Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yeah, I'm Bored

FROM: Tim Train
TO: Lachlan Train

Whats your opinion on einsteins theory of relativity?

FROM: Lachlan Train
TO: Tim Train

Its about as debatable as rock v scissors.

The poor fool. Little does he know that the 'rock vs scissors' argument has long been discredited in the fields of theoretical and quantum physics ...

Prelude to a Trip

Start the morning early. Set your alarm for five and leap out of bed five minutes before it is set to go off. Blearily whip on your only clean t-shirt, only to discover that it is actually your only clean pair of trousers (it's the fact that there's nowhere to put your head that gives it away.) Frantically frisk through your clothes for a t-shirt (travelling half-naked is not recommended unless there are several other nudists on your trip). When you have put on the only remaining almost-not-dirty t-shirt in your collection, leap from your room with the grace of a gazelle. Don't forget to open the door when you do this; otherwise you may have a head-on collision with a solid object.
You are now ready for action: spring towards the nearest cupboard, and make yourself a bowl of cereal!!! Don't worry if there is no milk. This is not the sort of day to be worrying about minor things like that. The cereal's probably gone off, anyway. Dump the cereal in the nearest bin or receptacle, and head for your room again to pack.

The theory about packing clothes is simple.

Make sure you pack: one pair of socks, one pair of pants and underpants, and one shirt. Keep on packing until it looks like you have enough, or alternatively, you run out of clean clothes - probably the latter.

Being simple, this theory is even more simple to forget. Be creative with your clothes - for instance, throw in odd numbers of socks instead of the usual pair. (And if your socks are anything like mine, they will be very odd, indeed.) Furthermore, be ready to challenge conventional terminology. Who decided to call them a 'pair' of trousers? Considering what's happened to the legs of your trousers, this seems rather unrealistic. Spare 'Singlets', on the other hand, can be separated into two or more separate items of clothing, thereby making them 'Doublets' or 'Triplets'.
And 'underpants' - every sane person knows that 'underpants', so called, can be put to many uses, including:

- Novelty head-wear!
- Excellent substitute handkerchiefs!
- A cunningly disguised t-shirt!

Especially after a few drinks.
After you have crammed all these clothes into your bag with desperate efficiency, discover that you have several hours left until your train leaves.
It is at this point that you descend into a dreamlike state and feel as if you are sitting down, objectively observing somebody as they move about the room, performing everyday tasks:

The Subject moved from the kitchen to the loungeroom. He sat down for several seconds. He then sprang up again. He repeated this motion several times over. He then began to walk from one end of the room to the other, swinging his hands in front of his body. He tilted his head forward and then nodded it several times before returning to the couch and sitting down. He sat down for several seconds ...

Don't worry, you're not going mad. All the adrenaline has simply gone to your head, and is causing you to have mild hallucinations.
By the time you return to yourself, you will realise that you are running late for what is possibly the last tram. Gather up your books and bags and items and rush from the house, not remembering to close all the windows and lock and double bolt the door and close the gate behind you. You will be surprised how quick you can run while carrying several large and heavy bags.
It is at this point that you realise that you have forgotten to pack something Very Small but Extremely Important, and it is imperative that you return to the house, open the gate, double unlock the double bolts on your door, and rush into your room to retrieve whatever item it is that you have left there before rushing from the house to discover that you have just missed the tram.
Sit around impatiently before catching the next tram. When you finally arrive at the train station, realise that the train has not even arrived yet, and that you are standing at the end of a rather long queue of very fat people, and that you will probably be the last to find your seat.


I could go on and dwell on the train journey: but I find that it is probably best to focus on the positive things in life, and not the negative. It is probably wise to repress all the memories of the squealing children and the fat old man who sits next to you and, every minute, makes compulsive noises out of the side of his mouth, that smell oddly like farting (is THAT why his wife never looks in his direction)?
What matters is that you are on your way, and that, at some point between twelve hours and eternity, you will finally arrive at your destination, if nothing goes wrong. Congratulations!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

What the Hell

I'm in Raymond Terrace. Just outside of Newcastle. The weather here is fucking hot. I want to go home!

