Will Type For Food


Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sunday poem

Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league backwards,
Boldly they rode and well
Out of the jaws of hell,
Stormed back from shot and shell,
Floundered and blundered,
Ours not to do or - no,
Maybe we will not go,
See you - next year or so,
Rode the five hundred. 

- from the Discharge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Lines about the Grand Final that don't go anywhere in particular...

It's AFL Grand Final time and I haven't been this excited since Phar Lap won the Ashes against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

But we'll get to Tiddlywinks in a moment.

Football! The game that turns the champions into men! Or occasionally women, depending on their gender preferences.

The three stages of football: someone's going to win! Someone's winning! Someone has won!

(But lining up for a big kick - do footballers ever get an itchy nose?)

The end (told you I wasn't going anywhere in particular).

Saturday, September 26, 2015

How can it bee: an existential dilemma

From time to time I have attempted to upload pictures of our bees to the internet, though not with much success. This has caused something of an existential dilemma on my part: if a picture of something doesn't appear on the net, does it actually exist? What would humans be if you took all the selfies away from them? Well, the same thing happens with bees. So people would be forgiven for being justifiably suspicious of our claims to have bees. This, then, is an attempt to rectify that dilemma.

Here is an unconvincing picture of a guard bee that was hanging around the kitchen window and which you probably won't notice anyway because of the cow in the background. For short, let's just call it 'Unconvincing picture of a bee'.

Unconvincing picture of a bee

As if that wasn't convincing enough, this one time, I got stung in the forehead, and it was totally from our own bees and not from some other bee or wasp or anything like that. Here is a picture of what I looked like after I got stung although it doesn't actually have any bee in it. For short, I call it 'Picture that doesn't actually have a bee in it'.

Picture that doesn't actually have a bee in it

And, to wrap things up, here is a generic stock photo image of a a bee hive that no-one uses anymore. I call it 'Skep', because that's what it is. We certainly don't use skeps at our house, but I've just thrown it in there anyway to make my case more thorough and logically consistent. Also, it looks nice.


Friday, September 25, 2015

The daily grump, or, a finely detailed discussion of all the things I am grumpy about, part #1,000,000,001

Public art: I have decided that I do not like it very much, and, what's worse, I find that I am having more and more opportunities for not liking it very much, at great length, everywhere I turn, which makes me like it even less.

Politicians, at the best of times, are the sort of people who get excited about paving footpaths deep into the heart of the majestic wilderness, setting fences up, and generally plonking gigantic roadways and tollways and bridges here, there, and everywhere. So much so that it is getting that we can't see the footpaths for the fences for the roadways for the tollways for the bridges, much less the majestic wilderness that is allegedly there in the first place. This would all be quite quaint and charming in its own way, and after all, if you don't find a place in politics for these sort of people, where would they go?

Unfortunately, lately politicians seem to have developed taste and culture; and now, instead of getting excited about slabs of concrete or chunks of asphalt, they are developing an alarming amount of enthusiasm for paying excessive amounts of money for art. Not their own art, of course, and nor is it their own money, naturally: that would encourage unnecessary feelings of frugality and thriftiness, which are highly disadvantageous to a political career.

And what sort of art do they like to spend excessive amounts of money on, these people who previously exercised their talents in spending excessive amounts of money on slabs of concrete and chunks of asphalt? Huge art, horrible art, art both hugely horrible and horribly huge so that you can't help but notice it being horribly huge wherever you turn. Oh look, it's a gigantic fucking silver gnome. Oh yeah, there's that arse ugly fake hotel. How about that! And what is most infuriating about all of this is not the expense, or the ugliness, or the cheap attention-grabbing nature of it all, or even the hugeness, it is the inescapable impression that one is being imposed upon, that your own artistic tastes don't matter, that it has all been settled and decided for you by people with more - well, not more taste than your own, certainly, and not necessarily more intelligence than you, either, but certainly more money than you. Oh, they've got bucketloads of that last one. And look, here's some culture, so you don't have to worry about it. There you go, you slobs, have as much culture as you can take!

It is all of a piece with that other common view about people who inhabit the suburbs, that they are an undiscerning mass who generally will do everything they can to avoid culture. But that was never true, not really, since every occasion a person in the suburbs spends not going out to a night in the theatre or visiting the local art gallery or looking fashionable in the company of other fashionable people on Brunswick Street or Sydney Road, they might just be spending quietly at home reading a book or watching the telly or having a party with friends. But no, the assumption seems to be that these people must have culture, the right sort of culture, whether they like it or not, and, oh look, there's another vomit-coloured and turd-shaped statue of Brobdingnagian proportions being erected in the oval behind your house, obstructing your view, grabbing your attention, just when you thought they really were going to let you get away with standing around idly in the backyard admiring clouds.... Will anyone save us from this sudden discovery of taste and culture on the part of politicians?


