Worst poem

My last post got me thinking about how anyone can write mediocre poetry. People do it all the time without really trying. On the other hand, it's much more difficult to deliberately write something that is truly awful. So I thought I’d have a go. Have I succeeded? Waste of a Vagina 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 took out an exercise book, scribbled down something on a page, and tore it out. Just like that, he wrote his poem and finished the assignment. 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. It was everything a sonnet is supposed to be. I was very proud of it and confident that our teacher would reward my efforts. About a week passed. I didn’t know what

Psst! Hey! Wanna know what a Snickers tastes like Down Under? *November '22 update!*

^^ Here's a fucken clue. Once upon a time, Mars Wrigley made Snickers bars in Australia, in Ballarat, but then ceased and began importing them from China (and sneakily dropping the weight from 53g to 50g). 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. Basically, Chinese Snickers tastes like factory floor sweepings pressed into a rectangular prism. And we're paying top dollar - 2 fucking dollars in fact! - for a single bar. It's a total rip-off. Snickers Australia's Facebook page was copping so much shit from the public over the decision to import Snickarse bars

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 didn't 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. It felt like the quality of his prose had taken a dive, and that he just 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 sorely in need of an editor. T

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

The Lord's Prayer

When I was a kid, school assemblies invariably began with a recitation of The Lord’s Prayer . It was always a very solemn and serious affair. By the time I got to high school, however, for some unknown reason  The Lord’s Prayer was set to music. For me this stripped away its gravitas and imbued it with a distinctly comedic flavour. I went to a private high school for boys. It was a non-denominational school, but for some reason our weekly assemblies carried a heavy Christian vibe and a lot of our guest speakers were disturbingly evangelical. For instance, every year this withered old missionary used to come and hand out tiny red bibles and regale us with a song about the Holy Land. It was a horrible dirge and this guy used to belt it out like he was bent on destroying our PA system. The refrain was a jarring “JERRRUUU-SALEM! JERRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUU-SALEM!” and the entire school used to sit through it, cringing in collective embarrassment. There was always an awful stunned silence at th

Worst job interview

Or: How to dodge bullets It's late March, 2018. I’m interviewing for a job at a private ESL college in the Melbourne CBD. To get here I’ve taken a 3-hour bus trip and trekked some 30 minutes from Southern Cross. Great city, a nice place to visit, but there’s a lot of traffic and way too much going on. I'm not a fan of the Big Smoke. I’m about 20 minutes early for my interview, but I’m happy enough in the waiting area with my e-reader. My new leather shoes have been torturing my feet, though, especially that long ligament thingy which connects the shin to the upper foot. That bit really hurts. I haven’t worn trousers or a tie in ages, either, and I’m not exactly relishing the experience. On top of all this, the couch in the waiting area isn’t very comfortable and I’m trying to extract my underpants from my arse without the receptionist noticing. But, I've got stuff to read! Things could be worse. Eventually, INTERVIEWER emerges from the bowels of the college to greet me. He’