Where to park a ditch witch: a handbook for Telstra employees

Ensure maximal incovenience to members of the public (MOPs) at all times.

Just call me Madam Assange.

A top-secret in-service training document, issued only to Telstra employees, was leaked to me yesterday in the cereal aisle at Woolies.

There are entire chapters devoted to causing noise pollution and service disruption, and a customer service chapter called “The customer is always right? No, mate – we’re with Telstra”.

More to come, once our lawyer gets back from the Seychelles.

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89 Responses

  1. Hehe hehe he.

  2. Please assure me they are laying a fibre optic cable all the way to your PC! I would really worry when it turns around and heads for your house!

    • Stafford, I’d kill for a fibre optic cable. And I’m a pacifist former vegan.

      You have no idea how slow my wireless “broadband” is… a month of Sundays isn’t in it.

  3. My brother used to work for Telecom’s maintenance and installation department. He would tell you that the above picture is not only standard practice, it is covered in their employee training – but he’s not allowed to. They made him sign a secrecy document. In blood. In the Seychelles. By the way, he asked me to tell you that your lawyer says “Hi.”

  4. “Hi” ?!

    I’ll give him “hi”.

    I was hoping he’d say something along the lines of, “Surprise! You know all that money of yours you thought I’d lost in a Ponzi scheme that went belly-up? Well, I put it in junk bonds and now you’ll never have to work again.”

    *sigh *

  5. Hehe.
    I’d stay and giggle, but I have to go to the dentist.
    In the words of the governator ‘I’ll be back.’

  6. I’d say incredibly rude words to express how I feel about dentists and wireless broadband, but I have just had the cold, dead finger of my ex poking into my affairs and I am reserving all my hateful and bitter swearing for the CSA.

    Good luck at the dentist, Quokka. Perhaps you could do what my dear old dad does. He lies back in the chair, opens his mouth, and as the dentist leans forward my father grabs him by the crotch. Tight. Then he smiles and says, “We’re not going to hurt each other, are we?” I wish I had remembered to do that. It would have been comforting to think that the gouges I left in the arms of their chair were instead in the testicular region of the tosswad who savaged my gums.

  7. Can I meet your Dad, Catty?

    Maybe tongue kiss him a bit.

    He sounds totally awesome.

    I’m typing this from the Dungeon, while pretending to type canvassing letters. If I don’t get out alive, I loved you all.

  8. Yeah? Canvassing, hey?
    I hear Maria Shriver’s looking for a new housekeeper…

  9. Perhaps we can help.

    ‘Dear Maria

    I am an unemployed angry lesbian who hates men and as I have many unsightly tattoos along the theme of ‘suck my balls’ the feeling is reciprocated. I won’t keep your house free of dust bunnies but I can teach the children’s pet parrot to say ‘cocksucker’ every time one of them dares to speak his name.

    Yours….. X

    See? I’m good at this.

  10. Dear future employer,

    Smell me. Go on, smell me. That is the smell of desperation. I need this job. I NEED it. Which means you have two options. Give me the job, or start filling in an AVO application.

    I can start on Tuesday – Mondays aren’t my best day.

    Sincerely,
    Your newest (and most highly paid) employee.

  11. Hehehe.

    Where were you people when I needed you?

    I’m going with a pastiche of both:

    Dear Maria,

    Smell me. Go on, smell me. That is the smell of desperation. I need this job. I NEED it.

    I have always hated your ex, and will sign a stat dec assuring you that I will never bear his love child.

    In addition, I am an unemployed angry lesbian who hates men. As I have many unsightly tattoos along the theme of ‘suck my balls’ the feeling is reciprocated – the last time I was propositioned, flourescent leg-warmers were in fashion. So any future lovers or husbands you may acquire are safe from me, too.

    I can start on Tuesday – I don’t like Mondays.

    Sincerely,

    Morganarama

  12. Scary, scary, scary. True story – when I saw “Ditch Witch” I didn’t realise it was one of those digging things. See I thought you meant . . . something else that I forget. Totally.

    Anyway, changing the subject, I saw that this was on up your way Madam M, and I wondered if you were volunteering as a “canvas”?

