From the “It could only happen in the U.S.” files:

Seems that a man,  enraged by an inadequate breakfast, went on a shooting rampage, killing five people before turning the gun on himself. Sadly, only one of the victims was responsible for preparing the questionable eggs.

It got me wondering, though, about over-reaction in general. I mean, look at road rage. Many of us seem to be simmering along, constantly teetering close to the edge of a complete meltdown. Why, for the love of transcendental meditation? Sure, there’s global financial existential angst and the ever-present threat of zombie attack, but is life really so much harder now than, oh, I dunno, the Dark Ages?

People of earth, get a grip. Having said that, though, do tell. How and why have you blown your top? And did you achieve anything other than catharsis?


191 Responses

  1. Intriguing innit? Even Stanley in the trailer park was probably better fed, housed and entertained than Osric the Ostler but “Local villein pitchforks six over cold gruel!” doesn’t pop up much in the chronicles of the time. So:

    Was Osric more content with his lot?
    Did knowing exactly where he stood (or was stood on) help?
    Did he have a better sense of community/belonging?
    Might good ol’ medieval faith have helped?
    Maybe Osric was just downtrodden from birth? But wasn’t Stanley most likely too?

    As for top-blowing, I don’t do that no more since getting the depression under control. And it was rarely if ever cathartic, even if it still seemed justified when I’d calmed down. Mostly I felt embarrassed and ashamed. (Except for that sleazy little toad who used to run a dodgy movie theatre near South Brisbane. I still smile at him scuttling away with his mates – wish I’d trashed his grotty foyer totally.) Sorry for long rambling post. Interesting topic.

  2. Possibly, Greybeard, Osric was so malnourished, disease-ridden and over-worked that he didn’t have any energy left with which to blow his top? Whereas Stanley would be primed to go off on a high octane mix of transfats and malt liquor…

    I dunno, I suspect it’s got more to do with society crumbling and pathological egocentricity.

    P.S. Glad you’re feeling better!

  3. Lets just say I wasn’t overly impressed when I woke up one day and found the neighbour’s kids in our house, in my bedroom, trying on my shoes.

    Amazing how some people have kids with the idea that everyone but their parents is responsible for supervising them.

  4. I can’t tell you about my tanties – I tend to push them into a black hole in the dim, dark recesses of my fevered mind.

    But I can tell you that my teen pulled a tanty once when she was about six. I’d given her Weetbix for breakfast. She wanted Cornflakes. I told her she would eat what she was given and jolly well be grateful (young lady). So she ran screaming out of the front door in her pyjamas. It took us an hour to find her. A couple of hours after that, I had DoCS on my doorstep to investigate allegations of abuse.

    So there you go. Giving your kids the wrong breakfast cereal is child abuse.

  5. Quokka, you’re kidding. I would have made them intimately aquainted with how each of your shoes felt, when applied with some force to the buttocks.

    Catty, love the breakfast theme – and a similar thing happened to me. One of the kids… can’t even remember which one, probably Elf Boy… was being recalcitrant, so I shouted him into submission. Half an hour later, while we were in our pyjamas eating spaghetti, the police arrived to investigate allegations of domestic violence. I was not amused.

  6. I wish I was kidding. It took ages to get this GD woman and her kids to understand that No Means No. The six foot fence helped, but for a long time they persisted in climbing it.

    My nice neighbour who lives behind Mrs. Crazy had a child of similar age and a swimming pool, so she was stuck with her kid wanting to play with Mrs. Crazy’s kids. Which she managed. Until someone in the flats overlooking her house and mine told her that the children belonging to Mrs. Crazy and her neighbour, Mrs. Sainted Social Worker, were sneaking into my nice neighbour’s pool while she and her family were out.

    L. had a word to both sets of parents and the social worker was suitably embarrassed about her horrible children (FK they were horrible, especially the girl – nasty vicious little bully) and they were suitably filled with remorse and made sure their kids didn’t do it again.

    Mrs. Crazy was another matter. She went over to Ls, with her children in tow, and shouted long and hard about how her children didn’t know how to open a pool gate (a total lie, the Bloke and I overlook their house and we’d seen her kids drag garden furniture over to the gate of the above ground pool in Crazy Land to open the gate and get in while their mother was busy elsewhere). She then yelled at the middle child, who she’s always seemed to dislike, to demonstrate their inability to open a pool gate until that child was shaking with fear.

    L put a stop to this and suggested that they discuss it sometime when the children were asleep, and that Mrs. Crazy, having three kids under 6, could suggest the time.

    She said she’d be over that night.
    Captain and Mrs Crazy went over to Ls that night and spent 2 hours in Ls kitchen telling L and her husband that the neighbours were vicious liars, that her children were saints, that they had a pool (the clark rubber one aforementioned) and as far as she was concerned ALL the kids in the neighbourhood were welcome to play in it whether she was at home or not and supervision was no matter for concern.

    L & her husband raised their eyebrows at this and realized they were talking to an utter madwoman, so they moved on to the next tactic which was to get the crazy bitch out of their kitchen.

    So L said ‘Well, we’ve been here for two hours, and its getting late, I’m sure your babysitter must want to get home and we can discuss this some other time.’

    Mrs. Crazy snorted and said of course she didn’t have a babysitter, the kids were fine to be left on their own and she was happy to go at it for as long as it took to get the matter resolved to her satisfaction.

    L & her husband got the shudders and said That was as it may be, but their daughter would be awake early and they needed to go to sleep.

    I have lots more stories about Crazy Land but thankfully after I told the pair of them that they were appalling parents and they didn’t deserve to have children, they stopped talking to me.

    That was another incident.

  7. I also had DoCS over after reading The Three Billy Goats Gruff to my then-two-year-old son. Apparently my Troll voice had the neighbours thinking I had been possessed and was sacrificing the children.

    Ridiculous! Small chickens, perhaps, but never a child.

    Although if Quokka’s neighbours had been in my wardrobe trying on my boots, I may have been tempted. Very tempted….


  8. Since Mrs. Crazy moved in next door I’ve learned to keep a very wary and polite distance from new neighbours in case they turn out to be batshit crazy. And its always good to find a sane one who interacts with the rest of them and can report on just how sane or deranged they actually are.

    i.e. L, over the back, reported to me that the social worker between me and her thinks that fences are an abomination unto nature and that everyone’s gardens should be fence free so that the entire block is just one big happy parkland for the children to play in.

    I think she meant her children as I don’t have any and part of our culture clash was that I’m FKD if I’ll be supervising hers while I’m studying/working/cooking/plucking my eyebrows/watching Gandalf kick arse with some orcs.

    I looked at L and said ‘Doesn’t she realize that that abomination next to me is a boarding house and its full of FKN riff raff just out of prison, rehab, the psyche ward and paedophile correctional programs? (Seriously, apparently Dennis Ferguson lived there at one point. I wouldn’t know. I can’t see them over the 6 foot fence, the lilly pilly hedge, and the razor wire I’ve put up between Us and Them).

    Apparently Mrs. Social Worker 2 doors down didn’t regard the inmates of the boarding house as a danger. Despite the fact that the cops were regular visitors and they often took someone away in the paddy wagon. Usually for selling heroin or meth, or for having a psychotic episode due to a bit too much overindulgence in their recreational drugs of choice.

  9. I’m not sure that razor wire is enough, Quokka. You need some sort of force field… or maybe perimeter guards. Yes, armed perimeter guards. With doberpersons.

  10. You nailed it as usual: ‘pathological egocentricity’!
    I hate to say this (no I dont’) but your comments are more fun than the post!
    PS. I live on a boat, so if the neighbous want to be DH’s, it’s up anchor ond off! Curently surrounded by Vietnamese seamen of suspect legal status. Very quiet, very helpful and polite. No fence around my pool either.
    PPS. Thanks for the comment at home too!

  11. For a long time there I hankered after pet geese.
    There’s nothing like them for dealing with intruders.

  12. I was mugged by geese down near the lakes at Uni one sunny afternoon. How would you stop them from turning on you, Quokka?

    You know what they say, Stafford – come for the posts, stay for the comments.

  13. I’m glad I don’t have as many pet fish as Stafford.

  14. The same way I’ve coped with my family all these years.

    Hand feed them.
    Only with my family, its best to don leather gloves.

  15. And, unlike your family, at least geese hiss by way of warning.

  16. So do snakes, and to quote my beloved spouse, ‘After 20 years of exposure to your family, it wouldn’t surprise me to discover that you’re related to reptiles.’

  17. The other one that I’m fond of quoting is the Bloke snorting and saying ‘Jaysus. And I thought my mother was bad. Your family makes my family look like amateur hour.’

  18. My right eyebrow has been shot full of anaeshtetic so the skin doctor could play with his vegetable peeler.

    Totally weird feeling.
    I might go watch charlie’s angels and drink five cups of tea.
    Maybe xix.

    I think that shit’s seeping into my brain.

  19. Hmm. You should consider collecting their venom so you can develop an antivenene, Quokka. You never know when you might get bitten.

    And I hope your eyebrow feels better soon. Give my love to the Angels.

  20. Thanx.
    Bit less groggy now.
    For bonus points now I really do look like a scrappy T-888.
    And the bloody mangled bit of missing flesh is very close to the same spot as Summer Glau’s eyebrow mole.

    Now to perfect the T-888 stomp.
    The Bloke said I had it down pat when I came out of McDonalds at Logan last saturday and they didn’t have double bacon McMuffins either. We’d already tried the local.

    He saw the look on my face and asked me if I’d left anyone in there alive.


    Next time you’re in Brisvegas we might have to gather the troops and seek out some fried piggywinkle, MM. I should have some free time on weekends after the 9th October.

    And I think we need to have a meeting to discuss the Secret Identity of Can Doo. I’m sure it’s yuppy. Who but a Cheeseburger would know of my gripes re: the Green Menace?

  21. Sounds fabulous. He’s become quite the star, our Can_do. Did you see the bit in the Brisbane Times about him bemusing the real LM?

    Anyhoo, must return to monitoring Elf Boy. He slipped on the tiles and has got a nasty egg on the back of his head. I’m in for a fun night of waking him every few hours to make sure he’s okay.

  22. Yep, saw it and sniggered.
    Also saw JB saying its not him, which I completely believe as there’s no way he’s going to do something unless it pays three figures an hour and has free prawns and beer.

    Ouch, nasty. Poor Elf Boy.
    You think he’s concussed?

  23. How’s the egg on Elf Boy, MM?

  24. After a couple of episodes of vomiting we sashayed up to Nambour Hospital to spend a pleasant few hours under observation. Actually, the Acute ward wasn’t so bad. They brought Elf Boy a portable DVD player and let him pick a movie (Flushed Away, for the record) and showed me the break room so I could make myself a cup of tea.

    Comment of the evening belonged to Elf Boy. As we were being sent home, the doctor was telling me what to look out for that should send us scurrying back. He discussed seizures, alterations in conciousness and personality changes. When he heard the last, Elf Boy folded his tiny arms, glared up at the doctor and told him “Don’t you try and change me!”. That’s my boy.

  25. Well I always say it’s better to have an egg on your head than egg on your face.

    Glad the E-Boy hasn’t lost his mojo.

    Now go and have a nap, MM – you’ve earned it. And maybe some bacon. Got any spare, Quokka?

  26. Thanks, Catty. A nap was just what I needed. I’m all out of bacon, though, and too rooted to go to the shops. Luckily, I have Kettle chips.

    Mmm… fried, salty starch.

