All the Fear of the Fair

Hanging out for the latest extreme sport? Try riding the ferris wheel. Three girls at the Byron Bluesfest were lucky to escape with minor injuries this week when their car went a bit too aerial, breaking free from the ride and plunging eight metres.

Meanwhile, there’s been a spate of employee suicides, attributed to poor working conditions, at a certain rodent-allied European theme park. No longer the “happiest place on earth”, hey?

My worst Ekka memory involves a Dagwood dog, fairy floss and an ill-timed ride on the Zipper. They should call it demon floss, I reckon: it dissolves on the way down, but it’s amazingly colourfast when it makes an encore reappearance. The time I had to make fairy floss for a school fete comes a close second. A surprising quantity of spun sugar stuck to my head, re-contoured my eyebrows and gummed shut my eyelids. But, given that occupational health and safety legislation demands floss operators work fully clothed,Β  how on earth did it make it’s way into my pubic hair?

What are your worst, funniest or most life imperilling memories of carnivals and theme parks?

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103 Responses

  1. Nothing really comes to mind. With 5 kids our folks could never really afford to take us to the EKKA or such. Plus I’m a chicken when it comes to rides. I DO remember feeling an interesting shade of green (SO not my colour), after a turn with The Brat on this spaceship type thing where you’re locked in a huge flying saucer and interesting gravitational forces are put to work. Movie World I think. Ick!

  2. Rides aren’t my thing either.
    The only fairground attraction that springs to my mind is the love interest from Two Moon Junction.

    Showing my age, here…

  3. I think you mean the Gravitron, Mayhem. Where, according to that reputable physics journal, “The Simpsons”, spew becomes weightless and describes a non-linear trajectory.

    Hehehe. Should have been re-titled “Full Moon Junction” as I recall. Whatever happened to Sherilyn Fenn? They should add David Lynch to that “never work with children or animals” maxim.

  4. Rides at the show. I LOVED them, especially the ones that turned you upside down. I’d stand at the bottom, scrabbling for the change that fell out of people’s pockets, then run for sideshow alley to pump my loot into the laughing clowns.

    Dangerous, dangerous activity. Mainly because the carny people got half their income the same way, so they’d be after me with a stick. My mates would ask me to do this when they were on the ride – firstly because I’d always give them their money back, and secondly because the ride always went for half an hour, because the attendant was too busy chasing me to turn the bloody thing off.

    Sideshow alley is addictive. Unfortunately for the Boss, they now have skill testers at all major shopping centres. I love those claw machines! It shows: we have boxes of sideshow stuffed toys all over the house. If they ever get laughing clowns at Crown Casino, I’m moving in.

    • You can WIN things on the claw machine? I thought it was cunningly designed to make latching onto and/or extracting a prize physically impossible.

      So what’s your strategy on the clowns, Catty?

  5. I’d like to see a return of the Freak Show.
    I could donate the Irish man from next door who likes to shriek ‘F*ck my ass!’ at odd intervals. Ideally we could introduce him to Lizard Man, trap them in a cage together – complete with dank, rank, lumpy mattress – and charge the public a fee to observe their interactions.
    No need to travel, that’s what youtube is there for.

  6. Oh yeah, Freaks. I’m there. Although the business model is precarious: if word gets out about the calibre of oddity that can be seen, free of charge, parading around Ipswich they may not be able to achieve reasonable profit margins.

    Have you thought of giving tours yourself, Quokka?

    “Wildlife in the West End”
    Take a minibus full round the markets, lunch at Kim Thanh, and then back to your street for the opportunity to see Irish tradesmen and their cunning adaptation to life in inner urban Brisbane.

    That Jack Sim bloke makes a killing on ghost tours, why not carve out a niche?

  7. Sounds profitable. I’ll go sharpen my knives.

    MM…your judgment of our fine establishments is a little harsh…the real freak show would start at the local housing commission flats and end at the chemist across from the meth lab, at opening time on Monday morning.

    Catty…Catty…I’ve just checked in a HQ.
    Now…put down that stick. Do NOT, repeat NOT, poke the freaks.
    First they whine, then they ooze. Then they stink.
    Google ‘narcissistic supply’ or ‘delusional narcissism’ …or if you can’t be bothered, just repeat the mantra ‘For someone that thick, any attention is good attention.’

    • Ah, Methadone Monday. How I miss vibrant and colourful inner city living.

      ‘Narcissistic Supply’ – sounds like a great name for a cosmetics emporium.

  8. What amused me was that he knew I was referring to him.

    Besides, he was asking for it. It was that, or telling SJS to bugger off. Again. And that’s getting old.

    Now THERE’S a freak show for you. I’ve heard tell that those set top boxes have a hidden camera, and that Foxtel are able to watch their viewers. Apparently they got permission because it was “demographic marketing research”. So if we could get someone on the inside, we could stream SJS, Lizard Man and possibly Balthazar directly from Foxtel onto Youtube.

    We’d be rich! Rich, I tell you!

    That is, if we can figure out how to divert pay-per-click income into Swiss bank accounts. Or how to get a job at Foxtel.

    Hmmm. Maybe I should just sell my claw machine prizes at a garage sale, and invest the money in a pinball machine company. Hey, it worked for the VIC government and poker machines.

    • Foxtel can charge you a motza to watch commercials AND also spy on you?

      I don’t think we’d have to work at Foxtel to access the footage, though. We could hack the feeds fairly easily, I reckon.

      Can I interest you in a 1300 number, Catty? I think there’s a market for pay-per-minute verbal abuse. Just imagine every caller is Lobes… think of the fun we could have!

  9. Yes, if we ran an Idiot Convention we could definitely provide the stars of the show. I’ve stopped reading the comments of all three, except for the occasional slip up or when I need to reference the source of someone else’s irritation.

    The thing is, that two out of three of those personalities seem to be obvious constructs that serve some purpose for the puppeteer’s creation. Whereas Lizard Brain seems to be a real human being who doesn’t have the sense to hide his personality defects behind cover as basic as a murky old football sock.

    I had a relative, dead for some time now, and who I suspect nobody misses, who had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The grandiosity and the level of delusion in terms of ‘Important people pay close attention to my wisdom’ was just staggering. They are strange, freaky people who feed off the tension and conflict they inevitably create within social groups.
    I’ve met a few in this lifetime and spoken to friends who had one in the family and its odd how similar they all are.
    Every time one of them says something stupid I’m torn between thinking ‘wow, are you really this dumb/delusional/self important? or is this just another one of your ploys to create trouble in the group?’

    MM, encountered many of these crazies in your line of work?

    • Personality disorders are tricky things.

