Monthly Archives: September 2007

Day 29: Bring On The Puns

Anyone who was reading my blog back in April 2006 may remember an epic punning competition I had with my best friend, Biddy, about pigs (scroll down the page and you’ll find it).

I love punning; it brings me joy and I have never been beaten. (Don’t let Biddy tell you different, either.) My greatest punning contests seem to have been about farm animals – pigs, horses, cows – but yesterday I embarked on one with SFX’s Nick Setchfield on the subject of hanging, of all things.

The origin of this particular pun competition is a little complicated to explain, so I’ll just throw you in at the very first pun and leave it at that. Rather interestingly, you’ll also spot that we each gave up at one point but the lure of the terrible pun was just too strong to resist…

So, without any further ado, I present to you:


Jayne: You’d better not – ahem – stick your neck out.
Nick: “And here is the noose…”
Jayne: Now you’re just stringing it out.
Nick: Well, give me enough rope…
Jayne: Bored now. I give up.
Nick: Sorry, just my gallows humour.
Jayne: You’re swinging in the breeze now, mate.
Nick: That’s not even a phrase, but I appreciate the breakneck speed of your reply.
Jayne: Oh, I don’t hang around.
Nick: OK, I surrender.
Jayne: Give up? You must be choking.
Nick: I hope you’re not making idle throats.
Jayne: I’m just jerking around.
Nick: Well, don’t leave me dangling…
Jayne: No, I’m not going to drop it.
Nick: I would. They’re increasingly ropey.
Jayne: Oh boy. Your terrible puns are leaving me breathless.
Nick: I’d say we’re neck and neck.
Jayne: Yeah. Our punning is dead good.
Nick: Hang on…
Jayne: Cheater! I already used the word ‘hang’ in an earlier pun. You’re disqualified! I’m the winner! Probably a good job, too, because I was on my last gasp.
Nick: Hey, I thought “dead good” was pushing it somewhat… it’s a draw! Or knot.
Jayne: Sheesh. Let it go. I got the drop on you hours ago.
Nick: I’m not falling for that one.
Jayne: Come on, give it up. I have you in a stranglehold!
Nick: Come on, give it up. I have you in a stranglehold!
Nick: Snap!!
Jayne: This has been going on too long now. My brain is starting to asphyxiate.
Nick: Well, I’m at full throttle.
Jayne: There’s noose-stopping me, either.
Nick: It’s all in the execution.
Jayne: Your puns are getting (scaff)old now.
Nick: A definite shortfall in quality with that one.
Jayne: Yes. I’m starting to feel as if we’re stuck in a loop.
Nick: That’s a (ga)rotten one.
Jayne: True. You had to (neck)brace yourself for it.
Nick: OK. This is the police. Put down your puns. PUT DOWN YOUR PUNS!
Jayne: So I’m officially the winner? I WIN AT PUNNING! WOOHOO!
Nick: No, you’re not the winner. I just couldn’t go on beating you.
Jayne: I was about to say you were a worthy opponent, but I take that back. Who had the last pun, eh? Eh? Eh? It was me! I won by a neck!
Nick: Hm. The panel has deliberated and found that “by a neck” is suspiciously similar to “we’re neck and neck.” So Setchfield wins by default.
Jayne: Funny how whenever I’ve punned with women, they’ve always graciously given in. Funny how the first time I pun with a man, he refuses to concede defeat, despite the fact he was the first participant to re-use a pun AND the one who gave up in the end.
Nick: Damn those jungle instincts! Get back in the cave and make me some tea!
Jayne: ug ug ug* (*get knotted)
Nick: You win. *weeps* You win.

I am the reigning Pun Champion!

I thank you.



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Day 27: The Attenborough Years

In answer to a couple of comments on my last entry…

Yes, I saw the Jonathan Ross documentary on Steve Ditko and I loved it, especially the sight of Jonathan and Neil Gaiman giggling like schoolkids outside Ditko’s office at the end. Hilarious! They’re both so famous themselves and, especially in Neil’s case, have a huge following, and seeing them reduced to fanboy squealing (“He gave us comics!”) was a joy. What a great programme.

And I’m still reeling from the thought of Jeffrey Dean Morgan possibly wearing a leather codpiece in Watchmen. It’s been months and I am, as yet, unable to believe it’ll really happen. If they change his costume I’m going to be seriously miffed…

Meanwhile, I’m still stuck in the house, currently cat-less (though I’m sure it won’t be long now) and inundated with work. Today I wrote 2,000 words and have another 3,000 to write by Monday. It’s marvellous to be busy, because not only am I (just about!) making up for not being able to get into an office to work, but I’m able to take my mind off being housebound. That said, I keep gazing wistfully out of my window at the planes heading to and from Heathrow Airport, and if I’m lucky enough to get fixed by Christmas – which isn’t looking likely, but who knows – I’m bloody spending it in New York. I’ve never been and oh my god wouldn’t it be the best way to celebrate my new freedom?

In fact, I’m going to go to Times Square and yell “Hello New York!” like Hiro in Heroes.

Yup. It’s a date. Watch this space…

I also treated myself to the ENTIRE David Attenborough back catalogue on DVD, although I probably shouldn’t have, but the call of the wild was too strong. Now I have every major show he’s ever done, from Life On Earth to Planet Earth, and I’m expecting to know a rather impressive amount of random crap about animals very soon. Once I’ve watched them all, you can ask me anything. Go on! I’ll know the answer! I’ve already watched the first episode of Life On Earth and I now know that there are no fossils at the bottom of the Grand Canyon (where the rocks are two thousand million years old) but there are on the shores of Lake Superior, where the rocks are the same age but are flinty, not sandstoney, and therefore hold the fossils better – and that the fossils in question are responsible for providing our planet with oxygen.


