After a marathon gardening and heaving things about session I piled all the unwanted flower pots, garden furniture, and other backyard detritus into the carport and photographed it on the iPad. Then sent a Gumtree advertisement that it was free to a good home.
The pad went mad, as did the mobile phone. All the eager bods who would take it all…and then I waited. Two callers picked the heavy concrete troughs and birdbath and then a third man arrived with a tray top and danced away with the rest. From a dozen or more phone calls.
I’ve pulled the ad, notified the disappointed, and then received a right wigging from someone who goes by an anonymous name ( always a good clue ) that I had done the wrong thing by giving out my address. I inconvenienced him and all the slow vultures who might drive up later and be disappointed.
Clever point of view with free goods or dead mules. First come, first served is the name of the game round here when it is pure takeaway. That’s how it works with verge shopping and that’s how it works with flowerpot charity.
When is charity not charity? When it is extorted in consequence of threats. Then it becomes demanding money with menaces. A police matter…
In this unsavoury category I include nearly all professional fund-raising ventures that bombard the householder demanding money for unspecified people with sufferings that can only be assuaged through the accountant. They are but one stage cleaner than the ragged beggar that bails you up in the street or the thuggish hoodie who tries it on in the shopping centre car park.
Occasionally the organised charities will try it on with co-religion, national identity, or consanguinity. They will play the guilt harp as loud as the strings will stretch. They will try to inveigle you to fund-raising dinners that scour your pockets and then spotlight you to make sure you give out plenty.
Some will send you valueless goods – trinkets, stamps, stickers, or cards – that purport to benefit their poor makers – and dare you to reject them. Or they will expose a more ambitious range of quasi-ethnic junk in shops upon the premise that there is some sort of fair trade going on. Consider whether you need the tribal mask or the Australian dollars it takes to buy it. You can buy bread and vegetables with the dollars but try taking that mask to Woolies at grocery time.
But is it all bleak? Is it all hell with heels? Perhaps not.
The Sally Ann – Salvation Army to non-Australians – has had some dodgy money practices and some dodgy administrative policies in the past, but they still save bums from the street and still help poor families. The normal Salvationist is not dipping the till. They are still worth crossing the street to put money in the tin. And remember to tip your hat.
Gosh, time flies. It’s been four years since I last considered this subject, and so much has happened in the meantime; I’ve retired from retail shop work and taken up home hobby shop work, and I’ve officially gotten too old to give a good God Damn.
It’s a little frightening – this new freedom. As middle-aged citizens in employment we were required to be a pillar of the community and an example to the young. We needed to follow all applicable laws and apply for official permission on the correct forms. Now that I am 70 years old, no-one looks, no-one asks, and no-one cares. Other people are depressed by this but I am exhilarated. I feel like a kid with a box of limpet mines and a pair of swim fins.
I’ve given up nearly every activity that requires permission – shooting firearms, flying toy airplanes and sailing toy boats, entering prestigious photographic contests, etc. Having had as much success with these things as was ever likely to be, I can leave them – and their lets and hindrances – far behind. And I can be a lot smarter in the next few years about joining into things that require obedience.
Please understand – I’m not an old rebel. I was never a young one, and wouldn’t know how to do it. I am merely a person who is determined to consult their own counsel and take their own decisions. I shall not be a nuisance nor a danger to navigation – but I shan’t be a sheep any more.
The tax people have my complete respect and obedience – monitored and assisted by an honest accountant. The police also have my wholehearted support for civil law – I shall do all I can not to be a scoff-law in any vital matter. I shall be delighted to participate in the political process of my state and nation – but decline to be bullied by friends or strangers regarding my own vote.
Past this – I shall enjoy toy boats, cars, and airplanes – studio photography,writing, reading – interstate trips and whatever local amusements offer – and I shall not ask permission nor take scolding from anyone whilst doing so.
The chief care I will have to take is not to shock those who like to dictate and direct. I do hope my smile will be bland enough – I must go get my copy of Alice In Wonderland and practice Cheshire catting in the mirror.
We suggest that you bathe more regularly and stop calling for the Dalai Lama to be impeached. Despite what you say, he was born in Hawaii and has the hula moves to prove it.
