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Posts Tagged ‘alienating my male readership’

Like many of my best ideas, the concept for the NDM Children’s Vomit Scale came from some quality piss-farting-about time on Twitter.

You see, I recently found myself boasting to twitter friend and blogging peer Mister Trivia that, thanks to my Famous Vomiting Children, there wasn’t much about vomit that I didn’t know. 

“Why, I could write The Bristol Stool Scale equivalent for children’s vomit,” I boldly declared.

“Do it,” was @mrtrivia’s quick reply. “Name it after yourself. Distribute it to parents planet-wide. Appear on Sunrise. Tell Dr Karl he sucks. Become a media darling.”

And just when I thought my mandate couldn’t be much clearer, he threw in a “Brand yourself ‘Chuck Mom’ for the US and ‘Chunder Mummy’ for the UK and Oz” for good measure. You’ve got to hand it to him: that @mrtrivia has one hell of a strategic mind.

Anyway, I promptly churned out a first draft of the NDM Children’s Vomit Scale. And this is how it’s currently shaping up:

THE NDM CHILDREN’S VOMIT SCALE

minestrone TYPE ONE: Also known as “The Minestrone”, a Type One vomit is a little like a Britney Spears-style comeback of the last meal your child ate: it almost looks the same but is far less palatable.  A Type One vomit is always surprising because a) it will almost certainly contain diced carrot even if it has been many moons since your child last even looked askance at a carrot; and b) the quantity of vomit will be much greater than the serving of food your child originally ate.

spreadable TYPE TWO: A Type Two vomit has a more concentrated, less chunky and eminently spreadable consistency. With the correct dietary input, it can resemble peanut butter. But with added carrot. 
cupasoup TYPE THREE: The Type Three is mostly liquid with the occasional chunklet, some of which will, of course, resemble barely-rehydrated carrot. You can heat this up and serve it in a tin mug as “cup-a-soup”. No-one will know the difference. 
amoeba2 TYPE FOUR: Also known as “The Amoeba”, the typical Type Four vomit usually occurs in conjunction with a head cold. Everything (including the carrot) tends to hangs together in a phlegm-coated globular mass and seeing a Type Four in action is a little like watching someone give birth to an alien life form through their mouth.
acid TYPE FIVE: This is the closest thing to battery acid that the human body can produce, due mostly to the caustic qualities of carrot once finally broken down by the digestive system. Parents are advised to wear rubber gloves when handling this highly noxious substance. If left for too long, a Type Five vomit can burn holes through the floor boards and/or metal bed frames. 
bile2 TYPE SIX: All bile, no chunk (or even chunklets) with an alarming flourescent quality.   There has been some speculation that the Type Six vomit is the substance used to to fill those glow-in-the-dark bracelets sold at festivals and school discos.  All I know is this here is some bad, bad shit. 

Impressive, huh?

Now, I’m going to delegate the next phase of implementation to you good people. I’m relying on you to pass the link to this blog post to every parent that you know. Even the ones who claim their children never vomit and secretly think I must be doing something terribly wrong like serving dinner on underside of the toilet seat to have my kids vomit as often as they do.

While you’re all busy doing that, I’m going to concentrate on choosing my outfits for the talk-show circuit (perhaps my signature look could be wearing a Sick Bucket for a hat?). I’ll also be mentally preparing myself for being stopped on the street constantly by grateful parents wanting to shake my hand and kiss my feet. “Oh, NDM!” they’ll say to me. “We’re just so happy that we finally – FINALLY! – have a mutual frame of reference with which we can talk to friends and strangers alike about our kids’ vomit.”

And that, ladies and gentleman, is my gift to the world.

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Apparently a common complaint that men have about women is that when women are at the supermarket checkout, they always seem to wait until the last possible moment to start searching their handbags for their purse. It was as if the thought that they might have to pay some money never occurred to them. 

Well, I don’t know how accurate that is, but I certainly am that way when it comes to my period. Which has come pretty much Every. Single. Month. since I was 14. And yet, every single month it surprises me in some way or another, like a silent red ninja attacking at the most inconvenient moment (see “Remains of the Day & Night“). 

So you can imagine my delight the other week when I was getting ready to fly home from a weekend away at my friend Ay-Kay’s house and there was a knock on the door from the red ninja. I probably need not mention that I was wearing white underpants at the time, but I will mention it just the same, thank you very much. 

I swiftly got changed and stuffed the minutely-stained undies into my bag. As I continued on to pack the styrofoam sword I’d bought on a whim for Tiddles McGee, I had this sudden terrible thought that the sword would be picked by airport security and they’d have to search through my whole bag and some 19-year-old guard would end up holding my stained underpants up to the world as if it was the morning after my wedding night in a small Greek village.

And so I decided to give the undies a quick spot-clean in the bathroom sink. Of course, that little stain soon spread to a slightly larger stain and quickly resulted in a completely sopping pair of underpants. Result. 

