Black Ob-shit-ian [A Review]

“When I beat off later that night, I wanted to know exactly who I was beating off to.”

-Calloway Owens, male fuck-tagonist

Well! Here we are again! As I predicted, even just clicking on the Buttons and Lace link on Facebook means I now get weekly “Fifty Shades fans love this!” or “So dark! So gripping! If you like Fifty, you’ll love this,” shit on my feed. I recently got recommended another series, the Steel Brothers series by Helen Hardt (yes, Steel, exactly the same as Anaesthesia Steel). That, too, had an extract, but I was too uninspired by its description to write about it – just one more ‘sexy smut’ story. But that tripe isn’t what we’re ripping apart today – no no no! What we’re going to take a gagworty glance at today is

I don't want this shit suggested to me. Stop please.

the Black Obsidian series!

That’s its name, Black Obsidian. From the name of the first book of three, it is followed by Black Diamond and then, breaking the stone-chain, Black Promise. Why must these so-called ‘Erotica’ series do this? Why must they cling onto a word or title-construction? Is it because the writer thinks they sound mysterious and intriguing when they do that? I would never think that.

But, let us pass the cover of Black Obsidian and venture into the meat. And that saucy little pun was very much intended, as we are almost immediately thrown into the “meat” area within the first scene.  What do I mean by this? Well, the protagonist’s “cock [becomes] hard” on the third page.

I am three pages in, and already disgusted. It is not because I think becoming aroused is deviant, but because the protagonist – one of the two characters I will be stuck with for the next however-many hours – is abhorrent in my head. Instead of visualising what our thrilling writer Victoria Quinn wants me to visualise, which is a man drinking “scotch” in a “black suit,” instead I see only a Neanderthalic, sex-obsessed beast ogling the female protagonist. And, should you be optimistic enough to hope that this man becomes more of a personality as the book goes on, you are drastically wrong. Overuse of phrases like “absolutely fuckable” and “beat off later” shatter any and all hope, as well as making my stomach churn. This is not a suave and sophisticated male character; this is a libido in a suit.

So, already I despise this Calloway Owens guy. Luckily, our female fuck-tagonist Rome slaps him in the first scene. She slaps him hard. And I mean this both ways. Of course, we knew Owens was already sporting a flagpole, but, upon being slapped by Rome in a hilarious misunderstanding, he relates to the reader that it “was better than any blow-job”. And yet somehow he didn’t humiliate himself all down his trousers. But here, we can see another thread of the story emerging – a sadomasochistic one. A similar thread popped up in another infamous erotica novel… what a startling and uninspiring coincidence.

Or… is it that sadomasochistic? Being slapped to the point of orgasm honestly seems like quite softcore masochism. And perhaps this would be okay. Everyone has a turn-on, after all. However, I find this scene ridiculous, when it is revealed that Owens is a regular at a sadomasochism spot called “Ruin.” Within “Ruin”, doms lead their subs around “on leashes”, and Calloway has one already whom he says is “the best sub he’s ever had”. From here, we can understand that Calloway is indeed the “dark, twisted asshole” he claims to be, if his desires go this deeply into hurting and being hurt. However, because of this, I fail to see how he could possibly be pushed to ecstasy by a random woman slapping him. Just because she has “perky tits” does not mean the palms of her hands hitting your face are going to be better than your “best sub” giving you a blow-job.

Most likely, Quinn knows nothing about sadomasochism. It all seems like a painful fairy tale as Calloway expresses his thoughts about Ruin. And something everyone knows about fairy tales is that they are so far removed from truth that they can be laughable. For example, something that made me roll my eyes in annoyance was Calloway’s explanation that he and his sub had a “monogamous relationship” which was “rare” “in their world”. Is this fact supposed to make Calloway likeable in my eyes? Just because he has the much more common “monogamous” relationship? No. No, this is simply here so Quinn does not alienate readers. And besides – if Calloway wasn’t so focused on monogamy, there would be practically no story.

But then again, would that be such a bad thing? I have a word for this story – boring. Black Obsidian is so incredibly boring. It manages to make swear-words boring. The word “fuck” crops up so much in the book that I begin to hate reading it. But another reason it is so dull is because it takes so long for anything ‘erotic’ to actually occur. So much of the book is filled with manufactured conflict and painfully terrible attempts at creating realistic characters.

For example, one of the conflicts, as I just mentioned, is Calloway’s insistence on monogamy. For a man so willing and eager to “come in his slacks” and “fuck [a random woman] into a mattress” it seems increasingly unnatural that he simply has to dump his submissive in order to get with her. With a man like this, it seems more believable that he’d simply have both, if he could.

