Ghost Driver Returns

It has been really hard to trust anybody, ever since Ghost Cow betrayed me during a rally for the Auto King. That was six months ago now, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly recover. Ghost Car has stayed by my side ever since, helping nurse me back to full health, but unfortunately, a lot of the damage is mental, and spiritual, seeing as I am a ghost.

At first, I had to go through extensive physiotherapy just to be able to walk again, aided by a medical professional who is an expert in that field. It’s just a shame that I can’t remember what kind of doctor works in the field of physiotherapy. Anyway, after that, I was able to walk, although weakly. Ever since, I’ve been slowly getting my strength back.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy near Melbourne has been helping with that. I was sceptical at first, but it’s actually been amazing in helping with my recovery. I was going to the hyperbaric clinic at first, but then I found out that you can actually get portable hyperbaric chambers. That changed everything, as I’ve been able to recover from home. I actually spend most of my time in the hyperbaric chamber, as it helps keep me calm.

I think using a hyperbaric chamber is something everyone should try at least once. Because of them, I think I’m almost strong enough to face the real world again. Ghost Car and I need to find out where Ghost Cow has gone and bring him to justice. We trusted him, more than anyone else, and he stabbed me in the back for it. Literally. That’s not okay.

I intend to find out why he betrayed us, firstly. And then I’m going to make sure he can never do that again to anyone else. I don’t know what Ghost Cow is planning, but we need to stop him, whatever it takes.

 

– Ghost Driver

Settled in Ringwood

I can’t believe I have been living in Ringwood for a year now. It has gone so quickly. I feel like I’ve seen so much of this town and yet so little of it. I’ve made lots of friends, yet I barely know anyone, when you consider how many people live here. I maybe know fifty people in Ringwood well, but the town has a population of over 17,000. That’s a lot of people! 

I’ve always lived in this area, having grown up in a house in Mitcham, but I decided to move to Ringwood for a bit of a fresh start. I performed my first log book service in the Mitcham area, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s the town I grew up in. I went to school there. I had my first date there. So many memories. But I needed a clean break. I had to move on from my childhood.

Inspired by a good mechanic around Ringwood that once serviced my car, I started working in that part of town, helping people with their car repair issues. It’s a fulfilling job, and I get to meet all sorts of interesting characters. Some are so colourful, so full of life. I have heard so many stories from the people I have met. I don’t think I would have had these experiences in Mitcham, so I’m glad I moved out. I really do like it so much more in Ringwood. Mitcham was a good place to grow up, but Ringwood feels more like a place where you can establish yourself, setting up for the rest of your life.

My parents wonder why I don’t want to move back to Mitcham. They’re in love with the place. They can’t see anything wrong with it and always ask why I moved away. It’s not like I moved interstate or anything. I’m ten minutes away from them! And there isn’t anything wrong with Mitcham, not really, but it wasn’t the place where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I’m glad I made the decision to move. I’m settled in Ringwood now, and that’s just the way I like it.

The White Rock

It’s getting really cold in here. Did I turn the air conditioner on without realising it? The temperature feels like it has been dropping ever since I found that glowing white rock in the freezer. Now it’s so, so cold. I think my fingertips are about to fall off.

Oh no, I just looked at my hands and it seems I don’t actually have fingertips. All I have are bones, except they’re not bones. They’re just plastic. What is going on?

If my house is turning into an ice rink or a winter wonderland, is there much point in going through designs for the kitchen replacement I’ve been planning? That is why I came on the computer in the first place, I think. I can’t really remember anymore, honestly. All I know is that my flesh is gone and I now have a gold crown on my head with a ruby in it. Oh my goodness, am I turning into the Snow King from that cartoon, Quest Time?

Who is the Snow King? I don’t remember anymore. It seems I used to know of him, but that memory has slipped away as the room freezes over and my body starts to actually adjust.

What happened to me? My daughter wanted an ice cream from the freezer, didn’t she? I went into the kitchen and thought that I really needed to hire some kitchen designers near Melbourne to help me out, to make the place feel fresh again. And then I opened the freezer, and I saw the white rock inside. I touched it, and that’s all I can remember.

Why am I writing this? Why am I sitting at this computer? I feel like I should be doing something. Something like using my new ice powers to build an ice fortress. Maybe like the one in Cold, about the princess who gets ice powers. My daughter will love that.

Now, what was I talking about, again? Oh, that’s right, renovations. Yes, I wanted to get some renovations for my kitchen, didn’t I?

– Cold Karen

Next Top Ruin

Space Wizard and I immediately flew back to Sweden, Victoria, where Australia’s Next Top Office was being filmed. As we got a view from the air, however, we did not see the artificial town we had left behind. Instead, all we saw was a smouldering ruin.

“Who could have done this?” I asked as we approached the ground. “I bet it was Archerak, that evil creature.”

