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Archive for the ‘Just plain strange’ Category

Here is the transcript of a conversation that actually took place between me and an (unspecified) male friend about events that may (or may not) have actually taken place:

UNSPECIFIED MALE FRIEND: What must the neighbours think of me and my messy yard?

ME: Well, certainly those things I told them about you wouldn’t have helped their opinion.

UMF: Look, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t go around substantiating those rumours. There’s no real hard evidence that those things even occurred, save a few photographs…

ME: Ah yes, the photographs… (*shudders*) It must be said that once you’ve seen something like that, it’s impossible to unsee it… Still, good times.

USM: Good times, indeed. Perhaps those good times will come again.

ME: Perhaps. Are you still that flexible?

UMF: On a good day, yes. Yes, I am.

[Long pause while we both imagine what we might possibly be talking about]

ME: Oooooh. I can feel a blog post coming on!

I’ll admit it. I experience a certain frisson when I feel a blog post coming on. It’s like my muse has just rung me up to say he’s just bought a litre bottle of vodka and a 4 Litre tub of  caramel, date and pecan ice cream and run a bubble bath for me. And yes, for the record, my muse is a he and, more often than not, answers to the name of Paolo.

Of course, I’ve had to tread carefully with this particular blog post. I mean, if I were to specify my (currently) unspecified male friend’s identity, I’d be putting his reputation as a fine upstanding community member on the line.  He’d no doubt get people insistently knocking on his door at 2AM and would end up, curled in the fetal position on the other side, hissing: “Go away! I don’t do those things anymore…”

I hate to break it to my (still) unspecified male friend that those 2AM knockers would not be put off easily. After all,  they would have had it on on good authority that he actually did still do those things – that ‘good authority’ being, of course,  that reputable blog  ‘Not Drowning, Mothering’, whose hardworking and dedicated blogger has never once lied to her audience. Not once. Not even about the time she pissed herself in the school yard.

I mean, really…  if you read it here, why wouldn’t you believe it?

I suggest to my (as of yet) unspecified male friend that he clear up his backyard at the first opportunity. And while he’s at it, he may as well clean up  mine. Oh, and buy me a litre bottle of vodka and a 4 litre tub of caramel, date and pecan ice cream and get that bath running.

Yep, that should stop me from specifying his unspecified-ness in the future. Oh, and publishing those photos.

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Look, I’ve been trying to write a blog post called ‘It’s A Hot-Off!’ for the past hour but I just can’t get it to work. It was all about how I told my friend MM that the Prep Mums at the school this year are apparently really hot but that I refuse to go to the Prep area because I don’t want to have to enter a ‘Hot-Off’ situation with these (allegedly) Hot Mums.

(“‘Hot-Off’ sounds kinda wrong, doesn’t it?” I said to MM.
“Yes,” MM replied. “And yet so right…”)

Anyway, ‘It’s A Hot-Off’ has now been banished to my Drafts folder along with some other never-to-be-published ‘gems’ that I can’t quite bring myself to delete because maybe, just maybe, the world will one day be ready for them.

For example:

How God Almost Got Us A Late Pass

A true story. It involved Tiddles McGee claiming he saw God in the mirror, but whether or not he was actually seeing his own reflection and thinking that he, himself, was God remains unclear to this day.

I Never Said You Could Play The Egg
A post about my total lack of rhythm when it comes to playing the egg. Or rather, the egg-shaped shaker. Yes, it’s as exciting as it sounds.

In A Post-Apocalyptic World, The Man With Cable Ties Is King
This post is actually just a title. But what a title.

John Cusack Says “John Cusack Wants Table Five And A Food Tent!”
The title pretty much sums the post up. It attempted to start the rumour that John Cusack always talks about himself in the third person and insists on having his own personal food tent to protect his meals in restaurants. No, I don’t understand why either, but while I was trying to write this post, I actually also tried googling John Cusack’s legal counsel so I knew who I’d be dealing with.

2012: The Year Of Marrying David Bowie
The story of how, in 1985, a Ouija board predicted I would one day marry David Bowie and how I, myself, have predicted that this will happen next year. Like, for real.

The Iron Latte
A post about how my husband always travels with an electric iron which he uses as a make-shift stove for his espresso pot. Again: true story. Why would I make up this shit?

Don’t Trust Anything With Eyes On The Side Of Its Head
This started off about my aversion to birds and fish but then ended up being about being about the fear of potatoes and how there is a word for the fear of potato PRODUCTS (potnonomicaphobia) but not for fear of potatoes themselves and how the lack of a formal label for this phobia probably makes people who are genuinely afraid of potatoes feel unrecognised by the medical profession and how there are probably people out there with a genuine fear of developing a phobia that doesn’t have a label and that, ironically, that fear probably doesn’t have a label either. Yes, this post was a winner.

