How NOT to be a teenager: The art of remaining tolerable while your peers whine, demand, sulk and smell

Catty has teen trouble. Apologies for the redundancy; if I’d just written ‘Catty has a teenager’ the trouble  could quite easily have been inferred. Because ‘yoof’ are appaling, aren’t they? Demanding the world but not even prepared to get out of bed before midday to get it.  Convinced they know everything and anyone older than mid-twenties is a hopeless dried up old fossil who, if they ever had a clue, lost it years ago. And they’re as dangerous to themselves as they are irritating to others, displaying a breath-takingly alarming combination of risk-taking with lack of judgement and tendency to experimentation with alcohol and drugs. What’s there to love?

Recent advances in neuroscience are interesting, if unhelpful. It seems the teen brain devolves to the level of a two-year-old’s… “Mummy, want dat! Want dat now!! Waaah”… before achieving a more sensible grown-up organisation. (Note: Those of you married to, or familiar with, men may have noticed that the final ‘maturity’ phase of development is frequently dramatically delayed. In some cases, death of advanced old age will be achieved before the ‘grown-up’ phase is reached.) Still, the knowledge that your teenager’s brain circuitry is as scrambled as the eggs going cold on the breakfast table while you invite, cajole and then threaten them to get out of the damn bed and get ready for school is of little consolation or practical benefit.

That’s where we come in. There must be a cure, I reckon. Or, if not a cure, some guidelines for ameliorating the condition until maturity – eventually – emerges. Here are some of mine:

  1. Shower or bathe thoroughly, at least once a day. Pay special attention to your stinky feet and lank greasy hair. No-one but you enjoys the way you reek when you don’t.
  2. Ask yourself, “Would I get a toddler drunk, give it the car keys and then hop in the boot while it drove me around late at night at high speed?” If the answer is no, then ask yourself why, when your mate Davo… whose brain is currently functioning at the level of a two-year-old’s…  is driving, are you stupid enough to believe that this is a hectic way to spend Saturday night?
  3. Only have intoxicated, meaningless sex at 3 a.m. with people you’d be prepared to have sex with while completely sober in broad daylight. And, anytime you fornicate, make sure you and your partner are safe. STD rates are through the roof, again. If you lot are so smart, what’s with that?

What are your anti-terrible-teen tips?

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142 Responses

  1. Presbyterian Boarding school.

  2. Hehehe. But surely, Presbyterians aren’t as terrifying as nuns?

  3. I don’t think there are any nuns left.
    Maybe one, out at Lourdes Hill, but last I heard she was over 80 and they don’t let her anywhere near the kids.
    Litigation costs for psychological damages incurred and that kind of thing.

    In winter I do my laps down at the Somerville House pool, which is run by the PMS association (apt, but not what you’re all thinking) i.e. the Presbyterian Methodist Schools assoc. You should see the list of rules they stick up on the entry board to try to keep the locals out. At one point they had a rule saying that you weren’t allowed to swim unless you were wearing regulation training swimwear.
    Which meant bikinis, board shorts, and g-strings were out.

    And that’s the public. I went straight out and got my belly pierced to show the teenagers what I thought of that.

    Rebellion is painful, it took 6 months for the bloody thing to heal.

    • Ouch.

      Were there terrible issues, prior to the appearance of the notice, with heavily pierced people wearing Brazilian micro-bikinis? Silly me, of course there were. This is the inner city we’re talking about.

      The problem with these extremes of repression is the pressure cooker effect. It’s like poison gas leaking out the side of a volcano… block off their boardshorts and they take it out in sexting or arson.

  4. I am convinced that the only solution to teenagers is a series of Villawood-style detention centres. A nice 10 year stint, from 14 to 24, should sort them out. Especially considering they’ll be locked in a camp with lots and lots of people who ALSO think they are:
    * completely misunderstood.
    * invincible.
    * never going to need all that crap taught in schools.
    * excluded from the social expectations of good manners and personal hygiene.
    * exempt from all those stupid laws made up by clueless fuddy duddies.

    Gathering all these superior human beings together in one place can be used to our advantage. Equate the different teen social groups with political parties:
    Physically dominant? (bully is such an ugly word, isn’t it?) Labor party.
    Computer obsessed (nerd isn’t a very nice word either), and think a balanced diet means an apple pie with your Macca’s value meal? Liberals.
    Feral? Greens.
    Waiting for all this to be over, so you can get back to whatever it is you were doing? Nationals.
    Convinced you’re not only superior to the fuddy duddies, but also most of your peers? Democrats.
    Sex crazed? Family first.
    Etc, Etc.

    Once they’re in the centre and have joined their party (teens like parties, don’t they?), they can decide on the party’s policies, laws and regulations. They reckon they know it all? Fine. Let them prove it by running the country.

    The upside is, we can sack the entire senate. All we need is Mary Poppins, to act as Governor General.

    The downside is, we’ll all be in nursing homes at 40, and xBox 360 will be a major component of the school curriculum.

    Doesn’t sound too bad to me, as long as there are also 360’s in those nursing homes. And vodka. Lots and lots of vodka.

  5. I thought Mary Poppins was already the governor general?

    MM, two words: Tramp Stamps.

    You’re not allowed in West End without one.
    That’s why they keep kicking me out.

  6. Catty, I’ll say it again… you’re a brilliant woman. Why don’t you go up aginst KRudd and Tony ‘The Abs’ Abbott in the next election? I’d be happy to help out with the speechwriting.

    If I make it out for Chaz Friday, Quokka, maybe we could get plastered and take you to a tattoo parlour? You could get a quokka, perhaps pole-dancing up your lumbar spine… or a shamrock, overlaid with one of those red circles with a cross through it.

  7. Avoid chinese symbol tattoos. I have known girls with tattoos that translated rather unpleasantly. There was “Southern wasteland”, “Chemical additive”, “Empty vessel” and my personal favourite “Mother of snails”.

    Men, however, can’t even manage a good tatt in english. I’ve seen “LUV and HAT” tatts, “Live to Rid” tatts, “Muther” tatts, and on one fellow I met recently, “Cheryl/Darlene/Suzie/Tanya/Shazza/Noelene/Crystal/Debbie/Casey/Chloe/Trina/Bernice”. He’s still dating Bernice. I think it’s because he doesn’t have any more room on his upper arm for girlfriend names.

    • ‘Mother of Snails’ is alluring, but ‘Southern Wasteland’ has a nice Antipodeal ring.

      ‘Live to Rid’ wasn’t an exterminator, was he?

      I wrote about Bernice’s boyfriend, or someone just like him! (See previous blog entry, ‘Tattoo You’)

      The more I think about it, the more I reckon Quokka should sport the anti-shamrock… maybe crowned with ‘Live to Rid’.

  8. Thankfully I gave up tequila a few decades ago, otherwise I’d probably have ‘Bite Me’ over the sacrum, in gothic font, with a small bat as the dot over the ‘i’.

  9. Nice, Quokka.

    But then, I always was a closet goth.

    Please, please don’t tell the teen. I’m almost suicidal as it is, without giving her that sort of ammunition.

    I attribute the “almost” in almost suicidal to vodka martinis. They make life worth living.

    And now I’m off to the post office to send my second-last assignment. I’m also posting the fluff story to a magazine. This is a good day. Never mind, I’m sure the teen will rectify that when she gets home from school.

  10. Good luck Catty.
    Go visit Nbob’s blog and refer back through several references to the horror of having a teen in the house, the last one mentioned a godmother who took her to yoga and brought back the wrong child. A calm, compliant, cooperative one. Not sure how long that lasted but he enjoyed it.

    I spent the morning ferrying The Bloke to and from the dentist. He didn’t get any sleep last night and wasn’t pleased with life. He’s now chock full of novacaine and has passed out with a pile of cats and the dog on top of him.

    Which means I can have a nice cup of tea and eat a chokito without feeling the slightest twinge of guilt.
    Not sure what the dentist did but he seems much happier and minus the pain.
    He has to go back in a month for root canal.

    Speaking of Gen Y and the irritations they cause us, what kind of policy do you apply to persons within the less than functional family system aged 18 – 25 who do not bother to acknowledge or thank you for birthday and xmas gifts?
    The kind that you’ve spent over $100 on in the Body Shop etc and then spent $20+ mailing to some obscure location two states away? Where they do have such things as face book, sms, telephones, email and, if all else fails, FKN post cards at the bloody store that they work in.

