Thursday, April 30, 2009

Midweek Mad Geniuses: Mozart and Beethoven

"I went to see my doctor the other day," said Beethoven, chalking up his cue. "He reckons I've been consuming too much lead."

"Too much lead! How much is too much, Ludwig?" asked Mozart, racking up the balls with his trademark pomposity. "I never thought lead was a problem."

"Neither did I. It's great for roofing. Anyway, he reckons the best remedy is to treat it with more lead."

"With more lead? How is that a remedy?"

"What was that?"


"Oh. That's what I said. He assured me it would work though. He reckons it's like 'an eye for an eye'."

"Well I never. Although now that I think about it, my guy treated my mercury poisoning with lead-laced wine. And he's the best."

"How did you get the mercury poisoning?"

"He was treating my rheumatic fever with mercury-laced beer."

"Good thinking," said Beethoven as a guy in a white wig and make-up approached the table, thinking he could get in ahead of the composers while they were conversing. "JESUS CHRIST, WHAT DOES THIS CUNT THINK HE'S DOING? PUT YOUR NAME ON THE BLACKBOARD ARSEHOLE, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. JESUS."

"Better do it, buddy," advised Mozart. "Beethoven'll open up your skull like a peanut."

The guy shuffled off.

"Fuck me," said Beethoven, shaking his head. "Whose break is it?"

"Mugs away."



"Oh yeah, right. Sorry Wolf. It's like there are mozzies in my ears."

Beethoven made a solid break and potted three balls before missing a tricky double.

"Nice try," said Mozart.

"You what?"


"Oh. Anyway, I've also been immersing my head in freezing water."

"What for?"

"Keeps me awake."

"Well it would! I had my doctor bleed me for that."

"Bleed you? What does that do?"

"Gets rid of the blood."

"But you need blood."

"That's what I said! He said it gets rid of the bad blood."

"How does he distinguish it from the good blood?"

"Fucked if I know."

"Fucken quacks, eh?"

"Yep," said Mozart, lining up a long shot. "Hey, how's your syphilis?"

"My what?"


"Oh. It's ok. Apparently it makes you a little mad. Believe that?"

"I'd be mad too if my cock looked like yours."


"Nothing. Anyway, my guy reckons I have military fever."

"Jesus. What's that? A severe compulsion to join the army?"

"No, dickhead. It's a scabby red rash!"



"Ooh, that's nasty. Better get that looked at."

"I did."

"Seriously, you should. Now, what am I on? Bigs or smalls?"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A generation of swine

There’s a lot of people who should know better (and I’m looking at you, Senator Bob Brown) who have been running around like headless chickens*, panicking about swine ‘flu.

Spare me.

It can be nasty, sure, and at the moment it appears to be moving from human to human but it’s not even officially in Australia yet and it’s not even within a bull’s roar of the Spanish ‘flu pandemic of 1918-1919 which killed an estimated 20 million people world wide.

To explain.

The swine ‘flu virus appears to be part on the “influenza A” strain and can be passed from human to human by coughing or sneezing or a person picking up the virus on their fingers and touching their mouth or nose. The good news it can be treated quite easily if caught early enough by prescribing an anti-viral like “Tamiflu”

Anti-virals can also be prescribed for those in close contact with the infected person as a prophylactic**, such as medical staff or family. The problem with developing an effective vaccine against swine ‘flu arises from that fact that the virus has to be isolated and developed in a vaccine form and this can take some months.

The other issue is that identifying who has swine ‘flu is a complicated process. People with ‘flu-like symptoms (ie. coughs, sneezes) who have visited areas affected by swine flu have a nose and mouth swab, which is then taken for testing for “influenza A”. If the test for “influenza A” is negative, then on yer bike.

However, if the person is positive for “influenza A” then further, more detailed testing is needed to see if it is in fact swine ‘flu and that can take some time.

The good news is that increased exposure to a range of milder ‘flu strains will probably make a deadly pandemic less, rather than more, likely. And there’s no need to wear those stupid masks, which are a terrible fashion faux pas.

The other good news is that we can now say “swine” on a regular basis in public discourse.

Fuck, I love saying “swine”.

*You note I don’t say “carrying on like a pork chop” as that would obviously be in poor taste.

**Oh, stop sniggering!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ghosts In The Spare Room

Boogeyman and I are having a terrific and spirited debate today over at my book review blog. Who'd think a review of the Costello Memoirs would end in a show of metaphysic aggression? But he did make me think of things other-worldly, and so I present this little tale.

I live in a 3 bedroom house. One of the spare rooms makes me feel odd. From the very first time I went in there, I felt, well, a little uneasy... as if there was something or someone else in there. I didn't feel threatened, just, I dunno, aware of something unseen being in the room with me. The feeling has never dissipated. Likely theory - the first time I went in there, something happened physiologically with me and now my mind and/or body relates that room to how I felt that first time, and thus, like muscle memory, every time I go in there I have the same reaction. But, for the sake of this tale, let me thrown that theory out the window.

Hot German Chick, mentioned in my previous blog, is a new-age freak. We fought and fought over new-age spiritualism. She was all astrology and Tarot and Wiccan and 'it was meant to be' and the 'cosmos' design' and it shat me up the wall.

