Well hello again, and welcome, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, except in the holidays when I turn into Mumzilla and everything goes a bit mental, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Michael Cargill. He hasn’t stuck to any particular genre. His latest work, Underneath, has been compared to Ruth Rendell – you can find more details about it at the bottom of the page. He likes writing humour and satire, too – as you’re about to find out. You can find more of that on his website here .
Hello Michael. So, before you launch into your enormous and really quite splendid rant, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Michael Cargill and I started writing about two years ago. So far I haven’t stuck with a particular genre as I like to just write whatever pops into my smoothly-shaven head. Along with my books and stories I also have a website of satire humour stuff that I update every now and then.
By day I work in IT and I have to force myself to traverse the world of office life just like everyone else. Getting up at 6am is such a drag, man.
You said it, I’m not a morning person either so I sympathise with anyone who has to get up at 6am, 7am is bad enough but where was I? Ah yes, Michael, without more ado, please tell us the first item you’d like to cast into the unending darkness of Box 010.
Whacky t-shirt slogans:
“Keep calm and drink tea!” advises a thin sheet of blue cotton.
“Oh wow, that’s so random!” exclaims a breathless 19-year old student called Jeremy. “£35 is a bargain, I’ll take three of them.”
Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy. What are we going to do with you, eh? Set you on fire and shove you in the direction of Primark, perhaps? Exactly what does this t-shirt give you? Sure, the local homeless guy might be entertained by your brief sojourn into sponsored hilarity, but let’s not forget that he also gets nosebleeds whenever a helicopter flies overhead. Never let your life be dictated by a thin-blooded anaemic.
Ah yes, right, MT hurriedly crosses her arms to hide the picture of snurds on her T-shirt… no witty slogan though, perhaps I’m safe. Oops, anyway, right, OK Michael, what’s you’re next pet hate?
Mwah ha haargh! Really?
Yep, no shit. Poo: It smells and you can’t really do anything with it, unless you’re a monkey in a cage in a zoo, throwing it at passersby. If you try to use it as ink, your filing cabinet will soon be swarming with flies; if you try to use it as stuffing for a pillow, you really will have to worry about the bed bugs biting you during the night; if you bake it like clay and try to use it as a credit card, it will get stuck inside the cash machine and you’ll never be able to get a mortgage or a loan again.
It makes bloody great manure though, my geraniums are marvellous this year.
Hnur hnur hnur hnurrrrgh. Something makes me think you might not have got all that you might have done from any visits to the zoo you made as a child. OK, so after poo what’s the next item you’d like to throw into Box 010?
Three-quarter length trouser-short things: Let’s face it, no-one likes a cyborg. Robots are great, ‘cos they build cars and lift things wot are too heavy for us humans to lift. They can even speak in cute little voices if programmed to do so.
Humans are great as well. They can be pleasant to look at, they sing nice songs, and some of them can even make a right nice cup of tea if asked nicely.
Cyborgs? Yucky, ugly creatures that have bolts poking out of their eye sockets and bulging electric veins that dangle down from every nook and cranny. And so it is for those ghastly three-quarter length trouser-shorts. If it’s warm, wear proper shorts. If it’s cold, wear proper trousers. There is no such thing as warmy-cold weather that is too hot for trousers and too cold for shorts.
Ah but what about when it’s too hot for trousers but your knees are too scarred and vile for shorts? That’s when these three quartery length abominations become quite useful. Er… at least, that’s why I wear them, anyway. But I agree that, as a fashion statement, they are a bit pants. Then again, as a, lardy, 45 year old stay at home parent I’m probably about as close to making a fashion statement as I am to Alpha Centuri so I don’t expect it matters… sorry, gone off on one there. Right-o, please can we hear about your next item?
“Yeah mate, that would deffo sound better if you were using a gold-plated SCART cable instead of them earphones. It’s all about the conductivity.”
Really? How fascinating. And there was me thinking that listening to The Sex Pistols would be a simple affair of popping in the CD and hitting the play button. Had I known that I needed to pray to the God of Unicorn Farts at the Altar of Elbow Grease beforehand, my delicate wee eardrum would no doubt be bestowing me with flowers and blowjobs by now. Thank you, Mr Engineery Man, for your advice on the things that matter. May your moustache be forever neat and tidy.
All I can think of now is the Not the Nine O’Clock News sketch:
“I’d like to buy a Gramaphone.”
Cue about 20 minutes of laughter.
“A Gramaphone, do you mean a music system?”
“What’s the difference?”
“Oh about 30 years and a plastic casing to you Granddad.” etc.
Sorry, moving on. Michael, what is the fifth and final thing you’d like to put into Box 010?
Yes, because it’s crap.
A bag of frozen green beans will cost about a quid. A bag of frozen asparagus will cost a ton. That is, if you can even find a place that sells frozen asparagus, as it’s clearly such an important and precious length of green that no-one dares freeze it, lest they risk the feeble wrath of asparagus worshippers everywhere.
Apparently asparagus is good for seducing women; I disagree. Vodka works perfectly and it’s cheap. Asparagus is expensive and is a far higher maintenance vegetable than it’s cousin the green bean. You also end up discarding half of it anyway.
The asparagus vs. beans debate is similar to the ebook vs. real book debate: “Oooooh, a real book is so much more engaging!”
No it isn’t, so stop lying.
Michael thank you for making us laugh so much with one of the most splendidly random Box 010’s so far. It was great! The results will be posted in a week’s time, when we will find out if my asparagus bed and halfway-house trousers are going to join my husband in Box 010.
Readers, you can vote on Michael’s choices here.
Look at the person sitting just across from you. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a loved one, a friend, or a complete stranger.
Now look at their face. Are they happy? Are they sad? Or are they angry? Can you even tell?
How well do you actually know the people closest to you? Have you ever seen the real person that lies just underneath what you see…?