Friday, July 15, 2011

The Tell-Tale Chicken

Whether you’re a grown-up, a youngster, or one of those weird half-baked pimply faced, squeaky voiced disasters you’ve probably owned a pet at one stage or another. Pets can be seventeen dozen kinds of awesome; they’re great companions, they usually love you unconditionally (read “They think you’re the coolest fucking thing on the planet and would gladly follow you into glorious battle should some type of Zombocalyptic war scenario emerge”), and they can transcend the ‘pet zone’ to become members of the family, not just needy bottomless food pits (see “Babies”). Then there is the slightly less exciting part of pet-ownership I’m sure that we’re all familiar with; the Pet Responsibility Talk:

“Now Jeff,” (your name is now Jeff, just roll with it) “you must understand that this cat/dog/hamster/fish/chicken/horse/camel/mouse/Alot/squid is going to be your responsibility, and no one else’s. That means you’ll have to feed it, walk it, make sure it has a comfortable place to sleep, clean up its festering turds and make sure that it will have enough munitions to fend off the unholy zombie hoards.”

Of course, you eagerly agree to their terms unconditionally, after all, this is your first/third/twelfth pet and by golly gosh, you’re going to look after it much better than you did with your last cat/dog/gerbil/flea/muskrat/salmon/zebra/hedgehog/amoeba/hermit crab/elephant. You’ll prove it to your parents; you’ll show everyone just how responsible you can be! The first few weeks are usually no problem whatsoever; you’re happy to take it for a walk every afternoon. It took a world-class dump on the carpet? No worries! You’re more than happy to clean up its stinking piles of crap without a moment’s hesitation.

Then, as is with all relationships, the honeymoon period wears off. The capacity for tolerance wears thin. Maybe the first dozen or so times when your pet scratches its genitals on the sofa it’s kind of cute, you give your pet a stern but gentle reinforcement that reminds it that sort of behaviour isn’t permitted. Your pet gives you a look of regret and it might be genuinely sorry that it has let you down. But there’s a reason that humans are the dominant species, we have something that it seems many domesticated animals lack: long-term memory. This catastrophic shortcoming of my own house pets led to one such fateful afternoon that would leave us all changed, forever. This one specific instance I personally had to cover up for my Dog to such an extreme measure that even the Courts may judge me as an Accessory to Murder:

My dog is a Jack Russell, which, if any of you dear Readers have owned one before, would know that “Jack Russell” roughly translates to “Mischievous Rat-Bastard Whose Goal in Life is to Fuck Shit Up”. Now, on this particular sunny afternoon I was sitting out in the backyard enjoying a cool beverage and chatting to a couple of family members. My dog, which shall be henceforth known as Bronson, was inside the house probably sniffing his own arse or rolling around on the carpet for no obvious reason. Then, a peculiar thing happened: A chicken appeared in our back yard. Not just any chicken, mind you, no, this chicken was obviously very highly prized. She was enormous; her owners clearly fed her gourmet dinners, she was well groomed, her snow white feathers glistened in the sunlight. This was no ordinary egg laying feather factory like most pet chickens. She was a house pet; regarded as highly as any other ‘allowed-inside-of-the-house pet’ and the neighbours quite obviously showered her with love and devotion. She strutted around the backyard like she owned the damn place. How she made it over our high fencing, I don’t know, but there she was, nonetheless.  She pecked at the ground and made quiet and content clucks every now and then. I walked over to her and picked her up, she was definitely held by people regularly, as she nestled into my arms to find the most comfortable position. I lifted her over my head and dropped her softly back over the fence on the neighbours’ side.

I had walked maybe two or three metres back towards the house, when I heard the flap of wings. I turned back around and there she was again, on our side of the fence.

