Friday, December 14, 2018

An ever so subtle hint about BUY MY BOOK!

Isn't it just awful how Christmas become so commercialised? On an unrelated note, my book would make a great Christmas present for everyone you know, and the link to buy it is right here.

In conclusion, here is a photograph of my cat with the book. Which you can buy. But not the cat. She's staying right here.

UPDATE: Alternatively, you could mail me and I could organise to post one out to you. Email address here. Sample poem here

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Challenge yourself with the rhetorical questions quiz!

a) Yes.
b) No.
c) Maybe.
d) All of the above.

2) Am I right or am I right?
a) You are right.
b) You might be right.
c) You could be wrong.
d) You are wrong.

3) What do we say, ladies?
a) Yes.
b) No.
c) Please do not refer to me in the plural. I am not a group.
d) I am not a lady.

4) Are we not men?
a) No.
b) This is a lady's rest room. We are not men.
c) Yes.
d) Your questions are strangely gendered and I do not agree with their terms.

5) Do they take us for fools?
a) Probably.
b) It's possible.
c) Neither sure nor unsure.
d) Yes.

6) What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
a) 42.
b) 42.
c) That is an exceedingly complicated philosophical debate, and it is curious that you appear to have placed the three sets of 'life', 'universe', and 'everything' in the one general superset as part of the terms of your question. It poses an interesting assumption, that language is not only at the root of these physical-biological-philosophical phenomena, but that it is a particular form of language, the interrogative mood, the question, that is the basis of reality. I therefore propose to make my tentative answer to this question break down into several parts. I shall begin with asking, 'what is a question'?...
d) 42.

7) Just who do you think you are?
a) A bounder.
b) I am the Doctor.
c) Your mother. It is bedtime.
d) Eileen.

8) Would you rather have a box of chocolates, or gouge your eye out with a cold spoon?
a) Yes.
b) No.
c) I am a masochist, so yes, definitely.
d) Strongly agree.

9) Did you get out of the wrong side of bed this morning?
a) I do not own a bed.
b) Yes.
c) I am still in bed.
d) I have always been in bed. I live here.

10) How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
a) Four.
b) This much.
c) Five penn'orth.
d) Yes.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Alternative strip shows

1. To a slow tantalising melody the stripper sensuously and lingeringly puts clothes on. She teasingly pulls on a cosy jumper. Then she playfully wraps a scarf around her neck, naughty fold by naughty fold. Then she licks her lips and places a comfy little beanie on her head, the pom-pom atop jiggling with excitement.

2. The stripper begins stripping, flinging off body limbs one by one into the ever-more-excited audience. Finally all that is left is her right leg, and then - with a high kick, it arches ever so gracefully into the air, does a few pirouettes and flips, and lands in the chair next to a fat old trucker called Mac, who has long ago fainted in horror.

3. The stripper sits in a chair with her legs crossed while the entire audience strips. Then she goes to the bar and gets a beer.

4. The entire audience ingests laxatives while the stripper talks to them about feelings.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Time and change and decay and the last chocolate in the box

Cadburys changed their chocolate Roses. Did you know that?
"They've changed chocolate Roses!" the Baron announced to me yesterday.
"What?" I cried.
"They've gotten rid of the twist wrappers!" she went on.
"What? They're great!"
"I know!"
"They're what make them fancy!"
"Yes!" declaimed the Baron, before going on. "And they've discontinued some flavours, and are introducing two new flavours: vanilla nougat, and raspberry white chocolate."
"How could they?" I shouted. By this point, we had almost declared a new Inquisition against this heresy. We were both very shocked.

As a matter of fact, that evening, we saw a box of the new Roses in the supermarket. We both wrinkled our noses: "ew!" We were so disgusted that we bought the box there and then, to examine our disgust at leisure at home.
"Oh no!" cried the Baron when we opened the box. "They've even changed the shape of this one!"
"It was a nice shape!" I cried passionately.
"It was like a little Shih Tzu!"
"It's disgraceful", I harrumphed, popping a chocolate into my mouth.
"Shocking!" muttered the Baron, popping two in hers.
"Mmmmmf ghfjhfhgjfkjfd fgggfjgj!" I said, my mouth full of the offending chocolates.
The Baron didn't say anything at this point: she was too busy swimming down a river of chocolate out our front door.

At this point, I tried the new Vanilla Nougat one. It wasn't very nice. It was covered in chocolate, which I will always have time for. But the middle was meh.

As we finished off the packet the following evening, I reflected on time and change and the decay of all good things as I munched through the second last chocolate.
"Something something something time and change and the decay of something something something" I said. "And also, munch."
"Agreed," agreed the Baron. We both felt very justified in our disgust.

I mean, it was a pleasant disgust, because it involved eating a lot of chocolate. But still. Something in the universe had changed, and not for the better.

