Lemon-flavoured With Real Lemon-type Fluid ( Reconstituted )

I sincerely wish that the food, drug, cleaning product, and motor oil trades had never heard of lemons. Because as soon as they became aware that the yellow fruit could be squeezed, crushed, ground, pulverized, or synthesized…they insisted on putting it in everything.


I like a good lemonade. I like a lemon wedge squeezed over fried fish. Mrs. DeSouza’s Lemon Slice that she makes for the local P&C bake stall every election day is worth getting there early for. And voting for. It beats the Democracy Sausage all hollow.

But I do not wish to encounter the blasted fruit in every recipe, cleaning lotion, face cream, and suppository on the planet. It may be doing wonders for the Vitamin C level and the complexion, but the omnipresence of it eventually makes everything taste the same. And it is not like it makes everything taste Like Mrs. DeSouza’s baked goods – it makes everything taste like Vim Cleansing Creme for the bathroom tiles.

I am also dirty on fruit and herb-infused hand lotions or car deodorants. I want my car to smell of oil and petrol and I want my hands to smell of my car. I want my wife to smell like my wife – not pomegranates and tumbleweed. I married her when she smelled good and she still does as long as she doesn’t roll in the fruit and vegetable bin at Coles.

Note: I am prepared to tolerate a twist of lemon in a martini or manhattan cocktail but only in months that have a vowel in them.


Here’s A Picture Of A Kitten And Hitler

I see there is a new tactic on Facebook: “sharing” a series of interesting or attractive pictures and then using a prepared storyline to push a political opinion. If you like the pictures as such you have to read the propaganda.

It’s an old ploy in other media, but the fact that it targets the “sharebots” of Facebook as carriers is interesting. It’s hard to know whether they really do believe the slightly  hidden messages or whether they are just fellow travellers.

Fortunately there is a hide button next to an unfollow button, but if the propaganda package has been skillfully put together – and you can be certain that it has, being the product of one of the world’s greatest manipulation machines – that there are other bored or witless bots who will throw it at you again.

PS: Don’t accuse the sharebot of being a fellow traveller. They’ll just start sending you pictures of their holidays.

Avoiding The Press

It used to be a good idea to avoid the press – because in the dear old days of King George, The Press was a gang of sailors under a petty officer who would sweep through a town or village and legally kidnap the poor or unprovided into slavery aboard a British warship. They were not above scouring foreign lands and other nation’s merchant shipping for this purpose – thus bringing upon themselves more wars than were strictly necessary.

Then the Fourth Estate – the venal journalists – took over as the press. They left you on shore but savaged your reputation so much that you might just as well have been at sea. And not just the Brits this time – read Dickens’ encounters with US journalists in the 1860’s. And look at what they get up to now.

Most of us will never Meet The Press, as it were. We live lives of such meek tenor that nothing can be squeezed from us. We cannot be made to yield a sound bite, let alone a 5-minute segment. In this we are very lucky – we share that good fortune with the very rich and the very powerful. They can avoid the press but it costs them a great deal of money and effort.

But what do we do if someone pops up in front of us wearing a microphone and a Hammerhead grin an asks us what we think of what they want to pretend we just saw? How can we blend into the bark of the trees if we are standing in a shopping mall? What is ninja secret?

a. Ask the interviewer if they realise that they are racist or sexist in their questioning. These two trigger words will make them sweat at the hair roots and they will beetle off directly.

b. Blame Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton. Even if you have just been asked about a crash at a roundabout in Redcliffe, calling in the old favourites like that will give the interviewer a chance to go off their face. And there is an even chance that either Donald or Hilary will admit guilt…

c. Ask for compensation. Have a figure ready to hand – $ 15,000 is always a good starting point. Refuse to tell what really happened until they cough up.

d. Point over to the edge of the crowd and shout “ Oh, look! It’s the Duchess and a koala! “ No reporter worth their salt will stick to you.

Sex Talk For Social Media

It may appear that the current climate of political and social commentary is adverse to the topic of sex. Every day we see mimes, memes, and moans about it, and we can be sure that anything we write is being minutely monitored to see if it can be used to destroy us in a future political campaign. This paragraph, for instance, is being digested by a robot in a server somewhere and the component words stacked up for re-transmission. If I insert the name of a body part a red light comes on at the front of the server cabinet to alert the operator that there may be something juicy. Here, I’ll show you:


There. See? Red light. If I typed male scapula or female scapula it would ring an alarm horn. Whoops, I wrote horn. That’ll be a paddlin’…

This is funny now, but wait until I’m 93 and campaigning for the Senate and it all comes out. The only saving thing will be that I can claim it was fake news, but that I forgot who really wrote it.

But it is not too late to reform. If I pledge to behave and to agree with whoever wants to scold me, I will be allowed to be guilty. This can open a career in the apology business – a growing industry – and I can start to take on contract work for sports stars and celebrities. I have drafted an all-purpose admission of guilt and shame that can be used as an introduction to civic ceremonies, weddings, and trophy nights, and as it can be read from small hand-held cards, it should prove most popular.

I am even thinking of having the apology cards embroidered for use in Oklahoma.

