High Anxiety

Me at the cinema, only I left my tiara at home.

I was watching Men in Black III by accident the other day – my friend misread the program times. Cringing in my seat, unable to watch the umpteenth scene staged on the very edge of an extremely high structure, I came to the conclusion that film censorship needs to be expanded.

I can tolerate any amount of sex and violence – as long as neither involve children or furry animals –  but I’d appreciate a warning about vertiginous scenes inducing terror of heights. “V” and “H” are already taken, so a film could be awarded a number of Hitchcocks out of five depending on how much time the actors spend teetering on the brink.

What else would you like to see quantified, to better shape your cinematic experiences?

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402 Responses

  1. Hmm. I’d go with ‘T’ for tedious, or ‘B’ For bleak, which means that the letters ‘TB’ would come attached to anything produced by Screen Australia.
    That way we’d be in no danger of picking up anything toxic when we’re cruising the DVD stores.

  2. Good ideas, Quokka.

    I reckon a “C” for confusing would come in handy, as well. Inception would have been awarded quadruple “C”s and then we all would have been warned.

  3. Good ideas – and sadly I have none to contribute so I’ll just say “Keep up the good work” before I move on.

    That snap was taken just after you saw the price list at the snack bar, wasn’t it Madam?

  4. It was when I saw PETA protesters coming after my fur and I realised I wasn’t wearing waterproof mascara.

    Although the candy bar prices are alarming. They were advertising a couple of drinks and a popcorn for $19 as if that was a great deal!

  5. We read some article somewhere about the amount of cash expended and sugar/salt/fat/calories ingested at the cinemas and resolved on a policy of No More Eating in the Shadows. We go in with a water bottle, a chupa chup and a couple of breath mints and that’s that.
    Occasionally I weaken and go the popcorn but I figure at least this way we’re avoiding Death By Candy Bar.
    The older I get the more annoying it becomes listening to all the crinkling noises, and – Morgana – I don’t think either of us will ever forget the experience of going to the cinema together and discovering that our feet were glued to the floor by a sticky combination of glucose and orange food dye.

    I’d also like to propose a new category for comedy WANA.
    i.e. ‘we are not amused’.

  6. WCE – Worst Crap Ever.
    PC – Pretentious Crap.
    DC – Disney Crap.
    ADC – Animated Disney Crap.
    UC – Unmitigated Crap.
    DBIC – Don’t Bother. It’s Crap.

    Also, did you know there’s not a single warning anywhere at the concession stand, or on the wrapper, to warn you that choc top stains are permanent? Somebody should do something about that.

  7. Maybe SS, for ‘Shit sticks’.

  8. Eew. Yes. Attack of the Tacky Carpet. Thanks, Q – I’d nearly forgotten that one.

    Good suggestions, Catty. UC is my favourite.

    • I had to go back and check that one, ie: UC – Unmitigated Crap. Wheeew!

  9. If they’re going to let kids take those GD rainbow slushies into the cinema the least they could do is add upholstery cleaner to the mix. Its not like it could possibly be any more toxic than the rest of the chemicals in the FKN things and Catty’s unsightly stain problems would no longer be an issue.

  10. The cinema we saw MIB III in stank of urine. I’m not sure how many episodes of incontinence it represented, but more than one.

    Spilling your drink is one thing, but do that many people really wee in the movies?

  11. Nicole Kidman started that fad.
    Gross.

  12. Nicole Kidman wees in the movies?

    Or do you mean her uniquely wooden performances act like a diuretic.

  13. In Eyes Wide Shut.
    I have never been so bored in a movie, despite Our Nic dropping her dacks and taking a slash in the middle of it.
    I think she thought nobody would notice, they’d all be asleep or walked out by then anyways.

  14. I have trouble staying awake in movies at the best of times, so I never subjected myself to EWS.

    Sounds like it’s just as well.

  15. Yeah, I’d picked Eyes Wide Shut as a DBIC movie. Kidman isn’t exactly what I’d call ‘all class’, and as for Tom Cruise, they’d have to pay me before I’d go to one of his movies.

    I had to laugh at the suggestion of adding upholstery cleaner to the slushies. We were watching an episode of Black Books last night. Bernard was drinking pale blue alcohol out of a fancy bottle. He screwed up his face and said that it tasted like someone had dropped a choc ice into bleach. “It’s a children’s drink”, he complained. It seems Quokka was spot on.

  16. Heh heh.
    We have the box set of Black Books, clearly I’ve watched it so many times that it’s wisdom has seeped into my brain where it’s now passed off as my own.
    Every time the bloke and I walk past the boutique shops in Bulimba or West End we imitate Fran, saying ‘I do sell a lot of wank, don’t I?’

  17. If anyone can tell me where to find The Little Book Of Calm, I promise not to eat it.

  18. Dunno about The Little Book of Calm, but I’ve memorised The Little Book of Stark Raving Mad.

    Eat as much of that one as you like.

  19. speaking of stark raving mad, I just made myself finish reading this book – which I’d put down because the characters were annoying me and I didn’t find the situation believable. As whinged about in previous posts.

    I went to the internet to see if it’s just me and my warped view on the world and discovered that there was a bidding war for the manuscript, and it’s the author’s debut novel.
    At which point I felt even worse about my judgment.
    I still just cannot relate and cannot find it at all believable.
    I got to the end of the worse thinking ‘Well, after a beginning like that, I betcha the kid ends up with borderline personality disorder.’
    Which would have made the story make sense for me because it would have shown how the bad behaviour of all the adults involved was eventually paid for by the child.
    That I would have found believable.

    I think I’ve read too far into the psychiatric manuals to find fiction plausible these days.
    Meh.

    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/the-light-between-oceans-20120414-1x05y.html

  20. Sorry, typo, replace ‘worse’ with ‘book’.
    Must’ve been a Freudian slip.
    The author writes beautifully, it was just the characters and the situation that didn’t work for me.
    Bidding war?
    That’s crazy.
    I’m starting to think that ‘The Slap’ must have started a trend for people to want to read confused-morality tales.
    Maybe it’s just a reflection that this is where society is.
    And perhaps most people can’t differentiate a bad decision from one that’s purely selfish and self-serving.

    • I hadn’t heard of this book you linked to but have read “The Slap” and found it hard going. The characters were revolting and base. I thought I was the only one missing the point and maybe I have but my God, it was a DREADFUL read. I consider myself warned then with this new one.

  21. The review claims that the book is beautifully written. Hmmm…. I wonder how much the reviewer was paid for that opinion?

    Personally, I hate moral dilemma plots. Especially on television – I find myself screaming at the screen, telling the idiots on the show just how stupid they are. I’d throw my foam housebrick at the telly, too, but I wore the thing out years ago and for some inexplicable reason nobody sells foam housebricks any more.

  22. How often in real life do you actually find yourself in the throes of a moral dilemma?

    Thanks for the thinking woman’s critique, Q. I’ll cross that one off my reading list.

    As for your foam house brick, Catty, I could carve up a mattress for you?

  23. MM, I think it’s worth reading just so you can figure out how she got a 9 way bidding war going over it.
    Catty, I do agree that the author writes well. And she’s obviously researched her topic, in terms of the history. I think what she’s missed is in the psychology of the characters. Well, that and maybe the surf reports for the Indian Ocean during April.
    As sad as it is to admit, I’ve got several WA surf-cams on bookmark so that I can torture myself with how good the swell is looking & for much of April there’s a 6-8m swell off the coastline she’s describing. Somehow I can’t see a baby surviving in a row boat for nearly 48 hours without 1. Dying of exposure 2. being flipped into the current and chewed up by the bitey things.
    Floating 100miles out to sea and being found on a deserted island just doesn’t seem terribly likely. I think if it had happened there’d be a dead baby in the boat. They can’t regulate their body temperature and there’s no fracking way that child would have survived the fall in temperature overnight. Much less the inevitable dehydration.
    So before it even got to the moral dilemma I was having trouble with the science of it.

  24. Oh, yes. The score there would definitely be Davy Jones’ Locker 1, infant nil.

    That kind of inconsistency really annoys me. Why not just set up a credible scenario, for goodness sake? Or give up and write urban fantasy the way everyone else seems to be, these days.

  25. Well, she’s a lawyer, and some of the research that she’d done for the background was really very impressive and went beyond wikipedia, so I think she’s probably gotten some input into calculating how long it would take a rowboat to drift 100miles weighed down by a dead German and a three month old infant. 48 hours may well be feasible.
    The state that the infant would be in after two nights of exposure to the elements, zero hydration, and the presence or absence of a flock of hungry seagulls…yeah, well, Nup.
    I don’t think there’d be much of baby left to bring up.
    Unless you’re a seagull with salmonella.

  26. Hehehe…seagull with salmonella.

    Hmmm… I suppose the dead German might cool slowly, depending on ambient temperature and cause of death, so assuming the infant was snuggled up to the corpse as it cooled there’d be some protection from exposure there.

    How it would escape a fatal case of sunburn during the daylight hours, though remains unresolved, as does the question of dehydration – since, under normal conditions infants feed about six times a day.

    It wasn’t some sort of nightmare zombie baby, supping on the German’s decaying body fluids as they leaked slowly from his/her moribund orifices, I trust?

    I typed ‘unfant’ just then, instead of ‘infant’ – I hope I’m not developing a Noo Zilland literary accent

  27. Perheps the unfant had fush and chups in the boat? That would explain why the seagulls didn’t eat her. They were busy with the chups.

  28. I’m trying to remember if the German worked as a baker or ran the local butcher. But yes, we should consider the possibility that his pockets were stuffed with strudel and kransky and after glutting on that, the seabirds wobbled off in search of a pint of lager and a nap on the mast of the nearest ship.
    Wow, I’d hate to have to swab the decks after that.

  29. Oh, and MM, for your calculations, he died of a heart attack and he was experiencing shooting pains and, I think, dyspepsia, even as he ran towards the boat. So I’m still a bit surprised that he didn’t drop the baby in the river.

  30. Thanks for that, Catty. Now I’ve got NZ earworm and I’ll be in danger of talking like I’ve got a mouthful of peanut butter all day.

    Speaking of swabbing the decks, I really should do my floors today. But I’m frightened that the water will freeze in the mop bucket.

    Better stay on the couch with my book, hey?

  31. Absolutely. Don’t forget the hot chocolate and the Tim Tams.

  32. Just throw a bucket of water over the floor and fit everyone in the household with ice skates. Then you could charge admission for Elf Boy’s Icecapades.
    Is there a reality TV show in this?
    Where the hell is our agent?

  33. It’s Elf Boy’s Earache Eisteddfod, today. He’s home sick and singing strange little songs to himself.

    There must be a market for that kind of thing – I mean, look at Eurovision.

  34. ‘I’ve got the tonsillitis blues…’
    Yep.
    Give him a harmonica and start looking for a recording contract.

  35. How odd! My littlest kidlet is home sick today, too. He’s not singing, though, as his nose is blocked and ‘hurts’. Maybe there’s an 8-year-old-boys strike that the unions forgot to tell us about?

    Re: our agent, I believe he’s in the Seychelles with Morgana’s lawyer.

  36. ‘Ba ba da dum
    Woke up all poorly
    Ba ba da dum
    My froat is sore…’

    Nose is blocked and hurting? Have a good look inside it for foreign objects, Catty – my money’s on a Lego block.

    • How weird … had the youngest ill this week with tonsillitis and otitis media. There’s a lot of it around it seems.

  37. If past experience is anything to go by, it’d more likely be a Tic Tac.

  38. If he’s aggravated his sister it could be one of barbie’s yank snatchers.

  39. Er…just occurred to me you guys may not have grown up with the lingo that I did.
    High heels.

  40. Hehehe… yank snatchers. I can’t wait to try and work that one into conversation, Q.

    Well, if it’s a Tic Tac you needn’t worry, Catty – they’re biodegradable.

  41. Well, the way that it’s used around here is usually heralded by much cursing that I have to wear a dress followed by ‘Wait up. I have to blow the dust off my yank snatchers.’
    The Bloke of course thinks I’m mad but I think sometimes I’m just out of my time, being the child of a WW2 veteran. My counsellor in at VVCS said that she was counselling a few teenage children of Vietnam Vets, their damaged fathers had been through multiple marriages and had done what my dad did, fathered another kid when they were over 50. I gather it produces some strange beasts, having to cross a few generations like that.

    Funny, but I can’t find it anywhere in any kind of WW2 army ling online dictionary. Sometimes on Anzac day they have Roly Sussex come in to 612 ABC radio & chat about army lingo, its something else to hear what they come up with. Must put that one in my diary for next year to see if he’s heard of it.

  42. Good plan – I love Roly Sussex.

    Actually, Q, you’re lucky you’re not a dwarf. The incidence of dwarfism increases with paternal age. Then again, I don’t think Pablo Picasso fathered any dwarves… no basketball players, either.

  43. A dwarf who could paint like Picasso would be a fabulous addition to the world, though.

  44. Huh. I’ve seen them there Google search results. The only thing dwarves paint is each other. With chocolate. I sure as smurf wouldn’t hang that on my wall. The ants would drive me crazy.

  45. I love chocolate, but I wouldn’t lick it off a dwarf. I wouldn’t lick it off a giant. either – I prefer it to contain traces of nuts, not human dander.

  46. I’m pretty sure the dwarves Catty knows all smear it on their nuts.
    Problem solved.

  47. Dwarf chefs use only the finest quality chocolate, and the freshest badgers:

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/weird/gordon-ramsays-dwarf-porn-double-found-dead-in-a-badger-den-in-wales/story-e6frev20-1226137951576

  48. That’s got to be the weirdest story this century… maybe forever.

  49. The scary thing is that Google presented me with this story when I tried to Google search a recipe for chocolate brownies made with milk chocolate. STILL with the dwarf porn!?!!!

