Monday, July 30, 2007

Cynicism - best ism since Tism


There's only one good thing about getting really, really pissed off - Assuming of course you don't have some weird predilection to masochism or telemarketing. No, to my mind the ONLY thing good about seeing something you despise is being able to add the incident to your personal 'pet hates' list.

I am very proud of my personal pet hates list. I've been compiling it for quite some time, but I guess that comes with the territory of being a connoisseur of the annoying. And being annoying. And generally wanting to pass on negative thoughts to your fellow man. Which brings me to my list.

1. The wearing of sunglasses indoors. As far as I'm concerned, nothing says 'target me for human culling' more than a pair of daintily worn indoor shades.

2. The yelling of 'taxi!' when someone drops a drink in a bar. Yo, funny man, for your next trick you gonna to squirt us with your plastic lapel flower? Newsflash comic genius, everyone in this bar has heard that one before. Like, 20 times. If you want to make us laugh, try head butting that wall. Sure, we've seen that one before too, but it's STILL funny! Take a note.

3. Indecision at the bottom of an escalator. You know how it goes, someone stops dead, puts their finger up to their mouth and goes 'Hmm! Now where did I want to go?', thereby making everyone behind them go into flailing arm type evasive action in a supreme effort not to be involved in a multi-body pile up. The only exception to this rule is old people, who are neither nimble footed enough nor lightning witted enough to not get in people's way.

4. Walking really slowly down a street with your whole extended family in one long line. Impossible to get past. Now, call me a blustery be-there-5-minutes-ago kinda guy, but surely strolling should be reserved for lake-walking lovers and amputees?
Now, I've never ever been accused of exaggeration before (ever), but people who walk slowly in busy thoroughfares are the public relations equivalent of the Ebola virus. The bad one. I think it's Ebola Zaire. Slightly reduced mortality rate I believe, but then you can use statistics to prove anything.

5. The wearing of polo collars in the upright position. DIE. Cheers!

6. [NEW!] Visiting the the Picasso Museum in Paris, looking at My Favourite Picasso Painting for two seconds, trying to take a crap phone picture of it for 15 seconds, then walking off admiring the phone. There's really nothing funny about that at all. It made me angry, then sad, then sleepy.

That's all for now. Hearty apologies for venting my frustrations in this manner - but for some reason I now feel curiously refreshed. There's definitely something to be said for the soapbox styled sharing of one's issues.

Tune in next week when I discuss all of the most disgusting bacterial infections I've had to suffer through. Sure to be something in that for everyone!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Revised Postcard writing technique

Postcards are great. The only thing that doesn't make them great is a long winded, circular diatribe debating the differences between a church and a cathedral. (We think size and locality)

So, to counteract this alarming trend in the authoring of postal cards, I have conjured a new writing mechanic deigned to bring about it's downfall. There's only a few points to remember, so bear with me.

  • Banal discussions of where you went for lunch should be avoided, unless of course you ate so much cheese you puked.
  • Must at least attempt to be funny. If funny is outside of one's reach, then aim for entertainingly whimsical

I think thats it. Here's an example of one I sent my brother in law:

You see? SURELY he's going to get at least a small kick out of that one. Yes, I also aim for entertainingly whimsical.

Now all i need to do is stop my writing fist from resembling that of a struggling pre-schooler with learning difficulties, and the world's my proverbial oyster.

The fate of the cobra handler

Kho Phi Phi, Thailand.

Much to my disappointment, I discovered that the cobra handling facility had been closed until further notice.

I quickly decided against trying to ascertain why.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

You're only in Young once

Young. Famous for their cherries. We did only go once, but that may of had something to do with standing up on a barstool and repeating in strong slurring tones the amended proverb shown above. That and being chased out of town immediately after by pitchfork wielding natives. Either or, really.

Below is an excerpt from an email I received from my wonderfully observant and hilarious friend May - transcribed here for the shared enjoyment of all.


Last night was called Granny Flat, and a friend of mine has been putting it on at the Longueville Hotel for a while now. This being the last one, I thought I should probably head down there for the first time. Not bad really, cool crowd, lots of our friends there, most of whom I haven't seen in AGES, pretty good music. And I was lucky enough to witness this on the bus on the way there:

*bus shuts doors, goes to pull out*

Drunken Youth: Buddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!

Peeved Bus Driver: Are you getting on or not?

Drunken Youth: Yep... Yeah... *removes mobile from ear* Um. What station are you going to?

PBD: Chatswood. [leaves out the "like it says on the front"]

DY: Ok, that's cool. I'll go to Chatswood.

*looks down at wallet, causing him to sway gently*

DY: Do you accept EFTPOS?

PBD: .........!!

DY: That's cool, man. I'll just get the next one.

Brightened my night right there.


And, in turn, my dreary rain soaked misadventure to the corner store net cafe.

More stories from May to follow. Comments concerning her being funnier than me discouraged.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Annual strategy and brainstorming meeting for Doorsigns Inc.

CEO: Well, we've had a pretty prosperous year all things considered. The 'No junk mail' signs have been a big hit, and I think we'd be wise to invest some heavy marketing dollars into the public awareness of them during the first fiscal quarter of this year.

The long term outlook for our 'Beware of the dog' signs have suffered to some degree due to a resurgence in the popularity of cats, but I think that with some broadening of our colour scheme we can safely reclaim some of that allusive market. I hear that cerulean and magenta are hip with the younger 'x-treme' generation, who could be key in this area. Take a note, Brian.

Now I'd like to open the floor to anyone who might have some new ideas for potential signage.

Bob: Personally, I'd like to see some 'No prostitutes here' signs introduced. You know, so that people know not to knock on my door when they're looking for hookers.

CEO: Bob, you've done it again.

Not. Even. Fuckin. Joking.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

county coffee

Back in the UK again. This morning we returned to London from visiting a friend in the northern county of Oxfordshire. The place can be pretty much summed up in a conversation I had when trying to get coffee.

me: G'day (trying to sound aussie)

sweet old biddy: 'ello love.

me: Could i grab a latte please?

sob: Sure thing love. Now, do want milk with that?

me: ....

sob: ... ?

me: uuuumm.. naaaah, just the latte. Thanks.

We had a laugh we did. Innit?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Slowly creepin in

Turning thirty is a weird one. As soon as you make it past the quarter century, every year that passes seems like the countdown of a death sentence. Then, at 29, you all of a sudden realise you don't give a shit. The looming conclusion to a decade that was fraught with indecision, bad hangovers and debt realisation suddenly doesn't seem so confronting. In fact, it could even be good. Saturday mornings could be spent reading the paper instead of trying to darken ones room and quieten ones sing-song birds. Books could be read, clubs joined. Hell, even embroidery could be discovered by those more crafty individuals in our midst.

It does pay to actively ignore the fact that these little epiphanies are most likely the body's natural reaction to dealing with the inevitable end of one's youthful exuberance, but by thunder, ignoring shit is easy. After all, there's always alcohol; natures fail-safe brainwasher!

What certainly doesn't help when approaching the so called dirty (translation: grotty) 30s is to be reminded by ones well-meaning (translation: piss-taking) friends that there are in fact some drawbacks to getting older. Such as how tired and old you've been looking recently. Or how many hours of being 20 you have left. Or how many you have now. Or how interesting it is that the steak you are currently eating will be the last one you will ever eat during your misspent youth. Fuckers.

As is what happened to our dear friend Patty last weekend when we decided to celebrate his 30th birthday in Copenhagen, Denmark. The plan of attack was simple: Go to Denmark with the aim of going to the Roskilde festival, setup camp, and proceed to get completely wasted on duty-free vodka to the backdrop of some of the worlds best bands. By heck, even a monkey would split his bananas on a plan this salubrious.

One problem. Roskilde was experiencing one of it's 'wet' years. I'd never even heard of the phenomenon until I was informed of it's existence one week too late via the quintessential street mag Vice. What this 'wet year' equated to was the crew getting blasted with record breaking torrential rains, fortunately for me, the day before i arrived. Their eventual response to which was to retreat back to the comfort of an opportunistically priced Copenhagen hotel. I know you're thinking what complete festival pussies they were by boo-hooing over a little rain, but let me break it down for you one time homie:

  • Stinking mud as far as the eye can see.
  • One foot deep flood water (+ piss + rubbish + vomit) in and around the camp site.
  • Completely wet and freezing EVERYTHING
  • Broken phones, cameras, passports, wills to live

The short term solution was much like the usual fare - drink shitloads and ignore the problem. The plan worked peachy until Pat and Amy retired for the night to find their air mattress floating in a one foot tent puddle of water and begotten festival crap.

The scene erupted.

"What are we gonna do?"
"I dunno! What are we gonna DO?"
"How should I know? WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?"


"Fuck it I fell over in this CRAP!"
"Don't bump our tent Patty!"

And so it goes. Now, is the colloquial term 'Happy campers' supposed to sound so sarcastic? My kroners are on 'yah'.

Patty's actual 30th was the following night in the hotel. We thoroughly irritated the very patient guy down at the front desk with numerous requests for ice, convinced some Nordic thrash metal band that we were Basement Jaxx (nooooo, there's THREE people in our band. Do your research, Evald.) and probably should have called it quits after breaking the bedside lamp and deciding to send it down to our friend in reception via the lift. I say SHOULD have called it quits, because 2 seconds later we also broke the bed. In our defence, closer inspection the following morning revealed that it had already been broken by some nefarious individual on a previous occasion. So that, like, basically means we did nothing wrong. Anyway, it wasn't anything a bit of gaffer tape didn't fix, and even though the people whose bed it was had to sleep on a sagging bed after we broke it, it's still gotta be better than shivering your ass off on an inflatable island approximately one midget square surrounded by a sea of sheep poo mud and the potential of contracting projectile dysentery.

But then, i can think of at least one other thing better than that.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dream-maker, heart-breaker

I woke up this morning to a heart warming message from Will back in Australia:

Hey dude. Dreamt last night that you recorded a hit song before you left. Woke up this morning singing it. Pretty sure this is the money maker we've been looking for. Send help.

My interest was piqued, and I immediately set about requesting more details. It took very little encouragement to receive a follow up text. After all, he'd already recorded a demonstrative work-in-progress MP3 outlining the finer points of the catchy little ditty.

By 'work in progress' I mean a scratchy recording of Will singing the tune in an sleepy early morning falsetto, and by 'catchy little ditty' i mean Zanadoo on a bad acid bender.

Oh wait up. Zanadoo
was a bad acid bender. Having said that, there's no denying that their outfits ruled. *Writes reminder in phone to procure ruling outfit and matching skates*

Anyway, for your enjoyment (but mostly mine), here's the MP3:

I hope Will doesn't mind me posting this. After much deliberation I came to the conclusion that the publishing rights have got to be at least 50% mine anyway, considering that dream-me came up with the concept. I really must remember to investigate the potential copyright infringements regarding the 'yummy yummy yummy I've got love in my tummy' vocal. I mean, something that amazing couldn't possibly be original, and I've been burnt in the past.


Right on Denmark. Fricken Hairstyles. Those baldies have got it easy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Guy, Guy Incognito

A lot of emphasis these days is placed on blending in while travelling; Understanding the language, the people, being culturally sensitive, visiting places of historical significance - it's all a load of shit really. Why fly under the radar when you can make a mockery of your host nation and bring so much reflected discrimination upon other travellers trying to do the right thing? Pussies.

I've managed to devise an ingenious points-based system designed to aid those people wishing to gauge their travelling footprint. I really can't take all the credit for this scaling methodology, and owe a debt of gratitude to the guy who stood in front of at 7-11, Sukumvit district, Bangkok. His faultless 20 point display was nothing short of inspiring; a culmination of everything wise and good in the modern day travelling man.

  • Wear Velcro sandals. Bonus points for teaming them up with thick woolen socks. If sandals prove to be unavailable, points will be allocated for donning those rubber croc shoes that, and lets face it, were only designed so that homeless people's feet could breath. (5 points)
  • Wear backpacks as frontpacks at all times, thereby turning the whole insidious naming convention on it's head. (5 points)
  • Request Dr Pepper from local outlet. After receiving incredulous looks as to the nature of your request, bemoan country's foodstuff stocking policy at length. (5 points)
  • After finally consolidating your order of 5 phone cards and a coke, spend large amounts of time fumbling local currency. After realising that you are bereft the required funds needed to ratify the transaction, offer American dollars instead. Again, loudly grieve any refusal to accept alternative currency. (5 points)

Please keep in mind, this is only a draft proposal. Dealing with restless natives is always an onerous task, as is making appropriate decisions in the structure of ones garb. Revise, devise, but never sympathise my friends.

Unless their currency is stronger of course, which as we all know is the the only fair way of determining superiority.