Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010: The Year In Preview

New Year's Eve is invariably the most disappointing celebration of all: less chocolatey than Easter, more expensive than Anzac Day, less fragrant than Diwali, and far less satisfying than Pancake Tuesday.  With that in mind, the Fella and I have already celebrated it: we just returned from a lovely picnic in the Botanic Gardens with an old friend, and with this new friend, who was taking a very unhealthy interest in my roast chicken.

The picnic was very nice, but ended prematurely when I knocked a glass of champagne into the Fella's lap while I was doing an impersonation of a cat shaving a leg of ham.  It's as hilarious as it sounds.

So with the frivolity behind us, there's nothing to do tonight but sit around wallowing in regrets, trepidation and cold chicken.  I, for one, will have sucked the last of the bones clean long before midnight and tucked myself into bed.

That said, I'm not a complete misery, and do enjoy the glimmer of hope that comes with throwing the lit match over my shoulder at the close of one year, and striding out in the freshly-laundered jocks of the new year.  And this particular new year holds a lot of promise.  So, I thought, rather than indulging in what livebird claims is the lazy journalistic technique of reviewing the past year, I thought I would review for you all the things that are going to happen in 2010.

SPOILER ALERT - don't read on if you want it all to be a surprise.

JANUARY:  I will start the year on a half-diet.  It can only be a half-diet, because it is my birthday month, and also there are lots of rumballs left over from Christmas.  For my birthday I will get a benchgrinder, the Sebastian Faulks novel I wanted, an electrical circuit etching kit (for arty purposes) and some cheeses.

FEBRUARY:  I start my diet in earnest and finish it on February 3 when somebody leaves me near some unattended chilli salt squid.  The Oscars happen and Avatar wins best special effects, disappointing all the Wild Things fans.  Penelope Cruz wears something red and breasty (as in a dress, not a robin).

SMARCH:  There is a ferry disaster in the Philippines, but nobody takes much notice as there are no Australians on board.

APRIL:  Red Tulip will try and win over a new generation of Easter egg consumers with their Bindi Irwin egg.  The resemblance is too off-putting and the campaign is a massive failure.  The smashed up Bindis are donated to piggeries, and the Elegant Rabbit re-takes the crown as Best Easter Egg Ever.

MAY:  Peter Costello comes back and takes the Liberal leadership.  Julie Bishop remains deputy.

JUNE:  The shortest day of the year is found to be three minutes longer than the day before it.  Climate scientists are very, very concerned.  Tim Flannery and Ian Plimer fight it out in a cage.  Avocadoes are expensive and very poor quality this month.

JULY:  Fairy Penguins surprise everyone by leaving Phillip Island.  It is thought they have gone to the south coast of NSW.

AUGUST:  Fairy Penguins move back to Phillip Island, and people wonder if they perhaps had never left in the first place and maybe they hadn't looked hard enough for them.

SEPTEMBER:  Crocs (the shoes, not the crocodilians) are made illegal everywhere except the ACT.  This results in a mass migration of bogans, and the climate scientists are all like, see, I told you so, and then someone explains it to them.  Ian Plimer and Tim Flannery are still cage fighting.

OCTOBER:  Tony Abbott is caught in a strip club and his popularity plummets.  He claims this is not fair.  The Booker Prize is announced this month.  All the shortlisted books are from the hilarious "Classics meets folkloric pop-culture monsters" genre.  The winner is "The Unbearable Lightness of Lesbian Vampire Killers," which just nudges out "The Merchant of Venice and Bigfoot."

NOVEMBER: The Arias happen.  An Idol runner-up wins most categories, and the surprise overseas presenter will be Kevin Federline.

DECEMBER:  Pluto is re-admitted into the solar system and astronomers acknowledge there was a terrible, terrible mistake.  Also Christmas.  For Christmas I get another kitten.

Happy New Year everyone.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Psychometrics, qu'est-ce que c'est?

Recently, someone I know had to undergo psychometric testing.

It was not, as I had thought, a measure of the extent of her psychoses, but a three-hour ordeal where the depths of her brain were plumbed for evidence that she knew how to multiply fractions, spot the difference between between various polygons, and give black or white answers to decidedly grey moral conundrums (conundra?), many of which were culturally inappropriate as well as just plain dumb.

I'm not sure what these tests reveal, but they are apparently designed by Very Clever People who can glean Very Important Facts from the results.

Anyway, I thought, how hard can it be?  So here I present

Lissy's Psychometric Test For Finding Out The General Smarts And Personalities Of Her Readers.

You have 72 minutes to complete the test.  Do not try to second-guess what answers I am looking for.

1:  What is the difference between a Pink Lady apple and a lychee?

a/ There's a difference? All fruits look the same to me and are equally valued within my world view
b/ What the @#$% is a lychee?
c/ A Pink Lady is delicious and a lychee is like an eyeball
d/ None of the above

2:  When you look at this image, do you see a vase, or do you see two people facing each other?