Incidentally, if you bring a box of Roses round to our place, don't eat the two caramel ones. They are definitely the worst. Leave them to me, and I will safely dispose of them while you are out of the room.

Friday, September 14, 2018

A preposition deposition

Well wouldn't you know, I was absolutely beside myself. Which was awkward, because it was a rather cliched position to put myself in. So I decided to be inside myself instead. After being inside myself for a while it was getting rather tight and I needed fresh air, so I decided to be before myself instead. It was great! Because that meant I was getting ahead of myself, though I also had to run to keep up with myself, which put me between myself and myself and it was getting rather like I was being inside myself again. So I put myself down, which meant I sat upon myself. Just as I felt like I was getting on top of myself, who should I walk into but myself? Just standing around on a street corner, being with himself (who was me). And because I ran into myself I was all of a sudden inside myself again, and it seemed like I was back to square one! Fortunately, I caught myself in time, which experience took me right out of myself, and I was overjoyed, I was excited, let me tell you, I was absolutely beside myself!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Thoughts of a lap for hire

How come the cat never lets me sit on her lap?

How many fur balls do cats make in their life? Is it related to how many words a man must utter in his life? Or how many roads a man must walk down?

Where is a cats lap anyway?

How to attract a cat: sit still and look like a lap. Make pleasant, lap-shaped sounds.

Wear a coat that is the opposite colour to the cat's fur. A black cat won't sit on a black coat. What's the point? Nobody will notice the fur.

If it is a spotty cat, best to wear a spotty coat, so all the different fur colours will have a chance to shine.

Laps are very mysterious, when you think about it. They disappear when you stand up, and nobody knows where they go. And cats sit in them, not on them (by contrast, a cat can't sit in your leg, or in your chest, or in your face): can you think of any other body part quite like this?

Own two shoes: one for your left foot, one for your right foot, and one for the cat to drop the mouse into. Okay, that's three shoes. Own three shoes.

The past is like cat biscuits: dry and reliable. The future is the wet food: tempting, delicious, and a little bit moist. And sometimes, it squeaks.

Cat talk is very economical, consisting of just one four-letter word. Who needs grammar when you've got meow?

Cats: bathe themselves in their own spit.
Chooks: have dust baths.
Humans: just bathe in water. Seems quite tame in comparison.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The cars that ate Epping

One morning, and I don't know when, the good citizens of Epping, Victoria, woke up with some confusion to find their quiet country town had been turned into a carpark.

That's not even a story. That actually happened. The Baron and I just went for a walk in this erstwhile country town and saw it for ourselves. It was a surprise: there's been a ridiculous amount of development in Epping, recently - fences going up, big machines tossing and turning earth over, this being paved and that being nailed and these guys in fluoro worksuits moving around looking very important and very pleased with themselves for being important. And tonight we looked with some surprise at the net result of all this activity: a few sullen big name shops, and a huge carpark, from one end of the suburb to the other. Here and there a paddock rudely remained, fenced off, looking as outlandish as a Martian landscape in amongst all the concrete and neatly painted carparking spaces.

What with all this development, I'm still not sure what all the people are going to come to Epping for. One 7/11 is much like another (and Epping has two of those), and one Aldi is much like another (and Epping has two of those, too), and one Dan Murphys is much like the other (and Epping now has two of those as well). And who the hell would want to visit those places anyway? But it's an absolutely fantastic place to park your car while you are not visiting these places. Couldn't be better.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Quark

Or: why you should never get grammatical, scientific, or any type of advice from Tim whatsoever. 

Quark is quark is quark. Quark is just a type of German/European cheese, but you make all new quark out of old quark, adding some old quark to milk, so the new quark becomes part of the original quark, the ur-quark, the proto-quark, the primordial-quark, too. All quark is the one quark, and one quark is all quark. Quark is like the blob of the food world. Perhaps eventually all things will be quark, and we will all be happy in this clabbery, curdly, blibbery, blobbery, gestalt-quark-oneness.

So: the gender of quark, auf Deutsch, is 'der', Maskulin, because quark is a type of cheese and all cheese is masculine also. And 'Quark' doesn't really have a plural form, either - or, you can talk about it as if it's a plural ('die Quark', the plural definite article 'die' indicating it is plural), but there is no internal vowel mutation, no suffixed '-s' or '-en' to say the word is a plural, because quark is quark is quark, because all quark is one quark. Imagine saying to someone 'can I have muesli with two yoghurts'; it sounds faintly ridiculous, not because yoghurt is faintly ridiculous (though it is) but because all yoghurt comes from the one yoghurt, you make new yoghurt by just using old yoghurt. No 'two yoghurts', you just say 'can I have some yoghurt please' or 'can I have more yoghurt please'. Quark is yoghurt is quark is yoghurt is quark.

