Sunday, 31 December 2006

Christmas Wrap

Yep. It’s official. I’ve irrevocably crossed the line between Christmas excitement and Christmas apathy. How did I get here? Was it a sudden journey one takes when one has two small children and four days of Christmas cooking? Or was enjoyment of the festive season leached out of me over the years by such memorable yuletides as the Midnight Mass burglary of ’88, whereupon we returned home to find our house ransacked, and thought for a few horrible minutes that our dog had been murdered (turns out he’d just gone a-wandering after scoffing several lollies with which the burglars had bribed him), or the Mr. Lonie family feud of ’03, complete with drink-fuelled irrational yelling and storming out? Either way, not even a glimmer of this mythical ‘Christmas Magic’ that seems to exist only in the minds of Hollywood producers and supermarket executives was evident. I put it to you that the magic of Christmas is, in fact, a baseless fabrication, and present for your examination the following evidence:

If Christmas were a magical time of giving and sharing, the grocer would not have raised the price of raspberries by $3 a punnet.

If Christmas were a magical time of feasting, the white chocolate tiramisu I made featuring the above profiteered raspberries would have looked something like this:

Instead of something like this:

If Christmas were a magical time of gift-giving, my family would have requested this:

Not this:

If Christmas were a magical time of peace, goodwill and holiness, my book from Mr. Lonie would have been about something nicer than a father out to avenge his daughter’s rape. And Mr. Lonie’s book from me would not have been The God Delusion.

If Christmas were a magical time for children, I might have put some effort into the pretence that a rotund, hirsute and jovial man would deliver presents to our house over Christmas Eve.

If Christmas were a magical time of rest, I would have been asleep on Christmas Eve, instead of up with Master Lonie (perhaps that’s why Santa didn’t visit?)

But the most damning evidence against the existence of Christmas magic? If Christmas were a magical time of enjoyment, I wouldn’t be two kilos heavier now.

Hope you all had a magical Christmas.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Happy Birthday Jesus

’Twas the night before Christmas, ’twas Christmas almost,
Lonie sat at the keyboard to work on a post.
She sighed with relief, her cooking all finished,
But sadly her vigour was sorely diminished.
She rubbed her tired eyes, she was having no luck
thinking of rhymes, her brain seemed quite stuck,
Then suddenly, wond’ring “What rhymes with ‘buck this?’”
Epiphany struck, and she shouted,

Stuff that for a joke! It’s Christmas Eve! Who has time to craft personalised re-workings of well-known yuletide poems?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, 23 December 2006

A Sleepy Snippet

I’m going to Christmas Eve mass tomorrow night. I suppose it’s hypocritical of me as I don’t attend the rest of the year except Easter, but somehow it just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without squeezing like sardines into a pew with my family, breathing as shallowly as possible to minimise my inhalation of pungent body odour molecules emanating from someone behind me, and singing Christmas carols in a voice a banshee would envy.

Friday, 22 December 2006

You know you're old and jaded when...

Mr. Lonie: Five more sleeps until Christmas!

Me: (groans) Oh God, really?

Thursday, 21 December 2006

This Present Is Not A-peeling

Call me Ebenezer, but with less than a week to go, I’m just not feeling any Christmas spirit. The only magic of the holiday season I’ve experienced so far is the sleight-of-hand by which my money disappears whenever I venture out of the house, and I’m pretty sure the only person who’s yet wished me a merry Christmas meant it ironically. As in: So you don’t want one of my newspapers? Merry effing Christmas!

I know this is a time of year when we’re supposed to be thinking about peace and love and goodwill to all mankind, but I must confess I’ve been thinking more about presents: Will Mr. Lonie’s stupid sister carelessly lose the present we send her son, just like she lost his birthday gift voucher? Can I bear to take my eldest nephew and niece shopping ever again after the last painful excursion of dithering and ingratitude? And will anyone in bloggerland give or receive a worse present than the vegetable peeler we unwrapped after our wedding four years ago?

Yes. A vegetable peeler. Most of us are taught that when it comes to presents, it’s the thought that counts, and that’s true. So when the thought involved in choosing a present is, “What’s the cheapest, nastiest piece of rubbish I can pick up down at the $2 shop and still pass off as a wedding present?”, I think I’m entitled to be ungrateful.

“Steady on!” You say with a frown. “You’re a bit greedy and grasping, aren’t you? What did you expect? A Lladro figurine? A bottle of vintage Grange Hermitage? A Fabergé egg?”

No, I didn’t expect anything at all, especially from people I’d never heard of, have still never met, and who didn’t even attend the wedding. We only invited them because Mr. Lonie’s pathologically-interfering mother insisted we invite everyone with the least connection to her, right down to a boss’s son’s teacher’s cousin’s hairdresser sort of level. A nice card with warm wishes would have been sufficient, but instead there I was, a consternated expression marring my blushing-bride’s features, holding the aforementioned vegetable peeler incredulously in my hand. It wasn’t a fancy ergonomic peeler with laser-edged titanium blade. It wasn’t even a good old serviceable supermarket-bought peeler like the one in my utensil drawer. This monstrosity was an ill-begotten hybrid of vegetable peeler and clunky, mark I electric toothbrush; for some unfathomable reason known only to its creator (I’m guessing Dodgy Brothers Homewares) its blades were bent almost at a right angle (handy for all those square potatoes) – and it was battery operated.

For the benefit of Mr. Lonie’s mother, who had invited herself and several others around to our house to supervise the unwrapping of presents, I said, “Hmm,” the most polite remark I could manage at the time. For the benefit of myself, I chucked the absurd contraption straight in the bin once I had proven my initial surmisal that it was completely useless, even without the electrified shaking which I could just imagine causing a fingertip-ectomy.

Oh! I tell a lie – it wasn’t completely useless. I kept the batteries.

Monday, 18 December 2006

Lost For Words

Why is it that when I need it the most, my brain deserts me like…um…something deserting something else? Having just declared my intention to ease up on the blogging in favour of more income-oriented writing, I find that I have nothing to write that isn’t even marginally better than the last few pages of stodgy rubbish I’ve already wasted valuable kilowatts of power typing. Moreover, I now have an ad hoc project of arguably greater import which is receiving still less cerebral support – a eulogy.

Anyone who wasn’t discouraged from reading Friday’s entire post as its façade of selfless concern fell away to reveal the nauseating bombast beneath, will know my grandmother was gravely ill. She died on Saturday. I am comforted by my belief Nanna has gone to that euphemistic ‘better place’, where her mind is sound again and she is free of the encumbrance of a failing body. I am also acutely aware that only a shitty granddaughter would be at a loss to come up with just a few sentences of fond remembrance for a woman who loved her.

Ugh! I’m going to bed before I descend once more into pseudo-pious self-flagellation. I’m sure after a good night’s sleep I’ll be refreshed and better able to do what a writer of my calibre does best: plagiarise from my sisters.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Out of the Escritoire

I’ve been keeping something from you. Something that will shock some, disappoint others and leave the rest of you shaking your heads sadly as you imagine the extra difficulties in life poor Lonie will have to face once this long-kept secret is revealed. Yes, I’m one of those. Although some of you may not care to admit it, or even realise it, we all know at least one person like me.

