Monday, November 30, 2009

Say it ain't so, Joe!


In breaking news that fat bloke from the Liberal Party frontbench, what’s-his-name, looks a bit like that fat bloke from the Labor Party, Joe something, Joe Hockey, that’s right, seems to be shuffling a bit closer to his long held ambition to be captain of the Titanic leader of the federal Liberal Party.

Mr Hockey told an anxious collection of over paid hacks from the Press Gallery he was preparing himself mentally for the challenges ahead.

“Every morning when I get up, I strike myself repeatedly about the head and neck with a large stick with nails in it and stick my hand into the toaster,” Mr Hockey said.

“I reckon if that doesn’t get me used to leading the Party, then nothing will.

“I was contemplating having a cold shower each morning, then frying my genitals in a red-hot frying pan but that was a bit too much like Tony Abbott for my liking.”

Meanwhile Mr Abbott has announced a bold new strategy for taking the fight to the Rudd Government.

“My first act as Leader will be to seek out and destroy the pernicious heresy of Protestantism and revoke the Edict of Nantes,” Mr Abbot said.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some pyres to get ready.”

A spokesman for the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, remarked “honestly, you couldn’t make this shit up.”

Friday, November 27, 2009

Prose Friday

(Prize for whoever picks the novel without Googling...)

Chapter One

I am a sick man.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I
believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my
disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don't consult a
doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and
doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to
respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough not to be
superstitious, but I am superstitious). No, I refuse to consult a
doctor from spite. That you probably will not understand. Well, I
understand it, though. Of course, I can't explain who it is precisely
that I am mortifying in this case by my spite: I am perfectly well
aware that I cannot "pay out" the doctors by not consulting them; I
know better than anyone that by all this I am only injuring myself and
no one else. But still, if I don't consult a doctor it is from spite.
My liver is bad, well--let it get worse!

I have been going on like that for a long time--twenty years. Now I am
forty. I used to be in the government service, but am no longer. I
was a spiteful official. I was rude and took pleasure in being so. I
did not take bribes, you see, so I was bound to find a recompense in
that, at least. (A poor jest, but I will not scratch it out. I wrote
it thinking it would sound very witty; but now that I have seen myself
that I only wanted to show off in a despicable way, I will not scratch
it out on purpose!)

When petitioners used to come for information to the table at which I
sat, I used to grind my teeth at them, and felt intense enjoyment when
I succeeded in making anybody unhappy. I almost did succeed. For the
most part they were all timid people--of course, they were petitioners.
But of the uppish ones there was one officer in particular I could not
endure. He simply would not be humble, and clanked his sword in a
disgusting way. I carried on a feud with him for eighteen months over
that sword. At last I got the better of him. He left off clanking it.
That happened in my youth, though.

But do you know, gentlemen, what was the chief point about my spite?
Why, the whole point, the real sting of it lay in the fact that
continually, even in the moment of the acutest spleen, I was inwardly
conscious with shame that I was not only not a spiteful but not even an
embittered man, that I was simply scaring sparrows at random and
amusing myself by it. I might foam at the mouth, but bring me a doll
to play with, give me a cup of tea with sugar in it, and maybe I should
be appeased. I might even be genuinely touched, though probably I
should grind my teeth at myself afterwards and lie awake at night with
shame for months after. That was my way.

I was lying when I said just now that I was a spiteful official. I was
lying from spite. I was simply amusing myself with the petitioners and
with the officer, and in reality I never could become spiteful. I was
conscious every moment in myself of many, very many elements absolutely
opposite to that. I felt them positively swarming in me, these
opposite elements. I knew that they had been swarming in me all my life
and craving some outlet from me, but I would not let them, would not
let them, purposely would not let them come out. They tormented me
till I was ashamed: they drove me to convulsions and--sickened me, at
last, how they sickened me! Now, are not you fancying, gentlemen, that
I am expressing remorse for something now, that I am asking your
forgiveness for something? I am sure you are fancying that ...
However, I assure you I do not care if you are....

It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to
become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an
honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. Now, I am living out my life
in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation
that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is
only the fool who becomes anything. Yes, a man in the nineteenth
century must and morally ought to be pre-eminently a characterless
creature; a man of character, an active man is pre-eminently a limited
creature. That is my conviction of forty years. I am forty years old
now, and you know forty years is a whole lifetime; you know it is
extreme old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is
vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? Answer that, sincerely
and honestly I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows. I
tell all old men that to their face, all these venerable old men, all
these silver-haired and reverend seniors! I tell the whole world that
to its face! I have a right to say so, for I shall go on living to
sixty myself. To seventy! To eighty! ... Stay, let me take breath

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank Kautsky it's Thursday!

Zemiro, J. 126 (not out)

Well, it’s Thursday and I could almost vomit with excitement.

Exciting fact number one. The first test against the West Indies kicks off today, with the prospect of months and months of Test cricket on the television. Yay!

True it’s not The Ashes but meh – you can’t have everything.

Exciting fact number two. The Mrs and I are off to St Kilda tonight to attend a live taping of Rockwiz.


Julia Zemiro!!

Test cricket!!!
Could life get any better? I think not!

If, when you’re watching this Rockwiz episode on the television, you hear somebody in the audience shout out “Julia, I love you! Open the batting for Australia!!”, then that’s probably me.

Getting a bit excited.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A gift for Ramon

I was trawling through the photos of my trip when I came across this one. I was tempted to buy one of these cute pinecone creations for Ramon, but everything in the picturesque town of Fussen was exceedingly expensive.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Science rocks!

The other day I received my free H1N1 (swine ‘flu) immunisation, thanks to the Australian Government.

This was a good decision and I would urge people who can safety receive this vaccine to do so, for a number of reasons.

One. Although the H1N1 virus has not caused the same number of deaths in the western world as it did in Mexico, this is still a still a relatively new virus and we have no idea how it will mutate and whether it will become more virulent. It therefore makes sense to be vaccinated now, rather than later when the next ‘flu season arrives in winter.

