Dietary Requirements

I’ve got an invitation to a works party at the end of the month – oddly enough very close to the American Thanksgiving – that looks good. The people there will be jolly sorts and not at all stuffy. It’ll be perfect for the old ” exploding turkey ” gag. You can do a power of damage with a 25-pounder Butterball, particularly if you choose the H.E. variety.

I will probably take a pot of chili – though the hostess says she’ll have enough food there. The thing is that it may well be edible, but it won’t be FOOD. It will be party food. And I’m not a Party member…

The note inviting me has a subscript that asks me if I have any dietary requirements. The fact that I’m gonna arrive with a cast-iron kettle of chili and cornbread pretty well answers that. But of course she meant other things:

Do I have religious restrictions that prohibit me from eating things that taste good, based upon commandments from the Middle Ages? Well, yes, I do, and mine go back to the Bronze Age. But the Bronze Age was a very long time ago and a very long way away and I do my own grocery shopping here in Australia at IGA.

I do follow strict religious law whenever there is nothing else on the table or when my well-meaning friends make a fuss of it. I’m particularly annoyed when they mention that I won’t be getting any of the bacon or prawns or stroganoff sauce or whatever but I can make it up on extra bread or lettuce…

I plan to bring along my own Dead Sea Scroll with newly-discovered texts that allow everything except eggplant, kidneys, or liver and specifically command the faithful to serve these in double helpings to the everyone else. I shall be generous to all.

As far as chemical imbalances, colonic triggers, or frank allergy, I’m fine. I do like to specify that the food be dead, or at least moving slower than I am. This is to allow me to catch it more easily. I look somewhat askance at mock foods that pretend to be something other than themselves. They may taste fine, but they would eat as well if they were honest about what they are. Frequently the word -association between the real ingredients and the supposed dish are enough to spoil any pleasure. I defy anyone to enjoy mock-tripe, cooked how you will.

I suppose one day I will finally give in to my baser instincts and take some poor woman up on this dietary  requirements thing. She will be thinking pizza squares and cheese on a stick followed by a sausage sizzle and I will demand ( with a doctor’s certificate ) treble-refined Patagonian fleedleberry purée over non-organic turnips. The only downside to the whole thing is if she manages to cook ’em…

 

 

Election 2019 – Leave A Deposit

Preferably of money…

A question arose on Saturday afternoon – after everyone in the room had done their various voting chores – about the business of standing for election in Australia. Goodness knows we stand for lots of things; buses, pop concerts, and really bad biscuits at most meetings. How do you go about standing for election?

It appears that you need to be a part of a party – either a big one that makes you or a small one that you make yourself. The first alternative generally requires you to be of like mind with a great many other people, a self-advertiser, and the kind of devious politician that can act like a devious politician…

The second alternative means you have to corral a smaller group of nutters – but you still have to find a considerable amount of money to make the thing work. There is advertising, promotion, telephones, lawyers, etc. and not least the deposit of money with the Electoral Commission to guarantee that you are a real person – not a Bedlington Terrier in sunglasses. That you will become a real person who is sneered at and pushed into the gutter is another thing, but if you want to form the ” I Order You To Respect My Authoritah Party ” ( apologies to Cartman ), you have to expect it.

Let’s face it – no-one respects your authoritah outside the cardboard polling booth, so don’t expect that to change once they’re in there with the tiny pencil.

The barrier of a substantial monetary deposit – $ 2000 – is nothing to a major party but can serve as a way of keeping the worst of the nutters off the increasingly long ballot paper. This is a blessing in the cardboard polling booth as the thing seems to get larger each election.

I note that this year that as we were not required to number every single candidate in preference – there were some 25+ of them – we were given permission to mark our first 12 and let the rest go. For myself, I get some amusement with the weirder parties and independents but that sheet of paper is taking on the dimensions of a ship’s sail. I should welcome the raising of the deposit to reduce the number of loons let loose.