Hop Stopped

On yet another of my forays to the hardware shop – yes, I believe the long-suffering blokes at our local Mitre 10 are sick to death of me; rumour has it they’re clubbing together to buy me a Bunnings gift-card – I was thrilled to discover a can of HopStop.

HopStop is a humane toad-killer in aerosol form, invented by some clever scientists in Canberra:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/spray-kills-cane-toads-like-flies/story-e6freooo-1226014611922

Despite my deep and abiding hatred of toads, I don’t quite have the bloodlust – or the swing – to club them to death. We’ve tried the freezer method, but I’m uncomfortable turning my kitchen into death row. Having read about the HopStop release I was eager to give it a burl.

The next day the boys tore around the side of the house, whooping with delight. They’d found a pair of toads in the bucket under the tap.

“They were mating.” Magic Man said, a little wistful for the soon-to-be-blighted next generation of toadlets.

“Fabulous.” I replied “With one spray we can effectively eradicate hundreds!”

Over-turning the bucket, we watched the big male hop away at the first sign of trouble. I shook the can and passed it to Magic Man, who’d volunteered as Chief Executioner. He sprayed the toad – a small to medium sized female – for the few seconds recommended on the can. There was no olfactory evidence of the refreshing lemon scent the manufacturers promised – but nor did we reel back choking up our lung linings as you tend to with bathroom cleaner.

The toad took a few hops, then stopped. Could it really be as simple as that? Not quite. Using scientific methods – a few pokes with the end of his home-made bamboo spear – Magic Man determined that our victim was still extant.

A second, five to six second spray did the trick.The toad writhed away, making paddling motions with it’s back legs.

“Poor thing, it thinks it’s swimming in the dirt.” said Elf Boy

Satisfied that our prey was suffering terminal neurological compromise, we turned out attentions elsewhere. The next day I came back with a plastic bag to act as undertaker, lobbing it in the bin.

Verdict: Win for HopStop, but not quite the quick, painless death advertised. I’d recommend an eight to ten second spray for the average adult. Toad, that is – but I’m sure there’s a market for ex-husband spray, scientists, if you’re reading this. HopStop is easier and much less gory than clubbing toads to death. Unlike the freezer method, you don’t have to handle them while they’re live and squirming – or  risk forgetting about them, mistaking them for a couple of chops and defrosting at a later date.

Reasonable value at 19.95 a can and it’s always good to support Australian scientists. A few caveats, though: HopStop will kill bees, plants and native frogs,  so don’t go carpet bombing the backyard.

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83 Responses

  1. Dettol in a spray bottle is pretty effective, too. The toads fizz. Not that I need it any more, there don’t seem to be any toads here in stinky, stupid Melbourne.

    But I will attempt to procure some HopStop anyway. If it kills bees (which I hate), then maybe it will also kill faeries. If it works, I’m buying shares in the company.

  2. According to pantomime… which surely is as credible a source as, say, the NT Times… faeries will die if you simply stop believing in them.

    But since that might take a while, I’m happy to buy some more HopStop and send it down, if you like.

  3. The Boss may accidentally use it as deodorant. That could be dangerous. (O.K, dangerous AND funny.) Maybe we could ask the manufacturers to put a big picture of a smooshed faerie on the spraycan, just to avoid any confusion.

  4. The label could do with some vajazzling, actually.

    At the moment all it’s got is “HopStop” in that sort of military-stencil style lettering and a long list of instructions and warnings on a dull raw liver maroon background.

    I’d like to see cartoon toads writing in assorted agonies, being exterminated by a laughing treefrog.

  5. I see a market for the same sort of aerosol executioner entitled ‘Nurse Curse’ – the woman who gave me such a hard time last year is supervising a bunch of first years who are observing in clinic. My partner and I were allocated a bunch of them last week and wow, did they bitch about her.

    I’m not sure how you fill an entire class with loathing in one three hour session but she’s certainly done a number of it.

    Thirty bottles, please.
    We’ll be rich.

  6. Since you’re at Hogwart’s, Quokka, I’m envisaging a homeopathic-style nurse repellant.

    Two drops under the tongue and she’ll leave you the hell alone. Not to be taken with food. Avoid caffeine and looking her straight in the eyes – remember, she can smell your fear.

    If that doesn’t work, though, we’ve always got the Voodoo. Have you managed to source some hair, nail clippings or bodily fluid?

    Perhaps some of the blood she’s sweated from the poor little first years would be an adequate substitute.

  7. You only need one can, Quokka. Sneak up behind her in a dark corridor and whack her over the head with it. Then let the first-year students practice their lobotomy skills on her.

    Voila! Problem solved.

    Possibly two problems solved, as I have a sneaking suspicion the nurse’s name is Kylie, and she moonlights in admin.

  8. Hehehe. Good one, Catty.

    Who needs the Dark Arts when you can just brain the bitch with a family-size tin of tomatoes?

  9. Damn straight.

  10. It being Hogwarts I’m pretty sure they’d frown upon anything tinned or preserved – that said, I think there’s merit to be found in this idea.

