Sunday, July 30, 2006

WARNING: this post has been recycled...

The weekend vote by the residents of Toowoomba, rejecting a plan to add treated sewage to the town's water supply, has forced me to recycle this post for the betterment of all mankind.

Apparently, Sydneysiders are not prepared to drink recycled sewage, even if it is 'treated to drinking water standard and safe', the Utilities Minister, Frank Sartor said recently as he defended plans for a desalination plant. Mr Sartor based his claim on a telephone survey of 600 people by UMR Research on behalf of the NSW State Government. This was strangely at odds with the results of an online SMH poll on the subject, to which more than 10,000 people responded.
The Greens predictably accused the Government of asking loaded questions in the survey to get the results it wanted.
Judge for yourself.

"Hello, Fingers...this is Sally from UMR Research calling on behalf of the NSW State Government. Do you have a couple of minutes to answer a short survey on Sydney's drinking water?”
"Yes, sure...water is an important issue. How can I help you?”
"We were just wondering if you’d like to drink recycled sewage, including toilet water that is treated to drinking-water quality.”
"I'd rather not."
"May I ask why?”
"Well, because it's sewage."
"Would you feel better about the idea if we told you the drinking quality of our recycled sewage would be assured by the NSW Government, which as you know is also responsible for the state’s magnificent rail network?”
“You mean the same government that keeps redefining the word ‘punctual’, so that a train running 2 hours late is deemed to be on time?”
“Then no, I wouldn’t, unless you are prepared to redefine the word ‘better’ so that it means much, much worse.”
"What would you say if we told you this approach is taken throughout Europe, where recycled sewage is put back into major rivers and then used further downstream to meet the next city's drinking-water requirements?”
"I would say that if I had to live there, it would be as far upstream as was Europeanly possible."
"Would it sway your opinion if we re-branded and re-marketed our recycled sewage under the name…‘Renewable Water’?”
"No, not even if you called it 'Sparkling Effluescence' and promised to supply it using fluted, cut-crystal pipes."
"So it’s not necessarily the term 'recycled sewage' that causes you concern?”
"No, it's the contents of the 'recycled sewage' that causes me concern."
“Are you aware of the successful campaign in Singapore, which is now adding 1% recycled sewage into its reservoirs, and would you be more open to drinking our recycled sewage if it was mixed with rainwater from Warragamba Dam?"
“You mean like a sewage shandy?”
“What sort of mix is the government considering?”
“Well, given the current level of Warragamba Dam, we’d be looking to add 94% recycled sewage to the existing rainwater. Of course this would reduce slightly if we got a good downpour soon.”
“I see.”
"Now, how would you feel about paying a lot more in the future for our recycled sewage than you do presently for fresh, clean drinking water?”
"The same way I feel now about paying a lot more to watch recycled sewage at the movies, than I used to pay to watch fresh, clean ideas."
"And finally, please describe your feelings on the proposal from the following response list: very comfortable, mildly comfortable, mildly uncomfortable or very uncomfortable..."
"Well, if the universe is very big, then I would be very uncomfortable."
"OK. Thanks for your time."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

what a cheap, dirty trick...

I knew it !!!
I fucking well knew it !!!
That hideous anti-smoking advertisement showing the young woman with mouth cancer is a fake; the bastards used special effects, make-up and a prosthetic mouth to create a picture of smoking gone bad.
Now, I’m certainly not going to argue a case in favour of cigarettes; they are disgusting and I realise that with each one I smoke I take liberties with my health. I wish they WERE good for me. If someone could show that smoking cigarettes was actually healthy for me, that the more I smoked the healthier I would get, I would happily puff my way through 300 a day.
That’s how much I enjoy the habit.
Medical fantasy aside however, I’m acutely aware of the seductively dangerous game of Russian roulette I play each time I light up; that’s my choice.
It’s also a choice many of my friends have made over the years, though a significant number have renounced their filthy ways for various reasons.
My point ??
My point is that in the 25 years I’ve been at it, neither I nor anyone I know has ever seen a smoker who has one of those revolting smiles riddled with mouth cancer. Same goes for the gangrenous limbs; I bet those images are actually frostbite victims recently dragged into Everest base camp ??
I’m sure there are cases out there somewhere; awful cases in which the side-effects of cigarette smoking are taken to their most nauseating conclusion…but I still haven’t seen one myself.
Have you…

Sunday, July 23, 2006

tough love...