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/photogallery/entertainment/art-and-design/australian-body-art-carnivale-20110519-1etl5.html

    In other news it appears that there were a few fibres of that ligament that hadn’t ruptured. Until Monday. Ouch. And I wasn’t even doing anything stupid. Unless you count housework.

  13. We DO count housework.

  14. Top of the list, in fact.

  15. Yes. Because housework is the essence of futility. As soon as it’s completed, you have to turn around and do it all over again. Like certain sacrificial ritespainting the Sydney Harbour bridge.

    Greybeard, circumstances beyond my control have limited the amount of time I can waste on the Webz. Have you hurt yourself vaccuuming? If so, my belated commiserations and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    BTW, I think you were “not” thinking about a hedge witch. Or Shakespeare’s “ditch-delivered drab”.

    The only ditch witch I know of – other than malparked Telstra equipment – was the WW of the West, after she foolishly signed for an unknown delivery (“house-to-head: express!”)

  16. Funny. I thought vacuuming too, and then I remembered what happened last time I tried to dust the top of a ceiling fan.

    In order to fix a torn ACL don’t they have to hit you over the head with a Kansas farm house in order to slice you open and sew it back together?
    I’m assuming this means more recreational time in Professor Xavier’s chair, no?

  17. Professor Xavier?

    I thought he was a steampunk abortionist who played his cunning clavier in Vaudeville halls under the name “Dr Embargo”.

    Sorry – still coming back up from the Big Brother Doldrums. My brain is yet becalmed.

  18. I was sorting out stuff we salvaged which, on mature reflection, should probably have been cast into the flood to be carried away. Ah well, at least some is worthy of Vinnies. This house being an honorary colony of SPARTA, I’ve progressed from crutches & balloon knee to awkward limp in four days. Might try driving to the specialist?

    Madam, you are spot on! A hedge witch is *exactly* what I wasn’t thinking of. I think I knew that Professor/Dr fellow. Tall dark chap with dreads, skull necklace & a nasty rattle? Now was that Dr Embargo or Dr M’Bongo? Never mind, Panadeine forte has 30mg of codeine in every happy little pill.

  19. Poor Greybeard. Pain is not fun. You have my utmost sympathy. Here, have some of my codeine.

    *oooooooo*

    Here, also, is an excerpt from a quote by a learned friend, who knows a thing or two about the side effects of codeine:

    “…..the awful, forehead-sweating, ear-whistling strain of dropping a brick is, quite literally, a killer…..You know what you must do. Seize the bran supplies that you need…..and distribute the precious roughage…..Then shit…..shit like you’ve never shit before (except that one time in Mexico)…..”

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. Get well soon, Greybeard.

  20. Luckily I have discovered the male secret of rapid healing and/or ignoring injuries! It is (and I quote) the “sheer force of testostotastic will”. Thank you Catty, but I’d ignore that ‘learned fellow’ if I were you. He sounds weird.

  21. Long term constipation can do that to you.
    Meh.
    I have to go out and do purchasing duties/errands.
    I think I might pop in to Wow and look at PCs while I’m at it. Have been trying to type up my cases on the IMAC but its pissing me off as all the formating is different and I stuff something up every time my subconscious takes over and I type in the cord for a PC short cut.
    Fracking mack.

    Anyway, the internet is working, that’s one thing.
    Tally ho, codeine takers and centrelink sufferers.
    When I return from Westfield we can compare the horrors of our day.

    • Q, I’ve sent you an email with a suggested system for general home duties (it’s not Mexican though). If you absolutely use it only for word processing & Internet you don’t need a mega-powerhouse. Beware of excessive blue LEDs, see-through panels & fans that could cool a small bedroom!

  22. Bliss out, everyone.

    Today is the perfect day to not be in Big Brother’s Dungeon with the Borg Queen.

    For those of you enjoying Codeine’s therapeutic effects:

    Peace and harmony

  23. Well, that’s not me.
    But my dental hygienist did tell me to take a look at this:

    I’m not sure exactly how it prevents plaque or decay but who am I to question the practice of holistic dentistry?

  24. Curious.

    I never used to fear the Reaper, but now I’ve seen Will Farrell on the cowbell I’ve started to speculate on the nature of Hell.

