From Steampunk to Tavern Drunk: Where did the Social Assassin Go??

So it seems I suck pretty hard at this whole ‘I’m totally going to start writing again’ thing. There are a number of reasons why I disappeared for so long, and I’ll discuss some of those here in a moment. The reason involving 432 rubber ducks, six cubic yards of liquid latex and the Llandudnow Male Voice Choir is, sadly, still covered by a super-injunction, so please don’t ask. Over the last year, having been once a relatively regular poster, I dwindled away to nothing and despite several abortive attempts to get back into blogging again I just couldn’t seem to ever grab the fire and zaniness that had driven this blog in the beginning. Partly, I think, this was simply due to the fact that I was struggling to keep on coming up with humorous things to talk about – as any of you who are no stranger here will realise, I am never afraid to speak my mind, but I never wanted this blog to become my soapbox for trying to right the wrongs of the world (and they are legion) – and if I couldn’t be entertaining I kind of decided without consciously realising it that I’d rather not bother at all. Yea, and so it came to pass that I did wander into the desert of creative barrenness, and my followers were left to wonder where their Messiah of Mayhem had gone.

Harken unto me, then, my children, and I shall tell thee………


For one, (and again, to regular ‘former’ readers this is no revelation) my work life is not always one that is conducive to having lots of time to write. Although it does fluctuate with the seasons a fair bit, I can be working up to 80/90 hours a week. Coming in from a fourteen hour shift in a busy kitchen does not, my compadres, leave you in a very good place to sit in front of a keyboard and be witty. Angry, disconsolate and bitter, yes. But witty – er, no.  As much as writing this blog has always brought me joy, the very essence of what made this fun for me was seeing people reacting to what I’d written, and interacting with me via the comments. If I write utter crap, that back-and-forth doesn’t develop, and it kind of defeats the object (I feel) – I always try and write not just for my own amusement but for the enjoyment of others too. If I can’t do it right, I’d rather not bore you all to death trying to blog for the sake of it. Add to this equation the fact that I live on a very small, tourist-driven island where the labour market fluctuates wildly, meaning that in the time since my last ‘regular’ postings I have moved job three times, the most recent only a few weeks ago. That kind of upheaval is never easy on anyone, and more so on me; I’m the kind of guy who likes to invest himself in his work and be involved in not just doing my bit and going home but actively involving myself in the team – that wonderful camaraderie found in all horrific scenes where humanity is forced to band together to survive some seemingly insurmountable terror, such as the trenches of WW2, facing a Tsunami, or working in a commercial kitchen. Being forced to give that up and move due to factors outside my control (money, redundancy etc. etc.) is not a change I ever enjoy, and so this too adds itself to the general stress that is the enemy of any humour blogger anywhere ever.

The good news is that as of quite recently I’ve joined a wonderful local pub nearby that’s only three minutes walk from my front door. The team is awesome and already making me feel at home, and we enjoy an enviable reputation for our produce. The additional benefit, that I now enjoy more time at home with my family, is beyond measure in its awesomeness. So too is the fact that finally I find myself for the first time in ages sitting here in front of a keyboard with something to say and the time to say it – a rare feeling these days! Fingers crossed that this time I won’t bullshit you about writing again then fuck off without a word – frankly, I’m amazed any of you still tune in to read this bullshit!! (Note to self – PR work may need a brush up…….)


lucifer coiled

So yeah, I may have mentioned before that I keep snakes. BIG FUCK-OFF SNAKES. As any pet owner will tell you, owning a pet is not a whim, it’s a serious responsibility that means dedication to caring for your furry/feathery/scaly friend. With great power comes great responsibility, Peter…. Being a big snake keeper is no different. You might not see anyone in the local park with their snake on a leash, but they still need to be taken out and handled on a regular basis (in most cases!) for exercise, they need to be fed (a way more interesting proposition than opening a pouch of KittyKrunch!!), their enclosures need to be cleaned and disinfected, fresh water topped up regularly, temperature and environment closely monitored on a twice-daily basis……. you get the picture. Now lets expand on this. We own ten snakes. And a cat. A very brave cat. Our smallest cute ickle python is just over four feet long and about two and a half inches thick. Our smallest….. At the other end of the scale is Lucifer, my male Burmese Python who currently weighs in at about ten feet long and fifteen pounds in weight. He’s close to full grown, but his sister who is a similar size could top out at around sixteen feet and weigh as much as a small adult human. At a conservative estimate, we currently co-habit with around fifty foot of snakes. Like I said…. we have one hardcore cat.


I couldn’t ever really call myself a Steampunk, in the sense that I don’t conform to societies image of one – I have never donned a costume nor been near a set of customised goggles, nor do I attend conventions or build elaborate devices. Despite this I have always been fascinated with the concept of Steampunk from a literary and cultural perspective, and so it was that in my travels and conversations with other writers away from this blog I came into contact with a wonderful cross-section of the Steampunk community in the USA.
If like many reading this you find yourself woefully unaware of what Steampunk really is or what it’s all about – you are not alone. Although it is one of the most world-wide and rapidly expanding ‘geek culture’ scenes on the planet it can be somewhat confusing trying to work out why there are people wandering around dressed as steam powered versions of Boba Fett, or why people seem so fascinated with airships. To try and fill a gap in this knowledge, these new Steampunk friends of mine wrote a book, called Steampunk for Simpletons – it was a fun, easy to understand book that covered every aspect of the Steampunk world from the perspective of a complete beginner, teaching them what to expect and where to find it, and it was soon a big hit at conventions and with the wider community worldwide. In that book is a section of articles and essays contributed by other writers discussing their specialist fields, and it is here you will find a section written by yours truly, about the history of food and dining during the Victorian era (which encompasses much of the time period that provides the reference material for Steampunk enthusiasts) and how one could throw a Steampunk dinner party.


