Sunday, 25 May 2008

Caught In The Act

Such assaults are never the girl’s fault, although some were likely to whisper maliciously that she shouldn’t have worn those shoes – pink wedges which would have looked at home on a stripper – or that tiny skirt, or the skimpy top that looked like it was sprayed on.

He’d taken a liking to her, that was obvious, and she went unprotestingly to him, but by the time she was in his clutches and his intentions became clear, it was too late for the poor, silly girl to escape.

Luckily for her, I walked in on them before he could irreparably defile her. I caught him slavering over her like a hungry wolf, one hand up her skirt and his open mouth hovering near her breast. She was rigid in his arms, resigned to her fate and unable even to cry out. Her golden hair, once her crowning glory, was now tellingly dishevelled, and her makeup which had always been so meticulously applied was a mocking mask for her shame.

Fearing no-one would believe him capable of such acts – for his mien was innocent and his reputation blameless – I snatched up my camera which was fortunately nearby, and took photographic proof of his deeds.

I don’t know if Barbie will ever be the same again.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

The Story So Far...

I love the idea of being tagged for memes – it appeases the high-school child inside me who will forever be hypersensitive to rejection and neglect – but when it comes time to list the last eight meals I’ve eaten or the literary character I identify most closely with or ten life forms I was in previous lives, I always realise how uninteresting I am and my enthusiasm for meme-ing becomes only slightly greater than that aroused by the prospect of a colonoscopy administered by a drunken Eastern Bloc ‘doktor’.

It was therefore with some delight that I found myself asked to participate in a meme with a difference, a story virus. A story virus is like the game we used to play on school camps where everyone takes turns making up part of a story, except that where the school camp story would continue along one line until the teachers sighed with relief and told us that the story was over and it was time for bed, a story virus mutates after contact with each different person, until after just a few transmissions each strain bears little resemblance to the others. In other words, the originator (Splotchy) tagged several people to continue his story. They then tagged other people to continue their diverging story lines, and so on. For a complete explanation by Splotchy, click here.

Of the Splotchy-p0nk-Lonie Polony strain of the virus, here is the story so far:

I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words. [by Splotchy]

"Interesting," I thought to myself, "I don't know anybody named Ted Kaczynski. Unless it's going to clear this damn sinus infection in my head, I'll have to open it later.” I set it on the kitchen table, and prepared my tincture of herbal tea remedies. [by p0nk]

“You know,” said Jasper, as I eased gratefully into a chair, “it would probably help if you put your glasses on. You’re not as young as you used to be.”

I grimaced, both at the bitterness of the tea and the tactless reminder of my decrepitude.

“What ever would I do without you, Jasper?” I said, my voice thick with sarcasm as I donned my half-moon spectacles and pulled the envelope to me. “Dance naked and whoop for joy, probably.”

Jasper rolled his eyes but said nothing.

The blood drained from my face as I felt the last tenuous thread of what had hitherto been my reality, snap. I had woken that morning with the body of an 80 year-old man. My black Labrador Jasper was speaking in human tongue. And the envelope read:

Fred’s Emergency kit. To be opened in cases of strange, abnormal or infernal events. Guard the contents with your life!

This was something even last night’s absinthe party couldn’t explain.

Anyone who would like to contract the story virus is welcome, but I’m specifically tagging Mutley, Angela, Littlesnoring and Hungry Hungry Hypocrite.

Please humour me, people – think of my inner high-school child!

Sunday, 11 May 2008


Once, our house had a beautiful garden. The previous owner had applied to great effect his skills as a landscape gardener, and both the front and back yards looked like something out of a toffy magazine. Of course, when we bought the house and it came time to pay our first water bill a few weeks later, we discovered he’d used a volume of water equivalent to that of the Amazon River to maintain this botanic delight, and, thanks to our substandard conveyancer, we had no choice but to pay the outrageously high bill and the higher charge per litre on all subsequent use, for having exceeded our entire year’s quota of water.

Now, we haven’t watered the garden for years, and what was once lavished with enough potable water to quench a small nation’s thirst, now parches under the harsh sun. I don’t mind, because in these times of indefinite drought, a brown lawn and a horticultural demonstration of Spencer’s survival of the fittest are somewhat of a badge of honour, the blood upon the lintel by which the Angel of Water Conservation knows to pass over your house and fall upon that of your lush-lawned neighbour with wrath and indignation.

Trying in other ways to save water, and thinking of farming families who have to share the same tub of gradually darkening water for their daily ablutions, I’ve repeatedly shivered through shampoo and exfoliating routines with the shower turned off, at the mercy of my bathroom fan which outstrips the pathetic efforts of the heat lamps to counter its chilling effect, heat lamps which, in defiance of all the physics I learnt at school, produce light but no discernible heat.

