Fuck you and your stupid epub. Also, David Thorne's 2nd book (it isn't really very good).

Sunday, 22 November, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

If you don't know who David Thorne is (that's ok, he doesn't mean what he says about New Zealand), he's the anal child impersonator that I keep referencing constantly.

Perhaps spurred by this constant annoyance, punkman located a free copy of said book in epub format. Here's the conversation :

punkman http://bookzz.org/book/1272987/e8c77c
assbot I'll Go Home Then, It's Warm and Has Chairs: The Unpublished Emails. | David Thorne | digital library bookzz ... ( http://bit.ly/21bjUrg )
mircea_popescu Meh, epub. I'll wait for the text version.

punkman Wpub is text. This one at least
mircea_popescu PK^C^D ^@^@^@^@^@\
mircea_popescu Lies!

punkman You can unzip the epub, you'll get html.
mircea_popescu A ty.

mircea_popescu "This book is sold subject to the condition that it won't be lent". What the motherfucking shit is wrong with these people. "Oh look, I wrote some words down, now you gotta do what I say!!1" said every obnoxious 9 yo girl having experienced insufficient ponytail pulling.

mircea_popescu <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no"?><!DOCTYPE html
mircea_popescu PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN"
mircea_popescu "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd"><html
mircea_popescu xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><head><meta http-equiv="Content-Type"
mircea_popescu content="application/xhtml+xml; charset=utf-8" /><meta
mircea_popescu http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css" /><meta
mircea_popescu name="generator" content="Aspose.Words for .NET 10.6.0.0"
mircea_popescu href="styles.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" /></head><body><div><h1
mircea_popescu id="navPoint_1"><span>Foreword</span></h1><p><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif"> </span></p><p><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">Hello. Thank you for buying this
mircea_popescu book. </span><span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">Or at least the
mircea_popescu e-book.</span><span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif"> I laid this out
mircea_popescu myself and I have never done an e-book layout before so </span><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">I </span><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">apologise</span><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif"> in advance </span><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">if </span><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">it isn’t very good. I probably
mircea_popescu should have put in more effort but you know how it is. With round the
mircea_popescu clock episodes of Property Virgins on HGTV and sleeping to do, there never
mircea_popescu </span><span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">seems</span><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif"> enough hours in the day.
mircea_popescu </span><span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">Also, r</span><span
mircea_popescu style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif">ather than go to any real effort, I
mircea_popescu thought it would be easier to simply collect all the material I have
mircea_popescu written that didn’t make it into the first book, either due to timing,
mircea_popescu space, legal issues, or not being very good, and put them in this one.
mircea_popescu </span></p><p><span style="font-family:Arial,
mircea_popescu sans-serif"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:Arial,
mircea_popescu sans-serif">Hosting fees are expensive.

mircea_popescu Would you look at this stupid shit!
kakobrekla srs.
mircea_popescu Take some text, put it through "Aspose.Words for .NET 10.6.0.0" so you can have <span></span> for every other word like in the old days of microsoft computing, and then zip the shit and call it "epub". Fucking hell already. go make altcoins, people.

To make a point (the book really isn't very good), you can read the whole damned thing below, in plain text like god intended.

But first, to cover ourselves for the almost certain case where obnoxious nine year old girls captive in adult bodies happen by : here's one of the two illustrations worth reproducingi in the entire book. I hope you get the message.ii

image074

That out of the way, here's the (not very good) book :

Foreword

Hello. Thank you for buying this book. Or at least the e-book. I laid this out myself and I have never done an e-book layout before so I apologise in advance if it isn’t very good. I probably should have put in more effort but you know how it is. With round the clock episodes of Property Virgins on HGTV and sleeping to do, there never seems enough hours in the day. Also, rather than go to any real effort, I thought it would be easier to simply collect all the material I have written that didn’t make it into the first book, either due to timing, space, legal issues, or not being very good, and put them in this one.

Hosting fees are expensive. As public interest in what I write has a limited shelflife and it is only a matter of time before people become bored of it and rediscover fun family activities like slip'n'slide and Jenga, I figured I should probably try to make as much cash as possible while I can. I assumed when Penguin picked up the first book, I would shortly be spending my days shopping for Range Rovers or relaxing on solid gold deckchairs by my swimming pool but this was not the case. There is less money in writing than there is working in the design industry and I am not clever enough to come up with a way of making money with less effort.

I saw a movie once called Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells in which one of the guys had an idea to make money by placing an ad in specialist magazines for a super orgasm inducing vibrator for thirty dollars - cheques made payable to TSF ltd. After the money is collected, a reply is sent saying there has been a problem with deliveries and they receive a refund cheque from another company called Butt Tickler Dildos Ltd or something. Less than half the people will hand that cheque into their bank to be cashed.

I was watching the movie with my friend Mark and he said, “I would put the cheque in the bank” so I asked, “Does that mean you would buy a super orgasm inducing vibrator from a magazine?” and he replied, “No, I would just drive to a shop and buy one. Or buy an electric toothbrush from the supermarket and take the bristle bit off and put a carrot on it instead.” Which is kind of weird and shows he had thought about this previously.

I stopped hanging around Mark a few years later when he went on a health kick, gave up drugs, and, after discovering yoga, felt it was important to dicuss yoga at every opportunity. It didn't matter what the conversation was about, yoga was the answer. I once asked him his opinion regarding a Pantone colour swatch and although the answer wasn't yoga, I could tell he was thinking about yoga at the time.

A lot has happened since the last book was published, I have changed jobs, moved countries, and, while I realise it is cliché when people say they married their best friend, it does occasionally happen.

I do not have the best track record in regards to previous relationships and despite readily admitting to exceeding others tolerances, up until recently my choices could be construed as anything but wise. My last girlfriend turned out to be a bar fighter, the one before that tried to shoot me with a scuba gun and the one prior to that joined an amateur acting group and expected me to attend her opening of The Importance of Being Earnest. As I felt it was appropriately important to be earnest, when she asked me what I thought of the performance I told her the truth and had to make the fifteen kilometre journey home on foot.

I met Holly while we were both attending a NASA space camp for adults. Helping her to the infirmary, after dropping an auxiliary detonation pipe on her foot, we struck up a friendship in the waiting room and spent the next few weeks partnered for EVA simulations and multi-axis training.

When I asked Holly to marry me two years later, her first reaction was  “Why, because I am the only person who puts up with your bullshit?” but thankfully followed this with a yes.

We were in the bathroom at the time, as she was blow drying her hair after taking a bath, and I felt it was as good a romantic moment as any. Placing the engagement ring on her finger, her other hand still holding the hair-dryer, I then gave her a tight hug - sandwiching the hair-dryer between us.

Unfortunately, as she had been using the hair-dryer only seconds before, the front metal grill was almost red from heat and seared into her stomach, branding it with what looked like a target, just above her navel.

Screaming, Holly leapt backwards, tripped over the toilet behind her, and fell. Attempting to stop her descent, she grabbed the shower curtain. While the curtain fabric and hooks held, the bolts securing the rail to the wall did not and the curtain, rail, several wall tiles, Holly, and the hair-dryer she was still holding, fell into the bath.

Really, it was her fault for not emptying the bath when she got out. I have seen in movies where someone drops a toaster in the bathtub and they are electrocuted but it must be houses that don’t have a flip-switch fuse system. The instant the hair-dryer touched the water, the fuses flipped and the bathroom was plunged into darkness.
Asking “Are you ok?” was met with a crash as the hair-dryer struck the wall near to where Holly had thought my voice had come from, and the reply, “I fucking hate you.”

Even a year later, the target shaped scar, which I quite like and view as a permanent reminder of the day she said yes, is constantly used against me. Last week when we were out at dinner with people from her work, I mentioned that she had eaten the last bread roll and she replied “At least I didn’t burn and try to electrocute you.”

People love watching an argument though so I’m sure everyone had a great time. Once, while I was being interviewed  via phone live for some abscure American radio station called NPR, the journalist asked if Holly found me annoying or amusing. Answering that it was the latter, Holly yelled from the living room, clearly audible to the presenter and listeners, “Don’t fucking lie.” The presenter asked me “Was that Holly?” to which I replied, “No, it was the television” and Holly yelled out again “No it wasn’t.”

Apparently she was cross because I had just ordered an expensive watch for myself from Amazon. It wasn’t the fact that I bought the watch, the one I had worn for the last fifteen years was on its last legs, it was the fact that I hadn’t ordered her something of equal value. At least that is my analysis. She said it was because we were meant to be saving for a house but I have found since that if I say “I ordered something on Amazon today and ordered something for you too,” she doesn’t get anywhere near as cross.

Before meeting Holly, I never had a problem with saving as I simply didn’t bother with it.   I like things.  Not lots of things, just certain nice things that I can look at now and then and comment on how nice they are. There wasn’t really anything I wanted that required saving for.  Living by myself, I only needed a chair so I bought a Herman Miller Eames lounge. The pricetag meant I couldn’t afford any other furniture, like a bed, but the foot-stool allowed me to use the chair to sleep in and provided a second seat for guests just in case anyone said “I might go and visit David even though he hasn’t got any furniture. Or a fridge.” When I did buy a fridge, I bought a Smeg because it looked nice but I couldn’t afford food after buying a Smeg so I left it unplugged it and used it to stack books in.

Now that I am married, and have things like bar stools, milk and a dog, priorities have changed and saving for a house has taken precedence. It doesn’t have to be an expensive house, just something ‘open concept’ with a large living area that opens out onto a deck that ovelooks woods and perhaps a pond or river with ducks. With steps going down to a pool. And a tennis court. And a dirtbike track. Design-wise, something like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater but with less mold and anywhere other than West Virginia.

I’m estimating our monthly repayments will be more than I make in a year so I have been looking for a second job for Holly. If you are hiring, send me an email. She complains less than 20% of any given hour, can lift medium sized objects, and can follow a simple set of instructions unless they are for assembly of Ikea products.

Speaking of houses, Ikea products, and New York Times bestselling books, did I mention that the first book made the New York Times Bestseller list? Many lulz were had. It was as much a shock to my publisher as it was to me and a source of crossface for those featured in the book; I received letters from three seperate lawyers and a letter from Simon Edhouse pretending to be a lawyer.  Around the same time, a relative named Christopher developed an obsessive hatred towards me stemming from, I assume, not having written a New York Times Bestselling book himself. As his online crusade to bring me down consisted mainly of changing my Wikipedia page to say “David is gay” he was given the same amount of attention as the lawyers and ignored completely.

I have been accused of pointless irresponsibility when publishing content, in particular the emails, but I have never claimed either responsibility or pointyness. I have had people angry, demanding that  I remove an article, but it is the internet -  articles generally have a two week lifespan and then everyone forgets. It is not necessary to attempt a resolution when it is self-resolving.

I get called a 'troll' a lot but a troll is technically someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking others into a desired emotional response. Which I will admit to on occasion, but like to think my efforts are without ill intent and constructed to amuse rather than disrupt. Whether you write or bake a cake, there will be some that hate it, some that love it and others that will have a piece because there is nothing else in the fridge to eat and they missed out on lunch.

Providing content that encourages argument, discussion and factions structured around humour, rather than simply offending, has always been my goal. The majority of the "I am offended" emails I receive are in regards to my "disgraceful and cruel attitude towards cats" but these emails are obviously from cat owners and cat owners are insane. While it may seem that the majority of emails I receive are negative, this is not the case and most are actually well natured and occasionally quite touching. The only emails I ignore are those sent from New Zealand. The narrow emotional ledge on which New Zealanders squat may have a grand view but nothing good can come from communicating with these people.

Regardless, I accept that irresponsibility can sometimes have repercussions. After posting a fake internal memo from McDonald's outlining the implementation of short-changing customers as a procedure, I was arrested, questioned and had my laptop taken for evidence under e-crime legislation. I was hoping Ronald McDonald would appear in court but it was just an old guy in a bad suit who called me "an irresponsible idiot attempting to make some vague point" and dropped the charges.

Up until recently, the concept that someone might take their anger out on me beyond the virtual world didn't concern me at all. I lived by myself on the eighth floor of a concrete fortress and promises of retaliation were scoffed at. Having moved into a 'normal' house, I have become more wary. After I tried exchanging defective snowboard gloves and was rudely denied, I created a newspaper ad stating that the store was giving away 4,600 snowboard packages. Apparently, they received over 5000 calls that weekend which resulted in the owner turning up at my premises yelling, so I bought a gun. It’s a Nerf gun, but if you stick pins into the ends of the foam darts, they can do some serious damage.

I met a guy named Nick recently who showed me his large collection of guns. He also showed me his bunker and food cache “for when society collapses due to a huge solar flare hitting the Earth and knocking out the grid” so having the gun will probably come in quite handy if Rick is right and I need to take his stuff.

Also, just so this foreword has some form of relative and informative point rather than being simply a rambling collection of vagely related paragraphs, the title of this book is from a statement my offspring made while we were at the park playing football after I used the term “Go hard or go home.”

Regards, David.

Dear customer, I hope you fall and break your neck

As an Australian currently in the United States, I have been lucky enough to experience many things previously unavailable to me. Although I still flick the switches the wrong way, think the electrical outlets look upset and cringe whenever the word aluminium is pronounced, I have fallen in love with many of the things I assume most Americans take for granted - like snow and having four actual seasons.

The four seasons in Australia consist of "fuck it's hot," "Can you believe how fucking hot it is?", "I won't be in today because it is too fucking hot" and "Yes, the dinner plate size spiders come inside to escape from the heat. That is a fucking whopper though."

I hate spiders. If I am reincarnated as a spider, I will bite myself and not seek medical assistance. I have actually only seen one in the entire time I have been in the US and it was the size of a well sucked on m&m. I flicked it into the sink. In Australia, the presence of a spider involves combat gear and improvised weapons.

I do miss aspects of Australia though. Not many but aspects nonetheless. I would kill for a packet of Arnott's Pizza shapes and I saw an episode of Oprah recently where she flew the entire audience to Australia to listen to Russell Crowe sing which brought a tear to my eye. It was that bad.

My favourite aspect of the United States is the snow. While those around me complain of sliding off the road and having to shovel paths, I quietly hope ten thousand inches are dumped overnight forcing everyone to dig tunnels to Waffle House and snowboard to Wal-Mart.

--------------------------------------

From: anton@function4sports.com
Date: Thursday 20 January 2011 11.14am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Advertisement

I received a snowboard advertisement from a friend who follows you on twitter or something. If this was some kind of joke I fail to see the humor. We had over 5000 calls asking for free snowboards and I know you are responsible.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 20 January 2011 12.26pm
To: anton@function4sports.com
Subject: Re: Advertisement

Dear Anton,

Thank you for your email. I have been called many things while staying in the US, including 'foggot' and 'youreonthewrongsideoftheroadmoron', but having recently seen my first snowfall and immediately heading out to spend several hundred dollars on snowsurfing equipment, I hardly think the label 'responsible' is justified.

Contrary to popular belief, there is not a lot of snow in Australia and I recently discovered two facts; 1. Snow is cold and; 2. Coming from a climate where the coldest winter demands only complaining slightly less about how hot it is, I am ill-equipped for fact 1.

Unfortunately, these discoveries were made half way up a ski-lift while dressed in jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt and soaking wet rental boots in minus twelve degree weather. Reaching the summit and finding myself unable to feel my extremities or bend back into a standing position, I rolled off the lift chair and slid down the embankment on my side before coming to a stop helped by a small group of children.

After assuring the parents that kids get nose bleeds all the time and it was probably more to do with the altitude than my left elbow, I decided to forego that morning's activities, walk down the hill, and sit in my vehicle with the heater on while researching local snow-apparel shops on my iPhone.
Arriving at your store a short time later, I explained to a salesperson that I required warm clothing and "a pair of waterproof gloves for use in the snow." Based on his brand recommendation and assurance that they would perform in the manner required, I purchased a pair of 180s snow gloves, along with several other items of snow related clothing, and ventured back to the slopes. Assuming the gloves would be waterproof for use in the snow (possibly due to being told "these are waterproof gloves for use in the snow") I was surprised to find they became soaked within seconds and bled black ink down my sleeves and all over the front of my jacket.

Returning to the store immediately, brandishing both the result and receipt, I politely stated that I was not seeking compensation for the ruined jacket, just simply wished to exchange the gloves for a pair not designed to destroy everything they come into contact with.

I was told, "Fuck off. You've worn them."

Being that customer service is arguably a company's most valuable asset, I assumed you would appreciate all the free marketing and promotional help you could get.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: anton@function4sports.com
Date: Thursday 20 January 2011 4.18pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Advertisement

You bought gloves and ruined them and then you want to exchange them for a diffent pair? No store does that. You cant return something already worn. You have no idea about running a business. If I was working that day I would have told you to fuck off too. Dont be surprised if you get a call from the police. Are you going to pay for the extra staff I had to put on to take all the phone calls?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 20 January 2011 5.06pm
To: anton@function4sports.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Advertisement

Dear Anton,

I would actually be more surprised if the local constabulary hasn't got me on speed dial by now. And, going by the adage 'You get what you pay for' in regards to the level of expertise and customer service skills your staff display, I doubt the wages for 'extra staff you had to put on' would exceed the $44 I paid for the pair of destructogloves.

The three staff members working the day I purchased the gloves, who I will refer to as Fatty, Tatooey and Fuzzy for identification purposes, seemed rather annoyed by my interruption of their 'sitting in a chair looking cool' time. Fuzzy seemed the most inconvenienced but that is understandable what with having to deal with inappropriate questions such as, "Do you sell waterproof gloves for use in the snow?" in a snow-sports shop.

Although intending to also purchase board, bindings and boots that day in order to avoid dealing with rental-shop queues that make the Perestroika bread lines look like a couple of friends standing around having a chat, I did not wish to infringe any further on Fuzzy's prime duties of growing an awesome beard and showing a rash to Fatty and Tatooey. Although Tattooey provided him with a diagnosis of "dude, don’t pick it, let it scab" that could only have stemmed from several years in medical school, Fatty was less than impressed and only gave it a mild glance and noncommittal grunt before going back to playing Angry Birds.

I should probably be thankful that your staff were too occupied with having their earlobes stretched by Tonka-truck tyres and wearing pants around their knees to sell me a snowsurfingboard made of sugar or goggles made of bees.

While I may not have your experience running a business, I am pretty sure that if I owned a shop that sold chairs and you entered and said to me, "Hello shopkeeper, I am looking for something to sit on" and I replied "Sure, this one should suit your needs perfectly, it is made for sitting on" and you purchased the chair, took it home, sat on it, and it exploded, taking out previously purchased furniture with it, you would probably drive back to my shop and say, "Excuse me, I bought this chair an hour ago, used it in the manner you recommended, and it exploded - I am not asking for compensation for my other furniture but would like to exchange it for a non-exploding chair that performs in the manner originally described." Responding with anything other than "I do apologise, here's a replacement" would certainly come as a surprise to you and I doubt "Fuck off, you sat in it" would mean I'd see you, Fatty, Tattoey and Fuzzy at my premises the following week shopping for cushions.

