Bandit Returns!

Breaking news! Literally, breaking news. In a series of attacks, it seems the Glass Smashing Bandit has returned to Melbourne, breaking glass balustrades everywhere. This is Chuck Fiddlesticks from Channel 17, bringing you the latest news across Melbourne.

After months of Melbourne being free from this menace, it seems the infamous bandit is at it again. While he had previously enjoyed an appearance on Australia’s Next Top Office, which gave him immunity for his many crimes, it is clear that old habits die hard for this bad boy. When will he learn his lesson?

I’m live on the scene, exactly where the first of the glass balustrades around Melbourne was smashed. Store owner Terry Peanutbutter (yes, that is his actual name – I even saw his birth certificate) has given comment regarding what happened last night. “Well, I was sitting on my couch at the top of my shop, watching reruns of Fun and the City, when I heard this loud smashing of glass. I went to the window, and I swear I saw him running away. It was the Glass Smashing Bandit!”

When asked what he was planning on doing next, Terry said: “I dunno. I suppose I should get some commercial glazing, so that I can get the balustrade fixed.”

A wise course of action, if you ask this reporter. Everyone in Melbourne should be on the lookout for the Glass Smashing Bandit. If you need to know what he looks like, just rewatch Australia’s Next Top Office season two.

Apparently, detectives Schlock Homes and Jon Whatson are on the case, having captured the Glass Smashing Bandit once before. Will they bring this menace to society to justice? We can only hope so.

“We’re the best in the business,” Schlock Homes said to Channel 17. “Using our professional detective skills, we have been able to work out which suburb Bandit lives in. Now it’s just a matter of going door to door until we find him. Easy.”

Basking in Hyperbarics

I can’t believe that I won the Victorian election, and I only won because I faked my Bachelor of Evil Science. I have enjoyed my career as an evil scientist, but now I enter into a job far eviler, in a sphere so horrible, so terrible, that people will forever fear the name of Dr Dark McBane. Or should I say, Premier Dr Dark McBane! Maybe it’s just Premier McBane? Especially since people now know that I’m not a real evil doctor. Not that I ever claimed to be. I never told anybody that I had completed, or even started, a PhD. I just put the Dr in my name to make it sound more menacing. Anyway, I am now a politician! So deviously evil!

Today I’m basking in the glory of my victory, using the premier’s private hyperbaric chamber. You know, I actually considered studying hyperbaric medicine around Melbourne at an actual university. That was just before the Supervillain Training Academy opened up. In fact, if I hadn’t taken a gap year after year twelve, perhaps I would have legitimately studied hyperbarics, and then I wouldn’t be where I am now, in the premier’s office, would I? It’s funny how life works like that. I get to use my own private hyperbaric chamber because I chose not to study hyperbarics.

I wonder what my first move as Premier of Victoria should be. Obviously, I need to have Norris arrested for all of his previous crimes while in office. But then again, I’m not sure what Norris’s first name is. Chuck? No, that’s the name of the reporter that keeps begging me for an autograph. Maybe it’s Frank. It’s probably Frank.

Alright, so after my hyperbaric session, I’m going to have Frank Norris arrested for crimes against Victoria. People will be so happy to finally see that man behind bars. He’s been a plague on this state for years now. This is the single most important thing I will do while in office.

Oh, and then there’s that whole giving sentient cars and air conditioners the right to vote. I guess that’s kind of important, too.

Leaving the Concord?

Something terrible has happened. Jemaine is thinking about quitting the band! I don’t know how he could even consider something so terrible when Concord Flight is about to take off like a private aeroplane on its way back to New Zealand. But apparently, Jemaine is thinking about getting into film making or something. He says he has this great idea for a movie about vampires in New Zealand. Now, I love New Zealand, but vampires? I don’t know, I’m not sure the world is ready for a movie about vampires in New Zealand. It’s certainly not worth quitting the band for.

I think this is because we haven’t gotten the window tinting done yet. Greg is still spying on our meetings, and that is probably making Jemaine uncomfortable. It’s not acceptable, but I can’t fire Greg because he technically isn’t doing anything wrong, and I can’t get window tinting done because I can’t pay in Australian money. It’s a complicated situation, but I’m working on it. All I need is for Bret and Jemaine to be patient. Commercial window tinting near the Melbourne CBD is surprisingly hard to find, especially when it’s for the New Zealand Consulate!

I asked Jemaine who he would even get to act in his vampire movie. He said that he would play the starring role! That’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I love Jemaine, but he’s no actor. Heck, he barely has any stage presence in the band! How is he supposed to bring life to the character of a New Zealand vampire? I don’t think he’ll be able to pull it off. People will probably think he’s supposed to be a zombie instead. But I can’t stop Jemaine if his heart is really set on leaving the band to make this movie. I think he’s being a fool, though. He’s being just as foolish as an Australian. Maybe if I tell him that, it will really sink in.

– Murray

Joyous Kitchen

This past weekend I faced a terrible dilemma. My best friend hosted a massive party out in the countryside for her twenty fifth birthday but my parents were away so I had no-one to take care of my cat. Normally when I need to go away for the weekend I drop the cat off with my parents but this time I had to leave her in the house. I returned to find my kitchen in absolute pieces. She had someone turned the tap on in the sink and flooded the room. The cabinets were completely scratched to pieces and she had even managed to crack a few backsplash tiles! 

