WTF To Sleep

We’ve all been greatly entertained – thanks,Catty! – over the last week or so by listening to Samuel L Jackson read from the adult bedtime classic “Go The F*ck To Sleep”. Indeed, I’d replay it every time I try to GTF to sleep, only my gurgling chuckles tend to wake the children and send the cats scampering up the Venetian blinds.

So I think you’ll all be pleased to hear that, during our recent outing into the community, I found and purchased the strangest book ever published: an illustrated children’s book by Sylvia Plath. Published – for the first, and surely last, time – in 1996, so posthumously as to be bordering on the archaeological, I’d love to be able to comment on the contents but I’m scared to read it. If I ever wash up on a beach in pyjamas, with my pockets full of stones and used Kleenex, tell the coroner it’s Sylvia’s fault.

On the topic of strange things I did in Brisbane… The Surrealists at GOMA is fabulous. I won’t go on too much, because you pretty much have to go and experience it yourself. However, I’ve developed a huge afterlife crush on Andre Breton – he of the Michealangelo profile and deliciously tortuous mind – and if I can just work out a surreptitious way of sneaking a tonne or so of bronze out of the centre of a fortified, heavily guarded gallery, Magritte’s “Madame Récamier de David” bronze will soon be my new coffee table.

Since it’s school holidays, I think we should have an essay topic: What Strange Things Have You Been Up To? Answers with a double-ruled red margin on one side of a foolscap page, in your neatest handwriting, please. We’re odding it up, old school.

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48 Responses

  1. Strange things? Moi?
    I have nothing interesting to report, as I doubt it’s abnormal to spend a few quiet hours repairing that voodoo doll I’ve made of my MIL and then slathering it with dogs drool and chicken’s blood.

    Still, I was wondering where I’d seen those suits before and then I realized its the official uniform of the admin staff in at Hogwarts. Did I mention that their computer lost most of my academic records and in restoring them (when I had a dummy spit about it all) they’ve managed to create a new and diverting set of inaccuracies. I sent them an email yesterday saying that they’ve got 2 weeks to get their records to match what I have on record from the previous administration/owners records and if they can’t manage this then I’ll be writing a letter of complaint to the office of higher education.

    I told you they wouldn’t let me escape without another bun fight.

  2. Bloody Hogwarts. Still, we’d best not curse them… we don’t want to get into an ill-met-by-moonlight arms race. Clever move to invoke Higher Authorities, Quokka. That’ll put the mandrake up ’em.

    I could use an It-Doesn’t-Matter suit. I could have worn it to the library just then, when I went in to explain why the book… that they’d specifically purchased on my request… was languishing so long at my place, totally unread due to various deadlines and extraneous emergencies.

    Still, the librarians were as lovely as they always are. It helps to go armed with a pleasant smile and an adorable offspring on one’s hip.

    The vomity one stayed in the car.

  3. Well we don’t want that going to waste.
    How’s about I borrow the vomity one for a trip into Hogwarts to bring forward the time for my ultimatum…say…’fix this before my child vomits over the counter and soils your I don’t give a shit pin striped suit?’

  4. Sure thing.

    We may have to dose him up with Ipecac, though.

    He’s just held down a soft-boiled egg with dry toast and aspires to a full meal in the near future.

    We’ll make it Elf Boy. Magic Man is too big to fit on your hip.

  5. No strange things here…. just move along…. what do you mean, ‘what’s that behind my back?’

  6. Catty, there you are!

    How’s the mould removal going?

  7. Poor MM. Rest up and recover from the nasties.
    I’m off to enjoy some R&R with Uncle Blokesy, who has been given time off in lieu of all that crappy overtime he did back in May.
    FWIW, in my books an employer being reasonable and making good on such a promise counts as the strange and unusual, in my world, at least.

  8. I washed a window. Just one. And that’s it. Of course, I was so busy with that one window, I have not had time to clean the toilets, change bedsheets, vacuum the carpet, wash towels, put away the kidlets’ toys, or dust the furniture. If the Boss doesn’t mind the crapulence when he returns, I will offer to do another window next week. (*smiles smugly to herself…..*)

    How about you, Madam? Holding up o.k under the onslaught of holidaying children?