  27. I wondered if the long silence meant a trip to Nambour hospital. Oh, the joy. I’m glad he’s OK.

    My bacon is in the freezer.
    If I get it out it will be to use it as a cold pack to put over yesterday’s incision on my right eyebrow. It swelled up overnight and its pushed the residual flesh down over the eyelid, effectively giving me the appearance of one half shut blackened and betadined eye.

    I spent the afternoon trying to study for this Friday’s prac exam with one partially closed eye.

    I’m taking Hairy McLairy to our first flyball/agility training class tonight. Just as well its dark down at the RSPCA training fields.

  28. By the end of the night my dog should look just like this:

    If not, the RSPCA trainer will have some explaining to do.

  29. Awwwwwww! What a cute little doggie!

    But now I am racking my brainzzzz – what banal 80’s TV show was that song the theme music for?

  30. “The Littlest Hobo”, wasn’t it? Where the sweet, shaggy little doggie went roaming around, saving people and then moving on… kind of like “Touched by an Angel” with fur and drool.

    Please believe me, I never watched it. I just absorb this stuff by osmosis.

    Have fun, Quokka. Maybe everyone at training would feel more comfortable if you wore a gimp mask?

    Oh, and thanks for the kind words. Elf boy is all better and I would have caught up on my sleep if the GD next-door arsehole hadn’t started playing along to some vile thrash metal at chirp o’clock this morning.

  31. Wow, your combined knowledge of TV kiddy crap is impressive. I had no idea that song came from a TV show. then again, ‘mute’ has long been my favorite button on the remote control so that could explain a few things.

    I’m hoping that this noise came from the house that’s for sale next door, MM? I hope you’re doing your best to encourage the sale by doing some spring planting in the front yard. When we were house hunting I always sticky beaked around to see if there were pretty flowers in the house next door, I saw it as a sign that there was a happy human being nearby.

    Which doesn’t explain why we bought opposite a yard full of decaying white goods and rusting car bodies.

  32. We once lived near people who stored their hard rubbish in the front yard. This was, unfortunately, before hard rubbish collections had been introduced. So the crap multiplied over the years until the tenant no longer had anything to mow.

    My dear old dad used to call the place Fort Mudge Memorial Dump. I have no idea why. Dad was a bit weird like that.

    I always said I would have a pretty front yard with flowers and that. But the Boss decided to build a shed beside the car port. He has been collecting bits so he can build it, and now we have a yard decorated with steel struts, sheets of tin, mountains of pavers, wooden flooring, bags of sand, roof guttering, and all the other paraphernalia that will (apparently) one day be a shed. The Boss assures me that it’s a Pantene job. (Won’t happen overnight, but it will happen). He’s been saying this for months.

    Meanwhile, I’m looking out my front door and seeing Fort Mudge Memorial Dump. Almost makes me nostalgic for my childhood. Almost.

    The Boss offered to do something about it. “Yay!” says I. But doing something about it merely meant closing the front door so I didn’t have to look at the crap.

    Dead set, if he doesn’t build the stupid thing by Christmas, I’m jolly well going to crack out the Dulux. I WILL have flowers, even if I have to paint them onto his shed bits.

  33. Good tip, Quokka. I’ll take the old chest freezer and rusted out utes to the tip this weekend and invest in some marigolds. Probably a good idea to discourage the dog from baying like the hound of the Baskervilles and flinging herself at passers-by too, d’ya reckon?

    Catty, have you thought about hanging baskets… or window boxes?

    Nah, scratch the window boxes. You’d have to get the Boss to build them, wouldn’t you?

  34. Catty I’m sure I’ve seen window boxes at Bunnings.

    How’s the injured child this morning, MM?
    Spinning his head and mimicking the united states of Tara yet?

    The dog was expected to sit still and behave himself at class last night. It took half a chicken carcass to achieve this.

    This after the dog trainer asked what I hoped to achieve for him, and I said ‘Weight Loss’.

  35. Ah, yes. Bunnings. Where bad people go when they die.

  36. Which does explain the zombies in the painter decorator aisle.

  37. If the carcass was skin-free you’ll be right.

    No three faces of Eve from Elf Boy as yet, Quokka. He refused to let me brush his hair this morning because of the sore lump, but I think we can chalk that up to normal behaviour. We’re all counting down to the Big Weekend, now – other people call it the school holidays, but to Elf Boy it’s the Big Weekend.

    Hey, Catty – are you ready for the Big Weekend?

  38. Meh.
    You could have warned me earlier.
    I went down to target at Buranda and the ladies loo was full of Nannas with children under five in tow.

    For some reason they find it essential to line the children up by the wash basins while Nanna goes toi-toi, cubicle door wedged open with one artificial knee as the hand that’s not clutching the walking cane gets busy with the clean up.

    I am so becoming a therapist.
    There’s money to be made from this Damaged By One’s Family gig.

  39. Yes, batten down the hatches, Quokka. For the next two weeks it’ll be on for young and old at every shopping centre, cinema and junk food purveyor around. Stock up now, make sure you’ve got batteries in your radio and plenty of ammo. Sorry, not ammo – bacon, I meant bacon.

  40. We must be due for a cheeseburger meeting to discuss the importance of Bacon. That and I want to gloat to Monster Yuppy about the yellow line across my driveway and the way that the Irish have become so attentive about bringing their bins off the street since the council started fining them for leaving them there, toppled over and garnished with foraging crows and Ibis.

    I hear he’s still having problems with parking and garbage. I just don’t know what he’s doing wrong – but he must’ve really upset someone.

  41. Mmm… bacon. Count me in.

    Poor Monster Yuppy. Perhaps our old mate Can_do can help him… that is, at least, unless he IS Can-do.

  42. The big weekend promises to be significantly more pleasant than previous ones.

    Yes, that’s right, the teen still hasn’t come home.

    We don’t know where she is. The dear girl is baiting us about it.

    I don’t suppose any of you know of a way I can hack into her facebook account? Her wall is blocked, and we really want to know what she’s up to. After all, forewarned is forearmed. What a weird saying! I only have two arms.

    Meanwhile, the Boss has bought a couple of slabs of clay for the big weekend, and we are going to make coil pots and statues until our fingers dry out, or somebody accidentally makes a golem. What fun!

  43. Let me know when you’re next in Brisvagus, MM, and we’ll rally the troops. The kids will be here on the 2nd October for a week and the Bloke is keen to take them to the cable ski park up your way. If I go, I’ll be looking at avoiding the sun in the middle of the day so if you’re around perhaps we can do lunch.

    Hm, Catty this is tough, and I’d suggest that finding a good counselor who specializes in working with teens might be the way to go. Due to the range of difficult behaviours, assorted mental illness, and just plain bloody mindedness that there is in my own family, over the years I’ve spent a bit of time at some online chat sites with others who have similar issues. Some of the posters have cross-posted at the parenting boards and if there’s one resounding theme to their stories, its that reading the teen’s diaries and facebook accounts rarely ends well. It might give you the short term satisfaction of knowing where she is and that she’s OK – and let’s face it – you know she’s OK otherwise she wouldn’t be able to taunt you. However long term, it’s an action that’s going to disintegrate trust. It’s also buying into the power struggle that’s happening.

    When my friends went through this, they found that talking to the kid’s friends – and the parents of the friends – was what got through to them in the end. Both girls had managed to paint their parents as ogres. One of the mother’s was a very troubled woman and she made matters worse for herself by coming across very badly to the daughter’s friends – hysteria, threats, tears. My two friends made a huge effort to stay calm and appear reasonable and just explained to their daughter’s friends how worried they were and how badly it was affecting them and the other child at home. They also pointed out that due to the fact that the child was missing school they were worried that she’d get so far behind that she’d either drop out and become chronically unemployed, miss out on opportunities to stay with her peer group and go onto uni etc and end up in a downward spiral. The stressed that the sooner the problem was resolved, by all of them sitting down with a counselor/family therapist and getting their issues out in the open, the sooner they’d be able to work out their problems.

    At the time the teenage friends all insisted that they knew nothing, but after a few days they changed their tune and dobbed her in. My friends were a bit annoyed at the duplicity of the children who were hiding her, but in the interests of avoiding Next Time they decided it was wise to put a lot of effort into befriending the two older teenagers who had taken the two girls in.

    Its not territory I’d want to navigate without a good family counselor.

    I’m glad you reported in, I was wondering but didn’t want to press you. xox.

    Good luck with the slab.
    I’m off to cram for a prac exam mid morning, still with one eye half closed over. My prac partner will not be impressed when the teacher gets all excited about my wound and asks her to detail what’s happening to the vascular, nerve and lymph supply in that area.

  44. Sounds great, Quokka. Let me know if you decide to mosey on up.

    Catty, I think Quokka’s idea of trying to contact the teen’s friends is excellent. They should be able to give you a status report and may even pass on messages that might, possibly, get through to her. You’ll need a teen geek, anyway, if you’r going to hack into her accounts. Happy golem making… I think you have to carve the Hebrew for ‘breath’ onto their foreheads to animate them. Not sure how that looks, you’ll have to google it.

  45. Thanks Quokka. Any advice we get at the moment is much appreciated. We are trying to organise not just counselling, but family therapy as well. It’s a slow process, hindered by the fact that the teen won’t talk to us – except for the occasional snide email. And the mother of her friend won’t talk to me as she “doesn’t want to get involved”.

    I’m not interested in airing our dirty laundry at the woman. I just want to ask if there’s a possibility of making it long term (or at least stable), by offering board and lodgings.

    Sounds harsh, as we’re all hurting as a family, but the teen was just plain not happy here. She is by all accounts very happy where she is. I know she’s been attending school, and I think that would continue as the friend who took her in is a classmate. My concern about facebook is that the teen really doesn’t accept the dangers online. She’s posting inappropriate pictures and personal information, and has been skyping strangers. We wanted to monitor that, so that if anything does go wrong, we could act on it immediately, rather than getting a knock on the door when the police find her body in a creek somewhere. Remote parenting, hey?

    Top tip – Madam Morgana, handcuff your boys to the furniture now, and keep them there until they’re at least 25. Or you could intimidate them, Mrs Bates style, so they are too psychologically crippled to defy you – but remember keep them away from sharp knives. Oh, and don’t open a motel.

    Meanwhile, Quokka, I think you should grab this ideal opportunity to get yourself an eyepatch. This coming Sunday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day – lucky you, you can dress the part! I hope it heals well. There are some excellent products on the market. (JR Minerals do a magnificent healing balm that we can’t live without – it even kills warts!) Silly me, you’d be all over that one already, what with having contacts in the healing world. Good luck with the prac exam!

  46. Blech.
    I froze in my prac when I realized I’d spent two days studying a system that we don’t have to cover till next time and the system that we WERE meant to cover was one I’d just skimmed over. Oh well. It’s only 10%, I’ll catch up. For bonus points my regular prac partner was sick so I got someone super diligent who’s already failed this subject once and is desperate to pass it this time. She only lives 15 minutes away so we’ve just formed a pact to become Study Prac Buddies. Worth the fuck up, really.

    Catty, sounds like you are doing all the right things.
    If she’s still at school then this is great because she obviously values being with her peer group and, hopefully, she understands the consequences for her future if she drops out.

    If a friend’s mother has taken her under her wing then I think you’re doing all the right things by letting the mother handle things her way, and also by offering to pay for her upkeep. I’ve seen aunts and family friends take in a niece or a friend’s friend and in most instances it worked out really well. Sometimes the teen just needs some breathing space to get their angst out and once they’ve had a chance to simmer down, they’re more likely to go back home. Especially if the parents are willing to negotiate change.

