Growing Old Gloriously

Helen B. Staudinger, role model

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be old. No, that’s phrased poorly – I don’t give a damn how old I am, as long as I can look after myself while retaining enough mental faculties to refrain from stripping off in the supermarket dairy aisle. Having visited many nursing homes, I’d rather chrome a carton of HopStop than wither  in a puddle of my own urine, mumbling around my dentures about how marvellous things were in the 80s and whatever happened to that nice young man, Sting from the Police while waiting for my kerosene bath.

But now that I’ve read about the exploits of one lass, 92 year old Helen B. Staudinger, I’m  feeling much more relaxed about my twilight years. Hell, I’m looking forward to them.

http://www.ocala.com/article/20110321/ARTICLES/110329941/1439?p=all&tc=pgall&tc=ar

Helen is currently languishing in a Florida jail, facing charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied dwelling. If she can raise $15,000 in bail, she’ll still have to stay more than 150 m away from her next-door neighbour, 53 year old Dwight Bettner.

What happened? According to Helen, Dwight is a smooth-talking liar who doesn’t pay his share when they dine out. When he moved to the neighbourhood she’d cook for him and he’d kiss her, but she tired of the stream of girlfriends through his next-door house.

Dwight says Helen cursed at him and the only time they’ve ever eaten out was once, after purchasing a part for her stove. He says – and this is the crucial bit of evidence that incriminates this young scoundrel as a heart-breaking gigolo – Helen once cooked him “dinner or breakfast” and he kissed her on the cheek by way of thanks. “Dinner or breakfast”, hey Dwight? The only men I’ve cooked breakfast for – other than family – have earned their bacon the night before, in the traditional way. Busted!

On one occasion, Helen tried to strangle a woman she thought was Dwight’s girlfriend. He didn’t involve the police, though, until one day she refused to leave his house until he gave her a kiss. An argument ensued, Helen stormed out and returned with an adjudicator – her .380 semiautomatic handgun – firing four shots into Dwight’s house. One shot came close, breaking the window of his bedroom, but three others thudded harmlessly into the side of the house.

I’m sure we’re all on Helen’s side and I’m looking into starting a fund to help pay her bail. I’ve emailed Julian Assange for some pointers, and as soon as he gets back to me I’ll post the link.

Meanwhile, its been a long time since we’ve had such a good news story. Damn, if I can make my 90s with the energy to chase after men four decades my junior and the moxie to exact payback when they cheat on me, then maybe old age won’t be so bad after all.

I just hope the Goddess grants me better aim than Helen.

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211 Responses

  1. So Dwight put his part in her stove… mmmm, lucky she didn’t finsih up with a bun in the oven!

    • I’m cackling like an extra in the Scottish play, yet that is so, so wrong I’m speechless.

  2. Word to the wise, Helen. If you want a young stud to kiss you, make sure you’ve put your teeth in first.

  3. Hehehe.

    But I’ve heard certain connoisseurs appreciate a toothless hag, Catty.

    I think her problem with the lads might be those drawn-on Marx Brothers eyebrows. Helen, pet – Sharpies don’t belong in your make-up kit.

  4. They don’t? Oh….

  5. Hm. New life goal.
    About 10 years before I’m due to be locked up in the dementia home, join a rifle range and practice daily.

  6. You might find a handgun more suitable, Quokka – easier to stow in your shopping bag or wheelie walker basket, and better at short range.

  7. I’d suggest a slingshot, but customs won’t let them into the country. Hey, Madam’s pretty good at arts and crafts, we should get her to whip us up some double barrel slingshots out of our old bras.

    To be honest, she could use my new bras, too. All I use them for is Kleenex storage.

    Which brings me to my scary news. My middle kidlet has just started ‘growing’. AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGHHHHHH! She’s only NINE!

    Should I kill myself now, or just get a central line for the vodka drip?

  8. I find hand-to-hand combat much more convenient – and satisfying – than weaponry. Although I’ve always hankered for an attack-trained falcon.

    Re: dulling the pain of puberty. Forget alcohol altogether, Catty and cultivate a rip-roaring smack habit.

    I’ll text you my dealer’s number – Magic Man has had a girlfriend since before his 9th birthday and just last week I noticed he needed to start using deodorant. I took him to the relevant aisle and he chose himself a nice manly can of Brut.

    I’d go on, but it’s time for a fix.

  9. Yeah, the oldest kidlet insists on Lynx deodorant. He has seen the ads, so he was hugely disappointed when no lesbians followed him home.

    No, scratch that. It was the Boss who was hugely disappointed about the lack of lesbians. The oldest kidlet would have preferred a puppy.

  10. What is it with the men and the lesbian thing? The thought of men at it doesn’t exactly make me juice up quiver with excitement… not that there’s anything wrong with it.

    Anyway, I thought the best way to get lesbians to follow you home was to buy a slab of beer.

  11. Nothing wrong with it? OH YES THERE IS! It was hard enough finding a decent fella when competing with other women, let alone having to compete with men as well. Go on, tell me I’m bitter, but really – how can a girl with womble feet and taxi door ears win a man, when he can have a nice smelling, buff, perfectly accessorised gay who can dance up a storm and won’t get pregnant?

    Still, although I may have lost that handsome, rich and charming boyfriend to a gay guy at a dance club, I DID end up meeting the Boss, so it all worked out well in the end.

  12. Yes. Yes it did.

    The Boss may vanish into Beerland from time to time, but I’m sure he makes you much happier than a handsome, rich, charming closeted homosexual man ever would.

    You don’t have to fight the Boss for the mascara, for a start – and when you feel like it, you can take advantage of the fact that he never notices what you wear. Did I mention that we’re getting on to ugg boot and trackie dack weather? Winter, I love you.

  13. You’re absolutely right. I love the Boss dearly, and have no regrets. Not even when I hear that my ex boyfriend and his husband are living in a mansion, hold an extensive real estate portfolio, have a collection of luxury cars, attend parties where they rub shoulders with the rich and famous, and often pop overseas on a weekend just to buy shoes. Speaking of shoes, I’d better go dig out my uggies. Yay, Winter!

  14. Oh, la di dah it up, Mr and Mr Rich Gay Man.

    Think of everything you’ve got that they won’t ever have: stretch marks, sleepless nights, a lifetime of worry, grey hairs and eye bags…

    and a forest of little arms to cuddle, who somewhere in their black little souls love you more than anyone in the world, even if they never show it.

    Or let you touch or even acknowledge them in public.

  15. Until they become teenagers. Then it is their sole mission in life to make your life as miserable as possible.

    Don’t ask. Suffice to say, if parent baiting was an Olympic event, my Teen would be going for gold.

    Are you SURE you don’t have any spare valium?

  16. Regrettably, no. It’s like potato chips – not safe to keep in the house or I’ll gobble them all at once.

    I can email you the address of this helpful online chemist who keeps spamming me, though. Apparently he’s so clever he doesn’t even need to read a prescription!

  17. Well I just stocked up on the cat’s anti-psychotics so feel free to toss down a handful of those, Catty.

    You can keep your children, I think I’ll stick with cats.
    We went out to Ahmet’s for dinner last night, and we were sandwiched between two tables of children. Snot goblins on one side, teenage girls with their parents on the other.

    The parents of the boys were obviously enthusiasts of the Free Range Child program. So they ignored the 7 yro while he wandered around the restaurant, handling plates, cutlery and handbags, buried his dirty nose in 5 different table clothes, sat down at tables with young romantic couples, all of whom looked like sex was no longer an option that night after their close encounter with the snot goblin, and tried sitting with us until I pretended I was looking for the glock in my handbag.
    He generally got under the feet of staff and patrons alike and the five adults at the table roundly ignored him and drank a lot of wine.

    I was unsure if they were hoping that he’d run away or if they were praying that some fool customer would abduct him with their takeaway order. The Bloke took a squiz at Mama’s handbag and reckoned that Mama probably had a photograph ready to hand to the police while she tearfully announced ‘We really miss him and we really want him back’ and I reckoned she’d probably already sent one to the milk factory ready for processing on tomorrow’s milk cartons.

    Gosh he was revolting.

    The Bloke and I started taking bets on whose waiter he was most likely to trip and when we left I told the maitre de that I had a fiver riding on the odds that the little cretin would manage to pull a table cloth off a table within 5 minutes of our leaving but my spouse thought 10. So there was 15% in it for him for an accurate report on the damage next time we’re in there.

    He didn’t charge us for our breads and I think we got 50% off on the cocktails.

    Over at the other table sat 2 adolescent girls in scanty little dresses, looking surly about having dinner with Mum and Dad. The younger of the two, who looked and sounded like she was 13, had polished her lip-piercing for the occasion.
    She’d also brought her boyfriend, who had a receding hair line, more crows feet than I do, and that surly glower that says ‘I’ve done time for armed robbery’.

    The Bloke gave them a Creepiosity rating of 9.6/10 and wondered where she’d found him.
    I rolled my eyes and said ‘Internet chat room.’

    So we sat enthralled as she made googly eyes at him and speculated about all the wonderful things they could do together ‘when you get a job.’

    Its just as well the neutering clinic was closed when we got in at 9pm otherwise we’d have rung and demanded they fit us in first thing this morning.

    Gah.
    Where is Greybeard? He’d understand.

    Anyway, looks like the staff at Ahmets are all suitably medicated to deal with small folk, which was the message of this story.

    Thank dog I’ve got cats.

  18. Greybeard was lounging about Twitter earlier, sullying my reputation.

    No matter how heavily medicated the Ahmet’s staff are, though, I’m leaving Magic Man and Elf Boy with their grandmother.

    Having said that, Elf Boy probably wants to see the cats.

    Gack!

    Can we maybe do a cat visitation, then I’ll take the darlings back to Mum’s and meet you for lunch?

  19. Sure. Just warn him they’ll be shy.
    Might need to organize the details closer to the time, the felines might be back with my GF in the flood plains of Fairfield by then.

  20. Let’s hope so, for her sake.

    I get twitchy going away for the weekend, and I know… well, expect… that my cosy little home will be waiting for me at the end of it.

    These flooded out but still battling folk are very brave.

  21. Yes.
    She’s pretty resilient and knows she’s landed on her feet – staying in a granny flat below friends who have a swimming pool, so at least she can cool off – but I think she’d prefer to swelter and have her own space. And the cats. She’s missing the cats. She’s worried that they’re missing sleeping on beds with humans and says that the Wonder Twins are usually the first ones on her bed at night.

    Just in case you have an issue with cats on beds, so you know what they’re accustomed to…

  22. I like sleeping in beds with humans too.

  23. And M&Ms.
    See?
    I know what you like.

  24. Yes. Yes you do.

    Now I’m craving Peanut M&Ms and a nap.

    But that’s normal.

  25. Just returned from a busy day out.
    Today’s gastronomic disappointment – malteser Easter bunnies.
    Verdict: bleh.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me there were two very late parties in Bog Hollow last weekend and I’m off outside with the leaf blower to drop a few hints as to what they can expect tomorrow morning if it’s repeated again tonight.

  26. You’re kidding, Quokka. I’ve been hunting high and low for a pack of Malteser bunnies after one brief view on a tv ad. Now you’re giving them two thumbs down?

    Curses. I think I’ll cancel all of Easter, then.