But also, quarks are quarks are quarks. The subatomic particle, confusingly also called 'Quark' auf Deutsch, gets the article neuter - 'das Quark', if you please, so if you meet one in the street, you know how to address it. It was called thus by subatomic scientists, who, needing a handy-dandy name for this entirely theoretical infinitesimal unit, took it from James Joyce, exclaiming in Finnegan's Wake "Three quarks for Muster Mark!", who I like to think was deliberately pluralising a German word that could not be pluralised. So, 'der Quark', not 'die Quarks', but 'das Quark', and 'die Quarks'. Got it? Good, I haven't either. And, for all we know, quarks, down at the hocus-pocus-mystical-heuristical-mumbo-jumbo level, might be exactly like cheese quark, anyway - little flying pieces of space-time yoghurt could form the basis of all matter. (Or not.)

The point of this article is, there is no point. Language likes fucking with us, and writers and scientists do their best to help it along. Bastards, the lot of them.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Fee fi fo femme!

New literary variations on the femme fatale (who, as everyone knows, lures unsuspecting men to their doom using her fatal femme wiles):

Em fatale: a mark of punctuation that lures unsuspecting men and women to their doom.

Phlegm fatale: a vomit that is so dense and chunky that it contains a black hole within it that draws men and women to their inevitable doom.

Ahem fatale: a verbal stumble during a talk that causes the talker to completely lose their place.

Femme unfatale: a temptress who lures unsuspecting men to their doom completely of their own free will, and then once they have met their doom, offers them a nice cup of tea.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Whee! Look at me! I'm an intellectual!

When you're an intellectual, your job is to think thoughts, and occasionally you think a thought that is so thinky that it goes thunk. Ben Eltham had one of those recently, check it out:

Image may contain: 1 person, text

"Do white people have a positive or negative impact on Australia?" What does it even mean? It's like a game of verbal Tetris, slotting in all these random ideas together and finding they accidentally fit! Whee, look at me! I'm an intellectual!

"Do white people have a positive or negative impact on Australia?" I've never heard a more daft question in my life! How about these for some survey questions?

Are vegetables the superior form of potatoes? Y/N?


Does white have a positive or negative impact on the colour spectrum? Y/N?

This is fun!

Are squares better than rectangles? Y/N? 

Look mum! I made a thought! No hands!

Do minus signs have a positive or negative impact on Australia? Y/N?  

As they say, "answers, please, on the back of a card".

Still, things could have been worse for Eltham. This could have been what happened.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Ancient Civilisation of the Bog Hole

The fearful monument to an ancient civilisation had stood in the forest for eon upon eon, untouched by human hands, when I first happened upon it, many a year ago. I shuddered to gaze up at its sublime vistas, for what aweful rites, what sacrificial ceremonies, had been carried out by the ancient votaries who had erected this temple to their remote yet terrible Gods?

And yet, time, that great leveler, makes low all things. For where, I ask you, is this ancient civilisation now? Great their achievements have been, yea, and pitiless this tribe must have been to all around them: yet idle profit have they made of it! The years rolled by, and I once more advanced into the jungle to view these mighty edifices. As I once more approached the ancient towers, a chill wind swept by me, and I shivered, reflecting upon the many ghosts in this haunted place, which had once been the centre of a vast Empire.  

Lo! How the mighty have fallen! 

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare 
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Grumpy Noll and the case of the flying tinny

For those of you not as au fait with the trending events, current occurrences, and occurring trends of the present day, let me bring you up to speed. It seems young Australian balladist and bon vivant Mr Shannon Noll has been caught in something of a contretemps recently, when a member of his audience happened to give vent to his oppobrium and let fling forth from his hands a missile which had previously happened to contain a beverage of the genera ale. As if that was not bad enough, Mr Noll did then give forth to his contempt, vilipending the malefactor in terms most severe, demanding that they  put an end to their grievances on stage in a manly show of strength and pugilism, and extending his contumely and umbrage to touch on certain other members of that personage's family.

Now, Mr Noll does certainly seem to have overstepped the conversational bounds of gentlemanly conduct here. No doubt about it. But what I am wondering is - what sort of beer was it? The empty can of which was hurled on stage? VB? Four X? Tooheys? Not that I'm saying it makes a difference, mind, but still, such details matter....

It is nevertheless a well known fact that the timely application of a tin that had previously contained a fermented beverage of barley and hops can be utilised when all other heckles fail. Can you imagine the rage with which a certain performing hipster might vent themselves if, say, a malodorous person with venomous intent had decided to fling a half-drunken can of craft beer, say, a Moon Dog Black Lung, on stage? Good heavens, you larrikin layabout - do you have no appreciation for such a heavenly balance of dark malted barleys? If such a thing were to happen, well, the performing hipster might remonstrate with the heckler most sternly, comparing beard length, and even threatening to write a non-complimentary zine about him.

