Sunday, January 31, 2010

My friend Bill

They say you can get a great deal of satisfaction from achieving your goals, and it's true, you know. I woke up this morning with a burning desire not to pay the bills, and over the rest of the day I've put in a great deal of effort and strenuous activity into not doing just that. Those bills remain completely unpaid, and I can't tell you how pleased I am about it. Every so often I go back to those bills, and look at how much is owing, and look at how soon they are due, and no sooner do I contemplate the fact that I still haven't paid them than a great warm wave of gladness sweeps over me. It's true that this gladness is accompanied by a certain deal of fidgeting, an increased heart rate, some biting of the nails, a slight churning in the stomach, and so on, but whatever. The fact remains that the bills haven't been paid, and I'm happy about it.

As the seconds and minutes and hours have mounted up, I've put in a great deal of effort into not paying those bills. Here's just some of the things I've done instead:

- Made an origami badger;
- Made a cappucino out of the whizz-bang machine that Mum got me and the Baron for Christmas;
- Made an origami cat, penguin, and spider;
- Tried to con Harriet and Beatrice into paying the bills for me with some kangaroo. (Though the cunning creatures outwitted me, they just ate the kangaroo and stalked off without doing anything about the bills.)
- Made an origami sheep, pig, bear, and hare;
- Had a shave - the first in about a week or so, so there was lots of lovely hair to slice off and fuss over;
- Looked for models of origami dogs on the internet;
- Made an origami German Shepherd to round up those origami sheep;
- Went back to making another origami badger.

And now, hey, look at this, I've started writing a blog post to pass the time as well. As you can see it's certainly productive not paying the bills, and perhaps you ought to try it as well.

Of course, there might be some of you out there who find it difficult not to pay the bills - who in fact get nervous, anxious, dissatisfied, frightened, and even begin to despair if they don't pay their bills. I can't say I understand you people, but I sympathise with your plight. And in order to help you continue to lead rich and satisfying lives, I'd like to make you an offer. I've got three or four bills sitting on the fridge right at the moment, see, and if I could just mail you the details... After all, what could be more richly satisfying than paying other people's bills as well as your own? (Just so long as you do it with your own riches.)

In the meantime, I'll just go back to fiddling around with the espresso machine. Next up: I'm going to make an origami dromedary out of cappucino froth! I'll let you all know how it goes.

UPDATE! - I... I... I don't know what came just came over me. In a moment of weakness - a moment that probably lasted about 20 minutes, though why quibble over details? - I went looking for the bills that I wasn't going to pay in order not to pay them, couldn't find where they were, stomped about looking for them in other places, came back and found that they were all sticking on the fridge, took them down, logged on to various websites, typed in various credit card details, pressed various buttons, and... um... ha.... well, I paid the bills that I wasn't going to pay. My credit card head hurts.

I shall continue enjoying not paying the bills for the rest of the month, but the enjoyment will be soured somewhat by the perverse and immoral acts of bill-paying that I've just indulged in. Like double negatives, taking the bills that you aren't going to pay down from the fridge, and then not paying them, is something that we all shouldn't not do, as often as possible.

I think I'll just go and lie down.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New possibilities in verse

A haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry, consisting of 17 syllables in three lines.

A senryu is a traditional Japanese form of poetry, similar to a haiku.

A rooku is a Melbourne variation invented by those people who responsible for putting up the horrible poetry in the trains.

I propose an addition to this list:

A fucyu - a traditional Australian form of poetry, consisting of 17 syllables in three lines. All of the syllables except for the last one/two/three consist of swear words, and the last part of the fucyu consists of a person's name!

Other new possibilities in verse:

The grimerick - a limerick on particularly grim subjects.

The coupling rhymlet - just like a rhyming couplet, only pornographic.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I think that I know that I think that I am

I just got invited over email to a Melbourne thinker's club.

Two things struck me about this:

- So these are the guys who get all that thinking done! Now we know who to blame, at least. Though I don't know what we did before they existed for satisfying all our thinking needs.

- It's probably a jolly good thing that they're doing the hard work and getting on with all that thinking. I certainly don't know how to do it.

And, with that, I got back to pondering, meditating, contemplating, reflecting, lucubrating, deliberating, philosophising, ratiocinating, and other such trivial activities as make up my days.