Two. The more people who become immunised, the greater the “herd immunity”. Briefly stated, the more people immunised, the less the likelihood that the virus will become widespread in the community – which in turn reduces the possibility of a pandemic and death.

Three. It’s safe. The H1N1 vaccine uses technology that is proven and has been operating successfully for a number of years. True, it does use a small amount of a mercury-based preservative called thiomersal to prevent growth of bacteria in vaccine. However, thiomersal has a very long safety record and the levels of mercury in the vaccination are not sufficient to warrant concern. Thiomersal is not used in the MMR jabs – despite misleading nonsense from the antis.

So, there you have it.

Next time you’re talking vaccinations and somebody says “oh, but of course you know it’s not safe” you can say – with some confidence;

“No, no, no, you’re wrong and stupid and evil. Shut yer nonsense before I stab you in the eye.


*Not recommended by most medical authorities**.

**It is, however, recommended by me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Adventures of P and H - The Denouement

Hugo realising he misplaced an apostrophe on page 700

“Hey, that’s my t-shirt!” shouted H, grabbing the yellow medium from P. “You know I haven’t made my numbers this week and you’re trying to steal my stuff!”

“I don’t give a fuck whose t-shirt it is,” snapped P. “Take it if you want. You think I want more fucking t-shirts?”

“I have taken it and even if you wanted it you couldn’t make me give it back.”

“But I don’t want it back. It’s a moot point.”

“It is fucking not moot. You know you’re not as strong as me and you’re not prepared to admit it.”

“Pretty much everyone’s stronger than me and I don’t give two fucks.”

“You do give two fucks. You’d like to be stronger.”

“Not enough to actually bother doing anything about it. Anyway, I’m faster than you.”

“As if that matters."

“Well why does strength matter?” said P, straightening up, having folded his 400th t-shirt of the day. He sealed his fourth box with brown tape and pushed it across the table to Rancid. Rancid carried the box to the warehouse where the trucks would pick them up later that evening.

“Fucking hell,” said H. “You finished your fourth already?”

“Yeah, because I don’t stand around whingeing about everything all day like some fucking moron.”

“I haven’t even finished my third.”

“Oh well. I’m off. I’ll see you back at the flat.”

“Don’t go yet! Help me with the rest of mine and then we’ll finish quicker.”

“What do you mean ‘we’, white man? I’ve finished mine and I’m going home for cigarettes and a bottle of wine.”

“You selfish cunt!" creamed a suddenly panicky H.

“Fuck you.”

“When’s fucking Vince arriving?”

“Vince? Who the fuck’s Vince?”

“Your mate, Vince.”

“I don’t have a mate called Vince. I don’t have mates for that matter.”

“Fuck off. You know, Vince. The cunt who fucked up the lighting during my play.”

“You appear to be senile.”

“Oh, not Vince. Arne!”



“You mean Earl?”


“I don’t know when he’s arriving. Sometime between March and December he said.”

“So he’s really narrowed it down.”


“I bet you can’t read Les Miserables in one sitting,” said H suddenly, putting down his newspaper and looking across the filthy room at P.

“Why the fuck would I want to?”

“I didn’t say you’d want to, I just said I bet you can’t.”

“Of course I could. Anyone could. As long as you’re allowed to get up for food, water and a shit.”

“Ok, you’re on.”

“What do you mean? I’m not going to do it.”

“You just said you would!”

“Balls I did! I said anyone could do it.”

“You couldn’t.”

“Of course I could, fuckwit. But who could be fucked?”

“I’ll put money on it.”

“How much?”

“A hundred bucks.”

“Not enough. It’s days out of my life.”

“No it isn’t, you’ll be reading classic literature. You want to read it anyway don’t you?’

“Yeah, in my own time, relaxed, without you watching over me.”

“I won’t watch you.”

“How will you know I’ve done it?”

“I’ll quiz you on it.”

“Two hundred bucks?”

“Ok. Go!”

“Go? You want me to start now? I’ve got work in three hours.”

“How long do you think it will take?”

“I dunno. Fifty hours.”

“Are you an imbecile?”

“It’s 1000 pages!”

“No it isn’t!”

“At least.”

“Let me get it.”

H left the room and returned directly, clutching the penguin classic edition.

“It’s 1232,” he announced.

“Well, even if you could read a page a minute, that’s 1232 minutes.”

“Well calculated.”

“Which is about 20 hours.”

“Uh huh.”

“Am I allowed to sleep?” asked P.

“No. And anyway, I reckon it’s a minute and a half per page at least, maybe even two. It’s small writing.”

“So up to forty hours! I can’t do that without sleep!”

“Just read fast.”

“I might die.”

“I’ll allow naps. Three one-hour naps. But you have to finish in thirty reading hours. That’s the bet.”

“Two hundred?”

“Yep. The only breaks are for the naps, eating, drinking, pissing or shitting. But try to piss and shit at the same time.”

“So with each break you’ll stop the clock?”

“Yeah, it’ll be like time out.”

“Ok. I’ll start on Thursday when I have three days off.”

“Ok. Do you think Lou will arrive soon?”

“Lou? Who’s that?”

“Your mate Lou from Melbourne.”




“Jesus Christ, I gotta go to that fuckhole of a factory tomorrow and fold those infernal fucken t-shirts,” cried H suddenly, throwing down his empty can of beer. It settled amongst a pile of identical cans. “What a fucked up job.”

“Not me,” said P, cracking open another can. “I got three days off.”

“Yeah so you keep fucking telling me you fucking clock.”

“Yeah except I’ll be spending it reading fucking Hugo.”

“You don’t have to.”

“Whaddya mean? You bet me two hundred bucks!”

“Yeah, but you don’t have to.”

“Oh, what’s the alternative? Hand you cash and drink beer for three days?”

“That’s what I’d do.”

“Well I don’t have two hundred to spare. I can’t afford to lose the bet so I’ll have to read it. Wait a minute. How will you be able to ensure I stick to the rules?”

“Fuck the rules! What difference do the rules make? You either read it over thirty hours or you don’t. I’ll be able to decipher that in the quiz. I know the book intimately.”