3:  Scenario: Your family is very hungry and there is no bread in the house.  They are not poor - they simply forgot to buy it when they were at the Farmers' Market.  Is it OK to steal bread to feed them?

a/ Yes, but only if it's white bread
b/ No.  You should steal meat.  Your family should be protected against carbohydrates
c/ No.  Why should it always fall on you to get them out of a tight spot?
d/ None of the above

4:  What is the next number in this sequence: 1, 2, 6, 76, 14, 2, 2, 64, 0.46.....

a/ 2
b/ 8
c/ pi
d/ I don't know

5:  Which of these lines is longer?

5:  What would you say is the worst thing about you?

a/ I am a murderer
b/ Sometimes I deliberately leave only two sheets of toilet paper on the roll
c/ I am Julie Bishop
d/ I am too conscientious and I feel sometimes this places too much pressure on my colleagues to live up to my standards
e/ I steal teaspoons from aeroplanes
f/ I misuse apostrophes
g/ All of the above

6:  Scenario:  You are in a malfunctioning lift with Kevin McCloud, Penny Wong and Plucka Duck.  Before the four of your plummet to your deaths do you...

a/ Jump on top of Plucka in a vain attempt to have a soft, feathery landing
b/ Touch Kevin McCloud's bottom
c/ Touch Kevin McCloud's arm
d/ Scoff down the rest of your kebab so you won't have wasted $7.95 on it
e/ Compliment Penny Wong on her fine suits and nice hair

Send me your answers and I will analyse the results in six to eight weeks.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Battle Of Half-Wits

Everybody knows that in a land battle, crocodile will beat shark every time.

Some other battles with equally predictable outcomes include:
  • Hand-grenade vs. Sweetcorn
  • Chuck Norris vs. Gamera
  • Julie Bishop vs. Chuck Norris
  • Lissy vs. A wheel of cheese
  • Ebola vs. Coeliac Disease, and
  • Glad Wrap vs Glad Wrap cutter
However, not all unfair matches result in the predictable outcome.  Take, for example, the battle of "Pretty much fully grown (if slightly emotionally underdeveloped) labrador with gleaming, gnashy teeth vs. Pathetic half-grown shih-tzu that trembles, has limited bladder control, and has been shaved to look like a git."

I am most ashamed to report that upon seeing this most feeble of dogs rushing at her like a bleached, incontinent and alopecic baby Ewok, Ellen immediately dropped to the ground and presented the Genitals of Subservience.

Oh Ellen.  I am a bit concerned about what she'd do in the face of a real threat.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Festive Underwear

I was listening to the radio the other day, and there was a discussion with some guy who wrote a book about excellent words in other languages that we just don't have in English.  For example, the Japanese apparently have a word used by the Samurai that means "To test out a new sword on a passer-by."

Maybe that's not a word that most of us will ever need, but how often have we struggled to come up with an apposite term for something that can only otherwise be described with a string of words?

Often.  Too often.

What if, instead of describing "the grimace evoked by little crumbs of burnt toast that one's life partner invariably leaves in the butter, " one could simply say you were "discrumbled"?

Or, the random possum/horse/cat/aardvark droppings that your dog eats while out on walkies?  They'd be "faesties."

Then there's the one that bothers us at all Christmas parties: how do you describe the fancy brassiere you wear when you're expecting to get very drunk, take your top off and dance on a table?  Well, as usual, the local primary school has come up with just the word:

It disturbs me a little that the WHOLE school would be wearing one, but they're pretty progressive around here.

In case you're wondering, I think this is what a "Celebra" looks like:

(image via here )

Alongside some "Celejocks."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Tree Friends

Every Christmas my grandfather used to tell the story of how the angel ended up on top of the Christmas Tree.  Every Christmas.  And it was not a short story.  But here is the gist of the story, abridged to suit the attention span of the texting generation.  And with some details changed. And possibly with some bits confused with the very conversation I had with the Fella yesterday.

God was sitting down trying not to be really angry at Descartes for his sub-standard proof of God's existence, and an angel came and asked him if they could have a Xmas tree.

Angel: God?
God: Yes, Gary.
Angel: Me and the other guys were wondering if we could have a Christmas tree.
God: No. You can't have a @#$%! tree.
Angel: Pleeease can we have a tree?  You won't have to do anything. I promise.
God: How much are they?
Angel: The RSPCA is selling them for $45.
God: @#$% off!
Angel: Pleeeeeeease?
God: No.  Leave me alone, you imaginary mediaeval nuisance.
Angel: Pleeeeeeeeeease?
God:  NOOOO.  @#$% off Gary.  You know where you can shove your tree.

And the angel did, and that's how the tradition began.

This year, after a few years of grunchiness (which is being a grinch who is always thinking about lunch), I decided I would like a tree.  And the Fella eventually agreed, although he knew it would fall to him to clean up the fallen needles.

And here is is.  A fine tree, n'est-ce pas?

Having never had a Christmas tree as grown-ups, we were somewhat short of decorations.  Hence the Snoopy strangled with ribbon in place of an angel.

And the reason there are no decorations on the bottom half?

Stuart eats most of the needles he pulls off, but the Fella vacuumed up the rest of them today.


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