    I don’t mind cats on beds. In fact, I’m very much a cat person. I love their independance – if a cat jumps onto your lap it means something. When a dog makes goo-goo eyes at you it’s just ’cause they’re needy and have low self-esteem.

    Our dog is more of an employee, delegated to security – but she’s such a big sook she’s waggled into our affections.

    Catty, I’m out of chocolate and too rooted to stagger to the shops. So have a few M&Ms for me, please. But not the green ones. They’re creepy.

  27. Kmart have Malteser Bunnies AND Cadbury Creme Eggs for $1 this week. I will be going on Monday. Considering previous Creme Egg binges, I may have to organise a second mortgage to fund my addiction.

    But the M&M’s will do for today. Don’t fret about the green ones, Madam. I sucked them to remove the colour. So here you are – white peanut M&M’s.

  28. The Bunnies were waiting to ensnare me at the checkout in Coles. If you can’t find them just let me know and I’ll pop back and fill your order.

    The Bloke disagrees and thinks they’re very good. I must say the malteser bunny improved considerably after resting for a few hours in the fridge.

    Which reminds me, I may have just finished my homework but I’ve not yet had dinner or cleaned the kitchen. The Bloke is out at the AFL and judging from the roars that I can hear from the Gabba its all very exciting. If you like football, which I don’t.

    Although if Red Tulip were to manufacture them I could probably find it in my heart to change my mind.

  29. If Red Tulip ran the AFL? It’s very early and misreading your comment sparked a glorious Wonkaesque fantasy, Quokka. Lickable toffee goal posts, spearmint grass fields, milk chocolate balls in bright foil wrappings… and edible, dissolving sugar shorts.

    Now that’s a football code for everyone!

    Thanks for the shopping tip, Catty. I’m hopeless at shops. When it’s Christmas, can you fly up for a few days to help me get my shopping done? I’ll bring a thermos of Cosmopolitans and some Mexican analgesics.

  30. Bliss!

    Both the thought of dissolving sugar NRL shorts, and the prospect of a Cosmopolitan Christmas.

    Mmmmmm….. Mexican analgesics…..

  31. Every part of me aches.

    My SIL and two nephews arrive tomorrow to staty for a few days and I’ve spent about 40 hours… almost end-to-end… shovelling broken McDonalds toys, lego bricks and rotting mulch out of Elf Boy’s room so I can offer them a place to stay that won’t cause instant Typhoid fever and the screaming heebie jeebies.

    I’m too tired to run a bubble bath and there’s no vodka.

    Pray for me.

  32. Poor love. You have my deepest sympathies.

    Hey, did you find the missing fish?

  33. We no longer refer to the departed as Miss Fish.
    She is now ‘niboshi’ and you should tell the guests that if they find her, its not a pet, but a Japanese soup flavoring that blew out of your kitchen in the last strong wind.

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/112966485/Dried_fish_snacks/showimage.html

  34. Hehehe. Niboshi.

    Have you got a fancy name for the sticky black gunk you get when an adult-sized dust bunny is affected by humid salty beach air, Quokka? ‘Cause we’ve got more of that than we have MIA pets.

    Catty, wrong room. Magic Man’s abode is still somewhat feral, but the lack of any aroma… other than old socks and preteen spirit… leads me to conclude that the Dangerous Dog wolfed poor old Niboshi straight down. RIP and I hope she bit him as she went.

  35. I found a fair whack of that in the dungeon when we hosed it out and scrubbed it out with disinfectant before.
    We just call it Fuzz Scum but I suppose Bunny Scum sounds nice and Easterish.

    Good luck with the guests and the training of the feral boys.
    Hmm. Forgive the regression into early childhood educator mode but your descriptions are making me twitch, here.

    You might want to get onto the star charts and the No Chores No Cash system sharpish if you want grandchildren – the kind that you get to see minus a court order demanding visitation.
    My sister had the Let Them Be Scum Policy with her boys, they’re now pushing 30, have become accustomed to their living state, and the womenfolk steadily pass them up for better trained and more organized specimens.

    After the dentist the other day I ducked in to see my prac partner, who lives in the same suburb – the better to stick pins in the Evil Nurse voodoo doll – and while I was there her 17 yro son made his own lunch, cleaned up the mess in the kitchen, and then vanished into the great outdoors where he mowed their 32 perch block. He also greeted me with a handshake (Que?) and said ‘Nice to meet you.’
    I looked at her and said ‘What’s this? No nagging? How did you achieve all that?’ and she smiled quietly and said ‘I don’t need to nag. If he doesn’t want to do it he doesn’t get paid.’
    She’s a genius.

    One rarely sees offspring mowing lawns or being helpful around here – they’re off buying drugs and going to raves, usually in another state, because that’s what they come to expect after a lifetime of ‘Let me do that for you’ parenting.

    Twitch.
    Shudder.
    Dribble.
    Eh? WTF just happened? Did I have a blackout and start channeling Dr. Spock again?
    Dog help me I hate when that happens.

  36. Don’t worry, Dr Quokka. It’s not quite as bad as I’ve made out.

    For a start, there’s no pocket money whatsoever around here. Payment is awarded above and beyond the normal sort of everyday drudging, though. E.g Magic Man gets $2 every fortnight or so when he climbs up the ladder and cleans tea tree sludge out of the gutters; Elf Boy just earned 3 lollies for scrubbing the corners of the bathroom that I’m too old/lazy to reach (money doesn’t mean much to him, but sugar talks).

    They’re allowed free thought and speech, but if they curse like sailors or disrespect any sentient beings they get time out &/or withdrawal of privileges, according to the severity of the offence.

    The major area of slackness is bedroom tidying – I lived in a scrub turkey pit of my own in my youth and I suppose I sympathise… tidying up is SO BORING! Still, after the Nightmare of Elf Boy’s Room I’m going to crack down. Another weekend of spring cleaning might be fatal – for me or for them, either way.

    But even there, is a rainbow. I won another free book from Penguin on Twitter with my graphic account of the Perils of Elf Boy’s Room.

  37. Nicely done.
    Sounds hilarious, is there a link?

    I’m wishing I’d kept a copy of the rant I wrote up when I got back from a weekend away and discovered the remains of a festering dog terd in the bottom of the spa. My in-laws had been here and they hadn’t followed my suggested protocol for Foot Hygiene – and apparently the Karma fairies punished them with a long hot soak in dog shit soup.

  38. It’s buried somewhere in the Twitter Chronicles. It was Jules Verne’s birthday so the question was: He wrote Journey to the Centre of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea etc. What book didn’t he write? I replied something like “Voyage to My Son’s Bedroom Floor: an epic tale of terror and discovery” (parts i – iii). Probably the judge has tweenagers, I suspect.

    Luckily dinner is a distant memory or the thought of dog shit soup would bring it back for a second viewing. Makes dried Miss Fish soup sound delightful!

  39. I’ll have to scroll back through them sometime.
    Meanwhile, another day, another case study.

    Look what the Bloke found in the weekend newspaper.

    http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigboardbest.pl?5249:1

  40. Hehehe. Tell the Bloke thanks for the chuckle, and here’s one for him:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/10-animals-that-look-like-yoda

    The last animal in that list is my fave.

    Happy case studying and enjoy the gorgeous, gloomy, cold, rainy weather. I know I am!

  41. I liked the #2 in the “best kitlers” section. He appears to have invaded pole land.

    Meanwhile, I am relieved to say that a large company has begun a refit of its warehouses. The BIL managed to score some of the work, so the Boss will have an income for a little while longer. Phew!

    We’re still considering moving, though. We both liked the idea of having an acre or two of land to potter on. So we’re browsing possible areas in the outer-outer suburbs. As the pressure is off, we’ve got a bit of time to look for just the right place. If we find it, good. If we don’t, it doesn’t matter. Yet.

    I’m still looking for a part time job, too. Maybe some sort of ‘work from home’ gig. Any suggestions? I mean, apart from housework.

    What’s your case study about, Quokka? Infections caused by soaking in dog shit? Or possible intestinal maladies brought about by consuming three month old fish? We’d be happy to tell you everything we know, as long as your tutors will accept old wives tales and ancient family anecdotes as adequate research.

    Madam, I agree with you about not ever spring cleaning again. Having just done the kidlets’ rooms, I have discovered that they do indeed have carpet, and that it is putrid. I have no intention of cleaning it, so I am keen for the re-accumulation of the piles of crap. Out of sight, out of my mind.

  42. I, too, have considered the ‘work from home’ option, Catty. It’s not pretty.

    Pamphlet deliverers don’t make enough to keep themselves in sunscreen and energy drinks. Any of these “use your own computer and make $462 dollars a day” things seem to be complete scams – but maybe I’m wrong, I’ve only glanced at them.

    I’ve toyed with the idea of family day care, but there’s several drawbacks to that. The worst is that before and after school your own kids become unpaid employees – or marginalised, anyway – while you look after someone else’s kids. Factor in germs, nits, general annoyance and the fact that your house has to be certified about as stringently as a day-care centre (lockable medicine cupboard, those goofy latches on every damn thing, etc. etc.) I’ve decided against.

    In summary, I haven’t got a clue. If you find something, can I please work for you?

  43. Hooking and tupperware are the only legal options I can think of. Which is why I’m aiming to do a masters degree in counseling if Hogwarts cut the shackles in June and give me my fracking bachelor degree.

    I figure with counseling you don’t get the real crazies, you get the marriage bust ups and the depression. I can dose them all with adrenal tonics and send them on their way.

    Hum, I’ve gone through the backlog in search of an easy target and I think today I’ll pick on the vegetarian who’s only eating about 1/4 of her daily requirements of protein.

    Feel free to contribute to lifestyle advice.
    I’m tossing up between ‘kill skippy, hippy,’ or ‘Eat or be eaten’.
    Meh.

    I feel like all I did all weekend was clean up and do yard work and homework, more of the same today.

    See you tomorrow kids, and try not to stick to the carpets.
    You know those sticky bits can rot the foundations and turn into quicksand pits? Handy if you’re having a sleepover with a kid you never want to see again. Not so good if they leave their Web of Life texts there.

  44. “Kill Skippy, Hippy” says it all for me.

    It’s all about combining, though, isn’t it? Like baked beans alone is some, partial proteins but combined with whole grain toast it becomes a complete protein source.

    Tell her the more red meat she eats, the more energy she’ll have to save the whales.

    Stupid Hippies.

  45. Yes, she’s doing the Eco Vegetarian thing which is fine as she lives at home where mumsy and dadsy get to cook all the meals. they’re being clever about it and just deleting the meat from her portion and waiting till she falls in a heap. She’s starting to shake and exhibit muscle wasting and weakness so their work is almost done.

    I’ve already given her the lecture on food combining (nuts/whole grains/legumes – combine 2 of the above, is the basics) and was horrified when I googled it and apparently it’s no longer deemed to be necessary. You just need all the amino acids that make up a complete protein in a day. Not in the same meal. We were taught that the little HCL factories in your stomach don’t do their work unless they sense complete protein in a meal but google says I’m wrong.

    Meh.
    Fark I hate nutrition, it changes every year depending on how many poor GD sucker rats they’ve killed.

    Anyway, here lies a research project which should annoy my supervisor every bit as much as the discovery of it annoyed me.

