1. Sex 2. Drugs 3. Rock And Roll

4. Driver’s license.

5. Diploma.

6. University  fees.

7. Textbooks.

8.  Accommodation.

9. Food.

10. Laundry.

11. New clothing.

12. Medical expenses.

13. Degree.

14. Job applications.

15. Relocation expenses.

16. Taxes.

17. Housing.

Welcome to the world of adulting, teenage justice warrior. You may not have time to march in front of the state legislature/parliament house/television cameras/iphones of your friends for some time as you are now required to show up and do something worth getting paid for. Hint: keep your receipts and pay slips as you’ll need them to pay your taxes. If you do not wish to pay taxes remember that there is always the Al Capone Option. They have closed Alcatraz but Leavenworth is still going…

You may note that I have left out marriage and babies from the list. You’ll learn about them when you grow up.

 

That Stuff..You Know…Stuff…

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.

I Used To Be Sympathetic

Then I toned it down a little and became empathetic.

Lately I haven’t had the time to maintain either facade and have settled for just being pathetic. It’s a great relief and people don’t press you for things as much as before. Not after you’ve thrown up on their shoes.

A fiend* suggested that I spend some time and develop my ability to become antipathetic… but I was hostile to that. Active meanness requires a good deal of time and a surprising level of expense – what with the cost of whips these days. A few years back you could get a good dog whip for a tenner and expect it to last you through an entire kindergarten class. No more – the rubbish they import from Asia just doesn’t stand up to the wear.

Of course there is always the Buddhist road – where you don’t give either a good or a bad goddamn – or the atheist one that removes the religious component from that apathy. I am tempted – it would certainly cut down on charitable contributions to the people who do good works and the cost of the ammunition for those who don’t. But would it make no difference at all in the end ? Who cares?

  • A fiend is a friend who keeps their “r’s ” out of your face…

Wearing Your ” Special ” Suspender Belt…

The one you only wear when you go out to ” special ” places. And do ” special ” things…

Generally you do these things in the dark with a few flickering lights. And a pulsating musical beat in the background. If you’re lucky you get to have a few drinks first, though you don’t want too many because that would affect your judgement and dull your senses. If you are going to wear your ” special ” suspender belt, you want to feel everything.

Of course there are people who tell you that this is all wrong. That you are doing something immoral. But they would tell you that if you weren’t wearing your ” special ” belt, so you might as well get used to it. Some people take entirely too much interest in the affairs of others.

Not me. I do not judge. I can see the sort of pleasure that this behaviour brings you, and as long as no-one is permanently injured I say go to it.

After all – where would the motion picture industry be if we did not all go to our local cinema and suspend our disbelief…?

Care for some popcorn?

 

The Local Holiday – Part Three

Review yesterday’s reflections on why people travel for their holidays before we go on.  And then consider why staying at home may meet all your needs.

a.  You wanted a change of scenery. There are new sights to see within a mile of your easy chair. You can go to them on a bus or train ( for free if you’re old enough ). You can walk to them in some cases. I’ll bet few of the readers have been to all four corners of their respective towns. Who knows what sights are to be seen there – I rode a local bus through what I thought would be familiar suburbs and found that the town has changed into a new place. And I was not riding some death-bus full of grinning bandits into unknown peril, at $ 10,000 a go.

b. You wanted a change of weather – this really amounts to wanting cool when it is hot and warmth when it is cold. Or dry when it is raining. Got news for you – Cool comes out of air conditioners – if you have one, use it. If you don’t, go to a mall that does.

Same thing when it is cold. Sit in front of the fire or go to a warm café. Libraries are warm and quiet and they have free entertainment for all ages. They also have seats and let you sit there reading all day if you wish.

Weather will eventually change anyway – in Melbourne, four times per day. Just be patient.

c. You wanted new food and drink. Oh, please…there are more restaurants in your town than ever you have eaten at. And more bars, pubs, taverns, etc. for exotic drinks. You cannot eat or drink more than a certain amount in any one day and all you have to do is go into a new joint and sample their menu. Most Australian cities have more ethnic variety in their eateries than any of the countries that they emulate. Where exactly is Generia , anyway? Their cuisine seems familiar, if bland.

d. New people? Go to a new pub, club, mall, church or temple, and look around. Go clean, friendly, and polite and you’ll meet people you want to meet. Every newspaper and radio station advertises groups looking for new members every day.

e. Duty Free? Really? Is it really a good idea to pay $ 10,000 in holiday money to come back with a giant half-price bottle of Johnny Walker? You could go to the local Dan Murphy and whack down $ 100 and come away with all the whiskey you can handle. A queasy liver at 1/100th of the cost.

f. Relaxation? If your idea of relaxation is sitting on a beach getting skin cancer, you can do that at Cottesloe or Swanbourne. If you want to break your arm surfing, Margaret River is just three hours away. If you want shows and movies, there are plenty going on every day right here at home.

