I am sick

I have a head cold. Snot fountains.

THE STARS:

Are you kidding?

LACK OF STARS:

STEP 1 “The sneaky whimper”

Coining the phrase that the long suffering love of my life, Bridget, used in relation to me:
‘Things took a turn for the feeble’.
At this stage, it’s not enough for you to simply feel dreadful – everybody nearby must know also. Everywhere your significant other/housemate/boss goes, they must find you curled up, snivelling and looking at them through a haze of pain and self pity. What does this accomplish? They might bring you some orange juice.

Oh hi… I don’t feel too good. The saucepan? Yeah… I guess you can have it. Sniff.

STEP 2 “THE MAD APOTHECARY”

Maybe you have a ball to attend, or the prospect of early morning work, but you suddenly realise you don’t want to be sick. You’re crushing garlic into a potentially deadly smoothy made of crushed paracetamol and berocca, while gargling shoe polish and applying various oils to your chakras. Nothing is too strange for you at this point. If you’re like me, of course, you may over diagnose yourself with fake hypochondria juice and then feel even worse.

STEP 3 “A stationary invalid”

People admire your dignity and fragile strength, as you lay weighted beneath several blankets and your crippling illness. You haven’t moved in days, and whatever pustulant room you chose to inhabit is encrusted with tissues, various confectionary wrappers and pity. Remain in this position for long enough that even the illness you are infected with finds you pitiful and moves on to more interesting climates.

Follow these handy steps, and you can go home and be sick too!

THE SCORE:

0/5 stars. I’m siiiiiiiiicckkkkkkk. You’re lucky you’re getting this half assed post, and not just a bag full of phlegm.

Monty

Some of you may remember how I auctioned a personalised blog post in order to raise money for the Queensland floods.

THE STARS:

Not only is Monty a charity dynamo, selflessly haemorrhaging funds like a Russian prince wearing his razor-blade jacket, but he’s also my hero. Recently Monty applied for a job, and when they asked for his resume,  a Spanish galleon thrust itself through the window, killing everybody in the vicinity. Except Monty. And he still got the job. And declined it, electing to fly to the moon on his enormous penis.

Monty’s best friends are a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Cretaceous Brown and a fridge that spontaneously gained sentience because it was so impressed at Monty’s choice of boutique beers and wide array of cured meats.

Tally ho, chaps, we’ve got some crimes to solve and orphans to feed.

Monty used to be married to Elton John, but they split after Sir Elton John began to feel threatened by Monty’s depthless charisma and easy way with woodland animals.

LACK OF STARS:

Much like the great chicken/egg paradox, it is unclear whether a paragon of a man like Monty exists BECAUSE of the disasters sweeping the globe, or if they are occurring in some vain attempt by the universe to balance out the sheer awesomeness that is Monty.

This obviously creates a moral dilemma for Monty, because if that theorem is true, then by killing himself, he would stop an enormous amount of human suffering. And of course, he can only be killed by his own hand. But as the Pope reminded him, Monty is TOO GRAND FOR NOTIONS OF GOOD AND EVIL.

Jesus got nothing on Monty.

Also, once he killed a hooker. Sliced her up a treat.

THE SCORE:

5/5 stars. Thanks for donating that $20 bucks, you’re a champ.