Thanks to a rather surprising coincidence of events and happenstance, I recently, in the course of two days, came into the possession of three (or possibly four*) student journals from two separate universities (Melbourne and La Trobe). As you may know, I am frequently in the habit of reading such literature in my ongoing quest for more things to be grumpy about, so I eagerly leapt upon these latest publications. 

The results were lamentably free of poor writing, reprehensibly well written; barely a howler here or a mistake there to get outraged about. I was thrown into such desperate straits that The Grump had almost decided to get grumpy about a lack of things to get grumpy about (it's been known to happen before). It was only at the last minute that I was saved from this by noticing the apparently ubiquitous label above articles: "Trigger warning" - often substituting any actual introduction or editorial note. "Trigger warnings" were common to both publications from Melbourne and La Trobe. suggesting that it's not only in these two publications that one might find such stuff. 

It is curious to observe how infantile trends that seem to begin in student culture in the United States make their way rapidly to Australia. Just why we should feel compelled to imitate this latest catchphrase (there've been a few come and go since I was at uni) is beyond me. Australian students, take a stand, be patriotic - let us independently come up with our own twaddle, free of this American nonsense! Trust me, I'm a grump! 

*There is a certain amount of quantum uncertainty about such things in my universe. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Notes towards a doughnut re-education camp

- Geometry: the holes in doughnuts - ideal dimensions of - taste compared to holes in Cheezels - advanced geometry - whether you can fit a camel through - Mobius doughnuts.

- The inferiority of Krispy Kreme and Woolworths doughnuts - being fed boxes of said doughnuts while tied down in a chair and Beethoven's ninth is played to you repeatedly.

- The Sisyphus test - can you roll a gigantic doughnuts up a hill before eating it? - catching doughnuts in your mouth.

- spelling - doughnuts or donuts? - kronuts or kroughnuts? - the inferiority of Nutella to jam - the inferiority of icing to cinnamon sugar.

- variants - Cheezels: savoury doughnuts or chips? - what to do with Spanish doughnuts - ideal heat of doughnut - various taste testings.

- more taste testings.

- more taste testings just to be sure.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Because food is evil and must be punished

Doctors' kitchen knives ban call 
A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing. A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase - and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings...The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all. 
 They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen. 

Put down the knife, sir, and step slowly away from the onion

 I know this article is a decade old, but the pursuit of truth and outrage and scandal is timeless. So, in the spirit of freedom and all things good and pure, I'd like to take a nostalgic look back at all the other items the nanny state (accursed be its putrid ways!) has banned us from using in the kitchen.

Gone are the days when you could just rocket blast a piece of steak or a delicate bit of blanc monge into submission. Sure, there are egg beaters and such like, but the results are just not the same without that beautiful smell of metal and military explosives, are they?

No no, boys, the souffle is that way! 
Thanks, nanny state!

Demonic-slaying axe
There once was a time when you could cheerfully spend a hard day's work spifflicating demons on your sturdy axe before returning home and hewing some honest lumps of bread off with the same axe to have yourself a soothing peanut butter sandwich. Not any more. "Demonic-slaying axes should only be used by approved and licensed slaying authorities", they say. I ask you. Where are we going to find someone like that when we want a sandwich?

"Make me a sandwich! Please?"

And sure, the bench would usually get hewn into splinters when you did cut another chunk of bread, but it was worth it!

Medieval mace
Oh, I can't even prepare the salad dressing with a medieval mace anymore, can I? This is just too much! Actually, I kind of agree with this one: it's much to difficult to whip a mayonnaise into shape with a medieval ball-and-chain concoction: the Luger is so much more efficient for the modern chef.

What do you prefer? This traditional kitchen implement or the more modern-style Luger? Write in, please, enclosing  a cheque for $1 million to the usual address! 

Monday, September 07, 2015

A spring song

Grey clouds and mizzle - 
An appropriately sober
Dose of springtime drizzle
I hope lasts through October. 

Enough that bees and flowers
Enjoy their youthful fling - 
But without springtime showers,
They will not bear a thing. 

We'll have more weeks of boggy
Sodden gloom to trudge through yet: 
So thank God for the soggy
And for the rain and wet. 

Friday, September 04, 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

This is a true story dude it happened to a friend of a friend of a friend of mine in a 7/11 far far away

I was Jason on a city corner one morning - at least, people assumed I was, and who am I to deny them? "You Jason?" they asked. "You Jason? You Jason? You Jason?"

"Nah," I said. "Emma Chisett!"

"You've had a sex change?" said one of them. "That's alright, a lot of us have. You see Mike Hunt over there?"

