My Chookyard: Colditz by the Coast?

Poultry facilities: Note adequate food and shelter. Water (not pictured) also clean and ample.

I have previously alluded;

https://madammorgana.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/garden-of-unearthly-delights/

to one of my chook’s remorseless attempts to burrow out of the yard.

Chooks aren’t noted for their sharp wit, or propensity for forward planning, or reasoning… actually, chooks are pretty much noted for egg-laying and being tasty seasoned, crumbed and fried.

But still,  I keep questioning the motivation of this chook. Known as “Briana” by her former owners, we call her “Rooster” since she moulted her tail feathers, grew in a new more impressive set practically overnight, beefed up her comb and then turned on “Tikka”, who used to rule the roost.

Inside the yard, there is food, water, shelter, congenial company and plenty of opportunity for scratching, sunning, dirt-bathing and pecking. In case you’re not up on poultry husbandry, that sums up the whole gamut of chook behaviour other than rooting – we don’t have a rooster.

In fact, my chookyard has got it all over a Malaysian immigration detention facility – the only bamboo canes used in my yard prop up the tarp.

Despite her freedom to live a life of luxury, troubled only by wondering how many bacon rinds might be in the kitchen scraps and when they’ll be tossed at her feet, Rooster insists on staging elaborate breakouts.

Chook tunnel: note the use of sticks as buttressing

Pictured is Rooster’s latest tunnel. Note the use of native sticks and garden debris as buttressing.

"Cover for me, you two. Look innocent while I go under the wall!"

Why, Rooster, why?

Is it because, now you’re a drag king, you share some men’s misapprehension that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

Do you find it funny when the cry “Chook’s out again!” goes up, we corral the dog and all rush out to round you up again? Do chooks even have a sense of humour?

All I know is, if this keeps up, Rooster will get to experience the novel delights if being inverted in a killing cone… just before I slice off her ungrateful, tunnelling head.

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220 Responses

  1. Alas, I have a sad tale to unfold. Once upon a time Briana (or Brian as she preferred to be known) fell deeply in love with Gabrielle, a plump-breasted, amply-thighed young pullet. Unaffected by human prejudices, the two lived a life of comfort and joy, going to hen parties with their friends and egging each other on with their fowl puns. They were always cracking yolks and shared that naive philosophy that ‘shell be right’.

    But it was not to last. Gabrielle’s juicy plumpness caught the eye of their previous owner and one day she disappeared, never to be seen again (except briefly with a lemon up her clacker). Day and night Brian dreams of her Gabby and plots to escape her comfortable but loveless confinement and find joy once again. Under the circumstances it would probably be kindest to eat her. Got any lemons?

  2. I second the lemon suggestion, with some grated ginger, honey, sesame oil and chilli, and suggest sealing her in this for a day or two as punishment.

    http://www.tupperware.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/AUS/website/productgallery/productcollections/seasonserve/season++serve

  3. Nice work, the pair of you.

    But I’ve always wanted to try a French Provincial recipe – Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

    If Brian’s not careful, I’ll start inserting the garlic cloves pre-funnel, and subcutaneously.

  4. I’m sure I’ve regaled you with the tale of my hemorrhoid surgery… the phrase ‘lemon up her clacker’ had my eyes watering and my legs crossing involuntarily.

    Meanwhile, the following tale was told to me this morning by a friend with two chooks, named Schnitzel and Kiev. Her 18 year old son had spent Friday night drinking with a couple of mates. Drinking rather extensively, under the patio. On Saturday morning, my friend let the chooks out to run around the yard. She looked out of her kitchen shortly after, and noticed that they were pecking furiously in one spot in the back yard. Curious, she went to investigate. She discovered that her son had wandered out into the yard for a chunder, and hadn’t cleaned up after himself.

    Although she was glad the chooks had done the cleaning up for him, she’s not overly keen on eating any of their eggs for the next few days.

  5. Thank the Goddess Rooster (aka Brian aka Briana), Tikka and Scaredy are off the lay.

    You know, if there’s plenty of corn in their feed, the yolks are yellow… do you suppose eating drunk’s vomit results in eggs with a vague tang of Bundy rum and bitter remorse?

  6. Well it does sound like what happened to me.

    • That sentence raises so many questions. Which I don’t think I want answered. How are your digestive systems at Casa Quokka? It was a pleasant evening at the Claret House – met Beeso and Damian James & some de-lurkers I don’t remember well. Damian is much taller in person than on the Internet, a very intelligent fellow.

  7. Except like the “eating drunk’s vomit” part, I hope?

    Actually, scratch that query and put this whole conversation into the “best you don’t ask” basket, if you’d be so kind.

    How goes Hogwart’s, Quokka?

    Cruising down the piste, ready to shush across the finish line with a nonchalant flick of your skis, showering observers with a playful spray of snow… or just pissed off, and willing to lay waste to all around you with your bare-hands?

  8. The latter. Still busy typing up research about IBS and anxiety disorders. Thankfully I’ve got the obesity and sleep apnoea out of the way, bariatric surgery papers scare the unholy bejesus out of me.

  9. I’m feeling a little anxious, if that will help with your case studies, Quokka. My grandmother just died, and I think Mother wants me to fly up for the funeral. I loved my grandmother, but I’m not sure I loved her that much – the mere thought of being in the same town as my Mother is making me gag.

  10. Catty, I’m so sorry to hear that.
    However you are talking to someone who’s familiar with the quandary – I’ve witnessed more conversations about this in my support group than I can count.

    I remember one person saying that funerals are for the living and there is no point being at a funeral unless you want to be there. If someone else is going to use it as a platform to create drama or behave inappropriately then it may be wise to simply bow out and say to yourself – or those that are able to hear it – that you felt it would be better to say farewell to the departed in your own time, and in your own way, and give their service some dignity by staying clear of it, lest others use it as an opportunity to grandstand.

    I’ve had friends who’ve had their own private memorial, just within their own small family unit – where they’ve lit candles, told stories to remember the deceased, and offered up little votives of flowers etc.

    If you decide to go to the funeral, is there someone who could act as ‘bouncer’ and could see that your mother doesn’t get anywhere near you at the service? i.e by engaging her in conversation or by diverting her from whatever ‘hot’ topic is going to distress you?

  11. Wow, I can’t add anything to Quokka’s insightful and comprehensive take on the subject.

    Except to say, perhaps money being tight can be your “opt out” excuse, if you need one?

    And when your Mother gives you a bit of the inevitable:

    “Do you know how many hours I was in labour with you, the least you could do is this one little thing for me… Oh, how I’m suffering!” rakka rakka, you can just smile sweetly (I’m aware you will be on the phone, it will be audible in your voice) and reply:

    “I’m sure Grandma would rather her great-grandkids had lunches this week, rather than having to munch on the inner-soles from their second-hand shoes so I can afford a plane ticket.”

    If she sends you ticket money, just go to Woolies, buy exactly that much in groceries, and email her a jpeg of the kids enjoying a meal.

    Catty one, Evil Mother nil.

  12. Thanks for the support and advice. Fortunately, I have been handed the perfect opt out. The Boss has an away job coming up, so I have to stay home with the kidlets. They’ll just have to have their cut snake bun fight without me. Sure, they’ll all be highly offended at my absence, but I’ll be far too many kilometres away to give a rats arse.

    I do feel sad for my grandfather. He’s possibly the only normal person left in the family, and short of a broken hip, he has no opt out. Poor love.

  13. Oh, don’t hope that the poor old thing fractures a NOF (neck of femur).

    Hip fractures have replaced pneumonia in the “seemingly minor problems most likely to carry off old folks” stakes.

    But well done Boss!

    Why didn’t we think of that? All you had to do, on hearing the sad news, was set the crock-pot simmering.

  14. Well that’s homeopathy, given that the crux of the problem was what was likely to set the old crock pot simmering…nice plan Catty, avoidance is my favorite course of action.

    Herr Greybeard, I didn’t see you there. Yes, I was disappointed I couldn’t get out and see you all but good to know that you had fun anyways. Damian has always seemed like a lovely soul in cyberspace. So, he’s taller than your average pestilent turkey breeding variety of garden gnome, I gather? They are all tall bunch, some of these CBGs.

    I seem to be on the mend, just grumpy because I’ve got another week of this foolhardy higher learning thing to go.
    Speaking of which, I’d best be getting myself glammed up for witch school. Meh. To think I’m missing I Dream of Jeannie for THIS. Blech.

  15. Oh, I loved Jeannie.

    I wanted to grow up to be her, when I was an infant. I did end up having a silk and velvet draped boudoir, but I stopped wearing harem pants before MC Hammer did.

    Funny, as a tiny girl the fact that she’s completely subservient to… you could say, subsumed by… the Major, her Master, never worried me.

    Nowdays, if I play Master and Servant, I think you can all guess who’s the top.

  16. I guess it depends who you’re playing with. For example, if you’re playing with lego men, Magic Man would be god, but if you’re playing with chooks, Brian has got you whooped hands …um, wings… down.

  17. No, tonight’s the night for Brian.

    She got out AGAIN this arvo, after we’d all returned her, so as it’s a mild night and the moon is new I’m leaving her out.

    I figure she’ll either learn the error of her ways, or get it in the neck.

    Either way, my problems will be over.

  18. Gabrielle! Gabrielle! Awk!

  19. Mwah ha ha!

    I’ll report in on Brian’s fate after sunrise.

  20. Brian update:
    Not sure how to score this round. S/he was close to the wire this morning, looking wistfully in at her companions. S/he’d laid an egg outside over night.

    I opened the yard gate and s/he pretty much lapped the yard to scuttle in and get down with her bitches.

    I’m hoping she’s learned the error of her ways, but mindful that chooks have lentil brains and this one is on a strange, possibly romantic mission.

  21. With a fox?
    Alas I have more cases to type up.
    The Source Of All Tyranny insists she wants more.
    Sigh.
    I’m down to the absolute dregs of our cases now, wish me luck finding some sort of useful research on them.
    Somehow I suspect typing ‘hairdresser’s diet’ into the medline search engine isn’t going to produce satisfying results.

  22. It’s lucky you asked, Quokka, because one of my Uni drudge jobs was floor sweeper and basin bitch at a hairdressing salon.

    Here’s the occupational health and safety low-down: They are on their feet all the time. So chiropractic/podiatry, even just attention to sensible footwear rather than killer heels is a good start.

    Time is money, so they don’t get proper meal breaks like factory workers, nurses, etc. Therefore they live on coffee and cigarettes, where applicable.

    There’s no point in suggesting they take a nice salad, or veggie soup in to work to microwave – it ain’t gonna happen. Perhaps they might munch fruit or veges or nuts, in quick bites between mixing up tints, for example. Or a healthy muesli bar/protein bar recipe would not go astray.

    The other thing, that I’m sure you’ve considered, is chemical exposure. Not just on the customers, but part of the job description/workplace ethos is that they constantly change their own hair.

    Good luck!

  23. Actually I hadn’t given the GD thing a moment’s thought so all suggestions most welcome. During my research forays into the Halls of Higher Learning I ransacked the journals for random articles on the evils of IBS and anxiety disorders, as it was becoming obvious that every other patient that walked through the door had one or both.

    So I’ve found a lovely article on obesity and colonic inflammation which is reduced by weight loss. So that’ll do.

    In a previous life my supervisor was in fact a hairdresser, so I don’t want to make her too hysterical by finding, say, links between the long term sniffing of hair dyes and incurable insanity. No sense in ruffling their feathers at the 11th hour.

  24. Hehehe.

    Very diplomatic, Quokka, but… just hypothetically and for the sake of amusement… wouldn’t it be marvellous?

    Are you and The Bloke both thoroughly recovered? I received sad news of more Blight victims in the Big Smoke, yesterday. Looks like it’s a nasty one, with far reaching tentacles.

  25. Indeed. Aside from being horribly disappointed last night to see that those tentacles have as yet failed to ensnare Nurse Ratchett, I have very little to complain about.
    Although I did discover a fresh cat terd in the kitchen, cunningly concealed in the winter’s gloom just beside the pantry door.
    I suppose I could complain about that.
    FKN cats and their flying danglers. This is what happens when I let their pantaloons grow unchecked – unmentionable things stick to their butts and get thrown off willy nilly in the wild panicking skitter around the house to free themselves of their fetid burden.
    However as I’ve just finished 1.5 cases, its probably time to go create order and sustenance in the kitchen. Not whinge about cats.

  26. “flying danglers”. Another phrase I’d just as soon hadn’t enriched me vocabulary. Perhaps when you’re finished you could give Nurse Ratchett a kitten. And a chook. That’d learn her.

  27. Greybeard!

    Talk about speak of the devil. I was just wandering home from Lifeline, having purchased more crap than I went up there in the first place to donate, thinking:

    “Greybeard, now there’s a dashing hirsute gentleman for you. I wonder where he’s been? Hopefully, not injuring himself again.”

    And here you are, with a brilliant suggestion.

    Quokka, shall I mail Brian to you today? Express Post should get her there in the next 72 hours or so.

