concepts for a buntiful world
Friday, August 26
Chow Mein
I sat at the desk rolling cigarettes. I was planning to go out later, and I found it tiresome rolling one handed in half darkness. I was looking forward to a drink, the day had gone slowly.

In the office the light pooled around the desk upon which my rizla, tobacco and filters lay scattered. Ten minutes more and I would be a free man again, free at least until tomorrow morning. The last show was finally coming out on time and the single figure audiences would file quickly and guilty out into the rain, conscious that the show they had just watched had too much nudity and not enough justification for aforementioned nudity in. I had seen them, limping down the stairs. Watching them arrive in their macs, with their copies of "The Herald" - lonely men, looking for a little excitement. I couldn't figure out if the show delivered or not. I'd only seen it once and not quite grasped the plot. Still, the job paid the rent, and I didn't have to clean the seats.

I looked out of the window, the street far below was busy with clubbers, queueing in the rain to get into a sweaty, loud little hole. I wasn't planning on that one - I had a calmer, cooler destination in mind. The rain meant I would get very wet on my walk over. After a day inside the sweaty little building, however, I didn't mind. It freshened me up, smoothed the frown from my face and probably washed some of the sweat from my arms.

I heard a gunshot. The end of the show - I scooped my pre-rolled fags into my bag and stood up...the punters filed past, looking grubby. I let them leave - they knew where the door was. I think if I hadn't been there they would still have pushed the crumpled fivers into the box before they filed in at the beginning. I didn't have much to do, a little tidying, a little admin. Mere presence was enough. The work suited me down to the ground. The management didn't want to know who I was, I was a nobody, a nothing, a silhouette who was paid enough to live on, but little enough to ensure I wouldn't ever save enough to leave. The skirt was on the seedy side of town, in fact, it probably was the whole of the seedy side of town, nobodies like me worked dead end jobs waiting for something, for one big score, or for some stroke of luck that would lift us out of the gutter and make us kings. Most of us would settle for something that would lift us far enough from the gutter to call ourselves men again. Me, I would settle for a heart attack punter with a fat wallet every couple of months.

I couldn't leave, not now, not yet, not until I knew I would be safe outside. This skirt specialised in hiding people from people whose livelihoods depended on finding people trying to hide. PIs and Gumshoes were brutally killed if they were found wandering our streets, any Marlowes who enquired too deeply from without were also dealt with. The gang who ran this ward knew what sold and what didn't, and the depth of anonymity provided here was a commodity worth millions to them. The way we paid for our stay was in the pittance we collected for the jobs we worked here - the scam worked well, and the authorities didn't blink. They had their cut, and the number of administrative facilities based within the boundaries had grown steadily since the gang had begun its operations. I could have been happy here if I had managed to bring any credit in with me. The cost of living was kept artificially low. One of the conditions of entry, however, was that we came in naked, penniless and with no name. Once inside we could make what we could of the situation, although any overly enterprising inhabitants were removed and their operations taken over. The place offered hard work and a dreamless sleep which only tiredness can bring. It offered a redemption bought with time and sacrifice, and a peace that bettered any drugs or medication.

Some people used it as detox. Drugs were available here, but the low cost of living did not extend to them, which made them hugely unaffordable. Alcohol was scarce, and other than the pumping music of the clubs or the seedy "theatres," recreation was largely based around the cable vision network that had been installed when the skirt had been a better area, and the prostitutes who supplemented their meagre income with the pennies of others. Others were running from something, from the Police, the Disease or from more personal problems like myself. Protection was not provided once inside the skirt, but the lights were always low, most businesses operated at night, and the smog in the streets meant that most people shaved their heads and wore three quarter face masks, so finding someone, even with the resources that some of the gangs had, was next to impossible. If you worked enough during your stay you might be able to get yourself snuck out when you decided to leave - that meant that if you thought those looking for you might be waiting and watching the skirt for you wouldn't notice. As a result of this people didn't bother, so only the most paranoid of punters would be sneaking themselves out.

