Stumblor

Monday, December 31, 2007

Three French Hens, Two Plastic Wangs

I don't understand office Christmas parties. It seems to me that a large percentage of the population consider it the adult equivalent of the bubblers during a game of tips -- a 'bars' zone where the real rules don't apply. Half hearted office romances are brought to a Jägermeister fuelled head and every man and their dog goes gang-busters to be the first idiot to remove their pants. Hilarity: I knew thee well.

The thing that confuses me is that they wait this long. The rest of us have been trying all year to develop a definitive rat bag model, then these jokers come in lagered to the hilt and think they can pull off a one night coup without even considering the collateral damage to the industry. It's bringing the craft of yahooism into disrepute, and that makes me sad.

Furthermore, on the subject of office romance, who in their right mind would think that an office Christmas party is the adequate stage for the making for pre-marital whoopee? Seriously, would you really want to be having this conversation in your not so distant fuuuuuture:




Friend:
Didn't you guys get TOGETHER at the last Christmas party?

You:
Betcha nuts we did. Me and that cute filly you see over there were one minute fetching a glass of Midori Lemonade, next minute WHAM BAM - photocopier room gettin' in ooonnnnn.

Friend:
High five!

You:
That's how I roll.

Friend:
That's a story to keep for the kids alright.

You:
(leans in conspiratorially) Speaking of keeping, I even managed to grab the accidental Xerox we took of her arse, you know, for prosperity.

Friend:
You're a die hard romantic, Stan.

You:
(winks) Takes one to know one, Gary Glitter.




no no NO. I'd much rather the conversation I had with my friend Sluggo after I cunningly escaped my own Christmas party ("Holy shit! Is that one of the Ronnies from that show with the two Ronnies? You know what's it called... the Ronnie brothers?") after things started to get a bit out of hand:





Sluggo:
Hey dude. How's the party going?

Me:
Secret Santa was a bit unnerving. My boss was disappointed with the fake buttocks he received, that is, until he discovered that they could instead be worn under his shirt as fake boobs. This was later deemed inappropriate, so he drew some nipples onto each buttock with a magic marker and then added about a hundred toothpicks into the front which I can only assume were supposed to resemble chest hair. I left him at the point where he began beating his chest repeatedly where the toothpicks were and shouting "I love the pain!" to anyone who dared look at him.

Sluggo:
So.. well then?

Me:
As well as can be expected. I got a beanie that was shaped like a big penis.

Sluggo:
I see what they did there. Clever.




Perhaps I should just grow up and accept that strapping a big plastic knob to my forehead is all part of social networking in the real world. It's funny you know, they never tend to mention this stuff on Oprah.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Creepy-looking David Bowie says:


Merry Christmas, you funky junky spaceman!


A big thankyou to everyone who has stopped by this year, it's been a lot of fun. Assuming that I make it safely through the new year festivities, I'll see you and your kind for more in 2008.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How to Win at eBay and Influence People


  1. Decide that a beautiful new sunburst lawsuit-era Ibanez guitar with pretty pictures on it will exponentially increase your quality of life and your chances of hooking up with babes.

  2. Studiously scour eBay during office hours until such a guitar appears.

  3. Notice with disdain as two hateful eBay novices start a bidding war for the object of your affection, paying no heed to the eBayers code of last-minute engagement.

  4. Decide to balk convention yourself and immediately contact both members, kindly pointing out that bidding on an item 6 days out is fruitless and serves only to increase the final sale price. Feel confident that you are being helpful and avoiding unnecessary condescension.

  5. Receive no reply from the first member, and the following message from the second:





  6. Wrinkle nose at lack of punctuation and civility. Shake head at overly clichéd war-cry. Begin devising cunning retaliation.

  7. Download eBay sniping program Auction Sentry. Marvel at application's ability to automatically place winning bid on item 30 seconds before auction close. Configure winning snipe on lusty guitar and cackle in pre-emptive glee.

  8. Win guitar.

  9. Send following message to Strummer69:





  10. Take receipt of guitar at work from long haired death metal rocker that smells of Vicks Vapour Drops. Impress pink haired ladies at the front desk with less than adequate rendition of Stairway to Heaven. Receive no reply from substandard rival. Live happily, guitar playingly, ever after.





From May 2007, no chance I could afford this now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When NineMSN turns bad


Coincidence?

I think not.



Incidentally, my keycard still hasn't arrived, which means I've now been 4 months in London without access to money. Any money. At all. Except Mums. Thanks Mum!

So, I'm now building presents for people out of whatever I can scrounge together. Because my scrounging skills are somewhat limited, I've decided that homemade cards, mixtapes, and compliments are the go this year.

I've just made a new Hackney acquaintance that is well into (shudder) Phil Collins. She loves him dearly, so I thought I'd put together a Phil Collins covers CD for her. You know, as a means of her weaning herself off him.

My research has so far yielded thus:



And this:

The Postal Service - Against All Odds


I'm kinda digging on both of them. Tell me I'm wrong.




Sunday, December 16, 2007

I make hamburgers, I get all the girls


Although this probably won't satisfy the requirements of Miss Bloom's meme request, it is none-the-less a story. It is set in the past. It does contain two or more primary actors. The main hitch I can see is that it's not one of my earliest memories -- though considering the amount of self inflicted amnesia I was suffering at the time due to the excesses of high living, I'm pretty certain I can contest that point with some success. Perhaps not in a court of law, as they say on the telly, but in any court that ol' Hell on Wheelsanor would be privy to I dare say.

When I was only a little Davey of 19 years I decided to take a year off from the pressures of first year Uni (retroactive scoff), move out of home, and get myself a job at the high class catering establishment known as 'Pizza Hut'. It was a shitty job. I smelled like pizza most of the time and after paying the rent I only had about 100 bucks left over to live on. Most of that was inevitably spent on weed, with everything left being spent of booze and petrol. I guess we figured that sustenance could be established through the ritualized consumption of pizza. I can't remember being that concerned with the effects that this diet was having on my health, but as you might imagine, being healthy didn't rank too highly on our give-a-shit list.

I was working under a new government initiative at the time that was putting fast food workers through a monthly Tafe training program. A 'catering traineeship' I think it was alluringly called. While this seemed great in theory, the entire process was a complete farce. The lesson plan at Tafe revolved around simple sums and role playing scenarios such as:

A customer approaches the counter and makes a complaint about finding a hair in their food. Do you:

A) Laugh and say 'Plenty more where that came from!'
B) Ignore them and hope that the problem goes away, hiding behind the counter if necessary
C) Apologise and offer an immediate replacement for the food, followed by a refund.
D) Ask for the box. The box!

In exchange for this wealth of information the powers that be had devised an ingenious trainee compensation plan. Firstly our pay was docked to cover the course, then we were given longer hours to make up for those lost studying, and finally we were allocated extra responsibilities so that we could 'practice' what we were learning -- so long as it wasn't during work hours of course. It was a grueling schedule, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had an illustrious career ahead of me working at like, Hungry Jacks. Tops.

