The Bookworm Pills

Not terribly long ago, The Bookish Elf posted a picture on Instagram called The Bookworm Pills. It asked the audience to choose any two of the pills, such as the amnesia pill which allows you to re-read a book as if it was the first time you read it.

My first instinct was to go with the travel and body pills. These allow you to visit any fictional world and to change bodies with any fictional character. I then realized why would I need to travel to that fictional world if I’d changed bodies with the fictional character? Wouldn’t I already be in that world?

I also started wondering how long do the pills last? Is it forever or just 24 hours? If it’s 24 hours then the amnesia pill is useless. I don’t want to be reading a book and then a couple chapters in go, “Oh yeah, it was the butler.” (Though there are some books I would like to forget reading.)

And the travel pill would be pointless in some cases. A lot of people wanted to travel to Hogworts. But, the pill doesn’t make you a wizard; you’d be a Muggle and they wouldn’t let you in.

Another popular choice seemed to be the life pill, which can bring a fictional character into the real world. The thing is it doesn’t make the person (or whatever) like you. If you could summon say Gandalf, would he even hang out with you? And how many times have we seen shows where the main character encounters someone from another time or dimension? They spend all their time trying to keep the guest under control as they run around going, “What’s that?” and getting into trouble.

The last popular pill was the love pill; this pill makes a fictional character fall in love with you. Well, this is pretty useless unless you use the travel, life, or body pill. So, if you pick love pill, your next choice is pretty much chosen for you. And why would you pick the love pill if you could just pick the body pill and swap bodies with their love interest. For example, why pick the love pill in order to make Bella from Twilight fall in love with you when you can just use the body pill and become Edward? You’d have the girl, travel to the fictional world (and be accepted), and be the character. You’d also have one more pill to choose.

After some thought, I began to see that the sacrifice pill might be the best for one of the choices. What story doesn’t have some character (usually a side character) that you grow to care about only to have them killed at some point? Unfortunately, you can only use it once, or can you?

Source: The Bookish Elf

First, the picture shows the pills in groups of four. Does that mean you get four of the pill type you choose? For instance, you get four sacrifice pills and four love pills. Or is it just two, as in one sacrifice and one love pill? It’s probably the latter. However, that got me thinking. Why not do like in the Limitless movie and just get more made.

The directions say “take.” That can mean ingest or choose it and hold on to it. There is also no time limit in the rules; it doesn’t say you have to take it immediately. Why not use the body pill and switch with a character that lives in a world where strange science is normal?

I thought I could swap bodies with a comic book character, like Superman. In that world, they have all sorts of strange inventions and science. STAR Labs could maybe replicate another pill and make more. I could have the sacrifice pill replicated many times over and bring back Batman’s parents or Flash’s mom or more. Mwa-hahahaha!! Oh, wait, then I’d probably cause some Crisis event because all the dead were returning!! And then everything would be rebooted.

Hmmm…

Wait. It says “take two.” Doesn’t say it can’t be two of the same. So, I go to a fictional world, via the body pill, where they can recreate the pills and then I could just travel to other fictional worlds by changing bodies.

Wonder how I’d get back to the real world though?

Which two pills would you take? Let me know in the comments below.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


Join in the adventure as Joe and company deal with everything from waking up in the morning to stopping an alien invasion in the Christmas themed eBook Gift of the Minion. Releases Dec. 3. Preorder for $0.99, regular price $2.99.

TMNT Throwback Thursday

I was listening to some music from Spotify while exercising and it began playing the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song. It reminded me how when I was younger I thought they said, “When the evil Shredder of Tex,” instead of “When the evil Shredder attacks.” For a long time I wondered why the Ninja Turtles had such a problem with Texans.

This was almost as bad as when I thought the underworld door in The Real Ghostbusters animated series was saying, “Do not open until Tuesday,” instead of “Do not open until Doomsday.” I was terrified of Tuesdays for a long time.

Ah, youth, so many fond memories.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


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Salesman | Dogboy Reborn Side Quests

The villainous Glue laughed wildly within his hidden lair. “Ah-hahahah!! That fool Dogboy has taken the bait!” Glue twisted and squeezed his hands in excitement. “Soon he’ll be in my clutches. Now, what deathtrap should I use?”

