Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Style Trends 2015:
Fainting Couch/Soapbox Combo

A design trend that is quite en vogue this season is the pairing of different furniture styles and periods — and Orville’s team of interior designers and consultants are straight on it.

Most popular in this year’s line is the Fainting Couch/Soapbox pairing. The fainting couch is a faux red velvet neo-Victorian reproduction — nicely complemented by the unfinished soapbox in Urban Loft style.

The soapbox is ideal for college students quick to jump on a cause or eager to brandish some social cred whilst the fainting couch is always nearby to cushion their tender sensitivities from blows of logic and reason that dare knock one off their oratorical stump.
Modestly priced for the uni budget.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Excerpt: Aqua Phoenix

Gutts, J. (1975). Aqua phoenix.
Heritageville: Orville (out of print).
‘What lurks beyond the curtains?’ wonder the curious ones.
  Young lads indeed recognise that unknowns lie abaft and amidst the trees, beneath the rippling lake and behind the passing clouds.
  Things await discovery on the other side of each brink.
  In life’s odyssey, some find themselves there on that far side, needing to break the threshold, to pierce the bounds and transit the quantum state — to be borne again...

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New for 2015: The SetUp™ 2.0

Back by popular demand — The Orville Corporation has updated its classic SetUp™ Lifestyle Product for 2015. With it, newly established social interfaces and situational activities can be maximised towards positive ideals (or negative, if one so chooses).
  The new algorithm for the updated SetUp™ works across both online and “meatspace” platforms, further enabling you to integrate all aspects of consumption and social media intake with increased “likes” and guaranteed “retweets” — helping you to facilitate a trans-caste identity based upon emotive applications of meme-casting, synergistic frame-control emetics, and progressive ego augmentation.
  By using re-orientation and re-mapping of cognitive deficits along with PersonaFit™ templates, your social domain will be externally acclimatised. You will freely enjoy sharing activities that are expressive on a wide spectrum — from Conspicuous Consumption to Social Justice.
  Your self-referentiality will also be vigourously emboldened, filtering out “trolls” and naysayers, whilst maintaining a normative reactivity to dynamic incentives.
  No matter what state you live in, you can use the SetUp™ to enroll in affordable, quality lifestyle enrichment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Classic City Arcade 1214

Orville Systems Analyst Rand Hugoe getting engaged… Miss Finesse struggling with corkscrew… Classic board games at the Men’s Lodge… Outstanding ribs (oak, pecan and peach wood smoked) by Q-Master PB Array at Mack’s Xmas Party… Officer Puland ticketing a poorly parked Prius...

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Path of the Righteous Train 2: C to D

A made it to B.

And C will make it to D.

The Oliver Atrium

The Oliver Atrium — site of the S’amb’r Ql’an assembly back around the Third Stratum. Resplendent in faux-Nouveau décor horribly popular at the time, it served well as a convivial setting where far-flung tribal members were introduced, and re-introduced.
  No “kids’ table” here — their tables were the same height as everyone else’s (66cm).
  Besides The Oliver, other locales the S’amb’r Ql’an were known at which to convene were the stately Salle de Lavande, The Yardley, and even The Friendly.
  Witty banter always abounded and though bonds were made, sadly some never saw each other again.
  As The Oliver itself was but a temporary front made as a safe haven for the S’amb’r Ql’an to gather, the location had to be scrubbed and Santitised™ to erase any evidence of the assembled.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dysfunctional Societies Collectors’ Cards

Now available: Dysfunctional Societies Collectors’ Cards from Orville Educational Supplies.

Coming soon: The American collection!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Declassified: Bunker Invincible

If one had a keen ear or sense of touch, one might have noticed rhythmic, low frequency pulses coming from beneath the pavement in a particular Classic City side street.
  The agent designated as “Knuckles” walked casually through this spot one Stratum XVI evening, smiling inwardly as he felt the vibrations under his feet. He crossed the street and went up to a call box and dialed Operator Assistance.
“Operator.”
“Reverse charges to this number, please.”
“Name, please.”
“Mister Dale Dix.”
“One moment, please.”
  The second the number was patched through, a spherical lamp hanging from a bunker’s low ceiling began to blink red and blue, amidst loud industrial racket.
“Sir,” said the operator, “Reverse charges denied.”
“Thank you, ma’am.”
  Knuckles hung up the receiver and crossed back over the street. The vibrations beneath had stopped. In the shadows of a nearby portico a door cracked open.
  “You’re in,” came a voice from the darkness within.

