Just Smurfing Wrong

A smurf in a Scottish nightclub has brutally attacked a Rastafarian.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/3212858/Smurf-KOs-Rasta-at-party-in-Greenock.html

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I and I and I are very disturbed. I thought Smurfs were all about merry co-operation and peace among the toadstools. If anyone in Smurfland was going to start beating up innocent nightclubbers, it should have been that nasty wizard. Or his cat.

The whole natural order of the cartoon world has been subverted. What’s next – Strawberry Shortcake slips some hash into her brownies? My Little Pony stars in German porn? Ken pimps out Barbie? Well, that last one was on the cards –  Ken does love his bling.

Next you’re going to tell me that the Banana Splits were sharing spliffs, or that Shaggy and Scooby ate so voraciously because they had a permanent case of the munchies. And how about Zebedee, from the Magic Roundabout – what was it that put the spring in his step, hmm?

I’m shattered. I think I’ll go and watch some old school Batman. Nothing dodgy going on there, hey Adam West?

 

 

 

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521 Responses

  1. I’ve never trusted the Smurfs since they did that porno. Talk about a blue movie!

  2. I want a smurf suit.

    I will wear it to the pool, and the next time some ill mannered swarming little snot goblin SHOVES me out of their way, while their parent looks on smiling stupidly, I will let rip with a tirade on manners and then run away, very, very fast.

  3. Rastafarian, hey? And here I was thinking the natural enemy of the smurf is the Emo.

    Although why smurfs would hate furry red three-year-old monsters is beyond me.

  4. From what Quokka wrote, I’d say the natural enemy of the Smurf seems to be the ill mannered swarming little snot goblin. I think the Rasta must have just gotten in the way.

  5. Here’s a true story about being shoved out of the way.

    On Friday, I went to Zamel’s Jewellers. They were having their Crazy Sale. You had to queue outside, as they only let in one shopper at a time. To sweeten the deal, they had raffles on the hour, and only gave tickets to the people standing in the queue. The catch was, you had to be there when it was drawn, to claim the prize.

    As I stood waiting, the woman guarding the door was bleating about the raffle. A little old Chinese woman stopped to listen to the spiel, then hurried to stand behind me in the queue. She stood so close she was touching me. Every time I inched forward (away from her) she moved with me. At one stage she stepped up beside me, then inched ahead of me.

    I couldn’t inch forward any further, as there was a pram in front of me. The woman with the tickets was moving along the side of the queue, and when she reached me, she held out my ticket. The Chinese woman reached past me and took the ticket from her hand.

    I was really annoyed, but as I’m not big on public conflict with strangers, I shrugged it off. So did the ticket lady. Meh, it was just a ticket – she took another one out of her book for me. Then, as soon as she left, so did the Chinese woman.

    I stayed in the queue. Finally I got into the shop and found they had jacked up all the prices by at least 40% before applying the “massive discounts”. But I did get a couple of bargains. When I finally left the shop, it was ten minutes to raffle-drawing time, so I hung around for the draw.

    Sure enough, five minutes later, the little old Chinese woman came back. She hadn’t been in the shop, nor did she have any intention of going into the shop. So you can imagine how pissed off I was when they drew her (MY) number out of the hat.

    She scurried away with the $200 ring. MY RING!

    I have reached the conclusion that the reward for being pushy and rude is shiny diamonds, and have sharpened my shopping elbows accordingly. If anyone gets in my way, they are going to cop a ribful of elbow. No matter how blue or smurfy they are.

  6. That’s right, Catty. Next time someone shoves you, you go all smurfy on them.

    Remember, the Celts used to daub themselves with woad – blue – on their skin – white – before going into battle. Surely that can’t be a coincidence?

  7. Sadly, my feet are a constant reminder that I am not a Smurf. I am a Womble.

    *sigh*

  8. I don’t think you’d want smurf feet, Catty. Did you SEE those heels Smurfette used to squeeze herself into? Bunion city, believe me.

  9. Weren’t her white shoes castoffs from Minnie Mouse’s wardrobe? I always suspected they were that weird shape because Grandpa Smurf wore them whenever Smurfette wasn’t looking.

  10. This has nothing to do with Smurfs, but is about Catty’s story. In a Sydney train for the first time in a while. Stopped at Central and was about to step off when the waiting hordes charged in pushing me back in! I (with a few other ‘alighters’) had to force my way through the rude bastards. What happened to convention?
    Next time I get into a lift, I will face the back wall in protest. So there!

    • Do you know where your story went wrong, Stafford? The “in Sydney” bit. I’m sure Queensland commuters would never behave in such a discourteous fashion.

  11. They have lifts at the hospital with doors on both sides, Stafford. So if you get in those lifts, you’ll have to face the side. On a positive note, the lift walls are mirrored, so you’ll be forewarned about any spinach caught in your teeth. Or zombie Smurfs trying to creep up behind you. (This happens more often than you may imagine. I think it’s the drugs they trial on unsuspecting patients.)

  12. I HATE mirrors in lifts. I look worse in lift mirrors than I do in changing room mirrors, and that’s saying something.

    However, I always got a laugh out of the lifts at Uni. They had a prominent nameplate near the buttons, reading “Schindlers’s Lifts”. Made you wonder which of us would come out alive.

  13. Me. I would. Why? Because I have sharp elbows.

  14. I seem to have turned your smurf discussion into a diatribe on manners. Good to see that it’s not just me in my cranky pants laboring with exam study.

    MM, did I tell you about my trials and tribulations walking the dog at South Bank? I’ve shifted my dog walking route to avoid it during tourist season as I’m so sick of people trying to walk over us both, and they’re more than willing to kick my dear little dog out of the way.

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve been down at south bag, doggy bag in my hands poised and at the ready, while the dog takes a dump – and some silly munter just ploughs straight for us so that I have to say ‘Oy, watch your step.’

    Last time I was down there I was struggling to open the stupid doggy waste bag, I was beside a rubbish bin and there was plenty of room to manouver around us – and FIVE people tried to walk over us and into the dog shit. Each time I had to say ‘Watch your step’.
    When I got to person number five and I was still fighting with the doggy bag, I was by this time rather testy so it came out rather sharply.

    The woman jumped at my tone, looked, skittered to one side and said apologetically ‘Oh, sorry.’
    ‘Not as sorry as you would’ve been,’ I replied – to the merriment of the passing tourists.

    So, Catty, Stafford – my theory is that if people are willing to walk into a fresh steaming pile of dog shit, hot off the press, it’s not just rudeness, it’s Darwin Award Commendation stupidity.

    The Bloke thinks I should just let them step in it and keep going. They won’t figure it out until they get home and wonder why it’s all over the carpet. And the car.

    But somehow, somehow, I just can’t bring myself to let the rude and the stupid among us earn their just rewards.

    So its partly my fault, for not letting them learn from natural consequences.

    I really must work on that.

  15. I’m with the Bloke, Quokka. Let them tread right in it… especially if they’re wearing sandals!

    Unless, of course, you then feel compelled to clean up the smooshed debris.

  16. Mmmmm… Smooshed debris…

  17. Mmmm . . . drug trials. Haven’t had a good offer lately, must check the website. It can be quite . . . interesting being a guinea pig. Apart from getting free, if somewhat experimental, inoculations against all sorts of things. No more Rinderpest for me!

  18. Damn Rinderpest. I can still tell when there’s going to be a tsunami. How do I sign up for drug trials, Greybeard?

  19. No time to fritter following links.
    What’s rinderpest?
    Sounds like genetic engineering experiment gone horribly wrong, presumably mixing bacon and cockroach.

  20. It’s a kind of cattle-plague-smallpoxy thing. Almost completely wiped out, thanks to brave, selfless, heroic volunteers. Which never included me. I’m more the “Yes, I’ll test your new flu vaccine but you must pay me $300 – Bwahahaha” type.

    (Thinks: If Dougal from Rockwiz painted himself blue, would that make him a Woadie?)

  21. Also Leonard Cohen was FANTASTIC. When he sang “Suzanne” I nearly blubbed like a big girlie.

  22. I’d like to be immune to Mondayitis. When they develop a vaccine for that, I’ll be first in the queue.

  23. I’d like to be immune to requests for money.

  24. Well the anti-aging serum was a total failure I can tell you. Um, Catty. I need a bit of cash to finish developing my Vacuum Assisted Razor Disk Faerie Exterminator. I don’t suppose you could . . .

  25. With a bit of tweaking, Greybeard, you’d have a winning acronym. Couldn’t it be a Vacuum Assisted Disk Exterminating Razor? It could run off The Force.

  26. Well, that little acronym has just pushed some form of useful knowledge out of the RAM space in my brain.

    I’ve been trying to think up mnemonics to remember sequences for my prac exam.

    Come Friday, if all I can remember is Darth Vader instead of lovely things like ‘All Saints must bloat’ and ‘On old Olympus’s Towering Tops’ – there’ll be trouble.

    Forgot to ask how the concert went.
    Leonard was the CD that always came out with the port at 2am when more sensible souls had trundled off to bed, and I was left amongst the evening’s wreckage (human and environmental).

    the first version of Suzanne that I heard was by Joan Baez so Leonard’s just never sounded right.
    Hallelujah, though, and other tunes of misery – oh wait, that’s all of them – are bigger faves for me.

    The Bloke saw an add for Englebert Humperdink and wants to know if you’re off to see that too, Sir GB.

    Now.
    Back to my mnemonics.

    • Not in a bazillion years! Fifi and I are off to the Melbourne Museum next year to see 6.5-odd tons of Tutankamen’s trash. That’ll do me for ancient relics.

      Well at least LC didn’t sing “Last year’s man” which I think is THE most depressing thing he ever wrote. And he got a laugh with
      I’m getting old
      My hair is gray
      I ache in the places where I used to play . . .

  27. Englebert Humperdink?

    *Shudder*

    Now there’s a thought that’ll stick in your brain like a bindi.

    Happy mnemonicing, Quokka!

  28. Unfortunately I saw the full page add in the newspaper, and by the looks of it he’s had more cosmetic surgery than Joan Rivers and whacko jacko put together.

    The Bloke drew my attention to it with his shudders and cries of ‘JFC, WTF has this idiot done to himself to look like that?’

    The disturbing thing is that I looked at that photo and thought ‘Is it my imagination or is he trying to look like Nicole Kidman, without the eating disorder?’

    • I can’t believe he’s still alive, all resemblance to Nicole Kidman aside. He must be about 103. That’s not plastic surgery, you’re seeing – it’s embalming!

  29. Is it a full moon or something? The loonies seem to have inherited the earth….

    • I don’t think so, Catty. If it WERE full moon, Aunt Irma would be visiting and I would BE the loonies!

  30. Of course the loonies are out in force.
    It’s exam time.
    The Earth is mine.
    Bwa haha ha ha ha shriek wail gibber.

    Now hand over the cherry liqueur chocolates and get out of my way.

    • Just a little experiment. Try singing this to the tune of the “Carol of the Bells” (Ding dingadong)

      one for a knight, off to a fight
      go slay a dragon, in a station wagon
      no time to lose, free traffic news
      trouble ahead, this way instead
      for a leprechaun, triathlon
      sight to behold, go for the gold
      one for a yeti, hikes with a teddy
      photo mark the site, come back tonight
      one for a Scot, lines up a shot
      swing for the pin, tiny mandolin
      give a give a give a give a garmin give a give a give a give a garmin find something fun, for everyone garmin dotcom garmin dotcom

      Apparently these things can push all sorts of other stuff out of your head?

  31. True, Greybeard. Just as curry can push all sorts of accumulated detrius (and most of your stomach lining) through the intestines.

    Tell Fifi I said to crank it up another notch with the spice weasel. Heh heh heh.

    Ooops, nearly forgot. You can have ALL my cherry liqueurs, Quokka. I love chocolate, but I hate cherry liqueur. Bleargh!

  32. Leprechaun triathlon:
    Event 1 – Shamrock picking
    Event 2 – Irish jigging
    Event 3 – Pot-o-gold hauling.

    Don’t read Greybeard’s ditty, Quokka, whatever you do. You’ll be blathering about yetis and mandolins in your prac if you dare to gaze upon it’s insidious text. Look away while you can still save yourself!

  33. Don’t worry MM, I stopped reading when I realized I didn’t know the tune he wants us to sing it to.
    If Nbob was here (and why isn’t he?) he’d probably explain that this is because its a tune from the neolithic era.

    Hum de dum.
    Bloke is in Cairns today, cats are sitting around looking disgusted – they know that a taxi at dawn means lousy restaurant service for at least 12 hours onwards – and the nice/invisible neighbour directly across the road from Bog Hollow is busy moving out. Looks like she’s had enough of their shenanigans.

    Smart move, even though it looks like the Irish girls have finally Farked off back to the family potato farm in County Cor, which means that the noise level next door has gone down significantly..
    Team Landlord appeared on the weekend and sublet their flats to a few falcon loads of Cuzzi Bros. Perhaps they think that it’s natural selection and the Cuzzi Bros will take care of the Irish when they get out of hand?

    On the plus side, The Bloke assures me that Cuzzi Bros cannot live in any dwelling without digging a pit and filling it with coals and pigs.
    An inferno may yet be on the cards.

    Right.
    Time for me to crawl back under my rock.

    MM, did you see JB’s blog today?
    If every gay girl at our old school had stood up to be counted with her lesbian lover it probably wouldn’t have been safe to take the menfolk to the school formal.

  34. From locked toilet emergencies to hangi pits… at least you don’t have to go far to be entertained, Quokka.

    Yeah, our formals would have been all-lesbian, all the time! JB’s right, the stupid does hurt your brain. I saw the headmistress on the news last night, swearing that the reason Savanna couldn’t go to the formal was that she was in Yr 10. Yeah, right. I bet they weren’t carding any of the male guests. The only redeeming feature about the whole silly, sordid mess is that both sets of parents seem to be switched-on and supportive.

  35. I haven’t been following it and my Don’t Care factor is high.

    I have friends with teenage kids and they’ve all said the same thing, the schools get around this by saying to the kids that they aren’t obliged to take someone of the opposite sex to the school dance, they can take a friend of the same sex in their own year provided they are in the same grade. Younger years are not allowed at the school dance – the reason being that it’s a year 12 dance and it’s meant to be for year 12s.

    I don’t have an issue with that policy.
    I do think that if you send your kids to a private single sex school you are signing up for The Program, though.

    One of my relatives fought tooth and claw to get his children into a private school with a strong religious affiliation and then threatened to sue them if they forced his child to attend religion classes. He’d jump up and down about that one and then in the same breath spout on and on about how his child had trouble making friends and was socially isolated.

    When I posed the question ‘if your child is socially isolated why would you want to make them stand out from the crowd by jumping up and down about your rights to atheism in a FKN church run school? Why not send your children to a secular school?’ – there was no intelligent answer to this.

    Having fled the teaching sector, I’m all too familiar with that element of the population that really enjoys grandstanding and doing things to rock the boat, just because they need drama to get through their day and because they’ll do whatever it takes to create it or get themselves some attention.

    I haven’t read anything about JBs lesbians so I’m not making any judgment on that situation. Just saying that most schools are used to the high drama that teenagers like to create as they ‘rebel’ and so they usually have a system in place to neutralize it. And it would strike me as odd that any private school would be behind the 8 ball on that particular policy.

  36. Oh, and the other thing that always makes me suspicious that these things are a grab for attention is when the shit hits the fan before the event.

    The first the principal should know if it is when he or she is standing in the ballroom, looking ghastly in their sequined ball gown, and you and your escort (in my case the rather black african man 12 years my senior) appear in her range of vision, beaming as if butter wouldn’t melt in either of your mouths.

    Nearly thirty years later I still have women walk up to me and start chortling, saying ‘that was FKN brilliant what you did at the school formal, I just wish I’d had a camera to catch the look on that stupid bitch’s (school principal’s) face.

    • I wish they had. Gold!

  37. Bugger -I only wish I’d known a mature black man to ask to my formal! Pure genius, Quokka. I would have LOVED to have seen JH’s face.

    • On the other hand if I had done so . . .

  38. Oh, you should have, Greybeard. You’d look lovely in a cocktail frock. Much better than fairy tights.

  39. If the silly bitch had known he was my hairdresser she might have felt a little better.
    Until the implications of that sank in…

  40. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/11/3063591.htm

    hear about this one MM?

  41. http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/stories/s3062815.htm

    I thought as much. Storm in a C cup.
    Most schools have this policy.

    My nieces had the issue of some friends wanting to take a year 10 or in some cases younger to their school formal and the school made it very clear that events that were for year 12 were for year 12.

    • But really! Teenage Lesbian Schoolgirls?! (I feel a little dirty/guilty just typing that). If ever a story was going to draw out the “it’s filthy, it’s unnatural, they’re mentally ill AND perverted” crowd it was that one. Born to fly as they say and damn the truth. Call me cynical if you wish but the traffic on the BT site must have been huge.

  42. What a hullabaloo! It’s Picnic At Hanging Rock all over again.

    If girls brought other girls as their dates to the formal, the male supervisory staff would be too busy ‘supervising’ the girls to notice if the boys put vodka in the punch. And we can’t have drunken formals, now can we?

    Oh, yeah, and it’s mentally ill AND perverted, blah blah blah…

    Or so I said to the Archbishop in the shower this morning.

  43. “Or so I said to the Archbishop in the shower this morning.”

    So it’s true? Cleanliness IS next to Godliness.

  44. Catty, the headmistress stated quite clearly that its quite acceptable for same sex couples to be at the year 12 formal. The school has a rule that discourages students from taking younger students to the mixers.

    That’s standard practice in the state schools so no difference being that its’ a private school.

    The point of a school mixer is to give children opportunities to develop their social skills and meet their peers. Not the kids in year 10, or 9, or even 8 or 7. Once you start introducing younger kids to an older peer group the issue is that they will be out of their depth and that there will be issues of jealousy and bitchiness.

    Given how much $$$ these kids expect their parents to spend on their formal attire and the level of competitiveness that there is in that, these days, I can’t imagine any parent being pleased at the idea of having to foot the bill for more than one school formal, much less the possibility that if they end up with a child like the Bloke’s niece, that kid would be aiming to get involved to the year 12 formal EVERY year just so that she could get a $2,000 dress every September.

    The idea of keeping kids mixers to their peer groups is one that I support.
    One of my girlfriends at school started seeing a boy who was 5 years older than her, in her church group. Our friendship floundered over it because he was so fracking controlling and she wound up spending more time with his peer group than her own. She wound up marrying him and to the best of my knowledge he’s still running every moment of her life.

    I know other kids who’ve gotten involved with an older teen and they haven’t had the level of maturity or the confidence to stand up to them when they are being led astray. That’s why you try to keep mixers to the same peer group. It reduces trouble.

    I can’t wait for JB’s children to get to this age and start testing him. The inner Alan Jones will come out. Just wait.

    • Oh, believe me, Quokka, I know exactly what you mean. (I was merely being flippant, as I think you’re right about it being an attention-grab). The Teen Dramas here at the Hovel began when she started seeing an older boy at the school. She’s still with him. She still won’t come home. The school won’t do anything about it, nor will his parents.

      I’d do something myself, but it would probably involve slow torture and vast quantities of blood, followed by a long stint in a correctional facility. And who has time for that?

  45. And yes, GB, this is one of the reasons why I don’t bother with the NT these days. JB seems to have to go for something sensational (truth of the matter optional) in order to draw the same amount of comments that he used to get at the BT for having a rational discussion. I guess its his way of dealing with the voracity of the spam trap and the Sith’s voracious need for headline grabbers, but I don’t like seeing teenagers in the media spotlight and every time it happens I question WTF the parent was thinking not to teach their child that there are alternative forms of dealing with your problems than taking them to national TV.

  46. But back to the choking games… this is very disturbing. Not so much that the kids were mucking around cholking each other – boys will be boys, etc. – but the school did its best to cover up the whole thing and DIDN’T EVEN CALL AN AMBULANCE for the kid who’d been unconcious.

    What happened to duty of care? This is how the world is going – cover your arse first and do the right thing somewhere down the line… if you get around to it.

  47. OTOH, I’ve been through the whole high school, formal and schoolies thing three times and worked in a high school for many years. Schools lie, principals lie. They do things for one reason, which everybody on the inside knows, and give a quite different reason publicly. Or sometimes two or three reasons, ending up looking like prats. Thus I think that while the parents were stupid, so was the way the school handled it.

    One of our daughters – oddly the most popular of our three at school – decided that she wanted to go to the formal alone. Having taught at the school for years I knew there was no “policy” against this but the living fossil who ran the dances/formals for over twenty years didn’t want it. No groups, no singles – just opposite sex couples, period. So she didn’t go. Which hurt like hell, but we weren’t about to stick her head up over the parapet at that point in year 12 on a principle.

    The point being that they lied about why, invented stupid reasons and generally covered up for a guy so hidebound and rabidly homophobic that he couldn’t accept a ‘single’ because it might be the thin end of the wedge. Meh. She’s a happily married professional planning “to make babies soon” as she tells me, so, so what? Fussing wouldn’t have helped her.

    We also had discrimination against disabled kids, including a brilliant & funny CP kid who constantly tried to kill me with her electric wheelchair (can’t understand why). She couldn’t pass English (but did very well in Physics & Maths) because she “failed her oral”. Yeah well, not being able to speak can make that harder I guess.

    Incidentally, none of ours went to schoolies. Having seen up close the rape, near rape and just plain stupid sex, the abortions and STDs which resulted, the criminally stupid behaviour the whole thing seems to require, we started when they were in primary school and made it clear that no-one was going. By year 12 they accepted that and understood the reasons. Unlike the school, we didn’t lie or change the rules and they are still happy with that.

    Anyhoo, dumb and misleading as this case may be, I’m happy to see a principal embarrassed by changing her story.

  48. That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a while, Greybeard. I’m going to put it to the Boss that we also start instilling a No Schoolies mentality in the Kidlets. Getting in early may just save us some (more) teen problems.

    I’ve just been down to the Kidlets’ school, where my middle Kidlet received a Student Of The Week award at assembly for her last assignment. It was especially nice because today is her birthday.

    Speaking of her birthday, I’d better go bake her cake before the weather hits the promised 32ºC. She’s picked something out of the Womens Weekly birthday cake book, so it shouldn’t be too hard.

    Famous last words….

    • Congratulations to middle kidlet & happy baking. Fifi & our guest are off to their works and the Boy is soon to follow. Then I can get some work done (cough).

  49. You can’t go wrong with the Women’s Weekly cake book. Any recipe that starts with “Take two packets of cake mix…” is foolproof, surely? Except for the pirate ship cake. Nobody likes the taste of black icing.

    Anyway, Catty, don’t forget you’re the super baker who made a Torchic cake not long ago, to wide acclaim. You can do it! and other motivational phrases…

  50. So. Black icing. Do you use squid ink for colouring?

    Incidentally my toy made it to Fedex in Brisbane this morning. I’m not leaving the house in case they deliver it. Deep breaths, it’s only a computer, it’s only a computer.

  51. I did strawberry mini cupcakes as well as the birthday cake. The cupcakes have chocolate on the top instead of icing, and I’ve decorated them with silver cachous and tiny little flowers made out of Orchard icing. Very cute!

    Now I’m off to make the butter icing. (not black. Bleargh! Besides, it’d look weird with the icing faeries and mini floral flowers). I should have it all finished before school pickup.

    Again, famous last words…

  52. Well done, Catty. You’ve earned your vodka.

    Squid ink couldn’t have tasted any worse than whatever they DO use to make black colouring, Greybeard. I might try some, next time. So, has The Precious arrived yet?

  53. No answer from Greybeard. So, yeah, it must have arrived. Or he’s sitting on the front steps waiting for the postman. Or he’s driving towards the depot, hoping to meet them halfway. Or he’s climbing the electric fence at the depot….

    Now I’m just being silly.

    The cake was wonderful. Now everyone’s in the pool. Except me. I get to stay inside and wash up the party dishes. (Yay, she says sarcastically.) On the upside, if they’re outside, nobody will see me nick the last of the M&M cookies. Heh heh heh heh heh….

  54. Can’t talk. Playing. May possibly have been sitting on steps. And looking down the road occasionally. It’s lovely!

  55. Exam number 1 over.
    Should have passed it OK unless the evil nurse person is feeling particularly evil.

    Have dropped in and read enough of everyone’s conversations to realize I have no idea what any of you are up to. Will have to backpedal and re-read all this, probably tomorrow when I’m not winding down from the adrenalin rush of my pre-exam panic. I think I’ve missed a few things here and there.

    Carry on having fun, whatever you’re up to, I’m horribly jealous.
    3 more weeks of brain zapping hell for this little black duck. One of my lap buddies saw me walk into the pool this morning and said ‘Jesus Quokka you look like hell. What’s up?’
    Day 1 of exams is what’s up.
    She just laughed and said ‘We’ll be scraping you off the pavement by the end of it.’
    Sigh.

    She’s got that one right.

    Where are the donuts?

  56. Here’s some virtual donuts, Quokka, with deepest sympathy:
    ..:..OOO..::.

    Look, they’ve even got sprinkles on them!

    Exams are the pits. I still sometimes get exam nightmares, like the one where you go in and don’t have a single clue about what they’re on about. I don’t have the naked one, though. Shame.

  57. I have a recurring nightmare that I finally get my health science degree and then someone takes it away and tells me that I never finished high school. And I have to go back and resit a number of subjects that were just torturous. I also have to wear the uniform. Except every year I look my age and my companions look 16.

    I blame She Who Cannot Be Named, for fear of a libel suit, because she wrote me a glowing reference and then of course didn’t sign it.

    There was a rule that if the Forces of Darkness hadn’t signed your school reference, it meant that she wanted to meet with you for a ‘discussion’ before she’d dip her quill in your warm blood in order to sign the FKN thing.

    I just walked out the door and refused to play that game.
    I had a few employees question it and I said ‘yeah, I don’t know what that’s about, feel free to ring the school and ask them.’

    Game playing bitch.
    I hate to have to defend her as being someone who showed no prejudice to gay women, because she showed plenty of it to others, but such it was.

    We drove down to Cabarita for a dip and a cruise through the markets today so that I could blow away the horrors of the past few weeks – and yesterday in particular. I feel like a new woman.

    I bought a little sundress at the markets, because I was hot in my Tshirt and cargo pants, and when I came out of the toilet block the bloke nearly fell over because he can’t remember the last time he saw me in a dress.

    He said ‘Don’t you look sweet,’ and then started cackling, as if he’d made a funny.
    He’s pushing it.

    MM, I will save myself for the Churro experience. Although I vaguely recall Mayhem saying she wants me to show her where the Hungarian Donut stall is at the Davies Park Markets. I’ve found a mildly civilized coffee hut down the alley from it so we could do that one day, I think GB & Fifi get up at dawn to get their veggies before he scuttles off back to the darkness of his lair to fondle Precious.

