Mutant Mayhem

Add a little spider, and couch man can now get his own damn beer without having to put the remote control down.

I note with interest that an American genetic engineer and a Dutch artist collaborated to weave a lattice of human skin and spider silk, extracted from genetically-altered silkworms, for want of sufficient mutant goat silk.

Sadly, the resultant textile of terror proved quite permeable to normal-speed bullets, but it does raise some fascinating scenarios. If you had a nice whack of research funding, and a lab-full of gene shears and incubators, what would you like to hybridise?

First out of my petri dish would be a male of the human species, with the ability bred into his willy… stay with me, it’s not what you think… to aim at and hit the inside of the toilet bowl, every time. I’d just extract the unerring accuracy of a frog’s tongue, or perhaps the directional capacity of a homing pigeon, and whack it into the offending organ.

There’s a scientific advance that would benefit womankind, people.

Now we can cross chooks and pigs, to produce bacon-flavoured eggs. Or how about pigeons and their fellow travellers, engineered to produce poop that acts as a fabric conditioner and deodoriser, putting an end to clothesline blight and rewashing syndrome?

Over to you, science.


240 Responses

  1. Oh the possibilities … generally speaking though, anything self feeding and self cleaning is a winner with me.

  2. Ooooh, can I have an iguana eyeball in the back of my head, so I can see for myself if my bum looks big in these jeans?

    You know, come to think of it, maybe I won’t bother. Ignorance is not only bliss, it’s a great excuse to avoid going on a diet. Pass the fudge, please.

  3. Mehr zum Thema Duschkabinen…

    Zig überlegen sich unbedingt wie mag meine Wenigkeit mein Schotter ungefährdet anlegen. Eine Option ist das Duschkabinen und Badezimmer… Unsereiner präsentieren in unserem Blogbeitrag viele Wege diese Webseite macht vieles nicht ausgeschlossen……

    • Wollen Sie damit andeuten kombinieren wir Elefanten und Kamelen reiten DNA mit unserer eigenen, und tragen unsere Dusche mit uns herum? Oder sind Sie was auf eine Kängurutasche als tragbare Toilette? Beide sind brilliant. Ich nehme zwei.

      • Was ist das, Catty? Kennst du Deutsch?

        Far out.

  4. Self-feeding… yes, a baby who will photosynthesise if you leave it out in the sun. Melbo, you’re a genius! Leaving them locked in the car while you go to the casino would be beneficial, rather than gross neglect. And if they drop any leaves, you can just mulch ’em.

    Speaking of fudge, Catty, if we just tacked some cow udder and sugar cane genome into your cheeks, we could create a fudge gland. Take that, pituitary! Who’s the master gland now?

  5. The creative juices aren’t running here, so I can’t think of anything more exciting than churros and hot chips. Maybe after I’ve had some caffeine…

  6. Caffeine – yes, of course!

    If we just tacked some caffeine-producing genes in somewhere… I’m thinking, frontal sinuses, add the pressure-sensing bits from a venus flytrap… then you could have a self-motivating office worker.

    What can’t you do with genetic engineering? Science rocks.

  7. And if that fails, I’d like to volunteer Kylie from Admin for studies on how to produce a self-flagellating office worker.

  8. Hee hee hee, silly Quokka! You said ‘Kylie’ and ‘worker’ in the same sentence!

  9. We could cross her with a Giant Pitcher Plant, and set her to autodigest.

    That would take a long, agonising time… especially in the preternaturally thick skull region.

  10. Sounds like fun, I could pop in at odd intervals and ask sweetly if she’d like fries and a coke with that.
    Which would automatically reconfigure the program to auto-indigest.

  11. Back in my uni days this was a popular subject of discussion & revulsion. I suggested moving the nostrils to the palms of the hands so that we could smell things by waving our hands over them & compare two separate odours. Nose-blowing could be accomplished discreetly by placing the hands in the pockets and, er, removal of solids could take place under the table as it were. The ladies among us objected that hand-holding or indeed shaking might become considerably less popular however.

  12. The forked & prehensile tongue of a goanna? I’m sure I could find a use for it. No! Of course – brown fat! A whacking great lump of it that would last your whole life & burn off any excess fudge-calories as needed. A “mood patch” of skin, say at the base of a woman’s throat. Something that would change colour and signal to poor puzzled males what the current mood really is. What a boon to humanity! Our lucky chimp cousins get clear signals from female bottoms changing colour. That might be less than ideal for us though. Unless women’s fashions became far more exciting . . .

  13. I can assure you, Greybeard, my bottom is the LAST thing any man wants to see. They would find the battle scars far too intimidating.

    You know, I reckon we could do something interesting with cow DNA. I’d quite like an extra couple of stomachs, to use when the first one fills up before the cheesecake is finished. And there’d always be fresh milk to wash it down. Mmmmm… milk…

  14. I love your idea of a hybridised penis. Then we wouldn’t have to put up with stupid ads on TV themed by a bunch of random-spraying jocks (including an 8yr old in the making). They all say sorry in such unapologetic tones that you contemplate beating them to within an inch of their lives with a dirty toilet brush – particularly when the ad is for toilet cleaner…target audience? Women of course.
    Pffft, thank god I have a brain and can choose my own toilet cleaner…the husband of course! 🙂

    • Welcome, Dana.

      Come in and have a seat. The fainting couch is particularly comfy.

      During your stay with us, you may experience pockets of faff and occasional bouts of low-brow humour. Just strap yourself in, and keep the sick bag handy.

  15. Hehehe.

    There’s a crock-pot full of genetic genius, right here at the Box.

    Quokka – if my Amazonian plant experiments fail, we could just go to Hogwarts and pour stomach contents straight from a bucket.

    Greybeard – I don’t know if you’ve realised, but your idea could deliver a hand job and a blow job in one deft swipe. As for the brown fat, sign me up for two saddle-bags full.

    And Catty – mmm, cheescake.

    • Eeuuwww. Except for the cheesecake of course.

  16. Greybeard’s idea would also add to the stealth factor whilst snorting cocaine.
    Think of the implications for the Hollywood glitterati, the paparazzi would go berserk trying to get shots of stars with decaying palms, hiding their shame in gloves.
    Hey…you don’t suppose the Queen and Michael Jackson were early prototypes?
    Greetings and welcome, Dana.
    Have some fudge, and if you plan to stay, I suggest dipping it in the vodka.
    We all do.

  17. Frequently. *hic*

  18. Heh heh.
    The social media venn diagram Tee-shirt.
    I love it.

    • Hehehe.

      I can’t get into facebook. I’m sure I’m off the charts on the “stalking” axis, so perhaps I’m narcissism deficient?

      Excuse me everyone. I’m just going off for a while, to try and get more into myself.

      Psychodynamically. Not literally.

  19. Ooh that reminds me – I haven’t checked Twitter for at least 10 minutes.

    Dana, I’m sure you’ll quickly realise that I drop in here simply to provide a touch of dignity, of gravitas, a high moral tone and a steadying influence on these recalcitrant reprobates. Just don’t send them any hair samples or fingernail clippings. My back’s never been the same since.

  20. Another mystery solved, I wondered who’d been sending me the snaplock bags loaded with unmentionables.
    I give up on twitter, I ducked in there the other day and when I wandered back it was apparent that entire chunks of conversation were invisible to me.
    Either that or Greybeard and his ilk simply make no sense.
    and I can’t believe that…

  21. I’ve heard a stat bandied about. Seems that more than 60% of twitter posts are complete garbage, incomprehensible by any standards of linguistics or semantics against which you choose to measure them.

    But when you look at the high quality of the commentary here, it’s hard to piffle ! Why **& ultraviolet stegasaurus ,:” catastrophe.

  22. Mehr zum Thema Duschkabinen? Ach! Wir sind Australien und haben sie keine Bäder. Der scheisse in der mineschaft gefallen round here, kamerad.

    • Sprechen Sie für sich selbst, Greybeard.

      • Oops, mine baden!

  23. Ja, Greybeard. Nicht Teer uns alle mit Ihren dreckigen Pinsel.

    Ich liebe es, Bäder, manchmal mehr als einmal pro Tag nehmen.

    You know, even when I type German I can hear Colonel Klink shouting in my head.

  24. And all I can understand from this is that the five years my father spent flying mitchell bombers was a complete waste of time.

  25. Well, not really, Quokka.

    His consequent PTSD made your childhood much more interesting than it might otherwise have been.

    Imagine how sane and normal your life might now be if, oh, I dunno, he’d ridden out the War as an accounts clerk for McDonnell and Easts?


    Doesn’t bear thinking about.

  26. Ah yes, the old Chinese Curse ‘may you live in interesting times’.
    There was definitely a clause eliminating time spent in McDonnell and East as a qualifier for that one.
    I don’t know if I want sushi or rocky road.
    Gosh I love the dilemmas of a study free existence.

  27. It’s not like matter and anti-matter. You can have both.

    Not on the same plate, I hasten to add…

    Chocolate has lost a great deal of its charm for me, since I found out about the Lindt cafe and how far, far away it is.

    Road trip to Melbourne, anyone?

  28. We’re off to Melbourne in October with our large, mostly empty suitcases? Just sayin’. (please form an orderly queue at the counter)

  29. Greybeard, dear Greybeard.

    I’m not sure how waffles would pack, though – “poorly” springs to mind.

    Why don’t you both go, and podcast the experience. Then again, don’t. Or we may have to kill you with our bare, empty-of-Lindt hands.

  30. Mmm, a live show of Fifi’s indecent behaviour in a Chocolaterie? She does enjoy her dark & bitter chocolate. Good thing the phone does HD video. Excellent suggestion Madam.

    Maybe I should suggest chocolate body paint, but she probably wouldn’t want Lindt in her navel . . .

  31. Oh dear. Which one of you left the gate open and let him in this time?
    Khan Greybeard, I was over your way purchasing expensive but practical footwear (of the Run For Your Life For the Zombies are Coming variety) and it occured to me that I should have called to see if you awake from your nap and up for a cuppa.
    Still, there are only so many chocolate related puns a girl can take in a day without crumbling and resorting to violence.
    Pass the honeycomb, Catty. I know you’ve got it because we haven’t heard peep out of you all day and its either that or the peanut brittle that’s keeping you silent.

  32. Faerie floss, actually. I have heard it is made from actual faeries, so I am doing my bit to eat the little bastards into extinction.

