Thursday, March 31, 2005

Belated Ridiculous Post

This is a post I wrote about a week ago as a kind of response after seeing The Incredible Melk on stage. I'm still not sure whether it's any good or if it's just dumb, but I'm putting it up anyway.

You know, when I was a young boy of about five years old and I had plans to kidnap the Easter Bunny and steal all of its chocolate and assassinate Santa Claus, I used to dream about Delta Goodrem. It would be running about in a cage, looking for a way to escape - the Easter Bunny, not Delta Goodrem - but I'd catch it and make rabbit pie. I'd be wearing my best Delta Goodrem dress and singing 'Innocent Eyes' while I skinned the bunny, and playing the piano while I did so. But those were long years ago, and I was small, and Delta Goodrem hadn't even been born, which made matters rather difficult.
In case you are wondering what I'm on about, I went to a show tonight. The Incredible Melk has put together a show called The Incredible Melk, for all people who looked up to Delta Goodrem. It's a show for the girly girls, even if that girly girl is more of a man's man, or a lumberjack, or a computer spare-parts salesman. It's an all-rapping supershow, full of witty lyrics, and samples from the Melk's Karma Sutra, not to mention snippets from her incredibly fabulous life with Delta and other superstars. So it's definitely worth going to, even if you are more of a Bec Cartwright fan rather than a Delta man.
Anyway, I guess the point I am trying to make is that rabbit pie tastes really really good, that you should all have a wonderful wonderful easter and try to come to Mel's show. It's good.

A Difficult Matter

Vikki has a dog to train. Training dogs is a difficult matter. How much do you train them? How much are they capable of learning? Once I had a fox terrier who I taught to sing Puccini's Nessun Dorma while in costume, complete with actions. But she could never reach the high C, and the poor bitch had to be shot. Actually, that's wrong. I'd never teach a dog to sing Puccini. Rogers and Hammerstein is more their thing.

Why do we insist on teaching dogs the same old thing? Why do we teach dogs to come on the order 'come', to sit on the order 'sit', and to stay on the order 'stay'? Things could be made much more interesting. One of my ambitions in life - apart from getting a shrunken head, travelling to Antarctica and Mars, becoming obscenely rich and buying myself a full symphony orchestra - is to get a dog for a pet. I will then train it to come on the order 'Elephant', to sit on the order 'Lamington', and to stay on the order 'Warp Drive Nine, Commander Picard!' Or something of the sort. It will keep me amused in my old age.

I think I'll get a coffee.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

But It Certainly Was an Experience

I'm staying at the moment in a cheap backpacker hostel. It's the sort of place that you tell other people about later and say, 'But it certainly was an experience.' I'd much rather be living in a ten-story penthouse with a wife, three kids off at college, with a personal liquor cabinet and a private study and library for me to read, write, relax, and drink.
Here's a website I found which describes the place. I've attached the description below, along with my translation, to tell you what it actually means...

Strategically well positioned...

You will wake up at three every morning to the sound of the first tram going past!

the Carlton Hotel is an age-old backpacker pub...

So many cigarettes have been smoken in the kitchen that even the tiles stink of nicotine!

with the ace up its sleeve surely being its 24 hour licence.

You might as well not bother going to sleep. Not that you'd want to hang around in the pub, either - the beers cost $6.00 a pint.

Bearing this in mind, it is not surprising to find all sorts propped up here in the wee hours of the morning: most Melbournites have probably never even been here.

That's because most people who live here don't really want to tell anyone about it.

The Carlton is often the sort of place you'd stop at because of its functionality; given its hours and late night bottle shop it's hard to beat if you're desperate for a quick no-fuss pot.

True: I lived with a pot smoker for about a week. The owners don't mind. I wouldn't be surprised if they sold the stuff.

With backpacker accommodation on-site, you are guaranteed to meet all sorts of weird and wonderful travellers from around Australia and the globe.

Including: several junkies, potheads, one schizophrenic, one gambling addict, one out-of-work guy who is training to be a pastor, drunks, and one neo-nazi...

Bugger the experience, I want my ten-story penthouse NOW.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Where the Hell Am I

I'm back in Melbourne, that's where.

And why the hell am I there (that is, here?)

To put it simply, I have no work to do in the countryside. It was just over one week ago today that I headed back to Serpentine and my brother to find out what was going on, and I stayed there for just over three days. Here's how the conversation went:

(Arriving at the door of my brother's house with a bag in hand)


Me: Hi.

Lachlan: So how was Melbourne?

Me: Good.

