Sex Bomb

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My aunt is rearing an Antechinus – AKA marsupial mouse.  He’s a little over two weeks old and sweeter than a candy-coated kitten.  Since we’re not sure if he’s male or female, his name is Piper.  Actually, for his own sake we’re hoping he’s a girl. 

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Apologies for the poor quality antiquated camera phone photos, but I think I’d need a very professional set-up with rapid shutter speed to do him justice.  He skitters around like Speedy Gonzales after sampling a new shipment of Columbian Marching Powder.

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After a feed. His tummy is so hairless and transparent you can see it’s full of formula.

Antechinuses (Antechini ?) are best known for their mating marathons, as a result of which males only live for 11 1/2 months.  In September, they stage a frenetic fortnight-long orgy, mating with as many females as possible.  Because of the stress, aggression and endurance involved, all males die.  Consequently, all Antechinus females are single mums, rearing 7-10 offspring in a sort of open pouch, dragging their bubs along the ground for 5-8 weeks.

I think human society could learn a lot from the Antechinus.  Footballers, for example, enjoying Mad Monday, would be much easier to take if you knew they’d all cark it by the end of the week.  And who wouldn’t enjoy the Gold Coast Indy, if you knew only the ladies would make it past the finishing line?

 

 

 

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844 Responses

  1. Gack! I’m feeling exhausted just thinking about it. I better go and take a nap.

  2. Bah! This is why there has never been an Antechinus on the moon. As far as I know.

    Human males are infinitely superior to these maniacally mate-obsessed mini-marsupials. We can think about lots of things other than mating, like boobies and round dimpled bottoms and long, er, voyages of discovery to far-off lands. We (and by that I mean I) are more well-rounded male-half-of-the-species-persons and represent a well-paced, lasting pleasure.

    I mean, imagine having only one fortnight in your whole life to eat chocolate or read good books. Or eat bacon or cuddle cats. Dreadful prospect.

  3. Hehehe.

    Greybeard – for well-paced, lasting pleasure.

    But the Antechinus, beserker of the reproductive world, gets to experience the thrill of the mating battle, when in the frenzy of lust, it’s mano-… sorry mouso-e-mouso and only the strong mate.

    You’re right, Catty, it’s exhausting even thinking about it. Is there room on the couch?

    • Yes. Yes there is. Oh, and look! Some delightfully thoughtful person (i.e, me) has left a red velvet birthday cake right here on the coffee table. Help yourself.

  4. Not too sure that only the strong mate. Antechinus may be like deer, with males that exhibit the Sneaky F**ker Strategy (vale Professor John Maynard Smith). Basically, while the big guys with the enormous racks (of antlers) are head-butting the crap out of each other, smaller & smarter males sneak in and have their way with the does. Doh! Apparently the DNA of the next generation is more mixed than you’d think. Perhaps evolution will produce cunning little Antechinus males that live to breed another year?

    A friend had some kind of small marsupial in her house which communicated by stamping its feet. Loudly. Apparently they would run around the picture rails sounding like a herd of elephants. Except for the lack of either trumpeting or enormous piles of woody droppings naturally.

  5. Unlike children, who sound like a herd of elephants – WITH trumpeting and woody droppings. And the added excitement of cunningly placed lego bricks/roller skates positioned in the place you are most likely to step without looking.

    Thanks, Greybeard. Now I’m exhausted again. Back to the couch. Move over, Morgana.

  6. I would be intested to know how Auntie canme to be foster mother to such an interesting little creature, male or female.

  7. They live in the bush, Stafford, and her daughter-in-law found it – on her veranda, I believe. She – the DIL – said she wanted it back when it didn’t need night feeds any more… just like a real daughter would!

    The bubs live, pretty much permanently attached to one of mum’s nipples, in a sort of open pouch which means they get dragged along the ground for 5-6 weeks. He probably hit a lumpy bit of veranda and dropped off, poor little Piper. His eyes were shut and he was less furry when Aunt received him.

    They’re not uncommon inside furniture and the like in rural areas. In fact, the poor little things can be mistaken for ordinary rodents and unjustly exterminated.

    GB and Catty, you forgot that children can destroy whole villages in a manner of minutes, are usually repelled by chilli and can be distinguished by the size of their ears. Although wrinkly greyness is usually only achieved in advanced old age.

  8. Oh, yeah. Chilli. Unless you’ve made yourself a midnight snack of nachos, in which case ALL of them will get out of bed and demand that you share. Followed by ALL of them crawling into your bed two hours later, whining that they’re having cheese-induced nightmares. Followed by repeated kicking, elbowing and farting until dawn. Followed by getting up at sunrise and screaming over which early morning cartoons to watch, until you drag yourself out of bed to make them breakfast.

    I never make late-night nachos for just this reason. The Boss, however, doesn’t seem to care. He loves nachos, and has no qualms about abandoning me to the kidlets while he gets a good night’s sleep on the couch. No complaints from me. For while the kidlets can drop some classy farts, they don’t hold a candle to their father – because open flames are extremely dangerous when he lets one rip.

  9. Hehehe.

    Catty, you should write a little pamphlet about the joys of family life and see if they’d pay you to distribute it via Family Planning clinics.

    I predict a huge increase in the demand for Implanon and a several-hundred-fold rise in requests for surgical sterilization.

  10. We could hire ourselves out to high schools, Madam, to give abstinence pep-talks at sex education classes. You know, like when they bring recovering junkies into social studies classes to talk about the horrors of drugs.

    Should we start compiling videos? Even if we don’t get the schools gig, we can always send them in to Australia’s Funniest Home Videos. And while we’re at it, I think I have a sex tape the show can use.

  11. It wouldn’t work, teenagers know everything and are convinced their seniors are so hopeless and demented that it can’t be that hard to do a much better job than we do. Remember thinking that? I do. I think it’s hard-wired into the human race, else we’d have gotten wise and contracepted ourselves into extinction thousands of years ago.
    Meh. I have spent a large chunk of the last two days
    1. Cooking & being a responsible housewife (bleh) and
    2. Waiting for Aunt Irma, whose evil presence has cast a pall over Casa Quokka this last day or so, prompting insatiable chocolate, bacon & donut cravings and a conviction that The End is Nigh – which feeling was further fueled by
    3. Cruising Indooroopilly Shoppingtown with Uncle Blokesy, supposedly to help him find new shirts and trousers to get him through his busy working year.
    I found the whole process rather grisly due to the ever present Zombie Menace that the place wields and also because he wanted Olive Green pants and I had to explain that this is a winter colour and it’s not out this season and all of the shops are going to have pants in the same beige and navy dye lots as all the other shops.
    He didn’t believe me so I left him to it and slunk off to enjoy myself in the bookstores, and the body shop, and Darrell Lea – where I think I finally encountered one of those walnut logs you adore so, Catty – are they enormous things that come in a box, with talk of chocolate & fudge or such? Looked impressive but as I’d just left the jeans shop somewhat disconsolate because the pants I’d planned to buy were rather tighter around the waist than they were before Xmas (pineapple sorbet and macadamia nuts are to blame) so it didn’t seem like a good time to further engorge the Blubber Eel.
    Besides, apparently Darrell Lea at Carindale is about to get hoofed out of it’s lovely spacious shop & into a kiosk a fifth of the size in the mall space, so the word is from the sales staff that there will be lots of lovely bargain to be had between now and the end of january. And the girl who manages that shop always has massive great platters of things to sample, so I’ll hit her up for a taste next time I’m out there. So if you lot have any great favorites, let me know & I’ll keep an eye out for bargains.
    Meh.
    I’m off to the pool to do laps and fend off the idea that the Zombie Apocalypse is nigh. At least we know where HQ will be, but I’m damned if I can figure out the best way to take out the entire building without the Undead escaping in all directions. Multiple air strikes, perhaps, and lure them in beforehand with a ‘Free Cupcakes’ Banner flying from Ipswich to Karana Downs.

  12. Hmmm…. an interesting dilemma. In Without Warning, the undesirables were herded into a building by a tightening ring of armed defense personnel, then air pilot Havock (really!) dropped a big lump of explodey goodness onto the building.

    Somehow, though, I don’t think you need armed defense personnel to herd zombies into Indooroopilly Shoppingtown. Just a few flashing lights and some big red SALE! signs should keep the horde distracted long enough to drop something lethal on the building.

    Another option is to have a crack team of shirtless firefighters stand at all the entrances and exits, and fill the entire building with fire retardant foam. Not that the foam will do much to hurt the zombies, but shirtless firefighters are so much fun to watch.

    Excuse me. I’m going to take a cold shower now.

  13. Mmm… free cupcakes and shirtless firefighters.

    Speaking of chocolate, bacon and donuts I saw people… and I use the term loosely, for reasons which will become obvious… wrap a cheeseburger in strips if cooked bacon, coat it in potato batter and then deep-fry it.

    I’m pretty sure that menu item is listed in the Revelations of St John the Divine.

    I have to brave the Zombie Hordes at some stage in the next three weeks to buy Magic Man new school shoes. When I say “school shoes”, obviously I mean grown men’s size eight shoes which he will be wearing to school.

    * SIgh *

    Perhaps I might bribe myself to go with a trip to Chocolateria San Churro:
    http://www.sanchurro.com/

  14. Oooh, we have one of those near my place. But I don’t need San Churros right now. I still have a block of Macadamia Crunch to nom. And as the Boss has disappeared for the evening, I’m going to bed right now to devour the entire packet, while thinking kind thoughts of the Marvelous Madam Morgana, who knows just how to spoil a girl on her birthday. You truly are wonderful, Madam.

    Today the Boss finished work mid morning, so he nagged us all into the car and drove us to Traralgon to check out real estate. He’s fond of the place, and it is very nice, but my overall impression was “What? No McDonalds? But we haven’t had breakfast yet!” The Boss didn’t stop for munchies until we were on our way home, so the takeaway barely touched the sides. When we got back, late afternoon, the kidlets nearly fell on the bowls of cocoa pops they’d left on the bench. (Yes, milkless. I’m not THAT bad!) Of course, then they didn’t want the lovingly reheated leftovers I prepared for their dinner. (O.k, so maybe I AM that bad.)

    Tomorrow I’m going shopping for toothpaste.

  15. Toothpaste, hey? Beats school shoes. At least you don’t have to try it on someone who’s wriggling and then do that “run around the shop” bit that turns out like Roller Derby.

    We’re having one of Elf Boy’s little friends over to play. As the holidays up here draw to a close, so my pigeons come home to roost. The legions of people I promised to catch up with must be assuaged.

    You know how I hate people.

    Maybe I can turn the play-date into a shoe shopping trip?

    No – regrettably, I’m insufficiently evil.

  16. I reckon mums would pay you to take their kids on shoe shopping expeditions. My sister almost certainly would. It seems her youngest boy takes after me.

    The latest incident involved my sister baking a cake for our mother’s birthday yesterday. She rang mother last night to let her know they were bringing it over. While his mum was on the phone, my dear little nephew plunged his hand into the cake, and started nomming a huge fistful. Half the cake was mangled. This is apparently normal behaviour for him. I love that boy.

  17. Hehehe.

    If he plunged his marauding fist in dead-centre, your sister could have just said it was the new fashion from the US, a donut cake.

    Or stuck the top half of a Barbie doll in it, perhaps?

  18. Why is it all our conversations turn back to dismembered barbie dolls at some point or other?
    When is this shoe shopping trip to the big smoke, MM? Did you say something about the 11th & sushi?

  19. Regrettably, the car is now incapacitated and we won’t be able to make it down – see Catty’s blog for the door-wrenching details.

    However, once I’ve successfully navigated the Dead Sea of the Insurance Assessor and the Jagged Reefs of Claim Adjustment I will re-chart our course for Brisvegas.

    As Marvin the Paranoid Android used to say, ‘My life is a box of wormgears.”

    Sigh.

  20. Bugger.
    I suppose the punishment ‘You’re grounded’ is less than effective when it applies to all the innocent parties in the household, too.

  21. Having no door will dramatically reduce your need for air conditioning. See? Every cloud does have a silver lining. And think of the fun Magic Man will have, threatening to kick his brother out of the car when you get onto the highway.

    What’s a wormgear? Marvin could have told me, what with his brain being the size of a planet, but he doesn’t answer my emails. Maybe he’s busy taking the prisoners up to the bridge.

  22. Dad’s favorite form of retribution was Christian Youth Camp.
    For a stunt like this I’d go that step further and send him to one in Alabama.
    http://www.neyati.org/

  23. Poor Christians. First, they fed them to lions, now you want to send them Elf Boy?

    I want to know how the hell they “give young people the unique experiences (sic) of fasting from the world”?

    Lock them in a sensory deprivation chamber for a month? Send them to the moon?

    Perhaps that’s it. Apollo wasn’t a trip to conquer, it was more of a world fast.

  24. Simple.
    No electricity.

  25. Or plumbing. Nothing instils a love of Jehova like digging your own latrine pit. Apparently.

  26. Back a while (prolly when Catty was a cheerleader) they used to dump me on Fraser Is in the middle of winter with a large bunch of 15-16 year olds. For a week, with no power, plumbing or toilets. So I know what digging your own latrine does for kids and yes, various blasphemies were uttered but there wasn’t much love. There was something like it, but that came later in the evening – “GET BACK TO YOUR OWN TENTS OR I’LL KILL YOU ALL!” I’m happy to say that, over several years of this, there were NO pregnancies. I’d come back with shingles, exhaustion, PTSD and the like but hiking all day & policing the tents all night will do that. Oddly enough those ‘kids’ seem to appreciate it when I run into them now.

  27. Shingles?!

    Congratulations on your pregnancy-free camp record, Greybeard. A friend of mine from Writer’s Group tells similar tales of a bus trip to the Interior taken with Yr 11 students. None of hers got knocked up, either.

    Speaking of latrines, Magic Man actually PREFERRED to dig his own when we were up at the farm, owing to his mortal fear of spiders in the dunny. I keep telling him not to worry about spiders, it’s other people he should be scared of, but I can’t budge his phobia.

  28. I’ve been known to break out in hives after spotting a spider crawling up my extremities, so I understand how EB feels.

    On a more cheerful note, you won’t need to fork out any cash for Christian Youth Camp when EB gets into mischief – just buy MM a tarantula as a pet.

    GB, you shouldn’t be surprised. It’s jolly hard to maintain the romance when a bearded old man with shingles is screaming at you.

  29. Oi! I was a bearded young man then. Fraser is No Island for Old Men. But it wasn’t all screaming. A quiet “put him down, you don’t know where he’s been.” also broke up cuddling couples. And their friends. I had a pet huntsman (huntslady?) once called Fuzzy. I used to hand-feed her moths (with tweezers) to show the kiddies how fast she could pounce. Good times.

  30. Huntsperson, GB.

    Which reminds me of one of my father’s more annoying traits… he insists on referring to those lean, vicious brown and tan German guard dogs as doberpeople, on the grounds of political correctness.

  31. The balance of this is that you get to refer to him as Humdog, until such time as he stops.

  32. Hehehe.

    I would, but he’s offered to pay the excess on the mangled car door. So I shall be referring to him as “Daddy Dearest” for the foreseeable future.

  33. And so you should.

    Um, would he consider adopting a sweet little Catty?

    No?

    *sigh*

    I was probably pushing it with the ‘sweet’. Also with the ‘little’.

  34. Fair enough. Just don’t send him any gift-wrapped wire hangers by way of thanks.

  35. Actually, it’s his birthday on the 13th.

    Any ideas?

  36. Hmm . . . Friday the 13th? You could send him Elf Boy? A Pirelli calendar? A slab of his favourite tipple (or barrel or magnum)? A get-off-my-lawn slingshot? (I have one)? Should be careful, mine’s on the 12th. Hope my daughters haven’t found this blog.

  37. Bake him a cake. A big, pink, heart-shaped cake with “Happy Birthday, Daddy Dearest” written across the top. DON’T let your boys taste test it by the fistful.

    Then get him a tape measure. Pull it out to it’s full length, and write on it in black marker pen. “I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!”

    Too mushy?

    Then how about one of these:

    http://www.thefancy.com/things/280558613/I%27m-Fine-T-Shirt

  38. Can you get one with a scrub turkey on it instead of a dog?

  39. Hehehe.

    Greybeard, did you know that your birthday is sandwiched between Magic Man’s and My Father’s? I’m not sufficiently au fait with astrology to know what this portends, but it can’t be good. However, in case we don’t converse on Thursday, have a spectacular time. 21 again?

    Lurve the tee-shirt but I must. get. the. sign. I’m sure they could make it in black German shephard, preferably twitching while snarling. The dog on the sign they used looks too darn happy.

    IRL, though, I’m leaning towards an assortment of ginger chocolates. He loves the damn things, and the factory is just down the road.

    • Ginger chocolates! (drools on keybxli%d)

      • I’ll get some extra for you, GB – to say thank you for my lovely crackle and spark free printer cable.

  40. Forgive me for not being more excited at finding the perfect sign, and that marvelous T-shirt suggestion of Catty’s (does the back have an exit wound for the bullet hole?) but I’m just too pissed off at being deprived of the perfect storm at the end to this stinker of a day. A sentiment which I’m sure we SEQ folk all share.
    I blame Aunt Irma. That bitch is here to ruin our lives, and now she starts on the weather. Evil. Just Evil, I say. Send this foul heat back to Melbourne where it belongs and give me back my lovely 26C days like we’ve had for the last few weeks.
    Well, I’m off to disappear into the Air Con, and feel grateful that I’m not in Mumbai.
    Not sure how well I’ll cope with the rest of Kevin McLeod’s slumming it adventures on the ABC tonight, but will feel ripped off somehow if he spends two weeks in that shit hole and escapes without contracting dysentery.
    Not out of any sense of malice towards Kevin, just out of a sense that it’s the natural order of things – i.e. Lie down in rat urine, wake up with plague.
    If I don’t see him retching out of a window or dropping his dacks in the potter’s square, I’ll count it as proof that he’s sold his soul to the devil. Well, that or paid off the camera-man in unmarked euros.

  41. Ewwww! You won’t catch me watching a doco maker voiding his bowels copiously in public. Instead, I’m going to bed with a nice book. I’m at the bit where a crazed Mormon has arranged for a car to run down and kill a Mexican who beat the proverbial out of him. Good, wholesome reading, with limited bowel voiding – although an inmate in a South American prison did pee his pants with fear when an assassin broke in and violently killed all the prison guards. But that was only mentioned in passing.

  42. Yes, I too watched the horizon in vain for the massed dark clouds that never came.

    And got sunburnt on my right arm driving the car to the panel beaters for a quote yesterday, since air con’s not very effective when one of your doors won’t seal.

    How did Kevin McCloud’s dysentery go, Q? I watched a Doctor Who re-run… that Billie Piper looks like a pixie wearing dentures she stole from a giant with an overbite… and then slithered off to bed where I tossed and turned and dreamed of Tasmania.

    Catty, sounds like an awesome book. What’s it called?

  43. Angels of Vengeance. You may have heard of the author.

    • Hehehe.

      You may remember him from some books, such as “Felafel” and “Wasted”.

      I’ll have to hunt down a copy.

  44. I wonder what kind of weapon is best suited to this hunt?
    Perhaps the Zombie apocalypse slingshot.
    Who’s having birthdays? I’m all confused.
    Irma’s fault.
    All I can remember is someone saying something about chocolate coated ginger. And coming up with the idea that really, I’d prefer soft centres from Darrell Lea. Why aren’t they open at 10.30pm on a week night, given that it’s too hot to exit the house between the hours of 5am and 8pm?

  45. Today is Magic Man’s birthday.

    He loves the microscope I gave him, and has so far taken blood samples from two of us and is now deeply absorbed in the intricacies of a grasshopper’s compound eyes.

    Elf Boy has accepted the inevitable, too

    “It’s okay,” he said with a resigned expression, “I will be the laboratory mouse.”

    • “Mouse”? Please tell him from me that I consider him no less than a deadly giant mutant laboratory RAT.

  46. Happy birthday, Magic Man! I hope you’ve demanded an ice cream cake.

    Cool present, Madam. We have a hand-held microscope, and the kidlets love to examine their various scratches and bruises with it. Ick.

    Quokka, I have always been extremely annoyed by Darrell Lea’s lack of home delivery. It’s probably Aunt Irma’s fault. Even if it’s not, I’m blaming her anyway. She deserves it – you should see what she’s done to my face this visit. Actually, no you shouldn’t. It’s not pleasant.

  47. He must be Rattus Norwegicus then, GB… because of the blond hair and blue eyes.

    Catty, maybe we should pitch a home delivery service to Darrell Lea. We could call ourselves “Darrell To Your Door” or maybe “Walnut Logs on Wheels”… no, “HomeLea”!

  48. Or Dazza Deliveries, a free batch of acne with every package delivered.
    Happy birthday to all those experiencing them & commiserations to those who were giving birth to them at such a hellish time of year. May there be icecream cake and snow cones all round. And a chorus of ‘let it snow, let it snow let it snow.’ Which might fool us into thinking it’s not really as hot as it actually is, with no sign of any mercy from the weather gods in the shape of big red blips on the BOM radar. God I long to see those blips appear. Although it probably would freak the hell out of everyone between here and Toowoomba who’s homes sit less than 8m above sea level.
    Gah.
    The temperature on my porch reached an obscene 38.8C today. Dog only knows how the postie manages to stay upright on his bike in this hellish climate, I was sorely tempted to go out there & spray him with the hose to ease his suffering.
    Speaking of which, how the hell are we meant to keep the kids off our lawns with the garden hose in weather like this?

  49. We’re not. That’s why we have flame throwers.

  50. Sadly, I can’t use my flame-thrower. I just got an email from the SES about how we’ve got an exceptionally high fire danger here at present.

    Luckily, though, the email said nothing about waterbombs filled with biological warfare agents.

  51. Biological warfare agents, hey? That’s probably the most apt description I’ve ever heard for my mother’s gravy.

  52. “Would you like some gravy, Catty dear?”

    “Sorry, Mum – no can do. It’s outlawed under the Geneva Convention.”

    Meanwhile, a man was caught smuggling abalone in his underpants near you, Catty:

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/smuggler-hid-illegal-abalone-in-underpants/story-e6frfku0-1226242712466

    All I can think is that other people’s underpants are seeing much more action than mine.

  53. You’d probably get more action if you ever actually wore underpants, Madam Commando.

  54. Sigh. This reminds me that the elastic in my knickers is giving out and will require a trip to the shopping mall. Which I’m hoping to put off until everyone’s children are safely locked up in state care between the hours of 8.30am and 3pm, once again. Not much noise around here but lots of teenagers roaming around making me deeply grateful I am not the mother of a teenage girl. (Dog help you, Catty)
    Maybe if I just consume more chocolate and focaccia then that’ll prevent my knickers from slithering off towards the floor and freedom.
    I feel like I’ve got some sort of weird heat hangover from the last two days of extreme summer. Which is ridiculous given that I’ve been hiding out in my air conditioned pink padded cell.
    Madam – I am deeply envious of your proximity to the surf. As much as I love my little undercover plunge pool – and am grateful that yesterday it was 9C cooler up there than it was in my kitchen – God it would be nice to wake up and be at the beach. Greenmount, for preference, or else Scarborough in Perth – which has the added advantage of being 5 hours flight away from the humidity here.
    When is GB’s birthday?
    I thought it was yesterday but I see the rest of you think it’s today.
    Aunt Irma is screwing with my memory in a big way today, so I’m guessing you lot are the ones who’ve got it right.
    happy birthday, Herr Rattmeister. I hope it’s a good one.

  55. Seconded! Happy Birthday Greybeard, and many more. Many more birthdays, that is, not many more Greybeards.

  56. Thank yez all. Today is Der Tag but me flood reminiscing on Twitter got me some kindly thoughts a couple of days early. I’ll take all I can get since kindly wishes don’t flow in my direction too often. By some freakish miscalculation on my part, I seem to have gained the affection of my loud and bossy little great-niece in Melbourne. She told D#2 that I was a nice or possibly ‘sweet’ man – very different to what she said when we were there.

    As for the possibility of more Greybeards Catty, too late! My son has several friends who he discovered quite by accident follow me on twitter. They were suspicious because apparently we ‘sound’ alike (ie bearded sarky know-all nerds with history/science/IT backgrounds, collectors & users of sharp instruments, who make bad jokes). He has abused me over this several times. What kind of son doesn’t like to think he takes after dad? Sigh.

    The better 7/8 and I spent yesterday in A/C comfort, watching Game of Shadows in Gold Class, with nachos & wine & feet up. Early present & dinner tonight to follow.

  57. While I found wearing a kilt comfortable, there’s nothing like the security of trousers when your jock-elastic turns into a loose piece of string. Awkward as it may be to have them trying to turn upside down, at least they won’t actually drop around your ankles in public. Rarely a good look and one I wish to avoid. Though I remember a girl at uni who handled it well. She look at them, lifted one foot out and gracefully raised them on the toe of the other. Then she kicked out mightily and they flew a good 5 m into a garden bed. She smiled, straightened her miniskirt and sashayed away. Real class. Wonder if she tells her grandkids that story?

  58. She probably has an evil spouse that tells it for her.
    When we went to Perth a few years ago to meet my entire extended family of cousins that Dad had somehow neglected to tell us existed, on day 2 of knowing my 78yro cousin, he began to wax lyrical about what his lovely wife was wearing when he met her at the cinema, when she was only 16 & he was 18. He could still describe it her frock. Very sweet.
    So he piped up and said to the Bloke, ‘So what was Quokka wearing when you met her?’
    The Bloke, looking totally perplexed ‘Eh? Dunno. Not much, probably, back in those days.’
    SOAB.
    I could have cheerfully throttled him.

  59. Awww. Give him time and he’ll probably make up some crazy tale like your cousin’s. Meanwhile for real romance we have: http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/646/sayitwithbaconlarge.jpg

  60. Mmm… romantic bacon.

    Whichever poor, deluded kiddy called you a “sweet” man, Greybeard, was probably alluding to how you’d taste, basted in a honey marinade.

    You and me both, Quokka – but as Catty so kindly pointed out, it’s my bras that’re sagging. See you in the lingerie department at 9 a.m. on Monday the 23rd.

    In the meantime, though, maybe these will help preserve your modesty:
    http://candhphotography.deviantart.com/art/Rainbow-Suspenders-134315157

  61. Why have we gone italicised?

    Let me see if this works…

    Voila!

    I blame GB.

  62. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/fly-named-after-beyonce-because-of-bum-20120113-1py3i.html
    Somebody needs to explain to me why I should continue reading the newspaper. I’m just not feeling edjumacated by the experience, somehow.

  63. No, Q, you’re quite right.

    You should turn your attention to news.com.au, for reportage of this calibre:
    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/gallery-e6frfmqi-1111120736498?site=NewsComAuScrollo

  64. Ugh. Not before breakfast, please!
    BTW, can I request that whoever’s in charge of the font here shift it from italics to gothica? All the italics has me thinking I’m lost in a Nick Earls novel. Its really rather disconcerting.

  65. I’ve got no idea why we’ve stepped into an Earls novel… but since the mystery italics appeared halfway through one of Greybeard’s comments, it’s obviously his fault.

    I’ll email WordPress admin to try and get it fixed, it’s beyond me.

    Meanwhile, how good is this grey, cold, drizzly weather? Thank the Godess the heat wave is over!

  66. I’m here to help. Being, as it were, the font of all wisdom.

  67. *Groan*. Bad, bad pun, Greybeard.

    (mutter mumble grumble I wish I’d said that mutter mumble).

  68. If only Dame Margot Fonteyn was still alive… I’m sure she’d be able to help.

    Or perhaps Little Lord Fontleroy.

  69. I wouldn’t let GB fontle your keyboard. You don’t know where he’s been.

  70. Still waiting for news from WordPress.

    I feel like we’re all someone’s dream… either that, or a flashback.

    If we’re a flashback, I’d better put on some house music. “Boom Boom Boom”, anyone?

  71. Meh. I’ve still got ‘bom bom’ in my head thanks to watching Red Dog on DVD with the bloke on Saturday night. I saw it at the movies and once was probably enough, but I knew he’d enjoy it, and a friend was given 2 copies of it for Xmas, so …yeah. 70’s miner music earworm has ensued.
    I’ve started reading ‘the girl with the dragon tattoo’. 130 pages of dry nordic reading just to set the scene. Somebody please tell me it gets better.
    Apparently what I now have to look forward to is the protagonist going off to spend a year with the old man’s revolting family, most of whom fit the criteria for ‘sociopath’.
    I’ve got the same feeling I used to get at contemplating family Xmas.
    Tempted to chuck it in and go read some Pippi Longstocking instead.
    Should I give it up & just watch the movie? At least that’s over in 90 minutes and I can walk out if it gets to me.

  72. I can’t give you a crit of “Girl” because I can not stand Scandi Lit.

    It’s always so gloomy and depressing, sometimes just scanning the cover blurbs makes me want to slit my wrists. Even the author’s names seem morbid and bleak. Much modern Scottish fiction is similar. I blame day length, rainfall patterns and economic hardship.

    However, I’m all over the movie. See it twice. It has Daniel Craig in it!

  73. Yeah. I read one by Arnaldur Indridason or maybe two. Well written, almost beautifully, but so damned depressing. Has anyone watched Wallender? Either the Swedish or Kenneth Branagh versions. Great stuff but the protagonist is in a constant spiral of bad relationships, drink, depression & disease. Cheery!

  74. Testing 1, 2, 7

  75. My literary forays have been somewhat limited – my reading this week consisted solely of the back of a rice bubbles packet yesterday. It upset me dreadfully. The blatant attempt at brainwashing screams “CONSPIRACY!”. You will be able to read all about it at the Corner, just as soon as I’ve worked out:
    1 – who is doing it
    2 – why they are doing it
    3 – where my Zoloft has gone.

  76. I think the swedes have nicked your zoloft, Catty, fark knows they need it.
    I came to the line in the book where he wanted to send the journo off to spend a year with his psycho family & I did the eye roll thing and thought ‘This entire book is going to read like the highlights of every family Xmas I’ve ever known. bleh. run away, run away!’
    Might take your word for it and just see the movie, MM.
    I have a fairly low tolerance for characters that are so badly flawed and in need of therapy and meds that they need an intervention way more than they need an audience.

  77. Indeed.

    A certain degree of flawed hardship makes things interesting, of course, but too much and it reads more like a case history than literature.

    Or perhaps I’m just getting Too Old – soon I’ll be calling back copies of Women’s Weekly “my books” and crocheting holders out of used shopping bags to keep them in.

  78. Oh, nooooooooo! My MIL gave me a 1990 copy of the Women’s Weekly a couple of months ago, and I read it from cover to cover, marvelling at how interesting it was compared to these newfangled Women’s Weeklies.

    You know what this means? It means… I’m… I’m ooooooooold! *sob*

    (In case you’re wondering, no I haven’t found my Zoloft.)

    • Poor Catty. I could send you some of mine? I have heaps of Zoloft. And being old isn’t so bad. It’s bloody worse than you can possibly imagine!

      Luckily I’ve started my second childhood (not that maturity and I were ever really close) so now it’s the downhill ride of my life – wheeeee (the ‘h’ is still there you’ll notice)

  79. If Zoloft was any good it would be addictive, Catty.

    What you need are some nice benzodiazepines… alternatively, if you’re a bit flat, amphetamines.

    If you can’t afford speed, though, I’ve noticed that a boxful of Wacky Bitz has indistinguishable clinical effects on MM and EB. Get the pink and purple ones.

  80. Although the yellow & orange ones probably have tartrazine which is good for setting off ADHD. You are welcome to the cat’s medication, Catty, other than that the best I can offer you is a nip of ginseng and some rosehip tea. And the vague offer of moral support in the flesh, as we are contemplating another trip to Melbourne – being as the last one got thwarted by the cat and his cancerous toe episode. the Bloke has some freebies on offer with his frequent flyer deals so we’re looking at coming down for a few days towards the end of February.
    Well, we went to see the Dragon Tattoo movie last night & it was very beautiful. Nasty violent. I’d skimmed the book so I could figure out some of the complexity of it but then of course they decided to change bits, which was a bugger.
    It was a lovely rainy night to be out at the cinema watching a movie loaded with snow. I still think that the violence in it was overdone, probably because the audiences are getting so hardened to nastiness that writers feel the need to make things more and more harrowing. A bit odd, that the writer went to all that trouble to assemble such a nasty cast of characters and then didn’t really bother to showcase how they interact. And I found it a bit unbelievable that the Bad Man in the story wasn’t oozing badness into other parts of his life.
    I guess from my exposure to the nasties in this world, I know that they can’t maintain their facade of normality all the time and with everyone. There’s invariably slip ups. The big thing that trips them up is their grandiosity and their sense of entitlement.
    I think I prefer the Lynda La Plantes – must say, she does seem to know her psychopaths and borderlines and narcissists awfully well. Then again, I guess that’s just part of the scenery in all her years of theatre and TV.
    Still – fabulous movie, and really well cast.
    MM, have they SMSd you a flood warning yet? According to the ABC radio, SEQ is in for up to 150mm of rain in the next 24 hours.
    Oh, and Myers were having some sort of half price men’s shoe sale. Just in case you’ve been putting that trip off.
    Right. Rain = book, couch, tea, cat.