    Surely it’s naptime?
    Wake me in a week would you?

    Oh, and I see it didn’t rain last night. Did you get a cricket match in?

  58. The Precious and I are getting to know each other. It will take me some time to explore the POWER of the precious, but I am the Master, the Precious serves me – what’s that dear? You need a recharge? Why certainly. BTW the Precious is one of the first 400 produced and is um, a work in progress. Bleeding edge they call it. Or Geek heaven.

    I do feel for you with the whole study/exam thing Quokka. I did some full-time uni in the 90s and it brought back all the horror – and the dreams. (I was even – politely – asked to leave a lecture. Dunno why. I wouldn’t know how to be a smart@rse.) But the assignments, while bad, were nothing to the exams. Ooh how I hate them. As for “he’s pushing it”, this is something that blokes HAVE to do. I’m not sure why, but we really can’t help it. Maybe it’s in our jeans?

  59. Generally I find exams easier to bear than assignments – the endless dreary research and turning over rocks looking for papers that are actually relevent to the topic is a nightmare.

    However this semester a new form of horror was added to my world, in the shape of oral prac exams. We had to do a medical subject called Clinical examination where you have to know how to poke, prod, whack and squeeze a living human body in order to establish WTF is wrong with them, and then you have to be able to stand there and parrot off every possible related pathology.

    I’m one of these people that need paper and pen to put my thoughts in order and then I take comfort from the fact that that the lecturer will need a sanskrit dictionary to decipher my writing.

    We had four of these little horrors this semester, culminating with the fifth one where they threw random case studies at us and Dog help you if your mind went blank with fear. One of the assessors was a very cranky nurse which helped to increase the odds of that.

    Apparently public speaking is the most common phobia in the human psyche so at least I wasn’t alone with the level of angst this subject managed to produce.

    What is this precious? Some sort of newfangled Apple product, judging by it’s demands on the energy grid, I’m guessing.

  60. It could be a nuclear reactor, we’re not sure. No-one’s game enough to get between Greybeard and the Precious for a good look.

    Glad to hear you’re getting in touch with your feminine side, Quokka. On the downside, sundresses mean you have to shave your legs. As for the Bloke, I think Tammy Wynette said it best “… after all, he’s just a man.”

    We did manage to have a cricket match on Friday. Magic Man captained and a good time was had by all… except for some controversy over the scoring, relevant here because I was the scorer. The coach of the losing team was cranky because he had fewer players turn up, and said they should have had more balls each (to face, when they were batting). The other scorer and I didn’t think of that, between us we could barely add up plus at one point we couldn’t find Elf Boy.

    Orals suck. They’re so… immediate. Still, you’re 25% finished, now. Only 3 to go until churros/Hungarian donuts/whatever you fancy. I don’t mind where we go, I’m easy. But not cheap.

  61. Wow, that sounds like fun. Poking and prodding a sick stranger, trying to guess what’s wrong with them! Even more fun – being the sick stranger….

    You guessed it. I still have the migraine. (don’t need prodding to tell me that!)

    Hey, there’s an idea, Quokka. How about I volunteer to be the sick stranger? You already know what’s wrong with me (fibromyalgia, hormonal migraines, largely delusional…) so it’s a guaranteed A+.

    And I have to agree with you about the dresses, Madam. No man is worth shaving for. Not even Timothy Dalton.

    You know, I don’t think Greybeard’s Precious is a nuclear reactor. That’s more of a Havsy toy. I’m guessing Precious is one of the new tablet computers. Or a turkey tracker. Or a waterproof laptop for the Oubliette. Which would be nice for Mayhem’s Mum – as long as the rats give her a go at it now and then.

  62. Good point Catty.
    I think its a remote control system for the Turkeynator.
    He’s probably got a flock of them doing the rounds of Brisbane destroying pristine gardens.
    Not to mention that one over at UQ that runs around the shrubs outside the red room (Refec when we were there, MM) threatening all and sundry.

  63. What a brilliant idea! You’re certainly full of it, er THEM, this morning Q. Bodes well for any face-to-sick-guy exams.

  64. My late sister finished high school at year 10, went into the Public Service, married & had kids, all in rapid succession. As you did back then – she being 13 years older. So years later all her kids have degrees and she decided to do some uni just, y’know, to show ’em. We finished up in the same medieval history subject (odd for a science/IT geek but . . .) and there was an oral to defend our final assignments. Now she had almost zero experience of the ways of higher ed. Massively intelligent but never heard of the “defending the dissertation” thing. When she came out, she looked puzzled and our lecturer looked worse. Apparently he asked “why did you hypothesise . . .” to which she replied “I don’t know. I wrote that ages ago but I assume I must have had a good reason at the time.” Luckily he was a nice fellow and patiently extracted what he needed to hear. We ROFLed.

  65. Hehehe. Funny coincidence, that’s what I always say if anyone asks me why I had the kids.

    Actually, I think I know what the Precious is – a Bedazzler! Greybeard’s at home right now, marking the back pockets of his jeans with a sparkly peace symbol and “Keep on Truckin'”

  66. Nooooo! Tho my son has a military style jacket with Peace, hippie, Che and Goodies iron-ons and badges. Very Bill Oddie if you young’uns remember that.

    And I AM bedazzled by the Precious. I’ve read about four ebooks today and played around generally. The only trouble – as usual – is Fifi. She *wants* the precious. Just cos I found all these rare ancient history tomes as ebooks, she wants it for herself. But it’s mine! Yesss Precious.

  67. Ha! Funny you should say that. The Boss bought himself an iPhone… which is now sitting in my handbag… with a pink floral cover on it…

  68. Oh. I was kind of hoping it WAS a Bedazzler.

    From the information available to us, I’d say it’s a Kindle equivalent – but experimental. Perhaps wind powered ?… nah, Greybeard mentioned recharging. Maybe it’s a Kindle that can also play Pong…

  69. PONG!!!! (Sigh) It’s an ExoPC (http://www.exopc.com) – a Canadian-designed Slate PC with a funny-looking but fast & easy interface, with Windows 7 under that. Not really an iPad competitor, as that is a very smooth content delivery device rather than a PC. This is less smooth, a bit experimental and probably underpowered but gee it’s versatile. We plan to take it on trips to browse, email, read, store/view/edit photos and play movies & music.

  70. I was going to make a joke about it being a Kindle that plays Pong and movies… but I think it might be best not to blaspheme The Precious.

    I don’t want to end up in the oubliette with Mayhem’s Mum and the rats. I’m hopeless at synchronised swimming.

  71. I have one important question for every techno-gadget purchase and it’s ‘What happens when I drop it?’

    If the answer is something other than ‘It will bounce, and function as required’ – then it gets struck off the shopping list.

    Did I mention that I weakened while I was in Avid on Saturday and bought myself a Kate Morton novel?
    Its ‘The Distant Hours’ – and I’m enjoying it lots.
    Has anyone else read her stuff? I hear she’s sold 3 million books so I’m guessing odds of ‘yes’ are reasonable, here.

    Not too worried about the next two exams – essentially I’ve already done 80% of the study for the sister exam of my horror prac – and the other subject is stuff I’ve studied before. They do love to double up and add stupid filler subjects to these degrees. Nice to get the nightmare one out of the way early.

    So.
    I’m off to buy some veggies, make savory pumpkin pie, and squeeze in some revision for the day.

    Morgana, I should be right for some sort of social gathering after Dec 2. That weekend of Dec 3 & 4 is good for me. What about the rest of you?

    Apparently Espressohead in West End burned (not exactly down, but enough) last night so I suspect the other popular venues in West End might be picking up the overflow until they’ve restored order there.

    I’ll sus out the damage when I’m down at the Greek fruit & veggie shop later.

  72. Kate Morton lives in Brisbane, is in her thirties, has managed to have a couple of babies AND written several best-sellers. I hate her. No, only kidding Kate, congratulations on your success… mumble, grumble, snarl, gargle.

    Yes, that’s whats good about a paperback, Quokka. Should one drop it, it will bouce – or splat ! – and then be perfectly readable. Plus it never needs recharging and – if you’re lucky – looks good on your shelf to boot.

    Espressohead burnt down? Did they leave the jug on or something? Maybe they forgot a few protection payments…

    That weekend is potentially good for me, Quokka. Mayhem, are you there? Are you feeling chipper and up for breakfast and a few donuts?

  73. Since Mayhem missed out on the last one maybe we should let her choose the venue.

    Although I will contribute a caution that you can’t expect to get a park within 4 blocks of the West End markets at Davies Park after 8.30am. And getting in and out of the side streets by car is achievable only if you’ve mastered the driving skills required by Grand Theft Auto.

    Hungarian donuts are best procured at dawn, on a cold wet winter’s day, when the West End ferals fear to leave their lairs in case the rain washes out the henna in their dreads and the occupants of such should perish and drown.

    So if you’re keen on the Hungarian donuts, my suggestion would be do it early.

    If churros & fudge will do as a chaser for the Creme Brulee toast with honeycomb chips and berry compote at The Point then South bank markets may be better. Mayhem, aren’t you near the train line?

    Oh, and a new gelateria has opened a few doors down from The Point. Looks marvelous.

    I know Mayhem likes her sleep-ins so if lunch/dinner is a better option there’s a Turkish place called Ahmets in Oxford Street at Bulimba that I’m rather fond of. They make their own breads and pides on site so you can sit beside the pide oven and watch them wrangle 2m lengths of turkish bread stuffed with garlic and spinach and pine nuts…I can’t be the only one that likes to do this as they’ve positioned one of the nicest tables there.

    Let me go hunt for the menu.

  74. http://www.ahmets.com/docs/Ahmets_Menu_Bulimba.pdf

    There is an Ahmets at South Bank but it does tend to get rather crowded on weekends. Marvelous ambience at both venues, much easier to park at Bulimba.

    Jaysus.
    I think one of the new tenants next door is experimenting with kitchen pots to explore their musical value.
    I hate it when they’ve got party drugs leftover after the weekend.

  75. Yes, we really should let Mayhem pick. Pick Ahmet’s, Mayhem. They have baklava.

    Mmm… baklava.

  76. They do marvelous cocktails there, too.
    Including alcohol-free varieties that are really rather delicious.

    It’s a lovely venue, we’ve sampled several different items from the menu & have never been disappointed.

    Its in Oxford Street so the citycat stops at the end of the street, if anyone wants to come by boat.

  77. Oh, great. Another missed breakfast. Shall I start sulking now, or wait until you’ve confirmed the date?

  78. Put that sulk on hold for the moment, Catty. I’ve just worked out the first weekend in December is no good for me because Magic Man has his first karate grading on the Saturday. December 11th or 12th, anyone?

    Mayhem, where are you? Don’t make me come over to Twitter to find you, young lady.

  79. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/search-for-olivia-becomes-a-public-service-20101115-17ufd.html

    Check this out.
    Creepy stalker, much?

    It brought back horrible memories of meeting creepy guys at parties, making frantic gestures to friends of ‘Save me!’ and then making a speedy exit to get away from Mr. Stalker Tentacles.

    I was hoping that this would end badly and much to my delight a google search showed that Olivia contacted a radio station to say that she doesn’t remember stalker boy, is not interested in seeing him again, and doesn’t want her privacy invaded further.

    Excellent.
    What amazed me was the comments, how women by large seemed to think ‘Ack, creepy stalker, run away’ and the men seemed to think it was romantic. Looks like not much has changed since I was a lass and there’s still plenty of money to be made from offering classes to males on ‘how not to fill women with loathing and disgust: the basics’

    BTW, MM that weekend is fine by me.

  80. It would be hilarious if Olivia was a transvestite, and chose this opportunity to out herself.

  81. Just think, before the internet love-sick Steve would have had to hire a sky-writer or rent a billboard or something.

    It’s terribly creepy… but then again, men are strange animals. And you know my motto – rechargeable batteries are widely available and you can always take the rubbish bins out yourself.

    Okay, looks like we have a provisional for the second weekend in December. Greybeard, put down the Precious for a moment and come and discuss lunch. Mayhem, cooee! Looks like we might have to send Skippy out after her.

  82. “Tk tk tk tk.”

    “What’s that Skippy? Mayhem’s having a nanna nap?”

    “Tk tk tk tk tk”

    “But she’ll probably be on twitter this afternoon? Thanks Skip!”

    “tk tk tktktktktk”

    “What! Get out of here you dirty little wallaby.”

  83. Thanks for the tip, Skip. You’ll be expecting your usual payment – two kilos of carrots and an hour with a skanky wallaby?

  84. Funny, but having had a break from twitter it’s awfully hard to go back there. My eyes are getting itching looking at all the novels on my shelves that I haven’t yet read.

    Not sure if its Twitter Ennui or if its just that whenever I’m studying I resist reading fiction until the holidays, by which point it’s hit the equivalent of Aunt Irma style sugar cravings.

    My eyes are still boggling from Jen’s revelations that she sends 4,500 text messages….was that every week or every month?

    How the hell do you do that?

  85. Okay okay…. I’m here and I’m all caught up!

    Sadly ladies, I’m going to have to leave it to you guys. Am currently having nasty side-effects from the Clexane, and I need to speak to my oncologist tomorrow to see if she’ll swap me over to ….. ummm.. the other stuff, you know what I mean….

    If she won’t, and we add radiation therapy to the mix starting the 29th, by the 4th/5th of December I could be a total basket case! It may be a case of I’ll be there if I’m up to it… again : (

  86. And by the way…. I have NOT had a Nanna Nap…. not since Sunday. I’m still working…. sort of 😦

  87. Ooops, sorry. But what can you expect from Skippy? Marsupials aren’t very bright – they make even sheep look like rocket surgeons.

  88. Yes, Greybeard, but compared to CHOOKS, ‘roos are Chief Justices of the Supreme Pizza.

    Hey Mayhem, good to see you! Sorry you’ve been having issues, though. Hope it’s sorted ASAP. Would it make any difference, do you think, that it’s the weekend after – the 11th and 12th – that we’re talking about now? Either way, feel fab swiftly 🙂

    I couldn’t go back to Twitter if I wanted to, Quokka. For some reason it won’t load for me, past the top toolbar. Meh. I’ve got plenty of library books and Tinsel Time to prepare for.

  89. That sucks Mayhem.
    Do you want to suggest a date that suits you or would you rather wait and see how you’re feeling?

  90. http://hucksblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/sledgehammer-and-whore.html

    OK, well seeing as mayhem is MIA (working or being subjected to lab experiments) I thought I’d share this with you: apparently it’s the blog of one of the creators of the Sarah Connor Chronicles. His encounter with his stalker.
    Hilarious.

  91. Oh, and happy news here at Casa Quokka.
    I think I’ve mentioned that there was another raucous village full of leprechauns two blocks up from us – within kareoke range. Used to be a nice family of noisy Greeks but I think Mamma got old and sick and one of her donut wheeling sons got a hold of it.

    Drove past it before and saw a big MF sign saying ‘Proposed Demolition’.

    I’m guessing it’s all it’s fit for after the Irish were there for 6 months. Which gives me hope for Bog Hollow next door…

  92. I think you guys should just make the arrangements, I’ll pimp it out on Twitter, and with luck I’ll be able to make it. A Sunday is probably a better day for me, ‘cos if I’m feeling crap, I can get The Brat to drive me.

  93. Good luck wit your twitter pimping, but I don’t think any of them trust me since the coffee incident at the Pancake manor.

  94. Which implies that they trusted you *before* the coffee incident . . . ? Besides the Point was great.

  95. I’m happy to do the Point again.
    I’m thinking…creme brulee toast, churros, fudge, and rinse it all down with coconut and pistachio gelati from the new gelateria down there.

    Sundays are good for me, too.

    Morgana, if you’ve got your heart set on baklava there’s no improving on King Ahiram’s. Where $7 will probably buy you three pieces, rather than a single serve at Ahmet’s.

    Not that I’m promoting gluttony…

  96. Might be easier for Mayhem too, if she’s feeling up to it, being that it’s right next to south bank train station.

  97. If you’re being experimented on, Mayhem, make sure you’re getting the going rate. I believe Greybeard makes enough from pimping himself out as a guinea pig to keep him in rack grease and grindstones.

    Congrats, Quokka. Nothing like a good demolition to make your day… hope it’s asbestos-free, unlike the kiddies sandpits in Tewantin:
    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2010/11/17/sandpit-sabotage/

    I’m very happy to do a Sunday, and I’m also happy as a weasel with South Bank. If I’m having churros I don’t really need baklava… at any price. And the markets are fun – Tinsel time is nigh and I need stocking fodder.

  98. If you’re looking for small, unexpected gifts, try ThinkGeek. Just put in my Xmas order for rude stickers, blood bags, fossils, pens that shoot rubber bands, an Uzi and more.

  99. Well, I vote we do it soon and get in before the Xmas rush.
    Which means we can then move on to planning a new year’s gathering for any stragglers who can’t make it to the december breakfast

    So…Sunday, 8.30am or 8.45 to beat the crowds at the Point…pick a date, folks.

    Catty, perhaps GB can relay you some photos of all the sweaty cyclists we’ll be staring at, just so you’ll know what you’re really missing out on.

  100. http://www.smh.com.au/world/body-found-in-sewer-survivor-producer-arrested-over-wifes-death-20101118-17xwn.html

    See?
    I keep saying that the people that produce reality TV are homicidal sociopaths.

  101. Heh, heh, heh. I’ll make sure I send shots of the ripped, the buff and the toned. Don’t let them fool ya Catty. They sat there scarfing creme brule toast and checkin’ out the eye candy. The Bloke and I were so embarrassed when they started shouting “shake it for me baby, I love you in Lycra”.

  102. Oh, sure. Churros for the Queenslanders, photos of sweaty cyclists for Catty.

    Harumph!

    I second Greybeard’s motion to buy your gifts at ThinkGeek. They have screaming flying monkeys – the kidlets drive us nuts with those things! ThinkGeek also have Bacon in a Can, so grab some of that for your Zombiepocalypse locker while you’re there.

    Extra rations for Mayhem. You need to keep your strength up, girl. You’re not eating right. A few churros and sweaty cyclists should help a bit, but a can of bacon wouldn’t be amiss.

    Meanwhile, I am shaking my head at that link of yours, Madam. The school had to get in an ‘expert’ to confirm that a piece of asbestos-riddled roofing material found in the sandpit was not ‘naturally occuring’? For real? Crikey, these are the people who are responsible for educating our young children. We’re all doomed.

  103. Sure, Catty, it rains asbestos up in these here parts – and flying monkeys. They try and hush it up though, so as not to scare the tourists away.

    Mmm… bacon in a – nuh, I can’t do it. I can’t “mmm” bacon in a can. It’s just as bad as chicken in a can and burger in a can. Now when they put out Alexander Skaarsgard (TrueBlood) in a can, that’s when I’ll hop on the bandwagon.

    Okay, I name Sunday the 12th of December. Let the word ring out throughout the kingdom… nah, that might be going a bit overboard. I can troll it round Twitter, though.

  104. Marvelous.
    But you’ll get more interest if you Pimp rather than Troll.
    Then again, given the CBG proclavity for hunting wart nosed reptilian predators, I could be wrong.

  105. Pimp, hey? Better get out my furry hat and some serious bling. Has anybody seen my bitches?

  106. Ask Joel Monaghan.

  107. Hehehe. Pretty good, Quokka, for someone who’s been buried in a textbook for yonks.

  108. Meow?

  109. Works for me at this stage. Won’t know for sure until closer to the daye though. Will keep you informed.

  110. Great stuff, Mayhem. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

    Yes, Quokka, I don’t know where Catty is, either. You don’t suppose she’s succumbed to fudge poisoning or maybe a lung disease caused by inhaling too much icing sugar, do you? Catty, here puss puss.

  111. I’m guessing computer access issues.

    Unless its a nasty case of ‘Be careful what you wish for’ and the teen is back home, doing what teenagers do.

    The ones in my life used to hog the computer all day listening to youtube and playing with their facebook pages.
    Couldn’t get near the internet with a teenager in the house.

    Speaking of which, did you see the wolfmother guy’s parking space fight at the Curious Snail?

    ‘Peace and love, dude, peace and love’.

    I am so becoming a life skills therapist.
    By the time Gen Y hits the age of 40 I’ll be making a killing teaching them basics, like Manners, and Passive Aggression is Bad for your Karma.

  112. I’ll see your rock god and raise you a mining magnate who got awarded squillions for a nude sleepwalking incident. Yes, he was the nude one and he ended up with the squillions. Not the poor female staff member he barged in on in his a-figleaf-shy-of-Adam costume.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/weird/m-libel-payout-for-naked-sleepwalker/story-e6frep26-1225956484344

    Still, I think we might be headed for Karmageddon (from the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational): It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

  113. Although it does explain why the Irish economy is FKD.

  114. That’s more than their GDP, right there in one settlement. No wonder they all want to come and live next to you, making complete ars*holes of themselves.

  115. The worst of them seemed to ship out a few weeks ago. Another backpack arrived, this one with a guitar.
    He’s a big fan of Leonard Cohen.
    *Gah*

    I ran myself a bath yesterday afternoon & went in there to enjoy the last bit of sun streaming through the leadlight windows and was met with some hesitant doleful strummings of ‘Hallelujah’.

    There was nothing to do but compose my own words to it so I wrote a variation of the Potato Famine song and belted it out to The Bloke, off in the lounge room with a cat on his lap.

    Some days my worst instincts take over and I admit that the next bit of horror behaviour they come up with, I’ve probably invited it in.

    It didn’t help that the day before when I was trying to enjoy my bath one of them was right outside the window having a loud conversation with Mam back in the potato fields and he was telling her how ‘yeah, yeah, we’re all eating right, we all take turns cooking every evening.’
    He then listed a fine menu of chilli, lasagne, spaghetti etc as the last meals they’ve consumed.
    This while he was surrounded by a sea of half empty beer bottles, crisp packets and pizza boxes.

    Just as well Mam doesn’t do skype, otherwise she’d have realized he was sitting by the BBQ poking sausages with stick whilst hallucinating that he’s being Gordon Ramsay.

  116. There’s your solution, right there. Just whittle him up some fine oleander skewers with which to poke his snags and you’ll be Irish-free in no time. At the very least they’ll spend significant amounts of time on life support.

    Well, you can tell its the weekend ’round these parts. Rain has streamed almost constantly from pewter-coloured skies. Still, I shouldn’t complain – the kids did get a game of cricket in on Friday night. Not against their slated opponents, against a scratch team of parents and older siblings. The opposition drove all the way here from Kenilworth, felt three drops of rain and then skived off home. So much for them breeding them tough in the country!

  117. That was three generations ago.
    Now you see the results of the three generations of inbreeding before that.

    I’m starting to think we should get Catty microchipped.
    And she needs a louder bell.

    Have you tried looking under the couch and behind the fridge? That’s where mine usually hide when the vacuum and the steam mop comes out.

  118. Maybe she’s caught some prey and she’s in the wardrobe playing with it. She’s probably lying on my best velvet stole.

    Catty, where are you? We miss you. All the life is leaching out of our faffing.

  119. Sorry, guys. I’ve been dippier than a Jatz this weekend, what with school projects and helping the neighbours move and stuff.

    The doctor put me on little blue happy pills for the Fibromyalgia – they’re starting to take effect, and I’m a bit dazed. Plus, it was the Boss’s birthday on Friday, so we had a fair bit going on there.

    And every time I had five minutes to faff, the Boss was downloading movies so I wasn’t allowed to touch the computer. I couldn’t complain. Well, I could, but he wouldn’t listen. Pest.

    Now I’m off to start making a pînata for my sister’s birthday, and to bake chocolate cakes for lunchboxes, and at least pretend to clean the house. I might start by getting all the grotty chocolate cake mix out of this bowl. With my tongue.

    How’s your breakfast plans coming along?

  120. Wow, Catty, what’s in those pills? From the sound of that agenda you’re going to accomplish more today than I’ve got planned for the week. Now you’ve helped YOUR neighbours move, can you please help Quokka’s? First you have to instill in them the DESIRE to move – ASAP.

    Breakfast… we’re doing Sunday the 12th at South Bank, I think. Greybeard, are you going to put the Precious down long enough to join us?

  121. So I can’t bring it with me? It’s just that we’re, y’know, at that stage of the relationship where we don’t like to be apart. No need to book a place. The precious will sit on my lap.

  122. Cause we’d really, really like to come. I suppose I should bring Fifi too.

  123. Yep, you’ll have to bring Fifi, Greybeard. If you’re not letting go of the precious, you’ll need someone to cut up your food and put it in your mouth for you.

    You know, Madam, Quokka could have worse neighbours. i.e, me. I’ve been known to get a little loud at times….

  124. I thought as much.
    We took Aunt Irma there for breakfast on Saturday and I booked us a table for 8, 8.30am Sunday the 12th.

    Welcome back Catty.

    I’d stay and be witty, but I had Exam number 2 this morning.
    We got started a little late due to some admin fuck ups.
    The usual exam supervisor was away and struggled through her instructions, finishing with the condition ‘And if, when you finished, you’d make sure you don’t rabble around outside the exam room, the pub’s That Away.’

    I was one of the last ones out, and that is indeed where I fournd the rest of them.
    Arrrhhh…I’m off to the couch to make pirate noises to the cats, and have a nice uc]pof tea.

  125. I think I just round the secret to all those typos of Havoicks.

  126. Hehehe. Glad to hear you’re on board, Greybeard – you can bring the Precious if you let us watch tentacle pRon on her.

    Good work, Quokka – nice to know you sacrificed yourself for the cause. I’m sure it was agony, every bite of that CB french toast. Now, make sure you have plenty of fluids and some B vitamins – maybe vegemite toast?

    I wish you’d bought the house next to us, Catty. It’s proudly wearing a “Sold” sign this afternoon. Still, they couldn’t be worse than the dope-growing, bike warming-up, attempted rock band playing lot, could they. Could they? Hey, why are all the hairs standing up on the back of my neck?

  127. There are worse neighbours than bikie wannabe rockstars. There’s the:

    *Committee Mother.
    *Police officer
    *Retired 7th Day Adventist
    *Amway sales reps
    *Hobby mechanic
    *Liberal parents

    I went to a barbecue on the weekend. They were liberal parents. One of the kids hit a ball over the fence, but they couldn’t go get it – apparently the neighbours got sick of them climbing the fence and wandering into the kitchen to help themselves. They’re a nice family, but I sure wouldn’t want them living next door.

  128. Hmm. Sounds like relatives or fellow travellers of those kids that used to swim in Quokka’s pool and try on her shoes. The pool I totally understand, but the shoes still have me perplexed.

