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Posts Tagged ‘imaginary conversations’

“How do you do it, NDM?” people often ask me. “How do you effortlessly come up with hil-a-rious blog topics week after week, month after month?”

“Gee, thanks for asking this question so that I could use it in the opening paragraph of this post.” I say to the people. “I mean, anyone might think that I just made this whole conversation up just so I’d have something to blog about!”

Indeed, only yesterday, I woke to find I couldn’t think of anything to write about. Absolutely nothing.

In a mild panic, I turned to twitter, as I often do when I have an important question such as “Soy yoghurt… What fresh hell is this?” and “How many black hairs do you need to have growing out of your chin before it can be classified as a beard?”.

I tweeted:

“Anyone care to suggest a topic for tomorrow’s NDM post? My mind is as blank as the cheque I will pay you with.”

Of course, I didn’t mention that the blank cheque would be so incredibly blank that it would actually just be a piece of paper and any demands to honour the promise of payment for topic ideas would be met with an even blanker look on my face. Anyway, turns out that my question drew the biggest blank of all because the only reply I had was from my friend SpiltMilk, who said:

“Julia Gillard’s hair and marital status. Not enough people are writing about these crucial issues!”

She was right. Not nearly enough. Because if enough people DID write about Julia’s hair and de facto relationship, we could totally pretend that the environment, the economy, immigration, public health and education and almost anything else that actually matters didn’t exist at all.

For those of you who don’t live in Australia, we’re three weeks into a federal election campaign. On one side, we have Tony Abbott, the embarrassing – and slightly creepy – uncle you’re worried is going to express his opinions on gay marriage in front of your cool friends. And on the other side, we have Julia Gillard, the Catch Phrase Queen, whose “Moving Australia Forward” response to any question is just like the Daleks’ “Exterminate!”, except from all reports Gillard can climb stairs, unlike the Daleks who don’t even have great hair to recommend them.

But there I am, blogging about Julia Gillard’s hair like everyone else. This is what this election is doing to me. The elections ruins lives, people! Yes, ruins lives!

The election means my husband has to work seven days a week for the entire campaign and is seen stroking his Electronic Mistress even when he’s not working. The election made my husband bail out of a christening on the way to it, leaving me to wrestle the three kids in a cold church on my own, while he went into his office in the city. At one point, McGee and Pixie both sat on my lap and began moving around so much that we began to resemble a writhing pit of snakes. At another point, Mr Justice, who’d been gazing at the crucifix, exclaimed loudly “When you told me about Jesus and the cross, you didn’t tell me it was like that!”. And, to secure my place in hell, I found myself texting my husband the following message: “The service has just finished. The kids are possessed by the devil. YOU. FUCKING. OWE. ME” See? The election made me swear via SMS in a church. IN A CHURCH.

And now the election has made my mind completely blank. BLANK. I think it might be because if I try too hard to think about things, all I can see is this. Yes, that’s why my mind is blank. And I think I’ll keep it that way for the time being, if you don’t mind.

What’s that? Oh, it’s the people saying that they don’t mind at all. In fact, they’re telling me to sit back and relax and to open another bottle of wine…

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An imaginary conversation between The NDM and An Imaginary Friend about Real Events. 

NDM: God, I had an awful day yesterday. 

FRIEND: Oh, dear. I’m listening…

NDM: I went to [insert name of local monster mall] with the three kids but without a stroller…

FRIEND: Oh, I think I know where this is heading… 

NDM: We went to Sanity Records first because I wanted to exchange those Deadwood disks. Except I couldn’t find the receipt and was expecting a bit of a fight. But the guy there was really helpful, remembered me from the time I’d made my original purchase and swapped them straight over. 

FRIEND: And the kids? (Shifts slightly in seat in anticipation) What did they do?

NDM: They just browsed through the DVD bargain bin.

FRIEND: (disappointed) Oh. 

NDM: And then we all had to walk right to the other side of the centre to go to EB Games to get a Wii disk polished. 

FRIEND: (perking up) And?

NDM: We stopped to look at things along the way. There’s lots of interesting things to look at in shop windows if you take the time to stop and look. Which we did. And when we got to EB Games, the teenage shop assistant was very helpful as well and the children and I enjoyed looking at all the different Wii accessories while we waited. There’s quite a lot, you know. Even a little steering wheel. Although I think it’s probably called a steering Wii-l.

FRIEND: (stifles yawn) Right. 

NDM: It was all going so well that I decided to push my luck even further and pick up some groceries at Safeway on our way out. 

FRIEND: (mutters to self) Here comes the money shot, surely…

NDM: I let everyone carry their own basket…

FRIEND: …And… AND??

NDM: It took us no time at all.  And we sang songs together in the car on the way home. (PAUSE) And that’s it. 

FRIEND: That’s it?? That’s your “awful day”??

NDM: Yes, that’s it. That’s my awful day. 

FRIEND: I don’t understand. Where’s the crisis?

NDM: Where’s the crisis? WHERE’S THE CRISIS? The crisis is there is no fucking crisis. How on earth am I going to blog about that???

FRIEND: Shit.

NDM: SHIT. 

FRIEND: I’m sure you’ll find a way.

NDM: Not bloody likely.

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On Sunday morning I found myself standing at the supermarket checkout behind an unnervingly good-looking Young Man doing what I’d call a “bachelor boy shop”: a litre of orange juice, an apple and some Lynx deodorant. And there was little old me, in my tracky-dacks and birkenstocks, buying a bumper box of sanitary hygiene products and (as per my husband’s request) “a shit load of pegs”.

I watched the Young Man carefully place a divider between our shopping items and thought about tapping him on the shoulder and saying “Uh, I think they’ll know where your shopping ends and mine begins.” But I didn’t, mostly because I didn’t trust myself not to lick my lips salaciously while doing it. He really was That Good Looking.

Then I began thinking of saying things like “I once was young and beautiful too, you know.” and then “Well, I was once young…”. Or perhaps even a little soliloquy like “My life is not so different to yours, actually, buddy. In case you were, like, wondering… For one thing, we both look like we’ve been up for most of the night. Admittedly it’s unlikely to be for the same reasons… Let’s just say that the kind of stains I’ll be washing out from my sheets later this morning are of a completely different nature from the stains you’ll probably be washing out of yours.”

And then, I thought to myself, that it was exactly this kind of statement that made Young Men like him not really want to talk to me much, even when I was young. So I changed tack in the conversation, which you can do quite easily when it is entirely imaginary. 

“Yeah, being a parent is just like taking drugs, man,” I imagined myself saying to him. Which was something some friends and I had conversed about wittily just the other day (a non-imaginary conversation, actually). We had decided that both parenting and (some) drug-taking are the same in that they are “life-style choices” that are all-consuming and expensive. And, we concluded, if you do too much of either, you could do yourself some serious long-term damage.

“Except,” I had announced to my friends at the time. “One makes you fat and the other one makes you thin.”

We had all laughed at this but then I had suddenly stopped laughing to say: “Shit, I obviously chose the wrong thing.”

“And I obviously chose the wrong drug,” my friend Mzzzz E had piped up. And we had all laughed again because she was So Clearly Hot. 

But then I stopped imagining myself telling the Young Man about Mzzzz E at this point because I realised he would totally fancy the pants off her and this moment was about Him and Me, even if he had actually paid for his three items and already left the supermarket. That’s the greatest thing about imaginary conversations: the person you’re talking to doesn’t even have to be there. Genius. 

Anyway, when I finally got outside, I wasn’t at all surprised to find my husband sitting in the Love Bus and gazing longingly at the Young Man as he put his shopping away in his bicycle panniers. As I said, he really was That Good Looking.

“He’s really, really, ridiculously good looking, isn’t he?” I whispered, as I got into the car.

“What?” my husband said. “I was checking this guy’s bicycle out. It’s a beauty.”

And he licked his lips salaciously.

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