That sort of stuff. The one I want. Where is it?
And thus…vaguely…begins the sad adventure of many a failed shopping expedition. I go out to get stuff I need to do things. I know what I want a project to look like in the end and I think I have seen some material or item that will be perfect for the job, but I do not know what it is called exactly…which prevents me from going to people who sell it. I cannot name it precisely enough to call their technical expertise into action and all I get is annoyed looks.
Yet I have money and need, and whatever it is…from a dog-powered ice cream mixer to recycled underwear…is surely for sale somewhere.
The best frustration safaris start with a sample of the item that you can take with you. You still have to find the correct destination where people will recognise it and can direct you further to a real source. Frequently it’s best to just start with the internet and then feel bad online before going out to feel bad in person. A good days sees someone saying they recognise the item and a really good day goes on to them knowing where you can get some. Then when you go there, you find they went out of business last week…
I want a Citizen’s Advice Bureau at my local council office that is staffed by a team of know-it-alls. I don’t care how dry, pedantic, or irritating they are as long as they are prepared to climb down off their high horse and tell me what I want to know.
My back, on the other hand, is a bitch this morning. Never pick up artillery shells without bending your knees.
Or, in my case, a cardboard box, a magazine, or a handful of feathers. It could have been any one of these that did the harm…or reaching up for a box of cornflakes on a high shelf. When it comes to backs, nothing is safe.
There are remedies, of course. Braces, Voltaren, hammering carpet tacks down the spine. All equally good. You can often alleviate the symptoms by dousing the affected part with rye whiskey from the inside. The back thing prevents you from changing the oil on your Volvo tractor, gardening, or sitting in hard church pews for 4 hours straight. But then normal good sense does this as well, and you aren’t curled up like a caterpillar for a week.
It is a passing complaint, and I’ll let it pass without afflicting it on too many others. The level of sympathy generally hovers between minuscule and zero and sometimes dips into the negative zone if the family think they can laugh at me unpunished. I don’t get upset at this – I just write it all down on my Revenge List and wait until they bend over and pick up a heavy laundry basket and let out that little yelp…
This is an idea so cool that it needs to go viral. Or at least bacterial. Howzabout a pre-mixed pressure can of germs that can be purchased over the counter in any convenience store or chemist shop? With a fold-out nozzle like you get on a WD-40 can. Then you could spray a room or just one sandwich by merely flipping out the little red plastic tube.
We’re not talking plague here – or anthrax, smallpox, or Canadian politicians. This is just good old-fashioned gastro of the sit-on-the-pot-and-groan variety. Something you could pick up on public transport or at the library. Only instead of being a random occurrence, the BGA Butt Blaster Bug Bomb makes sure that the people who deserve to be ill are the ones who get to be.
Of course you’ll have to be responsible about its use. We make you sign a waiver at the counter stating that the BGA BBBB will not be used on babies or the elderly. We’re not monsters, you know. But everyone else is fair game, particularly if they have a sense of humour. Or not, as the case may be. You’ll find out pretty soon.
If the product proves popular, we are thinking of introducing a commercial size suitable for fast food restaurants and large private schools.
” Stinky Feet! Getcha Stinky Feet Here! Fresh and hot to trot! Stinky Feet! ”
And we got ’em to fit all sizes. Now you can get all the privacy you want in the house by just removing your shoes and putting your feet up. When people begin to leave you’ll know you’re on the right track and when they dive out unopened windows you’ll know you’re really cooking…mostly with gas.
You may wonder why I know this. A pair of sandals gave rise to the speculation. I am not normally interested in my pedal extremities – being content when they both reach the floor at the same time – but recently they called themselves to my attention. Also they caught the attention of others in the room. How embarrass.
I have soaked the offending portions in a bucket of hot Dettol and scrubbed the sandals out with a similar detergent mix. The shoes are now baking in the sun. If the problem returns they will be baking on the tip.
One thing that a good old fashioned bath was useful for was soaking away this sort of noxious effluvia. Now that we stand in a shower it seems that we don’t really get rid of the problem as surely. Time to get out the epsom salts and the foot bath. It has a massage motor in it so that’s a good thing too.
Note: I have no objection to being That Stinky Old Dude, but I prefer to do it with pizza and beer spilled down my shirt front.