    Quokka and I have been pondering this, and I think your optimum solution is to duct tape your boys to the sofa, within reach of the remote, a bar fridge full of sedative-laced junk food, and a bucket. Then you’ll be free to either gatecrash Quokka’s R&R (surely the Bloke won’t mind?), or visit your Plumber. Hey, why not both?

  9. Oh, I’m not quite up to plumbing… I only just managed to keep down some chicken broth, before.

    Actually, my treasures – particularly Magic Man – have been very sweet while I’ve been sick. Last night he put his little brother to bed, read him a story, tried to sing him a lullaby (but forgot the lyrics) and then came back to the couch to stroke my fevered brow.

    I couldn’t bear to duct tape him, after all that solicitude.

    Plus, I’m still a bit shaky and they’d outrun me, no contest.

    Catty, I’ve said it before – you’re a genius! Enjoy wallowing in your virtuous crapulence.

    Quokka and Uncle Blokesy, have a happy holiday – and make sure you drop in on the Surrealists.

  10. Ref: ““Madame Récamier de David” bronze will soon be my new coffee table”.
    I don’t think the artist’s meanign survives the melting down!
    Ref: Your reques for weird happening tales, this is not a tale but a plea for advice.
    This bloody great sea eagle has taken to sitting on th etop of my mizzen mast to eat.and drops his/her slops, incluidng many many swordfish swords, guts of all manner of creatures but worst of all Araldite strength shit all ver my lovely new seating and newly painted deck! No amount of shooing or waving of arms deters this arrogant mongrel of a thing, so is it OK to shoot it?

  11. Stafford, Stafford.

    I wasn’t planning to melt it down… there’s a lovely horizontal plane through the “body” of the casket, suitable for resting cups and papers, etc.

    I’m shattered that you take me for such a Philistine… yet flattered that you think I have foundry skills…

    As for shooting a sea eagle, I refer you to Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. I’d check your insurance, life vests, fresh water supplies and EPERB before slaying a majestic sea bird.

    Have you thought of:
    (1) A scareeagle. I have some pretty alarming purple velvet pants I could donate, to get you started. Plus, wouldn’t your rigging look jaunty with an outlandishly clad dummy stuck up in it?
    (2) Getting a recording of the call of the eagle’s natural enemy… Umm, does it have one? Maybe a leopard seal, or something… and then broadcasting it from the top of the mizzen mast.
    (3) A market umbrella over your seating area.
    (4) Relocating the seating and repainting the deck in eagle guano puce, to match.

    Hope these suggestions help – if not, feel free to drop back and whinge; freedom to grumble and the bacon is why the rest of us are here.

  12. Bacon, Absinthe, and the best virtual friends you’ll ever find.

    Stafford, your problem is a cracker. I wonder if there’s a scent that bothers birds? Possums and cats hate Dettol and Citronella, and I’ve often used Dettol to deter possums from their favourite crawl holes. If Dettol works on birds, you could spray it all over the top of your mast.

    Failing that, Vaseline may work. If the mast is too slippery, the eagle might slip off and fall, startled, to the deck. Be ready with a fracking great hammer, and squash the bugger before he recovers from his confusion and flies off.

    Or maybe you could rig up a trigger-activated net. When anything lands on the mast, a net flies up to entrap the offending triggerer. No need for any messy hammering, just toss the net and it’s contents into Davy Jones’s Locker.

    My advice, though, is to invite us all out on your boat for a holiday. I’m sure after a week of witnessing our merriment, the poor bird will be too busy begging his therapist for Prozac to worry about crapping on your boat. The only downside is that you, too, will probably be begging your own therapist for Prozac. My advice is, skip the Prozac, and have some more Absinthe.

  13. I too advocate violence – via slingshot.
    Failing that I suggest trying to attract the kind of pest that would make the sea eagle shudder and wing his way elsewhere. And all you’d need to attract said pest would be a kilo of hot chips.
    Catty, Morgana and I would be happy to come aboard with foresaid supplies and act as bait for a flock of seagulls.
    No sea predator in it’s right might is gonna hang around and hunt while the Rats of the Sea are whining and scrabbling in the background and generally cramping his style.