    In that interim the kid gets to see that other families have their own flaws, issues and points of constriction and it can open their eyes up a bit.

    If you know where she’s staying, I’d suggest telling the mother that you have some concerns about what your teen is posting on facebook and that you’d appreciate it if you could sit your teen down with hers and have a discussion about privacy and safety on the internet. And point out to your teen that while she’s under their roof she needs to comply with the same rules as her own daughter.

    It may well be that your teen is more savvy than you think and she’s just posting the kind of stuff that she knows will piss you off and stress you out.

    This isn’t family therapy sanctioned advice but my suggestion would be to ignore what’s happening on her facebook page for a while – being that it’s out of your control anyway – and hand that particular problem over to whoever has volunteered to feed and house her.

    Some days I am so pleased I don’t have children.

  47. Don’t worry, Catty – I’m excavating a bunker built for two in the back yard even as we speak. I’m going to inter them as soon as the hormones kick in and release them at 30, or the age of reason, which ever comes first.

    That’s legal, right? I figure they can telecommute or outsource themselves to a call-centre to pay for their imprisonment. Just think of the drunken fights they won’t be involved in and the lucky girls they’ll be unable to impregnate. Everyone should dig a bunker.

  48. Good thinking, MM. When the Hangi’s over, I’ll just dig the pit a bit deeper. The Boss can build his shed in it. Instant bunker!

    Actually, not instant. At this rate, the shed won’t be up until the kidlets are in uni.

    And outsourcing is a great idea. Better than my idea – I was intending to sell their organs. And their drum kit. And their guitars. And their recorders. Especially the recorders.

    Quokka, I’m just totally fed up with the stress and worry. Perhaps I could sell you the teen to use as a demo model for your prac? (If I ever find out where her friend lives). I can do you a really good deal – AND I’ll throw in a free recorder with matching maraccas!

  49. As appealing as this sounds (hack, cough, ahem), No Sale, Ms. Catty.

    We will have the Bloke’s teenage nephew and niece here for the first week in October. His niece is a girly girl so I’m trying to prepare myself for the horror of Britney Spears and Lady Gag Reflex blasting from youtube the entire time that she isn’t watching – and dancing along to – something horrible called High School Musical. Not to mention the aerosol odours that teenage girls are so very fond of, all of which give me weeping rhinitis.

  50. Oh, crikey, I know what you mean. Ulcerated sinuses are NOT fun.

    Girly girls are fun. Get your niece to give you a makeover. Or there are always Hillary Duff movies. Hillary is a bit like Miley, except Hillary isn’t a slutty little tramp, and her movies aren’t self aggrandizing crap. Try ‘A Cinderella Story’. I loved that one. Or how about getting the visitors to start a band? I’d happily give you a recorder or two.

    Tell you what, I’ll pay you to take them.

    No? *sigh*

    Guess I’m stuck with them. Unless….

    Hey, Madam Morgana, have I got a deal for you! The perfect Christmas present for Magic Man and Elf Boy!

    Madam? Madam? Hey, where’d she go?

  51. No way in hell.
    Nobody brushes my hair.
    Not even me.

  52. La la la, Catty – I’ve got my fingers in my ears and I’m not listening to you. We already have an electronic drum kit, a clarinet, a keyboard, assorted drums, a shaker in the shape of an apple and a recorder of our own. The next instrument I get will be surgical!

    She doesn’t have to go anywhere near your hair, Quokka… you still have 20 finger and tow nails. Mani-pedi! Probably, if you beg, you don’t have to have every single nail a different clashing colour. And you can skip the fairy decals. Plus, try telling yourself that an aerosoled teen is better than a stinky teen – although, come to think of it, a gas mask would cope with either quite nicely. I’m pretty sure Bangar’s got a spare.

  53. Yeah! Megadeath nails, a-la Amy Lee. Cool!

    And for the nephew? You could get some clay and start him working on his own golem. When the kids go home, you can put the golem in your garden to catch stray revellers and scrub turkeys. Or send it next door to live with the bog dwellers. It’ll fit right in.

    Of course, your Neighbourhood Watch Nazi might have a few things to say about it, but if you position the golem right, he won’t get close enough for you to hear him say them.

  54. Meh. The little green miscreants next door woke me up three times last night, coming home in different shifts. So forgive me if I’m a little out of it.

    There will be none of this makeup and nail polish BS while the children are in my care.

    They will be far too busy preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse to do anything but spend hours in the bunk beds, shooting zombies and trying very, very hard not to disturb The Witch.

    I would say that this is the most menacing character in Left 4 Dead but as you are all aware, she’s nowhere near as cranky when disturbed as little old me.

    I will be checking Zombie Dead numbers at the end of each day and they won’t be getting their zombie cupcakes after dinner unless they’ve met their quota of hours on the Xbox.

    How the hell else am I meant to amuse them if their parents have decreed we can only do One World?

    Left For Dead trailer:

  55. What, no skipping in the park, holding hands? No trips to the petting zoo? No soft serve ice creams with sprinkles? Oh, what torture! How can ANY child survive holidays without tea parties, finger painting and disney movies?

    Child cruelty. That’s what it is.

  56. Well, we’ll be doing Sea World, Lone Pine, and probably the Cable Ski park, but last time they were here they spent most of their time in the pool and the spa, probably so that they could go home and say to their parents ‘Why don’t WE have a pool and a spa like Uncle Blokesy and Aunty Quokka?’

    Niece wants to shop.
    So her uncle can take her to the hyperdome and the Myer Centre.
    They live in the country so she doesn’t have access to Dotti and that shop with all the $5 bling, whatever it’s called. She loves that shop.

    Now that they are teenagers I am expecting that they’ll do what my nieces did – sleep and grouch. There’s a big TV in the spare room, with Air Con, X box, games cupboard full of all the board games that I had stockpiled for when my lot were here. So aside from I probably need to replace the broken mousetrap game AGAIN, I think they’ll have enough to amuse them.

    If I haven’t finished my assignment when they arrive, we have Plan B, which is for the Bloke to take them to Tangalooma for 2 days and feed them to the sharks.
    Er…I mean, let them do that night feed of the dolphins thing that they do there.

    Although I’m hoping to get the GD thing finished in time so that we can make it a very long day trip and I can go with them.

    Yesterday we took the hound for a drive out bayside – had to look at cat enclosures – and we wound up at Wellington Point. At low tide you can walk out to the little island off there and I thought that might be something to do, too.

    My cats don’t approve of crafts, Catty.
    I have three house cats – two of which will be spending a good part of that week locked in their pen downstairs – and they are quite convinced that crafts and board games are a new and exciting type of cat toy that’s been brought out for their entertainment. If you try to set them straight, you bleed.

    The other horrible plan I had for the children is that one day Granny and Grandpa might come up for a visit. They’ve been nagging to see the renovations but due to the blanket of misery and constant criticism and guilt that they bring with them, we’ve been putting it off…so I might disappear one day to college and the children can have a lovely day discovering why nobody wants to be around their grandparents.

  57. Who needs sprinkles when you’ve got the darkness and the wailing and the sweet stench of rotting flesh.

    Here’s another idea for school holiday fun, Quokka. Invent an outlandish Twitter account – last one to 100 followers does the washing up. Or, run a Nigerian scam – first to 100 bucks shouts everyone dinner.

  58. I wonder where I can buy Zombie cupcake accessories?
    Pete’s party products, you think?

    I might have to go down to Avid and get that cupcake book.
    Most of the kids in my life are at an age where they’re having engagement parties and baby showers but surely a tasty selection of Zombie Cupcakes would go down a treat at a hen’s night?

    BTW, we went to the Jetty Cafe on Oxford yesterday and they’ve nixed the banana waffles with peanut icecream from the breakfast menu. And the only bacon they serve has been fried in maple syrup.

    So if I can’t find a suitable alternative then next time you’re in town we’ll be back at Lock N Load.

  59. I like Lock N Load. The wait staff are a bit snarly and indifferent but the courtyard is as full of ambience as the menu is full of bacon.

    Mmm… bacon. Can you really fry it in maple syrup? Sounds like an expensive and dangerous endeavour.

  60. I think they choose their staff by the quality of their tattoos rather than their affability but yes, a nice place to hang out and the thing about the courtyard is that the noise travels into neighbouring yards and the heavens above.

    I’m not good in venues where the noise bounces off hard surfaces, ie. the skulls of the hip groovsters at adjacent tables.

    Well, I was going to duck down to Avid and check out these books on zombie cupcakes (they have two) but the staff warned me that the West End street festival is on so it is a little crowded.

    ‘Oh crap, again already?’ was my reply, to which the staff member giggled and said ‘I like your attitude.’

    They’re strange and antisocial folk down there.
    Its good to know we’ve got that in common.

  61. They sound like my kind of people.

    If you’re looking for outlandish cake decorations, Quokka, you can get everything you need on eBay. Or just try your local shopping precinct – all the freaking halloween crap is already on display in every stinking shop in the whole stinking country.

    I am morally opposed to halloween. Although I don’t like that it’s teaching kids that supernatural stuff is cute and fun – without any regard to the dangers they may be exposed to, my main objection is that we spend the whole bloody year telling kids not to take lollies from strangers, and then negate the message by sending them to strangers’ houses to ASK for lollies. How idiotic is that?

    Seaworld with teens mightn’t be as bad as all that. My sister’s MIL (who lives with them) has asked for a family trip to Seaworld for her birthday next week. School holidays, no less, and my sister has two boys under school age. She is trying desperately to find an acceptable excuse to get out of it. Poor dear. She is just going to have to break her leg – it’s the only way.

    MM, I tried bacon with maple syrup after someone mentioned it on one of JB’s regular bacon blogs. I guess it must be an aquired taste, because it was vile.

    Oh, and while I’m thinking of it – Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day, me hearties! Avast an’ Arrrrgh, an’ all that.

  62. I know and I just can’t gather enthusiasm for anything more than yelling ‘Walk the Plank FFS’ at the Irish. Which is no use at all unless they’re on a prawn trawler.

    The maple syrup on bacon thing dates back to Twin Peaks.
    Special Agent Dale Cooper liked his bacon that way and, to my great woe, started The Bloke on a downward spiral into unnatural experiments of combining strange condiments with traditional breakfast foods.

    Bacon should be crisp and delicious and smell of salty fatty goodness. I tried a bit yesterday at the Jetty and got horrible indigestion. I tried to settle it with a hamburger from the beachfront cafe at Wellington Point later in the day and that was a big mistake. Never trust a 12 year old kid to give an accurate assessment of preservative status in pre-prepared meat.

    I have texted the Bloke to be on the alert in Coles for Halloween Candy. I want some of those little green bloodied hands and the RIP headstones. They look ever so cool.

    What is up with Mayhem?
    There’s something going on with my twitter account where it looks like I’m getting a feed from a heap of people that I don’t follow and the occasional nonsensical remark from those that I do. A technical person would know how to create order with this. However I don’t.

    I saw a tweet about in hospital with a chest infection.
    Didn’t sound good but it did sound fairly typical of chemo.
    She OK now?

  63. Further information:
    I’m thinking about making zombie cupcakes and visiting an old friend from boarding school.
    She lives up at Eumundi and all the kids in her street (more horses than kids, its very pretty) trick or treat at each other’s houses on Halloween, and she told us to come along one year as it’s fun. Her oldest is in senior so the expiry date on that invite is getting closer.

