26 Minds on Standby

Rated 4.80/5 based on 5 reviews
We are all very very different. And this story shows exactly how very different twenty six minds inside a pub can be.

The following story comes in 26 separate parts (kind of like 26 pieces of flash fiction, but all linked in some way), and can be read in any order.

Contains swearing, murderous plots, supernatural entities, and even your own sad pathetic self. More

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About Jonathan Antony Strickland

You really want me to reveal personal information here?
O.K then... here's some stuff you might (or might not) like to know about me!

Well for starters you can contact me on milthyswinebuckle@gmail.com

My Hobbies:
1_Are you bored. Then do what I do. Take off all your clothes and paint your face and arse bright blue. Then run outside and shout abuse at passers-by... passes the time if nothing else!
2_Managed 18 keepy ups with ye old pigs bladder once....What's that you say? Not that impressive! Well... what I failed to tell you was that the pigs bladder that I did the 18 keepy ups with, was still inside the pig!
3_Not pissing on the evil that is Milthy Swinebuckle, if he were ever to catch fire
4_Scratching my arse!
5_Watching Milthy get his arse kicked by a three legged tortoise...HA !!!
6_Scratching my arse and..oh wait I've already said that! Ah, what the hell. It's a good one so I'll say it again.
7_???? **** ???? with **** then ?*?*!
8_Wondering what I'm doing during hobby seven?

MY most prized possession: Hitler's missing left testicle (NOT FOR SALE).

My most famous quotes:
1_A step in the right direction can still mean the death of an ant!
2_I look down on almost everybody...although come to think about it, it's probably because I do climb a lot of trees!
3_You know that poem "if", what a load of crap. Kipling got it all wrong. What he should have said was "If you can portray the ideas you get to a sober man (no matter how shite though's ideas may be), and keep a straight face. Then you'll be a man MA SON!
4_HMMMMMM........I think I'll eat my socks!
5_MMMMM.......cheese and onion flavour .........NNNNIIIICCCCEEE!!!!
6_Ignore the above quote's and instead just read and live your life by number 7.
7 As far as I'm concerned you should not judge a fellow person on their looks, sex, race or beliefs. There are only two types of people: 1_Everyday ordinary people who just want to get on with their lives and not bother anybody else...2_The preachers, the arseholes and the gobshites, who want to tell you what to do, what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.

My favourite words:...knickers, bra's, boobs, bums, knockers, shit, shite, bollicks, twat, boobs (such a good word it needed to be said twice), gussets, stains, ugabalooga, randy, stodgeflaps, fgkgkujhghrewh, and TURD!!! That's TURD... Got it? No? Then I'll say it again, just in case you missed it...T.U.R.D

My Arch Enemies:
1_Milthy Swinebuckle....Beware he who sneaks, creeps, squawks and chortles. He who goes by many names. Names such as... Archibald Stott, Feagus the mostly squidgy, Terrance the quite nasty tormentor etc... but to me he will always be Milthy Swinebuckle (or if I meet him face to face... ARSEWIPE!)
2_Mr.Hairy Monkfish... Swinebuckle's main henchman (and suspected bumchum)
3_Randy Stodgeflaps... not much to say about this guy except he is one of Swinebuckle's best mates and a bit of a ballbag!

Charity work.....Milthy Swinebuckle has been infected with writers tourettes. Only I can help him. I really hope I don't catch it though, as every few words he writes he can't stop himself writing words like..."KNICKERS" or"ARSE" or some other filth. It takes him a good twenty minutes to write and edit a single sentence. I really "NADS" feel sorry "BOOBS" for the "GUSSETS" poor guy......"B...BB...BBB BOTOMSSS, ARSEHOLES, PANTS,......Oh bugger!"

PS: Does anyone actually read any of this personal information shit?

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Review by: tarnyloo73 on April 24, 2015 :
You may frequent a pub (or bar if you're outside the UK) with a diverse clientèle but you've never been to one quite like this!

