Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We wish you a merry pilchard

I like that story in Luke where Jesus wanders back to the disciples after he's been resurrected, and while they're looking on quite gobsmacked, he asks them if they've got something to eat, whereupon they bring out a fish. It makes sense. The man's just died and been resurrected. Of course he's going to want some food in his stomach.

So technically speaking, this would make Easter the season of fish, not chocolate: a time to send family members and friends little packages of pilchards. A time for kids to go on herring hunts, and work colleagues to gather around bowls packed to the brim with snappers. A time for families all over the world to savour the simple flavours of jellied eels and kippers.

I can't for the life of me figure out why things didn't turn out this way.

Anyway, this fish festival the Baron and Harriet and Bea and I will be driving up to Bright for a couple of days. So I probably won't be updating for a while. (Or then again, maybe I will anyway.) I hope you all have a good Easter, folks. In the meantime, I leave you all with this inspiring and appropriate Biblical quotation:
On Salt
Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again?
Mark 9:50.
Timeless wisdom. Just timeless. And still so deeply, deeply relevant to our present day predicament. See y'all later!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The methods in the method in my madness

"You don't actually have a system for buying Easter eggs, do you," observed the Baron, as I spread out this year's array of chocolates on the day-bed*. I had begun to tentatively arrange them into groups to be apportioned out to members of the family, in order of merit and esteem. One loves all members of one's family equally, obviously, but when it comes to giving out chocolate, one has to be very particular: chocolate is just too important.

I cracked open a packet of eggs that looked like they might not be an important part of any particular group - or perhaps weren't a particular part of any important group - and took one out for myself and gave another to the Baron, and we continued to contemplate the task at hand.

She was wrong, of course. I actually do have a system for buying Easter eggs. Even better: I have several systems for buying Easter eggs. Each of these systems comes into operation at different parts of the year and/or day, depending on the proximity to Easter. The systems operate together in complex but predictable ways, just like Chaos theory, and in the end, chocolate is apportioned out fairly to all members of the family. Probably. Here is an approximate diagrammatical representation of the process. So you can clearly see that the Baron's observation, while shrewd, was unjust.

In February, for instance, I often think forward to Easter. My February system is called Thinking That It Might Be A Good Idea To Buy Chocolate For Everyone In Advance But Then Forgetting All About It. It's a good system, insofar as systems go, and it certainly takes very little trouble in its implementation and ordering. In March, a different system comes into operation. It's known as Hmmm, It's Easter Next Month, I'd Really Better Start Buying Something For Everyone. This system is a little different to the first, as it actually involves me going into the supermarket, looking at the options available, perhaps buying a little chocolate, but then deciding that that chocolate is not appropriate** for anyone in particular, and then eating it. By the time late March rolls around, a new system comes into operation, a particularly difficult one to implement and practice. It's called Denial, and involves doing several other complicated things in order to put out of one's mind the complicated task of buying chocolate for other members of the family.

Several other systems come into operation between Denial and the day on which I actually hop into the supermarket and start buying chocolate for others, too numerous to mention, so let's just skip right over them. Once I am actually in the supermarket, I begin a system of buying known as Buying Chocolate Fairly For Everyone, which lasts for an aisle or two. Then I segue smoothly to a purchasing system known as Buying Chocolate Fairly For Everyone Else Who I Forgot To Include In That Other Bit Of Buying Chocolate That I Just Did. This is closely followed by the system known Oh Crap Now Everyone's Getting Something Different And That's Just Not Fair, which is immediately followed by I'll Just Get a Bloody Big Bunch Of This Stuff Over Here And Fuss Over The Details Later, perhaps interrupted by an intermediate system which I like to call Ooh, That Chocolate-Thing Looks Pretty, or possibly CHOCOLATE! I MUST HAVE SOME! GIVE IT ME NOW! NONONO I WANTS IT FOR ME!. At this point, it all gets rather complicated (more complicated), with several sub-routines and supplementary systems and minor functions coming into play, including:

a) More Chocolate

b) If No-one Else Wants This I Suppose I Can Finish It Off For Them

c) What The Hell Is That? I Just Want Normal Old Easter Eggs.

d) More More Chocolate

e) Getting A Little Bit More Stuff Just In Case

f) More More Chocolate More

So you can see, it all works out in the end, more or less. Or at least, I end up with more chocolate rather than less chocolate, which is much the same thing.