After trying to do a bit of a DIY to make it look presentable again I decided it was time to invest in a whole new kitchen. I had been wanting to do some renovations anyway because I am thinking about selling soon and a few of the rooms need a bit of an update. I did some research into kitchen renovators in Melbourne and found a pretty good kitchen design and construction company not too far from me. It doesn’t need to be too fancy but I figured now was as good a time as any to get a fresh look in there, my cat obviously thinks it’s necessary. I met with the kitchen design company in Melbourne and made plans for a construction timeline. It’s not a massive kitchen so it looks like it can all be done in about two weeks, and the best thing is the renovators consult on the design and see it through right to the first flush of the new sink. The benchtops are going to black marble. I will definitely be keeping my cat out of the kitchen and she will be attending any weekends away from now on if my parents can take her.

Exploring Ringwood

Welcome to the account of my journey across the vast area of Ringwood. I’ve been exploring the suburbs of Victoria one by one for the last few years, driving my trusty Hold On Common Door. I’ve given myself one week to explore Ringwood in its entirety, so let’s get started.

Monday: I arrived in the town of Ringwood with my car sputtering and squeaking. The Black

Lamp (the name of my vehicle) needed urgent repairs. Fortunately, I came upon a mechanic. Ringwood would have to be explored by foot or public transport, as the mechanic needed to take my vehicle overnight to perform the required repairs. So I set out, visiting some of the town’s best cafes and restaurants. I ate more food than I would like to admit. That night, I found lodgings with a local family who mistook me for a homeless man. I didn’t bother to correct them.

Tuesday: After helping Mrs Trish get the kids to school, I headed out to continue exploring Ringwood. I completely forgot to pick up my car from the mechanic. The Ringwood movie theatre was excellent, its reclining seats most comfortable. The local shopping centre was a thriving hub of activity. I shall be returning there again tomorrow. At the end of the day, I returned to the Trish household.

Wednesday: It turns out that all my car needed was brake repair. Near Ringwood, lots of people forget to pick up their cars, so the mechanic wasn’t surprised that I had failed to turn up the day before. It seems the local population is very kind. Although I had originally planned to sleep in my car, I have been enjoying my time with the Trish family. So I parked my car a few streets away and returned to their home, still continuing my facade as a homeless man.

I shall update you about the next few days soon. Tomorrow I plan on visiting the local swimming pool and returning to the shopping centre once more.

Best Car Repairman

Well, I can confidently say that was the best, smoothest, most hassle-free repair service I have ever received in my life. This repairman is a real pro, truly the best in the business, and he doesn’t even get half the credit he deserves for it. He certainly doesn’t seem like your average, everyday repairman. I’d wager that if you saw him on the street, you wouldn’t be able to tell what his profession was. You might not even think he has a job at all!

Thanks to Mr Repairman, I can focus on the next stage of getting my life together. I’ll be heading down to a mechanic around Glen Iris tomorrow for some high-quality car repair, to make sure I’m back on the road in no time. After that, I’ll be making sure my boat is in top shape for the holidays, then working extra hard to get my big promotion at work. It will be a busy few days, but we’re off to a good start thanks to the repairman.

Well, I suppose he’s not really a repair man, per se. You know, it’s super strange how there hasn’t been anybody reporting about this helpful sentient car offering to fix houses for people. Surely there should be a news headline about it by now. “Car repairs Hawthorn resident’s house, completely free of charge”, or something. I feel like that would sell papers or get clicks. 

It’s just crazy that my house needed repairs in the first place. Being in Melbourne, I thought we had built in just about the safest place on Earth. But then the other day, the winds started howling and picking up, and the next thing I knew, a tornado had swept through the area and destroyed half of my home. I know it sounds made up, but it’s not. Thankfully my car wasn’t damaged. Although I suppose it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, as I need some minor repairs anyway. But still, complete repairs for my car and my house may have just been a little too much for me.

Been a While

It’s been a while since I jumped on the old computer and typed up a post for this site. I’ve almost forgotten how to do it! Hopefully, this post doesn’t turn out like the one from last year, after I returned from my Christmas break. I was supposed to tell you all about the mechanics I visited over my holiday, but I got sidetracked and wrote about the best fish and chip shops in Queensland instead! How embarrassing.

I don’t really have a topic this time, although I suppose I should touch on special car maintenance, like diesel tuning, as I promised I would cover it last time. Basically, diesel tuning is when you make changes to a diesel engine to improve its performance, through many different aspects. You’ll need to go to a mechanic who is comfortable with auto electrical, but that shouldn’t be too difficult.

My favourite auto electrical shop near Toowoomba is this one with a really nice bakery next to it. The bakery has the best pies, made fresh each day. Back when I used to work at the restaurant, washing dishes, I would go there every day for lunch. I remember sitting on the bench outside, just chowing down on these delicious steak and mushroom pies. If I ever got bored of the pies (which was rare), I could go to the fish and chip shop and order something there instead.