  28. I wouldn’t give her a kitten. She’d probably bite it’s sweet little head off. Better to just give her the flying danglers. Or a sharp kick up the tushie. Hey, why not both?

    There have been some interesting articles about hairdressers and cancer – apparently there’s some stupidly high percentage of hairdressers suffering from breast or brain or bowel cancer. I always thought the youngest kidlet would make a good hairdresser, but after reading these cancer articles, I’m as likely to allow that as skydiving and buying a motorcycle.

  29. Considering what most of them eat and do in their spare time it’s amazing any of them make it past 25.
    I have been wondering what to give nurse ratchett as a parting gift. Something she can share with her friends would be nice.
    Fleas, perhaps.
    She’s been experimenting with hair dye so perhaps I won’t have to deploy plans to dispatch her with voodoo. All I need is a crazed ozzie osbourne stalker who’s too cracked up to tell the difference…how long does it take a stoned stalker to spot a fake rack, anyway?

  30. I love you people. I really do. I’m not even stoned. I haven’t had so much as an aspirin all day.

    You’re the chocolate sprinkles and fudge icing on the otherwise dryish and bland cupcake of my day.

  31. Mmmmm…. fudge and sprinkles….

    There you go, Quokka. Cover Nurse Ratchett in fudge and sprinkles, and she will not only lose her dry lack of appeal for normal people, she will also be more tempting to stoners when they get the munchies.

  32. And ants, when I push her out the window – which is what I really, really wanted to do last night when she distracted me while I was counting the float.

    Mwah. Love and air kisses to all.
    Can you tell I’m feeling better?
    Still not healthy enough to digest darrell lea chocolate coated peanut brittle fingers, but practice makes perfect.

  33. Oh, the humanity.

    But yes, I can see the bounce is back in your text. Welcome home, Quokka.

    Catty – wouldn’t the world look better coated in fudge and sprinkles? Wanna form the Dessert Toppings Party?

    Hey – “free fudge for all” is a better policy than some of the unrecycled effluent pouring out of Canberra these days.

  34. This is how the whole world should look:

    http://dennys.com/#/love/Baconalia_Home

    Can this be our first stop on the fa(c)t finding tour of the US?
    Please please please please please?

  35. Yes.

    When… not “if”, positive thinking is the key, here… we are elected, all of our fa(c)t finding will be courtesy of our grateful electorate.

    We’ll call this one “cementing foreign relations” or “International bacon gorgefestdiplomacy”.

  36. Ooh. This is exciting. WordPress seems to have smartened up it’s look.
    Unfortunately my bedside reading of 23 pages of mumbo jumbo on colorectal inflammation is hampering my enjoyment of the Passion of the Bacon.
    How Farking Cold is it today?
    The Bloke brought me my cup of (rosehip) tea (still can’t face caffeine, somebody shoot me, please) with the news that its about 2C in Hobart, with driving rain and 130km/h winds. Don’t ask me why he gets up at dawn and checks the weather in Hobart, clearly 30 years after fleeing the place he still feels the need to gloat about his escape.
    Anyway, he says that you’re copping the Hobartian weather there in Melbourne, Catty, so I do commiserate.
    Only so I can complain about what we’re experiencing here, mind. And apparently the long weekend is meant to be just foul.
    If that chicken gets out over the Queen’s BD she’ll turn into a pillar of ice, MM.

  37. Oh, yes… look at all those fancy glowing buttons.

    I liked the old school version. It was so clunky it was almost steampunk.

    I’m glad you mentioned Brian, Quokka. I think maybe the Night of Exile has cured her. S/he only got out once yesterday, and stayed back in when we returned her.

    Still happy to pop her in a Postpak, though, as required.

    On the subject of livestock, furries are still awesome. Jet (the shy one) is a darling. He’s slow to give his heart, but very loyal. How are Ninja and the others faring in Club PussyCat?

  38. Club PussyCat!? Where? Oh you mean . . . d’oh.

    I’m annoying Fifi by wandering around in t-shirt with bare feet and using words like ‘bracing’ and ‘fresh’. Hehehe

  39. All of which can be cured by pursuing the offender with a fully charged and refrigerated super soaker, having left a thick trail of tacks on the floor. Really, the poor dear needs our guidance, we must meet again before the winter passes.

    I believe all are safe and warm and sleepy in the heated environs of club pussy cat.
    Vanessa and I have plans to store them in her outdoor free range cat pen up in my back yard when things warm up somewhat. But which does remind me, I promised the management of Club Med for Cats that I’d sustain them with a home cooked meal for helping us all out.

    Surely it’s too cold to expect guests to shiver in my dining room just yet?

  40. It was 11ºC when I picked up the kidlets from school yesterday. Maybe I should abandon my rural Victoria plans and go back to Townsville.

    Actually, Echuca (gesundheit) is now off my list of options. The Boss checked out some stats online after hearing some negative reports about the place, and discovered that the crime rates are amongst the highest in Victoria. Bugger. Now where will I go? Bacchus Marsh? Nah, I couldn’t do that to poor Havsy….

  41. Bacchus Marsh does have a lovely ring to it, Catty.

    A combination of wine-soaked dissipation and swamplands.

    Hmm… reminiscent of the University of Queensland, when you couch it in those terms.

  42. Or Cairns. Ah, happy memories!

  43. They both have backpackers, too… and floozies who like to lie around in loose bikini tops, even in winter.

    Spooky!

  44. Floozies? Loose bikini tops? Hmm . . .

    BTW Catty I don’t know why you and Melbo scuttled away from Boylan’s blog. We chaps were just discussing the artistic & dramatic merits of Game of Thrones. A fine fantasy series indeed and one which we’ll be watching with great interest.

  45. How is dear old PNB?

    I think he may have taken some comments I made about Seppos personally… Geez, Seppos are a touchy mob, aren’t they?

    Touchy and peculiar.

    Am I the only one who regards a globe or map of the world with quiet satisfaction at how far away North America is?

  46. In odd social media news, check out this link:

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/weird/woman-gets-her-152-facebook-friends-tattooed-down-her-arm/story-e6frep26-1226071865973

    You need a laser to unfriend someone!

    ‘Scuse me… I’m just writing all of your avatars down my arm in Nikko pen. It’s the white trash equivalent.

  47. Just make sure you attach fur to mine, so it carries that authentic warm fuzzy feeling you all get from gazing upon me.
    Besides, given that it’s freezing degrees out there, you’ll benefit from the added insulation.
    I’m off to play guinea pig for a classmate who has to make up some hours in clinic, due to being away.
    My advice for the day is to retreat beneath the dooner with a gothic novel, and have many hot drinks.
    Too bad I can’t take my own advice.

  48. I’m going shopping. There are peanut butter M&M’s out there with my name on them. Then I shall come home and studiously ignore my filthy windows, while I take Quokka’s advice.

  49. The evil knee is having one of it’s bad days so I’m taking Quokka’s advice. Another good reason to take to me bed is the visit I just had from me son & hairy. He & his lesbian housemate (with all the model friends) are having a housewarming. She’s gone to get a blow-up pool and lots of jelly crystals and he’s off to Dan Murphy’s for some kegs. They’ve been down to Murwillumbah & Nimbin to get hippie decorations (& hopefully nothing else) for the Party. Why me, Universe? Whyyy?

    • Maybe I should fish my glasses out of the bin – I just read that as “another good reason to take me to bed”.

      • Whoops! Me too! Had to go and re-read it after i saw your comet!

      • Hmmpf! I’d flounce off but it looks ridiculous.

  50. Greybeard…. my sweet, naive, trusting Greybeard.

    If Hairy and his lesbian accoutrement only wanted black-light swirly Grateful Dead posters and masses of love beads, they could have kitted themselves up at any Crazy Clark’s or Off Ya Tree.

    They’ve come back to Brisvegas positively laden with Mullumbimby madness/marijuana/ weed/smoking dope/University tobacco/rastafarian sacrament/Mary Jane/grass and or it’s stronger, more resin laden derivatives such as hashish.

    Just get them a carton of Clear Eyes. Ample liquorice and the urine of a bitch on heat (if you can get it) should throw the drug squad sniffer dogs off their trail.

    Allegedly.

    Catty, did you know there are almond M&Ms? TV said it, so it must be true.

    Quokka… I just wrote your name somewhere naturally hairy.

  51. Puts fingers in ears (with audible squelch) LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!

  52. Calm down, Greybeard. Madam was probably referring to the cat. Oh, sorry, I assumed you meant Quokka’s name.

    Don’t worry about your son. If you’ve trained him right, he’ll know better than to give his real name to the police. “Hairy Greybeardson, you say?”…. thwack…. “Wanna try again?”

    Re: almond M&M’s – at IGA and Woolworths. I’ve bought them a few times now. I first tried them about 11 years ago, when my sister went to America and came back laden with all sorts of interesting things such as candy lego blocks. The almond M&M’s are good, but the peanut butter ones are much nicer. There’s a lolly shop near here that sells some imported chocolate, so I can usually get a fix when I need one. I haven’t been game enough to try the coconut ones yet. Maybe tomorrow. Or not.

  53. Hehehe.

    Fabulous dialogue, Catty. Hyper-real. “Hairy Greybeardson” is a beautiful alias – always good to have a few up one’s sleeve.

    Allegedly.

    Eeew… coconut roughs are nice enough, but I could never stomach Bounty bars and a coconut M&M just seems wrong.

  54. Brrrrrrrrrr!
    I love you all, but it’s too cold to be in the computer nook.
    Aside from which I have to take the fracking car in to get the dodgy headlight fixed, it keeps blowing out.
    It’s 7C people. Oh, the humanity.
    So.
    ‘I am stepping outside for a while. I may be gone some time…’

  55. Don’t eat any husky livers, Quokka. The Vitamin E overload’ll kill you.

    Brian Update:
    I’m prepared to go on the record, admitting that I may have misjudged Brian. As I showered in the brisk crystal chill of this morning, I gazed out my bathroom louvres.

    Strutting up and down the back lane, then perched on my back fence, making no secret of his salacious intentions towards my poor chooks, was a near-adult scrub turkey who we’ll call Colin 2.0 for simplicity’s sake.

    Perhaps poor Brian has just been throwing herself on a hormone grenade for the others, willing to take one for the team? Either that, or it’s like a turf war – Drag chooko e Turko. Uncaged Poultry Fighting, no holds barred.

    We’re going away this weekend – I hope poor old Brian will be okay. Magic Man built her an outpost in the climbing frame, so at least she’s got some ground support.

  56. Ha! This is the weather my Viking genes have made me for. I scorn all but a short-sleeved shirt. Went out on the frosty grass & was greeted by Colin, busily uprooting Fifi’s bromeliads. We are hardy MEN, he and I (well, man & turkey). Mind you, I do feel a strange urge to loot a village or a nice monastery and warm myself by the flames. Now how do I attach a dragon’s head to this tinny . . . ?

  57. You’re in the southern hemisphere now. Dragon’s heads are passe.
    What you want is the upper portion of a large salt water crocodile.
    I believe Lobes regards crocodile hunting as a pleasant weekend pastime, perhaps you could prevail on him to bring you back a trophy.

    Where are you off to, MM?
    My supervisor has finally gotten sick of endless case studies on irritable bowel and has begged us, No More. So I’m free. Kind of. Next week is our last week, then freedom. Hallelujah.

    Catty I was just in town in Big W and searched high and low for your legendary sweeties but the Brisbane CBD being the backwater that it is we just don’t seem to have such exotic fare. o I gave up and went to Darrell Lea for peanut brittle. That’ll do me.

    • Stupid cross-posting.

      I’m off for a dirty weekend. Dumping the sprogs with Mum to dedicate myself to the sins of the flesh. Mr You-know-who has got it all mapped out.

      I’m so pleased you’re up to peanut brittle again! Welcome back to Sugarland, a suburb of Saturated Fat City.

      • Mr You Know Who? I don’t bloody well know who! Spill, Madam. I want all the gory details. Well, maybe not ALL….

  58. Fix figurehead in place with hex bolts – or boar tusks, whatever’s kicking around the shed.

    Use aerosol expanding foam to fill any discrepancies between the curve of your prow and the back of your dragon’s head.

    Then seal with a self-curing silicone… some of the all-weather stuff, for preference.

    Its more pillage-resistant.

  59. Well, have a fun weekend, MM. I hope you’re staying somewhere that you can control the environment to at least 24C, given that clothes clearly aren’t a part of this plan.
    Perhaps we should refer to your pillaging yard molester as the BCF – the black chicken F***er. Because, you know, I’m sure Greybeard’s Turkinator prototype, being garnished with his own moral and ethical code, doesn’t have any such unnatural urges.

    Sire GB, one more week and I have liberty which means I shall be harassing you to retrieve info from my failed and abandoned hard drive. You might want to prepare yourself for the psychological trauma of what you’re likely to find there. I owe you lunch at Ahmet’s for this one.

    Catty, stay warm, once I’m done with the domestics I’ll pop in for a visit at your blog.
    I’m on my final case study and I’m waiting for the French Car Care people to phone me and tell me they’re restored power to my headlights and I can come fetch my mighty Gaulic Chariot. Other than that I’m making the most of what looks like the last fine day to get all the washing done. And then I need to make chicken and mushroom pie for dinner. If I don’t give the bloke a proper home cooked meal soon, his cholesterol will rise to murderous levels and I’m not sure the life insurance will cover death by take-away.

