Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

I’m going to be honest with you, dear Reader, because I care about our friendship and wouldn’t want you to think I was trying to deceive you. When I started writing this article it was initially titled Cruel and Unusual Punishment and it was going to be about how I thought pouring balsamic vinegar onto people’s mess would be a good way to passively aggressively teach them a lesson. You can probably see already why I decided to change the subject.

“But Tom,” you will tell me, “How much of a total weirdo are you that you would even consider doing such a thing?” Now that’s a fair question to raise and one well worth asking, so I’ll try and explain.

Living out of home is in a lot of ways similar to living with Hepatitis C. You run the risk of developing slow-melted internal organs, which can be an awful inconvenience at times. For starters, you have to do things for yourself, which is downright weird. If you’re out of clean clothes, you’ll have to wash them eventually. If you run out of food, you’ll unfortunately have to go and buy some more. You’ll have to mow your own lawn, pay your own bills and make your own lists of ‘threes’. Which is hard.

However the most challenging new experience drawn from living out of home is the housemates. Parents and siblings can be a pain in the arse; sure, everyone knows that except for people who get along with their families constantly. (Happy nuclear families, eww.)

But when you move out and find yourself in brand new surrounds with friends, co-workers, university chums, total strangers (oh dear God), what-have-you, you’re in for a surprise or two. Unless you’re tremendously lucky you’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by people who, as unbelievable as it seems, don’t like all of the same shit you do. Crazy, I know, it’s weird that no one is as totally fucking awesome as you are, but it happens. So called ‘normal’ people might try and ‘resolve’ their ‘differences’ with ‘diplomacy’ or ‘mutual respect’. Hah! Armistice is for the weak! War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, etc. You’ll have to quickly abandon any weak-minded ideology should you hope for any chance of surviving with your sanity intact.

Allow me to paint you a word picture; you finally get to go home from work/school/your mistress’s house after a long and tiresome day of working/pretending to learn/general skuzzy behaviour. All you really want to do is fall down and wallow in your own self-pity, maybe have a beer in the process. After all, you’ve earned it. You waddle through the front door, your eyes staring down half a metre in front of you because you’re too tired to lift your head up any higher. You make your way to the lounge room/dining room/kitchen/stable and kick off your tattered old boots. (“Good work, boots”) You then, with a gigantic sigh, lift your head.

There’s an elephant in the room. 

Not one of those bullshit metaphorical socially awkward elephants. A legitimate elephant. Well, not a whole one. Most of one. Just the off-cuts; legs, ears, some of the trunk, what looks like maybe some rump steak. There’s a note alongside of the offcuts;

Hey [insert your name here],

I picked up this mangled elephant carcass up at the markets. Well, it was more of a roadside than a market, but who’s counting? Figured we could make a few meals out of it.

Love from Housemate   xoxo

PS: I didn’t want to pass up on such a great opportunity for prime elephant steak and didn’t have any cash on me, so I borrowed your wallet, I’ll pay you back though, promise.

PPS: Had some trouble finding a bag big enough for aforementioned elephant, so I used your priceless antique Persian rug as a makeshift wrapper. You know the one that’s been in your family since before the Crusades? Yeah, that one. Figured you’d be cool with it, since you’re such a nice person and all.

Tasty carcass

 Or maybe;

Dearest [insert your name here],

The guys and I needed some quick cash for our university beer pong tourney so we sold one of your kidneys on the black market.

Figured you’d be all right without the spare.

Love from Housemate   xoxo

Perhaps even;

My good fellow,

While experimenting with quantum mechanics this afternoon I accidently opened up a wormhole into a universe populated by doppelgängers of ourselves with grotesque haircuts in our freezer, the likes of which would send a man mad simply by gazing upon them.

So, yeah, don’t open the freezer until I get home.

Love from Housemate   xoxo

PS: We’re out of milk, could you grab some more on your way home from work? Thank you my good chum.

And now we come full circle. We are where we were originally intended to be. See how smoothly those textual pieces fell into place there? So here we are. The start. Well, the intended start that now doesn’t actually make any sense without what you have just read up yonder. But now the problem is we’re stuck with a start with no end. The whole thing has become a preface to itself without anything to preface and now I’m slightly concerned about paradoxes again, which, if you’re a devout reader, you’ll know is a serious problem for me. So, hopefully that summarises in a straightforward and easily comprehensible manner the conditions that could cause a person to come to the conclusion that pouring balsamic vinegar onto peoples' belongings would be a good idea for a method of passive aggressive punishment…

Now we’re just stuck with one of those awkward moments where we sit across the table from one another without really knowing what to say and I kind of have to trail off and pretend that I wasn’t actually saying anything…

- Tom

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Transformer Sequels

Watching Michael Bay films has become a bit embarrassing. And why? Is it because he forgets to shoot any proper character development and hands the rest of the film over to his trusty Visual Effects team? Is it because of the mindless supermodels throwing their scantily clad, sweat-soaked bodies at a dorky, supposedly likeable Shia LaBeouf? Or is it because we’re all fourteen years old?

Well, all of that may be true, but consider what the Transformers actually are: 40ft autonomous robotic aliens that transform into American Muscle Cars and save the World every day.

For fun.