“My name is Lonie Polony and I’m an…an…” I take a deep breath to steady my nerves, and then decide just to blurt it out before my courage fails me completely.


The silence, after the initial stunned gasps, is crushing. I panic and my eyes dart around frantically searching for an exit through which to make a quick getaway, but Blogger Beta is, as all us poor beguiled fools have discovered, the fortress of no escape. So I slump defeatedly to the floor and continue my sorry admission.

“I’ve harboured this ambition for some years now, since I decided ‘writer of fiction’ was the ideal career for someone as lazy as me. What occupation could be better suited to someone whose favourite things include sleeping in, all-day pyjamas and as little ‘real’ work as possible? Sadly, it’s only recently I realised the flaw in my plan, the flaw which I’m sure you spotted immediately. To be a successful writer you need dedication, not procrastination. You need clever, original ideas, not tired old tirades. You need a vocabulary devoid of adverbs not listed in the Macquarie Dictionary. You probably need motives less base than ‘make a fortune and quit my job’. And then there’s the matter of possessing at least a modicum of talent.”

“And what, pray tell,” you interrupt with a sneer of faint repulsion, “is the purpose of this confession? We thought you were a harmless, loveable dag, but now you tell us you’re one of those deluded losers who think they can achieve financial and critical success in an already overcrowded market?”


“Has anyone ever led you to believe your writing is worth reading?”

“I won the Writers’ Workshop Prize in Grade 12…”

You collapse into derisive laughter for several minutes. “Anyone (snigger) else?”

“Well…you read my blog don’t you?” I venture timidly.

More peals of increasingly cruel laughter ring out. “Ah, Lonie, Lonie. Most of us in this room are only figments of your imagination! The only real people here are those three who visit out of pity. See them squirming in their seats feeling embarrassed for you? See how they avert their eyes, hoping you won’t try and foist a copy of your dull and derivative manuscript on them?”

“Hmm,” I consider. “In that case, you won’t mind what I’ve got to say, rather you’ll probably welcome it. You see, the purpose of this confession is to tell you that, in the three months before I go back to (paid) work, and while Mr. Lonie is home on leave to help with the fruits of our loins and the housework, I’ve promised both him and myself that I’ll work on the novel languishing in my hard drive, the novel which someone has implied is great, and will earn us a fortune. Consequently, as difficult as it is for a lazy, procrastinating hack, I’m going to have to stop loitering in bloggerland, or googling erstwhile acquaintances who have turned out to be pole-dancers, people who post photos of their own pooh, or high-level international policy advisors. I really mean it. No more daily visits to my favourite blogs. Fewer posts, more far-between. I’m really committed…ah, let’s face it. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Friday, 15 December 2006

Here Be Dragons

Gah! I'm caving in to the pressure. Too stingy and html-illiterate to set up my own web page or move to another blog service, I'm changing over, with due trepidation, to Blogger Beta. If I don't make it to that promised land of milk and honey, find my code-choked corpse and send my middle finger to the technocrats at Blogger.

If this post were a person, it’d be whiny and despicable.

(But hey, this is supposed to be where I can verbal vomit, right? Better out than in.)

The whole scenario was like something out of a B-grade horror movie. A horde of zombies groaning insistently for “Brains! Brains!” through putrefying lips shambled towards the teenage lovers cowering helplessly in their car, powerless to prevent their imminent demise. Except that even as this comparison flitted guiltily through my head, it was not an appreciation for its black comedy that I felt, but rather a sadness for the frailties of age in once-vigorous people.

Visiting my grandmother in her nursing home last week, my young, delightful children were the antitheses of the aged, shuffling men and women denied by nature the dignity of self-reliance in their latter years; consequently, they were as an oasis to a parched desert wanderer, or, well, a skull-full of grey matter to the insatiable undead. All eyes swivelled in their direction, while those who were able made their way towards us to pinch cheeks and croak out questions Miss Lonie was too shy to answer. I felt pained for those confined to their chairs staring wistfully at Miss and Master Lonie, vainly trying to attract their attention and entice them closer, while Miss Lonie, as frank and tactless as any child her age, hid her face from their strange, wizened visages.

A week’s worth of daily visits with my cherubic baby and button-cute girl made my nanna the envy of the home, I’m sure, but I must confess that even as we granted her that small pleasure I was selfishly thinking how sad it made me feel to be there and see the ravages time can wreak on the body and mind. I was reminded of the incident when, about six or seven years old, I was waiting in the car while my mum popped into a nursing home on some errand. A resident had wandered out alone and, spotting me in the car, was inexorably drawn to my window and peered smilingly in, enjoying whatever reminiscences the sight of a child dredges up in dementia-addled minds. Callow and incapable of reasoning through the situation, I concluded this poor woman was intent on, as I had been led to believe of strangers, abducting me, and I began to cry. Of course the fear and later chagrin at the teasing for my mistake, have now been replaced by pity. A pity which manifested itself in disgustingly self-indulgent maudlin tear-prickings during the afternoon’s nostalgic sing-along, when I realised that although many residents can’t walk or remember where they are, lyrics from their heyday are etched in their memories.

Now my nanna lies, as I learnt mere hours ago, stroke-afflicted and vulnerable to imminent death, and this revolting, snivelling, rambling confessional-type post does no one any good. Perhaps it would be better to acknowledge the dark humour of such situations rather than whinge about poor me and my sensitive nature, which excuses me from phoning my grandmother because her lapses in lucidity make me sad. In that case, here is some advice:

Eat dairy for your bones. Do cryptic crosswords for your mind. And (as my recently deceased grandfather can attest) beware a visit from me and mine, for we are the harbingers of doom.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Google is a Fascist Bully!

I’m being punished for holding out against the (inevitable, so I’m assured) move to Blogger Beta. I can’t comment on anyone’s blog anymore because I don’t have the requisite Google Account. I tried to sign up for a Google Account, but it won’t let me use my blogging name, accepting only my real, proper-email-for-proper-uses name. I tried to create a Gmail account, but guess what? I need a Google Account for that. So it seems I have to create another identity-thief’s-treasure-trove, spam-magnet email account. I know Blogger is free and therefore one could argue I shouldn’t complain and whinge, but what is all this grief in aid of? Change for the sake of it, or real, necessary improvements? If the latter, why, when I recently created my blog, did Blogger not just automatically create a Beta account for me? I hate Google!

Oh, hello there O’Brien. What’s this? You say all the answers are in the place where there is no darkness…?

No! Not the rats! I’ll do anything…!

Please ignore my earlier rant. I realise now I love Big Google.

Saturday, 9 December 2006

I Just Spent A Week As Single Parent. Interstate. With My Parents.


I needed to get that off my chest.

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Au Revoir, Blog Amies!