    So, how did the pinata go, Catty? If I made one for my sister it would have to be in the shape of a pair of cranky pants.

  129. Those kids tried to swim in my neighbour Linda’s pool. We put in our pool 2 years after hers went in, and by that stage I’d seen enough of the laissez-faire parenting around here that I too had become one of those neighbours who insists that if a toy comes over the fence, the children aren’t allowed to come looking for it. The parent can come over, or they can leave a note in my letter box saying where it is and I’ll return it at my convenience.

    I never thought I’d become one of those ‘get the hell off my lawn’ people, but I got really FKN sick of finding a conga line of children filing up the side path, intent on sneaking into my garden for no other reason than that they knew that it was the only attention they’d get from an adult that day.

  130. Hehehe. Conga line. “Let’s all in-vade Quokka’s…Hey!…let’s all in-vade Quokka’s…”

    Meanwhile, there’s only 30-something days ’till Tinsel Time. When do you think would be the optimal time to step out in front of a car so I can while away the festive season in a peaceful hospital bed on a dreamy cloud of morphine?

  131. Any time between now and when those 40km zones outside the schools return to the speeds you see in Grand Theft Auto.

    We went to see Harry potter at the Balmoral last night.
    I was still feeling the ill effects of lunch with Jack Daniels so I made him drive. He’s used to me being Transporter so the entire trip there was a series of ‘FARK!’ and ‘WTF?’ and ‘Holy Shit!’ as he realized that you need to be Jason Statham to get from A to B in Brisbane traffic these days.

    The Medicated Mommas were long gone but the P and L plates were out in force, running red lights and cutting him off. Gosh it was nice to stare out the window and blather ‘Oh, look, a squirrel,’ while his blood pressure jacked up 40 points dodging things on 2 wheels and Red Bull.

  132. I’m a Mumma. Why won’t someone medicate me?

    So, how was HP, Quokka – and was it too scary for Elf Boy? I may as well get my school holiday ducks in a row now. Six weeks can feel like eternity, especially in the heat.

  133. It’s hard to say.
    I’d say over tens with most kids, and over 12 for some.
    It’s definitely much more adult, it’s slower and more complex than the rest of the stories.
    Assuming you’ve read it you’ll know that there’s scenes involving torture, maiming, ugly and graphic injuries (I thought Fred’s would be bad but Ron’s was far worse), the killings, and then of course there’s the giant snake.

    Voldemort didn’t seem as repellant this time around, so I think someone got squeamish and worried that if he was too ugly they’d scare the littlies – and their parents. At one point there he seemed more like Austin Powers than The Source of All Evil.

    The ring leader of the Snatchers was a hottie, so that completely altered the feeling of the scene where Hermione was cheek to cheek with him stressing that he’d get through her invisibility charm.
    In the book I’m sure she was repulsed by his wooden teeth and his halitosis, whereas in the film it looked like she was panicking that he’d discover that she was wearing My Little Pony underwear rather than Victoria’s Secret.

    If you go, I’d suggest be prepared to either cover his eyes or remove him from the cinema at a few strategic points.
    Ron’s splinching injuries were particularly graphic and that’d get my vote for the Blindfold.

  134. Hehehe. MLP underwear.

    Thanks for the detailed and informative review, Quokka. I might take Magic Man by himself, and send Elf Boy off with the grandparents to see whatever animated codswallop Disney regurgitates for the Silly Season.

    There’s less than three weeks until they’re on holidays! I should start self-medicating now, don’t you think, so as to have therapeutic levels in my plasma when the time comes. Now, where did I put the address of those helpful Mexican chemists?

  135. School holidays, pah! We hates them Precious, yesss. Nassty children with their nassty mothers. Shrieking and crying in all the shopping centres. And the kids are just as bad. They should send them all to Healthy Camping Activities, waaay out in the country somewhere. With barbed wire. And dogs. Crime rates rise as they break into houses instead of trashing their schools. Movies are unattendable unless you go Gold Class (ie Kidless Class with Optional Booze). Bah, humbug!

    Of course Fifi will be around all the time for 5 weeks so it does have its compensations.

  136. I think you’ll enjoy it more without worrying about what’s going to give him nightmares.

    I enjoyed it.
    Its the usual hotchpotch, some things seemed to be really well done and there were those moments where I thought the interpretation was a little off, or else times when they’d made a change to one of JK’s details that I thought was unnecessary to the screen interpretation.

    The fact that I remember more about HP than yesterday’s 2.5 hour exam says something, though. Not sure what, other than you’re on the right path for managing school holidays if Jack Daniels is the one that’s accompanying you.

    Somehow I can’t see today being a productive one in my life.

  137. Eh, MM, about that rabbit that greybeard is tearing apart with his incisors, is it my imagination or does it still have a pulse?

  138. A pulse? The poor little thing is still clutching a carrot in his rigoured paw – His Last Supper, I suppose. Why can’t Greybeard leave the rodents alone and start tearing the heads off scrub turkeys, that’s what I want to know.

  139. The pînata is well underway, but not yet finished. I am currently ‘helping’ the oldest kidlet with his antarctic explorer assignment. I was going to do it yesterday, but something unpleasant happened – I’ll explain all at my blog later today. (Rant! Rant! Rant!).

    Speaking of ranting, there was a movie reviewer on the radio the other day who says that parents should take the M15+ rating on the new HP movie seriously. Although, I’m thinking this may be over reacting if the leading actors are still wearing MLP knickers. Perhaps I should send you some of my little blue happy pills, Madam? It’s better to medicate before the movie than to JD it up after the movie, yes?

    Greybeard, quit the pretense. We know you love school children. On toast. For breakfast.

  140. Mmm… happy pills. Yes, please. I’ll pay the postage.

    Yes, it’s strange, isn’t it? You’d think making the movie would be even scarier than watching it… or not, if all the scariness is computer generated, I suppose. The later novels were very dark, though. I think we’ll leave Elf Boy in the polar-fleece arms of the Disney studios. These were the children, if you recall, who were afraid of Dobby.

  141. And given what Dobby did to Helena Bonham Carter last night, they’ve got reason to be afraid. Gosh she does Crazy rather well.
    I still think she’s channeling a bit of Queenie from Blackadder but in a murdering crazy goth psycho kind of a way.

    I asked the Bloke’s opinion of age appropriateness and he thought that parents of under tens should be a bit wary. He pointed out that it’s very dark, and at times very slow, so the kids that are expecting jokes and fireworks and hilarious action sequences are destined for disappointment.

    I think the concepts that she brings to the fore in the final installment are a bit too complex for younger children to take in. Aside from the moments when he’s choking on the gore, he’d be bored, and you’d find yourself having to explain things to him. Might do better to wait for DVD so that you can utilize the pause and FF buttons.

    Which reviewer was that, Catty?
    I’m inclined to think that once any child has attained the age of 12, they’ve been exposed to to the worst that humanity can offer up to them – each other. Particularly the girls.

  142. Looking at Helena Bonham Carter’s movie history, plus being married to Tim Burton, I’m thinking the psycho-goth leanings are typecasting. She really is screaming batshit crazy. I wonder if things would have been different if her mum had leaned towards Disney movies?

    Come to think of it, maybe the Disney movies are to blame? I still have nightmares about Dick Van Dyke….

  143. I always liked Robert Bloch’s claim that he had the heart of a little boy – pickled in alcohol on his desk.
    Well that was nice. Poor Fifi was feelin’ poorly this morning, so I took her up to Eumundi for lunch & book-shopping. I’m sure it did her good but just in case I’d better pour a bit of Merlot down her tonight. We can recommend Sala Thai.

  144. Mmm… Thai.

    I love Helena Bonham Carter, batshit crazy or no. Except in Sweeney Todd. Rarely have I been so disappointed in a movie theatre. Well, there WAS one time in the back-row with Nic, who turned out to be gay, but other than then…

  145. I became an Helena fan after watching her play Ophelia to Mel Gibson’s Hamlet. Yep, another batshit crazy character…. Come to think of it, the same could be said of Mel.

  146. I don’t think that any actor has much chance of retaining their sanity, assuming they had a good grip on it in the first place. All my psychologist friends have said that they think that being an actor is pretty much a pathology in itself.

    Speaking of the deranged, we saw the shorts for the latest Angelina Jolie film where she teams up with Johnny Depp. The Bloke commented that Johnny’s looking a bit bloated & rough around the edges in that.

    Too much red wine and croque monsieur, I’m guessing.

  147. I despise that Jolie woman. *ugh!*

    Johnny Depp, however… I’ll take a sixpack, thanks.

  148. Oh, and a massive high-five to the clever lizard impersonator over at CBG. Well done, that stalker!

  149. Eumundi must have been pretty, GB.

    I’m still thinking about heading up there to see if that slingshot stall is still there at the markets. We had thought of taking the children when they were here but of course that was the weekend of the Big Wet.

    Speaking of the Big Wet, we got a letter from our local councillor yesterday saying that she’s seen the proposal to demolish the Irish Village on the hill and she’s planning to object. I understand the purpose of the letter is to gather up the usual pitchfork brigade of NIMBYs that dwell in my parts so I might have to do my bit for the Rebellion and go into council today to give the Proposal To Demolish a big tick from me and the Bloke.

    Something I would never have been arsed to do otherwise.
    FFS, the house is an ugly migrant shitbox, it’s not a Queenslander, and I feel for the new owners – because if you know what the migrant owners from WW2 are like – they’ve refused to spend money on maintenance so everything is fucked – the drains, the pipes, the electrics, and don’t even get me started on their lack of interest in termites.

    Casa Quokka fits into the category of post-war architecture/ugly migrant shitbox & it was really hard for us to outlay all the $$$ to fix the pipes/power/timber parasites when we first moved in. That was 15 years ago, I feel for the youngsters trying to buy in the current market and needing to do repairs to some of these old clangers in Brisbane town.

    The Bloke assures me that Karma will come after me and if they knock down the Irish Village something much uglier will pop up in it’s place. Highly likely, but nobody in their right mind will be renting it out to Irish tenants or students. Hasta La Wrecking Ball, baby.

  150. Oh, joy. You may get an actors’ rehab centre next door. You’re right, you know. They’re all crazy:

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/ugly-betty-actor-slices-off-mums-head-in-bible-rant/story-e6frewyr-1225959924700?from=public_rss

    Or you might get a nice hydrotherapy pool, which would mean old people parking across your driveway. Or a Timezone, perhaps? Maybe a daycare centre – lots of little ones to toddle over and try on your shoes.

    The possibilities are endless. And terrifying.

  151. Its the Other Irish Village, on the corner up the hill.
    I’m not worried about what goes up as the zoning here is all low impact residential. The block is probably big enough for them to build two townhouses but as its the street where the local members lives, I’d say that this is simply her way of letting them know that she won’t make their lives easy if they try to do anything other than build a replica queenslander.

  152. For you Quokka. http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/11/how-to-make-a-laser-guided-slingshot/ Get the Bloke to knock one up for you.

    And Eumundi *was* beautiful. The Thai place has an outside seating area and is just where the road turns at the end of the main street, near the park. Great view, perfect day. Makes you want to live there. I actually prefer it on non-market days when it’s more the sleepy little town.

    Dead right on the NIMBYs. We also live in a post-war dump with the drains and plumbing from hell, despite some work. But we’re about to send our plans to the engineers! And Evil Architect Daughter is flying up soon to see council and finalise things. At last, a “proper” house!

  153. By “proper house”, Greybeard, I assume you mean with moat, turrets, built in boiling oil dispenser and a dungeon with European appliances?

    Don’t listen to Catty, Quokka. You might get a bijoux little gourmet chocolate-cum-bookshop, or a Hungarian donut outlet. Go, Deen Brothers, go !

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make the most of one of my last child-free days. That’s right, I’ll be lounging on the sofa with a trashy novel.

  154. If they taped trashy novels to the side of vodka bottles, I’d probably read them too.

  155. It must be time to install some of those upgrades that the IMAC keeps insisting it wants, because your squirrel killer image wouldn’t load, GB.

    We too have been busy with the architect/drafstperson, and are waiting for a batch of revised drawings to come back from him. The builder called in for a cuppa and a chat (three days after the interest rate hike) and is keen to get it happening. It’s starting to feel a little terrifying but that’s building.

    I do have an agenda with the Tear it Down proposal up the road. Whatever the hell they plan to put up in it’s place (and yes, I’m betting it’ll be ugly) is going to be a welcome distraction from what we want to swing through council.

    So anything I can do to divert the Pitchfork wielding NIMBYs two blocks Thataway is good by me.

    Crap. When do school holidays start? And Catty, I include you in that question because Victorians do like to over-run my suburb in their quest to escape your demonic weather fairy issues.

  156. I think you’ve got three weeks. Give or take a few days. Plenty of time for the Bloke to install razor wire. Or at the very least, to set up a neon arrow pointing to the firetwirling bongo artists.

    Or is that the place they’re tearing down? Ask the demolition crew to wait three weeks… until the place is full of Melbourne Uni students…

  157. The Irish Village all got evicted soon after the second visit from the police, who I believe were asking questions about the semi-conscious girls the rape crisis team found in our street two Saturday nights in a row.

    The Guinness flag has been torn down and while there’s still all manner of crap littering the place, the current batch of tenants aren’t doing much to attract the attention of the police or DOCS.

    The bongo players lived a few doors further up the road.
    They’ll be back after Woodford.
    Big Bad Al has a Teepee community in his sights at Redcliffe so I suspect they’ve moved back into Mum’s now that the university year is over.

  158. Oh, and to differentiate, the residents of Bog Hollow are still drinking green beer and burning sausages next door, but I think the worst of the Irish girls shipped out a few weeks ago. Things have been rather maudlin since then; one of them twangs on his guitar strings and sings Leonard Cohen, daily.

  159. I refuse to sing Leonard Cohen songs until he starts singing mine.

  160. hallelujah to that.

  161. The last day of school is the 10th of December. I think Leonard Cohen wrote a song about the last day of school before the school holidays, but it was so gratuitously maudlin, so effortlessly productive of body-wracking sobs and soul dissolving misery that it’s been banned in most countries of the world. Except Burma.

  162. “The rain falls down on last year’s man,
    an hour has gone by
    and he has not moved his hand.
    But everything will happen if he only gives the word;
    the lovers will rise up
    and the mountains touch the ground.
    But the skylight is like skin for a drum I’ll never mend
    and all the rain falls down amen
    on the works of last year’s man.”

    Excuse me, I need to find some tablets.

  163. Tablets won’t cut it. I’m going to bandage my wrists, prophylactically.

  164. http://yfrog.com/5mgwl0j

    Cheer up.
    I have.
    My bongo playing ferals have vanished and from the looks of Big Bad Als twitter posts they’ve set up camp in the garden that looks onto his.

    Apparently there’s three couples in that teepee and they like bongos and twirling fire sticks.

  165. It appears Big Bad Al is set if there’s a flood. How many pairs of animals do you reckon he’d get on that boat? Or perhaps he should just take a dozen pigs. For the bacon, and that.

  166. That’s the neighbour’s boat, and if you’ve never been to Humpybong’s old blog or seen his old avatar, well…there’s a reason he chose the skull and crossbones. Apparently there used to be a lovely grove of trees where the boat stands, and the new owner of that house cut them all down to put the boat there. The boat hasn’t moved since he bought it.
    They live one block from the boat ramp at the beach.

    Humpy liked the trees and all the little birds that lived there and is not pleased with his neighbours and their lifestyle choices.

  167. Three couples in that teepee? Two sets must be hanging off hooks or something.

    Poor Al. I’m for the foliage and the cheepers, too. Surely I must have bored you all at length about the mad woman at the back of me who’s constantly pestering me to fell all my tea trees?

    Well, Glasshouse have forfeited for cricket on Friday night… thereby insuring, no doubt, that not even a microlitre of rain will fall. So if anyone has outdoor evening plans might I suggest that Friday is the go?

  168. Junkies don’t take up much space.
    Unless you count psychological space…in which case the opposite applies.

    And as for the Ti Tree Whiner, unless this is the same neighbour who made you move your chicken coop three inches north by north west of her righteous indignation, no, I don’t recall you saying a word against her.

  169. I have no proof, but I’m pretty sure it’s her. I looked out of my bathroom window once and saw her lurking at my back fence with something metallic flashing in her hand. Anyway, after my shower I went to investigate and found cut marks around the bases of some seedlings. She’d stuck secauters or something under the fence and tried to do some tree felling of her own!

    Still, at least she’s not Irish.

  170. There’s always one deranged neighbour that needs to snip over the fence. I used to think it was just me stuck next to them but they’re everywhere, and unfortunately it’s illegal to spray them with glyphosate to keep them in check.

    I know this because I asked the woman on the council hotline.
    The Bloke insists that the police and the council keep detailed recordings of every phone call I’ve ever made to them and one day they’ll use them to enforce my committal down in the loony bin.

  171. Tell the Bloke not to worry. (He *is* worried, right?) I’ve got a record of all these postings in my Gmail backup files and if you produce them at the committal hearing that will, um . . . Well at least they’ll know . . . er. Oh never mind, we’ll slip some gin in amongst the grapes when we visit.

  172. Hehehe. I’ve got a friend who works on the Council hotline up here. You’re lucky you haven’t been bending her ear… she’s likely to put the Evil Eye on you.

    Hmm, that was a somewhat anatomical response – suitable since you’re still studying, I suppose.

  173. Should be, but I have this Aunt Irma headache. I’m waiting for the panadol to kick in and I’m off to watch some Daria.

    So far today I’ve done two loads of washing, cleaned the house, and broken the motorized head on the vacuum cleaner. Well, technically I’ve broken the clasp thing that holds the handle in place on top of the motorized roller head, but apparently they don’t replace 50 cent plastic clips and the only way you can get a new clasp is if it’s attached to a new motorized head.
    Price $400.

    I’m eyeing off one or two of the noisier neighbourhood brats and wondering which one of them would fetch this price in the White Slave Trade.

    Working on the theory that Aunt Irma makes me a menace to society, I’m going to retire to the sofa with nice hot chocolate and prepare to break this news to Uncle Blokesy.

    FKN Kleenmaid appliances.
    FKN Aunt Irma.
    FKETY FK.

  174. Hmm… makes a $70 vacuum cleaner look pretty good, hey? Sure, it didn’t take long for the clip that holds the dust collector together to break, but I’ve strapped it together with electrical tape and it works fine.

    OTOH, though, I have such low housekeeping standards that if they were set to music, only blue whales could hear them.

    • “I have such low housekeeping standards that if they were set to music, only blue whales could hear them.” You may consider that statement stolen for my personal misuse. Even my dust bears are chortling under the couch.

  175. My vacuum broke about 8 months after I got it. No, scratch that. It broke the first time I used it. I had to go Godzilla on the Godfrey’s staff to force them to replace it. I think the only reason I succeeded was that Aunt Irma came with me.

    It was the replacement that broke 8 months after I got it. Out came the gaffer tape. That was 15 months ago. **suckety suck… the Noo Noo still tidies up…** (Whenever I can be arsed. Which isn’t often, these days). Maybe you should spend $2.85 on a roll of gaffer, Quokka. Then you can tell Kleenmaid to get FKETY FKD.

    We used to get on well with the couple to our left. Then they started bitching about our tree roots pushing up their pool pavers. We paid $600 to have the tree cut down. Then the Boss asked them if they could trim the ivy growing on their side of the fence, as it was pushing the fence over and cracking the support posts. They said no, it was only ivy – and as ivy couldn’t possibly be heavy enough to push over a fracking great fence, the Boss must be imagining things.

    Then the fence fell over.

    They were away on holidays.

    The Boss had to replace all the fence posts and put in supporting struts on his own. (After tearing out all the ivy, that is.)

    Then the ivy grew back. When it reached the top of the fence, the Boss asked them to trim it back so it wouldn’t push the fence over again.

    They said they had no idea what he was talking about. So he upended an industrial sized bottle of Roundup over the fence. A few days later, there was no more ivy. Also, no more rose bushes. No more veggie garden. No more ornamental lilli pilli.

    They don’t talk to us any more.

    Also, they planted more ivy. So it’s probably a good thing they don’t talk to us, or the Boss would say something very, very rude.

    And now the nice neighbours on the right are heading to QLD – with their talking cat. They’re being replaced by non-english speaking newlyweds.

    I’m lonely….

  176. Thanks for that, Greybeard and bunnies.

    Nothing says friendship like a bottle of Roundup. Tell the Boss, Catty, that if he mixes it with Scythe, he’ll achieve three-times faster ivy knock-down. Why wait to eliminate those garden nuisances?

    And don’t be lonely, Catty – you still have us. And with no boundary disputes!

  177. It is a truth universally acknowledged that neighbours are there to annoy you.

    Yes, the Bloke is already eyeing off the gaffer tape and promising to see if he can fix it on the weekend.
    I do have a non-motorized head that attaches to the damned thing so we’ll see how it goes.

    Due to the quantity of fluffy animals in our household I do need to vacuum every second day, though, so a dodgy vacuum isn’t something I’m willing to live with.

    I did have the thought that once we add the second level to the house that I’d have two vacuums, one for upstairs and the other for downstairs. I’ve never had to vacuum stairs (they’ll be timber) but imagine one of those swoofer things or some sort of dust buster is the way to go.

    I might start nosing around for a new super vacuum. Its not long till the January sales and that’s a good time to buy one. Or so we thought when we bought the Kleenmaid WimpyVac three days before the company went under.

    Oh, and Catty, the Bunnings Poison Lane staff member put us onto something called Blackberry Killer that’s way nastier than roundup. We had some clumping bamboo growing along the boundary between us and Mrs. Crazy next door. She didn’t like it and complained about the leaves dropping. At the worst point of the drought when all the leaves had dropped we gave up on the water hungry beasts and being that they looked like giant grey asparagus spears, we cut them down, poisoned the roots, and determined to plant nothing more till the dams were full again.

    Meanwhile she’s planted lilly pillies down that side, in her bit of garden on the other side of the fence to where our bamboo was. I have the same variety of LP growing in my own garden and I can’t wait for her to discover that they drop more leaves than the bamboo ever did. And they fall over in cyclonic winds unless you secure the trunks to the adjacent fence posts, as I learned to do.

    Meanwhile my garden is a mass of weeds and I need to get out there with the 10litre poison spray pack and nuke it all. Am not terribly motivated with my garden as I know that come next winter the bobcat will be here to destroy it all & make way for the renos.

    BTW MM, we’ve started watching the Harry Potter DVDs to refresh our minds on the story. We watched half of the second one yesterday. If your kids are still scared of Dobby there’s no way they’re going to cope with the nastier creatures in the Deathly Hallows.

  178. Yeah, I never understood why Dobby could provoke such terror. It’s something to do with his pointy nose, I gather.

    One of those microfibre dry mop thingos should do your stairs, I’d reckon. I mean, it’s not like people are eating spaghetti there, or anything… usually. And they’re green! Well, maybe not in colour, but you know – they don’t make baby dolphins cry.

    Meanwhile, I have Catty to thank for the fact that as I just went ’round vacuuming the house I couldn’t stop muttering “Suckety suck! The Noo-noo tidys up.” If anyone mentions nits or Hot Potato my mind might just snap like an antique rubber band.

  179. Maybe this will help you get through the day.
    I dare not post it on twitter…the seppos do tend to get precious about thanksgiving. I have no idea why.

    Yes, Kreacher is far more menacing than Dobby and the goblin in Deathly Hallows has a most unpleasant air to him.
    You’ll probably save thousands on therapy bills by serving up Disney as an alternative. I hope…

  180. Wednesday Addams is also far more menacing than Dobby.

    Thank you, Quokka. After a mail box full of bills (all school related, and reaching into the $1000’s), I needed a spot of cheering up – that video was just the ticket.

    Thank you, also, for the tip about blackberry killer, and you also Madam for the tip about Scythe. Is there a picture of the Grim Reaper on the bottle? There should be….

    I was at KMart today. They’ve moved all the shelves around and ditched half their stock. I asked a hapless assistant for help, and she said she didn’t have a fkn clue, thanks to Bunnings. Wha..? She explained that Bunnings have bought out KMart and decided that people didn’t want half the products for sale, so they ditched them. You know, useless stuff like school socks. Hats. Belts. Face washers. Pînatas.

    Yeah, they no longer sell pînatas. Which is a nuisance, as the humidity went through the roof on Wednesday, and my sister’s pînata is refusing to dry. As it must be mailed tomorrow to get there in time for her birthday, I’m a bit bewildered how to handle this. I’d hold a hairdryer on it, but my hairdryer can’t cope with that. (Must be a Kleenmaid!). I could stick it into a low oven, but as I’ve used flour paste it might make the pînata too brittle. Or sink in the middle like a sad cake. Or it could end up smelling like bread, in which case the Post Office Rats will probably devour it before it ever gets to Queensland.

    It’s funny how the Post Office claim that Express Post satchels will be delivered overnight, but don’t specify which night. For most of the parcels I send, the night is usually Wednesday of the following week.

    Actually, it’s not funny at all. Just bloody annoying.

    Speaking of annoying, so is Lilli Pilli. Every time I plant one of them, it dies without warning. Stupid things.

  181. Ah, what a soothing link. Thanks, Quokka. When I was a little girl I wanted be Wednesday Addams… actually, now I think about it, that goes a long way to explaining all that black hair dye, the witches boots and the Sisters of Mercy CDs.

    I wonder how my kids are going to rebel against me and try to freak me out – they’ll probably start wearing three-piece suits and go to Chartered Accountants school.

  182. I’ve got a GREAT idea for your sister’s pinata, Catty. Put it in a cupboard with one of those dehumidifying thingies – you know, a Closet Camel or I think there’s a hippo one. I’m sure you can get them at K-mart – unless they’ve gone the way of school socks and hats, of course.

    Damn Bunnings and their plans for world domination! Oops, what if they’re listening and I get a life ban from K-mart? I meant: Hail, our Hardware Overlords!

  183. Catty, JB put me onto a shop called overflow (its a bit like crazy clark’s) and they had pinatas. Ironically it was in the Bunnings complex at Cannon Hill so perhaps they’ve sent the rest of the Kmart stock there too.

    I’ve also seen them in those Pete’s Party Products shops. I’m sure I saw them with the cards and things in Target a while ago but they might have cleared them all out to make way for Xmas stock.

    Good luck.

  184. Sadly, there’s no Overflow down here. The local Go-Lo went broke, Target didn’t have any, Silly Solly’s – now Sam’s Warehouse – doesn’t have them, Dollar King doesn’t have them, The Base Warehouse, ditto. I found a single one all by itself on the shelf at the Reject Shop, which was understandable as it was a very ugly Pirate. Great for me, not so great for my sister.

