Monday, 8 February 2010

The blog is closed, everybody get out.

Apparently (and much to the amusement of the other staff, customers and especially the owner of Wargames Inc) I am Bernard Black, crotchety book shop keeper and aggressive drunk of the sitcom 'Black Books'. Now, I do like the series, and Dylan Moran's stand-up is fantastic but I just don't see the resemblance. The hilarity stems from a staff member's wife saying 'That's Rob! Just replace the wine with coffee and it's Rob!' while watching series one and then it spread like a particularly virulent STD. Every time I interact with one particular staff member (you know who you are) I usually get the following response at least once: 'Jam jam jam jam jam eurgh!' followed by a mime of 'me' throwing toast to the ceiling. I think there has even been threats of sticking plastic toast to the shop roof. Irritating as this may be, I didn't think anything of it until the time came to go out and interact with real people.

A friend of mine, Amy, is going to work in China for a year as a part of the VSO programme, which means she has more balls than I do. Which also means she has far more balls than the rest of you, what with me having an American football as well as a couple of back-up testicles. This past Saturday was her going away party and I was invited for drinks. Yes, she is that committed to charity. The downside? It would be at a local pub frequented by people who don't play wargames. Not exactly my milieu but duty called (it had nothing to do with ogling her in her party dress either, before you start).

So when I got there I edged my way past the well-dressed people (I had chosen a rather fetching anorak and Primark t-shirt ensemble, complete with the requisite beige combat trousers of the sixty-year old), spotted Catherine's American beau Steve and quite quickly got myself a pint of coke and hid in the corner. Steve is a nice guy, automatically interesting because he's foreign so I could follow standard UK diplomatic policy and hide behind the nearest yank. Especially useful when the obligatory huge drunken guy from Nottingham demanded a chinwag.

As the evening progressed I eyed the svelte people passing in front of me. The women were like gazelles on the African veldt, graceful and alluring. Me? Was I some leonine predator on the hunt, you ask? Yes. Yes I was. If by leonine predator you mean fat, toothless hippo in a muddy, excremental wallowing hole. I steadfastly refused to move from my comfy, leather hidey hole unless it was to nip out for a fag.

Out of my depth? Considering that I can't actually swim it's a particularly apt metaphor. I got to meet some people who are so far out of my social circle I would normally need a fucking radio telescope to catch sight of their feet as they ran quickly away from me. All through the night I was having flashes of that episode where Manny locks Bernard out and Bernard is forced to brave the outside world for once. That was when it hit me.

Despite all of the good intentions from the lovely people I know (most of you can exclude yourselves from that prior statement. The people concerned know who they are) to include me in a broader social circle, I am Bernard Black. I am fiction made flesh and blood. Fucking typical. I'm not Batman or Raffles or Howard Carter, I'm the living avatar of a drunken Irish arsehole. Made slightly more ironic by the fact I am half Irish. For fuck's sake. When the party decided to decamp to a local bar for table dancing (the party were going to dance on tables, apparently. As I don't drink I wasn't going to do my Grandad shuffle and fall off a sticky, formica-topped table. That would have been the kicker, the sober guy breaking his leg while the drunken ladies in their improbable heels stayed safe) I took my leave. It had been a long day, I was shell-shocked by my revelation.

Seeing as the majority of you fuckers are so tight you fucking squeak, I'd like you to help Amy out here. You sure as shit ain't spending your cash in the shop, so why not do something unrelated to whining about the rising cost of GW products for once. Scroll down and you'll see that even I, grumpy Irish bully that I apparently am, have donated to the cause.

And yes, Amy did look alluring in her party dress. However, gentleman that I am, I didn't stare at her cleavage once. Or more than once. So there.

So onto a brief hobby update today. I have been painting (sort of) for a miniature painting competition I'm holding at the shop. The model I have chosen is Andy Foster's Feral Queen - a really nice female beastman type that could double for Valkyria the Bloody with the addition of some wings (and as long as you don't try to use it at Games Workshop).

In addition to this, I'm actually starting sculpting proper - no more likenesses of Burke from Trapdoor, I'm going for a (reasonably) whole miniature. I will be starting it about a half hour after this long winded and picture free update, so expect to see pics of my progress ... at some juncture in the future. I will be using Fimo over a wire armature and trying to sculpt a male figure. Hopefully it won't end up looking like some ancient fertility idol but you can never be too sure ...

Angry at the whole Cerebus the Aardvark turn his life seems to be taking