For Her

Seriously, Bic?  I know the biro was invented by a bloke – but it’s hard to understand what the smurf the people… well, I say people but I think we can safely assume that they’re men of a certain age… at Bic were thinking.  This is the sort of crap that leads to this:

and this:

and then this:

And, ultimately, this is why women still fail to recieve equal pay for equal work.  The same sort of mindset – admittedly at several removes – is directly linked to idiocy like Representative Todd Akin and ‘legitimate rape’ .

I’ve never been so glad my kids are both boys.  As much as I revile the facts and wish things were different, they’ve got a better chance of achieving their goals than their friends who are girls.  Not because they’re smarter or stronger or morally superior, but because their dangly toilet parts put them first in the queue.

Over the last few days I’ve admired the merciless lampooning dished out to this product by comedy sites such as Regretsy and some of the Cheezburger offshoots – but the funniest material are the “product reviews”  submitted by thousands of pro-feminist well-wishers. Make sure your Depends – and let’s hope they’re floral pink, ladies! – are in place, follow the link – if your soft, girly ladybrain can coordinate clicking your mouse (it’s the little pointy thing) – and enjoy comedy gold:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/BIC-For-Amber-Medium-Ballpoint/dp/B004FTGJUW

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203 Responses

  1. Get into the political party kitchen in great numbers, I say, because it is only there you can hope to create media fodder that makes a difference.
    I am continually irritated by the questions of dress, marital status, past lovers/boyfriends, hairdo and all that crap barked at our PM! If she was a bloke she might be asked about policy and performance, in which areas she has far outperformed her predecessor and leaves Mr Rabbit in her wake, somewhere back about a hundred years.

  2. Click my mouse… There’s a mouse? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! CATCH IT! CATCH IT! GET IT OUT OF HERE! I’M NOT COMING DOWN OFF THIS CHAIR UNTIL YOU DO!

    • Really Catty. That sort of thing went out with mini-skirts. Really, really short ones that looked good when the wearer was standing on a chair. Ah, a wise man always took a pocket full of mice with him in those days. And a stool.

  3. Damn. And to think I can blame all those years of writing with a blue/black pen for making me so unfeminine.
    And to think I put it down to being raised by a crazy old black man.

    • I like to think it’s men themselves who have made me unfeminine, so there could be some merit in your original theory, Q.

  4. “Dangly toilet parts”? May I point out Madam (though I am sure you are well aware) that only one of what we scientists call the dangly bits or the tackle has a toilet-related function? Not too sure about the other bit but it may be there to signal the brain when someone has accidentally placed a knee between your legs, as a result of some condescending, gender-related remark. [Hint]

  5. Yes, a knee to the groin is the appropriate response when someone calls you, or another member of the ABC sistahood, a ‘cow’.

  6. Or any use of the phrase “(adjective) (c-word)” in any context.

    Speaking of which, EB asked me the other day – before he became Amish – which word is the c word? I told him “cranberry”.

  7. If you’d said ‘Creationism’ you might have saved him from the Amish.

  8. I wasn’t thinking as clearly as you.

    He’s just come home from school – of course, he walked, as is the way of the Plain People – and has decided that he’ll be Mennonite instead. Or, as he put it “Amish who have evolved”. Thank Gilgamesh that buttons are now back on the menu! At this rate, he’ll be pagan again sometime tomorrow.

  9. Cricket season starts back soon so that should revert him to his natural state.
    i.e. Philistine.

  10. Hmmmm…. a potential convert to Catholicism…. I’ll get my bell, book and candle.

  11. Wow, Amish? That child is well-read. One of mine wants to be a Jedi and the other, Bob the Builder’s cement mixer.

    Where can I get me some of those lady pens? And more importantly, what size batteries do they take and will they arrive in a brown paper package?

    • I don’t really know where it’s come from. I haven’t even showed him a DVD of “Witness”.

  12. Best keep the young paduan out of the bookstores lest he find his true calling in life.
    http://www.amazon.com/Book-Sith-Secrets-Vault-Edition/dp/1612182615

    • That’s it. I want an EB sized t-shirt with Born To Be Sith on it.

      • EB just looked over my shoulder at this and said, “I want” in a deep baritone.

  13. Melbo, I believe the appliance you need is an Hitachi personal massager. Even better for the hip pocket – although just a smidge scary – is that it runs on mains power. Plug it in and you’re good to go – your batteries will never go flat again!

    Catty – yes, you’ll be needing them for the exorcism, regardless of how the conversion goes.

    Q & GB – I can see this costing me a fortune in red and black face paint.

    • Don’t worry, Madam. The Amish don’t wear face paint. Nor do the Mennonite, despite having fallen to the sinful temptation of buttons. Try not to let EB push the red one.

  14. I foresee the day when Elf Boy will strike fear into the dark heart of the empire under the title ‘Darth Megrim’.
    That seems to cover his capriciousness & his powers of persuasion over the school nurse.
    Perhaps the purple spots are in fact midichlorians that are losing their fluorescence as they make the change to the Dark Side.

  15. http://nicnacksnails.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/purple-polka-dots.html

    And nail polish, MM, to help with his mind control over the school nurse.

  16. Hehehe.

    And all this time I thought join the Mexican Professional Wrestling League and become a masked villain called Charm Offensive.

  17. Sorry, but you can’t get charms any more. EBay banned them.

  18. Although if you write away to the mexican pharmacist you might be able to get darts tipped with enough oxytocin to make it work on susceptible targets.
    It worked for McCauley Culkin.
    Possibly a little too well given what happened with Whacko Jacko.

  19. Eh, Catty, I just twigged that a charm offensive without the charm is just, well, offensive. MM, you’re smurfed.

  20. Aren’t we all?

  21. Yes. Yes, we are. However, as is the way of our cyan overlords, at least we are smurfed in company. Without this cyber-collective I’d spend too much valuable reading time rocking in a corner, muttering dark imprecations.

  22. Likewise.
    Well, that or I’d be scanning facebook, wondering why there’s nothing remotely witty or entertaining happening over there. After my year’s observation of FB thru the cat’s account – now ever so satisfyingly, cancelled – I reached the conclusion that all I needed to know about FB could be gleaned from watching paint dry, and if you’re desperate, the occasional brutish sesh of Jerry Springer.

  23. Jerr-ry! Jerr-ry! Jerr-ry! Jerr-ry!

  24. Is he on pay TV? Luckily, I don’t need to subscribe. If you want to see people slagging off their deadbeat exes, or miscellaneous freaks of nature behaving badly around these parts, you can go to the pub. Or, indeed, Coles.

  25. Why travel?
    I just look out the window.

  26. Holy crap. I just found myself agreeing with Sweet Jane Says.
    Twitter told me to follow her so after the obligatory eye roll I clicked ‘stickybeak’ and saw the following:

    ‘I hate Facebook, even my mail carrier has me on her friend’s list. Cousins, classmates, coworkers, students – these people shouldn’t mingle.’

    Should I get help, or believe it when others tell me she’s mellowed?

  27. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  28. Good point. But now you’ve got me wondering WTF else she could possibly have managed to get right. One day when I’m very very bored and the windows need cleaning, I’ll go back and find out.

  29. SJS has friends? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! Good one, Quokka.

  30. Hang on a minute… “students”?!

    What the smurf is she teaching, Advanced Vitriol?

  31. Actually ladies, SJS aka Jerie Leep has definitely mellowed. She’s on my FB friends list, and I follow her on Twitter.

    When I say mellowed, she’s very passionate about what she believes in, politics, environment, indigenous affairs etc., but she shows her passion without resorting to the vitriol she showed on CBG. She commented once, in response to a message about a random “Jane”, that she used to have an alter ego called Jane, and she misses her occasionally.

    She also posts things that she feels the Burgers might enjoy or find interesting and directs them specifically at The Burgers. I’ve chatted with her a few times now. I guess the test will be her response to something I commented on yesterday which disagreed with her post. I’ll let you know how that goes… 🙂

  32. Really?
    I always thought SJS was what you got when you dressed PNB up in drag.

  33. No, I think you’re thinking of The Gang Show.

  34. Newsflash: we just got a call saying council has approved our DA.
    Won’t see the fine print and the many restrictive clauses/unreasonable demands till Monday but until then, Whoohoo and Yeehah!
    Now we just need to rob a bank to pay for it.

