Archive | idiocy RSS feed for this section

DAY 240: Having a good old streak

28 Apr

A FRIEND recently told me about a mission he undertook a few years back to streak in every suburb in Sydney – for which he nearly came a cropper in Redfern.

I do like the sound of that mission, but I can’t help thinking it’s ill-advised for a lady, unless accompanied by an escort. So I go for a dry run in the desert.

The desert responds.

Keeper? Yes.

DAY 239: Getting busted by the pumpkin cops

27 Apr

Ha. Ha.

ON the edge of the Big Desert, feral pumpkins roam the land like unloved kids. At first we deduce some must have scarpered under the fence from a farmer’s field and made a break for it, but they’re bloody everywhere.

They huddle at the sides of dirt tracks, make a run for it across great expanses of scrub and freeze when you turn around, so that they’re scattered like so many sinister pods in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

We jump out of the ute and break green globes free from their vines, fired up with joy as though this sudden glut of vegetables has taken on some magical significance. Scattered around are tiny yellow balls with soft spikes, like the useless toys you find up near the till in useless tat shops. We have a baby pumpkin fight and I squash one in my palm to lick it. It explodes like a tomato, but it doesn’t taste good.

I climb up into the ute tray with the vegetable matter and hold on to the rack, ducking low-slung trees as the bush pirate goes chundering down Border Track, quite deliberately exploding rogue pumpkins as he goes.

The main road between Victoria and South Australia is punctuated by a Fruit Fly Quarantine Station, which means the number’s up for our new friends.

“Why is everyone so obsessed with our poisonous pumpkins?” one of the two uniformed women approaching the ute says incredulously. I can still taste deadly cucurbita on my lips. Suddenly we feel foolish for being so excited at our haul.

“Roll them over there with all the others,” she says, pointing at the undergrowth where hundreds of pumpkins have already fallen.

The border cops are nice enough though, looking after the rest of our hoard while we head into the nearest SA town to see what gives. You can’t blame them for being jaded – they’ve seen it all.

The neighbouring town’s a welcoming place, and we’ve a warm, fuzzy feeling by the time we pull up to the fruit fly quarantine station again. And here’s our friend with our cooler bag of dangerous salad leaves.

“We’re going to tell people it’s full of cocaine,” quips the bush pirate as we take her picture handing it over.

“That’s okay, we went through it,” she says, “it’s not in there anymore.”


Keeper? Gone right off pumpkins.

DAY 236: Conducting birds

24 Apr

Dawn chorus now, please.

THE birds in the Grampians get up a bit late for our liking – we’ve managed to get ourselves up before five, played “just one more corner” for ages to get the right ridge, got breakfast in one hand and camera all ready in the other for a corker sunrise – yet there’s just one desultory tweet going down.

We help them along a bit by squawking loudly and making some alluring Woody the Woodpecker calls. It soon wakes them up and gets a confused cacophony going.

Keeper? Yes, was great kicking off a multi-species tweetfest.

DAY 235: How to trespass responsibly

23 Apr

Tell the dog to be discreet.

* Make sure your dog is well mannered.

* Do not damage any trees crashing through the bush around locked gates – unless they are already dead.

* Drive slowly to avoid hitting emus and kangaroos – bad form. (Did you know the emu and kangaroo make up our national emblem partly because it’s impossible for them to move backwards? Well, now you do.)

* Make sure fire area is damp and clear of detritus. Scoot dirt over the fire pit before leaving.

* Quickly stamp out any exploding gas cylinders and surrounding fire, including any flames on yourself.

* Pick up your Cougar cans.

* Leave at 5am to save any rangers the hassle of arresting you.

I built this.

Keeper? Unavoidable at times.

DAY 230: Getting a graffiti tag

18 Apr

The prototypes.

I BUY some hot pink spray paint from a model shop and come up with a HeyMan tag that only the most miniscule modicum of common sense prevents me from spraying all over the side of my house, once I run out of cardboard box.

Keeper? Yes. Fun.

These are rubbish by comparison.

DAY 218: Submitting to Boars and Whores

6 Apr

THE moment I clapped eyes on Boars and Whores magazine (not its real name, but pretty close) in a servo in rural NSW, I knew I had to be in it, somehow.

It’s all blokes in camos and night goggles, girls in blood-stained bikinis, and boars with their jaws propped open by sticks. Compelling stuff.

While my mate Stacey is determined I go to a ‘Dog a Hog’ gathering and enter the wet T-shirt competition, I’m hesitant. I need to stay true to myself when hunting down new a new experience (AND SLITTING ITS THROAT), and I like animals. My fundraising efforts for the RSPCA as a child were of what you might call fanatical proportions; I once stood up knock-kneed in school assembly and proposed we test cosmetics on prisoners; and if I hadn’t discovered booze and rock’n’roll and selfish things like that, I’d probably have had an illustrious career breaking into labs and liberating things from cages.

However, Boars and Whores does have a kiddy section, whereby chips off the old block can just send in their artistic impressions of Mum lying atop a freshly slayed grunter in her smalls, or Dad brandishing a Remington and a stubby. That can’t hurt to join in.

A kiddy-wink's pic in the latest issue.

I draw my own depiction of a boar hunt and send it in for consideration. I’ll let you know how I go.