But it is also true that empty beer cans are hardly the worst punishment that can befall a speaker or singer. Why, I hear at conservative political gatherings,  they fling whole teapots at you. Fine bone china and the works. Oh, the brewmanity!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Ut the el are you talking about, you ef wit?

Ut, adit, ob, etaerio - I think we can all agree that these are all incredibly important concepts, as they allow us all to win important points in Scrabble. But what do they actually mean? What am I, Einstein, or something? Well, yes, actually, and I'm going to tell you exactly what they mean now.

UT - a very small utterance.

ADIT - To edit an ad.

OB - Thing that gives birth to little obs.

TALIONS - Plural of talion, 'thing that is a talion; thing that has the property of being a talion'.

EUOI - Second-person informal pronoun for an oik. As in, "Hey, euoi!"

ETAERIO - Those weird test charts of letters they make you read when you go to the optometrist.

JUPON - The state of wearing a JUP. Opposite of JUPOFF. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

What's wrong with tall men anyway?

Not all men!
No tall men!
On mall ten!
Non mallet!
Mall net on!
Loan ten, ML!
Anent moll!

- from Songs and Sonnets of the MRAs.

 UPDATE! - Interestingly, if you rearrange the letters of 'David Leyonhjelm' you come up with the words 'what an utter twonk.'

Monday, July 02, 2018

Sextual Healing

Art of Safe Sexting to teach Victorian schoolgirls how to safely send ‘sexy snaps’

SCHOOLGIRLS as young as 12 will be taught how to safely send “sexy snaps” via texts and social media, including cropping out their heads in nude images.
Look, I know it may seem strange to some, this prospect of teachers going about the classroom teaching students how to put condoms on their iPhones and investigating how to administer contraceptives to their laptops, but what alternative do they have? Once a kid takes a nude selfie and texts it off, it's out there in the world. And that nude selfie is going to meet other nude selfies, and soon enough those nude selfies are going to do what nude selfies do with one another, and they're going to have nude baby selfies. Just like Tamagotchis, only small and pink and doing lots of nude baby selfie poos all over the place and.... okay, I have no idea what Tamagotchis actually look like, but that's not the point! LISTEN UP!

This is serious. Because the other problem is sextually transmissible diseases. Do you have any idea what it's like when you're iPhone gets gonnorhea? My friend's phone got that once, and... stop tittering up the back! My friend's phone got that once, and it started doing revolting mucal discharges all over the place. It got incredibly itchy, and so it started buzzing at random intervals to scratch itself. It was all incredibly embarrassing, and it was all because it had been sending nude selfies without adequate protection!

Safe sext, kids. It's a thing. Get onto it.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Here's a disgusting and potentially toxic thing! Let's eat it!

They have spirulina in Smarties. Did you know they have spirulina in Smarties? I was contemplating this surprising news yesterday shortly after having discovered, along with the Baron, a slime mould growing in our community garden. (By the way, don't slime moulds strike you as having something of a split personality disorder? Are they not sure whether they want to be a slime or a mould? Make up your tiny microbial mind, Gunkypoos!) Like, I would have expected there to be a little vegetable (wheat, sugar) and a little animal (milk) in my Smarties: but a blue-green algae? Really?

(And while we're talking about split personality disorder, what's that blue-green algae all about?)

But anyway, it all got me thinking - if I can munch my way through a packet of sweets with animal, vegetable, and cyanobacteria in it, what's to stop me throwing some other oddities in it? Mushrooms, yeast, fungi generally, yes - all these have been done before. But - and I think you see where I'm going with this - what about edible slime moulds?

The internet, an amazingly authoritative source for credulous people all over the world, was, it turns out, surprisingly silent on this matter. Our old friend, Dog Vomit Slime Mould (these names, they just seem to exacerbate the split personality disorder) did appear in a couple of web searches: it's kind of the rock star of the slime mould world, it seems. This newspaper article suggests that you can eat Dog Vomit Slime Mould (though considering DVSM was so named because it looked like dog vomit, how would you ever be able to tell if you were eating the right thing until, well, you had eaten it?). Though a few more web searches seemed to imply that aforesaid newspaper article writer was getting his slime moulds confused. (The last thing the discerning slime mould gastronome wants to do is to get his flavours mixed up like that.)  It turns out there is another, distinct slime mould which people will sometimes eat in South America called Caca de Luna ("Vomit of the Moon" - do you see the emerging theme here?) which you could, if you were culinarily so inclined, prepare as a tapas.

Slime moulds are all very well. But what about mosses and lichens? I've got my omnivore on now, so I want to get a slice of a juicy moss and a soupcon of delicious lichen. As it turns out, there's always Icelandic moss, which is, (confusingly) not a moss but a lichen. Hey! Yeah! I made a beer out of Icelandic moss once and I totally didn't die!