Just saw the name of a shop:


No apostrophe. Arrrrrgh!

I think I'll spend the day boozing it up with my brother and his girlfriend. Also, might get my father an eel for Christmas. Just to be difficult.

Things to do in the next couple of days:

- Turn up unannounced on the door of my other brother in Sydney with a big cabbage for his Christmas present.

- Eat ridiculous amounts of Christmas food.

- Take a photograph of the downstairs part of my parents house, and send it to them as a postcard.

- Get the fuck out of here.

Merry Christmas eve. Merry Christmas, even! Later!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The First 'First Day of Christmas'

It took a while for anon to get the famous carol, 'The First Day of Christmas', right ...

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me ...

A fully-equipped diesel-powered tractor

A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me ...

Two atomic power-generator, complete with plutonium and uranium resources

Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me ...

Three killer robots

Three ransom notes

Three french hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

And you certainly don't want to know what happened on days four through twelve ...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Many Crappy Returns

Racism kind of sucks. Think how much nicer the world would be if, instead of calling one another 'you black arsehole!' and 'that white cunt!' we simply settled for calling one another 'Arsehole! and 'Cunt!' That's right, the world would be a much better place. You should go out and swear to your neighbour right now, you really should.

Swearing: bringing misanthropes from all over the world together.

Seasons Bleatings

Some people like Christmas and some people dislike Christmas. Me, I dislike liking Christmas but I also dislike disliking Christmas. Also, I like Christmas. There's very little logic in this, but then, this is not a logical time of year.

Lord knows there's a lot to complain about during Christmas, including:

Getting presents
Not getting presents
Giving presents
Not giving presents
Santa Claus
Jesus Christ
Santa Claus taking the Jesus Christ out of Christmas
Jesus Christ taking the Santa Claus out of Christmas
Seeing family
Not seeing family
Christmas television
Christmas films
Cecil B. de Mille films
Jimmy Stewart films
Black and white films
Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist
Ebenezer Scrooge
"A Christmas Carol"
Christmas carols

But then, come to think about it, there's also a lot to like, including:

All of the above

You don't like Christmas? The whole thing is basically a time when people get together, eat food, and get drunk. Sounds good to me. Also, mince pies are tasty. Don't like Christmas? Sucks to you. Merry Christmas, you bastards!

Ways To Amuse Yourself #4

You're at a nudist colony.

1) Organise a bike race!

2) Cheerfully discuss the objectification of the human form in western culture with any person that you come across!

3) Hold a barbecue and invite members of the Taliban along!

4) Look at all the naked women and picture them - IN CLOTHES! Phwoooar!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Important Question

At the moment, I'm writing a love story about an Agorophobic and a Claustrophobic. What is the best way to describe a sex scene between the two?

Provide your answers, with supporting reasons, in comments.

Rate Myself

Rate My Students? Rate My Professor? What's the point of that? Such actions only lead to nastiness and crudeness. I think the nicest thing you could possibly do is rate yourself.

Here's my report card (by me).
Name: Tim Train

Tim demonstrates exceptional ability in smartness, brightness, quick-wittedness, and possesses exceptionally high amounts of The Genius Factor (tm). He is an excellent student.

Tim is the nicest person you could possibly meet! He is brilliant in many fields of Niceness, including generosity, honesty, morality, and careingness.

Gosh, isn't he nice?

It is without hesitation that I give Tim top marks in the attractiveness ratings. Well done, Tim - give yourself a big pat on the back!

General Comments
Tim is practically perfect in every way!

Rate yourself, in comments.

Gift Ideas for the Obsessive Psychopath In Your Life

So: you married an axe-murderer. You didn't know it at the time, but your husband/wife to be was in fact insane, sadistic serial-killer who should be locked up and put in jail for good. But you've learnt not to be judgemental. Sure, they might be evil, demented beings; but basically, they're nice people.