If relaxation for you is sitting in a café, there are a number of districts here that want your dollar.

g. Peace and quiet. This is the best news of all. You can get this in your lounge room for just a few dollars. Here’s what you do:

  1. Clean the house. Not a major campaign – just a day’s tidying. Sets the scene.
  2. Get in a week’s worth of ready-to-cook meals or a handful of local restaurant menus.
  3. Get a carton of beer or cola or whatever. Or a few bottles of the local vin ordinaire.
  4. Get an armload of new books from the library or book shop.
  5. Put on your holiday clothes – loose ones.
  6. Unplug the land line phone.
  7. Put the mobile phone under two pillows.
  8. Turn on the air conditioner and make yourself comfortable.
  9. Watch TV, read, practice your hobby, write letters or postcards, sit and think, nap, or eat and drink. All week, if you wish. Go to bed as early or late as you please.

Amazing how good it feels, isn’t it? And you are not dependent upon airport transfers, bell hops, tour guides, airline schedules, or any other travel hazard. You will not be stranded anywhere, as your bed is a room away. You are near your medical base. You can ring out for food if desired and ring friends to invite them to share it. You can binge watch on telly. You can be as vacant as you wish.

You can write internet weblog columns undisturbed.

 

How Do You Take A Vacation From A Holiday – Part One

Or vice versa. It is a question that the retired individual can ponder. And there isn’t an easy answer – lots of factors come into play:

a. You may not be wealthy. The disposable income of the working years – assuming you had any – has been disposed of. The rest is what supplies your daily living – it may be comfortably enough, but it rarely stretches to unlimited expense, unless you have been very successful indeed.

If you stay at home, you spend less – less on travel, accommodation, external meals and drinks, and tourist activities. Your supposrtsystem is all round you, supporting you, and need not be paid for elsewhere.

b. You may not be filled with vim and vigour. Older people can be bundles of energy in some cases but in others the bundle contains a lot of aches and pains as well as frayed nerves. Travel rarely improves this, unless you are going to the hot springs.

c. Your friends are here. Even if they are really your bitter enemies, they are at least convenient when you want a fight. No need going halfway around the country or the world to find new battles.

d. You can drink the water and understand the money and bus system here. If you go elsewhere all three things are likely to give you the shits. If you’re really lucky you get a free train and bus pass here and can plague people all over the city economically.

e. If you stay home you do not have to be out later than you want to be. You can turn off the lights and hit the feathers at 10:30 without looking like a party pooper.

f. If you stay at home and eat and drink the exotic foods and liquors of the place that the tour goes to…and it is possible, given the upsurge in restaurants in the last decade… you can still get heartburn but you can do something about it discreetly. When you do your own cooking, you can read the menu. And you need not eat the weird offal that they try to serve as folk food. Folk that for a joke.

But enough of the gloom. Next time we tell you how to holiday at home and be happy.

Exclusive Offer


Will Rogers.

Enshrine that name in your memory. Bookmark him on your computer. Read his quotes. One of which is:

” Never miss a chance to shut up. ”

I need to read this every day – early. I had a recent experience of being in the company of someone who should have done so too. It was a good lesson to watch from a distance. Out of hearing is a very good distance…

But enough of this. I wish to propose a paraphrase to Will’s advice – if his shade will let me. Consider ” Never miss a chance to be excluded “. Actually, if Will had said it it would probably have been ” Never miss a chance to be ignored “. A little different feeling, but just as good.

Being excluded is a wonderful thing. It posits there being something or someone that doesn’t want you, and that means they don’t want you for a reason. Now there’s a story behind that reason – all of a sudden you have a mystery to enquire into.

Of course some things are not a mystery – a black person applying to join the local chapter of the KKK doesn’t have to wonder too much why they send his application form back with a curt rejection. That same man applying to join a London club and receiving a rejection – probably phrased in more gentlemanly terms – does indeed have a mystery and might be able to set an enquiry afoot. And then all hell may break loose.

Being excluded from a social circle is also an intriguing thing, and generally rewards investigation. Be careful what you look for, however, and who and what you ask, because there’s a danger that some fool might reconsider and invite you in. Then you’re sunk.

On a romantic note, who knows how many people have been rendered happy during their later years by rejection of an early suit and exclusion from someone’s home? They sometimes find out much later when they see what the former loved one has become. Then they will be wise if they follow Mr. Roger’s original advice.

In short, when someone tells you to go away because you are not wanted, take the opportunity to leg it. The world is wide and there are plenty of other things to do.