    I went through this with my nephews when they came of age, after a few years of such – in which time they rarely seemed to contact us, being much occupied with dragon slaying and nightclubbin – I gave up and decided I was just sending birthday cards. Then I reduced that to a text message and a phone call. If I remember.
    Five years later one of them has improved his attitude and the other one left the country on a three year visa to the USA without bothering to say goodbye. (The one that I put in the most effort with, when they were young, geography being the main factor in that one.)

    They are too old for lectures on etiquette and I’m too old to have any patience with feeling unappreciated. Its not just the presents – its the history, of putting in a LOT of time and effort over the years to keep little people amused and happy and occupied while their parents were out having fun.

    No good deed goes unpunished, right?

    I’m thinking of going with the policy of cards/phone calls -assuming I know where they are – and if I don’t know where they are, then I don’t worry, but I’ll spoil them with a night out or such when they do bounce back into my life for one of those random Now You See Me Now You Don’t Gen Y visits.

    I can’t wait for them all to have teenagers.
    When it happens, count on it, I will be there to GLOAT.

  11. Don’t let him nap too long, Quokka… he’ll keep you up half the night. Or maybe that’s toddlers, I can’t remember what to do with men.

    Ungrateful teens is a toughie. One’s own teenagers are hard enough to take – to go above and beyond for someone else’s, without even a ‘thnx’ sms in return is a bit much. If you can be bothered to send an e-card, then good on you.

    They’re all about the ‘now’, aren’t they, young people – more in the moment than a monastery full of Buddhists. So the ‘Show ’em a good time when you see ’em’ plan is probably the most meaningful for all concerned.

    *shudder*

    Less than 4 years ’till Magic Man goes teen. It’s like waiting for a volcano to erupt. At least Catty has shown me the way to almost coping… vodka and chocolate. Yeah, I think I can live with that.

    All the best for the assignment, Catty… I hope you neglected this one until the last minute and then phoned it in. That was your formula for success last time, wasn’t it?

  12. It wasn’t quite so short notice this time. I had asked around for ideas on what men shouldn’t say to women, and armed with those anecdotes, I sat down at the computer for a couple of hours and played with them. It came across with a slight anti-man feel. Not that I dislike men (rather fond of them, actually), but my tutor is a man and I have a grudge.

    Which reminds me, men and toddlers waking up at night are handled in the same way. I.e, soothing pats, comforting words, fetching them drinks and painkillers, letting them watch telly until they doze off, and then leaving them sprawled out across your bed while you sleep on the couch.

    My policy on gifts is that if you get a card, you don’t get a present, and vice versa. The only exception is money in a card, and I almost never do that – only if I know the recipient is severely cash strapped. (i.e, my brother in law)

    I also have a three-strikes-you’re-out policy for Christmas cards. If someone fails to respond three years in a row, they’re crossed off the list.

    My advice, Quokka, is don’t send anything this year. If they are taking your efforts for granted, this might be a wake-up call, and they’ll get in touch – if they do, then it’s worth sending them something next year. But if they are selfish little turds, they won’t even notice – and you’ll have more money to spend on Chokitos (love the new wrapper!) and Schnapps.

  13. Chokitos have a new wrapper? I thought they went extinct… or am I thinking about Polly Waffles….

    Quokka, hope now that the local anaesthetic has worn off the Bloke is feeling no pain.

    Salient advice, Catty. So, since we’re on gift giving, what do I give the sister who has everything (or the wherewithal to obtain everything) for her 40th birthday?

  14. Thanks for the input, guys.
    That was pretty much my thinking but sometimes I wonder if I’m being hard on them. Sometimes the way I manage those ones is by thinking ‘Hmm…fast forward 20 years, if Self-Absorbed Teenager, all grown up, came to me for advice about how to deal with their teenage niece/nephew doing the exact same thing, what would I do?’

    And I would advise them that it’s never a good idea to roll yourself out on the ground and paint a Welcome Sign for people to wipe their dirty boots on your patience and your self esteem.

    Re: the sister who has everything, how about a night out for the two of you at a show? That way she gets a night off, and you two get to do something sisterly.
    Other than pull each other’s hair and fight over who gave Malibu Barbie the new and less than improved hair cut.

    The advantage of a night out, and a show, is that someone else – who hopefully you both enjoy – gets to do all the talking.
    And if you have a sibling whose conversation you don’t care to hear much of, you get to limit their opportunities to speak, unless its to the cocktail waitress and random strangers in the bar at QPAC.

    I hear that Julian Clary is coming to town….if you send him a nice bunch of gladioli he may even choose to single your sibling out for special treatment…

    • hehehe… get her drunk and then bribe a waspish semi-drag performer to taunt her… you’re a criminal masterminf, Quokka. I love it!

  15. Quirky gifts. There’s a cute book called “Things to do now you’re 40” by Rebecca Hall. Published by Random House. It’s a feel-good little book, and would look good in a little basket with a bottle of her favourite wine, or some homemade jam or biscotti – something that shows you care enough about her to know what she likes, or are prepared to take the time to make her something special.

    You could book two tickets on a hot air balloon, or at a day spa, so you and she can spend some time together, doing something interesting. How about tickets to Tassie Babes? Sure, she can afford the tickets herself, but she can’t buy your company as easily.

    Or does she have a favourite singer or movie star? Check out eBay for an autographed album, t-shirt or photo. Again, she can do this herself, but the point of the gift is that you’ve taken the time to care about her interests.

    Unless she’s one of those people who can’t be pleased. In which case, send her a ball of wool, knitting needles, and a pattern for a cardie. Make sure you include a birthday card that reinforces the “you’re an old bat now” message.

    Mwa-hahahahahahahahaha!

    • What thoughtful suggestions. I’ve got to say, though, the knitting needles are closest to my heart. You’re just as evil as Quokka, Catty – love your work.

      Regrettably, she’s already there. Her hobbies include patchwork and knitting.

      Tell you what, though – I COULD get her a set of lawn bowls, tastefully engraved with “over the hill” or perhaps “senior citizen in training”. And a nice pair of white, side-lacing orthopaedic shoes.

  16. I would never give sharp implements as a gift to a relative or in-law. Just out of my own sense of self-preservation.

  17. Pop quiz – the Bloke (feeling much better thanks and back at work today) wants to know if any of you guys know of a book that goes along the lines of ‘how NOT to write a submission’ – he’s an architect, works in project management and is reading submissions but can’t put his finger on what is wrong with them. Which would be good to know when he comes to writing his own.

  18. Regrettably, no.

    I have noticed a strangeness about grant submissions, though. Funding bodies seem to prefer… I’d almost go as far as to say ‘require’… that you regurgitate their own blurb back to them.

    E.g: If a criterion is that the project “contributes substantial new insight into blah de blah blah”, you’re more likely to score funding if you include “to contribute substantial new insight rakka rakka” as an objective.

    Remember some teachers at school, who much preferred regurgitated clap-trap over independant thought or any attempt at synthesis? Like that.

  19. You’re spot on about the regurgitation, MM.

    Here’s an example.

    THE CREATION OF THE “BIG PICTURE”

    In the beginning was the plan
    And then came the assumptions
    And the assumptions were without form
    And the plan was completely without substance
    And the darkness fell upon the face of the workers

    And they spake unto their supervisors saying:
    “It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh”

    And the supervisors went unto their managers and sayeth:
    “It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odour thereof”

    And the managers went unto their group heads, and sayeth unto them:
    “It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong such that none here may abide it”

    And the group heads went unto their deputy commissioner and sayeth unto him:
    “It is a vessel of fertiliser, and none can abide its strength”

    And the deputy commissioner went to the assistant commissioner and sayeth:
    “It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong”

    And the assistant commissioner went to the commissioner and sayeth unto him:
    “It promoteth growth, and it is very powerful”

    And the commissioner went unto the management board and sayeth unto them:
    “This powerful new plan will actively promote the growth and efficiency of the department …. and this office in particular”

    And the management board looked upon the plan and saw that it was good

    And, in time the plan became policy.

    See, Quokka? It doesn’t matter what is in the Bloke’s submissions, it’s all crap when it comes out the other end. He might as well follow MM’s advice and just crapify it right at the start. At least then he will back what he puts in. He’ll probably even get tenure.