Oh boy, I love me some fish and chips. It’s just about the best food in the world. Look, I know it’s not exactly the fanciest cuisine out there, but sometimes less is more, you know? If you don’t like lots of deep-fried food, you can always get a souvlaki or burger. There’s something for everyone, really. Even if you don’t like meat, just get some delicious chips.

Drat, I’ve done it again! Why do I always keep getting distracted when writing these things? And why do I always get distracted by fish and chips? Maybe next time I’ll be able to tell you more about auto electrical work!

The Brown Rock

I always hated the Bionic Cools. My kids loved them, of course, but I always thought they were really stupid. Especially the movies. Oh my gosh, those movies were abysmal. The animation was enough to make a grown man’s eyes bleed. The story was so weak and the characters were bland. It was all just an elaborate marketing campaign for the toys, which children would obviously fall for. I’m sad to say that my own kids were no exception. They didn’t want to collect Beanie Children, no. It was all Bionic Cools in our house.

So that’s why it kind of sucks that I’ve been turned into one of those terrible plastic toys. And of course I’m the one with the power to control rocks or something. What a lame character. He was always my least favourite.

I don’t really know what happened. One moment I was thinking about how I’d like to get kitchen renovation sometime, to increase the value of my home. Then, as I was walking across the room, I tripped on something stuck in the ground. When I composed myself and had a look at it, I saw a strange brown stone. I touched it and underwent this weird transformation. My flesh melted away and my bones turned to plastic.

What a terrible day.

And it’s not like I knew I had the power to control rocks or anything, so I accidentally destroyed my kitchen with it. Everywhere I walk, the foundations of my house spring up and crack. I may have to find a kitchen design business within Melbourne to help me fix it up. And by fixing it up, I mean building a new kitchen because this one is destroyed beyond repair, surely.

Why couldn’t I have been turned into a Lay Go character instead? Those are way better than Bionic Cools. But no, it seems I’m stuck like this. What a day.

– Rocky Reggie

Obtaining Glass

I’ve always wondered what the process is for making glass. I assume it’s nothing like in the video game Craft a Mine, where you take a bucket of sand to the tallest volcano in the land, sacrifice thirty-two goats and fight a dragon-bull. Once the dragon-bull is defeated, you may present your bucket of sand to the Volcano Goddess, who rubs it with her magical hands, drinks the sand and turns the bucket into glass in thanks. I know, it’s really weird.

I think the process in the video game Terra Area makes a lot more sense. If you want to obtain commercial glazing for your town, you have to venture out to the dungeon and slay the giant skeleton boss who has four arms and shoots lasers from his eyes. Once he’s dealt with, you have to travel deep underground and obtain an item known as the strange keystone, which holds the spirit of an ancient spectre. You bring that back to town and trade it for a glazier summoner. Once you use that, the local glazier will move into your town and you can buy glass from them.

I said that it made more sense, not that it was logical.

All these video games with glass have made me wonder what the process is like in the real world. If I wanted to make some glass balustrades for the Melbourne area, what would I do? Is it as simple as talking to a tradesman and having them install one? That seems a bit too easy. And where do they get the glass from? Do they get trucks to pick it up at the beach, then drive to a factory with all these furnaces where they turn it into glass? How do they purify it so the glass isn’t all grainy like the sand? And then how do they shape it? There isn’t much about it that makes sense to me, but then again, it’s not like I’ve done any research. Maybe one day I’ll go to a glass factory and find out what they do.

– Janet

Auto King’s Man

I was shaking as I entered the Auto King’s lair, knowing things couldn’t go well for me. I hated being the messenger, especially when I had to deliver bad news. 

The Auto King was lifted high in the air, currently being worked on by a team of professional mechanics. It seemed like they were giving him a full suspension service. The slick black car looked down at me and frowned. 

“What is it, Nathaniel?” he asked.

I tried to slow my breathing and stop the trembling but had no luck. My voice shook as I spoke. “My lord, I’m afraid to inform you that Operation Sneaky Fighters has failed. Somebody found out about it and single-handedly destroyed the base. Rufus was found there. He is dead, my lord.”

The Auto King was contemplative for a moment. “Is our plan to take control of all Ringwood automotive services still intact?”

“It is,” I said. “Do you want to go forward? It’s a dangerous plan without the sneaky fighters there to help manage it.”

The plan involved taking control of all the auto shops so that every sentient car would be exposed to our campaign for autocracy. With all the sentient cars thinking about it, either consciously or subconsciously, they’d be more likely to join our resistance and our fight against the Church of the Tinted Flock. 

“Do it,” said the Auto King. “I don’t want there to be any vehicle inspections within Ringwood or its surrounding suburbs without our influence. It is crucial that this part of the plan works, with or without the sneaky fighters there to help. Do not fail me again, Nathaniel.”

I bowed low and retreated out of the room, my hands still shaking. When the Auto King got mad, he kind of reminded me of Dark Invader, the villain from the Space Battles movies. But at his core, the Auto King was a good guy. He had to be, right? Because I definitely wasn’t one of the bad guys or serving one of them. Autocracy was what the world needed, not democracy with humans. We were the good guys. Right?