Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Meme

This one was stolen from the Plastic Mancunian. Sapphire is at home today with a red raw nose and a mysterious case of diarrhoea and my teeth are starting to throb which indicates that Mr Migraine is about to saw through my cranium and apply the egg beaters to my brains, so here goes:

1. What curse word do you use the most?
Crikey and Frack at the moment. It varies a lot but the mantra Poo-Bum-Bugger-Shit-Fart is a perennial favourite.

2. Do you own an iPod?
Yep. Got given a Mini by Love Chunks years ago but didn't use it because I was running outside and wanted my ears clear for stuff like red-light-ignoring delivery vans, potential rapists or wayward garbage trucks. Then, three years ago, when the first treadmill was purchased, I again fell in love with music and was given a Classic which now houses our entire music collection. Now the damn thing costs me around $30 a month as I download individual songs for various playlists to run, read, meditate, think, power walk, jog or sing to.

3. What person do you talk to on the phone the most?
Love Chunks. He and I both hate the phone and have a 'ring one specified number and talk for free for three minutes' deal, so it's right up our respective alleys.

4. Do you still remember the first person you kissed?

Ian Penn in year five, behind the incinerator at Murray Bridge South Primary School in 1978. Despite being shorter than a coffee table, he was the class lothario and I was only one in a long line of eager young girls he wooed. In fact, he closed his eyes and waited for me to approach and do the deed which I did, before running out of there as fast as I could.

5. Do you remember where you were on 11/9/01?
I had a 'flex day' (ie day off) and was having lunch with my workmate Catherine, who was on maternity leave and visiting with her three month old baby. We spent the day in front of the tv, cuddling baby Angus and wondering just what kind of world he'd turned up in.

6. What was the last movie you watched?
Sapphire and I watched 'The Devil wears Prada' today and we both loved it. It helps when it's been around for ages and your expectations are low. Meryl is brilliant in it.

7. Has anyone ever called you lazy?
Not in the last couple of decades, no.

8. Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep?
Up until four months ago, yes. At the very depths of depression I was on a real sleeping pill but I was so worried about being an addict that I'd take only one on Wednesday night and one on Sunday night, and endure sleepless nights in between. When things were better, I was switched to an anti-anxiety tablet to stop the brain from buzzing too much. That was six months ago, and now I'm on nothing. It's been very, very difficult and I envy LC his ability to not even complete the phrase 'Good ni---' before landing in Zzzz land. Lavender oil on the pillow, some stretches and self-meditation is helping. Sort of.

9. Has anyone told you a secret this week?
It's only Monday but yes, Sapphire told me that her very precious porcelain Cinderella figurine that she was given by her grandparents at age four as a display and NOT play doll was played with extensively whenever she had the chance. We both had a chuckle about it and she said, "Surely they didn't really expect a little girl to NOT want to play with Cinderella?" Luckily, she's still in perfect nick. The doll, I mean.

10. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
Face, shoulders, waist and butt. The face - especially when they're not looking directly at you or 'on' is a very clear indicator of what kind of person they are. Try it - check out someone when they're reading or watching something neutral on tv - is their natural pose restful, bitter, sour or cheery?

11. What are you looking forward to?
Having a really good sleep tonight without any snoring from Love Chunks, tossing and turning from myself or needing more than one occasion to get up and use the toilet.

12. Do you own any band t-shirts?
Not any more. I used to have Midnight Oil's 10-1 t-shirt from their 1985 concert and Dire Strait's 1986 concert t-shirts as pyjama tops for years until they ended up resembling a neck line with stray fringing where the cloth used to be. Oh hang on: does WWJJD (What Would Joan Jett Do?) count?

13. What will you be doing in one hour?
Taking Milly for a quick walk and litter ninja duty around the 'hood. Love Chunks has just cycled in from work so I can leave Sapphire in his capable hands and thus prevent the restless pooch from yawning exaggeratedly or butting at my leg with her nose.

14. Is anyone in love with you?
Love Chunks is. If that sounds vain or smug or patronising, then I'm really sorry, but he is. And I'm so grateful that he is because there's nothing greater than someone feeling the same way that you do about them.

15. Last time you cried?
On Saturday morning when I was umpiring a tennis match. Not Sapphire's - I'd never do one of hers, but a boys' doubles match and the cold wind meant that my eyes started to water like crazy and I looked as though the entire game was putting me through the emotional wringer.

For real? Not for a long time, which is also a pretty nice thing to be able to say/write.

16. Are you on a desktop computer or a laptop?
We now have a desktop but I miss my laptop so badly. It was easy to unplug and take out into the kitchen or on holidays and for some anti-OHS reason, I found it better to type on.

17. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?
Have two pierced ears and one blue rose tattoo that's only seen by Love Chunks, Sapphire when she bursts in while I'm having a shower or if I raise my arms up above my head and forget to tuck my shirt in. I have some vague thoughts about a second design but sense kicks in and the thought is then immediately quelled.

18. Would you ever date anyone covered in tattoos?
Not covered in them, no. One or two that really mean something to them is okay though. I particularly dislike the arm sleeve trend - it makes the wearer (usually an AFL footballer or someone equally mentally challenged) look like they need a good scrub down.

19. What were you doing before this?
Downloading some chocolate review photos whilst Sapphire showed me her draft tea party invitation. She'd like to invite five friends over for a spring afternoon tea party, featuring cup cakes, flowers, lace tablecloths and her guests dressed in their best. No, I don't know where she gets it from either.

20. When is the last time you slept on the floor?
Last night as it happens. LC was snoring and I gave up trying to lavender oil and meditate it away and went into the living room. Sapphire's bed wasn't an option because she was propped up on pillows to breathe and her bedspread was covered in dozens of scrunched and soggy used tissues. Therefore, I patted Milly for a while and lay on the floor beside her beanbag before hitting the lounge.

21. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
Three. Years of experience has shown me that I can get by on this tiny amount for around a fortnight before I crash and burn.

22. Do you eat breakfast daily?
No. If I'm running I can't eat anything beforehand and afterwards all I can manage is a glass of water or two and an orange. Then, by the time I've cooled down and had a shower, I'm ready for another coffee (and maybe - definitely - some chocolate) and might as well get some work done before it's lunchtime....

23. Are your days fast-paced?
Sometimes. Working from home means that most of the stuff is done during Sapphire's school hours and I'm still amazed when the alarm goes off and think, "What, it's 3.15 already?"

24. What did you do last night?
LC did a beautiful chunk of salmon in a coconut curry sauce on basmati rice and we ate it on our laps in front of 'Modern Family.' Then LC did some piano practice and Sapph and I watched the doco 'Life', narrated by David Attenborough. There was a classic scene of a lizard in South Africa imitating the walk of a beetle so that he doesn't get eaten which was hilarious; as was the footage of a frog leaping out the water to catch a mayfly. His fingers attempted to stuff the fly into his mouth but he missed it completely. Who knew that nature could be so funny?

25. Do you use sarcasm?
Every damn day, baby!

26. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
42 in November and boy, is my face reminding me of that!

27. Are you picky about spelling and grammar?
Sort of. I think I'm a reasonable speller but don't want to get too pedantic because it then opens me up to all sorts of nitpicking when I get it wrong.

28. Do you get along better with the same sex or the opposite sex?
Both, I think. I've never been a flirty type, so boys and girls are all potential friends to me.

29. Do you watch the news?
Sometimes. With the current election it's been on a lot more than when it features dole cheats, knife crime and sports results.

30. How did you get one of your scars?
I have one on my chin that I got when I was four and playing in a car junk yard whilst being babysat by a bachelor teacher friend of my parents. I don't remember this, but apparently Richard told me to 'Buzz off and play outside' which he thought was a nice thing to say, but I took it personally, stomped out in a huff and promptly fell onto some rusted iron.

31. Who was the last person to make you mad?
It's a general person - the secret but committed litterer who makes me scratch my head in frustration when a bin can sometimes be found only three metres away.

32. What is the last big thing you purchased?
How big is big? This house in November 2008 or the computer earlier this year. Or just a really large-sized wall calendar.

33. Who would you want to be tied to for 24 hours?
You're going to think it'd be Love Chunks aren't you? But no - it'd be the dog - warm fur, instant obedience and very little judgment.

34. What is a rumour someone has spread about you?
Nothing that's been very nice but even then it's been from people who eventually reveal their true nature. Karma and all that.

35. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator?
I was stuck in one for a couple of hours when I was heavily pregnant. I calmly rang the emergency phone, then flexed my triceps to call LC on my brick-sized phone (it was 1998) before sitting down to eat an apple. The environmental policy guy trapped there with me was far less controlled and I had to entertain him with inane chatter (one of my talents, sadly) until we were rescued.

36. T or F: All’s fair in love and war?
Hmmm, that really is only applicable if you're the winner. If you're the loser, you'd want to ram those words back into another orifice that the utterer owns.

37. Do you know how to use some words correctly, but not know the meaning?
Yes. I remember saying 'epitome' (with 'tome' rhyming with 'Rome') as a thirteen year old in front of my Dad who laughed so hard he farted.

38. Do you know which US states don’t use Daylight Savings Time?
Of course not. I am Australian.

39. Do you want a bright yellow ‘06 mustang?
Of course not. I am Australian and bright yellow cars always look tragically wrong and unfortunately recall a 'lemon' which is surely a big No-no in the automotive world.

