A little history before we start.
Some of this is still fairly humorous, but some of it is BAD. Not Eric's potty-mouth bad or going on a date with Greta bad or even spilling wine on Talbot's new bespoke suit bad... more like listening to Tiny Tim sing while playing the ukulele bad. I also wrote it when I was in my teens. It was a time when there were these really cool things called Bulletin Board Systems and Birmingham was home to the American Online BBS (before Rocky sold the name to the current America Online) and the Crunchy Frog BBS where folks could connect via 1200 or even 2400 baud modem. I would soon be working at a local comic and games store, Lion & Unicorn, while helping Sean and Genesis Books with his new comics shipment.
I was listening to a lot of Iron Maiden and Information Society. I was big into Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who... which is all still true... Oh, and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy had just come into my life.
I fell in love with the work of Douglas Adams and I think it kind of shows in what you'll be reading here. So sit back and laugh (either at the humor or the general horribleness) that is...
The Adventures of R.G. Strangemind... and Herbert
It was almost sunrise when the old yellow car pulled into the driveway. The car was so old that no one could remember (or discern) what kind it had been originally nd Herbert, it's driver, wasn't telling. All that mattered was that it drove well enough and that Herbert liked it and as the planet's strongest man what Herbert liked was fairly important. The house at which he had arrived belonged to his best friend R.G. Strangemind, who ironically happened to be the most intelligent man on the Earth.
Herbert had always been in awe of his friend, though distinctly more in awe when at the age of nine and having seen Star Wars for the first time R.G. had been the only person on his block to build a working blaster, in fact he had been the only person to ever build a working blaster and this in and of it self set him high in Herbert's estimation
Stepping out of the car and attempting to ignore the tremedous creak, Herbert walked up the driveway to R.G.'s door. Like many other things (among them soup that you can cook in the microwave and in fact microwaves and gadgets that in general do neat and interesting things), R.G.'s house posed a mental image that Hervert was never quite able to grasp. He could never get past the door. He understood that the door was made of a new metal alloy that R.G. had invented and he even further understood that it was the entry way to his friend residence. What he did not understand was where R.G.'s house actually was and how his friend hid all of that neat stuff behind a door standing alone in an otherwise vacant lot. Shrugging his shoulders, Herbert knocked on the door then opened it.
"Are you ready for work?" he bellowed in his uniquely loud voice. R.G. was a tall, wild eyed, lanky individual whose hair often reminded people of a cat being electrocuted. He wore a white lab coat and he carried a piece of toast in his right hand. He was the complete opposite of Herbert, who was the perfect image of masculine strength.
"You are late!" screeched R.G. in his mouse-like voice, "What is your reason?"
Herbert spoke sheepishly and with much shuffling of his feet, "I couldn't find my keys."
At this R.G. became angry. "And where were your' keys," he in an impatient but amused tone.
"In the ignition," replied Herbert.
R.G. was so angry at this moment that the toaster decided to explode, quite surprising the table upon which it had been sitting. Herbert leapt back with the speed and agility of a tiger, avoiding a flying piece of toast and tripping over the coffee table. R.G., however, was hit by the deadly piece of breakfast paraphernalia and was knocked to the floor.
"What happened," asked Herbert.
"The toaster exploded, you idiot," replied R.G. "What else would send toast flying all over the room?" With that episode at an end and with the extinguishing of a small table in the kitchen, the unlikely pair set of for work.
R.G. worked at a nuclear power plant and Herbert was his assistant. R.G. was very careful, however, only to let Herbert perform the most insignificant tasks (flipping the light switch on, emptying the waste basket, etc.). Today, Herbert task was to push the blue button that started the generators testing sequence. Unfortunately, there were two blue buttons on the console and Herbert, afraid to ask which button,
pushed them both. Herbert, who didn't notice his mistake, reacted by smiling and thought that the flashing red light and the blaring sirens, were new additions to the testing sequence. R.G., who noticed Herbert's error reacted by screeming and making terrible remarks about Herbert's parentage. The Nuclear Reactor and accompanying research complex also noticed Herbert's error and reacted by blowing itself and everything in a very wide area quite to pieces.
At this moment several not so important thing happened: a large gray space ship kidnapped a great number of purple things with a lot of teeth, that didn't exist, On the planet Earth a small nuclear reactor exploded blowing up everything around it for miles(Fortunately is was soon reconstructed along with its inhabitants and the surrounding area, by a little blue alien in a large gray space ship), A large number of nonexistent purple thing with multiple teeth escaped onto a small blue green planet called Earth, and a little boy by the name of Renaldo, ran happily out into the street just in time to be runover by a Mack truck. The truck, however, upon remembering that it had been blown up earlier that morning, quietly exploded.
R.G. awoke and hit Herbert. R.G. hit Herbert again. Herbert did nothing. R.G. picked up a hammer from his tool chest and was about to use it on Herbert's head when he realized something. He realized that they were alive and that they shouldn't be. R.G. dropped the hammer, which unfortunately landed on Herbert's head. R.G., not noticing where the hammer had landed, began pacing the room. Herbert woke up and
picked up the hammer.
"You shouldn't leave your tools lying around, R.G."
"Yeah, Geek," exclaimed the hammer.
"It's alive, R.G." yelled Herbert,"It's alive!"
R.G. left the room quite oblivious to Herbert's rantings. Herbert dropped the talking hammer and followed R.G. out of the room, ignoring the ravings of the hammer, who was upset about having been dropped.
As Herbert walked outside he noticed R.G. standing in the road. Suddenly they were surrounded by Purple thing with a lot of teeth (that didn't exist). Herbert didn't whether they existed or not, they looked dangerous enough to him. Just the creatures were about to reach them, there was a flash of blinding blue light and a large gray spaceship was now overhead. The nonexistant purple thing (with as lot of teeth) leapt at R.g. and Herbert. Herbert yelled as one of the creatures swung at him, missing his head by only a hairsbreath. R.G., being a far less courageous creature retreated violently to the ground, unconscious. Herbert, seeing his fallen friend, charged one of the ceatures in a last ditch effort for victory. It is was at that time, that there was a blinding flash and everything went black.
End Part 1
See? Now don't you feel tons better about your own writing? :) Tune in next week for more of what I was doing in the 90's and additional examples of me horribly aping Douglas Adams.... by which I mean Installment 2 of The Adventures of R.G. Strangemind and... Herbert.
Note: This first appeared in Birmingham Telecommunications News - Volume 4, Issue 3 and remains Copyright 1991 by Jeremy Lewis