So there you go. If you ever feel that my blog is strange or mundane, there’s the proof – THE PROOF – that it could be whole lot stranger and/or mundaner. Oh, it could also include more made-up words like mundaner. Whatevs. Just thank your lucky stars that I don’t publish everything…

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A lot of people say to me “How’s the book going?” and I always give a gay little laugh and reply that I’ve started a Microsoft Word document and called it ‘synopsis.doc’.

The people then chuckle merrily and say “No, really. How’s it going?”

It’s usually at this point of the conversation that I hastily create a diversion, such as pulling a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder out of my bag, wrenching off the lid and, shouting “POOF!!!!”,  throwing talc over us all and then running away very very quickly.

Yes, I’m trying to shield us all from the terrible truth is that it’s the end of February and I haven’t done much  more than start that Microsoft Word document.

There’s a commonly-held belief seems to be that now I’m not blogging three times a week, I must have lots and lots of time to dedicate to writing my book. And while I do have a bit more time, I am spending it on other, way loftier pursuits.

The following random thoughts that I recently had provide a sterling example of such way loftier pursuits:

– Hmmmm…. Why does the word ‘umlaut’ not actually have an umlaut actually in it? It seems somewhat hypocritical. Note to self: write a book called ‘The Hypocritical Umlaut’ (and by ‘write a book’, I mean open a new Microsoft Word document and name it Synopsis2.doc).

– Wouldn’t it be better to rename ‘The Hypocritical Umlaut’ as ‘The Hypocriticäl Umläut’?’ That’d be ironic and cool people like irony, in an ironic kind of way. They tend to wear ironic hats while they do it. Which is never a bad thing.

– Perhaps the irony would be lost on those less cool readers (without the appropriate ironic head wear) and I should rename the book ‘The Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’?

– Is ‘The Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’ too wordy or is it not wordy enough? You know, considering the recent trend in literary titles like ‘The Incredible Amazing Tale of the Women Who Knit Stuff And Solve Mysteries In Their Spare Time Secret Club Society’ (And yes, I made that title up. Note to self: create a Microsoft Word document called synopsis3.doc because I could totally be onto a winner with those knitting female detectives).

– It’s definitely not wordy enough. The title should totally be ‘The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’. Yep, that’s it RIGHT THERE.

– You know, my blog post titles are never long enough. It’d be so cool to have a blog titled ‘The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut In The Blog Post’. In fact I should write one right now. It might feel more satisfying than creating another Microsoft Word document.

– But hang about… Would titling the blog post ”The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut In The Blog Post’ kind of ruin the punchline of the blog post?

– Um, is there a punchline? Is there ever a punchline?

–  No, there’s never a punchline.

– Fuck.

And this, people, is what I think they call ‘writer’s block’.

(*throws a handful of talcum powder, shouts “POOOOOFFFFF!” and is gone…*)

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The other day, I was singing that “cheeky monkeys on the bed” song with Tiddles McGee. You know the one that goes:

Five cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Called up the doctor and the doctor said
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

And it got me thinking…

The mother in the story is quite fortunate to have such a relationship with her GP. Quite fortunate indeed. I expect that if I were to call my GP at night, rather than just advise the cheeky monkeys against jumping on the bed, he would remind me that our telephone conversation was billable and perhaps inform me of some state laws against keeping monkeys in my house without a proper permit, before finally suggesting I call a vet instead.

Anyway, the truth is that I don’t even have my GP’s private number. So I’d have to call the Nurse-On-Call helpline, wait forty five minutes to talk to someone, only to then have them tell me to take my monkey straight to emergency anyway.

And once I’ve gone through that whole process with five monkeys, that’s the whole night gone. Stupid time-wasting cheeky monkeys.

It then got me thinking about some children’s rhymes that need a real-life rewrite. Off the top of my head:

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner
Eating his christmas pie
He put in his thumb, and pulled out a plum
And his mother said “Please use your spoon and stop eating like a goddamn animal, Jack.”

One, two, three, four, five
Once I caught a fish alive
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Then I let it go again
Why did you it it go?
Because it was under-sized.

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider
Who sat down beside her
And bit her and she died.

You put your right hand in,
You put your right hand out,
You put your right hand in and you shake it all about.
You do the hokey-pokey and you turn around
And that’s what it’s all about.
Except that’s not what it’s ALL about. There’s other stuff like sex, religion, finance, global warming and reality TV stars but let’s not sing about all that right now.
Oh, the hokey-pokey… (etc).

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie
When the pie was opened, the birds were dead.

