Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Man-o-pause

"Let me have that ammo crate."

"It's yours."

"Anyway, like you were saying. Are you serious?"

"I sh*t you not. His Dad's brother turned out to be his actual Dad. F*cked up, I know. When that got out in school, all the kids were calling him "The Man from Uncle".



I'm going through a few changes this month. No, not THE change – I'm a tad too young for that, still. But these changes will be duly reflected on the site in time. Part of all that is I'll be moving back to London, which has naturally caused some pause for thought given I left The Smoke barely a few years back for a multitude of reasons. Some of you will know exactly why I'm moving back, but for those who don’t there'll be fairly large 'clues' on this site's switches in the next few weeks.

But what it'll also mean is I may not have a net connection to update as often as I'd like (erm, not you'll probably notice any difference, given the irregularity I'm updating of late). So yeah, lots of shifting and jumping in the coming weeks, hopefully all for the better. Enthusiasm tempered with caution.

Anyhoo, as promised, another extract from Silly Games (as was the opening exchange, in case you were wondering). This one's language is a little more… colourful. So naturally beware of the salt that is profanity in this entry. All the same, it's not too explicit, especially compared to the rest of the novel, but I made the realisation that most of its 'cheerier' parts were quite obscene and I didn’t want to have a downbeat extract again for this week (although if I included the end of the chapter, the tone of this passage would be far different to what you have here).


Just a warning...



SILLY GAMES EXTRACT 2



15 odd games, several pizzas, far too much alcohol and profanity later, Gee and I took a time out as the evening winded down. Neither of us had drunk as much as the others -especially the twins, who were clearly revelling in their newfound 'legal adulthood'- and were taking a quiet moment in the kitchen to catch-up a bit more in-depth.

"So, you really okay, Gee? I mean, really."


A sad smile emerged on her face as she pushed herself up onto the left side of the galley. "Yeah… it's… yeah, I'm fine. Just disappointed. I think that's what hurt the most, you know? I thought she was interested in me. Fed me all this spiel about not getting to meet many women that she could 'connect' with where she came from and all that bull. Then she just drops the, 'I thought you're into that sort of thing' crap. Been hard enough few years coming out to everyone as it is, fighting so many misconceptions, you just about start thinking everything's butter smooth, then…"

"Yeah."

"But hey, live and learn, right? It's all we do these days. Live and learn. Then screw it all up over again."


I felt a slight flush of embarrassment. "That's my job."

Gee patted my shoulder. "Like I said before, it's fine." Pause. "So, how's things with you? All this time, I've barely even asked."

I think my expression kept on the rueful side. "Argh, you know. Work's sh*t, I'm stupid with my money, I make bad social faux pas'…" -Gee smirked- "Biz as usual."

"Nothing new?"

"Some things here and there… bit too early to say though."

"Oooh, mysterious…"

"Nah, not really. I tell you I started a blog?"

Gee guffawed. "You hate blogs!"

"I know… but… necessary evil."


"Hypocrite."

"Don’t deny it."

We went into the main computer room where I showed her my slapdash efforts. She gave me a few tips on my design and how to draw in an audience, to which she directed me to a small side project site which involved several scantily clad, heavily bosomed female anime characters standing on a dance stage to an empty auditorium, looking decidedly bored. I turned to Gee. "Erm…"

"Shhh," she grinned. She went through a couple pages of unintelligible routines, then clicked on a 'contribute' button, entered a PayPal amount of £5 and then said, "watch this."

Her site returned and the characters on the screen suddenly started writhing slowly around each other to some generic Europop. Then as the tempo started to speed up, the music turned into some sort of J-pop variant and the characters started to dance manically, jiggling their numerous animated bits rhythmically, but as per anime conventions, never dropping out of their barely apparent clothing. Flashes of Gary's crotch dance from days before came worryingly back before my eyebrows rose several feet off my head. "Gee, what the hell is-"

She put a finger over my lips. "Shhh… wait."

I continued to watch the animated women bounce and jiggle and writhe, singing along to the crazed soundtrack. Then bizarrely, a male avatar walked on to the screen and sat down. A little speech bubble popped up: "Glad 2 see you back online, thought u were gone 4ever."

The song changed. Something contemporary poppy, not totally sure, but the dancers seamlessly switches rhythm and tempo to match. Then another man appeared and sat down. His speech bubble was just " :) ". Then another. And another. We watched for minutes as the previously empty seats filled with oglers.

"So, wait," I said, "these guys are paying for this?"

"At the moment it's a small contribution – they come in, pay whatever and then have about 10 minutes to play whatever song they want while my characters do their biz."

One man's speech bubble suddenly came up: "Take it off, baby!"

Yow. I silently turned to Gee who was rolling her eyes. "Expected, but no, before you ask, they never get naked – the tease is part of the attraction."

"And they just what, sing and dance? That's it?"

There was a slight skewing of Gee's eyes. "Well, that's part of it… I've kinda got a deal with a few sites… well, actually, no, let me rephrase. I've got a deal with some friends… hackers… who work within a few sites where there's thriving virtual communities. Places where people hang out online with their virtual lives. They've created this underground server which patches on to their virtual world and that's where we test out stuff deemed too risqué or outside the community's terms of service. Few people know about it, because obviously, if word gets out and we all get caught, we're in the poo, but there's enough of a keen side audience who's willing to play along. My contribution was this – a tame but very specifically geared interactive go-go bar.


"I took it offline for a bit because, frankly, it was boring. And many of the sites we piggybacked have started to venture into this stuff anyway. We're about one step away from interactive CGI porn, so this is nothing, really. But I seem to have a dedicated group who can't get enough. So I guess if you tap the right people with the right product the loyalty makes itself. The money goes to my usual charities and I get a good experiment to boot."

I was incredulous. "I love your intentions, but, Christ, how do you get away with…" I pointed to the overt jiggy jiggy, "…this?"

"Male dominated field, baby," said Gee. "Better yet, male dominated field of geeks. Geek women are hot. Face it, I could crap on a page, rub it in water and most of you would cream yourself at the subtext."

I shook my head, laughing in disbelief. "Jesus…"

"No offence, but guys… guys are huge lump sacks of walking procreation hormones. Women control the undercurrent of everything you know. Your world is a big ol' sham because you worship these," she grabbed her breasts theatrically, "and pray with this," she waved an imaginary penis from her groin. "Accept that and everything else is sweet vanilla ice cream. As long as you remember that we're the ones providing the milk."




"You're so wasted at your company."

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