“Fucking nerd.”

“When are you starting the read-a-thon?”

“Tomorrow morning first thing. I want to get a good night’s sleep before I start. I’ve bought a heap of coffee and cigarettes, I won’t drink, and I’ll fucken show you what a fucking intellect I am.”

“Intellect doesn’t enter into it, cock. You read it or you don’t. You don’t have to understand it. Just relate the plot in detail.”

“Well, while I’m reading the fucking tome I may as well appreciate it.”

“Fine, whatever.”

“Have fun folding t-shirts, you cad.”

“Suck this, fuck-top,” concluded H, flopping his dick out.

“That repulses me.”


“Let’s go,” said P, slinging his bag over his shoulder. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah I’m fucken ready,” answered H, stubbing out a cigarette on P’s copy of Les Miserables and picking up his bag.

“Hey, it was a good bet, a real contest. Well done. A fine challenge! Your mistake, however, was to believe that I’d take two minutes per page. A miscalculation to be sure but them’s the breaks.”

“Fuck off.”

“Look, I’ll spend some of the money on stocking up the beer fridge when we get to Rhodes.”

“You’d fucken better, you ball-less hack.”

“You’ll get over it, piss-face.”

“What time’s the fucken ferry leave?” asked H, shaking his watch which hadn't ticked since 1987.

“In two hours so we’d better fucken hurry.”

“It’s just over at Pireus. Seven kilometres away.”

“We’d better get a cab,” decided P.

“Hey, what if Evan arrives when we’re away?”

“Who the fuck’s Evan?”

“Evan! You never know who I’m talking about you dim-witted rake!

“You mean Earl?”

“Yes! Earl!” shouted H.

“I’ve left a note and a map with Maria.”

“But he was expecting to work at the t-shirt factory wasn’t he?”

“He knows nothing about the t-shirt factory.”

“I told you numerous times.”

“Even if you did, which you didn’t, why should I have told him?”

“Making small talk?” suggested H.

“Anyway, he can get work at the restaurant at Rhodes. Much better job.”

“Washing dishes?”

“Think of the women there.”

“T-shirts pay better,” pointed out H.

“I’d rather eat shit than fold another t-shirt. He’ll thank us for it.”

“Alright, let’s get going you pin-dicked wonder.”

Friday, November 20, 2009

This isn't going to end well.

My young love said to me,
My mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you
For your lack of kind"
And she stepped away from me
And this she did say:
It will not be long, love,
Till our wedding day"

As she stepped away from me
And she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there
And then she turned homeward
With one star awake
Like the swan in the evening
Moves over the lake

The people were saying,
No two e'er were wed
But one had a sorrow
That never was said
And I smiled as she passed
With her goods and her gear,
And that was the last
That I saw of my dear.

Last night she came to me,
My dead love came in
So softly she came
That her feet made no din
As she laid her hand on me
And this she did say
It will not be long, love,
'Til our wedding day

Dead chicks, eh!

Always trouble.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rules for Safe Flying

Captain Ardoz cops a fine for parking on the nature strip

Please be aware that flying is much safer than driving a car. Many more deaths occur through standard usage of earthbound vehicles than through normal usage of aeroplanes. Planes rarely fall from the sky or crash into objects such as buildings, mountains or other planes without a rather grand explanation.

Please also note the following list which outlines several other means of dying which are statistically more likely than death by flying:

- heart attack
- earthquake
- snakebite
- the use of power tools
- industrial accidents
- suicide by various means
- watching The Nanny
- shooting
- stabbing
- backgammon*

However, to further minimise your chances of the termination of life while on the aeroplane, please adhere to the following rules. These will also enhance other passengers' enjoyment of the flight:

1. Do not jump from the plane at any stage, unless it is still on the tarmac and preferably stationary or moving at a very slow rate.
2. Do not shoot any pistols, revolvers, rifles or other firearms or detonate any ordnance of any kind while in the cabin. If a bullet must be fired, please ensure it lodges in a seat, a passenger or the food cart.
3. Do not eat the fish, even if the stewards encourage you to do so, or indicate its safety by eating a bit first.
4. While in the cockpit, please avoid touching buttons, switches or the pilot unless specifically instructed to do so by the pilot or somebody wearing his hat.
5. Do not attempt to open a window as these are usually fixed. If the plane gets hot, try fanning yourself, fanning the person next to you or removing articles of clothing, preferably your own.
6. Do not attempt maintenance on doors or windows, even if they appear to be malfunctioning. Opening doors can be dangerous and should only be done under strict supervision and preferably only for a short period of time at cruising altitude or by a two thirds majority of business class.
7. Do not fly in an aeroplane piloted by a child, a drunk or an animal. If the plane is captained by a woman, it is usual to enquire whether the plane will need to be reverse parked.
8. If the pilot appears to be distracted (e.g. eating popcorn, reading non-aviation magazines or studying the aeroplane's instruction manual), you should assume the 'brace' position for the entirety of the trip.
9. Do not attempt to 'pop the hood' as this can cause immediate depressurisation.
10. If the plane crashes in water, be first to the door to ensure a good spot on the raft.
11. If the plane crashes on land in an isolated location, collect any food available to ensure you will not have to eat other passengers.
12. Do not play any sports during the flight, especially football, rugby and javelin.
13. If the passenger adjacent to you is snoring with his/her mouth open, do not be tempted to pop peanuts into his/her mouth, as he/she may be allergic.
14. Do not bring dangerous animals onto the plane unless they have their own ticket.
15. Do not rub up against any other passengers if you have a contagious skin disease.
16. Do not invite fascists, dictators or tyrants such as Stalin, Hitler or Mussolini onto the plane, as they tend to upset others.
17. If a doctor is called for, don't pretend to be a doctor, paramedic or pharmacist if you are not one. If you are a doctor of meteorology, mathematics or literature, these are almost certainly not the types of doctors required. In the rare case that a patient is dying of lack of understanding of the weather/trigonometry/the complete works of Pushkin, your services may be required.

