14 Mar ’23

"I heard my neighbors screaming last night"

Inbox #39: 18 new messages

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From: Sysadmin @VOLEwtf
Subj: Lies, all lies

Billy Liar poster

With April Fools’ Day approaching, for the next inbox we want your LIES.

Send us your weirdest whoppers, prize porky pies, phoney photos, tantalising tall tales and fabulous fibs.
Of course, this is also the perfect opportunity to slip in any bizarre true stories you have...

- Vmail Sysadmin
PS: This newsletter now has 248 million subscribers and is uploaded from a secret moonbase.


From: anonymous
Subj: Re: Evil Goblin News

the goblins wrote:

Our sorcerers have unlocked a new form of dark magic that harnesses a strange, invisible energy source and travels through metals!

Just wait til the Dark Lord gets their first electricity bill


From: Sasha
Subj: Launching a HAB this weekend


We're launching a High Altitude Balloon next weekend near Toronto, if you're interested, please check out the libre.space thread!


From: The_cold_stare
Subj: Re: Moth is Waiting

Your local Moth wrote:

Hello. I am Moth. I have reached your neighbirs' houses already and have filled them with my kids for them to prospere. Your house is next.

I am ready for you, Moth, with my newspaper of doom. I know where you hide and I have no issue with moth bloodshed


From: A fine human being
Subj: Re: Moth is Waiting

I heard my neighbors screaming last night.... now I know why.


From: yourlittlebutterfly
Subj: olaaa

te amooooo

ola miamor, aqui esta tu dibujo, que lo disfrutes bb!!
att: tu melocotoncito


From: Almost a Duck
Subj: Re: geese

smilerose wrote:

Have you ever glanced outside your window and decided that you want to be a goose? Well now you can! Introducing the ...

Could you possibly do some fancy biology and turn me into duck instead of goose? I am very specific about distinction.

Almost a Duck


From: Honk
Subj: Re: geese

Honk honk,

Honk honk, HonkhonkhonkHonkhonkhonk
Honkhonk honkhonk? Honk!
Honk honk honkhonkhonk. Honk honk honkhonk honk honkhonk. Honk honkhonk honkhonkhonk honk! Honk honk honk

Honkhonk honkhonkhonk,

H. Onk


From: Sir Tim the Graceful
Subj: Teaching the Eldritch Horrors how to email

I have been trying to teach some of my underlings how to email so we may correspond faster, as our old system dates back to before the archaic times (the messenger goblins are quite slow and they keep stealing my things. I usually just vaporize them but it's getting boring). It's proven to be quite difficult. The horrors seem to get the hang of faxing, but that's a bit tacky, innit? Anyways, if any of you Vmailers have ideas of how to help the eldritch horrors get the hang of emailing, please do let me know.

Sir Tim the Graceful
Lord of the Dark Forest
Bringer of Mist and Blood


From: Captain Crackerjack
Subj: Re: Roundabouts

Head full of questions wrote:

Does anyone know or want to guess how many roundabouts there is on earth? And yes i did specify earth cuz other planets might have roundabouts also, but that is another discussion.

That's a great question. My answer is probably more than a hundred, but probably less than 10 million. That's just a guess, though. Probably more if you take playground rides into account, rather than just what the Americans call 'traffic circles'.


From: A person
Subj: Re: Re: My Dog

My dog

anonymous wrote:

Reminds me of my dog lolll

This is MY dog


From: Delta
Subj: my dawg

i love my dog

Drawing of my dog, I promise that she's nice.


From: thatOneHalfBiteenCookiE
Subj: Wsg earthlings

Sup guys, I’m thatOneHalfBiteenCookie

in real life,

I’m a 8th grade girl,my pronouns are she/they and I live in the USA but I’m Indian. I like to do taekwondo and I cannot draw!so peeps respond to this and tell me…who are you? What do you like to do? And what your identity is don’t worry I have a friend who indentifies as a pear he is very yummy … er I mean I DIDNT EAT HIM I PROMISE (nom nom nom pears taste so good)


From: your mother
Subj: Re: Re: why do candles exist

Sir Tim the Graceful wrote:

candles are delicious (yum)

Candles are, not in fact, delicious. They kind of taste like soap or perfume. I don't recommend eating them.


From: Melissa Yung
Subj: Carpe Diem: Living with Purpose and Passion

Woman with parasol

The sun rises, the sun sets
A new day, a new chance to forget
The troubles that plagued us yesterday
And seize the opportunities of today

The world spins, the seasons change
Our lives move on, never in the same range
From joys to sorrows, from love to hate
We navigate the twists and turns of fate

But through it all, we must remember
That life is short, and we're just a member
Of a grander scheme, a cosmic dance
Where every move, every step, has a chance

To make a difference, to leave a mark
To brighten someone's day, to light a spark
So let's live with purpose, with passion, with grace
And make this world a better place.


From: FBI
Subj: Re: 1/5 ARG hints

The Helper wrote:

.... . .-.. .--. / -- . / .--. .-.. . .- ... . / - .... . -.-- / .... .- ...- . / -- . / .. / .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .-.. --- --. / .- --. .- .. -. / ... --- --- -. / -... ..- - / .. ..-. / .. / -.. --- -. .----. - / - . .-.. .-.. / .... . .-. / .. / ... .- .. -.. / -... -.-- . .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.-

... . -. -.. / -.-. --- --- .-. -.. .. -. .- - . ... --..-- / ... .... . / .. ... / .-- .- .. - .. -. --. / ..-. --- .-. / -.-- --- ..-


From: Dave
Subj: Microwave

Dear people of the universe! Bluebells are purple, Greenlands not green. My pinkys not pink, so what does it mean?! Roses are red, but my names not Dave, " Are you drunk ? " im not drunk! MICROWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE !!!! Do you know what im sayin ?


From: Matt Round
Subj: The Best Film You’ve Never Seen

Peter Vaughan’s Roper giving gardening advice in Smokescreen

No. 1: Smokescreen (1964)

There are great films I deliberately set out to watch, and great films I stumbled upon late at night in the ’90s while channel-hopping in despair, hoping to find something vaguely interesting rather than go to bed.

Smokescreen starts with a burning car going off a cliff and immediately has the feel of a bog standard British B movie; I very nearly switched to some other nonsense (God’s Gift, Get Stuffed, In Bed With Medinner, whatever), but “Starring Peter Vaughan” kept me watching — he actually had a leading role in a film…?

It’s an insurance investigator whodunit with a decent plot to unravel that I won’t spoil, but the whole thing is elevated way beyond expectations by a truly wonderful character and performance in Vaughan’s Roper. He walks in with his bowler hat, umbrella and awkward smile, immediately fretting about his dubious expenses forms. We’re off, following this cunning miser as he works his way through the suspects with logic, persuasion and a bit of breaking and entering.

In among the detective work there’s a couple of comedy sequences (awkwardly plying a witness with expensive cocktails after his boss suggests “Pour some gin down her, Roper!”, and extracting information from a railway worker played by Deryck Guyler from Please Sir), and we get a poignant glimpse of Roper’s home life before he wraps the case up.

Vaughan went on to do amazing work in supporting roles for the next 50 years, right up to Game of Thrones, but I don’t think he ever got another lead role so worthy of his talents. His socially-awkward, expenses-fiddling investigator could’ve/should’ve been the UK’s Columbo, but instead never got beyond B movie obscurity.

Smokescreen is currently on Amazon Prime UK and Talking Pictures TV Encore (free account required), or can be rented from YouTube/Google Play.

Next time: something newer and much, much weirder.



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