I used to ride my skateboard to work. We were pretty big into skating at the time anyway, and due to never having more than 5 bucks worth of petrol in the car driving was out of the question. It was a boring and routine life, and I did it 5 days a week. Week in and week out. Nothing really changed in my schedule until one morning.

Opening the store, bleary eyed and pot hazed, I yawned my way toward the back of the kitchen. Suddenly, surreality wearing a balaclava and brandishing a shitty looking knife jumped out from behind the cool room door and yelled "Drop the board man!".

Although my stoner reactions were probably still grappling with the nuances of the previous evenings Simpsons episode, some olfactory sense must have kicked in and my hand immediately let go of the board. I was astonished at the speed of my reflexes to be honest. If only I could pull the same moves during Datona I'd be the undisputed rally driving king of Port Jackson Crc.

"I don't want to hurt you man!" my intruder blurted excitedly, ripping me from my dreams of racing accolade and manhandling me into the back room. "Just open the safe and you and the girl will be fine! Ok?"

Girl? Oh shit. Michelle. "What have you done with her?" I demanded with transparently false bravado, thankfully remembering to omit the suffix 'you cad'. "Is she ok?"

"She's fine. She's tied up in the cool room." Oh what a relief, only lifelong counseling to deal with then. "So just shut up and open the safe man!"

Sensing a disruption in the force, I immediately executed a perfectly timed roundhouse kick to the face, immediately knocking myself unconscious. The next thing I remember is that I got two paid days off work. Score!

Ok, ok. That bit is made up, obv. In reality I opened the safe, got tied up on the floor with plastic slip ties and began accusing the guy of picking up his crappy knife at a Woolworths sale on the way to the gig. It was a completely stupid and reckless thing to do in hindsight, but then most of my behavior was in those days. He laughed and said that's exactly what he did, and then took off. I waited for a few minutes, pulled out of the ties and barreled into the cool room. I found a hysterical Michelle gagged and bound. I got rid of the tape around her mouth and her hands. She was a limp kneed mess of tears and anxiety.

"I didn't know what he was going to do to you!" She finally managed through the sobs. I just held her and waited until we could call the cops.

I did get two days off work out of it. Undoubtedly I had to make it up later. Michelle was given much longer, thankfully. I'm not sure whether they helped her get counseling for what happened as she didn't really work there much after that, which is completely understandable. I never thought to get any help myself. It didn't really seem necessary.

Maybe the 19 year old pseudo tough guy in me was still making the decisions. Who knows.



sorry for the long post!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Books? You mean scripts, right?

Apparently the publishers of the Harry Potter series had to change the titles of the books in America because they feared that people wouldn't be able to understand some of the more difficult words. Those zany Americans. What will they think of next? Government sanctioned torture? Ya big kidders.

First of all they had to change Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone because no-one could rightly say what a philosopher was. Who can blame em! Instead, they decided to call it Harry Potter and The Guy Who Thought About A Lot Of Stuff's Stone. Well, that's much more descriptive! Publishers 1, Stupid Kids Nil.

Then you've got that romping epic Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Goblet? What the hell is that? Isn't that the bit of a chicken you throw away? What idiot would go around causing spot fires with chicken goblets? Luckily they managed to shuffle a few things around with the title guys and came up with the much more arresting title of Harry Potter and the Big Gulp of Fanta. Such canny product placement! You'd hardly even notice it. Man I feel like a Fanta.

But who would have thought they needed to change Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Surely everyone knows what a prisoner is? Anyway, apparently that one needed to be changed to Harry Potter and the Unlawful Enemy Combatant of Azkaban. I assume that there was some legal reason for doing so, but it's all a bit over my noggin to be honest.

Although there are a lot of naysayers suggesting that this strategy of 'lowest common denominator' is counter productive to the intellectual growth of our kids, I'm all for language rebranding. After all, the argument suggesting that a person's vocabulary suffers from coddling is flawed.

I would point out all the reasons why this is so, but I've really got to dash. Im cing m8s 2nite 4 phun or sumthing LOL.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Parroting My Mates

Charlie made up a joke about a group of pirates playing hangman.


Pirate 1: "Is it ARrrr?"

Pirate 2: "Yes. Thar is one ARr."

Pirate 3: "Is it ARrrr?"

Pirate 2: "Yes. I already said thar is one ARr."

Pirate 4: "Is it ARrrr?"


etc.

Snooze. Just a little longer.

Recently I've started to think that I might be suffering from sleep apnea. I may have to go to a sleep clinic to get it checked out, which actually sounds quite appealing -- I really like the idea of people working for me while I take a nap.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Kerblammo!

Amazon announced recently that they have decided to diversify their already extensive product range. Recovered artifacts from the Pacific Rim you think? Pft, old hat. Titillating under garments for the bedroom connoisseur perchance? Ho hum. Depleted isotopic weapons grade uranium?





Wheee!

How much fun could you have with this stuff? I bet it could make all kinds of explosions. And you know, assuming you don't have the necessary brain thinkery to setup another Chernobyl-esk fireworks display, you and your trusty can of u-238 could always provide the local Pets Paradise store with a horde of jive talking ninja types.

This is sounding better by the minute. Just have a listen to all the satisfied customer feedback:
4.0 out of 5 stars An adequate solution...., November 30, 2007
by Chris Gladis "Chris"

I have to admit, I've tried many different power sources for my orbiting satellite death beam, and nothing does it like good old U-238. If you've never held an entire nation hostage for your maniacal whims (I always ask for my ransom in kittens), then you haven't lived yet. And this can make it happen!


Does anyone else suddenly feel unfulfilled due to a distinct lack of orbiting satellite death beams in their lives? Yo mum! Scratch that homemade beanie for Christmas, I'm now in the market for a bitchin' space laser. Yes, yes, I'll be careful.


4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Ovaltine. , November 30, 2007

by J. Stanfield

When mixed with Tuscan whole milk I gained the power to control deceased woodland creatures. I am now in the process of raising an army of undead wombats to overthrow the government from deep within my volcanic lair. Soon you all will bow down before the wombat king!


Ok, I'm now seeing that there could be some drawbacks to this whole 'playing with radiation' thing. Not that I'm saying an army of mutated wombats wouldn't have its charms, just that they would be more disarming when controlled by someone less, well, volcano-like. Like me for instance. I'm very un-volcano-like. People have always said that I'm your more 'meadow' type of guy. Plus, my mutant wombats would be all awesome and friendly and house-trained, like Fatso from A Country Practice.

Anyway, I think I've clearly demonstrated how great this product is. I'm going to order a crate as soon as it comes back into stock. You're all welcome to chuck in, but please be aware that I have a strict security protocol to ensure that it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Basically you can't be Russian, or the Shredder, or live in a volcano.

For everyone else it's party time.



All customer feedback reproduced from Amazon. Original link. Seriously, I didn't make this up.

And the Winner Is..

I managed to catch up with Will briefly over MSN yesterday, which I regretted almost immediately as he begun talking about the 2007 Music Oz Awards show that he had recently been asked to present an award for. In my opinion, a close friend like Will should have been far more sensitive in the way he broached the news, considering that being an awards host is a lifelong dream of mine. In fact, it's Lifelong Dream #208; right behind playing a game of life-sized ten pin bowling using people as pins. Which is of course right behind owning an island shaped like a giant butt, you know, so that anytime a helicopter tried to land you'd be effectively mooning them with the entire island.

