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Sunday 29th June 2014


Grinding slowly onwards. Sometimes it feels like I am very close to finishing and then I have another look and realise how much there is to do. But I made good progress on the end of the play today, it's now a matter of sorting out the third quarter, trying to work out the best order for the story to be told in and providing a few bits of comic relief (though it's largely relief from other kinds of comedy) for the Mechanicals. I think once this draft is done we're going to be about 30 minutes too long. But the end (of my bit) is in sight. As long as we can cast the remaining two roles tomorrow.

I am also struggling on with my cloudy iPhone. It's a bit like looking at the internet through a veil of mist, so I am imagining that I am a Greek God, looking down on my iPhone through the clouds and that makes the experience exciting rather than sad and depressing. It's pretty much usable, as most things I need the keyboard for work in landscape mode, so it doesn't matter that I can't type "p" when the phone is the other way up. The only thing that I can't use on the phone seems to be my "Monopoly Slots" game as the button that allows me to collect more "coins" to play the slot machine is right where the damage is and I can't press it. But this might not be a bad thing. Over the last few months I have become obsessed with this game, not because it's good - it's not, it's just a shitty fruit machine - but because I am trying to conquer it without paying any money to do so. You get a certain amount of free credits to start and then you can download a few more every four hours. But once you're into the game the stake you have to play is so high that these sums are insignificant. So clearly you are supposed to buy more credit to get to the end of the game. I couldn't believe how insane this is. You are being asked to pay money to play a fruit machine that you can't even win any money on. And what's more the amount of money you have to pay to have any kind of meaningful play is ridiculously extortionate. It's something like £70 to buy a couple of million credits, which as at the stage I am at it's costing 18,000 credits a spin is not even that many goes. And you can't win anything. Only the satisfaction of completing it.If you've got £70 to play on a fruit machine, go and play one where you might be able to win £20,000.

So I have made it my mini mission to try and get to the end of the game without paying any money to the evil Monopoly/EA overlords. And I've got quite far into it To begin with I would download the free 3000 credit and play it straight away, but then I realised the best option was to collect up the credits over the course of a couple of days and then play 18,000 credits, so if I got a win I would get a big return and might be able to carry on playing. This stubborn pig headedness made the game a bit like a job. But I was getting close to the final game, so I had been ploughing on. I could probably be there in 6 months if I set an alarm to remind me to collect the credits every 4 hours, even when I was asleep. This weekend I idly clicked the final game for the first time (I couldn't play so there was little else I could do) to discover that it's just a portal to another five or six goals which would all take at least six months to access.

It was at this point I realised that the game had defeated me. But I had also defeated it, because there was no way I was going to pay any money to play it. And nor should anyone. It's a horrible and shitty way to steal money off people. Even more than regular fruit machines, which at least make the pretence that you might win something.

So given that's the only thing that I can't access on the phone I might stick with it for the moment. Occasionally the screen goes a bit haywire and completely unreadable so I have to turn it on and off again so it's not ideal. But I can't upgrade yet and I don't really want to spend £100 mending the screen if it's so fragile and I don't want to buy a new one because they cost £800 and there's a very good chance that the iPhone 6 will be launched some time soon.

As long as this one can hold on then I will continue to use it, only feeling slightly annoyed that I can't attempt to defeat my evil Monopoly Slots game any more.

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My new stand up show, Oh Frig I'm 50 is at on tour from February til June 2018. There's also a new series of RHLSTP with recordings every Monday from February 5th to April 2nd All details of shows here.
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