    Cynical? Me?

    Never! Now excuse me while I go fill in my tax return with my own blood.

  20. Oh, submissions.
    And here I thought you were talking about Lobes again.

  21. Lizard Man probably is a bureaucrat, don’t you think?

    I mean, he’s got plenty of time on his hands, and no clue.

  22. I had promised him a clue for Christmas, but he wouldn’t know what to do with it.

  23. Obnoxious teens can kill you, so have a real survival plan ready, like a car ride to to Perth. Stop at Ceduna and buy all the beer/alcopop he/she wants and when she/he gets out for a piss, drive off. After a few kilometres you can wait and if/when he/she turns up, say you’re sorry, but you needed the whinge free Zone and were tempted to drive on, or alterntively just keep going. Either way, the next drinks stop will cost you less.

    • Excellent plan, Stafford. It would work just as well for pre-teens, too – just substitute cola for the cruisers.

      Anybody know the cut-off age for child abandonment?

  24. MM…Darren Hansen?

    Catty – it might work if applied as a suppository.

    • Quokka… umm, not the former lead singer of Savage Garden??

  25. Well, maybe it is, but I really meant the latest Ace of Cubs kid reporter at A Current Affair.

  26. As for career paths for the Uninformed, I would say – Guidance Counselor, expensive private boys school, on 24 hour duty in the boarding school.

  27. Oh, I never get to see ACA – it’s on at bedtime story time. I do think “Grimshaw” is a delightful name, though. Sounds like a crooked lawyer in a Dickens story.

    That’s more of a condemnation than a career… isn’t 12 months service at boarding school the statutory penalty for unreconstructed ratbaggery?

  28. No, the penalty for that is issued to your parents, in the form of parent teacher interviews.

    I’m regretting not looking up that dentist. Root canal surgery would have been so much more fun than what I just went through.

  29. Yeah, before root canal they pump you full of local anesthetic. I bet you couldn’t even have a shot of vodka beforehand. Oh, poor Catty. Surely they didn’t blame you, though? Don’t these people know what you’re dealing with.. i.e. a teenager.

    Did they have any helpful advice, or was it all just name and shame?

  30. Poor Catty.
    This is why I have a dog.

  31. The maths teacher was worst. He said she’d had a big improvement a month ago, but then had flunked a Pythagoras assignment.

    I remember that assignment. It took me hours to do it for her.

  32. Have you tried a vodka slurpie?

    Put as much vodka as you need in a blender, with a few scoops of sorbet. I recommend Weis passionfruit, or their lemon. Unless you have a gelateria down the road and can get your hands on fresh blood orange or pink grapefruit, of course. Whizz together and consume. Bugger a straw, or indeed even decanting it into a glass. Just drink it straight out of the blender. After a jug of them, you won’t want to be washing up.

  33. After a jug of it, you could go down to the school and start a punch up with the maths teacher.

    I’m sure I saw this in the WA news just a few weeks ago, the parent got banned from school grounds for life. At the time I wondered what possessed her, but in retrospect, I see that its just sheer genius.

  34. Damn. Why didn’t I think of that?

    Meanwhile, I was somewhat bewildered about this decanting stuff. You mean there are people who actually pour the alcohol out of the blender before drinking it? What a curious concept!

    Come to think of it, I don’t often bother with the blender, either. A few swigs straight out of the bottle leaves enough room to add ice/cream/pineapple juice, and shake. If not, take a few more swigs.

    It’s a bit like a Murray Round. That’s where you start with a flagon of McWilliams Cream Sherry and a bottle of Metho. Everyone sits in a circle. The Sherry bottle is passed around the circle, with everyone taking a swig. When it gets back to the start, top up the bottle with Metho. Pass the bottle around again, with everyone taking a swig. Keep doing this until the Ambos show up.

    You start with pure Sherry, and finish with pure Metho. This process is a fair analogy of my life. Or at least for the progression of my personal standards as I pass through the various stages of emotional development – especially the bit about the Ambos showing up at the end.

  35. Banned from the school… no tuckshop duty, no home readers, no crazy hat parade. Do you have to punch someone to get banned, or do you think the liberal use of gratuitously offensive language would suffice?

    Catty, I’m worried about how down you seem. I’ve changed my prescription – no vodka, much more chocolate, preferably consumed in a bubble bath, while reading something light, diverting and amusing. And how about a weekend away? Come up to Brissie for Chaz Day… we’ll show you a good time, and I’m sure Quokka will even let you taunt the Irish if it makes you feel better.

  36. Who needs the Irish when I have a Lizard Man to poke?

    But seriously,…

    Nah, can’t do serious.

    I’ve just popped a checkerboard cake into the oven. MIL rang to advise that the rellies are all coming over for afternoon tea so they can give the teen her presents. So relaxing will have to wait until they’ve all gone home, and I’ve:
    Made the fancy birthday dinner,
    Washed up,
    Listened to three home readers,
    Bathed the kidlets,
    Put them to bed with stories and songs (twice),
    Tidied the house,
    Made school lunches for tomorrow,
    Located missing school hats/coats/shoes/library books,
    Dragged the teen away from her presents to do her homework (5 times),
    Fetched innumerable cups of tea for the Boss, and
    done at least 5 minutes work on my final assignment.

    Then I will unearth my hidden family block of Cadbury Snack and eat all the strawberry and coconut ice pieces. No vodka. If the rellies see it, I won’t have any left, anyway.

    I’d love to come to Brissie, but we’re frantically trying to find a new car to replace our bomb before it explodes. I suppose I could always pack some pina coladas and ring Jake Wall again. Now where did I write that phone number?

    Oh. That’s right. I left it in Dubbo. I knew I should have taken that left at Alberkerkie.

  37. This is the problem with kid’s birthdays… ‘kay, ONE of the problems.

    Who did all the work, Catty, 15 years ago when Ms Trouble was being born?

    Was it the child herself? No. Like most newborn infants, she could probably barely bring herself to breathe.

    Maybe the Boss? Nup. He made a few mls contribution to the whole show 9 months previously, then probably spent the gestation period complaining about how hard it all was on him and making insensitive comments about your stretch marks. If he was sober for the delivery, thank your lucky stars.

    Medical Staff? Well, they probably played a supporting role.

    That’s right. This whole happy event was down to YOU, the radiant mother. Where’s YOUR cake and presents? Why isn’t everyone coming around to do housework and child wrangling for YOU, while you spend a few intimate hours with Jake Wall and/or a packet of Tim Tams?

    It’s just not fair. Happy Birthday to YOU, Catty. And enjoy the midnight Snack. You’ve earned it.

  38. Catty – go to SBS and tape the Ukraine junior eurovision song contest. Then stay up all night with a bottle of vodka imitating the winners. Tell your ungrateful child that you have entered her in next year’s comp.
    Then howl and gnash your teeth and ask her why she can’t be more like Jessica Watson – alone in Bass Strait with no chocolate.

    Listening to your stories has given me fresh new insight into why Mother Watson said ‘go Jess! Great idea! Whoo Hoo!’

  39. Once again, Quokka brings clarity to the oddness of modern society. I couldn’t understand that whole shebang, but now it all makes sense. They got rid of a teenager for months, and the only way she could whinge was via satellite phone. Genius!

    Excuse me, please – just off to enrol the boys in Sea Scouts.

  40. Yes, and when she gets home, Rupert Murdoch et al have ensured she will be financially independent and can afford to move out.

    And here was I, at the beginning, thinking they were idiots.

  41. Okay, have been incredibly slack here. Given that I actually have a (slightly older) teen, I should probably add some thoughts on this.

    1 Alcohol – If you can’t beat ’em join ’em.
    2 It will get marginally better over time. Think it takes a bit longer with girls tho’, sorry.
    3 Alcohol
    4 Chocolate
    5 Whine, loudly and constantly, don’t shout or threaten, it validates her.
    6 Did I mention alcohol.
    7 Have you tried “wait ’til your father gets home”? Didn’t have the opportunity myself, always wondered how it would work tho’.
    8 Focus on the day you can (legally) get hammered together, and practice for that day. A lot!
    9 Make her get a job (refer Quokka’s advice to NBob on CBG.
    10 Finally MOST IMPORTANTLY, can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this earlier….. ALCOHOL!

