23 February 2013

It's just a blog post; it's no big deal.

The Burp's in town for a couple of days so I whizzed over to her place today to drag her and The Burpmother orff to see a duck auction.

(A duck auction is an actual thing. Local 'identities' and 'celebrities' decorated wooden ducks and they were sold and auctioned off to support women's refuges.)

So we were walking towards the auction rooms, as I believe they are known in the biz, when The Burp indicated her mother and said, "You know she's taken up bridge."

What I meant to say: "Why not? I've heard it's a great game and I'm sure you'd meet many like-minded, similar people at the get-togethers."

What I said: "Well, you're certainly the right age."

Later, after we'd surveyed the duckies, and I'd missed out on purchasing a lovely pair dressed sweetly and demurely in paisley, we stopped for a drink at the coffee shop. As we got up to leave The Burp made a comment about her "cheap bag". It was then I noticed the jazzy, beaded shoulder bag she had with her.

What I meant to say: "That is a very bright and cheery and attractive accessory, as it happens. But it's rare to see you without your other, distinctive bag which has become a part of your signature style, if I may be so bold as to say so."

What I said: "Where's your nice bag?"

(People comment on how I so often wear flat shoes but when your foot is in your mouth as often as mine, stilettos are a health hazard.)

18 June 2012

Surplus to Requirements

(If you really hate spoilers, read the post below this one first. Then this one. Or don't. Spoil the whole thing for yourself; see if I care.)

An addition to this amazing adventure: when the beeping began, I was writing an email to someone at work, dispensing elegant pearls of wisdom, and I started the email with this: 
I have officially arrived in 2012 as I've finally got round to learning how to access my email through the web. This achievement is offset somewhat by my inability to make my smoke detector stop beeping (yes, have changed the battery, etc). It's going to be a close run race between the arrival of the electrician and the departure of my sanity.
During the course of tapping out my hotly sought-after advice the electrician arrived and the events described below occurred. So I finished my email thusly:
If none of what I said makes sense, I can understand: the electrician just arrived and pointed out that there's a second smoke detector in the hall, and that's the one that's been beeping - not the one I replaced the battery in TWICE.
I'll be in tomorrow if you want to discuss - my comments, not the smoke detector fiasco.
The person I was sending the email to replied this way:
Thanks. This made me laugh out loud.
Still no word on whether he was referring to The Smoke Detector Incident or my work-related words of wisdom.

Shock the Monkey

I have a smoke detector in my hallway, hard-wired into the ceiling. Yesterday afternoon it began beeping. Being the resourceful and independent single woman that I am, I ascertained that this was because the battery needed replacing, so off I shot to the shops to grab a new battery. I got two because, as Magilla Gorilla taught us all those years ago, "nuthin' like havin' a spare spare". I came home and replaced the battery and had just climbed down off the stepladder when the bloody thing beeped again. And again. Without going into details another hour was spent replacing the battery, double-checking it, checking the indicator lights, pressing buttons, inspecting the meter box, all the while feeling my sanity unravel as the beeping went on and on. Okay that was a bit detailed but you needed some local colour.

Eventually I resigned myself to a night of no sleep. I figured if I shut the hall door and slept on the couch in the lounge the beep would be less intrusive. I also decided to drown out the sound with an episode of Midsomer Murders on iView. I paused the show at some point to get a drink and that's when I noticed: miracle of miracles, the beeping had stopped! I could sleep, un-aurally-molested, in my bed! (Which I did. I'm no fool.)

I ended up spending today at home, doing some work from the comfort of the couch. (The other couch. Not the one I'd planned to sleep on. I have two couches. Just the two. I'm not building a Couch Empire here. I need you to be able to properly see this with your mind's eye.) At about 1pm I thought I heard a noise, but I ignored it. And then there it was again. The sodding beeping. I may have called the detector an unkind name. A phone call to the real estate agent brought an electrician running. He phoned me on his way to my place and I carefully explained to him all that I had done in an attempt to fix the problem, defending my status as a resourceful and independent single woman.

The electrician arrived and took a look at the detector. He was puzzled as everything seemed to be in order. Then it beeped again. There was a hint of defiance in the noise this time - I have a sense for these things. The electrician looked at his sidekick. "Where's that beep coming from?" "Er," I ventured, "from the smoke detector?" I confess I may have had my duh face on at this point. "No it isn't," he said. Then he and the sidekick looked down the hall and pointed at something on the ceiling I had failed to see in all my rampaging about the house the evening before, being resourceful and independent in a womanly and single way: a second smoke detector, purely battery-operated, with a dead battery - and trying to get anyone who would listen to pay attention.

"I feel like such an idiot!" I said. But I'd jumped the gun. The time to really feel like an idiot was when he presented me with the bill.

02 June 2012

Like Flaky Patsry

I arrived at work the other day to be accosted by the very nice but somewhat odd gentleman who sits at the desk opposite mine. (A man, it's important to note, who has informed me he has degrees in two scientific disciplines.)

"It's a worry, isn't it?" he said, waving a tissue in the air.

"What is?"

"Just before I went home last night I spilled a whole lot of water over my desk. I used this tissue to mop it up. It was sodden. I come in the this morning and it's bone dry. Makes you wonder what this place is doing to us - sucking all the moisture out of our organs and our blood. Not good. Not good at all."

He made it sound like walking through the doors at work was like being struck by the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique - five steps and suddenly you transform into a desiccated pile of ash, there on the floor of the foyer. (I can tell you, it gets the cleaners quite vexed, and it keeps HR busy with recruitment - they work in a separate building, obviously.)

"Well," I said, "the thing is, tissues dont have skin."

He looked blank.