Of course, I had to look. I find Mike Hunt in the strangest of places. Anyway, things were going along like this for a while, when who should come around the corner but Laura Norder?

"Laura!" we all said. "Long time no see! We haven't done anything, honest!"

"There's no time for that now!" said Laura. "I'm looking for Wayne Kerr - he's pretty big, you know. Looking for a big, gigantic, large Wayne Kerr. You seen him?"

"Is he with Mr Bates?" someone suggested.

Just then, I heard a Russell in the trees. I don't know why, it's just that Russell is always climbing the fucking things. "Get out of the bloody tree, Russell!" I shouted.

"Fuck you!" said Russell, which is just like him.

Laura explained, turned out Wayne had been a Robin up and down the neighbourhood. He drove Alexis round the bend, and then got involved in a big con job stealing people's credit card details.

"Con job?" said Mike. "Con Staralambous?"

"Nope," said Laura. "Even worse. Con Clusion."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


To give four cheers.

Three thumbs up!

To have a smile bigger than your face.

Being over the blue moon.

To give a hearty sphere of applause.


Cheering louder than yourself.

Not just showing up, showing off.

Applauding longer than yourself.

To raise the roof through the glass ceiling.

To bring the house down before setting it on fire.

To be the scream of the crop.


FACT! Jeremy Corbyn's jumper is knitted out of the beards of the proletariat!

FACT! In the coming Corbyntopia, there will be a tax on all non-bearded men, with the funds to go to working class women to aid them in their quest for beard reassignment!

FACT! An anagram of Jeremy Corbyn's name is Mereby Jorcyn, which in Rwanda-Rundi roughly translates to "My rhinoceros is on fire!"

FACT! If all the Jeremy Corbyns of the world were laid end to end, from London to Paris, his wife would say, "What are you doing, Jeremy?"


FACT! There are no more facts!

Vote for beard! Beard will help you! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pogonological prognostications

Far be it from me to enter into the more abstruse points of style or fashion blogging, but on one occasion a little while ago I heard the possibly beard related feedback that I "looked like I had just slept under a bridge". As you can imagine, this put my beard more than a little out of joint: I was going more for the "looked like an internet troll who hadn't been out of the basement to wash for five months" look, or possibly some "absolutely batshit insane street poetry" chic. But whatever, "just slept under the bridge" look doesn't sound all that different, really. And who knows, perhaps sleeping under bridges is going to become the next big thing?

Fashion is a puzzling thing at the best of times, and beard fashion even more puzzling: one day, beards are in fashion; the next day, beards are out again; the day after, gentlemen's beards are still out of fashion, ladybeards, however, are making a stunning come back. I noticed walking along Alexandra Parade yesterday that Gillette Razors were attempting to stage a little coup with their latest advertising campaign: they invited people to stage a 'hipstervention' for bearded friends. Times are tough in razor land, it seems, with beards being resolutely attached to their hipsters (it would be kind of disturbing if they weren't and just went roaming around on their own, really).

I am kind of ambivalent about this whole thing: my current beard preceded, if not hipsterdom itself, certainly my discovery of hipsterdom. At some point someone expressed a wish that I grow a beard, at about the same point that I began expressing the beard myself. It didn't take much effort, after all.

Beards, for Gillette, et al, are a problem: they just kind of take care of themselves. If you let them, they will pretty much develop their own shape and form, and require little to no bother on the part of the wearer. Many beards develop a natural fork in them. Hairs in a beard, curiously, will tend to tumble down to the one height, as if they had been using a ruler and squared themselves off at that point. And they have a texture quite unlike any other hair on the body: the hairs get all mixed up and form a dense map and are rather - sproingy. For this last reason, beards are extremely useful for putting objects in, which can then be removed at parties or to impress small humans and irritate adults, at the beard owners leisure.  And they are a natural opportunity for chaps such as myself to express our natural sympathies with the animal world; ie, my cats have whiskers, which please me greatly. Why can't I return the favour?

The trend for beards won't last, of course. Gillette are just opportunistically trying to cash in on the end of a fashion and looking at the - er - cutting edge of the next one. Thinking about the manscaping trends of the nineties and noughties, one dreads to think what will next be expected of us chaps. On the whole, when it comes to the question of whether to cut off bits of myself or keep them, I fall in favour of the latter proposition. In the meantime, I will continue to manifest my hirsuteness in all companies, whether I sleep under bridges or not.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

An understated person

I can't hear you over my thoughts!

Too understated  to be a whisper.

Ferociously in between.

A surprising distraction from my distraction.

Even quieter than your audience.

Making less of yourself.

I like you most of some.