So... what are your systems of buying chocolate?

*You may note that normally one spreads sheets on day-beds, but during Easter one spreads chocolate out on them instead. This is for religious reasons. I have no idea what those reasons are. Religion is mysterious that way.

** Although it's possible that the phrase 'chocolate is not appropriate' verges on the oxymoronical.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hold your nose

IT was something of a shock to read Piers Akerman in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph this week outlining how Kevin Rudd helped devise a “rancid turd” strategy in the 1995 Queensland state election to demonise the Coalition on health.

It was even more of a shock when he revealed that Wayne Sanderson, an ABC journalist at the time, claimed this was told to him by a “senior campaign official” within the ALP.

I can reveal without a shadow of doubt the identity of that official. It is someone I have known and trusted for years. As George Bush senior once said: “I am that man.”

At the time, I was press secretary to then Queensland health minister Jim Elder, so while I had a pretty busy election in that role, I was well down the pecking order of campaign officials. Still, Sanderson wouldn’t be the first journalist to paint his sources as being more important than they actually are.
It wasn't Kevin, it was me - Andrew Fraser, The Australian

There are a number of questions that could be asked about this remarkable article. For instance, what was George Bush senior doing acting as a senior campaign official for the ALP in 1995 in the first place? He may have been a little disappointed after losing the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, but that was no reason for him to take up a job as a minor public official in a relatively unimportant nation halfway across the world with little to do with the international situation at large. And why does Fraser claim that George Bush is less important than Sanderson makes him out to be? I mean, he was - and, for I'd imagine, still is - the ex-President of the USA. That's pretty bloody important! And, above all, why did Piers Akerman want to claim the 'rancid turd' strategy was devised by Kevin Rudd when he overlooked such an obvious scoop (ie, Republican ex-President of the US being an official in the ALP)?

It really makes you wonder at the state of political reporting in our state and national newspapers, doesn't it.

(via Catallaxy)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Patrick White, demon hunter

At last famous Australian Patrick White may be recognised for his services in demon hunting, battling war-hardened monsters in an apocalyptic landscape, and literature, after making it onto the Booker-prize shortlist.

Patrick White, demon hunter

However, the writer who helped vanquish the fiendish Satanic hordes before they overran our world and turned it into another hell dimension of unending torment and horror will face stiff competition, with previous Booker winners including zombie slayers, captains of interdimensional war zeppelins, and experts in the necromantic arts.

John Banville, lion tamer

John Banville, who won the Booker in 2005 for his expertise in lion-taming, confirms that winning the prize will not be easy for White. "I was known all over the world for my lion-taming abilities, rescuing at least one orphanage of blind children from a pack of rabid tigers, panthers, leopards, or assorted large cats using only my bare hands, every day. But still, I was uncertain if this would be enough for me to wrest the prize off my opponents."

So who are the other competitors for the Booker prize? Here we give a short run down of the finalists.


Nina Bawden, CBE, led the entire planet in the 1960s in an armed uprising against the Gigantic Spider Incursion. She successfully prevented the entire European continent from being turned into a gigantic spider-harvesting facility, with the spawn being implanted in the living bodies of humans by willing slaves, and finally cornered all of the massed spider hordes in a remote township in Essex before burning them all to the ground. She now gives talks around the world about 'How I Conquered the Giant Spiders, and You Can Too!'


Brilliant international code-breaker Mary Renault successfully averted a worldwide catastrophe by cracking a fiendishly complex series of codes found on a succession of tablets unearthed from a recent Sumerian dig while being pursued through the catacombs of Paris by a corrupt albino police chief, who also happened to be a sexist. On ten separate occasions. Then she retired.


Shirley Hazzard, famous rally car driver, led a secret double life as a glamorous-but-slightly-untrustworthy devil-may-care known only as 'The Bandit'. However, Hazzard proved to be a bandit with a heart of gold, successfully thwarting the plans of hundreds of notorious criminals and their low-life companions for smuggling gold, diamonds, cocaine, heroin, gold cocaine, diamond heroin, or ancient mystical Aztec talismans with magical but mysterious properties in, out, under, over, or around the US. Even though she lived in the UK at the time.