    Otherwise I’m with you on the knocking on stranger’s doors which is why I get the horrors from those neighbourhood watch plaques.

    I had an altercation with the local Social Worker’s kids soon after we bought our house. I had no clue who they were and they appeared on my doorstep a few weeks after we’d moved in (August, so it would’ve been Sept Hols) asking if I’d pay them to do odd jobs/mow lawns.
    No adult in tow, and apparently no adult at home to keep a close eye on them.

    I said No and gave them a lecture about the dangers of knocking on strangers doors and why weren’t their parents supervising this and hadn’t they heard the news story about the little girl who’d been abducted at X just recently (it was 15 years ago and I think it was a little girl at the north coast) and they rolled their eyes and told me patronizingly that this kind of thing doesn’t happen in OUR suburb. I said ‘How do you know that I’m not a bad person?’ – little knowing that once I’d had a few more interactions with the parents around here that’s exactly what I’d be – but they wouldn’t listen to reason.

    It took me months to figure out where these freaking kids sprang from and when I realized it was the social worker and her dope smoking musician husband, I put the pieces together and thought ‘Yep, makes sense now.’

  64. Note: kids would have been around 6 & 8.

  65. You could always make your own zombie hands and tombstones. That readymade royal icing is wonderful stuff, and easy to work with – by comparison to homemade stuff.

    Otherwise, you may have to go down to the corner shop. I went to ours recently to get the Sunday paper, and they had a massive counter full of lollies. Wow, did that bring back memories! Unfortunately, instead of a paper bag full of mixed lollies, these days 20c only buys you a single milk bottle or a jelly baby.

    They had a lot of weird stuff, like jelly eyeballs (good for zombie cakes, perhaps?) and tiny wheelie bins filled with fish bones and squashed cans made out of that vile, chalky stuff they make those message heart lollies out of. You’re sure to find something there that will delight the kids but make you heave. Did you know you can get little lego bricks made out of that chalky lolly stuff? They are so much fun! Taste like crap, though.

    There’s an article in today’s Sunday rag about teenage girls who’ve vanished. I couldn’t read it. My stomach kept churning at the thought that my teen is next, if the people who’ve taken her in don’t stop her Facebook binging.

    And now, my kidlets are whining for food. What a dreadful mother I am – they haven’t eaten in at least 15 minutes! I’d better get onto it, before DHS come knocking.

  66. Ahoy, ye scurcy rascals! Happy ITLAPD. We watched Pirates of the Carribean last night (Or, as ELf Boy calls it “Carrots of the Bean”… yes, even before he hit his head) – hope that counts!

    I didn’t know Mayhem’s sick. I HOPE Mayhem’s not sick. Although it does makes sense of her tweet “Getting out today”. In which case, sounds like she’s over the worst. If I can glean anything from Twitter I’ll report back.

    Jelly eyeballs would be AWESOME on a cupcake…especially if you surrounded them with that red gel icing you can get in tubes. I made a Halloween cake last year that was a zombie arising from its grave. The kids had a plaster mould of the human skeleton that I washed thoroughly, sprayed with cooking spray and then filled with white chocolate for bones. The tombstone was a slightly over-cooked meringue.

    I do agree, though, the whole Trick or Treat thing is fraught with danger. Apparently they set up X-ray machines and drug detection crews in Seppoland to screen kids’ candy – if there’s a need for THAT, surely it’s time to call the whole thing off?

  67. Mayhem Update: She has been in hospital, but is home today. Funnily enough, she didn’t tell me why on Twitter… anyhoo, she seems cheery enough now. I passed on best regards from all.

  68. I know she caught a cold at the beginning of the week.
    Add that to chemo and my calculator computes Chest Infection.

    I just went into Twit World and saw some of the others complaining about disorder in their tweet decks. Which could explain why tweets from complete strangers are coming up and when I do get tweets from those I’m following, they seem to be really out of synch.

    I think I’ll blame twitter for the chaos.
    I have no idea how to fix it, and no inclination to try.

    I think I’ll stick with my usual philosophy of the internet, which is Ignore and see if problem resolves itself. Meanwhile, find something more constructive and less frustrating to do.

  69. I wish I could help you, but I don’t feel like I’ve really got the hang of Twitter. Love Can-do’s work, though… did you think of any Brisbane Titles? I came up with some very poor attempts, my favourite of which was Browns Plains Drifter.


    That still cracks me up!

  70. Iiiiiiiimmmmmmmm Baaaaaacccccckkkkk!

    Sorry Ladies, yes I have indeed been in hospital with a chest infection. Went in at 11ish last Wednesday night. I came home at lunch time today.

    Sorry for the brevity at Twitter Madam, I’m having broadband speed issues at the moment (long story). I’ll try to do a blog post about it tomorrow….

    I missed you guys, and have decided to rob a bank to pay for some up to date communications devices, so that I am not that bored and lonely if this situation occurs again!

  71. Poor Mayhem, sounds crappy.
    I hope the nurses looked after you & you’re feeling better.

    Twitter is baffling me a bit but you’ll always find us luddites lurking here if you want to chat.


  72. That’s okay Mayhem, I didn’t really expect details on Twitter, discretion being the better part of valour there, I feel. Welcome back and hope you’re feeling much better very soon… well enough to attend our next bacon fest, in fact.

    Well, here we are, first official day of the Big Weekend and rain drizzles endlessly from grey skies. I think I’ll teach the boys how to cook carbonara today. Fun for the whole family and takes care of dinner, too.

  73. We’re having an interesting day. Hard rubbish time! We went ‘shopping’ yesterday. Today I’m supposed to be finding stuff to put on our own hard rubbish pile, but it’s just not happening. My stomach is insisting on taking priority.

    It’s not easy to type and eat at the same time.

  74. Ooh, I love hard rubbish! What did you score, Catty – and how many abandoned tummy trimmers and foot-spas did you notice while you were trawling?

  75. Another time delay blog post fail.
    Morgana, I loved your Brisbane titles.
    I thought of a couple –
    West End Side Story – the Musical
    They sing, they dance, they complain about parking metres and increased urban density.

    And Crocodile Nudge Eeeeee!!!!!
    In honor of whatever dickhead it is at the courier mail that’s obsessed with the Crocodiles Are Coming!

    Scary thing is I suspect they’re right.

    I think what’s going wrong is that I haven’t installed the tweet deck and that’s why I’m not in control of this bus.
    When I went to do it, it asked for my password for the Mac and when I went ‘Huh?’ the computer said No and told me to get the disc and reinstall my Mac software to get a new code.

    Which is never going to happen.
    So don’t any of you ever make the mistake of thinking if you post a message on twitter, I’ll see it.
    Its luck of the draw.

    Hey, I ducked down to Avid earlier and purchased a zombie cupcake book for $14.95, less $5 for the brownie points I’ve earned down there…and while I was quizzing the staff about where to find Zombie Sweets the girls pointed out that they had Zombie Finger Puppets for $1.95 each.

    So I invested in a baker’s dozen, for future use.
    The Bloke came home a few minutes ago to get the car to hike out to see the dentist and he got the giggles looking at the cupcake recipes and said ‘Actually I think nephew likes making cupcakes’ – so ha, I am prepared for a rainy day.

    I bought fudge icing in a tube so that they can ice biscuits and make ‘RIP’ headstones. That done, we can all sit down and watch Resident Evil 1, 2, and 3 while we eat Zombie Cupcakes.

    So long as there’s no Dustopalypse this year.
    That’d freak ’em out.

  76. Hehehe. Crocodile Nudge-E.

    Zombie finger puppets… awesome. Now you can stage your own mini zombie apocalypse. I wouldn’t worry too much about a dust event, there’s too much rain about – it would be more of a mud storm.

    Speaking of mud storms, my offspring look like they’ve been caught out in one. Is it possible that they attract dirt? I just keep looking at them – particularly Magic Man – and thinking of Pig Pen in the Peanuts comic.

  77. I bought myself a hyper expensive stereo about 13 years ago. The CD player stops working every six months or so, when the ill-placed laser fills up with grot. I’m getting a new stereo for Christmas this year, one that not only plays vinyls/tapes/CD’s, but also transfers them to USB. So we figured the old stereo could go on the hard rubbish now, and I’ll just have to live without tapes or vinyls for a few months and subsist solely on the Gecko iPod speakers.

    A few minutes ago, a family stopped to browse through our junk pile. They seemed very interested in the stereo. I remembered that it had a remote control, so I scrabbled around in the cupboard, found it immediately (miracle!) and went outside to tell the family what was wrong with the stereo. I.e, nothing that cleaning the laser wouldn’t fix.

    The lady thanked me and pocketed the remote. The man backed his car up to our pile of junk, and the teenage boy fiddled with the stereo. I went inside. They stood around prodding and poking for five minutes, then drove off. Without the stereo. But the lady still had the remote in her pocket. That’s just rude.

    We got a sofa, a book case, a set of left handed golf clubs and a pool pump (with sand filter). We also got a giant Pikachu money box. Yay. (I think).

  78. Well, definitely yay to the book case, you only have enough of them when all your walls are full. Have you got a pool to put the pump in, and a left handed golfer? I assume Pikachu is for your pokemon-obsessed kidlet.

    • The Pokemon master of the family is left handed. His father thinks they might be able to go golfing together. Personally, I think this will only be possible if he paints the golfballs so they look like Pokeballs.

      And I know what you mean about the bookcases. We have around 3000 books, so our 10 bookcases are all completely stuffed – including the ‘new’ one. I still have about 200 books without homes. Unless you count the cardboard boxes crammed under my bed.

  79. I’ve got zombie finger puppets…la la la la la.

    I think they’re making me a bit strange.
    It couldn’t be the study.

  80. ‘Course not, Quokka. Study is well known for promoting mental and physical well-being. They ought to prescribe a course of biochemistry instead of antibiotics.

    Oh, who am I trying to kid.

    Yes, it is the study. Stop now and have some chocolate while watching mindless TV – it might not be too late!

  81. We just made fruit toast.
    And I’ve been watching mindless TV since The Bloke came home to go to the dentist. I switched on Oprah while I was watching lunch. The cat climbed on my lap and made himself comfortable. In my defense this cat weighs 10 kilos so I was unable to get out from beneath the combined weight of him AND the fluffy dooner.

  82. Did I just say that I was watching lunch?

    At least I’ll be safe if the zombies turn up and their hungry.

  83. And there’s your answer, Quokka. Grab a handful of mashed Barbie dolls from the op shop, rip off their heads, and dip the heads in green food colouring before dribbling fake blood on them.

    What’s bothering me is that you’ve bought a baker’s dozen of those zombie finger puppets. If it’s one for each finger, I am going to be very, very worried.

  84. Well, I thought I had thirteen but it turns out that I can’t count and I only brought home 12. I think that prac exam on Friday shorted out some fuses in the logic centre of my brain.

  85. Well, you know what to do. Vodka and Tim Tams in a bubble bath, stat.

    Yes, that is my answer for everything. So?

    Cool finger puppets, BTW. My fave is the emo one dangling the braaainz!

  86. Can’t be bothered getting undressed. Can I just fill a footspa with vodka? I already ate all the Tim Tams….

  87. Forget the bathing altogether and just administer the vodka orally until pain desists. Or unconciousness results, which ever comes first.

  88. Thank you, Doctor Madam. Can I call you in the morning? It’s just that I have this funny feeling I’ll have a headache then.

  89. For the resulting headache, take two aspirin washed down with 3/4 of the amount of vodka that you consumed the previous night. If you continue with the incremental decrease in vodka consumption, you’ll never get a hangover!

