Here is the next thrilling installment from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planet
Please take a look and let me know what you think. All feedback is gratefully received. Click the link to find out more …
Like almost all of some parts of the rest of the world, Panic Town had the choice of nearly twenty-seven television channels. Yet for most people, 123 Celebrity News was the only channel of choice.
123 Celebrity News was beamed, bounced, screened, recorded, streamed, downloaded, torrented, zipped, compressed, shared, copied, replayed, burnt, backed-up, archived, data-managed and saved for later all day every day so that Panic Town could gorge itself on celebrity news until it falls into an audiovisual stupor.
The breaking news this morning was coming live from the steps of the Town Hall and was a celebrity feast like no other has ever been witnessed. It was guaranteed to revitalise even the most constipated of viewers.
‘Hi everyone, my name is Juniper Jarvis and I’m reporting live for 123 Celebrity News. I’m with that well-known bad guy and all-round celebrity supervillain, the legendary Dr Don’t Know.’
For most people in Panic Town, the concept of twenty-four hour news meant exactly what it said. They imagined that presenters like Juniper had to present the news for twenty-four hours at a time.
As a result, these same people were permanently perplexed when they bumped into Juniper while they were walking down the street. Or shopping at a supermarket she had been invited to open. Entered a talent contest she was judging. Or looking in through the front window of her ground floor apartment as they just happened to be walking past.
‘Why aren’t you reporting the news?’ people asked when they saw her.
‘Shouldn’t you be on the television instead of standing in this queue?’ people would say, as Juniper patiently queued to pay her television license at the Panic Town National Bank.
‘Who’s going to give me the latest celebrity gossip while you’re busy treating yourself to a week’s groceries?’ inquired the cashier in Food and Things, Panic Town’s most successful supermarket superstore.
Some of the same people also thought that whenever they met Juniper out and about, that she was reporting live for some reason or other, and so they were somehow part of the story. Even the obvious absence of cameras and other news-reporting equipment didn’t stop people believing this.
‘They can build a camera so small nowadays that it is only visible to house flies, microscopes and scientists.’
‘Juniper’s left eye is a camera lens and whenever she talks to anyone, she is simultaneously transmitting live footage to the watching world.’
‘Juniper has a microphone embedded in her index finger and this gives her the real edge when it comes to news reporting.’
‘Juniper’s feet are actually the metal feet of a tripod that were grafted onto her body whilst she was on a so-called ‘holiday’.
‘Juniper has gills inserted into her neck so that she can do interviews in monsoons, waterfalls or underwater.’
As you can imagine, it was hard work being Juniper Jarvis but she would never let this get in the way of doing her job.
‘The breaking news this morning is that Dr Don’t Know has kidnapped Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird, and is holding them both prisoner in an undisclosed location.’
Juniper paused briefly to let the impact of her news sink in.
‘Even despite the cataclysmic severity of the situation, and bearing in mind any possible calamity now facing the entire Solar System, Dr Don’t Know has kindly agreed to take time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed.’
Whether working with international master criminals, small children underachieving in some delightful way, celebrity ponies and other quirky mammals in the public eye, film stars – the obviously famous and their not so obviously-famous counterparts – even the occasional over-achieving citizen, they all got the same balanced approach from Juniper.
‘So, Dr Don’t Know, perhaps you could tell our viewers why you have decided to commit such an act?’
In case you hadn’t heard, are new to this type of thing, or are simply flicking through the channels looking for something to watch while the adverts are on, Dr Don’t Know is an internationally-known career criminal, reportedly responsible for more than three-quarters of all the crimes that have taken in and around Panic Town over the last fifteen years.
Dr Don’t Know is also the world’s leading authority on being nondescript. The trick to being such a successful international criminal mastermind is to be absolutely and completely one hundred and fifty-six percent nondescript.
In fact, Dr Don’t Know is so completely nondescript that my description of him will run out of words right about now.
‘Don’t know,’ says Dr Don’t Know.
