Snail Misbehavin’
6 October, 2011

Brave Florida resident, Alice, aged 11, confronts an invading Giant African Snail.

Flee, Floridans! Fire up your mobility scooters and wheely-walkers and flee at your own pace… the Giant African Snails are coming!

http://www.news.com.au/world/giant-alien-snails-spark-panic-mass-eradications-in-miami/story-e6frfkyi-1226158458802

Just kidding – they look more like this:

My favourite bit is when the snail gave Mrs Hernandez  a migraine and she had to have a lie down. Really, Mrs Hernandez – after one 13cm snail? I’d love to confront her with a paddock-full of slime mould or a nasty outbreak of feral armpit fungus and see what happens – spontaneous combustion is my working hypothesis.

But it’s not just snails invading Florida. They also have terrible problems with Gambian pouched rats, pink hibiscus mealybugs and Burmese pythons. I know it’s wrong, but that news just makes me want to crate up several thousand cane toads and ship them over to add a bit of hop to the mix.

Still, serious biosecurity issues demand a reasoned response. Stop panicking, Florida. I’ve got several solutions to your “crisis” and so far I’ve only had one cup of coffee:

  1. Slimearama  Start a snail-based takeaway franchise. Sauté in garlic and red wine,  and serve in their own shells. Tastier, healthier and better for the environment than McDeath.
  2. Snail racing  Florida is America’s retirement capital, and seniors appreciate a gentle tempo. Paint numbers on the side of their shells, raise State revenue by taking bets on the… erm, sliders, close off a few main roads and let them rip. Hell, you could start a whole snail racing carnival. Fascinator sales would skyrocket.
  3. Exploit the Food Chain  Feed the pink hibiscus mealybugs and giant African snails to the Gambian pouched rats. The plumped-up pouchies may then be offered to the Burmese pythons. Sated and bloated, the pythons should make easy targets. Skin the pythons and make orthopaedic shoes, or colostomy bag covers.

Florida, no need to thank me – just send me a pair of python slingbacks, size 8.

WTF To Sleep
30 June, 2011

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

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

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

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

My Chookyard: Colditz by the Coast?
5 June, 2011

Poultry facilities: Note adequate food and shelter. Water (not pictured) also clean and ample.

I have previously alluded;

https://madammorgana.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/garden-of-unearthly-delights/

to one of my chook’s remorseless attempts to burrow out of the yard.

Chooks aren’t noted for their sharp wit, or propensity for forward planning, or reasoning… actually, chooks are pretty much noted for egg-laying and being tasty seasoned, crumbed and fried.

But still,  I keep questioning the motivation of this chook. Known as “Briana” by her former owners, we call her “Rooster” since she moulted her tail feathers, grew in a new more impressive set practically overnight, beefed up her comb and then turned on “Tikka”, who used to rule the roost.

Inside the yard, there is food, water, shelter, congenial company and plenty of opportunity for scratching, sunning, dirt-bathing and pecking. In case you’re not up on poultry husbandry, that sums up the whole gamut of chook behaviour other than rooting – we don’t have a rooster.

In fact, my chookyard has got it all over a Malaysian immigration detention facility – the only bamboo canes used in my yard prop up the tarp.

Despite her freedom to live a life of luxury, troubled only by wondering how many bacon rinds might be in the kitchen scraps and when they’ll be tossed at her feet, Rooster insists on staging elaborate breakouts.

Chook tunnel: note the use of sticks as buttressing

Pictured is Rooster’s latest tunnel. Note the use of native sticks and garden debris as buttressing.

"Cover for me, you two. Look innocent while I go under the wall!"

Why, Rooster, why?

Is it because, now you’re a drag king, you share some men’s misapprehension that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

Do you find it funny when the cry “Chook’s out again!” goes up, we corral the dog and all rush out to round you up again? Do chooks even have a sense of humour?

All I know is, if this keeps up, Rooster will get to experience the novel delights if being inverted in a killing cone… just before I slice off her ungrateful, tunnelling head.

Geocache Challenge
12 May, 2011

It’s not my fault. It all started with a friend… have we had “Sophie” as an alias yet? Sophie forwarded me an email with pix of hilarious “missing dog” type flyers that random idiots with too much time on their hands have posted out and about.

This one struck a personal chord:

But I think this was probably the LOLest:

Anyway, I drank too much coffee and during a full and frank exchange of emails Sophie dared me to post one of my own. So I did, and I’m not sure how long it survived on the corner of The Esplanade and First Avenue at Maroochydore.


I think, if you read the title, you can guess the next bit. Anyone feeling silly and time-rich – in the spirit of performance art, slam poetry and public nuisance – post a flyer and upload your pix, please. We could all use a laugh.

