Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Character Assassination!

I tried to make this post a couple of days ago and it seemed to mess up the page somehow. I will try it again now and see what happens. I hope I haven't used too many font colors for my friend Descartes. I know it is much too long for Claire to read, but I hope the rest of you will enjoy finding more about these little people of mine. I will post this as Relax Max since Tom isn't a contributor to this blog. And I can't bring myself to call it a "guest post." Even I am not quite that schizoid. No. Truly. I'm not.
May I introduce some people to you that you already know?
Over the past several months I have received quite a few comments and questions about all the "characters" I play on BritishSpeak (and elsewhere.) It is a natural curiosity, but one I have avoided answering, as many of you know. But, since I am obviously rapidly coming to the close of this particular happy segment of my blogging career, I thought it might be fun to at least show you all the characters that I have used (on these particular blogs), and explain their origins and purposes a little bit. If you don't know what I am talking about, or if you have no interest in the various characters which I am the "puppeteer" for, this post is not for you.

First of all, let me say that when I say "I" it means "Tom Osburn", my real name, and that I have never, to my knowledge, made a post as Tom Osburn on these particular blogs. This is necessary to say, because if I am to name and explain the characters, I can't very well do it as one of the characters. For example, I can't do this post REALLY as "Relax Max" or any of the others. If you have been a long-time reader of my blogs, you will have seen most of the characters, perhaps not all.

First, the reasons for the characters. Some of you (such as Claire, for example) have personal blogs. Journals. Of course, those kinds of blogs should be about yourself and talk about yourself. None of my blogs (I mean the ones you are aware of) are personal blogs. They are not personal journals. They are each for a specific purpose and have specific objectives. My blogs here are either for the purpose of gathering information for some commercial enterprise (one of the things I do to earn money is to write books and articles) or to display essays I write about subjects that I care about.

Other blogs that I have, that you do NOT know about or visit, are investigative in nature, specialized store-site funnels, or funnels to my photography and print sites. I also have two "teaching" web sites.

This is only to give you a little background that will help me explain the characters I use here, and why I use them.

I use the characters to give me more appeal to more people in the gathering of information. For example, "Relax Max" is a very naughty boy sometimes. Tom is not. Tom is very shy and would never say the things (or use the words) that Relax Max says. At least not on a public blog. So you can see why a character such as Max can be helpful in certain projects. This is true for just about all the other "characters". Only a couple have been created on a lark, to entertain some particular person, or to illustrate a single blog post. The others are all ongoing and very specifically assigned. One will, sadly, be killed off after this post.

Although a photo of the puppeteer is shown in this post, this post is not at all about Tom - only the characters. Any desire you have to know about Tom personally will be unsatisfied, in the main. Tom is still a blogger elsewhere, and needs to remain rather fuzzy and obscure so that he doesn't get personally identified (and therefore limited) to a particular project or set of blogs. Also, you should know that Tom does not make his main income as an author or a blogger, and that is yet another reason for him to remain behind the scenes. I'm quite sure you don't care that much about the puppeteer anyway, so on with the puppets!

First, because it really is hard to keep them all straight, here is a "storyboard" which shows all the characters on this blog-set.

Above, clockwise, from top left: Floo Z., Tom, Candy Girl, Relax Max, Yummy Biscuits.
Below, clockwise from top left: Vicar Ezra Likely, Max Da Tung, Tal E. Wacker, Tanisha Watkins, Karen Price, Lolly
Finally, let me give a BRIEF rundown of each character, what it is for, and it's origin.

1. Floo Z.: Floo Z. is the original header graphic for BritishSpeak. This takes a little explaining, unfortunately. When BritishSpeak was conceived, as a word collection device for a book project, it was assumed that most of the contributors would be male. Why I made this sexist assumption, I have no idea. It didn't turn out that way at all. As a result, the Entrecard widget was set up for the blatant purpose of catching men's eyes from among many widgets. It worked. The men came in droves and dropped. And left. But I have never changed the widget, mostly because of nostalgia. I did change the huge picture of Floo Z. (Complete with the lower half of her body, which I originally used as a header. The ladies weren't fond of her a bit. Floo Z. is used only as a support character.

2. Candy Girl: Candy is a very expensive good hearted party girl. Some crasser souls than I would perhaps call her a Call Girl. But she is really just a party girl who charges a lot of money to go to parties. Candy's first role was in the "Canucklehead Wars" and was expertly played by my friend Marmelade, who is no longer with our group. Candy appears only as a publicity ploy now, making comments on various blogs to arouse curiosity.