But there are always problems. Like, what are you going to buy them for Christmas? Here are some gift ideas...

Diary/Personal Planner

Your significant-other-twisted-psychopathic-half spends a lot of time stalking his or her victims and obsessing over the modus operandi. What better gift could you get for than a diary? Plus, these days, diaries come in many attractive colours, with inspirational slogans to help them get through the day!

Industrial-sized Fridge

It's not that you mind finding unusual human body parts in your fridge, so much - it's just that there's so little room left over to put in Christmas pudding, and other treats.

So, for Christmas, you couldn't go wrong by buying the psychopath in your life an industrial-sized fridge!

Meat Cleavers

As the old saying goes, 'The family that slays together, stays together.' So you could do far, far worse than buying a set of pre-sharpened meat cleavers, and joining your husband/wife in their naughty nightime antics. It could be just the thing for putting that zing back in your marriage!

Mushroom Kit

There are times when even you grow worried by their obsessions. Maybe all the psychopath-in-the family needs, really, is another hobby. Why don't you get them a mushroom kit, and let them pour all their obsessive-compulsive habits into a complicated, yet rewarding, task, like growing mushrooms?

I mean, sure, they'll always be evil, but at least let them be evil in a productive way.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Did I ever tell you about the phone system we have at work? It's very simple, really; all you need is an encyclopaedia and a PhD in advanced mathematics to work out how to use it.

Rule 1: If the phone starts ringing, DO NOT PICK IT UP.

Why? Well, first of all, you're going to have to work out if the phone call is for you. If the phone call is not for you, then the phone ring will be loud. If the phone call is for you, then the phone call will be soft. Thus the office phone system defies one of the most basic rules of acoustics - things that are closer will be louder than things that are further away.

Rule 2: If the phone call is for you, DO NOT PICK IT UP.

Why? Well, you're going to have to work out what sort of a phone call it is, first. If it's a phone call from outside, the light will be flashing green (or red). If the phone call is internal, then the light will be flashing red (or green). In time, you will be able to remember these rules for yourself: but not now.

Rule 3: Learn to properly answer the phone when it rings.

The proper way to answer the phone when it rings is to shout at it. Eventually, the phone will get the message and stop ringing.*

Rule 4: Wait until the call is re-routed through to the secretaries desk and the message comes through: 'T, phone call on line 1437565. T, phone call on line 1437565'.

After all, it's only the REALLY important phone callers that will bother going this far. It's about now that you'd better think of picking up the phone.

Rule 5: Panic.

Fear is an excellent stimulus.

Rule 6: Pick up the phone.

Although at this stage, you might be tempted to throw the phone at the wall, workplace aggression never solved anything. Calmly, quietly pick up the receiver. Now all you have to do is get on line one.
This is done by pressing the 'Call PU' then '1437565'. Or by pressing 'Park Rtrv' then '1437565'. One of the two, I'm not sure which.

Rule 7: Respond to the caller in a calm, intelligent, and professional matter.

Suggested ways to begin your phone call:
- 'Good afternoon, welcome to '...', this is T. speaking. I'm afraid I can't take your call at the moment, as my brain is currently out to lunch. If you care to call back later after I have gone home, it would be greatly appreciated.'

- 'Sorry, she's not here at the moment. Who? I don't know. You were the person calling for her.'

- 'Je suis desolet, mi no spreche di Espanol.'

This will make all the difference.

Rule 8: Make yourself a cup of coffee.

You'll need it. The boss will want to see you in his office, first thing in the morning ...

*There are people who say that phones are unintelligent and cannot understand you. These people are fools.

The Focal Local

So apparently we're having after-work drinks this afternoon at a pub called The Local. You have to wonder, is there just one pub with this name - or are there several Locals in different locales? And is this Local a local Local, or an unlocal Local?

Matters were not helped when it was explained to me that I could easily recognise The Local, since it's name had been changed to Molly Blooms.