BANG! Bronson flew through the dog door like a black and white cruise missile. He bolted across the backyard at a speed that would leave the fastest cheetahs bowing their heads in shame. Before I could even react he pounced on the chicken. She gave out one single “BA-KIRK!” as Bronson literally tore her limb-from-limb. Pieces of mutilated chicken were flying all over the lawn as Bronson happily shook her mangled corpse back and forth across the grass. Bronson’s white fur was now crimson red with the blood of his Victim. We all stood perfectly still for about 30 seconds, too stunned and petrified to react. My Dad was first to move; grabbing Bronson roughly by the collar he dragged Bronson away, locking him into the laundry. You could hear Bronson’s howls and barks from inside the house, he had been ripped away from his prized catch before he was done toying with it and he wasn’t the least bit happy.

What was left behind looked like a scene from a slasher film: blood, bones, feathers and organs were strewn across the lawn. There was nothing left to even resemble what used to be our neighbours’ beloved pet chicken. We were all in panic mode; it was like that scene out of Pulp Fiction when Vincent Vega shoots Marvin in the face:

“Oh my God, what the fuck do we do, man?!”

“Calm the fucking Christ down! Everything’s going to be all right, you hear?! Just shut the fuck up and do what I say! Go and get the shovel from the shed while I clean all of this blood up. We’ve gotta bury the evidence, you understand?”

“Fuck, man, I’m not going back to prison! I can’t go back!”


I was literally covered, head to foot, in chicken blood. We scooped up all of the itty little pieces of meat and bone and buried it in a shallow grave up the back of our yard, behind the storage shed. We were too pumped up on adrenaline to even think about the ramifications of our actions. We just had to cover our own asses without a second thought. Once the mayhem of it all settled down, the full weight of what we had done began to plague our consciences. That night I stood in the shower until the hot water ran out, memories of the mangled chicken playing over and over in my head.

The worst part of it all happened around three days later. We were sitting inside; Bronson was happily playing with a toy in the lounge room, blissfully unaware of any grotesque wrongdoings he had committed not 72 hours before. We had all been rather quiet over those few days following the death of the Chicken, all of us too disgusted and ashamed to say anything further, when there was a knock at the door:

“Hi, sorry to bother you, but we’re from next door. We don’t suppose you’ve seen our chicken, have you?”

- Tom

Facebook: The Sucker of Souls

Holy shit guys! Guess what?! You just saw a friend of a friend, make out with their best friends ex...So what chu gonna do with all that junk...all that junk inside...never mind.

You’re going to post it on Facebook. You know you are. Don’t even try to deny it, cause admit it girlfran, this will be even more of a hit then that time you made ‘the most awesome ham and cheese toasty ever’ and let’s just say...that post got you wicked ‘likes’...

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no use locking up your children, because this new syndrome is sweeping your homes! And let’s face it, you have a computer in every other room of the god damn house?! Facebook is harmless right?! Right?! WRONG. FACEBOOK IS CONTROLLING YOUR CHILDREN’S LIFE. Even sadder still it’s probably controlling your wish wash, boring old minds, with such excruciatingly fascinating things as ‘Farmville’ or ‘Mafia Wars.’

What’s this new syndrome called you ask? Why I thought you never would.


1.     You find yourself needing to check facebook every five seconds...juusstt in case you have an update, in more extreme cases this can even invade once intimate occasions e.g. dinner with friends, maybe even banging that hot chick next door...

2.     You post about completely useless things, which no one in their right mind would have any god damn interest in unless they themselves are suffering from the syndrome...this might include posts about the general health of your toenail, or maybe, if we’re lucky...about the boyfriend stealing ho, we mentioned right at the start of this little foray.

3.     Facebook rules your life...including your events calendar....if there was an event, and it wasn’t posted on facebook, you don’t know about it...even if the invitation was sent in a bright red envelope, stamped with an ‘urgent the world will end if you don’t read this letter’ which is lost among many other letters warning you of your impending doom, your electricity bill and your eviction notice. Because why could you possibly need to communicate outside of your facebook inbox?

4.     And FINALLY, posting on Twitter and sharing it into your facebook, because let’s face it, if you’re going to have a social-networking mistress on the side, you at least want them to interact.

To conclude this rant I’d just like to’re a bunch of mindless facebook stalking zombies...and I absolutely HAVE to make a status about this....’Like’ it yeah?

