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.

GSB’s Nightmare

It’s time for the first challenge of Australia’s Next Top Office. It looks like we’ve got some fantastic contestants for the show’s second season, premiering on Not Flicks later this year! This blog will act as a preview to our dedicated fans who are willing to search the web for a little bit of behind the scenes action. Today we’re asking the contestants to create their best glass balustrades in a challenge we call GSB’s Nightmare! 

As you should know, the Glass Smashing Bandit is one of our contestants. He’s famous for his glass-smashing rampages all across Melbourne. In this challenge, he and all the other contestants will have to work with large amounts of glass, which the GSB will surely be tempted to smash. Will his previous experience with glass mean that he succumbs to temptation, or will it give him the knowledge he needs to perform the best glass balustrade installation Melbourne has ever seen? It’s time to find out!

If you want my opinion, the Dirge is the most likely to win this challenge. He’s got the background in glasswork to get the job done right. I’ve got my money on him, but that isn’t to say others couldn’t take the points. Archerak has his powerful spells; perhaps one of them allows him to conjure a balustrade. Jack Zebraman has played a glazier in several movies. And who knows what Ms Frankie has up her sleeve? Perhaps she’s got a background in residential glazing that we don’t know about. I think this race is wide open, even if the Dirge starts as the favourite.

I wouldn’t even count the Glass Smashing Bandit out of this one. The challenge has been specifically designed to tempt him, but he’s managed to elude Melbourne’s best detectives for months now. He’s a criminal mastermind and not to be reckoned with. 

It’s time that we got this show started. We’ve already missed the first death of the season. Alright, crew – lights, camera, action!

Devious Driving Lessons

I’m going for my first ever driving lesson today, and I just need to say, I’m really nervous about it. That’s right: I, Dr Dark McBane, evil scientist extraordinaire, never learned how to drive. That’s the reason I’ve temporarily left Melbourne. I don’t want anybody to see me driving around with L plates. Can you imagine how embarrassing that would be? Now I know people will read this blog and find out, and that’s fine. But if I so much as suspect that you’re sharing this secret with people, I will personally visit your house, shoot you with a freeze ray, then melt you with a plasma ray, then feed your remains to my pet tarantula. Are we clear?

I paid a driving instructor extremely well to drive us to Western Australia before letting me get behind the wheel. We’ve driven so far, though, that the car is having trouble. So before I can drive we need to get car service close to Midland. Then I’ll be behind the wheel and terrorising the streets of WA. I just hope that nobody recognises me.

At least my arch enemy, the Dirge, is out of my way for a few months. I’d like to see him take credit for my evil schemes from the set of Australia’s Next Top Office. That’s why as soon as my lesson is done, I’ll be activating my newest invention: the Brakes Breaker 7000. I was going to call it the BB v7 but it just didn’t feel right, you know? Numbers in the thousands just feel so much more intimidating.

So what does the Brakes Breaker do? It kidnaps everybody capable of giving brakes repair and brings them to my castle in Melbourne, where all brake repairs will be done from now on. I’ll take 60% of the profit, charging obscene amounts, giving the other 40% to the workers. Oh, it’s just devious. They’ll call me a mad genius and that’s exactly what I am. I’d like to see the Dirge take credit for that!

Pyramid Office

How does one even begin to set the right scene for pyramid sales? Before you start getting ideas, I’m not talking about pyramid schemes. I’m talking about the actual sale of actual pyramids. Are you following? No, not the pyramids in Egypt. The company I work for manufactures small desktop pyramids made of some kind of weird resin, which it passes off as an extraterrestrial mineral that protects against 5G. I’m on the sales team; hence, my job can aptly be described as ‘pyramid sales’.

That brings me back to my question, which concerns how, precisely, to create a workspace that facilitates this absurd task. It’s not like there’s a salesroom – the boss is having none of that – or even an online shop front. Yes, you heard that right. It’s all done over the phone, and I really think it could be done better if the workspace was just a little more… well, tailored to the purpose.

You’d think this company would be more on the pulse in terms of office space interiors, Melbourne being the national capital of design and all. Yet here I am, crowded into a dimly lit room packed to the rafters with teetering stacks of old paperwork and mysterious filing cabinets that nobody seems to have the keys for. It’s essentially a glorified broom closet, and one that hasn’t been cleaned out for decades at that.

It does the job at a basic level, but when it comes down to it, any sales made in here are made in spite of the work environment. I think I’ve got a strong enough case here to bring it up with HR, although I’m told I should expect them to prioritise new office fitouts for Melbourne employees. It’s all about the Sydney offshoot now, apparently, and Melbourne is having to take a back seat.

