Monday, July 04, 2011


On Sunday afternoon, I walked to the Brunswick Library. I needed to hire out a book called "The Slap" by Christos Tsiolkas. This is because it's a very good book, and also because I was a quarter of the way through my own copy when I inadvertently left it at Southern Cross Station.
In the toilets, along with a packet of Chicco D'Oro coffee.

So I hired out 'The Slap' and read a little of it in a comfy chair in the library. Then I was called by nature to answer an urgent call, one that required a lengthy sit down on the porcelain throne. The library provides such facilities and I went to work, reading 'The Slap' as I did so.

The toilet was peaceful but I did seem to hear one person enter and leave, quiet like.

After I had finished my business and exited the cubicle, I was faced with an unusual sight: there was a bloody sanitary napkin, aka fanny pad, right in the middle of the floor.

Thoughts immediately crowded my brain, first of these being 'Wha...?'

Had a bloody/bleeding woman taken a wrong turn, suddenly realised she was in the wrong bogs, thought 'Feck it!' and whipped the offending item out and surreptitiously dumped it on the floor?

Was it a statement? An art statement? A test for me? A practical joke?

Had some poor bloke suffered a terrible injury forcing him to wear lady's jam rags? Perhaps he'd been riding a bicycle when he suffered a seat malfunction, sending the saddle post straight through Biffin Bridge. That would smart a little.

Still, no excuse for depositing his butcher's dishcloth right on the floor, no matter what sort of pain he/she was in.

I kicked the offending item to the wall and went to wash my hands. Just as I was about to leave I was overcome with a feeling of civic duty.


What if a child or a disabled or a sensitive person walked in and saw that on the floor?

I'm of a sound and steady disposition, but others could be psychologically broken by such a sight.

I knew what I had to do.

I got a load of paper towels from the dispenser on the wall, scrunched them up, and gingerly picked up the blood sponge and deposited it in the bin.

Responsibility: a six syllable word that's moderately easy to say, but means so much. I had done my duty.

Later, I went to the supermarket and picked up a packet of dried French lentils. The bag split and the contents started to spill on the floor.

Did I leave the bag on the shelf, to continue to cause a nuisance to staff and customers? No, I picked it up and sealed the split with the firm grip of my manly hands. Then I took it to the checkout operator and explained what had happened.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Good chat up lines

I've been working at meeting more memebers of the opposite sex, so these are some of the chat up lines I've been using on ladies recently. I've been getting mixed response. I use them in clubs, pubs, the supermarket, parkland, doctors' surgeries and front porches and even through open windows.

Have you ever been to this venue before?

Where is this venue we are at?

Can you help me, I'm lost, is this a food outlet?

What time is it? Is that a good time for you?

Have you ever been to the moon?

Have you been to another planet?

What's the highest number you have ever counted to?

Can you see me? (Duck down) - playful move

Do you piss standing up?

Do you believe in me?

Where do you see us in twenty years time?

Where is your mother?

Have you ever killed someone?

Can I cut your hair?

Why is your nose like that?

Do you want to go for a walk around the club?

Can we please swap shoes?

Do you belong to any societies?

Have you ever seen a monster?

Have you ever found something and kept it?
If so, what was it? Was it a coin?

Do you like blood?

Can I kill you?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


So I went to the YMCA gym on Saturday night. Yes, Saturday night. When ordinary people are at the pub, I was pumping iron. I'm a member of the YMCA, young man. I'm looking ripped and gnarled these days, like a young Johnny Weissmuller. After I'd finished my contortions, I went for a swim and sauna.

When I got back to the change rooms, my socks and shoes were lying scattered on the floor.

"That's strange," I said to myself, "why are my shoes and socks lying scattered on the floor?"

The answer soon made itself apparent. Someone had broken into my locker. There was no sign of a forced entry, but the door was swinging open.

I had placed my wallet inside the pocket of my attractive and practical yellow cycling pac-a-mac. I went to the pocket. It was gone.

I looked through my sports bag and everything else was there - my keys, a lottery ticket I had just purchased, a bottle of ALDI Old Tawny Port ($4.99 and not bad at all, as I later found out) and all my clothes.

But the wallet was gone.

I felt a bit sheepish as it clearly says on the lockers 'DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES.' They must have a history of break-ins. You're supposed to sign anything worthwhile to thieves to the staff behind the desk. Oh well.