Glue gazed over his wide collection of deadly machines. There was the giant mousetrap. There was the classic tank of sharks. “Maybe the Spinning Blades of Doom!” said Glue.

Bzzzzt!…Bzzztt!

“Oh, now what?” huffed the villain.

Glue stormed through his lair as the doorbell continued to buzz. Glue grumbled, “I’m coming. I’m coming.” He passed by gold statues of himself and walked under the 15 foot portraits of himself. He kidnapped the famous artist, Art with Sam, in order to commission them.

Glue flung the door open. “WHAT?!”

“Good evening, malicious sir,” said the man wearing a tweed overcoat and brimmed hat, which he tipped in greeting. “My name is Salesman. I am a lair-to-lair salesperson for the Omega Institute. Would you be interested in–”

“NO!”

SLAM!!

Glue followed his door slam with a door lock. He grumbled some more then turned. “GAH!” he yelped with a jump that made it look like he’d just seen a spider in his shower.

Salesman tipped his hat again.

“How’d you get in?” asked Glue.

The man held up a small black circle. “With the handy-dandy Portable Hole. You just stick this little beaut on any surface and voilà instant hole.” The man sat down his sale’s bag. With a click of the lock, he opened it and began riffling through it. “I’ve got boxing gloves on springs, acid spraying squirt flowers, gasses of all varieties; and of course, the ever popular freeze ray,” the man said, pulling the items out one by one.

Glue folded his arms. “Not interested.”

Salesman would not be deterred–his commission rested on getting a sale. “For the more modernist villain: I have swords that can slice an atom. I have bombs with misleading timers. I’ve got drones, spy cameras, and backdoor codes to various government databases.”

Glue let out an annoyed and warning sigh. Salesman either ignored him or didn’t hear him. Instead, he put a hand on Glue’s shoulder. “But, I can tell you are a…” He surveyed Glue’s black and orange containment suit. He could hear the sloshing of glue within. Without the suit, Glue would be a large glob of dried glue. “…uh, man of tradition. I’ve got cartoon bombs and sticks of dynamite…two for one.”

Glue groaned.

“How about some exploding pies?”

“What flavor?”

“Coconut creme.”

“Ew-yuck! I hate coconut creme. How about an ejector trap made to look like floor tiles?”

Salesman lifted his hat enough to scratch his head. He glanced down at his sale’s bag. “Gee, I don’t think so.”

Glue grunted a quick, dry laugh. “I do.” He tapped a button on his wrist computer panel.

SPOING!!

The spring loaded ejection title under Salesman launched him into the air and out through the hole in the roof–Glue had opened the roof; he didn’t want to clean up the mess.

“You’ll regret thiiiiiisss…” said the trailing voice of Salesman.

Glue closed the roof hatch then clasped his hands together. “Now…where was I?”


If you’d like more adventures starring Dogboy, check out the Joe Rover eBooks–available at many online retailers.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

Dogboy and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

Coding Hero | Dogboy Reborn Side Quest

Thanks to Brain’s contacts, he was able to get me a freelance job as a coder/tester for the Ultra Gaming Network. They were having trouble with their latest update.

“Please don’t ruin this with your usual hijinks,” Brain said.

“What hijinks?” I asked.

Brain crossed his arms. “What about two weeks ago when you destroyed a third of the Pineapple Inc. office building when you were helping them perfect their virtual theater software?”

“In my defense, Terabyte was trying to use the system to drain the minds of every person who watched the new Jason Chain movie.”

“Why would he do that?”

“Pfft. I gave up trying to figure out his motives a long time ago.” I stroked my chin for a moment. “However, the movie has been trending since the attack…”

***

The job was pretty slow going. There was a lot of code to sift through. No one could figure out why the game kept freezing anytime someone bought a bonus chest. Needless to say, Ultra Gaming Network was getting tired of irritated customers calling all day.

I removed my glasses and pinched my nose. My eyes were starting to feel like they were on fire.

Tick-tock, went the clock. Tick-tock.

Swipe, swipe, boop. Someone was sliding code blocks around either moving them to a separate area for testing or deleting them.

