Will Type For Food


Sunday, August 01, 2021

On not being in denial

Apparently, society is 'in denial of death'. We get told this so often, and with such frequency - that we are in 'denial of death', and that we never talk about dying, and that why aren't we talking about dying in morbid detail right now, or if not now, two seconds ago - that one starts to suspect the motives, and indeed the veracity of the speaker. Are we really 'in denial of death'? Or are the people telling us that we are 'in denial of death' themselves in denial of our not being in denial of death? 

Then there are the people who do more than this, who not only say that 'we are in denial of death', but who will open their conversational gambit, in the manner of a flatmate drawing attention to one's cleaning roster, by saying 'we need to talk about death'. (And if there's one thing I'm in denial about, it's the cleaning roster - any cleaning roster, really.) Really? We need to talk about? Right here over the dinner table? Just when I was about to bring out the steamed sheep's brains?*

Perhaps all these professional gloom-mongers and harshers of the collective societal mellow are themselves afflicted by a want, or perhaps more a wistfulness - a wistfulness for a world in which you can announce 'society is in denial of death' and be instantly feted with applause and veneration for their profound insight - rather than the actual world, where all such an announcement does is cause another social death, the death of any wish of people to be around you whatsoever. For it's quite one thing to talk about death and dying - in fact, a topic of some conversational fascination (you can barely open a book or watch a film without some character dying of some extremely hideous and therefore extremely interesting cause). But it's quite another to talk, seemingly endlessly, about how we don't talk about death and dying, and thus never get around to talking about the actual thing. 

It is, I suppose, a victory of the theoretical over the practical. Why talk about the real thing when you haven't actually done it yourself? And once you do, you can't actually talk about it, either. Bit of a problem. 

It's probably what Sartre meant: Hell is other people.... going around, talking about how we are in denial of death and dying, for eternity. 

*My wife's a vegetarian. I wouldn't really do that.**

**Unless you start saying 'our society is in denial about....'

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Excuse me, there's something in my panopticon.... *sniff*

Look the camera in the eye, 
Smile and wave a friendly HI - 
Somewhere a contact tracing guy
Will you see waving, passing by
And wave right back to you. 

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

The sayings of the vegans

(I have almost decoded their strange language.) 

I ain't got no Veef with him.
He really thinks he's the big Sheese, but I ain't got no Veef with him. 
After all, someone's got to bring home the fakon in this family,
And I know which side my bread is I Can't Believe It's Not Buttered on, 
And I may be Quorn to be wild, 
But I can't just quit cold Tofurkey like that, can I? 
I ain't got no Veef with him. 

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Suburban visions and bus wisdom

 Saw two or three things today that made me doubt objective reality, in a modest boring suburban middle aged kind of way. 

The first happened a few blocks down from our house; on a plot of land that used to contain a nice old yellow weatherboard house with a back garden. Over the past few years the Baron and I had seen, with dismay, how this house was knocked down, the land razed, and a flimsy looking structure of boards and glass and what have you erected in its stead. Two or three months ago, these massive doors were finally installed in the front of the houses, and they were installed so badly that the handles on the left-hand side of the doors did not match with the handles on the right-hand side of doors. It really was - is - the most unconvincing piece of architecture I've ever seen. House? Art? Economic investment? I'm not sure it knows itself what it wants to be. 

Well, this morning, as I walked with Elspeth to the train station, I noticed - scowling into the sunlight (which has no business being so bright this time of year) a young heavily pregnant woman in grey singlet and suburban-mum tracky-dacks, and a toddler. 

Odd sort of vision to be having before lunch, I thought, and went on my way.

The second happened later that morning, at the market, where I happened upon a potato vendor looking rather potatoid himself. Brown coat, and a gnarled, knobbly face, as if he'd only recently been drawn up from out of the earth. Is it possible for potatoes to be able to walk and talk like that? 

Not sure what any of this means, really, but I thought I'd impart it all to you. I'll leave you with the two messages imparted to me this afternoon, by the digital screen on the bus. 

The first message reads: 


Not to be outdone, the second follows: 


I think we can all get something from those two pieces of wisdom. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Proverbs for cloud lovers

Don't mean to pour a cold shower on your cold shower. 

But bright days are looming on the horizon. 

Sun, sun, go away
Come again some other day. 

After all, life isn't all spring showers and dark clouds. 

But even in the clearest days, you have to remember, the rain is raining somewhere. 

And autumn and winter will come again. 

