The Adventures of Dinner Man And Agent Time: Remastered (1)

I started this story a while ago and never finished it.

I’ve done some editing and intend to finish it soon, but for now here are the first few chapters!

Enjoy!

Chapter 1

Greg and Chris sat in the studio, relaxing after a long day in the office.

“What you up to tonight?” Greg asked, leaning back in his chair and scratching his nose.

“Ah y’know. Just… watching time pass by…” chris said elusively, also leaning back and swinging his chair gently back and forth, “you?”

“Ah yeah, y’know…dinner” Greg smiled.

“Mmm”

“Mmm”

They sat in silence for a while before someone’s phone chimed. Both jumped instinctively towards their own device.

It was Gregs.

“Hello? Yes? Yes. Yes. Ok. I’ll be there” he hung up “sorry mate, gotta dash”

“No worries. I, uh, I think it’s time for me to go too”

*later, near Gregs house*

“PASTA LA VISTA, GRAVY!” a masked figure, who had a similar build to that of Greg james, yelled at a large masked man. He threw a plate of pasta at his face before jumping on him and tying his hands behind his back with stings of (reinforced) spaghetti.

“Ah. I can’t believe you’ve done this!” Shouted the figure writhing on the ground

“Be quiet!”

“NO! You will never silence THE MIGHTY DOCTOR TABLESON!”

“That. Is an awful name”

“NO IT ISN’T!”

“What do you even do? I mean, apart from running around town knocking over tables?”

“THAT. IS EXACTLY WHAT I DO!”

“You knock over tables…”

“I CAUSE CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION-”

“- you knock over tables”

“-TERROR AND FEAR-”

“By knocking down tables”

“-FEAR IS… IS… PEOPLE… chaos… I… I…”

“… knock over tables”

“Knock over tables”

“Yes. And it’s very silly”

“It is quite silly yes- NO!”

“Yes”

“… yes”

They sat in silence for a moment.

Then, out of the darkness and the silence, Dr Mctableson began to speak,

“How would you feel..” he asked melodiously, “if someone knocked over your table?”

“Mildly annoyed” The hero responded with a shrug

“How would you feel” McTableson tried again, “if someone knocked over your table AND YOUR DINNER WAS ON IT?!”

The hero fell to his knees, arms raised to the skies and let out an almighty scream of terror, as rain began to fall dramatically “NOOOOOOOOOO!!”

“Yes, I know your weakness. I know who you are! DINER MAN!”

The hero stopped screaming abruptly before throwing himself down so he was face to face with his captive,

“No. No no no no no no. My name is not DINER MAN! That’s an AWFUL name for a hero” he huffed, before drawing himself up to his full, and rather impressive height, “I am,” he paused for dramatic effect before booming “DINNER MAN!” He raised his chin to look more magnificent, and wished he had remembered to bring his portable speaker so he could blast his “theme tune”.

Dr McTableson was caught in a trance like state as he gazed at the magnificence of the hero before him. But his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of police sirens, but in the moment that he looked to see where they were, Dinner man had vanished, leaving nothing but the faint smell of paprika and tomato purée.

*meanwhile near Chris’ house*

“YOUR TIME HAS COME!” Yelled, yet another, masked hero, this one seemed to have a similar build to that of Chris Smith with the news (how incredibly odd).

“YOU WILL NEVER STOP ME, FOR I AM THE MAGNIFICENT, AMAZING, UNBEATABLE, UNSTOPPABLE-”

“Ok enough with the adjectives get to the good bits”

“TIME GREMLIN!”

The time gremlin was a short man wearing a dark green suit and a, quite frankly rubbish face mask.

“Yes well, it appears that your time has come”

“You’ve already used that pun”

“Yes well… I don’t believe in… second chances.” He stammered, “erm… You’re going down”!” He shouted. The hero launched himself at the gremlin and managed to wrestle him to the ground, seeing as he had the height advantage and lack of a silly mask. He bound the gremlins hands with, what appeared to be a chain of cogs and springs.

“You’ll never get away with this!”

The hero stood up. His face was hidden in shadows making him look handsome and mysterious.

“Of course I’ll get away with this, for you see,” he gestured around “I just have”.

He looked towards the clock and as he did so, the hands began to move twice as fast as they should have.

“NO!” Screeched the man in chains, “NO YOU’RE RUINING IT STOP IT!”

“No I shall not! You cannot mess with time, Gremlin”

“CHAOS! THATS WHAT I WANTED! CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION! AND, AND A LATER BEDTIME!”

“well it looks like it’s past your bedtime” the hero said smartly. He stood up straight and looked into the middle distance, doing his best to look strong and heroic.

“It seems like my work here is done”

“How would you feel if I told you,” the criminal on the ground spat, “that all the clocks in the city were changed”

“Mildly annoyed to be honest”

“What if I told you,” the gremlin tried again, “that all the clocks in the city had changed TO THE WRONG TIME-”

The hero gasped dramatically,

“-BY EXACTLY 2 AND A HALF MINUTES”

The hero fell to his knees and began to scream as he reached to the sky and the heavens opened to bring a dramatic fall of rain.

“NOOOOOO!! WHY WOULD YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT?! YOU… YOU.. MONSTER!” screamed the hero in disgust and anger.

“I prefer the term “Time Gremlin” actually. And it was hypothetical”

The hero stopped and brought his face very close to his captive, “never talk about things like that. Not even in a hypothetical sense”

The gremlin- the time gremlin smiled smugly, “ah. I’m sorry” but he wasn’t, “but now I know who you are… Agent Time!”

The hero looked annoyed as he stood up. He turned his nose up at the little gremlin before rumbling in a heroic voice, “YES! I AM AGENT TIME! AND I WILL HAVE ORDER! NO ONE WILL BE LATE BECAUSE OF AN INACCURATE PUBLIC CLOCK WHILE I SERVE THIS CITY”

“You need a shorter tag line” the time gremlin muttered

Just then, the sound of sirens began to increase in volume, and as the gremlin attempted to look around to see where they were, Agent Time disappeared leaving only a faint ticking noise in his wake.

