Friday, February 14, 2014

What's my age again?

This evening at the Co-op I was at the till behind a teenager insisting she was 35 years old in an optimistic attempt to buy a bottle of booze. It just makes me think, though - not once in my life has anyone asked me for proof of age. I've always looked old and ancient, apparently.

I should get some kind of expert make-up artist to make me look youthful, just so I can be refused alcohol or cigarettes in a shop. It'd be a great experience. I'm sure all I'd need is some trendy young people's clothes and maybe a baseball cap.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Illusion is the ultimate weapon

Someone found this blog by googling "mask cartoon vehicles". Which is interesting, because I don't remember ever blogging about the vehicles from the cartoon MASK, much though I actually am interested in the subject. MASK was cool. Not as cool as Transformers or Thundercats, but still pretty cool in its own way.

The most interesting thing about the vehicles was that they came with a driver who had a mask that had special powers, and the way this was phrased on the box was always along the lines of "Dusty Hayes with Backlash mask which pretends to create sonic waves." All the masks "pretended" to do something - the people who played with them didn't pretend, it was the mask itself.

The figures were also available without the vehicles, if you were too poor to afford the cool big toys. Cleverly, the manufacturers made sure that poor children could never be completely satisfied with this purchase, because the masks that came with the sold-separately figures were slightly different from the ones that came with the vehicles; the masks were sort of extended downwards a bit with some extra plastic, making it impossible to take the figures into primary school and tell people you'd got the vehicle at home.

The comic was also quite good (although again, not as good as the Transformers comic... it was probably about as good as the Thundercats comic, which was rubbish compared to the cartoon, but did have the advantage of a Lew Stringer comic strip - rating 30-year-old toy-tie-in comics can be hard work), and most notable for the way it would be filled with characters breaking the fourth wall - villains as well as heroes. There would always be an advert for subscriptions in which evil Miles Mayhem announced to the readers that he was going to buy every copy of MASK from the newsagent to stop you reading about Matt Trakker thwarting his evil plan, and one time the cover had the bad guys fighting over the chew bar that was that issue's free gift. "Stop pushing, Rax! You know I like chews!"

Sunday, February 09, 2014


It occurred to me that I should find out what parliamentary constituency I'm in now, and it turns out it's Mid-Derbyshire. Which is a brand new thing dreamed up for the last elections. And a funny kind of name, too, since it's in the south-east corner of Derbyshire and not in the middle at all. If I was the boundaries commission, I would have called it "That Bit That's Down Near Derby But Isn't Actually Derby Itself". Also, I would have abolished the whole parliamentary process and made myself some sort of ultimate king of everything (because I'm sure that such is within the powers of the boundaries commission), but first I would have changed the name.