  81. Are Wacky Bitz those little sickly purple lumps in a small cardboard box? I remember getting something like that in one of last year’s showbags. Blech! Even the kidlets gagged on the horrid things. So I may have to pass, Madam, and continue with my current diet of Cadbury, Pepsi and Kettle Chips.

    The couch sounds wonderful, Quokka, but we’re expecting 35ºC with hot winds here. Fan forced oven weather is too hot for a lap full of cat. So I’m taking the kidlets shopping for school shoes. Mmmmm….. shopping centre air conditioning….

  82. We have already acquired MM’s new school shoes, but thanks for the heads up, Q. He is now wearing a men’s size 10.

    “What size do they go up to?” I enquired of the Shoe Lady
    “This style is available in a size 15.” she replied
    “What do I put him in after that?” I asked, “Clown shoes?”

    That’s them, Catty.

    Speaking of chocolate and chips, I’m saw chocolate-covered potato chips somewhere. Have you ever tried that? It had a certain near-fatal appeal.

    • Mens size 10! What are you feeding him? I only take a 9 – 9 1/2.

  83. I hate it when their feet get too big for tissue boxes strapped with gaffer tape.

  84. I have considered protein and calcium restriction, GB, but I’m afraid he’d still be enormous, but all droopy and fragile. I’ve decided that if he looks like topping 6′ 5″, I’ll sign him up for hormone treatments. I saw a 6′ 7″ teenager the other day, and he was frankly terrifying.

    Funny you should say that, Catty – one of my options was to just Nikko pen his feet on Mondays, and send him off like that. Perhaps tie a shoelace around his middle toe, as well?

    Now, has anyone got a sure-fire Monopoly strategy? These wretched children keep bankrupting me!

    • Yes. Cheat.

      • It’s hard to cheat, when they’re smarter than you… have you got any sure-fire cheating strategies?

  85. P.S: Look, those WordPress geniuses fixed our fonts! We look much more serious in normal, don’t we?

  86. Serious? Us?!!

  87. I wasn’t serious when I wrote that.

  88. Serious – that’s the dog star, right?

    • I thought that was Lassie?

  89. I think he was Harry Potter’s Godfather – Serious Black.

    • No, that was Sirius Black – Serious Black was Harry’s Gothfather.

  90. Sigh. Maybe we should be printed in italics.

  91. Hehehe… Gothfather.

    You’ve still got it, GB.

  92. like I said, we should shift the font to gothica and stick with what works.
    When do the institutions take their children back? And who do I have to lobby to get all future summer holidays cancelled, in favor of sending the little treasures off to military school, or rehab, or christian youth camp. Anywhere but here would do.

  93. My lot go back on the 2nd of February. I’m not looking forward to it.

  94. My darling weasels go back on the 23rd.

    And I have finally – huzzah! – covered and labelled all the books and stationery.

    Is that what you’re not looking forward to, Catty… or is it (gulp) the lunchboxes?

  95. Nooooooooo! Don’t say the ‘L’ word!

  96. It’s not too late – I’ve got plenty of felt. Warm up the laminater!

  97. The phrase ‘let them eat felt’ is making me crave red velvet cake. Still haven’t tried that one and I’m sure the real thing is worth eating.
    Well, as you may have gathered from my lengthy absences, I’ve finally gotten into the Stieg Larson books. Was relieved to find reviews that shared my opinion that the first one was overly sensationalistic and had some serious plot holes. I’m enjoying the second one very much & am really coming to like Salander’s character & her way of dispensing arbitrary justice to those who richly deserve it. She’s really coming into her own. Not sure how Larson is going to tidy up all the loose ends in the third novel, he’s certainly creating some carnage – but that’s next week’s project. I’m still only 2/3 of the way through The Girl Who Played With Fire.
    it’s the bloke’s birthday next week so I’m tempted to hunt around JB and see if they’ve got the DVD set of the trilogy (swedish version). Not sure if that will satisfy his snow cravings or just set me up for some whinging about this shocking climate we live in where we have sun and surf and tropical flora to enjoy all year round rather than the ice and darkness that they enjoy in Lappland.
    Crazy man.
    Speaking of crazy, the cats all went back to the vet for the second round of their summer hair cuts, yesterday. The cat that’s on anti-psychotics spent the night running up and down the halls yowling like the damned, and today none of them are talking to me.
    But they’re so soft and velvetty and rabbitlike that it’s worth a few days of pissed-offedness.
    And next week there will be blessed silence in the streets again once the schools open up and ensnare all the children. Hallelujah to that, it will be safe to roam the shopping centres again. Darrell Lea, here I come.

  98. Hmm, maybe I should give old Steig anther chance.

    The children brawled in Lifeline yesterday, it’s beyond time for them to return to school.

    Did I tell you all, friends of ours with 2 boys about the same age as MM and EB have decided to go touring around Australia for a year while home-schooling?

    I can’t help but consider this scheme thoroughly ill-conceived. Trapped together in a caravan with no respite from one another, my two would kill one another before we got as far as Sydney.

  99. Although the thought of home schooling makes my skin crawl, I like the sound of a year’s travel around Australia. My darling boys are also about the same age as yours, Madam, and I reckon they’d last at least a fortnight without bloodshed. (my daughter, however, is an entirely different story…..)

  100. Well, you could argue for insanity but I say she has an agenda and it’s a cunning plan to return childless.
    One will clearly kill the other and the winner will end up in an institution for the underage criminally insane.
    Leaving their mother free to travel the world on the royalties she’ll earn from selling her story to the Women’s Weekly, ACA, and one of those publishers who earn squillions from publishing ill-written stories by the mothers of delinquent children.
    She’s a genius.

  101. Hehehe… or she could try the old “a dingo has stolen my babies!” trick.

    Here’s EB’s latest joke:
    Why aren’t leopards very good at hiding?
    Because they’re always spotted.

  102. A common misconception which is easily allayed by ditching The Lion King and substituting Cat People.

  103. I don’t like that video. If we have to sit through six minutes of arty music, the least they could do is let us see the cat eat the girl.

  104. Just been watching the Gods & Monsters doco series with Tony Robinson. Part 2 deals with faeries so I thought of Catty. You’ll be pleased to know he’s telling everyone how they were hated, feared and considered utterly evil. And that they stole children & replaced them with wicked faerie changelings. The pendulum is swinging.

    Actually there’s one of ours I’m not sure about. When she was about 3, she spent the whole day talking in a squeaky high-pitched voice. When we asked her why she said the squirrels had stolen her voice and now she had a squirrel voice. Mad as a cut snake.

  105. Wow! Pity she’s too old for Elf Boy, GB – they sound like soulmates.

    Back to school, back to school!

    If I didn’t have two lunch-boxes to pack, today would be perfect.

  106. I hear you, Greybeard. Greek people used to scare their little ones into behaving by telling them that faeries do malicious things to horrible boys and girls as they sleep.

    Based on that bit of trivia, I’m thinking that lunch boxes were invented by faeries.

  107. Slept in this morning thanks to a series of very late nights sitting up reading the Millennium trilogy. Woken at 8.15am by a series of bloodcurdling shrieks and wails, which I take it to mean that the State is once more in possession of the small folk in our street.
    It was music to my ears.
    Hallelujah.
    Morgana, I think the Larson trilogy is definitely worth reading, the second one especially. Have enjoyed the third one almost as much as the second but Larson is lapsing back into predictability and sensationalism when creativity fails him. Which isn’t really bothering me as I’ve come to like the main protagonist so much. She has a seriously bad attitude and a good many people who richly deserve it get the shit kicked out of them. I’m sure you’d enjoy it.
    Have bought the DVD set (swedish) for the Bloke’s birthday, for which he will be festering in FNQ.
    They’re predicting rain for most of the week here, I’ll bet you’re glad that it’s happening when the kids are back at school.
    Catty, we’re rethinking our Melbourne jaunt as I’m not enthused about a driving/touristy adventure and want nothing more than to sit at the beach for a week. And thanks to a day trip to the coast on Saturday, I think I’ve got the bloke persuaded that it’s a good idea. Still keen to do a 3 day jaunt in Melbourne but might put it off for a while. We have to use up his points and free hotel offers by June, though, so I’d say you’ll see us between now and then.
    So, MM.
    Enjoying the absence of brawling, yet?

  108. Well, I didn’t exactly have a quiet day, but there was a marked absence of brawling.

    Got my car back from the panel beaters… hurrah! Now I just have to work on the flashbacks and stress response every time I go to reverse out of a garage.

    I’ll put the Larson books on reservation at the library, Q. I’d like to read the first one before I see the Daniel Craig movie.

  109. Kids. They never grow up. Hairy Greybeardson called around for a coffee & chat this morning and noticed I had a python in the loo. So he’s borrowed it to edumacate his friends in Toowong on the harmlessness and non-sliminess of reptiles. I remember him at kindy taking a snake around the room, head in one hand, tail in the other and draped around his neck. He gave a quite sweet and accurate talk to the delight of his class. Teacher, not so much. Best show & tell ever.

  110. I like snakes. If they’re cooked right.

    • Yeah well we all know what they taste like but actually the flesh is white and has much the same texture as chicken. Only without the drumsticks. Obviously I’m only guessing but I suspect dinosaur would also taste like chicken and imagine a T rex thigh fillet. Mm-hm.

  111. You’re eating at the wrong restaurant. The snakes I eat all taste like glucose and tartrazine plus a long series of numbers you see listed on the food allergy websites.
    I am still waiting for this legendary Big Wet to arrive. The rain fizzled out over Casa Quokka today and it looks like the north coast got the bulk of it. MM, Just curious to know if your text Disaster Alert service is faster than Twitter, which has been predicting disaster and telling us to load the ark for hours of clear skies, now.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDQ20780.html

  112. I wonder what dragon would taste like? You’d have to flame-grill it, I reckon.

    Q, I recieved a text yesterday, midafternoon, alerting me of the risk of flash-flooding and an email saying much the same thing at about 5:30 pm.

    Funnily enough, though, it stopped raining last night and although its very grey this morning, no precipitation as yet.

  113. I slept like the dead last night – well, after about 11.30. But was woken a few times to hear quite heavy rain. The BOM chart says we had quite a bit and looks like more on the way. God, I hope so. No disrespect to those on lower ground but I do love a good drenching. Going back over the dragon tattoo books because I want to see how he’s constructed his characters.
    Obsessive, but I need to know.
    Once for pleasure, once for analysis. I really should’ve finished that arts degree when I was a lass.

  114. All this talk of snakes and dragons! Now I have a Trogdor earworm:

  115. I’ll see your Trogdor and raise you The Trogs:

  116. I prefer this:

    • Hehehe.

      What a fabulous set – I’d love my lounge room to look just like that.

  117. And for reasons unknown, since I’ve come back from yoga class – blogger doesn’t want to show me the clips that you two are discussing.
    Sigh.
    Cats are flipping out about the big wet. I think they’re panicking that come tomorrow morning, we’ll have 8 more furry felines closeted away in the dungeon, same as last year.
    Its just a king tide and a bit of Sog, surely?
    Or did I miss something while I was attempting to dislocate my hips and snarling ‘Om’ earlier today?

  118. Snarling ‘Om”?

    It must be that new variant of sweaty yoga I’ve been hearing about – surly yoga.

    I don’t think there’s anything meterologically untoward happening, Quokka. Although I’m told there were big solar flares on Monday, will that unsettle cats? I don’t think even floral embroidered flares would upset mine… they’re pretty mellow.

  119. I have a pathological fear of flares. Don’t ask me why.

  120. They’re usually infested with hippies. With nits. It’s completely understandable.
    You guys should be at twitter. The scribe started a hashtag of #unaustraliaday and I’ve been busy making helpful suggestions. The most recent being a promise that if my neighbours start up their karaoke machine on Thursday and sing Khe San I’m going to respond by broadcasting Rolf Harris’s version of ‘I touch myself’ – at top volume across the valley.
    My favorite suggestion thus far has been the genius who said he intends to celebrate by sending Tony Abbott back to 1788 in a time machine so that he can turn back the boats.
    I don’t think there’ll be time for a smallpox vaccination before he departs.
    Shucks.

  121. I’ve just typed a long political rant, then deleted it. Then I typed a second one, and deleted that one too.

    Here’s the summary:

    Let it be known that I think Gillard should be forced to live on the dole in Blacktown for a year before being allowed to make any further political decisions.

    What the hell. Let’s make it compulsory for all federal MP’s.

  122. If you must. I quite liked the suggestion to relocate parliament to Nauru and remove all the air conditioners before they arrive.

  123. Can I come here and vent my seething rage please Madam? Just had my brother-in-law & partner around for dinner. He’s nearly 20 years older and although always conservative, when my sister was alive she dragged him somewhat into the 20th C, if not the 21st. Since she died he’s found a new partner who is ultraconservative and he’s loving it. The politics we can avoid fairly easily though she sometimes shakes her Menzies icon at me (no, seriously. It’s on her keyring). But there’s always something else. Feminists, Greens, greenies, scientists, anyone who accepts the evidence for AGW, women priests (they’re Anglicans) – all are evil, wrong and the servants of Satan. Tonight it was gays or anyone LGBT for that matter. Being gay is totally a choice. There were NO gays when he was a boy! Maybe they were scared? NO! There were none. Zip, didn’t exist.

    Needless to say, the evening did not go well. Why not just say screw you and forget them? Because I like his kids & grandkids and am sometimes more of a grandfather to them than he is. Families matter. He’s pretty snide about some behind their backs for basically snobbish reasons but I can’t exactly tell them that. Bugger! Why do some people have to freeze their whole world-view at some point in their lives and refuse to accept anything from then on? I’m 61 and I can still change my opinions & views. I LOVE learning new things.

    I have a theory (and a pretty silly one as you can imagine) that when you get to know one of these people a bit you can estimate fairly closely when they froze. These are some of the “new technologies” I’ve seen rejected &/or hated.
    TV
    VCRs
    DVDs
    Automatic gearboxes on cars
    Car radios
    Philips head screwdrivers
    Calculators
    Deodorant
    the Pill
    Phones
    Mobile Phones
    Smart phones
    Computers
    Internet

    It isn’t consistent in that a given individual may reject something from the 60’s and accept an idea from the 70’s but if you build up enough of them I reckon you can say “he stopped in the mid 1980s & he’s just been slowly dying since then”. Which is probably horseshit. Thank you (if you’ve persevered this far). I feel better now.

  124. Greybeard, if you’re not ALWAYS free to vent anything, seething or otherwise, I don’t know what we’re all doing here.

    Okay, it’s arguable that the Internet is largely good for wasting time and tentacle prOn… or perhaps wasting time WITH tentacle prOn… but what on earth can these people possibly have against Philips head screwdivers?

    They sound like Amish people, only less hip, progressive and fun.

    I’m glad you’re you, GB. And please stay in touch with those poor kiddies, so they don’t grow up thinking that all middle-aged people are a complete waste of oxygen and try to bring back “Logan’s Run”.

    Catty – good idea. Also, give her of couple of fatherless kids to raise on Family Tax Benefit, and as soon as the youngest hits prep make her life a misery until she finds some sort of work – preferably menial – that she can shoe-horn the kids around.

    Quokka, my suggestion for UnAustralian Day is that anyone with a Southern Cross tattoo should have their BBQs and beer fridges confiscated and be forced to host an Asian or Middle Eastern family for an ethnic banquet – entirely sober.

  125. Sending a bogan to an ethnic banquet is a waste of good food.

  126. Okay then – just make the bogans do the washing up.

  127. Haven’t migrants got enough hardship to deal with without that?
    The scribe has just announced that tomorrow’s blog is about drop bears.
    I said that I hope he explained that when you shave a drop bear, you get a bogan. Which enables them to get passports, and which explains the behaviour of Strayan backpackers the world over.
    He said he had no idea.
    At least he has time to correct the article before it goes to press.

  128. That explains a lot of things, actually.

    UDLs, designer thongs, the popularity of TV programmes like Ice Road Truckers, at least two of my exes…

  129. Yes. I just hope that the urban dictionary and wikipedia take note and correct the errors in their web pages.
    That or perhaps Qantas should show a film on the topic on all international flights so that the world develops an awareness of the dangers of bogans, and stops blaming the failures in our education system and our parenting skills.

  130. Damn straight they shouldn’t blame my parenting skills. I don’t have any.

  131. You must be doing something right, Catty. They’re all still alive, and as happy as weasels.

    How are the back-to-school preparations going?

  132. I hope you’ve got a checklist.
    * Vodka
    * chocolate biscuits
    * Supply of novels
    * Timothy Dalton DVDs
    * T-shirt that says ‘Do not disturb between 9am -3pm’ (its important to wear this at drop off time every day of the first week so that the new teachers get the message)
    * Message on the answerphone that says ‘Unless they’re concussed or need stitches, Don’t Bug Me.’
    Have I missed anything?

  133. You’re right, Q – I have to get tougher with sick bay.

    I think my filter question will be, “Is there blood or bone on display?”

    If not, I’ll see you when the home bell rings. If I get called about purple spots again, there’ll be hell to pay.

  134. To understand your sick bay nurse, you have to think like a sick bay nurse. Purple spots can mean:

    *Meningitis
    *Heatstroke
    *Alien bodysnatcher
    *Actually doing something for the child

    That said, I often find myself wondering what on earth our nurse was thinking. We’ve had countless calls for head lice and boredom, but none for any of the ailments that involve blood or pain. I sometimes suspect the woman is also possessed by an alien bodysnatcher.

  135. http://ehealthforum.com/health/topic48519.html#b
    I googled the purple spot thing and lo, someone says their paediatrician says that seeing coloured spots can be a precursor to a migraine and the solution is to remove all processed foods from the child’s diet.
    Genius.
    Perhaps you should install a wall safe where you can hide the junk food after you’ve cleaned it out of the pantry.
    A week or so of deprivation should cure Elf Boy of his woes.
    *Cackles & wanders off to mix the cauldron*

  136. We had a similar cure for the Teen’s ills. When she tried to get out of stuff by pretending to be sick, we gave her a dose of castor oil. Mwa ha ha ha ha!

  137. Boredom?

    They called you to collect the children because they were bored?

    Elf Boy announced last night that he is becoming a Macaronitarian – he only plans to eat macaroni and cheese from now on. That’s not processed, because I make it from scratch – so his purple spots should clear right up. On the downside, though, that much cheese will stopper him up as sure as if he sprinkled Redimix on his Weetbix.

  138. Heh. Macaronitarian. You could just slip a little Metamucil in his Mac & cheese or go the castor oil route? Castor oil was one of the lesser abominations of my parents’ generation. Kerosene & sugar was apparently great for a cough, though I was spared.

  139. Kerosene and sugar?!

    How, pray tell, was that good for a cough, GB – because it killed you stone dead before you could cough again?

  140. Not a clue.
    What I do have is this fabulous school lunch idea c/ Capn Bong & the UK news.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2093393/The-Smartie-sandwich-Shocking-filling-packed-lunch-sparks-new-healthy-eating-drive.html

    Just think, if every mother across the country could be persuaded to follow her example the government would be so outraged that they’d step in, ban school lunches, and feed your children boiled cabbages and tripe for lunch every day.
    If I were you, I’d be threatening your children with the dark spectre of this arrangement every time you find the contents of their lunch boxes untouched, or thrown away.

  141. All this school lunch talk is givin’ me flashbacks man! Oh the banana-in-the-yellow-plastic-raincoat-over-Xmas. The mould, the, the runny bits. The smell. I can STILL SMELL IT. Aaaaauurgh . . . . . .

  142. Yes, it has a very distinctive smell, doesn’t it, Greybeard? I still recall that long-ago incident with a brand new $125.00 textbook and an indeterminate number of once-were-banananas coupling in the bottom of the Teen’s school bag…. *shudder*

    If only I had known about the smarty sandwiches. Smarty sandwiches! Guess what the kidlets are getting on their first day back? And there’s nothing the school can do about it, as there is no cafeteria. Snh snh snh snh snh!

  143. I think I need cake.
    Followed by…let’s see.
    Yep.
    More cake.
    That is all, I have nothing else to contribute, my mind holds nothing more today than a vast empty longing for cake, coupled with a strong disinclination to get off the couch and get it.
    And a mild inclination to smack up the next telemarketer that dares to bother me.
    Aunt Irma is in the squirrel cage.
    Repeat, Aunt Irma is in the squirrel cage.
    All units, Take Cover.

  144. Mmmmm…. cake….

    This morning, I saw a silly man (on television) bake a bananana slab cake with maple syrup icing. If I wasn’t sitting here stuffing chocolate coated biscuits into my face, I’d make one of those cakes right now. Maybe when I’ve finished the biscuits? Nah, can’t be fagged. I’ll probably just open a second packet of biscuits. (Don’t judge me! It’s Aunt Irma’s fault.) Any room on that couch, Quokka? I plan on slothing for at least the next hour.

  145. Funny that. Fifi came home from work yesterday with 3/4 of a banana cake from her staff morning tea, just for me. I should probably make a cuppa & have a chunk. Mowed the wet grass yesterday and there were lines and piles of cut grass everywhere. But do I have to rake it? No I do not. Good ol’ Colin, the lazy gardener’s friend came along right behind me and scraped it all up on his mound. He even takes it from around the front of the house. If you look in the background behind my coffee, you’ll see the fresh grass part way through the job. http://yfrog.com/h4p0arkj
    Woe unto you who scorn the noble turkey!

    • I hesitate to ask, Greybeard, but what on earth was that brown gloop in the glass? Or don’t I want to know?

  146. Mmm… Smartie sandwich cake.

    Apologies for my untoward absence, Invisible Friends, but once again I have fallen victim to Business College and am undertaking a Cert IV. So I spent all yesterday in air-conditioned comfort, being drained of my will to live.

    Today, I completed one section – ONE section – of the homework in a mere 7 hours.

    * uncontrollable sobbing *

    What have I done? Why didn’t someone stop me?

  147. Damn. I should have bought you those glasses I saw today, with wide awake eyeballs painted on them.

  148. Hehehe.

    Unfortunately, that would only work if I could pair them with robot gloves, that would keep doing stuff on the computer while I snoozed.

    You didn’t see any of them, did you?

  149. I actually have seen some robot arms lately, but I’m not sure how good they’d be for typing. Grandma (of the broken hip) has just been given a couple of mechanical claws on sticks so she can pick up things off the ground without bending. Combined with the special chair the rehab people have given her, she looks rather like a Dalek – but I’ve been told to cease screaming “Exterminate! Exterminate!” whenever I visit.

  150. Well, perhaps that’s because ‘exterminate’ is invariably paired with the concept of ‘Must kill the doctor’ – something we’ve all thought at some time or other in a public hospital but which doesn’t work well with waiting lists. Poor grandma. How’s she doing?

    MM – Cert IV? How very ghastly.
    How TF did Big Brother manage to impose this on you, and when will it end? And is it going to FK with our plans to gather in February to see the Ivanovich flick?

  151. Cert IV is a misnomer. If Morgana could take her cert intravenously, there would be no need for all that fracking homework.

    Grandma’s not doing as well as we’d like, but not for the reason we expected. She had surgery before Christmas, to remove two cancers from her face. The surgeon was not able to remove all of one tumor, because it would have involved cutting off gran’s nose. He gave her some chemo cream, and strict instructions on how to apply it. He warned her that if she did not use the cream, the cancer would quickly grow back and eat her nose off. Of course, neither the hospital or rehab centre bothered with it, so now gran has a two inch black cancer eating into her nose. It’s reached her eye, too. But at least they kicked her out of rehab early – not because she was ready, but because they needed her bed – so now the inlaws are caring for her at their place, and the cream is finally being applied. It’s probably too late, though. Understandably, gran is a little depressed lately. But she is happy to be out of hospital, because it means that she can finally have sherry for breakfast again. And whiskey for lunch. And wine for dinner….

  152. Q, nothing will stop me from coming to see the Evanovich flick. Well, nothing Cert IV related, anyway.

    Sounds like mixed news about Grandma, Catty. She must be mighty relieved to be out of hospital, but the face cancer sucks. Still, even though the application has been delayed, hopefully the cream will kick in. She sounds like a fighter – fingers crossed.

    I don’t think sherry’s the go for breakfast, though – she should try vodka and orange – or if she’s got bladder problems, maybe a Cosmopolitan, for the cranberry.

  153. No bladder problems for Gran, but there are for everyone else. She has a special frame set up over the inlaws’ loo, so anyone who wants the loo has to move the scaffolding out of the way first. As they have a very narrow WC, it can take a bit of time and effort – especially if, like me, your legs are crossed while trying to get the bloody thing out of the way. My boys don’t mind so much, as they have taken to nipping outside to pee on the fence when we’re visiting. They told their sister to do the same, but unsurprisingly, she was a little reluctant.

  154. Children are funny, aren’t they?

    Mine love nothing better than going outside to pee. I used to encourage them to do it on the lemon tree… which subsequently died.

    Hmm… I wonder if there’s a cause-effect thingy going on here…

  155. On the topic of pissing in the wind, I read a Nick Earls blog yesterday talking about the Worst Book Tour Ever (if I had to do them they’d ALL compete for that award) and he was saying that thanks to the advent of the e-book there are now writers around who can sell millions of books on Amazon without ever having to go through the pain and suffering involved in meeting their audience.
    Sounds fabulous.
    I remember listening to some agent talk about this at some bookish event, years ago, and she said that no agent would be willing to publish you if you weren’t willing to publicize your book. Which promptly inspired me to quit writing. FK that for a joke.
    Dare I think that there’s hope that those days are passing us by?
    Earls was of the opinion – and I agree – that generally its much better for the book and the general public not to expose the author to such close scrutiny by the public. If E-books are what it takes to make it so, then All Hail my new master, the Kindle.
    Not that I plan to get one.
    I heard on the radio how there’ve been studies done showing that if you suffer from insomnia, reading on a kindle tends to make it worse. its the effect of the light, presumably on the hypothalmic-pituitary feedback system, the workings of which I’ve already consigned to dead memory cells, but it made sense at the time.
    If I’m forced to choose between sleep and saving the forests, then Sorry mother nature, but Trees Will continue to die.
    Speaking of death and things that invoke the longing for it’s sweet release, how many days a week are you stuck with Cert IV?

  156. The Kindle has one great advantage – no more book shelves. If it keeps you awake at night, though, I’m not as keen as I was. I’ll check the literature.

    Cert IV claims me on Monday, but the homework seems to be marathon-length and exceptionally tedious. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, surely flagellating myself morning and night would do instead?

  157. You have children, Madam. You are already suffering enough for a dozen flagellations.

    Here’s an example of how children can stuff you around. A couple of weeks ago, I bought school shoes for the kidlets. I made sure there was extra room in the toes so they could grow a bit. The kidlets complained that the shoes were too big, but I insisted. Then this morning, when they put their new shoes on for the first day of school, the two oldest kidlets complained that their shoes were too tight.

    I may have to kill myself.

  158. you can’t do that, Catty, then MM would be stuck with the burden of keeping me sane all by herself.
    meanwhile, is it just me or is there some weird rule of thumb over at CBG that says that if a boy is having a bad day they can take it out on one of the womenfolk and then plead ‘Aw, I was having a bad day, kicking a girl in the guts seemed like a good idea.’
    Why is it when they’re having a bad day they don’t think to kick Orin in the guts?
    FKN male bullying.
    I’d only just started lurking back there, but I might have to go back to avoiding it.
    Blech.

  159. No, it isn’t just you Aunty Q. I’m sorry for Mick & I know how it feels to lose your parents but you’re quite right. JB’s title included ‘Telstrarse’ or something and others bagged the company (can’t be bothered going back to see) but it was Catty who copped the sprays. Although he did at least call bullshit on my argument – which I still maintain – and I’m kind of male when I last looked. It looked pretty bleeding obvious actually – no one had a good word for T, but hey, single out the woman for abuse. At least Lobes hasn’t been around lately, though Orin can be, er, dogmatic.

    It’s funny too but I’m pretty sure that in those months when everyone seemed to be dying, I took great care to be kind to them & everyone else. No wobblies chucked at work or home afaik. I guess it affects different people differently, not that I can’t be a cranky bugger!

  160. I’m coming to realise that foot-binding is the only answer, Catty. If we say it’s for religious reasons, I reckon we’ll get away with it. Should also dramatically reduce the incidence of running around like mad things, owing to the excruciating pain.

    You, GB – cranky? Surely not.

    LIfe’s too short to cop abuse from those dropkicks, Q. I still haven’t forgiven them for the blatant misogyny of… what, is it two years ago now?

    For superior grudge endurance – “Fun In a Box”

  161. Got to agree with that, Madam. It is much nicer here in the Box. You’re doing a sterling job of keeping the riff-raff away. And where else would I get such useful advice as foot binding to prevent having to fork out on new school shoes? Which reminds me – do I use cotton bandages, or elastene?

    Thanks for backing me up at CBG, everyone. It was tempting to write something spiteful back at Mick, but after hearing his news, I’m glad I didn’t. You’re right, Greybeard, it does affect people differently. You managed to be kind to everyone, but I didn’t. After Nan died in July, some sock puppet or other at CBG was being an arse (with extra frostings of arse), and I vaguely recall giving them a schelacking before wandering back here to hang out with the humans. Can’t remember which sock puppet, though, and can’t bring myself to care.

    Quokka, I’d like to propose a solution for the bully boys. Force them to drink one litre of soy milk (minimum) every single day for three months. All those phytoestrogens will give them a refreshing change of perspective – and will also do wonders for their man boobs.

  162. Mmm… phytoestrogens.

    Something with little or no give, Catty – tear a feed bag into strips, perhaps, or repurpose any unwanted curtains… the nice stiff ones with thermal backing would be ideal.

    I’ve got a rotten stinking summer cold and I feel as miserable as a giraffe. Also, my nose is so blocked I can’t taste my coffee – I hate that!

    Whinge, whinge, grizzle grizzle.

  163. Oh, no! Poor Madam. Whinge away, you have every right to grizzle about a crappy thing like that. Summer colds are horrible – it’s too bloody hot for chicken soup and vicks vapour rub.

    The Boss swears by icy poles for summer colds. You may need to send one of your minions… uh, I mean, children… out to buy you a box of Frosty Fruits. Or three, if the Boss’s prolific consumption is any indication. He went through an entire box of those Life Saver icy poles yesterday, but I think the 33ºC heat and his hangover had a lot to do with that.

    Get well soon, Madam. I’m sending you healing thoughts – but no icy poles. We’ve run out. Probably just as well, they don’t seem to do too well in the post.

  164. Summer colds suck the big one.
    Hope you are collecting cooties in a vial and preparing to let loose this plague upon your Cert IV teacher, the better to punish him/her for dumping so much homework on you.
    Catty I’d go with duct tape for the foot binding. It has the added advantage of being useful to silence any pesky requests for ice-cream and hayrides when you return to the Mall to replace the school shoes.
    FWIW, I don’t think it’s bad behaviour to kick a troll in the nuts when provoked, regardless of whether or not you’re having a bad day. If ignoring them isn’t working and they’re intent on targeting you, a good schellacking is the only thing that works to get them to back off.
    Crankiness is part of the human experience. We all have bad days.
    Taking it out on a soft target, when a dozen other people are doing the same thing, is just bullying, plain and simple.
    FWIW, my assessment of apologies is thus:
    1. Apology + remorse/understanding that you’ve hurt your target & commitment to behave better in future = Acceptable. Tick.
    2. Apology + justification for the behaviour = apology negated by the excuse. i.e. person apologizing clearly feels behaviour is justified & will repeat offend.
    3. Apology + justification + ‘poor bugger me’ + efforts to divert sympathy from the target onto the bully = Manipulative ****. Back away ASAP.

    Possibly I’m being hard & unforgiving, but given that I come from 3 generations of battered women & I’ve somehow managed to avoid that fate, find a good spouse, and build a good life for myself, I think I’ll stick with calling it Good Instincts based on a lifetime of observation of how revolting men operate – and I’m calling it BS over at CBG. I think I’ll take a break – I just find it too disheartening when some bully decides to lash out one of the womenfolk and the guys all respond by holding his hand and saying ‘You poor bastard.’

    My father got squished dead by a stolen car when I was 15 and I managed to get through the days and years that passed without bullying anyone. If a grown man of three times that age cannot do the same then I would think it’s time to get help, and grow TF up.

    Grr.
    Kudos to the guys over there that don’t fall for the BS, and who call it when they see it, but Jeebus, some days I wonder WTF is going on that there’s just such a strong tendency over there for the guys to slip into that behaviour and that the others don’t even see it.
    God help the women that live with some of these guys. Their lives must be hell.

  165. Mmm… icy poles.

    Thanks for the healing thoughts, Catty. I feel better already. Although that may have something to do with the handful of aspirin I swallowed for lunch.