  50. Those dwarves really want to love you, Catty.
    Meanwhile, behold my latest electrical folly:
    http://www.dyson.com.au/store/product.asp?product=DC39-ALLERGY

    As you guys know I’ve been planning on replacing my Kleenmaid vacuum for the last year or so but haven’t gotten around to the horror of what it was going to cost. Well, yesterday I finally had the Smurfs, big time, with just how bad my asthma is so I sat down, read all the vacuum reviews by asthmatics that I could find, and I went forth into the world and got myself a Dyson. For less than the advertised price, but even so it was an expensive little exercise so I had my fingers crossed that it wasn’t an exercise in futility.

    Well – the Dyson is freaking fabulous. After I’d shoved dinner into the slow cooker, I started vacuuming, and couldn’t bring myself to stop. It has all the usual little gadgets for getting into fine nooks and crannies, doing the sofa, and a soft brush for doing surfaces such as shelves and timber blinds. the difference being that these things actually work, thanks to the super-suction and their design. I’m particularly impressed with the soft brush so having done the blinds in my bedroom I had a go at the crim-safe screens, which attract cat hair and cop a hiding from the ash from the neighbour’s chimney, the leaf blower, and being closer to the ground than any of the other windows. Normally I can’t get a vacuum to suck off the screens but this was smurfing marvelous.
    I only managed to make my way around half the house before The Bloke got home from work & made me stop. (I love that man)
    The reviews that I read said that people had trouble with the rota-heads – which I’m not using because there are no carpets or rugs in casa quokka – and that if you don’t clean the filter regularly it smurfs up the motor. So fingers crossed, it looks like I have actually selected a peach in the lemon garden of vacuum cleaners. My asthma is much better today already but that could be down to the fact that it’s raining, and my lungs are always better in damp air.

    Bingo! I feel like such a freak to be excited about a vacuum but truly, it’s so satisfying to clean the house and actually see that it’s clean, instead of looking down at the trail of dirt that the vacuum is refusing to suck up and instead is pushing into the corners.

  51. What Quokka meant to say is, “Sucky, sucky! The Noo-noo tidies up!”

    Congratulations on your new love, Q. I hope you both have many sucky years together.

  52. I’m pleased your Dyson works well, Quokka. They’ve got a good reputation.

    I got a new vacuum cleaner in April. It was salvaged from the hard rubbish piles. Still in the box, it was. With all the attachments. And the manual. All it needed was a replacement head, as the plastic bit that attaches to the tube had a small piece broken off. So I got a different head from another hard rubbish pile a few streets away. Bob’s your uncle! (Not mine, though. I have a Frank, a John, a Clive, a Keith, a Mike, a Peter, a Joe, a Gerard and two Bernies, but no Uncle Bob). My ‘new’ Noo-noo sucks extremely well – about 100% better than the useless piece of crap I got from the Bigpond Shop for Christmas. Sometimes I despair at this wasteful society that throws out perfectly good appliances. Other times I rejoice, especially when it means a free Noo-noo (sucky, sucky).

    Sadly, though, the Noo-noo only works if I plug it in and switch it on. Which is what I’m supposed to be doing right now – but, no. Here I am, faffing around on the computer, dropping TubbyToast crumbs all over the floor.. The sooner they invent a self-cleaning house, the better.

  53. Mmm… Tubby Toast.

    A self-cleaning house would be nice, Catty – but we also need self-cleaning kids. And self-cleaning selves.

  54. The dental nurse at my dentist’s has told me how she’s got a robotic vacuum cleaner. I think it’s mostly a toy for her cats but she says it’s really very good at angling around the furniture and it beats the hell out of doing it yourself.
    Unfortunately I was in no position to ask questions so you’ll just have to find one via google.
    No doubt there’ll be a naked dwarf astride it, smeared in chocolate sauce.

  55. But wait, there’s more:

    http://news.sky.com/home/article/1280571

    That’s it. I’m changing my search engine.

  56. I did try to warn you against warning dwarfporn.xxx, Catty. Try Google Dwarfporn instead.

  57. Or “using”, even.

  58. I just drove past Musgrave Park and noticed lots and lots of fire trucks. So naturally I stopped and asked one of the unnaturally tall, muscled, charismatic semi naked men what the fuss was about.
    It turns out there is a *swoon* Firefighters’ Expo all weekend in the park.
    I was informed that there will be lots of semi-naked men running around playing games in the mud.
    Catty, its time to toss those kids a loaf of bread and lock them under the stairs & make tracks for the first jetstar flight out of there.
    There’s room for the two of you in the bunk beds, but if you really want a good time I’d suggest staying out.
    I’m still feeling slightly off balance from exposure to the hypnotic cocktail of pheromones and ‘rhoids that exudes from their sweat glands.
    I may need a moment under the fan with my smelling salts.

  59. Mmm… fireman pheromones.

    What is it about firemen? There must be a charm school component in their training. Or maybe it’s just all that ripped, daredevil bronzed flesh….

    Sorry, where were we?

  60. Quokka got firemen. I am soooooo jealous! *sob*

  61. Technically, today I’ve got Chaz & Al.
    The sacrifices we make for love….
    Still, there’s tomorrow, and there’ll be lots of rain so their clothes will be extra form fitting, you would think, in all that slush.
    Firemen….sigh.
    I don’t know what it is, MM. As you’ve no doubt noticed I’m unimpressed with much of the talent out there, but the firemen make even me swoon.
    I think it’s because the ones I’ve met – apart from being totally ripped – are gallant, and cheeky, and they come across as such GD nice boys.

  62. And they can pluck you to safety from a burning building.

    Don’t be jealous, Catty. I haven’t got any firemen either. Just Aunt Irma.

  63. Poor Madam. She’s just showed up here, too, the bitch. It’s a good thing I bought a box of Ferrero Rochers yesterday. Now I just have to stop puking long enough to eat them.

  64. Dammit! I forgot what I came in to say……….. BRB

  65. Now I Remember…. you girls need to stop throwing in stuff about Dwarves and fireman porn… I get so DISTRACTED (By the FIREMEN).

    Anyhoo… I have the little book of calm in my handbag Catty. It doesn’t work for me… although maybe if I actually read it???? Well it’s your now regardless. I will give it to you tonight at the Mitre Tavern.

  66. RE: the little book of calm, have you tried throwing it?
    That always gets results for me.

  67. I’ve never read The Little Book Of Calm, but a wicked faery gave Elf Boy The Little Book of Pure Evil as a christening present. He’s even read the footnotes!

  68. Hmm. Perhaps you could suck it out of him if I lend you the Dyson?

  69. Hmmm… not a bad idea. But I wouldn’t want his spleen clogging your filter, Q.

  70. The filter is easily removed and cleaned by rinsing in running water – it’s rather like a cylindrical mop sponge. So no worries. I sucked up several non-threatening items, including the cloths that I used to clean my spectacles.
    So if you’re concerned about wanting to restore the spleen to the location from where he can best vent it – it’s all too easily done.

    Chaz & I had an interesting conversation about children & bullying yesterday & funnily enough a friend just sent me a link to an article that covered a lot of the points Chaz was making.
    I thought you ladies might be interested. Well, Mayhem’s probably got more cause to be interested in discount tasers at this point. Still. Interesting article.
    http://www.self-confidence.co.uk/articles/top-ten-facts-about-low-self-esteem/

    Am on another psychology reading bender since my neighbour told me she’d had to withdraw her 6yro from school due to the bullying. Poor sod. I’m just so horrified that its starting so young.

    • Q, that book I mentioned to you about toxic personalities goes into this self-esteem thing in some depth, particularly the myth that bullies have low self esteem. I’ve often found it is much the opposite and people of low self esteem tend to be the ones who get bullied.

      Have been reading a lot about this stuff lately myself.

  71. Discount tasers? Maybe we can get an extra discount for bulk purchase, Mayhem.

    I’m not too worried about Magic Man’s self-esteem. He’s taken to saying, “Mummy, I love you very much. Almost as much as I love myself.”

    Looks like a good article, though. Thanks, Q.

  72. heh heh. That was one of the author’s points. Looks like you won’t need to read it after all.
    onto other news I did the floor again with the dyson – 48 hours since the last time I vacuumed – and there’s no room for ElfBoy’s spleen, nor even any of Khan Greybeard’s missing marbles. I have no idea where all this crap is coming from, the floors looked almost immaculate. The only reason I vacuumed was because we really needed to mop and I was suspicious as Ildi’s allergies played up when they called in yesterday. (hugs, they missed you).
    She’s the canary in my coal mine. I plan to Dyson the almighty crap out of every single surface and then get her back and make her sit here for an hour and see if she’s still alive and breathing at the end of it.
    If not plainly I’ll have to vacuum again.

  73. Hmmm… I’d say the crud was sifting down from your ceilings, but from what I remember they’re in good nick.

    Perhaps you’ve got a floor dirt faery? Catty will know.

  74. Its all the chimneys around here. Every morning, within half an hour of opening the windows, there’s this foul layer of crud on every surface. Aside from that we’re close to all those major arterial roads so more pollution here generally than in the pure environs in which you coastal folk dwell.
    Catty will know, though – when she escapes the clutches of the evil Puke Faery. I think Mel had it the other day too. God I hope it doesn’t make it up here.

    • The Puke Fairy paid one mysterious midnight visit on Saturday then vanished as quickly as she’d come.

      Still a mystery. Hope the rest of you are still well. You’re making me want a Dyson, Q.

  75. Pure environs?

    Well, we don’t have any chimneys or major arterials, but I do get a heavy sifting of black stuff clogging up the fly screens and mucking up the floors. Probably some light-weight mineral that’s also playing havoc with our lungs, smurfed if I know.

    Yes, I have the deepest sympathy for The Vomiting, and share your wish that it doesn’t make it up this far. Nausea and vomiting are the pits.

  76. It’s from the cars. I heard something on the radio about it, possibly Dr. Karl. Can’t remember if it’s coming out of the exhaust or if it’s also all the shit in the air that comes from the tyres steadily screeching to a halt and wearing out their treads. Oh, for Salander’s photographic memory. And her tech knowhow.
    I am off to brunch with a friend, and then every day this week I’m catching up with other friends – two of whom I’d shuffled out of the way so I could go to lunch with Jen.
    Never trust JB or Monster to organise a meal out. I got a cryptic message ‘see you there’ followed by ‘Doh, Forgot’ – when I pointed out that they’d neglected to tell me where they were meeting last Thursday. I think the scribe was probably confused because he’d sent me a list of 5 possibilities the day before.
    sigh.
    Chaz pointed out I could have fared worse by being in attendance, though – apparently he’s been at meals out where the Scribe has been sans credit card.
    So perhaps it worked out for the best 🙂

  77. Indeed. Everything happens for a reason. For example, the reason my vacuum cleaner has broken down is obviously so I can read more library books. I’ll wait until deep drifts of dirt form on the floor, and then shovel tracks through it.

    Who said I didn’t have a plan?

  78. Agreed. Although the reason that I immediately latched to was that most parties involved in Thursday’s debacle are slackarses who won’t lose any sleep if they smurf you around.
    Chaz’s military precision timing and 3 day typed schedule forwarded some time in advance put me on familiar and comfortable ground though, so I rewarded him with a serve of Byron Bay dark chocolate coated ginger.
    Heh heh.
    Still can’t believe I was too busy to attend the firefighters expo, though.
    Next year we need to be better organized to put in an appearance. I think Julia Cameron would call it ‘artistic inspiration’ – and a particularly rich and satisfying one, surely?

  79. Hehehe… ‘artistic inspiration’.

    If I take MM and EB along, we can call it career guidance. EB in particular has got the perfect temperament to be something brave in uniform.

    All the drooling might be hard to explain, though.

  80. Just tell him that the fieries encourage the presence of females with defective high-turnout salivary glands in case the water in the drains fail. What you tell him about their popularity with the gay boys is entirely up to you.

  81. That’s a good one, Q. The quasi-scientific explanation will appeal to MM, at least.

  82. *Crickets*
    I can only assume the silence means you’re all out at the Darrell Lea sale at Carindale. I was there on Monday – they are being shuffled out of their temporary kiosk by the centre stage, which has been filled in with cement to create space for the new food court. Mega slab of rocky road, $2.50.
    Just in time to silence Aunt Irma and her irrational demands for sugar.

    Hope none of you have succumbed to Khan Greybeard’s latest mutant strains of experimental germ warfare. He’s been careless with the test tubes again so he and Fifi are both in quarantine. If he turns up at your blogs be sure to spray the screen with Glen 20, you know how dangerous his cybercooties can be.

  83. I only wish I was at the Darrel Lea sale. I’ve been shivering on the couch, with nothing but Cadbury’s. Actually, there was cake as well so I shouldn’t complain.

    We haven’t heard much of Catty lately, I hope she’s feeling better. Although surely that can’t be GB’s doing… unless he sent her a contagious postcard, or something.

  84. Don’t give him ideas, otherwise we’ll spend the rest of our lives going to the letter box in latex gloves and surgical masks.

  85. Say you love someone… with an incurable disease.

    Well, it does last longer than cut flowers.

  86. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps Catty’s quiet because her keyboard has frosted over. I just took a look at the temps in Melbourne and it’s prompted me to bite my tongue instead of bitching about how cold it’s been here the last few days. Naturally I’ve been hiding in my padded cell with the AC set to 25C and a pile of fluffy monsters huddled up beside me.
    You couldn’t pay me to live in that climate down south. Brrr.
    It’s barbaric.