“No, Lonie! Don’t leave us bereft of your humorous, polony-based rants for a whole week!” I hear my thousands of fanatical readers cry out in despair as they tear out handfuls of their hair. “How will we cope with our dreary, polony-free days? We’ve tried other blogs but Lonie™ Polony is the only polony guaranteed to be 100% rectum free! WE DON’T LIKE RECTA!”

And then I snap out of my oh-so-delightful dream.

Unlike many self-aggrandising fantasies, this one does contain a few grains of truth: No-one likes recta, except as necessary parts of the body’s waste-removal system (and possibly those people who consider it a delicacy. I don’t know who such people might be, and don’t care to accept any dinner invitations from them); Lonie™ Polony is the only polony guaranteed to be 100% rectum free; and I am leaving bloggerland for a week.

The suitcase and carry-on bag are finally packed, and yet again I’m amazed the clothes and miscellany for Miss Lonie, Master Lonie and I have all fitted. I try not to think about the return journey, when the suitcase will be bulging and straining at the zips because I can’t be arsed packing with anything approaching the same amount of care.

Mr. Lonie is snoring on the couch – in my obtuseness I thought this was the opposite of what he intended to do when he declared he would stay awake tonight – until it’s time to set out at the unusually ‘eff off! I’m sleeping!’ time of 3 a.m. on the way to his junket in New Zealand.

The fruits of my womb and I are to make the less physically arduous but perhaps more psychologically straining journey to the town of Wynyard with my progressively batty parents, to visit my grandmother. A week with my parents?! Wish me luck.

Friday, 1 December 2006

Fond Memories of KFC (Knackered Fat Chicken)

Over the years my siblings and I must collectively have kept at least two dozen pets. We’ve had the usual dogs, cats, budgies, canaries and fish, as well as terrapins, ducks, an imaginary horse called Rowan (oh, how I wanted a horse!), and the chickens. A chicken was an odd sort of pet for me, considering I was rather afraid of them – as a tiny wee mite visiting my grandparents’ farm, the chickens were at least half my height and, sensing their advantage, used to run at me rather than away from me. Still, my grandparents were indulgent and like most things we begged of them, gave us the chicks without question. They would even have gifted us with the piglets we were so keen for, if Mum hadn’t finally put her foot down.

I proudly named my chicken Sandy, after Sandy the fish monster from Monkey Magic, and I still think of Sandy as a ‘him’ today, even though he was of the egg-laying persuasion. Unfortunately, Sandy suffered from delusions of anthropomorphism, and consequently decided that he would eat himself into obesity just like the hundreds of millions of other people in the world.

Poor Sandy – I can still see him in my mind’s eye, tottering around on little chicken legs far too inadequate for his great bulk, sometimes collapsing and struggling pitifully to rise. Inevitably and perhaps mercifully, there came the day when I was solemnly informed that Sandy had passed on to heaven.

I never enquired what happened to Sandy’s earthly body, nourished too much for its own good, preferring to maintain the belief he was buried in some quiet part of the garden. If I start to think that maybe he became a tasty dinner for the dogs and cats, or, quelle horreur, ended up in one of the chicken curries that so frequently graced our table, I enter a metaphorical state of stuffing my fingers in my ears and shouting lalalalala! Until those nasty thoughts go away.

Sandy has never been forgotten. I am no longer afraid of chickens, although I maintain a healthy respect for other poultry which seem to have the same uncanny knack for sensing my fear and pursuing me mercilessly. And my siblings, usually so tender-hearted when it comes to our pets, still derive much gleeful amusement from teasing me about Sandy’s unfortunate demise.

Sandy, wherever you are, may you soar like an eagle, lay eggs without effort and never lack for corn and worms.

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Not So Pretty Woman

A few years ago, I took the plunge and visited a brothel. Certain things hadn’t been going so well for me, and I thought this broadening of my narrow, sheltered-life horizons would cheer me up, as well as providing me with an interesting anecdote to regale select friends with. Perhaps a little overdressed and giggly with nerves, I hoped the car would be safe in the somewhat seedy area, and strode in eagerly. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as I’d hoped, and I left a short while later, disappointed and unsatisfied. It’s possible I would have found the management at a different establishment more willing to cater to my fancy – every market has its niche, right? – but I’ve never been game enough for another attempt, especially not now that I have a respectable reputation to maintain.

I am, of course, talking about the time when, for a couple of months, I was on the dole. Let’s skip the hackneyed, humourless jests about my arts degree qualifying me only for a McJob, and go straight to admitting there was a brief post-graduation hiatus during which I was persuaded to go down to my local Centrelink asking for a fortnightly handout. I still remember queuing up with 16-year-old mothers-of-three and Ali G look-alikes with expensive mobiles and souped-up cars that argued for a ration-book dole system, thinking to myself, “I don’t belong here!” Still, I dutifully filled my dole diary with the required number of applications for crappy jobs each fortnight, while my applications for proper positions worked their way through the painfully slow Government Machine (of which I am now a lowly cog).

Anyone who’s been unemployed, and is not a dole-bludger or Paris Hilton, knows it’s not the best lifestyle for people with pride and ambition, so when I spotted an ad for a brothel receptionist, I leapt at the chance. Not to actually work there, although I suppose if I had been offered the job I might have tried it out for a few days until my delicate sensibilities deemed I’d had enough of ‘slumming it’. No, I went dressed in a business suit and clutching my plastic-pocketed résumé in the hopes of, as prospective staff-member, being shown around the rooms and maybe even catching a glimpse of a furtive client. Imagine my disappointment when all I ever saw was an ordinary-looking waiting room that could just as easily have belonged in a dentist’s suites. Even the magazines there were Women’s Weeklies and New Ideas, not a porno in sight! It was nothing like the eye-opening, amusingly risqué experience I had anticipated.

Innocent that I am, someone later had to tell me that brothels commonly recruit new girls by advertising for receptionists, then gradually desensitising them until they think nothing of (as my mum would put it) selling their bodies.

I’m still trying to work out whether I should be insulted I wasn’t offered the job.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

Hello there, sonny, and what's your name?

One month left until Christmas. One month left to don your spending trousers and elbow your way through the growing crowds at the shopping centres, fighting to grab the latest useless, overpriced product of sweatshop child labour which has been declared the ‘must-have toy of the year’ by its own marketers, because you’ve succumbed to the stress and the mob mentality of the ‘festive season’. One month left to stock up on enough liquor to make those obligatory family gatherings more bearable. One month left to note down the number of your nearest debt-crisis counselling service. One month left to convince your shy child to sit on the lap of the stranger in funny clothes who’s offering them chocolate, while someone takes photographs…well, maybe not.

Christmas isn’t a joyful season of fa-la-la-la-la-ing for everyone, but take heart you scrooges out there. There’re only two months left until Easter merchandising begins.

Hate, Thy Name Is Dinki!

“Don’t say ‘hate’,” my mother used to admonish me. “‘Hate’ is such an ugly word. Say ‘dislike’.”