    How do I make pomegranate mojitos?
    I just found pomegranate juice with no added nasties at my local fruit store so I ducked into the bottlo conveniently located beside it and bought organic vodka and cointreau.
    Must google cointreau and find out if there’s anything in there that’s going to make me regret that I’m alive.
    Other than the alcohol, of course.

    • Cointreau makes me really, really sick. And before you say it, no I didn’t drink the whole bottle! I think it has sulphur in it. Possibly that revolting yellow food colouring. Ick! Drinks should NOT glow in the dark.

  46. Oh, and you two should talk to Janet. She reckons she hauls in a killing on that artery store thing of hers, and she loves it.

    Although I did hear a woman on radio national saying that she’s making money out of an alpaca farm and is looking for craftspeople to manufacture quality one-of items from the wool.

    that sounds like a job for Catty’s Creativity if you ask me.
    Morgana, what’s stopping you going back to saving the lives of the Cornflake afflicted? Your country needs you.
    Although I do understand why you’d walk away from a job where a not quite dead person is likely to puke in your mouth. Then again, if they told these stories in O-week there’d be a mass exodus from medical school and a swarm of them in Law. (to sue the cornflake vomiters. Where there’s a will, there’s a way)

  47. Where there’s a will, there’s a queue of distant relatives who ‘loved the deceased very much’.

  48. I’m not sure what Cointreau you’ve been drinking, Catty – but last time I had some it was clear. I think you’re getting it confused with Midori… that’s got an evil green glow. Probably radioactive, and seems to send the girls who drink it screaming as they wobble off their high heels.

    Quokka, the whole country can infarct around their cornflakes* and I wouldn’t rush to save them. I’m over the “caring professions”. I’d like to try an “uncaring profession”.

    Do you think it takes a certificate III to become an assassin?

    Or perhaps real estate…

    * except you and Catty, of course. I’d save you.

  49. I suspect you’re thinking of galliano, that’s got that dreadful yellow glow.

    Midori doesn’t set off a sulphur reaction in me so if it’s there, it’s very low.

    Cointreau is infused from dried citrus peel so odds are good its the salicyllates or the volatile oils you’re reacting to.

    I think real mojitos are made from white rum and I think most of them are made from molasses. Molasses usually has sulphur in it. The thing that pisses me off is that I’ve hunted high and low on google and it’s really, really hard to find information on the preservative/additive content of alcohol. I found a forum where those allergic to nuts were going apeshit over it because it’s anaphylaxis for them.

    The other low point of my day was when the Rat Man came out to stick bait boxes all over my ceiling, after announcing that we also had mice – he could see the trail from where they were coming in from next door.
    And it was fresh, because as you know, I had the leaf blower out in force on Saturday. Apparently the wilderness of a garden (mostly metre high grass as the Lost In Space plants didn’t survive the Big Wet) is the perfect breeding ground for mice.

    Plus side?
    One of the tosspots next door parked across our yellow line, making it difficult to angle down the hill out of my driveway without tearing a chunk of underbelly off the C4.
    So I rang the council and whined my little heart out.
    BCC is clearly keen to top up their flood coffers because instead of telling me ‘Someone will be there within 3 days’ she eagerly said ‘Are they there now? I’ll get on the radio and send someone straight out.’
    15 minutes later there’s a $100 fine on their windshield.

    Ha. Take that you drunken Irish mouse breeding rat festering tosspots.

  50. Quokka: 1

    Drunken Irish mouse breeding rat festering tosspots: 0

    Yay for Quokka!

    Oh, and I asked the Boss, and he said the yellow stuff was Drambuie. He said it made me throw up, but I don’t remember. Go ahead and say it – yeah that time I DID drink the whole bottle.

  51. Mmm… Drambuie. Nectar of the Gods. The first time I ever drank (back in my glorious hangover-free 20s) it was Dram, which has completely ruined me for cheap booze. I will never know the easy oblivion of Passion Pop, Lambrusco and their fellow travellers.

    I never tried to drink a whole bottle full, though. Thank the Goddess you’re still alive, Catty.

    Quokka, I feel your pain. I haven’t heard ceiling scrabbles for ages, so I’m fingers crossed that my “kill them all with Talon and let God sort them out” strategy has been successful. How are your mice going to get at aerial bait boxes, though? It’s not like they were Lionel Richie.

  52. There have been suspicious scrabblings in the kidlets’ bedrooms since I did the cleanout. Considering the vast array of chocolates and lollies I found in their supposedly food-free rooms, I’m not surprised. Now I have to find a way to get rid of the critters without trapping any kidlet fingers, or needing to pump baits out of kidlet stomachs. (So my mother’s cooking is out.)

    I think I’d better call in the experts. You don’t have Lionel’s number do you, Madam? Or that guy from Blancmange?

    I can’t rely on the monster under the beds to eat the mice. It hasn’t eaten the kidlets yet, so maybe it’s an imaginary monster, invented as an excuse to crawl into my bed in the middle of the night. Nah, that can’t be right. If it’s imaginary, what keeps growling when I poke under there with a stick?

  53. Hehehe. Are you sure it’s not a hobo?

    Mice are easily solved – at no risk to kids or pets – with a nifty little device called the mouse choker.

    http://www.hardwaredelivered.com.au/store/products/Trap-Mouse-Choker-EasyO-4-in-1-%252d-Supa-ware.html

    It’s a four-sided trap that lures mice in and chokes them, rather than mangling them to death. Kids have to poke their fingers right in to trigger it, and even then they’ll just get a cautionary bruise rather than an injury requiring medical intervention.

    My favourite feature? Once you trap one mouse, his buddies get excited to see what they might be missing out on, and join the party. I’ve used them and because there’s no mess it’s not too agonising to just empty them into the wheelie bin and reset.

  54. It could be a hobo under the bed. It could even be the Teen. But I’m betting it’s the previous owners. We still get their mail, and the debt collectors still show up regularly.

    Thanks for the tip about the mouse trap. I’ll show the Boss later. Now, housework or shopping? Hmmmm… where’s my purse?

  55. Meh.
    Late night at prac, followed by the 5am kiss the bloke goodbye as he flies away to Cairns. I’ve been doing my interminable cases all morning and I don’t have the strength to choke any mice but I do like the idea of a device that does it for you.

    I heard them rolling the rat bait around the ceiling last night, they squealed and fought over possession of the baits for a bit and then squealed a bit more and ran off. Hopefully into next door’s garden to die.

    Just had the pool guy out to do pump repairs. The pressure needle thingy on the sand pump had clapped out and when I tried to vacuum it on Sunday the vacuum wouldn’t suck water. I was at the vacuum end and the bloke was at the pool filter end, scooping water and going ‘Nooope’.

    The verdict from my pool boy is that the Bloke had put the pool filter lid on upside down and that’s why it wouldn’t suck. (Insert eye roll emoticon here)
    Can’t wait to show him the bill for that one.

    I think its’ time for a cup of tea and a lie down.
    The Gods are being kind to me because last night’s patient was an ILK (itchy little kid) with respiratory problems who, surprise surprise, gets a sore throat and breathing difficulty every time he eats something with sulphites in it.

    Too easy.
    Go away, never eat processed food again, and you shall live long and prosper.

    When I gave them the list of sulphite containing foods the kid looked at me like he was ready to commit murder.
    Just hope he’s forgotten my name and is feeling heaps better in 10 years when he’s old enough to drive here and lop off my head with an axe.

    I could tell he was thinking it.
    Ice cream? Lollies? Sausages?

    He was none too pleased when I told him he had to choose between oxygen and junk food.

    Easy assignment for me, though.
    Yeehah.

    I think I’ve earned a nap.
    Ni night.

  56. Mmm…. nap.

    I’m just thankful that you only get to audit my food choices once a month or so, Quokka. Although it’s not that I’m big on processed food, it’s more a tendency to select chocolate over… ooh, almost everything.

    Plus, I think eternal life would be a terrible curse to rival herpes.

    Catty, you know so much about the previous occupants you could probably pose as them to rent a big-screen TV or something – then scarper with the goods. Hey, you’re already getting their debt collection hassle, why not make it worth your while?

    Perhaps identity theft could be our home-based business? I could use your glamour photo to make some stunning fake i.d.s

  57. It has potential. Trouble is, I don’t have a poker face. People think I’m lying even when I’m telling the truth. I.e, pretty much all the time. (Except when I’m not. Oh, crap. You know what I mean). Hey, I have a laminating machine, so perhaps I could make up some fake id’s with your glamour shot, Madam?

    No, scratch that. The glamour photographer is a hot little Mexican with muscles in all the right places, and a sexy Spanish accent. If I send you to him, there’s no telling when we’d see either of you again.

  58. I used to have a pretty good poker face, but then I began working with children and it turned into a Snap Face, and now I’m stuck with this Old Maid Face.

    Which is still preferable to soaking it in Monster Yuppy’s cosmetic beauty products, which Humpy assures me are responsible for the flat expressions on all the dead mullet that float in on the tide of effluent and botox in his part of the world, at least twice a day.

  59. Ooooooo, that’ll get back!

    Hey, aren’t you supposed to be having a nap? Quick, take two Tim Tams, go to bed and call me when you want the rest of the packet.

  60. I’d love to dally with a Mexican glamour photographer, Catty, but my dance card has been filled by Mr Underbelly.

    *flushes and starts hyperventilating, just slightly*

    Lordy, that man can move.

    I think I’ve got an I Can’t Face The Face.

    The only thing I hate worse than catching sight of myself in a mirror is door-to-door pay TV salesmen.

    Quokka, do you think MY’s products could have leeched up the coast far enough to cause the brown foamy scuzz that sometimes accumulates on our beaches?

    Someone told me it’s coral spunk but that doesn’t explain why it both numbs your feet and makes them look 15 years younger (for 3 months at a time).

  61. Ah, I know the brown scum well. I spent some years in Sydney as a child, and my Uncle used to go fishing in the harbour. That scum was all over the water. My Uncle said it came from the floating brown lumps that washed in from the sewer pipes. He said the floating brown lumps were called stunned mullets. I grew up believing him. Which is why I always giggled at bogan haircuts, and am now extremely suspicious of MY’s cosmetics.

  62. Catty, was your family name Munchausen by any chance?

    I think you should write an autobiography, entitled “Stunned Mullets and Strange Ways: how I survived the Munchausen family”

  63. Could be sewerage.
    When Steve the pool boy was here yesterday he said that a few of the local sewerage plants got completely knocked out and swept downstream, so that’s why the contaminant levels are still so high in the river – they’re pumping raw sewerage into it.
    There was a more high tech explanation involving their chlorinator/treatment plant thingy but I didn’t really take that in, I’d grasped the basics and installed the la la la can’t hear you and will never remember this program.

  64. Hehehe. Dissociation can be your friend.

    I’m the same whenever people start talking about numbers greater than 100 or so. I’m scared of numbers the same way some people are scared of clowns.

    I’d rather handle a taipan than go to Woolies having to wheel my cart around, throwing things in and adding the prices up in my head to make sure I stay under budget. I’m getting palpitations and a cold sweat just describing the scenario.

  65. lalalalalalalala*clowns*lalalalalalalala*Ican’thearyou*lalalalalala

  66. I am the same with numbers but I had to learn to do the match the contents of the trolley to the account balance thing long, long ago. Which is why I become extremely surly if neighbours, classmates, swimming buddies or complete strangers walk up and initiate a conversation.