    And you won’t need to worry about the Seagulls shitting, its school holidays, all they’ve eaten for the last 8 days is discarded beef patties – a known cause of chronic constipation. Those suckers won’t shit for a week, at least.

    Right. I say we hoist the Jolly Roger, clasp swords to belt, and go murder and pillage.

  14. Not today. It’s the Sabbath. Tomorrow, however, I’ll be up for all the pillaging and sea eagle slaughtering you can throw at me. Do you think anyone will mind if I practice on a few vegan cyclists on my way up there? I’m a bit rusty.

  15. Hehehe.

    Vaseline, Absinthe and Violence, with a few constipated seagulls for good measure.

    I say we throw in our day jobs and start an on-line advice bureau. After a few lines of our advice, most people will forget what they were so worried about in the first place!

  16. I’ve just discovered the place to go to practice one’s assassin skills. I’ve been driving past this place for years and for some reason thought it was a photocopying shop. The bloke set me straight, in between harrumphs of laughter. Morgana, don’t you have junior assassins to train?

    http://www.laserforce.com.au/

  17. Based on my years working in offices with malevolent photocopiers, I would have thought a photocopying shop would offer far more opportunities for violence. And profanity.

  18. My experiences with the photocopiers in at Hogwarts supports your argument, Catty.
    Hum dum yawn. Gosh things get dull when the mothers amongst us have children to chase. At least I hope that’s what you’re doing, and not gazing at the toilet bowl.

  19. Laserforce is like Nirvana for my apprentice assassins, Quokka.

    Magic Man went there for a mate’s birthday party, just recently. Catty, you’d be proud of him. He was given tokens, threw a few in the claw machine and pulled out a large grey and white wolf/dog thing.

    The mate’s father saw the two attendants nudging each and pointing out his prize… he reckons it may have been the first time anyone got anything out of that machine.

    As for photocopiers breeding violence… I find any job that involves human contact tends to stimulate the urge to kill. I wonder if funeral directors feel like that, or whether that would feel too self-defeating for them?

  20. Our neighbours when I was growing up were funeral directors.
    Given that Mr. Neighbour took me aside when I was 7 and told me that if my father continued to be a pain in the ass, he would pull his rifle out of the closet (to prove a point he showed me where he kept it and took it down to show me just how trigger happy he was feeling) and would put enough lead in my offending parent to put him out of action. i.e. 6 feet under.

    As such I deduce that funeral directors feel that acts of suburban homicide are rather good for business.

  21. Quokka, I don’t think I’ve told you often enough how fascinating you always are, and how deeply I esteem your regard.

    The same goes for everyone else, too… except Max Enlargement. Max, the only large throbbing thing I’m interested in is not for sale, online or indeed at any price. Please stop spamming me.

  22. Thank you, thank you.
    I owe it all to my family.
    They bring out the latent insanity in the best of humanity, and acts of absolute hilarity in those who were already moderately off balance.

    Does Max Enlgmnt have a deal going on curses involving furuncles and pustules? Because those, I’d definitely be interested in.

    Two more weeks till Harry Potter 7/2.
    I’m trying to work my way through the DVDs but keep falling asleep.
    I would have made it through the Goblet of Fire today while Uncle Blokesy was off at the AFL, if it hadn’t taken so freaking long to dust the study and load up a box of outdated books for a trip to lifeline. Why is it so hard to part company with even the mankiest of yellowed, faded, torn and mildewed books?
    I’ve written a list of those that simply must be replaced – and made notes to stick a few pins into dolls for the people that never return my Janet Evanovich books – but it’s still a wrench, to see that box of old comrades, off for recycling in the dungeons of lifeline.

    Oh well, at least my study is now dust free if Sir Greybeard decides to pop in and cast his eyes over the corpse of my dead PC.
    Morgana, I’ve warned him that entry to casa quokka is via broom only, do you think someone with his dodgy ACL would make it up the flights of stairs with the trail of hundreds and thousands that I use to lure small children into the gas oven? And do you think I should break out the leaf blower and dispatch the evidence before he visits?