These are the only words that anyone has ever heard Dr Don’t Know use and so, unsurprisingly, this is the name he has been given by the press. Why are these the only words that anyone has ever heard Dr Don’t Know use? I don’t know. You would have to ask him, but you don’t have to be a genius to guess what the answer would be.
Dr Don’t Know’s name will be of the utmost importance to all of us a little bit later on. However, for now, all you need to know is how frustrating it is when the only answer that someone gives to a question is ‘Don’t know.’ Try it now with someone you know and see how it feels. When you have finished come back to the story. We’ll be waiting.
‘Ok. Thank you for that,’ continued Juniper. ‘Perhaps you could tell our audience why what you are planning to do is so criminally important, that you have to keep our two favourite heroes prisoner somewhere secret.’
‘Don’t know,’ said Dr Don’t Know.
I imagine you are starting to feel as frustrated as everyone else is with the interview so far. Dr Don’t Know hasn’t told us anything we want to know. And isn’t likely to. We are no nearer to knowing anything. Or knowing anything more than nothing. Or simply knowing nothing.
Juniper held the microphone even closer to the Doctor.
‘Is all this necessary because you are close to committing some wickedly evil crime and need the world’s most intrepid twosome out of the way in case they try to deflect your diabolic aim?’
‘Don’t know,’ said the inscrutable supervillain once again, and even though I know you are probably extremely upset by now with the whole lack-of-information thing, I can only give you my word that you will know more of what you need to know a little later on.
‘So there you have it, folks. You heard it first on 123 Celebrity News. My name is Juniper Jarvis and I will see you all the next time you see me.’
Here is another thrilling extract from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird vs Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. In this section we learn a little bit more about the kind of television programme that a superhero like Bewilder Bird likes to watch when he is not trying to save the world from complete and utter destruction. If you want to find out more about superhero viewing habits and a whole lot more besides then why not follow the link here. Here. Here. Here. And here.
Now in its twelfth season, the premise of Paint Tales is a simple one: a single tin of paint is followed from the factory where it is made to the place where it is used, via the shop where it is sold.
For enthusiasts of the programme, the joy of the journey is immense and somehow almost immeasurable. As a result, Paint Tales has now become a global, if somewhat esoteric, phenomenon. Discovering that the tin of paint you thought was going to be used as a humble undercoat turns out instead to be the final flourish of a ceiling in a converted bathroom can be close to life-changing for aficionados of the programme.
For anyone else, the premise of the programme is almost as disturbing as actually watching an episode and both the existence and continuance of Paint Tales has become a major topic of cultural debate. For some it is the ultimate guilty pleasure, for others it is the producers who should be feeling guilty.
Falcon Boy laughed quietly.
‘The season finale of Paint Tales was about a tin of red paint, Bewilder Bird’s favourite colour, and he had been looking forward to watching it all day. He had even left a note on the fridge to remind himself that it was on that evening.’
For future reference, interest, or indeed, warning, depending on what it is that you like to watch or not watch on television or any other screen, Paint Tales is from the same production company that created Concrete Superstar.
Many media experts believed that Concrete Superstar was going to be the next big thing in format television but the programme only ran for a single season. As a result, the five episodes that do exist have achieved cult status.
Each week, Concrete Superstar challenged three celebrities to lay the perfect concrete patio. Aided by experts, a whole range of stars of stage, screen (both big and small), music and anywhere else mixed, shovelled, poured, levelled, screed, bull-floated, hand-floated, rounded (if required), cut-in, and broomed their concrete in a race against both the clock and the other contestants.
The locations chosen were both indoor and outdoor and for the second season, it had been proposed that the programme go to different locations around the world so that factors like local building customs, union regulations and temperature extremes could be brought into play. Sadly, however, this was never to be.
Like many other people (but sadly, as it turns out, ultimately not enough other people), Bewilder Bird found Concrete Superstar really exciting because you could never really tell which one of the chosen celebrities would be the best at pouring concrete just by looking.