    Don’t worry, Q – since I have no choice but to attend tomorrow… you can’t make up a missed class… I’ll be breathing plenty of vile germs into the air-conditioning system. That’ll teach them for trying to educate me!

    The problem at CBG might be related to pack mentality. Behaviour that they may not get away with individually can be supported and perpetuated by the group. As with Vikings, or outlaw bikie gangs.

  166. True, but I’m happy to blame iggerance and queensland made beeyar.

  167. Madam, remember to moan a lot. Don’t make the mistake of suffering in silence. Hey, can you vomit on cue? Or, better yet, on the teacher?

    The Boss said the same thing as you did, Quokka, and thinks I’m a wuss for not giving Mick some of his own back. He also says he’d be very very surprised if Mick really did have a dead father, as everyone these days is using a dead relative as an excuse for rudeness, ineptitude, tardiness, harassment, dishonesty, you name it. I have to admit, we’ve been cornholed by 4 different eBay sellers in the last three months, and ALL of them have used a dead relative as an excuse for not sending our purchased item and then refusing to give our money back. Also, the Boss has had several incidents at work lately where people have tried to excuse their bad behaviour with the whole “My MIL died, I just buried Uncle Fred, my cat was eaten by a python” thing. He’s taken to responding with “Piss off, mate”.

    Meanwhile, it’s getting late down here in daylight savings land, so I’d better go find my roll of duct tape for the kidlets’ feet. They have school tomorrow.

  168. You called it, Catty, and so did others. I think that’s all you can do when someone is trying to start a fight. Giving them a fight just gives them what they want, and then it divides the whole community – look at any conversation that Lobes has started trouble in for proof of that.
    And at least he backed down, and there are some people there with enough smarts to see right through it.
    You have a point with the Lame Excuse.
    Can we turn this into a business opportunity, somehow?
    I mean, surely, with our combined creativity and experience of total A$$hats, we must be able to produce some sort of literature outlining much more creative reasons for being a bastard?

  169. I can understand why being recently bereaved may make you a bit slack in dispatching things… but how the hell does that justify also keeping people’s money? “Poor old dead Dad was always a rip-off merchant – he would have wanted it this way.”

    I’m pretty sure we floated the idea of an excuse agency before. I’m still keen. Here’s one to get us started:
    “I’m very sorry I haven’t completed those financial reports. My neighbour has been experimenting with bringing extinct species back to life through gene splicing – and a thylacine ate my flash drive.”

  170. How about, “I’m sorry I didn’t send you a birthday card. My alien abductors forgot to remove the anal probe, and it was just too painful to walk to the post office”.

  171. But it was!

  172. Ouch.

    I’m not going to be sitting down for a quite a while after reading that one.

  173. I have been doing little else. I’ve been working my way through the Stefanie Plum series again & am up to 5. gosh it’s nice not to have to waste time studying (apologies to those being tormented by the edjamacational system – MM)
    The Bloke spent the weekend on the couch opposite me giggling over the book I gave him for his BD – Steve Hely’s ‘How I became a famous novelist’. Someone on staff in the bookshop told me it was hilarious, which it must be, as the bloke hasn’t put it down. Looking forward to reading that next.
    Two more weeks till the Morelli-Plum adventure hits the big screens, MM. have you got your babysitter booked for a lunch and movie date?

  174. Sounds delightful – enjoy! Why should be all suffer?

    I will have to consult my babysitter and get back to you, Q – but given cricket, etc. I’m thinking if I burn down the Bruce as soon as cricket has finished one Saturday, we should be able to make something like a 3 p.m. session.

    Sound feasible?

    Excuse me now while I go and waste my few remaining brain cells on Occupational Health and Safety. I think I feel a bad back coming on….

  175. Heh heh. If the course is making you feel litigious as well, then you’re learning fast.
    Sounds like a good plan to me. I’ll email you.

  176. Ah, modern times. When I were a lad, ‘work’ meant looking busy when the manager walked by. Nowadays, ‘work’ means looking busy safely when the OH&S officer walks by.

  177. Mostly, “work” to me has “home” stuck in front of it and equals a big headache for me on Thursday afternoon when the offspring scramble to finish everything they haven’t done all week to hand it in on Friday.

    Hey, what day is it today? Strangely, I feel a sharp pain behind my left eye…

  178. When I feel a sharp pain behind my left eye, it usually means Aunt Irma is nomming my brain. Which probably means Aunt Irma is a zombie. A transvestite faerie zombie. And a bitch. (mustn’t forget bitch).

  179. Work at the moment is prefaced by ‘house’ – which means I’m avoiding it, hiding on the couch with another Stefanie Plum novel.
    Meh.
    I’m thinking of running away and living some place where there’s snow all year round. Whaddya reckon…do you think Swedish backpackers are as annoying in their homeland as they are in ours?

  180. I tell you what I do think… there’d be a markedly decreased incidence in pay-TV salesmen and their ilk knocking at your front door if they had to battle through 8 foot of snow to get there.

    I’m in!

  181. Snowed in, for your first preference, I’m guessing?

  182. Delicious, cold, cold, snow.

    As long as I can have some sort of gas-powered central heating – I’m not a great wood-chopper.

    Maybe I could hook a line up to Catty’s husband?

  183. You might want to reconsider that idea, Madam, or you could freeze to death. The Boss is like me – when something needs doing, procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate! Sure, the job gets done eventually, but they don’t call us the Mañanas for nothing.

    Meanwhile, Melbourne’s weather is being as capricious as ever. If it wasn’t for these hot flushes, I’d be freezing.

  184. Oh, I didn’t think he’d chop wood for me, Catty – I thought I could harvest gas from him.

  185. If we could bottle that man’s farts, the Army would probably buy the lot for chemical warfare purposes.

  186. He might be outlawed under the Geneva Convention, in that case.

    Have you ever wanted to visit The Hague?

  187. No, no, no, Madam, it’s spelled “Haigh”, and I’ve already visited it several times with Mayhem. They have the BEST chocolate.

  188. The truly fabulous thing about Haigh’s was that there were two other chocolate shops in the same arcade.

  189. Yeah, I love it. I keep looking for houses on acreage for sale within walking distance of the arcade, but strangely there don’t seem to be any.

  190. I’d settle for a bunk in the Hopetown Tea House. How high were those ceilings? They looked like they’d fit a triple decker bunk in one corner and you’d only need to evict two teensy little tables.
    It would be much more profitable for them to have our crew in there in permanent residence. Even if it was only a 10 day long Aunt Irma Special.
    Hmm…come to think of it, that could clear out the nervous among their clientele…

  191. Bunk beds make me nervous. How about an Aunt Irma delivery service, direct to couch, instead?

  192. So long as they deliver the entire contents of the shop window. I’d be a satisfied woman, staring at that for the duration of Aunt Irma’s visit.

  193. You have marvellous self control, Quokka. If they dumped that lot in front of me, it wouldn’t last 24 hours, let alone the entire duration of Aunt Irma’s visit.

  194. Heh heh. Good point. Still, what can I say – when it comes to desserts, I like to look.

  195. Mmm… chocolate-to-couch delivery.

    I thought I’d be writing this from an orthopaedic ward, I did something terrible to my back at the markets. There was a lot more heavy lifting than usual, hauling trailers and BBQs and things around, because the boss was in a cricket final so his wife was doing the cooking yesterday.

    I was okay coming home, but then about 4-5 hours later I got an excruciating pain between my shoulder blades, radiating down both arms. Swallowed aspirin by the handful, some Mersyndol left over from Aunt Irma, but nothing would shift it.

    Luckily, when I woke up this morning it’s not nearly so bad.

    What do you reckon, Q – muscle strain?

  196. And they say hard work never killed anyone. Huh.

  197. They lied. Hard work has killed lots of people. Look at me.

  198. Oh, sorry, I must have been thinking of that old adage, “aardvark never killed anyone”.

  199. Nasty.
    Hard to tell without poking it but if its feeling better then odds are it’s in the tissue rather than the bones.
    Have you got a heat pad you can put on it?
    BTW folks, my MAC seems to have acquired a pron stalker so I hope its not contagious. Beeso very kindly tried to help me fix it but it’s beyond even his skill. Am off to the Mac Shop at Chermside later this week for expert help.
    Sigh.
    Every time I try to google search, pron sites come up.

  200. My Mac had a bad Google Pron infection a while back, but it appears to have cleared up now. I fixed it with my usual technique – hitting the computer and swearing.

  201. Unfortunate, Q.

    Sounds like a computer STD – hopefully it will respond to some e-penicillin.

    Having spent the day in college, I’ve now got a headache to match my backache. It’s nice to have a co-ordinated set, with Valentine’s Day coming up and all.

    • Someone needs a massage. I prescribe scented oils & hot packs.

  202. Forget all that, Greybeard. Morganarama needs her Plumber.

  203. Nonsense. What she needs is a serial killer.
    That’d take care of the homework/big brother interference, at any rate.
    Hope you feel better soon MM. If it’s any consolation Damien & his missus have both hurt their backs too, so it’s going around.
    The bloke is away in FNQ on construction related business once again. His boss asked him timidly last week how much trouble there’d be if he was away on Valentine’s Day.
    At which point the Bloke collapsed with laughter and said ‘You haven’t met my wife.’
    My great fear is that if/when I make it to the grim fiery landscape of the Underworld, Valentine’s Day and Groundhog Day are one and the same thing.

  204. Hehehe… Groundhog Valentine’s.

    A festive day celebrated by eating chocolate in the snow, and running around frightened of your own shadow.

  205. More like a festive six weeks of eating chocolate while jumping at shadows… no, wait, that’s Lent.

  206. Speaking of which, I found Easter eggs in the supermarket the other day but was most annoyed to see that they only had the crappy NRL colours eggs. When I went looking for the good ones (Red Tulip) there were none in the store.
    I didn’t buy them because I’m operating on the assumption that NRL eggs are probably every bit as distasteful to me as NRL players. Well, that and I might wake up the next day with chlamydia.

    • Chlamydia is such a pretty word (IMHO) it’s a pity it’s an STD. Sounds like some doe-eyed Greek lass with masses of dark curls. But I still don’t want to wake up the next day with chlamydia. Of either kind.

      Lyn got an odd call last night. An old friend is having someone to dinner on Friday who is apparently fiercely opinionated & pedantic. So she asked if Lyn could come too and bring me. As . . . ? Meh. I get lamb roast and the friend is a great cook so how bad can it be?

      • I’d say you’ve been invited as comic relief, GB.

      • Done! (Digs out book of Groucho Marx quotes & fake cigar)

  207. Can someone please explain to me where Easter and Rugby League intersect?

    Why the hell do people need Easter eggs in their team’s colours?

    They should be satisfied with red spotted ones, filled with silky, delicious caramel and smothered in rich Red Tulip chocolate…. mmmm…

    Sorry, what were we talking about?

  208. I used to make chocolate crackle filled eggs for the kids. Also banded dark-milk-white ones. All solid of course – none of this “hollow egg” commercial nonsense. And yes, I am fat.

  209. Easter eggs are on my “can’t be fagged” list this year, so I’ll probably just send everyone these:

    http://www.getprice.com.au/Flat-Pack-Easter-Egg-Bar-Gpnc_372–62858037.htm

    (Some assembly required).

  210. Very nice, Catty.

    They’d just slip right into an envelope, too, wouldn’t they?

    Greybeard, my mind refuses to form a picture of you making chocolate crackle. There’s something intrinsically wrong, there.

  211. I can, but it would probably snap and pop first.

  212. Suddenly, I’m craving Cocoa Pops.

  213. And copha? Maybe I should revive the egg making. Nothing says Happy Northern Hemisphere Spring Fertility Festival like a chocolate egg so solid you could stun a rabbit with it. Or getting drunk & dancing naked around a fire – that works too.

  214. I like to call it “Man nailed to a stick” day.

    But you know me.

  215. Yeah, getting sloshed and dancing is a favourite around these parts. But when I let it all hang out, I prefer not to let it get too close to an open fire.

    Solid chocolate noms, however, are always welcome.

  216. I found Red Tulip Rabbits when I was at Woollies yesterday. Curiously I didn’t find cous cous, which was on the shopping list – and Rabbits were not.
    I also found malteser eggs, the little baby ones.
    Didn’t we have this conversation last year?
    I swear I’m getting deja vu.
    Then again, that could be because chocolate forms the basis of much of our conversation here.
    I didn’t see any chocolate flat pack easter eggs, Catty, but I’ll keep an eye out for those… just for a giggle. Probably wouldn’t buy one. Easter may be Man on a Stick day for MM but for me it is Red Tulip Rabbit Day. We always eat far too many of them but as Nat pointed out, when else in the year do you see Red Tulip chocolate?

  217. You make a good point, Q.

    What on earth do Red Tulip do with themselves for the rest of the time?

    I think they should establish a presence at other times of the year, too. Australia Day chocolates, May Day chocolates, Winter Solstice chocolates…

    They can wrap them all in red-spotted foil as far as I’m concerned, too. I’m only in it for the noms.

  218. That would attach marketing levy on whatever hallmark holiday they’re promoting. I’d rather see Shopping Day chocolates in the aisles, every day I’m there.

  219. We could start an e-petition, for year-round Red Tulip.

    Or just stockpile, I suppose.

  220. I’d go for the stockpile. It’ll be handy when the Chocopalypse comes and there is NO MORE CHOCOLATE.

  221. I was told 30 years ago that Red Tulip made Pink Lady chocolates for export, but Cadbury acquired Red Tulip in the 80’s, so I guess I was told wrong. Even if it had been true it wouldn’t have mattered. All Easter eggs taste completely different from their manufacturer’s year-round bars.

    Oh, and Greybeard? Wash your mouth out.

  222. I think he should come back and try saying that when Aunt Irma is around. She’d show him.
    Meh.
    Well, I am taking my pron-ridden IMAC off to the tech wizards at Apple today. Oh happy joy joy. Beeso’s assessment of the problem was that I should junk everything and start again. If you don’t hear from me in the next 24 hours, better email me your blog site addresses again as I may well be starting from Scratch.
    Plus side – I’m pretty sure there’s a Darrell Lea near the Apple shop so I will be stocking up on peanut brittle to get myself through the readjustment period.
    Wish me luck!

  223. Good luck, Q!

    A pron-infested computer is bad, but at least it’s not the Chocopalypse.

    Happy brittling, and I hope it’s better than you think. The computer, I mean. I’m sure the brittle will be just as good as you expect.

    The problem is, Catty, I never see Pink lady chocolates anywhere, either. Which brings us back to stockpiling. A climate-controlled chamber would be ideal, perhaps underground… Do you think we could trust Mayhem’s Mum and the rats? Nuh, don’t suppose we could.

  224. Well, I think Greybea… I mean, ‘Mayhem’s Mum’, only eats ratatouille (or was it lemonade scones?), and the rats themselves are apparently busy eating all the cables to NT’s computers, so the chocolate might actually be safe for a while… so long as we don’t tell Fifi it’s there.

    Good luck with the computer, Quokka. I still say hitting it and swearing would have been cheaper and more satisfying, but at least you get peanut brittle. Mmmm….

  225. Looks like Q’s computer is still on the operating table.

    Or else she’s lolling on the couch in a delirious brittle coma.

    Lets hope it’s the latter.

  226. That sounds scary. Without Quokka to keep them in line, those cats will run amok. I can hear them now… “First Casa Quokka, then the WORLD! MEOWHAHAHAHAHAAAA!”

  227. You’re both right.
    I couldn’t bear to reboot the GD thing until this morning – at least this way I got to enjoy my weekend. Or that was the theory.
    In reality the Bloke played golf most of yesterday and I crawled around on my hands and knees in the shower recess, scrubbing the mould between the glass tiles with extra strength Bathroom Plus Bam.
    I’m still seeing purple dots & am having slightly more sympathy for Elf Boy’s plight.
    Plus side, while the bloke was wandering the lengths of some shark infested water trap, I got in some quality couch time.
    I’m onto Stephanie Plum no. 17 and I think I’ve gained 2kilos just from reading what she and Lula eat.
    For some reason I can’t get either of your blogs to appear in my bookmark bar. Bizarre.
    The Bloke is in FNQ for three days and I’m reminding myself that if he was here he’d be absolutely no use anyway. Well, he might take me out to lunch or to dinner to take my mind of it and it always lifts my spirits to see him punching the keyboard and muttering obscenities at the MAC so thats what I’m missing, I guess.
    Now that I’ve plugged the MAC back in my POS mobile phone has decided to play up.
    Murphy’s law of technology – fix one appliance, and another will go out in sympathy.
    It better live a while longer, no way can I face another trip to the Shopocalypse this early in the week.

  228. Glad you survived, Quokka. Do you reckon you could pop around and do my shower while you’re at it? I can’t be fagged doing it today, thanks to an unpleasant altercation with the stupid vacuum cleaner.

    My bookmarks are playing up, too. We tagged several properties we’re interested in (plus a few in Tasmania that I haven’t talked the Boss out of yet), but they’ve all disappeared. Maybe it’s a sign that we’re not meant to move to Tassie? Or maybe it’s a sign that we ARE meant to toss the bloody Mac onto the footpath. It’s tempting, but every time I resolve to trash to bloody thing, I use the in-laws’ Windows 7 PC, and remember why I have a Mac in the first place. Stupid Windows.

    Meanwhile, I hope you’re all set for Pancake Tuesday tomorrow. I’ve bought the most marvellous dark chocolate sauce for my pancakes. It’s going to be delicious. If there’s any left. (I’ve already had quite a few swigs directly out of the bottle.)

    Oh dear – I just heard thunder outside. I’d better switch off the Mac. Catch you all later.

  229. Tasmania?

    Oh, please do move to Tasmania. And I shall come to visit you for all of summer – pencil me in.

    I hope you enjoy 17, Q. I was given 18 for Christmas and I have to say, although I still love Evanovich, they’re getting a bit sameish. I’m looking forward to the next in the Deadly Sins, though, she’s got more scope for new territory there, I think.

    It was Marketing at The College of The Brain Dead, today. Just kill me now.

    I have plenty of maple syrup, but too much homework to have time to make pancakes. Can I just pour syrup on toast, or administer it by the spoonful? It wouldn’t really be in the Shrove Tuesday spirit, I suppose.

  230. Poor MM. At least you were out of the heat yesterday, it was truly gruesome.
    As for Janet – I think they’ve been the same since 4 or 5 but I so enjoy the way she speaks (well, writes, really) that I keep reading them anyway. I’m off to the bookstore soon to claim 18 and a special order that’s come in, and I’m looking forward to having the full collection again, as they’ve been pilfered by friends/family/random book thieves. They’re standard summer reading, for me.
    It’s pancake day? Nooo!
    Catty don’t disown me, but I bought organic sourdough rye when I was in the grocery store last night – and that was breakfast. it was a compromise as I couldn’t find the German black rye that I was after.
    Aside from which, last winter’s bout of the 5 day V&D epidemic began after a final meal of buckwheat pancakes, yoghurt & maple syrup. I used to love pancakes but I’m still not ready to face down that particular item on the menu. Unfortunately once I’ve vomited it, my body seems to permanently mark the last consumed meal as a toxic substance.
    I’m still pissed off that meal happened to be pancakes and couldn’t have been, say, Brussels Sprouts.
    Happy pancake day to those of you who are keen to celebrate it – if I sneak in a Portuguese custard tart, does it count?

  231. Mmm.. Portugese custard tart.

    I was too busy with my Mouldering Homework to make pancakes this morning, so I’ll make some for dinner dessert.

    As long as we get a storm.

    If not, I won’t even be making the butter chicken I had planned for main course, and I’ll be dialling a pizza. If I can make it to the phone.

  232. Amen to that. The cats have been trawling the house freaked out by the eery steam that was rising over the city this morning, thanks to the 32ml of rain we had between 2-4am. I can see the apocalypse on the radar and I’m looking forward to a good drenching.
    I made a Thai red chicken curry (with the obligatory extra veg) in the slow cooker on the weekend, and it was fan-smurfing-tabulous. And being that there’s 4litres of it, it’s neatly packaged into the freezer in meal sized portions. I’d like to attempt it with butter chicken but I suspect it wouldn’t freeze well.
    Butter chicken sounds fab but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to eat anything to follow it on a day as filthy hot as today.
    Well, maybe pineapple sorbet, but I’m always ready to eat that.

  233. Mmm… pineapple sorbet.

    I can hear some impressive rolls of thunder but at present it’s still annoyingly sunny.

    Bring it on!

    If you can freeze Thai curry I’m sure you can freeze butter chicken. Catty, what do you reckon?

  234. Who cares about pancakes. I’m ruined & by my own son. He dropped in with his housemate to borrow a cutlass & some ant poison. She was lovely – tall & very hip with a bowler hat, skinny jeans & lots of rings & piercings but above all, a sweet smile. So she went off and told some friends that I was “the cutest man she’d ever met, like a little Santa Claus.” And those friends repeated it on Twitter. Oh the laughter & the taunting & the mocking. Sure, I may have claimed to look like Gandalf on ‘roids but it’s not as though I thought I’d get sprung? My own son. Vengeance will be mine – I will repay!

    (I do however care about Portuguese custard tarts.)

  235. I don’t see why you’re worried. As with any credibility problem, simpley refer to Nbob for character assassination…er…referral.
    BTW, you know the Oxford Street bakery does Portuguese Custard tarts some sort of fresh blueberry glaze on top? Haven’t tried them yet as I’m a purist but they do look good and deadly.

  236. I adore glazed blueberries on French custard tarts, so the Portuguese ones are probably pretty wonderful too.

    The butter chicken will freeze, but needs to be thawed slowly. Put it in the fridge the day before to defrost, and it’s fine.

    Meanwhile, we had the most wonderful bananana pancakes for our dinner. I forced myself to leave a drizzle of the dark chocolate sauce, and it was even better on the pancakes than it was straight out of the bottle. Delightful! It should sustain me through the next 40 no-pancake days.

    Greybeard, I’m not surprised you don’t want pancakes. You’d be more into fruitcake, and mince tarts, and shortbread, and all those other Christmassy foods wouldn’t you?

    • I expect cruelty & wickedness from my own flesh & blood, but . . . et tu Cattus?

  237. I knew Catty would know.

    GB, it could be much worse – at least she said you were cute.

    BTW, what on earth were they planning to do with a cutlass and ant poison? A little curare smeared on the blade would be much more effective.

  238. Thanks Catty. I will give it a go.
    It didn’t even occur to me to feel perplexed about the cutlass and the ant poison. Thanks to the assembly of mad inmates in the buildings around Casa Quokka, I’ve learned it’s best not to question it.
    Although the Bloke did shake his head when he realized that prior to using the electronic hedge trimmers, the guy next door loads up his poison pack and squirts toxic death on the 2mH x 10m W hedge. And then he follows up with the electronic hedge trimmers & inhales all the spider poison.
    As the Bloke says, it must make sense in his mind.
    We just prefer not to know how…

  239. We are all best off not knowing. I learned that after asking about the milk bottles and the tuning fork.

  240. Perhaps, Ms Quokka, your neighbour could assist Mr Nowhere Bob when he visits Parliament House with his chainsaw.

  241. Gosh, I’d forgotten the milk bottle and tuning fork. Weirdest. Sex. Toy. Ever. As long as you get the frequency right.

    • The frequency! Of course! That’s what I did wrong.

  242. As far as frequency goes, I gather twice a week is average.

    Doesn’t seem like very often, does it?

    • Ouch. That Hertz.

  243. Hehehe.

    Let’s get physics-al.

  244. “He couldn’t look at her lissajous figure without thinking about simple harmonic motion.”

    (Sorry. At Uni we were remarkably like the Big Bang Theory boys)

  245. And she had an amazing Gauss.

  246. OK. I’ve been out to lunch and the movies and I’m sitting here wondering how the Smurf you went from ant poison and spider bait and hedge trimmers to sexual innuendo.
    Then again, this is what happens when I turn my back for five minutes.
    You’re a sick bunch of puppies, you know.
    Remind me never to leave any of you alone with my weeding wand.

  247. I sincerely hope you obtained that weeding wand by annihilating the weed faerie with vicious malice.

  248. Weeding wand?

    I can’t think of anything to do with that – not even weeding. I’ve got a “born free” approach to weeds.

  249. Weeds are the Boss’s problem. He handles all the outdoor stuff like mowing, and pool maintenance. The only thing he makes me do is prune the roses. (I think he might be scared of them.) I handle the inside stuff, like rearranging furniture to hide grott on the carpet, removing lightbulbs from bathrooms so nobody can see how disgusting the toilet is, delegating washing up to kidlets, and thinking up excuses for all the cobwebs.

  250. Ah!

    Removing lightbulbs from the bathroom.

    Excuse me, I’ve just thought of something I should do – BRB.

  251. She’s electrocuting the toilet seat, isn’t she?

  252. No, that would only literally bite me in the bum.

    I am thinking about electrifying the floor around the toilet, though, so any errant piddlers get a nasty shock.

  253. Nah, Mythbusters disproved that one. Pity.

  254. Still above the high tide mark, MM? Looks like you got a fair whack of rain up there last night.

  255. At least, we hope it was rain, and not the spray from an aim-challenged young boy.

  256. I had a challenging night.

    When I woke up for my usual mid-sleep pitstop, I noticed that the power was out. After several trips to the fuse-box to try and turn it back on, I tracked the problem to rain water, blowing in through an open window and shorting out a power board in MM’s room.

    At that point, I didn’t have a backyard any more, I had rice paddies.

    Luckily, it stopped raining before it rose any higher.

    Sadly, it stopped raining in time for baconing to still be on.

  257. Cruel but funny http://instagr.am/p/HamokHx_Ux/

    At least in this company.

  258. Dr Samantha must die. You lot hold her down, I’ll stuff the “untorn, untampered with” wrappers down her bitchy throat.

  259. Hmm. Chocolate.
    I knew there was something missing from my diet today.
    Hope you aren’t suffering too much at The Baconing today, MM.
    Although after the drenching of the last few days I suspect that you’ll all be up to your knees in squishy, gooey, mud.

  260. Squishy mud…. now I’m thinking of chocolate. It’s pretty hot here today, and the lunchtime chocolate was decidedly gooey. I haven’t had any chocolate since then. I’d better go remedy that. Mmmm….

  261. I bet I could extract the chocolate without tampering with the wrapper. Although, I suppose steaming it open would have undesirable effects on the contents.

    You weren’t wrong about the mud, Q.

    Also, pretty much as soon as we set up, we were drenched with violent squalls. Powered by strong wind, the rain managed to blow in under most of the tent, so I was reduced to making up rolls on a chopping board balanced on an egg box.

    Strangely, many customers preferred to stay home in their cosy houses.

    • “Strangely, many customers preferred to stay home in their cosy houses.” I’m sorry, really, but that’s the funniest line I’ve seen this morning. It conjures up images of a wet & windblown Morgana looking less than happy. In a tent. Chortle.

      To cheer you up, I offer this: https://twitter.com/#!/timminchin/status/173789696919486468/photo/1/large

  262. Poor Madam. Slaving away in a storm, and Greybeard laughs at you. Naughty Greybeard! Keep that up, and we’ll dob you in to Mayhem’s Mum.

  263. If you’re going to go around without pants on, why the hell would you bother with a t-shirt?

    Let it all hang out, I say.

    GB’s cruel, but he’s spot on the money. I was miserable, wet and windblown. Still, it’s all good today. All I have to do is wrestle with the vagaries of Microsoft Publisher. No mud or wind at all. Well, maybe a little wind.

  264. Baked beans for lunch, hey?

  265. No – just refried bean burritos the night before.

  266. Could be worse. Could have been cabbage.

  267. Well, that cleared the room.
    Maybe if I say ‘Red Tulip Rabbits’ three times very fast, for luck, seeing as it’s the first day of the month, that will lure you all back.

  268. Speaking of which, Morgana was it you that was deprived of malteser mini-eggs last year? Because if so, speak fast, I saw them gracing the aisles at my local Mega Grocer, so if you need some and they aren’t in good supply in your neck of the woods, speak up.

  269. I haven’t seen any yet, Q – but it’s five weeks until Easter.

    If I get desperate, I’ll let you know.

    Speaking of desperate, it is Too. Damn. Hot. Isn’t it supposed to be autumn? Time for the humidity to decrease along with the temperature, I reckon.

    Make it so!

  270. Yep. Rough here too. Waiting in my cool, dark (A/C) den of Nerdiquity for a sick PC to arrive and a house call to make later. About time computers started failing this year. Also downloading Windows 8 again so I can play with its shiny new toys. Fifi & I popped over to Bulimba again for library supplies, a picnic basket & coffee. I took the picnic basket when we met (old-school gent that I am) and found it was full of books & malt whiskey. I think I’ll keep her.

  271. Windows 8?

    I’ve only just gotten used to Windows 7, for goodness sake.

    What’s great about 8, GB?

    • It’s the first one for touch screens but is also supposed to be light on space & resources which I’ll believe when I see it. The big difference I’ve seen so far is logging in. You can choose to log in via Microsoft vs just on the local PC, which means wherever you are, you get your own bookmarks, favorites, email, twitter, facebook – maybe even iTunes, though I won’t be testing that. It’s an interesting concept for people who use different machines, travel & so on. I wouldn’t (as a Sys Admin) want people transforming machines on ‘my’ network into their manky home PCs and I certainly wouldn’t want to log in at some Internet cafe with all my home stuff. Think about this I must.

  272. Windows 8 shall pass me by,
    for I have an Apple Mac.
    System failures don’t make me cry,
    it works if I give it a whack…

    …And swear at it. Swearing is essential.

  273. Indeed. PCs may run on electricity, but my IMAC runs on fear.
    I told the mongrel thing I’d chuck it out for curb side clean up if it didn’t play noice, and Voila! Its fear of a white trash haven is greater than it’s fear of me.

  274. I don’t blame it for being scared, Quokka. In our neck of the woods, appliances dumped on hard rubbish piles are invariably neutered. Of course, this may just mean there’s some weirdo in our neighbourhood with a sick obsession for power cords. But I reckon it’s a Council spaying program to prevent litters, because littering is illegal here. (Our Council isn’t very bright.)

    • I dunno. They sound bright enough to me. If you people put your Macs out in the streets they’ll go feral and breed like rabbits. They must be neutered or Australia will be overrun with the damn things, with their chintzy chimes and you-don’t-need-to-know-that attitudes and their sleek designs. This was a land of proper computers once. Unfriendly bastards they were, with commands like:
      % cd english
      % pwd
      % /u/ma/jeremy/english
      % ls
      novel poems
      % cd novel
      % pwd
      % /u/ma/jeremy/english/novel
      % ls
      ch1 ch2 ch3 journal scrapbook
      % cd ..
      % pwd
      % /u/ma/jeremy/english
      % cd poems
      % cd
      % /u/ma/jeremy
      to do things you softies do with bleeding mice. Whatever happened to chmod, grep and cat? Time was you had to memorise a hundred commands with a dozen switches for each just to blow your nose! We were MEN in those days (sobs quietly into pint of Guinness)

  275. My brain is not big enough to cope with this least post of GB’s. Who the hell is this Jeremy bloke?

    I can concur that fear is a great motivator, though. My Grandpa planted a Poinciana tree, looking forward to masses of colourful blossoms every summer. He waited, and waited, and waited in vain. The Poinciana failed to flower. So Grandpa stood beneath the Poinciana with an axe, and said, “If this tree doesn’t flower this year, I’ll chop the bloody thing down.” Sure enough, next season there was a glorious display.

    • If Fifi was here, she would smile at me in that special way she has (think wolves, tigers, velociraptors contemplating a helpless goat) and agree entirely. Fear is a great motivator.

  276. Reading between the lines here, I infer that the next time Khan Greybeard decides to offer up a sonnet based on obscure mouse commands, we witches three should threaten to turn on him with rusty garden implements if he wants to continue with the use of his remaining functional limbs.

  277. I think Fifi already carries rusty garden implements in her handbag for exactly that purpose.

  278. Close. I’ve looked in her purse and what I saw was sharp and very shiny. She’s not the type to let a blade rust and go neglected.

  279. Snick, snick.

    I’m just honing my critique aid. Got any more poetry to share, GB?

    • There was an old man from Nantucket
      who kept all his cash in a bucket.
      But his daughter named Nan
      eloped with a man
      and as for the cash, Nantucket

      A habit obscene and unsavoury
      holds poor George Pell in slavery
      With maniacal howls
      he deflowers young owls
      which he keeps in an underground aviary

      • Linda Blair with great favour confessed,

        She’d been exorcised, thus finding rest,

        But alack and alas

        Her old demon came back

        and now the poor girl’s repossessed.

  280. I once went on a date with a bastard named Simon. He took me to see Rodney Rude (which should have told me something about Simon’s total unsuitability as a date, but didn’t… not immediately, anyway). During the night, Rodney did a medley of limericks on his ukelele. He called upon the audience to bring their best limericks up on stage. Simon jumped to his feet and rushed up to the stage. There, he recited:

    There once was a fellow from Glosham,
    Who took both his balls out to wash ’em.
    His wife said, “now Jack,
    If you don’t put them back,
    I’ll take out a hammer and squash ’em”.