      For example, what is often classified as ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ (self-harm, impulsiveness, poorly regulated moods, distorted self image, unstable social relationships) almost always – in my experience – seem to stem from severe abuse in childhood, usually including sexual exploitation. I don’t think it’s fair – or constructive – to label a patient as personality disordered, if they’ve been horribly damaged during the period of their development when traits such as personality are formed. Just more kicking the victim and buck passing, for mine.

      The rest are one of those spectrum deals. You have behaviours and characteristics that run from so normal they’re boring; to a little odd; to frankly bizarre; to personality disorder. And yes, Quokka, narcissists are very hard to take.

      The phrase ‘lacking in insight’ keeps popping up in Psychiatry and that’s your major stumbling block. If someone is convinced there’s nothing wrong with them, and everyone else is stupid/crazy/wrong, there’s no reasoning with them or scope for moderating their behaviour.

      Deny them fuel for their fire (i.e. attention) and save yourself the stress. Dealing with these people is rarely rewarding and frequently teeth-gnashingly stressful.

  10. With you on the issue of mental health issues that derive from child abuse. It will be interesting to see what they decide to put in the next edition of the DSM re: BPD and disorders of extreme stress.

  11. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/07/2865738.htm?section=justin

    Seen this, you guys?

    • Surely, they jest. Insanity on an epic scale.

  12. Crikey, Quokka, it must be nice to have money. But I sure as hell wouldn’t be wasting it on a fracking big rock. I’d be splurging on something with a lot of sand and palm trees, daiquiris and gentle waves, and at least three servants (as opposed to two parents) to pick up after me.

    I’m a bit curious about this BPD. I’d sometimes wondered if I had Asperger’s, or ADHD, but the symptoms didn’t match, and I couldn’t be arsed following it up. After all, who wants to pay $185 for half an hour, three times a week, just to be told: “Get a weatherboard cottage, let the garden go wild, store everything you ever buy in piles against the walls, and let 73 cats pee on it all. Oh, and cackle a lot when Today Tonight come to film it.” Or, more simply, “You are a crazy bitch.” Sheesh! I already know that.

    I also know I can cook. Baking day today! Should I make a caramel slice, or banana bread? Or maybe some over-the-top cupcakes. Did anyone see Donna Hay’s Easter Cupcakes? They’re rich chocolate, with a little nest on the top made of fairy floss, and little Easter eggs in the nest. Yay! Enough sugar to drop the ‘B’ off ‘BPD’! But I’d need fairy floss. I wonder where the nearest Fair is?

  13. If you’re making caramel slice I can offer half a bilby to melt down. I’m sure the bloody thing is made of plaistowe cooking chocolate. I didn’t see the Donna Haye mag but I did see the bacon wrapped chicken rissoles on the cover of super food ideas.

    I am assignmenting.
    Sanity will resume in approximately one fortnight.
    Until then I think I’ll avoid tried and tested causes of aggravation, regardless of their labels!

    • It’s hard to go past caramel slice, Catty… but those easter nests did look super cute. You can get persian fairy floss at delis (don’t ask me what makes it Persian… probably it has strict views on the subservient place of women in society) or some supermarkets have the neon pink stuff in bags.

      But don’t let me spoil your fun – you want to have a go on the laughing clowns, don’t you?

      All the best for the assignment, Quokka. Keep up the fish oil!

  14. Thanks, MM.
    Its flax seed oil, around these parts (fish allergies) and I always forget its in the bottom of the fridge with jams that should’ve been used by two years ago.

    I will have to investigate this Persian Fairy Floss. Isn’t Fete Season starting up soon, catty? they’ve usually got floss.
    There was someone spinning fairy floss last time we were at the Redcliffe Jetty markets. I got a batch of blue and purple stuff and the dog sat below me, salivating, so I gave him a bit to prove to him that Dogs Do Not Like Fairy Floss.
    Wrong.
    Turns out its his favorite thing in the world, ever, and he went into full on whiney spaniel ‘I want some more fairy floss’ nagging mode.

    We attracted a crowd of onlookers yelling ‘Hey, check out the dog eating the fairy floss!’

    • Hehehe. Didn’t it stick to his teeth, like peanut butter, and annoy the beejeezus out of him?

  15. Damn it, MM, you’re on to me.

    I made chocolate rock cakes. It’s really a standard chocolate slice mixture, but instead of pressing the mix into a slice tray, I roll it into balls and put it in a gem tray. Then I pour on chocolate butter icing as soon as they come out of the oven, so it soaks into the cakes, and forms a shiny crust over the tops.

    Mmmmmm. Gooey gooey chocolate. The taste test was extensive, and verified the cakes were as good as the last dozen or so batches I’ve made.

    I just got my most recent assignment back. I had written a fluff piece, almost plotless, because I was so upset at the previous assignment being panned – I’d poured my heart into it and he said it was soppy! This assignment was practically thrown onto the paper at one in the morning after I despondently deleted a week’s worth of writing. Guess what? He loved it!

    What can I learn from this? First thing that comes to mind, is that the less effort I put into my writing, the better it turns out. Is this some sort of secret that famous writers all know, but avoid telling anyone?

    The second thing that comes to mind is that there are still three rock cakes in the kitchen. Mmmmm. Gooey, gooey chocolate.

    Have fun with your assignment, Quokka.

    • Good one, Catty. I had managed to leave the easter eggs alone so far today – but all that ‘gooey, gooey chocolate’ talk has got me wondering what a caramello egg would be like after 10 secs in the microwave.

      I suppose writing’s like any art form, and at some point you have to say “enough’ and walk away… ever done a painting that ended up looking like “Mud at midnight by new moon” because you couldn’t leave well enough alone? I have.

      • *oops, hit enter prematurely*

        On the other hand, I know lots of writers who swear by frequent revision. There’s also the time honoured ‘leave it in the bottom drawer for a week/month/longer’. Sometimes you need to almost forget about a piece and come back to it with fresh eyes.

        But hey, good one! And think of the time you’ll save, next assignment πŸ™‚

  16. You still have caramello eggs? Wow!

    I once scored a bag of them at a post-easter half price sale. I made some muffin batter, poured it into the muffin tray, and stuffed an egg (foil off!!!) into the middle of each one. Then I baked them. Now THAT was gooey, gooey chocolate!

    Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to do it again, as the kidlets seem to have a caramello seeking radar. Nor have I ever been able to try it with strawberry cream eggs, as I have an unfortunate habit of eating them as fast as I unwrap them. Maybe one day I’ll resist the urge and get them into the cake batter. One day.

    Yeah right!