Ten green bottles sitting on the wall
Ten green bottles sitting on the wall
And if one green bottle should accidentally fall
Your husband will be really cranky because them there’s his Heineken, bee-otch.

Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Even though I just stated that you were a star.

Baa baa black sheep
Have you any wool?
“Baaaaaa baaaaaa”.

Anyone else got any others to add? C’mon! Together, we can crack this thing wide open…

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Some people like to procrastinate quietly in a corner with a good book and a family block of chocolate.

But not I. No. I like to gently avoid putting away the mountainous piles of clean laundry and/or stand at the kitchen sink for the fourth hour that  day by thinking about how much I dislike mermaids.

Yes, I am a mermaid-basher, but you already knew that, didn’t you?

The other day, I jumped onto twitter with the following question:

The general consensus from my twitter friends was that mermaids didn’t eat fish because “fish were their friends” and that they were sea-vegetarian. I, for one, don’t buy that for a moment. C’mon! They’re half-human! Don’t tell me they don’t have carnivorous urges. I mean, they must be at least pescetarian, if not omnivorous. I mean, the occasional cow must fall overboard a freight ship, right?

Still, what goes in must go out. How do mermaids shit? If they’re anything like Mr Justice’s neurotic goldfish, they must swim around half the day with a long string of faeces coming out their fishy arse. But you don’t see that pictured in any of your mermaid fairytale books or in the Barbie Mermadia series. Oh, no.

As I was thinking about all this, I could see Tiddles McGee’s lunch plate balanced on the edge of the arm chair from the day before.

Vaguely, I wondered if it would eventually make its own way to the kitchen. And that’s when it hit me. Like, really hit me.

If McGee had eaten his lunch under the sea, the plate may well have drifted to the kitchen with the tide.

Moreover, it wouldn’t need to have drifted to the kitchen because it was already under the water.

Which is why mermaids look so well-groomed and beautiful all the frickin’ time. Because they never have to worry about the fucking dishes! Or the laundry, because they don’t have any clothes to wash. I mean, those shell bras? Puh-lease. A bit of scrubbing to get the algae off may be required from time to time but if you can’t be arsed doing it, its not  the end of the world. You’re naked from the waist down anyway and you have all that great hair to cover your breasts, anyway.

Talking of great hair, even my hair looks great under water. It’s all soft and flowy and beautiful. Whereas out of the water, even one hour after washing it I’m grateful if it’s raining outside so that anyone who sees me will think my hair looks like that because I have just bravely run through the rain and not because I’m a complete and utter skank.

Here are some other things mermaids don’t have to worry about, just off the top of my head:

I think that’s enough about mermaids for now, don’t you? Next topic for procrastination: why Geppetto never had children of his own and had to make a puppet for company. Did he never meet the right lady or was he gay?

Uh, maybe I should just put away the laundry…

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You know that saying that you never really know what goes on inside a relationship? I think my husband and I are a sterling example of this. Few people have any idea what goes on inside our marriage and it’s likely that they don’t really want to know.

But I’m going to tell everyone anyway.

Back in the day, when ‘Lost’ hadn’t become completely incomprehensible and was still shown in a reasonable time slot, my husband and I would sit down of a Thursday night to watch it.Well, I would watch it and my husband would just sit and tut and let out exasperated sighs as if to say “Could this show be any stupider?” but strangely never ever took my suggestion to go and spend his time doing something else.

Secretly, I suspect he loved Lost and wanted to kiss it on the lips.

Not so secretly, I knew he was waiting for Troy to come on. You know, Troy Ellis the guy who does the Powerball draw.

Oh, how we both loved Troy. We loved him more than we loved Vanessa O’Hanlan who did the helicopter traffic report on Sunrise and who (almost) inspired us to have t-shirts made up to say “The O’Hanlan”. We loved Troy because he was the consummate professional  – unlike Gavin, who filled in for Troy one night and read out one of the numbers incorrectly.

(Poor Gavin. He really blew his one chance at fame. As that urban poet, Eminem, once said “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow/ This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo!” Gavin, you sure did blow but not in the way Eminem intended. And no, not in the way you are thinking. Sheesh.)

We would often tell tales of Troy trying to blag his way into A-list events, that time he tried to date The O’Hanlan and how he would meet Gavin down at the Bingo night at the local RSL where they would take over the microphone and start shouting out random numbers (Gavin would still get the random numbers wrong. Poor Gavin.)

We would even sing songs about Troy. There was Toni Childs’ 1988 hit Stop Your Fussin’ (“Stop your fussin’, Troy/ stop your fussin’, Troy/ your time will come… yes, your time will come…”), Deniece Williams Let’s Hear It For The Troy!, The Cure’s Troys Don’t Cry – all sung using the vocal stylings of Toni Childs, of course. (Of course!)