    Rodney Rude stood glaring at Simon, then muttered “FK off”, much to the delight of the audience.

    After the show, Simon bought one of the t-shirts at the merchandise stand, and took it to Rodney for an autograph. The comedian took the shirt, swivelled around and hunched over the t-shirt for a couple of minutes. Then he turned back and handed Simon the shirt. Two circular holes had been cut out at nipple height, and across the bottom of the shirt was a very, very rude message that I shall not repeat here.

    I’d like to say that this was my last date with Simon, but it wasn’t. I went on one further date with him. He took me to a beer garden (wearing the Rodney Rude t-shirt with the nipple holes), where he announced that he had to go on an army training course for six weeks, and that I might like to lose some of my excessively large arse while he was gone.

    THAT was my last date with him. I never spoke to him again. But his comments did inspire me to lose a few kilos… 24 to be exact. I will forever be grateful to the horrible little prick for that.

  281. You girls have all the fun. I took Fifi on romantic moonlight walks through Surat cemetery. On hot summer nights we’d lay back on the cool marble and gaze at the stars. In my defense, it was a very small town and privacy was hard to find. Funny thing is, she still likes poking around in cemeteries.

  282. You’re lucky, GB. The more ancient you get, the more fascinating you’ll be to Fifi.

    Catty, I won’t hear a word against your arse. Want me to track him down and punish him?

    Hope this rain keeps up. In fact, I hope it tuns torrential and cuts the Sunshine Motorway so I don’t have to go to college tomorrow. Surely that’s not too much to ask?

  283. No worries, Madam, I’ll send you up some of our torrential flooding. Oh, and don’t worry too much about Simon. I went with the whole ‘a life well lived is the best revenge’ tack. Although I never spoke to him again, I did spot him amongst the crowd a couple of times when I was out clubbing with my new reduced-fat arse and my new gorgeous blonde boyfriend. It was a good thing he didn’t know that the gorgeous blonde was an even bigger prick than he was, or it would have spoiled the whole effect.

    Meanwhile, I hate the internet. We’re attempting to find cheap fares to Tassie so we can check out the real estate, but I don’t have a degree in IT – which means I can’t figure out their freakishly complicated ferry booking system. As for booking flights/hire cars online, I’ve put that into the Too Bloody Hard folder. Do you reckon I should build a raft, or would I have better luck harnessing a pod of dolphins to tow us over?

  284. Borrow the scribe’s hovercraft, and get Havock to take the wheel.
    that’ll take all the pain out of it.

  285. Thanks, Catty. You must have expressed that rain because it’s lashing at my hovel even as we speak.

    I reckon… if you insist on visiting Tasmania at all… you should go the full Whale Rider and whistle up a humpback. Just bring plenty of bungee cords for the luggage.

    Meanwhile, I may need a hovercraft to get to college. JB!

  286. All those childhood catechism classes about Jonah have given me a whale phobia. That Ren and Stimpy episode where they set up house in a rotting whale carcass didn’t help. So I may have to join the queue to borrow the hovercraft. What’s the going rate for that? Two disco balls and a jar of bunny polish, isn’t it?

  287. Eew.

    Bunny polish.

    I don’t want to know what they put in that, but I’m betting it’s not vegan.

  288. I’m guessing it’s not kosher, either.
    I’m deeply jealous of anyone getting real, proper, temperature reducing rain. We’ve had some spit and polish here overnight, while the apparent temperature is still sitting at around the 30C mark. In essence there’s a giant cloud of steam sitting on top of the city.
    Meh. Bring on the drenching rain, I say.

  289. No problem, Quokka. Just get Morgana to send it on to you once the college has washed away.

  290. I’m not sure you want quite as much rain as we’ve been having. They’re now saying there’s a change of a tropical cyclone developing.

    Perhaps I could send down 30% or so? Just say the word.

  291. Considering that we had 5ml yesterday while Maroochydore collected 62ml, that sounds reasonable. Although I was looking forward to the promised deluge. The grass is still brown and dry in the back yard, so I think all that yesterday’s Steaming Session did was to iron it flat.
    Onto other news, my Control + End key has lost control of the keyboard so I’m now having to scroll down the page every time I want to check in.
    GB, care to comment on what might fix it?
    I knew it wasn’t possible for the MAC to go more than a week without developing some other weird problem.
    Sigh.
    So did you make it home from school yesterday, MM?

  292. Yes. Half the class baled out at morning tea time, and I did spend the rest of the day wondering why I hadn’t feigned concern about my chances of getting home and joined them.

    Just concluded six solid hours of homework and have a headache to match.

    However, I have memories of my fabulous Sunday to sustain me – thanks for a great time, Q!

    Still raining on and off here so I hope some of it makes its way down your way.

  293. Yes, it was a lovely day – despite BOM’s efforts to persuade us otherwise. Glad you finally got to savor the goods from the Gelare shop. Catty – I had macadamia & MM had pralines and cream – which goes awfully well in combo with hazelnut and pistachio. Yum.
    I was floating around some news site the other day and I noticed that One for the Money is at number 5 in popularity at the movies this week so that’s hopeful for it. Despite the panning it got from the critics it seems to be doing OK with the punters. It would be a shame if they didn’t put any more into production…still think it would do better as a tv series though.
    Well, we’ve got more wispy steam clouds today but it doesn’t seem as hot or as sauna like as it was yesterday. Which is good as I need to vacuum, and make myself useful.

  294. Dang, I hit Post too soon.
    Hope the headache settles down soon, MM. GB had one yesterday but that’s what happens when he provokes me into sticking that voodoo doll into the vice. Yours, I suspect, is just the natural consequence of doing 6 hours of homework. Unless of course you need your eyes checked?

  295. No, I’m blaming it all on the homework.

    i just had a little lie down and now I feel fab again. Nothing like a nanna nap – and the knowledge that you’re six days away from more homework – to put the spring back in your step.

    What’s wrong with GB, though? Hung-over again, I’d wager.

    • Oi! I’m never hung over. Dead abstemious, I am. I suspect either Q’s doll or that Al has sent his headache over to be cared for while he has his op. Anyway Madam, you do know that Q has a cauldron that she stirs to control the weather? Notice how little rain falls on her patch? Either that or the slumlord next door has accidentally staggered through an anti-rain dance.

      Hairy just rang me in fits of laughter. The IT staff at one of his sites sent out an email warning teachers about the old Nigerian scams. They included an example, followed by the “if you get this, NEVER NEVER reply to it, don’t even click on it – very, very BAD” spiel. Within minutes they had a reply, giving the teacher’s bank details. Seems she hadn’t read all the way to the end.

  296. And I know it’s cruel of us to laugh but it’s a tough job running a network where 50% of the users are trying to break it, hack it, steal bits off it, download porn, watch youtube, play games or just swap passwords with their friends. And that’s just the staff. We need our bit of nerdly fun.

  297. Hehehe.

    So, did he keep a copy of those details, by any chance? I could do with a lovely pair of Louboutin heels.

    Just kidding. I actually want to buy 20 kg of Belgian chocolate.

    • So you’re the one they call the “Lindt Filter”!

  298. Yes – I AM the Lindt Filter!

    Defluff me, if you dare.

  299. Tis the Season for Red Tulip Rabbits. You can keep the lindt, and GB’s dreadful puns.

  300. Tis also the season for stupid colds. I’m tempted to stuff a Lindt ball up each nostril, but am deterred by an unpleasant incident involving the littlest kidlet’s nose and a lime tic tac. (Oh, the blood! So much blood….). Besides, I may injure somebody when I sneeze the balls out of my nose at high speed.

    The middle kidlet also has a cold. She went to sick bay with a fever yesterday, but they didn’t bother to pick up the bloody phone and tell me or anything. They just gave her a cold pack and told her she’d be right. Stupid school nurse. She calls at 3pm when it’s nit-checking day, but doesn’t bother to call when the child is actually sick.

  301. Mmm… cupcakes. I don’t know why we didn’t think of this… lack vision? too busy watching the BOM website?

    Sorry to hear that the stupid cold has migrated down your way, Catty – although I am glad to have seen the back of it up here.

    Enjoying a glorious homework and child-free day with my new library book. I hope everyone else is slacking off, too.

  302. The only slack thing around here is my pelvic floor, which isn’t a lot of fun, given how much I’m sneezing at the moment.

  303. Poor Catty. That sucks the big one. I think you’d do better to stuff those candy coated bird’s eggs up your nostrils than the lindt balls, though. the birds eggs are a better shape and won’t melt as fast. For bonus points when you do sneeze they will shoot out of your nostrils with jet propelled force and hit the floor with the sound of gunshots.
    It’ll give the neighbours something new to wonder about, and it’ll give DOCS a good laugh when they come around to investigate.
    I got sick of the festering grit and fluff on the floor so I’ve just vacuumed. Aside from needing to deal with The Filth, the slum lord next door has been spending random 90 minute intervals in Bog Hollow, working on the (still vacant) flat that housed the Irish and then the South American Gay Bartenders. He’s still playing his schizophrenia dance mix at top volume so I can only assume that now that they’ve finally got a good bunch of tenants in the other 8 flattettes, he’s determined to piss them off so that they’ll leave and be replaced with a more interesting and drunk/disorderly species.
    Funny, but we never see Squeak out of Team Slum Lord when there are total FKtards next door, but once there’s a good batch, they are there all the time, intent on pissing them off.
    A psychiatrist could get a nationally funded grant trying to figure out WTF is wrong with that lot.
    Meh.
    Anyway, having just cleaned the house in preparation for a girlfriend’s visit, I’ve just checked my email and discovered that she’d like to change our lunch date for next week.
    So I’m off to the couch to drink tea and indulge in sloth with the rest of you.
    Pass the maltesers, s’il-vous plait.

    • I don’t like Maltesers any more. Not since the Incident.

  304. No worries, Greybeard. I have some candy coated birds eggs here, if you’d prefer.

    • Yum! Bald Eagle or Whooping Swan? Though I don’t mind Night Parrots.

  305. Considering where those candy eggs have been (thanks, Quokka, it worked well), my guess is the spoon-mouth wooly booger bird.

  306. Poor Q. Nothing worse than unnecessary housework.

    Catty, try stuffing Valium up your nose. I’m pretty sure it can be absorbed nasally. Then you won’t care how much you sneeze – or how incontinent it makes you.

    Incident, GB – what incident?

    The children scurried out of bed at 5 to try and play on the computer (computer and TV are banned before school). When I discovered them – the excited chattering and giggling were a dead give-away – they tried to claim that the whole cunning scheme was the dog’s.

    Should I be pleased that they’re so creative, or insulted at their assessment of my intelligence?

  307. ALL housework is unnecessary housework. Especially for people who have such a clever dog. “Rover! Fetch the Windex, boy. Whose a good doggie?”

  308. Ooops. Please excuse the misspelling. I haven’t had my coffee yet.

  309. You’re excused, Catty.

    However, I suggest you have some coffee immediately. With a half a cup or so of Bailey’s in it. Or Irish whisky, if you prefer.

  310. What makes you think it wasn’t the dog?

    • Because if the dog had devised a cunning plan, it would have involved going for a nice long walk off-leash and then eating cat poo.

      • ROFL. A veritable Baldrick among dogs.

        Those boys know you too well Madam. A soft answer turneth away wrath, but a loopy answer causes mirth, which is even better.

  311. Saw something that reminded me of Riley the other day Q.
    https://twitter.com/#!/Greybeard3/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fheidi_ppress%2Fstatus%2F177257374741037057%2Fphoto%2F1
    Only the carrot eating part of course. Riley has much nicer ears.

  312. Then in that case you point out to the children that if they’d followed a cunning plan that the dog had come up with, you’d smell cat shit on their breath. And in future, if they expect you to believe this argument, you’ll be smelling their breath as evidence.

  313. That’s not a cricket – it’s a bleeding locust!

    Here’s my cunning plan, Q… I’m going to staple-gun them into their beds. DOCS won’t have a problem with that, surely – everyone knows it’s important for children to get a good night’s rest.

  314. Reasonable, but there’s less effort involved in some Stefanie Plum subterfuge i.e. remove electrical plug from computer when they go to bed – just for the satisfaction of seeing them wake up at dawn to find their plans thwarted.
    And yes, that is an enormous horrible creature, the dog has been hunkering on the sofa clutching his carrot in a state of terrible paranoia since he clapped eyes on that beast. Who’s that therapist who looks after your children, Khan Greybeard?

    • There are several. For OHS reasons they have to work in shifts.

      • Hehehe. Shrink shifts.

  315. If therapists had been involved in my childhood, they would have been able to retire early, with BMW’s and Harvard educated offspring and a nice little villa in the south of France.

    Meanwhile, DoCS would have been having a field day with my mother, as her cooking was so bad my breath ALWAYS smelled like cat poo. Damn. If I’d been a bit smarter (or a little less terrified of the Wrath of Mother), I could have blamed the dog for all sorts of things.

    I love your pet, Greybeard. You’d better keep him away from Mayhem’s Mum, or she’ll train him to do evil things to your houseguests.

  316. Maybe Magic Man should have an enormous locust for his next pet… just think of the time I’d save pruning!

    Q, I could remove the plug from the computer but since I would never be able to get it on the right way round that would hurt me more than it hurt them. Oh, here’s a thought, though… I could password protect it, couldn’t I?

    Everyone, help me remember “danielcraig”. If I forget it, I’ll just email someone. That’ll work, yeh?

  317. Too easy for the kids to figure out.
    I think you need to go for something that makes them think twice if they manage to crack the code.
    Maybe ‘SusanSmith’.

  318. How about ‘DonaldDeweyHueyLouieMickeyPlutoGoofyDaisy’? That’s a good safe password with 8 characters.

    • Easy there cowgirl! Y’all don’t wanna be moseyin’ in to Badjoke City with yore fancy hu-mor. Ol’ Al & me, we got this town passelled up between us (spit-dinggg). Best keep yore piece slung low if’n y’all gonna take us on. Yup.

    • Hehehe. Eight characters.

  319. Because it’s a Doctor Who reference, Q… or am I missing something?

    Which makes me wonder – why, do you reckon, is he always “Doctor Who”, all spelled out like that… why not “Dr Who”?

  320. I was more a fan of Doctor Poo, myself. The Turdis sounded so much more interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Poo_%28radio_series%29

  321. Eew.

    So THAT’S why he had such a long, stripey scarf.

  322. Umm…. I guess so. It never occurred to me before. I just assumed he used his socks, like everyone else.

  323. It does explain why he spent so much time tearing strips off the daleks.

  324. Only two hours worth of homework this week!

    Unless, of course, I’ve skimped severely. Maybe I should go back and check my work. Then again… meh.

  325. What!
    That would be a waste of perfectly good novel reading time.

  326. Thanks for the support – that was my conclusion, as well.

    To the couch!

  327. The middle kidlet had a homework sheet that she whizzed through on Saturday morning. I didn’t get around to checking it until last night. She’d answered all the questions perfectly… on the front of the sheet. The back of the sheet was untouched. It hadn’t occurred to her to turn the sheet over, poor love.

  328. That happened to me on my driving test.

  329. Hello -lo -lo -lo -lo -lo?

    Echo -cho -cho -cho -cho -cho!

  330. Hello, Catty.

    Seems Quokka’s having trouble posting. Since you and I are both OK, I suspect a Mac Attack.

    So, how are you? All better, I hope.

    • If I wasn’t a walking plague upon the earth I’d offer Quokka my free debugging services. Might even be able to do something with her Mac.

      St Patrick’s Day has never been the same since studying religious history. Before he arrived with the full might of twisted Rome, Ireland was one of the most enlightened christian countries in Europe. Great laws, educational institutions, considerable sexual equality, ‘monks’, ‘nuns’ and priests could all marry and there was an unusually literate population. They had ‘conhospitae’ – religious houses for both sexes providing medical care and education. Then Paddy took over, women became evil, unclean & inferior and celibacy was the official rule though largely ignored.Cue the ignorance, superstition & poverty. And we celebrate him?

  331. A well-reasoned and impassioned treatise. But don’t forget, St Paddy did drive out all the serpents, GB.

    Why are you a walking plague upon the earth… walking pneumonia, perhaps? Whatever it is, get well soon.

  332. Soon would be nice. I’m still not over this stupid ‘flu. Have you got it too, Greybeard? Poor love. I’d offer you my sympathy, but I sneezed on it so now it’s all sticky. Sorry.

    Quokka’s not the only one having trouble posting. They appear to have updated WordPress, so now I have to be logged in to my account to post here. Weird.

    What about you, Madam? How are you doing?

  333. I’m as happy as a weasel thanks Catty, and about to take the offspring to the movies to see Ghost Rider II. In 3D! I have also purchased a bag of Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs to take with us, so my joy is complete.

    Well, it would be, if it wasn’t for the completely sucky news that you’re still sick. Poor pet. I hope that you’re not wasting any of your precious energy on housework? That would be silly.

  334. Good to hear you’re well madam. Makes up for the shudder of horror I felt, contemplating poor Catty’s moist, sticky sympathy (uuurgh). And you can still buy Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs? I haven’t seen them since the 70s.

    Women is cruel creatures. I did a particularly successful & satisfying bit of wife-teasing earlier and the look on Fifi’s face started an almost fatal laughing/coughing fit. She gave me NO sympathy. Nil, zip, nada. I was helpless & she spurned me. Sigh (sadly)

  335. Huh. What is it with men and wife-baiting? Last weekend the Boss told me I was like my mother, then wondered why I spurned his amorous advances.

    Have fun at the movies, Madam. I bought a bag of LGBB’s last year, but have decided not to buy them again. The kidlets get so upset when I won’t share.

  336. Testing again. For some reason these are coming up as comment awaiting moderation. I don’t think your blog is recognising me, MM. I had to go into wordpress and reset all my settings. Bizarre.

  337. No. That last one came straight up.
    Looks like the bouncers have let me in again.
    Now to check Catty’s site.
    Later, folks.

  338. Q, you’re back! Sorry you had to jump through hoops to get here, though.

    You’ve missed… well, not much, really. The usual faff, Poor Catty’s still sick and Fifi’s (allegedly) being cruel to GB.

    Just the usual couple of days in Paradise.

  339. There wasn’t nearly enough faff. I found myself having actual conversations with real people instead. I didn’t like it.

    But I did catch up on some of the gossip that had gone over my head. For example, the property values in our suburb have dropped again, but everyone else’s have gone up. At the moment, we’d be doing well to afford a two bedroom weatherboard cottage in Ballarat. As Ballarat isn’t on our list of preferred locations, that isn’t very helpful. Also, it’s hard rubbish collection time next week. Do you think the Boss and I will be able to resist the temptation to ‘shop’ for new crap? I don’t. And here we were, planning to get rid of lots of stuff, ready to move.

    I get the feeling we’re not going to be moving anytime soon.

    I’m still looking, though. (Stubborn little bugger, aren’t I?)

  340. Hmmmm, WordPress is insisting that the email address I usually use for commenting here, is associated with an account, and I must log in to comment.

    Given I don’t HAVE a wordpress account, I’m having to change to my other email address to comment 😦

    I’m blaming Aunt Irma… and by association you mob. She hasn’t been near me in 20 months, and I reckon you all got jealous, and kicked up some double bubble trouble, sent her off to me so you could get a break.

    NOT happy Jan!
    *retires to couch with hot water bottle and send J to procure chocolate…

  341. Oh, no! Poor Mayhem. That Irma bitch has a lot to answer for. Maybe she’s on a retainer with Cadbury’s?

    I thought I was finally getting rid of the horrible bitch, but my doctor says it’s not menopause, it’s endometriosis. I’m supposed to be booking in to see a specialist to organise the grease and oil change, but who has time for day surgery? I barely have time to shop for Easter eggs.

    What am I saying? I ALWAYS have time for chocolate. It’s the reason I have a stomach.

    I hope you get better soon, Mayhem. Virtual hugs (((o))).

  342. Mayhem, that’s exactly what it did to me.
    I solved it by clicking on the ‘login’ thing and then telling it I’d forgotten my password, so it sent me an email and I got to reset the password.
    Not that I’d ever registered an account or set a password in the first place but WordPress, having low standards, didn’t seem to care.
    It let me in.
    So you shouldn’t have to change your email address.
    It is a total pisser having to login and use a password every time we comment but apparently Catty is having to use it too, so don’t feel special, it’s picking on all of us with the same bully boy ‘You are not who you say you are’ tactics.
    Oh and welcome to the sofa. Have a tim tam. And be sure to dip it in a mug of scotch.

  343. Poor Mayhem. That’s terrible news, darls. Still, at least you now have the perfect excuse to go on a week-long carb and chocolate binge… swings and roundabouts.

    I think Quokka’s wrong, though. Tim Tams don’t go with Scotch at all. Trying biting the corners off one and sucking Bailey’s through it, instead.

  344. Testing, testing, cos I don’t seem to need to log in or give passwords er nuffin. Also Fifi now has the full-blown Lurgi. All those days of me sleeping in the spare room and avoiding contact were wasted. The poor thing went off to a 7 day medical thingy at Taringa for antibiotics and a sick-note & has since retired to a (my!) comfy chair with a snuggy and a pile of books. I made her a pepperoni & germ pizza for lunch & she now has a scotch to settle that queasy feeling you get from drippy sinuses.

  345. Nup. I just click on the link in the email, write stuff & click post comment. Yet another example of technology knowing its Master.

  346. Pepperoni and Germ Pizza…. that’s on the Dominos menu, right?

  347. Actually, I think they all come with Germ, Catty.

    Personally, I prefer anchovies.

  348. Anchovies YUCK!!! I’d orefer the germs.

    • No problem, I can do a half & half. Now where’s my mask?

  349. Anchovy pizzas are like menthol cigarettes. If you can develop a taste for them, you’ll never have to share again.

  350. My children don’t like that new Cadbury Mousse chocolate. Isn’t that a pity?

  351. A terrible pity. Heh, heh, heh…

    I love it! But I don’t know if the kidlets like it. I’ve never given them any.

  352. You may well be safe to pretend to be generous and offer them some. My kids couldn’t even finish a whole piece.

    Then again, better not… you don’t want them to acquire a taste for it – there’s only 10 pieces in a block!

  353. How scabby is that? Even Tim Tams manage to stuff 11 in their packets.

  354. I’d much rather eat the lindt soft centre chocolates…yum.
    In fact, I’m starting to think that’s what I want for breakfast. Aunt Irma must be lurking somewhere nearby, I couldn’t possibly come up with such evil thoughts without her inspiration.

  355. I’ve had breakfast. but I wouldn’t mind some of that Lindt White Chocolate with Almond Brittle for breakfast dessert.

    Hehehe… we are the Lindt Filters.

  356. Mmmm… Lindt…

    What were we talking about again?

    Oh, yeah. Aunt Irma. First she attacks poor Mayhem, now the bitch is after Quokka. Madam, you and I are next if we don’t do something fast. Is there any chilli sauce left over from the WordPress lynching? Aim for her eyes….

    Hey, wait a minute! Do you reckon WordPress is run by Aunt Irma?

  357. That could explain a lot.

    Perhaps if we send WordPress some chocolate, some Nurofen and a DVD of “Love Actually” we might appease her.

  358. True, although I think ‘heathers’ or ‘mean girls’ might be more her style.
    Sigh.
    Now my gmail account is doing something it never used to do – it’s stacking replies to a multiple email at the bottom of the original email I sent out, rather than notifying me that there’s a new response from one of you.
    If I don’t respond to an email from one of you, that’s why.
    Fracking technology.
    Aunt Irma is definitely on the horizon hereabouts.
    I think I’m about to find out if the last month of Anti-Irma witch potions I’ve been taking is doing any good.

  359. Hurrah! I’m finally back on line! The modem had a hissy fit this morning, and is only just now working. Huh. Bugger appeasing Irma with chocolate. I’d much rather drown the bitch in it.

  360. Perhaps Aunt Irma runs Google as well?

    Maybe it would help if we sent replies to your emails as new emails, rather than just hitting “Reply”, Q. I’ll try to remember to do that.

    Welcome back, Catty. In your absence, I drooled over handbags on-line and no chocolate was consumed.

  361. Why? Are you ill?

  362. Think positive, Catty.
    Perhaps she had chips.
    I have just had a therapeutic trip to Darrell Lea at Carindale. There are renovations going on for most of the year so they’ve finally been turfed out of their lovely corner shop and they’ve landed under the food court beside the Centre Stage.
    God help them.
    I had to push my way past a dancing Energizer Battery to get my Fix of peanut brittle. The staff seem strained and I can’t blame them. If I had to look at dancing batteries all day, I’d need a whole new set of prescription drugs by day 2.
    I also got real food and some new yoga pants. Yesterday before class I had to park a long way away in the street with the mechanic’s shop, and then had to deal with the indignity of sauntering past there & back again in my old daggy threadbare yoga tights…not a good look, trust me.
    Mind you, I’ve just come from Carindale where the Fashion Police could have earned a fortune arresting and fining teenagers for crimes against humanity/stuffing way too many fried chicken thighs & cans of coke into Daisy Duke cut off denim shorts.
    If they had the legs for it I wouldn’t complain, but I saw a helluva lot more of oozing teenager than I’m equipped to deal with.
    How I got home through the maze of medicated mothers roaring through the 40km safety zones at twice that speed in their Combat Vehicles is still a mystery to me. Why am I the only one doing 40 in the safety zone when the mothers are all doing 80?
    I think I need a bex and a strawberry cream and a nice lie down.

  363. Speaking of chocolate (which you lot usually are) did I mention there was an offer on Catch of the Day for 48 Cadbury Creme eggs a couple of days ago? I sent a box to daughter #2 at work. ‘Cos I’m a gooood daddy. No matter what the kids say. There’s one right now for Cadbury chocolate bunnies – not that any of you would be interested?

  364. Make that seven strawberry creams. (exactly 100g). Any less is a wasted effort.

    Yoga pants are sooooo comfy. I used to wear yoga pants. Then someone asked me about yoga. D’oh! I don’t wear them any more. Now I wear karate pants. No, I don’t do karate either, but people are surprisingly reticent about asking me. I refuse to believe the suggestion that they don’t ask because they’re too busy choking back their giggles.

    There’s an interesting question. If the Darrell Lea staff change their medication, will the dancing energiser battery look like the duracell bunny? And would beating it to death count as justifiable homicide?

  365. If you’re premenstrual and a 7 foot foam battery comes between you and the Darrell Lea outlet, I’m sure the jury would consider it Provocation. I know I would.
    Meanwhile I came home with their Easter catalogue. I’m not a big fan of the Darrell Lea easter chocolate but I do love to look.
    Someone among you who isn’t reactive to sulfites will have to sample this so I can take vicarious pleasure from the experience:
    http://www.dlea.com.au/fluffy-nougat-egg.html
    What a fabulous concept.
    If only they’d stuff a little candy bird inside so that you could crunch it’s little bones up. Mmmm….now there’s a marketing idea.
    Behold!
    The Easter Brush Turkey Egg…dark chocolate on the outside, toasted marshmallow on the inside, and a little crunchy baby bird made out of chocolate coated peanut brittle at the centre. We could sell it with a matching dark chocolate Turkey Trap so you’d get the satisfaction of seeing it run round in circles for a while before unleashing a pack of Allen’s snakes into the cage with it.
    Girls, where’s the ideas book for our Patents Pending/Get Rick Quick Retirement scheme?

    • “Patents Pending/Get Rick Quick Retirement scheme?” Poor Rick. No one deserves that. I try to distract you lot with bunnies but no. You pick on the innocent turkeys. Incidentally, in Colin’s non-breeding absence Fifi is plundering the mound for truckloads of rich soil. See how useful he is?

  366. Mmmm… nougat egg. If it’s anything like their nougat Christmas puddings – and I can’t see why it wouldn’t be – I’m in.

    To return to discussing the horrors of Daisy Duke’s, if I may, my major problem with them is the pockets hanging down past where the jeans have been hacked off. That, to my mind, is even more revolting than oozing muffin tops and acres of wobbly cellulite. Why, for the love of humanity, not just stitch them up?

    Apparently we’re due more than 150 mm of rain today. Bring it on, I say – I’ve just been to the library. Although we may be out of chips…

  367. Yes I just listened to the Weather Man on 612 and he said that’s a 40% chance of a Maybe that the trough will form and the clouds will roll back in on us. So don’t get your hopes up. And it sounds like you’ve got until late this afternoon to stock up on chips before the rain starts – if it comes at all – so if you’re reading this, go back to bed and catch some zeds.
    As for the pockets that so offend you, I saw a new variation on that theme yesterday – internal pockets hanging out over their arse flaps, made out of some sort of crocheted cotton.
    Now that’s just silly.
    Aside from the obvious fate of any gold coins in the loose change, where on earth are they meant to hide their ecstasy tabs?

  368. I shudder to think. Best if we don’t put any of their tabs in our mouths, just in case.

    The nougat eggs, however, are fair game. I love them! Sure, I’ll be scratching for three days, but they’re worth it.

  369. I like Daisy Dukes. Just sayin’. Maybe because 84.6% of the girls who wear them at Indro do indeed have the legs to carry them off. And because Fifi used to wear the 70s equivalent. They were SO short . . . sigh. Happy days. Don’t care for the hanging pockets though and as for those High-Low skirts! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that flattered the wearer. More creating a frame in which to view the cellulite. But I liked the 70s. Halter neck tops & dresses with just one little bow at the back of the neck. Cheesecloth mini dresses with only a few embroidered flowers to preserve the mysteries . . . sigh. No wonder I need glasses.

  370. Poor Greybeard – struck down with a nasty case of Perver’s Eye.

    What do you mean, late this afternoon, Q? It’s been raining all day already! Still don’t have any chips but I do have plenty of library books so we can ride out the storm. Some stock-pile canned goods and bottled water, I like to ensure adequate supplies of reading matter.

    As for crocheted dangly pockets, I shudder. And weep.

    Catty, I wouldn’t want you to scratch for three days. Let me eat all the nougat eggs for you, dear.

  371. Thanks, Morgana. You’re a pal.

  372. No, really. It would be my pleasure.

    I don’t suppose double-coated Tim Tams make you itch as well?

  373. Ah, Khan Greybeard returns. If you want your Perver’s Eye to turn pustular, take a trip to Carindale one day when school is out. Although a friend assures me that there is much worse to be seen at the shops at Capalaba.
    Morgana, we’ve had about 2.6ml of rain since dawn, it seems to be evaporating after it crosses the coast and then reforming once it goes west of me over the river.
    I think BOM should forget the flood warnings & issue a more specific alert that our bathroom tiles are at risk of developing ammonia-resistant strains of fungal growth in the scotch mist that seems to have set in.
    Aunt Irma is making me crankier than usual. As I predicted yesterday, we have a new set of deviants moving in. Despite the fact that the street was largely clear, as usual the removal truck parked across my driveway and a couple of hairy No Speaka Da English types got out and looked at me quizzically as I asked them to move.
    The Non Comprendez act improved once I got past ‘This is a driveway, that is a yellow line over it, if you want to stay there the council parking inspectors will charge you $100.’
    They moved the truck (without closing the back doors), did a 3 point turn in the neighbouring house on the hill, reversed over the Ikea Basket storage that fell out, and then transported Item Number 1 up into Bog Hollow – about 50m of coiled black irrigation pipe.
    Sigh.
    I can only assume that a set of UV lights and a truck of potting mix will follow.
    More fracking market gardeners.
    Where on earth do the landlords find all these idiots?
    Rehab, in fracking Nimbin?
    Grumble, grumble, growl.
    Time to put the cops back on speed dial.

  374. Jesus.
    Bongo drums.
    Kill me now.

  375. I have bongo drums. Shall I play you a tune?

    “Disco, disco duck! Disco, disco duck!”

    (did someone mention Karma?)

  376. Only $100 for parking over your driveway, Q? That seems terribly inadequate – I’d lobby your local councillor to have that racked up if I were you.

    So are you dobbing in the hydroponic set-up now, when the plants have had a chance to head, or as soon as the bongos are played for more than 10 minutes at a time?

  377. I suspect my local councillor may be joining the long line of ALP politicians at the dole queue in the next month or two, so I might wait till there’s someone more motivated by greed and the need to pay for ugly engineering installed in my local ward. At which point I’m sure they’ll see the wisdom of your suggestion – my driveway has been one of council’s better earners ever since they agreed to paint the yellow line over it.
    I’m sticking with the usual protocol – unreasonable levels of noise, dope smoke, and using my driveway as a parking space.
    I’m also hoping that now that they’re out of Nimbin (NSW number plates & fisherman’s pants – it’s a dead giveaway) one of the local ferals will clue them in that Bongos are Bad Feng and no West End hippy will allow them into their clique unless they bring their ukelele.
    I put my trust in the power of the herd.