Rocks

Sand with pretensions.
THE SCORE:
Without rocks, the world would be a limp sack of extraneous plant matter and briny water, limply held together by my arch-nemesis gravity. If we could live in such a febrile world of gooey insubstantiality, I can only assume we would have evolved as giant jellyfish people who sting each other for fun because we don’t have music, literature or external genitals.
FUN FUN FUN.
You’ve all heard of the Rolling Stones? Kids used to like them in the 1960′s, before they gave in to the man and became our fathers, grandfathers and drunk uncles. Well, the Rolling Stones were actually four plucky stones who were powered by music and set off to educate the world about the wonders of geology through some seriously good guitar work. There’s a reason they call it Rock ‘n’ Roll, yeah? The Roll was actually a misspelt homage to Keith Richard’s love of bakeries.
Of course they never got around to singing any songs about igneous rocks, because they all fell in love with another type of rock, and dedicated their songs to it.
That rock was crack cocaine.
LACK OF STARS:
Before humans came along, the world was a utopia for rocks, stones and to a lesser extent, pebbles. Shale is the black sheep of the rock family and never thinks about anybody but itself. Rocks were free to roll around slowly, congregating in beautiful meadows and thinking deeply about the sunset or birds. Sometimes so many would gather in one place they would form a mountain.
But when humans got off there space ship, led by the ancient primordial ape- king that is Tom Cruise, they immediately shattered rocks peaceful existence, using them as tools of war and humiliation.
TAKE THAT, PENELOPE!
But this is nothing compared to the horror that occurred when rocks began to be used to make humans houses and were melted into a sludge to be our roads and concrete idols. Now rocks are just fragile shards of what they used to be, shattered remnants of a once proud race. Whereas rocks used to have the freedom to just sit and gather moss, now the most they can hope for is find useful work in a rockery, with a kind gardener who will occasionally wash off the all the dog piss with a hose. And as the stoic rock sits there with humanity plotting to use it and its kin for larger, more elaborate follies, it dreams of being a mountain…
THE SCORE:
3.5/5 stars. 3 stars because rocks are cool? 

Entrances

When you walk into a room, or a submarine or a coral atoll and people see you doing that and hence it is an entrance.

THE STARS:

Have you ever made a good entrance? The kind that draws eyes to you in a good way and asserts your dominance of the situation or makes people swoon or want to give you their carefully hoarded candy? I haven’t. In fact, I’ve never even seen a good entrance.
The only person I know – and admittedly it’s not a close friendship, I’ve just been following his career from a distance – that consistently makes good entrances, is Batman. People say that Batman is better than Superman because he’s just a man, an average Joe billionaire, crime fighting, playboy/martial arts master who goes out there and gets the job done. That’s not entirely correct, though.  Because I believe that Batman’s super-power is actually making dramatic entrances. Think about it, if he wasn’t able to do that, he’d just get shot a whole bunch.

GOON 1: HOLY SHIT THAT WAS A GOOD ENTRANCE.
GOON 2: OUR GUNS ARE USELESS NOW!

LACK OF STARS:

I’ve made three bizarrely bad entrances in my life, that I’m aware of. Maybe there’s more, but these are the chronicled ones. These are in no particular order, so I’m going to need your help in rating which is the best/worst/audience choice/best newcomer. You’ll also see they are kind of themed.

1.
Somewhere around my fourth or fifth year of university, I decided I would start studying dramaturgy, a subject in the Performance degree. This particular whim was never fully thought out, and never went anywhere, and I’d like to say it’s not because of the mortification of this particular day.
Due to the way the trains were structured, my morning classes were usually a frantic, heaving hustle to get from the train station, to the uni, buy my coffee and then get to class. Normally I wouldn’t be so blase as to try this on a day which happens to be my first class in a new subject. But because it was in the Creative Arts building, I felt a certain amount of arrogance. I knew that place like the back of my hand. Half an hour later, I stumbled into the classroom, which was actually a small auditorium, and around fifty odd people looked at me as I stood there, dishevelled, and despite the coffee in my hand, weaving a story about car troubles or something to that effect.
Lecturer clearly didn’t believe me, or care less, and she icily asked me to find a seat. The only spare ones were right up the back of the auditorium, so I pushed my way through, smiling broadly and sweating profusely.
As I sat down, I pulled up the swivelling side-desk doohickie on the side of the chair. You know what I’m talking about, the little tray in which you put your book and write notes on. I settled my coffee on it for a brief second, an extra large long black, while I set up my note taking items, because I’m the best student ever. Of course, the tray began to slide over, taking my coffee with it. I made a grab for the coffee, and was successful, but I overcompensated the strength of my grip and as I crushed it between my spindly fingers, the lid popped off and a flume of coffee spat over the auditorium, over five rows of peoples heads *splash, splash, splash, splash, splash* before spattering before the feet of the lecturer. Laughing maniacally, I gathered my things and left, never to return.