Hmph. That’s all very well for capsicum, or maths homework when you want to watch Monkey Magic. But an exploitative boss who tells you to deal with the mess she made in her bed because she insisted on sleeping naked during her period? The woman who deliberately calls you into her room to catch an unwanted eyeball-melting sight of her nakedness? The fiend who openly embezzles the money meant for your food and living expenses, forcing you to lunch on stale pretzels from last night’s dinner, and hand-wash your clothes in a bath tub? The moron who has the gall to tell you to speak “American” because her poor neglected child has begun to talk with an Australian accent? The cow who begrudges you a phone call to let your far-away parents know you’re okay? The slavedriver who works you 14-16 hours a day, seven days a week? ‘Dislike’ falls spectacularly short of the mot juste.

Of course, everyone hates people like Hitler and Mao and Gary Glitter, but how many people in our comfortable, bloggerland world have known a real, personal hatred for someone, a hatred that turns one into an unrecognisable seething mass of malevolence? I have. This unpleasant episode in my life occurred when I was a poor foreign student in China facing eviction from my only home (a small dorm-room across the corridor from the squat-toilets) over the summer, to make room for lucrative short-course students. With no family or friends within thousands of kilometres, not enough money to pay the next semester’s fees and living expenses, and no possibility of other work except as an English tutor, (at which I would unequivocally suck), I grasped at the few pitiful straws within reach and accepted a job as nanny to the child of an American woman helping to set up a multinational joint-venture. I shall call her Dinki, for Devil Incarnate.

At first it seemed I’d fallen on my feet, solving my problems of where to live, and what to live on, in one fell swoop of unimagined, 5-star hotel, company-payroll luxury. But it all went horribly wrong somewhere between our agreeing on terms of employment, and my arrival in the city of Changchun where Dinki was to be based for the summer. Her demeanour had radically altered from generous, reasonable employer and devoted working mother to selfish, lazy, demanding boss and dismissive parent. Dinki struck a great deal – her company paid my wages and accommodation, plus gave her cash for my expenses, which left her not a cent out of pocket. Unfortunately, this did not incline her to kindness, and her rude, imperious and demeaning treatment of me soon made me a pathetic object of pity to her colleagues and the hotel staff.

Becoming depressed, desperately homesick and slightly unhinged, I began to wish, half seriously, that one of the planes Dinki flew on occasionally would crash and kill her. When we moved to her company-rented house in Beijing, I can remember standing at the top of the stairs, indulging in a morbid fantasy of me pushing Dinki down, and explaining to the coroner she had accidentally tripped and fallen.

It was therefore a delightful surprise, and not a cause for waiting until her husband arrived for backup as she’d feared, when Dinki fired me (apparently for not accepting her poor treatment docilely enough). A weight slid off my shoulders like greenhouse-effect-thawed chunks off a polar icecap, and I think never was anyone so happy as I to return from obscene Western luxury to my dirty, cockroach-infested dormitory.

I’m angry with myself for submitting to such ill-treatment, and like many people I suppose I hated Dinki not just for her inherent vices but for the blinding spotlight she threw on my own weaknesses. I’m ashamed of the things I thought and wished, which were terrible but, I think hopefully, aberrations from my run-of-the-mill flawed human nature. It was at least a year or two before I stopped frequently fuming about Dinky, and was able to think of her without my blood boiling. While writing this post, I googled her, and found a picture that made her look like any reasonable, pleasant person. This annoyed me, but I no longer feel the hatred that consumed so much of my thoughts for too long.

Mum was right. ‘Hate’ is an ugly word, but an even uglier emotion.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Is That What They’re Calling It These Days?

As much as I’d like to launch into a full-scale rant about Katie Holmes’s hair in the official Tomkat (what an ironic name; how long d’ya think it will be before that’s exactly what Tom’s doing again?) wedding photo (it looks like a circa 1980s genuine chigger mullet. Is that a Scientology-mandated wedding hairstyle?), I’m buggered and I’m off to bed. I've had to cook a delicious dinner, feed and bath the fruits of our loins, and generally do all the other things required to prevent Family and Community Services declaring us unfit parents, all by myself this evening. Mr. Lonie was 'at a seminar'.*

*Okay, now that you've all inferred Mr. Lonie is having an affair, he really was at a seminar. I'm just tired and annoyed and therefore in an irrational, imply-my-husband-is-cheating-to-spite-my-face kind of mood.

Monday, 20 November 2006

Breechclout Bonanza

I knew it was time to do some washing when I realised I was down to my emergency undies. You know, that pair of huge, baggy undies in which the elastic has long since perished, but which I was too miserly to throw away, thinking, “I may need them one day.” And so I did.

Spending all day yesterday in a g-string was an uncomfortable reminder that I’m no longer as young and svelte as I used to be, so today while my freshly-laundered knickers fluttered on the Hills Hoist, I spurned the rest of my forlorn collection of barely-there reminders of youth and pert bottom, in favour of the enormous bum-clouts. I don’t know why I bothered – whatever covering-up function underpants are supposed to fulfil was completely overridden by this pair’s amorphous state that would have better suited a gigantic amoeba with vaguely leg-like flagella.

Later on when I needed to walk to the shops, and preferred to wear a pair of undies that:

a) could stay up independently;
b) would not floss my crack; and
c) were not my wedding day knickers, which have not been worn in four years and would undoubtedly invite an unfavourable commentary on the transition from blushing young bride to draggled goodwife;

I hit the jackpot. Tucked away in the pile of my clothes that never gets sorted but diminishes piecemeal until its renewal after washing days, I found a perfect pair of undies. The kind your grandmother fervently hopes you’re wearing in case you get run over by a bus. With luck like that, I should have bought a lottery ticket.

Confessions of a Passive-Aggressive Soceraphobe

Is it wrong to hide out in the backyard for the duration of my in-laws’ self-appointed visit? This is the question I ponder as, hanging out the clothes, I hear with a sinking feeling the unmistakeable fishwife tones of Mr. Lonie’s mother. Coming to the disappointing conclusion that, yes, it would be wrong from a social mores perspective (though not a personal preferences one), I muster up as much of a smile as I can, and trudge reluctantly inside.

“Hello!” My parents-in-law and I greet each other with false cheeriness, pretending to ignore the great big fat elephant of mutual dislike in the room with us. One day I will set down in rant form (it will take several posts) the origins and nature of this dislike, but for now suffice it to say that they are idiots. Anyone who’s read my previous posts will know I cannot endure the stupid, but even their idiocy would not be enough to condemn them, being Mr. Lonie’s family, after all, if they were not also appalling racists, homophobes and general intolerants who, like all racists, homophobes and intolerants, persist in their ignorance, obtusely complacent in their views despite never having known anyone of the ethnic group, sexuality or religious persuasion they deride.

For the next few minutes they prate on about the usual inanities involving stupid daughters one and two and their families, which I don’t care to hear except as smug reminders of how much better my own family is, especially when Mr. Lonie’s mum tells what everyone knows are barefaced lies about SD one and two’s capabilities and competencies at home and work.

Then, (having remembered this time to steer clear of the forbidden topics Mr. Lonie has quietly informed them of after enduring too many of my post-in-laws-related meltdowns – i.e. derogatory references to practically everyone not exactly like themselves), Mr. Lonie’s mum revisits one of her (next) favourite subjects.

