Bathroom Renovation Story

When my boss told me that I had to write a blog post about bathroom renovation and chickens, I responded by telling him he was crazy. It simply couldn’t be done. You see, my job is to write really random things on the internet that nobody will ever read, and lately, we’ve been drawing things out of a hat to prompt our short pieces. I drew the chicken. My boss told me that if I didn’t get this piece of writing done by the end of the day, I would be fired. How the heck am I supposed to write something about bathroom design, near Melbourne, mind you, and chickens? He’s given me an impossible job. I’m not going to go write a story about chickens needing bathroom renovation or something… Wait, that’s actually a good idea. I could actually do that.

Even still, I wish I had gotten something more interesting out of the hat, like kites. I feel like I could write about bathroom design and kites all day long. I’d write some silly story about the bathroom designer whose son wants to go fly a kite, but he has to go to work. So his son goes and flies his squid kite all on his own, and it takes him on some grand adventure. While the dad is completing bathroom renovations in the Melbourne CBD, he’s wondering what sort of fun things he’s missing out on. By the end of the day, he realises that there are more important things in life than work and money, so he quits his job to go play with his son. Two weeks later, they don’t have any money to pay the mortgage and become homeless.

Wow, that took quite a dark turn. But that’s what most of my stories are like. I love to throw in a twist ending, or something completely random. I have to keep my non-readers entertained, never knowing where a story is going to end up.

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Beautiful Decorative Windows

I’ve worked at this company for two years now, and I’ve never had a bad experience with my co-workers. That was until recently, at least. I’ve been hearing whispers in the corridors about me. Apparently, my co-workers are starting to find me annoying and think I’m weird for being ‘obsessed’ with the cold and the frosted windows. I’m actually a bit in shock about it. I just appreciate the beauty of winter and how great the windows look when it’s cold outside.

I’m upset that my co-workers are bad mouthing me about this. I thought that most people would appreciate office decorative window glass. Melbourne seems like it has many people that are pretty apathetic towards these things, and if anyone shows any interest in something that isn’t coffee or football then they’re weird. I wonder if I should just stop talking about it, but I thought people were allowed to talk about what they love and appreciate. People just don’t like it because it’s not considered ‘normal’… whatever that means.

I’m really disheartened. I don’t think I’ll continue to work here if I keep hearing people talking about me. I never really cared what other people thought of me, but I do care about people bad-mouthing winter and office glass tinting. People just need to open their minds and appreciate the little things, but I guess it’s not the cool thing to do. 

I’m going to go now. I’m going to go sit next to my favourite window for my lunch break and appreciate how beautiful it is. I’m also going to daydream about getting home and wrapping myself up in a blanket and forgetting all of my problems. That’s the beauty of winter. You can leave everything that’s cold and disappointing outside and protect yourself from the weather and your problems. I won’t let my coworkers get to me. It’s not my fault if they don’t like what I like.

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New Glazier Employee

A man by the name of Bald Rick entered into my employ today. Although he had performed well in the interview (I was most impressed by his ability to come up with clever and intelligent plans), I must admit that I only hired him because I felt that we had a strange connection, established throughout the ages. I couldn’t shake this feeling, so I turned to the journals of my ancestors. There, I discovered that each of the previous Black-Vipers had themselves a companion by the name of Bald Rick. They are all described as complete buffoons who think they can come up with a “cunning plan” from time to time. Now, my Bald Rick doesn’t seem that unintelligent, but I will need to do some further testing to be sure. I just hope that Bald Rick knows a good glazier near Melbourne seeing as we’re having some trouble in the office.

I have been trying to get Bald Rick to say that he has a cunning plan all day, but I haven’t had any luck. “I really don’t know what to do about this difficult glass balustrade,” I say, but he doesn’t respond at all. All I want is to see his toothy smile as he looks up at me and says, “Boss, I have a cunning plan.” I’ve even tried saying that I really need someone to come up with a cunning plan. Even after that, Bald Rick hasn’t offered me anything. He has come up with “brilliant” plans and “smart” plans, but no “cunning” plans. That is the trademark of all Bald Ricks.