40. What’s something you’ve always wanted?
To win lotto. To be a size ten. To be able to stop time whenever I need a sleep in, a think or some time to myself. No cellulite. The eradication of bogans, bigots, snobs and bullies.

41. Would you rather swim in the ocean or a lake?
Lake. Salt water hurts my eyes and I hate hate HATE it when seaweed wraps around my legs or the waves dump me into the gritty, hurty sand and I end up with a sandy crotch shaped like a dozen potatoes have set up home down there.

42. Do you wear a lot of black?
Yes. If in doubt, choose black. Even for summer.

43. Describe your hair:
Very thin, short and blonde. Currently lighter thanks to QT the local hairdressers. I like it low maintenance and out of my face.

44. Where is/are your best friend(s)?
Love Chunks is doing a work out in the shed; Sapphire is watching ABC kids; Milly is still nudging me to take her for a walk and Jill lives in Adelaide and is in training for her first marathon. I miss her!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Word Verification Edition Eleven

Oooher, I'd better get cracking on this before Wednesday ends. It's been a day of photography, interviewing, coffee, knocking on a stranger's window to find out a local mystery, research, chocolate reviewing, running and giving away a few GoneChocco-related prizes.

Onto some word verification/captchas I've had to key into blogger and wordpress this past week, all deserving a definition:

- Unwillingly spitting out a drink in shock, anger or amusement. Recent examples of this include any election parties held on Saturday night; seeing Bob Katter being interviewed since then and reading any of Andrew Bolt's blog posts.

Having a spumer isn't always bad, however. Love Chunks forged a friendship with a workmate of mine after making him laugh so hard he did a spumer across the table and ...... splattered LC with Cab Sav. That was fourteen years ago and we still love him dearly.

Gnoun - Garden gnomes that live anywhere other than gardens. Many Gnouns are forced to become so after being kidnapped and photographed with their new owners who travel around the world. More sedate sightings include those found on desks, on car dashboards, modern ironic art installatios and the scared little guy below who lurks in the darkness of the stairwell that leads its way up to the Victorian Greens office.

Copip - Putting your corporate colleagues on hold during a tele-conference so that you can have a coughing fit or a sneeze. Before committing a copip, the more practised person is usually able to utter, 'Can we please put you on hold for a moment? My Exec Assistant's just come in with some more information...'

In my own case, a dislodged piece of peanut from a silently-gulped Snickers bar was hawked up and the 'hold' switch walloped before any explanations could be uttered. "Geez, I thought you'd rogered a Walrus," Dennis from Darwin said when all lines of communication were restored.

Afnesses - The dread experienced by thirty and forty-something women when attending a formal event that requires them to slap on the war paint, torture their feet in heels and put on a dress, only to see a twenty-something woman in the same outfit. Younger, slimmer, more stylish and better accessorised. Afnesses are painful and humiliating, and sufferers are advised to either lurk in the more poorly lit areas of the function room or get drunk. Combing both options can also be effective.

- The ill-fated (and usually alcohol-related in the case of adults, or red-cordial-induced when related to children) attempts to mimic the traditional Russian Cossack dance whilst wearing ugg boots and MC hammer pants during camping trips, stays in youth hostels or on sleepovers. When done to the tune of the 1980 Olympic song 'Moscow' the effect is rendered even uglier by a factor of ten.

Flespoem -
Anything written on the back of a toilet door that is actually amusing.
Recent examples include: 'Beware of lesbian limbo dancers' scrawled on the bottom of the door;
I always used to be disorganised and run out of time but now I;
and this classic:
Don't beam me up yet, Scotty, I'm having a really good SHI-------^

Monday, August 23, 2010

Get yourself a cup of tea....

...because this is a long one that honestly truly does NOT contain the words 'budgie smugglers' or 'ranga' and I need you to stay with me, stay refreshed and most importantly, stay awake to give me some sympathy at the very end. Okay? Okay.

In 2005 my workload - and the way I was reacting to it - resulted in quite a few health problems, one of which was that four bottom teeth and my two front teeth had been worn away to the dentine (the painful, soft bit underneath the enamel) thanks to my unconscious new habit of jaw clenching and grinding during my sleep. It meant that I could barely drink a tepid glass of water or suck air in through my teeth without clutching my head in pain from a permanent brainfreeze but without the fun of eating the icecream beforehand.

My dentist, Doctor T, advised me that he'd need to install six new crowns to make up for the damage caused. At the time I wasn't too sure what crowns were - false teeth, or merely caps? They're sort of somewhere in between: like a false tooth that's permanently affixed to your original tooth which has been drilled away to a tiny peg by the dentist.