    Maybe I should do an article on “tarting up the common cupcake”. Only it would probably run at about 20 thousand words.

    I once did a painting of the Franklin Gorge for a grade 10 art assignment. My art teacher took one look and began “improving” it. By the time she finished, the Gorge looked like, well, mud at midnight by new moon. Then the cow had the audacity to give me a D. I suppose I should be grateful, as it prevented me from pursuing a career in art. Instead, I was so upset that I wrote an angst-ridden dirge on my guitar. That song is still making me royalties.

    Hey, there’s a pattern emerging here. Misery = creative talent. Oh, crap. That’s depressing. I’d better go finish my assignment right now before I cheer up.

    • Caramello cupcakes…. mmmmm.

      Bugger an essay, Catty – you should write a book. Do you know how many copies Donna Hays shifts? You’d soon be icing your muffins with gold leaf!

      Now stop cheering me up. I’ve got to write a story for a comp.

  17. Hmm. I’m starting to wonder if Catty’s recipe for success could work for my assignment. Not the misery bit, the ‘Stuff this who cares’ bit…

    The dog’s teeth survived the fairy floss ordeal but my ears are still ringing from the Telling Off I got from the Bloke for indulging the dog with that one. He’s prone to toothache so tends to be highly protective when it comes to oral care and loved ones. Catty, your mutant muffins sound wonderful BUT I’d still like to rid myself of the muffin top I acquired last winter that’s keeping me out of my favorite pants. I made it through Coles yesterday despite the fact that they had Red Tulip easter eggs – caramel, peppermint and sold milk chocolate – in bags for half price at the register. I came home and made veggie soup and felt ever so virtuous. And cross, but let’s not go there.

    Side benefit – no need to cook anything other than toast tonight.

    Catty, what do you want to get out of your writing course?
    Not that I mean to undermine your instructor, but he may not be your target audience. Of course, that may depend if your target audience is Twilight Fans or James Joyce.

    I did a seminar at the Queensland writer’s centre a few years ago and the person who took it said that the best MSs that she’d read were always written with one particular reader in mind.

    Did I tell you about that book a friend gave me ‘How not to write a novel – 200 mistakes to avoid at all costs if you want to get published.’
    Newman and Mittelmark. Its very good. And funny.
    MM was reading a good one earlier in the year, too, and of course I’ve forgotten the name.

    • Excellent point, Quokka.

      It’s inevitable that some people just won’t get some of your stuff. All the best writers get rejected – well, that’s what I tell myself each time I open a rejection!

      Quokka, I’ve forgotten too. “Reading like a Writer” by the aptly named Francine Prose was awesome, and the Newman and Mittlemark was fabulous – solid gold tips and hilarious.

  18. Catty and Quokka, I too found when I was at uni, that the assignments I agonized over invariably received lower marks than the ones I dashed off at the last minute.

    Of course, at Uni, you need to be aware of the expectations of each tutor/lecturer, which is where MM’s advice to write to your target audience comes in.

    Cake and chocolate? “Get thee behind me Satan”!

  19. Madame – Payday tomorrow, do you still want me to buy you a ticket for Tassie babes. I’ll check back here tonight and in the morning, otherwise tweet me.

    • I can’t!!

      My bloody babysitter (Mum) is playing in a concert that night. I said it would be fine to stuff Magic Man and Elf Boy in her bass clarinet case (it’s roomy) but she wasn’t keen.

      I’m extremely desolate. Please tell GirlClumsy “break a leg” from me. Hope you have a blast!

      • Bugger, maybe you could go later in the month with Quokka and ChazFH. I will pass on your message to GC.

  20. This course is excellent – well worth what I paid for it. Yes, the fluff story was aimed at my target audience. Bugger what JB thinks of the Writing School – it’s done wonders for my ability to win “25 words or less” competitions!

    My main problems are being undisciplined, and dippier than a Jatz. Not easy to overcome, but I’m working on it.

    Muffin tops are easy to fix, Quokka. All you need is a daily dose of parsley, a daily dose of cinnamon, and a good quality panty girdle.

    Failing that, squirt everyone near you in the eyes with capsicum spray, so they can’t see the wobbly bits.

  21. Hehehe.

    Can I get capsicum spray from the same Mexican chemist who keeps emailing me about discount Vicodin, or do you have a recipe?

  22. This is one of the disadvantages of not living in the US of A, where you can no doubt get such things by mail order.

    Did you guys read the story a few weeks ago about how one of Jermaine Jackson’s kids was in trouble for zapping Blanket (I think the real name is Prince Michael, but for clarity that’s the child that Wacko Jacko dangled over the balcony) with a stun gun?

    Apparently he bought it off the internet.

    MM, if I go to Babes it will be at the end of April, when Chaz comes over from Perth. If he wants company, of course. There’s details of Chaz Day in Brisbane at his blog.
    I must warn you, he’s a Pom, but he earns points for marrying a wonderfully amusing Argentinian woman. With any luck she’ll be here too.

    • Cool, maybe I can fit in with your party.

      I did read about the Jackson zapping incident. Not that I condone domestic violence, but I could see how one of the late MJ’s (may he rest in peace) kids might be annoying enough for a cousin to feel compelled to taser. They should put them all in a band together, that would keep ’em busy. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

  23. You get those emails too, MM? I get hundreds of them. There’s a Chinese mob who keep trying to sell me Viagra. “Hard rock between legs!” How could I refuse an offer like that? I think they got my email address from the Nigerian lottery mob.

    A quick calculation of my lottery winnings recently added up to $8.1 billion. Strange, considering I’ve never bought tickets in the Irish, Swedish, English, Spanish OR Nigerian lotteries. Now all I have to do is send them each a $4000 processing fee, and give them my bank account number to put the winnings in, and I’ll be rich!

    Sorry, I don’t have a capsicum spray recipe, but I’m working on it. I was going to buy some on eBay, but the Boss just tried to buy a slingshot for the kids to use for target practice. Customs have sent us a nasty letter about it – apparently it’s illegal for my little ones to use a slingshot to shoot ping pong balls. Damn. I’ll just have to buy them a dart set. So much safer, yes? Anyway, now Customs are on to us, we can’t import anything suss – there goes the hand held personal vibrating neck massager I wanted. And my neck is getting sooooo sore.

    • None of my dodgy internet buys have yet aroused the attention of Customs, so I’m happy to front any purchases for you, Catty.

      Sorry to hear about your confiscated shang-hai. Spud guns are legal, if high in carbs. And many hours of wholesome amusement – and target practise – may be had by hurling rocks with the bare hand. Aimed away from windows and landscaping, naturally. And only ever at one’s siblings, not the pets. The thrower gets upper body strength and improved depth perception and the targets learn speed, stealth and agility. As well as raising their pain thresholds.

