The Adventures of Dinner Man and Agent Time PART 5 

Part 1
Part 2 

Part 3

Part 4
And here is part 5! 

*************

The Podcastards had made it to London in record time, thanks to some singing from Ine to convince the train driver to travel directly to London. 

They were worried about Greg and Chris. They had not tweeted anything other than “serious” news things and factual content. 

“This isn’t right” Katt said putting her phone away. 

There was a murmuring of agreement from the others as they walked into Victoria station. 

“We need to get the Tube to Oxford Circus and we can walk from there” Julia said, pointing the way to the underground. 

“Isn’t.. isn’t there a bus or something we can take?” Sara asked, looking warily at the numerous steps to the underground platforms. Ellen agreed, along with Ianthe and Lauren. 

And so, the intrepid explorers and kind strangers walked out the doors and towards the bus station, still talking about their plan and how worried they were about two of their heroes. 

*** 

Mr Unimagination man had come up with a cunning plan. 

By which, of course I mean that Brian had come up with a cunning plan. 

“So, let’s review” Mr Unimagination man said as they walked up Regent street. 

“I’ll sneak in while you create a distraction” Brian said smoothly. “They won’t recognise me in this coat,” indicating his long, brown coat. 

“And when I get upstairs I’ll-“ Brian was cut off by a loud honk of a horn. 

“I’ll, uh, I’ll… what was I saying?” Brian stammered, flustered, as one tends to be after almost getting flattened by a London bus (always look both ways before crossing the road, kids) 

“I’ll do the distraction while you sneak up and…?” Mr Unimagination man looked at Brian the way a child looked at an entertainer, like this person was the best and most interesting person in the entire world and no one and nothing else in the universe matters apart from this one person right now. 

“Uh, yeah. So I’ll get up there and… and… and I’ll put this chip in the processor of the computer and transmit the B-waves across the radio signal to bore the whole of the UK.” Brian sighed slightly. He still hadn’t thought of a way to get out of it without Mr Unimagination man finding out.

“Excellent my boy! Excellent!” Mr Unimagination man clapped his hands gleefully 

“But sir, I have a question.” Brian barely paused for breath as he continued before he could be cut off, “how do we reverse it?” He saw the look of malice on his evil boss’ face and hurried to explain himself, “ I mean, what if I take a hit of it? You won’t have anyone to think up imaginative and cunning plans for you…” 

Mr Unimagination man considered this carefully. He stopped next to Starbucks to ponder more deeply. 

“Well,” he said, stroking his boring chin. 

Brian prepared himself for a long and boring speech but he knew he had to stay alert. He had to find out how to help Greg and Chris 

“You see Brian, my boy, my main guy, my… compadre. It’s important to remember the importance of having a backup plan. And of course I have one. My backup plan…” This was incredibly dull, “… I have a reversal code” 

“You what?” Brian choked, “I, uh, I mean… that’s a very very clever idea sir. Always good to have in case of an emergency… or an error caused by someone as dumb as me” 

Mr Unimagination man eyed Brian with interest, “yes… yes, accidents like you tend to slow down people like me” 

Brian tried very hard not to show how much this comment hurt him, remembering that this man was very mean and very evil 

“So what is the code? Just in case I mean..”

“Why my dear boy, the code is…” the boring evil genius glanced around and motioned for Brian to come closer, “the code is,” his voice got quieter, “908- I’m not dumb” 

Brian moved back, a look of confusion stamped across his face, “excuse me?” 

“I’m not stupid Brian! I know you have a soft spot for those two losers! I won’t tell you the reversal code! Now get up there and plant that chip!”

*** 

The Podcastards got off the bus at Oxford Circus and began walking up Regents street towards broadcasting house. 

“Lots is odd people in London aren’t there?” Sara noted, “look at that bloke in the long coat… chatting to a boring looking man,” she yawned. 

They hurried up the street, in the direction of the odd looking pair. 

Ellen accidentally bumped into someone, who bumped into someone else, who spilled their coffee on the man in the long coat. 

“Oh I’m so sorry!” Ellen gasped as she reached forward to try to help somehow. But all she managed to do was summon some leerdammer, which quickly melted on the hot coffee. She continued to try and help, but there wasn’t anything she could do. 