Unassumingly unassuming,

Monday, August 17, 2015

Allusions of grandeur

Well, my entry for the latest Speckled Potato poetry competition (write a poem from a cranky pet to its owner) wasn't accepted, so now it is free! Free! Gloriously free! Here it is now, and, as they say in the classics: don't worry, this will all be over in a moment.

Frae a mouse
Gigantic honking human bastard
In whose perfumes the room is blasted,
Your southern winds for years have lasted - 
Cutting cheeses? 
Would it were so, I'd have breakfasted
On your breezes. 

Your odours are beyond proportion - 
Is this some form of pet extortion? -
Think of my snout and its small portion
Ere you let fly - 
Pray, Sir, to exercise more caution, 
Or I die! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Seasonable seasoning and reasonable reasoning

Words sometimes make me think of Max Bialystock's encouraging phrase to Leo Bloom: "Kid! There's more to you than there is to you!" Same with words: even when you can't use them, you can use them. Just this morning I burst out into the back garden at 7 o'clock to let the chooks out, I ran smack bang into a pleasingly absurd phrase: "It gets early so early these days". On one hand, it makes no sense at all; on the other hand, you know what I mean!

This phrase pleased me so much that I came up with a list of iterations on the same theme:

End of winter: It gets early so early these days!

Beginning of winter: It gets early so late these days!

Daylight saving: It gets late so late these days!

Return to standard time: It gets late so early these days!

Jetlag: It's too early to be too late over here, even though it's not too late to be late back home.

Long story old man, but let's finish it this way: some people say words aren't any good at all. But they really speak to me!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Priority haiku #2, 3, 4

Just put down the haiku and step away from the computer, Tim! It's not worth it! 

I should be working.
Moving cat from lap to chair,
I get lunch instead.

Back on lap again.
I surf the net for cat pics.
Real cat purrs, content.

Lap starting to hurt.
Work almost due. Cat sleeping.
Well, this is awkward.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Poetry yay!

Fearsome and fretful fates, miserable misfortunes, and alliteration

IT'S OFFICIAL - important sociological studies conclude that the worst names to call your child are Penelope or Matilda.

These children, the study says, are amongst those most likely to become involved in blackhearted blackguardry, deadly double dealings, fearsome and fretful fates, miserable misfortunes, and alliteration.

In the words of the study:

The miserable Matilda heaved back her sobs, as the pirate captain, who had vowed to make her his bride, hurled her into the vault. Were she not bound and gagged, she would be able to tell him the terrible truth, the salacious secret that would surely release her from her pitiful plight - that he was her long lost son! 

Later in the study's conclusion, we find out that Penelope fares even worse:

O, wretched, wretched, wretched world, sobbed Penelope!  For had not she, just now, discovered that her one true beloved, the dashing and daring Sigmundo, had been entombed by his rival suitor for her affections, the palsied, pox-ridden, and putrefyingly repugnant Petruccio? And yet, she dare not speak - for the very life of her mother depended on her silence! 

On the other hand, as the study points out, it's quite fine to call your child Bumface or Scrotumfeatures. So there is that.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Scruffy and the Wind

Scruffy and the Wind: a two person dialogue in which only one person speaks


WIND - a jerk. 

SCRUFFY - a local feline urchin.


SCRUFFY: *Stands about in the garden in the middle of the howling wind scratching himself just generally not giving a shit*.


Friday, July 24, 2015

WTFF news: Councils run out of pointless symbolic gestures to be pointlessly symbolic about

OUR NATION IS IN CRISIS TODAY as local councils have announced that they are almost out of pointless symbolic gestures to be pointlessly symbolic about.

The fears come as the City of Moreland council today announced plans to hold a minute's silence to mark the occasion of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The gesture unintentionally emptied out the local council's stocks of pointless symbolic gestures, causing crisis meetings from concerned citizens groups from Brunswick through to Coburg.

"What on earth will local councils do if they don't have any pointless symbolic gestures to pass their time?" said one concerned citizen. "I am concerned!"

"It's a great idea, one minute's silence, but after we've used up that minute, what are we going to do next?" said another concerned citizen. "I am gripped in anticipated existential angst!"

The discovery of the national shortage in pointless symbolic gestures has sent ripples of concern across Australia, with accusations of profligacy from many of our top economists. "For years we have been overusing our pointless symbolic gestures. I mean, local councils being 'refugee zones' or 'nuclear free areas' or boycotting nations halfway around the world? What does this even mean? What value do they get from it?" said one respected national economist with many degrees to their name. "I am a respected national economist with many degrees to my name".

However, local councils have retaliated against the criticism, claiming they have been recycling many pointless symbolic gestures already. "Why, just yesterday I was at a meeting where we had a welcome to country, an apology to the stolen generations, and up to ten acknowledgements of the original Aboriginal owners of the land - and the recycling was all the more impressive for the fact that not a single Indigenous person was present", said the Mayor of one regional council. "What regional council was I running again?"

