Daily Archives: May 24, 2015

BQB and the Meaning of Life – Part 10 – Sell Out

PREVIOUSLY ON BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER AND THE MEANING OF LIFE…

BQB croaked on the can due to an explosion of lightning from his nether regions.  In death, he met Shakespeare, who urged him to seek out the meaning of life.  Mini versions of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson hop out of one of the mystery books on BQB’s magic shelf and offer their assistance.

READ PARTS 1-5

PART 6 – BQB wakes up in the hospital.

PART 7 – Characters apologize.

PART 8 – More characters check on BQB

PART 9 – Holmes offers to solve “The Case of the Missing Bookshelf Caretaker’s Testicles”

“You guys have two seconds to beat feat out of here before I swat you both with a rolled up newspaper,” I said.

Ignoring me, Holmes paced up and down my kitchen table.

Holmes is on the case.

Holmes is on the case.

“Take copious notes, Watson!”

Watson pulled out a notepad and a pen and proceeded to write down every word the great detective uttered.

“The victim?” Holmes said. “One Bookshelf Q. Battler…caretaker of a magic bookshelf upon which the inhabitants of various volumes of lore come to life and proceed to attack one another over limited shelf space.”

“Limited…shelf…space,” Watson repeated as he took the words down.

“The pilfered prize?” Holmes continued. “One pair of testicles.”

“That’s absurd Holmes,” Watson said. “Any novice medical student would tell you that Mr. Bookshelf would be in more pain than he is now if someone lobbed off his…”

“Spiritual testicles, Watson!” Holmes said. “I’m referring to that force, that drive, that blind ambition that we saw brewing in Bookshelf Q. Battler’s heart ten years ago. It was a fire burning bright in his belly that made him zealously pursue his dream of becoming a writer. Where, oh where, has that fire gone?”

“Just trying to eat my corn flakes here, guys,” I said.

Holmes smoked his pipe and appeared to be lost in thought. His eyes widened as he pointed at a picture hanging on the wall behind me.

“Aha!”

“What is it, Holmes?” Watson asked.

“By Jove, I’ve discovered a clue!” Sherlock said.

“Explain yourself, Holmes,” Watson said. “We’ll need detailed records for our files.”

Holmes picked up tempo as he paced back and forth.

“Ten years ago, our illustrious caretaker was a man full of great gusto! A man of vim and vigor!” Holmes said. “Remind us, Mr. Bookshelf, where did you work ten years ago?”

“The Encyclopedia Factory,” I replied.

“And you enjoyed your occupation as an Encyclopedia scribe, did you not?”

BQB once held an entry level position as a writer for the Encyclopedia Factory, but became a sell out and joined the business world.

BQB once held an entry level position as a writer for the Encyclopedia Factory, but became a sell out and joined the business world.

It was too early in the morning to be getting the third degree from a diminutive detective, but I complied.

“I loved it,” I said.

“Tell me man,” Holmes said, staring up at me through a magnifying glass. “Why?”

“My job was to write articles about all the great happenings of the world,” I said. “I loved to write. They paid me to do what I loved.”

“And yet you quit!” Holmes said. “Explain!”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Liar!” Holmes shouted, pointing an accusatory finger my way. “Fibber! Deceiver! You know why you quit the job that brought joy to your heart! Tell us! Tell us why!”

Flustered from the third degree, I choked on my corn flakes. I put down my spoon and raised my palms toward the little man, making the universal “back off” gesture.

“It just wasn’t working out,” I said.

“May I remind you that you are under oath?!” Holmes yelled.

“I’m not under oath,” I replied.

“He’s not under oath, Holmes,” Watson interjected.

“Isn’t it true that you quit the job you loved because of that woman right there?!” Holmes asked, pointing at a photo of a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed goddess hanging on the wall behind me. “Didn’t you leave your beloved writing career because your ex-girlfriend, one Ms. Bland Life Settler, did not approve?!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I replied.

“And why do you still keep her likeness hanging up on the wall?” Holmes asked. “Have some dignity, man! It’s been a decade since she cast you aside like a barrel of stale figgy pudding!”

“Quite right,” Watson added. “Not to interfere in your affairs, Mr. Bookshelf, but to keep her picture is a tad unhealthy.”

“Guys, I’m reaching my limit here,” I said.

“Watson!” Holmes said. “Take us back ten years ago! Take us all the way back to the day when Mr. Bookshelf’s old flame ripped out his heart and pierced it with a stiletto heel tip!”

“One moment,” Watson said. The doctor licked his finger tips and thumbed through the pages of his notebook. “I’ll find it.”

