"What's the point of going abroad if you're just another tourist
carted around in buses surrounded by sweaty mindless oafs from
Kettering and Coventry in their cloth caps and their cardigans
and their transistor radios and their Sunday Mirrors, complaining
about the tea - "Oh they don't make it properly here, do they,
not like at home" - and stopping at Majorcan bodegas selling fish
and chips and Watney's Red Barrel and calamares and two veg and
sitting in their cotton frocks squirting Timothy White's suncream
all over their puffy raw swollen purulent flesh 'cos they
"overdid it on the first day." And being herded into endless
Hotel Miramars and Bellvueses and Continentales with their modern
international luxury roomettes and draught Red Barrel and
swimming pools full of fat German businessmen pretending they're
acrobats forming pyramids and frightening the children and
barging into queues and if you're not at your table spot on seven
you miss the bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, the first
item on the menu of International Cuisine, and every Thursday
night the hotel has a bloody cabaret in the bar, featuring a tiny
emaciated dago with nine-inch hips and some bloated fat tart with
her hair brylcreemed down and a big arse presenting Flamenco for
Foreigners. And adenoidal typists from Birmingham with flabby
white legs and diarrhoea trying to pick up hairy bandy-legged wop
waiters called Manuel and once a week there's an excursion to the
local Roman Remains to buy cherryade and melted ice cream and
bleeding Watney's Red Barrel and one evening you visit the so
called typical restaurant with local colour and atmosphere and
you sit next to a party from Rhyl who keep singing "Torremolinos,
torremolinos" and complaining about the food - "It's so greasy
isn't it?" - and you get cornered by some drunken greengrocer
from Luton with an Instamatic camera and Dr. Scholl sandals and
last Tuesday's Daily Express and he drones on and on about how
Mr. Smith should be running this country and how many languages
Enoch Powell can speak and then he throws up over the Cuba
Libres. And sending tinted postcards of places they don't
realise they haven't even visited to "All at number 22, weather
wonderful, our room is marked with an 'X'. Food very greasy but
we've found a charming little local place hidden away in the back
streets where they serve Watney's Red Barrel and cheese and onion
crisps and the accordionist plays 'Maybe it's because I'm a
Londoner'." And spending four days on the tarmac at Luton
airport on a five-day package tour with nothing to eat but dried
BEA-type sandwiches and you can't even get a drink of Watney's
Red Barrel because you're still in England and the bloody bar
closes every time you're thirsty and there's nowhere to sleep and
the kids are crying and vomiting and breaking the plastic ash-
trays and they keep telling you it'll only be another hour
although your plane is still in Iceland and has to take some
Swedes to Yugoslavia before it can load you up at 3 a.m. in the
bloody morning and you sit on the tarmac till six because of
"unforeseen difficulties", i.e. the permanent strike of Air
Traffic Control in Paris - and nobody can go to the lavatory
until you take off at 8, and when you get to Malaga airport
everybody's swallowing "enterovioform" and queuing for the
toilets and queuing for the armed customs officers, and queuing
for the bloody bus that isn't there to take you to the hotel that
hasn't yet been finished. And when you finally get to the half-
built Algerian ruin called the Hotel del Sol by paying half your
holiday money to a licensed bandit in a taxi you find there's no
water in the pool, there's no water in the taps, there's no water
in the bog and there's only a bleeding lizard in the bidet. And
half the rooms are double booked and you can't sleep anyway
because of the permanent twenty-four-hour drilling of the
foundations of the hotel next door - and you're plagued by
appalling apprentice chemists from Ealing pretending to be
hippies, and middle-class stockbrokers' wives busily buying
identical holiday villas in suburban development plots just like
Esher, in case the Labour government gets in again, and fat
American matrons with sloppy-buttocks and Hawaiian-patterned ski
pants looking for any mulatto male who can keep it up long enough
when they finally let it all flop out. And the Spanish Tourist
Board promises you that the raging cholera epidemic is merely a
case of mild Spanish tummy, like the previous outbreak of Spanish
tummy in 1660 which killed half London and decimated Europe - and
meanwhile the bloody Guardia are busy arresting sixteen-year-olds
for kissing in the streets and shooting anyone under nineteen who
doesn't like Franco. And then on the last day in the airport
lounge everyone's comparing sunburns, drinking Nasty Spumante,
buying cartons of duty free "cigarillos" and using up their last
pesetas on horrid dolls in Spanish National costume and awful
straw donkeys and bullfight posters with your name on "Ordoney,
El Cordobes and Brian Pules of Norwich" and 3-D pictures of the
Pope and Kennedy and Franco, and everybody's talking about coming
again next year and you swear you never will although there you
are tumbling bleary-eyed out of a tourist-tight antique Iberian
Monty Python's Package Tour Complaint
SLY FOR PRESIDENT
by Richard Karsmakers
It is damp. Very. It is hot. Very, too. The hero strides alone,
unhindered by mosquitos and leeches. Grim determination shines in
his eyes. He needs no helmet. Only his faithful M-16 is at his
side, a couple of hand grenades cling to his belt. His Colonel
awaits him at an airbase in a neighbouring country.
The malaria-ridden water splashes freely around him as he
crosses yet another small river, penetrating ever deeper into
the very bowels of the jungle. In his mind he sees frightened
faces of worn-out men. Fellow Americans, boyfriends, husbands.
Fathers. He sees scars all over their bodies. He sees brains
being blown out by mandatory Russian roulette, wounds inflicted
by brute Vietcong sergeants' knives. Sights that make him
hardened, make him persevere, make him struggle to go on and
reach his Goal.
He walks on, seemingly unperturbed by the long vines and dense
undergrowth that would have made any soldier's offense damn hard.
But this hero is a tough one. Very. And he is angry. Very, too.