    I mean, I’d hate to lose my blue card.
    Think of all those hot dinners I’d have to go without.
    I’d be reduced to going to sizzler, and the children there aren’t half so tasty as the ones that range wild and free down the length and breadth of my street.

  23. Vale, tattered, foxed and dog-eared old friends. I, too, find it hard to part with books. I think you’ve seen my tottering stacks piled against any convenient vertical surface at home, Quokka.

    Max hasn’t discussed pestilence with me, as yet… he probably finds contagion a little… deflating.

    Hmm, our noble friend Sir Greybeard deserves a suitable entrance to the Casa.

    I think you should construct a cantilevered ducking stool to swing him up to the landing. You could retain the element of Dark Ages Trial, too. If he succeeds in fixing your blighted Mac, he could float back downstairs. Yet, if he fails….

    As for free-range children – sometimes they’re stringy. I like to marinate in Char Sui with a squeeze of lime.

  24. Only the best for Sir Greybeard. A Sedan Chair, or to use terminology more befitting his advanced years, a Litter – held aloft by four young, strapping Egyptian men, amply oiled and buffed.

    Once Quokka’s Mac is fixed, Greybeard can depart by means of a garbage bin lid toboggan down the stairs. Meanwhile, I’m sure Quokka will find plenty of uses for the four strapping young men, and her cats will find at least one use for the Litter.

  25. Mmm… young, oiled, buff Egyptian men.

    I think I must be feeling better. I just spent far too long lingering on that visual. Can I volunteer to do the oiling and any whipping into shape that may be required?

  26. Sure. Just try not to puke on them when they hand-feed you peeled grapes.

  27. Mm. Slaves.
    Do they clean windows and dust the skirting boards?

  28. Oh, please don’t mention skirting boards.

    Just when I thought I might manage some vegemite toast, too.

    I just can’t make myself care enough to dust mine. I should employ someone to come around and paint them black.

  29. Well, they have to do something while you’re recuperating in a bubble bath.

  30. Come to think of it the toilet could do with a good battering with the duck and the brush, Catty you’re a genius.

    I am off to see Sir GB.
    If I’m not back by dusk phone the police, or at least the council rat patrol, and beg them to go rescue me.

  31. The Rat Patrol won’t get near Castle Greybeard, what with the attack turkey and the random pythons.

    I’ll have a team of stealth pelicans drop in my baby ninjas.

    Actually, just show GB my kids’ photos and tell him they’re coming. He’ll let you go in a flash.

  32. No need to worry. Sir Greybeard doesn’t dare risk any shenanigans – he knows Mayhem will set her mum on to him, quick smart.

  33. How’s Mayhem’s Mum going, Greybeard?

    What news from the oubliette?

  34. Well, I’m back home and I’m safe – if that’s what you can call shivering in the breezeway while the Bloke sits in the 24C media room watching horror unfold on the ABC…however I fear that I made a serious mistake in giving GB a batch of my overproof rum & raisin double chocolate brownies. Apparently he broke out the scotch bottle and I fear mixing his drinks has addled his twitter posts.

    I arrived home to discover that our mate Can Do Campbell has retweeted & favorited Sire Greybeard saying ‘I’m at home trying on Fifi’s shoes. Next stop the lingerie drawer.’

    Ladies and Lurkers, we must never let Greybeard mix his drinks again, it’s caused no end of trouble for him with the sympathetic CBG folk over at twitter.
    I’m sure he’d appreciate some words of wisdom for you all on how to recover from that particular social media faux pas.

  35. Sorry, no can do. I can’t correct social media faux pas. I AM a social media faux pas.

    I suspect, though, that we are all being too quick to judge. For all we know, maybe Greybeard drank himself into a coma, and Mayhem’s Mum may have been using his computer to twit about her forays into Fifi’s panty drawer. At least, I hope so.

  36. Oh, what a catastrophe.

    Greybeard’s Viking style appendages will make mockery of Fifi’s lovely footwear. And as for her dainties…

    *shudder*

    I can only hope he doesn’t stretch out her suspender belts. There’s nothing worse than a saggy suspender.

    Still, enough of drunken intramarital transvestism. Did GB mange to fix your problems before he developed a few of his own, Quokka?

