Repressed Desire…

I have repressed desires. They are kept  hidden for a number of reasons:

a. They are appalling and horrible. This isn’t true, actually, but I thought I’d capture your interest right at the start.

b. They are expensive. Well, this isn’t true either. I don’t have overly-expensive desires. In fact I hold those who do have them slightly in contempt – as people who can be manipulated by commerce. My most expensive desires mostly top out under $ 200 and I can generally steal enough from the poor-box at church to gratify them.

c. They are shameful. Well, some are. I would tell you what they were but I blush too easily. Suffice it to say that if they were to see the light of day  a number of suburban streets would be cordoned off and Gordon Ramsay would ring up to try to soothe me with kind words.

d. They are possible. Now this might seem to be at odds with the idea of repression, but if you actually do get your repressed desires then they are not repressed any more. And that means that they lose a lot of their desirability as well. And then where are you? Sitting in front of a sink full of dirty dishes in your underwear with the stove out and nothing to drink.

e. Repressed desires are sexy – as opposed to sexy desires which can be inconvenient, embarrassing, and messy. There is no romance about plain old desire bellowing in rut through the local K-Mart parking lot. More often than not, it gets laughed at.

f. Repression is the new Freedom. It goes over very well in Arabia, South America, and Russia.

g. I once gratified a repressed desire and now it turns up at the doorstep every six months and demands money. That’ll teach me.

 

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Thank You For Concern

Wood afternoon. Is here Raskolnikov.

Ah, I have virus computer? You Microsoft Technical Department? You fix? Good. DO NOW.

No, I not the only person of computer. Many people of computer all over world.

Hello? Hello? Where go Microsoft Technical Department? Hello?

Damn You, World Leaders!

I used to have a pretty good corner on the local cynicism market when I worked behind a retail counter. I could size up a customer in four seconds and predict what would come out of their mouth…And make the rest of the staff laugh until they were ill into their paper lunch bags or the till.

Now you have blown this to pieces. No longer can I shock or amuse when you have topped nearly everything I ever did, and continue to do even worse each day. I cannot possibly compete with Trump and Trudeau, and now even Boris Johnson is doing it in his retirement.

Boris. A man burdened with the name of a cartoon Russian spy name, plus a body and  head of hair that was God’s gift to cartoonists, thinks the moslem burqua is a bad look. You couldn’t write this stuff and sell it to the Three Stooges – they’d turn it down as too slapstick.

I’m not in favour of the garment as such but then my objection is that it is too much confined to the one sex – if the males of the tribe were similarly swathed and hidden I would say fine. Or ditch the black lump look and substitute exotic and bright colours and designer patterns. If they must make themselves look like a bolt of cloth at least make it the fancy stuff.

But back to the world leaders. I think we miss out on a lot of good stuff by being Euro and American-centric in the news coverage. I’ll bet there are some wise and wonderful statesmen ( oops, statespeople. Sorry, Justin. ) in the various dictators, theocrats, plutocrats, autocrats, and kleptocrats of the other continents. We just need to have them on the telly regularly. And not just when they are being tried – before that, when they are reviewing the troops or beating the recalcitrants.

 

How Good Are Leftovers?

As a child I hated leftovers…I accused my mother of buying them fresh frozen so that she could serve them every night. There I was…complaining about being fed so well that there was enough food for the next night as well…Yes, you can snort in derision.

Now I treasure them – as much for the time-saving of having a good meal that is 5 minutes away from hot on the table – as for the taste. The taste that in most cases gets better for a night in the fridge. I am talking spaghetti Bolognese, Texican beans, home-made Eternity soup*, casseroles, etc. I’ve even evolved a means for heating and serving day-old fish and chips that makes them good.

And I appreciate the savings of the thing. Part of my brain knows that I have paid for it all, but part of me pretends that the second night is free food. It is certainly better economics than if it were scraped into the recycling bin after the first meal.

I’m a bin. Scrape it into me.

I do not appreciate this approach when out for a commercial dinner or at some resort or conference. I’ve seen the recycling caterers at work at a big Eastern States do and learned not to approach the canapé tray after the first night – indeed not to approach the scrambled eggs on the breakfast buffet. If you want an egg, get it poached fresh.

But here at home, we do not let our food go over the ” Best By ” date by over 6 months. I regularly scrape and wash the cheese to get the green off. Also the bread. The old trick of calling it ” Dad’s fairy bread ” stopped working after the kids started vomiting.

I have been accused in turn by my daughter of overcatering in some things…oh, the irony. But I notice the L/O lasagna, spaghetti, beans, and Chinese food seems to disappear on a regular basis. So I am still going to play the kitchen by my own rules.

*  No soup ever really finishes or starts – there are elements of the things that have carried over several years – in and out of the freezer. No-one has died from soup yet.