Both heroes sped away from their heroic acts, leaving the police to take care of their “little” friends. Little did the heroes know of course, that any second they would crash into each other on a street corner.

Nothing happened.

LITTLE DID THE TWO HEROES KNOW-

The two heroes suddenly bumped into each other at a lamppost at the end of a street.

“Oh, er, sorry. I was just-” began Agent Time,

“Yes, um, I was just going-” started Dinner Man,

“Yes”

“Yes”

“Well” they said together.

There was an awkward pause as Agent Time and Dinner Man did that awkward dance from side to side. You know the one, when you bump into someone and you try to get past by moving to the side. But you both move the same way doing a bizarre “mirroring each other” dance.

Eventually they managed to sort themselves out and pass each other.

“Well, nice meeting you I suppose… nice cape” said dinner man, eyeing up Agent Times blue cape,

“Thanks” said Agent Time, “nice eye mask. Thingy” he added as he studied the strangers face.

Actually, they both started to look at each other. In hindsight, they both decided that they should have focused more on disguising their accents than their appearance, but we’re in the present, not the future, so they hadn’t thought of that yet.

“You sound an awful lot like Greg James off the radio you know” noted Agent Time.

“yes. And you sound a lot like Chris Smith With The News. But he’s not cool enough to be a super hero”

“OI!” Said Agent Time sounding wounded, “er, I mean, I think Chris smith is very cool”

“Oh” Dinner Man said, “sorry, I…”

Someone’s phone began to ring. This time, no one moved.

“Uh… you gonna get that?” Agent Time asked hesitantly

“Thought it was yours mate,”

“Nah that’s not my ring tone. That’s my mate Gregs…” Agent Time paused as he realised that this man, this hero, this STRANGER was not a stranger at all.

“Greg?” He quizzed

“NO! I AM DINNER MAN!” Yelled dinner man defensively

“AND I AM AGENT TIME!” Agent Time countered.

They stared at each other for a few moments before walking on their way, eyeing each other carefully until they were out of sight.

Chapter 2

The next day, Greg and Chris sat in the studio recording their award winning podcast.

“Imagine being a superhero though” Greg said playfully, “i would love the ability to make dinner for any number of people at any time of the day. That’d be cool”

Chris laughed, “I would change every public clock to the correct time. It really REALLY annoys me when clocks in public places are at the wrong time” he frowned as he thought of a clock showing the wrong time.

Greg smirked “that sounds a bit odd”

Chris, suddenly defensive, “oi! You could be late for everything if it wasn’t for people like me- I mean, Agent Time- I mean if public clocks were wrong” he sounded flustered.

Greg and chris stared at each other for a moment, looking at each other carefully as though trying to read the others minds- which they couldn’t, because that wasn’t their superpower. Something wasn’t right here. They didn’t usually have secrets…

After the podcast was done Greg cornered chris and asked very directly, “Are you a super hero?” He had a very serious look in his eyes as he said it. And he used his serious voice and so chris felt compelled to answer honestly,

“no” he lied fighting his compulsion, “are you a superhero?” Greg also felt that he should tell his friend the truth,

“no” said Greg, lying to his mate “I’m not. It would be cool though”

“Yeah,” chris said, “being able to help people, even in a small way”

“Exactly! Like helping the listeners. It would be amazing”

For you see, dear reader, Greg and chris did not yet know that they did not need super powers to help us, their listeners. Their laughter, banter, jokes and just their presence was enough to help their listeners through tough times, through a bad day or a bad week. They did not yet know that their voices coming from the radio were enough to help people. A true super power.

“Well, anyway, best get on then. Lots to do eh,” Greg said awkwardly. He didn’t like lying to chris. They were best friends, they shouldn’t have secrets! He resolved to find a way to tell him. But what if he was mad that he’d lied? What if he didn’t believe him?

So many questions, all of them big.

“Er, ok. Are you.. are you gonna go then?”

Greg realised that as these questions had been racing through his head he had not moved and had been stood staring at chris for well over half a minute.

“Oh right. Yeah oh course yeah. I was just… you look tired mate” Greg had indeed noticed how tired Chris looked. Almost like he had been up half the night running around the city.

“Yeah not been getting much sleep really” chris shrugged, “busy, y’know… you don’t look so good yourself mate,” he added, noticing the dark circles under Gregs eyes,

“Yeah… busy too I suppose… anyway. Cheers mate. See you later”

And so both Greg and Chris went their separate ways once again. Off to perform their heroic duties as Dinner Man and Agent Time, in secret, not seeking praise- just a cool catchphrase…

**Later that week**

“YOUR TIME HAS COME DINNER MAN!”

“Not today, time gobblin”

“GREMLIN! I’M A GREMLIN!”

“Yeah whatever. Point is,” Dinner Man said because changing his voice to sound more projected and powerful, “its time for you… to, pause for dramatic effect… EAT MY DUST!” He finished triumphantly

“What?” Said the gobbl- gremlin, looking confused.

“Eat my… eat my dust. Because I’m Dinner Man. Eating. Dust. No?” Dinner mans face fell, “What about..”

“HOW ABOUT “ITS DINNER TIME”?!” Boomed a mighty voice from behind him.

It was Agent Time!

“Agent time?” Asked Dinner Man and The Time Gremlin together because they don’t have a handy narrator telling them who’s who and what’s what

“Yes! I am THE TEMPEST! THE GREAT Agent Time! And your time” he pointed to the gremlin “is UP!”

And with that he launched himself at the gremlin, tying him up with chains and metal.

“What were you up to this time? Trying to change the clocks again? Make everyone late?!”

“No!” Scoffed the time gremlin, fighting in vain against his restraints “I wanted to change time so it was always JUST before dinner time but never ACTUALLY dinner time!”

Dinner man gasped so hard and so dramatically he almost fell over

“I wanted kids everywhere to be constantly told that their dinner was “Almost ready” when it really wasn’t!” The gremlin smiled maliciously (that means in a very mean and evil way). Dinner man was so shocked and angry about this that he kicked the gremlin in the foot. Unfortunately gremlins are very thick skinned so it takes a lot to hurt them, so Dinner mans kick actually felt more like a small poke. Like a baby feeling your face. More like a tickle than anything else, but we digress.