    You’ll all be pleased to know that my sister got stuck into me on the phone last night. She’s been broken into for the third time in 18 months, so I suggested she get a yard dog. She went off her brain about what a ludicrous suggestion that was, how it wouldn’t help anyway, etc. etc. – all in the sort of tones and volume Basil uses to Sibyl when the builders have stuffed up at Fawlty Towers. Then she started attacking me on a personal level (intelligence, risk assessment ability, life choices). I asked her not to talk to me like that, she kept raving on, so I was in the middle of saying it seemed like she wasn’t in the mood to chat when she hung up on me!

    She’s lucky Aunt Irma’s not due for a few weeks, or I’d be posting her a scrub turkey head to place on her pillow.

  37. Or we could attach her name to my sister’s busy social engagement register, thus ensuring she gets to sample her own work, in stereo.

    Apparently GB has managed to salvage the information content of my scuttled PC. Meaning that my recipes, my notes from Hogwarts, my grandniece’s christening photos and assorted bits of utter crap are now preserved on the USB stick for me to file or junk at my leisure.

    Which means I’m having more luck than his other visitors yesterday.
    Perhaps I should give his clients a few tips on how to generate benevolent karma from the universe?

  38. After the gorgeously wonderful (*kisskisskisskisskiss*) Mac repairing lady retrieved all my stuff, she advised me to buy a passport to use as my Time Machine. Time Machine updates every hour, and isn’t as notoriously unreliable as flash drive USB sticks. (I have about five USB’s, and three of them have managed to spontaneously combust their content.) You can find an extensive range of external hard drives at Officeworks, Hardly Normal, JB HiFi, Retravision – and there are some available on sale at the Post Office this week, too.

    Speaking of Time Machines, maybe we can put Morgana in one, and send her back to her childhood with some sutures, so she can stitch her sister’s mouth shut. But I wouldn’t be too worried, Madam. In any argument between family members, the one who does the hanging up always has to do the apologising. And if your sister doesn’t make the first move in time, you won’t have to buy the silly girl a Christmas present.

    Of course, if she does make the first move, you can always buy her a puppy for Christmas. A big, drooly, wuffy, bouncy puppy. Rottweiler, perhaps?

    At least we all know what to get Greybeard and Fifi for Christmas. Matching ‘his and hers’ lace g-strings and rubber thigh-high stiletto boots. And a wheelchair for Greybeard, for when he falls off the stilettos and breaks his ankle. Oh, hang on, he already has a wheelchair. From when he fell off the roof. Or did he…..?

  39. Dear, brave, noble, cunning Sir Greybeard.

    I don’t think we appreciate him enough, ladies. How many men can salvage a hard-drive… and work a pair of kitten heels?

    Quokka – yes, yes we should. Feel free to give your sister ALL of the contact details I’ve forwarded, especially the private mobile. Remind your sister that my childless, suits-herself sister lurves to be woken early on the weekends, if you’d be so kind?

    Catty – that puts things nicely in perspective. And I wasn’t aware of those rules, but since they sway my way I’m all over them now.

    Okay, I have to prepare for the first round of contestants in my visitor marathon. Wish me luck and fluffy scones – today I’ll be hosting three gay men and a dog.

    Sounds like the sort of reality show that’d be canned after a few eps, doesn’t it?

  40. Unless the lead role is played by Charlie Sheen. In which case, you’d probably get eight seasons out of it.

  41. And your own private jet and an island in the whitsundays.
    Hey, I hear Chuckles is available/currently out of gainful employment.
    When do we start writing the pilot?

  42. Tomorrow.

    I’m all hyped up on hummingbird cake and banter at the moment.

    Hey, everyone knows to batten down the hatches for tomorrow’s cold snap, right?

    I’m given to understand that Greybeard is planning on burning Quokka in effigy, to keep warm.

  43. Greybeard relishes the cold. He’s far more likely to wander around naked. We’d better put Colin’s therapist on speed dial, just in case he sees Greybeard hanging out. The washing, that is.

    Today has been wet, windy and freezing – and that’s inside. Outside is worse. Plus, we’ve had an earthquake. If tomorrow’s going to be worse than this, I’m moving to Tahiti.