  87. It’s been cold enough up here, I don’t mind bitching.

    The only time my fingers are warm are when I’m huddled under a doona with only my nose exposed to the frosty air, or when I’m doing the washing up.

    Naturally, the doona sees more action than the kitchen sink.

  88. Hello all. I’m still alive. Just.

    The Greybearditis subsided fairly quickly, but was replaced with a migraine that would have floored a brown bear. Stupid Aunt Irma. Still, it prompted me to make an appointment with the specialist – it only took three months to get around to it! – and hopefully I’ll get this suspected Endo sorted out before Aunt Irma’s next visit. I only noticed how cold it was when I dragged myself to the Pizza shop last night. You’d think it would be warm in there, but the two teens working the oven were making clouds when they talked. I’d guess it was 6ºC or below. It was almost warmer outside.

    It reminds me of the polar bear story:
    One day, a little polar bear asked his mother, “Am I really, really, really, really a polar bear? Are you sure I’m not a black bear, or a brown bear, or a Koala bear?”
    “Yes, son. Of course you’re a polar bear. You’re not a brown bear, or a black bear, or even one of those Koala bears. You really, really, really, really are a polar bear”.
    “Thanks Mum”.
    The little polar bear approached his father. “Dad, am I really, really, really, really a polar bear? Are you sure I’m not a black bear, or a brown bear, or a Koala bear?”
    “Yes, son. Of course you’re a polar bear. You’re not a brown bear, or a black bear, and you’re definitely not one of those Koala bears. You really, really, really, really are a polar bear”.
    “Thanks Dad”.
    Then the little polar bear went to his grandfather. “Pops, am I really, really, really, really a polar bear? Are you sure I’m not a black bear, or a brown bear, or a Koala bear?”
    “Yes, boy. Of course you’re a polar bear. You’re not a brown bear, or a black bear, and you sure ain’t one of those Koala bears. You really, really, really, really are a polar bear”.
    “Thanks Pops”.
    So the little polar bear asked his grandmother. ” Nan, am I really, really, really, really a polar bear? Are you sure I’m not a black bear, or a brown bear, or a Koala bear?”
    “Yes, dear. Of course you’re a polar bear. You’re not a brown bear, or a black bear, and you’re much cuter than those Koala bears. You really, really, really, really are a polar bear”.
    “Thanks Nan”.
    “Why do you ask, dear?”
    “Because I’m FKN FREEZING!”

    (Badoom-tish)

  89. Funny you should say that, I’ve just been out with the tape measure calculating how far the sun will come into the kitchen once the renos for the sunroom are complete. I have a theory that in winter, the human body shifts into photosynthesis mode and sunlight is required for any activity to occur in the average household kitchen. Or this is what I tell the bloke when he comes home to find me with my nose in a book and the takeaway menu on the table where dinner should be.

    Happy news, we got an email from the planning consultant and he said that council is unlikely to engage our neighbours any further in our planning process. Looks like the consultant and council have had a quiet pow-wow and agreed that both neighbours are nuts and council have said they will just be assessing our plans on their merit, and not on what the neighbours had to say. I wonder if I should send our neighbours thank-you notes for making it so bitingly obvious that they are frothing lunatics who no sane person would poke a stick at.

    When we went through this 10 years ago council shuffled backwards and forwards trying to find solutions to their problems & in the end they wound up finding our neighbours as loathsome as we do. So it’s interesting that this time round town planning have decided to just ignore them. I wonder if the BCC file of Known Crazies lasts that long or if they’ve just gotten smarter about ignoring the deranged.

    I saw the greasy half of team slumlord on the footpath a week or two ago yelling at a BCC worker, and he was doing that thing that thing that nasty people do of shaking a pointed finger inches away from the council worker’s face. Mr. Greasy was apoplectic with rage & I watched in wonder as its the first time I’ve ever seen his face go a colour that doesn’t match his cigarette ash. I thought he’d either pop an artery or the council worker, or possibly both in that order.
    Naturally I didn’t want to miss the show, much less miss an opportunity to give evidence to the police in case he went over the edge & did something arrest-worthy.

    NFI WTF that was about but I think next time council sends someone out to talk non-compliance issues with Mr. Greasy, they might want to send someone bigger. Maybe they should start recruiting from the FINKS, there’ll be a few of them looking for alternative employment, surely?

    • What has happened in my absence?
      Last time I built a house, the council checked the plans to be sure it had a good chance of not falling down, then I just got on with it. Last year, my neighbour wanted to replace his old wooden (internal) bathroom floor with a concrete floor and I got a letter, a plan and was offered the right to comment!!!
      I went over and asked if he needed a hand with the concreting…. mmmm maybe that was part of the plan.
      BTW, MM, isn’t it about time you wrote up a new post?

      • Hmm, so you’re good with concrete are you Stafford? I must have a word with you about my chook yard.

        You’re right, I’ve been terribly slack. I’ve got no-one to blame but myself… and the fact that it’s so cold I can’t feel my fingers on the keyboard!

  90. Catty, that’s terrible.
    Good to have you back though & glad to hear you’ve made that appointment.

  91. Poor Catty. Whatever you do, don’t let them put you on a migraine diet – you’ll find it distressingly lacking in chocolate and alcohol.

    Great planning news, Q! Your plans for architectural domination of the suburb can proceed unhindered.

    I’d rattle on with some faff, but I have to retreat to under the doona. It’s too damn cold here at the computer. Is it even officially winter yet?

  92. Yes, Morgana. It is now waffle weather. (Hooray!). Which reminds me, should I pack the syrup separately when I send your birthday waffles next week, or would it be more amusing to put the syrup on the waffles, wrap them in brown paper, and watch Australia Post panic when the sticky ooze jams up their conveyor belts?

  93. Hehehe.

    Much as it would amuse me to sabotage Australia Post, I say pack the syrup separately – I hate a soggy waffle.

  94. Nobody likes soggy waffles. It broke my heart when Coles shut down their cafeteria. Their waffles were magnificent.

  95. Coles cafeteria?

    All Coles serves up around here is consistently high prices and such low quality homebrand products you wouldn’t feed them to your dog – including the dog food.

  96. Yeah, I’m showing my age. Coles had a cafeteria back when I was a young, childless, single working girl. You know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

  97. And everything was in black and white and we didn’t have electricity.

    I remember it well.

  98. You’re doing well, then. Personally, I can’t remember where I put my keys, let alone what happened last week. It must have been good, though, as I have a lot of unexplained bruises.

  99. Hmmm… either it’s presenile dementia – or leukaemia.

    Either way, chocolate will make you feel better. Or alcohol. Or, better yet, that chocolate liqueur! Have a big glass of that. With a Flake for a swizzle stick.

  100. Two Flakes. No, five. Oh, and does drinking it staight from the bottle count as a big glass?

  101. Did someone call for a flake?
    I believe I meet the criteria, today.

  102. Mmm.. flake.

    Now I feel like a nice big serve of shark and chips.

  103. And I’ve just remembered I’ve run out of dandruff shampoo.

  104. And we should all feel grateful that we don’t have leprosy!

  105. I think my computer has leprosy.
    It’s telling me some of my plug-ins have pluggered off.

  106. Have you tried hitting it and swearing?

  107. Not yet. I’m starting with icy glares and passive aggression.
    Not my tools of choice but I’ve seen them work wonders for others.

  108. Could this be your problem too? (the urinating bit, not the running over relatives bit):

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-10/man-runs-down-sister-over-urinating-cat/4002708

    Who knows? Maybe Apple Mac sounds like Kitty Litter to feline ears.

  109. The same way “Internet Explorer” sounds like cat’s piss to human ears?

  110. Oh, I thought it sounded like horse shit. I must get my ears cleaned.

  111. You say tomato…

  112. Well, actually, I say we swing by the bottle-o for a cask, pick up a couple of nubile young floozies, and hit the beach. Preferrably in Fiji. But I suppose a tomato will do for now.

  113. Floozies? What do we want with floozies?

    Ah, I know – they can do the housework and child-minding while we’re away. Clever Catty!

  114. Male floozies, Morgana. Oiled, bare-chested, muscular floozies.

    Oh, and don’t worry about the housework. It will give the children something to do while we’re away.

  115. You think the children would do housework without us to nag them through every step of the process?

    Poor, deluded Catty. You DO need a holiday!

  116. Kids do housework?
    Catty, are you concussed?
    Lovely to see you yesterday MM, although that bloody bookstore sucked me in like the Death Star’s tractor beam and melted my brain so I really didn’t get to chat to you enough.
    Can’t believe I stood there gaping at you yesterday going ‘WTF have I forgotten?’
    Birthday on Tuesday, isn’t it?
    Duh.
    Thanks for coming down. It was a lovely day, as usual.

  117. Wednesday, but thank you. And thank you for my lovely book – I can’t wait to jettison the kids back to school so I can curl up on the couch and enjoy it in peace.

    It is a fabulous bookstore, but I’m sure we would have got better food at the Jetty. I still can’t get over your singular mushroom!

  118. I know. thing is, I think that cafes are starting to regard vegetables as a garnish. Last time I went to LocknLoad the service and the food had improved but my order of mushrooms numbered 2, and the eggs were half the size of what I’d get at the Jetty. Just as well I rang the Jetty, though, as they have a no bookings on weekends policy so I was just planning on showing up – their answering machine cut out before it gave me the date that they will re-open. God only knows what they need to renovate for, it’s lovely there as is.
    I think you’ll enjoy that book – it’s one of the favorites of the staff at Avid & the Bloke has been cackling all the way through it. He says that you never know when the author is being serious or taking the piss so I can see you enjoying couch time trying to differentiate between the two.

  119. Maybe “renovation” is code for “the chef has to have a little stay in rehab”?

    I agree that the place doesn’t need it, and the review I read was full of how snazzy it is as well.

    • Was great to see you gals yesterday. Must find another venue perhaps for our next meeting. Be glad when the sun comes out again………never thought I’d be saying such things! Must be gettin’ old!

      • You and me both, sister.

        I used to love winter, for the chance to wear black coats and pretend you’re in Melbourne for a bit, but these days I can’t keep my feet warm unless I’m wearing ugg boots!

  120. I thought it was code for “the rat exterminator says we should wait a few days after spraying the place, just in case any rats die in the middle of the dining room floor during the dinner hour”.

    Speaking of dinner, your birthday waffles have been posted, Madam. Hopefully the syrup won’t stick the parcel to the postie’s motorbike.

  121. Mmm… waffles.

    It’s a shame posties aren’t as sexually stirring as firemen, isn’t it? I mean, they come around so often.

  122. I think it’s just an excuse to shut down for a week or two so they can all bugger off for an early start to ski season. WTF else would anyone do when it’s this cold?
    If the health department was going to shut anyone down, nothing in West End would be open for service, there’s roaches the size of barn cats roaming the aisles down there.

  123. Speaking of vile creatures, Magic Man was delighted to find a flesh-eating slug dining on a hapless snail in our garden yesterday.

    Naturally, he’s keeping it as a pet. It looks quite cute, suckling on steak scraps – but I’m hoping it won’t get too big.

  124. Meanwhile he’s probably hoping it’ll get big enough to devour his brother.
    If he starts feeding it protein shakes, I’d worry.

  125. Shakes?

    I don’t think he could get his tiny little mouth around a straw…

  126. Chupa Chup sticks make good slug straws. Or should I refrain from giving Magic Man any ideas?

  127. How did you… ?

    No, forget I asked. Please!

  128. I pictured him smearing it on the slugs, the same way hippies do with acidopholus & whey powder on their porridge.

  129. I just had this rather disturbing mental picture of Magic Man setting up a stall at the markets to sell protein-powder-coated slugs on Chupa Chup sticks.

  130. Mmm… protein-rich sluggy goodness.

    I found these, but I think they’re mostly carbs:
    http://www.whokilledbambi.co.uk/tag/sweets/

  131. smells fishy to me.
    Happy Birthday, Morgana!
    What happy plans for slothfulness do you have for the day?

  132. I’m planning to spend the day on the couch with a book as much as possible, barring the usual cooking, cleaning and weasel wrangling of daily life.

    Not much happening today – unless you count karate this evening – but we’re going out for dinner on Friday night.

  133. Happy Birthday Morganarama! Bring forth the cake! There IS cake, right?

    Those fish head lollipops looked interesting, but I don’t like sour lemon. I’m more interested in trying the bananana slugs:

    http://www.mcphee.com/shop/products/Banana-Slug-Sucker.html

    Check out the bacon lollipop while you’re there. “It’s swirly and sweet! It tastes like cured meat!”

  134. http://jeroxie.com/addiction/white-and-dark-chocolate-jaffa-cake

    Catty you beat me to the punch line. Of course there should be cake. And then there should be songs, and mojitos.
    I am still on the hunt for the perfect jaffa cake recipe so I’ve attached virtual cake, as part of my Seeking My Bliss project.

  135. Mmmm… jaffa cake. Looks good, Q.

    No, Catty, I’m afraid there will be no cake. I couldn’t be bothered making one. We will be having birthday icecream, though. Much less labour intensive.

  136. Hmm. A BD with no cake.
    This needs fixing.
    Perhaps if I take one of those GF mud/hazelnut cakes to Ildi’s winter solstice event. Would that coax you back down here?

  137. If it coincides with our trip down to see the mummies at the museum, we’ll be there. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, we’re pretty flexible.

  138. NO CAKE!?!!??!!!! Well, then. I shall have to make your cake myself. I shall eat it for you, too. No, no, don’t thank me. That’s what friends are for.

  139. *Sniff*

    I don’t know where I’d be without you, Catty.