I was seriously considering applying to have my exit kept below any surveillance radar. I wasn't paranoid, I knew what was out there waiting for me, and I knew that they would be waiting, watching, unblinking and unsmiling, waiting for me to crack. That was the genius of the skirt. Nobody could stand it for ever, few bore it more than ten years, so the endless supply of cheap labour kept renewing itself. Nobody wanted to stay, nobdoy could afford to. Ten years of working like you had to and you are a changed man or woman, no longer healthy devil may care and handsome, but stooped, drawn and careful - always aware of the value of time, and the price of freedom.

People considered it no better than a prison where the convicts interred themselves, I was beginning to think they might be right. Some gangs were happy simply to keep people inside, even the gang who ran it were happy to chase someone inside, and then work them to death. It might take a long time to find out who people were, but the guys who ran the skirt were patient people.

I looked up, there was a figure standing in front of the desk, watching me. Probably one of the punters, left his watch or wallet in the space. I tore my gaze away from the window and stepped closer to the desk, toeing a switch which lit the figure from above as I moved. The figure shied out of the light, a common local reaction, and even more frequently seen in venues like this.

"Can I help you?" I tried, wondering whether this was the same way the person who had had my position before had met his end. He'd been beaten to death and thrown from the window. Investigating officers had decided he had been dead before he had been thrown from the window based on the fact that he had been thrown out of three different windows, in different directions, legs from one, torso from another and head from the third, and highest window. He must have done something wrong, but as far as I knew I hadn't worked here for long enough to have done something wrong. I hadn't even begun thinking about ways I could skim off the top of the cash box. I've always found that one needs to know a job before the holes in the system open up and become visible.

"You." He grunted, raising a hand. I was relieved to see it was empty. He was observant, I'd give him that. As far as I could figure out, it was indeed me. The fact that he didn't know who "me" was comforted me.

"Yes?" I kept my voice politely enquiring.

"I know you."

I tried to keep my face as impassive as possible. Shit. Shit shit shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shit.

"I don't think so." I kept my face in shadow.

"You're Levy, Theo Levy. We used to call you Lucky." He was gesturing with his finger now, and getting angry.

"I don't think so." I wondered if he would persist much longer, and felt behind my back for the bat we kept in the office. It was a crappy bat, bought because no ball would ever touch it, and the core drilled out easily enough leaving plenty of space for lead.

The figure stepped back into the light. I didn't know him.

"I'm gonna fucking rip your arms off you fucking fag."

The figure kept his voice even, but it didn't feel like he was joking.

"You do that to my sister and then think you can hide in here? Fucking not good enough my son." The figure stepped to the office doorway and took one pace into the room.

"If I was a fag I surely I wouldn't have done shit to your sister? You should" I gave the figure a final chance. The bat was in my hand and I tightened my fingers around the rough taping.

The figure raised his hands and kept moving forward. I stepped backwards, whipping the bat up and around my body, losing my balance slightly to the weight pinned in the centre of the bat. I was going to have to clean the walls now. My frustration with the thought of cleaning, and with the job, and with hiding in this shitty part of town slid down the bat, adding momentum, and as it connected with the figure's head I closed my eyes and felt the spray hit my face. I could smell the blood as I heard the crunch and crackle, and opened my eyes in time to see the figure fly away from me and into the shelves, which did more damage to the corpse, shattering teeth. An eye made contact with a protrusion and burst. I was going to be up all hours cleaning this shit off the office. Punters didn't like their venue smelling rotten, and whilst the spaces upstairs often smelt fairly ripe, especially after a busy day, I didn't want my office reeking of dead men. I stood for a second, watching the blood pool, and let the bat slip from my hand to the floor.