After the usual check up and x-rays, my first visit involved him grinding away my two back teeth on the left side. Three injections were needed to numb my face enough for Dr T to get his maxi-drill into my cake-cave and start planing the teeth away to tiny stubs. Whilst I could not feel any pain, I could hear the drill, feel the wet spray flying out of my mouth and smell the unforgettable odour of my own slightly burnt teeth shards. It's not a smell I'll forget in a hurry and not one that even those 'clean laundry', 'dirt' and 'coffee bean' perfumers will be rushing to put in their stores.

All this gave me ample time to count the numbers of holes in each ceiling tile - 29 x 29. A weird number it seemed to me, but then again it was preferable to counting Dr T's nostril hairs or getting glimpses of the broken tombstones in my mouth via the reflection in his safety glasses.

His sulky assistant prepared some sort of silly putty to put in my mouth in order to make a mould for the temporary teeth I'd need until my real crowns were ready in about a fortnight's time. He had to press the glue and the interim crowns in as though he was packing down his sleeping bag into one of those sausage sized covers: I was convinced that his hand was going to burst through the back of my head and beyond the back of the headrest.

I was finally allowed to see the teeth, but all they looked like was two half-melted minties. Good enough for a part of my body that'll only get seen if I'm screaming in terror or giggling myself stupid. This very same process happened again for my other two back teeth.

I was expecting the same process for my two front teeth. However, having two temporary crowns stuck on top of the two tiny pegs that were all that remained of my original front teeth made it look as though I'd stuck two chunks of teacher's chalk under my top lip for a dare. I was going to have to talk, smile and be seen in public with teeth that couldn't have been more fake than if they'd been chewed out of wet tissue and spat into my mouth with a pea shooter.

It was a long fortnight, and one that involved very little smiling or uncontrollable laughter (or terror, for that matter). It was with relief - and that's an unusual sentence to write in an article about multiple visits to a dentist - that I fronted up to get my 'real' crowns for my two front teeth; the 'king' teeth that are the main stars of the mouth and smile show. The fake ones were taken off with a few disconcerting "Oh dear, this is difficult" and "Goodness me, the glue's good, isn't it?" by Dr T as he resorted to kneeling on my shoulders and pulling my head so far out of the chair it smacked into the overhead light.

Somehow they were off, and my two new choppers were ceremoniously brought in on a surgical tray. Under the light of the dental chair they looked pretty OK to me. On went the cement and in the mouth. Done. I thanked him, and toddled off back home.

It was only then that I realised that I hadn't even seen what they actually looked like in my mouth. I wandered into bathroom and gawped at the mirror in ever-increasing horror. They were grey. My other teeth were white or at least off white. Perhaps it was just me being over-sensitive so I waited until I saw Sapphire and Love Chunks that afternoon. "Mum your teeth are funny," and, from my beloved, who is always so very tactful and kind, shaking his head: "They're shockers. You've got to go straight back and get them done right."

We've all had to take things back to get them replaced, fixed or a refund, haven't we? But teeth? That are permanently affixed in our mouths? That are made of stuff stronger than our own natural enamels and will last longer than our own lifetime? Hmmm, we weren't talking about an overcooked steak, wonky DVD rental or tight pair of shoes. Was the dentist no better than a tradesman who'll slap in the tiles in your laundry upside-down when you're at work and then bugger off and hope you won't notice? Especially if you've already paid his account?

There was nothing to it but to walk back in as soon as the surgery opened the following morning. Blushing profusely I asked Sulky Socks to see Dr T. "You don't have an appointment, can I tell him what it's about?" Whilst I was tempted to fire back with "It's about fixing my spare unicycle tyre.....what the hell else could it be about?" I didn't. Instead I gave a weak and embarrassed smile and whispered, "Er, I'm not happy about the colour of my front teeth."

Out came Dr T and with him, the dental technician, Bill. I again repeated my complaint and weak smile. They looked at my smile under the dental chair's light, then the office light, the technician office's light and then suggested I stand outside in the sunlight. I did, feeling like an right berk as I smiled at no-one in particular in the alleyway behind their surgery.

There was a green BMW parked there that had 'BITE ME' on the licence plate. Just as my face was beginning to hurt from all that non-genuine smiling, they agreed: the colour was wrong. They got all technical about the base colour being too blue or something but I was happy enough to hear that they agreed about the colour and I didn't have to argue my case. Bill dashed back upstairs and returned with a colour chart of teeth and we three together selected a colour more appropriate.

Back on went the temporary spitball ones for another fortnight of smiling with tight lips. Two very long weeks later and I was again back in the chair, nervously awaiting my new teeth. Bill brought them in proudly, "Ah these ones are grand, my best work yet." Yeah right, well we'll believe that when we see 'em out in the sunshine, buddy boy.

l felt like a slow-mo headbanger as Dr T yanked off my temporary teeth. My tongue immediately ran over my front teeth and it was an awful feeling - two tiny sharp stumps instead of two square teeth and now Dr T wanted me to go outside and smile with these pegs so that they could check that the new teeth were the same colour.

