A Family Defeated

I can’t believe my family’s winning streak on Family Fight is over. We’ve been on the show for two-hundred straight episodes, using our excellent knowledge of people and things to dominate the show. We’d amassed billions of dollars in prize money, risking it all and doubling our overall pool at the end of each episode. We were going to take the money without risking it next week, but thanks to our final episode, that money is gone! And now the debt collectors will be after me, for all the loans we took out with the prize money we were going to earn. I don’t have a cent to pay them. Guess I can kiss my legs goodbye.

This is all Grand Dinner’s fault, along with the show’s producers. They rigged the whole thing to kick us off, I’m sure of it. They didn’t want to pay us however many billions, maybe even trillions, we had earned. They knew we were going to take the money and leave the show gracefully soon, so they staged a coup. Not once in the show’s history has there been a question about office glass tinting near Melbourne. Not once! And all of a sudden there are two of them, when the opposing family just happens to know about that topic. Coincidence? I think not!

I think it’s time to pack my suitcase and steal away to the Bahamas with my family before the debt collectors arrive. I’m not letting them take my legs, or my arms, or whatever they threaten me with. Maybe they’ll threaten to throw me through a commercial decorative window. That would be quite ironic. I hear debt collectors do have a sense of irony and poetry. 

My family will obviously go into hiding for a while, but someday I’m going to come back here and make the Family Fight crew pay for what they’ve done. This whole situation stinks of a conspiracy. There’s no way those questions were a coincidence. For all I know, the Riley family may not even be real contestants. Maybe they are actors who were specifically chosen to kick my family off. And now we’re on the run! Well, I’ll get my revenge eventually.

Scrap That

My brother, Timothy, has been collecting a lot of scrap metal lately. He claims he’s going to build a power station with it, by which he means… actually, to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what he means. I very much doubt that he knows what he means, beyond the notion of it having some kind of patched-together metal shell.

What I do know is that the metal is piling up on our property, to an extent that’s becoming a problem. I’ve noticed more than a couple of raised eyebrows from passers-by, and I’m a bit concerned that people are going to pin us as the local hoarders if the pile doesn’t start getting used for something soon.

Old Terry over the way asked me the other day if he could buy some of the metal for Mary to use in a giant turtle she’s working on. I’d forgotten about those two and their sculpture garden, which I still haven’t gotten around to visiting. To tell you the truth, I’ve got half a mind to take Old Terry up on that offer if Timothy doesn’t get moving on his power station soon.

I also had the idea of building Timothy and I a pair of 4×4 ute canopies. The notion is admittedly half-baked, as I’m not all that skilled at welding, and I’ve never worked with random scrap metal before. The canopies would be pretty cobbled together, but still… there might be something to it.

Timothy never uses his ute any more, though. He’s all about that electric bike of his. Now, I could probably build some kind of half canopy for that; it wouldn’t be too big of a job, and the road-safety stakes might be a bit lower since it doesn’t go that fast anyway. Then again, if Timothy’s dinnertime ramblings are to be believed, he’s planning to put a much bigger motor on it, which is why he needs his own power station. So he says, anyway.

All I know is that he’d better get cracking on it.

Bandit’s Fate

I awoke in a strange glass cylinder, unsure where I was. The last thing I remembered was being struck by my own brass grenade and falling to the ground in a recently cleaned sewer. How long had it been? Hours? Days? What if years had passed, and I’d been in a coma the whole time?

Looking down at myself, I knew that couldn’t be the case. I had no life support systems connected to me. No wires putting fluid into my body. I lay within a cylinder, the air inside extremely breathable. It was nice, in all honesty. Beside me was a handle, so I could easily open it up.

I looked around the room and realised I must have been receiving hyperbaric therapy near Melbourne. That could be the only explanation. After all, there was a map of Victoria on the wall and a small book on a table near me. The book had the title, ‘Hyperbarics and You’. I climbed out of the hyperbaric chamber and flicked through the book, learning a bit about the treatment I was receiving. 

Where were Space Wizard, Frankie and Jack Zebraman? Were they alright? I hoped that Evil Space Wizard hadn’t hurt them. If he had, I’d destroy him on my own. But as I thought about it, the door to my left opened, and Frankie stepped into the room. Her mouth turned to a beaming smile as she saw me there, and she ran forward, arms outstretched.