    I believe there’d be much satisfaction to be had from the organic alternative – pelting her with a truckload of rotting tomatoes.

    She’s done a dye job this semester, I did a double take when I saw her as the Black Nugget Rinse gives the impression that Professor Snape and Morticia shared a common ancestor.

    La la la.
    Nice to know that while she stalks the halls giving black looks to all, the worst she can do to me is snarl ‘Oy! Where’s your badge?’
    Or so a 60 yro class mate tell me – unlike her, I haven’t yet been silly enough to try to leave the building at 9.15pm wearing a jacket that conceals my badge, which is apparently an offense that earns you a jab in the shoulder and a scolding.

    I’m confused.
    Do you think she’s compensating because she missed out on being a prefect in high school?
    Or do you think perhaps she believes that we’re meant to go through adulthood behaving like we’re all still in high school.

  11. I think it’s probably tied to a traumatic childhood experience – for example, she might have got home from school early one afternoon and surprised her mother, wearing a leather BDSM suit and a gimp mask, entertaining the local bank manager.

    This primal trauma, combined with a lifetime of obstacles and disappointments occasioned by her sour looks, bitter personality and bad attitude has resulted in a need to bolster her wafer-thin self-esteem.

    Hence, she abuses her minor authority like the knights of yore swung studded maces.

  12. Perhaps Nurse Kylie teetered off the path of sanity after learning that Matron of Wandin Valley Hospital was not a career option?

    Or maybe Quokka and her classmates are just very, very naughty, and need to be whipped into line – and Nurse Kylie has designated herself Chief Whipper.

    There’s a surefire cure for that. Take her out for Friday night drinks, get her sloshed, videotape her as she gyrates a karaoke version of Duke of Earl on the table (preferably while twirling her own panties around her finger), and show her the video shortly before every single assessment. I’d also suggest that when she passes out in the toilets, tattoo her arse with the grade you would like her to give you in future exams. It’s not really necessary, but it would be an amusing tale to tell the first year students.

  13. Hehehe. Remind me to never get on Catty’s bad side. Beware of the following scenario:

    Catty says “So, how about we go out for drinks on Friday night? I know a great little karaoke bar.”

    A spirit hand runs spectral icecubes down your spine, and a vague but deeply disturbing dread crawls into your soul. From nowhere – yet all around – imps start to chant an eery, compelling melody.

    “Duke, duke, duke, duke, of Earl…”

  14. Hop, Stop and Dump… Olympic sport?

  15. Should be, Stafford – when Australia rules the world!

    We will also introduce:

    The Beer Decathlon– first to skull one stubby of each of ten different brands of beer. XXXX and VB must be included, Corona is an automatic disqualification.

    The BBQ hurdles – competitors must turn sausages as they jump over a series of lit barbecues. Bonus points for completing the course with a beer in hand, if none is spilt. Points deducted for singeing.

  16. Many years ago, the Exchange Hotel in Townsville had a promotion called ‘Around the world with a beer’. Participants were given a passport with 24 international beers written on it. Each time you drank one of those beers, the bartender would stamp your passport. When the passport was full, you got a free t-shirt. I still have my t-shirt, (even though the Aussie beer was Fosters – bleargh!), but I try not to wear it to the primary school. (The other mums give me funny looks).

    Actually, I shouldn’t be bothered by that. They give me funny looks anyway.

    Duke, duke, duke, Duke of Earl, earl, earl….

    Oh, crap. I’d better go check my arse for inexplicable tattoos.

  17. If you can read Cantonese, make sure to check out your arse in the mirror, Catty. Those three characters are hilariously rude when reversed.

    Actually, whether or not there are Chinese swears on it you probably have to use a mirror to check out your own arse, don’t you?

    If not, you may consider running away to join Cirque de Soleil.

  18. No circus for me. Indeed, I do need a mirror. A very large one. Anyway, I’m scared of monkeys.

  19. It’s funny, when I was a kid I always wanted a pet monkey.

    I suppose that’s why, to my great surprise (twice), I ended up with boys.

    Darlings, if you’ve hopped in a DeLorean to come back in time and read a cache of these posts… although I don’t know why you’d waste good past time doing that, for goodness sakes go and buy shares in a solar farm or Apple or something… Mumma loves you both very, very much.

  20. Catty you have good reason to be scared of monkeys, they have rabies. A subject we discussed at length in first aid last week thanks to the popularity of Bali as a holiday destination for prospective first aiders.

  21. Ah, rabies.

    We had a delightful fellow student from some obscure but extremely militaristic asian country.

    Prof Alias was describing the mechanism of rabies infection, how the virus travels very, very slowly up the peripheral nerves to reach the central nervous system.

    Student from a harsh regime, “Couldn’t you prevent infection by amputation, then?”

    Too easy. Who wants to muck around with a month’s worth of hospitalization and injections when you can just lop off the infected part?

  22. Filing this away for my next first aid update so I’ll know what to call out when the instructor demands how we’d treat Dog Bite.