  A narrow, dimly-lit granite stairwell led down into the earth, the temperature noticeably dropping...

  This was the protocol for access to Bunker Invincible.

  The bunker stood roughly four metres wide by twelve deep, much of the space taken up by electronic and industrial machinery of a mysterious nature. Beside the equipment stood four other agents of the NI, an Allied Pungeoning Front sub-clench: “Bonehead,” “Herr Moto,” “Woodie,” and “Fischbein.” They nodded silently at the agent’s arrival and started the machinery back up, most deafening in the small chamber.

  Bunker Invincible lay beneath the Selhurst Records Division — an unassuming front for the Orville Corporation run by Herr Moto, Fake Church and Mr Brown. Above that was a safehouse of sorts, until a fire from the Weird Bath incident made it an unviable resource. As with many bunkers and safehouses of a temporary nature, the NI/Orville occupants have moved on to other locations, currently classified.

The old location now houses a pub and upstairs lofts. The spherical signal lamp is currently retained in the mess hall at the Men’s Lodge.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Salutatio: Semper nova fines

The red tacklebox and Zebco rod and reel sat in a corner of the garage. The dry smell of concrete hung in the afternoon June air with notes of turpentine and plywood. The young boy balanced the box and reel on the handlebars of his pushbike as he pitched down the driveway and onto the roadway.
 From Sheffield to Cambridge to Hurffville, the quiet sun beat down upon the bitumen. Crossing Greentree he pedalled up the hill on the road to Lac des Cloches.
 On arrival, the lake lay shimmering like glass beads cast into a warm broth of olive and amber. Down to the small wooden dock where the line is set with bobber, sinker, and hooked with a morsel of wet bread crust.
  Cast! with a plunk, the surface ripples with ringlets, faintly throwing shadows along the bottom a half metre below. A bite! Pull in a Sunny here and there. (What does one do with these palm-sized fish once they’re caught?)
 The sun arcs westward; in time, in solitude, in silence, the young man patiently waits for another bite. Why? It — “something” — awaits beneath the surface to be discovered, familiar or strange.
  Along comes a Bluegill, slowly eyeballing the bait. Gently it glides towards the hook with mouth curiously agape. A steady stare and grip by the 9-year-old is too much to maintain. Anticipation overwhelming, a slight twitch of the rod sends the fish darting off, mere centimetres from the simple lure.
“Rats.”
Sunnies were always easy to catch; a bite from a Bluegill was a little tougher to snag.

He collected his kit and wandered up the hill to the community pool to swim, dive, and swim some more. Swimming with mates, swimming alone, the warm, dank smell of the lake breezing over the cool, astringent chlorine air of the pool.
 A summer day much like any other — no adults, save the pool’s languid teenage lifeguard, or the lunch Mum had made earlier, which may have involved cottage cheese.
A day free of nannies, busybodies, jobsworths and helicopters.

——

A September venture on foot, beyond Nottingham, past Weasel’s abode, up the steep wooded slope, passing abandoned forts, making way upward. The tailored greenery at the hill’s plateau indicated potential encroachment, and so the trek is thus expedited.
 Through the trees, the party tramped along with pinestraw crunching underfoot; corrugated plastic covering troughs evidenced prior expeditions.
The forest broke to reveal an eroded horseshoe-shaped canyon, barren soil awaiting some developer’s future neighbourhood dream.
“It’s a whole new civilisation,” beamed the 9-year-old, eyeing waste yet picturing the heretofore unseen landscape with potential and the optimist's spirit.

The sun hung high as the three lads scouted the ravine with marked enthusiasm.
 An autumn day much like any other — no adults, save the bellowing man on the greenery shaking his golf club.
A day free of nannies, busybodies, jobsworths and helicopters.

——

Is the spark of curiosity and exploration innate in a young man? Of course. It can be nurtured indirectly enough by Mum yelling, “Get out of the house!”
Something will always beckon from beneath the lake’s expanse, from behind the curtain of trees, from beyond the sky and firmament.
 In the cacophony of today that “something” may indeed be difficult to hear. But what happens when the boys themselves stop listening?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Excerpt: Behind the Brick Door

Gutts, J. (1973). Behind the brick door.
Heritageville: Orville (out of print).
...The wooden door has become brick... a memory itself hazy, yet the lessons have cemented, as easily as most hindsight observations tend to attain.
  This counsel is locked down behind mortar, safe and under glass without worry of breaking the threshold and radiating an amnesic vapour that would have us forget what we have so dearly learned.
  The glow from behind the door does not beckon, but nudges us not to forget...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Classic City Arcade 1114