  140. Happy birthday for yesterday Madam. Catty, can you please have cake for me too please? My days of eating sweets are severely curtailed until I’ve lost enough weight to have my boobs cut off.

  141. That seems unfair, Mayhem. Do they factor in the weight you’ll be ditching in the boobs themselves?

  142. No worries, Mayhem. I had enough for everybody. No, that’s not right. It was Mississippi mud cake. There’s NEVER enough Mississippi mud cake. I’d better make another one.

    A dear friend up north had reduction surgery a couple of days ago. The surgeons cut out 2kgs of boob. I asked her if I could have the removed bits attached to my own diminuitive bust, but she seemed to think I was joking.

    This brings to mind a conversation at the dinner table last night. The littlest kidlet said to the Boss, “Where do bees get their milk from? Boobees!” The Boss replied, “Bees don’t drink milk”. So the kidlet said, “O.k, then. Where do bees get their honey? From their beehinds!” “That’s better,” says the Boss, and they carried on eating.

    I have a strange family.

  143. Poor Mayhem. How’s your sister doing today?
    Bit of background for those of you who aren’t doing twitter, I did a quick flit through the twitterverse yesterday & saw that her sister has just had surgery for some nasty invasive and invisible cancer that didn’t show up in the scans on her breasts. Scary stuff.
    So the docs have decided it’s double mastectomy time for all parties.

    Onto more trivial news, I took the dog for a walk around Bulimba yesterday (to steal landscaping ideas from the yuppy river dwellers) & saw a sign up on the Jetty cafe saying it was closed from June 9 – June 14. The place was swarming with tradies and it was a horrible smurfing mess so I’m not hopeful of their chances of re-opening today. Looks like the entire place is getting an overhaul which is strange as the only complaint I’ve ever had is that the carrot juice I ordered tasted like orange juice.
    The bloke has a theory that since I complained and they promptly started ripping the place apart, it must all be in aid of installing a second juicer so that they can’t contaminate the carrot juice with citrus.

  144. I like it, Catty. Here’s Elf Boy’s latest – “What did the zero say to the eight?”
    “Nice belt.”

    Who knows what the Jetty are up to, Q? Perhaps they’re trying to make it more nautical. Next time we go, they’ll issue us with an eye-patch or a parrot at the door and the waiters will say “Arrgh, me hearties! What’ll ye be havin’ today?”

  145. That would shorten the menu a bit.

    Entree: Weevil crackers.

    Mains: Salt pork; Fish; Seagull.

    Drinks: Rum; Brine.

  146. Mmm… seagull and brine.

  147. Mm…salty pork.

  148. Mmm… rum and, um rum

  149. Ummm… can we go somewhere else? I ordered seagull, and it’s eating all my chips.

  150. Spoke to my sister after she saw the surgeon yesterday. She had her double mastectomy last week. Almost 3 kilos removed, sent to pathology for testing with a fine tooth comb (technical term for laboratory equipment).

    She was informed on Thursday that there were several types of cancer present in both breasts. None of these had shown up on any of her scans. At her appointment yeaterday she was told that she didn’t require more chemo or surgery. She’s extremey relieved. She does have to have radiation therapy.

    Given that we bath have similarly constructed breasts, (dense, glandular, cystic) the possibility exists that there may be nasties in my boobies too.Coincidentally I am seeing my plastic surgeon on Monday, and will be requesting bilateral mastectomy as soon as possible.That means QUIT day is today, and back into the gym to lose some more weight.

  151. Good luck with both, Mayhem. You’ll come out of this a new woman! Not that there was anything wrong with the old Mayhem, of course.

    Nasty news for your sister, but I suppose it’s some consolation not to have to do chemo. Tell her we all hope she feels better ASAP.

  152. ditto what Morgana said.
    xoxox

  153. Same here. Big hugs for you, Mayhem, and for your sister.

  154. Exciting news from Bog Hollow.
    There are new tenants who belong to some sort of Jesus Cult and while we were hanging the washing out today, they played a loud and monotonous learning style DVD in a southern US accent that seemed to be themed ‘All about sin’.
    What kind of whacko crazies have we got in there now?

  155. Maybe we can trade neighbours? The beautiful couple across the road left for their retirement village last week. The new people moved in a few days ago, and won’t talk to any of us – I thought perhaps they don’t speak english, but that doesn’t excuse turning their backs when the lovely old lady next door smiled and waved at them. Also, by the sound of the constant loud howling, they have a very unhappy dog locked inside their house. Or a crazed relative. Not sure yet.

  156. Ooh! I’d love a DVD about how to sin. I’m sure there’s lots of delightful sins I haven’t even contemplated committing yet. See if you can get me a copy, Q.

    Are you sure one or more of them aren’t werewolves, Catty? I know it’s not full moon, but sometimes they can get stuck in their animal form, I think. It;s just that if they are werewolves, maybe they could come up to Brisvegas to taunt Mrs Flanders.

  157. The only Mrs Flanders I can think of is the wife of Ned Flanders from the Simpsons (hi diddly ho, neighbourooney!). Obviously you don’t mean her, so now I feel stupid. But that’s normal for me.

  158. Hmm. could be a werewolf, could just be a teenager who they’ve banned from using facebook for a week.
    If it turns out to be a werewolf I am definitely up for a swap.
    I don’t want any more teenagers, though, there’s plenty of them around here and I prefer the kind of neighbour you can deal with via silver bullets and holy water.
    Speaking of crazed relatives, the bloke just switched on his iphone and discovered that he had a text from his father ‘your uncle died.’
    I know I’m in no position to gauge levels of normality but is this what normal people do?
    A couple of years ago my FIL’s sister died so he sent the bloke the following text ‘Your aunt died this morning. We bought a new flat screen TV. It’s 35 inches and was a real bargain at TVs are US at 40% off.’ (more details about the TV followed which I fail to recall)
    I know that my FIL didn’t particularly like his sister, she was a sensible soul who thought her brother was a twit and that my MIL was a crazed loon, but the Bloke was quite fond of his aunt – probably because he respected her opinions – so I was a bit stunned.
    Anyway, clearly this is my FIL’s preferred way of dealing with death so I just looked at the Bloke and said ‘Oh well, at least I know what to do if ever you die. I’ll just text them and say ‘your son is dead. Don’t bother me today as I’ll be out shopping for a new TV’.

  159. The Bloke is lucky. My family don’t tell me at all. It’s not nice finding out your favourite uncle has died when a month’s worth of ReturnToSender letters arrive with ‘deceased’ scrawled across the front.

  160. “Mrs Flanders” is what we call Q’s loopy next-door-neighbour. You know, the one who, every time Quokka plants a tree, says “Kill it before it grows”.

    As for the death text, surely that’s not normal. Then again, better to find out via text than the way Catty did. Ever thought about writing a book called “Me vs My Family: Psychopathology in Action”?

  161. Sigh. That’s horrible, Catty.
    I just get summonsed to attend the death beds and funerals of relatives who’ve made it their life’s mission to let me know they don’t like me.
    I’ve learned to avoid those trips since discovering that like Joan Crawford, they just need to slip in one more malicious barb before the gates of hell yawn open to welcome them home.

  162. Heh heh heh. Sorry ladies, there’s been some cross posting.
    The neighbour who wrote the 30 page complaint about our DA (that council have decided to ignore) is married to a power-tool addicted tree-hating Ned Flanders doppelganger.
    Sadly the things that our families seem to come up with are textbook family dysfunction so I doubt there’s much out there that I haven’t already seen documented. I’m doing a bit of ‘light reading’ this year with the idea of preparing myself in case I get into counselling next year, and the book I’m reading at the mo is saying pretty much this is how the families of alcoholics and personality disorders work.
    Sucks, but all you can do with a system like that is stay out of it & make yourself as healthy as possible.

  163. Heh heh heh. I had to marry into a family of alcoholics to get any normality and stability in my life. Just goes to show what a freakshow my own family are.

  164. Alcoholism IS perfectly normal in Australia.

    Hic.

  165. That’s a relief. I feel much better about cracking the Stolli open at lunchtime.

  166. Stoli’s practically a health food, Catty. I mean, some of the flavours have got fruit and vegetables in them.

  167. I’m sure there’s at least one vitamin and a mineral in each bottle.

  168. Swwet liquor eases the pain.

  169. Cake is also a health food. All those grains, natural plant sugar, eggs, milk etc. And it doesn’t give you wind. Unless my mother made it.

  170. How about if you dip cake in vodka, then? Seems like you might live for ever.

  171. I think I’ll get cake and stolly while I’m out at the MAC store.
    See you in a few days when the goblins have been cleaned out, troops.
    Have fun, and save me some cake.

  172. “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Quokka…..” But we’ll tell you all about it when you get back. If we’re still sober, that is.

    Hey, Madam, all this dipping is making a mess. How about we put the cake in a bowl and just pour the vodka on?

  173. Sort of like cereal, but with a kick? Good plan, Catty.

    Good luck with the gremlin slaying, Quokka. We’ll try to keep up the faff without you, but it just won’t be the same.

  174. If it’s faff we need, I hear tell some of Gina R’s soon-to-be-ex staff might have some free time to blog with us.

    Personally, I think there’s plenty of faff. It’s vodka we need more of. Has Quokka gone already? Damn. We should have asked her to swing by the bottle shop on her way back.

  175. You know what would be great? Musk stick flavoured vodka. Lollylicious!

  176. Just use the musk stick as a swizzle stick. Or one of those Ballantyne mint sticks – they’re wonderful in vodka.

  177. How did you get on with the earthquake, Catty?

  178. True – I was in bed with the Boss at the time. The earth actually did move.

  179. Hehehe.

  180. So, what are your plans for the day? I was thinking of cleaning out my kitchen. But then I thought… nah…

  181. Actually, since you mention it, I really should clean out the fridge. It’s so full of rotting stuff I can barely get any edible things in there.

    Want to race?

  182. You win. I took one look at the kitchen and went and had a nap. Now I’m going for a bubble bath. Sure, the house looks like an earthquake hit it, but what the hell.

  183. What the hell indeed. Enjoy!

    It was good to clean out the fridge – now it’s clean enough to eat out of! – but when I had the milk shelf thingo out to clean, I managed to crack it when I put it back in. It happened to the top bit of the vege crisper LAST time I cleaned the damn thing out. It’s no wonder I don’t do it more often.

  184. Stop cleaning it at all! Mine was a bit stinky, but I had no real inclination to clean it. So I’ve boiled some eggs for a salad, and I put them in the fridge while they were still warm. Now the fridge smells like fart.

    This may sound like a bad thing, but the fart smell completely overrides the socky cheese pong. No need to clean it now, as I can just blame the eggs.

  185. Hehehe.

    Household Hints with Catty #54 – Egg fart vanquishes socky cheese.

    BTW, I’ve had your tea towel hanging in my kitchen since my birthday and no-one has cleaned it for me yet. Disappointing.

  186. Maybe it needs to be manually operated? I think the instruction manual should read: “Grasp one corner between your thumb and forefinger. Swirl your hand in small circles until the tea towel twists up into a rope. Flick from the wrist without releasing your grip, so that the diametrically opposite corner snaps like a whip. Use this manoeuvre to ‘encourage’ others to assist you.” Give that a try, and I think you’ll find the tea towel works much better.

  187. You mean – whip it
    into shape
    shape up
    get straight….

  188. Exactly. Only without the flowerpot hat.

  189. You know who I’d like to see in a flowerpot hat? Queen Elizabeth.

    It’d be a damn sight more flattering than some of the ensembles she sports.

  190. Maybe Prince Charles can loan her his?

  191. Weed!

    Had a text from Q, who misses both us and the Internet. Hopefully she’ll be back online soon.

  192. Misses us, indeed. She’s probably comfortably ensconced on the couch with the latest Lynda La Plante, a pot of Earl Grey, a week’s supply of peanut brittle fingers, and three cats. Lucky girl. Except for the Earl Grey bit. Substitute vodka for that, and I’d be shoving her off the couch.

  193. She DID go to Darrell Lea today, Catty! How did you know? Actually, I suppose on sheer probability it;s not so spooky.

  194. I’m not being prescient. She mentioned last time that Darrell Lea was near the iPit, so it was a given, really.

    Meanwhile, the Boss announced we were having pizza for dinner. So I went to Big Al’s. It was actually colder in the shop than it was outside. I’ve never seen people make pizzas while wearing ski gloves before – it was entertaining, to say the least.

  195. I’m ba-ack. Albeit temporarily.
    The Bloke has returned from FNQ so I hauled him through the front gate panting ‘must have internet. Activate lap top STAT!’
    You guys are much more vital to maintaining my sanity than he is, as things turn out.
    Yes, I have been on the couch with cake (red velvet cupcakes from Eros in West End & they are The Smurf, totally smurfing awesome) and today I went hunting for Darrell Lea at Carindale but the renovation goblins seem to have chewed it up. This weighed in heavily on my decision to divert to Garden City when I discovered that a coat I liked was only available in my size over there. I made the sales chick google check to see if they had a DL and off I scuttered to the wilds of Mt. Gravatt. I’ll be having nightmares about being trapped in the maze and unable to find my car for days but at least I have sugar to console me.
    That rewards card is awesome, Catty, they gave me a free block of Rocky Rd with my bag of sweets. Yum! Well, that and Goodbye Pancreas.
    I have been going absolutey nuts without the internet, I have watched an entire series of Ghost Whisperer which was languishing in the Untouched Xmas presents pile & I got desperate enough to rent some Screen Australia productions which I’ve been putting off for a while. Yesterday I watched bits of ‘my year without sex’ but the first few chapters jammed so I’m not entirely sure what happened. Judging from what happened in the remaining chapters, probably not enough to justify watching it again. I had the horrible scary feeling that the writer was channelling my mother – the main character was this ghastly depressive neurotic self-absorbed victim . There was this one fabulous line where she was writing 20 years worth of BD cards for her children, in case she keeled over dead & they languished without her guidance – and for the daughter’s 15th BD she wrote ‘Try to think of someone other than yourself once in a while.’ That was the only LOL moment but I have the sad conviction that the writer probably didn’t view that line as irony.
    I rented Saving Georgia too but having discovered that my mother has found a way to come back to lfe and torture me through Screen Australia productions, I didn’t think I could cope with another dose of it, so I gave it back to blockbester & I went in for the next series of Ghost Whisperer.
    Much better.
    That should keep me sane till my mac is back from the shop and I can chatter to you guys indefinitely.
    I nagged the Mac Shop today and they said there’s some hope my macinflop will be home tomorrow evening. Otherwise I’ll have the Bloke’s lap top.
    God I miss you guys.
    I can’t believe you’ve resorted to cleaning fridges in my absence.
    Things are getting dire.

