Tuesday, 31 March 2009

[Turtlewind] Turtle What? Turtle If?

I have returned humans. Know me.


(1.) What is the first interesting thing that you see when you look around the room?
Barry the Scorpion! My rascally little armour-plated life partner. A little older, a little frailer, but still poking venom into the feet of passing children on Dagenham High Street like the practical joker he’s always been...

(2.) What can you hear at the moment?
The wind whistling through the rafters of Turtle Grange, banging doors and windows and shrieking through the lonely dark spaces. It almost sounds like words, whispering ‘They know. Kill them all.’

(3.) What is on your computer desk?
Not a computer, unfortunately. I am still reduced to composing reviews by yelling ‘beep!’ down a telephone wire. I’ve still got that framed autograph of Harold Pinter’s willy though.

(4.) What was the last question someone asked you?
“Are you a real doctor?” It’s amazing how often people come out with that old chestnut, I thought we lived in a society of equal opportunities these days, with more emphasis on vocational qualifications. I mean, I’ve been trying to get ladies to open their shirts so I can put my hands on their boobies for TWENTY YEARS now! Surely that makes me more qualified to do so than some stripling not two months out of medical school?

(5.) What was the last question you asked someone?
“Are you a real policeman?” You see, they don’t like a taste of their own medicine!

(6.) What was the last dream you had?
I dreamed that I was a lonely delusional scamp whose pitiful existence was brightened only by occasional gun-running trips to rural Oxfordshire and dinner parties with the Beckhams. And then I went to sleep.

(7.) What is the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
Well, don’t tell anyone, but once I touched my HUGE WANG. It felt nice. Hehe. I also once kissed a girl with boobies and everything, as is chronicled elsewhere on this esteemed site.

(8.) What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
Once, I scaled a radio telescope in order to jam transmission to a satellite that was going to detonate a nuclear device in the upper atmosphere to delete the City of London’s records. Or that might have been in a film.

(9.) What is your favourite thing about yourself?
My HUGE WANG, a thing uncompromising in both its hugeness and its WANGERY. I used to get some strange looks during Show and Tell at primary school, I can tell you. Although quite why there’s a rule about the caretaker not taking part is anyone’s guess.

(10.) What is your most precious belonging?
Mr Stabby. To some he’s just an old battered coat hanger, but the Turtle loves him all the same, especially after a night on the town slashing at hobos.

(11.) What will you do once you leave the computer?
I shall go and watch Rugby. From the nearby hill with a high-powered rifle. Then I shall go and watch Coventry. We have to keep an eye on the Midlands, they’re not safe.

(12.) What is your favourite vegetable?
MUD!!! It’s a perennial crop, it grows anywhere and it tastes like yum.

(13.) What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Close my eyes of course. Pah, sillies.

(14.) What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I wake up screaming every morning, rip out the electrodes and sit under the tree in the garden trying to catch butterflies on my tongue.


(15.) If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Without a shadow of a doubt, Tarte A La Boue !!

(16.) If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
I would have to be Barry, then I could service the HUGE WANG in an appropriate fashion without the nasty prickling that Barry tends to indulge in.

(17.) If you could change one thing about your appearance what would it be?
I would make myself less stunningly handsome, then girls wouldn’t be so intimidated by my dashing looks and would approach me for naughty-bumpy.

(18.) If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
I would go back to the fateful night when McDonalds cheated me of my ghostly companion and I would set things right. Without that, I could have been a happy man.

(19.) If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
I’d wipe out boring people on websites.

(20.) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Posh Spice’s bottom

(21.) If I were to give you £1000 right now, what would you spend it on?
A contract on your life, as you obviously have too much money and should give it all to me.

Turtlewind Index

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

[Turtlewind] Dear Mr Doctor Who

Dear Mr Doctor Who

I enjoy your adventures tremendously, as you battle against evil in the Universe and in Surrey. I fight evil too, and you are my role model, along with Bananaman. Most of the evil I fight consists of the boys who throw stones in my village, but I want to buy a TARDIS so I can also fight evil in Bulgaria because they are never on the news and so I think they are up to something, possibly involving stuffing puppies with depleted uranium. My evil fighting name is Turtlewind. As names go, it is not as good as yours, but it is better than Bananaman.

I hope you are enjoying your time travelling, and that you will be on television again very soon. But don’t bring K9 because he is rubbish.

If one of your Time Lord colleagues wants to sell his TARDIS, I can go as high as £173.

Happy times and places

Your friend
The Mysterious Mr Turtlewind, Esq

Turtlewind Index

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

[Turtlewind] Turtle Club

It takes an average of five prank calls full of girlish giggling before a person will block your number.

I know this because Turtle knows this

The first time I saw Turtle was on Studland Beach. He thought he was on the naturist part and was racing up and down the dunes shouting about his HUGE WANG and telling women they should ‘bust out the floppies’.