Have a pleasant trip and thanks for flying Garuda.



* factually incorrect

Monday, November 16, 2009

PQs Top 10 Songs of the 2000s: No.9

I like The White Stripes. Particularly their first three albums when they were more about rockin' out and singing about 'my baby' and gettin' it on and all that shit. Since then, they've got a bit earnest for my liking. But two of their early songs, 'Fell In Love With A Girl' and 'Let's Build A Home' were shortlisted for my Top 10 but neither made it. They did get into the Top 40 though.

That could've been a blow for old-skool lo-fi two-piece drums n' guitar rock music, but enter, at No.9, the band called No Age.

No Age are the same lineup as White Stripes. Drums and a guitar, and that's it. Like White Stripes, they rock out (though where White Stripes have that blues influence, No Age seem to have come via the artcore/grunge school), but beyond the similarities end. White Stripes are cool, hip, stylish. No Age are dags. They're just two suburban kids, rockin' out.

They have a couple of EPs out and one album that was released in 2008 called 'Nouns' and it is fucking awesome. It's rock, it's punk, but it's also very lush and soundscapey. They have found a 'sound' that suits them, the way they play, and the result is one of the best albums of the decade.

I think what I love about the band is their everydayness... I grew up in the 'burbs and I like rock music. It's like they are what I wished I was, or something.

The song I have put in at Number Nine is Eraser, which is Track 2 of the the Nouns album. Track 1 is a kind of noise piece, so this song heralds the rest of the album. It's like the gateway to the masterpiece.

I have included below two videos, and I urge you to watch them both.

The first is them performing the song live on a TV show. They actually do a pretty poor version of the song, like, really shit, in fact, if you watch it you'll think 'how the hell did he put that at number 9'? But the background story of the performance, as you will see, is interesting, and you do get to see them totally raw.

The second video is the actual videoclip, where you hear the song as it appears on the album, so really, if you could only be bothered to watch one, watch the second clip... which, by the way, wins my 'Best Videoclip of the Decade' award. It is a strangely beautiful video.

Here is the first video, where they play it badly.

Because the second video is issued to You Tube by the record company, I can't embed it so THE CLIP IS HERE.


Oh, and Weekend Wrap. Got a kitten. 6 weeks old. Male. Meet Lord Byron:

Is it gay to own two cats when you're a single, neat male?

The Dutch

Nigel Powers:
There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch.

I happen to quite like the Dutch. I like their bread, tulips are my favourite flower and Amsterdam is a fucken great place to kill an hour. And it's not just the drugs, although I did smoke a reasonable amount of hash there when I passed idly through in 1992 on my circuitous way to meet Perseus in Athens. It's the canals, the streetscapes, the buildings. The cafes in Jordaan, the pubs of Leidesplein, the buzzing markets full of useless stuff nobody needs. The people are friendly, they cycle everywhere, they speak excellent English - much better than my Dutch - and the beer is outstanding, despite the mediocre but ubiquitous Heineken.

So what did the Dutch do to provoke the ire of the British? I mean, let's look at the following examples of English idioms, most of which are at least vaguely derogatory:

"In Dutch with the wife." Implying that Dutch women are ball-breakers? Perhaps. I particularly like this expression. Almost as good as "In the doghouse".

"Dutch courage". Courage obtained from drinking. Does this infer the Dutch are wimps, and only gain courage from drunkenness? Probably.

"To go Dutch." To pay for one's own meal. Surely a shot at the alleged cheapness of the Dutch.

"Dutch tilt/Dutch angle". A tilted camera angle, particularly in film. Are the Dutch so drunk they can't keep the camera steady?

"A Dutch Act." Suicide, which is often regarded as cowardly.

"Dutch Auction." Effectively an auction where the price goes down instead of up. It's a twist on the supposed stupidity of the Irish. (Incidentally, you think the Irish are dumb? Scotch finger biscuits.)

"Dutch Oven". Sure it has culinary connotations but, let's face it, it's all about farting in bed and pulling the sheets over your girlfriend's head.

"Double Dutch." Shit that nobody understands.

Not to mention quite a number more, however dubious, on this list.

I love the Dutch, but I love the English language more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Adventures of P and H, Part 3

“Whose dog is that?” asked P, taking a seat opposite H and cracking open a beer.


“What a fucken ugly mutt.”

“He’s not so bad.”

“It’s the ugliest creature I’ve ever seen!”

“What about that creature we hauled in when we went fishing?”

“I question whether that was a creature.”

“Yeah it looked more like a turd with eyes.”

“What’s his name?”

“Did we name it?”

“Not the turd, the dog.”

“Oh. Mustard. Well, that’s the translation.”

“So he won’t answer to mustard?”


P sipped at his beer.

“Did you know that Brent Walker pulled off a horse?” he asked.

“Pulled what off a horse?”

“Pulled off a horse.”

“Where to?”

“What? He pulled the horse’s cock.”

“What for?” asked H.

“To see if it would cum.”

“And did it?”


“Huh. I thought you meant he pulled it just once, rather than repeatedly.”

“And you’re not surprised that he pulled off a horse?”

“No, I’ve met the guy. Seems like something he’d do.”

“I guess so.”


“Look at this bloke,” said P, nudging H and indicating a German backpacker who was the t-shirt factory’s latest employee. The German was working at a hell of a pace. “He’s going to make us look bad.”

“Nah. That pace is unsustainable.”

“He’s been going at it for a while.”

“I’ve seen cowboys like this before. They fold like crazy for a couple of days then burn out suddenly. Nothing to worry about. He’ll be back in Frankfurt by Friday.”


“You ever had warts?” asked H, studying the palm of his hand.

“No,” answered P, stabbing at a typewriter he’d bought from the Kalamaki market for about three dollars. It had no S. He uzed Zs inztead.

“I think I have one on my hand.”

“That’s too bad.”

“I’ve had them regularly over the years. I know what to look for.”


“You know I once had warts on my anus.”

P was suddenly listening. “What was that?”

“I had warts on my anus. A cluster.”