As part of the decision-making process on whether to get a Burmese cat, my lovely ex-girlfriend is letting me ‘adopt’ her two prize-moggies for the upcoming weekend.
She’s also provided a handbook on caring for Burmese cats which I have been reading most assiduously over the past few days.
These cats require a mountain of maintenance as far as I can tell; thrice-weekly brushing of the teeth, daily brushing of the coats, daily playtime, twice-daily feedings, weekly nail-trimming and monthly vinegar baths. And…they must remain indoors at all times apparently to prevent to the risk of getting lost or catching cat-flu from one of the local ferals.
They are the Naomi Campbells of the feline world.
Well, I plan on re-training these pampered pussies while they’re in my care; my ex will thank me if and when she gets them back.
Bright and early Saturday morning, ‘Bollie’ and ‘Merlot’ will be taking a spin on the back of the Vespa; in a milk-crate strapped to the luggage rack. For the 10-minute dash across town they will be without their Cashmere lounge-vests in order to help better acclimatise to the harsh conditions ahead of them. You see, I’ve planned an ‘Orienteering Weekend’ for the two aristocats, whereby I drop them off in Centennial Park and they have 36 hours to find their way back to Cunt Point.
To prevent the possibility of starvation, I will incorporate a food-scavenging programme into their pre-course survival training; before their mission commences they will be shown photos of edible local fauna common to the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. I will also teach them, by holding their pointy little heads in one, the bush-technique of puddle-drinking to avoid dehydration; the good news for them is that heavy rain is forecast for the rest of the week.
The only real danger lies in their heading south from the park instead of north, a route which would take them directly through the dark-heart of Asian-fusion cuisine in the Randwick area…

Sunday, July 16, 2006

fuck those germans...

Amongst my many atrocious habits is a steadfast refusal to read most manufacturers’ instruction booklets in any sort of detail. Even when I can be bothered scanning them, the English section is often sandwiched somewhere between the Spanish, Arabic or Serbio-Montenegrin translations, the information contained therein uniformly long-winded, boring, over-technical, under-technical, incomprehensible, childishly insulting, or meant for every model in the product range other than the one I possess.
So far the worst thing that ever happened as a result of my ignoring instructions has been the complete yellowing of my hair whilst trying to add a touch of Drew Barrymore-blonde.
Until recently!
Last week I was attempting to install my new, state-of-the-art, ‘Bosch Clothesmaster 5000’ front-loading washing machine, which is only marginally cheaper than a ‘Mercedes-Benz 190E’ front-wheel drive motor car.
The washer came in a large, Paddington-terrace-sized cardboard box, most of which was taken up by polystyrene packing material. ‘Bosch’ should offer buyers a lifetime supply of washing powder to any customer who can open the box and locate the appliance inside within 2 hours.
Christ knows I couldn’t.
With typical German efficiency, the instructions/warranties for the washing machine came in an equally large box, except there was no packaging material inside; it was all booklets.
There was an historical brochure on the ‘Bosch Company’, detailing its humble beginnings back in 1886 making automatic frankfurter-boilers, to its continuing research into zero-gravity dishwashers for the moon. There was a directory listing every ‘Bosch’ distributor on the planet, complete with phone/fax numbers, addresses, websites, and a photo of each head sales-representative on-site. There was a catalogue containing every ‘Bosch’ appliance currently being offered for sale, accompanied by a 200-page amendment showing which of these products are not currently available. All up, there was enough literature to fill the old library in Alexandria.
Now remember, we’re talking about a washing machine.
It has some hoses, and an electrical power cord; it doesn't require an engineering degree to work out what goes where...
So, I connected the hoses, plugged it in and turned it on. The 600 horse-power, Kevlar/titanium, V-10, super-charged power plant started to turn over, there was a terrible screeching noise, a rending of metal on metal, a violent shaking movement and within 30 seconds it had completely destroyed itself.
When the smoke cleared I started frantically searching through the mountain of booklets in a desperate attempt to discover what had happened.
There were reams of useful tips for what I could or couldn’t do with my new, 200 kg washing machine. These included a handy hint that it was not meant to be used as a floatation device for teaching children to swim, and a warning to seek medical advice if I swallowed it. No one could accuse the ‘Bosch’ legal/technical departments of dereliction of duty in regard to neutralizing any potential law suits.
At the very END of the installation instructions, although handily entitled 'Transportation Instructions' was a brief paragraph on 'TRANSPORT BOLTS', which are things inserted into the washing machine at the ‘Bosch’ factory to secure the stainless-steel drum during transportation. Even had I bothered to read the instructions, I wouldn't have read THESE, as I would have concluded (wrongly, as it happens) that the transportation phase of the operation had finished with the delivery of my boxes. Buried away in this final section was an apocalyptic warning of the consequences of NOT removing these bolts before attempting to use the machine. These consequences apparently included a terrible screeching noise, a rending of metal on metal, violent shaking movements and guaranteed destruction of the entire machine within 30 seconds.
Well, they certainly got that right.
Not the sort of guarantee I had hoped for, but nevertheless an extremely accurate forecast.
I was thinking about my $1500 pile of high-tech scrap-metal this morning, as I was studying the instructions for opening a packet of cigarettes and I came to the conclusion that my life was simply meant to serve as a warning to others...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Nonoxynoxynoxinol-nine please...