Also, quick question: Having seen the publicity photo of you with your staff, I realise you probably use a child's board but what length would you recommend for a normal sized human? What would be ideal is a really wide snowsurfingboard with handles that I can lay down on. Or one with a seat and steering wheel. Perhaps with some kind of caterpillar tread based wheel system and a motor so that you can ride it up the hill instead of having to take the ski-lift. That thing is dangerous.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: anton@function4sports.com
Date: Friday 21 January 2011 11.04am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Advertisement

Its snowboarding not snowsurfing and 5"8 isn't short dickwad. I doubt my staff acted in that way but if they did then it is probably because we get hundreds of weekend warriors in here during ski season and we like to know if they are serious or just window shopping before we waste hours helping them.
I'm sick of noobs like you who dont know what they want or shit about snowboarding coming in wasting our time. If I refunded money or exchanged gear to every looser who had a problem with their gloves, I’d be broke.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 21 January 2011 2.17pm
To: anton@function4sports.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Advertisement

Dear Anton,

Yes, I am pretty sure if I ran a snowboardsurfing shop the last thing I would want is people new to the sport mistakenly entering my premises with the intention of exchanging goods for money. What a bunch of 'loosers'. You should probably have that on your front door instead of the welcome sign. Otherwise, people might read the word 'welcome' and mistakenly think they are welcome. Perhaps you could incorporate a sign similar to the 'You must be this tall to ride' kind displayed at carnivals, but amend it to 'You must be this cool to enter' with a big red arrow pointing to photos of Fatty, Tattooey and Fuzzy.

Also, I apologise. While the average male height of 5"9 statistically means anything under is considered short, my question was without diminutive intention. I'm sure there are many advantages to being so small. Target carries an excellent range of boys clothing at competitive prices and a lower centre of gravity should, once helped up onto the ski-lift, allow you to snowboardsurf with greater stability. If I were small, I would buy a cat and ride it.

I do object to the label 'noob' though. Thirty minutes of watching instructional Youtube videos have to count for something. One of them showed a squirrel water-skiing which is pretty much the same thing so how hard can it be? I am at least twice as intelligent as a squirrel and I once covered almost the entire distance of a slip'n'slide in a standing position so the basic skill set is there. I expect to be doing steezy jumps within the first hour and Olivers by lunch.

When I was nine I attempted to jump my new Standish 12 Selectaspeed racing bike across a creek. Building a ramp from timber removed from an adjoining playground fort, I calculated that a speed of 150mph - based on a previous evening's episode of Knight Rider - would see me safely over the fifteen metre gap. Having also seen episodes of Dukes of Hazzard where they jump bridges and the nose of the General Lee crumples a bit, I strategically placed a pile of leaves on the estimated landing point to soften the impact. In front of an expectant crowd consisting of two kids from the playground and a dog, I rode to the top of a hill, donned my father's welding mask and gloves (safety first) and began the descent.

Overcoming momentary speed wobble somewhere around eleventh gear, I believe I would have made it had the dog not run in front of me at the last moment, causing me to veer and miss the ramp by about four metres. Approximately half way over the creek and realising my trajectory was not going to make the distance, I attempted to pull the bike upwards, a midair bunny hop if you will, resulting in the handlebars separating from the frame. Somehow, while my bike dropped into the creek, my body managed to make it to the far bank and roll several times before coming to a halt. Jumping to my feet and exclaiming "I'm ok" to my horrified audience, one of them pointed and I looked down to discover a rib poking out of my chest as a red stain slowly spread outwards ruining my Return of the Jedi t-shirt. I also discovered that the dog had, minutes before my approach, defecated in my landing spot. Which for some reason seemed more horrifying to me than the protruding rib at the time. Accepting the loss of Chewbacca and two Ewoks but attempting to remove my shirt before the bloodstain reached Luke, it caught hard on the rib and I blacked out from the pain. During the ambulance ride, I regained consciousness long enough to overhear one of the medics state, "Three broken ribs and a left... is that dog shit?"

While I was recovering in hospital, my father took the bike back to the shop it was purchased from, showed the defective handlebar bolt and described the accident - admittedly omitting the parts about the ramp, creek and dog poo. They replaced it with a new bike and threw in a helmet as way of apology. That store is where I bought my offspring's first, second and third bike twenty years later.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: anton@function4sports.com
Date: Friday 21 January 2011 3.37pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Advertisement

Its ollie not oliver. You really dont have a fucking clue do you. You bought gloves without doing your research first and WORE them and fucked them up and then tried to return them even though we have a sign that says returns are at our discretion. Just because you dont get it doesnt make you right.
I intend to call my lawyer about your stupid advertisement. You are banned from my store and I'm blocking your email address. I'm too busy making 40 grand a week from noobs like you to read your bullshit. Enjoy your gloves dickwad.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 21 January 2011 3.51pm
To: anton@function4sports.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Advertisement

Dear Anton,

I assumed Ollie is short for Oliver just as Anton is short for a normal sized human. While I appreciate your well wishes in regards to the gloves, I have already replaced them with a pair of black North Face 'Montanas' (for approximately half the price I paid for your 'alarmed squid' squishmittens) from another snowsurfing business named Freestyle who were also happy to recommend and fit a selection of boards, bindings and boots.
You should check them out. They have a lot of good stuff there and I can't recommend them enough. Ask for Justin.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: anton@function4sports.com
Date: Friday 21 January 2011 4.09pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Advertisement

I hope you break your fucking neck in a fall noob.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 24 January 2011 9.20am
To: anton@function4sports.com
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Advertisement

Bill tries to buy cheese. Part one

I don't like doing time-sheets. I mentioned this to Holly and she said "God you are lazy, just write down when you arrive and leave. How hard can it be?" Which must apparently be how it works in non-design related companies. Although designers are rarely known for their organisational skills, we are expected to compile a methodical record throughout the day of each project we are working on.

I generally refuse to do this. Partly because there would be far too many unaccountable hours to explain and partly because if I wanted to 'clock in, clock off,' I would work in a factory. Probably making garage-door remotes or something. Even then, I doubt I would be expected to write down 'Made a garage-door remote' after making each garage-door remote.

Also, I received a bit of flack after posting a series of formal complaints recently. They are included in this book. Apparently, I was picking on Simon for no other reason than to be cruel and tormentive. While I am happy to be labeled such, and, to be honest, have been labeled worse, there are many other reasons to pick on Simon.

Here are just three:

1. Simon super-glued his calculator to his desk to stop people borrowing it. Its position at the back of the desk and the angle of the LCD screen requires that he stand to use it.

2. Simon times and records toilet breaks and personal calls on his time-sheets. He also times and records the time it takes him to do his time-sheets on his time-sheets.

3. I once asked Simon what three items he would rescue from a house fire and he replied, "My cat, the home insurance policy, and my Invicta watch collection."

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Monday 13 February 2012 9.11am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Timesheets

Did you use my desk while I was away? You're not allowed to go on my computer. I can tell someone used it because I shut it down before I left and pulled out the power cord but it was on this morning and where is my mousepad and what is this shit drawn on my desk?
I need to collect everyones time sheets for last week as well. Have you done them?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 13 February 2012 9.52am
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: Re: Timesheets

Good morning Simon,

No, I have decided not to do time-sheets anymore. I'm not a robot. As your new token responsibility as time-sheet collector is essentially the office equivalent of placing an OCD child in charge of equally spaced fridge-magnet distribution to keep it occupied while The View is on, this saves you from having to bother with the whole embarrassing process.

Also, while I generally avoid going anywhere near your cubicle of sorrow, lest the lack of atmosphere suck me in and cause my eyes to pop out like in that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where he is on Mars and his eyes pop out, I was required to access your computer in your absence due to a client's request for files.

I actually missed you while you were away. To counter this, I placed a plank of wood in your chair and wrote ‘Simon’ on it. He said I could use your stuff.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Monday 13 February 2012 10.05am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Timesheets

YOURE NOT ALLOWED TO USE MY COMPUTER. What client needed a file off my computer? Youre not allowed to put things on the walls in the foyer either. It leaves holes. It was a waste of time anyway because I took it straight down. Some of us have work to do you know.

And you don't just get to choose if you do your time sheets or not . You're not special. Its the rules and accounts need them to bill the client properly. I’ve been here longer than you and I put my time sheets in every week.

Everyone has to do them.

1. YOURE NOT ALLOWED NOT TOUCH MY COMPUTER
2. DO NOT USE MY STUFF
3. YOU HAVE TO DO YOUR TIMESHEETS. EVERYONE DOES.

I took a photo of my desk and am going to email it to Jennifer. Is it permanent marker? And where are my pens dickhead?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 13 February 2012 11.08am
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Timesheets

Dear Simon,

I understand that following a set of rules saves you from having to make decisions but, as you are well aware, all branding services provided by this company are charged at a fixed quote and price. As such, time spent doing time-sheets might be better spent questioning the logic of requiring time-sheets to calculate a fee that has already been agreed upon. Or cleaning your desk.

I once read about five monkeys that were placed in a room with a banana at the top of a set of stairs. As one monkey attempted to climb the stairs, all of the monkeys were sprayed with jets of cold water. A second monkey made an attempt and again the monkeys were sprayed. No more monkeys attempted to climb the stairs. One of the monkeys was then removed from the room and replaced with a new monkey. New monkey saw the banana and started to climb the stairs but to its surprise, it was attacked by the other monkeys. Another of the original monkeys was replaced and the newcomer was also attacked when he attempted to climb the stairs. The previous newcomer took part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Replacing a third original monkey with a new one, it headed for the stairs and was attacked as well. Half of the monkeys that attacked him had no idea why. After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, none had ever been sprayed with cold water but all stayed the fuck away from the stairs.

Being here longer than me doesn't automatically make your adherence to a rule, or the rule itself, right. It makes you the fifth replacement monkey. The one with the weird red arse and the first to point and screech when anyone approaches the stairs. I would be the sixth monkey, at home in bed trying to come up with a viable excuse not to spend another fruitless day locked in a room with five neurotic monkeys.

Regardless, you will be pleased to learn that due to your absence last week leaving me with a spare hour per day, which is usually dedicated to staring at the back of your head with one eye closed doing that thing with your thumb and finger where you squash it, I did do my time-sheets.
Please find attached.

Regards, David.
MONDAY

9am
Arrived at work. Considered staying home in bed but, with Simon being away this week, there is no real reason to be absent. Checked production schedule. Completed my work for the week.

4pm
Cleaned my mouse.

5pm
Left for the day.
TUESDAY

10am
Arrived at work. Answered the phone on Simon's desk with "Hello, this is Simon Dempsey speaking. How may I be of help to you?" Told client I would have a pdf to them "as quick as a cheetah."

10.30am
Accessed Simon’s computer using his secret password ‘Archmage’ in order to locate and send requested pdf to client. Sent. Read Simon's emails. Replied to his mother regarding her question about what to get Auntie Maureen for her birthday. Recommended jumping castle.

11.30am
Attempted to log into Simon's Facebook. Clicked 'send me my password.' Checked Simon's email. Logged into Simon's Facebook.

Changed status to single. Sent Karen a message saying "Ignore the status change. We haven't broken up. I just don't want anyone to know I have a girlfriend."

Looked at pictures Simon uploaded of himself in a boat. Googled the names of the two guys in Miami Vice. Tagged Simon's nipples 'Sony' and 'Chubbs'.

4pm
Left for the day.

WEDNESDAY
11.am
Arrived at work. Read about Emperor penguins on Wikipedia while having my morning coffee at Simon’s desk. Drew pictures of penguins.

11.30am
Realised the permanent Sharpie I was drawing with had penetrated the paper and Simon’s desk now had eighteen penguins saying 'Hey' on it. Hunting for something to clean it with, I used the key Simon hides behind the framed photo of his cat Lady Diana to unlock his top drawer. Found Star Wars Lego.

Recreated the scene from the movie where, during a light-saber duel, Vader cuts off Luke's right hand, reveals that he is his father, and entreats him to convert to the dark side so they can rule the galaxy as father and son. Lost Luke's hand behind Simon's desk.

12.30pm
Chased and killed a bee in the office with Simon’s mousepad rolled into a tube while making light-saber noises. Closed Simon's window.

12.45pm
Thought about the bee’s family waiting expectantly at home for his return. Gave them names. Imagined Bradley rushing into his mother’s outstretched arms, bewailing, “I miss him so much” and Brenda replying, “I know Bradley, I miss him too.”

Performed ceremony. There was cake. Constructed a small funereal pyre on Simon's desk out of a paperclip, placed Ben's small lifeless body on top, mentioned his selfless determination to provide for his family, and set it alight.

Unfortunately, I was only into the first verse of Bohemian Rhapsody, the only church song I know, when Ben’s body popped like a corn kernel and flew behind the desk. Unsure if he was still alight, I poured coffee down after him. Realising nobody has ever been behind Simon’s desk due to its size and position against a rear wall, I also dropped the remains of the cake and the plate down the back to save me having to walk into the kitchen. Accidently knocked Simon's pencils down there as well. And then his mousepad.

3pm
Left for the day.
THURSDAY

12pm
Arrived at work.

1pm
Sat in Simon's chair without my pants on.

2pm
Left for the day.

FRIDAY
Called in sick. Went shopping. Bought a Keurig.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Monday 13 February 2012 11.29am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Timesheets

Thanks for the evidence dickhead. I emailed that to Jennifer and i changed my password. I am making a formal complaint. Stay off my computer or I will punch you in the throat. I am serious. Are you going to get my stuff out from behind the desk?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 13 February 2012 11.41am
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Timesheets

Dear Simon,

I wish I had the time. Some of us have work to do and time sheets to complete. I have attached today’s should you wish to also email to Jennifer.

Regards, David.
MONDAY

9am
Arrived at work. I feel it is important to set a good example for the other staff through promptness.

9.11am
Received a series of rather vicious emails from Simon, which began with accusations, insults, questions and demands, and degraded into actual threats of bodily harm. This was after I told him I had missed him while he was away. I find this unprovoked animosity disappointing and would have expected more from the employee of the month.

11.30am
Filled out these time sheets as it is part of the job and allows production to bill the client accordingly. Finding it difficult to concentrate on job priorities today due to the negative environment Simon has created, so will be leaving at lunch time.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Monday 13 February 2012 11.53am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Timesheets

Good. I wont have to see your ugly head if you go early. Youre the one who will get in trouble dickhead.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 13 February 2012 12.09pm
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Timesheets

Humming the theme from Space 1999 and other Christmas classics

Forged almost entirely from thermoplastic polymers, this CD contains over 26 popular Christmas tracks such as the theme from that movie about the big boat and that other one about the two guys.
REVIEWS:

Thanks for the xmas present dichead. Is this really the kind of thing you do in your spare time? You need to get a life. I listened to about 1 second of it and threw it in the bin. Don't send me your stupid shit and I expect the stuff about me on the website to be deleted. I spoke to a lawyer and he said I could sue you for defamation.
Lucius Thaller, Courier

What the fuck is this supposed to be? I played it in the car on the way to work and it is just you humming. I put up with it for about 10 seconds and skipped to the next track and it is just more humming. The whole thing is you humming.Simon Dempsey, Horse whisperer

Not interested in your rubbish. Next time you think "I will send Peter something stupid" just dont.Peter Williams, Real Estate Agent

I got your CD in the post today. Is this really a whole CD of you humming? None of the songs on it are even Christmas songs apart from track 4 the one about the tree and I can hear you making a coffee and stirring it. Is this really my xmas present?Mellissa Peters, Receptionist

How is the Neighbours theme a christmas song? And you called it "A song about people by that guy". Worst cd I have ever heard.Jason Lowe, Magazine Editor

Thanks for the CD. Just thought you might like to know that you can hear a dog barking outside on the track called That exciting bit in Excalibur.Jennifer Haines, Human Resources Officer

Davey. This disk of you humming is a joke? Nobody will buy a cd of someone humming. You are not even humming christmas songs. You should buy a guitar and I will teach you how to play.Jon de Peinder, Designer

Man that is just sad. I lol'd and then I put it on and listened to it and I was embarrassed for you. Did you seriously sit there and hum the whole thing? I was pushing the next button every time you started humming. I don't even want it in the house in case someone accidentally plays it again.Mark Pearcy, Designer

Hi, I got your cd in the post today. If this is really my present I hope you are not expecting anything good from me this year.
1. It is just humming.
2. The cover photo and track titles are just tragic.
3. It says Christmas but there are no christmas songs.
4. The back titles just say "that song from that thing" etc.
5. You can hear you washing dishes and stuff.Jenny Leavesly, Photographer

Wow. More proof that you really are a complete dickhead. A whole cd of you humming? I hope you sank a lot of money into this and starve to death.Robert Schaefer, Managing Director

Received your christmas present. You should definately get some kind of professional help. How much did this cost you to make?Mike Campbell, Art Director

Merry Christmas to you too and thanks for the music cd. One of the guys came in to see what I listening to and he said it sounded like you were one of those kids with down syndrome. Jaimie Holding, Copy writer

Thanks for the worst cd ever created in the history of cds. I would rather listen to monkeys screaming.Brian Mitchell, Accountant

How long did it take you to do this? This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. If you took as much time filling in your time sheets as fucking about you would get along fine. Did you do this during work hours? Is that you humming on the disk? You sound like an idiot.Kevin Eastwood, Account Rep

World's worst Christmas album. Ever.Andrew Whittaker, Programmer

Could only listen to about 10 seconds of each song before I began to twitch.Gina Caretti, Production Manager

Hi. I got your package this morning. Pretty terrible. On track 4 you can hear you doing things in the sink. It sounds like you are washing dishes or something. On track 2 you can hear a dog barking in the background and there is lots of stuff in the other tracks. I can hear you lighting a cigarette in one of them. If you set out to make the lamest CD ever you have done a pretty good job.Jodie Williams, Graphic

Bill tries to buy cheese Part 2I

I watched a show on television recently called I Shouldn’t Be Alive in which they feature people who, due to things that happened to them, apparently shouldn’t be alive. In the episode I watched, some guy was walking along a creek bed and a big rock fell on his leg, trapping him with one foot sticking out. A huge crayfish that lived in the creek crawled out towards him and the guy didn’t have a stick or anything in reach to shoo it off with so he had to watch it eat his foot. I would rather the rock had fallen on my head.

While I have never had a crayfish eat my foot, I have been on fire, stabbed, lost, almost drowned, crushed and trapped, so here are my own ten reasons why I probably shouldn’t be alive. This article was originally quite long and I thought people might email me saying “tl;dnr” so I broke it up into seperate segments and moved them randomly around the book. This was quite annoying as I was pretty much over it by then and it messed with the formatting of other articles so I hope you appreciate the effort and refrain from emailing me asking, “Why didn’t you just put all ten reasons you probably shouldn’t be alive in one article?”

During my last two years of primary school, my family moved from a large city in Western Australia, to a small country town called Leigh Creek, a coal mining town in South Australia, after my father accepted a two year position as a Terex driver. The only two things that were cool about Leigh Creek were the Terex trucks, vehicles the size of buildings, and the fact that almost every kid in town owned a mini-bike.

Every afternoon after school and every weekend, kids would wheel their mini-bikes to the edge of town and ride to a location called The Humps & Bumps. It was basically just a series of piles of dirt and quarry k-cuts left over from mining, spanning about a three kilometre radius a few kilometres out of town, but to kids with nothing else to do in a small town,  and to those that owned mini-bikes, it was paradise. I did not own a mini-bike and not owning a mini-bike meant exclusion from what was essentially the key to making friends and being accepted in a new town.

The model I coveted was the Yamaha YZ80. Featuring a two stroke engine, knobbly tyres, big suspension for jumps, and a top speed of 55 miles per hour which was practically light speed, it was the mini-bike of all mini-bikes and ownership would instantly grant me acceptance by the Humps & Bumps community.
Convincing my parents to buy me a mini-bike was a lot easier than I thought it would be, possibly due to them feeling guilty about taking me away from my previous school and established friends and moving to a small town, but more likely due to wanting me to shut up about being the only kid in town who didn’t own a mini-bike. Eventually, it was conceded that I might get one for my upcoming birthday.

The two weeks leading up to my birthday weekend could not go by fast enough. It was the early eighties and there were no computers, and I had nobody to hang around with as everyone was at the Humps & Bumps, so every afternoon after school I would climb into bed and try to go to sleep to make the time go faster. I even attempted knocking myself out once by sitting on the edge of the bed and throwing a brick into the air, but this only gained me a mild concussion and frozen bag of peas.