    Quokka, I think maybe she just wanted to show off her work to the world. First time I’ve smiled all week, I can assure you.

  25. Here’s one for you, Catty.

    If anyone’s seen a funnier shirt than those the ugly white dudes backing Jimi are wearing – please post the link

  26. I’ve seen those shirts before. Yesterday, down at the op-shop, in the menswear section. Not surprising, really, as I think most men would swear if their womenfolk bought them a shirt like that. Bleargh!

  27. Fifi’s finished for the week, no guests & no going out tonight. Making pizza & the house smells of roast pumpkin & beetroot with rosemary & garlic. Some chunks of fetta & a few green bits and it’s done. Also a sopresso & grilled capsicum with jalapenos, mozzarella and olives. Maybe a third with pesto/ricotta base & salami & mushrooms. Hmm. One bottle of red or two? If this doesn’t lull her into a false sense of security . . . ?

  28. Jalapenos were made for pizzas. Is there anything more wonderful? I mean, apart from vodka and chocolate.

    Better make it two bottles of red, Greybeard. I might just be showing up on your doorstep, drooling, if I can hitch a lift to Melbourne airport.

  29. Catty, you’d be drooling if he was making beans on toast – you’re differently dentally abled, you poor mite.

    Sounds fabulous, Greybeard. So you’ll be cooking for us next time we lunch then, I gather?

    Come down off the light fixture, I was only joking.

  30. Actually I’d like that. I’ve knocked up dishes for Fifi’s friends without poisoning them. Maybe if Catty comes up I could make Fairy Bread?

  31. FAERIES!!! KILL!!! KILL!!!

  32. Its OK Catty.
    We’ll put the fairy bread inside one of those cardboard sticky mat cockroach traps. And then we’ll hand you a triple vodka martini, and a can of mortein.

  33. Hum…now that I’ve got tweet deck installed, does anyone know how you switch off the GD Twitter Bleep alert noise?

  34. Oh, and look what I went past at FKN Camp Hill when I was on my way to Westfield.

    http://www.warsword.com.au/Default2.asp

    • Why doesn’t it surprise me that they have a sword called The Bastard?

  35. http://yfrog.com/h2kdudxj

    Quokka, if you click on the spanner up towards the top right & set things as in this image, it will silence it and even remove it altogether.

    (Pizzas turned out fine, onto second bottle of red. Verrry relaxed)

  36. OOh thank you thank you. I’m taking Pete (son & hairy) to Camp Hill to do some Bloke Shopping. Wheehee!

  37. Spanner?
    Jaysus.
    Next you’ll expect me to change the lightbulbs and repair the toaster in the tea room.
    Anyway, twitter sound seems to have faded into the distance so thank you and hallelujah.

    Oh, and after your sword shopping, feel free to drive through my street and skewer some bumblebees. They won’t be hard to catch, mostly they sit or stand. I rarely see them move and they’re usually congregated around a deep hole, very handy for evidence disposal.

  38. Fabulous, Greybeard.

    We’ll bring the drinks. Absinthe okay? Everything goes with wormwood.

    I couldn’t go past the Mortuary Hilt Sword.

    Why would you discontinue such an elegant blade with such an evocative name?

    I’d buy one, but the sprogs make a fine job of attempting to decapitate one another with shards of bamboo and sharpened dog bones. Having a sword around would just take all the fun out of it.

    So, Quokka, I gather:
    “… the Telecom Linesman,
    Is still on the liiiiiiyyyyyyne,”
    ?

    • How on earth did they get the bones out of the dog?

  39. Oh yes. It being 7.03 of the (Saturday) AM, they pulled up outside about 10 minutes ago and started throwing tools around and clunking. I’m guessing the machinery will start up any minute.
    I thought we’d get a break from it today but it seems not.

    The poor flood cats have been going absolutely nuts with the heavy machinery 6m away from their lair, so I’ve had a fun filled few days with the flood cats clamoring to come inside and be rescued from the horror and my cats threatening to kill them if they don’t stop their bitching.

    I’ve had a chat to friends who run a cattery and they’ve volunteered to take the flood cats for as long as I need a break.

    Jaysus. They’ve got the Beep Beep machine going.
    I think it’s some sort of sensor type drill.
    I can take the machinery sounds but 6 hours a day of the Beep Beep Beep thing is sending me round the twist.