2.
For a while, I lived in Caringbah, worked at Sydney Airport and studied at Wollongong, but lived at my long-suffering girlfriend’s house during the days that I had classes. It took over an hour for me to get to any of these places from any of the other, so my memories of that time were all about living out of multiple bags and dragging them all around like a matriculating nomadic camel.
It was also at the stage in my balls arts degree where I had no choice about what subjects I had to do in order to graduate, including Victorian women’s literature, taught by the Queen of the Frogs.
So, one day I’m sitting in this class, and I have about three bags stuffed full of crap, and I’m digging through them to find my notes to begin a presentation about some terrible poems and what they mean, and as everybody is waiting for me to begin, I finally pull out my folder with a triumphant wrench, only for an entire packet of condoms to explode out with it and scatter through the classroom.
Did I forget to mention I was the only male in this class?

3.
There was this great group that I was a part of, called The Common Cold Poetry Collective, and our aim was to put on entertaining and stimulating poetry readings, full of live bands and funny, interactive poetry etc etc. One day we were doing a fairly small reading at a bar, and I could only make it half way through, so somebody had saved me a seat. I bought myself a beer, and then apologetically made me way over peoples knees and feet while the poor poet proceeded gamely with his reading. What was awkward, was this seat was right in the middle of the second row, so all eyes were on me, and to tell the honest truth, during poetry readings the slightest distraction is usually the most interesting thing you’ve ever seen.
So, I sit down, settle in and then take a large, celebratory sip of my beer.
Now, I’m no medical doctor, but there is some sort of reflex in my throat that seems to reject liquid at odd times. I’ve talked to people about this, and it seems fairly common. It’s not the same as choking, it’s in fact a lot more of a violent rejection than simple choking.
So, an explosive burst of beer erupts from my mouth and hits the guy in front of me. I have just spat a third of my beer into the back of his head. I also vaguely know him, but not well enough to make it any better.

Sorry?

But, because it’s a poetry reading, nobody says anything and I AM SAVED.

THE SCORE:

5/5 stars. I really love those stories.

Maths

What? What? 
THE STARS:
After years of suspecting I suffer a form of number-specific retardation, I’ve decided that I am actually the opposite of maths. Maths is all about creating unity and order and logical sense in a proceeding, and I’m about not understanding it. 
If Suzy has three oranges and boards a train at London, how many oranges will she have left in Paris if she eats one every four seconds and touches a penguin incessantly with her giant meaty hands?
3>4 + penguin = 100% ordinary.
I just don’t understand Suzy’s motivation – do I find myself moved? No. Am I intrigued? Well, yeah, it’s the classic story premise. Girl meets oranges, girl loses oranges. Girl crosses continents on a magic sea-crossing train in search of oranges, but finds love with an unhappy penguin instead. It’s a great film.
When sometimes A doesn’t equal B, and C is the answer you least expect…
Starring Jennifer Aniston as Suzy, Jack Nicholson as three oranges
and Hugh Jackman as ‘Steamy’ the unhappy train.
LACK OF STARS:
One of the more terrifying experience in my day to day life is having to pay for things. I have giant collections of coins because it is too hard for me to count in the necessary time. 
I DON’T KNOW, HOW MANY CAN I GET WITH THESE?
I used to have to do maths tutoring when I was in high school, because I could barely scrape through my class. One of them had a system where you played a bunch of computer games which were maths related. I think the idea was to appeal to Gen Y’s inability to focus on anything that isn’t bright and flashy and interactive, as if the problem isn’t a pathological inability to understand sequences and logic. But I remember the look of dull incomprehension on one of my tutors faces as I piloted my pixelated maths car off the cliff time and time again, because I couldn’t grasp what arbitrary system of logic they were working from. In what world does it make sense to utilise numbers in this fashion? Apart from ours, I suppose.
THE ANSWER IS MORE WHISKY.
Strangely enough, the one type of maths I was any good at was algebra, possibly because there were a few letters thrown in to make me feel comfortable.
By the time I was in year 10, I quit maths, which usually involved a bunch of teacher/parent/principal related hoops to jump through. But strangely enough, everybody thought it was for the best.
I’m big enough to realise that the problem is with me, and not with maths. Thousands of people around the world probably have a great time adding and subtracting things, and god forbid, divide things. But not me. Nah, screw that. Maths is at fault and needs to shape up or ship out.
Meanwhile, there have been two cases in my life where people have honestly thought I was a special needs person, and this is the far less dramatic of the cases.
While working retail, a customer gave me a twenty dollar note and then, after realising however much the trinket she’d bought cost, then gave me an extra $3.50. The bauble was like, $8. I just looked at the money in my hands for about two minutes, before saying softly “I’m not equipped for this.” The customer went to complain to a manager, saying that they don’t mind equal opportunity etc, but I should have somebody with me to supervise.
I don’t really have any hilarious and witty stories about maths. I just suck at it. It’s a fact.
THE SCORE:
0.5/5  (I like bridges)