“When are you going to hang some of your wedding pictures?”

By this oft-repeated question, she means, “I have told you countless times to blow photographs of the two of you up to hideously tacky size and display them where they will command the uneasy attention of all in the room! Why do you not yield to my insistence?”

Mr. Lonie and I were married over four years ago. I briefly consider announcing that I haven’t even finished putting the wedding album together, but settle instead for an enigmatic smile. Those photos will never be hung.

Saturday, 18 November 2006

I Am Not A Morning Person

I was awakened early this morning by the dulcet screams of Master Lonie demanding some food and attention. Inappropriate as it may seem, given our geographical location (but perhaps not so strange, given our PM’s heart’s desire), Good Morning America was on, the hosts blathering on about riots and hold-ups triggered by the release of the latest over-hyped video game console, because apparently the geeks have determined the rate of obsolescence means waiting twenty-four hours to play the newest sex-life substitute game is just unacceptable.

Hearing a faint but persistent noise coming from outside, I realised with displeasure that it was the dawn chorus. Thoroughly grumpy now and keen to get back to bed, I was not impressed when GMA chose that moment to chime in with its weather theme song, sung with the kind of jaunty beat that only exacerbated the taunting nature of the inane lyrics:

“How does it feel to be up with the sun?
Start your day on the run? Whoa whoa yeah…”

How does it feel? It feels like SHUT YOUR FACE!

I am not a morning person.

Merkin For Me Mister

I didn’t much enjoy the overly-long pirate-themed movie I just sat through. Maybe that was because, like all cash-grubbing and exhaustive-merchandising second movies of a trilogy, it had no real beginning and certainly no satisfying conclusion. Maybe it was because some part of me feels uncomfortable about depictions of murderous criminals, such as pirates and mobsters, as lovable, humorous protagonists. Or maybe it was because I was too distracted by thoughts of the wiry pube Mr. Lonie left on the toilet seat this evening.

There it was, a lonely short-and-curly sullying the spot I must needs place my own posterior, a reminder of the act that Mr. Lonie had just performed to bring said hair in contact with the seat, as if the evidence left by the turdo-charged waste vehicle wasn’t enough.

While I know it would be horribly effeminate and not a little bit weird, I couldn’t help wondering if Mr. Lonie’s groinal wilderness might ever be deforested to the point that, were we living in Elizabethan times, he would commission the making of a nice bushy merkin. At least then I wouldn’t constantly be fishing loose pubes out of the children’s bath water after the errant hairs work themselves loose from the non-slip rubber mat they’ve managed to become entangled in.

Mr. Lonie’s careless moulting could have been worse. At least a pube on a dunny is better than a redback, and besides, in a world where everything is relative, it made Keira Knightley so much easier to bear.

Friday, 17 November 2006

A Blog About Richard and a Wet Cat

I know that anything not pornographic or sexually explicit is really just the tip of the internet iceberg, but still I’m surprised to have come across so many blogs featuring pictures of boobs, bums and scary-veined doodles. I like to think I’m not a prudish purse-lipped biddy (although I must admit I did blush - much to my embarrassment and his obvious glee - when a nice fireman recently tried to sell me a fundraising calendar featuring near-nude firies), but if I really want to see pictures of some guy’s last-turkey-in-the-shop-with-rigor mortis, or some girl’s disturbingly childlike hairless front bottom, or a pair of jubblies that are more mineral than animal, then I will google an appropriately lewdly-named site.

This has happened to me a few times now: I’ve been idly looking through Blogger’s list of recently updated blogs, clicking on titles that suggest an amusing anecdote is to be found within, or clicking through with the ‘Next Blog’ button, only to receive a brain-searing eyeful of pink bits which frankly gives me the willies (no pun intended). Now if people want to take pictures of parts of themselves that are normally covered up for a reason (ie: though functional they’re not the most aesthetically-pleasing parts of the anatomy) and post them on the internet for sad old trench-coated creeps (whom I for some reason imagine to look like John Howard) to fondle their virginal saveloys over, that’s fine. What I take exception to are the misleading misnomers. Clicking the title, ‘Fat Celebrities’, I thought to myself as the page loaded that I would indulge my guilty pleasures of gossip and schadenfreude at the same time, only to be assaulted with images of erect penises in tiny costumes and with little faces drawn on to look like Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom. Okay, I just made that site up, but you get my point (I’m sure there’s probably something like that out there anyway).

With morbid fascination, I read through some of the posts accompanying these pictures, and found them not so much crudely erotic as laughable. Do the people that enjoy such things not realise they’re fabrications? That, at best, the real authors are probably chain-smoking, middle-aged grandmothers with dragon-lady fuchsia nails and spangled, shoulder-padded tee-shirts whose main income derives from the sex-lines they pretend arousal over as they do the family ironing? Or at worst, sad old trench-coated creeps who look like the Prime Minister and in fact could be him, using his homo-erotic feelings for Dubya as inspiration and an understandable aversion to Janette as motivation? Do those people really care? Probably not.

I’m not a prude, I’m not! I insist as you all scornfully stop reading, muttering something about me sounding like your mothers. I’ll prove it one day, I’ll tell you some of my sex and porn stories, you just wait and see! I’m just advocating fair warning in blogs and elsewhere, that’s all. I’ll never forget the time I tried to look up the RSPCA and the highest-ranked site was for connoisseurs of bestiality. I wanted a dog, and I got doggy-style.

I heave a defeated sigh to my now-empty virtual reading room as I concede that, given the medium, surprise porn is a bête noire one just has to live with.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

To Many People Cant Use Apostrophe's

Misuse of apostrophe’s – its a scourge of the written word, and a peccadillo I find extremely irritating. I know that school curricula are not the same as they were in our parents and grandparents day, when most people actually knew how to spell and use correct grammar, as opposed to these day’s when the converse is true; but is it to much to ask that children are taught how too distinguish between contraction’s and possessive case? Does no one but me think its a bit sub-standard that those children go on to make the same error’s in there tertiary or professional writing? What has happened to all the proof-reader’s, so that we must grit our teeth at the glaring mistake’s, apostrophe catastrophe’s, if you will, in major publication’s, and the advertising campaign’s of huge multinational’s? Ill tell you what, there place’s have been usurped by computerised spellchecker’s which to often let such thing’s go uncorrected, for all there programmers effort’s.

Your probably thinking, “Whoa, Lonie, settle down, theirs no need too get so worked up about such a minor issue! You’re priority’s are all skewed!”

Well, maybe so. Ill leave my rant about homophone's for another time, then. After all, their are more important things too worry about.

Caveat Slackjaw

Over the years I’ve spent many hours with late-night television programming for company: as a uni student, pulling all-nighters because I only started my 5,000 word essay the night before it was due; after odd hours at crappy jobs; feeding babies that can’t comprehend an adult brain needs more than two hours’ sleep at a time to function optimally; and now trying to write blog posts during the only time I have to myself.