3. Relax Max: The second oldest character I have. He was originally a serious financial commentator on NetMax Systems (hence the name Max). The "relax" part came from an ancient Dinah Washington song that was last year being used as a music bed for a TV commercial for Doubletree Hotels in the U.S. If you are not from the U.S., "Relax Max" will mean nothing to you. If you ARE from the U.S. and you have a TV, you will have heard that song so much it makes your ears bleed. So... the name Relax Max means nothing to Brits. Relax Max is a contributor to all my blogs in this blog-set.

4. Yummy Biscuits: My oldest character. Taken from my earliest website. Yummy is a good-natured dog who cares about serious causes, although he started life as a political and social satirist. Yummy can fly and can appear instantly anywhere in the world. He had a major crush on Marmelade. He currently is the main voice on the blog that bears his name.

5. Vicar Ezra Likely: Slap & Tickle pub chaplain. Remote descendent of blogger Lord Likely. Original role was in "The Canucklehead Wars."

6. Max Da Tung: Created as a more vulgar version of Relax Max, as a result of the ladies on BritishSpeak wanting the original edition of Relax Max toned down. He briefly appeared as lead character of "Relax Max Unleashed" which is no longer a blog. Max Da Tung is rarely used now, and then only for shock value.

7. Tal E. Wacker: A rather crude anti-social hippy type who doesn't like politicians or the establishment at large. He contributes to the blog "Wayharsh", a satire blog. For those with both eyes and a long memory, he is obviously the late Frank Zappa, and pretty much mimics Frank's personality.

8. Tanisha Watkins: Tanisha is purely a stealth character and is almost certainly not known to any of you. Her only purpose is to infiltrate competing blogs, make misdirecting comments on forums, work facebook and myspace, and generally make people think that the author of BritishSpeak is not a white male. Obviously, this post blows Tanisha's cover, and she will be killed off tonight. You will never see her replacement.

9. Karen Price: Karen Price existed as simply an ugly but nice young woman, but was not really used until I was trying to amuse my friend Chica. Karen is not likely to be used again. But never say never.

10. Lolly: Lolly is a special character who actually belongs to one of my best friends on the internet. Lolly was not invented by me, nor has she ever been played by me. She appeared in "The Canucklehead Wars" and is still available to me (I think) by this friend. So I wanted to show her here. Up until now she has been sort of a sidekick to Candy Girl.

There you have it! Those are all the characters TOMO uses on this entire blog-set. When I get tired of blogging, you will then finally find out all about me (Tom) as well. But I am not yet ready to quit.

I DO want to thank you for becoming my friends and for reading my stuff, much of which is admittedly nonsense. Since late 2005, I have made over 1200 posts on these and other blogs. Since it was started, March 11, almost 5 months ago, there have been 120 posts on BritishSpeak. In it's heyday, BritishSpeak broke into Alexa's top 200,000 blogs in the world (not an especially huge feat, but a feat done in only 9 weeks from inception) and for a brief period was in the top 20,000 blogs read in the United Kingdom. It was recognized by BBC London presenter Jeremy Jacobs, and even briefly commented by him once. During that same 4 and a half month time span, the BritishSpeak blog has entertained 11,151 visitors. I stay up late nightly and write. I love to write. Someday I will learn to write well.


  1. I'm joking, before you get your knickers in a twist!

    I half saw this in my feed the other day and when I came to investigate it had vamooshed.

    I think you definitely used your little characters to your advantage, amusing people as you go.

    Does this mean that as this chapter closes, you will be starting a personal blog?

  2. Claire -
    1. It's my doodle. You don't like it?
    2. Pehraps. Burp.

  3. Relax Max is only a character? He's not really a talking dog? He's not really adorable and naughty? Oh the pain, the pain........

    going off to mourn, rent my clothing into pieces and get counsel from the Vicar....wait, He's only a character too.

    No, Tom, you are the character!

  4. Ok, so in your sidebar your ad for Yummy Biscuits you refer to Yummy as your older sister, but clearly in this post you refer to Yummy as a male. Playing a little bit of the crying game here? ;) Inquiring minds...

  5. Debbie - It's ok to rent your clothes into pieces right here. No need to go off. *Leer* :) :) :) :) :)

    (That was Max speaking, not Tom. Tom is very much spoken for, and would never say words like that anyway. Besides, he's still asleep.)