    • Timely words of wisdom for all. For some reason, I’m quite thirsty now….

  42. In reference to my statement to Nbob, the teenager in question had a gutful of clothes that came from Target, even though her mother was scrimping to get them and bought her own clothes from Lifeline.
    Her mother told her that if she wished to purchase ill-made clothes from Valley Doll and some other horrible teen trap that eludes me, it might be a good idea if she started earning her own money, being that her mother was not in a position to provide her little princess in the Style To Which she wished to become accustomed.

    The side effect of learning to loathe mass produced hamburgers was an unexpected perk.

    • I’ve only ever seen Jessica Watson in shorts and tee-shirts…. Cunning, diabolical cunning.

  43. That Pythagoras assignment I flunked? I only did it because the dogs breakfast she made of it was painful. I explained it carefully as I went through each question. She seemed to understand. Then took the sheet I’d completed, and said “I’ll hand it in on Monday”.
    But she didn’t hand it in. She handed in the dogs breakfast, because “you don’t have a clue about Pythagoras, mum”.

    I’ve googled it. I was right. If she had handed in my sheet, she would have gotten an A.

    I don’t feel quite so bad now. In fact, the rellies have gone home, the cake was amAzing!!!!, two of the kidlets forgot to bring home their reader books, and the Boss threatened to confiscate their DS’s unless they helped me with the excess washing up.

    And just to top it all off, the teen has announced she doesn’t want her fancy dinner after all. She wants hot dogs. Hmmm, Parmiagana with crushed herbed potatoes and salad, or reheated snags in buns? Twice-cooked chicken, twice cooked potatoes, green stuff that nobody but me eats? Or something that requires one pot of water and a bread knife? Oh, that is a NO brainer!

    “Certainly, dear, it’s your birthday, you can have anything you like”.

    And who couldn’t feel happy after reading all the supportive comments here? Did my heart good. Thank you for the positive vibe – you girls are gold.

    • We may not be gold, but we are shiny. All that cocoa butter has to come out somewhere!

  44. Catty you do know if you take Mayhem’s advice, you’ll end up in AA, my advice and you’ll end up in prison, and Morgana’s advice and you’ll end up with bubble rash.

    I just realized I forgot to kill the Rat Killer Company today and the FKN rats are already ferrying the night’s supply of macadamias from the neighbour’s garden down through the green canopy of my back yard and dropping them on my roof (CRASH…followed by sounds of rolling nuts and scampering rats)….then a quick hissy fit at the brushtails and onwards into the innards of my roof. Bastards. Why can’t they go next door with the Green Menace and munch on the nuts in there?

  45. I still have no idea who the Tim Tam genie is.
    I always preferred Gaieties.

    Which may explain why I’d prefer Rupert Everett’s company to the Tim Tam man’s on a desert island.

    I mean, think of the conversation.
    Chastity I can deal with.
    A humorless wasteland, No.

    • Speaking of chastity, next time we meet ITRW, remind me to tell you a joke about Ita Buttrose and the mighty thunder god, Thor.

      It’s far too blue to write down.

  46. Yep, I know. That’s why it’s good advice. In fact, I’m taking notes to pass on to the teen when she’s a parent, and I’m snickering evilly in the background.

    We recently acquired some brash little rodents in the walls. I complained for weeks about the neighbours’ bloody cats, and we finally scared them out of the yard. BANG – we get rats. I wish we had macadamias down here. Without nuts to chew, my unwelcome ratty tenants are eating the electrical wiring. And the studs in the walls. And the insulation.

    Charles Darwin was right about survival of the species. Rats were once susceptible to Ratsac. Now they’ve evolved into a creature that eats the stuff like sherbet, and comes looking for more.

    Sherbet. Remember the yellow and red tubes with the liquorice straw? Did anyone else ever eat the sherbet, fill the tube with flour, trade it for a Sunny Boy at school, then run like buggery before the duped tradee came to forcibly reclaim the half sucked Sunny Boy? Or was that just me?

    Rupert Everett, Quokka? Any relation to Kenny Everett?

    And I do know what you mean about the TimTams. If it weren’t for Jake I’d only ever buy Cadbury’s Toffee Pops.

  47. Only in that they’re both gay, Catty. Rupert Everett is an English actor… I think he was Julia Robert’s love interest in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, and there was some awful thing with Madonna when he was gay but she wanted to have his baby and for them all to live together, anyway. I can’t be sure about either of those, though. While they were playing I was trying to simultaneously block my ears and gouge out my eyes.

    The funny thing is, when I read Quokka’s post I saw “Rupert MURDOCH”. Try it yourself – the sensation of bewildered amazement while a cold shudder tiptoes down your spine is quite refreshing.

  48. Catty you were NAUGHTY.
    I lived in fear of my life, as a child, so I didn’t blink without wondering if I’d cope a rage and a beating for looking at someone the wrong way.

    Yep, that’s Rupert, as the gay best friend (the love interest was the creepy one) in My Best Friend’s Wedding.
    I’m back in study mode, after yesterday’s day of slacking. so if I go quiet, it means I’m actually focused and I’m not procrastinating. April 29 approacheth. Gah.

  49. I’d send best wishes for laser focus and dynamic productivity… but then reading them would take up valuable assignment time. May the force – but neither the Irish, the feral percussionists nor the rodents – be with you!

  50. Many thanks Madame.
    Rat Patrol is due at midday tomorrow.
    With any luck they’ll all slink off to die in the slop bucket the Irish leave out in their foyer entry.

    I noticed the bucket last time I did the Gladys Kravitz thing out the side window. The bucket is a permanent feature.

    I said ‘Abner, Abner, do you reckon that bucket is for vomit, or its an ash tray?’

    And Abner, on peering out of the bathroom window, beheld the ugly stained muck bucket and said ‘Neither. And both. Its to put out the fire, when the BBQ and the couch light up. It contains a magical mixture of sand, and ash, and vomit, and lamb chop bones, which they will hurl over the flames.’

    To which I said ‘But Abner, isn’t Irish vomit highly combustible?’
    To which he replied ‘It is indeed, Gladys. It is indeed.’

    Bottoms up.

  51. BTW, if I start to sound a bit strange, its exposure to the Harvard Referencing system. It wears off eventually.

  52. Don’t like your chances of the rats heading into the shamrock pit. Some places are too filthy for even rats to live in.

    They do seem to have a predilection for Canberra, though. Specifically, parliament house.

    **takes a deep ranter’s breath**

    Just got my car rego and home/contents insurance bills. 15% increase on both. This is on last year’s 9% rise. And the scary thing is that the ‘intellectuals’ who pontificate on politics all say that Labor will score a landslide victory in this year’s election.

    I think they’re right. Anyone who isn’t a posturing ‘intellectual’ with tenure, or a yuppie with multiple credit cards, or a politician with a nice fat portfolio, is going to freeze (or starve) to death on the streets before the election. So there will be nobody left on the lower half of the socio-economic ladder to vote the money gouging bastards out.

    Not that it would make any difference. It’s a two horse race, and both horses are fit only for glue. Not even good glue; just the revolting sticky muck made by prisoners. Right before they wee in it. Incidentally, did you know the post office uses that glue for their stamps? Liiiiiiiiiick!

    **end rant**

    There, now I’ve worked up a healthy fit of the miserables, I should be able to thump out a really, really good final assignment. Yay!! Oops, better stop that, I almost felt happy for a second, and I don’t want to fail this assignment.

    Good luck with your assignment, Quokka. We really are going to have to get our own websites. That way you can show me yours and I can show you mine. And then we can both show MM and Mayhem. Oh, my stars! Did I just type that? Your ‘strange’ appears to be contagious, Quokka.

    • Prisoners make stamp glue from redundant politicians, piss in it, and then it’s use to coat the back of stamps?

      People, you heard it first on “Conspiracy Corner” with Catty.

      Stay tuned for a shocking expose… How ‘they’ get the bubbles in Bubbly chocolate. The heart-breaking truth is sure tol thrill, amaze and disgust!

      I just had a thought – when you ladies are finished your assignments, you can go to Tahiti for semester break! There, now you’ve got something to look forward to.

    • Prisoners make stamp glue from redundant politicians, piss in it, and then it’s use to coat the back of stamps?

      People, you heard it first on “Conspiracy Corner” with Catty.