After an hour of this, he abruptly dropped on to the sand and kneeled there, purring slightly. After a minute I realised he had scampered around in the outline of a huge hand with its middle finger extended, and that for some reason he was kneeling directly on the fingertip.

We went to a bar afterward and Turtle told me all about his string of quirky jobs which he subverted in radical ways.

Mondays, Turtle works as a cinema usher in Dorking. After all the films have started he sneaks in to the screens and coughs quietly during the exciting bits.

Tuesdays, Turtle washes dishes at a pizzeria in Croydon. He rinses the plates with his urine and then blames it on foxes.

Wednesdays, Turtle makes soap out of movie stars’ liposuction fat. When all the bars are ready, he carves exquisite naked sculptures of Bella Emberg from them and tries to sell them on Ebay.

So we sit in this sleazy bar in rural Dorset and talk about our crappy lives. Or rather he does. I’m the Earl of Rochester, or at least I play him on TV.

After a while, Turtle turned to me and said, ‘I want you to do something for me. I want you to hit me as hard as you can.’ He was completely serious. So we went out into the parking lot, ignoring the boys on bikes that yelled ‘wankers’ at us, and I swing my fist loosely at Turtle’s face.

He goes down with a squeal, clutching his nose. ‘I meant hit me with a burp, idiot!’

I am Jamie Oliver’s faint sense of bemusement.

It’s a month later and Turtle stands at the centre of a circle of men in the function room of Richmond’s Pitcher and Piano.

‘The first rule of Turtle Club is... you do not talk about Turtle Club.’ A few people glance around the walls at this point, bedecked as they are with apparently hand-drawn felt-tip Turtle Club posters, as indeed is half of Surrey.

‘The second rule of Turtle Club is... you do not talk about Turtle Club.’

‘The third rule is you burp without shirts or shoes. Especially if you’re a chick.’

‘The fourth rule is no more than two to a contest.’

‘The fifth rule is that contests go on as long as they have to.’

‘The sixth rule is if you start to hiccup or taste vomit, the contest is over.’

‘The seventh rule is if this is your first time at Turtle Club, you have to burp.’

It changed all our lives. The night after Turtle Club nothing can piss you off, you’re in a different state of being. The traffic, the shitty jobs, the bills, it’s all background noise against the experience of belching a McDonalds meal into the face of a software engineer.

It’s actually possible to drink four litres of coke in an afternoon without dying. I know this because Turtle knows this.

It was about six months before things turned sour, apart from the ‘Averilla followthrough’ incident. We were settling into the meeting room, putting on our cat ears and swigging furtively from Panda Pops (the anabolic steroids of competitive belching) when some skinhead thugs in Rainbow Brite pyjamas burst in and started playing chess to the strains of Megadeth.

Turtle scampered manfully up to Chess Club’s leader, the Anti-Matt. ‘We’ve paid seven pounds to book this room,’ he said firmly, ‘so jolly well go away.’

Anti-Matt tried to look cunning. ‘Well, we don’t pay anything because there’s, er, a slight smell of beer in here so we usually meet on the roof. But it looks like it might rain some time this week.’

Luckily Turtle had been hitting the Panda Pops pretty hard, full of a crazy desire to belch into David Beckham’s face until he suffocated. Anti-Matt took the Mysterious Mr Turtlewind’s death blow full in the face at a range of about six inches.

The sick bastard actually smiled and licked his lips. Too late I saw the bag of Mini Cheddars poking from the Anti-Matt’s pocket and suddenly it was Turtle Club writ large. It was the Arms Race, the Korean War, it was Kennedy facing off against Kruschev and each hoping the other’s wang isn’t as huge as they make out.

Luckily a drunk Australian wanders in, takes one look at the assorted chess sets and kicks Anti-Matt in the nuts, yelling:

‘Which one of you fackin’ bastards facked my sheila’s wallaby?’

The arrival of Bruce Fearless transforms Turtle Club. Project Facker is born. Homework tasks are set. Two of us might be sent to fetch Bruce his first crate of Fosters at eight on a Monday morning. Another time I have to scrawl ‘Stop fackin’ deaf koalas in the ear, you fackin’ race traitor,’ over Rolf Harris’s gazebo.

At the same time, I’m getting a little worried. Several of the young men from Turtle Club have turned up at Turtle Grange wearing black polo necks and cat ear headbands. They knock on the door and Turtle makes me wait three minutes before answering, which we spend giggling and pretending we’re not at home.

Eventually, I confront Turtle in the kitchen. I say to him, 'Is there a mysterious masterplan you're not telling me about?'

He tries a haughty sniff, but inhales one of his own practise belches. When he's finished gaggin, he replies, 'I wouldn't be a very good International Turtle of Mystery if there wasn't, now would I?'

Bruce wanders in and starts washing his hands in a can of Fosters. 'Hey, Turtle bastard, when are we going to travel back through time to help the one true prophet Warney get a few more wickets in the Lords test and win back the rightful Ashes for God's own Earth?'

