I Am A Responsible Citizen

I am a responsible citizen.

I am also intelligent. Intelligent enough to be aware that I shouldn’t tell you everything for which I have been responsible. I have no idea how long some warrants are active.

When I reflect upon the things I have done I am neither ashamed nor amazed. The human mind is able to think up extenuating circumstances and external influences enough to excuse nearly anything. I may not be able to justify world history or lines of type, but I can justify myself to me. I am an easy audience.

Betcha it’s the same with you. No, don’t confess your sins to me…I’m not qualified to either hear or forgive them. Only re-broadcast them….that’s what WordPress is all about. It’s like Facebook but with fewer people watching. But think about all the bad you have done to good people and all the good you have done to bad people. It’s not that you were a terrible person when you did this…you just moved your sights over three notches and were shooting at the wrong target. it happens.

So, what to do? How can you make amends for the terrible destruction you have wrought in the lives of innocents? How can you repay the debt you owe to society? The answer is payer.

Not a typo, ” payer ” not “prayer “. You thoughts and prayers can go out as much as you like and good luck with that…particularly if the press are videoing it. What you really need to do is pay up. Pay as in money. Moolah. Cash. Funds. If you want to either bury your past or be publicly forgiven for it, you need to cough up.

No, don’t pay me. I’m not angling for your money in this post. You need to find the people who you made unhappy and pay them until they cheer up. If you pushed an orphan down a well today, fish them out again and dry them off. If it was in 1959 you need not hurry.

In the case of specific groups who claim a specific sum from you for unspecified injuries, you can also assume that there is a lawyer in there somewhere turning the handle. I encountered one some decades ago when I received an invitation to be part of a class action lawsuit. It was to be in the USA against a bank in which my long-dead grandmother had kept some money. The invitation was set out in the ” if you do not reply in 14 days we will include your name in the lawsuit ” form. The letter took 14 days from Washington state to Perth in the first place…

Well, we sent back a blistering reply and then never heard more of it. It was likely a paper version of a Nigerian scam, though it originated in Spokane and not Lagos. I am grateful to Australia for many things and isolation from this sort of thing is one of them. You may not be so lucky.

Click on nothing and never tell the caller anything.


Red Flags

We often hear the expression ” Red Flag ” when something unspoken warns us about danger. The Russians had them for decades, and look how well that worked out…Well it turns out that there are a lot more of them flying in our normal lives. Consider it a bad omen when:

  1. The club treasurer starts to greet you with ” Bom Dia “, takes samba lessons, and buys a suitcase.
  2. Your dog refuses to come when called or go when ordered. This also applies to the children.
  3. The elastic in your underwear gives out with a loud ” ping! ” while you are riding in a crowded train. And then you remember that you’re a Scot wearing your kilt in the traditional manner…
  4. The sour cream in your fridge turns fresh.
  5. Beggars accost you in the street and press pennies into your hand.
  6. The bondage mistress next door asks to borrow your staple gun and an apple pie.
  7. Every time you ring the doorbell of the Last Chance Saviour Mission they hide behind the sofa.
  8. The council bins are delivered to your house full.
  9. The local court garnishes your salary. With a radish and a sprig of parsley. It actually looks better…
  10. The Anti-Defamation League Chairman insults you in public.

The Bookworm And The Screenfly

I sat in my local bus shelter this week, heading for town. I had a book, so I was fine. The bus was due in 10 minutes.

A car went by on the street. A man tooted his horn and waved…so I waved back. Then sat there puzzling about who he could be. Didn’t recognise the car at all… Then I turned to my left and saw the teenager sitting looking at her mobile phone screen.

On a chance, I asked whether the horn tooter was for her. Yes, apparently it was her dad going by. I gave a sigh of relief – I was off the hook. He might now be wondering why I waved but at least I wasn’t ignoring someone I should know. We went back to book and screen.

And the bus went by. Neither of us had thought to watch out for it, get up, or signal it.