  196. Ghost Whisperer? Poor Q, you have been desperate. Unless of course you were just watching for the bits where her hunky husband takes his shirt off. In which case, kudos.

    It has been awful here, what with fridge cleaning and all. If it wasn’t for vodka and cake we would have quite lost our sanity, wouldn’t we Catty?

    Catty?

    Oh dear, I just found her in the corner cross-referencing the spice rack. I fear it may be too late.

  197. Now that IS spooky. I just bought a packet of fancy spice bottle labels, and have started emptying the out-of-date spices. You’ve been spying on me with that crystal ball of yours again, haven’t you, Madam?

    Glad you’re back in the Box, Quokka. We’ve missed you. Was Ghost Whisperer that one with the blonde who talks to dead people and helps the police find the murderer, or that one with the brunette who talks to dead people and helps the police find the murderer? I never could get into those shows; they’re a bit too much like those stories where the hero wins the lotto and all his problems are solved, or the bad guy turns out to be an evil twin. You can’t work out the ending in advance, which is no fun at all. I like working it out for myself and then bragging when it turns out I was right. This is why I stopped reading Mary Higgins Clarke – it’s always the heroine’s ex husband who did it. That might be why her books are so popular with butlers.

    Oh, and thanks for the heads-up about Screen Australia. I still think your mother and mine are related, so those movies are definitely off my watch-list.

  198. Hmmm. Cue the theme from Twilight Zone.

    I wonder if you can guess what I’m doing now, Catty? I’ll give you a hint – the couch features heavily.

  199. Let’s see….

    You’re vacuuming under the furniture…..

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Like ANYBODY does that!

    But seriously….

    You’ve got the Plumber over to visit, and you didn’t want him to see that you haven’t made your bed yet?

    Youre digging behind the cushions for loose change?

    You’re hiding behind it until the JW’s go away?

    You’re using it to block the door so no zombies can get in?

    You’re loading it into a removalist’s van, so you can be gone before school lets out for the holidays? (Surprise, boys!)

    I’m not even close, am I?

  200. Ooops. I seem to have dropped an apostrophe from a you’re. That will teach me for trying to type while eating mud cake.

  201. Don’t type while you’re eating mud cake, Catty – it turns your keyboard into a swamp.

  202. Not while I have a tongue. Liiiiiiiiiiiiiick!

  203. Ghost whisperer is the one with the hunky husband who works in the fire station and who is required to go shirtless for 20 minutes of each episode. Which is why I have no idea what colour the Ghost Whisperers hair is.
    I saw a bit of it on TV and I know there’s some point where the husband dies and apparently his soul moves into the body of a much less attractive man so that will be the point where I stop watching it. I have this sorry affliction where once I start a series I have to follow it through to the better end, no matter how bad it may actually be. It’s why I’m so loathe to watch soaps. Invariably by the third season i’m sitting there shouting at the TV and throwing crusts of bread at actors mumbling idiotic cliches & the only thing I’m really curious about is what kind of medication they’d put me on if the Men In White Coats caught me at it & herded me off to the psyche ward.
    Much safer with ABC’s catalyst, and the history channel.
    hey, that reminds me – SBS had a show about how to spot child psychopaths the other night, Morgana, you should dig it up on iview so that the children get some inspiration on how to entertain themselves through the school holidays.
    Sigh. That’s right, there’ll be extra screams in the neighbourhood for the next 2 weeks.
    Still no MAC here but the bloke has brought his lap top home and plugged it into my keyboard at my compter nook so I should be able to chatter to you guys a bit this weekend.
    I can’t believe you’ve all resorted to the desperate measures of cleaning the pantry. I managed to spend a good chunk of the day on the porch in the sun witha book- until the wind whipped up and chased me away – and then I broke out the crock pot and made some sort of casserole type thing. I wasn’t feeling very motivated so I just threw a whole bunch of stuff in & figured that the Bloke wouldn’t dare to complain so long as I fed him something. And I made French Onion soup and I went to the vet and restocked the cat’s laxatives.
    Rivetting stuff.
    At least I haven’t gotten desperate enough to clean the windows. I’ve cleaned all the ones that get morning sun & I figure the ones on the cold side of the house need that extra layer of murk to provide protection from the chill winter air.
    Apparently there’s a cold front moving in so I’m sure we’ll need the extra insulation.

  204. What I find worrying is that you had to restock the cat’s laxatives right after making the Bloke a pot of French Onion soup.

    On a more amusing note, the MIL cleaned out her pantry today. I dropped in on the way home from the school run this afternoon, and the MIL was trying to give me all the cans of lentils and jars of cherries that she had dumped in a garbage bag next to her wheelie bin. Mmmmm… bin cherries…

    Speaking of TV, that Ghost Whisperer suddenly sounds very, very interesting. Also interesting is the ABC kids’ show, Horrible Histories. There’s a lot of comedic license, but it’s too hilarious to worry about accuracy.

    As for books, I’ve just finished reading The Reluctant Landlady, by Bernadette Strachan. I really enjoyed it.

  205. Well, I got all houseproud about a month ago, and cleaned and organised EVERYTHING!!! (Except the Tupperware cupboard – which I did at about midnight on Wednesday night because I couldn’t find containers for the thousands of biscuits and muffins I’d just baked).

    Since then I have been readin Game of Thrones, I’m on book 5, and I haven’t cleaned anything since (except the tupperware cupboard because, you know….)

  206. Hehehe… cat laxatives.

    Well done, Mayhem, and nice bout of shirking there, Q. Catty, when did you become too proud for bin cherries? Wicked waste brings woeful want!.Don;t go and Google recipes with lentils and cherries, though – I don’t think we want to know.

    Well, we’re 7 hours and 29 minutes into the first day of the school holidays. Who wants to bet on how long it takes until I start drinking?

  207. What? You haven’t started drinking yet? Slacker! Here, have a martini. I’ll even put a cherry in it for you. They’re about four years past their use-by date, but that’s never stopped me before.

    Good work, Mayhem. Now you’ve finished, you can come and do my place. Start with the cutlery drawer, please. It’s gotten so bad I can’t find the swizzle sticks, and I really need them for these cherry martinis.

  208. Oh, and bring muffins.

  209. And chocolate. And maybe some chocolate muffins.

    Chocolate goes well with cherries. And with my thighs, apparently.

  210. Ditto. I’ve recently begun to wonder if there’s some bactrian in my genes. There’s certainly a couple of humps in my jeans.

  211. My lovely lady lumps…

  212. I do think it’s rather remiss of you not to have started by now, Morgana. The students across the road (who are sandwiched between two families with under 8s and have a screaming angry baby in the flat below them) were busy loading their empties into the bin as I read your comments – three loads, it took them – so if that’s the kind of booze level they’ve been driven to before the first day of SHols is past then I have no hope of catching up.
    Mayhem how can there be biscuits left to store in tupperware…oh wait, you’re on a diet. I forgot.
    Catty I have some lovely recipes for cherries and lentils but perhaps not in the same dish. I found a kind of cherry-custard flan thing, where you do the classic biscuit crumb base (sweet plain biscuits or butternuts) followed by a packet vanilla custard filling and then you layer the top with cherries and you make a jel coating using the cherry syrup, extra sugar, and gelatine. It was a big favorite with the small folk that visited my house. There was something horribly more-ish about it even though the whole thing simply shrieked Coles Cafeteria.
    Hmm.
    comfort food.
    Given how grey and cold and bleak it is here in brisvagus today I may have to take myself off to the couch with a hot chocolate and contemplate how best to keep my innards warm and comforted.
    Is this weekend the baconing, MM, or is it next weekend? I’m getting all confused.

  213. I don’t like this laptop. It has goblins that create typos. Most of them you can probably make sense of but I should dispel the illusions that the Germans across the road have given birth to and are raising a small infant bat.
    Although this could explain his shrieks and his mother’s pasty anaemia.

  214. Mmm… hot chocolate.

    Shame about the baby across the road, Q – bats are so cute.

    Next week is the baconing – hence my regrettable absence from Ildy’s function. This weekend I shall stay at home, and try to avoid freezing to death. Maybe I’ll coat myself in a layer of lard, like a Channel swimmer?

  215. Don’t forget to coat your innards as well as your outards. I recommend hot chips. And some of Quokka’s hot chocolate, to wash the lard down.

  216. It’s alright, I’m cozy now. I found the jumper I bought last year, after Q’s Bloke gave me a lecture on how to do proper thermal layers. It’s skin tight, has a huge cowl neck, and is made of purple fur like someone skinned a Muppet.

    Oh, bliss. I’m not taking it off until some time in late August – that is, if the westerlies have died down by then.

  217. We just watched a couple of old Muppet Show episodes. Crikey, those little furry buggers totally savaged Harry Belafonte’s Bananana Boat song.

  218. Banana boat? Poor Harry.

    That reminds me of ‘Beetlejuice’. If the children are bad these holidays I will make them watch it with me. Not because it’s a terrible movie – despite the presence of Michael Keaton, I love it – but because it should terrify the evil out of them.

  219. Heh heh.Good plan.
    Just make sure you tell them I’m related to that headhunter, would you?

  220. It really is a fabulous movie. I love Miss Argentina (or whoever) too, the blue receptionist.

  221. Our holiday movie viewing will include Watership Down. I found a VHS copy at the Op Shop. I also found Neverending Story, The Wind in the Willows and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. If this lot doesn’t keep the kidlets in line, I shall pull out the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

  222. Hehehe.

    A costume drama in which nothing much happens except affairs of the heart. That should sort them out. Nicely played, Catty.

  223. I keep forgetting to tell you Elf Boy’s latest. He’d been making a Lego thing and presented it to me.
    Elf Boy “I give you the bunny house.”
    Me “That’s lovely sweetheart, but you don’t want to give it to me. Don’t you want to keep playing with it?”
    EB “No, I meant… behold the bunny house.”

    He cracks me up.

  224. A BUNNY house? Surely not. Unless they’re savage killer attack bunnies.

  225. Well, they had robot legs…

  226. The bloke’s laptop will not let me copy and paste videos from youtube so I’m gonna have to direct you all to search youtube for ‘lego black ops’.
    All that’s missing is an animated Hot Wheels Drive By gangland slaying, but that cannot be far away.
    have I told you all again just how much I hate this laptop?
    It’s bettter than no internet access at all but OMFG it’s clunky.

  227. I hate their tiny little keyboards, but the absolute WORST thing is trackpads.

    Aaargh!

  228. Its plugged in to my keyboard but there’s all these applications that it won’t apply. The worst of it is that it won’t let me use the arrow on the bottom right corner of the screen to scroll down, if you try to get to it it offers up a series of obtuse looking Toshiba symbols. i have NFI what any of them do but I think in order of the height heirarchy they are’:
    1. Defecate in a pot
    2. Invade mongolia
    3. switch player to The Fat Controller
    4. Go ahead, scream. We really don’t GAS.

  229. OOooh, push the invade Mongolia button, Q. But do it as The Fat Controller.

  230. Fft. Like the Fat Controller would have a clue how to handle the drunken Mongol Hordes.He’d ask directions to the nearest donut stall and get mugged for his Thomas Beannie before he made it there.
    Nup. I want better options. I’m not going in unless I can be Lara Croft, with a backpack full of grenades and fully loaded Israeli rocket launcher.
    You know what’s really bugging me with the laptop?
    Every time I try to comment here or at the corner, it asks me ‘Are you SURE you’re really Quokka? Because you look like the Bloke, to me.’
    If I dress up as the Fat Controller I’ll never persuade WordPress to let me through the spam gates.

  231. As if the Bloke wouldn’t be perfectly welcome to comment here.

    If I was you, though, I’d save the Lara Croft RPG until summer. It’s too damn cold for those skimpy outfits she favours!

  232. I think you’re only supposed to select the Fat Controller if you’re looking for a really useful search engine.

  233. Oh Catty. How I’ll miss these moments for the next day or so until the Slack in the Mac comes back.
    I’m about to sign off to indulge in roast chicken and evil monkeys.
    We’ve rented the rise of the Planet of the Apes so this’ll be the last you’ll hear from me this evening.
    Cross all your fingers and toes for me that Apple call and say they’ve run the Degoblinator over my troll-finder and it’ll be safe in my arms again by the end of the next working day.
    Oh and Morgana don’t worry, regardless of how cold it is or cyber-deprived I am, I won’t forget our brunch date on Thursday.
    Stay warm ladies.
    I’m off to eat a chicken and develop monkey phobia.

  234. Enjoy. I’m off to fix all the split seams in the mountain of cheap crap stuffed toys I liberated from the claw machine. Given my lack of proficiency with a needle and thread, I should probably spray them all with Scotchguard before sewing, so that the blood from my pricked fingers doesn’t stain them. Oh, well. At least none of the toys are monkeys.

