Yesterday, on arriving at Sinney airport there occurred a phone conversation between another person and the person generally referred to by application of the perpendicular pronoun.
This of itself is not significant. I've used a telephone before, I have. What was significant was the look on my friend's face as I was on the blower. I thought there was something wrong with him, no that's not a fair, I know there's something wrong with him, but it turned out he was actually looking behind me. Why? Well, his eye had been caught by the lurking presence of what he later described as a junky pickpocket and he'd been trying to get me to mind my luggage.
When I got off the phone I turned round to be confronted by a female type person of the contradictory gender. She was crouched down against the wall, chewing gum with more vigor than Mark Taylor and glaring up at me as though I'd stolen her luggage (Back pack it turns out) off the conveyor.
At first I didn't recognize her. Lank unwashed hair. Jutting chin. Flinty eyes. Intense glare. No theees ain't a spaghetti western meeesta. Pants made from off-cut 1970's curtains. Coat made from grandma's old bedspread. What the hell was she staring at me for? I'd done nothing to her. Nothing intentional anyway. On reflection I probably had. My conversation had gone something like this:
TT - "Tim Blair?"
TB - "Yes."
TT - "Tony the teacher."
TB - "Tony. How was the flight?"
TT - "Not bad."
TB - "Blah."
TT - "Blah."
TB - "Stupid Age."
TT - "Crazy Adams."
TB - "Bitter man."
TT - "Idiot ABC"
TB - "Stupid Morning Herald."
TT - "Insane Margo"
TB - "Very very insane."
TT - "Very very very insane"
TB - "7:30 report sux."
TT - "Mary Delahunty's a skank."
Strangely, no mention of Hugh Mackay but you get the drift. All in all a right royal slag at the Fairfaxis Of Evil. We then organized where it was we were going to drink fruit juice and eat bean shoots. After that I hung up and it was here I was confronted by the aforementioned physiognomy. It was also at this moment, or a moment later, that I realized who Junky Pickpocket was.
On later describing this bizarre coincidence to Tim his first response was "She looks like a junky?" I didn't notice if he checked for his wallet.
What's Steve Waugh up to? Bat Them Out Of It Tugga! Just like the bath dodgers did in S'Siddey.
And what's this nonsense?
He decided against batting in the first innings after feeling his concentration had waned while waiting out long partnerships.
So he sends someone else in then. I'd be very disappointed if I thought he was protecting his average. If it's good enough to sacrifice Gilchrist's and Hogg's then it should be good enough for Waugh to step into the breach. I'd actually thought he was protecting his hand for an extra day or so. That seemed reasonably sound given the circumstances. But "concentration"?!? Every one in the dressing-room would have been suffering the same degree of tedium. For the captain to cede his position in the order for that seems totally bizarre!
Are we RESPECTED as people?
Do we RESPECT each other?
Do we RESPECT people in nursing homes?
Do we RESPECT youngsters in university who don't want to break themselves financially?
Do we RESPECT the parents who have no option but to sent their kids to public schools?
Do we RESPECT ordinary middle income earners when it comes to access to affordable health care?
Do we RESPECT ourselves as a people when we deprive ourselves unnecessarily of choice when it comes to defending our national interest?
The Brand Blimp's On A Roll. Momentum. Can't stop. Faster. Sentences longer. But. Does he want to be leader? Not unless they....
Give it to me, Give it to me, Give it to me, Give it to me, Give it to me, Give it to me, Give it to me, Give it to me
ONE MORE TIME....
R-E-S-P-E-C-T.....What's the party think of me?
UPDATE: Give it to me too!
He started mornings when Lynne Haultain went off to have a baby. Unfortunately for Lynne and fortunately for us (She's a shocking bore) the ABC decided to stick with Red. Not without some drama though, she'd been promised her gig back under the Abe's equal opportunity policy. That's another story.
Anyway, Red has something of an acerbic wit. This was often displayed on Hey Hey when he'd gong some gormless idiot or cute kid on Red Faces. More power to him, I say. Now he's on talk radio so he's got countless opportunities to bag the brain dead morons who populate our airwaves. "On the line is John from Brighton. Again. What's the matter now John?"
