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Posts Tagged ‘Ideas Person’

My husband and I spent our honeymoon treading water outside a swim-up bar in a resort. Fact.

We’d never had a holiday like it and we’ve never had one since. It was pure R&R – we ambled lazily between bed, buffet, beach, bar and back to bed and were left wanting for nothing. It was the perfect way to de-stress after our wedding – at least for me, that is. My husband had himself a bad case of scabies and spent all day and night itching like fuck, but that’s neither here or there. *I* had a great time and, as we all know, it’s All About Me.

At the time, I remember thinking the resort would be the perfect place to come for a family holiday. But now that I’ve been initiated into the Parent Hood, I’m not so sure.

For one thing, while I haven’t seen anything formally in writing, I expect Social Services frowns upon tying your children’s swimming rings in a row behind you (like so many ducklings) at the swim-up bar, while you knock back absinthe-based cocktails with names like ‘Monkey Gland’ and ‘Sweaty Bollocks’.

For another thing, something like the ‘Kids Club’ might seem an ideal way of claiming some ‘Me Time’, but the cost of sending three kids for the day? You might as well be sending them to a Swiss Finishing School. Although I have to say that I’ve long-since been planning to sew a special suit for my kids so that they look like conjoined triplets and get in for the cost of one child. The age differences would take some explaining but I could probably say I was in labour for over six years and squeezed them out in two year intervals… which, now that I really think about it, might garner me some sympathy over at the Sunset Bar in the form of a complimentary cocktail served in an ice bucket with an extra long swirly straw and half a pineapple stuck on the side. Yes, I’m an Ideas Person.

Look, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “A family holiday isn’t about the selfish pursuit of relaxation (i.e. drinking) but about creating special family ‘together time’ away from the stresses and strains of everyday living.”

Sure, I love spending time with my family without living in the shadow of the undone dishes, dirty washing and cooking. But as a notorious tight-arse who smuggles her own home-made popcorn into the cinema, I balk at the idea of buying three meals out a day as you invariably do on holiday. When you’re an adult, you can always substitute real food with more alcohol,  but kids need feeding – especially when you have a teenage boy-in-training  like Mr Justice who can work a buffet better than his mother can work a free bar. Of course, if we only paid for one meal a day at the resort buffet, I could get turn all Fagen-esque and train the kids to stuff bread, cold meats and salads into their Conjoined Triplet Suit… Ideas. Always with the ideas…

In any case, the bottom line is this: almost every family holiday we have ever taken has ended with severe car failure, acute vomiting and/or friction burns from swiping our credit card too much. It hardly seems worth it.

Which is why my holiday of choice is getting all three kids asleep in their beds before 9PM and beating a clear path to my arm chair with a large box of Cadbury’s Roses tucked under my arm.

Of course, I’m happy to be proved wrong…

This post is my submission to the Kidspot’s Top 50 Blog Your Way To Dunk Island competition (which you might have guessed by its title). You can vote for me here and help me win a family holiday where I’ll get to jump up and down on a beach in a crocheted bikini, punching the air and alarming innocent onlookers.

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I don’t lie very often. I’d like to say it’s because I have strong internal moral compass and a keen sense of Right and Wrong. But no, I generally don’t lie because, like a lot of people, I’m worried I’ll get caught.

The other day, Mother of Master L asked me to pass on her apologies at the kindergarten committee meeting. Turns out she’d got free passes to see a film in Gold Class with her husband. (If you don’t know what Gold Class is, some people look upon it as mainstream cinema with comfy seats and alcohol. I personally look upon it as a chance to drink copious amounts of alcohol in an almost fully reclined position in a place where a movie also happens to be playing).

Anyway, in the words of my high school diary: I was shocked! Gold Class instead of the kindergarten committee meeting? Where was Mother of Master L’s sense of community spirit? I, in stark contrast, am always the very embodiment of such spirit when I sit through those meetings, perched on one of the kindergarten chairs, my knees around my ears and my eyes fixed firmly on the Secretary’s watch in an attempt to stay awake. And before you start thinking ill of me (well, more ill of me), it’s not because I don’t care about the kindergarten or its community. I do. Very much. It’s just that I don’t have a head for the details. I’m an ideas person remember! IDEAS! NOT DETAILS! Now, what were we talking about again?

Anyway, when I passed on MoML’s apologies that evening, the President of the Committee noted her absence without question. I was surprised. I thought that you’d need to give a reason to miss a committee meeting such as “I’m really very sick indeed”. Because that’s what I’d probably say if I were skipping off to Gold Class instead of the meeting.

But then, thinking about it, if I did say I was sick, the President of the Kindergarten Committee (a kindly person) would probably swing past my house after the meeting bearing freshly baked goods. And then the door’d be answered by the babysitter and the Chain of Deceit would continue because the babysitter would have to make something up on the spot, like “Sick? Oh, yes, [The NDM] is sick…. in fact SO sick her husband had to her to hospital!! Yeah, she’s sooo in hospital right now”.  And then, when the babysitter grew reluctant to provide any further details, the President of the Kindergarten Committee would be left with no choice but to Assume The Very Worst. And she’d go straight home to do a quick ring around and form an emergency Prayer Circle for me. And then one of the Circle would suggest the group convene in front of my house in an all-night candlelit vigil and, before you know it, word would whip around the neighbourhood and a steady stream of people would be joining them in the power of Front Yard Prayer. And then, in one corner, someone would start a quilting bee to make a patchwork eiderdown to nurse me back to good health, with “OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU, NDM” carefully hand-stitched in the centre by someone’s grandmother with ailing eyesight and arthritic fingers, painstakingly working by candlelight. And then a hat would be past around and people would dig very deep, even into their own personal savings, and a sizeable amount would be raised in a very short time. And somewhere, someone would start singing a rousing hymn and slowly, one by one, everyone would join in, tears streaming down their faces as they thought of how full of life I’d been just that very afternoon.

At which point, my husband and I would arrive home drunk in a taxi, with tell-tale signs of Choc Tops smeared across the front of our shirts.

So no, I don’t tell lies. I don’t “do” Gold Class. In fact, I rarely leave my house at night, except to go to Kindergarten Committee Meetings, of course. After this post, I ain’t missing any of those ever again, that’s for damn sure.

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Before I know it, it will be upon me: the inevitable return to more “gainful” employment. With two out of three children potentially at school next year and Mr McGee starting kindergarten, it is only a matter of time…

Of course, mostly I’m relying on an anonymous but incredibly wealthy patron offering to pay me to write about my children’s amusing vomiting escapades. As far as planning for the future goes, I think this is entirely realistic

ANYWAY, of my local mothers’ group, MW will be the first cab out of the ranks next year with both her kids at school. Everyone keeps telling her she won’t know herself. I suspect that she will still know herself but will probably advise her to have her name and Tax File Number tattooed on the back of her hand. Just in case. 

So there MW was the other day, talking to me about how she’d been trying to think of a business plan that could utilise all of the various skills we have in our mothers’ group. Perhaps an idea for a business in an area where we weren’t necessarily experts but where we might had some untapped talents that could be developed and earn us a bit of money.

I leant forward, slightly incredulous and yet excited at the same time: “Are you thinking of starting a brothel??”

MW laughed. “Nooooo!” she said. “I was thinking more along the lines of a catering business!”

But it was too late. In my mind her business plan was set. We were going to start the Best Little Whorehouse in West Blah-Blah-Blah. Although possibly without actual sex on the menu – I mean, c’mon! Who’s got the energy for that shit? Maybe men could pay to watch us nap. Or watch us hang out the washing, empty the compost bin or rearrange the plastic containers cupboard. You know, all the things that seem to drive our poor neglected husbands crazy with desire.

Or, if we wanted to get really racy, we could stand around licking cake mix off our fingers, Nigella Lawson-style. Or iron and fold the patron’s underwear for them. Or even count to three and then put them on the Naughty Spot for hours at a time…

But then something happened which pushed this Business Plan into a whole new exciting direction… At a mothers’ group gathering the following evening, I made a special point of telling everyone – including the menfolk in attendance – about MW’s Business Plan. As the mothers started excitedly bandying about ideas, I became aware of my husband and a fellow dad standing quietly in the corner, “Just Listening”.

And I realised then and there, that men might even pay us just to talk about starting a whorehouse. Which, when you think about it, is exactly my kind of Business Plan: all talk, no action. Sorted.

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Every idea, even the bad and the exceedingly strange ones, had to have had a moment of conception. I mean, someone somewhere had to have come up with the initial idea for Hooked on Classics (“Let’s breathe new life into the musical medley format by adding an infectious disco beat!”) or for a flopster film like Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! (“Sly Stallone really should do more comedy…”) or even the Bratz franchise (“We’re bringing sexy back… to the pre-teen market!”).

I personally have always wished I could have been there when they came up with the concept for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I like to think the conversation went a little something like this:

PERSON A: Hey, let’s do a cartoon series about a bunch of teenagers who fight crime… 

PERSON B: Uh, I think Scooby Doo covered that. 

A: Okay, okay. But what if these kids were trained in the deadly martial arts of the Exotic Far East?

B: Nah, too Karate Kid

A: What if.. what if… they’re wise-crackin’ crime-fightin’ ninja-trained TURTLES!

B: Meh…

A: MUTANT turtles!

B: Now you’re talking…

A: And their ninja master is a giant anthropomorphic rat!

B: Keep it coming!

A: And they say stuff like “Cowabunga!” and “What the shell?” and… and.. and “Let’s turtlize them!”

B: Aw, yeah… Bring it home, baby!

A: And they’re named after Renaissance artists!

[Pause]

B: Aw, now you’ve gone and blown your ride… and yet… it’s so crazy, it might just work…

Yep, I was pretty sure that’s how it would have gone. Except I’ve now since read on Wikipedia that the TMNT concept “arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Kevin Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming with his friend Peter Laird”, which is quite possibly a polite way of saying they were on mind-enhancing drugs at the time.

Anyway, to save dear Mr Eastman and Mr Laird from further damage to their brain-cells, I came up with some possible “Joanie loves Chachi”-style spin-offs for a variety of different age groups:

FKLTL: Freakish Kabuki-Loving Toddling Lizards

TRLGG: Tweenie Reptilomorph Labyrinthodontic Geisha Girls

MLCASW: Mid-Life-Critical Amphisbaenian Sumo Wrestlers

OAPDTS: Old Age Pensioner Deviant Trouser Snakes

And that’s just for starters. How many times do I have to spell it out for you people? IDEAS. PERSON.

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There’s one thing that a Not Drowning Mother of small children dreads more than a Gastro Trifecta (that’s three children vomiting in the same night for the uninitiated) and that’s The Teenage Years. (*Shudder*). And I have good reason to dread those years: The Pixie, at the ripe old age of four and a half, is already showing incredible form as one helluva Teenage Girl.

Just the other day, I took her to a particular park at her insistent request.

[An aside: I have made no secret of my disdain for park-going on this blog but I take my children to the park because a) I love them and like to make them happy; and b) it is an effective way of killing time on Those Days Which Seem Like Months. For the record: I think parks would be vastly improved by having swiveling chairs in the middle of the playground, allowing parents 360° supervision without ever having to leave their seats. Remote-control operated swings, self-draining slides and free champagne-fountains are amongst my other park innovations. And yes, I’m an ideas person.]

ANYWAY, after an hour of Top Shelf Parenting, including pushing both The Pixie and Tiddles McGee on the swings, holding their full weight so they could “swing” on the monkeybars and getting tanbark in my goddamn shoes, I managed to shepherd them back into the car.

I had just strapped them both in and handed out my Exit Strategy snacks when The Pixie suddenly announced: “That wasn’t the adventure park I meant. That’s the Wooden Adventure Park. I meant the Airplane Adventure Park.”

Then, before I’d fully registered what she had just said, she cheerfully added: “Today is a great day because we get to visit two adventure parks. Yayyy!!!!” And she started clapping so enthusiastically, that Tiddles McGee started clapping and going “Yaayyyy!!!”, too.

Luckily, I had a planned visit from The Pixie’s beloved KT to play as a trump card. “Oh, we haven’t got time to go to another park because KT’s coming over!”, I said in my best “Oh what a pity!” voice. And I merrily started driving home.

After a little while, The Pixie piped up again.

“Mummy, can I go to KT’s house after she comes to our house?”

“No, sweetheart. Not today.”

The Pixie then smiled very sweetly at me through the rear-view mirror in that way that beauty counter attendants do when they’re about to call the manager.

“Let’s see what KT says,” she said.

“I said ‘No’, sweetie.”

“Okay. But let’s see what KT says.”

“It doesn’t matter what KT says, because I’ve said NO!” I said somewhat emphatically, before practically growling: “And I’m the Mummy here.

“Let’s just see,” she replied, unperturbed.

“I SAID ‘NO’!” (Yes, screaming crazy bitch time).

There followed a brief shocked silence in the car when I almost thought I might have reasserted my authority… But then… The Pixie started whispering “Let’s see what KT says” to herself under her breath like some kind of mantra All. The. Way. Home.

Luckily for me, I’ve already convinced my very fashionable friend GT to have The Pixie during her teenage years on the pretence that GT can “teach her about hair, makeup and fashion.” And “GT will have her! GT will have her!” became my little mantra as I drove that exceedingly long 5 minute journey home, punctuated by the occasional “Sheesh!” and “I’m the Mummy here!”.

Ha! Who am I kidding?

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Mistress M and I have a plan. We’ve got this fantastic product we want to take to market. It’s truly a great idea (admittedly Mistress M’s) and it will make us rich, I tells ya. Rich! 

I can’t tell you what it is because it’s so friggin’ good that I’d have to kill you if I told you and not only am I disinclined to kill people as a general rule, it also might prove to be a very difficult thing to do via your computer keyboard, unless of course I developed one of those kick-ass superpowers which allows me to send huge currents of electricity across the internet just by thinking about it, and since that just happens to be one of the Other Things I’ve been working on for a while now, I really don’t want to put your life in jeopardy just because I can’t keep my big mouth shut. 

So just trust me when I tell you that our product idea is really good and let’s leave it at that. 

And no, for those poor poor people who follow me on Twitter, it is not the Berocca-fueled car I’ve been recently talking about. (Brilliant, I know. Two words: Ideas. Person.)

Anyway, our NPD (New Product Development) hasn’t gone any farther than the drinking-too-much-cheap-champagne-and-talking-about-it-very-excitedly stage (also known as the “Drinking Piss and Talking Shit” stage). Which we like to do a lot. Like a lot a lot. 

My husband is growing skeptical about how business-minded I really am and has started muttering about how I should be putting receipts from my alcho-mart trips aside because they might end up being tax-deductable.

“We’re brainstorming!” I told him. “We’re blue sky mining! We’re looking for white space opportunities! In fact this white space is so white because we’ve failed to do anything with it. And the champagne is an integral part: they don’t call this stage of NPD the fuzzy front end’ for nothing.”

“Okay, okay. Obviously I don’t understand the pressures of heading up a start-up company like you,” my husband conceded. “So does that make Mistress M the Product Manager and you the Marketing Director?”

“Yes. But I’m one of ‘The Creatives’ too. Don’t forget I’m ‘creative’!” I was quick to add. “Oh, and I’m also the Mail Girl, NDM in Accounts Payable, and That Strange Girl With Glasses Who Does The Photocopying That Keeps Banging On About Berocca-Fueled Cars .”

Yes, indeed. With all those strings to my bow, I consider myself to be a great asset to this venture. I’m sure Mistress M does too. 

Anyway I know there are a few more stages ahead before we can get this exciting product of ours to market: we’ve got to track consumer and retailing trends, knock up a prototype and get the product through Clinical Trials and approved by the FDA. Then there’s the viral-marketing, infomercial and thinly-disguised advertorial strategy to work out. Also we have to spend time adjusting column widths and what-not in Excel to work out profit margins and tax-efficient revenue streams (and that) and knock up heaps of animated slides in PowerPoint so that we can make future presentations to investment bankers when we’re ready to float the company. And, of course, there’s the Product Launch Party to prepare for, too. 

Hmm, my finely-honed business instincts tell me that we should probably be focusing on the launch party right now. It’s imperative that we are both able to drink a lot while still being able to talk enthusiastically (and coherently) about the product and without vomiting on anyone’s shoes. Absolutely imperative. 

So watch this space, people!

(Okay, so maybe not literally watch it as I’m sure you have other much better things to do with your lives and, let’s face it, this is going to take a long long time.)

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It’s no secret that my mind likes to go on the occasional mini-break. I’d like to think it’s because I’m basically an “Ideas Person” but, in reality, it’s mostly because I’m so very very bored.  

Just recently I found myself thinking how people working on the front counter at a fast-food joint could always supplement their income by working as a “civil process server” on the side. And then, when they serve people hamburgers and fries, they can also serve them with legal documents such as divorce papers or writs. See? It’s so obvious, I don’t know why more people don’t do it. 

Same could apply to working in a 1970s-style department store, such as “Grace Brothers”, where you can flounce about gaily saying “Are you being served?” to the customers and then, when they say “No, I’m not”, you can suddenly turn all serious and, handing them their divorce papers, say “Well, you are now.”

Of course there’s that small problem of ensuring that the person you need to serve important legal documents to will come to your primary place of employment. You could be waiting a long time, perhaps even decades, if you work in a big city. I guess you could always mail them a “50% discount voucher” for your store, only to be redeemed during the hours of your next shift. But the effort and cost of printing and mailing these might somewhat detract from the simple elegance of the “double serve” as I first presented it.

Also, there would be that legal hurdle of getting them to confirm that they are, in fact, the Right Person before you serve them. I expect your employer might not take kindly to you breaking protocol by saying “Are you [insert name]?” to every woman who came to your register instead of “Welcome to McDonalds, can I take your order please?”. For example. McDonalds are very particular about these things, as a rule. Except at the McDonalds near my doctor’s where the guy on the drive-thru calls me “champ” and says stuff like “Too easy.” Well, it might be “too easy” for him but not for me, okay? Not. For. Me. 

Talking of “too easy”, I can only conclude that it would really would be much easier for civil process servers to serve papers to people working in the service industry because they tend to wear name-tags (and thus are more readily identifiable). Also, the “service” aspect of their job means they should be generally more receptive to strangers approaching them unexpectedly – even those cheerlessly waving summonses under their noses.

Anyway, I guess now that you can serve notices over facebook (really rooly truly in Australia and New Zealand), a more tech-savvy Civic Process Server probably would never bother with my double serve solution ANYWAY.

Except I’m still trying to get trying to get my head around how that’s even possible on facebook? Would you send an anonymous invitation to do “The Bestest Facebook Quiz Ever?” to the person you’re trying to serve? And then, when they take that Bestest Quiz Ever (which they definitely would because taking quizzes is about the only thing that anyone ever does on facebook), it consists of one question and one question only: “Are you [insert their full name]?”. And when they answer “Yes”, another screen pops up with the words “Consider yourself served!” and one of those animated smiley faces blowing a raspberry. And then the summons will be automatically downloaded onto their computer, perhaps even with a few megabytes of hard-core porn just in case the charges you’ve got them up against don’t stick and you’ll have something else to get them with.

At least, that’s how I’d do it. What did I say again? “Ideas person”.

Oh, and just mind-numbingly and most desperately bored.

.

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