    And you’ll ride out the school holidays, nicely toasted.

    It’s all win here at Madam’s blog.

  90. I want a pony.

  91. Hmm… would you settle for My Little Pony? It smells like bubblegum and you can comb its mane and everything.

  92. Hey, yeah! MLP is hours of fun! You can even buy little clip on plastic skirts, hair and shoes for them. There’s a car, a play house, a bath, musical instruments, a stove with little cupcakes, and a fun fair. You can get mini ones, regular ones, and giant plush ones. There are interactive MLP’s with dummies that talk to you when you hug them. And just to reinforce the message, there’s a whole series of books and DVD’s.

    How do I know? The middle kidlet has all of them. I mean ALL of them!

    Oh, joy.

  93. I mean the MLP talks to you when you hug it. Not the dummy. That would be weird.

  94. WTF is a pony doing with shoes? I mean, I assume you’re talking heels, not those round metal things which are a perfectly legitimate hoof accessory.

    I take it back, Quokka – no MLP for you. Would you settle for a picture of a pony? We’re going to the farm this weekend, I can snap a few for you.

  95. No. I still want a pony.
    I saw those miniature ones at the Ekka.
    They were very cute. And probably just about the right size to fit in my back yard.

    I wonder if you can train them to chase brush turkeys?
    The adolescent males are all starting to get that swollen yellow dangly scrotum neck that means they’re about to go feral.

    Not good.

    Now I have to go back into the kitchen and make spag bog.
    I’m wagging dog school tonite. She said it would be cancelled if it’s wet enough.
    And its wet enough for me.

    My dog refuses to sit or drop in wet grass, so no point being there to demonstrate what a sook he is, really.

  96. The Boss has gone out of town for work, so I’m doing fish fingers, baked beans and crinkle cuts for dinner. Don’t worry, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled nutritionally balanced dinners tomorrow.

    But it occurs to me that if I’m doing a bogan dinner, I’d better dress the part. Has anyone seen my uggies and pink trackie dacks?

  97. Well, my Aunt has a miniature horse stud so I can totally hook you up. Mare or gelding? I wouldn’t recommend a stallion in the city, even a miniature one.

    You’ll need to build a stable, unless you’re going to leave the car on the street and let the horse sleep in the garage. And a lunging paddock. Have you got good pasture?

  98. On the subject of dinner, Catty, how long can you keep shepard’s pie in the fridge and then re-heat and serve, do you reckon?

    I’m conducting a microbiological experiment this evening. Pray for us.

  99. Assuming there’s no chicken or fish in it…Two days?
    I’m horribly ignorant about such matters which is why I cook in bulk and shunt dinner and lunch sized portions into the freezer ASAP. That way I know I can trust it.

    Maybe I should go visit the petting zoo too and get the horse nostalgia out of my system.

  100. Catty…I think I stole your bogan uniform.
    My pink trackie dacks are on the line (if the foldable thing from bunnings that you can hide from the rain counts as such a thing) and I’ve just slipped out of my support heels into my purple uggies.

    Now to collapse in front of the TEEV.

  101. It depends on how good your fridge seals are, and what temperature it is kept at.

    The best guide is sniffing it. If you are prepared to lick it, it’s o.k to eat. But if you’re not game to lick it, open a tin of Campbells and make toast.

    Or get a pony. Use it as a taste tester.

    Get two. Quokka needs a pony, Stat!

  102. Hey, wait…

    Did you say PURPLE uggies?

    O.K. Now I’m jealous.

  103. Well, the sheep part hasn’t stood the test of dye-power terribly well over the years but the soles are still purple.

  104. MM – still here after your meal of leftovers?

  105. Yes. I’m here to report that we all ate week-old shepard’s pie and the only consequence was that Elf Boy slept in until 9 this morning. We must have good fridge seals and strong constitutions.

    That’s what happens when you cook with quality ingredients… I only use 100% genuine Australian shepard in my shepard’s pie.

    Purple uggies… I must have purple uggies. I’m insanely jealous. Mine are pretty much the same colour as a sheep.

  106. Lucky you, MM. Mine are the colour of twelve years worth of spilled coffee, dropped food, mud, domestos spash, and vomit.

  107. So pretty much the same colour as my kitchen floor, then.

  108. And my carpet. Well, I’m assuming it’s carpet. Or at least, it was carpet in a former life.

  109. Meh.
    I have been out at Carindale, among other things, attending to errands. There was this mindless mass of people, moving erratically in every direction. It made wonder if we’ve reached a point where we need traffic lights for pedestrian movement in the shopping malls or if next time I should just wear a lollypop lady outfit and wop people out of my way with the lollypop.

    So tempting.

  110. What you really need, Quokka, is spikes on your shopping trolley wheels a la Ben Hur. They won’t be able to get out of your way fast enough!

    A beast or two wouldn’t hurt, either.

  111. Hey, Quokka. If you really want to be an island in a sea of humanity, wear a koala costume and carry a paint tin with a slit in the top and spare change inside. Rattle the tin at everyone who steps into your personal space, and watch them veer around you.

    Works every time. And if you’re lucky, you might make a few bob on the side.

  112. Good plan, but judging from the way the crowds ripple in terror like a school of startled mackerel, others have beaten me to it.

  113. I never thought of that. You don’t want to be encroaching on another koala’s territory. It makes them cranky, and they might hit you with their paint can. Scratch that plan.

    Alas, short of suggesting you pretend to be a teenager (wear rags, get 20 piercings in your face, glue your ipod speakers in your ears, sneer at everyone, cease all personal hygiene, etc), I’m out of ideas.

  114. You forgot to add – full sleeve tattoo.

  115. I know a misbegotten, blighted animal no-one in their right minds would donate to…

    Quokka, you should dress up as a scrub turkey!

    No tatts required.

  116. No tatts, MM, but she WILL be required to attach a scrotum to her chin. Somehow I think that might be a bit much, even for Quokka.

  117. It’s not without appeal.
    Although having gone by some of the bargain bins full of goodies at Carindale, and seen huge festering piles of shoes, DVDs, sacks of sweets and piles of towels after the Holiday folk have rifled through them looking for a bargain, it does make me think that its a good place to find ready made mounds in which I could dump their eggs.

    The one good thing about the Irish and their difficulties with bins (keeping them upright and preventing them from overflowing) is that they’ve managed to attract Ibis.

    Every day there’s a dump duck outside the flats, going bin to bin looking for goodies.

    Apparently they like to go through brush turkey mounds and spike the eggs and suck the goodness out. Now to lure them up the garden path..what kind of delicacy does one seduce a dump duck with?

    Soggy three day old chips?
    Popcorn chicken?
    Or bits of regurgitated calamari?

    I’ve seen them sampling all these things on my tours of South Bank with the dog, and yet foolishly I’ve never stopped to study the dump duck and discover it’s preferences.

    Must pay more attention to what the Irish are feeding it so I can lure it to the House Most Likely To Produce a Mound.

  118. Hmm… beer-battered chips and lumps of mouldy stew? Things that are green, but not because nature intended?

    Still, you’ve got to have a grudging admiration for a creature with the potential to keep scrub turkey numbers down.

    Go, ibises! or should that be ibii? I think the collective noun is pestilence…

  119. What do you call pestilence that’s attracted to human pestilence? Apart from kindred spirits.
    Maybe they’re on the BCC payroll and it’s just CanDoo’s way of keeping the streets clean.

    Well, I have just spent 20 minutes roaming the house looking for my glasses. This happens a lot. I just found them, by the back door, on the cat scratching post, in the cat’s snug. Thankfully the cat wasn’t in there otherwise I’d have had to wait till the Nap Cycle was over to solve that mystery.

    I can only account for this lapse in my attention by saying that I must have done it during a moment of great excitement (not one, but two fire engines roaring past my house at pace) followed by a great disappointment – the engines stopped three doors beyond me. Two doors too far for my satisfaction. Heads were popping out all over the neighbourhood, no doubt thinking ‘Please, please, please…’ followed by ‘Dammit!’

    The fieries lasted about three minutes and then they took off.
    No doubt to a street by the same name in the next suburb, where, no doubt, there’s a fire that someone DOES want put out.

    Meanwhile I can hear the strains of Park Life wafting towards me on the winds blowing in from the city.

    I thought I’d gotten lucky there.
    I could already see the headlines in tomorrow’s Curious Snail: ‘Quokka’s Dream Comes True – Irish Backpackers BBQ historic brisbane boarding house.’

    Still, with a noisy concert on there’s got to be some drug taking and inattentiveness to hair straighteners and deep fat fryers tonight. You’d think.

    Oh well.
    I’m off to make sure that my bedside drawers are stocked with industrial strength ear plugs. And fresh cat biscuits. I haven’t done that trick for a while and when I opened the tupperware last night a dreadful smell of fungal growth rolled out. I flicked on the lights and was horrified to see what can grow in a handful of Hill’s Diet Lite cat biscuits and a modicum of cat slobber.

    Park Life is on

  120. Lure the ibis by opening a tin of sardines, and laying a trail to the scrub turkey’s nest. Make sure your kitties are locked up first.

    Once the Ibis has done it’s job, release the kitties that they may scare said Ibis back to the bog. Otherwise you will have dump duck dumps on your washing instead of scrub turkey turds.

  121. Enjoy Park Life, Quokka. You never know your luck – there’s plenty of time for The Bog to go up in flames. I’m sure Aisling is just firing up the deep-fat fryer now.

    That is, unless she’s locked herself in the toilet again.

  122. Funny how she remembers to lock the toilet when she’s drunk but not her hippy bus when she’s sober.

    I was on the porch Not Studying yesterday AM when she rushed home in a a very noisy hippy camper type bus, parked across the road from me (across my nice neighbour’s driveway of course) and, leaving the engine running, dashed inside to the boarding house. Where she stayed for a good fifteen minutes before heading back to the Hippy Bus. It was a big one. The junkies in our street are losing their touch, once upon a time they’d steal any car that wasn’t hobbled by some sort of Junkie Disabling Device.

    They’re losing their touch.

  123. Perhaps I need to send the junkies on a refresher course for Opportunism and Immorality.

  124. Perhaps even junkies wouldn’t touch a hippie camper.

    Is it a VW? Because I’m pretty sure they often catch fire. Come summer you may be one down… maybe more, if she’s got passengers.

  125. Of course, she may have left the engine running because she knew if she turned it off she’d never get it going again.

  126. Or perhaps it was the getaway car. She may have been burgling the place.

    No, that wouldn’t work, would it?

  127. Crap. You’re both right.
    Perhaps she’s off to Darwin for the summer and she popped in to pick up the deep fat fryer and her hair straightening irons. You know how the tropical humidity plays havoc with uncontrollable frizz.

    Madame, you’re a genius.
    It did look like something that’d need jumper leads and a clutch start to get it moving if you made the mistake of switching it off.
    It was bigger than a Wicked Camper but not quite as big as a winibego, and it was the kind of murky grey that you usually see in getaway vehicles.

    Anyway, so long as Aisling and her getaway bus are at least 200km away from me tonight, and a little closer to some crocodile infested campsite with one of those signs saying ‘DANGER!!!! NO SWIMMING’ in five different languages, including gaelic, this is good.

    Then again, it didn’t look like it would make it that far without a wheel falling off (possibly the steering wheel) so possibly – she’ll be back.

    I’ve been waiting for the rain to blow in from Wivenhoe dam but it looks like it’s fizzled out.
    I’m off to watch Wolverine on DVD and drown out the sounds of youthful beer sodden happiness from next door.

