Downtime Stories

Short stories for when you have time for a short story.

Code Names

A normal everyday story can be made a lot more exciting when people’s names are swapped out for code names.

I was talking to my friends Sam and Rob. I think they’re real cool guys, and I think they’re very funny. The other night we gave each other code names… Well Rob didn’t really, he was in bed because he’s in New York so the time difference meant when he woke up he had a code name, which in its own small way is quite an achievement.

He went to bed as a normal guy from NZ, trying to make his way in a big bad city, and woke up with a code name.

Anyway, to prove my point, first I’m going to tell a really normal, everyday story, and then I’m going to re-tell it with the code names, so we can see which one is more interesting.

Melbourne, August 2013 – A cold winter’s day

Rob Dickens and Sam Knowles approached Burke Street, walking past the various car parks, graffiti filled walls and cafes.

The morning haze was wet with mist that moistened Sam Knowles’ hair, his top knot hanging to the side.

They were on their way to meet David Toussaint at Kiss and Fly, the place they deemed the best coffee, within a reasonable walking distance to their office.

On their way Rob Dickens was telling a story about a girl he’d met over the weekend.

She had skin like milk that the Gods would drink, you know? You know when their skin is like that?”

Sam knew. He knew it well.

At that moment a guy from work that they didn’t like that much walked past. He got Rob stuck in a pretty boring conversation.

Sam was worried, it didn’t look like they were going to get their coffee any time soon, but then David arrived and said Hey, we’d better get our coffee now.

You know, just that usual Monday stuff.

Now, to make that boring Monday story a bit more interesting using code names. Last night we decided that our code names were:

Rob Dickens = Rip Dickens

Sam Knowles = Thor Hardcock

David Toussaint = Tyson Iron-Thighs

Melbourne, August 2013 – A cold winter’s day

Rip Dickens and Thor Hardcock approached Burke Street, walking past the various car parks, graffiti filled walls and cafes.

The morning haze wet with mist that moistened Hardcock’s hair, his top knot hanging to the side.

They were on their way to meet Tyson Iron-Thighs at Kiss and Fly, the place they deemed the best coffee, within a reasonable walking distance to their office.

On their way Rip Dickens was telling a story about a girl he’d met over the weekend.

She had skin like milk that the Gods would drink, you know? You know when their skin is like that?”

Thor knew. He knew it well.

At that moment the evil sewerage people of Melbourne ascended from their underground lairs. 50 of them, 7 ft tall with dark eyes holding metal pipes that they’d fashioned into weapons of death.

Rip Dickens and Thor Hardcock were surrounded. They started to fight their way out but there were too many of them. One grabbed Rip in a sleeper hold, he couldn’t breathe. Thor tried to make his way over to him, fighting off the sewer people as he went but they over powered him, it was over, they were going to die there alone, to be dragged down into the sewers and have their bodies used as sex vessels for the sewer people’s sick pleasure.

But no, just when they thought all hope was gone, Tyson Iron-Thighs flew in from the roof of a car park “Let go of my friends” he said, in that way that people say things in Hollywood, when the camera zooms into their face.

He fought them all off, they started fleeing. “Not so fast” he said in that Hollywood way, and totally did something cool and killed them all.

It was over, they were saved, and they went and got coffee and went back to work.

You know, just that usual Monday stuff.

See what I mean? Code names are cool. If you think you’re name is boring why not try a code name? Sign off an email to a colleague with it and you’ll see the difference.

Good luck everybody.

sewer

Just Add Chorizo

Now this might be difficult for some of you to understand because it’s quite a complex theory.

All I’ll say is if you don’t understand don’t worry.

So it’s a cook book. And it’s called Just Add Chorizo. Do you follow so far? Maybe I’m not explaining it right.

It’s got recipes,You know? Ingredients and things. All the components to make up a delicious meal just like normal. But not quite, here is where it gets interesting. At the end of every recipe, it says Just Add Chorizo. Probably in really bold, red pen. Maybe even circled or something. Nothing is finalised yet.

