It was almost a year to the day since Peter Pike – AKA Procrastination Man – had last donned his ill-fitting spandex outfit and battled the forces of evil. But Peter had not been idle, far from it. In that time he had thoroughly reorganised his cutlery drawer, joined a gym (although not actually visited it) and made detailed plans to re-decorate the lounge and repair the kitchen window. There had even been a few half-hearted attempts to start writing his autobiography.
He had also, much to his surprise, found a partner, Melanie Grant, with whom he had made some exciting and probably completely impractical plans. An attractive, if slightly geeky young science graduate, she had been inspired by the press coverage of his earlier adventures and had responded to his online quest for a partner:
WANTED: SMART, KICK-ARSE PARTNER FOR A UNIQUE CRIME-FIGHTING OPPORTUNITY! NO TIME-WASTERS PLEASE.
Their first meeting at The Black Crow pub hadn’t gone quite as well as they’d hoped. A nervous Peter had arrived late as usual, and then managed to spill his pint of beer all over their table. Melanie had ended up trapped in the women’s toilet cubicle, a faulty lock requiring intervention from the local fire brigade. But they had been able to laugh about it afterwards, and their disastrous evening had eventually ended on a unexpected high note.
As they had slowly gotten to know each other in the months that followed, the future suddenly seemed to be full of promise and adventure.
After a long planning phase, they were determined not to let any more grass grow under their feet. It was time for action, just as soon as they’d saved up enough cash to advertise their services in the papers, and whipped themselves into shape at the gym. And paid off the credit card bills. Yes, quite soon they would be ready to unleash the force of THE PROACTIVATORS upon an unsuspecting criminal world.
We instinctively recoil from people in authority who are publicly exposed as liars, feeling cheated and seeing them as tarnished individuals. Yet whether we like to admit it or not, we all have an intimate relationship with lies, fibs and tall tales.
According to a 2002 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 60% of adults can’t have a ten minute conversation without lying at least once.
I personally never lie, as I was telling Bill Gates and his wife Melinda the other night at dinner, on George Clooney‘s new super-yacht.
I’m a health nut and a borderline alcoholic. I enjoy science documentaries and art-house cinema, but I also like watching UFC fighters knock seven shades of shit out of each other. I’m a fairly empathetic person, but sometimes wish I could see my upstairs neighbours eaten slowly by wolves.
I’d be surprised if there were many people alive who didn’t exhibit some degree of these types of contradictory character traits. Their existence has surely inspired many writers and thinkers over the centuries, including the author Robert Louis Stevenson himself.
Evolution has brought about a spectacular abundance of plant and animal life that we are trying our very best to eradicate, perhaps so we can have the planet all to ourselves. Of course the interdependence of humans and the flora and fauna of Earth makes this behaviour slightly baffling. It sometimes appears we are like a cartoon character, sawing through the branch that it sits on. Or in our case chopping down the whole forest.
You have probably noticed the Internet is awash with articles, blogs and websites promoting ‘natural health,’ or ads for the latest new ‘wonder food’ that will make you thinner, healthier or smarter than Einstein.
There is also a steady stream of stories in the media telling us how this latest study contradicts the many previous studies, and in fact a diet based around lard, cigarettes and heroin is perfectly fine, in moderation of course.
When I was young I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, apart from taller.
I showed a keen interest in science and space exploration at an early age, but sadly my eventual application to astronaut school was rejected, on the grounds of my flat feet and shortsightedness. That, and the complete lack of a science degree, flying experience, courage, or any of the usual qualities they tend to look for in potential astronauts.
Read part one and part two of the story.
The situation looked grim – the demonstration outside New York’s Hall of Science was turning into a riot as more and more of the city’s thugs and crazies arrived to join in the melee. Salma was down, injured, Spark almost out of juice and Ray Flint – Rational Ray – seemed to be missing in action.
Will the forces of idiocy prevail? It’s time to find out..
Spark crawled across the grass to Salma’s side. Blood trickled down from her temple, giving him grave cause for concern. Her attacker, a hulking brute with shaved head and swastika tattoos was still close by, but just out of his reach. Perhaps he could manage one last stun before his battery ran flat. Where in the name of fuck was Ray?
Read part one of this story here
Raymond Flint – Aka Rational Ray – and his trusted robotic companion Spark are en route to New York’s Hall of Science in Queens, after a series of texts from Salma Rivera – Aka Reason Gal – had alerted our hero to the increasingly hostile protests going on outside the building. Although a number of prominent friends and colleagues from the world of science were attending a meeting inside, it was the safety of those on the outside that concerned him more.
Raymond Flint, known to millions from his radio shows and books as Rational Ray, walked to the window and gazed down at the milling crowds in the street outside his building. His once fairly secret address was now besieged by the legions of the dumb. Bearing crudely made signs and bellowing barely-literate nonsense, they had become a daily irritation in the life of this quiet and unassuming science advocate and former martial arts star.
To many of his fans he was something of a superhero, a label he rejected, on the grounds he was neither super, nor especially heroic, but they seemed to need him to be one, so he was rather stuck with it, for now. The tagline Bruce Lee with a PhD also made him cringe, but it had become a catchy slogan for many.
Many of the dinosaurs that once roamed our planet were pretty spectacular, based on the numerous skeletal remains they’ve left behind.
The largest, like the massive Diplodocus, must have been quite a sight to behold, but a fairly recent find in Argentina was even bigger than any previous giant specimen. A forty metre long member of the Sauropod family, this Titanosaur weighed as much as fourteen African elephants and had testicles the size of Space Hoppers. Possibly.