"Please Dr T, don't show me a mirror of the remains of my original teeth - I don't need to see that underneath I look like an in-bred Hillbilly banjo player who only has enough in her mouth to suck tobacco with. I'll just have to trust that you and Bill can check that the colour is right."
"Fair enough. And don't worry, Bill's got the colour perfect this time."

They were glued in and I had a look - perfect, just like my old teeth, except stronger and hopefully immune to any stress-related nocturnal gnawing. "Great, I'm so relieved; they're so much better now," I beamed. "Well, that's the last you'll be seeing of me for a while."
"Sorry love, but we've got a few more things to sort out. It's clear that you'll need some root canal work on your upper jaw and we've got to make you a mouthguard to wear at night so that your other teeth don't get ground away...."

Since then it's been a real treat for Love Chunks at bedtime. He's always had to endure that final honk into my hanky to clear my nose before the two squirts of the tactfully named 'Rhinocort' are inhaled, followed by my slapping on some super-strength hand cream which I invariably use too much of and ask to rub the extra on his hands. But now my little routine ends with a 'click clack' as I pop in my rock-hard mouthguard. Any conversation we have after that results in my sounding like a lisper with a mouthful of fantails.

Last night he said, "Ooooh Kath, do all that again and leave your ugg boots on - you know how to keep things hot."

Pompous Old Git.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Word Verification Edition Ten

There are some weeks when, busy doing my blog surfing and commenting (officially known as 'research'), the 'captchas', or word verifications, almost define themselves. This week has been one of those weeks and I present you with the latest six to add to the collection:

Patinge - Unfairly blaming a fellow human being for the breakdown of your car, solely based on their nationality.
"You're bloody FRENCH, Pierre, and so is this clapped out, unroadworthy, useless f**king Peugot, so get out and push!"
"Yeah well Sven warned me about you - no wonder he left you after you sold him the volvo!"

Urebro - A pair of men urinating at the same time, standing closely together in locations that aren't public toilets. The Urebro formation is commonly seen occuring on fence walls during pub crawls, day hikes and on the side of the highway during long road trips.

Woopre - A premature expression of victory, immediately followed by disappointment. Many AFL commentators find themselves screaming a Woopre: "And he's past the 5o metre mark, one bounce, two, a quick dodge, a boot and it's a G-...... Oh. A behind."

Procki - Someone who eats chocolate in front of people they know without sharing. Prockis are not to be confused with Grockis, who eat chocolate in front of strangers and are therefore not obliged by convention or kindness to share. No, the Procki displays a staggering amount of selfishness and is likely to be felled soon afterwards with a particularly virulent form of arse itch or risk receiving a handmade card and voucher that says 'Free Hugs' for their next Christmas gift.

Burinomp - The dreaded realisation that, after one bite, the food you're eating is inedible or off and is cooked by your boyfriend's mother, so you have to somehow swallow it whole and hope that the seven two dozen mouthfuls magically taste a little better. I have not-so-fond memories of doing this with a steak-and-kidney pie and the father's home made wine as a nervous seventeen year old!

- Using a sleeve or the back of your finger (which is then surreptitiously wiped on your pants) after a sneeze produces more than an explosive sound. Frequent Kerchee producers should remember to carry a tissue or handkerchief, but most seem incapable of remembering such a trivial item and 'snail trails' that glisten on clothing is the unfortunate and rather disgusting result.

Monday, August 16, 2010

'Onyer Dad

I attended church with my parents as a child and teenager, but no longer do so. Even a couple of months shy of turning the 'meaning of life' (age 42), I'm not into organised religion but am certainly into trying to be a decent person, as are most of us.

I believe that there's some kind of entity 'up there' or 'around us' but no, I have no proof or any need to find some and I can't pretend that I'm convinced that it's a Christian god. Perhaps it's just so that my small mind doesn't have to try and contemplate the enormity of the universe or the utterly baffling mysteries of life here on earth.

Whatever the case - and I guess none of us will find out until we turn up our toes - I like what my Dad has written to his local government representative. It could just as easily have come from a paid-up member of the Sex Party, The People's Front of Judea or the Judean People's Front or the census-driven Jedi.

27th July 2010
Church Council
Adare Uniting Church

We wish to state our support for the acceptance of refugees [boat people] seeking settlement in Australia. We support the statement of the President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Rev. Alistair Macrae, who in part said: "There is nothing to fear in reaching out a helping hand to those in need. In fact, when Australia has acted with decency in the past, we have been repaid many times over."

Rev. Macrae says that the Opposition has abandoned not only Christian values, but basic human decency, and that "callous and punitive policies such as this, (the deeply disturbing plan to turn back asylum seeker boats) are not the mark of a fair, decent and progressive country." We consider that an "offshore solution" is an inappropriate way to treat distressed and vulnerable people.