There was nothing to do but wait another ten minutes…but put away the book and the phone at the eight-minute mark.

See? Being absent-minded is not just a sin of old age.

Stinky Feet

” Stinky Feet! Getcha Stinky Feet Here! Fresh and hot to trot! Stinky Feet! ”

And we got ’em to fit all sizes. Now you can get all the privacy you want in the house by just removing your shoes and putting your feet up. When people begin to leave you’ll know you’re on the right track and when they dive out unopened windows you’ll know you’re really cooking…mostly with gas.

You may wonder why I know this. A pair of sandals gave rise to the speculation. I am not normally interested in my pedal extremities – being content when they both reach the floor at the same time – but recently they called themselves to my attention. Also they caught the attention of others in the room. How embarrass.

I have soaked the offending portions in a bucket of hot Dettol and scrubbed the sandals out with a similar detergent mix. The shoes are now baking in the sun. If the problem returns they will be baking on the tip.

One thing that a good old fashioned bath was useful for was soaking away this sort of noxious effluvia. Now that we stand in a shower it seems that we don’t really get rid of the problem as surely. Time to get out the epsom salts and the foot bath. It has a massage motor in it so that’s a good thing too.

Note: I have no objection to being That Stinky Old Dude, but I prefer to do it with pizza and  beer spilled down my shirt front.

Just Asking…Eh, Eh, Eh…

With the history of airliner shoot-downs – The Korean Boeing lost some years ago, the Malayan one over the Ukraine a few years ago, the loss of the second Malayan jet somewhere, and now the downing of a Ukrainian Boeing in Iran, I’m put to wondering several things:

  1.  Do Russian rockets have a safety switch or are they live all the time? If they do have a no-fire position on the controller, is it Soviet-era quality?
  2. Are the rocketeers on drugs? Some sort of amphetamine to increase their speed of response?
  3. Do Russian targeting systems not have an IFF function? Or is everyone else in the world considered an F?
  4. Was it necessary to fly out of the Tehran airport in the middle of an alert?
  5.  Was it deliberate? Was any of it deliberate?
  6.  Where was Jane Fonda at the time?

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.



Riding The Horse – Part Thirteen – The Call Of Cashthulu

Sooner or later in your serious pursuit of a hobby the temptation to make money with it will arise. Money Imps are everywhere; witness the internet. Every second communication you receive is urging you to monetise what you do. All you’ll need to do is send the person who wrote it your money….

It can be less sordid than that. You might be asked to take up prostitution or drug dealing, and what could possibly go wrong there? Or it might be as simple as someone remarking that your hand-sewn mechanical intestines are really very authentic and you should offer them to other gut-lovers. They’ll snap them up, if snapping intestines is a thing.

I write from experience. I was very good at making leather soldier’s accoutrement in the 1990’s. Cartridge boxes, belts, canteens, food bags, etc. I did a steady little trade in these for re-enactors in the black powder hobby, both in my own metro area and interstate by post. I even went round as a drummer for the business on one holiday trip – a lesson in itself. People paid their bills with admirable promptitude and I was able to make a tidy little loss on my investment.

Loss? Loss of money, as the price they were willing to pay was that of the items demanded in American catalogs or by Indian sutlers. I was buying raw materials at Australian prices. When the sources of cheap leather dried up there was no profit at all in it. Add to this the costs of postage…

Also loss of time and enthusiasm. Sewing 20 cartridge boxes for your own re-enactment group is one thing – sewing the same number for others where there is no profit, quite another. Eventually I was blessed with an opportunity to hand the business over to someone else who had just lost their day job – I could get out honourably and they could try to carry on.

 The same would be the case in every division of every hobby. As soon as it was converted into a commercial proposition – however sketchy – the thing would become a job. It would take on the form of a task rather than a pleasure and the time spent doing it would be robbed from the day, rather than adding to it. Far better to do nothing for gain, and spend the time doing it for fun.