On a somewhat irregular basis over the past ten months I have been working on various manuscripts and blogs, and during my increasingly lengthy moments of reflection, I have pondered long and hard about the source of a small piece of plastic that has been nestled in my laptop case. I’ve wracked my brains trying to figure out where this piece of plastic could have come from. I’ve scanned every inch of my laptop over and over with no obvious signs of it belonging. It didn’t make sense, but I couldn’t let it go. I had to know. I had to. And then it hit me.
“You idiot!” I exclaimed, spilling my morning coffee over my already coffee stained pyjamas. My mother peered over her kindle with her glasses poised at the end of her nose. At first glance she seems like a sophisticated intellectual, until you realise her kindle is exclusively used for the playing of Angry Birds. “I’ve been trying to figure out where this piece fits on my laptop for months,” I continued, elaborating on my dismay.
“Oh, yeah?” She asked, feigning interest.
“Yes!” I began, equally thrilled and ashamed by my revelation. “It doesn’t fit on my laptop at all. It’s a piece of Lego!”
You could hear a pin drop in the room as she marvelled in my stupidity, trying and failing to hold back her sinister delight. But it was alright. I had achieved closure, feeling an entire weight being lifted from my mind as soon as the words left my lips. A relief that was short lived.
“So, what Lego is it missing from?” She asked innocently.
I blinked at her. Over and over. Realising the implications of such a question. Horrified by the door she had just opened.
“Why would you ask me that?”
The search continues…
So, what happened?
One hundred days have come and gone since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, and say what you like about the president, his work ethic has been phenomenal. 993 tweets don’t just post themselves, instead it takes a special kind of man with oddly miniature fingers to dance so nimbly across that keyboard. I’m not a betting man, but I reckon the head Elf position at Santa’s workshop is his, if he so chooses. From day one, Donald has been set loose on the world like a Paedophile in a playground, his bloodless member held limp between his fingers as he relentlessly pursues one asthmatic child after another. With an average approval rating of just 42%, his first one hundred days have been about as popular as the pineapple on your slice of Hawaiian pizza. From his failings over immigration and healthcare reform, to the alternative facts and the war on “fake news”, Donald Trump has been the farcical president that we were promised, yet is still the kind of man that will insist everything is going great, even as he and the nation slowly descend into the fiery depths of hell.
But alas, we can all rest assured that there are only 1361 days of his presidency remaining, by which time the United States armada will have reached North Korean waters.
In alternative news, a family game of Cards Against Humanity reveals a shocking twist to Grandma’s casual racism, while Whitney Houston is set to be the face of a brand new Bath and Body Works range.
So, what have we been up to?
It was that time of year at work again, when all the degenerates surface from their hovels and swarm the bookies’ for the largest horse race on the calendar. Working the Grand National is like being submerged in the plot to Pitch Black. You spend a year in a relatively stagnant landscape while being drained of all energy by the overpowering rays of three suns and the stories of their enlarged prostate’s, before the suns disappear beyond the horizon and the monsters come out to feed. The only hope for survival is to huddle around the brightly coloured “Here to help” T-shirts that act as an ironic barrier between you and the frothing jaws of the once-a-year customers. Trouble relating? Think Black Friday and Christmas Eve rolled into one, where the customers possess no prior knowledge of the one product that we actually sell, while simultaneously shunning those whom offer expert advice and instead seek aid from the one person who will look upon them with the same disdain reserved solely for those who violate the urinal splash zone. I think I’ve made my point. If you can wade through the torrent of shit, not unlike a scene from the Shawshank Redemption, then there are some genuinely lovely people. These are generally the same people who are quite content to select their horses based on the name alone.
“Oh, Champagne At Dawn, how lovely,” they’ll muse aloud.
“I like the name Tiffany,” I don’t “but if she gets into a race with Usain Bolt, my money’s on the big fella!” I’ll retort.
Then there are the horses that share a name with relatives or loved ones, which have always earned themselves a strong backing.
“Oh look, One For Arthur. My granddad was an Arthur,” The needle skips on the broken record.
“Yours and everyone else’s, love,” I’ll mutter under my breath, affirming the rumours that everyone in this town is related.
Still, it is an occasion that occurs but once a year, and I have made a promise to myself, that should there be another, all of the regular scenarios would make for the most incredible game of Bingo!
So, what have we been watching?
Social media blew up with the arrival of 13 reasons why, the story of a teenage girl who tragically takes her own life, but not before creating a series of cassette tape recordings, detailing the reasons behind her act. These tapes are then forwarded to whomever they may concern, with rather ambiguous intent. Is it to vindictively lay blame? To encourage them to be better people? To help them understand the things she went through? Or is it all of the above? Like the very mind of a teenage girl, it’s impossible to fully comprehend. Instead, the series’ main goal is to get people to open up about mental health, which to this day is a huge stigma in society. There are a couple of powerful episodes here and there, while the majority fall short of making any real impact. The 13 hour-long episodes are drawn too thin and re-tread tired old ground, and it’s here that I feel the show would have benefited from a shorter run, not to mention the huge spoiler alerts on the part of Netflix themselves.
For me, 13 reasons why falls short on its message, and fails to address mental health in as quite a powerful or unique a way as the Netflix original, Bojack Horseman. Brilliantly aware, challenging, and outrageously funny, Bojack Horseman will be enjoying it’s fourth season later this year, and is everything you could possibly want from a truly thought provoking experience, all wrapped up in an animated sitcom.
So, what have we been reading?
Aside from the release of Brian K Vaughan’s Saga Volume 7 (a superb series that if you haven’t started by now, you need to ask yourself some serious questions), I’ve recently begun to follow the wonderfully charming and often ludicrous Rachel Being Chatty. Each post is an insightful paragraph of profound wit and wisdom, viewing the world from a fascinating perspective, possibly through a kaleidoscope. Check it out, you’ll thank me.
This has been Randall’s Review, laughing through one day at a time.
Coming next month: We’ll hop on board the doomed election trail, address the issues I’ve had since moving back home, and we’ll give our verdict for season 2 of The Last Kingdom.