      Stay tuned for a shocking expose… How ‘they’ get the bubbles in Bubbly chocolate. The heart-breaking truth is sure to thrill, amaze and disgust!

      I just had a thought – when you ladies are finished your assignments, you can go to Tahiti for semester break! There, now you’ve got something to look forward to.

  53. Well at least you’ve found a name for Catty’s Blog.
    Catty’s Conspiracy Corner.

    I suppose I could set up the banner of Quokka’s conspiracy corner, and we could compete for traffic.

    I’m off to listen to JB on 612.
    Sounds like urban myth to me, there’s a pro-cyclist safety rant on.

  54. D’oh.
    I meant to point you guys in the direction of last night’s Catalyst on ABC1. No clue when it’s repeated but its worth watching the segment on Brain Damage to Footballers.
    They looked at American and Australian football and interviewed Cement Head Ted (I shit you not) who wants to donate his brain to science to help the cause.

    I looked over at The Bloke and said ‘I wonder if he’ll do that sometime soon?’

    He called me evil!

  55. My point being that I think we could find a worthy subject to donate to science.

    The symptoms of brain alteration due to one too many blows to the head included – foul temper, mood swings, bursts of irrational behaviour, and aggression.

    • They’d need to launch a Nat Geo style expedition to FIND Lizard man’s brain before they could study it, Quokka.

      Even then it would be hard yards… it’s not easy to get time on the electron microscope!

      So which was worse for brain annihilation – AFL or Gridiron?

  56. Mood swings, foul temper, aggression, irrational behaviour? Sounds like PMS to me, Quokka.

    I could offer you the teen’s brain for medical research. I was planning to sell it on eBay – “As new, never used!” But this seems more community minded. So to speak.

    I like the sound of Conspiracy Corner, MM. Or how about Crazy Catty’s Conspiracy Emporium? “Conspiracies? I’ve got all sorts! Come on down, you’ll think I’m Craaaaaaazy! Buy two, get one free! The coverups are WALKING out the DOOR! But wait, there’s more! Free ASIO phone taps for all customers! Don’t delay, learn the truth today!”

    I’d need a company vehicle, though. I wonder if Mel’s finished with the taxi he drove in that conspiracy movie he did with – I think it was Julia Roberts? Don’t remember what it was called. Some alien abductors came that night, so the CIA blanked out my memory.

    • Ooh, I LOVE the Emporium concept, Catty.

      And you’ve already got a corporate style, too: plenty of alfoil on the crash helmets, to deflect mind-warping rays.

      You could send out a “Cabal of the Day” email to alert your loyal readership to the threats that are all around us.

  57. Why mess with foil on crash helmets when a metal colander works just as well?

    My informants tell me that metal helmets work better if you continually mutter “qwerty qwerty qwerty qwerty qwerty qwerty…”. Apparently this sends ASIO’s surveillance equipment into overdrive, and it melts down.

    I’m sending an order through to my supplier in China. Anyone need a colander? For you guys, wholesale prices.

    “Yes, you heard me right! Wholesale!!! Colanders? We have all sorts! Big ones! Small ones! Come on down! Bring the whole family! (Pet sizes available on request). With deals like these, I must be craaaaaazy!”

  58. I have photos of my cats, asleep in colanders.

    I don’t think they had any volunteers to slice and dice Aussie Footballers brains. The changes don’t show up on scans, you need to dissect them.
    I believe they just bin them or burn them, over here.

    Ergo, my call for volunteers.

    the mobile bongo tutor is back.
    Which means that I have pressing business to attend to, in another suburb, free of hippies. I could be some time.

  59. Jayzuz and Meery, I’m cursed.

    4BC are broadcasting live from my local pool.
    I looked, blinked, and left.
    Fitness is not that important…

  60. Catty, if you can get an anodised violet colander, put me down for one, please.

    Quokka, I know a place where there’ll be no ferals bongoing, or easy listeners hogging the middle of the road… the laundromat! And just think of all the assignment writing you can do. Or if not, feel free to come up to the Coast for the weekend. A few hours of Magic Man and Elf Boy and you’ll flee home, longing for the sweet strains of “fook me arse!” with a syncopated tribal back beat.

  61. If the Irish carry on like they did last night, Paddy will get his wish, because I know where I’m putting that bloody bongo.

  62. OK. I’m back. And I had much the same thoughts.
    I spent the afternoon at the laundromat and the hairdresser.
    Luckily they are side by side so I got a comfy chair, a cup of tea, a gay man to giggle with, and No Bloody Ferals sharing breathing space in my precious chemical filled air.

    • By the pricking of my thumbs….

      A vile premonition just slithered into my conciousness. You know what would round your neighbourhood off nicely, Quokka?

      Roadworks.

      Still, at least toxic megaclouds of volcanic ash have yet to cloak the West End. Sure, you’ve got a few infestations but it’s not totally End of Days – yet.

      At least if a fiery pit opens up, you’ll look your best!

  63. Well MM, it is interesting you should say this, as the suburb has long had an infestation of what we refer to as The Gas Moles.

    Council came round a few years ago and one by one resurfaced all the streets.
    Then the gas people came around and started digging it all up again to replace/repair the gas lines.
    Then the council came round to bog up all the holes left by the gas moles.
    Then the gas moles found they hadn’t done the job properly so had to burrow into various spots again.

    Roadworks are a permanent feature of our life that we have come to accept, a bit like Tool Man next door who has weekend hobbies which keep him very busy with circular saws, electronic hedge trimmers etc.

    It’s nocturnal noises that bug me the most, during the day I can switch on the ABC and tune it out.

    We are about half a km from the railway line, but being up on the hill, noise carries, and its the nocturnal maintenance work down there and the helicopters landing on the roof of the mater that I’m looking forward to putting in my past. There’s extra traffic at the mater heliport because the PA one is under construction – I think there’s an existing one there but the pilots refuse to use it because of safety issues (rumour, not a Quokka Checked Fact).

    Teenagers on the corner had a party last night, thankfully they turned off the music at 11pm and kept it to a series of dull roars, which I drowned out by running the dryer till 1am. I had a lot to get through after my visit to the laundromat and I wasn’t too precious about who next door in the Shamrock Village might be disturbed by it.

    Now…where’s that leaf blower?

  64. BTW Catty, on the subject of horrible teens, it came up in conversation with a friend, and she said there’s a great book called ‘how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk.’ Faber and Mazlish.

    Lots of strategies for how to deal with them when they throw up all sorts of attitude. Might be worth a look.

  65. Geez, Quokka… not content with assaulting you from all sides, you’ve got subterranean and airborne annoyance as well: torment in three dimensions.

    I suspect even Redcliffe bustles too stridently to make up for all of that. How about an acre or two in the hinterland? Then you could have the Bloke indulge all of your architectural whims, and cloister yourself behind barbed wire.

    Perhaps a moat as well? Stocked with predatory climbing perch – they’re a flesh guzzling species able to travel across land on their fins and even climb trees!

    http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2010/04/07/104321_local-news.html

    Or perhaps just source some perch and throw them over the fence as you depart. Might be safer…

  66. We had 9 weeks out at Margate last year while the builder was in the house restoring order from 80+ years of chaos.

    We were in a townhouse complex overlooking a busy intersection (roundabout entry to Suttons) and we couldn’t believe how quiet it was.

    Maybe I should call my blog ‘Quokka’s Canniptions’.
    Being as I have them so often.

    I need to question the group wisdom.
    Help me out here.

    A coupled pair of the more orderly residents of the Shamrock Village next door – and by that I mean they seem to be Not Irish and generally quiet and invisible – have taken to having vicious domestic arguments between the hours of 2 and 4am.

    If it wakes me up I stick my ear plugs in and roll over and pray for the curling iron downstairs to catch fire.

    Because I haven’t been listening in, I have no idea…WTF is so damned important at 2 in the morning that Charlene must scream at Darryl? WTF could happen at that hour that cannot be dealt with just as effectively, say, as screaming at 7 – or even 6 am?

    All I can come up with is that Darryl must be a bed wetter, and Charlene is waking up three nights a week in a nasty warm puddle.

    I mean, what else would prompt you to scream blue murder at Darryl at 2am?
    Anyone? Please, enlighten me.
    Baffled, of West End. Ish.