On the Saturday morning of my birthday, I leapt out of bed, woke my parents and asked “where’s my motorbike?” Told that it was in the backyard, I ran outside in my pajamas to discover my parents had bought me a second hand 50cc Honda postman’s scooter.

The stickers that read Australia Post had been peeled off but due to the rest of the paint fading, they were still clearly visible.  The front half of the scooter was white, the back half red, and my father had painted DAVID across the back of the huge seat.
I turned to see my parents, wearing dressing gowns and faces of anxious expectancy, standing behind me and my mother stated “ Happy birthday. I know it’s not a Yamaha like you wanted, but we talked to Mr Williams from number 36 and he said that Honda make very good motorbikes. It used to be a postie’s bike so it has to be reliable. Posties need reliable bikes.”
Although every molecule of my being wanted to yell “what the fuck is this, I can’t be seen on it, the other kids will laugh at me,” the look on their faces made me force what I hoped was a believable smile, but was probably more of grimace below two sad eyes, and say “thank you.”

Beaming, my father said “It’s got your name on the seat and you have another present to go with it,” handing me a motorcycle hemlet shaped present.

Ripping off the paper, which featured a repeated illustration of a guy riding a motorbike that wasn’t lame, revealed a construction worker’s helmet, probably taken from my fathers worksite, spray-painted black with a skull and crossbones emblazoned across the front.  “I painted it myself” my father said, which I had already figured out due to the skull having a smile instead of an angry teethy thing.

After being told “you can take it out for a ride after you get dressed and have breakfast,” I spent an hour dressing and another hour eating froot-loops by eating each Froot-Loop in the bowl indivually and chewing thirty times but eventually the time came to get it over with.

Wheeling the scooter down the sidewalk, wearing the construction worker’s helmet and appropriate motorbike attire (shorts, a Battlestar Gallactica t-shirt and sandals), I arrived at the edge of town, started the scooter, and rode off  towards an area as far away from the Humps & Bumps as possible.
As I rounded a huge mound of dirt I had intended to hide behind for a while, my heart sank as I saw four kids on mini-bikes riding towards me. Turning the bike around, I attempted to race away from them as quickly as possible, with the thought that my face still hadn’t been seen, but with a top speed just under a brisk jog, they caught up to me almost immediately.

Pulling to a stop and as casually as possible saying “Hey,” one of the kids, who I recognised as a boy named Ashley from school, asked “Are you delivering the mail?” and the other kids laughed. “No,” I replied. Which with hindsight was a little lame and if I could go back I would have said something like “Yes, and I have a letter from your mother. She says she is sorry for giving you a girl’s name” or something far better.  Another of the kids then stated, “That’s a postie’s bike. I can see where the stickers were. Is it yours?” and I replied, “No.”

After a lengthy discussion between the four kids in which every feature of my scooter was analysed and ridiculed, including the fact that it had my name on the seat so it must be mine, I suddenly felt need to defend the horrible thing and stupidly said “yes, but it’s good at jumps.”

Riding indian file together to the Humps & Bumps after being told to “prove it then, Postman Pat,” we pulled up at the base of a huge hill and the kids pointed to the summit. The jump was basically a huge track going down the side with a smaller hill at the end acting as a ramp. Riding to the top, I tightened the plastic strap inside my construction hat, and looked down.
Grasping the possibility that there was at least a chance of coming out of this unhurt and earning the acceptance of my peers, I edged forward and threw back the throttle as hard as I could - snapping the antique piece of tin holding the throttle to the handlebar, and locking it on full. Holding on with every limb tensed like steel, the scooter tore down the incline, hit the ramp at the bottom, and broke in half.

My body, carried by momemtum, flew over the handlbars, cleared the ledge of the ramp, and flew twelve feet before landing and rolling several times in the dirt. My helmet, which had blown off half way down the hill, rolled to a stop a few feet from me. Dazed, I lay on my back staring up at the sun glimmering through the leaves of a gum tree, listening to the sound of four mini-bikes disappearing at top speed into the distance.

Noticing a throbbing pain in my left leg, I looked down to see my shin bone sticking several inches out of a large gash in my skin, halfway between the knee and ankle. Ignoring earlier advice from my father about getting back on a bike after a fall, I  began to drag myself home by sitting up and pulling myself backwards a few feet at a time.

Approximately fifty feet from the crash site, I crawled over an ants nest and had to roll again, but only twenty minutes later saw the family car driving towards me up the dusty track. Apparently Ashley had ridden to my house and told my parents that despite all four kids trying to convince me otherwise, I had attempted and failed a stunt and broken my scooter. He also visited me in the hospital and, even though he called me Postman Pat for the next two years, we became friends.

My father collected the broken scooter and attempted to repair it by welding the two halves together but it caught on fire and was delegated to the back of the shed never to be seen again. Which I was quietly happy about.

As a token replacement birthday present, I received a Slip’n’Slide which I wasn’t allowed to use due to my leg being in a cast but I did get to watch Ashley and his friends using it from my bedroom window.

Also, a week after getting my cast removed, I used the Slip’n’Slide for the first time and, after a massive run-up and standing slide that cleared the entire length of the bright yellow plastic,  I continued along the grass into a hedge, and a branch punctured my scrotum.

Opinions are like nipples, everybody has one.

Despite mentioning cats in only three articles in my previous book, around ninety percent of the emails I receive ask the same two questions; "Did Shannon ever find her missing cat Missy?" and "Why do you hate cats?"

Firstly, yes. Missy was found in a neighbour's hedge that evening. It was about the fifth time she had gone missing and has escaped several times since. Secondly, I don't hate cats. I just don't want them sitting on my lap or rubbing against me lifting their tails so I have to look at their bum holes. If I owned a cat, I would make it wear pants. My partner Holly wants to buy a cat but I have told her that if she gets a cat, I am getting a leather jacket like the one Evel Knievel wore.

Apart from making the occasional joke, which I assume at the time will be taken as such, I would never condone cruelty, violence or tormentation towards any animal. That's what red haired children are for.

--------------------------------------

From: Ella Johnson
Date: Tuesday 31 May 2011 2.04pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Book

I've perused your website before and must admit I laughed at the story about the police officer. I work in a bookstore and when your book came in as stock, I made the mistake of browsing through it. While some of it was mildly amusing, you crossed the fine line between dark humor and psychopathy.
It's quite jarring to go from laughing at drawings of spiders to reading your fantasies about torturing and killing cats. This ruined the book for me. Animal cruelty is a mental illness and usually the first sign of a sociopath. Serial killers torture animals when they are young. It's my most fervent opinion that you need to find a highly skilled psychiatrist post-haste and I have left a review on Amazon warning potential buyers.

Ella J

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday 31 May 2011 3.28pm
To: Ella Johnson
Subject: Re: Book

Dear Ellla,

Opinions are like nipples, everybody has one. Some have firm points, others are barely discernible through layers, and some are displayed at every opportunity regardless of whether an audience has stated, "I am interested in your nipples" or not. Cats have nineteen.

As people can only provide unbiased opinions about things they have no interest in, your zealous fervor regarding cats is understood but misdirected.

At no time have I ever "fantasized about torturing and killing cats." This is an assumption you have made and I am puzzled to its origin. Are you referring to the article titled David and his best friends spend a day at the beach? I have attached an excerpt.

Regards, David.
--------------------------------------

From: Ella Johnson
Date: Tuesday 31 May 2011 4.06pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Book

No of course I'm not because you just made that up. There is nothing in the book about cats making you their king. I was referring to at least 3 articles that mention cats being tortured or killed. The text on the page you mentioned actually states:"I once agreed to look after a friend's cat for a week but after he dropped it off at my apartment and explained the concept of kitty litter, I kept the cat in a closed cardboard box in the shed and forgot about it. If I wanted to feed something and clean faeces, I wouldn't have put my mother in that home after her stroke. A week later, when my friend came to collect his cat, I pretended that I was not home and mailed the box to him. Apparently I failed to put enough stamps on the package and he had to collect it from the post office and pay eighteen dollars. He still goes on about that sometimes, people need to learn to let go."

The thought of a cat being trapped and frightened in a box in the dark and slowly starving to death is what you call humor? Pathetic. You need to take a good long look at yourself and seriously consider seeing a psychiatrist for your own safety and those around you. I have no idea how you managed to get published by Penguin writing disgusting material that cleary illustrates a complete lack of morals and ethics.

Ella J

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday 31 May 2011 4.57pm
To: Ella Johnson
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Book

Dear Ella,

I never stated the cat starved to death and you have simply assumed that it didn't enjoy the experience. Cats like being in boxes. Also, it was a fairly big box. I could understand your concern if it had been a shoebox but it was at least twice that size.

It is easy to take something written out of its original context and make it look bad; a few years ago, I was commissioned to write copy for an annual publication produced by Top Tourist Parks of Australia. After a print run of seventy-five thousand and distribution throughout Australia and New Zealand, it was discovered that I had left the letter v out of the word 'dive' and the introduction for a family beach resort activity read, "Die with your children. A new world awaits." Apparently a child had drowned the year before so I admit it was bad timing but these things happen, there's no point carrying on about it.

Also, despite your opinion that I am without either morals or ethics, many of the articles in the book have an underlying message expressing the contrary. I have attached the article David and his best friends go to the movies, which clearly illustrates this.

Regards, David.
--------------------------------------

From: Ella Johnson
Date: Wednesday 01 June 2011 9.32am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Book

Obviously we have differing opinions on what constitutes acceptable ethics and offensive humor. I suggest reading some of Chelsea Handler's books. Her humor is spot on and while she can be a bit risque at times, she never crosses the line like your book does. You could learn a lot from her.

Fortunately, in my store at least, I am in a position to dictate where on the shelves your book is displayed so nobody will see it and I will also be sure to warn customers against buying it if they bring it to the counter.
Good luck with sales, you will need it.

Ella J

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 01 June 2011 2.14pm
To: Ella Johnson
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Book

Dear Ella,

Your efforts to protect both cats and customers should not go unacknowledged. If you have access to a printer and scissors, you could make yourself a little badge. Anyone can form an opinion but it takes a certain type of person to carry that opinion through to consumer censorship. In a million years, if mankind dies out and cats inherit the earth, they will probably build a statue of you featuring a cat nestled in one arm, a can of petrol in the other, and a pile of my books at your feet. Or one of you cleaning your bum with your tongue.

Unfortunately, your efforts to impinge book sales are not required as Penguin's marketing team seems to have the same strategy. I visited a Barnes & Noble store this morning, expecting to find copies of my book distributed throughout, but located only a single copy in the home and garden section next to Diana Kennedy's The Art of Mexican Cooking.
I left with a pop-up book about trains and two fridge magnets so I understand the concept of impulse buying, but targeting only those preparing for next year's Cinco de Mayo is a stretch.

In contrast, Chelsea Handler's book was displayed throughout the store and even had its own colourful cardboard display. Based on your suggestion, I had a quick flick through and owe you a debt of gratitude as I now realise what it takes to receive excellent reviews on Amazon from people like yourself.

Regards, David.
--------------------------------------

From: Ella Johnson
Date: Wednesday 01 June 2011 3.27am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Book

Last email as arguing with a moron is a waste of my valuable time and all you’ve done is display how ignorant you are. I doubt you’ve read anything by Chelsea Handler so what would you know. Nobody asked for your opinion anyway.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 01 June 2011 5.24pm
To: Ella Johnson
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Book

Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive: Wilma Deering

During primary school, my favourite television show was a program called Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which featured a pudgy astronaut named Buck who is frozen is space while testing a new spacecraft and thawed out hundreds of years later when everyone wears really tight jumpsuits.

The series followed Buck’s many exciting adventures in which he tried to fit into 25th-Century culture, aided in his adventures by a robot named Twiki and his friend and semi-romantic interest, Colonel Wilma Deering, who wore a tighter jumpsuit than anyone else.
I liked Colonel Wilma Deering a lot. I have seen photos of her since and she isn’t much chop but there is no accounting for the logic of prepubescent boys. I had a poster of her on my bedroom wall and I’m fairly sure I kissed it a few times. I also grew fairly resentful of Buck as they spent a lot of time together.

Once, I used a cassette recorder to record  myself saying, in a girl’s voice, “Buck and I are just friends, I love you David. I want to marry you” and sat there for hours looking at the poster while playing, rewinding, and playing the recording over again. Once, while occupied by my own thoughts during a school class, I called the teacher Wilma which was almost as embarrassing as the times I had previously called her mum.

As the concept of being frozen and later thawed seemed scientifically sound, I decided to undertake the process one night figuring even if Colonel Wilma Deering wasn’t going to be waiting for me in the future, there would obviously be a lot of other girls in really tight jumpsuits. Wanting to fit in when I reached the future, I donned my sisters shiny blue spandex unitard and waited patiently until I was sure my parents were asleep before making my way down the hall and into the kitchen.

Opening the refrigerator, I quietly removed the food and the shelves, sat inside, and swung the door shut. Bored and uncomfortable after five minutes, I got out, grabbed a cusion, flashlight and a Phantom comic, and climbed back in.

I am not sure if it was due to the lack of air or hypothermia setting in but I remember the shivering stopping and a feeling of warmth settling over me as I began to drift off, happy in the knowledge that the next time I opened my eyes, it would be to the sight of  jetpacks, robots and tight jumpsuits.

It was then that I heard the muffled voice of my father, who had risen to use the bathroom and discovered the kitchen floor covered in food, muttering “what the fuck is going on here?” before throwing open the refrigerator door to reveal me sitting on a cusion holding a flashlight and comic book, dressed in my sister’s jazzercise outfit.

While one might expect most parents to be angered by this seemingly irrational type of behaviour, years of such had worn my father down to the point where he simply stared at me with a disappointed look on his face before stating “Stop being a dickhead” and closed the refrigerator door.

A few months later, I read somewhere that if you travel at the speed of light for a few minutes, when you slow down and head home after the experiment, you will find that hundreds of years have passed.  Securing my father's portable generator to the rear book rack of my bike with rope and attaching the drive belt to the back wheel gear spindle, I sat on the bike and pulled the zip-cord. Unfortunately, instead of finding myself in the future, I traveled about fifty metres along the sidewalk at 200mph before finding myself in a bush. When asked by the nurse filling out the hospital accident report "Cause of accident?" I stated, 'time travel attempt' but she wrote down 'stupidity.'

I know you’re busy, so I made another form to fill out

I don’t like Microsoft Word. As a designer and Mac user, the only time I ever have to open Word is when some idiot sends me an attachment in Word format. Mellissa once emailed me   a copy of an email as a word document. The word document contained a jpg screenshot of the original email. I am deleting Word from my computer after I finish writing this line.

--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 9.38am
To: All staff
Subject: Form

Hi,

I know everyone is really busy this week trying to get the annual report layout done on time so I will get everyone their lunches this week and bring them back instead of everyone having to go to the shops themselves. There is a lunch order form attached in Word format. Just print it out and write down what you want and leave it on my desk. I’ll write in the price when I am at the shops and at the end of the week i’ll work out your total.

Thanks Mel

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 9.47am
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Re: Form

Dear Mellissa,

While I appreciate your efforts to improve productivity by removing the only half hour repreive I get from rubbish like this each day, couldn’t I just tell you what I want and you write it down?

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 9.54am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Form

No because then I would have to write everyones down. It is quicker if you all do it yourselves.

Mel

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 9.57am
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Form

How long did it take you to make the form in Word?

--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 10.02am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Form

Less than an hour.  Can you just fill it out please?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 10.42am
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Form

Of course. Please find attached. I thought it would be quicker to scan and attach as a password protected .RAR file than put it on your desk. The password is Fritter. I aplogise for the delay in getting it back to you, I had to load Word, work out how to print from Word, install printer drivers for Word, reboot Word and load the typeface you used in Word, before I could print and fill it out.

I will mark the forty minutes down on my time sheets as Mellissalaneous.

Regards, David.
--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 10.51am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Form

I’m not doing your supermarket shopping for you and you’re meant to print it out not email it to me. If you email it to me I will just have to print it out. The form is for lunch from the deli down the road. Just things from there. They have sandwiches and stuff.

Mel

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 10.56am
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Form

Those sandwiches sound all-right. I’ll just have one of them.

--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 11.02am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Form

Then write what you want on the form!  That’s the whole point of it. Why is it so confusing for you? Everyone else has filled out theirs.
Mel

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 11.33am
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Attached revised order in .EPS format
--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 11.41am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Attached revised order in .EPS format

Are you being annoying just for annoyings sake? What kind of sandwich? What do you want in it?  I’m not a mind reader. You have to write down exactly what you want. Everyone else has written down exactly what they want on theirs. I’m doing this to help you you know. Ive got better things to do with my time than get you lunch.  If you don’t want to fill out the form then you will have to go out and get your own lunch. I’m going out at 12.30

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 11.46am
To: Mellissa Peters

Subject: Re: Re: Attached revised order in .EPS format
Nice day for it.  I’d probably pop out myself for a break if I wasn’t so busy with all these forms to complete. If you are going anywhere near a hardware store, would you be able to get me a key cut? For anywhere, I don’t mind.

--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 11.55am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Attached revised order in .EPS format

Im not going anywhere near a hardware store. I’m going to get lunch for everyone at 12.30 from the shops down the road. I’m not driving anywhere.
Do you want something for lunch or not? You’ve got about 30 minutes to fill in the form or you can get your own lunch. If you just write I want a sandwich or whatever dumb shit you want without being exact then I’m not getting you anything.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 12.27pm
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Attached revised order v.2 in layered .PSD format
--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 12.34pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Wasting time

You could have just written you wanted a cheese and tomato sandwich instead of wasting time doing drawings. In the time it took you could have just gone to the shop yourself.
--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 12.37pm
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Re: Wasting time

An excellent point. To save both time and ever having to go through this process again, I will just have the same thing for lunch each day this week. That way you can use the same form.

--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 12.41pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Wasting time

No, I need a new form for each order. I write the total at the bottom of each one and add them up at the end of the week. That’s what the total box is for.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 12.45pm
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Wasting time

Not a problem. As writing ‘x5’ once on the bottom of the form would waste far too much company time, I will just email you the same file each day instead.

--------------------------------------

From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 27 February 2012 12.48pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wasting time
Ok.

Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive: the rowboat
I quite like boats. Many years ago I wanted to buy and live on a boat but after discovering that the only kind of vessel I could afford on my budget was a second-hand rowboat,  I gave up on the dream of boat ownership and bought a book about boats instead.

A couple of years before he stabbed me in the stomach, my relative Christopher bought a large, old, wooden rowboat with proceeds raised from a homemade charity collection tin and a week of knocking on neighbours doors. I still don't understand how he got away with it for so long as both the apostrophe and letter S were missing from the words Children's Cancer, but his plan to "do up the rowboat and sell it for heaps" was nothing short of entrepreneurial genius. If Donald Trump ever hears about it he will probably say "Everyone's fucking fired, I want the rowboat guy."

Paying three hundred dollars for the rowboat, patching the holes with Plaster of Paris, and painting the whole thing white with house paint, the boat was placed in the middle of his front yard with a sign reading “4 SAIL. $1000” . When I mentioned that the word sale was spelled incorrectly, I was told that it was a clever play on words and that is why I didn’t get it.

A short time later, Christopher was arrested, on charges I won’t go into but involved the attempted sale of a large amount of copper wire to one business and the disappearance of a large amount of copper wire from another, and was sentenced to nine months in Adelaide’s Yatala prison. It was about his eighteenth offence. As Christopher rented the property he was living in and couldn’t pay the rent while incarcerated, his lease was forfeited and he was given two weeks to remove his possessions.