But Calloway dumps her in order to get with Rome… who he doesn’t get with for ages. That’s right. Calloway dumps “the best sub he’s ever had” for a woman he doesn’t fuck for the first time until near the end. So what the hell is the rest of this so-called “erotica” novel filled with? He’s trying to find her, he’s meeting with her, he’s giving her “rules” and then complaining about the rules, he’s pressurising her, he’s “lusting after her”… but he doesn’t actually have sex with her for a long, long time.

And, when this act does finally come around, what happens? He fucks her vanilla. Nothing special. Nothing sadomasochistic. So…

What was the point of all of the Ruin stuff?!

Calloway was so insistent he was “dark”, that he was into “shit most people wouldn’t dream of” but yet here he is, doing Rome “with clothes on” on a “mattress” and it’s the “best orgasm to date!” “Even hotter than when [he] was with [his sub]”! Vanilla sex, no pain apart from “her nails” digging into his arse, in their clothes!

What was the point of this? From the first page I thought I would be in for an amateur sadomasochistic fuck-ride, but no. Not only does it take chapters and chapters of slogging to get to anything that could be considered sexy, but when it does get there, the entire fucking thread of the book is abandoned. At this point, I am practically furious reading it. Attempts at sadomasochism are made, but Calloway stops himself from being “the dictator” he says he is. In fact, let’s look at that Facebook quote one more time:

VictoriaQuinnIsACunt

No, he does not. He doesn’t! Her presence stops him from being “the DOM” the first time, which is the “best” time, according to the “dom” himself. Again, how is this book supposed to be taken seriously if the majority of it vanishes? This is vanilla shit, the S&M shit is practically a weak side-salad.

I never thought I’d ever say this, but at least Fifty Shades of Grey kept its sadomasochism at the forefront the whole way through. Grey stayed true to his fetish, expressed he could only orgasm if he was “hurting” someone, and turned Anastasia away because of it. But Calloway? Nope. No, he manages just fine – in fact better – without hurting Rome.

There is so much more I detest about this book, so much that makes my intestines scream with fury as my mouth fails to form words, but that’s for another day. All in all, this erotica book, this apparent “sadomasochism” story, is not at all deserving of that title. The male is hugely dislikeable and his hubris is bigger than his cock. The female is hardly anything but a mirror for Calloway’s sexiness to be bounced off and into the mind of the reader.

But don’t become that – don’t become a reader. Do not give this book your time, unless you need something to dislodge your lunch. Not just because Calloway talks about his dick too much, but because I feel physically sick from anger.

God. I need to hurt someone now.

 

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Could it Get Worse? – Mono More Problem

As if these last few months haven’t been hellish enough, what with an orgy of celebrity deaths and one certain businessman being given a country as if it’s a board game, we have to ask… Could it get worse?

Well, as with all questions like that, of course it can. And, if these last few months weren’t bad enough, there’s one issue clouding Facebook like no other and it’s really depressing and bad. It’s nothing to do with the latest animal that’s gone extinct, political scandals or the gripping top keks that have spilled onto one of the front pages of the internet, it’s to do with…

Monopoly.png

Monopoly pieces! My heart cannot take much more of this! What if the dog goes – I always liked the dog – or the top hat? The top hat is literally my favourite item of attire at the moment and I have two myself. But, fortunately, you can vote to save your favourite piece from being wiped out of the game completely! Whew! Thank you Jesus.

The instructions are all presented in a video. How modern and convenient, certainly not in the style of Monopoly, where modernisms and conveniences were replaced with Piccadilly being somewhere people want, and Community Chest cards existing. All you have to do to understand how to save your precious darling piece is to survive through the video as someone with this face is giving you the facts:

This Face.png

Terrifying.

Now, there are, by my count, three ways a person could take this news: 1) “I must rescue my dear Boaty McBoatface from the grips of the wastepaper basket by casting my oh-so-precious vote forth into the running!” 2) “They’re changing the game pieces thereby ruining the sanctity of one of the most successful board games of all time?! Travesty!” or 3) “Seriously though. Who gives a single shit.”

I fall into the third category (though I’m sure my flawless acting above persuaded you otherwise), because I really don’t see this as an issue. I have an old Monopoly set in the games cupboard right here at my house. I won’t be buying another set just to use a hashtag (a fucking hashtag) to pass GO. And anyway, whenever I play a board game, I usually use my own trinkets on the board – a little Lego Dobby figure for example – because I find it really adds a touch of me to the game. So why do people think it’s such an important and momentous occasion that they feel the need to share the article from The Sun about it?