So picture this. You’re making something, and you’re nearly done, you’ve followed all the steps and you’re pretty excited. You wipe the sweat away from your brow and look for that final instruction from the book, and bam, there it is. Just Add Chorizo. So you do, you just fucking add it and boom, the meal is better than you could ever imagine.

I think it’s a good idea, because as we’re all aware, Chorizo is delicious. It takes your meal from a meal which has no Chorizo, to a meal that has Chorizo in it. You know? That’s the cool thing.

And the clever part, this is the part I like, and why I think it will sell. You know how clever things sell? The clever part is that the name of the book is Just Add Chorizo, and what you do with the recipes is Just Add Chorizo. Just add chorizo man.

And like a person eating something with Chorizo in it, the idea is unable to stop. I think it could be a television program. Or perhaps an internet television program, because people aren’t watching as much television you know? Maybe Netflix or something. And you have the audience, they’re sitting their in the studio watching the chef, but they’re confused because the room doesn’t smell like Chorizo yet, but it’s OK, because the chef adds the Chorizo last, just like in the book. And when he does it, the audience are relieved. Hugely relieved, and they all chant Just Add Chorizo and smile, and hug and high five, and they go home happy.

It’s nice. It’s a good thing.

Do you get it? Don’t worry if you don’t get it, you will eventually.

And if you don’t eat meat don’t worry either. Their is one for vegetarians too. It’s called just add Hummus, and it’s for vegetarians. But let’s focus on understanding the Chorizo one first.

Chorizo.

KGP_Recipe_Card

Hats

rainier-snowyriver

Hats.

You can tell a lot about a person by how impressive their hat collection is.

For me the larger the hat, the more impressive the person. I think if it’s so large that it becomes difficult for them to get through doors then they’ve basically won. Won what? Well they’ve won the hat game, the game of life.

I think if someone has their hat game sorted, one can infer that the rest of their life must be quite sorted too. Isn’t the hat the last thing you buy to complete an outfit? It’s the towel to a hitchhiker (Thank you Douglas). If someone has their hat game sorted it’s because the rest of their wardrobe is too. And if their wardrobe is, their job is. And if they’re together enough to get a job, then they’re together enough to fit into society.

The logic is there.

If someone came into a meeting with me at work, and had to be 15 minutes late because they couldn’t get through the door due to their large hat, then I would automatically submit to their demands. Like a dog bowing down to the alpha, the fact that I got to the meeting on time because my hat fits through the door means my opinion should count for less.

And this does not suggest that we should all go out and buy large hats and have competitions to not get through doors. This wouldn’t work. Society would crumble under the weight of all our hats. It would be chaos, cars crashing, people blowing away in the wind. It suggests we should just keep chipping away as we are, collecting hats as and when we deserve them, hoping to one day have the biggest hat in the hat store.

That’s what it’s all about really.

Notable people that have worn hats:

Pharell Williams: In 2014 notably baby faced singer songwriter Pharrell Williams was awarded a large hat for his years of dedication to the global music industry, and generally looking quite young for a 40 year old

The Man From Snowy River: The man from snowy river was known to wear quite a large hat which came in handy when trying to keep balanced when riding down steep mountains,.

The Queen of bloody England: The Queen of bloody England has been seen from time to time wearing a fancy hat with jewels on it, known as a crown in special situations, and is referred to as Late Lizzy because she simply can’t get through any doors.

Indiana Jones: Duh

For more information on hats, visit http://www.hats.com, or just ask a complete stranger.

Stop Animal Abuse

All throughout history there have been horrific cases of mankind’s cruelty to animals, but no category of animals has suffered more under man’s oppression than the noble, yet tragic Pokemon.

So much so that the popular tag line associated with these once free and majestic creatures is now “Gotta catch them all.”