  128. Mmm… Wolverine.

    Blow Hugh Jackman a kiss from me – aim it at his six-pack, if you’d be so kind.

    Cheer up, Quokka. At least you don’t live next door to the MCG or wherever it is the AFL grand final is being held.

  129. So true.

    Every year the Bloke’s football friends gather at a mate’s place about two blocks away. And every year he rushes through chores in the morning so that he can scamper off at 11.30am, fight his way through the traffic all the way over to the northern suburbs, and pick up all his friends on that side of town who seem incapable of transporting themselves to our suburb on the south.

    This has been going on for years – and while its a big improvement on the days when they used to gather here, with the way that Brisbane is growing and the traffic is getting so awful, even on weekends, I’m starting to find their taxi service requirements more than a bit rich.

    Note: for the first ten years that we lived here, they celebrated football matches here. After ten years I was sick of cleaning up after them and I told them it was someone else’s turn. And in the ten years since then not one of them has volunteered to have it at their own house.

    I’ve told The Bloke that next year, come AFL grand final day, I’ll be needing the car.
    I may need to go to Eumundi.
    I may need to go to the corner store to get chocolate.
    I may need to go to the vet for a last minute run on Antipsychotics for the cat. And possibly some for me. Whatever.

    The point being that I think it’s time these lazy sponges learned to find their own way to wherever the FKN football party is being held. Without my bloke running around after them playing Mum’s Taxi.

    So next year they can ride on the train with the rest of the riff-raff, and the Bloke can head off at 1.30 to watch the FKN thing instead of the 2 hours earlier that he needs to depart to play Football Yobbo Sponge Bus.

  130. Hmmm…PMS, anyone?

  131. Hehehe.

    I assume beer is an integral part of the football experience. How the hell do they get home following the inebriation fest? However it is, they should just reverse the procedure in order to get there and spare The Bloke.

    I’m off to a kid’s birthday party. I will not eat any fairy bread, I will not eat any fairy bread, I will not eat any fairy bread…

  132. I believe their wives come to claim them.
    I have no idea why, unless it’s something to do with needing them to help pay the mortgage. Some of them do leave it as late as possible before reclaiming their menfolk. With good reason, having witnessed their behaviour.
    And which is why it no longer happens here.

    hehehehe.. The Bloke returned, much flustered, to stable the car and claim the sausages – which I’d told him would not be happy rolling around in the back of the hatch for two hours, before they get to sit on a fly-blown deck for a few more hours, before they get cooked…and I told him he had 12 months to tell his mates that next year the Sponge Revelers Taxi will be permanently out of action.

    He said ‘I’ve already told them.’
    Except apparently his version began with ‘FK This!’

    Apparently he got stuck in all the roadworks on the northside for the busway or whatever hole Can Doo is digging over there, and then they got caught in a massive downpour.

    I saw that on the radar, it was an isolated yellow blob that targeted only the suburbs that he was traveling to. (insert evil grin here) It began 3 minutes after he left and it stopped 3 minutes after the Sponge Revelers reached their Final Destination.

    I love it when the weather fairies pick up on my PMS and decide that someone, somewhere, needs pissing on.

  133. Oh, and before wordpress crashes again – I want fairy bread too.

  134. There WAS no fairy bread. Or chocolate crackles. However, all was forgiven when the birthday cake appeared – caramel mudcake from the cheesecake shop.

    Mmm… caramel mudcake.

    Children are now so hyped on lollies and fizzy drink they probably won’t sleep until sometime next week.

    Meh, let them stay up. As long as they’re quiet while I’m snoozing.

  135. Yum.
    Was it the white gold mudcake? I love that one.
    There’s a cheesecake shop next to Blockbuster and occasionally I find single slices of the caramel mudcake and I’ll sneak one home.

    Which reminds me – Catty, when you tune in – I need some advice about how to adjust my favorite Women’s Weekly chocolate cake recipe so that I can make it in a different size and shape tin. I’ve always made it in a lamington type slab rectangle but this does not fit into my square tupperware cake holder.

    I’ve got a deep square cake tin that will fit, but having measured the contents I think the cake batter will fill the deep square to about 3/4 full.

    I thought that the rule of thumb for cakes was that the batter should come halfway up the sides of the tin to allow for even rising and temperature.

    However as I’m mostly self taught and the institution that trained Madame and I for life didn’t teach Home Ec, I’m sadly lacking in a few vital life skills – such as how to adjust a chocolate cake recipe to a different sized and shape tin.

    I’m thinking of attempting it, filling the square tin to the half way mark, and using the remaining quarter of the batter to make experimental (i.e. zombie) muffins.

    But not today.
    Its on my Procrastinating Schedule, though.

    Madame, shouldn’t those kids be playing on the Wii to work off the sugar while you sleep? Or was that Catty’s strategy, or JBs?

  136. Catty’s got a Wii. The only entertainment we’ve got is chasing the livestock and picking fleas off one another. No, seriously, Elf Boy’s got fleas – not nits, honest to God fleas! I TOLD him not to lie on the dog’s bed.

    Quokka, if you can make a cake that will double in size as it rises, you should make a bid for Nigella Lawson’s job. However, the problem with a deeper cake will be getting it to cook in the middle before the edges burn. I think your plan of using the excess for cupcakes is a winner.

    Didn’t they make you do Home Ec at Stalag GT? I vividly remember the appaling blouse they made me sew. *Shudder*

  137. There was no Home Ec in my day.

    And yes, I was worried about the cake rising if I don’t allow it enough room to move. I’ll wait for Catty to chime in, clearly she’s an intrepid experimenter from way back. Brave soul.

    The Women’s Weekly cake book is utterly foolproof, MM, but my other secret is that my maternal grandmother taught me to bake, and she had a wonderfully light hand. Apparently her grandparents ran one of the earliest bakeries in the main street of Brisbane soon after colonization. I’ve still got all her recipes.

    My mother missed out on the cooking gene, so it must skip a generation or else I’ve got it from someone else on Dad’s side, too. My mother couldn’t cook a fish finger without me wanting to puke and die. Which, being that I’m allergic to seafood really isn’t all that surprising.

    I want an evil grin icon.
    Where is mayhem when you need her to introduce us to this sort of advanced technology?

    Oh that’s right, she is one of the Blessed who can get their twitter accounts to behave like it isn’t in need of a good strong dose of lithium and a kick in the twants.

  138. Mmmmm…. lithium….

    Cake recipes are too hard to adjust, because working out how much is two thirds of an egg is way beyond the call of baking duty.

    I have two ways of getting around it. One you’ve already hit upon – half fill the tin and use the rest to make muffin-sized cupcakes. The other way is to buy a bigger square tin. Unfortunately, they only sell those things at the hyper-expensive kitchenware shops. You know the ones. They charge $12.95 for a packet of muffin papers. I do have a large square springform tin I can send you if you want – let me know if you do and I’ll send you my contact details by email. I only ever used it a handful of times, so I was planning on tossing it, to reclaim some kitchen space.

    I’ve had an interesting day. The icing zombie hands/eyeballs/tombstones have been given a suitable burial. (the phrase ‘epic fail’ comes to mind). Today I coloured more icing with pastel colours, and flavoured them to match – bananana for yellow, blueberry for blue, etc. Then we made flowers and stuff. Much nicer. (I’m thinking of posting a couple of photos over at the corner on Monday.) The kidlets made chocolate cupcakes to decorate with their creations. Yum.

    The rest of my day has me thinking some lithium – or vodka – might be in order. The teen’s still refusing to come home, and has run out of friends to sponge off. I managed to sweet-talk my little sister into offering the teen a holiday with her in QLD, but the teen refused. So the mediation people have shipped her off to respite care.

    Oh, joy. More stress. As if the PMS wasn’t bad enough.

    This calls for Golden Gaytimes. I think an ice cream run to IGA is in order.

  139. Mmm… Golden Gaytime.

    Poor Catty. Still, there’ll probably be nothing like a little spell in foster care to show the teen which side her bread is buttered.

    I can’t do an evil grin, Quokka, but I can do digital sushi: @@@. Lunch is ready!

    I’m off to the farm. Happy Sunday!

  140. Sorry Quokka, I can’t do am evil grin either.

  141. How about >:/ ? A bit more bemused than amused, but it’s the best I can come up with. 🙂

  142. Oh Catty. Not fun.
    Big hugs.

    Perhaps the zombie cupcake decorations are something that takes practice – possibly more than I’m willing to commit to, which is why I’m glad I purchased the zombie finger puppets.

    Well, I’ve had a rather unexpected twist this weekend – our oldest Moggie, who we’d had since he wandered in looking scared and hungry 14 years ago – collapsed yesterday & lost all movement in his hindquarters. I found him at dinnertime, when the bloke staggered in, reeking of JD, to feed our little treasures – so I had rather a long night out at Animal Emergency at UQ. They kept him in for observation and to await my ‘give him the needle’ decision, which is always harder than I think it will be, and he had another seizure just after midnight and ambled on off to kitty heaven.

    So today I’m somewhat closer to having the regulation amount of felines according to City Hall’s guidelines. And as he was my only outside cat, I’ve lost my Little Helper. Very odd today not to have him offering advice on how to hang the clothes straight and to remind me to check the pool chemicals.

    As cats go, this one was quite the boofy boy, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the result of yesterday’s game was what set off his embolism. Normally he slinks off next door on Grand Final day and steals or cadges sausages when the ferals are too pissed to know what’s going on, so it looks like his years of contraband pork fat theft finally caught up with him.

    Oh well.
    I’m off to fetch the Bloke from work (yes, those taskmasters made him work today) and then I think we’ll be tuning out for a while.

    Sorry to rain on your farm day, MM.
    I hope you all had a lovely time.
    Did they have any miniature goats or ponies?

  143. Oh, yes, that’s right MM. How was the farm? Did you get me a goat for that horseradish recipe? And a pony for Quokka?

    I’m sorry about boofycat, Quokka. It always hurts to lose a member of the family – even the pets. Sometimes I think even more so, the pets. (You’d know about that, with your family!). So, big hugs right back at you. And remember Madam Morgana’s advice – Tim Tams+Vodka+bubble bath=all better.
    It works, too. Well, for a while, anyway.

  144. Thanks. Tonight is meat night. He loved meat night. We’d call him in from the back yard and shut him into his pen below the porch and once he’d gobbled up his chunks of casserole steak he’d sing The Meat Song.
    A strange and discordant tune about his love of and gratitude for chunks of dead meat. We’d look at each other and say ‘What on earth do the neighbours make of this?’

    Strange beasts, cats, how they all have their own little quirks and foibles and idiosyncracies that make up their personalities.

    So we’re missing the meat song, tonight.

    But the gaytimes are helping.

    MM…step in anything unpleasant?
    If not then you’ve experienced a Faux Farm.

  145. Cats all apparently have OCD. I think that’s why you and I love them, Quokka. They’re our kind of people.

    I like that he had a meat song. Only happy cats sing – a testament to the care you gave him, assuredly.

    No word from Madam? A conspiracy! Perhaps she’s been kidnapped and wrapped in sheepskin, then put on display for the farm visitors! Perhaps ALL the ‘animals’ are really kidnapped visitors in costumes! That must be it! Somebody has to alert the media. I know, I’ll send NT an email – they’ll know just what to do with this vital information. Yep, that’s right. Feed it to the Spam Faeries.