I locked the building and powered down before switching on the office light. The place was a mess. Blood had pooled on the floor and found its way between the linoleum tiles, and the corpse was still twitching gently. I found the mop from upstairs and borrowed a hefty glug of bleach and some rubberised gloves from the cupboard and set to work. It took three hours, and I spent the last half an hour looking for bits of tooth which had scattered down behind the cassettes on the shelves, but after a while the office looked like nothing had happened, and the corpse and all its component parts was bagged and ready to move. I hadn't yet figured out what I should do with it, and from the window the dawn was beginning to remove any chance of a disposal in darkness.

I sat and smoked one of my cigarettes, thinking. I wasn't supposed to smoke in the building, but then I wasn't supposed to kill the customers either, and I had a definite idea which one I would get in more trouble for. In the end I figured the easiest way to dispose of the body was to bag it in official bags and let the garbage men take it away. I needed the body in smaller pieces for that, so after I finished my cigarette I dragged the remains of the body to the building's now long defunct kitchen and after a little searching, found a rusting knife in the back of one of the drawers.

I was up till the garbage men came round, but was alive enough to greet them with a cheery wave and watch them hurling the fellow into the back of the truck, bag by bag. Then I locked up and went home. It was early and I had things to do before I came back to work. I pondered calling my boss to let him know what had occurred, just in case of things being discovered. I wasn't that worried about it, people disappeared in here all the time, either leaving or just offending the wrong person. The problem with being so anonymous was partly that nobody cared when you stopped being around, and partly the fact that nobody knew who you were to begin with...


It was a short day, I ate, slept, showered and left the house, with two hours to go before I had to re-open the theatre. It struck me that I might have just downed one of our customers, who grew fewer and fewer as the prostitutes grew cheaper and cheaper. The gang running this skirt might almost have been conducting a social experiement of sorts. A nasty twisted sort of experiment, but I found myself interested in how little people could live on, and what would turn out to be the things people absolutely could not do without.

I ached with tiredness. I had only been here a month and I was beginning to feel the need to sleep, to sleep for a long time, to sleep for days. The skirt did not recognise any holidays, days off or religious periods of rest. As one abandoned ones identity, one abandoned ones creed, beliefs and any sort of human rights, other than those that could be fought for tooth and nail. Existance was the only right I had, and I tenaciously clung to that.

"Got a smoke?" A bum looked up at me from a doorway. He was dressed in rags and stank. I fished a roll-up from my pocket and offered it to him. He would be dead inside a week if he didn't work. The gang that ran the skirt did not put up with freeloaders, and nobody had the money to offer to strangers in charity.

"Cheers guv." I shook my head and walked on through the rain.

**more to come**

**but I thought you might like to read it so far**
- posted by Buntifer @ 8/26/2005 10:32:00 pm
How come I'm the only retard blogging at the moment?
Everyone else has stopped for a breather? I'm living on five hours sleep up here, and that's if I'm lucky!

Goulden moments has thrown in the towel again, and can be replaced in the dead bloggers ... oh, he's still there. I didn't think he'd make it, although I'm mildly baffled that when he has loads of time for writing things he doesn't blog, whereas when he's in places where internet access costs pounds a minute and consist of a hamster powered typewriter hooked up to the net he's blogging novels?

Excellent, but we still need a timelord to pilot the Tardis.

The catchphrase of the moment... that and jokes about Crimes Against Theatre.

Right - off now...
- posted by Buntifer @ 8/26/2005 08:19:00 pm
Wednesday, August 24
I was going to do a long post...
but then I went out till four thirty last night. So i can't be bothered.


All about how the gale last night blew our long panner off the outside of the venue and smashed the wondows of the shop next door...

And how we've cast the Wizard of Oz from the staff in the venue:

Straw Man - Jon
Tin Man - Me
Lion - The Press Ladies (one in the front end and one in the back end of the costume)
Dorothy - Louise
Munchkin/Evil Wheely Monkey - Duncan
Wizard - Paul
Elphaba - Paula
Glinda - Lauren
Toto - Mr Tibbles

This won't mean anything to any of you. It has been suggested that I should be the Lion because I look cuddly.