I was very grateful to these authors for showing a positive reaction to my dry British humour, and willing threw myself into what turned out to be a fun project that produced a great book we were all very proud to be part of, and rightly so (even though I say so myself!). Little did I know that throwing my lot in with this motley bunch of airship pirates would lead me far from home on a mystical quest to a magical tavern……..


At the same time Steampunk For Simpletons was being produced, its creators – and in particular the two main authors whose concept the book was – were involved in the hosting of an internet radio show once a week called Sounds of Steam, which was a weekly lodestone for the Steampunk community where as well as studio guests they advertised upcoming conventions, played the latest Steampunk music releases and discussed relevant themes from both within the community and the world at large. I was one of the earliest guests on the show, and following that show I became a semi-regular guest, occasionally dropping in to the show when I had something of relevance to contribute, and the rest of the time interacting via Facebook (the show was linked to an event page where the show’s hosts interacted live with their audience).

talk of the tavern logo

After a while of this going on, it became clear to all involved that since so many good show moments were happening when the studio guests wandered off topic, it was worth expanding the concept to serve a wider audience, and so the beast that was Talk of the Tavern was born. Now incorporating the Sounds of Steam hour as the final hour of the show, Talk of the Tavern was a weekly show that had a different topic each week, covering a wonderful range of wild and wacky subjects. A crack team of revolving guests, including yours truly, were swiftly assembled and for close to two years much hilarity, terribly inappropriate humour and very adult content were spewed violently out across the airwaves, much to the delight of our loyal and zany community of regular listeners. I could wax lyrically about how much I enjoyed my time being on that radio show, but instead let me just say that they became a big part of why I moved away from blogging for a while, as I’d found a wider audience of people I could be profane and disrespectful to!! Sadly, technical issues eventually forced us to take the show off the air, although most of the community survived and came to join our ongoing Facebook Group, the Virtual International Pub (V.I.P.) – you’re welcome to join us, but anything goes in there so leave your whiny little bitch panties at home please – we AIM to offend, and we’re quite good at it 😉


So, by now I’ve worked my fingers to the bone, got stressed out, lived with giant pythons, been kidnapped by Steampunks, become a radio show host and been a pet Angry Sarcastic Brit to a worldwide community of questionable characters. Where else could my trip away from Social Assassin have taken me? Why, where all aspiring authors with a conscience end up of course – in a gutter, surrounded by filth and depravity. Huzzah!!

So I met this other writer. She’s a bit funny, a bit kooky, very opinionated and just like me her taste in humour makes most mere mortals want to gag. Her name is Ada. Between us, we found a common thread in our love of the darkest kinds of laughter, those that force us to acknowledge that even in subjects we find morally, sexually or religiously sensitive or offensive there exists space for humanity to find mirth and laughter. So…. we wrote a book together, to see just how offensive we could get away with being. It’s available to buy now on Amazon and Createspace, and it is called Drowning Kittens For Fun and Profit: 100 of the Worst Money Making Ideas. In it, we have detailed (yes, you guessed it, 100!!!) ideas on how you could get rich tomorrow, provided you’re prepared to be a little …. …. creative with your approach. It would bring me much joy to my black little heart if you bought one of these very NSFW beauties from the links provided here, and since they’re very cheaply priced at the moment feel free to buy ten or more and share the love with your friends. If anyone buys more than 100 copies in a single transaction, I will PM you dick pictures. If you don’t buy a copy, the fleas of a thousand rabid camels will infest your anus and cause you to die a slow and agonizingly painful death, and I will PM you dick pictures.


And lo, after 400 days and nights, it did come to pass that the Social Assassin did stroll casually from the wilderness of the Desert of Creative Barrenness, much to the collective joy of those few loyal followers who had hung around waiting to see if he showed (because, frankly, society was screwed up anyway and this guy had been a chuckle so let’s hang around and who knows?). Great then was the weeping of joy, and the rending of cloth, and the singing of his praises, and his disciples did look with wonder upon the new written words he had brought forth from the wilds, and they cried aloud with fierce celebration “What is this old tat??”! Then was there much feasting, and the Messiah did break unleavened bread with his loyal followers, and there was much drinking, and the Messiah did make much toasting with his disciples, and there was wild dancing, and the Messiah did lead his people in the dance, and then there was some brief unpleasantness and the Messiah was forced to smite Brad, who was being a douche.
Yea then, in the light of the following morning, viewed from behind the very dark Holy Sunglasses, the Messiah did gaze upon the wide valleys of sin and depravity he had left behind before, and gird himself once more to go amongst his lost flock, that he might once again walk amongst them and bring wise words of joy, improving their lives by teaching them to love one another, to respect and honour each others views, and to generally speaking just not be cunts. And he did speak then, as many drew near to hear his new wisdom, and he did fix each of them with his steely gaze of Almighty Bullshit Detection, and he did preach the words that heralded the second coming: “People, it is high time we fucked some shit up again”.
And there was much feasting, and drinking, and celebrating, and Brad was not invited.


Join me again in a couple of days, when I will be talking more about my new author friends and how you can join us this coming May 2nd on Facebook for a great live event where you can win a whole bunch of free books, including my own humble effort, as well as meet myself and the other authors to chat about our work and upcoming projects. Now saddle up bitches, this world has had long enough to enjoy itself without my snark and bitter criticism – it’s time to ride once more 😉

Social Assassin, April 27, UK.
13:05pm, Monday.
In my lounge.
Near the window.
It’s nice out today.
I have coffee.