There'll be grey skies over
The white cliffs of Dover
Just you wait and see.

And above all, remember - there's a dark cloud behind every silver lining. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Willy Yeats I aint

A poem for my daughter

 Now you are adorable 
And I am old and snorable 
But if I were Peter Dutton, that 
Would be much more deplorable. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021


What do they get up to in Downtown? 

What's going on down in Uptown? 

Downtown is downtown from Uptown, and Uptown is uptown from downtown. That much is clear. 

But is Downtown on the up? 

Is there an Uptown turn down or downturn? 

Do folks in Uptown buy Downtown in downturns, and upturn Downtown downturns? 

Does Downtown upturn when Uptown downturns? 

Does Uptown turn down Downtown in Downtown downturns, and does Downtown turn up for Uptown in Uptown downturns? 

I don't know. I don't know. But if you've got the down low, hit me up. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Eve: a seasonal pageant

 MUSIC: Away in a Manger, played on soft strings. The SCENE is the Garden of Eden. ADAM is making something over a fire, and EVE is setting places round a stone table. 

ADAM: Hmmmm... the pudding's going to need some more plum brandy, and as for the custard.... well.... 

EVE: ...now, the dog's got a place here, but that means I can't put the cat there, but the only other place left is next to the mice and.... hm.... what's got into you? 

ADAM: (Irritated) It's nothing, Eve. So, I suppose if we ask the ducks nicely, they might be able to give us some eggs, and..... 

EVE: But maybe if I moved the hippopotamus, that would clear up several spaces over there, and.... oh, come on, spit it out. I know you're going to. 

ADAM: No, no. I know it's important to you. 

EVE: Oh, don't be like that, Adam - talk to me! Remember when you used to talk to me about your problems? 

ADAM: (Shoulders slump) Eve, Eve. It's just.... why do we even celebrate Christmas? 

EVE: Not this again! Come on, Adam - we have to! It's TRADITION! 

ADAM: Of course, of course - and in this diverse, multicultural world we live in, I respect everyone's traditions, I really do. But why this? What does it even mean? The pudding? The presents? The party? This obsession over places and who gets to pull each other's sodding crackers? 

EVE: It's tradition, Adam. We've always done it this way. Since...

ADAM: Since that time that everything, the world, the creatures, us, even TIME ITSELF was created, just five and a bit months ago, give or take a day? How did we get to be so nostalgic for bygone eras all of a sudden, eras that we both know have never been? 

EVE: A woman knows what a woman knows, Adam. And this woman knows that when we have a tradition, we stick to it. 

ADAM: Well - it's not that I don't enjoy having a dinner party. But it just seems that this is the most elaborate dinner party yet - and we spend so much time fussing over who we sit the serpent next to, when we know that he'll probably either try to eat them, or.... 

EVE: (Sharply) He's YOUR friend, Adam, and don't you forget it! 

ADAM: Yes, but - do you see what I mean, love? I'm not even sure who we're going to cook. 

EVE: The turkey - he said he's happy to do it. 

ADAM: Are you sure? That's what the unicorn said for our last dinner party, and I don't think I've even *seen* another one since. 

EVE: Well, she was particularly delicious. 

ADAM: Oh my, yes. And, look, I understand love, really, I do, but.... (quietens) I do feel a bit funny about eating our friends like this. What if we tried vegetarian? 

EVE: Well, you know I don't mind that when it's just the two of us. But try telling that to the lion! He's strictly a meat man. And the leopard and the wolf are even more strict, somehow! Remember that time we had the leopard over for dinner? 

ADAM: Oh, I know. "How would you like your steak", I said. "Roar", they said. "You mean rare?" I said. Well, she got so angry she almost ate me! I couldn't even talk her up to medium roar, whatever that is! 

EVE; Anyway. It's an opportunity to get all the family together again. And we haven't seen the LORD for ages. 

ADAM: (Sighs with satisfaction) Yeah, he's awesome. And always so nice about it all. 

EVE: Always the same: he wants us to choose. Isn't that thoughtful? 

(Both sigh contentedly)

ADAM: All right, Eve. Have it your way. It is nice to have a big traditional family get together. I'll put the pudding on soon. And you know what the Serpent said to me the other day? 

EVE: What? 

ADAM: "Adam, ol' mate", he says, "Have I ever told you about this amazing new diet they've just invented?"

EVE: Who's "they"? 

ADAM: That's what I was wondering all this time! Anyway, he says, "Adam", he says, "It's called fructovorianism, and".... 