  33. Every time I close my eyes, all I can see is an opera length black glove, slowly sinking into a vat of molten chocolate. Somehow, this is more disturbing than the navel-Lindt scenario.

    But let’s not mention faerie floss again. It reminds me that the children’s school carnival is just around the corner. It’s much smaller than the Ekka, but somehow manages to be much, much worse. Perhaps it’s the absence of decorated cakes and wood-chopping?

  34. Do you think it could be the smell of rejection? Every prize, every white elephant, every old book… all rejected when they went into the donations box. Even the sweets at the sweet stall are the ones that kids couldn’t be arsed filching when their mums were cooking. I personally think the councils should insist on Prozac stalls at all school fundraisers.

    I’m intrigued, Madam. Your vision of a sinking glove is running through my head with one of those arty foreign soundtracks. What a great idea for a commercial! Except, instead of a glove, we’d have to use handcuffs. Our bondage cakes will sell like.. um.. bondage cakes. I know! We could film it in Greybeard’s oubliette. Hey, Greybeard, want to host a commercial shooting party? I don’t mean that literally, of course… please put the crossbow down…

  35. Oh, fabulous idea, Catty.

    We can backtrack Carmina Burana or something… that should sound arty and impenetrable. Mayhem’s Mum and the rats can do some interpretive dance in the background. If we Vaseline the lens, it should blur them enough to slip past the censors.

    Actually, Vaseline might not be enough. Perhaps we should smear Vegemite on the lens, instead.

    As for fêtes, now I feel sorry for all the poor rejected things, as well as pissed off that I have to not only attend, but work there AND let the children spend megabucks on showbags, glowsticks and the Octopus.


    Pass me the faerie floss, there’s a love.

  36. is there anything more universally hated amongst womenkind than the prospect of being stuck at a stall at the school fete?
    I had to work a number of them in the days when I worked with small folk and I can tell you that the staff hate them even more than the parents. The only person who seems to enjoy it is the sick sociopathic mind of the Organizer.
    I think it’s proof of reincarnation – all fete organizers were in the SS in a past life and they’re back for the next round of gleeful torture of innocents.
    Maybe we should manufacture edible faerie dust. Production costs would be low – all you’d need is a blow torch and some cute little containers. The cremated remains would stay pink, surely?

  37. Well ahead of you, Quokka. I have a vial of edible faerie dust, purchased from the cake decoration aisle at Spotlight. They also have blueberry essence, (Liars! It’s purple!) and those bright shapes (stars, lovehearts, etc) you see on Women’s Weekly cakes. You know, the ones that taste like sherbert after it’s beens sucked through a sock. (Please don’t ask me how I know how sock-sucked sherbet tastes.)

    Yesterday I popped in to the school to give the girls a hand on the fathers’ day stall. I had half an hour to spare, and figured I might as well show up. (O.k, I confess, there was morning tea – and you all know how I get about cake.) Anyway, three stinking hours later, I was almost too tired to eat the free cake. Notice I said ‘almost’. Then I discovered they’d cut the cake into one-inch squares. Three hour’s worth of one-inch squares is a LOT of squares. AND I had to eat the other girls’ share after they backed away in fear. Why do people always do that when I eat?

  38. Bit off topic here (whatever the topic was) but I am very, very sad. Just crawled into the least accessible bit of the, um, crawl space under the house to fix a wiring problem and found out what smelled after the flood. Poor echidna must have been caught there and drowned. Bugger, bugger, bugger. I love our echidnas. I’ve caught them a couple of times and taken photos of the kids holding them – usually rescuing the dumb things from fences. Must be about the most urban colony around – hope enough of them survived.

  39. Of course we had a topic. We were cremating faeries with a creme brulee iron, and commiserating with Catty on her cake deficiency.

    Poor Mr Spiky. Rest in peace, little one.

    I never imagined you’d have echidnas at your place, GB. Come to think of it, the poor little buggers aren’t well equipped to cope with inundation. Or indeed, anything that happens fast. Lets hope you have a happy sighting to report in weeks to come.

  40. The worst thing about deceased cute wildlife is disposing of their remains. Sorry, but I cannot bring myself to toss a squee little dead baby possum/echidna/birdie into the rubbish bin. Hope you weren’t too distressed, Greybeard. I’d have been all teary and sad, but then, I’m a big girl’s blouse.

    Actually, that reminds me. It’s almost the first day of spring. Every year, on the first of September, we say a little poem:

    Spring is sprung, the grass is riz,
    I wonder where the birdies is?

    The bird is on the wing.

    My word, how absurd!
    I thought the wing was on the bird.

    Anyway, last year I was reciting the poem as we trooped out the door on the way to school on September 1st. There, on the doorstep, was a little dead butcher bird. Without missing a beat, I recited:

    The bird is on the ground.

    My children were highly amused, especially when we began burying the poor creature, and they began to chant:

    My word, how absurd!
    And now the ground is on the bird.

    I have trained them well.

  41. Sweet, yet disturbing.

    It’s a shame we don’t live closer, Catty. Sounds like your offspring and mine would get on fabulously well.

    We could home school, and take it in turns to drink until we passed out on the couch.

    • Fabulous idea! It gets so boring, drinking and passing out on my own.

  42. They probably would get on very well – disturbing thought really.

    I’m afraid I left the remains in situ, except for its little pointy skull. I was in a dark space about 40-50cm high, mud below, white-ant riddled timber above and less than entirely comfortable. If I get enthusiastic I might try getting a photo but it’s a long crawl. And the previous owners tossed their rusty old fishhooks under there in dozens. The things you do to improve your Internet connection, eh?

    • Those aren’t fish hooks. They’re echidna hooks.

  43. And now I’m wondering how a little pointy echidna skull is going to improve Greybeard’s internet connection.
    I’d offer commiserations, but perhaps after I know what you’ve got planned for the corpse…

  44. It always surprises me how so many people, despite all evidence to the contrary, still believe that computers are things of logic and science. I mean look at Steve Jobs – the man is clearly a Dark Wizard. As for me, let’s say a skull & a few incantations can do wonders for a dodgy hard drive.

  45. Now you tell me!

    After I’ve replaced the innards of mine from the motherboard up. It’s not as if I don’t have a skull to hand.

    Now, somebody please explain why people would use their crawl space as a rusty fish-hook repository. I don’t think this is standard practise. Perhaps they booby-trapped it, to defend the vast reserves of pirate gold buried therein.

    Arr, for sure it be pirate treasure, matey. What are you waiting for, GB? Get digging.

    • Ye’ve tumbled me secret treasure, Madam. Arrrrgh, ye be a rum one!

  46. Oh MM. Duh. You think the cache of pointy things above stairs is rusting from disuse? The fish hooks are there to put the sniffer dogs off when they go looking for the bodies of the previous tenants, and neighbours who’ve complained about the colony of Colins.
    Still, thanks to Greybeard I now know that the best way to cure tweetdeck of it’s ills is to shake a voodoo rattle over the keyboard, and keep hitting ‘not now’ on that pesky little icon that pops up five times a day saying ‘install new tweetdeck now’ – it’s all making sense.

  47. Quokka – for you it’s Twitter, for me it’s Firefox. The Mac automatically searches for Firefox updates every ten minutes. If there’s an update (usually there is) it tries to auto-install. But because Firefox is running, it can’t upload the updates. Talk about hissy fit! (Me AND Firefox). I then have to go through the P.I.T.A process of rebooting, shutting down, and re-starting. And of course the fkn thing always does it’s updates just as I’m posting a long blog comment, or bidding on some eBay utter necessity. Stupid fkn Firefox. I hate it with a passion. But at least it’s better than Safari. (Yes, Safari IS that bad).

    The obvious thing would be to set Firefox for weekly updates instead of every 10 minutes. But do you think I can find ANYTHING on the internet that tells me how or where to change it? Not a bloody hope!

    Thank goodness I have you lot to tell me what to do. Sadly, though, I couldn’t find a single spare skull lying around. Do you think the incantations will work if the skull is still encased in a living kidlet? The kidlets won’t mind having their head shaken at a computer screen mid-chant. They’ve had stranger things than that done to them.

  48. I hate to disappoint you Catty but the elements of murder and decay are essential to correcting any fault on a MAC.

  49. Bugger.

  50. Catty, have you tried this page?

    If you uncheck the Firfox box at the top and the “Automatically download . . . ” button it should stop bugging you. Still a good idea to do the regular updates, but this way it can be when it’s convenient.

    • That looks exactly like what I need, Greybeard. But despite my best/loudest/most-profanity-riddled efforts, I have failed to find that tab anywhere on my Mac. You don’t happen to know what it’s under, do you?

      • It should be:
        Tools ->
        Options ->
        Advanced ->
        But that’s on my Win version & I’m not sure how to get there on a Mac. Should be similar(?)

  51. Ah, Sir Greybeard, always swift with the clever and techie answer.

    My response was going to be:, Catty, you should use a sensible, faster, more intuitive browser. Something like Google Chrome.

    Yes, I am Google’s meat-puppet

    In chookyard news, something about the rising sap and free-floating pollens of spring must have inspired Brian. She’s breaking out again. Do you think, perhaps, one of those zapper collars that they put on dogs to keep them in the yard? Or I might tether her to the chook-house with a collar and bungee cord. Stray too far and… sproing!

    • But is it a coincidence that the male turkeys are getting quite frisky about now? Brian/Briana may have found that once you’ve tried turkey, you can’t go back.

      Chrome?? But it has no add-ons to let me capture video clips & screenshots! It’s almost like Google didn’t want people snaffling Youtube material.

  52. You can capture Youtube videos? How on earth do you do that?!!??!!!?! (This is another thing I’ve tried -and failed at- repeatedly.)

  53. It is different in Mac, Greybeard. But I’ve figured out how to fix it. I fretted, then I stomped, then I yelled, then I swore, then I threw a tantrum – at which point the Boss took over. He found it, and then I fixed it. Yay!

    Thank you, Greybeard. You’re a wonderful darling boy and I love you very, very much. Now, about this capturing Youtube videos thing….

  54. Just remember to read them their rights, Catty.

  55. Hee hee hee…

  56. I’ve heard they’ve started to deep-fry turkeys, in the US.

    When I’ve got a good recipe, I’ll let y’all know.