Plenty of times he's made me laugh out loud. The other day some old codger rang up....
Duffer.Q.Oldfart - "Rehehehehehed, I was at luverlee wedding Sat-dee. It were wonderful. The groom said beautiful words from a song."
Red - "What was the song?"
D.Q.O - "Ohh, I dunno. But it were nice."
Red - "That's nice."
Red - "Siiiiggghhh. Luv. Er. Leeee. I. Met. Him. On. A. Monday. And. My. Heart. Stood. Still. Da. Doo. Ron. Ron."
Kids have always been a favourite target. The other day he outdid himself. Some junior know-all rang up during a quiz....
Red - "Hello little girl."
L.G - "Hi."
Red - "Now I'm sure you're very smart and you'll win. But I bet you've already got a pony and a little pink dress."
L.G - "I DON'T HAVE A PONY!"
Red - "Well, hang up now and go ask your mummy for one."
Ex. Ell. Ent.
This time it's Nina Simone who's kicked the bucket. No mention of how. Must be booze. Or drugs. Or both. Just floating one out there.
....had a reputation for being moody and difficult. She would often change her repertoire at a moment's notice or berate noisy members of the audience, sometimes threatening to walk off stage, and frequently making good on the threat.
From what I've heard that's something of an understatement. Melbourne rock-pig Billy Pinnell once related a story of how when Simone toured here in the 1960's she was all that and more. In fact, the complete hell-bitch! (Spot hidden gag)
You can get away with that kind of stuff if you're Cranky Franky, but not if you're second tier. Personally I thought her music was boring and that 80's hit My Baby Just Cares for Me drives me nuts.
"And even Liberace's smile"
"Oh, the snot has caked against my pants
It has turned into crystal
There's a bluebird sitting on a branch
I guess I'll take my pistol
I've got it in my hand
Because he's on my land"
"Sitting on a hillside
Watching all the people die"
Yep. No doubt about it. A lovey-dovey, hippy-dippy, kissy-kissy band.
Rumours of it are gravely exhumed.
For those of you with a sense of the macabre here's a site well worth a visit. Simply put, the wonderfully named Blue Lips is all about dead stuff.
Unfortunately host Toni has Breast Cancer. Fortunately she's decided it's better to chuckle about it than complain about it.
So go and have a read. Better still, try some of Toni's must-have death-goodies....
A full set of Six Feet Under DVDs. Talk about authenticity! You can say you got 'em from an expert?
Oh Oh. Foot odour. Can't get rid of those nasty smells? How about the tastefully presented Coffin Incense Burner.
Runny nose? Well, you'll need a brace of the new and improved (and possibly used) Orifice Plugs.
Ever wondered where Jack Klugman learnt about forensics? Where Patricia Cornwell learnt to use stomach fluids to select vintage wines? Autopsy: Voices of Death oughta fill in the gaps.
Trouble with numbers? Can't count so good? How about ten Toe Tags labelled from 1 to 12?
And you just gotta have the classy blue Embalming Bottle. Perfect for those, ahem, Excess sleeping pills.
Now, while I'm off to exploit the spirit of the moment by watching Kill, Baby...Kill! you can go visit Toni and perhaps buy something you never thought you'd need. Better hurry though.
Tuesday night I won a trivia night by 3 points with a score of 90 from 100. This isn't as impressive as it sounds because one of the five 20 point rounds was dedicated totally to sport. In this round I got 20 from 20. The guy who came second scored 14 with a total score of 86 and the guy who came third scored 9 for a total score of 85. Therefore, my strongest topic saw me across the line.
Also the 20 point music round, which usually comprises a litany of music criminals, Britney, Shania, Madonna, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, etc was all Beatles except for one ABBA song. For that round I got 19 instead of the usual 5 or 6. By the way, guess which one I got wrong.
Anyway, in case anyone's interested, here's the sports round. You have to name the sport these names are associated with....