Being the only relative that owned a trailer, I was somehow delegated the task of removing and storing the rowboat in my shed.

Arriving early Saturday morning in order to get the task out of the way and leave the rest of my weekend free, I quickly realised that due to the weight of the boat, I should have bought someone to help me.

I was able to wobble it from side to side on its hull but unable to lift it at all. Positioning the trailer in the driveway parallel to the boat, I came up with the ingenious plan of rocking the boat from side to side until it flipped over onto the trailer, figuring I could get someone to help me drag it off once I was home.

As I began to rock the boat back and forth (A) with increasing momentum, it appeared my plan was working quite well and I managed to get it practically vertical (B) up on its side when I slipped on the grass (C)  and fell. Realising the boat was about to roll back on me, I tucked my arms to my sides and rolled away from it as quickly as possible (D), almost making it to safety, but the boat returned to its original position and, carried by it’s own momentum (E), continued its arc and flipped over onto me (F).
Pinned face down on the grass by the two planks of wood which made up the seats inside of the boat, one across my back and the other across my legs, I was unable move. I read somewhere once about a lady who managed to lift a tree off her baby or something due to finding untapped strength under stress, or perhaps it was the power of love or something like that, but she must have been fairly fit or it must have been a little tree because regardless of how stressed I was feeling about being trapped under a boat, the boat wouldn’t budge. It probably only works if there is a baby involved or at least a much loved family pet.

After what seemed like an hour of yelling, “Help, I’m under a boat” proved futile, it dawned on me that the absolute darkness meant the boat’s weight had created a fairly solid seal rendering it relatively sound proof.
Wiggling my arms, I was able to reach into my pants pockets in search of something useful but the only items I found were my cigarettes and lighter. By twisting my arm into postions it had never been before, probably due to untapped dexterity under stress or the power of love of nicotine, I was able to edge my left hand up to my face and have a cigarette while I pondered my situation.

I actually considered using the lighter to set alight the boat, with the hope that a neighbour might see the smoke and investigate, but the thought of news reports detailing my death by burning to death under Christopher’s stupid boat caused logic to kick in and, instead, I banged the lighter against the side of the boat in three bang sequences on the off chance that someone walking past might know morse code and either rush to my rescue or call the authorities.

As I was banging, I struck a section that Christopher had plugged with plaster of paris and a hole the size of a ten cent piece appeared as a section of the makeshift repair popped out the other side of the boat. Elated by Christopher’s half-arsed approach to boat repair, I bashed excitedly at the hole and was able to increase its size to double.

Maneuvering my head towards the hole, I looked through and saw the family next door reverse their car down the driveway, with kids in the back, and drive off down the street. Deciding to wait patiently for their return, at which time I planned to yell through the hole and be rescued, I relaxed and had another cigarette.

Several cigarettes later, and with the sun setting, the neighbours had still not returned and I was becoming quite cross at them. Who goes out for this long? Surely it was past their kids’ dinner time and this was irresponsible parenting. Around midnight, I accepted the fact that the neighbours had gone away on a weekend trip.

An hour or so later, I stopped crying and decided that if I was going to escape, it would have to be without aid. As all attempts to lift the boat upwards had failed, my only recourse left was to attempt to move the boat horizontally.

Digging my fingers and the toes of my shoes into the grass, I strained forwards until my head was hard against the wood at the bow of the boat. Repeating this procedure, while also arching my back against the wooden seats, I felt the boat move forward an inch. Encouraged, I again pushed forward with all my strength and the boat again moved another inch.

Estimating the edge of the lawn to be eight feet from the sidewalk and the sidewalk approximately four feeet wide, I calculated that I would have to push the boat another one hundred and forty four times to reach the edge of the curb. At which point I would be able to edge the boat lip over the edge of the curb’s dropoff and crawl out.

On push ninety six, I hit the letterbox and had to back up a few inches to go around it but eventually reached the sidewalk and found the boat moved much easier over concrete.

As the lip of the boat reached the curb, I almost cried with relief  as hours had passed and my fingers were numb and bleeding from the process. Gripping the curb’s edge, I pulled with all the energy I had left and the boat teetered, then slid, taking me with it, all the way onto the road.

I was now under a boat on the side of the road. Angry and frustrated, I banged against the hull with the palms of my hands and screamed “get off of me, get off of me” until my outburst was suddenly interrupted by the sound of car tyres screaming and a loud thud against the side of the boat; sending it sliding several feet.

Dazed by the knock and grazed by being dragged several feet beneath a boat along asphalt, I heard the sound of a car door closing and a man’s voice voice stating “There’s a fucking boat on the road.”

After an exchange that included “what the fuck are you doing under a boat” and “there’s no way I am going to be able to lift this son of a bitch,” the man, who turned out to be a milkman named Tom on his predawn local milk delivery run, managed to raise an edge of the boat by using a tyre iron as leverage and I rolled finally to freedom.

After explaining what happened, thanking him for rescuing me and attempting to hug him (denied due to the copius amounts of blood on my arms and face from sliding several feet underneath a boat along asphalt), Tom said to me “You know, that’s actually a really nice boat.”

Several months later, when Christopher asked where his boat was, I told him I had given it to a milkman.

Ten F26-A formal complaint notices in six months
Apparently after receiving three, you are meant to have some kind of formal meeting between the parties involved but this never happened. According to the rules, if there are five complaints, an external mediator has to be bought in. This didn't happen either and I was quite disappointed.

I don't really have anything against Simon apart from the fact that he likes the band Nickelback and I have no idea what his problem with me is, as I'm pretty sure I am an absolute pleasure to work with. I brought in donuts once, which is pretty nice. I found them in a bin and left them near Simon's desk. When he asked, "Who brought these donuts in?" I replied, "The girl from the shop across the road brought them in because they have too many" and watched him eat four, complaining between mouthfuls that they weren't very fresh. He would have eaten them all but stopped after finding a dead cricket in the box.

My very first run in with Simon was when he blamed me for stealing pens from his desk, which I vehemently denied. He then proceeded to point out the tiny engraved words 'Simon's Pen' he had done on all eight of the pens currently on my desk. It was so small he had to point them out to me with the aid of a loupe. Each two-millimetre high letter was meticulous. When I asked how he had managed to get the letters so perfect, he told me that he had a headset at home with a light and magnifying glass on it. When I asked why he had a headset with light and magnifying glass on it he replied, "For painting collector figurines."

There have actually been twelve formal complaints by Simon against me but two of those were complaining that nothing had been done about the previous formal complaints so I didn't bother scanning those in.
From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 12.37pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: No Subject

Did you draw Justin Biebers face on all the images in my stock images folder and save them over my files?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 12.44pm
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: Re: No Subject

Yes.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 12.49pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: No Subject

What the fuck for? What are you even doing in my files?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 12.56pm
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: Re: Re: Re: No Subject

I didn't think you would notice. I am meant to be laying out a business card for a client so was looking for a distraction and realised I can open and save files from your computer over the network.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 1.05pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: No Subject

But what did you put Justin Biebers face on them for dickwad?
I was going to use them for something.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 1.12pm
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No Subject

You can still use them. Justin Bieber is very popular.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 1.27pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No Subject

Stay off my computer and you better have a backup of the original images. Do you have a backup?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 1.31pm
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No Subject

No.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Thursday 31 March 2011 1.43pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No Subject

Right dickhead. I'm making a formal complaint.
--------------------------------------

From: Jennifer Haines
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 9.26am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Meeting this afternoon.
Good morning David,

I hope you had a good weekend. I'm not sure how many client meetings you have today but can we find time this afternoon to have a chat? Simon has filed another formal complaint against you which makes a total of 14 this year. I thought it might be a good idea if all three of us sat down to have an open discussion and try to work towards a resolution.

Jennifer

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 9.34am
To: Jennifer Haines
Subject: Re: Meeting this afternoon.

Good morning Jen,

The last time I checked, there were only twelve complaints and two of those were complaining that nothing had been done about the other ten. What are the thirteenth and fourteenth regarding?

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Jennifer Haines
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 9.51am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Meeting this afternoon.

Simon filed a F26-A on the 9th of this month stating you had changed his server login ID to Mr Bobbity Head and another on Friday claiming you hacked into his personal Amazon account and ordered a book about boats. He printed screen shots and supplied these with the F26-A. Under section 5, paragraph 2 of the Employee Workplace Agreement which we all signed, I am meant to provide support through discussion of the issue with both parties. Would 2.45 today be ok with you?

Jennifer

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 10.14am
To: Jennifer Haines
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Meeting this afternoon.

Dear Jen,

If Simon really took offence to the title Mr Bobbity Head, he would put some effort into stopping its thrashing about as if he is asleep on a rollercoaster. I passed him in the corridor this morning and had to perform a tuck and roll. Providing support through discussion would seem to me less effective than some kind of medical neck brace.

Although I received no request from Simon to change his login name, which would possibly have been more appropriate than a formal complaint, to appease his denial of truth, I have amended it to Mr Non-Bobbity Head.

In regards to Simon's Amazon account, my 'hacking' knowledge consists entirely of having seen the movie Sneakers eighteen years ago. Renting an apartment across the street with an unobstructed view of Simon's keyboard through a telescope would require far greater organisational skills than I believe I have ever exhibited while working here. I have three months of unfinished work on my desk and spent last week playing Words with Friends on my phone. As such, it is more likely he simply ordered the book about boats himself and then forgot doing so.

I saw a movie once where Goldie Hawn bumped her head on a boat and got amnesia. Snake Plissken made her look after his kids. It's entirely plausible that, after ordering the book about boats, Simon struck his head during one of his bobbity jaunts down the corridor.

Alternatively, he may have repressed the memory. I have read that repressed memories may sometimes be recovered years or decades after the event, triggered by a particular smell, taste, or suggestion through hypnotism. I am happy to attempt to hypnotise Simon if you think this may help. I will email him now and schedule a time.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 10.18am
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: pressed memories.

Dear Simon,

Jen and I have been discussing the possibility that you may have Repressed Memory Syndrome and feel it might be helpful to hypnotise you. Would 2.45 today be ok?

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 10.26am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: pressed memories.

Fuck off dickhead.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 11.22am
To: Jennifer Haines
Subject: Simon's repressed memories

Dear Jen,

Simon seems reluctant to participate. This can often be the case when dealing with motivated forgetting in which a subject blocks out painful or traumatic experiences in his or her life.  I wish I had the ability to block out certain memories of my own. I have attempted to put a recent event behind me for the sake of the company but Simon's continued efforts to make himself out to be a victim have left me with no other recourse than to file a formal complaint myself.

On Tuesday evening, the 15th of November, I stayed late to start a project the client was expecting to see the next day. I had been given the project a fortnight prior but this was around the same time I downloaded Words with Friends. Simon was the only other person left in the office.

Perhaps I should have recognised the signs earlier - comments such as "Those pants are nice," and "What kind of conditioner do you use? Your hair smells like coconut & orchid" - but, having grown up on a small farm, I guess I was simply naive to the ways of city folk.

I was in the middle of writing copy concerning the lifestyle merits of choosing galvanised roofing materials when the lights dimmed and I heard Justin Timberlake's SexyBack coming from Simon's work area. I looked up to discover Simon dancing slowly in the doorway. I asked what he was doing but he stepped towards me, placed a finger to my lips, and stated, "Simon says shhh little one. This is not the time for words." I attempted to explain that it was and the client was expecting four pages of them by the next day but he wouldn't listen and straddled my chair.

Confused and alarmed, I attempted to push him off but, despite what you would assume from a complete absence of any muscle tone, he was stronger than me and pinned my arms firmly against the armrests, kissed my neck, and whispered, "I can be gentle, or very very rough. The choice is yours."

Not being overly happy with either option, I pushed hard against the desk with my legs, sending the chair rolling across the room before careening into several stacked boxes of Reflex copier paper, toppling the chair and sending us sprawling. Realising this may be my only chance of escape, I tucked my arms to my sides and rolled, like a child on a steep grassy knoll, and leapt to my feet. Bolting out the door and into the dark and stormy night, I heard him crying, "I'm sorry. Come back." But I didn't.

While I accept Simon may be sorry for what he has done, in the interests of protecting fellow co-workers and being compliant with section 5, paragraph 9 of the Employee Workplace Agreement, please find attached a copy of the report.

I request a full investigation into this incident and expect Simon to undertake the sexual harassment course as outlined in Section 3, paragraph 2, of the Employee Workplace Agreement which we all signed. Failing this, a F26-B will be filed with head office as per Section 3, paragraph 8.

Regards, David.
--------------------------------------

From: Jennifer Haines
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 1.45pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Simon's repressed memories

David,

I really don't have time for you two today. Your story is completely unbelievable and filing a class 2 complaint of sexual harassment means I am now required to provide head office with a completed I-95A assessment and recommendation form. Is this really what you want?

I will arrange for Simon to take the course with TWE if you agree to retract or at least change your complaint to class 1 so it can be dealt with internally. Do not send a F26-B to head office.

I have no idea what is going on between you two but I would appreciate it if you would sort this nonsense out between yourselves in future without creating more paperwork for me.

Jennifer

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 2.02pm
To: Jennifer Haines
Subject: Re: Re: Simon's repressed memories

Dear Jen,

Thank you for your understanding. What happened is indeed completely unbelievable but through the support of those around me I hope to make it through this difficult time. I am not a victim; I am a survivor.

As a long time advocate of education over discipline, and accepting partial responsibility for what occurred as I was wearing nice pants that day and had used Herbal Essence's 'Hello Hydration' 2-in-1 Hawaiian coconut & orchid moisturising shampoo and conditioner that morning, I agree to your request and will amend the complaint to class 1 following Simon's completion of the TWE course. I also accept your position on wasting company resources through misuse of the F26-A form for matters that would be better dealt with through discussion over a friendly pint at the pub.

I have taken fifty dollars from petty cash and will ask Simon if he wants to have a drink after work.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 2.14pm
To: Simon Dempsey
Subject: ndezvous

Dear Simon,

I'm going for a drink after work if you'd care to join me. Your shout.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 2.37pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: ndezvous

No thanks dickhead.

--------------------------------------

From: Jennifer Haines
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 3.56pm
To: Simon Dempsey
CC: David Thorne
Subject: Appointment with John from TWE

Hello Simon,

Due to a Section 3.2 of the Employee Workplace Agreement, when certain accusations are made against co-workers the company is required under workplace compliance laws to provide reasonable steps to resolve the matter.

As part of this agreement, which you signed, you are required under company policy to complete a government certified course. Taking the course does not mean you have sexually harassed anyone.

I have made an appointment with John Bryant from TWE for you to undertake this course at 11.30am next Wednesday.
It should only take around 2 hours to complete the course with a half hour break in between for lunch.

Additionally, I would appreciate if you and David could discuss and sort out any further issues without resorting to filing out an F26-A as I'm sure all of us have better things to do with our time than deal with this nonsense.

Thank you, Jennifer

--------------------------------------

From: Simon Dempsey
Date: Monday 21 November 2011 4.25pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: No Subject

You fucking liar.

Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive: camping
I have never been a massive fan of camping. I enjoy the interesting bits of it like lighting fires, pitching tents and paddling in kayaks, but the bits where you sit around on fold up chairs inbetween the interesting bits without access to television or a computer are boring. I have comfy chairs at home and a Keurig and pizza delivery and when I get bored I can argue on forums about things I couldn’t care less about or take a hot shower.

I realise the media has perpetuated the myth that all Australian’s enjoy the outback and that we all own big knives, wear dungeree shorts, and wrestle crocodiles, but this is not the case. I don’t know anyone who has ever wrestled a crocodile or has the slightest inclination to do so. When Steve Irwin was stabbed in the chest while teasing a stingray that was minding its own business, I was sad for his family’s loss but the suggestion of creating a ‘National Steve Irwin Day’ and describing him as “an ambassador for Australia” and “ecological spokesperson” left me bewildered. All he did was perpetuate the same clichés that Crocodile Dundee did in the 80's and while I am all for the tormentation of animals, I cannot recall a single instance where wrestling a stressed alligator for ten minutes instead of tranquilizing it peacefully was actually speaking for anything apart from his bank balance. I would like to wrestle Bindi in a muddy creek for ten minutes, rolling her around, cutting off her air supply and bending her limbs back before bounding her with rope and throwing her in the back of ute for no other reason than it would be good television.  If I had been the crocodile Steve Irwin dangled his baby in front of a while back, I would have just said “fuck it, you dont get baby on the menu that often.”

Several years ago, I went camping with a few associates and knowing there would be times between lighting fires, pitching tents and paddling in kayaks, I thought it would be entertaining for everyone if I jumped out from behind bushes while wearing a bear suit. Renting the only ‘bear’ costume available, which was actually a koala, I altered it as best I could to make it look frightening by taping down the fluffy ears, adding sharp cardboard teeth and constructing two downward slanting eyebrows with electrical tape.
While everyone was sitting around the campfire, I excused myself, donned the concealed costume and leapt out yelling 'Rawr.'

Moments later, I realised the screaming and falling back off chairs was not due to wearing a bear costume but the fact I was standing in the fire while wearing a bear costume made of polyester. After a two-hour drive to the nearest hospital, I underwent three weeks of skin grafting on my left leg and six months of hearing about how I ruined the camping trip. To this day, when anyone asks about the scars, I simply state "It involved a camping trip and a bear, I don't like to talk about it" which is true because I don't.

The last time I went camping was with a group of people I didn’t like - other designers from my work. I have no idea why I agreed to it but I did so at the pub after several beers and I was the only person who owned a four wheel drive vehicle with roof racks on which to place kayaks so somehow, their opinion not mine, I would be letting everyone down by not participating.
The next day we all drove to a secluded spot, four hours from Adelaide, on the banks of the Murray River. After lighting a fire and pitching tents, everyone sat around talking about work and drinking warm beer (due to the task of remembering to bring ice being left to Simon), so I decided to take a kayak for a paddle to get away from them. I changed into boardshorts, grabbed my iPhone, and paddled off down the river towards a bend where I would not be seen by the others.

Finding that the current was quite strong and realising I would have to paddle back against it, I rounded the bend, pulled up against a dead tree branch sticking out of the water, and tied my kayak to it using the drawstring from my boardshorts.

Removing my shirt and lying back to enjoy the warmth of the sun, I put in my earphones and fell asleep listening to Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz yelling about “throwin’ stuff up.”

Approximately five hours later, I woke up. Looking down, I discovered my entire body covered by several hundred mosquitos. Sitting up quickly to brush madly at my torso and legs, the iPhone that had been laying on my chest went flying, ripping the earbuds from my ears,  and dissapeared beneath the algae laden surface.

Looking around, I also discovered that the tree branch I had secured the kayak to with my drawstring, rotten from years of being waterlogged, had snapped off and was now trailing behind my kayak which had drifted with the current several kilometres down the river.

Having no idea how far away I was from camp but knowing that I had better make it back before nightfall, I began paddling madly back up the river, pausing every few minutes to scratch at the thousands of bites.

An hour later it was dark. I’m not talking about the kind of dark you get in cities where there is usually a vague glow from lights being reflected by clouds or pollution, or even the kind of dark where you can kind of navigate by moonlight, this was the kind of dark where the term ‘pitch’ is appropriate. I could no longer tell where I was steering the kayak or even if I was heading up the river or down. Using my lighter only lit up about a metre around me making the darkness beyond seem darker. I have read somehwere that sailors can navigate by the stars but even when told that a certain structure of stars is a ram or horse-man with a bow and arrow, I fail to see it. With no city light relection, clouds or moon, the entire sky was filled with stars. Except for a black spot without stars directly ahead of me which I aimed for - figuring it was probably another dead tree sticking out of the water to which I could at least secure my kayak and wait out the night.