  40. Not to worry, Quokka. The mere sight of Greybeard, Hairy and Madam approaching with their shiny new toys will serve as an adequate incentive for the bumblebees to finish the job and rack off, post haste.

  41. True.
    Maybe I should dig out my rusty old nanchukkas and go twirl for a while on the footpath until reinforcements arrive.

    Surely the Telstra trench diggers know better than to cross a premenstrual woman wielding chinese fighting weapons.

    • They’d have to seen “Cramping Tiger, Hormonal Dragon”?

      (Runs to join Mayhem’s Mum in the oubliette)

      • Hmmm, that was a Kurt Russell movie, wasn’t it?

  42. If not, practise your knife-throwing.

    In the driveway.

    “Oh, whoops! Silly me. I couldn’t see you because of the huge fucking Ditch Witch in the way. Would you like a towel, a tourniquet or perhaps the Last Rites?”

  43. Sic the cats onto them. Mwahahahahahahaaaaaaa!

  44. heh heh.
    Well, one of you has managed to scare them off, unless it was our unholy trio + the crippled one that did it.

    Speaking of which, Sir GB, you could have warned us that the computer shop you sent me off to was in the back yard of the Hill Song Church collective. They’ll need an exorcist to rid them of the debil debils that followed me in there.

    Ah, blessed peace.
    I’ve left the flood cats at the vet’s to have their vaccinations and such updated and tomorrow afternoon they’re off to boarding school for a while.

    Which is a good thing as I’ve realized the reason the fracking truck is always parked in the middle of the road outside my house is because that’s where the water main is, so it’ll be there every day that they need to pump, suck and spit out the horror of their daily ditch digging efforts.

    Gosh it’s lovely to hear the sounds of silence now they’ve farked off. What kind of fracking contractor works on a Saturday anyway?

    Stupid question, the bloke responded with ‘One that’s already behind schedule.’

    Maybe I should lock myself in a cell at boarding school next to the flood cats?
    Oh and before anyone pities them my friends run the veritable Hotel Versace of the cat world. It is Da Bomb.
    When we go to pick him up, the dog always look at us like ‘Oh, its you two. Can’t you take another week off? I was enjoying myself.’

  45. You sometimes get that response from the kids at after school care.

    In fact, as I lovingly pick Elf Boy up from school with my own calloused hands and lug him home myself, we drive/walk past ASC.

    “Mumma, why can’t I go there? It’s more fun than our boring old house.”

    Enjoy the serenity, Quokka. If they try to work on the Sabbath, exorcise them. Catty knows how.

    “You’re coming home to be nutured and enriched, boy – like it or not. Brace yourself.”

  46. Que?
    I’m assuming you don’t meant the local branch of the Atheist Society.

  47. Elf Boy isn’t an atheist.

    He believes he is God.

    That boy will make a fine surgeon – or a successful serial killer. Possibly Prime Minister.

    Hey, nine minutes to the Rapture, people! Left Behind party at my place, whenever you want to wander over.

  48. Pah! I’ve experienced the Rupture twice now and I can do without a third. Can we bring devils on horseback Madam M?

  49. Certainly.

    Make mine with extra devil, please.

  50. Shouldn’t we all have ruptured by now?
    What’s the hold up?
    I was expecting the four horsemen of the apocalypse to rock up by now.
    Perhaps they’re using the same Sat Nav App that sent Havsy and Chaz to a set of units three blocks from the wine bar where they were meant to meet JB and co last year.

    So long as my tupperware arrives before the world ends, at least I’ll be prepared. Mid morning, and I should be able to organize my vegetables according to their breathing requirements. Woohoo.

    Oh & GB I do believe I said something about Turkish but the Bloke seems to have bought Plague home from the Hillsong Computer shop yesterday and is abed, heavily dosed with witchy things and leek and potato soup.
    We also have Pestilence as yesterday when he cleaned out the cat’s playpen on the back porch he found a dead mouse in the kitty litter. What kind of idiot mouse crawls into a cat enclosure? Oh wait, one using apple sat nav. Still, that’s a Darwin award if ever I saw one.

