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Sunday, December 31, 2006

The little book of monster wisdom

A heart in the hand is worth two in the chest cavity

Beggars can’t be choosers and are seldom missed

Children should be tasted and not heard

It’s always brightest before sunset

Once bitten, twice should finish them off

The early wolf catches the paperboy

Brain is better than brawn for a zombie after dawn (brawn is better than brain for the wolfman down the lane)

Don't hog a dead horse

A barking dog never bites once you are chewing its voice box

All that glitters is not the wrist-watch of a lost hiker

Blood is thicker than amniotic fluid

Life is not a bed of noses

When in Rome, eat Romans

When the cat’s away, the mice taste OK

Beauty is only skin deep, meat goes to the bone

A watched tot never wanders

Monday, December 25, 2006

It's all about meme, meme, meme

Suddenly the whole Australian blogosophere-village which I inhabit has gone meme crazy. The peer pressure to conform is immense and I have a very weak personality and am easily led.

The meme I've chosen to respond to has no title. I've hesitated in posting this simply because it is so intimate and revelatory. But here it is.

* * *

A goat attacks you and you are forced to kill it in self defence. How would you honour its memory?

With a simple elegant funeral restricted to family only.

Thomas a Beckett: hero or disgrace?

Hero. Definitely.

In an alternative reality, it’s 1976 and you’re flying to intervene in an ill-advised business deal which will lock-up the world’s fresh water in a single brand of cola drink. Also, you’re black. (Unless you are already, in which case you’re Chinese). What colour is your rocket car?

Metallic turquoise with Foghorn Leghorn decals.

IKEA or margarine?

IKEA. Definitely.

Name your favourite President of South Korea.

Choi Gyu Hwa. Definitely.

You’re drinking a glass of wine which you suddenly realise has been made from plastic grapes. Do you (a) refrain from spitting it out in deference to your host or (b) discreetly swallow it?

(a)

In no more than 27 words, explain how you think cold fusion would work if it were scientifically possible?

Tiny sub-quark particles, let’s call them leprechauns for the sake of argument, would come together in stale, loveless marriages in which the only issue would be boundless energy.

During your favourite television show, the TV starts pulsating and wobbling like an infinitely dense neutron star. Is it a Sony?

Yes. Definitely.

Christmas only comes once a year. How often should it come?

Twice. Also in November, to let the year end with a double bounce.

Name the best meme you have ever participated in on the Internet.

Stephen.

How many people have you murdered and why?

3. Revenge. Love. Money.

* * *

Well, I feel as if I'm an open book now and that you my reader know everything about me there is to know.

So be it.

I tag the really popular blogs that will link back to me and make me popular like them. (Does everything have to be about you, Nick? -- Nick.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Everybody is beautiful in their own special way. Especially me.

I note with cool disdain that the Australian blog awards are on again. I'm certainly not interested in the slightest in that kind of popularity contest at all, in the least, even a little bit or to any degree whatsoever. I'm above such things. I really don't care how many people read me (I only check sitemeter several times a day because I accidentally click on the little button. I'm in this to help the environment. And disadvantaged people everywhere.)

Interesting to see I've already been nominated for several awards in the following categories:

  • Best blog post using five or fewer words for "Too busy. Will blog later."

  • Best blog post providing textual description to vision-impaired people of lithographs of dogs riding in scale-models of armoured vehicles (NSW/ACT Division) for "War never loses its spots: images of dalmation pups commanding light tanks in Korea 1950-1953." (I'm very proud of this post but I don't expect to win. It's a crowded field.)

  • Best blog post about char-grilled eggplant (but, disappointingly, not for for best blog post about pan-seared aubergine which I'm rather upset about) for "How purple is my eggplant (lipstick): two months in drag in an Andalusian restaurant kitchen."

  • Best blog about masturbation in a cross-cultural context for my other blog Onanism in Oman: Jerk-off of Arabia. (I really think that one is breaking down barriers and helping to combat misunderstanding of the Islamic world in Australia. It was also great fun to do.)

  • Best blog post about global development issues for "Why don't poor people in poor countries just go to supermarkets like everybody else?"

  • Best blog ever except for all the others.
Ha ha ha. Light-heartedness all round! Jolly japes for all!

But if someone doesn't freakin nominate me for:

  • Best ACT blog
  • Best new blog
  • Best humorous blog

then I'll freakin cry. Alone. In the toilet. With a tim tam.

(Does that sound needy?)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blog of Binky Merryweather: lothario, trouble-maker, elf

24 December 2006

[Previously: the semi-secret blog of 'Nick Claus']

The old man is working us to the bone. I’m so dog tired I hardly know which way to fart. If I have to solder another Playstation I’m gonna jam it up his merry twinkling Xmas-hole. Everyone’s pulling triple shifts and we’re up to our freakin pointed ears in reindeer faeces.

