Sludge Town



Rubbish sweeties:

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I learned yesterday that my mum used to have a friend who claimed to have a pet stick insect. She actually just had a jar of twigs and sticks, but people claimed they could see the stick insect.

It's a shame she and my mum stopped being friends (because my dad cheated on my mum with her twice), because that kind of chaotic dumbassery is always welcome in my life.

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Inanimate objects crying makes me deeply uncomfortable. I feel sadder and uneasier than when seeing a crying person. If you drew a sadface on, say, a paper cup - I'd feel sorry for it. And then I'd be made uncomfortable by the fact that I feel sorry for a paper cup.

I think part of the problem is that if you see a sad person you know they will be okay in a bit (or if they won't, they won't be sad forever). But if you draw a sadface on a paper cup, it is sad forever. Every time I look at that paper cup, it's sad, and it's never going to feel better.

One of Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons depicts two dogs playing swingball with a cat in place of the ball. The cartoon was captioned 'Tethercat'. Larson got a lot of backlash about it, and he hypothesises that the reason people complained about Tethercat and not, say, Tom and Jerry is that Tom can flatten or explode Jerry and in 3 seconds Jerry will be back to normal and dropping anvils on Tom. But those two dogs are playing Tethercat forever. You can look at the cartoon again after several hours and yup, still playing Tethercat. Larson joked that he ought to have added a disclaimer to the cartoon saying '5 seconds later, the cat returned with a bazooka and blew the dogs away'.

So if you're going to draw a sadface on a paper cup and show it to me, you'd better be prepared to make me an animation of the paper cup cheering up afterwards.

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Packed day yesterday - went to the Great Con-Junction (a Dark Crystal convention) at Elstree Studios, followed by Sabaton at Wembley Arena in the evening.

The con was a big letdown considering the entry fee (over £100!). It had heart, to be sure, but it was just pish. Everything apart from the buffet took place in just one room, so the noise from people getting autographs and selfies made it hard to hear the panels.
Attendees were to receive a goody bag containing a signed print signed by Brian Froud. The goody bag turned out to be just the print - no other goodies, or indeed a bag. The print was also bigger than A4 and distributed flat, so I had no sensible way to transport it. The merchandise shop was just Funko figurines and the Dark Crystal novelisations; nothing unique to the con at all. The promised 'exhibits and displays' were just some production photos on the walls. I'd expected a little pop-up museum of props and costumes and that.

The buffet had perfectly adequate food (and some absolutely amazing giant sculpted cakes!), but there was nowhere to sit down, no cutlery, only paper plates, and the tables were probably too tall for wheelchair users. There was also nowhere to dispose of used plates and napkins, and nowhere obvious to put dirty cups and saucers. Bad show.

Sabaton, on the other hand, was absolutely amazing! I'm still in shock.
Getting into Wembley Arena itself was a shitshow. I showed my Ticketmaster app (showing that I had a box office pickup ticket) to a security checker, and was told to join the queue to get inside. The box office must be inside then? No, when I got to the head of the queue I was directed to the outdoor entrance of the box office. I hadn't noticed it before because its signage was unilluminated. I then got to the head of the queue at the box office, and was directed to 'that window over there' accompanied by vague gesturing. I went to the nearest window, and was directed to the next one over. Finally, I got my tickets - only to find they were for someone else. No they weren't; I'd been re-assigned, because the section for which I'd originally booked tickets had been closed off for some reason. Aaargh. (It would have been nice if they'd put a sign up saying something like "If you booked tickets to section S, your new tickets will be for section N". Ho hum, pig's bum.)

After the letdown of the Con-Junction and the faff of getting into the arena, plus being hangry, I had a right grump-on. (Having to pay £9.75 for a burg didn't much help to alleviate this.) Luckily, support bands Amaranth and Apocalyptica turned out to be fun live acts and they were clearly delighted to be there. Sabaton itself is a brilliant live band, having fun on stage and engaging with the audience a lot, and the size of the venue meant that they could deliver an even better show than the last time I saw them at Brixton Academy. The pyrotechnics were bonkers, and so was the stage decoration - who could say no to a drum kit atop a flamethrowing replica tank?!

Then I had to spend most of Sunday asleep to recover. That's autism for you.

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