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Archive for May, 2009

Imagine my excitement when I heard that Twitter is being overrun by robots.

“At last!” I thought to myself, “The robot uprising has begun!”

I was imagining something kind of like “The Terminator” and that Flight of The Conchords song set in “the distant future, the year 2000.” But my friend Mr C set me straight.

Apparently these robots don’t want to kill anyone. At least not yet. Instead, they spend their days trawling through the twitterverse for keywords. And these keywords are specified by companies (and motivated individuals) wanting to hook up with people who might need their services.

For example, the robot might be programmed to automatically follow anyone who mentions “auto insurance” or “personal injury” or to search for phrases such as “I wish someone could tell me how to make Big Money Fast!!” and “Don’t tell anyone but I really do suffer from embarrassing erectile dysfunction problems”. 

So, all you have to do is innocently mention something like “lactating asian babes” on Twitter and you instantly get “auto-followed” by the Breastfeeding Association of East Anglia, The Chowking Chinese Food Chain AND @HotLesboticChicks69.

And yes, for the record, you can mention lactating asian babes innocently. I do it all the time, actually. 

Sometimes, however, the link between what you’ve just tweeted and who suddenly starts auto-following you isn’t that clear. 

Why, just the other day I found myself tweeting a lot about dead cats and seconds later a very buxom lass started following me, trying entice me to some “Adult Dating Site”. I couldn’t for the life of me work out why she’d appeared, unless, of course, she worked as a part-time pet mortician to supplement her adult “dating”. 

“Now, hang on a moment, NDM” I can here some people say. “Let’s go back a little there. Why, exactly, were you talking about ‘dead cats’ on twitter?”

Sheesh, you people have to know everything. Can’t a girl retain some sense of mystery?

But if you really must know… (*sigh*)

You see, I’d signed up with a Twitter-based service called “Mr Tweet” to try and maximise my twitter exposure. You know, as part of my strategic plan to become an Internet Phenomenon like Susan Boyle, Perez Hilton and “The Keyboard Cat”.

Anyway, Mr Tweet analysed my twitter activity and concluded that there were dead cats that were more “engaging”. Okay, so that was my (wrong) interpretation of his report. But let’s just pretend, for the purposes of this post, that Mr Tweet’s exact words to me were: “NDM, frankly there are dead cats on twitter that are funnier than you”.

Understandably, I complained bitterly about this on twitter. I also complained about the fact Mr Tweet had recommended I follow Ashton Kutcher (Mr Demi Moore) above all others on Twitter.

What the…? Is Mr Tweet Ashton Kutcher’s bitch? My next tweet said something along the lines of:

Follow Ashton Kutcher? I say to Mr Tweet: “Over my dead cat’s body!”

And it was at this point that my well-endowed pet mortician friend started following me. Shortly after that I noticed my number of followers had dropped and I tweeted:

Someone stopped following me after those “dead cat” tweets. Don’t know who but must have hurt their felines… Yes, I am drunk.

And for the record: I wasn’t exactly drunk. Okay, so maybe I was just a little. But listen, I’m not the enemy here. 

However I do appear to be the only person concerned that some evil genius out there has invented a robot to look out for the term “dead cat” so he (or she) can entice them into his pornographic adult XXX dating lair. And I strongly urge everyone with a twitter account to randomly include the tag #deadcat in their next tweet so that we might smoke him out of his hole once and for all.

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It all started with The Pixie saying something innocent like “The Duck One‘s coming shopping!”. And, because I was running late enough as it was and didn’t have time to have That Battle with her, I pretended I didn’t hear her and that might have been that. But eight hours later, just as I was making dinner, The Pixie suddenly said, all innocence: “Where’s Duckwy?”.

A frantic search of the car and the usual spots where the Duck One likes to hang out (expertly wedged down the back of the couch, left to relax and unwind by itself under the trampoline, draped elegantly across the toilet floor) turned up nothing. 

I pleaded with The Pixie to remember where she last saw “Duckwy”.

“Eeee-eeeee-eee” she said, squeaking like a mouse in an entirely unhelpful manner. 

I then asked Mr Justice whose steel-trap memory can always be relied on, particularly in drawn-out court proceedings – which were sure to follow should the Duck One not be found.

“Uh, I remember she had it in her shopping basket at Coles, but after that…” And then he shrugged his shoulders. 

My blood ran cold. And not necessarily because I had any kind of personal relationship with the Duck One, but because my husband was not going to be home at all that evening and I’d have to deal with any fall-out on my own.

I leapt into “Mission: Rescue” mode. “Right!” I hollered at the kids. “It’s almost eighteen hundred hours. We’ve got a man left behind enemy lines. We have to go to back to Coles to leave no stone unturned and no aisle unchecked until we bring that soldier home.” And then I mobilized the troops by herding them into the Love Bus, shouting: “Go! Go! Go! Go!”. 