  60. I’m rugged up in about four layers – the outer one is quilted – and I’m still bloody freezing. Stupid global warming.

    Chicken and mushroom pie, hey Quokka? Mmmmm…. What time’s dinner? Or is this ‘Scrub Turkey – I can’t believe it’s not Chicken! – and mushroom’ pie? In which case, you are spared the unpleasantness of watching me eat. Speaking of dinnner, I must send you up some peanut butter M&M’s. I shall go put it on my ‘to do’ list forthwith. Have fun studying. Are you counting down the minutes yet?

    Greybeard, I am hugely disappointed. Dragons? I thought you viking types all had naked ladies on your prows. Especially after your lively input at PNB’s boosie blog. Now go and put on some socks. You’ll catch your death of cold, and then who will Fifi nag?

    And as for you, Madam Morgana, you have secrets. Fess up! Who is this mystery man? And why wasn’t I told? I could have put some low-friction strawberry gel into the parcel post bag. (It’s the Boss’s favourite.) Then again, there’s no guarantee the postman will even get your parcel to you this week. Stupid postman.

  61. Thanks Catty, but don’t worry, it’s guaranteed to be death by sulfites.
    I was just looking for them because we’ve got our college break up party on Monday, and Nurse Ratchett suggested we bring ‘bad food’ and ‘please no bloody bean sprouts’.
    Proving she does have some humanity, after all.

  62. BCF… hehehe. Yes, let’s. I hope the Bloke enjoys his pie – and that you make sure to leave him the washing up. Nice that you’re almost emerged from the pus-filled birth canal of Hogwart’s, Quokka. I look forward to dining with you soon.

    I’m told there is ample heating… and that Mr Secret’s ministrations will soon have me lathered in sweat, irrespective of the ambient temperature.

    Catty, of course I have secrets. I am a woman, after all.But surely the fact that I like to get jiggy with it, outside the bonds of matrimony, comes as no surprise? Although, perhaps you were only with us in effigy when Quokka recommended cohabitation with the opposite sex as a valid lifestyle choice. At which point I replied something like, “Our relationship works more like this. If your tap is leaking, you call a plumber. He comes around, reseats it, changes your washer and then goes away again. There’s no need to live with the plumber, day in and day out, to ensure your pipes are in tip-top condition.”

    As for the post office… check our mutual friend Mr Alias’s email account and there you should find a hymn of gratitude for my lovely prezzies! The Muse of Writing is watching me type this comment.

  63. Aaarrr! Back from looting & pillaging with beef, chorizos, many veggies & stuff for a mighty beef & Guinness stew. With a sourdough batard to mop it up & spices for mulled wine. The wench will be as putty in me hands, yarrr! Actually just ignore that last part – I wouldn’t know an ulterior motive if it was wearing lacy black silk, er, socks. Dear me Catty, dragons on the prow, nekkid women below decks is the rule. We Vikings have certain standards you know.

    Q, you & your data are welcome any time. As for Madam M, I’ll be avoiding this blog for a wee while I think. Just in case. Sometimes there are things that no man should know and sometimes it’s like one of the old maps “Here be ye Dragons”.

  64. If one man can be a party to the things, Greybeard, how can it be that another man should not know them?

    I’m sure there’s nothing we do in bed (and on the kitchen bench, and on the floor, and on the couch while the 7:30 report is droning on in the background, and underneath the tablecloth at our favourite restaurant…. etcetera) that hasn’t been going on, at least since the Crusades.

    Anyway, enjoy your veritable feast and I will try not to paint the blog blue when I return, early next week.

    We like to be inclusive and equitable, when giving offence.

  65. Oh I’m just trying to establish a false persona as a gentleman of delicate sensibilities. Fifi laughs like a drain at that and claims that my ‘evility’ is plain for anyone to see. Have a jolly good time and remember, if it wasn’t illegal in Ohio, you probably weren’t doing it right.

  66. I’m sure Fifi never laughs like a drain. I can quite see her tossing back her shapely head to let fly a full-throated burble, worthy of Lucretia Borgia watching a hapless victim spasm his last… but I’m sure Fifi would never make a sound as common as a drain gurgling.

    But many thanks for your best wishes. And don’t worry – I’m pretty sure some of the things we’ve got planned are still illegal in Queensland.

  67. Hmmmm…. if you hear the sounds of drains gurgling, Greybeard, then it’s probably Mayhem’s Mum, hosing out the Oubliette ready for Morganarama’s impending visit with the Plumber.

    Enjoy, Madam. You have stocked up on Zinc and Potassium, I take it?

  68. Oh, and Magnesium – we wouldn’t want you cramping up now, would we?

  69. Fifi has entered the building, sniffing expectantly at the B&G stew (recipe said casserole but MEN cook stews). And I’m sure Madam M has found a more congenial spot than a rat-infested dungeon occupied by a terrifying old woman. Sounds a bit like Bronwyn Bishop’s B&B? Now to begin . . . the plying with wine.

  70. Mmmmm…. spicy wine….

  71. Hehehe… Are we calling him The Plumber, now?

    I do have a soft spot for bad 70s porn, with a wokka wokka soundtrack and cheesy dudes in stuck-on moustaches.

    After I’ve taken my mineral supplements, I must ask The Plumber if he’s got any gold medallions handy…

    But, regretfully, we will not be dallying in the oubliette this weekend. If I’m… umm,… on a waterbed, I always insist that the water stays inside the bed,rather than constituting a structural component.

  72. That would give a whole new meaning to ‘the wet spot’, wouldn’t it?

  73. Ick.

  74. Returned from West End markets with triangles of Greek custard slice & chocolate brownies. I’m weak, WEAK. But soo happy.

  75. Mmm…. custard and weakness.

    How is everybody enjoying this Melbourne weather? Personally, I feel like cracking out a beret and a black trench-coat, and hanging around a jazz cafe writing beat poems full of existential angst.

    But then again, it is Sunday afternoon.

  76. Shouldn’t you be shackled to the bed posts in some exotic location, covered in melted chocolate?
    Or did the wet weather and the high indoor population of ants render that inadvisable?
    I’ve been keeping warm by running the oven constantly.
    I’ve made biscuits, pesto (with pollo penne) and I’ve just pulled a cherry/coconut slice out of the oven to take to my friend’s ‘back from the floods’ house-warming party later this arvo.
    Oh, and the slow cooker is bubbling away with an experimental chicken, leek and sweet potato mix that I plan to stuff into pies either tonight or tomorrow…being as I didn’t get around to pies the other day.

    I thought about the west end markets yesterday but I did that last Saturday am, and we bought so much that we don’t need to go back till next Saturday.

    Where’s our resident baking genius?
    I’m trying to figure out what will happen if I substitute limes for lemons in my amazing Citrus Tart recipe. Yes, it’s a proper egg custard type one, made from scratch. It’s that or key lime pie, tomorrow, to take in to class…mainly because I have a stack of limes in the crisper that I need to do something creative with.

  77. Well we were wearing mostly black at the markets & they did have live jazz at the Nest while we breakfasted but there was more smug satisfaction than angst.

    This is the Hell-Marking weekend for Fifi. Her Admin arranged the exams to finish Friday & results to be entered in the system by Tuesday. Not that they expect people to spend the long weekend marking, oh no!
    Once again their total ignorance of how a distance education system works has foiled them. Half the schools ran the tests on Friday afternoon and won’t send them in till later this week. As everybody knew. Sigh. So I’m providing tea, coffee, snacks, scanning & searching services while poor Fifi fights her way through the horror. She showed me one assignment that was an instant fail. The girl included some excellent photos of Egyptian statuary – which she had taken herself. Minus one million percent because F is envious! Must be time to fuel her with brownies. Stay warm folks.

  78. Been there, left the chocolate stains behind.

    Quokka, I use limes and lemons interchangeably in my cheesecake recipe.Yours probably uses the juice as a setting as well as a flavouring agent? Then you’ll need extra limes, because they’re smaller, therefore render up less juice than a lemon.

    It should be divine. Have a fabulous break-up – and don’t pull any pranks unless you upload footage and/or photos!

    Greybeard, commiserations to Fifi… but just vibe them at her, silently. She’s got enough on her plate!

  79. O.k, we’re home now. We spent the day driving to Echuca. It’s beautiful, quaint, bustling, interesting… the ideal place for a holiday… so we instantly hated the idea of living there. We were on our way home when I suggested Benalla. The Boss looked at the map and nearly choked at the thought of adding three hours driving time to our trip. So he turned around and went to Bendigo. He’s had a bit of work there lately, and thought I might like a place called Kangaroo Flat. He was wrong. I didn’t like it – I LOVED it. Of course, I’ll have to research the place, but it looks like we’ve found our new town.

    I probably won’t get much time on the computer tomorrow. The Boss has a tricky problem with a friend’s broken iPhone. He tried to update the firmware (something he’s done dozens of times), but somehow managed to stuff it up. Now it’s completely munted, and all his fixing tricks are proving useless. So he will probably spend the whole day watching youtube videos that show how to fix iPhones. Stupid, really. All you need is a freaking hammer. That’ll fix the bloody thing. So, in case I can’t get into the Box tomorrow, have a happy day off everyone. I expect to spend the morning in the kitchen, making something very special for a very special (and beautiful) friend who’s having a birthday. Now, I wonder who that could be? Hey, Madam?

    Quokka, ditto what Madam said about limes in a citrus tart. Personally, I prefer a combination of lime and coconut cream to replace the lemons. But for taste, I’d either go with a key lime pie or a lime meringue pie, with coconut crust. Actually, it would be wise to make two. Then you can pop one into a parcel post satchel. My address is…. nah, only kidding. You could use the second one as a bribe for the Bloke – it should be enough to score you a backrub. (Why should Fifi get all the pampering?)

    Incidentally, Greybeard – make sure you sprinkle extra cocoa on Fifi’s brownies. And don’t forget to peel her grapes and massage her feet… have I forgotten anything? Oh, yes, I remember now – but I won’t mention it here. To find out what it is, you’re going to have to wait until Madam uploads her weekend home movie onto Youtube.

  80. Kangaroo Flat?! Fabulous. You’ll be living in a punchline, Catty.

    What happens when a ‘roo takes on a roadtrain?
    Kangaroo Flat

    I must say, you are very wise not to live in a tourist town. It makes you feel like a cross between an animal in a zoo:

    Look, Ethel. They must be locals. I can tell by the sneer. No, don’t look like you’re looking.

    and a homicidal maniac, because no matter how much money they bring into town annually, you hate them for smearing their par-cooked flesh all over the beach, parking out the library with 4WDs plastered in those vile “My Family” stickers on the back and lane-hogging as they dawdle aimlessly around the supermarket.

    Strike me lucky, Bruce. They’ve got eggs here. Eggs! It’s just like home, only loads more tourists.

  81. Happy Birthday Morgana! Gorgeous day here – or morning, I should say, so I hope you’re getting the same up there.

    Thanks for the cooing tips. In honor of the glory of the day I’ve decided the hell with cooking, I’m going to feed them leftover pesto & some sort of exotic bread from the Rock & Roll bakery.
    So I’m tripping off to buy that and then I plan to sit on the front porch enjoying the sun and reading Dracula. Picked it up for $6.45 in Big W the other day when I was looking for interesting sweets. So my trip in there wasn’t a total failure.

    Oh, to have time to read again.
    Commiserations to Fifi, GB.

  82. Oh, and Catty, I meant to say, my great, great grandmother was born in Jackie White’s swamp, which is north of Jackie White’s Drain, Butcher’s Gap, and Biscuit Flat. Drove through them all en route to Naracoorte a few years ago.
    Just in case strange and obscure postal addresses are a priority…

  83. And a Happy Birthday Morgana from us too. Or two. Don’t feel too sorry for Fifi folks – remember, she’s got me! Riiight here. All day.

    “Jackie White’s Drain”. I suppose it’s a kind of immortality, having your name on a bit of landscape? But Catty, travelling in the US would be fantastic. “Where are you from?” “Kangaroo Flat mate”. You’d probably get free drinks . . . ?

  84. Happy Birthday to youuuuuu,
    Happy Birthday to youuuuuu,
    Happy Biiiirthday, Morganaramaaaaaaa,
    Haaaaap-pyyyy Biiiiiirthdaaaaay toooooo youuuuuuuu!

    Carpe Cakem!
    (seize the cake)

    I am raising a toast to you, Madam. It’s wholemeal, with fresh butter. Yum.

    Have a great day, and remember this – if you’re going to let it all hang out on your birthday, don’t lean too close to the candles on your cake.

  85. Thank you, thank you.

    Well, I must say 43 feels pretty much the same as 42… and indeed, most of the 30s other than the pregnant years.

    Quokka, how lovely it is that you’ve finished at Hogwarts! Am I the only one old enough to remember a TV series about Harvard law school called “Paper Chase” (from memory, which is obviously failing since I’m hell old)? I feel like we should be throwing mortarboards, or taking the Dean’s car to bits and putting it back together in a bell tower, or toilet papering something.