“I’m not interested, you dirty pig.”

“Yes you are, you stopped typing.”

“I have writer’s block. Did you get fucked by a man with a warty cock?”

“That’s what the doctor asked, although somewhat more diplomatically. But no. I have this habit of scratching my arse in my sleep. I made the mistake of doing it while I had a wart on the tip of my finger…”

“Not listening anymore.”

“…and the anus, unfortunately, is an ideal breeding ground for the virus. It was more than happy to take up residence and proliferate. I thought I had anal cancer for a minute.”

“How did you get rid of them?” asked P.

“The doctor tried to freeze them off with liquid nitrogen.”

“Tried? Did he miss?”

“No, he nailed them but it didn’t work. So then he had to cauterise them.”

“Cut them into four?”

“No, dickhead, burn them.”

“Did it hurt?”

“Of course it fucken hurt! He burned warts off my arsehole!”


"Look what I bought, “ said H, holding up a box.

“What the fuck is it?” asked P. “A box?”

“Yes, it’s a box. Was the box included in the price of the transaction? I should hope fucking not. It was provided as a gratuitous added-extra. The contents, you see, would have been difficult to transport in any other way.”

“Well what the fuck’s the contents?”

“Allow me to show you, my ludicrous associate.”

H opened the box, placed his hand inside and revealed a turtle, its legs slowly floundering as he turned it over.

“What’s that?" asked P. "A terrapin?”

“What! Are you insane? Who guesses terrapin?”

“Well what is it?”

“What do you mean?” asked H, forgetting that he was still holding the turtle.

“I mean, you cretin, what the fuck is it?”

“Are you toying with me? Have a fucking wild guess!”

“A turtle?”

“Oh, you’re a genius! Perhaps I missed the part where you obtained your marine biology degree.”

“Why do you have a turtle?”

“I have two turtles,” answered H, revealing the second one. “I intend to call this one Raskolnikov.”

“Which one?’

“Doesn’t matter. Um, this one!” He held up the turtle in his left hand. “You can name the other one.”

“Raskolnikov II.”

“Surely you should’ve called him Razumikhin.”


“You can’t just call the other one Raskolnikov II!”

“Why not?”

“It’s unimaginative, uninspired and it shits me.”

“Too bad. You told me to name it. Anyway, what do you mean 'should’ve'? If anything, I should have called it Porfiry Petrovich. Or maybe Sonya!”

“Either of those would have been good! Even Dunya!”

“You can’t annul the naming. Deal with it.”

“Fucking hell. When’s your buddy Ertapp arrive?”

“Firstly, dickwad, I don’t have buddies. Secondly, his name is Earl. Thirdly –and for the last fucking time – I don’t fucking know!”

“Well the t-shirt factory needs more workers.”

“You got shares in that fucking place?”

H looked down at himself, his filthy clothes and the sparse nature of the flat.

“Yeah, I have a share portfolio.”

I used to have a car like that.

Childe Harold, wondering where he parked his car.

Did ye not hear it? -- No; 'twas but the wind
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet --
But, hark! -- that heavy sound breaks in once more
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! Arm! it is -- it is -- the cannon's opening roar!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How about I define scrotectomy instead?

I know the media is probably beating this story up somewhat, but I am stupid enough to bite.

For one thing, I don't know how a group called Define Statutory can possibly say they are merely "draw[ing] an analogy between rape and competing with another football team." How on earth does "define statutory" even fit into that? They are clearly referring to statutory rape. I just don't know how anyone can ever possibly think having sex with someone without their consent is ok.

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with an ex-boyfriend's brother once. We were at a restaurant for dinner. He had just finished reading in the news that a bunch of guys had been convicted of rape. He was outraged about it. Apparently, these guys were all soccer team mates of the girl in question's boyfriend. Wait, I'll reword that. Girl who was raped has boyfriend. Boys who raped said girl were all on said boyfriend's soccer team. Right. Now, apparently the boyfriend had gone out for a bit and the girl was asleep on the bed. The remainder of the team proceeded to "digitally rape" the girl, etc (I'm not sure how far they got). She woke up, wondered what the fuck was going on, and told them to stop (or something similar, I'm sure).

Now, the reason this guy was outraged was because... wait for it... the girl didn't say no before the guys started!!!! I looked at him wondering if he was joking. He wasn't. I told him that while she hadn't said no, she certainly hadn't said yes.

"But she didn't say no!"
"That's because she was asleep! She didn't say yes, either!"
"But she didn't say no!"
"Ugh! SHE WAS ASLEEP! She couldn't say no! But she didn't say yes!"
"Well, what's the definition of rape, then?"
"Are you serious? Sexual acts with someone without their consent!"
"But she didn't say no!"
"Oh my god, you're a fucking idiot! SHE DIDN'T SAY YES!!!!"

Anyway, I couldn't get as angry at this loser as I wanted to, courtesy of being in the middle of a busy restaurant. I ended up just refusing to talk to him for the rest of the night and pretty much every other time I saw him.

I don't get it. What sort of mentality must you have to think this sort of behaviour is ok? What kind of mentality must you have to form a Facebook group espousing your beliefs that rape is ok? And even if it was all just a joke or something, it still doesn't show very good character.

I resent these kids most because they're making me sound like my parents: what is with kids these days??

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

'1993: A Tale Of Three Cities'. Introduction.

I kept a diary between 1992 and 2004. Every single day was catalogued. Not in any deep way. "Tooth hurt. Had soup. Worked all day. Watched news. Bed." That sort of thing. Even if it was momentous or exciting it was still written that way. "Up at 4am. Became Buddhist monk. Long ceremony. Meditated. Bed at 8pm."

Now, you think I'm a love gumby now. You shoulda seen me in 1993, the year I turned 24. I was right amidst the 'All The World's A Stage' 'sighing like a furnace' stage. Right in the thick of it. I was in and out of love at the drop of a hat or the turn of an ankle. It also happened that in 1993 I was getting short stories and poems published all over the joint, I finished a novel, I lived in three cities (Athens, Copenhagen, Melbourne), lost my best friend, was imprisoned in a war zone, had an affair with a popstar, got mugged, and yes, became a Buddhist monk.