Possibly everything will be made clearer after a few drinks. I'll get back to you.

UPDATE! I just learned that local pub Molly Blooms is not our local The Local, although it is a local. Apparently some other unnamed local pub is The Local. What's more, according to Rachel in comments, Molly Blooms was almost always Molly Blooms, and was probably never The Local. It's a pity I haven't been drinking. Then things would make sense.

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE! It's a good thing The Local is not an unnammed unlocal The Local, or then things would get really confusing.

I just hope in my current state of undrunkenness, I'll be able to find the place.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This Post Was Bought To You By

'The Letter j'? What the fuck's that all about?

It's not an 'i', it's not a 'y', and it's not a 'g', though sometimes it tries to be all three. It is geometrically improbable. It is a long stick balancing on a curvy base - hardly realistic. And then you've got that ball at the top. What the hell? Who gave that ball permission to defy gravity and sit up there? It's like it's saying, 'hey there, suckers, look at me, I'm soooo better than the rest of you.'
I think those people who are in charge of splitting the infinitive and determining the true weight of the epigram should redesign the letter 'j', so that it looks like this:

Yeah. Yeah, that's how things should be.

Monday, December 12, 2005

"Special Underwear"

Apparently Mormons wear Special Underwear, super underwear (wonderwear, if you will), that brings them closer to God. It's not entirely clear how they consecrate this underwear or in what ways these magic panties bring them closer to God, but it does. Whatever - it's just special, okay? Do not question the ways of the Lord.

It makes you wonder - do Mormons have different types of Special Underwear, for different people? Is there a silken range of wonderwear for naughty nighttime Mormon antics? Do they have Special Lingerie and Special Boxers? I guess that they do, otherwise it wouldn't be special Special Underwear, it would be just plain boring.

Then again, if this so-called Special Underwear was so wonderfully special, maybe self-respecting Mormons wouldn't bother wearing anything else. Then it wouldn't really be underwear, would it, because it wouldn't be under anything. It would be Special-Once-Was-Underwear. Or Special-Latent-Underwear.
And it wouldn't matter too much what variety of Special Underwear it was, either. You could see flabby old Mormon grandfathers going about in sexy (and Special) Black Bits of Lace. Or Mormon grandmothers wandering about in Special Boxers, and nothing else.

But we see NONE OF THESE THINGS on our streets, do we? I think this proves that Mormonism, like any other religion with Special Underwear related regulations, is a pack of lies.

Maybe I'll become a nudist.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Ticked Off

Dad went bushwalking the other week. A few days later, he found a lump on his back and went to see the doctor. The doctor took a look at the lump and got some nurses in to have a look at it too. Then they all stood around Dad while the doctor cut into the lump on Dad's back and took out a cattle tick.

"Did he keep the tick?" I said to Mum on the phone.
"No," said Mum. "They put it into a jar and had to send it off to Sydney for testing. Apparently, they can kill dogs, so they put him on some medication for a week."


Well, that's more or less how Mum told the story. Dad tells it a little differently. Every week or so he writes two or three-page, boring letters with sentences like this:

Had a quick lone lunch. Helen showed up an hour or so later. Had to rush in to the Terrace again by bike. Forgot to buy the newspaper. Really vital getting the news paper on Monday. Only way to get a decent T.V. Times. Slow for the rest of the day. Saw some suspicious looking men over opposite this P.M. Obviously measuring up the land where all those nice trees are.

God, the old fart must have a boring life. When me or one of my brothers is down there visiting him, he'll even write about us and send off the letters to us later in the week. When he's not concerned with killer cattle ticks, that is. Speaking of which, here's how he tells the tick story:

I had been worried about a growing lump on the rear of my neck. Doc immediately identified it. A cattle tick. Everyone surprised it had not much effected me. A minor operation soon removed it. I am on medication for seven days. As a side effect to that I cannot go out in the sun. I will be super sensitive to sunlight.