- Kayla

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gentlemen vs. Shorts

Gentlemen, here’s the situation:

Someone sits you down and says “Here’s several hundred thousand dollars and two large handfuls of commercial deals which mean you will appear on television quite a lot.  All we require of you is to work during the winter.  Oh yeah, and the work? It’s not work at all.  All you have to do is run around making sexual passes at other well-built men in tight shorts, but we’ll only pay you if you can manage to savagely beat at least 12 of the countless 15-year-old schoolgirls that will be latched onto your biceps during the year. Oh and if you have the time, throw a couple of rapes in for good measure. Any publicity is good publicity, and to be honest we could always use more.”

You’d be crazy not to accept the offer, right?

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and you’re partly right, but this blatant disgust toward AFL players hasn’t entirely spawned from my own inability to kick a football. The reality is much simpler. Everyone knows a football player, so everyone knows they’re towering abominations of substance addiction with the intelligence of a four year old and the minimum amount of brain cells required for running. Even they know this. Consequently, if any football players are reading this (however unlikely), perhaps they’ll learn a thing or two if they can chisel themselves away from beating/raping their trophy wives/girlfriends. (Also unlikely, as many of them can’t read …or use a chisel).

So what causes a young man to aspire to be a part of the AFL?  Perhaps it’s because his body is developing, he’s curious, and the only acceptance he feels is in the locker room showers, fighting off playful advances from his team-mates with a towel. Or perhaps it’s because he has dropped out of school at fifteen, become a deadbeat, knocked up four different girls, has no money and is generally a waste of precious natural resources. Who knows?

Firstly I’m here to tell you that the AFL, a revolting homo-erotic rapist school is neither worth aspiring to, nor is it worth being proud of if you’re already a part of it. More importantly, this is because the embedded, unspoken sub-culture saturating Australian Rules Football is quite possibly the most destructive and degrading aspect of Australian sport. This wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t simultaneously on display as role models for children.

I don’t have anything against people who follow the football. They clearly have more spare time than me, and I’ve come to terms with this. They’re not really to blame, although their continued support of these chauvinist pigs they lovingly call ‘heroes’ obviously isn’t improving the situation.

But these ‘legends’, these blunt instruments of an industry desperate for media attention are paid exorbitant amounts of money to play sport. This is what it all boils down to, and it’s especially bad if you consider groping other men’s genitalia a sport. It just makes me sad. And doesn’t it make you wonder? Could you start up a gay-mud-fantasy sport with disgraceful beatings and rapes in the proverbial back room? Would the Australian public reject it? Or would they welcome it with open arms? Oh wait, they’ve already done that. It’s called the AFL.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Out of Context Ramble #3: The Little Drug-Riddled Narcissist

This, my dear Reader, is the unconstructed dream space. This, unfortunately, is something that cannot be controlled, bought, persuaded, or bargained for. This is what happens when you’re sitting down blissfully and totally unaware of your surroundings. Whether it is on the bus, in your classroom, church, whatever, the location isn’t the important part. We’ve all done it, haven’t we? We’ve been stuck somewhere astronomically boring, listening to Professor Caterpillars-For-Eyebrows give his biannual lecture on the chemical composition of dirt and then, it happens. There’s that little moment. That click. That fizz. That pop. When all of a sudden we’re not really there any more. We’re somewhere else entirely. Why listen to a lecture on dirt when you can be a flying penguin with laser turrets for arms or wonder what would happen if you ate an entire loaf of bread in one go.

Just on a little side note, Microsoft Word did this to my article:

Now why is it that the two outlying sentence fragments have copped it but “That fizz” has gone completely without punishment? Like one sentence fragment would have been totally fine but three? “Oh, Tom, you must be completely mad to DARE to try and use three sentence fragments.”

I don’t understand you sometimes, Microsoft Word…

As you can probably already tell, keeping the mind on the same track is something that is exceedingly difficult for someone like myself. For me, the mind is like The Little Engine That Could, except that the Little Engine is more like The Little Engine Piloted by The Little Drug-Riddled Narcissist. There’s no hope for the Engine, really. It’s going to accelerate, de-rail, and crash into a Little Gorge where hundreds of Little Passengers won’t be going home to their Little Husbands/Wives/Littlest Children. There’ll be a trial held within the hallowed halls of the Little Courtroom and The Little Drug-Riddled Train Conductor will be posthumously sentenced to hang. They’ll send their best group of Little Mountaineers down into the gorge to collect his body parts where an expert team of Little Surgeons will piece him back together. Then they’ll hang him. All at great expense to the Little Taxpayers, of course.

