A Note to Friends: We Are Enemies

If you have no friends – and unfortunately there are some people who don’t – you can still have enemies. They may take the place of friends and provide you with as much pleasure and reason for being as the happier relationships.

In some respects they are a cheaper option – you needn’t wine or dine them and no birthday or Christmas presents are needed. No petrol need be expended in visits, unless you elect to stalk them late at night. You’ll never be called to collect them from the city watch house.

On the other hand, you’ll need to spend more on tranquilizers, antidepressants, and laxatives to cope with a large circle of enemies. If you have really made some horrors you may have to add arms and lawyer’s fees to that as well.

The return they give in boosting the morale and venting off the rage that we all feel against existence may compensate you for this but some people feel they can get all the stimulation they need from electric sockets  and stepping on Lego blocks.

Those who do elect to have friends can make them, buy them, or inherit them. The initial cost may be higher in the case of commercial companions but there is an advantage in that they can be discarded without regret – the others always seem to stick on. Friends are also somewhat more expensive to maintain – food, drink, entertainment, creams, ointments, anti-fungal treatments…it all adds up. Plus those pesky birthday presents. It is sometimes all you can do to find a suitable item at the Goodwill and a trip to the municipal tip can take just ages.

Of course there are advantages – someone to tell your secrets to and from whom salable confidences can be extracted. Someone who will lend money and be too embarrassed to demand it back. Someone who owns a trailer and will shovel things into it.

Be careful not to mix friendship or enmity with blood relation – at least until the important wills are read. You can be stuck on the wrong side of a codicil with no way of reversing the situation – and no-one wants to end up being the relative-in-the-wrong.




Hark! Hark! Hark! Hark!


Sorry about that. Something went down the wrong way. I think was a piece of mince pie – Harold Angel brought a plate of them in for the office party and I got a bit carried away. I should have stopped at 14.

I think they had brandy in them. Or possibly mescaline, if the spinning walls are any indication. I am sure that the double vodka surprises had nothing to do with it, nor the pinto of tequila. Perhaps it was just a bad prawn. I’ll be all right  if you will just hand me that potted plant and look away for a moment…

There. All better. You may want to wipe your shoes – it was a small plant pot. Bet you wish you hadn’t worn the open toe pumps today.

Well, what could be better than the Christmas holidays, eh? Chestnuts roasting on a steering wheel ( it is Australia in December, remember ) and the cheery sound of underage schoolies besieging the liquor outlets of Dunsborough. I think they made those scaling ladders in shop class. Great workmanship, and they’ll come in handy later when they do breaks in Armadale and Gosnells.

Have you got all your presents? I was smart – I wrapped up last year’s unwanted gifts and will be directing it on to other people this year. The only expense is a bit of wrapping paper and sticky tape. I’ve made an exception with the kittens – I’ll pop them in cardboard boxes with a cup of tuna pellets and a ” Guess Who? ” card and leave them on the doorsteps. A quick ring of the bell and the Christmas Surprise is complete for at least eleven households. I was planning to do fifteen this year but ran out of kittens – the last four will have to make do with two goannas, a dugite, and a rather surly duck. Well, it will be a surprise anyway.

We’re having all the family over for lunch. This year we are not going to serve any food or drink, but we are going to give everyone around the table a printed card saying how much we think of them and reminding them that they are now in sympathy with the starving masses in China. We got the cards from K-Mart and they are printed in China. People should start arriving about 11:30 and I imagine the day will peak at 11:45 when the cards are distributed. We’re expecting the crowd to thin out ( that’s appropriate ) at about 12:45 and when they’re gone we can send out for pizza.

At least we have a tree up this year. It’s a dinky-di Australian Christmas tree – an eight foot-tall Ghost Gum decorated with cockatoos and lizards and the traditional cow skeleton and rusted-out 1937 Ford ute at the base of it done in marzipan. The cat gave it one look and hid under the bed – we’re safe this year.

And there is going to be carolling up the street. Carol’s house is the one with the Pontiac on blocks out the front and the red light on the porch. She loves this time of year as she can entertain all night long. I figure about $ 200 of entertaining is all I can afford, so I’ll be home early.

See you then! Merry Christmas!


NOTE TO READERS:  Do not panic. I have not sold this weblog column to speculators – I have just chosen a different WordPress theme for it. The sister column at:


Also got a new theme and I think that this has cleaned up the visual impression considerably. Same old writing, though.



The Dad Joke


We are a sad society when we fail to see the goodness around us. Particularly when we fail to give credit where it is due – to the fathers of the world who tell jokes to their children. In particular to that selfless band of men who tell Dad Jokes.

For anyone who has been in the jungle since 1945 and has not experienced modern life, the Dad Joke is a humorous animal that stalks the helpless child but does it slowly and then runs over them in the gentlest possible way. How could it be otherwise – after all it is generally pretty lame.

Thus you can ask a 5-year-old what is brown and sticky and when they are just about to shout out ” poop!” you say ” a stick “. The humour and rage that chases over their face alternately is a joy to behold. You can do Knock Knock jokes that were stinkers in 1956 and still get away with them. If the child is in a car seat restraint they can’t get away either.

The best audience, however, is not the helpless toddler. It is the sophisticate at the cocktail party – the adult who has a vast vocabulary of bad language, indulges in sexual or racial humour, and considers themselves far too cool even to register on a thermometer. If you start an anecdote in a manner that suggests that it too will be suggestive, drag it out with extra preparation, and then deliver a certified Dad Joke, you will be heartily detested but untouchable. If they are caught out expecting a penis but getting a peanut, they look worse than you. Particularly if you employ the phrase ” If you know what I mean…” or ” Geddit…? “.

It is worth while practising in a mirror until you can deliver the jokes with smirks, leers, and raised eyebrows. Making a Tsch Tsch sound with your tongue is also good, particularly if the listener is a female of a certain age.

As a social tactic it is well up there with the practice of addressing everyone in the third person…such as ” How’s ( insert full name ) doing? when you are speaking directly to full name in the first place. You may add an age reference to increase the effect, and if you really want to ignite the love you add “the” and a title or relationship. Let me give you an example:

You go to someone’s house, wait until they pour you a glass of their liquor, and then turn to them and brightly say:

” And How’s The Young Fellow Doing? ” or “Well How’s The Old Brother-In-Law Feeling Today, Eh, Eh, Eh…?”

Then turn away before any reply is possible – head for the drinks table and slope off somewhere else. You will have made a social hit, and with luck, it will be below the waterline.