A visual explainer of Christmas, to help clear up any difficulties



Good Santa

Good Satan

Bad Santa

Bad Satan


Thank you for your time. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

COVID Christmas carols

I saw three ships come sailing in
In lockdown breach, in lockdown breach, 
I saw three ships come sailing in
In lockdown breach in the morning. 


Hark, the Herald Angels sing - 
Stay inside and do nothing!


Deck the halls with boughs of holly, 
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Partying would be a folly,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Even singing could defeat us
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Keep your distance, several metres - 
Fa la la la la so very far. 


I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus 
So I reported the bastards immediately to the local authorities.


Maria durch ein Dornwald ging - 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Weed in the garden

One thing you can always appreciate about Enid Blyton is her thoroughgoing commitment to architectural realism.

"If you could plant a garden entirely out of weeds," I asked the Baron, "What would they be?" 

"What is a weed?" asked the Baron. She's good at answering questions with questions like that. 

Anyway, notwithstanding her epistemologising my epistemologising (epistomology is an ancient word on this blog for 'what you you know about what you know', which in my case is not much) I went on with my little project*. There would be -

- Blackberries (AKA the most awesome berry ever) to line the fence; 

- Wild roses along the path;

- Apple trees providing shade (yes, these have been classified as a weed); 

- Flowerbeds of dandelion and capeweed, Patterson's Curse, oxalis, and clover; 

- instead of a front lawn, a field of tall Queen Anne's Lace (with some Hemlock mixed in just to keep potential thieves on their toes); 

- And a pleasant nature strip consisting entirely of mushrooms and slime moulds. Okay, I'm not sure if they're technically weeds but we need more slime mould gardens, don't you think? Thanks. I love it when you rhetorically agree with me like that.    

*similar in many respects to my other ongoing dream project, constructing a zoo peopled entirely out of domestic animals.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Crime, drug taking, cults rampant in Spoonville - WTFF News

Town tearing itself apart

 It started as an innocent hippy colony, a getaway from the big city - now it seems that the once-idyllic life of small town Spoonville could be ripped apart by warring gangs, drug taking, crime, cult leaders, and spatulas run amok. 


How could it have come to this for the previously friendly village of Spoonville? Part of the answer lies with the shady history of the charismatic leaders who first set out to form this spoon colony. One of them was the famous "Mr Big", so named because he was a Big Spoon. Mr Big lead a sizeable contingent of his fellow spoons to settle in Spoonville in the early days. But what did his followers really know about his past? "He said he was just an ordinary spoon, who used to stir cakes," says one former member of the now notorious CHURCH OF MR BIG SPOON. "But he was really being used to stir the pot." 

Mr Big, cult leader - was he just used to stir the pot, or was he actually used to stir the pot? 


Divergent sects of the once tolerant Spoonville community soon emerged. Some were strict cutlery drawer separatists, insisting that forks and even ladles be kept out. Others insisted there was nothing special about spoons, and anyhow, they'd prefer the company of a salad fork to some of their fellow spoons. Simmering tensions soon flared to outright hostility when a family of sporks moved in - the Spoon Separatist Movement felt it was an attempt by the forks to infiltrate their town. 

Are you a fork, or are you a spoon? Make up your mind! 

Violence, prostitution, drugs
Driving around the streets of Spoonville now, the signs of urban decay are everywhere. Gangs of knives face off at the street corner. In one shady lit alleway, lie a couple - spooning. Meanwhile, a spatula sits hunched over a teaspoon, holding a flame under it.... a sure sign of opiate use. It is a sad sight. It seems for many inhabitants of this once proud rural village, there is no hope for the future. 

A sad sight. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


(Found this in my notebook last night...)

Hey DAWK-ins! DAWK-ins! You're such a DORK, DAWK-ins! Dooooooooorkins! 

Crying, the little boy Richard Dawkins ran home, away from the bullies making his life hell. He'd show them. He'd show them all! 

Well, that little boy studied hard at school, goyt good grades, and went to a good college - and went on to invent CHARLES DARWIN'S THEORY OF RELATIVITY! It just goes to show you, even the smallest of us can make a difference - if we want to! 

FACT CHECK: Richard Dawkins did not invent Darwin's theory of relativity. He wrote Einstein's Origin of Species. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Apropos of nothing

Not relating to anything at all.