1) Franz Klammer
2) Jason Bright
3) Steve Davis
4) Janet Evans
5) Dick Savitt
6) Scott Hamilton
7) Brendon Goddard
8) Mark Geyer
9) Victor Shcherbo
10) Len Mattiace
11) John Lowe
12) Bernard Hinault
13) Boris Spassky
14) Marquess of Queensbury
15) Detroit Tigers
16) Miami Dolphins
17) Sergey Bubka
18) Terence Hogan
19) Carl Hooper
20) Lew Alcindor
No googling allowed. Answers later.
Today in The Australian (Unlinked. I think) Matt Price & Steve Lewis write about the leadership options facing the ALP....
This week a simplistic Network Ten phone poll registered 87 per cent support for Beazley over 13 per cent for Crean from more than 13,000 callers. A [good word] Newspoll conducted for The Australian this week found barely one voter in ten nominated Crean as their preferred leader, compared with 43 per cent for Beazley.
13 in 100 against with 1 in 10. Round that off. 1/10 v 1/10. Simplistic? Similar? Same.
PS: Jenny Macklin anyone?
Hurry back Paul! It's hell-time here and the local hacks aren't up to the task. We need your velvet touch....
Geelong residents are experiencing "Tumultuous and Frightening Days" because the Cats are on the bottom.
Out west the Bullies are operating hand to mouth. Ominously a "Smell of Death Lingers" over Barkly Street.
Pie president Eddie McCollingwood is upset with the AFL. In erecting an insulting banner he employed "Artless Efforts to Manipulate" the draft.
Paul McGo. Reporting. From. Strife. Torn. Mel. Born.
I just went to a funeral. My Godfather died Monday. He was a good old bloke, but unfortunately he had Parko's for the last six years so I'd not seen too much of him. He's been in an old folks home and every time I'd say to Dad, "Hey Dad, let's go see Ken.", Dad would reply, "That's not a good idea, he'd only think you're Henry VIII." While that's an interesting concept, it's also something of a deterrent. I don't do old people well. At any rate I'm more Richard III. (Rhymes with Stanley Steamer)
The Funeral was in St Andrews, Brighton. Not as startling as it undoubtedly sounds, but it's where my mum, my brother and I were christened. It's where my parents and other rellies were married. My mum and brother were born across the road and for seven years I went to school next door. The place has resonance with the After Grog family.
It was the first time I'd been there since 1972. The year after we moved to northern Western Australia which is about as far from St Andrews as you can go in Straya and still ask for a packet of Bikkies.
The salient memory? How bloody cold the place was. It was always freezing. Still is.
It was also a dull service. Just like at school. Lots of prayers, psalms and hymns. Amen. There were some references to the Corinthians (relevance eluded me) and therefore plenty of talk about St Paul and his epistles to the apostles. Or something. Overall, it was theologically weighted. There were a couple of speeches from his nephew (No kids) and his God-daughter. They were nice, if a little lifeless (Oops).
Also, I was about the only person in the congregation capable of un-zimmered perambulation. There was a gurgling baby, but it was gurgling away in a pram. This was an old collection of souls.
How it stacked up against other Funerals, I couldn't say. I've only been to one. I didn't even go to my mum's. The other one I went to was in Queensland. It was all Demons, beer, and wine. My best friend drank lots of beer and got lost in his hotel bathroom. I wasn't cold and the average age was about my age. I also knew everyone there.
Back here....if the core formalities were a trifle mundane, the finalé was not. Ken was a pilot in Bomber Command and the service finished with his coffin, adorned in an RAAF flag, being wheeled out to the hearse The Last Post was played. A moving moment.
Cheers Ken. It was great to know you. Wherever you are….
One thing about being on holidays, is that you get to lie in bed and listen to the radio. Here in Melbourne there's a choice between John Faine on the ABC, Neil Mitchell on 3AW and Kevin Bartlett on Sport 927. Usually I switch between the three depending on what's being talked about.
Anyway, I decided to listen to John Faine. This morning he interviewed Transport Minister Peter Batchelor and Federal Treasurer Peter Costello.