    Still, all these things do herald the apocalypse.
    Not sure how they’re going to squeeze famine into my suburb being that it’s hosting Paniyiri this weekend. I gained three pounds yesterday just inhaling the scent of honey puffs and calamari that’s blowing in from the valley.

  51. Mmm… calamari.

    Poor Bloke, wish him a speedy rebound from the Pestilence.

    As for the Rupture, I’ve still been emailing and IM’ing any of my contacts awake at this time and they’re all trapped on this mortal coil – still, I knew all my acquaintance were Numbered among the Unrighteous and Unrepentant Sinners.

    I can only assume that Australia is so unrighteous – and so close, already, to Hell on Earth – that we won’t notice any difference between now and the Big Shut-Up Shop, slated for on the 21st of October.

    Shame we’ll miss Halloween, isn’t it?

    Who’s for cocktails and costumes at mine on Armageddon Eve? Greybeard, please tell Fifi her Morticia get-up is compulsory.

    BTW, congratulate me. Magic Man is one of us. I just served brekkie and he said:
    “Mum, this bacon is so tasty I wish I could clone the pig so I could eat it all over again.”

  52. Mmmmmmm… honey puffed bacon clones….

    Good Job, Madam. (*golf clap*). And welcome aboard Magic Man.

    I actually thought I was being ruptured, but it turned out I’d taken the wrong combination of pills at bedtime, so I was merely out of my skull. Pity. I was quite looking forward to yelling “nya, nya, nya-nya, nya!” at the people left behind. But that may have just been the after-effects of the drug cocktail.

    Quokka, you may have to stock up on soup. Poor love – nobody wants to be stuck with the less-than-enviable task of nursing their man back to health. Unfortunately, the latest strain of pestilence is one of those lingering diseases that hangs around for weeks on end. It’s going to be awful! Moaning, whining, pitiful pleas for sympathy…. and the Bloke will be even worse.

  53. Hehehe.

    Man flu.

    Forget nanotechnology and the quest for female Viagra – the imperative for medical science should be a vaccine for man-flu.

    Just think of the advantages, in terms of avoiding lost productivity and encouraging social cohesion – i.e. women refraining from strangling “sick” men with their bare hands.

    Bad luck on the Rapture, Catty.

    I’m quite happy to have missed out. Dingy, doomed and sin-soaked as Earth may be, I’m quite happy here. None of my friends will be in Heaven.

  54. Exactly! Like when Yudhishthira reaches ‘heaven’ and sees only his enemies and says “Buggerit, I’d rather be in hell wiv me mates” (freely translated from the Sanskrit).

  55. Well, yes.

    Although the only Sanskrit with which I’m familiar is Comic Sanskrit, the stuff they stick on the side of cheap incense packets to look authentically astral.

  56. Um, Sanskrit = cockney accent? That explains a lot.

    I am looking forward to Heaven. Most especially joining the Heavenly Choir. I loooooooove to sing, but unfortunately I’ve had to endure a lifetime of people screaming and running with their hands over their ears every time I start warbling. (My singing has been compared to the sound of an orangutan being mauled by a midget with a hedgetrimmer.)

    I confessed my desire to join the Heavenly Choir to my father once. His response was along the lines of “well, prawn head, it might be heaven for you, but it will be hell for all the poor buggers who have to listen to you for all eternity.” Dad was very supportive like that.

  57. Oh… poor orangutan. Naughty midget. Why a midget? The high-pitched squeals of bloodlust, I assume.

    But I think it’s lovely that your Dad had a nickname for you. Pranwnhead. Sweet.

    My Father used to call me “Jason(brother’s name)-Kylie(sister’s name)-Mutley(dog’s name)-Oh, you, over there!”. Isn’t that lovely?

    A nickname helps you know you’re special and cherished.

  58. Speaking of singing and Jason and death threats, I saw Mr. Donovan on SBS Who Do You Think You Are last night.
    At which point I changed channels.

    MM, I have your Tware here but Gmail is refusing to load so I’m unable to compose a note to you. Better tell me here what you ordered so that I can check it’s all there.

    I think Vanessa was missing a lid and a button off the fridge smart thing and some of my stuff is still on back order.