Bounty hunter J G Farrell confronted an army of super-destructive androids from the other side of the galaxy on a war-torn, blood-strewn, fog-covered clifftop on several occasions. Altough offers by the androids were tempting to Farrell at times, he concluded each offer by blowing them to absolute fucking smithereens, because hey. He lives his own life, but ain't no way he's giving it over to no bloody android. Now, he teaches tai chi to schoolchildren.


Muriel Spark's advanced skills in ju jitsu were put to good use early one morning in the mid-1960s when she rescued the good people of an small Cornish fishing village from being swallowed by a titanic gelatinous blob. She later turned the blob into a tasty trifle, and was good enough to provide the recipe to the Ladies Home Journal later that month.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Accidental haiku

A person can safely go through their whole lives without accidentally uttering a limerick. Ninety nine per cent of the time, they can avoid the possibility of saying something that just happens to be a rhyming couplet. Spontaneous outbursts of completely new epic verse and odes are well-nigh impossible. But what about accidental haiku? We're probably doing them all the time.
Oh bugger. I think
I forgot to pack my snack
Today. I'm hungry.
It would take an exceptional effort of will and determination to avoid uttering accidental haiku.
Would you like herbal?
I'll just pop the kettle on.
It'll be ready soon.
Most of the time we don't count the syllables in our sentences as we're saying them. Accidental haiku could be happening all over the place, and we don't even know about it. That wouldn't stop the critics, though. 'Derivative', they would say to you, with little encouragement. 'That haiku was a worn-out example of a tired poetic genre', they could say. 'Unoriginal, and not particularly expressive of the struggles of the working classes.'
That jumper looks nice
On you. You should wear that one
To work today, love.
The more you know about poetry, the worse it gets. You could cut accidental haiku out of your life, but what's to stop you suddenly bursting out with a six word fiction, an accidental aphorism, or a mini-saga?
Nope. Bugger. Damn. Nope, still doesn’t work. I’ll turn it this way… little bit more… little bit more. OUCH! No, no, I’m all right. Hmmm. Let me just look at it from this… nope, no use. I can’t screw it from here. Hmmm.

Why don’t we just call the plumber?
Even the most doctorly doctor of literature may not be able to help it if, from time to time, they utter a rare verse form originating in Scandinavia involving 79 words, 33 syllables, and three rhyming verbs.

One of these days, it's even possible that a politician may accidentally utter something that is meaningful. It's becoming less and less likely that they'll do it on purpose, after all.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Four gigantic poems

Or big, biggier, biggiest

First gigantic poem
This poem is long.
This poem is wrong.

Second gigantic poem
This poem is longer.
This poem is wronger.

Third gigantic poem
This poem isn't the longest
Because if 'wronger' isn't a word, then neither is 'wrongest'.

Fourth gigantic poem
The pimple
On the nipple
On the tit
Of the nit
On the rear
Of the ear
Of the flea
On the fly
On the pants
Of the ants
On the mouse
In the house
Was relatively unaffected by the billion megaton atomic blast, though everything was blown to absolute smithereens.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I have a very nice ticket

I have a very nice ticket. It is a yearly Metcard ticket, with which I have been able to travel all over the city, on tram and train and bus, for as much as my little heart desires. My yearly Metcard ticket is useful, nice and bright and sparkly, or at least it used to be. I have had my yearly Metcard ticket for one year.

So, this morning I walked from Preston heights to Preston Station, without my useful, nice and bright and sparkly yearly Metcard ticket. (They haven't found a way yet to invent walking tickets. I'm sure they're working on it.) I walked up to the counter and asked to buy a new useful, nice and bright and sparkly yearly Metcard ticket. Simple, right?

Couldn't buy a yearly because apparently train stations aren't selling them any more. Friendly MetMan dude behind the counter told me to buy a myki* because I can't get booked on trams and buses if that's all I had. Couldn't buy a myki because the machine they had in the corner wasn't selling them yet. Tried to get a daily off the ticket machine. Couldn't buy a daily off the ticket machine because it ate $20 and gave me nothing back - no change, no ticket. Eventually wangled one - a ticket, I mean, not any money - off the patient and friendly MetMan dude at the counter. Couldn't get my money back because the people who do the machines are an entirely different company.

I wonder if there is a moral, a message, a fundamental truth to be drawn from all this wangling with tickets and public awareness campaigns and pricing and companies and contracts that the benevolent commissars in State Government are overseeing with the introduction of this new myki ticketing system? It's all very confusing to me, but I believe there is a message that we can deduce from it: and that message is 'elephant'.