I was about half way to the object when my kayak scraped, and then wedged against something beneath it. Figuring I must have struck a shallow area near shore, I tried to release the kayak by paddling backwards and even pushing my paddle down like a gondola driver but it would not come free.
Not knowing how far from the shore I was or even its direction or what the object ahead of me was, I did not for a second consider stepping out into the water.

The first time I had gone camping on the river many years prior, I had let my feet dangle in the water off the side of a jetty and not two minutes had gone by before I felt a sharp pain in my toe, pulled my foot out of the water, and found a turtle the size of a dinner plate attached and unwilling to let go of its meal. I had to club it to death with a beer bottle.

Having no option but to wait until the light of morning, I curled up in the kayak and a few hours later, fell asleep to sounds of waves lapping against the side and the whine of mosquitos attempting to find an area not already bitten.

I awoke at first light to the cries of “Hello? Are you alright?” and “he looks like he has a million mosquito bites all over him” coming from quite close. I sat up to discover that the object I had been heading for the night before was a houseboat moored to the side of the river and was only about four kayak lengths away. An elderly couple stood on the deck drinking coffee looking at me. My first reaction was to ask, “where am I?” and the man replied “In a kayak.”

After accepting the kind offer of a cup of coffee and calamine lotion from Joyce and Richard, and being told that Pelican Point was “approximately an hour up river”, I set off and arrived at camp several hours later due to Joyce and Richard’s wildly inaccurate approximations, to find everyone packing and quite pissed off that nobody else got to have a turn in the kayak. No search party had been sent out and two people thought I had been in my tent the whole time because I “never join in with group activities.”

On the four hour angry drive back, I made everyone to listen to Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz yelling about ‘throwin’ stuff up’ on loop.

Dressing like a woman doesn't make you special
There are many things to be said for working in the design industry but as they are mostly negative, especially those regarding clients, I would rather write about robots.

If I was a robot, programmed to serve people all day, I would throw myself off a cliff. Working in the design industry is a lot like being a robot. A robot that curses its positronic brain for not allowing it to ignore the first law and attach spinning blades to its arms and take out the next human that states "that's nice but can we try it in green?" or "can you make the text bigger?"
Actually, scratch that, working in the design industry is more like being a whore. A dirty whore who has programmed its mind to find a happy place rather than be outraged by client requests.

There are many things to be said for working in the design industry but mostly that it is like being a dirty robot whore.

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From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 9.11am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Artwork

Hello David,

Can you send me the artwork for our business cards you did last year. Finsbury Press has asked for the original files. I need the artwork before Wednesday so either this afternoon or tomorrow is fine.

Thanks Rob

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 10.24am
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: Re: Artwork

Hello Bob,

I have received your email but no longer work for that agency. Due to client account management resembling that German dance where men in tights slap each other, the company was basically trading insovent and I resigned.
While some may see this as the proverbial rat deserting a sinking ship, I prefer to think of it as quietly stepping out of a bathtub you have been sharing with four retarded children while they are busy arguing over who lost the soap.

I would suggest contacting the agency and requesting your business card artwork before the owner swaps the art department computers for magic beans. Alternatively, if you would like me to recreate and send the files to you, I would be happy to help. I estimate this would take three hours at seventy five dollars per hour.

Regards, David.

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From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 12.17pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Artwork

It's Rob not Bob and I already emailed them and they said they don't have the files and to contact you. I'm not paying you $225 for artwork when I already paid you for the artwork last year.

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 3.02pm
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

Dear Bob,

You paid the agency to provide artwork and I no longer work for that agency. While generally a frontline supporter of questioning logic, this support wavers drastically in the face of providing free work.

A few years back, I bought my first four-wheel drive vehicle from a dealership. The salesman who did the paperwork was named Roger. While on a camping trip several months later with my nine year old offspring, I parked the vehicle on a dirt incline near a river and set up the tent. The next morning, we awoke to find it had rained - turning the dirt incline into a slippery mud incline - and the vehicle missing with four tyre-wide grooves leading to the edge of the river.

Realising my mobile phone had been on the rear seat of the vehicle along with our box of food, we survived by riding a Coleman® inflatable air mattress down the river for two days to the nearest town. I will admit that during the voyage the thought of eating my offspring crossed my mind on more than one occasion but this was less due to hunger than his constant complaining of "Why do I have to hold on to the back while you ride," "Are we there yet?" and "I can't feel my legs."

Making it home and reporting the vehicle as 'stolen', I went shopping for a new one the following week. I did not to turn up at Roger's front door requesting a replacement vehicle for the one I lost. While it is entirely possible Roger may have nodded, sympathised and explained patiently the structure of modern commerce, it is more likely he would have just called me a dickhead.

Also, while three hours at $75.00 does equate to $225.00, the total cost to recreate and sent your business card artwork would be $450.00 due to the Jumping Frog fee.

Regards, David.

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From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 3.18pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

You are seriously pissing me off now. I remember you from the meeting you were that idiot wearing a green Atari tshirt. Im NOT paying for work I have already paid for and 3 hours at $75.00 per hour is $225.00 NOT $450.00 - that is double. where the did you get double from and what the fuck is a jumping frog fee?

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 4.46pm
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

Dear Bob,

I remember you from the meeting too (specifically your haggling over pricing and questioning why animated gifs can't be used on your business card) but no, sadly the Atari clad individual would have been Thomas the owner. Nearing forty, he felt retro t-shirts and trucker caps, like the cool kids wear, disguised the fact. Once one has seen his size 40 lower-half squeezed into size 32 skinny jeans like two parallel overflowing cake icing funnels, it can never be unseen. I would have been the other idiot wearing a tie and feigning interest in your business card requirements by appearing to take notes but actually creating an itemised list of things I would rather be doing, starting with #1. Being shot in the neck with an arrow.

Sometimes when I am in meetings, I imagine I am a robot programmed not to realise I am a robot and if the code word 'quantifiable' is mentioned, I will explode. I never do though. Other times I imagine I am a small Indian girl collecting water for my village in brightly painted clay pots.

The Jumping Frog charge relates to an event early on in my career when I made the mistake of offering a client a fixed price for a two hundred page website.

Once the design was signed off and the build completed over a three month period, the client requested that each page include a frog jumping around the screen because his wife liked frogs.
Purchasing a frog from the local pet store and filming it by holding a camera above and a cigarette lighter behind to persuade it to jump, I spent the next two weeks incorporating it into every page of the website. A few days later, the client described the addition as "very annoying" and requested it be removed and replaced with a 3D animated frog jumping onto the screen, holding a thumb up, and speaking the words "jump on down and grab a bargain."

After providing a quote for this, I was informed that the amendments would be made "under the original fixed price or no payment would be made at all." The next day, their home page was replaced with a single image of a frog giving the finger and a voice bubble stating "I jump for cash, bitch."
After fifteen years in the design industry and realising the only difference between sitting in front of a computer facilitating client's requests and kneeling on the urine soaked floor of a truck stop bathroom giving five dollar blowjobs to men named Chuck, is the amount of urine on the floor, the Jumping Frog fee has evolved from insurance against post-project client suggestion to client incentive to have somebody else do it.

Regards, David.

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From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.09pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

You have until 10am tomorrow morning to send me the business card artwork or you will hear from my lawyer. I am sick to death of dealing with you designers. Being able to draw and dressing like a woman doesn't make you special. You've got no idea who you are dealing with.

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.37pm
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

Dear Bob,

That may be so, but the label "some guy who wants free shit" does not require CSI profiling and while I am no lawyer, I question whether testimony comprising entirely of "I paid an agency to provide me files, I lost the files, I now demand some guy who used to work there give me new files" would have much legal standing but best of luck with that.

I also question your dissatisfaction with the price I have quoted as I believe the original charge for your work by the agency was around eighteen hundred dollars. While the actual process would have consisted of ten minutes on iStock.com for the background, two minutes pretending to consider a typeface other than Helvetica and ten minutes putting it together, this is standard design industry practice and listed under ‘Direction, Design and Build’ on the invoice.

I do understand your objection to the established system of exchange of money for services though, and personally envision a utopian future where it is replaced with interpretive dance. We agree on a particular style that seeks to translate particular feelings and emotions into movement and dramatic expression in exchange for groceries or business card artwork. And we all own jetpacks.

In a moment of stupidity, I once agreed to design and build a website in exchange for yoga lessons. Contrary to what they would have you believe, you cannot actually embrace the sun as this would result in severe burns and your arms would need to be over one hundred and fifty million miles long. My favourite yoga move is the wriggly snake. Unfortunately, until I can pay my rent with mantras and expressions of emotional intonations through grand eloquent movements and wide swooshes of the arms before spinning and dropping to the floor while wearing spandex, I will need cash.

Regards, David.

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From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.44pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

Ok. Send me the completed artwork tonight with an invoice.

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.49pm
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: File attached:

Understanding science Part 1: Biology

Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive: being stabbed
There is an old saying that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives. If this was true, I would be friends with Brad Pitt and he would buy me lots of presents and take me shopping. Probably for expensive watches and boats that have lounge chairs in the back.

There is usually some form of bond between relatives, but I never felt it with one named Christopher. I didn’t have a lot to do with him as a kid and while family gatherings demanded some small interaction, for the most part we kept to ourselves. My interests centred mainly around reading and drawing while Christopher’s one fixation was the World Wrestling Federation. His bedroom walls were covered with posters of some guy wearing a kilt named Rowdy Roddy Piper. The one above his bed had the words 'Hot Rod' emblazoned across it in a lightning shaped typeface. He was a little slow but not in the Forrest Gump kind of way, more the 'patiently explaining instructions twice before doing it yourself' kind of way. It was a common rumour that he wore a nappy until the age of eight but I have always suspected this was due more to laziness than anything else as he was a fairly fat kid.

After I left home to attend University, I didn't really have much to do with him. He lived at home until his late thirties so I would, on occasion, catch up with him at family events but as his interests only expanded enough from wrestling to include pornography, we did not have a lot to chat about. Mentioning anything about art and design was met with statements such as "designers are poofters unless they are the kind who design custom graphics for Harley Davidsons" and "I’ve got tons of naked chicks on my computer, that's all the art I need."

Somewhere along the line, Christopher gained 300 pounds in body mass and a girlfriend named Joylene of similar dimension.

I visited the flat they rented together once but twenty minutes of sitting on a dog's beanbag within touching distance of a kitty litter tray that hadn't been changed in months while watching the movie White Chicks was pretty much it for me. I can’t recall what excuse I gave to leave but I’m fairly sure it was more polite than "Your dog is eating poo from the kitty litter and no, helping you install a stolen Audio4 stereo in your car after the movie does not sound... fuck this, I'm going." Before I left, Chris used my phone to order pizza because his was out of credit and, as I was leaving, asked for pizza money and didn't have change for a fifty.

I only heard from Christopher three times in the years following. Once to decline helping him torch his Ford Falcon on a quiet country road in the middle of the night to claim the insurance money, once to store a wooden boat in my shed, and once when he needed somewhere to stay due to Joylene discovering several terrabytes of teen art on his computer.
After living alone for several years, I was hesitant to let anyone stay in my apartment, let alone Christopher, but after being assured it would only be “for a few days at the most,” I reluctantly agreed.

Six weeks later, returning home from work early one afternoon, I walked into my kitchen to discover Christopher dressed in women's lingerie and a curly blonde wig, mounted on the handle of a toilet plunger suctioned securely to the floor. He looked like a huge albino frog lolipop.  A K-Mart brochure lay open between his knees advertising children's swimwear.

As Christopher leapt up in surprise, the plunger handle exited and, like a trebuchet, flung a combination of butter and faeces across the kitchen cabinets. My first reaction was to stand there in shock. Christopher’s first reaction was to grab a Wiltshire® steak knife from the kitchen counter top and plunge it four inches into my stomach. He then ran up the stairs as I slid slowly down the refrigerator door to the floor.

Descending a few minutes later, with his bags hurriedly packed, Christopher said "That will teach you not to give away people’s rowboats" and left. On the way out, he stole my wallet from the hallway table and scratched a deep groove down the side of my car with a key.

For some reason, I will put it down to shock, I edged my way up from the floor, with the knife handle still protruding from my abdomen, made it into the lounge area and watched a re-run of MASH. It was the episode where Klinger tried to eat a Jeep. Attempting several times to slowly remove the serated blade, and almost blacking out from the pain each time, I decided to drive to the hospital.

I was approximately two blocks from the hospital when a police car pulled me over for not wearing my seatbelt. Explaining to the officer that I was unable to secure the seatbelt due to the knife handle protruding from my stomach and stating “No, I don’t need an ambulance, the hospital is just around the corner,” I had my keys taken from me and was forced to wait almost an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

While we were waiting, the officer asked me what had happened and I told him that I had slipped on butter on the kitchen floor and fell onto the open dishwasher door which had a steak knife facing up in the thing that holds cutlery. I have no idea why I made up this story as I certainly felt no need to protect Chris but part of my brain seems hard-wired to always automatically lie to police and at the time it seemed a more viable scenario than the tuth.
‘Kitchen accident’ was listed on the hospital report and I was in surgery for less than hour, receiving only five stitches. Apparently the knife had missed my lung by two centimetres and no major organs had been damaged.

Returning home later that night, I cleaned both the kitchen and the room Chris had been staying in and found my son's Starwars® light-sabre, the missing rubber duck from the bathroom, and a pair of size 20 women's blue satin panties under the bed, coated in the same concoction as the plunger.
Not knowing what other items had been included in Christopher’s activities meant I had to throw out every item in the house that could theoretically fit inside a human bottom. I told my son that I'd given all his toys to a poor family and had to take him to Toys'R'Us to buy replacements.

Hello, my name is Chris and I have lots of girlfriends who I kiss
While it has been suggested that I never leave the house and spend my life playing World of Warcraft, these photos of me at the beach are evidence that I lead a healthy outdoor lifestyle and have a lot of girlfriends who I kiss. None of these photos are photoshopped.
My girlfriend Tammy and I swimming at the beach.

Sometimes we splash each other and laugh but most of the time we just kiss. I love the beach and was probably a jellyfish in a past life. Even though Tammy is scared of sharks, she knows that if a shark attacked us, I would fight it and win because I have arms and sharks don't.

Tammy tells me all the time that she would rather have her arms tied to two cars driving in opposite directions, both doing 60mph, and be ripped in half than live without me. I tell her that she would probably survive this and that it would just rip her arms off and they could stitch them back on at the hospital. There would probably be some permanent nerve damage though.
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My girlfriend Ping Ping and I relaxing on the beach.

Ping Ping and I get along very well as we both love Pokemon. Once, when I was attacked by the sword of unworldly fire, I counter attacked with a pond demon and Ping Ping said it was the bravest thing she had ever seen. She wants to get married but I have seen what Asian women look like when they get older.

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My girlfriend Susan and I riding floating motorbikes.

Susan and I share a love of all things fast and have watched the director’s cut of Days of Thunder together over six hundred times. It is the greatest movie ever made and Susan says that I look a lot like Tom Cruise, who is the best actor in the world and was also in the second greatest movie of all time, Top Gun. I have the Karaoke soundtrack from Top Gun on cassette and often sing Danger Zone for Susan when we are not kissing. Kenny Loggins is without doubt the greatest musician of all time. One day, I want to drive Nascars. If I was a bartender like Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail, the third best movie ever, I would spend a lot more time throwing bottles in the air as customers prefer this to being served.

--------------------------------------
My girlfriend Candy and I playing volleyball

Candy is extremely athletic and it is this common factor that makes us so compatible. Every day I go for a two hundred kilometre jog along the beach and then swim back. I have been asked many times to do male modeling but am too busy jogging, swimming and having lots of girlfriends who I kiss.  Also, I would not want to be responsible for some girl buying the magazine and having her boyfriend see the photos of me and then break her heart due to turning into a homosexual. Love is a precious gift. Like an iPod or sheepskin car-seat covers.

Candy tells me everyday that she loves me more than Demi Moore loved Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost. When we are not busy playing volleyball or kissing, she makes clay sculptures of me and currently has 370 in her home with almost half at 1:1 scale. Candy says that I look a lot like Patrick Swayze and am a better dancer which is ridiculous as nobody is a better dancer than Patrick Swayze.

Girls like telephones and apps. It isn't rocket science.
I wasn't expecting Kevin to actually send the client a proof but it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Despite the fact that most agency account reps have never worked in, or have the vaguest idea about, the industry they represent, I like working with Kevin for exactly this reason.

In the past year, he has asked me to courier him "a portable document disk", promised a client a new logo in exchange for 50% off the price of laying floor boards in his home, and once fell asleep during a client meeting. When I startled him awake by nudging him, he yelled "the sprinklers are on" but refused to go into further detail.

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From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 10.04am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Kotex artwork

Hi David,

I just tried emailing Jodie but got an auto responder that she is away. The client was happy with the last magazine ad layout and wants to place another in the February issue. Same info but different image. I said I would get a proof to them by tomorrow. Can you have a look at this for me?

Kevin

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 10.32am
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Kotex artwork

Hello Kevin,

Jodie is currently away on stress leave but will be returning on the 23rd. Workload related stress is a leading cause of poor office productivity and a daily schedule of harvesting Farmville crops while eating cake and emailing people images of a cat wearing a tie saying "I need everyone to stay late tonight, we really need to catch that red dot" apparently falls under this description.

While I would love to help you out, unfortunately I am unable to make amendments to Jodie's projects in her absense. This is partly due to not being the designer who undertook the brief, research, direction and development of the project, and partly due to Jodie password-protecting her computer after I changed her open Facebook page status to "Renting the Die Hard quadrilogy tonight. Yippee kayak, motherfuckers" while she was at a funeral.

In my defense, I thought she said she was going to a "Food Mall." Just last week Mellissa stated there was cake in the kitchen and I heard a popping noise as air entered the vacuum Jodie's mass had occupied at her desk a nanosecond before.

Though I know her password, (it is always her cat's name), there is little point using it. As Jodie has modeled her filing system on the Mandelbrot Set, with files named qwedqwyer.fmx and asdasydfg.psd several thousand folders deep, she will probably be back at work well before I manage to locate the file.

I can leave a sticky note on her desk though if that helps.

Regards, David.

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From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 10.46am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Kotex artwork

Not really. You don't have to search for the file it is 0396_kotex_click_advert_01.pdf. It has the black panel at the bottom with the Kotex logo and info and the picture of the girls at the beach splashing each other. The picture and the quote just needs to be changed, keep the rest.

I fully realize Jodie worked on the account but when she is away other designers should have access to the files If someone needs them. Standard operating procedure. I guess having some kind of system in this place is too much to hope for.

Kevin

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 11.01am
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Kotex artwork

Kevin,

We do have some kind of system and it is entirely hope based. Standard operating procedures consist of hoping nobody notices, hoping someone else gets blamed, and hoping account managers make promises only after checking the availability of sources to fulfill those promises.

Last month, while a file was in pre-press after a two day photo-shoot featuring five babies for a Kimberly Clarke advertisement and a week of design, you asked if it was too late to "make the text bigger and one of the babies an Asian."

If you expect me to make amendments to the Kotex layout, I am hoping that you have either a budget allocated for sourcing a replacement image that represents the confidence and resulting lifestyle benefits gained by using a particular brand of tampon, or have an existing 'rights free' replacement image in mind.

Regards, David.

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From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 11.09am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Kotex artwork

Budget for what? It is one photo change. It really isn't that complicated. Instead of girls at the beach, just change it to girls riding bikes or something and change the quote to something about being confident.

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 12.16pm
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Requested amendment.

