The Story of Rachel

When I was 3 or 4 years old, I lived next door to a girl called Rachel. We were the same age. She used to come over to play from time to time, and I remember having a bath with her once at her house. Our fathers were friends; Rachel's dad was a graphic artist and they used to work on oil paintings in a garage studio.  Rachel played rough with my toys. She often broke them, and in particular she used to grind the belly of my Fisher-Price aeroplane into the concrete walkway in our backyard. It made me mad. Our place was enclosed by a wall-of-splinters fence about 2 metres high with a gate set in it. It was all painted mission brown because 1970s. One day Rachel came to the side of the house where I was playing and asked me to open the gate. To spare my remaining toys from destruction, I said no. She ignored me and began climbing over the fence, but not before she asked me to hold her Vegemite sandwich. The sandwich was a single slice of bread that was buttered and Vegemited on on

Revenge is a dish best served petty

Once upon a time in a land far away, I worked for a recruiter. They were based in another city and I didn’t work for them directly, but they paid my salary. The job was a pretty standard ESL teaching gig, the sort of thing a normal person tolerates for a year or two before finding something better. Naturally, I stayed in the role for four years. About the only good thing you could say about the recruiter was that they paid on time. Otherwise they were dogshit. There was no career path, and they offered no bonuses for performance or incentives of any kind. No raises, either, including adjustments for inflation! They were also very difficult to contact, especially if you needed them for anything. As soon as they got on you on board, they more or less ignored you. A year or two into my contract, the recruiter sent me an email. They need me to give them Document X. I delete the email. I figure that if they don’t respond when I need stuff, why should I be any different? Being considerate is

Worst poem

My last post got me thinking: anyone can write mediocre poetry. People do it all the time without really trying! It's much more difficult, however, to write something truly terrible. So I thought I’d have a go. Have I succeeded? Maybe. If you're offended by this poem, know that I personally hate the message it sends. I don't want you to like it, even ironically. If you still want to be a speshul snowflake about it, I don't care. You obviously hate art. Waste of Vag Why can't you be a normal bitch with half a mind to suck my dick? Instead you are a grating vegan, witchy, gay, eschewing penii.

Poetry in motion

NB This happened in high school. I was standing in line outside the classroom, waiting for our English teacher while chatting with  my best pal, Steve. Me: How’d you go with the assignment? Steve: Huh? What assignment? Me: Er, you know… the assignment? We had to write a sonnet? Steve: (looking panicked) Shit! Was that for today?! Yes, the sonnet assignment was due today. And as I looked on, Steve promptly took out his notepad, scribbled down something on a page, and tore it out. Just like that, he wrote his poem. The entire process took a couple of minutes at the very most. On the other hand, I had spent hours working meticulously on my sonnet. It was: heartfelt about enduring love super romantic in iambic pentameter. In short, it had the traditional content in the traditional format and was everything a sonnet is supposed to be. I was very proud of it and confident that our teacher would give me a good mark. I didn’t know what Steve had written about until our work had

Psst! Hey! Wanna know what a Chinese Snickers tastes like? *November 2022 update!*

Once upon a time, Mars made Snickers bars in Australia, in Ballarat, but then stopped and began importing them from China. The company maintains that it's a temporary measure while they refit their factory or some such, but they've been saying that for about half a decade now so the claim seems somewhat... dubious. Anyway, Aussie Snickers used to have: fresh, unbroken roasted peanuts thick, sweet caramel quality milk chocolate.  They were absolutely delicious. In contrast, Chinese Snickers seems to have: stale, pulverised peanuts bland caramel nasty off-brand chocolate. They taste like factory floor sweepings excreted by a machine into a rectangular prism. We're paying top dollar - 2 fucking dollars in fact! - for a single bar, too. It's a total rip-off. Fun fact! In 2020 Snickers Australia abandoned their Facebook page because they were copping a shit-ton of flak from the public over the decision to import Snickarse bars from China. It was pretty funny to see their att

A Song of Ice and Fire parody

A long time ago I'd have called myself a fan of George R. R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire . For instance, I thoroughly enjoyed A Game of Thrones  and A Clash of Kings . I can honestly say that these books helped cement my absolute love of low fantasy mediaeval realism, and they also inspired me to write my own fantasy works. Unfortunately I was not inclined to like  A Storm of Swords , nor did I particularly enjoy A Feast for Crows . It seemed to me as if Martin was starting to lose his way. The quality of his prose seemed to have taken a dive, and it just didn't feel like he wasn't delivering the story he'd originally set out to write. When  A Dance With Dragons  came out, at first I was reluctant to read it. But I did, mostly because I'd already invested so much time and energy in the series. I couldn't just walk away, could I? I should have. The most pleasant thing I could say about  A Dance With Dragons  was that it felt like a first draft sore

The 10-Minute Rule

A survival technique inspired by crap films I was overseas and living alone when A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) popped up on TV one night. I had a hunch it wasn’t my kind of flick almost straight away, but I persevered because: a) I didn't have anything better to do b) a lot of people had said the movie was great. I wish I’d followed my gut instinct and skipped it. I immediately hated the kid playing the lead. He had the most punchable face, and his dippy haircut and dopey expression made me want to pull him through the TV screen and break his spine over my knee. I know it’s wrong and unfair to judge anyone by their appearance, but I don't care. He looked like a fucking muppet. A.I. seemed to go on for a very, very long time - much longer than seemed necessary. There’s a scene, for example, where the kid gets stuck in a little submersible on the bottom of the ocean. I actually thought that was the end of the movie. And let me just say that although I wasn't happy abo