I truly have no idea about that. So, instead of being so negative about it, let’s try to see this in a positive light – let’s dissect the contenders for the new Monopoly!

First, the categories. The very first category is ‘Animals’ which they’ve already clearly screwed up, as the cat apparently isn’t an animal in the eyes of the high-and-mighty board game creators. No, a cat represents ‘Social Media’.

Social Media. In a board game. Is it just me who thinks that those two things are pretty much polar opposites? I can only imagine the winces of shame family members will give each other when they see their #NoFilter daughter moving around a hashtag piece, or a thumbs-up piece.

But what’s this? The computer piece isn’t in ‘Social Media’. It’s in the ‘Inventions’ category. If I had to choose, I’d put the computer in the ‘Social Media’ category.. Yes, the computer is an invention, but if you’re going to be pedantic, you may as well put the very first computer in as a piece, instead of a modern flat monitor to represent it. After all, one of the other pieces is a wooden-strutted wheel, not a tyre. Now also might be the time to complain that I cannot make out what half of the so-categorised ‘Inventions’ are. The picture is the exact size I originally saw, and I have no idea what the first and second contenders are. It could be a camera and a gnome for all I know.

Moving onto another category then, to save from moaning forever about the point of there being pieces unfathomable to the eye, let’s look at the ‘Footwear’ category. And – brilliant! – we can swap a boot for four other boots! What a great use of my precious time on this finite Earth. Though that rollerskate is actually kind of interesting. But, again, I’d classify that as more of an ‘Invention’ than everyday footwear like that trainer. But still, it’s worn by a foot, so I won’t complain.

It seems to me that the ‘Footwear’ category is the category with the most amount of vision. Because one of the categories features things that ‘Float’. Not boats, no. Things that ‘Float‘. That is quite a wide range of things. From sticks to cadavers, lots and lots of things float. But they’ve gone with a rubber duck (actually kind of cute), a surfboard and a Polo mint. Oh, no. Sorry. Not a Polo mint. My mistake. An inner tube. Because I totally want to be squeaking around the board with an inner tube. At least then the Waterworks lot will make a slight bit more sense. Maybe.

Oh I just noticed something. Once again, they’ve gone completely off-track with their categories. There is a separate category for ‘Fashion’. If I had to create these categories, I’d go with ‘Headgear’ myself. I can think of seven different styles of headgear, aside from the classic top hat (bowler, snapback, flat cap, sombrero, earmuffs, arrow-through-head-gag Donald Trump’s hair) but apparently they decided to confuse us mere consumers by separating ‘Fashion’ and ‘Footwear’. Baffling. That M looking thing, what is that? It could be some sort of Monopoly-related belt buckle idea, but I’m just confused at how you’re supposed to play with it. One of the joys of Monopoly was that the pieces were interesting, 3D little models. That one looks like you just have to lie it down and nudge it with your fingernail. That’s not fun.

The same goes for some pieces in the other categories. Playing as the goldfish, for example, you might be able to prop your piece up on the goldfish’s fins. But that pocketwatch looks far from stable. The moped looks a bit haphazard as well, but at least it has a cute little stand.

Speaking of the moped, at least it fits into the ‘Transport’ category (are boats not transport too? Eh, we had that discussion). Unlike that plane. Not because it’s a plane. But because, in the picture, it honestly looks more like a whale. But I’d prefer it was a whale – I like whales. I’d play as a whale. Buy up all the stations and change the name of the Underground to the Underwater. But that’s just me.

This leaves us with just one more category to look at – the ‘Historical’ category. For the most part, I think the pieces in the ‘Historical’ category all look the part. But maybe I’m just missing the Iron that, quote, “was replaced by a cat … In 2013” (From The Sun’s article). But I really think the gramophone or the bathtub could make good pieces. They have the gravitas that things like the hashtag and the Tyrannosaurus Rex just don’t possess.

Yes, as you can see, there’s a T-Rex in the mix. I wanted to avoid mentioning it. A Scottie dog, a famous Monopoly piece, has reason to be in London, where Monopoly is set. The inclusion of the T-Rex just tells me the creators just don’t care about their product anymore. If you’re going to put in a T-Rex, at least put it in ‘Historic’. Save us all the depression.

Ah but, I can’t just complain about all the other pieces without telling you which one I’d play with. It’s a tough choice – in traditional Monopoly I always chose the dog because… it was a dog. I like dogs, Westies are my favourite breed and Scottie dogs are close enough to make me happy. But, which piece would I play with today, out of all the choices I have?

The answer, to me, is simple.

My little Lego Dobby, of course.