The attendants were very helpful and helped me look round about the lockers and in the bins, but in vain. I filled out an incident report at the gym and then headed up to the police station. A lady constable took down my details in a black book. She told me should would definitely call me if she found my wallet.

The thief had only taken about $7 in change. That's all I had. I hope whoever it was spent it wisely. Meanwhile, I've got to apply for a new bank card, driver's license (learner class, I'll pass someday), bank card, library card etc. And when I do get my cards, I'll have to get a new wallet to put them in. It's the inconvenience that gets me. Thieves are so inconsiderate. It's as if they don't care about other people, eh?

The gym is beside a railway track, so the next day I decided to search in the long grass by the cuttings, just in case my crook had taken the money & chucked the wallet. Almost immediately, I found a five dollar note, a little damp but otherwise sound. I later used it to buy a dozen free range eggs at the supermarket.

Then I found an attractive red lady's handbag, with the price tag still on - $29.99. It came from a local shop. Maybe a shoplifter had discarded it. I hung it on a fence so that a lady might take it, as I had no use for it.

The last item I found was a dead rat. This put me off further searching. However, the previous findings have encouraged me, and I might hoke around in the railway cuttings again. I doubt I'll find my wallet, but maybe I'll find another banknote.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What would you rather do?


Would you rather live as a battery hen for 6 months and receive $1 million at the end of it or just live your life as you are now?

You can communicate with the other chickens and become friends with them but at the end of the 6 months they are all killed.


a.) Be chased by a swarm of invisible bees that only you can see, which sting you every time you think about sex for the rest of you life. The bees sting you arpound five times a minute. The sting effect lasts for 24 hours.

b.) Have your head swell up to twice its normal size like a grotesque balloon whenever you engage in sex. Your appearance is quite off-putting for any prospective partner. As soon as you achieve orgasm, your head deflates to its normal size.


a.) Be chained to an annoying man for one day (Tuesday) the rest of your life, who carries a notebook & writes down everything you do this day. He reviews the day between the hour of 10pm - 11pm where he tells you how he thinks you could have done stuff more efficiently. You can argue, but that only adds on extra minutes. You can't harm him. He arrives at 7am and leaves at midnight.

b.) For half a day every week, between your voice is amplified so that it becomes really loud & everything you say comes out in a huge shout. It's as loud as a Metallica gig or an air raid siren. Everything you say can be heard several blocks away. This happens between 9am and 1pm.


a.) Have your whole immediate family - mum, dad, brothers, sisters - become hardcore junkies. They decide that heroin is the best thing ever. They love it so much that they sell all their possessions and yours to score smack. They even turn their house into a sort of shooting gallery and it becomes all full of junkies, all passing out and being sick everywhere. Even your pets become addicts.

b.) Have your whole immediate family - mum, dad, brothers, sisters - become hardcore scientologists. They decide that scientology is the best thing ever. They love it so much that they sell all their possessions and yours and give the money to scientology. They even turn their house into a sort of scientology temple and it becomes all full of scientologists, all being silent or humming and contacting aliens. Even your pets become scientologists.


a.) Go back to grade 1 knowing everything that you know now. You just have to go through growing up trying to convince everyone you're just an ordinary kid.

b.) Go back to grade 7 knowing everything that you know now. You just have to go through your middle years trying to convince everyone you're just an ordinary teenager.


a.) Be forced at gunpoint cut off all the fingers on your right hand, have a guard roll them in flour and batter, deep fry them in front of you, and then make you eat them.

b) Be forced at gunpoint to bite off a genteleman's balls and eat them raw, with a little soy sauce.


a.) Be forced to change allegiance to the team you hate the most - buy a season ticket, wear all the replica gear, have their most hated player become your favourite player, tell all your mates about how much you love them. And your team now becomes your most hated team.

b.) Eat a catshit sandwich


a.) Become enslaved down a silver mine where you never see the light of day, as your slave owners keep you chained up underground all night. All you ever do is cut & haul rocks. If you are too slow you get beaten. You work fourteen hours a day for no pay. After a few years you die from overwork. You never see anyone from the opposite sex or have opportunity of escape. You never have any holidays.

b.) Be crucified to death immediately


a.) Be forced to hunt down & kill a random child, you are just given his name and address and you have to do it otherwise you will be killed. The child lives in upstate New York. Once you kill him, you'll be given a new identity and be safe from prosecution

b.) Have your face become a giant grinning crocodile face, all covered in thick scaly hide


a.) A set of two dice that you roll once every morning. If you roll a double six, then you become official Lord Of Nudity for the day. No sechs, unless the other party agrees, but anyone has to strip entirely naked in front of you if you so command it. Providing they are above legal age, no paedos please.