After extreme pressure from radical hygienists and with The Department of Health apparently about to shut down my head, I reluctantly dragged myself up to the pharmacy last night.
At 3-00am, under cover of darkness and wearing a disguise, I slipped unnoticed into the 24-hour Soul Pattinson on Oxford St to investigate the range of anti-dandruff shampoos currently available. Specifically, I was looking for something I could display in my magnificent marble/granite shower recess without dying of shame; actual dandruff-curing capability was a very secondary concern.
Not for me the ubiquitous ‘Selsun Blue’ or ‘Head and Shoulders’, both of which, despite the innocent-looking names, positively scream “I have dandruff !!!” to the entire world. I wanted one of those generic-sounding brands; the name cunningly derived from its active ingredient and giving no indication whatsoever of its actual purpose.
You know…like ‘Refloxinol’ or ‘Penazotrene’ or something…
Thrush victims with a rampantly floral dose can happily walk into a pharmacy, yell “Where’s the ‘Diflucan’ ??”, take a case of it home then put it out on the coffee table; only a passing pharmacist or fellow thrush-sufferers would be any the wiser.
Suicidal teenagers need never get the 44-gallon drum of self-loathing that used to accompany the purchase of every 200ml bottle of ‘Clearasil’; these days they can order their ‘Zenmed’, ‘Reversion’ and ‘ProActiv’ from the chemist with the same pride they normally reserve for choosing ‘Jack ‘n Coke’ at the pub.
And as for me…
A very handsome tube of ‘Nizoral’ now stands stylishly on the product-ledge in my bathroom, everything but the name expertly scratched off with a razor-blade.
Spare a thought however for the people whose lives are ravaged by crabs, because from what I could see on the shelf (and I’m not making up a fucking word of this) they are still stuck with ‘Licex’, ‘Nitmix’ and my personal favourite…’LiceBGone’…

Monday, July 10, 2006

perhaps a parrot would look nicer...

Besides a large pile of cash, one of the things I’ve inherited from my family is a dry scalp which manifests itself as a steady, though hardly rabid case of dandruff.
I’ve never been too concerned about it; a few specks of white showing up on the shoulders whenever I wear dark clothing are hardly the end of the world. Christ…your average pillow, after more than a couple of years contains about a kilogram of dead skin cells.
So I’m always a little surprised by the reaction I get from people when they spot the telltale signs of my ‘horrifying’ condition. I’ll be standing around having a chat with someone when they start doing the dandruff mime at me; the raised eyebrow, the glancing at their own shoulder, the grimace then the flicking some imaginary pile of bird-shit off their lapel.
I’m sure they’re just trying to be helpful but it’s highly fucking insulting and totally fucking unnecessary; it makes me feel as though I haven’t washed for a month.
I mention all this because it happened to me last night at dinner; in a fucking restaurant. I was talking to a chick, an old friend as it happens, who rather than hold my gaze during the conversation, kept averting her eyes to my broad, apparently snow-capped shoulders. I knew what she was doing; she tends to do it all the time with me, so I asked her to stop. Not just in this instance but forever…
The way this chick does it, you’d swear some enormous boil had just burst and a swarm of freshly-hatched wasps had emerged from my chest cavity.
Of course she got all defensive, apologising, suggesting that she thought I’d want to know about the gigantic mound of detritus inexorably building up, threatening to cause my fall through the floorboards at any moment.
The most infuriating aspect of all this is that I’ve known this chick for billions of years; she’s a dear friend. I also happen to know that some time back in the 80s, she caught an excellent dose of herpes simplex…the socially acceptable, mostly incurable form which comes and goes, rearing its ugly snout occasionally and leaving its calling card; the cold-sores around the mouth.
And this chick gets them.
I can always tell because when she’s got one, her face is made-up like a fucking rodeo-clown's however I don’t find it necessary to bring attention to her condition; especially in public.
Anyway, since I will probably never rid my friend of her natural impulse to brush the dandruff from my collar, I have decided that the next time she does it, I am going to reach over, grab her lip between my thumb and forefinger and rub the scab, real or imaginary, right off her startled face…

