Losing A Tooth

Relax. Not me. None of mine are loose and I haven’t lost one since I was 10 or 11.

But my suburb is gapping up somewhat horrid.

The suburb where I keep my studio – a house I inherited – is going through re-development. Some people who have seen their children through school or their parents into aged care are selling the 60’s and 70’s houses so that the large blocks can be subdivided.  Others lose single-storey dwellings and put up massive block-fillers with two storeys. All grey slabs and modernism.

I’m always getting cards from urging real estate dealers in the studio post box promising big sales – and recently the next-door neighbour tried to offer money for a quarter of the block. The fact that his proposition would have cut off the door to the house is neither here nor there…I wasn’t selling.

Some day someone will come along with a real offer…but I don’t know quite what a real offer would be. It would be an offer that deprives me of my hobby space – that erases the memory of my parents – that makes me disappear. All attractive pieces of sadness and despair, as you can tell. I can’t wait to hit my feet with hammers…

My parents dodged the question by willing the place to me and I may be able to dodge it by doing the same for my daughter. We shall wait and see.

 

Do Not Click On This Link

If you do, you will be unhappy. You will lose time, money, or patience with humanity. Or all three. It is known as the Imperfecta…and unlike multiple bets on horse races, it is extremely easy to win.

If you have read this far it shows you have a desire for either punishment or humour. I like to craft my jokes so that you cannot have one without the other. In this I am aided immeasurably by the social media outlets. They allow me to step in a tilt someone’s mental bowl of soup off the table into their lap.

I am not alone in this. Just today I clicked on an innocent picture of soldiers preparing for an army exercise in one of our suburbs. I imagine it will be the infantry – and I would not be surprised if they pop off a few blank rounds while skulking through the paddocks. The horses agisted around the area may object, but the local dogs will have a good time. If it turns out to be the artillery exercising I’m going to get a bucket of popcorn, a big orange drink, and enjoy the show…

However – the Facebook post that warned local residents ( probably with a repeat in the local press and over the television ) drew forth a number of trolls from other parts of the country who were able to conflate the army exercise with the current state of Covid 19 lockdown in Victoria, vaccines, sheep, and new world order conspiracies.

I would normally avert my eyes but in the case of a few of them the grammar, spelling, and sentiments were such as to suggest professional comedy writers holed-up on a hotel room with the mini-bar open. I honestly cannot tell whether the posters are real or really good at appearing to be stupid beyond belief.

I am hoping that is is art, which I applaud. If it is science, I am gloomy, and if it is life imitating either of the other two named, I am saddened.

 

 

Re Tales – Part Five – ” We Want You To …”

a. Sponsor our club.

We want you to give us things for free. If you do we’ll say we like you and might buy things from you. If you don’t we won’t like you and  might still buy things from you – but we’ll complain about the prices.

Actually, we’ll do that even if you do sponsor us.

b. Buy our product.

Every shop needs what we have to sell. That is why we go to every shop and try to sell it to them. We’ve already been to see all your competitors and filled their shelves, but we still have some broken boxes of stock to get rid of before we close the warehouse.

Ah, did I say close? I meant move to bigger premises. Where? Somewhere…anywhere…

Of course the goods are good sellers. We managed to sell them to everyone else already. Why should you be suspicious?

c. Subscribe to our service.

Our service provides you with a plan. This will explain the program and the opportunity to become part of a concept. You get in on the ground floor. Everyone is doing it, and we will all be rich. All you need is faith and the ability to enjoy the wonderful benefits of the planned concept program. I own a BMW and I take vacations to exotic places every year, so it must be all okay.

Well, not exactly this year…unless you regard Bunbury as exotic. It can be exotic, if you go while the pubs are still open.

d. Join our movement.

Did I say movement? I meant Party. No. I meant Crusade. Oops. No – no, I didn’t. Our collective. Still not right? Church? Temple? Mosque? Schul?

Anything? Nothing? Can I sell you some cookies to support our good works? I’m tired of eating them myself.