  67. Mmmm sounds like a job for Katty’s Konspiracy Korner to me…..

    Only thought I have, (just goes to show how far in the gutter I am), is that he’s looking to get a legover. Or worse, that he’s drunk or high, looking to get a legover, get her all excited, then can’t finish the job.

    Really, Quokka, you need to listen in….

  68. The timing may be connected with:

    (1) Biorhythms
    2 to 4 o’clock in the morning, everything in the human body is at it’s lowest ebb. Hormone levels drop off, the cardiovascular system bottoms out, the mind is given to strange fears and fancies.

    (2) Pub shut/Lockout time

    Combine the two, plus or minus unwelcome attempts to get the leg over, and trouble will ensue.

    Besides, poor Charlene and Darryl live with the Bog Irish. It’s a miracle, when you come to think about it, that they’re not screaming round the clock. Hey, here’s another theory – they DO scream all the time… but only between 2 and 4 are the Irish/ferals/gas moles/rescue choppers quiet enough for the domestics to become audible.

    I’m still all for ambulatory fishzilla. That little beauty’ll sort ’em all out.

  69. I’ve come across this twice before, Quokka.

    I reckon Charlene’s pregnant. Silly Darryl! Didn’t he know not to get his prophylactics from drunken Irishmen?

    Possibly secondhand prophylactics, left over from arse fooking.

    On the upside, when she gets to 24 weeks, she’ll calm down and start cleaning up the worst of the swill, like that slop bucket in the doorway. If you’re really lucky, there will be enough residual first trimester hormones to make her tip the contents of the bucket into a certain set of bongos.

  70. Right.
    Credit to all for getting close, but I reckon Catty’s got it.

    If Charlene is pregnant and has developed a nasty temper, it does explain why Darryl would be wetting himself.

    We’ve got a couple of harpies across the road who scream at their husbands at all hours (I didn’t mention this because it was normal where I grew up, and its another one of those daytime noises that Radio National and Neil Young can usually drown out) so Darryl may be looking their way and seeing a vision of his future.

    Ah, domestic bliss.

    Had to duck down to the laundromat yesterday and my hairdresser came out to inspect how my hair, now that it’s had 24 hours of my less than tender loving care – and he gets The Prize for horror neighbours.

    He told me he was kept awake all night by the Indian students next door and their Karaoke machine.

    Saints preserve us.

    • Fabulous! Do you think they’ll attempt to raise Darryl junior in the Shamrock Swamp or move somewhere more scenic… Forest Lake, perhaps?

      I don’t care who’s got their hands on a karaoke machine, they ought to be banned. You can’t fire a weapon, keep a rooster or operate a brothel in the ‘burbs, why on earth should you be free to karaoke at all hours?

      Forget tsunamis and biological warfare – karaoke is the real scourge that’ll do for the lot of us.

  71. Oh, and MM, I’ve got those tickets and yours is a concession.
    I can’t remember what the individual prices are but its on the tickets ($45 for the two?) Just fix me up on the night.
    We are in row C. Sorry, I meant to tell you the other night when we booked them. I told Chaz and then must have wandered away from the computer and forgotten what I was doing.

  72. Hmmmm. Indian students singing karaoke all night. I wonder if they then sleep during the day?

    In similar circumstances I would be tempted to buy a Jane Fonda exercise cassette. One of those double loop ones. Then each day, when I left for work, I would turn it on. Loud.

    If the students are in the flat next door, you push your stereo speakers up against the dividing wall. If they’re in a house next door, point the speakers out a window facing their bedrooms.

    All that lovely bending and stretching. All day, every day.

    They won’t be able to sleep a wink. Nor will they be able to study. And when they fail their courses, the government will withdraw funding. The students will have to drag their exhausted, (but now extremely firm and toned) tushies onto the first flight home.

    Which will leave the place empty for bog Irish to move into when Charlene kicks them out.

    Oh. Come to think of it, this probably isn’t such a good idea.

    Maybe you should introduce your roaming bongo players to your hairdresser. He could take lessons, and play along to the karaoke tracks. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Or is that, If you can’t beat ’em, your bongos are broken?

  73. Ladies, in case you are unaware, our fabulous clumsy girl has been involved in a bingle. She is okay, the car is a bit of a mess though.

    Just thought you might want to add your well wishes on her blog, given that most of you don’t tweet.

  74. Catty, I’ll see your Jane Fonda and raise you Richard Simmons. Now, that man would have them fleeing for the subcontinent by the end of the week, I reckon.

    Although I do love “Feel the burn”. Not actually FEELING the burn, you understand… just the way Jane purrs it.

    Thanks for the heads up, Mayhem. Will do.

  75. Hello all.
    No, I’m not dead, just not procrastinating for a change.
    Nine days to go till this assignment is due.

    Which means that I’ve suddenly noticed how filthy the screens, windows and the kitchen cupboards are, and I’m wasting time doing those sorts of things when I’m not studying.
    For some reason cleaning neurotically helps me through the trauma of assignments. On the plus side, by the time the bloody thing is in, the house will be sparkling.

    We finally went out and bought a nasty, noisy, petrol fueled leaf blower. The Irish weren’t too bad this weekend so I went out late Sunday afternoon and spent about 20 minutes blowing the leprechauns to Buggery and Beyond.

    I made a point of doing the side between us and the Irish twice, at the beginning and the end. Next time they keep me awake at night, I’ll be doing some 10am sessions.

    So hopefully they’ve all got the message that Quokka Is Armed and Dangerous and ready to play Noise Wars.

    As for daytime noise, I think the thing most likely to send them around the twist is Classic FM. They’re all under 24. Its sooooo uncool. Besides, I remember reading some paper years ago that said that classical music reroutes the brain waves and calms the Savage Morons.

    Have fun without me, for much of this week.
    And remember, like the terminator – I’ll be back.

    • Petrol powered blower – nice! Noisy AND stinky. Blow merrily.

      How CAN we have fun without you, Quokka?

      However lonely we get though, I’m sure as hell not cleaning my screens. I’m pretty sure being thoroughly caked in grime enhances our security – plus it’s great insulation!

  76. I’m thinking the universe is supporting my Jane Fonda idea. Today a “Tracy Anderson Method” workout DVD arrived in the mail. Apparently I’d entered a competition. I probably did. I enter every competition I can, with scant regard to the prize involved.

    In all honesty, it’s far more likely the universe wants me to get in shape. Or rather, a better shape than the pear one I’ve cultivated over the last two decades.

    Although I doubt I’ll ever look like Tracy Anderson. She looks like Samantha Fox. Complete with feather bikini. For goodness sakes – who exercises in a feather bikini? I mean, apart from Tracy Anderson.

    Unless Tracy’s workout method involves the 400 calories burned during marital intimacy? Hmmmm. Sounds do-able. I wonder if I can find one of those bikinis on eBay?

    If the workout doesn’t work out, I’ll send you the DVD for your hairdresser, Quokka. Then we can see if Tracy’s method involves Indian take out (and STAY out. SLAM!)

  77. Forget the feather bikini, Catty. How could a Sam Fox look-alike exercise and still see – and breathe – around her bouncing bazoongas?

    It sounds like a table dancing video. Check the letterbox for one of those post office blue slips… there’s probably a complementary pole awaiting collection.

    Is watermelon a body type? I think pears have smaller waists than me, yet my hips are too big to be an apple. Although, with winter approaching and my skin dehydrating to the consistency of an entombed mummy’s, it’s possible that I’m a pineapple…

  78. I can just picture my hairdresser, on his balcony yelling at the Indian students to shut the hell up with their Whitney Houston tributes, wearing Tracey’s feathered G-string and an expression of contemptuous outrage.
    That’d learn ’em.

    Did I mention that the God of Ash and Cinders got my hopes up, yesterday?
    We woke to the sound of fire trucks cruising up and down our street at quarter to five in the am.
    They weren’t quite sure where they were meant to be.
    There’s some black holes in the GPS system here which means that no-one other than maxi taxis ever find our street.

    One of the fire trucks was still trying to squeeze out of a narrow lane way (which, no doubt, it’s GPS system had navigated it into as being the Shortest Possible Route) twenty minutes later.