    Greybeard, thank you for your best wishes. And thank Fifi, sometime after she’s submitted her mark sheet.

    Catty, that’s the best rendition of Happy Birthday I’ve heard today. Because I imagined you with perfect pitch, and I suspect the others who’ve covered it for me are tone deaf. Tone deaf, but full of love.

    Aww. I’m not even going to say anything nasty today. Normal transmissions will resume tomorrow.

  86. Yes, you definitely don’t want to hear me sing.
    Thanks for the congrats but it’s not quite over – I have one more make up session to do.
    I’ve lined up a victim – a friend who studied with me a few years ago – as they make us produce our own patient for make up sessions – and I’ll be in there at 3pm trying to persuade our supervisor that the various remedies in the books apply to her circumstances.
    So, fingers crossed that our supervisor is in a better frame of mind than she was last night.
    The second half of the final session is meant to be devoted to ‘supervisor feedback’ and then they pat you on the back, wish you luck in future and get everyone to clap those that are escaping via graduation. At which point we feast on the various goodies we’ve all brought in.

    Well, the supervisor left the room and slunk off to a deserted room to finish her marking, and didn’t bother to address us as a group at all. Which left Nurse Ratchett in charge, so she followed procedure with remarkably good grace and was particularly nice to me – possibly because the first thing she bit into that evening was one of my chicken & sweet potato pies. Not being overly musical, I long ago discovered that Food too hath charms to soothe the savage beast so I took in a goodly spread of nibbly offerings, which I suspect made her wish that she’d told us all to bring food in for that subject I did with her last year.

    So, once I’m done with Witch School today I’m heading off to Oxford Street to take my victim for coffee & cake, and there we shall await our menfolk for an early evening feast at Ahmet’s.
    I shall report in tomorrow…cross your fingers for me, everyone was so worried last night about the latest display of caprice from our supervisor that we all walked out saying ‘Do you think she’s avoiding us because she plans to fail us?’
    So class may be over, but I’m not out of the woods yet.

  87. Does she look Snape-ish, at all?

    You know, stringy hair and a permanent sneer?

    I think she’s just fretting because she’ll soon lose all power over you. And then she’ll have to lurk in the corridors, living off the smell of lino and the bitter fruits of her past unpleasantness.

    She’ll be as dessicated as a Daddy Long Legs, come the next intake.

  88. Ozzy Osbourne, dead ringer, I kid you not.
    OK.
    Wish me luck.
    I shall report in tomorrow.
    Keep up the chocolate intake, folks.

  89. Luck.

    May the Force be with you.

    Live long and prosper.

    There can be only one…

  90. Yeah, what Madam said plus “Strength and Honour”! Although I dunno about that last bit. “There can only be one”? Nasty visions of Q beheading the other candidates before the final confrontation with the Kulgan, er, Nurse Ratchett. I’ll be looking out for lightning coming from the ground.

  91. Also I’m going to have dig out me parenting books to get some tips about Colin. He’s waiting beside the car when I get home and you can practically hear “whatcha got?” “did you bring me something?” He staggers around under my feet and I fear he’s trying to look appealing. Totally without success. I’d ask for help here but I know I’d just get a bunch of recipes for Turkey.

  92. He sounds lonely, Greybeard.

    Perhaps he’d like a companion animal? I can have your choice of the BCF or Brian crated up and dispatched to you by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.

    Show Colin Brian’s picture on the blog. It’ll be like RSVP without touch typing… hunt and peck.

  93. Recipes?
    What Colin needs is a fair companion.
    Since the floods there’s only one goose left at the UQ lakes, and from the way he runs after me and the dog I take it he’s lonely.
    If I knew where you lived, he’d be there in a flash.
    Its amazing what Fed Ex will deliver in exchange for beer and cash.

  94. I’ll see your goose, Quokka, and raise you the dog across the road.

    If he jumps the fence and has a go at my kids one more time, on our side of the road, dammit,I’ll be sending him in instalments.

  95. I can work with that.
    I’ll send the kids across the road, but their dog can stay.
    He’s dumb as a box of hammers but at least he’s not aggressive.
    Unlike the children….

  96. Hang on a minute.

    How about we send both “my” dog and “your” children to a third party location?

    Is Nurse Ratchett’s home address somewhere in your beginning of term handouts, do you think?

  97. I agree, Greybeard, the Colinator does need company. I’m thinking some of those magic mushrooms that Quokka slipped into Nurse Ratchett’s pie. Good move, Quokka – it’s a pity you didn’t manage to dose up the assessor before she marked your exams.

    Not that you needed to, of course. You’ll do brilliantly, for sure. Just as you will do brilliantly at your makeup session today. Have fun! I’d be cheering for you, but I have no voice right now.

    Sadly, the dreaded lurgy has laid me low for the last couple of days. The computer has been off limits for fear of puking on the keyboard. The kitchen, also, has been off limits, so I have been unable to make your promised birthday Noms, Madam, for fear of infecting you and your tribe with my insidious germs. A thousand apologies for the delay, but rest assured they will be wending their way North as soon as I’m well again.

    Now that the kidlets have been chased off to school, I am going back to bed, with a box of Codral and my teddy bear. Have a good day, all.

  98. Oh, yuck!

    Not the same Cairns Hospital Both Ends lurgy that struck both Quokka and the Bloke?

    Poor darling Catty. Don’t bake anything on my account, I beg you. In fact, don’t lift a finger. I’d send you down a casserole or some chicken soup, but I think they’d travel about as well as a scrub turkey, or a set of nuisance children.

    At least you’ve got five and a bit hours of napping before the kidlets flock home. Get well soon, pet.

  99. Oh, poor Catty. Bugs suck, the big one. Get well soon.
    I just found the BD card I meant to send MM on Monday…late, but at least I remembered – but alas, promptly forgot, so I’m far slacker than you, as all I had to offer was Dark Humour, via time delay. Might save it now, for one on one exchange when we have our date with Harry Potter.

    I got a message yesterday while I was in prac that my cousin’s wife died – she was elderly and had been in less than ideal health for some time. They turned off her life support on Monday – hence my forgetfulness. She was a dear old soul and my heart aches for her husband, he’ll be lost without her.
    Haven’t had the chance to speak to my cousins yet, am waiting for a civilized hour in Perth time to call them & shall then see if its possible to get over there for the funeral. Am cursing the volcanic ash that’s been grounding all the planes down south – apparently there’s a second cloud of it being carried towards Perth by a trough that’s blowing in.

    Oh well.
    That’s in the lap of the Gods.

    Meanwhile, my make-up session passed peacefully. My supervisor is fine when it’s just me on my own, proving that it’s just my poor partner from Monday nights that she hates. Went out to dinner last night with spouse and friends to celebrate – my GF was a classmate at Hogwarts a few years ago – different course, core subject – so she had a theory that my supervisor’s Jekyll and Hyde mood swings can be explained by the existence of an evil twin: ‘Stinky’ – which explains all really.

    ‘An Evil Twin,’ I cackled. ‘Now that’s a thought.’
    ‘Well, why not? I’ve got one,’ said my friend – who does indeed have a twin prone to horror mood swings and strange fancies.

    All is clear.
    And hallelujah, I think I’ve made it out of there.
    I got the Happy Supportive Twin yesterday, but I’m smart enough to be the first one through the door to present the case to her. The hapless souls that followed me got ‘X, I’ve only had 4 case studies from you, where’s the rest of them?’
    Reply ‘I haven’t finished them, I’ll have to post them to you,’
    The cocky tones did not agree with HST and a slow burn of rage spread across her face.
    I fled, before Stinky could appear and find reason to be enraged with me, too.

    Good thing I can run awfully fast.

  100. Commiserations to the ailing, the germ-ridden, the infected and the unclean amongst us. Quokka is it too early for congratulations or is it all signed and sealed? I’d keep my fingers crossed but it makes typing difficult & I’m not superstitious anyway. My legs on the other hand . . . Sorry to hear about your cousin’s wife. I’ve seen how rough it is for the survivor of a long relationship.

    As for Colin, he ain’t lonely. As the owner of a particularly fine mound in a nice location, with good neighbours, excellent chick-hiding facilities and a range of well kept gardens nearby to destroy, he’s one popular turkey. Sometimes I go to hang out the clothes and I don’t know where to look! I swear there was a threesome there once.

  101. I’m sorry for your family’s loss, Quokka.

    Good luck with the volcanic ash cloud. According to ABC local radio’s Richard Fidler, the ash has actually circumnavigated the globe to make it here and stuff up our travel plans. Some combination of thermal currents from the volcano and upper atmosphere directional currents.

    I was amused to hear that air currents stagnate around Tasmania, though. It’s more than just air currents stagnating round those parts, I fear.

    As for Evil Twins, the Sun is in Gemini so all twins should be full of vim and vigour. You have been warned!

    Greybeard, if anyone’s mound was going to host a flock of turkey swingers, it would be yours. As for crossing your legs, kindly refrain. You’ll only snap something and Fifi is looking forward to a rest, surely, now her marking is done?

  102. Heya GB.
    My supervisor said yesterday that she has to have results ready to be posted in the next two weeks. So I’m not going to feel too free and easy till they arrive, and then I’ve got the task of persuading admin that I’ve fulfilled their requirements for the degree.
    As I’m doing an upgrade from an old qualification they spun me a line that I only needed to do 10 subjects to qualify. The trouble being that 2 different staff members came up with two different lists, which only had 3 subjects in common.There was then a power struggle as they decided whose list would win. The losing staff member handed in their resignation and fled, with their sanity in tatters (the only way you exit that dump) but before leaving they worked some magic on the computers so that the second list can never, ever, be deleted.
    Since then I’ve had an ongoing battle to persuade them that the redundant subject list does not apply to me.

    I can’t see myself getting out of there without fighting that particular battle all over again.
    Its like Tetris, once one game is over the next one just gets faster and more furious.
    and it never freaking ends.

    Flights to Perth grounded so looks like I’m stuck here for now.
    Pass the eclairs, kids.

  103. Mmm… eclairs.

    If you’re playing Tetris with the hedge witches, make sure to bring a nice solid cauldron.

    I’m sure you’ve annoyed them enough so that they’ll let you graduate, Quokka. You’d better! A girlfriend took me to see Pirates IV for my birthday and the trailer for HP 7.2 looks awesome.

  104. Mmm, HP 7.2! Fifi & I are seriously thinking about a 9pm showing of 7.1 followed by a midnight screening of 7.2, on July 12. Tempting!

  105. I’m not awake at the witching hour but if you’d like to join me and MM on our HP date, you’re most welcome.

    Meanwhile, i’d like to know what you all make of the phrase ‘Huns were drawn’ in this article in the Curious Snail. Just hoping they don’t correct the typo before you get to giggle at it.
    This happened metres away from hogwarts about 5 minutes after I got there yesterday, I’m convinced the gunman was a student who’d been tipped over the edge by Nurse Ratchett and was thwarted in his efforts to speed towards her and commit some crime of passion.
    that or he had to rob a bank to pay their exorbitant fees.

    Am I the only one disappointed that there was only 1 4WD in that pile up?

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/fiveways-junction-clogged-after-high-speed-car-chase-rips-through-valley/story-e6freoof-1226075144563

  106. Hehehe… “Huns were Drawn”.

    Sounds like a good title for the WWII memoirs of a Punch cartoonist.

    If Task Force Blues Brothers Pile Up had taken out every 4WD in QLD, I’d be as happy as a weasel. I was practically parked in, with one on either side at the supermarket the other day.

    It’s a great article. I was delighted to read that the accused had stolen “a bottle of water and two cars”. Nice to know that armed felons are staying well hydrated, even on the run.

    Meanwhile, did you see this one?:
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/police-find-185kg-sugar-hidden-in-bundaberg-bedrooms-20110615-1g2jw.html

    Some fool stole 185 kg of sugar in one week’s employment!. Mate – it retails for about a dollar a kilo. Even at minimum wage, do the sums.

  107. Heh heh.
    yes, I’ve got to admit that it did make me understand why the cops were so worried, stealing two cars simultaneously is straight out of X-men.

    Bless the writers at the Courier Mail, they have a gift for mismanaging information that’s a credit to their grade 10 grammar teachers. None of whom made it to grade 10 themselves, plainly.

  108. Sometimes, when I’m up too early and Aunt Irma is due to call, I put comments on the Courier Mail site, deriding their grammar, or punctuation, or sentence structure, or all three if I’m on a roll.

    Funnily, my critiques never seem to make it past the censors.

    I hope poor Catty is okay – had a twit with Mayhem this a.m., she seems full of the joys of spring (although it’s winter) and unaffected by volcanic ash. She had an appointment with her new oncologist today, I hope all went well.

  109. I’ll second that.
    Its a strange feeling, exiting academia…its like leaving some strange surreal world inhabited by the Undead. Have wandered out blinking, wondering WTF everyone with a Life is up to.

