It’s late; no it’s really late.
Your stash is mostly gone and you’ve successfully negotiated the journey to the all night garage and bought Pringles and chocolate, biscuits and milk. You’ve listened to a hefty wedge of the better aspects of your music collection and come to the conclusion that some of your more clueless purchases aren’t that bad after all.
Television isn’t doing much for you and the cat’s asleep so the old trick of putting Smarties tubes on her legs is a no no. But the laptop that has so far avoided being plied with spilled drink is sat in the corner with a web full of entertainment (albeit some of it potentially dubious) just waiting for your enlightened early morning wake up call.
So you’re sat at the screen with Google written backwards across your eyes, now before you type “porn” and head for the inevitable disappointment of a pay to play pop up marathon. Maybe there are some other places that could be worthy of your attention before the last smoke turns you white as milk and sends you to bed. Of course we can all find our own web based entertainment but what I aim to provide here is stuff that won’t scar you for life or make you afraid of the dark.
Inspired lunacy for late nights comes first and foremost in the shape of Weebl’s Stuff. A home for hyperactive flash shorts served up with a righteous dose of surrealism. Sometimes you just need to see an alternative view of Kenyan tourism, or maybe the adventures of a burnt faced superhero. Well crafted animation and left of centre humour never misses the mark here. Be warned though, you’ll need a fairly snappy connection for this site. The graphics heavy nature of the content means that narrowband users will suffer on the downloads.
The net has been around long enough now to spawn what could be considered sites of a classic status. And if you can still deal with sentences then it would be prudent for you to check out The Onion. A long standing site with a leaning towards biting satire. Nothing too demanding you understand, just Americans being surprisingly frank about their shortcomings and then ripping the shit out of themselves. The site functions with an almost tabloid ease of use. Regular features and “columnists” spoof the issues of the day and while the site has an American slant most of the humour does span the transatlantic divide. It’s suitably bright and visual in places so before you start thinking this is going to be a black and white trudge through endless text in search of a laugh, think again.
Another choice cut that gets my vote is Diesel Sweeties, featuring the everyday tales of a comic book community that consists of drunken porn stars, sexually repressed teenagers and robots. All brought to your door courtesy of the unique talents of Richard Stevens who delivers the exploits of a somewhat unique cast of characters in a quaintly lo res geek oddball kind of way. Sure these are self contained one gag wonders but archives of past strips are available. It has to be said there is a strange kind of soap mentality to this strip and before you know it a one comic stop off point becomes something of a browse fest. And he’s spawned an interesting if slightly geeky merchandising line from his characters as well.
Moving away from the world of the animated and back into something resembling reality (sort of) is a sited called stuffonmycat.com. The title pretty much sums up what the site is about. Cat owners who feel the need to pile household items on their beloved pets. This site has got to be seen, if only for one of the most recent additions, a cat wearing an orange peel crash helmet. Although I’m sure there are those who consider the site content questionable, I suspect a lot of this feline related japery is down to some individuals being a bit handy with Photoshop. After all cats aren’t the most tolerant of creatures and this kind of endeavour would be like playing Buckaroo with added claws.
So there you have it, a miniscule selection of what the web has to offer in the hazy hours before bed (or for that matter those blank screen moments during the working day). The beauty of sites like these is that they invariably link you to other pages of similarly inspired madness. Before you know it you find yourself weaving an electronic trail through some of the Internet’s more brightly coloured corners. So what you have here are just a few entry points, where you go from here is pretty much up to you.