She lived in that spare room for 4 months last summer. When she first walked in the room, she was in there for no more than five seconds before she stopped in her tracks and said, "Whoa! There's three ghosts that live in here."

"What?" I said.

She stood silent for a bit, then said to me, "It's okay. They are not harmful. They think you are okay, and they are fine with me stayting here. They are angry, but not with you."

If I hadn't have already felt a 'presence' in that room, I would have kicked her out immediately for being a freak. But, as it was, I said to her, "You know, I've always felt like I was being watched in here."

She said, "Yes, whoever comes in here is watched."


Now. Stick with me. The question I ask is not, "Are there ghosts in my spare room?", because I have other questions.

First, what is a ghost? It is a mainstream belief that ghosts, should they exist, are the souls of dead people. Allow me to tweak that theory slightly and call them 'remnants' so as to keep us all happy.

Secondly, and here's my big question, the one that even Hot German Chick coluld not answer properly... "Is a ghost sentient?" That is, does a ghost know that it exists?

I am atheism's number one ticket holder, but yet, conversely, I think there is the remnants of something in my spare room. The fact there is something in there was independantly verified by a Hot German Chick. So what the fuck is it?

Here's my two bob. There is the remnants of something, or someone, in my spare room. My sub-conscious detects it, as does hers. Because we cannot grasp what it is, because it exists on a plane we cannot grasp, my brain translates it into something I can recognise - the feeling of being watched - and something the German recognises... human form.

Voila, ghosts.

I am prepared to say unequivocally that my spare room is haunted by a ghost or ghosts. I am also prepred to say unequivocally that the ghosts do not know they exist, but rather, my own brain conjures them up to let me know that in that room lays the remnants of something or someone or some event that is somehow relevant to or essential to the design and layout and history of the spare room.

I have no proof of this obviously. Boogeyman will potentially use this as a way of saying that I should go easier on the religious, but I don't care about how much I have exposed my arguments against the existence of anything eternal and sentient as being weak.

But I offer this:

* I am moved by some presence in my spare room.

* I am also moved by the full moon casting a ray across the ocean.

* I don't think the moon-ray knows it exists.

* Then why should I be convinced that the ghost in my spare room knows it exists?


Any ghost stories or opinions here?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My AMAZING weekend!

Friday Night

Invited to the pub, but I didn't go because I was a little tired plus I'm avoiding a local girl who got drunk at my house last week when I had a friend down and I was drunk too, we were all drunk and messy, and when I went to bed I stripped naked in front of her not really thinking things out and got into bed and suddenly she's lying on top of me and kissing me and I was thinking, "Ew, no, ew" (I'm not attracted to her at all) but it was too late, I had kissed her once for like two seconds and then after three seconds I said, "get off me, go home," and she cracked it and I've been too scared to go out locally since, particularly because Miss Artist came down during the week and we were walking down the street arm in arm and I saw Local Girl and said, "Hey there," and she like totally snubbed us. So I watched the footy, then 2 episodes of The Sopranos. That's 5 hours, laying on the couch. Chain smoked, and drank a lot of tea and coffee.


Did 1 hours' work in the morning then rewarded myself by watching 2 more episodes of The Sopranos. I was invited to two parties in Melbourne - one a sedate and intimate housewarming, one a big bonfire party with heaps of people, and although I'm fairly lonely in my life right now, I decided to stay home and watch the footy. I watched the amazing Essendon match, another episode of The Sopranos, and then I watched the Richmond match (go Tiges) and then I watched 3 more episodes of The Sopranos. Went to bed at 3am. Hours on couch for Saturday - 12-ish. Twelve fucking hours laying on a couch. More than a pack of cigarettes.


Got up at 9am fully intending to achieve things. Clean house, do some exercise, do some writing. Started by watching an episode of The Sopranos. I then murdered a bird. It was stuck in my potbelly chimney flue for a couple of days, and I was cold, and anyway, I've always assumed the birds stuck in there just end up flying out. I was wrong. I think there's a pile of carcasses in the flue, because when I lit the fire to warmup, I heard it desperately fluttering its wings trying to get away, and then it fluttered no more. I was a little upset, particularly when Miss Artist cancelled on me for Monday-Wednesday this week. See, Miss Artist came down during the week last week and spent some nights here and we hard some erotic moments and I really enjoyed it, and she said that for a little while, maybe for a month or two, she would come down every Monday-Wednesday. But she cancelled on me, equally indefinitely. Like, last week was it, I think. Into my life nude, out of it straightaway, fully clothed. To cheer up from that and the bird murder, I watched an episode of The Sopranos. Then it was footy time. Watched footy roundup shows, then the Geelong match, then some of the Carlton match, then I made some toasted sandwiches and watched five episodes of The Sopranos in a row. Season Two of The Sopranos finished, all watched in a mild catatonia within 72 hours. It has something to do with gangsters. Hours on couch for Sunday - 11 hours.