Turtle stamps his foot. 'Really! People ALWAYS talk about my mysterious masterplans. You have NO idea about protocols and... things.'

'Nah, I just hate you, you fackin pommie poof bastard. If you were stranded in the Bush I wouldn't piss on you to give you a drink.'

Turtle looked as though he was going to cry at this point so I interjected. 'So, Bruce, when you told us that Turtle and I were the same person, that wasn't a kind act?'

'I just said that to see if that bastard really would piss in his own hair to fack you up. And he did, the croc-humpin facker.'

'I THOUGHT my hat smelled funny,' Turtle squealed, and scampered out of the kitchen wailing and clutching a stuffed scorpion to his chest.

I left at that point as well, as Bruce's mate Wayno had set fire to the shower and a Russian lady tried to mug me for a packet of crisps or something.

It was a crazy time and a wild ride. And the worst of it is, years later, I sometimes see guys trying to catch my eye in the street. 'Good to see you're well, Mr Turtlewind,' they say sometimes. I don't bother to correct them. And I pretend not to notice when they let slip a dry croak of a belch like a secret handshake.

Because even after all these years... you DO NOT TALK about Turtle Club.

Turtlewind Index

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

[Turtlewind] T For Turtlewind

On a dark and stormy night in the latter days of the nineteenth century, a boat ran into trouble off the coast of North Devon.

We all know that the Lynmouth lifeboat crew dragged their craft over Countisbury Hill to launch from the calmer waters of Porlock, but who were they? What were they like? Did they run with the red deer over the rugged heath of Exmoor? Or bum goats in the Valley of the Rocks?

History remembers only the idea, and tells us nothing of the men. But it was a man that I knew... or near enough.

I left my cottage later than I had intended, and the sea mist was rolling up the Lyn as the sun set over the Bristol Channel. I knew the cliff railway would be closing any minute, so I quickened my pace as I reached the putting green.

Along the road, I could see the streetlights sputtering into life as the sun prepared to dip over the horizon. I had to hurry, and there was only one thing I could do. I vaulted the low hedge around the putting green and scampered across as a short cut.

I had just cleared the hedge on the other side when a heavy hand clamped down on my shoulder. ‘Spare some change, miss?’ a whisky-drenched voice slurred in my ear. I’d been so wrapped up in my journey that I’d forgotten the tramps that lurk by the swings and pretend to be dogs so children will give them choc ices. Already I could see another one approaching to my right, waving a dog-eared comic that filled me with dread.

‘You’re – Bigissuers,’ I gasped.

‘Oh yes, Miss,’ the voice leered. ‘And we’re going to put our rancid willies in your ear, cos with all this “Working, not Begging” shit, people are starting to say the homeless aren’t hard any more.’

I was caught somewhere between being pissed off and slightly nervous, but I kicked them in the shins, told them to fuck off and spat on their transient arses anyway.

I was about to resume my journey – God, I’d have to sprint down the seafront if I was going to make it – when I heard the voice from one of the lengthening shadows.

‘Hello, I’m Charley’s Aunt from Brazil, where the nuts come from!’


‘It was going to be Hamlet, but the Boys Who Throw Stones got the Complete Works on long loan. Anyway.’

A shape unfolded from the shadows and darted towards the recumbent tramps. After a couple of seconds of confusing action there was a bright flash and both of them burst into flames.

‘Hee hee hee,’ the shape giggled girlishly as he clapped his hands and watched the vagrants burn. ‘Watch this, the flames go blue if they’ve been on vodka.’

‘Who are you?’ I couldn’t help asking, even as the stranger turned to me and I saw he wore a heavy mask.

‘I’m not telling YOU,’ he snorted. ‘Girls are different and they smell.’


‘Oh, OK... I am Master of all I survey. Of a time, tempted into tyrannous travails by non-tractable types, I typically teach tall tales of turtle terror in taverns to terribly turgid turds. Terroristically tutoring the tautological teams of teammates to terrify and tantalise tits. But tonight you can call me The Mysterious Mr T, Esq. I pity the foo.’

He fell silent, but I could have sworn that he ended this litany with a breathless ‘yay’.

‘So why the dog mask?’

There was a brief pause as The Mysterious Mr T, Esq shrugged his shoulders, lost in a world of alsatian-faced private pain. ‘Some burly men on my getaway barge gave it to me. They were wearing them too so I thought I was going to be in their gang, but they just played some music and tickled my naughty bits.’

Definitely time to leave. The railway would be shut by now so I turned for home.

‘What’s your name?’

The question was so plaintive, I answered without thinking. ‘Emilia Turquoise.’

T shrugged. ‘Near enough. Emilia... do you like experimental German jazz?’


‘Good...’ T rubbed absently at a nasty dark stain on his long coat. ‘Then come with me and watch me blow stuff up!’

He scampered away into the gathering dark. I looked briefly back at the putting green but the sprinklers had started up so I was best off just following the madman.