Re Tales – Part Three – ” I Saw It On A Website. “

In the good old days ( Elvis, dinosaurs) the potential customer would have come in and said ” I saw it in the newspaper. ” or ” I saw it in a magazine. “. Occasionally the special ones fronted the counter and said ” I saw it written in letters of fire in the sky. “. It paid to not doubt them.

Now it is  ” I saw it on the internet. ” What they saw may have been an announcement of a new product or the discontinuation of an old one. Or a recall of exploding bed socks. Whatever, they’ve come into the shop with knowledge of something. The knowledge is valuable to them and it might be so for the shop assistant as well.

If the thing they saw was on the website of the shop where they are, the shop assistant can pray silently that the website had the correct price, image, and stock level for the goods. And that the thing that was shown is still somewhere on the premises.  Even if it is holding the loo door open, at least it exists. Unfortunately there is a gap between what the best IT department can show and what can be plonked on the counter.

If the thing they saw was on another shop’s site all hell could break loose – particularly if the ” shop ” is some vague web address in Kowloon. The customer has taken the internet information as the word of God and any attempt on the part of the shop assistant to explain that it is unrealistic here in Australia will fall on deaf ears.

Unfortunately deaf ears are sometimes attached to loud mouths and angry tempers. These are fine, as long as they can be confined within the head of the customer. Like road rage, let someone else experience it.

No shop assistant is required by any law – of God, the land, economics, or thermodynamics – to match any price that is waved at them from a mobile phone screen. That may or may not be a real offer from a real seller, but it is not a seller who is paying rent on the premises, wages to the staff, or buying paper for the shop loo. The shop price should be fair and calculated to give adequate return to the proprietor for the effort of business – it is most often just that, and any attempt to oyster-knife discounts based on a badly-spelled website can best be referred back to Kowloon.

Or Wuhan.

Re Tales – Part Two – ” I’ve Changed my Mind “

” And now I’m going to change yours…”

The bane of retail trade is the changer. Whether it is a mind-changer, a shape-changer, or a money-changer, they are trouble as soon as they come over the door sill.

a. Customer buys goods. They are good goods and will do him good. The price he has paid will do the shop good. The money enters the till or bank account by whatever means and starts to make a numerical mark in the accountancy system. All is well, and no further operations need be contemplated.

Until customer comes back next day and tells the shop assistant that they have changed their mind and want to return the goods. From here the trails wind deeper into the bushes:

  • Have the goods been removed from the packaging? Some packages are a one-way affair and will never reassemble.
  • Have the goods been marked? Some changers will insist that they were marked when they got them. Custom factory scratches, missing parts, and loose screws are a special order and you have to indent for them for just months. Most retailers just stock the plain old undamaged goods…Funny how Mr. Changer got the special edition.
  • Can the goods be resold as new? Well, no. They have been in Changer’s hands while he did several things – maul them and then search on the internet for somewhere in China that will sell them cheaper. As much as you might value his money, he could have done that before he walked in the first time…
  • He? Did I write he? Please forgive me. Changing is a gender-neutral game. She will be as keen to screw over the retailer as he will and probably more indignant and entitled as she tries it. They don’t call ’em Karens for nothing…
  • Can the financial trail that the original sale opened be accessed again to clear it? Some accountancy systems require vast amounts of data entry to reverse anything – it can be uneconomic to even try. Which leads us to say to the changer…

No. No, you can’t change the goods for other goods. You can’t get your money back. Not if the goods were in good shape when they left the shop, are working correctly,  and are suitable for the purpose for which they were purchased. Those are the only grounds upon which a legal entitlement to repair, change, or refund exist.

They do exist under a state law, as well as a warranty for a certain period of time. But do not try to quote Magna Carta or lines from The Godfather to try to stretch the law to suit yourself.

You bought something in good faith with the ideas that were riding inside your head yesterday, now go use that mind today to make use of what you bought.

As far as threatening to never shop here again…considering your performance regarding returns…make our day…

Opening The Borders

Open state borders…for trade and tourism…is all very well. We want trade and tourism; ie. we want money, and we want someone to bring it to us. But presently there is a chance that they will bring disease and death to us.

Not that this was not always the case – tourists can murder locals as easily as locals can murder tourists – and interstate commerce can impoverish as well as enrich. You just have to have the control knobs set the the right way to gain and not lose.