A meeting with celebrity

I saw Skippy in a backyard the other day. Well, I didn't know he was Skippy at the time, but then again, thanks to the limited brain capacity of my four-limbed marsupial friend, neither did he. It wasn't until he lifted his adorable but iconic little arms and made a certain adorable but iconic gesture, just so, that I actually recognised him. I called out at once: "What's that, Skip? Two nasty old men have set up a credit card skimmer in the town Crystal Essences store, and if I don't follow you now a little girl's faith in the Easter Bunny will be ruined forever?" And though he clearly had no idea what I was talking about, I could see that he was right.

Satisfied, I closed the door and went back into the house. A meeting with celebrity! Exhausted with the evening's events, I turned on the television and settled back for some light entertainment.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Austria Day!

Beautiful to Visit, Perfect to Forget

It's a great place, is Australia -
It's great. I'll tell you why -
So full of towns you can't forget,
Like Gillingong,
And Mungin-dindin-gi.

Er... it's a great place, is Australia:
So I begin my song.
So full of names you can't remember,
Like Coonaranaldarra
And Wagga Wee Waa Gong.

So easy to forget,
I think you'll all agree,
Though you forget them in a nice way -
Fright and Warrunfumble,
Melney and Sydbourne,
And Yiss, and Nay, and Hee.

Although some folks are racists,
And some places have dud bars,
You'll forget them all quite fondly -
And Nar-Nar-Nar-Nar-Nilliga.

It's a great place, is Australia -
I can't remember why -
But still, here's to this nation,
Of Mittiwhon,
And Wallaillabri.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


US company invents, sells sarcasm emoticon symbol SarcMark
EVER wanted to send an email or document with a little sarcasm, but didn't want to risk being misunderstood?

Enter the sarcasm mark or "SarcMark," an emoticon symbol being sold online, MyFox reports.

A mark for being sarcastic?
How WONDERFULLY fantastic!
I am quite enthusiastic
About this bright idea.
It has so much application,
It will case a HUGE sensation,
It's the greatest punctuation
Mark invented yet- this year.
Now let's not get too excited,
Let's not over-emphasise it,
But the mark's been COPYRIGHTED!
In the thousands, in the millions,
In the billions, in the trillions,
In the gosh-gazunk-gazillions,
They'll be wallowing in dosh.
Yes, life for them is sunny,
From now on, it's Armani,
It's butterflies, it's honey,
It is happy and complete.
But me? I'm suicidal.
And I think I'm homicidal,
Plus almost ethno-genocidal -
I am utterly defeated.
I am despair-and-doomy,
I am weeping, sore-eyed, rheumy,
I am voluminously gloomy -
Oh well. I'll get over it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Proverbial proverbs

Made up folk wisdom for the modern age

If you want butterflies on your breadfruit, you'll have to do it yourself.

Three pips past and an apple to come.

When the hardware won't, the software will.

The Pelican can.

Dig when you can, sausages later.

Better a parasol in the evening than a single galosh in the day.

It's all underpants over here.

Penguins or pterodactyls, it's all the same to me.

They're three surds short of a googolplex, if you ask me.

A page three smile, column eight talk, and a collander for brains.

As existent as a Dame Edna Everage.

The dog always barks in the morning.

A mobile phony.

I'll show you pumpkins!

That fries your the metallic lamb chops, doesn't it, lad!

She's more analogue than digital.

Five bings and a bong, two dings and a dong, one right and two wrongs.

A mouth like a Siberian thunderstorm.

Fine words fritter no pineapples.

The golliwog of New York City.

Three flicks of the switch.

A bestseller with jam on top.

Be with you in two raps of the macaw's beak.

Butter is better #9771

George Butterworth, Nigel Butterley - just two composers who happen to have butter in their names.

Now just imagine if they were called George Margarineworth or Nigel Oily. Not very attractive, is it?

And let's not even start on the loathsome Icantbelieveitsnotbutterfly...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Glowerful! Sneeriffic!