  35. Try looking under your couch cushions for spare cash. You might find a few dollars – or half a Tim Tam.

  36. Nup. I vacuumed under there yesterday. All I found was bits of dessicated carrot (the dog eats them) and a whole lotta dust bunnies.

  37. Congratulations, Q. I do hope the gun turret gets through OK.

    It’s kind of poignant to think of the dust bunnies having mummified carrots to snack on. Can’t you leave them there as a sort of desiccated tableau?

  38. Plenty more where that lot came from.
    And yes, I was just texting my nice neighbour the happy news & to invite her over to raise a glass to Mrs. Flanders’ overburdened spleen. Once the new Quokka Tower is in place & I’m esconced in my eyrie with the nerf gun sniper rifle trained in her toilet window, Dog only knows how she’ll manage a bowel movement. They’ll either have to fortify their ensuite with anti-missile defence systems, or sell up and move to the Western suburbs where they belong, where I think they’d fit in quite well with their 4WDing wife-slaying and axe murdering friends.

  39. Oh and MM, I think there was a clause from council in response to Mrs. F’s 30 page diatribe of nonsensical complaints that we’re allowed a larger than normal gun turret in Fort Quokka in view of our special needs. 🙂

  40. I’ve always said you were special, Q.

  41. What you really need on the tower is one of those motion detecting spotlights, pointed directly into their toilet window, so that it lights up every time a Flanders goes in there.

  42. Not sure that’ll help with what they’ll be flashing back at me, Ms. Catty, but your idea is noted under * Potential Neighbourly Irritants and applauded.

  43. Indeed. If you got a light bright enough to singe them, the power bills be ruinous.

    How about an animatronic T-rex, just like the one Clive Palmer’s putting up in my back yard?

  44. Don’t panic, I’m sure he doesn’t want to play with it, just eat it.

  45. Hehehe.

    Elf Boy and I were discussing his favourite Roman emperor – Caligula, of course – and he asked me, “Mumma, why do people like that go crazy?”

    Me: “Because power corrupts, son. They rule over a lot of things and people and so they start to think they rule everything. Caligula thought he could send his armies to defeat the sea. The Egyptian Pharaohs and even some of the French Kings thought they were Gods on earth.”

    EB (thinks for a while): “So all the power goes straight to their heads and boom! They explode?”

    I wish Clive Palmer could have been there to hear it.

  46. I hate it when that happens to me.

  47. I like your explanation.
    When I asked that question the reply was ‘lead in the water pipes’.
    Although the same does explain why Clive’s got no lead in his pencil, and no need to faff about explaining physiology and the side effects of medication on obnoxious corpulent middle aged men.

  48. Hehehe. So you think Rexxie might be the billionaire version of a compensatory Porsche? That explains the flame-spewing…

    Personally, mild-mannered and pacifistic as I am, I’d love to HAVE enough power to have the luxury of letting it go to my head. Enforcing a strict bedtime and prohibiting people from watching TV in the morning before school don’t really cut it.

  49. Your time will come, my innocent one.
    I was out with a friend yesterday who has three children aged 17-24 and she looked at me in horror when I said how I’d told my nieces if they wanted to use drugs and drink themselves silly this was their choice but drugs and alcohol wouldn’t be welcome here at Casa Q. And nor was the drug dealing boyfriend, I had enough of that with my sister. Amazing how unreasonable I seemed when I enforced that.
    My GF lets all of her kids and their friends do whatever they like at her house because she’s one of those mothers who is afraid they’ll just do it at someone else’s house if they’re not doing it at home. Curiously one of her friend’s kids died at home a week ago doing exactly what she was worried he’d be doing at one of his mate’s places.
    My GF looked shocked when I said ‘My attitude is if they have to pay for food and rent and transport then there’s not much left over for fun and that’s how they learn to set priorities – and they soon figure that out the same way that we did, by living away from home.’
    All her kids work, still live at home, contribute nothing to the family income, cause friction between her and her husband because he thinks they should contribute something to the cost of their living, and as they have good jobs they have lots and lots of money which they spend on holidays to Bali for tattoos and cheap drugs.
    I’m having another day of thanking the gods that we didn’t have children. They’re nice enough when they’re under 12 but add booze, drugs and hormones, and you’re left with the antichrist. Ugh.

    • Q – I have to wonder at some of the tweenadults I’ve encountered recently. They are a special breed. They are themselves children of privilege but not smart enough to realise it. How does all this living at home until you’re 30 help to set you up for life? I first noticed it when I came to Melbourne and it seemed a cultural phenom – in some aspects, it probably is – but it is now a generational thing. I have a friend who doesn’t want her 27 year old adult son to “waste” money on rent. So they are going to help him with a deposit for a house. He lives at home and earns a full wage. What the …????? You know, it’s their money and they can spend it how they like but whenever he gets into some difficulty and requires bailing out, I have to bite my tongue.

  50. The Teen is in for a hell of a shock when her government funded free ride ends next year, on her 18th birthday. She had better start honing her shmoozing skills pretty damned quick smart, if she plans on having somewhere to live. Or she could get a job. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Damn, I’m funny.

    To be honest, our household budget is much healthier since she left. The daily screaming matches, the mind games, the bullshit, and the constant tension are not missed, either. So, as you may well guess, moving back home isn’t going to be an option for my wayward offspring.

    This is especially true after a phone call I had yesterday, telling me of a childhood friend who is in hospital. She’s the guidance counsellor for three NQ high schools. The stress of that job has encouraged her heavy nicotine habit, as well as contributing to the ‘brain bleed’ that has hospitalised her. Actually using the word ‘stroke’ was too hard for the interns, so they left it to the brain surgeon who spoke to my friend a week later. (I’ve come across this phenomenon numerous times in QLD hospitals. It must be an insurance thing.). The scary thing is that my friend is only two years older than I am. As I am at an increased risk of stroke due to a defective heart, and I’m supposed to avoid stress, mortality is rearing its ugly head and it is screaming at me not to let my ADHD, ODD teenaged daughter back into the house. No need to scream, Mort. I’ve already changed the locks.

    • Catty – I can think of no better reason for a lock changing. Sorry to hear about your heart. It does seem as if we are approaching that age bracket when things start happening. Hope your friend recovers well.

  51. Defective heart, Catty? I’ve always thought yours was big, but in the right place.

    Ever since my weasels were tiny, I’ve been terrified of their adolescence, don’t get me wrong – but I’m still glad I had them. It’s lovely when we’re just home together and everyone’s well and getting on… must be some sort of primeval urge to have your tribe around you, or something.

    And my two are growing up to have a strong bond, which is also good. Whether it’s a pub brawl or an emotional crisis, nice to know your brother has your back.

    Hmm, it’s not like me to be sentimental. Excuse me while I go and read the fine print on these cold and flu tablets.

  52. Catty – what Melbo said. As for kids, I know I’ve been reassuring before but it really can be OK. Hairy Greybeardson will be 30 next birthday and he’s the youngest (oh god I’m so old!) He lived at home till a few years ago, squalidly squatting in front of the computer most of the time but being easy to get on with. Now he has a real job, a car and washes his cup when he comes around for coffee! His housemate OTOH . . . Rich parents, all the goodies, total lack of responsibility. Her mum said to HG that he must have been covering some of her bills. “Why, er, yes. Occasionally.” “I knew” said Mum, “She hasn’t been asking us for money lately.” I know he’s a sucker – though he’s toughening up – but I’d rather be his dad than the housemate’s. And Madam, he still gives his mum big hugs whenever he sees her. And says he’ll most likely kill me in the morning.

    • GB maybe I should have phrased that rant more cautiously so I apologise if it sounded like I was lumping all the 20 and 30 year olds into that boat. I well remember how it took me a couple of years to find a full wage position after uni … did stuff around the house, had part time work and paid board to the family till I could sort things out. It is even more challenging now for the ones leaving school and uni.

      It’s one thing to help your kids out because anyone would of course. But some of the young ones I know who have all the benefits of adult life with none of the responsibilities are a worry.

