” It’s All A Mucking Fadhouse “

That feeling of exasperation when you are surrounded by people all trying to be cooler than each other – and the end result is the ambient temperature drops dramatically. And these desperate social actors live on drama…

I was always a conservative and repressed little fellow. Primary school and high school saw me dressed as my mother commanded and – to be honest – there was not a lot of sartorial splendour in rural Canada in the 1950’s. You could be well-dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans. The delightful thing for me is that this is still the case 70 years later.

You were also not encouraged to be either high, wide nor handsome in your opinions and speech. This may still be the case in Canada, though you are allowed to be scornful of the American President as long as he is not a Democrat or coloured. Hey, Canada has some standards, even if they are double…

But getting back to conservatism…it need not be a bad thing. It’s just a matter of context. No-one really wants an eye surgeon or dentist who is wild and cutting-edge radical – particularly when you’re their their patient. And few of us welcome return-to-the basics airline pilots who always fly at 500 ft. and stick their fingers out the window to see which way the wind is blowing. We reserve these things for their natural place.

Likewise we might well do with a politician who is not continuously at the barricades – particularly if they have no idea in which direction to throw their paving stone. A person who is not driven by popular shrieks from the mob is helpful. Even the shrieking radicals appreciate them, as they provide convenient targets for mindless abuse.

So calm down a little. You’ll still be able to subvert western civilisation and look kewl but you can do it at a less frenetic pace. And better dressed.

Pick Your Viking Birth Month Potato…

And find out who you are compatible with. The choices we provide are:

a. Ricky Scaggs

b. Sean Connery

c. Kim Jong Un

d. Jane Fonda

Does it seem that Facebook Asylum has been taken over by the inmates? Are you sure of the universe when questions of this nature are asked of you? Fear not – it is a simple process of dragging targeting information out of you, one piece at a time. It may seem a long-winded process, but as it is essentially a cost-free activity, every speck of personal gold that can be panned out is a gain.

They now know your month of birth. Soon an enquiry will pose questions that find the year that you were born. And eventually another contest will elicit the day of the month. And there we have one of the basic ID questions for you…un-safe in the hands of whoever wants to sell it on or use it to impersonate you.

They’ll need a lot more than that, but they can get it with surveys, quizzes, contests, and such. And if you are bored enough and fool enough to supply it you will have no-one to blame but yourself when someone signs you up for a new credit card and extracts $ 98.00 from that card. You’ll have the debt collector and the bad credit name and they’ll have $ 98.00.

Make like John Banner/ Sergeant Schultz.

Know nothing.


The Smile On Voltaire’s Face

For many years I’ve visited Melbourne – sometimes in the summer – sometimes in the winter. Sometimes for both seasons on one day ( plus the Apocalypse and Free Pizza Night. Melbourne weather is like that… ) I’ve often gone to visit a friend. He lives in the NGV on the second floor.

François-Marie Arouet was in the word business long before me…and as it happens, will probably be there long after I am gone. That is the quality of his thinking and writing. I say ” is ” rather than ” was ” because so much of what he wrote and published is still current. Indeed a great deal of his admonishment to tolerance and sensible thinking is still for the future…

Quite what he would make of the current viral crisis, the world’s response to it, and the attitude of the plague’s authors, is open to speculation. I don’t think he would have been surprised at any of it – he seems to be a man who would have been hard to startle – and I suspect he would be more willing to forgive the perpetrators than the rest of us will eventually be. He faced bullies and malefactors himself.

But he’s safe now. He can reside in a bronze bust along Toorak Road and in the bookshops of the city. The rest of us still have to keep our distance and hope that the CSL will pump out a vaccine that won’t kill us. And try to be tolerant when the truth about what set it all off finally comes out.

I shall polish my toleration tools in anticipation.


” Don’t be Ashamed Of Your Urges. “

Some people are hard to startle. SAS sergeants, nuns, cess pool cleaners… They have seen more than you will ever been exposed to and are still sane. You would be silly to try the title of this essay on them, expecting them to jump. They would take it calmly and just punch you.

On the other hand, there are people who are ready to jump 10 feet in the air, turn left, and explode if you merely look at them and smile. While it’s a lot of fun to do so, it’s really tame sport – you are facing no challenge. Better to look for someone in the middle and exercise your talents on them. Here are a few suggestions:

a. Schoolteachers.