      Crikey, it should be compulsory in schools.

  24. Catty, for this God created Nurf Guns.
    One of my little cousins got one for Xmas and the adults spent a good part of the day shooting each other with it.
    I got caught in the crossfire a few times (it being Xmas, of course, who doesn’t?)
    They hurt.

    If you’re in the market for a slingshot, last time I was up at the Eumundi markets there was a guy with a cart full of them. I had a long and satisfying conversation with him about the best types of projectile to aim at a brush turkey, but I got distracted by the organic ice cream cart and forgot to purchase my illegal weapon.

    MM, do you know if he’s still around?

  25. Mmm, ice cream. Sorry, Quokka, what was the question?

    Ah, weaponry. It’s been ages since I’ve been to Eumundi markets, but I’m sure he’s still there. People tend to get drawn there and then get stuck. It’s the geographical equivalent of the u-bend under your kitchen sink.

    Perhaps it’s ley-lines, although it may have something to do with the quality of illicit herbs grown in the hinterland.

  26. Peters vanilla caramel swirl. I have no idea where it came from. I never bought it, but there it is, in the freezer. Or more accurately, in a bowl in front of me.

    Your fault, Quokka. But I suppose I had it coming, after yesterday’s gooey gooey chocolate.

    It’s not the world’s best icecream, but it’s going nicely with the almond bread I made on the weekend. Or, more accurately, chocolate, cinnamon, brazil and almond bread. I got a bit carried away.

    The local IGA had cadbury mini eggs for $2 a bag this morning. Now I really do need fairy floss, for those Donna Hay cupcakes. The local deli has the persian stuff for $15 a (tiny) bag. Gee, and I can’t even SEE the gold plating! So I am still going to have to find a carnival. For the fairy floss. And if I’m there, I might as well have a shot on the clowns. What a coincidence! I happen to have $20 in one dollar coins in my pocket.

    Or I could just go to the local markets tomorrow. They don’t have fairy floss, but they do have clowns. And if they’re anything like Eumindi, I can pick up a slingshot AND a hand-held personal vibrating neck massager. Why do they put silicone skins on those things, anyway? The silicone always pulls the fine hair on the back of my neck.

  27. I was just out at the Logan Hyperdome and they had bags of fairy floss in the lolly stall in the centre of the mall out there. I’ve also seen bags of it for sale at my local fruit barn. Maybe phone around some sweets stores, Catty, and see if they stock it. You do sound desperate.

    My favorite ice cream was Homer Hudson’s Butter Pecan, but I haven’t seen it for years. They do another one called Hoboken crunch which is pretty good, but there’s a seriously decadent dark chocolate one – with chunks of dark chocolate in it – that the Bloke just loves.

    The washing machine repair man came and went this morning and told me that the water leak managed to fry the motherboard in the mother F*****. It will be at least 7 days before washing is done in my house. My hairdresser is next to the laundromat, I’m thinking it could be time for a cut and colour. I could go visit friends with a washing machine but that would involve being sociable when I’m meant to be assignmenting, and the two just aren’t compatible.

    • Mmm… icecream AND brazil-and-almond bread. Damn, I’ve got plenty of icecream – which, spookily enough is vanilla and caramel swirl – but there’s no way I’m cooking almond bread. For the Godess’s sake, woman, you have to bake that stuff twice!

      Quokka, after a moment’s silence to pass on my deep commiserations:
      ***
      ***
      Vale, motherboard
      ***
      ***
      …… the laundromat is a FABULOUS place to write. There’s eff all alse to do there, the swishing through the machines just naturally synchs your brainwaves into a beta state… and you’re highly motivated to keep your eyes on your notes. I spent many a happy hour in the laundromat during the several months of my “two week” laundry and bathroom reno. Enjoy!

  28. Ah. That would be a Mother Fisher and Paykel. The FIL’s best mate repairs washing machines for them, and the fried motherboard is their most common problem. The other main problem is that they get a buildup of calcification around the shaft, so they stop agitating. He picks it off with a screwdriver.
    When our F&P jammed, my FIL opened her up (that day) and picked off the calcification with a screwdriver. It cost us a beer.

    Oh, yeah, I could buy fairy floss at Kmart. But Kmart don’t have laughing clowns. Unless you count the checkout operators – and they get upset when I stuff ping pong balls in their mouths.

  29. You must have a very festive Kmart down there, Catty. Our closest outlets are staffed with surly clowns. You can’t get a ping pong ball in their mouths, they’re clamped shut as well as down-turned.

  30. Festive? Not really. More ‘slack jawed’.

  31. When I was in Coles at Logan, today, I discovered checkouts minus the chicks.
    i.e. DIY checkouts. They had no less than six of them operating.
    Looks like the Honour System is cheaper than helping to get 6 spotty teenagers through bible school to study social work (well, that’s what my favorite spotty check out chick down at the local does in her free time).

    I’m not ready to adjust to DIY checkouts.

    • Coles have them now? Big W have had self checkouts for a couple of years over this way, but I haven’t seen them at Coles.

  32. You’re right, Mayhem. I checked the docket and I was in Woollies.

    I just got an email from Chaz and he says he and his good lady wife plan to go and see Babes at BAT on the 1st of May. That’s a Saturday. He didn’t specify a time. I think he’s got plans to go to Mirasoul on Caxton Street for Friday 30 April, dinner and drinks, if any of you guys are interested.

    • Oh well there you go!

      I’ve already been over to Chaz’s place and counted me in for Mirasoul. Now I’ve only got a couple of weeks to find the place. Where is Caxton Street? I feel like I should know, but I don’t. Never mind, I will googlemap it.

      • Caxton Street is that one that starts at the new Barracks re-development, and winds it’s way through Paddington, changing it’s alias to LaTrobe Terrace as it goes.

        But the Caxton Street end is closest to the big traffic lights where Milton Road ends, off Petrie Terrace.

        You’ll probably go past it on your way to the Arts Theatre tomorrow night. Which reminds me, have a blast!

  33. Chaz is doing rollcall here:

    http://chazfh.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/chaz-day-in-brisvegas-30th-april-2010/

    Tell me, is euthanasia an acceptable option for a man with a toothache who refuses to see an alternate dentist while ours is on holidays till Monday? He’s on antibiotics and neurofen but he’s not happy.

    I’m very tempted to freight him off to his mother’s for the weekend, but I think there’s a clause in the law about cruel and unusual suffering that may prohibit that.

    • OH MY!