    Redbeard - Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. Upon closer scrutiny you will note that the sidebar refers to the website/blog and not the character. The character is a fictional male dog. The blog is a very real sister blog to BritishSpeak. Thank you soooooo much for allowing us to make you look like a dumbasss, and have a good day.

    Christ. Did I say that out loud?

  6. Redbeard - here's one for you. (Speaking of "sisters"):

    You are interested somewhat in old ships, right? Can you name the two sister ships of the Titanic? They are not as old as the kind of ships you really like, but they ARE British.

    And don't frickin' google it.

  7. I have no clue, although I'm not really all that keen on the old ships, just Old Ironsides which I happened to visit as a kid. Other ships I know the names of might or might not include the USS Intrepid, USS Abraham Lincoln (both aircraft carriers), the Monitor and Merrimack, the Red October.

    So despite my pirate-like name, seafaring and navies are really NOT my area of expertise. I just plunder and pillage them.

  8. And the "Pequod" presumably. Arghh! Pirate, eh? Ok. I'm torn between telling the answer and waiting for Soubriquet to drift past and tell us. But since a few of my readers would simply Google it and lie, and the rest could care less, I will tell the answer and move on.

    1. The Olympic, 1910, (the only one of the three sisters that actually lived out a passenger liner career.)
    2. The Titanic, 1911, (sank on maiden voyage in 1912.)
    3. The Brittanic, 1913, (Sunk by sub in the Med off Italy, I think, in WWI. Was a white-painted hospital ship. Sunk anyway.)

    If you are interested, they were built by Harlan and Wolfe, Ireland.

    Hey! Don't leave! It gets better!

  9. I cannot grasp my head around it all, but I will not miss Karen Price one bit.. lol

    It was actually pretty interesting to read into your characters, and why they are, and who they are, yet all made by one man. I'd say your very creative, and you do like to write, because who else who have such creativeness to fictionalize these characters. I like Max, and Tom best personally. I don't know any of your other personas.

    I must admit, you had me on a chain with these characters, I never thought of them as you when I first visited this blog, only saw them as authors.

  10. Oh max/tom/yummy/vicar ezra/candy girl/Floo Z/tongue/wacker/tanisha/karen/lolly.
    Here I thought I had all these friends. I even bragged that I had 11 blog friends. You Homo queer! :)

  11. @etta,

    you do have 11 friends in 1, max et al have refused to integrate despite years of therapeutic and pharmacological treatment.

    Plus, you have one more friend, etta, me!

    I will always be grateful to the Canucklehead wars for meeting the friends of this blog, if not the blogger(s) him/themselves.

  12. Wow, max, are you feeling naked now that 11 of your identities are revealed and explained?

  13. HI Caroline. No, Max doesn't feel naked. Max doesn't have even one character. He's just Max. It was Tom who was doing the stripping. Do you want to speak with Tom?

  14. My but you are certainly a varied cast of characters, aren't you? You know, there's an old property right up the road from me that I mentioned in my Monday post where they used to house people like you! Kidding! Just kidding!

    Oh, and because I'm a stickler for all things grammatical - it's "rend" your clothes - not "rent" your clothes unless you're planning on charging someone else for the use of them!

  15. Oh my, I do get confused ever so easily, especially when I am here. So, yes, I suppose I was wanting to ask Tom that question.

  16. Sir! I have bestowed upon you my finest and most sought-after award, and I hope at least one of your eleven personalities will be able to drop by and collect it!

  17. Hey how do get the time to keep all these characters alive? I only have one blog and I struggle to try and keep it interesting. I have only met 4 of your characters I will see if I can stop by the others!

  18. I laughed when I read this post, so funny and so enlightening, a character for every part of your persona allowing you to say what you want via a different voice. Perfect Harmony in one mind. Who decides who gets to control the body?

  19. Sage, I don't think you should have asked that! :)

  20. Whoa - now I knew that most of these were one and the same person but I never fully grasped the extent of you insanity. You need help my friend(s) .... it's too bad - I actually wanted to sleep with candy girl. Damnit!

  21. oh, and the british chick of course. wait - is chica still available?

