Monday, March 31, 2008

Run! He's threatening legal!

Customer service have all the fun:

Dear fuckers,

Now that I know who you are and what you do, I'm going to sue your ass. You are the entity wholly responsible for putting Vundo virus software on my computer. You are evil people with evil intentions and I'm going to sue your fucking asses and end up with all your money. What's more, I'm going to complain to the prosecuting authorities in your country and make certain that he puts each and every one of you fuckers in jail. Better yet, how about a cosmic punishment; you will never be able to watch a movie, a sporting event or do anything pertaining to personal entertainment or business without an unwanted commercial ad popping up in your fucking face. Go fuck your mother, father, sister and brother, you fucking fuckers, and go fuck yourself!

I dunno what's less scary; Being threatened by a guy who believes in correct punctuation or the fact that he's wielding unsolicited pop-up advertising.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In the meantime..

By now you will have heard about the escalating political situation in Tibet. Please take the time to sign this online petition - the fastest growing petition in web history. It is a small thing but significant - an indication of support for the Tibetan people and a display of global solidarity to those wanting to repress the right to religious autonomy.

Free Tibet.

Regular scheduled programming will resume shortly, it's been a crazy week!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eating in Vietnam

It's a pity that nothing ever remains the same same.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Airport Tales: and Other Hijinx

Arriving at Sydney airport on departure day and sporting the niftiest in high-flying attire, I sauntered up to the arrival desk and proudly presented my passport. No sooner had I begun loudly exclaiming how well travelled I had become in recent times that I was interrupted by the attendant with some shocking news. My Vietnamese visa had expired!

"That's not right." I angled lamely, my stomach descending rapidly. "It starts today."

"Well according to your passport, it ends today." offered my observant but unavoidably hateful attendant. Snatching my passport back, I confirmed that the Vietnamese embassy in London had assigned me the wrong dates for my visa. That dastardly embassy -- The same embassy who had closed for Chinese new year knowing full well I harboured suspicions that Vietnam was another country altogether. The same embassy who only 3 days before I was due to leave had hung up in my ear when I demanded that Ho Chi Min himself track down my missing passport. The same embassy who had now conspired to ruin me at Sydney airport and who no doubt had a camera trained on me this very second to enjoy the spectacle of my destruction.

Despite suspecting worse, I summed their provable indiscretions to be two - hanging up on me, and foiling my visa. So while this was only strike two for them, I was nonetheless happy to dispense with tradition altogether and forever relegate them to the category of 'you're out'. Unfortunately this did little to balm my rising frustration, and I began making what I now affectionately refer to as 'a spectacle' but could more accurately be described as 'a tantrum'.

Clearly taking pity on those within my close proximity, Singapore airlines hatched a plan; fly to Singapore, my original stopover, and fix my visa at the embassy there. Even if this couldn't be done, I could still stay in Singapore for 6 days and catch my return flight out, meaning that I wouldn't have to fork out for extra flights. Ingenious! I vigorously shook the hand of the helpful staff member, who eyed me with barely concealed dread and encouraged me to leave them alone immediately. I agreed, and turned to the nearest camera to begin scowling menacingly.

"Thought you had me that time, eh? Look whose laughing now!"

I broke into a rumbling cackle that quietened the room. When I eventually concluded laughing and had wiped the tears from my eyes, the only murmurings I heard came from the helpful attendant who was busy whispering some recommendations into her handset that might have included the word 'security' and definitely included the word 'risk'.

I trundled off happily, knowing that adventure awaited.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Diet of Superheros

"We're on our way up to Sydney to meet your Uncle Davey."

My Mum was on the phone to my nephew Olly, attempting to explain her absence from his usual routine of habitual nanna harassment. Olly is a smart kid. A month ago his interest in birds was such that he asked my Dad what bird he would be, assuming we lived in a world where people were birds. Not really having thought much on the matter of poultry affiliation, Dad thought instead that he would choose a bird that Olly had heard of. "Well, a seagull I guess. I guess I would be a seagull."

"Hmm." replied Olly, mentally weighing the pros and cons of his choice. "Nah... Too beachy." It will be years before he works out that all the best birds hang out at the beach, but no matter which way you fly it was a pretty inspired response. I suspect that his understanding of where I've been for the past 9 months is less developed however, but he hides it well.

"Would you like me to give him a message from you?" Mum asked.

"Of course you can." Olly replied, stalling for time while he searched for some profundity. "Tell him... Elephants."

Although I've been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time with him over the 3 year tenure of his nephewship, I've got to admit that his point alluded me. Was he communicating his capacity not to forget some wrongdoing I had previously inflicted, or simply informing me I had an elongated shnoz and was frightened of mice? I made a mental note to ask him about it, but was pretty sure I had been out-foxed.

When I made it down to Canberra and starting spending time with him and his wont-be-left-behind brother Gus, I was reminded that when it comes to kids, conversational direction is seldom controllable.

"Davey," Ollie turned to me during dinner one night, his brow furrowed with a thought that had obviously been causing him some distress. "Davey, is it true that Spiderman eats spiders?"

I put my knife and fork down, giving the question the attention it deserved. "Well that all depends on which camp you're aligned with mate. Those pro-cannibal Spidey pundits would have you believe all kinds of misnomers about the great webslinger, but take it from me little man; this is one case where dude aint what he eats."

He seemed relieved. I mean honestly, the lengths some people will go to frighten kids. I was about to continue explaining the origins of Spiderman's power due to being bitten by a radioactive and potentially lethal lab spider, but was distracted instead by the little dude inspecting a booger he'd just retrieved from his nose. "Well I aint going to eat that, Davey."

Time for me to be relieved. As an uncle, I'm pleased that my responsibility starts and stops with super hero myth debunking, rather than the higher moral teachings of snot consumption abstinence. I failed that subject if I recall.