In Conclusion

I think there's something wrong with me. I am overwhelmed with lethargy but have trouble sleeping. I am shunning all social activity. I didn't talk to anyone all weekend - even Hot German Chick who stayed with me last summer and looks like this:

and she's calling on skype and on my home phone saying in her cute Bavarian accent "are you dare? talk wiz me?" and the reason I ignored her and wouldn't talk to her was because I WAS WATCHING DVD TELEVISION SHOWS. Like, she's a friend - a single one (in Germany, but, you know, whatever).

And there is so much I want to do. I'm trying to write a book, a movie, do stuff for the band, get better organised with money, meet a nice woman and have a proper girlfriend for the first time in almost three years, and what am I doing? Laying on the fucking couch doing NOTHING. What's wrong with me?

So anyway, I wrote this blog tonight (it's Sunday 11.30pm) just so I can say I did something. I also put the bins out in the rain. That was the most active thing I did all fucking weekend.

This is not something peculiar to this weekend either. I've noticed this gradually happening to me in the past year. If people visit me here I'm hospitable and a good host, but I'm not making any effort to leave the house to see people. I'm occassionaly shocked into action, like when work gets very busy or when a Ponygirl comes racing into my life, but generally, I've been on a downward spiral. I used to pride myself on keeping busy with side projects. I've lost it. I can't even be bothered doing book reviews, and I used to love doing them. My biggest side project now is housework. It's one plus out of all of this - my house is spotless.

Is it because I'm turning 40 this year? Is that it?

Friday, April 24, 2009

An Aussie poem for Anzac Day

South of my days' circle, part of my blood's country,
rises that tableland, high delicate outline
of bony slopes wincing under the winter,
low trees, blue-leaved and olive, outcropping granite-
clean, lean, hungry country. The creek's leaf-silenced,
willow choked, the slope a tangle of medlar and crabapple
branching over and under, blotched with a green lichen;
and the old cottage lurches in for shelter.

O cold the black-frost night. the walls draw in to the warmth
and the old roof cracks its joints; the slung kettle
hisses a leak on the fire. Hardly to be believed that summer
will turn up again some day in a wave of rambler-roses,
thrust it's hot face in here to tell another yarn-
a story old Dan can spin into a blanket against the winter.
Seventy years of stories he clutches round his bones,
seventy years are hived in him like old honey.

During that year, Charleville to the Hunter,
nineteen-one it was, and the drought beginning;
sixty head left at the McIntyre, the mud round them
hardened like iron; and the yellow boy died
in the sulky ahead with the gear, but the horse went on,
stopped at Sandy Camp and waited in the evening.
It was the flies we seen first, swarming like bees.
Came to the Hunter, three hundred head of a thousand-
cruel to keep them alive - and the river was dust.

Or mustering up in the Bogongs in the autumn
when the blizzards came early. Brought them down;
down, what aren't there yet. Or driving for Cobb's on the run
up from Tamworth - Thunderbolt at the top of Hungry Hill,
and I give him a wink. I wouldn’t wait long, Fred,
not if I was you. The troopers are just behind,

coming for that job at the Hillgrove. He went like a luny,
him on his big black horse.

Oh, they slide and they vanish
as he shuffles the years like a pack of conjuror's cards.
True or not, it's all the same; and the frost on the roof
cracks like a whip, and the back-log break into ash.
Wake, old man. This is winter, and the yarns are over.
No-one is listening
South of my days' circle.
I know it dark against the stars, the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep.

Any objection that this makes no reference to "heroes", "sacrifice" or "Simpson and his donkey" is the work of small minds.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mid to Late Week Mad Geniuses - Daniel Johnston

Daniel Johnston is almost 50, probably a virgin and still lives with his Mum and Dad. He has spent much of his life in mental institutions, has the permanent shakes, is delusional about his relationships with both the real and abstract worlds, and is prone to self-destruction.

He is fervently religious and sees the Devil everywhere, and in everything. He attacks those closest to him, and as well-inentioned as he may be, he is very un-hinged and is the last person you'd want over for dinner.

He records songs on cheap cassette decks, does little cartoon drawings on the front and hands them out to people. He plays piano and guitar badly - kind of just bangs on them and sings songs about Caspar the Friendly Ghost, Mountian Dew soft drink, Captain America, plus hundreds of songs about a girl he had a crush on in his teens who he hasn't seen for 30+ years. And God and Devils.

He is mad; clinically, emotionally, actually. A mad man... he is also perhaps the greatest songwriter of the modern era, and that includes Dylan and Lennon. His little songs, recorded on to 99c blank casettes have been covered by Tom Waits, Nirvana, Somic Youth, Spiritualised and a whole stack of other great artists.

See, Idol has it wrong. They take normal songs with good melodies and piss all over them by playing with the melody. Yes, technically, some of the singers have amazing vocal tricks, but what of the song itself? Does it make it a better song if you can jump eight octaves in the one phrase? Do they have to add a thousand notes to an otherwise basic melody? It's all about the voice these days... "Oh, she's a great singer," they say, but for many of us, we ask, "Yes, but what about the song?"

And that's where Daniel steps in. Can't sing, can't play... but the songs are incredible.

Even his cartoon art is selling for thousands.

Here's the wiki entry.

Here's the beauty he is capable of:

Here's the ad for the brilliant documentary that moved me so:

Here's a song recorded on to a cheap casette, that some dedicated fan made a film clip of animating Daniel's artwork.

