” Will You Ever Shut Up? “

When people ask you this assure them that there will come a time, when you do, indeed, shut up. No life goes on forever and even if you leave behind video tapes and recordings of yourself scolding your neighbours and relatives, eventually the recordings will wear out and a blessed silence will descend.

Writers have a better chance of pressing their opinions on others long after they are dead. These may be good things, like P.G. Wodehouse novels or rubbish like Samuel Johnson’s writings. The only real end to a writer’s influence comes when they go out of print and out of circulation – Voltaire is still going and Euclid shows little sign of ceasing any time soon as long as there are parallel lines or right angles.

We might grant some eternal influence to politicians and statesmen but these reputations tend to tarnish and rot more readily than those of the writers. Territories and resources are much more desirable than ideas, and new people will always arrive trying to acquire them. In the process they remove the old rulers, then their remains, and finally their history and their names. The unlucky ones are kept round as curiosities in museums or powdered for Chinese medicines. At least the mummies that may be ground up for this sort of thing have the satisfaction of being able to make some modern Asian fool sicker than when they started out.

I am grateful for the internet as it allows me to monopolise people’s attention for five or ten minutes every morning and no talking back. I suppose one day it will disappear in an EMP but until then I have an extremely small portion of the public eye or ear to remember what I said.

And to ignore it.



The Last Mango In Manangatang

We all watched the Last Tango In Paris to see what Marlon Brando looked like having anal sex. As usual, he looked like he was half asleep. That was his acting style, and, for all we might have known, his anal sex style. For that matter, he may have been half-asleep in Spotlight buying discount wool. We’ll never know now.

Closer to home, and with the windows open to clear the smell, we have the Australian Cooperative Coalition Of People Who Want To Get Government Money To Prance. They have taken over from the previous acting and entertainment grants organisations in an effort to consolidate the gimmee industry. Since a couple of the previous lot went on to star in Hollywood movies and coroner’s reports the new organisation wants to emulate their success. They are prepared to accept any legal currency, as long as they do not have to do anything useful for it.

Of course, they may have to prime the pump a little, though pump priming in today’s climate of sexual harassment suits is a delicate matter. Still, a little goes a long way and they can always deny it later. And have the suit dry cleaned.

The real danger is always the accountants employed by the political parties – whomever is in power, pump priming is always looked on with disdain by their opposition, and anything that can be found to discredit the pumpers will eventually be trotted out on the floor of Parliament under privilege. No-one dare whisper it outside the House or Senate for fear of circling lawyers, but reputations can be smirched in Hansard with impunity.

Actually, I have an ambition to have my reputation smirched, but not by Marlon Brando.

Somewhere There Is An Artist…

And this clothing is covered in little burns. His skin as well. Because he is an artist in arc welding.

Of course there are some arc welders who do art that involves massive iron gates or sculptures or railway bridges. Whoever did this tractor can move into their ranks – and I must lift the studio hat to him for bringing it to the hot rod show.

Really there is nothing that can be said that is not to be seen – save the fact that the Thor mannequin with the big hammer might not have been needed to get the attention of the show goers – the tractor does that all by itself.

For my part, the most impressive part is the blue and white license plate. Mr. Saywell did something that many other builders at the show can never do – got his creation over the pits and legal to actually go on the road. I would have liked to see the inspector’s face when it rolled into the licensing centre…

Note: if any construction sites seem to be missing an inordinately large amount of rebar, we can put them onto a solution to the puzzle.

Two Wheel 2018 – Part Three – Art And Oddity

The art first – the motorcycle in the heading image was one of the exhibits brought from Japan for the 2018 WAHRS. It was alone on a plinth outside the stand with the original Mooneyes dragster. I got there just as Baron von Harney’s Flying Circus hove up and swooped on the stall-holders. Poor, bemused Japanese people. They probably wondered if someone was going to turn cannibal next. In the event, they just got glamour girls and Harney.

Now the bike was a beauty – in fact it excited John to admiration for the workmanship and flow of the design. And he has a hard eye to please – he appreciates original manufacture far more than bolt-on hot rodding…and he’s seen a lot more of the sport and art than most people at the show.

There were also some more historic devices propped up nearby. I like these for the period feel of them – as is the case with the motor scooters, I would be deadly afraid to try to ride on in the metro area but would welcome a chance in the country. Mind you, that would probably be as disastrous with me at the handlebars as well…

I can do as much damage in a little Suzuki sedan as needs be – motorcycles are just compounding the danger.

Oh, Candida

In honour of the Dominion Day a’coming, I have written a little song that can be played and sung at school assemblies. It is perfectly suitable for Edmonton and Ottawa.

Oh, Candida


Oh, Candida, the home of native scams.

True, reasonably patriotic love, if that’s not too strong a word, in all our non-gender specific citizens command. Well, not command as such, but suggest, eh?

With glowing bongs we see thee rise,┬áTrudeau’s North stoned and twee.

From far and wide, we stand aside, we stand aside for thee. Sorry.

God keep us all, even Quebec…

God keep us all from being Yanks, By Heck.

God keep us all from being Yanks, By Heck.




Two Wheel 2018 – Part Two – To Hell In A Handbasket

Well, once I had seen the first lot of motor scooters, it sensitized me to the sight…and I found more as I went along. These were back in the yellow entry hall. I can recognise the genre – the English visitor to the show would have had a ball with these.

If you are going to be deliberately foolish in a particularly British sort of way, why not burn the back of your legs as you do it?

Or become terrifically fashionable while you do. Stripped of my sarcastic remarks, this is actually a very nice looking scooter.

And then there’s the full on Tommy/Quadrophenia version. No snippy captions with this one as the total picture says more than I could write. The only thing I have to note is the depiction of the Union Jack with the scooter parked on top. Poms scorn Americans for taking pride in the Stars and Stripes, and then they do this…

Yaller Cat

Forget about the racial overtones of that Yaller Cat title – this is about the hot rod show, yaller cats attract the eye and stand out even in the dodgiest hall lighting.

In fact I have always been a little surprised that our local taxi industry did not settle upon the colour for the fleets of cars here in Perth – oh, there are yellow taxis in Melbourne , but the bulk of them out here are silvertops, black, or the ubiquitous white. I suspect that a lot of times the colour was chosen with an eye to resale of the vehicle…but by the time a taxi is ready to move on, the buyers need to beware of a lot more than the colour of the body. Note that the Japanese use the dear old Toyota Crown to this day.

The entry car for the WAHRS was, of course, a depiction of the yellow ’32 Ford coupe from ” American Graffiti “. Further in was our heading car with a yellow that came closer to Trainer Yellow than to Lemon Yellow. The ’39 Chev was probably somewhere in between, though the Royal Agricultural Society lighting is always a factor in any judgement you make. You’re best to view a colour out in the sunlight before deciding what shade you’re actually seeing – it would be disastrous to pick paint under the artificial light.

The original Mooneyes rail dragster is also probably as pure a yellow as you could get and certainly seems to match the memories I have of the model kits of the time.

And finally, note that yellow may feature a lot in our state’s team colours but it is also popular in Victoria and New South Wales.