  53. Oh and we just came back from the West End markets with Greek custard slice, vanilla bean and espresso Cannoli and dark chocolate Rocky Road. And there’s still a Darrell Lea at Indooroopilly. Ah, Fifi has just arrived with a coffee and a selection of Cannoli. I must go and joyfully clog my arteries.

  54. Thanks, GB. I’m pro-offspring, too… sure, they’re germy and make a lot of mess, but they’ve been very loving of late.

    Oh, just had a thought – is it affection, or these very chilly nights we’ve been having?

  55. Well the cats have been snuggly too but I attribute that to forgetting to shut the windows properly so the temperature outside and inside the house have been much the same.
    Catty, that’s dreadful news. I hope your friend will be OK. As for your defective heart, I second what Madam said and will add a piece of Dad’s wisdom ‘The devil doesn’t want us in hell, so we’ll live forever.’
    I’ve had a few near misses so I assume the above clause applies to the rest of us troublemakers otherwise I’d be pushing up daisies in a field somewhere by now & getting shat on by cows. There’s a special clause in my will that references holy ground and the prohibition of any part of me entering thereof. Much like scientology I think that contract’s good for at least a billion years.

    Mel, I have a tendency to get very cynical because of what I see around me. West End is full of Greeks and old hippies and the Greeks seem to be doing a much nicer job raising their kids than the old stoners around here. I just had two teenagers sachet past in the street, passing a joint to each other and blithely unconcerned that their smoke was blowing up the nostrils of the under 8s on the footpath riding bikes and climbing trees and into the lungs of a toddler in their midst. There’s a lot of money in my burb and a lot of very stoned Laissez Faire parents it’s bred some revolting narcissistic entitled little shits.

  56. Did anyone else know that Errol Flynn used to run guns in PNG?

    Funny, you’d think he’d be more of a sword man.

  57. Heh heh heh. too bad you are not visiting today, MM, after the stoners walked past I had the strangest urge to go off and make red velvet cupcakes. Being a tad confused I put ordinary white sugar in instead of castor sugar so the Bloke is complaining they aren’t as sweet or as chocolatey as usual. Khan Greybeard and his lovely wife are popping in later to see them.
    Sorry about the rant. Everywhere I went yesterday I encountered foul children & then when I thought we’d come home to peace, the step-children next door turned up and started enacting a scene from The Omen part IV. Nice kids are few and far between in these parts.
    Between that and Aunt Irma I was tempted to get out the crimping shears and do a DIY hysterectomy.

  58. Never apologise for ranting, Q – it is our raison d’etre. But, in case they ever bother dropping in here and looking up the archives, I feel that I should say nice things about the weasels from time to time. Because – despite the mess and the smells – they’re actually my favourite people in the world. And the Otherworld.

    Funny the difference castor sugar makes, isn’t it? You’d think it wouldn’t matter, but it’s all about crumb size or something. Baking is very technical, I prefer to stirfry.

    There are some pinking shears over at the Corner. We’ll give them a good rinse after the latest round of castrations.

    You know, you hear people saying ‘everything happens for a reason’, but after last night I’m starting to think there might be something in it. Sitting home with EB last night, working my way through a box of Aloe Vera Kleenex and hanging out for my next dose of Nurofen, Uncle rang. And then proceeded to describe some symptoms he’d been having, wondering if he should go to A&E or wait until Thursday to see his GP. I won’t say much here because of confidentiality – and the risk of boring everyone to tears – but as far as I could tell I couldn’t rule out a stroke and told him if he didn’t go to hospital I’d drive up there and take him myself.

    Sure, maybe it’ll end up being something silly, but still. Better safe than a drooling vegetable.

    Oh, and I got to the bottom of the nose bleeds EB’s been enjoying, that have been keeping me up for the last few nights. His mate at school shoved some gravel up his nose. On Thursday. The other good thing about being sick is your ‘meh’ factor rises exponentially and the power you’d usually divert to homicidal rage is all focused on keeping you upright.

    Love to GB and Fifi and wish I was there!

  59. I wish I was there too. And no, it’s not just because of the RV cupcakes – I have a German chocolate cake in the oven, so I have enough cake.

    What am I saying? There’s never enough cake. Especially when Aunt Irma keeps eating it all. And all the chocolate. The bitch managed to get through an entire bag of chocolate coated honeycomb last night. On the new couch. I am so dead when the Boss finds out.

  60. How will he ever know, Catty? It’s not like you to leave crumbs.

    Liiiiiiiick!

  61. Well at least next time Elfboy comes home from school with a gravelly voice you’ll know who to pin it on.
    I suspect the only reason your kids would check in here is to check if you’ve been humiliating them online (they don’t read Catty’s blog, do they?), which is what the Bloke assumes is my sole use for publicly viewed Social Media.
    gosh MM I hope Uncle Randy Vet is OK. Keep us posted and by all means drag him kicking and screaming to the horsepiddle if he won’t take himself.
    Onto other news Khan Greybeard and Fifi came for lunch of TA sushi kotobuki and we all ate Red Velvet cake. Yum. He took a few home for forensic analysis as he’s thinking of adding the Hellboy colouring to his next batch of radio-active sludge based bio-weapons, well, that and to gloat to JB. We are all feeling like we’ve eaten and drunk rather too much but that’s standard, really.

  62. Hehehe. I’m just hoping he never has a frog in his throat.

    Can’t believe I missed joining you all… sounds divine. Still, since my weekend was so “interesting” – in the Chinese curse sense – might have been just as well.

    Uncle did as he was told and presented to the hospital. One joyride in an ambulance and CT scan later, and thank smurf it’s only nerve root compression in his neck. It’s not hayfever, but it’s the best of the bad-case scenarios I had running through my head most of last night. Can’t believe he did as he was told – either Uncle is mellowing or I’m growing more authoritative with age.

  63. Yes, we had fun but we would have had much more fun if you were here. Another time.
    I am still cursing Khan GB for leaving me alone with a bag of rocky road as I ate it for dinner while the bloke was off at the AFL. Between that and the Red Velvet colouring in my veins I’m feeling quite unhinged. Maybe I should make a nice big healthy batch of veggie/lentil lasagne today in order to antidote it.

    I can’t believe Uncle RV was so compliant about taking himself off for medical attention. I cannot for the life of me imagine John doing as he’s told. Perhaps you should test him for signs of dementia. Well, that or congratulate your aunt and his clients for breaking his spirit.
    As for his neck, acupuncture or a trip to the osteo might help and as that sort of thing tends to niggle and make one cranky, it might pay to give that advice to the person who’s likely to suffer most from that – your aunt.
    Well, I began the unpleasant task of cleaning out my paper tray, yesterday.
    Mostly because we couldn’t find our copy of the house plans and Council hadn’t bothered to include the complete set in the DA.
    It’s gradually been dawning on us, the sense of liberty and wonder that we’re out of that frigging hell trap, and each time we go over the plans we find some other questionable thing that they probably should have stomped on, but didn’t. It just proves my theory that if you want to get something non-queenslanderish through council it’s just a matter of being prepared to sit and wait until they get sick of you. Truly. There’s six names signed off on the smurfing thing and not one of them has cared to comment on any of the creative license that we’ve taken with the planning regulations. Looks like it was all just Too Much Effort. Then again, one of the things that we’ve just noticed is that they don’t require us to put battens over the windows in our sun-room that will be overlooking Mrs. Flanders’ garden & her deck off to that side. She will pitch a fit but as it’s not on the DA, nobody will care.
    In Town Planning, nobody can hear you scream.

  64. Or they may be able to hear you scream, but they can’t be smurfed doing a damn thing about it. Speaking of Mrs F, did you ever source some outlandish rainwater tanks? These are nice:
    http://www.baag.com.au/?page_id=360

    I take your point about acupuncture, but I don’t think it’s logistically possible for him to access any. Their town (population 14 or so) does have a pub, but that’s it. It’s a 30 minute drive for bread and milk, over an hour to a reasonable-sized city whether you go north or south.