Anyway, sulking, as it turns out, is a highly ineffective battle tactic when the only form of emotive communication at your disposal is based around the smiley methodology. Furthermore, *pouts* just wasn't cutting the mustard. I begun trying to point this out to Will, but he obviously had far more pressing issues to talk about. Sure, pressing to HIM.



Will (avenge my life):
So I'm presenting the award for Excellence in Dance Music.


Davey (smells):
Excellence in Dance Music... Isn't that an oxymoron?


Will (avenge my life):
You're an oxymoron. The issue is that I need a gag to say before I present the award. You know. They always do these 'gag' things. I'm fairly sure it has something to do with humour.


Davey (smells):
Surely the award itself is funny enough.


Will (avenge my life):
I was thinking something along the lines of: "You know, it really irritates me that everyone thinks that as a DJ my life revolves around taking drugs and partying all weekend."


Davey (smells):
Good so far.


Will (avenge my life):
"Well it's simply not true. For instance, sometimes my dealer is out."


Davey (smells):
Yeah, and sometimes you're so wasted you have no idea whether today actually falls on a weekend or not.


Will (avenge my life):
Haha, Awesome! I'll say that.


Davey (smells):
Yeah. I mean, standing up in front of a room full of your colleagues and peers -- how could a joke about drug abuse NOT go down well?


Will (avenge my life):
My thoughts exactly. Now.. powder blue rayon suit, or that hot little number I wore briefly at the Bathurst B&S ball?



Obviously the suit, considering that the other outfit had been (thankfully) impounded and (hopefully) incinerated. Clothed in this regal ensemble and armed with the new material, Will took to the stage and gave it his awards-hosting all. I was told later that despite my reservations, the joke went down a treat, with music aficionados and band cool kids hooting in self-depreciating approval. How about that! I suppose you should never underestimate the music industry's capacity to see the funny side of drug induced catatonia.

Easy mistake to make though.


The Oz Music Awards screens Wed Dec 5th on Channel V. See Will make some jokes up about Whopper value meals, and all kinds of other exciting stuff.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hangin' Trough


It's not often that you waltz into the urinal at your local pub and find the resident condom box posing an eternal philosophical question. Now you might say that up until now I've lived a pretty sheltered existence, given that I'm easily impressed by the capacity of the local prophylactic vending machine to prompt introspection. But hey, where I come from, our rubber dispensers are limited to 'do you wanna?' based Q&As. Call us simple. Call us dumb. We can take it.

About five of us crowded around the thing attempting to decipher the cryptic catechism.



Performance?




..or Security?


By God, if I hadn't been asking myself the exact same question. It's like finding out whether someone supports coal or conservation, war or peace. Heck, I'm even going to stop asking people whether their preference is butts or boobs; THIS is my new social tuning fork.

I can imagine the meeting room at Ansell & Co:


"You know Bob, I'm getting the feeling that our product isn't asking the big questions. I propose that we start appealing to people's base human instincts. Start posing philosophical discussion pieces that prompt self awareness coupled with.. oh I don't know.. maybe an impending sense of annihilation?"

"Dude, we sell frangers. Don't you think we should try to steer people's thought away from potential annihilation?"

"You got no vision Bob. No damn vision."


What really gets my goat is that you are forced to choose between the two. Why can't we have both? It's like those new pain relief tablets that are 'fast acting' but apparently not as potent. You know what happens? You end up taking twice as much. Allegedly.

I'm not saying that this corresponds directly to the condom thing.. you know.. I'm just saying.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Freedom: Chaos with better lighting.

Life can be pretty confusing sometimes. Cataclysmic events can be spawned by seemingly innocuous moments in time that have little or nothing to do with the eventual outcome. Explained reasons are often bewildering and abstract. People's motivations are concealed behind a smoke screen of subterfuge, obfuscated even from themselves. Cause and effect, logic and reason, action causing reaction (or over-reaction) are all ill-defined in a world where it is said that the disturbance created by a flutter of a butterfly's wings can eventually lead to atmospheric havoc.


Spooky huh? Think about it too much and your head will explode. I don't want to alarm you, but it can happen.

It's no wonder we're all nervous wrecks. Constantly fearful as we are by the possibility of anti-social exploding head death (Boom. Who brought that guy?), it's a welcome relief when you see something that immediately answers one of life's many questions. Whose logic is irrefutable. Where the validity of the argument is so inescapable that you wonder why you ever questioned it in the first place.

Take the following picture for instance. Now, the question: "Why didn't this guy get invited to the work Christmas party?"...








..can immediately be answered with: "Well simply because his fruitcake basket had reached such critical levels of ding-a-ling that he thought it wise to noose a baby effigy from the roof of his forklift."

You see? I imagine that you're now all slapping your foreheads good-naturedly and muttering "Of course! Now why didn't I see that one coming."








ps: How disturbing is that photo? Yeesh.



Friday, November 23, 2007

My Contribution to Political Discussion

Because everyone else is doing it, I've decided to jump on the proverbial band wagon and write lil' somethin' about the imminent election. Incidentally, I'm also going to start smoking, wearing skinny leg jeans, and listening to 'Emo' music -- despite only having vague notions as to what that actually entails.

Below is a conversation I had over email this afternoon with Simon The Questionably Diagnosed Aspergers Sufferer. Simon The Questionably Diagnosed Aspergers Sufferer is a guy I met at Oktoberfest this year. I advantageously stole his friend Malcolm's seat, and then his beer, but somehow managed to lay the charm on so thick that they forgot my indiscretions and let me stay. Even Malcolm didn't seem to mind much when he returned to find a lager swilling, sea shanty singing Australian stealing his, well, everything.

Basically Simon has been diagnosed with Aspergers because he's weird. And smart. He revels in the fact that this somehow vindicates his behavior. I like him because he's got an excuse to be weird.


Me:
Did you make it down to the Australian High Commission to vote this week dude?

Simon:
For the Aussie elections? I'm a New Zealander dude.

Me:
Oh yeah. Sorry. Must have already claimed you along with Crowded House.

Simon:
Yeah. It's usually rather annoying, but we're kinda thankful that you relieved us of Russell Crowe. I guess you're lending your fulsome support to John Howard? He was great as that ginger kid in "Happy Days", but I don't rate his work as a director.

Me:
I voted for Chachi. Not too sure of his fiscal management experience, but that chick he dated was dope.

Simon:
I'd vote for Chachi because he went on to star in "Diagnosis Murder". I've never actually watched the show, but I intend to, once I'm in my 70s.

Rumor has it that his "Happy Days" spin-off "Joanie Loves Chachi" was hugely popular in Korea because - so the story goes - "chachi" is Korean for penis. Seems unlikely though, as it was only shown in Korea on the American Forces Korea Network, in English without subtitles. Moreover, the Korean transliteration for the name Chachi is , which does not mean penis. However the Korean word for "penis" is the similar sounding jaji, which is spelled . It's a shame really, because it's a good story.