I’m blogging from an air-conditioning vent in the main hall while I puff on a pack of Winnie reds. When I finish I need to wrap this laptop up for some over-privileged little shit who should have got a smack upside the head but instead is gonna get $2000 worth of cutting edge IT. But I’ll throw in the DVD-drive jammed with cigarette butts for free.

If I stand up on my toes, I can see making Mrs Claus making rocky-road in the kitchen. Damn I wish those hands were all over my marshmallows right now. Feels like there’s a candy cane in my pants. Wow that Mama Claus is some kind of primo MILF (apart from the hairs on her chin and the fact that she’s got a caboose you could land a sleigh on. But hey, I like my puddings plump.)

I think the old guy is starting to suspect that she digs my little elfin pink-bits. Better get back to it or the jolly fat man will send one of his hench-elves looking for me (fuckn WorkChoices). I don’t need any more trouble after they found the 300 iPods I made with the gay porn pre-loaded…

Update: 7pm. Finally! It’s dark and St Prick is off around the world on his annual gift-giving frenzy. He won’t be back til dawn and then he’ll drink himself into a coma until mid-Jan.

Time to kick back with a monster joint and three-fifths of Jacky D. And if Mrs C is real lucky I’ll let her open her present early…

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion: W is for whale

A new entry from the upcoming second volume of Stephanie Alexander’s famous Cook’s Companion: W is for whale.

"My first taste of whale came as a girl on the coast at Eden in 1960. My mother had dragged a still-thrashing southern right whale calf from the beach and artfully flayed it with a nine-foot blade. I still recall the dark, slightly oily meat which my mother had lightly sautéed. Magic!

Although Escoffier, in his incomparable 1932 work Foods of the Oceans, Tastes of the Deep, described whale as ‘a giant in both the sea and the kitchen’, it has fallen out of favour with modern taste-buds. There are a variety of reasons for this. Perhaps the foremost is the decline in the availability of properly-prepared fillets. In these busy times, few cooks are prepared to put in the effort required to correctly fillet this vast creature. How if you can find the time, I think you will find the effort well worthwhile. (Alternatively, those of you lucky enough to live in a city with a decent whale butcher, rejoice!)

It is universally known that whales are mammals and not fish but what is less well understood is the difference this makes to the discerning consumer. It does not taste like fish. (Perhaps the closest comparison I can come up with is the flesh of the South American three-toed sloth but even this is not really similar). And there is a great variety amongst the different types of whale meat available: it is easy to tell apart the rough gaminess of the sperm whale from the smoky delicacy of the narwhal or the tangy appeal of the minke from the exquisite melting flavour of the blue whale.

Many of the recipes which follow are from Japan, Russia and Scandinavia where the popularity of whale continues unabated. These recipes also make use of parts such as the eyes, the internal organs and the flukes, parts which Western cooks are inclined to jettison. However, do so at your peril, for some of the greatest prizes are to be found in these unassuming places.

Whale and blue-cheese salad
1 medium sized whale fillet (I prefer blue whale ‘veal’)
4 table-spoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup of sweetened dolphin oil
300g of a mild blue cheese
15 black olives
4 large tomatoes
A large handful of any salad leaves (I prefer arugula)
Freshly ground black pepper


Coat the fillet with oil and sear for three minutes on each side on a hot grill. Put aside. Crumble the blue-cheese in the dolphin oil and combine with the other ingredients except the salad leaves. Slice the whale fillet and arrange on a bed of the greens. Pour the remaining mixture over the salad and serve immediately."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Excerpts from the Semi-Secret Blog of ‘Nick Claus’

14 December 2006
It happened again last night. Couldn’t get the ‘sleigh’ up. Mrs Claus tried her damnedest to coax it into the air for nearly an hour but to no avail. She said it didn’t matter (just like she said it doesn’t matter how big your sleigh is, just how much reindeer-power you’ve got) but I know it does.

Stress, God knows, I know it’s the stress but do you think that helps at all? Every year it’s like this, she says, always the same this close to the big night. She’s half right. Every year is the same. Every year is worse than the one before.

15 December 2006

I’ve got the elves working 18 hour shifts, I’ve got the elf kiddies in my little pony sweatshops. I’m cutting corners left right and centre (trust me, you don’t want your kids to get the chemistry set this year) and still it’s not enough.

Every year there are more kids and every year more people want in on the Christmas thing. What business have the fucking Hindus and communist Chinese got with Christmas? Christ know you don’t have to be religious to have me shitting presents down your chimney but in the good old days you pretty much had to be white, Goddamnit. They tell me its called globalization. I know where they can stick their globe.

‘Sleigh’ still snowbound. Mrs Claus barely pretended to try.

16 December 2006

Regular readers know I harp on this theme all the time but in the old days you could make ends meet by slipping a few borderline kiddies onto the naughty list. Always more lumps of coal to go around. But now every fucker is so litigious. If I so much as consider taking someone off the nice list I get hassled by Parent Teacher Associations and their lawyers.

How dare I ruin their Christmas? Who the hell do they think they are? Who the hell do they think I am?