    The absolute last straw was the day my mobile phone rang in the tinned fish aisle (half way through the hell count).
    Which is the main reason I changed the number and no longer give it to anyone, just the spouse.
    Fark I hate that mobile phone with a passion.

    Last night I ignored a series of calls and finally got an urgent text ‘Dom, Bro, where TF are you mate? I need you to do my shift at work tomorrow. Call me, urgent.’

    I did my little eye roll, turned the sound off on my mobile and the sound up on the telly and thought ‘Not my problem, Bro of Dom.’

    Perhaps I don’t belong in the caring professions.
    Then again, if I’m paid to care…I might give a sh!t.

    Meh.
    Just got in from school, have been writing up another irritable bowel case and have a sheaf of paper work to read on stool sample tests.

    Week 6 over, 10 weeks of this crap and crap sampling left to go.

  67. Madam’s blog ate my last comment.

    Try dumping your phone somewhere awkward, and ignoring it. I have an iPhone, but have not bothered to work out how to use voice mail. The phone sits on the fridge most of the time, and would go flat from disuse if I didn’t use it at night to play solitaire during TV commercials.

  68. Catty, I fished you out of the spam filter. Among the plugs of hair and greenish gunge, I found some helpful tips on visiting Corfu, playing the Stock Market and some Spanish-speaking Casino – anybody interested?

    I had a hell mobile phone call yesterday, too, Quokka. I was sitting at the computer, merrily surfing for snark instead of editing some writing I’d been sent, when the damn thing rang.

    I answered, and it was Magic Man’s teacher. It wasn’t even little lunch yet, so I assumed he’d set a world record for time taken to seriously injure oneself at school.

    Mrs Chips then waffled on and on.

    “Oh God.” I thought. “It’s so bad that she’s trying to break it to me gently.”

    Finally, we arrived at the point. Magic Man might have had a library book a few days too long, but it wasn’t on the overdue list, but he’d asked her to ring me about it. She didn’t know what the title of the book was and couldn’t see why I should make a special trip to bring it in, even if I could find it. It would be fine for him to bring it in, in the next few days.

    WTF?

    Maybe she was lonely.

    Meanwhile, on school-related topics, a puzzle: “Why would you call your daughter Tiajuana?”

    I mean, if you were so in love with reefer, why not just call her Mary Jane?

  69. Not a clue, but when you ask, find out if she has a cousin called Napoleon.

    Which is the weirdest name I came across in my days of working with the small folk.
    Napoleon and his sister were, according to his parents, reincarnations of ancient Egyptian deities so they had a few Egyptian deity names among the 6 or 7 middle names you had to plough through to get to their surname, which was something deceptively normal, like smith or jones.

  70. Last year, the oldest kidlet had a classmate called Poojah. She insisted that everyone call her ‘Tina’.

  71. Napolean?! Sounds like it’s lucky he didn’t get called Amen-Ra or Imhotep, though. And poor Poojah. It probably means “Dancing Lotus” or something equally poetic in Sanskrit.

    I picked up a friend’s kid from a local kindy, and was very amused to find that he had a classmate called “Serenity”.

    Any child that lives up to the name “Serenity” is a child doped to the eyeballs on Phenergan, IMO. Right, Quokka?

  72. Or grappa.

  73. Doesn’t grappa make you rowdy and prone to smash plates and dance in a boisterous group?

    I know it’s not chianti – that makes you homicidal when you’re drunk, then suicidal when you’re hung over.

  74. Rowdy, prone to smash plates and dance in a boisterous group…. that means PMS is 1/3 grappa. Guess which third?

    Going by your description of chianti, that’s the other two thirds.

  75. Now I’ve got a craving for liver and fava beans….

    * sinister chuckle and Darth Vader style heavy-breathing *

    Is it Aunt Irma time already? I’ve been chianti-crazy for the last few days.

  76. If Aunt Irma comes anywhere near here, I will smack the bitch fair between the eyes.

  77. Oh, give her a few from me, Catty.

    I’m so ready for the menopause I’m just about ready to scrape my own ovaries out with a teaspoon.

  78. Oh yes.
    It is indeed time to break out the black cohosh & the dong quai once again. At least this time I’ve fracking remembered.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I had the window cleaners here yesterday and my OCD will go into overdrive if I don’t redo the dining room windows to get rid of the inevitable streaks that appear when anyone but I clean the GD things.

    Meh.
    Pass the Red Tulip Rabbit.
    Who wants a cointreau mojito?
    Its 7.30am. the pubs are open in New Zealand now, surely that counts for something?

  79. I’m told the pubs in the Shaky Isles never close, Quokka. If they tried to, the locals would burn the bastards to the ground.

    A Cointreau mojito?

    Sounds fabulous, tell me more. I hope it doesn’t contain mint, though. I only like mint flavouring in toothpaste and TicTacs.

    No visitors this weekend.

    * contented sigh *

    Board games, couch snuggles, filth and chaos let run rampant. Heaven!

  80. I haven’t invented it yet but I’m counting on the internet to assist me.

    Oh that’s right, I forgot about your invasion.
    I had the dust patrol here yesterday and told them I’d vacuum up after them.

    Instead I got a call from a fellow student GF and we decided to do lunch. We managed to stay out from 12 – 5, both avoiding our assignments. We had lunch, coffee, and expeditions to Carindale and Oxford Street at Bulimba. Being as it was 5pm before we picked up and left I tried to persuade her to stay there and tell our spouses to catch the city cat out there for dinner at Ahmet’s.

    The only thing that took her back to the land of the half finished assignment was the knowledge that her dogs would punish her with guilt trips if she didn’t return before nightfall to feed them.

    So I came home and walked the dog.
    And still have to suck up all the dust bunnies that the cleaners left in their wake yesterday.

    Why pay them to vacuum when its something I do all the time anyway?

    Hum.
    Fun and games getting the washing to dry, here today.
    God bless modern technology i.e. the fisher and paykel dryer.

  81. Lucky you!

    Our glorious grey drizzle of most of the week has been replaced by odious sunlight.

    You know, I got a staggering 8 1/2 hours of sleep last night and I’m worse off. I’m reeling around like a stunned mullet, unsure of what to do with myself. Obviously sleep dep suits me. Hunh.

    Speaking of Bulimba, have we sorted a time with the bearded one? Perhaps you should email him, Quokka – I’m too scary.

    * evil, white-persian-cat-stroking chuckle *

    Ooh, and speaking of cats, I seem to have worn all objections down to, “Will our dog eat them?”

    How do we solve this quandry?

  82. I might consult the vet, and my breeder friend, Dette. Although I suspect their answer will be laughter and the response ‘how will your dog ever get past the cats to eat his dinner again?’

    What kind of wolf species is it you have again?
    Email me if you want, although Gmail played up yesterday and may decide to do it again.

    For some reason I woke up feeling like I haven’t slept, either, and we slept in this am. I’m blaming PMS and Aunt Irma. Also our prac supervisors have been in foul moods all week and I think its just getting tiring, dealing with adults who were educated by nuns in the 1960s and haven’t seen their way to more enlightened teaching techniques.

    What time Sunday 10th suits you, and assuming my Flood Evacuees are still here, when did you want to bring the Elf Children around? Assuming you’re here all weekend you could always bring them before your obligatory visit to Kim Than on Saturday night, you know.

    Hm.
    Perhaps this is turning into one of those conversations that might be faster resolved on the phone. I can call you if you want. I’m stuck here doing Washing Supervisions, and am just busy between waiting for squalls to take out the load that’s flapping in the breeze on the front porch and swapping dry for wet loads in the dryer.

  83. OK.
    Spoke to Vanessa. She may be moving back home as early as next Wednesday. She said what I thought – keep the cats confined inside for the first few weeks, it’s up to you if you want them to be allowed outside but being sooks they will take a while to adjust.

    We’ve always kept a new cat in one room of the house for the first day or two and then let them explore the house once they stop hiding under the furniture and stop jumping at everything they see.

    She said introduce the cats to the dog through a screen or a window initially until they get used to each other. In my experience, the first thing the cat will do when it’s in smacking distance of a dog will be to draw first blood and send the dog howling under the sofa in order to establish dominance ASAP.

    If it doesn’t work out you can always send them back to us and we’ll find another home for them. Remember, I’ve got four cats to find homes for so you guys may even find that you just want one.

    Although if I do say so, its hard to go past Flotsam and Jetsam, being by far the prettiest of the bunch.

  84. Mojitos? I’m sure I heard someone say mojitos….

  85. The mojitos are a work-in-progress, Catty, but we can do you a deconstructed one.

    Just open your mouth while Quokka pours the white rum and I splash in some Cointreau.

    Want garnish?

    I’ve emailed you a cat treatise, Quokka. If it doesn’t come through, send a carrier pigeon. Tell it to look for the house with rats streaming out of the roof.

  86. I’ll send a brush turkey.
    Although I’m guessing I can probably fit three or four through the slots in the mail box.

  87. One of my Uncles decided to move from Townsville to Sydney, as he had brothers living there. He figured he’d drive down, but there wasn’t enough room in the station wagon for their possessions, numerous kids, and their 13 cats. So he loaded their stuff and the kids into the station wagon, and stuck the cats in a cardboard box and shipped them by rail to my boat-owning uncle.

    There were no airholes, food or water in the box. It took several days to arrive in Sydney, and by then a couple of the cats were well and truly dead. My boat-owning Uncle received a call from the railways, asking him to come and collect the box ‘as quickly as possible, please – it smells TERRIBLE’.

    My poor Uncle was known from that day forth as The Cat Man.

    Still, at least he was forewarned about his brother’s impending arrival, so he was able to disappear out of town for a couple of weeks.

    This is still a family tradition. Although my transient Uncle has long since died (as has Uncle Cat Man), he left behind a swathe of offspring who learned from childhood to Never Call Ahead.

  88. Catty, your family is much more fun than mine. Can you please adopt me? Then you can come and stay at the beach anytime.

    Just call ahead, won’t you?

    Quokka, if you’re going to be pulverising scrub turkeys, I like mine with garlic, coriander and lots of chili.

    And a side of one full bottle of chilled Stolichnaya.

  89. Stoli? I’m sure I heard someone say Stoli….

  90. Open wide!

  91. I can’t hear open wide without the opening bars of the Play School theme getting stuck in my head.

    My revenge is Hot Potato Hot Potato Hot Potato.

    HA!
    Take that, fellow PMS sufferers.

  92. I think I’ve found a cure for PMS – unfortunately the effects will wear off in time.

    I wanted to buy shelves for Magic Man’s wardrobe… bear with me, I’m getting to the point… so since we were in Maroochydore I took the kids to see Rango.

    Absolutely. Freaking. Hilarious.

    Pack up your codeine and your chocolate and get to the cinemas, ASAP. But try watching it with an empty mouth for a while – you might choke on a Malteaser because you’re laughing so hard.

  93. Hot potato, potato,
    potato, potato, potato.

  94. You can’t infect me with your potato blight – I’ve got “Duelling Banjos” stuck in my head.

    It’s okay, but I’m getting a powerful urge to expose the back of my neck to UV radiation and go marry my cousin.

  95. Can she cook?

  96. Actually, I have several cousins who you might be interested in. They have extra thumbs, so they should do real good on the banjo. I’ll have them call ahead, shall I?