Lachlan: OK.

Me: So is there any work here?

Lachlan: No.

Me: Any idea when more work will come up?

Lachlan: No.

Me: Alright. I'll see you later then.

Lachlan: See you.

(I pick up my bags and leave)

That's, more or less, the only thing that happened for the entire time I was in Serpentine. (Oh, and I seem to recall watching an episode of Doctor Phil, and going to Bendigo once.)

So, here I am in Melbourne; for the past few days I've been looking for odd jobs around Melbourne; if something reasonable comes up in the next few weeks, I'll consider staying here for a few months. If not, I'll head back down to Serpentine and finish the job there.

In the meantime, I've been having fun hobnobbing with bloggers and generally making a nuisance of myself. Tonight I'll be going to the Incredible Melk's show at the Kitten Club, and strongly urge all other readers to do so. Even if you're not in Melbourne - and even if you don't exist.

That is all.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

How to Make a Perfect World #3

Train stations should be arranged in alphabetical order, so it's easy to tell when you have to get off.

Actually, instead of having to hop on a train and travel to different suburbs, things would be so much easier if the different suburbs came to you. Obviously the people in those suburbs would have to hold on tight, but that's a small price to pay. And if we eliminated trains from our public transport system, it would help to alleviate the costs of our bloated public services.

I think I might write to John Howard with these ideas, they're just too good to keep to myself...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Few Days In Melbourne

Fascinatingly Obvious
Australia is a bizarre country. Most of its huge area is filled with Next-to-nothing, with the occasional Something in between. Melbourne is definitely a Something, a huge mass of stuff clumped down on the edge of Victoria and the ocean. Barely an hours drive from central Melbourne and you'll find country. Cities aren't always like this; barely an hours drive from central Sydney and you'll find outer Sydney.
Like most of Australia's Somethings, Melbourne is full of people doing - well - Something Else. I'm not sure what this Something Else is, but Melbournians seemed to do it very well. The fact that a lot of it seems to have something to do with food, fashion, art, architecture, reading and writing doesn't really help -

Food: Something you put in your stomach

Fashion: Something you put on your body

Art: A series of bright colours you look at

Architecture: A series of large geometrical shapes that you put yourself in

Writing: Words on a page or text on a blog

Reading: Looking at the page/blog in question and looking like you understand what it means.

The most you can say is that Melbournians do all this stuff with style and flair - and they do.

Khadem's Muse
I slept four nights in Melbourne, the first night in the house of the wonderful Kathryn, and the other three nights in cheap accommodation in the city, with a middle-aged middle-eastern man named Khadem, Khamed, Khaleb, Khabel, or something else. His accent was so heavy, that I couldn't understand half of what he said; and when I did understand what he said, I couldn't believe it. And he said a lot.
"I am Egyptian ... from Iraq... in Saudia Arabia... I can speak French... because I am from Morocco... I have many degrees... a Master in Economics... I play Othello, yes... but it was only in High School, I do not remember who Desdemona was ... I am a poet ... much loved, yes, I am much loved in Arabia... and musician, too... not good, but I write many songs."
He had with him two instruments, a guitar and an Al-oud (a kind of Arabian lute). The first night I expressed interest in this; the next evening, when I came in, he was holding it over his head. "Somebody kick it," he explained to me, showing me the back, which he had repeatedly patched up with a white plaster. Later, he tuned the instrument up and began playing it like a mandolin while singing softly. It began to grow dark when he finally put the instrument down, exclaiming that, "It is no good."
He explained to me that, "I write many tunes... Yes, I am very creative after f*king a beautiful woman. Yes, I am writing much after making love with a beautiful woman."

Once I asked Khadem if he would like to have a coffee with me. He said he did not know; but, he said, I could find some wonderful cafes down by the Yarra river. "It is very beautiful," he said, "Very beautiful."
The next evening, I found myself wandering over the bridge over the Yarra, and I went by a guy wearing a horse mask and playing three notes on the accordion, over and over again. A little further up was a busker squatting on the ground, playing a different three notes on the harmonica, again and again and again. I have to say, they both played their three notes very well. Maybe their lives depended on it.