I'm very upset. Try hard to look menacing and mean and I think heartless is more "me" than cowardliness and cuddliness.

See weemee. I have swords, and I'm mean.

- posted by Buntifer @ 8/24/2005 05:47:00 pm
Tuesday, August 23
A New Blogger!
We have a new blogger to induct into the fold. A blogger who might breathe some life into our tired and fading circle...

Go visit and say hello...

Top ten films anyone? Leave a comment.

[I now realise that this is kind of like the kiss of death - no one ever responds to my pleas for action...]

Woodle woodle....

- posted by Buntifer @ 8/23/2005 08:33:00 pm
Friday, August 19
I've got an idea...
It's an idea which might get me in trouble...

I'm going to flag every blog I come across. Without fail, which might make blogger rescind its stupid censorious new ideas and take the flag button away. I'm concerned that my blog might get flagged for no good reason. Perhaps I should trust bloggers more, cos blogger says we get to vote. but those of you who know me will know that my opinion of my fellow man is knee high to a grasshopper - so it should be no surprise that I think letting the mass censor the minority is a bad bad bad idea.

I'm doing box office, while the Brunette watches the show that is in at the moment. A very good show about fascism.

Reading some Forg. Realms stuff Sianodel brung up - always nice to have something light to dip into. Got to right me an adventure too...

Jon Courteney Grimwood's new one blew my mind yesterday as well, so I need something pap-like to wind me down. Satmpiong Butterflies is flabbergasting, complex and beautiful, with plenty of Grimwood in there, but some interesting references to his influences IMHO - the ship names are cool, for example, and boy do I want a racing yacht like "All Tomorrow's Parties"


I read in the thanks bit at the back, that he thanks "Black's" of Soho which he says let him use it as an office. Mr Doust, my erstwhile venue director from Brighton is a member of such. I'm going to have to stalk the outside door, waiting for someone Grimwood like to go in or out...

or not...

but I'm glad that time is shaped like a blue marble. I'm not a big fan of ice cream cones.

toodles chaps... I'm counting the days till i get home, and then til I get to go canalling...

"locking CREW!"
- posted by Buntifer @ 8/19/2005 07:01:00 pm
Thursday, August 18
I've just noticed the first invasion of free speech to manifest on blogger.

Check out the "flag it" button in the top right....

If I've said something which offends, firstly, get FUCKED, and secondly, "FLAG" me, which means my website will be made less accessible to people at large...

Yaay for free speech, Yaay for blogger.... Yaay for America and ID cards!!!


I hope Dubya gets cancer shortly before he retires to his Christian hell and burns for a long long time...

Do you reckon that is enough?

Maybe I should try harder, after all, that's kind of obvious...

I shall wrack my brains for things to push the envelope. After all, when free speech is taken away, the only thing to do is enjoy being censored.

Frankly though, ****** ** **** *****, *** ******* ****** ******* and that should be enough to suit you all.
- posted by Buntifer @ 8/18/2005 07:30:00 pm
the Brunette arrives today...
which I'm quite looking forward to. I'm not looking forward to the fourteen hour day, or the shifts tomorrow, but Saturday will be good, and seeing the Brunette will be very good.

We still haven't received any five star reviews, which is probably just because nobody reviews venues up here, but none of the shows have come near either, not from anyone who matters. Not that there aren't any good shows here, although they would be hard pressed to rival "Ying Yang" which Sianodel and I saw recently - they just don't seem to be exciting enough to garner five stars from anyone bar

The last company who came in with a review from edfringe was the one with the witch, it's raining today, so I don't think she'll be in, but I keep a bucket of water ready in the box office when she's in the building in case she tries turning any of the technicians into frogs. She writes like a retard, and deserves a good slapping. No names here obviously.

The colouring competition has started. The technicians have to be kept amused somehow, and short of moving all the lights between each show it's like running a creche in the box office, so the Production Manager has started a colouring competition and promised a prize. It runs every year apparently. Elementary psychology...

