2013: the Year of the Flat Pack
5 January, 2013
Zombie Scrub Turkeys Attack!
3 October, 2012
Well, that was fun. We enjoyed a relatively uneventful trip up to visit Uncle and Aunt and all the tiny horses at the miniature stud, earlier this week. Well, you know, I still had to drive through Gympie but since we were enthralled by a game of ‘I Spy Something That’s Not A Gun Shop Or A Redneck” I was too busy to even wince.
The journey home was strange, though, at a bare minimum with surreal flashes. There was debate at the gate, which I won with my “If it’s shut when you get there, leave it shut” argument.
Rarely do I taste victorious vindication at all, let alone almost immediately, but less than 30 metres down the track we encountered a heifer who was reluctant to share the road.
“Lucky I made you shut the gate.” I observed, smug as a cat with a mouthful of budgie. I crawled the car up, to ease past her.
“See, Mumma – I told you there were feral cows!” said Elf Boy, who’d spent a chunk of the day chasing the neighbours’ cattle out of Aunt’s mini-horse paddocks.
“Arrgh! It’s got horns! It’s going to charge the car!!” screeched Magic Man, who has inherited his Great Uncle’s distrust of large livestock.
“Blow the horn!” cried Elf Boy.
“Don’t blow the horn!!” countered his brother.
“My paintwork!” said Mother.
Maybe it was the horns on my radiator grille (Toyota symbol on Mother’s wagon), or perhaps the steely glare I fired at her through the windscreen, but the heifer grudgingly shuffled to the side so I could pass.
All good through the level crossing and past the pub, until we got to a stretch between farms, about halfway to the highway. It was wettish from the showers, and the usual narrow, patchy, soft shouldered goat track, but conditions were no worse than usual and I know the road pretty well. Round a gentle bend, four scrub turkeys seemed to be having a union meeting, right on the verge. Well, that or they’d heard about vultures and thought they’d give it a try – there was a lot of road kill scattered about.
Having learned not to underestimate the ability of the scrub turkey to annoy – and destroy – I slowed down from 80 odd clicks to just over 60 to pass the . . . what’s the collective noun for scrub turkeys: a scraping; a cabal? I think I’ll go with “devastation”. Three of the turkey’s high-tailed it for the paddock, away from my vehicle, but the forth, either braver or much, much stupider than his mates ran out under my wheels. He fluttered up in a flight attempt that was more like something you’d see from a septuagenarian gymnast trying to relive the glory days. He achieved just enough of a twisting leap before I hit him full on, that he smacked into the windscreen dead ahead of me. I hunched down, sure he’d shatter the glass, yanking my right foot back to resist the urge to slam on the brakes on the wet.
The score: No skid, no screams, not even time for me to curse, no damage to Mother’s car, journey continued without further incident. And our feathered friend? According to Magic Man, who watched his dismount through the rear screen, he shook himself to settle his feathers back into place and wandered off, not only unharmed but seemingly unperturbed.
Maybe it was just a random event. Perhaps this turkey’s turkey was just a very dull example of a species known more for persistence than intelligence. Or his acquired taste for carrion caused a strain of Mad Bird Disease to express itself in suicidal behaviour. I can’t escape the gnawing suspicion that we survived a deliberate – hell, orchestrated – plan by Greybeard and his evil minions to wipe out, not only me but all of my offspring and even the Mother who bore me. Revenge for a certain Medieval Archery Incident of more than a year ago, a vengeance so cold they probably hired Ötzi The Glacier Mummy as a consultant co-conspirator. Try again, big fella.
29 August, 2012
Seriously, Bic? I know the biro was invented by a bloke – but it’s hard to understand what the smurf the people… well, I say people but I think we can safely assume that they’re men of a certain age… at Bic were thinking. This is the sort of crap that leads to this:
and then this:
And, ultimately, this is why women still fail to recieve equal pay for equal work. The same sort of mindset – admittedly at several removes – is directly linked to idiocy like Representative Todd Akin and ‘legitimate rape’ .
I’ve never been so glad my kids are both boys. As much as I revile the facts and wish things were different, they’ve got a better chance of achieving their goals than their friends who are girls. Not because they’re smarter or stronger or morally superior, but because their dangly toilet parts put them first in the queue.
Over the last few days I’ve admired the merciless lampooning dished out to this product by comedy sites such as Regretsy and some of the Cheezburger offshoots – but the funniest material are the “product reviews” submitted by thousands of pro-feminist well-wishers. Make sure your Depends – and let’s hope they’re floral pink, ladies! – are in place, follow the link – if your soft, girly ladybrain can coordinate clicking your mouse (it’s the little pointy thing) – and enjoy comedy gold:
17 August, 2012
Sad news today for all on-line vendors of witchcraft and wizardry – eBay is set to ban the sale of magical workings from the first of September.
