Entries Tagged as 'Humour'

Ozzie Gets A Talking To

I know it’s not nice to psychoanalyse little boys when they haven’t asked, Ozzie, but these tantrums of yours are just getting ridiculous and I’m going to have to give you a piece of my mind. Now, it is true that your Mum said she wouldn’t be making you do anything to help out around the house and now she’s saying she’s changed her mind. It’s not unreasonable to have some negative feelings about things like that, but you have to try and understand that, now that Mum has invited Brownie Windsor to stay, Mum and Brownie have to decide things together so you’ll just have to get used it. And it is not ok to call Brownie a kiddie-fiddling pinko pillow muncher under any circumstances. I bet you got that off your father and don’t even really know what it means.

And while we’re talking about your father, you have to understand he’ll say anything to drive a wedge between you and your Mum. Remember him telling you your Mum was no good with money and you’d lose your paper route and your piggy bank would disappear in the middle of the night? Well none of that happened did it? So the idea that you helping out a little tiny bit with the housework will result in you having to share the house with hordes of towel heads and the power only being on when it’s a really sunny day and there aren’t any dirty bombs going off, while it appeals to you because you’re a typically lazy and selfish little boy, well that idea could be all a big porky designed to scare you away from your Mum.

And I know you’re sick of the sound of your Mum’s voice, with all her nagging about responsibility and getting a good education and preparing for the future. It reminds you of being a bit younger and her making you slip slop slap and you were thinking ‘how could the Sun hurt you?’ Your Dad still says, only the other day in fact, ‘nonsense, a bit of sun won’t hurt him.’ I don’t mean to be hurtful Ozzie, but your Dad is an idiot who still thinks the World was made 6000 years ago. And even though he acts like a working class bloke, he’s a total snob who’s forever trying to curry favour with the local business club.

I know, I’m sorry, don’t cry, your father means well. He’s just a bit misguided because he’s angry. He had all these plans for the place and now your Mum and Brownie are doing things all different and he’d rather tear the place down than see it in their image. But if your Dad is being childish, Ozzie, that means you have to grow up a bit faster yourself, start thinking for yourself, and stop being so easily lead by every little whisper of fear and dread that slithers out of your Dad’s lipless mouth. It’s time to accept that you, your Mum, Brownie, you all have a responsibility to look after the place and hopefully leave it a bit better than you found it.

Ok, so Ozzie, I want you to stop crying now. There’s nothing to be afraid of, and if there’s some bumpy track ahead, there’ll be less to be worried about if we get ready and all do our bit now. So I want you to go home in a minute and tell your Mum you’re sorry and you forgive her and give her a big hug. Then I want you to find Brownie and give him a solid hand shake and apologise for being so rude and say you’ll do your best to get on in future. And then you can do your chores and your homework like your mother said and you can all have a nice dinner together, ok? Good boy, wipe your nose, that’s the boy.

Now, Mr Abbott, if you’d like to come in please? I’ll just get my cane ready, please take down your pants and assume the position.

Here We Go Again

Two recent New Scientist articles set me a-thinking. The first involved a law suit brought by James Joyce’s estate against renegade biologist, Craig Ventner, for using a Joyce passage without permission. Ventner had inscribed “To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life” on the genome of his synthetic life-form. The second explored the possibility of sending bacterial colonists to other planets in the hope of seeding a world full of life like ours.

Surely, thought I, if we are considering sending forth an armada of bacterial pilgrims to infect new worlds, should we not equip them with, not just an apt bit of prose, but rather the sum total of all we know of the Earth, the heavens and ourselves, in some easily decipherable code, squirreled away in a nether corner of their genes? And, given that we have conceived, and very nearly have the capability, of such an undertaking, is it not possible that, millennia ago, residents of another world seeded our own planet in this same fashion and that in our genetic code may reside the truth about our genesis?

Being a living national treasure, my own genes were transcribed some years ago, and I fetched my copy out from under the bed the other day to see if there was anything intelligible therein. Code cracking not being my forte, it took several days to divine the key, but, lo and behold, the moment arrived when an impenetrable mass of random symbols dissolved into a discernible pattern, and before too long I was reading the very words of our progenitors.

I’m keeping them to myself of course, and have applied for a patent, effectively granting me exclusive license to exploit a tome that shall exceed in import any thousand texts one could name, sacred or profane, that have been said to change the course of civilisation. However, while not having read the entire epistle, I have skimmed and skipped through to the end and I feel I should inform you, and here I should issue a SPOILER ALERT, that our ancestors made their desperate gesture for immortality at a time when their world was entirely uninhabitable, from a space capsule orbiting their planet, by the last 5 beings of their civilisation in their last act before life support failed.

Um, Yeah, Right

News reports that Noah’s Ark has been found in Turkey have rounded out a bizarre week or so of news in which archeologists in Poland have uncovered the remains of Jack’s beanstalk, a herd of unicorns (what is the collective noun for unicorns?) was discovered in remote New Zealand and the New York Times exposed the truth behind speculation that Barack Obama is actually a foreign born Muslim intent on destroying America.