Me:
I really hope you've got Wikipedia open right now, weirdo.




So yeah. Happy election everybody. If I wake up and Chachi is in power, you're all getting smacks.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Must. Become. Destitute.

As if the urge to spend all of my money on eBay wasn't strong enough already without this kind of incentive being thrown into the mix:



Me:
"You know, it's nice and stuff, but I've only got three records and one of them is Barbara Streisand."

Universe:
"But its got your name written on it dude."

Me:
"Sold!"

Monday, November 19, 2007

Totally Swede

They're "just breasts"!

This is the rallying cry of a network of women who have launched a campaign for the right to bathe topless at Sweden's swimming pools.

In a preliminary action in the middle of last month, seven members of the Bara Bröst network (literally translates both as 'Bare Breasts' and 'Just Breasts') hopped into a pool in Malmö wearing only bikini bottoms. Before long, they were whistled to the side and asked to leave.

"We want our breasts to be as 'normal' and desexualized as men's, so that we too can pull off our shirts at football matches," spokeswomen Astrid Hellroth och Liv Ambjörnsson told Ottar, a magazine published by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education.

..

http://www.thelocal.se/9078/20071112/


I am behind these women 100%. If I'd have known that feminism involved chicks getting their kit off, I would have paid a lot more attention during that women's studies course I took last year, you know, rather than trying to mack onto the totally hot lecturer after class.

Ps. I'm moving to Sweden.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Big ups

I was clearing out my email archives the yesterday and inadvertently came across this gem from Charlie sent to me earlier in the year:


From: Charlie [xxxxxxxxx@xxx.com]
Date: 16 Feb 2007 02:15
Subject: Word to my mother
To: Davey
[xxxxxxxxx@xxx.com]

Background:

Last Monday Mum and Dad left Australia for Europe. They flew out of Sydney airport, so in the morning they caught the bus from Canberra to Sydney.

Extract from an email from mum:
---------------------------------------------
Hi Charles,

Yes, flight was good thanks and it is good to catch the bus to Sydney from Canberra because we just pulled up straight outside International airport and walked into check in with a few hours to spare. Sat next to a rap group sound engineer - group was called "
Snoopo Dog" and they had been at the Gold Coast for 2 days only from California. However they now have a break for a month before heading off to Europe. He was a delightful young man. The rapper himself was not on board but 2 of his musicians were.
---------------------------------------------

Priceless. I'm surprised Mum said he was nice. She usually only has time for East Coast rappers.



Saturday, November 17, 2007

Slash dot


"..cause nothing lasts forever, even cold november rain."

November Rain - Guns 'n' Roses




That's pretty rich coming from a 12 and a half minute song.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Smooth Operator

Grr.


My new VAIO laptop: Young, hip, bright-eyed and full of revolutionary fervor had been struggling for months under the crippling yoke of an oppressive Windows Vista operating system. The media had been gaged, the people too frightened to resist. Their memory was full with all too vivid recollections from previous market crashes due to the overloading of the local pathways.

There was only one thing for it. Revolution!

Taking to the streets, the people formatted the laptop and rejoiced. There was a feeling of hope and self-determination in the air, despite the quiet whisperings of losing a lifetimes worth of carefully cataloged pornography during the uprising. Such things were of no consequence however, as reformation was finally occurring in their beloved laptop. The new system of government would operate with more efficiency than ever before, and never falter in its efforts to boot, process & copy. Viva la Windows XP!




What? Device drivers? Crap. No access to wireless to download drivers. Rgh. Ok fine, download them at work. Software revision 2? I thought I had it. Whatever, download that too. System freeze during the install of software revision. Oh Crap Crap Craaap.

VAIO Website: "Warranty void if Vista removed."

Hmm.

Ok, maaaybe should have researched that information prior to bringing about the downfall of an entrenched institution using questionable tactics. I thought it was going to be all motorcycles and barn dances. Damn you, Che.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Two Tales of a City (Part 2)

The mob was growing louder as their numbers increased, culminating around the inactive Gothic fountain at the center of town. Flaming hand torches were being passed around by the more organised among the crowd, as the aggressive chants and slogans were delivered with rising ferocity by the incensed blowhards toward the rear. A pitchfork or two dotted the peripherals, as if trying desperately to complete the caricature.

"Harlots!"

"Painted vixens!"

The mob screamed it's encouragement and echoed each sentiment with relish.

"Women of unseemly virtue!"

Not as much support for that one, though it didn't particularly matter. The intention of the party was clearly set. Vicar Dibley, eyes shining like fire hardened brimstone, was pleased. Standing a foot taller than most of the partisans gathered, he walked briskly among the throng, loudly proclaiming God's unwillingness to be mocked and the inherent righteousness of the party in doing, as he called it, 'The Lord's Work'.

Sensing that the animosity of the group was reaching a critical mass, he moved quickly to the front of the pack, and upon grabbing a flaming baton from a greasy bystander, commanded the crowd to follow him. They did so, and his courage swelled as a result. His leadership of the congregation had finally been confirmed. Never again would his moral guidance by branded as too authoritarian or archaic. Tonight the house of sin would be damned to hell, and he would bask in God's glory for being the main catalyst in it's obliteration.

Within minutes the crowd had surged through the outside gates of the small East End building. Handing his torch over to another, most likely greasy, associate, Vicar Dibley rapped loudly three times on the door; timing each knock so as to give the impression of his supposed authority. The vicar prided himself on his capability to deliver a robust knock.

A crooked woman dressed in rags answered the door, a look of bewilderment and anger arresting her grey, aging demeanor. Her features demanded an explanation, even though her voice failed to follow suit.

An uncomfortable silence developed. It remained long enough to allow a cough to be heard from the back of the crowd.

"Harlot." Dibley finally said, although it lacked the force required to make the utterance sound like anything other than a question. "Painted... umm.. vixen."

"Ye damned fool!" The crone screeched. "Can ye not read th' sign I 'ammered to th' front door?"

As one, the mob turned to read the notice nailed to the wooden entry.






"Ooo.." said the Vicar. ".. Awkward."




Two Tales of a City (Part 1) - here

Not that anyone will remember my other post, but this is actually a completely new 'No Hos' sign that I found on a London door in Shoreditch. Considering that this type of signage may be just about to explode fashion wise, I've decided it's high time to invest in a sign for my door that reads 'No Triceratops here - Triassic era herbivores only'. It'll clear up soooo many misunderstandings.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Life. The Non-Exact Science

It never fails to surprise me how small the world is. Oh sure, some scientific boffin sporting a bad come-over and claiming ancient Greek ancestry will try to convince you that the circumference of the earth is somewhere in the vicinity of 25,000 miles, but I know better. The size of the Earth of course fluctuates; shrinking in direct proportion to the amount of people there are out there in the world that you absolutely, categorically don't want to run into.

A fine example of this phenomenon occurred last week. I was having a quiet beer with the MaCahon sisters, daughters of one of my Mum's close friends, who had very generously agreed to meet with me on the basis that it was a charity job and could later be written off on tax. Luckily we all turned out to be only mildly psychotic, which relates to 'pleasantly engaging' in pub terms. Stephanie later confessed to me that she had called my number after noticing the sudden appearance of a dilapidated loner at the bar, who was studying his A-Z with notable fervor. If the hobo had answered his phone, she had resolved to leave through the back door at once. I made a quick mental note to avoid engaging these cunning lasses in a battle of wits.