“You guys have notes about stuff that happened to me ten years ago?” I asked.

“I make Watson keep notes of all activities that transpire in this residence!” Holmes proclaimed. “One never knows when the most seemingly insignificant detail might evolve into a case cracking clue!”

“Ah!” Watson said. “I’ve found it!”

“Read it back to us, Watson.”

“Indubitably, Holmes,” Watson replied.

Feeling defeated, I rested my chin in the palms of my hands as I listened to the voice of a tiny British doctor rehashing one of the worst days of my life.

“In the year of our lord, two-thousand and five at precisely ten o’clock in the evening. Present one Mr. Bookshelf Q. Battler. Present one Ms. Bland Life Settler.”

“OK Sherlock,” I said. “I get the point.”

“Read on, Watson!”

Statement from Bookshelf Q. Battler: No, baby, please, please do not leave me.

Reply from Ms. Settler – I am tired of wasting my life on a loser like you, BQB! I am not going to spend one more minute with a man who lives in a fantasy world! What kind of a man sits around reading books and writing stories all day? I want a real man! A doer! A provider!  A man who doesn’t day dream all the time with his head stuck in the clouds! We’re through!

BQB's ex-girlfriend, Blandie.  Actual photo he keeps hanging on his wall in the Bookshelf Battle Compound.

BQB’s ex-girlfriend, Blandie. Actual photo he keeps hanging on his wall in the Bookshelf Battle Compound.

I’d tried so hard to forgot those words, and yet there he was, a miniscule physician reading them back to me with perfect British pronunciation.

“And then Ms. Settler goes on to denigrate Mr. Bookshelf’s skills in the boudoir and so on,” Watson said.

“Read on, Watson!” Holmes said. “We need a full picture of the puzzle at hand!”

“No!” I said. “No. Fine. You got me. I quit my job as a writer at the Encyclopedia Factory because of her.”

“A confession!” Holmes said. “Splendid!”

“It was the right thing to do,” I said. “I enjoyed the job, but it paid hardly anything. I was barely scraping by.”

“And so what did you do next?” Holmes asked.

“I went to business school,” I said. “Got an MBA. Got an executive level job.”

“Really?” Holmes asked. “You really refer to what you do as ‘executive level?’”

“I’m an assistant,” I said.

Holmes glared at me with great disapproval.

“Fine,” I said. “I’m an assistant to the assistant of the vice-president in charge of corporate assistance at Beige Corp, the world’s premiere producer of beige colored products and accessories.”

“And this position pays?” Holmes inquired.

“About fifty cents more an hour than what I made at the Encyclopedia Factory,” I said.

“Where you were happy,” Holmes pointed out.

“Yes,” I replied.

“And you were at least working as a paid writer, or in other words, working in the industry you actually longed to be a part of?” Holmes asked.

“Yes.”

“And you gave that up on the theory that entering the business world turn you into a man of great wealth, one who could perhaps one day win back the heart of Ms. Bland Life Settler?”

“Maybe…”

“Speak the truth, man!”

“Yes,” I replied.

“So to recap,” Holmes said. “You gave up a dream you held in your heart to pursue an occupation you hold little interest in on the pretense that doing so would turn you into a man of great means and then you would convince a woman who broke your heart to love you again?”

A voice from the other side of the table startled me. Completely unnoticed, The Incorrigible Monroe had managed to make his way onto the kitchen table. He was nibbling on a cornflake he’d snatched from my bowl and reading the newspaper that he was sitting on.

“I don’t know what these gum shoes are going on about, Young Duffer,” Monroe said. “That plan sound’s like the cat’s pajamas to yours truly.”

Umm…BQB?  Ten posts in and you’ve left to leave the compound?  Oh well, check back next time on BQB and the Meaning of Life!

Copyright (C) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved.  

(I’m sorry, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I’m really sorry.)

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Ask the Alien – Is Hollywood Capturing What Aliens Really Look Like?

By:  Alien Jones, Intergalactic Correspondent

Greetings Earth Losers!

Alien Jones here once again to educate humanity’s masses and help you help yourselves.

This week, avid Bookshelf Battle Blog Reader “Sledpress” has consulted my genius brain thusly:

“But I WANT to see “Flatulence Intervention!” One of my string of weird ex’es needs it…

On the other hand, I’ve been meaning to ask AJ whether a majority of aliens have weirdly wrinkled and shiny leathery skin, or if it’s just that somewhere in Hollywood there are warehouses full of unused Naugahyde that they have to work off.”