In the meantime, I still have my nice but a little-bit-dirty-and-growing-less-useful-every-day yearly Metcard still with me. I think I might frame it and hang it up on the wall.

*Myki, as non-Melbournians may have heard, is the new nice and bright and sparkly ticketing system that they're bringing in to replace Metcard. The principle difference, so far, seems to be that this new nice and bright and sparkly ticketing system doesn't work.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I have just made a zine about an octopus

I have just made a new zine about an octopus. I took a few copies of my zine about an octopus in to the the pub the other day to give to some friends. What I hadn't been counting on was the fact that two out of three of the friends were editors. The following conversation ensued:

E: (Opening up the zine, reading the first two pages) Hmmm, octopi.

TIM: Oh, did I get the plural wrong? ... I'd just like to point out in advance that there's a stray apostrophe in the back half.

E: (Turning over the pages) There's also a split infinitive.

TIM: (Squints at the pages and tries to look as if he knows exactly what that means.) Er, yeah.

E: Also, aren't octopuses molluscs, not crustaceans?

TIM: You're probably right. But 'mollusc' doesn't rhyme with 'sensational'. 'Crustacean-al' does, though!

I suppose it's better than being completely and utterly worshipped by your readers. That's just annoying when that happens.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reverse couplet

Poems proper writing of instead
I'll stand a couplet on its head.

UPDATE! - Another reverse couplet, about...

Now you give I, that than worse
A couple coupling in reverse.

Lame superheros #2

Superevil Man
Granted super powers of evil at birth far beyond the powers of evil granted to any normal man. Now, Superevil Man has vowed to use his powers of evil - for good!

IN A PREVIOUS EPISODE: Superevil Man destroys a small third world country while saving the life of the UN ambassador's child!

(Meanwhile, in a previously previous episode...)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

On misquoting

There is an art, or, rather, a knack to misquoting. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the book and miss.
Douglas Adams

A short story, containing nothing much about something in particular, ending somewhere in particular, and going nowhere much

One fine morning that happened to be this fine morning, the Baron and myself found ourselves in the Preston shopping centre. We weren't in the shopping centre for any particular reason, we just found ourselves pulled to it, like a minor planetary body pulled towards a gigantic quasar black hole at the centre of the galaxy. Anyway, since we were in the shopping centre, we decided to do a little shopping, just for the fun of it.

We didn't of course do shopping for anything ordinary, like detergent, pasta, bread, or vegetables. The strategy that we followed was, instead, to move towards the strangest, most exotic and curious looking fruit in the entire shopping centre, and buy that instead. We found in one box a little spiky thing, a bit smaller than a tennis ball and coloured brownish red. The sign said that it was a 'Rambutan', but I would never have been able to place that name to that little red-brown spiky thing, or vice versa, if asked. We duly put one - just one, mind - of these things into our shopping cart and trundled off to the checkout counter.

The chap at the checkout was even more perplexed than I was by the spiky-tennis-ball-thing in the bottom of our cart. And his checkout chap machine was even more so. If I couldn't place a shape to the name 'Rambutan', he could barely place a name to the shape, either, or for that matter a name to the name (he called it 'Rembuntan'.) He called for assistance. His computer called for assistance. The people that he called to for assistance called other people for assistance. I toddled over to the fruit aisle where we'd got it from, found the price, and came back to find that someone had already got the price. The sole Rambutan was duly loaded into our bag, and we emerged blinking into the daylight, triumphant in the knowledge that we had won our Rambutan. Whatever, in fact, it was.

Now all that remains is to eat it. I'm a little worried about this bit actually. Maybe we should have a Rambutan party, and cut up the little-red-spiky-tennis-ball thing into little bits, and share them out to everyone at the party. Or maybe we could turn it into a stew. A little red, spiky, tennis-ball flavoured stew. I'm open to suggestions.

This has been one in a series of blog posts about fruit!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Onomatopoeic words which don't exist, but should















Tim's graveyard of one-liners

Recorded here for posterity:

"If they were any more pensive, they'd be a pencil."

"Preposterous blosterous."

"That's not an alarm clock. That's an alarming clock."