  57. What, like all of Jim Carrey’s movies? They were total turkeys – especially the Youtube one.

  58. Probably the only way to make the meat taste edible.
    Can’t understand the Xmas fascination with turkey when it tastes so disgusting and chicken is so much nicer.
    I’m onto my next writing book, having finished ‘See Jane Write’ – it’s called ‘The elements of style’ by Strunk, White (as in Charlotte’s web author) and Kalman. Looks good.
    Not sure what’s prompting me to read all this stuff but it’s a refreshing change from researching treatment for IBS and anxiety disorders.
    That’s the trouble when I read a book I like…if there’s a suggested reading list at the end I do tend to get sucked into it.

  59. Forgot. Has anyone read this?

  60. Strunk & White (nobody ever cites Kalman, poor overlooked Kalman) is a classic. Oldie but a very goodie.

    As for Pat Walsh – no, I haven’t. And the stats quoted in the article are alarming. I’m interested to hear what you think of him, Quokka.

    Catty, yes, you’re right. Except for “The Mask”. For some reason – maybe it’s the zoot suits, maybe Cameron Diaz swing dancing – I can actually stand to watch that one. Everything else he’s ever done… or indeed, ever plans to do… gives me hives and gut spasms.

  61. I haven’t got it, yet, but I’ll keep an eye out for it.
    I’ll ask Farrin Jacobs about it when I go to that class at the writers festival in a couple of weeks.
    And yes, Jim Carrey, Ick.

  62. Ooh, you’re going to a BWF class? I’m insanely jealous. Which one? Please take copious notes and then report back in depth.

    I doubt I’ll get to go. What with the impending cricket season and this stupid Cert III in Business, regrettably I might have to let even the housework slide for the next 14 weeks or so.

    Yes, I know you’re all deeply shocked by this tragedy.

  63. Easily remedied. When a thick yellow crust scabs over the toilet seat, simply dial 911. Yes, I know it’s 000 but my first aid trainer assured me that when they answer a 911 call they know to expect the worst.

  64. Really Madam, Mutant Mayhem??? Have I been gone so long that you feel free to sully my name thus? Yeah, I guess I have.

    Catty, I will be in touch with both you and Melbo soon, I promise. Greybeard if you and Fifi come to Melbourne without a plan to catch up, I will personally skin Colin next time i’m in Brisvegas (December sometime). I found the Haighs Chocolate shop last week, and to my eternal shame, resisted the temptation to partake.

    And now for some good news…. The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!! The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!! The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!! The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!! The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!! The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!! The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!! The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!! The Brat is coming to visit this weekend!!!!

    I’m a little excited 🙂

  65. Congrats on the Offspring Invasion, Mayhem.

    But I don’t know that we know you, any more. You walked past a chocolate shop and didn’t indulge?

    This is what happens, people, when you leave Queensland. You leave your mojo behind as well.

    Quokka, don’t worry about the toilet seat. The constant stream of mis-aimed urine should keep it relatively clean… and any stubborn stains will get scuffed off by Elf Boy’s feet. I don’t know why he uses our perfectly conventional, inside, flushing toilet like a South-East Asian squat hole. I’ve said it before, but it must be the father’s side.

  66. This was too good not to pass on:

    Mayhem, congratulations. I hope you at least plan to take him to the chocolate shop to remedy the crime of failing to enter it last time you had the chance.
    OK Chicken Lovers, Enjoy.

  67. Bloody hell.

    Maybe if I got a five-foot metal technicolour chicken, IT could scare the scrub turkeys off and Brian could stay in the yard?

    No, forget it. I don’t want to risk triggering a flash-back every time I go to the clothesline.

  68. This was such a reassuring read. Hard evidence that there is way more money to be made from therapy than from literature.

  69. Beyoncé is so much better than the anniversary present I gave the Boss. All he got was a nocular and a nookie – although he didn’t deserve either. All he gave me was the chocolate rose I gave him for Valentines day. But chocolate is chocolate.

    Which reminds me. Mayhem, what is all this non-chocolate-buying? Don’t tell me you’ve been brainwashed by some hippie, diabetic, vegan, cycle riding, health food shop cult, have you? Not to worry, I shall de-program you when we have our catchup. I will consider it my sacred duty to remind you (forcibly if necessary) why we have stomachs.

    Going off on a tangent here: I was sent this quote today:

    Women are angels.
    If someone breaks our wings,
    we simply continue to fly….
    on a broomstick.
    (We’re flexible like that.)

    How apt is that?

    And finally… Madam, what is this ‘housework’ of which you speak? Perhaps Quokka can ask Farrin Jacobs for us… nah, forget it. She probably doesn’t know either. Because if Jane has time to write, she doesn’t fkn have time to clean.

  70. Amen, Sister.

    We’re often told to choose our battles. Well, my foremost priority is the darling boys, of course, and ensuring that they are loved, fed, educated, entertained and hosed down once a week, whether they need it or not. I snatch a half hour here and there for faffing or even sometimes attempting to write something. Do I care if there’s a warren of dust bunnies capering merrily in the far reaches behind the couch, or the “Italian lace” on the venetian blinds is longer than my own hair?

    Quite obviously – hell, no. I can be Monica from “Friends” in another life. But maybe not the next one.

    Catty, you’re a generous woman. The last thing I gave my ex was a trip. To the Magistrates’ Court. To be serve with a restraining order.

  71. Don’t you love it when you’re kicking the ex’s arse out the front door, and he turns around to argue just as your boot swings up? So satisfying….

  72. Hehehe.

    All this hatin’ on men, and it’s not even that time of the month yet… is it? It doesn’t seem fair that I’m demented enough to lose track of time, but still fertile. Although I heard a horror story yesterday about a 55 yr old woman due to give birth to her 13th child.


    I can’t even type it without screaming.


  73. Don’t you hate women like that? They make the rest of us look bad. But fortunately, I’m a bitter and vindictive little kitty, so I just tell myself that the older siblings are doing all the chores/cooking/childcare while mama the nympho heads back to bed. Whether or not that is actually true has nothing to do with anything.

  74. I can’t even get my kids to pick up their socks off the floor, unless I stage a rant-fest. I’d just love to see Magic Man’s face if I told him to change a nappy and then puree some sweet potato.


    Not enough to get pregnant, though.

  75. Still, you’d never need to nag him to carry Protection when he leaves you and starts spreading his wild oats.

  76. Ergh.

    You know how imagining… or, horror, accidentally barging in and witnessing… your parents having sex is enough to turn you Ita Buttrose for months?

    Well, I can’t even entertain the idea of my smooth-cheeked little angels gettin’ it on. I nearly did just know, thanks to that comment, until a few gentle convulsions saved me.

    Does anyone know where I can get a few copies of a brochure like, “So, you feel called to the Catholic priesthood”? I might leave them lying around, all over “Where Did I Come From?”.

  77. I’d suggest Christian Youth Camp, except as the counselors all had it on like rabbits, it’d have to be boys only, where the consequences (gay son to look after you in your decaying years) are far more desirable.

  78. I’ve always said I’d be very happy if one or both of the boys were gay – I’d always be the most important woman in their life/lives.

    However, Elf Boy already displays traits of robust heterosexuality… I caught him ogling bikini girls in a Billabong catalogue the other day. And Magic Man is probably straight, too. He dances and colour-coordinates like a heterosexual man.

  79. OK. I’ve been cowering safely under my usual flat rock while the testosterone-seeking missiles have been flying but solidarity demands that I speak.

    First of all, catalogues are an essential part of a boy’s growing up. May I suggest Madame, that you leave a ‘Bra’s n Things’ casually lying around. They’re much more interesting than Billabong and sometimes contain ‘naughty nurse’ outfits and the like. At least that’s what NowhereBob told me. A really impressively good mum would get hold of some Victoria’s Secret advertising classics. The force is strong with those.

    As for dancing and colour coordination, evolution has the answers. The male skeleton, musculature and nervous systems are designed for three things:
    Hunting (i.e. sitting around out of sight of the village, drinking and swapping lies until an edible animal has an accident nearby (preferably fatal)).
    Fighting (traditionally pushing and exchanging insults until falling over drunk or separated by mates. Sadly this has become much more dangerous as the old traditions are lost and people actually try to hurt each other.) and, er,
    Mating (according to Fifi, this originally occurred after a gift of meat (see Hunting) and was followed by the expulsion of the males from the village until they had more meat. Modern traditions may involve chocolate, of which I keep several stashes hidden around the house.
    Now none of these things require the skills involved in dancing (which is more correctly performed by the women to demonstrate their mating skills) or this colour coordination thing – which I confess I have never understood. Who made up these “rules” about what colours “go together”? If I like purple and orange surely that makes them “right”? And why can’t I wear a brown belt & black shoes if they’re both comfortable and the ones I can find?
    In summary, the boys should actually be commended and encouraged for what I fear you may view, wrongly, as flaws. They are simply becoming MEN.

  80. Wise woman, that Fifi.

  81. Mmm… gifts of meat.

    Greybeard, in one short sentence you have repaid all of my previous cruelty with interest. Yes, they’re becoming men… that’s the tragedy!

    Little boys are adorable – often enough, anyway, so that their care-givers resist the sporadic urge to dash their growing brains out against the nearest firm surface. Little boys raise their little arms, saying “Big hug, Mumma” in sweet little boy voices, then cling to you like gravity is about to fail and you’re the only thing that can keep them on the planet. They giggle when you blow raspberries on their soft little tummies, and laugh like hyenas when you tell them silly chicken jokes or read a bedtime story with overblown character voices. They blow off other relatives or bystanders when they’re sick or injured, because only Mumma knows how to kiss it better. They fall asleep in a tumble of silky blonde hair and sweetly rounded, tender peach-flesh, with dear little pouts on their cupid’s bow lips.

    Men… *sigh*. There’s something to be said for this separate village idea.

  82. Or an outhouse, if you can’t afford a village.

  83. Or, perhaps, a demountable enclosure.

    I keep saying I’m going to put an old caravan up on Bessa blocks out the back, so the boys have got somewhere to look at porn and smoke dope and plot world domination. Other than MY lounge room.

    Perhaps I should move that forward, in the five year plan.

    Five year plan – who am I kidding? I don’t even know what I’m going to cook for dinner

  84. Oops. I seem to have inadvertently caused some upset. The old caravan will be great for a while Madam, but when Magic Man wants to invite his GF for a sleepover, Elf Boy may have to move back to the house. You might want to put the van well away from the house too. Or just keep the music on. Re Plotting World Domination, it’s funny but HG spent a large part of his time doing just that.