    A: novacaine and a hacksaw.

    Meh.
    This is me, not cooking lasagne, not walking the dog, and not typing up my homework.

    Might have to persuade the bloke to take me and Aunt Irma out to Ahmet’s for dinner.
    I think I need kibbe.
    Its that or human flesh, his choice, really.

  23. I’d go kibbe every time.

    Man-meat tastes too much like pork, I reckon.

  24. I’m going to have to start wearing my glasses. I could have sworn that said ‘kibble’.

  25. Silly Catty – kibble’s what I put in kids’ lunchboxes.

    BTW, Quokka, I’d recommend ketamine for a field amputation.

    Novacaine’s more for dentistry, or becoming comfortably numb before the in-laws arrive.

  26. Speaking of in-laws, my FIL has taken to using day care for my MIL so he can get a break from the behaviour. He nicked off to the NT during cyclone Yasi for a 2 week break, and by day 2 in the nursing home the staff had already tried to off her by overdosing her with insulin.

    The medics have a long history of trying to kill her (or so we’re told) – so I’m on the hunt for a hallmark card that says ‘better luck next time’.

  27. At least you’ll have no trouble finding a “With Deepest Sympathy” card for your FIL. There are lots of those around. My brother even sent me one for my birthday a few years ago. The silly boy wrote a 4 and an 0 for my age – you think after all these years of me being 29, he’d remember how old I am.

    If you really want to be rid of your MIL, send her to my mother’s place for a holiday. I can guarantee that after a week of my mother’s cooking, MIL will be hunting for wrist-slashing implements. Actually, three days of my mother’s personality would probably have the same effect.

    Come to think of it, maybe not. They’d probably team up and take over the world or something. *shudder*

  28. You’re going to think I’m exaggerating, but my ex-MIL was definitely an evil reptile overlord from a galaxy insufficiently far, far away.

    When I was pregnant with Elf Boy, we went to visit her when she was staying at one of my ex-SIL’s beach house. She refused to let The Ex in the house on the grounds that “His sister wouldn’t like it”, so he and his father had a nice sit in the driveway. In the QLD Christmas sun.

    I was invited in, where I was treated to such conversational gems as “When is your baby due?”, as if The Ex had nothing to do with it and the baby was not actually her grandchild-to-be.

    Fingers crossed my darlings take after my side – we may have our moments but we are at least human.

  29. Charming.
    Disturbingly, the lizard people are everywhere.

    I’m sure I told you the story of how when the Bloke finally took me home to meet his parents, both of them stared at me disapprovingly and after a cup of silent spoon clunking tea, the MIL led me upstairs for the grand tour of her house.

    She pointed to an ugly brick McMansion 2 blocks away and said ‘My friend such and such lives in that house. She has five lovely daughters and I’m hoping that one day _______ (the bloke) will marry one of them.’

    I was speechless and hurried the bloke out of there, ASAP. It was all downhill from there.
    23 years later, every time he visits his parents they still offer updates on the Five Lovely Daughters. They’re all divorced and on the market again so I think it’s given MIL renewed hope.

    The Bloke assures me he’s torn…which one to choose? the one that does regular tours of the psyche ward or the one that’s fresh out of jail.

  30. Fresh out of jail, every time.

    Not only will she have a wealth of fascinating tattoos with which to entertain him in idle post-coital moments, but some great stories as well. Like the time her cell-mate, Barb Wire, shanked Sheila Na Gig with a filed down toothbrush and the hijinks of Sunday Night Showers.

  31. Agreed. Female psychopaths can do amazing things with razor blades, and female ex-cons can do amazing things with their tongues. A no-brainer, if ever there was one.

  32. Hehehe.

    See you in the exercise yard, Catty. Got any cigarettes?

    • My cigarette case is disguised as a bowie knife. Check behind the sink in my cell if I’m down in the escape tunnel.

  33. Are either of you old enough to remember chocolate cigarettes?

    Ah, the good old days.
    I’ve just realized we’re organizing breakfast over at Catty’s and unless she’s got the new Nimbus 5000 she probably won’t make it. My apologies, Catty, I forgot where I was.

    I’m using Aunt Irma as an excuse.
    I got dinner at Ahmets last night and just as well.
    We fed the flood cats before we left and I checked on them when we got in from dinner, full of lovely kibbe. Or whatever you call turkish meatballs.

    One of my flood cats had spewed up an entire bowl of tuna, a projectile hurl off his perch that managed to fill all three water bowls.

    Otherwise I must say they’ve been marvelous well behaved, much better than my lot. Apart from the dog, who for some reason has just decided to crap in the bathroom.

    I’m sure it’s Aunt Irma that puts them up to these things.

    Oh well.
    First, dog terds.
    Then, witch school.

    Anyway, now that I know where I am, any preference on a breakfast venue at Bulimba, MM? And a preferred time?
    shall we meet at the Jetty cafe and see if they can fit us in, and if not, wander elsewhere?