  22. @Chica - Thank you. Although I think you can see right though me. And don't worry about Karen. She won't bother you anymore. :)

    @Ettarose/Mitch/Mike/Geraldine/Liz/Sue - Look who's talking! And you have more friends than you even know. But one really, really good one. :)

    @Debbie - Ah, yes! The Canucklehead Wars. Who could ever forget Fat Bastard and his llamas, or Debbie and her attack roosters? The mesmerizing chicken lady. I am glad I met her too. :)

    @Linda - I would never say "rent" clothes. Just as you would never constantly snort coffee through your nose on your keyboard as I do many times a day. It is only natural that a few keys stick. Give me that. I can spell. Just don't feel like it. And, btw, congratulations on receiving that big cock. I was very happy to be at the awards ceremony as you were on stage taking it. You seemed really full and excited to be getting it. :)

    @Lord Likely-I am perhaps over cum with excitement to be get this big hard award. You have certainly aroused my emotions with your attentions. Thank you, m'lord. :)

    @Frostygirl - why, thank you kindly, ma'am! But you are doing fine with one blog. Some say not to put all your eggs in one basket. I say it's ok to put all your eggs in one basket. Just keep an eye on that basket. :) And you do. You really do. I LOVE your blog. (But you knew that already.) Thank you for your continuing support of BritishSpeak, P. You know I appreciate it.

    @Sage - Perfect harmony in one mind. Indeed. Finally, someone who gets it and understands me. :)

    @a - please don't be disruptive my dear. Go sit back down now. :)

    @Canucklehead - what an honor to finally see you again. I thought you had run off with a llama or something. Congratulations on getting that cock, btw. Have you decided where you are going to put it? And don't pine for Candy Girl. Trust me, you couldn't have afforded her anyway. :)

    I don't know about the others. Chica is not one of my characters, she is my adoring slave. Actually, Chica is very real indeed - watch your ass if you know what's good for you.

    Thanks for stopping by my friend. I know you are busy lately. And I am very happy for you.

  23. Ezra 9:3

    American King James Version:

    And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonished.

    More than one way to spell apparently

  24. http://bible.cc/ezra/9-3.htm

    I forgot to add the page where I copied that from.

  25. Debbie - both are words. But Linda is right, I believe. Sorry. I mean "rent" is past tense of "rend" I think. I am not totally up on my old-style English, but I think if you are saying something in the present or future you would use "rend" and if you were talking about something your already did in the past you would say "rent" or "had rent" (past participle of the infinitive "to rend". No?) I will ask A. or Soubriquet.

  26. Of course, since Linda is right, but for the wrong reason, she only gets half-credit.

    Both of you: 50 times, please. :)

  27. That wasn't really me talking, that was Catherine. Catherine is one of Tom's characters, too. (Or wasn't I supposed to tell them that?)

  28. Oh, my! You weren't supposed to let that out of the bag! I might as well come clean now: in the whole entrecard universe, only Caroline is a real person. Me and Caroline. No. Not me. Tom. Tom and Caroline. And Claire. Tom, Caroline, and Claire. Claire may not be of this universe. Oh! And Grumpus. Tom, Caroline, Claire, and Grumpus. But Caroline isn't really sure anymore. I mean she does what she's told pretty much. So nobody tell her she is actually real. K?

  29. Wait a minute Max! I didn't know that about Catherine and Chica? I have never seen them back here in the pens. Do they live in another pen? Everyone seems to think Catherine is real. Even A. talks to Catherine. And Max does her blog? Fack! I knew about Chica all the time, but not Catherine.

  30. This is getting rather out of hand, children. I may have to call the boss in and get this sorted out.

  31. You're telling me Soubriquet isn't real? I am distraught! Inconsolable.

  32. A. - stop pretending you are real, please. I really am going to get Tom. You characters are out of control.

  33. Did someone say Canucklehead was saving up for a date with me? Or was that on the other blog? You people are impossible you know!

  34. Okay, some of you people need to be getting back over to the pub. You are not allowed to appear on BritishSpeak and you know it. For the exact reason to avoid what is going on here right now. If you know what's good for you, git! And when you get there, stop Tal E Wacker from chasing Tanisha around the work bench. Christ!

  35. How could you? If you cut me, do I not bleed?

  36. A. - Jesus. A character doing the Merchant of Venice. I like the Venice part. For sure. And the part about the prick. But...how about this...from Max Shakespeare: "If you tickle me, do I not laugh?"


    Stop it A. Yer killin me. Get real. Har! Wish you could, huh? Damn executive-characters. They think there crap don't stink.

  37. Nobody would or could make it all up. Why would you be a breeder of sinners?

  38. i give up. I can't keep up with this one. Somebody come and get her!

  39. "Shakespeare Max"??? Har! That's rich!

    Does a rose by any other name smell as bad as Max?

    No way!

    Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious bullshit by this son of dork.


    Max Shakespeare? Give me a frickin break!