Brave Hippolyta fought a statue,
Brave Hippolyta joined the fray,
In her eyes a righteous fire,
In her hands a can of spray,
Bravely fought a large stone object,
And then she bravely ran away.
Brave, brave, brave Hippolyta, 
Brave Hippolyta ran away. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Things got pretty rowdy at the Trades Hall in 1620

Union Chants of the 17th Century 

What's outrageous?
Death's dark wages!
What's disgusting?
Unchaste lusting!
What's outrageous?
Death's dark wages!
What's disgusting?
Unchaste lusting!


One! Two! Three! Four!
What are we all fighting for?
Five! Six! Seven! Eight!
Satan's power to subjugate!


Hey hey! Ho ho!
Lewd wassailing's got to go!
Hey hey! Ho ho!
Lewd wassailing's got to go!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The new adventures of Abbott and Costello in Quarantine Land

SCENE: A small city apartment. BUD ABBOTT is busy standing on a small step ladder hanging a row of hand-folded Japanese lanterns across the room when LOU COSTELLO bursts in through the door. 

COSTELLO: (Shouting) Hey, Abbott!

ABBOTT: (Does a sudden startle, almost causing the whole row of paper lanterns to collapse) Do you gotta make me jump like that, Lou? It's taken me ages to make this house look nice, and you bust in here and the whole place is gonna collapse!

COSTELLO: I'm sorry, Bud, I'm sorry.... it's just chaos out there! Absolute chaos!

ABBOTT: What, people are breaching the quarantine conditions already? Don't they know they could catch this new flu?

COSTELLO: No! Worse! Nobody out there at all! I could hardly find my way home! I.... I don't think I'm ready to go on my own to the candy store, Bud! I get lost without my mama!

ABBOTT: All right, all right, that's fine, just help me up with these, would you?

COSTELLO: Hey, sure.... (climbs up step ladder beside ABBOTT and begins helping him hang the lanterns up) Say.... why do we got to hang these things up, anyway?

ABBOTT: Why? Why, we're celebrating, Lou!

COSTELLO: Cele.... celery.... celerious.... cerebellum....  Sybil Shep..... what?

ABBOTT: Celebrate, have a party, you know?

COSTELLO: Oh, a party! Why?

ABBOTT: My COVID test results came back, Lou! I'm negative.

COSTELLO: WHAT? Are you positive?

ABBOTT: No, I'm negative.

COSTELLO: You're absolutely positive about that?

ABBOTT: Yeah yeah, I'm absolutely positive that I'm negative!

COSTELLO: What? You're positive or you're negative?

ABBOTT: I'm negative!

COSTELLO: Yeah yeah Bud, you're always very negative.

ABBOTT: Say, now you're getting it!

COSTELLO: Getting it? I'm not getting it! No way am I getting it! No sirree Bob, you stay away from me if you've got it!

ABBOTT: Well, I don't! I'm negative!

COSTELLO: Yeah yeah, that's what I always tells ya, you're so negative, don't do this Lou, don't do that, you don't let me do anything!

ABBOTT: What, are you some kind of.... (hits COSTELLO round the head).... I'm negative. For COVID.

COSTELLO: I KNOW you're negative, Bud, but you gotta tell me, or I won't understand.... does ya got it or does ya not got it?


COSTELLO: All right, all right, no need to shout in my face! (They continue hanging up the lanterns) Say, ah, Bud, I forgot to tell you, while I was out I went to see the doctor too. He gave me this letter. (Takes out of his pocket) Your test results for Corona have returned, and we regret to inform you that you have tested positive. (Beams) See? Isn't that right? I always told you I was a positive person!

ABBOTT: (Jumps, falls of ladder) (Looks at COSTELLO aghast) 

COSTELLO: Say, why are you looking at me like that, Bud?

ABBOTT: Oh, that's just the absolute limit! Now you've got it, I've definitely got it too!

COSTELLO: That's it, Bud, that's the way to be positive!

ABBOTT: Come here! (Pulls COSTELLO off ladder, who grabs line of paper lanterns to help him stay up, somehow manages to pull down the ceiling with the lanterns) 

COSTELLO: (Wailing, as ABBOTT beats him about the head, and the ceiling continues to fall about them) What did I do, Bud, what did I do!


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mothers Day Poem 2020

O mummy O mummy 
O thank you O mummy
For you just were the best when I burst from your chest and infested the rest through the eyeballs no less
O mummy - 

O mummy O mummy
O thank you O mummy 
Now the land is possessed unto your dark behest and will perform your request until the detestable Ul'Qhon manifests and ingests half the humans* before sending the rest to slave in the mines - 
O mummy. 