“I would’ve got away with it too!” The time gremlin grunted “if it wasn’t for you medalling… you… if it wasn’t for you!” He spat.

Dinner man and Agent Time looked at eachother. Dinner man raised an eyebrow and Agent Time nodded, together they picked up the gremlin and threw him into a nearby skip, just as the police sirens started up nearby.

As they fled the scene side by side, both were thinking the same thoughts, the first being “oh no! He totally knows who I am now!” And secondly “I TOTALLY know who he is now”

Neither one voiced his thoughts, until,

“I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!” They both cried suddenly, at the same time

“GREG!” Yelled agent time,

“CHRIS!” Yelled dinner man,

“WHAT?! NO!” They yelled together,

“Don’t lie to me mate,” Agent Time- I mean,Chris said calmly, “its strikingly obvious. And, and I think it’s really cool”

“Really?” Dinner man- Greg asked, “I mean, I think you’re cool too chris, I mean Agent Time”

“I prefer “The Tempest” but some kid from Northern Ireland started calling me Agent Time and it sorta stuck” chris shrugged

Greg raised his eyebrows and smiled, “well then, Agent Time,” he cocked his head and offered Chris the crook of his arm, “your place or mine?” With a cheeky wink.

Chris laughed and linked onto Gregs arm, “your place is closer, I’ve to be home by 10 though, otherwise my wife will kill me”

Greg nodded in pretend understanding “yeah fair enough….”

And they set off towards Gregs place walking in time with each other as Greg hummed the “Jurassic park” theme tune.

Chapter 3

As they arrived at Gregs place the rain was beginning to pour down.

“Right,” Greg sighed, “keys…” as he patted down his costume he realised he had made a fatal design error.

No pockets.

Where did he put his keys? “Oh… well this is a bit of a carbonara isn’t it?” Greg muttered. Chris raised an eyebrow.

“What?” Greg asked.

“Carbonara… really?” Chris retorted

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Carbonara!”

“And? People love carbonara!”

Chris shook his head smiling “it’s supposed to be pickle!”

Greg scoffed “but they aren’t very nice are they? Carbonara is a food of champions! Plus I’m Dinner Man! No one in their right mind would have a pickle for dinner!”

Chris shook his head giggling “ok fair enough then…. no keys?” He asked

Greg shook his head sadly “must’ve left them in that phone box where I changed…”

Chris slapped a hand to his mouth “YOU CHANGED IN A PHONEBOX?”

Greg looked offended “what’s wrong with that? All the greats have done it!”

“PHONE BOXES HAVE GLASS WINDOWS YOU GAZELLE!!”

Greg laughed out loud- that kind of laugh that you can’t help but start to giggle along with- one of those contagious laughs that start of quiet but build into a huge, rumbling belly laugh- you know what I mean!

“I used a special box you banana!” Greg hooted.

Now both men stood at a door giggling in the rain… in super hero costumes.

This couldn’t get anymore weird, could it?

Just then a llama ran past, followed by an alpaca.

Apparently it could.

Greg found an open window and squeezed through to open the door for chris, then they spent a few hours talking about their super powers and how they fought bad guys, or “aubergines” as Greg called them.

Over dinner- provided by Greg – Dinner Man, of course- They discussed their costume choices and their catchphrases and tried their best to come up with more time related puns for Chris to use. It was very difficult.

On a completely unrelated note, if you happen to have any good time related puns please tweet us @chloem86 or @weejudiee.

Now where were we?

Yes, Greg and chris told eachother all about their powers, their hidden indentities and the foes that they had battled.

“They all seem to have one thing in common though,” chris pondered as he finished his carbonara, “they all have a niche… they’re all changing time or attacking Dinner… well not attacking Dinner but you know what I mean” he finished

Greg considered this, “you know what, you’re right. But what does that mean?” He wondered aloud.

What it meant, dear reader, was that there was a bigger hand at play here, these small scale baddies weren’t working alone, someone else was sending them in to do the dirty work.

“There’s Someone bigger working here, using these small scale baddies to do the dirty work,” chris answered “but they’re doing a horrendous job.” He noted

There was silence for a few moments as they watched a particularly funny cat video on a TV show about people’s home videoed funny moments. Greg laughed out loud while chris cringed slightly, praying silently that the cat had survived its fall from the tree.

“So how do we find out who the main bad guy is?” Greg asked

“I… I don’t know” chris said “but I can only assume that they’ll come crawling out of the woodwork when they realise how badly their minions are doing”

Greg smiled as his mind jumped immediately to the little yellow creatures in blue dungarees.

Chris looked as his watch “OH NO!” He cried, “ITS TEN MINUTES TO TEN! I’LL NEVER MAKE IT HOME IN TIME!” He put his head in his hands, “my wife is going to kill me”

Greg stared at him in disbelief, “aren’t you Agent time?”

“NO!” Chris said, louder than he had intended.

“Sorry,” Greg tried again, “aren’t you The Tempest?”

Chris looked calmer as he answered “why yes, yes I am” he looked proud and then troubled, “why what’s that got to do with anything?”

“Well didn’t you say you could, like, control time or whatever?”

Chris looked slightly offended, “no. No. No no. I can correct the time of public clocks so that they are accurate”

Greg looked surprised, taken aback, disgusted, surprised again and then tried his best to find a neutral expression before saying something incredibly encouraging and supportive to his friend,

“cool”

There was a slightly awkward pause before Greg continued, “but couldn’t you just, y’know, put the time back a few minutes-”

“And make the time INCORRECT?!” Chris sounded appalled

“Well I mean-”

“THAT WOULD BE AN ABUSE OF MY POWERS!” Chris almost-shouted, “I could never, NEVER do that” he said more quietly and seriously.

“Ok ok sorry” Greg said trying to defuse the situation, “come on let’s go now and I’ll explain and say it was my fault, ok?”

“Ok” chris agreed

“And I’m sorry that I, y’know, suggested that you warp time and stuff”

“It’s ok,” chris said firmly, secretly wiping a tear from his eye.