She threw herself into an embrace, and I returned it. “I was so worried about you, Bandit,” she said.

“I’m okay,” I replied. “Where are the others? Did they survive the attack?”

Frankie nodded. “We’ve continued cleaning the sewers since then. We’re almost done, actually. It’s only a matter of time before Sewer Wizard challenges us to the final battle. We can almost end this thing. It will be easier with you helping us, though.”

I pushed myself up, heading toward the door. “No time to lose, then. Let’s get ready for the things to come.”

Bandit’s Rest

I sat by Bandit as he slept in the hyperbaric chamber, recovering from his magical healing. He’d been asleep, or possibly unconscious, for days now and we weren’t sure when he would wake up. Dr Klaus assured us that he would wake up eventually, but given the severity of Bandit’s wounds, it could take a while.

I hoped it would be soon. We couldn’t afford to wait much longer before our confrontation with Evil Space Wizard. Eventually, the sewers would get dirty again and all our effort to clean them would be for nothing. My evil other half was born in the sewers, and so he needs to return there regularly to maintain his power. It was too dangerous to send anybody back down there since Evil Space Wizard could attack again.

Our only choice was to hope Bandit would recover through hyperbaric medicine. Near Melbourne, people were in danger from Sewer Wizard, as we were starting to call him. It was kind of confusing to call myself Space Wizard and my other half Evil Space Wizard. Besides, he wasn’t even created in space, like me. He was created in the sewers, so that makes him Sewer Wizard.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked here. What was I saying? I was pretty much just recapping information that has already been said before, right? But when you’re working with a form as short as this, it’s kind of important to fill people in, just in case they’re jumping into the post without any previous knowledge.

So yeah, I was sitting next to Bandit, waiting for him to recover. I started thinking about all the fun times we had together, while I was liquified. Those Next Top Office days were the best. Really the highlight of my time on Earth, ever since my deep-space hibernation was disturbed. Maybe I should get back to that, once we deal with Sewer Wizard. If I complete one thousand years of meditation, I ascend to become a deity, so that’s pretty cool. It’s just such a long time. I don’t know if I can be bothered. Besides, Earth isn’t that bad. I should probably just stay here.

– Space Wizard

McBane’s New Kitchen

I’ve been wanting to upgrade my supervillain lair for quite some time now, and given I’m running for Premier of Victoria, this seems like a good time. I’ll probably do most of my campaign business there, so it’s the logical choice to make it look a bit nicer. I know I only bought this castle six months ago, and it was great at the time, considering I was doing my supervillain work in my mother’s attic before. But the basement of this castle really isn’t up to standards for a graduate of the Supervillain Training Academy. Time for a bit of a remodel.

The first thing I’m going to do is put a kitchen in my supervillain lair. Sometimes when you’re coming up with ideas for taking over an entire city, you get a bit peckish. Usually, I have to head all the way upstairs to make myself a sandwich, and I’m getting sick of it. Time to get the best kitchen design business around Melbourne in here to help me come up with something perfect. I’m thinking a lot of black marble or obsidian, to really emphasise the fact that I’m an evil scientist to be reckoned with.

People have been asking me why I decided to run for Premier of Victoria in the first place. I’m not exactly raking in the dollars with this evil scientist gig, so I thought I’d go for something a bit more profitable, while still being in the approved list of evil jobs, as set by the STA. They’ll actually take my degree away if I don’t stay in an evil job. So this way, I get to keep my degree and have the money to fund my kitchen renovations. Melbourne residents are going to love me as their premier, anyway. I literally cannot be worse than Premier Norris.

Really, I had to choose between politics and law, because they are the only decently paying evil jobs out there. I suppose I could have gone into the music business with a record company, but I’m not that evil. Likewise with becoming one of the people who decides which microtransactions go in video games. That’s just horrible.

– Dr Dark McBane

Semi-Final Racing

Can you believe that we’re up to the semi-finals already? Welcome back to the Parking Lot Cup, where we will determine the fate of the Earth. Will it be turned into an intergalactic parking lot by Nitrous Dioxide, or will it be free to continue floating around the sun? I’m Tybalt Way, and with me in italics is my co-host, Harry McGillon.