Somewhere between the 86 tram stop and the Dan O'Connell Hotel on Princes Street, on the side of an otherwise non-descript warehouse, you'll come across a gigantic, scowling, demonic visage. As you get closer, you'll see that the demonic visage is attached to a body, and the body is attached to a tennis racket, and the whole performance is below a sign saying 'TENNIS WAREHOUSE', or something like that. It makes you wonder what they pack there: scowling tennis players? Who would be likely to be attracted by such a model, after all?

Being summer, there are tennis matches popping up all over the place where these kind of high-performance, world-class scowls happen all the time, and where scowls are traded back and forth, over a net, by professional scowlers. A ball and racket may be involved as well - but judging from the photographs in the paper, scowling is the main game. Here's how it must happen: A opens up with a forceful, vaulting grimace, and B returns that grimace with equal force. A shoots a glare back to the opposite side of the court, but B catches it in time and fires back a sneer. They return withering glance for dismissive pout with increasing force and energy, hoping to exhaust the other's stock of disgusting, disgraceful, and disastrous facial expressions, and thus gain victory, until one of them comes up with a facial expression so furious, so animalistic, so bestial, so wild and untamed that it stops the other in its tracks. Ugliness followed by more ugliness: that's what competitive sport is about, after all. That, and banging sticks into hairy rubber balls.

It's alarming to think that all this leering and snarling must come naturally to all these tennis players. Obviously they have to train for it and prepare their noses and mouths and eyes for the forthcoming contortions. But still, the endless parade of impersonal pouts that appear in the paper does make you wonder: maybe these tennis players simply live their life between leer and grimace. Maybe it's the rest of us, giving a smile here, a frown there, and tilting our eyebrows back and forth, that have got it all wrong. Maybe we really are just obscuring our natural uglinesses with these artificial attemps at beauty. Maybe it's when we're at our most relaxed that our faces blossom into the most extraordinary, gargolyian growls and Gothic grotesqueries and barbaric gawps. Maybe tennis players really are leading the way as role models should.

Not that I follow tennis or anything.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

An announcement

An announcement - in which I'll let the Baron do the announcing.

Likewise, my dear Baron, likewise.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reading is dangerous for your health

Not one, not two, but three people reading on the train going in to work this morning. And that's not counting the guy reading over the other guy's shoulder.

Clearly, I thought to myself, something should be done about the dangers of passive reading. Before nothing is done. And that's just something we cannot allow to happen.

Of course, the 'facts' tell us that passive reading harms no-one. Those involved in the reading and writing industry - people commonly known as 'readers' and 'writers' - will justify their habit by saying reading is a pleasant, even healthy, leisure activity. But it's not the self-harming activities of readers that concerns me here, it's the side-effects of reading, and the dangerous and possibly toxic fumes of literacy and culture that pollute the atmosphere, making things difficult and quite possibly unhealthy for the rest of us.

You might say that this is ridiculous, that passive reading is a made up condition. But then again, what untold damage could one stray sentence do? You never know about the things that you don't know about, and so you'd just better be careful, that's what I say. Besides, we don't say that 'passive aggression' or 'passive smoking' are made up, do we? No sir-ee.

Clearly, the dangers of passive reading ought to be investigated, at great length, by me, with a good deal of taxpayers money to help me in my researches. Ten thousand dollars, please.

Reading is dangerous for your health, folks. Seriously.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thirteenth century poem written about five minutes ago

Svmer is icumen in.
Lhude sing o fuc!
Burneþ fire it blazeþ higher
Rede þe bloudie fire truc!
Sing o fuc!
Lhude sing o fuc!
Sing o fuc!
Lhude sing o fuc.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Could this be the most pathetically ordinary person in the world?

The Daily Schmuckraker
Believe it or not, life's not all sex scandals, murder, war, muck-raking, necrophilia, greed, cash-digging, and gigantic flashy shiny towers. Studies performed by the mainstream media reveal that many individuals lead a life of such humdrum banality that they don't even make the midday news.

And it's just possible that the most humdrum and banal of them all could be this man. His name is Wilfrid Fleng, and he lives in Cabramatta, Sydney.

A boring man

While celebrities lead a life of fantastic gaudiness, snorting gold dust and coke off the prosthetically enhanced tits of bronzed transexual nubians, Mr Fleng lists his interests as television, cricket, and gardening.