    But really, MEN aren’t so bad to have around are we? I think I’ll ask Fifi for a list of all the good points. Better wait for the weekend cos I think it’ll take her quite a while. Just to start with, we can lift heavy things! And, um, fix stuff, tell amusing jokes, have amusing bodily functions, warm the bed on cold nights and remove unpleasant animals from the house. I’ll bet Fifi will come up with lots more.

  85. Hehehe.

    I think you’re fab, GB.

    But as for “removing unpleasant animals from the house”, what if the man with whom you are cohabiting IS the unpleasant animal?

    No, only joking. It’s just that somehow I find I’m not quite prepared for my little gumnuts to turn into, well, big hairy footy players. I always thought about them growing up sort of in the abstract – or preceding under the reasonable assumption that they’d kill me, by stress or direct action, before we got to that point.

  86. Which reminds me, when do the school holidays start, anyway?

  87. Take heart. They’ve got years of utter cuteness left in them yet. I suspect Elf Boy may even stay cute – of course he’ll use his powers for good? And HG is still besotted with his Mum and gives her big hugs at every opportunity. She of course dotes on the great hairy lump. You did bring back fond memories though. There’s a certain age span in which they just seem perfect. When asleep. And Sandy’s getting all excited about us coming to Melbourne “to play” as she puts it so there are compensations.

  88. If men are so useful, how come I’m always having to take out the rubbish and change all the toilet rolls? My men can’t even exert themselves to put the seat down on the toilet. Or aim.

  89. Oh, don’t get me starting on the aiming thing. I’d change a toilet roll a day for the rest of my life if I could be assured of never again having to scrub dried on pee from odd crevices around the toilet seat I never even knew existed, or from ALL AROUND THE GD PEDESTAL.

    Do the sums, guys. You’ve got a tiny little hole in the head-that-does-the-thinking, there, and the vast expanse of inside-the-toilet-rim surface area to hit.


  90. I could mention that I fill the bins (inc toilet rolls, dryer lint and Fifi’s wrecked pantyhose), take ’em out & bring ’em back but that might sound like boasting. So I’ll just mention my niece’s toilet training method for males. She left a brightly coloured plastic ball bobbing in the loo for her “wee lad” to use as a target. Of course her husband got in on the act. Make anything crass a competition and us blokes are all over it. You could try sticking a picture of Andrew Bolt to the back of the bowl, but that could lead to a nasty mess.

  91. Oh, that reminds me. Do you know how most of my pantyhose get wrecked? The Boss uses them to line the pool filter, or to wipe cobwebs down from the eaves.

    Also, I tried sticking a ping pong ball in the toilet. It somehow ended up in the s-bend, blocking anything larger than a marble from passing through. The plumber charged about the same amount I’d have spent on a year’s supply of domestos and Glen 20. NO MORE PING PONG BALLS!

    In all seriousness, I love my menfolk dearly. I love complaining, too. And the boys give me so very much to complain about. It’s a good life….

  92. Much as I might like, metaphorically, to shit all over Bolt, I think I’d have trouble dropping my pants if his head was leering up out of my toilet bowl.

    Thanks for the ping-pong ball warning, Catty, because I was considering trialling that option. My (actual practising) plumber’s fabulous, but I have the sneaking suspicion that I’m putting his ferret through night school. Saves her having to take up pole dancing, though, I suppose.

    And yes, I too love my men-in-the-making. There are even some adult men – cousins, uncle, friends, Mr Underbelly – I can spend time with, without fiddling with my poison ring. And then there’s the League of Evil Exes…

  93. Men are a dream compared to dealing with women.
    I’m trying to organize an outing of hogwart’s graduates via email and it’s like herding cats.
    i.e. Person 1: Mother of a toddler’s response ‘I can’t make that date but hopefully will make it to the next one. have fun without me.’
    Person 2: ‘I might leave it until mother of the toddler can make it’
    Me: ‘Dear mother of the toddler, please suggest a time that suits you as we are all happy to work around it.’
    Response: a week’s worth of radio silence, while everyone else in the group messages me asking WTF is going on with lunch.
    As we are on Round 3 of suggested dates for lunch I am sorely tempted to dump the organizational task into the lap of Mother of the Toddler – who, I suspect, has sent me a coded message for ‘I’m at home sucking valium and picking vegemite out of the power sockets. See you in five years.’

  94. I’ve never had vegemite in the power sockets, but I did know a child who stuck a piece of vegemite toast in the DVD tray.

    This was back when DVD players were expensive, mind you.

    Yes, she’s probably got post-natal ennui, which in my experience lasts for at least a decade.

    Catty, you’ve been a mother longer than me… does the bone-deep exhaustion wear off at some point, or do your expectations of vivacity and enjoyment just dip to suit your dwindled energy levels?

    • Listen to track 2 of Masters Of Chant V.

  95. No, that can’t be right. No mother I know would bother to pick vegemite out of their power sockets. Mothers of toddlers tend to reserve their energies for things that decompose (such as bananana stuffed in the handle of the Jason recliner, or hot chips in the stereo speakers), or things that adversely affect the function of whatever they’re stuffed in (such as peanut butter toast in the DVD player). Everything else falls under the category ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Which is where your toddler-mummy has relegated Hogwarts, I’m afraid, Quokka.

    Your best bet is to set a date and hint that there may or may not be free valium. Don’t fret about having to actually supply the valium – mums with younguns are always late, so all you have to do is tell her that you pre-mixed it into the vodka before she arrived.

    Hey, wait a minute… Madam, did you say your plumber needs pole dancing practise?

  96. I’ve already tempted her with cocktails (the house specialty at Ahmet’s) and rocky road, so if that can’t draw her out, nothing will.
    As the single ladies are all keen to go, I think I’ll just tell the mothers that it’s a shame the last 3 suggested dates haven’t suited them and perhaps they can put their heads together to work out their busy schedules and they can organize the next gathering.
    Which saves me the pain of doing it, and then trying to decode their ambiguous responses. I’ve spent the last week wondering if oxytocin is a fracking neurotoxin, seriously. Er…no offense to present company intended.

    I’ve used this strategy in the past with mother type classmates and what it effectively means is that you never see them again, but at least it stops me wanting to beat my head against the wall when they don’t return phone calls and emails, despite telling one and all how keen they are to get out and away from their progeny and live a little.

    Uncle Blokesy is off to the Old Coast tomorrow to take his parents out to lunch for father’s day. He printed up a set of the house plans so that they’d have something to talk about other than funerals and refugees. He’s looking a bit morbid as its a bit like dealing with George Costanza’s parents with all the pain and none of the laughs. God help him. After 16 years of listening to ‘when are you going to finish the house’ they’ve now changed their tune to ‘what do you want to do that for, you know you’re overcapitalizing’ – oh and there’ll be the usual whine and moan about how sad it is that I haven’t provided them with grandchildren.

    Someone explain to me why it’s illegal to take them up the back paddock with the winchester?

  97. No, I don’t think oxytocin melts your brain – I’m pretty sure it’s the near-terminal sleep deprivation. I was reading an article about how after a week of sleep dep, men had problems with thermoregulation, aches and pains and cognition disorders. Amateurs! A week ?!*&# Try it for a couple of YEARS, in conjunction with having to be as alert as a US Marine sentry with a Starbucks habit during the day and having the Wiggles on an endless loop, until you can hear ‘Hot Potato’ even underwater.

    You don’t need those tired, cranky, yoghurt-smeared women, Quokka. They won’t have anything to talk about except toilet training and the allegedly cute things their spawn have spouted, anyway.

    As for Uncle Blokesy, I’ve got the perfect solution. Send him to the Coast one time with Elf Boy, telling his ‘Rents you’ve adopted him from Bosnia. For a small fee (he usually does jobs for 1 or 2 dollars), he’ll then proceed to go apeshit.

    Hehehe. The shock might just kill them outright, and then you can save your ammo for the inevitable invasion of the shambling, brain-dead horde. No, not zombies – the Liberal Party.

  98. Aaaaargh! You just said Hot Potato!

    So cruel, Madam, so cruel. You know I’m going on a long car trip today.


    Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti….

  99. Oh dear. I hope you’ve packed the wiggles cd, Catty.
    MM, the Outlaws would warm to Elf Boy’s Aryan good looks so unless you can train him to shout ‘Allah Akbah’ and fit him out in bedouin style robes with a knife in his turban, he’s no use to me whatsoever.
    No, if I ever decide that the only way forward is enforced euthanasia, I’ll send Uncle Blokesy off with a citreon load of small African boys, all kitted up in bright batik kaftans, and bearing containers of fragrant native cuisine made from legumes, seeds, and onions. All of which is guaranteed to trigger an aneurysm, but hopefully not until the legumes have spent at least 48 hours lodged in an inflamed diverticuli.
    I do believe Aunt Irma has scheduled a visit.
    Pass the lindt balls, and somebody hang out that sign that we use to warn the menfolk away.

    • Stupid cross-posting.

      Can it really be that time of the month AGAIN?

      I can’t tell any more, my carbohydrate cravings have become full-time.

      Still, I hear that potatoes are now deemed to be a super food. Sadly, not if you deep-fry them, though.

  100. Whoops.

    Sorry, Catty, I’d forgotten about Mount Clear. I blogged too early, before the coffee soaked through to my feeble brain cells.

    If it makes you feel any better, the kids have sung that stupid party rock song so often than this morning I shuffled as I was hanging out the washing.

  101. Potatoes are a super food. And not only are they a super food, they’re also a brekfast, diner, snak and lunch food.

    I’ll shut up now.

  102. I suspect potatoes could solve many of the world’s problems, if we could just sit back and trust them.

    There’s nothing like a good feed of potatoes to make you feel peaceful. Except maybe in the case of the Irish – they seem to have become potato-resistant over the years, and retain the fire in their bellies for civil disobedience no matter how full of potatoes they may be.

    Stuff your potatoes, before they stuff you!

  103. So, we’re wasting our time saving up for that potato gun we were going to buy for Quokka?

  104. Mmm… high-velocity carbs.

    Catty, no money spent on munitions is ever wasted.