    We could smell smoke down in the valley but didn’t figure out where the truck had been. Judging from the way they kept meandering around, cutting the sirens, and then taking off again – they weren’t where they were wanted.
    We think that they wound up in another ex-boarding house, which was, up until his death a few years ago, owned by the same penny pinching slum lord who owned the rat hole next door.

    Seeing as the fieries woke us up, and to my disgust showed no inclination to take to the Bog Dwellers with axes and compression hoses, I got up and read the news.
    Two mansions in Wattego’s (at Byron Bay) had burned down.

    It felt like A Sign.
    I’m off to write a Fire Evacuation Plan and stick it on the fridge.

  79. Fire evacuation plan.

    1 – dig moat around bog
    2 – fill moat with contents of slop bucket
    3 – set fire to bog with flaming arrows
    4 – laugh evilly when Irish neighbours run out, screaming “fook me arse”, and fall head-long into moat.
    5 – tell the authorities you were at your hairdresser’s at the time.

    I’m sure your hairdresser can be bribed to lie for you. I have a nice DVD to offer as said bribe, and yes there are feather bikinis on eBay. I checked. Do you think he’d like a red one? Or classic black?

    Oh, and please, Quokka, can you videotape that balcony scene? Pleeeeeeease?

  80. My hair dresser (er…stylist) is French, so next time you’re in town I’ll put on my Mistress of Mimicry Hat and I’ll act it out for you.

    • He’ll need a pair of skyscraper-heeled feathered mules to match, don’t forget.

      A man can’t be too careful how he accessorises a feather bikini.

  81. Oh, no, Madam! Wedge heeled, satin, leopard print mules! Nothing less!

    Of course, I’ll need to get two sets, as I fully expect Quokka to dress the part. I hope that copy cat hat goes with satin mules, Quokka, as your portrayal WILL be videotaped. Something that good deserves to be on youtube – it’ll go viral by nightfall!

    Accessorising is a bit weird at the moment. My teen had a free dress day, and went in a pretty sequinned blouse and dressy grey jeans. And converse trainers.
    “What! You can’t be serious?” I cry in dismay.
    “Oh, mother,” she sneers in reply. “Don’t you know anything? It’s called ‘destroying’, and everybody does it now, and oh, why am I bothering to tell you, you’re too old to understand, and..(*thwack*).. OW! Why did you do that?”

    Going by this conversation, that bikini will only be high fashion if teamed with Doc Martens. Or Jiffy’s.

  82. Howz about my crocks, Catty, will they do?

  83. Oh, geez, thanks Quokka. I was drinking milo when I read that. Milo spray’s a bastard to get out of computer keyboards.

    Yes, crocks will do nicely.

  84. Milo spray is my specialty, although occasionally I orchestrate Dr. Pepper Spray as well.

    My crocks are a very bright fire engine red, and thus easy to locate in the back yard after I’ve flung them at the brush turkeys.

    Sigh. Here at Casa Quokka we’ve had a three day invasion of flies. And before you go envisaging men’s zippers, think of dog shit and creatures that like to breed in them. No, not footballers. FLIES.

    The house is fully screened, but I think they snuck in through the french doors (not screened) onto the patio on the weekend. They are very slow flies, much like those that afflict the population of Perth every summer.
    If they’ve come here from WA it would explain why they’re so slow, they’re tired.

    All I’ve done for three days – well, when I’m not being industrious – is kill bloody flies.

    Where have the flies come from, I ask you?
    Coolgardie?
    And will locusts follow?

    I ducked down to the vet earlier to pick up a few things. When I asked the vet nurse how she was doing she responded ‘I think I want to puke.’

    So I have the bad feeling that Plague will follow Pestilence.
    Its the Apocalypse.
    I can feel it in my bones.
    Well, that and a slight touch of PMS.

    • I agree completely. The trumpets sounded for me when I heard Sarah Palin talk, and I reckon that purple lightning over Eyjafjallajokull has sealed the deal. It’s officially the End of Days.

      I plan to remedy the Apocalypse the same way as I treat my PMS – carb loading, pop culture and constant denial.

      Quokka, Magic Man bought a pitcher plant at the markets the other weekend… it’s a fabulous fly trap. Shall I bring down a few dozen when I come for the Chazfest?

  85. We had ‘destroying’ when I was a kid. The late Malcolm McLaren claimed to be it’s originator.

    We were light on sequinned blouses and converse trainers, heavy on super glue. To hold up the hair spikes, and recreationally. Happy days.

    I think Quokka only wears camo gear, these days… laying in wait for the Irish with her leaf blower. Do you have a lieutenant to patrol the perimeter while you’re at the theatre, General Quokka?

  86. In Mildura, they’ve recently started putting the excess locusts on Pizzas. I read this in the Herald Sun yesterday, so it must be true.

    I can’t even begin to imagine living in a town that would even think of doing such a thing, let alone actually do it.

  87. I’ve heard locusts are quite tasty.

    In Vietnam they deep-fry them in salt and pepper and serve them up as “Aerial Prawns”.

    Just imagine the sweet, miniscule crunchy drumsticks.

    Mmm…. Cletus, go ketch up a mess of locusts now, y’hear?

  88. Hell, no, Brandene. Not until y’all git down of’n the danged roof.

  89. I just had a chat with the Boss. On the phone – he’s in Bendigo again. (damned crockpot!) They’re going to be longer than usual, because one of the team has gone AWOL. He’s been missing for a week. With the work van. Uh, oh.

    The Boss went ’round to the caravan park where this guy lives, and asked a neighbour where he was.

    It took a while to get an answer, thanks to the neighbour’s new van-mate – a drunk, goth lesbian who was determined to show both men the sizz tatt her girlfriend gave her the night before. I won’t tell you where.

    Eventually, it transpired that the workmate is in hospital. He broke up with his girlfriend, Bernice. I told you about this guy – he has old girlfriends’ names tattoed up his arm. HAD old girlfriends’ names tattoed up his arm. Before he asked the goth lesbian’s girlfriend to remove them.

    I asked to be spared the gory details, but apparently the poor man is going to be in hospital for quite a while. There’s a moral here somewhere. Buggered if I can work out what it is, though.

  90. Yes, there’s a tale of morality in there somewhere.
    Tattoos, locusts, and perimeter guard duty.
    I think it just needs a few extra ingredients to make it work.
    Rampage and Retribution, perhaps?

    I’m thinking these goth dyke should fill in for me when I’m out AWOL for Chaz Day.

  91. NB – Are they Vampire Goths?
    I mean, this is West End, after all.
    We have standards to uphold.

  92. I’m not sure what sort of goths they are. I avoided listening to the details by sticking my fingers in my ears and saying “lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala”.

    Call me a snob, but the few random details I heard (involving goldfish, a crochet hook, and a tub of frousse) were enough indication that these were not my sort of people. It’s rather put me off crocheting for a while.

  93. Vampire Goth Lesbians, locusts, going AWOL, crocheting hooks and frousse… Catty, WTF is frousse?…

    I think we’ve got the makings of GirlClumsy’s next all-singing, all-dancing stage show!

    Quokka, a VGL perimeter guard is inspired! If she works out well over the weekend, why not take in a few as boarders? I think they sleep upside down in trees, you’ll only have to let them into the house to wash… silly me, that won’t be necessary, ignore that last bit… and perhaps they’ll scare off the Irish.

    Either that, or incite them to throw money over the fence while leering “Bite ma arse!”.

  94. Frousse is the frozen version of Fruche. They brought it out a couple of years ago. The kids love it in their lunch boxes, and it’s marginally healthier than Snack Packs. I used to like Fruche, too. Now I can’t look at a tub of the stuff without thinking of those poor, poor goldfish.

    Another rumour has surfaced about the tattoo man. This one says he’s not in hospital, he’s moonlighting for a funeral parlour by transporting dead bodies on the cheap. The Boss’s employer isn’t impressed, as the missing work van isn’t refrigerated. I tell you, if he catches up with tattoo man, and there’s a body in the van, tattoo man will end up in hospital after all. He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t end up in the back of the van, keeping the corpse company.

    Of course, this could just be a cover story, spread by tattoo man, to preserve his dignity. Not many people would be brave enough to admit they’ve been savaged by a drunk goth lesbian tattoo artist.

  95. The plot just gets thicker and more thoroughly intriguing…

    It’s quite plausible. Not sure about the rules in Vic, but in good ol’ QLD anyone can set themselves up as a funeral director, and the rules for transporting and storing the dear departed are fairly rubbery, too.

