For Jack

I had to substitute-teach a class yesterday, but I had no idea where the kids were on the lesson plan, so I thought I’d just make it easy and have a “discussion day.” But it became really obvious right away that the kids hadn’t done any of the reading, because none of them were talking. And I knew they hadn’t done the reading, but I hadn’t done it, either, so I couldn’t make a big deal out of it … so, long story short, I have 13 tons of smoked ham in my car and not a clue what to do with it.

-from McSweeneys


United Kingdom Television Welcomes A New Star

You probably know Matthew Dentith. You may have seen him in ‘Classics,’ where he played a young man who dreamt of becoming a Jesuit. Perhaps you saw him in ‘Philosophy’ as the pedagogue who wasn’t exactly bucking the system as bending it to his whim. Now, starting early December, you’ll have to be in the UK to see this rising star in his new Britcom, ‘Personal Management.’

“Matthew is an actor who we’ve been looking to find the right role for.” Killarney Poppet, Esq., Matthew’s agent for ten years now, explains. “He was one of the principals of ‘Classics’ but when that [show] hit its fourth season it started focussing on life after university and he was more of a cameo than anything else. As the mood went from sitcom to drama his character didn’t really fit in.”

It was at this time that Matthew’s character was spun out to a brand new series set at the same University but in a completely different department.

“It just made sense; the former priestly-hopeful now philosophically-wondering character had to go somewhere, so why not Philosophy?” Chip D. Hardstuff, the producer of ‘Classics’ and ‘Philosophy’ speaks out. “We were able to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, and get back to those early days of character interplay that we had on ‘Classics’ but intellectualise it.”

The show ran for seven years. Recently, however, Matthew was clearly uncomfortable with the direction ‘Philosophy’ was taking.

“When I first came on board it was very much an ensemble show; we were all postgraduates from different disciplines trying to make some sense of it all. Then, as people went off to other jobs the cast really reduced itself down to a few core people, myself included. Now that we’ve hit the seventh year the producers are trying to get that ensemble feeling going again, and I can’t help but think that I’ve done this all before.”

Renewed now for an eighth season, ‘Philosophy’ will have to do without its sole surviving first season member. In a rare move the character is changing networks and professions with his jump to UK television in the new series ‘Personal Management.’

“I was looking to write my first proper series and key in my mind was ‘What kind of characters are we going to be dealing with?’” HORansome, writer of ‘Personal Management,’ fills us in. “Someone suggested Matthew. It suddenly seemed so very obvious; the whole fish out of water times two. Different job, different location; it’s comedy gold.”

Matthew will be starring with two co-stars in the British-produced ‘Personal Management’ which sees Matthew relocate from Auckland, New Zealand to London, England. Gone is the whole academic side as Matthew will be working as a PA and seeing life from the other side for a change.

“I’m really excited by this move,” Matthew told us last week in interview. “New locations, new ideas; I can’t wait to see what they have in store for my character. And, you know, it’s not as if my influence on ‘Philosophy’ won’t still be felt…”

The show also plans to feature a number of cameos from both ‘Classics’ and ‘Philosophy,’ and some of them are promising to be very surprising indeed.

Filming for the new series starts on the 28th of November with a location shoot at Heathrow airport. However New Zealand viewers will have a chance to say goodbye to the character of Matthew with the telemovie ‘Leaving’ which plays on the 27th of November, which also sets up the new series.

‘Personal Management’s’ season premiere will screen in early January.

-IAN, November 2005

Letters from the Editor

Over the last few weeks we have received a number of letters from readers concerning activities here at ‘Brain Stab’ central. Some have been amusing, a few offensive and at least one implicitly pornographic. Those letters not snatched up and hidden in bedrooms around the country we reprint below, with our lovingly-crafted replies appended.

Dear sirs.

Young Mr. Mepoc has not written much for your broadsheet in recent months. What has happened to him? Has he become interested in girls? Is he part of the New World Order and no longer has time for informing and entertaining us plebs?

Desperately seeking reason,

Reg of Awatane

Dear Reg.

Let me be the first to assure you that none of ‘Brain Stabs’ writers are in any way interested in girls. Girls are the number one cause of cooties in our generation and the ‘Brain Stab’ staff have, quite rationally, sworn off these disease-ridden pox-hags and, instead, entered into a Spartan-like union with each other. As to Mr. Mepoc’s whereabouts, little is currently known. Some claim to have seen him felling trees in Oregon whilst another witness claims that the Swedish monarchy is hiding him from his former masters. Whatever the case, we are sure that when his current travails are over he will return to amuse us all with anti-libertarian folk songs and paintings from the Algarve.

Brain Stab

Mr. Brain Stab.

Does Morthos think he is funny? If he does, has anyone thought of having his head checked out by a medical quack? My aunt thought she was funny; it turned out that she had rabbis and had to be put down.


Susan Kilgore-Trout, Blackpool


I suspect your aunt had rabbies, not rabbis, although she may well have been a modern woman and who are we to judge? Anyway, rest assured that Brother Morthos Agrippa Octavius Bloodmonster Spittoon Yellow (his full name, currently) does not think he is funny; he is, in fact, a cryptographer for the Bohemian Crown Prince and all of his posts are, in fact, coded shopping lists. Except for the post about the gnats. That was meant to be funny. Pity, really.

Brain Stab

To whom it may concern.

Please make RSJS desist from mentally undressing me everytime I read his posts. The long sentences, the slippery-slopes of his analogies are doing my head in. I can’t cope with some many jokes about the cock. Help me.



Dear sir.

We would apologise profusely for the behaviour of our writers if a) we had any control over them and b) we actually cared about our readership. As ‘Brain Stab – Stab. In. Head!’ is a vanity project with a readership number in the decimal places we consider it your fortune that you have stumbled over our words. Let me assure you, Mr. RSJS, that Mr. RSJS’s posts are amongst the finest in his literary cadre and everyone loves the cock. Especially Mr. RSJS (no offence meant, but take it anyway).


Brain Stab

What is up with this ‘Josh’ character? Does all he do is read the internet and post stories about newsreports? Does he not have a real job? And what’s this I hear about his hot girlfriend?


Rodney, of no fixed abode.

Rodders (I may call you that, may I?).

This ‘Josh’ character of which you speak is, in fact, the latest advance in geopolitical artificial intelligence. Running almost entirely upon a battery made of Nerdelicious soaked in Mountain Dew, the Josh-o-matic 3000 trawls the internet at an amazing 800 baud on three simultaneous channels. He also has a calendar function and can travel through time. As the only real machine amongst the ‘Brain Stab’ staff he is permitted to associate with persons of the opposite persuasion, which is probably where the rumours of ‘hot girlfriend’ have come from. Either that or the cannibalism.

Brain Stab


Why does Apathy Jack hate the world so much? I like flowers. He should to.

Thank you for your time.

Tina, age 3

Tina, dahling!

Jack doesn’t so much hate the world as hate the people who make up the world. And he doesn’t so much hate the people who make up the world as hate the people he has to interact with in the world. Rest assured, he loves flowers. In fact, many is the morning where Jack will wake up and cheerfully tell the writing staff of ‘Brain Stab’ that he going off to make love with the flowers. Those of us unfortunate enough to follow him have seen him happily jump and stomp over paddocks of daffodils, break into nurserys and rend orchirds with his teeth and do improbable acts with poppies and his underbelly. He also likes children… And not for that reason, you filthy-minded kindergarten brat. Back to the cage with you.

Brain Stab

Hey guys.

Why don’t I ever post anymore?


Because you are looking after baby. Look after baby. Baby need be looked after. Baby.


Brain Stab