Mr Martin plotting exit strategy after a backstabbing to the fibre of his elements…
Mr Dutch spinning some Jerry Reed tunes at the Sideboob… Ms ’Chelle B taking respite from the salon to enjoy the weather… Mr Arthur’s dad: “Wake up Mr Arthur — I’m gonna kick his ass…”

Monday, November 10, 2014

Case Study: Byo-Byo

Coined by a young Scarlatti, “Byo-Byo” was a treat given for afters when dinner plates were properly cleaned. Impressed with the appeal of this dessert with the young, Orville Foods Division bought out the pudding recipe from Scarlatti’s mum and introduced a rollout campaign promoting the product with heavy social media engagement (as heavy as 1970’s social media would allow).
  The original recipe featured chocolate, but Orville added butterscotch, tapioca and scrapple varieties to their product line. Chocolate remains their top seller.
  Almost 40 years later, the Byo-Byo brand dessert market share is still going strong.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

“But they meant well...”

This is the machine commonly employed by the starry-eyed idealist of all ages who is so sure their simplistic “solutions” are all it takes to solve age-old societal problems.
  Yet this is the machine that insists on moving forward like a streetsweeper, whilst erasing/ignoring the history left behind in its path.
  Thus it has no foundation and nothing from which to learn.
  Fools and knaves both utilise the machine. The fools may spout their nonsense and do little else than posture publicly and pull the lever in the voting booth. The knaves, on the other hand, may talk the same talk about the Cause, but know full well that the results of their intentions will disenfranchise particular segments of a given populace.
  The machine also works on a micro scale (minus media manipulation) as well as macro — interpersonal relationships, business, etc.

  The Fabians had their hammer; the Progressives have their State. The results are often disastrously similar, and the excuse is always the same.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Excerpt: The Van Slonzig Tendency

Molessa was always first in line to flatter…

 “C’mon, it won’t take long.”
 “But the commencement begins in less than an hour.”
 “C’mon.”

 Stoddard sat at the foot of the bed with teeth clenched, precious seconds ticking away in the back of his mind.
 Hoodwinked again, and it’s my own damned fault.
 The confluence of the Situational Alpha, the Nice Guy Beta, and the Over-It-All Sigma — faced with a hurdle of flesh as every second passed delayed the mission.
 People are waiting on me.
 It had happened once before in Stratum XII — The Hembry Penetration before the Indian Hill objective. He barely completed that mission, and vowed never to be in the same situation again.

 “Just lay here,” Molessa cooed.
 “People are waiting on me,” Stoddard sighed, leaning back and staring at the ceiling.
 “It’ll be easy,” she said as she clambered atop him.
 “What do you mean?”
 “Just pretend you’re dead.”
 Stoddard’s eyes bulged out of his head...

Gutts, J. (1977). The Van Slonzig tendency. Heritageville: Orville (out of print). Alternate title in European market: “Ontsnappen uit de Necrofiel”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“Dilemma of the Thermite Mogul”

The potentate of pyrotechnics is en route to a professional conference when he encounters an aged Austrian scientist in Midwestern cheese country. The magnate is forced to decide between the scientist's 17-year-old daughter and smelting industry game-changer technological advancement.
  The exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction comes not only from the crucible, but from the burning, forbidden love in this man’s heart.

— Concept by Orville Systems Analyst Rand Hugoe

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

“You Know the Price”

If you make a move, what are your expectations?
A pat scene so innocent at first
But when it hits the fan, would you claim good intentions
When the urge to save face ruins your word?

I watch again as promises repeat
Embolalia echoes thought to be sweet
But an awakened heart sees through the deceit

Actions have shattered the trifles that you dare say
Nothing else you have will allay
In the end you will pay
You don’t see the big picture, it does not behoove you
You’ve made your bed, true
But you knew the price

It’s all so clear, how you got here
In hindsight, you know the price

The lady doth protest, that is a given
And a man who doth the same
Erases all for that he has striven
I never blinked but the past has
Mapped out all that’s unforgiven

Listen to your words
Empty, absurd
We see through what’s blurred
But you knew the price

It’s all so clear, how you got here
In hindsight,
You know the price

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Enigma II Tiki Discontinued

Stratum XXV
Display Idol Assemblies provide the context for main Hi-Five of Tiki [No orientation for Subtropical Instigation module]
Kelekona-Rider (a.k.a “P*ssed-Off Tiki”) couldn’t hold it together.