First Batchelor. Faine started off by asking him whether he should resign for a breach of promise. A cover question only. What’s Faine hope to achieve; "Yes John, I'm a lying, duplicitous, hypocritical fraud and I'll be resigning forthwith."? It's true, but he ain't gonna say it. He DID allow Batchelor a series of policy statements on how state Labor "Should be allowed to get on with the job of building better roads for Victoria." and how "The Federal Government should make available to Victoria the money it had coming via the 450 Mil for the Mitcham Freeway." No typical Faine crack there about the "Free" Way. He reserves those barbs for Liberal pollies. After each clipped question was answered, Faine would move onto the next (Scripted?) one. On the two occasions Batchelor made mention of Federal hypocricy Faine let it pass and moved onto the next question. No man-on-man press about the State Government's own clear hypocricy. Not once did I hear the term Backflip. No interjections. No smart arse, pass the latté, Terry Lane's me mate, Brunswick Street interjections. Just a quick interview. Question. Answer. Question. Speech. Thank you.
Contrast that with his ten minutes with Costello. Refusal to accept answers. Challenge points. Constant interruptions. Talkovers. Smart arsery. Press. Press. Press.
After the 9:00 News he took talk back. In fact the first called pretty much echoed what I wrote. Miracle that one got through. The rest, other than one (Double surprise), said stuff along the lines of "Ooooh John, I don't know what that first caller was on.". At one point Faine noted that he thought he was "Much tougher on Peter Batchelor." Bizarre. "I even asked him if he'd resign!" Oohhh.
Then one caller rang up with some crack about Costello, I paraphrase, "It's not about the surplus, it's about more money." Faine? Nothing.
NOTE: Labor won power in 1999 by one seat. Tullamarine is one seat. Tullamarine is on the tolled City Link. Prior to '99 it was held by Liberal MP Bernie Finn. Finn lost it based on Peter Batchelor's, shrill, media assisted campaign that he would; Seek to remove tolls on City Link and that he would never, ever, really truly, hand on heart, introduce tolls on Victorian Roads."
Fat Cat has a Fat Head
Yesterday I accidentally mentioned Aussie cricketer Greg Ritchie. Accidentally, at first, that is. Because, In the same way Fleming discovered bread mould cured sore throats, some Greek guy's wet bathroom floor became an Aussie symbol of Unionism and an apple gave Isaac Newton a headache, Greg Ritchie turned Gabba Garbage into Gabba Gold.
Some of you may remember Greg Ritchie. Some of you may not. Anyway, Fat Cat, as he is known, was a mediocre batsman during Aussie cricket's great era of
domination abomination during the early to mid 1980's.
Some others of you may remember him as an Aussie tourist in the West Indies. Wallowing in a blow-up plastic swimming pool, swilling rum and waddling onto the oval at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica "Mon" to help Steve Waugh celebrate his series winning double century (Thanks to Courtney Brown).
Others still, an incident at Perth airport where he called an Indian counter jockey a "F**kin' Curry Muncher!"? Actually this can't be true. There are no Curry Munchers in Perth. Just Skippies, Yarpies, Bath Dodgers and Kiwis.
Not yet? Whaddabout Mahatma Coat? A pathetic parody of an Indian living in Australia so excruciatingly bad that, by comparison, made Kate Langbroek's juvenile twitterings seem like the best of Bill Hicks."
Yes. Him. Anyway, this day at the Gabba, Fat Cat was with veteran pigeon impressario, Bill Lawry. The Windies were playing Pakistan and the Windies were bowling. I think it was Moin "I didn't say anything unpleasant" Khan facing Ian Bishop. I'm not 100% sure of the names, but that doen't matter. The commentary went something like this:
F.Cat: "In comes Bishop. Bowls. Moin's down the wicket. Skies the ball towards Mid-On. This is going to be out. Walsh is running back. Here comes Ambrose. They're gonna collide. No. Great catch by Walsh. Great work on the high ball. Could have been straight out of a Rugby League State Of Origin game at Lang Park. Just like Alfie Langer.
Fat Mahatma cranks it up a notch:
"LANGER'S AFTER A HIGH BALL FROM KING WALLY LEWIS. HE'S NEARLY THERE. HE'S GOING TO CATCH IT. HE DOES. HE ROUNDS THE DEFENDER. DODGES ANOTHER ONE. HE PLONKS THE BALL CLEANLY UNDER THE POSTS. GREAT TRY. WONDERFUL RUGBY ... BILL LAWRY, AS A VICTORIAN, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THAT IN AUSSIE RULES PARLANCE?"
