The Next Best Thing To Sliced Bead

The next best thing to sliced bread is not, as the advertisers would have you believe, a new electronic gadget or app. It is not an item of clothing or a kitchen appliance. It is cheese and pickle.

Thus another popular saying ( here in Australia ) goes for a Burton. North American readers can also go for a Burton but they’ll have to hunt out an English pub or beer shop to do it. Elizabeth Taylor went for a Burton…

Do you think that popular sayings and buzz-phrases are getting to be clichéd? You’re not wrong, Narelle. And we are being bombarded with more of them every day, thanks to the very screen you are looking at. They can become a burden after a while and we long for good old-fashioned communication like you got before the War. When men were men and women were women and the ABC announcers dressed up in suits and ties to read scripts over a radio microphone.

I think it is time to take back this level of earnestness and style. To re-assert the right of everyone to be elegant. Therefore:

a. Henceforth this column will be written while fully  the author is fully dressed. No more old green bathrobe and slippers. No more typing while wearing nothing but a wet towel. Or less.

b. No more buzz phrases – or at least none that are currently in use on Facetwit or that other slightly profane site; Instadamn.

c. All words will be correctly spelled and supplied in correct grammatical form. And the correct spelling may not be what the biased Spell Checker at the top of the WordPress menu would have it. I have been watching this suspect program and seen several howlers pass its scrutiny. It may be time to finally decide whether British English or American English is to prevail…though the Canadian compromise might be adopted for the sake of convenience. Whichever one is chosen, there will be protests from the grammatically arrogant.

d. Colourful local words and phrases like ” Crikey ” and ” Stone the crows ” will be permitted but must be put in the mouths of colourful locals. Direct quotes only, preferably from a scaffold.

e. I have no objection to foreign words creeping in as long as they then creep out again.

f. No-one would expect to have a brain surgeon or waist gunner perform their special tasks while eating a Subway  tuna-fish sandwich. Likewise the readers do not want their literature bedaubed with taco sauce or biscuit crumbs. Henceforth the desk will be cleared of plates while the column is being typed. This will have the added benefit of not requiring a new keyboard after Spaghetti Night.

g. I shall occasionally introduce a new word or phrase to cover a particular point of communication and then repeat it enough times over different platfoms to set it in the public mind. Most of this will be done in a spirit of jollity and kindness, with the appropriate amount of savagery. This process of forcing language upon the unwilling shall be known as motting the rubes.

I do not expect them to be grateful, but I shall be satisfied when they start doing it to each other.

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Bear Baiting For The Faint Of Heart

The trick is to find something to bait other than a bear.

In any intimate social circle of friends there will be people who can be attacked with impunity. We all know a mass murderer or sex offender or someone who wears socks with sandals. They are the legitimate targets of our hate, righteousness, and scorn when we are feeling out of sorts.

We can pillory them to our heart’s content on the internet with no danger of reprisal. But then so can everyone else, and that means that we just blend in with the braying crowd – no-one will know how virtuous and cool we are. Easy targets get no gongs, as they say in the Air Force. They may get more than their fair share of 1000 pounders, but that is no consolation when we want personal publicity. We need worthy enemies that can be vanquished easily while the light is good and the cameras are rolling.

Trouble is,  worthy enemies – again to use the Air Force analogy – are armed with flak and fighters, and are not easy targets. If you get a whipping while you are trying to do that to someone else you are not going to benefit. So what we need are targets that appear tough but are made of rubber or straw.

In the social scene these can be found amongst the rich and entitled or poor and defenseless – provided they are far enough above or below our own social standing as to render us invisible. If we can be mean from behind a double-blind of false identity it is even better. This may be the real benefit of identity theft.

Of course things can change in time. The Nigerian scammer of last decade may well become the new government of this one. Likewise the politician we all vie to hate may be proven right. We must make some provision to retract our statements, or at least to retract our signature on the libels. For this purpose we advocate the good old disappearing ink beloved of spy novels.

The safest way of all – at least on WordPress or Blogger – is to include free-form poetry or advice on how to make money from home in each post. What is never read cannot be sheeted home to you in court…

 

 

Snapping To Attention

I surprise myself occasionally with my practical determination. Yesterday I weeded my underwear drawer. I feel proud.