  146. Relax, I’m back – having stepped in assorted dung from various species. There were several new miniature foals – Quokka, I think you’d like a little white boy with brown spots who’s full of attitude. And anyone wanting a ragdoll kitten let me know. A litter was born while we were there.

    Vale, Boofy Cat and deepest sympathy. Although it’s great for him that things were quite quick – he sounds like an active lad who wouldn’t have appreciated being sick.

    So, Quokka, I bet the Bloke is all excited about the opportunity to enjoy a repeat grand final extravaganza next weekend… or will you be needing the car for, umm, any damn thing?

  147. Where would I go to buy bagpipes? More importantly, where would I go to learn how to play them?

  148. Thanks. And I’m glad we don’t have to drain the crocodile infested moat at Castle NT Spamalot to find you, Madame.
    I take it you’ve probably spent today enjoying the great outdoors, being that it finally stopped raining?

    Funny about Boof, I did have a feeling at the beginning of this winter that he wouldn’t last beyond next winter, which the vet Pooh-poohed after running a series of pathology tests. Proving once again that witchcraft trumps Sullivan and Nicolaides when it comes to predicting the future.

    I was a little worried that he wasn’t responding to his arthritis medications and also suspected that he was starting to go blind, so a blessing that he went in his own time and way and that it was quick. He was quite chirpy when I got him to UQ vet clinic and apart from the fact that he’d lost feeling from the middle to the end of him, he was ever so cheerful about all the attention he was getting from the staff. Such a sweet boy. Sounds like the staff got rather fond of him in the three hours he was there. They said that he was a lovely boy and he was a credit to me, being such a trusting and affectionate soul (dumb as a box of hammers, that cat, but such a sweet boy) – so that was a good feeling.

    Ooh, MM,how exciting. Aren’t your boys putting pressure on you? Ragdolls are gorgeous but my Turks would eat an RD alive. When the next of my monsters ticks off I think I’ll have to get something that’s big enough to sit on the Turks and squash them when they get snarky. We’ve got friends who’ve got Maine Coones so at some point in this life I wouldn’t mind having one of those. Can’t imagine not having Turks, though, they seem to be a perfect match for my particular personality.

    Then again, I rarely choose a cat, a cat with a sad story usually chooses me, so we’ll see about that.

    Eh, the football.
    I think the fun got sucked out of the Footy for the Bloke when he got home and found the cat had collapsed. He doesn’t seem excited at all about a rematch and in any case he will be at the airport trying to identify his nephew and niece from the throng of rambling children that’ll be changing hands this weekend via the evils of Jetstar.

    I’ll be at home preparing a nourishing meal to antidote whatever bit of horror they will have consumed between Home (Not quite Chinaman’s Knob but near enough), the airport, and Jetbarf.

  149. Catty, we’ve cross posted.

    About this interest in bagpipes, is this a hobby or a solution to a pesky neighbour?
    If the latter, just to out and buy a CD of Highland Hits that includes the extended remix of Scotland the Brave and the Edinborough Tattoo and pump up the volume.

  150. Oh, no. Not anywhere near nasty enough. I want to be able to personalise the torture. You know, practice in the back yard when they’re in their pool, in the kitchen when they’re watching telly, and in the front yard when they’re trying to sleep. An album wouldn’t work as I’d have to keep moving the stereo.

    To be honest, I really like a lone bagpipe. In our last house, our neighbour played really well and practiced often. I loved it. I have heard albums, but they all seem to have dozens of bagpipes in chorus, and that just reminds me of bees. Like those IcedVoVozuela horns at the soccer world cup.

    Are you sure the niece and nephew are going to show up, Quokka? I thought Jetstar had just installed a check-in system designed by the same company who made NT’s blog software? I.e, only works every second day, and even then requires at least seven smoko breaks.

    Hmmmm, I wonder if the company is staffed by unionists, or ex-CPS staff?

    Madam, don’t give in to your boys if they want one of the kittens. They’re boys. Guaranteed within a week, they’ll want to trade it in for a frog. Circumvent the whole argument by buying them the frog now. But I’d advise you to keep it out of the kitchen while you’re making cupcakes. Or you may end up finding out what baked frog looks like. Hint: it’s not pretty.

    Anyway, the best cats are the ones who choose you. The way Boofycat chose Quokka. Incidentally, you’re right, Quokka. There is probably another cat making it’s way to you this very minute. Unlike the Bloke’s relatives, who are probably still sitting in the Jetstar departure lounge. You might want to freeze that healthy dinner – they’re going to have to be weaned off the airport McDonalds first.

  151. Meh.
    I may yet be feeding them McDonalds. I forgot I had a dentist appointment yesterday and I’m still writing up the horrible assignment.

    Thankfully I live with an inspirational soul whose philosophy about study is ‘If you get more than a pass you’re working too hard.’

    A pleasant change from the philosophy I was raised with, which didn’t inspire excellence so much as anxiety.

    Its muggy today so my remaining monsters are refusing to wake up. They’re scattered on various beds around the house, soaking up the humidity and refusing to move, even for food.

    BTW, for those that haven’t heard yet, Yobbo has had a health scare. You might want to check into his latest blog, not sure of the exact details because it was late, I was skimming and my brain does not work well after 9pm, but it sounds like they suspect/have already diagnosed testicular cancer.

  152. They do want a kitten, but I’m cunning. I told Elf Boy if he wanted a cat he had to tidy his room up and keep it clean for a month. At the moment you have to wade through a sea of lego and goodness knows what else – it’s been months since I’ve seen the floor. So I think I’m pretty safe.

    Maine Coons, you say, Quokka? Are they the cats that refuse to drink still water so you have to leave a tap running for them, or is that some other breed?

    Poor Yobbo. Hope it all goes well.

    Catty, Lyons Bagpipes & Highland Supplies should be able to sort you out. They’ve got a website:, or drop in and see them at:
    3 Felgate Parade, Vermont South – (03) 9802 6050.

    This comment was brought to you courtesy of Lyons Bagpipes & Highland Supplies.

  153. MM, you’re soft – I would’ve said three months, and given a fail if Odour was still a problem once Mess had been resolved.

    Maine Coones are the great big cats, they’re double size of normal cats, and often have tabby markings. They’re very cruisey.

    The problem for our dear departed Tabby was that he was half the size of our Turks so we had to keep him separate, being that Turks are a bloodthirsty clan and inclined to random acts of violence. As The Bloke says, Wrestling is the National Sport of Turkey so you have to accept it when their native cats are partial to wrestling, too.

    Turkish Vans are the ones that are obsessed with water and yes, I’ve got a cat fountain for my Turkish Vandals.

    I had a japanese water bubbler but one of kept ripping the tubing out of it, and I got sick of having to put it back together, and then there was the issue of them Hunting Rocks at 2am. They’d ping the pebbles all over the floor and then they’d chase them, nocturnal kitty polo, pretty much. And then I’d step on the pebbles when I’d get up to restore order/visit the loo. Ouchies.

    Next time we do a japanese water feature with bubbling rocks we will use boulder sized ones that the cats can’t relocate and use as a sports activity.

    Our Turks are all obsessed with water and aren’t fussy as to the source of it. Before we relocated the mouldy bathroom, it was in a confined space with the shower recess about 5 inches parallel to the toilet.

    Our original turk liked to hide behind the shower curtain and reach out with the sharp end of a claw to bat the stream of urine when an unsuspecting male was at the toilet, relieving himself. The toilet at that point overlooked the back yard so on more than one occasion when the Bloke and his Footy friends were BBQing up the back, there’d be a shriek of terror from the bathroom and a burly block would emerge from the bathroom, pale and shaken and looking far from relieved after surviving a close encounter with the resident Turk.

    When we moved back in after the renos last winter, our first night back we woke up and heard clunking in the bathroom. It was our Turks. They’d figured out how to turn on the mixer in the bathtub and they were all sitting in the tub, pushing my Body Shop bottles around, enjoying the wave of warm (but no longer hot) water that was coming out of the spout.

    No hot shower for either of us that morning and we’ve learned to keep the Turks out unless they’re supervised.

    One of my Turks likes to be involved in Dog Bathing activities and he acts as Sheep Dog by rounding up the hound when its time to put him in the tub. Then he sits on the hob and yowls threateningly if the dog looks like he’s going to jump out of the tub before we’re done with suds and rinsing.

    They say that Turks are the cat that is most like a dog. So two of mine fetch – rather more violently than this one that I found on youtube, but it’ll give you an idea. They’re very engaging beasts, but they aren’t fond of children, unless an appetite for their blood counts for something.

  154. Hehehe… Ninja toilet cat. I would have paid good money to see that – well, maybe not actually witness the attack, just the after-effects.

    We had a cat once – just a normal old moggy – that escaped from a cattery while we were on holidays. He worked out how to unbolt his cage by sticking his paw through the wire and took off. Good old jail-break Fritz the cat.

  155. My dear old dad despised kitties. The day our cat came home was one of grave recriminations. He chose the cat’s name: Mousey Tongue (named after the Chinese leader – dad spoke Mandarin). The cat chose him as the favoured one.

    No matter where dad went, or what he did, Mousey Tongue was there too. He loved to weave in and out of dad’s shins, rubbing against his bowyangs. (This was especially amusing if dad was mowing the lawn.) If dad sat down, Mousey jumped on his lap. If dad went through a doorway, he had to hold the door open for five minutes while Mousey decided whether or not to walk through, too. At dinner time, Mousey sat under dad’s chair.

    Dad hated him.

    Heh heh heh heh heh.

  156. Quokka, sounds like our kitten, no stream of urine is safe! Actually a funny event occured early this year he is extremely curious and likes jumping and taking a peak, possums at the window and such. So anyway after my old man took a leak this idiot cat took a flying leap in to the used toilet bowl. Apparently he came rocketing out straight up trailing a fountain of pissy water. The clean up was extensive and wasn’t helped by the helpless laughter. As for water, won’t touch it from a bowl has to come from a cup like his humans. He’ll even steal ours, the other day I picked up my cup only to have him reach out grab the rim of the cup and try and pull it towards himself. He has even hopped in to the shower, well if it’s good enough for you humans what’s the problem? Explaining to cats that drying off is part of the process before soaking carpets can get interesting.
    Appologies for not commenting more offten Madam, I’m more of a lurker than commenter, not in a creepy way I mean.

  157. No worries, Scott. Lurkers are welcome… the creepier, the better!

    So there’s more than one ninja toilet cat? Interesting – maybe they’re trying to subjugate the human race, one member at a time.

  158. I have some seriously cat obsessed friends and two of them travel the world judging at Cat Shows. And of course they’re always hosting visiting Cat Judges from OS.

    They had friends of friends who couldn’t understand why they kept getting letters from the council about their excessive water use. Particularly as they were out all day at work and that was when the water was being wasted. They set up hidden cameras at various Water Points around the house to prove to council that no taps were being turned on and council’s records were FKD.

    The camera in the bathroom captured some entertaining footage. Their fluffy black cat, clearly bored with nobody at home to amuse him, would saunter into the toilet once they’d left each day, sit on the toilet, press the button, and watch the water flush and drain away. Transfixed, the cat would wait for the sounds of the systern refilling to stop, and repeat the process. For hours and hours and hours.

    I think its still on youtube.
    Needless to say, City Hall won that fight.
    And they learned to keep their bathroom doors shut.

    Hello Scott, lurk away.
    There are a few other lurkers so don’t feel like you’re the only one. Mayhem seems to chime in very promptly when we yell out to her. And I think Daze comes here from time to time. I told Janet that we hang out at Morgana’s and Catty’s blogs and she reported that she liked what she sees.

