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Posts Tagged ‘Geneva Convention’

You’ve probably seen me on telly, you know. I made a brief – yet pivotal – appearance on ‘Deal Or No Deal’ in 2004. Remember that suburban housewife in the audience crossing her arms and shouting ‘NO DEAL!’? Yep, that was me.

So I was excited to hear that my friend The Mild Mannered Lawyer was following in my footsteps and making her own appearance on an Australian game show of note. Except I was less excited to discover that, after the show had been taped last week, she was tight-lipped about the results. It turns out the production company in question made her ‘pinky swear’ that she would keep them to herself until the show was aired, later this month.

It also just happened that she was due to be a guest of ours at our Country Retreat (also known as my mother’s house in ‘Blinkton’) the very next weekend.

“She may be a millionaire!” I told my husband a few days before the weekend. “If we’re really really nice to her, she might give us money. MONEY!”

I shook him by the shoulders.

“MONEY!!!” I repeated, for good measure.

“How much ‘MONEY’ are we talking here?” my husband asked.

“That’s it,” I said. “I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I paced around the loungeroom for a while, thinking, thinking, thinking. Then, I had it. My plan.

“We should get her really very extremely drunk and make her play ‘Truth, Dare or Torture’,” I said. “If she chooses ‘Truth’, she has to tell us if she won any money. If she chooses ‘Dare’, I’ll dare her to break the terms and conditions of her contract with [production company]. And if she chooses ‘Torture’, well, we’ll be in the middle of nowhere, won’t we? I mean, no-one will hear her scream…

Now before you start getting the wrong idea, I was only planning to talk about my farts in her presence. You see, the MML has made it clear in the past that this is a kind of torture for her  – and luckily for me, there’s nothing in the Geneva Convention that prohibits fart-talk. Nothing. Not a sausage. Not even a sausage-flavoured fart.

The MML, for her mild-manneredness, knew something was brewing. She tried to email me ‘drunken rant topics’ in advance to set some kind of conversation agenda for our (drunken) time together. But she wasn’t expecting the fart anecdotes. That was my little secret weapon and I was going to keep it… ‘secret’.

Anyway, my plan all ready, I greeted The MML warmly in Blinkford last Saturday. We even went out to dinner, just the two of us, while my husband and my mother tried to get the five children to bed back at home. But I’m sorry to say that my plan didn’t exactly go to… ‘plan’.

The truth? If anyone got “really very extremely drunk”, it was me.

The dare? Well, the only thing even vaguely daring we did was sit in the front bar of the Blinkton pub and drink a bottle of champagne. Moreoever, having whispered to each other that we should respect the Men’s Pub Code and not talk about menstruation or urinary tract infections while sitting there, we then proceeded to chat loudly about school lunches. Yes, school lunches.

The torture? The knowledge that I will never have a career in espionage, international or otherwise. You see, I totally forgot to talk about farting. I mean, how could I forget to talk about farting? In fact, I even forgot I was supposed to finding out about the money. And I didn’t even fart during dinner so now I can’t even turn the whole thing into a fart anecdote on my goddamn blog.

(*shakes fist*)

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I came home from a party the other day with two helium balloons, which many might regard as an innocent enough act. However, I should point out that, at the time, I was also in possession of three children. You do the maths.

At first I seemed to be getting away it. Tiddles McGee was more interested in the glow-in-the-dark bracelet from his party bag (which later led to a glow-in-the-dark mouth and a call to the Poisons Hotline – but that’s a story for another day) and all was quiet on the western suburbs front. The sun was shining, the sugar from the party bags hadn’t yet kicked in, the balloons quietly wafted in the breeze, suspended by strings tied firmly to the older two children’s wrists (I’ve learnt that trick the Hard Way with a $15 Wiggles balloon that was relinquished to the beckoning skies by a small hand *before we even got back to the car*… aaah my heart still grieves for that $15). Other than the risk of blood supply to the kids’ hands being cut off by the balloon strings, the afternoon ahead was looking goooooood. “Two balloons is more than enough”, I said to myself in that gay, reckless manner that usually precedes a big big fall. “It’s all goooooooooood.”

Cut to: world war three in my loungeroom as all three children rush between balloons trying to violently claim ownership. As The Pixie clamps her jaw firmly around Mr Justice’s wrist, adding teeth imprints to the already-alarming string mark, I calmly reflect that the inclusion of sugar in this kind of scenario never helps. But at the end of the day, it comes down to a simple matter of mathematics: one balloon (or more – NOT less) to each child. It’s all laid out in the Geneva Convention in their Balloon-to-Child Ratio recommendations. It really truly it is. (Okay, so it’s not. But it should be.)

It’s interesting how the underlying principles of the balloon-to-child ratio can apply to other areas, such as the packaging of certain chocolate bars or other confectionary, such as Bounty Bars or Twinkies. All very nice if you have two children – or even one child (they get everything) – but, really, anything that comes in a twin-pack should be avoided when you have three children. (I must add that four or more children pushes you into the realm of the Bulk Buy, which most of us don’t get to until our sons hit adolescence… shudder…). 

The most important twin-pack to a child, of course, are parents – who tend to come in twos. This makes it very hard to divide precious parental attention into three whilst maintaining good parental mental health. When we had one child, my husband and I used to take turns either childwrangling or clinging onto our pre-child life. When we had two, we could have one child each OR one of us could have two and be somewhat fortified by the fact that at least the other was off tripping the light fantastic. Nowadays, one of us can be struggling in public with both Mr J & The Pixie – and someone *still* has to stay at home to be Tiddles McGee’s bitch.

Not that I’m complaining. I’m grateful for the three children I have – I know when they’re all clambering up for a hug on my lap at the same time (Lordy! Even my knees come in a twin-pack!), that I’m a very very lucky woman. The only time it becomes really tricky is when you have a situation such as a serious breach of the Balloon-to-Child ratio, when I honestly think I would have been better off raising Sea Monkeys. Sea Monkeys don’t like balloons.

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