    I’ve put my the soggy pînata in a cupboard with a Closet Camel bag. Thanks for the tip, Quokka – hopefully it will dry. Otherwise, I’m going to have to send her some socks, and eat all these Lindor balls myself. Oh, hang on. I can’t buy her socks. KMart only has anklets, and my sister doesn’t have ankles.

    No, I’m not being nasty. I don’t have ankles either. It’s genetic. My legs go straight down to my Womble feet like a four year old’s drawing.

  185. Mmm… chocolate coated cankles.

  186. But high high can they jump?
    And can they fell a field of wheat when they land?

    Spitting mad here.
    Was notified that I have not quite passed my prac, and I’m furious as I know damned well I got all the pathology FKN right and the FKN tests too. She’s clearly looked for other things to mark me down on. Like not counting the freckles on the victim’s back, I’m guessing. I’m particularly furious as the guy that came after me muffed everything and didn’t know any of the pathology, so I think she marked me down for trying to subtly drop hints that would help him along.

    Am appealing the grade on the grounds of insanity.
    Hers. Or mine.
    Whichever works.
    Am particularly furious as the case that I got in the end of term exam was one that I flew through in the class exam earlier in the semester.

    I do not fail exams.
    I have a string of FKN 6s and 7s in my academic record and if they think I’m resitting that subject, or that exam, they can go FK themselves.
    Video to follow.

  187. A little tune that expresses my sentiments towards the bitch nurse that couldn’t see her way to give me above 68% for the FKN prac.

  188. As covered by Gwyneth Paltrow in last week’s Glee. God help me, but I love that show. Two weddings next week!

    Gee, Quokka, that sucks. If you got all the answers right how the hell can you fail, FFS? Good luck with your appeal. Like they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease… since you only need a few percent, I’m hoping a little lubrication comes your way.

  189. Thanks, and sorry for the dummy spit.
    Its the nurse, everyone was terrified of her.
    I seriously don’t know what I did wrong as I know damned well I knew that abdominal exam sequence and all the related pathology off by heart. She must have marked me down for the general survey, where I’m sure I forgot a few things. Not enough to warrant failing it, though.

    I will spit the dummy over this.
    My prac partner through the semester was a girl who they’d failed last year. She knew absolutely FKN everything but she too isn’t a Live Performer and suffers from terrible anxiety if she’s forced to stand up in the room and play doctor.

    If it was neuro, I’d wear it, but there is seriously no way that I can ever know that stuff better than I did and my personality being what it is (I’m high up on the introvert scale, something that confuses anyone but Myers Briggs devotees) I’m never going to be comfortable and relaxed when I’m sitting in the limelight.

    They scrapped an oral exam for a different subject when the masses rose up and complained that public speaking was the most prevalent phobia in the human race and it was horribly unfair to introverts, so hopefully my academic record and a letter from my therapist will cover it.

    Its pretty bad though.
    This is a first year subject that they expect all the kiddies to get through before they’ve finished anatomy and before they’ve done any clinical medicine. I’ve passed all of that crap with flying colours for my old qualification so I can’t see how the nurse could argue that I don’t know it. They’ve just got to look at my GPA and my academic record to know that I know it.

    Bastardos.

    Glee…weddings..que? I missed that episode of glee coz we were out at harry potter, and I was still sozzled from herbs exam and an afternoon at the pub. Can’t say I’ve ever been a big Gwynneth fan and when she started naming her offspring after fruit and posting stories about her bowel habits online I kind of switched off.

  190. I knew about the regrettable fruit names, but the bowel habits is a new one on me. *Shudder* All my wedding information comes from Channel 10 promos, so stay tuned for Monday’s episode.

    You’re right about public speaking phobias. More people are afraid of speaking in public than they are of DYING – so at funerals the majority would prefer to be the corpse than called on to give the eulogy. Makes “Australia’s Got Talent” et al even more inexplicable, doesn’t it?

  191. Spit the dummy as far as you like Q, that stinks big-time. And this is the place to vent. Hope you get that overturned toot-sweet.

  192. Thanks all.
    We’ll see.
    I’ve been fairly measured in my dummy spits in the past so they’re all limited to occasions that involve a lecturer who’s turned out to have serious personality problems. I think I’ve got a reputation in there as having rather a good detector for 1. Bullshit 2. Psychos – so, we’ll see.

  193. And as for those shows, well, according to Dr. Karl television wouldn’t exist without narcissists to keep it all going.

    Why people find them entertaining is beyond me, but I guess if there’s an ‘off’ button and they aren’t following you around the house, that’d help to make them tolerable.

  194. Bread and circuses. Still, it probably diverts a percentage from snow-dropping or throwing rocks off overpasses at oncoming traffic, I suppose.

  195. I don’t know.
    I think it pushes a few of them that much further over the edge. Articles in the paper recently about two murderers who were on those programs, one of them killed his wife in mexico and dumped her body in a sewer and I think the other one hacksawed his mother’s head off.

    Which is why I’ll be staying out of knifing distance from the likes of Kyle Sandilands and Gretel Killeen.

    • Oh I don’t know. As long as you’re the one with the knife . . .

  196. http://www.newstimesworld.com/report-ugly-betty-actor-kills-mother-with-samurai-sword/

    Two more words in my sweeping generalization that actors are nuts: Mel Gibson.

    I suspect the sane and pleasant ones are those that work hard to keep themselves out of the limelight.

  197. Now, be fair. It’s not just actors that are batshit crazy. How about artists and writers… particularly poets?

    There’s plenty of poets I wouldn’t want to meet down a dark alley, I can assure you

  198. Good point.
    I do recall Lobes penning a few poems back at CBG.

  199. Hehehe. “Why Chicks Don’t Dig Me: recent musings by Lizard Man”

  200. Right! Black shirt, trousers, braces, socks & Docs. Check. Broad brimmed hat, Indiana Jones-ish, check. Garlic pack pinned to braces, check, Cross prominently displayed, check. Sharpened stake (with red stains), check.

    Well, time to meet the new In-laws. Wish me luck. If you’re bad, there’ll be photos.

  201. Oh, rest assured Greybeard – we’ve been bad. Very, very bad.

    Don’t stake until you see the glowing greens of their eyes!

  202. Good luck with the in-laws, Greybeard. I’m sure they can’t be as bad as the Boss’s in-laws. Unless you’ve married Lobes’s daughter. Yeah, I’m kidding – procreating the Lizard Man’s progeny is physically impossible. Nobody could get that drunk and survive.

    I’m a bit worried about all this talk of narcissists and poets. You do know I’m a poet/songwriter, don’t you?

    Oh, silly me! I’ve just remembered that I’m batshit crazy already. Carry on.

  203. Move over, Catty, my complaints are more pressing.
    What do you mean, wait till you see the greens of their eyes before you stake them? What if he stakes ME?

    The undead have red eyes. Or snake eyes, like Kieffer Sutherland in the Lost Boys.
    I’ll gather evidence on youtube.

  204. That’s as maybe, Catty – but you’re a poet/song writer who we’d LOVE to meet in a dark alley. Just tell us when and where.

    You’re right, Quokka. I’d forgotten all about “Lost Boys”. Did you know they’ve recently made a sequel, intriguingly titled “Lost Boys 3”. When was “LB2”? I must have blinked and missed it. Loved the original, though…

    So do you think Greybeard survived, or did the Outlaws hit him with a first strike?

  205. Of course Greybeard survived. In-laws never go for the kill on the first meeting. They keep their victims alive, to prolong the suffering.

    I saw a VHS copy of Lost Boys at the op shop last month. Didn’t buy it, though. Then the Boss found the sequel last week when trolling for movies to download. I haven’t watched it yet, but will let you know if it’s any good when I finally get around to it.

    I also found a VHS copy of Rocky and Bullwinkle. That one I did buy – but haven’t found time to watch. It has, however, prompted me to practise my Russian accent, Natasha style. It’s not very good, but it makes the kidlets giggle.

  206. I used to love Boris and Natasha. And what about Atom Ant? For some reason… maybe because there weren’t many other cartoons around at the time… I thought he was fabulous.

    I said “Up and at-’em, Atom Ant!” to one of the offspring the other day – naturally, he just gave me that “Great, Mum’s flipped” look. You know the one.

  207. I get that look from the Bloke, all the time.
    Apparently they only had one television station that worked when he was growing up in Tasmania. And if it was windy, (360 days of each year) you couldn’t get decent reception.

  208. Hmm… explains all the inbreeding, too. Nights are cold, nothing to do.

    Actually, someone the other day was earnestly explaining to me that the “Two-headed Tasmanian” myth stems from the purity of their water. Yes, the waters of Tasmania flow so crystal clear that they lack iodine. Goitres were thus endemic. So they were more “Thick-necked” than “Two-headed”.

  209. Its a wonder the apple isle didn’t produce more football players.

  210. Yes, especially since hypothyroidism in infancy is also associated with intellectual deficiency. You’d think the place would be swarming with footy players!

  211. That explains Roger Ramjet’s massive chin. He must be a Tasmanian with a goitre.

    Everybody sing!

    “When Catty takes her proton pills, the kidlets start to worry,
    They can’t explain her lack of brain, and Irma-guided fury….”

    Hey, I said I was a poet. I never said I was good at it.

  212. “Catty, Catty, she’s our (wo)man,
    Hero of our nation.
    She’s vodka-fuelled
    And born to rule
    Just don’t get between her and the Tim Tams!”

    I’m having trouble with scansion in the last line, there, Catty. Do you think anyone will notice if we just sing it really fast?

  213. Suggest new last line:
    ‘She’ll shave their heads and pawn them.’

    My only confusion is trying to remember how havoc and JB spell ‘PWN’.

  214. Er, the unmentioned enemy that’s being pwned being the lice, of course.
    although it wouldn’t hurt to keep it ambiguous in order to instill fear in the hearts of the small fry.

  215. Ah, yes. Instilling fear into the hearts of children is a valuable tool in any parent’s bag of tricks.

    Bag of Tricks? Oh, help! Now I’m channeling Felix the Cat.

  216. I’d love one of those Felix the Cat clocks for the kitchen, with the swivelling eyes and swinging tail. But I’d really need chequerboard tiles and a sparkly laminex table to go with it.

  217. One of my girlfriends has a dog phone like that.
    I’m sure it’s the Scooby Doo one. She has chequerboard tiles, too.
    It does the howl thing instead of the ring tone and her dogs go and sit next to it and howl when it rings.

    Very cool.

  218. Back to my television grumbles, I tortured myself with 5 minutes of channel surfing last night while I was waiting for the bloke to clean his teeth & come & watch Harry Potter – and I caught a few minutes of some horrible show that I switched off, googled, and realized was all about a day in the life of a council inspector. WTF is the world coming to when that kind of crap is competing for air space with the Vicar of Dibley?

  219. The sad thing is that it could actually have been funny.
    I’ve got a collection of stories from 12 years of living next door to the boarding house, and 13 years of living across the road from an old sicilian sociopath who used to collect decaying white goods. When he died it took four men five days to remove his years of accumulated horror.

    While it was still alive and flourishing, a Tamagochi appeared in the shit pile in Nick’s front yard. While I was studying for exams. And I’m precious about noise pollution at the best of times.
    Do you know how **** annoying it is listening to one of those things wail at all hours? I rang the council, who erupted in fits of laughter, and said that they don’t do noise complaints, and advised me to call the police.
    They too erupted in fits of laughter and suggested I should go over, knock on the door, and ask Nick if I could give it a cuddle. A few days later Nick came home at 3am, rolling drunk as was his want, and parked across my driveway. the entire driveway, not just a part of it. that, the cops agreed to do something about.

    They picked their way through the forest of white goods and banged on the door. No response. They got out their batons and used them to bang on the door, harder.
    Snores from within.
    So one of them decided to try to wind his way through the white goods graveyard to get down the side. He swore as he brushed past the tangle of cats claw and prickly pear, clearly losing patience. Once he got to the side gate he realized his path was blocked, by more white goods and a collection of mattresses that Nick had left out there to air out after he’d urinated on them. (The cleaners said they removed over 30 mattresses, all with wee stains and worse).

    So the cop had to turn around and try to find his way back. When he brushed past the Tamagochi it went off, and started yowling at top volume. ‘FUCK!’ bellowed the cop, finally losing his temper. Out came the baton. WHACK, went the baton, and the Tamagochi was silenced.

    If I’d had a hand held camera during those first 12 years here, the documentary I’d produce would make my fortune.

  220. Hehehe. Love it! Police brutality against a Tamagotchi.

    Do you think the cops would do something about the damn furbies that have infested my house? I could tell them I saw the furbies passing a doobie around, or something.

  221. Tell them the furbies will be in the witness stand next time Chris Hurley makes an appearance at the Inquisition.
    That’ll be the last you’ll see of them.

  222. Although Humpybong does complain that occasionally something left over from mafia drug wars and police questioning does float in on the tide at the Clontarf foreshore.

  223. Get a copy of Gremlins for your boys, and make them watch it. Then tell them that Furbys are really Gremlins, and that they roam the house at night looking for food.

    Sure, they’ll develop a phobia that therapy may never truly eradicate, but at least you’ll be rid of the stupid things.

    We’ve had three Furbys, all of which malfunctioned within two weeks of purchase. I have no idea why, and even tried to fix one of them for a heartbroken kidlet. Fortunately, they’re harder to fix than iPhones – I failed dismally, binned it, and bought the poor girl a talking baby My Little Pony instead.

    Our current infestation is Pokemon VHS cassettes. Somehow we have ended up with about 18 of the things. What, are they breeding in the cupboard, or something? Stupid Pokemon.

  224. Well, I’ve had my LOL for the morning – or maybe several. Death to tamagotchis! So here’s a possible giggle for ya.
    http://greybeardwastaken.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-do-people-have-costume-parties.html

  225. Our furbies are indestructible. Doesn’t matter how many times you drop them or try to feed them to the dog they still continue with their inane prattling until you want to punch through both your own eardrums just to get a few minutes peace!

    I showed them “Gremlins”. They laughed and went off to recharge the furbies batteries.

    • Strong is The Dark Side with these two. Much suffering I foresee.

  226. You’re right, Greybeard. How about if you take them off to a swamp for a few years to show them how to use The Force?

  227. Thread hijack.
    Speaking of things that need to be ferried off to the swamp for a bit of sword play with our resident knife handler, how’d you like to toss in the Nurse that took my prac exam?

    I’ve been racking my brain thinking ‘WTF went wrong that I could have failed that prac’? and then I remembered.

    She accused us of cheating.

    When I finished my exam & the next person came in to use me as their patient, she got really pissy because he was the fourth person in a row to pick the abdominal case study out of the row of papers lined up on the desk. She went over and hissed at the other teacher that she thought we were all telling each other to pick the fourth one from the left and to the last man, we all looked at each other and said ‘You mean you’re not shuffling them, in between exams?’

    To which she replied ‘Of course not, but plainly we should have.’

    I just rolled my eyes at the time and thought ‘you crazy paranoid bitch’ – and let it go.

    But that’s it. There’s just no way I failed that fucking exam. I was nervous in the first few minutes but once I realized it was all coming back to me, I was rain man with that pathology.

    So I am SPITTING because there is no other explanation other than that bitch thinks that we all cheated, and she’s managed to convince her co-lecturer that all of us who picked that case should have to resit the exam. As if, in the 60 second changeover between students, you’d have time to learn two entire systems well enough to cheat your way through a prac.

    I just rang up school and had a long, snarling spit at Admin as I recounted this tale, and I suggested that they look at the long list of 6s & 7s on my academic record and think twice about whether they’d like to accuse me of cheating my way through those exams too. I stopped short of telling them to Get Farked and said that sometime after final exams, when I am no longer too angry for speech, I will be putting my complaints in writing and I expect an apology.

    I’m spitting.

    Never mind.
    She’s toast.

  228. Okay, obviously there’s only one thing we can do here – voodoo doll. Can you get any hair or nail clippings, Quokka? An image will do, perhaps from the college’s website.

    Mwahhaha!

  229. Now don’t get me wrong here, but I do have a little experience with the Voodoo & I’m happy to help.

    The department next door to my geek squad room (me & two troll-like assistants, one of whom called me masster) was infested by an obnoxious colleague. She would come in every day, often during lunch, and “discuss” pointless, boring but work-related garbage and drive everyone nuts. Like a Dilbert character but horribly real. She had a few(?) idiosyncrasies which she loved to complain about. The smell of paint, anything to do with ducks, parsley and feathers of any kind made her sick.

    So I made a little Obeah fetish. There’s a photo somewhere . . ? Anyway, it was a little yellow plastic duck bath toy. It had a spray of crow feathers coming out of its back, held in place by a gooey blob of fresh oil paint, and a large sprig of parsley in its beak. The women next door loved it and put it next to the door. Heather didn’t bug them for ten days (they counted very carefully). I think she came back because we didn’t put in fresh paint or parsley. I think Morgana’s on the right track Quokka. Let’s take that cow down, Haitian-style.

  230. OK.
    So long as I don’t have to kill a chicken and drink the blood.

    I’m so glad I figured that one out as I’d been going nuts thinking ‘But WTF could I have possibly done wrong?’

    I’m starting to feel better.

    She’s crazy.
    When I complained that the other class got to do their exam a week later than us and thus had 1. An extra week to study and 2. The opportunity to cheat by asking friends what was in the exam – both lecturers dismissed my concerns. Yet somehow, they deem that with 60 seconds that pass between our pracs, we’re the ones who are likely to be cheating.

    Charming.

  231. Well, I’ve got plenty of parsley but I’m not sure that’ll do the trick in this case. More like witchbane, or possibly hemlock…

    If anyone’s got any snake vertebrae, they’d come in handy. Greybeard, I’m looking at you.

  232. No problem.

    Um, does it matter if the snake’s still using them?

  233. Complain to the department that the nurse offered to sell you the answers and failed you because you said no.

    Hey, if she can tell libelous tales, so can you.

    Nah, she’s not worth the hassle. You’d best just embroider her phone number on some lacy knickers and send them to Lobes.

  234. At the moment my levels of fury are such that the only snake I’d consider siccing on her is the one belonging to Lord Voldemort. And I’m starting to understand why he likes to dangle his victims upside down and paralyzed from the chandelier above the dinner table.

    The thing that I really, really hate about having to deal with these situations is that I glide so effortlessly to the Dark Side.

    I rang the student adviser who had sent me the email, and today’s official letter, and when she realized that I had Issues, she tried to shuffle me sideways and pass me onto someone else. I told her no, I wasn’t speaking to someone else, I was speaking to HER. And if she didn’t like dealing with my complaints then she probably shouldn’t be signing her name to letters that are likely to prompt them.

    Judging from the tearful *sniff* that I got in response, I’m guessing that the next person she spoke to was Mummy, and the call after that would’ve been to a job agency requesting that they get her the hell out of there.

    I used to have a lovely purple T-shirt with Wendy Testerburger (from South Park) spitting chips and shouting ‘Don’t F*** with me.’

    I really must replace that.

  235. Nice, Quokka. I like purple. My favourite shirt is fluoro pink, with big yellow letters spelling out “party like it’s 1985”. That pretty much sums up everything about me.

    For example, I would have taken the student advisor up on the offer to speak to someone else. Namely, her supervisor.

    Actually, the blood lust of impending battle drags my soul back from the 1980’s to medieval times. Even as I ponder efficacious methods of successfully resolving conflict, my subconscious keeps thrusting forward images of my adversary’s head on a pike.

    Nurse on a stick, anyone?

  236. I’m looking forward to seeing her try to explain her theory that I’m stupid and obviously have cheated. Aside from the three qualifications that I’ve done at that hole, I wonder if she’d like to check my high school grades and ponder how I got through five years of Latin in the top 5% of the class.
    I’ve never been accused of cheating before.
    I can’t believe how much fury it’s pushed up in me.

  237. Channel the rage, Quokka, and use it to bring the bitch down when the time is right.

    Until then, you need to take some time out to nurture yourself. It’s not a nice experience to be going through, and seeing as we are not there to make cheer-you-up Margaritas, here’s what you do:

    You put the lime in the coconut and stir it all together.
    Put the lime in the coconut, and then you’ll feel better.

  238. What a good idea.
    I bitched to a friend who did this subject two years ago, she suggested we have a meeting at the pub after thursday’s exam and discuss the possibility of forming a posse to take her down with Admin.

    The reality is that nasty lecturers will always find a way around these things. My friend’s year all signed a petition trying to get a very nasty lecturer dismissed when she made a point of scapegoating one or two students in the class, to the point where one poor girl pulled out of the degree. Admin cut back her hours for a semester or two and then they restored her to full time status, so she’s back and nastier than ever. I don’t know what it is about medical staff that makes them such awful bullies.

  239. http://twitpic.com/3banfb

    And a big thank you to Greybeard for posting this on twitter and saving me the pain of writing a letter to admin. Funny, I was just thinking about the last time I had to write a letter of complaint to admin, it was three pages long when really, two little words would have said it all so much better.

    I’m off to study.
    Night folks, and thanks for listening to me whinge and mope and rant. the Bloke is in Cairns till Thursday. that’s his story, anyway. If I was him I’d be down the pub, and I’d be sleeping there till the last of my exams is done and dusted. Roll on, Thursday.

  240. Mmm… lime in the coconut. Why does my belly ache, all of a sudden? Oh, that’s right – Aunt Irma.

    I don’t know why people involved in medical education tend to have personality disorders, but I had some bitch registrars that made me cry when I was an intern. Funnily enough, the blokes were kind and supportive.

    Try and clear you mind and study for the next lot, Quokka. Fabulous results in your other subjects will be excellent ammunition.

  241. Thanks, folks.
    Yes, I come from a medical family so I’ve witnessed The Dark Side at close range. Their lack of empathy and powers of distortion really have to be seen to be believed.

    Greybeards link has helped me to keep my appeal to four lines.

    And I’m repeating over and over ‘Do not engage, do not engage, do not engage’.

    I think I’ve got them by the balls with the statement that college failed to create secure exam conditions which left us vulnerable to accusations of stalking by the nurse.

    Meanwhile, there’s a school carnival on at 9am at the pool so I’m off to do laps before they all descend, screaming, and add to my general state of hysteria.

    Doing much better today.
    Thanks to all of you for your support.

    I think the bloke might stay in Cairns for an extra day so he’s away till it’s all over. Week 3 of exams…..shriek…am reminding myself that once it’s all over I can sit in the pub with my classmates and discuss the strategy most likely to pack the nurse off to a fate worse than death – professional development seminars with someone even more disordered than her – a HR educator.

    The Bloke tells me that we are in for a week of drenching rain and that if it doesn’t get above 30C in SEQ today, it will be the first time in a 100 years that temps in November haven’t made it past 30C.

  242. Meh, brain strain – I mean ‘to 30C’.

  243. Wow. I really am losing it. I didn’t mean stalking, I meant ‘accusations of cheating.’

    This really is making me lose it.
    I count on each and every one of you to bear witness to the decline of my sanity.

  244. ????? losing your sanity ?????

    Around here, that’s ‘normal’ behaviour. (We loons like a good brain fart.)

    Hey, here’s one now. Brain fart, that is:

    *Get some of Greybeard’s zombie poison – I think he breeds the fish.

    *Bully admin into making the evil nurse demonstrate the prac she failed you in.

    *Give the zombie poison to the volunteer subject on his/her way in to the demo prac.

    *Watch the nurse have a meltdown when she can’t find any vital signs in the ‘obviously alive’ subject.

    *ROFL when admin see she is an incompetent moron, and fire her sorry arse.

    *ROFLYAO when the volunteer subject eats her brain.

    Yeah, I know it’s not exactly feasible. But it’s nice to fantasise.

    Oh, and don’t sweat the next exam. You’ll be brilliant. Trust me. I’m a doctor.

    O.K. So I lied about being a doctor. But I did meet one, once.

  245. Keep the insanity, it helps you blend in here.

    If the voodoo doll doesn’t work, we can always call down a good old fashioned plague of frogs or locusts, or suppurating pustules… or telemarketers. Wouldn’t that be a fabulous curse, to have calls from Mumbai every quarter of an hour? I’ll work on an incantation.

  246. Freud or Jung?
    xox
    I’ve had my therapeutic head clearing at the local pool, with satisfying long bitch session to a swimming buddy, and I am now about to switch off the computer and return to the books and the fleuro pen.
    Two more days.

    You’ll visit me in the psyche ward, or at least send Lindt reindeers, won’t you?

    Have a good day all.
    Morgana, are you watching those clouds roll in?
    I’d go threaten them with a cricket bat if I were you.

    And catty how’d the drying closet camel thing go?

  247. Jung, of course. I just can’t get too excited over penises. Oh, calm down, boys. They’re fine, umm… in context, just not as a explanation for every damn aspect of human behaviour.

    The clouds are most welcome to rain their hardest, as long as they stop for Friday night.

    Happy studying, Quokka – and yes, if need be, I’ll bring you a chocolate reindeer with a file in it. Nah, bugger the file – too damn slow. Nothing says ‘Christmas in the loony bin’ like a chocolate reindeer loaded with plastic explosives.

    Yes, Catty – how DID the pinata go? If it worked, I might open a home hints site.

  248. I checked on the pînata on Sunday. The bag under the hanging closet camel was half full of water, and the pînata was dry enough to paint, but it had dried all wrinkly and bubbly, like a kid’s watercolour painting on cheap paper. So I had to stick the massive box of assorted Lindt balls into a satin gift box, which I then posted to my sister. They didn’t all fit in the box, and I had to eat the last half a dozen.

    Awwwwww….

    To be honest, I tipped them out of the box so I could line it with tissue paper. It looked much more professional that way, and the tissue bulk meant there were a couple of extra Lindt balls that didn’t fit.

    So I ate them too.

    Awwwwww…..

    Glad your swim helped, Quokka. Or maybe it’s Madam’s incantations? I know I’m amused by the thought of bitch nurse from hell covered in suppurating pustules and telemarketers. Diagnose that, bitch nurse!

  249. Yeah, you’ve got to watch those telemarketers. A lot of them are antibiotic resistant, these days… yes, they’re super-buggers!

  250. Not that I approve of mocking my enemies for the misfortunes that nature sees fit to cast upon them…except for Lobes and SJS, who’ve earned it…but I think one of last year’s students beat us to the suppurating boil curse.
    She’s got terrible pock marks from acne.
    She says that her favorite food is McDonalds and the only ‘food’ I’ve seen her eating in break is sugary shit that comes out of the junk food machine near the toilets.

  251. Hehehe. Another revenge tactic springs to mind – extreme dermabrasion!

    Greybeard, have you got a belt sander we can borrow, please? With a long extension cord, in case we have to chase her.

  252. I was telling a friend this morning that I was terrified of doing the exam with her because the first time I did an ongoing assessment prac with her during class, she came in horribly cranky because she’d FKD the cartilage in her knee the day before and could barely move with the pain.

