Does Not Laugh – Can Not Laugh…

These individuals are related to Should Not Laugh and Will Not laugh. They are a close-knit family and support each other in silence.

a. Does Not Laugh. Never been seen to do so, and no-one has really seen DNL smiling either. In fact the thought of a smile is somewhat un-nerving. What would cause it? If jokes, cartoons, movies, songs and YouTube videos of mobile cranes falling into holes does not raise a titter, what would? The mind turns to darker things…

b. Can Not Laugh. This is actually sad, and may draw some sympathy from all of us. CNL has so many worries and woes that nothing seems funny . Nothing may never have, though we hope CNL might have had some fun at some stage of the game. People hope that this is only temporary, and try out new routines to see if they can get a smile.

c. Should Not laugh. Well, if you’re sitting on the magistrate’s bench – or for that matter sitting on the magistrate – the dignity of the court demands that you keep a sober mein. LIkewise police officers, air traffic controllers, and high church dignitaries. The Queen is allowed to crack up occasionally as no-one can say her nay. So are various presidents of various other nations, though some do it better than others. Angela Merkel on a laughing jag is not a pretty sight.

d. Will Not laugh. WNL is the pompous pain in the potatoes who denies any recognition of humour – probably because that would reward the joker. WNL is mean and tight and arrogant…which is why he or she seems to become the butt of satirical humour. Oddly enough, even some satirical writers – especially if they exist on the fringes of real journalism or real writing – exhibit this characteristic too. In their case it is fear of being bettered by someone with a new joke.


Coffee Machine’s Busted

And I am not all that unhappy.

Not that the loss of a domestic appliance is a good thing – particularly as I am a  person who likes the coffee that came out of it, and have several boxes of pods orphaned by the loss. ( Note I recycle the pods in accordance with the latest virtue-signalling on Facebook and produce pure oxygen and small kittens…)

The repairman charged for his time and diagnosis – which I understand completely. The prognosis was poor – the entire brewing unit would need replacing at $ 249. This is more expensive than many of the new coffee makers available in electrical stores – and they come with the correct warranties and even some cash-backs.

So it looks as though my Christmas is sorted. I should have liked liquor or model airplanes, but I realise that some things – like coffee – are essentials in modern life. I can Nescafé it the rest of the day, but after dinner is more serious.


If you never learn another thing…learn to shift gears smoothly.

The people who have automatic transmissions miss this skill – they jerk their T-bar into ” D ” and just accept whatever the unseen mechanism decides to do. In some cases this is flawless work, but in some it is a drag upon their resources.

And it can be worse if they are steering a motor car. Those car transmissions need a lot of maintenance.

What? You though this was all about motor cars in the first place? Wrong – it is about life.

You’ll do lots of things in life that happen at different speeds and under different loads; you’ll be a little kid one day with no responsibilities and a school student next day – with the weight of the world on your shoulders. If you cannot shift smoothly from a 4-year-old centre of the universe to the 5-year-old who is in line and quiet, you have trouble.

Likewise when you transition from grade school to high school – high school to university or trade training – and so on through your lifetime. Be assured that you need a good deal of strategy and patience to make the leap from employed person to retired one. You need to plan to speed up one set of gears while you are slowing another down to get them to mesh properly – you need a mental Synchromesh.

My transition involved writing these columns  as well as hobby interests gathered over the years. I selected a couple that still resonated with me – ones that I could afford and could manage on a physical level. The result has been a smooth transition with no loss of traction. No gears grind and no teeth have broken off the idlers.

If I travel slower than before, and do not surmount such high hills of achievement, I can still take some comfort from the smoothness evident in the ride. It’ll stop one day, of course, but hopefully not from idleness or inattention.

The Reminder

As readers of this column may have gathered, I was given a timely reminder last month regarding the human condition. A mistaken operation led to an opportunistic infection and a hospital stay. There has been home time accompanied by medication, pain, and boredom.

There has also been attention from a governmental agency that suggests any real need that one may have will probably not be met. The agencies will churn and burn, but the chief product will be salaries for their employees and reports for their bosses. The patients they are tasked to help will get better or not, independent of any real help.

If you are laid up you miss going out, doing things, or participating in life. It rankles. There is only so much that you can do on a screen, even if you are an inveterate scribbler like myself. Eventually you long to take out the garbage and get a haircut – it may not sound like conquering Everest, but it is…

This week I started driving again. Slowly and carefully, but that is how I roll anyway. The little round of the shops, barber, and bank were a positive pleasure – so much so that I was courteous to the pests in the shopping mall who wanted to bail me up for promotions. That’s how much I have changed.

I daresay I’ll get blasé about it again in a few weeks, but right now I am appreciating life pretty well.

Do You Go To Church?