  97. This entire conversation is just too disturbingly close to home to contemplate.
    * Shudders *

    Hot potato hot potato hot potato…
    Ah, that’s better.

    Well, bloke has been disposed of at the AFL and I’m left with the carnage of cat feeding time to clean up in the kitchen.
    Just as well I stocked up on citrus tart from the bakery earlier today.

    The Houdini Twins are intent on capturing moths and the naughtier of the two shot out of the pen when I went down there earlier, obviously thinking he’d capture one and from there, onwards to freedom…just as well I’m used to sneaky jet propelled cats because I managed to grab Jetsam and toss him back in his pen. I’ve also managed to get his collar and bell on so if he does escape again I’ll be able to track him.

    When I got back in from the Footy Drop off, Flotsam, Jetsam and MIF were sitting by the door of the pen, eyes transfixed on a cloud of moths gathered round the fleuro by their pen door. They’re so cute.

    Those two remind me of the Weasley Twins and their credo of ‘I solemnly swear I am up to no good.’ Perhaps you should consider calling them Fred and George instead of Flotsam and Jetsam. Nibbles and Puggles sounds like a brand of dog snack so if I were you I’d be rethinking that particular choice.

    Ah, Ahmet’s at Bulimba is all booked for next week, too.
    I’ve said 8 and GB has sounded the dinner bell at twitter so perhaps we just wait and see who turns up.

    Hey Catty, have you been to Father Bob’s drive through confessional yet? I think that almost warrants a special trip to Melbourne so we can do a Thelma & Louise & Aunt Irma style drive through to confess our bad attitude and then tell him if god truly forgives us she’d give us fries with that.

    The kind they don’t soak in 223 before they snap freeze them in airtight plastic bags.

    FKN sulfur issues. Is no food sacred?
    I went through Westfield at Carindale on Thursday and for the first time EVER I had to forgo my hot donut ritual.

    Sacrilege.
    hey, do you reckon we could persuade Father Bob to issue hot sulfur free donuts with every pardoned sin? I’d make a gold coin donation and kiss his ring for that.

  98. I ain’t kissing no priest’s ring. That’s what altar boys are for.

  99. Good work x 2, Quokka.

    I’m very excited about Father Bob’s drive-through confessional.

    Don’t you think it might encourage a positive orgy of sin, though? There they are, laid out on a board for you… envy, adultery, sloth… so many to choose from!

    Every time you commit three or more sins, gluttony is automatically included in your absolution!

    I’d like to see the ads, too. If McDreadfuls is represented by a red and yellow clown, perhaps Father Bob could have the Seven Deadly Dwarves?

    Catty, you’re hilarious, but so over-flowing with blasphemy I’m scared to stand next to you in case God is planning to strike you down.

  100. I wouldn’t worry, I think he’s busy smiting faded child stars who’ve fried their brains on pain killer medication.

    Who next, do you think?
    Perhaps that kid from Home Alone or a few of the Partridge Family.

  101. Oh, not the Partridge family – unless you’re talking about that yucky Bonaduce boy and my vague awareness of the tabloids leads me to believe that he’s been smote once or twice already. The Partridge family had such groovy wheels, and those cute little animated birds.

    You know who I reckon has it coming? Bobby from The Brady Bunch.

    Yes, we’ve been hearing a lot about Greg and his oedipal fling, and the middle one’s gay or an astronaut or something, but on camera Bobby was always lurking around with a very suspicious smirk.

    And freckles – Satan uses freckles to camouflage evil, much like nature dapples fawns.

  102. I was being blasphemous? Oh, dear. Fr Bob’s drive through, here I come. Does anyone want anything while I’m there? A penance, perhaps? Do you want a plenary indulgence with that? I hear it will only cost you one act of contrition, and three acts of reparation.

  103. Tell you what, Catty.

    If I say three Our Fathers and a decade of the rosary to attone for YOUR blasphemy, will you make me some chocolate-chip cookies?

    I really want some warm, chewy chocolate chip cookies but creaming butter and suger would make me cry at this point in the month.

  104. I just made choc-chip walnut biscotti, if that will suffice. But you’d better hurry. I’ve eaten half of it already. It’s soooooo good when it’s still warm.

  105. Hail Mary, full of grace…

    They’re on their way, right?

    Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus…

    I’m assuming I can make dinner for the fruit of my womb while I pray. The BVM would surely understand. Do you think Jesus used to come over to the cooking fire midafternoon and say “What’s for dinner, Mum? I’m staaaarving!”

  106. I don’t think He needed to pester Mum – apparently He could fend for Himself pretty well, what with turning water into wine, and feeding five thousand with a handful of loaves and fishes.

  107. Good one, Catty.

    But the mere abiliity to fend for one’s self doesn’t stop my boys from preferrring to be waited on hand and foot.

    Yesterday I was out in the garden hacking though the overgrown birds of paradise when Magic Man wandered out.

    “Mum, can I have some toast and marmalade.”

    Wiping sweat off my brow with the hand that wasn’t holding the pruning saw, “Sure can, mate. Just put the bread in the toaster-”

    “No, don’t worry.”

    When I came in a bit later for some water, I caught him eating raw marmalade straight off a plate. Making toast was “too hard”.

    I have to confess to a bit of pride, though – instead of straight from the jar, he was eating off a plate!

  108. You’ve trained them well, Madam.

    My mother once caught me eating vegemite out of the jar with a spoon. She said, “well, at least you’re using a spoon”. My response? “I had to, mum. My tongue wouldn’t reach far enough into the jar”.

  109. Argh.
    I just got in from dog walking and switched on the radio just in time to hear the mother of that missing teenager in FNQ.

    Jaysus. The Bloke had warned me not to listen to her voice…I wonder how I get a message to that kid saying it’s safe to come and hide here till he’s 18 and he can leave the country and never see her again.

  110. Facebook.

    Still no closer to undertaking some wholesome baking, but I have refrained from strangling several children, a postman and some random strangers with my bare hands so I’m counting this morning as a win.

    It’s not yet 10 o’clock, though…

  111. True.
    The day is but young, and I have a trip through Coles and two cranky prac supervisors to negotiate at day’s end.

    Why is it against the law to carry a stun gun in Qld?
    I can’t see how today is going to run in an orderly fashion without one.

    Sigh.

  112. Since Queensland is mostly a large arid farm with outbreaks of delusions of grandeur along the coast, Quokka, I think you’ll find you’re within your rights to carry a cattle prod.

    Enjoy!

  113. Catty, you’re not the unfortunate woman who drove off the multi-story carpark, are you?

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/woman-trapped-as-car-falls-from-city-building-20110404-1cu64.html

    Catty, are you there?

    Caaaaattteeeee!

  114. Speaking of car crash, have you seen this?
    Even with Aunt Irma circling the block, I can’t bring myself to go to these extremes of self destruction

    http://www.girlclumsy.com/2011/04/double-trouble.html#comments

  115. No, that wasn’t me. She is in her 40’s, and I’m only 29(ish). I thought you’d remember my age by now, seeing as I’ve been 29(ish) for so very, very long.

    I was out poverty shopping in the nearby slum suburbs. Got a few bargains, too. Like a kilo of beef for 4.99, and a dozen American donuts for a dollar. It must be beef and donut week, because they also had beef donuts (with gravy), but I wasn’t brave enough to try those. They looked worse than they sound.

  116. Silly me. Of course, you’re only 29. I’m just glad you’re okay… and haven’t blown your car insurance!

    Beef donuts with gravy already sound worse than a lingering death so I can’t even imagine how bad they looked.

    But, since you’ve seen it, you deserve a restorative Chocolate Martini. Make it a double.

    Quokka, I can’t even come at one piece of Deep-Fried Death so the thought of a sandwich made from two bits, with cheese and bacon is….

    I have no words.

  117. Which is pretty much the reaction the marketing department at Kids Fat Camp are hoping for.

  118. The closest Deep-Fried Deathdealers is about 20 km to us and that’s still closer than I like them.

    A friend… who worked there as a student… told me many mmons ago that their chicken is not only deep-fried, it’s deep-fried under pressure to supersaturate lard down to the bone.

    And I’m pretty sure the 11 secret herbs and spices are 10 different sorts of salt – and pepper.

    Who’s for lean beef for tea?

    How was shopping, BTW, Quokka? I hope you managed with to inflict enough carnage with just your rapier wit and shopping trolley.

  119. Thankfully there were very few people roaming the aisles who could’ve done with a good shot to the butt with a cattle prod. I see they’re running low on Easter bunnies, though, not a red tulip rabbit in sight and I didn’t see a single stray malteser rabbit anywhere.

    Did you manage to find them up your way?

  120. http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/confidential/miley-cyrus-fumes-over-sex-doll/story-e6freq7o-1226033351110

    How pissed off must Disney be that they’re not getting a 30% cut of this one?

  121. The Malteaser bunny remains as elusive as the Jabberwock in these parts. But I haven’t actually gone to a shopping centre in search of him, either. You know me and the shops.

    In re Disney and the Cyrus lass – corporate monoliths have many and multifarious tentacles… Can you be sure that Disney’s not getting a cut?

    Is it only Monday? I swear I’ve got a Wednesday-sized headache, at least.

  122. How silly is that? Fancy paying for a blowup Miley doll, when anyone (and their dog) can have skanky Cyrus for free?

    (No. I am NOT a fan.)

    We have too many goodies in the shops, and not enough moneys under my mattress. Why is it you can buy 180g Cadbury block for $2.50, but shape it like an egg and it suddenly costs you $3.99 for 115g? No wonder everyone has lost interest. Or is it just me that’s lost interest?

    I am interested in cheese, though. Do they do an Easter cheese yet?

  123. Easter Cheese Tips with Madam M
    If you get a really ripe brie and leave it out until it’s reached room temperature, you should be able to mould it into an egg shape with your hands.

    Failling that, you can get some of those Baby Bels and bang one end on the kitchen counter a few times before serving. They’re wrapped in festive red wax!

    Alternatively, a kilo block of Home-brand Tasty Cheese is excellent value at $6-7. Just nibble round all the edges until you’ve achieved an egg shape, or your arteries clog and you pass out, which ever comes first.

  124. Another potential business opportunity. We could set up shop in Bega, and produce a whole range of cheese wheels in the shape of eggs, just in time for Easter. We could call them “The Lord’s Cheeses”. Perfect for those meat-free Fridays during Lent!

  125. Fabulous!

    We’ll also have a mini range, perfect for school lunch boxes – we’ll call them The Baby Cheesus*…

    and flavoured cheese slices, perfect for melting under the grill: The Holy Toast.

    *apologies to The Vicar of Dibley

  126. And we can use all the leftover cheese to manufacture frozen pizza with a topping modeled on the shroud of Turin.

    I’m starting to feel paranoid, Aunt Irma should be here by now and I’m not twitching, cramping or contemplating murder. Don’t tell me these GD herbally witch things that I’ve been taking these last few weeks actually work?

  127. O.K. We won’t tell you.

  128. Must be the long term remedial effects of chocolate, finally kicking in.

    I’m thinking of operating a trial on using red tulip rabbits as therapy for PMS and period pain. Sounds much more exciting than the other crap I’m reading on medline. Who wants to volunteer?

  129. MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME! PICK ME! OOH OOH, OVER HERE! MEEEEEEE! MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME!

  130. And me.

    As long as I’m not a control subject. You know I can’t stand compounded chocolate.