However society has pushed forward, not only content with catching them anymore, but now making them fight, to do vicious battle against one another for man’s own gain.

The Oxford dictionary defines a Prison as a building to which people are legally committed as a punishment for a crime. If only Pokemon were so lucky. The modern day Pokemon would most likely see a prison, or even a building as a five star holiday compared to the small, spherical Pokeballs in which they are confined for more than 23 hours of the day. And for no crime other than being what they are.

Ethologists have made predictions that our treatment of the Pokemon will cause a fundamental shift in the species, perhaps causing irreversible effects that will more than likely lead to their extension. Yet nothing is being done.

A simple look into the nature of Pokemon shows us that they once lived in harmony, with Grass, Water & Fire Pokemon working collaboratively for the greater good of the whole species. Today however their numbers have more than halved, and their relationship now resembles more that of a United States maximum security prison yard, split by “type” and controlled by the will of others.

It’s unknown just who or what will bring about the change required to save this species, but we do know it requires a large cultural shift. Away from catching them, away from making them fight, and away from glorifying those most responsible for this, the famous trainers like Ash, Misty & Brock who have made their living and fortunes off this horrible practice.

And we need to do it before it’s too late.

sad-pikachu

Hi Hello yes, God?

Go for God

Hi Hello yes, God?

You got it

Oh really? It’s just that I’ve been on hold for a really long time I was about to hang up.

Sorry about that. It’s pretty busy you know? Especially on Sundays.

Yes I can imagine… That’s actually sort of why I’m calling. I’m feeling a bit existential

Big weekend pal?

Yes… It sort of got a bit out of hand. And it’s just, like, I’m going to be OK right? Like really OK? I’m not going to die or anything am I? I’ve felt a bit like I’m going to die today. Sort of like I can’t take a deep breath and that my body could just shut down at any second. It’s causing me a bit of anxiety actually.

Hey, guy, relax! You’re going to be fine. Well eventually you’re not going to be fine and you’re going to die, but not today. I don’t have you on my list for today, so take it easy my friend. 

Phew. I mean, I didn’t think so, really, but you never can be sure can you and jeez, it could just be the weekend I had but I was actually worried for a minute there. Silly of me!

Well yeah maybe a little bit silly of you, but seriously just take some time off the marching powder you know?  You know that stuff is no good for you, gets you all out of whack with the world. And the packet of noodles you had for dinner? That really didn’t do you any favours. Eat healthy this week exercise laugh more for fucks sake. We’ve got this… Just calm your farm a little you know? Settle your fish my special friend.

You’re right God. Thanks, I appreciate the time – really. And I’m not going to do anything big this weekend. Like you say, just settle my fish a little, maybe stay in, read a book, visit the country side or something?

Well… Do your best. All good my friend.. 10 out of 10 for effort, but try a little harder next weekend. Oh and just to let you know I’m off next Sunday so you might want to organize a different friend to check in on you. 

Toodles.

 god-04

Click.

Great Job David

I’m currently sitting in the British library about to write my first book. Well I’m actually in the cafeteria… They wouldn’t let me into the main section without registering, and I needed a bank statement with me to do that. And who the fuck carries bank statements around with them, except presumably bankers. That’s what bankers do right? Lucky bankers.

Other than the location, it’s all going very well. I’m about 400 words in, and while they’re not the best 400 words they are quite strong and are definitely on the right track. Not bad for my first try writing a book.

I think, at this rate it’s going to take me about 5 years to finish it, but I’ve given myself a bit of leeway and said I’ll have it done by 2020. I even emailed my friend Sam’s Dad who I recently told over a spot of lunch about the book, and that because he was listening to me talking about the book, that he would get a dedication. I let him know he might want to block that weekend out to gloat to all of his friends or some such thing.

The good thing about writing my book is that in 5 years when it gets famous and sells all the copies, I will have as much money as J.K Rowling.

And this is where the fun will begin.