And finally, this is perhaps the most beautiful song I've ever heard...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Amazing scenes as "cat boy" discovered.

In what is believed to be a world first, Irish scientists have discovered a boy raised for ten years by cats.

Professor Fran Katzenjammer of the Dublin Institute of Science says the boy, now 16, was raised by the cats in a Dublin suburb since the age of six.

“It’s certainly a dramatic twist on the myth of children raised by wolves or dogs,” Professor Katzenjammer said.

“We believe the boy was lost after a particularly vigorous party and stumbled out into the street, where he encountered the pack of cats.

“We don’t know why the cats took the boy on, but cat psychologists we have consulted believe the pack thought it was probably ‘a bit of a laugh’.

“We’re attempting to communicate with the boy to discover his name and family, but he keeps curling up and going to sleep.”

The boy, nicknamed Felix by the scientists, is largely non-verbal, with his English phrases limited to “want breakfast now”, “feck off” and “want dinner now”.

“We’re going to conduct further tests on Felix,” Professor Katzenjammer said “once we coax him out of his bolt-hole under the sofa.”

Monday, April 20, 2009

Things We Did in Middle Class Suburbia in the 70s

We threw everything out. Everything. There was no recycling. We threw out plastic, aluminium, steel, glass and paper & cardboard. If paper and cardboard didn't fit in the 'one size fits all' bins, we burned it in the incinerator. Sometimes even plastic bags would be burned. That can't be good. Clouds of smoke would belch into the atmosphere all across the suburbs on an otherwise peaceful Sunday afternoon. Large items that wouldn't fit into bins or the incinerator, would be taken to the tip. Who goes to the tip now? We used to dump car batteries at the tip. Fridges, TVs.

Diet was interesting. Lots of white bread. Plenty of meat. Sweets freely available at 2 lollies a cent. Everything was high fat, sugar or salt. Tab was the first diet soft drink but hardly took the market by storm. I also remember a low sugar version of Solo called Rhondo. Not a huge hit in those days. Low fat milk? I don't think so. My mum used to cook roasts in deep pools of fat. Not oil. Certainly not olive oil. Not even canola. It was lard. Lard that would be re-used over and over again. It would sit in the fridge, a hard, white, greasy lump waiting for next Saturday night's roast. It would last months, perhaps years. Who knew.

My lunch orders at school would consist of a super sausage roll, a jam donut and half a litre of chocolate milk. The bikini-clad Big M girls worked their magic on me in those days. The milk running down their chins and dripping onto their firm, luscious breasts. I wasn't yet 10 but there was something so erotic in this that it didn't matter that I hadn't reached puberty. That scourge, light beer, was introduced. Carlton light. Fosters light. Piss in a can it was. Piss in a can.

I was allowed to roam free. There was bushland a kilometre down the road from our house and I would go there with my brother and friend (coincidentally a contributor to this blog) and we wouldn't return home until tea time, sometimes after dark. We would talk to strangers, ride our bikes without helmets and, when in the back of the car eating weston's wagon wheels, refuse to wear seatbelts because we didn't have to.

There were more fights at the footy both on and off the field. There was a final 4, then 5. There were several easybeat teams (Footscray, St Kilda, Fitzroy, Melbourne) who would win 4 or 5 games between them for the year, and that was only when they played each other. Now it's a socialist game, where the difference between 3 and 14 is almost indiscernible. Socialism has its place but, goddamn it, not in football!

People smoked at home, at work, in the car. In front of their kids, next to their babies, at restaurants. People watered their gardens freely. They even hosed down their concrete driveways. They took 10 minute showers and continuously filled their Clark Rubber pools from the backyard tap.

Men proudly wore moustaches and dodgy sideburns. Yeah they're cool now, but they were real then. Real men drove big, petrol guzzling cars with bench seats and 3 on the tree. Men had hairy chests.

I miss the 70s.

Monday Arts Wrap

(Richmond lost to Melbourne yesterday who are the worst team in the AFL, which now makes Richmond worse than the worst. Sports wrap is on at least a week hiatus. Haitus? Hiatis?)

TSFKA scholars who study my works in great detail may recall that last year, as part of my Ponygirl Rebound Period (Vers. 1) I developed a big crush on a chick called Artemis, who was the older sister of my band's manager (Spud) and our band's bass player (Boz). There were some dates, but it went nowhere, and she ended up hooking up with a guy called Sparky Picasso. But the nice thing about it all is that Artemis and I stayed great friends, and we chat everyday on Gmail, and I have even become mates with her boyfriend Sparky. We all get along famously and hang out regularly.

Anyway, Sparky Picasso is a fledgling artist, and last week he had his first solo exhibition. I attended the opening (free wine and sushi, which is a law in Melbourne - 'wine and sushi at all art openings; no variations, ever'), and anyway, at art exhibitions, if I know the artist, I go all George Costanza and feel compelled to buy something, and, with the help of the free wine, I invariably do.

So I looked at all the pieces, and quickly identified what I thought was clearly the best piece. A close up of an attractive woman looking alarmed at something. It's a pretty big piece, but it was in a really nice frame, the picture was engaging and active, and I knew it would look good in my spare room.