I’d assumed we were heading for the cliff railway, but T paused in front of the Exmoor Visitor Centre. He pressed his muzzle against the window and stared into the ancient Tourist Information Centre.

‘They brought me here the first day of every holiday,’ he said softly. ‘They said it was the original Overland Launch lifeboat in there but I’m sure it was just a replica.’

I didn’t know how to reply to that but he definitely seemed to be waiting for something.

‘Some boys threw stones at me once when I rode my brother’s mountain bike,’ I ventured.

‘There’s something very wrong with this hamlet,’ T mused. ‘The Boys Who Throw Stones will be held to account. Tonight.’ And then he was off again, scampering down the seafront to the funicular railway, shielding his mask with his coat as he passed the fish and chips shop.

I found him in the carriage at the Lynmouth station. Somehow we’d managed to catch the last train up, and as the bell rang to signal our departure and the tanks started to drain away, he gazed up at the almost perpendicular tracks in what I could only assume was awe.

As the bright green carriage began to rock and shift gently from the buffers, he started to mutter again. ‘This is supposed to be the world’s oldest funicular railway. Or the longest. Or something. Whatever, it goes clank and saves people a five minute walk.’

‘It is a five minute walk up a cliff,’ I reminded him gently.

‘I once ate my way out of a Dagenham mudslide,’ he retorted, and in the half-light in the carriage, I caught a brief glimpse of a scorpion scuttling around his shoulders before it darted into his collar. ‘That’s what being suave MEANS.’

He was fidgeting with a rolled up narrow strip of red paper. ‘This is a roll of toy gun caps. Available over the counter of any toy shop in the country. Harmless individually, but combined under certain circumstances...’

He fell silent then, as we passed under the first of the cliff path bridges. He saluted the few people trekking up the path at that twilight hour. Then one of them threw a stone at his head and shouted ‘Fetch.’

‘Are you going to sabotage the railway and blow up the Exmoor Visitor Centre?’ I asked.

‘Would you prefer a lie, or the truth?’

‘But why?’

Again, T let out a girlish giggle. ‘Why did you shoot that duck, asshole?’

‘That’s not Hamlet either, that’s John Malkovich in In The Line of Fire.’

‘They made TWO versions?’

With a clank and a jolt, the carriage halted at the Lynton station. I took a quick look down the track as I disembarked, and had the usual dizzy fantasy about how cool it would be to slide down those dead straight tracks on a tea tray or something, straight into Lynmouth.

T was chasing moths around the tree in the garden next to the station while the driver shut up the little ticket booth and wandered off to the Valley of Rocks Hotel bar. When the last person had left the little yard, he returned to me, a translucent wing poking between his masked teeth.

‘I have something to show you, Emilia.’

We reentered the carriage, which was now awaiting the new dawn before it would chunter down the cliff path, bearing at least twenty stressed commuters anxious to rejoin the rat race of selling clotted cream ice-cream to disabled children in Lynmouth.

‘Where are the explosives, then?’

T just gestured dumbly at a carrier bag that was half-propped against one of the benches. I gingerly opened it to see it was half-full of the red paper rolls.

‘Folded in half lengthways and wrapped around a 2p coin, then covered with sellotape, a roll of toy gun caps can create a most surprising cacophany,’ T explained enigmatically.

‘But you’ve not even folded these!’ I exlaimed.

‘Er, no,’ he said. ‘I got bored. Some of them are folded at the bottom of the bag though, they’ll go off a treat. Oh yes. You can touch my naughty bits now if you like.’

I ruffled his hair, the scamp. ‘No thanks.’

T shrugged and strolled from the carriage. ‘Well, anyway, it’s all set up, you just need to press the bell and this marvellous old water-powered conveyance will do the rest. Cheerio.’

I chased him back out into the yard. ‘You mean you’re not even sticking around to set it off?’

‘No, Emilia.’ He paused in what he probably thought was a grave and significant fashion. ‘This new world that I create is for you and your esteemed kindreds. It is not for me and will only taste like ash in my mouth. Plus if you get caught ringing the bell they don’t let you ride the train again until they’ve all had mysterious concussion.’

And with that he was gone.

I was left in the dark with a cliff railway full of weak indoor fireworks, a deadly weapon trained on a West Country visitor centre. I rang the bell for the hell of it and ran down the cliff path to the bridge.

There was a strange round little man waiting there, already gazing down into Lynmouth harbour expectantly.

‘Good evening,’ I ventured, cautiously.

A plummy voice assailed me, quite different from the nasal whine of Mr T, Esq. ‘Oh no! A bally girl!’

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘I wouldn’t expect you to understand, you common fool,’ he sighed in exasperation. ‘Can’t you just leave me to contemplate the latest step in my grand masterplan?’

There was a slight buffeting as the cliff railway passed beneath our feet, gathering speed. I looked at the repulsive little gnome. It couldn’t be... ‘T?’ I asked.

