About Mark A. Rayner

Human-shaped, simian-obsessed, robot-fighting, pirate-hearted, massively-bestselling wannabe, Mark A. Rayner is an award-winning writer of satirical and speculative fiction.

Lucinda at the Laundrette of Shattered Hope

Lucinda was a dreamer. She was also stuck in a clothes dryer.Lucinda was a dreamer. Someday, she knew that her Mom would return with the waffle iron and say she was sorry; perhaps even share her delicious recipe for Translucent Liquid Essence of Bran.

She watched as Betsy came back to the Launderette of Shattered Hope, carrying a sack full of soiled turnips that she liked to cook in the dryer next to Lucinda’s (on fluff for about an hour, and then ten minutes on high heat).

Some of the other inhabitants of launderette didn’t like the sound the turnips made as they bashed around inside the genuine Tagmay industrial-strength dryer (and cappuccino maker), but it made Lucinda think of tumbling bags of cats, and furnishings, and a time when she wasn’t sitting in a pool of her own sweat.

Oddly, it made her yearn for the days when her Mom would make potato-flavoured expectorant. That Betsy!

Alltop enjoys properly dried turnip. Originally published October 2006.

Ask General Kang: If my foreign policy is a failure, do I have to admit it?

Ask General KangHell no!

If you can’t blame the failures of your policy on some flunky (or opposition party, if you’re unlucky enough to be ruling in a “democracy”) then what kind of leader are you?

The best option is to say that your policy is a rousing success, in spite of all evidence. (That is, if you can’t suppress the evidence.)

Of course, as a intergalactic overlord, I’ve always felt that the best foreign policy comes from the “offer them a Stay-Fresh Snakin’ Cake … and carry a plasma weapon” school. Here on Earth you face the challenge of multiple opponents/allies who are impossible to defeat militarily, without destroying your biosphere, that is. (What is it with your human fascination with those quaint nuclear weapons? Don’t you realize they can wipe out everything?)

So no. Don’t ever take ownership of a mistake! I mean, if you admit to a mistake, then you might actually learn something, and do better the next time.

How the hell am I going to conquer you people if you start learning things?

Next time: Henri Bergson described time as something we experience as a duration, in a flow of consciousness, not as a series of events. So what gives with knock, knock jokes?

Alltop is the knock, knock joke of the Internet. Originally published in October, 2006. Does that depress you? It should.

Before the Internet

before the internet

Normally, I just nod my head in agreement with xkcd, but in this case, I must take exception. Before the Internet, life was much more exciting. There were things to do — the hard way — and much to accomplish. Not to mention all the challenging people and situations we faced before the Internet was created. For example:

  • dinosaurs
  • Nazis
  • pirates (the eye-patchy kind)
  • ninjas
  • C.H.U.Ds (though to be fair we’re still plagued by these in certain areas)
  • dinosaur-riding ninja Nazis (I would really like to see a cartoon of that one, if any budding artist are out there)
  • librarians.

Just sayin’.

On the other hand, the Internet does deliver on the awesome. It wouldn’t take much to add a Nazi armband to the ninja, plus: robot pirate!

how the world ends - robot pirate fighting dinosaur-riding ninja

Alltop is the Internet librarian of funny. Pic by Ctrl + Alt + Del.