Space Wizard seemed somewhat pale, in spite of his naturally-purple complexion. We touched the solid ground and began walking through the ruins. Whoever had destroyed this place was incredibly powerful. What did they have against commercial design for the Melbourne area? How were we supposed to build the greatest ever offices without the set?

Sweden was lifeless. Not a soul, whether human or otherwise, reared its head. As we walked through the rubble, an idea struck me. “Let’s go to the director’s building,” I said. “Maybe we can check the security tapes.”

We made our way there, avoiding the large chunks of rock along the ground. Space Wizard was completely silent as I pushed through the debris to reach the production team’s street. The director’s building wasn’t too far away, and soon enough we were shoving open the doors to get inside.

On the second floor was a room with dozens of television screens, many of which had been broken. There, I assumed, the crew had been watching us complete challenges, building up to the grand finale, where we would eventually do a total office interior fitout. Melbourne fans of the show would have gone crazy for it. Now, unfortunately, they’ll never know who would have won ANTO season two.

I found the security footage and rewound back to several hours before. In the sky I spotted a man shooting lasers from his eyes, destroying the town of Sweden. I zoomed in and enhanced it twice. As the picture became clearer, a chill raced along my back. It couldn’t be.

I turned around and looked at Space Wizard. “It was you?”

Too Many Cooks…

I’m thinking the mission has too many mechanics. And I’m not just saying that because I already have a solid role in our new Lunar Kingdom, but it’s true: every single person who’s even hinted that they’ve worked on cars has been given a spot because of their mechanical expertise, and because of all the moon rovers we’ll be needing to get around.

Let’s all just put things in neutral for a second…we NEED people on the ground. What would happen if all of companies that offer car servicing near Bendigo suddenly up and left to the moon? Not only would the people of Bendigo not have anyone to fix their cars and provide servicing, but they wouldn’t be able to hear the word of the moon. Folks need to stay here, to spread the good news, point people to the moon and say “that’s where the new Lunar Kingdom will be. You can’t go there; no one but the elite can. But I’ll tell you all about it, and you can look. Won’t that be lovely?”

And of course, we need some very good mechanics. All sorts of moon-related mechanic work to do up there, so quality is going to be necessary. Imagine what’ll happen if there’s a head-on collision and the low gravity makes people fly hundreds of feet into the air and then land in a crater? Such unique situations, and we need people equipped to deal with them. And the air conditioning! Think of the radiation from the sun, and then tell me we don’t need skilled, experts in aircon regassing. Bendigo may be slightly depleted when we launch, especially if we take advantage of their robust space programme. But I’m okay with that. Because I’m going to the moon, and I have other stuff to worry about, sorry.

Don’t Play With Ovens…

The newest internet sensation hit: tea parties inside ovens. I’m not making this up, sadly, although one small caveat is that the ovens are never actually on. The ‘Oven Tea Party’ trend is taking the internet by storm and it’s just the worst. I first heard about it on the news last night and now people are posing Visage-Tome videos of it everywhere, and I just want to throw down my phone and yell that they shouldn’t be finding commercial ovens, climbing inside and pretending that they’re having a tea party. Oven are for cooking, and people climbing around inside them- some of them with shoes on- is a serious health risk. It goes against all hygiene rules, for one thing. I don’t want to go to a restaurant where people have been inside the oven, taking photos and having too much of a good time with a piece of serious equipment.

Teenagers will do anything. Remember the Tea Tray Challenge? That one where people had to slide down some stairs on a tea tray and film it, and then people got injured because they chose absolutely massive flights of stairs but no one really cared. Now it’s happening all over again. And remember when the Tea Tray Challenge mutated and people were sliding down all sorts of inclines, on all sorts of impractical things? Now people are abusing OTHER pieces of commercial kitchen equipment. Someone posted a picture of their child sitting in a commercial wok burner having a tea party with their teddy bears; again, super unhygienic. There was that girl with the charcoal grill, the blatant misuse of the pasta maker, and I just can’t stand it anymore. Slide down stairs all you like, but this is food and sanitation we’re talking about here. Commercial kitchen equipment is not a toy! Viral trends really ARE just the worst…I dread whatever comes next.

Why Not Decorative Glass

Is it at all possible to get frosted window glass for your car? I know that’s incredibly dangerous and blocks your view of the road entirely, and thus will probably turn your entire vehicle into a massive paperweight by all road standards and laws, but…wow, what a paperweight! I shouldn’t be so obsessed with looking different, but everyone has cars, so…I need to stand out.

I already got decorative window glass for my desk at work. Everyone else has a normal desk, and I just had to get one made of glass, decorative window glass no less. I tried to make the office absolutely fabulous, but the boss said that my habit of decorating everything made the place look unprofessional. Maybe that’s why the put my desk at the very back, so none of the visitors will see it.

In short, life is hard for an auteur such as myself. I see something as simple as window glass and I want to make it look even more wonderful. That’s why I’ve decorated all of my binders with stickers, and I spent four hours the other day getting my desktop background just perfect. Thought I had it with a picture of the Bavarian Alps surrounded by all my desktop icons in the shape of a beautiful Japanese manji, but then I saw this gorgeous shot of the National University, and I suddenly thought ‘why can’t my icons be arranged in an octopus shape, to honour the creature’s great intelligence and strength?’, and that took a while.