      I have just had a quick look at the Mirasoul menu. Dessert come with cocktail suggestions. My dessert will be chosen on the basis of the cocktail I want most. Or maybe I’ll just have three dessert courses. with matching coctails natch πŸ™‚

    • Re: the dentist, tell him that if he avoids the dentist long enough, the nerve in the tooth will eventually die, and there will be no more pain. It has worked for me.

      Of course it’s taken roughly 16 months to kill that bloody nerve, but hey, saved me a fortune in dental fees….

  34. Mmm… cocktails with dessert.

    Quokka, for mine, euthanasia is always an option – frequently the preferred option. However, since the Bloke has his moments when not whining and being unreasonable, why not try:
    (1) Large doses of codeine.
    (2) Get him drunk. I think brandy is the traditional toothache spirit.
    (3) Acupuncture.
    (4) Remove yourself from the source of irritation. Since you’ve got an assignment on, the library would be opportune.

    All the best. Toothache sucks.

  35. Mmm….sugary goodness. Yum.

    It sounds like the antibiotics have finally kicked in today, he says its down to a twinge. So it looks like he will live to feed the cats and change the kitty litter till Monday, when the dentist is back from Straddy.

    MM, your blog seems to be outstripping JB’s in terms of popularity, faff, and good clean sugar enriched fun.
    If I knew how to give the place five gold stars, I’d do it.

  36. *she blushes modestly*

    My secret weapon is the high-quality traffic, Quokka – I’m fortunate to enjoy intelligent, dicriminating and hilarious correspondents.

    Whereas JB is down to Lobes and SJS.

    Next step: World Domination. Who’s with me? Note – there WILL be chocolate. And slaves. Many, many slaves.

  37. I’d like chocolate coated slaves, skilled at dusting timber venetian blinds and at getting orange fungus out of the grout between the shower tiles, thanks.

    As for SJS and Lobes, blog contributors?
    I thought they were bouncers.
    They’re doing a marvelous job.

  38. Hehehe. Bouncers. That should go on the t-shirt!

    Mmm… gooey chocolate coated slaves. I know, what IS it with timber venetians? Catty will know, but there’s probably a Blind Dust Faery at play. Mine are like the Harbour Bridge – as soon as I grudgingly work my way around every room, the first lot I dusted are once again rich in a fluffy grey layer of grunge.

    They should be teflon coated in the factory.

    As for the fungal grout, I’m told vodka works. Apply directly to grout with a sponge. Alternatively, drink the vodka until you don’t give a root about the condition of your bathroom. Cheers!

  39. I have a theory about blinds. When you purchase timber ones, an encoded message is sent to your local council. They then approve a roadworks program on your block, or they send the treeloppers to trim and mulch directly outside your house, or they approve demolition/major building work upwind of you.

    This ensures that not only your timber blinds, but everything in your house is permanently covered in dust.
    When the hard rubbish collectors see timber blinds on your footpath, another encoded message is sent to the council. They immediately halt all works in your vicinity. Forever. (or until they get another encoded blind-purchasing alert).

    As evidence of this, I offer Eastlink – a major tollway that passes from the arterial road to our left, to the arterial road to our right. Construction began the week after we installed timber blinds. It finished the week after we took them down. Maintenance and landscaping began the week after we put them back up again.

    Rock and a hard place – crusty blinds? Or overgrown nature strips and potholes in the road?

    Easy choice. Vodka. Fancy a nip, Quokka?

  40. One of my swimming buddies put me onto a substance called ‘Bam for mould’. Its done wonders for the orange mould in the shower recess but I think I dropped about thirty IQ points from inhaling the fumes while scrubbing the bejesus out of it with the curved vileda brush she suggested I use as a ‘persuader’ to coax it out of corners and crevices.

    I just came home from the pool – via McDonalds, for a nourishing double bacon McMuffin – and discovered the share house up the hill opposite the other Irish Village now has a van, liberally painted in rain forest plants, with the words ‘Elliot’s tribal drumming courses’ on the side.

    Every year, after every frigging festival, our suburb is infested with flame twirlers and tribal drummers. This is what you are missing, MM. Not intelligent conversations about art and trips to the local galleries.

    I have to call the council back, so I might stand on the porch so they get an earful of the Tribal Drumming two blocks up.

    Ferals.
    Where the hell is havock when there’s muppets that need capping?

  41. Ah, Catty, you weren’t there before. There’s a slight delay, here, I’ve noticed.

    We went out to some groovy wine bar in Oxford Street last weekend and The Bloke had a cocktail.
    I think it might be my turn, soon.

    How are you ladies surviving school holidays?
    Catty obviously has a daily chocolate intake strategy which helps.

  42. Tribal Drumming… I’d say you’re joking but obviously it’s not funny. Perhaps the vodka could help with that, too.

    Fascinating blind theory, Catty. It’s like an elaboration of the “put washing on the line to make it rain” paradigm, which always works for me. I’ll try and love my dust, I think. At least if it’s accumulating on the blinds we’re not breathing it in, I suppose. Somebody told me it’s rutile, which probably mean our airways look like the inside of a Terminator robot.

    *cough, splutter, wheeze*

    I’ve enjoyed school holidays, so far. One week is manageable. Although I have been unable to shift a dull headache all day… we’ll see if it lifts Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.!

    If it’s not an outlawed topic, how’s the assignment, Quokka? Have you learned to love the laundromat yet?

  43. Call me sick but I’m actually enjoying the reading and the notes. The bit I always hate is putting the final product together but she’s encouraging tables and bullet points which works for me.

    Luckily we got the last of the week’s washing done before the bloody thing blew up.I bought extra socks when I was out yesterday and I’m hoping to cope with handwashing until it reaches critical mass next week.

    I think there’s some substance to Catty’s theory. Council resurfaced all the roads here about three years ago. Six months later the gas company appeared and started digging them all up to replace/work on the gas lines. There are now pot holes in every road that dip low enough to offer the Mad Hatter entry to Wonderland. It never seems to end. A girlfriend in New Farm had the council diggers in her street for about 6 months, it drove her nuts.

    I sh*t you not about the bongo van.
    Hopefully he’s bought his cousins, the Firestick Twirlers, and they’ll teach the Irish a thing or two about flame throwing at tonight’s Green Beer and Pizza celebrations.

    Which reminds me, I still haven’t been to Bunnings and got myself that leaf blower.

  44. Paradigms. I’ve had a few myself. My revolting ex’s family (beautiful, beautiful people whom I still claim as ‘my people’) ALWAYS rang me when I was in the shower. Never at any other time. If I didn’t feel like talking to them, I didn’t take the phone off the hook, I just refrained from bathing.