    Well, there’s a thick blanket of fog outside that’s showing up as a dark blue cloud on the radar so that’s working rather well to appease any lingering doubts and pangs of remorse I had about sending the remaining two flood cats off to my friends’ kitty boarding school for the chill winter months. Nice to know that they’re waking up today safe and warm inside a custom designed enclosed and heated feline dwelling. I suspect they’re listening to 4KQ but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

    Meanwhile I’ve blown a headlight so I think a good chunk of my day is going to be spent sitting in the waiting room of the car doctor’s surgery waiting for the citreon to be repaired. Not that I’ll be able to leave here till the fog lifts as, you know – Danger Will Robinson and all that. The fog is so thick I can’t see the enormous fracking queenslander 3 houses away to the north of us.

    Gorgeous though. But gosh I’m glad my flood cats aren’t sitting downstairs shivering through it.

    • It could be worse. The cat hotel could be playing the pussies one of my CD’s…..

  59. 4KQ? Oh, the felinity! Still, my cats have been listening to the enraged cries and heated negotiations that resulted from my suggestion that the kids were having too much face time with platform games on the PC. Perhaps they’d prefer a little c&w lite.

    I ordered a herb planter… you may need to ref the catalogue, but it’s just a pot and watering bottle, as far as I know…

    and two icing sets. I think you’ve got the blue one, haven’t you? It should have all the same parts, only the “celebration” version is yellow and orange, I think.

    And if I don’t get my free cupcake keyring, there’ll be Hell to pay – literal Dante’s Inferno Hell.

    I’m not threatening you, obviously, Quokka – just Tware Megaconglom and it’s evil golem minions.

    As far as you’re concerned, dear friend and correspondent, keep the stuff as long as you like. I should next be down in the June/July school holidays or thereabouts to glut myself on the Surrealists at GOMA.

    Bring on the fog. Since we’ve been denied the Rupture, at least we can enjoy a little Wuthering Weather.

    Still, damn shame about the headlight. Why do we all have so much bad luck this month… surely it’s not karmic retribution for indulging in all those sides of bacon?

    Mmm…. bacon.

  60. mm. Bacon, you’re a genius, I just made myself a bacon and cheese Muck Muffin.

    2 icing sets, orange and yellow – check.
    Same colour as mine.
    And what looks like one herb planter, with key ring – check.

    Well, maybe we can do tupperware transfer when you come down. I don’t resent the $ from the computer and the car so much as the time that it wastes fracking about trying to fix them and replace them. Am keen to finish off my cases and escape from that evil place of higher learning once and for all.

    Have fun kids, I’m off to see the mechanic.

  61. Whoops, just reread that and it does look antisocial.
    Seeing you guys is of course a joy, unfortunately I’ve lost a lot of time lately stuffing about restoring order to chaos so I think that’s seriously eaten into any potential social/fun time over the next four weeks.
    Does that read less like a sociopath?
    Because at this time of the month, I do start to feel like one.

  62. No, you don’t sound like a sociopath – just like someone who is too frazzled to read a calender properly.

    The school holidays to which I allude are seven and eight weeks away from today.

    By my calculations…. which are wooly and inaccurate at the best of times, so please bear with me and/or prepare to laugh ’till you wee… you should be finished by then.

    And as for this time of the month, you have my deepest sympathy. Fortunately, I’m too tired to maintain my rage.

  63. Karmic retribution, hey? I’ll accept that. But I can’t imagine what I’ve done that is bad enough to warrant gaining two fracking kilos of cellulite in the last 10 days. It’s bewildering – I’ve been starving, thanks to the evil gunk oozing from my dental socket, and should have lost weight. But, no. I have to get fat. Stupid metabolism. Hate, hate, hate!

    Well, it appears my homicidal rage is in full throttle. I think I’ll go ring CSA again. And then I shall find some faeries to savage while I wait for CSA to call me back. From experience, it will be a looooooong wait.

  64. Central Sociopaths Anonymous?

    Poor Catty. Aunt Irma week does suck the big one, big time.

    Must say I’m feeling much better after my bacon muffin, and for the fact that the car only needed a new lightbulb and not, like last time, an entire new panel of lights along the side.
    And best of all it only took 5 minutes so now I can return to the joys of case studies and vacuuming.
    Which, as it turns out, are actually preferable to sitting at the mechanics listening to them tune car engines, drop spanners, and swear.