  34. My youngest kidlet is fond of projectile vomiting. He too can fill three bowls with one hurl. Usually his own, mine and his sister’s, as we sit opposite him at the table.

    I’ve just cleaned the bathroom. It appears at least one of the kidlets is also fond of crapping in there.

    Well, at least I know Quokka qualifies as an experienced babysitter, if I ever get back to QLD.

    Feel free to organise breakfast at my place. It gives me a heads up to scrape the Sara Lee boxes and vodka bottles out of the sulking corner, and practice my pouting.

    Have fun at Hogwarts. Don’t forget the ‘bring back to life’ spell for Nurse Kylie’s crocodile skin stilettos. Oh, hang on a minute, are you sure they were shoes, and not her actual feet? That may explain a lot.

  35. Hey, don’t mock the croc.

    You know how you have Womble feet, Catty? Well, due to years of only wearing shoes when required to in licensed premises I have crocodile feet. They’re not green, but they are gloriously hard and scaly.

    Cool, Quokka. Meet you down by the Jetty landing,
    Where the pontoons bump and sway.

    Excuse me, I just did a lap of Australian Crawl.

    Whatever time suits you. Does Uncle Blokesy like a lie in on his Sundays?

    P.S. Mmmm…. chocolate cigarettes. Much better than a Fag, any day.

  36. Restorum reptilius vivo!

  37. Hehehe.

    When’s HP v 7.2 come out, again?

  38. I’m doing a little happy dance. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

    One of my hobbies is online competitions. One site visit often is femail.com.au. Last month, I won a competition for Be Natural muesli bars. The prize was 4 boxes of the muesli bars (which were very good, by the way) and two family sized boxes of fruit and veggies.

    The first box of veggies just arrived. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

    It’s got pumpkin and apples and grapes and cabbage and capsicum and tomatoes and potatoes and bean shoots and banananas and parsley and nectarines and more stuff down the bottom of the box. Yummy yummy *dance* yummy *dance* yummy yummy *dance* yummy *dance* yummy *dance*.

    I’m off to crack out my masterchef vegetable peeler.

  39. Capsicum and bananas?!

    You’ve hit the motherload there, Catty. That stuff is getting so expensive they’re going to have to start selling it by the ounce, like gold and… er,um… silver.

    Congratulations! I’m happy dancing on the inside 🙂

  40. Nicely done, Catty.
    I bet those helped to liven up a few lunch boxes.

    And yes, when they produced two large fried bananas on my french toast at the cafe yesterday I was shocked that it was the day’s special and it wasn’t going to cost me double.
    Maybe they were filipino bananas…anyway, Bob Katter wasn’t sitting opposite me so I gobbled them up and didn’t worry about the state of the banana republic too much.

    What culinary plans have you got for this box of goodies, Catty?

    My freebie today isn’t so nutritious but it’s good for entertainment. My vet nurse friend gave me one of those kitty laser lights to inspire lazy kitties to run around the darkened room chasing the red spot. I think she’s getting suspicious that I’m overfeeding her cats.

    Which makes me wonder if she can hear me filling their bowls at night, singing ‘Flood cats, flood cats, came here thin, left here fat…’ – no complaints from the visitors mind.
    Gosh I’ll miss them when they’re gone. They’re so sweet, and they give the BEST smooches.

    Hm.
    I’m sure I came here to say something and it’s gone.
    That’s aunt Irma for you.
    Bitch.

    Ho hum. Must be couch time.
    Am scared to touch anything as I’ve been a dreadful source of static electricity all day, computer screen kept flickering every time I walked past it at school and when I got home and pushed a muffin down the toaster I shorted the entire house out.

    If only I could harness this power to zap and explode things I could do so much good for humanity.

  41. Well, one idea springs to mind.

    Have you done a Reiki unit yet, Quokka?

  42. Yes, and it works wonders on cats.
    Catty is probably eating, so I’ll tell you about my abscess and constipation success stories over breakfast on Sunday.

    Oh THAT’s what I came here for.
    What time?
    I’m good to eat any time after 8am.

  43. Eat after eight? Snh, snh, snh, snh… good pun, Quokka.

    I managed to con the Boss into making vegetable patty burgers for dinner. They were superb. Tomorrow I’m doing fried rice with extra vegetables. Friday will include salad – there was a lettuce in there too. On the weekend I will attempt to con the Boss into making his mind bogglingly good pumpkin soup. Sunday will be frittata. Monday, I’m not planning for, as I am sure the younger two kidlets will need carbs after all the weight they’re going to lose – seeing as they will refuse to eat their dinner for the next four nights (if their tantrums over tonight’s dinner are any indication). Surprisingly, the oldest actually enjoyed his veggie patties tonight. But then, he did have about 100 mls of tomato sauce on them.

    I hear you about the static electricity, Quokka. Many’s the time I’ve tripped the safety switch with the toaster when Aunt Irma’s come to visit. Twice today I’ve tried to play a game on my iPhone, and the stupid touch screen kept flickering and turning off. Which was better than the clothes drier, which refused to turn on at all. Of course, it worked perfectly when the Boss tried it after work. Stupid drier.

