Friday, 29 November 2013

Firearms and Fingertips

Corpses, video games, shoot-outs, manic harbingers of death, desperate surgery and blood and gore galore are the mainstay of the action-packed 70 minutes that is Firearms and Fingertips.

FIREARMS AND FINGERTIPSA DJ plays in the corner, a corpse with a bloodied torso lies still on a hospital bed. After several minutes we realise that the corpse isn't quite dead yet and frantic doctors and nurses try to revive him. He's in pain, screaming, gurgling, swearing and asking for his mum. She's outside. He's been shot and she found him by the bins when she arrived home with their takeaway. He's a good boy; no reason for anyone to shoot him. 

Cue the harbingers of death, they love a good death but it really isn't the same these days. They lament for the good old days of plague with all the puss, and the times when people died of syphilis. The '80s were good too; that was the time of AIDS you know.

They are presenting a show: 'This is Your Death'. They wake almost dead Spencer up to tell him the good news. He doesn't take it too well. With plenty of macabre pomp and fanfare they introduce a series of guests: Spencer's mum, his girlfriend, shooter Jordan, and Jordan's mum. As they are hot-seated in turn we learn more about the background of the incident as well as being introduced to the five stages of grief.

A mock-up of 'The X-Factor' ('The Death Factor'), a killing spree computer game and a re-enactment of a war-zone in which the actors race around the place shooting each other and using members of the audience for cover. Bit by bit the reasons for the shooting are uncovered. Was it bad parenting? Was it a disloyal girlfriend? Or was Spencer not the good boy his mother believed him to be?

The dark themes of teenagers and guns, death and bereavement are dealt with in a way that is chilling and humorous. And loud. And freaky.

In the end Spencer dies. It couldn't end any other way. We return to the hospital scene with the doctors and nurses realising they can't save him and his mum coming to his bedside and hugging his bloodied body as she says her final goodbye.

Here's a link to a youtube clip

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Planning for New Year

As I don't have any family planning to stay with me over Christmas this year, this means that right after Christmas Day I can get away. I've thought about heading overseas for a week but as I'm spending rather a lot on my van conversion at the moment and as I only came back from Oman a couple of weeks ago, I've decided to spend the time catching up with friends in the UK and trying to walk a bit more of the Thames Path.

Last time I walked the Thames Path (which was also at New Year) I finished in Staines. Not the most salubrious of places. I've been told by a local that they're thinking of re-naming it Staines upon Thames to make it sound a bit more upmarket. I think St. Aines would sound even posher, but I'm not sure who to forward my suggestion to officially. And whatever it's called it's going to take a bit more than a name change to improve its image.

But I digress. Last year I finished in Staines and so that is where I need to start from this year. If I can get three days' walking in, I should be able to make it to Marlow. On day 1 I should get as far as Windsor; day 2 should get me to Maidenhead; and then if I have chance to do a day 3 I'll make it to Marlow. As usual at this time of year daylight hours will seriously impact on how far I can walk. Even with a headtorch I wouldn't want to be walking along lonely riverside paths in the dark.

I spent a couple hours in the week researching parking and trains and it all seems very easy. I've found relatively cheap parking in Windsor, Maidenhead and Marlow and good train connections back to my starting point each day. Hopefully the traffic won't be too heavy as it's just after New Year and schools won't be back in. Big time-eating traffic delays at the start of each day would mean me having to re-assess my plans for that day.  

So, all I need to know now is what's the weather going to be like?