    My pool buddy asked me how she’d FKD her knee and I said ‘I don’t know, but she’s got four children and if she’s as nasty to them as she is to us, then odds are good they all ganged up and pushed her down the stairs.’

  253. Who needs a belt sander?
    I’ll just gift her with some of that acid face remover cream that turned Janet into Freddy Krueger for the fortnight before her birthday.

  254. Hem. Must return to study.
    Just wanted to let you know that I was listening to the radio earlier and JB won their Golden Twits award for ‘Tweeting under the influence’.

    I’m so proud.

  255. Wow, will children DO that? I’m glad we live in a bungalow.

    Congrats, JB. Considering he spent at least a decade LIVING under the influence, it’s an appropriate tribute.

    Well, wish me luck – I’m off to attend Grade 4’s ‘Cirque de Solame’ performance this morning. Magic Man is being a ninja (yes, we know they are usually stealthy and not given to public performance). It was crazy hard to find balsa wood so he could chop it with one mighty knife hand strike. Don’t people make model airplanes anymore?

    • Hee hee hee. Grade 4 circus. Take photos to embarrass them later.

  256. I’m a bit groggy this morning and read that as Cirque de Salami.

    I had a quick WTF? moment as I pictured acrobats juggling smallgoods and pizza toppings. That’s when I realized that the advice about reading exam questions twice is rather clever because clearly, by the day before the last one in week 3, we’ve obviously tipped into psychosis and are prone to hallucinations.

    The reason you can’t find balsa wood is because it’s got a new name. Look in the biscuits aisle at coles, for a box called ‘Cruskits’.

    If you want a slice resembling a plank, write to the company, or else just glue a box of the cruskits back together.

    No-one will ever know the difference.

  257. See? Same colour, same texture, same taste.

  258. OT (but what isn’t?) I’m cautiously optimistic. The Son & Hairy seems to have found a place at Toowong next to an Indian takeaway and within “spitting distance” as he put it of the RE. Will it happen? Will we be empty nesters, free to get a van to tow behind the Canyonero (weighs 5 tons and runs on baby owls)? Will it be compulsory ‘cos Fifi and I would rather be nibbled to death by ducks?

  259. Hehehe…. Cruskits. And when you’ve finished performing, you can serve them with some dip. Actually, my kids love Cruskits – but then again they love Furbies, too, so they may not be gold-standard arbiters of taste.

    No, you don’t have to buy a caravan, Greybeard – as long as you’re prepared to wear matching t-shirts, take up line dancing and dine at an RSL or bowls club at least thrice weekly.

  260. Baby owls?

  261. Have been pimping out brekky at twitter as promised. Monster Yuppy is in, Moko and SpyNat definite maybes. CirlClumsy is working. Nothing as yet from JB, may have to target him specifically. Will try DomesticDaze via Facebook, as she’s rarely on twitter these days.

    That is all.

  262. Nice work, Mayhem. So, given all your pimping I gather you’re coming? Yay!

    I’m not sure about the baby owls, Catty. Perhaps Greybeard is giving some to Mayhem’s Mum for Christmas? Should make a dint in the rat population, anyway.

  263. When I wuz at theological college, I learned some poetry:

    A habit obscene and unsavoury
    holds the Bishop of Essex in slavery.
    With maniacal howls
    he deflowers young owls
    which he keeps in an underground aviary

  264. Oh dear. When will you girls learn to listen to Nbob’s great words of wisdom in dealing with GB and Don’t Ask.

  265. If the nurse asks, I wasn’t here.
    I was just checking the radar to see if the tornado and the plague of locusts and suppurating boils was on the way.

  266. What does a plague of suppurating boils look like on radar? I’m thinking bright red edge with a custard yellow middle. Yucko!

  267. Sounds like my lounge suite.

  268. Custard yellow wouldn’t last five minutes in my lounge room. It’d be grimy grey or you-don’t-want-to-know-why brown by close of play.

  269. When my nieces were young it came time to recover my beloved cane lounge suite. I went off to look at swatches of fabric and the salesperson in DJ’s/Myers both said the same thing ‘Let me help you. What colours are you trying to match it with in your household?’
    ‘Blood, mud, grass stains and vomit.’

    I came up with a wonderful tribal navajo influenced pattern in autumn colours of rust, olive green, ochres and greys.

    It served us well.

  270. Hehehe.

    I suppose camouflage would work well, too. The dark forest kind, not that pale desert stuff. Desert camo would never hold up to spilt chocolate milk.

  271. I use throw rugs. Of course, that means the stupid things are ripped off daily for cubbies, capes, doll blankets, giftwrapping, landscaping for the lego city, ping pong ball nets, etc etc, but at least the kidlets aren’t playing on the couch, so I guess the throw rugs really do help keep it clean.

  272. We went to see a just-about-finished house of the type we’re building. Apparently they survived Hurricane Katrina? Concrete floors with clear acrylic. 10cm concrete walls. Occasional steel beams and glass panels for light relief. More power & data outlets than you could ever need. Very, very quiet inside, especially down in the dunge, er, workshop.

    I’m sure when we cover our walls with prints, paintings and photos, line a room or two with bookshelves and scatter rugs and rubbish everywhere it’ll be quite homey. But if you just shifted the rugs and furniture, you could hose the whole place out to clean it? Just sayin’.

  273. I tried throw rugs.
    The cats used them – to throw up on.

    Well, that’s it, my final exam, bar the supp which I’m refusing to sit. So it’s all over, aside from my appeal for my final grade. Today’s exam was worth 40% and being that I only muffed one question, worth three marks – forgot the third point – admin should be able to see that I know the theory and that the nurse is just a bitch.

    So I should be feeling better but I’ve got that horrible deflated balloon feeling you get after exams: weeks of disrupted sleep, too many cups of tea and chocolate biscuits, way too much adrenalin and no freaking fun.

    Am off to have lunch with a classmate tomorrow and wave tattybye to the F1-11s from the Kangaroo Point cliffs.

    Meanwhile I’ve got sushi and miso and I think I’ll disappear to the couch and watch something mindless like Dirty Dancing, and doze off with the cats.

    Hallelujah, praise the lord.
    Finally I will have nothing to bitch and moan and rage about. Whatever will I find to talk about?

  274. GB – I like the sounds of this house.
    Friends of ours designed one like that up at Caloundra.
    It’s wonderful, full of light and air.

    My next project, now exams are over, will be to create as much upset for town planning and our character residential obsessed neighbours with our DA as is possible.
    I’m thinking happy thoughts about alternatives to timber and tin that will horrify my neighbours.

    happy days are here to stay…la la la…

  275. Congratulations, Quokka! I think you should design your new house like a carousel, with animal-shaped rooms – brightly coloured and gilded, of course – that rotate so as to take advantage of the views and breezes. Naturally, it will also broadcast loud hurdy-gurdy music.

    I’m jealous, Greybeard. I wish I could hose my house out. Of course, someone would have to pick up a googleplex and a half of lego pieces and assorted plastic playthings first, but it’s a dream.

  276. I’ll lend you my leaf blower.

  277. OK, now I’m hallucinating.
    I’m sure I saw something about Mayhem and radiotherapy at South Brisbane and the hell drive in the rain back to logan.
    Where TF was that or did I imagine it?

    Mayhem now that my year of academic hell is over its probably safe to invite you into my cage for a bit of respite from the traffic if you want a cuppa and a scone while you wait for the traffic to settle.
    Did I give you my land line? If not I’ll DM it to you.

  278. I do believe that Mayhem has started radiotherapy… which is why she wasn’t sure about breakfast. Further than that I do not know. Hope it’s going well, Mayhem!

    Do you think the leaf blower would suck up lego, Quokka? Then I could just donate the whole sackful to LifeLine.

  279. Hi guys! No Quokka you weren’t hallucinating. Its in the Rain post at CBG.

    Yes I have started Radiation at The Mater. Most of my appointments are early afternoon and I toddle back to work after. I am however having Wednesdays off, and may or may not be up for a wee bit of socialising before or after.

    P.S. – My Boob hurts 😦

    I don’t have your landline Q, so yep, if you DM it to me, I might give you a call.

  280. Poor Mayhem. Telepathic big hugs for you.

    It’s hard to type left handed. I just munted my pointy finger. It may be broken, or merely dislocated. Can’t see the doctor until Monday – and that’s only if she’s on duty and not booked out. And if I can be fagged, which isn’t likely.

    What a freaking nuisance! I was planning on writing my Christmas cards this weekend, and was also planning on making fudge. Bugger.

  281. Poor Mayhem. Hope it doesn’t get any worse. Virtual big hug (being careful not to squeeze the affected boob).

    Poor Catty. Try taping it to your middle finger. That’s about all they would do if it was broken, anyway. It won’t look elegant but you should be able to use most of your hand. Virtual big hug (being careful not to aggravate the injury).

    Quokka and Greybeard, I hope you’re both well and stay that way!

  282. All strapped. Still hurts. Wah wah winge whine.

    I went shopping today. It was a bit tricky opening the wallet one handed. I had to go to lots and lots of shops just so I could practise. Got it down pat around about the same time as the Boss’s money ran out.

    Heh heh heh heh heh…..

  283. It takes a lot of dedication to shop one-handed, Catty. I hope you rewarded yourelf with a tasty walnut log before the money ran out.

    I wonder where Quokka is? I hope all the exam stress hasn’t caused her brain to snap like an old elastic band. She might be sitting in a corner, rocking, muttering “Opthalmic, Optic, Oculomotor…” Come back, Quokka! We need you.

  284. Feeling nervous here. Everyone’s ill, injured or MIA – must be my turn? I hope Quokka’s not crouched in a corner gnawing what’s left of a nurse-examiner. That would give the poor marsupial a terrible tummy-ache. I can think of all sorts of household jobs that would be impossible with a strapped-up finger Catty, but I’m sure you’ve already given the Boss a list.

    #1 Daughter is staying for a few days while partner fishes and drinks etc. We had coffee and lunch at Aromas & did absolutely nothing useful, while Fifi worked. Such a rude girl though! She told me the Apple iDildo 4 failed because it stopped working every time, whenever you held it in a certain position. I blame her mother. For most things.

  285. I think she meant the Apple iVibrator, Greybeard. Whatever position you hold it in, a dildo just sits there, anyway.

    Or so I’ve heard.

    *clears throat and changes subject*

    Aromas, hey? I used to haunt that place in the 80’s. Do they still do a Betty Blue?

  286. No, there’s nothing new bleeding and rotting under the sofa, but I have been to the ice-creamery in West End and stocked up on coconut, macadamia & chocolate ice cream.

    I retired to the sofa after my exam yesterday for a nap & a breakdown, and then we went out to see Harry Potter at the Balmoral, again.
    We’d both been arguing about what happened at critical points, so it was worth the $15 & three hours of crackles in Cinema 4 to prove that I was right. Aside from that I felt it best to remove myself from reality lest the Blood Lust prove overpowering.

    Today I had a luncheon date with a girlfriend whose foot is in plaster, she is a past student of the nurse examiner and was keen to hear me malign the teacher’s character at length and even keener to offer useful suggestions for further complaint.
    We went up to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs cafe (name unknown but it’s where the TAFE used to be) to watch the final fly by of the F1-11s. They were late. Bit disappointing as they just flew by in formation, two went north and 5 went south. No dumb and burn, no frightening roar, it was really pretty tame. Then we went off to play Ladies of Liesure – lunch, and then I took her down to French Twist to tempt her with profiteroles and gateaux. Feeling our day was not yet complete, I removed us both to the ice-creamery in West End.

    Came home for a cup of tea and I was doing great till she asked me to check her blood pressure, at which point mine ramped up 40 points, I lost the ability to tell left from right – much less lateral from proximal – and I turned pale and got the shakes. She apologized for recalling the source of my trauma and we put the offending equipment out of sight.

    So that’s a Fail for the report card on the state of my mental health.

    The bloke has just been to the doctor who has diagnosed a mild indisposition of a nature of which I’m sure he’d rather not share with any of you and which has given him a taste of what to expect should we travel to the US of A. I suspect his woes were caused by the cat on his lap suffering an unpleasant startle reflex and extending his claws into the item of flesh nearest to hand…er, paw, at the time. I also suspect that the examination was less mortifying than answering the GPs questions about the likely cause of his injury.

    I think you should all listen to the voice of your subconscious which is causing all of your injuries.
    Your Higher Self just wants you to go to Fiji and say ‘Screw Christmas’. And then throw out your shopping list and send everyone an Oxfam card saying they’re the proud new owners of a goat in Karachi.

    Hola.

  287. Funny you should mention subcontinental goats, Quokka. That’s what I’m thinking of getting my father… or a chemical toilet. Tell the Boss I hope his downstairs area is feeling better soon – I’ll stop short of asking you to kiss it better for me. Meanwhile, sorry to hear about the PTSD. Just add it to your log of claims.

    Well, we’re off to Magic Man’s first karate grading this morning. Thank the Goddess, a sport which is conducted indoors! Take that, Weather Faerie.

  288. But I was looking forward to the rain! And clearly one of you has done something to upset her as there’s none about…although I haven’t checked the Melbourne radar and if Catty’s sticking 2 fingers in the air in stead of one, the weather faerie might have shifted targets and redirected her drenching wrath down there.

    MM, can’t you send the small folk outdoors in their cricket gear and ask them to wave their bats around for ten minutes?

    How’s everyone’s injuries today?
    Thanx, MM – I managed to sleep through till 3.30am so I’m feeling mildly saner. I think in my next life I’ll come back as a cat. There’s no such thing as a cat with insomnia.

    Oh well. Might as well go back to bed with my copy of the Deathly Hallows and another cup of tea.
    Good luck with karate, MM.

    Hey, Catty, what was the name of that Terry Pratchett book that you suggested I start with? Oh, and somewhere in my paper file I’ve got copies of those recipes I promised you, so just let me know how you want those delivered.
    MM I can probably hand yours to you next week and they won’t get lost in the Xmas mail.

    Which reminds me, perhaps this summer I should learn how to work the scanner on the computer.

    BTW, when we saw harry potter again the other night it seemed much bleaker, slower and more sinister than the first time around. It was mainly over 15s in the cinema and its’ already been shunted off to the smaller screens to make way for things like Narnia and Disney. I’m surprised it didn’t last longer on the big screen but I guess that’s movie turnover time these days, and school holidays is a competitive market. It does have me wondering how it’s done at the box office, though, as I suspect there’d be a lot of parents deciding that it’s not a film for the under 12s.

  289. There’s plenty of rain around here, Quokka. I’ll have a word with it and see if it feels like swinging down your way. I wouldn’t worry too much, though – aren’t they predicting wet weather for most of next week? And, no doubt, ALL of the school holidays. *Grrrr*

    I’m sure a scanner’s not beyond you. It’s just like a photocopier. Just whack it on the screen and click ‘go’. Although I do advise waiting to interact with computer gear until your endorphins are peaking and you’re flooded with calm serenity.

    Thanks for the HP update – maybe I’ll try and divert Magic Man towards Disney, too. We can always get HP and the DH pt 1 on DVD and stop it if it gets too grisly.

    Catty knows more about TP than me, but “Weird Sisters” is pretty funny. And I love anything with Death in it – maybe “Hogfather”, since it is nearly Tinsel Time, and all?

  290. Excellent. I’ll check in later and see what Catty’s damaged fingers advise before venturing forth into Borders & Avid.

    Well, we’re off to take Dog for a run on the dog beach. He’s had a hydrobath and a summer haircut. So if that doesn’t get the rain bucketing down, nothing will.

    Have fun, folks.

  291. Oh, and just for the record, MM, the librarian at school & the staff down at office works know better than to allow me to operate the photocopier.
    When stressed, I generate some sort of electronic field that shorts out electricals. My classmates discovered this early in year 8 at The School That Cannot Be Mentioned and when it came time to vote for positions such as class captain, library rep and media monitor, the class voted 27:2 to have me installed as our class Media Monitor. That figure was repeated every year with me and our form mistress being the 2 that routinely voted against it.

    By the time we got to year 10 every teacher in the school knew of my uncanny knack of making projectors catch fire, photocopiers jam, and the language lab black out.
    The teachers hated it.
    They’d dispatch me to the media centre, where the Tech Wizard would look at me and say ‘You again’, and shake his head darkly, knowing that whatever needed to be fixed would remain stubbornly dysfunctional until class was over and the machines felt safe that I’d left the room.

    My classmates loved it, and the routine of voting in class reps at the beginning of the year became a festive occasion, with the teacher looking on dismally knowing her fate was sealed, even as she said ‘OK. Who do you want to nominate for media monitor this year?’ and 27 voices cried out as one ‘QUOKKA!’

    • Stay. Away. From. The. Precious. Funny thing is, I have the reverse effect on tech stuff. People try something a zillion times without it working, then I do it and it works. Then they abuse me and hit me. Happened yesterday but he didn’t get violent at least. Must be all the kittens I’ve sacrificed to the Dark God of Technology.

      Anyway, I hope this inspires you.

  292. Nasty Greybeard… poor little kitties. Try sacrificing a scrub turkey, I heard you get bonus points for them.

    We’ll have to see if ThinkGeek has got a “Beware: dangerous electromagnetic radiation” t-shirt for you, Quokka. It’s been raining here on and off through our four… yes, four!… hours of karate grading. At the end of it I felt like I deserved a black belt. Still, no one in the dojo has ever asked me to sell a hamburger – not like the cricket club.

  293. Be thankful they don’t make you wear a clown suit.

    We took the dog up to the dog beach at Redcliffe but there’s a big grey cloud permanently stationed there, so it was too wet up there to walk him. We had breakfast and backtracked to Sandgate, where we managed to get a short walk in along the esplanade between squalls.

    Came home intent on settling down with HP Deathly Hallows and the bloke went off for a nap with the dog. Twenty minutes later I heard blood curdling screams – our smallest and deadliest feline had decided that the dog must die. He had his summer hair cut the other day and she’s convinced that we’ve replaced her beloved dog with an alien life form.

    Blood everywhere. Just a flesh wound on his leg, but I think he’ll need a valium and a scotch in order to get to sleep tonight.

    Poor dog.

    So, how’d the grading go?
    Blood? Injuries? Bickering from the parents about the score sheets, or do parents know better than to cross a karate instructor?

  294. Well, in his own inscrutable way Sensei Michael has retired with the score sheets and is due to deliver his verdict on Monday. He said nice things to Magic Man afterwards, though, and it’s only a yellow belt so I think he’s a good chance. There was a bit of drama – one bloke turned his ankle during the kumite (fighting) and a couple of people were winded by gut punches/kicks. The ankle bloke got an ice pack but the winded people were advised to “suck it up” and made to continue fighting. No sooks in our dojo.

    I’m confused – did the cat draw blood on the dog or on the Bloke? Either way please tell the affected to get well soon. The Bloke hasn’t had much luck with cat claws, lately, has he? Perhaps he should offer a sacrifice to Bast.

  295. She drew blood on the dog but there was so much of it on dog, man, and dooner, that I couldn’t tell who was bleeding. And the Bloke, in his state of sleepiness, was grumpily insisting that there was no blood to be seen on anyone. Since the dog was the one yelling and shivering I offered my sympathies to him and barked orders to the bloke about waking up and sponging the blood off the dooner.

    So if we offer a sacrifice to any of the dark forces it will be the cat, to Greybeard, and I won’t be responsible for whatever becomes of either of them. Although in view of The Precious and the fact that the gates of mordor might open up to swallow us all if it is damaged, I will issue a warning to keep her away from electricals as she’s been known to chew through cable wires, not unlike a rabbit, on a particularly bad day. Have to hide the mobile phones when they’re recharging and for the first 7 years of her life I had to keep the landline (the one with the twirly cord, circa 1980s) in a room that the cats weren’t allowed in, lest they attempt to sever human communication with the outside world.

    She’s crawled under her bunny rug in the lounge so hopefully she’ll stay there for the night and we’ll all get some peace from her ill humour.

    Karate sounds different from the days when I did it, the decision was made on the day, within half an hour of your grading, and it was kind of up to the individual grader, a committee of higher-ups and the Sensei in charge of the school. Its probably a lot more regulated these days and also when I did it, I was 15 and I was one of the youngest. It’s become so popular with primary aged children that I expect they’ve had to do a big overhaul of the system to make it manageable.

    Great that they’re doing it so young but disturbing there’s so many kids doing it to cope with bullying they’re getting at school.

    Speaking of the unspeakable, I think I saw something on twitter that Monster Yuppy was babysitting someone’s children last night and didn’t expect them to live to see the end of the ordeal. Mayhem, if you’re lurking, did everyone survive that experience or should we be planning to visit him in jail next weekend?

  296. Howdy all. I’m still typing left handed. Ow.

    My sister just got back from 2 weeks in Fiji. She says it was gorgeous and will go back next year. Jealous? Me? Hell, yeah.

    That Pratchett book is ‘Good Omens’, a collaberation between Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Most TP books are series, so it’s best to start on a stand-alone book like Omens. Or ‘Nation’, which is more of a teen’s book, but excellent nonetheless. The discworld series is getting too complex – there’s even a breakaway series ( about Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men). My fave of all the Discworld series was ‘Mort’, where Death gets himself an apprentice so he can go on a holiday. Hogfather was great, and has been made into a movie – it was on last week, I think.

    I’ve got the Boss doing all my washing and cooking – darling boy. He said my fingers were corked, but I thought my hand might be broken. I had an x-ray, and the weekend doctor tells me it’s just a bad cork and to keep it tightly strapped for a week. The Boss is kindly not being smug. Yet.

    I love the photo, Greybeard, but consider it a warning about my fate if I ever visit – sadly, I too short out appliances when stressed. Home ec was the worst, as I managed to blow up every sewing machine the school owned. Literally. I always know when Aunt Irma is due, because of the interference on the telly when I walk past. That, and the trail of weeping children in my wake. (Hope Monster Yuppy’s babysitting was less traumatic.)

    We’ve had no rain today. Hot and sunny pool weather! Yay! (Just as well, Weather Faerie, or you would be sorry I was ever born.) The thunderstorms will probably hit overnight, if this heat and humidity are anything to go by. So I’m going to turn the computer off. Will check in tomorrow. Night all!

  297. Hehehe. Monster Yuppy and children. The only way that combination makes any sense whatsoever is if you imagine him in a lab, performing grisly experiments on them.

    Yeah, Quokka, I went to a different dojo in my youth and we used to get our belts on the day, too. Sensei Michael is a very serious man, though. He was scribbling on assessment sheets all the way through and I think he needed to go home, re-read his comments and triple-check his totals – more for the higher grades than the little ones, I think. He’ll have to print up the certificates and all, as well.

    Poor Catty – still, don’t be too jealous of your sister. You’ve got cooking and us, remember – well, surely the COOKING is some consolation (when your hand is functional)?

    I’m kind of liking the weather faerie at the moment. Other than the fact that the little ones keep missing out on cricket, it’s lovely and cool and overcast and rainy. Just imagine if Tinsel Day could be like this, rather than a muggy sweat-fest!

  298. We go to the in-laws’ on Christmas Day. No cooking, no cleanup, and it’s walking distance so I can have bubbles! Wheeee!

  299. Ladies, I have no idea how the babysitting went. Monster Yuppy went VEEERRRRRYYY quiet! I do beilieve that Mrs Yuppy was in attendance however, so hopefully everything went okay!

  300. Mark my words, he sent them off for science experiments.

    Hey, Mayhem, how are you feeling? Got that Clexane problem sorted, I trust?

    Congratulations, Catty. So the drinking will commence around dawn, then? We’re entertaining my parents for Christmas, but you can’t really call peeling prawns cooking, can you? Especially when they have to peel their own.

  301. I like prawn cocktails. Especially the ones with champagne and no prawns.

  302. Twenty seven people (27) in a relatively small house, on a (forecast) hot, humid day. They’ll bring all their family baggage, feuds etc. We’re hosting & catering. I may not see any of you again after Xmas, unless you’re kind enough to drop in during visiting hours. Actually it’s not that bad, it’s worse. There may be up to seven more – all bogans. Every year they sneer at our books (too many) and our TV (too small) and our car (too slow/no spoilers/no exhaust pipe that wombats could live in). The older ones express “sympathy” that our oldest doesn’t have a job after all that uni eddikation, ignoring that she had a great one until her epilepsy made it impossible to work. Every. Stinking. Time. They’ll make cracks about #2 daughter not coming from Melbourne and this year about #Only son going down to join her (cunning coward!). I’ve suggested that we go to Melbourne next year too & I think Fifi’s keen. Assuming I’m not detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure (a strange phrase when you think about it). Xmas – ya gotta hate it.

  303. You’re brave, Greybeard. If it were me, I’d leave for Melbourne on Christmas Eve. I would turn on the electrified 8ft fence as I left. I would NOT notify bogan rellies about the 18000 volts, my absence, the starving rottweilers locked in the house, or The Colinator. For added Christmas fun, I’d install surveillance cameras, to record the hilarity.

  304. We’re having an Orphans ‘Xmas up at Caloundra, with an assortment of friends who either are orphans or those who wish for it every Xmas but are foiled by Santa’s failure to live up to the job description of Stealth Ninja Chimney Assassin.

    Catty I’m not familiar with this injury term ‘corked’.
    Did it involve a bottle of cold chablis?

    At least they’re not broken and you’ve got a housebroken servant. Thanks for the TP tip, BTW.

    I’m having a lovely day watching the rain roll in, emulating the cats sleeping, and reading the Deathly Hallows. I took a break before to make us a nice vegetarian lunch – savory roast pumpkin & brown rice pie, with roast taties.

    Its so nice to have time to fart about in the kitchen, finally, free of any sense of guilt.

    Oh, and I’m with Morgana. If things went quiet it’s because Mrs. Yuppy reached the limits of her patience. She probably sold them on Ebay. Can you swap children for a pair of Jimmy Choos? If so then those kids are in transit to Darkest Africa, to be enslaved by Cadbury’s in one of their cocoa plantations. She probably gave them a golden ticket each and told they’ll be met by Willy Wonka.

  305. You’ve got the refined sensibilities of a reality TV producer, Catty. Greybeard, if you do as Catty suggests you should videotape the ensuing hilarity and sell it to Channel 7.

    Hehehe. Golden tickets. You do raise a fascinating point, though, Quokka – can I swap two children for a purple Missoni handbag? I’ll hop onto ebay and find out. If you see me at breakfast, looking stressfree, well-rested and carrying a glorious handbag you’ll know the answer.

  306. If Tiffany’s is prepared to take offspring in lieu of legal tender, I’ll be flying up for that breakfast. Just look at the airport for the strange woman with Womble feet and enough bling to melt Jetstar’s metal detector.