    Too bad Catty is still down, she could explain the omens of that blood red moon at dawn.
    the cat tried to wake me up to examine it, but I threw my polar fleece jumper at him, cranked the AC up a notch, and burrowed beneath the dooner.

    Well, I’ve managed to sort out the next week of my life, volcanic ash permitting.
    I’m flying out to Perth at 8.20am Sunday and shall return on the last flight Wednesday evening. The funeral is on Tuesday, so hopefully I can find the right balance of spending enough time with my cousin and his family and enough hanging out in the books and cafes of Fremantle to give them some peace and quiet. Have found a hotel in Scarborough to stay – I like it there, it’s my Dad’s old surf club stomping ground – and I know my way around there, so hopefully won’t get too hopelessly lost without the Bloke to guide me. He gets to stay home and play zookeeper. Tried to teach him how to pill the cat last night.
    Fail, with blood letting.

    Meh.
    Well, as usual in the last 2 weeks of semester the house has turned into a combination of overflowing tip/compost heap/cat fluff. I’m off to clean things. If I don’t return, it’s because someone rang and offered some blessed distraction.

    Those kitties keeping you warm, MM?

  110. It was just a lunar eclipse, nothing to stress about… It’s full moon, though, so Aunt Irma will be making her unwelcome visit any day now.

    Glad to hear you’re able to make it to Perth. Funerals are always sad, but a good way to reconnect with family, too, I find. As for the Freo Surf Club, sounds colourful. I look forward to detailed reports about the vagaries of the locals, on your return.

    Well, now you have a life back, when would be a good time for our Tupperware exchange? I’m going to come down sometime in the school holidays to inflict my children on the Surrealists, but can make my plans around yours to some extent. I have to be back here on the last weekend because I have a friend coming up.

    HP 7.2 isn’t out until the 13th of July, so he’ll have to wait.

    Kitties are just gorgeous. I join them on their sunlit bed for reading, or just to escape the other animals in the house. Jet is my special friend, but I love Flot, too. The only naughty thing they’ve done is shred the fly-screen… I’ll have to look into that crimsafe stuff, before summer.

  111. They must have learned that from the Big Reds, Vanessa has been complaining that Thurston and Thomas have had a go at hers, too.

    Crimsafe will keep the junkies out and the cats in.
    There’s another product called ‘Paw Proof’ which I have in some of the higher screens in the house, and my cats haven’t managed to mangle that.

    When do school holidays start?
    Aunt Irma is due here next Thursday but I’m working on the theory that she’ll track me to Perth and make me suffer in the cold wet 5C temperatures over there. The Saturday of the 25 June we are due at a 60th at the Caloundra Power Boat club. Not that the BD boy is a boating enthusiast, he simply lives within easy drunken rolling distance of it so that’s where its decreed that we shall all assemble.

    Cuddle the kitties for me.
    For some reason I’m having trouble gathering my wits today.
    Cleaning this bloody Quokka pile may help, I hope.

  112. Howdy, I’m just surfacing for pills and potato chips. (My teddy bear is hungry). I was awake at 5:30, and toyed with the idea of getting up to watch the lunar eclipse, but then I thought…. “nah”, and went back to sleep. (Meh. There’ll be another one in December.) I didn’t wake up again until 8:30, and it took me 15 minutes to rouse the kidlets for school. Two of them dawdled so badly that I had to pack them in the car with muesli bars for breakfast. Aren’t I a crap mother? But at least we got there before the bell – which is rare indeed. Maybe I should stock up on muesli bars and sleep in every day.

    The lurgy hasn’t hit both ends at once, thank goodness. The lower end started the day after the top end settled down to a dull hell. Hopefully it will clear up soon. I did manage to eat (and keep down) dinner last night, so I must be on the mend. I’m loving the weight loss, though. My jeans fit a lot better, and the Boss made a flattering comment about my tushie, which is always nice.

    I’m sorry about your cousin’s wife, Quokka. (Or should I say, Doctor Quokka?) Your poor cousin must be devastated. My grandmother’s funeral was yesterday, and Grandfather is not taking it well at all – he’s in his nineties, and I think they were coming up to their 70th anniversary, so he’s suffering. Condolences and big hugs to you and your family.

    That article about the Huns must have been corrected. When I checked it out just now, there were no drawings of Huns anywhere. It tickled me to think that Hayes stole two cars with a crowbar. Did he drive one, and steer the other by reaching through the window and hooking the crowbar on the steering wheel? Neat trick, if you can do it. I tried it with bicycles once. I still have the scar.

    Madam, the Courier Mail is the worse for missing out on your brilliant and pithy observations. The same thing happens when I comment on the Herald Sun articles – automatic delete! Every now and again I change my screen name and slip a comment through, but they’re usually on to me pretty quickly. Pity, really, as some of my quips are much funnier than the ones they publish. Well, I like to think so. Have you considered applying for a job there? Or will your excellent English skills merely highlight the rest of the staff’s illiteracy? Unless, of course, their parents were married….

    Mayhem, stop lurking and give us all your goss, darling girl. Twitter and I don’t agree with each other, and we’re all keen to hear how you’re doing.

    Hey, what’s all this ‘hanging out washing’ nonsense, Greybeard? I thought you were banned from housework? If you keep it up, you’ll wind up in the next installment of the Darwin Awards – so cease and desist IMMEDIATELY!

    Anyway, I have to go buy a couple of boxes of Codral. And muesli bars. Then I’m going back to bed. So what if nobody has clean socks?

    Catch you all later.

    • Oh my … I don’t get published in the Herald Sun either and the Courier Mail didn’t give me a cadetship after uni so they suck too. So therefore does their spelling and grammar.

      Catty you know you have to type a stream of absolute gibberish to get it past the censors at the HS. Any kind of clear thought or sentence structure and recognisable word usage is a dead giveaway – NOT ONE OF US.

  113. Catty, you’re a fabulous mother. A crap mother would let them sleep in as long as possible – hang the school bell, or indeed education at all – and then left them alone, without so much as a muesli bar between them, while she went to the casino to put all of the pension money through the pokies.

    Dirty socks provide more insulation against the cold. Lock the laundry door!

    You’re as sick as a dog. Gather plenty of chips and bikkies, perhaps some juice to wash them down, and return to a huddle under your blankies ASAP.

    Quokka, thanks for the tip. We actually have security screens, so if “Paw Proof” is cheaper I may go with that.

    School holidays start on the 24th. So, how about your pick of Monday 27th -> Thursday 28th of June? I’ll dump the offspring on Mum and we can amuse ourselves. Lunch perhaps, or a non-Potter flick? We can decide when you get back, if its easier.

    I’m fighting some germs, no doubt tracked in by the offspring, at present. I must say, running a temperature is just the thing in this freezing cold. I’m warmer than I’ve been since May!

  114. Sounds good, apart from your lurgy.
    Can we work out the details when I’m back, presumably next Thursday?
    I don’t want to tempt fate by getting ahead of myself…and the next wave of volcanic ash.
    Off to see the Bridesmaid movie tomorrow with a friend.

    Catty you poor chicken, rest up.
    If you really want to see a bad mother, come to coles with me.
    Spotted one outside the bakery who had handed her toddler a meringue that must have measured at least 12 inches long and 3 inches wide. By the time I got out he’d devoured it all.
    Testimony to this was the trail of crumbs around him, which he was eating off the pavement while she sipped her coffee and finished her steak & kidney pie.
    Did I mention the toddler was twice the size he should’ve been and looked like he wouldn’t fit back in the pram after his snack?
    Probably a good thing as he had about three days worth of toddler calories to burn off.
    You’ve got work to do to make it to that level, my dear.

  115. So where does that leave me as a parent? Hairy Greybeardson came around to loot my cables & connectors & DVDs & a player & . . . yeah well. So I asked about the housewarming. There were models. Wrestling. In a pool of jelly. He ‘may’ have partaken. He swears there were no photos taken but I don’t believe him. He lies for fun & practice – just like Fifi. Where did I go wrong? Can I blame his mother? That might work . . .

  116. You’re on a sticky wicket if you start down the “mother blaming” path, Greybeard.

    First;y, it begs the question of where you were during Hairy’s childhood and why you were so negligent as to fail to impress yourself upon his moral fibre, as it was spun.

    I’d go with one of the following:
    (1) Sex hormone analogues, leached into the water supply from plastic bottles.
    (2) Global warming. Sure, a bit left field, but if people can blame it for this cold winter, it can obviously spread its tentacles pretty damn far.
    (3) Spontaneous mutation, possibly caused by cleavage enhancements worn by the tavern wenches at Dirty Dick’s affecting your gonads the night you met his mother.
    (4) The Mayan Calendar.

    See how you go with any or all of those.

    Goodo, Quokka. Enjoy Bridesmaids… couple of Aussie girls in the cast, that should be worth your ticket price. We’ll sort it out when you return from the WA wilderness.

  117. MM, sounds good.
    GB, its all your fault, the fault being genetic, of course. I heard a psychologist talking about nature/nurture and according to separated twin studies they turn out the same regardless.

    Speaking of mutants:

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/ned-kelly-tattoos-suggest-higher-rate-of-suicide-and-death-by-homicide/story-e6freooo-1226076728285

  118. I was delighted, yet unsurprised by those research findings.

    I think they should investigate “FTW” tattoos, now. I predict a 100% correlation with coming to a nasty end.

    As for tramp stamps, i.e. butterfly/lotus/dolphin/any combination of those on a girl’s sacral region, there’d be a roughly equal split between STDs, unwanted pregnancy and global brainlessness, I’d reckon.

    Sadly for our gene pool, rarely are any of those outcomes fatal.

  119. Here’s one I tweeted earlier: “Is that a Transformers tattoo?” “Yes,” the waiter replied, with the grave air of a man who’d lived under the burden of many poor decisions.

    But blaming Fifi is a family tradition Madam! For some reason it always causes fits of laughter & rolling eyes from bleeding everybody. Fifi, kids, in-laws, inbreds, the lot. Apparently opinion is unanimous that I did imprint my “values”, sense of humour, love of creative lying as an indoor sport and general evilness on the kids. Fifi of course claims their good features but these are very few, as you would expect.

  120. Yes.

    We love the rugrats, dearly… even in their mutant, adult forms… but when you go to list their good points, you do a lot of head-scratching.

    Here’s a handy list of translations:
    child boneheaded and so insensate that pain, etc. doesn’t worry him? He’s “resilient”
    Stubborn beyond the point where the average mule would give up? “Determined”
    Dumb as a stump, but fond of collision sports? “A Kinaesthetic learner”

    I’m sure you can add some more, O Wise One.

  121. Afternoon ladies, and Greybeard! Madam, I am MORTIFIED that I missed your birthday 😦 Belated best wishes anyway. You may put it down to the fact that I have been horribly remiss in my lurking duties…

    As mentioned, I have now met my oncologist. She’s happy with my progress but will keep a close eye on me. I see her again in October. I have also been referred to the Familial Cancer Centre at Peter Mac. They may decide to test me for the Cancer gene. If they do, and it’s positive, at least one of my sisters will line up to be tested. If she’s positive she will join me in having the offending parts of the anatomy removed! Radical, but she’d rather not wait until it becomes necessary.

    J’s home going out now, back with more interesting goss later.

  122. My kidlets got their good looks from their father. I still have mine.

    I don’t, however, have a voice. It was gone by teatime, and the Boss is amusing himself by calling out to me from the other end of the house, knowing I can’t answer without getting up and going to him. When I get there, he says “Never mind. You didn’t answer, so I did it myself.” Bastard. I’m going to have to put laxatives in his beer again.

    I also don’t have constant internet connection. It’s been sporadic since we got the stinking, stupid, idiot, piece-of-crap T-hub. When I blog, or bid on eBay, or click on email links, half the time the connection drops out with a message saying I have intermittent broadband connectivity because there are no filters on my phone line. Crap, Ray. there bloody well are filters on my phone line. Stupid Telstra won’t fix the problem, despite several profanity-ridden phone calls. If my old phone still worked, I’d plug that back in and take the T-hub to the Telstra shop and jam it up the fundamental orifice of the nearest intellectually numb sales assistant.

    The bad mothering came to the fore again yesterday. Two of the kidlets told me that the school was having a free dress day to raise money for children’s cancer. Foolishly, I believed them without question. I sent them all to school with money and the requisite casual clothing. As we’d missed the bell, I didn’t see that all the other kids were in uniform. Little bastards. Hopefully there will be some laxative left over for their ice cream.

    And why did we miss the bell? Because the middle kidlet had a major assignment, and thanks to my germs, she managed to avoid doing any work on it. It was due yesterday, and by Thursday night she had written about three sentences, copied directly off the internet. A sentence a week isn’t my idea of an adequate assignment, but it was my fault for letting her slip under my temporarily malfunctioning homework radar, so I did the stupid assignment myself. It took five hours, and I didn’t start until 10 at nigh. I was so stuffed I slept through my alarm. Again. I’d better get an A, or the teacher is going to get a batch of laxative-drenched cupcakes for Christmas.

    Madam, I’m sorry to hear about your lurgy. I can’t offer you any advice, as none of my usual tricks are working on this bout of germs. Best I can manage is to echo your own advice about going to bed with carbs and juice. Don’t forget the teddy bear – oh, wait, you have kitties. Scratch the bear. (Or they will). Get well soon.