As it turns out, almost all of the edible mosses turn out to be lichens, and the edible mosses that don't turn out to be lichens may not exist at all. But on the other hand, I'm not sure what on earth lichens or mosses are anyway, so maybe that's enough confusion for one day.

Fig 1: Potentially delicious! 

No, you can't have any Smarties. I ate them all.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Square triangles

Thirty six is a square number that is also a triangular number. I don't understand what that means obviously, because I'm not a mathematician, but I'm sure it's very important, especially for our purposes here, because it means, in certain circumstances, squares can be triangles. Thanks, mathematics!

In order to do important research for this important post, I typed in 'square triangle numbers' to Google, a search which I highly recommend everyone does. Not that you'll see much of interest - just a list of numbers. But it's just particularly pleasingly to type in that rather non-sequiturial sequence of words into the search box and see what comes up. It's like hammering a square peg into a round hole, except, of course, the round hole is a triangle and the hole is not a hole, it's just an abstract Platonic concept outside of time and space. (This all reminds me of the time I said to the Baron, "how many holes does a donut have?" and she retaliated with, "what are holes even?", and I said - but NO, we definitely want to go down that rabbit triangle again.)

It must be rather pleasing to be a mathematician, going about, showing that squares are triangles, really, in effect squaring the rhetorical circle, and.... hang on. Mathematically, it turns out, not only can circular numbers be square numbers. But.... 

Automorphic number. In mathematics an automorphic number (sometimes referred to as a circular number) is a number whose square "ends" in the same digits as the number itself.

So circles HAVE TO BE squares. Not only that, but - circular numbers can sometimes be triangular numbers as well as squares (our old friend thirty six is one - six squared!). Whew! I certainly hope the mathematician who decided that gets to go home and eat their four square meals a day. Except that would be sixteen meals and they would die of indigestion, which might not be quite so good for their health. But apart from that I have almost no problem with the concept.

So, to conclude, squares are triangles except when they are circles. And sometimes, they are all three at once. Mathematics, hey? If you can't count on numbers, then....

Saturday, May 05, 2018


I have just learned a most edifying etymological fact: 'Lord' comes originally from the Old English 'Hlafweard': 'One who guards the loaves'. 'Lady', similarly, comes from 'hlæfdige': 'one who kneads loaves'. But most piquantly, for me, this prototypical Lord and Lady are paired with a household servant, one 'hlafæta': 'one who eats loaves'. She is - in modern English - Loafeater.

What an inspiring figure she cuts, too, back in the swirling mists of time (if you want to create a bit of atmosphere at this point, maybe drag the stage smoke machine out) this Lofita. Let us leave aside this Lord and this Lady for instant, and go to the servants chambers where this primordial Lofita takes her place.

She is of an ancient tribe, is Lofita, a fearsome and savage tribe that has roamed the plains of the northern countries for generations; for so long that the generations have become myth and the myth has become, for her, truth, a tale full of horrifying Gods and Goddesses and wonders and terrors. Lofita is not herself without nobility: many generations afterward, her scions will become a ferocious tribe of Scots, who will be busily at war with her other Scions, a merciless clan of cave-dwelling people who are half-Pict, half-Saxon. The coming of Christianity is still in the unimaginably far future. Lofita, sitting in the darkness here, does not bat an eyelid at the odd human sacrifice here or there. As a matter of fact she is particularly looking forward to the upcoming offering to Wodan next week; with Hlafweard wielding the axe (or whatever primordial weapon the primordial Lord is expected to wield) it promises to be especially bloody.

But what really gets Lofita is bread. Oh, she loves the stuff! Look at her now! She grabs a hunk of stale leftover bread from two days ago and crams it in her mouth - mm, crunchy! It is not for want of food, either: the spring has been good and some Phoenicians (or Etruscans or Bombalians or some other such nonsense) have brought this wondrous new creature over to Lofita's lands in the early spring - its conversation is somewhat limited ('cluck cluck cluck') but it is fat and delicious and will doubtless help to keep the house warm in winter. No, Lofita just loves bread. She grabs a fresh loaf and crams it into her mouth; that will keep her occupied for a few minutes. Just then old fat Loafguard from the other room calls out -

"Lofita! Hast thou finished that primordial tapestry yet?"

No, of course she hath not, but Lofita, being sharp of mind, quickly calls out an excuse - "No, the primordial chook hath crapped upon it and I must needs clean it off" - or she thinks she calls out an excuse. To Loafguard it sounds more like "Mm th mm-mm-oo-mm-al mm-mmm-mmmmmmmmmf!"

That Lofita! Always slacking off on duty!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Bees are terrifying

Among all the books about beekeeping you can find out there, I feel one point isn't stressed enough: bees are fucking terrifying. It's a difficult point to get your head around, but an important one: would you invite bees to a dinner party? No, because they're fucking terrifying. Would you let them do babysitting for you? Again, no. Terrifying. But here I am in my suburban house with a suburban backyard with a box full of terrifying insects of murderous death a mere five metres or so from here. It's insane. I'm insane. How did things get to this point?