So, knowing you have to get in quick at these things, I ran up to Sparky and said, "I'll buy that one."

He fidgeted a litle nervously. "That one, ay?"

"Yeah, I love it."

"Oh, okay, well, alright then. Umm, okay, that one it is."

And I'm thinking to myself, he appears a little apprehensive. He's always so happy and positive about things! What's happening? So anyway, I pay the deposit, and I turned to my date for the night (Miss Bookworm) and said, "Hey, I bought that painting," and she looks at it and says, "Oh, yeah, that's really nice. It kinda looks like that girl over there."

She was pointing at Artemis.

I took another look at the painting.

Yep. Artemis.

I went up to Artemis and said, "Umm, is that painting of you?"

She said, "Yeah, it's nice isn't it? I wonder if anyone will buy it?"

I said, "Umm, I just did."

Yep, I bought an intimate close-up portrait of the artist's girlfriend, who a year ago was my flame.

Awkward for the next hour?

Oh yes.

Oh yes.

I drank like a fish.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetry Slam Friday

Ramon appears to be missing, and I like routines.
I hope his back is not flooring him.

A prize goes to the first who can identify this poet.

It is an untitled poem about a pub. You can’t find this online. You have to be a literary dork like me and have this poet's collected works and letters, and find little gems like this in the appendix. This poem was not part of any collection that has been published. It’s just a curiosity, a jotting... but reading it, I got the feeling that I had been to that pub before. We all have.

Clue: If anyone was going to invent a word like 'gobgreen' it would be Gertrude Stein. But if two people were going to invent the word, this poet would be the second one.

Sooner than you can water milk or cry Amen
Darkness comes, psalming, over Cards again;
Some lights go on; some men go out; some men slip in;
Some girls lie down, calling the beer-brown bulls to sin
And boom among their fishy fields; some elders stand
With thermoses and telescopes and spy the sand
Where farmers plough by night and sailors rock and rise
Tattooed with texts, between the Atlantic thighs
Of Mrs Rosser Tea and little Nell the Knock:
One pulls out ‘Pam in Paris’ from his money sock;
One from the mothy darkness of his black back house
Drinks vinegar and paraffin and blinds a mouse;
One reads his cheque book in the dark and eats fish-heads;
One creeps into the Cross Inn and fouls the beds;
One in the rubbered hedges rolls with a bald Liz
Who’s old enough to be his mother (and she is);
Customers in the snugbar by the gobgreen logs
Tell other customers what they do with dogs;
The chemist is performing an unnatural act
In the organ loft; and the lavatory is packed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In Other Sporting News...

The Adelaide Crows football team impressed the fuck out the general populace last week by indefinitely suspending one of their players, Nathan Bock.

Young Nathan, one of their best players, was involved in a drunken kerfuffle with his girlfriend which lead to assault charges being filed against him by the police.

He beat up his girlfriend.

The AFL over the past years has done an excellent job in promoting healthy (and may I add, 'normal') attitudes towards women in both their own gated community, and the wider community. Their work is exemplary. They even appoint playes such as Adam Goodes to be spokespersons, ambassadors if you will, for causes such as this, and it has worked a treat because not only has this infiltrated down to grassroots footy teams (recently in a Victorian country town, a player was kicked out of the club for a similar incident), but it has also seen women and girls taking a greater interest in / making a contribution to footy in general. 43.1% of footy's audience, according to the AFL, are women.

So of course when an elite high-profile player such as Nathan Bock beats up his missus, he had to be made an example of. The Adelaide Crows said (paraphrasing) "You violent and misogynistic wanker. This is not good enough
You are indefinitely expelled from this great club - and you have to attend counselling as well!"

And I said, and so did Phil Cleary, and so did everyone, "Good on them."

Today, the club proudly announced that his indefinte suspension is over and he will play this weekend.

He missed one match.

One match.


One. Match.


To quote Bob Dylan:

"...bury the rag deep in your face
For now is the time for your tears."

History for you at home!

The scene; Paris in 1095, the court of King Philip the First of France. The court is abuzz as they await the return of the King’s delegates to the International Commission for Allocating Nicknames to Early Medieval Rulers*.

Finally, the courtiers are led into the royal presence.

Philip: “Well, how’d it go boys? What nickname did they come up for me?”

Courtiers: general shuffling of feet and clearing of throats.

Philip: “Boy, I can’t wait. I wonder what it will be. Philip the Fair? Philip the Wise? Philip the Magnificent?”

Courtier 1: “Well, umm.”

Courtier 2: “The thing is…”

Courtier 3: “Err…they decided on Philip the Fat.”


Philip: “What!? You’re fuckin’ shitting me! Philip the Fat, what sort of fuckin’ nickname is that?”

Courtier 1: “We argued with them Phil, but they just wouldn’t listen to reason.”

Philip: “Philip the Fat! Jesus! I’ve been working out, I’m buff. I have big bones.”

Courtier 3: “Maybe if you cut down on the carbs…”

Philip: “Fuck off, the pack of you! Get out of my sight, you fuckin’ knuckle-heads, before I boil you in oil. And don’t call me Phil!”