Other national economists have suggested that there are still creative solutions to the pointless symbolic gesture crisis. "We don't need to start making meaningful gestures yet", laughed one economist. "Not when we have the crimes of the Romans in Carthage to apologise for!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Meanwhile, in the world of commerce...

SCENE: The Prank Store, Lalor. The store owner, Mr PRANKSRUS is standing at the counter as young DONOGOOD and his friends come in.

MR PRANKSRUS: Hello, welcome to The Prank Store, Lalor. How may I help you?

DONOGOOD: (Giggling with companions) Hello! We'd like to buy a prank on.... (bursts into giggles again) Tim and the Baron.

MR PRANKSRUS: Certainly, we are The Prank Store, and we have all sorts of pranks available! Just what sort were you after? High-spirited malarkey? Well-schemed hoaxes? Long-running practical jokes?

DONOGOOD: (Giggling) Well, we were hoping to.... sneak into their backyard at night and put a cow on their roof. (Whole group bursts into uncontrollable laughter).

MR PRANKSRUS: Oh, I'm sorry. We're all out.

DONOGOOD: Really? (Face falls, then he has a sudden thought). Oh.... well, you know. We'd settle for a spot of 'Creeping into their front yard while they're sleeping and performing topiary on their diosma so it looks like a dinosaur when they wake up'. Bit unoriginal out in these suburbs.... but should do the trick.

MR PRANKSRUS: Oh dear, well as you know, that is one of our most popular models. I'm afraid we sold out yesterday morning. We'll have some more in in a week, I can put your name down if I can just....

DONOGOOD: No. (Sighs heavily). That's all right, I suppose we can just go.... and do our homework (someone in group whimpers).

MR PRANKSRUS: No no! I'm sure we can help you! Let me see, let me see - ooh, how about this: I have a nice package deal: 'Waiting until they look the other way and rearranging the statuary in their front yard', combined with 'spray painting one of them a nice pink colour'. Very promising! You'll love it!

DONOGOOD: That's very thoughtful! But I'm afraid they don't have statuary!

MR PRANKSRUS: Yes, yes, I see your problem. This is difficult. Look, we don't have too much else, we are just a start-up - but I could - let me see: yes! We do have this one: 'Wait until it's bin night and then steal a bin from someone else's house and then throw that bin and its contents onto their front driveway'. Neat little trick, quite modest but I'm sure you'll...

DONOGOOD: That's - that's a prank? More like a gaffe!

MR PRANKSRUS: Look, it's not perfect, but it's a good starting package. You'll really get into the prank market after that. Trust me! This is a prank that really says 'We are here to stay!'

DONOGOOD: (Whispers among companions) Won't it.... kind of.... make us look really stupid, um.... arseholes?

MR PRANKSRUS: No! You look like perfectly respectable lads to me! You'll be fine!

DONOGOOD: Okay.... I guess.... (hands over cash)...

MR PRANKSRUS:  Thank you! Enjoy your prank!

DONOGOOD: Thank you, sir! We'll do our best!


Sunday, July 12, 2015


Being a rhyme rap thingy I did at the Dan yesterday for no reason at all really apart from the three minutes of attention I got. The creative macchiato/legato rhyme was suggested by the Baron. (Incidentally, not only does blogger spell check not recognise the coffee names, it also got confused at 'lamington', 'trackydackies' and 'waccybaccy'. Spellcheck, check yourself!) 

Espresso yourself
Cappucino, moccacino, lamington and latte
Frappucino, affogato, muffin with a Smarty
Drop in for a doppio after shopping at the Target
You are all invited to my coffee-drinking party.

Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom-ba-da-doom.
Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom.

Like some woof with your doof take your poodle outside
We'd love to take your order and we'll take you for a ride.

Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom-ba-da-doom.

Like some sugar with your coffee or a hit of nicotine?
There's lightly slightly roasty toasty civet-bottom bean.
I just use these words though I don't know what they mean -
Is that butter on my fruit toast or is that just margarine?

Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom-ba-da-doom.
Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom.

Have a spot of piccolo, or a macchiato,
Some drink it furioso, but some are more legato.
Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom.

We're leafing through The Age though we're wearing trackydackies,
 Hey this skim milk soy chai latte is my morning waccybaccy -
Laughing at the slackers and the tradies and the whackers
Reading Herald Suns drinking coffee at the Maccas.

Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom-ba-da-doom.
Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom

Yo yo dude have a go of this Yo Yo
Give your ay a pep, give your day a gogo.

Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom.
Yo drinking coffee's cool yeah drinking coffee's hip
It's my cappucino crema and my chocolate chip,
Yo let's do lunch my man we'll shoot straight from the hip -
I just can't do it man until I get my coffee hit.

Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom-ba-da-doom.
Ba-doom-doom-doom ba-da-doom.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cats on laps 2: The Reckoning

Since the dawn of time, man has longed to become a pillow.

No, wait, go with me on this.

To have sharp feline claws repeatedly kneading his stomach into submission through his cosy jumper. (Convinced yet?) To have a purring predator making itself fiercely comfortably on his very own lap - with those purrs sure to break into growls if the man should dare to move himself in the slightest. And then - luxury of luxuries! - to have the aroma of the tin of Fancy Feast that you fed her two nights ago belched joyously up into your face as you contemplate the ways of fate that have led up to this glorious shining moment of cat sitting.
This is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory. 
Wait! Come back! I haven't finished yet!

At least get me a cup of coffee while you're up?

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

A comfortable opinion column

You are absolutely right in every way and in whatever opinion you have ever held. Further, you will inevitably be completely and utterly right in every opinion you ever will have: that is the considered opinion of this considered opinion column.

Think of a chair; a big, warm, comfortable chair. This chair is your opinion. You may relax in it. Go on, put your feet up. Notice how soft the cushions are! Of course, it is an extremely stylish and fashionable chair, but also exciting and moderne, for your tastes - being an extension of your opinions - are exceedingly refined and correct, though never subject to the transitory whims of trendsetters. How lovely it is! Utter the righteous sigh of contentment that you alone are able to utter. Ah!

Let us consider the nature of your opinions in all their true factuality and rightful correctness. I do not know what your opinions are (although I instantly accede to them, of course), and maybe you do not either: it is not mere generalities we are concerned with here. This nature of your opinions is threefold: you were right; you are right; you will always be right.

Polls have been performed on your opinions, and it is heartening to see how many people concur that you are in the right. Where polls do not agree with your own opinions, further polling on these polls has shown these polls to be wrong.

Most respectable individuals and highly-learned talking heads have conferred over your opinions and polls of your opinions, and the polls of polls of your opinions, and they have made eloquent disquisitions and delivered wise asseverations to the effect that you are absolutely right in every respect. Furthermore, the comment sections on most, if not all, blogs, taken as a whole, with a few unfortunate exceptions, affirm the serene truth of your reflections.

If only people would agree with you all the time. How agreeable that agreement would be! It is soothing to think of the correctness of your opinions, and to complaisantly acquiesce to their nuances and the subtler filigrees of your deliberations. One wonders why people do not instantly fall into step with them. This world is sometimes a fallen and miserable place.

We live in harsh, disputatious times, in a harsh, disputatious world, a place riven with disagreements, untruths, contradictions, paradoxes, and debates. Few individuals have ever come to agree on much in this bitter, conflicted place. No one person should ever feel complacent in their thoughts and philosophical systems - except you. You may feel utterly complacent in your complacency; for the simple neatness of your elegant opinions are perfectly adequate, for now and all time. How soft they are, how warm and fuzzy and attractive in their features; I should very much like to pat them and stroke them and make them my own!

This is the considered opinion of me, Tim Train, about your opinions.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

If the Romantics were grumps

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills
When suddenly I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodills.

Well, I soon cleaned that lot up.

I met a traveller from an ancient land
And wish he'd bloody well stay there!

In Xanadu did Kublai Kahn
A stately pleasure dome decree.
And all without health and safety regulations! I mean, geeze, it's a wonder we get anything done around here with all these stupid rules. Now that Kahn! There was a ruler who could bung up a city block or too!

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountain's green?
And look at the mess we're all in now! It's just obscene!

Shelley, again
O wild west wind, thou breath of autumn's being -
Who left the bloody window open anyway?

Barrett Browning
How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

Well, that was a short list.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Emoticon poem

Emojis are my amanuensis -
For instance, colon-close-parenthesis.
If I like you, then you'll see -
And let's make sure to never be

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Four short stories

Short story number one: a comment on literature.
"What the Dickens!" said the devil.
"What the devil!" said Dickens.

Short story number two: a religious reflection.
The pedant walked into the cathedral and was immediately struck with a sense of or.

Short story number three: cutting edge political analysis.
Once upon a time there was an extremist who said prominent women journalists should be publicly raped. Then ABC gave him a spot on Q&A. Tony Abbott is great!

Short story number four: more cutting edge political analysis.
Once upon a time there was an extremist who said prominent women journalists should be publicly raped. Then ABC gave him a spot on Q&A. Bill Shorten should be PM! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Achievement of the day, memorialised for all time in a blog post

TIM: (After having successfully removed a substantial blockage from the toilet with a stick,which had previously refused to budge in three successive flushes)

(Points with stick)
Yes! Go! Be banished from here, foul fiend from the depths of hell!