Strangely, despite the name, Bald Rick actually isn’t bald. Perhaps his ancestors were bald, but the journals I possess say nothing about that. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other way to tell whether he is a genuine Bald Rick. 

Wait a minute! I think I may have just thought up a cunning plan. I’m going to find myself a George! 

– Edward Black-Viper V

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Buying All Houses

I’ve received a lot of criticism lately for the laws I passed last year, which allowed me to essentially buy any property I wanted at a minimal cost. It even resulted in me losing the Victorian election for premier, last year. Well, now I, ex-Premier Norris, will come clean and tell the public exactly what the truth is, so that I may clear my name and have the real story revealed. Too long have I sat in the shadows, letting the common man think poorly of me. Yes, I took taxpayer money to fund my elaborate live-action role-playing games, Goblins and Grottos. Yes, I convinced all the conveyancing businesses in the Bentleigh area to support my new laws. And yes, I tried to remove my opponent in the election by passing a law that prevented candidates from becoming Premier if they graduated from a certain university. But that does not mean that I am the corrupt politician that the media has painted me to be.

So, what actually happened? Well, in October I got in contact with a highly esteemed conveyancer based near Brighton, who I hired to help me come up with a plan for the greatest resort of all time. It’s called Norris-Utopia and would be a paradise for anybody who I allowed to stay there. Unfortunately, a lot of land would be required for this massive project. So, I created a law that would allow me to buy all the property I needed to make Norris-Utopia a reality. This would be a wonderful place to come and relax, available for anybody I see fit. Isn’t that something you’d want in Melbourne? 

So, as you can see, this whole thing has been blown massively out of proportion. I didn’t do anything wrong. All the people I kicked out of their homes for essentially no money was for a great purpose. I hope that you can all forgive me, and condemn the horrible media for making me seem like the villain in all this.

– Ex-Premier Norris

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Racing Tyre Replacement

What a twist ending to the latest race in the Tasmanian Racing Tournament! You had to be there to believe it! As always, I’m excited to be here, recapping the latest race to you. I’m Frank Walker, and with me is Thomas Canon. Thomas, would you care to share with our readers what happened?

I still can’t believe it myself, actually. As predicted, Bob Peters dominated this stretch of the championship, with his semi-truck crashing through packs. He was a force to be reckoned with. Bob is a very good driver. He showed guts by not even bothering with a car service near Hobart, risking it to get first place. Then, in the space of a few seconds, all eighteen of his tyres burst. Bob tried to get the truck over the finish line, but two other races were approaching fast. Turns out, all three of them crossed the finish line at the exact same time, meaning we have a three-way draw. It was a bit like that old movie about the talking cars, although the name escapes me for some reason.

It was exactly like that movie, which I also, strangely, can’t remember the name of. I’ve never seen such drama in all my life, and I’ve watched that show about the British royal family! Of course, Bob is going to need a serious tyre repair. Hobart has a few workshops that can help with that, I’m sure.

It certainly does. With only one leg remaining, many of the cars are on their last legs. Well, cars don’t have legs, but you know what I mean. I’ve probably said leg a bit too much in this paragraph, so I’m going to stop saying leg now. Oh, no! I said leg again. And again! Frank, help me out here!

Well, it’s about time for us to wrap this up anyway, Tom. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you all again for our preview of the final race. Who is going to walk away the winner?

Frank and Tom, signing off.

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The Missing Conveyancers

I was walking down the streets of Melbourne, looking for a conveyancer, when I heard this strange noise coming from the gutter. Naturally, I was so desperate to find someone who could help with the legal settlement of the house I wanted to buy, that I leaned down to find out what was going on down there.

“Hey kid,” a voice said to me, even though I am twenty-seven years old. “Do you need some conveyancing?”