But sacrificing my warm, non-goose-pimpled flesh and my clean, frequently-flushed toilet bowl to do my bit for public dam levels has all been for naught, as we discovered not long ago when Mr. Lonie crawled under the house on some manly mission of home maintenance. He found a thin but steady fountain of water splashing up onto the floorboards of our bedroom, which had, over a length of time too horrifyingly long to bear thinking about, caused significant water damage thitherto undetected due to its unlucky positioning beneath the bed. Once the flurry over stopping the flow and moving furniture was over, we awaited the next water bill with trepidation.

It was bad. Very bad. Even worse was the mocking irony of the situation, for the source of the leak was the reticulated sprinkler system installed by – you guessed it! – the previous owner. As chagrined as I am by the cost, as mortified as I feel about the waste, I’m most upset that all my efforts at saving water have been rendered effectively useless.

F****** utility.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Doin' It For The Kids

One of the scariest things about having children is that they’re a blank slate and I, their mother, am a pen filled with indelible ink-

What’s that? Ink isn’t used on a slate, and slates are meant to be wiped clean and written on over and over again until cracked over the head of Gilbert Blythe for calling Anne ‘carrots’? Hang on, let me try again:

Children are sponges, equally capable of soaking up the milk of human kindness or the liquid faeces of the scum of humanity alike…no, wait! Children are the harshest mirrors, reflecting not our superficial appearance, but the juicy pimples on our character and conduct…

Ugh, I give up. You know what I mean; if I’m not careful, my children are going to end up the kind of slate that’s covered in swear words, pornographic doodles, and chemical formulas for illicit substances.

Bearing this in mind, I try to conceal from them the kinds of behaviour I don’t want them to emulate, and attempt not to burden their fragile developing personalities with my own psychological baggage. Obviously Mr. Lonie and I confine our Bacchanalian orgies with people we meet online at to times when the ten-year-old girl next door is available to baby-sit; and when the children are within earshot I spell out (instead of pronouncing) the obscenities I scream at random passers-by I don’t like the look of, but something I really struggle with is keeping my fears and phobias repressed deep inside where they can manifest at a more convenient time as something less traumatic for the children to witness, such as severe facial tics or trichotillomania.

Maybe if I were scared of unicorns or dodos or space aliens I might be more successful, seeing as we don’t get many of them around here (and even the anal probes aren’t so bad after the first two or three abductions), but unfortunately it’s spiders and cockroaches, with their creeping and scuttling and insinuating themselves into every nook and cranny in the house in order to leap out at me with fangs bared and antennae waving menacingly, that I loathe and fear. I know there are all sorts of techniques to combat such fears, but my preferred method of spraying DDT from crop dusters is frowned upon these days, just because a few scientists started bleating about cancer and birth defects and untold effects on the ecosystem (which sounds like namby-pamby bug-loving nonsense to me).

So I’m forced to suffer the iniquities of a society biased against people who simply want to eliminate all insect and arachnid life within fifty metres of their house. I must fight every natural inclination and actually approach said creatures of hell’s outhouse, and touch them with something less buffering than a ten-foot barge-pole, in order to eject them from my home. What’s more, in the interests of preserving my children’s freedom to cultivate their own bugbears without undue influence, I have to do all this with as much of a psychotically indifferent fa├žade as I can muster, while inside I am screaming and quaking and cursing Mr. Lonie for his absence and his neglect of this basic husbandly duty.

Helping matters still less is the discomfiting realisation that, as I age, what started out as normal dislikes and aversions are amplifying into irrational, paralysing terrors. It seems that I’m doomed to end my days as a twitchy mental patient who can’t even look at the Dewey Decimal number of a book containing a reference to another book with a picture of a cockroach in it, without curling into a foetal ball and clutching to my chest the cans of bug spray I keep holstered on my hips. Death will come for me not with a scythe, but a fake tarantula dangling on a string, and as the massive heart attack sends me shuffling off this mortal coil his dry wheezy laughter will be the last thing I hear.

Nevertheless, I am, as I said, more scared of damaging forever the impressionable young minds of my children with my exaggerated dread (children are malleable clay and I am the potter…?). I’d hate to see them suffer the same unnecessary apprehensions I do, and be reduced to a whimpering mass of non-functionality every time an objectionable creepy-crawly crosses their path.

And besides, if I manipulate them just right, I’ll always have someone around to get rid of that cockroach for me.