…asked the Muslim social worker of the old Jew in his living room, as she filled out a form for aged care assistance…

Really one of the oddest exchanges that I have had recently. The form seems to have the logo and imprimatur of the Australian federal government in a special department for the aged, and a logo from another organization that may offer help. In this case the help they offered seems to be a booklet and a note that my goal is to get my injured leg back to good health.

From the church question, I am assuming it is a pious hope…

As no more was done all week, at my latest visit to the physician, he short circuited the whole departmental rigmarole by ringing up the local chemist to see if they sold pressure bandages. They did, I called in and bought one, and pulled it on myself. We’ll be checking in a week to see that healing is progressing.

In the meantime I will keep my phone on and my ears open for the assistance that the bureaucratic department will offer. But I shall not hold my breath. Nor expend it singing hymns, for that matter…

Sure Sell Products For A New Age

We are bombarded these days with every sort of advertisement for goods on this internet connection. While I do not have anything to sell, I can still have the fun of exasperating you. Thus the new range of products from BGA Foods:

a. The Incontinental Roll.

The spicy lunch wrap with pepperoni, csaba, jalapenos, and castor oil. This one-handed treat will get the most sluggish constitution up and dancing for days. Not recommended for those who are slow on their legs or far from a convenience.

b. Rice A Roo.

Now you can combine Asian with Australian in a new way. It’s flat, it’s chewy, it’s packed with substances. Swallow quickly. Bewdy. Bonza. Mate.

c. The Detra Mint.

Not all confectionary has to be good for you. Go back to the good old days when Victorians warned their children not to eat sweets for a very good reason. The Detra Mint may seem dangerous to some but think of the good that you’ll be doing for the environment. If everyone buys just one roll of Detra Mints a week we’ll be able to clean up Wittenoom, Marralinga, and the drainage systems of most RAAF air bases. That’s got to be patriotic.

d. O’Shaughnessy’s Rubber Chicken

Now we’ve all attended civic affairs that involved a luncheon and 90% of the time the meal served has included some chicken dish with a sauce. And none of it is ever eaten.

O’Shaunessy’s Rubber Chicken is the civic caterer’s opportunity to help the environment and cut costs dramatically. It is a tasteless, odourless substitute substance that replicates the feel and flavour of catering chicken. But it is entirely washable and re-useable after the plates are returned to the kitchen. A quick rinse, a boil-up for 5 minutes, and O’SRC is ready for duty under whatever sauce is next. Even pieces that have been inadvertently chewed – by people with bad eyesight, for instance – self-heal in the boiler and are just as appetizing as before.

No commercial chef in civic service should be without a bale of this useful material.

e. Debt By Chocolate

The advent of the ultra-expensive European chocolatier boutique designer snobhaven sweet shop has opened the way for the BGA venture. No longer do you need to have actual money to buy your $ 56 Praline Surprise ( so named when you get out in the street and find that your fillings hurt…) nor do you need to endure the sneers of Trained Backpackers when you cannot pronounce the name of the jelly babies. We give credit.

Now a true-blue Australian shop can deliver diabetes in little bags. We have taken over Darrel Lea, Haigh’s, Hoadley’s and Cadbury and combined the whole of their production lines into one chocolate-type bar. It is durable, portable, and can be used as a substtute for a star picket if you live in one of “ those “ suburbs. Chew it at your peril.


Making The Most Of Hangar Time

The week in the armchair has been productive. The leg heals, the mobility increases slightly, and there is no lowering horizon – save a growing list of things that I want to get done once I can stand. I think there is going to have to be some prioritization in the jobs list for a while.

If this sounds a little Pollyanna-ish you must forgive me. I won’t make myself better by worrying about what I might have troubles with – I’ll do far better to do what can be done and be pleased with that. To this end I watched pointedly useful YouTube shows all the week.

I also reorganised on paper what the rest of the year might look like. Sitzenzeit is good for that…if you can be honest with your plans and get a balance between wanna-do and canna-do. I suspect that there are a lot of times in the past when a week spent in the hangar would have led to some better flights of fancy afterwards.

One thing that hangar time forces you to do is to ask what it is you actually want to do in the future. If there are activities and ambitions that have been rather marginal in the past…but you’ve stuck to them from a sense of inertia…you have an opportunity to decently step away from them. You can streamline the wing load by unhooking the unwanted ordnance – without the necessity to drop it dramatically on someone.

The other thing that happens is you find out how many times that you go out on the road to the shops to spend money or some reason. When you can’t walk , you can’t drive, and you can’t go out and spend money. It is a bit of a shock to realise that this has not lowered your standard of living for the week. Or perhaps you are brought to the realisation that the book, bed, armchair, and convenient toilet are as high a standard as you really need – and the designer platinum-coated egg whisker that is being offered for a fabulous discount may not be for you.

I have not yet given in to the temptation of on-line shopping. I may advocate it or others, but I realise the danger of it for the bored or unfulfilled. I can wait.