The masters, mistresses, heads, principals, or whatever of the education system might be thought of as hardened as our aforementioned SAS sergeant. After all, they face the enemy every day of their working lives. But you only have to ask them a question particularly attuned to their speciality to watch them wind up like an alarm clock. You may have to do a little research into whichever discipline they teach, but once you get there you’ll discover that there are pits of lava and landmines everywhere.

At a noisy cocktail party ask a mathematics teacher if they read the news article today that said a teacher in Adelaide has successfully squared a circle and proved it. Use the noise of the party to make your getaway, but be assured that your victim will be awake and at their desk at 4:00 AM trying to figure out how.

Or ask an English Lit teacher to justify Barnaby Rudge in the context of existential slavery reform. You can toast marshmallows on the resultant heat.

Or just mention that there was a parliamentary petition in Facebook to reduce teacher’s salaries to a sensible level and that you signed it…

b. Health professionals

You can torture a biochemist with anti-vax memes but this is tame game. You can annoy a dentist by challenging them to defend the practise of root canal therapy ( and there are some good pamphlets available likening it to poisoning wells…). You can freeze a physician by asking them to justify their practice’s rate of death and disfigurement over the last three years in light of recent discoveries. But the most fun of all comes when you find a marginal worker who massages spines or prepares dilute water drinks to cure broken legs. Then you don’t deride them – you praise them – and ask them to publicly declare their faith to all the people around them. Some will start to do so…

c. Sales persons

It doesn’t matter what they sell – they have been compelled to tout some dud of whatever object or service in which they deal at some time in the last three years. Ask them about it…and then challenge them to defend their decisions.

Cold sweat is a marketable commodity. Have a mop and a jar ready to collect stocks.


Negativity Is Your Friend

Do not be bullied by Facebook contacts who post bright and shining memes every day. They are just trying to jolly you into feeling good. On the contrary – pay attention to the serious counsel of the Backstabbers Guild Of Australia. We would never lure you down the path of happiness and then abandon you smiling.

You need the bad news in your life and you need it first. It can make all the difference to whether or not you’re going to be able to recognise good news later on. Remember a spoonful of bile helps the sugar go down. And we are here to make you bilious.

Let’s take a concrete example. Suppose someone told you that a harbour cruise with business associates would promote team spirit and help you with your commitment to the family. Sounds good. Then they tell you it will be with Cousin Salvatore and Three Finger Louie Custozza and the concrete will be setting around your feet in a bucket…If they’d have mentioned the specifics of the thing first you wouldn’t have had to smile and make small talk while they tied the ropes.

Let’s face it  – good news brightens a moment but bad news works far longer.

If you want to be pessimistic yourself – either on a professional level or in the amateur league – you have all the vast resources of CNN News, the ABC, and any number of chaired academics to draw upon. You will not have heard of the academics before, but if you stand still long enough and pay them enough for appearance fees they will become a household name. They hope.

In any case we’ll all be ruined, says Hanrahan*, and we can accept this as authoritative since it has been the steady verdict since 1919. That’s a hundred years of dismal and you can’t ask fouler than that, can you…

*  North American translation – famous Australian bush poem. Go google.


From Lively Imagination To Deadly Earnest

Or ” How To Clear A Cocktail Party Faster Than A Police Raid “.

You’ve all seen motion pictures of the 1920’s when the police raid a speakeasy – the black marias hauling away the patrons of the saloon while the heroine struggles with the comic cop. Well you can achieve the same effect at the next party you attend, even though it isn’t Prohibition. Just follow these simple steps:

a. Locate a focus. She, and it will often be a she, will be of a certain economic class and live in a certain suburb. Age will not be important, though you’d be wise not to ask it. If there are no females present you’ll still be able to find someone who will be able to act as a focus of trouble. They’ll also live in that same suburb.

b. Wait until the focus has had half a glass of sweet wine. This is to loosen the neurones. They are possibly rattling in their bearings anyway, but you never can tell.

c. Ask if they have had their shot of flu vaccine. Stand back and cover your drink in case they explode.

d. Wait until they are surrounded by attackers and defenders and the noise level rises.  A vaccination fight is a fearsome thing. Station yourself beside the closed exit door.

e. When angry people start clamouring to leave, charge them money to pass through the door.

f. Bank the proceeds and keep a note of the total for tax purposes.

If you don’t want to talk about vaccines -and some people are genuinely phobic about needles – then you can substitute natural gas exploration or wetlands or race relations. They’ll all have an opinion and if there are 50 guests there will be 53 different ones. Double that in certain circles.