This is where some people might have left it, but not Dad. A couple of paragraphs later he says:

Found some contradictions in the tick information. The entomological advise is that ticks climb up vegetation and wait to catch a host brushing past. Never more that half a meter. However, the medical information states that the vast majority of tick infections in people are on the head and shoulders. That is well above half a meter.

And that's not all:

Found a medicos paper about a case. They took forty one ticks of this guy. Also ticks have killed more people than the funnel web spider. Roughly twice as many.

Makes you feel reassured, doesn't it? I'll be seeing him this Christmas - that is, if the killer ticks or funnel web spiders don't get him first.

Sentenced To Death

Dear Editors of The Monthly,

I was perusing the latest issue of your magazine when this particular arrangement of letters and punctuation met my eyes:

In his brilliant review of Edwin Williamson's biography of Jorge Luis Borges, David Foster Wallace noted: "It often seems that the person we encounter in the literary biography could not have possibly written the works we admire."

Straight away, the letters came together to form words and the words came together to form a sentence. The sentence leaped into my eyes, and before I was able to do anything about it, I understood what had just happened: the writer had made a tangential reference to one author's review of a second author's biography of a third author, in order to make a general point about two other, completely unrelated, authors. It was one of the most hideously pointless sentences it had ever been my misfortune to read, and now it sat in my brain!

If there is anything you could do to wipe the memory of this sentence from my neural pathways, I would be most grateful. I am willing to sustain a substantial amount of memory loss, or even amnesia or Alzheimers. I'm sure you understand.

Thanking you in advance,
Tim Train

Coburg - A Photo Essay

When I first moved to Melbourne, and heard about Sydney Road, I wanted to move there. Why? So that whenever people asked me, "So where do you live in Melbourne," I would reply, "In Sydney."
Well, it amuses me. Several months on, I'm living in a place near Sydney Road, which is probably as close as I'm going to get. Anyway, it makes more grammatical sense to say, "I live near Sydney Road" than "I live in Sydney Road". Who the hell lives 'in' a 'road'? So I guess things have ended up pretty well.

Sydney Road runs through Brunswick and Coburg; odd suburbs both of them. Brunswick is an industrial suburb that has in the past twenty years or so been infested by mobsters, artists, and yuppies (if they'd just stopped with the mobsters, it would have been alright.) Coburg was once home to the pleasant Pentridge Prison - apparently dubbed the 'College of Knowledge', but since has become a little gentler. Now it only turns up a couple of potential terrorists. I guess it's all part of the diverse tapestry of multicultural Australia ...

Anyway, enough talk. Here's a couple of snaps of the area that should give you a better idea what I'm talking about ...

Wildlife driving down Sydney Road.

"Dear Mum and Dad,
Wow! I've finally found it! You never need to go hungry again! It's the ultimate nut factory!

So, what will it be? Ten boxes of cashews, or twenty?


PS - Hope I'm not driving you 'nutty' with all this!"

Third poster along: they sell some interesting snacks at this store ...

Now's the time to start buying real estate. Note the decorative use of barbed wire ... *

*Note: this last photo is from the net; mine didn't come out well. Incidentally, Pentridge Prison is just across the road from the Moreland Council Chambers. What does that say about the place of local politicians in the social ladder, eh ...?

Written In Drink

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pity the Tuba

What a sad fate it is to play the tuba.

To be always playing not-quite pieces; to be lumped with bass parts in brass ensembles; to be forever playing the neglected but necessary notes to make up the harmonious whole of a composition. To be a tuba, one would imagine, would be a little like being the word 'the' in a famous and beautiful poem by a much-loved poet. Oh, people go on about the symbols, and the metaphors, and the rhymes, and the imagery - but they never stop to think about a humble preposition such as 'the': nooooo!
Lovers listen to the plaintive tones of violins; soldiers awake to the bracing call of the bugle; funerals are greeted with the solemn tones of the pipe-organ. But what about the tuba?

Won't somebody please think of the tuba?