  44. Mmm… Tahiti.

    Home of the vanilla orchid, lucent tropical beaches and Marlon Brando V.Old&Fat.

    One of these things is not like the other ones, one of these things is not the same…

  45. By my reckoning all of you are having a much better day than me.
    I went out to lunch for ‘well done graduates of Nurse Ratchett’s regime’ type occasion. My prac partner had chosen the time and the venue. However when we arrived at the French Patisserie and after 30 minutes sitting chatting about their plans to miraculously cure cancer (throughout which I tried to keep a straight face, and undoubtedly failed miserably) I suggested that we should order lunch. And she said ‘Oh, you two go ahead, I’ve got another 26 days to go on the no grain and no dairy diet.’
    Que?

    So she had a pot of chai while me and Hogwarts Escapee 3# looked at the selection of stale white bread sandwiches and asked hopefully if she’d prefer that we adjourn to the sushi bar two doors down. No such luck.

    I wound up picking the contents out of my sandwich so I wasn’t faced with the task of eating tasteless white crusty rolls and I rushed the hell out of there and straight into Coles chocolate aisle as soon as I could, in order to antidote their wholesomeness.

    Jaysus. I reckon I could get a job as a rouseabout in the eating disorder clinic after my experiences with the obsessive No Fun Dieters I’ve studied with at Hogwarts in the last few years.

    Can someone PLEASE explain to me why you’d invite your friends out to lunch at the fracking French Patisserie, then announce that you are busy on the No Fun Diet and won’t be eating at all but by all means, you others, do tuck in, and then refuse some none-too-subtle prodding to relocate the rest of us to the sushi bar?
    I don’t get it.

    I whinged at length to another Hogwarts graduate over the phone who insisted that this is what eating disorders do, they insist on taking people out where they can watch their friends pig out on eclairs and creme brulee and feel some sort of priggish self-satisfaction about all the crap that their friends have just eaten while they’ve burned a layer off the lining of their oesophagus with a pot of scalding hot tea. Because, you know, self harm is just so much fun.

    I’m inclined to think she’s right.
    Don’t think I’ll have any more lunches with the Hogwarts crew, I’d much rather go out and eat bacon and sourdough with you mob of degenerates.
    Who will probably live longer and not die of osteoporosis and Vitamin B12 deficiency any time soon.

    I’m off to eat a nice hot satisfying meal of spag bog, packed to the gunnels with tasty red meat, tomatoes, onions, assorted veg, and lots of tasty mushrooms and gooey melted cheese.

    My god that school churns out a lot of eating disorders.

  46. We had pizza, followed by banana ice cream. I only had five slices. Stupid lurgy. Oh, well. We’ll just have to eat the leftovers for breakfast.

  47. Quokka, we will live long into a creaking and dissolute senescence. “Those whom the Gods love, die young”… and we’re obviously the Universe’s outcasts.

    Go on, dairy it up you two. I still can’t manage so much as 100ml of milk. I feel like a Calcium Vampire at the moment. If a fully-laden jersey cow swayed past me, I swear I’d sink my fangs straight in.

    Sorry you had such a miserable time with the bulimic-by-proxy, though, Quokka. My three gay men and a dog were fabulous value. It turns out one of them, by means of growing a white beard and exploiting his lavish, all-natural belly and chubby elf cheeks, is now a card-carrying member of The Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas.

    Seems there’s a bit of in-fighting at the North Pole. Shopping centres prefer fake-bearded Santas, so they can rotate different actors through the shifts and keep them looking the same. But the Real Beardies feel that they’re more authentic – not to mention more comfortable in summer!

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/12/11/rowlands.santa.frat.natpkg.cnn

    Elf Boy couldn’t sit on “Uncle” Santa’s lap fast enough. He also tugged on his beard so hard I think he pulled an extra inch out of his face.

    Ho, ho, ho!

  48. Brilliant.
    That video was just what I needed after the horrors of yesterday.
    I’m off to forage for bacon at the Jetty, I do hope your stomach feels a tad bit stronger today. Took me a good week or so after the 6 days of V&D to feel anything close to normal again. Gah. Poor you.

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