  105. What, like bras? They make excellent slingshots. Even mine… as long as the projectiles are very, very small.

  106. That’s okay – the smaller, the more penetrating power.

    Hmmm…. I can’t put my finger on it, but that statement seems very wrong.

  107. I have the plans for a fantastic potato gun. PVC plumbing bits, a piezoelectric gas lighter, some liquid cement to hold it together & a can of hairspray for propellant. Quokka could take out an Irish backpacker at 50m with a flying spud – now is that appropriate or ironic?

    • What it sounds like, is the perfect Christmas present. Want to go to Bunnings… and then Hairhouse Warehouse… next time I’m in the Big Smoke?

  108. BTW, we are back from the wedding. Last night, if I’d had any 3/Vodafail reception in Toowoomba, I’d have apologised for my snobby cracks about the bogan wedding. Sure, the bride was a kind of dark orange colour in contrast to her usual pale and her teeth fluoresced in the flashes. And yes, she should have practiced walking in the Giant Meringue with Cantilevered Boob Supports before the big day. It was a pity that her walk up the aisle was a slow, head down totter as she and the friend walking beside her tried to keep the dress out from under her feet. Their two year old was cute though – she insisted on picking up the rose petals strewn along the way and bringing them with her. But there was a kind of goofy goodnaturedness about the whole thing that made us all wish them well.

    Then came the reception. The bride’s mum (name redacted to protect the guilty) looked 40, dressed 30 and acted 20. Her speech was short but embarrassing – so far so good. But later, when she was drinking from a wine bottle and “dancing”, the proprietress said something she did not care for and she reversed the bottle and offered to “smash her in the head”. As near as anyone could understand. Apparently one of the cousins(?) probably the bikie, offered to maim a guest who objected to the loss of his parking space. Someone broke a window trying to get into a room, possibly thinking it contained alcohol. There was more but the trauma is too fresh. Was it the ever-wise Catty whose advice included “never speak of it again”? And possibly “never go back to that motel”?

  109. Glad to see you survived relatively unscathed. Bicarb and vinegar should get the worst of the stains out of your ugg boots.

    Cantilevered Boob Supports! Pure gold, Greybeard. You realise I am stealing that for my own use, don’t you?

    But I do feel dreadfully uncomfortable with that ‘looked 40, dressed 30 and acted 20 reference. It reminds me of what I see in my own mirror….

  110. No wuzzas Catty. There are lots of ways to dress 30 & act 20. I’m betting yours are quite different. Actually the fashions were great. The bridesmaids in their orange and yellow tart-nighties, the tottering 5″ & 6″ heels and micro bubble skirts, the asymmetrical black dress(?) which covered one shoulder & the naughty bits – just – but revealed the constellation of large, very possibly home-needled stars from right shoulder to left buttock. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not anti-tat and I can imagine a spray of tiny stars swirling across that region looking quite spectacular and exotic. A dozen big, crudely executed black sheriff-type stars, not so much. Aaargh, why am I doing this? Stop. Thinking. About. It.

  111. My sister had a Chinese character tattooed on her bum when she was a teenager. When it was done, it was the symbol for friendship. It’s much bigger now, and allegedly represents the symbol for demon vomit. I mention this because tatts distort when the skin upon which they are inked becomes stretched. In other words, it’s possible those stars you saw were once small and attractive – back in the days when the lady (sic) in question was also small and attractive.

    If it’s all too disturbing, you might want to hit Quokka up for her Valium/vodka cocktail recipe. Unless you had too many of them at the wedding.

  112. Golf clap, GB, for excellence in Bogan Wedding Commentary. So many gems, there, it’s hard to pick a favourite. What’s sadly lacking, though, are details of your MCing. And What Happened To The Garter?

    Catty… demon vomit? There’s really a character for that? Awesome.

    Here’s wishing everyone a week substantially more pleasant and rewarding, and less full of hassles, than last week. If things get worse, though, you may bring chocolate to the locked ward.

  113. All the chocolate was eaten yesterday, seeing as it was World Chocolate Day. Poor chocolate. It gets its own special day, and what do we do to it? We eat it. If I were chocolate, I’d bloody well complain about that.

  114. Chocolate could be screaming for mercy every time I pop it in my mouth, for all I’d know.

    All I ever hear is the sound of nomming and my own near-orgasmic moans of delight. And sometimes the foil crinkling.

  115. Noooooo! Don’t crinkle the foil! Children can hear that telltale sound from 100 paces, and we DO NOT WANT TO SHARE!

  116. Indeed. I made a special trip to Darrell Lea in town yesterday to cater for Aunt Irma’s sugar requirements. Not sure if I can put it down to production issues or vitamin deficiency but I swear to Dog that the newly packaged batch of Bulgarian Rock tastes like they’ve added paint thinner.
    Even The Bloke agreed with me.
    It hasn’t stopped me eating it, but if I die a sudden nasty death, at least you’ll know what to tell the coroner.
    GB, congrats on surviving the Bogan Wedding.
    Too funny.

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but the Bloke did early duty on Saturday for Father’s Day and has been moody, morose and grumpy ever since. (which is the standard effect the outlaws usually have on him).
    Thankfully he’s got three days in Cairns this week so my PMS can’t interact with his Post Family Interaction Trauma issues.
    Plus side, the town planning consultant told us that he lodged our DA last week and this means that there’ll be no news for 10 days, after which time they’re obliged to acknowledge our bothersome existence.
    So I’m all aquiver at the thought of how much pain and suffering the DA will cause our neighbours as they contemplate what life will be like once we’re 8.5m higher than them – not to mention the 2.5m extra that you can add to that level thanks to the slope of the hill.
    I’ll have a marvelous line of sight all round for this suped up potato gun.

  117. Mmmm… potato gun soup…

    Sorry, got distracted there…

    Your building plans sound brilliant, Quokka. When the next flood hits, you will be on your very own island. I hope your house plans include a turret, so you can keep watch for potential boat people invasions.

    • Hey! We were boat people in January. Got aboard a tinny with outboard for a scenic tour of Chelmer – the Venice of Brisbane. Hmm, maybe we should have invaded West End? Yarrr!

  118. Oh, that reminds me. Only two more weeks until International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Yarrr!

  119. Catty, I’ve discovered a chocolate the children won’t eat! It’s that new Cadbury Mousse stuff, that tastes a lot like a Guylian seashell but about 15% of the price.
    The children refused it on the weekend after one tiny nibble each:
    Magic Man “Too rich.”
    Elf Boy “Tastes like rat poop, wrapped in cat poop.”
    Mmm… a whole block of Belgian poop, all for me!

    Bulgarian Rock? Sounds like something you don’t want forming in your kidneys. Hope it doesn’t prove lethal, Quokka.

    Oh, and Arr, me hearties! Thanks for the reminder. I’ll have to splice the mainbrace and scuttle a few scurvy rascals in readiness.

    • Hmmm, could you ask tell Elf Boy if he wants those items left out of the lunch salad?

  120. Nah, leave it in, Greybeard. Then he won’t touch it, and there’ll be all the more for you!

    Madam, I’ve tried the Cadbury Mousse. I bought the caramel one, and hated it. Why? Because there were only 10 pieces in the whole block. Who in their right mind is satisfied with a mere 10 pieces of chocolate?

  121. As long as there’s plenty of hemlock and deadly nightshade, Greybeard, for crunch and acidity. Balance is so important, don’t you think?

    Catty, I brought the caramel too. And, yes, 10 pieces isn’t very many. Then again, as each bit is three times the size of a normal chocolate square, I ate my way through my disappointment.

    Mmm… I wonder if you nuked it, if the centre would melt first? Then it would be a bit like portable chocolate fondue.

  122. Interesting question. I shall sally forth and purchase many packages – for the sole purpose of research, of course.

  123. Yes. There’s nothing like the gift of an inquiring mind.

  124. What a great gift! I need one, too. I lost mine years ago.

  125. That leaves more room in your skull for wild speculation, conspiracy theories and day-dreaming about Taylor Lautner, dipped in slightly molten Belgian chocolate.

    Mmm… rippling, bronzed, chocolate-covered abs.

    Hang on, I’m confused. Am I ovulating or pre-menstrual?

  126. You can have Taylor. He’s too young for me. I’d much rather Timothy Dalton dipped in chocolate. Liiiiiiiiiiick!

  127. Actually, it would be good to dip Daniel Craig in chocolate.

    He’s such a craggy, weathered man you’d get lovely thick slubby bits in all of his crevasses.

  128. I really shouldn’t come here right after I’ve cleared out the cat’s ear wax.

  129. No. No you shouldn’t.

  130. Hard to know anything appropriate for a post-cat dewaxing activity… freeform candle making?

    Quokka, you’ll be amused to know that The Fabulous (that’s what MM and EB call Uncle) came to visit yesterday. He took MM to karate, and I thought MM might burst with excitement. Beforehand, they all enjoyed a footy-throwing session in the backyard. So, I want to go on record as stating that testosterone can be channelled constructively, from time to time.

  131. Whaaaa…? You’re right, Madam. You ARE premenstrual. Go and eat some chocolate, then you’ll feel better.

  132. No, I’m a chocolate vampire. I try to limit my consumption until after dark.

    I can and will go and eat chips on the couch with a trashy novel, though.

  133. Enjoy your book, and spare a sympathetic thought for me. I’m off to the school, where I will be assisting in the barbecution of a thousand sausages. Don’t you love walkathons?

    Nah, I don’t either.

    • And I’m stealing “barbecution”. Ta.

      • Ah, so Greybeard is now the Barbecutioner. Fancy a snag, sir?

  134. Gosh you people are up early! Well, these computers aren’t going to fix themselves. Fortunately. That slow-cooked beef I did last night is beautifully tender and tasty this morning on toast.No pepper & onion sauce at breakfast though – I’m not a barbarian. Fifi is marking, as usual on her “day off” but I’ll lure her out later for lunch & coffee. Did I ever mention how much more relaxed life is in the empty nest?

  135. You’re right, Greybeard – breakfast is for Langham’s super hot chilli sauce.

    Oh Catty, how vile. For you, today, and also because you’ve reminded me that my inglorious stint as a canteen convener for the cricket club is approaching. What sometimes keeps me up is… how do I estimate how much food to buy? Base it on my lucky numbers in Friday’s horoscope, or what?

    • Aunty Vi’s Hellfire Relish (from James Street market) may have been involved.