  307. Hmm… hey Catty, maybe if we sell all five together as a set of matched hellions we could get more for them? Then we could go to Tahiti and get one up on your sister.

    I may have threatened to swap the children for cash once too often, though. The other day Elf Boy committed some atrocity or other and I was telling him off. He looked up at me with tears glimmering in his big blue eyes and sobbed “Are you going to sell me on ebay now?”

  308. Awwww, the poor love. Quick, reassure him that kids don’t fetch much on eBay at this time of year. It’s June when the bidding skyrockets – I think it has something to do with tax deductions. And then give him a kiss….

  309. Our Bratlings were told quite regularly that we’d have to sell them for medical experiments or to gypsies, white slavers or pet food companies. They on the other hand would come up looking sad and wistful and ask if there was any chance they might have been adopted.

    Secretary at school office: “So this is your daughter Mr R?”
    Daughter (unleashing the full power of big blue eyes and dimples): “I’m not *really* his daughter.”
    Secretary (looking from one to the other): “Not a chance kiddo.”

  310. I spent my early childhood in Penrith. We used to go to the local pool across the road from the old Leagues Club. A toddler was abducted from the pool in 1968, and I grew up fantasising that I was that abducted girl. I dreamed that one day, my loving parents would track me down and rescue me.

    They never did. Bastards. And then I did the geneaology semester in science, and discovered that my family really was my family. Way to crush a little girl’s dreams, Dept Ed!

  311. Catty, you’ve just explained to me the mystery of why the parents down at the local swimming complex are busy looking the other way when their children are in need of Guidance and Redirection. I hadn’t considered that they’re all praying for paedophiles and aliens to beam up their children but given what I’ve seen, its starting to make sense.

  312. Elf Boy has rebounded. We bought some hommus for Magic Man, and Elf Boy said “MM’s favourite word that starts with ‘h’ is hommus.”

    Me “What’s YOUR favourite word that starts with ‘h’ ?”

    Elf Boy “Huggle!” and then proceeded to wrap his little arms around me and give me a big cuddle.

    Sure, they’re 90% rancid – but the other 10% of the time they’re very cute.

    • Awww. Maybe keep them a bit longer?

  313. My favorite word beginning with H is Hobosexual.
    i.e. slovenly gay men who’ve given up trying to look like anything other than Michael Moore or Peter Jackson.

    Last time I was in Sydney I saw LOTS of them pushing their way through the CBD and I personally can’t wait for Oprah’s 300 strong contingent of single female fans to arrive in the gay capital of Australia, hoping to find the Bloke of their dreams sipping a maccacino inside the familiar haven of the Golden McArches…can you imagine what they’ll say when Sydney’s male population don’t all look and act like Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe & Keith Urban?

  314. Hehehe. Hobosexual.

    Well, ruggedly (or boyishly, in Keith’s case) handsome as those blokes may be, it’s most probably a good thing if they don’t carry on like Mel and Rusty – or Keith when he was on the gear, for that matter.

    Answer for me this sociological query, though – are Oprah fans all single, or is this a special “Lovelorn Seppos to the Outback” programme?

  315. If they do have menfolk back home they either need improving or trading in. Trust me, there will be a Woman’s Weekly article coming soon about how one of them found love in Arsetrailyer.

    We just have to pray that none of them meets Lobes…

  316. Hehehe. That would be a 12-part reality docudrama in itself, wouldn’t it? You’d be better off taking out a whopping life insurance policy, marrying Gabe Watson and then going scuba diving.

    Well, you’ll be happy to know that Magic Man double graded, so now he’s a yellow belt with knobs on… or something like that. He’s got an end-of-year trip to the ice-skating today, while Elf Boy’s off to a water-park. If they both come home uninjured, not having required resuscitation at any point, I’ll be considering myself lucky.

  317. Congrats to Magic Man, but…. a yellow belt with knobs on? I thought it was a Wizard’s staff that had the knob on the end?

  318. . . . and the hedgehog can never be buggered at all?

    Ditto the congratulations. Maybe the knobs are so that he take it off and spin it as a weapon?

  319. Que?
    How did we arrive at the point where the Hedgehog is being Monaghaned?

    Well done, young paduan yellow belt. Ignore Darth Greybeard, I fear he has spent too much time in the Trifle Sea, and is rambling.

  320. Oh Quokka, you’re not a Terry Pratchett fan are you? These refer to the songs of one of my favourite characters:

    Nanny enjoys food and drink despite only having one remaining tooth (the sight of Nanny Ogg eating a pickled onion is described as bringing tears to the eyes). When she is drunk, she has a tendency to sing very “special” songs, the most popular being “The Hedgehog Can Never Be Buggered At All” or simply “The Hedgehog Song” (never really unveiled by the author beyond a few lines, but many readers have written their own versions). A close runner up for the most popular Nanny Ogg song is “A Wizard’s Staff has a Knob on the End”.

  321. I have a copy of Nanny Ogg’s cookbook. Bananana Surprise did not surprise nearly enough – but then, I suspect the authors left out a couple of key ingredients.

  322. Finely diced knobs?

  323. Fair enough Q, you fetch Lobes and I’ll get me cutlery. The ceramic one does a very nice slice and dice.

  324. Q: How many Lizard Men does it take to wallpaper the living room?

    A: It depends how thinly you slice them.

  325. I don’t fancy Lobes wallpaper. I’d say feed him to the Colinator, but I’m afraid he’d go straight through him like a dose of salts… then again, it’s probably better he not linger.

    Sun, glorious Sun! And with it the stinking, lousy, wading-through-treacle humidity. So much for my plans for a lovely mild Christmas. *Sigh*

  326. Why do I get the messy jobs?
    You know damned well he only appears at the first sight of blood. Unless someone else wants to fork out for hookers and blow.

  327. Any hooker crappy enough to take on Lizard Man would probably work for blow.

    Madam, you’d be happy to nip over the back fence and grab a bit off the neighbour’s roof, yeah?

    Meanwhile, we have a mystery. There was a bag of strawberry creams in the cupboard – the Boss got them for his birthday, so I wasn’t allowed to eat them. Tonight he went to get a strawberry cream, and the bag has vanished.

    Guess who he’s blaming? Yep. Me. But it wasn’t me. It took a family sized block of Cadbury’s special edition Snack strawberries and cream to keep me away from the birthday chocolates, but I managed. And now some pilfering mini-chocoholic has purloined the whole bag full. This sucks. Especially as I just made the kidlets a batch of Flake cakes. Little buggers.

  328. Perhaps you’ve got a Strawberry Cream Faerie, Catty. Look for their spoor… it’s like gecko poo in that it sticks to the walls, but it’s pink tinged.

    A box of chocolates recently vanished in my house, too, but it’s no mystery. Magic Man and Elf Boy found them. They’ve been having a chocolate for “breakfast dessert”, a chocolate because they feel they’ve been good, a chocolate just because, and a few after dinner. Bye-bye choccies!

  329. Hmmm…. I found what I thought was a mouse dollop on the pantry floor last week, behind a milk crate of recipe books. We caught three mice last summer, and I thought I’d just been slack about cleaning up after them. Hey, it’s a tricky corner to get in, being under the bottom shelf and all, and I am chronically lazy. But maybe it was a Faerie?

    You realise, of course, that if the little bastards are stealing confectionery, this means war? I’m just going to have to go Nazi on their glittery arses – is there such a thing as Faerocide? If there isn’t, there soon will be.

    KIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLL!!!!!!

  330. I dreamed about strawberry creams the other night, Catty, so perhaps I’ve learned to astral travel and I’m your chocolate thief. Then again, if you’re seeing faerie droppings in those hard to reach kitchen closets, it might be time to set some rat traps and bait them with faerie bread and sugared almonds.

    Dark Confession time – I watched the Oprah special on the 45th reunion of the cast of the Sound of Music. Christopher Plummer, at 80, still gives my heart the flutters.

    He said he drank so much Swiss beer that wardrobe had to let out his pants and his waist-coats, and he confessed to finding the plot so sugary sweet sentimental that he called it ‘The Sound Of Mucous’ whilst filming on set.

    He was ever so dapper and witty.
    I’m no longer ashamed I had that crush on him when I was 4.

  331. Hehehe. “The Sound of Mucous”. Reminds me of my first job as an intern on the chronic medical ward.

    Magic Man has been at it again with the medical misnomers. You all may be aware that he is a sufferer of “migration headaches” (which is, I think, a severe headache with visual disturbance that makes you want to fly south for winter). Well, we ran into someone’s Mum at Woolies the other day.

    Magic Man “That’s X’s Mum. His baby brother has got Upside-down Syndrome.”

  332. And a sister with Inside Out Syndrome?

  333. No – but his brother is Back-to-Front.

  334. Ahhh. Back from HP7.1 (Deathly Hallows). We split a bottle of Cab Sav & had a plate of nachos each. Played with the electric seating as usual. Feel curiously disinclined to continue cleaning the gutters?

    Son & Hairy back early with a migration headache (thanks for that one) which caused him to migrate home.

  335. So, do you concur with Quokka that HP7.1 is not suitable for the younger, impressionable viewer, Greybeard?

    BTW, folks my vague impression is that breakfast is Sunday at 8:30 at the usual place. Please correct me where I’m wrong.

  336. Yep. That’s it.
    I’ve made a booking for 8.
    Am still waiting for the Not Sures to make up their minds so I’ll chase them about that later in the week.

    There’s a 10.30am screening of HP7 at South Bank on Sunday, if you want to go see it and make your own decision about it. I’ll happily come along. That session is on the big screen whereas later sessions seem to have been shunted to smaller screens to make way for the competition.

    JB took his kids to see Narnia and he raved about it so I’d say that’s the way to go.

  337. Yes I do. We *really* enjoyed it and I want the second part NOW (please) but it was quite gory in parts. Bit o’ blood, amputation, torture and death. And it had the increasingly adult relationships and strains between the main characters. Not sure young kiddies would understand how cabin fever, fear, frustration and a bit of cursedness were affecting them.

  338. Yep, Narnia’s the one. Looking forward to that too. Loved those books. I usually loathe Disney-style talking animals but not Reepicheep.

  339. And aside from that, I checked with the novel and the catcher who went after Hermione was not meant to be cute, in a bad boy kind of a way. He was meant to be Les Murray, with fangs and a taste for raw flesh.

  340. Sorry? I thought Les Murray did have fangs and a taste for human flesh. Or is that NowhereBob?

  341. Nbob likes his flesh lightly seared with burgundy sauce.
    I’ve seen Les Murray live at QPAC and his strategy is to spray the audience with spit and watch their skin dissolve.

    A couple of wags in the front row took an umbrella along and popped it when he sauntered past. He spent the entire evening playing cat and mouse with them until he finally caught them with their guard down and yelled ‘GOTCHA!’ in gleeful triumph.

  342. Can we go to the movies, Auntie Quokka? Oh, can we? I’ll be ever so good.

    And then I’ll be able to explain to Magic Man, with the benefit of first-hand experience, why he’ll start bed-wetting if exposed to it and why it would be MUCH better to see the talking mouse and lion show.

    Meanwhile, how hot and sticky is it? Summer seems to be making up for last time, round these parts.

  343. Why not? You can watch me glare at children who kick the seats and offer valuable assistance in bouncing jaffas off the heads of those who lack parental protection.

    My mistake though, the Balmoral cinema goes in at 10.30am and the Southbank one goes in at 10.15am. So we might have to forgo the churros – or at least postpone them till later.

    So far roll call is
    Mayhem x 1
    Janet x 1
    GB x 2
    Quokka x 2
    Morgana x 1

    I did Round Up Roll Call on twitter and DMd a few Not Sures so hopefully they’ll be penned and ready for branding by Friday.

    I now have to go forth into the world (Carindale) to do all the things that didn’t get done yesterday thanks to NAB having another epic technofail. I was at my GPs when the EFT crashed so thanks, NAB, I now have to go join the line up at medicare. Best to get it over with before the rest of the schools open their gates and release the spawn of Satan into the wild.

    Bastard banks.

  344. Oh yes, plus side: I went to my GP of some 23 years to get a medical certificate to appeal my grade. I was there a few weeks ago getting my corn scorched off so I filled him in on the latest bits of nastiness from the nurse examiner. He started having flashbacks to his own intern days – his brow furrowed, a black look appeared on his face and he scowled and said ‘Oh, I know that type…they get the tiniest bit of power and they’re completely out of control…’ so he wrote me a lovely letter, if you read it you’d think I’d just returned from being gassed and shot at in the Sommes.

    Big relief. I slept like the dead last night and feel much less like I’ve joined the enemy ranks of Left4Dead2.

  345. Nice one, doc… almost worth queueing up at Medicare for, by the sounds of it. Glad you’re feeling more optimistic.

    I could be persuaded to give up churros for Harry. If it’s as hot as today I’ll go anywhere air-conditioned!

    Well, that’s that then. The offspring have informed me that they’re not attending the last day of school, so the Holidays are upon me… and the only medication I’ve got is aspirin and some anti-histamines. Goddess help me.

  346. I thought the mothers in our midst were suspiciously quiet.

    Well, a good night’s sleep hasn’t done much to improve my memory.
    I went all over FKN Carindale and when I got home, realized I’d forgotten the all important stopover at Darrell Lea.

    Suffering strawberry cream deprivation and it’s horrible.

    Just as well I went back. Realized I needed to get a gift voucher for one of the kids we’ll see on Xmas day, and then I remembered that Uncle Blokesy usually turns to me on the 23rd and says ‘What should I get for nephew and niece?’ He was still vacillating this morning so I did my Xmas Stalin routine and told him they’re getting vouchers. JB hi fi and Dotti.

    Sure they can’t use them in their home town of Hillbilly-by-the-Sea but they can pester their parents for a trip to the Big Smoke, who will then be tortured by the children’s insistence on a lengthy visit to the DFO. Mwah ha ha.

    You see, I’ve thought this one out.

  347. I’m gapin’ like a yokel at youse modern city folk. While y’all are watchin’ the latest Wizardy movin’ picture, my younguns are in the lounge, watchin’ Watership Down on VHS. Sophistomication, or what?

    Quokka, about those recipes (sorry, been dippier than a jatz this week), I’ll send you an email from the Corner, if I have your o.k?

    Madam, same as for Quokka, except I’d be emailing you re: taste testing guinea pig duties.

    I don’t like sending unsolicited mail, so I’ll wait for the all-clear first.

    Meanwhile, the kidlets have been bribed into bed with the promise of half an hour on their DS’s, and I have a bag of Clinkers with my name on it. Supper time!

  348. Madam, might I suggest several bottles of therapeutic Scotch, with chocolate. The pain diminishes under a fog of alcahol. Just throw in a few “yes dear” and “clean up your room sweety”‘s. Hmm, probably for the best that I haven’t bred.
    Whenever school holidays roll around I try and avoid shops. This Christmas I’ll hole up with a couple of books several boxes of chocolate and several kilos of coffee. The massage business can wait for next year. Had a few dramas lately. The clinic I was renting a room from to see my clients closed without warning. Looks like I’ll have to see people at home which is not ideal. Ah well, life wasn’t ment to be easy.

  349. You give backrubs, Scott? How is it that you could possibly be single?

  350. Catty, don’t know. Not much of a social butterfly. Would rather sit down and have a chat over coffee then spend a night of drunken debauchery being deafened by thumping music. Yes I was never one of the cool people.
    Massaging is a lot more enjoyable than shuffling paper from one side of a desk to the other, that job raised my blood pressure to alarming levels nearly gave the doc a heart attack.
    Boom boom. Sorry it’s late.


  351. Seeing as it’s school holidays I thought we should all listen to Dylan Moran’s advice on how to talk to children.

    Catty, yes, go for it.
    Can you access my email from your account because if not I can give it to you.

    BTW, I’m a bit horrified by JB and FKNHavoc’s tales of all the spam and viruses that JB’s blog attracts. Before I got so busy this term I was roaming around visiting various Cheeseburger accounts and I did see a few of them bitching about SPAM, I’m sure I remember Flinthart complaining about the Chinese Regime taking their revenge on all of JB’s supporters for all of his columns crying ‘PRC is FKD’. I’m sure I saw one of those posts at Mayhem’s too.
    Is spam an issue for you guys?

    Scott good to see you. Can’t remember what city you’re in, but are you coming to breakfast?
    I did the massage thing from home for a long time and it works with some clients but not with others. That was the point in my life where I learned to loathe drop in visitors & traveling cable TV salesmen. I installed a big MoFo security gate to keep them out but some were persistent and would come up the side and yell outside the window where I was working. Family & neighbours were the worst offenders. A few got struck off the Xmas card list for ignoring repeated warnings that clients didn’t like it and neither did I.
    Since then I’ve dreamed about living in the kind of house that has one of those electronic buzzer gates that nobody can get through unless it’s the fire brigade wielding chain saws and an axe.
    Come to think of it, that was about the same time that I learned to hate the mobile phone, too…calls at 7.30am on Sunday from whoever hadn’t turned up for their appointment the day before saying ‘I’ve hurt my back at a party last night and I’m in horrible pain…’
    The appropriate response to this is : ‘Good.’ & slam phone down…but for some reason I couldn’t manage anything ruder than ‘this is my day off, I’ll return your call tomorrow during business hours.’
    I learned it was better NEVER to call those ones back. They refer you to their friends who are even ruder than they are. Gah. Shudder.
    Fingers crossed, a suitable new work space turns up for you soon.

    Wow.
    The sun is out.
    I’m celebrating by filling the Poison Pack with glyphosate solution and after my swim I’m going to do the rounds of Casa Quokka and spray death onto everything that’s springing up between the pavers and the palings and making the dog itch. Damned weeds.

    I still can’t believe I forgot to stock up in Darrell lea yesterday. I walked past them on the way in and sampled some delicious soft Xmas nougat thing, too.
    Kicking myself, here.

  352. Catty, mail me away. If my inbox can stand “Bigger penis make better life!” it will positively welcome correspondence from the Corner.

    Quokka, there’s no point buying strawberry creams, anyway. Either Darrell Lea have gone all Willy Wonka and invented vanishing bon-bons, or the Strawberry Cream faerie will get them… unless, of course, you wolf the lot on the way home. Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if they vanished from your digestive system – no calories!

    So, Scott, you’re a single masseur? Why don’t you come up and visit over the holidays? You can show me your…. technique.

  353. Quokka, got it in one. I would like to keep work and home separate as much as possible.
    Madam would my technique be up to your standard? I’ve heard that you have high ones.

  354. Quokka, I’m a Brisbane lad. Won’t be able to join you’s for breakfast this time, sorry.
    Thanks for the crossed fingers. Should have put this in the last comment but it is Friday. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

  355. Mmm… fluffy nougat Christmas pudding. Why oh why did I just go to the Plaza and not stop in at Darrell Lea? Obviously, it’s contagious.

    I get the odd offer of penis extension or Mexican viagra, Quokka, but it all goes straight into the spam folder courtesy of gmail. What I have been noticing more often is people’s private emails getting hijacked by spammers. Then you’ll get mail from someone you know, with a link to some dodgy site or other.

    Scott, I’m sure you’re fabulous. Everyone who comments here is!

  356. I went to Darrell Lea. It was my last stop on the way home, and I only had enough change for half a dozen strawberry creams – which should mollify the Boss slightly. Maybe he will be magnanimous and toss me one as I sit slavering at his feet.

    Scott, perhaps you should buy a van, and shop your services to government departments. When I was in the CPS, we used to have someone come in and give us all neck massages at our desks. Maybe you should look into it? It would cut down on your overheads, and you may just find out a few rebate tips from the ATO staff – if you push the right nerves and then refuse to let go until they tell you….

    I’ll get those emails sent shortly – right now I’m supposed to be volunteering up at the school library stocktake. Not nice with a strapped, corked finger. But one must keep one’s promises, and the librarian gives me chocolate. I like the librarian. (No, she doesn’t say Oook. She says really rude swearwords. Often. Another reason I like her.)

  357. Is the library air-conditioned, Catty? It’s TOO DARN HOT!!

    • There’s air conditioning, but it wasn’t on today. The top temperature was 22ºC, so it was really nice in there. Actually, it could have been 2ºC, and I would have enjoyed it – chocolate does that to me.

  358. Catty, blind so no driving for me. Otherwise I’d do just that or nip down to the beach and grab people as they come and go. Bloke I new did that when he was starting. Where most of his customer base came from.

  359. How about a tent AT the beach, Scott? With a sign outside that reads “Do yourself a favour – visit Scott and his eight dancing fingers today!”

  360. Crikey, Scott! Advertise the fact that you’re blind, and affiliate yourself with Curves. Most less-than-perfect women would queue for a rub from a guy that can’t see their wobbly and lumpy bits. Poor dears. Not because they’re imperfect, but because they’re going to have to queue up behind me and my wobbly, lumpy bits.

    Oh, and I’ve sent emails to you Quokka, and to you Madam. Baking tomorrow, confectionery Sunday. Or maybe Confectionery tomorrow, baking Sunday. Decisions, decisions!

  361. Good idea, Catty.

    Mmm… I could use a rubdown from a guy who can’t see my lumpy, wobbly bits. How about if I drop in while I’m in town this weekend, Scott?

    Speaking of being in town, I’m hitting the road as soon as I drink this coffee. So I might be AWOL until brekkie tomorrow – see you all there!

  362. check and roger to all that.
    Will pop in later in the day, busy busy.
    Trying to get outdoor things done before The Big Wet lurches in from out west.
    I can see it on the radar BOM assures me it’s here to stay.
    Expecting Mr. & Mrs. Yuppy at breakfast and possibly Moko.
    Let me know if there’s anyone else.

  363. Damn Madam that’s a good slogan. Ever thought of getting a job in advertising?
    If you would like to drop in that is okay. Just be warned that the set up is not proffessional due to the short notice of the last place closing down. As a friend said the other day I’m here to have my muscle knots ironed out not for aesthetics. You should have my email as condition of posting comments. Drop me a note and I’ll reply with address and phone number. I can’t seem to find a “contact me” button on the blog or I’d send you them now.
    Enjoy breakfast folks.

  364. I’ll hold you to that next time I come to the Big Smoke, Scott… hopefully you’ll be able to join us next time, too. We’re planning lunch at Ahmet’s sometime in January.

    Thanks for a fabulous breakfast, all. Unfortunately we didn’t get around to the Festivus Airing of Grievances, so we may have to hold a grudge fest in January.

    You weren’t wrong about HP 7.1 being dark, either. I may sleep with the lights on tonight – and not just because I’m haunted by the image of Daniel Radcliffe in boxer shorts, either.

  365. I made cream fudge. The kidlets ate cream fudge. I made biscuits. The kidlets ate biscuits. At this rate, everyone is going to get Christmas boxes containing nothing more than a few crumbs and a whiff of spice.

    I’m planning on making coconut ice tomorrow while they’re at school. Hopefully I can get it hidden in the vegetable crisper before they come home. If not, I’m going to have to superglue their lips shut. Again.

    • “Hopefully I can get it hidden in the vegetable crisper before they come home.”

      ROFLMAO. Truly, you are a Mother!

  366. Any time Madam.
    Catty, vegetable crisper now that’s cheating. You don’t think that it may have been a mistake discussing your hiding place on the net? Do the kidlets read this blog?

  367. Scott…let’s rephrase that question:
    Do children believe that their mother’s have a life or interests away from them?

  368. My vegetable crisper is see-through and eye-level… no good as a hiding place whatsoever. I have managed to hide a box of chocolates in my underwear drawer for more than a week, though.

    If the boys start going through my underwear we’ll have more to worry about than vanishing sweeties.

  369. Mmm, I could hide Fifi’s presents in her handbags. She can never find anything in there.

  370. Some days I’m shocked by the headlines.
    Like today.
    How long do you reckon it’ll take Liz Hurley to figure out that she’s made a BIG mistake?

  371. Correction. Substitute ‘horrible’ for ‘big’.
    Big just doesn’t cover it.

  372. Oh and MM, I was looking through the ‘coming soon’ list at the Balmoral cineplex and in january you can all look forward to taking your children to the kareoke singalong version of Grease. They’ve digitally remastered it so that Tough Black Vinyl Sandy in the final scene no longer has a cigarette.
    I’d have posted the trailer of ‘We go together’ but youtube is broken and refused to oblige me.

    Time to count your blessings…

  373. *Sigh* I lurved Tough Black Vinyl Sandy. In fact I wanted to BE TBVS… her, or Susie Quattro.

    How did I end up a long-haired mother of two with a tendency to wear Indian cotton and Crocs?

    The only thing we can say about Warnie, vis a vis Liz Hurley, is that surely he makes Hugh Grant look good? I mean, what’s a transexual hooker or two compared to the way Warnie carries on. Perhaps Hugh will get her back on the rebound.

  374. I missed the whole Tough Black Vinyl Sandy bit of the movie. We were watching it at school on the last day of term, when the scene with the broken condom came on. The nuns supervising us nearly had a fit! The film was switched off, and I never did get around to watching it again. Blame Monty Python.

  375. Hehehe. What were the Sisters thinking? I bet they had “Blue Lagoon” or “Puberty Blues” lined up for a double feature.

  376. I never saw Puberty Blues, either. I like the theme song, though – having heard it hundreds of times during multiple viewings of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

  377. I need a cure.
    I switched on local ABC radio this morning to hear the 5 day weather report and caught the last two verses of ‘I want a hippopotamus for Xmas’. And it wasn’t even the three stooges version.

    It’s stuck in my head and its on loop, destroying all the synapses that it touches.
    Yaaaaaaargh.

  378. Behold, and share my pain.

  379. The best cure for ear-worm is to sing ‘Hot Potato’ to yourself until you get the hippopotamus song out of your head.

    Warning: side effects may include getting ‘Hot Potato’ stuck in your head.

    Hot potato, hot potato,
    hot potato, hot potato,
    hot potato, hot potato
    Potato, potato, potato, potato.

    Mashed banana, mashed banana,
    etc…

    There – don’t you feel better now?

  380. All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.

  381. Here, Catty. I’ve fashioned you a pair of false teeth from Scrabble tiles. See how I used two ‘C’s, so every time you smile you’re advertising the blog?

    No, don’t thank me.

  382. I can’t begin to tell you how cool that is, Madam! I hope the plate part of the dentures is made out of gummy worms.

    Mmmm…. Gummy worms….

  383. Right, fellow domestic slaves. Oh, and lurking whip crackers of course.
    I’ve made 72 blueberry & white chocolate mini muffins.
    The Bloke won’t expect dinner as well, surely?

  384. What, you’re planning on sharing them with the Bloke? Are you sure you’ve made enough?

    Oh, well. You can always fob him off by giving him this for dinner:

    http://www.freekrispykremes.com.au

    Yep, that’s right. Free. Not ‘buy one get one free’, or ‘free with every 100 other purchases’. Just FREE.