*With a light lemon zest.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

An announcement: this year, due to long-service leave, the Easter Bunny will be replaced by Frank The Evil Bunny From Donnie Darko

Well, due to much-anticipated long-service leave, the Easter Bunny won't be on duty this year, but don't worry kids! The fun will still continue! Because this year, Frank The Evil Bunny From Donnie Darko will be filling in!

Frank with friends!

Frank The Evil Bunny From Donnie Darko (who prefers to be just known by his first name, Frank) has plenty of previous job experience including Appearing in Donnie's Hallucinations, Showing Donnie Where The Gun Is, and Leading Donnie to Certain Death, and is looking forward to his new role, which will involve mostly Giving Eggs To Children. 

"I really look forward to bringing my experiences to the new role and invigorating it with new life," says Frank. 


Tuesday, April 07, 2020


- Isonation: national quarantine.

- Isostation: the place you choose to be isolated.

- Isocation: attempting to treat your isolation as a holiday.

- Isostration: increasing frustration at being caught up in isolation.

- Isoccasion: attempting to distract yourself from the isostration at your isostation by having a big fancy event. At home. By yourself. Geeze, man, at least put on some fancier underpants!


- Isoblation: giving in and oblating yourself to the household Gods you discover while in isolation.

The sayings of the socially distanced

You scratch my back, I'll bloody deck ya.

You're going on my toilet roll of honour!

Let's join together in staying apart!

That's so wonderful, I could kiss you - in full HAZMAT gear.

Remember, a bird flu in the hand is worth two in the bush!

I'll have my people speak to your people. Over Zoom. In full body condoms.

Why don't you come over to my place sometime when I'm out and never coming home?

Two's company, three's FUCKING ILLEGAL.

How nice to see your good self.... isolating.

There's a couple of kangaroos loose in your top paddock, and they're breaching all social gathering protocols, WTF, I'm calling the cops now.

Taking a trip to the Great Indoors!

It's been taken out of my hands. With frequent use of an approved soap-based sanitiser.

Girl, this is the night when two become one - while maintaining a 1.5 metres social distance between ourselves at all times.

That's straight from the bat, into the pangolin!

Saturday, April 04, 2020

An invitation to a reading


There will be a dead poetry reading on Tuesday night in the rubble of the old theatre. Whether you’re a corpse, a few shreds of bone, or still in the act of decomposing, this reading is for you! The night will be deadstreamed at time of performance to the whole graveyard, for anyone, who, for reasons of nescience, putrescence, or just general decay, are unable to attend. But, after all, if you haven’t been to a dead reading, have you truly died at all?

PLUS: Prizes for any reader brave enough to die on stage for the first time!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Country art galleries

A piece of music - something by Ross Edwards, probably his Dawn Mantras - came on the radio last night that suddenly reminded me of all the country art galleries I must have been in. I grew up in a country town, and what you seem to do growing up in country towns, mostly, is visit other country towns. Mum being Mum, with an interest in all things cultural, in all those country towns, we ended up in country town art galleries.

What strange places they were! Often built on money from the time of the Hawke or Keating governments, their architecture was completely out of place with the rest of the town. And they were absolutely nothing like the more homely arts and crafts centres in such towns, where you might go to a local art fair and see paintings of trees, or buy a few bottles of jam, or pass by some plates which look like they wouldn't be out of place in Dame Edna's crockery collection, or cartoons from a local artist, or to see furniture made out of odd bits of lacquered-up redgum. Walking into a country art gallery was an entirely different experience; instead of that cosy clutter you got a bizarre minimalism: a sparse white wall with a tiny abstract work in the middle. A huge room with an installation or a projection at one end and a seat in the middle. Not a seat you'd want to sit in, with a back or anything like that - why don't art gallery seats ever have backs? Just this black leather affair. Who decided this was the look to have in a country town, where the aesthetic is mostly chintz and crockery that rattles and doilies everywhere*?

And there'd be art gallery attendants who seem to come with the art gallery. (They must have! They'd look out of place if they ever ventured out into the town). One often got the impression they were installed in place with the art gallery. They'd sit around behind desks looking all wispy and important and listen to, well, pieces by Ross Edwards.