“Ellen! Come on!” Ine called to her as the rest of them hurried up the street. 

*** 

Brian was soaked and burning. Hot coffee hurt. And he knew that it stained really badly and these were new shoes and he was wearing a crisp white shirt. And his cool detective coat! 

Mr Unimagination man sighed and rushed into the cafe for some napkins and threw them at Brian, 

“Get going then! You’ve got a job to do!” 

Brian rolled his eyes, like a child would do when they’re asked to do their homework, he gritted his teeth, as you would do when you’re trying not to hit someone who is being particularly annoying, and turned and continued walking up the street, behind the gang of girls responsible for his soaking shoes and burning leg

*** 

They hurried towards broadcasting house, dodging and weaving around all the people. 

Chloe and Judith were leading the way, dodging and ducking, showing off their sporty cape, while Lauren showed off the cat like qualities of her cape as she nimbly weaved through people. 

“Oi! Wait for us you Speedy Gonzalezes!” Ianthe shouted. 

The three girls in the lead waited for a moment as the others caught up, and they walked together towards the big building in the distance, like the A Team. 

“The P-Team” Chloe suggested, 

“You what?” Laughed Katt. 

“We’re walking like the A Team but we should be the P Team. Podcastard Team. WEEEEEEEEEEing our way to get justice” chloe explained. 

Everyone laughed. Everyone. Including Brian. 

Lauren whipped around quickly and leapt at him, 

“Stranger! Why are you following us?” She hissed 

Brian leaped backwards, terrified by this girl wheeling around on him like… like a cat 

“I-I- I’m going to the BBC I’m sorry” he stammered. He caught sight of ellen, “she spilled hot coffee on me!” He said accusingly 

“Sorry” ellen said quietly. 

The other Podcastards rallied around and formed a protective circle around ellen. 

“Why are you going to the BBC?” He said accusingly, his voice growing stronger, “and who do you think you are? The A Team?” He laughed 

“Actually we’re the P Team. Team podcastard” judith said proudly, earning herself an elbow in the ribs from her twin and a “shhhh!” 

“Podcastard?” Brian spluttered, his spine began to tingle, like when you hear some beautifully haunting music, “but that means- Greg and Chris! You’re here for Greg and Chris?!” His face spread into a wide grin as he approached the girls, “me too! I’m here to help. Mr Unimagination man- he- he made them boring. And he made my head hurt and-and he wants to make the whole of the UK boring too. He sent me to put this chip in the radio so it makes everyone boring. But i don’t want to. I don’t want to help. Will you help me?” He gasped in a deep breath. 

The girls looked at him, a range of emotions crossing their faces. Shock, horror, confusion… understanding. 

“Come with us. I’ll explain” said Julia, leading the way into the building with Brian by her side, speaking quickly as they went.

***

MEANWHILE, UPSTAIRS 

Greg and producer Chris were finishing their meeting and Greg was walking down the corridor feeling overwhelmed and sad. He only had a few days to come up with new ideas for features and games but he was so boring now. He couldn’t think. He couldn’t imagine. He couldn’t even dream! And the only person who would believe his crazy story was probably having the same problem as him!

He bumped into his mate, Chris Smith with the news, literally. Walked straight into him. 

“We need to get this sorted, he’s talking about sending us off on leave for a few weeks… I love this place, I can’t go, mate… what are we gonna do?” He said sadly, his eyes had a pleading look in them, much like a puppy begging for an extra treat. 

As he spoke, the lift doors opened and out walked a group of young people, a large group of young people. Out walked a tall girl, dragging what looked like an excel sheet, but drawn in the air, another girl, holding a cat, someone holding a notebook, scribbling feverishly, someone else, humming softly to herself, someone holding a handful of cheese, a giant thumb? Rainbows? Were those two doing jumping jacks? Another girl holding a phone saying “hello” over and over again and another who looked oddly awake?? 

Finally out wandered a dazed looking man in a long coat, covered in coffee stains. 

Watching them all walk out of one lift was much like watching one of those magic tricks where 30 clowns climb out of a Mini Cooper. How did they all fit? 