Anyone who’s ever been in the same boat will not be surprised at the paltry fare on offer. I stare incredulously at the current infomercial playing at broken-record frequency on the television. This one is for the latest (and, so I am assured, the greatest) tooth-whitening system, comprising plastic mouthguard, complimentary-aeroplane-toothpaste-sized tube of gel (ingredients unknown), and a weak blue torch.

Obviously all the media-whore starlets and has-been ‘celebrities’ who were D-grade even in their heyday spurned this spruiking job in favour of endorsing a product more compatible with the pretence their teeth weren’t bought from Beverly Hills just like their boobs and curiously wrinkle-free faces. From the look of the average Joes the home shopping company has cast in their stead, one might be forgiven for thinking they are in fact advertising a cure for buggy-eyes, nancy boy haircuts or those with a pathological urge to grin like demented flight attendants.

I squint uncertainly at the before and after pictures, wondering if my eyes have gone rheumy with premature aging, because most of the ‘before’ photos look perfectly normal and natural, whereas the ‘after’ shots seem to show the effects of swallowing a fluorescent tube.

Pah! I dismiss the advertisement. You don’t impress me with your ‘before’ dramatisations of ridiculously yellowed teeth resembling something straight out of a primary school pantomime. I laugh at your exaggerated and badly-acted portrayals of the myriad inconveniences to be expected when using a rival product. I snort with derision at that universal disclaimer, “individual results may vary”, which conveniently abrogates any responsibility on the part of Dodgy Brothers Home Shopping for teeth which (quelle surprise) experience no such miraculous blanching. Your pseudo-scientific jargon and animated exposition are to me as the waffling of a drunken idiot.

And yet, as the midnight oil burns rapidly away and my judgement and sense turn in for a few hours’ sleep, the repetitive harangue, scripted testimonials and subliminal messages begin to seem reasonable and trustworthy.

I can trial the amazing Nuclear-blast intensity whitening system for only $99.95? Hmm.

Can I finish this post later? I need to make a phone call…

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

The Origin of Faeces

It seems that during the past few days I’ve been up to my elbows in the stuff, and sadly, that’s not a purely figurative phrase. Whereas Miss Lonie, as a baby, for months had a week-long hiatus between poohs, Master Lonie is making up for those glorious pooh-free days with a vengeance.

Before I made my own contribution to the survival of humankind, I don’t think I would have believed how dispassionately I now wash cloth nappies that, at a glance and a whiff, could pass for toxic radioactive waste. Vestiges of my pre-baby coprophobia can still be observed, however, now that Master Lonie, quick on the uptake, has discovered the appendage normally muffled in his nappy that most males derive hours of pleasure from. He doesn’t seem to mind that grabbing for it the instant I take his nappy off wins him a handful of sloppy green ordure, in fact he’s so pleased he generously shares his unexpected treasure with everything in reach. But other than that: pooh, vomit, regurgitated milk, a yellow arc of urine to rival any wee-ing cherub fountain – doesn't even elicit a raised eyebrow from me these days.

Oh, I’m sorry, am I doing that thing that parents of small children do again? Have you all stopped reading to vomit and stock up on contraceptives? I do apologise.

Evidently my muse dislikes the stink of pooh, because she’s deserted me, diaphanous toga held elegantly to her nostrils, and for all my staring at the computer screen, typing and cutting and drag-and-dropping, instead of a decent blog post all I’ve produced is insipid rubbish (watch this space!). So until she sees fit to return, I thought I’d leave you with some amusing trivia I picked up from Miss Oprah Winfrey.

From her ivory tower of incredible wealth and celebrity she had a microbiologist analyse the houses of some average plebs, so she could tell us all what was wrong with our shamefully servant-free lifestyles. I never did find out how many billions of microbes are swimming about in my nappy buckets as I write, but apparently, there are more bacteria living in the average person’s mouth, than their anus.

Hmm. I know which end of them I’d rather French-kiss.

Friday, 10 November 2006

One Man's Meat (is another woman's joke)

Sexual tastes are many and varied, and can drive people to do bizarre things. Catching a glimpse of the hideous corseted freak that is Cathie Jung on the news today, I couldn’t help imagining what a one-time colleague of mine might have said of the cringe-worthy sight.

“She looks as if a stiff breeze would snap her like a twig,” Devious once remarked of a rather thin girl walking past as we ate our lunch.

He was vehemently anti-stick-figure and frequently made caustic yet amusing comments regarding what he refreshingly saw as unattractively skinny women. Often these observations were murmured to me in a conspiratorial fashion, and I suspected that he was trying to ingratiate himself in the hopes of deposing Mr. Lonie. Or maybe he just thought my self-esteem needed boosting, possessed as I was of an unfashionably voluptuous figure. Either way, he ended up with a similarly Raphaelite colleague who was not so scrupulous about fidelity to her fiancé.

Another workmate was less ambiguous about his intentions.

“My girlfriend and I have decided to have a threesome,” he said quite casually, apropos of nothing as he gave me a lift home one day. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat and said nothing as he chatted unconcernedly about their trouble finding a suitable girl to make up the numbers.

“I was going to ask you, before I realised you had a boyfriend.”

“Mmm,” noncommittally. “Thanks for the ride.”

A third workmate didn’t seem to have any specific tastes; I suspected he formed designs on a woman based on the following criteria: ‘breathing’, and ‘reasonably close in age to myself’. One night after a few work drinks at the pub, Threesome and I happened upon Desperate Guy out with his own gang of friends, and he invited us for a drink which we reluctantly accepted. He bought a round of beers, handing me a bottle with a straw in it – I nearly laughed in his face when I realised he was trying to get me drunk with that fatuous method. After a few polite sips while Desperate and his mates leered at me and exchanged knowing looks, I began to fear that Desperate’s real taste might be for non compos mentis liaisons. Needless to say, we left immediately, me clinging to forward-but-honourable-tae kwon do-champion-Threesome for peace of mind.

So what does this little story say about my sexual tastes, leaving aside the whole valuing fidelity thing?
1) Chubby-chasers make me suspicious they might secretly be feeders.
2) Offers to make up a threesome are flattering but not in the least tempting.
3) A reliance on alcohol and Rohypnol is for bottom-of-the-dregpile-of-humanity losers.

In other words, I may not like corsets, but I am straitlaced.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Slobs Are People Too!

Or: How to be Dignified in Pyjamas When Strangers Knock at Your Door

Tired? Disorganised? Disinclined? So overwhelmed by children and housework you’ve adopted a mental foetal position? Then this self-help guide is for YOU!

Scenario: You glance out the window to see an official-looking caller climbing your front steps. There is no time to tidy the house, put underpants on the toddler or change your pyjamas, although you recall that mainstream society prizes such accomplishments. What do you do? Below is a list of helpful hints, with space for your own annotations.

1) Rail at the unexpected caller for getting you out of bed at this ungodly hour.
Unwise tactic when they’ve sent you a letter, which Mr. Lonie threw out unread, informing you of the day and time of calling. Also, not for use at 5 in the afternoon.