As for the art - it was mostly landscapes. This was doubly weird: looking at them, you had the experience of standing in a building in a landscape looking at paintings about that same landscape, the only thing being the painting never actually looked like the landscape it was supposed to be about. In those galleries the paintings never looked like the things they were about. In country arts and craft galleries, people painted trees and horses because they wanted their paintings to be about trees and horses. In the country art galleries, if there was ever a picture of a tree or a horse it was probably supposed to represent the disjointed experience of artificial modern living and its disconnect from nature or the repressive effect of the colonialist patriarchy on the Indigenous mythos. Sometimes I don't think the artists were even sure what they wanted their paintings to be about, which did rather lead one to the suspicion that it mightn't have been about anything interesting at all.

That Ross Edwards piece, then, bought it all to mind. For some reason a particular image came to mind of the first floor in a two storey art gallery, with me wandering around looking at the - mostly incomprehensible - abstracts. Where could it have been? Wagga? Griffith? Mildura? Dubbo? And then, I suppose, we all walked out into the heat of the day and drove through hours of yellow grass fields until we got home. That is the Ross Edwards epoch in Australian cultural history, really - that whole courageous attempt by composers to write a music perfectly in tune with these landscapes. It combined didgeridoo and choir in a new agey way, unfolded in a slow, reverential fashion, represented peculiarities of the Australian environment in ways which I had not thought possible.
I have to confess it annoyed me a lot.

And yet, you know what? Earlier last night another Ross Edwards piece had come on: A flight of sunbirds. Two pianos, simple and playable music. It filled the whole room in just the way that music should. Charming and reverential, in all the right ways and places. Not the sort of music you'd get in an art gallery, at all.

I'm not sure what I wanted to say about all this but, just like an abstract artist, I suppose I have anyway. So I'd better end it there.

*I do like a nice doily.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Punctilious Christmas, Everybody!

Ah, isn't it nice to indulge in Christmas traditions at this time of year. Let me share with you one, that jolly old Christmas melody:

The Punctilious Carol

The annual festive observance
Is fast approaching now -
Hang decorative implements
From a dying Abies bough!
But woe betide the pair beneath
Parasitic vegetation -
Our custom of fertility
Demands their salutation!
Take up the proverb now and sing -
Hey ring a ding ding.

The annual festive observance
Is getting very near -
We sing the note arrangements
We sang this time last year.
We mark a birth in Bethlehem,
An Aramaic Jew -
But no-one believes that now or we
Feel awkward if we do.
Therefore take up the words and sing -
Hey ring a ding ding.

The annual festive observance
Is very almost here.
Let yeast infuse your beverage
With ethanolic cheer!
Our mood is positivity,
Or outwardly at least -
So all as one let us join in
The carbohydrate feast.
In polytonal chords now sing
Hey ring a ding ding.

The annual festive observance
Is almost at the station;
We have just passed the maximum
Of solar declination -
Our glands are working overtime,
But half a world away
From what we're told, it's rather cold
Upon this festal day.
And so we sing the thing we sing -
Hey ring a ding ding.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Sprog blog

Well, it’s finally happened. The egg the Baron has been sitting on has hatched at last! I’m just off to fetch some starter crumble, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with a picture of this exciting fermentation in progress. Now.... if only I could work out a way to flip her right-side up...

Monday, November 04, 2019

Chunder of wonder


Well girls, the big day is almost here, the one day of the year when you will go to the Melbourne Cup and get shitfaced and then vomit all over everything while some skank from the Herald Sun photographs you. But have you really prepared for this enough? Are you ready for the moment when you vomit all over everything while some skank for the Herald Sun photographs you? Here are four Etiquette Tips for the Fashion Forward you might like to consider before heading out for the big spray, er, I mean big day tomorrow.

1. Remember to vomit in the rubbish bin, not the recycling. 
I mean, really. Let's get the basics out of the way first. This is just basic courtesy.

2. Colour code your vomits. 
I can't tell you how many times I've seen a boring, bland array of beige vomit after beige vomit at this famous affair. Is it really so much trouble to colour code your upchucks? I think not. Remember, basic fashion rules still apply: use contrasting colours (but not too much), and sometimes just the right component - a strategically-placed chunk of carrot, for instance - will really draw the whole ensemble together. Try not to match the colour of your vomit to your boyfriend's outfit (he'll probably do that anyway, in that unconscious way men have).

3. Strategise
Now really - is there any point in getting ready for the day when you're going to get shitfaced and then vomit all over everything while some skank from the Herald Sun photographs you if the skank from the Herald Sun can't even see you properly amongst all the mud and crap and stuff. With that attitude, you probably shouldn't even bother. No, you have to really select the right patch of lawn or the right tent to offset the delicate yet melodious timbres of your cry of Ruth. And if it's a young Arabian prince striding out of the Emirates tent, all the better!