‘How dare you?’ he squealed. ‘I am the archduke of crime, Roger Foxby, and you have the brains of a Tom Holt novel. Of the tedious kind.’

From the bottom of the cliff there was an ear-splitting bang as a carrier bag full of low explosives fell off a bench. I looked down to see a faint glow from the carriage as rolls of toy gun caps ignited and were blown through the glassless windows.

‘Oh blazes,’ snarled Foxby. ‘Gimp! Time for plan B!’

I ran for it as soon as I saw the man in the leather suit step from the shadows. But in the still night air their voices carried.

‘Are we going to look for lottery tickets in the bins behind Barbrook Post Office again, Roger?’

‘Later, Gimp! First we return to the barge. I’m pretty sure they were about to let us join their gang of alsatian warriors...’

Just as I’d reached the seafront, however, the windows of the visitor centre exploded outwards and a flaming lifeboat soared out on to the street, over the harbour wall and into the swollen Lynn estuary. Within a minute it was lost to view, until the sky lit up with fireworks, culminating in a huge glowing letter T hanging in the night sky above South Wales.

He was Mr T, and he was me and he was you and he was Long Distance Clara.

And he was your Mum.

Turtlewind Index

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Transformers Universe Reviewed - In Poetic Form

The Universe line is pretty brill,
Each new release gives me a thrill.
Now sit back and have a great time,
As I review these figures in the medium of rhyme.

“Arise Galvatron!” The dark god Unicron cried,
Had had he seen this he may well have sighed.
A purple, fragile work of art,
Touch him and he’ll fall apart.

Acid Storm
Goofy repaints are my cup of tea,
You can imagine how delightful this was to me.
Really though is there anything neater,
Than to receive an obscure cartoon Seeker?

He could have been green, but they went for it – blammo!
Painted him blue with a coating of camo.
Getting a new guy is pretty nifty,
And it makes a break from Starscream version 50.

Prowl is white, Prowl is boring,
Prowl leaves me snoozing, snoring.
Technically though he is quite good,
But white and black make a boring hood.

White on white on white on white,
It really isn’t a pretty sight.
He makes me think, makes me mull,
Realism can be pretty dull.

Early releases had paint quite sticky,
Figures (and fingers) would end up icky.
I’ve not had this problem though,
It’s the boring colours that dealt the blow.

Always the pretty boy of the line,
Once more Sideswipe emerges looking fine.
In person he’s nicer than I thought he’d be,
This design suits him down to a tee.

With brother Sunstreaker he shares a mold,
But a  different transformation, a move quite bold.
Despite this fact he does feel unique,
Cool in car mode, and as a robot, sleek.

“Who the hell is Tankor?” I might hear you say,
Seems the name rights for Octane have gone astray.
But Octane he is, and a triple changer he be,
The effort put in is easy to see.

Jet mode is nice if a little stumpy,
Tanker mode is slightly lumpy.
Robot mode is pretty cool,
Amazing how it fits into a toy so small.

Please ignore any cries of alarm,
There’s really nothing wrong with his arm!
His head does sit a bit low on his neck,
But come on, he’s great, what the heck!

(I must add though that his ‘claw shield’ is lazy,
It’s not a decision about which I’m crazy.)

Seeing Ironhide I nearly did pass,
His altmode looks like broken glass.
Panel lines everywhere, it may sound picky,
But I wish his transformation was far less tricky.

He’s not as bad as some people say,
His gimpy Botcon form is blown away.
Big red and tough, you can say with pride,
That this toy is definitely G1 Ironhide.

Screws a-plenty litter his torso,
His head hangs rather listless also.
His weapon is dodgy, it’s on shaky turf,
Whist his blue face makes him look like a smurf.

Despite all that I really like him,
Stocky of build, mighty of limb.
His transformation is pretty clever stuff,
Ironhide is certainly no piece of fluff.

Now this is what I’m talking ‘bout, a figure really sound,
Silverstreak beats Prowl right into the hard ground.
A dash of silver on his side, matt black for his hood,
Whoever knew a robot car could look quite this good?

Pretty perfect is this toy,
A sure delight for any boy.
A figure that had me on the fence,
Is great! I need no recompense!

A blocky fire engine, dusky red,
In the comics he usually winds up dead.
Turns into a robot, Inferno’s his name
Though the feeling I get is that he is quite lame.

Don’t sweat though, he’s a kinda neat figure,
The length of his cannon leaves no room to snigger.
But he has nothing special to throw up a tizz,
Engine to robot, is that all there is?

He’s got a cannon that shoots watery missiles,
But I guess I’ve been spoilt by others bells and whistles.
And every day it makes me sadder,
That Hasbro chose to include no ladder.