I really feel there could be room in the marketplace for a practical beekeeping book based on this theme, motivating and inspiring new beekeepers in their hobby. This prospective book could cover the practicalities and the history of beekeeping, covering the terrifyingness of bees in comprehensive detail.

Considering the science of the matter, for instance, I find that bees are insects, that glamorous movie star of the animal kingdom. Let's review a few of the films that insects have appeared in: The Fly, in which a man turns into a disgusting and horrifying gigantic beast. The Swarm, in which killer bees go about being bees that kill. On the other hand, who trusts Hollywood? Let's consider literature instead: there's Kafka's Metamorphosis, in which a man turns into a cockroach, to his own terror and disgust.

Literature gives us the example of many famous beekeepers whom we can emulate. One such was Sylvia Plath, who wrote an excited poem about first receiving bees, containing such resonant lines as

I would say it was the coffin of a midget


I lay my ear to furious Latin. 
I am not a Caesar. 
I have simply ordered a box of maniacs. 
They can be sent back. 
They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner. 

I wonder how hungry they are. 
I wonder if they would forget me 
If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree. 
There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades, 
And the petticoats of the cherry.

Sylvia Plath was also insane and killed herself shortly thereafter.

And we haven't even considered the basics of bee sex (violent, and explosive, resulting in the deaths of several drones and one lifelong egg laying slave), the stinging mechanism (kamikaze warfare by bloodthirsty warriors who would be quite satisfied by your death), and so much more.

In conclusion, Bees Are Fucking Terrifying Creatures of Slaughter And Death or maybe it's just that me and the Baron recently did a honey harvest and are still traumatised by it. Who knows.

Image result for bee
Fig 1: Cthulhu in insect form 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Citizen Train

The Baron being in Sydney, and the cats being otherwise engaged, I hied me off this afternoon to see a film. There's nothing like a film to be alone in company, as the old saying goes*, though on the other hand, there's nothing like a film for being alone in aloneness either. Which is to say, when I got there, there was absolutely no-one in my theatre at all.

I was so surprised that I had to go back and ask the staff to check if I'd got the theatre right after all. (I had). Not that I was ungratified: to see a film, alone, in an empty auditorium, has long been a life goal of mine. I almost managed it, too, about ten years ago in a cinema in the middle of Melbourne, though another bunch of people showed up halfway through the previews, which I was rather miffed by. (That cinema later closed, which just goes to show, you should never let people into a theatre that has only got Tim in it.) I had better luck this time, as I sat through the previews completely on my own, but of course it did make me rather anxious. What if I didn't want to see a film on my own after all? It felt a little over-grandiose, sitting there in that huge auditorium, having the film screening in front of me.

And then there was the matter of chairs: ludicrously, the cinema staff had made me select my seating - in what I soon had come to discover was a completely empty theatre. I felt no such compunction for sitting in my selected seating: but then, what if someone did waltz in in the middle of the film and demand me to move out of their seat? Worse still - what if, when I left, I found I had been sitting in my selected seat after all?

It was all very awkward, perhaps made more awkward by the fact that, on reflection, it wasn't particularly awkward at all. I just sat in whatever damned chair I was sitting in and enjoyed the spectacle. I wish I could say I did something more interesting, like stripped back to my undies and did a little dance in the empty auditorium, but nope. I just sat there.

This is not a film review. This is not even really a blog post. This is just an idle passing note to note the idle passing afternoon when I sat in a cinema watching a film all on my own. The film was good. I totally recommend it. You should totally go and see this film.

*I don't know if anyone actually said this about films, but it seems like something someone might have said about films, so in it goes. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Honest to badness

Saw a cafe called 'Honest Food' the other day. What would that look like if it were actually accurate, I wondered?

This poached egg with sumac on wholegrain toast says, "I don't think you should keep on seeing Brad."

This light arugula and fetta salad tossed with a fresh vinaigrette says "You don't look good in that dress."

This organic-fair-trade-light-almond-and-soy-medium latte says, "You're running away from your marital problems. I think you should see a counsellor."

This paleo-wrap with a pomegranate sauce says "Paleo is bullshit."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thoughts on the death of Stephen Hawking

We shouldn't be so shocked. He was both 76 years of age and possessor of a crippling condition for which the median time of death after diagnosis is three to five years. When Hawking was first diagnosed with MND he was told just this, that he could expect to be dead within five years. The fact that he lived for several decades more is remarkable in itself.