(Realises what he is doing, takes stick to the bin, returns inside, etc etc)

(Or is it?)

Thursday, June 18, 2015


We all know what it's like to, as kids, have been the recipient of parental disapproval, to have been banished to one's room or to have been the recipient of a chiding. It is through these stern parental admonishments that we have become the fine upstanding citizens of today, the moral guardians for future generations or, in some cases, politicians. But nothing is perfect.

These admonishments and punishments are every bit as much a part of childhood experience as games and innocence and all that stuff. But thinking about it today, I realised that when it comes to children's television, you only get the good bits. Or, at least a bunch of happy boppy people so decked out in garish primary colours and fluorescent suits with words written on them like WHACKO and EXCELLENT in all capital letters that if there are any bad bits nobody will notice them. (It's worth noting that children have notoriously bad taste and like this kind of crap).

Seriously? No bad bits? It's like the television's there for entertainment or something! That's why it seems imperative for a new phenomenon in children's television: TELEVISION FOR NAUGHTY KIDS. It would be just like normal kids television - all fluoro and primary colours and words like 'Cool!' and 'Awesome!' and stuff like that, except full of punishments. Suggested sequences could include:

- The "And there'll be no cartoon until you eat your spinach" half hour (though I think we can drag this one on for an hour).
- Audience participation segment: kids write "I must not" messages 100 times on a piece of paper and send it in to the people on the show.
- The "Go and stand in the corner with your back to us" show - special segment in which the camera is just directed at a brick wall for half an hour.
- And the "Let's have a think about what you've done", in which hosts will chide kids on the other side of the camera for a variety of sins, some of which the kids may have even committed.

There's heaps more stuff you could have on this innovative children's program, though the more I think about it the general tone we seem to be going for is like an ABC current affairs program, except with more fluoro, etc etc.

Of course, people might be tempted to ask, wouldn't the kids just turn the television off and walk away? But that's the beauty of the proposal: kids have puny hands and parents can easily control the television by the power of the remote control, and there's no reason they couldn't be persuaded to stay in front of this morally uplifting program until it ends.

Come on, folks! I'm sure ABC kids can make room for us! It'll be totally SUPERAWESOMECOOL

Friday, June 12, 2015

Printchers, stridulumps, inklejacks, and lunt-takers

I'll bet you've all been talking about pelmets lately. Why wouldn't you be? "Pelmet", as everyone knows, is that word for "those things that cover curtain tops". Though no-one calls them "curtain top covers", because why would anyone call curtain top covers "curtain top covers" when a perfectly wonderful word like "pelmet" exists?

"Pelmet" is not the only word of that sort we have in English; our language is large and commodious and accommodates words for nose blowers ("handkerchiefs"), personal car parking spaces ("garages"), houses for dogs ("kennels"), and so on and so on and so on. All perfectly lovely words, I'm sure, and we've all had call for them from time to time.

But a revelation struck me the other day when I was looking for the bottle opener: the bottle opener, as everyone knows, even if they don't particularly want to open a bottle at this time, is just called the "bottle opener". It's as if English - which had previously furnished itself with wonderful words such as "pelmet" and "balustrade" and "banister" and "sprocket" - had run out of space, or just couldn't bother anymore, or something. I'm not quite sure why, as bottle openers could have a superb word with a little effort: "Unbeflambulator", perhaps, or "Inklejack". Nor is the bottle opener the only item to have missed out on its own word in English: what about toilet roll holders ("printchers"?)

"Door knob", I confess to being a perfectly lovely literal description of the knobs that you find on doors, so perhaps in cases such as this we will not wish to come up with a word: but what of other important concepts, such as the bits of pillows that slip out of the pillowcasing ("Dilmitties")? Or the bits on long-sleeved shirts that hold your elbows ("sprills")? Veering into the slightly more esoteric, ought we not consider the stripes on zebras ("zilps"?) or the spots on giraffes ("stridulumps"?) Or, for that matter, the satisfied sounds animals make when they go to bed - perhaps cats "uzzle", and dogs "wumper"?

It is certainly not a matter of lack of invention or inattention to specific details: English once had a word for "walking while smoking a pipe" - "lunting" - which sounds so wonderful that I want to get myself a pipe now.

I could go on with more examples of detailed concepts English needs specific words for, but I think you get the idea. I will therefore leave you all with a concept for you to find a word for -

"the sound made when a man meditatively strokes his beard"

- and a word looking for a concept to describe:


Love to hear what everyone's suggestions are! In the meantime, I'm off for a lunt!