Life has been far more sedate ever since.

So, my plan is to serialise / novelise my 1993 experiences, and much of the inspiration to do this has come from Melba's 80's Diaries (which if you haven't read, I urge you to... particular if you were sentient in the 80's). But whereas Melba gives us her diaries verbatim, I'm going to attempt to post mine in standard current-day Perseus style.

I will of course change most names, but, I will post photos! I figure that's safe enough. Furthermore, there are four real names I will use, because they are celebrities / noted people in the public sphere (eg: Helena Christensen) and it makes it more interesting. There is a fifth name I am toying with using... the popstar I had the affair with. She's only famous in Greece, so it might be safe to use it, but, you never know. I need to think it out.

It might take more than a year to actually complete this task. I might give up on it if it's not working. But, I'll do my best to make it as salacious as possible, and although I may change some names, I assure you, everything is true.

I have to decide on the format. Present tense? Past tense? How will I introduce characters? I will decide over the next week, but by way of introduction, allow me to show you to the tiny apartment I was living in.

You can see two couches. Well, when you removed the cushions, they were in fact two beds. I slept on the one on the right, and my best mate Richie Swain (who will be one of the main characters) slept on the one facing the camera. The window above Richie's bed is at street level. That is, the apartment was underground. It was a tiny, tiny flat, but happened to be in the most affluent section of Athens: Kolonaki. It's where the rich people and celebrities hung out, and we lived in a beautiful apartment block filled with merchant bankers, successful artists and diplomats. It's just that we lived underneath the block... with Kenyans, Egyptians and Albanians. Whole families of them cramped into tiny flats. The cleaners. The janitors. All praying to Allah in the corridor at inappropriate hours.

Cramped as it was (and dark), we loved it, because we were two bohemian kids from the Melbourne suburbs living in the city of Athena, Socrates, Percicles, The Acropolis... the birthplace of philosophy and democracy. Hell, we even lived in Ploutarhou street... (English: Plutarch Street!)

Richie had a job singing with an opera company (as well as taking masterclasses in opera singing), and I was working as a stage-hand with the same opera company, as well as freelancing around Athens doing any job I could get my hands on, and writing novels and poems. Because we were illegal immigrants (our visas expired ages before) employers could get away with paying us well under-award money, but so long as we could pay the rent on this small dingy flat and scavenge enough food, cigarettes and grog to keep us going, we were happy. Mind you, we had discussed living in Athens when we were fifteen years old, and sure enough, almost to our mid-20's, we were doing it. Well, he had been doing it for three years, and this was my second time around (my first Athens sting was in 1990). But on this second stint, I was even toying with the idea of never leaving. Athens had become home.

Here we are in late '92, celebrating the arrival in the mail of 'Mattoid', an Australian literary periodical I had a short story published in.

Jeez. What's with my necklaces? How embarrassment.

My 1993 diary/novel will begin soon... I figure I'll just post when the mood takes me.

I'll start with waking up in the New Year after a massive night of debauchery at one of Athens' many punkrock clubs, at which Richie Swain fell down a set of stairs, then got vomited on by some chick (wearing my trenchcoat), after which, they pashed.

We had been living happily in Athens for about a year already, but things were about to get complex...

Chapter One coming soon.

Girl, 12

Based on a true story:

Boy, 14: I wonder what would happen if I got my dick out.

Girl, 11: Out of where?

Boy: Out of my pants.

Girl: Do you need to wee?

Boy: No, but I have this evolutionary and totally instinctive desire to get it out.

Girl: Well I don't care, whatever.

Boy removes penis from trousers.

Girl: Jesus Christ, what the hell is that?

Boy: My dick.

Girl: Is that what they look like?

Boy: It's what mine looks like.

Girl: Shit, it's fucking disgusting.

Boy: Fair go! I bet your dick is ugly too.

Girl: I don't have a dick.

Boy: What do you have?

Girl: A front bottom. And it certainly doesn't have those revolting hairs around it like yours.

Boy: What the fuck's a front bottom?

Girl: A girl's penis.

Boy: I don't even know what the fuck that means.

Girl: Whatever.

Boy: How do you piss?

Girl: None of your business.

Boy: What would you think if I put my dick in there?

Girl: What the fuck for?

Boy: I dunno. See if it fits.

Girl: Yeah, whatever, I don't care.


Girl, 11: Mum!

Mum: What?

Girl: My belly's starting to get bigger.

Mum: Show me.

Girl reveals belly.

Mum: Oh my God! You know what this means?

Girl: No.

Mum: It means we're going to have to cut down to five meals of Maccas per week.

Girl: Aw mum!


Girl, now 12: Hey, Boy.

Boy, now 15: What, Girl?

Girl: The doctor says there's a baby growing in my tummy.

Boy: In your tummy?

Girl: Yeah.

Boy: How the fuck did it get in there?

Girl: How the fuck should I know!

Boy: Did the doctor tell you how?

Girl: He said my mum would tell me.

Boy: Yeah, your mum's pretty smart.

Girl: Yeah. She knows the price of everything at the supermarket.

Boy: Cool.


Dad: Whose fucken baby is it?

Girl: Mine.

Dad: But who else's?

Girl: Nobody's.

Dad: There must be someone else.

Girl: There isn't, I swear.

Dad: Jesus Christ. Get me a bourbon and coke will ya.

Girl gets Dad a Woodstock pre-mixed can while he lights up a Winnie Blue.

Dad: That's better. So, who the fuck did you sleep with?

Girl: Last night?

Dad: Last night! Anytime!

Girl: Golly.

Dad: Who the fuck's golly?

Girl: My gollywog!

Dad: Oh Jesus Christ, you fucking little shit! Mum! She's going to have a black baby!


Uncle Glen: She was always a good girl. She's the best shot in the family. She could hit a tin can from forty paces. Fuck me if she didn't know how to rope a steer. Christ, who the fuck's going to plough the back paddock now she's knocked up?