You may need a larger cash box…


Cheapshot And Co.

Meme purveyors to the internet. No subject  sacred – no jibe too mean.  Try us for all the things you’re too slow to think up in person.

Here at Cheapshot & Co, we monitor the social media traffic hour by hour. Whenever an opportunity to mock a country’s political leader or head of state presents itself you can dial our exclusive private service and we will sell you your opinion wrapped in sarcasm or irony. We are totally non-political and non-partisan – we’ll agree to jazz up and jiz up any mean thoughts you may have.

If you are incapable of thought, subscribe to our premium service and let us make you kewl, kutting-edge, and klever. The KKK package would suit you admirably.

Note: With every discount troll package we include a free mockery of Donald Trump. If you’re European and not currently on a ventilator you qualify for the Sawdust Sausage Discount.

Don’t delay. Note: After November we may be offering a Laugh At Biden doorbuster sale. Check back then.

My Readership Is Growing

Since I started promoting the Karen And Sharon Institute of Opinion my readership numbers are climbing.

720 prospective new clients every day. Mind you, remember the word ” prospective “. Not all of them will ultimately subscribe to internet social platforms, let alone my own. I must accept some failure rate with sombre resignation.

Still, with a new client every minute – as Mr. Barnum wisely said – I can be sure that whenever I wish to make the local population eat soap, refuse medicine, or break statues I have only to blare it out on Facebook. If necessary I can edit the responses of the readers so that my own point of view is paramount, or I can let their posts stand to mock them later. It is a matter of having the time available and/or dealing with a case of indigestion.

I pays to be careful what soap you swallow…

Arranging Adequate Outrage

If you wish to draw attention to yourself – for commercial gain or personal pleasure – there is no better way these days than to demand that people be outraged. The way society has been carefully prepared and cocked, they are all to happy to be triggered off by something. Anything. Everything.

If you are an artist and your work is selling badly, or not at all, you would be well advised to arrange to become a victim of something. Then demand that others be distressed at your plight. Believe me, there are plenty of people out there who will be incandescent with rage about whatever you set in front of them. They would have been equally so at the sight of a tram ticket, but that is beside the point – you want their angst in a pressure vessel that can be sprayed onto the market garden in hopes of a crop of money or publicity.

If you are not particularly arty – perhaps you are a maker of water pipes or own a firm that resurfaces driveways – but still want to benefit in a commercial way from the instant publicity of a lynching or sexual misconduct allegation, you are going to have to become artful. The capture of the mob mentality is certainly possible, but you need to appeal to their best worst instincts.

Attach the name of your product to some currently popular concept. Animal kindness and/or cruelty or gender politics ( and let me tell you, their how to vote card is a steamer…), or the canonization of Che Guevara. Then complain that someone will not let you do something. Cite the vested interests or the police or the church or Woolworth’s. Cite anything at all, but get the readers to groan with the perceived injustice of it all.

Remember, every Facebook like, emoticon, share, or angry response is money in the bank. Not yours, necessarily, but someone’s. And some of it may overflow like lava onto you. It’s all hot sugar and somewhere there is a mountain of it just laughing to itself…

” Euphemism ” Is Such A Harsh Word…

I’m not prevaricating. I’m not fibbing.  And I’m not lying.

Stretching the truth so that it fits is a time-honoured trade – joined at the hype with its twin:  bald-faced lying. They are frequently employed at the campaign offices of politicians in the run up to elections. But theirs is a smelly trade, and the odour can become overpowering. That is why Eau de Ephemisme was invented. It masks the stench.

One day I will not pass on. I will not cross the rainbow bridge. I will not become late ( for I shall never have to keep an appointment ever after…). I will die. Just the once, and probably not with any degree of sensible efficiency, but I shall eventually accomplish it. The only regret I shall have is that people will pussy-foot around about it.

Ditto the worse aspects of life – the occasions when I am taken up for train robbery, arson, counterfeiting, and tearing the tags off mattresses. In the hands of my friends these dishonourable pursuits will become sad shades of their real nature. I might become an ” undocumented recipient of wallets ” or an ” incautious user of a can of petrol and a box of matches under the orphanage “. ” Non-governmental printer ” will cover the stash of $ 13 bills I run up on the inkjet printer, but I am baffled as to how to gloss over the mattress mutilation.

I am always saddened to see people adopt a euphemism to describe themselves or what they do. It smacks of dishonesty more than politeness. If they must be fastidious, let them do it with plain language.