  378. BTW, how did you manage in the Big Wet yesterday?
    I see we had a total of about 14ml & your neck of the woods got over 400ml. You’ve got to stop hogging those rain clouds, it’s hardly fair on the rest of us.
    I mean, just think how much more I needed 400ml of rain given there’s pipe wielding hippies moving in next door!

  379. At the risk of turning this blog into one long rave about stupid pants – what is it with fisherman’s pants – are the dangly bits to wipe your hands on after you’ve gutted a fish, or what?

    Well, the garage flooded, the back yard flooded, the front yard flooded and it flooded down the side as well, so I’m counting myself lucky that we didn’t get any water inside.

    You can have the rain, as far as I’m concerned – and if it rains on Sunday, I’m planning to radically reassess my commitment to the bacon industry.

  380. I’ve seen fisherman’s pants. They’re high-waisted rubber things, so the fisherman’s trousers don’t get wet when he wades into the water. If I remember rightly, the dangly bits are seaweed.

    • Presumably the green dangly bits on the outside of the trousers?

  381. Stay dry Madam. if you need supplies, the boys should be able to put together a basic raft. I hope you have lots of Duct tape?

  382. Of course we have lots of Duct tape.

    Actually, speaking of duct tape, the boys refuse to believe it IS duct tape, and refer to it as “duck tape”. Which then raises the question, why “duck”? Staunchly refusing to believe my tales of air-conditioning ducts, they insist that it’s called duck tape because they make it from rendered-down ducks. Or use it to inflict unspeakable indignities on ducks, either or.

    • I like the way those boys think. I’ll post a pic of the latter use. It may inspire them.

  383. Perhaps it’s because you’re supposed to duck when your mother throws the roll of tape at you.

  384. No. When your mother throws it at you, you’re meant to stand still and take it like a man.

  385. Hmmm, take it like a man. Does that mean fart and scratch myself while I’m standing there?

  386. Since it’s the weekend, you should probably also be drunk.

  387. That’s a given.

    Um, why do I have to wait for the weekend, again?

  388. Sigh. What weekend? The Bloke came down with Khan Greybeard’s Snot Horror Plague so we have spent the last few days quietly on the couch watching DVDs while he rids himself of the toxins. After 3 days of witchy potions and home-made soup stacked with garlic and chicken stock he’s woken up chipper and ready to head off to the land of the Long White Akubra.
    Meh.
    He always gets sick on weekends, never week days. Great for his employers but tedious stuff, here. I couldn’t even drag him out to look at new letter boxes at the shop in East Brisbane for fear of spreading his contagion to the innocent.
    Oh well.
    Mischief managed.
    Morgana, Greybeard has been gloating on twitter that he has the heart of an innocent child – on ice in a tupperware container in the freezer.
    I assume this means your children are safe, well, and untouched by unhuman hands, but considering he’s eyeing off a replacement for his own inner core of evil, perhaps you should check their chests for scars and gaping cavities.

  389. You’re quite right, Quokka. Since my darling offspring are far from innocent, their little black hearts are still beating in their evil little chests where they belong.

    More mud and gloom at the Baconing yesterday. And some cheery soul told me that there’s every chance of floods in April and higher than average rainfall for May – July.

    Anyone know where I can get some fancy gumboots?

  390. Someone was bitching on twitter yesterday about the prevalence of high heeled ugh boots. Assuming they also come in platform heels I’d imagine this is the perfect combination of style and practicality for a Swamp Dwelling Bacon saleswoman.

  391. Madam, there are some gorgeous gumboots on eBay, but I would recommend checking out Kmart. They only get gumboots in Spring (what’s with that?) and I noticed last week that they have all their gumboots marked down on the discount rack. You might find a good bargain.

    Or, better still, you could stay home and tell the Bacon Brigade that you have the Bloke’s Snot Horror Plague. They might feel so sorry for you that they bring a couple of bacon sarnies over for you.

  392. Madam, Never tried to post a link here, so here goes. Check this out for fancy gumboots….

    http://boots.puddlebeach.com.au/Category/Florals-Paisleys?DepID=8&CatID=102

  393. I already have gumboots. Black, heavy, utilitarian gumboots. MAN gumboots. The kind of gumboot you can use to hold a sheep’s back legs. While you’re drenching it or trimming the dags of course.

  394. Yes, Greybeard, we already know about your penchant for black rubber. And baked beans, apparently.

  395. Ohh, nice, Mayhem. Did you see these?

    http://boots.puddlebeach.com.au/Category/Animal-Print-Wellies?DepID=8&CatID=105

    Thanks for the tips, all. GB, if you’ve ever dagged a sheep, I’ll be smurfed.

    Trying to post this from the college computer, so it may get translated into Aramaic. Fingers crossed!

    • Enjoy your smurfing Madam. I hear once you’ve tried blue you never go back. Out in Surat I did a short course in wool classing (mmm, superfine), helped shear, dag and even butcher a sheep (not the same sheep I must add). The butchering was a bit grim & I swear when he cut its throat, he was aiming the blood at the City Boy. When younger and slimmer, I even ran down and caught a sheep and carried it back to ma ain true love. And if you ask Fifi & she rolls around laughing and claims the umbilicus hadn’t dropped off yet – don’t believe her. You know what women are like.

  396. I wonder what the Aramaic word for Smurf is?

    • Dunno about Aramaic but גמד מכוער כחול
      is “ugly blue dwarf” in Hebrew. Or so Google says.

  397. Well, I’ll be smurfed – apologies, Greybeard, for doubting your sheep-dagging credentials. I’m sure you look fabulous in a Jacky Howe.

    According to Babelfish, hässliche blaue Zwerg is the German for smurf. In Hindi, it’s बदसूरत नीले बौना … but don’t ask me how to pronounce it.

  398. I did indeed. You would certainly look very fetching in leopard-skin. I believe they also do a smurf blue….

  399. And I nearly forgot….

    I haz Peanut M&Ms

  400. Ladies and Infectermen, step aside with all your helpful suggestions, I believe I’ve found the winner:
    http://www.wondercostumes.com/pig-boots-adult-shoes-ptpbasi.html

    • You win. Now, do they come in children’s sizes . . .

  401. Hell, why not add a mask and go the whole hog?
    http://www.clicket.com/Products/Saw-Pig-Mask~PM6771261.html

  402. Wow. Those pig feet are even uglier than my Womble feet. Scary.

    On a happier note, I was so jealous of Mayhem that I went out and got myself some peanut M&M’s. And I’m going to eat them in bed tonight. *happy happy joy joy*.

  403. Dear Gods! Those are the ugliest boots I have ever seen. I shrieked, then closed down the tab, yet every time I blink I can still see them.

    Even though they’d cut queuing time and increase your personal space bubble by several metres, I think I’ll just wrap my feet in garbage bags instead.

    Excuse me, I must go and do my college homework – back in 12 hours!

  404. heh heh heh.
    I hope you looked long enough to see the fine print that says that when you stick your feet in the boots your toes will stick out of the pig’s mouth.
    Now that’s what I call style.
    Good luck with the homework. Unless a bout of Lazy takes over me, I’m off to yoga.

  405. Bend and stretch, reach for the stars…

    Well, my homework looks like Mr Squiggle formatted it, but it’s finished. After a nod to exercise, in the form of walking the dog, I’m off to the couch to catch up on my trashy fiction intake.

  406. Good plan.
    Yes, after walking the dog – and getting caught in the rain- I decided my foot was too sore to stay upright doing yoga, so I went out on another search for suitable construction materials. I wound up in a showroom just off James Street in New Farm and couldn’t resist the temptation of stickybeaking in all the posh shops around there that I normally never bother going to.
    Well, I should qualify my statement by saying I looked at food, given that boutique fashion isn’t my thing.
    I went into one of the sweets shops and found coconut M&M’s, which I’d been wanting to try for ages. They were good, but not enough to lure me back there any time soon.
    I wandered off to Mary Ryan’s, where I managed to finally replace my copy of Pride & Prejudice.
    So that should keep me amused while the Bloke is in FNQ.
    I’m meant to be doing an e-learning program to renew my CPR/first aid.
    Sigh.
    It can wait till tomorrow.
    I have to do the prac later in the week, but I don’t want to think about that now.
    Meanwhile, I’m resting easy in the knowledge that I’ve finally managed to track down all the ‘cool’ hangouts in New Farm that the twitterati make reference to, like Campos and Sourced Grocer and that BBQ ribs place where they feed you Buffalo wings dowsed in American style sources.
    Having ventured forth, I feel no need to return to New Farm for at least another 5 years.

  407. Ah, New Farm. I lived there in my Uni years – when it was full of junkies and transsexual prostitutes – and I’m amazed by what the hipsters have made of it.

    I haven’t heard of the coconut M&Ms… are they radically different from a Coconut Rough, Q?

    They should bring in cashew M&Ms. Sure, they’d be crescents rather than round, but that’s part of the fun.

  408. I hope you don’t have to do prac on your snotty Bloke, Quokka. Ewwww! Perhaps you could do prac on your poor foot? You know, they say prevention is better than cure, so maybe you should stop kicking bog-dwellers. How are your hydroponically focussed new neighbours, anyway?

    Cashew M&M’s sound interesting, Madam. The almond ones were a big disappointment. When I opened the packet, it smelled like the almonds had been stored in tupperware for a year. I much prefer the peanut M&M’s – they don’t smell like tupperware. They smell like sock. Nice! I also love the peanut butter ones, but I rarely buy them because they are far too more-ish.

    Speaking of peanut butter, I’m on the hunt for the Lindt peanut butter Easter eggs. Has anyone seen them around this year?

  409. Sounds familiar, Catty, I think I may have seen them somewhere in my travels. Maybe Coles? I will keep an eye out. I am pretty sure I saw a mixed pack of those soft centres which included the peanut butter flavour.
    Prac is CPR and involves thumping on the chest of a mannequin until you have a crick in your neck and you’re out of breath and ready to join them unconscious on the floor. Thankfully class only goes for 2.5 hours.
    Meanwhile, my day involves more drudgery than I had hoped for.
    The dog vomited all over the doona in the front bedroom last night and then, for good measure, the cat sprayed it. This is what they do when the Bloke goes to FNQ. Which is why next time he has a job where he needs to commute to work, we will be going with him. Clearly I send the animals nuts and he has a calming influence on them.
    So today I am washing all the bed linen, and the cat’s snug, which bore the brunt of the attack. It was a brother V. sister thing. She makes their life hell when the Bloke goes away so the spray attack on her bedding was a bit of brotherly revenge.
    Bastard cats.
    The offender is outside, in a pen, contemplating his crimes against humanity.
    As for M&M’s, I quite enjoyed the novelty of the first 3 or 4 coconut ones and then it started to taste a bit chemicalish for my liking. Didn’t stop me finishing the pack of course, but no, not as good as a coconut rough and definitely not as good as coconut ice or a Bounty bar. On the plus side I’m assuming there’s no actual coconut in the M&M’s as I didn’t get any nasty sulfite reaction & its rare for companies to use coconut that hasn’t been dried using sulphur. Must be Fake Coconut.
    * Yep – I just checked the label in the bin and it declares that artificial flavors were used and no actual coconuts were harmed in the manufacture of the product.
    I bought a Rosy Apple in the same sweet store, so I’ve got something to look forward to mid-morning when the smell of cat’s piss and sard enzyme soaker finally kicks in and knocks me to the sofa.
    I suspect it’s one of the ‘fake’ varieties that doesn’t go all soft and nougat-ish when you bite into it, but I am on a quest to find a Real Rosy Apple with a girlfriend, so its in the interests of The Quest to make that purchase.
    Meanwhile since it’s not raining and it’s not windy I might go forth into the garden and poison things.
    Not the new neighbours, they’ve been the Invisible Tenants since they arrived. They seem to have dumped all their stuff there in huge mounds and haven’t been around to unpack. The Bloke’s theory is that they left a huge and horrible mess in the last place and it’s taken them five days to clean it up and dismantle the still and the sun lamps for the Herb Farm.
    So we shall see.

  410. Fifi wants these. Dear, sweet Fifi. http://streetanatomy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Sparganum_chocolate_skulls_nuts_2.jpg

    • Where can I get these? I must have them. I must. I MUST!!

  411. Mmmm… walnut braaaaaaiiinz.

    Looks like Magic Man is one of us – he’s just ordered the Zombie Survival Guide from Amazon.

    Sniff. I’m so proud.

  412. Heh heh. good to hear it.
    yesterday while I was cruising James Street Markets I found Rocky Road easter eggs. I doubt they could compare to the wonders of the rocky road at the Oxford Street deli in Bulimba, though, so I wasn’t tempted.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to scream.
    I just spent 2+ hours working on my e-learning for the stupid First Aid CPR thing. I got all the way to the end of it & then in the final chapter, it wouldn’t let me get out of what I’d just finished and into the next thing unless I clicked ‘cancel’ or ‘exit’.
    I clicked Exit and the whole thing disappeared, with apparently no record of all the work I’d done.
    At which point I promptly screamed, had hysterics & rang Qld Ambulance to alert them of my emergency and that their stupid e-learning program was giving me a heart attack. The woman seems hopeful that there will be some record of my work online, as the only option that the disc was giving me was to do the whole smurfing thing again. FKity FK.
    And that, my friends, is simply not going to happen. I don’t plan to die of boredom anytime soon, although chances of that will rise steeply between the hours of 8.30am & 10.20am tomorrow when I’m in at Qld Ambulance bashing on their mannequins.
    Still, I must admit that my friend Sonja got a much worse deal with her first aid e-learning package. Every time you got a question wrong, five new ones would appear to replace it. And if you got one of them wrong, five more new ones would appear. At least one of each five would be badly worded and ambiguous so that you were bound to get at least one wrong.
    Somehow I think it’s a mistake to put Skynet in charge of our edumacational system. I’m getting powerful urges to don khaki and enlist fellow sufferers to form the Resistance, beginning by playing Frisbee with the e-learning disc and ending by using a rocket launcher on the IMAC.
    hasta la vista, baby.

  413. Isn’t that what Bill Gates said at the Windows 7 launch?

  414. Poor Q. And stupid Compuambos.

    So, if it gives you five new questions every time you get a question wrong, theoretically you could be answering questions approximately forever?

    Still, I suppose it beats going in to a training room. At least you can wear what you like.

    Good luck in your quest against Skynet – we’re right behind you, warming up the flame-throwers.

  415. Are you sure you want me operating a flame-thrower? That could be dangerous. TO ZOMBIES!! MWA-HA-HAHAHAAAAAAA!

    Sorry. Haven’t had my coffee yet.

  416. Hmm. Maybe you should try chamomile tea instead, Catty dear.

  417. Blech. That stuff stinks. Can I slosh a few nips of brandy in there to disguise the taste?

  418. So it’s Fifi’s day off and we went to Paddington for coffee & stuff. Where stuff = Madagascan cocoa beans, French confits and white chocolate slabs full of raspberry bits. Not usually a big fan of white chocolate but for this I’ll make an exception. http://yfrog.com/h860bwmj

  419. Thaaaat’s right, Greybeard, rub it in. Harumph.

    • I tried rubbing it in but Fifi said the weasel-gland massage oil was better for that sort of thing and anyway she’d rather eat it.

  420. Weasel gland? Maybe that’s why they’re so happy.

    I don’t think chamomile and brandy goes, Catty. Why not have a Brandy Alexander instead? That will soothe you.

    Well, today is the last glorious day of State-sponsored respite from the kiddies before two gruelling weeks of holidays. Wish me luck, everyone!

  421. Funny, I had this same horrible realisation this morning & I was just chiming in to wish you luck, and blue skies for the duration of the horror of it all. Greybeard’s good lady wife must be skipping with joy at the prospect of two weeks away from them, albeit much of it will no doubt be spent perusing their work and exclaiming at their efforts.
    Are you going to see that Pirate movie with Hugh Grant doing the voice of the pirate captain? It looks hilarious.
    Oh and Catty dear, given that school hols must be starting soon for you, screw the brandy, it’ll be useless unless it’s in a cocktail mix with at least three other far more potent spirits. I’d leave the brandy for the rescue dogs. Lord knows they need it.

  422. I’m desperate to see the Pirate movie… I love anything by Aardman… but the children aren’t keen. Bloody children. Maybe we can go?

    As for the blue skies – yes, please. Especially when we’re camping in Byron for the Blues Fest. Having said that, though, I’m off to the Plaza to buy gumboots tomorrow.

    So, you’ll be off to a major shopping centre to stock up so you don’t have to go for the next two weeks, Q? Make sure you stop in at Darrell Lea, and report back on any vile fashions you encounter.

  423. Sounds good.
    When does the blues thing start? Every year when it ends I feel a pang of remorse that once again I’ve missed it. Every year when it rolls around, though, I’m overcome by the idea of hippies, pestilence, noise and mud, and I feel a massive sense of relief that we choose to spend Easter safe at home on the sofa.
    As for Darrell Lea, I called in yesterday on route home from Qld Ambulance. Supplies are already diminishing…anyway, it turned out to be an expensive day as there was a dress in the window of DJ’s that caught my eye. I’m not an enthusiastic shopper but this struck me as one of those things that wouldn’t date, having a lovely WW2 40’s feel to it, so I wound up coming home with a dress and a shirt that will hold me in good stead for graduation, funerals and job interviews. Hopefully not all on the same day.
    A colleague has talked me into going to graduation, so I rang my old prac partner yesterday and she was relieved that I’d relented and decided I might go, as absolutely every last one of our classmates that she’s spoken to has shrugged and said ‘Meh. I am not going anywhere near that pack of loons ever again in this lifetime.’
    I’m still hoping they’ll hand out medals for bravery for dealing with the psychotic.
    Unlikely, but I figure if I make them with a button machine and sell them for $1 each at graduation, I could easily end up with funds for 2 months tuition.
    Now for a slogan.
    ‘Graduate of the Dark Arts’ has a pleasant ring to it.
    As does ‘Qualified poisoner’.

  424. Sounds like fun, Quokka, as long as there are drinks and nibbles. Quokka QP does have a ring to it, but Quokka GDA sounds even better. I’ve always thought it would be fun to add ‘Alchemist’ after my name. Not fun enough to go to the bother of studying alchemy, though.

    40’s, 50’s and 70’s fashion is big this winter, but I won’t be succumbing. My 80’s garb still has plenty of wear in it. I have some gorgeous little high-waisted jackets with padded shoulders that will be perfect for attending the early screenings of Band of Misfits. Actually, that’s a bit silly now I think about it. It would be smarter to wear my piratin’ garb. If I can be fagged ironing it, that is.

    Sadly, I have discovered that the nougat eggs have increased in price from $5.95 last year, to $7.95 this year. No nougat eggs for me, not at that price. I might get one at the 1/2 price Easter sales, though. Also, my search for peanut butter Lindt eggs proved fruitless. Nobody has them this year. Bastards.

  425. I think “Mistress of the Dark Arts” sounds even better – or maybe “Ruler of Time and Space”. Not that the latter has anything to do with Hogwart’s… it just sounds suitably grandiose.

    I haven’t seen any peanut butter eggs either. Nor have I seen Caramello bunnies, although I want to. I have found malteasers eggs, though, so at least I’ve had one Easter win.

  426. I’ve only seen the Caramello bunnies in the Easter display at the local newsXpress. It seemed an unjustifiable expense, given I’d just bought half a dozen (sort of) Cadbury Creme eggs.

  427. Oops. My Links-To-Purveyors-of-Chocolate-Goodness is still “awaiting moderation”. I’ll try again. (#3)

    http://www.lollyworld.com.au/easter-eggs-and-gifts-18/

    Maybe it doesn’t like multiple links?

    • No. It doesn’t like multiple links and no “comment”. It assumes you’re a spambot.

      Aren’t algorithms clever?

  428. Thanks, GB, for the three sweetest words in the English language.

    No, don’t be silly, of course I don’t mean ‘I love you’. I’m talking about ‘by the kilo’!

  429. Bah. I’m following the links, and have yet to find one that actually has the advertised peanut buttery goodness. I should report Google to the ACCC for false advertising – and dwarf porn, which seems to have crept back into my sponsored search results. Does the ACCC do dwarf porn?

    That doesn’t sound quite right, does it? But you know what I mean.

  430. Catty my dear of course you’re going to get Dwarf Pron if you post blogs on your love of Davey Jones. Well, that and angry pirates looking for lost treasure. My dear beloved spouse is off to get fried rice & a feast of vietnamese goodies for me. Fried Rice has been off the Quokka eating plan since I discovered it was adding to my own bulk, by the kilo, by the month. Special treat, yay!
    I am reluctant to risk the shops but I know that the sweet shop at Carindale was stocking an entire range of novelty Reese’s Pieces in honour of the visiting Rabbit Royalty. The corn syrup just about kills me but that may be a suitable alternative, Catty, if Khan Greybeard’s links fail to get you any satisfaction.

  431. Ladies and infectious agents, Mayhem is having a shit of a time with her kid, might help to add some support to her on twitter/via email.

  432. I’ll try, but twitter is usually Not My Friend.

    What’s been going on?

    • Apparently the Brat broke into a flat he used to live in. Smashed door & window & Mayhem had to call the police. I may have that a bit confused but Mayhem is in a bad situation and I’ll put money on her mother &/or sister making a bad situation worse with a bit of freestyle guilt-tripping (aka kicking the wrong person while she’s down). I’ll happily apologise if they’ve rallied around as they should.

  433. Substance abuse & consequences thereof. I’m not entirely sure but she mentioned that he broke into someone’s house (her sister’s?) and smashed the doors and windows. I told her to either do a mass email to us or to pull up a seat at your blogs, have a vodka and a tim tam, and to feel free to seize the Bitching Stick, which not only authorizes the user to vent freely, but to smack the source of their fury firmly across the the body part of choice.
    I hereby surrender my need to curse E-learning to those dealing with far worse agent provocateurs in their lives.
    That would be all of you with children, pretty much.

  434. I caught up with her on Twitter and offered commiserations and virtual chocolate without really knowing what was going on.

    I hope they locked him up in the watch-house overnight – sounds like it would do him a world of good.

  435. At the risk of sounding like a card carrying member of the Mad Katter’s party, I wholeheartedly concur.

  436. Shame the Fitzgerald Commission retired the phone books.

  437. Why would they need phone books when they’ve got tasers?

  438. Ladies, and venerable GB…

    The Brat has yet to be found. He’s completely under the radar, apart from a call this morning conveying (amongst other things), veiled threats to top himself.

    Ordinarily I wouldn’t be worried about this… He’s had experience of suicide in his social group, and HATES it! So very likely emotional blackmail, but he’s just not the young man I know at the moment. He’s completely overwhelmed by the drugs. So we called the police again after this conversation. He’s now the focus of two separate “Look out for this kid” reports, with the aim hopefully to be getting him some medical help, rather than banging him up.

    Re: The members of my family… Yes, there has indeed been some kicking. Luckily my brother has been kicking back. HARD! After this morning, there is a lot less recrimination, and a lot more worry.

  439. That sucks, Mayhem. I hope you find him soon.
    If the problem is drugs, they are highly manipulative so I would put odds on that he’s hanging out with his druggy friends waiting until you’re in such a state of high anxiety that he can reasonably expect to dodge the consequences for his bad behaviour.
    Any ideas what kind of chemicals are scrambling his brain?

  440. Mayhem – just catching up with this (BTW this is my second attempt to leave a comment as I’m still having problems with wordpress/gravatar).

    I can’t imagine what a worry this is for you. I hope he can be located and set straight soon. You don’t need this.

  441. Testing, testing.
    Melbo you aren’t alone, wordpress has been smurfing me about too.
    Stupid computers.

  442. Mayhem, there’s a bright side.

    When you’re a demented old lady, you now have the right – nay, the obligation – to make his life a living hell in retaliation.

    Weeing on his leather lounge will only be the beginning…

  443. Why wait, when I have cats that will happily provide this service right now?
    You said he was living out of his car?
    I will save a vial or two of cat’s piss for you so you can apply it to the upholstery. Too easy.

  444. Crikey, I remember living in my car. Long story…. but if my own long-ago experience is anything to go by, there is nothing you could put in the Brat’s car that would make it smell any worse. That includes cat’s piss.

  445. Speaking of living out of the car, I’m about to pack ours ready to venture southward for the Blue Festival.

    Since the person who’s bringing the tent said it took four people and a lot of discussion to put it up on the weekend, maybe 2 adults and 3 kids will be sleeping in my station wagon for 3 nights.

    I’ve got those station wagon blues…

  446. That is why I never go camping any more. I hope it’s not too horrendous, Madam. When are you leaving?

  447. Gosh. It’s been years since we experienced the joys of the back seat. What? No, we’ve never been camping.

  448. Tomorrow morning, bright and early.

    Well, I’m trying for early, anyway.

  449. Bright and early? Ugh.

  450. I can do bright. I can do early. Not both. Want a wake-up call Madam? 10 o’clock be OK?

  451. Hehehe.

    Thanks, but I should be fine GB. My enthusiasm for adventure and weak pelvic floor following child-bearing should have me out of bed in plenty of time.

    • Scarring Your Children For Life
      (#783 in a multi-author series)

      Dammit Elf-Boy, DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID TO MY BLADDER?

  452. Considering how resourceful that child is, he probably punctured it with a self-styled bow & arrow artfully crafted from stray bits of bone & tendon when he got the fidgets in the last trimester. Do you still have all your floating ribs, MM?
    Enjoy your Blue Camping adventure, Morgana. We will want photos, you know. there’s a prize for the most outlandish tattoo and if you run into that hippy who sells Anti-perspirant quartz crystals, we want pictures and test samples.
    And remember – if the Barnesy fans get amorous, we will need to know.
    Gees, I’d already forgotten about easter in my plans to blitz the garden and rid the basement of the Bloke’s piles of crap.
    I went out bayside today to have lunch with a girlfriend and was aghast when she gave me an easter egg as I’d totally forgotten about Chocolate Season.
    As evidence that such trinkets are wasted on me, I will admit to stuffing it in a green bag full of cat food OMW home. It got crushed between the tuna & the milk carton & then when I got home the cat sat on the green bag before I’d unpacked it.
    Whoopsie.
    It’s not looking healthy.
    I’m sure it still tastes good.
    In my defence I cite Feline Sabotage & Destruction.
    The first thing I do when I walk through the door is make a cuppa, & a cat came sailing out of a clear sky (off the fridge) and collided with my favorite mug, sending it flying onto the floor, where it smashed into a hundred pieces.
    My Staypuff Marshmallow Man hot chocolate mug, shattered!
    The last time the same girlfriend gave me a religious holiday themed gift the cats smashed that, too, and she didn’t believe me.
    So I think I might keep this latest bit of demolition just between you and me.
    Then again, she knows how much I loved my Stay Puff Marshmallow Man mug so perhaps if I offer up the bits as evidence of the Catspiracy to FK up any gifts that come my way, she might believe me.
    The mug was a gift from the Bloke, last Xmas.
    Its very sad, I will have to go into town over Easter & see if I can replace it.
    Catty I will be around, drifting in and out – so we can compare notes on our hoarding stores and the numbers of the mouse population evicted.

  453. Lawn of the Dead.
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/73913334/zombie-garden-gnome-walking-dead-back?ref=v1_other_2
    I want this very, very much.

  454. Regrettably, Q Chisel are playing on Thursday – today – and we don’t get there until Friday. So all I’ll see of Barnesy fans is them passed out in pools of rum vomit, groaning softly as I drive over them to my camp site.

    Commiserations on your mug. Since I live with Magic Man, I have learned the valuable lesson that all is illusion and everything is impermanent. Yesterday he only smashed two pieces of crockery – it was a good day!

    Keep the faith while I’m gone, Invisible Friends. I should be back on Monday – barring acts of the Gods.

  455. Have a great time, Madam. Hopefully you won’t come home with any inexplicable rashes… or tattoos. And don’t forget to take lots of photos. We want evidence.

  456. Wouldn’t a tattoo be evidence of a sort?

    Depending on theme, of course.

  457. I don’t know that I could stomach photos of too many rashes and tattoos after the quantity of chocolate I usually consume over Easter.
    I just did some impulse buying of a red velvet cupcake from the Oxford Street bakery and while it was nice, I can’t see why JB gets so excited about them.
    My women’s weekly family chocolate cake recipe is far nicer.
    Am starting to think RV cake is over-rated.
    My plan to purchase some of the fabulous rocky road from the Oxford Street Deli backfired, an hour or so ago, as they were all out. They promised me that if I return on Saturday they will have it in stock (it’s based on lindt, catty, it’s truly the most decadent RR Ever!) – and then burst out laughing when I said ‘Good, as I promised my spouse your rocky road instead of easter eggs and when I go home without either of them tonite I’ll be in deep ****’.
    Thankfully Woolies still had Red Tulip rabbits and in consideration of my plans on how to occupy him over Easter by filling the skip with all his wood offcuts, I bought him a bunny that’s wearing tradie’s overalls and sporting a toolkit with hammer and saw.
    Heh heh heh.
    The rabbit is better equipped to deal with the chaos than the Bloke, for sure.
    Morgana, before you wander off to enjoy the festivities & crush Chisel Fans (of which plan I most heartily approve), when do you think you will be back in the Big Smoke? There has been some chatter amongst us of gathering for lunch/breakfast but as it sounds like Ildi is still recovering from surgery & still has a very sore back, and Khan Greybeard is hitting the scotch, hard, when he should instead have hit an obnoxious relative, I’m not feeling confident that anything will come of it.
    If you will be visiting here in the next month or so perhaps we could organise another turkish feast?

  458. Turkish feast, huh? So that’s what really happened to all those baby turkey chicks.

    What’s all this about Greybeard having a hard time? Is it the season for unbearable relatives, or something? Mayhem and I can sympathise with that right now, seeing as we’re in the same boat. What about you, Quokka? Got any plans to see the MIL? Or are you sending the poor Bloke alone into his mother’s clutches? If so, he’s gonna need that Homer Hudson.

    What am I saying? I need that Homer Hudson! How soon can you get it here?

    Oh, and I agree with you about the RV cake. Meh.

  459. Oh good God no.
    His mother has diabetes and his father gets migraines from chocolate so they won’t be celebrating Easter with or without us.
    The Bloke is still recovering from the horror of his parents following him down south over Xmas when he went to visit his brother’s family. His mother is one of the most vacuous beings I have ever encountered & now that her health is failing & her tunnel vision is worsening, she spends her days listening to those Read Aloud stories that the Blind society delivers up to old ladies. She refuses to listen to anything but Mills & Boon.
    The bloke says she has headphones so there’s only the occasional squeak from her while she’s plugged into pron, but even so he’s says it’s most unsettling to observe.
    In a rare moment of pity I bought her a series of Cathy Kelly type listening discs which of course she sneered at and refused to accept, so we told FIL to donate them to the blind society as surely there is someone in their number who is desperate for something other than Mills and Boon.
    All I have to do to make the bloke break out in hives is to pretend to be a robot reading geriatric pron.
    Oh no no no no.
    Easter is one of those sanctified times where we sit back and enjoy each other’s company and shut out the rest of the world.
    Tomorrow we plan to go out bayside and watch the boats head out for the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. It should be gorgeous.
    What about you, Catty, any nice adventures planned?

  460. Nothing so exciting as a yacht race. Funny, the smell of sea air is one of the few things I really miss about NQ.

    Instead, I am contemplating venturing into my truly terrifying walk-in-wardrobe tomorrow. The wardrobe faerie and her revolting little friends have built up quite a complex little civilisation in there, so I expect a battle to the death… which is as good a reason as any for shutting the WIR door and making Easter chocolates instead.

    Also, as it’s Good Friday, I will be cooking fish. But not in chocolate.

    Speaking of audio books, last time I was at the local St Vincent De Paul op shop, they had an entire collection of classics on tape. Jane Austen, the Bronté sisters, Charles Dickens, etc etc… there were about 50 of them. There was a note saying that the tapes were only available as a set, for $100. Sadly, I only had $12.50 left in my purse, and the lady at the counter seemed to think I was joking when I tried to haggle.

    *Sigh*

  461. I’m baaaaaack!

    Well, a fabulous time was has by all but I was very relieved to get back to flush toilets and lovely, lovely hot running water.

    Saw Angelique Kidjo – amazing; Steve Earle – awesome; Busby Marou – terrific; Mama Kin – fabulous; Eugene Hideaway Bridges – outstanding and the kids’ favourite, Seasick Steve, who put on a stupendous show and had Wolfmother come on stage and play a song with him.

    Except for the incredible deflating air mattress we had a terrific time and the weather was outstanding – not a drop of rain.

    Catty, how’s the wardrobe? You didn’t find a snowy land ruled by an evil Queen or anything, did you? Because I’m thinking you could enslave a faun or two to do your cleaning for you.

    Quokka, we may well be down in a few weekend’s time. Sorry to hear about Ildy, and what’s wrong with GB? Not that he needs an excuse to drink scotch, of course.