Buttons and Anal Potato Prints [A Review]

Described by some nobody on the internet, The Button Series (Book One of Three) is comparable to Fifty Shades: “If you like Fifty, you will enjoy this”. And, seeing as there are numerous articles on the internet dedicated to awful Fifty Shades phrases (50 Terrible Lines for example), this should clearly not be taken as any sort of compliment.

As an aspiring writer, I find it both abhorrent and intensely depressing that such trash can be spat out by the back-end of the writing community and be praised by its demographic that is clearly made up of organisms akin to earthworms. As such, when the advertisement for the book popped up on Facebook, I was sceptical. And, unfortunately, I was proved absolutely correct in my initial assumption – The Button Series (Book One of Three) is…

kmn

AWFUL.

Certainly a contender for the Bad Sex Awards, the first book in The Buttons SeriesButtons and Lace is an embarrassment to the medium of writing. Instead of raising the practice of writing up as something to be loved and cherished, looked on as an art form instead of just a hobby, Buttons and Lace was too busy contradicting and wetting itself to help.

So, what can we do about it? Well, I can show just how terrible it truly is. Armed with my knowledge of writing, my rage and quotations from the “novel”‘s free-to-read extract, I’m going to work my way through the parts of said extract that made me laugh in derision. I would read through the whole book instead of just the free-to-read extract, but, just by reading the extract, I know I have more important things to do, like cutting myself or hijacking cars. I’d never claim my writing was flawless, but even my fanfiction from two years ago has more continuity than this garbage.

Now, let’s just get this over with.

Our extract starts with a personality-void girl reflecting in irritating formatting – why are italics used to describe her inner thoughts when her inner thoughts are already being used to describe her surroundings – on what she remembers of kidnapper. On first glance, he was “her saviour” but now he’d drugged her and stolen her, he was “her kidnapper”. So, we know one fact about him – he kidnapped her. In fact, it takes us eight more tiny paragraphs to get to the description of him. And how is he described? Exactly as a ten-year-old would describe him. Everything is “he had” or “he was”, and we get no indication as to his personality, as other, better writers would know to do. We get one clumsy attempt at lyrical wordplay, as our protagonist (Pearl) describes his “mocha” eyes as “burning with constant threat”.

And, to kickstart our count of contradictions, his body is childishly described as “tall and muscular, but slender and toned”. Now, when I think of muscular, I think of wide-chests, thick arms and broad shoulders. But no, our beloved writer, one Penelope Sky, seems to want to make us do a mental double-take, as “muscular” and “slender” are essentially antonyms. Oh, and our protagonist says she “didn’t know anything about him”. And this is true – she knows nothing about him apart from that he has “mocha” eyes, a “chiselled jaw covered by a 5 o’clock shadow” and that he’s synonymously “muscular” and “slender”.

But, maybe she means she knows nothing of his personality. And tough luck – none of us will ever know his personality, because he hasn’t got one. He’s the verbal description of the stoic male character in a bad fanfiction. He’s “threatening”, “powerful, dangerous” but oddly “handsome”. With “tender lips”. Sit yourselves down, girls, surely this heartthrob is going to make you as unrealistically wet as he made our protagonist.

Oh yeah. That’s right. Sure, there’s no penetration, but there is an awfully described almost-rape scene where Girl is being pinned down to the dinner table by her neck, and she still creates a reservoir in her pants at a single kiss. And, I mean reservoir. The lovely image is described thus: “I felt my panties soak with my own fluid.” Now, either our Penelope Sky has never orgasmed before, or our protagonist just wet herself. Yes, women can explode all over the place at a moment’s notice, but they do not produce enough… “fluid”… in one orgasm to flood a pair of pants. Not only that, but the female orgasm is designed to wet the inside of the vagina, to allow comfortable penetration. It isn’t designed to happen outwardly (though does undoubtedly happen a lot) This disgusting scene is only made yet more horrific and infuriating when Man steps away: “he noticed the large spot of liquid that formed in the front of his boxers”. And yes, it’s insinuated that it “wasn’t from him”. Well, seeing as we’ve agreed a female orgasm simply couldn’t cause this much lubricated carnage, it’s clearly urine. She’s just pissed on her kidnapper. It’s the only explanation.

So yes, we’ve managed to get from Girl waking up in a badly-described house of “Italian Royalty” where she doesn’t believe his title could be “his Grace” despite the whole Italian Royalty thing, to him almost raping her on a dinner table. Whew! What a wild ride. But how did we get there?