Garden of Unearthly Delights
30 April, 2011

Bromeliad stir-fry

Okay, “Unearthly Delights” is gilding the bromeliad a bit, but with Aunt Irma due, all I really felt like doing today was snarling at anyone within a 100m radius and eating left-over Zombie Jesus chocolate.

This is a couple of Broms planted in an old wok that had Teflon dandruff, and the lid of our superceded Weber. The lime-green ground cover is Yellow Sedum or Cedum… the bloke I brought it from wasn’t sure. I like to think its “See’d Um” as in:

“Wow, look at that spectacular Chartreuse groundcover!”

“Yeah, I seed um.”

Charcoal Bat Plant

Bat Plant: up close & personal

This little beauty is a Bat Plant – the evil Goth cousin of the Madonna Lily. I’d like one as my funeral adornment, please. Just bung the whole old Weber on my biodegradable recycled cardboard box, then stick it back in front of the chookyard when we’re done.

You can see a wedge of Tikka’s arse in the first photo. Yep, she’s tunnelling her way to freedom again. Just call me Colonel Klink.

Georgia On My Mind
12 April, 2011

Hayastan Shakarian, Freedom Fighter.

 

In part two of an accidental series on inspirationally deranged crones, allow me to draw your attention to Ms Hayastan Shakarian, the 75 year old Armenian woman and Georgia resident. Armed only with the rusty saw depicted, Hayastan killed the internet in Georgia and Armenia for more than 12 hours on the 28th of March this year.

Although it would be fabulous to report that Hayastan pulled off a deliberate act of sabotage, rumours that she had been motivated by the thirst to revenge herself on duplicitous lover Julian Assange remain unsubstantiated.

In fact, Ms Shakarian claims that the incident was completely inadvertent and occurred while she was scavenging for scrap metal in the forest. Indeed, she denies any knowledge of the Internet at all.

There’s so much wrong with this story I hardly know where to start.

Authorities who insist that Hayastan has made a full confession refused to address concerns that their evidential documents had been ratified several hours before the actual outage. When questioned they blamed the discrepancy on power surges caused by the cut cable and on more in-depth questioning they deported this reporter.

Surely a post-menopausal woman roaming the forests of Central Europe should be seeking small children to devour, rather than scrounging to eke out her subsistence existence? Why has evil witchcraft become so unprofitable in harsh modern times?

Most importantly, though, it’s an absolute  disgrace that this pensioner doesn’t have better scavenging tools. I can’t help feeling that a DitchWitch would be perfect for the job and am currently acting for Hayastan to  negotiate a spokesmodelling deal with the manufacturers.

Now we know what Hayastan can do, I say we should harness her destructive powers for good. After our meeting with DitchWitch office, I’m unleashing her on a certain Government office with a can of energy drink and a manicure set.

Wish us luck!

Joint Effort
22 December, 2009

Crystal slammed her netbook shut and flung it on the bed. ‘Now he’s defriended me on Facebook!’ she whined into her mobile.

‘Chill, babe.’ Rachael advised, ‘He’s just, like, being a guy. What are you gonna do?’ Rach sounded distracted, because she was – she was working a double shift as Santa’s Little Helper and wasn’t supposed to tuck a Blutooth earpiece under her jaunty striped cap. ‘Now hop up on Santa’s lap… no, don’t cry! I know he’s a bit stinky but he’s not scary…’

Crystal paced her room, kicking discarded outfits around until laundry flew,  like snowflakes would had it been Christmas in the Northern hemisphere. Since she lived in Brissie, the scanties clung stickily to humid surfaces.

‘Sorry, Crys. Locked and loaded. You’re far too fabulous to waste the summer holidays worrying about why some jerk is being a jerk. It’s Dave’s party tonight, focus on that. Oh fuck, that whining kiddy just hurled. There’s chunks all over freaking Rudolph. Gotta scoot.’

Crystal’s phone followed the netbook onto the doona, but her bestie had given her an idea…

Go Go Crazy
24 November, 2009

My small son has become addicted to go-go pets. Be afraid, parents and associates of the knee-high:

  1. Their accessories and outfits cost more than an adult human’s;
  2. When they accompany the child into your bed at night  and somebody rolls on them, they start chirping and squeaking and tangle their wheels in your hair… not always the hair on your head, either;
  3. Having snarled their axles with human hair ripped screaming from reluctant victims, they don’t go-go anymore. You are then required – no, compelled – to put on hold whatever it is you would prefer to do, take the stop-stop apart with microsurgical instruments, unclog, re-lube and screw it  back together again. Hopefully, returned to go-go status. Only then will the high pitched whining from the affected child cease.

I will say this for them. They’re crush resistant and as yet the dog hasn’t tried to eat one. So when their plan for world domination reaches the unstoppable juggernaut phase, I’m suggesting flamethrowers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.