    • Yay! Good news at last. But be careful – you’ve already avoided the Rupture once this week, and you don’t want to tempt fate with that vacuuming.

  65. Dear, dear Catty.

    I, too, have what I like to not-so-fondly call a reverse metabolism.

    The amount of weight I managed to gain during my pregnancies, despite the lengthy periods when I couldn’t even look at food for fear of chundering up a vital organ, has never before been know to science.

    Just think of how well we’ll do, come the next Ice Age. I’m knitting you some mukluks out of recycled chip bags.

    Quokka, kudos on the car repair. I had feared that replacing the headlight on a Citroen would be an engine-out job.

  66. Citroen repairs! Aaaaargh! The flash-backs! The horror! Smirking repair-droid, “You know, I’ve paid less for a car than you’re paying for this radiator.” I think they flew it out from France, in a first class seat. But they were such beautiful, comfortable, amazing cars. Oh the mixed emotions. Well I’m feeling like tuppence worth of gawd-elp-us today. Think I’m disagreeing with something I ate & it’s winning.

  67. Citreon are much better with parts these days and I’ve never had a problem with waiting to replace them. And because it’s a diesel not much seems to go wrong with it.

    Alas GB, I fear the Man Flu Plague is upon us – The Bloke spent much of the weekend lying under the fairy dooner in the kids room channel surfing and drinking soup. He’s alive (just) and at work today, in meetings with the enemy and hopefully they’ll all come down with pox from making him work such unreasonable hours this last month or so.

    I’d offer sympathy, but, you know, it’s not part of the T888 programing. Hang up your wing suit and try not to vomit the chicken soup is the best I can do. We want that teaspoon of cement to set hard in your intestines, its no use projectiling it up on the walls.

  68. The Boss called from wherever the blazes they’ve sent him (South Australia somewhere) to announce that he has Man Flu too. (Thank goodness Aunt Irma sent him away early!) He rang three times – and texted twice – so he must really be sick. I gave him lots of clucky, soothing advice about where to buy soup (i.e, the soupermarket) and I hope he’s better by the time he gets back. I also hope that the place he’s working is the same as last time, as it will mean he will return bearing a 20 kilo block of Adelaide’s finest tasty cheese. Mmmmmm…. cheese….

    • Stupid cross-posting.

      I can scare the Boss too, for you, if you like, Catty.

      And clever you!

  69. Yes – if you sick up your dose of Harden Up the next will be bigger and far more noxious.

    Still, as I have been cursed with an overactive milk of human kindness gland, I can offer you sympathy, my poor, poor Greybeard…

    My sweet, Greybeard, My pretty, pretty
    *evil cackle*

    Did you know fear stimulates the immune system?

    I’ll pop over later, shall I? Funnily enough, I made corn-fed range chicken and sweet corn soup last night. It’s as yellow as spring sunshine and very very tasty.

  70. “Yellow as spring sunshine, and very very tasty” also describes the cheese I’m hoping for.

  71. Gosh that soup works well! Just the thought of a vis, er, bowl made me feel so much better. I guess I’ll be ripping into that housework, yes sirree, nothing to see here, feelin’ fine, top of the world . . .

  72. *Mwahahahaha!*

    Is there a song in that Wicked musical about how sweet it is to be an evil witch?

    I don’t do musicals. Especially any of the Lloyd Webber effluent.

    Except for Little Shop of Horrors and Blues Brothers.

  73. Madam, if you hate musicals, you should be grateful you didn’t spend the evening here. We had the pleasure (deep,deep sarcasm) of watching Disney’s latest princess animation, Tangled. It was as full of as many sweet, uplifting songs and intelligent animals as you would expect of a fairy tale that has been savaged by Walt’s hunchbacked minions. I almost barfed.

    The kidlets all cried at the end, because it was so romantic and beautiful. I cried with relief that it was finally over and I could go to bed. Then one of the kidlets handed me a notice saying that the school is having a dress up day tomorrow, and they are all to come dressed as movie stars – and that I had been volunteered to spend the morning making popcorn for the red carpet arrivals (i.e, 600+ students). So I cried some more. Bloody hormone faerie.