Sunday, July 09, 2006

and where are my bloody iggs, woman...

Dear Kiwi Filth,

As you have constantly been reminding me all morning…yes it’s been a wonderful last twelve months for New Zealand.
Not only did the mentally fragile ‘All Blacks’ demolish the world-champion ’Wallabies’ in the Bledisloe Cup, leaving our dreams of rugby domination in tatters, but the ‘Silver Lesbian Ferns’ beat Australia’s ‘Golden Trouts’ to win the Melbourne Commonwealth games gold medal. The high point for the Kiwis came in the tri-nations Rugby League final, when the unbeatable ‘Kangaroos’ were held scoreless and flogged by the ‘Sheep-Shagging Wife-beaters’.
Even the ‘Pacific Peso’ came within five cents of parity with the all-conquering ‘Aussie Dollar’.
So, well done to all you Kiwis; enjoy the moment. You have pulled our pants down for now, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture, which is this:
In all other respects, your country is complete rubbish!!
That’s right, bro…Cuntsville.
New Zealand is an insignificant, microscopic speck of dirt that would fit comfortably into a remote corner of north-western Australia without even warranting its own postcode. Topographically speaking, it is suitable only for hosting a British Open golf championship, except that the country falls 200 metres short of what the ‘Royal and Ancient Society’ has deemed necessary to build a full-size course. What miniscule landscape does exist is so inhospitable that even the snakes which used to roam the country have moved on to greener pastures, whilst the climate, cold, wet and windy, is bleak enough to depress a polar bear.
Internationally speaking you are even duller than Switzerland, which at least buried its fangs in your butt a few years ago; despite being thoroughly landlocked, those famous, sea-faring makers of cowbells, chocolates and cuckoo clocks, managed to sail over and swipe the America’s Cup from right under your noses by whitewashing the ‘Black Tragic’ defense syndicate.
Your men folk are best-known for their propensity to sleep with livestock, and your womenfolk’s only claim to fame is that in backpacker destinations the world over…they are the barmaid of choice. Both genders have a congenital, vowel-related speech impediment and you tend to finish all your sentences with an interrogative preposition, eh.
You elected a chick as Prime Minister, which, historically speaking puts you on par with those terminally boring Canadians, who gaze longingly across the Great Lakes and dream of being Americans, in the same way you probably stare and drool over The Tasman and dream of being us?
Militarily, you would be incapable of knocking the froth off a cappuccino. We’d come over there and kick your butts up between your shoulder blades, except that from the looks of most of your countrymen, someone has beaten us to it.
Your country’s biggest commercial export is now furniture removalists.
Finally, your national emblem, the thing that identifies itself instantly as being uniquely representative of New Zealand, is the kiwi; a flightless bird. I’m trying to imagine something more pointless than a bird unable to fly but the only thing that springs immediately to mind is a fish that can’t swim.
OK, I feel better now that I’ve said my piece. I sincerely hope I haven’t offended any of my New Zealand friends with this rant, nor the peoples of any other countries mentioned in an unkind light, although I meant every word I said about Canada…

Monday, July 03, 2006

don't try this at home...