Bill, deader than a factory full of pans: "Caught Walsh. Bowled Bishop."
Backflip with a twist.
The State Govt today announced they're gonna Tip 1 Billion into public transport. Now, why would they do something like that? Why wouldn't they just hold the private companies, Connex, M-Trains, etc to the terms of their contracts? After all, one billion dollars is a lot of money (Our Money) to spend purely to try to discredit the previous Kennett government.
Maybe they just need a reason to cover up this Staggering Hypocricy.
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks today announced as a result of Budget pressures, there would be a toll on the soon-to-be built Mitcham-Frankston Freeway.
"We will never introduce tolls!" was their squawking chorus, admirably aided by a compliant media, before the 1999 election.
State Labor. A stable conservative government. Until the money runs out.
First Test - Day 4
Ahem. Never in Doubt.
The trend continues. The Aussies have won another Test Match inside four days. I'm conflicted over this. I like to spank all comers but I also love Test cricket so I'd like to get my five days worth. Of course that point's about as sharp as a bowling ball because I only watched about half an hour's worth this time.
However, on balance there's one undeniable fact. I hate it when we lose. No, really, I hate it. In the Mark Latham sense. Really. H-A-T-E. It's painful. For all of you out there who suffered through it, remember the 1980's. Night! Mare! Velcro shoe straps. Pastel shirts. Big hair. John Hughes. Fruit shampoo. Pet rocks. Chris Broad. Richard Hadlee. Larry Gomes. Ian Botham. Chris Tavare. John F**kin' Bracewell. Greg Ritchie. Oops.
Admittedly there have been some great matches in the last few years, however we mostly conspired to lose them. That's L-O-S-E. Means P-A-I-N. So, for all of You Out There who Long for a Contest just cool your jets and lap it up while we're winning. We'll be crap again someday. Our winning run won't last forever.
BUT! Forget all that. Here's the real story from last night:
[Gill Pie] received three LBW decisions from umpire Asoka de Silva - all of which appeared to be out.
When I read that I registered three reactions. All of which appeared to be surprise.
On first hearing the Cher song, Do You Believe, I shook my head in disbelief and said to myself; "That's the worst song I've ever heard!". Then there were the subsequent occasions I was unfortunate enough to cop an earful. Walking past women's clothing stores, strolling through airports, lunching in food courts. Each and every time I've felt personally insulted that I should be subjected such a poorly mixed, hideous caterwauling. I even felt sorry for her fans. Those poor deluded fools operating under the assumption they were purchasing another Cher Classic. A truly stomach turning stench of a song.
Now there's another rancid odour wafting across our airwaves. True Colours is a cover of the 1980's Cyndi Lauper teen dirge, and let's face it, the song stinks! It wasn't any good back then so there's no reason to believe it would be any better now. And it's not. It falls under the umbrella of what's odiously referred to as Adult Contemporary, a term which seems a euphemism for crap pop grown up, and it lives down to all the expectations that term conjures up. I heard it on the car radio last week and couldn't believe how bad it was. One line in I was yelling at the radio "This is TERRIBLE!" Never the less, I had to keep listening so I could find out who to warn mankind about and who to hold to account for the vengeance of future generations.
Remember this name, Kasey Chambers. Remember this phrase, throttling a Meerkat.
To be avoided at all costs!
UPDATE: Tim Blair & Wayne Wood have recently mentioned her moping.
First Test - Day 2
I didn't get to see much of the Cricket Last Night. None in fact. The only bit I saw was seen through a Fog Of Hangover early this morning. Very disappointed. 1 for 285 becomes All Out 489. Once again Australia squander a brilliant start. Now they're 252 ahead when it should be 400 some time today.
252 ahead means that if, on this miniscule ground it's not impossible, Lara or Chanders can put together a big score Australia will be chasing a difficult target late in the game. Not a prospect I ever look forward to.