Modesty forbids me showing you what I found. Oh, there was nothing salacious, darn it, but I had not realised to just what a state my nether garments had descended until I noted that they were starting to head for my knees while I was still wearing them. It is a daunting feeling on a railway platform if you are the sort of person who has been taught by Mother not to dig round inside your trousers in public.

Now logic tells you that once the elastic goes in your jocks that they cannot actually get to your ankles  – unless you are a Scot in a kilt and in that case you may not have the problem in the first place… But trouser wearers, while saved from the ultimate horror, still feel as if they are making a public spectacle nevertheless. The waddling gait is the worst.

Logic again tells us to test the elastic of the garment each day before it is put on ( and here I am assuming that the wise man has more than one pair in the cupboard. If you only have enough for one week, the weekly wash will see you either sitting in bed until it is done and dried or going warily regimental. Not a prospect of comfort with woolen trousers or uncertain zips.

Better to keep two week’s supply and best to keep three – in case of inclement weather with no washing possible. I have counted my supply – together with fresh packs received as presents at Christmas and Father’s Day, I have 30 pairs. I could nearly clothe a centipede…

But back to the weeding. You draw the underwear through the fingers from side to side. If there is no elasticity, it must be discarded. If the bulk of the cloth has become so thin as to enable you to read a newspaper through the bum – it must go. Anything with a green stain is out, and you can spend time later pondering where you got the stain from. I need not discuss tooth marks…

And put aside any thought of further using garment for household purposes. You do not want it as a dishcloth or polishing rag, considering what it has been polishing all these years.

Years? I found that the discards had been purchased in 2014. I like to get value.

” Now Hear This ” – The BGA Cures The Ills Of The World

Well, we’ve got the BGA booths into the train stations, malls, hospital waiting rooms, and fish and chip shops – now what is going to happen?

People will line up to enter the booth – their gold coin in hand for when they want to get out again. They’ll enter the darkness, snuggle up to the speaking tube, and start to tell the world what they want the world to know.

Part of it will be confession – the murders, robberies, and lustful thoughts of the week. Part will be profession – who they hate – Donald Trump, the brother-in-law, etc. Some will take the opportunity to brag about the size of their private parts, and some will tell the truth – in neither case will anyone out in the waiting line believe a word of what they say.

The trained counsellor will interject with helpful things like ” My, my.” and ” Well, I’ll be darned, eh? ” or just sit there making soothing noises as the professor gets more agitated. If they are asked to forgive the professor they will do so immediately, knowing that everyone else in the surrounding area that has heard the news will be ready with cudgels and handcuffs as soon as the curtain slides back. No sense being judgemental when you don’t have to be.

There will be no penances awarded – people can leave the booth feeling cleansed and free. Of course they may then be collared by the police or attacked by an enraged mob, but that is no business of the BGA. We will only step in when someone admits to a fiscal sin that has resulted in the accumulation of a large amount of ill-gotten gain in a Swiss bank account. The only thing we need is the special number and then you will be free to go.

The effect of this open-ended opportunity to get it off your chest will be to free up the psyche of individuals and let them get on with their lives. Of course, some of the less cautious ones may be devoting a great deal of those lives to running and hiding, but then they would have been brought to that eventually. We give them a clean chance on the starting blocks.

But what if you do not have any sins? Or any money, for that matter – is the BGA booth going to be any use to you? You bet it is – and you’ll read about that in our final chapter tomorrow.

The National Day – Part Three – The Plural Of Day Is Not Daze

Okay. Here you go – the calendar of national days for Australia. This schedule contains all the fun, celebration, liquor, politics, and ill-humour that you want or need for national happiness. Anyone who is not happy with it is entitled under the constitution to be sad. The only thing that the Committee asks is that they be sad quietly.

January 1 – Australian National Day. Commemorating the establishment of the 6 colonies as an independent nation free of rule from Westminster.

January 26th – First Fleet Day – celebrating a successful amphibious assault upon Botany Bay.

April 25th – ANZAC Day – celebrating a failed amphibious assault upon Gallipoli.

First Sunday in July – National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Day – leading into a themed week called NAIDOC week. Invite the immigrants to the party.