Timmy microwaves the cat, Timmy still gets fucking rollerblades. What’s up with that?

Caught Mrs Claus eyeing off Binky Merryweather in Workshop #13.

17 December 2006
I can’t eat, I’m losing weight. I thought Mrs Claus might like me a little more trim but no she says she likes a little roof over the ole snow-mobile. I can’t do anything right.

Binky hasn’t got a roof, sure as shit. He’s lithe, perky and great with his hands. He’s like a four-foot Jude Law. When all this is over I’m gonna bust him down to the my first potty assembly line.

When all this is over…. 8 sleeps, 8 fucking sleeps to go.

Special Bonus Update: the blog of Binky Merryweather

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The lists McSweeneys rejects (vol 2)

The second in a multi-part series. Rejected by McSweeneys lists thingie.

Some recent advertising campaigns to promote the smoking of cigarettes that you may not have noticed.

  • The Federal Government wants to take away your guns and your cigarettes – don’t let them pry them from your warm flavor-filled fingers !


  • Cigarettes: edgy but legal!


  • Extreme sports for the lungs! Radical!


  • Smoking: still no absolute scientific consensus after all these years.


  • Only the coolest people know this right now, but cigarettes are back!


  • Smoke cigarettes: no reason, just because!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The true meaning of Xmas

Dear Whale Sushi

People these days are so materialistic. It’s all about me, me, me at Christmas time. People have forgotten the true spirit of Christmas, don’t you think?

Traditional of Turner, ACT


Dear Traditional

How right you are (although it’s actually spelt 'Xmas', not 'Christmas', after the treasure-hunt game Jesus used to play on his birthday every year, as in ‘Xmas-marks-the-spotmas’).

People have forgotten what Xmas was really about. Here’s a few little historical reminders of what we should be celebrating on 25 December:

  • Gift-giving. This really is at the heart of Xmas. Because it was his birthday, Jesus naturally got lots of presents. So on Xmas morning, conduct a little exercise in WWJD (what would Jesus do?)? Answer: Jesus would get presents and then be really appreciative if they were good and say a polite ‘thank you’ if not. Once you understand this, you’re that much closer to building a personal relationship with Our Lord.

  • Santa Claus. Yes, Virginia, there really was a Santa Claus. He was a portly Dutch gentleman named Stephen Van den Heuven who lived down the street from Jesus. Most days he could be seen out the front of his house in his red under-wear, watering his lawn. How and why he came to be known as the North-pole dwelling giver of presents to the world’s children is lost to history.

  • Sony Playstations. Today it’s impossible to imagine an Xmas day without those familiar black boxes but that’s exactly what Jesus had to contend with. He made do with an old gameboy until his twenty-third birthday.

  • Easter eggs. These were traditionally hidden as part of Xmas-marks-the-spotmas but later, after Christ was crucified and then rose from the dead to redeem humanity, they were moved to a new holiday in the early part of the year which was designed to pad out the slack period between New Year and Queen’s birthday.

  • Praying Mantis Day. Throughout the Nineteenth Century, the day after Boxing Day was known as Praying Mantis Day and it was de rigeur for people to exchange large stick insects (or a small clutch of mantis eggs for mere acquaintances). Over time this tradition has largely dropped away. However I can’t help but think how much nicer it would be if we extended the holiday season one more day, don’t you agree?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Make up your own mind – now with extra truth sauce!

McDonalds’ new campaign is designed to dispel age-old myths and prejudices about their product range. Here is a sample of some of the as yet unreleased questions and answers which will banish various vile untruths from the Internet.

Has Ronald McDonald ever been a member of the Nazi Party of the United States of America?

No, he merely innocently accepted several leaflets from a number of party members without realizing where they were from. He later dialed their toll-free number 1-800-NAZI-INFO, again without realizing what it was. Ronald loves all people regardless of their creed, colour or ethnic origin.

Did Ronald McDonald ever share a bed with Michael Jackson and several children?

No, Ronald did not ‘share’ a bed with anyone on the occasion to which you are referring. He was innocently staying as a guest at Neverland Ranch; after a full day of healthy outdoor pursuits, Ronald retired upstairs to sleep. A number of other guests and residents, similarly tired, also slept in his vicinity. That is all.

Is it true that when you harvest cows from the Amazonian basin for use in the Brazilian market that you simply bulldoze them into a giant mulching machine, cows, forest and all?

No, we do not use bulldozers. Also, the alleged presence of DNA belonging to indigenous Amazonian Indians in McDonalds beef patties is well within acceptable limits.

Is the dough used to make McDonalds’ sesame-seed buns ever strained through the skin of freshly slaughtered babies from various third-world trouble spots?

No, this is a pure fabrication. McDonalds’ buns are not made with dough because they are not actually made of bread. They are sugar-yeast hybrids grown in large industrial vats. Rumours that some ‘proto-buns’ have escaped into the sewer system are just that.

Is it true that your products have no flavour except for sugar and salt?

You don’t like sugar and salt?