"Those dishes need to be done."
"Are you sure?"
"Defeated by my awesome powers of Socratic argument!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Living on the Pledge

You know, people are always saying to me, 'Tim, how do you keep your furs so soft and white and fluffy?' Well no they aren't. But they do ask Bea the same question. Now, I can reveal her secret.

She uses Pledge. Just a scoopful of Pledge washing powder, once a week, and it's amazing what it will do to your fur. Out now in all good stores!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Racist biscuits!

Today, I made some Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony Biscuits. You know, Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony Biscuits, just like your mother or grandmother made? Of course, you can also call them Anzac biscuits - either way is fine with me. Anyway, they're pretty bloody fantastic.

I should just note, at this juncture, that if others suggest that I made biscuits today to get out of other, more disagreeable tasks, like vacuuming, or taking the washing off the line, or doing the dishes, they would be making vile slander and slanderous calumniations, and they would also be right. Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony Biscuits are good that way.

Typically, you make Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony Biscuits if you want to participate in brash and vulgar expressions of Australian nationalism by affirming the use of international violence against other nations. As an added bonus, they're pretty tasty, too. Other ways of doing this would be by getting an Australian flag tattoo, hanging Australian flags in your window, purchasing iconic Pro Hart paintings of iconic kangaroos doing iconic things like boxing, and singing all the words to the Australian National Anthem, especially the verses that no-one else sings. But Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony Biscuits are by far the tastiest of all these methods*.

You can find the recipe for these biscuits all over the internet, at horribly racist websites like Aussie Info,,, or ABC. It doesn't look like some of those websites are horribly racist, ostensibly, until you remember that they're telling you how to cook Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony Biscuits. So that's a relief. Basically, it involves quantities of rolled oats, sugar, coconut, and flour mixed in together, and added to some golden syrup, melted butter, boiled water, and bicarbonate of soda. That's pretty racist, all right.

I suppose one of these days I should give up on cooking Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony Biscuits, racism being wrong and all that. But I don't know. I mean, it's not as if Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has apologised to the world for the creation of the Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony Biscuit recipe, is it? No. No it is not.

Mmm, tasty tasty racism.

*Hypothetically speaking, I suppose if Pro Hart ever cooked a bunch of biscuits in the shape of iconic boxing kangaroos, and those biscuits turned out to be tasty, that would be pretty patriotic too, but they still wouldn't be as tasty as Evil Jingoistic Celebration of Our Participation in the Global Military-Industrial Complex Hegemony AKA Anzac Biscuits.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Excitement city!

Jehova's Witnesses just came round and gave me a copy of the Watchtower. In exchange I gave them one of my zines. As they left, I actually realised what was in the zine, and started wishing I'd given them something else instead. Oh well. Happy reading, JWs!

BONUS OFFENCE SPECIAL FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO TAKE OFFENCE: There's an article in the latest Watchtower about an African Rasta guy who converted to Jehova's Witnesses and stopped discriminating against white people. Knock yourself out, guys.

The alarm cat

The alarm cat is just as good as waking you up as the alarm clock, except it does it by brutally attacking your toes instead of savagely attacking your ears. Indeed, as the normal person has eight more toes than they have ears, the alarm cat is arguably even better than the alarm clock, as it has more obvious opportunities for attack.*

NOTE: you cannot set an alarm time for the alarm cat, so it will probably wake you much earlier or later than you wanted to be awoken. Don't worry, it will almost definitely be earlier.

(Good morning, everyone...)

*Some professionals in the field of waking up suggest it might be time to develop other methods of waking people up, not involving people being brutally attacked by alarms, cats, ninjas, samurais, etc, but so far all the 'gentle, loving, and comfortable' waking up methods seem to have the opposite effect to which they were intended.

The morning WTFF market report

... meanwhile, in other market news, several evil corporations are today in negotiations with the owners of the prestigious Parkinson's Syndrome for rights to the disease. This follows a month of changing fortunes for the world-wide disease market, in which the philanthropical arm of McDonald's specifically devoted to evil also seemed to be finalising a deal between it and the well-known Tourette's label. A spokesman for McDonald's insists that 'our main focus will continue to be providing healthy food to families all over the world'. Also, the troubled Alzheimers family, who have maintained ownership of the Syndrome although its shares have dropped in the marketplace in the past decade, now say they are considering entering into negotiations with government to have the syndrome nationalised. A statement from the Alzheimer's corporation reads: 'We believe that our syndrome could be of great benefit to the Australian Government in an election or two, and we are certain, given their handling of the national health system, that they will be more than capable managers of our syndrome.' Turning to mining now...