“Who the hell is that?” Greg muttered in utter shock 

“Julia? Ine! Chloe and WeeJudiee!” Chris exclaimed

“podcast post sara! Lauren and Katt!” Greg smiled despite himself 

“Ianthe and Ellen? Sammy!“ 

“And Natalia!” They concluded together 

“And… Brian!” Chris exclaimed, “mate are you ok…. after….?” He trailed off.

“I’m fine guys, but we don’t have much time. Listen to Julia. She knows her stuff” Brian replied, motioning to Julia 

“Is there somewhere more… quiet and out of the way we can go?” She asked. 

Greg led them to a small office and closed the door, Judith locked it and pushed a chair in front of it giving Greg a stern look before glancing back to Julia as she began to speak. 

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Podcasts 

I’m often asked why I love podcasts so much… 

And I’ve been thinking about it a lot… ‪I think the reason I love podcasts so much is because they’re like a little community, or a family. ‬

‪I’ve lived my life being ridiculed, bullied and treated like an outsider. I’ve rarely had close friends (very few from childhood but now things have changed for the better) I always found it hard to be myself around people. But then I started listening to Matt Edmondson and Chris Cox. They read out my emails and made me laugh. I started to feel more confident at uni and I actually started to make friends! ‬

‪Then there were these two weirdos called Greg James and Chris Smith. They did a podcast too, full of silliness, nonsense and just such joy and passion for what they were doing. ‬

‪I think it was these two podcasts that built up my confidence that had been shattered by years of bullying… These guys took the time to read my emails, and then read them out in their podcasts. ‬

‪MY emails! MY opinions and thoughts. MY thoughts were VALID and WORTHY of being read out to other listeners! ‬

‪It made me realise that maybe I wasn’t worthless. Maybe I was a bit funny, a bit clever… Maybe I was worth something. ‬

‪And then, somehow, thanks to those two weirdos called Greg and Chris, I was introduced (indirectly, through several twitter interactions) to a bunch of wonderfully weird and lovely people called the Podcastards. They have become my best mates and I feel like I could trust them with my life… and then I had the honour of meeting Matt, who was absolutely lovely and answered all my weird questions about his scooter. ‬

‪As well as that I got to meet Greg and Chris, who are two of the kindest, most humble and charming lads I’ve ever met. I didn’t feel like a guest on the podcast, but a part of it. I have never felt so loved, accepted and cared for in all my life… and all thanks to some far off voices through a pair of tangled earphones… ‬

‪And I’ve become more confident in real life too! These past two weeks have taken me way out of my comfort zone, meeting loads of new people. But, y’know what? I’ve made so many new friends- like, real friends. People I genuinely care about and people that I feel that I can talk to and trust… ‬

‪… all thanks to some weirdos with odd voices, silly games, emails and the nice kind of strangers. ‬

Girl 

A girl is sitting in an empty room on her smartphone. She holds it to her face, her nose almost touching the screen as her fingers skilfully glide across the keyboard.Closer to the girl. The text on the screen is overly large. Her eyes are red and shaking, though she has not been crying.

She sets the phone down and picks up a book instead.

As she reads, it seems as though she is smelling the paper on which the words are written. As though she is smelling the literature rather than reading. But her eyes dart back and forward as she moves her arms over and back to read each sentence.

As the light in the room shifts as the sun becomes covered by clouds, she holds the book higher to get the best lighting.  It looks uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable.

 

A music concert.

A girl is seen amidst the crowd. She looks at the stage but doesn’t quite follow the movement of the lead singer. Her gazes are a few moments behind everyone else.

Everyone joins in for a song as the words flash up on the wall behind the singer. The girl doesn’t join in.

Leaving the concert the girl looks around, lost and confused. Different people heading in many different directions while she standstill, looking at her phone, held close to her face.

 

In a busy train station. The girl looks around her, glancing at the floor and the signs. Again, she looks lost. She checks her ticket and grabs her phone and begins to take pictures of the surrounding area before stopping to look at the images she has captured.

She stops and zooms on one of them before walking confidently in the direction. She stops at the overhead signs and squints up at them before taking more pictures and moving onwards.

 

A crowded restaurant. A group of people sit at one of the tables. Talking and laughing together. There is one empty chair.

Outside, the girl walks past slowly. Looking up at the sign above the door.  It is large and yet she squints up at it, looking unsure as she checks her smartphone, once more as her nose almost touches the screen.

