In our previous episode, Tony introduced Tati to ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books. But Tati, like a real clever dick, quickly googled it, pretending to know what they were. Suddenly, a mysterious man in black appeared out of nowhere…
They’d decided to meet at the Greater Cachalot Mall, which was more akin to a bustling mini metropolis than an actual mall. Located on an island in international waters, it lay somewhere between Ukraine and Australia, and required no Visa to visit. Tati travelled there via the Trans-Zhmerynka Portalway while Tony took the TUMS Oceania Tube.
Tony arrived first, lugging three huge suitcases behind him. They were filled with god knows what, and the hotel staff were understandably curious. Who could possibly need that much crap? What the hell was it? Was it clothes or something nefarious like money for a drug drop? Tony did have the bedraggled appearance of a dealer after all.
Tati appeared twenty minutes later with her habitual backpack and a mint lollipop. She slapped Tony’s back, causing him to choke on his soda. “Are you drinking that slop again?” Tony winced at her pointed question. “You boob! When will you drop dead from diabetes? I won’t be coming to your funeral! And don’t complain that I didn’t warn you!”
They were looking at each other with a mixture of love and hate, and therefore didn’t notice a mysterious man in black slipping quietly behind them and making a beeline for Tony’s suitcases…
“What? Cooperative staff? What do you mean?” Tati blinked in confusion.
“Stuff you can interact with. Like a knob or Rubik’s Cube.”
“Hmm… knob. I sense a trick.” She narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “Do you want to beep my nose again?”
“Could I?” Tony’s mouth broke into a sly grin. “Although that’s more like a button really, not a knob.”
Tati wrinkled her nose in distaste. “Tony, I won’t fall for this shit again. You and your speculative staff!”
Now Tony blinked. “Well, I’ve never heard it called that before…”
“What? These were your words! You asked me if I like copulative staff only a moment ago. I’m not crazy. I know what I heard!”
“Actually, I was referring to ‘CYOA’ books. My knob… erm… knobs in general… erm… staffs… Shit. Let’s just say Rubik’s Cubes.” Tony pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. “Look, I was just using these as examples of things that could be interacted with…”
Tati stared at him. He slumped his shoulders and said sheepishly to himself, “Damn. I’ve become a dirty old man, haven’t I? I always promised myself that wouldn’t happen.”
“C’mon you! Old ass!”
Tony blinked again. “Hey, hey, hey! No need to get insulting!”
“‘CYOA’ books! Doesn’t this mean ‘C’mon you! Old ass!’ books?”
“No, it really doesn’t. Please, Tati, do save me from your endless guessing, okay? Let me put you out of your misery.”
“Well, you can try. But, please, without your silly euphemisms like ‘knobs’. I’m a big girl. You can say ‘interactive dick’ if what you mean is ‘interactive dick’.”
“Good lord. Now you’ve got me blushing…” And he really was!
“Well, out with it!” She tapped her foot on the tiled floor, impatient.
“Erm… yes. ‘CYOA’ means ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.”
“NO! Not with dicks! What’s wrong with you? This isn’t an adult version of ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ y’know!”
“Such a pity. Okay, so what is it?”
“It was a series of children’s books that began in the seventies. Each story was written from a second-person point of view, and each section of the story would end with a list of choices for how it could progress.” Tony was in full professorial mode now. He was so cute when he got like this. “You could be a pirate, an astronaut, or even an investment banker. Actually, I don’t think there ever was one with an investment banker in it…”
“Tony, stop your verbal flood. Couldn’t you have said just one word at the start?”
“Actually, that’d be in the list of choices. ‘If you decide to listen to Tony’s lengthy, long-winded explanation, thus running the risk of slipping into a coma, turn to page 17. If you decide to convince him to use fewer words, thus saving yourself valuable drinking time, turn to page 21. If you decide to slap him in the face with a wet fish, turn to page 34.’”
“WOW! And what will happen if I jump right to page 45?”
Under the soft translucent linen, the ridges around your nipples harden at the thought of my tongue.