Now, if you’re still reading, congratulations. You survived whatever the Hell you could possibly call that jumble, up there. Those previous Ramblings were dangerously close to become too Ramblesome. (Yes, Language Police, you’ve caught me; “ramblesome” is not actually a real word. I’m sorry, ok?) It’s a fine line, believe it or not. Treading the delicate waters between Too Sensible and Mind-Numbingly Confusing. Right now I fear that I’m leaning slightly towards the Confusing side of the river (that’s right, now there’s a metaphorical river involved. Try to keep up, will you?)

Also, the other night as I was leaving work I was in a bit of a hurry so I wrote my shifts for next week on my wrist, like so:

The Prophet Sayeth
Then on my way home I stopped into a fast food place to get something to eat. All fairly legitimate so far, right? When I ordered my food the girl behind the counter obviously saw my pen written shifts on my wrist and then said at a rate of about 13 words a second: “Wow-I-really-like-your-tattoo-I-hate-it-when-people-get-the-same-crappy-tattoos-that-everyone-else-has-I’d-really-like-to-get-a-tattoo-but-I-don’t-know-what-I’d-like-to-get-because-I’d-like-it-to-be-meaningful-you-know-I-don’t-want-it-to-be-something-boring-like-what-everyone-else-has-yours-is-cool-what-does-it-mean?” Now, I don’t consider myself to be an unkind person, usually I tend to have a very long fuse, but I was tired and feeling a bit off-centre, so instead of saying something polite and gentle to correct her, the little devil on my shoulder won out and then this happened:

Me: “Oh, it’s like an ancient Aztec ritual thing. You know, like the whole 2012 calendar thing, but with Aztecs not Mayans.”

Dumbzilla: “Wow! I’ve never heard of that one. So what does it mean?”

Me: “Basically the same as the Mayan one, except that the Aztecs believed that it was the date that aliens will finally come to Earth, instead of the apocalypse.”

Dumbzilla: “Oh, really? That’s pretty scary. Are they meant to be friendly aliens?”

Me: “Oh yeah, totally. They’ll be cool. Sort of like snakes, you know, the whole more scared of us than we are of them thing…”

In hindsight I feel like I may have been too imaginative with what I told the girl, surely she wouldn’t actually believe that for a second. But then on the other hand maybe I just made her life genuinely interesting for the first time ever. Maybe she went home that night and told her friends and family about the Man with the Prophetic Tattoo on his Wrist, like I was the patron saint of that particular fast food chain or something. Maybe in a thousand years there will be statues in city squares of a giant disembodied wrist with half a dozen letters and numbers printed on it.

Maybe I could get some kind of t-shirt sponsorship deal, who knows?

The moral of the story is:

The world is full of possibilities. And don’t work at fast food chains, because the customers won't respect you and will definitely mind-fuck you for shits and giggles.

- Tom

Friday, July 08, 2011

Possessions are Fleeting

There's a fact of life that you may or may not be aware of at this stage: Possessions are tricky, self absorbed, smart arsed little bastards. You might think that they’re just there to serve you, do what you want them to do. But oh no, you’re sorely mistaken. Your belongings aren’t belongings at all; They own you, you see. They’re also patient. They’re more than happy to bide their time, sitting in the corner, plotting their revenge. They will lull you into a false sense of security and when the timing is right, they will strike down upon you.

One fateful day, unsuspectingly, it happens.

You lose something.

It was always there before, each and every day. You would swear by that fact. You’d bet your house, kids, pets, your soul or even your life that you left it right there. Why would you leave it anywhere else?  There’s no use for your CD/mobile phone/sunglasses/car keys/toddler in any other spot in your house so why isn’t it there any more?