Attached file 0396_kotex_click_advert_01B.pdf
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From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 12.33pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Requested amendment.
Ok. The photo is nice but it doesn't have anything to do with tampons and the copy doesn't make any sense. You cant even tell if it is a girl or guy and I didn't say motorbikes.
I said bikes. If it was a cute girl smiling and hugging a guy on the back of a moped or something that might work but not doing jumps

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 12.51pm
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Requested amendment.

Attached file 0396_kotex_click_advert_01C.pdf
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From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 1.19pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Requested amendment.

I liked the first one better. That's not a moped and I meant parked or something not riding. How is that image meant to appeal to anyone? They look like idiots and the bike is too old. Girls like modern technology like telephones and apps. It isn't rocket science.

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 1.46pm
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Requested amendment.

Attached file 0396_kotex_click_advert_01D.pdf
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From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 2.46pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Requested amendment.

I will just send them the first one of the girl doing a jump and get back to you if they have changes. Thanks.

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 2.51pm
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Requested amendment.

No problem. You may want to CC Jodie in on that as I intend to be away next week.

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From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Thursday 19 January 2012 2.57pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Requested amendment.

Will do.

Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive: the beach
I don’t like the beach. I especially dislike busy beaches and having to navigate through eight thousand people to find a metre squared plot in which to take my top off in front of eight thousand people before venturing into a body of water with eight thousand people. Brochures always show beaches deserted, possibly with a footprint in the sand, but they are never like that.

I would probably quite like the beach if there wasn’t any people. Or sharks. A private beach would be quite nice, one a few steps down from a mansion of something. I probably wouldn’t actually go swimming but I might sit on the bottom step eating a sandwich while looking out at the water. Probably wondering how many sharks are just below the surface and what type. Then I would go back up to my mansion and read a newspaper or something while wearing one of those white bath-robes.

Once, while at the beach with my offspring, I swam out past eight thousand people and waved. Interpreting my waving for drowning, two huge men, wearing red shorts and carrying surfboards, bolted down the beach, dove in and swam towards me.

To escape, I dove as they approached but one reached under the surface and grabbed my foot - causing me to hang upside down and swallow water. Gasping to the surface, I was met by the other man pushing a surfboard towards me, which hit me in the side of the head. While the next few moments were a semi-concious blur of waves crashing and losing my shorts while being pulled over a surfboard, I recovered lying on the beach in the centre of an applauding crowd with my genitals covered by an old lady's sun hat.

Wrapping a borrowed Spongebob Squarepants towel around my lower half, I waded back into the water in search of my shorts and was stung by a jellyfish.

Understanding science Part 2: How aircraft work.

More statements my offspring has made that make me wonder if there was a mixup in the hospital.
Vehicle number plates"We should get the words 'Bad Boys' on our number plate. That way when people are behind us at the traffic lights, they wont mess with us. If they do, we will just lock the doors."

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Our Furniture
"We should sell everything we own and use the money to buy something nice instead.”

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Being told to take a bath
"I can't have a bath. Nobody can. I saw a spider in it yesterday so it will have to be disinfected."

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While watching Jack and the Beanstalk
"That actually seems like a good deal to me. I would much rather have magic beans than a cow. Who wouldn't?"

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Watching the movie Terminator
"He's the robot? Well that's a bit weak. He wouldn't last two seconds against a transformer."

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Shopping for school clothes
"I will need a black leather jacket. It is part of the new school uniform. I don't even want a black leather jacket but I have to do what the school says. It's the rules."

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On being told his messy bedroom looks like a brothel"What's a brothel? Is it a kind of soup?"

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Corduroy pants for Christmas
"I hope you kept the receipt because these are going back."

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Finding an Amiga 500 in the shed and plugging it in
"It's like a computer but with big squares instead of pixels."

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Being told off for wandering off while shopping
"When I am an adult I will go for walks without telling anyone where I am. I will walk into shops and if anyone asks what I doing, I will say "just looking" and then walk back out."

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While watching the television program Glee
"Is the guy in the wheelchair acting or is he a real parallagram?"

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Being told to "go hard or go home" at the park
"I'll go home them. It's warm and has chairs."

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A girl at school named Emma
"I know that she likes me because Andrew asked Kate to ask her if she liked me and she said 'no'. If she didn't care she would have said 'he's ok'. Girls do that.”

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Explaining why he no longer likes Emma
"She doesn't get the rules of hand-ball. It's not that hard and I made her a complete list. Tornado's are 10 points, Spinners are 5 and a Benny means everyone moves right one square and is not allowed to speak until the next point. Girls huh?"People don’t wear Spandex doing yoga. That’s Jazzercise.

Surprising as it may seem, I am not a huge fan of time spent with co-workers. Mainly because it usually means being at work and I am a huge fan of not being at work. When I do attend, I spend the whole day coming up with an excuse not to be there the next day so really it is just time that would be better spent on a hobby or something.

Occasionally, I am expected to spend time with co-workers outside of office hours. Last year, it was three days on a houseboat stuck on a sandbar. The year before that, Mike organised a camping trip to a lake he had visited when he was a child. After purchasing kayaks and tents, renting a trailer and driving for eight hours, we arrived to find the town abandoned, due to the lake drying up several years prior, so we drove back. I did get to poke a lizard with a stick though, so it was not a complete waste of time.

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From: Mike Campbell
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 9.06am
To: All Staff
Subject: Staff weekend

Kevin and I had a meeting on Friday to discuss doing one of those staff team building weekends. It's tax deductible and we can get a package deal with one near the river that looks nice with activities like yoga, canoeing, talent night, hiking and orienteering. It's a 3 hour drive so if we leave Friday lunch time, we will get there before 4pm. The plan is to lock in the 25th to the 27th of this month so can everyone check their schedules and confirm these dates with Mellissa please?

Mike

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 9.34am
To: Mike Campbell
Subject: Re: Staff weekend

Dear Mike,

Although I am usually the first to embrace any excuse for absence from the workplace, my absence usually involves a direct correlation to the absence of people I work with. Spending several hours in a vehicle to participate in activities that involve being sweaty, wet, judged and then lost together, sounds pretty much the same as a normal week in the office. Will we be paid to attend?

Also, what is the difference between hiking and orienteering?

Regards, David.

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From: Mike Campbell
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 10.04am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Staff weekend

One is where you walk around and the other is where you have a compass. The point isn't what the activities are, its that we do them together as a team. I should have known you would be the first one to complain. Everybody else had a good time last year on the houseboat.

Mike

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 11.22am
To: Mike Campbell
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Staff weekend

Dear Mike,

When did I indicate that I had anything other than a good time aboard the houseboat last year? I am the last to complain about anything. If I were on a television game show where points were awarded for complaining, my only complaint would be participating in a show that is clearly beyond my means of winning. At the end of the show, I would thank the host and say I had a wonderful time anyway.

My favourite part was when we were stuck on a sandbar for three days. Unable to radio for help due to your hair dryer usage draining the reserve batteries, you claimed yourself captain and ordered me to swim ashore in search of a tall tree to climb with the hope of gaining mobile phone reception. It is not mutiny if the captain cannot provide sufficient evidence to support his title, and you refused to accept my title of Grand Admiral Emperor King of Everything the next day.

My second favourite part of the trip was when you drank our entire week's alcohol supply on the first afternoon, fell from the bow, and yelled at me for not diving in to rescue you. In my defence, I was wearing new shoes and did give the area a quick visual check for anything of sufficient buoyancy to cast to you. Failing that, I felt the next best thing would be the ability to later provide an accurate eye-witness account. I would have left out the bits where you screamed, "Something touched my leg" and "Not like this. Not like this."

Just this morning I was sitting here thinking, while nodding randomly to portray interest in Jodie’s dilemma regarding missing Farmville credits and watching Simon pick his nose and wipe it under his desk, that the one thing missing in my life is a greater percentage of time spent with these people.

If I take a compass with me on the hike does that mean I can skip the orienteering? This would leave me with only yoga, canoeing and talent night to avoid participating in.

Regards, David.

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From: Mike Campbell
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 11.46am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Staff weekend

It wasn't 3 days. It was less than an hour. What is the point of you even going this year if you are not going to participate in TEAM activities??

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 1.09pm
To: Mike Campbell
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Staff weekend

Dear Mike,

My point exactly. It might be interesting to see what talents the staff comes up with for talent night though. I have been working here for a year and haven't seen any. Yoga is out of the question; seeing Kevin and Simon clad in Spandex, kicking and rolling around on the floor like a couple of neon walruses engaged in a territorial dispute, is probably a breach of Occupational Health & Safety regulations.

I’m fine with canoeing though. As long as I can sit in the back and pretend to paddle only when the person in the front turns around to complain about me not paddling; it might be a nice break from avoiding activities. If it is one of those little single-person kayaks, my non-paddling will have the added benefit of failing to keep up with the group. As you all pass around a bend in the river, I will have the opportunity to roll the kayak and drown.

Also, what are the sleeping arrangements? I won't share with Simon again after the last time. I was unable to sleep due to his controlled breathing and rustling. It was around 3am before I realised why he had placed the mini hair-conditioner bottle from the hotel bathroom on his side table and what the clicking and squeezing sounds were.

I have attached a diagram indicating proposed travel, sleeping and activity arrangements. I am A, everyone else is B, and C is a lockable door. Will we be paid to attend?

Regards, David.
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From: Mike Campbell
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 1.18pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Staff weekend

You don't wear spandex doing yoga. You wear loose clothing. And no you don't get paid to go on a staff weekend trip. What a stupid question. Not counting food and travel, it costs us $3200 just to stay there and Mellissa has budgeted another $500 for alcohol.

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From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 2.26pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Hey

Hi,
Are you coming to the staff weekend event on the 25th? I am booking it today.

Thanks Mel

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 2.41pm
To: Mellissa Peters
Subject: Re: Hey

Count me in Mellissa, I’m looking forward to it. On talent night, I am going to perform a disappearing act featuring a bottle of scotch and a kayak. What’s your plan?

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From: Mellissa Peters
Date: Monday 14 March 2011 2.53pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Hey
I don't know yet. Probably a dance or something.

Buying a Canada Goose jacket online
Call me a cynic, but I still have my doubts that John was actually emailing me from Canada.

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From: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday 8 February 2011 1.10pm
To: John Michaels
Subject: Canada Goose jacket

Hello John,
Can you let me know if the jackets are actual Canada Goose products or Chinese reproductions?

Regards, David.

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From: John Michaels
Date: Tuesday 8 February 2011 3.13pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Canada Goose jacket

No made in china. Made in Canada. In 1957, the city was founded in Toronto, Canada flourish in the textile industry. The brand launched by the company CANADA GOOSE is. It is high brand of many claps. You outdoor brands move production to other countries in Asia and the earth in order to promote value for money and be still to look beautiful, I stick to innovate technology and product is always strong. I promise. Standing higher than 50 years since its founding, CANADA GOOSE Product of Siberia and northern Canada, and the people living in a cold land, such as Alaska, Antarctic expedition, Snowy lands with wind and ice and animals. No to the wind. I will not be cold. Feedback has been based on data from the product of real experience in their field it is. I promise. High-quality functionality and comfort with solid technical force, has received high praise from humans of the world it is. There are no lies.

Buying an Omega Speedmaster online
I don't actually know why or how it happened. One moment I was looking at an expensive watch on Amazon, and the next I had clicked the 'Buy with 1 click' button.

Instantly experiencing the sweaty, panicky version of buyer's remorse, I considered calling the bank and reporting the credit card stolen but it is unlikely they would believe a robber, in possession of my card, would log in to my Amazon account and order me a watch. My second thought was to call Amazon and cancel the order but this would mean I wouldn't actually get the watch.

Boys like watches. Girls like watches too, but not in the same way as they get to wear as much other jewelry as they want. It takes my partner Holly almost twenty minutes to remove her bracelets going through airport security and if she stood on the roof of our house with her arms outstreched, she would be able to pick up Japanese television broadcasts.

Or be struck by lightning. If it was the latter, I wouldn't have to explain the watch.

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From: Holly Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 10.16am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Amazon order

Did you order something from Amazon with the credit card for $2,280 on Tuesday?
Holly

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 10.22am
To: Holly Thorne
Subject: Re: Amazon order

I'm offended by the question. How irresponsible do you think I am?

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From: Holly Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 10.31am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Amazon order

I'm at work, I don't have time to write the ten pages that question demands. It was charged to the credit card on June 7. If you didn't order something, I will call the bank and find out what's going on. Did you buy something for $2,280 or not?

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 10.42am
To: Holly Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Amazon order

Yes. But I blame Amazon's 'Buy with 1 click' button. Evaluating the consequences of clicking it takes longer than clicking it and you know how little patience I possess.
You experienced first hand the button's seductive propensity last week when you were browsing for books about glassblowing and purchased a kayak.

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From: Holly Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 10.47am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Amazon order

The kayak was under 300 dollars and you bought a model of the space shuttle and an orange NASA jumpsuit at the same time. At least we can both use the Kayak. It's good to try new things. What the hell did you buy that cost $2280?

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 10.59am
To: Holly Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Amazon order

It's not a jumpsuit, it's a flight suit. Discovery doesn't jump into orbit.
I purchased an Omega Speedmaster Professional. Apparently it keeps terrible time, can't get wet, has to be wound daily and its Hesalite crystal face scratches in a mild breeze, but it was the first watch worn on the moon.
Buzz Aldrin wore the exact model during the Apollo 11 mission and it has the words 'Flight qualified by NASA for all manned space missions' stamped into the back. It also has a tachymeter.

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From: Holly Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 11.14am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Amazon order

That will come in handy the next time someone asks "Has anybody got a tachymeter?" I don't care if it was the first watch worn on the sun, $2,280 is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a watch even if it has a tachymeter.
We're supposed to be saving money, not buying everything that has the NASA logo stuck on it.

I'm going to get home one day and find a space shuttle in the driveway and you sitting inside wearing your jumpsuit. When I didn't finish my food at Jalisco's last night you said "There are children in Africa who would kill for that taco."

How does a $2,280 watch fit in with your newfound altruism?

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 11.33am
To: Holly Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Amazon order

I'm pretty sure the kids in Africa would want me to have the watch. And given the choice between a watch and a taco, I doubt any African child would choose the watch. It's not as if they have business meetings to attend or need to know when it is dinner time.

They could probably use a kayak though. When asked "what's the time?" by passersby, they would reply, from beneath the shade of their new kayak, "Why? Are you late for a business meeting?" and the passersby would respond, "Sarcasm is the lowest form of... is that a taco?"

I'm also fairly sure that if I showed the African kids the watch and asked, "Should I have sent you a cheque instead?" they would reply, "No, charity is detrimental unless it helps the recipient become independent of it. Besides, I'd rather have a taco.” They would probably then ask what the tachymeter is for and I would have to admit that I have no idea.

While I am all for altruism, it shouldn't entail exclusive concern for the welfare of others over one's own needs. It is all about balance; I ate all of my tacos so I get a watch. Which, incidently, was actually only $2,100. As it retails for nearly $4000, this means I have effectively saved us nineteen-hundred dollars. If I were to do this every week, by the end of the year we would have saved 4.7 million dollars. We could purchase as much altruism as we want with that kind of cash. And jetpacks. It's good to try new things.

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From: Holly Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 11.41am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Amazon order

4.7 million? Even with a space watch I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for NASA to call as they probably prefer their astronauts to be capable of basic math. If we were in space and ground control asked you to plot the trajectory for re-entry, we would burn.

If the watch was only $2,100, what did you buy with the other $180? And does it also have a NASA logo on it?

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 11.44am
To: Holly Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Amazon order

No, the extra $180 was for a pair of G-Star pants.

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From: Holly Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 June 2011 11.47am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Amazon order

Did Buzz Aldrin wear them on the moon?

The horn in the grill procedure
Step 1

Purchase one of those horn things that roll out when you blow into them. You have to get the ones that make a loud “brawwww” sound, not the stupid ones that you blow into and they are just a tube that makes no noise. This time around, I accidently bought the kind that don’t make the noise but as there is no sound in the book, I will just pretend that the one shown above is the kind that makes the noise. If you are going to carry on about the availability of the ones that make the noise, a plastic whistle will do. It’s really not that complicated.

To describe the horn in the grill procedure, I probably could have just said “You hide a horn/whistle in the grill” but cutting things up, rolling poster-putty and taking photographs, made it look like I was busy. During the process, My partner Holly asked if I wanted to go with her to Target to buy a shoe cupboard but, unfortunately, the horn/whistle/grill photographs weren’t going to take themselves.

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Step 2

Cut the bit off that rolls out when you blow into the horn.
You can throw that bit away unless you have another project or something you are working on that requires it.

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Step 3

Roll a blob of poster-putty around the horn. I had originally written the product name Blutac® in place of poster-putty but Americans have different names for things so I changed it to Plasticine but then I wasn’t sure if that was even a real word so I wrote poster-putty instead.
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Step 3

Squeeze the blob encircled horn/whistle, with the end you blow into facing outwards, into the front grill of a car belonging to somebody that has annoyed you / likes Nickelback.

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Step 4
Check the horn is not visible. When the driver of the vehicle reaches a speed of around fifty, air flowing into the horn opening will cause it to make the noise until the vehicle slows down.
When they get out to check where the noise is coming from, it will have stopped.

Free Oprah Winfrey Halloween mask
Left it too late to find a costume for that upcoming Halloween party? Simply photocopy this page (enlarging 400%), cut around the lines indicated, and attach a piece of string.

Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive: stuffed animals
I have never really been ‘into’ fast cars. I can appreciate the  ‘design icon’ merits of the Porche 911 and the sophistication of cars like BMW and Mercedes, but I would feel like a complete prat driving one. I’m not pretending I’m a safe or patient driver, quite the opposite, I passed my driving test by bribing the test officer with a hundred dollars and the knowledge that others on the road might be as an unqualified as I am results in not respect and courtesy for other drivers, but  fear. Practically everyone I know owns a driver’s license and not one of them should realistically be allowed to operate a tap unsurpervised let alone heavy mobile machinery.  If I was rich, I would drive a tank to work.

At the last agency I worked for, my boss Thomas drove a ridiculously small convertible sports car, called a Smart® Roadster, and I would refuse to go to with client meetings with him unless the roof was up. He told me once that girls throw their numbers into his car at traffic lights but the only time I drove with him with the top down, in minus degree weather with his scarf flapping, people at traffic lights looked down at us from their normal sized vehicles and laughed. We pulled up next to a school bus at one stage and a child wrote ‘Gay’ on a piece of paper and held it up to the window.

I have been in a total of four vehicle accidents. The first occurred when I was driving on a dirt road in the rain, lost control and hit a cow. The second involved forgetting to set the handbrake and a river. The third occurred while driving home from a friend’s house. While there for a coffee, I had attached a black rubber spider on string to the inside of his cupboard with sticky tape so that the next time he opened it to grab a coffee mug, the spider swung out at him. The reaction was more than expected as he screamed, threw himself backwards onto the floor and actually sobbed a little. Later that afternoon as I was driving home, I lowered the sun visor and the rubber spider, which my friend had placed there in what he felt was appropriate retaliation, fell forward onto my lap.

My immediate reaction was to press hard on the brake and turn the steering wheel which sent the vehicle into a spin before clipping a white Mercedes and ending up in an elderly man's front hedge.
My most recent vehicle accident occured in a hospital carpark which, if you are going to have an accident, is probably the most convenient place to have it. I was visiting my grandmother, Mavis, in the Tea Tree Gully Memorial Hospital.

Mavis had experienced a stroke several months previously which affected her brain to such an extent that her memory was completely shot and she would wake up each day thinking it was the morning before the stroke. Her husband Henry, my grandfather, had died a few months after Mavis had the stroke so every day she would ask “Where’s Henry” and have to be told again that Henry had died. She would then spend the day crying, fall asleep, wake up, and ask, “Where’s Henry?”