  74. Oh, Catty.

    Sister, I would have sat through “Tangled” for the pleasure of your company, and the honour of holding you when you cried as you read the GD school note.

    Why do they do this to us? As parents, surely we’ve all suffered enough!

    The next theme day at my boys’ school, I’m sending them wrapped in brown paper and string.

    I had a huge meltdown after a disagreement with Magic Man over screen time, and his subsequent sulky performance and getting into trouble at karate last night.

    To just hit the highlights, I started sobbing uncontrollably. dropped him at home (It’s okay, Grandma is visiting, don’t call family services) and then drove around in the rain for a bit before walking on the beach in the rain for a bit.

    They’re lucky I didn’t have my handbag or a jumper. I’d still be driving now if I had a source of caffeine and theobroma.

    Pop merrily, poor Catty – hey, maybe if you start saying “Want cheese with yours?” and then spitting pus into kids’ popcorn, they’ll send you home early?

    Just a thought…

  75. Catty, quick.
    It’s time to phone the school and say that your children won’t be participating in today’s gala red carpet event because you have ethical objections to the evils of Hollywood and you don’t want your children using Gwyneth Paltrow and Lyndsay Lohan as role models.

    Or, better, just drape a blonde wig over the kid and put a terd in a pickle jar full of vinegar so she can hold court and offer lifestyle advice on bowel movements. If she’s got an apple in the other hand she can rock it and sing ‘Hush little baby don’t you cry’ and I think they’ll get the message.

    MM – my commiserations.
    Unfortunately at this time of the month I’m inclined to think that we need to break into Greybeard’s weapons locker for what’s needed to solve the problems of the world so you probably shouldn’t listen to a word I say.

    Death to the infidels.
    And anyone else who pisses me off today, I say.

  76. It’s okay.

    I soothed myself enormously by drafting a one page document on respect – for oneself, one’s teachers, and one’s family – and conducting oneself accordingly in public.

    There were bullet points and everything.

    It may be my masterwork.

    Magic Man “You’re treating me like a teenager!”
    Me “Well, you’re acting like one.”

    I can’t remember the last time he had no comeback to make – or the last time I had a parenting win.

    I’m going to go now and be with the cats, to prolong this rosy glow as long as possible.

  77. Well done, except I think you’ve got it backwards, the children should be on the street with a pack of giant chalk writing lines in the bitumen x 100 of ‘I must respect my mother.’

    If it’s any consolation Margaret was just here collecting plastic goods and she waxed lyrical for at least 6 minutes on how much she enjoyed your company and why can’t there be more people out there with personalities like you. She asked me where I found you and I said ‘The internet.’

    Heh heh.

    OK. I have to leave, lest I be tempted to behead a Hellstra worker with the bread knife.

  78. Oh, Quokka – don’t dull a perfectly good bread-knife on the thick red neck of a Telstra subbie. Surely they have perfectly serviceable power tools you can seize and wield against them?

    Don’t worry – the document was contractual in nature, spelling out the exact penalties which will apply if a radical improvement in attitude and behaviour is not evident forthwith. Starting with missing a sleep-over party this Friday. I’m serious.

    Please give Margaret my fondest regards.

    I, too, found her a delightful companion. Perhaps we can all have high tea sometime (other than in the next four weeks)?. I can just imagine Margaret, genteelly and wittily castigating all and sundry over a plate of cucumber sandwiches and a nice pot of Darjeeling.

  79. Sounds good.
    Am on the move but have forwarded you the latest image in the None Shall Pass battle for my driveway.
    I’m off to look for sharp things.

  80. Quokka, I still think you should host a zumba class in your driveway. Or if you like, I’ll come and spit some of my pus-ridden saliva on the bees. I have plenty.

    As for you, dear sweet Madam, it sucks that you’re having a rough time. Been there myself, and it’s horrible. I’m sending you many, many virtual hugs. Remember, you are a good mother doing your best in a bad situation not of your making. So stay strong, and take heart knowing that it WILL pass.

    In the meantime, might I suggest a holiday in a cryogenics pod until they’ve grown out of it? If only….. Oh, well. As long as there’s vodka, we can cope with anything.

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