Of course, I was absolutely ecstatic to hear this. I’d searched everywhere for just that very service. Even my regular conveyancer from Brighton had disappeared. However, when I moved closer to the gutter, I felt rough hands grab me and pull me through. Instead of landing in a sewer, I landed at the bottom of some sort of massive cavern. All around me, people moved around the cavern, complete with small buildings, big enough to perhaps house a couple of people each. It was a whole secret city. So, was this where all of the conveyancing firms around Cheltenham had gone?

“Welcome to Conveyancing City,” said a man beside me, presumably the one who had pulled me through the gutter. “This is where we all fled to, after the Great Conveyancer Purge. We have been keeping an eye on you, George. We think you might be worthy of conveyancing.”

“The Great Conveyancer Purge? I’ve never heard of it.” There was a lot about what he had said that confused me, but that was the most confusing part.

“There are few who have. Before the election of Dr Dark McBane, the previous premier threatened to exterminate all conveyancers if we didn’t help him buy every house in Victoria. As a result, we hid underground, and have stopped offering conveyancing until someone worthy proves that we are needed.” The man flicked his dark blue coat back and began walking ahead. “Come, you will need to speak with the Grand Master, and he will determine if you are the man we seek.”

Not really sure what else to do, and desperately needing a conveyancer, I followed.

– George

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Time Hunting

Jackie and I arrived at the conveyancer’s office at precisely 14:03 on Tuesday afternoon, the fifth of January. The weather was fair, although it seemed that would soon change, with dark storm clouds approaching. A typical day in Melbourne, for summertime. We’d been sent on a mission to find a rogue time traveller, who was reportedly attempting to buy a house in the early years of the twenty twenties. This was the fourth conveyancer we’d visited yet in this time period, and hopefully, it would lead to some answers about the time traveller’s whereabouts.

I pushed open the door to the firm of conveyancing around Mentone, and Jackie followed me inside. He had that usual swagger in his step that seemed to suggest he felt good about this one, even though it had been present at all the other conveyancing firms we’d visited. Ever the optimist, old Jackie.

As the receptionist welcomed us to the building, I pulled down my dark shades and stored them in the front pocket of my suit jacket. Lifting up my briefcase, I placed it on the receptionist’s desk without so much as looking her in the eye. In the corner of my vision, I could just make out the furrow in her brow, and I had to hold back a smirk at her surprise. There was a lot I liked about this job, but catching people off guard had to be right at the top of the list.

Conveyancing receptionist,” I said casually, pulling a photo of a young man from my suitcase, “have you seen this fellow recently? Early twenties, likely too young to own a house, but not young enough that your superiors would refuse to see him.”

The receptionist gave a sigh that almost seemed as if she was exhaling a puff of smoke. “He was here earlier today. Said he was thinking about buying a house in Malvern. It didn’t work out with us, unfortunately.”

I looked at Jackie, giving a brief nod. “That’s all we needed to hear.”

– Amanda

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Cyber Office

One down, three to go.

That first office was pretty easy, but I expect things to get much harder from here. I’ve targeted high-profile businesses with my master plan, and now that the first domino has fallen, all businesses are going to be on high alert. No matter. I’m the Glass Smashing Bandit. Nobody can catch me.

I don’t really understand why everyone wants to stop me, since I’m just redesigning offices, completely free. Does the marketing agency I just redesigned not like a design inspired by fairies and unicorns? I think it would be really soothing to work in such a magical office. And yet they’ve called the police, according to the news reports.

Whatever. I’m just a misunderstood artist. Perhaps the next office will understand the value of complimentary commercial design. Close to Melbourne is my next target, in the Docklands district. By the water is an office filled with some of the greatest IT workers in Melbourne, fighting against hackers for powerful businesses everywhere. I spent a long time trying to work out what the best theme would be, and I’ve decided to go with a cyberpunk one. Lots of neon lights and old, beaten up furniture. When I’m done, they’ll have one of the best commercial office fitouts. Melbourne residents will be simply stunned when they see my work on the news.