Well, from what I can tell, it’s been taking a back seat since before I was born, but I don’t want to make a huge deal out of it. I just want to be able to get from the door to my desk without tripping over a cable with unclear origins.

Smashing Holiday

Even a famous detective needs to get away from it all every once in a while. The Glass Smashing Bandit is one of the only cases I haven’t been able to crack. He always knows where we’re going and where we’ve just been.

I just needed some time to step away and clear my head. Watson and I took a trip to Tasmania, driving through the Bass Strunnel.

We drove down to Brighton, enjoying the scenery. That’s when our car broke down. I recalled seeing a sign about a mobile mechanic around the Brighton area and was able to recite the number thanks to my great memory. Soon enough we had a mechanic on his way to fix our vehicle. Then we could continue on toward Hobart.

While waiting, Watson and I decided that it would be a good time to begin our video blog or vlog as the kids call it. He set up the camera and we began to talk about our trip so far. I was in the middle of reciting act one of Hamlet out of boredom when the mechanic showed up.

He approached the window and said, “You wanted repairs from Brighton Tyre and Auto?” Our mechanic had a strange moustache and black glasses, along with a big orange nose. We told him that something was wrong with the engine and he got to work.

I went back to reciting Hamlet while Watson practised his magic tricks. The mechanic walked back to the window about twenty minutes later. Neither of us looked at him, so engrossed in our activities.

“Alright, the car should be all fixed now,” he said. We heard a clunk behind us, causing Watson and I to turn around. The mechanic was gone, but only for a moment. He stood from behind the door, adjusting his glasses, nose and moustache.

The mechanic didn’t ask for any money, just walking away. Then there was a sudden crash from our back window as it shattered into a thousand pieces.

“Schlock, I think that was the Glass Smashing Bandit!” Watson said. “He must have been wearing a fake moustache as a disguise.”

We both looked up at the blogging camera we’d left on from before. “Check the footage, man!” I said. “Maybe he accidentally showed his face!”

Finally, we’d have the Glass Smashing Bandit. Patience pays off after all.

Car-laborative Effort

Classic cars: what’s not to love? Each one is a work of art in its own right, a symphony of form, feel and character. Plus, when you’re driving one of these things, it’s just you and the machine – no distractions. The experience is a far cry from what you get with the car models that are coming out nowadays, which are so loaded with screens, alerts and sensors it’s all you can do not to give in and let the technology do the driving for you.

I will admit that maintaining vintage cars is becoming more and more of a challenge, especially when it comes to things like roadworthy certificates and RACV inspections. Near Ringwood, it’s still possible to get on with driving an old beauty like mine, but even here the people willing to service it are becoming few and far between.

I get that there’s a bit more of a risk involved for all concerned, as the parts take on an increasing amount of wear and tear over time and it becomes more difficult to find good quality replacements. That said, these parts were made to last, unlike today’s shoddy components. I often find myself arguing about this with mechanics. Some of them agree with me, some don’t.

To give you an example, take getting a brake replacement. Around Ringwood, I’ve been able to do this without too much fuss, and that’s most likely because I’ve only ever had to do it once. My brother Stevey, on the other hand, has had it done three times – that’s in a car from 1999, mind you – not new, nor of the old school variety that’s built to last (although, being over 20 years old, I guess it technically qualifies as vintage). It beats me why he’s gone with that option.

I suppose it comes down to what you want your car to do for you, and for me that’s to help me get myself from A to B – as opposed to getting me there without any input on my part. A drive should be a collaborative effort, I always say.

 

Pirate Holiday

You know, sometimes even the captain of an immortal pirate fleet needs to get away and take a break. Given my several hundred years of service, I’ve decided to give myself a few months leave. My first mate, Johnson, should be able to take care of our land raiding for a while.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to come down to Victoria and see the sights. Of course, it’s no real surprise that I’d have car troubles while on holiday, because isn’t that just typical? As a result, today I got to meet the best mechanic in the Frankston area. Well, technically it was just one of his employees, but we had an interesting discussion anyway.

“G’day matie,” I said, trying out the local lingo. “I’m Cap’n Large, leader of the infamous pirate band Large’s Bigs. No doubt ye’ve heard of me?”

The boy, who stood behind a nearby counter, shook his head. “Are you one of those cosplayers I’ve heard so much about? Think my cousin’s in a cosplay group.”