Transformer UK Comics - Space Pirates

I must confess that this was probably the collection I was looking least forward to reviewing, but upon re-reading it found that it contained some of the strongest stories in the UK run, the highlight of course, being 'Salvage'. With a pair of short stories set in the present day continuing the Galvatron plot, and then the main event, Space Pirates, there are plenty of touches to keep even the most hardened cynic happy.
Salvage begins with two Mechanoids being dredged from the River Thames - namely Megatron and Centurion (how they got there is covered in the Transformers / Action Force crossover, and I have a feeling rights issues means it can't be reprinted, sadly enough). Hilariously enough though, it is a certain Richard Branson doing the dredging. Bless him and his little smile!

Of course, Shockwave has other plans. Looking for a weapon he can use against Galvatron, he steals back Megatron himself and has a psychoprobe attempt to snap him out of his cataconic state, a task involving sending Megatron into his own nightmares, facing both Prime and Straxus.

Meanwhile, a group of Autobots have finished digging Ultra Magnus out of the volcano where he was imprisoned. But Magnus has completely cracked from his experience of being buried alive, and even worse, they then run into Galvatron. As I have said before, the poor guy gets NO breaks!

This is where it takes a turn for the GENIUS, since Furman spends the next issue just counterpointing Magnus's and Megatron's struggles, giving both of them a heroic air, in their own ways, and showing how similar they are. And you can't help but feel sorry for Megatron, even if he is a bad guy.

The next story, Wrecking Havoc, is also quite cool. Cyclonus and Scourge are fed up with being stuck in the present, and wanting to return to the future have tracked down their old commander, Galvatron in an attempt to get his time jump trigger. At the same time, the elite squad of Autobots known as the Wreckers are preparing to jump in and capture Galvatron... but Galvatron has chosen the meeting place in the middle of a populated area!

As an aside, the warp jump technology does look very cool, even if the issue is just an excuse for a big fight. But it is a good fight! And one drawn by Bryan Hitch, even if it wasn't his finest hour.

And now to the main feature, Space Pirates.

Because half the comic was US reprints, Furman was constrained a lot of the time. Especially when the US team did really really odd things, such as a very badly written and drawn throwaway story called 'The Big Broadcast of 2006' set in the future with Prime and Galvatron. This presented a problem since along with being irredeemably rubbish, Galvatron was in the present in UK continuity.

Enter: Furman's genius, he turned a curse into a blessing. What better way to present this as a comedy tale by Wreck-Gar, who has been captured and interrogated by the Quintessons.

At the end of the two specially-drawn bookends (which are present in this collection) the lead Quintession derides the story as a feeble children's story. Great suble comment on the state of the US comic there, and you'd never be able to get away with that sort of inter-title criticism in this day and age!

The Quintessons, having not got the information they want from Wreck-Gar turn to their new plan. Their planet is dying and so they have decided to invade Cybertron and make it a new home. For this, they have despatched Quintesson General Ghyrik to Earth to capture Autobot City and lure Rodimus Prime into a trap. (A quick note, the Quintessons here are also the robotic creatures of the movie as well as the flying blobs, it makes a bit more sense this way actually, the blobs are their highest caste).

Taking over Autobot City, the Quintessons in a rather brutal move, crucify all the defeated Autobots on the wall for when Prime arrives, and using a wounded Arcee as bait, capture the Matrix.

Meanwhile the Decepticons are led into a Quintesson ambush. If nothing else, the Quintessons are seen to be very shrewd and very clever, far more dangerous than any of their other appearences in any Transformer media.

Of course Soundwave, who is leading the Decepticons, is no fool. He sends a false distress call to the Autobots in an attempt to get some re-enforcements, leading to a very cool team-up.

As a digression, Furman makes a very very odd choice in this. For some reason he uses Wheelie as a character, who goes off in a side-adventure with Wreck-Gar. Wheelie, who speaks only in rhyme and Wreck-Gar, who speaks only in cliches. It is very surreal and scares me a bit.

Back on Earth, Prime has been depowered to Hot Rod (as he was before he got the Matrix) but he is still resourceful as ever, and unleashed Metroplex, the living part of Autobot City. Metroplex is utterly HUGE as depicted in this, and this is perhaps his most impressive portrayal. Plus you can't help but love him (mine is currently stood on top of my television as I speak!).

The Quintessons aren't beaten yet though, Ghyrik uses the Matrix to give himself god-like power, which is depicted as him having a hoop around him, and I'm quite unsure as to how he actually used the Matrix. Who will win! (I think you can guess, but its not about the destination, its about the journey).

So there we have Space Pirates, its probably the weakest of the UK collections, but also has some stunning and brilliant moments in it, from the opening stories which in my opinion are some of the best ever, to the closing moments as Soundwave and Magnus share a 'moment'.

Some great writing, which sums up Transformers and the nature of war beautifully. And I am gay for Soundwave. (Not gay).

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

[Turtlewind] Boots Lipstick no. 7

Some ruffians have accused the Turtle of not examining serious subjects! Lies! I am not only an officer and a gentleman, I am a consummate consumer, and have imparted my wisdom across many issues. There is nothing I do not know, as you will learn from my review of lipstick. Yes, LIPSTICK.