The sound of exotic birds cannot please him, nor the exquisite
beauty of flowers that hang from branches and seem to leap at
him, as if rejoicing, from tree trunks.
He stops suddenly, brushing aside some fallen leaves.
A booby-trap, hidden.
Cleverly, he trips the wire from a distance with the nozzle of
his best friend. A sharp object flings itself into a tree,
passing through air where he should have been. But not him. Not
this smart American hero. Not the man who doesn't even need a
helmet. Not the man of a few grunts and even fewer words.
His eyes narrow. Was that something suspicious he heard?
He sees a Vietcong patrol through the low trees. They haven't
spotted him at all.
Will he shoot them? No. He can't risk the camp hearing distant
shots. They will be warned in that case, which is hardly the
He waits until the patrol has disappeared from sight. He is
not only tough, but he's also very smart. The all-time American
hero. The camp is getting nearer. He fingers his Rambo knife. It
is one of those large things with compass and fishing gear built
in. Not that he needs any of that. All he ever needed was the
needle, that he sometimes used to stitch his own wounds, without
sedation of course. It had been a while ago now. It had been
cold. It had been in the middle of nowhere. And it had been
something that he preferred not to have flashbacks about.
Once he had arrived back home, his friends had all started to
die of cancer. Whithered away by so-called harmless Agent Orange.
He knew nobody from back then who was still alive. Nobody, that
is, except for his Colonel. His Colonel who had called upon him
to single-handedly rescue a dozen Prisoners Of War still held in
the People's Republic. Chuck had done it, so why couldn't he, the
Meanwhile, in a POW camp deep in the jungle, an evil sergeant
has tied an innocent American soldier to a wall. He administers
electric shocks to the poor man. Just to prove his point, the
Vietcong bastard takes a knife and cuts a long wound across the
The prisoner bites his tongue and closes his eyes in intense
agony, but does not utter a sound. The Vietcong sergeant looks
at him and laughs an evil grin. It's the kind of person you'd
like to have someone shoot.
In the background, other prisoners can be heard. They cry in
pain. It seems as if all enemy soldiers have recently read books
They're all the kind of people you'd like to have someone blow
The hero is torn from his sad thoughts when he sees a fence of
rusty barbed wire before him. Behind it he sees bamboo towers and
huts. The kind that blow up spectacularly and burn easily.
Darkness falls. The sound of crickets is deafening.
He takes out his binoculars. At first he sees nothing except for
the odd soldier toting a Russian automatic. They talk in an
incomprehensible language. Incomprehensible, that is, to anyone
but the hero. Having served several tours, he had succeeded
learning the language tolerably well. Well enough to tell a
prostitute what he wanted, at any rate.
He sees small cages. Through the sturdy bamboo bars, desperate
faces can be seen. There are rats. They sweat and stink. The
rats, too. Morsels of food are left on broken plates on the muddy
The hero waits some more. At about midnight, having listened to
the crickets long enough, he cuts through the barbed wire and
succeeds in planting plastic explosives under each major hut
without being spotted.
The huts blow up in perfect sequence, each shabby bamboo hut
transforming itself in an explosion of fire equal to that of
gallons and gallons of fuel, all at the hand of a bit of plastic
explosives. Vietcong soldiers drop off high spots dramatically,
doing one or two mortal saltos, hitting the ground outside of
The first soldiers wake up from the nearby barracks. They run
outside, shooting, against a background of blazing fire. They
speak and yell commands in that same funny language observed
earlier. They spot the hero after a few moments and start
shooting at him, about two dozen of them.
They all miss him, miraculously (very). Bits of sand explode in
the ground around him, splinters of bamboo disconnect themselves
violently from the hut before which he stands. He does not need
to take cover, for he is the hero and heroes don't get shot. At
least not when they're as tough as him, nor when they're on a
suicide mission like his. He shoots a couple of rounds, three at
the most, killing all of the evil enemies.
The evil sergeant is still alive. His evil grin is still
plastered on his face, his hands are still wet with the blood of
a beautiful young American girl's GI. He scans the camp for the
hero, sees him almost immediately. He, too, stands before the
dramatic background of fire and burning frameworks.
The bastard grabs a gun from one of his dead men that happens to
lie close, shoots a bit at our hero and rolls off to a side.
The hero suddenly disappears, leaving the sergeant puzzled but
unaware of the consequences, to appear behind the Vietcong man a
little while later. The hero is a very fair man. He coughs
politely, enabling the Vietcong officer to turn around and aim
his automatic at him.
Gallons and gallons of blood explode from the body of the evil
Vietcong bastard as his lifeless body is hurled to the ground,
maimed by round after round of lead that is shot from the smoking
barrel of the hero's M-16. A look of satisfaction arrives at the
proud soldier's face. Mission accomplished.
He takes out a cigar, lights a match on his boot and starts
Someone puts on a record of violin music as the hero walks to
the cages, slowly but full of purpose, and breaks open the locks
with his powerful, muscular arms. Grateful anorexic American POWs
stumble out of the shacks, muttering their thanks and caressing
their wrists as roped are untied. One or two of them scream
screams of gladness.
The music is pumped up as a helicopter seems to appear from
virtual nothingness. Dust is whipped up, long unkempt hair is
flung in brave soldier's faces. Light beams pry to and fro
through the darkness.
The hero stands tall, directing his recently gained friends into
the chopper, on their way back home. Back to the loving embrace
of their spouses or girlfriends. Back to where they might see
their own children for the first time.
Home. A place where people think they've been busy killing
babies, where spouses or girlfriends have run off with drug-
crazed hippies, where their children have joined peace
movemements and are heavily into flower power, love, and peace.
The hero walks off in the sunset, totally unaware of what he has
And the bad thing is that he'll do it again in the sequel.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.