Looks like we got ourselves a readah?

A86C084E-F97B-4FA1-8263-6A2E896BAEBA942D9882-FC47-4619-B7CE-D365C8AA61E1My Peter Laing 15mm figures and others are again a little neglected on the painting table …

21641008-EC2A-46A3-8698-6F4518BE38ED Scouting game  books and science fiction, fantasy and pulp have got in the way of painting on many recent evenings.

54mm-ish Tim-Mee space figures and pound store plastics. I have now added the rest of the Mortal Engines Quartet and onto the prequels …

Slow painting? Could be the pile of fiction books that have piled up on my bedside table. I don’t usually have enough concentration to read fiction. I don’t usually have the tolerance and time for badly “made up stories”, compared to “real stories” (History and non-fiction).

“Oh dear”, think the tiny tin men, “Neglected again”.

If you look at their tiny faces you can just about see the sadness.  “Well, well, looks like we got ourselves a readah”, I hear them say, half remembering a quote from an old comedy sketch by Bill Hicks.

You know I’ve noticed a certain anti-intellectualism going around this country [of America] ever since around 1980, coincidentally enough. [President Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980]

I was in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend and after the show I went to a waffle house and I’m sitting there and I’m eating and reading a book.

I don’t know anybody, I’m alone, I’m eating and I’m reading a book.

This waitress comes over to me (mocks chewing gum) “What you readin’ for?”’ …wow, I’ve never been asked that; not “What am I reading”, but “What am I reading for?” Well, damnit, you stumped me…I guess I read for a lot of reasons — the main one is so I don’t end up being a ****** waffle waitress. Yeah, that would be pretty high on the list.

Then this trucker in the booth next to me gets up, stands over me and says [mocks Southern drawl] “Well, well, looks like we got ourselves a readah”…aahh, what the ***** goin’ on?

It’s like I walked into a [Klu Klux] Klan rally in a Boy George costume or something. Am I stepping out of some intellectual closet here? I read, there I said it. I feel better.

   Bill Hicks, Sane Man 1989, Wikiquote – you can find the original on YouTube. 

Oh dear, tiny men, looks like you got yourselves a readah!

So I wonder why I get so easily distracted by books like these sci-fi and fantasy box sets and yet find more serious fiction like John Buchan’s The Courts of the Morning much harder work, a confusing read despite its lovely maps.

Some useful fantastical figures … and a long slog through the Harry Potter box set.

Maybe, as with all my New Year’s Gaming Irresolutions, what I didn’t plan to do is always far more attractive than what I should probably be doing …  it has been a blessing and a curse all my life.

I should be reading sensible books like these that I have recently bought with Peter Laing 15mm and Airfix / Britain’s 54mm Operation Sealion scenarios in mind …

Serious books I should be reading …

But who could resist thrilling titles like these?


Hardy Boys – Good tracking and detective skills, good for any Scout.

Anyway the Scouting books suggest that reading adds to the literary or fictional “Cloak of Romance”  with lots of ideas and imagination to Scouting Wide Games scenarios.

“We ought to be something” is the Scout’s cry …
Baden Powell / Gilcraft’s Wide Games reading suggestions. Plenty more stirring fiction suggestions in the 1908 Scouting For Boys …

Hope that you are also happily distracted by reading … my scouts await their finishing touches and their first scenarios.


Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 8 July 2019.