Now, what did I see this morning? Weeeelllllll, as soon as I sat down Gilchrist got out. Nothing new there. That happens nearly every time I turn on the radio or TV. He was Caught & Bowled Jermaine Jackson, err, Jamie Lawson, err Jermaine Lawson. Yep. That's him. A lame shot. Never the less he was once again the right man at the right time. Or as Brian Johnson would have said "Once again here's Gilchrist, righting the ship." I wonder if it would've attracted the same number of complaints as his; "Gower, righting the ship." Which was interpreted by the Test Match Special listeners as; "Gower, right in the s**t.
Anyhoo, back at the point, it wasn't Gilchrist's dismissal that caused a rumpus at Chez Grog, it was the bowler. Or more particularly his action. As soon as Lawson bowled the first ball I've seen him bowl the howl went up. "That's a throw!" I watched him closely for the remainder of his spell. He's definitely a chucker. But that ball to Gilchrist? Jesus H Sandy Koufax! Are they going to do away with the throwing rule? There doesn't seem any point to it?
Travis Bichel was handy too. He's turning into a savior of Dujonesque proportions.
Oh well, I'm off to join the Coalition Of The Swilling (11 Googlepages) at the pub and watch The Poys v The Handbags.
First Test - Day 1
Cricket's back. Good. Starts at midnight. Bad. On holidays. Good. Only two weeks. Bad.
The Action Last Night reminded me of the recent World Cup of Benaud. Windies all out for 237, Aussies 1 for 120. Sounds like a Duckyloo result.
I predicted a 3-0 series win for the Aussies and saw nothing last night which altered that prediction. No Hooper. No Sarwan. No Crystal Gayle. Three of their best five batsmen missing. No Walsh. No Ambrose. No spinner. How are the Windies going to consistently bowl the Aussies out? Now there's no Jacobs. Lara is a shocking captain. If the Windies surprise he'll have made approximately 1,567 runs by serie's end.
Some observations from last night:
1) Smith - LB. Shocker. Not just an edge, it came off the middle of his bat. Almost.
2) Lara - LB. Ordinary. Clearly would have missed Off.
3) Chanders - LB. Shocker. Pitched outside Leg. Missing Off. Shocking shot.
4) Dillon - LB. Shocker. Apparently. Didn't see it. Anyone?
5) Rudy & The Sock - Four bad LB's in one day. Speaks for itself.
6) Tactics - Windies. None. Slogging's not a tactic. Aussies. Bowled sub OK. Batted better.
7) Magilla - Just me? Or, does he drop plenty off his own bowling?
8) Haydos - Bad run out.
9) Bourda Ground - My back yard is made of bricks but is softer. Probably bigger, too.
10) Pitch - Slow. May get difficult.
11) Craig McDermott Memorial Sea Wall - Bigger than I'd imagined.
12) David Hookes - Ease down Hook. You're not smart. Don't opine.
13) Jim Maxwell - No one left at the ABC? "Bowler runs in. Bowler bowls. Batsmen plays. MISSES! Not out. Ooooooh, that was close." No it wasn't. Settle the f**k down! Jim's idea of grenade punctuated commentary gives me heart trouble.
Prediction - Never make them until both teams have batted.
"I'll have the strap, ahhhhh, chocolate underpants and, ummmm, a bag of Mixed Dildos."
"We introduce couples to couples, singles to singles, singles to couples, every scenario that's possibly human....We have everyone from the normal working class man right up to lawyers and judges."
Couples to Couples? Couples to Singles? Lawyers to Humans? Possibly.
Virginia Trioli in another hard hitting interview with her mates in the Brunswick Street café set. This time it's some Green Fungus named Courtney regarding yesterday's Clown Antics on Sydney Harbour....
Caller - "How come the Greens were never around to protest the gassing of the Kurds, the murder of the Shi'ites and the murders in Bosnia. Not to mention Saddam's treatment of his own people?"
Trioli - "A good question. Courtney?"
Courtney - "Let's not forget the US armed Saddam."
Trioli - "Fair point. Thanks Courtney"
Whaddaya mean "Fair point"?!? Whaddabout - "That's not an answer!"
Where's David Marr?