Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Writing tip o' the day

So it's your turn to empty the dishwasher, and amongst the sparkly clean knives, forks and plates you come across this plastic doohicky thing you've never seen before.
Normally you'd search the kitchen drawers & cupboards for a similar doohicky so you can put this one with it. However, a writer's time is precious, so here's your time-saving tip for today: Set the plastic jobbie aside for the minute, and when you've finished emptying the dishwasher just chuck the doohicky thing back in again. Hey, not only did you empty the dishwasher, you've now made a start on refilling it!
Repeat this tip until it's someone else's turn to put the stuff away.
And you never heard this tip from me.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The things kids say ...

I was playing Lego Star Wars with my youngest daughter yesterday, and after a couple of hours battling through Episode I she finally asked me something which had obviously been troubling her for some time:

Dad, why do they call it a Life Saver when it chops people up?

Neat game, by the way.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Talking about showers

(This is a G-rated post, which will probably divide my readers into disappointed and relieved.)

Actually, I want to talk about shampoo. My wife buys the stuff in our house, not because I don't do any shopping but because I never notice when we've run out. That's because I always use the closest bottle-shaped container, be that shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath or mould remover.

So, there I was having my shower, and when I reached for the nearest container it said 'Coal Tar Shampoo'. I rolled my eyes, soapy film and all, and put it down to marketing bods trying to appeal to the survivalist types. Wondering what it REALLY contained, I splurged a dollar-bill-sized amount onto my hand and started to lather.

Well, I can tell you what it REALLY contained: Real fricking coal tar.

Let me divert for just a sec.

As a kid I used to walk to school, and along the way there were many fences painted with creosote. I remember that smell like it was yesterday - or indeed, five minutes ago. As a kid I also used to play on and around train tracks (don't ask), and right now I smell almost exactly like a railway sleeper, and the bathroom has that eau de marshalling yard aroma which comes from years of heavy diesel traffic. Bargain.

As I towelled off I pondered the uses for this wonderful product, and then it hit me: model railway enthusiasts. Don't go buying expensive tins of creosote, just spread Coal Tar (tm) shampoo on your papier mache mountains. Better still, add it to the paste while you're making the things for a really long lasting stench.

Coal Tar (tm) shampoo: redefining 'clean'

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)