I'm a Poet and Don't You Know It
I was in Carlton on a Saturday afternoon, looking for the Dan O'Connell pub. Everybody I met gave me different directions. It was on Canning Street, off Princes Street, near the Alexander Highway. There was a poetry reading there in the afternoon. It was a pleasant Irish pub, not too garish or tourist focused, playing Andy Irvine music in the background, and serving a fruity Irish beer. Considering the location, perhaps I should have stuck with the Carlton draught, instead.
There I found a group of poets - many desperately trying to act like themselves - and many of them failing. There were hats. Men wore their hair long. Women cut their hair short. One guy wore a key around his neck. Several men wore glasses - some may have actually needed them.
Poems were read, and nature featured heavily. The language was terse, the diction slow and often forced. Attempts were made to wring as much meaning out of words like 'the' and 'of' as was possible. Most poems pretended at originality and profundity; as for me, I pretended at entertainment (and probably failed).
Some were entertaining. One girl called Lish had a delightful, alphabetic description of sex - applying several sex-soaked metaphors to every letter of the alphabet.
The lead poet was a guy called Tim Hamilton. He wore a purple shirt, talked about breathing, and used metaphors a lot.
I got bored. It was nearly five. Near the door, I waved at Melita. "Hi Melita," I said. "Bye Melita." She looked confused. Maybe I just didn't act like myself convincingly enough.

Beverages and People
Speaking words in a room full of other word-speaking rhymesters is one thing that happens with some frequency in Melbourne. Even more important than that, though, is drinking. During my three-and-a-little-bit days, I drunk latte on Bourke, chai on Little Bourke, Mocha on Swanston, Cappucino and Greek pastry on Lonsdon, Latte in St Kilda, Cappucino on Lygon, Iced Coffee, Latte, and James Squire on Russell (with mussells stewed in wine), and Gin and tonic, Gin and Coke, Vodka and Musk, Vodka and Coffee, two long Island Iced Teas, Carlton Draught, and VB in various locations around the city. I drunk in company, I drunk alone, I drunk frequently and - more than once - I got drunk. So here's to all the more-or-less sentient beings I met in Melbourne, in those contemplative pauses between one caffeine/alcohol hit and another - I hope to be back soon, folks: I raise a glass to Tim, Tim, and Tim (none of them me), Mel and Mel, David and Belle, Andrew, Simon, Graeme, Jenny, Michelle, Lish, Trevor, and definitely Kathryn, who showed great generosity, patience and warmth in introducing me to folks around the city and guiding me around - I cannot express gratitude enough.

The Last Word...
... must go to Al the Indian taxi-driver - not his real name, but a name for me to remember him by, at least - who came out with the following immortal line in between telling me about his life, his plans to learn a marketing degree, the 'nice black arse' that just walked past, and how I should stay away from the porn magazines. "I'm not joking," he said, "I'm driving."
And, you know, I really couldn't argue with him there.

Friday, March 11, 2005

A Word of Warning

I'll be heading down Carlton way early tomorow arvo to indulge in wanton acts of performance poetry, at the Dan O'Connell Hotel on Canning Street. The results could be hideous. Non-combatants are advised to clear out of the area ASAP.

How to Make a Perfect World #2

There should be only two days in a year. That way, Christmas would come on a Saturday and Easter on a Sunday and we wouldn't ever have to worry about going to work because every day of the year would be a weekend. We could just abolish all the other days, and no one would be sad or have problems ever ever again.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Odd Job Man

Odd Job Man: (Colloquial, noun) 1) Man/woman who earns money through casual work performed for various employers 2) Man who earns money through strange and un unusual work performed at curious hours 3) Eugene P. Nittleworthy.

Sunday: Man in the pub asked me today what I did for a living, so I told him. He said I was mad.
He could be right.

Monday: Phone call this morning:
"Hello. Is that the Odd Job Man?"
"Hello, yes."
"Got a job for you."
"Is it odd?"
"Well, I want you to make my porpoises levitate."
"How much have you got?"
"About a thousand."
"A thousand dollars?"
"No, porpoises."
"Is that legal?"
"Will you take it?"
So I got his address and drove round. I asked him how he wanted me to go about this. He said he thought that was my job. I asked him why he wanted me to do it, anyway. He said to entertain the penguins.
It took me a while but eventually I figured out how to do it. It involved throwing them in the air.

Tuesday: No work today. Bored. Depressed. Not getting much work lately. Passed the time by practicing origami with a brick.

Ring ring. Click.
"Hello? Mr. Nittleworthy? Help me, please! I've lost it, and I don't know whe..."
(Wearily) "Madam, we are not a lost and found society. This is the Odd Job Man agency. If you want to find something..."
"Oh, but this job is odd! You see, I've lost my ... my SELF!"
"Er, you appear to have lost me, ma'am."
"That's just it! You see, I've lost Me, and I don't know where to find Me!"
"My ego, you see... my sense of self-awareness, my Centredness - it's all but vanished!"
"Hold on ... I'll be right round."
As I suspected, her house was filled, wall to wall, with Self-Help books - with titles like:

The Doors to Perception, and How to Get Over Them

Travelling through the Journey of the Self

How to Fit a Circle Through the Set Square of My Centredness

Help for the Self-help Addict

Motivation - Actualisation - Self-esteem.