  235. Thursday. Hehehe. It’s Wednesday, Q. I’ll send you a text to make sure you know.

    Catty, can’t you glue them, or use that iron-on tape, or something? No, scratch the iron-on tape. They’d just melt like Lindt chocolate in your mouth, wouldn’t they?

  236. If it was down to those choices, I’d be tossing them on the fire. there’s nothing like the smell of burning polyester to take your mind off the chill in the air and encourage the kids to go play outside.
    Wednesday – noted, MM. It was actually in my diary but everything else seems to be happening on Thursday so it must have slid into the mental pile for that time slot.
    The monkey movie wasn’t particularly well done but all the violence in it managed to give me nightmares anyway.
    Sigh.
    I woke up under a pile of anxioius cats, pinning me to the bed like twin arms of a straight-jacket, looking up at the bloke as if to say ‘We really don’t think she should move from here today or be allowed near heavy machinery/’
    Ah, the wisdom of cats.
    This is the end of my lap top liberty. see you when the mac is back.

  237. I love the smell of singed polyester in the morning. Smells like… cremated Muppet.

  238. Mmmm…. cat blanket. Toasty warm, with added mouse breath.

    How are you holding up, Madam? Have you had to flush the boys’ heads yet?

  239. Eew! I wouldn’t flush those childrens’ nasty grubby heads down my lovely clean toilet.

    Not too bad, thanks Catty. I hope you’re making the most of your last week of freedom?

  240. No freedom here. I had a frantic phone call from the Teen. She had a doctor’s appointment and no way of getting there, and please please please mummy will you come and get me and drive me there and take me to the chemist afterwards and drive me back home again? So I went and got her – she walks out in thongs. “Where are your socks and shoes?” I ask in horror.
    “I don’t have any socks”, she replies.
    “Bullcrap, I’ve bought you at least twenty pairs since you left home”.
    “I can’t find them”.
    “Then we are going to Kmart and you are going to buy yourself some socks”.
    “But I have to go to the doctor’s”.
    “Then we’ll go to the doctor and then to Kmart”.
    Which is what we did. We went to the doctor, the chemist, Kmart and the supermarket, for a therapeutic chocolate cake. For her, not me. I have a fresh baked German chocolate cake AND bananana loaf on my kitchen bench, so I didn’t need it.

    The whole exercise was a nuisance that would have been completely unnecessary if the silly child would just wear socks. And maybe not get drunk quite so often.

  241. Hmm… drinking too much and no socks. Do you think she’s been hanging out with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and all her socks are hanging off their, erm, dangly bits?

    The whole episode is very sweet. Remember those old ads for Mum roll-on deodorant? She can’t get by without you, Catty.

  242. She must miss having her head flushed, because she is trying very hard to make me do it.

    Knowing the Teen, you could be right about the Chilli Peppers’ pee pees. I’d check the photos on her Facebook page to see, but I really don’t want to know.

  243. Some things are best left unknown. Like the Weeping Angels on Dr Who. I may never go to a cemetery again.

  244. Or what that stuff was in the back of the fridge. I swear, it growled at me when I binned it.

  245. I’m sure science could have learnt a lot from what was lurking, in slimy puddles, in most of my Tupperware before I cleaned out the fridge.

    Chiefly, what becomes of lunch meats stored more than six months past their use-by date.

  246. That’s what you feed to trolls when they are mating so that their babies will produce bile of the preferred smell, pH & toxicity.
    I have the Mac’n’Flop back.
    Its minus the glitches that I wailed about and in the space of five minutes I’ve noticed it has one or two new ones.
    It seems to have lost Osfoora (the twitter medium that Beeso directed me to, poor sweet deluded boy) so that’s my excuse to go back to tweetdeck.
    Its nice to be back.

  247. It’s nice to have you back. Did you bring chocolate?

  248. Back in Mac!

    Just in time to hear Elf Boy’s latest. We were at the library, and he had some jelly beans in his pocket. As I was checking out, he came up to me and said, ‘I was a good boy and shared my lollies with a kid over there. He must have been at least 5, because didn’t choke on them.’

    He seemed just a shade disappointed.

  249. Ah community service. Dispatching stray toddlers, before their fathers can toss them off bridges or murder their mothers. (Well, tis the season for it – apparently it peaks in school hols). Tell him nice try, and better luck next time.

  250. What is it with homicidal fathers and bridges?

    Well, I’d better sign off and start getting ready to come and see you, Q. Catty, I’ll bring your photo to brunch – what do you fancy?

  251. Timothy Dalton.

  252. Pfft. This is Queensland. You’ll get Timothy Nicholls & be happy about it, or else.

  253. Can I have fries with that?

  254. We had a chocolate frog in your honour, Catty, but the only James Bond they had was George Lazenby. He looked a bit old and tired, to be honest. Quokka wanted to pick you up an emo boy but he had too many lip piercings for her liking.

    Now we’re both on my parent’s computer so I can buy Mummy tickets for tomorrow. She’s unleashed Tutankamon’s curse so now nothing works. Where’s the best site for dwarf pron, now we’re here?

  255. penisbot.com….

    ….or so I’ve heard.

  256. Heh heh. It was just too uncanny, watching Morgana’s computer behave like the antichrist when I sat down beside it. One day I will take my magnetic field of tech-destroying static over to Khan Greybeard’s Tech Cave & sit there making everything go awry while he flaps about, confounded.
    Have fun at the Mummy exhibition, Morgana. Better take something for the kids to do while they’re standing in that queue for 30 minutes (they told us 20 at King Tut but don’t believe it)…perhaps something that will shorten the queue, like spit balls or rubber bands that they can flick around.
    Well, the Bloke is off to the PRC for the next five days. He departed at 5.30am even though his flight doesn’t take off till 9.30am. He made me a cup of tea before he left and I told him don’t eat or drink anything and don’t touch anyone unless you want to catch Hepatitis. Yurk.
    I know it’s his first time overseas but I can’t get excited for him, all I can think of is nasty drug-resistant strains of disease from poor sanitation. Oh well. I just hope I’ve infused him with enough germ paranoia that he’ll come back safe and healthy.
    Catty, while we were out exploring Paddington yesterday we came across a cute little cafe that has all these glass topped tables that have layers of fun things like marbles and lego and gum balls inside them. They have a Smurf table so we decided next time there’s a gathering of the Coven Executive we’ll have to sit there, and raise a toast to you. What would you prefer, sourdough or raisin bread?

  257. Yes, we must brunch at the smurf table. It looked smurfalicious.

  258. A toast? French, please.

    I like the sound of that smurf table. Do you think they’d notice if you ‘accidentally’ took it with you when you left?

  259. I didn’t see anyone older than Gen Y there, so the answer to that is that even if someone caught us blue-handed in the midst of smurfnapping they wouldn’t give a damn.
    Morgana, after your dogs attempted to nest on me yesterday I came home and the cat (the crazed one) attempted to murder my eskimo coat.
    It seems I soaked up a little too much Dangerous Dog for his liking.
    The Bloke thought it was absolutely hilarious watching the cat stalk and hiss at my coat. They all loved it the day before. I’ve had to hide it in the shower recess to air out, after spraying it with lavender and ylang ylang failed to calm them down. I can see I’ll have to wash it in tea-tree oil and perform an exorcism before it’s safe to wear it around cats again.

  260. Try soaking it in catnip.

    Mmmm… catnip coat…

  261. My cats love catnip so I’ve always got a spray bottle on hand and a few catnip fish to toss for them when they are looking a bit stir crazy. Yesterday I bought a sleeping bag for my little cat (the evil one that drives us all nuts every time the bloke goes away) and I squirted it with catnip & she was ever so happy, she crawled inside and fell asleep until bedtime. At which point I tried to relocate her from the couch to the bed, still inside the sack, and she decided to wake up, run around and drive everyone nuts.
    I don’t know what gets into these animals when the bloke goes away but by Smurf, I’ll be glad when he gets back from the PRC next week.
    Did I hear the bells of doom tolling your name, Catty? Do school holidays start today?
    And what’s happened to Morgana? When she was trying to order those tickets online for the Mummy, they kept asking all sorts of invasive personal questions. I think the exhibition is a front for a white slave trading scheme. She’s probably woken up on a boat in the Seychelles – or wherever that accountant of hers wound up – with a bag over her head and instructions to cook bacon butties for the crew of the pirate ship that absconded with her stowed in the galley, or else.

  262. Just as well for her that Madam’s not here, or I’d be hassling her for a few of those bacon butties myself. I’m all alone, trying to deal with the aftermath of attempting to burn the house down before anyone else gets home and finds out what I’ve done. Seeing as the place smells like scorched sock, I don’t think I’m going to get away with this one. Must run. More details later…

  263. Hehehe. Sorry to hear that you acquired coat issues at my place, Q, but it’s scientifically interesting to hear that danger has a distinctive odour.

    The Mummies were fabulous – there were four human ones and assorted animals – you really should try to get there before it ends.

    Catty, what the smurf have you been up to? Are you OK?

  264. I think she’s just seen the light.
    It takes 3 weeks and a team of char-women to spring clean a house.
    It takes 3 minutes and a sprig of char-coal to burn it down.

  265. I really don’t think that arson is the solution to stubborn mould in your grout, Catty. I mean, where will you keep your chocolates and vodka?

  266. In my mouth, silly!

    Don’t fret, the incident was nothing major. I’ll write a blog about it later today.

  267. Fair enough – but we reserve the right to fret. It helps keep us warm.

  268. Huh. Don’t talk to me about keeping warm.

    Also, that link didn’t work.

    I’m going to bed. Don’t drink my vodka while I’m gone. Unless you really, really want to, in which case it’s o.k.

  269. That link took me to some Filipino porn site, Hooray. At least I didn’t see any naked dwarves there.

    Catty, I saved you some vodka. Just don’t drink it near anything smouldering, okay?

    • How weird is that? It took me to the piccie I was trying to post…..hmmmmm…..me rethinks my plan………..

    • How weird is that? It took me to the piccie I was trying to post…..hmmmmm…..me rethinks my plan………..

      Maybe this one?

  270. That picture is wrong. So wrong. On so many levels. It reminds me of a sticker I had on my bedroom door when I was little. It had a picture of Jesus putting coins into a money box, with the caption ‘Jesus Saves’. I had some weird idea that this was what Jesus did with the money from the church collection plate.

  271. Heh heh. Nice one, Mrs. D.
    Catty I had Russian Jewish neighbours and the Jewish MIL insisted that their entire house be slathered with icons.
    Her madness extended far beyond that so eventually they moved to Melbourne…and I’m pretty sure they didn’t give the MIL their new address or phone number.

  272. Madame, we had cake and champagne for you. Better check the spam trolls, you never know what those greedy SOBs will pilfer for themselves.

  273. Mmmmmm… Troll cake and champagne… I know what I want for dinner tonight.

    Your neighbours were spot on, Quokka. Moving to Melbourne to get away from the Boss’s in-laws was the smartest thing we ever did.

  274. Hehehe. I like the way the little girl looks poised to grab it.

    Greybeard sent me a shot of the cake, it looked divine. I trust a good time was had by all – if the weather was anything like it was up here, you should have had a lovely day.

    Catty, how’s the kitchen?

  275. We had a lovely day, too bad you were off Baconing and couldn’t partake of cake and bacon with us. Our hosts put on a lovely spread, and then produced toys. We had a real snuffling pig, and Ildi & D have a clock that strikes Turkey O’Clock. Which was my cue to leave, of course. Khan Greybeard was in his element as he found someone with an even bigger stash of stored treasures than he has at home (3 legged chairs in the basement that need fixing, and given how much time they spent in the basement, perhaps an entire room of pickled reptiles) & Fifi & I made off with the Passionfruit crop.
    I’m vey pleased to hear that you guys were led to the Filipino Pron site and I was not, it must mean that they’ve finally fixed me MAC.
    Well, that and whatever TF was wrong with mine has finally infected yours.
    My Bad.
    Sorry for the cybercooties.
    How’s school hols, ladies?
    The Bloke comes home from the PRC sometime this morning, which is a good thing as his cat has moved from stressing to panicking and grieving. You cannot persuade me cats don’t grieve or feel stress just like humans. Poor little kitty.

  276. Poor pusska. Please welcome the Bloke back for us, Q. I hope he hasn’t brought you back any typhoid or bubonic plague.

    It’s the second week of the school holidays, and I must say I’m not missing packing the GD lunch boxes. Catty’s at Day 1, though – how’s the morale, Catty?

  277. Croaky tonsillitis voices do not make for good nagging. My house is a piggery already. Including the kitchen. I suppose I should do something with the cremated microwave’s ashes. A commemorative urn, perhaps? That would look nice on the mantlepiece.

    The Boss is leaving tomorrow for yet another away trip. As we are cooped up in the house to avoid the weather, I’m guessing the kidlets will be doing a passable impression of the Bloke’s poor kitty cat by the end of the week. But all is not doom and gloom; the middle kidlet managed to win movie tickets to see Ice Age 4. Yay! We’re going to the movies! If I can convince the bank to give us another extension on the mortgage, we might even be able to buy choc tops and popcorn at the concession stand.