Chapter 4

Meanwhile, about an hour and a half outside London on the train, not quite the middle of nowhere but far enough away from other houses that no one really knew the people who lived there, was a house. It was quaint, rather large and rather noisy. It was situated in a quiet, almost-rural neighbourhood where not much happened. It was a relatively normal place.

But this house was anything but normal, because this house, was the podcastard house, home to “The nice kind of strangers”.

Three girls lay out in the garden, reading books and playing with cats, relaxing. Smoke began billowing from the kitchen window,

“The twins are baking again,” Lauren, who could summon cats from thin air, said absent mindedly, while throwing a ball of wool for a brown splodgy cat. Lauren had long brown hair and a smiley kind of face.

Katt, Who could write things down and make them become real, didn’t even raise her head from her book as she said “it’s ok I’ll write a fan later to clear the air,”

Katt had a narrower, but still smiley face with dark brown wavy hair.

There was a brief pause before, BOOM!

“that was bigger than normal, they must be experimenting!” Chuckled Sara, who could make her thumbs grow to an enormous size and who was, inadvertently very good at writing letters. Sara had lighter coloured hair than the other two, she was often seen as the “mother” of the group but she could also be ten times as silly as the silliest of them all.

Lauren laughed too, “yes I think sammy was out last night getting them some special ingredients. It’s great that she doesn’t need much sleep but I do wish she wouldn’t encourage them, we’ve had to replace the kitchen twice in the three weeks we’ve lived here! Ine can’t sing-hypnotise another salesman into replacing it can she?”

Katt laughed “it’s ok I’ll write a repair”

Two girls, dirty blond haired twins, ran out of the house laughing and shouting, carrying a tray of cookies, chloe, the short haired twin presented the tray to her three friends,

“Guys look! We did a bake! It’s popping candy cookies-”

“But with an extra-” Judith, the long haired twin interrupted,

“-special”

“BANG!” They finished together, grinning broadly.

“I’ll pass” said all three girls together,

The twins’ faces fell slightly as they looked down at their marvellous creation,

“But… why?” Judith, with the long hair asked.

“That explosion did not sound encouraging” sara laughed as she gently picked up a cookie and threw it like a frisbee across the garden.

It hit the ground and exploded.

No one looked surprised.

“Uh…. ok so maybe if we switch out the gunpowder and add in more popping candy?” Judith suggested while chloe very gently and slowly placed the tray of explosive cookies on the ground and backed away.

“I mean, we can use them as weapons?” Chloe suggested

“Lads, you can already produce fire from your hands, why do you need explosive cookies?” Asked a new girl with brown hair and a round, friendly face, called Ianthe,

The twins shrugged, “for the craic?”

Everyone laughed.

“Hey guys! Anyone fancy a game of cheeseball?” A smiley girl, with rosy cheeks named Ellen appeared around the side of the house, she waved her hands and conjured up some Leodammer and babybells, Ianthe looked to the sky and a rainbow appeared as she smiled.

These are just seven of the nice kind of strangers.

Ine has long dark brown hair and can hypnotise people with her fantastic singing voice. Julia can draw charts in the air, like you see in cartoons. She’s also tall, but that’s not necessarily a superpower. Natalia, who has short light blond hair, but not as short as Chloe’s, can hack into phones and security systems simply by saying “hello”.

These are the podcastards, friendly, happy people who want to make the world a better place by adding silliness and imagination to every situation. They all had different powers, some of which seemed utterly useless but together they lived a happy, exciting, sometimes explosive life.

And, although they didn’t know it yet, they were going to save the world, well, London at least… but we’ll get to that bit later.

Chapter 5

Meanwhile, in central London, Mr Unimagination man stood high up in his flat overlooking the city. He looked back and forward waiting for his minions to begin his hostile takeover.

He quickly became bored though and so he turned and walked to his grey sofa. And he turned on the television which only showed the boring channels like the news and those weird shopping channels that are only on early in the morning or late at night.

The flat itself didn’t have much furniture in it. Just a sofa and the TV in the Livingroom, a kettle, a toaster ,a fridge and a microwave in the kitchen and the bedroom contained a simple iron framed bed with a single pillow and blanket and a small nightstand with a lamp with no lightshade on it.

It was very plain and boring and unimaginative, because the flat belonged to, as we’ve said, Mr Unimagination Man. The most unimaginative and boring villain in the history of villainy.

His evil plan was to zap the imagination and joy out of every child in the world, by making them wait for their dinner and making them constantly late so they wouldn’t have time to play. He had also intended to wipe out the existence of every book ever written. But he quite liked the boringness of libraries so he was instead trying to get rid of colourful children’s books.

The key word here is “trying” because Mr Unimagination man was unimaginative and so he found it very difficult to formulate plans.

His phone rang.

“hello?” Mr Unimagination man said,

“Yeah boss, it’s me. Listen, these two heroes, Dinner Man and Agent Time, well, they’ve got the time goblin-”

“-gremlin” Unimagination man corrected

“Right yeah time gremlin, they’ve got him and Dr McTableson locked up,”

“They what?!” Unimagination man sounded shocked and angry, “how did this happen?!”

“I don’t know!” The voice cried, “they had spaghetti and carbonara and, and clocks!”

“They had what?!” Unimagination man asked

“C-carbonara and,, and… clocks!” The man on the other end of the phone said in a quivering voice. He sounded like a man who had seen too much, he was traumatised and scared, “I just don’t know what happened” he said, almost sobbing.

Unimagination man sighed, a deep heavy sigh as he tried his best to think of something else he could do. How could he take down these heroes? He didn’t know because, as we said, he didn’t have the imagination to think up great plans.

“Do something!” He spat at his phone companion, “it’s your job to think up plans! Get rid of Agent Time and Dinner Man! Get rid of their powers, stop them from stopping me NOW!” He ordered. He liked giving orders, he was very direct and knew what he wanted because he didn’t have the power to dream up any interesting lies. He hung up the phone and remained sitting on his sofa staring at the TV. At this point, any normal person would switch off and start to daydream because nobody liked the stock market checks, but he did, Mr Unimagination man LOVED the stock market channel! So many facts! So many numbers! It was just so incredibly boring! This man also didn’t have the capability to daydream. It all just turned into a hazy grey fog, and static would play in the background; like when an old TV loses signal. Mr Unimagination man was basically just an old TV that didn’t have signal.

