How could I be happy if nothing happened? Where was the joy in that?
a. I was not being bombed or shelled by anyone. No-one hates me enough to bother with the ordnance, let alone the targeting.
b. Nothing broke. Neither the legs nor the washing machine nor the car nor the airbrush.
c. No-one stole anything from me or my house.
d. No-one sent me a bill.
e. The Facebook pests that perpetually swing their little axes in my face had other things on their minds.
f. I was not on the Freeway for morning nor afternoon rush hour. So none of the sirens were for me.
g. The cat did not put a dead rat on the doorstep.
h. I did not lose another pair of panties to the elastic monster.
This was a day full of the noticeable absence of stressful excitement. It left space for food and drink, hobby work, and writing. I would like to achieve an entire week of this boredom some day.
My own fault.
I knew as I poked the iPad screen that I was doing the wrong thing. But I had a half hour to spare while the rest of the family got ready to go out ( My dad once got to read War And Peace while waiting for my mother to get ready…) so I looked at a video that purported to explain the Philadelphia Experiment. A supposed experiment to make a destroyer disappear in Philadelphia Navy Yard.
It was eery, and ooey, and it was only when I noticed that the video footage seemed to be of French naval workshops and German torpedo boat destroyers that I realised that it was a melange of merde. I had read a suitably vague and corny paperback about the subject years ago – and got nothing out of it – but I didn’t realise that YouTube allowed people to make such rubbish in such spectacular form.
I always hesitate to use the term ” Fake News ” as my cousin, Donald Trump, seems to have gotten himself into a lot of hot water by using it so often. And this Philadelphia nonsense is not news anyway – not if it has spawned cheap paperback novels. My cousin, Barack Obama, once visited Philadelphia. I think he called on my other cousin George Wallace…for political advice.
He could have asked me. But I don’t want to insult your intelligence with that…
For the record: The heading image is not an American destroyer in Philadelphia Navy Yard.
A short introduction to the steam room.
a. When you ring someone, do not say anything for about 6 seconds.
b. Then cut in a background tape of the inside of a Bangladeshi underwear factory.
c. Announce that your name is Wayne O’Grady, or Anders Andreasson, or John Johnson. These are perfectly plausible to go with your heavy subcontinental accent. Avoid the use of the name Peter Sellers…
d. Say that you are from the technical division of Elfrubdhethic Solutions. If they ask you to repeat that say that you are from the technical division of Rathvictichoxz Corporation. You can cough while you do this.
e. Tell them that you have been monitoring their computer and that they have downloaded some viruses. Or solar cells for the roof. Tell them they have downloaded solar cells.
f. Tell them to go to the computer and turn it on. If you are feeling randy you can tell them to turn you on.
g. If they refuse to go to the computer threaten to have them arrested unless they buy iTunes cards. If they ask why, tell them that you will have them deported. If they still refuse tell them that you will be arriving on a sinking rowboat along with your 34 needy relatives and that you know where they live. If that doesn’t shift them, nothing will…
h. The timing of the call is all-important. Australians eat dinner at 6:00 PM. Make your call at 5:57 PM. Every day. For a month.
i. Never use the phrases ” Golly Gosh ” or ” Goodness Gracious Me “. Don’t ask why, just avoid them.
j. And the most important thing. Make your calls from an Australian mobile phone or land line phone that can be traced. It’s no good doing all this fine work and not getting credit for it.
a. Help me to understand the difference between the police speed camera monitors and William Bonney with a pistol. They both want money. They both present themselves in your face. They both threaten you. You pay up.
b. Help me to understand why they have two words for the same things; offal and awful.
c. Help me to understand why social media makes a two-day report of a man slipping on a fried onion in a Bunnings car park and the decision to put the fried onions under the sausage in the future. Could it be that social media is irrelevant nonsense? Say it ain’t so, Joe…!
d. Help me to understand why motion picture actors and stage singers – trained to mimic emotions and mouth prepared speeches – are considered to be ingenuous gurus of political thought. It appears that honesty and integrity can be extruded and cut off in foot lengths…
e. Help me to understand how taking a picture of a politician eating anything advances any cause whatsoever – whether for or against the person pictured.
f. Help me to understand why people allow themselves to be persuaded to give money to telephone scammers when the knowledge of this sort of crime is now so widespread. We have passed by the Nigerian letter scams and the African fortune scams – surely we can advance past the Indian scams.
g. Help me to understand why new cars are not offered with colourful paint jobs. Blue, green, yellow, orange, and all shades in between are available in paint at the same price as white, black, and grey. Who desaturated the world?
h. Help me understand why the idea of ” European ” is sold as better than anyone else’s culture. Is it because they made better wars in the 19th and 20th centuries? Or do they just have better propaganda machines?
i. Help me understand why I must bag and check out my own groceries while 10 checkout lines are not staffed. Am I to be offered a discount based upon the wages saved? ( I know the answer to that one and it is ” no “.)
j. Help me to understand why all the accents that singing stars emulate come from below the Mason-Dixon line…even if the singers are from north of Watford Gap.
I note that there is an advertisement current on Instagram that seeks to have me send money to the Philippines. It does so by telling me that it is easy. If ease were the chief consideration, I could point out that I have a pair of scissors in the desk and can cut cash up into small fragments and blow it out the window. To much the same benefit.
I understand that there are perfectly legitimate reasons for sending money to Manila, or Managua, or Memphis, for that matter. Relatives. Rent. Ransom. I would be the last to stop people from pursuing international trade. But I am also equally sure there are perfectly normal agencies to do this that do not involve Instagram , Twitter, or Gofundme…or any other such marginalia. I also include the Indian grocers and 7-Eleven operators with money transfer signs on their windows in this category.
Folks, ANY bank in any shopping centre can do it, with a paper receipt for you and a real live teller behind a window that you can return to if you are worried. Your money may be destined to be tamped down a tropical rat hole when it gets there, but if you are dealing with the Commonwealth Bank or Westpac, or the ANZ you can at least be sure it will arrive at the rathole intact.
I was standing in a store when my pocket phone rang.
” Hello, this is Bankwest. Am I talking to Richard? ”
My name is Richard and I agreed that the young woman was indeed talking to me. She asked me whether I would be prepared to identify myself in the store. That’s a rather unusual thing to say…and she was just a voice on a pocket phone…
She said it was just a courtesy call. I asked whether there was something amiss with my bank accounts. She declined to say, but asked me to call at a Bankwest branch, where she would send details of the call.
You want to panic? Try panicking about your bank accounts. I’ve been hacked through Mastercard before and I realise that it is well to jump on these things as soon as they are flagged. I said I would go to my normal local branch immediately…and took off in the car.
The official at the bank took my security passwords and we agreed that I was me and he was him; then we looked at the accounts. All was well…there was no need to panic…whatever courtesy was intended in the original telephone call was probably some form of marketing idea that they compel junior staff to do…
Note for the future: I would readily identify myself to a recognisable police officer, local or AFP. I would do so to a recognisable magistrate or judge. I would identify myself to a recognisable Australian Defence Forces officer or warrant officer, if we were on Commonwealth property at the time. Other than that, my identity and any proof thereof, will be my own business.
Careful, BW. Your girl was indeed courteous, if a little mysterious, and your branch staff member was helpful, but there is a limit to what you should do in the marketing snoop line.
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?