As she explores the house, just after she wakes up, she comes across a butler. A butler that speaks English, uses American mannerisms, lives in Italy and has a German name. Well, if our male ant/deuteragonist is called “Crow” (yes, seriously) Lars is absolutely divine. It actually annoys me though – I’d use the name Lars as a pen-name. It’s my favourite male name. And it’s been ruined for me. All I’m going to see when I think of Lars now, is a “butler” who cracks jokes, talks as if he isn’t “in his fifties” and manages to carry about five different plates to serve to Girl. Impressive or improbable, you decide.

But, nevertheless, we’re in the dining hall, at breakfast. I’ll waylay my complaints about how the whole place is described – it seriously gives the reader nothing to relate or emote to – but I will tell you this. The dining room table is a “large mahogany table that could easily seat sixteen people” and is “three feet wide.” Okay, remember that. “Large … sixteen people… three feet wide.” Got it?

While sat at this “large” table, Girl and Man (I am not calling him Crow) actually interact. It’s as wooden and awkward as you’d expect, interjected by more irritating italics that serve no purpose but to let the reader know very lazily that she doesn’t like him and more awful contradictions. One minute she “continued to stand… out of defiance” yet all that Man must do is raise his voice a decibel and she “[rethought her] actions.” Well done. You managed to dodge a plot point that might have birthed you some personality.

Man is also attempting to have personality, but Penelope Sky won’t let him. In an attempt to make him seem ‘intelligent’, Man corrects Girl, telling her that “Picasso was Spanish, not Italian.” However, this just reflects horribly on Sky herself. Clearly she thought of the first painter she could, checked he wasn’t Italian, and gave herself a good old fingering in reward. A better joke might have been to use the Spanish realism painter and sculptor Antonio López García. At least those names sound Italian. Pablo clearly sounds Spanish. So, it’s a bad joke that failed on two levels – it failed at being a joke, and it failed to establish that Man or Author have any knowledge of art whatsoever. No one looks intelligent at this dinner table, then.

This is getting a bit boring though. Just a conversation we’re told is awkward so the writer doesn’t actually have to make it awkward herself. How about we get back to one of the central themes of this part of the book that everyone seems to have forgotten – the fact Man kidnapped Girl. With a topic change that will give the reader whiplash, we jump from “home-made pancakes” to “I inserted a tracker in your right ankle.” Clearly, this man is a bloody lunatic. But I’d like to know when exactly he inserted the tracker. I can believe this kidnapping, girl-raping, “his Grace” of a man would insert a tracker himself instead of getting the previously established perfect butler character Lars to do it. Or I can pretend to believe it. But when did it happen? Certainly no time recently, as Girl feels the “small bump [protrude] from the skin” and notices “a tiny scar just above it.” A scar. The wound from the insert has already scarred over. Either Girl has the genetics of Deadpool, or Man inserted this tracker at least two weeks ago. But no, it’s obviously insinuated it was inserted recently. She can’t even write injuries correctly. But she’s very good at creating mental scars in the minds of those of us who read it.

And, unbelievably, it gets so much worse. Not only does our favourite author Penelope Sky think that a wound can scar over in a few hours, but she thinks “a butter knife” can “stab” through to a heart! When I read this particular line, “A butter knife… wasn’t sharp like a steak knife, but if I used blunt force, I might have been able to get it inside his heart,” I had to stop reading. I couldn’t get past it for a full five minutes without laughing in pure pain and misery that bile like this had been published. And that people, members of my species, had read this particular line and still enjoyed the book. There are so many reasons why a butter knife can not stab through to a heart, and, in case you think otherwise, I’m going to list them: • There is skin in the way. The “butter knife” is “blunt”. • There is flesh in the way. • There are ribs in the way. RibsBone. • It’s a fucking butter knife. It would bend before it made any headway through a body. • A BUTTER KNIFE WILL NOT DELIVER A “DEATH BLOW.”

I am hysterical at this point, as I’m reading the extract out loud to myself. Which makes what happens next intrinsically painful to me as a writer and lover of good literature. The internal italicised monologues return and so do the contradictions. Girl “threw herself across the table” which “nearly [tips] over with [her] unexpected weight.”

Remember when I said to remember those three facts about the table? That it’s “large,” could sit “sixteen people,” and is “three feet wide?” In case you’re wondering, this is what a sixteen-seater table looks like:

sixteen-seater © 101 Pallet Furniture

And yet a Girl “nearly tips it over”. Are you kidding me?! Either the table is made of aluminium or something and our favourite protagonist is 300 kilograms, or the culprit, once again, is awful, terrible writing. The writer just needed a perfectly good reason to have Girl be put on the same side of the table as Man. Because no, it wasn’t as if they could walk around or anything! She couldn’t try to make her escape at which point he grabs her and forces her back to the table he was so insistent she sat at before. Instead, no, this sixteen-seater, three foot wide table, a good quality “Italian table”, tips over at the introduction of a single human’s weight.