  136. What, no Wow-Wow sauce?

  137. I can supply whine-whine sauce.
    Homer Hudson has changed the packaging of it’s ice-cream and you now pay more for less. Also they’ve changed the shape of the hunks of chocolate so that they’re now just stupid melt-shaped things.
    Aunt Irma is not pleased with this.

  138. Mmm… markets. Speaking of which, we must get serious about nominating a date for catching up. Of course the stupid college has yet to get back to me, despite their stupid courses starting on Monday. At this stage, I don’t know if I’m hoping to be in or out.

    For some reason… probably linked to the rise of the Antichrist and the coming of the End of Days… my local supermarket fails to stock Hoboken Crunch. So Homer Hudson might as well be dead to me.

    However, I feel your pain, Quokka. Maybe if you mashed the ice-cream in your bowl into a big Mr Whippy style swirly, you’d feel better about the shape of the chocolate? As for the value for money, slip an extra tub down your pants next time you’re shopping. Soothing icepack eases your cramps!

    Catty, I know I’ll regret asking… but WTF is Wow-Wow Sauce?

  139. Sorry, Madam. I keep forgetting that you aren’t all Terry Pratchett addicts like me and Greybeard. On Diskworld, the Archchancellor at the Unseen University uses Wow-Wow sauce sparingly. It’s dangerous, unstable stuff, much like edible (and extremely hot) nitro glycerine. I’m told it’s great on eggs.

    If Homer Hudson has stepped away from the plate, you could try Ben and Jerry’s. The New Zealand Icecreamery, or Gelativo might be worth a shot, too. Myself, I haven’t had Homer Hudson since I tried Krispy Kreme’s Ice-kreme. Hopefully you’ll find an acceptable replacement. And then you can drown that cross-dressing Irma bitch in it. If that fails, you could always drown her in that white whine you mentioned.

    Madam, I’m not sure that Quokka should be stuffing Mr Whippy down her pants. That’s meandering into Crazy Cat Lady territory, that is. I should know.

  140. Hehehe.

    I’m not usually slow on a double entendre, but it was not until just this minute that the more unsavoury connotations of Mr Whippy dawned on me.

    And now I can’t get them out of my mind. Which reminds me, we’ve still failed to move on our bondage cupcakes. What are we calling ourselves, Frostage and Discipline?

    Speaking of cakes and spanking, has anyone else caught JB doing ABC local in the afternoons? He’s gone from umming and aahing all over the place to very smooth and professional “non-stop blocks of cock-rock and a free can of coke!” baritone.

  141. I keep forgetting. How long is he on for, one week or two?

  142. Don’t know. I’m not much into radio. Last week I was in a doctor’s surgery, and they had some station on that was playing all B sides. Dead set, I wanted to slap the DJ. Or the receptionist. Or both. (o.k, Aunt Irma, you take the one on the left…..)

    Speaking of slapping, I’m thinking ‘A Slave to Cake’ sounds nice and arty. I’ve been practicing with praline, to see if I can make it look like shattered glass. Not entirely successful, but very nommy. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked by fish. The resultant under-the-sea cupcakes were gorgeous. Who knew fish cakes could be so delightful?

  143. I think it’s just this week, Quokka, so tune in now!

    Not to worry, Catty – I’m sure we can work in a fish fetish cake.

    Eew. Poor Nemo. No wonder he’s hiding.

  144. Marvelous news, I found Nemo.

    If anyone wants me, I will be on the couch with the vodka and the panadol, sticking pins in my Aunt Irma doll.

  145. Mmmm… Nemo Sushi…

    Don’t forget the Kettle chips and the Red Tulip. Timothy Dalton helps, too. Although when Aunt Irma is being particularly savage, I turn to Antonio Banderas*.

    *If Melanie Griffiths is reading this, I swear it’s purely aesthetic perving – so please don’t hunt me down and hurt me.

  146. Hehehe. Just look at those cute little stripes.

    Well, I received the dread news yesterday. From next week, I will be dead to you on Wednesdays… as opposed to brain-dead to you, the rest of the time. Cert III in business, here I come. Pray for me, if you’d be so kind… or make sacrifices to your vengeful gods, whichever.

  147. Way ahead of you Catty, and thanks to red tulip and herron pharmaceuticals, I’m almost feeling normal again.
    MM, Vengeful gods prefer human sacrifice so if you can shackle your cert III business coach to the altar, that should appease them and free up your Wednesdays for some time to come.
    How long do they intend to drag this torture out, anyway?
    And yes, it’s definitely time to schedule a gathering at Oxford Street.
    I was there yesterday with a few hogwart’s escapees. After jumping through hoops for three weeks trying to find a time and a location that suited the mothers, none of them showed up.
    That’s the last time I put my hand up for that particular exercise in herding cats.
    Still, we had a lovely time so no great loss.
    Caught a few minutes of JB on the radio discussing Names that Augur Ill and as mine was on the top of his list I do hope those mothers were listening.

  148. Yes, I was doing the school run when JB was holding forth on that topic, and my mind turned instantly to you. You’ll be happy to know you looked very fetching in my day-dream, Kali-style, with your many blood-stained arms wielding various WMD, stomping JB’s severed head underneath your shapely feet.

    Cert III drags on for eleven weeks that will feel like seventy or so, I’m sure – but I do have the second week of the school holidays off (26th – 30th September). Elf Boy and I are mad keen on visiting the Torres Strait Art exhibit at Southbank, so midweekish would be good if that suits everyone. I’ll leave the offspring with their RaRa for our catch-up, though, in the hope of getting in a visit to the Key Lady… or at least another go at that fabulous bookshop.

  149. That’s the Aunt Irma look. there’s a soundtrack that goes with it which involves muttering and ranting, perhaps JB’s heard it.
    Exhibition? another one? Rat damn, I keep forgetting we exist so close to Kulcha. Must check it out sometime.
    Maybe we should round up Khan Greybeard and work out a date – I’ll work around you guys. I will need to do a vet trip that week, (new vet, male, utterly delightful) so my only requirement is that I will need to book a week in advance to get access Mr. Wonder Vet.
    I made the mistake of going to oxford street sans spectacles, yesterday – and of course we wandered off to the bookshops and spent hours there. Which goes a long way to explaining the need for pharmaceuticals last night. Well, that and reading the news. The Axe Wielding private school mama has been giving me nightmares. Yikes. Hope she wasn’t buying her under the counter medication from any relatives of mine.

  150. Sounds good (I was attracted by the smell of food). Would you like to bring the lads for an inspection of sharp things and mummy wrapping on your TS Art day Madam? Tea, coffee and comestibles provided – though not to the standard of Satan’s brownies alas. Or we could do a lunch depending on timing?

  151. Fifi and I are fairly free as far as I know. Her balloon flight has been postponed till after the Melbourne trip. We’re off to The Man in Black again tomorrow night – she do love her baby brother – and we’re hosting an Indonesian dinner about the 24th or 25th I think, but during the week is fine for noshing at Bulimba or subjecting ourselves to the ravages of MM & EB. As long as the shops are open at Bulimba? I should do something involving chocolate for Fifi. She just marks & prepares from getting home (late) till bed most nights. Bloody teachers get it easy, yadda yadda.

  152. Yes, it’s too ghastly for words, isn’t it? How can a woman be slotted into her neat suburban lifestyle, living with her husband, off to chai and cookies with the girls during the week, parents nearby, etc. etc… and nobody notices she’s gone homicidally insane?

    Okay, given GB’s hectic social agenda and Quokka’s veterinary requirements, I’m going to go out on a limb and say we’ll come to Brisvegas on Thurs 29th and Friday the 30th. How’s the knee, GB, as Quokka is suggesting the newly refurbished Lock N Load if you can do stairs? Although I’m more than happy to revisit Bulimba, for the shopping. I’ll gallerise and weasel-wrangle around whatever suits you fancy City types.

  153. Knee’s good. I take the stairs at the station. Because I can. L&L is fine, Fifi & I will be FREE to pop over to Bulimba any time in the hols and she likes Shays Shoes just down from L&L so it’s win-win. Thinking West End markets on Saturday for churros with extra chocolate (sorry Catty) just to relax her a bit.

  154. Noooo! If it’s a Friday LocknLoad will be full of Bright Young Things getting into the Festive Frothy Friday mood from 10am onwards. I may be tempted to diminish their numbers by pushing them down the perilous new stairs in the beer garden. Which will just give JB more on-air ammunition to slander my character.
    Much safer to spend a Friday in Bulimba.

    As for the PMS mothers (presbyterian methodist schools) having seen what happens outside the gates of that place at school drop off time, I’m surprised more of them don’t go all texas chainsaw massacre when the alarm clock goes off at the crack of dawn.

  155. Okay, rewind, erase, replay.

    Just found out my number one weasel wrangler is unavailable on Thurs/Fri, owing to a selfish excursion to Sydney. Bloody baby boomers, why can’t they just stay home and mind my children.

    How about the Mon/Tues of that same week?


  156. If that PMS axe lady’s daughter was anything like my Teen, then I totally understand why she snapped. And why she threw herself off a bridge afterwards. It’s like having hell inside your head when things get to that point. Poor, poor people. The whole family, including the mother and daughter, have my deepest sympathy.

    Greybeard, I’m not as insanely jealous of your churros as I might have been. The Boss remarked in passing that my arse is the size of a barn lately, so I’m only eating chocolate with peanuts in it. (To stimulate my brown fat). I expect to become bored with peanuts very quickly. When that happens, I will probably skoff an entire bag of Caramello Bites, and kick the Boss repeatedly in the shins if he dares mention my muffin top.

  157. Mondays the Jetty is open so we could do one of their lovely bacony breakfasts – so long as we get there by 11.
    Or if Tuesday is easier, we could do lunch at Ahmet’s.
    I put in regular appearances at both venues so I’m happy to do either – what do you think?
    Let me go off to twitter and wave some bacon around, that’ll fetch Greybeard.

  158. I’ve been cruelly deceived. Where’s the bacon??? I’d sulk but Fifi has just informed me that MiB is tonight, not tomorrow, so it’s off to the 12th Night theatre to pick up tickets & start swigging wine. Maybe the green room again? Had a good run with those, shared scotch bottle with Don Walker this time . . . ahem. As I was about to say, Fifi says the 26th-27th is clear, bacon brekkie at the Jetty sounds grand. Tuesday OK for your artistic expedition Madame?