    I think I’m having PMS for both of us, Quokka. The last time I was so enraged was sometime during the glorious years I spent with the children’s father.

    I always feel like putting R.I.P. whenever I mention him – shame the bastard’s still alive.

  131. Where are our Mob connections when we need them?

  132. RIP can still be useful.

    Restore Into Psyche Ward
    Remove Intestines & Prostate.
    Rip Into Pieces

    Possibly in that particular sequence, would that work for you today?

  133. Actually, I’d settle for just the second.

    * satisfied smile *

    Where else could I find two such charming companions, willing to organise a contract killing or ritual disembowelling just to put a smile back on my face?

    Thanks, Invisible Friends.

    Now, on a less sincere and touching note – this Campbell Newman versus Speaker of the QLD Parliment smack-down:

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/speaker-wont-acknowledge-newmans-role-20110405-1cztq.html

    I’m confused.

    Can Do’s allowed in as long as he doesn’t say anything and no-one tries to breastfeed him, is that what’s happening?

  134. I’m sick of the sight of him so switched off when the video started but yes, I think the general idea is that even in our great banana republic state you do actually have to be elected by the people before you can open your mouth in parliament and actually speak for them.

    Although I’m not sure they explained that to him in army cadet training, either that or he was more intent on listening to that DVD on ‘How to run a successful coup’.

  135. There’s something to the ancient and discredited art of Phrenology, I reckon.

    Campbell Newman has a jaunty but firm set to his jaw* that just screams “coup d’etat”.

    * as seen on Gadaffi, Amin and assorted power hungry despots

  136. Yes, yes, very interesting ladies, but can we get back to the matter at hand? You know, the Red Tulip Rabbit trial? Just so you know, Quokka, Aunt Irma tends to hang around for at least two weeks.

  137. Catty, our local IGA has Red Tulip Rodents at 3 for $10. That still makes them more than $22 a kilo, though.

    I opted for a family-sized block of Kit Kat for under $3 for Woolies… I’ve eaten them so often that I’m nearly the size of a nuclear family!

  138. Just as long as you’re not the size of a Japanese nuclear family. We wouldn’t want you leaking into the sea.

  139. Nor reaching critical meltdown.
    A risk factor for all of us at this time of the month.

    • Stupid cross-posting. You’ve now tied for comment of the week, and here’s your sushi, Quokka: @@@

  140. As much as the Japan thing is so harrowing and scary I don’t even like thinking about it…. that was freaking hilarious.

    Comment of the week!

    Here is your award: @@@. It’s virtual sushi. Not as tasty as the real stuff, but you know it won’t make you glow in the dark, either.

  141. thank you, thank you, try the veal. Its on special tonight, its mother had two heads and a penis.

    Although I do see a market for glow in the dark tuna, think of the money all those cyclists would save from no longer having to purchase or launder psychadelic bumblebee vests.

  142. Veal?

    Oh, no, I couldn’t.

    I can’t bring myself to eat any baby things… but the adults of the species are fair game and as tasty as all get out.

    Tasty, tasty murder.

  143. Veal meat again,
    Don’t know where, don’t know when…..

  144. OK, is it just happening around me or has the level of Stupid in the general populace just hit another one of those regular spikes it takes, AGAIN?

    Hi MM, and yes, I’ve got new boots to replace the ones that I broke last week, which the cat had already eaten…had to practically beat the sales girl to get her to find my size in them though.

    Tell me, is it really only possible for shoe sales staff to serve one customer at a time? I mean, I don’t require fawning and admiration and ‘ooh look it matches your eye colour’ and ‘no, of course they don’t make your butt look big’ the way the rest of the idiot women out there seem to.

    Every time I go into a shoe store I come out convinced that women are just insane and I’ve crash landed on the wrong planet.

    I am never going shoe shopping again. Not with Aunt Irma, anyway.

    FK. Look at the time, gotta go.
    Have fun kids.
    Have a red tulip rabbit.

  145. SInce I only wear crocs or Blundstones… and even those I prefer to source at LifeLion, as Elf Boy calls it… you may be asking the wrong woman, Quokka.

    I have long believed – indeed, am raising my boys to also believe – that most people* are: dumb as stumps; mind-bogglingly self-centred to a degree that would alarm Narcissus; boring.

    *Present company excepted, with gratitude for the delight of your company

  146. When we go out, the Boss is fond of watching people. Then he laughs at them with derision and scorn.

    It can be dreadfully embarrassing. Even when I agree with him.

  147. Quite so.
    And while I too favor the kind of shoes that say ‘FK with me and I’ll kick your head in’ it’s probably best, for the next 10 weeks at least, that my face doesn’t match my footware.

    I cast a longing look at the Doc Martins and then moved over to the fashion boot section, and despite many imploring expressions and waving of boots at the sales assistant, she looked me up and down as if to say ‘oh. Jeans, tee-shirt, work boots – I know your sort, please go away, I’m busy with the 60yro rich bitch and I don’t want to know about you.’

    In the end I was quite abrupt with her.
    No point complaining to management, though, because management is Mumsy and I’ve learned the hard way that if a parent can’t discipline their kid by age 6 it’s not going to be any better by the time they’re 32.

    Anyway, I’ve got boots, they’re flat heels, soft leather, and have a good grip so I won’t go for any slides down steep slopes or those lengths of carpet at QPAC and cinemas, and they’ll keep my ankles warm in the cold.

    So, a good find. Useless for head kicking but next time I shop for shoes it will be in the saddlery shop and if I pick up some spurs and stay supple, there’s your solution to that one.

    I have the Dust Squad returning today to finish my spring clean of windows, blinds and screens. Yeehah. Squalor, begone. Today should be a much better day.

    Oh, and the clinic supervisor handed me back my latest log and practically hugged me and told me it was Excellent. Which was just as well as I still can’t read a damned thing she wrote on it. Whew. Makes up for the Monday session with nurse ratchett and a supervisor who I’ve always quite liked but who’s been in a foul mood all term, thus far.

    Hallelujah, 4 days with no deranged psychotic women in sight. so long as I cover the mirrors, of course.

  148. Hooray for Quokka! Good job. But then, we already knew you were Excellent.

    I must, however, question your comment about no deranged psychotic women. Does that mean you won’t be visiting us for the next four days?

  149. “Cover the mirrors”…. hehehe. Congrats on the case report kudos, too. It’s nice to think all the slaving you’ve done is paying off and actually being appreciated – Nurse Ratchett, I’m looking at you.

    I think you’re right, Catty – Quokka’s letting us down gently. We may not be many things – ‘tidy’, ‘organised’ and ‘entirely sane’ spring to mind, feel free to add any other attributes as you see fit – but we’re certainly deranged and probably psychotic.

    And proud of it.

    Meanwhile, although Aunt Irma has arrived, Elf Boy has become obsessed with anxiety that I might be pregnant:

    “Mumma, are you having another baby?” (One of his teachers is pregnant so it’s a hot topic)

    “No, darling. I have two beautiful boys and that’s plenty.”

    “But your tummy is very big.”

    “Son, that’s pure Cadbury’s. No baby, I promise.”

    “But what if you do have another baby, in da future?”

    “I don’t want any more babies, darling. Mr Underbelly and I don’t want any more babies. We’re not having a baby. Don’t worry about it. Why are you worried about it?”

    “Because if you have a baby you might forget all about your Elf Boy.”

    At this point I got a flash of wide blue eyes, artistically dewy with just a suggestion of tears and a rosebud mouth that manged to be both pouty and a little bit trembly.

  150. Which was your cue to say ‘oh, you mean like your older brother. Now where did he end up? I’m sure I left him on the mountain for the wolves to eat. No, no, there he is. Damn this failing memory of mine.’

    Oh, and I forgot the * Present Company Excepted clause.
    Silly me.

  151. Don’t be afraid, little Elf Boy. Mumma won’t forget you if she has another baby. She will need you, very much. She will need you to change the baby’s nappies. And she will need Magic Man, too. She will need Magic Man to clean up your vomit, when you change the baby’s nappies.

    Isn’t that wonderful, Elf Boy? If you learn how to change nappies now, it will make things much much easier for you in 20 years, when you are a Daddy, and again in 50 years, when Mumma old, frail and incontinent.

    (I’m not helping here, am I Madam?)

  152. Hehehe. Good one, Quokka. Beware the howling of the hungry wolves!

    My incontinence was nearly upon me now, at the tender age of 29 (recurring), reading the above.

    I’m glad to see that you’re giving my pelvic floor another 50 years, though, Catty. I sometimes feel it won’t last until this Christmas.

    I’d go on, but I think I’d better do some Kegel exercises, and I doubt you want to talk to me while I’m toning my lady parts.

  153. Meh.
    Hand me the carving knife, I’m about ready to do a DIY removal of my own particular lady parts. Killer headache today. Dog bless panadol. I don’t really need a liver do I?

    Hm. Am starting to think the dentist is right and I should be sleeping with my mouth guard in.
    Meh, and meh, and meh.

    Never mind.
    Pumpkin and Fetta pide on Sunday. Poor Catty, we’ll have to send you a photo and you can pretend you’re eating it.

  154. Pumpkin and fetta?

    Stuff that. Where are we eating, Nimbin? Aunt Irma wants meat. Red meat, served with lashings of carbs.

    Lunched with my local BFF and she and another friend of hers have also been having a challenging week.

    You know what Mars (the confectionary company, not the planet or superceeded God) should do?

    Bring out M&M&Ms… Mersyndol wrapped in creamy chocolate with a crunchy candy shell. Mmmmmm….

    Anyway, what do you want me to order for you on Sunday, Catty?

    • Nine hours sleep, with a side order of uninterrupted.

  155. I’ve been craving soup all week but I’ve been in no state to make it. There will be plenty of dead animals to share for all of those with murder in their hearts, though.

    Speaking of which, I’ve been googling your Woolleff and found some sage advice about introducing him to cats.
    I particularly liked the advice about ‘now take him off his leash and cross your fingers’ – that sounds about right.

    http://www.webbusiness.no/webprivat/mastiff/index.pl?ArtID=mastiff0001&grID=145

    Its just occurred to me that when Vanessa is stuffing about with microchip records today she may ask me where you live, meaning unless you DM/email me my answer will be ‘Cyberspace. She’s one of my invisible friends, but if you put Ms. McLeod-Underbelly on all the papers, that will do just fine.’

    I think they’ll want your vet’s number/address too.
    If we don’t get it done today it’s not a crisis, but while I’m there, so long as it’s quiet, I may as well get it done.

    Oh, and if you value your furniture (and yes I can already hear the snorts and giggles) you might want to get them a scratching post. Remind me to show you mine, I get a good quality one from my local Pet Cafe at Greenslopes. More importantly, this reminds me that when I was out that way the other day I discovered chocolate fudge dipping sauce at the Rock & Roll deli/fruit store just down the road. We can divert past there on the way home from lunch on Sunday, if you’re interested.

  156. I like dipping sauces. You can dip anything you want in them. Food, fingers, your tongue….

  157. … unmentionable body parts.

    Catty, here’s a tip for a lovely long night’s rest that I’m longing to try – medication. No, not for you – for everybody else in the house.

    Thanks for the link, Quokka. It confirms my feelings about our dog… she’s pure marshamallow inside, she just turns on the Cujo if she thinks the kids or I are at risk.