“I’m here” she types

“come in to us” is the reply.

She sighs and slips her phone into her pocket, while debating whether or not to go inside. She looks up and down the street and enters the restaurant. She walks slowly through the tables, her ears tuned carefully for voices she recognises. Her eyes darting in every direction, gazing at the people at each table, looking for a face she recognises.

She looks scared. And embarrassed.

She keeps walking until she reaches the other side of the restaurant.

She walks past the table her friends are sitting at but they don’t notice her.

She turns and begins to walk back towards the door.

A waiter stops and asks if she needs a table. She replies that she is meeting someone here.

Her friends hear her voice and turn to see her.

They realise their error and apologise.

The girl tells them that its ok, its fine, it doesn’t matter.

The talking continues as the girl sits down and picks up a menu. She holds it to her face, hiding her eyes that sting with tears as she sniffs the menu.

 

A cafe. 

The Girl stands, ready to order but she looks panicked. 

Looking around her, looking for something. Studying the trays of food on display. 

The server asks for her order, she points but says nothing. 

“This?” The server asks, 

“No. That one” 

“This one?”

“No…”

An awkward pause. 

“What are your specials?” The girls asks 

“Oh, everything on the board here behind me” the server smiles 

The girl glances to the board and her brows furrow, her face burns and her hands begin to twist together. 

“What would you recommend?” The Girl tries, her mouth becoming dry, her eyes beginning to sting. 

The server explains that she cannot suggest anything as it’s against policy. 

The girl blushes and almost whispers “I forgot my glasses.”

The server smiles and reads her the menu and the girl chooses her meal and sits down, already deciding to never come here again… 
A large table of food sits at the back of a crowded room holding a wide range of sandwiches and salads, cakes and buns. 

The girl joins a queue to get some food. 

As she reaches the front she leans low to see the food, under the pretence of dropping her plate. Then her fork. And then scratching her leg. 

She notices the dirty looks, the whispers and mutters of 

“That’s gross. She’s breathing all over it!”

She straightens up. 

She knows she has two choices. “Sandwich roulette” or hunger. 

She picks a selection of sandwiches and cakes before finding a seat. 

Alone. 

She hates it all. 

She leaves her plate, still full. 

“I’m not hungry” she says…
A group of young people sit in a circle, playing a game using subtle hand actions.

The girl sits quietly as a part of the group, but not following what is happening. Her gaze flits around the circle, her eyes are the only show of her panic, her twisting hands and bouncing leg the only give away of her anxiety.

The person in the middle taps her head and the circle of young people laugh.

The girl laughs too and stands up while the boy takes her seat.

The hand gestures start again, moving around the circle.

The girl in the middle smiles and laughs along as she loses the movements and turns her back, missing the jokes. Being the joke.

Her smile is fake, but nobody notices. Her eyes brim with tears but nobody can see, they’re too busy in the game, laughing, giggling as the girl in the middle misses each movement and gesture. She continues to laugh along and smile as the laughter grows in volume and popularity. She spins more frantically lunging at people as they make innocent movments, only to spur the laughter into a new pitch and volume.

Someone steps in to end the game as the girl has been in the middle far longer than anyone else. Everyone looks disappointed, everyone except the girl.

As the rest of the young people head to various different group activities, the girl heads to the toilets, locks the door and begins to gently wipe the tears from her face. The burning embarrassment and anger in her stomach making it hard to leave the quiet, col stall.

 

 

The girl sits in a crowd of people, laughing and talking.

The people around her ask her questions and she answers willingly. She laughs and makes jokes and everyone laughs with her.

With her. Not at her.

They laugh together.

These people ask her why she looks at things so closely, why she uses her phone so much and why she stumbles over steps.

The girl explains and makes jokes at her own expense but there is not a hint of embarrassment or sadness in her smile. The glint in her eyes is bright and happy as she laughs amongst her peers.

Happy that people understand. Happy that people want to understand. And happy that, for once, she is not alone.

The Adventures of Dinner Man and Agent Time PART 4

Part 1
Part 2

Part 3

And here is PART 4…! 

The Podcastards had finally managed to arrange a day when they were all free to sit together and relax.