    So, Madam, did you save me any bacon? I’m still waiting for Quokka’s troll cake and champagne, but I’m guessing from her comment that it was taken into the basement and pickled. Mmmmm… pickled cake…

  278. Thoroughly seeped in snot, would be my best guess at that.
    Catty, when I was at Ildi (AKA Hooray) & Damien’s yesterday, Ildi was showing off her heat patches. They look a lot safer than your exploding wheat bag. I instructed Khan Greybeard to photograph the packet and patch it on to you but as I’ve yet to see it come thru, clearly he’s experiencing some sort of technical difficulty with his transmissions. (snigger)
    I think they were called ‘hoteeze’ or some such, Ildi had one stuck to her tights over whichever one of her cybernetic bones is acting up & it was very, very warm. She highly recommends them & seemed to have a deep and personal understanding of your wheat bag inferno issues.

  279. Good score, Catty. (we’ve cross posted – again)
    Enjoy.
    Well according to the airport arrivals, the Bloke’s plane has either just pulled in or else it’s not due until sometime tomorrow. So I’d best go deal with the piggery around here. I thought I had at least another hour & no hope of him getting delayed in customs as there’s no freaking way he’ll have brought me back any fireworks.
    sigh.
    WTF is the point of going to the PRC if you can’t smuggle back some firecrackers?

  280. Damn straight. There’s a fireworks factory in Helidon, and the Boss knew the bloke who delivered them. Whenever he mentioned seeing his friend, I’d ask if he’d brought me home any fireworks. He never did. What a waste!

    I still haven’t started cleaning my hovel. Perhaps I should bake a cake before I get started…. nah, too much like hard work. I’ll just bake the cake.

  281. Ah, fireworks.

    When I was a lad, we used to have fireworks for my birthday. Somehow, a Catherine wheel your dad has nailed to the side of the shed and nearly taken his hand off igniting is much more impressive than all these computer orchestrated pyrotechnics.

    Have a fabulous time at Ice Age, Catty. I hope no one defrosts the ending for you.

  282. I’m hoping that nobody defrosts any choc tops in my lap. Again.

  283. Just wear dark brown slacks. Or lick it off, in the dark.

  284. Mmmm…. chocolate pants…. Liiiiiiiiiick!

  285. Which reminds me of Chef’s “Chocolate Salty Balls” again. I’ll probably be humming it on my death bed.

    Put ’em in your mouth and suck ’em!

  286. The middle kidlet has just won more movie tickets. This time, it’s Katy Perry’s Part of Me – ” a backstage pass, front row seat and intimate look at the fun, glamorous, heartbreaking, inspiring, crazy, magical, passionate, and honest mad diary of Katy.” In 3D. Fun for all the family, hey? Except the boys, who have stated they would rather rip out their own entrails than go to this movie.

  287. Ditto.
    We went to see Snow White and the Huntsman yesterday – a choice that was inspired by the variety show of freaks that we witnessed going in to watch spiderman, and the fact that I was just trying to keep the Bloke awake and upright so that he wouldn’t be awake all last night and still jet-lagged today.
    It wasn’t too bad and there were no males below the age of 18 in the cinema (win) and no girls under the age of 14 (win) and those that were there seemed to be sans friends and siblings (win) and escorted by a responsible parent.
    Just the way I like my movie experience to be.
    Anyway, I’m here to confirm that Kristen doesn’t have a range of facial expression or emotion other than the stunned pout that we’ve seen in Twilight (I only saw the first one) and her legacy with this film is that she’s just convinced an entire generation of girls that the best way to resolve conflict with a bridge troll is by whispering sweet nothings and showing it some love.
    If it was me I would’ve grabbled the huntsman’s axe and aimed for a hamstring while he had his back turned, and then followed through with a few good whacks to the centre of his rib cage.
    Still, if she’s spent this much time with the Twilight Saga we really couldn’t expect her to know how to cull the Dark Forces.
    Sigh.
    The really disappointing bit was watching her lead her troops into battle, despite the fact that she had no clue how to wield a sword or dispatch an arrow.
    Sigh. At least Disney have produced a female lead this season who you’d trust on your team come the Zombie Apocalypse.
    All Kristen’s useful for is pushing in their path in the hopes that they trip over her, and give you some time to run or reload.

  288. Yes, put me down for a disembowelling as well, thanks. I don’t have enough hours of life left to waste a few watching Katy Perry.

    Thanks for the film review, Q. I think it was Damian who said that, in the event of zombie attack, you don’t have to run the fastest – you only have to outrun the slowest member of your party. We’ll put Kristen down for entree… do you think she has nice juicy braaainzzz, though?

  289. Nup. You’d have to hope that zombies like cleavage and it takes them a while to figure out they’re chewing on rubber rather than meat.

  290. Zombies love braaainzzz best, but they do also like entrails. I have no idea if they like chicken fillets. Shall we send Kristen a tweet and ask her?

  291. Nah. I’d prefer to wait till the moment is upon us and shout ‘Surprise!’

  292. And then we run like buggery. Good plan.

  293. I reckon if we fire off an array of flash bulbs, paparazzi-style, she’ll stand still and pose, allowing us to flee at our leisure.

  294. Now there’s an idea. Set up a red carpet, with screaming teenagers and photographers, and ALL the airheaded starlets will show up with their botoxed pouts and surgically enhanced cleavage. The zombies will have so much fun with that lot, we won’t even have to break a sweat as we wander off. Better yet, we can sit up in your tower and throw popcorn.

    Speaking of popcorn, I have to take the middle kidlet to her Katy Perry movie today. I’m really looking forward to it – that big, empty cinema will be the perfect place for a nap. I’ve already packed my pillow. All I have to do now is fill my hot water bottle with hot chocolate, and find a curly straw.

  295. Don’t forget a sick bag. You’ll thank me, later.

  296. Well, we went. The cinema was almost empty, so we got perfect seats. I liked the 3D – at one point there were bubbles, and it was like they were floating around us. Nice. We went to the snack bar, and I asked for 3 small popcorns and three small drinks. $35. Seriously. I’m not kidding. The kidlet wanted a bag of Allens Snakes, so I asked how much they were. $6.20. Surprise, surprise, I didn’t buy the Snakes.

  297. $6.20?

    For that money, I’d expect at least 33% genuine snake.

  298. That’ll be the carbon tax, Catty.

  299. Damn you, Gillard! But I really can’t complain. The movie was worth what we paid for the tickets – you can’t argue with ‘free’. Also, there was a claw machine in the lobby. I got a couple of Ice Age toys. Yay!

  300. How are the seams, though, Catty?

  301. If you rip out the fluff and stuff them with wheat they’d make useful replacements for your cremated heat pack, Catty. And they might make interesting additions to the lining of a bra cup. Was it Katy Perry who made clothes out of stuffed animals or Lady Gaga?
    My attention to teen idols and their fashion choices really is woeful. No wonder they layer themselves in bacon to get our attention.

  302. NFI.

    I don’t know about putting cheap polyester in a microwave though, Q. One spark and – whoosh!

  303. The toys are quite nice, actually. Unfortunately, one of the kidlets has sequestered them for a game of cooties. Ever played that? You snatch a toy that your sibling really wants, then you lick it, and try to smear it on the sibling’s face. My kidlets love making each other shriek with this game. It also works with cupcakes. Considering there are still 11 days until they go back to school, I may have to kill myself. Oh, that’s right. The microwave’s been toasted, so I can’t stick my head in it. *sigh*. Anyone got earplugs? Or valium? Anybody?

  304. There’s only a few days of holidays left to go here, do you really think there’s any Valium left?

    Q might have some cat tranquillisers, though…

  305. Nah, the Bloke’s back from PRC. She’ll be fresh out.

  306. Too, too funny. JB has started a blog about the evils of men treating women badly.

  307. You’re kidding?

    This I have to see….

  308. Nup. He posted a link.
    I didn’t bother seeing where it took me, but I assume it doesn’t link back to one of his own blogs and the nasty diatribes that happen there.

  309. Oh to have the computer hacking powers to send that link here:
    http://www.zazzle.com.au/blind_leading_the_blind_shirt-235790369099901400

  310. Nice shirt. Shame it doesn’t come in purple.

    I read the blog, but since it was about gaming my eyes started to glaze over.

  311. Oh, I shouldn’t keep going back there but its given me at least 4 LOLs since I saw it. Oh, the irony. I keep thinking ‘Should I tell him? Is he REALLY this obtuse?’
    Nah.
    Best just to pop in there and giggle to myself & then wander off.

  312. Don’t waste your breath (typing?). Someone would only call you a c-word anyway.

    Alanis Morrisette, if you’re out there – THIS is irony.

  313. Oh, oh, oh, too funny. JB’s diatribe on the evils of misogyny has just been uplinked to a link that’s about racism. You have to see it.
    At least that’s answered some questions for me about the levels of insight there.
    Zilch.
    Oh, my sides ache. Its too funny.

  314. Well, I wouldn’t have thought Lobes was racist. He despises everyone equally, doesn’t he?

  315. Quokka said his name three times AND threw a bucket of chum into the sewer, (LOL!) but Lobes didn’t show up. Which leads me to wonder if Lobes’ real surname is Sica? I guess we’ll find out if he doesn’t troll for the next 35 years.

    Not to worry, though. A certain scaly sock puppet has taken up the troll slack. Honestly, I don’t know whether they are self depreciating to the point of comedic genius, or if the whole XY sector of CBG really is that clueless.

  316. Yeah I must have got that one wrong. Maybe you’re meant to say it backwards.
    Come to think of it if you spell it backwards it is awfully close to the word ‘Ebola’ – fitting considering that reading that reptile’s sentiments must make a helluva lot of eyeballs bleed.
    Catty I’m happy with the effect of the total cluelessness, which is total comedic genius, and the illustration of the point by utilising a blatantly racist stereotype in that video link had me rolling in the aisles with tears in my eyes.
    Best. Fun. All. Freaking. Week.

  317. You haven’t said, Q – how did the Bloke enjoy China, and is he running a temperature?

  318. Looks like he’s got bronchitis, for the first time in his life.
    I’m keeping a wary eye on it in case he needs antibiotics – the cold dropped to his chest today so I’m off to the green grocer to make up a lung formula. God, I miss having a fully stocked herbal pharmacy that I can turn to in the middle of the night when you realize WTF is going on.
    Anyway, we’ll see. I think 5 days sitting in that smog and sucking in all their second hand cigarette smoke is probably what’s done it. He says that the cold is going around his office here in Vagus and there’s lots of reports of colds on twitter & round the burb so I’m hoping it’s a local bug rather than something he’s imported from the PRC.
    He slept for a good chunk of Monday so beyond describing the 12 course meals that he ate most days and the fact that the fire-hoses wouldn’t squirt the proposed hospital wall with the desired Category 5 cyclone force – despite them staying up till 2.30am Saturday watching the test team batter it – I’m not sure what he got up to. The first day when he called home he sounded excited by being there, Day 2 he reported the fog was so thick he couldn’t see across the block from his hotel and by Day 3 I was getting texts like ‘Fark the traffic in this place sucks’ and ‘Can’t wait to get home to see you and the cats.’
    So I’m not sure what he got up to apart from eating 12 course meals, watching the fire-hose fail, and getting his foot massaged by the Nit Carriers.
    I may have to arrange another breakfast with you mob so that you can quiz him while I listen in, that’s usually the only way I can extract details from him that go beyond a non-commital grunt.

  319. It’s odd, that. One of the school mums went to China a couple of years ago, and the only things she said were that it was unbearably hot, and that the carrots were huge and woody – so much so that she thought she’d bought a log by mistake. That was it. No photographs, no interesting conversations or experiences. Nothing. Maybe they have a mind control ray at the airport, so that evil western spies can’t smuggle out PRC secrets? Or maybe it’s just that the smog is so thick, nobody actually gets to see anything worth talking about.

    Meanwhile, my sympathies are with the Bloke. Poor love. You know, they say laughter is the best medicine. Get the Bloke to read that CBG thread. Hilarious!

  320. Ah, men. Silent one day, uncommunicative the next. Still, hope he’s well soon. Please pass on our best wishes.

    Two more days of holidays – hey!
    Two more days of holidays – hey!

  321. Enjoy, Madam. I still have a week to go. It won’t be too bad, now I’m on antibiotics. Yep, I went to the doctor. It wasn’t fun. The bloody doctor was flirting with me. He said I have a cute pharyngitis. I told him he should be ashamed of himself – I’m a married woman. He looked at me oddly and gave me a prescription. Sometimes I think I should change doctors.

  322. Or prescriptions.

  323. No, no, my glasses are fine. I’m looking through them right now. Oh, that means I’ve finished the vodka in them, right?

  324. Hic.

    How’s the sore throat, Catty?

  325. On the mend, thanks. The antibiotics have started working, and I can now scream at the kidlets again. Yay!

  326. Nice recovery, Catty.
    News here is that having battled Nits and Aunt Irma this week, I’ve now come down with the Bloke’s Communist Snot Plague.
    Sigh.
    Thank Cheesus for panadol, it seems to start with the aches and pains all over & I assume now that the fever’s broken I’m in for a few days of being a Snot Factory. At least the Bloke seems to be on the mend. And my cat (the one that loves me, as opposed to the one that loves him and the one that expects everyone around him to adore him) hasn’t left my side since I took to my bed. The Bloke was finding it very touching how Bear was following me around the house in my search for comfortable spots to sloth and snooze.
    Until I pointed out that to a cat, sleeping for 22 hours per day is the norm, so from the Cat’s perspective I’ve finally seen the light and learned to do what cats do all day – i.e. move around the house every 6 hours looking for sunny/warm/soft spots to hunker down.
    The bugger of it is that we missed the Medieval Fair at Caboolture AND the Running Of The Sheep yesterday at the Teneriffe Festival. Rat Damn. I really wanted to see that. Oh well. There’s always next time.
    Morgana there’s a whole conga line of vodka-soaked parents in my neighbourhood singing along to ‘school goes back tomorrow – HEY!’ so I think there’ll be a collective sigh of relief tomorrow when the gates swing shut on the small folk and they are back in their cages being edjamacated.