Auntie Gladys: She was always trouble. Always had a thing for the boys. God knows I slept with boys at 11, but I made them shoot their filthy stuff into the dirt. Girls weren't stupid back in my day. I didn't have my first kid 'til I was 15.


Midwife: Push!

Girl: Push what?

Midwife: Push the baby out!

Girl: what with?

Midwife: It's ok, there it is, it's a boy!

Girl: Thank God, Dad woulda killed me.

Boy, 15: What's his name?

Girl, 12: Rawlings.

Boy: Cool. What do you think about getting its ears pierced?

Girl: He's booked in for Thursday.

Boy: Awesome.

Midwife: Would you like to cut the cord?

Boy: Fuck that, I'm going out to get pissed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why yes, I'd love to give you my opinion

Perky Sounding Chick Who None-the-less is Probably on Minimum Wage and Really Doesn’t Want to speak to another Dickhead.

A baking hot Sunday at Karl Kautsky House when the phone rings.

Me: “Hello”

Perky Sounding Chick Who None-the-less is Probably on Minimum Wage and Really Doesn’t Want to speak to another Dickhead (PSCWNPMWRDWD): “Good afternoon sir. I’m from Newspoll and I’d like to ask you some questions”.

Me : “Certainly. Do you mind if I put the phone down for a sec?”


I then put the phone down and run around for thirty seconds making yippee, woo-hoo noises, mainly because I love opinion polls.

Having finally found somebody who is employed to listen to my opinions, we have a very enjoyable chat; the highlight of which was when PSCWNPMWRDWD asked “Thinking about the opposition leader, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with his performance?” and I answered “Given I regard Mr Malcolm Turnbull as a gibbering buffoon, I’ll put that down as ‘dissatisfied’,”.

I always describe myself as a “swinging voter*” in the somewhat forlorn hope that some flunky in Liberal Party HQ will say “My God, the swinging voters think Malcolm is a gibbering buffoon. We’ll have to axe him at once.”

Happy, happy thoughts.

Fuck, I love opinion polls.

*I am not a swinging voter.

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000s. No. 10.

Even if I was still writing Weekend Wraps all that I'd have written about this weekend just gone is that my garden got weeded until the point that my hand cramped and went into a semi-permanent claw and I had to stop.

I have ideas though for three weekly posts to keep you all entertained. The first, to be posted on Mondays for the next ten weeks (subject to availability) is my Top 10 songs of the 2000s.

I apologise profusely to Lewd Bob in advance for the following reasons.

1. Lists are Lewd Bob's schtick. Nobody compiles lists like he does. He has a list of his Top 10 Italian films from the 1950's. But now here I am doing a list.

2. He will be furious that I am not doing a 'decade' Top 10, which would still be a year away given correct mathematics (2001 being the start of the decade). When the world kept referring to the 2000 New Year as 'the new millenium' Lewd Bob nearly went postal.

3. He will also be furious that I thought of doing a Top 10 Songs post on this site before he did, because he knows more about music in the 2000s than I do. But, by way of recompense, Bob, I suggest that once I finish my Top 10, you can do yours.

4. Some of the acts in this list I only know about because he told me about them.

I also want to apologise to you all for posting something not nearly as exciting as my love gumbyness, but for my every Wednesday post I may have come up with a decent compromise. But you'll have to wait. Anyway, on with the Top 10, which I'm scared only Pepsi and Bob will take any interest in anyway.


No band or act can have two songs in the Top 10. When I did my real Top 10, one act had three songs, and two others had two songs. I realised that would make the list less entertaining so I just picked my favourite song from those acts.

Also, I banned cover songs, which meant the Pink Mountaintops cover version of Joy Division's 'Atmosphere', and Johnny Cash's cover version of Nick Cave's 'The Mercy Seat' missed out, even though both had claims to make my Top 10.


It hurt to make this list, because I had to leave out so many great songs. For the record, Cat Power's 'Werewolf' came in at Number 11, so that I guess is the one that hurt the most. Beautiful song.


Someone spoke to someone about my band and anyway, we were invited to Hobart to play some shows. We played one Thursday night at a pub called 'The Republic' which is their version of Melbourne's The Espy. It is the place to play.

Anyway, we were out the back talking to the owner of the band and he says, "Some American wanted to play here tonight but I'd never heard of him so I said no. His agent was begging me to cancel you guys, and then the artist himself rang me and asked if he could play tonight, even as a support, because it was the only night he could do Hobart, but I stuck to my guns and said no. I forget his name. Bick 63 or something."

"It wasn't Buck 65 was it?" I asked in horror.

"Yeah, that's him," said the owner.

"Oh, my, fucking, God," I said. "You bumped him for us? He could've supported us?"

"You know him?" asked the owner.

"They guy's a fucking genius!" I yelled, angry at the owner for putting my band before Buck 65. "He's a cowboy who does hip hop!"

Anyway, we played the gig, and I was half-tempted afterwards to make a permanent poster saying, "Perseus's Band... They chose us over Buck 65".

Buck 65's real name is Richard Terfry and he's a Canadian, not an American as the pub owner suggested. He jumps around genres and every album is different, but they are all very listenable. I don't like hip-hop at all, but there's just something about his soothing voice, his lyrics and his choice of musicians that sits well with me. The song I post here at Number Ten of the 2000s is in fact the first song I ever heard of his, so I guess it has sentimental resonance as well. It comes from his 2005 album, 'Secret House Against The World' and it is called 'Blood Of A Young Wolf'.

The song won't be for everyone, but I hope you can appreciate it for its uniqueness, and apreciate its soothing groove as I do. It's one of my favourite 'cleaning the house' songs. It might be hip-hop, but there is something truly beautiful about it and I never tire of hearing the song.

I have no idea what the song is about. It might not be about anything.

Unfortunately, there was no videoclip on You Tube that I could find aside from the this totally weird clip made by a fan of the song, who simply posted shots of his car to go with the music. It's fucken weird.