Oh. Seems it was a hoax. No, really?

Gertrude’s Diary #140 – From the Collected Letters of Gertrude

Gertrude
c/- Culturazi.com

Mr Ron Radford, AM
Director
National Gallery of Australia
GPO Box 1150
Canberra ACT 2601
AUSTRALIA

Dear Mr Radford,

I am writing to thank you for hosting Masterpieces From Paris.  That such a marvellous exhibition should make it’s way here is an event to be celebrated.

Entering the presence of those paintings was an unforgettable experience.  The variety of tone and texture.  The clarity of colour.  The details leapt out with such great veracity, as though I could reach out and hold them; which I could in fact do, because I’m actually talking about the backs of people’s heads and shoulders which is pretty much all I saw.

May I humbly suggest that you hold a special event viewing for people 165 cm or less?  I think that is the only way to alleviate the discrimination against the small of stature, as pointy stilleto heels or stilts are not the sort of footwear that should be encouraged in crowded galleries, lined as they tend to be with hard flooring and dazzled art lovers.

I trust that the Gallery will give this matter the consideration it deserves.

Yours faithfully
etc

Gertrude’s Diary #138 – Tragic

Three terrible things happened last week, the details of which I will relate to you here.

Feeling my creative powers at a low-point and my motivation for self-improvement even lower, I went to the library and borrowed a couple of really trashy books. The first was Stephen King’s recent offering titled “Cell”. I was sympathetic to the premise given the fact that I lost my mobile phone 6 months ago and have enjoyed a feeling of peace and liberation ever since. So a book about a terrible disaster that befalls people who use mobile phones was appealing. Unlike other Stephen King novels – which are all of them about a writer who must battle a tide of evil to save those he loves – this was about a graphic novel artist who must battle a tide of evil to save those he loves. Completely different. I polished that off in an afternoon.

The next day I started on another really trashy novel, this one by Dan Brown. I hate that bloke. He’s so bloody mediocre, and rich, and talentless, and successful, and too bloody rich and successful. It’s true, his books have unexpected twists in them, much the same way that the large intestine has twists in it. To save you the dreariness of reading Angels and Demons I’ve summarised the plot here. [Read more →]

Gertrude’s Post-Christmas Message

Here is my christmas message, late but heartfelt:

Please don’t buy any more stuff:   cheap stuff, expensive stuff –  just any kind of unnecessary stuff, really. If you don’t believe me, go and look at this.  But you should probably do it on a borrowed computer.

I’ll allow that this particular impulse is related to the relentless tide of new things that washes into the house at this time of year.   I tend to give homemade gifts, so I get a lot of new mess at this time of year, too.    I’m a rather untidy cook, so when I turn out 2.5 litres of fresh fruit cordial and 50 hand-made truffles (decorated with piped white chocolate to resemble mini christmas puddings) it’s only a matter of time before small pets stick to the floor.  Last year I also tried to manufacture my own body-weight in shortbread.  After a couple of days of scorching temperatures inside and out it smelled as if I’d rinsed the kitchen in ghee. [Read more →]

Gertrude’s Diary #133 – Take Two

I just wrote this blog and then somehow managed to delete it which I’ve done before and I’ll probably do again but I can’t quite work out how I did it. Something to do with hitting control and backspace I think. But I didn’t mean to do that on purpose so I’m not sure.

The version I just wrote was nearly completed and was actually quite funny. Now I’m having a Groundhog Day moment and no longer feel I can keep the material fresh and vivacious. Instead of delicately describing a sequence of events that led to a moment of downfall, pain, and ultimate salvation I could just write: I fell off my bike. Again. But this time I wasn’t pissed. Oh all right, I’ll elaborate.

Hot. Very hot. Decide to go for swim at sister-in-law’s house where we have a standing invitation to use the pool. (Except, as Bertrude and I aren’t married, she’s more properly an out-law than in in-law.)

Dress in cossy, place towel in string bag lying handily near the front door, ride up the hill to Duffy Street.

Mmm. Ah. Very refreshing.
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Gertrude Implores You To Take Her Seriously For A Minute

As some of you may know, I recently began employment with a small, grass-roots organisation dedicated to helping local communities do anything they can to reduce their carbon footprint. I spent several months visualising a job exactly like this one; working with people of vision, action and commitment, 5 minutes from home and Wildflower’s school, and with regular hours that accommodate other commitments. It is literally a dream job for me. Of course, the downside of this employment is that it comes with an increasing awareness of climate change, a line of thinking which is liable to lead to the excruciating discomfort of self-examination.

Despite the impression I may have given you with the amount of space I devote in my blog to flippant observations and trite assumptions, I actually try hard not to be judgemental of others. Recognising in each of us the struggle to reconcile to the slip of time we have between life and death (sorry; bit of new-agey philosophy crept in there), I am inclined to forgive people their foibles and stupidities. Plus, I’m quite foible-ridden and stupid myself, so people in glass-houses and all that. Also, I’m afraid no one will invite me anywhere if I start airing my opinions about the urgent need to dismantle the military/industrial complex and the end of the world scenarios that await us if we don’t.