2) Pretend you’re a shiftworker, trying to rest before night shift.
May get you dobbed in to Department of Family and Community Services for letting an infant and toddler roam the house unsupervised.

3) Pretend you’ve been ill in bed.
The heaps of used tissues lying around provide useful corroborative evidence. However, you should remember to answer the door with a huge phlegmy cough and a sneeze, if you can manage it.

4) Pretend your pyjamas are an exotic national dress.
For next time, invent a country whose national dress might conceivably be purple monkey-motif pyjamas. Also need to think of a suitable alias and affect a convincing accent.

5) Pretend your pyjamas are not pyjamas at all, but a leisure suit.
A small chance of success, but must first remember to remove big fluffy purple bed-socks and ugg boots.

6) Hide.
Too late, he’s already seen you.

7) Open the door, grin sheepishly and apologise for the state of your dress and the house.
The nice man from the Bureau of Statistics might just have kids of his own, and understand. Then you can both studiously ignore everything else while you answer his survey questions.

We hope this guide has been helpful in keeping the tattered remnants of your pride together. Look out for our other bestselling titles:

* GRUEL! What to Cook When Your Pantry and Fridge Are Bare
* Olfactory Overdrive: How to Explain the Strange Smells in Your House
* Immune Systems Need Germs to Thrive

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

A Paean To Yearbook Nostalgia

There’s something about the passage of years that softens the trauma sustained at school, particularly during grades 11 and 12 when the girls had refined cliquey bitchiness to US teen melodrama intensity, and the boys used their man-grown strength to hurl basketballs with concussive force at students obliged to run the gauntlet each day. It was therefore with unexpected delight that I happened upon my old senior college yearbooks today and pored over them, exclaiming gleefully at each amusing recollection the faces and names evoked.

Some people I have no memory of whatsoever, and some images only stir up a vague feeling of, "he was nice," or, "BITCH!", but for the others, I have composed a little song, in variable metre, to be sung with appropriate smugness and schadenfreude where required:

Misty had sex
With my friend’s recent ex
At a party, under a tree.
The boys, they did see,
then shouted with glee,
And showered the couple in wee.

Marilyn seemed like a sensible girl,
She was studious, meek and mild,
So the news shocked us all when,
After the Ball, Ray got the ‘good girl’ with child.

There’s Basia, the cow,
So where is she now?
I heard her life’s gone in a ditch.
She went to the US,
Started stripping, no less,
That’s karma for being a bitch.

Everybody sing now:

Joe turned eighteen and he wanted a root,
So his mates all chipped in for a prostitute.

Bob won the FIGJAM award – what a louse!
It was I who left pooh-in-a-bag at his house.

Pete and May let it spread that they’d bonked at the pool,
Now she’s out of the closet and he looks a tool.
Then Peter, he really went right off the rails,
He got on the drugs and spent time in gaol.

There’s Dick – how ironic! – he measured his willy
And told us the length! That proves he was silly.

And Nell – I remember her foolishness now,
She truly believed bacon came from a cow.

Gary was caught in the toilets at camp,
Pulling it off like a wanking state champ.

Micky dropped out – what a pitiful creature,
He left school to become a line-dancing teacher.

When Jim graduated he soon found employ
Of the non-legit kind, as some woman’s toyboy.

There are so many more I would like to defame,
But alas! My rhymes are too poor and too lame.

All incidents and rumours are real, although names have been changed to protect the laughable.

Monday, 6 November 2006

I Loved You, Betty, And You Threw It Away!

To those of you hoping for a titillating exposé: This is not a saucy tale of Sapphic love. Although come to think of it, it is a story with tits, exposure, liquor and lesbians.

It starts in Beijing where I had acceded to the notion that studying in China for a year was a great idea. Evidence to the contrary is fodder for another rant, but at the moment my story begins, Betty and I, in the manner of peregrine students who instinctively cling to any links with home, are forming a friendship over copious amounts of booze in as many varieties as we can read off the drinks list.

When whispers of an affair with Martin began to circulate, I staunchly refused to believe the rumours. After all, wasn’t Betty sporting a ring from her fiancé back home? Alas, when Martin opened his door to Betty clad only in boxer shorts, possibly in anticipation of a quick romp and unaware I was with her as she knocked, I was forced to conclude my trust was misplaced. I realised from the amusement of my clued-in roommate how naïve I’d been, and began to recognise Betty’s other faults.

She was lightning quick to form harsh first impressions which she clung to with Mr. Darcy-like stubbornness. Woe was he who, due to inadequate English, innocently referred to breasts as ‘tits’ and was branded boorish and crude.

Betty also had a seeming inability to be punctual for anything whatsoever. Out of all the times she’d arranged to meet me for lunch, dinner, drinks, movies or outings of any kind, she was always late. This was annoying if not a little insulting, but Betty was the kind of person one always forgives.

Back in Australia we remained friends and continued much the same as before: Betty predictably late for everything or getting in all sorts of scrapes that put me to the kinds of inconveniences real friends are for, and me forgiving and consistently charmed. I listened with rapt wonder and a little envy at a worldliness I could never aspire to as she described a cross-dressing party which became for her a lesbian threesome. I talked her through bad partners of both kinds and we shared deep and painful truths.

I thought we’d be friends forever, which is why the end came as such a shock. What a way for a friendship to die – murdered quietly and without warning after Betty stood me up at the movies. When I rang and found out she was alseep instead, I laughed and said it was fine, I’d see her another time, but I never heard from her again.

In the way of such summary executions, I was mystified as to the actual reason for it, and all hope of resuscitation faded as I gathered my tattered pride around me after my attempts to contact her were met with stony silence, and I was too hurt to risk further rejection. For years I regretted the end of our friendship and moped over it, wishing we could have some sort of Hollywood-worthy reconciliation. But now, while I know that perhaps I can’t climb onto the high horse whickering to me so enticingly, after my unfriendly cold disapproval of her multiple affairs in China, I sit astride the Shetland pony of the thenceforth contrite and now wrongfully-terminated friend and say: Eff you! I loved you, Betty, and you threw it away.

Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

Saturday, 4 November 2006

The Joy of Zrbtts

It's 6 p.m. and I'm still in pyjamas that reek of bilious baby vomit, despairingly surveying the shambles around me. I've never been the best housekeeper, and if I had lived in Jacobean England I would probably have been a regular on the ducking-stool for my slatternly ways. But things are decidedly worse now that Master Lonie is of an age and inclination to demand constant cuddling on pain of ear-bleed-inducing crying. The kitchen cupboards and drawers are nearly empty of clean crockery and cutlery, moulted dog hairs are piled up on the floor like miniature snow drifts, and there is a mountainous heap of clothing I hope to get around to folding before the fruits of my womb outgrow it.

Incidentally, I have formulated what I call the Law of Judgemental Relations, which states that the number and type of unexpected visitors one receives is inversely proportional to the amount of housework completed. On rare days the house is clean and tidy, I could die and be eaten by my dogs before anyone discovered my mangled corpse. Good friends drop by when there's a slight mess, my family pops in when things could do with a clean, and the days when I think that it might be easier just to bulldoze the house and start again, are when my parents-in-law choose to descend like crows to a carnage.