Rats

I have spent four hours trying to work out when the introduction of a rat into the scenario is a good thing. There are none.
THE STARS:
You know what I hate? Lack of disease. Imagine what life would be like without millions of people suffering from buboes and pustulating sores? And who can forget the good time that was the Black Plague in the aptly named Dark Ages? What a shame that the Great Fire of London came along and ended that party.
What, it’s clearly London. Can’t you tell by the clock and the fire?
Yeah, and those are rats attacking people, not furry cups.
So, really, kudos have yet to be extended to the great plague enablers known as rats. If they weren’t around to spread disease and bite things and carry louse in the labyrinthine underground mazes of the cities of the world, where would we be?
God bless you, rats.
LACK OF STARS:
A rat by itself is terrifying enough. I’m fairly sure that the proboscis ridden snot fish looks down on rats. There’s something about knowing that they are designed to burrow into entrails that really stops you from seeing the positives in an animals appearance. Guess I’m shallow. 
But it’s never just one rat. There’s always more. 
And this is what I hate the most about them. THEY LIVE IN THE CREEPIEST PLACES EVER.
When I was a kid, I lived in a country named Qatar. There was this ridiculous playground that we frequented, at a place called ‘The Falcon Club’. It was enormous, and filled with sad, broken play equipment and stretched for miles. You know that scene in Terminator 2 where Sarah Connor has a vision of the playground being hit by a nuclear bomb? That’s what this place looked like. And it was awesome. And dominating the middle of it, was a slightly smaller than scale castle.
BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL.
It was boarded off, and all the kids believed it was because a kid had died in there. And when you looked over the shattered draw bridge and through the chinks in the nailed up gate, there was something about the black shadows that made you think they were right. 
They weren’t. Instead, one day as the harsh desert sun began to set, I decided I would brave the castle. I shimmied over the wall (because I was young and spry then. Now I’m old and… drunk), and to my horror realised that the entire bowels of the castle were open to air, and through the shattered floorboards I could see a HORDE of rats seething around.
Of course, I was never able to tell anybody what I’d seen, because I’d broken the rules by trying to infiltrate the castle, and I remember when my parents asked me why I’d run screaming into the restaurant, I made up something about a kid throwing a wasp at me.
I hope nobody ever throws a wasp at me.
Isn’t that weird that I drew myself as an adult.
Anyway, in that vein, near the ABC building there’s this creepy disused tunnel that used to be where trains went. Sure, it’s dark and full of rubbish, but that normally wouldn’t terrifying me. I wouldn’t have a picnic there, but I don’t have to make up stuff about big boys throwing wasps at me in there.
But twice now, I’ve been walking near it after work, and rats have come running out of the tunnel AT ME. And I know my action movies – when the rats are scared, that means something worse is in there. Or maybe a kid died in there. I don’t know. I hate rats.
THE SCORE:
0/5 stars.
THE COMMENT:
Today I learnt that I can’t draw rats or London.