So get in quick if you need a mystical unicorn incantation or a little something to thwart the mother-in-law.
While they’re at it, there are a few other things eBay should look at banning: lots of happy meal toys, which may or may not be broken and, let’s face it, were without value new; Twilight merchandise; and vintage toilet paper.
What else do you think we could do without on eBay?
A Pox On Virgin
28 October, 2011
Well, what a fabulous couple of days.
My modem blew up on Wednesday afternoon. Apparently an incoming call… my “landline” is sort of VOIP… was all too much and the phone rang a couple of times and then the modem went an ominous shade of black.
Virgin – my ISP – couldn’t have been less help if they’d come around and sabotaged the thing themselves. Apparently they’re trying to get out of the wireless broadband business by a process of attrition. The help desk bloke had two solutions:
(1) Plug it into a different power point – thanks mate, I tried that before I called
(2) Get a new ISP.
I was pretty sure it was the power pack, not the modem… I happen to have three Virgin modems, let’s not go into why right now… and none of them would power up. Still, I thought, if Virgin can’t be bothered helping me, I might as well change service providers. Perhaps I might find one who, oh, I dunno, might actually provide me with some service?
I have to leave town to buy socks, so signing on with someone else meant a trip down the motorway. Thursday morning and the Optus bloke couldn’t get anywhere with his computer. It seems that Terriblestra rules the phone lines in my part of town, and the only way I could get service from Optus was wirelessly. All well and good, but his computer was telling him to give me a modem and he had no modem to give me.
Short trip to Major Computer Retailer where the more dynamic bloke at their computer desk was quite confident Optus would post me out a modem… but he couldn’t find the plan listed. In their brochure or on line. It took so long I had to leave to get to a lunch date back home.
Returned to Optus Bloke #2 this morning where it turns out the only way to get a phone and broadband bundle from Optus is via some complicated scheme whereby my mobile becomes my landline and my computer connects to a new mobile phone and gets data that way.
Me to Optus Bloke: ”No, thanks. It’s entirely too Machiavellian. What you’re suggesting seems to me like plugging in a double-adaptor, attaching it to an extension cord and then wiring in a power board, just to plug in a kettle.”
Optus Bloke: ”I don’t really understand what you’re saying. But I can tell you, if you go with Terriblstra, they’ll want your first-born child as a down payment.”
However, I can’t knock Optus Bloke #2. He tried his best, and when asked if he could refer me to a shop where I might buy a new power pack for the existing Virgin modem, he was right on the money. $12.95 later I am back in business… until the modem itself fails, I suppose.
18 October, 2011
Dawn Montesdeoca, 60 was arrested and charged with domestic battery in Chicago on Sunday, following a… erm, sticky… altercation with her husband. She allegedly pelted him with cupcakes.
I don’t understand Seppo legal terms – surely you should only be charged with battery if you hurl uncooked cake mixture?
In the Chicago Tribune’s nail-biting account we hear:…she reached for the box of desserts and directed a fusillade of snack cakes at his head and body, her husband told police. Several of the confections apparently hit their mark, as the man’s head and shirt were smudged with icing when officers arrived, according to a police report.
Oh, the patisserie!
Bail was set at $10,000, which by my calculations, assuming poor Dawn started with a box of a dozen delicious weapons of mass tastiness, is more than $833 per cake. She’d be thanking her lucky stars by now that she didn’t go him with a pavlova, or something really dangerous.
But the frosting thickens. Despite 56 year old Mr Montesdeoca’s claims that he was scared for his safety, he has been arrested three times since 2003 on domestic violence charges, which were all eventually dropped.
Sounds to me like he got his just desserts.
6 October, 2011
Flee, Floridans! Fire up your mobility scooters and wheely-walkers and flee at your own pace… the Giant African Snails are coming!
Just kidding – they look more like this:
My favourite bit is when the snail gave Mrs Hernandez a migraine and she had to have a lie down. Really, Mrs Hernandez – after one 13cm snail? I’d love to confront her with a paddock-full of slime mould or a nasty outbreak of feral armpit fungus and see what happens – spontaneous combustion is my working hypothesis.
But it’s not just snails invading Florida. They also have terrible problems with Gambian pouched rats, pink hibiscus mealybugs and Burmese pythons. I know it’s wrong, but that news just makes me want to crate up several thousand cane toads and ship them over to add a bit of hop to the mix.
Still, serious biosecurity issues demand a reasoned response. Stop panicking, Florida. I’ve got several solutions to your “crisis” and so far I’ve only had one cup of coffee:
- Slimearama Start a snail-based takeaway franchise. Sauté in garlic and red wine, and serve in their own shells. Tastier, healthier and better for the environment than McDeath.