Economic Ergonomics

Office furniture. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Chairs which were never meant to be chairs, stairs which were never meant to be stairs, doorways which don't let you out, and pens which you can never find.

The Ergonomic Keyboard

Although this fucker is meant to suit the natural curvature of your hand, it does nothing of the sort. It forces your fingers to stretch kilometres to reach letters that would otherwise have been easy to find. The ergonomic keyboard is actually a cunning scheme by the government to give us all carpal-tunnel syndrome. That way, we won't be able to do naughty things like watching television or writing blogs or wanking. BASTARDS!

The Computer

Sure, it looks relatively simple from the front. But at the back, it's another story - it's a mess of cords and plugs that are tangled and (as if they possessed a life of their own) will become detached for no reason, causing your computer not to work. Then you have to turn your computer around, and untangle this mess of cords - a process that takes hours, and is a little like making love to a jellyfish - confusing, unpleasant, and quite possibly dangerous.

The Adjustable Chair

This chair is meant to make it more comfortable for you to sit down during the day, by allowing you to adjust the height and tilt of the back. As a matter of fact, the chair will imperceptibly sink during the day, so that by the end of the day, your face is barely showing above the surface of the desk. Alternatively, it will suddenly drop ten feet, causing you to be sitting in mid-air for a second before thumping your bum on the bottom.
The back appears to be comfortable but is actually held up by a rigid steel spine which ensures spinal injury. Moving it forward is certainly not comfortable (it causes you to lean forward like a hunchback), while tilting it back is even less so. Also, it can sometimes, without warning, slap forward again, thwacking you in the back and forcing you into the hunchback position.

If the boss really wanted you to be comfortable, he'd simply order in a couch, and you'd do all your work off a laptop - unfortunately, these encourage pleasantly unproductive sensations, such as sloth and tiredness. ie, the boss doesn't care about your comfort at all. ARSEHOLE!

Revolving Doors

They look all fancy and schmick and technical, don't they? Actually, these bastards are the means by which the corporate world weeds out the halt and the lame from the quick and the nimble amongst their office staff. If you aren't quick enough, you are not able to duck out the doors before they close up, and are therefore forced to continue around and around in the doors, like a gerbil in a wheel, until you are found late at night and disposed of in the dumpster. But I don't care, because I'm young and fleet-of-foot. It's survival of the fittest, losers!


It's the funniest thing in the world to watch a woman in stilettos try to struggle up a flight of stairs, but after a few floors, it just gets boring. Just put in a lift, you bums.


If there's one thing you soon learn about office stationery, it's that it ain't stationary. Pens which are on your desk one day will mysterious disappear the next. There are several theories about this - one is that the pens disappear into another dimension, along with such things as lost socks and items of underwear. The other is, that there is some mysterious lurker on the second floor of your building who possesses a strange fetish for pens and other such objects, and that all the missing pens lie on his desk somewhere (in 'penury')*. Since this leads to gross inefficiencies in big business, whoever solves the mystery of the pens will undoubtedly become a very rich and powerful person.

*Possibly the account assistant, who has already admitted to collecting coloured paperclips in your presence. As a side note, you should remember that if she ever sends you a document held together with a brown paperclip, then you are in BIIIIIIIG TROUBLE.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Possible Characters For Novels #2

Lobelia Pintsquip

Lobelia, the daughter of Ramsay Pintsquip (a man in charge of indexing school biology textbooks) and Geraldine Fautherington-Raffles (social butterfly) is a watercolour artist of some note. Her specialty is detailed artistic depictions of the ebola virus. She has painted every stage of this deadly disease, and done a number of award-winning portraits of the disease for international figures of note. Yes, if ever you want a picture of the ebola virus from a number-one artist, then Lobelia is your man - or woman, as the case may be (and don't you dare call her anything else, for Lobelia is also a Liberation feminist, who trained in kung-fu in the Himalayan mountains with Camille Paglia).

She has also worked as a ballet dancer, rose pruner, and King's Assassin.
Email: timhtrain - at -

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