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‘So I see from your resumé that you worked for the Walt Disney Company…’

‘Yes, that’s correct.’

‘…And that you were…’ he glanced at the paper, ‘a “personality artist and character interpreter.”‘



‘I performed as a costumed entertainer, working as a Disney personality.’

‘Oh!’ the man nodded. ‘I see. And you were…?’


‘I’m sorry?’

‘I played Goofy.’

‘Goofy how? You mean you were funny or strange or—?’

‘No, sir. I mean I played Goofy. The character of Goofy.’

‘Goofy… That dog creature…’


He leant back in his chair. ‘Doing what, exactly?’

‘Well, primarily it was all pantomime because Goofy doesn’t really, you know, talk that much or anything. Or at least they preferred that we not speak. Mostly I would feign surprise at people making a good shot at shuffleboard—’


‘On the cruise. It was a Disney Cruise ship.’


‘And so when someone made a score I would raise my hands – like this – and then clasp the side of the plastic head – like this, but, you know, my real head is a lot smaller so you don’t get the full effect – and then act like I was surprised they did so well.’

‘I see.’

‘Other times, it would kind of depend on the situation, I would be scolding – sort of like this, shaking my giant fingers at them in an exaggerated sort of way with one hand on my hip and bobbing my head from side to side– and sometimes I would pretend to laugh, you know, holding my chest – like so – and kind of bobbing around. “Ha ha ha!”‘

‘And would you make that face?’


‘That face. Would you actually make that face when you were doing it?’

‘Well, that’s sort of part of the whole idea of personality artist. Even if they couldn’t see my actual face, making faces inside the head would help motivate me and I think it showed in my characterisations.’

‘And you never spoke to people?’

‘Well, I mean, I would tell people where the restrooms were if they asked…’

‘And so,’ the man shook his head, glancing over the resumé again, ‘this was your primary source of income?’

‘During cruise season, yes. Sometimes I would work the park, Disney World mostly, during peak periods, and other times I would do side jobs at Chuck E Cheese.’


‘The mouse.’


‘The big mouse who greets you—’

‘Yeah, I’ve never actually been to a Chuck E Cheese so… Tell me, Mister Comfrey… What exactly do you think qualifies you for a position here at Lockheed Martin?’

Promises, Promises

A little over a year ago, whilst in the process of transferring this blog from its previous location, I spent a great deal of time clearing away the old detritus of dead links and so on – all the inevitable and irrelevant bits which tend to pile up over time – as well as fixing and reformatting every post I’d made since this whole mess began oh so long ago. In order to keep track of my progress, which, as you may well imagine, was incredibly labour intensive, I catalogued each entry in a Word document. In doing so, I realised there were some topics on which I’d promised to post additional information and then, very like Richard C Hoagland, founder of The Enterprise Mission, recipient of an Angstrom Medal, former science advisor to CBS News and Walter Cronkite, author of The Monuments of Mars, co-creator of the ‘Pioneer Plaque,’ originator of the ‘Europa Proposal,’  and principal investigator of The Enterprise Mission, never actually followed up with anything.

Although I neither typically nor historically make resolutions for new years, I will, however, vow to begin to make good on those earlier promises. Because I know how important these things are to the two of you. It’s why you come back year after year and stare endlessly at the same posts and think, Useless twat.

This means the long alluded-to Coffeehouse tale will at last be told eventually, the epic next chapter of That’ll Do Pig will occur at some point, and then some other things as well.


I mean it.


In the fullness of time…

Name Game

PGDBy looking at the image just to your right – just there – see if you can determine the answer to this question without having to ask for a lifeline:

This paint is called

a) Livingston

b) Kesington

c) Valspar

d) Glidden

e) Granite And Stiction

f) Grand Extinction

g) Grand Distinctive

h) Grand Distinction

i) Graham Instinction

j) Grant’s Instinctive

k) The blue one


Brief Nerdity

Friday afternoon my work-wife, Rachel, preparing to take her lunch break, asked me how I was planning to spend Christmas. I told her I had a date with a 6-pack of high quality beer and some Doctor Who.

‘You are so strange,’ she shook her head slowly.

‘Strange?’ I was mystified. ‘Matt Smith is going to regenerate into Peter Capaldi! That’s a cultural imperative! It’s compulsory!’

‘You know that nobody else watches the weird things you watch,’ she said. ‘That’s why you’re still single.’

‘No,’ I countered. ‘There are a lot of reasons I’m single, or so I’m lead to believe by the other women I know, but watching Doctor Who is certainly not one of them. At least not that I’m aware of.’

Just then a middle aged couple approached our work area, enquiring as to the location of the spray paints. I directed them to the aisle and asked what sort of project they were working on. The woman looked slightly embarrassed and waved a hand absently in the air.

‘Oh it’s just a bookcase for our daughter,’ she laughed. ‘A surprise gift for Christmas.’

‘It’s got to be the right blue colour,’ added her husband, staring at his iPhone screen. ‘But we’re not sure which one to pick.’

‘Unfortunately,’ I told them, ‘you’re going to be limited to a fairly small amount of choices in the spray paint.’

‘Oh no, the woman said. ‘The spray paint is for the sign above the door.’

‘I see.’

‘It’s silly, really.’ The woman laughed nervously. ‘We’re building something from a TV programme and it has to be very specific.’

I tilted my head. ‘You’re building a TARDIS.’

The woman’s eyes flew open and her husband looked up from his cell phone. ‘How did you know?’ he asked.

‘Sign above the door made out of Perspex, box a specific shade of blue,’ I explained. ‘All seems very Doctor Who to me.’

‘Oh, thank god!’ the woman laughed. ‘I thought I was going to sound like an idiot if I had to explain it.’

‘I don’t suppose you know the right colour blue,’ the husband asked.

‘Pantone 2955c,’ I said.

They looked at each other and then back at me. I thought the woman was about to cry. ‘I’m so glad we met you!’

For the better part of the next hour, the couple and I pored over details of the TARDIS, both exterior and interior, once they’d determined that it was Matt Smith’s TARDIS they wanted to replicate. We discussed the 50th anniversary episode, the film An Adventure in Space and Time, the surprise of seeing John Hurt as a previously unknown Doctor, the anticipation of the Christmas special and the regeneration, all whilst picking colour selections from our samples and matching them to images brought up on our individual cell phones.

As they left, Rachel was just returning to the desk from her lunch break.

‘You just got done helping them?’ she baulked, as if the very notion of spending more than 5 minutes with a customer was unheard of.

‘Yep,’ I said. ‘We had to pick out TARDIS colours.’

‘Tar-what colours?’

‘They were Doctor Who fans and wanted to build a TARDIS bookcase.’

‘I have no idea what the hell you’re even talking about right now,’ she said.

‘And that’s how I win.’