Quickly forgetting my resolution, we embarked immediately in a battle of wits. Choice of battleground: a particularly tough UK pub quiz. Through some very nimble brain wizardry Jess was managing to keep the team afloat, but by around half time it was pretty obvious that the Karmagutsas were about to live up to their pessimistic namesake. My daydreams of our downfall were interrupted suddenly by a girl at the table next to us who was looking at me quizzically.

"I'm sorry, but I've got the feeling I know you." She said through her quizzically accusing death ray eyes.

"Mm?" I ventured, trying to sound non-committal.

"You grew up in Canberra, didn't you." Accusation, not question. "What's your name?"

"Umm.. David Price."

"OH. MY. GOD. You went out with my sister, Fleur."

"Oh, Fleur! You mean the 3 week relationship - 5 hour torturous breakup girl who couldn't understand the multi-faceted reasons as to why it wasn't working who then subsequently ambushed me in the Pancake Parlour when she was drunk and loudly accused me of having a heart darker than Satan to which I responded meekly by bowing my head and having another bite of my now sodden blueberry flapjack attack?"

"Um. Yeah."

"Wow. Tell her I said 'Hi'."





Expanding universe my arse.



Friday, November 2, 2007

Sit on this and Translate


When using Babelfish to translate something extremely important into Portuguese the other day, I was not at all surprised that once I translated the Portuguese message back into English the entirety of the message was a little bit skewed in it's terminological exactitude (thanks Churchy). This phenomenon is nothing new, as many a bored internet veteran could attest. I was however, particularly proud of the transformation that had affronted my usual and none-to-sarcastic sign-off of 'kind regards'.

What Babelfish has chosen to change it to was:


...
Amiable consideration,
Davey.



Which is no doubt a fairly literal interpretation of both 'kind' and 'regards' but is no less fundamentally awesome for being so. I started to wonder if other languages had a harsher interpretation of those two words, depending on their culture and language. Let's have a look at German, shall we?


...
Friendly respect,
Davey.



Gee, that's swell... although it does bode for some rather ominous imaginings of what my unfriendly respect might be. Even still, it's not like you're going to be confused with being sympathetic to the Nazi party any time soon. Let's move on.


French:


...
Sincere Friendships,
Davey



That is of course until everyone else wants to do it too, then we'll simply object for the sake of being argumentative. Oh but you gotta love the French. When my French friend Cedric was staying with me a few years ago, he walks up to me in the morning and says "Oh Davey, I am so angry!"

"Ced! Why are you angry? Is it something I've done?"

"No no.. I am angry! I need to eat something!"

Poor dude was hungry. So I made him eat Vegemite. That's called 'Forging Bilateral Relations'. Take a note.

Italian:


...
Kind Cares,
Davey


.. I'm sure he does. But I don't! Ha ha. Ha. heh. Eye ties. LOVE those guys.


Russian:


...
Heart privity,
Davey


What the HELL? What is privity? You may as well be signing off Heart Cavity for all the good that one is going to do you. (Mental note to sign off Heart Cavity next time I email Will. Mental note reminder about previous mental note.)


Japanese:


...
Kind point,
Davey



Well, yeah, but you're still pointing dude.

After amusing myself for countless hours looking up the various incantations of cultural pleasantries, I noticed an odd translation option at the bottom of the drop down box:


[Norse01.jpg]



Norseman, eh? What, those sweet and doddering old soothsayers from a bygone era? Weren't they known for constructing lavish wedding gifts and throwing dainty morning teas? Surely they'll have have some heart warming way of bidding their fellow countrymen adieu. Surely.



[Norse02.jpg]


Pfft. As if any of my friends have crops. What a gyp.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This Looks Like a Job For..

Went for two job interviews today. Although I am probably the most unemployable ratbag of an occupational health and safety disaster waiting to happen ... um... person that I know, I do hold an unbeaten interview record; in that I've never been to an interview and not gotten the job. Pretty scary really, considering I'm coming off the seedy end of a 5 month travelling bender and currently about as employable as a Commodore 64 tape cartridge.

The first interview was for a lovely little NPO called The Learning Trust, who are based in Hackney, which as you know, would be very convenient for me locality wise. They basically deal with the administration of all the schools and learning centers in the Hackney area.

These jokers made the completely transparent play of sending one of their really hot colleagues down to collect me when I arrived at the front desk this morning. Little do they realise that I fell for it completely! Ha! Anyway, I thought the interview went really well and 30 minutes after leaving, the recruiter called me up and offered me the job. Queue celebratory dance - which coincidentally looks just like the mambo with a few 'Heys!' thrown in intermittently.

This afternoon I went to another job interview for a smaller company based in Shoreditch, which is a really cool part of town a 20 minutes bus ride away. Great looking company, really young and innovative and I'd get to learn a lot, which is good thing for someone in the ever-changing nerd business.

Now, although I went in bolstered by the confidence of the previous job offer, for some reason this one was bad from the start. They asked me questions on things I had slightly lied about on my CV, I laughed at inappropriate places and didn't laugh when I should have, and I'm not altogether certain but I might have been wearing my underpants on my head.

I left with my tail between my legs, and thankfully with my underwear back where it should have been. "Oh well," I thought "at least I'm still addicted to crack and have 5 kids I've never met." I then tried to name all five of them, but got stuck on Roger. It really wasn't my day.

Then the phone rang. "Hi David, this is Pete from the interview... could you come in tomorrow to meet the CEO?"

Apparently a discerning admirer of pantular headgear. I accepted.

.. Which one though?

1. More money, NPO, cooler office, walk to work, hot colleague
2. More innovative.. umm.. that's about it.

Halp!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Boo! Shake, shake, shake the room.

Halloween, as it turns out, is great. You get to dress up as Teen Wolf, participate in parent approved solicitation of lollies from strangers, and BOO! the bajeezus out of unsuspecting flatmates while simultaneously excusing yourself from the subsequent abuse barrage because you were merely attempting to be 'festive'.


Little did I realise however, that for all these years I had been inadvertently missing out on the best bit of Halloween, for it was only yesterday that I realised that I had never ever once carved a pumpkin not once in my life. Riding in a helicopter could wait, this was far more accessible to a man of my current means. So, while the rest of the house was cooking and cleaning and moving furniture in preparation for our Halloween party yesterday, my flatmate Charlie and I resolved to jazz the place up somewhat by creating some arrestingly spooky squashes.

After every incision, I would turn my orange obscenity towards Charlie and say "Hey dude, check it out." which would illicit a avalanche of hilarity from the both of us. Then Charlie would make a cut, show me, and we would again erupt in pumpkin fueled elation. This rotation ensued for the remainder of the afternoon, and by the time our constructions were completed both Charlie and I were utterly convinced that we should pursue the art of pumpkin carving on a more professional basis from this day henceforth.