I have nothing further to say. I will not ever read any of the three books (Book Two is coming soon) and I will avoid this book like typhus. If anyone asks you your opinion on it, should they buy it, and you agree with me, please point them here. Save us all from more awful ‘erotica’ novels. They give the genre of Erotica a bad name too. But all that will happen is that books of this calliber will continue to get published. And why? Because, on numerous sites, the book Buttons and Lace by Penelope Sky, has a 4.5/5 rating at least.

To everyone who rated this book highly, I despise you. To anyone who recommends this book, I abhor you. To everyone who “can’t wait for the next one”, you are the reason I am clinically depressed. Why should I waste my time on writing a good-quality novel with intricate themes, believable and sympathetic characters, subtle sub-plots, and realistic problems if all you need to do to achieve a 4.5/5 rating on a book reviewing website is to smear paint on your anus and potato-print onto each page? That is all this book is – an anal potato print. As bad as Fifty Shades, at least, if not worse. E. L. James, you have a new competitor, Penelope Sky.

But, I will keep writing despite this. And you know why? Because this saga will soon be a little more in the public eye, and it will be ripped on, it will be torn up, it will become as much as a laughing stock as Fifty Shades was. And when I release whatever I end up publishing, I know I’ll have created something that will stick with people, that will stay proudly on a bookshelf. I don’t want to be famous, but I certainly don’t want to be infamous.

Fucking butter knife.

The Art of Bullshitting

There are several slices of knowledge you need if you are to be successful in any job, education or even in your love life. Obviously, you need to know what you’re doing – if you’re writing an essay for university, you need to know the subject inside and out. English? You must know about Dante or Chaucer or Orwell. History? As long as you’ve studied every revolution, uprising and can regurgitate dates, you’re good. In an interview you need to know how to apply and sell yourself.

Or do you?

Well, no. Not really. All you need to do is know how to bullshit. And bullshitting is an art form all of its own.

Let’s take the education example again. I myself went through my last two years of school doing nothing but essays. I’d taken three essay subjects, English, History and Psychology (never take more than two essay subjects, the wrist cramp is unreal). And, for each of them, I quickly discovered that bullshitting was an incredibly important skill I had to learn.

Rather than cramming facts about Geoffrey Chaucer or Toni Morrison, or delving deep into information about the Reserve Police Battalion 101, or developing ways to recall names of Psychologists, I… did nothing. I had better things to do.

But, fortunately, my Bullshit Skill was high by that point. By simply reading the textbooks, I realised just how little you had to actually know. Of course, some knowledge was required, but nowhere near as much as people expected me to learn.

The basic principle of bullshitting is “sounding good”. If you start talking like you know, even if you don’t, that’s an excellent basis. Easier said than done, obviously. So let me tell you how to bullshit.

What you do with this knowledge, in a job or at school, will be invaluable if you memorise it. So listen up.

1) Use long and semi confusing words – Right, time to right-click and hover over the “Synonyms” option. What you want to do here is to write words that people just about know. Words such as “synonymous” or “expendable” always work well and look good. Use words that are too odd and people will know you used a thesaurus. With this, you will seem confident and in control of your essay, job interview or scientific paper.

2) Write mostly in compound sentences – Simple sentences just won’t cut it in these circumstances. To bullshit, to show your confidence, you want to express yourself in long, flowing sentences. Don’t talk matter-of-fact. Explain, use those tricky little connectives. Elaborate, no matter what. You have to put those impressive words somewhere.

3) What to say – I can tell you all I want to use long and clear sentences, to use left-field words, but what can you actually write? Of course, you’ll need to know something about the subject. But there is no call for you to learn more than the bare minimum.

Let’s take an example – I know nothing about the process making shoes, or cobbling, but I’ll bullshit a short paragraph about it.

In order to create a comfortable shoe, the spread of the foot must be known. The natural shallow arch of the foot must be supported by the sole, so the moulding of the rubber sole must be thicker on one side. As a result, the mass placed upon the foot will be genuinely supported and therefore be comfortable.

That wasn’t so hard. And do I know anything about shoes, or the making of them? No. Am I certain that information is correct? No. In fact I think it’s incorrect. But what I’ve said makes sense, and I believe I’ve said it pretty convincingly.

That’s all that’s important to remember when bullshitting. You don’t need to learn what they say you need to. Nope. Just bullshit. It’s much easier.

And it works. I did it all through sixth form, and I’ve got my ABB grades needed to get into university next year.

So, final line. Go bullshit; cutting corners ain’t so bad.