Tap, tap. Click, click. Tap, tap. Click, click. Another worker was busy adding new code blocks and setting up variables. A nearby phone went ba-ring!

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Ba-ring. Ba-ring. Swipe, swipe, boop. Tick-tock. Tap, tap, click, click. Tick-tock, tick-tock. Swipe, swipe, boop. Clack. Click. Clack, clack, click. Ba-ring. Ba-ring.

I started nodding my head to the various office noises.

Ba-ring. Tick-tock. Yawn. Scratch-scratch. Ba-ring. Ba-ring. Swipe, swipe, boop.

First, I started to hum along; then, I started to sing along:

Bytes and bits are in my head.

I need a doctor, put me to bed.

Pixels invade my waking space.

Get out! Get out of my face.

I don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

I don’t need to be a coding hero.

Slowly everyone turned towards me. One by one they started to bob their heads to the music.

Nodes and macros how do ya keep it straight?

Add a semicolon to keep it all right.

Push and pull make my eyes droop.

These functions got me in a loop.

One worker stood. The place went quiet for a moment. She then sang out:

I don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

I don’t need to be a coding hero.

Another quick round of silence reverberated through the office before a group joined in with a slow, almost operatic:

Fighting bugs is quite a drain.

If we see one more X then we’ll go insane.

Finally, all the workers sang out:

We don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

We don’t need to be a coding hero.

Everyone then moved into a line and began to slide, clap, and shrug their shoulders as I continued:

Our eyes are dry; our fingers crack.

This pain in our neck won’t go away.

Binomials on the attack.

And bugs hold their sway.

We’re simply out of luck!

Everyone:

We don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

We don’t need to be a coding hero.

Me:

Blink your eyes and it’s all gone.

You’re obsolete, you’re time is done.

All that training is over now.

Someone added blocks, oh wow!

Best catch up or be left in dust;

Is this C Plus or just some rust?

Everyone:

We don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

We don’t need to be a coding hero.

Out of nowhere a voice rang out, “ENOUGH!” We stopped with our arms still in the air. It seemed as if even the clock stopped. The boss glared us down. “How dare you?!” she said tapping her foot. She faced each of us, her eyes piecing and fierce. “How dare you do a musical number and not be recording it for MyVideo? Now, let’s do this right, people!”

Everyone–once the recording equipment was set up–sang in a cheerful, end-of-musical-tone:

We’re gonna do this right!

This game is out of sight!

Even though it causes strife,

Coding is our birth, our life.

We don’t need to be a one or zero.

Because we’re all a coding hero.


Alone (eBook only) is on sale for $0.99 until Sept. 3, 2019. Buy now and join in the urban fantasy adventure.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

Dogboy and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

Fort 51 | Wizard of New Town Side Quest

This Area 51 raid trend offers so many ideas.

Max stared deeply into the clothing store window display. He debated on if he should use the magic dust on a new outfit or not. His current clothes, his soccer jersey from the present, was starting to…well, smell. He’d worn it ever since he’d been transported from the modern age to this magical Dark Ages. 

Maybe I’ll fit in more, he thought.  The I’m-a-wizard-so-I-can-dress-funny excuse won’t hold forever. He glanced over at Aleya, who was busy bartering for some food. She brushed away some of her long, black hair revealing her pointed elf ears.  Women don’t like a man who smells like rotting fish.

Suddenly, Ryan slapped Max on the back. “I got us a lead on a bounty. Two hundred pounds of magic dust to capture Rickets Ron.”

“How’d he get that name?”

“You don’t want to know.”

Aleya returned from her food bartering mission. She reached over with her soft, lightly tanned hands to offer Max what looked like a piece of watermelon when a young man in page’s clothing interrupted by pulling out a scroll. 

“Hear ye, hear ye!” he shouted. “The lord, MadSkillz, has grown tired of the elves keeping secrets within Fort 51. Anyone wishing to join him on his mission to raid Fort 51 and see ‘them scientists’ need to meet him at Sa’ry in three weeks. And please, message fairy him an RSVP.”

Someone from the crowd laughed. “Ha! Scientists? Everyone knows scientists don’t exist!”

Another person chimed in, “And I don’t feel like getting tarred and feathered by the elf knights who protect the place.”