We were, of course, showered with praise for our fine efforts once the merrymakers began arriving at our soirée later that evening. I stood beside my creations and beamed with pride, discussing in triplicate the techniques I had utilised to create some of the finer details.

I call this guy the 'Yak-O-Lantern':





And this charming character I imagine being pictured under a bold printed newspaper headline which reads: "Headless horseman relieved after cranium recovered in ditch".





Charlie tried to recreate the nuances of Pete Doherty with his pumpkin. We thought that perhaps by creating an realistic effigy we would somehow tap into some eerie magic power vortex resulting in Kate Moss appearing at some point in the night demanding to see the 'two pumpkin artisans', but unless this occurred while I was in the can, our hopes were well and truly dashed in that respect.




I've got to be completely honest, we did get a fair bit of inspiration from this site, very edgily titled 'extreme pumpkins'. Just wondering what can't be dubbed extreme these days...?

Tune in next week while I explore the extreme sub culture of quilting. Peace out dawgs!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Will Styles for Cleo Bachelor of the Year

Will received this email in his inbox the other day:

Hey guys,

See below re: Cleo’s Bachelor of the Year.

It’s always good to have some DJs in this competition, so if you’re interested & single (see requirements below), please get back to me & I’ll be happy to forward your details o
nto Jo @ Cleo.

It’s a bit of fun also, so don’t be embarrassed :)

Thanks, Angie x

-------


So CLEO Bachelor is about to start up yet again.

We’ll be locking down this year’s crop of 50 bachelors over the next month and shooting around Australia in early December.

I’m sending this to you in the hope that you’ll suggest any suitable talent who you think are CLEO Bachelor material.

Looking for young-ish (no older than 35), unattached* boys who are not only hot, but successful and have a bit of charisma
. All we need is a happy snap and a few basic details:
  • Name
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • City they reside in
  • Contact phone and email or publicist contact
  • Plus a few words (100 max) on why they’d make a great CLEO Bachelor.
(NB: * by ”unattached” we’d prefer single, but if they’re dating someone and it’s not too serious – i.e. they’re not living together or haven’t been together for a few years – then they will be considered).

Email any suggestions to xxxx@xxxxxx.com.au and please circulate to anyone you think may be interested!

Thanks!



He contacted me pretty soon afterwards, and we began a thorough investigation of the material in earnest. Although we both agreed that morally we could not condone a competition that so ruthlessly grades one man's worth over another, we still could not deny the fact that Will had a fairly solid shot at the title. He had placed very well in Mad Magazine's Alfred E Nueman Lookalike of the Year competition only a few weeks prior, indeed, had almost gone home with the coveted sash. We decided to go for it.

To allay our ethical concerns, we promptly concluded that the amount of good Will could accomplish after being crowned El Macho Bacho would eclipse any harm done in promoting the event. After all, there were still all those starving kids in like, that country with all the dust. It was common knowledge that most of them didn't even have decent iPods!!

Concentrating on this fact, we got down to the persnickety business of constructing Wills application.

To whom it may concern,

Will Styles, Sydney DJ and cafe socialite, is spry, entertainingly dim-witted and turns a distinct shade of mauve when shaken violently. His antics as the last guy to leave every party are only matched by his susceptibility to lose an argument with a chair for 3 days straight.

Although he would love to win the competition, I am sure he fears that all the attention would distract him from his true calling of collecting arm-pit fungi. A keen amateur biologist, Will breeds them into new strains of super-fungi, such as his favourites Parisite Hilton, Sir Scratchalot and Allyourhairis Allfalloffus.

Will would be a great choice for Cleo Bachelor of the Year because there is no doubt in my mind he will be a bachelor for the rest of his life, and when she reads about him, I'm sure your reader will definitely agree. [Singular intentional.]

Warmest personal regards,
David.





We're still waiting for a response. They were probably just so beguiled by Will's 'come hither' look that they're still trying to find the words to express their infatuation. Anyway, I expect that any day now they'll send the limo packed with babes, so I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wanna Be In My Gang

[MeetSJ+copy.jpg]

Yep, this is how I spend my time when I should be looking for work.


UPDATE:
Sarah got back to me:

To dear David 'Not so nice' Price
I was so ecstatic upon receipt of this email/offer that I immediately started bashing my head against the heater in excited anticipation. The bruises will look amazing with a tassled jacket.
An interview and tour of the 'headquarters' would be right up my dark, dirty and stinky alley.
From Sarah Jane Inflictor of Pain

Great name, don't you think? This gang is going to be great.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Moshzilla

It was no co-incidence that the day I finally realised the true potential of the internet coincided directly with me stumbling across the moshzilla phenomenon. Although there was a secret shame in finding someone else's complete and utter humiliation funny, it was, never the less, pretty fuckin funny. It transcended funny. It had to power to render adversarial work colleagues temporary allies, with your sworn enemy ambling meekly up to your screen to see what all the fuss was about. I've found that these internet moments are rare, and should be treasured for their puerile purity. After all, life is fleeting; infamy is ageless.

The repercussions on my life after this event were all too predictable. For a while, no-one could get much sense out of me, and any photos that happened to stray into my neck of the woods were immediately seized and then painstakingly grilled for potential photoshopping opportunities.

My boss at the Art Gallery Craig, knowing better, should never have asked me to backup his recent holiday snaps from Thailand. That's like asking a glue sniffing addict to to be captain of the scrapbook team. My eyes saw red. Not being able to stop my primal urges, I grabbed the following image and went to work.



I considered not sending the result in a company wide email for about 5 seconds. Then I got distracted by a butterfly that landed on the mouse, causing the click to engage and in turn sending the email. "Oh well," I thought "At least I can always blame the butterfly."

157 people in four departments received the following email:

To: All Staff
From: David Price (Art Gallery Society of NSW)
Subject: Up, up, and a Craig.



Amazingly, the whole affair was deemed a hilarious caper, and I was crowned First Class Photoshop Artisan for that week. It may have helped that my boss had a bit of a thing for The Man of Steel, but this could only be attributed to blind, dumb luck considering that I found it out after I could have been fired.

I wish I could say that my bosses also had a pet interest in experimental cryogenics. That could have saved me so much explaining two weeks later when I actually did get the boot. Live and learn I guess.

Gypsy and Punk

Together at last.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Politics. Show Business For Ugly People.


And there's no business like it, with the divisional lines between reality and fiction further being blurred this week by the American Supreme Court:

Not that they need encouragement, but politicians have been given the green light to lie about their opponents by the Washington state Supreme Court.

More than a dozen states have laws that make it illegal to say false things about political candidates. The laws are, in practice, aspirational. By a 5-to-4 vote Thursday, the Supreme Court in Washington state added that the law in the state was also unconstitutional.

...
[The International Herald Tribune]



Politicians begun exploiting the new ruling immediately, although no one seemed to be able to tell the difference.

I would just like to point out that although the government of a country should always be seen as a source of moral guidance, I am loathe to emulate my political contemporaries in this instance. If there's one thing that my years as a cage fighter in Brazil taught me, its to always be honest about your opponents.