 

Giving The Flick

You read yesterday’s column? The one about getting the flick, and how to deal with it? Welcome to this morning, when you’ll find out how to give the flick.

Oh, for the record – the flick is a term for arrogant dismissal. It is also the brand name for a pesticide, though it is not considered a good idea to spray people with it as a form of social dismissal.

So, based upon that definition, why would you give someone the flick?

a. You are insecure in yourself and wish to appear more powerful, cool, entitled, etc than you really are. If you give someone the flick you can pretend to a superior place in the social order.

b. You are a cruel and arrogant person, and need an outlet for these traits.

c. You are frightened of someone and need to keep them away from you.

d. The flickee is a person with horrible, terrible, inconvenient, or disturbing characteristics.

e. No-one is looking at you and you would like them to. Time to show your power.

Few of these are good reasons, but they are all real reasons, as your experience in life will confirm. While this column cannot make you a better person than you are already, it can suggest ways in which you can disguise the truth about you. Not to yourself, mind, but to other people.

a. Do not flick at all. Glide away yourself from unwanted encounters with the most grace that you can manage. If grace involves jinking violently and emitting smoke, so be it.

b. Flick dramatically. Rage, scream, throw yourself on the floor. Howl imprecations at the flickee until they run terrified. Foam. Break a blood vessel in your eye. Thrash about until you have to be restrained.

It is one of the kindest things you can do for them as it will excuse them from feeling as though they were in the wrong or that they have lost a valuable friend. They will avoid you like the plague in the future, and any number of people will join them.

c. Flick in the kindliest manner possible. Set your victim down on a soft chair. Bring them tea and biscuits. Express your regret at having to leave them. Then leave them.

In the end, there is no act of Congress, Parliament, or Synod that can compel you to a friendship against your will. You are required to be civil and lawful to all, but you are allowed to set out your circle of affection to suit yourself. Draw the circle wisely.

 

Getting The Flick

A friend once commented on Facebook about getting the flick socially, so I thought I’d address the topic. I, too, have gotten the flick on a number of occasions and can help with navigating the situation.

a. We will all get the flick at some stage of the game – regardless of how sociable, kind, worthy, honest, lovable, etc that we are. We can take some comfort in the reflection that we will also get it if we are mean, spiteful, vulgar, rude, dangerous, or smelly. The thing is not predicated upon our worth – it is independent of us.

b. We will sometimes get the flick when we are most sensitive…and we will feel it acutely. On other occasions it will pass unnoticed and we’ll be surprised by it years later. When someone cuts us but we do not wince or bleed it takes away a great deal of the significance of the act.

c. Sometimes other people notice the event and look carefully at us to see our reaction. At other times, they fail to see it entirely. The only significance of this is the encouragement it gives us not to notice the flick either.

d.  The flick can be casual or studied. If we are of no value to the flicker, it will be the first sort – if we are essential to them and they want to make sure that we are hurt, it will be the second. The deliberate flick, however, can be disguised to appear of no consequence.

Therein lies the best counter to it all. If someone essays to hurt you and you do not appear to be hurt, they are mired in frustration. Worse – if you are gracious to them, they are in a bad position themselves. Kindliness and polite attention can have roughly the same penetrating power as a 17 pounder anti-tank shell.

e. The flick only lasts as long as it is noticed. When it is forgotten it will either need to be repeated with more emphasis ( dangerous ) or lost forever. Old flicks are like the hollow shells of insects that you find under the sofa – you sweep them away without further interest.

 

 

Why Is There A Goat?

Why indeed?

The question arose on the back court of the Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne this year as I was photographing this Dodge. The questioner was a woman who was photographing all the cars at the hot rod show….always a pleasant activity. She was as burdened down with extraneous photo gear – extra cameras, tripod, and lenses as I was free of them. I used my travelling Fujifilm camera with my travelling lens and…well…traveled…

She was genuinely puzzled by the ram on the bonnet. A surprise, because she had a North American accent and the look of a person who covers a lot of motor shows. I didn’t feel it my place to enlighten her, but left as I heard her buttonhole other people over the question.

As it turned out this time., this was one of the very few occasions when there would be a preserved Dodge on display – the RAC show in the park had very few cars on display – God knows why. I am glad that I got to see this one where it was, as the visitors to the VHRS are respectful of the vehicles on display – they don’t climb and smudge over them.

Isn’t it magnificent? The Dodge may not have carried the prestige of the Lincoln or Cadillac, but then again how much better did it penetrate the Australian market at the time. And how many more do we have to see at the end of the day.

I just wish that the makers of modern cars could take a style hint from the 30’s and bring back solid duo-colours. And bonnet mascots. Surely there is a place for meerkats or penguins or something…I wonder how she would have done with a meerkat?