Watching Championship Stupid From The Sidelines

We all see foolish things done and exhibited on crass television shows. We see them on Facebook and YouTube. But nothing beats seeing them fresh, live, and right in front of you.

I don’t mean the car crashes and people hitting light poles – these are accidents of our modern life. I also exclude criminal behaviour and its consequences – also a feature of modern life, but one that can stay well away from me. I am thinking of the modest little instances of stupidity that pop up from time to time and make us grin.

Yesterday I visited our downtown area to do a job, and when it was completed I repaired to a bookstore and then to a rooftop bar for a bit of reading and refreshment. It was delightful, until the last inch of beer in the glass. Then tow families of bogans invaded the bar with their 5 squalling children Рobviously hungry, overtired, and at the end of a school vacation. The bartender looked like the hatch of hell had opened at his feet; I hastily downed that last inch and dived for the door, pursued by rising screams.

There is a provision in Western Australian liquor laws for children to be on licensed premises under direct adult control for ” reasonable refreshment” but up two flights of stairs onto a city rooftop bar seems to stretch the case somewhat. I can only hope that the children got espresso martinis and red cordial and that the train back home was delayed between stations…

Take A Bow, Humans….You Have A Super Power


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A Facebook image has come through from an old work colleague who is far away, but has kept in touch to share pictures of her new-born baby. I am delighted to see the pictures, and as Mum is a professional photographer, I expect we’ll be given an insight into the life of the family for many years to come.

The most miraculous part of the image is how much of the mother and father we can see in the photo. It’s a baby face but those who have seen the parents see them again in a new blend.

Now for decades we have been told how marvellous it is for animals to be able to recognise their offspring in a herd – the camels, penguins, and whatever who are able to claim their hatchlings in spite of all the rest. We are told that they do it on smell, or instinct ( in-stink? ), or some other mumbo-jumbo and asked to marvel at abilities that far outstrip those of humans. Well, I can tell you that’s a crock…people can do it too, and with as much precision as any other mammal.

Leaving aside the members of the animal kingdom that lay eggs and run for it – not a bad stratagem as it turns out…we are amongst the organisms that are expected to own up to our own. It is a social norm that we do not abandon them in K-Mart and that we will be present for at least one school concert. It might be stretching things a little to ask us to put up major bail money, but I know people who have. And a rotten investment it proved, in a few cases…

Well, away from that, I want to point out to anyone who wishes to credit the rest of creation with more than they are willing to assign to humanity, that people can do it too. We see the face of a new-born baby and can see the faces of not only the parents, but a whole raft of relatives as well. We see Uncle Margery and Aunt Fred. We see grandparents long dead and dust. And we do it on a topography that is as undistinguished as a lump pf Pillsbury dough. The features we descry are nothing more than a millimetre of shadow on a bland surface…and yet we can be as accurate in genealogy as if we were working with a million points of measurement and a Kray computer.

If that is not a super-power, I don’t know what is. Go Humanity. We may not know what we are doing, but we can tell whose kid it is…

How Happy I Be…

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When those I love are far away…

This may sound terrible but I assure you it is not. I am merely echoing the joy a friend felt when her family was absent for the evening and she could enjoy cooking for herself. I know exactly where she is coming from.

You have the freedom to play your own music or screen your own television Рbut frequently it is just a case of having some relief from enduring THEIRS that makes the evening special. Silence can be far more than golden Рit can be antibiotic, therapeutic, and blessed  all at once.

Of course too much of it can tell on a nervous system that is attuned to ” MUM! HE’S HITTING ME! ” or ” MUM, THE WATER IS COMING THROUGH THE CEILING! “. The feeling that something ominous is happening can weigh on you – even if it is nothing more than the fact that the mortgage is growing. Some parents find it necessary to let off a smoke bomb every half hour or so to anchor themselves to reality.

Solitude once one has pupped is a rare thing. Children need something all the time – diapers, school costumes, bail money…the list is never ending. Even when they are not actively destroying the settee or the dog, they are there with the potential to do so – a wise parent never lets themselves lose consciousness of their surroundings. Foxholes and claymore mines only go so far in family affairs. You need to be actively alert…

I have welcomed the digital age and the X,Y, Z or whatever generation’s concentration on small computer screens – this has kept them within the range of observation for most of the time. Now they have Pokemon to pursue and it is even better – they go out looking for electronic signals and leave me alone in the house. Unfortunately the expeditions do not generally provide enough time for a locksmith to come and change the barrels in the doors, but one day this may be possible.