Tag Archives: imagination

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 13)

Unlucky number thirteen? No way: no Earplug Adventure episode could be considered unlucky: they are all wonderful. Check this one out!

Meanwhile, back at the Museum of Future Technology, the situation was anything but quiet…

There had been a double reactor breach, and the tops of two towers had been blown off. But, for the museum’s Avatar, this was not the main subject of conversation. Whilst Valentine and Wah-Hey were taking the post-supper air, the Avatar accosted them on the up-ramp that led to the Café Puke…

“Hello, Valentine. Greetings Wah-Hey.” she said as she walked backwards before them, “any news from Magnuss?”

“Ah, that’d be a negative, Avatar.” Valentine replied. “We aint heard a squeak outta the little guy. Guess he’s having a good time and don’t wanna share it with his bros – know what I mean?”

Although, as an automaton, the Avatar didn’t require oxygen, she nevertheless took a deep breath before saying: “Well it’s like this, Valentine: Cushions is getting very worried. She even got her best Omnipresent Scanner operatives out of bed to help her locate the Tankerville Norris

Even the museum’s A.I’s cheerful suggestions didn’t help. They simply couldn’t find it. In the end they took themselves off to the Café Puke…

…for a stiff double Café Cortado and a bag of Churros.  

Their evening stroll forgotten, Valentine grabbed Rudi, Chester, and Miles. They found Cushions remembering happy recent events in the Grand Hall…

“Hey, Cushions,” Rudi opened without preamble, “what gives with the Omnipresent Scanner? It can’t find Magnuss? That can’t be right: it can see everywhere!”

Cushions confirmed this commonly held believe. She also confirmed its utter failure to detect their middle brother. “Officially we’re posting him as ‘Missing in Action’. Of course we’ll try again in the morning.”

It was a disconsolate bunch of earplugs who wandered back to their quarters…

They had attempted a telepathic link with him. But even returning to the place of their last triumph – the Age of Stone exhibit – could not succeed in making contact. And Chester, bless him, couldn’t help but conjure up terrible images of monsters that might have consumed the newlyweds…

And if they’d known what was really happening to Magnuss, they would have realised why they couldn’t contact him…

He and Hair-Trigger had visited a fairground, where he tried on a helmet named The Excruciator. It was supposed to be excruciating; and it was! So much so that he simply couldn’t think straight. So Hair-Trigger took it off him and suggested he try the Wobbly Buggy Ride. It was not her best idea…

…because his motion sickness kicked in almost instantly; and he was sick all over the dashboard. So she took him to the canal walkway to recover…

“This is better.” He said as his bile receded…

…”and that canal is so effervescent. I wonder if anyone would complain if we partook of a dip in it.”

But, even if that were so, the proximity of a trio of young females (who would never approve of the sight of soggy underpants) was the deciding factor against the idea. So they revisited the bazaar area…

…where they encountered a pair of local earplugs…

At first the newlyweds were suspicious of the strangers; but when the pale earplug said: “You look like a pair of impressionable youngsters.” and the darker individual added, “You should visit Madame Nellie: she’s a fortune teller.” They knew all was well.

“Thank you, kind sirs.” Hair-Trigger replied. “Could you point us in her direction?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

There – I told you!

Photography: Seeing What Isn’t There (again)

As I wandered along a late afternoon English backlane, with the lowering Sun on my back, a Range Rover pushed past me – it’s large wheels splashing through some puddles that had formed amongst piles of gravel that had been carried downhill by Winter’s rainfall. I paused to take a few photos of the result. This is one of them…

Muddy water: Bubbles: Shadows: Gravel

Do you see the possibilities? This is what I saw…

The night sky in the mountains perhaps?

But with possible future Earplug Adventures in mind, I thought that perhaps one adventure might take place upon a most inhospitable world. So…

Wonderful things – puddles: where would alternative reality world-builders be without them?

The Photographer’s Eye 1: Seeing What Isn’t There: Negativity

I’m no photographer. Heck, I only use point and shoot cameras. But I use an awful lot of ’em and I do have a photographer’s eye. I know this latter observation to be true because I see potentialities in a scene that, perhaps, others don’t. I use this…um…skill…to bring to life scenes of other worlds in my Earplug Adventures. I also use it purely for it’s artistic merit. One of these…er…skills…is to see, in advance, how a scene might work in reverse. Or, to put it another way, I ask myself what would the negative of this photo look like? And, more importantly, how can I use that effect? Well yesterday I found myself with a couple of free minutes at work and duly dug out a compact from the bottom of my work bag. Hours later, after fiddling with the consequent plethora of snaps on my computer, three of the results looked exactly like this…

A happy Space Slug, crawling along a galactic string in orbit above night time Earth.

Scary alien space craft emerging from a nebula.

Banking to port aboard an aircraft as it approaches a coastal city at night.

Hopefully you will have no idea what the original (positive) shots looked like. I like to surprise whenever possible. Can you recognise any of them? If not, read on…

We’ll start with the last picture. A colleague watched as I tossed some sawdust upon the floor – then hit it with a blast of compressed air…

“You’re gonna take a picture of that aren’t you?” He said. “What’s it gonna be this time?”

Well now he knows. But I demanded more from it and it also doubled up when I used a squashed version of it to combine with this peeling render in a disused lavatory block…

…to create the Space Slug…

And as regards the alien space ship…

Well that was easy. From the same disused lavatory block – for which I appear to have an affinity (I’ve certainly taken a disproportionate number of pictures in several of them in the past few years) – may I present….a disgusting urinal!

There you have it – inspiration comes in many forms. You just have to see past the obvious. And yes, that urinal did pong. I suffer horribly for my art.