Chapter 6

Somewhere else in London, down a dark side street…

The phone line went dead,

“Mr Unimagination man? Boss? Hello?” The man looked at his phone, his boss had hung up. He was mostly pleased about this if he was honest with himself, the last time he had been on the phone with Mr Unimagination man he had fallen asleep. The man was just so boring!

Brian sighed- that was the mans name, Brian.

He didn’t particularly like Mr Unimagination man, that was an understatement actually, he hated working for him, the most boring man in Britain, maybe even the world. He began to ponder once more why he had taken the job in the first place, ah, it felt like only yesterday… in fact, it WAS only yesterday.

He had been in the job centre with his head buried in a comic book, an odd thing for a 22 year old to do, but Brian was an unemployed comic geek. It seemed that no one these days wanted to hire a geography graduate with high hopes and a head full of dreams. He had been dreading another day of job searching when suddenly, well, as suddenly as a tap on the shoulder happened, he had been confronted by Mr Unimagination man. He had been wearing a boring grey suit, which isn’t uncommon for London. His face had a greyish tinge too, but Brian found it hard to focus on him, he just looked so… plain.

“You sir,” The grey man had addressed him, “what is your name boy?”

“M-my names Brain” Brian replied, he wasn’t sure he liked giving his name out to random strangers like this but he didn’t want to seem rude,

“Well then, Brian. Are you currently employed?”

Brian looked around himself at the job centre, “well, no? That’s why I’m here.” He said, almost like a question.

The grey man sat down and brought out a clipboard. Brian wasn’t sure where he brought the clipboard from but it appeared from somewhere and now the grey man was holding it.

“My name is Mr Unimagination man” the grey man said, “I am a super villain,”

“Great” thought Brian, “now I’ve given my actual name to a total weirdo. Again.”

Mr Unimagination man then continued to interview Brian as if it was for a real job. Brian went along with it because he was too polite to object, although he did once try to get up but the man had dragged him back down to continue the “interview”.

Mr Unimagination man finally asked, “are you an imaginative man?”

Brian looked puzzled, “I’m sorry?” He asked

“Can you think up good plans for catching bad guys?” Mr Unimagination man prompted

“Uh… well, I mean, I like comic books… so I guess I could maybe think up some good-”

“You’re hired!”

“I’m what?” Brian was taken aback, what was going on and who was this man?

“You’re hired! I’m the villain, Mr Unimagination man and you, you dear boy, Brian, shall be my top evil henchman! And together we shall put an end to Dinner Man and Agent Time! Together Brian, you and I will put an end to childish nonsense like playing and imagination!” He gripped Brian around he shoulders, pointing out invisible things in the middle distance as he spoke with a hushed kind of awe.

It was the most exciting thing he had heard the man say, and it would be the most exciting thing he would ever hear him say, but Brian didn’t know that yet ,

“But I’m not… I’m not evil” Brian objected quietly, “And i have the bravery of a chicken nugget”

Mr Unimagination man was not deterred, “but Brian! You have a great mind! A GREAT mind! So what if you’re not evil! You just have to do the thinking. I’ll do the evil!”

“But why can’t you think up your own plans? Or go find someone who, y’know, isn’t me?” Brian countered, he really didn’t want to work for a mad man.

“Because I am “Mr Unimagination man” I don’t have any imagination. I can’t imagine things and I can’t dream things up like you can! Yes Brian I’ve been following you for hours now- nice twitter page and I like your tumblr drawings- yes you’re the man for me. As for others? My other head henchmen have all quit their jobs. Apparently I’m too boring- Brian? Are you sleeping?”

Brian jolted awake, he didn’t realise he was sleepy until Mr Unimagination man started droning on and on…

“No I wasn’t I was just erm…. so what’s the pay like?”

Mr Unimagination man brightened as he realised that maybe he had got himself a new mastermind for his evilness, “how about… this?” He pulled out a briefcase, again, Brian wasn’t sure where from but here it was, and inside was, well, a lot of money.

You know in movies when the rich guy has to pay a ransom to get his wife back and he hands over a case of money to the gangsters? That’s how much money we’re talking about here. Loads.

Brian’s eyes were popping, he had never seen so much money in real life before. Finally his mum would get off his back about getting a job, finally he would be able to move out and get a place of his own, he could buy a first edition of the Superman comic, he could…

“Brian?!” Brian snapped back to reality to find Unimagination man smiling at him, “that’s my boy! Thinking up a good plan already eh?” He slapped him on the back, “now, the time gremlin and Dr McTableson are already off to find Dinner Man and Agent Time but I’ll need you to check up on them tonight to make sure that they’ve succeeded and if they haven’t… well, you’ll think of something. They’ll meet you at this address,” he handed over a small slip of paper with some writing, “at 1900. Any questions?”

Brian took the page and looked at Unimagination man,

“yes, just the one,” he took a deep breath before asking, “what the heck is going on?”


I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

Please feel free to leave any comments / criticisms / compliments / feedback and share it with your friends if you want!

✌🏻❤️

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Girl: School Days

Crowded corridors, busy classrooms, noisy students. Amongst the chaos stands the girl, lost in the sea of pupils.

She stands to the side of the corridor, looking at her timetable and checks the door beside her, having to lean right up to read the number high above the window, “E8”. She needs E2. She starts walking with the flow, hoping she isn’t the last one.

Sat in a classroom, surrounded by strange kids, she knows no one. The teacher approaches and talks quietly, the Girl nods and smiles.

She reaches into her bag and slowly brings out a pair of binoculars, trying to avoid the obvious stares of her classmates.

She uses them to read the board before bending low over her work. The constant looking up and down makes her head spin, but she’s well used to it by now.

Questions questions questions. She likes it, people taking an interest. She answers quietly and explains things as best she can, pleased that people want to know.