    Greybeard, have you considered moving house without telling Hairy? It would save you a fortune in appliances and plastic pool repair patches. There’s no need to fret about the party. You’re sure to find out the truth. Soon. On Youtube.

    Quokka, travel safe. We’re eagerly awaiting your return so you can start that blog you promised to write when your course was finished. (Hah! You thought we forgot, didn’t you?). If you need help with blog names, we’ll try and think up a few while you’re gone.

    Speaking of gone, I’m going. My bed is calling. No, wait, it’s just the bloody Boss again. Hmmm, where did I put those laxatives?

  123. Mayhem, not to worry. Lovely to hear from you and we look forward to more goss when you’re ready.

    Catty… laughing so hard that I loosened some impacted mucopus from my throbbing frontal sinuses. So glad that you didn’t mention me and the dreaded laxatives in the same paragraph.

    How odd that you should have problems with Telstra that they are reluctant to fix, or even believe. That never happens! Telstra are a byword for their customer service focus and affordable, effective communications solutions.

    I told so many lies in the that last para that dozens of faeries fell, stone dead from the skies.

  124. Yeah, ditto on the giggles & sigh of relief that the dreaded disguised laxatives don’t seem to be in my future. Do you buy in bulk Catty? I think I’ve sussed out your motto by the way. “If you can’t get well, get even.”? But I couldn’t abandon Hairy, he’s sort of fun really. I like the way he puts his head in his hands and sobs, when I tell him how lucky he is to have me as his primary male role model. I thought he mumbled something about “better off with Dexter” but I must have misheard.

    We just went up to Ipswich to hook up #1 daughter’s new broadband, network the PCs & Playstation & stuff like that. The traffic meant we crawled verrrry slowly past Bundamba race track on Ipswich Cup day. Fifi’s eyes were sore from bugging out. Filmy ball gowns & sequined black cocktail dresses at 11:30am. Short plump girls (I know, I’m 2 out of 3) in 5″ stilettos. Possibly for the first time judging by the pained look of concentration and less than fluid stride. 50% of the males looked like crims and the rest had the suits & sunnies from Men in Black. The white braces hanging down behind the coat of one suave devil was a real favourite. One group was just arriving in a hot pink stretch Hummer about 7 – 8m long. I could go on, and on. But I won’t. So happy to have escaped that place!

  125. Well GB that’s what you get when you raise an entire generation of girls with Princesses Bea and Eugenie as role models.

    This will probably be the last you hear of me till Thursday.
    Get well, sick ones.
    I have the sniffles but my arsenal of witchy things is fending them off admirably and my 79yro cousin is so cheered by my pending arrival that he’s actually talking of coming to stay with us later in the year. Which is marvelous news, as I was worried he’d be contemplating throwing himself in the river.

    Stay warm folks, do check the radar in Perth and the BOM observations occasionally.
    Now to go see what winter clothes fit me.
    Ciao.

    Q

  126. Love what you’ve done with the place, Madam. All these dead faeries have improved the ambiance no end. Beautiful! And so delightfully crunchy underfoot….

  127. Yes, Catty… but when you’ve crunched them, they leave behind this vile faery dust.

    I’ve decided what I really need around this place is a genie. Anybody got any spare brass lamps or ornate decanters lying around?

    Greybeard, I had a brief but memorable period of residence in Ippy… or, as I prefer to call it, Queensland’s Dark Heart. I loved Ippy, because a stroll through the CBD was like free admission to a freak show. Never before or since have I been treated to such an array of horrorheads, mostly stuffed too tightly into mismatched track-suiting. Now we know how they dress at play!

    Quokka, bonnest of bon voyages. If I hear of any more volcanic ash heading your way, I’ll beam you a telepathic warning. Tell The Bloke he’s welcome to drop in to The Box, if he gets lonely – or requires pet husbandry or housekeeping tips.

  128. Horrorheads. Sounds like Townsville’s nightclub scene.

    I could do with a little clubbing. Some seals, perhaps?

    Sorry, I’m feeling a little strange tonight. I spent the morning scrubbing the mould off some outdoor beams, and the Selleys spray kept blowing back into my face. Serves me right for trying to do it in a windstorm. Then I spent an hour scrubbing the bathrooms with lavender scented Coles brand tile cleaner. More fumes. This could be a problem. If the Boss has another bad bout of flatulence tonight, it will probably kill me.

    Yes, yes, I know it’s my own fault. If only I’d been less heavy handed with those laxatives.

  129. Catty, you say you’re feeling strange tonight… and for that many sympathies, my sweet. I hope a good night’s sleep helps… and that you’re not Gone With The Wind by morning.

    Surely, though, we can trace the problem to the odd impulse that had you scrubbing mould to begin with? Whatever toxins then afflicted you are only secondary causes.

    Yes, yes, I know the house is going on the market. Just tell prospective purchasers that it’s special French Provincial mould, imported from the exact villa occupied by the Jolie-Pitt Family Circus, as also sported by Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. What housing slump?

  130. The cleaning was a direct result of a nagging husband. The Boss has painted the bathroom and the laundry (despite his deep loathing of paint) and has been hassling me to help out. He keeps saying I should clean the windows. I laughed uproariously the first two hundred times he said it, but it’s just not funny any more. I thought de-moulding the beams might get him off my back for a week or two…. no such luck. He took one look at the beams and said, “did you get any windows done?”. Pest.

    He left this morning for an away job in Traralgon (?) and intends to check out the real estate agents while he’s there. It’s a waste of time, really. He’ll love it, then he’ll find heaps of great houses, then he’ll find out that everyone is selling up because the crime rate is terrifying. Just like everywhere else we’ve loved. It makes you wonder what Overland actually did before he quit, doesn’t it?

    Meanwhile, I’m blathering, and have failed to ask how your lurgy is doing, poor love. How are you feeling now, Madam? Getting plenty of rest and chicken soup, I hope. It may interest you to know that scientists have found a link between …uh…. ‘marital relations’ and immunity. They say that a little nookie can boost your ability to fight off nasty bugs. I’d say that’s enough incentive to call your Plumber, yes?

  131. Duly noted, Catty. As you know, I’m a big fan of science. However, Aunt Irma is in no mood for plumbing this week – just potato chips and whinging.

    I’m fine, thanks for asking. There was a fair bit of emotional trauma in these parts, when I sneaked the kids off for a flu vaccine, one afternoon after school a few months ago. Elf Boy sobbed all the way home:
    “I’ve been immunized… and lied to!”

    However, we have pretty much shrugged off a few colds already this arctic winter, while others have been laid low. Touch wood. I was just so smug I’m probably incubating bubonic plague as we speak.

    When I read “Traralgon” just before, I got an image of leprauchauns skipping arm-in-arm and singing “Rose of Tralee”. Dunno why. I told that teenager down at the skate ramp that LSD wouldn’t help my PMS, but he insisted the first tab was on the house.

  132. You skate? Boffo! I eagerly await the Youtube video.

    Meanwhile, here are some virtual Pringles for your carb cravings:

    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

    Pringles are the Eccys of the potato world. Once you pop, you can’t stop, apparently. So when that teenager wants payment for the next tab, you could probably pay him with Pringles.

    I’m worried now that you might be right about the Irish in Traralgon. Nobody wants to move into a town full of Bog Dwellers’ boarding houses. Not without a leaf blower, anyway.

  133. Well, cheap Chinese leaf blowers are freely available.

    Hell, you could get one each, and have mulch-moving marathons every Sunday at around dawn.

    That’ll sort out the leprechauns from the bunyips.

    I don’t know what that last aphorism is supposed to mean… but doesn’t it have a convincing ring?

  134. I like rings. Except when it’s the phone, and I’m in the shower.

  135. Or when it’s some corporate minion from somewhere I already do business with, trying to get their grasping fingers deeper into my piggy bank.

    Megacorp, be advised. If I want to purchase more of your products/services, I’ll contact you.

    Until that time, leave me the hell alone.

  136. Yeah. Or else. We know where you live. Nya nya nya nya-nya.

  137. O.k, so we don’t know where you live. But you still suck, Megacorp.

  138. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure Megacorp made Robocop.

    I meant a telecommunications company that starts with a vowel and rhymes with “orifice”.

    I’d change carriers in sheer frustration… but it took me several years to memorise this number.

    Is that a symptom of your brain being full, or just rampant senile degradation?

  139. We were so fed up with Orifice that we changed to Terriblestra. We got to keep our number. They sucked, but at least you didn’t get diverted to an Indian call centre when (that’s right, ‘when’ – not ‘if’) everything went wrong.

    That’s all changed now. I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get my intermittent broadband problem sorted, and have spoken to several different Indian call centre operators. All of them have an unintelligible Indian/American accent, and a stubborn refusal (or perhaps a complete inability) to listen and understand my problem. Bastards. I’d send an email to complain, but the bloody internet keeps dropping out.

    Incidentally, after years of magically disappearing prepaid credit, I finally had proof that Terriblestra were stealing it. Despite only sending two texts, I lost $20 credit. They assured me that this was due to my internet usage on the phone. Bingo! Gotcha, you lying, stealing thieves. I don’t use the internet on my phone. Maybe I pressed the wrong button? Clever thinking, Mrs Indian Call Centre Idiot. But, HAH. That wouldn’t have done any good, as the battery had died, and the Boss took it out while we waited for eBay to deliver a new one. So explain that, Terriblestra. How did I ‘press the wrong button’ when there was no bloody battery in my phone?

    In a gesture of goodwill, the ICCI re-credited me with $12. Goodwill my arse. If Orifice weren’t actually WORSE than Terriblestra, I’d change back.

    Hmmmm…. a choice between two competitors, and I have to base my decision on which one sucks the least. Sounds like our government, doesn’t it?

  140. Incisive political commentary, Catty. As a life-long Pinko and staunch Labor supporter – as well as an opponent of frivolous plastic surgery – I must say that we only have a chance in the next election if Ms Gillard has radical surgery to permanently excise her smug look, and there is the dawn of an unexpected Ice Age, taking the carbon tax off the table.

    Commiserations on your ongoing comms misery. You live in our second largest city and even then they can’t get it sorted! Funny thing, that’s what gets me about offshore call centres, too. Not that they have foreign accents… hey, I welcome multiculturalism, at least you can get a decent feed down here, now… but that they overlay phoney Seppo accents on top of their native lilt. Can you imagine the training rooms?

    “Everybody, after me: Howdee, y’all. Whut kin Aye do fer yer?”

    A friend’s husband likes to engage these hapless global pawns in long chats about the weather in Mumbai and if they’ve seen any good flicks lately, but quite frankly I can’t even usually be bothered to have such a long chat with close friends and family.

  141. I tried messing with the ICCI’s heads by using a different accent each time. The Russian accent worked well. But I had to stop, mainly because there was so much confusion that whatever I was calling about was forgotten in the wordplay. I’d love to hear some of their recorded calls (for training purposes) between ICCI’s and Chinese immigrants, though.

    Gillard having plastic surgery to look human? LOL! Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow’s arse. And I’m not sure surgery could fix that irritating slow drawl. What’s with that, anyway? Is she trying to override her childhood pommy accent? Perhaps she should employ the ICCI’s voice coach. “Ther peepul orv Arstrayliah ahr in fayvor orv mah leedursheyup.” A definite improvement, yes?

    I should point out that the Ice Age has arrived, if the freezing wind and frosty grass outside are any indication. But I believe the criterion for ditching the carbon tax is actually hell freezing over.

  142. Well I’m with 3/Vodafail and 3 is the minimum number of times per day I get “no available service”. Is there any reliable telco in Australia?

    Just been over on Twitter where the sick are being piled in the corridors. Told Mayhem it was Catty’s fault & that she was lurking in bed, living off pringles, choccies etc. Catty, would it be OK if I accused you of dispatching germ-laden packages of disguised laxatives around the country?

    Julia Gillard & plastic surgeon: “I want Angelina Jolie’s lips, Kate Beckinsale’s legs and Julie Bishop’s eyes.”

  143. And Pippa Middleton’s tushie. Actually, a lot of people want Pippa’s tushie. But not for the same reasons.

    Go ahead and blame me, Greybeard. But rest assured it has ceased now. Customs has stopped my imported Mexican laxative supply. Bastards.

  144. Hehehe.

    Someone should cover that, quick smart: “(She’s Got) Julie Bishop’s Eyes.”

    I’m thinking of going over to Dodo, Greybeard – sure, they’re probably as crap as the rest, but at least you pay bugger all for the privilege of being ripped off, disconnected and lied to in a dual foreign accent.

    Catty, I’m emailing you a home-made laxative recipe… if you can’t get castor oil, use GTX.

  145. Thanks! Or you could order laxatives for me from your Mexican chemist. If they’re not the same guy, that is.

    I found a free download of an audio version of that children’s book, (Go the **** to sleep), read by Samuel L Jackson. I’ll email you the link if you’d like?