We even thought of starting a Troy tribute band called ‘Troy Division 5’.

This wasn’t our first collaborative venture. In 1999, we came up with a successful marketing campaign for ‘Clipper Organic Teabags’ with a jingle and everything. By “successful”, it meant we bought at least two more packets of the stuff so we could keep singing the jingle.

And then there was this radio ad we wrote for Bondi Junction (in Sydney):

VOICE ONE: (broad Australian accent) Come and have a cup of cino and a cruss-ont at…
VOICE TWO: (heavy French accent) … Le Jonction!

Of course these days, we no longer watch Channel 7 on a Thursday night. My husband now has a proper job and I have this blog to entertain me (I have many Hugh Jackmans to befriend on Facebook, don’t you know!).

Sadly, Troy is no longer the centrepiece of our marriage…. Although, if Channel 7 wanted us to write a pilot for a sit-com called ‘Gavin and Troy’, we’d be willing to reinstate him…

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My husband once remarked that I was extremely good at making my own fun. He’s right.

Why, just the other day I realised I was approaching 400 ‘likers’ on Facebook so I decided to run another ‘give away’. Some readers may remember the last ‘giveaway’ I ran which resulted in me sending one lucky person a picture of a dog! Wearing a hat! Smoking a cigar!! (see ‘Picture Perfect’).

This time, I decided to go that little bit further. Inspired by a photo I found on my internet travels of a Japanese woman wearing a ‘Hair Protector’ while she ate a bowl of noodles, I got busy making a noodle hair protector for The Pixie’s ‘sister’ Abby. This, if you think about it, was a veritable Sara Lee Danish full of irony (“layer upon layer”) because A) Abby doesn’t actually have any hair to protect from noodles – or anything else for that matter – and B) Abby can’t even eat noodles because she’s a fucking plastic doll.

The kids watched with some small amount of awe while I was carefully folding paper and cutting strips of sticky tape.

“What are you doing?” one of them asked, after a while.

“I’m making a Noodle Hair Protector for Abby.”

“Why?”

“Uh… I really don’t know,” was the honest answer. After all, it was before seven o’clock in the morning and I hadn’t even had my coffee yet.

“But mark my words,” I assured the kids. “You are witnessing Genius In Action.”

Arguably, it was more “Genius Inaction” but what the hey, I took a photo of Abby wearing it and sent it off to my giveaway winner with some small sense of satisfaction. The NDM: changing the world one strange photograph at a time.

I waited and waited for the winner’s email reply. Nothing came. I grew despondent. It was hauntingly like that dark day I sent a bunch of people a picture of a watermelon cut into the shape of the Death Star and not a single one of them thanked me. Not a single one.

In my despair, I reached out to touch somebody. I decided to write to my new friend Mark Pollard of [advertising agency] McCann Australia. My email went something like this:

Dear Mark,

I expect I haven’t heard from you for a while because you’ve been busy briefing your legal team. Whether it’s for an employment contract, legal suit or a restraining order, time will tell.

In the meantime, I wanted to reassure you that I am totally fine with being flown to Sydney and put up at the Sheraton On The Park at McCann’s expense. You know, in case you were wondering.

Incidentally, my husband stayed at the Sheraton On The Park for work a few weeks ago and he bought me back the room service breakfast menu as a present because he’d spent all his money on his room service breakfast. We subsequently enjoyed many happy hours laughing at the exorbitant prices and making owl impressions by looking through those little holes you hang the menu on the door handle with. I would have sent you a photo of me making an owl impression except my husband appears to have put the menu in the recycling. I did, however, spend *at least* five minutes searching for it which should show you how serious I am about furthering our professional relationship.

Instead, I’ve attached a picture of my daughter’s ‘sister’ wearing a home-made Noodle Hair Protector.

I look forward to hearing from your legal team,

The NDM

PS. Hope you don’t mind but I’ve decided to bring that spunky Todd from ‘The Gruen Transfer’ in on our conversation.

cc. Todd Sampson, CEO of Leo Burnett, Australia

Happily, Mark replied within the hour. He began his email with the words “I think you need your own TV show”. There were some other minor details about not being able to pay me and (perhaps) some small hint about “email harassment” but basically, I think he’s definitely about to offer me my own Reality TV series…

See? I really can make my own fun and soon I’ll be making yours, too, on a small screen near you.

________________________________

Edited to add: Rest assured, the winner of my giveaway did respond –  Facebook just decided to fuck with my head and hide it from me.  She said: “Best prize I ever won. My eyes hurt.”

Edited to also add:  Somewhat surprisingly, that Spunky Todd from ‘The Gruen Transfer‘ has yet to respond, however. I expect he’s now in meetings with his lawyers, too.

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