When I have as much money as J.K Rowling, the first thing I’ll do is buy St Pancras railway station, and turn it into my own modern day castle. You hear lots of talk, amongst a certain type of people, about converted warehouses. Well I am going to convert a whole fucking train station. “A whole fucking train station? He’s mad”  they’ll say.

To which I will reply “I’m not mad, I’m just rich, which is much the same thing.” 

And if you’re lucky enough to have been to St Pancras, you may be thinking “Hey David, you know St Pancras isn’t a little hop on, hop off Station, it’s big. It’s really fucking big. It should be called St “fuck that’s big and impressive” Pancras.”

To which I will reply “Yes, but shut up, I’m rich, go an read my book again.”

Because the thing is, St Pancras is wonderful. Too wonderful in fact. Too wonderful to share. And that’s why I’m going to build a moat around it.

This may cost a little bit, but I think it will add on some extra value if I ever do decide to sell. I’m guessing when I’m rich I’ll care about things like extra value on resale of properties. Rich people are always talking about things like that.

The next thing I’ll do is declare war on Kings Cross station. It’s not that I have anything against Kings Coss station, it’s just that now I have a castle the next logical move is to declare war on something. Or so history tells me, and Kings Cross is a stones throw away.

My war will be merciless and swift, and no expense will be spared until victory and glory are with the St Pancreans, which is what we will be called.

Pending how the war goes, and how long it takes I think I’ll invest a significant amount of money in my friend Chris. He’s always coming up with great ideas like that time his McDonalds chicken nuggets got cold by the time he was home, so he deep friend them again, creating double deep fried chicken nuggets. Genius.

Or the other time he came up with the concept of food re-mixology, which is some kind of cooking show/ DJ set hybrid where you’re mixing music, and mixing food genres. Yeah, I’ll definitely invest in things like that. The sort of things others have decided not to invest in. I think those ideas are marvellous and have some legs.

I’d also like to buy a pirate ship, an island, and create a miniature city and spend the time my friends are at work, walking over it saying Godrilla, Godrilla in a Japanese accent. That’s when I’m not writing my long, long awaited sequel of course. And then when we’re all sitting at the pub after work talking about our hard days, I’ll be sitting there, in my Godrilla costume, mask off, just enjoying my hard earned beer.

Yes, that’s what I’ll do once I’ve finished my book.

Funnily enough I feel I’ve exuded quite enough productivity for the day, and have decided to leave the library cafeteria, and work on the book another day.

It’s time to meet everyone at the pub.

Great job David

godzilla54

Power Poles

This story is set to a song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg_dRAmSzvA

Listening? Ok Good.

I want you to imagine something for me.

You’re walking down a street in London. Not a main street like Oxford Street, one like Woburn place. It’s still busy, but it’s nothing like Oxford Street.

It’s the morning, before 9 and it’s raining. It’s not overly cold but you’ve got a jacket on and a scarf wrapped around your face, and you’re alert. You’re alert because you’re walking down a busy’ish street in London and you know that you have to walk well or you’ll be in the way.

You’re also listening to Ludovico Einaudi – Una Mattina on repeat. It complements the grey skies perfectly, and doesn’t entirely block out the sounds of the city. It’s all going to plan. You’re off to a good start.

You’re walking and you catch a glimpse of someone with all the right shapes, and all the right dress, and all the right hair, but someone’s head blocks her face.

You’re trying to look, but you’re also trying to walk well, and nothing should stop you walking well on a London street. It’s the most important thing.

At the exact moment the head blocking her face disappears, you both walk past a pole that again blocks her face from view, and as your head turns, you keep walking at the exact same pace as one another which means you’ll never see it. All you get is her body disappearing behind the pole, and coming out the other side with her hair then blocking her face.

You keep walking because it’s too late, but you get a funny feeling. Because I think they’re the people the world teases you with that would probably be the most beautiful and interesting people you’ll ever meet. But you’ll never meet them, because the guy’s head stopped you from making eye contact, and then the pole blocked you from smiling at each other, and you both go on with your days never knowing what was on the other side.