She was actually reading one when I got there. I saw what the problem was straight away. She had tried so hard to find herself that she had forgotten all about it. I found it pottering in the garden planting some azaleas. She was very apologetic, but said that unfortunately, she was completely unable to pay me at the time being.
My client, meanwhile, smiled a little smile of satisfaction when she saw her self again and stuck her nose back in the book - the selfish so-and-so.

Thursday: Guy called me today and asked for an elbow job. I advised him to go to the nearest sensual massage parlour. I may be an odd job man, but even I have standards.

Friday: Annual meeting of the Odd Job Man society. I'm the only member. I started proceedings by asking everyone to leave, which they did. Then I spent the rest of the meeting feeling lonely.

Saturday: Busy day. Working on some scientific experiments.

8.00 – Working with some farmyard animals. Tried to locate hens teeth, and then clean them.

10.00 – Got out the calculator to work out exactly ‘How much wood would a Woodchuck chuck if a Woodchuck could chuck wood?’

2.00 - Tried to work out what, exactly a goose’s bridle is – working on a paper known as ‘The Wigwam Principle’.

Sunday: Guy walks up to me in the pub and asks me my job. I tell him. He says I’m crazy.

I tell him I’d be crazy to take any other job. I tell him he must be crazy to be doing what he’s doing now. I tell him that it’s none of his damn business anyway. Then I tip a beer over his head and walk out.
I love my job.

Identity Fun

I've been trying to get myself a passport lately. Do you realise how hard that is, when you don't have one? To get a passport you need a driver's licence; if you don't have a driver's licence, you need a birthcard; to get a birthcard, you need to find your birth certificate along with several other forms of documentation and take it in to the Department of Births Deaths and Marriages ... wherever that is.
And all for what? All you seem to end up doing is proving to the authorities involved what is plainly obvious... that you exist.
Maybe we should do away with all Birth Cards and Licences and Passports, and roll them into one handy


This card is to certify that you, Mr./ Mrs. / Ms. / Miscellaneous* ____________________, exists. Congratulations!

After examination of all official records, the Department of Making Your Business Ours has been able to confirm your current reality.
If you are currently suffering from an Identity Crisis, Amnesia, Multiple Personality Disorder, Self-Doubt, Confusion, or any other type of existential angst, please refer to this card for comfort.
Should the case of existential angst persist, please refer to your neighbourhood philosopher.

* Please circle appropriate option.

Then again, you'd have to be careful not to receive the following:


Dear ____________,

After examining your application for an Existence Card under the Realism Act of 1999, the Department of Making Your Business Ours regrets to inform you that you do not exist.
We have carefully considered all appropriate evidence, and have been unable to confirm you claim for existence.
This could mean one of several things:

1) You have not yet been born,

2) You have been born but are currently dead;

3) You are a notional entity, whose existence may be possible at some point in the continuance of the universe, but who is currently a fiction.

Please return to your womb/grave/brain/alternative unabode immediately. We shall be sending officers around to collect your worldly goods shortly.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Killer Cockroaches Save Sanity

Hi, um, my name's Tim, and, you don't see me much anymore but, uh, I used to have this blog, and ...

Yes, I'm back. I've got a few weeks off, I'm in Melbourne for a couple of days, and I'm blogging this from the house of the gorgeous marvellous and in all ways wonderfully fabulous Kathryn O. I really didn't mean to be this long away from the computer, there's been a lot that I've wanted to blog about, but I seriously haven't been able to find access to the internet. (The word barbarians has been used.)

I've kept myself sane by writing stories about an interstellar breed of cockroaches who take over the world.

Anyway, I'll try and put up some of my less boring thoughts and musings over the past few weeks onto the net ASAP. See ya later. Tonight I'm going to get trashed with Kathryn and David.

How to Make a Perfect World #1

People should be able to donate to charity by means of Charity Machines (tm), which are like C0ke Machines, only instead of getting a can of drink, you get a certificate from the machine saying something like 'congratulations!' or 'what a great person you are!'. That way, not only would charities get money, but we'd get to feel real good in the process, and that's the most important thing. Come on. You know it makes sense.
Email: timhtrain - at -

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