The Milk War

There is a Milk War going on in Australia at the moment, and it’s as THRILLING as it sounds. After days of captioning Landline, Four Corners and more, I’ve decided it’s my duty that the world needs to know exactly what’s going on.

THE STARS:

COLES uses CURTIS STONE. WOOLWORTHS counters with JINGLE.

Woolworths and Coles have played their hands by dramatically lowering the price of milk in their stores. These are two grocery giants dealing each other mighty blows. And while this may, to the naked eye, seem like a good thing.

Lactose: TOLERANT.

There’s an untold story.

LACK OF STARS:

With such dramatic price cuts as these, Australia’s rural dairy farmers are finding their profits udderly devastated. Cow can these small-time producers hope to graze enough funds to match prices with the big bulls of the industry? Cud the answer be in new government regulations? Probably, but the farmers are failing to steer the government in the right direction. Certain MP’s are certainly trying as hard as they can on becalf of the dairy farmers, but everybody knows they are just one voice trying to be herd.

FARMER: You know, we have to wank that things tits
for a certain amount of money in order to survive.

THE SCORE

1/5 stars. Cheap milk is pretty good for my precious bones.

Haircuts

A giant leap of faith into the maw of uncertainty. Well, it is if you’re a big princess like me.
THE STARS
I need to have trust with my hairdresser, because I basically feel like they are conducting radical face surgery on me. When I lived in Caringbah, I found this great hairdresser near by and was extremely happy to have been so lucky. Anyway, imagine my dislocation when one day I walk in, sit down and discover to my shock that the entire décor had changed, I didn’t recognise anybody and the person who ran the shop now was somebody I went to school with. How did this happen? Shouldn’t they let you know? Because I had simply called up and asked for a booking, I was fine. But what if it was a butchers or something?
LACK OF STARS
I’ve just come back from a haircut and I’m very pleased to announce that it went fine. Hooray. However, sometimes things don’t work so well.
The most extreme form of this was also the most radial manifestation of my sleepwalking. I don’t sleepwalk much – in fact, I don’t sleep much. My sister on the other hands is a somnolent power walker who is angry at everything and has a lot of things to do.
Anyway, I’m not sure about everything I did on this particular night – all I know is that I woke up in our bathroom holding my swiss army knife, my fringe in my hands and only wearing my boots which I’d recently bought.
GOOD MORNING!

So after panicking greatly, calling up my friend Anna and crying a whole bunch, I decided that maybe a professional might be able to fix up the ragged stumps of my hair. At that point in my life I didn’t really have a style, so much as an enormous head of hair, like Jim Morrison or a lions mane. Except not so classy. Losing the fringe made it incredibly bizarre. Mullets looked better informed than this did.
I was living in Sutherland at the time, and wandered up to the main street. There was a barber with a grumpy looking Nam’ vet style person and a ‘salon’ with a really bored, fat looking lady with a beautiful feathered perm. I decided she might be able to help me.
As I sat down in the chair, it suddenly occurred to me that my story of waking up naked and de-haired via utility knife might be too much for this lady to handle, and sure enough she asked me in brusque tones ‘what the fuck had happened here’.
Flourishing under pressure as per usual, I paused for a moment and said,
“Well, you know how it is…”
I truly doubted she knew how it was.
“I let my grandma cut my hair…”
This apparently wasn’t good enough, because she looked at me expectantly.
“She’s… blind.”
It certainly was a reason, anyway. After the woman had her way with my remaining locks, the result was certainly different. She’d managed to butcher the rest into what can only be described as Medieval pageboy or Roman scribe.
However as bad as this was, nothing compares to the sheer psychological breakdown I had after I visited the Wollongong University’s on-campus hairdressers. You can’t really explain how bad this hair was, as it didn’t even have enough form to be compared to anything. It was unique, it was formless, it was beyond the constraints of mere words. It came from another dimension. I rolled around my friends house, drinking straight from a bourbon bottle crying and sobbing and muttering incoherently, and if addressed would only respond ‘Now I’ll never be a teen model.’
Hair by Cthulu.
THE SCORE
3.5/5 stars