  462. GB has been passing around vials of bubonic plague & I have caught a cold, so in retribution I’ve stuck the GB voodoo doll inside a packet of frozen peas in the freezer taped to a picture of Andrew Bolt.
    It must be working as he’s got all sorts of aches and pains that could be attributed to change of season and the ill effects of Roof Diving but we here of course will know better. Mwah ha hah.
    Oh, and he had his obnoxious relatives over to visit & they came with extra layers of obnoxiousness & ultra rightwing redneck views. I think he’s still shivering in the oubliette & jumping at loud noises.

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time of it at the Blues Festival. The reviews said that the old timers in particular were fabulous.
    Welcome back!

  463. I’m glad to be back. BTW, in response to your earlier question, we should be down in a few weeks time – the kids are keen to see the mummies at the museum.

    Sorry to hear about your cold, though. You can still taste chocolate, I hope?

  464. Thanks – mostly I’m just tired. And after the excesses of Easter, I’m having to eat lots of salt and grease to get the taste of chocolate out of my mouth.
    Sorry, the brain fog of GB’s Snot Plague must have made me miss that.
    yes, an outing in a few weeks would be lovely. Pencil in a date, if you dare, and I will check to see what’s happening at Casa Quokka around then.
    It must be nice to be back in your own bed after fighting with the air beds. I can remember camping when you slept on the ground in your sleeping bag. Photos of these occasions show me looking like death the next day so I suspect it’s no more agreeable in your 40s than it is at 14.
    How are the twins? Did they go to boarding school, and if so, have they forgiven you yet?

  465. I’m just stroking Jet now. He’s the forgiving type, but Flot is stalking around looking very pissed off.

    Not sure of a date as yet, but I’ll check with you ASAP.

    Oh yes, I slept soundly in the soothing embrace of my delicious latex mattress last night. You’re right – I’m far too old to sleep on the ground.

  466. Welcome home, Madam! It sounds like a great weekend. I did a fair few weekend festivals in my younger years, and never once slept in a tent. The trick is to befriend a local with a couch, and sleep there.

    Steve Earl would have been wonderful. Did he play the banjo? I’m a sucker for bluegrass.

    Sorry to hear about your plague, Quokka. Get into the Olbas oil, the fexofenadine and the brandy-and-ice cream, quick smart. It’s one of those lingering plagues, so expect to spend at least a week on the couch. Poor love. I hope you have plenty of trashy novels.

    Madam, I didn’t find any evil queens in the WIR. What I did find was a box of strawberry malt balls I’d forgotten about – yay! I also found that the Wardrobe Faerie had peed all over my best white blouse and my favourite pashmina. Bitch.

    The Teen came over on Easter Saturday, and spent the day slothing on my couch. (I have trained her well….). She didn’t really want to be here, but she was angling for food and money. I knew I was being played, but I went along with it anyway – muntil hometime. She was most put out when I gave her food, but no money. She had the last laugh, though. This coming Saturday is her 17th, and she announced that she will be spending the day with us again. Oh, great. This time she will probably want food, money AND presents. *sigh*

    Speaking of this coming Saturday, there are two other events that day. One is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking. TURN OFF YOUR RADIOS!! CELINE DION IS COMING!!! You have been warned.

    The other is …. da, da, DAAAHHHHH! …. Quokka’s birthday! Any big plans, Quokka? I hope you’re not going kayaking – it’s probably not a good day to be out on the water, if the Titanic is anything to go by. Who is making your birthday cake? There WILL be cake, won’t there?

  467. He played a bazouki(?sp), and a couple of guitars, but no banjo as far as I can recall.

    Even if she was on the scrounge, nice to hear that you’re seeing the Teen, Catty. Commiserations on the pashmina.

    Knowing Quokka, the cake will probably have lentils in it. For the love of cocoa butter, Q, tell us your cake won’t have lentils in it!

  468. Here’s some suggestions:

    http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2011/11/birthday-cake-pictures.html

    No lentils, but there is a rather nice fish cake. You like fish cakes don’t you, Quokka?

  469. The fish cake is no good – Quokka has a seafood allergy.

    I like the Hawaiian volcano one… but who the hell calls heir child “Danish?”

  470. I was about to make an obscure and rude joke about great danes and how the child might have been conceived, but it’s probably not a good idea.

  471. yes you’d be barking mad to try that around these parts, Catty, you never know who you’d offend.
    Technically the Titanic hit the crispy icicle thing on the 14th and it sank on the 15th.
    I know this because my BD is the 14th and my cousin’s is the 15th & together we amount to a total disaster. If your teen manages to find a friend with a BD on the 15th you should probably give up on her forever after.
    Good to hear that she’s interested in coming around, even if it is just for food. I hope you all have a fab time celebrating her BD.
    Those cakes look freaking marvellous.
    Hard to choose a favorite among them when you don’t know what’s inside but the pirates and the castle were pretty cool.
    If I were to pick a theme for my cake this year I think it would have to revolve around the rodent plague that runs in here from Bog Hollow…perhaps a lovely field of grass & some old decaying weatherboards in a pile of dirt, with some little grey mice solemnly clustered around a fallen friend on a bier made from a mouse trap.
    That’s my kind of cake.
    Then again, perhaps the mouse plague is in trouble.
    The nice new tenants have come complete with resident Mouse Catcher. Mr. Kitty has been formally introduced to us & has been doing his best to be sociable with my cats through the mesh of their dungeon prison downstairs. His favourite spot to sleep through the day is under the hedge outside the window of their dungeon, so they can exchange pleasantries between naps.
    As he has similar colouring to mine, I’ve been trying to convince my pack of scoundrels that he’s a visiting cousin who should be treated with the respect and affection accorded to visiting family.
    Clearly I’ve failed as a role model here but hopefully they’ll absorb the ‘do as I say not as I do’ philosophy.
    I haven’t made any BD plans yet, Khan Greybeard’s plague is slowing me down & confining me to the couch with my trashy novels (I have a nice thick hardback edition of the sequel to ‘gone with the wind’ – you don’t get more melodrama than that) and a nice hot pot of Byron Chai. I think they add local herbs that make you sleepy because I am not so much sick as simply fatigued, with the occasional sniffle. GD viruses.
    I couldn’t muster up the strength or the motivation to take myself off to the bakery today. Maybe tomorrow. I do so long for a sausage roll & meanwhile I am cursed with all the healthy curries and soups and pies that I’ve stuffed into the freezer for the Bloke’s dinners.
    First thing that happens when he gets back from FNQ is I’m sending him out for a bacon mcmuffin.
    How can I possibly recover without greasy pig?
    Congrats on your tidy-out, Catty. I always thought that strawberry malt balls were what happened when the closet faery went number 2 so maybe check the label on those before you consume them.

  472. Poor Quokka.

    And poor me. Remember that tooth that I broke in half last year, eating a chip? Well, the hugely expensive crown I had put on it just fell off while I was eating an Easter egg.

    I refuse to believe that chocolate is at fault – dentistry must be to blame.

  473. My Maligned-O-Meter just went off the scale. Again. Sorry to hear about Q’s plague (which has nothing to do with me as I am currently a picture of health) and Madame’s faulty fang. I agree, a mere Easter egg should not cause such damage. If this were the US of Litigiousness, you could sue your dentist for heaps.

    Where are these Catty cakes to be seen? I am quite partial to a bit of baked goods even if these days I have to look rather than touch. Come to think of it . . . Anyway, a scrounging teen is better than no teen at all. Just imagine how she’ll feel when she grows up and grows the empathy bit of the brain that teens so often lack.

    Q, did you see what that slime-ball Bolt did as payback to Anita Heiss? This will give you the idea. http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/04/11/i-am-using-this-forum-as-it-would-be-illegal-for-me-to-express-these-views-in-australia/ What a toad he is. Someone said on Twitter that Australians were in two groups – those who’d piss on Bolt if he were on fire and those who’d piss on him anyway.

    • Scroll up half a dozen comments, Greybeard. You will find the link to the birthday cakes.

      Re: the teen. Before she is able to grow the empathy bit of her brain, she must first grow a brain. This is the child who, last night, walked barefoot up to her bedroom window to see why it had just shattered.

  474. Cretin. He deserves to be shat on, not pissed on.

    • And yet, I laughed and laughed and laughed. It was just too silly. Surely it was a parody?

  475. I’m pretty sure Q meant it as a compliment, GB. I mean, Hansen – after whom leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) was named must have been pretty chuffed, don;t you think?

    Magic Man is pouring… or should that be pawing?… through the Zombie Survival Guide. Yesterday he informed Elf Boy and I that we’d only slow him down in the event of Zombie Holocaust and so he intended to go it alone. Nice to know where you stand, I suppose.

    • There’s no room for that kind of thinking Madam. Shame on him! He should realise that Elf Boy is a walking supply of tender meat to take with him and, in case of zombie attack, can be tripped or shoved towards them as a life-saving distraction. Please do pass on my well-meaning suggestions and remind Elf Boy that I haven’t forgotten the arrow.

  476. Nor I his hospitality.
    There seems to be an awful lot of screaming in the neighbourhood this easter, have they scrapped the PBS rebate on valium, or what?

  477. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-11/us-kindergarten-boy-brings-heroin-to-show-and-tell/3942942
    Laugh of the day.
    My only curiosity is why this has never yet made the news in my suburb.
    Baffling.

  478. I read about that! What struck me was that the opening headline declared: “Police say a five-year-old boy brought 50 packets of heroin to school for show and tell”. Then in the next paragraph, it said: “The student… …pulled out the drugs in 10 small plastic bags”.

    Either the police can’t count, or Roman’s just been stitiched up, big time. I’m betting it’s the second option, as they’ve charged him with ‘intent to sell within 1500 feet of a school’, despite the fact he was frantically trying to get his jacket – and the heroin – away from the school as fast as humanly possible.

    Sounds just like the Teen’s high school.

  479. Thanks Catty. Very fancy indeed. Fifi used to make truck and panda cakes and Rocket cakes – balanced on cardboard fins. I did the birthday breads. Dinosaurs with slivered almond teeth, crocodiles with back scales brushed with egg yolk for that reptilian shine – all that sort of thing.

    Now the kiddies have fled and tonight she brought home two containers of gelati. One macadamia (very nice) and one based on 70% cocoa Lindt chocolate (indescribable). Honestly, there are times when I think she almost deserves me. Hmm. Might just be room for seconds.

  480. Mmm… gelati.

    You’re right, GB. MM has used EB as monster bait for years – pushing him first into dark rooms, etc. It’s amazing he hasn’t thought to use him as zombie fodder himself.

    It’s encouragingly overcast today. Tell me it’s going to rain!

  481. Had me some strawberry gelati the other day. Mmmmm….

    You should get some for EB, Madam. If he’s nomming that little tub of heaven, not only won’t he mind if his brother abandons him to the zombies, he probably won’t even notice.

    Yeah, it was that good.

    As for rain, we have none. Sunny, cloudless skies are predicted for the next three days. Bugger. If it’s sunny, I’ll be expected to wash bed linen. Hmmm… how did that rain dance go again? Stagger, stagger, roll, roll, crawl, roll, crawl, wasn’t it? Or was that, stagger, roll, stagger, roll, roll, crawl, stagger?

  482. Are you sure that’s a rain dance, Catty?

    Sounds like the accepted dance moves to Khe Sanh.

  483. Yes, if you add in the scratch (nuts) retch & hurl.

  484. I’m pretty sure there should be a glassing in there somewhere, as well.

  485. Nah, that’s the mating dance of the Bogan. Rain dances involve significantly less urinating on pub walls.

  486. You can’t fool a pirate Catty. Stagger, stagger, roll, stagger, crawl etc are Yellowbeard’s directions to the treasure. Yarrr!

  487. You ARE a Yellowbeard! (Hands off my treasure, Bosun Greybeard. Arrgh, do I have to do everything myself? *chop*).

  488. Nice to see that the season of chocolate for all has done nothing to sweeten everyone’s essentially surly natures.

    Aaaargh!

  489. Sweet? Me? HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR!!!

  490. I don’t know what I was thinking.

    Hurrah! I have my fang back in place. Now I wish we were having something crunchier than lasagne for dinner.

  491. Crunchy… now all I can think of is Kettle chips.

  492. It was a Kettle chip that lead to the tooth fracturing in the first place.

    Chips and chocolate… who would have thought they could be so dangerous?

  493. The Boss has broken a tooth on a Tim Tam, so add biscuits to that list of dangerous foods.

    Glad to hear you are back to your bitey best.

  494. Nooooo…. not a Tim Tam!

    Oh well – I like to live dangerously.

  495. Haaaaaapy birthday to Quokka! Bring forth the cake. No, make that bring FIRST the cake!

  496. thanks Catty. sorry folks but I am typing with an injured index finger, shall return when it’s healed. shall lurk in the shadows for a bit.

  497. Poor Q – nothing worse than a birthday owie. Get healed soon.

    It’s Sunday and I’m not cooking bacon – hey!
    It’s Sunday and I’m not cooking bacon – hey!
    Feel free to join the conga line, everyone.

  498. Madam would you, as blog-mistress, mind if I speculate wildly as to the cause of poor Quokka’s injured pointer? if it was NBob I’d think he’d been punched in the nose but not Q. Didn’t some tough-imaged band call off a performance recently because of a cat-bite to the finger? Much more likely. Of course it could be something as mundane as a misplaced pin which should have ended up in my doll . . .

  499. ingrown finger-nail, the consquence of chopping nails sans the aid of spectacles. I have just lanced the FKR and applied betadine and all is feeling much, much better. Onto other cause for celebration I woke up this morning completely free of Khan GB’s Snot Virus.
    MM, congratulations on the repair of your tooth & the end of school holidays. Bugger that it’s raining today, but I am happy you are free of The Baconing. Am I allowed to join in your conga line if I’m wearing hogs-head boots?

  500. I’d join the conga line, but there’s no bacon, so what’s the point? There is leftover lasagne, though, from last night’s dinner. It was crunchy. I blame Morgana.

    Greybeard, the cat bitten finger belongs to Ian Moss from Cold Chisel. Did I tell you I met him once? He came to a party at the share house I was living in. He was a really nice bloke. I cooked up some seafood and we all ate out on the back verandah, and then got stupendously drunk (well, I did, anyway). As I didn’t watch TV in those days I didn’t recognise him, and had no idea who he was. (If he had sung, I would have known, but he didn’t, so I didn’t.) My housemates had a bloody good laugh at that. They also had a good laugh about the lack of back verandah, which had mysteriously vanished overnight. I never did find out where it went. Maybe Ian Moss took it? I’m pretty sure he couldn’t have, but I think I’ll blame him anyway. It makes for a better story.

    So, Quokka, now that you’re snot-free and de-pus’d, tell us – what sort of cake did you have?

  501. Why are you complaining, Catty? I love crunchy lasagne.

    I think “Ian Moss Stole My Back Verandah” would make an excellent title for your memoirs. If you write them, I’ll e-publish them for you.

    Q, it’s looking like we’ll be down not next weekend but the weekend after. Who’s free for Saturday lunch?

  502. To my shame I haven’t felt like eating cake, Catty, just soup & curries & the obligatory Saturday morning bacon McMuffin.
    I’d eaten cake or buns every day this week while the Bloke was away so I don’t feel like I’m missing out.
    When my sense of smell returns I plan to indulge in something exotic from Gerbino’s bakery.
    MM, if you are coming to town and we organise lunch, I might see if I can bring the cake along to the restaurant, the better to enjoy it. I am pretty sure Ildi would cross town with her back in a full body brace in order to sample Gerbino’s hazelnut gateaux again.
    So that would be Saturday the 28th?
    Oh, and I googled Ian Moss & Cat bite and yes, he was indeed hospitalized with an infected finger after being bitten by the family cat whilst attempting to pill it.
    Amateur.
    I gave one of mine a dose of laxatives this morning and then cleaned all four ears on my boys. None of them are speaking to me, but it’s done without sustaining any injuries to anything other than their dignity.

  503. Did the article mention my veranda?

  504. No. Nor did it say if he got the pill into the cat.
    I’m guessing that’s a No, too.

  505. Maybe we should facebook him and tell him how to wrap a cat in a towel before pilling, or advise him on the restrain-all-four-limbs method?

    You’d think he’d have some sort of flunky to pill his cats, wouldn’t you – isn’t that what roadies are for?

    Yes, Saturday the 28th, Q.

  506. I thought with bands, that’s what wives and children and mothers were for. We may have to consult Khan Greybeard on this one for his greater experience with ageing Rock Gods.
    Shall we gather in one of the usual inner city haunts or set off to see Humpy, do you think? I’m beastly careless, it’s just always nice to see you all.
    Nbob has been promising to come down for ages, I might DM him and see if he’s available.

  507. Depends whether you want breakfast or lunch, I suppose. Brisbane might be better for me so I don’t have to backtrack on the Bruce, but if Humpy’s keen I’ll make the voyage.

    Would you like to make a survey of fellow Brisvegas residents and be guided by the masses?

  508. Sure. I have DMd Nbob to outline the options & once he gets back to me I’ll get onto the menfolk. Are you back in the pit of doom that is Cert III today?

  509. I was just about to retire to the ‘missing out on another gathering’ sulking corner, but then I saw the words ‘Cert III’. Poor Morgana. You know, I’ve heard that doing something nice for others can help alleviate your own suffering. So why don’t you make your course instructor a nice cup of tea? I have some belladonna lying around here somewhere, if you need it.

  510. At the risk of sending Catty scuttling into the sulking corner, I’m free of Cert III.

    Well, I didn’t get recieve an email saying my last lot of homework wasn’t up to scratch, so I’m assuming I’m finished with it. I think they had to get the last lot of marks in by the 13th, so I should be right.

    Thanks for the offer of belladonna, Catty, you never know when you might need to stop a heart. Are you weasel free? That is, did your kids stagger back to school today too?

  511. Oooh, yeah. They woke up on time, and got ready without any nagging. I checked their temperatures. Normal. Hmmm… Despite my conviction that they must be deathly ill, I took them off to school. Then I spent the morning repairing the toys they broke over the holidays. At lunch time, my darling MIL took me out to an actual restaurant. I skarfed everything I could get my mouth on, including a massive glob of light and fluffy chocolate mousse. With cream. The afternoon was devoted to sewing up all the clothes the kidlets tore over the holidays. Tomorrow I plan on dismantling the cubbies they’ve left all over the house. Any Easter eggs found in these cubbies will be considered Spoils of War, and will be dutifully looted. It’s shaping up to be a great week.

  512. Magic Man came home from school with a nasty rash on the back of his neck. Trundled him down the road to the doctor’s and turns out he’s got shingles.

    Shingles!

    What’s next, gout? Perhaps a touch of arthuritis?

    • Ouchy! Poor Magic Man. Had shingles several times and it is NOT fun at all. Danged H zoster, lurking in our nerves, waiting to pounce. Are there any anti-virals for it these days?

  513. How horrible! The poor boy. You’ve been letting him play on the roof again, haven’t you? Lots of TLC and oatmeal baths for that lad, plus virtual hugs and buckets of sympathy from the rest of us.

  514. Ouch indeed. I hope he gets better soon.

  515. They haven’t tested the antivirals on kids, so the doc was reluctant to prescribe them.

    He’s got some soothing ointment and he’s malingered off school today, the better to hang around and soak up some sympathy and attention.

    Thanks for the sympathy, people – I’ll pass on your best wishes.

  516. I’m guessing that today’s radio silence from you means he’s still at home & occupying the computer.
    Um, onto other news Nbob will be away on holidays on Sat 28th so we can start rounding up the usual suspects & see if the consensus is for breakfast or lunch.

  517. Yes. Yes it does.

    We decided he’d better stay at home until the rash… and therefore his contagiousness… abates. It’ll be taking my sanity with it, when it goes.

    Okay. I’m happy to go along with the hive mind.

    • Meanwhile you can mind the hives (snigger). Sometimes I kill me.

  518. They’re more vesicles – try coming up with a vesicle joke, GB.

  519. Eew. Why did you have to drag sperm into it?

    Shingles update: the rash has all cleared up and he was back at school today, thank the Gods.

    • See that’s the thing – women just don’t find that funny. I’ve always thought there was a vas deferens between us.

  520. I’m having trouble with my gag reflex.
    One more sperm joke and I’m going to hit the nearest male hard in the knee with a hammer.

    • Oh all right, I’ll stop. But only for the sake of Alan’s knee. Ova & out.

  521. Forget the sulking corner Catty. Am in the process of organising a Burger ctachup for Tuesday evening. 5ish at The Mitre Tavern.

    Alternatively lunch after my appt on Tuesday (Peter Mac) or before my appt Monday (Royal Women’s).

    Let me know if any/all are doable.

    • Mayhem, look at you! Gorgeous! I’ll have to ask the Boss about his work schedule. The new job is a bit haphazard, so he’s not home much. Will let you know whenever I see him.

      • Well good heavens, I’ve given you three options there luv. Fingers crossed one will be doable 🙂

  522. Well, hello foxy Mayhem. NIce piccy, love.

    I’m trying to think of a fallopian tube pun, but nothing rhymes with fallopian that I can think of… it must be like orange.

  523. For this google search has a rhyming dictionary.
    Try ‘utopian’ or ‘ethiopian’.
    Lovely pic, Ms Mayhem. Enjoy your gathering.
    Looking forward to the Brisbane assembly next weekend.
    Just make sure I’m not sitting next to Khan Greybeard with anything sharp in my hand when he starts with the collected witticisms of Bong and Beard’s Bawdy Bardery.

  524. Utopian fallopian… hmm, I’m sure I can do something with that.

    BTW, have we decided on a time for said assembly?

  525. I’m confused. (yeah, like that’s hard…) I thought fallopian tubes were purple, not orange. Is there a rhyme for purple?

    Also, why is Greybeard’s sperm all over the Box?

  526. See Mayhem? I told you that was a great Avatar. As for Catty’s comment, I choose to make a dignified withdrawal from this conversation. Oops.

  527. Fertile and burble are near rhymes but the dictionary has no exact rhymes.
    Both, however, seem relevant to the new low that we’ve sunk to in the Box.
    MM, as you need to get back to feed kitties and kidlets perhaps the earlier time of 12 noon would suit you & I am happy to work around that. I think Khan GB has a lot on his dance card that weekend but with luck and good management he can fit it in between rooftop unicycle parasol performances without anything untoward befalling him.

  528. We’d love to come & catch up. I’m sure nothing untoward will befall me as long as I’m careful about where I sit.

  529. Nurple rhymes with purple – as in Purple Nurple, the Seppo equivalent of Nipple Cripple.

    OK, High Noon at You-know-where. See you all there.

    Meanwhile, I’ve got an interview on Tuesday. EEEEeeeek, an interview! What do I wear, what are they going to ask me, who took the last Valium?

  530. strait jacket, so they can see that you’re fully prepared for the effects of workplace stress.

  531. Voluminous robe, covered with occult symbols of dire significance. Lay out one doll for each panel member & toy with large rusty pins during the interview (Q should be able to help there). Put a green rinse through Elf Boy’s hair and introduce him as your Familiar. (No need to rehearse him.) Tell the members of the panel that if they feel nervous, they should imagine that they’re naked – because you have been since you walked in.

    Or just dress like this Ukrainian TV presenter. http://www.refinery29.com/hannibal-lecter-bag

    And don’t forget, we’re here to help.

  532. Don’t think of it as an interview. Think of it as your new workplace. Show up with a packed lunch and a completed EDF (you can download them from the Tax Office website). Start the conversation with “which one is my office?”, followed by “when do we get paid?”

    Unless you don’t want the job, in which case, stop bathing right now. Don’t wear makeup, shoes or underwear to the interview. Don’t blink. Giggling manically at everything. Answer every question with “Do you want fries with that?”.

    As Greybeard says, we’re here to help.

  533. Wear a crucifix – one of those things with the bloodied mangled body of Christ dangling from it. Ask them about the pay and if it’s possible to get 10% of your earnings transferred directly into your church’s account.
    That should do it.

  534. Well, I wasn’t planning on wearing make-up or underwear, Catty, so I’ve got a couple of boxes checked.

    Greybeard, fabulous handbag. Where can I get one? As for Elf Boy, he’ll be at school. Or do you think I should bring him and explain that I was planning to have him tag along all the time?

    Thanks everyone, I think I’m on track now: stinky, straight-jacket, crucifix, hair-dyed familiar, giggle maniacally.

    I’m a shoe-in!

    • No, no, no – you aren’t supposed to wear shoes!

  535. and with luck they will shoo you straight out.
    Or is this by some stray quirk of fate actually a desirable job position?
    I would think that the best way to avoid such a fate is to carry with you a reference from the school nurse, saying that she will expect you to appear on demand the moment a child complains of seeing purple spots.

  536. Actually, it wouldn’t be too bad. Only 10 – 25 hrs/wk. I could just about do that.

    You know, I don’t believe good old spot-seeing Elf Boy has been to sick bay yet this year. Perhaps he’s abandoned his career as an A-grade malingerer?

  537. Perhaps.
    Or perhaps they sent the nurse off to upgrade her skill set and they provided the school sick bay with a teaspoon and a bag of cement.

  538. Or perhaps his new teacher is a wake-up to his pixie tricks. Whatever the cause, I’m all for it!

  539. My lot have been to sick bay several times, but the school haven’t bothered to call me. Fevers, gaping wounds, concussion… but no phone calls. You watch, I’ll get into the city tomorrow for my klatch with Mayhem, and the bloody nurse will call me in for lice checks.

  540. Rat damn. Now you’ve gone and made me itch all over.

  541. Argh!

    Now I’m scratching all over and I’ve got the interview tomorrow. Well, that should set the seal on things – looks like I’ll remain gainfully unemployed.

  542. Never mind, Princess Morgana, we can always form a synchronised scratching team for the Olympics.

    *scritch scritch*

  543. To the tune of ‘scritch scratch I was taking a bath, washing all the nits off me…’

  544. Oh, er – and Break a Leg. Let us know how you go.

  545. Hmmm… I wonder, if you DID break a leg on your way out of a job interview, would you be entitled to Worker’s Comp?

    I’ll just go and Google it.

  546. That depends on who’s leg you break.
    If it belongs to Matty Newton I think you get the VC and free meals at sizzler for the rest of your life.

  547. Well, I must have not scratched… or sucked… too much. She wants me back on Friday to do a trial.

  548. I hate trials. You have to pay all those stupid bribes to the jury.

  549. Hehehe… bribes.

  550. Seven of them. For seven brothers. Or have I got that mixed up with something else?

  551. No – there’s 12 people on a jury, so if you manage to bribe seven of them you should have a majority.

    Some say eight is enough but I reckon seven is magnificent.

  552. Smurf.
    So what happens if you go back on Friday and they find you guilty?

  553. After that last post I’m convinced she’s guilty.

  554. Doesn’t matter if she’s guilty. The gold paint will wash right off.

  555. Yep, like me you’ve seen one too many midday movies.
    This should help with your confusion, Catty.

    • Dammit Q! I watched that thing all the way through. In horrified fascination. Anyway, everyone knows real men don’t dance.

      • Are you saying Rudolph Nureyev wasn’t a real man? He seemed to pack his tights pretty well.

    • Now I’m more confused than ever. You mean it’s NOT a pitch for polygamy?

      • No. That would be ‘Seven Brides for One Brother’ – it’s the highest rating programme in Salt Lake City.

  556. Then I’ll have to submit to gainful employment, I suppose. Still, I think I can manage two hours a day. Probably.

  557. There goes your afternoon siesta. Assuming you have siestas. Or is that just me?

  558. Are you kidding? Nap time is the best time of the day. I’m hoping I can work it around nap time – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then home for lunch and a snooze.

  559. If only you’d explained the importance of naptime in your daily schedule I’m sure you wouldn’t be in this predicament.
    Back to the topic of brides, I have just returned from a jaunt to Redcliffe, with the dog. Where I was mistaken for being the mother of 5 fine looking young Arab boys who were sitting beside me, taking turns going down a grass bank on a skate board.
    Heh heh heh heh.
    That has absolutely made my Anzac Day.
    The story:
    Bloke was off in the fish shop buying burgers. I was waiting on the grassy knoll over queens beach.
    English tourist stopped to chat and admire my dog, and then parted with ‘Oh well, I suppose I’d better let you get back to your kids.’
    Me: ‘Kids? What kids? I don’t have any kids.’
    Tourist, looking suspicious ‘The boys you were sitting with when I met you.’
    Me: ‘Not my kids.’
    Tourist, looking even more suspicious, ‘You’re kidding, right? They look like your kids.’
    Me: ‘I promise you, they are not my kids. I’m flattered that you thought so, though, they’re lovely kids and they’re a credit to their mother, wherever she is.’
    Tourist, still looking suspicious. ‘Well, that’s odd. They really do look like your kids, and just the way they were interacting with you, it really looked like you are their mother.’
    heh heh heh heh heh.
    Priceless.
    Nice to know that the illicit bit of Afghan that I suspect made it into our family tree 4 generations ago is still manifesting itself strongly enough to confound the Brits.
    Happy Anzac day.

  560. You should have loaded them all into the back of your car and made off with them.

    How much for the leetle boys?

  561. Nup. They were far too well-behaved. Their parents would want them back, and you know my sentiments on making it to the headlines of the channel 9 news.

  562. Good point.

    If you’d ever like to be mistaken for the mother of my children, you can borrow them at any time.

  563. I was offered a couple of kids after school on Tuesday. Their father was attempting to cram a poorly folded wheelchair into the back of his little hatchback, while his two offspring were whining, squabbling, and hitting each other with the older child’s walking sticks. Although I was tempted to give the poor man a hug (he seemed to REALLY need one), I smiled a ‘no, not today thanks’, and walked (quickly) past with my three beautifully behaved kidlets.

    Then we got in the car. What is it about getting into a car that turns beautiful children into squabbling monsters? Honestly, if they’d had walking sticks, someone might have been seriously injured. Possibly me. Or should that be, BY me?

  564. Mine don’t have to get into a car, Catty.

    They have the ability to morph into snarling monsters at will.

  565. and this is why I have cats.
    If you’re going to live with snarling monsters, at least its lawful and commendable to lock them up under the verandah stairs.

  566. Yes.

    But they’re much harder to worm.

  567. Are you sure about that?

  568. I was going to type “Mine have all left home, I win!” then stopped. Hairy Greybeardson dropped in for a coffee on Tuesday, tired & peeved. Apparently his housemate’s current girlfriend “came out” to her parents who immediately stopped paying all her fees, rent, allowance etc for uni (must have been nice while it lasted). Being a poor little rich girl she realised she’d need a job and immediately thought of stripping at Cabaret – short hours, high pay, what’s not to like? HG was aghast (he’s a good boy sometimes) and tried to explain that neither the management nor the customers at Cabaret had a good reputation and that stripping might not be as easy as she thought. Then he made his dreadful error and said that if things got rough, he’d come and pick her up.

    So at midnight comes the 1st call. “Can’t do it any more, please come and get me.” So half way to the valley, phone call 2. “Um, I have to finish my shift or they’ll fine me, it’s OK.” So he drove home and . . . 3rd call, 2 am, “Can’t take it, please get me out!” So he drove in and discovered that they charge the girls $120 up front, then fine them for such infractions as not removing everything by the 3rd song, failing to hustle drinks, failing to hustle for private dances etc. So she owed the club $250 and was flat broke. Guess who paid to get her out? I pointed out that this could have been her scamming him and even if not, was probably illegal but apparently it’s SOP in clubs and they have steroidally enhanced gentlemen of Pacific origin – but not nature – to enforce it anyway. After all that, the icing on the cake was when she came around the next day and “borrowed” money off him for the rent. We had a long serious chat about many things, including tough love and being a sucker.

    So enjoy the kiddies fighting in the back seat – at least they aren’t bailing out strippers. Yet. And I rather envy Q and her evil, wormy cats.

  569. 1. My cats have no worms, although they do have geckos, whenever they can catch one.
    2. You need to explain to HG that this is BS, she’s a grifter, probably using drugs and he’s been suckered. Her next move will be to pit her girlfriend and your son against each other and she’ll be very, very convincing when she does it. If I was him I’d be removing anything valuable/hockable from that household before she saves him the trouble.

    • Already suggested those points during the long chat, except the removal of hockables which I will certainly pass on. His mother, sister & I have tried to convince him that not everyone with a sad story is genuine – in fact more likely not – but he’s hard to convince. He’s fairly sure about some bits of the story – has visited rich parents places in the city & north coast – but that just makes her a spoilt brat with a strong sense of entitlement. If Mummy & Daddy won’t pay, I can tremble my lip at this guy and get him to do it. Gahhhh!

    • I also note that while you deny their worminess, you do not deny the evility of said cats? But then all cats are evil.

  570. My point would be that not everyone with a sad story manages to turn themselves into a decent human being. Quite often the way they’ve learned to survive their sad stories is by doing whatever it takes to survive – and often by not thinking about the long term consequences of their behaviour.
    Exhibit A, the strip club foray.

    I would say that odds are good, if she’s this manipulative, that it may be her personality rather than her sexuality that her parents are trying to set some boundaries with.