The winner of today’s race will face the devious alien, Nitrous Dioxide, in the race to determine the fate of the world. We have eight racers altogether, including our personal favourites, Liz Lime and Magnus Opus. In an exclusive interview with Magnus Opus, he told us that if we ever needed car suspension specialists, we should get in contact with him. What a great guy!

Indeed he is, Henrietta. Now, the racers are getting into their starting positions and getting their engines ready. Our favourite mechanic is going through his regular checks, making sure his kart is in perfect condition. I bet he does services like this all the time.

All right, it’s time for the big race to begin. The lights go green and they head off! Liz Lime is off to a great start, well ahead of the competition. Magnus Opus finds himself in fifth place, but there’s still plenty of time to go. By the way, Tybalt, my name is Harry. I don’t know why you keep forgetting it. We’ve been best friends since primary school.

Sorry about that, Harriet. Now, back to the race. The master mechanic local to Moorabbin is gaining ground, and now it’s a tight race. Liz Lime is still in front, though. Oh no! She’s fallen off the edge of the track, crashing into the ground hard.

And to add insult to injury, Magnus Opus has just crossed the finish line, and all other contestants will now be zapped out of existence! Goodbye, Liz Lime! 

What a race that was. Tune in next time to discover the fate of the world. Although, if you’re able to read our blog post, that means the Earth has probably not been turned into a parking lot, so that’s good!

Traffic Appreciation

Cars, cars, cars. I love cars. Even saying the word ‘cars’ sends a thrill up my spine unmatched by even the mightiest of roller coasters. How can you not instantly become excited when somebody mentions cars? They’re an incredible invention and have changed the way we live our lives. Sure, they’re a metal deathtrap as well, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. Every day I spend forty minutes driving to work. Back in the day, before cars existed, I would have had to ride a horse. That same journey would take me about forty minutes on horseback as well, seeing as there would be no traffic to deal with, but I wouldn’t have the comforts my car gives me. How would I listen to the radio or have air conditioning on a horse?

I’ve been thinking about how much I love cars lately, ever since I took my car to get a brake repair near Moorabbin. I just considered how if my brakes hadn’t worked properly, I’d probably have severely injured myself in a crash. But even if I knew that driving a car would be the end of me, I’d probably still do it. I don’t think I’d want to live without my long drives on the weekend or my relaxing commute to work, sitting on the Monash Freeway for thirty-minutes of the 15km drive. 

This week I’m going to get car servicing close to Bentleigh so that my car can sit in the congested traffic even smoother. It’ll just be me, the road, and ten thousand other people trying to get to work. Nothing better than that, right? I don’t understand why other people dislike it. They complain about all the traffic on their commute, about how much longer it takes than it should, but I’m simply grateful for the time I get to spend in my car. It’s truly special. Maybe I should get a job further away, just so I can have more time on my drive.

– Tim

Impressed Plumber

I’m a plumber, and have worked on hundreds of houses over my ten year career. As you can imagine, I’ve seen a massive range of houses, with some being immaculate and incredibly impressive, to others being the kind of dirty that makes you feel like you need a shower straight after leaving. Well, last week I did the plumbing for the bathrooms and kitchen in a house on the very end of the spectrum… it was the best house I’ve ever seen.

I was gobsmacked when I first walked in. Everything about it was perfect and I was in awe of the work the kitchen design specialist, whoever they were, had done. I actually took photos, with permission, to show to my boss. I don’t think he would have ever seen a kitchen quite like the one I worked on either. Some people really are talented, and some people really do have a lot of money.

After I had finished my work in the kitchen, I was shown the bathrooms. I was blown away again. I had truly never seen anything like it, and didn’t even think that level of opulence, creativity and functionality was possible. I think it was pretty safe to say that it was some of the finest bathroom renovation work Melbourne had ever seen.

I finished that job just over a week ago now, and I regret not taking longer to complete it. I would have loved for it to have been a bigger job, so that I could call up some of my work mates to help out. But unfortunately, the job was easy because everything had already been set up perfectly.

