Bewilder Bird Really Really Loves Format Television (He Really Really Does!)

Here is another thrilling extract from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird vs Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. In this section we learn a little bit more about the kind of television programme that a superhero like Bewilder Bird likes to watch when he is not trying to save the world from complete and utter destruction. If you want to find out more about superhero viewing habits and a whole lot more besides then why not follow the link here. Here. Here. Here. And here.

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Now in its twelfth season, the premise of Paint Tales is a simple one: a single tin of paint is followed from the factory where it is made to the place where it is used, via the shop where it is sold.
For enthusiasts of the programme, the joy of the journey is immense and somehow almost immeasurable. As a result, Paint Tales has now become a global, if somewhat esoteric, phenomenon. Discovering that the tin of paint you thought was going to be used as a humble undercoat turns out instead to be the final flourish of a ceiling in a converted bathroom can be close to life-changing for aficionados of the programme.
For anyone else, the premise of the programme is almost as disturbing as actually watching an episode and both the existence and continuance of Paint Tales has become a major topic of cultural debate. For some it is the ultimate guilty pleasure, for others it is the producers who should be feeling guilty.
Falcon Boy laughed quietly.
‘The season finale of Paint Tales was about a tin of red paint, Bewilder Bird’s favourite colour, and he had been looking forward to watching it all day. He had even left a note on the fridge to remind himself that it was on that evening.’
For future reference, interest, or indeed, warning, depending on what it is that you like to watch or not watch on television or any other screen, Paint Tales is from the same production company that created Concrete Superstar.
Many media experts believed that Concrete Superstar was going to be the next big thing in format television but the programme only ran for a single season. As a result, the five episodes that do exist have achieved cult status.
Each week, Concrete Superstar challenged three celebrities to lay the perfect concrete patio. Aided by experts, a whole range of stars of stage, screen (both big and small), music and anywhere else mixed, shovelled, poured, levelled, screed, bull-floated, hand-floated, rounded (if required), cut-in, and broomed their concrete in a race against both the clock and the other contestants.
The locations chosen were both indoor and outdoor and for the second season, it had been proposed that the programme go to different locations around the world so that factors like local building customs, union regulations and temperature extremes could be brought into play. Sadly, however, this was never to be.
Like many other people (but sadly, as it turns out, ultimately not enough other people), Bewilder Bird found Concrete Superstar really exciting because you could never really tell which one of the chosen celebrities would be the best at pouring concrete just by looking.
For example, who could have known that Dame Circular Rosetwine, opera singer and biscuit entrepreneur, would beat upper body muscle model and self-confessed DIY enthusiast Flint Roland in the first episode?
‘I thought I had it in the bag,’ said Flint afterwards, ‘until one of the production crew told me that I had poured the concrete upside down. It wasn’t until I had ripped everything out and started again that I realised they had been pulling my leg.’
In the second episode, renowned aristocratic bad-boy ventriloquist Sheridan Shaw and his foul-breathed puffer fish puppet, Puff the Puffer Fish, lost out to one-time pop sensation Dorothy Sister, lead singer of the reasonably-famous (and reasonably-named) Dorothy Sisters.
Puff the Puffer Fish refused to cooperate during the aggregate mixing phase and allowed Dorothy Sister to win by a technical default, even though she had managed to bury one of her high heels beneath a crazy-paving slab.

 

Remember: here. Here. Here. Here. And here.

World Savers Wanted™

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Here is the next in the series of brief excerpts from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. If you would like to read the full adventure then please follow the link.

World Savers Wanted™ can be found at http://www.worldsaverswanted.hero and is a listed company created by a twelve-year-old boy called Mulvey Cavell, who saw a gap in the market for matching superheroes looking for things to do with things that needed doing by superheroes.

Mulvey realised that for every superhero being summoned by an enormous searchlight whenever they were needed, there would be many other equally deserving superheroes that didn’t have such a high-profile and therefore probably needed a helping hand when it came to finding suitable things to do.

Mulvey also understood that not all superheroes wanted to try and save the world. Some were just happy doing things like opening supermarkets, posing for photographs or putting on action displays at garden fetes.

Working from his bedroom, Mulvey built the website and devised the marketing campaign. Things were slow to begin with but once the mass exodus from HeroVerse™ started, World Savers Wanted™ began to get very busy – so busy, in fact, that Mulvey Cavell became a multi-millionaire at thirteen and retired from public life.

World Savers Wanted™ works on the same principles as any other online agency. You complete an online questionnaire, upload a current image of yourself and pay an annual membership fee.

Once your application is processed, World Savers Wanted™ will seek to match your profile with the most appropriate tasks contained in its vast and ever-increasing database.

A similar principle applies if you have some work for a superhero to do. Once the registration process is complete, you are free to upload your superhero task request. Your task request is offered to the most appropriate superheroes and they then choose to accept the task or not.

Feedback is given on the completion of each task, whether successful or otherwise, and as you gain more and more positive feedback, so you become eligible to receive more and more difficult task requests. In this way the system always hopes to match the right hero to the right task.