Mr. Strickland presents an ambitious fiction experiment in which the narrative is split between several sub stories covering the occupants of this apparently ordinary public house. It's as if reality has been frozen and put into a kind of "debug mode" where you can wander from one character to another, examining their minds as you go.

Impressively, Mr. Strickland makes the format work to its own advantage when stories interlock with other sections, unveiling delicious revelations as they progress.

Weirdly metaphysical and absurdist in ways which are frequently hilarious. This is a fun and entertaining read throughout whichever way you choose to traverse the sections.
(review of free book)
Review by: Walter Lazo on Feb. 19, 2014 :
I followed the instructions and read this in disparate fashion, and then I read this straight through. Both methods were really fun, but the effect was uncanny. Although I knew I was reading the same words, seeing the same events described, it did feel very different, as if the mood of the entire piece had changed. Very impressive word alchemy, Mr. Strickland.
(review of free book)
Review by: Adrian Lacamp on Feb. 6, 2014 :
26 Minds On Standby is a well thought out horizontal slice thought the minds and thoughts of a mis-matched bunch of humanity.
It reads as though Jonathan Strickland actually had invaded the minds of the people in the pub. Each is a completely separate entity, focused on completely separate strands of reality or dreams as the case may be.
I would love to see some of the characters develop their own story, for example, did Selma eventually end up in a prison cell after murdering her aged and still bickering parents on her twenty first birthday? Did the Nylon Beard fool anyone outside of the pub? etc., etc., etc.
Fascinating story, full of, as yet, unresolved potential.
(review of free book)
Review by: Jeff McDargh on Jan. 30, 2014 :
Fantastic! I read it the first time start to finish and then again out of order and the execution works as good as the concept. I had this mental image of a camera moving me from one person and story to another with a narrator. Loved it, but dogs can look up I don’t care what Big Al says.
(review of free book)
Review by: Michael Carter on Jan. 30, 2014 :
If you've ever downloaded and enjoyed a story by this author before, then you're gonna love this; a pure fun, clever, self-aware, irreverent and genius festival of Strickland. It's a great twist on all your favourite but overdone genres; 26 Minds On Standby gives them all a hefty swift kick up the jacksy.

First of all I really loved it, I think we should all try and find a pub like this! Its typical of Strickland's writing and I read it smiling like a fool, and laughing out loud at much of it. It's starts off fairly straight, then gets unclassifiable; it's a bit crime-y, serial killer, then a bit horror, and lots of different sorts of fantasy; all humour, all singing and dancing.

It's a stonking new idea; take 26 pieces of inter-related flash fiction, all concerning characters in a public house, and read them in any order you wish to. There are many revelations and surprises within the story, and these are revealed at different times depending on the order you read them. Don't be put off by the long length; perhaps read one piece a day, I practically guarantee you'll read more.

As well as being a great narrative with enough ideas and plot strands to fill four or five novels, it has the quality of very self-aware metafiction; the story knows you are reading it, and the author knows he is writing it; I dare bet lots of invisible money that you've never read a story quite like this one.

I read it straight through like a normal story, and I think it all progresses really well, it has a great sense of flow with each piece seguing nicely into the next. Then, a bit later, I read it through more randomly, and it's great how different things get you at different times. There are different literary tricks here, multiple narrative voices with their own distinct colloqialisms. In each piece [and the whole] there are several gems of writing, some truism, or irony, or funny humour, or just some dynamic plot turn.

My favorite bits were most of it; all very compelling ["I'll just read one more part!"], but especially the Ark Angel Ronalds Quest For Alcohol and The Ultimate Atheist [These two bits are brilliant!] the Shock Horror Thing, the genius baby, the bar staff all trying to murder each other, archie the rat, the serial killer, Kirk the Kipper and Mandy Quinn. Occasionally it gets a bit bizarro, a genre-shagging mix-up of all sorts of things, a funny sort of story, a story to have a good time with instead of one to do your head in. Basically, it's a Jonny Strickland Mega Mix; love it.

I've waffled on too long about this excellent piece of writing; basically, I'm a bit jealous. I wish I'd written it first!
(review of free book)
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