Okay, so it wasn’t quite like that. I think I probably said something more like: “If we can get to Coles and back as quickly as possible, you can eat dinner in front of The Simpsons”. 

Or even: “There’s a lollipop in it for anyone who goes like the clappers.”

Whatever. The main point is that we all got to Coles in record time and ran straight to the information counter.

“I think we left my daughter’s comforter here this morning,” I said, somewhat breathlessly, the panic in my voice barely disguised. “It’s, uh, a manky piece of grey cloth with ducks on it.”

The lady behind the counter happened to be the same checkout chick we’d been served by that morning.

“Oh, yes. I picked it up and put it… uh… here,” she said, looking over at a shelf where the Duck One was obviously no longer. All I could think of was grabbing a phone and arguing my way past Prime Minister Rudd’s switchboard to call in air strikes on Coles. I felt like screaming at the entire supermarket “You’ll pay for this! YOU’LL ALL PAY!!!!” when I spotted a bin below the shelf she was looking at.

“Ah, I think it might be there,” I said somewhat sheepishly. I knew that some manager had come along, looked at Duck One and, rather than see it as the precious thing my daughter sees it as, had only seen as a potential carrier of e-coli, swine flu and/or cooties.

The lady scrummaged through the bin and lo! The Duck One was found. She put it in a plastic bag and handed it to my little girl, whose little face beamed with happiness.

“Whoever would have put such a precious thing in the bin?” the lady tutted, even though we both knew she’d probably go and scrub her hands long and hard after having handled it.

“Yayyyy!” said The Pixie. “Let’s go home and give Duckwy a bath!”. 

And as we walked back to the car, I watched her squeaking happily as she swung that bag around and I thought “There’s the most precious thing. That little girl there.” And then I thought “The Duck One is grounded for the term of the grey-manky-cloth life, so help me.”

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What do you do when a heterosexual man shatters one of your illusions? You inadvertently make him look at some hardcore man-on-man porn, that’s what.  

Recently I was on the phone to my friend MM, who was in the middle of playing pirates with his son Master D. Turns out Master D had just done a Pirate Pee, washed his Pirate Hands in the Pirate Basin and dried them on a Pirate Towel. I understood all too well that sometimes the only way you can make small boys do what they’re told is by pretending to be a Pirate or Autobot – and when they’re much older, a Naughty Nurse. 

“Ooooo, arrrrrrrrrr,” MM said. 

“Did you know that you can choose ‘Pirate’ as your official language on Facebook?” I asked him, and then added: “Arrrrrrrrr!”

“Actually,” MM replied, dropping the Pirate Speak altogether. “Did you know that no actual pirates spoke like that before Robert Newton’s stellar performance as Long John Silver in the 50s?”

“No,” I said, suddenly uncertain about everything. “You mean they make stuff up in Hollywood?”

This was too much. Next thing I knew, he’d be telling me that Scots didn’t wear kilts and blue clown faces during the days of William Wallace or that Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus didn’t actually go on to be reincarnated as Johnny Cash. 

“Oh well,” I said, rallying. “Did you happen to see the Tony Danza tattoo I passed on from @TheFatJew on twitter?” 

“No,” he replied. “But I’ve got the computer on right here and… Oh… God!… No! No! God, no!”

“Gee, I didn’t think that it was that bad,” I said. The Tony Danza depicted in the tattoo was drunk and middle-aged but not worthy of quite that much carry-on. 

“Didn’t you see the other photos in that guy’s album?” he spluttered. 

“No, I didn’t. I view Twitter through this neat application called TweetDeck and it only shows.. look… never mind,” I said. I knew I had lost him at the word “neat”. In any case, he appeared to still be dry-retching. 

“Sheesh, it must be pretty bad.” I said. “What is it?”

“Can’t… Speak… arghghhhhhghhh….” I think at this point the phone might have gone dead. Either that or I asked to speak with his good lady wife KC instead because, quite frankly, MM was not much fun to speak to now that I’d destroyed his mind. 

The next day, I emailed him asking him to describe in his own words what he had seen for the purposes of this blog. 

“Blerg!” he wrote back. “Post-pornmatic stress!” (I knew then he must still be traumatised. He’s never one to use exclamation marks. Ever.)

He then went on to describe something that was “like that half-glimpsed moment in The Shining with added obesity and minus the dog costume”. The rest is not fit to publish. Not even on this blog, my friends. Not even on this blog. 

I thought I should, perhaps, apologise to MM for damaging him like that and then going on to practically profiteer from it by writing about it in my blog. However… Avast ye, me hearties! The lily-livered son o’ a biscuit lovin’ drivelswibber be deservin’ of such a drubbin’. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

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