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Posts Tagged ‘Mzzz E’

I regard my friend Mzzz E as one of my most effective ‘channels to market’  when it comes to my good works as an international trendsetter. After all, when I first briefed her about ‘Awks Giraffe‘, it took less than a week for one of her supercool friends to be using it on Facebook. Yes, Facebook.

So I couldn’t wait to pitch a new trend I’d been working on to her when we caught up the other day.

“I’ve got this idea, right?” I began. “I’m thinking of doing a ‘What’s HOT and what’s NOT list for Christmas’.”

“Tell me about it,” Mzzz E said, all ears.

“Well, because everything I write as being HOT, I end up then dissing anyway and anything that I write as NOT kind of becomes hot simply because I, the NDM, am writing about it… I thought I should morph the two terms so it becomes what is H’NOT this Christmas,” I concluded, triumphantly.

“What?” Mzzzz E said.

“H’NOT!” I repeated, with gusto.

“… And?” Mzzzz E said.

“It’s neither HOT nor NOT. It’s H’NOT!” I repeated again, widening my smile to the point of almost cracking my face in two.

She just looked blankly back at me. At that moment, I swear I could hear a tree falling alone in a forest.

To be honest, I must admit I felt hurt and a little confused. I mean, c’mon people!  She was an instant adopter of ‘Awks Giraffe’ but wasn’t going to touch ‘H’NOT’? The mind boggled. H’NOT was so…. so…. H’NOT!

The topic of conversation swiftly changed and any attempts to put H’NOT back on the table were swiftly dismissed by the obviously discerning Mzzz E. Eventually, I let it go.

Then, yesterday morning, after an hour of sitting at my computer trying to work out what the hell I could write about this week, I burst out of my room, all smiles.

“I’ve got it!” I said to my husband. “I’m going to blog about ‘H’NOT’! And how Mzzz E refused to board the H’NOT train! And how that’s all her mistake because that there train’s an express to the stars, baby!”

[Which, now I think about it, probably makes it more a rocket ship than a train, but somehow, saying Mzzz E was refusing to board the H’NOT rocket ship doesn’t sound as good.]

“You’re really scratching around for material at this time of year, aren’t you?” my husband responded, shaking his head.

“That in its very self is so H’NOT, it’s not funny,” I replied.

HOT. NOT.

H’NOT.

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There’s not much to be recommended about starting work at 6am, except, perhaps, the possibility of knocking off early.

“Why, I can be home by 2:30!” my husband recently said, trying to look at the upside of his working hours.

“You can but you rarely are,” I corrected him. More often than not he’s not home until 4pm, conveniently after the school run. Funny, that.

“Okay, okay,” my husband said. “So I can be home by 2:30 if I have to.”

“If you have to? Is that what you think of your life here at home – as something you only do if you have to??” I was quick to accuse. My poor husband. Conversations with me must be like running blindfolded through a minefield while being chased by rabid she-dogs with PMT.

Still, it must be said that my husband and I have completely different concepts of time. I don’t feel like any of the time I take away from my family duties ever really feels like my own – it’s simply feels borrowed. And my husband? Well, let’s just say he has a greater sense of ownership over ‘his’ time.

Here’s an example: the other day he was supposed to be working a half-day – finishing at 10:30. He’d arranged to have ‘an early lunch’ with a colleague who leaving work forever that day. At 3:15pm, I rang him, asking if he was almost home. 

“Um, almost…” he replied. There was a lot of noise in the background. 

“Are you still at lunch?” I asked.

“Oh, no. Of course not!” was his quick response. “That finished ages ago. But here’s the thing, see… I was at the bus stop waiting to go home when [another friend] rang and asked me out for a beer.”

“So you’re at the pub,” I said.

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

“And not, for example, about to meet me at the school so that we can attend the meeting with Pixie’s teacher that you, yourself, arranged?” 

“Ah, no. No, I’m not,” he admitted, before adding cheerfully: “But you can go and show that at least one of us is a responsible parent!”

As you can imagine, when he got home over an hour later, I had a few words to say on the subject.

“All it takes is a phone call,” I said, sulkily. “I think you take it for granted that I’ll just look after the kids and do all the responsible things while you go do whatever the hell you want.”

“You know I’m always happy to do the same for you!” he replied with the air of somebody who’d just spent the afternoon at the pub.  

Now it’s here that I should give my husband some credit: he applies the same standards to my time management as he does to his own. He’s always saying “Go out and have fun! Don’t come home unless you’re completely shit-faced or in the back of a paddy wagon!” – partly because he knows the chances of me doing it are negligible. 