Courtiers shuffle out.

Philip: “Philip the Fat, Christ! Wait till Sven Fork-Beard hears about this, he’ll piss himself.”

*Possibly may not have existed**.

** He was called Philip the Fat, though.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Midweek Mad Geniuses: Peter Sellers

A zany, crazy and madcap actor beginning his career on TV (most notably on The Goon Show) before moving into film where he gave us brilliant performances in Dr Strangelove (possibly my favourite movie of all time*), Lolita, The Party, The Pink Panther and Being There.

He was a brilliant comedian and actor but was often described as ‘difficult’ by co-stars and directors (such as Blake Edwards and Orsen Welles) but particularly by his string of wives, at least one of whom – Britt Ekland – was beaten for her troubles. He has been described as unfaithful, cruel and demanding.

Sellers was uncomfortable being himself. He agreed to be interviewed by Michael Parkinson on the condition he could do the interview in character**. He walked on as a member of the Gestapo (don’t the English just LOVE to parody the Nazis***) but eventually became himself once he was comfortable. He did something similar when interviewed by Kermit the Frog.

He apparently suffered from depression, smoked cannabis and drank a lot.

He was also a Freemason.

In the tradition of Perseus, here's a picture of the author relaxing around the house after a good, hard blog:

* But could easily be 2001: A Space Odyssey

** Would have been the ideal blogger.

*** See Fawlty Towers, Dad’s Army and Prince Harry.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sports Wrap - 2009 Stawell Gift

A photo essay...

For the unitiated, The Stawell Gift is the oldest foot race in the world. It's been going since 18-something, and I think it used to offer (and may still offer) the highest prizemoney for a single race (though of course, top athletes get 'appearance money' and sponsor dollars at world-class events, but all they actually 'win' is a medal... in Stawell, the winner gets cash).

It is run over 120 metres and is handicapped. In other words, only one or two runners actually run the full 120 metres, the rest get headstarts based on their form leading up to it. So the fastest runner doesn't necessarily win. It's just first past the post. Oh, and you can bet on the race with bookies, which I did, and lost $20 on a fella called 'Davies' who I got at twenty-ones early in the day. He came third. Anyway. There's not just the gift, there's other races.

I was the guest of an athletic family, and one of them was the coach of a young lad competing in the 200m. On Saturday, he had posted the fastest heat time, and here he is setting up his blocks for the semi-final on Monday.

It's lonely out there, but I was bucking tradition and yelling out things like, "Go boy... you can do it... what are your legs? Springs! Steel springs!" but I was embarrassing my hosts so I shutup.

He won the semi-final and there was much celebrating in our camp. One of our boys was looking good for the final! But although he ran just as fast in the final, two other men found an extra yard or two and beat him. Here he is coming third (in yellow for the final).

One thing I was informed about the night before by my hosts is that there are hot chicks everywhere at the Stawell Gift (and hot guys). They were not wrong. You can keep your nightclubs and catwalks... running events is where the hot chicks are because they are all supremely fit and healthy, and wear skimpier clothes than just about anywhere but the beach. It was incredible, and I felt like a scrawny, unfit ogre. Which I am. It was awkward walking around there - there were hundreds of athletes, and their friends and families and everyone was so freaking HEALTHY and so many of them were BEAUTIFIUL. I found two other cigarette smokers in the whole crowd, and they were staff.

But none come hotter than Tamsyn Lewis of course, because aside from being a hottie, she is also supremely talented - a fact made evident by the fact that she wasn't in the 800m (which she has run three times at The Olympics) or the 400m (which she is reigning Australian champion, flat, and hurdles) but in the 120m! In a sprint! She's not a sprinter! Or is she now? What can't she do (in spikes on tracks between 100m and 800m)?

Here she is in a semi-final of the sprint, coming down the track with a real sprinter in red next to her, and some other chicks.

Inexplicably, she won! And in doing so, was about 2 metres from me (which, by the way, she also was earlier in the day, and there was nobody else within earshot, but I chickened out on saying anything because she was training at the time and I didn't want to disturb her). Here she is, right next to us.

And then, after congratulating the other runners, she disrobed, thus adding to the theatre of the occassion.

Then the final came. Here she is a few minutes before the race, acquainting herself with the track, and I was all conflicted becauyse I'm there thinking, "Oh God, that chick in lane 1 in red is really really HOT!" (Her name is Laura Whaler - ranked 5 in the country over 100m).

And the race is on! Twenty metres to go, and Tamsyn is flying down Lane 2, having got the measure of the hot chick in Lane 1 and reeling in the rest of them.

But she ends up coming second to the complete unknown in the yellow, who was very, very excited.

And I'm yelling out, "Good run yellow! Good run Tamsyn! Marry me and have my babies, red chick!"

And anyway, that was it for Tamsyn. She went off and started yapping to some other hot chick that I would also like to marry... (Melissa Breen - 2nd fastest woman in the country)

...and I went and had a cigarette in the lovely gardens, which are surely the most manicured gardens of any country footy ground in the nation.

The Gift itself was run, and we sat up in the old stand on the back straight. Although we were a mile away, we were right on the finish line and could see the race well enough.