    As long as you don’t cart corpses around in Mr Whippy vans and refrain from racking ’em up in the open right outside kindys you’re free to go for your life – so to speak.

    Now as long as he’s just shipping stiffs, and not actively involved in recruiting customers, as it were… please keep us posted!

  96. We lived next to a funeral director, when I was a little girl.
    As far as work clothes go, it wasn’t a good smell.

    Something I told the plumber’s ten year old son when he turned up here with his dad to get the tree roots out of our sewerage pipe one less than fine Sunday am.

    i.e. ‘things could be worse, young fella. Why, when I was a lass…’

    Sigh.
    Back to the grind.

  97. Poor Quokka, in asssignment hell… not long to go, now! It’ll practically write itself!! You can do it!!!

    *Insert your fave peppy phrase of encouragement, here*

    You had quite a gothic childhood, it seems. You didn’t keep a mad Aunt in the attic, at all, a strange moth-ball smelling old lady who screeched like a banshee and kept her face hidden behind a black veil?

  98. Nope.
    My aunts – well, the only ones I knew – all came from sturdy, dull, emotionless English stock.
    The only time I saw them become homicidally dangerous was when the neighbours cat shat in their rose garden.

    I’d respond in greater detail but I have FIREMEN coming to the house at noon to discuss the best possible placement of smoke alarms, given the hazard provided by the bog Irish and stoner friends next door.

    Naturally this couldn’t wait till after my assignment is due.

  99. Ngh. Ngh… NOT FAIR. I WANT FIREMEN TOO. *stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp*

    Gunna hold my bref. Gunna hold my bref until I’m BLUE. And I will I will I will.

    Gimme FIREMENS. Wanna Fireman NOW!

    (Jealous much? Oh, only a lot.)

  100. I’m sure they’ll send one of the very old ones, Catty.
    The kind with two and a half limbs left, grisly scars and a pirate patch over one eye.

    Feel better?

    Smirking…

  101. Hrumph. Going to sulk in a corner now. *muttermuttermuttermutternotfairmuttermutter*

  102. Nope.
    They had everything I’ve come to expect from what you see of them in their merchandise.
    And by merchandise I mean the Firemen calendar that I bought for the vet nurses last Xmas.

    You know, Catty, you can, any and all of you, (well, perhaps not Jennicki coz she’s in the US and will REALLY sulk if you tell her) put in a request for them to come out to your house and edumacate your children about fire safety and tell you where to install the smoke alarms and the fire blankets.

  103. Oh, and for the record – Nyah Hah.

  104. Mmm… firemen for lunch. I only had sushi. I hope they took their shirts off and oiled each other up – according to the calenders, that’s their natural condition.

    They didn’t nip next door and condemn Paddy’s Palace while they were at it?

  105. They peered out the bathroom window and assessed the Pit of Flames. And assured me that the BBQ is nowhere near as dangerous as the smokers.

    Actually they were very useful.
    They showed me how to turn off the gas supply to the house (so it doesn’t fuel the flames if the place does go up) and how to manually roll up the electronic rolladoor, in the event that I get stuck in the garage when the power goes off.

    One of the tradesmen who was here recently told me that he got trapped in a garage in some house on Nob Hill, and when he couldn’t contact the owner they had to get the Fire Department to get him out.

    So, I learned a few useful things and feel somewhat less neurotic as a result.

    Hey, Catty won the tickets to BAT.
    That means you have to come up, now.

    Oh and well done, BTW.

  106. Fabulous!

    Catty weekend can follow Chaz weekend… we’ll be partying like a well-oiled machine by then.

    I vote we get thoroughly tanked and then roll back to Quokka’s. We can recreate the play, line by line, at maximum volume, until dawn.

    And throw in some Mongolian throat-singing for good measure. The cats’ll love it!

  107. OK.
    Choir practice, on the footpath outside the Shamrock Village, at 9am. Perhaps ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ followed by ‘Rule Britannia’ and then ‘God Save the Queen’.

  108. I can do the Rosary in any of the three standard harmony parts of a Gregorian chant, if that helps. (I’m a bit wobbly on the fifth(?) but with Gregorian chanting, nobody notices.)

    What’s this about winning tickets? Tickets to the firemen’s ball, I hope.

    You know why firemen have bigger balls than policemen, don’t you?

    They sell more tickets.

  109. Catty! I can see that you and I are going to compete for this year’s Queen of Cheese awards.

    And you won tickets to JB’s play at the Brisbane Arts Theatre. Remember? Best party ever?

    I’m guessing you get to pick your night.
    I’m also guessing that the Brisbane times don’t pay for air fare. I know you said you couldn’t make it, but like I said at JB’s blog, just sell the teen into slavery. That should cover costs for at least a day away. Of course you’ll have to face court and DOCS on the Monday, but I’m sure it’ll all be worth it.

  110. I could sell my own body on the street corner, but I’d be lucky to get $1.99 a kilo.

  111. Bingo wings, anyone?

  112. Speaking of which, did I mention that the fieries get very upset by Deep Fat Fryers? They cautioned me several times NEVER to cook chips.

    I tried to insist that I’m allergic to cleaning, so there was no FKN way a deep fat fryer was ever going to find it’s way into Casa Quokka, but they didn’t seem to believe me.
    Perhaps they’ve read JB’s blog and know of our frustrations with Havock’s Home Chip Delivery service, and they sensed my frustration.

    Anyway, Deep Fat Fryers and DIY Chippies seem to be high on their list of DONTs so I’ve finally got the perfect housewarming gift idea for the Neighbours from Hell.
    i.e. an appliance that can simulate it.

    See?
    I told you they’d be useful.
    And you thought I had them here to leer.
    Ha!

  113. I love “Land of Hope and Glory”… it reminds me of “The Goodies”. And who can’t get into a three part Gregorian chant? Do you know any of the Abbess Hildegarde von Bingen’s tracks, Catty? That chick rocks.

    You’re on a winner with the Deep Fat Fryer, Quokka – the Irish can’t resist chips. To be sure, to be sure, I reckon you should doctor a bag of crinkle-cut potatoes. Just insert some incendiary devices… a sliver of plastic explosive should do it, I’m sure Havsy or Bangar can help… re-package, include in the gift box and then take the cats and the Bloke to Redcliffe for the weekend.

    You’ve got insurance on the house, right?

  114. Funny, MM, that’s what the fieries said as they squinted over at the Shamrock Village and assessed it’s flammability.

  115. Pop in to my place for a bitch session. Alcohol an chocolate provided. You get to be as bitchy and/or judgemental as you like.

  116. Bitchy AND judgemental… what’s not to love?

  117. I wonder if its too late to fit lobes with one of those Wandering Dog Spy Cam cranial implants before he heads off into the swamp to hunt crocodiles this weekend.

  118. I was thinking of luring my Mother into that swamp this weekend. Either Lizard man will shoot her, or she will drown him with a death roll. Then she will eat him.

    Sure, it might only be half the problem eliminated, but I could make a packet taking bets on the side, and the youtube video would be HUGE!

    Nah, it wouldn’t work. Lizard man is the biggest blowhard in existence. Lizard the Hunter? Yeah, right! I reckon the only gun he’s ever held is the trigger controller on his Atari.

    And even that would only be when his hands aren’t feeling around in his pockets for any sign that he’s finally hit puberty.

    He hasn’t.

  119. It’s not the timing, it’s the proximity that worries me about that venture… you’d have to get close enough to smell him.

    Given that he is Lizard Man, though, we’re in with a fair chance that one of his good ol’ buddies might mistake him for a reptile – fingers crossed for friendly fire!

    Silly me… to have hunting buddies you need buddies. Chances are he’ll be hunting alone.

  120. Put me down for a tenner on Catty’s mother.

  121. Too many words in that sentence, Quokka. It should be “Put … down … … … … Catty’s mother.”

    Lizard man wouldn’t stand a chance.

    Some reflection on the matter has led me to wonder if either one would be eliminated. I’ve got a funny feeling there might be a “kindred spirit” vibe, and he’d end up being invited to her house for dinner.

    Yay! Even lizards can’t survive that kind of poisoning.

  122. Hmmm… Lizard man vs. Catty’s Mum. I just got an idea for a new post.

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