer?

Why has that new computer decided Martin needs to go shopping?

Why does a hairstylist he's never met before keep saluting him?

Most of all, why are so many Elvis impersonators trying to kill him?

Juggling Balls - a science fiction comedy featuring time travel, mind control implants and a future religion that claims an Elvis Presley clone as its saviour. 

Oh, and an interplanetary terraced house.

Juggling Balls available here (UK) or here (US)
Special Low Launch Price: £0.77/$0.99

[Other Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Writer's Block

I turned.

Then I wished I hadn't.

There was a man, standing there in the doorway behind me. He had a gun in his hand.

I raised my hands.

'What are you doing?' he said.

'You've got a gun.'

'And?' He looked down at the pistol in his hand. It was a big one. The sort that Clint Eastwood would point at a street punk.

'And you are pointing it at me.'

'Oh, sorry.' He lowered the gun, but remained standing in the doorway.

'But... well, what's going on?'

'You... you're writing that story.' He nodded towards the computer on the desk.

'Well... yes. But what's that got to do with you?' I remembered about the gun. 'If you don't mind me asking?'

'It's that Raymond Chandler thing.'

'What Raymond Chandler thing?'

'Don't you know?'

I shook my head.

'But you are the writer?' He spoke as though it was something every writer should know. But, if he was so bloody smart then he'd know that writers don't know much at all, about anything. That's why there is Google.

'What do you mean?'

'Well, that story....' He pointed with the gun towards the computer. 'You are having trouble with it, aren't you?'

'Yes,' I said.

'Well, Raymond Chandler said once: When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.' He shrugged. 'So here I am.'

'Ah, right.'


'I'm not entirely sure that is what he meant.'

'Oh.' The man slumped. 'Should I go then?'
'Yes. I think that would probably be for the best.'

'Oh, right.' He turned. 'Bye.'

'Bye.' I said. 'Oh... one thing...?'

He turned back eagerly. 'Yes?'

'How did you know I was having problems?'

'Oh, your muse told me.' He trudged off down the hallway. 'Bye, again.'

'Bye,' I called, but he'd already gone.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Friday, May 02, 2014

One-Hit Wonders

Stylophone Trabant is – these days – probably the world's leading Rock Star. As lead gobshite with the UK's current (for this week at least) all-time greatest rock band Toad Entrails, he first came to attention on their number 32 hit single – Serving Suggestion.

With its intensely profound lyrics detailing just how to cook some instant noodles, this song seemed revolutionary in the staid and conservative rock music world. Set to a heavy metal version of a traditional Norwegian fishing song, the music was played on an accordion and bagpipes and featured a foghorn solo. So Serving Suggestionwas different enough to the run of the mill chart dross to get the attention of some of the country's most self-important music critics.

Although, these days music critics are no longer as significant as they like to think they once were, back in the heyday of the NME, Melody Maker and the Walsall Daily Advertiser. Even so, these days some people still do occasionally notice there are people who are paid to write about music. It was these music critics and their championing of Toad Entrails as the next big thing which brought Stylophone Trabant and his suspiciously well-filled trousers to the attention of the public. A Public growing increasingly disinterested in the music business and the posturing fools who think it owes them a living, as well as a drug habit equal to the GDP of several combined undeveloped economies.

However, it will be (almost) interesting to see if Toad Entrails and Stylophone Trabant himself can live up to the hype built up around them. They do claim they have nearly three notes of the next single already recorded. However, many are now beginning to feel they will be yet another band to add to the ever-growing list of one-hit wonders in pop history.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Perturbed Donkey

The donkey was perturbed.

Which was to be expected.

After all, when a professional donkey perturbist enters the perturbing arena and comes face to face with her opponent, then that donkey best be at least slightly concerned. Furthermore, it ought to be at least slightly perturbed by the end of the twelfth round or the crowd will want their money back.

This we all know and understand.

Or, at least, as close to understanding as some of us get. Which is often as close as a town and the railway station of the same name.

However, sometimes the donkey is not all it should be. Sometimes it is a ringer. There are rumours that Far-Eastern gambling syndicates are moving into the sport of donkey perturbing at an increasing rate. Particularly now that other sports have started to take an interest in the syndicates. Consequently, several of their shenanigans and ruses in those other sports have been exposed and terminated.

However, donkey perturbing, especially at the professional and international level, has long had a reputation of being a clean sport. Only the case of Derby Ornamentals Centre leg-on Perturber, Underhand Googly, ever, has resulted in a conviction with Googly banned from the sport for the illegal use of the marshmallow.

Still we can only hope that the sport will do the utmost to keep its good name and that it doesn't fall prey to the gambling syndicates. After all, these syndicates made football lose fans because of the match fixing and their use of spread betting almost made tennis bearable to watch. 

Otherwise, if no action its taken, this world will lose another of its great sports. This forcing us sports fans to take even more of an interest in naked female mud wrestling than we do already.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dark Twisty Corridors

As so many times before the TV programme makers have – despite the odds – come up with another great example of the programme-makers art. Each episode of Dark Twisty Corridorsappears to be better than the last. 

Each week our heroes, sexy Doctor Improbable Chestbumps and her nervous sidekick Steve Questionable end up chased down several, seemingly never-ending dark twisty corridors. Chased either by a monster or an explosion, sometimes even both.

Although, the programme makers defied everyone's expectations for the three-hour long Christmas special. In that episode our brave adventurer and her nervous sidekick were chased down several extra-long dark and twisty corridors by an explosion right into the path of that episode's extra nasty (as befitting the season of peace and goodwill) monster. A monster with three heads and a deadly-poisonous elbow.

However, some critics have dared express even slightest reservations about the programme. Those that survived the multitudinous social media death squads hunting them down, revealed several plot flaws in the programme. Pointing out that it seems slightly improbable that, week after week, a person of Chestbumps intelligence would find herself stuck in dark twisty corridors, invariably with a faulty torch. Especially so, when it is known - usually – before they set off there is a monster down there and/or a chance of an enormous explosion. 

 It appears that each week there is an explosion at the end of the programme. Usually where they do that diving for safety hand-in-hand thing just as they reach the exit. Just as the billowing explosion of flame and smoke passes over, inches from their heads, just in time for Questionable's pithy, but apt, one-liner to end the episode.

However, the rest of us know the programme is sheer genius and thus look forward to the blinkered short-sighted TV network cancelling it too soon. Then we can take our justifiable outrage on-line until they reverse the decision as we knew all along they would.

[Books by David Hadley are available here (UK) or here (US).]