Plokta's Bathroom Reading
THE Plokta dunny is distinguished by a goodly heap of reading matter suitable for dipping in and out of. Recommended recent acquisitions include, along with the obligatory Dilbert collection:
- dear annie, the collection of witty solutions to readers' fashion problems from the Independent on Sunday. Typical style advice includes "Dear Annie, Where can I get a six-strap suspender belt?" "Try Cover Girl Shoes, tel: 0171 354 2883. This is ostensibly a shop for transvestites but they are very helpful."
- The Bumper Book of British Battleaxes, by Christine Hamilton, who knows a battleaxe when she sees one. This is the book to tell you that Ann Widdecombe describes herself as a Pocket Battleaxe, or that when one MP told Nancy Astor that he didn't know what to make of Winston Churchill, she said "How about a nice rug?" You will not be surprised to know that she rates Margaret Thatcher as "the Battleaxe of the Century -- perhaps even of the Millennium", or that she modestly includes a chapter on herself -- "the Hyacinth Bucket of British politics".
- Really Erotic Dots -- not a porno mag for laser printers, but rather a collection of dot-to-dot versions of the works of Thomas Rowlandson, a 19th century humourist with a thing about fleshy bits. The fun, of course, comes in working out how the naughty bits fit together this time.
- The December 1998 Which?, busily taking Compuserve to task for offering 750 hours free online time, all of which had to be taken within a month. As the longest month contains only 744 hours, Which? felt the offer, helpfully launched in 672-hour February, was somewhat misleading.
- Bizarre Tales from New Scientist -- subtitled "All the funny bits from the past 40 years". These include a variety of unusual product warnings, such as the mirror which warned "Remember: objects viewed in the mirror are behind you", or the Korean kitchen knife which advised "Keep out of children", extensive explanations of why sheep aren't green, and detailed analysis of the webs produced by spiders who chance to eat Sue Mason's baking.
- A Deepness In the Sky -- Vernor Vinge's latest novel in the milieu of A Fire Upon the Deep. Only suitable loo reading for people with very severe digestive problems, but it's jolly good. Read our review at www.plokta.com/pnn/ and then go and buy it for yourself.
- A range of fanzines old and new, including Stet 6 -- a good thick fanzine, with roughly 25% content and 75% letters. And crifanac 3 -- a bad thin fanzine [that's quite enough of that-Ed.]
Chris Bell's invented a new game: Cleave the Fishlifter
Oh my God, they killed Gary. The bastards.