The teasing starts. People taking her things and hiding them, waving things in her face like she can’t see them, pushing in front of her saying things like “she’s blind anyway”.

She is quiet but filled with rage at the injustice of it all – even at the age of 12 she resolved to do whatever she can to stop this happening to other people in the future. But how?

Four years on and the bullying is no better. Tripped down the stairs, pushed around and called names, she hits a new low. Maybe she is useless and annoying. Maybe she is a waste of space.

She has friends but she feels like a burden, they always have to read things for her and they have the label of hanging out with the blind freak. She feels so helpless and alone, a burden to everyone…

Her teachers stand up for her, encourage her and support her. Her friends are always there to make her laugh and make her feel “normal”… but when class starts or when the teacher isn’t looking the other students whisper, point, take advantage of her lack of eyesight.

The summer between GCSEs and A-Levels, the girl makes a decision. She will not be defined by her eyesight and she will not be pushed down by her peers. She will prove to everyone that she is just as capable and just as good as the rest.

Her GCSE results tell her as much.

She starts again.

She speaks up. She answers, she participates, she makes jokes and she talks back.

She is more sure of herself than before and explains herself fully, she doesn’t let them know that their comments hurt her.

The girl still has her friends, but she is still an outsider, this time because of her beliefs.. and she can’t shake the years of being the school freak but she doesn’t mind, as long as she has her friends she’ll be fine.

Final year of school. An exciting time because change is coming and the end is in sight.

Still the school freak but showing that she is more than capable of doing the same as everyone else.

The Girl starts the year on an all time high. This is it, nothing to lose. She will throw herself into everything, work hard, prove herself and go to a good university. She can go on holidays with her friends – they’ll be learning to drive this year so they can go on road trips! Sure, she’s still the freak but as long as she has her friends…

She is alone.

She is lost.

The confidence that she started the year with is gone.

Lower than ever, the Girl throws herself into her studies.

Her only comfort in this hellish year is geography. She looks forward to her geography classes, spends her free periods completing extra work and studies at home. With no friends it’s easy to get extra work done…

But despite her focus on her studies, her confidence has been shaken. Who is she? Does she have any friends any more? Or will they all leave her? Are they all just pretending to like her?
She doesn’t know it yet, but these years will impact her life well into the future.
Years of bullying resulting in low self esteem and self doubt. Abandoned by her friends, them revealing that they had felt sorry for her and then spreading rumours, creating a negative and constantly doubtful air for all future friendships – the constant fear that these friends don’t really like her either and that they too will someday leave her.
But these years have taught her that she is capable of more than she ever thought. They have helped her to realise that there are people out there who believe in her and will support her. They made her realise how lucky she was to have the teachers she had and filled her with a fierce respect for them. This girl has also learnt- from these school days and from experiences since- that society needs to be educated. Children can be cruel, because they do not understand.
People need to understand.

Thanks for reading, here’s the other two parts of this series: Girl 1Girl: Traveling These are based on a true story, my story. Some artistic license has been used… but the basis of events / general reactions of people are true. Here’s some info about My Eyesight Peace and love ✌🏻❤️

Faith (a Christian-y blog)

Haven’t done one of these in a while!

Whether you’re a Christian or not, I hope you’ll take time to read this and maybe something will stand out.

I’m not trying to convert you, these are just my thoughts and feelings… if you can relate feel free to comment or share.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the future.

And when I say “thinking about”, I mean “freaking out about”.

Everything seems so uncertain and confusing. I have an idea of what I want but no idea how to get there and reach my goals. I see people around me succeeding in everything they do, knowing where they’re going and looking like they have everything together while I’m sat here, trying and failing to get a job, getting rejection after rejection really starting to doubt whether anything will ever go my way.

And then this weekend at a PCI event and once again today in church I was reminded that my future is certain, that there is at least one thing that is certain in my life. And that is my God.

That He has a plan for me.

That He understands me.

That He is with me.

And that my identity is in Him as His child.

There are so many verses in the bible that remind us of these facts.

Jeremiah 29.11 “for I know the plans that I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you… to give you hope and a future”

Romans 8.28, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him”

Hebrews 12.1-3

Part of it says, “run with perseverance the race marked out for you, fixing your eyes on jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (and I know it’s bad to cherry pick from the bible but this part is important so go read around these verse and don’t just take my word for it!)

God has a plan for me and even though I don’t know what it is, I have faith that it will be ok. He works for good.

But we mustn’t confuse “good” and “easy” (there’s a Dumbledore quote in there somewhere). But we know that it will be worth it.

I have my own race to run. One marked out “for [me]”. A unique path planned by God. So I shouldn’t be comparing my progress with someone else’s, I should “fix my eyes on jesus”

Galatians 3.26, “in Christ jesus you are all children of God through faith”

This is my identity. I am his child, I am loved, forgiven, cherished and free from sin. I’m called to praise and worship Him all the days of my life – and I will, because He is worthy of everything.

“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11.1)

[insert blind joke]

I have faith (blind faith! Ayyyy!) that things will work out, that I’ll get my chance and that life will get better.

“Where there is HOPE, there is FAITH. Where there is FAITH, MIRACLES happen”

I don’t need a miracle right now, just a chance.

Peace out and God Bless.

Drifting

Have you ever had those feelings of “that’s not fair”?

You look at other people and everything seems to be going right, they’re getting their dream jobs (or any job for that matter!), they’re doing well at school or uni or getting promotions at work. They have a great boyfriend/ girlfriend, they’re saving to buy a house.

They seem to have everything together and everything seems to be falling into place for them… then there’s you… then there’s me…

I’ve been having these feelings of jealousy a lot lately. I see people on Facebook or Instagram (and other social media’s) and everything seems to be going so well. They’ve got a new job or an interview or audition. They’re celebrating their anniversary with their BF or GF, going on another foreign holiday or going on another night out with “the squad”.

And I stop and look at my life and think “what’s wrong with me?”

And I know that social media is basically people’s “highlight reel” and we only really see the good stuff but even if I tried to post the best parts of my day or week, I doubt I would be able to post more than one picture every two or three days unless I tried REALLY hard… I know that there’s probably a lot more to it behind the scenes… but it’s hard to convince yourself of that, isn’t it?