"Skin?" I continued on, more in hope than anger. "That's what our skin does: it kind of protects everything and prevents total annihilation via dehydration while we're here."

I wanted to add: but don't worry, the work place still manages to suck us dry each and every day! I put my headphones on instead.

28 May 2012

Of Barriers

A while ago RobertPlant left a message on my phone bemoaning the fact that we had missed The Sonics when they'd recently played in Sydney. He followed this valuable info up with a series of moans which I'm pretty sure were meant to convey existential angst but came off sounding creepy. I did what I do with most phone calls from him: I ignored it. He waited a while for me to ring him up and do the wailing and gnashing of teeth and say, "Listen to this! Listen to this!" and hold my phone out so he could hear me renting my garments, and when I didn't he cracked and called me with just the slightest shred of sulkiness in his voice.

Wasn't I outraged that we had missed this great opportunity? Wasn't I now going to to spend the rest of year in a deep depression, without acknowledging that even if I had known this band were playing in Sydney I wouldn't have jumped on a plane just to go & see them?

No, as it happens, on both counts - because I haven't got the foggiest notion who The Sonics are.

RobertPlant was staggered. "Don't know who they are? You do know who they are! You do! I've played all their music for you."

"Well, I must have zoned out because I don't remember."

"You do remember!"

(At this protestation I had visions of my beloved Bloody Ern, who seemed to share a similar sense of entitlement as to what and wasn't in my memory banks when he was reminiscing on some detail of a fishing or hunting trip that I claimed not to recall. "You do remember!" he'd insist, meaty fists pounding down on some invisible surface hanging in the air. At that point I liked to shrug, just to wind him up a bit more.)

"You don't remember, huh?" said RobertPlant, like he was finally ready to concede. "I don't see why not. I don't think it was 1.30am and I'm almost certain you weren't trying to kick me out of your house so you could go to sleep."

Yes. But what dreams may come.

11 May 2012

Impromptu Audit

I'd slipped out of the office and toddled orff to Officeworks to get some photos printed one afternoon and who should I find waiting in line when I got there, but old Bam Bam. I haven't seen him in years but I'd heard bits of gossip here and there about his first marriage breaking up and then him remarrying and all that sort of thing.

Then there he was, in the flesh, looking how he always looks: kind of full of himself and still lacking in any real sense of humour.

We chatted for a bit. He was keen to tell me all about his life. "You know I'm married again?" was the second sentence out of his mouth after the tediously obligatory hello. He told me he had kids. One toddler and one imminent. I think. I'd been bludgeoned into a coma with all the superiority by that point.

His photo order arrived. "Wanna see a pic of my girl?" he asked. "Just the one," I agreed.

He took the photo packet and showed me one snap, which I clucked over, perhaps a little too convincingly because he then proceeded to shake out a fat wad of pictures, clearly ready to take me through them all.

"What are you doing?" 

"I'm showing you these photos."

"Are they all of your kid?"


"Um, no, I said just one. Cute little girl and everything, but one picture's enough."

He laughed that uneasy laugh of his: like he's never sure if the joke's on him and, anyway, what is this 'joke' thing?

I didn't want him to walk away all hurt so I asked, "Hey, you haven't told me your daughter's name - what is it?"

He perked up. "Amberley."


"Yes. What?"

"You mean like the wine?"

He laughed. "Haha! Yes!" Then he stopped and gurgled a bit. Then he looked blank. "I gotta go," he said.

I looked at my watch but he was already out the door so I couldn't tell him that Births, Deaths and Marriages would already be shut.

Coins in the Fountain

New Girl has gorn part-time at her Place Of Employ, and has Tuesdays and Thursdays off work - not that a woman's work is ever done, lest we fergit. The brilliant part of this for me is that it means every Thursday we meet for lunch and endless gossip. And, let me assure you, the gossip is endless. Or, at the very least, measureless. Like a piece of string. You know, not technically, because of course any given, actual piece of string is measurable, but like the piece of string when you say to someone, "How long will this be?" and that someone, all dry and laconic, replies, "How long's a piece of string?"

In that way, is what I mean.

Apparently I had been rather enthusiastic about New Girl going part-time and had told her a while ago, "Fantastic! Now every day at work will be like Friday because you've got the next day off."

It is not in my friend's nature to see the glass as half-empty so I was somewhat supreezed when she reminded me of what I'd said and then added, "I've had it all the wrong way round! I've been thinking how it's not so great because every day I have off is like a depressing Sunday afternoon."

(Which is not exactly how I want time with me described, I'll have you know.)

Anyway, in my view, there's very little wrong with Sunday afternoon. Sunday morning would be more the worry: up early for church! And what part-timer can afford all that tithing?

29 April 2012


I blogged some CRAPPe about shoes here.

Small Comforts

Scarab and I trundled along to the cinemaaah to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. My friend was feeling a bit blue and needed a little cheering up. It was a lovely, entertaining movie and although it lifted her spirits - helped, no doubt, by the bottle of wine and nachos we consumed - I could see she was still in the grip of some emotional malady as we drifted along. Scarab hooked her arm through mine and asked, "haze, do you think when we're old we'll still have each other to rely on?" "I have no doubt of that, my dear friend." "When we were kids, did you know that we'd be friends forever?" "Yeah. Yeah, I did."

Given her fragile state of mind that evening, what I omitted to tell her was that when we were 12, I thought 'forever' pretty much took you through to about 30.

As If!

What I meant to say: I see how, like all of us, you are frantically busy and I don't want to pester you with this question because, in the likelihood that you don't know the complete answer, you'll spend too much of your valuable time chasing down the information for me and I think that's simply not fair.

What I said: God knows why I'm even bothering to ask you.