    You do not lurk alone.

    Now…lets see..ah yes, back to the horrible tonsillitis assignment I go.

  159. Quokka, it’s not just Council’s records that are FKD. It’s the whole Council. Especially since they stopped serving ham sandwiches at functions.

    Hey there Scott! I was wondering where you got to. Alien abduction, Centrelink queue, prison term, crazed kidnapper’s basement….

  160. Hmmm Quokka,

    Are you suggesting that I lurk? Okay, so maybe I do a bit at the moment. It’s as much to do with interwebz issues than anything else right now, though of course my excuse will change tomorrow after the next round of chemo.

  161. Crap, Mayhem, more chemo? They’re really pushing that stuff into you. Is it just me or does it seem like more chemo than you bargained for when all this started?

    Hmm…that’s right, I’m meant to be doing an assignment.
    Back to medline I go.

    You guys are so much more interesting than acute or chronic tonsillitis.

  162. It’s just you Quokka…. tomorrow is round 5 of 6.

    To make matters more interesting though, first I get to front up and have a picc line inserted. Don’t mind telling you all I’m more than a little nervous, given the pain resulting from numerous (failed) attempts to insert canulas during my recent sojourn in the hospital, I’m terrified it’s going to hurt like blazes. : (

  163. I thought there were four. Sorry, my mistake.
    Good luck with it all tomorrow. xox

  164. More toilet sabotaging cats? I thought hanging around toilets was more for dogs… and George Michael.

    Poor Mayhem. Tell them that you’re terrified and get them to fill you full of soothing drugs before they get going. Then, with any luck, you’ll be floating on a rainbow cloud of pharmaceuticals and will hardly notice a thing. Good luck, best wishes and virtual sushi: @@@.

  165. Ditto.
    Except now I’m thinking I’ll need sushi for lunch…and possibly some udon noodle curry soup…

    People, how is it that children manage to destroy the game of moustrap and it’s always the same FKN pieces that got destroyed when I was 4? Have we not progressed at all since 1969?

  166. Quokka, that’s like asking why the scotty dog and the racing car ALWAYS disappear out of a Monopoly set.

    Such as it was, so shall it always be.

  167. My favourite was the boot.

    What’s gotten destroyed in Mousetrap, Quokka? We always used to lose the ball bearings, but I can’t remember breaking anything.

  168. Not sure.
    Was rummaging through the closet in the kids/spare/world of cats room trying to make room for teenagers, and found the mousetrap, with a note ‘FIX ME’ in my handwriting.

    The only other retrievable information in my files is that when I asked what was wrong they said ‘Same thing as last time.’

    I think its something to do with the trap not landing on the mouse. I will put CSI teenagers onto it next week.

    Just heard BOM on the radio and there will be coastal showers and these cool south easterlies for another week.

    OK. Study break over.
    The medicinal effects of the chokito are kicking in.

  169. Eh, did anyone here ever watch ‘The Mists of Avalon’ – I read and loved the book years ago and found bits of it on youtube. I’m thinking if its still around it might fit well in my Aunt Irma takes Mercyndol and goes gothic DVD collection.

  170. Mmm… Chokito.

    ‘Mists of Avalon’ – is that anything to do with Anne of Green Gables? Maybe not, if you’re going gothic…

  171. I loved Mists of Avalon. It is on the top shelf of my small personal bookcase of favourite books. It’s pages are as tatty as all-getout, as the teen borrowed it last year (I found it three months later in the festering pit under her bed).

    To be completely accurate, I have two bookcases all to myself – one is devoted entirely to Terry Pratchett.

    Quokka, if you want weird, gothy movies, I highly recommend Tim Burton’s ‘Sweeney Todd’.

  172. MM, I’m shocked, you haven’t read a book about your namesake? Link here:

    Catty, I’ve had a few copies of Mists and they keep disappearing. My reward for finishing the horrible Tonsillitis assignment is to replace my copy (again) and read it. Probably while the kids are here and they are busy killing zombies.

    Must read Terry Pratchett, remind me in the summer holidays.

    I love Tim Burton’s work but suspect that Sweeney Todd could be too bloody for me. Couldn’t bring myself to watch Alice but that’s because I was one of those children that was utterly terrified by that story.

    I do have Beetlejuice and the Batman movies that he made in my collection. And I remember going to see the Sleepy Hollow movie when it came out on Boxing Day. Wondrously ghoulish on the big screen. Am I imagining the scene where he lopped the head off some hapless suspect and it came flying towards the audience at pace? Seems like a very Tim Burton kind of a thing to do.

    Counting down till children arrive at 4.30pm tomorrow. They’ll be here from Saturday till Sunday. I’ve washed all the covers in the lounge room so that if the Irish are noisy the kids can grab their dooners and bail to that side of the house to get away from them. Their room is the one nearest the green menace…Dog help them.
    Anyway, with two teenagers in the house, I think you can take it as a given that opportunities for me to Faff will be somewhat limited. Probably to the hours of 5 -7am.

    Madame, if it looks like we’re heading up north towards that cable ski park, I’ll give you fair warning the night before.

    OK. On with the day.
    Faff On.

  173. Mmmm…. faff….

  174. How regrettable of me. I’ve spanked myself soundly and ordered Mists of Avalon from the local library so I can remedy my deficiency.

    I lurve Beetlejuice but I suspect Sweeney Todd is a little gory… still, gotta love anything with J. Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

    Quokka, our thoughts and prayers are with you. The only good thing I can think of to say about the teens visiting is that they’ll probably make the Irish – and scrub turkeys – look good. Stay strong, brave hostess.

  175. Quokka, my own well of terror sprang from that evil Mary Poppins movie. I’m not sure if Dick Van Dyke was the catalyst for that terror, but it’s likely, as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is also on the ‘never watch’ list.

    Did you guys see the Shakespeare Retold series on ABC1 last year? I loved those movies!

  176. What I want to know is when are the ABC going to replay “Lost in Austen”?

    Maybe on a Saturday night, instead of “The Bill”. I hate the bloody Bill.

  177. The only Cops and Robbers show I have ever been able to watch is Inspector Rex.

    Cute Dog steals ham rolls and Cute Man says corny lines.
    Together they hunt down stereotypical psychopath.
    At the end, everyone gets a ham roll.

    For bonus points you can watch the entire show with the ‘mute’ button switched on and it’s no less enjoyable.

    Whereas with ‘The Bill’ and the ghastly Australian cops and robbers show that’s always on at my local doctor’s surgery when I’m there, the only way it’s bearable to watch it is if the mute button is ON and there’s a magazine between me and the wide screen TV.

  178. Inspector Rex is hilarious. The acting is so wooden you’d swear they were all marionettes. Did you know they needed something like six Inspector Rexes so they could do all those stunts? Or am I thinking of Lassie…

    Midsomer Murders is alright, if you can (a) stay awake during it – this is very tricky and (b) swallow the premise that there’s a little piece of rural England where every third person gets knocked off by some fiendishly cunning scoundrel.

  179. I love Midsomer Murders. Even the Queen loves Midsomer Murders. And yes, every third person DOES get knocked off – that’s why there are still little villages all over England. No overpopulating, you see.

    And I’ve heard the Bill is winding up. There are ads for the Final Episode Ever this weekend. Wait! Wait! Don’t rejoice yet. This is free-to-air television. I.e, reruns.

    Lost in Austen is available on DVD at ABC shops. It is also on my Christmas wish list.

  180. I’ve heard that before about The Bill.
    Its worse than fricken zombies the way that thing keeps coming back for another season.

    There was an article in the Australian magazine one recent Sunday about how you never want to cross a television writer because they will find a truly awful way to kill off your character.

    We have friends up Caloundra way who have a soap actress sister. She has died in pretty much every Australian soap opera in the last twenty years, and in some, she’s returned to the cast and died again.

    Given the variety of unpleasant fates she’s met on Australian TV I’m starting to wonder what she’s done to offend the writers in her spare time.

    Then again, seeing as there’s about six people in the country that seem to write all of these things, perhaps once you’ve offended two people you’re screwed.

    I didn’t believe that statistic until The Bloke’s cousin told me to google the writers of all the Australian soaps I could think of. Maybe I can’t think of many soaps because I don’t watch them and complain bitterly when I’m exposed to one, thus rendering enjoyment of the program by others quite impossible …but that really was disturbing.

    I went to hear a couple of TV soap writers speak at the writers festival a few years ago and yep, according to their credentials they’d written on a good selection of the Australian soaps for the last 20 years.

    How do you get one of these gigs?
    I can write appalling characters who create steady drama in the lives of others and act out in narcissistic and entitled ways, only to hug and smile at the end with vacuous expressions of utter insincerity.

    I can do this!
    But obviously the only way you’re gonna get one of these gigs is to kill off a TV writer.

    I’ll probably need to wait for some oft-murdered actor to go postal with a boom grip before a vacancy pops up in my dream job, though.

  181. All I need for a steady stream of melodrama is to write down everything the teen ever told me about about high school. That should get me through the first 8 seasons.

    It’s easy to kill off a t.v writer. Send them to Midsomer.

  182. Hehehe – good one, Catty.

    I wouldn’t mind writing soaps either, Quokka, as long as I could telecommute. Why don’t we hatch a fiendish murder plot – based chiefly on an old episode of Midsomer Murders, to save having to think – and knock a few off?

    Of course, there may be a waiting list.

  183. The Bloke used to watch that spoof show about the awful actors with the cameos by real actors in it…I think it was called ‘Extras’.

    Ever since then I’ve wanted to write a variation of that which is about writers, all gathered uncomfortably under the one roof and forced to be nice to each other. Having seen some horrible mismatches of panelists at the writers festival here over the years, I can only imagine what would happen if they were forced to co-habit together in a confined space for a week.

    That Writers Train thing that Nick Earls seems to do every other year seems like the perfect setting. There was something on the 7.30 report the other day about how in country Victoria they’ve spent a King’s Ransom replacing all the old wooden railway sleepers with concrete supports, which has FKD the suspension in the tracks so that there’s entire sections of track where the train rattles and shakes so much that they’ve had to reduce the speed limits or risk a derailment of Granville type disaster scale.

    You can see where I’m going with this, I hope…

  184. I think so. If we can get all the soap actors on a train in country Victoria, then get the driver to accelerate to a dangerous speed – perhaps by getting him drunk? Catty’s got some stock-piled vodka she can no longer drink – there might be a spectacular and gory derailment.

    Following which we’ll be in with a chance of a soap-writing gig.

    Now, how to lure writers onto the train? I’ve got it – free booze should do the trick.

  185. Red bull, espresso and cupcakes should do it.
    Both to lure the writers and induce a bit of ADHD in the driver.

    Seems a shame to sacrifice a train driver, though, we might have to get him to do a James Bond style ditching effort that involves running along the top of the train and jumping carriages. Tom Cruise does this kind of thing and for bonus points this one might go horribly wrong.

    I see at least ten minutes of heart stopping action (well, mostly Tom’s) in that scene at least.

  186. If we could get Tom Cruise to actually do it, then it wouldn;t really be a sacrifice, would it? More like several birds with the one stone.

  187. True.
    I’m seeing a brief cameo in this for Russell Crowe, too.
    Preferably one where his only lines are ‘Oh, SHIT!’

  188. Ooh, yes. And Paris Hilton can play “Screaming Girl who gets decapitated”.

    Think how many wrongs we can right with one simple train derailment! I’ve said it before, Quokka – you’re a genius.

  189. This picture cracks me up…hahahaa

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