And even in real life, my mum always comes home from Work talking about how her friends’ daughters have got a new job or have moved to London to follow their dreams or how they’re heading off to Australia for three months, and she always finishes with, “why could you not do that?”

The truth is, I don’t know.

I know what I want from my life, so at least that’s a step off the mark. I want to entertain people, make them laugh, make them feel something. Whether I do this through acting or presenting, I don’t mind. I just want people to feel the same way I do when I watch my favourite actors or listen to my favourite presenters.

Watching actors on TV and being able to feel their emotions, understand how they feel- I want to make people feel that.

Radio presenters, I listen and I feel like I know them, like they’re my friends and I feel less alone- I want people to feel that…

My problem with this is, HOW DO I DO THAT? I know WHAT I want but HOW do I get it?

I worked with a great bunch of people at BBC Class Act and it was a wonderful experience but now I look and see everything seems to be falling into place for everyone else. Everyone seems to be getting auditions and, just a chance, to try something. And I’m here, going nowhere. Taking knock after knock from life, being told “no” again and again, rejection after rejection… what’s a girl to do?

No. Really.

What do I do?

I can’t even get a simple shop job!

I like to think that it’s because of my eyesight, that employers don’t understand and don’t want to hire me but maybe it’s not that at all. Maybe I’m just not cut out for it. Maybe I’m rubbish? Maybe I’m not meant to get a job?

I’m so close to giving up. Everyone seems to bombard me with jobs and “why can’t you…?” Or “why couldn’t you…?”

Everyone else is doing so much better, managing so much better, achieving so much more…

And here’s me… drifting.

Gregathlon ~ Mental Health

My previous blog talked about mental health too, have a read Here

1 man, 5 days, 3 highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland with around 500 miles of cycling to get from one to the other…

The gregathlon was long, tough and physically and mentally demanding. It required will power, determination – mental strength. There were highs, lows, boring bits, long endurance bits and fun bits… the weather threw everything at them- wind, snow- the worst and coldest conditions for YEARS!

It was tough. But, It was made possible through the support of experts, and, of course, the encouragement of friends and family. It was a gruelling exposition and, due to reasons beyond Greg’s control, he was forced to- not stop, but- pause the challenge until a later date.

The gregathlon was in aid of sport relief to help raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding young people’s’ mental health. To encourage people to speak out about their problems- to give them support and let them know that they’re not alone.

And in many ways, Greg’s gregathlon journey mirrored the “journey” of someone facing mental heath problems.

(I’ve struggled with mental health myself so this is not an “outsiders perspective”)

Mental health is a battle, a challenge. One that seems impossible, one that is difficult to understand and comprehend for people “on the outside” and one that is, often, unbearable.

People face mountains of emotions or mountainous situations, that they must force themselves to tackle in order to get through a day, one step at a time. Often it can seem that life is pushing you back, throwing everything it can throw at you to stop you or slow you down. It’s a gruelling process, a very (VERY) tough climb.

There are plateaus, when everything seems so stagnant, boring and somewhat pointless. It can be hard to find a reason to keep going. And there are “downhill bits” in both a good sense (like freewheeling on a bike) and bad (when you feel as though you are tumbling into a deep pit of despair with no light at the end and, seemingly, no way out).

Mental health- whether it’s depression, anxiety, eating disorders etc- is like a mountain and a bike ride. Ups and downs, peaks and troughs, long bits, hard bits- not so hard bits- with stuff being thrown at you from every direction. Often, to get out of the “dark places” requires a lot of willpower, endurance and strength.

But, I feel most importantly, like the gregathlon, battling mental health issues of any kind, is impossible to do alone.

During the gregathlon, greg was surrounded by a team of experts, spurred on by his friends and family. He was never left to face something on his own- he was never EXPECTED to face anything on his own.

And what’s more, his challenge was “paused”- put on hold because of factors outside his control.

With mental health, things can seem worse OR recovery can seem to be stalled because of factors outside of your control.

If you’re struggling with mental health, you’re not alone and you’re not expected to face this alone. There will be ups and downs and in between bits, things may seem like they’ll never get better, but keep pushing forwards- surround yourself with family and friends, speak to an expert.

Just like you wouldn’t climb a mountain without help, you don’t have to battle mental health by yourself.

Greg also apologised when he was late to the show or held up for any reason- saying sorry that he hadn’t made it to a checkpoint in time or that he was hours behind schedule. People feel that they need to apologise profusely about not being able to do something because they didn’t feel up to it, maybe they’re late to something or late to give something or maybe just been a bit quiet lately.. if the situation is explained and understood – as Greg’s situation was- there is no need to apologise and no need for people to expect an apology.

People will understand. People will listen. People will help.

Additional note: I am very VERY proud of Greg for all he has done. He did magnificently well, battling against such terrible weather conditions. And most importantly, raising money and awareness for such a great cause.

Very proud podcastard right here!

Speaking of which, here is a link to the Greg James Podcast Gregathlon Special

AND Greg did an interview about his experience last week and he talks about some of this stuff too. I read it after I posted this but I’m glad that this wasn’t a totally stupid thought.

Here’s Greg’s interview

AND my twin sister has also done a similar post as well so you should check out her stuff here: Chloes Blog

Mental health

My very good friend Sara has already written an excellent blog about mental health so you should go and check that out here —->

Sara’s blog

Mental health is being talked about a lot more these days. Which is good, it always helps to talk about these things. Especially for young people. Many people can feel ashamed or like outcasts…

But on the other extreme, for some people, a mental illness can be the perfect accessory. Having a bad day? Must be depressed. Tidy person? Must be OCD. A bit shy sometimes? Must have anxiety. It goes on and on.

Mental illnesses are not cool. And if you think you’re struggling with an undiagnosed mental illness, please speak to someone, whether it’s someone you know or an anonymous helpline (I’ll include some numbers at the end of this ramble).

I’ve had my own struggles with mental illnesses too, I think if we’re all perfectly honest, we’ve all struggled to some extent.

Depression

Self esteem

Eating disorders

Anxiety

Paranoia…

the list goes on and on.

