Monday, July 3, 2017


I fired up the barbecue (seppos: think "grill") tonight to do some jerk chicken.  It tasted pretty good, even though I didn't actually have any rum in the house so I had to use French brandy instead.  You know how I'm one of those guys who just happens to have some old French brandy stashed away in the back of the cupboard.

Anyway, it turns out that brandy instead of rum gives the jerk chicken quite a different taste.  Imagine that Admiral Villeneuve triumphed at Trafalgar rather than Admiral Nelson - and the West Indies were dominated by the French from that day forth.  That's what it tasted like.  Quelle magnifique!

The Hatchling liked it too.  She's pretty good with weird tasting food - it's really only chilli that she draws the line at and we're making progress there too.  Although I suppose there is a difference between eating something and actually enjoying it.  She was full of compliments tonight once I'd fired up the barbecue though.  "Mmm, that smells amazing Dad!"

I had to break it to her that I hadn't actually put the chicken on the grill yet - the clouds of fragrant smoke pouring out were simply the incinerated remains of the last twelve things I've cooked on it, since I don't put much effort into cleaning it.  It's the Australian way.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Say what

Bring bring!  Bring bring!

PTR (into telephone)
Speak - I listen.

Receptionist (via telephone)
Did you just ring Jesus?


Do. You. Syringe. Ears.

Oh, other people's absolutely.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Impossible for us to be dismembered

Please refrain from rhetorical questions
You are already aware
Of the deep affection I feel
For your valuable cardiac tissue.

I was upright on my lower limbs
You were in the vicinity
The orbits of two planets intersected violently
And it was impossible for us to be dismembered.

Our lifespans could exceed the norm
By a factor of ten or more
But if you sustained an injury for which I was causally responsible
I'd prepare an alcoholic beverage from your ocular secretions.

I informed you of the possibility
Of aerial transport
Because everybody has wings
But a number of people remain ignorant of the reason for this.

I was upright on my lower limbs
You were in the vicinity
The orbits of two planets intersected violently
And it was impossible for us to be dismembered.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

This bouncing life

I bought a trampoline.  It's a big one, so big that you might think there's some kind of Freudian Trampoline Complex which I am unconsciously acting out.  And perhaps if there isn't, there should be, because I've got a big one.

I found an ad online for this used trampoline and got interested, which is a feat in itself.  It's not until you start reading ads for other people's second hand goods that you realise that the majority of people are idiots.  People will post ads without prices, without pictures, without salient features of the goods or even without a goddamn description of what the stuff is.  "Sale on Saturday. Many things."  Jesus.

So I texted the guy late at night and he got straight back to me - he wanted the trampoline gone pronto so I agreed to buy it and go pick it up on Saturday morning.  I was pretty chuffed with myself, but my Smaller Half was innately more suspicious.  "Why are they selling it? How old is it? Has anyone ever vomited on it? What does their house look like?"  She seems to go through life half-convinced that homeless people are trying to sell her old beaten up trampolines that they've been using to strain their vomit, perhaps to make a delicious clear vomit broth in the French style.  And why not - we all have our peccadillos (peccadillo: an armoured chicken).

On Saturday morning I drove to the guy's house, and out the front is a sad looking kid.  It occurs to me for the first time that only people with kids own trampolines so I am going to be snatching this kids trampoline away from her.  I feel bad briefly but then see the trampoline.  It is, as I've mentioned before, pretty big.  I'm stoked at the bargain price I'm getting on this baby so my qualms pretty much evaporate.

I double check with the crying kid that I'm at the right place - she tells me her dad said that I could start taking it apart.  So I get out my collection of four thousand Allen keys which are all the same size and discover that they are all the same wrong size.  Luckily I can work my way around this because I have a screwdriver which I can misuse to take this thing apart.  It takes me about 90 minutes to knock it down and shove it into my car.

Because there are some bits which I can't figure out how to separate, I end up having to drive home with the trampoline safety net draped over my head and shoulders like a demented beekeeper.  I hope I don't have a car accident or I might strain my neck.  I'm almost home when my phone starts ringing - it's the guy who sold me the trampoline letting me know that I've left some pieces behind in his driveway.  But I reckon they're mostly superfluous safety devices, included only as a regulatory requirement, and certainly not expected to impinge on our fun by their absence.

By the late afternoon I have reassembled the trampoline in my back yard and it is bigger than it looked in the old owner's yard.  By some miracle of geometry I have put the same pieces back together and ended up with a trampoline which is nearly twice as big as it was before.  Awesome.  I'd be keen to get on and have a bounce around but the mat is soaking wet from my Smaller Half having spent an hour hosing off all the vomit.  I hope it's a sunny day tomorrow.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


I can type.
I can type English.
I can put the words in a line and they make a sentence.
They tell a story.
Tell tell tell.
I have been away.
Not really.
I have been here with me all along.
And here with you in your heart too.
I have been away from this blob.
But now I am back.
And now I am front.
I am back.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Plating up

I've lived in a few different cities and states now that I am an old man and, prone to reverie as I am, I find that sometimes it takes only a tiny push to send me spiralling into reminiscence.  The most common is license plates on the cars in front of me as I drive.

When I see out-of-state plates on the car in front of me it transports me to a time when those plates were all around me and were the ones I saw every day.  The day-to-day thoughts and feelings I was having when I frequently saw plates from that state come washing over me.  It's like time travel.

Queensland plates, from my sub-tropical early adulthood, always imbue me with a feeling of relaxation.  I am wearing shorts and t-shirt in winter, I am dripping sweat onto a physic exam paper, I am drinking too much bourbon on a sultry midnight wander, I am daydreaming on a deck amidst emerald fronds and dark trunks.

Plates from the ACT, where I took my first real job, tighten me up. I can feel the tie around my neck like a horse's tack.  People are watching me, judging me. I need to conform, buckle down, get on with it. I feel the wind's chill in my spine.

Now that I have left South Australia, those too take me back.  I am walking along the beach in autumn watching the seals. I am struggling with my pager as the weight of work breaks my back. I am going on a meth-fueled rampage, stealing a police car and driving it the wrong way down the freeway before crashing it off an overpass and fleeing on foot, leaving the mangled corpses wrapped in rugs on the back seat. I am strapped to a hospital bed, sedated, as I thrash and writhe.

Happy memories, all these, even those which are dysphoric.  They remind me where I've been, what I've done, who I am, who I'm not, who I might have been had I not been the who that I am right now.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Only plastic surgeons should

I had a mandatory training review today, involving a fairly tedious 30 minute phone conversation with an Authority Figure to make sure I am Ticking All The Boxes.  It got off to an awkward start when the first thing he said to me was, "How was your morning?", to which I replied, "Pretty good, I spent half an hour BLANK". (BLANK, of course, replacing what I actually said, for reasons soon to be apparent.) He made a Concerned Noise and said, "I was once told by a plastic surgeon that only plastic surgeons should BLANK", causing me to execute a series of daring evasive manoeuvres to throw him off my tail.

But it made me think that you could write a good exam question about it.  Here goes:

Q314. Only plastic surgeons should:
(a) Wear shoes with such pointy toes that you are mistaken for an elf.
(b) Remove large sebaceous cysts from the face.
(c) Buy a Lamborghini rather than lease it.
(d) Sexually harass a subordinate.
(e) All of the above.

Feel free to leave a comment below with your guess as to correct answer, or to suggest a better alternative.