    And it’s not just one. It’s six. That should fill him up until supper time, yeah?

  385. He can have the KKs so long as I get spring rolls.
    For some reason I’m craving salty fatty junk.
    Must need an antidote for that veggie burger I had for lunch.

    As for the Bloke and his dinner, I may have to suck up to him.
    The Grim Greybearded Reaper has made dire pronouncements about the health of my PC, via twitter.
    He offered to help with my tech problems, and began by inquiring ‘What noises does it make?’

    Now, ladies, without cheating, what noises do you think your computer normally…or abnormally – makes? And could you describe them in 140 characters or less?

    The Bloke tried to do an impersonation of a healthy computer start up noise while we were out at lunch.
    People stared and pointed.

    Then he asked me to think about what kind of noise it’s making now.

    So I decided it sounds like it has period pain, it’s eaten too many tim tams, and it’s all out of vodka.
    i.e. ‘blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah’

    So I’m off to pop a few mercyndol in one of those slots at the back, and I’ll pop a Sandra Bullock movie onto the TV and see if it feels better tomorrow.

  386. I could get into strife telling you this ‘cos it’s against the Code of the Geeks but I’ll risk it. (It’s not like I’m letting on that all that tech jargon means nothing and we make it up as we go along. Possibly the worlds longest running practical joke.) You see, we treat gadgets like patients. We look, listen, touch and smell. Sadly taste only works for batteries.

    For example, a high pitched whine means either that the processor fan is overheating or that the customer didn’t back up her work before the PC died. A faint ticking noise may mean a hard disk failure or a customer from Al Qaeda. A loud rattle indicates a cable touching a cooling fan or a customer who carked when he saw your bill. There are of course gazillions of these little clues which take decades to interpret correctly. And a Y chromosome, and a highly developed ability to lie convincingly. There. Now that you’ve been exposed to the wisdom of the Dark Side, your eventual corruption is only a matter of time.

  387. The only high pitched whine at Casa Quokka at the moment is the one coming from me, because I am stuck with the IMAC now if I need to type documents. And I’m FKD if I can figure out how to put numbers and headers on the FKN page.

  388. What program is it?

  389. Free to air or cable?
    OK Child Rearers.
    Time to sit the Young and the Restless in your house down and tell them if they bother mummy between now and January 29 this is where they’ll be spending the rest of their school holidays.

    Then you show them that DVD of the Addams family where they send Wednesday and Pugsley to Summer Camp.

    http://www.crucamps.com.au/

  390. I’ve just been to Carols night at the school. The grade 2’s sang such a rousing rendition of ‘I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas’ that they were called back for an encore. As they’d only rehearsed that one song, they sang it again.

    “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas,
    Only a hippopotamus will doooooo,
    No kangaroos, no platypuses,
    I only like hippopotamooses,
    And a hippopotamus would like me toooooo!”

    And there I was without a single Tim Tam. No vodka either.

    Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

    The way I feel right now, the kids would probably prefer summer camp to here.

    Oh, and Quokka, if you find out how to do page numbers and headers on Appleworks, PLEEEEEEEASE tell me too!

  391. Summer camps… we HAVE summer camps in Australia? Quick, somebody, email me a brochure ASAP.

    The only sound my computer makes is a low-pitched hum, like it’s plotting something. What does that mean, oh Greybearded one?

    72 mini-muffins, Quokka? I know, you’ve finally got a shanghai and you need them for ammo.

  392. Oh Catty, I feel your pain.
    But thankfully I can’t hear it.

    The muffins are freezables, for the Blokes morning tea at work.

    Meh.
    Its muggy.
    Must go be productive…

  393. If you lived in Queensland, Catty, your kids would already be on holidays. I’ll leave you to decide which alternative is the most evil.

  394. I want a hippopotamus for Christmaaaaaas!

    (The Boss is going to kill me if I don’t shut up soon).

  395. Quick, start singing ‘Hot Potato’ before it’s too late! We don’t want to lose you, Catty.

  396. It’s like some horrible retrovirus, it’s still on a loop in my brain.

    Heh heh…The Bloke rang up at lunchtime and immediately said ‘What is that horrible noise?’
    I explained that Mrs. Noisy across the road has got a carpet cleaner in, presumably to clean her carpets.
    He said ‘WTF kind of machine are they running, FFS?’
    I told him it sounds like a concrete pump and given what I’ve seen of her children it makes more sense to pump a layer of concrete over the carpet rather than attempt to clean it so they’ve got a fresh new shiny surface in for Xmas.

    Sure enough suddenly Mrs. Noisy’s voice rose above the racket of the concrete pump as she herded her children and the nanny across the road.

    Remember the saga of the power pole replacement?
    Well, energex appeared a week or two ago to clear the devastation that they’d made a month or two ago, and they brought Top Soil. I waited to see if grass would appear but no, so I got a box of grass seed from Bunnings and raked it in over the section of devastated footpath. I’ve been waiting to see if shoots would appear and sure enough, yesterday a mass of little green grass shoots started popping up through the top soil.

    So when the Bloke said, ‘Jesus, now what are they yelling about?’ I was able to go to the kitchen window and report that Mrs. Noisy’s children had discovered the new shoots of grass and were running up and down the hill, intent on destruction.

    So…because I was on the phone I missed a golden opportunity to run outside and yell ‘Hey! You kids! Get the hell off my grass!’

    JB would have been so proud.
    Damned phone, distracting me from my true calling in life.

  397. Don’t worry, Quokka. No doubt the school holidays will provide you with many more opportunities to be an irascible old codger.

    What is the feminine of ‘codger’? Witch has a quite different nuances.

  398. Well, JB accused me of chasing the little treasures with a wicker broom so I don’t think you’re far off target.

    I worked hard to get some of the neighbour’s children to believe I’m a witch so I’m happy for that label to stick.

  399. I’m not sure if the feminine version of codger is “battle axe” or “dragon lady”. Either term would be applicable to the alleged woman who will be teaching my oldest kidlet next year.

    I am terrified of the old bat. Next year is NOT going to be pleasant. For me, or the kidlet.

    *shudder*

  400. Hehehe. Quokka, Wicked Witch of the West End.

    That sucks, Catty. Maybe she’ll eat one too many mince pies over the holidays and explode? Fingers crossed.

  401. That’s what’s on my business card.

    Catty, I got the school’s most fearsome battle axe for grade 6 and I was dreading it but as it turned out, we clicked and I had rather a good year.

  402. . . . as her apprentice?

  403. As it turned out she was one of the very few teachers who knew how to manage the unpleasant core of Mean Girls that dominated my class for seven years. She let them know early in the piece that things would not go well for them if they crossed her, and she stopped their class shenanigans and actually made them focus on their school work.
    If that lot hadn’t run across her I doubt that any of them would have developed the skills for basic literacy and numeracy that got them jobs at Strandbags and Coles.

  404. Yeah, Quokka’s got a point. One of the two teachers Elf Boy had for grade one this year was a ferocious, harsh woman, given to berating the children loudly and punishing even the slightest misdemeanour. A lot of the parents had issues with her, but the children quite liked her. And, by crikey, most of them can now read and write to an extent.

  405. The Teen had the same teacher when she was in grade 5. I know from first hand experience that this woman treats students AND parents like brats who can be tamed by screaming at them/threatening them, and that the best way to handle disputes is to lie to the headmaster.

    I have no idea why this harridan is still teaching. She should have been euthanised years ago.

  406. Well, good luck Catty. Hopefully she’s been sent off to lots of extra training since then, and I guess the other positive is that as you’ve said, your younger children are all quite different to the teen so perhaps this one will have a different experience.

    People do change.
    I had a truly awful teacher for one of my anatomy subjects, years ago. She knew her stuff but her people skills were just awful and the entire class hated her. She was controlling and irrational and defensive and an utter pain to be around.

    A friend of mine went through with her a few years ago and said she was one of the best teachers she had and that the entire class loved her and she was really laid back. I heard that in the time lapse between our experiences the lecturer went through some challenging experiences that softened her up a lot.

    Is there someone at the school that you can talk to about your concerns?

  407. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/blogs/get-flickd/2010s-ten-torturous-films/20101214-18wfq.html?comments=82#comments

    Heh heh.
    Its one of my favorite times of the year, the vote for this year’s Top Ten Worst Films. Some of the comments below the story are just hilarious, do take a minute to read them if you’re in need of a laugh.

    I was particularly pleased with the person who said that ‘Eat Pray Love’ should be renamed ‘Eat fries and die’. A girlfriend urged me to read the book, saying it was one of the best she’d ever read. I read three pages, wanted to strangle the author, skimmed the rest of it and loathed every character that trundled onto the pages. I’m still wondering what’s wrong with me that I don’t see what she saw in it.

  408. I would like to see the author of “eat, pray, love, do whatever you want just shut up about it” placed in a shipping container with the movie producer, Julia Roberts, and every unsold/returned copy of the book and the DVD. Then I would like to see the shipping container sealed, and dropped in the deepest part of the Pacific. And to top it all off, ban the entire world from ever mentioning it again.

  409. If I was going to write a sensitive new-age spiritual awakening tome, I think I’d call it “Chocolate, Pulp Fiction, Meaningless Sex”.

    In fact, when you think about it, sounds like a good recipe for holiday fun, too.

    Just took the offspring to see the new Narnia. I’ll say this for it – it was air-conditioned.

  410. Was that a ‘damning with faint praise’ Madam?

    Some idiot here decided to mow the yard before the next round of storms, shift a couple of cubic metres of logs and a 48kg TV, table etc. 35 degrees, stupid humidity and green ants. Ha! At least I poisoned the ants before melting into a large pile of assorted lipids and nasty fluids, held together by a sort of pasty uncured leather bag. Fifi says it’s an improvement. I hate summer.

  411. I hate summer too, Greybeard.

    Who wants to start a commune in Svarlbad? They only get daylight there a few months a year. Either that, or we could annexe the southern-most tip of Tasmania. Who’s in?

  412. So JB is delusional in his accolades about Narnia?

    Yes. The heat.
    I prefer summer in Perth, where there’s no humidity.

    Its been much more bearable here since we got the TV room & 2 of the bedrooms fitted with air con.

    Meh. The storm parted and swept around us.
    Still horribly hot here although the breeze did kick in as the storm swept by. Surely you got a soaking, MM?

  413. Me for Tassie! I don’t know how much longer I can keep splitting these storms Quokka. I’m running out of cats. Oooh Cattyyy?

  414. Catty? Catty? No, I haven’t spotted her lately…

    (Bad pun. See the Corner.)

    See? I told you lot we should pool our finances and buy a cruise ship. If we’d started that Pirate School, we could just sail the school to whatever bit of the planet had the best weather. Huh. If you’d listened, we’d be in Tahiti now.

  415. That’s OK Greybeard.
    I’ve got enough frogs, crickets and possums here to keep us in sacrifices well into New Year. If you could come around today with your butterfly net you could stock up the oubliette for XMas…FKN creatures. That’s one for the drought – it was QUIET.

    Very still and humid in my part of Brisvegas. Stormwatch on Twitter was no fun yesterday with all the other CBGs getting the drenching.

    Hum.
    One week till Christmas.
    Its just occurred to me I should check with out hostess at Caloundra and see what she wants me to contribute. And then cook it and freeze it before the temperatures hit 35C like it did at Maroochydore yesterday.

    Catty, I think you’re the only one of us who’s not melting.

    So, MM, did you get new neighbours to replace the biker drug dealers yet?

  416. Storm, what storm? The skies got impressively dark, there were a few convincing claps of thunder, and that was about it. Not even enough rain to cut the humidity, so it stayed hot and sticky until bedtime. *Grrrrr*

    Narnia wasn’t bad but I didn’t fall in love with it. Then again, my capacity for appreciation might have been blunted by the children, who started fighting in the middle of it. Also, we saw it in 2D because of Elf Boy’s wonky eyes – 3D might have really popped.

    The new neighbours are so far as quiet as mice and show no tendencies towards drug cultivation or rock bandism. They claim at least part shares in a 14 yr old boy,but he must be the quietest teenager in captivity. Probably a serial killer in the making, but you’ve gotta love the serenity.

  417. Aunty Quokka used to look at the little people in her care and say ‘You know what? Fighting is free and we can all enjoy it at home. If you aren’t interested in the movie we can all leave, right NOW.’

    You only have to drag them, screaming their objections and their assessment of you as Tyrant Incarnate, past three rows of seats before you say ‘All right. You can have one more chance. But one more word out of you, and that’s it. We’re going.’

    The only time it doesn’t work is when fighting with their siblings offers way more entertainment than the movie.
    Meaning I might wait to see what a few more people say about Narnia before I risk it…

    Good news about the naybas MM.
    Thank heaven its not a holiday rental. That would be hell.

  418. Hehehe. Although, being next-door to a holiday rental would have its merits. If you really hated the people, at least they’d be gone by the end of the week.

    I can’t fault the present bunch… yet. But give me time!

    Is Aunt Irma due, or am I just suffering from Seasonal Snarliness? Oh, silly me – it’s early onset school holiday strain.

  419. It’s Xmas.
    I’ve got the urge to kick anything red that passes me by, including my own reflection in the hallway mirror.

  420. Oh, of course. Christmas. That explains the red lumps with crusty green centres.

    Why am I suddenly craving curry?

  421. Crusty green centres? You’re sure it’s chicken pox, Catty? Sounds more like bubonic plague to me.

    Curry cravings are quite understandable, particularly for Thai green chicken. Mmm… Thai.

  422. O.k. You got me. The centres aren’t really green. They’re yellow. (Courtesy of the healing balm I’m using – no calamine left!) Consider it poetic license – and anyway, yellow and red sounds too much like the PRC flag.

    Hey, do you think the PRC trolls sent these pox as a Chrissie present to JB’s burgers? He has been prodding them a lot lately.

    My craving drove me to toss a chicken curry into the crockpot. The smell is driving me crazy! Yuuuuuuuuuum!

  423. If you went anywhere near yesterday’s blunty then the diagnosis, Ms. Catty, is Boltulism.
    I told JB we should have all had vaccinations before he let us near that tosser & his accolytes.

  424. I’d blame your pustules on Assange, but I think JB’s on his side.

    Mmm… curry. And since you’re using the crock pot, you’ll be sleeping alone tonight, so it’s win-win. Wouldn’t want the Boss rolling over in his sleep and popping your lesions.

  425. Oh, mine are only small, and I only have about a dozen. The kidlet, however, is covered in massive, blistering pox. Under his feet, in his ears, everywhere! So much for paying the council an extra $50 for the chicken pox vaccination three years ago.

    The curry was yellow. It wasn’t bubonic plague. It was delicious. There are leftovers. I have christened them ‘Mine’, and will have them on toast for breakfast. Unless I make waffles, in which case the curry will have to wait until lunch.

    How did I manage leftovers? Easy. The kidlets were saving room for dessert. I bought them box of ‘lick-a-prize’ Paddle Pops, and they plan on eating the whole box. They want a prize. I keep reminding them that we’ve eaten three boxes of the stupid things in the last fortnight, and all we’ve scored is a single free Paddle Pop, but will they listen? Not if it means eating three Paddle Pops in a row, they won’t.

    Yeah, I DO have the word ‘sucker’ tattooed on my forehead.

  426. Oh, and you’re right about sleeping alone, Madam. We were invited to a party tonight, but I can’t take Pox Boy – so I get to stay home with the kidlets while the Boss goes to the party. Happy, happy, joy, joy, I get to eat peanut M&M’s in bed! Yay!

  427. Sorry to interrupt the flow of chatter, vodka, pus and M&Ms…but I have a twitter question.
    MM, are you having issues with the damned thing?
    I know you had trouble a week or two ago.

    I was silly enough to click on the New Twitter and of course now it won’t work at all.
    Apparently this is common and when I went to the help page there were suggestions on how to fix it.
    Naturally enough they didn’t work.

    The new twitter expects me to have a blog page or a website (groan) neither of which I have the energy to set up or maintain. I considered it for a brief moment and then every bit of grey matter inside my cranium started singing rounds of the Spam Song and I thought ‘nooooooo…’

    Greybeard will turn up here sooner or later so hopefully he’ll know a way around the problem.

    I’m hoping the New Twitter is just a nasty virus similar to Catty’s Pox Plague and can be dealt with by smearing the screen with calamine lotion and keeping it covered in a darkened room…

    OK.
    Back to our usual show.
    I believe there was chocolate?
    Must be Aunt Irma time.

    I blew up yet another watch yesterday and when I was in the bakery earlier I got totally sucked in to buying one of those chocolate cream sponge rolls. Mmmmm…..tasty…

  428. Well Catty, thanks for helping with my weight loss program. There went my appetite. Though I do envy the curry.

    As for twitter Q (clears throat, assumes Spanish accent);
    Problems? What problems? We don’t have no steenking problems!

  429. And now I’ll spend the rest of my waking hours wondering if an overdose of gardening and soft cheese has finally tipped GB over the edge into multiple personality disorder featuring Speedy Gonzales.

    Back to Harry Potter.
    This is what I love about books.
    No mouse issues, no fail whale, and no consequences for 18months of ignoring those little pop ups that say ‘You need to update your settings’ on safari.

  430. Ha!
    Crisis averted. I clicked on twitter and there was an option in the corner saying ‘Switch to Old Twitter’.
    For Old Twits, obviously.

    Strangled any kids yet, folks?
    Greybeard of course does not resort to strangling but tempts them in with bread and cheese and then imprisons them in the oubliette for the greater torment of Mayhem’s mother.

  431. Have I mentioned lately that our lovely daughter (Ahem. ONE of our lovely daughters) made a quick visit this week and went to Council with us re the house plans? The ridiculously young town planner said “sweet”. Really! So she’s writing the sub-div submission & we’ve placed all the power, data, audio etc outlets, light fixtures etc. Might even go for LED lighting with bulbs that will outlast the both of us and can be powered by trained ants. Now we get to cruise the home fittings joints picking windows and taps. This is exciting!

    Q, this is the cinematic reference I was stealing. Badly.

    http://www.rudebadmood.com/badges/mov.php?mov=blazing.mov

    This is better though http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx6TBrfCW54.

  432. Ssssshhhhh, Quokka! Don’t mention soft Chee… yellow stuff. I’ve gone into cravings mode (curse you, Aunt Irma!) and have had enough calories today already, thanks to the family sized bag of peanut M&M’s. The now-empty family sized bag of peanut M&M’s. Oh, stuff it. One slice of mouse fodder won’t hurt, will it?

    Oh, and don’t you mean ‘greater torment BY Mayhem’s mother’? I wouldn’t mess with her – according to GB, she can skin a rat in five seconds flat.

  433. Hehehe. I love the image of Mayhem’s Mum in the oubliette, speed-skinning rats. It’s like an antidote to Christmas.

    Congratulations, Greybeard and enjoy your door-furniture. We’re looking forward to the house-warming – we’re invited, aren’t we? Greybeard!… Greybeard? I’m sure he was around here just a minute a go…

    Quokka, bloody Twitter won’t load for me at all. Thanks for the tip – I’ll see if I can switch back to old, unimproved Twitter.

    Hope the peanut M&Ms have helped soothe your lesions, Catty. Lucky you, getting to give a party a swerve. I told you this virus would be all win!

  434. Old Twitter seems to be running, but it’s very slow and has trouble keeping up with current conversations.

    GB suggested reinstall and therein lies the problem, I never did install the tweetdeck properly. It said I needed passwords from when I set up the IMAC and as I have no idea what they are/were, I’ll have to reinstall all that crap.
    I plan to pay a nerd to look both computers over, it will save us the pain of doing it.

    I have found that posting my grumbles at the Twitter help desk, below the relevant issue, does seem to get a result.

    I suspect that Old Twitter is just slow and annoying compared to the new one though. Although I do feel the Evil presence of Aunt Irma sneaking up on me and she does tend to mess with technology.

    My watch broke the moment that I put in on my wrist on Friday. I have a tendency to fuse out watches, something the bloke wouldn’t believe when he first met me, but he changed his tune by the time he’d seen me destroy three, all while he was observing me closely to check that I wasn’t secretly bashing them.

    Oh well, with twitter farking about I guess I’ve got that much more time to clean house and pull weeds. Eek.
    Just remembered I’m half way through the Xmas cards for Real People i.e. those I don’t see via the internet and never ever hear from.

  435. We should get you a portable sundial, Quokka.

    Of course, every time you tried to stop and read the time you’d have to use a compass and do enough sums to make your brain hurt to work out which way to point it… but still, it would be hard to destroy.

    Twitter is giving me the screaming mimis. I may never tweet again.

  436. You and me both, sista.

  437. If this is summer, for once I’m a fan. It was so cold last night I almost needed a jumper.

    I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas…

    I’m going to the Plaza as soon as it opens this morning. Pray for me.

  438. Forgive me Santa, for I have sinned…

  439. Greybeard, I just saw your post.
    ooooh…subdivision and construction.
    That is exciting.

    Don’t be conned by the friendly approach to modern architecture at town planning, though. We got one like that ten years ago but his decisions were subject to the approval of a total idiot, who kept repeating the phrase ‘But that doesn’t look like a Queenslander’.

    We’ll have to put in our DA next year and I’m hoping that guy is dead or has moved to Canberra by now.

  440. What does looking like a Queenslander have to do with it? The quasi-Mediterranean monstrosities springing up everywhere don’t look anything like Queenslanders, either.

  441. Depends on the local plan/zoning. We’re lucky because there’s no heritage around here (demolished long ago to put up Tuscan toilet blocks) and our new blocks are big enough not to need a sign calling for objections or special permission etc. There’s a protection order on one of our trees but the house was designed to fit around that anyway, cos we love it. After the sub-div, the actual plans go to a “certifier” who either rubber stamps them if they fit the code, or passes them on. Sandy made sure the heights & set-backs were all kosher so it should be smooth. Yeeaah. Is your area of WE heritage listed Q?

  442. We have to comply with both small lot codes and character residential, as a good chunk of the houses in the street are timber and tin. They’re Greek Built timber and tin, so most of them are ugly little shit boxes, including our own, but off to one side there’s a trio of the original old gracious queenslanders with big decks and high pitched roofs – which makes our house stand out as the odd one out.

    Casa Quokka sits between a gracious old Qlder and an old boarding house (the backpackers), which has no redeeming features but is pre-war, meaning nobody has yet been able to level it to the ground and start again.

    We have to start with the extension out the back, for which we don’t need a DA, we just need to comply (no problems) – but council will probably have a few grumbles about what we plan to do out the front of the house.

    We’ll have to do the back & the front in two stages, probably over two winters to avoid the tropical downpours of summer, so that gives us plenty of time to get the back done, whilst debating the finer points of enviro-friendly architecture v. hot tin gable rooflines with Town Planning.

    When we cut the garage into the hill out front, (because we’re on a steep hill we can have a garage 1.5m or closer to the front boundary) I want to do a green ‘garden’ roof on top of it, rather than have a hot tin garage roof in front of our house, and I’m betting council won’t be happy about it.

    We’ll see.
    It’s ten years since our last DA so council might have learned the value of greenstar ratings by now.
    You’d hope.

  443. A green garden roof on the garage would be awesome, Quokka. You’d have more hope of getting it past council if it was a tunnel, though.

  444. Maybe if I label it ‘Toll garage’ they won’t know the difference.

    How was the mall, MM?
    I went to Coles and the Pet Cafe this morning to stock up on essentials before the Xmas rush. Both were curiously empty. Everyone must be gift shopping and leaving food shopping until Xmas Eve.

    I’ve spent the afternoon wrapping presents for the friends we’re visiting at Caloundra for Santa Day.

    Aunt Irma is due for one of her nasty little visits and I have yet to do the Xmas baking. Meh.

  445. Toll garage, Quokka? Excellent suggestion – you can sell shares in it that will rapidly devalue, as well. The float may well fund both stages of the renovation, if you play your cards right. Why not see if Ricky Ponting will spruik it for you? He’ll be looking for work soon enough, me thinks.

    Baking, what baking? My Christmas baking consisted of going to Woolies today and buying a Panettone which I will slice, toast and lavish with butter for Christmas Day breakfast. Although I have been tempted to try and make mince pies, using shortbread instead of pastry.

    The Plaza was unspeakably vile, as usual – but I won’t have to go back again for ages with any luck. Have I mentioned how much I lurve shopping on the Net?

  446. Please don’t mention cricketers, they give me nightmares.
    And as for that Plaza thing…shriek….

    Today mine hostess announced that there would be one extra for our Middle Aged Orphan’s Xmas and I promptly panicked at the thought of going forth to Carindale to seek out a suitable gift.

    Then I remembered the Quokka Pile and went off to sift through it’s contents. Being someone that hates shopping, with a passion, I stockpile early in the year for the necessary BD & Xmas gifts and if I see something giftworthy at the markets/horrible mall of horrors, I hoard it.

    Sure enough when I went through the closet I found something suitable and my blood pressure dropped 40 points back to within the healthy range. Whew.

    Yes, baking, you heard right.
    Thankfully I did the muffins last week – remember the stockpile of mini-muffins that went into the deep freeze? They’re all in attractive silver foil cases which, I’ve discovered, catch fire when you try to defrost or reheat them in the microwave.

    So they’ll be traveling to Golden Beach with us, after a last minute sprinkling of powdered sugar.

    I have to make a couple of pie/quiche type things to cater for the veggos. These I can make ahead of time and chuck them in the freezer.

    And I’m marinading and roasting a chicken, the night before. Last time we roasted the chicken in D’s kitchen but there were complications as she doesn’t cook and didn’t know how to turn the oven on. So Xmas lunch was a tad late. And there was ribbing from her husband about this incident, which means that this year she’s refused to cook at all and announced he will be doing her share of the catering, as penance for his insolence.

    So it’s not really much effort, it’s just that Aunt Irma is waiting in the wings to punch me in the stomach.

    Does anyone have any relatives that they’d like to gift with a bucket full of striped marsh frogs for Xmas? We’ve had a fresh hatching here at Casa Quokka and from what I can hear in the back yard the owls haven’t yet managed to dispatch them all.

    What was I thinking, installing that pond?

  447. Oh, and Morgana, I saw a recipe somewhere that used butternut snaps to make mini caramel tarts. You just pop them into gem pans in the oven for a few minutes and then remove and let them cool and go back to being solid. Then you just make the caramel, as per usual with condensed milk or Top & Fill stuff, and hey presto, instant caramel tarts.

  448. Heh heh. A garage with a “Sara 6 7/8” sign and blue arrows on the driveway. Could become a local tourist attraction. Also re mini-tart recipe? Yoink! (Thank you.)

    Also Janet has tweeted re Burger Urge. Anyone going?

  449. She DM’d me, but I had to sadly decline on the grounds of geography and gremlin infestation. We’ll do something in the New Year, though?