World Savers Wanted™ allows you to define your choice of tasks by selecting from a drop-down menu. Falcon Boy had ambitiously registered himself and Bewilder Bird in the ‘Heroic Duo Seeking to Save the World’ section but as you can imagine, they hadn’t yet accumulated enough positive feedback to be eligible for that category. Not that Falcon Boy was in any way perturbed.

‘Ambition is one of the many things that I wish to be known for,’ said Falcon Boy ambitiously to his friend. ‘Without ambition, you have no real desire to do things,’ he concluded grandly.

Introducing Bacharach McCarthy

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Bacharach McCarthy also lived a lonely life. He was tall and athletic-looking, capable of lifting heavy things, and took a keen interest in how the world worked but none of these attributes ever made a real difference to his adult life.

Bacharach left school and went to work for a small manufacturing company that produced the world-famous Universal Drain Righter©. This handy-sounding device is a small twist of metal that you attach to any antipodean plughole to re-right the direction that the water swirls as you empty a bath.

For eight hours a day and six hours of overtime on Saturday, Bacharach McCarthy placed a piece of metal into a groove, pressed a large red button and then laid the now twisted metal onto a conveyor belt for packing.

In all this time, he spoke to no one. And no one spoke to him. But when the shifts were over, Bacharach raced home, wolfed down a pot of noodles, logged onto HeroVerse™ and turned once more into Bewilder Bird.

Online, Bacharach felt completely free and was able to express himself in ways that he couldn’t in reality. He could behave in any way that he wanted to, but still he chose to be as silent in HeroVerse™ as he was in real life. He just preferred it this way.

If you want to find out more Bacharach McCarthy then please feel free to click here.

‘Who is ordinary and who isn’t ordinary?’

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Who is ordinary and who isn’t ordinary? Who decides who is extraordinary and who isn’t extraordinary? Perhaps these questions make more sense when we consider the possibility that the central character of this adventure could easily have been someone else.

For example, we could be reading about the adventures of a small ingenious boy called Dunstable Johnson who is very handy in tight situations. Or, we could all be thrilling to the adventures of a swashbuckling amateur wrestler called Erica ‘Neck Brace’ Larkin. Erica investigates local mysteries in between wrestling bouts. This is just for starters.

The battle to rescue Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird from the clutches of the evil Dr Don’t Know and, by doing so, save the world from apparent destruction could have centred around the players and coaching staff of Wolseley Street F.C, an U12s amateur football team.

Football has all the hallmarks of great adventure as players grapple with triumph and adversity as they seek to win a championship or avoid being relegated. There is plenty of drama in an adventure like this.

If you don’t like stories about footballers, then what about a rather nifty and exciting robot called Rocky Random? Rocky has a propulsion unit in his boots and can cross oceans if necessary. He is handy to know in a global emergency.

No? How about Eucalyptus McKenzie, the cartoon koala bear and government agent? The adventures of Eucalyptus McKenzie are yet to be written but I am pretty sure that this isn’t the last we will hear about this daring koala bear.

For more thoughts on who is ordinary and who isn’t ordinary click here. If you want to follow someone who is both ordinary and extraordinary then why not click here?

The Blanket of Space and Time

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One of the pressures of publishing and then blogging about publishing and then sharing the blogging about publishing is the never-ending need for new things to publish and to blog about and to share.

I boldly proclaimed the other day that I am currently working on Volume II in the Falcon Boy series, The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests. Progress has slowed slightly in the last week but I still hope to have a working draft finished by the end of the Summer.

I also have a working draft of Volume III which is tentatively entitled The Blanket of Space and Time. Following the adventures in the second volume, Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird yet again find themselves needing to redefine their roles in relation to a world that doesn’t really truly need them as much as they think that it ought to.

The story isn’t fully developed yet but so far Falcon Boy has started offering his services as a magician in a bid to remain in the public eye. However, during his first (and probably last) performance a newly learned and barely rehearsed trick goes very badly wrong and Falcon Boy manages to transport Panic Town into an alternate reality by accidentally ripping a small tear in the Blanket of Space and Time.

In this new reality Panic Town has been colonised by a flock of filthy Garbage Birds and once again it is down to the ever-resourceful Ellis to save the day from these foul fowls. In case you were wondering:

Garbage Birds are a species unique to weird worlds and bizarre situations. They are madly made from of all kinds of different pieces of garbage and tend to stand about as high as a small horse. Each and every Garbage Bird is freakily unique; one might have a carrot for a nose and another might have the end of a mop. Some Garbage Birds have plastic bags for wings and others have dirty blankets or wee-stained sheets. Some walk on claws made from coat-hangers and others have the legs of chairs as legs. It has been reported but not yet confirmed that one of these creatures was once seen with a metal bucket for a head, two wings torn from a ripped anorak, with a bamboo cane for one leg, a big doll’s leg for the other and a beak made from a whisk and a serving spoon. Whatever they look like, and as you can imagine, the combinations are endless, Garbage Birds are the baddest of the baddest of the baddest of the baddest news.

The plan is for plenty more alternate-reality action including alternate versions of our two superheroes and Panic Town’s favourite pop band Doodah becoming a gloomy, whiny guitar band called The Woebetides. This is all for the future. Until then you can gain a better understanding of Falcon Boy and his world here. You can also follow him on Twitter here.