Tiki at Bay

Stratum XXV
Live Idol Assembly defend the Godhead-Context of Tiki Prime [Re-orientation for Burn of Hukei-Lau Instigation]

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Old Back Yard Smashed

At least five tornados were confirmed that touched down in the suburban metro area Tuesday. The Old Homestead on the East Bank was undamaged, aside from the uprooted trees and crushed fence, but next door the Fake Ghoulsby’s garage roof was smashed, although the interior remained intact. No injuries reported.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Airing of Vindaloo Weekend Stirs Boycott by Fringe Group

The airing of the motion picture Vindaloo Weekend this upcoming Friday on WBLO Channel 13 has prompted a radical politico-cultural group to launch a boycott of the broadcast.
 The Kamasina Takanīkatantrī, or “KT League,” insists that the theme and plot of the movie distort supposed factual events from as far back as Stratum XI.
 The movie’s plot tells the tale of a man ridiculed for his solitude by villagers with “trophy girlfriends” whose shallow relationships prove to be their eventual undoing.
 The movie, released in 2014 by Orville Motion Pictures, went straight to video, with no apparent protest at the time. WBLO station manager Prabodh Gutts waved off any protest as “sour grapes” and states that the movie will air as scheduled.

Excerpt: Ponce and the Pauper

Gutts, J. (1977). Ponce and the pauper.
Heritageville: Orville (out of print).
[W]alking down the dark, sketchy street, Ian noticed Elise was no longer by his side.
  G–d damn.

  He turned around and saw her off the footpath reaching into her purse. Facing her stood a shifty man in tattered clothes, staring at the purse like a vulture.
  Slowly, but with purpose, Ian walked up to them with his eyes firmly affixed on the rotter and came to stand facing him without a blink.
  Elise dropped some coins in the sod’s cupped hands, but Ian’s stare-down was enough to have the man back off and wander back into the darkness.

  “What the hell do you think you were doing?”
  “He said he needed change.”
  “Do you know where we are?”
  “What?!”
  “This is Ponce. After dark.”
  “He said he needed change.”
  “This isn’t Woodlawn Avenue where you can hand out a tuppence to kindly pensioners. People are mugged, stabbed and raped here. Often. You cannot afford to be ignorant about putting yourself in danger.”
  “But—”
  “Shut up. There’s no argument.”

  In silence they made their way to the Concourse.
  From the corner of her eyes Elise peered at him with her nose in the air, waiting.

  Without turning his head, Ian muttered, “For such a smart girl, you don’t even have the common sense to be contrite...”

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Classic City Arcade 1014

P.B. Array pummeling the riffraff at Mack’s... Sarge enjoying a weekend with the old lady away… JZ painting the windows pink… Lovely Lola listening to the whistling… Mr Dutch noticing the leaves changing...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Hva er Vardøger prøver å si?

In this scenario, we make sight of a person we know as “Smith,” from some distance. He may be half a block down, or perhaps across the street. Now Smith isn’t someone we would encounter often, even if we were to repeat the very same footsteps every day. Smith is barely an acquaintance — a friend of a friend, perhaps. We might run into him once, maybe twice in a decade, even in our medium-sized city.
   But as we near Smith and he comes into better focus, we notice he looks less and less like the “Smith” we know with every step. As we catch up and pass the gentleman we realise we’ve mistaken him for someone else, and that he bears little resemblance to our “Smith.”
   It is then that we turn a blind corner and run into who, but the very same Smith of whom we were given some sort of Fortean “advance notice.”
   What are the odds of this happening? More than once, as it has?
   It appears that “Fake Smith” was a premonition given to us in the form of a fading Doppelgänger — a “preview” of the real Smith.
   Again, odds are stacked against this happening more than once in any given person’s lifetime. If it is not an omen bestowed from the beyond, could it be some latent form of “psychic radar” yet undeveloped in the recesses of the mind of current-day homo sapiens?

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Conk, She Weeps

Inonotus dryadeus

Wedgwood Refreshment

An early stratum refreshment common from Sheffield to Avon, quenching the thirst of cavorting youngsters in the summer sun.
  Was the added sugar necessary for youth motivation?
  Probably not — the naturally adventurous spirit was not yet quashed at that time.
  The child’s innate vigour is more important than the beverage he grasps in his hand.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Excerpt: Kjede av Lyset

Gutts, J. (1976). Kjede av lyset. Heritageville: Orville (out of print).
...Baldur devises each star in the night, perceiving a story behind each one,
a-right. A chaine of souvenaunces, colour and gemme, element to element. Hereupon remembren the sightes we hold eminent...