    Quokka, it’s like you’ve read my mind – I just found out about the bendy butternuts… from some woman on tv who smiles too much, whilst channel surfing?… and thought: “Mmm… caramel tarts.” Next time it’s pouring – say, Wednesday – the darling ones and I might give it a go.

    I just saw a radio-controlled helicopter that fires little missiles! It’s even got a laser firing guide and everything!! It may be the coolest toy EVER!!!

  450. Greetings from me and Aunt Irma, who is filling me with Xmas spirit. The kind that makes me want to commit axe murder – if only I could muster up the energy and I knew where to find the axe.

    Yes GB, I’d love to do lunch.
    And, being slower than usual today, that’s another reference that’s lost on me. Unless it’s the Hogwart’s Express.

    The helicopter sounds like a marvelous introduction to anti-tourist defenses, MM. After all, by the time they’re 16 they should know how to use a rocket launcher to take out drunken wankers on jet skis. Then they can be apprenticed to NBob for further instruction in Advanced Tourism Management Practices.

    I had an idea re: the lazy caramel tarts – t’would be a simple matter to add some roasted macadamias or cashews to make them even more exotic. Was it Catty or Nigella who informed me that nuts need to be cooked before being added to sweets otherwise they don’t develop the same delicious flavor?

    Speaking of Catty, do you think we should nail up some posters on the power poles and put a notice in the RSPCA’s Lost and Found section? Or do you think she’ll wander in after Xmas, looking sheepish and hoping for a bowl of cream…with kahlua and chocolate sprinkles.

    I’m sick of bloody Xmas already so God only knows how the rest of you are coping.

  451. Oh, I forgot.
    Bah and humbug.

    Mmm…humbugs…yum.

  452. Sunday was spent at the freaking shops with freaking Aunt Irma, because the MIL delegated grandchildren-gift-shopping to her daughters-in-law. Do you think I could find the gift I was looking for? Well, as it happened, yes – sort of. But it took several hours and several visits to several shops. The ‘sort of’ is thanks to not finding the exact teddy bear I wanted, but I did find a better one. And it was on sale. So I was slightly mollified.

    Unfortunately, when I took the kidlet’s gifts over to the MIL for wrapping, she told me that her other DIL has purchased a DS game each for her kids. (Very expensive DS games.) And here I was with a pile of large, cheap, fun gifts. She’s worried that the other grandkids will feel left out when they see all the big boxes, so she’s gone to get them more presents, in big boxes. I asked if that meant she will be giving my kidlets DS games, so it’s fair, but she just stared at me and said “no” in an odd voice.

    Whatever.

    Actually, I’m a bit peeved at my sister in law. She announced to the Boss that this year’s annual work breakup will be a family affair at a flash restaurant – and it will also be their Christmas present to our family. Cheap bitch – she knows the littlest kidlet and I are contagious, and can’t go. Not that I wanted to go (I didn’t), but it’s the principle of the thing.

    Yesterday was a dead loss. The Teen showed up at sparrow fart, and spent the day lounging on the sofa watching videos, raiding the pantry, and picking on her little siblings. Did I say I missed her? I must have been drunk. Finally, at dinner time, I had had more than enough, and drove her to the freaking bus stop. She said she will be back for another visit in a couple of days. To my credit, I waited until she was out of the car before I said the rude words queuing on my tongue, begging to be let out.

    After dinner, I promised myself that I’d post all those photos and recipes. I would have, too, except the Boss didn’t move from the computer for the whole evening.

    And today, I have to clean the bathroom and toilet, and sterilise the towels and sheets, while there is some chance of sunshine for them to dry in. Bloody chicken pox. So my plan is to post recipes this afternoon. What could possibly go wrong? I mean, apart from a thunderstorm forcing me to shut down my modem? (And drenching my freaking sheets and towels?)

    Don’t answer that.

  453. It was Catty with the toasted nuts, Quokka – she beats Nigella paws down because she’s funnier… and as far as we know she doesn’t drool in the food. As for adding roasted cashews to caramel and encasing them in butternuts – yes, please! As soon as I fulfil my contractual obligation to take the gremlins swimming, I’ll hive off to Woolies to get the ingredients.

    Catty, it’s nice that the Teen dropped by to remind you of what you’re not missing. Should be a sure-fire cure for any maternal nostalgia that the festive season and a weakened immune system might have inspired.

    As for the shopping and family drama… meh. Par for the course. If you make it through to 2011 without getting a divorce or stabbing anyone to death with a carving fork, you’re ahead. Having said that, though, of course you have my deepest sympathies. A pox upon them all – hey! you could actually make that happen! Varicella zoster FTW!!

  454. Ah, yes. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that. Sadly, the Teen has had chicken pox, so I can’t use them to keep her away. Pfooey.

    But I did get a shot at the computer. The recipes and pictures have now been posted! Finally! Speaking of posting, did you get your noms yet, Madam? I asked the post office when you could expect it, and they said any time between today and Friday. Not too bad, I guess… except that I used express post…

    Incidentally, I WILL NOT be stabbing anybody with the carving fork. If anyone is ‘inadvertently’ impaled on any kitchen implements, it will all be Aunt Irma’s doing. Even if that ‘anyone’ happens to be disagreeing with me at the time of the ‘inadvertent’ impaling.

  455. Its not too late to leave her in a box on the doorstep of the orphanage, surely, Catty? if you do it when she comes home drunk on New Year’s Eve, she’ll have no idea what’s happened and the orphanage will have a good idea what they’re in for.

  456. I have heard a rumour that the Teen’s foster carer is planning on wrapping her in Christmas paper, and giving her to a worthy medical centre for Christmas experiments.

    I’m not surprised. I just got her report card in the mail. The horror! Her marks aren’t even high enough to say “Do you want fries with that?” Her career options are now down to Teenage Welfare Mother, and Commune Labourer. Her mother must be SO proud…. oh, wait….

  457. We need those baby boxes, like in Germany. They’re like library return chutes, but with a comfy little climate-controlled crib. Any unwanted spawn can await the attention of the social workers in complete comfort.

    And we need them with extra-large slots.

    Preferably, before the end of the school holidays.

    Catty, the post looks absolutely delish. I’m still awaiting my pox fudge, but given the way my dog tries to eat the postman every time he visits, I’m used to postal delays.

  458. Aaah. Fifi is driving Son & Hairy to the airplot. I’m pleasantly full of delicious burger (thank you Q) and I was sent this . .

    Take heart Catty. When I was a teacher we marvelled at the disconnect in some parent-child combos. The most repulsive psycho I taught (well, top 10 anyway) had the most decent, hard-working, loving mum. So sad but at least the other kids were OK. One family of five girls alternated between dux/prefect/sporty angels and, erm, those wot had trouble keeping their pants on & systems free of substances. Three very good & two very naughty indeed. If anyone ever works out why and how, it’s the Nobble Prize for them. No sorry I think that’s for horse racing. I need more wine. Or Guinness. Or both.

  459. Its a horrible age, Catty, that entire 15 – 28 zone.
    When my ‘nieces’ (bloke’s best friend’s kids) hit that age there’ve been times I’ve wanted to shake or strangle the lot of them. They’re so much easier to manage when their hormones aren’t raging out of control and they have the capacity for calm reason and the ability to think out consequences.

    Do what I do and indulge of happy fantasies of what the teen’s life will be like when she has a surly discontented teenager of her own to contend with.

  460. The biggest problem I can see is that the Teen has NO prospects. She has failed every single subject. Again. I’ve begged the school to make her repeat, but they (and she) refused vehemently. They say it’s because she would be adversely affected emotionally if she were disconnected from her peers. I say that’s a steaming pile of guano.

    Still, you’re right, Quokka. One day, she’ll want to be friends. It will probably be several years before she shows up looking for anything more than money and/or chocolate (i.e, Monday’s visit), but it’s something to look forward to.

    Speaking of looking forward to stuff, Madam, you weren’t on the fudge list. You were on the coconut ice balls list. The ones that look like little Christmas puddings. I hope your postman doesn’t leave them in the sun….. ooey gooey!

  461. Mmm… coconut ice balls (pending).

    Sun, Catty? Chance would be a fine thing. The rain started up again last night and is forecast to continue through Christmas. I should have got everyone a board game.

    Don’t worry, there’s plenty you can do with no academic quals and an enormous sense of entitlement. Look at Paris Hilton and the Kardashians. Perhaps you should get the teen a teacup poodle and hair extensions?

    How’s the baking going, Quokka? I didn’t get around to bending butternuts becasue I spent the afternoon teaching Elf Boy chess… let me assure you, it wasn’t MY idea. At the end of it, I felt like someone had tenderised my brain with a croquet mallet. I’m going to get him ‘Monopoly’, I think. There’s no arguing about which way the pieces move; it’s a one-way, one lane street.

  462. I hear that by 32 they’re starting to be remotely civilized.
    If it happens, I’ll let you know.

    Nice Cat Wrapping, BTW, Greybeard.

    I’ve had some help with my wrapping this year, from the resident felines, but whereas they like to go to sleep on the newspaper while one is reading it, when gift wrap comes out they resort to full on guerrilla attacks.

    My cats had their second hair cuts for the summer, yesterday, so if it drops to 15C later and the skies turn black with rain, you’ll know who to blame. Its a tried and true system of weather control that never, ever fails.

  463. BTW Catty, due to the chaos that was our family life, both my sisters left school at 15, one with appalling results, the other one pretty much dux of the class. After a couple of years on minimum wage jobs they both figured out that they liked money and wanted a steady supply of it. One went into nursing and worked her way up the food chain to the point where she wound up lecturing, and the other one put herself through business college and wound up in PA/management position.

    If my parents had lived to see it they’d have both died of shock.

    I have an old friend who did the rebellious teen thing herself, hooked up with a revolting violent junkie, took years to leave him, and then wound up dealing with the end result of their chaos manifesting in their daughter. She got expelled from one school before voluntarily leaving another at the end of year 10, gave her mother hell, and then she too decided that she liked money and it was worth figuring out how to get it. She’s tried a few different things and is now 21, has spent a year in a traineeship in a real estate agent’s office, which she loves, and has made the transformation from scruffy tramp to sophisticated office girl. She gets her nails done, her hair done, dresses beautifully, and has acquired a Private School Girl Voice to improve her chances on the corporate ladder.

    I’ve known this child from 18 months old and this was the last fate I ever expected for her, but clearly she’s spent enough time around ferals in her life to learn to hate the lifestyle and she’s figured out that she prefers Dolce & Gabbana to lice and teepees.

  464. Hehehe… lice and teepees. I take it you won’t be attending Woodford this year then, Quokka?

    Actually, I doubt anyone will be. If it keeps raining as predicted, Woodford will slide down the hill and wind up on top of Morayfield. Hey, that wouldn’t be too bad! Brisbane people could just commute, and give the lice-infested teepees the swerve.

  465. Woodford is my personal idea of hell. Crowds, heat, undeodorized hippies. No thanks.
    We have been to the Dreaming which is held during winter and I enjoyed that, and would do it again.

    My idea of enjoying Xmas involves ignoring it. I did extended family Xmas for decades and it’s sweet release not to have to do all that cooking and cleaning and shopping any more.

    Whenever possible the Bloke and I retreat to some sort of isolated beach hut or hotel where we can sleep in, I don’t have to cook, and nobody has to clean or be sociable.

    I’ll have to do my baking today & tomorrow but quiches and roast chicken aren’t too much of a pain. Thankfully the friends we’re spending Xmas with are all intent on weight loss so there’s no point in going all out on sweets.

    Everyone can look forward to a light healthy lunch of spinach & feta pie & salads and the nearest thing to a glazed ham will be the idiots on jet skis outside the power boat club.

    Meh.
    I got a Xmas present in the mail yesterday from a friend who I’d told that the best gift anyone can give me for Xmas is the opportunity to stay out of department stores and the kitchen.

    There’s always one of these and I’m never sure how to handle it. It always feels like they’re pressuring me into reciprocating.

    We didn’t get around to making our usual donation to the RSPCA in July this year so I think I’ll write them a nice fat cheque today & send that off. I might make a habit of this, and that way if someone does ignore my boundaries I can just suggest that if they really feel the need to spend money at Xmas, they can donate to a worthy charity of their choice instead.

  466. You should never feel pressured into reciprocating, Quokka. When someone gives you a gift, it’s because they want to make you happy. How dumb would it be to give you something because THEY wanted a gift? They’d be better off buying themselves something!

    I never give gifts expecting reciprocation. What matters is letting the people you care about know they’re important to you. And because I care, I’m going to share today’s ear worm with you. Thank you, Ren and Stimpy.

    MY Stomach Gets a Cramp (Sung to Sinatra’s ‘Lady is a Tramp’)

    When I eat too much
    I regurgitate
    Some hits the table
    But most hits the plate
    I like to eat
    Then re-eat what I ate
    That’s why my stomach
    That’s why my stomach, Jack
    That’s why my stomach gets a cramp.

    Madam, did you know Coles sells a Monopoly card game? I’ve bought the Boss a deck for Christmas – I’ll let you know if it’s any good when he checks it out. But if you really want to keep your boys occupied, show them Greybeard’s cat-wrapping video, and challenge them to a cat-wrapping contest. Please, PLEASE videotape their endeavours!

    Hey, thanks everyone for the positive feedback about the Teen. I’d been feeling down ever since I learned that I’m not allowed to shove her head in a toilet bowl and flush repeatedly, so the reassuring comments have helped heaps. Thank you all.

    Greybeard, here’s a recipe for you to give to Mayhem’s mum: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/12108/ratatouille

    I liked the picture. You can actually see the rat.

  467. Thanks Catty but hey, I know how to show a feral old dame a good time. This is her favourite:

    http://www.free-gourmet-recipes.com/rats-grilled.shtml

    And what Ren & Stimpy causes, Ren & Stimpy can cure. The song of the Canadian Kilted Yaksmen!

    “My country reeks of trees
    Our Yaks are really large
    And they smell . . . etc”

    Sorry you had a cat-induced loss of appetite Q, that was a yummy burger. Hmm, breakfast time.

  468. Hey Morgana, what’s that lice shampoo you discovered?
    Janet has discovered vermin nesting in her children and I’ve been itchy since I sat next to her at lunch yesterday.

    I don’t think I’ll take any chances, I think it’s time for a pre-emptive strike.

  469. Yeah, Greybeard! I LOVE the Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen episode….

    We like to wear women’s clothing,
    And searing sand blows up our skirts.

    But my favourite Ren and Stimpy episode is ‘Stimpy’s Pet’ – the one where Stimpy finds an abandoned German Attack Clown on his doorstep, and Ren lets him keep it. For a while. Happy, happy, joy, stinkin’ joy!

    Quokka, try Quit Nits. It’s cheap, and it works.

  470. The stuff I used is called “Head of the Class” (haha), Quokka. The beauty of it is that it’s not a poison as such, it’s a thick oily liquid that dehydrates the damn vermin to death. And, unlike other lice treatments, it’ll KILL THE NITS AS WELL! I love it – one blast and they’re history.

    Damn, now I’m itching and humming “My stomach gets a cramp”.

    But I’m still happy, because…


    the noms arrived! And a totally unexpected but greatly appreciated copy of “A Zombie Ate My Cupcake”. Catty, you shouldn’t have, but thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I think I’ll make some of the bleeding hearts to welcome the new neighbours. That should keep them firmly on their side of the fence until the lease runs out.

    Menawhile, the children said that your present is much better than the one I sent you, and to assuage my guilt I should let them eat all of the coconut ice puddings. Luckily, I was able to beat them off with a silicon spatula.

  471. Yay! I’m glad your parcel showed up. I take back every nasty thing I said about Australia Post.

    If your boys realise that the coconut ice puddings come in four different flavours, they’re going to want to try them all. It’s a good job you have a spatula handy. Madam.

    Oh. Oh dear. Now I’m happy. I sing when I’m happy.

    a-1, a-2, a-1 2 3
    come fry with me
    come fry, let’s fry an egg
    if your eggs you lose
    we could use my shoes
    & bake a shoe soufflé
    come fry with me
    come fry, let’s fry an egg

    come fry with me
    we’ll fry some bacon, too
    we’ll slice some rind
    from the pig’s behind
    & set a place for two
    come fry with me
    come fry, let’s fry an egg!

  472. Four flavours, you say? Hmm, I must return to sampling to make sure I try them all. Luckily the children go to bed early.

    Bloody hell, the rain’s getting heavier. So much for getting down to the beach. If this keeps up, we’ll have a merry Christmas Eve sand-bagging madly to try and keep the house dry.

    Hey, does anyone know: if my house floods and the carpet’s destroyed, I get new ones, right? It’d be almost worthwhile to get rid of the mushroom-turned-grey-brown that pollutes our bedroom floors.

  473. You’d probably have to check the fine print on your policy to see if it covers flood damage. Some of them are getting sneaky about such things, depending whether it flows in through the front door or from the overflowing gutters above.

    I’m loving the rain but am not thrilled at the prospect of driving in it on Saturday, especially given that the BOM guy was on the news predicting that the tropical low that’s moving down the coast – and which may or may not turn into a cyclone – is likely to descend on Brisbane on Saturday.

    I was out earlier on a mission to retrieve vacuum bags from the supplier at Capalaba and the traffic & the weather conditions were simply foul. Peak hour type bumper to bumper stuff and lots of fender benders where cars were pulled up on the side of the road or on traffic islands, their owners arguing in the rain. Oh Joy.
    Nothing that made the news, just minor stuff. I came home with the beginnings of a nasty headache from squinting through the spray & trying to see the lines on the roads.

    Great weather so long as you don’t have to drive in it.

    Which reminds me, I’m meant to be out stocking up on free-range chickens and stone fruit. I’ve been waiting for a break in the rain, and there hasn’t been one.

  474. Vacuum bags… do I take it that the Bloke was successful in his quest to mend your mechanical head with duct tape, then?

    There’s nothing you can’t do with duct tape. Well, o.k., it’s not very useful in cooking, but for everything else…

    I promise not to wash the car, do any laundry or mop my floors on Saturday, Quokka. Should guarantee a lovely fine day for you.

  475. “the Bloke was successful in his quest to mend your mechanical head with duct tape”. Damned imagination! Flash of the Bloke in a white lab coat gloating over the successful repair of Mecha-Quokka. Then realised it was the vacuum cleaner. Bummer.

    Also, where can I get some of what Catty’s got? Just been to Bunnings, home, back to Bunnings to get Fifi, Woolies, Super-Cheap Auto. Groan.

  476. No GB that’s exactly right.
    After the three trips to Bunnings last Saturday I shorted out and had a serious chip malfunction, so the Bloke had to pry it out of my skull with a set of pliers and a phillips head screw driver and replace it with a new chip. Its called a Dorito.

    One day I will tell you stories of Things The Bloke Says He Can Fix, Morgana.

    But not today.
    I don’t want to fuse another microchip this close to Xmas.

  477. Oh, I SO hope the Bloke didn’t buy the replacement microchip at Bunnings!

    Greybeard, the pharmacist at my local Amcal claims that Christmas is notorious for chicken pox. So I’m guessing you can score your own dose of putrescent pustulence by sitting in the waiting area at any A & E, or bulk billing medical centre. You’ll probably also get tuberculosis, hepatitis C, tinea, influenza, gonorrhea, and possibly leprosy.

    Then again, maybe you should stay home and use my excuse. To whit: when someone invites themselves over for Christmas, respond enthusiastically with “EXCELLENT! How are you at bricklaying? Fifi, dear, we have another volunteer for our working bee! You’d better defrost another couple of soy curd sausages.” (if you can get her to yell back “O.k, but they smell funny. They might be off. Oh well, nobody will notice,” it works even better). Or if you’re invited to someone’s home, and you really, really don’t want to go, tell them you’re delighted to accept their invitation, then change the subject to your exciting new Amway sales career.

  478. Hehehe. Hey, Catty, want to co-author a how-to guide? We’ll call it “Winning Ways to Weasel out of Stuff that Sucks”, unless you can think of a better title.

    Quokka, you and I can do a “Things the Bloke Says He Can Fix” calender in time for next Christmas.

    Greybeard, how about a craft book for the kiddies? How to make an iron maiden out of egg cartons, build a trebuchet from toilet rolls and alfoil, etc.

  479. I would LOVE to co-author a book, Madam. I need the royalties to pay tradesmen to do the stuff the Boss won’t fix. He can, he just won’t. On average, it takes four months for basic repairs, and two years for renovation jobs. The record stands at five years – that’s how long I’ve been waiting for him to hang doors on the built-in in one of the bedrooms.

    I’m hoping he gets a few things done over the Christmas holidays, but I’m not holding my breath. Mainly because it’s really, really hard to hold your breath and nag at the same time.

  480. Hehehe. You need to learn sign language, Catty – then you could nag underwater!

    I’ve heard that if you get into a state of deep meditation, and then visualise the Boss doing the stuff you want him to do and feeling good about it, that you can influence him through some sort of woo-woo vibes.

    What is not explained in this theory is how you’re supposed to achieve a state of deep meditation with three or four children running around.

  481. The Bloke isn’t a fixer and he his issues tend to revolve around Denial that household items are terminally ill.

    My standard way of dealing with this is to swap chores so that he is then forced to confront the spectre of the grim reaper, hanging over the doomed appliance.

    While he’s off for Xmas, I plan to announce that I’d like to swap chores and he can do the vacuuming and I’ll operate the steam mop.

    I guarantee you that he won’t make the journey around the house without swearing, announcing that he had no idea the vacuum was this badly injured and why didn’t I say something, and deciding that it’s essential we need a new motorized head.

  482. Someone needs to invent a self-vacuuming floor. If we can put a man on the moon, and Jussy Beaver in the top ten…

  483. Then why not ten men on the moon with a vacuum cleaner, starting with Justin Beaver?

  484. Any men you can persuade to pick up a vacuum cleaner are sorely needed on Planet Earth. Send the lazy slobs to the moon, I say… starting, as you say, with The Beaver.

  485. The Boss can’t vacuum. He’s in bed with a migraine. He assured me the headache had nothing to do with the couple of sixpacks and the drambuie he befriended last night. I’m getting concerned, as he is not channeling Havock (“Will you FKN kids just shut the FK up!”) like he normally does when sleeping off a bender. I’d better go check if he’s breathing.

    But you’ll be glad to know that he IS capable of mooning. Especially after befriending the aforementioned bevvies.

    Meanwhile, Quokka, have you considered a chore swap with the Bloke that involves him using the vacuum AND the steam mop, and you checking that the pool is comfortable, and that the champagne is cold enough by taste testing?

  486. The Bloke is currently at the Story Bridge Hotel, partaking in the unofficial office Xmas party with all those of his colleagues who avoided the official one – it being held out of work hours on a Saturday night in November, which 80% of them deemed to be utterly and entirely unreasonable.

    In my estimations he’ll be unfit to operate any kind of machinery for at least 24 hours after the end of his adventure.

    Me? I’m having flashbacks to the last office Xmas party he went to in this neck of the woods. They all took off on the Big Boss’ Big Boy Boat and cruised up and down the river, yahooing, before pulling in 10 hours later to hoist anchor at Dockside.

    After a day of going up and down the river with a free bar and a catered buffet, the Bloke was in no fit state to find his way home so I grudgingly went to collect him.
    It took me twenty minutes of driving up and down bumpy traffic-becalmed side streets to find him, because he’d given me the name of the wrong street corner to pick him up at.

    So today I’m keeping a watchful eye on the radar, hoping that 1. he’s remembered what I said to him after the last fiasco (i.e. you can bloody well walk home next time) and 2. I’m attempting to conjure a bright green and yellow blob on the radar, which should, if I get my weather witchcraft right, appear exactly 5 minutes after they refuse him service at the SB and he wanders off to walk home via the kangaroo point cliffs.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, this recipe requires eye of neutered cricket and toe of morteined frog. And perhaps a few body parts of the other creatures of the night that have been making sleep so hard to come by lately.
    Genitals of leprechaun, perhaps.

  487. Mmm… Drambuie.

    Geez, it’s not easy to get refused service at the Story Bridge Hotel, is it? I barely remember my 22nd celebrations, which were partially held there… I think.

    As for the weather witchcraft – An it harm none, so mote it be.

  488. Have a fabulous Christmas, everyone – and I’m looking forward to a catch-up in the New Year.

    Mmm… baklava.

    Stay safe and enjoy the airing of the grievances.

  489. Hey, Madam, thanks for the pressie! (Boffo card, BTW, it was like looking into a mirror! And yes, I DO keep score. Heh, heh, heh…..)

    A thought for you all to carry through the silly season:

    “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can put off altogether.”

    Merry Christmas, and virtual bubbles for everyone!
    ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº

  490. Glad it got there in time, Catty – and thanks for the marvellous advice. I was going to vacuum for the visitors coming tomorrow, but instead I think I’ll curl up on the sofa with a book and some potato chips.

    Meh… the discarded wrapping paper will cover most of the dirt.

  491. Absolutely, Madam. A house isn’t a home until you can write “I love you” in the dust.

  492. Life’s short. How much of it do you want to spend waving a vacuum cleaner? There are ALWAYS better things to do. Buy these http://www.thisnext.com/item/FCB10DCA/B09C65DC/Slipper-Genie-Microfiber-Floor for your kids or these for your cats http://www.flickr.com/photos/clementineshoes/542352803/ and the job’s half done.

    (Next week: Training your Tarantula to dust the walls & ceiling)

  493. Good morning & Happy Xmas to all.

    I’ll be back in a day or two for tarantula training, and I’m hoping it will be flexible enough to apply to Golden Orbs, tarantulas being hard to find and the Orbs being plentiful after last night’s bucketing downpour.

  494. I don’t know if Orbs will do the dusting for you, Quokka – but if you can unite them in a cabal they’ll weave you an awesome lampshade.

    We’ve had a peculiar Christmas, at this end. I’ll try and pull myself together to post about it, soon. Hope everyone else had a less interesting time!

  495. All OK, I hope, MM? Sandbags holding back the tide, and everyone still got all their limbs and their pacemakers intact?

    We had a quiet one.
    Due to the 35mm of rain that landed on our roof last night, and the fact that this morning’s grey skies heralded more, we elected to sleep in and say ‘FK Xmas.’

    We’ve rescheduled lunch with our Caloundra friends for the next fine day between now and Australia day, their place or ours, as it may be.

    I flatly refuse to drive on the highway in the rain, so we had a quiet day here with roast chicken & salad for lunch & Weiss mango and macadamia ice creams for dessert.

    I could whinge about the humidity, but I get the feeling that it’ll pale by comparison of whatever happened in your neck of the woods today.

    Hugs.

  496. Thanks for the support, Quokka. See new post for the gruesome details!

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