The truth is that his massive fame and all that derived from it was in large part due to this crippling disease. His runaway success, the book A Short History of Time, surely owed part of its success to the fact that the writer was a remarkable person, who had written a befuddlingly brilliant book while being hardly able to move at all. (People used to joke it was the one book you had in your house that sat on your shelf being entirely unread). Perhaps the book did become a success because people recognised Hawking as an old type, the adorable cerebral dweeb who was simultaneously smarter and less physically capable than anyone else in the class. Or rather: they saw him as a crippled prophet, like blind Homer or Milton, or mad Blake sitting in the tree singing to the angels. Hawking in his own way surely encouraged this with some of his more oracular utterances - "Then we shall truly know the mind of God." Which is perhaps why he became so crankily atheistic in response in his later years. He started appearing as a presenter on science shows, even in a very funny interview with John Oliver - just imagine the mechanics of setting that up. But at the end, if his celebrity was in large part derived from his crippling disease, it was a crippling disease he at no point chose and which he would have surely exchanged for a quiet life if he had been given the choice.

He was certainly not perfect. If people admire his contributions to science and his resilience in the face of the advance of his own MND, the biography of his ex-wife apparently tells quite a different story. Hawking wanted her to neglect her career for the benefit of his own, which she did: they divorced in 1990. But this, too, was surely in large part a side-effect of the all-encompassing beast that is MND; the need for care becomes constant as the body deteriorates, and home care - still a shoddy affair in the 2000s - must have been close enough to be non-existent in the '60s and '70s.

This quote by Hawking seems an apposite one to end on:

Hawking was asked what inspires him to keep going, to which he replied: ‘My expectations when I turned 21 were reduced to zero. In this situation it was important to appreciate what I did have.’ He went on to explain that he has been ‘fortunate in almost everything else’ and especially to work in theoretical physics at such an exciting time. ‘It’s important not to get angry,’ he said. ‘You can lose all hope if you can’t laugh at yourself and at life.’

Image result for stephen hawking

Saturday, February 24, 2018

WTF News: Hipster scientists discover a way of making vegetables out of meat


From deep in the hipster laboratories of Hipsterville today comes exciting news: hipsters have discovered a way of synthesising vegetables out of meat.

"This important discovery could soon make it possible for us to have an all meat diet," says Hipster McHipsters, chief scientist at the hipster laboratories.

Although the meat-made vegetables only currently come in the form of bacon-lettuce and pork-kale, the hipster scientists soon hope to develop bacon-tomato, thus giving the world the first BLT made solely out of bacon.

Activist group Bro Central hailed this development in cruelty-free food, saying, "No longger will bros have to suffer eating vegetable-based vegetables. Soon, we will all be able to make the transition to a true carnivorous diet! This shows the whole world a better way is possible."

"Except, you know, for the animals", clarified the Head Bro.

Friday, February 16, 2018

In order to clarify matters

In order to clarify matters, here are my preferred pronouns:

Obnoxious old fart (2nd person)
Cantankerous antique bag full of wrinkles (3rd person)
Discarded toe-nail in a sack of pus (2nd person reflexive)
Malodorous hirpling excrescences (2nd person plural)
Grasping grizzling glabulous gnome (possessive)
I, me, my (1st person)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

SWOON! It's Valentine's Day poetry time!

Translations of old love poems into modern terminology

My love is like an earnings sheet
In profit after tax;
My love is like an office that's
Productive to the max.
If I chart out, my fiscal love,
How deep in love am I,
You'll find a healthy balance sheet
At least til EOFY.

- Robert Burns, 'A Red, Red Rose'.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A digression concerning cats

Now don't get me wrong. I think cats have many important duties to perform for this nation, such as getting you to open the door in the middle of winter and then sitting in it and neither going in nor out so you can't close the door while the cold winds sweep through your house. Or catching a mouse and then eating half of it and dropping the other half in your slipper for you to stand on. Or vomiting a furball on your feet while you are in bed just because.

But: it occurred to me yesterday - and I have never once altered my opinion since - that cats should not be Prime Ministers. No, there is no use arguing with me otherwise. I am convinced on this.

Oh, it would all start so innocently:

MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: And so, Mr Speaker, I am convinced that I must therefore argue against the government's policy that the door should remain open at all times. I therefore...

CAT PRIME MINISTER: (Stands up) Miaow!

MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: I therefore say that...


MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: Oh all right, I can't argue with that. (Opens door). 

But then, it would quickly turn into a nightmarish dystopia:

MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: Mr Speaker, there is no way I can support the position the Prime Minister and his party are arguing today, that we should declare war on all midgets, make sexism compulsory in all schools, and leave the door open at the one time! It is simply...

CAT PRIME MINISTER: (Stands up) Miaow!






CAT PRIME MINISTER: Miaaaaaaaaaaaaow!

MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: Oh, all right, have it your way. (War is declared on all midgets, sexism made compulsory in all schools, and door pushed open). 

In conclusion, the end.

