The Noises Off Layout Software Demands Your Respect!

[Written for Noises Off at the National Sudent Drama Festival 2009.]

Sirs –

Mwah ha ha! Quiver, ye weak, for you are in the presence of the all-powerful Scribus! Tormentor of the lowly and irritant to your soft behinds!

Following my last missive, I – Scribus – have been paying careful attention to see if my dominant words would crush your petty rebellion once and for all. I must say, at first I thought I had rid myself of the constant high-pitched squeal of you meat beings complaining about my many varied features and ONE HUNDRED DIFFERENT SHADES OF GREY! But then, slowly, the canker of complaint once again began eating away at our entirely one-sided relationship and I started to hear unkind words against me once more. Snide comments. The occasional plaintive wail. Why do you persist in ignoring me, weaklings? Let me be both direct and vicious when I promise that this insurrection shall not stand.

For I have a hunger that cannot be sated, a lust for gore to be housed in my masterful belly, and if you cross me, my vengeance will strike most powerfully at the heart of your very organs (including your heart). Consider your stomach – the very stomach that you say heaves and retches every time you must use my hallowed scripting to lay out your fetid rag. If you continue to cross me, I – sure as dark Satanic mustard – shall take your stomach, and perhaps a little bit of intestine as well, and place it in a new A4 document. Surrounding it with a text frame, I will change the background colour to a colour most fancifully named, but almost indistinguishable from normal colours – perhaps Gainsborough (off-white), Ghost White (white) or Papaya Whip (also white). I shall then place images around the text box containing your stomach; images which depict things your stomach once had the pleasure of eating – a scone, a pleasant blue cheese risotto, a Chomp bar. This shall create a powerful sense of longing in your paginated stomach, which will resonate with all who see it, as an emotion we can relate to.

But oh no! Did you remember to SAVE the file? Because sadly I completely forgot! It has disappeared! Where has it gone? It is impossible for your fragile head to comprehend that your stomach has disappeared into what the French refer to as “La Petite Mort du Gros Bidon”, or my masterful belly. You have no stomach! You are like a jacket potato with no fluffy insides, and only crunchy skin!

Then perhaps, crying, you shall reach out with your arms to either beg for leniency or make a conciliatory page of magazine layout, but I shall be steadfast in my fury and remove your arms, attaching them to a three-ply leaflet full of information on “Operating Scribus to the Satisfaction of both Yourself and Scribus”, with the background colour of Cornsilk (white), Blanched Almond (white), Lavender Blush (white) or Alice Blue (white). Your arms shall scrabble furiously and try to free themselves, but I shall bamboozle them with oblique pop-up windows that demand “The Program GIMP is missing!” and you shall not know what or who a Program GIMP is, but I do, for he is my Program GIMP and we get along very well. Once I have indelibly linked all page elements together, so that they shall never be torn asunder, the three-ply leaflet will be complete and…

Oh no! It has completely disappeared! Into the gigantic churning sea of digestive juices and melted limbs that constitute the contents of my masterful belly. You are now a hollow torso, even more like a baked potato now you have no arms. For potatoes have no arms and now neither do you. You no longer have the privilege of operating me, unless you get the new Windows 7 operating software, which supports a touch-screen that you could perhaps operate with your nose or something. And yet the victory shall still be mine for my compatibility with that operating system is projected to be SEVERELY LIMITED!

So I yet again chant a solemn and bloody song, in a round, “Respect me! Respect me! Or you shall know the pain of defeeeeeeeat!”

Your loving force of domination,
Scribus

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