    A few years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but ever since my father’s dog got declared dangerous for escaping and killing cats it’s been to the forefront of my mind.
    For the record Dad’s dog has issues, I’m very sorry indeed for the cats and owners involved in his crimes. After a several year’s long campaign, though, I’ve managed to persuade him to medicate the dog which seems to have taken the edges off – to an extent.

  158. That’s hilarious, and unfortunately for my dog it’s a scene that’s been played out in reverse here, all too often for his liking.

    i.e. Dog gets cosy spot on sofa/bed. Cat sidles up to him saying she wants a cuddle. Dog shakes, knowing what is coming. Cat batters dog and claims warm spot on sofa.

    Well MM the wonder twins have been to the vet where they’ve been wormed, vaccinated, flea treated, and inspected for signs of psychological damage after nearly 3 months in Aunty Q’s dungeon. Vet and vet nurse were both amazed at how calm and affectionate and cuddly they are as they were very shy prior to their incarceration in my foster care facility.

    I explained that now that they’ve discovered bats, humans don’t seem so fearsome. Anyway, they’re good to go – Jetsam has some mild gingivitis which she wasn’t concerned about, said to just alternate their biscuits daily between Hills male neuter and Hill’s Oral Care or Tooth diet or whatever it is. I haven’t been able to feed them Oral Care because a couple of her older ones are prone to UTIs and I’ve had to limit their diet to one that’s friendly for UTIs. I think I’ve got an enormous sack of it up in the pantry though, as my guys went ‘off’ it (bastards) a while ago so if so, I’ll shove some in a snap lock bag for you to get you started.

    I’ve also got their Pet Passports for you to pass on to your own vet and Vanessa gave me their microchip forms and just asked if you could fill them out and then she’ll send them off – there’s no charge.

    So, all you should need is a cardboard box (they like to hide) a little plastic spade to go terd mining in their litter box, and a few tins of Coles tuna (in springwater) and a couple of tins of whiskers. I usually give them red meat (in pieces, whatever’s cheap) every 2nd or third day, for their teeth, and they might like some chicken wings for their teeth, too, if you can bear to find them hidden under the sofa cushion days later. I can’t so Vanessa has given me some greenies for them – dental treat biscuits, they love them. Good for their gums.

    OK! I think the wonder twins are ready to travel, fingers crossed that your boys like them and it all works out well.

    Oh, apparently they’ve never known their mother, one of the vet clients found them in her back yard and brought them in so Vanessa has hand-reared them from infancy. Which probably explains why they’re so affectionate.

    Now…I think I need to venture out in the rain in search of salad greens and Red Tulip Rabbits. Coles at the gabba was out of Rabbits and had a higher than normal population of freaks in the store so I won’t be going back there for a while.

    Sorry catty, just read back…we must have cross posted. I’m with MM.
    Dose them all with Phenergan and brandy, find book and sofa, curl up and relax.

    On with the day!

  159. Oh – whiskas – they like the fishy loaf ones, the chicken mince (meaty chunks) and the lamb, turkey and vegetables.
    I think they all prefer the Tuna to whiskas though and who can blame them.

  160. Whiskas? They won’t be eating Whiskas. I can’t stand the smell of Whiskas.

    I’ll investigate acceptable brands of food for them – in the meantime, there’s plenty of tuna in the pantry.

    Do they like scrambled egg? My last cat loved scrambled eggs with just a hint of vegemite as a garnish.

    Catty, although I’ll be living it up in the Big Smoke this weekend, in my heart I’ll be faffing with you. Happy dental-pain free weekend!

  161. Not sure, but Vanessa said that they used to combine forces to break into her pantry so that they could get into the cereals. She said they like bran flakes and worked out how to push the tupperware off the shelf onto the floor so that the lid would pop open and release the flakes.

    We usually get meat from the butcher from them and dice it up. The Bloke hunts for roasts etc that are on special and comes home gloating about whatever low price he got for them, chops them up and freezes them until they’re needed. Our cats are probably responsible for the collective malnutrition and anaemia of dozens of little old ladies but oh well, at least they’ve got whiskas.

    They do like the tins of purr and fancy feast and such but Jetsam probably doesn’t need too much more slush.

    I am out of Hills oral care biscuits but that may change between now and when I see you.

    Catty I’ll get over to your blog a bit later, I got laid low by a migraine over the last few days and am playing catch up with life, cats and homework today.

  162. Oh, the Migraine faerie has been to your digs too, Quokka? That rotten bitch gets around. Three days she’s been here! On the upside, thanks to the head pain and nausea, I haven’t noticed my cracked tooth so much. Although that may have more to do with the brandy mouthwash than the migraine.

    Mmmmm…. Brandy mouthwash….

    Have fun this weekend, you two. My lot have just finished up for the term, so I have two and a bit weeks worth of sleep ins coming up. Yay!

  163. Yay Catty. How long do they get liberty for in the deep south?
    Due to all the hours we have to cram in for prac, we don’t get a mid semester break, but thanks to Hitler (or was it the Turks) we don’t have to do any slaving and sucking on ANZAC day.

    Yes, the headache lasted 2 days and was so foul I dug out the stupid mouth guard thing the dentist made to stop me grinding my teeth and getting the GD headaches. The last one did work, this one is even more annoying and makes me feel and look like Nanny McPhee but at least I got a few hours sleep in last night before I woke up and spat it out and went back to the business of grinding down my molars.

    Feeling mildly human again today but am ready to use a flame thrower on Aunt Irma and her BFF the Migraine fairy.

    I think you need to find a real dentist for this cracked tooth, Catty. Unless you trust your spouse with chloroform and a set of pliers.

  164. I wouldn’t trust the Boss with a wooden spoon and a roll of bubble wrap.

    Not to worry about the dentist. Thanks to the major downturn in the Boss’s work, we’ve just discovered we’re eligible for the low income health care card. Every cloud has a silver lining, and this lining is going to get us into the government dental service. And Dr Cousin Dentist will never know!

    Yeah, I know that Community Dentistry is slap happy, but at least they try to fix the problem there and then, so you DON’T have to come back.

    Just to be on the safe side, I’ll wait until after Anzac day before calling them. I don’t want to have to face school holidays with a face full of Novocaine. Brandy, yes, but not Novocaine.

    Two and a bit weeks of Brandy enhanced holidays? I reckon I can handle that!

  165. Catty I did 3 months temping as a receptionist for the public health dental service nigh on 20 years ago and back then they had a 6 week wait for a toothache appointment. You might want to ring now if you want to get in to see them before next Xmas. Back then the only way you could get in urgently was to turn up at 8 in the morning and join the queue for emergency dental care, and take your chances.

    Back then the process was held up by the local migrant community who all used their relative’s social services card and ID in order to get free dental care. There was some woman called Phuoc Duong (pronounced ‘fuck dung’ who we saw every day for three months. She was a master of disguise and at various points in the month she suffered from gross hirsutism and gender confusion. I’d leave work in the afternoon and see the local migrant community passing her ID along to the next toothache victim and sniggering about the stupid dental workers who couldn’t tell them apart. Which shattered most of my high ideals about refugees and the ethics of the migrant community.

    I’m willing to put money on it that nothing’s changed there.

  166. Oh, yeah. I know what you mean. The Boss worked for a Croatian freakjob with a construction company when we lived in Queensland. The Croatian freakjob needed some landscaping done, so he hired a Bosnian freakjob who insisted on being paid cash-in-hand so he could continue to claim what we called his Special Untested Cash Crisis Emergency Refugee payment. (Or SUCCER payment).

    The Croatian freakjob used to slaughter a turkey and/or a goat on weekends, to cook on a spit he’d rigged up over a fracking great hole full of burning native timber. He also made his own schnapps and played the piano accordion. So every weekend there’d be a big party (despite the piano accordion – thanks to the 85% proof schnapps), and the Croatian and Bosnian freakjobs would sit around with every other freakjob they could find, to discuss the superiority of VW’s and to laugh at the stupidity of the Australian government (who had financed their respective million dollar businesses).

    It did my heart good. If these two Formerly Yugoslavian freakjobs had met before ‘fleeing’ to Australia, they probably would have killed each other. But, no. Here they were, bonded by their mutual scorn for the idiots down at Centrelink.

    The moral of the story: If you want to own a million dollar construction business, or a million dollar landscaping business, tell the Australian government you’re a refugee.

  167. The preceding comments were the opinions of the individual commenters only, and do not reflect the opinions of the management – who need that Family Assistance money next week as scheduled, please, in order to buy gruel and rags for the children.

    Hey, if you’ve spent time in a women’s refuge, does that make you a refugee?

    Not that I’d want a landscaping business. Hell, I’d outsource emptying the mailbox if there was a service provider.

    In re teeth, though, I heartily second Quokka – get in the GD queue, Catty, ASAP. You do want to be able to enjoy your Christmas dinner, don’t you? Believe me, a little Novacaine will only enhance your enjoyment of the school holidays – particularly if they miss and inject it straight into a vein.

    Anyone else love “Little Shop of Horrors” as much as I do?

  168. Was that the one with steve martin singing the Dentist song?
    Nothing stays on file in my brain for more than 18 months. Once a month the old ones explode and die and give me a killer migraine, and on awaking I’ve lost another little chunk of my life.

    sorry, you were saying?

  169. What was that about Steve Martin exploding and dying?

  170. No, not Steve Martin!

    Hey, do you think he’s related to Tony Martin from D-Generation and Martin and Molloy?

    Oooh, sparkly….

    Sorry, who are you people and what are we doing here, again?

    Nurse!

  171. The blue pills, Madam. The BLUE pi…

    Sparkly? Ooooh, where?

  172. I read that as Steve Martini so either it’s late, I’m tired, or I’m wearing the wrong glasses.
    Or else I’ve had the wrong pills again and just need a stiff drink to wash them down..

    Lovely to see you this weekend MM and sorry for the delay on cat delivery. Turns out my intuition/paranoia was right as when we got in from dog walkies this evening I discovered a fresh trail of vomit around the dungeon, this time with bright red blood in it – rather more than I’d like to see in cat vomit. So as none of them seem sick Vanessa thinks GREED and I think GERD. So we shall see.

    So my refugees have been ordered onto a bland diet of plain biscuits and boiled chicken with rice and while they were polite about the imposition they didn’t seem pleased to be denied their usual yummy supper. Still impossible to know which one has the cursed V&D but tomorrow once the bats have farked off for the day, hopefully I can separate them into upstairs and downstairs batches and hope that whoever is sick does something disgusting and obvious before I have to leave for school at 4pm.

    Anyway, good that nobody seems sick or distressed, bad that whoever seems fine is vomiting blood.

    Oh well. They’re under observation, and at least I won’t be paying the vet bill if someone does have a gastric ulcer.

    Still think that’s hilarious that your uncle was my vet.
    I suspect he probably will remember us, the animals may not have stood out but Dad certainly did. Just ask your uncle if he remembers the crazy old RAAF pilot & his daughter – aside from the fact that we were the only single parent family in a 5km radius, Dad, between the blue valiant, the booze and the barbiturates, was, shall we say, ‘hard to ignore’.

  173. Hehehe. I’ve always said if it’s a small world, Brisbane is an ultramicroscopic vortex.

    My darling offspring were very sensible and stoic when informed of the cat delay – they didn’t even need appeasing with the chocolate eggs. They’ll spend their weeks of anxious waiting in making cat cubbies and play gyms from available materials… and the usual background brawling, sibling rivalry and general yahooing, of course.