Friday, March 05, 2010


Today I am thinking about Copperfart! You remember them:

Ah, nostalgia for inane advertisements first heard in your childhood - and which you have since tried and failed to erase from your memory thus releasing you from their hideous talonlike grasp - is a complex emotion isn't it?

The gobsmacking anonymity of the situation

She was there on the cover of a magazine that sat on the filing cabinet that was next to the desk of a fellow worker yesterday. I recognised her face - it was one of those faces that, once you see it, you realise you have seen it a thousand times in other places accompanied by her name - but I still didn't remember her name. The magazine was one of those magazines that I don't read, but which typically carry on their cover the faces of actors or actresses that you instantly recognise, and carry within their covers the faces of other actors and actresses that you don't recognise, either. Sometimes, they also carry the names of actors and actresses that you remember, but you can't, for the life of you, attach to any particular face. They are then circulated to people all over the world, who read it and enjoy not remembering the names that are not mentioned, and not recognising the faces that are not photographed.

I guess that's what it means to be famous: people you don't recognise, and names you don't remember, appearing in magazines you don't read, full of stories you don't care about: anonymity, ubiquity, enormity.

O anonymous amorphous multinational allegedly sentient entity, I think I am indifferent about you.

UPDATE! - Oh look, the anonymous amorphous multinational allegedly sentient entities had a big awards ceremony, which I didn't watch.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A happy poem with the word 'ebola' in it

The other day I wrote a happy poem with the word 'ebola' in it. Because I could.

A happy poem with the word 'ebola' in it

Throw out coal power - we've got solar!
(Acid Satan knives ebola).
My favourite food crop is canola!
(Urine pimples hell ebola).
I am Spanish, Senor - Hola!
(Mussolini war ebola).
My favourite writer's Emile Zola.
(Mein Kampf genocide ebola)
I like to drive in my Corolla
Round the mountains of Angola
(Horror Nazis crime ebola)
Round the mountains of Angola
Wearing top hats and/or bowlers -
(Diarrhoea spew ebola)
Shackleton, explorer polar -
(Communists dog turds ebola)
Laughing babies in their strollers
(Puppies kittens lambs ebola
Flowers nature sun ebola).

Monday, March 01, 2010

What a nice day for a picnic, let's just climb that ominous looking monster thing over there!

You might be familiar with the 1970s Australian film Picnic at Hanging Rock. I don't need to fill you in on the details, because it doesn't have any, apart from the usual superfluous points about plot, character, music, cinematography, direction, etc, but basically, it's a simple, touching film about a gigantic mountain of rock that eats schoolgirls. Critics are divided on this point, as to why the mountain of rock eats schoolgirls, with some attributing it to malice, while others maintaining it has an allegorical point, but let's just say it gets pretty bloody there towards the end of the film.

Well, yesterday, my brother, the Baron and I found ourselves travelling down towards Hanging Rock area to participate in the Hanging Rock Harvest Picnic. We found that, far from distancing themselves from this rather bloody and gory legacy, the people at Woodend and Hanging Rock were eager to celebrate it. There was even a tree decorated with key scenes from the film, for some reason, under which children were dancing. This itself was passing strange, but more disturbing still, the children were dancing around to songs about the virtues of certain vegetables, while gigantic plastic animals on stage gesticulated at them. I wondered for a while if we'd stumbled on some pagan Children of the Corn, a la Stephen King's admirable bagatelle, but they seemed to refrain from sacrificing us in some primitive and gory ritual to propitiate the gods of the season, whether from whim or due to some elaborate mythological reason, I couldn't quite work out.

A little bit later we toddled off to have a closer look at the killer rock, and I was even more shocked to find that there was a little stone pathway leading all the way up to the top, and stairs, and a hand rail to assist the out-of-breath and infirm. It was as if the people of Woodend actually wanted to make it easier for the rock to eat people! We thought we were all pretty safe, as none of us were schoolgirls (or I know I wasn't, last time I checked, anyway), but it was the principle of the thing.

All very strange. What next, we wondered - the Wolf Creek Solo Walkabout Festival? The Jindabyne Fishing Fiesta? It makes you wonder, doesn't it.
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