But something was up. And it wasn’t the sky, as Judith suggested. Something was wrong with the podcast.

“So, um, yeah. I think that’s it” came Greg’s tired and weary voice from the speakers

“Yeah that’s all we can do this time. A nice short podcast this week” said Chris, sounding like he was going to cry

“Aren’t you going to play some games or something?” Asked Editor Ant, “you know, cheeseball? Or even read a bit more of my story?” He pressed, sounding worried

“Uh… no. No I don’t… I don’t think I can” Greg said, sounding strained.

“Yeah. Just… not up to it this week gang… sorry” Chris added with a yawn and a grimace- although, the podcastards couldn’t see this because they weren’t there, they were all sat in the livingroom at home, gathered around the speakers with looks of concern written across their faces.

The podcast ended abruptly with the classic “this is the BBC” bit before the room fell completely silent. Like a graveyard. No one moved, no one spoke; no one really knew what to do. The podcastards just sat there and looked at each other with expressions of shock, sadness and helplessness.

It wasn’t until Ine said “we’re going to London” that everyone snapped into action. Then everyone began to pack a bag while Katt used her cape to write and conjure up some train tickets, while Sara looked up the timetables.

Ianthe made a rainbow in the sky to cheer them all up a bit, while Julia co-ordinated a schedule-action plan in mid-air while Ine and Natalia hacked the BBC phone system to ensure that they would be able to get up to Radio 1 on the 8th floor. The twins carried everyone’s bags to the train station using their super strength.

Half an hour after finishing the podcast, they were on the train, all crammed together in one small area surrounded by their bags. Lauren was curled in the luggage rack cuddling a cat, while the twins sat on the floor next to each other. Ellen and Ianthe were passing the time by playing a game of cheeseball that Ellen had created, while Julia explained their “plan”

***************

Meanwhile, in his boring grey flat, Mr Unimagination man had also just finished listening to the Greg James podcast along with his henchman, Brian who was nursing a very sore head and bottom.

“AHAHAA!” shouted Mr Unimagination man gleefully, “I’ve done it! Didn’t I do it? I did it! That was so HORRENDOUSLY, BEAUTIFULLY BORING!” he cackled

Bain winced at the loud noise of his boss laughing. Quite apart from his injuries, Brian was also taking a beating from his conscience. He was angry at himself for what he had done to Greg and Chris. They were lovely people and h had been tricked into ruining their careers by the evil Mr Unimagination man. Even as he sat, chained to the sofa, he tried to think of a plan to help them. He still had his imagination and maybe, just maybe, he could think of a way to help them.

“Ah, Brian my boy, this is only the beginning of my plan! Those two won’t be able to save people or make them laugh anymore! But phase 2 must begin as soon as possible!” he smiled, Brian was unnerved. He had never seen Mr Unimagination man smile so much before in the short time he had known him.

He had no desire to know what “phase 2” meant, but he figured if he knew what was coming next he could maybe use that to his advantage…

“What’s phase 2 then boss?” he asked

“I’m glad you asked Brian! Phase 2 is reaching the rest of the UK! We need to go to Broadcasting house! Call me a cab will you?” he said as he walked off towards the bathroom.  

“You’re a cab” Brian muttered, “a great, big, evil cab”

*************************

Meanwhile at the BBC…

“What?” Greg cried, “I can’t help it! I just, I can’t think! I can’t think of anything! Not a single thing, no games, no fun bits, no silliness! Nothing! I can’t even write puns anymore!” he sounded exasperated and very upset as he paced the room in front of producer Chris (Also known as “New Chris”. Not Chris Smith With The News).

“Ok Greg calm down,” said New Chris calmly, “I think maybe you need to take a break. A few weeks sick leave, settle yourself, maybe you’ve tired yourself out. Take a break and-“

“I am not tired!” Greg moaned, in the way a teenager moans at their parents when they’re asked to do, well, anything, “I just, just….” He trailed off, knowing that everyone would think he was absolutely barking if he told them about Mr Unimagination man. “I just… give me a week, just one week and I’ll be ok, honest, I’ll come back with loads of ideas and games and, and…”

He was desperate. He loved his job, radio was his life. He had already gotten a lot of stick about his recent podcast and his shows because they had become “stale”. He was hopelessly embarrassed about it all and only Chris (Smith With The News) understood why this had all started.