    Do you think Aunt Irma might be a faerie? She’s certainly a big enough bitch.

  44. How about 8:30 then, Quokka?

    Nothing wrong with tomato sauce, Catty, it’s rich in lycopenes. Which I always confuse with lycanthropy – but if tomato sauce turned you into a werewolf I’d be much, much hairier by now and the boys would have turned into Tribbles.

    Funny coincidence, but I interfere with tvs, too. Yesterday afternoon, for example, I threatened to throw the damn thing out the window if the volume wasn’t revised downwards and sharpish.

    I kind of like Aunt Irma: I love not being pregnant, and at least I get to say my piece for one week in four. Even if it’s snarling and ravening like the afore-mentioned werewolf.

  45. I say my piece all the time. It’s just that for that one week, I say it much, much louder. (Please don’t throw me out the window, Madam!)

  46. Of course we wouldn’t throw you out the window Catty.
    Although the mound of dishes in the sink and the vacuum may go soaring, sharpish.

    Meh.
    Well, I made myself useful in prac yesterday by palming the one client that we had off on someone more motivated than me & Aunt Irma, and then I went off and made myself familiar with the stock in the dispensary.

    I see there’s something new out since I last practiced that’s meant to help with muscle aches and ill humour. Might trundle off to the supplier next week (where I can get it for half the price) – and we’ll see if the fracking thing works.

    For today, I’m going to do what I couldn’t do yesterday – i.e. moan, grizzle, and go back to bed with a book and a cup of tea. At some point I’ll have to get up, function, and type up some homework & tweak the reno plans, but for now, all I can say is Bleh.
    And Roll on, Menopause. I’m looking forward to seeing you.

    Oh, and 8.30am at the jetty sounds good, Morgana. If I can’t wait Uncle Blokesy up I’ll leave him snoring under a pile of cats, so I may be flying solo.

  47. I’d never throw you out the window, Catty.

    For a start we’ve got security screens and since we live in a bungalow there wouldn’t be much point. I’ve decided my next revenge killing will be by salamander. Magic Man is obsessed with them at present and informs me that they’re coated in highly toxic slime.

    That may be less annoying for him, Quokka. I fear our faff is imcomprehensible and tedious to the casual observer at the best of times… with both of us at this stage in the cycle we might be hazardous to his health! Should I sneak on to Twitter and ask Janet, do you reckon?

  48. Maybe a quiet one this time and we can think about a group lunch or brunch next month – sometime when there won’t be two aunt irmas at the table? Not sure that it’s a good idea for that particular venue, anyway, as they don’t take bookings for breakfast on weekends and you’ve got to take your chances on getting a table at all.
    I’m guessing the twitter crew may be feeling a little seedy at that hour and Janet’s kids may get restless if we have to wait for a table or a meal.

    I did think about issuing a general breakfast invite, but it occurred to me that its a bit cruel to expect the hungover to be out and about at that hour.

    Besides, once I’m on top of all this fracking homework, I’m still planning on having the tupperware party for my vet nurse/flood cat friend.
    I’m sure that all of twitter will flock to that.

    So far I’ve put it off from February, to March, to April, and now I’m saying ‘We’ll celebrate once you’ve got your cats back’ – but I do need to have it. My tin opener is on it’s last legs and there’s a few of those storage bins and things in the catalogue that I really need.

  49. Whoops, posted before I’d finished.

    Was just going to suggest that for the next group outing we can maybe do breakfast at a venue that’s more amenable for groups/children – i.e.Lock n Load or the Point, or else I’m always keen for another oozing burger for lunch at Ahmet’s.

    I love the jetty cafe but the no bookings for breakfast thing on weekend does make it awkward if you’re herding cats.

  50. Suits me.

    Is there anywhere to eat actually in Southbank that isn’t crass, mass-produced crap, near that playground area? Then the kids could swallow and frolic, while we faffed to our heart’s delight.

    Of course, we could go to Brisbane’s answer to Maze Mania, but I doubt you like hot chips enough to put up with the noise pollution and ambient odours.

  51. *shudder* – no idea, but if you plan to take me into kiddyland, they’d better serve hard liquor.

  52. If by “serve” you mean “Can Madam smuggle some in, in a hip-flask shaped like a teething ring?” then we’re golden.

  53. Argh. Golden, shaped like a teething ring…

    Now I want a donut.
    Aunt Irma must be in my head playing word association games.

  54. Aunt Irma can’t be in your head – the bitch is in my lower back, gnawing away at my spinal nerves like a hungry rat.

    Pity Scott’s not around – I could do with a massage.

  55. Why is there no Masterchef faerie? The idea of cooking dinner tonight is making my head rotate 360º.

    How come you can do italics and bold type now Madam? Is there some secret trick? I’m being jealous here. I’d better go stick my head in the pantry and chew until the jealousy subsides.

  56. Far be it from me to stand in the way of a good binge, but it’s no secret.

    I was lurking around Regretsy, throwing off at honest craftspeople with like-minded snark fiends, when I learned the magic html codes.