Indeed, the details of Fleng's existence are so tiresomely ordinary that we would not even be repeating them now except to highlight the fabulous contrast with the live's of beautiful celebrities, who fill our media everyday with their hilarious hijinks, affairs, zillion dollar divorces, rapes, and so forth.

Pitifully, Fleng has not any rapes or sex scandals to detail in his sordidly uneventful history, and therefore has not been noticed, which is the worst thing that could have happened to him.

Also, while the Arabs recently erected the tallest building in the world in Dubai, thus proving their ability to make significant achievements in the areas of gigantic phallic symbols with flashing lights on them, the highest thing that Fleng has ever erected in his life has been his backyard shed.

More boring men

Clearly, something should be done now to make the horrendously dull and disgustingly ordinary lives of millions of people less horrendously dull and disgustingly ordinary, starting with people like Wilfrid Fleng. Over the weeks and months to come, the Daily Schmuckraker will be doing its best to bring sordid sex affairs, death, murder, and scandal into the otherwise pathetic and uninteresting life of people like Fleng. It's the least we can do.

The Daily Schmuckraker returns tomorrow with our regular feature: genetically modified anuses of the rich and famous.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Splitting the indifference

One lady I don't know said that we were very irreverent. Melbourne performance poet Tim Train gave a very non-committed review of "Uh... yeah... it was... okay." What the fuck, Melbourne performance poet Tim Train? Could you not have at least pretended to like it?
Cam, co-host of The Rue McClanahan Hour, on one of those Triple Something-or-Other radio channels.

It's true, you know. And it's not only those guys I do it for. Anybody who stands up on stage and does a thing, or who hangs one of their blotchy objects up on the wall, or who writes or draws a whatnot, or who sings or plays their furble to me, I will immediately respond to with a cutting ambiguity. If I can't react to an artwork with a bunch of irrelevancies, followed by some vague waffle, and possibly concluding with an awkward smile before I edge away to speak to the wall, then I won't say anything at all. I'm, on the one hand, so terrified of saying the wrong thing, and on the other, so utterly incapable of telling a lie, that I will desperately flounder around, searching for the most wildly inappropriate waffle in order to give the impression that, well, I got an impression, and the impression I got was an impressive impression indeed.

Admitting this, of course, I'm probably putting myself in a worse position than ever. I am, not to put too fine a point on it, handing a gigantic bucket of sludgulous crap to every artist who I have ever responded to in this way, and positioning my head in as advantageous a way as possible for the contents of those buckets to be upended onto it. After all, why on earth would I use a series of indifferent adjectives to describe the work of others if there wasn't something that I wanted to avoid saying?

It would perhaps be safer if I were to say, right out, and straight away, that the show - or the artwork, or the music, or the whatever I was responding to, because we don't want to go into specifics, not at all - was a horrendous and appalling waste of time and money, even - and especially - if it took no time and spent no money to produce. I could posit that the authors of the work would have spent their efforts better and more usefully putting pantaloons on a horde of lemmings, and then watching them run off the cliff. I could employ every expletive under the sun to express my hypothetical contempt for the hypothetically horrendous production of this hypothetically hypothetical artist. I could... though it wouldn't be a very good way to make friends. Unless, by friends, I meant enemies.

Even worse: I could be so effusively over the top in my praise, could solicit the listeners with so many offers of favours, bodily or spiritual or monetary, that I would find myself in an even worse position: a virtual slave, in point of fact.

Besides, neither reaction would be particularly truthful.

I'm not too sure why I'm supposed to have an immediate reaction on anything and everything, anyway. That is why some of my favourite adjectives are those of indifference: 'interesting'. 'Not bad'. 'All right'. 'Okay'. 'Fair enough.' These are the real words for a man!

So, the next time someone in your workplace gets a new hairdo, why don't you employ a sharply-worded equivocation and tell them their hairstyle looks completely, utterly, and absolutely sufficient. You'd be surprised how whelmed they'll be.

A fruity post

Right about now I'm going absolutely fucking crazy about nectarines. Nectarines nectarines nectarines. I can't get enough of them. You ever have one of those hot summer days when you walk into the supermarket with a vague notion of some things to get, and instead you just pack the trolley up with fruit?

It started when I wandered into the Preston Woolies after my Christmas holidays and ended up buying two or three negligible essentials, and eight or nine nectarines. I got through those in, oh, about a day. Got another bunch of nectarines the day after, and now I'm on to my third bunch.