- Snail racing Florida is America’s retirement capital, and seniors appreciate a gentle tempo. Paint numbers on the side of their shells, raise State revenue by taking bets on the… erm, sliders, close off a few main roads and let them rip. Hell, you could start a whole snail racing carnival. Fascinator sales would skyrocket.
- Exploit the Food Chain Feed the pink hibiscus mealybugs and giant African snails to the Gambian pouched rats. The plumped-up pouchies may then be offered to the Burmese pythons. Sated and bloated, the pythons should make easy targets. Skin the pythons and make orthopaedic shoes, or colostomy bag covers.
Florida, no need to thank me – just send me a pair of python slingbacks, size 8.
Valley of the Shadowy Pee
16 September, 2011
It seems that Brisbane’s favourite nightclub and random glassing by inebriated strangers precinct has a wee problem: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/you-wont-believe-where-some-people-go/story-e6freoof-122613822441
People are going out, going hard and then… well, just going wherever they feel like it. A Mr Mergard said the problem was so bad that “There is a toilet in which people urinate outside and people inside get urinated on.” Don’t worry too much about that one, Mr Mergard – I think it’s in The Beat, and the patrons actually like it that way.
Other instances of public tinkling are non-consensual, however, and it’s a bigger problem than you might think. Up to 30 people a day are being fined under a Police public nuisance blitz. 30 a day? Makes you wonder how many caught-short scoff-laws are whizzing undetected.
Not to worry, though, I’ve come up with some workable solutions:
The Garden Bed
23 August, 2011
I note with interest that an American genetic engineer and a Dutch artist collaborated to weave a lattice of human skin and spider silk, extracted from genetically-altered silkworms, for want of sufficient mutant goat silk.
Sadly, the resultant textile of terror proved quite permeable to normal-speed bullets, but it does raise some fascinating scenarios. If you had a nice whack of research funding, and a lab-full of gene shears and incubators, what would you like to hybridise?
First out of my petri dish would be a male of the human species, with the ability bred into his willy… stay with me, it’s not what you think… to aim at and hit the inside of the toilet bowl, every time. I’d just extract the unerring accuracy of a frog’s tongue, or perhaps the directional capacity of a homing pigeon, and whack it into the offending organ.
There’s a scientific advance that would benefit womankind, people.
Now we can cross chooks and pigs, to produce bacon-flavoured eggs. Or how about pigeons and their fellow travellers, engineered to produce poop that acts as a fabric conditioner and deodoriser, putting an end to clothesline blight and rewashing syndrome?
Over to you, science.
Derp and the Boxing Kangaroo
27 July, 2011
I love the Courier Mail – better known, to a whimsical friend, as the Curious Snail. There’s often sniggers to be had. Sure, most of the laughs come from misuse of the beleaguered apostrophe, abuse of grammar or complete clause failure than from any attempted comedic content. Still, a chuckle’s a chuckle, in these troubled times.
However, in commenting on poor literature you might think they’d be extra careful to get things spot on. And you’d be wrong. Behold, the link to the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest:
“Think you’re writing is bad?” (as derped on the pre-dawn home page of the e-edition, 27/07/2011 – one can only hope they will have fixed it up by the time the normal world wakes up.)
Luckily, the derp link leads to some absolute gems. Like the first prize winner, a woman from Oshkosh, whose opening sentence reads, “Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.” What a shame she didn’t take the opportunity to work the name of her home-town in somewhere.
Meanwhile, another link leads us to the tragic tale of Eddie, a red kangaroo who nearly killed a 94 year old woman in Charleville. She was hanging out her washing… has anyone else noticed, old ladies who are attacked and nearly killed are always hanging out their washing just prior to the assault. Bugger set-top boxes – if the Federal Government gave every woman over 80 a tumble dryer they’d slash assault rates to next to nothing and free up hospital beds, too.
Anyway, just like most delinquents, turns out poor Eddie comes from a broken home and has been misunderstood. Hand-raised by wildlife carers, he was released into the wild only to break a hip. Unfit to fend for himself, he’s been living in captivity. The man “minding” Eddie – the evocatively named Darryl “Dobbo” Dobbin – claims he’s gentle and tame. Dobbo also reckoned he has no idea who left the gate open, allowing Eddie to escape.
Two things spring to mind. Firstly, for a disability support pensioner Eddie is fit enough to rip strips off an innocent laundry lady. Secondly, is it just me or does this story sound eerily familiar? I’m pretty sure the mother of that kid who tried to steal a bike, winding up bashed by the bike’s lawful owner for his trouble made identical comments about her son. Down to the doubt about whose fault it was that he was out at night, breaking into people’s houses to steal their bikes (allegedly).
Still, the Courier Mail could misspell their own masthead and I’d be back for more. They’re much more fun when they get it wrong than when they allegedly get it right.