    My current one involves the crock pot. If I make the effort to prepare something fabulous in the crock pot, the Boss comes home half cut. When he does this, I kick him out, and my culinary efforts are wasted. These days, I don’t even have to prepare the food. I merely have to say the words ‘crock pot’ and the sympathetic resonance sets off his beer cravings, no matter how many kms away he is. It’s like the word ‘picnic’. You only have to say it for the rain to set in. Or ‘flat tyre’, and you will get one.

    The Boss always sleeps at his mother’s after a bender. She thought my crock pot paradigm was funny for about six months. Then she found it annoying for the next six months. Finally, in February she bought her own crock pot. She uses it on the nights she really, really doesn’t want the Boss staying overnight – and he hasn’t turned up on any of those nights.

    What’s this daily chocolate intake strategy, Quokka? Don’t you mean Hourly? And as we have had two weeks of school holidays here in Vic, I am dunking each fix in vodka first.

    And, Quokka? Bongos are flammable. Especially when the van they are stored in is doused with petrol shortly before the firetwirlers get back from the pub. Just thought you’d like to know.

  45. The “Crock Pot Theory” is fascinating, Catty. But have you and your MIL ever tried using both of the crock pots on the same night? I wonder if it’d be like matter meeting anti-matter, thereby warping the space-time continuum… or whether it would just mean that the Boss had to sleep in a bus shelter.

    And have as many chocolate vodka shots as you need, darls. 2 weeks with 4 kids = a hell of a long time.

    Quokka, I think the bongo van has happened for a reason. You’d be familiar with the Arabic proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” or the more poetic Chinese equivalent, “It is good to strike the serpent’s head with your enemy’s hand.”

    I don’t think you’ll even have to do anything other than sit back and gloat. What does a hungover Irish tradesman least wish to hear after a big night on the turps i.e. every fooking morning? That’s right, the syncopated rhythm of bongos attempting karmic realignment, or whatever it is the ferals hope to achieve.

    About the time you hand in your assignment, if not sooner, all hell will break out. Kindly record and then upload the spectacle for our viewing pleasure πŸ™‚

  46. Curiouser and curiouser.
    The simple presence of the Bongo Van opposite the Village of the Green Idiots seems to have been enough to shut them up last night. And ours.

    Although perhaps I’m in luck and they’ve just all come down with Man Flu. did you guys see the article about that in the ABC news yesterday? Scientists have proved that Man Flu is real, and worse, when they’re at the height of their suffering (and most lacking in appeal) they feel compelled to mate.

  47. Man flu
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/09/2868220.htm?site=thedrum

    I’m off to the teneriffe markets to buy jam.

  48. Hehehe. I think this result has been misinterpreted… Men just have a constantly high level of desire to mate, irrespective of whether or not they’re suffering from Man Flu. I note with delight, however, the finding that men are weaker than women. Busted, weaklings.

    Teneriffe markets? Sound sprauncy. What did you get?

    Fabulous bongo news. Just think what a “Prostate Health Check” or “Strange Rashes Down There” van could accomplish!

  49. Word of warning ladies. General Havock will be in town for the final session of Tassie Babes on 15th of April, arriving Friday the 14th. I sense another Burger party in the offing.

  50. The Bloke has corrected me and pointed out that it’s the Powerhouse markets. There is a Jam Man down there who makes awesome jam. And I make awesome scones. Thanks to the Women’s Weekly cookbook…
    I got boysenberry and raspberry and then I went to his competition and got Rosella jam, for The Bloke. And I got greens, so I can make rocket, basil, fetta and caramelized baby tomato tart for dinner.

    Then we went to Woody Point for breakfast and somehow we got drawn into looking at real estate. I met a nice young couple from Sydney who can’t afford to buy in Brisbane and had never been to Redcliffe before. So I told her all about good places to eat and what to watch out for.
    The Bloke says I should have a badge that says ‘Welcome to Redcliffe, Community Ambassador’.
    I can’t help it if I know where to get awesome garlic foccacia and gelati. Those are just basic things that every woman needs to know, regardless of what suburb she’s in.

    Which reminds me, we got pizza last night and I have pistachio and white chocolate and frangelico gelati in the freezer.

    The Irish were relatively quiet last night so perhaps they all have man flu. When I left for the markets at quarter to 7 one of them was out on the balcony in earnest conversation with a girl so I assume he was trying to mate, and she was trying to keep him awake long enough that he wasn’t capable of it.

    MM, are you interested in going to Babes at BAT on the evening of the 1st of May? Chaz – being that he’s in Perth – has asked me to get tickets for him and his good lady wife. Which I will do, but if you want to come and you want to sit with us, I’ll give you time to bribe your sitter.
    We are all off to Mirasoul (tapas bar) at Caxton Street on the Friday night so I think everyone will be there for that one. Hopefully bouncers check the punters for scales and unnatural levels of aggression before they let you through the door.

  51. Mayhem, we’ve crossed blog paths.
    Are you sure about those dates?
    I’m sure Chaz Day was the end of April/1 May.

    Just got an email from Chaz reporting that General Havock will indeed be in attendance at Chaz Day. I for one do not trust these boys to know dates from sultanas so perhaps you could use the forces of Darkness (Twitter) to establish WTF is going on.

  52. Mmm… raspberry jam.

    I’m not sure if I’ll make the cocktails on Friday – although the matching dessert menu is exceedingly alluring – but I would like to try to make “Babes”. That’ll be the Labour Day weekend, or am I mistaken? D’ya reckon Havsy’ll try and cap muppets in the actual theatre?

    So how was the real estate? Plenty of Irish and bongo free options available?

  53. According to my doggie calendar, Friday 30 April is Arbor Day, Sat 1 May is May Day and Sunday 1st is National Pet Day.

    You’ll have to consult a better oracle.

    We looked at a dodgy brothers unit (brand spanking new and not finished properly) at Woody Point, which had gorgeous views. Fire Sale as the builder had some problems finishing it, I think. As a point of contrast I dragged the Bloke through something very granny, one of those old fashioned brick boxes they built in the 60s.
    North East facing 2nd floor unit looking out over Suttons.
    Very nice, but I’m not sure where we’d put all the cats.

    I think I’d like to find one of those ‘don’t renovate, DETONATE!’ blocks out on the peninsular and build from scratch.

    Architect’s wife here.
    AKA: spoiled little princess.
    I like my northern exposure, particularly in the winter when my asthma kicks in and my lungs roll over and play dead.

  54. Indeed ladies there has been some confusion.

    Last night General Havock was coming to Brissie for Chaz day and Tassie Babes. As of today, he is booked on a flight to arrive Friday the 14th, to attend closing night of Tassie babes on the 15th.