    Since ‘reasonable’ in this context means Maryborough (home of the gay coffee wars: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/gay-barista-says-a-coffee-shop-war-is-brewing-in-maryborough/story-e6freon6-1226463047294) and Gympie, and part of having a damaged neck and nerve impingement is trouble gripping the steering wheel, and restricted neck movement… it ain’t gonna happen.

    Which is a great shame, because I haven’t told him but I dread to think of him in the hands of the orthopods and/or neurosurgeons. My big hope is that they might be able to give him some physio exercise he could do at home, but he’s kept in great shape, with life-long vegetarianism, weight-lifting and work around the property, so I suspect he’s in as peak condition as a bloke his age can get.

  65. Yes, I think you’re probably right. If he ever comes to visit you then perhaps you could tee up an appointment with my acupuncturist mate up the hill. I can see those two getting on rather well.
    I saw the headline for the coffee wars and diverted to my usual ‘autopilot ignore’. I very much doubt that the solution to dealing with a problematic personality involves dobbing them in to the Courier Mail – they’ll probably just put them on the payroll and give them their own column.
    Which reminds me, I wonder if someone has a twitter account called ‘The Curious Snail’. Think of the fun we could have with that. Although if you wanted to do a good job of the parody it would involve reading the actual paper daily and I’m not sure my stomach could deal with that.
    You know me, I blame most antisocial behaviour on the rise in popularity of reality TV. Everyone’s trying to get their own show so they model the behaviour they see on Big Brother and the Kardashians.
    The shop where we buy our pool chemicals down the road (part of the flood community) has had a competitor move in to the shop next door. Seriously. Two pool shops, side by side. Because you have to get to the original one via accessing an alley, apparently a lot of his original customers have thought that it’s the same shop, just relocated to a more visible spot.
    I won’t go into the new shop because it’s just such a blatantly aggressive attempt to run someone else out of business, and if the original guy goes under, I will be shopping for pool chemicals in another suburb.

    I don’t know what gets into humanity, some days.
    Channel 9, most likely.

  66. oh and noes, I haven’t been out to Clontarf to visit the rain water tanks yet. they aren’t open on weekends which is a pain. I’m weighing up the pleasure to be had from annoying Mrs. Flanders with 8 foot lurid lego blocks v. the displeasure of Nbob should he ever visit me and offer up a lecture on the evils of burdening our water ways with even greater quantities of eroding plasticides.

  67. It’s worth checking with your council about water tank taxes. Back in early ’07, John Howard started muttering about taxing people with rainwater tanks, because they were inhibiting the natural flow of rainwater into cachements and reserves, and making it harder for the government to source water for drought stricken areas (i.e, everywhere). That tax never came to fruition, what with the federal election putting a big pointy boot into Howard’s tushie. But it did give some local councils the brilliant idea of introducing a tank levy. Several councils do it, including ours, but it’s cleverly worded so most people with rainwater tanks don’t realise that’s what they’re paying. $50 a year mightn’t seem too harsh, but I’d rather blow that money at Haigh’s, thanks very much.

  68. They’ll never know it’s there, Catty.
    Our local council had a rebate on water tanks up until recently and here in my suburb – after the floods and the hullaballoo over exactly how the populace thinks we should have coped with the torrent that could’ve filled three Sydney harbours in last year’s downpour – any councillor who argues that there should be more water in the catchments risks ending up with their head on a pike in the town square.
    It’s entirely predictable though that John Winston Howard would view suburban water tanks as an environmental risk far greater than that posed by Cubby Station & everyone else who filches water out of the Murray-Darling catchment.

    Which reminds me, I must try to get down to Adelaide again while there’s still water in the Coorong. It was very sad seeing it empty and sulphorous when we were there just before the drought broke.

  69. Ooooh, a trip south? Good oh! Drop in on your way through, o.k?

  70. Am I invited? I’ll bring some macadamia nut brittle. And vodka, obviously.

    A friend of mine back in the 80s used to call the CM ‘Curious Snail’, partially because of their habit of being always last with the news. Nowadays it’s good for a few things, though – I mean, who doesn’t like a crossword or another Matt Preston recipe?

    I made Uncle open the letter to his doctor and read it out to me, and it doesn’t look too bad. He says he’s coming down soon, so when that eventuates I’ll see if I can tee something up with Rhino. Hmm, teeing up is golf, isn’t it… needle him until he visits the acupuncturist; point out that acupuncture might be beneficial; prick his conscience…

  71. And if we combine this with the chatter about male infant circumcision we could say ‘It’s just a little prick’.

  72. Hehehe.

    ‘Little prick’. The only words more aversive to a male than “we need to talk”.

  73. (he tiptoes in, checks the new comments and quietly slinks away . . . )

  74. Dear GB. So easily repulsed.

    • I’m such a sensitive little cowa, um, chicken. Ask Fifi.

      • All men have certain sensitivities. The space between the sixth and seventh ribs on the left, for example.

  75. Yes, and all it takes is a little prick.

  76. Hehehe.

    I know I’m immature, but every time you say that, I crack up.

  77. Same here. Quokka, you’re noor-ty!

  78. yes, that’s what they said at school.
    What would it be like, I wonder, to evolve?
    Then again there are those -like my spouse – who think I am evolving and not in a good way, my inner core of evil just grows exponentially.
    Perhaps its the Hell Boy red in the RVCupcakes?

  79. Perhaps it’s a side-effect of the PRC snot plague. Because MM came home from school and said, “I am the Prince of Evil. Darkness is where I hide. Shadows do my bidding…” and etc., along those lines.

    If he’d mentioned being Legion or Lord of the Flies I was planning to make a run for the nearest holy water… or at least a jar of minced garlic… but then his brother punched him and he got distracted.

  80. I didn’t know the Amish were allowed to punch anyone – even if they are the AntiChrist.

  81. That’s one of the good things that has come out of this week – Elf Boy is no longer Amish, or even Mennonite.

    He’s reverted to being… umm, whatever it is he usually is. Is there an active Lego cult? He’d join that like a shot.

  82. You’d better pop over and layby that Star Wars Book of Sith. EB’s going to need it.

  83. Good call, Catty. Although, I did see “Exorcism in a Box” on Amazon – comes with free miniature bell and candle (book not supplied).
    http://link not supplied because I made it up

    What incense do you reckon goes well with exorcism? Frankincense is too Christmassy, and Patcholi reminds me of wet hippy.

  84. Did someone mention Exorcism? I am so back here!

    Now there’s this http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2011/07/01/vatican-launches-home-exorcism-kit/ but to be honest I think it’s a bit of a joke. We need something stronger. If it was Elf Boy, I’d go for this http://odditiesoflife.tumblr.com/post/26597944665/odditiesoflife#.UEWoB4a9q8w and hang the expense. But with Magic Man, you might get away with http://www.ebay.com/itm/Miniature-Cleansing-Kit-of-Spirits-Ghosts-Neg-Energy-Exorcism-/230845255451?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35bf730f1b – a real bargain at that price.

    As for incense, I’d recommend http://www.alchemy-works.com/incense_asafoetida.html or http://www.jcrowsmarketplace.com/dolmaasafoetidahealingincense.aspx. Admittedly it can make the place smell like a badly maintained morgue, but it’ll drive those evil spirits out. Along with your household pets and neighbours.

    And don’t forget, if you need a hand doing unspeakable things to Elf Boy (like tattooing “If you think I’m cute, you should see my Auntie” on his chest) I’m available at any time.

    • Hehehe.

      Why do you hate my little one so? All he ever did to you was shoot you right between the eyes on first sight. He often speaks kindly of you: “When will we see Uncle Target Practise again, Mumma?” and etcetera.

      • Au contraire Madam, I like and admire him. Reminds me of D#2 who got up one morning (she was about 4) and spoke in a very high-pitched squeaky voice. When we asked why – with fear & foreboding – she explained that the squirrels had taken her voice during the night and left her with a squirrel voice. She kept it up most of the day, along with requests for nuts and occasional “scampering”. EB would have fitted right in to our lot.

  85. This one:
    http://naturalmagickshop.com/incense/Exorcism-incense.html

  86. I LOVE that quote from Fr Amorth: “If anyone can, Vatican”. Beautiful!

    The experts (GB & Quokka) have both recommended asafoetida as the exorcism incense-of-choice. But as I’m one of those insufferable Catholic types, I recommend doing what the bible says: put a dried sardine in a corner of the room and set fire to it.