Boots No. 7 lipstick is the seventh product in the Boots lipstick range. This means that they released 6 lipsticks before that. It shows, as the lipstick is well developed, and the colour stays on for at least 23% longer than if you use Boots No. 6 lipstick.

This lipstick comes in many colours from light red to dark red, and sometimes blue, and generally goes on lips.

I have lips, and so does most people who would read this I should imagine. Lipstick can be smeared on cheeks to give a reddish healthy or 'whores' tinge for a night on the town (or the streets)

On an arbitrary scale, this lipstick rates 38.6 for colour, 9.7 for stickiness and exactly 12 for glossiness. These figures are related on the Lashram scale, which deals with the quantum fluctuations behind the interconnectedness of all things. It was calculated by an expensive computer, so don't mess.

The lipstick in question comes in a cylindrical tube of roughly 1.32 centremeters in diameter, with a standard deviation of 0.12. The length in question is approximately 8.45 centimetres, with a cap of thickness 1 mm. It is coloured... I dunno. Let's say blue?

The great thing about blue lipsticks like this is that when you're giving blowjobs to sailors, as I often like to do in my spare time, a certain amount does tend to get... er... transferred. The number of times I've managed to persuade a punter that he's got a frostbitten willy! And it means I get to add to my little trophy collection!

Sometimes lipsticks like this can be your friend, in special and intimate ways. Often I wander down to the local college and show all the students there! This lipstick can be quite messy however, so make sure to take a big pot of grease with you at all times. And a straw. One of my friends is a teacher, and he often uses this method to discipline trouble-makers.

Some of my other friends like Doctor Who, and want to mark walls with lipstick in a race memory imitation of an Australian lesbian. They are strange, and their rooms often smell like cabbage. However, if this is the use you intend for your Boots lipstick then I think it will be ideal as it does not melt easily in the event of running into Event One.

Another friend pretends he can play the guitar. He actually keeps the tip hollow, in order to conceal a gun. Anyway, he uses lipstick cases as a quasi-microphone, to imitate talent. Boots no 7, I tell him, is best. Since the lipstick is edible, it tastes DELICIOUS, and is great as a quick snack for the weary singer. Its easy application also makes it ideal for ugly singers, as they can pretend that groupies have smeared their lip juices all over various collars and other such easily marked areaas.

Have you heard about chalk circles warding off witches? Well, get into the 21st century, girl. Circles made from Boots no 7 can ward off Council Tax Inspectors and policemen. Plus, just smear it over your front door in the shape of a cross, and the Angel of the Lord will spare your first-born!

Now you've heard about the advantages of Boots No. 7 Lipstick - but what about the negatives? Well, lip chafing is up 3.4% on the previous version, and the weight is up by a whopping 52% - an average coating will increase your weight by up to 72 milligrams! If you are using this lip-stick, you're going to have to vomit up an extra couple of courses in the first year alone, and that's not even accounting for the extra mass induced by the tube - which, according to our precise measurements, has an even bigger mass increase.

The other problem is that this kind of lipstick er... glows in the dark. That's right. Just like those saucy flowers with ultra-violet patterns to attract bees, Boots no.7 acts as a huge 'Get It HERE' sign for the differently respectable elderly gentleman in duffel coat at your bus stop. So be prepared to have that little trophy knife ready as you make your way home from the lipstick shop.

As many people know, I have a pet scorpion, Barry. He's the cutest little thing, although my friends don't like him, for some reason. They cry when he stings them, the wusses. Silly Barry, the scamp. Ruffle his armour-plating. I, however, get great pleasure out of his stings, his poison forcing its way into my helpless frame... Anyway, Boots no 7 (pink variety) is GREAT for prettying up the little chappy for a night on the town!

Users with Carbonium allergies may be perturbed to know that they are at risk form the H-R Anochin extracts present in the lipstick. It has the unfortunate side-effect of causing the skin of such unfortunate people to turn a lime-green color in the affected area - anything you accidentally touch with the lipstick, even if you wipe it off. Fortunately, if you accidentally use it despite having this allergy (which also manifests itself in an adverse reaction to household plastics), a cunning idea would be to pretend it's part of a wacky Halloween disguise.

Well, there's not much more that can be said about this lipstick. It's a girls best friend - and worst nightmare! Hohoho. Just be careful not to put it near open flames - James Bond uses this as an unobtrusive, environmentally friendly substitute for C-4. Have fun, and be safe!

Your Good Friend,
The Mysterious Turtlewind, Queen of Frances. Yes. All of them.

Turtlewind Index

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Millennium Doom

I had a rather heated argument with my housemate the other day. Not on politics, religion or Masterchef, but about the Millennium Dome of all things. Nine years later it continues to rear its ugly head over the British consciousness. Will it ever let us go so that we can be free and skip gaily through the fields of freedom?