And it’s tragic. But it’s weirdly beautiful because it makes you think of all the people that are lucky enough to have not had their views blocked, and had their normal, grey London mornings propelled out of this world with a morning smile.

So you go to work, and you’re listening to Einaudi on repeat, and you go home and you do it all again tomorrow.

Super Power Support Group

Hi. I’m David and I can turn into a pigeon.

Hi David the group murmured in unison, half of them not even looking up.

So, as I was saying I have a super power. I can transform myself into a pigeon at will.

Now some of you might think this sounds good but it’s not. I don’t transform into a man/ pigeon hybrid or anything cool like that. I don’t have super human strength and the cool attributes of a pigeon, like the ability to fly, or smell food from really far away. That would be great.

No, I just turn into your average pigeon like the ones you probably avoid in the city. That’s why I still call myself David and not something cool like Pigeon Man, or the Great Pigeon Guy or something badass like that.

And like, yeah it’s cool being able to fly and everything, but what’s the point of flying when everyone you fly near hates you. The other day I was flying by the beach and I got this whiff of fish and chips, and I flew over to see what they had ordered and heard someone call me a rat. The rat of the sky were their exact words. They hadn’t even met me; it was just a judgment call based on pre conceived social prejudices against pigeons.

Every now and then you do get some legend who throws you a chip, or a bit of a flake or something, but it’s still like fish & chips when you’re a human – the first bit is always really good, but when you get about half way through you just start feeling really greasy and afterwards you’d be happy never to see tartar sauce again.

I know it could be worse. I could be one of those pigeons that has a bulbous foot, or a missing leg. Or I could be like my old mate Barry. Someone threw him a chip that had panadol in it and he’s…. Well he’s gone to a better place.

And I’m worried you know? I’m worried I’m not going to be that super hero that gets the girl, and I’ll be forever stuck that weird nerdy guy, off to the side, like Spiderman pre powers, or Clarke Kent just working at a newspaper just existing.

Anyway. I’m just trying to take things day by day. Like anyone, trying to figure out what my purpose is and living in the hope that one day someone’s going to need a super hero who can squawk in a semi annoying fashion, and fit things larger than my head into my mouth. It will happen.

And if it doesn’t I’m just going to keep taking pigeon poops on people’s heads, because fuck it, it makes me feel better.

Thanks for listening.

Photo on 6-10-14 at 9.46 PM

Pizza

One of the main problems (for there are many) associated with trying to stay skinny is pizza.

Pizza is really good.

A recent study done by the University of London’s culinary school has discovered that 9 out of 10 times eating pizza is better than not eating pizza, and that the only time it isn’t better is when one is under water.

After discovering this, they popped over to their chums in the science department and are now working on ways to overcome the issue, and predict that soon pizza will be available underwater (at least at the more trendy underwater venues that are the only ones worth being seen at anyway).

Pizza has also been known to combat depression through a new phenomenon called ‘pizza goggles’ which is the feeling of having just finished some pizza, and having a bit more of pep in your step. It’s quite a good cure for situations like Sunday evening, or being drunk at 4am any day.

Some foreword thinking nations are even addressing political instability with pizza lead incentivisation schemes to quell social unrest, and there is rumors that others are testing dropping pizza instead of bombs onto enemy nations to lessen border tensions.

It’s all very fascinating, if fascinating involves having a bit of a jiggle around the stomach and ever growing love handles.

I am very pleased to announce that my pizza is now ready to come out of the oven, and my pizza goggles will soon be on.

P.S Burgers are good too, but we can speak about that another time.

pizza

Why Your Body Changes

You always hear that your body is going to change, but you never really notice it changing, only when it has. 

I don’t remember my growth spurt in year 8, I just know that one day I was tall. I don’t remember getting my first chest hair, I just know now I have a hairy chest. And I don’t remember growing tits, but today I noticed, I have them.