The thing is, this office is absolutely filled with security technology. There’s no sneaking in through the window this time. I’m thinking I’ll take the top entrance, using my expert glass smashing skills to break through the sunroof. They’ll never expect it, because they haven’t yet worked out that the Office Design Bandit is the Glass Smashing Bandit. My plan can’t possibly fail.

Update: So it turns out that their security was slightly more primitive than I had expected. Surprising, given some of the most intelligent users of technology work here. Instead, the building is only guarded by a single dog. Problem is that it’s a really big dog. He’s angry, too. So when I tried to get into the building, he started chasing me around. Currently I’m hiding in a storage closet, trying to work out how I can calm the beast so I can get to work.

Wish me luck.

– Bandit

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Hunting the Truth

I don’t know why the image of my father standing in a graveyard unsettled me so much. Perhaps it was less the graveyard, and more that he was working on a car while in a graveyard. There was an old, beaten up vehicle in the background, and my father held a wrench in one of his hands. I felt so bothered by the picture that I had to leave the workshop immediately, spending the day around town until my brake and clutch repairs were finished. Once they were done, I opened up the next sealed letter, telling me which auto workshop to go to and what service to get there.

Turns out, I’m headed to Queensland. There’s a small town called Toowoomba where I am to get tyre repairs, regardless of what state my tyres are in. All I can say is I hope they can do a decent tyre repair in the Toowoomba area, because my tyres are quite beaten up after driving from Melbourne to Adelaide, then to Sydney, and now to Brisbane. I’m honestly surprised they haven’t burst yet.

I don’t really know what to expect from this next auto shop. I know that my father lived in Queensland for many years before he finally returned to Victoria, where he began a new life in the highest parts of society and had me. I never knew my mother, so it was just dad and me, living in that bat-infested castle. Scary place, but I suppose it was home.

Hopefully, the mechanics near Toowoomba can paint a clearer picture of what my dad was before becoming a rich upper-class man. It’s strange, knowing I actually come from the working class. I’d always thought I was so far above them, but it turns out that the blood running through me is the same as theirs. I guess I feel bad about looking down on them now.

For some reason, my father decided to hide this life from me. Only now, after his death, does he want me to find the truth. Alright, dad, I guess I’ll play your game. And then I’ll have billions of dollars, which will be nice.

– Will Hunter

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Bigger Ships

As science fiction tells us repeatedly, humanity’s greatest weakness at the moment is that our spacecraft are too tiny and cramped. Imagine if we had ships like they have in Space Conflicts or SunDoor or Waterbee. Spacious affairs, everyone has their own room, and most of the time they have clean, white interiors. Imagine how many people would not only suddenly want to GO to space, but also work towards getting spaceships to that level. Right now you have to submit to a life of being trapped in a set of tiny corridors and exercising six hours a day so your muscles don’t waste away.

I’m thinking commercial kitchens all up in there, because nothing brings people together like good cooking. A commercial grade oven in a space kitchen, which leads into a space dining hall where you eat space food direct from said oven. In fact, I think commercial kitchens are going to be necessary since space food might be a little tougher to cook overall and we want an air of professionalism as mankind makes its first forays into the stars. No use going with a single little gas stove; get all commercial up in there, really put some welly into it. Ready to cook and serve anything we scrape off a passing asteroid, or harvest from the strange ground of an alien world. Commercial ovens and wok burners and all of that sort of thing are much stronger and more powerful than your average kitchen stuff anyway. Perfect for taking on the cuisines of the cosmos.

And if we do end up meeting any alien races, we want to make it look like we’re professionals who’ve been travelling through the galaxies for ages. So long that all of our stuff is commercial grade. That’ll be a lie, of course, but once they tour our spacious spaceships, see the commercial wok burner and hear about how we invented artificial gravity purely to get out of exercising so much, they’ll be impressed.

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