You get a little bit frustrated at first, you need to get to that dentist’s appointment/big ape fight/around the world race as soon as possible but then you realise that you’re being ridiculous. It’s obvious; your desired item is clearly under the sofa cushion/in the desk drawer/in the glove box/under your cat. But then you inspect those places. It’s not there either.

You’re getting rather desperate now. You start searching places that aren’t even remotely logical. The fireplace, at the bottom of that pile of magazines you haven’t touched since that one magical summer in 1979, underneath the refrigerator. You take a long, hard look at your cat and consider giving it a colonoscopy just to be safe, but you ultimately decide against it. You don’t have the time.

You’re late now. You’re Fuckedzillad. You’re going to miss your night at the opera/meeting with the President/midnight screening of Breaking Dawn. You start to get genuinely upset now. You can feel the pure frustration and anger at yourself and the lost belonging stinging at the back of your eyes. “Oh no, you’re not, are you?” You think, “Don’t cry, you big baby.” Just give the house one last search, surely the Gods will be kind and permit you access to your long lost treasure.

Now you’ve lost all sense of control and, let’s face it, dignity. You rampage through the living room, upturning sofas and grumbling all sorts of curses and foul language under your breath. Satan is sitting on his thrown, eagerly clicking away on his ‘Swear Tally Counter’. That little outburst just earned you another 344,000 years in Hell. Well done. Even your cat doesn’t escape the wrath this time; you pick it up with one swift motion and shake it about roughly; maybe you can hear your car keys jingle if they’re in there; sadly, no such luck.

You curse the Gods and give up, hanging your head in shame and defeat, tears streaming down your cheeks, you’ve missed your appointment. The day is completely and utterly ruined. You don’t care about your CD/mobile phone/sunglasses/car keys anymore, you just want to curl up in a ball on the floor and cry the pain away.

You look down. There it is, hiding:

In your right hand.


- Tom

Friday, July 01, 2011

Technological Nightmare On Speed

"So you're looking to get a new phone/tablet/smartphone/netbook/laptop/ebook? Well that's great."

"Yes, I just want something that's easy to use."

"Have you considered the new iDeluxe Universe-DroidTron A-4500s Bollocks-Enhancing iDeathBot 7700-H2-II with the new iCream-Donut 2.9.49s IV iOS?

"No, I haven't."

When it comes to technology, the consumer market has very quickly evolved to the point where we are constantly bombarded by high-gloss finishes, flashing lights and elaborate software-wankery. What was once an exciting time is starting to seem more like a technological nightmare on speed.

Seriously, tech is advancing so quickly that it's not only impossible to keep up with the Joneses, but it's even more impossible to comprehend the monthly plethora of minutely different products with names the manufacturers violently regurgitated in an attempt to confuse us into thinking their product is the most sophisticated because it has the most hyphens and numbers. Actually, I've found that in some cases, if you have a quality product and you know your shit, the names tend to be simpler and there's little to no bullshit. Go figure.

I have been doing some research lately because I'm warming to the idea of a tablet device. Basically I already have a PC and want simple tasks to be more mobile. Fair enough? Well maybe, but I have been known to gravitate toward shiny new products boasting a 0.615% reduction in thickness and can perform twice as well as the last. Anyway, never mind that.

When it came to journeying across the vast oceans of the internet on a quest for the ideal product, this is what I found:

Are all these manufacturers retarded? Firstly, they have names with varying degrees of silliness, which is just plain confusing and annoying at the best of times. Secondly, we are precisely half way through 2011. That's 11.5 years into the 21st Century and only a select few can manage to suck the thickness below 10mm? what is this, the dark ages? Thirdly, THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME! Seriously guys, fire those brain dead dropkicks in the design department and hire some fucking teenagers to come up with fresh ideas so you can actually stand out from your competitors. How hard can it be? For a lot of us, how your device looks is the biggest deciding factor when it comes to actually purchasing something.

Clearly there is a large, profitable future in consumption devices. I personally think these companies need to start drastically setting themselves apart from one another before I willingly go out and spend a grand or we'll all die a horrible, confusion-related death.

- Aaron.