Master Lonie is squalling because he wants milk NOW, dammit, and to hell with changing his leaking, pooh-filled nappy. He will punish me later with a manoeuvre known as the 'gnash-and-pull' (he chooses not to subscribe to the maxim, "Don't bite the nipple that feeds you"), followed by the 'pinch-and-gouge'.

Miss Lonie has launched into inexplicable histrionics complete with irrational whining and crocodile tears, as two-year-olds are wont to do. The shrieking is sharp enough to split my brain and for a moment I'm tempted to join in before I concede we can't all flop around like landed fish, caterwauling to the police our disgruntled neighbours have probably called.

But suddenly, my heart lightens as thoughts of overwhelming inadequacy vanish like a fleeting cloud. I bask in the sunshine of my precious children who remind me for the hundredth time today that housework can go hang, and that "This too will pass". Miss Lonie forgets her tantrum as suddenly as it starts, and smiles up at me as she says, "I luff woo Mummy!" before trotting off an a pretend shopping trip to buy 'snowman peas' and 'muh-wooms'. Master Lonie gives me a gummy beatific smile. He leans in, presses parted lips on my cheek and blows with his sweet baby breath.


Friday, 3 November 2006

Escher Designed My Office Building

I don't need to be told I have many faults, not least of which is an appalling bigotry towards the stupid. I know that disliking someone for a fixed and involuntary trait such as their lack of intelligence is as irrational as haircolourism or partialitytocapsicumism, but it's really people who fail to recognise their own stupidity, and behave with appropriate self-censorship, that I can't tolerate.

An erstwhile colleague of mine was one such person. She was a nice enough lady, but honestly, many things she said and did made me wonder what our organisation regarded as an acceptable score in its compulsory IQ test. Once, she told us how she'd managed to lock herself out of her apartment, having also left the stove on, and called, not a locksmith, but the police. Doubtless she imagined each whistling constable on the beat is issued with a skeleton key with which to open any lock in the city, à la a certain Simpsons episode. Then there was the time her son's car was stolen, and she decided the best course of action was not to call the police (who had probably flagged her phone number with a 'Do not respond' by then anyway), but to drive around in her own car looking for the stolen one. Because apparently it's common practice for joy riders and parts thieves to considerately park the car at the kerb nearby when they're finished.

It was therefore with some chagrin I realised she and I had been paired together for ad hoc shiftwork. I groaned inwardly at the prospect of recounted asininity and stupid questions (yes, there are such things) stretching over a twelve hour period while I attempted to prevent my incredulous scorn from showing on my face.

One night, she complained about walking the distance to the main stairwell to deliver printouts to colleagues downstairs.

"Why don't you use the stairs round the corner?" I asked.

"Because there are more steps."

Flabbergasted silence while I wished I'd practised harder at maintaining an inscrutable mien.

Just in case you're wondering, we didn't work in a Dodgy Brothers construction where the floors were at crazy angles. Nor was one set of stairs designed for short-strided midgets. And because I thought maybe the sleep deprivation was making me crazy, I counted the steps in each stairwell, just to make sure that of course, they numbered the same. It's not rocket surgery.

Thursday, 2 November 2006

The Day I Found Porn In My Roof

Still unsure whether this is the best story with which to introduce myself onto the blogging scene, I shrug and think, "Why not? Isn't cyberspace the perfect place to confess our embarrassing anecdotes, reveal our secret desires or regrets and give voice to our less charitable thoughts and feelings? What harm can come from a cathartic unburdening under the relative anonymity of an obfuscated identity?" Well, we'll see.

First let me say, before any other clever-dick ejaculates with excitement over being the first to post a comment stating the blandly obvious, YES, I KNOW IT WAS LAUGHABLY IGNORANT OF ME TO LOOK FOR WHAT I DID, WHERE I DID. I flatter myself I'm not a complete moron, and that this was an (albeit not isolated) lapse in common sense. Okay. Now we can move on.

Five years ago, when Mr. Lonie and I were still renting, the shower suddenly went Exorcist on me. Alright, so there was no levitating or profanity (except from me), but the shower did start spontaneous projectile watering and wouldn't stop.

Of course, Mr. Lonie was interstate and incommunicado, as he always seems to be when such domestic crises occur, and up until that moment the water mains had been to me as the best spot to stab a pen in one's throat for an emergency tracheotomy - I knew it was around somewhere, but hadn't thought to locate it precisely as long as everything was working alright. So with dozens of litres of water running wastefully down the drain and me due at work in twenty minutes, I scampered around outside looking for the mains, with no success. My common sense on this occasion being inversely proportional to my desperation, I then had a brainwave, a seeming recollection that some houses have mains taps in the roof. Yes, the roof. (Please see the caps-locked prefacing remark).

Quick! Manhole's in the laundry. Aagh! No ladder, and even standing on the washing machine I have no hope of pulling myself up. What to do, what to do? Guilt at wasting water in the driest inhabited continent on Earth blocks more of the sense-conducting synapses. I know! I can climb from the washing machine, onto the fridge, and up through the manhole! Race to the garage where our old fridge is relegated. Hmm. Big fridge. Step to climb. Length of whole house to move. Little 152 cm me.

I don't know how, but I managed it without dying in a whitegoods-crushing incident. Needless to say, when I finally clambered up into the roof, searching with rapidly diminishing hope for a mains tap, stopcock, anything, I found none.

The story of this particular folly ends soon after with my sheepish discovery of the mains tap right outside my bedroom window, not two metres from the front door. BUT, the unexpected stash I found upon climbing into the manhole makes a lovely gloss over that whole embarrassing morning.

Porn videos. Now I know some of you are probably smiling knowingly to yourselves and thinking, "Ah, so Mr. Lonie moonlights in a one-man band," but I can assure you, these did not belong to him.

"Poor, naive Lonie," you say as you shake your head sadly.

No, really. They were covered in dust, obviously hidden long before we moved in, and besides, Mr. Lonie's tastes are a bit whitebread, while these videos were THE FREAKIEST PORNOS THIS SHELTERED LITTLE SAUSAGE HAD EVER SEEN!

I confess, I watched Horny Harry's Excuse Me!, which is pretty mainstream as far as pornos go, I guess, but patently I'm not in Harry's target demographic, because all I kept thinking was, "No, innocent young girl encountered by chance on the street! Don't go off alone to the room of a strange man offering small change to view your pink bits!" And the others? It only took a few seconds' viewing of outrageous prosthetic foot-long nipples, multiple man-mammae and androgynous genitalia to sate the morbid curiosity aroused by titles like Big Dick She-Males and Freaks of Nature.

Soon after, Mr. Lonie quietly consigned my prurient's treasure to the rubbish bin. While I don't miss those products of possibly unhealthy and probably unsavoury minds, they did open my eyes to a whole new world. I like to think that somewhere out there is a blog entry entitled 'The Day I Found Porn At The Dump.'