As soon as I got my first digital video camera I was overcome with a terrible desire to make my own porn!
I have a sneaking suspicion that most men in my situation have had the same idea whether they care to admit it or not? Oh sure, it all starts out harmlessly enough; the mandatory beginner clips, camera trained on our girlfriend with one hand whilst giving the directorial ‘more-action’ signal with the other. You try to coax her into saying something interesting, or at least cute but she simply grimaces, stares at the floor and yells ‘take the fucking camera out of my face’. You then progress to making a series of fascinating documentaries about your apartment before committing the ultimate indignity of filming your pet doing something enormously talented.
Deep down though, I really believe most guys want to try making their own blue movie, because let’s face it; we’re filthy animals at the core. The average male will try to find porn within 12 minutes of logging onto the internet for the first time…that’s a known fact…even though my research is predicated entirely on personal experience.
For most men it’s natural to watch it, so why not try and make it?
And I’m not talking about a sly peepshow...luring your unsuspecting girlfriend into the bedroom and secretly taping her undressing or performing a series of ballistically improbable acts on you, oblivious to the camera whirring unseen in the closet. Nor one of those graphically medical, up close and personal clips involving snatch-cam or surround-sound squelching noises.
I mean something artistic; a permanent record, tastefully capturing the bonds of intimacy that exist between a man and his trout.
And for mine, there’s nothing that encompasses this ideal more than a nice, long, slow blowjob. It’s just about the most thoughtful thing a trout can do for her man!
I mentioned this to my girlfriend, who enthusiastically (???) agreed to let me film her in the process of rendering unto Caesar the comfort of her lips. In truth, we both thought it might be a rather exciting experience; one that would enhance our sex life immeasurably (um...not that it needed it).
We chose the classic scenario; I would be seated on a chair and she would assume the position on her knees in front of me. Opting for a side-on camera angle, rather than the trendy point-of-view routine, I set the recording equipment on a tripod, optimized the lighting conditions, grabbed the remote control and took my seat in the director/star’s chair. My girlfriend took up her position on the floor, some preliminary adjustments were made to ensure ‘Mr Wibbly-Wobbly’ was looking his finest and the action began…
Now, I won’t go into details regarding the actual length of the scene; suffice to say that duration was the least of my ultimate worries. Throughout the entire performance, I felt I was managing admirably, whilst my girlfriend expertly ran through her entire repertoire with the sort of uninhibited grace I’d come to expect over the course of our relationship. The finale was predictably spectacular as far as I was concerned; the usual panoply of epileptic spasms and grimaces from me and some dream-like licking of the lips from her.
We could barely contain our mutual excitement at such a great ‘take’.
Hurriedly we raced over to the camera, hooked it up to the PC and downloaded our home-porn-movie…
Now, ever the realist I know in my heart that I’m not a real porn star, but unfortunately, as with most young men I’d been brought up on a steady diet of professional work; you know the stuff I’m talking about…
The girl, suitably sweet-looking with just a hint of naughtiness, suddenly dislocates her jaw like a reticulated python preparing to swallow a giraffe whole and clamps her lips around her partner’s member. And not just any old member either…uh-uh…it’s always the same; a preposterously monumental example of penile super-abundance, seamlessly and somehow impossibly grafted onto the body of a normal male.
This is followed by the obligatory bulging of the eyes, then the cheeks, whereupon the girl commences the act in earnest, a look of fear gradually replaced by one of pure contentment. This is accompanied by an exaggerated, trombone-playing-like flailing of both hands, much lizard-like tongue action and the depositing of several litres of saliva in the crotch region, until the salami-sized appendage is magically removed just in time to erupt all over the happy young lady’s face.
Well, I wasn’t expecting to see anything on that grand a scale, but neither was I prepared for what unfolded on the screen before me.
There was my girlfriend and there was I…in all our glory, re-enacting what I can only describe as the bit in the pre-flight safety demonstration where the hostess shows you how to manually inflate the life-jacket by blowing through the little valve. She was playing the hostess and I was playing the safety-jacket…
OK, maybe I’m being a little harsh on myself?
However…I couldn’t watch more than 20 seconds of this ludicrous pantomime. I suspected the ending, which I’d been looking forward to watching very much, was unlikely to be the ‘naked firewoman fights off high-pressure hose’ scene I had hoped for either?
With a click of the mouse, I consigned our movie to the recycle bin and vowed never to try that sort of thing at home again.
Let this be a warning!!!!
Leave pornography to the professionals.
Or to ‘Honeysmacks’…