They’ll be the Sorry with the fringe on top…

I Intend To Stand For Parliament

In case the level of the debate in the House or Senate rises and any of it gets on my clothes. Never get that stuff out with laundry soaker…

Here in Australia we have a House of Representatives that makes legislation and a Senate that makes trouble. This is no surprise to most of the people as we are generally aware of the quality of the self-seekers we have elected. Rather like the people in North America, we are occasionally presented with a good selection of politicians and occasionally just given the week-old produce to pick over.

Recently the Senate has seen more theatre than we pay for in speeches by extremist politicians and dirty work at the crossroads in sneaking extremist slogans through disguised as legislation. Fortunately the press catches and publicizes it and the guilty parties are castigated. But we are still left with the goober politicians who regard themselves as very clever in having achieved notoriety yet again.

The country as a whole is fairly conservative and reasonably liberal in its behaviour…using those words in a true sense…and usually recovers from this sort of thing. As long as we avoid another Keating in the PM position we can speak with other nations. If we could get rid of Katter and Hanson, we could speak to Queensland…


Recently we’ve seen dirty work at the crossroads in public votes and private statements as the Senate has been cozened into listening to extremist speeches and voting for right-wing slogans. Don’t worry – it’ll reverse the other way soon and they’ll be bleating the other side of politics.

What to do about it? Apart from rejoice that as yet the worst we’ve ever had as a Prime Minister was Paul Keating and that we are unlikely to get the worst of the goobers from Queensland in front-bench positions? Well, we can sit down and watch the show on the television as a great many Parliamentary debates are transmitted…and we can think about whether the person we voted for is actually doing anything past drawing a salary.

We only get to pluck them free from the public teat every three years or so, but we can save up our impressons and opinions until then.

Don’t Shoot The Wireless Broadcaster…

Because we aren’t playing the piano. We’re just the guys with the microphones and the transmitter.

The best of us plug the set in, turn it on, and stand back as the world makes its own noise. We pause every now and then to sell soap flakes or water pumps but even these are pre-made lies supplied to us by advertising agencies. We don’t add anything ourselves.

Of course the worst of us try to be the power behind the throne…to tell you who to vote for and scold you if you didn’t obey us. We’ve got a great deal of scolding power, as we are the ones with the microphones and the transmitters…as mentioned before.

But have a little sympathy here – The space behind the throne is rather crowded – we’re elbowing away university professors, multi-billionaires, and dubious reverend activists. Some of them have brought their followers with them and the sight is not pretty…neither are many of the followers. We are constantly bombarded with offers to buy our good opinion, but no-one seems to offer cash.

At least we have the Freedom Of The Press to protect us from the Freedom To Suppress . This latter freedom is most often exercised in Asian, African, and latin countries, as well as Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and it is exercised by the people who are in power there.

Some say it makes a broadcaster’s job harder, but we find it can be soothing in many cases. It’s a lot easier to read a daily bulletin from The Ministry in a clean studio than to go out and ask awkward questions in a dirty street. Around about election/coup/succession time it can get a little iffy when you have to guess who will be holding the keys to the manacles for the next few years, but we find canned music and talk shows about preserving jams to be a great filler during the interim. ” A Walk In The Black Forest ” is a great tune to play at this time.

We have also been asked when we are going to bring back the good old serials to the air – those multi-part thrillers that depended upon great acting and superb sound effects to rivet the listener to the wireless at the same time each day for months. Actually we have been doing this for years, but disguising the things as news broadcasts. You thought those politicians you love or hate were real? Ha ha.

When You Have To Be Honest…

When you have to be honest about some particular thing, you might just as well surrender yourself to the whole vile experience and be honest about everything. You’ll be cleaning up a damned mess, of course, but the thing won’t be any different than if you just told a little bit of the truth and clammed up about the other things you know.

Not that honesty is required all the time, mind. If you are dealing with magistrates and police officers and coroners and such you’ll have to be completely truthful, of course. Likewise you are going to want to be open and forthright with your physician, dentist, optometrist, etc – otherwise your own body will betray you. But there are other places in society where you can get a rest from being honest:

a. Facebook. No-one really expects to see a 100% honest day on Facebook. There are so many political, religious, and social memes out there just waiting for shares, and most of them are either too good to be true or too true to be good – the former ones outnumber the latter…

b. Instagram. You are encouraged to make things look better than they really are to attract the interest of people who want to attract your interest with their visual lies. Fortunately it makes a nice change from Pokemon and people are less likely to step into traffic while looking at Instagram. Unless it makes them really depressed.

c. The pub. Well, if you can’t tell lies in a place that serves diluted alcohol, what’s the point of going there?

d. Political rallies. Whichever side you are on and whomever you are against, you are never expected to be unbiased and fair at a political rally. You are there to root for your side and howl the rest down. You are often allowed to hold up offensive signs. You are never required to dress well. You are permitted to espouse the foulest creeds and howl the vilest insults. If it had nap time, it would be like kindergarten.

e. Religious meetings. You are required to be honest to God and honest to yourself, but everyone else there can be played like a harmonica. Profess anything that they want you to profess and damn anything that they demand you to damn. Recite creeds, prayers, anthems, and shopping lists if that is the custom of the place. Bob, weave, dance, sing, and perform any gestures that seem to be required.

It’ll all be the same thing. Would I lie to you?