For those of you not familiar with this, the Millennium Dome was pretty much all the newspapers talked about from 1998 to 2000 (once Princess Diana had finished being dead). For some dumb reason (culture apparently) the government decided to build a giant dome costing 600 million pounds. Of course in this day and age of 'yeah failing bank, have a million trillion quid' this doesn't seem as bad, but at the time it was unprecedented.

For the millennium then, the citizens of this fine country got a big dome. Unfortunately the government hadn't a clue what to do with it - Peter Mandelson the minister in charge, even suggested leaving it empty. Part of me hopes it was a joke, of course the other part knows how inept governments can be. Really, to celebrate the millennium the government could have used the money to give everyone in the country a tenner and we'd have been far happier. Better that than some awful tourist attraction.

This was where the argument with my housemate comes in. He tried to tell me that it was the biggest attraction in Britain that year thus it was a success. But really, you're always going to get people gaggling at a train wreck. At the end of the day it didn't pull in nearly half the visitors it wanted, and ended up using 600 million of public money. On an awful tourist attraction!

And I know this, because I went there!

The Autumn of 2000 was a crazy time, full of... whatever I was doing at that time. So for some reason we went all the way to London on a trip to the Millennium Dome, to get the experience of the Millennium and the best Britain had to offer!

Everything I do is done by design. I plot my motions years in advance. And thus what you see here is not an accidental photograph, but a scintillating diatribe on the pavements of the dome. Clean, don't you think? Suspiciously clean....

Even from the outside you could see that this giant dead mutant ladybird was a bad idea. Perhaps the government could have just flipped it upside-down and make a giant stir-fry in it?

The leaflet! It's obvious that no-one working on the dome had heard about 'layout'. Look at it - there's a ruddy great arena in the middle and exhibits randomly plonked around the outside, making it impossible for anyone without a GPS to get around. Also take notice of that freaky red balloon building on the left - that was literally a freaky red balloon building, not quite sure what it was for. Actually, a lot of the 'exhibits' seemed to have been designed to resemble various hats.

The leaflet is a laugh in itself. Just listen to the desperation creeping in trying to flog the Dome and its many, many features:

"...a British beach scene full of arcade games. Laugh at the jokes and think about hidden messages."

Dear God.

"...rediscover the excitement of movement and look forward to future journeys..."

The journey home?

"See some of the finest diamonds in the world - the 2003 carat Millennium Star and eleven exceptionally rare blue diamonds..."

...Only that the diamonds were hidden in a dark, poorly-lit corner, and more prominence was given to a lump of plastic that was supposed to represent the diamond in it's pre-cut state.

"...find out how the Dome collects water and recycles it to flush the site's 900 toilets."

Damn thrilling

The Dome was meant to house the pinnacle of state-of-the art equipment, displays to amaze and astound, to educate in a fun way. Take the below astounding picture for example. It's an optical illusion - at first, it looks like some circles - but press a button - and a light bulb is turned on behind it! WOW! Also check out me and my youthful appearance. Those were the days!

Oh, and they had an ant farm.

With all their incredible light bulbs, it's hard to see where the hell £600 million could have gone... but wait - what's this? Pointless TV screens and dead workers?

It's quality British merchandise.

Of course, the most hyped up part of the dome was "The Body Zone." Even those who had mercilessly mocked the Dome (i.e. everyone) had said that the Body Zone was quite good - were they on drugs or something? Certainly I would have liked some of them to make my stay more pleasant.
The first thing to note about the Body Zone is that it's a freaky man-woman. That, I can deal with. What was totally scary though was the entrance. You enter via the hip into a dark tunnel and on the wall is what looks like a bellybutton ring - only it's not a bellybutton. Oh god yes. There were children in there! Looking on the ceiling there are lice. Moving further up there's a massive video screen of sperm moving to a drumbeat. Some definite psychological problems can be observed just by standing there and taking in the atmosphere.

For some reason, a giant heart was deemed suitable enough to fill an area the size of the local hall. A giant, beating heart. It beats. I paid money to come here. There are even fake recorded screams to make it sound exciting. But there was one last thing that makes everything that preceded it seem positively sane. What could be this retarded? Well, inside the knee section is:

A skull full of brains!

It's all about education, folks. Even better is that the brains tell jokes. The usher by this section told people "right, move through here quickly - one joke per person"

I was afraid to take this picture actually in case they took out their batons and beat me up. Let's look at the middle brain more closely:
Yes, it's Tommy Cooper's brain. It's wearing a fez, and it has his voice. Since the aforementioned comedian is dead, are we to assume that the Millennium Dome Committee dug up Cooper's grave and removed his brain, then installed it into the knee of a giant hermaphrodite. Because that would rock.

The Blackadder special they showed there was a bit crap too, but everyone's seen that by now.

I'd been away from home for nearly twelve hours, leaving the cat on his own. He gave me a hint on my return...
He's so much fatter now you know! Uh, I mean cuddly...