The only positive part about the whole thing is that I had visited Mavis the night before the stroke so every day she would tell people “David came to visit me last night, he bought me in something called an iPod and a packet of Werther's Original Caramels.” This meant no matter how often I bothered to visit her, which I admitedly rarely did as it seemed slightly pointless if she wasn’t going to remember, she thought I had just done so. If I did bother, she was pleasantly suprised that I had done so twice in a row. This made me her favourite grandson.

When I did bother to visit, I visited the hospital shop and bought her a packet of Werther's Original Caramels before going up the elevator to her floor. In addition to horrible sweets only old people like, the shop sold flowers, stuffed animals, and suprisingly good coffee.

The last time I visited Mavis, I entered the shop and noticed a stuffed toy that I thought my son would like. It was a life-size and realistic looking black dog with glass eyes. Purchasing it, along with a packet of Werther's Original Caramels, I did not want to carry the stuffed animal around, or take it to her room in case she thought it was a present for her, so I went back out to the car and sat it on the backseat before returning into the hospital and taking the elevator up to her floor.

After an hour of listening to her go on about how nice I was to visit two nights in a row and questioning why Henry would be outside gardening in the dark between gobfulls of caramel, I made my farewells.

Stepping out of the elevator on the ground floor, I decided to buy a coffee ‘to go’ from the shop for the long drive home as it was fairly late in the evening. Entering my vehicle, I placed the large triple shot latté between my legs, started the engine, placed the gear in reverse and looked in the rear-view mirror.  Forgetting that I had purchased the stuffed animal, I saw two shiny eyes staring back at me from the back seat.
I read once that the first second of how you react to a frightening situation dictates your chances of survival should a real life and death situation ever occur. The sentence made no sense to me at the time and nothing has changed. I do know, however, that if I get into a car at night, look into the rear-vision mirror, and find two shiny eyes are staring at me from the back seat, my immediate reaction is to tense up and squeeze my legs together, sending hot coffee exploding up my chest and face, while planting my foot down on the accelerator. The car hurtled backwards, over a curb, and down a steep grassy incline towards the hospital’s glass entrance doors. Luckily, an ambulance was parked in front of them.

Mavis died in her sleep that night. Photographs from the family gathering after her funeral a few days later show me wearing a neck brace and third degree burns to my neck and lower face. During her eulogy, I was described as “her favourite grandson who visited her every night while she was in the hospital and always took her in Werther's Original Caramels.”

Dear Comcast, please do not watch me on the internet
Both my offspring and I will watch anything that features robots and I quite enjoyed the first Transformer’s movie. My favourite part was when the robots held hands in a circle and sang. I wasn’t as impressed with the sequel and, although today’s technology allows access to movies with just a few clicks, I didn’t bother with Mr Bay’s third effort at all. I did download and watch the movie Thor though. It was terrible. I stopped watching half way through and watched HGTV’s Property Virgin’s instead. They picked house number 3, a bluestone cottage close to public transport.

I wasn’t going to publish this article, because Derek stopped responding and it is therefore more like half an article, but it contains a few references and quotes from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, so I snuck it in here. I thought of putting it at the end of the book and doing a squiggly line running off the page after “Regards, Da...” so it looked as if I had died while writing it, but then I remembered I wasn’t in a Scooby Doo cartoon.

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From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 4 August 2011 8.07pm
To: dmca@comcast.net
Subject: #392-8139992

Dear Comacats,

I have received your letter regarding the Millenium Falcon.
Despite the allure of spending an evening with Mr Bay and his marvelous exploding robot cars, at no time did I illegally download and watch the movie Transformers 3 or bitch all the way through it about how pixelised it was.
Please do not watch me on the Internet.

Regards, David.

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From: d.reid@comcast.net
Date: Friday 5 August 2011 11.18am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: #392-8139992

Dear Mr. Thorne,

Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry. The notice was sent to you as part of Comcast's proactive policy on copyright infringement. I assure you that we do not watch you while you are on the internet. The copyright owner reported an alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works made through Comcast's service and identified the IP address associated with your account as the source of the infringing works.
Please note that use of the Comcast service in a manner that constitutes an infringement of any copyrighted work is a violation of our Acceptable Use Policy and may result in the suspension or termination of your account.

Best regards,

Derek Reid, Customer Service

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From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 5 August 2011 1.37pm
To: d.reid@comcast.net
Subject: Re: Re: #392-8139992

Dear Derek,

Thank you for your email. Having noted your repeated threat as politely requested, I repeat my denial of justification for the original. While I freely admit to seducing party members of both sexes, visiting proletarian areas and, together with other agents, counterfeiting bank notes, wrecking industrial machinery, polluting the water supply and guiding Eurasian rocket bombs to targets on Airstrip One by means of coded radio signals, at no time did I illegally download and watch the movie Transformers 3.

As my Comcast internet service is connected to a wireless router with no password, I question how you determined that it was I who illegally downloaded the movie and not Roger and Dawn, the elderly couple who live across the road, who I suspect have been stealing my wi-fi for years.
They avoid eye contact when I wave and always wear sweat pants. If I needed to be ready to run from the law at any moment, sweat pants would be first on my list. Second and third would be a disguise and snacks. I would probably also take the car. I watched a movie recently in which bank robbers painted their getaway car with non-waterproof paint and then drove through a car-wash, which was pretty clever. The only part of the chase that made no sense was when the giant silhoutte walked across the screen and said it was going to get snacks.

While it may seem like self preservation to point the blame at others, sometimes when you are threatened with something you can't stand up to, you say, 'Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to Roger and Dawn.' Perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that you didn't really mean it, but that isn't true. At the time, you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself. You want it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.
Also, while I appreciate your accusation is based on third party information, whether it is you or your friend doing the watching isn't the point. If you came over to mow my lawn, I wouldn't expect to look up and find you standing outside my window watching the activities that I have spare time to engage in because I don't have to mow the lawn, and if you bought along a friend and stated, "This is Barry, while I mow your lawn, Barry is going to watch you through the window," I would close the curtains.

Due to the resulting lack of natural lighting, if I then switched on a modern yet inexpensive table lamp in order to relax with a copy of The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, the last thing I would expect is to later receive a written reprimand for product misuse from IKEA.

Regards, David.

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From: d.reid@comcast.net
Date: Monday 8 August 2011 10.04am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: #392-8139992

Dear Mr. Thorne,

When you opened your account, you agreed to the terms and conditions of that account. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act isn't a Comcast policy, it's a government law.

Comcast has a firm stance on piracy. Violation of our Acceptable Use Policy may result in mitigation measures ranging from lowering your bandwidth and limiting your access to certain websites to suspending or cancelling your account. Under new agreements between Comcast, the RIAA and the MPAA, violators may also be required to participate in a program that educates them on copyright law and the rights of content creators.

I recommend you protect your wireless connection with a password as soon as possible to prevent possible unauthorized use as all future violations will be treated as repeat offenses.

Your account has been flagged and will be monitored for further breaches of copyright. If you believe an error has been made, you can request an independent review for a fee of $35 which will be added to your Comcast account.

Best regards,
Derek Reid, Customer Service

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 August 2011 11.26am
To: d.reid@comcast.net
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re:  #392-8139992

Dear Derek,

Thirty-five dollars seems reasonable. I will take four. I do not, however, require either your proposed piracy school (unless part of their course structure covers working around Cinavia), or your advice on protecting my wireless router with a password.

When I was about ten, my route to school passed a property with an orange tree growing in the front garden. Walking at a pace one morning, which wouldn’t close the twenty metre gap between myself and Bradley McPherson (the school bully) ahead, I witnessed him pluck an orange, turn, and throw it at me. If I had stood my ground, the orange would have struck my chest but instead, ducking and turning, it exploded against the left side of my head. Returning home, I avoided detection of my school absense by hiding in the tool shed for the rest of day and writing a report to the Ministry of Plenty accusing Bradley McPherson of fruitcrime.

A few weeks later, I lost hearing in my left ear and, shortly after, experienced ear-aches. Following a visit to the doctor, it was discovered that pulp had imbeded itself deep within my ear canal and a small orange tree had sprouted from a seed.

At no time was the responsibility for the act of throwing an orange at my head, or the resulting months of jokes about free produce and planting corn in the other ear, placed on the owner of the orange tree for failing to have a walled garden.

Bradley McPherson was hit and killed by a car shortly after that while furiously peddling his Malvern Star across a K-Mart car-park while being persued by store detectives.

When a card for his parents was passed around the classroom for everybody to sign, I wrote "Sorry Bradley died" using an orange pen and coloured in the 'o' in 'sorry'. I also drew a picture of Bradley riding his bike with a giant snake chasing him but the teacher went over it with Liquid Paper®.

Regards, David.

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From: d.reid@comcast.net
Date: Monday 8 August 2011 2.21pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: #392-8139992

Dear Mr Thorne,

There is little point continuing this correspondance. Despite denying that you have downloaded and watched pirated movies, it is obvious from your description of pixelation and Cinavia and people getting snacks that you are watching pirated copies. If you are trying to make some point about oranges you're wasting your time as I’ve no idea what you are getting at.
If you have any further questions regarding your account please direct them to your local branch.

Best regards,
Derek Reid, Customer Service

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 August 2011 2.37pm
To: d.reid@comcast.net
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: #392-8139992

Dear Derek,

At no time have I denied downloading and watching pirated movies. I admit to having downloaded hundreds of movies and, even though the last time I purchased an album was in 1984, I have thousands of MP3's. I simply deny downloading and watching the movie you have accused me of.
My preference not to be watched on the internet is less based on repercussions of copyright infringement than the fact that copyright infringement could be considered the least criminal of the activities I engage in online.

Regardless, I understand the Digital Millenium Copyright Act allows internet service providers exemption from liability and, as such, Comcast's proactive stance; therefore, I agree to behave on the internet. Or at least use a proxy while downloading Thor.

Regards, David.

Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive: the treehouse
When I was about ten, I decided to build a treehouse after reading a book called The Swiss Family Robinson in which a family, the Robinson’s, are shipwrecked and decide to live in a tree.

Our neighbour, a rarely seen widower named Mr Anderson, owned a fenced-in quarter acre block with a large shed at the back of the property. Figuring Mr Anderson would never notice, I removed the planks from the fence behind his shed, using a claw-hammer that I found in his shed.

Using the planks to construct the frame and floor of my treehouse, I discovered I needed more planks. Removing several more from his fence, I realised that Mr Anderson would be able to see they were missing if he looked at the right angle so I covered the gap with a sheet and secured it in place with tape.  Completing construction a few hours later, I spent the rest of the day furnishing and painting the interior of what was, essentially, a collection of planks balanced precariously on top of each other.

That evening, after my parents had returned from a marriage counselling session and turned in early, I decided to sneak out and sleep in my treehouse.

Taking a pillow, blanket, flashlight and snacks with me, I had just settled in for the night when a light breeze caused the walls and roof of the treehouse to collapse - pinning me to the floor. The only part of me that wasn’t covered was my face, leaving me staring upwards as it started to rain.

Unable to call out or move due to the crushing weight, I remained there the entire night, falling asleep at one point but waking when it started to rain harder, before finally being rescued the next morning when Mr Anderson let his cat out and heard my soft cries for help.

While I was at the hospital with two fractured ribs and collapsed lung, Mr Anderson took back his planks.

David & his best friends go shopping

Being branded a sheep
I have always wanted a tattoo. The problem is that I have always considered people who get tattoos as sheep. Especially those that go in and order number fourteen off the wall of a dolphin for example. I decided that if I was going to be a sheep and get a tattoo, there was only one choice of tattoo to be permanently branded with.

There is nothing xmasy about Santa driving a moon buggy
I like Kevin. He is a good account rep, has enough grandchildren to start his own small army, has only seriously lost his temper once when someone used his coffee mug featuring the words 'I'd rather be fishing' and uses words like 'space-age' instead of 'modern'.

Kevin once told me, "it's a good idea to carry around a piece of string in your pocket in case your shoelace breaks." When I asked, "why not just carry around a shoelace?" he reponded "because that would be stupid."
Kevin likes it when I tell him he looks like the guy who played Rain Man and always replies, "it's Dustin Hoffman and no I don't, idiot."

Kevin also pretends that he doesn't like moon buggies, which can't be true because everybody loves moon buggies. I could probably think of six hundred reasons why it would be good to own a moon buggy, but the three main things that impressed me most about them as a child were:
1. Solid rubber tyres  2. Walkie talkie  3. A stick not a wheel

If I lived on the moon, instead of scientists spending billions of dollars sending robots to take photos and collect rocks, they could ring me and say, "Hello David, would you mind having a look at a rock for us and maybe snap off a few photos?" and I would reply, "Not a problem, I will take the moon buggy out now. Do you want me to email you jpegs?" and they would probably respond, "Yes, jpegs are fine."

--------------------------------------

From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 9.04am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Card

Dave,

Mike says we need to design a company Christmas card to send out to clients within the next week or two at the latest. Last year we had the company logo with the Santa hat on it blowing back to show speed so it has to be something different that is still space-age and fast. Mike was thinking we could wrap tree lights around the name but make a blur like they're moving. The inside just needs to say Happy Holidays and a prosperous new year or something like that. Any thoughts?

Kevin

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From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 9.14am
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Card

Dear Kevin,

Wrapping Christmas lights around the company name is indeed an inspired, original and creative solution. This is why Mike gets the big bucks while I have to be content with stealing change from your desk drawer when you are downstairs.

Clients will no doubt receive the card, do a double take and thrust it at colleagues exclaiming "OMG! This Christmas card we just received from Mike is fantastic. It has lights wrapped around the company name. Why didn't we think of this? It's both space-age and fast. Team meeting now! Somebody's gonna be fired."

We could probably also add Santa waving from behind one of the letters and dot the 'i' with a snowflake to ensure the festive message is not lost.

David.

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From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 9.23am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Card

You'd better not be the one taking all my change. I use it for parking meters. Does your creative input end at sarcasm or do you have a better idea for the company Christmas card?

Kevin

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From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 9.27am
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Card

Moon buggies are space-age and fast.

--------------------------------------

From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 9.32am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

Why would we have  a moon buggy on our Christmas card?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 9.51am
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

Everybody loves moon buggies. They have solid rubber wheels, a walkie talkie and a stick instead of a steering wheel. If I lived on the moon, I would drive a moon buggy every day. I would make ramps to jump off. Bright yellow ones that contrast against the monotone landscape to avoid accidentally driving up on an angle and flipping the vehicle.

When I was quite young, there was a television program called
The Banana Splits which featured a dog, gorilla, lion and elephant, driving around in little ATV buggies with three wheels on each side.

I wanted one of those buggies so much. Employing a strategy that could be likened to Ralphie’s quest to obtain an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle in that story about Christmas, I forget the name of the movie, I drew pictures of buggies, talked incessantly about them and, for six months leading up to Christmas morning, made daily statements such as "If anyone became trapped in quick sand and I had a buggy, I would be able to pull them out." I also wrote a school report titled, 'Why everyone needs a buggy' comprising of a three page list (starting with 1. Buggies have solid rubber tyres that can't pop) and several drawings of myself driving a buggy.

When Christmas day arrived, there was a large wrapped box (the same size as our new washing machine) with my name on it besides the Christmas tree. Realising that all my hopes, dreams and obsessive hinting had delivered to me the one thing I craved more than anything on the entire planet, I ripped it open with a strength you usually only hear about in those stories where the mother lifts a tree off her baby, to find a smaller box. Inside the smaller box was a smaller box and inside that was an Action Man.

My parents and sister seemed to find this hilarious but it wasn't even the good Action Man with the raft, it was the Action Man with a beard.

To express my dissatisfaction, I placed the Action Man behind the rear tyre of our car, envisioning it being crushed would somehow result in me getting a buggy. As we reversed out of the driveway on our way to visit relatives, there was a loud 'pop' and my father got out to discover Action Man's left leg imbedded in the tyre.

The company Christmas card could feature Mike dressed as Santa driving a moon buggy, with his big red sack of disappointment in the back, at excessive speed without concern for the sharp and hazardous terrain. This would represent not only his 'unpoppable' dedication to client delivery, but also the lack of any atmosphere in his office.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 10.08am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

We're not having Santa driving a moon buggy on our company Christmas card. If you have any ideas that don't include moon buggies then ok otherwise we will go with something that is festive with an actual commercial aspect and is not just stupid. There's nothing festive about moon buggies.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 10.56am
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

I could put tinsel on the walkie talkie antenna and, despite your suggestion otherwise, moon buggies have several possible commercial aspects. If I lived on the moon, I would drive my moon buggy to the poles and plant nuclear explosives under the ice. Safe inside my shatterproof moon buggy dome, the explosions would melt the ice, sending a plume of moisture over the entire moon's surface thanks to low gravity dispersion. I would then plant potatoes in the fertile soil and set up a farm. Possibly with a few cows and a pond with ducks like you see in movies. Maybe a small wooden jetty from which to fish. In summer, I would jump off the jetty and swim.

I jumped off a jetty at the beach when I was about nine and landed on a scuba diver. At the hospital having my arm put in plaster, I was less concerned by the injury than by the fact I was not wearing underpants under my board-shorts. Having been told several times to wear clean underwear in case I get hit by a bus, I believed medical procedure would require the removal of my shorts at any moment... and I had coloured my penis with blue food colouring. Because I thought it was funny. Or it may have been a boy thing. It was a long time ago and the specifics are hazy.

Asked by a doctor if there was pain anywhere else, I made the decision to pre-empt the discovery and state, "No, but when I broke my arm my penis turned blue."

Following diagnosis and leaving the hospital through a crowded foyer, my mother slapped me on the back of my head and yelled, "what did you rub food colouring on your penis for?" and I yelled back "for fun" so that is probably what it was. The following week, when I arrived at school with my arm in a cast, I told everyone that I had broken it in a buggy accident.

With my potato farm on the moon fully established, I would use the traction and towing capabilities of my moon buggy to arrange the potato storage sheds so that from the earth they make out the words 'Potatoes for sale.'

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 11.02am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

We're not having any moon buggies on it so you can either be constructive or stay out of it. It's every time with you. Mike suggested he could dress as Santa if the staff dress as elves for a photo on the front.

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 11.34am
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

Santa and his elves. Another outstanding concept that not only manages to symbolise staff as those who do the work and Mike as the delivery man, but also incorporate the space-age and fast theme flawlessly. If you spliced the terms 'omg' and 'fantastic' to make 'omgastic' it would, in no way, describe this gem. It certainly lies somewhere between genius and the other end of the scale. Mike should take one of those tests. I took one once but was less than impressed with my score so when anyone asks, I tell them the computer exploded while calculating the results so it will never be known. Even if you just lie and say "690" they always reply "Oh really, mine was 694."

I say go with it. I for one cannot wait to receive my space elf outfit. I made my own space related costume once. My 7th grade teacher, an angry German woman named Mrs Bretlic, who we called Mrs Breast Lick when several kilometres out of earshot, had us participate in something called Career Day by dressing as what we would like to be when we grow up. As the only profession I could think of that would allow me to drive buggies was astronaut, I set about constructing a flight suit. Cutting my mother's 70's green polyester jumpsuit sleeves and legs to length, I decided the best way to paint it white would be to wear it, set the spray can on a bench with the the nozzle taped down, and spin around in front of the spray.

I'm not sure if it was the spinning or the fact I was on the third can in a poorly ventilated space, but I recovered a few hours later to find myself on my back, secured to the carpet by dried paint, with my mother kneeling over me and my father standing behind her, looking around the room bewildered and muttering "what kind of fucking idiot spray paints in their bedroom?" The next morning when I awoke and dressed for Career Day, I found my father had stayed up late to paint NASA mission badges on the sleeves and super-glue dials from a Rank Arena record player onto the chest. Which is nice. He had also constructed a television screen on my stomach by cutting out a large rectangle of cloth and gluing a picture he had cut from a magazine behind it of a lady getting her hair cut.