Title quote taken from Jay Leno.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's Like Rain On Your Wedding Day... No It Isn't

While reading The Economist the other day, I could not help but chuckle over the misfortunes of eBay, who have only recently admitted to paying an extraordinarily inflated amount for the purchase of internet telephony software company Skype.

Now I'm the first to admit that my grasp of irony is tenuous at best, and that when trying to define it I invariably quote directly from (and often incorrectly from) the movie Reality Bites, but that's all in the past now. From this day henceforth, I shall simply refer to this article while making sure I have a look of pompous self importance on my face.

Think about it. The world's biggest bidding site making the mother of all bidding blunders?

Irony. And if its not, then by god, I'm going to start listening to Alanis Morissette. I probably deserve it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Two Tales of a City (Part 1)

He flew out the house, leaving his father's menacing roars having only the slamming door to reprimand. It was not the first time he had been forced to escape these drunken outbursts. Not the last time either, he thought sadly, lowering his head and jumping smoothly onto his skateboard, pushing the ground away and picking up speed down the bike path. Away from that house. Away from the neighborhood. Everything in it.


Could he help it if poetry had chosen him? No more than he could help his fathers distaste for it, surely. His love of words and of the esoteric relationships that existed between them had transfixed him from very early on, and it was true that his determination to consume the work of others had surpassed any other interest that had tried to impress upon him since.

He lifted his front foot, skidding the board to a halt halfway through Turnham Green. In front of him stood the brick wall that bolstered the overground rail; a place he often came to when he needed to be alone and think. That wasn't on the cards today. He pulled a greasy spraycan out of his backpack and walked purposefully up to the wall. The discerning simplicity of Frost, the bombast of Kerouac, the unfaltering support of a thousand long dead poets culminated in his mind as he slowly enabled the trigger of the can.








He stepped back, exhausted, admiring his work. For all it's profundity, he nevertheless accepted his inevitable role as an unappreciated artist. "One day," he told himself, "One day someone will blog about this, and only then shall my life have meaning."




Friday, October 12, 2007

Procrastinating

I really should be putting my new and improved CV together, as the finances are dwindling faster than.. ummm.. my stockpile of similes. Its job findin' time, and although I realise that this is the inevitable consequence of blowing my vast squillions on the open road, I can't quite find it within myself to start looking. Not. quite. yet.

In the meantime, I suggest we do something pointless. No, we've already invaded Iraq, lets do something else instead.

My suggestion, read some of Craig Dack's penpal correspondences. If these don't tickle your funny bone, your best bet is to take up wearing brown suits and start discussing actuarial accounting at your next dinner party.

Totally Craig Dack's Penpal Correspondence with Sandra Adams


Totally Craig Dack's Penpal Correspondence with Wole Benson

Totally Craig Dack Wins the Lotto


Ok, so like, his name's not really Craig Dack. And he's not really from Bathurst. So that gives you every right to be offended, okay?



Thanks to Eleanor for the reminder, and to Bernie for the link.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Help Me Rwanda


So I started my new, and very damp, life in London a few days ago. At this stage its a temporary move; I'm quite paranoid about my nephews growing up in Australia without a knowledgeable guide to watch over their 'throwing rocks at things' endeavors. Nevertheless, they will have to make do for the time being, while I attempt to come to grips with my new city.

I've been walking around London for the last few days, trying fruitlessly to ascertain my bearings. Although I'm still yet to find a place that sells decent coffee, I did manage to find an abundance of tasty vegetable somasa (not very hard in a Bangladeshi immigration epicenter), a reputable merchant of salt beef 'beigels' (why in Gods name have these been kept from me for all these years thanks Mum) and a pretty good health food store. While perusing the organic grain feed chick peas and the free range coconuts, I suddenly happened a comely bag of what I presumed to be pretty innocent coffee.



Union Hand roasted, from Rwanda. The caption reads: The EASY GOING coffee with a big grapefruit kick for breakfast time, and a soft chocolate and orange hints for a HARMONIOUS afternoon.

"Hold on," I thought, "What if I want to drink it at night!?" but then afterwards began wondering how a company could market a Rwandan coffee based on the ethos of being both easy going and harmonious. Surely the Tutsis would be concerned about this new development, I mused, assuming of course there were any left of their people to be concerned.

In such circumstances I would usually congratulate myself on the keenness of my critique, and immediately follow this by a round of shooting my mouth off to anyone who would care to listen. Such is the nature of my kind.

For some reason though, I didn't. Bemused by my lack of audacity, I decided instead to do a bit more research. Wacky, I know, but what the hell.

Look what I found on the Union Website:

Rwanda Maraba Bourbon

This clean, fruity and deeply smooth coffee comes from an amazing group of smallholder farmers in the beautiful Maraba district of southwest Rwanda and is the country's first-ever sold as a single origin. We have been working alongside the Abahuzamugambi Ba Kawa co-operative for more than five years now and have made many personal visits to help them develop the quality of their coffee and improve quality of life in their community.

Our efforts have seen a remarkable transformation in the local environment - yet none of it would be possible without the total quality produced by the farmers themselves.



Okay, so maybe I was a liiiitle presumptuous about their lack of sensitivity. I think we've all learned some lessons here; Never underestimate the annoying virtuosity of health foods stores or the fallibility of my quasi-political satire.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Even My Dreams Are Against Me

I had a weird dream the other night. I dreamt that I was Jessica Alba's boyfriend.

"You're a walking contradiction!" She scolded.

"Yeh, I've been meaning to talk to you about that." I said, a look of embarrassment creeping across my face (I imagine that it was creeping, because I couldn't actually see myself.) "You see, I'm technically not your boyfriend. My real name is David Price, and I've been time travelling into your boyfriend's body off and on now for ooo the last 6 months or so. Although I know you don't want to hear this right now, we are very much in love."

Not seeing the obvious long term benefits in the situation I was describing, she immediately screamed and collapsed, which is unfortunately the reaction I'm most used to when discussing my feelings with girls. I'm really looking forward to a time when I can casually drop "Oh by the way I think my associations with the devil may have rendered our child the antichrist" into a conversation with my beloved and have her reply "Oh really well that explains the primeval shrieking at dawn and I guess we should replenish the holy water cupboard" without a second thought. But I guess we all have dreams.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Final Day

9th November, 1989. Günter Schabowski, East German propaganda minister walks into a seemingly routine press conference nursing the tail-end of a blistering hangover. His recent vacation had been a memorable one, and his head is swimming in the deluge as a result. Wading his way through a yawn inducing tirade of pre-rehearsed questions regarding the status of the German textile industry, the press conference suddenly takes a decisive and unexpected turn.

What is the nature of these questions being directed at him? How is he expected to be responding to inquiries regarding the freedom of the German people to travel? He had successfully managed to miss the press briefing this morning, a point he had congratulated himself on repeatedly since. The only thing he had been given was..

THE BRIEFING MEMO. Brilliant. Deftly removing the typed page from his briefcase and expertly positioning his stylish reading glasses, Günter begins reading, for the first time, the highlighted sections of the page before him.

"..we have decided today (um) to implement a regulation that allows every citizen of the German Democratic Republic (um) to (um) leave the GDR through any of the border crossings."