  159. Sorry, I’m having trouble collecting my thoughts – too busy dodging all those names GB’s dropping.

    Okay, it’s a date. Brunch at the Jetty on Monday the 26th at 10:30 will give me enough time to get to the Smoke, dump the weasels, and swan in to Bulimba.

    Catty, I agree. While people often munter on about how joyous and fulfilling parenthood is… which, at the best of times, it certainly is… we’re often too scared to also admit how frustrating, enraging and bloody unremitting it can also be.

    As for the Boss, tell him he can kiss your fat arse. Or elsewhere, if you prefer. Actually, they should change the vows to “For better and for worse, in sleekness and in bulginess…”. But, by all means, kick him until you’re tired. Think of all the calories you’ll burn!

    • Awwww (sulks in corner. cutely)

  160. Right, breakfast sorted, then.
    And yes, that poor family. Sounds like they knew she was in trouble and there wasn’t much more they could do. I’ve heard so many stories like this from families with a mentally ill loved one – it’s so hard to get them the care they need. Awful for all involved, I’d imagine.
    Woke up in absolute envy of the Bloke, who said he’d had a dream that we’d built a boat and gone off sailing with the cats. I usually have nightmares for at least two weeks after a parent does a Casey Anthony number. Am off to the markets at Cleveland to look at doilies for JB’s clubhouse and try to get the **** out of my head.

    • You could ask Mayhem’s Mum to crochet a few doilies out of rat fur for you.

      • Mmm, soft, shiny rat fur. I do miss Possum. She was such a sweet ratty.

  161. Woke up too late & found it too cold & windy for West End open air breakfast. Might go get some fruit & then coffee in a warm, dark, music-noisy kaf. Breakfast at the Jetty sounds great.

  162. What, you, Greybeard? Cold? Surely not!

    • (It was ‘Her’. I prefer a warm Fifi myself)

  163. It’s a blowy as buggery up this way.

    Took Elf Boy to the markets where we acquired a brace of Mondo grass, a lovely burgundy and sage yucca, and assorted odds and ends, including two pens in the shape of the humerus for Magic Man and a staff EB had to have, topped with a green-eyed horned devil.

    He carried it around the rest of the markets, pointing it at random people and gleefully announcing that he’d sucked them straight to Hell.

    Thought you’d be happy to know that its not just you, GB.

    He’s just announced that the staff of satanic office has given him the power to turn himself into a Hell Monkey.

    Do you think it’s too late to have him baptised?

  164. It’s never too late for a baptisin’. I’ll call Ned Flanders.

  165. Ooh, can I watch? I want to see his real form appear when he’s touched by the holy water. And film it.

  166. I want grandchildren so that I can give them this book.

  167. Forget the hypothetical grandchildren – I want one!

    Here’s a scary thought, GB… What if the pixie-faced, blue-eyed blonde version IS EB’s true form? I haven’t read the Book of Revelations in the last few months, but I’m pretty sure the Beast is billed as pleasing to the eye.

    Nah – I’m backing scaly, with a lidless unsleeping eye in the middle of his forehead, just under the horn.

  168. If I remember Rosemary’s Baby correctly, the antichrist has golden eyes with slit pupils (like a pussy cat), and sweet little hoofey woofeys.

    I like the book, Greybeard. The zombie cookie jar is pretty sweet, too. It would look perfect in the centre of my dining table – it’d blend right in with the rest of my decor.

  169. THREADJACK!!!! Covering all bases….

    Catty, Call me! Planning a return trip to the Haighs Chocolate shop tomorrow, and would love you to join me. Melbo if you happen to pop in, I’l give you a call later today, after I hear from the errant bloody Cat!!!!

    And Ladies, JB is gracing the airwaves for 4 weeks as I understand it!

  170. WOO HOO! I got me a hot date! Prepare for a LOT of gloating.

  171. Hasn’t Mayhem changed since she went to Melbourne? Fly in, fly out and lure poor Catty off to choc heaven. She’s getting more like her Mum every day. Met Tex in the car park (no green room) and exchanged scurrilous gossip & giggles. He was also asked to MC The Wedding – somewhat earlier it seems. I’m offended that they asked a “rock legend” to do it in preference to me. Not that we didn’t both run a mile. We’re also going to the Rockwiz Xmas Tour show in Brisbane in Dec. I do NOT expect to get on the panel!

  172. The rockwiz panel is something I’d have to decline on the grounds that answers offered truthfully would only serve to incriminate me. And I couldn’t cope with the public ridicule.
    You know how they always ask you what’s the first record you ever bought?
    The answer to that is Jimmy Osmond.
    And it’s all downhill from there.

    Anyone who tortures me with this come Monday the 26th can expect to leave the restaurant draped in bacon as my tribute to Lady Gaga.

    Ho hum, I just got back from my master class at the writer’s festival on how to write Chick Lit. It was with a US editor – always like the agents and the editors as they are so marvelously jaded from the amount of utter crap they’ve had to read in this lifetime. I did my Hermione Granger thing of reading her book from cover to cover weeks before I walked into her class so was invariably disappointed that there wasn’t much in there that you wouldn’t find in the book. I was amazed that I was the only person in a class of 30 who’d read it. And see, there I am sounding like Hermione. Whoops. Anyway, met some good people and we managed to have some interesting discussion of Books That Let us Down. Just as well the authors weren’t there to listen to us critiquing their work.
    The only downside to it was that one woman brought her child – who was obviously used to being ignored at such events as for the most he/she/it behaved rather well, but there were a few good yells at intervals that drowned out the voice of the facilitator. I wish the organizers would hit upon the idea of charging parents for providing shrieking space for their offspring, because some of these arty types do seem to feel they’re entitled to it.

    Oh well, Mayhem has just reminded me that it’s time to walk the dog – past the chocolate shop at South Bank.
    Have fun on your Chocolate Date, ladies. And good to hear you sounding so chipper, Mayhem. Sounds like Melbourne is agreeing with you.

  173. Mmm… chocolate. Can you ladies take some road trip food porn photos and post them, please?

    GB, ask Tex if he remembers drinking with skinny Greg who owned Lindy Morrison’s first drum kit. Or Glen Smith from The Leftovers. Then again, don’t – most survivors of that era prefer not to/genuinely can’t remember it.

    Quokka, that’s a shame. At the prices you pay for those tickets, offspring should be tethered outside, a safe distance away. I know it’s hard to get out and about when you’re a sole parent… or even if you’re partnered, and the other parent is absentee/workaholic/useless… but there’s a simple answer – if you can’t find a baby-sitter, you just don’t go!

  174. I have a babysitter for tomorrow. It’s called the Public School System. YAY! Now, where’s that conga line?

    I’m gonna have some chocolate! *kick*
    I’m gonna have some chocolate! *kick*
    I’m gonna have some chocolate! *kick*
    I’m gonna have some chocolate! *kick*

  175. Sweet, sweet school. Which is in recess after this week.


    Still, no lunchboxes and we can all sleep in. Well, the offspring can sleep in and I can womble about unimpeded.

  176. School holidays. Dear Dog, I do hope the neighbours decide to take their children camping.
    Yep, I notice a few children being dragged around the writers festival these days. Annoying. I very much enjoyed the workshop, though – Farrin was very practical and she’s a straight talker. Always good to be around those. When she was talking about how to write dialogue to depict character, she said that she’d once told one of her romance authors ‘no, no, this isn’t working, I want you to sit down and watch reservoir dogs. Then you’ll know how to write this scene.’
    I liked her a lot.

  177. Hehehe.

    Now I can’t get “Stuck In The Middle With You” out of my head. Still, beats “Hot Potato”.

    So, was Farrin inspirational enough to get you spurred on to starting your own master MS, Quokka? Perhaps something semi-autobiographical… “Love and Vengeance in the Shamrock Fields of Brisvegas”, or “1001 Ways To Get Even With Kylie” perhaps? Maybe a text book: “Brain Death in Clerical Staff: Clinical Signs and Symptoms”…

    Oh, the possibilities.

  178. I usually come away from talks by editors and agents thinking that picking sediment out of the toilet brush is probably a more profitable and rewarding task than attempting to write stories.
    Onto other news, there’s a bird building a mound in the back yard at Bog Hollow. Problem – he’s forgotten to build the mound under a tree, meaning that there’s not enough shade in his designated mound spot to prevent his chicks from being slow-baked in the Western Sun.
    So much like the human inmates, this is one male that is destined to luck out with the ladies.
    Plus side to the incessant scratching?
    When I peered over the fence to see WTF the cursed bird was up to, I noticed that he’s cleared most of the shit in the garden at bog hollow, leaving the hill bare and dusty. Next time it rains there’ll be a mudslide into the laundry, and his mound will end up hard up against the coin operated washing machines.
    There’s a whole tangle of nasty vines and weeds that I no longer need to spray with poison to keep them out of Casa Quokka.
    Go Birdy.

  179. Is it the Ides of March or something?

    No, it can’t be – it’s September.

    But here we are, and Quokka’s praising scrub turkeys. This must be some sort of omen. On the upside, if this does foretell the end of the world, I won’t have to go to college on Wednesday.

  180. Muhuhuhahahaha. My mind control device has cracked its most difficult subject.

  181. Ha, if I thought the bird stood a hope in hell of achieving a lasting mound, I’d be calling the tree loppers and loading the winchester.
    Looks to me like an inexperienced young male doing a practice run.
    Trust me, this time next year there will be nothing in my yard except rocks and concrete, and the bird won’t like it one teensy little bit.

  182. GB, you’re an evil man, and I’ll spank you in a fortnight.

    Rocks and concrete?

    Hmmm… you may find that radiates a few too many of the Brisbane sun’s fierce rays – and the trapped heat thereof – straight into your bedroom, Q.

    Can I recommend a few agaves and yuccas, perhaps a clump of mondo grass or twelve, to break up the Greek Quarry effect?

  183. I have a cunning plan. You’ll just have to wait and see.

  184. Why did I just flash on an image of bare rocks and concrete, running with the blood of Irish backpackers and ADHD neighbour children?

    To be fair, I reckon Quokka’s new place should be shaped like a gingerbread house. Then Jayden and Gretel couldn’t claim they hadn’t had fair warning, when she lures them in and stuffs them into the pizza oven.

    • Mmm, slow roasted Jayden. Tasty and a service to humanity.