For example, who could have known that Dame Circular Rosetwine, opera singer and biscuit entrepreneur, would beat upper body muscle model and self-confessed DIY enthusiast Flint Roland in the first episode?
‘I thought I had it in the bag,’ said Flint afterwards, ‘until one of the production crew told me that I had poured the concrete upside down. It wasn’t until I had ripped everything out and started again that I realised they had been pulling my leg.’
In the second episode, renowned aristocratic bad-boy ventriloquist Sheridan Shaw and his foul-breathed puffer fish puppet, Puff the Puffer Fish, lost out to one-time pop sensation Dorothy Sister, lead singer of the reasonably-famous (and reasonably-named) Dorothy Sisters.
Puff the Puffer Fish refused to cooperate during the aggregate mixing phase and allowed Dorothy Sister to win by a technical default, even though she had managed to bury one of her high heels beneath a crazy-paving slab.
By way of further news on progress so far with The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests (Volume II of the Falcon Boy series) I thought I would give you an update on Pearly Stockwell.
As many of you will know Pearly Stockwell is a child detective who makes her debut appearance in Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets (Volume I). Together with the Interesting Twins, Pearly manages to solve every case she applies her big city ways to. If you want to catch up with her (e-book) adventures then please feel free to follow the link HERE (US) and HERE (UK).
In any case, as the following excerpt indicates, the world of Pearly Stockwell is as prone to whirls and eddies of public taste as any other contemporary publishing venture.
The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests excerpt:
IT Publishing, the company behind the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series which begat the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Detective Comic Audiobook Series ceased trading a while ago and everything related to the series is now little more than the occasional question at a very dull public quiz for people who are very dull.
The final ever episode in the series, Pearly Stockwell Finally Realizes How Cruel the World of Contemporary Publishing Really Can Be opens with our eponymous heroine bemoaning the state of contemporary publishing, a subject which, and even despite her big city ways, Pearly had never shown any interest in up until this final episode.
‘Our time has come, boys,’ says Pearly to the Interesting Twins. ‘Even before our time has really come.’
Pearly plants her feet and stares defiantly into space reads the caption.
‘I should think that the people making these short-sighted decisions really don’t know us at all!’ she snorts. ‘In fact, what do they know about anything anyway?’
Wes is really angry.
‘I’m gonna grab them and box them and fight them until they beg me to stop,’ he exclaims forcefully. ‘And even when they do beg me to stop I ain’t gonna stop for nothing or no-one not never!’
Pearly smiles at her loyal friend.
‘You’ve been a loyal friend for all of these adventures,’ she says kindly, ‘and we are all really going to miss your overly aggressive, small-minded and yet sometimes effective ways.’
‘Say the word, Pearly,’ says little Windy with a big tear in his small eye. ‘Say the word and I will run for you like I always do.’
‘But where will you run?’ replies Pearly. ‘The people making these decisions have made it very plain that there is nowhere left for you to run to and no-one would be there even if you ever arrived.’
‘But there must be something we can do,’ says the eviction notice Pearly had thrown angrily onto the desk. ‘We can’t just let them shut us down.’
‘You are right, as always, my fine, wise Wanderley,’ says Pearly sadly, ‘but not even your alarmingly outrageous propensity for disguising yourself in the most unlikely but nevertheless convenient disguises is going to make any difference here.’
Pearly looks directly out the frame.
‘The only thing that can save us all is if someone decided to continue our adventures as a small, independent online venture, perhaps using a free online publishing platform.’
Pearly shakes her head ruefully.
‘But that will take an awful lot of effort to keep writing our adventures, publishing our adventures, promoting our adventures and trying to get people to read our adventures knowing full well that a thankless venture like this will only ever be a tiny digital drop in the vast and thankless virtual ocean.’
Again, Pearly looks straight out of the frame of the comic.
‘Does anyone know how hard it is nowadays to even get someone to visit your site let alone stay long enough to read something?’
THE END FOREVER MORE? reads the final caption.