And I've been paid, at long last... provided the rest of my pay arrives on time I'll be a happy bunny. I'm banking a lot of money, so I might do a runner in the last couple of days. I've got a speed barge planned for the getaway, a getaway driver and a getaway locking crew... hmmm... chases at six miles an hour...

raining up here today, which is refreshing after the muggy sweatness we've been having, which is just nasty. Slippery floors though, and accidents do happen (that's a warning folks)...

Beginning to think about Nanowrimo this year. I have the basic plot, but I need to get me a plan ready so I can try and get another set of written stuff down. I'm aiming for a hundred thousand in the month this time, which will give me a total length of 120k, although I might not make it, as I think I had an easy route last year. If I can get my plan down properly then I am fairly happy writing it, provided I have time in my new job at WD.

Still need to summarise Legionnaire too... damn I can't be bothered, but the peeps I have lent it to who have read it seem to like it, and I want to see if I can drum up any interest to see if I can do this properly.

I really fucking hate people. Especially audience. They are fucking stupid, selfish, self obsessed and always, always FUCKING LATE.


I'm not twisted... this job is good for me...

got to go, shows coming out... and I'm on the box office computer...

- posted by Buntifer @ 8/18/2005 11:23:00 am
Monday, August 15
Another 14 hour day
just beginning, and I know my usher won't be in again... fun for all the famille.

Sianodel is coming up today for a couple of days.
Jason is coming up today with a show, and staying a couple of days.
The rentals are coming up tomorrow and staying till the weekend.
The brunette is coming up Thursday and staying till the weekend.

Why is everyone's timing so shit?

I should probably go bank the 2 grand that's in the safe from over the weekend.

- posted by Buntifer @ 8/15/2005 09:02:00 am
Sunday, August 14
Still going...and going...
So, Robin Cook's dead...

Blair... what a c*nt! "Fuck it! I'm on holiday, he was fugly anyway."

So REL is still going strong, although I have had an easy couple of days, a day off, and then a day where I only worked the early shift... needless to say I think this is unlikely to happen again...I'm in early, sitting typing, well aware that I should be sweeping the stairs etc.. I'll do that in a minute.

It is Fringe Sunday today, a phenomenon I haven't heard of before, but it is pissing down with rain, so the numbers of punters has been dramatically reduced anyway. Carl Hiaison's new book is brilliant, and Iain M Banks' new one is very good, although not easy to slip in and out of...

I don't really have much to say, I'm so busy I have no time for thinking, although on my way to work this morning I did spend some time wondering what I would hang onto if gravity flipped 90 degrees...

Still missing the Brunette, but she's up next weekend, I have a day off, but the rest of the time I'm going to have to restrain myself and behave...

- posted by Buntifer @ 8/14/2005 08:57:00 am
Wednesday, August 10
Still going...
still tired, but it is better. All running smoothly so far, and I am beginning to find my way around the people I am working under... find out what goes and what doesn't etc...

Apparently the press up here this year are especially interested in:

1- Wine

2 - New York

3 - Charity and Good Causes

4 - Transsexuals

I'm thinking, Sideways, Terrorism, fairly standard and what the fuck? in that order...

Still haven't been paid. Wondering if trusting me with banking the takings and not paying me a good idea...


Monster burger... mmmmm

Small roll with black pudding from the Golux's breakfast shop... not so good...

Still no Brunette... not good at all...


Seen some shows now, some fairly good, nothing I would run out and tell everyone they had to see, except the American's show, and that might be the fact that I like them all tremendously as people...

right... must run... show's coming out...
- posted by Buntifer @ 8/10/2005 08:26:00 pm
Friday, August 5
Your Blogging Type is Pensive and Philosophical... but you have a bad relationship with html - it doesn't like you, and you don't like it back.

Tired and wishing I wasn't here...

missing the Brunette something rotten.

Still... it has to get better.
- posted by Buntifer @ 8/05/2005 10:42:00 pm

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