Wonder what I’ll learn in episode two?


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Day 23: Same Old, Same Old

I haven’t been posting much recently, for obvious reasons: I’m stuck in the house and there’s bugger-all going on.

I could write about my work (proofing, fact-checking, reviewing) or my reading (Watchmen rocked my world) or my TV-viewing (I’m not sure I’m going to watch season three of Prison Break, because after finishing season two I was starting to feel quite ill from all the tension). But, frankly, none of that’s very interesting.

I could also write about the cats I’ve been fostering. This is the lovely Tux…

… who found a new home last night, although he hid when his new family came to pick him up. Can you spot him?

I won’t write about him, though, because I’m becoming a cat bore.

Which leaves… well, nothing really. I can’t even talk about the weather because I’ve not been outside to experience it. I think I should give up on this post and come back when I’ve got something to discuss.

So I will.


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Day Fifteen: In Which The Cat Returns (not Mal, alas) And The Prisoners Run

Still no word on my surgery; my doctor is chasing up the appointment like… um… a doctor chasing up an appointment. Go doctor!

In the meantime I’m still stuck indoors. Thankfully I’m not quite stir crazy yet, even after over two weeks. I did manage to escape to the cinema a few days ago using copious amounts of buses and benches along the way: even so, I was in severe pain on the way home. However, it was worth it because I’d missed the press screening of The Bourne Ultimatum a while back and was thinking I’d have to see it on DVD (which isn’t quite the same).

And you know what? I may never recover from the sight of JASON BOURNE standing in WH Smiths at Waterloo Station. Or seeing MATT DAMON standing by the platform I’ve used for three years to get to and from work. It’s like something fictional has become real, entering our world. Loved it! (Although a word to the wise: never eat a monster bag of Skittles while watching a film shot entirely on hand-held camera. Half the reason I felt so bad on the journey home involved my swirly tummy…)

The kittens were rehomed a week ago and saying goodbye wasn’t half as bad as I expected. The family they went to were so lovely I was actually quite thrilled for them, although their new names – Wafer and Rat – gave me pause for thought. I do miss having them scampering about, though, and begged the animal rescue peeps for another cat, which they duly provided. Bizarrely, I only had the RIDICULOUSLY FAT Sox (renamed Hippo by me, after my legs went dead as she sat on my lap) for one night before the owner called me in floods of tears, desperate to get her back, and saying that her son would just have to live with his cat-aggravated asthma.

Cat owners are strange.

Anyway, I should have a new kitty soon. This fostering lark is a revolving door of feline fun!

Due to my being-stuck-in-the-house-ness, I have no other exciting news, other than a list of all the things I’ve watched on DVD since my forced imprisonment. So, for your entertainment, here it is:

1) Copious episodes of a show called The Collector (see my next SFX column for details).
2) A film named The Proposition starring Ray Winstone and Guy Pearce (utterly transfixing).
3) Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (utterly beautiful, if a little disappointing towards the end).
4) Dreamgirls (utterly forgettable, apart from Jennifer Hudson’s Oscar-winning performance – although that Oscar really should have gone to Adriana Barraza for Babel).
5) The first episode of Dexter (which I fear I shall become utterly addicted to).
6) The entire first series of The IT Crowd (for the second time) and its six hours of commentaries.
7) Very nearly the entire second season of Prison Break, which has been giving me hugely vivid dreams of being on the run and having the police on my tail (or even hordes of zombies – yeeuch). I don’t mind the dreams, though, because Dominic Purcell spends a considerable amount of season two looking sweaty with his shirt undone. If only my subconscious would conjure him up to keep me warm at night. He’d fight the zombies for me…

As though all this wasn’t enough, I still have a phenomenal amount of stuff left to get through, including the rental DVDs being sent to me by Amazon (today’s arrival: Slither) and my two R1 box sets of Heroes season one and Supernatural season two. And did I mention all the reading? Everything from Watchmen (because I last read it ten years ago) to Neverwhere to Michael Palin’s diaries. I’ve got work to do, too – quite a lot of it, in fact.

I don’t really have time to be bored.

Right, I have seven episodes of Prison Break left before the new season begins. Better get cracking…


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Day Eight: Are They Having A Laugh?

Well, I’m not sure what Charing Cross Hospital are trying to tell me… but rather than sending me an appointment for spinal surgery, today I received an appointment for brain surgery.

Unless they intend to reach my poorly disc by running a scalpel down the inside of my spine from my brain… I think they fucked up.

Made me laugh though. I’m sure my doctor will sort them out on Monday!

I’m now on my eighth day of being confined to my house and am happy to say that it’s not half as bad as I was expecting. I thought I’d be bored, miserable and depressed. Instead I’ve been hugely busy working from home – it looks like that will keep up, too, which is wonderful – and I’ve had loads of visitors. And then there have been these guys to contend with:

I know they’ll be rehomed at some point, but until then it’s like having my own clown circus bouncing around the house. (Nice clowns, though, not freaky homicidal clowns like the one from Stephen King’s It.)

Last night I watched Top Gun for the very first time (yeah, I know) with kittens snuggled under my chin, purring, and occasionally pouncing on the planes on the TV screen like they were birds. Adorable. Far more adorable than the film, though. I don’t get it – how come it made Tom Cruise a sex symbol? He’s about as sexy as the contents of the kittens’ litter tray!

The best bit was when The Cruiser jumped out of his plane at the end and the 6ft 4in Tim Robbins loomed up behind him and made him look about three feet tall. Ha! It took my breath away, it did.


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