However, if you roll snake eyes (double 1) you have to walk around entirely naked for the day as a forfeit. If you own the dice, you have to use them. Oh, and all the other combinations just mean an ordinary day.

b.) No dice


a.) Have a small talking bird that who can read your mind and, once per day, will fly on to your shoulder and loudly announce what you are thinking about. This will always occur at the most awkward or embarrassing time. You cannot kill or otherwise get rid of this bird, and he will appear out of nowhere. However, he is restricted to one embarrassing revelation per day.

b.) Have the emotions you display reversed. For example, if you are actually sad, you will be smiling and laughing, but if you are happy, you'll be in tears. This is permanant.


a.) Have your mum & dad throw a big birthday party for all your friends & family, but when you got there the room is decorated with pictures of your mum & dad doing sex. Some photos, some good quality oil paintings. And then they strip naked and start doing sex in front of everyone as your birthday cake is brought out.

b.) You have to leave work early every day, as something weird happens near the end of the day. A big portion of your work colleagues turn against you and start chucking stuff at you, then this extends into outright violence with quite severe kicks and punches until you leave the workplace. Once in a while, random people from outside the workplace come in off the street and join in too. It's a really frightening experience as you never know why it happens. Police ignore your problem.


a.) Get to ride on a mechanical elephant for the rest of your life :- top speed 60 kmh, weather-proof little cab on top, laser eyes for shooting at pedestrians (set to stun), fully road legal with rego, able to climb right over small cars (but no crushing)

b.) Be pulled around the sky in a carriage by six flying unicorns for 6 months, go wherever you want, unicorns are on go-faster pills and never get tired.


Would you rather piss gentle, cool streams of solid gold or shit $100 bills from your clacker?


a.) Everytime you enter a supermarket to buy anything, a ghostly talking dog turns up who follows you around the aisles, criticising your purchases. He has the power to either refuse two of your purchases at his choosing, or manipulate your wallet/visa card to ensure that you are temporarily 85 cents off your total at the till, leading you to leave an item back. He has a voice & manner like Richard E Grant, and most other shoppers think he's your dog. He also shits on the supermarket floor.

b.) At a random point each afternoon, you are overcome with the urge to believe that the nearest person to you is the living embodiment of a god who can grant you whatever you want out of life, but only if you prostrate yourself before them and worship at their feet. You are overcome with the urge to offer them little gifts, like 20 cent pieces or keyrings or Mentos, as a sacrifice. The feeling is so strong you can't overcome it, but it only lasts 10 minutes. After 10 minutes you snap out of it and can either explain yourself or brush it under the carpet. This might be difficult if you work afternoons.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Sitting here at Stanstead waiting for a flight to Kuala Lumpur - Melbourne. (emigrating, sorry, forgot to tell you, blog readers.)

I'm listening to the bloke next to me's mobile phone conversation. Young bloke, early twenties, quite articulate, big skinny fella:

"Yeah...welll....what do you want me to do? Hand myself in? Yeah...Hampstead...Ok...Are you going to arrest me...OK, well if that's what you want. I'm in Stanstead....Yeah, there only is one terminal...OK see you soon."

What on earth can he be talking about?

Then he phones his mum:

"Hi mum.....yeah I'm Ok but look...I have to tell you something....I'm about to get arrested. Yeah look last night, yeah, there were loads of us right and we went out....then we went back to Jasmin's...there were loads of us, we were totally smashed and I sort of lay down next to Jasmin....and I rolled on top of her...

"Yeah, she's made a complaint. Sex. Yeah sex mum. She's made a formal complaint. I'm going to face the music. I'm off to the station now. I've lain down next to her loads of times and if she didn't want anything to happen she would have said..."

(yeah right mate)

"Anyway my defence is that we were all totally smashed.....Kevin? Yeah he knows, he's alright. He's a mate from work..."

And then he got up and walked off, presumably to face the music.