Every year it's the same thing: summer rolls in, and the fruit cravings start. Last year it was a craving for oranges, which were really bad for my skin because of the citric acid. This year, with my nectarine cravings, I think at least I've made a step up.

Can't help wondering what it's going to be next year though. Durian? Paw paw? Breadfruit? I await the future with dread and saliva. And nectarines.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Battle of wits

Folks, it was just me, my snack, and the rest of the office. It was my second day back at work, and as usual on such occasions, things quickly got ugly. I had been promising myself to save the snack for a few hours, you know, as a kind of treat. Well, this little transcription ought to show how that idea went:

SNACK sits on the desk, regarding TIM with a baleful eye.

TIM: (Loudly) What? (Looks around, seeing if anyone else in the office can hear him) What are you looking at?

SNACK: I know what you want.

TIM: (Leaning in) Nope. Not even thinking about it.

SNACK: Not even a little bit?

TIM: Stop it! Why do you always do this?

SNACK: Oh, but Tim (rolling its eyes). You're sooo hungry. I can just hear your stomach, rumbling.

TIM: Not. One. Bit.

SNACK: Feeeed me, Tim. Feeeeed meeeeee!

TIM: Please! I'm trying to concentrate on my work?

SNACK: Num num, Tim. Num num. Think of how good it would be...

TIM: ... to eat you? Is that what you want?

SNACK: I think that's what we both want, Tim.

Ten seconds later it was done. I think we both know who won that argument. It did taste good though.

Almost every day in the office it's the same thing. Why is it that you place four walls around me, and give me a set period of time, say, seven to eight hours, and a snack as something to help me get through the day, that I end up quarreling with the snack in the first hour, and eating it before the second hour is done? Is it despair at being stuck in the office? Is it the common lot of the office worker to gorge on their foods before the tea break is allowed? Would a hunter do the same thing, gorging on a feast before going out and slaughtering their prey, and thus proving their worth for society? What?

I don't know. I just know that if you place me in the proximity of anything sweet, in a familiar office, and leave me alone to do my work, within minutes, the crumbs will start flying.

Monday, January 04, 2010

There's a frigidaire in there

Today, I ate two icecreams and measured a fridge. But just imagine if that had happened the other way around, and I'd measured an icecream and eaten two fridges. I'd probably be dead. But my blood sugar count would be down!

I suppose this means that fridges are a 'sometimes' food, not an 'always' food.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Artistic moments

Last night, I saw Jaws, a subtle yet realistic portrait of a killer shark that kills. It begins a bit misleadingly, with little killing or sharks to speak of, but then the killer shark kills and things even out. With its deeply felt portrait of the tense-yet-loving relationship between the killer shark and the things that it kills, Jaws has helped us all, as a community, to move towards a greater understanding of the situation of killer sharks in all walks of life. Mostly focusing on their killing.

And yet, Jaws could so easily have been about something else. What if, instead of being about killer sharks that kill, it had been about killer helicopters? Or killer doorjambs? Or cupboards with indigestion? Here, too, are widely misunderstood communities crying out for greater support from our social institutions and legislative frameworks. And yet there remains no realistic cinematic portrayal of their plight. Or, for that matter, any cinematic portrayal of them at all. It is a stunning oversight on the part of our directors and scriptwriters. Perhaps we can attribute this to racism.

Why do killer sharks kill? Is it because they are natural predators? Are they motivated by the taste of blood? Is it, as certain linguists and pedants like to point it, tautological to even say that 'killer sharks kill'? Or is it, maybe, due to poor education in the killer shark community, and a lack of knowledge about non-violent forms of conflict resolution? Scientists are uncertain as to the causes of this behaviour, but they are at least united in their belief that the killer shark that kills in Jaws is a rather scary shark indeed. Although the fight continues, we may gradually see this understanding come to be reflected in the marine biology curriculum of students all over the world. In time, students worldwide will learn the fundamental facts of the universe: killer sharks kill, truck drivers are evil, atom bomb blasts can be avoided by climbing into the nearest fridge, and bicycles can fly.

Who said films couldn't change the world?
Email: timhtrain - at -

eXTReMe Tracker

Blog Archive