We the undersigned, who are members of the "Explorers' Group" from the Adare Uniting Church, call on both Government and Opposition to act with compassion within the United Nations Guidelines, and to actively discourage the emotive scare tactics concerning asylum seekers which now seem to predominate.

(Attachment signed by a heap of folk my parents know, aged between forty and ninety-something).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Surely you've got bigger ones?

Location: Moonee Ponds K-Mart, standing in a long queue.
Time: earlier today
My frame of mind: day-dreaming with Barbra Streisand's 'Memories' as the soundtrack, feeling all droopy and sentimental.
Situation: Four customers are ahead of me and my stomach is rumbling.

Customer One, holding a black pair of size 24 knickers against her stomach, says to the check out girl: "So what do you think? Would these fit me?
Checkout girl: "Um, maybe. Do you want me to phone someone to come over and help you?"
Customer One sucks on her dentures, pushing them in and out of her mouth as she thinks: "Would they be able to tell me if these would fit me or not?
Checkout girl, smiling politely: "Er no, but he'd be able to help you find a bigger size if you'd----"

Customer One shakes her head: "Nah nah, not a 'he'. Here...." (she bunches up the undies and hands them to CG), " can have these back. I'll try again another day. When I remember to bring me specs."

Customers Two and Three are a couple trying hard not to gape at Customer One and have instead become engrossed in a No Idea magazine and haven't heard CG say, "Next Please."
Two taps her beloved's arm nervously: "Darling, I have to ask....."
Three: "What?"
Two: "I must be the only person in the world who doesn't know what 'moobs' are."

CG: "Next please."
Two: "Well?"
CG says slightly louder: "Next Please."
Two whips the magazine out of Three's hands and shoves it back into the rack: "What, it's so dumb of me not to know that you have to piss yourself laughing?"

Three: "Oops, that's us," and he places their homewares on the counter and gets out his wallet.
I tap her on the shoulder. "I couldn't help overhearing. Moobs are man boobs."
Two: "Ohhhhh. Well know I know! Thank you for being more helpful than---" she whacks his gently on the arse "......this old tool here."

Customer Four has only one item but it is threatening to fall out of her trolley.
CG: "How many rolls do you have there?"
Customer Four does a quick count: "Six packs. They're only five bucks each you know." Proud of finding such a bargain, she says it loudly and turns around to smile and include me in her good fortune as well.
CG: "Oh dear, they're scanning as eleven dollars each. Can you lift it closer and I'll try again?"
Customer Four struggles, because she's bought the entire shipment of toilet paper that has yet to be unpacked by the KMart boys and each packet of 3 x 18 bog rolls is sealed to the other in thick transparent plastic on a cardboard tray.
"Here, let me help you." I lift up the box like Atlas under the earth and it scans at $5 per pack.
Customer Four: "Thanks love."
I can't help but say: "Well you either eat a lot of fibre or have a much bigger bathroom than I do."
Customer Four politely chuckles as she wheels her trolley towards the exit.
Suddenly, a huge piercing alarm rings and two staff appear out of nowhere in front of Customer Four. They give the trolley a cursory check, do something magical with a swipe card to stop the din and allow C4 to pass. Over her shoulder she calls out to CG and myself, "All this fuss for three ply!"

Now it is my turn.
I hand over two pairs of jeans - size 12 girls' for only $19 - and two pairs of 8A bras.
CG has noticed my amusement at the events beforehand and says:"I didn't know they made bras in size 8."
Me: "Me either. They're for my daughter. I think she needs them and I... just... can't... believe... how quickly the time has flown by." Frack, I'm starting to tear up.
CG smiles. "Geez, I remember my mum getting all weepy too."
I clear my throat and change the subject. "So it's been big undies, blokes with boobs and bog rolls for you, hasn't it?"
CG laughs. "The old lady is a regular and she doesn't recognise me from the nursing course I'm studying. She was one of the patients I looked after during my rehab stint. But we all know her here and do what we can to help, but today for some reason she's here without her community carer."
Me: "Oh? She seems like a character and, let's face it, we all want undies that fit, regardless of our age and size."
CG nods. "I'm off shift in half an hour, but I'll leave these here with a note for my supervisor to find a bigger size for her because Doreen's a regular and deserves our respect."
Me: "You're right."
CG: "There was a guy standing between her and that other couple, but he got so embarassed when she paraded the undies that he left and went to the back of the queue on check out nine!"

I took my bags and receipt and said to CG, "You know, if you ever have time between studies and your work, you should blog about this."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Word Verification Week Nine

I'm still not sure if this is going to be a weekly thing or just something that I'll choose to do on Wednesdays when I've collected enough weird-sounding word verifications that require - nay, demand - an official definition.