Flatulence Intervention is just one of the many reality television programs that my Supreme Overlord, the Mighty Potentate wants off Earth airwaves before it offends his eye receptacles on our home planet, the name of which I’m not allowed to tell you as His Royal Pontentositude fears Hollywood suits will spend copious amounts of Earth money to unlock intergalactic travel for humanity for the sole purpose of peddling reality TV to our home world.

Other Reality TV programs that offend His Epic Potentosity:

DJ Jazzy Jones

DJ Jazzy Jones

  • Nuns with Hangovers
  • Name that Smell
  • Legendary Rock Star Becomes Old, Forgetful and Hilarious
  • America’s Next Top Barbershop Quartet
  • Fishing with Fred (That’s pretty much the whole show.  Fred goes fishing.)

Anyway, Sledpress basically wants to know if Hollywood is doing a good job of capturing what aliens look like.

Well, yes and no.

With their limited imaginations, humans conceive of the concept that there are worlds where beings look vastly different than what they are used to.

For example, renowned science fiction director James Cameron provided your world with the grotesque and hideously scary “Aliens” in the Alien movies.

Years later, he tried to make a fictional species that appeared beautiful in 2009’s Avatar but the effort fell flat and he basically just produced a race of half-man/half-smurfs.

(Seriously, everyone and their Uncle opined that damn movie was going to be the best thing since sliced bread but you haven’t watched it again since you saw it in the theater have you?)

Where Cameron gets it right is this:  there are some alien species that you humans, based on your own concepts of beauty, would find attractive or disgusting.

However, keep in mind that beauty or ugliness is in the eye of the beholder.

Some beings would never be attracted to beings with “wrinkly naugahyde skin.”  Others won’t go anywhere near a being who doesn’t have it.

It’s a diverse universe out there and every alien has their own preconceived notions of what is and is not appealing.

Personally, I’m glad that my species has developed cloning and outgrown the need for procreation, as that’s a whole rat race that isn’t worth it.  My government mandated life mate and I get along because the Mighty Potentate demands that we do so and that’s all this being needs to know.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle Blog, on a mission to raise Earth’s collective intelligence levels one question at a time. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle on Twitter, leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com, or stop by Bookshelf Battle on Google Plus. If he likes your question, he might even promote your book, blog, other project in his answer.

Alien image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Movie Review – Hot Pursuit (2015)

Reese Witherspoon is short!  Sofia Vergara’s accent is hilarious!

This movie is dumb!

Bookshelf Q. Battler here with a review of a movie so goofy that even the pimply faced teenaged usher asked “Really?” when he ripped the ticket I bought for it.

SPOILERS (if such a concept is possible for a movie like this) AHEAD.

“This is the performance of a lifetime!”

And thus, with a quip said without a straight face during the ending credits blooper reel, Witherspoon totally negates any ability for this reviewer to bust on the film.

This is a throwaway movie, one designed to make you chuckle, something you can check out when you’re bored but not feeling up to the emotional rigamarole of a heavy drama.  I know it, you know it and even the lead actress knows it: don’t take this flick too seriously.

It’s a mild comedy – not so lame that you won’t laugh yet not so raunchy that Grandma can’t enjoy it.  In fact, Aunt Gertie opined that it was a hoot and a half.

(I only brought her because she paid for the popcorn.  My blog stats took a major hit while she was watching this damn thing.)

The setup?  Vergara is the wife of a drug cartel informant who’s agreed to testify against his boss. Witherspoon, a police officer who’s been riding the pine in the evidence lock-up ever since an unfortunate mistake on the job tarnished her reputation, is selected to accompany a U.S. Marshall in transporting the couple to Dallas.

Shots are fired, foul play ensues, and the film turns into a mad cap buddy comedy/road trip romp as it’s up to Witherspoon to get Vergara to safety.

It’s a downgrade for Witherspoon, who we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in acclaimed dramas like the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line or the more recent Cheryl Strayed inspired film Wild.

Arguably, it’s an upgrade for Vergara, as this marks her first top billing in a major feature film.  And while this is a movie I’m not going to rush to watch again anytime soon, there were a few moments where Vergara shines, thus making it known to Hollywood that she has more to offer the world than a pair of miraculous bosoms and a funny accent.

Speaking of Vergara’s signature accent, the film even busts on that in an ironic manner.  Witherspoon uses a heavy Southern accent and at times both characters claim to not be able to understand each other.

I saw this movie so you won’t have to, 3.5 readers.  No thanks necessary.