    Yes, he is indeed missing Chaz day. By two weeks. It may have had something to do with airfares and the cost thereof.

    Or maybe he just wanted a Havock Day all to himself.

    We will need to make arrangements for yet another Burger Bash on that weekend. Thank God they’re all happening on pay weeks.

  55. As the good Dr. Yobbo once said, it is better to Cap the FKRS than to FK the Cappers. Who knows what General Havoc will get up to? If he gets here a fortnight too soon, I’m guessing that many muppets will suffer.

    I checked GC’s Tassie Babe blurb and I’m sure it goes till mid-May. Mayhem, you get to organize Havock…good luck!

  56. Mayhem, we’ve done it again.
    Great minds think in synch – or sink, as the subject matter may be, given that one of those pesky southerners seems to be sending this plan down the gurgler.

    I’m still convinced General Havock has his dates wrong, as April 14 is a Wednesday. May 14 is a Friday and Nat’s blog seems convinced that Sat 15 May is closing night. So May makes more sense than April.

    I just checked Havoc’s blog, which it seems he hasn’t done since March, so if you’re in twitter range of him, can you please check? Either way I’ll be pleased to see him but I suspect Chaz will never let him live it down if he’s stuffed that up. Meanwhile, I will email Chaz so he can start with that campaign of harassment…

    You see, Catty, this is why I didn’t invite you.
    Otherwise we’d have yet another burger date in the innings and we’d be no closer to being in the same room.

    The Irish are still strangely silent.
    When I checked the side path this morning for beer bottles, bongs, bras and broads, I discovered a baby bird, but couldn’t see a nest so I took it down to the vet and made it Her Problem.

    Evidence that even when the Irish are being quiet they’re making enough of a racket to shake the birds out of the trees. What kind of lunatic bird would build a nest next to that village of idiots? Madness.

  57. OUCH! Actually that’s MY mistake. You are correct of course. Havock will be here MAY 14th for TB on May 15th. Duh! I knew that, I just wrote the wrong month. Chaz is aware of the situation via twitter by the way.

  58. And the original plan WAS for Havock to attend Chaz day, but he has changed his mind. He IS aware that Chaz will not be here when he is.

  59. OK. So we have Chaz Day and Havock Day.
    Chaz must have found out after his last email to me.

    This means we have 5 weeks to find some food venue that serves the equivalent of the Betel Leaf entree at Longrain in Sydney, and arrange to scare the bejesus out of his taste buds.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, the Irish up the hill are doing donuts, and throwing bottles. In other words, there’s entertainment to be had on the deck waiting for them to kill someone. Yikes.

  60. Nah, that’s o.k, Quokka. My sense of direction isn’t so hot. I live next to the main road into Melbourne. No turnoffs. Straight through to the city centre. And I still wound up on St Kilda beach. When I got out of the car, I couldn’t find the Burgers. I had to stand forlornly in front of the RACV office until Mayhem came and rescued me. (did I ever thank you for that, Mayhem? I hope so – I was very grateful.) On the way home I found myself unexpectedly on Princes Highway. I have no idea how this happened.

    I can’t even blame the GPS faerie. No GPS. I swear, honestly, I never turned off the main road. Not once!

    So getting up to Brissie falls under the heading “not possible”. Really. I am that bad. Just before the holidays, I managed to get lost driving the kids home from school. They are giving me hell, asking if I want to do a dry run, so I won’t get lost taking them back on Monday. This wouldn’t be so bad, except that I live on the same block as the school.

    MM, it gets worse. On Tuesday (that’s the 13th!) I have parent teacher interviews for the teen. Two hours, eight teachers, all really, really pissed off. Maybe I can arrange for that sadistic dentist from Little Shop Of Horrors to rip out all my teeth instead – it sounds like so much more fun.

    On Wednesday my Teen turns 15. Groan. That’s the age where they stop being insufferable and start being unbearable. Oh, joy! Oh, joy! People keep telling me I will look back on these years and laugh. Frogshit. The only thing that could be remotely amusing about this is if I’m present when my (potential) 14 year old granddaughter shows off her new nipple rings to her mother. Actually, that would be pretty damned funny.

    Frangelico Gelati? Quokka, that sounds better than blueberry fudge! Share?

    • Teenagers: this is why the nuns used to tell us to keep ourselves nice, cross our legs and – in moments of temptation – whip out our rosaries. If you never fornicate, you’ll never have teenagers.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you, Catty. Also my muttered curses and a few large hex marks I just sketched out in powdered herbs.

      There’s only two cheery words of encouragement that strikes me… vodka chocolatini.

  61. Absolutely, I can’t enjoy it given the odours in Casa Quokka at the moment anyway.
    The Bloke has just resorted to Hippy Cures and has rubbed a cotton bud with clove oil over the offending tooth. It’s stinking the whole house out. The cats are acting like The Apocalypse is upon us.
    Thank Christ the dentist is back from his holidays on Monday.
    According to what they taught us in Witch School 101 you shouldn’t use clove oil more than once on a tooth as it can damage the nerve, so this’ll be interesting to see if the Hippy Remedy works.

  62. Quokka, Advil + Paracetamol, yes TOGETHER, should help The Bloke. Recommended by one of my Doctors back in my year in HELL, as well as Mum’s dentist. Take 2 of each AT THE SAME TIME, repeat 4 hourly. Won’t do any harm on a short term basis to take an extra couple of Advil in a day. Two very different drugs, which apparently complement each other very well.

    Failing that, alcohol until comatose.

  63. Quokka, maybe the cats are right. Out of nowhere the other day Elf Boy started telling me, “Mumma, at the end of the world there is a big lake of fire and a very mean beast comes down…” etc. etc. I’ve jokingly – and out of earshot – often referred to him as the Spawn of Satan… I know, it’s wrong but honestly his father was appalling… but I wasn’t aware that his Unholy Sire was keeping him up-to-date with his plans for the End of Days.

    Mayhem, very sound advice on the toothache. Keep the paracetemol strictly to the directions on the packet…. if you’re fond of your liver and, you know, being alive… but you can as much as double up on ibuprofen as required. And don’t forget codeine e.g. in Nurofen plus. A few Nurofen plus and a large spirituous liquor and he should be right until Monday. Good luck, Quokka and felines!

    I’m thoroughly confused about dates, now. Leaving everyone’s fave muppet capper out of the equation, which date do I need to plead for childcare for?