The crowed began to break up, muttering and scoffing as they did. Max started to leave but stopped when he saw that Ryan and Aleya hadn’t moved.

“What do you think they keep at Fort 51?” Ryan asked the elf princess. If anyone knew, you’d think it’d be her. “I’ve heard that’s where they keep the strange stuff.”

“Strange stuff?” said Max. “We just stopped a dirt path from swallowing a traveler because he threw a piece of trash on the ground. Talk about road rage.”

Ryan shrugged. “OK. The stranger stuff.”

“I hear that they keep a creature that’ll wash clothes in exchange for small discs of metal,” said Aleya. 

Max and Ryan glanced at each other then back at Aleya. “You mean a washing machine?” said Ryan. Like Max, Ryan came from the modern world, but he’d been transported months–maybe longer–before Max.

Aleya pondered what Ryan said for a moment. “Neve heard of a ‘washing machine,’ but I have heard rumors that Fort 51 has a knife that can slice open small metal food containers. It makes this buzzzz noise as it attacks.” 

“That would be a can opener,” said Ryan, trying to hide a smile. “It’s from our world as well.”

Aleya’s anime-like eyes sparkled. “The Old World had such wonderful things. I hope once we end the spell, I can see these can openers.”

Ryan tapped his finger near his freckles. “Maybe you can see one sooner. We could join the Fort Raiders.”

Max laughed dryly. “No. We have enough trouble as it is without angering the elf knights.”


Alone (eBook only) is on sale for $0.99 until Sept. 3, 2019. Buy now and join in the urban fantasy adventure.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

The Wizard of New Town and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

Twitter Tale

*Cue spooky storytelling music*

A few days ago, I got on to Twitter to check my feed. One person I follow made jokes about the Area 51 Raid, like pretty much everyone is (including me), and I hit the like button on a couple of the posts.

About five minutes after doing this, Twitter locked my account. I then got the call for the activation code. The call went something like this, “Your activation code is: *static* 9 *static* 1 *static* 3.”

I hung up in order to try again. The same thing happened. I kept getting static but this time the call started adding letters; it said something like “Bravo *static* 9 *static* Linux…” I thought, “Since when did Twitter start doing letters?” The call then ended saying, “Call Failure.”

Since they said “Linux,” I thought it might be a tutorial on how to unlock your account if you use a Linux operating system. But…that still seemed odd.

I tried again and it just said, “Call Failure.” I went to another area because it must have been bad cell phone reception. One again, I got, “Your activation code is: 1 *static* 5 *static* Linux *static*” and then it went to call failure.

At this point, I jokingly thought, “What? Are the Area 51 aliens trying to contact me through Twitter? I guess  everyone does have a Twitter account now.”

Later that night, I saw a trailer for a movie about government stations that give out orders through numbers (the trailer called them “number stations”) and when the actress that played the operator spoke the numbers, it sounded similar to the calls I was getting. The voice on the activation call didn’t sound completely automated. It was like the actress in the trailer: live but trying to speak really clearly and almost robotic.

In all seriousness, it was probably bad cell reception or maybe “crossed wires.” Either way, a day later, I was able to get my account unlocked. I tried the call again and the activation code–with no letters–was just fine.

What about you. Do you think aliens (or possibly the government) were behind the calls or do you think that it was just bad cell reception? Have you ever gotten a Twitter activation code with letters? What do you think about the Area 51 Raid? Just a joke by someone in order to get likes or an attempt by Area 51 to dish out disinformation? Let me know in the comments section.

For more fantasy, sci-fi, and other nerd/geek related fun, please consider following and hitting the notifications button.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


Only a few more days left in the Smashwords July sale. My eBooks will be going off sale on July 31.

TextTales | Random

I was coming up with keywords for an upcoming blog post when I came up with “text tales” which of course made me start singing (to the DuckTales theme song):

Life is like a hurricane

Here on the Internet

Phishing, scams, and follows

It’s a meme blur.

Might make a video

Or finally hit trending

TextTales, whoo-hoo!

Everyday we’re out here making content, for you.

I blame my punny mood on the news about MAD Magazine no longer being on newsstands. They just had to mention “Weird Al” Yankovic.