    As for my cats and their evilness, oh no, do not doubt it. They are evil little beasts and have spent the morning instilling terror in the heart of the dog, all for their own sick amusement. The cold snap has made them rather boisterous & they’ve been attempting to play ‘tag’ with the dog.

    He’s cowering under my desk, begging me to find him a better home, where such evil is not tolerated under the same roof as the poor sad dog.

  571. No doubt she is both entitled and manipulative, but what she says about the running of strip clubs is true. Dancers do often get charged for their shifts, and fined for various infractions, real or alleged.

    However, it’s not up to poor Hairy to sort things out for her. Tell him he should only answer his phone after midnight to people he knows in the Biblical sense.

    Oh, and you and Fifi, of course.

  572. I understand why Hairy helped. If anything bad had happened to Stripper Chick, his conscience would have eaten at him. What you need to remind him, Greybeard, is that nothing bad ever happens to people like her, because they know how to suck up to people like him.

    What I’m really wondering is why didn’t she ask her girlfriend for help?

    • You’ve summed him up exactly. Girlfriend has no car, no cash. Also incapable of monogamy so this one will probably not last much longer than the rest. HG is still friends with some of the Exs. One or two take him clothes shopping and he’s looking much better dressed since that started. Not a total loss then?

  573. No.

    You never know when you might need a favour from a lesbian.

  574. I was going to say something urbane and witty about lesbians, but all I can think of are the rude jokes my lesbian boss at the Tax Office used to tell us.

  575. Well?

    Aren’t you going to tell them to us?

  576. Um, they’re a bit tacky… (that’s what she said!)

    But seriously, she always said she should have been a carpenter, as she was really good at ‘tongue-in-groove’.

    Her other favourite comment is too rude to post. Really, it is.

  577. Hehehe.

    Missed you at lunch yesterday, Catty. Maybe one glorious day we’ll all be together!

  578. *sigh*. Yes, it would be nice. I’d be insanely jealous, but I had my own lunch with Mayhem and Melbo last week. Beautiful girls! They even managed to get a word in edgewise while I was stuffing my face. (Yes, cake was involved.)

    I was disappointed about missing their evening get-together, but the Boss was out of town. He’ll be home tonight, but only long enough to wash his socks and refill his munchie bag…. and maybe a little chocolate coating, which has been all I can think about since that shower discussion in the Corner. Then he’s off again – ironically, to a chocolate factory. I’ve put in a request for milky bars, but anything will do, really, as long as it melts well.

  579. Here’s a little something for the kiddies:

  580. Good luck with the coating, Catty. Don’t forget to put down plastic sheeting before you start.

  581. http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/mars-bar-cake-1847

    Catty dear I was looking for a recipe for chocolate sauce based on melted down mars bars, a la Nigella – but I found this instead. My vet nurse friend makes this slice and it’s FKN A+ fantastic material. She mass produces it for every significant life event – xmas, birthdays, easter – everything but mother’s day pretty much (her mother gives her no reason to celebrate the fact that she’s alive) and it disappears like smoke once the guests arrive.
    If you two must coat goons in chocolate sauce then the least you could do is make them a little more appealing to me by making the sauce out of melted mars bars & then rolling them in rice crispies or some sort of delicious biscuit crumbs. Kingstons might do.

  582. Mmm… Mars bar cake.

    You know what I reckon would also be yummy? Snickers cake.

  583. I had Bounty cake at the get-together with Mayhem and Melbo. They also had Cherry Ripe and Snickers cakes.

    The Mars Bar slice is one I make occasionally. Only occasionally, though, as I hate the taste of blood when I bite the hand of anyone attempting to take any off my plate.

  584. Yum. Now that’s motivation for me to come visit Melbourne. Back to the teahouse…yum…
    I have a journalistic question for you girls.
    I have been wondering what the journalist protocol is for using the conversation dash thingies (today’s dementia losses include the names for punctuation implying quote/conversation – please help!) when journos are reporting on things said by total arsewits.
    they seem to do this when they are quoting something the arsewit has said, to emphasise the total arsewittery of it.
    i.e. a certain murder prominent murder case in which the person most likely to have committed the murder announced that he is ‘devastated’ by the news.

    I’ve been wondering about this because when I do searches on various news items it tends to show up in the search engine with ‘x said he felt ‘blah blah’ (thus proving what we all knew all along, which is that he is a total smurfwit). I’d ask JB, but, you know, I think it’s probably up there in things he doesn’t give a smurf about & is highly unlikely to stoop to respond to.

  585. I agree with you that putting things in quotes tends to make them look a bit bodgy, Q, but I don’t think that’s the official meaning.

    In normal usage, quote marks just mean that you’re recording the person’s speech exactly, rather than paraphrasing.

    E.g: If I said to you, “Lobes is a smurfwit.”, you could report this as:

    Earlier today, Morgana called Lobes “a smurfwit”.

    or

    Morgana stated that Lobes lacked charisma and intelligence.

  586. Yes, its just sometimes when you read the entire text of what was originally said, it’s interesting to see the single word that the journos have opted to pull out and highlight under the quotation marks.
    I’ve been reading a bit of news about smurfwits lately & I have been interested to see that if it’s someone I suspect they lack sympathy for, some piece of idiocy that they’ve come out with will be chosen for highlighting in the quote marks.
    I do suspect that the journos use some things as ‘code’.
    Perhaps next time I’m in the audience when a journo is speaking, I’ll ask them about it.

  587. Having not long since completed a writing course, I can tell you that the course refers to ” and ‘ as quotation marks.

    Quotation marks are necessary when a direct quote is written. They are not necessary when paraphrasing, or when writing an indirect quote.

    i.e:-

    He told the media that he had no comment to make.

    This is an indirect quote.

    Using quotation marks during paraphrasing or during an indirect quote ostensibly highlights a salient point, or jargon. Journalists, however, have adapted the use of quotation marks during indirect quotes as a means of casting aspersions of doubt (or mistrust) upon the person/s to whom they refer.

    Socially, it is generally accepted that to use a single quotation mark (‘) instead of a double quotation mark (“) implies that the quoted word/phrase/sentence is a paraphrasing, or that it is not a direct quote. In the current murder investigation, the single quotation mark would allegedly have been used because it was the husband’s relatives who stated he was devastated, rather than he himself. In reality, we know that it was the intention of the journalist to imply that the husband is not, in fact, devastated.

    Also, I think calling Lobes a “smurfwit” isn’t very nice. What have the poor smurfs done to deserve such an unfavourable comparison? Surely nothing that bad. Perhaps “scumsucking dickwad lowlife” would be more apt?

  588. I’ll tell you what Smurfs have done.

    They made a series of cartoons, Volume 2 of which was snatched up by my mother and brought home to the weasels, who then spent a large chunk of the weekend watching it.

    Never has a DVD seemed to go on for so very long.

    La la la la la la
    la la la la la…

  589. Heh heh heh. Poor MM, still, if you save the smurf movie till she’s bedridden and dementing I’m sure you can find a use for the tape and enact terrible and frequent revenge. I would tell her you plan to do so, often.
    Catty I am impressed, but then again, ever since my first online encounter with you I always have been. Clever girl. I’m tempted to print that up and stick it somewhere I can refer to it.
    Many thanks, I have been wondering for some time if this technique has been used for such a purpose and it’s nice to know that others have observed it & it’s journalistic protocol for sniping. It explains many, many things that I have seen in the media relating to total arsewits.
    Where did you do your writing class?
    That was one of the things I loved about JCU – we spent some time sitting down analysing writing and what people were REALLY saying between the lines, & between that and a year with Prof Henry Reynolds in his JCU politics 101 class, I found it utterly intriguing looking at what people say when the constraints of the law & the Australian Journalistic code forbid the free and liberal casting of aspersions.
    Surely the whole point of being a journalist is you get to be bitchy and get paid for it?
    Speaking of which, our submissions came in for review today re the DA & I am pleased to note there were only two comments, one from each nutty neighbour on either side.
    The guy who doesn’t bathe in Bog Hollow complained that the windows in the extension out the back would be invasive as they will overlook his garden. Which is ever so easily fixed as we can point out to council that there are, in fact, no windows on the plans for the western wall of the planned extension.
    Heh heh heh.
    The lunatic on the other side of us outdid herself and wrote a 30 page frothing rant complaining at length about everything we want to do & all that has offended her by our existence in the last 15 years (condoms, syringes and dead animals thrown into her yard – hello? we all get them. I’m tempted to add ‘What, no UDL cans or backpacker urine/vomit/cigarette packs/stubs/used kleenex and discarded bottles of household cleaning products? Wow. You do miss out.’) and she closed by announcing that council shouldn’t let us add any rooms here because only two people live on the property and we can’t possibly use all that space.
    Poor dear, clearly she’s so attached to us that it hasn’t occurred to her that we may sell or rent it out – or we might just want to indulge our right to improve the value of our house by adding to it.
    I couldn’t be more pleased if she’d taken out a full page add in the newspaper saying ‘I am a total freaking lunatic’.

    The Bloke’s favorite amongst her complaints is that we built a cubby house (7m away from our boundary line, which includes photos of her children playing in their backyard by their cubby house, which is the exact same height & dimensions as ours, but 2m away from our boundary line) – and complaining about the proximity/height of the cubby. Brilliant.

    Priceless.
    I was hoping for entertainment, they have outdone themselves.
    The fact that nobody else gives a **** apart from the idiot and the frothing lunatic should make it all the easier to get it past council.
    Excellent. It’s time to break out the champagne. Unless…Who wants a mojito?

  590. Pineapple daquiri, thanks. With a little umbrella in it. I’m feeling festive.

    My writers’ course was done by correspondence through The Writing School. I don’t mention it often, because just before I finished the course, JB made some comment about how useless The Writing School is for aspiring authors. One of these days I hope to get something published, just so I can prove him wrong. Of course, that will involve getting off my arse and actually writing something worth publishing….

    This may take some time.

    Unless, of course, I plagiarise your loony neighbour’s complaint letter. It sounds hilarious!

  591. I might have to put snow shoes in your daquiri instead of the umbrella, Catty. It’s cold.
    Your course sounds fabulous so I wouldn’t pay much attention to JB’s opinion of it. Some things that JB thinks are tops are clearly what we all think are the absolute pits so clearly we’re coming from a different sense of what matters in quite a few contexts.
    And the nutbag…Oh yeah. The Bloke came home shaking his head and filled me in on the rest of it. She’s utterly clueless. She complained about the stormwater run-off from the pavilion over our spa (which has gutters and a drain pipe which runs the length of our property and goes into a storm water drain on our side path. She claims that this doesn’t exist and the water run off goes into her property.
    Fact: the pipes & connections are highly visible as is the entry point into the storm water drain.
    They, on the other hand, have no water run-off for their pool water and every time it goes green & fills up with frog spawn, they empty it out into their neighbour’s yard.
    She also complained that we’d illegally renovated our kitchen in 2001.

    Clearly she hasn’t read the clause that says council does not give a fig what you do inside your house & you can do internal renovations as you please. It’s changing the street-scape and extensions with an 8.5m height limit that concern them.
    Hilarious.
    She reads as a total frothing nutcase.

    Our planning consultant thinks it’s best not to address any of her complaints as it’s obvious to all that she’s a total raving psycho.
    Brilliant. I was expecting 3 pages of irrational drivel, but she’s really outdone herself. Scary to think how much angrier and crazier she’s become in the 10 years since we put in our last DA but I reassure myself with the knowledge that she has 3 teenage children to terrorize with her angry lunacy & making them & her husband miserable does tend to take up much of her free time.

    The truly wonderful thing is that this time she hasn’t managed to engage any of the other neighbours to join in with her vendetta – which she did last time. I think in the last 10 years they’ve all seen enough of her to realise what she’s like and strangely enough, the one neighbour who would be justified in complaining because he is behind us and will lose some nice views – hasn’t bothered to make any comments at all.
    We did try to do it in a way that wouldn’t block his views from where his property takes in the best vantage point so I’d say he’s looked at that and gone ‘Works for me.’
    God I’m glad that’s over. Now we just have to wait and see WTF else council has to gripe about and hopefully, if their issues aren’t too unreasonable, we can get on with it.

  592. Hehehe. My most favouritest objection is that only two of you live there so you can’t possibly need all that space. Why not send her a friendly note to explain that once all your fellow werewolf pack members move in, space will be at a premium? Oh, and that she might like to stay away during the full moon.

    Catty, anything that gets you writing is a good thing. Don’t listen to the haters.

    Meanwhile, did I tell you all that my filth is in print? The erotica anthology is now out in real book form, featuring “Hot Wax” by me:

    http://www.stringybarkstories.net/The_Stringybark_Short_Story_Award/Bookshop.html

    The one I’m in is “Between the Sheets”.

  593. Who needs werewolves when there’s so many Irish backpackers to choose from?
    Yes, it’s hard to pick a favourite with such a fine selection of her delusions on show, but the bloke’s pick of the day is their claim that council stopped our last DA going through due to their complaints about how our development would impact on them.

    Truly, I don’t know how she comes up with this crap.
    The DA was approved 10 years ago and they sent them a letter in writing stating that we had approval to raise the house by 2.4m & attaching a list of the stock-standard conditions that everyone has to comply with.

    I’m not sure what she thinks she stands to gain by lying about that when they’ve got it right there in front of them on file.

    At least it saves me the trouble of pointing out she’s a frothing lunatic prone to delusions of grandiosity and severe bouts of mythomania.

    It does make me wonder, though, WTF must her kids put up with?

    Did I tell you what she did in the Zombie Apocalypse Dust Storms?
    They must have had an awful time in the 1st one because you know how impossible it is to seal a queenslander – just think how much shit would’ve come down the chimney alone. So when the 2nd one was predicted, and you could see it moving in from the north west that morning – she sent her kids out to clean all the front stairs & their deck with buckets of water, soft cloths, and disinfectant, and scolded them every time she found a speck of dust.
    The kids were all dressed up in their sunday-best frocks & wore expressions of mute terror.

    When they finish school I’m expecting them to move somewhere safer, like Sudan, to get away from her.

    Anyway, enough with the crazy.
    Congratulations on making it into print!
    Well done!
    How long ago did you write that?

  594. Sometime last year.

    It didn’t win the Erotic Short Story competition, but the editor liked it so much he put in an editor’s choice collection. It’s been an ebook for a while, but I suppose sales were good enough to put it out as a hard copy. I prefer having it in a “real” book… it seems, umm, realer.

  595. Yes, this way it’s got that whole touchy-feely aspect to it that’s in character with the genre.
    Cue the sideshow music for Greybeard to elbow his way in with a raft of bodgy jokes.

  596. I’m offended! Also surprised you remember bodgies and widgies. Ah, the 50s. Anyway, back to the new PC. Turns out some idiot installed about three hundred and eleventy-six bits of software on the old one. Now I have to find them and decide if I want them on the new one. What a dill! (Doing this on the emergency backup computer – its network name is El-Cheepo. I’d like to meet the prawn who built this one too)

  597. My MIL was a widgie, apparently. I find it hard to believe, myself, considering she was an only child whose father went along on all her dates. How she ever managed to marry and have children is a complete mystery.

    Hooray for Princess Morgana, published author! I’d be horribly jealous, but I’m too damned proud of you for all that nonsense. I propose we send a copy of your book to Daniel Craig, with an invitation to come over and do some research for your next erotic story.

    Quokka, I’ve had some bad experiences with public servants (and I worked there!), so I’m not sure every Council employee is smart enough to recognise batshit crazy when they see it. Hopefully you will get one with enough brain cells to laugh instead of stamping your application with the REJECT stamp.

    Actually, your description of crazy lady is making me wonder if I have any relatives living in your area. It certainly sounds like she could be related to my mother.

  598. Well, guarded congratulations to Quokka & hopes that the loons don’t cause any delays. I try to understand people (not easy when you’re a bloke and mildly Aspergers) but that kind of critter plumb baffles me. Your cubby bad, mine, closer to fence & populated by rugrats, good. Does not compute.

    Madam’s achievement on the other hand computes perfectly. You are now, officially, the nicest and most reasonable published author I know. That probably says a lot for the others but hey, #1 is good, no?

    Also, is first reply from new beastie. Very disappointed. File rendering (at higher quality than before) was only 10x as fast. Wheeee. Same day service!

  599. Let me guess, GB, it’s a MAC?
    thanks all.
    Catty, I’m sure you’re right – there are a lot of people under 25 in town planning who will be sitting there going WTF?
    The last time we put in a DA 10 years ago, it took the poor darlings a couple of months to figure out that Mrs. Crazy next door was a frothing lunatic who was unwilling to compromise on any issue, expected to have everything her way, regardless of our rights or the clauses in the planning regulations, and if council dared refuse her she would then turn her attentions & her venom onto them.
    As they still have our last DA on file, I am confident they still have her file attached, sporting the official Psycho stamp above her photo & address.

    Last time council bent over backwards trying to resolve her problems & get her to accept their suggestions for solutions. Her response was FU to each and every one so after a week or two of this they took the same approach to her.

    The building industry being a small world, in the midst of this the Bloke & I had to attend a memorial service out in the wilds, when one of his old mentors died. Seeing as it was a nice day trip, we took the dog. Lots of people came up to pat him, including a young town planner who started whinging to me about how awful it was to deal with some of the psychos that complained about their neighbour’s DAs & how miserable they made his existence. I made lots of sympathetic noises & mentioned that we had one of those and Glory Be, once I’d offered up a few details it turned out that Mrs. Crazy next door to me was the nutter who was making his life difficult. Talk about providence. We had a lot of support from that guy after that.

    As all that crap is still on file, we’ve got a good case for saying that ‘well, this is what she did last time and look, she’s even worse now’.

    Truly – if she’d made sense and managed to sound reasonable I’d be worried. But she’s made so many outrageous claims and sounds so incredibly narcissistic and entitled in her submission that I have no doubt she’s going to rub everyone who reads it completely the wrong way.

    As the last town planner told me 10 years ago – if you get several people saying the same thing as the obviously crazy one then they are obliged to look into it. If nobody else has a problem and there’s one frothing lunatic then it’s obvious to everyone that it’s one person’s vendetta & when the person running it is obviously a liar/delusional/completely unwilling to compromise, they tend to let it go.

    I could be wrong, but our planning consultant’s opinion is that it should be fairly smooth sailing from here because there was so little opposition to it and both of them are obviously 1. stupid 2. Unhinged.

    so, what are we all up to for the long weekend, ladies and crocodile hunters? (Nbob has volunteered GB for fisheries duty in the Mary River, in his absence)
    Say, how much do you reckon channel 9 would pay us for the film of that?

  600. Thank you all for your kind remarks – I’ll feature you in my next orgy.

    Whatever file rendering is, I’m happy for you, GB. It makes me think of pig fat and those rumours about McDeath shakes.

    My plans for the long weekend are to go baconing tomorrow, but otherwise to curl up on the sofa with a library book, ignoring the children and the housework. But I would pay good money to see GB vs Croc: Mary River Smackdown.

    • Oh, no, Madam, don’t put me in an orgy, unless I’m the embarrassed person at the door holding all the handbags. I’m a complete prune.

      • Prude! I meant prude!

      • Bwahahaha, choke, cough, ROFLMAO. Too late! Imagination stepped in and did its dreadful work.

  601. Goody. Make sure I’m the enraged neighbour shouting complaint at the Japanese exchange students screaming up the fake orgasms, as you know I have experience with that.
    Speaking of which, lover boy moved out yesterday. So perhaps he’s panicking at the thought of all the horror that’s to come with our renovation, and doesn’t share Mrs. Crazy’s confidence that she can block the DA & convince town planning to tear it down and relocate a quaint old derelict farmhouse on the site.

  602. Or perhaps he’s flying over to Japan in search of his darling screamer.

    I can kind of see you in a derelict farmhouse though, Q. You’d be oiling up a shotgun and muttering about varmints.

    • But it would be a very tidy dereclict farmhouse. With a Roman bath house at the back. And a dungeon.

      • And a corral for varmints.

  603. Oh shite. You might like to glance at CBG. Or not.

  604. Two words. First word, ‘restraining’. Second word, well, that could either be ‘order’ or ‘jacket’.

  605. I think it should be “chemical restraints”, Catty. Accompanied by “without delay”.

  606. And now the Loathesome Lobes has scented blood in the water and rushed in for a bite. OK, she’s crazy & creepy and I wish she’d go away but I don’t think his comments will help either her or JB. Mind you, if I were JB I’d be consulting someone professional about the risks.

  607. In my support group we call these things ‘extinction bursts’.
    i.e. you haven’t heard from the Crazy for ages & then they pop up out of nowhere and pump up the volume.
    At which point the person they’ve been targeting goes nuts and shoots them, and they are then extinct.

  608. Catty, get thhe to the Madness! Please!

  609. Why is my comment awaiting moderation? It’s a hell of a lot more moderate than most of the comments here 😦

    • Well dear, I think the problem is you rather than the comments you make. I always warned you this would happen if you didn’t keep yourself “nice”.

  610. The Scribe doesn’t need to shoot anyone, not with his collection of vicious scalies. I’m picturing a Monty Burns type of scenario… “Release the trolls… excellent!”

  611. Wouldn’t you love to have some insight into her thought processes, though – such as they are?

    “I know how I can make JB love me – I’ll post some rambling syncophantic creepy stuff on his blog!”

  612. Yeah, Catty, I’ve long suspected that JB tolerates the trolls simply because they’re useful to him for 1. dispatching anyone he has no need for 2. bringing up the comment count at NT by inflaming the masses. Which is why I so rarely bother reading the comments any more.
    Speaking of inflaming scaly breasted trolls, I’ve been hard at work tweaking our design so that Mrs. Crazy’s head will absolutely explode.
    Lessons learned from last time, I’ve found that it’s useful to go through a sample of her complaints and find a ‘solution’ that will piss her off far worse.
    i.e. we had a little Juliet balcony in our design, 5m away from her house (council only requires it to be 1.5m) & and, due to the fact that we’re on a ridge, about 7m higher than her property.
    She complained that because it was only 1.5m wide it meant that we would be standing there all the time looking at her in her kitchen & because there wasn’t a full roof over it we wouldn’t put chairs there.
    Heh heh heh.
    So with some clever tweaking of the plans I have now redesigned it as a 3 x 3m square deck, with roof cover, which means I will be able to sit out there in the rocking chair 5m above her, oiling my shotgun & keeping an eye on her activities at all hours. And there’ll be lots of room for our friends come Riverfire.
    There’s more, but I’m having way too much fun with this to stay here for too long away from my Make the Neighbour’s Head Explode design project.
    Pissing stupid entitled people off is just SO much fun.

    • When we restart the house, would you be a consultant? Pretty please? This does sound like fun.

  613. Certainly.
    However there is a price to be paid.
    I expect all of you to visit during occasions such as River Fire & other holidays, along with other riff-raffity types, and rabble loudly on the balcony.
    Nothing pisses an irate neighbour off more than seeing that a renovation they opposed has been accepted, apart from scummy types turning up en masse to enjoy it’s delinquency.

    • Oooh, can I declaim limericks from the balcony in the manner of a Shakespearian ham?

      “A habit obscene and unsavoury
      holds our Mr Abbott in slavery.
      With maniacal howls
      he deflowers young owls
      which he keeps in an underground aviary.”

      “What a curious race are the Persians.
      They have so many diversions.
      They make love by day, in the usual way
      and save up the nights for perversions.”

      I also know some Latin drinking songs and bawdy verse.

  614. Riff-raff! Who are you calling riff-raff? I’ve always thought we’re more hoi polloi… or perhaps demi-monde.

    I personally think that a particularly salacious mural is in order… perhaps featuring members of the Flanders family.

  615. Oooh, oooh, oooh, and lots of hippie stuff, like those big tubular bell wind chimes. And a rooster.

  616. And perhaps a small herd of goats. Those werewolves can get through a fair bit of meat.

  617. True. And council would support this because I’m pretty sure she made some complaint or other about how we’re to blame for the mysterious disappearance of their herd of guinea pigs.
    Catty Mrs. Crazy has already been through the phase of noisy wind chimes but eventually even she got sick of them & replaced them with less noisy votives, such as hippie flags. And there’s enough chickens around here to produce enough grain-fed rats for another 5 generations of Khan Greybeard’s twisted GM experiments.
    I believe I’m on a winner so long as we make the extension in the backyard look as unlike a queenslander as is architecturally possible, because that seems to be what most offends our two offended neighbours.
    Rendered concrete walls, polycarbonate roofing for the outdoor entertaining areas, stark modernist design with no frilly shit to clutter it up, and lots and lots of glass allowing us to sit in fascination and view the daily comings and goings of Clan Crazy…that’ll do it.
    Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to google rain-water tanks.
    The kind that look like giant lego building blocks.
    I’ve suddenly realised that the perfect place to put the rain water tanks is hard up against the garden fence where Mrs. Crazy hangs her washing out. Think how happy it’ll make her when instead of looking at our annoying garden, she gets to look at a couple of those.
    I wonder if they come in orange?

  618. There we go. Torres blue is a nice soothing colour.
    Is that the shade they use in the psyche wards or is that the one the sets them off? I can never remember these things.

    http://www.polyworld.com.au/1-products/rt3000

  619. I think River Gum is the colour they use in Ward 10B. It’s a pity they don’t come in pink, as that’s the colour used in some US prisons to calm the violent tendencies of the prisoners. Or the warders, I’m not sure.

    Another way to really piss off Crazy Lady would be to get some of that reflective film that makes your windows look like mirrors. We have it on a couple of our windows, and it reflects the sun beautifully.

    Also, you could put a cauldron on your balcony, with pictures of guinea pigs stencilled on the side:

    http://www.whitemagic.com.au/ritualtools/cauldrons.htm

    This is fun!

  620. I think the Heritage Red makes a strong statement about your pride in this great state, Quokka. Queenslander!

    But don’t lash out and spend a lot on reflective film. Aluminium foil is just as glarey, and much less attractive to the observer.

    • Plus left over foil can be fashioned into wide-brimmed conical hats to shield riff-raff guests from sun, satellites and Crazy Neighbour’s burning gaze.

  621. True. We would have done that, but I’d just put a layer of foil on my colander hat to make it extra secure from CIA mind control rays, and there wasn’t enough foil left on the roll.

  622. Did you know you can get coloured foil on a roll, Catty?

    I’ve got five metres of purple in my bottom kitchen drawer. Dunno what I’ll do with it… but it would make a fetching anti-CIA mind ray bonnet.

    Now, onto important matters. Has anyone else tried this?

    http://www2.woolworthsonline.com.au/Shop/ProductDetails?Stockcode=715799&name=cadbury-marvellous-creations-bag-peanut-toffee-cookie

    It’s good. Very, very good.

  623. Not yet. I have however seen it lurking on display near the bananas at Coles (Part of their sabotage of the ‘swap it’ weight loss regime that the health dept are trying to foist upon us) but as yet it has gone unsampled.
    After what you said about dental abscesses, perhaps it’s better if it stays that way. I have enough calcium eroding addictions with the Darrell Lea peanut brittle so readily at hand.

  624. Ooh.
    Here’s a thought.
    When we build the extension to Fort Quokka, perhaps we could all gather to celebrate, wearing purple tin foil hats to protect us from the burning gaze of the enraged gorgon next door. Who wants to string up the party lights on the deck to spell out the letters ‘FKU’?

  625. Greybeard can do that – or summon some of his subjects to do it, more likely. Looks like they’ve crowned him King of the Geeks.

  626. Hmm.
    Must learn to read your blog with glasses, rather than just walking by, glancing at the Mac, and making dangerous assumptions.
    I saw his post & raid that as ‘king of the greeks’ & figured he’d taken advantage of a populace who’ll got to any lengths to enshrine a new overload who won’t make them pay tax.

  627. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being King of the Greeks, either. As long as they have high-speed internet connections.

  628. It’s all Greek to me.

  629. All of this talk about Greeks is making me hungry for moussaka.

    Although, as a child, I was very disappointed to find out that this dish does not contain chocolate mousse.

  630. Me too, although my leanings are more Roman.
    I have plans to make pumpkin and feta cannelloni today.

  631. Mmmmmm….. Baklava…..

  632. Have I been banished Madam? Posted to comments the other night and they were lurking in the ether awaiting moderation.

    It appears they were immoderat 😦

    • Sorry about that, Mayhem. Dunno what happened… the spam goblins must have been a little overzealous.

      Feel free to be as immoderate as you like!

  633. Have I been banished Madam? I posted two comments the other night and the last I saw of them, they were floating in the ether awaiting moderation.

    Apparently they were immoderate 😦

  634. Mmm… carbs.

  635. Ta, Madam. In fact my second comment the other night mentioned that most of my comments were far more moderate than a lot that get thru your goblin gates 🙂

  636. With all the talk of food here, that maight be Gobblin’ Gates? And I thought moussaka contained mice. Another childhood illusion shattered.

  637. But minestrone still contains minotaurs, right?

  638. Oh dear. I thought it contained ministers.
    My bad.
    And Mayhem – don’t feel like it’s just you, occasionally the new blog format throws me and Catty out too. NFI why, but since I tried to ‘fix’ various things on the MAC I find that every time I need to post a comment I have to log in via wordpress.
    Sigh.
    It’s always a mistake to change the settings.
    SOAB code designers.

  639. I wouldn’t feel bad, any of you. Sometimes the damn thing tries to kick ME out!

  640. I’ve never had a problem. Just sayin’

  641. How much more smug can you be, Greybeard?

    None. None more smug.

    I had some trouble commenting for a while, but it seems to have settled down – except I now get an email every time someone comments here. It happens at the Corner, too, but over there I get two emails every time someone comments. Odd.

    Hey, Quokka, is it possible to rig up a flying fox line from your balcony to the fence? I’m not thinking about the potential for pissing off the neighbours (although that’s always a bonus). I just think it sounds like a shitload of fun. Also, it would be a handy escape plan if you get hemmed in by zombies during the Zombiepocalypse.

  642. Oh I can be smugger than that. Fifi says I’m a “right old smugger”. Or something like that. Did I mention that my new computer runs Windows 7-32, Windows 7-64 and Windows 8 – at the same time? Soon it will have Linux and just maybe (if it doesn’t gag) Mac OSX.
    Muhuhuhahahaha! POWER! I LOVE POWER!

  643. Greybeard, surely running ONE copy of Windows is bad enough. Why the smurf do you need three versions at once?

    Excellent idea, Catty. You also need to stockpile water, Quokka. 12ft tanks running all the way down the property line ought to do it.

  644. The short answer – Greybeard is a masochist. You can tell by the rubber suit (and the can of baked beans). It could be worse, though. He could have said he was running Vista. And then we would have to have him committed to somewhere with rubber walls (and a can of baked beans).

  645. Until they’ve built a room specially for him in the psyche ward we could store him in Mrs. Crazy’s round Clark Rubber above ground wading pool. It wouldn’t be hard to fill that with baked beans, surely?

  646. I just can’t get the picture of Greybeard, in a latex cat suit, wallowing in a wading pool full of baked beans, out of my mind.

    Looks like it’s eggs or cereal for breakfast for the foreseeable future.

    • Would they be, you know, warm beans. Cos That would be . . . nice. Verry nice.

  647. AND, unlike you Maccas people, my Windows machines never hang up, crash, fail to run software etc. They do my bidding well for they know (dramatic pause) that I am their Master. A Mac thinks it knows best and only lets you do what it feels like. Sort of like dogs and cats really.

  648. Don’t lump me in with Steve Jobs minions, Greybeard. I’m PC through and through. Well, not particularly politically correct, but I don’t mess around with those heathen Macs.

  649. Ach, wee lassie, ye dinna be makin’ assperrrsions agin’ the Macs. We be Wee Free Men!

  650. Hehehe.

    I can hear the skirling pipes and feel the sharp sting of your dirks against my throat, even as I type. Alright, I retract all my Mac slander with humble apologies.

  651. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Ummm . . . . ?

      • Don’t feel left out,Greybeard. It’s Geek Pride Day on the 25th of May.

      • Whoohoo! Time to break out my spangled hotpants, gold foil nipple caps and feather boa!

        Oh. Geek Pride. As you were, nothing to see here.

  652. And to you, Catty.

    Magic Man made breakfast this morning and Elf Boy is going to give me a foot rub, so I’m feeling quite spoiled. Hope you’re the same!

  653. Happy Mother’s day, mothers.
    And happy Smothers Day to those of us who’d prefer to take a slightly different approach to the general festivities. Glad you are getting spoilt Madame, Catty, I hope someone fed you cake.
    We have been out to the movies (Dark Shadows, but I will happily see it again, MM) and have been to the bakery for pies and orange cake. And now I am about to take a nap. The Bloke dealt with mother’s day at the Country Kitchen down the Old Coast yesterday so today we have blessed peace.
    Well, I would if there wasn’t some clown riding down the street on a unicycle leading a parade of feathered devils tied to his black turkey boa.