“Fine. You have until Thursdays podcast. And if you haven’t got at least 2 new features for the show and one for the pod, you’re going on a break mate… two weeks at least”

Greg nodded slowly, the weight of this statement washing over him like a tsunami,

“Oh, Greg?!” Chris called as he left, “Dev is covering your show today. So go and start brainstorming.”

Greg nodded silently, feeling a lump rise in his throat as he closed the door behind him. He walked along the corridor and bumped into Chris smith with the news.

Literally walked straight into him.

“Greg. Hi.” Chris said without much feeling, “You just spoken to Producer Chris then?” he asked before nodding slowly and sadly, “we need to get this sorted. He’s talking about sending us off on leave for a few weeks… I love this place, I can’t go, mate… what are we gonna do?”

Greg looked at his friend and took a deep breath before mumbling something along the lines of “who the hell is that?”

********************

Positive Vibes 

I’ve had to make some tough choices lately about jobs and other boring “real life” things. I’ve got more rejection emails to add to the pile, letters to tell me I’m getting less money than ever and honestly it’s starting to seem like I’ll never get a job. 

But you know what? I’m still happy. 

I’m not necessarily happy with my situation right now. I don’t like having to rely almost fully on my parents for everything. I’ve always been fiercely independent. Never wanting help even when I can’t see things (which can sometimes cause more problems than it’s worth, but that’s another story) and I don’t like having barely any money. 

But I know that there’s something out there for me. 

I know I’ll have to start at the bottom and work my way up. I know that I won’t start off in a job that I love. I know I’ll have to work my arse off to get where I want to be, but I’m willing and I’m eager. 

I’ll learn new skills, I’ll work long hours, I’ll walk three miles in the rain every day to get a bus (I basically do that already to go to the gym every day!) 

I’m willing, I’m keep and I’m staying positive. 

Because sometimes positivity is all we’ve got. 

Peace and love ✌🏻❤️

See also: 

Careers and Dreams
Unemployment
I’m not always this positive
Couldn’t do it without these guys

The Adventures of Dinner Man and Agent Time PART 3 

TAODMAAT PART 1
TAODMAAT PART 2
PART 3: 

It had been almost a week since they had discovered each others’ secret identities and Dinner man and Agent Time, I mean, Greg and Chris were back in the studio, doing their usual everyday jobs of radio presenting and doing the news. Things were pretty much back to normal, but with more Dinner and time jokes. “Hey Chris! You’re on time, how unusual” Greg chuckled as chris entered the studio, “yeah well…” chris frowned for a moment before lifting his head and winking at Greg, “hey good lookin’, what’s cookin’?” He smiled. 

Greg looked aghast, “CHRIS!” He spluttered, “you’re, you’re married!” 

Chris stopped smiling immediately trying quickly to explain, “no, I, it was a-”

Greg burst out laughing, “I know you grapefruit! Come sit down!”

Chris sat, laughing as well, “why do you keep calling me names of fruits anyway, you melon? Has Liam brainwashed you before he left?” 

Greg stopped giggling and started full-on laughing at the truth in this, he did call people fruit a lot, he guessed because he liked fruit. Although he also liked pizza and burgers, actually he definitely liked them more than fruit. And if someone called him a pizza he would have taken it as a compliment because, hey, everyone loves pizzas…. 

“Greg?” Chris waved in his colleagues direction, “you’ve been doing this a lot lately, zoning out I mean, it’s weird” 

Greg did an awkward laugh and started flicking switches and sliding sliders and just generally doing radio things, which was good, because that was his job. Chris joined in the games and ran back and forward to do the news at the appropriate times. 

Little did they know though, that as they went through the general everyday normalness- or, as normal as things got with these two- was that someone was watching everything they were doing. Watching and making notes. Watching and making notes and learning. 

Watching and making notes and learning and… ok you get the idea. 

It was Brian. He was pretending to be on work experience as he sat in the studio beside a nice girl named Grace. Ian and other Chris were talking just outside the studio, but Brian didn’t care about them. He just focused on Greg and Chris, Agent Time and Dinner Man, just like Mr Unimagination man had told him. He was, as you’ll remember, being paid very well for this job. But the more he watched these two blokes doing their thing, the more guilty he felt. 