    To get italics: you do an “i” inside those pointy brackets (shift comma and shift fullstop on my keyboard)- voila!.
    To end italics: type “/i” inside the pointy brackets.

    To bold: “b” inside pointy brackets;
    unbold: “/b”

    And so it goes.

    Blink is pretty cool, too, but it doesn’t work here. Bummer.

  57. Your magic doesn’t work here, Morgana, but not much does on the IMAC since the power went off on that Monday of the Great Storm apocalypse. I suppose I should chase the tech nerd again. Meh. Nup. Don’t have the strength.

    Medline is working and that’s really all I need and it’s probably a good thing for my time management if twitter stays broken, really.

    Aunt Irma has been pulling nerves in my neck and my lumbar joints. I just came back from the remedial massage that came with my pilates deal and the therapist thumped hell out of Irma and sent her packing. I know I’ll be sore for the next few days but fark it’s nice to be able to turn my neck sideways in both directions again.

    Neck aches, I’m with you there, Catty, it is one of the nastier consequences of doing those 360C PMS spins.

    Now. I believe I had a gaytime stashed somewhere.
    Hm…*wanders off*…la la la…

  58. Gaytime?!

    If I didn’t have a full tub of caramel honey macadamia in the fridge I’d be really jealous right now.

    Catty, I’ll save you a lick.

    • Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!

  59. It was a particularly good one, too, the biscuit coating was all crisp and fresh. Saved a bit for the bloke which was just as well as when he got home he said ‘Where’s my chocolate rabbit?’

    Duh, ask Aunt Irma, don’t look at me.

    Yum, looking forward to bacon and eggs on Sunday.
    Should warn you that due to high table demandwe’ll probably end up seated at the bar, with our faces four inches above the plate of food.

    Doesn’t bother me as there’s a lovely view of the river and up high, you’re safe from anything that bites and escapes from a pram.

    I’m guessing you’re accustomed to the hazards and deprivations of being vertically challenged, though.

  60. The Boss loves Golden Gaytimes. When I buy a box of four, he eats them all. At once. If he ever offers me one, I’ll know he’s having an affair.

  61. Yes, with the Streets Sales Rep.
    Unless he takes a fancy to those burly guys that driver their refrigerator trucks.

    Surely we could generate a chick lit novel on that basic premise.
    Boy meets girl, girl has PMS, bloke leaves her for the local gaytime peddler…its not so far-fetched, surely?

  62. Far-fetched?

    It’s practically the real-life story of me and my second boyfriend. I could never work out why he was such a dud kisser and wanted to go and see movies like “Romancing the Stone”.

    A few years later I was amused to see that he’d become the President of GaySoc.

    Not that I was such an arch-bitch that I drove into the arms of other men, of course. That part is all fiction. I hear they’re born that way…

  63. There’s a couple of those on my reject pile, too. Interesting when you run into them in mid life and they’re married – to a very angry, bitter, unhappy woman. Very validating to know that my gay-dar instincts were working so well when I was young and full of tequila, though.

    One of my swimming buddies is a gay grandfather.
    He was married for 25 years before he had a mid-life crisis, went to therapy, and dealt with the fact that he was gay. His (ex) wife is a basket case – he doesn’t seem to see the association, though, that spending a quarter of a century with a man who turns out to be gay is probably enough to send you completely round the twist.

    Anyway, his take on it was that he was deep in denial because he was so afraid of being rejected by his family, friends, and work colleagues. Sadly I think they’ve got a point.

    Was it Rupert Everitt or the Thornbirds guy who advised aspiring male actors to keep it well under wraps if they’re gay, because they won’t get any decent male roles?

    If they can’t be themselves in an industry that’s all about facade, where can they go?

    While we’re on the topic, did we have the James Freud conversation? I still can’t believe he was straight.
    No. Freaking. Way.

  64. I once had a boyfriend who drove a delivery truck for Peter’s. He was a young, skinny, dorky Kiwi. Hey, I was seventeen. A not-very-bright seventeen. He lost his ice cream delivery job after he took the top off the van driving under a low bridge in Townsville. No, not quite accurate. He lost his job the *second* time he took the top off a delivery van driving under the low bridge in Townsville. He wasn’t very bright, either.

    Then he discovered Amway, so I moved to Cairns. (No forwarding address.) As you do.

  65. Amway?

    *shudder*

    I’m not sure which is worst, Amway or Scientology. Actually, one is probably a subsidiary of the other, come to think about it.

    I think it was Richard Chamberlin (aka Thornbirds guy… although thanks to Aunt Irma I read “Thunderbirds guy” and was thinking “Noooo! Not Virgil!! for a little while). I don’t think Rupert Everett has ever pretended to be straight.

    Re: James Freud – I still don’t believe it. In fact, I refuse to believe it unless you tell me you slept with him, Quokka.

    Next you’ll be telling me David Bowie is straight.