Oh, you know what’s gorgeous? Office glass tinting. So chic, so IN, so very functional to keep the sun out in the summer months. I’m going to work to make it happen. If I can’t get pineapples stuck all over the place, I can at least do this.

-Amaira

Kids and Orthotics

Wow, children sure have a lot going on. Is this a new thing? Maybe my memory is just fuzzy about my own childhood, but I remember mostly just living through the whole thing without incident. Like, maybe I pulled a girl’s hair once? There was a sports day at some stage, because I lost the egg and spoon race and I threw the egg at the boy who won and he got egg all over his face. That was a good day.

Otherwise, I got nothing much of anything. And then I babysit my niece and it’s like wow, cylinders. Cylinders firing. She has way more going on than me. The last thing her Mum said was asking me to head around the corner after school so we could get some children’s orthotics fitted in Cheltenham. Wasn’t sure I heard that correctly, but yeah. Lydia does indeed need orthotics, for children, because she’s on the school sprinting team at the age of seven. They train three times a week, which is good because she goes to an advanced maths class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we’d hate for anything to clash.

At the age of seven. Professionally-fitted orthotics, from a reputable podiatrist; just thought I’d make that very clear. At first I thought this was one of those proud parent things. You know, with the parents thinking their child was a little prodigy and pushing them into all this stuff, and the child goes along with it because their Mum said so or whatever. But Min and Rob are so chilled, and when I asked they said that Lydia chose all this stuff by herself.

In fact, the whole reason she needs custom orthotics fitted in a Cheltenham clinic is because she goes out to the field behind the house every day to train and her shoes were getting old. So…children are now bionic little androids with infinite energy and drive. Truly, the new generation will be surpassing this one. Suppose that’s fine.

Adults Just Want to Have Fun as Well

Great, so first I miss out on Doctor Muller, the greatest alternative medical specialist the world has ever known, and now I’m told that I’m too old for a play centre birthday party. When did society’s ageism get so disgustingly pronounced that a grown man of 26 cannot be allowed onto climbing frames that are built for far, far younger people? I just want to climb! I want to dive in a ball pit and relive my youth!

This is Class-A discrimination, and I don’t even know if discrimination as classes, but if it is, it’s class A. It does NOT help that the birthday party venues in Bundoora are just so darn enticing. I had to take my niece to one the other day because my brother and my sister-in-law just had to come down with a bout of armadillo flu…and okay, that was harsh. We may have eradicated armadillo flu deaths almost entirely since the dawn of the 21st century, but it’s still a major killer in third-world countries.

But they got the flu, I took Hattie to this awesome birthday party venue, and what did I do? I sat there making small talk with the parents, and not even the good kind of small talk. Because apparently it’d be ‘weird’ if I went and dived down the elephant slide headfirst alongside all the other party goers.

Class-A. I’m going to go home today and research if that’s a real thing, and after that, I’m going to find a birthday party venue that has climbing frames that can support the weight of a fully-grown man, because I have need to be met, and those needs involve climbing frames and pretending that I’m a space pirate explorer.

And if I did manage to hire out a kids party venue near Bundoora, it’d be an adults-only party, for safety and all that. But…oh. Wait, does that make ME ageist? What have I become…?

-Seph

How Hairdressing Split a Community

OH. MY. CURLERS.

Now THAT is what I call a slam-bang quarter-season finale! I thought they’d nailed it in season sixty-seven when Marlene returned from her quest to save the quokka population from an evil oil baron who wanted to build a supermarket over their only remaining sacred burial ground, but THIS was even better!

Got to admit, I didn’t see Velma coming out with that business plan of hers. We’ve known for years that Velma is totally obsessed with her looks, ever since she had that psychotic breakdown where she tried to destroy ever mirror in the entire town because she thought that her reflections were talking trash behind her back. Now she’s visited a hair salon in the middle of Melbourne and seen how much more professional they are than in Realsville, she’s on a one-woman-crusade to establish a fine hair salon of a Melbourne standard, right there in town.

Of course, Judith runs the only salon in town, and she only knows how to do about six types of hair, four of which went out of style in the sixties. Still, Judith is approaching her 96th birthday, so everyone has just been humouring her and traveling elsewhere for their real hair salon needs. This new plan of Velma’s is a direct challenge to Judith’s monopoly, so the two are now at loggerheads, and old grudges are coming out of the woodwork. Judith is now trapped in an immersive flashback to 1962, when she was watching the South Melbourne hairdressing guild setting up and putting her family’s artisan home hair salon out of business, even though it was actually down to her father’s alcoholism and her mother’s obsession with experimental mousse.

So THAT’S all happening. Now there are two mobs converging in the streets, with torches and everything. All over one little hair salon. Weird, that…