“Arr, nay, I am no cosplayer! I’m a real pirate. Anyway, my car needs repairs, do you accept gold doubloons? Otherwise I can pay in credit.”

“Credit will be fine,” said the boy. “The boss is out at the moment. He’ll be back soon, but as the finest auto electrician around, he’s in high demand.”

I tapped my fingers rhythmically on the counter. “Aye, that’ll be fine. I can wait.”

We were both silent, standing awkwardly for a few moments. Eventually, the boy looked across the workshop and said, “So, what brings you to Frankston, Mr Large, was it?”

“That’s Cap’n Large to you. I didn’t go to pirate school for eight years just to be referred to as ‘mister’. I’m on holiday, leaving my driving fleet in the hands of my first mate. After hundreds of years without a break, you get kind of tired of the constant raiding and pillaging, you know? Even the vikings went on holiday from time to time.”

“Oh. Right.”

The boy didn’t say anything else, the whole time we waited for the mechanic. Eventually the boss arrived, fixed up my car, and now I can get on my way. Holiday, here I come.

Skyscraper Balustrade

I found Dr Pistachio on top of the tallest building in Melbourne, cowering behind a glass balustrade. Typical behaviour for a supervillain: act tough while your plan is going ahead, then pretend to be weak once it begins to fall apart. I only had thirty seconds to save the city. There was no time for games.

“Tell me where the leak is!” I yelled, over the howling winds above the city. “You madman, thousands of people will perish.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. “What leak? I don’t want anybody to die. Please, Super Duper Man, don’t hurt me.”

He always does this. Tries to convince me that I’m the bad guy. But I’m not the one who filled the sewers of Melbourne with poisonous gas. “It’s over, Doctor,” I said, rising higher in the air and looking down on him. “Even the best glass balustrades near Melbourne won’t be able to save you.”

“Please, Super Duper Man, you have the wrong guy!” He reached into his jacket and pulled out a piece of paper. “Don’t you remember what the courts ruled? This is harassment and you’re supposed to stay away from me!”

I could only laugh. “The forged restraining order? You don’t think your devilish trickery can stop me, do you?” Lasers shot forth from my eyes, burning the piece of paper, its embers joining me in the sky.

This battle would be truly epic, once Dr Pistachio stopped playing an innocent fool. Yes, lots of skyscrapers across the city would be destroyed, but it would all be worth it. Besides, the commercial glazing industry would have work for months, repairing all the glass. Truly, it would be for the good of the city.

“If you don’t tell me where the lethal gas leak is, I’ll have to destroy everything you care about,” I said, clenching a fist.

Dr Pistachio looked over the balustrade, down to the ground a hundred stories below. With one swift movement, he threw himself at me. I responded quickly before he could unleash an evil machine to attack me. Grabbing the back of his shirt, I immobilized the villain and flew him to the nearest prison, where we could get the truth out of him.

Super Duper Man saves the day once more.

When She Talks

Quite an interesting discussion last night at the Futurist Club…or at least, it was until Emma hijacked the whole thing because she wanted to talk about fishing rod holders. She has an uncanny ability to hijack *anything* and turn it to her own topic of choice, even if it’s not her turn to speak. I was in mid-flow about how it’s going to be totally okay to live in the outback after they invent gigantic energy domes that protect people from sandstorms, so you can live there without fear of a wallaby or a scorpion being whipped up by desert winds and crashing into you on your way to work.

But then…Emma chimes in and says something about fishing boats, because the outback will be watered at the time due to weather manipulation, and then it came to fishing rod holders. That is, fishing rod holders of the FUTURE. Of course, Emma. If I wasn’t secretly, madly in love with you then I’d be quite cross that you’re interrupting me.

Emma loves to talk about fishing in the future, and how you’ll be able to have a snapper rack installed and it’ll be able to magnetise people to it in stormy weather, which will be quite common after the coming catastrophe. And I listen to her, and I’m SO bored because snapper racks and fishing rod holders that can recommend great fishing spots with integrated AI just aren’t interesting, but I want Emma to keep talking because she has such a beautiful voice, and the rare moments when she talks about something that ISN’T to do with stainless steel marine welding are the times when my soul is set ablaze.

I remember everything she’s ever said, you know. Every time she’s talked about the welding industry facing opposition from android duplicates of workers, every time she mentions bionic fish confusing the fishing industry…it all just sticks in my mind. And it’s frustrating! And I want to hear more…

-Harry

Be your best self, or Batman, always be Batman