    *snort*

    I’m off to pack the car and pick up the weasels for the trip south, so I may be off air (as well as away with the faeries) for a bit. But see you at the Jetty at half 8, Quokka and have a lovely, carbohydrate filled weekend, Catty. Remember, no calorie is empty if you appreciate it.

  66. I thought it said Thunderbirds Guy too.

    You have a good weekend too, Madam. I daren’t imagine Quokka’s weekend will be good – thanks to homework – but I hope it brings her the least amount of suffering. Or that one of her cats suffocates Nurse Kylie, anyway.

    Oh, I’ll remember all right. It will go right above “Empty vessels hold the most chocolate” on my list of platitudes. One day I shall write them into a book. With anecdotal evidence. But no pictures – that would be too embarrassing.

  67. Weekends just vanish, don’t ask me where the time goes.

    I’m hoping to knock over a report this afternoon, I’ve done the research and I’ve written copious notes, but the fun part will be condensing that into the word limit that our supervisor requires. Oh joy.

    Drive safe, Morgana, and yep, I’ll see you Sunday at 8.30 at the Jetty. Might duck into Riverbend books or Mary Ryan on the way home and look at the latest Jamie Oliver book, part of our homework is providing recipes for clients alongside the nutrition advice (what nutrition? I don’t even remember studying it, it was so many years ago) so I guess I can call that Homework.

    Thus far I’ve been producing photocopies of Women’s Weekly recipes and while I have utter faith in them it does make me feel like I’ve just stepped off the CWA express.
    And thanks to the severity of the dress code in there, it goes with the look.

  68. You should look for the Prevention books, Quokka. Stuff like ‘Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal’, and ‘Doctors Book Of Food Remedies’. I have a little pile of Prevention books beside my bed. They live there now, as every time I put them in the bookcase, I have to look something up. It seemed easier to just leave them on the floor.

    Oh, no! That means my kidlets’ piglet-itis is contagious! I better look up a cure in my Prevention books.

  69. I can go you one better in the C.W.A stakes, Quokka and scan you the Bardon Scout Recipe Book from 1950-something. My Grandma and her fellow scouting Mums put the book together as a fundraiser. Sure, there’s not much call for fancy dishes involving aspic and angelica these days, but we still use the cake, biscuit and slice recipes.

    Mmm…. real Monte Carlos, gingernuts, Anzacs, shortbread, lemon curd.

    Oh, you wanted something healthy, didn’t you. How about the Enchanted Broccoli Forest? That’s a winner.

    Catty, I too have piles of books everywhere. In fact, if I ever get to design my own house there’ll be no walls at all. Just bookshelves.

    Surely they’re great insulation, paperbacks by the truckload?

  70. Bookcases for walls…. that sounds like heaven! With lots of comfy armchairs and chaise lounges, with soft cushions and side tables and foot rests and reading lamps. One or two in every room would be ideal. Except the toilet room, which already has it’s own comfy (albeit malodorous) seat. But bookshelves in there would be nice. I used to have a magazine rack, but the boys kept peeing on my Womens Weeklies.

    That reminds me, I finished the Time Traveller’s Wife. It suited me well, because the chapters are fairly short, and the perspective changes frequently from wife to husband and back. So I could pick it up and read for five minutes or fifty, and not lose the thread. It helped that each chapter said at the start what year it was and how old they were. Some of the story was a bit pretentious for my liking, and I wasn’t fussed on the potty language, and I thought the ending had been over-edited. But all in all, I quite enjoyed the plot. Would I recommend it? Not for full retail price, but certainly worth buying if you see it at a flea market or in an op shop.

    Quokka, I have a couple of sweet recipes I used to make for elderly rellies who’d had heart attacks. One is Almond Bread, which is marvellous, and the other is a fruitcake without any eggs or wheat or butter – Amcal chemists used to give it out every Christmas to their regulars. I’ve only made that one a couple of times, because it doesn’t keep very long. If you’d like them emailed, let me know and I’ll send them to you.

    But your best bet is to subscribe to taste.com.au. They send a weekly themed email, and you can find just about any recipe on their website.

    Now I have to go and list the Boss’s stupid crap on stupid eBay. Oh, joy! Oh, bliss! (*wanders off muttering really, really rude words*)

  71. Thanks for the tips ladies.
    I have a few of those books.

    Dark secret: I hate giving dietary advice and the reason I quit practicing was because I found people aren’t interested in taking it. I have a nutritionist friend who quit practicing and moved to another industry because she found the same thing.

    ‘Cook? Me? You must be joking.’
    While I understand the sentiment – particularly at this time of the month – its hard to explain to people that they aren’t going to get better from dining on fanta and onion rings.

    I’m keen to look at the Jamie Oliver book about meals in 30 minutes or whatever because I’d probably use it – and because I’ve noticed that people who really aren’t interested in their health are usually willing to sit in front of the TV. So while they may not buy the book, there’s some chance they’d flick to his show on the cable network (not something we have here) and you never know, his enthusiasm for the C word might just rub off.