You — lying inverted like the letter ‘c’ — arch yourself deliberately, wanting the warm press of my lips, their wet to coat the skin that is bristling, burning, breaking into sweats of desire — sweet juices of imagination.
But in fact, I haven’t even touched you. At least, not yet.
Твой пеньюар стекает мягкими полупрозрачными волнами, и рябь вокруг сосков дрожит при мысли о моем языке.
Ты выгибаешься упругой тетивой, предвкушая прохладное прикосновение моих губ. Их влажность успокоит твою пылающую, пьянящую, пряную кожу, истекающую липкими соками желания.
Хотя я еще даже не коснулся тебя. Пока не коснулся.
Dear Reader, let it be known that we always strive to fulfil our promises. Now, you may be asking what it is that we promised this time. Well, let us tell you…
Photos. Insights. Dancing elephants. Okay, maybe not the dancing elephants, but we did promise the first two things. Oh, and our immortal souls. That last thing scares us a bit as we’re both quite private individuals. There are things we don’t even tell each other!
However, Dear Reader, we pledged to make an exception for you. So, now we’re going to pull out our best pink, lacy pantaloons from our most secret chest of drawers and prance around in them. Yes, this is what we wear when we’re taking photos of our favourite things!
We have decided to show you a bit more of our real lives in Australia and Ukraine. Yes, we want to pick out the everyday, ordinary, common things that surround us in our waking hours and reveal them to you. We’ll even compare and contrast them. This could be fun! This could be educational! It could even be both at the same time! Shocking, no?
You, Dear Reader, can even vote on these… should you so wish. Who is cooler? Australia? Ukraine? Or maybe even your own country! (If so, then we demand photographic proof!) Come on, join us! This could be a wonderful bonding exercise as we all get to know each other a little better!
For our first installment we have picked a book series that we both love and own. You can find the photographic evidence over at our Patreon page! Go on! Take a look! You’ll be glad you did!
Любий читаче, ти розумієш це речення?* If so, you’re in luck!
Intrigued? Details a smidge later, but first things first…
For the past five years, Tony has been faithfully writing and drawing the webcomic Crumble Cult, the existential adventures of Ernest Crumb, a professional fucker-upper of life. No one fucks up quite like he does! Tati joined this creative project about two years ago, and sincerely hopes that she hasn’t spoiled things.
Recently, Tony has gone back into the archive to give earlier strips in the series a bit of spit and polish. No longer satisfied with the original text’s aesthetic, he’s painstakingly updated it to be more reader friendly. Yes, that means you, dear reader! Your comfort matters!
By the way, do you know how many strips Tony has produced so far? Button would say, “One, two… twenty-gazillion!” But let’s be realistic—it’s substantially less than twenty-gazillion, but way more than one or two. Let’s just say it’s enough to fill two or three volumes of a book series which is exactly what Tati and Tony are currently working on behind the scenes!
But even that isn’t enough for this crazy international duo! Tati has also been working her trilingual ass off to bring you a Ukrainian version of the strip. Yes, that’s right! Soon you’ll be able to read a whole book of comics that have been translated into Ukrainian, so please do look forward to that!
И конечно, мы не забыли о ‘великом и могучем’.** The Russian version won’t be long in coming.
And, if that isn’t enough, there’s also Tati’s and Tony’s Patreon page to check out! That’s where they cover their creative process in more detail. You can thrill to their behind-the-scenes misadventures until your eyes bleed in protest. What fun! (Oops. It seems they’ve been caught red handed! It’s another brazen attempt to lure you to their Patreon page and divest you, dear reader, of your hard earned cash. How naughty!)
Anyhow, it’s best not to overthink all of this. Suffice it to say that Tati and Tony can play the fools all they want… but facts remain facts. They’re preparing a comic collection. It will be in three languages. It will rock. And they’re deadly serious about fulfilling all of their plans. Just you watch!
*Dear reader, do you understand this sentence?
**And of course, we did not forget about the ‘great and mighty [Russian language]’.