With the history of airliner shoot-downs – The Korean Boeing lost some years ago, the Malayan one over the Ukraine a few years ago, the loss of the second Malayan jet somewhere, and now the downing of a Ukrainian Boeing in Iran, I’m put to wondering several things:
- Do Russian rockets have a safety switch or are they live all the time? If they do have a no-fire position on the controller, is it Soviet-era quality?
- Are the rocketeers on drugs? Some sort of amphetamine to increase their speed of response?
- Do Russian targeting systems not have an IFF function? Or is everyone else in the world considered an F?
- Was it necessary to fly out of the Tehran airport in the middle of an alert?
- Was it deliberate? Was any of it deliberate?
- Where was Jane Fonda at the time?
It’s no good attracting attention if you do nothing with it once you have it. You must saw a log apart if you want to make a toothpick. So, too, with the human consciousness. No-one ever forgets a pest.
This is not an essay aimed at the young. They do not need coaching on how to annoy. They burst from womb, egg, or open sore with the ability to make people unhappy. They do not need help.
But the older person who has passed many decades being civil, polite, or kind may be handicapped when it comes to being really annoying – they have long had it conditioned out of them and may baulk at the restarting process. Fortunately, retirement gives a lot more time to re-learn old skills and the behaviour of the general public toward older people encourages a little bloody-mindedness in return.
- Drive slowly and well. That will annoy the young who wish to speed past. When you get to a car park, drive slowly and poorly. That will take care of everyone else.
- Witter. You need not use wit while you do it, but keep a razor tongue ready for when someone starts to become exasperated and/or smartalecky. Then fix them in your sights and let them have it. Polite and cold is better than vulgar and hot, but go with whatever feels good at the time. It’s hard to resist a round from a prepared position.
- Be frugal until the time comes to be lavish. Then keep on being frugal…and demand the senior’s discount on it as well. A penny saved is a penny earned and a penny denied to someone else is even better.
- Be overtly and overly friendly. Gush. Be everyone’s favourite auntie, especially if you are an uncle. Interfere. Pry. Advise. Judge. Pronounce. Nothing you say will be taken the slightest notice of…until later. Then it will be keenly resented at a time when nothing can be done about it.
- No-one likes a complainer. But who the hell wants to make a career of being liked? Was Al Capone liked?
- A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, even if the medicine is arsenic. Be sweet as you hurt people. They’ll still get hurt but you’ll look good.
- Nostalgia isn’t as good as it used to be. But it’s better than the cheap nostalgia you get down the shops these days.
- In the old days you could say and do many things that are considered socially unacceptable nowadays…by people who take drugs, public money, and advantage of anything going. Does this suggest a target audience…in the best possible sense of the word ” target “? I leave it up to you, and I’m sure you won’t disappoint me.
- General ignorance of history – both recent and ancient – means that if you are more conversant with it, you can edit the stuff to suit yourself…and your listeners hardly ever know different. Try not to go too far with the mythology but do feel free to bring every conversation round to your point of view.
- Be good to small animals. Even if you treat people atrociously, you are always seen in a good light if the cats and dogs like you. You can be a swine to a human, but treat pigs humanely.
I have no idea why I do these things…except I am too old for playing truant to march to parliament house to see if I can get my picture on the news broadcast. Were I younger I would be at the barricades…selling half-bricks…
Anyway, I looked up ” noble ” in the computer’s internal dictionary. It divided the information into two parts:
a. A member of an aristocratic system of government.
b. A good or superior form of anything – a tree, a person, a metal…
I think I’m reading a crock. As far as I can tell, the nobles and royalty everywhere are no different from the common herd of sinners, except in having more opportunity to practice abominations and a get-out-of-trouble bloodline that they can flash at the police when they get caught. Nobility would seem to be anything but good and superior.
Yet, we are stuck with them. The worship of the King, Emperor, Sheik, Sultan, or whomever is carefully taught and rigorously enforced by the people in whose interest s it is to be obeyed. Solemn oaths of fealty are demanded, even when the people to whom loyalty is to be given are vile. I’m stuck with one oath myself, contracted for in 1970 when I became and Australian citizen. The ” Heirs and Assigns ” clause and so on.
I am going to get as much advice as I can about the effect of the Australia Act of 1989 and whether it legally absolves me of having to be obedient to the coming king, his sleazeball brother, or any of the other choices that are on the platter. I don’t mind being loyal, faithful, and law-abiding to a mythical construct, but let it be a figurehead rather than some other portion of the body…