  40. Stop, please. Tom's brains are beginning to run out his ears. I have never seen such a wild look in his eyes. Overload! Overload!

  41. Shit! Human overboard! Human overboard! Man the lifeboats!

  42. There's a human in amongst that lot?

  43. If you cut Grumpus, does she not bleed cheez-whiz?

  44. Tal E, You'd better get your vile arse off BritishSpeak if you know what's good for you. Move! Or I will be having some more testicle pie tonight. Freakin' bloody piece of...!

  45. The Max is back. Everything is under control. No need to panic. Everyone remain calm and in your seats until the captain turns off the sign. Thank you. Thank you.

  46. Thank you folks. We have reached our cruising altitude. You are free to roam about and make comments again. Thank you for your patience.

  47. I see nothing to explain the chihuahua. Me being the dog person that I am, having a chiwowow as I do, I am saddened not to know the story about the dog. Or more about Tom. But go ahead and be secretive....... you bipolar weirdo.

    (hows that for the pot calling the kettle black?)

  48. Frank Zappa would certainly be honored (or something) to be immortalized as Tal E. Wacker.

    I was attracted to your blog by the title, and my longtime love for British swearing: the ubiquitous and multifaceted use of "cunt," wanker, shite, poofter (sp?), bloody git, gash....Maybe it's because my mother raised me to believe the English were so polite and well behaved....

  49. Oh heavens, it appears that they have exploded into a ... a? I have no clue. Try to keep it together Tom ... I'm on my way with some strong pot and a case of absinthe - we'll get you through this ...

  50. wow, you get comments from clair??? she used to visit me but now she doesn't. thanks for the visit and i hope you come back. now i have to see about all your "characters"! ha ha

    smiles, bee

  51. Petra - I do listen to you very closely. You are the acknowledged expert on weirdness. I am saddened that you are saddend. Tom prefers that you conjure up exciting images of him rather than learn what a boring no-life loser he is. Truly - would you bother coming to this blog if you knew that the only thing he had going for him was that he was part of the royal family and had just won a major powerball? I think not. And I am glad you finally got dressed for your comments. I think it looks pretty cool. Except your boobs are hidden. Can't have everything. :)

    Gumpus - Herro. Back from the beach. Usually when people go to the beach they take shells, not leave them. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? But I like it I think. Also no boobs. Are all of you ladies missing the whole point of why I blog? Did you see my shakespeare comment about you? No? "If you cut Grumpus, does she not bleed Cheez-Whiz?" Perhaps that was too sophisticated for you. Welcome back to the blog. I missed you. Are you over your pissedness at me? Just askin'. Btw, you need to go to the liquor store and buy heavily today. Party Saturday. The have liquor in Canada, right? Of course they do. Canucklehead is always laying on the floor puking. Be there. Please.

    yogaforcynics - Love the name! Haven't had a chance to stalk your blog yet. Can't wait. I hope you will like us enough to come around. I think you would really be a welcome addition to our group: Intelligence and a desire to talk dirty. A winning combination in my book. Thanks again for stopping by. :)

    Canucklehead - Hurry up with the medications, buddy! It's good to see you. I know I don't need to remind you to go out and buy beer. That is like reminding you to breath. So see you Saturday for sure. Btw, ummm....is this a payday week for you? I mean, will you have money when you come to the party? That multi-colored Canadian money is ok now. Since our money became worthless, we take yours seriously now. We still laugh at it and call it play money, but we take it seriously. Later, buddy.

    Empress bee! - Unbelievable! The bee lady on my blog at last! I promise to try not to scare you off, ma'am. I can be polite and watch my tongue. And I will. I just discovered you myself, but I think I am the last one in the universe who didn't know about your INCREDIBLE blog. I will be on your doorstep a lot from now on, lady! And, yeah, Claire occasionally stops by and rekindles my passion. Whenever she can. Bee, she is really got a lot going on right now, so don't take it personally, K? I know she still loves you. How could she not? Things will get back to what passes for normal with her soon I'll bet. Thanks again for the visit, ok? xpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpxpx. And I mean that. :)

  52. Wow, looks like I missed a whole lot of crazyness...


    of course I am real, I know that.

    I think.

  53. Caroline, indeed you are real. Tanisha has told us all of your realness, your....

    Never mind. You are real. Everybody needs to know that. No one here, especially the puppeteer, has any influence over you at all. That's for sure. :(

  54. Ummm....do you know where that sweet little Lolly has been keeping herself lately?

  55. Caroline, count your blessings. Really. There are several there.



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