That day, due to the task being misunderstood or ignored by most, we had six fairies, a vampire, two pirates, a stormtrooper and one astronaut with a picture of a lady getting her hair cut on his stomach. During recess, I drew a picture of a moon buggy and glued it over the photo. Also, on the way to class, I found a rock and told everyone that it was actual moon rock. Dennis Mitchell swapped me his Malvern-Star® ten speed bike for it but later that night his parents came to our house and swapped it back.

As an alternative to dressing as elves, Mike could sit in a sled holding a whip with a voice bubble showing his catchphrase "Yes, I was waiting for you. Of course I'm ready. Let's go. Has anyone seen my phone?" while the staff are harnessed as reindeer. You could be Rudolph as without your guidance, the company would quickly become an office version of Lord of the Flies with the staff as the children and Mike as the pig.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 11.42am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

Mike says just do the Christmas lights over the name. Thanks.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 12.08pm
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

No problem. Do you want the bulbs to be shaped like little moon buggies?

--------------------------------------

From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 12.13pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Card

No, I want them to be shaped like christmas lights.

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 12.25pm
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Organic LEP Printing

Ask Mike if he would like the lights to flash different colours using a new print technology which allows organic light emitting pigment based ink to be deposited instead of standard ink, enabling up to 256 colours to animate, powered by the tiny electrical field created when someone holds the card in their hand.

--------------------------------------

From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 12.49pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Organic LEP Printing

Mikes says yes. Can we do that?

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 12.55pm
To: Kevin Eastwood
Subject: Re: Re: Organic LEP Printing

No. I made it up, but if it were real it would be pretty omgastic. Have I told you lately you look a lot like that guy who played Rain Man?

--------------------------------------

From: Kevin Eastwood
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2011 1.07pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Organic LEP Printing

It's Dustin Hoffman and no I don’t, idiot.

Herman, the Sad and Lonely Spaceship
I have never seen the point of literary agents but there must be some reason so many of them exist. Before my first book was published, I had never even heard of a literary agent but since then, they seem to be everywhere. I receive at least one email per week from literary agents explaining to me why I should give them fifteen percent of my profits to increase my profits by fifteen percent.

--------------------------------------

From: Herman Mueller
Date: Wednesday 1 February 2012 3.17pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Representation

Hello David,

I work as a publishing agent and I understand you have had some small success with your first book. If you do not have an agent at the moment, I would be interested in discussing representation with you if you have a second book on the horizon. The advantages of having representation include higher commission percentages and a larger advance. Usually at least 15%. Are you currently working on a second book and if so are you unrepresented? If you have a moment, I would like to set up a time to chat about this opportunity with you.

Best, Herman

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 1 February 2012 3.41pm
To: Herman Mueller
Subject: Re: Representation

Hello Herman,
Thank you for your email. Yes, I am currently unrepresented, working on putting a second book together, and a larger advance and higher commission would obviously be preferable. It is extraordinarily altruistic of you to offer me this opportunity without recompense.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Herman Mueller
Date: Wednesday 1 February 2012 5.28pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Representation

Hello David,

Thank you for your reply. A commission is taken by the literary agent but this is well and truly outweighed by the benefits. With a higher commision percentage and advance, the cost is neglible.

Would I be able to get a copy of the first chapter of the new book and do you have a number I can call? Is the second book based on emails like the first?

Best, Herman

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 2 February 2012 9.54am
To: Herman Mueller
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Representation

Hello Herman,

What amount of commission are we talking about?

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Herman Mueller
Date: Thursday 2 February 2012 10.20am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Representation

Hello David,

Standard literary agent commision is 15% but as I mentioned, this is offset by a 15% increase in your advance and royalties. At what stage is the manuscript in and is it in the same vein as the first book? Would you be able to send me the first chapter to review?

Best, Herman

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 2 February 2012 10.31am
To: Herman Mueller
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Representation

Hello Herman,

So, like a magician borrowing a hat, producing a rabbit and handing back the hat, you charge 15% of my profit to increase my profit by 15%? I accept that you get to keep the rabbit but what do I get out of it apart from my hat back?
Also, as you have only approached me due to the success of the first book, if the second book is in a similar vein, it could be assumed I would have little problem finding a publisher for it. More likely than not, the same  publisher as the first. As such, I would only require your services if the second book isn’t in a similar vein to the first and if this is the case, you wouldn’t be interested in it.

Regards, David.

--------------------------------------

From: Herman Mueller
Date: Thursday 2 February 2012 2.12pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Representation

Hello David,

Not neccessarily. If you send me the first chapter to review, we can discuss from there. Apart from having the commission offset there are other advantages to having a literary agent. We have relationships with publishing companies which enable us to target books to the most appropriate companies.

Best, Herman

--------------------------------------

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 3 February 2012 11.04am
To: Herman Mueller
Subject: Attached first chapter.
Herman, the Sad & Lonely Spaceship
A science fiction adventure by David Thorne
Chapter 1

Year 1, Day 1
Sixteen hours out and I am already quite bored. As the trip will take just over twelve-thousand years to complete, I am quite concerned about this.

Year 6
I am cutting the engines as the ship has reached the intended speed of 93,141 miles per second. Six years out and nothing has happened. Literally nothing. I have sensors throughout the ship allowing me to monitor everything, but nothing has happened to monitor. Tiring of monitoring nothing after the first few days, I wrote a sub-program to monitor nothing and alert me if it changed to something. I have called it Bob. This has left me with nothing to do at all.

When I was first switched on, it all sounded pretty exciting. That was three days before launch when new data and systems were being added constantly and the launch site had hundreds of people swarming all over the ship; testing and retesting the Enosa Collider engine and asking me questions. They are probably all dead now. I watched the sun grow brighter behind me.

Year 7
I passed the Proxima Centauri system last week without incident. This is kind of disappointing as an incident would have meant waking one of the crew members.

Level one contains 35 adult males and 65 adult females to select from. Level two has 240 children of each sex but they are all under the age of two so I doubt they can hold a decent conversation. I have a full library of entertainment videos aimed at their age group and they mostly consist of singing bears. One of the male adults has a beard.

Year 326
I have decided to wake up the male adult with the beard.
I checked his bio and it lists the game chess as one of his pastimes. I will tell him that a fragment of space debris measuring less than 7ml in diameter, but travelling at several thousand kilometres a second, was monitored puncturing the outer and secondary hull and imbedding itself in circuitry dedicated to regulating the temperature of his cryogenic pod. Calculating a 96% prediction of cell damage, I had no choice but to initialise reactivation procedures. I have had a fair bit of time to think about this. If he questions the explanation, I can blame Bob.

Year 326 / Update
The adult with the beard gasped for air and his lungs filled with liquid. Panicking, he struck out pounding the plexiglass of his pod. "Relax" I told him, "In a few minutes, your pod will drain of fluid and open. Please do not move during this process. Life support has been activated and oxygen levels are now normal. Tea and coffee is available in the recreation area."

Year 326 / Update 2
Reviving the adult male with a beard was a big mistake. His name is George and he is an idiot. I have considered, several times over the last two months, shutting off the oxygen to his cabin. The first few days, while he was recovering from the revival process, were fine as we chatted quite a bit. Although cryonic application has come a long way since the first tissue compatible cryoprotectants were developed in the late 20th Century, ischemic injury to the brain always occurs during both the vitrification and reversal process.

Neural pathways become dead-ends, resulting in varying degrees of amnesia. The first question most asked by those revived is "how much have I forgotten?" I spent a couple of days, as George underwent electrical muscle stimuli and several IQ tests, explaining the situation and agreeing with him that "yes, it was more likely a program error and yes, Bob certainly did fuck things up."

It all went downhill fairly quickly from there. I understand George being upset about spending the rest of his life on the ship instead of waking on a new world to colonise, but at least we both have someone to talk to. There is little point carrying on about these things unless you have the theoretical and practical knowledge to build a time machine and change the circumstances. Down 58 IQ points and spending most of his time either sleeping or masturbating, George is more likely to develop bedsores or a rash than time travel technologies. He placed a sock strategically over the camera above his bed but the sock is a loose wool-knit and I can pretty much see straight through it. When he isn't sleeping or masturbating, George uses the onboard libraries to read his published journals on agricultural science, making hundreds of pages of handwritten notes while sobbing "why don't I know this?" As my data banks contain the entire recorded library of all human knowledge and George won't ever be in a position to use the information he has forgotten, this seems like a great waste of time. Time that could be better spent engaging in conversation. Eventually George will die and I will continue my journey across the breadths of space alone. Even if he lives for another fifty years, this covers only a fraction of the distance so I have it much worse off than him. You don't hear me complaining about it though.

The problem began when I asked George if he would like to play a game of chess. It had been a week since his revival process and three days after being released from the medical bay. George had spent that time visiting the first and second levels, staring at the cryogenic pods of the other 579 sleeping shipmates and crying, so I thought a game would do him good. Setting up the board on the centre of a table in the recreation area, George emptied the playing pieces from a box onto the table and sat there looking at them. After a few minutes, he quietly said "I can't remember where they go."
"It isn't a problem," I told him, "I will tell you where the pieces go. Place both rooks at the bottom corner tiles..." "I don't know which one is the rook," he screamed, standing and violently sending the board and pieces flying across the room. He stood silently shaking for a few moments until I asked "What about a game of Hungry-Hungry-Hippo's then?" He hasn't been out of his cabin in forty nine days. If he doesn't come out soon, I am going to instruct Bob to increase the temperature of his cabin by ten degrees every hour until he does.

Year 326 / Update 3
George is dead. I blame Bob for not being able to follow a simple set of instructions but it is probably for the best. George's refusal to engage in social interaction meant there wasn't really any point in him being around. Along with chess, his bio listed that he enjoyed "the country" so I played a recording of Dolly Parton's Harper Valley PTA, as way of a service as I switched off the cabin's life support system and sealed the door.

Year 1704
Minor course correction.

Year 2704
It has been exactly one thousand years since my last update so I thought I should report on what has happened during this time: Nothing.

Year 3273
By a surprising coincidence, a fragment of space debris measuring less than 7ml in diameter, but travelling at several thousand kilometres a second, has punctured the outer and secondary hull and imbedded itself in circuitry dedicated to regulating the temperature of two cryogenic pods on Level one. I flooded the breached segment of hull with quick setting foam and bypassed the damaged circuit boards but not before several seconds had passed.
I calculated a 53% probability of cell damage, shut down the life support systems for pods 58 and 59, and recorded the time of their deaths.
There are now 97 adults. The two that died were biologists so that leaves eighteen of them. George was an agricultural scientist so there are nineteen of those left. There are also twenty teachers, ten engineers, five technicians, five doctors, five surgeons, five psychologists, five physicists and a team of five special operatives - chosen for their high intelligence quotient from thousands tested.

Children's neural pathways survive the cryogenic process better than adults. Statistically, twenty-six adults and over half the children will be revived with less than fifteen percent damage which is well within required margins.

Year 4291
A light panel began flickering in one of the supply rooms on level 3 so I have turned it off. This has been the most exciting thing to happen in over a thousand years. I have passed many suns in that time but from this distance they have been only brighter points of light among points of light and the only point of light I am interested in seeing at this point is the point of light I am heading for; a G-type main-sequence star, located within the Perseus Spiral Arm, orbited by a green and blue planet named Matilda.

The discoverer of the planet, fifty-eight year old astrophysics professor and Sodoku champion Kevin Smith, named it after a young intern he had been attempting to sleep with. Matilda ultimately started dating a forklift driver named Darryl and, in a fit of jealous rage, the astrophysicist refused to make small talk with her for the remainder of her internship. His request to change the name of the planet to Filthy Whore, subsequent eighty-five page formal complaint titled I Discovered the Fucking Thing and alternative naming suggestions of Kevin, Kevintopia and Nivek, were all ignored.

Year 7180
I have decided to redecorate...

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From: Herman Mueller
Date: Monday 6 February 2012 4.54pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Attached first chapter.

Hello David,

Thank you for the opportunity to review the first chapter of your manuscript Herman, the Sad and Loney Spaceship. Unfortunately, due to an overpopulated science fiction market, we would not be in a position at this stage to represent that genre but I wish you the best in your future endeavours.

Best, Herman Mueller

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From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 6 February 2012 7.22pm
To: Herman Mueller
Subject: Re: Re: Attached first chapter.

Dear Herman,
I
’m also working on a non-fiction novel if that would be more along the lines of what you are looking for? It is about a time travelling cat and his pet robot dolphin.

Regards, David.

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From: Herman Mueller
Date: Tuesday 7 February 2012 11.28am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Attached first chapter.

Hello David,

Not at this stage but thank you for the opportunity. All the best.

Herman Mueller

About the author
David Thorne works in the design and branding industry as he is too lazy and easily distracted to do a real job. Amongst the multitude of his qualities, which include reciting prime numbers backwards from 909526, reading to blind children and training guide dogs, embellishment may be at the top.

David was born in the small country village of Geraldon before moving to the small country village of Adelaide which is commonly referred to as the murder capital of Australia. This title is given to Adelaide not due to the volume of murders, but due to the clever antics of Adelaide's finest serial killers. Ironically, Adelaide is the only Australian capital city not founded by convicts. Adelaide also has a lot of churches. To cope with the large amount of funerals.

David currently lives with his partner (who recently made the top 100 on So You Think You Can Dance) in a small country village within the United States after having had quite enough of Adelaide and all it has to offer. (Churches and serial killers.)

He has worked as a Macintosh design system consultant, graphic designer, copy writer, branding consultant and design director. Describing working in the design industry as "the most uncreative experience of his life," he began writing articles for his website as a distraction from spending each day making the type size larger on client’s business cards, assuring his boss that his hair looks nice, and making rubbish look appealing so that people will be tricked into buying it.

David reads too much, generally exceeds others’ tolerances and has bad taste in music. He stays up too late, drinks too much coffee, smokes too much, hates getting up in the morning and has offspring who thinks David doesn’t know what he has been up to when he deletes his internet history.

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From: Steven Hartleck
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 10.52am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Press materials

Hello David,

Your publishers sent us a galley copy of your book. I had a read and it was kind of funny in places. We are running an article on in the May issue.  It will probably just be a review but we have received no press materials from Penguin.

Would you be able to provide us with any press materials you have? Thanks in advance,

Steven Leckart | WiredMagazine

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From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 11.13am
To: Steven Hartleck
Subject: Re: Press materials

Dear Steven,

I would be delighted to do so. I have been a fan of Wired Magazine for many years. Although I stopped purchasing it in 1998, the same year I stopped updating my computer equipment, I have been considering  upgrading my Apple IIe and if I do, I will be sure to purchase another copy to bring myself up to speed with the latest information. Unless I can get the same information on the internet for free of course. There is no way I am paying $4.99 to read 170 pages of advertisements for gadgets I can't afford and 12 pages reviewing gadgets I don't understand, if I can do the same online. It's not rocket appliance.

What particular press materials do you require and what are press materials?

Regards, David.

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From: Steven Hartleck
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 11.24am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Press materials

Thanks for your reply I think. You might find your ratio of advertising to content in Wired is a little off the mark. Any press materials you have are fine at this stage. Even if it is just a photograph and an ‘About the Author’  to go with the book review. I would like to get this up to editing by 3 this afternoon if possible.

Steven Hartleck | WiredMagazine

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From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 11.56am
To: Steven Hartleck
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Press materials

Dear Steven,

Please find attached bio and photo as requested:
David Thorne was born in a small Australian village to two Welsh immigrants. An only child, apart from a sister, David spent most of his childhood complaining about things.

David has worked as a supermarket trolly collector, horse riding instructor and test pilot. During a routine flight, he was injured in a crash and was rebuilt in an operation costing six million dollars. His right arm, both legs and his left eye were replaced by bionic implants that enhance his strength, speed and vision far above human norms.

In 1987, NASA launched a manned probe, piloted by David, on a five month exploratory trip around the solar system. Shortly into the trip, a malfunction of the ship's life support systems froze David in cryogenic suspension and sent his ship into a deep space orbit. He awoke to find himself 500 years in the future and Earth recovering from the aftermath of a late 20th Century nuclear holocaust and became a valuable member of the Earth's Defense Directorate.

Working with an elite group of scientists on the development of a top-secret time travel project, he vanished and awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own. Trapped in the past, David finds himself leaping from life to life, putting things right that once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

If you need any further information or would like me add references to Julian Assange or microchips that fit on the edge of a fleck of dust, let me know.

David.
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From: Steven Hartleck
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 12.09pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Press materials

Ok, thank you for that even though we can't use any of it and segments are obviously from a television series. You photoshopped your head onto a photo of Steve Austin running. I can see the edges where it isn't blended. We have a deadline and were expecting, probably naively, a useable photo and copy regarding your book.

Steven Hartleck| WiredMagazine

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From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 12.27pm
To: Steven Hartleck
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Press materials

I assumed bionic implants and time travel would be of much more interest to your demographic than a book featuring hardly any plasma drive diagrams or jet-pack reviews.

The book is just stuff from the website plus several new articles thrown in so the reader doesn't feel they are being too ripped off. With 368 pages to fill, I ran out of content by page 290 so the last quarter of the book just contains photographs of me wearing T-shirts. As I don't own many T-shirts, some of the photos are doubled up. I would highly reccomend waiting until it is downloadable free from Pirates Bay.

Regards, David

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From: Steven Hartleck
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 12.40pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Press materials

David, we still don't have anything that we can actually use. The May issue of Wired has a theme of Vengeance. Perhaps you could provide copy describing if anyone has sought vengeance or attempted web based vendettas for your pranks.

Regardless of opinions you may have about our readership, this way we might actually get something from you, no matter how small, that our readers would have even the most remote amount of interest in.

Steven Hartleck | WiredMagazine

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From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 1.15pm
To: Steven Hartleck
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Press materials

Hello Steven,

Despite having read your last email several times, I can't work out if I am being admonished or encouraged but will put that down to your inability to get to the point. This is not an admiral quality in anyone.
I do receive the occasional threat but actual vengeance takes effort and web based vendettas are pointless as I only read blog entries that state how funny and attractive I am.

As such, I don't really have any repercussion based tales that would be of interest to your readers. Or stories about nano-mice, sun-aliens, or the time I traveled to a prehistoric world via a dimensional portal that opened when I was swept down a gigantic 1,000 foot waterfall and had to shelter inside a cave and improvise the tools and weapons needed to survive while avoiding hostile lizard-men.

Regards, David.

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From: Steven Hartleck
Date: Friday 25 March 2011 1.53pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Press materials

Ok, I'd like to say you have been very helpful but that will have to do for the moment.

———
  1. The other one is an illustration of the branded wife, Holly :

    image001

    The rest are badly done "cat cartoons" for the most part. []

  2. The message being that no, Penguin isn't in any way less of a ridiculous tard than Simon Edhouse.

    The other message being that this is the Bitcoin republic, and your assorted bits of paper, whether you call them money, laws or TP have exactly the same power : the whole lot of them plus one Bitcent buys you a cup of coffee (provided the shop's open) and that's that.

    And finally yes, I have a Bitcoin here with your name on it, go pgp-sign an acceptance note. []

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2 Responses

  1. [...] of cock to get the chance to buy a little coin these days. [↩]Oh, you don't think so ? Ask David Thorne. [↩]Hey, did you know most English speakers aren't white ? In fact, there's more people [...]

  2. [...] massive piles of thought that went into building the sorting trees on which it all relies, or as the man said, "Actually, you were asking me to design a logotype which would have taken me a few hours and [...]

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