    It might have to, given that my enthusiasm is seriously lacking.
    Three weeks down, thirteen to go.
    I think I’m suffering from End of Degree malaise.
    It’s fairly common among my classmates. There’s a few of us there just doing the countdown…16, 15, 14, 13 weeks until we can get the hell out of there.

    Anyway.
    I’m off to breakfast.
    I’ll add that website to my list of resources, Catty.

    Sounds like an easy way out:
    ‘Here is the food pyramid, here is a menu website.
    That’ll be $X0.00 Off you go, have fun with that.’

    • That’s almost as good a money-making gig as my dentist. You ring up and make an appointment to pull out a tooth. When you get there, he charges you $100 (family rates) to write out a referral to a specialist. You ring the specialist to make an appointment. When you get there, he charges you $135 to look in your mouth for five seconds, recoil at the size of the hole in your tooth, and book you in for another appointment to do the extraction. You show up for that appointment, and he charges you $135 consultation fee + $500 to rip the tooth out.

      This explains why my dentist just moved out of his million dollar house and into a two million dollar house. If he wasn’t family, I’d burn down his freaking office. Bastard.

  72. C word? I only know one “c” word, Quokka – and from the little I know of the lives and loves of celebrity chefs, it’s Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsey who have “c” trouble.

    Far as I know, Jamie Oliver is faithful.

    What are you listing on Ebay, Catty? Does he have any designer handbags I might want need?

    I have to have something stunning to go with the crazy arse dungeon key I just bought in Bulimba.

    • No handbags, sorry. He’s selfishly keeping all his to himself. It’s all shed crap, like the broken safe, a rusty old bike, a dented oil heater, and a huge mega expensive telescope that he wanted forever and then couldn’t work out how to use.

      I’m not complaining. I would have tossed it all on the hard rubbish, but if he can make a few dollars selling it, why not? It might earn him enough money to buy me one of those dungeon keys. Never knew you could get them before, but now I must own one. MUST, I tell you! I’d better go and check on eBay and see if they have any.

  73. Well, on your advice MM I googled Regretsy and found the singing vagina wall plaque and a dead squirrel under the orange tree, going for a measly $40.

    I’m so glad I’ve never been to ebay.

    Hm, about this dungeon key that you acquired earlier today, it’s suddenly occurred to me why you’d need it.
    Hide-a-key to the oubliette went astray, and you need to break in to C4 greybeard’s bionic rat breeding program.

    Genius.
    BTW, if you are still considering adding a cat or two to your household in a few weeks, there are two flood cats from the same litter that are best friends and it would be a pity to split them up.
    i.e. Black tabbies with white aprons and socks, look like they’re wearing Cleopatra eyeliner, and very hard to tell them apart. From some angles, when they’re snuggled up together, they look freakishly like a two headed cat.

    Lovely to see you this morning.
    BTW Catty, I saved you a bacon rind but it was swimming in grease so you may want to think twice before eating it, unless of course you want to join us on saturated fat death row. I had to sneak out and antidote all that fat with a nice fresh carrot juice about an hour ago. For the life of me I cannot figure out why I couldn’t find a juice bar in the main drag of Bulimba. Bizarre.

    Sigh.
    Back to the grind.
    As you were, ladies.

    • Bacon! Bring it on! Gimmegimmegimmegimmegimme!

      I love you, Quokka.

  74. Did I say back to the grind?
    I meant rind, of course.

    I love you too Catty.
    Now, give me back the shiny sparkle toy.
    Gently. No biting now.
    The flood cats miss it.

  75. If Greybeard can bombard me with paramilitary rats, I figure I’ll break out Mayhem’s Mum. I gather not much intelligence will be forthcoming from that direction, but I can photograph her on the beach and such and send the jpegs to him, all the better to taunt him.

    The Egyptian twins are tempting, Quokka, but we have to solve the problem of what to do with the pusses when my father brings his dog to visit. Said dog was declared dangerous by BCC for cat killing, so I’m concerned about his red right paw. I’d tell Dad to stick it and stay home with his murderous hound, but he owns our house! He only comes a few times a year, though, for a few days, so boarding the cats might be a possibility…

    Catty, next time I see a dungeon key I’ll acquire it for you. In the meantime, I saved you some floppy Turkish toast to go with Quokka’s bacon rind.

  76. The other alternative is you could board your father in the same place we stash my MIL and send the dog to stay with your ex. Sounds like those two belong together.

    The vet nurses have got my four flood orphans on some on-line adopt a cat website but I think they’ll have a better chance of finding homes for them once they’ve got the cattery all put back together and people can see them rolling around looking cute and soft and fluffy.

    Flotsam, Jetsam and Mif (named for the Moggil Island Ferry) have the softest sleekest coats I’ve felt on any cat in a long time. Must be all that mercury they’re sucking in from the coles tuna I’m feeding them.

  77. Mmm… mercury.

    I like my mercury riddled tinned fish with a slurp of mayo and some minced spanish onion.

    Oh, and a dash of dolphin.

  78. wordpress…

    […]Hop Stopped « Fun in a box[…]…

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