STATUS:  Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to rush out to the theater to take it in either.  Might be worth a rental.  Might even be the movie that allows Vergara to branch out and take on heavier roles.  Alas, doesn’t earn a coveted spot on the magic shelf.

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BQB and the Meaning of Life – Part 9 – The Game is Afoot!

PREVIOUSLY ON BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER AND THE MEANING OF LIFE…

BQB dies, is told he needs to seek the meaning of life, and returns to the land of the living.

READ PARTS 1-5

PART 6 – BQB wakes up in the hospital.  Dr. Goetleib lost the bet.

PART 7 – Two characters apologize for their tomfoolery.

PART 8 – BQB thinks about calling on Joel LL Torrow’s pimp hand.

Corn flakes. They weren’t gooey. They weren’t fruity. They weren’t warm. They just sat there like a boring pile of mush, a grim reminder of what my life had become.

Three days had passed since the “lightning strike.” I sat in my kitchen, propped up on my butt donut, eating an unremarkable breakfast. I was too scared to even look at another toaster pastry.

From the stairwell, I heard some dog barks, followed by two distinctly British voices.

“Step lively, canine!” one of the voices yelled. “The game is afoot!”

Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's infamous detective.

Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous detective.

“Holmes, I don’t believe that Mr. Bookshelf wishes to be disturbed,” the other voice said. “It is my opinion as a professional physician that he needs to rest.”

“Nonsense, Watson!” the first voice said. “Trying times such as these are when our assistance is needed the most!”

I ate a spoonful of corn flakes and watched as my pet, the aptly named Bookshelf Q. Battle Dog, trotted into the kitchen. Riding on his back were none other than notorious super sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his colleague, the wise and knowledgeable Dr. John Watson. (Tiny versions of their literary selves, obviously).

Among his many duties, Bookshelf Q. Battle Dog was the head of Bookshelf Battle Headquarters Security. He was one of those little yippy purse dogs, so he was more than qualified to bark his head off whenever a visitor came a-calling.

He jumped up onto the chair next to me, dropped his passengers off onto the table, then took a nap on the chair.

“Bookshelf Q. Battler!” Holmes said. “How are you man?”

“Oh,” I said. “For a guy who recently launched a lightning bolt out of my nether regions, I can’t complain.”

Dr. Watson in his younger days, before he grew a stache.

Dr. Watson in his younger days, before he grew a mustache.

Watson stroked his chin and stared at me.

“Signs of lethargy,” the good doctor said. “Depression. An intense pallor of ennui. I stand corrected, Holmes. You were right. The caretaker of our bookshelf requires assistance posthaste.”

“Elementary, my dear Watson,” Sherlock said. “Elementary.”

Holmes wore a cloak and one of those odd hats, you know, the ones that look like two baseball caps sewn together back to back. Watson had a handlebar mustache, a bowler hat, and wore a tweed jacket with patches on the elbows.

“You know guys,” I said. “I get that I’m saddled with the burden of taking care of a bunch of small book characters for the rest of my life, but I’d really appreciate it if you all would make an effort to not get in my face before I’ve had my morning coffee.”

Holmes puffed on a pipe, blew a few smoke rings, then raised a triumphant finger in the air.

“Watson!”

“Yes Holmes?”

“We’ve defeated Professor Moriarty, haven’t we?” the world’s greatest detective asked.

“Indeed, Holmes.”

“Colonel Moran?” Holmes asked.

“Most assuredly.”

“We solved the case of the Hound of the Baskervilles?”

“A most troublesome caper,” Watson replied. “But we certainly did solve it.”

“How many times have we saved Old Brittania from certain ruin at the hands of various and sundry villainous masterminds?” Holmes asked.

“More times than this old sawbones can count, Holmes,” Watson said.

“And yet, with my powers of deduction, I do postulate that we will now solve the most inscrutable, most diabolical, most grueling case we have heretofore ever encountered!”

“What is it, Holmes?”

Holmes spun around and looked directly up at me through the lens of his magnifying glass.

“The Case of the Missing Bookshelf Caretaker’s Testicles!”

Will Holmes and Watson discover what happened to BQB’s testicles?  Return to bookshelfbattle.com for the next installment of this epic tale to find out!

Copyright (C) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved. 

Fun fact – As reported in Variety and other news sources, Sherlock Holmes is so old that he’s in the public domain!  That means he can be used anywhere and I’m sure Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be doing backflips in his grave if he were to ever learn about his appearance on this blog.

Even so, while Holmes and Watson may belong to the ages now, we’ll never forget that he is Sir Arthur’s legendary creation.

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