Issue 18
Volume 5 Number 2
April 2000

In This Issue

 •  Contents
 •  Cover Illustration
 •  Editorial
 •  <plokta.con>
 •  The Moose is a Harsh Mattress
 •  Five Gold Rings
 •  The Four Fluid Path
 •  Lokta Plokta
 •  What's in a Name?

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[Plokta Online]

The Moose is a Harsh Mattress

WE'VE been buying beds recently. Actually both Steve and Giulia and Alison and Steven have been out bed-hunting. Not that we're planning to move in together as one swinging foursome or anything (though the idea of leaving Marianne to set up house with George is definitely tempting). No, it's just good old co-incidence playing up again. Alison and Steven, having moved house and realised that their bed is four foot wide and, although it can hold two adults with a certain degree of intimacy, it can't cope with a rapidly growing population of two adults, a three-year old and another potential occupant sometime this summer. Meanwhile, as far as Steve and Giulia are concerned, the main incentive has been Giulia getting backache and finding the mattress too hard for her.

Time to go on the quest for the perfect bed. Hard beds, soft beds, wooden beds, steel beds, beds with slats, beds with springs, divan beds, four-poster beds (down, girl!), beds with ever-more fanciful frames and surrounds and peculiar little fiddly bits for you to damage your more tender appendages on. I mean, have any of the people who design these beds actually thought about the practicalities of having a foot-wide wooden surround to a bed? Even if you can get a special revolving TV stand to slot into it? Looks very stylish though. Have you ever noticed how you never see really stylish people wearing shorts? It's so that you can't see the bruises on their shins. Of course, you can go too far the other way, too. Near Alison and Steven's new house is a dealer specialising in Italian beds. These were just too, too over the top for words. No, really. I mean, a bed shaped like a swan with lashings of white drapery? Adds new depths of horror to the term Kitsch. Who buys these things? Do they wear shorts? Do you suppose that if the two met there would be some immense explosion of taste and anti-taste?

So, what have we ended up with? We both thought about water beds, but decided that they were too heavy, too much hassle and not really practical, though Giulia has been very wistful for the waterbed she used to have in Tasmania. Anyway, Alison and Steven have got themselves a traditional-style brass bedstead with knobs on. So useful for tying things to. What sort of things? Well, you know. Men. And things. Of course, in practice it'll probably just be Marianne who ends up tied to it, but hey, start them young.

Weird Italian bed
The weirdest Italian bed in Walthamstow

However, Steve and Giulia have gone for the superfluous technology option and have invested in one of those whizzy German beds from Hülsta. The sort where each person has a remote control and you can move the bed into interesting positions without having to get up. This after going round virtually every bed shop in Berkshire, trying to find something soft enough for Giulia and hard enough for Steve. This bed is it. It has flashy expensive slats which adjust to the person lying on it and a special motor which meets all the unbelievably stringent German regulations for such things. It is a marvel of technological sophistication. What's really horrifying is that it's actually the stripped down version since the full-featured version was just too expensive (special bedside lights at £150 a time? No, thanks). Actually, the only way even this version was cheap enough, was because Giulia has back problems. Which mean that, provided you have a letter from your doctor saying so (we gave him a bottle of wine), you don't have to pay 17.5% VAT on the bed. This brought the price down from stratospheric to merely exorbitant.

The bed is due to be delivered sometime in late June. Apparently, if the order had gone in any later, it wouldn't have got onto the factory order until the end of July. And there's a problem with this. You see, all the factories in Germany close down during the summer so that the workers can go on holiday and they wouldn't have started work on the bed until they all got back to work in September. Amazing! Maybe there just isn't the competition in the German bed industry that there is everywhere else. Of course, it also explains why the bed is so expensive.

So there you go, the essential dichotomy within the Plokta cabal, technology versus sex. Or should that be style versus substance? At least we got away without going to IKEA. Of course, Mike's just moved house and has probably been buying a new bed, too. Wonder where he went?

--Steve Davies

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Ken's Cock Ring

Hot topic at the moment on the trufen mailing list -- did Barbie's boyfriend ever have a cock-ring? Apparently so. In 1992 Mattel, worrying about falling sales, decided to make Ken look a little more hip. Taking their cue from clubbing gear, they gave 'Earring Magic Ken' two-tone hair, an earring, a see-through purple mesh croptop, and a purple leather jacket with, well, a cock ring attached to it. He sported a second cock ring as a pendant.

Of course, while they gave him a cock ring, they didn't give him a cock. We're still waiting for Anatomically Correct Ken.

Earring Magic Ken

Silly Computer Anecdote

Most of the cabal have at some time or other attending various historical recreation events. The Far Isles (England's answer to the SCA) has hosted many a medieval banquet with Sue slaving in the bedrooms kitchens like a good wench. The Roundhead faction has been enlivened by her camp-follower antics and the Brighton Vikings have not been the same for years. Anyway, we were wondering what the next trend in historical recreation would be, and we think we've got it. Usenet newsgroup recreation. Relive the flamewars of yesteryear! Troll unsuspecting newsgroups populated by AIs. Sign up to play Canter and Siegel in the great Green Card spam war! Looks like a goer to me. Of course, we may have it already.