Now, Michael. Granted, this is all quite impressive and you certainly have my attention, but have you forgotten your role as a film-maker? Of course you have. You’re enjoying yourself way too much. That’s because you’re fourteen. And so are we, but we’re getting older. We need more of that complexity/brutality that only Nolan/Tarantino seem to have a firm grasp on. ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ was cranked out with a cool 200 million to play with, and that’s exactly what you did with it. What I don’t understand is how you could possibly blow so much on a sequel with such poor dynamics that were already established in the first film.

After having time to digest this latest abomination properly, I suppose you have to give him some credit for ‘transforming’ his career from lens-flare soaked car commercials to multi-million dollar visual orgasms with a whitewash story written by an 8 year old. But not too much credit.

I only hope the next sequel will change my mind.

- Aaron

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Being Tired Makes Me a Cantankerous Motherfucker

Written while extremely tired for authenticity

People who know me in the real world would tell you that I’m a fairly relaxed person. However people who have known me much longer will tell you I’m cynical as fuck and generally caustic to be around. While that’s a fairly accurate evaluation I firmly believe that you only truly know somebody when you see them within an inch of falling flat on their face due to sheer fatigue.

Now, this is the part where people disagree with me.

This is where people tell you that alcohol is the gateway to the soul (sorry, eyes, you’ve been superseded), but I am here to, respectfully, disagree. In my opinion alcohol amplifies your outgoing traits, while locking your anti-social traits in the broom cupboard under the stairs. (JK doesn’t have copyright over that particular sentence, does she?) This rule only applies until you have the dreaded one-too-many which results in you crying alone in the corner because;

1. No one understands you
2. You’re fat…
3. … Still single…
4. … and no one will ever love you

There’s a rather strong possibility I became heavily sidetracked there. Let us resume.

I think that being tired has a much stronger effect on the human brain than alcohol ever could. Except I don’t think being tired can kill you directly. Sure, it can make you fall down a flight of stairs or fall asleep at the wheel, but I don’t think it can make you literally die on the spot. Score one to alcohol, there. But anyone who spent their childhood sleepovers staying up until 5:57am knows just how totally fucked your thought processes can become through the simple act of sleep deprivation. When I’m half asleep, being dragged in and out of consciousness because one of my housemates is composing the next techno masterpiece which I can hear in excruciating detail thanks to the wafer thin walls of our house, or Girlfriend is venting about how her mother doesn’t appreciate X or she is worried about how Y will make her Z look at 3:30am my brain short circuits. Patience is thrown out of the window. Patience has more important places to be, he’s not going to stick around and deal with this bullshit, no sir.

People who know me best know me when I’m tired. Bad times are ahead if you wake me up early or keep me up late. I will go for the jugular. I will end you. I’ll insult your chubby thighs, your taste in food, music, movies, cars, your overpowering B.O, or the fact that your mouth never quite closes fully, which totally creeps me out. Your parents are divorced? Ha-ha, that’s hilarious. You have a phobia of magpies?  Pure, unfiltered fatigued abuse material.

Don’t fuck with me when I’m sleepy.

- Tom

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Under the Influence of Alcohol #1

(Alright, so this is a completely unedited article that I’ve written after a few drinks. OK, fine, more than a few drinks. A lot of drinks, ALL of the drinks, ever.)

Basically I was sitting at my computer thinking of something to write about and then I posted a status on Facebook about being really bored and the next thing I know I’m at the local pub having many beers despite the fact that I drove there and only got my car back today, it’s fine, thank you for asking but now I’m thinking that this sentence is getting REALLY long so I might put in a full-stop soon although now I’m questioning the need for that hyphen back there between ‘full’ and ‘stop’ which is further extending the length of this sentence.

I wonder if that qualifies as a paradox? Worrying about a sentence’s length extends the sentence? Is that paradox material?

I didn’t write anything there for about 10 minutes because my clothes smelled like cigarettes so I went and took them off but then I was cold so I put my pyjama booties on. That’s right I have pyjama booties and I’m a 21-year-old man, what of it? I bet I’m much more comfortable than you are right now. You’re probably sitting in your regular clothes thinking ‘Shit, I’d much rather be in comfortable pyjama booties right now because my feet are powerful cold.’ But guess what? You don’t have pyjama booties. Your feet are going to be cold and socially awkward without my booties, and I bet that you’re feeling pretty miserable because your feet aren’t making that awesome ‘sssh’ noise when you walk due to the fabric sliding together. Because that’s a pretty decent sound and I’d imagine that you’re fairly jealous.

The Booties

Aaron and I are now having kettle problems so we’re having a bit of a rage at our kettle because it only has one job and it’s kind of being a dick about it and is refusing to do its one and only job.

I’ve done it again and now I’m stressing over whether my use of ‘its’ is the correct ‘its’ or whether it should be ‘it’s’ because does a kettle really own it’s job? Can an inanimate object own its purpose?

Oh, dear I’m getting philosophical again. Alcohol = Philosophy Juice. I wonder is Socrates was off his face all of the time? Probably, there wasn’t much else to do in ancient Greece was there?

Aaron and I are now arguing about shaving arms because he has a Band-Aid on and I think that shaving your arm would be a little weird and now it’s becoming a whole conversation about waxing which I don’t think is a very practical topic. But it might be in some countries, I’m not sure.

I promise I’ll make something much better next time.


- Tom.