  64. Havock by name, Havock by nature. We will attempt to ignore him – for now.

    Chaz is much more trustworthy with his dates.
    He will be here for an evening meal at Mirasoul, Friday 30 April. Unknown start time as he’s got some sort of training program on that day. I’m happy to start without him.

    He’s asked me to organize tickets to Babes at BAT for Sat, 1 May 8pm. I’ll organize tickets when you know what you’re doing – or what your mother is doing, as it may be.

    Thanks for the medication advice. ladies. I nipped down to the local late night pharmacy and stocked up on pain killers with similar advice from the Sudanese pharmacist.
    If the pain gets too much for me today I might run away. One of my girlfriends is at home with a husband with kidney stones and a stent or whatever they do to them, and she’s about ready to do a Thelma And Louise with me, I think. Well, maybe not drive over a cliff but perhaps markets or a pub.

    Catty…the thing that always gets me about people cooing over babies and toddlers (when they aren’t screaming/acquiring new teeth/experimenting with profanities) is that a dozen years later these same people are nowhere in sight.
    If they were at all sincere, they’d still all be there, gurgling ‘OH! you have a TEENAGER! Isn’t she ADORABLE! Look at that little pout, and those piercings, and the acne, how CUTE! Any time you want someone to babysit your charming adolescent, you just sing out, now.’

  65. I’m in for the first… yay! But I think I might need two tickets. I’m seeing the friend in question later today so I’ll know by this arvo. If I do turn into two, is it easier for me to just buy the tickets and we can hang with you guys at the interval, or will it still be okay, Quokka?

    Hehehe. ‘Look at that pout!’ What we really need are state funded “training” facilities. Hand ’em over at 13, retrieve at 23 or the age of reason, whichever is later.

  66. No rush. We’ve got three weeks and I can’t imagine the show selling out.

    • I won’t tell GirlClumsy you said that!

      So, Mayhem – how was last night’s show? We’re eagerly awaiting your review

      • AWESOME, highly recommended. Short review at my place, no spoilers. Also no pictures, forgot to give The Brat the camera and ask him to play photographer.

  67. Madam, get yourself a copy of “Good Omens”, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It is on my list of the top ten best books ever.

    You will find it very, very reassuring. As long as you still get the occasional rain storm, and Elf Boy never brings home a puppy, you’re safe.

    Vodka and chocolate. Mmmmmm. I am fond of those Guylian seashells, dunked into a chilled Stolli or two. Followed by, well, robust marital intimacy.

    Which reminds me. On the one occasion the MIL and I used our crockpots on the same night, the Boss wound up in a motel in Bendigo.

    Oh, and my non-sharing friend with the peanut butter Lindt eggs has reedeemed herself admirably by sending me several packets of Reece’s peanut butter cups. I love her.

    Oh, bugger, the teen is talking at me….

    *resuming transmission*…. have just had a major screaming match with the teen about her homework. The Boss tried to break us up – he’s now cowering in the bedroom with my vodka. I’m thinking Tahiti sounds nice about now. Wanna come, Quokka?

  68. Power up Thunderbird Four, and head on up here.

    I’ve got caramelized tomato, rocket, purple basil and fetta tarts in the oven and as my kitchen hand has just been paralyzed by another wave of toothache, it’s not like he’ll be needing them.

    I think I want teacake.

    I should have time to whip one up before you land in the backyard.

    Try to spill some jet fuel on the village next door and send up a few sparks, would you?

  69. Enjoy Tahiti, ladies. (Quokka, I’m pretty sure you should do the navigating) If you could pick up some Monoi Tiare flower oil for me while you’re there, please, I’d be very grateful.

    Two for “Babes”, it is. My childfree-for-the-weekend friend is keen to join us. I’ll bring the jaffas.

    I LOVE Terry Pratchett, thanks for the tip Catty. I’m pretty sure Robert Rankin has contributed several volumes on the subject as well. I might lay in some holy water and scripture though, just in case. Better safe than possessed by Beelzebub’s black angels. Oh, and on the subject of teenagers, I’m sorry to hear that my spellcasting has failed to improve yours. Probably because it’s a waning moon. I’ll try again on Wednesday when she’s new.

  70. Oh. Yes, I’d forgotten about that, MM. Looks like we’d better rethink Tahiti, Quokka. Knowing me, we’d end up in Dubbo. The tarts sound divine, though. As does the teacake. The Boss does a superb teacake – despite the fact there’s no actual tea in it.

    New Moon on Wednesday? And the teen will be pre-menstrual, too. Maybe I should stock up on the Holy water too. Then again, maybe not. She’d probably dissolve. “I’m melting! I’m melting!”. And then I’d be stuck with feeding the winged monkeys. Like I need any more monkeys to look after.

    I shall have to console myself with birthday cake. There WILL be cake. And if there’s any justice in the world, Jake Wall will jump out of it in gold lamΓ© speedos.

  71. Nonna from Sicily always used to say, of holy water: “Couldn’t hurt.”

    You know, there are so many self-help programmes and personal development courses around. Why hasn’t someone written “How NOT to be a teenager: The art of remaining tolerable while your peers whine, demand, sulk and smell.” ?

    I’m sure there’d be a market. Who’s going to help me write it?

  72. Well, I’m childless but I have trained a dog.
    Occasionally he vomits up a cat turd on the couch but other than that he seems normal enough.
    I believe this means I’m qualified to offer my unqualified opinion.
    Count me in.

    Oh yeah, and I’ll sort out those tickets later today or tomorrow, whenever I can find someone at the ticket office.

    I have to take The Bloke to the dentist later this morning, he’s had no sleep. I know this because every time he got up the cat followed him and yowled that it was time to open a tin of cat food and fill his bowl with kitty crunchies.

    Cats care.

  73. Quokka, I’m praying to every deity I’m on speaking terms with that your callous, self-absorbed, holidaying dentist fixes the Bloke up pronto. His pain must have been nearly unbearable… for you, I mean.

    If you let me know what we owe you for the tix, I can do you a direct deposit. Not sure if it counts at the Arts, but I’m a card-carrying drain on society. My friend, hoewever, is a responsible, tax-paying, full fare adult.

  74. I will factor that in.

  75. Thanks, Quokka.

    Hey, this thread is up to 98 comments. I think I might put some absolutely meaningless drivel… as opposed to the usual quasimeaningless drivel… just to get a tonne.

    πŸ™‚

  76. Click.

  77. Clack, front and back.

  78. Knit one, purl two.
    Is that how it goes? Its been a while, but thanks to Catty I’ve seen the wisdom of being quick to act with a set of sharp sticks.

  79. Indeed. Effective and decisive action with one’s bare hands can’t be over-rated, though. You may not have your knitting needles to hand when you need them.

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