  654. Yes, there was cake. Chocolate mud cake and cheesecake. It was very good. There were also many gifts. (Not all of them were for me, though. I’ll elaborate later.) Now I shall nap, and will awake in time for somebody else to deal with dinner. *happy sigh*

  655. Not all of them were for you?

    For the love of smurf, tell us the teen’s not pregnant, Catty!

  656. Oh lord. Now you’ve got me worried. You can’t be cryptic with things like that, Catty.

  657. Oh, nothing sinister or scary. The Boss can be rather impulsive at times. We were supposed to be going to the MIL’s. It was time to leave, and I was rounding up the children, when the Boss announced he was going out. “Yes, that’s right, dear,” says I. “We’re going to your mother’s”. But he was already gone. An hour later, he came back with a budgie for the oldest kidlet.

    I was startled, to say the least. I have no idea how to look after a baby bird, and neither do the kidlets. The Boss knows, but he left town this morning for a week away. Do you think I should start a book on who manages to kill the bird, and how soon? I’m betting me, by Thursday.

  658. Well, it’ll probably last longer than cut flowers, Catty.

    Just keep it warm and well-supplied with fresh water and seed. Have you googled ‘how to care for a baby budgie’? That might be helpful.

    Good luck!

  659. If only there was a Deli that had roast quail. You could present it when he got home and tell him it was a bugger to pluck. No?

  660. I like it. Crumbed budgie on a stick, anyone?

  661. Sounds like a filler for Tony Abbott’s speedos.

  662. Lucky’s Trattoria used to make a fabulous Caeser salad with quail’s eggs in it, and homemade secret dressing.

    Okay, it’s beside the point, but I really miss that salad.

  663. Now I have an unpleasant mental image of Tony Abbott stuffing quail egg salad down his speedos.

  664. Thanks, Catty. I no longer miss the salad. In fact, I never want to think about it again.

    How’s the budgie going?

  665. There has been an … incident … The budgie is rather distressed, but at least it’s not dead. I hope it lives – until Thursday, at least, or I’m down $50.

  666. Is that a betting loss or the cost of a new budgie?
    Oh & Catty for some weird reason wordpress has been refusing to load for me over at your blog, making it hard for me to comment. NFIY it’s doing it because it seems find here. Stupid technology.
    Cue the Smug Music for Khan Greybeard to slither in and make some richly deserved snipes at the worminess of Apple technology.

    • For as surely as ye shall speak my name, So I shall appear.

  667. That’s a betting loss. I should have known the kidlets would kill it with (alleged) kindness long before I could kill it with neglect.

    I checked the Corner, and found one recent Quokka comment. Nothing in the spam bucket at all – except a few old weevil crackers and an empty rum bottle. (Which reminds me, hello Cap’n Greybeard.) So I can’t guess what WordPress’s problem is, unless blog hosts get visits from Aunt Irma too.

    Hey, Madam, how was your foot rub yesterday? Got any skin left on your tootsies?

  668. Unfortunately, I never got my footrub. Elf Boy was afflicted with an advanced case of smouldering rage and bitterness on Mother’s Day afternoon – cause still a mystery to the rest of us. To the point where he was crouching on all fours and hissing at all and sundry – has anyone seen The Exorcist?

    All is not lost, though. I plan to collect when I stumble home on Sunday, covered in bacon grease.

    • Holy water. Better make it a bucket.

      • He was all sweetness and night this morning. I think he’s developing an immunity to Satan.

  669. Sounds like he’s morphing into my sister. Perhaps we should take a swab and see if he carries my family’s Satinista DNA.

  670. “Sweetness and night”. Freudian slip there methinks.

  671. Heh heh.
    I wasn’t going to mention it but yes, I did chuckle quietly when I saw that evocative line.
    BTW, since we’re discussing the presence/influence of the Antichrist, what ever became of your aunt’s Antechinus? Is it doing well or has it gone to the same evergreen pastures as Catty’s budgie?

  672. Oops. So much for my touch typing.

    I haven’t talked to Libby for ages, but I believe Piper’s original finder – my cousin’s partner – wanted her/him back when s/he didn’t need night feeds any more.

    So, probably killed with kindness by now, I assume.

  673. Well, the budgie has survived thus far. One more night, and my $50 is safe….

    Just to make things even more satisfying, we are currently inhaling a box of strawberry malt balls in front of the telly, and there is delightfully trashy novel waiting on my bedside table. This is a good night.

  674. Lucky budgie!

    What’s it’s name, by the way… Kylie Minogue? Tony Abbott’s Speedo (Tas for short)?

  675. speaking of trashy novels, I’m currently reading M.L. Steadman’s ‘the light between the oceans’ and the main characters are shitting me to tears. It’s one of those moral dilemma stories that are popular at the moment (i.e. the slap & the Jodie Picoult stories).
    Just curious to know if anyone else has read it & if I’m alone in wanting to slap the baby stealer & send her packing to the psychiatrist. I have great difficulty relating to a character that can’t consider consequences & is willing to screw everyone else over to meet her own needs. I’m half way through the book and I really want to thump her one.
    I don’t think I’ve wanted this badly to punch a character since I read Nick Earls’ ‘zigzag street’.
    Perhaps this is good writing, because it makes you feel something about the character, but I guess my issue is that I think the character could have been written differently to make her easier to relate to and less of a totally self-absorbed psycho.
    The premise is that three miscarriages/still births drive her to become the nut that I see on the pages.
    You guys are mothers, you’ve dealt with the crazy hormone stuff and had far higher doses of oxytocin than I’m ever likely to experience.
    Is this really feasible?
    I mean, I’ve seen plenty of women go totally squirrelly after the hormones they’re given on IVF – one is still completely out of her tree 16 years after the event, God help her children – but seriously? Can pregnancy & miscarriage really make you that freaking nuts?

  676. Yes. Yes it can.

    Actually, I recently read something in the paper about this very topic:

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/true-crime-scene/british-author-claims-serial-killer-jack-the-ripper-was-a-woman-in-new-book/story-fnat7dag-1226350417904

    If you add this article to the list of articles about batshit crazy American girls who have tried to murder other women to steal their babies, then the premise of Steadman’s novel is entirely plausible.

  677. Jack the Ripper was a woman? That’s one severe case of PMT.

    In my experience, pregnancy hormones made me vomit uncontrollably morning, noon and night, then weep at Kleenex tissue commercials, then brainless and contented as a cow in a pasture full of clover.

    I’ve felt like giving my own children away on occasion, but I’ve never had the urge to steal anyone else’s.

  678. I’ve often wondered if my Goddaughter’s mum would notice if I just happened to take the little poppet home with me. But then I remember that gorgeous little girls eventually become teenagers, and hand her back to her mother with not-undue haste.

  679. Fempocalypse Now – “I love the smell of oestrogen in the morning”

  680. Heh heh. Nice one, Khan GB.
    While you’re here, do you have any sage advice about how to stop wordpress from cluttering up my inbox with messages every time there’s another comment posted at the girls’ blogs?
    I’d much rather just pop in as it suits me and read/reread whatever is going on. Besides, that way it brings up the girls’ Visitor Count so they feel the Lurve. Yes, those 4000 visits are really, really me, trying to find some excuse not to clean the windows.
    Catty that is just bizarre. I’d like to see his evidence and I must say it doesn’t sound promising for him that so many other Ripper experts think it’s unfounded. In psychology its considered exceptionally rare for women to kill random strangers. They do kill their own children & husbands, but killing strangers is rare & I’ve never, ever heard of a female serial killer. Even with a schizophrenic, they couldn’t be that organized and certainly couldn’t hide their madness.
    It sounds like a strange argument that she killed other women because she was infertile. Back in those days children were so abundant that they often weren’t wanted/afforded and as such there were people queuing up to be farmed out to wealthy relatives, so taking someone else’s child and raising him/her as an own would have been considered quite a socially acceptable option. It was the norm. I remember when we studied Pride and Prejudice and there was that line of Mr. Darcy’s to Elizabeth that ‘you cannot have lived at Longbourne all your life’ – which made reference to the idea that as her behaviour was so unlike her parents, it was highly likely that she had been raised by far more functional relatives, and then, as was custom, restored to her family in adulthood.
    I can relate to being disappointed at being unable to have children – the Bloke & I went through that when I was diagnosed with cancer at 29 and the medical advice was pretty much ‘don’t’.
    We considered other options such as fostering or adoption but given my odds of survival I just thought it would be a cruel fate for a child if we were to adopt and then five years down the track I went belly up. I was quite happy to enjoy being Auntie & now that my child-bearing days look like they’re up, I’ve reached a point where I really quite like our life & I have no regrets.
    The Bloke has some regrets but every time he looks at his parents he shudders at the thought of what kind of human beings we could have produced, given the combined horror of what’s to be found in my family and in his. I cannot think of a worse fate than having a child like my father or his mother & I can’t imagine what my grandmother must have suffered at the treatment she got from her only child.
    I may not be entirely sane, but at least I’m not passing on the psychopath gene.

  681. There was one female serial killer I know of… the murderous prostitute Charlize Theron played in Monster. And there have been a few accomplices, like Myra Hendley. But otherwise, you’re right, Q.

    You should let me know if you ever have regrets about not having children, though. I’ll lend you Elf Boy for a day or two – that’ll fix you up, quick smart.

  682. Yeah, I did think of Charlize after I wandered off but as I never saw the movie I don’t know what her motivation/activities were. If she was pissed off with life and the universe because she couldn’t have children I take it all back.
    Twisted as it is I find the whole concept of homicide & criminal psychology quite fascinating so I’ll often find something new & sit and read it in fascination. There wasn’t enough meat on the bones of that ripper link to make much sense of it though. I suppose the point is that you buy the book, which makes me think rather cynically that the exercise is about making cash rather than producing facts.
    Women being so naturally inclined to be jealous of their own sex though, I’d expect a female serial killer to attack the faces of her victims and scratch their eyes out and cut off their lovely blonde locks.
    Rather like they do in primary school, and on facebook.

    As for inspiration, trust me there is plenty of that across the road at school leaving time and on the return back home. So thank you for your so generous offer but I won’t be needing Elf Boy any time soon. Although if I do study counselling and I need a life study on growling adolescents I’ll rest easy knowing I won’t have far to go to find one. Ah – the bitter screams have just kicked in across the road. You see? I have such helpful neighbours. A chorus of screaming unhappy under 8s. Ah, the joy.

    Well, I had girls’ day out but my poor movie buddy had to go home feeling sick. Which was a shame as the movie was truly beautiful – ‘the way’ with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. If you want some nice scenery to look at and something that doesn’t fit the predictable hollywood movie script, I recommend it.

  683. The Way, hey?

    What’s it about?

  684. blisters and red wine, with lots of pretty scenery along the way.

  685. Looks good. But when did Martin Sheen get so old?

  686. Probably when his son started sleeping with hookers/goddesses and ranting about Tiger’s Blood.
    We walked out of the movie that Martin and Emilio could manage to shut all that out well enough to make such a beautiful story about letting go.
    I’m guessing Charlie’s given them lots of lessons on how it’s done.

  687. Oops. Please insert the missing word ‘impressed’ .

  688. I bet they’re both wishing that Charlie will take a lovely long hike. And never return.

  689. Just noticed this thread has had 775 responses. Congratulations Madam (and Piper) that’s got to be a record?

    But Q, did you see the article on BT about Musgrave Park – and much more. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/johera-politics-not-yet-says-aboriginal-historian-20120518-1ywdd.html. I hope that book of his gets published. I’d certainly buy it.

  690. The enormous number of responses has got something to do with the fact that I’ve been too slack to write a new post in forever. However, thank you all for your contributions.

  691. Oh, I’d forgotten about dear little Piper. To me, the articles always feel like a springboard into the unknown. None of us stick to the thread for more than the first few comments. I love this place.

  692. Too. Much. Cute.

  693. Greybeard, you do not play fair.

  694. Very cute.
    Back to the topic of abominations, though, the Bloke and I have seen some absolute corkers today.
    We went out to the kite festival – not as big or as interesting as we remember & the good food stalls must have beelined for the scandal zones of Musgrave or Brookfield – so we went off to order pizza from the Rustic Olive & we sat on the esplanade & enjoyed that. Then we went for a wander on the jetty, where there were about 30 teenagers who’d been kicked out of the water by the water police. Not a good look, like they were screaming and cussing and working their way out of control, trying to start a fight with a couple of older kids.
    We just rolled our eyes and figured not much in Redcliffe changes, with the generations.
    Then we went off to see the Avengers at the cinema & OMFG, the behaviour! It was like being in a cage at the zoo. It must’ve been Deadbeat Mum & Dad’s night out because the parents just sat there, rivetted to the screen, while a half a dozen kids ran wild around the cinema – playing chasie, marco polo, throwing food around.
    No attempt to control their kids. Zero.
    After about 40 minutes of movie (never mind the 20 minutes of adds/shorts) one pair removed their children and didn’t return, but by that stage the rest of the kids in the cinema had decided that Anything Goes.
    Probably we should’ve left & asked for a refund but I was interested to stay and discover just how far they’d let it go.
    Half the parents in that cinema tonight must be either doped to the hilt on mind-numbing drugs to have given up the way that they have. It was like watching a little mini-army of Matthew Newtons being cloned before our eyes.
    In-FKing-credible.
    Just boggling.
    I know that teachers keep saying that 1/3 of the children in their classrooms are like that but it’s just incredible to see that happening on a Saturday night in an affluent suburb.
    No wonder the principals have been calling for mental health services & access to psychologists to be supplied to the schools via skype, if that’s what’s out there.
    I’ve seen some children who were over the edge insane when I worked with kids but this level of it…wow. I’m just stunned.
    After the movie I went and told one of the staff members about it and she said that it happened all the time at the Hawthorne & that’s why they have the big kids movies down there but it was fairly rare for it to happen at the Balmoral.
    Those poor staff.
    We’re still feeling shell-shocked & when we got home the first thing we did was to reach for the alcohol. Neither of us felt we could say anything because if you so much as looked at an out of control child the parent would glare at you with the Death Stare like ‘How dare you find fault with my precious angel?’
    So I didn’t even consider going to ask a staff member to speak to them because I’ve heard such awful stories from the staff at Coles saying that they cant’ do anything, if they try to speak to the parents sometimes they become violent.
    Clearly we’d encountered this batch of parents.
    WTF is going on out there?

  695. . . . and this is partly why i got out of teaching/working in schools. That and Admin promoted on the which-one-can-boast-the-loudest-about-their-stolen-accomplishments principle. Mouthy boy in the wrong place at the wrong time: “you shouldn’t be up here during class” “so what, I’m not doing nothing” “where should you be?” “right here, can’t you see me?” “funny, let’s go tell that one to the deputy”. Father came up breathing fire because HE’D taught his kids not to take shit from anyone. Kid didn’t question the exchange or that he was in the wrong place – just felt rules didn’t apply to him. Father agreed. Kid left school.

    Now of course the kid wouldn’t leave and the department would withdraw any punishment. There are just so many times you can look at the collection of knives, one spear, a garotte and a set of heavy nunchucks made from steel pipes and saddle up again. I had very few discipline problems with my own classes (hence got all the worst kids) generally got on very well with them, sometimes made a little progress, rarely made an enemy. I still value enormously blokes who come up and say they’d have been expelled or failed or whatever if I hadn’t helped them. But it just gets worse and worse, starting mostly, but not always, with slack, lazy, crap parents. I never make snap judgements though. One of the worst kids I ever taught – violent, dishonest and given to spitting on St Aiden’s girls and dropping serious rocks on workmen – came from an utterly decent and hardworking family. Damn near killed his parents but eventually killed himself – not suicide just drunk driving. And there’ve been plenty of others like that. Apparently 3-5% of kids just can’t be “socialised”. Do what you will, they will go their own way. Trouble is all the ones who could have been OK, but aren’t, like your feral audience Q.

    At least Lyn only has to deal with them at a distance and not for much longer. Dammit, now you’ve nade me think about it again Q! Too depressing.

  696. O.k. I am on my soapbox here. Prepare for an opinionated rant.

    Down in Boganville, where the boganvilleas grow spindly and pale – if they even survive, thanks to the daily doses of urine and bong water – there used to be a small degree of respect from the children.

    Truly, there was.

    It was a respect born of fear. Bogan parents taught their offspring to respect them from birth, by way of clips over the ear and kicks up the bum. Now and then, you’d get a parent who gave their kids a thrashing; thus was the cliché about bogans being child beaters born. To be honest, most bogans aren’t like that. And child abuse can be found in all levels of socio-economic structure. But the cliché was enough to prompt authorities to remove everybody’s right to physically discipline their children. (It’s amazing how many of these authorities don’t have children of their own. And those that do have all confessed to giving their kids a smack on the bum occasionally, but they regret it now, really they do.)

    In my opinion, any civilised society should aspire to child rearing without physical discipline. The problem is that when corporal punishment was removed from our parenting toolboxes, authorities completely and utterly failed to give parents any replacement form of discipline. Most people learn their parenting techniques from their own parents, and pretty much everyone copped a slap when they played up. So what were they supposed to do? Short of watching Super Nanny, they were left with bugger all information on how to control their kids. (Except for the genuine child abusers, who don’t give a rat’s arse about laws and continue to beat their children until the poor little bastards are taken away by DoCS, returned, taken away again, returned, and eventually run away from home if they don’t die of their injuries first.)

    So bogan parents rebelled.

    In an unspoken unity, bogans all over Australia have ceased disciplining their offspring at all. The reasoning is that they want the dickheads who interfered in their parenting to deal with the horrifying results when the children come of age. Only then, they reason, will the authorities realise their mistake and allow parents to reclaim the right to parent as they see fit.

    Well, that was the plan, anyway. A whole generation of bogans sacrificed parental pride (stop laughing) for the sake of the next generation. But it appears this was a wasted sacrifice. Instead of looking at the results of 20 years without discipline and saying “We are complete morons. Please, slap us upside the head and go back to what you were doing”, the ‘experts’ are instead saying that it is the intermawebz fault, or it’s food additives, or (like everything else) it’s Tony Abbott’s fault. And they are diverting funding from the police force (who need funding more than ever, now that these little turds are roaming the streets with 18+ cards), to pay for school psychologists who couldn’t diagnose their own arseholes with both hands and a torch. What the authorities should REALLY be doing, and should have done in the first place, is actually teach parents some effective, non-corporal discipline techniques.

    And until they do, bogans will continue to default to the ‘no discipline at all’ position until the idiots in charge get the message.

    To make things even worse, parents from affluent suburbs don’t know how to discipline their children either. They are pious about avoiding corporal punishment, but instead of seeking replacement parenting skills, they are attending counselling so that they can forgive their own parents for letting the au pair spank their little behinds when they misbehaved. Also, their own criterion for hiring nannies seems to be how shaggable she is, with little regard for whether she actually knows (or cares) anything about children. So rich kids are just as badly behaved as their bogan counterparts.

    Then there are the average families who pragmatically accepted that smacking wasn’t o.k any more, and set about reading a few books and asking a few questions, and trying different techniques until something worked. It wasn’t hard – they had more than just smacking in their parenting toolboxes to begin with. Most of them now have well behaved kids who are growing into the responsible young adults that bratty rich kids and bogan shits will delight in mugging, glassing and intimidating at every given opportunity.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if those parents at the cinema were all doped off their heads on Prozac/valium/bourbon cocktails, and only ventured out in public with the kids because they didn’t want their offspring’s friends coming over to trash their house for the 4th weekend in a row.

    *gets down off the soap box*

    So, how was Avengers? Good?

  697. You’re kidding, Q.

    What you should have done was to set a tripwire. At least that would have sorted out the kids playing Marco Polo.

    The Avengers was awesome, Catty. The best bit was when Hulk punched Thor.

  698. Heh heh. Thanks for that explanation, Catty.
    Oh, and Morgana, that scene was funny but I preferred the one where the Hulk picked up Loki and smacked him round like a tennis ball in a sock. At that point every kid in the audience gasped, no doubt in horror at the idea there could be consequences for foul behaviour and highly likely in fear that when Mum/Dad eventually cracks – and there aren’t any witnesses to report it – that’s what they can look forward to.
    Oh & GB, sorry, I missed your post earlier – yes, I saw that story in the Brisbane Times. I was trying to remember if that’s the same guy that Roz Kidd mentioned in the credits of her book ‘the way we civilise’.
    I was at the book launch down at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival and I’m sure that she or someone else on the panel said that there’s some interesting local research around that hasn’t been published. One of the problems is that the accounts differ depending which tribal group the historians spoke to and if you speak to the local elders they will tell you quite frankly that there’s a lot of disputed territory between the local tribes in regard to boundaries.
    I think that material like that usually finds it’s way into the archives over at the state library but I really can’t comment on why it hasn’t been published.

  699. Ah, so the Hulk was the star of the show? I guess the scriptwriters didn’t want to make him angry…

    • And yeah, the Hulk was a Smash (see what I did there?) Much funnier than I expected and with better character development than most Bam Pow movies. particularly liked that they came across as very different but all very flawed individuals. The old-school Batman & Superman were super-saints. These are the good guys but . . .

  700. Catty, I’m inclined to agree, mostly. Although I do think a smack on the hand that’s reaching for the stove is more effective than a reasoned explanation to a 2 or 3 year old. As for rich brats, being a state high school obliged to take whatever came along, we had a string of rich brats who’d been expelled from one or usually more private schools and no options left. Nightmares. Resentful of being placed among the plebs, conceited and that’s without their REAL problems. The dunny bomber who, in year 12, liked to play ‘rough’ games with year 8 boys comes to mind, as does Raoul whose “my father is . . . ” introduction made many friends during his short but ignominious career. Conversely I’ve seen some pretty good bogan parents, some in our family. Still not totally sure what maketh the bogan. One couple of our age – engineer & nurse – sent both kids to private schools and got two (apparently) bogan kids. One is very nice, sensible but funny and has three lovely kids. I’m told she’s a “bogan” but I’d be happy to own her?

    I still think that setting boundaries, modelling the behaviour you want and lots and lots of hugs is a good basic recipe. Pity it really, really doesn’t work in some cases. Then I guess you pray, if you’re that way inclined. Not that I can talk. My kids regularly inform me that I am the worst father in the WHOLE WORLD. Which justifies their teasing of me apparently.

  701. Heh heh.
    Yes, I’m with you on that one, GB.
    Boundaries, with lots of positive reinforcement when they are doing the right thing. These parents just looked like they either didn’t care or had given up. Pretty clueless to take the under 8 population to an M rated movie, though.
    We might go back another time and see the 3D version and see if we fare any better.
    The Bloke has come up with a theory that the reason we encountered the Families from Hell is that we went to the 4.30pm session.
    Responsible, organized caring types would be busy at this hour trying to factor in bath-time and dinner preparation, which this lot were clearly trying to avoid at all costs. Fill the children up with rainbow slurpies and sour lollies, let them go nuts in the cinema, then they’ll fall asleep exhausted and malnourished in the car on the way home so you can dump them in bed without dinner or a bath and proceed to get drunk/stoned. Next day you can just hand them over to your ex, unbathed, unfed, uncared for, and completely FKD up from their weekend of No Boundaries.
    His theory is called the Twilight Gremlin Family Apocalypse theory, just in case anyone wants to quote him.
    So, no more 4.30pm movie sessions for us.

  702. We have a firm boundary/positive reinforcement/behaviour modelling approach to parenting. It’s worked really well with the kidlets. It did not work with the Teen. *sigh*

  703. Catty I’ve got friends who were just feral at that age who have matured into the most wonderful human beings. And doesn’t Kathy Lette describe herself as being utterly foul at that age? Like GB said, sometimes it happens for no good reason that anyone can make sense of. I have friends who were lovely parents and somehow or other their kids slipped through the cracks and wound up as single mothers or even, heaven help them, in jail.
    I’m sure I read an interview once where Kathy Lette described the kind of mood swings she went through as a teenager and the way it skewed her perspective, and how she just had no awareness of it until she was so much older and her hormones had stopped doing whatever the hell it was that they were doing to her. One of my cousins over in Perth went through The Foul Phase but because the family all tried to be supportive through the horror of it all, eventually she came good. And at the end of it the thing they all said was ‘my poor mother.’
    I expect to have to wait another 10 years before I see any kind of maturity kick in to a few of my nieces. (drugs, nasty violent men, friends with no clue and no boundaries) And until it does I’m just thankful that they’ve decided to inflict their lifestyle choices on their mother, interstate.

    Meanwhile, I have spent the afternoon eating my way around Paniyiri while the Bloke was off at the football. Yassou! I had to queue for over 20 minutes but I walked away with a huge mound of food for a wonderfully good price and I managed to find a great seat in the crowd just in time to view the Honey Puff eating competition.
    The hot favorite from heats earlier in the day was some young beanstalk looking guy with dreadlocks called ‘Rag’ (the crowd loved it). He’d managed to eat 19 honey puffs in 60 seconds but in the final round he only managed 17 & was beaten by someone with less hair & better focus.
    I haven’t been down there for a few years so it was good fun – especially cruising sideshow alley, watching the terror on the faces of all the kids as they spun round and round on all those carnival rides that I don’t have the stomach to go on. Yassou!
    The food was fabulous and well worth queuing for.

  704. 19 honey puffs? Bah. They weren’t trying.

  705. According to the latest neurological research, the problem with teens is that their brains regress to the level of a toddlers for a few years, until they re-wire.

    That gives us all something to look forward to!

    Glad you enjoyed Panyiri, Quokka. Yassou!

  706. Thanks, yes, it was lovely.
    Catty, the trouble with the honey puff comp is that you have to eat them with your hands behind your back. Which basically involves immersing your head in a bowl, doggy style, and going for it.
    Which is probably why the feral kid did so well – years of practice, unencumbered by the limitations of social nicety & cutlery.
    Clearly there’s some advantages to be had from being raised in the wild.

  707. I’m ashamed to admit I don’t even know what a honey puff is. Can anyone explain?

  708. http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/163701/greek-honey-puffs-loukoumades

    ooh you have missed out.
    During the frying process the batter essentially puffs out leaving a lot of air inside and the casing is crispy/chewy & coated in sticky honey syrup. They are very more-ish & like donuts they really need to be eaten hot & straight from the fryer.
    The thing about Paniyiri is that you can smell the honey puffs frying from far, far away and once you’re in the crowd it’s like being inside a giant bakery filled with honey puffs. All you can smell is the sweet batter frying in the oil and the honey syrup drowning out absolutely everything else.
    I wouldn’t tackle a plate of honey puffs on my own – they give you a serve that would feed a family of four – but they really do taste better at Paniyiri than they do anywhere else.
    You should come down one year and bring the kids, the trick is to get there at 10am before the crowds descend on the place. I was in the food queue for at least 20 minutes but I bought so much food we were still eating it at 8 o’clock last night.

  709. They sound fabulous. Yes, we should try and make it down next year.

    How cold is it? I can hardly feel my fingers on the keys. It’s almost enough to make me wish I was back in the bacon tent, standing next to the BBQ.

    But only almost.

  710. Lovely and warm inside casa quokka but yes, when I stepped outside at 7am to switch on the pool filter it was indeed rather frosty.
    Well, I just listened to one of the organizers talking about Paniyiri and the ABC journo wanting to know if there’d been fallout from the community in terms of the threat to boycott the event.
    Attendance this year was up by 11% with current estimates at 58,000 people through the gates.
    Maybe Wayne Wharton could get a gig going around the country promoting the rest of the festivals -looks like he’s got a talent for rousing the support of the people. heh heh heh. 🙂

  711. Yassou!

  712. http://io9.com/5910844/the-mouth-of-a-child-is-a-terrifying-thing-to-behold
    something scary to share with your children – are those Johnny Depp’s vampire teeth sitting up under the eye socket waiting to spring out at the first scent of blood?
    When I look at that image I think, no bloody wonder my teeth gave me so many headaches when I was growing up.

    • That is truly gruesome. So children really are monsters as so many of us have suspected.

  713. Eek!

    I’m glad I’m not the Tooth Fairy.

  714. It makes these guys look positively tame:

    http://www.kidzone.ws/sharks/facts2.htm

  715. And you can avoid sharks just by staying out of the water, but kids (shudder).

    Actually I think you’d make a great Tooth Fairy Madam. You have a certain smile – when you choose to unleash it – that would be the perfect accompaniment to a large pair of rusty pliers.

  716. Why thank you, Greybeard.

    If you ever develop a toothache, just let me know.

  717. *shudder*

    That sounds too much like my last dental visit.

    And In case you were wondering, no. No, it wasn’t safe.

  718. At my last check up I had no cavities! I nearly bought peanut brittle on the way home, to celebrate, but I was afraid the irony would crack a tooth.

    • There’s nothing as hard as irony.

      • Except steelny. And diamondny.

  719. Hmm. That reminds me, when we were at Kite Fest on Saturday I found the fudge stall (as you do) and I came away with ginger-caramel fudge. It was really rather fabulous.
    I’m amazed I have any teeth at all.
    All this talk of peanut brittle is making me think that I’ll need a trip to Darrel Lea this week, for sure.

  720. On a foody note, an old (81) friend rang on Sunday and promptly invited himself for dinner last night. He’s like that. Fifi suggested a recipe and away I went – chicken, mushroom & bacon casserole with thyme and roast sweet potato. Looked easy. Then the old computer I’ve been using for downloads, scanning and a few other things developed a hot spot on the motherboard. So I was cooking while spraying freezing gas on various spots to locate the problem (the gas stinks) and pulled out the processor and replaced the thermal paste – a messy and surprisingly toxic goo which doesn’t go well with chicken. Having decided to “retire” that PC, I then transferred the vital files and software to a laptop and switched the screen to the new one. And cooked. Mustn’t forget to cook.

    OK, so the chicken stuck to the pan a bit, the harissa was a bit feeble and the sauce was looking a wee bit lumpy there but eventually everything assembled and in the oven. Except that I totally missed the mushrooms and thyme and didn’t realise until it was nearly finished. Out of the oven, shove in some thyme sprigs, stir & return. Mushies in a fry pan with butter and more thyme (there’s always time for more thyme) and bingo! Something that looked vaguely edible and on time.

    And then he was 45 min late – or technically between and hour and 15 min & 45 min. We rang him, his partner (they “haven’t lived together” for 29 years, ie separate houses) and his partner rang his ex-wife who lives in the same house with him, only not “together”. OK? When he turned up, full of apologies, he had to ring his partner AND ex-wife and assure them he was OK. And drank three glasses of single malt. But the chicken thing was great, so if you want a recipe that is distracted-idiot proof, that’s it. Amazingly resilient.

  721. Yum!
    I wonder if I could do some variation of this in the slow cooker?
    Today’s plan is to vacuum up some cat fluff and make a savory pumpkin pie. Well, I call it pumpkin pie but I guess it’s more of a bake thing.
    Khan GB, with your superior knowledge of the workings of cyberspace, how can I kill the emails from wordpress advising there’s a new comment here?
    Being that a new comment here or at Catty’s happens 6 times a day, I’d much rather check in than find my gmail account overflowing with the news.

  722. I’m confused – do you add the thermal paste before or after the thyme?

  723. Just . . . not instead. See, if I was a woman there wouldn’t have been a problem. Multitasking just isn’t me.

    Q, if you go to https://subscribe.wordpress.com/ there is a page where you can change your settings, ie whether you get an email every time. Unless you have a wordpress account (I don’t) it’s probably easier to go there from a new blog post. I waited until PNB put up a new post and subscribed to that, then went to the settings page.

  724. Greybeard – your go-to geek.

  725. Another tale from what JB refers to as planet parenthood. Had a chat with Hairy Greybeardson today. I don’t think he’s being bitten for any more cash lately but he spent part of the weekend at South Bank with a couple of impressive looking cameras and a model, pretending to be a photographer. Must see if I can put up a link to the sample photo he sent – inspired by the Lady of Shallot(?) – of a skinny bint lying in a puddle. Being a true son of his father, he accepted payment in food. Sigh.

  726. Heh heh heh…. “skinny bint lying in a puddle”….

    First thought: Quest For The Holy Grail!

    Second thought: Oh, I hope she didn’t lob a scimitar at Hairy.

    Third thought: But if she did, that would make him King of England.

    Fourth thought: I haven’t had my medication today, have I?

  727. I don’t like your chances of pulling a sword out of the pond down there but if you get there before the tractor arrives, odds of pulling a syringe out of the sand are probably rather high.
    Perhaps they could do a modern interpretation of the tale?

    Thanks for that geekery tip Khan Greybeard.
    I shall remove a pin from the left nostril of your voodoo doll by way of thanks. You can expect the other one to stay clogged until I witness better behaviour over at twitter.

  728. That Hairy is spending far too much time around models. It’s good to know that he still has a healthy appetite.

    When he starts to ask if his bum is looking big, that’s when you have to worry, GB.

  729. Make sure Hairy stays away from my wardrobe, then. For some bewildering reason, every skirt and pair of jeans or pants in there makes my bum look big. Everything! I just can’t work it out. It’s so strange.

    Ummm… now I think about it, if Hairy wanted to raid my wardrobe, he would have far more serious problems than how his bum looked.