He decided to reiterate that point: “You know what’d I’d say if you rang me, saying you’d just taken a bad acid trip and were stuck at a rock festival for a week with Mzzz E?”.

“I don’t know. What would you say?” I asked. 

“Um, I’d say something. I just have to think what…” he mumbled. “Anyway, you’re off duty now for the rest of the evening. I’m here! I’m in charge! You can blog, sleep, read, whatever you like!”

Which is exactly what I did until one hour later, when I heard a little tap at the door.

“Um, have you finished blogging yet?” he asked in a small voice. “I was kind of hoping I could have a little lie down…”

In his defence, it was the 4am start and the 10km power-walk to work that was catching up with him. Not the four glasses of wine he’d had in the middle of the afternoon, of course. Not that. Never that.

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Whatever your opinion on Groovy Young Things, one thing is clear: they generally don’t live around my ‘hood.

Traditionally, our suburb – although less than 10km from the city – is populated by aged persons and young families. It’s just how it is. It’s a bit like Perth: most of the population between the ages of twenty and thirty get the hell out.

But listen, it’s not like I’m totally cut off from the world of Groovy Youngters or anything, okay?

My dear friend Mzzzz E remains a steady link between their world and mine  – for example, it’s thanks to her I know that these days the young people are drinking coca-cola and red wine cocktails known as “Bambas” or “Calimocho”. Which has only confirmed my fears that there is no possible future for the human race in the hands of such people. No future at all.

Oh, and I occasionally cross town to be seated next to and served by GYTs in trendy bars and cafés, where I inevitably end up pulling out that sanitary napkin randomly floating around my handbag instead of my wallet when it comes time to pay.

Anyway, at a recent community picnic near our home, I spied at least three Groovy Young Things standing unabashedly near the Scouts’ Sausage Sizzle stand. It was disconcerting to say the least.

“Look over there,” I hissed to my friends MGK and RR. “Those people are young and attractive. It’s, like, freaking me out.”

In fact, it was freaking me out so much that I just wanted to rush up and order them to return at once to the inner-city tapas-punk-fusion bar they’d ironically crawled out of.

“They really should leave,” I moaned. “They’re making me feel… well, they’re making me feel old.

There, I said it. The vintage floral skirt I’d chosen to wear that day suddenly felt decidedly mumsy. I noticed I had grease marks on my breasts made by the small hands of a preschooler yielding a “piggy in a blanket”. I knew for a fact that there was a bottle of low-joule, low-alcohol champagne chilling in my fridge at home. I was wearing Birkenstock clogs for fuck’s sake.

“Oh, I turned 34 earlier this week,” RR said to me, oh-so-casually. “I’m now officially mid-30s.”

“Oh, my bleeding heart,” was my appalled reaction. Here I was, thinking he was One Of Us and he was pretty much One Of Them. It was galling, to say the least.

Eventually, the Groovy Young Things moved off (to groovier pastures which served Calimochos, no doubt) and I was left to glare at RR and his thirty-four year-old ways.

When I got home, I told my husband about the terrible situation that had befallen us all at the picnic and how those GYTs had stood around totally unaware of what harm they were causing by their very presence. And how RR had then revealed himself to be practically young.

“How dare they!” I said. “How very dare they all!”

My husband then admitted to me that, while his short-term memory might be completely shite, his long-term memory was crystal clear.

“I remember, with absolute clarity, what it felt like to be young,” he said. “And part of that was swearing never – ever! – to become what I am today.”

“But at least you can’t remember what you are today,” I remarked. “You know, short-term memory loss and all.”

And we both laughed and laughed – until we forgot what we were laughing about, that is.

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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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When presented with yet another painting by the kids, it’s not uncommon to hear my husband exclaim “That’s going straight to the pool room!”. Except, unlike the iconic Australian film The Castle, our pool room doesn’t have a pool table or isn’t even really a room – it’s actually the toilet. And so it’s also not uncommon for Mr Justice to return from school bearing magnificent masterpieces upon which he’s written “Please put in the toilet”. Lord knows what his teachers must think of us. 

Therefore nobody should be surprised that the poster for our friend Mzzzzz E’s new cabaret show has taken pride of place in the toilet. 

But the other night, during an extended visit to the pool room with one of the kids (of which I’ll spare you the details), I spent a lot of time staring at the poster and came up with a few minor revisions I would make, given half the chance. 

I decided to share them with my husband, who I found clapping and singing the bass line to Michael Jackson’s classic song “Billy Jean” all by himself, which was entirely to be expected. If you don’t know the song, it goes something like this: “Dunnah… Dunnah (clap!) Dunnah… Dunnah (clap-clap!)”. 

“Humph!” I shouted, over the top of his bass line antics. “I’m the so-called ‘comedy’ writer – albeit one with a propensity for the random Capitalisation Of Words and a tendency to indiscriminately use words like ‘fuck’ and ‘arseclown’… Why didn’t Mzzzz E ask me for my input on the poster?”

“Or mine. I’m the so-called comedy writer’s so-called editor, remember!” my husband added, still clapping. 

I decided to ignore him and continue on with my observations: “Mzzzz E would have definitely been all ‘Oooh don’t ask her, she’s just the Mommy Blogger!'”

“Or even ‘Oooh, don’t ask him, he’s just the boring financial guy who happens to edit his wife’s so-called comedy blog…'” my husband joined in.  

“Hey, who’s asking you, Billy Jean Boy,” I said, quite pointedly. “And for your information, you’re just the Part-Time So-Called Editor of my So-Called Comedy Blog! I only get you to edit when I’m really stuck or am about to say something defamatory. Usually something defamatory about you, granted, but whatever. I’m a one-girl band!”

“Oooh, look at you being so defensive,” my husband rejoined, still clapping and “dunnah-dunnah”ing. 

“It’s because you never laugh at my jokes!” I shouted – it was all coming out now. “You only laugh at your own jokes.”

“That’s because I’m the designated ‘funny one’ in the relationship. And the agreement was that you have to laugh at my jokes,” he replied. 

“WHAT agreement?!” I spluttered. 

“Look, you write a blog about it and I’ll write a song,” he said and then went so deep into his Billy Jean rhythm section, there was no reaching him. 

So you know what I’ve done? I’ve written the blog. And you know what I’m going to do next? I’m going to print it out and stick it up in the toilet.

Let’s see him do that with his stupid song (clap-clap!).

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Okay, so pubs aren’t exactly my natural habitat. For one thing, there’s the whole problem of finding somewhere to sit. There’s nothing I hate more than standing around with a drink in my hand. Who wants to stand and drink? Sitting and drinking is far more intuitive – mostly because there is less distance between you and the ground for that point in the evening when you fall over. Of course, it would be best to be already lying down when you reach that point. In fact, my husband maintains Man’s inability to drink beer from a lying position as one of evolution’s greatest oversights. 

Anyway, when I recently stepped into a pub with gal pals KC and Mzzzz E, you can imagine my initial dismay when the only tables free were all signposted “RESERVED FOR SIMON, 7PM”.

“Wow, Simon must have a lot of friends!” I said, impressed. I mean, he’d practically reserved half the pub.

Since it was only just after six, we boldly sat down on one of the sacred tables. And as the pumpkin hour of 7PM grew nearer, it was only natural that we found ourselves referring more and more to the mysterious Simon. Our conversation was punctuated with things like “When Simon gets here, let’s see what he says!” or “Try tell that to Simon”. I began to to look forward to his arrival and imagined myself at future parties boasting “Yes, yes, of course I know Simon. He’s a personal friend. I party with him on reserved tables at the pub, like, all the time.

Bang on seven o’clock, a large group of people arrived to claim our table. 

“Which one of you is Simon?” I asked eagerly, perhaps too eagerly, scanning their faces but it turned out that Simon Himself was yet to arrive.

“He has a lot of friends!” I enthused, hoping to ingratiate myself with the party.

“Yes, Simon has a lot of male friends,” observed KC. She raised a fair point, albeit very loudly. You know, in the kind of voice that you might use to announce to a crowded room at the end of the night that you’d wet your pants shortly before you fall over. Anyway, the truth was there was not a single girl to be seen in the group.

“Oh, no, no, no…” Mzzzz E chided us as we grabbed our coats to leave. “I’m not picking up anything on my gaydar.” As the Ultimate Fag Slag, her gaydar is more finely tuned than most.

Anyway, since waiting to catch a glimpse of Simon would have meant standing around with drinks in our hands, we decided to leave. I have to admit I felt somewhat resentful of this large group of young men, so clean-cut and punctual, who all arrived together. I mean, had they all come to the pub as part of some Walking Bus? And where was this so-called Simon? Could he really have so many straight male friends? Perhaps they weren’t his friends at all and he’d just personally recruited them to take a personality test as part of Scientology’s pub outreach program…

These were just some of my thoughts as we walked away from the pub. Mzzzz E, who had other plans for the evening soon skipped off in a different direction, leaving KC and I to go on to dinner by ourselves, where we got turned away at the door of some trendy eatery, despite my claims that we were VIPs. Although I think I pronounced it as “vips” and not “veeps”. Which was probably a dead-give away that we weren’t VIPs at all. Stupid vips. Still, we went on to have a lovely evening elsewhere, thank you very much, Mr Maitre D’.