September 1st – National Immigrant Day – Everybody dig out the clothes and food from their various Old Countries and take a day off work. Invite the indigenes to thee party.

November 11th – National Armistice day. When Europe paused for 21 years to reload.

Now you can stack whatever religious feasts and sporting events you like in between the national days and mix and match them to your liking. If you select the right religion, the right community, and the right mate, you can be overfed and queasy for 6 months out of the year. And none of this interferes with tax time, EOFY sales, or the school year.

But it does remove the platform and propaganda that the lobbyists and professors use to keep themselves – like flies –  in the public eye.

 

How To Avoid Being Stalked

These days there is a great deal of unease about the business of stalking. The term crops up in newspapers, legal cases, and the social media. Many accusations are made and in some cases substantiated. The BGA has a few points of good advice for those who would avoid the problem:

a. Do not poop in the wild. Or on the screen.

This is the number one give-away for wild animals – at least for the ones who do not instinctively bury their shit. They leave steaming mounds everywhere and eventually the predator who wants to find them just ends up following a trail of increasingly fresh dung until it finds the arsehole that is putting it out. Not a pleasant way of shopping, but a sure-fire way of finding one end of dinner.

In the social media world it works the same way. People post the most improbable piles of merde on the internet – for the most part picked up and ” shared ” in an effort to get attention. Well, if they share enough of it and it gets to be fresh, it can lead directly to them.

b. Do not leave your leavings around.

We are not suggesting that you shred every piece of wrapping paper or McDonalds container that you collect to prevent hackers from trolling your recycle bin…but remember what happened to the US Embassy in Tehran in the 1980’s.  Look at the stuff you throw out and securely destroy the bits with the numbers.

Or fish the number bits out of your neighbour’s verge on bin night and put them in your own waste. Hell, just exchange paper all up and down the street and hack each other.

c. Do not pay by credit card, cheque, or direct debit.

If possible do not even pay in cash. Promise to pay and then skip town. There are towns all over the place. Skipping is healthful exercise.

d. Do not take surveys, answer questionnaires, enter contests, play free games, or request free samples.

You might as well be drawing a red circle around yourself on an ordnance survey map. The people who harvest information trade and sell it, and you, based upon what you give them. You may well end up being used but you do not have to run up the gangplank of the slave ship to embrace it.

e. Do not react to anything.

Reaction is what people want when they wish to know where you are and what triggers you. Depend upon it; when you give them the information they will use it and they will not use it in a way that makes you happier.

f. Be beige. Bland, Swiss, middle-aged, from an outer suburb, and never seen. Try to become a fully visible invisible creature.

g. Avoid all interpersonal relationships – in particular avoid the ones that involve loose clothing and lapses of memory. When that old sweet song echoes in your ear, put your finger inside there instead.

Love is another thing. Love is perennial and blessed. Love is violets and daffodils. Love is the stuff of which very successful pulp novels can be made. If it occasionally becomes a soggy mess and soaks through into the upholstery, regard this as the price you pay for happiness. Or misery. In any case, if you do pay the price, get a receipt – you can sometimes claim it on your tax return.

 

The Tube Of Toothpaste

If you would like to increase the happiness in your life, get a tube of toothpaste. Or of strawberry jam, haemorrhoid cream, or any other semi-solid commodity. The actual contents are not important – it is the delivery system.

Take the top off and squeeze a little – and a little useful product comes out. Whether you spread it on your teeth, toast, or tush is up to you, but observe that after you squeeze, the tube gets a little smaller and a little wrinkled. Continue squeezing and eventually it is all out.

And at this point the company that sold you that tube is not required under any law of the universe to refill it at their expense. You go buy another tube.

So it is with employers, acquaintances, friends, and relations. They can squeeze you like that tube – and out comes money, work, possessions, attention, praise, and any other useful thing that you might contain. And just like the toothpaste tube, one day they will squish the last drop of whatever out of you.

And you’re not required by law to instantly refill yourself for them.

If you’re a wise toothpaste tube you’ll have noticed what was going on long before this point – and you might decide that you don’t want to be flat and empty. That’s the time to clog your nozzle. Then you can preserve some of your self-esteem for yourself. And the user can go out looking for another toothpaste tube.

And at that point you are entitled to insist that they put the cap back on.