Some 18 year old kid won it easily, and give him a few years and his name will be a household name, but unfortunately, 8 hours later, I;ve already forgotten it. But go him!

All in all, I recommend the Stawell Gift to the TSFKA Victorian readers. The event is kid-friendly (rides, activities), there's hot chicks and guys everywhere, the ameneties are clean, it's a great Australian institution, and you get to see a few International level athletes up close (eg: Tamsyn Lewis, Joshua Ross)... closer than you'll get at any other event. Not to mention, driving there through all the cute little towns is fun in itself.

I left soon after the Gift, and listened to Richmond get fucking hammered again on the car radio, but I was clutching my own First Prize from the 2009 Stawell Gift.

Perseus Q Kneejerk:
Winner of the coveted Stawell 2009

"Most inappropriately dressed spectator"

Fuck yers all. There should be more Texan Pirate Goths at the country sport carnivals!

Friday, April 10, 2009

He Was A Carpenter By Trade, Or At Least That's What I'm Told

So here we are at Good Friday where we reflect on Xt's* death upon the wooden cross and his subsequent foot-spa from his favourite whore. It's the day where for some reason, His tortuous death means the stipid Micks don't eat red meat and I'm forced to wait over an hour for my piece of whiting, two calamari rings, two potato cakes, a pickled onion and three steamed dimmies because fucking holiday Catholics are clogging the lines.

Speaking of fucking Catholics, couldn't help but notice that today our most famous Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, has come out to support Pope Ratzy's assertion that condoms aren't much chop when it comes to stopping the spread of AIDS.

You know, he's kind of right. Abstinence would do the trick. Use of condoms infers people are rooting, which in turn, can spread AIDS. He's right on this.

But here in The Real World, where I live, and Pell is yet to pop in for a visit, I notice that generally speaking, people, as a whole, don't mind a shag, and this is where condoms play their role quite effectively.

He mentions in this article that one of the problems is that in Africa, the condoms are cheaply made and faulty... so, umm, does this mean if they were sturdy and reliable you'd be okay with this?

I don't mind the Micks, seriously. If I had to become religious, I'd choose Catholicism. I dig all the mystic shit and their ongoing 'holy trinity' philosophical ramblings, and drinking and smoking seems almost embraced, but really, it's about time they dropped the whole contraception thing.

If Catholics can accept evolution, they can accept contraception.

And Pell: You're a goose. What you're crapping on about has no relevance in modern society, and if it wasn't for the fact you were a devoted Richmond fan, I'd be calling for your instant dismissal. As it is, I'm calling for your Papalcy. I'd love one day to see the Pope passing judgement on Richmond's tactics and policies.

CNN Reporter: "For his global Easter message today, Pope Pellius called for further peace talks in the Middle East, for the instant dismantling of land mines in the Sudan, and for someone called 'Lids' to be played deeper in the forward line after the bounce."

Go Tigers, and Happy Easter cunts.


*I'm up with the gnarly Christian kids and their street lingo!

For Ramon

(courtesy of

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Poetry Slam Friday Thursday

If you lot are anything like me, you'll probably be spending Good Friday desperately looking for a pub that's open in quiet contemplation and prayer.

In that vein, I present a very special Poetry Slam Friday*.


A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,

And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

*With added religiousness!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Midweek Mad Geniuses: Vincent Van Gogh

Dear Theo,

It’s a lovely day here today, except some stupid fuck called me ‘Van Goff’ as I strode through the park picking tulips. So I punched her in the head. Her teacher came running out of the schoolyard to remonstrate but I cleverly pretended to be a squirrel and she eventually left me alone. At least the little shit didn’t call me ‘Van Go’. That’s even worse.

Oh the anguish of being alive!

I’m working on a new painting. It’s got a lot to do with flowers (see attached jpeg). However I’m pretty much down to yellow. Can you send me some more paint?

Dear Vincent,

You idiot. This is the last time I send you paint. Why don’t you just buy some, you cheap bastard?

Hey! Guess what? That arsehole Don MacLean wrote a song about you.

Tell that fucking midget Toulouse Lautrec he stills owes me fifty guilders.

Dear Theo,

I heard that song but assumed it was about the Big Bopper.

On other matters, I have some terrible news. I got so bored listening to my girlfriend that I cut my ear off. Turns out it’s the hole in the side of your head, not the flap of skin, that does the listening. Annoying. I also discovered my girlfriend is a prostitute. I guess that explains why she wants me to pay every time we have sex.

Thanks for the paints. Can you remind me again how to make green?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Was Dumped By Deborah Morgan

My whole TV experience for the last fifteen or so years has been of sport, news, South Park and the occasional documentary. I haven't watched a TV Series since Prisoner (the ongoing battle between Queen Bea, Vinegar Tits and The Freak is the benchmark of Australian drama - now we're stuck with the Secret Life Of Us generation, whose idea of 'drama' is whether or not Josh (a barman who was bullied at Xavier) will go vegan or not... but I digress).

This year I decided I'd watch some TV serieseses. First stop: The Sopranos. Never seen it. I purchased Series One on DVD, enjoyed it, so have purchased the second series and am awaiting its arrival from The Amazon.