These two were such friendly people. They were very funny and they genuinely loved what they did, and what’s more, they seemed to genuinely care about their listeners, especially their podcastards- almost like friends…

Brian shook his head, he must stop this. These two, are the enemies… but they were so cool- but he had to stop them- but stop them doing what exactly??

He continued to make notes anyway, about their character, what made them laugh, what made them happy… he felt like a psychiatrist, all he would have to do is say, 

“and how do you feel about that?” 

He laughed to himself. And then looked up. 

Everyone was looking at him. 

“I… I said that out loud didn’t I?” He stammered, his face turning as red as the deep red walls that surrounded him. 

“Uh… yeah, yeah you did” chris said softly, “are you ok?” He said in a kind way, “do you want to step outside and get some air?” 

“What? No. I- I’m fine. I just said something out loud instead of in my head haha” he laughed awkwardly 

“Yeessss… but you’ve also been muttering to yourself all afternoon too… I really think maybe you should go home for the day, ok mate?” chris smiled at him. 

Brian’s face turned even redder. As red as a tomato. Maybe even verging on purple. His face felt like it was melting and he wanted the floor to swallow him as he stood up and left the studio. 

As he stood in the lift on his way back down to reception he began to panic- he might have been rumbled- what would Mr Unimagination man do to him? Would he have the imagination to do something horrible? Hopefully he would just be fired. Brian said a little prayer as he grabbed his phone from his pocket and made a phone call. 

***

Greg and Chris continued their shows/ news reading. As they left the building at the end of the day they were talking about all the silly things that had happened, developing ideas, cracking jokes and puns…

“D’you reckon we should check in on Brian?” Chris asked. 

In case you hadn’t noticed, Chris is a very caring person- not that Greg isn’t, but chris seems to constantly think of others, which is lovely. 

“Yeah… he did have a funny sort of turn didn’t he? Muttering to himself… I mean, don’t get me wrong, all the best people talk to themselves but… this was different” Greg noted, he remembered how the boy had been feverishly scribbling in a notebook, watching him and chris very closely, all the while muttering to himself…

“Did you hear what he was saying? He was on your side of the studio after all”

Chris smiled and brought out his phone, “I asked grace, who was sat right beside him. Not that I’m being stalkerish but I didn’t like what was going on. He was talking about,” he consulted his texts, “Unimagination man”

At this point, if this was a movie, the camera would do a close up of Greg and chris’ faces while playing that classic and dramatic “dun dun dunnnnn” music, you know the one. 

But this is not a movie and books don’t play music so we’ll just imagine that this had just happened. 

Greg and chris looked at each other in bewilderment,

“Who is Unimagination man?” Greg asked no one in particular. 

“I’M GLAD YOU ASKED” boomed an impressive sounding voice, like that of a heroic, brave and handsome hero. 

However it was a small, boring, rather ordinary looking, grey man that stepped out of the shadows.

He moved slowly and smoothly, like a grey fog drifting towards them. He seemed to suck the colour out of the air as he moved towards Greg and chris. 

Greg stepped forwards, “well then “Mr Unimagination man”” he did air quotes as he said this, because he didn’t truly believe that this was an actual name, it was a rubbish name, “what do you want from us?” He asked in a stern voice. And with a poke from chris he added, “And what have you done to our mate Brian?” 

Mr Unimagination man smiled slightly, in a cheeky way, like a bully who had just stolen your dinner money, “your “mate” Brian is working for ME! He was sent here as a spy to gather information on you so that I could END you! Because I know who you are…”

“Say it out loud,” Greg said in a low, angry voice, his eyes narrowing, 

“Dinner Man and Agent Time.” Mr Unimagination man whispered. 

There was a long silence. In a movie it would have been filled with some dramatic music, but for them it was real life, and for us, it’s a book. And so for the men it was filled with the sound of cars and for us it is filled with this paragraph. 

Brian stepped out of the shadows looking nervous. He was holding his hands in front of him, like a choir boy. He couldn’t meet Greg or chris’ eyes. 