4. Social messages
You've got to think of the messages you're sending out when you vomit all over someone. Sure, you may not mean to make a boy think you like him when you chunder all over his manly chiselled jaw, but might he? Be careful who you chuck up all over, is all I'm saying. Unless it's a young Arabian prince striding out of the Emirates tent, what could possibly go wrong if you chuck up all over him?

Well, that's it, girls - have fun!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Five alternatives to unsolicited dick pics

Men of the World! Instead of sending unsolicited dick pics to the Women of the World, why not try these saucy alternatives?

- Unsolicited duck pics!

- Unsolicited chick pics!
(In case you run out of ducks, baby chickens are always good).

- Unsolicited dock pics.
(Who doesn't love a good pier?)

- Unsolicited ticks!

- Unsolicited brick picks!

(Sample unsolicited duck pic. Because, er, you didn't solicit for it.)

So never say I never do anything nice for you. By the way, here's a previous poem I wrote on the subject, you really should pay me for this, oh wait, you can. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Unstoppable Unstoppable

Last week before German class I found myself dreaming about asking my Finnish teacher about the 15 Finnish case systems. I don't even have a Finnish teacher - but there are 15 Finnish case systems, more or less*, so my dream was not completely lying. As a result, I found myself before the German class engaged in the productive activity of researching Finnish declination. Due to the ludicrously high number of grammatical cases in Finnish, as you can imagine, it was a rich and productive and fertile activity.

This week, German class being on tonight, what did I find myself dreaming about last night but Swedish grammar. What is it with my mind and the Far North? I was in fact deeply involved in a dream conversation with the Baron about it all, and even managed to discover a completely new item of grammar: 'unstoppables'. Linguists may quibble and argue that such items do not exist at all, but in my dream we were quite sure about it. Here's how my dream conversation went down:

ME: So, how about after I finish learning German I learn the other Germanic languages Swedish and Norwegian and Icelandic and become an expert in the languages of the far north? 

BARON: Swedish is a hard language to translate into English, though. 

ME: Oh? Why's that? 

BARON: It's because of the unstoppable. The Swedish unstoppable is different to the English unstoppable. 

ME: How's that? 

BARON: Oh, well, it's - you see.... it just is. 

ME: What is an unstoppable, anyway? 

BARON: It's kind of hard to define. 

ME: Hm. Can you give me an example of an unstoppable. 

BARON: I.... um.... well... 

And there the conversation stopped (maybe because we'd forgotten to include an English unstoppable). I however remained convinced that a great and hitherto unrevealed point about world grammar lay just beyond my grasp.

As you can imagine, I'm really looking forward to my dream before next German class. Maybe, having previously invented a Finnish teacher and a new item of Swedish and English grammar, next time I'll invent a whole new language. Who knows? By the way, this blog is apparently my dream journal now. Please notify your local Freudian.

*It depends who you ask. Personally, I think, as a democratic modern language Finnish should remodify its case system so there is one case for every new Finnish speaker. That way nobody feels like they're missing out on anything. I shall be forwarding this proposal to Helsinki University shortly. 

Monday, October 07, 2019

New exciting forms of argument!

Argumentum ad hominem - attacking the person, not the argument.

ad homonym - attacking the person's name.

ad homophone - arguing with a gay telephone.

ad homophony - using music to attempt to bring harmony to our fractured moden world.

ad Eminen - winning arguments rap-battle style.

add M&M - bribing the opposition with chocolate - also, yes please.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Shouting random letters at football fans

Being an old sort of codger now, I've been going to the Dan O'Connell Saturday pub poetry sessions for well nigh on 10 years. It's an impressive stretch of time for any pub poetry session to be going (the Dan poetry's been going for over twice that long, a quarter of a century in fact), but even more impressive is that somehow the old joint keeps this up week after week. Even - to the surprise and bemusement of most Melbourne locals - during the AFL Grand Final, for most of those 25 years at least. This act always seemed a little strange, even sacrilegious - the bar would often be packed with punters there to watch the football and a bunch of poets would turn up. Sometimes, it's true, they put us all in the beer garden. On one memorable occasion, Geoff Lemon was the feature at exactly the same time as his team were playing in the final - consequently, and it has to be admitted rather apologetically on his part, he seemed rather more interested in the events going on on television than the poets around him. Such was the strangeness of this yearly occurrence that once, I even wrote a series of 'Team songs for writing' and found myself shouting them at a pub full of grand final viewers and a motley bunch of poets. I even got them to spell out the name - 'Give me an A! Give me an R! etc' - of an Ancient Greek writer or two. And there were rousing (well, rousing for me at least) odes to punctuation:

Well there she was a writin' in her book
(Singin' semi-colons apostrophes and dots)
Usin' commas hyphens quotation marks full-stops
(Singin' semi-colons apostrophes and dots)
Upper case! (Upper case!)
Lower case! (Lower case!)
Upper case lower case punctuation is so fine!
(Singin' semi-colons apostrophes and dots)

(Those team songs for writing, and a few other footy-related pieces are in my latest book, Hangover Music, by the way. You should totally buy a copy!)

Good times, good times. But all good times must come to an end, and this was no exception. Poetry at the Dan for this week is on a Sunday (weirdly it all feels less sacrilicious than having it on a Grand Final Saturday). It's not quite the same doing it without yelling baffling metaphors at a crowd of indifferent or even hostile footy fans, but life is about change.

In the meantime, living in Melbourne and all, I even adopted a football team, in that way you do. I did it either because they were just about the worst team and not likely to win a final any time soon, or because they had the best song. That team has since had the bad grace to win the grand final twice, one of those occasions being this afternoon. But their song, I am pleased to say, has remained consistently awesome. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was the song.

To conclude, and on an unrelated note, here is a poem, of sorts.

Is Tigger the Tigger that's best with the ball? 
Is Tigger the best of them all?
For Eeyore is down, and Pooh Bear is out 
And Christopher Robin is aged and stout - 
Is Tigger the tiggerest Tigger of all? 

See Tigger go tigger all over the hall, 
With vigorous, tiggerous call - 
There can be no doubt, he's winning the bout, 
It's a riot, a rort, an absolute rout - 
Yes, Tigger's the tigger that stands proud and tall - 
For Tiggers the best Tigger out of them all! 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

I'm sorry, we're all out of Sturm und Drang, would you care for the lemonade?

Okay, so you're in the audience and sitting down to watch the third scene of Richard Wagner's cool and exciting new opera, Die Walküre. The music strikes up and you already feel as if you have drunken the mead of Valhalla. As the curtain rises, you see the 'Gipfel eines Felsenberges' (the peak of a rocky cliff) right next to a 'Tannenwald' (fir forest). There's a 'Blitzesglanz' (a flash of lightning), and framed in this dramatic tableau you see a Valkyrie on top of the mountain on a HORSE, over which lies 'ein erschlagener Krieger' - a slain warrior. (Because it's the 19th century and nobody's budget extends that far, even Richard Wagner's, the horse is probably made out of wood and creaks as it's drawn here and there on stage, but what the hell - the orchestra just plays a little louder at those moments). The point is - this is just ludicrously romantic! - gigantic mountains next to vast forests, lightning flashes in the clouds, GODDESSES ON HORSIES! This is as cool, as nonsensical, and as utterly necessary as the elephants in Aida.

Just kidding, you're sitting in the audience for a modern production of Walküre and instead of galloping around on the mountain tops out of the clouds, the Valkyries are shifting bodies around in a shabby old pile of rock like so many pieces of furniture in a rental house.

Bring back the horses!

(Post a follow on from a discussion with Steve.)

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Excuses for hipsters

Sorry I'm late, I was busy teaching yoga to my goat.

I was crocheting individualised bonnets for my bees' feet. This winter has been cold, you know.

Excuse me, my beard got caught in my fixie.

It was an emergency! My tweed jacket clashed with the Weltanschauung.

My craft brew and I were undergoing an individualised counselling session to help us achieve self-actualisation as a couple.

I was bookbinding a recipe book with twine made out of my cats' fur.

So sorry! I had trouble fitting Buttons, my alpaca, in the train on the way here. Did we miss anything?

My kefir had emotional issues.

I got lost in my beard and couldn't find my way out.

We ran out of kale! It was an emergency!

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

A little Bildung is a dangerous thing

German cliche poem 

Sehnsucht for Schadenfreude! 
My Weltschmerz smarts today.
Perhaps it's just the Zeitgeist, 
But my Trauma's all tun weh. 

Perhaps I'll learn to like it - 
Go back to Kindergarten, 
Where die Welt is ohne Schmerz, 
All Freude, and no Schaden. 

No, this Klima's not so prima, 
And my Angst has taken fright - 
I think I'll have a Wanderung
In my Waldeinsamkeit. 
Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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