Here are the latest, all real words I've had to type in order to comment on other blogs:

- Finding yourself still watching 'Cops' (or any dire TV show such as 'Cheaters' or 'The Bachelorette') long after the credits of the previous show (and the only one you intended to see) have finished, finding that it's now You have been tarized by tacky television.

Dribb - Short version: Killer Tree Drops.
Longer version: The large, slow dollops of water that collect on tall trees during rainstorms that plop onto your head as you're walking underneath. Such is the magnitude of these drops that the droppee (ie you) start worrying if was just water and not, in fact, a huge turd excreted from a feathered creature roughly the size of Big Bird. The Droppee (ie you again) then stops and gingerly feels their hair, hoping that their fingers will not be covered in what resembles the insides of a unusually pungent Cadbury Creme Egg instead of water. If it's dribb, it's just water.

Caticeke - Usually occurring at 2am in total darkness during a lights-off stagger to the toilet for a mid-sleep twinkle, caticeke is the act of stepping into cat vomit and deciding to just wipe the affected foot on the carpet and keep walking, hoping that someone else in the house will be the first to wake up, see it and clean it.
"Barry, I know you caticeked last night because your big dumb foot print is right in the middle of it, so get out of bed, grab a chux and clean it up!"

- A clump of mucus that has become dry enough to form its own separate entity and hangs vicariously from someone's nostril, sucking in to-and-fro in time with their breath. Snonstins have been known to mesmerise people, especially during job interviews, first dates and dental check ups.

Obsesto - Telling someone if they have something on their person that might potentially be very embarrassing, such as a chive stuck in their front teeth, an undone fly or a snonstin. Whilst it may seem a stretch of bravery to point out such a flaw to someone, any initial embarrassment they feel will pale into insignificance compared to the abject humiliation of delivering a well-researched lecture to a room full of presumably attentive people only to step from the podium and discover your silk blouse had been flapping open the entire time.

- A well-intentioned but mis-spelt slogan or word. The reader of the cymble is torn between agreeing with the sentiment and wanting to ignore it or amend it.

Cymbles are also often found in shops, especially those that serve cappuccinos and focaccias; with many take-away owners electing to pop in an apostrophe in 'Fish and Chip's'.

The world's most obsessed and prolific Cymble spotter would have to be my father. When he's not playing golf, turning wood (it's more innocent than it sounds), power walking, camping, bird watching (again, more innocent....), at Probus (yep....) or doing community work, his beady brown eyes are always on the lookout for Cymbles. If he's accompanied by someone when a Cymble is spotted, they'll then have to endure a well-intentioned but long rant about the sad lack of decent spelling in today's society.

However, they can always get their own back by pointing out that he's got a snonstin.

Friday, August 06, 2010

In the dumps

It’s been raining every night after school this week or we’ve been out and about and it’s been too dark to do any Litter Ninja-ing of any sort, save for the odd can or Red Rooster bag I pick up as I’m passing by.

That said, there was one bit of litter that I did see – and smell – and passed by several times, stewing inside.

The street we live on backs onto the local high school and there’s tiny little grassy strip that cuts it in half to stop people from speeding and to confuse furniture and pizza delivery men. Two very unenthusiastic bottle brush trees live there, suffering from the regular clouds of cigarette smoke or from being leaned against during marathon snogging sessions from teenagers.

That’s just during the week. On the weekends, the trees are subject to having beer bottles smashed against their apathetic stabilising poles and a bit of illiterate scratching on their trunks and my tongs are used to gingerly pick up the scarier pieces of glass so that the kids can continue their Monday-to-Friday smoke-and-grope sessions in relative safety.

This time, the Loser Boozers had left an offering of a different kind; one that was much harder to pick up despite its size.

In fact it was so grand in stature that locals had begun to talk about it amongst themselves. Amy hurried young Patrick along, saying, “I don’t want him to get too close a look at it, but how can you not? Who on earth is capable of making such a thing?”

The thing was a human turd. Or big, brown, moist pyramid of excrement, oh-so-discreetly ‘covered’ with two men’s handkerchiefs, presumably used as wipes beforehand. This thing was so large it even threatened to overtake the community’s collective disgust and replace it with concern for the health of the person who laid such an awful egg. Had they survived? Were they able to walk again? Had the A&E Department been notified?

It was located in my designated Litter Ninja zone.

For three days I stewed, knowing that I could not ignore it and hope that it would go away. It was so immense that a village on its southern slopes had all but perished during a mud slide and Bert Newton was hosting a telethon on the northern side.

Our suburb is a peculiar mix of bogans, barristers and everything in between and frequently comes alive to the sound of renovations. Skip bins in Melbourne are everywhere and it appears to be an unspoken inevitability that the darkness brings out people from neighbouring weatherboard cottages, holding enormous IKEA boxes, busted microwaves, three-legged outdoor chairs and the traditional stained mattress.