So on the whole I have been able to check an inclination to proselytise when confronted with my friend’s and loved one’s casual indifference to the impending doom that awaits us. I don’t want to single any one out, you know, or make people I care about uncomfortable, but I just don’t think the Good-Fairy Government from the shining land of We Actually Give A Toss is going to make an appearance and give us time off from our oil dependent lives to find a nice little techno-fix for this. Uh uh. If we don’t take matters into our own hands, no one else is going to do it for us.

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Nigel Needs a New Home

This really only works if you know my name and a little bit about my personality, but nevertheless I thought I’d share this item found in the Canberra Times recently by dear old Gertrude.

Question Answered

On the 7pm Project and elsewhere on the telly tonight, the question is being asked: ‘What is the best way to sell Australia to the world’

Obvious ain’t it?

eBay

Classic Cricket Commentary

Just heard on the SBS televisual presentation of the Ashes cricket series:

‘England need to keep probing away with these two swingers’

Classic

Gertrude’s Diary #106 – English Woman 1959

This week, instead of actually writing anything, I’ve been reading about how to write.  Firstly in a collection of essays by famous writers of the 19th and 20th century, and then with the fourth instalment of Clive James’s biography – which assured me that writing anything takes a lot of sitting around doing almost nothing to get into the right mood.  This knowledge gave me the confidence to read an anthology of short stories by Tim Winton and to work on my 3D Pinball skills.  Thanks, Clive.

Then a friend told me that Gertrude is too ingratiating, and this further delayed the necessary steps required to reach the decision to start writing.  Anyway, I’m really, really sorry about being ingratiating.  I hope you all don’t mind too much.  We’re still friends, right?  I’m not sure what is the proper response to being told you’re too ingratiating.  Perhaps a nice, blunt F&*k You is the only way to show that one is taking the advice seriously.

No matter, because I’m finally here in the site admin section.  All I needed was the proper inspiration, and this week that inspiration comes in the form of English Woman magazine from July 1959.  Because it is in such a large format, English Woman (the Australia and NewZealand edition) was difficult to capture on my A4 scanner, so I spent a lot of time farting around with various editing tools.  My limitations in this area prevented me from including a wonderful quiz which featured such questions and multiple choice answers as these:

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Gertrude’s Diary #104 – Thank You

I know that last week I promised a list of things to argue about with your partner, but I wasn’t really serious.  I mean, what’s the point?  If your in the right mood then it’s possible to argue about pretty much everything.

Instead I thought I’d suprise you all with this little book I found when I cleaned out my bookshelf.  Published by Methuen of London for an Australian audience, it is a brilliant insight into an idealised world of early 1960’s values.  It’s also the lamest collection of printed words I’ve ever seen, but utterly hilarious nonetheless.

Front Cover

This is probably the most visually exciting page of the whole book, so enjoy it while you can.

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Gertrude’s Diary 101 – Survey Course Part 1

Gertrude is 101 this year.  What a coincidence!   To celebrate this synchronicity of events, I’m releasing this following review of all my diary entries so far.

  1. Gertrude can see Black Mountain tower from her house.
  2. Gertrude’s shed is full of other people’s crap.
  3. Gertrude once went to a school reunion and made jokes that her old classmates still didn’t get.
  4. Gertrude is sometimes perplexed by modern technology.
  5. Gertrude does not like football, nor any form of televised sport.
  6. Gertrude thinks advertising and marketing are laughable professions.
  7. Gertrude likes Canberra.
  8. Gertrude doesn’t like traffic and is sometimes nostalgic.
  9. Gertrude sometimes prattles on and on about nothing at all.
  10. Gertrude thinks Jenolan Caves are neat.
  11. Gertrude got pissed at the Polish Club.
  12. Gertrude does not like government campaigns that promote fear and xenophobia.
  13. Gertrude has on at least one occasion gotten her nose out of joint over nothing at all and is known to be sentimental about the Australian Labor movement.
  14. Gertrude thinks that Summernats is culturally insensitive and an act of environmental vandalism.
  15. Gertrude fell in Lake Burley Griffin on Christmas Day, and had to eat her lunch on Springbank Island wearing her undies and a borrowed shirt.
  16. [Read more →]

Gertrude’s Diary #100 – Delusions of Grandeur

I know it’s going to come as a bit of a shock, but it’s my duty to inform you that in honour of my 100th diary entry, the leaders of the world’s peoples have all decided to make me the boss of everything.  It started with Kevin – who’s quite frankly cheesed off by what a mess he’s inherited from Howard – and it just snowballed from there.  Even the most obscure splinter groups have agreed to give me total executive power.  I was as surprised as anyone, especially since I still haven’t yet overcome the various behavioural disorders I suffer from.  I know a lot of people are going to complain about it, but all I can say is it wasn’t my decision and these aren’t people you want to fuck with. So, given the circumstances, I’ve cobbled together the following manifesto – mostly on the back of paper napkins and beer-soaked music flyers.  I’m working on an international anthem too, but so far I haven’t got any further than, “That climate change ain’t gonna stop, unless we all walk to the shop”.

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