  87. When you quote Father Amorth, all I can think of is that dancing cactus who used to sell taco kits on TV – “Vatican? Yes, you can! If a cactus can, then anyone can…”

    Thanks for the inspiration, people, but since my house already smells a bit like long-dead flesh… mental note, must check under the couch for corpses again… I thought I’d go with Catty’s suggestion. Unfortunately, since my sardine was packed in spring water, not oil, I couldn’t get it to ignite until I drenched it in lighter fluid.

    Now my children are sanctified, but the lounge-room smells of ill-tended mortuary, singed curtain, barbecued sardine and accelerants. It’s like Beach Blanket Bingo at the House of Frankenstein – but on the plus side no-one’s spewed up any ectoplasm in hours.

  88. Beach Blanket Bingo…. No, I won’t ask. I’ll regret it, won’t I?

    Actually, I love sardines. The Boss despises them. They’re the perfect deterrent for those rare occasions when his overly amorous advances aren’t appreciated. If I were ever to cook sardines in the crockpot, he’d probably never come home again.

  89. Oh, me too. I like to make sardines in white sauce, with onions and lemon pepper and parsley, and have it on toast for breakfast. That is, I did. EB loves it too. But MM has threatened to leave home and never come back if we eat it again.

    Spoilsport.

    Now, riddle me this, ladies. Should I be grateful that while my Mother was here, -since I was sick – she cleaned my toilet… or cranky that she’s left bleach all over the seat. And I sat on it (as you do), and now my best black shirt has got white/orange bleach stains up the back?

  90. Oh, I remember that feeling. The bemusement of discovering that my MIL had put my favourite bra through the dryer. Do I thank her for doing my laundry, or do I demand a replacement bra? As it turned out, the bra shrank. And as I’m mammographically challenged, it ended up fitting better. So all was good.

    I’d recommend that you take this opportunity to buy yourself a new blouse. Any excuse for new clothes is a good excuse. Also never wear black when your mother visits – in fact, it would be best if you wore your white/orange patterned blouse every time she comes over. When she mentions the marks, you can make a comment about how you must have left bleach on the toilet seat. This will probably prompt your mother to clean the toilet for you ‘to show you how it’s done’. If she visits often, you may never have to clean your toilet again.

  91. She’s up once a week, usually. That should be enough, barring unforeseen acts of explosive diarrhoea.

    I mean, hell – it’s not like we have to eat off it!

  92. Have to? I find myself constantly reminding the kidlets NOT to.

  93. Hehehe.

    Make sure you get photos, for their 21sts. Do people even have 21sts any more? They’re all sexting at 10, drinking at 12 and hooked on bath salts by 14… we should change 21sts from a celebration of the beginning of adulthood to a celebration that they’ve managed to survive so far.

  94. I think the 21st thing has been replaced by the 18th. Bah. As if any 18 year old has a clue about anything. I can’t even make them get off my danged lawn.

  95. I knew 18-year-olds were fond of grass, but I never thought they’d infest your lawn, Catty.

    Why not do as Council does, and blast a bit of Mozart at ’em… or perhaps, in your case, a little Patsy Cline? Preferably through flamingo-shaped speakers.


  96. Too posh for my neighbourhood, they’d stand out and be vandalized.
    Although if you made it white ibis playing Hall & Oates cover songs they’d blend in with the wheely bin throwover at Bog Hollow and confuse the crap out of the stoners.
    Another great marketing idea from the Coven.

  97. What a vile and thoroughly nauseating concept, Q.

    Well done.

  98. Thank you, thank you. What can I say?
    Vile and nauseating is my area of expertise.

  99. Stick with what you know, I say – mine is slatternly and distractible.

  100. And mine is gluttonous and obtuse.

    Actually, I reckon that smooth muzak would have a better effect if you rigged up the speakers in the skulls on the pikes of your fence. Hey, why not treat your neighbours to a little Richard Cheese?

  101. Hehehe. Apertif for Destruction. Make mine a double.

    Charming as I find Mr Cheese’s tinkling stylings, I reckon Q should stick with the prevailing theme and go a bit of Rob Zombie. “More Human Than Human” ought to confuse them.

  102. Smooth.
    It’s just occurred to me I didn’t have a note for being AWOL yesterday.
    I was out on a playdate.
    If any of you are tempted to go and see Hope Springs – DON’T!
    It was even worse than Tom Hanks with the scooter at TAFE.
    My GF and I try to see a movie once a month or so and wow, have we picked some lemons.

  103. I’m told that Sapphires one with Deb Mailman and Jessica Mauboy is a winner.

    If you’re going to the DVD shop – and are in that rare mood for gore-drenched Hungarian arthouse, you know the one that strikes every 113 years or so? – then hire “Bathory”. About the life story of the famous countess and alleged virgin-slaughtering vampire. When you get to the part where she’s kept her stillborn baby in a block of ice – and takes him on a road trip! – you’ll know you’re on a winner.

    Disclaimer: I’m joking. Can’t think who this would appeal to, even other homicidal Hungarians. Art direction was fabulous, but even I couldn’t stomach it, and I’ve got a pretty high threshold – after all, I did work for Qld Health.

  104. I’d think about Sapphires but Bob Ellis said it was the best movie ever. In other news, I’ve just ordered something that looks like a small pump-action shotgun (in happy yellow) which blasts a pinch of salt at annoying . . . insects. Yes. Just insects. It’s called Bug-A-Salt and I look forward to it with indecent anticipation. Sometimes I don’t think I should be allowed on the Internet. I even told Fifi so she’d stop me but she said go ahead.

  105. Does it also come in a “Get off my dang lawn!” size for neighbourhood school children?

    If so, I know what to get Q for AntiChristmas.

  106. I’ve already put in a request for a nerf gun sniper rifle.
    My nice neighbour across the road wants one too and on Cranky Days we plan to hide in my shrubbery and shoot at random FKwits.
    There’s so many to choose from.

  107. I quite like the look of the ones that shoot the little green discs.

    Pick your target carefully – i.e. sufficiently crazy – and you could quite easily convince them aliens were attacking.

  108. But the salt, it stings. Now imagine EB is facing away from you and he bends over. You take careful aim and . . .

    • Poor little EB has such a tiny arse, you’d want to be a crack shot.

      • “Crack” shot. Heeheehee. You win.

  109. Don’t bother with the Nerf disc gun. It takes about a thousand* C batteries, which run down within 15 minutes. Add to that the loud, incessant, whining noise (as if I don’t get enough of that from the kidlets), and the surprisingly awkward weight of the thing, and you have a weapon that is more likely to do your shoulder, ears and hip pocket more damage than it could possibly do to any intended victims. Stick with the granny bra slingshot. It’s way more fun.

    (*only a slight exaggeration.)

  110. Thanks, GB – I only come up with a good one once in a blue moon (boom tish!).

    Excellent product review, Catty. I agree that whining is only a selling point in a circular saw. Know any good crossbows?

  111. Newsbreak: I have spent the afternoon with a tech nerd.
    After four years together with the mac I can now work itunes.
    I have discovered a website called ‘WTF’s for dinner?’ which abuses you
    I have installed the latest version of Adobe Flash (AKA Adobe Crash)
    Now I can’t view youtube.
    Smurfing bloody adobe flash.
    I’ve just loaded up on hops and valerian & I’m hoping to stay up till 10.30pm in the hopes of remaining unconscious till 5am.
    Which means if I’m not on twitter at 4.30am it worked.
    Gnight troops.

  112. Hehehe. I think I can speak for Catty when I say we already have people pestering us about what’s for dinner – mine sometimes ask straight after breakfast, what the smurf’s with that? – but congrats on your new iTuneability, Q.

    I hope as I type this, bleary eyed and weary, you got more sleep than me. Still, I managed 5 1/2 hours so I feel almost human.

    I mean, there’s only so much sleep can do.

  113. Yes. I made it to 2.57am. Plus side is that after 60-90 minutes I dozed off, and the bloke knows to wake me at 5.30 unless my head is doing 360C rotations and I’m speaking in tongues. Why isn’t that listed in the symptoms, I wonder?
    Anyhoo.
    I saw your comment over at twitter about GGreer.
    Anita H retweeted someone’s comment that ‘GG has promised not to say anything mean during the opening address of the BWF.’
    To which I responded ‘vow of silence, then?’
    AH: ‘I WISH!’
    I don’t think we missed much by not being there in a room full of opinionated luminaries.
    Well, the MAC nerd told me I need to go out and buy some apple gadgets so I may just do that today. Apparently I have a sick mouse.
    I blame the cat.
    There’s some gig on at the BWF today where you can go into SLQ and play with all sorts of ereaders and kindles and get advice on what’s the best match for you. So if 11am comes and I’m awake and not homicidal I may head down there. Not excited by the idea of masses of people, unless they’re in sumo suits and I’m allowed to push them in the river.

  114. That sounds like fun. I wish I could push a few pompous gits into the river.

    I also wish you two were close by. A lady from Nutrimetics rang me to say I’d won a free facial for myself and two friends. Woo hoo! I thought. Girly pamper sesh! Bring forth the petits fours and fruity lexia (It makes you sexia)! But it’s a bit far for you to drive/fly for the privilege of having gloop slathered on your faces prior to the inevitable product hard-sell. That sucks severely. Now I have to find someone else to ply with cupcakes and spritzers. *sigh*

  115. You haven’t seen much of our faces, Catty – they’d probably want hazard pay, anyway.

    Oooh, Q – go to the ereader symposium and find out which one I would like, please. A friend has offered to buy me one but I don’t know which one to choose. For a start, who’s got one with a purple cover?

  116. Finally the freaking Apple Trolls have let me onto your blog.
    Grr. bloody technology.
    Well, I’ve been to the pool and done laps for 30 minutes in chilly water and I still feel no more awake, alert, tolerant of humanity or organised than I did when I woke up this morning.
    Grrr, rrr, rrr. and more Grrr.
    So I might pass on that little expedition.
    When I finally did get back to sleep at 4.30am or whatever it was, I had that recurring dream that I have that I’m back at school, except this time instead of the usual Repeating Modern History class that I have to sit through (by smurf I hated that class) I was on the bus on the way home, 47, but in my school uniform, and I was so freaking tired that i fell asleep, missed the turnaround at the depot and woke up on my way back into the city.
    Even when I’m sleeping I’m dreaming that I’m tired.
    Meh.
    I can’t wait for scientists to invent Stasis.
    When they do, I plan to spend the entirety of spring like Ripley, tucked up with my cats unconscious in a plastic jar.

    Catty trust me, you’d need more than hazard pay to try to put makeup and moisturizer on me. My skin reacts to chemicals and as I’ve apparently got an abnormally acidic pH, the only stuff that works on me is acidic/citrus type scents.
    Anything remotely floral turns to mortein on my skin. I stick with sorbalene and stuff from the body shop that’s passed the Bug Killer Test. They’ve got some mandarin type body butter that they only bring out in summer so I think this season I’ll go forth and stockpile it so that I don’t wind up smelling like a walking Mozzie Killer throughout next year. Citronella is so much more palatable.

  117. I thought citronella WAS a mozzie killer?

  118. I think citronella just offends them, until they move somewhere more fragrant.

    You know it’s funny, Q – not only did I also hate Modern History… I’d smuggle a crime novel in, and read it under the desk. One tragic day my Agatha Christie was confiscated before I’d found out whodunnit… but I can’t wear florals either. They make me smell like I’ve been cleaning toilets, and we all know just how unlikely that is. Sometimes orientals are OK, if they’re heavy on the woods and musks, but I stuck to sandalwood or frankincense oils for years. Then I discovered men’s aftershave. Currently Bvlgari Blv is my fave.

    EB has a mate over to play. They’re making monsters out of plasticine, and Little Mate just said to EB, “Come on! Let’s go and save the world from good!!”

    I think he’s found his soul mate.

  119. I suppose now is not a good time to say that Modern History was one of my favourite subjects. Don’t ask me what I learned though because I can’t remember now. It was the shiz at the time, I thought.

    Q, I’m a citrus scent woman too. Anything cazsh and outdoorsy … you know, to go with my ready-for-action persona.

  120. Oh and speaking of Aunt Irma, the bitch is back in these parts too.

    While I’m on the subject of stupid female products, has anyone read the tear off strips on the pads lately? Apparently, fun factz and trivia questions are necessary to keep women amused while they try to change a pad. Who knew?

    • You know what would amuse me at “that time of the month”?

      A case of Stolichnaya and a Kalashnikoff.

  121. MM are you sure he said ‘good’ and it wasn’t ‘god’?
    I find that sweaty horse and wet dog work well for me as they tend to repel anything that’s not compatible with wildlife.
    Mel that’s ridiculous.
    The day I have to wear my glasses to attend to my lady parts is the day I give up and book myself into a sheltered workshop.
    I had to chat to my GP the other day (bloodwork from the allergist, which he’d neglected to pass on and she nearly had apoplexy trying to track it down.
    She had a young male med student in there ‘learning’ (how to be snotty at trainee pathologists via speakerphone) so he amused himself asking questions about my announcement that I think I’m perimenopausal.
    GP: what’s your period like?
    Me: ‘Well, basically it’s like a rat crawled up there and died. One of my BFs is a GP, she think that sounds normal.’
    Student, twitching: What’s the discharge like?
    Me: It’s like the rat disintegrates and falls out over the next 10 – 14 days. You know – some days it’s bits of pelt or a tail, and other days it’s the ears and whiskers. The organs go early in the piece and they’re always messy.
    GP: yep, that sounds like menopause.
    Student: Oh.

    I do hope he uses that in a case study.

  122. Melbo, we’re quite happy for you to like almost anything that takes your fancy – just as long as we’re not forced to study it. We do draw the line this side of Lobes, though.

    Oh! If only we were all in for the Blessed Pause. I’m close enough to the edge without another smurfing pregnancy scare. I was in Lifeline on Friday – shopping, btw, not seeking counsel – and the three crones staffing the place were enjoying the hell out of their menopause. I can’t remember how we got onto the topic, but one of them turned to me:

    Crone 1: “But we don’t tell men that.”
    Me: “Don’t worry, I tell men as little as possible. They won’t hear it from me.”

    Discussion turned to the joys of HRT:

    Crone 3: “I’ve got to take my pills. If I get cranky my husband says, ‘Beryl, have you taken your pill?'”
    Me: “You mean oestrogen? Because I haven’t noticed the naturally occurring stuff making me particularly cheery.”
    Crone 1: “Yes, it’s terrific. Better than sex.”
    Me: “And you don’t have to change the sheets afterwards.”

    Hilarity to the point of incontinence ensued, to the point where an innocent male browsing the trousers left swiftly, looking hunted.

  123. Heh heh.
    Good one.
    Um, sorry to distract you all (look, a Squirrell!) but I’ve been back-reading twitter and we missed Mayhem’s birthday. My newly installed apple technology has decided that it won’t let me tweet to her. So naturally I thought I’d bring my problems here.
    I think we should all sing Happy Birthday to Mayhem on the count of three.
    Now, who of you has had enough sleep in the past week to remember how to count to three? Over to you.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAYHEM!
    I’d post something cute from youtube but naturally enough, since the great apple tech upgrade of Friday it won’t let me do that either.
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  124. Ooops!

    In self-defence, can I please say that I can barely remember my own birthday, and every smurfing year I’m out re my own mother’s by a day. The same day. Every year.

    So hope you had a fabulous time, darls!

    xxxxoooo

  125. Yes, Mayhem, BIG birthday smooches from me, too. KIIIIIIIIIIIISSSS! Now. Bring forth the cake.

  126. You want the cake? You can’t handle the cake.

    Oh, hang on – forgot who I was talking to. Catty CAN handle her cake.

  127. Mmmmmm…. Handle Cake….

  128. Luckily, people don’t listen to a word you say. Yesterday, at baconing, an old regular was hanging around, banging on about… well, we mostly tuned him out so I can’t be sure.

    Old Fella: “An artist is painting me, then he’s going to turn the painting into a sculpture. A bust.”
    Me(distracted): “Really? You must be better looking than you look.”