Maybe I should contact some
waste management expert to help me – their skips were already starting to mate and increase in number around my ‘hood like the urban equivalent of rabbits.....
......A couple of days later there other things on my mind besides the Chocolate Cheops four houses up. My editor hated the last article I submitted and actually said the words ‘big stick’ and ‘waste of my time’. My cholesterol level is now 7.4 (up from 6.5 the same time last year) and despite my regular runs I can no longer fit comfortably into the size 12 dress I was planning on wearing to a posh event later in the week and my little brother ended up in hospital.

Grabbing five shopping bags I strode up the street, whipping out some junk mail from Mr Divvy Van’s letterbox as I went. The papers sorta kinda covered the man mountain and the bags were used like big doggy doo gloves. Several layers later, the fifth bag was tied up and thrown into a nearby skip, with a nervous hope that the old sheet of corrugated iron that it landed on wasn’t going to pierce it....

After several OCD hand washes, I decided to phone Monash Uni’s neurological research unit as my sister-in-law had suggested. They were looking for people who suffered from regular migraines and depression to see if they could find a chemical as well as psychological link.

Would I be prepared to undertake a phone survey first, to determine if I’m a suitable candidate? Absolutely. Migraine symptoms, duration and frequency = definitely suitable.
Depression? Let me get back to you. Can I call you back, say later this afternoon after I’ve properly analysed the results and had a chat to my supervisor? Of course, knock yourself out. What do I care – I just hammer threw a two kilogram bag of poo into a skip!

Ring ring, ring ring, 3pm.
“Hi Kath, it’s Rebecca. We’ve had a look at your results and..... I’m really sorry, but you’re not suitable to participate our study.”
“How come?”
“Well.....,” she trailed off... “’re too happy.”

And you know what? She’s right.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wednesday Word Verification Number Eight

Redcarch - a frequent struggle experienced by late twenty-somethings and paired-up adults in their early thirties between going out and socialising and keeping up with the latest art exhibitions, cultural events, cafes, gay/childless friends and foreign films; or giving up entirely and staying at home in unwashed tracksuit pants in front of the Friday night footy eating pizza.

- the pointless-but-piercing holler that a drunk person makes when stumbling along your street - directly in front of your house and your own bedroom window - at 3am on Friday night/Saturday morning, usually followed by the 'Ba-doonk donk donk' of bumped (and sometimes humped) wheelie bins and the smash of dropped beer bottles. The oboomi is never intended on communicating anything more intelligent than the presence of the hollerer which is an oxymoron in itself.

Pryownyl -
an addiction to viewing the healing process of a flesh wound found on your own body, especially when covered by an easy-to-peel bandaid or strip of elastoplast. People who are afflicted with prynownyl rarely show an interest - or the strength - to view similar injuries on other people; it is just their own that they are fascinated with.

"Oh Matt's really got pryownyl tendencies. On our first date he kept flicking the lid of the crusty scab on his elbow open and shut throughout the movie and then wondered why I didn't want to hold his hand!"

Comekibo - the time wasted when performing everyday, non-sport-related tasks by people suffering a lack of basic coordination. Hanging out the washing is a perfect example. When handling underwear, the Comekibo victim grabs six pairs in their left hand and six pegs in their right hand and starts work. Comekibo results in the victim dropping a peg - bending down to retrieve it - straightening up and having a bra fall out of their hands. When they bend down again to pick up the bra, three pegs fall to the ground just as they had straightened up again. The sufferer decides to leave them there, reach up to hang up the bra and a pair of knickers gets dropped. The person sighs and bends down to pick them and the pegs up and forgets that they are also clutching four socks that slip out of their grip during the upwards movement and land on the muddy ground.

The Comekibo process continues over and over until all clothes are securely pegged to the line but are covered in a fine layer of dust and dead grass and the person has a lower back-ache.

Approsaw - the approval received from one's friends when showing them a new piece of equipment that is most commonly available from a hardware store. Examples include self-assembled outdoor pizza ovens, grey water flush systems, BBQ rotisserie hoods and really really huge hammers.

"Barry enjoyed the approsaw of his mates when he whipped out his hedge trimmer while the snags were cooking."

- feelings of guilt and shame experienced when furtively enjoying a popular television show, song or book that is widely ridiculed and derided in public. Glyyi sufferers live in fear of someone popping in unannounced during their Saturday night Hannah Montana-a-thon (and not having time to slip the Citizen Kane DVD in) or of accidentally singing the lyrics to Poker Face out loud on public transport.

"Lucinda raised her eyebrows in contempt at the bogan opposite her, struggling to read the back page of the Herald Sun even as she prayed that her dog-eared copy of Full Moon was hidden beneath Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything."