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.


..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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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:

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

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


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.


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 []
Date: 16 Feb 2007 02:15
Subject: Word to my mother
To: Davey


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


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."


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.


"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,

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,

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.


Sincere Friendships,

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.


Kind Cares,

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


Heart privity,

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.)


Kind point,

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:


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.


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