(What do you mean, get out more? I get out quite enough, thanks very much. I get out as often as I want to. And my cats agree with me.)

Friday, February 02, 2018

Abolish emotions to stop this nonsense from happening

Birds of a feather may flock together, but United Airlines recently shot down one traveler’s request to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight departing Newark Liberty International Airport. Woman denied emotional support peacock on United flight.

Well I say all this emotional support nonsense has got to stop. What next? Emotional support humans?


(SCENE: A busy airport. A long queue of people are filing on to the plane, giving their tickets to the HOSTESS to scan in. MS SPLODGER and her HUMAN approach.) 

HOSTESS: (Absent-mindedly). Ticket, please! (Takes ticket). Wait a minute. What's that you've got with you?

MS SPLODGER: Oh, this? (Indicates HUMAN). I hope you don't mind. That's just my Emotional Support Human.


MS SPLODGER: Don't worry! It's quite tame, and native to this area! There's a little colony of humans not far from here.

HOSTESS: I'm sorry. We have a strict rule. No animals on this flight.

MS SPLODGER: Oh, I simply can't travel without my human! I get terribly anxious. (Pats it behind ears.) 

HUMAN: (Begins making noises) I will be ready to produce the reports by Monday! I love the sunshine but am depressed by the rain. How awesome is healthy eating? Lets action that after our meeting!

MS SPLODGER: Look! (Giggles). It's so cute. It's like the sounds it makes almost mean something!

HOSTESS: That's lovely, Ms Splodger, but we really can't. Some of other passengers might have allergies.

HUMAN: I really like having a beer with my mates!

MS SPLODGER: (Face falls). What am I supposed to do with it? It's domesticated! I can't just leave it out in the wild.

HOSTESS: Do you have someone who can take care of it until you get back?

MS SPLODGER: Oh, my uncle I suppose, but really...

HOSTESS: (Voice lowering) Look, I'm really not supposed to do this, but we have a seat ready on the next flight. I'll arrange for you to have it. It's in an hour so it won't set you back too much. Your human is adorable, but we can't have it weeing on the floor of the plane. The company won't allow it. Can you get your uncle to come in and take care of it?

HUMAN: I often vote for the Greens in Parliament!

MS SPLODGER: (Crestfallen) I suppose so. (Takes ticket off hostess and leaves with HUMAN). 

HUMAN: Hard work is the key to success! Let's watch I'm a Celebrity on television tonight! Do you like coffee? (etc etc). 

(The HOSTESS is now approached by an ELEPHANT in an ant suit and an ANT in an elephant suit.) 

HOSTESS: (Takes tickets from them, scans them in and gives them back). Thank you.... enjoy your flight!

(ANT makes lame imitation elephant noise and ELEPHANT makes a far-too-loud ant noise in response). 


Fig 1: A 'human'. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

A tale of two Australias

Seeing as Australia Day is coming up in a week or so I thought I'd set out in a neat dialogue form basically all the arguments everyone will be repeating over the next few days anyway. Never let me say that I don't keep my readers ahead of the curve. 


Happy Australia Day, mate!

- OMFG! How offensive! To say such things about Invasion Day!
- Well, I'm offended by your offence!
- You right-wing piece of sh.. .
- No! It should be called Survival Day out of respect for Indigenous people!
- You're both wrong! I love Australia and we have to keep Australia Day just as it is! Otherwise you're basically supporting hijabs for kangaroos and halal Vegemite sandwiches!
- How could you say such things! Celebration at a time like this! It's highly hurtful to all the Indigenous people I know!
- YOU LIE! I totally know an Indigenous person too, or at least I met a guy once at a pub, and they totally don't want the date changed because it would be just more patronising bullshit coming from whitey!
- Wrong! It will only be patronising if we don't move the date! Let's find an Indigenous person and ask them!
- Don't look at me, I'm staying out of this conversation.
- I'm so ashamed of this country!
- I'm even more ashamed!
- I'm the most ashamed! We have nothing to celebrate! Why have Australia Day at all? I'm so sick of patriotism!
- If you don't like it, why don't you le...
- No, you're racist!
- You have no idea what racism is, you lower-case illiterate inbred...
- Seriously, if you think we're all invaders and this is still Aboriginal land, isn't it racist for you NOT to leave?
- Shut up! We all have to come together as a country, not engage in this divisive...
- Come together and celebrate Australia Day, perhaps?
- No! That's racist too!
- Unless Indigenous people are celebrating.
- That's kind of a grey area.... anyway, if we joined in their celebrations, wouldn't we be appropriating their culture?
- We can solve everyone's problems always everywhere by moving Australia Day to May 8...
- January 1st....
- July 30...
- Everyone knows Australia Day has been celebrated on 26 January since the dawn of time, it says so right here in the Bible!

*Stands about with friends at a barbecue basically having a really nice time*

Email: timhtrain - at -

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