The audience is stupefied. What did he just say? Temporarily regaining his composure, one of the reporters present manages to raise his voice above the resulting media squall.

"Without a passport? WITHOUT A PASSPORT?"

Again consulting the document, Schabowski confirms that to his knowledge, the new changes would replace any previous requirement for travel documentation. His political comrades on the sidelines wince at the omission, their animated hand-to-throat motions signaling 'please stop now Günter' going obliviously unheeded by the drowning minister.

A timid reporter, who has so far been quiet for the during the conference, stands up, squeaking out his decisive, and historical, question.

"And when do these changes come into effect?"

Schabowski, only now realising both the enormity of the situation and the length he has yet to endure his poor aching head, searches in vain across the page for a date in which to attribute these changes. He finds only the date at the top of the memo, written directly next to the words 'TOP SECRET' in bold red font. He replies softly, a man defeated.

"According to my information, immediately."

Schabowski could not have known that these changes were intended to have come in over the course of years. They had only been discussed and proposed that morning, probably at the same time Günter had been swallowing his first aspirin.

Armed with this incredible story, several reporters leave the conference at once, breaking the news across East Berlin within hours. People begin to crowd checkpoints all across the city, demanding immediate access to the West. The Guards at the gate are confused; they have received no orders from their superiors regarding the wholesale immigration of East Berlin residents. Frantic calls are made, but no minister is willing to give the order to use lethal force. Yet still the gates don't budge.

His confidence bolstered by the exponentially growing numbers of his fellow countrymen, one brave Berliner, using his friend as leverage, hoists himself onto the wall. Ignoring the aggressive shouts from the guards below, he looks out over the west - a part of his city that he has never seen before. Suddenly, he feels a thudding jolt slam into his lower back, and immediately fears he has become the final casualty of his city's lethal duality.

But he remains. Far from being shot at, he has been targeted instead by a water cannon! This joyous epiphany spreads across the mob within seconds. Feeling no reservations in facing a barrage of water, people begin to scale the wall in droves. Resigning themselves to the inevitable, the border guards finally relent and open the checkpoint gates. East Berliners, for the first time in 27 years, walk freely into the West.

West Berlin news crews rush up to some of the first people across the border. Asked what they are thinking, most people echo remarkably similar sentiments.

"Crazy" they breathe, shaking their heads. "Just... crazy."




Transcribed from a story told by Andrew from New Berlin. The more important details of the story I made every attempt to check, but is still sure to contain many inaccuracies and/or poetic license.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Anabolic Rhetoric

The two day White House environmental 'summit' concluded today with President George W. Bush outlining his plan to achieve what his environmental minister James Connaughton describes as the 'aspirational' goal of reducing greenhouse gas emisions.

When asked to clarify exactly what was meant by this definition, Bush declined, saying that while he aspired to answer the question directed at him, in reality he had no intention of actually doing so.

Friday, September 21, 2007

2 days to go, and officially shitting myself

Things To Do Before I'm 30
(23rd September)


  1. Champagne breakfast in a hot air balloon Lacking ballooning skills and suitable romantic counterpart
  2. Invent hover board (c) Universal Studios ergo high litigation potential, not to mention lack of technical know how concerning hovering
  3. Get married / have kids One week not long enough - blame late generational awareness
  4. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich and determine requisite answers through the bottom of an impressively large glass.

One out of four aint bad I guess!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Play that funky music

Things were not always this grim. I used to have a very interesting job. Once upon a time was a very popular Sydney DJ.

Don't laugh, it's true.

Well, I may be stretching the truth slightly, considering that maybe five percent of the people I ended up talking to about it had actually heard of me, but that's beside the point. What was most noticeable during these exchanges was the veritable tirade of questions that could be launched as a result of mentioning my occupation.

"Oh really! What clubs do you play at?"
"Oh really! What style of music do you play?"
"Oh really! You must be really worried about your future, yeh?"

I could never really understand the general fascination, but was always pleased with amount of conversational attention it elicited. I mean, most of the DJs I knew, while being completely lovable in their own right, were at heart music nerds of the highest order. Not unlike computer nerds in many respects.

Eventually, I made the decision to give it up. There were a multitude of reasons for doing so, but I very quickly found myself explaining them ad nauseum to a throng of incredulous scensters each time I went out.

"But why?" they would lament, shaking their beer to enunciate the point.

"I simply couldn't do it anymore." I would respond defensively. "Working 9 to 5 during the week, and then going out every Friday and Saturday night. Being forced to go to clubs when you didn't want to, missing peoples birthdays, going away parties, weddings. Hanging out with people younger than I was, who weren't my friends. And look, even if I did make it big, I really couldn't see myself being a travelling musician and being away from my (very hypothetical) wife and kids."

"I see." they would say, scratching their chin and nodding solemnly. "But tell me this, why did you quit?"

It wasn't long before the momentum of such conversations led me to feign drink emptiness and back away slowly, trying unsuccessfully to avoid eye contact.

It was pretty tiresome. The interesting thing was, no-one in the industry who was working a similar circuit to me ever questioned the decision. They understood completely, perhaps even better than I did. I think my closest friends Will and Spook were disappointed, mainly because it meant that they would have one less friend to heckle, draw texta on the face of, and buy indigestible concoctions of alcoholic beverages with questionably inspirational titles (The flaming funktrust, the kanga cricket, etc). But as they were well aware, there's only so long that your stomach allows you to drink something that was previously on fire.

During my last few months of DJing I began working at a place called Cargo, which was to all appearances a swish Darling Harbour nightclub. In reality, it was an arse pinching thoroughfare of oily haired bogans with delusions of class. It was here that I met Mikey, a beer swilling, sailor-talking ray of sunshine in this womanising wasteland. We had a simple approach to dealing with the place: Drink a lot of beer and make up jokes at other peoples expense.

It was during one of these cycles that I was approached by a girl of extremely questionable age who was obviously about to request something I'd never heard of, as was the usual fare in the place.

"Hi," She said, attempting to catch me in her doe eyed tractor beam. "Can you play [something I'd never heard of but five bucks says she saw it on video hits that morning]?"

"Sure," I said "Or alternatively, you could just wait until your next blue light disco and then hear it there."

I then erupted in peals of laughter, slapping Mikey in the stomach and retelling the story paying particular attention to my brashness and wit. When I turned around, she was still there, scowling at me. She raised her hand to her head, formed the letter 'L' with her finger and thumb, the international teen-symbol for 'loser'.

"Oh my God!" I bellowed, spilling my beer. "Could you BE any more from high school? You're like a really bad parody of yourself!"

By this stage Mikey and I were having the time of our lives; jumping around and spilling drinks all over ourselves. The track on the turntable could have been running out for all I cared, I was beyond doing anything but hoot with delight. I'm pretty sure the girl wasn't having quite as good a time as us, she made another offensive hand to mouth gesture (which made me almost die, I can tell you) and then left, never to be seen again.

Needless to say I didn't play her track. Looking back now, you'd be forgiven for assuming that I'm an arrogant, opinionated bastard. But you gotta admit, I'm a bastard who comes up with some pretty damn good drunken quips.

I'm going to pay for that night one day, I'm sure.