Second stop: Dexter. Bought series one and two on DVD and watched all of them, and here's the thing, I kinda loved it, but, the problem was, Dexter's sister Deborah both looked and acted like my ex, Ponygirl. It was interrupting my enjoyment of the show. I remember this also occurring a few years ago when watching the marvellous film 'Girl On The Bridge' starring Daniel Autlielieele and Johnny Depp's missus, where the 'girl' acted a lot like and looked a little like my main ex, Andromeda 3.0.

Proust maintains that one's enjoyment of a work of art will invariably be radically dictated by who or what the work of art reminds one of. Mona Lisa looks like my mate's wife, for instance. I can't look at Mona Lisa without thinking of her. I assume Mona Lisa acted like my mate's wife. And so on.

So, as much as I liked Dexter, I came out of every episode kinda depressed because his sister, Deb Morgan, dumped me. Except that it wasn't Deborah Morgan that dumped me, it was Ponygirl.

I rang an ex yesterday and asked if anyone in popular culture reminded her of me after we split up and she said, "Shaun Micallef... a bit."

He's handsome and funny, right? It's better than what people usually say... "Will from Lost In Space".

Any popular culture fictional figures remind any of you of your exes or currents or significants?

PS: Dexter's sister is in real life the actor's wife!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Sport Wrap (sort of)

Given that A) the mighty Tiges have been thrashed again and B) there’s no Monday Sports Wrap, I can only presume Perseus is too busy weeping and banging his head on the fridge.

Therefore, as a service to you – keen TSFKA readers – I present my own, totally lame Monday Sports Wrap.

Some years ago, Mrs INH and I spend the weekend at a B & B on the outskirts of Geelong. One of the possible activities listed in the brochure was to “watch the Cats play football”.

Driving home in the car, the following conversation occurred.

Mrs INH: “You know, we never got to see the cats play football.”

Me (totally stunned as Mrs INH had never previously displayed the slightest interest in any sport*): “What!?”

Mrs INH: “The cats. We never got to see them play football.”

Me (the penny slowly dropping): “They mean, watch the Geelong Football Club play a football match. Geelong is also called ‘the Cats’.”

Mrs INH: “Oh. I though it meant the owners of the B & B had trained their cats to play football for the amusement of the guests.”

*This is a woman who took a book with her when I finally dragged her to a test cricket match.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Poetry Slam Friday dun rite

Since Ramon can't stand up to do his Catholic duty and quell the sciatic schism in the usually stable suzerainty of his lower spine, it falls to me to present to you some obscure bit of doggerel masterful piece of prose discovered in the dankest corners of the web sung to me by angels in a moment of mystic nirvana.

It’s cold outside, there’s no kind of atmosphere,
I’m all alone, more or less.
Let me fly, far away from here,
Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun.

I want to lie, shipwrecked and comatose,
Drinking fresh mango juice.
Goldfish shoals, nibbling at my toes,
Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun,
Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun.

I’ll pack my bags, and head into hyperspace,
Velocity at time-warp speed.
Spend my days in ultraviolet rays,
Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun.

We’ll lock on course, straight through the universe,
You and me, and the galaxy.
Reach the stage, hyperdrive’s engaged,
Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun,
Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun.

First prize for guessing the artist and song wins a dinner date and hot night with Perseus. Second prize is two dates with Perseus. Boom boom.

What rhymes with "agony"?

In a typically treacherous act, my back has declared a fatwa on the rest of my body and has gone out.

Thus, instead of scouring the world for obscure Bulgarian love poetry, I am hobbling around the house going "ow, ow, ow".

Normal Poetry Slamming will resume next week.


Ow, ow, ow.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The streets of my town

Judging by the quality of graffiti that appears in and near my suburb, I can only conclude there must be rogue poets (possibly Squib) roaming the street at night, creating fear and poetry on a regular basis.

Some examples;

This gender thing is a bit tricky, isn’t it?

If you close your eyes, the cars sound a little like waves

Fuck men

I still luvs ya, Jay

Meat is murder yummy

and my personal favourite

Zac is a mad cunt.

Any outstanding public poetry is your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Midweek Mad Geniuses: Nikolai Gogol

The first in a series of geniuses who were also lunatics.

Let's take a look at genius/madman Nikolai Gogol.

Anybody who's read Dead Souls (Gogol's most famous work), will appreciate the man's outstanding skills as a novelist and part time comedian. The guy's hilarious. Read The Nose of you're in any doubt. The protagonist of Dead Souls, Chichikov, is a roguish anti-hero who wanders Russia buying up 'dead souls' or deceased serfs for commercial profit. The novel describes numerous devious, unscrupulous and ridiculous characters in an hilarious and profound manner. 'Dead souls' also refers to the characters Chichikov encounters. It is a superb study of morality.

Anyway, Dead Souls was supposed to be part 1 in Gogol's longer work. Chichikov was supposed to find redemption in part 2. Part 2 was largely completed when, in a fit of stupidity, drunkeness or 'influence of the devil', Gogol hurled the manuscript into the fire, went to bed, forgot to eat and died a week later in extreme pain.

During this time he described the burning as a practical joke. Nice one Nikolai.