  129. Sounds like his attempt at bragging was a bust.

  130. Hidden talents perhaps?
    I have another session with the tech nerd this arvo so hopefully then will have an easier time getting onto your blogs.
    They’ve installed Mountain Lion or some such and on their orders I have purchased a Magic Mouse.
    This cannot end well.

    • It might be ok… remeber the Aesop fable about the mouse who took the thorn out of the lion’s foot?

  131. Hehehe. Nice one, Catty.

    My Magic Man has gone on camp. Three days and two nights without my brave, strong, handsome man. What if he falls off something high onto something pointy? What if no-one makes him eat his 2 + 5 a day and he gets scurvy or beri-beri or fulminating constipation? What if… what if I miss him like crazy and tear up every time I have to walk past his empty bedroom – which has already happened, so it’s not exactly a ‘what if’.

    Stupid camp. Stupid school. Stupid growing up.

  132. I’ve had scurvy. It’s not so bad. The bruising is quite pretty, actually.

  133. Oh I can think of something far, far worse.
    What if he has lots and lots of fun and decides to take up camping as a hobby?
    One of my nephews did that, and the nuthouse has been saving a place for his mother ever since. Sadly no butterfly net can hold her.
    I suggest downloading Plants vs. Zombies so you have something to distract you in his absence & you’re improving your skill set come the zombie apocalypse.

  134. Download?

    Oh, I would love to download, Q. I would love to be able to scrape together the few bites needed even to open an email attachment, but unfortunately that won’t be possible until some time next week. The smurfing children have eaten all my downloads again.

  135. Damn. I hate it when that happens. The Boss does that to me nearly every month. Once he used up our entire data allowance three days into the month, by downloading every series of Get Smart. It wasn’t very smart, as he nearly got his fingers cut off when I found out.

    Hang in there, Madam. I’ve had two kidlets go off to camp this year. Just IV the vodka, and you’ll be fine.

  136. D#1 (the non-pregnant one*) is on a $29.95 a month plan from TPG which is unlimited. She sneers at my mere 500GB + 500GB as she watches streaming media. Even though I only use a fraction of mine, even with iView & such.

    (*as far as I know~)

    (~and I know nothing)

    And may I say, HA! Just wait till the beloved little weasels head off overseas. Hairy went to Germany in year 11. We got emails like “did you know it’s legal for me to drink beer over here?” and “not much sleep last night, Ilsa and Anika banged on my door and said I had to come out and play.” and “wait till I show you the photos . . . but not all the photos.” He enjoyed himself, we aged 10 years.

  137. Do you have a pregnant daughter, GB? Congratulations! We sincerely hope the baby takes after FiFi.

    Hmmm, TPG, hey? Stupid Virgin give me unlimited local and STD calls and a defacto landline number, too, though. Does Ungravid Daughter have a separate phone line deal, do you know?

    (I ask in case this in not part of the nothing.)

    • I’ll check. There is some kind of landline deal but she doesn’t use it, she’s a mobile only girl.

      As for the impending disas, er, GRANDCHILD, we are about as happy as we could possibly be. Judging by her efforts with the cats, she’ll make a firm but very loving mum. Mayhem – for reasons I do not understand – has offered to provide protective custody for the parents, bub and Fifi. All I said was that I looked forward to another innocent young mind to warp and twist. Our kids are all sick & twisted but they seem happy with that?

      • Sick and twisted sets them up with the skill set they’ll need to deal with people, IMO. There’s no point in turning good little Budddhists … or cheek-turning Christians, for that matter … out into the world. They’ll be eaten alive before you can turn their bedroom into a dungeon sewing room.

  138. When I have an empty bedroom to use… (that could be a few decades…), I fully intend to convert it into a study. My own little cave, with a desk, a comfy reading chair, decent lighting (preferably in the form of wall sconces), lots of bookshelves, black curtains, and boffo stuff like this:

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Gothic-Dragon-Cell-Phone-iPod-Holder-Dock-MP3-/400320021414?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d34eec3a6

    *sigh*… it’s far more likely the kidlets will stay at home forever, and I will be shunted off to a nursing home, where I won’t even be able to hold onto my pelvic floor, let alone a kitsch pearl encrusted dragon pen.

  139. Oh, thanks for the reminder, Catty – better do some Kegels now.

    It’s a beautiful dream. I hope the wall sconces will look like flaming torches in brackets, and have a setting so that when you’re not reading, they flicker in authentically flame-like reds and oranges.

    Funny you should mention the kidlets keeping the house. EB said to me just yesterday:
    “Mumma, when Magic Man is gone this will be my house.”
    Me: “Oh, really? And where will I live.”
    EB: “With me.” in a ‘well, durr!’ tone of voice. Obviously at that point though it will be HIS house and he’ll have all the authority in terms of setting bed time and allowing lollies for breakfast.

  140. Ah memories. We had an oil burner shaped like a coiled dragon, with the wicks in its nostrils. It would sit and watch us with little flames flickering from its nose. But we did find the good old-fashioned torch style candelabra at Eumundi. There’s a black wrought iron one in the loo, with candle & matches for emergency lighting. Not, as my vile son suggested, for mood lighting. He’s a sick puppy – I blame Fifi.

  141. Arrgh!

    I be sure any dog in ‘im is down to you, GB, you scurvy rascal.

  142. I blame Fifi too. She let Greybeard near the children.

  143. Not only that… to achieve the children, at some point she let Greybeard near her!

    I’m betting she was drunk – very,very drunk.

  144. So she told you that story? About Dirty Dick’s Restaurant and the contract on the bib? I’ve always said it, it’s well worth plying her with drink. Even if her tastes have become more expensive since those far-off days.

  145. Ah, but is she classy enough to serve brie with her weevil crackers?

    • That woman microwaves her brie to get it good and runny and uses a straw!

  146. I like Fifi.

  147. Genius!

    Elf Boy insisted on pancakes for yesterday. I wanted something savoury, so when I flipped mine over I topped it with slices of brie, which melted as the second side of the pancake browned. Highly recommended.

  148. No, no, no! Pancakes must be slathered in ice cream, expensive fruit, and gooey toppings, or they’re just not pancakes. Now go back and do it again. Properly this time.

  149. Sorry, I can’t. I have run out of flour and only have half a teaspoon of enthusiasm left.

  150. Then you must use your remaining enthusiasm to find a way to get someone to shout you a feed at the Pancake Parlour. (Stay away from the coffee there, though). I’d do it, but the lady who is going to refinance my mortgage (so I can afford the pancakes) isn’t coming over until tonight. Also, I’m a bit far away. So – who to inveigle? Hmmm… What’s your mum doing today?

  151. It’s the thought that counts. I might save my Pancake trip of glory for when I can taste stuff again. The PRC Snot Plague seems to have robbed me of most of my sense of smell, and I can’t chew for long because I need to breathe through my mouth.

    On the upside, I should lose weight… but I’m not counting on it. A friend of mine got TB and gained a stone.

  152. CATTY, MADAM! Wake them up at hourly intervals! It’s the only way to be safe. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-09/tes-pto091112.php
    Oh if only we’d known this sooner.

  153. Oh, Gods!

    Curse my scientific approach to child-rearing. While researching the topic a while back, I noted the consensus that young kids need a good 12 hours + sleep per night. So I worked back from when we have to get up to get to school on time, and put them to bed at 6:30 and 7 p.m., respectively, despite strenuous cyclic bouts of opposition on the grounds that “everyone else gets to stay up till 10:30 playing Grand Theft Auto” (I’ll rave on about by blanket ban on gaming devices in another rant).

    So, now you kindly inform me that I’m thereby ensuring they’ll mature as fast as possible! Smurf it. Explains someone’s husky voice and behavioural changes rather nicely. I’m just glad he hasn’t sprouted a rack of antlers.

  154. Antlers would be nice. He’d have somewhere to hang his clothes. Besides the floor, that is.

  155. Hehehe.

    Hang his clothes. Bless you, Catty. He thinks his wardrobe was installed so he’d have somewhere to ripen his socks and imprison his little brother.