But, below the You Tube video I have the words, so maybe you can make your own fun by reading the words and singing along. Well, rapping along.

ten thousand horses, sable island, endless summer
oh my god i’m hot to steal, beside myself and friendless number
i ain't got no culture, nothing, dirty words, but that don’t count
flight attendants, waitresses, superstition, good amount
there’s work to do, hell to pay, memories and fingerprints
calling papa ignorance
and i don’t wanna go, sick and tired
zoom, kick, persuasion, tech, zoom, kick, persuasion, tech
it’s an egg and spoon race, slow and steady, desert highway, a bientot
still i’m stuck, i cant afford it, picture postcard, small momento
echo, shadow, echo, shadow, sterling silver, burning furnace
frozen nowhere, just a kid, i had a friend named deadly earnest
cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my arm
praise the heavens, call the cops, relax, there’s no cause for alarm
diamond rings and little babies, startlements and miracles
i remember pretty faces so severe and lyrical
i’m talking amelia earhart, neko case and frida kahlo
all alone, the way it should be, i don’t even need a shadow
seeds of wisdom, found no purchase, we don’t even have a chance
birthday party, armageddon, long stemmed roses, avalanche
broken fingers, going nowhere fast and screeching to a halt
all that work for nothin', uh oh, whipping boy it's all my fault
zoom, kick, persuasion, tech, zoom, kick, persuasion, tech
zoom, kick, persuasion, tech, tech, tech, tech
i don’t wanna go to pieces, easy going, afraid to fly and so i’m running
catching fish and chopping wood, the revolution, slow time coming
i don’t know what else to do, cross my fingers, teach the children
read your fortunes, storm the studios, come on all ye faithful pilgrims
no more same old song and dance, some good ideas get overplayed
i eat my breakfast, ride my bike, a knife between my shoulderblades
see i’m a man of many problems up against some scary odds
we kill, we hide, we all fall down, idiots love to bury gods
it doesn’t happen overnight though, never, still i’m filled with wonder
lonely like a tightrope walker, hitchhiker, long distance runner
zoom, kick, persuasion, tech, good night for you bad night for me
but i still love you lying down, k i s s i n g
not bad, not bad, not bad at all i tried your shoes on
cigarettes and crucifixes, ingmar bergman, alphonse mouzon
really boring modern music, really boring modern girl
get me out of here, i’m drowning, i don’t like this modern world
anti-intellect and marketing, pretty, pretty, who needs talent
crying eyes, we’re so outnumbered, fight for the right to remain silent
what do i know, who am i, my two left feet my big dumb face
i’d do the same if i had the chance, cheat the system, rig the race
it’s all one big misunderstanding, inside out i turn my coat
don’t look back don’t move a muscle, one false move that’s all she wrote
zoom, kick, persuasion, tech, zoom, kick, persuasion, tech
zoom, kick, persuasion, tech, tech, tech, tech

Friday, November 6, 2009

A very special Perseus PSF

Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child's death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.

To honour the heroic work of our own Perseus, I post one of his favourites.

Pers, may all your romantic disasters be amusing in hindsight.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weekend Wrap - Last Edition

As I expected, Ramon Insertnamehere in real life was not anywhere near the cantankerous cunt-cunt he purports or desires to be. In fact, he was a caring and charming fellow... something I'm sure he doesn't want anyone to know. Melba was her usual vivacious and sexy self.

What I want to know is how come Melba left with about 67 lemons, and I left with five.


Sorry everyone. I got home Tuesday night after The Melbourne Cup and wasn't in the mood to type. I planned to write the post Wednesday morning but two things happened. One, that mosquito of existence, reality, invaded, and I was forced to confront work things. Two, when I finally got the chance to do the post I found myself reluctant. I'm over my weekend wraps. There's the small issue of Obtusa reading these entries, but the larger issue is that the therapeutic value which I thought I was gaining by writing the posts turns out to be nothing but a fallacy.

In a way, the five days (Fri-Tues) shoulda / coulda been my greatest ever post. There were Suicide Girl tantrums, there was a mad and drunken party in my house with sex and fights and even a creepy room invasion. There was a band gig that involved classic rock-pig adventures. There was a post-Death family Cup Day party to ponder and examine. There was the Very Important 'Third Date' with Obtusa that of course requires subsequent reflection and decision and offer... So much to consider, and so little motivation to publish it all, other than to entertain you all. Which I want to do, but not at the expense of my dignity, which finds itself, for the moment, a little frail.

I am in a way melancholic, and in a way free.

If I ever get a girlfriend I'll let you all know.

This weekend I plan to do my weeding, and like Melba's accurate assesment of the narrative structures of contemporary Australian novels, this weekend "As Perseus takes to his garden with a trowel and gloves to rid the yard of unwanted growths, he unwittingly reflects on his own life and the emotional weeding he must attend to..."

All that's left is Discharge's 'Love Gumby' doll, with totally un-authentic tie-colour selection. And a much better tan than I have.

So, it's come to this! Zombie kittens!

I don’t know what to do; scream in terror or say “aww, how horrifyingly cute”.

I can report that Melba, Perseus and I had a very enjoyable chat over beers and cigarettes* in a beer garden of a leading Northcote Hotel** on Sunday.

Lemons were also involved.

Beyond this, I’m sworn to secrecy.

*Although Melba was good and didn’t smoke, despite me saying “go on, go on, go on, go on, go on,” in a very annoying way.

**Not the one that’s always full of Northcote hipsters; the other one.

Monday, November 2, 2009

(Long) Weekend Wrap Preview

My Weekend Wrap will be posted Tuesday night to allow for the Melbourne Cup extended weekend festivities.

But the wait might be worth it!

How did my band cope with their second show of the 'comeback'?
Did Suicide Girl cause a scene at the gig?
Did I catchup with Obtusa again?
Who were those people exchanging bags of lemons at a Northcote Hotel?
And what of the drunken party at my house Friday night?
Will 'Leica Ding' win the Cup and make me rich?

These questions and many more will be answered on Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, here's one of my favourite ever songs, performed live. It's a good song to start the week with...