Show your Diversity with Picket Fences

Do you live in a stereotypical American neighbourhood with white picket fences? Are lands divided by spears that could puncture their way through a whole dog if they were sharpened to lethal points? Do they shine in the sun, blinding drivers and causing awful traffic accidents in your quiet, sterile neighbourhood?

If you answered yes, you may actually be sporting a form of racism. How terrible of you!

Quickly! With my help, we will rectify this situation! No longer will you realise the shame you are unwittingly sporting by keeping a plain white picket fence. No longer will mowing the grass remind you of what a despicable piece of human waste you are. No longer will neighbours avoid your eye, equally ashamed of themselves as they are of you. Not with this excellent new business. We can squash those allegations!

Not only that, but you are clearly unsupportive of any movement ever. Gay pride? It is clearly laughable to you, seeing as your fence is simply an even shade of white. People whisper behind your white-picket-fence-sporting back – you’re homophobic as well as racist! Good lord, you are clearly the worst type of human, having a white fence.

So! -what is the solution? Simple: purchase a picket fence you can be proud of, and that shows your pride. You will not just have a simple white, un-intruding fence. No. Now you will have a fence painted white, black, yellow, some sort of brown, olive, to symbolise your love towards all races, with colours that could actually be perceived as more racist than your previous plain white before. In fact, take white off your fence completely. No one should know you are proud to be Caucasian or proud of the Caucasian race!

Not only will you be showing that you support all races, but your new fence will also sport the colours of every single pride flag humans could possibly come up with. You’ll have red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet slats, you’ll have blue-pink-white-pink-blue slats, you’ll have pink-yellow-blue slats, you’ll have black-grey-white-purple slats, and many more! Now every sensitive soul who comes upon your house will know you support all orientations! Because your fence needs to really expose your own personal grievances. It really has to stand out – to punch uncaring passers-by in the face. You will tell them with every slat that you are part of the solution.

You will, of course, be expected to do the same with genders. Every gender-defining flag will, of course, be provided in your new fence package. From the lilac-white-pesto shades of the Gender Neutral flag to the grey-lighter grey-pink-white-pink-lighter grey-grey flag of Demigirl, all the genders will now be taking up residence in your front garden, so even the people who have no idea will be made aware that you are better than them, for your are sporting every flag known to man. Of course, no cis-gendered flags will be included in your package – we don’t want people thinking you’re bigoted, do we?

All this can be yours for a simple and small payment of $499.95 (that’s £404.42). It’s not a lot – not when you factor in the careful painting of each slat, the careful installation and the lifetime guarantee that all people will always feel welcome at all times around your welcoming and non-biased house.

(Of course to fit all the colours of all the slats in, you will be needing a garden that spans at least 2 acres in total, otherwise you will have to cut out some flags and therefore show yourself up as the bigoted mess you really are.)

With one simple click, your world, outlook, and neighbourly intentions could be changed.

To visit the website and order your own all-inclusive-all-loving picket fence, simply click here!

 

Those Weird Plastic Fivers

Although the new polymer £5 notes have been in circulation in Britain since mid-September, my wallet only experienced one today. I recall there being a lot of talk about it and even some controversy – the old fivers, they carried a legacy. Over 320 years of history, replaced by something you could use as a coaster. Not only that, but the old fivers will actually stop being legal tender next year. But I am actually very fond of this elusive new money.

I find five-pound notes are the rarest of all the commonly-used notes. Everyone seems to be after them; consumers hand over tens or twenties when they just want to by a simple £3.20 worth of snacks, all the while wishing they could just hand over a fiver and get the whole shameful encounter over with. In the shop I work, the fiver slot is often empty, or perhaps there is just one lonely, old fiver, unable to get comfortable in the drawer, knowing it’ll be called upon as change within the next ten minutes.

But, now I have got myself not just any fiver, but a new plastic fiver, I feel confident in expressing my opinion on them: I enjoy them. And, far from just being money, I’ve found many other uses for my new tender. Here are some of the things I think it could be useful for:

• A coaster, as I previously stated – You don’t have any coaster nearby? You don’t want to stain your nan’s lovely new side-table she picked up for much less than she insists it was? Simply whip out your wallet, smooth down a plastic fiver, and lay your glass on that. Some liquid might spill over the side, but, provided you’re over 5 years old, you should be golden.

• An insole – Sure, you might need a lot of them, but you’re not bound to rub a hole through plastic with your massive toes, like you might have done through a canvas fiver.

• A plectrum – No longer will you have to shred your fingertips on your kickin’, rockin’ electric guitar you think you can play better than you actually can – just fold up a new fiver and get strumming!