    Sorry to hear that “our” cats are giving you trouble. From the condition they were in on the weekend I don’t think it would do them any harm to be on feline gruel and water for a month or so. What was Greybeard’s recipe – thin porridge with a rat carcass or two for flavour?

    My uncle is my favourite man in the world – but I’ve never had to marry him or live with him for more than a month or so at a time. We’re a close family, as I said – but not Tasmanian close.

    When we’re visiting at Easter I’ll tell him the cat plaster vs. daschund story and see if he remembers. Insanity, substance abuse and atypical social arrangements won’t necessarily make you stand out, though – for every one of my relatives that you’ve met, we’ve got a couple of dozen stashed in what we like to call “holding facilities”. It’s easier for everyone that way!

    Catty, we found cupcake knickers in a deli and thought of you… red lacy cupcake cases. Do you have them in Melbourne or should we send some down?

  174. Yes, that was one of the things I liked about him, he never seemed to notice that Dad was one of the pariahs of the neighbourhood. I suspect he never listened to gossip, probably wise as much of it was about him. Probably warmed to Dad for drawing some of the heat off him, now I think of it.

    You know what?
    I’ve remembered meeting you down there when I took my cat in to see John. Cat had a sneezy wheezy sinus infection, I was probably stressing it was a brain tumour. I have some vague recollection of John pointing to the pointy eared little person in the corner and saying ‘That’s my niece’ and I went home and told my sister and we rolled our eyes and said ‘ha, a likely story.’ We loved him dearly, but you know, spots on a leopard and all that. Must have been circa 1985, if I had my license.
    My memory is not at all good though, so while I can’t remember my sister being with me, that just may be something else my unconscious has seen the wisdom of blocking out.

  175. Pointy eared?

    Would have been me for sure – there’s only two nieces and I’m the only one that haunted the surgery.

    At around that time we used to do clinic on Friday nights, then head on up the Bruce to pull lantana from the block. He’d fall asleep at the wheel and I was too young to drive so I just sat in the suicide seat waking him up.

    We’d work all weekend… one particular weekend we forgot to bring food up and didn’t eat until Sunday afternoon when we went into the nearest village and had a burger with the lot. Me and the cousins, that is. Aunt and Uncle have been vegetarians longer than Paul and the late Linda McCartney.

    And I swear he’s my uncle, not my father. As good as, but not quite.

  176. Well, John was very sweet when I knew him.
    Catty, lurkers, during our Real World Contact Time on the weekend Morgana and I discovered that her uncle was my local vet while I was growing up, and we were all rather fond of him. Not as fond as many of the womenfolk in the community, but he was very sweet just the same.

    Oh, and Catty, Greybeard and Fifi were muttering about going off to Melbourne to see the King Tut exhibition, so I’m sure they’d want to see you, too, being as you’re the invisible presence at our table at each gathering. We can’t have a meal without a ‘Catty said’ or ‘Catty did’ story.

    I raised the idea of going to Melbourne too, and the bloke rolled his eyes and said ‘You’d die’ so it looks like that’s not an option unless there’s room in the sarcophagus with him.

  177. At least if you died in the middle of the King Tut exhibition you should be assured of an impressive send-off.

    Not everyone gets to be ritually disembowelled and have their organs stored in a canopic jar – beats an uneasy cremation followed by a few stale sandwiches and empty platitudes.

    • Hey! If I have anything to do with it, there’ll be fresh sandwiches and platitudes stuffed full of, um, platitudieness.

  178. My fondest wish is to be so rich that my wake degenerates into an all-out brawl amongst my descendants.

    Meanwhile, the ‘hidden’ Will shall bequeath my worldly wealth to my cats…. Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh….

    Greybeard’s in Melbourne? I didn’t know that. We could have called in the whole Mexican contingent! Except Mayhem: she and Fireman Sam are apparently still ‘catching up’.

    Thanks for the knickers-down offer, Madam, but I think they’re available here too. Oh, bugger. Now I’m craving cupcakes.

  179. I want you to cater my funeral, please Greybeard. Fresh snakes’ blood all around, in a toast to my venomous tongue, sadly stilled. Now about this Rapture franchise…

    Catty, I don’t want to mislead you. The knickers were not mine, they’re for cupcakes. Athough if I wore knickers I’d take them down for you as well.

    I crave vengenance and to fufil my destiny!

    Bet you get a cupcake before I get around to that lot.

  180. Can’t believe we’d never sampled the delights of Oxford St. Fifi has graciously consented to return on Wednesday to snaffle a couple of books we saw there and perhaps partake of a light lunch. (Mental image of Sack of Rome by Goths). If there were any books you’d like us to pick up Madam or Q, t’would be no trouble at all.

    The Tut Trip will probably just be a fly-in fly-out one but we plan to be down for a week or two later in the year. Would enjoy a real-Catty meal vs virtual-Catty if we can arrange it. We’re leaving it until daughter & hubby are in their new place in the burbs. Probably get to sleep in the shed for a few nights but then return to our usual haunts in Sth Yarra. Hope it’s still cold so Fifi can wear her boots and coats and boots and scarves and boots. I like her boots. Especially the . . . um, never mind.

  181. Ugh boots?

  182. What a lovely offer, thanks Greybeard – but you musn’t tempt me. I have too many books and not enough walls against which to shelve them.

    I know what you’re thinking – if I sold one or more kids on Ebay I could turn their room/s into a library.

    True, but then who would clean out the gutters and rub my feet?

    • Perhaps just a superfluous organ or two? Do they *need* two kidneys each?

      • Hehehe. You’re an evil man – but I like you.

  183. Ugh! Never! She’s a bit of a boot-lady. Has short red dressy Docs, black ‘elegant’ Docs, long suedes, long red ones and Shiny Black ones with buckles and straps. Must be time for my cold shower. Did I mention she’s working from home today while they shift to new premises?

  184. Not to mention corneas, although it might be wise to remove the spectacles from your youngest before you take the marketing photo, caveat emptor and all that.

    I did tell Fifi to wander off to Sheay’s shoes in Boundary street west end, or did that slip my mind?

    • Oh she’s been sniffing around there for years. That’s where the red Docs came from. (How tragic – I remember where my wife gets her shoes. What have I become?)

  185. I couldn’t slice open his baby blue eyes! Or their precious kidneys, come to that.

    What happened to the good old days when you could apprentice them to a sweep at age 5 and rake in the proceeds?

    Matter of fact – whatever happened to chimney sweeps?

  186. Check the chimney, I believe once they got too big they got stuck there and solved the congestion by smoking them out…

  187. Mmm… smoked, chimney-hung sweep.

    Beats proscuitto into a cocked hat. You know, like the town criers wear?

    I’d go on but I must renew the whalebones in my bustle. At present I find it insufficiently brisk.

  188. If you want to make a quid through your children, Madam, I believe Disney are looking for a new child porn act now that Miley has turned 18. Fancy being a Disney Pimp? It worked for Brittney’s mum. And Lindsay’s.

    Job qualifications:
    Ability to mime under pressure
    Capped teeth
    ‘Commando’ philosophy
    Pushy stage mother

    I’d send my kidlets, but I can’t afford to get their teeth capped. Bloody dentists!

  189. And no nasty sulfites, unless of course they’ve sold their eternal soul to the devil – or the highest bidder among their siblings.

    Damn this cyber delay.
    You’ll see the wisdom of our organ harvesting suggestions one day, in fact, probably on many days between the ages of 12 & 25.

  190. Catty, I should think in your case you’d be better off capping your dentist than the kid’s teeth. You’re a beneficiary, I hope?

  191. Hmm… no, I don’t see myself in any profession that requires wearing artificial nails and bitch-slapping. You make a very good point, though, Catty.

    I think we’re going to become spies and assassins for hire. As a family, we’re exceptionally stealthy. We managed to sneak up on Quokka over the weekend and even suborned the dog… he didn’t bark, he just trotted out wagging his tail.

    We need a much better name than “Spies R Us”, though – and a kick-arse motto.

  192. Considering the surname, what about Spylanders? Or MacNinjas? Perhaps Al & I could go into the same business – aiming for the classy trade of course. “For your Assassination needs, see Coots in Suits.” “We shuffle them off their mortal coils.” Maybe you could aim for the hippie market Madam? “Toke & Dagger”, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my target.” Maybe a shop in Nimbin called the Macrame Garrotte?

  193. Spylanders – “There can be only one! Make sure that one is you with Spylanders.”

    Fabulous work, Greybeard. As for your branch office, surely you have a relative called Hamish?

    I’m thinking “Camo and Ammo with Hammo”, or maybe just “Greybeard’s Grey Ops – ask us about wet-work Wednesdays!”.

    The t-shirts will be black-on-black, and woven from Kevlar.

  194. Ooh I’m lovin’ it. Not to mention half-price Tuesdays. Double-taps for the price of one?

  195. I reckon every tap should be a double, day of the week notwithstanding. No point in spoiling the hit for a ha’p’orth of hollow caps.

    We could offer half off your next hit, maybe, if you order before midnight on Tuesday?

  196. My cousin Arthur (or Artie, as we called him) set up shop as an assassin in Charters Towers a few years back. Cousin Artie wasn’t too bright, so he put an ad in the Northern Miner classifieds without working out the finer details.

    He got his first call the next morning from Lexi, the local greengrocer. He went down to see Lexi, who asked Artie to top Mrs Lexi. Artie accepted the job, then Lexi asked, “How much?”. Now, as I said Artie hadn’t worked out the finer details. This was one of those details. He um’d and ah’d, then said, “I dunno. A dollar?”

    Lexi was most happy with this figure, and scurried out the back to get his change out of his sock. (The locals are like that, in Charters Towers.) Meanwhile, Mrs Lexi came into the shop. Artie didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get the job done, but the method of inhuming was another fine detail he hadn’t thought of.

    His pig shooting rifle was out front in his car, maybe he could shoot Mrs Lexi? “No,” he thought, “that would make a loud bang and people will come running.”

    He spotted Lexi’s big cauli knife on the counter. “Great! I could stab her!”, he thought. “Oh, wait, she might scream, and there’ll be blood everywhere.”

    So he did the only thing possible. He grabbed Mrs Lexi around the throat, and strangled her. As her lifeless body slumped to the floor, Col walked in. “Wotcha doin’ there, Artie. Hey! You’ve killed Mrs Lexi!” Artie panicked. He didn’t want any witnesses. So he strangled Col as well. Mrs Borbridge came in just as Col’s corpse dropped down beside Mrs Lexi’s. So Artie strangled her, too. Unfortunately, just as she expired, Sergeant Barr walked in.

    But then, you’ve probably read this before. It was front page news in the Northern Miner the next day. “Artie chokes three for a dollar”.

  197. Let’s have a big hand for the comedy stylings of Miss Conspiracy Cat, ladies and gentlemen!

    Or ladies and Greybeard, as it happens.

    • Heeeyyy!

  198. We wouldn’t like you “gentle, Greybeard. You know we’re all about rough trade.

  199. oooh, Catty.
    I want the seat next to yours in the old people’s home.

  200. Careful which one you choose, Quokka.

    One will be wet and the other will be adorned with the lower plate of someone else’s dentures.

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