  327. The only down side of the little darlings going back to school is the GD lunch boxes.

    Catty, good news. Enjoy your screaming. Q, that sucks. Hope you get well soon.

  328. Poor Quokka. Might I recommend some nice PRC melamine to fix that plague? It must work – the Chinese put it in everything. That, and formaldehyde. And possibly MSG. Hmmmm… Madam, I think I’ve just realised what you can put in the boys’ lunch boxes.

  329. I think you’re on to something, Catty. A formaldehyde-treated sandwich would look even more realistic than a felt one, and last just as long.

  330. Jerry Seinfeld’s wife has put out a cookbook of cakes with vegetables hidden in them. It’s called ‘Deceptively Delicious’, and has recipes for stuff like muffins made of beetroot. The poor girl actually believes that her three kids don’t know their cakes are stuffed full of mashed zucchini and pumpkin. What’s the bet her kids dump the contents of their lunchboxes in the nearest bin each morning? Perhaps I should write to her and suggest she change the name of her book to Deceptively Deluded?

  331. This celebrity cook book thing seems to be catching on.
    Maybe Katie Holmes will put out a book about the Thetan Mind Control Drugs the scientologists expected her to put in her daughter’s bran muffins.

  332. Suri eats bran muffins? I thought she only ate caviar, custom made cupcakes, and finger paint.

  333. Oh yes, Suri would have been introduced early in life to bran and laxatives. All Hollywood babies are. I mean, think of it – No mother with teeth like Katie is going to risk her Precious sticking her fingers down her throat & having her baby teeth ruined by bile acid.
    If you’re gonna make it in Hollywood, you’ve gotta be able to show your teeth.

  334. Actually, I used to make a killer cake with melted chocolate and beetroot in it. You know how you don’t really taste the carrot in carrot cake – it works on the same principle. The beetroot just gives it moisture and depth. Fabulous!

  335. Yes, I bloody well can taste the carrot. Ugh! Beetroot cake. *shudder*.

  336. I suppose you wouldn’t like the broccoli petit fours then, either.

  337. This should explain my feelings about broccoli.

    Q: What’s the difference between broccoli and snot?

    A: You can’t make a two year old child eat broccoli.

  338. I love it! I have it for dinner most nights.

    Broccoli, I mean, in case anyone needs clarification.

  339. Oh, um, yeah. Of course we knew you meant broccoli….

  340. Sure we did.
    I must be on the mend, I’m starting to develop cravings for DL choc-coated peanut brittle fingers. GD stupid renovations at Carindale. I still can’t figure out where they’ve relocated their stall to and they told me they wouldn’t have a new permanent shop out there until August. Rats.
    Which reminds, me, Catty – the Bloke reported going to some sort of shopping mall in China & he said he had to blink and pinch himself because he was convinced he was in Westfield at Chermside.
    So much for cultural diversity.

  341. Why – did he have to pay for parking?

  342. I don’t want anyone to panic, but someone just told me that Darrell Lea has gone into voluntary receivership.

    It may be The Chocolate Apocalypse.

  343. It’s true. Oh, the humanity! *sob*

  344. I know. I sounded the chocopalypse alarm over at Catty’s.
    All I’ve heard is what the ABC had to say about it while I was stuck in the traffic but it sounds like they are looking for someone to buy them out.
    I’ve got $30 left in my wallet after my dealings with the allergist at RBH and the parking station across the road.
    Options for a buyout aren’t looking good. 😦

  345. I have no words.

    Except to say that, surely if you keep it dry, peanut brittle has a long shelf life?

  346. Not in this house, sweet pea.
    Assuming that by keeping it dry you mean keeping it away from saliva & bile?

  347. Hehehe.

    I was thinking more of humidity than body fluids, but you’re right – you can hide lollies from the kids, but there’s no hiding them from yourself.

  348. We could pool our money to buy out the company. I have about $17 in my moneybox.

  349. I can double that – and we know Q’s got $30.

    I’ll have Jason prepare the offer documents from the Seychelles.

  350. The sooner the better. I just went into the only local Darrell Lea agent (Amcal Chemist) and they didn’t have a single walnut log. The DT’s are coming….

  351. Oh Catty, don’t say that. Now I’ve got the horrors about it being newly reformed as DarrylTJ’s.
    I’m off to look behind the couch for some more loose change to boost our funds. As it’s cold and rainy I may be gone some time….

  352. Maybe we could just make a bid for the recipes and make our own. Like moonshine, only yummier – and less explosive.

  353. I’ve wanted to make my own chocolate for ages, but I couldn’t find a recipe for it. There are billions of recipes for things made with chocolate, but no recipes for actually making the chocolate. I’d be stoked if we could get our hands on DL’s recipe. Now there’s an idea. Forget making a bid, we could do a Mission Impossible and steal the recipes. Hey, now that Tom Cruise doesn’t have to find a babysitter, maybe he can give us a hand with the heisting.

    Actually, forget that last bit. Not even DL’s entire recipe catalogue is worth putting up with Tom Cruise.

  354. That’s a fabulous idea, Catty. Not the heist, but chocolate aversion therapy. Every time I feel like a piece of chocolate, I’m going to look at a picture of Tom Cruise. I’ll be skinny in no time!

  355. Tom could be useful as he’s the only one of us with funds to buy out the company. And then he could fill the sweets with Thetan mind control drugs to win over suri, the nannies, and the bodyguards who are there to protect her from the evil scientologists.
    So the way I’m thinking, all we really need to do is invent an antidote to Thetan mind control drugs, and let Tom do the rest.

  356. Those Thetans are cunning bastards, though, with their alien technology and all.

    You know what I’d really like to know – where’s the science in Scientology?

  357. See? That’s why they need the drugs – to stop people asking embarrassing questions like that. Careful, Madam, or you’ll end up being ‘Audited’.

    Incidentally, the answer to your question is ‘Science Fiction’. As in, the founder of this ‘religion’ was a science fiction author, before he died and had his Earth Suit frozen cryogenically. Sit still now, it’s just a little pin prick…. you will forget this conversation in 3… 2… 1…

    Hello, Madam. Isn’t it a lovely day?

  358. Yes, lovely. The skies are grey and gloomy, and Elf Boy’s home sick. Plus my throat is sore, too.

    What were you saying about science fiction… Oh, God the pain! Make it stop!

    Sorry, where were we?

  359. Ooooh, Madam, that’s a cute pharyngitis you have there….

  360. Oh Lordy. That’s how it starts. Looks like its your turn with the PRC snot plague, MM. Time to hit the garlic and the vitamin C.
    Good luck!
    Or should I say…Take Cover?

    • How about, take covers? As in, my two feather doonas.

  361. What, this old thing?

    *blush*

  362. It’s two feather doona weather here, too. As long as the electric blanket is on. Otherwise the doonas aren’t quite enough, so I have to warm my feet on the Boss’s shins.

  363. You know what they say – warm shins always wins.

  364. Really? I thought that was something about widdershins at midnight.
    How’s the plague today, MM? I had the fever for close to 48 hours. It wasn’t fun. Nice to feel disease free today…well, apart from coughing up intermittent furballs. Standard winter stuff, really.

  365. Well, he hasn’t vomited for ages so that’s good. I don’t think you or the Bloke chucked up, did you?

    Still quite a high fever, but much better than he was – although he won’t accept anything more than sips of cold water. I think he must have been delirious this morning, because he was sobbing that he wanted to go to school!

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend, Q.

  366. No, we had the aches-all-over fever followed by the URT snot.
    Funny, I’d just assumed elf-boy was malingering and you were going down with the sore throat thing. Don’t tell me there’s a V&D bug doing the rounds too?
    Quelle Horreur.
    It must be nasty if he’s delusional enough to want to go back to school.
    Then again, I’m guessing they have covered playgrounds there so perhaps he’s just had enough of all this Sog in the great south-east.

  367. You could be forgiven for thinking he was malingering – he’s got form – but he really was burning up.

    The thing most annoying me at the moment is the next-door neighbours. For the last two days and all of two long nights they’ve had a smoke alarm going off about 15 times an hour. Since they didn’t sensibly remove the battery after the first half-dozen times I’m assuming it’s one of those hard-wired ones. It’s sending me crazy and kept waking me up last night! They don’t have enough imagination to be making amphetamines in the bathtub, so WTF is going on?

  368. Well, if it’s not meth-amphetamines then it must be that the swamp lizards have snuck into their kitchen and they’re hatching baby dragon eggs.

  369. Eew. You mean I could be living next door to a whole nest of Lobes’s?

    I wonder what the collective noun is for that – ‘excrescence’ springs to mind.

  370. Sounds about right.
    I think as individuals the contents of the eggs would be referred to as a ‘faecus’.

  371. Hehehe.

    I think Elf Boy’s whatever-it-was has just developed into ordinary old tonsillitis. He was complaining of a very sore throat overnight. And the GD smoke alarm next door has finally stopped shrieking! It’s nice to know I’m alert, I suppose, but it really makes a different to your sleep when it’s quiet.

  372. It might not have been a smoke alarm. It might have been the newborn cries of the faecuses hatching. Ugh!

    How is everyone feeling? Are all your pharyingitises still cute? I indulged a lot in the remedy prescribed by a doctor in Toowoomba – brandy and ice cream. You lot should try it. Except Elf Boy. Poor little love. I hope he gets well soon; there’s nothing like a young boy with a bow and arrow when a clutch of Lobeses hatches.

  373. Well, once it got light enough for me to see – another grey and gloomy day here on the “Sunshine” Coast – I noticed pus on EB’s enlarged tonsils. Luckily I’d hoarded a repeat script from a previous outbreak so he’s all dosed up and enjoying a hot chocolate. I’m mostly fine, I don’t have the time to get sick. Who would do the laundry and make the hot chocolate?

    How’s your cute pharynx going, Catty?

  374. I’m over the worst of it. I’m just in that ‘not 100% yet’ phase. But it’s a quiet day; we only have one playdate, and I have to get started on the Boss’s tax return. Joy!

  375. Nothing like doing taxes to make you feel more like ‘less than 13%’ in no time. Poor Catty. Feel free to eat as much chocolate as you like, though – if you submit electronically, the ATO won’t be able to see the stains.

  376. Speaking of unsightly stains, we just did a lap of the Samford Show Grounds, sinking up to our shins in mud and pigshit through the entire circumference of it. Plus side, we finally got to see the Pig Racing Event and they were ever so cute and ever so clever. And I got the best batch of caramel fudge that I have ever tasted.
    We sat through the wood chop event without getting rained on and got to see an entire clan with the surname of Dingle wipe the floor with the rest of the boys.
    Unfortunately Western Dingle was beaten in the last heat by a 70yro part gorilla called Skip.
    I just hope the production crew that made ‘the farmer wants a wife’ get to meet Carson and his Dingle friends. It has so much potential.

  377. Mmm… fudge.

    Sounds like you has more fun than me, Q. The furthest I got was the chemist for EB’s antibiotics. Still, unlike Catty I haven’t had to do any tax returns, so I shouldn’t complain.

  378. ooh yes. And we just walked the dog down through South Bank. The French Festival was on for Bastille Day so I made the bloke push his way through the queue for creme brulee and chocolate mousse. I am definitely having a much better day than either of you. Gosh its nice to be healthy enough to be out mingling with the hordes again.

  379. Oh, I agree. Wading through pig shit and stinky Frenchmen sounds like much more fun than filling in tax returns. Not that I got much done. I put all the files on the table, got my notebook and calculator, stacked all the group certificates, and then went hunting for a pen. But I couldn’t find one, so I had a nap instead. Meh. Maybe tomorrow.

  380. Mmm… nap.

    Since it’s the baconing, and I need every minute of sleep I can acquire, I woke up with a jolt before 3 this morning. Stupid adrenal glands.

  381. So, how was the baconing, Madam? Lots of mud and screaming, I hope. It always adds that piratey feel to tedious occasions.

  382. Yes, there was lots of mud, but at least it was quite warm. Then it started to rain, and also got really cold. Then a family of South Africans flashing $100 notes came by, who were the most annoying orderers I’ve ever encountered. Can we have four burgers? Can he cut the white off one of the eggs when it’s cooked? (No, I explained, but he will separate an egg and only cook the yolk if that’s what you really want). Halfway through the cooking they decide they want five burgers, then six, and when they’re all cooked none of our range of four different sauces were good enough.

    I hate people.

  383. Sounds like dinner time at my place. I sincerely hope you used the “No, you only gave me a $50” line, and kept the rest of the change as your well-earned tip.

    Yesterday we travelled great distances to find a Darrell Lea that still had stock on its shelves. I spent most of next week’s grocery budget on various essentials. After we got home, we discovered that all of the stuff was six months past its best-before date. But the shop was too far away to drive back and complain.

    Bastards. I hate people too.

  384. Is it still tasty, though? I wouldn’t let a little thing like a date printed on a packet stop you from nomming, Catty.

  385. Damn straight.

  386. Rat Damn. Thanks for the warning, Catty. I have yet to do my Darrell Lea run. I wanted the bloke to drop me in the city for that on the weekend but the riverside expressway was closed for resurfacing or some such crap so the roads in and out of my burb were a nightmare.
    I will make sure I wear my glasses and check the fine print when I venture in there. God I hope they’ve still got stock tomorrow – today it’s gloriously fine and sunny and apparently it’s the only day this week that we can expect it to be so, and as such I’m stuck playing Washer Woman.

  387. I wish we lived in the Magic Faraway Tree, Q. Then Mrs Suds the Washerwoman could do all our laundry while we ate Pop biscuits with Silky and Moon Face.

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