But now tourists can bring in a disease we cannot yet cure. It is in our interests to keep them away, and to stop ourselves from going to their homes and risking the same result. We, and they, are going to lose the chance to exchange money ( and that is all the trade ever is ) but we also give time for science to find a cure for this disease that haunts us.

We can exchange canned goods and television shows and chilled mutton. We can send disinfected parcels back and forth. Let us be content with that and wait out the cycle of disease and cure. And let’s remember where it all came from. We can’t fathom why, but we can reduce the chances again.

” Perth Is Boring “

We’ve all heard this one. You can substitute any other place name you like for ” Perth “. The effect would be the same; someone is unpleased with the place that they live…and wants something different.

I noted this while reading a mild debate about the erection of a public sculpture ( note: erection, not demolition…). An artist wants to sell a metal sculpture of a dinosaur to the state government – or the city council – and place it in the middle of our riverfront. Not a little sculpture , but a massive 90 metre one – and for a mere $ 1,000,000. Apparently it would draw the attention of visitors.

Frankly it should draw the attention of the taxation department, the ACCC,  and the Commissioners in Lunacy.

There are enough eye-sores in our landscape as it is – we do not need to erect more.

If people find Perth boring, it is because they are either easily bored or boring themselves. Demand for spectacle and entertainment was all very well when you could set gladiators to kill each other or lions to devour Christians. Look what great things it did for the Romans, and how well we think of them for it. You could as well demand relief of boredom by instituting the same measures as they do in Syria – artillery barrages and gas attacks. No-one bored then, eh?

Or you could address the problem of personal boredom by compelling people to undertake activities and studies that would fill their minds or develop their bodies. We did it in school and were busy instead of bored. Adults have all the world in front of them to develop and learn – boredom is laziness without even the excuse of fatigue.

 

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…

 

Mob

” Mob “….This is a perfectly good English word that appears in the dictionaries defining a perfectly bad group of people. Doing bad things, but rarely in a perfect way. Think Reign of Terror in France in the 1790’s and Chicago gangsters in the 1930’s…

Yet it appears to have been selected by local indigenous people as a collective noun for themselves. I’ve heard it in radio and television interviews from their mouths and have seen it in their writing. It seems a strange choice to make by people who wish to be seen as honourable and virtuous.

Was it a mistake? Did someone think it meant something else? Was it a sneaky trick pulled on them by some political writer? Or is it in the same class as the word ” bad ” when that is used by those who wish to be perceived as powerful? Are they trying to revise the dictionary to suit their own ends? Will we get, as the Cheshire Cat might have it, a word that means what they want it to mean?

Well, who knows whether it will work. I guess the proof will be in the pudding…or the actions of the people who use it. As a rallying word it might like ” Volk “…used in central Europe the 1930’s. And possibly for the same purposes…

Addendum: ” Mob ” is a collective word used in Australia for a large number of sheep. Again a strange choice; you should always be careful what you say about yourself.

Sex And Hot Dinners

When I was a callow youth, I once confided an interest in a shop-girl at my summer employment. The manager who heard me scoffed and said that she’d had more encounters of an intimate nature than I’d had hot dinners. I was never given a chance to compare notes, and it’s always been a matter of regret.

Now that I am older, and have had encounters of an intimate nature myself, I could make a more scientific assessment. But I’m afraid that I would start asking questions…What, actually, was for dinner? Were there seconds? Leftovers? Who washed up later?

Hot dinner comparison is particularly British, and of a period. It suggested that there was a paucity of hot dinners in the UK. I would not be surprised at this…I’ve been a tourist there and the options for food were pretty daunting. I remember a large pie emporium in Woolwich that had magnificent signage, comfortable seating, and nothing that resembled a pie – in any culture – at all. Yet they did a roaring trade amongst the locals.

I will let your curiosity off the hook at this point. I have had hot dinners. Plenty of them. Some were expensive and some were cheap , but they were all hot. They did me good. I look back on some of them with fond memories. I look forward to more in the future. If there is a tee-shirt with a meme for hot dinners on it, I will buy it.

My thanks to Lufthansa for the image of their in-flight dinner.