    Meanwhile, I’m humming Sesame Street songs to keep that Norman Bates song out of my head. For some reason, it keeps popping back in there whenever the Boss rings me to ask if I’ve washed any windows yet. I hope this isn’t one of those subconscious messages, warning that the Boss shouldn’t shower for a while…..

  146. I can hear the frenzied strings now… eeeEEEEHHH! eeeEEEEHHH! eeeEEEEHHH!

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the bathroom.

    I would adore the link to Mr Jackson reading “GTFT Sleep”. In fact, I imagine that mp3 will get a workout, with school holidays coming up and all.

  147. Salty Pete the Pirate has sent you the link. Enjoy!

    I’m freezing. Global warming my arse. To be honest, I wish it was. Warming my arse, that is. It’s going numb from the cold. Huh. All these years of cultivating an extra thick layer of cellulite to keep it warm, for nothing.

  148. Muhuhuhahaha, looks like my Anti-Warming Shield (created by collecting millions of tiny umbrellas from poncy drinks, spraying them with chrome paint wrenched from the feeble paws of sniffers and smuggled into orbit via a deal with the Russian mafia involving the secret plans for depleted uranium cat-collars) is working to perfection. Soon the temperature will plummet to levels that only I and my kind can enjoy. Once again the short, hairy ones will rule the earth! Death to the Tall Ones!

  149. Sorry, wrong post. Just ignore that, everything’s fine here.

  150. Huh. I think certain evil masterminds would do well to remember they have nice warm scrub turkey mounds in their back yards. If it gets too cold here, I will be ditching the Boss and moving in with Colin. AND ripping holes in all the umbrellas in my poncey drinks.

  151. I love you all, but you’re complete lunatics.

    And I’d like to offer this blog’s wholehearted and unreserved apologies to any tall, bald people who may be lurking, whether or not they are gifted with an extra layer of cellulite. We in no way endorse any evil schemes to render the Earth uninhabitable for your kind, whether or not they involve chromed cocktail umbrellas and/or the accoutrements of Russian Mafia felines. Nor do we recommend disturbing the proud mounds of our native turkey brothers, whatever the climatic extremity.

    However, it’s open slather on telecommunications companies and all their minions, and trolls. Lock and load!

  152. I second that. Arrrgh, It’s keelhaulin’ time!

    But I meant what I said about shacking up with Colin.

  153. You only like Colin because you’re imagining how well he’d fill a crock-pot.

  154. Shhhhhh!

  155. Hey look, Colin’s shivering. I wonder if he’s cold or if someone walked over his crockpot?

  156. I’ve seen that GTF2sleep book and I’m wondering if there’s some way to get a voice recording of it by Michael Jackson. that’d be a winner.

    Well, I’m back, kids.
    Perth was warmer and pleasanter than Brisbane even when it was fracking raining and blowing wind so hard off the ocean that the sharks nearly came in with it, so I can’t say I’m entirely pleased to be back in Brizfreezarse. 9C when I got in around midnight last night, ack.

    Perth was good, all went well, very glad I went and saw all my cousins, and it cheered up my elderly cousin no end that I was there. Didn’t have time to see Chaz which was a shame but c’est la vie.

    You have cursed me with all this talk of phone company fuck ups. I’ve woken up to discover a Big Pong Truck parked over the yellow line over my driveway and the dog barking madly at a couple of orange goons digging up the garden. They leered at me over the mud and rocks and muttered something about improving my quality of life…sure.

    Sigh. Life was so much simpler in the west, technology hasn’t reached them there yet and I like it back there in 1972.

    • It seems fitting that I should cross-post, just as you’ve come back to us, Quokka.

      Welcome home!

      If you forward me a photo with the Bloke’s phone, I’ll make up something scathing be able to keep the public abreast of developments.

      So, can you get Tab cola, and Fresca, and a bag of lollies for 5c in dear old WA? If so, Catty, you might consider moving there. At least you know Quokka will visit.

  157. I’m thinking if you hang him for a while, then marinated him in a bottle of rough red with enough heads of garlic, he’d probably be edible…. if you were very, very, drunk.

  158. Yay! Quokka’s back! Hello darl, we missed you. I’m glad it all went well.

    Madam, I believe Retsina is the drink of choice when scrub turkey casserole is on the menu. It also goes well with sardines.

  159. I think you’d find that all the Indians from the call centres live right there in Chaz’s home town of ‘Ipswich by the Sea’.

    I missed you guys too.
    And I’ll miss you today because I’ve got to go boot Clerk Kylie from Special School firmly up the arse because she still hasn’t adjusted my grades from 2/2010 so there’s still a big ‘F’ for nurse ratchett’s exam. Admin is now telling me they’ve got no record of my dialogue with them over that one (perhaps you could remind them – angry letters and emails, doctors letter and medical certificate for special consideration of my grade, and the letter from them, from the director, no less, saying I’d been awarded a pass/4 ) so now I’ve got to go find a fax machine and send the letter with my grades to them so that they can then enter them into the fracking system. Which Clerk Kylie assured me that she’d done when she finally agreed to process my enrollment for my final 2 pracs in February this year.

    They’ve also lost the grades for the 2.9 qualifications I studied prior to 2005.
    FKing FKHeads.
    God I can’t wait to get my final piece of paper from that place and get the hell out.
    Surely UQ staff can’t be anywhere near as retarded as these idiots, please?
    At least I get six months break from it before I have to encounter further academic idiocy.
    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go sharpen the steel toes on my boots.

  160. No, UQ admin staff make Hogwart’s look like… well, Hogwart’s.

    They do tend, like any bureaucrats, to think the the Uni would be a peaceful and orderly place if it were not for the academics and students, but in 8 year’s association with them, plus some time as a tutor, they never gave me any trouble.

    You should be fine, Quokka. You already know to beware of the geese and the refec bains marie.

  161. I’m beginning to think that Clerk Kylie has a second job, in despatch at Terriblestra’s maintenance division. Even if she hasn’t, let’s blame her anyway.

  162. I would think the best place for the geese is within the bains marie, which could explain the disappearance of all his cranky companions.
    Hum. Suppose I should be walking the dog over there around about now.
    I’ve been to the video store and tonight and tomorrow I plan to do what I should have done when semester ended last week – 9 hours straight on the sofa watching hollywood blockbuster shite. I’d say with chocolate, but that didn’t survive the car journey home from the video store and Cocos.

    OK.
    Goose dodging time it is, the dog looks ever so tragic, he deserves an outing.

    Somebody warn me when they open the gates and release the school children, please.
    I’ve looked at the cinema websites and I gather they’re preparing for the kiddie invasion.
    god help us all.

  163. I have acquired the Holy Grail…. Season 3 of True Blood on DVD.

    Would it be wrong to put the kids to bed at 5 p.m. tonight, with a jar of peanut butter each, so I can get down n’ dirty in Bon Temps?

    Hey Quokka, how does Monday or Tuesday next week grab you, for a Tupperware Exchange and General Catch-Up? I’ll leave the offspring with Mum and we can be adult. Well, you know, not grubby adult overcoat adult… just unencumbered by snotgoblins.

  164. Sounds good, MM, either day is fine, so pick a time and a place. Tuesday may be better as the restaurants etc often close on Mondays in Oxford Street. What were we going to do, again? Am still a bit slow after dealing with the time delay in WA (woke up at 3.30am every day and had to stay up till 9pm & beyond, WA time, which is 11pm ours. Plus Aunt Irma followed me. Bitch.

    So, you’ll have to remind me what we had planned.
    Otherwise I’ll just assume it involved super soakers full of Holy water, sharp stakes, and dispatching unruly adolescents back to Satan’s lair. And no, by that I do not mean the ball room at Ikea. That’s just the advertising window.

  165. Catty dear I’ll get over to your blog tomorrow. Meant to do it today but its time for me to crash and burn in front of the Teev. I’m knackered. And my cat wants a cuddle.

  166. Quokka, my sympathies. Irma is also with me. Hehehe…. sounds like a perverse variation on Mass, doesn’t it? Menses be with you – And also with you.

    We hadn’t anything specific planned, so how about breakfast or morning tea or lunch on Tuesday? I guess timing will determine choice of venue. As long as I can drop in to batty key woman at some stage, I’m happy. I gather you think Southbank deserves a big swerve on the hols? I wish Israeli Chocolate man was less seedy… at the moment, I wouldn’t mind drowning myself in a vat of Belgium’s finest.

  167. So it’s Sunday morning and this Higgs Boson walks into the parish church. The priest barrels up and says “You can’t come in here! we don’t allow Higgs Bosons in this church!” And the Higgs Boson says, “But how can you have Mass without me?”

    Sorry. It was all that holy water & Satan business. I couldn’t help it.

  168. Scalar Boson humour? The force is weak within you, young Greybeard.

  169. I was first drawn to the strong force by my magnetic personality, but as I grew older, gravity had its way as usual.

  170. You may have been drawn, but the rest of us were finger painted.

  171. Hehehe…. Nice one, Greybeard. Now tell me one about string theory.

    Finger painted? I’m a crude chalk outline, at best.

  172. Chalk outline… that reminds me of a cocktail party I threw once. You know a party has been successful when you have to replace the carpet and repaint the bathroom.

  173. Speaking of repainting the bathroom, I believe you were going to post video of a certain incident involving dentures….

    Women in the Throes, here!

    We need light entertainment.

  174. MIL was drunk when she promised me that video. She recanted the next day, so I’m going to have to wait until she’s drunk again to ask her. About 5:00pm should do it.

  175. Heh heh. Good one Catty.
    Well that’s another greybeardism that’s gone right over my head. Perhaps its because I wasn’t raised Catholic?

    I have a long morning of chores ahead of me and then I plan to spend the afternoon slacking off watching ‘Burlesque’, which is probably overpriced at $3.

    Morgana, I have a hankering for bacon and eggs and sourdough and grilled tomatoes. And as I’m still spitting up the downward flowing contents of my sinuses I don’t think I’ll be going out to breakfast between now and Tuesday.
    Hows about we take my antisocial ways off for a 10am breakfast at Balmoral on Tuesday? Beastly careless as to where but the Jetty is close to your Batty Key lady shop. GB & Fifi could come along, I don’t think it’s so crazy on week days in terms of getting a seat. Although, Sir GB, as you may recall they don’t take bookings, you just queue till one turns up.

    I saw a corker of a junk shop while I was in WA, it had one of those Big Black Mammy biscuit tins that was actually sculpted in the shape of her head with the scarf in her hair as the handle of the lid. Sadly shop was closed so I didn’t get closer than the window.

    Right. Some sort of machine is beeping and hissing at me, I’d best go see what the fracking thing wants.

  176. Don’t fret about Greybeard’s joke, Quokka. Particle physics wasn’t my strong point, either. Class times were usually spent drawing caricatures of my physics teacher. Pity he confiscated them, it was some of my best work.

    Love those second hand shops. I spent a bit of time at the local Salvos thrift shop this morning, and came away with a pair of black uggs. You know, because I only have three pairs, and none of them were black.

    Oh, pfooey. The Boss just rang to tell me he’s on his way home, and to make sure the dining room/kitchen windows are all clean. (Bugger. I thought I was going to get away with not doing them because of my bruises from cleaning up his mould.) Do you think he’d mind if I hosed them down? I think the hose in the front yard will stretch to the kitchen.

  177. What’s the water temperature in the pipes?
    It may be more effective to simply turn the hose on your spouse every time he asks if the windows are clean yet.

    Yargh.
    I still cannot believe how much GD housework there is to plough through. I guess nothing got done for the last 3 weeks, hardly surprising the place is a tip.
    Oh well.
    At least I’ve got all the washing done.
    I see the forecast is for showers starting tomorrow.
    Let me guess, this signals the beginning of school holidays, right?

  178. In Queensland it does. We poor Victorians still have a week of school before the holidays start.

    Great idea about turning the hose on the Boss. I’ll have to do it, too, as I stopped to fix a broken lamp, then got distracted with the pilling comb in the laundry. As you do. Then I found some crumbs in the fat fryer, so I cleaned that out, all the while pointedly ignoring the fact that I was right beside the filthy kitchen window. Now I don’t have time to wash the windows before the school run. But I DO have time to rig up a trigger nozzle on the garden hose. Thanks, Quokka. You’re brilliant.

  179. Meet you down on the Jetty landing,
    Where the bacon is coated with maple syrup….

    Sorry, James Reyne, if you’re lurking.

    !0 a.m. on Tuesday is a date, Quokka. I’ll email Greybeard and extend the hand of friendship bacon to him and Fifi. in the meantime, I can’t imagine why you think you should do housework. The heavens are going to open up any minute, woman… those creatures of yours will only filthy the place up again. Just avert your eyes from an heavily soiled areas and take some carbs to the futons to “enjoy”* Burlesque.

    * By “enjoy”, here, I obviously mean “piss yourself with ironic laughter where appropriate”.

    As for you, Catty – I’m surprised you haven’t thought of this one, yourself. Forget the bloody windows, just get the crock pot on. You won’t see him – and he won’t see the windows. BTW, you won’t regret your black uggs. I’m considering leaving mine on all the time, and just swapping sponge baths for showers.