I did some research about the specific aspects of the bathroom and kitchen, just to satisfy my own curiosity. It made sense why the home was the best house I had ever seen. Every material used was of the highest quality, and often very rare. I’m still in awe a week later. I can only hope that they were satisfied with the work I did and call me back for other jobs soon.

Glass Smashing Bottle

I say, I can’t believe that after months of searching for the Glass Smashing Bandit, he’s been handed to us on a silver platter by that lovely Zach Jordan fellow.

We put the bandit in the back seat of our car, along with the strange glass bottle of green goop Zach Jordan had given us for some reason. The bandit didn’t argue at all, seemingly crushed by his defeat.

“We just have to stop at a mechanic shop near Brunswick to get some new tyres,” I called back, as Whatson and I entered the front. “I hope that’s alright. You’re not in a big rush to spend the rest of your life in prison, are you?”

The Glass Smashing Bandit shook his head. Truth be told, I almost felt bad for the man. He looked so broken. I suppose he never thought he’d get caught. Poor fool.

Suddenly he spoke up. “Why am I going to jail? I don’t smash glass anymore. I haven’t damaged anyone’s property other than my own for months now. It’s almost likely I’m a completely different person to the one you hunted, for no explicable reason. It’s really weird, actually. My characterisation hasn’t been very consistent.”

Whatson turned to me. “You’d better start driving, Schlock. We’ll be late for our appointment at the car repair shop. Brunswick mechanics don’t wait, you know.”

I started the car up and began the short drive. As we went, I spoke to the bandit. “I’m afraid the legal system doesn’t work like that, my good chap. You still have to atone for your previous crimes.” I turned back to Whatson. “Say, I’m quite thirsty. Do we have anything to drink?

Whatson looked around. “Just this strange, complimentary drink given to me by Zach Jordan. I think it could be radioactive, though.”

We looked at the bottle’s glowing, green liquid.

“I’ll risk it,” I said, taking the bottle from his hands and opening the lid.

“Wait, no, that’s my friend!” said the bandit.

I took a gulp and immediately spat it out. “That’s disgusting!” I said. “Celebrities sure are strange.”

Without hesitation, I rolled down the window and threw the bottle from my car. The green liquid splattered along the gutter behind us.

 

 

The White Knight

I raced down the east coast of Tasmania on my motorbike, the engine roaring as I sped past cars and pedestrians. Keeping one hand on the handlebar and another on my longsword, I wasn’t able to adjust my helmet of pure white metal. I was riding blind, but thankfully my hearing is so strong that I could manage on that alone.

I like to think of myself as a real-world Man of Bats. When you need someone to save the day, I’ll be there whether you ask for me to be or not. Today I received a messenger pigeon with a letter from the best Brighton tyre and auto shop, describing a powerful object that had come into his possession. At the time I was in Melbourne, so I got on my bike and rode through the Bass Strunnel.

Three hours after leaving I saw a sign that welcomed me to Brighton. By then I’d managed to adjust my helmet. I could see smoke up ahead. My gut sunk. Was I too late? I sped up and rode toward the mechanic’s shop. There I saw a dark figure standing amongst the flames. He wore a black cloak and had a mask of pure darkness, like a void.

Space Man, my arch-nemesis. He’d reached the mechanic around Brighton first. He’d probably stolen the artefact already. I had to stop him before he got away. Charging forward on my trusty motorcycle, I swung my sword wide. Space Man dodged as if he was made of shadow itself.

My motorcycle sped past him so I leapt from the seat and backflipped toward Space Man. I landed hard, my armour clunking, but managed to keep my feet. Unleashing a flurry of blows, I tried to get a single strike on my enemy. Space Man was too fast. He was always too fast. I spun and tried to catch him off-guard. Lifting his hand, Space Man caught my sword and twisted it. The metal screeched.

“You will never stop me,” Space Man said, his voice muffled, “now that I have the Tome of Mystia. You have lost, White Knight.”

Space Man lifted a leather-bound book. Through that endless void of his mask, I thought I saw a grin. 

He wrapped the shadows around himself and vanished.

Be your best self, or Batman, always be Batman