  156. Ah, yes. Wardrobes. I should never have let the kidlets see Narnia. Now they think that if they stuff their crap in the wardrobe, it will vanish into some other realm. At least, I’m assuming that’s why I recently found a month-old sandwich, a homework assignment due last May, and a dead snail in there.

  157. Snail – they don’t eat sandwiches or homework, do they?

    I should never have let my kids watch The Hunger Games. This morning MM asked what prize I was planning to award to the child who survived the weekend – and whether I had any snare wire.

  158. Maybe I should rip open my sick modem and see if there’s some snails in there running the operating system. It took 4 efforts to get into your blog just then.
    Grrr.
    And now that I’m here I have absolutely nothing interesting to report since I’ve just said it all at Catty’s.
    We are off to the coast in search of sustenance, R&R, and if I get lucky, some blood orange gelato.
    Please tell me that school holidays haven’t started yet, surely?

  159. You’re back! Well, at least it’s your modem, and not something we said.

    No, you’re in the clear for another week yet, Q. Although there have been children on the loose around here this last week during edjamacation time – the privates may be off already and perhaps some of the other states.

  160. For a second there, I thought you’d typed ‘the pirates may be off’. I think I need more coffee.

  161. Actually, Catty, on re-reading what I typed, perhaps I needed more coffee as well. When I wrote “the privates may be off”, I was referring to scholars and not indulging in the usual militant feminist rhetoric that sends GB fleeing from The Box with his legs crossed.

  162. Why do I suddenly have the urge to have a shower?

  163. I can’t be sure… is it related to my sudden urge to eat potato chips?

    Actually, I just had EB walk up and down my back – I’ve had a horribly painful neck for days now. Worked a treat, but it must have looked like too much fun because MM decided he wanted to have a turn. EB obliged, dancing an Irish jig up and down his brother’s spine.

    MM: “Ow, ow, ouch! I was alright but now you’ve put a pain in there!!”
    EB (quick as a flash): “Do you want me to walk your back to take it out?”

  164. That boy is going to make a great corporate lawyer one day.

  165. You’d think so.

    Although his latest life choice may make that tricky. He’s decided to speak only in harmonica from now on, and has composed a string of tunes to indicate yes/no/chocolate milk please/ow, no, not my goolies! etc. You know, the essentials of life.

    MM and I are less delighted than when he was Amish. Violently less delighted. Can a corporate lawyer testify in harmonica from his colon? One more riff and either I’ll make him eat the damn thing or his brother will insert it, umm . . . retrospectively.

  166. I shouldn’t laugh. But I did. Not because of your poor ears, Madam (I feel much sympathy for them) but because my nephew just had his fourth birthday, and the gift I sent was a collection of wooden instruments. Tambourine, castanets, a whistle, and a gorgeous little wooden harmonica shaped like a crocodile. My sister was awakened yesterday by a cacophony of bangs, crashes, and small boys screaming “Click Go the Shears”. I did mention that she’s the good one and I’m the evil sister, didn’t I? Mwaha ha ha haaaaaa!

  167. You are truly evil, Catty. But – as you have not yet armed my children against me – I still love you.

  168. I suppose a drum kit would be out of the question?

  169. My brother gave our nephew a mini drum kit for his first birthday. I believe it is currently in the bottom of the culvert at the back of their farm.

  170. I’m surprised Khan GB didn’t offer the loan of his bagpipes.
    Then all he needs is the unicycle, kilt and Darth Vader mask and he’s all set to run away and join the circus.

  171. Hehehe. Gotta love Scottish Piper Vader.

    My children are far too intelligent to be drummers, GB. Besides. EB is speaking in harmonica and MM is learning clarinet – haven’t I suffered enough?

    • As the Mother who has unleashed them onto an unsuspecting world, no. No you haven’t.

  172. I think you’re being uncharitable, GB.

    Who do you think will command the robots/meat puppets who will take care of you in your advanced old age? My genius homicidal maniacs dear children.

  173. That would terrify me if I wasn’t so confident that nembutal will be OTC medication by the time I reach that state. I heard a sociologist on Radio National saying that the baby boomers are such a large & powerful group that as with all the other major changes they’ve driven, euthanasia is on the way as soon as they realize how GD unpleasant it is to get old and sick and die a horrible slow painful death.
    speaking of which – Wish me luck, people.
    It only took me three efforts and a threat to frisbee the modem before I got online today. the Optarse tech is coming out this am to ‘fix’ the thing.
    I think that means he’s going to neuter it.
    So this will be the moment of truth where I discover how much of my internet connection trouble is the modem and how much applies to the rule of ‘install new software in MAC & watch as 6 other things refuse to work because they’re not designed to speak to it.’
    Just bizarre that I can usually get into email and twitter has only denied me access once but anything else – even the BOM radar – gets pissy when I try to open it.
    Hey, that reminds me, where is all this rain they promised us?
    I suppose Murphy’s law says it will start up at 3pm when the carpenter comes to fix the hole in the wall made when the tree lopper dropped a chunk of my poinciana through it a month ago.
    Meh.
    Me and Aunt Irma have plans to sit on the couch with a regency romance today. Have a good one. Hopefully I’ll have proper access again come midday today. If not you’ll hear me screaming all the way from twitter.

  174. Mmm . . . Nembutal.

    Not that I wish to skite, but the rain is up here. Glorious, grey, gloomy gushes. I feel alive again!

    Well, perhaps it’s not just the rain. Owing to the wetness causing his work to be cancelled, I received an unscheduled . . . erm, service call from The Plumber yesterday. Let’s just say my gutters are running freely, now.

    hehehe. I predict that last para will keep GB away for more than a calendar month. He’s surprisingly squeamish.

    Fair warning, Q – school holidays commence in only four days. Inventory your munitions and arm the landmines. And good luck with the March of the Tradies. If they fail to satisfy, sic a cat on them. Or Aunt Irma.

  175. Oh Lordy.
    Optus have been here and there seems to be a marginal improvement in my internet connectivity.
    They sent someone with a really challenging Indian accent (I thought he was Irish) who phoned late mid-morning and accused me of not answering the phone all morning. On further quizzing it turned out he’d been dialling a number that was disconnected here over 15 years ago. No apology of course.
    When he turned up he parked over the yellow line over our driveway and stopped to have a long and cosy chat to the hazardous delivery driver that likes to drive on the wrong side of the road around here – and who parked in the middle of the road for his catch up.
    When the optus guy did wind his way up here, I told him that Yellow Line = $100 fine he said ‘Even if you’re parked outside your own house?’
    The disturbing thought that he planned to stay for 20 years and register on the electoral roll flickered through my mind before I found the logical route to discourage this and I said ‘Yes.’

    Thank Dog the other tradesman that was due has rescheduled, I don’t think I can deal with any more Stupid today. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m about to go beat my head against the wall for muttering crossly ‘New Australians’ under my breath & for sounding just like one of my horribly racist grandparents.

    OK Ladies. Fingers crossed, I think I’m back, although as I’m so horribly cranky you may all find yourselves hoping I’ll blow up something else.
    Meh.
    I think I need cake.
    Vodka cake. I hope you haven’t eaten it all while I’ve been stuck in cyber-limbo.

  176. There’s always more Vodka cake – after enough vodka so that you’re not fussy, just eat alternate teaspoonfuls of flour, butter and sugar. If you want gluten-free, omit the flour.

    Welcome back!

  177. Thank you and hallelujah. It’s good to be able to access the internet again at long smurfing last.

  178. Yes.

    It’s so hard to find an affordable source of dwarf prOn in hard copy format . . . they have the shelving so low to the ground.

  179. Quokka’s back! Yay! It sounds like Aunty Q had the kind of day I dread, and indeed had. No, you’re not racist. Idiocy transcends race. Unfortunately, I too spent the day dealing with an idiot. Some people should not be given metal utensils at dinner time, let alone an eBay account. As is the way of these things, I am powerless to stomp on his vacuous, spiteful little head. The only thing that has kept me from screaming is mentally picturing a cage match between my eBay moron and Quokka’s Mrs Flanders, with Lobes taking on the winner.

    Sorry about eating all the cake straight out of the bottle. I promise I’ll nip down to Dan Murphy’s and get another one as soon as I’m right to drive.

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