Since I was alone in Ay-Kay’s house, I went snooping about to find a drying solution. A quick search of the laundry and bathroom unturned neither clothes dryer nor hair dryer. I considered for a minute using the microwave but I grew worried that my friend Ay-Kay would arrive home unexpectedly and I’d be all “Oh, hi!” and then the microwave would go “Bing!” and she’d say “What are you cooking?” and I’d be, like, “Nothing…” and she’d be all “That’s weird. Why would the microwave go bing! like that?” and she’d open the door to find my steaming hot underpants on one of her grandmother’s dinner plates.

And so I stuffed them into a plastic bag and back into my carry-on bag, now with the fear that airport security would uncover them, still sopping wet and I’d have to explain the whole situation. And I realised that A) a tiny blood stain was far better than a sodden pair of underpants and B) I should have just coloured the original stain in with a blue texta because apparently menstrual blood is okay when it’s blue. Anyone in advertising could have told me that.  

For the record, my friend Ay-Kay doesn’t actually own a microwave, the sword got through airport security and the underpants languished at the bottom of the bag for far longer than was necessary and ended up being thrown in the bin, where I should have just placed them the minute I bought them as part of a multi-coloured five-pack from Best & Less. I mean, who the hell even wears white underpants ANYWAY when that dreaded red ninja could arrive at Any Given Moment. Sheesh.

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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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Okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to bring up the V word. And before anyone gets too excited, I’m talking about the V word men *don’t* want to talk about, as opposed to the one that a lot of men can’t get enough of. Depending on who you talk to, the humble vasectomy can also be known as “the snip”, “getting fixed”, “virtual castration”, “the straight man’s scourge” or “that pissy little day-surgery procedure”. 

A lot of people (i.e. my husband) warned me off this topic, fearing some unreasonably cruel taunting after such a brave self-sacrifice was made in the name of Family Planning (or rather Planning-For-No-More-Family). After all, there’s a very special relationship a man has with his balls that a woman should even try to understand, let alone use as basis for a humourous blog entry. 

I learnt this the hard way a few months ago when I rang a friend and got her recently ‘snipped’ husband on the phone, whom we shall call J. 

“Is that the man former known as J?” I asked. “Or should I say, is that the J formerly known as a man?”

He laughed at my little joke, good-natured man that he is. But when I repeated the quip to my husband a few hours later, he just looked at me grimly and said “You don’t joke about things like that.”

Listen, I’ve survived a 28 hour labour and as many caesareans as I’ve had children (uh, that’s three) – one of which without an adequate anaesthetic (now I’m just showing off) – and I can still crack a joke about it. I’ve surrendered my stomach, pelvic floor and breasts to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding  and let me tell you, there’s comedy gold in dem dar hills. So what is it about men and a minor procedure on their balls that makes it strictly off-limits for the making of funnies? 

Of course, it’s not always a simple procedure and I’m big enough to acknowledge that. Our dear friend Uncle B couldn’t ride his bicycle to work for six months following his visit to the “Butcher of Altona” and has suspected for a while that the vet who fixed Genghis Cat probably would have done a much better job on him. Hell, Tiddles McGee probably would have done a better job with a pair of crafting scissors and some gaffer tape. 

Not to belittle Uncle B’s pain or anything, here’s the facts: in 2006, the mortality rate for women in childbirth in Australia was 6 in every 100,000. Even with my superior googling skills, I’m hard-pressed to find a mortality rate directly related to vasectomies. And yet, light-hearted comedies such as “She’s Having A Baby” and “Nine months” keep being made, no doubt dreamed up by men. Can you at all imagine the same people would ever make “He’s Getting the Snip?” or “Thirty Minutes in Surgery plus Two Full Days in Bed?” 

Now I promised myself I’d be good. That I wouldn’t gripe about the two full days in bed my husband got to watch “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy, following his minor surgical procedure, while his loving wife waited on him hand and foot. And I also certainly would never dream of mentioning that  I –  despite having undergone major stomach surgery – had to delicately negotiate a breast-feeding treaty with a newborn who Simply Would Not Sleep, all the while dealing with Midwives who either worked as dominatrixes in their spare time or just simply Had It In For Me. And whatsmore I did that not just once but THREE TIMES.

You see, I wouldn’t want to come over all bitter and twisted and grumpy. Oh no. I thoroughly appreciate that my husband has taken the birth control issue completely out of my hands, especially after I had to deal with years of dealing with pill-related migraines and those numerous ‘losing an eye’ near-miss experiences with diaphragms and putting up with endless complaints about condoms “just not feeling the same”… Oh, look at me, look at me and the litany of injustices I’ve had to endure… So before this all goes to far, let me just return to my original statement about never EVER being able to understand the bond between a man and his balls and let’s just leave it at that while I just quietly crawl back into my corner to lick my caesarean wounds.

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