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.

11 thoughts on “Looks like we got ourselves a readah?”

    1. Whilst it’s not very complimentary to waffle waitresses (many of the students in the UK that I know do bar and cafe work to pay their way through college) but it’s a good quote …


  1. Great readah books and most enjoyable post.
    I really enjoyed seeing the DDay newspaper clippings too.


    1. All too enjoyably distracting reading. I have more Mortal Engines prequels to read. I might also look at the first of the D. M. Cornish Lamplighter series that you mention on your blog in future.
      The DDay clippings were really interesting in the changing attitudes of 1984 the Cold War and thousands of veterans around and 2019 very few veterans and a much changed world. I have more D-Day 1994 / 2004 clippings in storage somewhere for future posts; the 1984 ones were especially kept because they came from my late Dad.


  2. The way things are going, you may someday be asked not why you’re reading, but whether it’s true you can even read. I try to read a book a day. My kids and their friends do well to read one a year, unless a pistol is held to their head. Yikes!

    Best regards,
    Chris Johnson


    1. My hobby is enriched by my reading and my reading enriches and inspires and distracts from my hobby.
      It’s difficult to know how much my friends, neighbours and workmates read as I tend to bump into readers, rather than non-readers. People in Book shops aren’t representative: they tend to be readers. We have a micro library and a telephone box book swap in my nearest village, mostly fiction, both pretty well used across the generations.
      Even the most devoted “video game” kids that I know still read cheat books, games fiction and gaming magazines. Games Workshop try to use D and D / Warhammer working with libraries, schools and scout groups to boost (especially boy’s) literacy and recruit gamers. Many of the fantasy / sci-fi gamers I know have impressive sci-fi reading lists (check out Cupcakes and Machetes blog etc), matched by the book munching of historical fiction and history books by historical gamers.


  3. Ah, dear old Bill Hicks – died so young. Looks like his rant was quite prescient too, even the President doesn’t read now.

    My own reading material is mostly factual although the odd fiction sneaks through. I always had a high regard for great science fiction and have much of the Victo Gallancz Sci-Fi Masterworks library. I vaguely remember one of them, “Mockingbird”, considered the future of reading in an automated world. Wiki has this quote:
    “I’ve read other novels extrapolating the dangers of computerization, but Mockingbird stings me, the writer, the hardest. The notion, the possibility, that people might indeed lose the ability, and worse, the desire to read, is made acutely probable.”


    1. I wonder if ebook readers or audiobooks will ever unintentionally achieve this loss of ability?
      Alternatively read Ray Bradbury’s short sci-fi novella Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which paper combusts).
      Both Dubya and Obama had their own different contributions to literacy.

      Not sure what Trump may contribute to American literacy or have by way of books in his post-Presidential Memorial Library.

      Look at the end of my recent post of “Re-storing” my collection and gaming area for a glimpse of Lancashire Rifle Volunteers c. 1860.


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