• A scoop for various sauces – You’re just finishing your lovely meal at a local café when you realise – you still have sauce! And, like the greedy and disgusting animal you are, you want that delicious sauce. After all, you paid for that. So, fold your new fiver into a scoop shape and shovel the shloop into your awaiting smush-hole, you fat bastard.

• You can do similar for ice-cream – In fact, you’ll probably get away with it if you’re eating ice-cream. Or maybe not. People will still stare at you if you have the Queen’s face half-covered with raspberry ripple sticking out of your mouth.

As you can see, most of these ideas are based on the assumption that the new plastic fivers can be used without breaking, or they can be wiped clean afterwards.

This brings me to my favourite uses for them:

• Have a big night planned? Simply take a few polymer fivers with you! Let’s suppose the so-called “moves” you’ve been spasming all over the club have, by some miracle, worked, and you’ve landed yourself a cute little honey on your knee. Excellent! Let’s go a step further – you’re in your bedroom with her somehow. I don’t know what fateful day this is, but let’s roll with it, I’m sure you’re enjoying the fantasy.

Disaster! Although you have your wallet with you, you have no condom in it! Terrible. But fear not! New polymer fiver will stop you from being the deadbeat father you know you will be. Simply fold the fiver in half, place it over your 2-incher and secure with her hairband. Perfect. And, with Churchill and old Queenie with you, it’s practically a foursome!

• Or maybe your night is going in a different direction – substances are rearing their ugly heads. Or maybe you just want to indulge yourself a little before you pop over to see your nephew. Anyway, you’ve got the cocaine out in front of you. A wobbly line, because your hands are shaking too much with the credit card to straighten it. Polymer fiver, curled up. But, you ask, why not just use a normal fiver? Well, with the new fiver, once you’ve snorted your white gold, you can simply give it an rinse off and hand it to your nephew to buy a dib-dab with. And who cares if he starts chewing it? You’ve washed the coke off it. He’ll be fine.

1 – The Art of…

Her fingers were wet. From the instant she touched the inside, she felt warmth flow through her digits. She exhaled, stroking the edges, fingertips becoming softer and more lax with each movement. As she got more frantic, her breathing became slightly faster, and she pushed her hand in further, releasing the warm fluid in a rapid movement. She sighed, satisfied, and took her hands away. The girl released the now-clean mug where it fell into the washing-up bowl, clattering against other crockery as it sank.

I bet you thought I was writing about something else, didn’t you?

But no. I recently began working at a café. One of my preferred duties is to do the washing up, as it lets me escape the responsibility of competence. With a big tub of dirty mugs, there is no reason for me to talk to anyone. I can simply wash and let my brain simmer.

As I was revelling in my solitude one afternoon, I realised just how erotic the washing of a mug truly is. Perhaps not sexually thrilling – though feel free to ask Rule 34 on that particular enquiry, I for one am not brave enough to – but certainly… comparable.

Let’s start with the overall art of washing a mug. You caress the edges and inside of the china with a cloth, sponge or other soft material. Your fingers wind around the handle, spiral down into the receptacle, and pull out, bringing with them water. The harder you thrust your fist in, the more likely you will feel the squirt of warmth up your wrist.

If we now compare the mug to other pieces of dinnerware, we might again see a connection. A plate, bowl or other open piece is rather less fun to experiment with. They simply require a round-and-round style cleaning pattern and rinse. A glass can give you the same sort of enjoyment as a mug, but it depends on the shape and pattern of the glass. If you have a quick look in your glasses cupboard, you’ll probably see about five or six different styles of glass. But a mug… a mug shares the same qualities as most other mugs. Simple, cylindrical, sort of innocent.

A glass can hold intoxicating alcohol; beers, wines, spirits, all are fair game for a glass. But a mug? No, that would rarely hold any sort of spirit. Mugs are designed for the pleasures of a warm fire, a soft blanket and a loved one cuddled up beside you. Mugs are designed for hot chocolate and coffee, simpler pleasures in life, everyday soothers.

Just as a quiet girl will provide the same sexual pleasure as a loud-and-proud girl, there’s something more alluring about her. It’s seen in every television series – the outwardly sexual and sexy girl that gets the guys’ attentions. But it is the girl at the back, the one hiding behind her stereotype glasses and block fringe, that would be much more fun to experiment with. She would cast aside those specs, sweep her hair over her shoulder, and reveal herself, showing a different and sexy side to her.

It is the same with a mug. The simple cylinders that are always quietly there, sitting on the side or hung up on hooks, simply waiting for their time to come.

Therefore, causing a mug to squirt is infinitely more erotic than causing a glass to do the same thing.