“I- I- I’m sorry” he squeaked, “I didn’t know, I mean, I knew but I didn’t think he was serious and I didn’t know he would do this and I’m- i- I’m so so sorry” he sounded close to tears at this point. Both Greg and chris felt sorry for the young boy stood in front of them, they had quite forgotten Mr Unimagination man, which annoyed him very much. 

“Hey! Remember me? The best and most amazing and-”

“-most boring?” Brian offered, Mr Unimagination man pretended not to hear him,

“-cleverest villain in the history of villainy!?”

Chris rolled his eyes as Greg sighed, “what do you want?” 

“You! You’re so entertaining! So creative! So, so IMAGINATIVE! Everything I LOATHE!” He began to shake with rage, “I want to stop you!”

“Stop us doing what?” Chris inquired

“I want to- to stop you, like,” mr Unimagination man hadn’t had to explain his thought processes before and he wasn’t very comfortable doing so because he wasn’t very good at it, “he wants to stop you imagining things. He wants to stop you being creative, make you boring, like him, because you’re everything that he’s not.” Brian said, “AND I HELPED!” He wailed, falling to his knees, “but I swear, I’ll help you! I’ll help you!” He crawled towards Greg and chris, on his knees with his arms out, pleading for forgiveness. 

Mr Unimagination man kicked Brian in the gut and he fell aside. 

“OI!!” Greg and Chris yelled together “what did you do that for?” 

“He is useless now. He has fulfilled his purpose”

“Then where’s my payment?” Brian groaned

Mr Unimagination man produced a small briefcase out of nowhere and threw it at Brian, it hit him hard across the face and burst open showering the street in a few £20 notes and lots of shredded newspaper. 

“You’re a liar and a-a-a really bad guy!” Brian managed to yell before passing out. 

Mr Unimagination man turned his attention back to Greg and Chris, the corner of his mouth turning up slightly in a sly smirk as he produced what looked like a nerf gun, only grey and boring looking. 

“Now boys… it’s time for you to meet your end…”

Greg and Chris could do nothing but stare in utter shock as this lunatic pointed a grey spray painted nerf gun at them. In fact, it was everything they could do not to laugh out loud at the sheer madness of the whole situation. 

But then something happened that made them stop all thoughts of smiling, it made them want to run and hide in a corner far far away… The gun in Mr Unimagination mans hand had started to smoke, and the smoke was drifting towards them. And the closer it came, the sadder Greg and Chris felt. As it came towards them it sucked out their happiness, their jokes, their games, their very imagination seemed to switch off. 

“Quick, think of fun things!” Greg said as they backed away from the smoke, 

“Like what?!” Chris retorted, not taking his eyes off the ever approaching fog,

“Agent Time! Think of all your adventures! All the stuff you and Dinner Man- me are gonna do!” 

But try as they might, their imaginations were slipping away from them, they couldn’t imagine anything apart from grey boringness, work, the news (the boring kind) and all the other mundane rubbish that boring people, like Unimagination man, think of. 

Panic set in. 

What was going on? 

Who was this man? 

How had he done this? 

How we’re try going to do their show and the podcast tomorrow with no imagination and no jokes? 

And as both Greg and Chris uttered these thoughts in a tangle of words and gestures, Mr Unimagination man left them there, but not before whispering, 

“Sleep tight Dinner Man and Agent Time…” 

As he disappeared around a corner, Greg and Chris slumped to the ground in a deep, grey sleep. 

***

What will happen to the show and the podcast without the madness and the games? 

What have the podcastards been up to all this time? 

Is Brian ok? 

And will Unimagination man ever be stopped? 

Find out… soon! 

Decisions 

Decisions. Good or bad, big or little, life changing or not, they’re tough. 

Whether you’re choosing what outfit to wear or what job opportunity to chase, there are always things to consider… 

1.) Is it what you want 

2.) is it worth it 

3.) will it make you happy… 
I’ve had to make a lot of decisions lately and I still have lots to make. 

It’s tough and I hate it. 

But I’m trying to get as much information and as much advice as I possibly can. 

And I hope that I can make the right decisions. 

Quite often I end up making the wrong ones. 

But, hey, learn from your mistakes and keep moving forwards… 
“Even when you fall flat on your face, you’re still moving forwards”