Monday, September 22, 2014

American CEO Apologises
to Terrorist Group

WBLO-TV — Six hostages were rescued from ISIS militants after a successful operation by Orville Corporation CEO Johnny Gutts and the Allied Pungeoning Front in Mosul. Gutts led the paramilitary force to rescue kidnapped private security contractors from the Orville Corporation. Eight hostiles were killed in the operation, three of which were apparently Orville ex-employees turned terrorists. Insertion and extraction took place in under eight hours. Considering the delicacy of the situation, the supervision and execution of this operation appear worthy of commendation.
   Soon after, ISIS spokesman Moghaffal al-Baghdadi released a statement demanding an unconditional apology from the Orville Corporation for a deliberate negative campaign against the image and reputation of ISIS. In a surprise turn of events, Orville came forth with the requested concession. Johnny Gutts, a man known for “taking the high road,” himself penned the apology and read it aloud at a press conference yesterday at the Heritageville Ritz Hotel.
   It reads as follows:

Dear ISIS,
   The purpose of this letter is to formally offer our deepest and most sincere apology for the inconvenience that the rescue of our employees has caused you. At Orville, we take public complaints seriously and we appreciate that you brought this issue to our attention. After reviewing your file, we believe the cause of the unsatisfactory and unfortunate result was due to your lack of civilised behaviour.
   To ensure that this will not be a repeat occurrence, we believe that proactive pungeoning over the next few months will prevent this from happening again.
   With Orville’s constant striving to deliver the best possible service available, we will be creating company-wide training sessions on dealing with savages over the next few months to perfect our process. Creating a safe atmosphere is paramount for us.
   We deeply value your relationship with Orville and are committed to providing you with the highest level of service simply because our customers deserve the very best. If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter, please feel free to discuss it with me.

Yours in service,
Johnny Gutts
CEO, Orville Corporation


   The apology was a PR success story, earning high praise from the international community. Some offering their kudos went as far as wanting to nominate Gutts to UN Secretary-General.
   Though well-placed sources do report an unconfirmed quote by Gutts later that evening from the hotel bar:
   “Apologies to offended terrorists and half-apologies to families of ex-employees suspected to have converted to terrorists sects. Maybe if, as parents, you had tried harder I wouldn’t have had to slit their throats!”

Monday, September 15, 2014

“You’re Not Here to Socialise!”

There was a time, when it was a simple phrase — one uttered by teachers that many garrulous students would roll their eyes at yet still comply.
   Yet along the way, some secret torch was passed, and pedagogical priorities were shifted away from the academic and towards the socio-behavioural. “Fix-it-up chappies” began to focus on across-the-board star-bellies du jour (divide et impera?), pushing intelligence-insulting utopian fantasies alien to actual human nature, and pejorative shamecasting aimed at incorrect castes. All over the traditional “Three R’s.”
   And so, in response to the hypocrisies of the ‘dumbing down’ of schools (kids indeed smell this stuff) in conjunction with the constant trumpeting of “excellence in education,” the natural response is mental flight.
   One would expect an outcry from concerned parents, but at some point they no longer gave a damn.
   “What about socialisation?” they bleat to the few parents who do take their kid’s education into their own hands.
   Those folks just shake their heads, remembering their own years ago in school when they were reminded daily of proper academic priorities when the teacher bellowed, “YOU’RE NOT HERE TO SOCIALISE!”

Friday, September 12, 2014

Classic City Arcade 0914

Mr Louis burning memories with a bonfire at the Lodge… The wraith LeVira, gliding down the square with plastic sack and skeletal scowl… Mr Dutch: “Outdoors Bingo = Pre-geriatric practice…” Mr Scottie making Martini howdies… Mr Shapiro seeking the right font...

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Excerpt: Aequor et Fabula

Gutts, J. (1975).
Aequor et fabula. Heritageville: Orville (out of print).
[...From] raindrop to puddle, from bath to pool, from lake to river to ocean. Ganymedes bears the cup whilst Poseidon gazes over, and thence liquescent bodies scale out to the exponent. All eutrophic substrates undergird these stories people carry in their hearts.

Bad Greiferfuß, La Piscine de Gloria, Le Lac des Cloches, the Mighty ‘Hooch, the very seas traversed by the Rev. Resbo — all tales course together along the tides and reveal themselves in quantum foam upon the strand.