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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2018, 6:55 am 
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Kevin and the Gang: In-Between, Episode 5 - Who's the Man?, by me.

May 2001: When Michael asks for support in tackling his mother's poorly-chosen new boyfriend, Kevin and the other boys step up to the plate. A confrontation quickly follows, and Michael discovers the true meaning of friendship.

Yes, it's yet another step on 'Mike's Journey', but this one has the potential to leave more than a hole in the wall to deal with. The boys are in the spotlight here (all four of them this time) and there's plenty going on between them that the girls will almost certainly never know about, which is almost certainly for the best.

Hopefully this story provides some fascinating insights into various ideas of what "being a man" might involve, from the crudely physical to the staunchly emotional and everything in between. As such, it does contain references to and imagery involving males, maleness and the male anatomy that some readers may find undeniably weird, but it should be pretty clear that these are fully justified artistically. (Alternatively, they're just included for some more cheap laughs about wangs and masturbation.) There's some very naughty language as well, which is also used artistically but remains naughty nevertheless.

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PostPosted: April 25th, 2018, 4:58 pm 
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Interesting situation. The guys handled the situation with more maturity than many people twice or three or four or more times their age.

It worked out well, but it had the potential to go very bad. Thank goodness it didn't. I was afraid at the very least there'd be some "But Micheal I love him and why can't you be happy that I'm happy for the first time since your Father left/died?!?!" and/or Angelo being better at sweet-talking Rita. But that probably would have made the situation a lot longer and drawn out than you intended.

Another good read.
:)

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PostPosted: April 26th, 2018, 12:40 pm 
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If I could choose a favourite moment in this story, I'm afraid it would not be any of the deep and meaningful character-driven bits, but Michael's locker room walk. It absolutely cracks me up! :lol: Actually, it's my fault this scene is in the episode at all. It's based on a true story that Jake told me very recently, even though it must have happened about twenty years ago; once I had recovered from my mirth, I told him that I wanted to read about such a thing in his fanfiction. :D

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PostPosted: April 27th, 2018, 5:41 am 
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Extreme Ghostbuster
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Joined: July 31st, 2016, 7:19 am
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Fritz wrote:
But that probably would have made the situation a lot longer and drawn out than you intended.
You've hit the nail on the head absolutely. This is why I included the fight of the previous night in the whole situation, which had made Rita decide to kick Angelo out in the near future before Mike ever got involved. It also means that Kevin's initial advice to Mike - that he should speak to his mom before doing anything else - would have been the right thing to do, and they'd have booted Angelo out very quickly without the need for an army of boys. However, the army of boys way worked out pretty well too, and I think the friendship between the boys certainly benefited, so maybe everything worked out for the best after all.

Just for the record, here is what Michael revealed to Kevin in 'January - Friends For Life' about what happened to his father:
'Thanks,' said Kevin. 'Smells like good cocoa.'
'It's only instant,' Michael shrugged. 'Your mom likes to know where you are after school, huh?'
'Yeah,' said Kevin. 'Doesn't yours?'
'I don't think so,' said Michael. 'But I guess she'd worry if I wasn't here when she got home from work.'
'Yeah, I bet she would,' said Kevin. 'It's just the two of you living here, right?'
'Yeah, that's right,' said Michael. 'My dad left when I was like five.'
'I'm sorry,' said Kevin.
'Doesn't matter,' Michael shrugged.

Wow, how far their friendship has come since that first, tentative after-school get-together! Rosey and I briefly discussed the other day how neither of us has ever felt the slightest desire to write anything about what happened to Michael's father, or reintroduce him into Michael's life in any way, so I guess Michael was right all along - it doesn't matter! Maybe the family-deserting scumbag is actually dead by now - who knows? This is something you might want to interpret for yourself, and hopefully it won't be the last unanswered question that the Collinsverse leaves you pondering with interest and finding your own preferred answer to.

Yup, and now the second and final of my particularly memorable changing room observations has made it into the Collinsverse, along with Barnaby and his obscenely revealing shower. Michael's striking display of bounce-ability sits particularly well in this story as it turns out, providing a very clear image of manhood at its most basic level to back up the main theme. And seeing as Kevin implied in my previous story that Michael was sporting some pretty impressive stats in the trouser-snake department (and now we know how Kevin actually knows this!) it all seemed to slot into place really well! (Which may be a little ironic when it comes to my next story, actually.)

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PostPosted: May 13th, 2018, 6:58 am 
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Kevin and the Gang: In-Between, Episode 6 - Growing Up Fast, by me.

March 2002: Suddenly finding the boys in their class a little too immature, the girls wonder what it would be like to hang out with some older guys. Then Ella, Catherine and Stephanie decide to find out.

Once again, this has nothing to do with Ghostbusters and everything to do with teenage girls. In fact, it's a rip-off of an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, of which some (but by no means all) details have stayed with me for about twenty-five years.

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PostPosted: May 14th, 2018, 6:07 pm 
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EGBFan wrote:
[url=https://egbfans.weebly.com/growing-up-fast.html] In fact, it's a rip-off of an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, of which some (but by no means all) details have stayed with me for about twenty-five years.


I remember that episode. One of my favorites, as I recall. You did a hilarious reimagining of the "Will Dizzy Eat It?' game. :lol:

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PostPosted: May 15th, 2018, 3:52 pm 
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Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Zodiac: Gemini
Goodness me, how I am reminded of life at our real-life secondary school, yet I know that this is only a taster of SJL-inspired Collinsverse life compared to Rosey's next story! I'm also reminded of how I was once pretty taken in by someone moving a planchette (actually it was a drinking glass!) on a home-made ouija board. I stopped believing it was real when the owner of the Scrabble set claimed to be conversing with Hitler.

This story cemented my ever-growing belief that Catherine and Stephanie love each other more completely than can be expressed in words, and they'll always be integral to each other's lives, whatever form that love eventually takes. This is another aspect of the Collinsverse that readers will hopefully want to draw their own conclusions about, but personally I believe that Cat and Steph are extremely close at this point to becoming a lesbian couple. Their role reversal after the ouija board incident deserves a special mention, as we can clearly see that the emotional and practical support between the two girls is both limitless and unconditional.

I find that John's appearance here rather nicely mirrors his other in-person appearance in the Collinsverse, which I wrote for him quite a long time ago and will be released very soon, as he annoys Lucy somewhat with his big-brotherly ways, and then comes through for her and her friends in a big way using his trademark car. I always interpreted Lucy and John's relationship as being not quite so emotionally close as those of the other members of Kevin's gang and their siblings, excluding Michael of course, who is an only child. (We haven't yet seen all the evidence to back up this analysis, but it's certainly on the way!)

Having said that, I also felt that Lucy and John had a huge amount of love and respect for each other, and would always trust each other and be there for each other when the chips were down. (And certainly they liked each other a lot more than either of them liked their parents!) I think this analysis is backed up in the latest story, and will also be so when John appears again. It also tells us why Lucy decided to call Kevin instead of John for help when she was dealing with drunken Jandro at the end of the main series - even though she knew John would probably be of more practical use, she really wanted her best friend with her, and that of course is Kevin. It's also worth noting that on that occasion too, John covered for Lucy to their parents, and he and his car were of great help the next morning.

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