We appear to have had all our Facebook information sold to people who want to sell us time-share tea tree multi-level sweepstakes tickets to help starving kittens. I, for one, am keen to participate. I’ve made that clear in the Facebook profile picture that shows me standing next to the howitzer and the vat of warm glue. It’s no mystery, and no-one need apologise for the transaction. Indeed, I have been getting a great deal of pleasure looking at the advertisements that want to hook me up with a Russian sheep.
I’m a little less sanguine about the side-bar that reports the news of the world. If I wanted news I’d buy a newspaper or a copy of Poor Richard’s Almanack. If I wanted science I’d read the Political Review Daily and if I wanted politics I’d read Scientific Zambian. No, what I want from a sidebar is the real stuff – opportunities for online gambling and pictures of leprechauns. I’m a big boy now – make that gambling leprechauns in onesies.
I admire and respect Mr Zuckerberg for apologising for something that he got caught at…particularly as he owns all the money in the world anyway and he got a lot of it by doing exactly what he’s apologising for. What’s the bet that he’ll make money out of the apology…
I’m thinking of starting a social network up our street. I already know when the neighbours fight and what their favourite foods are – because they cook a lot of them with the lids off and frankly from some of the odours I don’t thing they have a painted wall left inside their houses….
We do not need to share things as we already share cats…or the cats share us. I have a lot of posts I’d like to suggest and a lot of people I’d like to be suggestive to.
I think that we need to chill out for a bit and just regard the social media like Facebook and the others as on-line versions of a Cirque de Soliel. It has plenty of colour, an unpronounceable name for each new show, and a French Canadian who can balance on a bucket. What more could one possibly want?
Fans of The Little World posts here on this column will now have a dedicated channel for their miniature and scale model interests – I’ve decided to open another WordPress free site to take the Little World traffic.
Please go to:
– and see if your computer, tablet, or phone view see the new site. It’s a horrendously complex address, so please bookmark it. I think that the WordPress people want me to buy a paid site theme that has a simpler name and simpler address, but I will just see if this basic opening has merit first.
This column will continue as before, and you can view all the older Little World posts on it just by dialling back into the archives. Please feel free to contact me with advice and consent. And chocolate biscuits.
Give it away…
a. To a good home.
b. If you haven’t used it for a year.
c. If you have more than one.
d. If someone needs it more than you do.
e. If you need the space it takes up.
f. If it has no sentimental value to you.
g. If it was a bad idea in the first place.
Throw it away…
a. If it was a bad idea in the first place and has not gotten better with time.
b. If it is broken and cannot be fixed economically.
c. If neither you nor anyone else needs it.
d. If it is dangerous.
e. If it is ugly and not likely to get prettier any time soon.
f. If keeping it would make you sad or angry.
g. If keeping it requires more and more money that is better used elsewhere.
There, that should clean out the shelves somewhat. Now look at the space where all that stuff used to be. It’s nice space, and there’s no rush to refill it with other stuff. Just keep it clear for a while and maybe you won’t have to fill it at all. Maybe your life can be full enough without other stuff.
The club rule is that the club rules rule. If a club rule has been ruled by the club the rule of the club is ruled, club, rule…club, club, club…
This started out well, but seems to have gone off the track.
We all live by rules. Every day Commonwealth, State, and local statutes govern where we can drive, what we can eat, who we can shoot, etc. For the most part we accept the existence of these and obey or break them as our character dictates. We pay enormous sums to politicians to invent or remove them, and for the most part they do it somewhere else, so we are spared the sight of the process. A blessing.
Today I ran foul of a club rule – a club for people who collect toy cars – by not having my paper membership slip pinned to my shirt when I visited a toy collector’s fair. The punishment for this breach was the loss of a $ 5 bill. I still benefitted from the toy fair as I found several models to help me complete my scale airfield, but the episode of the $5 paper badge rankles.
Even the intervention of the club president did not sway the jobsworth at the entry desk. Apparently that paper badge and the unwritten club rule has more power than he does. A daunting prospect.
Well, I shall make sure that I have the badge prominently displayed on my person in the future. Laminated to a large metal tag and possibly slung around my neck like dogtags. I wonder how many more fiscal rules have been written into the club book?
One good thing. They never do get my name right – even when they presented me with a trophy for an exhibition model last year they spelled it wrong…but the paper card is closest that they’ve gotten yet. I live in hope.