Bitch tits. Breasts, humble mounds atop my chest, I have them.

I met this realization with a mixture of shock and humour. I shouldn’t have breasts, I am a man, but now I have them. The humour came into it because today is Sunday, and of course the day you discover you have breasts is a Sunday when you’ve already done some damage to your self esteem the night before.

I first caught glimpse of my small breasts in the reflection of a shop window. “Maybe it’s just the tight grey t shirt I am wearing” I thought. But then remembered this t shirt was bought oversize, and was never tight. 

Did the changes started to happen around the time I moved to London? Could it be my diet of beer and kebabs? Could it be the combination of long hours and lack of exercise? Could it be that I’m not as young as I was, and my body just can’t handle it anymore?

No. It’s none of these things. It’s a gypsy curse.

Growing up I always knew it was dangerous to cross a gypsy. Didn’t every child learn that from their Grandparents? Well that didn’t stop me.

One day on the way home from work I popped into a Kebab shop, and made eye contact with a gypsy as I entered. She was not your common gypsy, she was young and quite pretty, but you could tell by looking into her wild eyes that she had gypsy blood.

As I ate my kebab I couldn’t help noticing the gypsy kept glancing at me, and when I finished and walked passed she spoke to me.

“Do you smoke?” she asked

I replied that I did on the odd occasion, however didn’t have any, but that’s not what she was after.

“No, I have some, would you like to join me for a cigarette?” she asked

I knew it was a bad idea and that I should be trying to put as much distance between me and the gypsy as possible, especially because I’d left all my anti gypsy rubies back in Australia, but I threw caution to the wind and went outside with her.

Her name was Bianca and she told me her story. She was in the UK to audition for The Voice, and had that very day fallen apart and not made it through to the next round. She blamed Tom Jones for this (who’s bitch tits are surely from her too). She was of many races, and a bit of a wanderer. She planned to stay in the UK to become a model, or a brain surgeon, because she informed me that she was beautiful and smart enough to do either.

She spoke at me for a good 5 minutes about how she actually didn’t have any money, and couldn’t pay for her kebab. And that’s when I knew it, she was trying to use her gypsy trickery to get a free meal.

All of my childhood learnings had taught me that at this point the only thing to do is to chop the gypsy’s head off and burn the body, however I was in public and didn’t have my sword with me. I also didn’t want to buy her kebab because I didn’t have any money either so I jumped up, mid conversation and said

“Very nice to meet you Bianca, good luck with everything” and shook her hand.

This was the moment that changed my life.

I had simultaneously wronged her, and given her the opportunity to touch my flesh and indeed curse me. And she did. As she shook my hand she looked deep into my soul, and I felt the curse pass into my body.

For the next few weeks many things happened to which I blamed the gypsy. I had a string of bad luck, a few more grey hairs, I turned 26, all of which I thought may have been the gypsy curse coming into fruition. But it wasn’t. The curse hit today when I noticed my bitch tits and knew that the curse had found its final resting place. 

I tell this story because I don’t want it to happen to anybody else. Let my life be a lesson. Carry your rubies and always have your sword ready. Be prepared to burn the body in public even if you end up in jail, because at least you won’t be in jail with breasts.

And me? I’m going to embrace my bitch tits. No I won’t exercise more, or change my diet, because that’s not why I’m in this position. I’m going to turn it into a positive. I’m going to get in contact with Tom Jones and propose we do a calendar together so we can make some money off our milkshakes. I’m also going to find another gypsy to track down Bianca and vanquish her into the darkest rungs of hell and regain my flat chest.

For anyone that’s reading this who has either been cursed, or has man breasts feel free to get in contact with me, or Tom Jones. We’re here to help.

Or for more information on breaking gypsy curses, please see the below Yahoo answers for all the good it will do you. “The best way to break a gypsy curse is to stop believing in it….” What kind of idiot would take that advice.

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20

gypsycurse-full 

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