People who have helped in different ways

My family (especially my mum)

My friends at uni

Church friends

Sporting friends

Podcast friends

How have I grown from these dark experiences?

I’ve become more confident in who I am- don’t get me wrong though, I still have a long way to go but, I guess, I don’t hate myself as much as I used to.

I’ve gotten really into sports! Having struggled with an eating disorder for many years, sports have been my saving grace. Rugby, rowing, karate, triathlon or just going to the gym. Doing sports keeps me busy, relieves stress and helps me to relax.

I’ve gotten to know new people and made new friends. Through sports teams, podcasts that i listen to at the gym, social media and Christian organisations. I feel like I can be myself with these people. I feel comfortable, Happy and safe when I’m with / talking to them.

Finally (for now), I feel that my faith has grown stronger through these dark times. On those long nights I would cry out asking “why me?”, begging for help, for things to end, for everything to stop… finally I would end up praying for the strength to get through another day (or for God to take my life🙈). And every morning, after crying myself to sleep, I would wake up with a new hope and a new strength to face another day (a bit more about this here—-> Mess and Hope)

However, despite these things, more recently, sometimes, I feel like I’m sinking back down into that deep abyss called “depression”. I just don’t know where my life is headed, I don’t know what to do, what to aim for or what’s happening (in general). But I feel more “stable” this time. I’m able to talk with my friends about how I’m feeling and they, in turn, can cheer me up, calm me down and help me to get my head straight.

Talking helps.

New friends

A new start

New starts are scary and can lead to other stuff

Greg james’ sport relief challenge (and sport relief in general this year) is raising awareness about mental health – in particular, with young people.

This is good because I think a lot of young people feel that mental illness is something to be ashamed of, they may feel that they’re alone, stuck and that no one will listen or care.

This is not the case.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my amazing family, a great bunch of friends that I’ve met through university, Christian organisations / church, sports and the Greg james podcast (I know I go on about it a lot, but seriously it’s great and I’ve met some lovely people through it. Not that uni and everything else aren’t great too but… you don’t often hear stories of people meeting life long friends because of two weirdos talking in a small room…!).

If you’re struggling, talk to someone, a family member, a friend or an anonymous someone from one of the numbers below.

Take care guys, God bless ✌🏻❤️x

Useful contacts:

Samaritans

116123

Anxiety UK

08444 775 774

Beat (eating disorder hotline)

08088010677

Plenty more if you need them, give it a quick type into google.

Some more blogs about “deep” stuff:

One of those days

Fear

3AM

And a few to show you that it’s not all doom and gloom!

Inspirational motivators

Internet friends

Podcasts

Internet friends

I find it easier to write out my thoughts and feelings rather than speak them aloud.

I’ve always loved pretending to be someone else, I guess in many ways I’m afraid to be myself in the real world because I’m afraid that people will judge me and make fun of me. So I choose to “be myself” on social media.

I blog my thoughts, tweet what’s on my mind, snapchat my jokes and Instagram the things I see.

Social media is HUGE in today’s society. It’s strange to imagine a life without Internet! I grew up without social media and didn’t have a phone with apps until I was about 16. And I survived!

Social media can be both good and bad. Yes, it can be a platform for bullying- it can be a place that kids (and adults) poke fun at one another, argue and fight, insult one another and can promote all sorts of negativity. It can cause jealousy and depression as people see everyone else’s “highlights” on Instagram and begin to put themselves down, thinking that their lives are boring and insignificant. People get hung up on “likes” and “shares”.

This is a ridiculous side of social media. Even my boring, everyday life can seem exciting and interesting on instagram. Seeming like I’m out and about all the time, meeting people, going on adventures… when really, about 90% of my time is spent either at home or at the gym!

Don’t compare your everyday life to someone else’s highlights. Some people plan their posts so carefully to make their lives seem exciting when really, like you or me, they have fairly normal lives!

Don’t compare your life to someone else’s.

BUT social media has got its up sides. It’s good for sharing and finding information. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips. We can stay in touch with people, update people when needed (no one needs to know what you’re eating or how often you go to the gym!)

We can reconnect with old friends, find new friends.

That’s where I’ve been trying to get with this. Making new friends online.

I have a lot of friends all over the world, many of whom I speak to mainly through social media apps like Facebook or twitter. Whether it’s because they live on the other side of the mountain or on the other side of the world, sometimes it’s so much easier to chat on the phone!

I’ve also made some friends on Twitter that I haven’t met in real life (yet) and some of whom I have!

The Podcastards. A group of girls that listen to The Greg James “That’s what he said” Podcast. We found each-other through two guys talking on the radio, bonded over our love for the podcast and have become great friends.

This group of girls (as well as all of my other real life friends) are so supportive and encouraging, always caring and making sure we’re all ok. Checking in on each other, sending motivation, love and reminders to stay hydrated every single day. These girls are amazing and some of the loveliest people I’ve ever known- and that I’ve never met!

(However I have met a few of these girls in person and it was WONDERFUL! Just like in our group chat, they were funny, kind and encouraging.)

We’ve known each other for about a year now but it feels like forever. I trust these girls with everything and I know they’ll never judge me.

They make me feel loved, wanted, supported and funny… they remind me that I’m not alone and always manage to cheer me up when I’m feeling down.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that the internet can be a happy, kind and friendly place.

And internet friends can be some of the best friends you’ll ever have.

So, Happy Internet Friends Day you wonderful people.

More about my internet pals here Podcastard pals

And more about podcasts here Podcasts and you can also read about some of my other favourite podcasts here My podcasts

Side note: Thank you (again!) to Greg and Chris (who will never see this) for the podcast. For introducing me to these wonderful girls- for bringing us together. Thank you that i can feel loved and appreciated on a daily basis because of a thing you guys do every week.

Thanks for being such great role models for society- always positive and supportive, kind and caring to all your fans. You guys feel like real friends to so many of us even though you’ve never met us. Your voices on the radio / podcast are enough to get us through a tough day/week/year. You guys have helped so many of us through tough times and we appreciate you so much.

Thank you. You legends.