  180. Thank you ladies. We’ll be there for the bacon & the conversation – but not in that order. Erm, ugg boots aren’t compulsory are they?

    How can you watch ‘Burlesque’ Quokka, when there are such gems as ‘Megapython vs Gatoroid’ available? Or ‘Swamp Shark’? Or ‘Orcs!’? (The point d’exclamation is part of the title of this televisual feast.) And isn’t anybody watching Game of Thrones? Cor, you should see the characterisations on some of those, um, characters. As GirlClumsy (I think) asked, “where are those actresses putting their hands?”

    And finally for your amusement http://karlabry.blogspot.com/2009/04/my-biggest-email-fail-ever.html#links

  181. Crap.
    My doppelganger is dead.
    I guess the whole Evil Twin excuse isn’t going to work anymore.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/coroner-apologises-to-parents-of-kingsthorpe-woman-leanne-sleba-who-was-shot-in-back-by-her-husband-duing-snake-hunt/story-e6freoof-1226081450743

  182. Oh, what a pity. You could have gotten her to come over on October 31st, and dressed in identical black dresses. She could have hidden in the yard when the local kiddies came up the path. Then, after you’d handed them Black and Gold boiled lollies (the most evil foodstuff known to man – or child) at the front door, she could have stepped out in front of them as they reached the front gate. Dead set, the kiddies would have crapped themselves. Hilarious! Never mind, you still have until October to find another doppelganger.

  183. Fabulous, Greybeard. We’ll see you there, in your own free choice of footwear.

    As for Wallace the dog…. They sleep with their vast dog, and home school? Filthy hippies.

    That’s a shame, Quokka. Here, follow this link to a Julia Gillard mask:

    http://australianidentity.net/general-discussion/protecting-identity-during-protestsmarches/

    Mind you, it’s probably only a matter of days before she gets shot in the back, too… or knifed, at the very least.

    Catty, B&G lollies? Really? I didn’t know how evil you were, until I read your latest. Well done.

  184. The Boss concurs with your belief that Gillard will soon be assassinated. Especially after seeing the total of our electricity bill yesterday. He’d do it himself, but he’s a bit busy with work at the moment. Plus, the sight of blood makes him queasy.

  185. Amateur.

    I can think of heaps of bloodless methods of assassination, without even trying: strangulation; drug overdose; poison dart frog venom; choking (get her drunk and then dare her to see who can catch the most peanuts in their mouth… I said “bloodless”, I never claimed it would be pretty); metabolic toxin (insulin, potassium)…. and then how about distant methods?

    Sniper rifle, remote-detonated bomb; lightning strike; meteor debris…

  186. In case you missed it at the Corner….

    http://mayhem-madness.blogspot.com/

  187. Or I could call Cousin Artie, from Charters Towers? Oh, wait. He’s still in gaol.

  188. Sad confession, I’ve always quite liked the Black & Gold lemon sherberts.

    MM, I meant to ask you if you knew that there’s an ice skating rink in King George Square – something to do with the little folk while you are down here.
    If you were smart about it you could leave them there with a grandparent (someone has to call the ambulance when they slip on the ice and fracture something vital) while you nip off to Death By Chocolate further down the road in Adelaide Street. That should sate your lindt cravings. And I’m pretty sure they’ve got that Tasmanian fudge we were discussing this time last year when the Bloke brought some back from Hobart for me.

    Ooooh….I am sleepy today.
    Spent 4 hours fighting the traffic on the north coast highway yesterday in order to get to a friend’s 60th at Caloundra.

    What’s the point of modern technology if it can’t give us a fracking teleport machine?

  189. Just listened to Samuel L Jackson reading ‘Go the **** to sleep’. Still grinning. Thank you – I never knew it existed until I read it here. Truly this is a wonderful place. Fifi is celebrating her first real day of hols by staying in bed with a good book while I bring her cups of tea & coffee and perhaps a slice of Beesting. A good book & a good man – what more could she ask? (Retrieves halo which seems to have landed on last night’s wine glass)

  190. Well, just make sure you don’t sit on it, GB. Those things are sharp.
    Hey, when we were at our friend’s 60th yesterday someone had given him a wonderfully thought out gift – a walking stick with a drinks holder fitted to it, and a bicycle bell so that he could ring for the waiter/wife when it needed refilling.

    I examined said stick and pointed out that my invisible friends Bangarr and Humpy could improve on it by upgrading it to a nice sharp poking stick, suitable for letting the Help know when their service failed to meet expectations.

    Does fifi have one of these or does she just jab you with your halo when you’re late with the pastries?

  191. Oh, joy. I finally figure out how to log into the kidlets’ windows computer, and find I’ve missed out on pastries and Tasmanian fudge. I HATE modern technology. Forget teleporting – I just want them to invent a computer that works when I try to use it.

    My Mac is in the shop. They’ve assured me that they will look at it, but can’t guarantee they can retrieve any of my missing files, photos, music, documents (i.e, absolutely everything on the freaking computer). They’ve assured me it shouldn’t cost much more than $300, but they’ll ring me if it does. Then they said it should only be an hour’s work, so they hopefully will have it done by Friday.

    In my humble opinion, it’s a good thing the Boss is in Traralgon. If he were any closer, I would be borrowing that pointy stick Quokka mentioned, and using it to rip the Boss a new one for wiping four years worth of crap off the computer without backing anything up first. Yes, I did buy him an external hard drive for the purpose, but apparently he’s filled it up with downloaded PSP/Wii/XBox games. Pest.

    And I had such a lovely day yesterday, too. *sigh*

  192. Poor Catty.
    I wouldn’t be pointing the stick, I’d be pointing the bone.

  193. Greetings, all, from Dreamland.

    I’ve just staggered back to our Brisbane accommodations having spent most of the day at GOMA, wafting through the Surrealists.

    Lightbulb.

    Fish.

    Disembodied Eyeball.

    See some of you tomorrow… as for you, Catty, you know my all-purpose man cure. Take one unlicensed handgun, and one (or more) rounds of ammunition. Then get creative!

  194. That’s odd, I’ve lost a post.
    Unless of course I forgot to press ‘post comment’.
    That could account for it.

    See you in the land of bacon.
    Catty, have a bacon sandwich so that you can be there by proxy.

  195. Whoopsie.
    Just rang the Jetty to book a table and they’re closed on Tuesdays.
    Suggest we gather somewhere central on Oxford i.e Citrus Cafe opp the cinemas and vote on a new alternative breakfast venue. Should be plenty to choose from.

    Lock n Load is renovating their beer garden for the next 2 months so just as well we didn’t end up down there.

    My whoopsie, sorry all.
    GB, MM, I’ve sent DMs or SMS to try to catch you.

  196. Good to see you today, folks.
    Meanwhile, this is today’s discovery, when I opened the egg container.

    http://www.ecoeggs.com.au/chookcam

  197. Hehehe… chookcam.

    I think you should install a crazy cat cam, Quokka. It’ll be good marketing for the cat therapy clinic.

    So, we’re aiming for the Sunday (10th of July) for the Tournament, wenches and rapscallions? This is a subtle reminder to check with the Bloke about his men-chasing-a-ball-in-the-mud commitments, Quokka.

  198. I know what they’d do if I left the bathroom door open.

    The Bloke has no AFL observing commitments that day but I am a bit torn because I’d penciled in that the Channon markets are on and I was planning to use them to find a BD gift for a crazy cat friend who is difficult to buy for.

    Hum. I guess there’s nothing for it, I’ll just have to start looking in shops as an alternative to Hippydom.
    Argh.
    Then again, maybe the goths at the medieval fair will have something interesting to offer for the befuddled gift hunters among us.

  199. Channon markets rock… or they used to, last time I was there… but they’re a hell of a long way away.

    How many chances do you get to wander a tournament with a knight in shining armour?

    There certainly are many market stalls at The Abbey… some of them quite unusual indeed. But last year there were also fragrances, jewellery, bags and etc., candles, home wares… as well as the antlers, armaments, animal skins and amulets one would expect.

    Or get her the solar-powered butterflies in a jar from Think Geek we were talking about.

    Come on, you know you want to come with us…

  200. I’m working on it, and have spent a grueling 30 minutes at Think Geek pondering the options. I’m waiting for feedback from Uncle Blokesy but at this stage I really can’t go past the Prime Cuts of Unicorn kitchen apron.
    The perfect gift for the ex educator and dedicated vegetarian, if you ask me.

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/e848/

  201. If you want something that surpasses antique and enters the realms of medieval, you’re welcome to this fracking computer. I’m done jousting with it. If the Mac shop doesn’t call today, I’ll be strongly tempted to set a dragon onto them.

    Enjoy your outing. I shall take my bacon sandwich to the sulking corner and mutter rude comments about my lack of inclusion in your soiree, until the vodka runs out. Then I shall shout slurred rude words and throw things until I pass out.

    Nah, I loves you guys, rooly I do. *hic*

  202. Hehehe…. sounds ideal. You could package it with one of those tins of unicorn spam (I think it’s plush and glitter, but delightfully gruesome).

    Although I’m still sorry you left the Hillbilly Shooting Range in the Op Shop.

    Yee ha!

  203. yes, it was delightful but definitely over-priced.
    I’m sure it would be much cheaper, and infinitely more satisfying, to simply purchase a sawn-off shotgun from one of the local meth dealers and then to sit on the porch in my rocking chair and take pot shots at the neighbours.

    Yee-Hah.

  204. I hesitate to applaud the preceding comment, Quokka, being reluctant to expose myself to any legal liability as an accessory before the fact…

    However, you’d not only save money but have much more fun, too.

    And emergency services would re-set your targets for you!

  205. I may not need to take out the annoying neighbours, they seem capable of highly effective DIY jobs.
    Just looked out my study window and saw one of the Chinese elms in the back yard 2 doors down shaking like the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter. So I hot-footed it up the back yard into the cubby for a better look.
    It was the more obnoxious half of Team Slum Lord, next door, and he was in his neighbour’s yard, lopping down one of their Chinese Elms, and tugging on one particularly obstinate branch with a length of rope.

    Need I add that he has three of his own Elms, in the full throes of shedding all their leaves, adorning his own back yard, and yet there he was attacking the one in the adjoining flats at number 25.

    I wonder how that’ll go down with the tenants/owners?

    The male half of Team Slum Lord has been on a bit of a bender with trying to aggravate folk, lately. He had a go at trimming my lilly pilly hedge last week (ignore, our bobcat and builder will do far worse than that when we start our next job), and despite living in his own house 6 doors down, he found the need to drive his ute up here and park his ute across the 8 wheelie bins that belong to his flats – on Garbage Truck Day. Thus ensuring that there was no Garbage collection from Team SlumLord’s 9 flats last week.

    His tenants have taken revenge by strewing the footpath with empty bottles and burger containers. Last time he did this they yelled at him for 20 minutes and he responded by saying that it wasn’t his problem and the garbage truck would be back next week. So I’m deeply disappointed that I missed the encore to that performance.

    Must say, his tenants aren’t a terribly creative bunch.
    I mean, Mr. Moron of Team Slum Lord lives 5 doors down and has a large ute.
    I’d have called a tenants meeting and gotten a few big burly boys to wheel the bins down there and upend them into his truck and leave a note saying ‘Solved our garbage problem. If you want to obstruct the garbage truck, you can do the dump run yourself. Smell you later, jackass.’

    Oh, and I’ve decided on an alternative BD gift. so yes, I’ll be at the Abbey Fair thing with bells on.

  206. Hehehe.

    Nothing ever happens in our street.

    Oh, sure, there was the former professional skateboarder turned skate-ramp drug peddler who used to get high on his own supply, then paranoid, then start ranting things from behind his fence. But ever since he had to leave abruptly without a forwarding address, on account of conducting an illicit affair with a woman whose partner was about to be released from jail with a score to settle, there’s been little amusement to be had.

    Fabulous! I hope the tournament is ready for us. Greybeard, I trust you’re hard at it, honing and polishing your arms. How was the dinner party?

  207. Evening all. Our street really is boring. I got nothing! And the dinner party was a kind of duty thing with approx 1% of the enjoyment factor of brunch (thankee folks) but it was OK, no disasters. Brunch was great, especially when that bunch of little girls came in, in the fairy costumes. Must have been a school holiday thing. I took a spare fairy bookmark with glittery sprinkles. Do you think Catty would like it. As consolation for not being there?

  208. It will go nicely with the fairy bonbons, and fairy chocolates, and special pair of sparkly grown-up sized fairy wings we also gathered.

    Let’s see if we can find a fairy basket, and make a fairy hamper!

    Or, we could all put in and have a whole side of bacon delivered to her front door.

    Catty, option A or B?

  209. Sure GB, Catty will be thrilled.
    Catty will be even more thrilled to hear that the Junior Fairy Trainee squad are winging their way to see her, via the King Tut Exhibition.
    Not to worry Catty, with any luck they’ll fly Jetstar:

    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-incidents/peeing-drunk-gives-jetstar-passengers-a-spray-20110629-1gq8u.html

  210. FAERIES! KILL! KIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLL!!!!

    Whoa, back up. What was that about bacon?

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