My effort.

Keeper? Yes, I think I will submit more rubbish to magazines.

DAY 210: Inventing a phrase and getting it in the public vernacular

29 Mar

MATT Zurbo enjoys making up new vocab and dropping it insidiously into the kids’ books he writes (get ’em while they’re young). He suggests I have a whirl. “Stop trying to sell me a fart in a bottle,” he demonstrates.

We’re leaning towards the ocker end of the spectrum, because Matt laments the lost art of Aussie slang and detests Americanisms. He reserves particular ire for the use of “dude” over “cobber”, “gum” above “chewie”… “And if you’re going to root for me it better be something to do with sex,” he thunders.

With this in mind, I come up with:

yank-off (n) An Australian who insists on talking in Americanisms, i.e. “I know, riiiight?” instead of “Oath!” and “Who knew?” instead of “Fucked if I know.”
Usage: “Did you hear those yank-offs talking about Jersey Shore on the tram?”

bon scotts (n, pl) Weighty testicles visible through tight jeans.
Usage: “Shit, mate, put on some undies – your bon scotts are scaring the tackers.”

That sorted, I send them off to Urban Dictionary and add them to the Wikipedia entries for ‘Yankee’ and ‘Bon Scott’. Now it’s official.

Great slang-merchants in history

  • Linguist Anthony Burgess invented teenage language “nadsat” in his cult novel A Clockwork Orange, drawing from Russian, German, Cockney rhyming slang and the King James Bible. His “humble narrator”, Alex, detested “droogs”, thought ultraviolence was “horrorshow” and would ejaculate “yarbles!” or even “great bolshy yarblocks!” when provoked. I’ve regularly thieved bits throughout my writing career.
  • Chaucer’s a fag to read indeed, but as any school kid will tell you, you’ll come across quaint words like “cunt” in curriculum text Canterbury Tales, written in the 1300s. He was fond of bawdy, regional dialects, and liberally peppered sexual slang in among his olde English prose.
  • Roger’s Profanisaurus is a “compendium of profanity” courtesy of Viz character Roger Mellie, and boasts over 8000 inventive ways of saying “bum”, “fart”, “wank”, “vagina” and “fuck”.
  • Barry Humphries character, Barry “Bazza” McKenzie, made his debut in Private Eye and went on to be portrayed in films by singer Barry Crocker. The boorish Aussie-overseas coined phrases like “point Percy at the porcelain bus” and “technicolour yawn” – inspiring Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’. Quick! Someone take them to court!

Keeper? Yes. If you can think of other ways I can infiltrate the public psyche with my ripper new phrases, please let me know.

DAY 205: Trying two new watery things

24 Mar

Next time I'll wear clothes. Sorry.

“YOU swim like you’re trying to fight your way out of a paper bag,” observes Old Dog critically. After some coaching and a few fluffed attempts, I body surf my first wave. Yeah, I know – but as I’ve said before (and heaven forbid I slap on the Slough-wegian stuff too thick), I’m from England, and we don’t do that. We ‘paddle’ (that’s wading), and even then only when drunk or delirious and in long johns.

As I towel off, I notice Old Dog casually skimming flat stones across the surf, each skipping around six times. I’ve no excuses for not having done that – English beaches are generally great piles of shingles, after all. I give it a go and manage to bounce a couple once. GROUSE. As you say.

Watery things still to do: Water ski, jet ski, scuba dive, be a decky on a crayfish boat, lounge around on a nudist beach, swim to an island.

Strange Tasmanian marine life.

Keeper? Yes.

DAY 203: Forcing berets down people’s throats

22 Mar

TODAY I’m on a campaign to make berets fashionable. It’s a lonely crusade all right, but one I’ve been forging since primary school, when I published my daring debut, Girl’s Mag.

I count four berets and a disturbingly phallic post box.

And then there was the editor’s pic in my sophomore magazine aimed at sort-of adults, which earned me derision from the art editor and posturo-rockers Grinspoon alike – the latter after I simply remarked on the fact that one of their number was wearing socks and thongs in a national photo shoot.

Grinspoon "aren't about to take fashion advice from someone wearing a beret". But you would, wouldn't you?


Enough with the subtle leading-by-example – it’s time to step up my game and start forcing my rhetoric down throats. Haughty women in berets (it’s pronounced “be-rrr-AY”) are sexy, and I’ve got the pictures to prove it. What’s more, I’m sticking them up all over Melbourne’s lampposts and dunny doors in an insidious attempt to influence locals. Naturally I’m wearing a beret as I do so.

The propaganda.

Viva la resistance beret.

Keeper? Indeed. Winter approacheth, and with it, fashionable head gear.

DAY 202: Drawing naked commuters

21 Mar

THEY say if you’re feeling nervous you should imagine people naked, but I say it’s something you can do any time.

Bored on a train and can’t be bothered playing Bejewelled on your phone? Try and guess what kind of nipples the fellow opposite you has.

Might there be freckly biceps under that RM Williams shirt? A whisper of a crab ladder? And cut, or not?

And you, madam. Have you a tufty birthmark somewhere curious?
Have now!

Keeper? Was amusing, but feel a bit bad actually. And could one get arrested for this? I will stick to just picturing people naked in my head. THAT MEANS YOU.