But the next morning, the truth about “Simon” dawned on me. I realised that, had I bothered to look over my shoulder at the point we parted ways with Mzzz E, I might have seen her turn around on her heels and, head held high and with a “Hello, I’m Simon!” name badge pinned proudly to her chest, head her way back to the the pub. I can’t claim that I have any idea what grand plans Mzzzzz E had for her young male minions, but I suspect that the world will be a better place because of them…

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The other evening, Mzzzz E turned up at my house, wearing something that almost passed as a skirt but might better be described as thin strips of denim stapled together. I had invited her to be my date for a school fundraising “Film Night” but had mistakenly used words like “support the school community”, “all for a good cause” and “think of the children” when doing so. Mzzzzz E – as a proud representative of the “deliberately barren” – had reacted accordingly by dressing in a manner that she saw as “recession punk-chic” but which I could only see resulting in some kid saying to Mr Justice in the playground: “My dad said your mum brought a hooker to the fundraiser”. And, moreover, when we arrived at the function, she got this hell-raisin’ glint in her eye that she always gets whenever she’s A) at a function with an open bar and/or B) awake. 

Turns out she was the least of my worries. 

The real problem was that my Financial Advisor AND my Mortgage Broker were both at the event, which also happened to be the first time I’d attended an evening fundraiser as a parent. And the whole heady combination made me want to run away from my Stupid Grown-up Life by drinking a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Luckily, Mzzzz E and some of the more notorious members of my mothers’ group were there as willing helpers. Or unluckily, depending on which way you look at it.

Next thing I know, Mzzzz E’s got everyone playing her usual game where you have to choose someone in the room you would, er, you know, “do it” with (see “Fi-Die-Lity“). And we’re all standing only metres from Brett The Principal and I’m thinking “This could so easily go terribly, terribly wrong” when The Mild-Mannered Lawyer took a bullet for me. She announced not one but TWO people she would choose for hypothetical rogering and everyone was so taken aback that they forgot to press me or anybody else for their answer. Phew. But then I had to go and blow my ride by going up to the maker of the film we were about to see and suggesting that she post some nude photos of herself on the internet to generate a bit more buzz around the film. Which, I hasten to add, made much more sense in the context of our conversation, but still….

But, arguably, the highlight of my evening was finding myself standing around with my Financial Advisor, his Underling and his Secretary. The four of us had one of those “This is Your Life” reunion moments, where we got to be together again for the first time since that day the secretary had brought coffees for all of us into a meeting room. I was really quite emotional about it and may or may not have even exclaimed something like “Well, what do you know? The old gang’s back together!”

However, the moment was somewhat undermined by the fact that the Underling appeared to be laughing at me.

“You’re laughing at me!” I accused him.

“No, no. I’m not laughing with you,” he said.

And then it dawned on me, in that way that things dawn on you when you’ve drunk too much champagne. “Ah, you’re happy!” I said, knowingly. “You’re just so very very happy!”.

But actually, now that I think about it, he was laughing at me. But really, I should have been the one who was laughing at him because he has to wear a suit every day while I just get to wear whatever I want. And he has to go to the city every day while I just get to stay at home. And he is going to be a fully-certified Financial Advisor one day and charge $700 an hour and… yes, he had good reason to laugh at me. I see it now. 

Just as I see now that it wasn’t a good idea to drink quite so much. I woke the next morning, hungover like a proverbial, and after using all my remaining resources to deliver Mr Justice to school on time, I decided the only course of action was this: put the two younger kids in front of ABC Kids for the morning and then walk to the local shops to buy hot chips for lunch. Which was one of those things I felt totally at peace with until I said it out loud on the phone to my husband and heard how it actually sounded. 

And I realised that I had become one of those parents who get drunk at school functions with hookers, play inappropriate parlour games, make pornographic suggestions to film makers, estrange their Financial Advisory Team with drunken banter and then shamelessly employ MEP methods on their children the following day. And I promptly switched off that TV and let my kids have a bath at 10:30am instead. And I didn’t feel quite so bad about myself after that, although the hangover continued to somewhat cloud things for the rest of the day.

The end, by me.

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