The war between those who favour occasional non-chocolate-based desserts and those who are all chocolate chocolate chocolate with a side serving of chocolate-based desserts all the time - a reflective essay

No-one knows when the war began. It seems, however, as if the fierce contention between those who favour truth, beauty, justice, and goodness on the one hand, and chocolate chocolate chocolate and chocolate on the other has been going on forever. Can it ever end? Why is it so difficult to acknowledge that some non-chocolate-based desserts can be just right? Is it your turn to make dessert or mine? It is too pleasant a war to really end.

On the one hand it is certainly true that when we take a general view and survey the broad field of battle of non-chocolate-based desserts and desserts that happen to have an important chocolate component in them, we find many fine chocolate desserts. No-one ever liked a non-chocolate mousse, for example. I yield to no-one in my appreciation of the chocolate cake or the chocolate roll. But those of us in favour of the occasional nice dessert that is made without the inclusion of the disputed chocolate ingredient cannot help but resent how that intruder chocolate rears its head in the most inconvenient of places. Who was the monster who made Hot Cross Buns with chocolate chips instead of fruit? Nothing could be more perfect than the traditional Hot Cross Bun, a sweet and spicy dough with a piquant tang from the raisins and peel. Hot Chocolate Buns are no substitute.

The ubiquity of chocolate is such that it even now advances into the field of savoury foods. Consider, for a moment, the popular Nutella pizza. No word is an oxymoron on its own; oxymorons are typically a two-worded monster; but draw your attention once again to this peculiar tangle of words we have here: "Popular", "Nutella", "Pizza". One can imagine words 1 and 3 co-existing easily; or words 1, and 2; 2 and 3 form an oxymoron all right, but, taken all together, words 1, 2, and 3 form an oxymoron of remarkable moronicalness.

How could this happen? - that the glorious array of desserts - of butterscotch and lemon delicious and icecream and souffle and panacotta and cream puffs and mousse and pudding and pie - has found itself replaced by chocolate and chocolate delicious and chocolate cream and chocolate souffle and chocolate and chocolate and chocolate, with lashings of chocolate doing what chocolate does on the side?  For it is certainly true that chocolate now has become in itself a symbol of all things rich and sensuous and sweet, and when we think dessert we think chocolate and chocolate and chocolate, and it seems altogether likely that the ridiculously chocolate-covered liquorishes and croissants with chocolate custard and chocolate musk sticks and what have you will soon give way to chocolate-covered chocolates, and chocolate things with chocolate in them, and the liquorish and croissant and custard and musk will be dispensed with, casualties in the ongoing war between chocolate and non-chocolate. Meanwhile, the chocolate-propaganda machine will roll on, looking for more things to chocolate over with chocolate; surely already we have attained the reductio ad absurdum, with such items as the chilli-chocolate chop top they sell at the Nova cinema - choc-tops with choc bottoms and chocolate in between!

And it feels a betrayal to even write this, for who can deny that chocolates have their place in the natural order of desserts and treats and snacks? Chocolates at Christmas or birthdays or after dinner or before dinner or at Easter in the form of eggs or cartoon rabbits or whatever are perfectly acceptable, and no-one would wish to deny that it is surely part of the law of nature that we give and receive presents of, and eat chocolates at these times; it is the advance of chocolate into territories not its own that is truly of concern.

We won't stand for this anymore! No, wait - it is truly time to take a stand - (or do I mean a seat)? What I mean to say is, it is truly dessert time, take a seat! Creme caramel for everyone!

Monday, June 08, 2015

A comfortable poem

Comfortable poems.... poems that are a like an old couch: easy, non-troublesome, and with questionable upholstery that has probably all been ripped out at one point by the cats. Well, that's been my project for the last few days, writing a bunch of Comfortable Poems. Here's my latest. It's about what I do when I'm at my most active and energetic:

Comfortable poem no. 3

Morning stretch, a dawning stretch
Rolling over yawning stretch
Not awake still woozy stretch
Shower stretch, jacuzzi stretch,
Stretch before a scratch stretch
Scratch before a stretch stretch 
Front paw of the cat stretch
Angling for a pat stretch
Leaping for your lap stretch
Going for a nap stretch
Field of flowering daisies stretch
Just plain fucking lazy stretch
Ergonomic seating stretch
Bored in workplace meeting stretch
Hey what's on the telly stretch
Rubbing at your belly stretch
Forward stretch behind stretch
Head stretch mind stretch
Why am I here again stretch
Every now and then stretch
I'd argue but instead stretch
Going back to bed stretch.

You'll notice there's at least 25 stretches in there, so that's one for every hour of the day and one spare. There you go, that one's on the house.
Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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Me person. Live in world. Like stuff. Need job. Need BRAINS! (DROOLS IN THE MANNER OF ZOMBIES) Ergggggh ...