  185. Indeed.

    Although I suspect that he and Gretel eat more Happy Hyper Meals than they do actual foodstuffs prepared in ways other than deep-frying, so sadly his tender young flesh may be too full of additives for Q’s sensitive constitution.

    Still, only one way to find out.

    Who fancies hickory-smoked?

  186. A carcass in my pizza oven would probably look suspicious.
    Much better to hand them over to Abe for purposes of sausage production.
    Don’t think I could live in a house that’s made with arnott’s finest & adorned with M&M’s – the first round of PMS and I’d be homeless.
    So, MM, got your pencils all sharpened for Business school tomorrow?
    (Not for note-taking, for dispatching the undead. You’ll be wanting wooden stakes by morning tea, or I’m a tea cosy)
    Who’s taking it, the borg queen or one of her soul sucking public service associates?

  187. I got something better than pizza oven carcass. I got strawberry Belgian chocolate. Yay! But don’t tell the Boss. I have no intentions whatsoever of sharing this little slab of heaven with anyone.

  188. Yum!

  189. Yes. Yes it was. *sigh*

  190. Gone so soon? It sounds as though you hardly had time to get know it. Ars longa, chocky brevis.

  191. What was that about my long arse?

  192. Sorrow is eternal, but chocolate is fleeting?

    Not only have I sharpened my pencils, Q, but I have cut out the little blue letters so the front of my pencil case says ‘morgana’… although I resisted the urge to add a screamer (!). There should be a punctuation mark to indicate depression… perhaps a downward pointing arrow? I’d also like an ennui mark, maybe a wavy line that sort of trails off into nothing.

    Anyway, in good news, the Borg Queen comes nowhere near this outfit. In fact, I had a time-tabling snafu which the Principal resolved with multiple apologies and much friendly pleasantness. Hopefully, it augers well.

    I’ll report back, later… if I can still type, that is. If they zombify me, you people know what to do. Shoot me, then read MM and EB “That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore”.

  193. Poor love. We hope you don’t suffer too much. But if you do, I’m sure your Mexican chemist can provide you with a cyanide pill or two. Or out-of-date vicodin, which I’ve heard is just as good. If worse comes to worst, I could ask my mother to provide you with a packed lunch.

    No, that’s just too cruel. Forget I mentioned it. Here, have some virtual sushi instead:


  194. I still think the best way to drive the instructor to nervous collapse is to schedule Elf Boy’s sick days so that they all fall on a Wednesday, so he must needs go along for the fun – equipped with a harmonica and his robyn hood getup.

  195. Wow. To look upon Quokka is truly to gaze into the heart of darkness. A sick Elf Boy with a harmonica and a bow & arrow? Isn’t there something in the Geneva Convention forbidding that sort of thing?

  196. I was going to suggest that EB take his Staff so he could turn the instructor into a Hell Monkey, but then I realised that he’s too late – Hell Monkey is part of the standard instructor’s work description.

    And now I shall wander off to the kitchen, singing:

    “A wizard’s staff has a knob on the end,
    a knob on the end,
    a knob on the end,
    But the hedgehog can’t be buggered at all….”

  197. Hehehe.

    How did you know EB owns a harmonica? And a recorder? And friends just gave him his first violin. Funny, I could have sworn they liked me.

    Well, in six hours we managed to cover about a dozen useful keyboard shortcuts. I’m not sure if I can handle this glacial pace. Not that I’ve got tickets on myself… indeed, I’ve often thought an electron microscope would be necessary to quantify my self-esteem… but my brain’s not used to working that slow.

    I might try arriving early next week, then sit in the car-park and get maggotted before I roll in.

    Meanwhile, who else has been listening to JB? Pretty funny sesh on ghosts this arvo, driving home. Luckily, or I might have been tempted to go straight off the bridge.

  198. MM it’s not that I’m psychic, or have paid detectives to do my dirty work – it simply stands to reason that your youngest would possess the devil’s most treasured musical instruments.

    Speaking of which, I tuned in just in time for JB’s chicken dance and managed to hear most of his session today, other days I never seem to remember he’s on until about 10 to 3.
    I want the rest of the ghost story that got lost to the 2.58 ABC time chopper, wonder if he’ll ever make it past that particular sentinel?

  199. No, no, no, Madam. You can’t get shitfaced before the course. You have to get shitfaced DURING the course. I strongly recommend triple strength rum balls and Jamaican hash brownies for the whole class. Sure, the course won’t go any faster, but everybody will be too busy giggling at their own hands to notice.

    I tried to get JB on the radio and failed, so I’ve been watching Dr Phil instead. JB, Dr Phil, same-same, yeah?

  200. Well, both have rich mellow tones, like a bottle of 12 year old single malt Scotch had oozed up to a microphone, but I have yet to hear JB saying “Is that workin’ for yew?” But yes, Q, I did enjoy the ghost stories. Stupid news.

    As for laughing at my hands, I did contemplate chewing one of them off at one point, thinking that at least there’d be a bit of colour and movement on an ambulance trip.


    Now I’ve got homework. Excuse me while I go and label the ribbons and buttons of a MS Word screen. I’ll try to keep the sobbing muffled as much as possible.

  201. Ugh, zombie homework.
    If you shuffle into breakfast on the 26th muttering ‘brainzz, brainzz’, don’t worry, we’ll take you down.
    The Bloke and I finally got around to watching ‘zombieland’ on the weekend, so that’s boosted our preparedness.

  202. I’m back. I nearly sobbed audibly when I got to the part about collecting cuttings from newspapers and magazines showing workstations and office layouts, but I sucked it up, hit Google image, printed out a few sheets and got on with my life.

    Newspaper clippings? Really? The last time I clipped anything from a magazine, I think, was a photo of Sting lying half-naked in a pile of autumn leaves, from Smash Hits circa 198-don’t-you-worry-when.

    However, on the upside I’m now completely au fait with the correct procedure in the event of an armed hold-up. It should transfer across to ‘zombie influx’ quite nicely.

    So, what’s your take on “Zombieland”, Q? I’ve got a soft spot for Woody Harrelson, because he’s (a) a big blond lug – so are many of my rellies; (b) bat-shit crazy – remember the naked bongo-playing incident a few years back , anyone?

  203. Cuttings from newspapers? What century is she from?
    As for woody, I must have missed the bongo moment.
    ZL was a hoot, and we laughed all the way through it.
    I’m trying to recall if there’s anything in the MA content that’s unsuitable for your offspring, but if you discount the dozens of gory zombie murders, there’s nothing in there that leaps to mind.
    Then again I did see an article in the newspaper (sadly its online so I can’t cut it out) saying that a study on 4 year olds showed that watching 5 minutes of Sponge Bob caused irreversible brain damage.
    The zombies won’t be happy with that.
    Think of the nutritional loss in their food source by the time the little darlings turn 12.

  204. Really?

    Can you send me the link so I can show EB? We were missing MM last Friday – off in the Big Smoke at a concert – so we consoled ourselves with a trip to the video shop. There he fastened upon a copy of Spongebob AnnoyingPants and refused to be distracted by blandishments or offerings of Toy Story III or Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    Then again, since he insisted on SB and watched it twice over the weekend, he may no longer be capable of reading a newspaper article.

    I knew I hated that damn sponge for a good reason. I thought it was just because it’s boring as all hell and that whiny spongevoice makes me want to kill.

  205. That’ll do it.
    I found it, after finding numerous articles on the net whining that it was a flawed study and yada yada yada who cares?
    Sponge Bob causes ADHD.
    That’s all I need to know.

  206. Eh, you could always give Elf Boy the Marshmallow challenge, before and after he’s watched Sponge Bob – just to prove your point.
    Remember JB talking about it?
    Children were given one marshmallow and told that if they could wait 15 minutes before eating it, they’d be given another.
    Not a test I would ever have passed as a child, or, possibly, now.
    Still – it was a great predictor of success (or otherwise) in later life – so there’s definitely some substance to it.

  207. EB could pass that test after a 24-hour fast. He is not in the least motivated by food – hence the eerie transparency of his skin, to the extent that you can see his dear little blue veins everywhere.

    Give him a piece of Lego, though, and tell him not to play with it for 15 minutes and his little pink fingers would start to twitch after 30 seconds.

    Actually, you’ve given me a fabulous idea for how I might next attempt to break his iron will. Cheers, Q!

  208. I believe the genius that invented this exercise decided that twitching, fidgeting and the twirling of their pointy little red tails fell under the heading of ‘coping strategies’. And as such was an admirable attempt on the child’s behalf to distract themselves from wanting to gulp down the treat.
    And when JB whined that the confetti of empty biscuit boxes littered around his house meant that his children had no hope of passing such a test, the scientist reassured him that this simply meant that his children were way ahead of the general learning curve in Manipulative Strategies.
    Gosh she took him to pieces, no wonder he came home wanting to down a crate of beer.

  209. I sincerely hope Jane put a beer in front of JB and told him that he could only have a second one if he could wait 15 minutes before drinking the first one.

  210. Hehehe.

    Good one, Catty.

    Well, here we are. Looking down the barrel of two solid weeks of school holidays. At least I have bacon and culcha to look forward to. Hey, Q and GB… any chance of a little wander up the road and round the shops after we brunch? I know I said I’d stop buying books, but…

    … I lied.

    Off to Grade 5 today to have a look at their work for the term and watch them bush dance. This should be hilarious, as MM doesn’t like to touch girls. Did I mention that some of the opposition rugby teams fielded girls? He didn’t want to tackle them, so he tried to run around them wherever possible. Also, if he has to tackle someone small… and since he’s nearly as tall as me, most of the others are comparatively small… he likes to pick them up and make sure they’re okay before carrying on.

    He may be having testosterone surges – and have started to address me with ‘Wassup, dude?’- but he’s still my darling boy.

  211. Que? You mean there was a chance we wouldn’t hit the shops? Naaah!

    Now, speaking as an ex-boy, MM may not want to tackle them girls because he finds them disturbingly interesting. I vaguely recall realising that girls were not only brighter than boys but smelled better and made one feel curiously . . . protective. Ah yoof! Now they just provide a better grade of snark & villainy.

  212. You called?

  213. Argh! No, not the dreaded hormones. What ever happened to the good old days, when you could castrate your darlings and sell them off to cathedral choirs. Surely that’s still legal in, say, Venice?

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