I'm on Jasmin's side, like.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Every Soldier Should Know

What Every Soldier Should Know

To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will; it is at best an act of prudence.
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau

If you hear gunfire on a Thursday afternoon,
it could be a wedding, or it could be for you.

Always enter a home with your right foot;
the left is for cemeteries and unclean places.

O-guf! Tera armeek is rarely useful.
It means Stop or I’ll shoot.

Sabah el khair is effective.
It means Good Morning.

Inshallah means Allah be willing.
Listen well when it is spoken.

You will hear the RPG coming for you.
Not so the roadside bomb.

There are bombs under the overpasses,
in trashpiles, in bricks, in cars.

There are shopping carts with clothes soaked
in foogas, a sticky gel of homemade napalm.

Parachute bombs and artillery shells
sewn into the carcasses of dead farm animals.

A graffiti sprayed onto the overpasses:
I will kill you, American.

Men wearing vests rigged with explosives
walk up, raise their arms, and say Inshallah.

There are men who earn eighty dollars
to attack you, five thousand to kill.

Small children who will play with you,
old men with their talk, women who offer chai—

and any one of them
may dance over your body tomorrow.

- Brian Turner

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Korean Ginseng and Long Balls

I was in Poundland yesterday when I noticed a small section selling vitamins and minerals. At a quid a time, you can't go wrong, eh? So I stocked up on cod liver oil. I thought I'd buy one more item, a novelty I'd never tried before.

They had Ginko Bilboa - "improves mental alertness and memory" - or Red Korean Ginseng - "improves energy levels and vitality."

Since I'm as smart as a guardsman's helmet I passed on the Bilboa. I went for the Ginseng.

Now I've heard about this stuff & we all know what "improves energy levels and vitality" is a euphemism for, eh? It's for helping out 'down there.' In the fruit basket.

They say that as man ages, and his testosterone levels go down, his interest in the doing of sex declines. Well, as I approach my twenty-ninth birthday I can state it's not quite as simple as that. Sometimes, I feel like a fourteen year old fellow who has landed a Saturday job in 'World of Bras.' Yet at others I'm like a geriatric, world-weary habitué of the opium den. Peaks and troughs, you see. And at the moment, I'm in something of a form dip.

It's not that the equipment doesn't work, oh no, it's just that sometimes I can't be bothered switching it on. I'd rather read a novel (Moby Dick at the moment, thanks for asking) than chasing fruity ladies down the pub. Which may not be a bad thing.

However, I can report that the Korean Red Ginseng does indeed
"improves energy levels and vitality." Now, all I need is a good lady friend to help me prove this. No pushing girls, and if you leave the queue, I'm sorry, but you have to go to the back.

Another thing I've been suffering from is Long Balls. You know, like Larry David's long balls:

No one likes old man balls. So recently I've found a solution to this problem.

You get a bag of ice and put in down the front of your trunks. Recently, I've been freezing a bit of water in a little Tupperware container I usually use for mixing dry mustard or egg and onion. I nestle this down in the grundle area, right by Biffin's Bridge.

At first it smarts a little, but soon you forget it's down there. I like to watch 'Countdown' with my balls iced. At the end of the show, those boys have retreated back where they came from. Like a hermit crab slinking into its carapace.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ben Fogle

You know that Ben Fogle?

Well, he doesn't understand that yeast produces the alcohol in beer & similar beverages.

He thinks that making beer is like making instant coffee. You take a spoonful of coffee, add sugar and milk to taste, and stir it round to make a drink, yes?

He thinks that if you take malt, hops, water & yeast etc., and then stir it round for long enough, you get an alcoholic drink. He understands that yeast is one of the ingredients, but he thinks that by adding it you produce some chemical reaction in solution, rather than a biological & chemical one.

He can't grasp the concept that the yeast is made up of living organisms that transform the sugars present into alcohol, no matter how you explain it to him.

It's strange that someone like him could have such a gap in his knowledge.

He believes the same about wine; you just stir up grape juice & yeast for long enough and hey presto! you have wine. Which is true, but he doesn't understand why.

Unfortunately, that's the last time I'm going drinking with him. It's been a long, difficult night. I've blocked him on Facebook and deleted his number from my phone.

Friday, January 07, 2011

On Meeting a famous Irish politician

It was a bright, frosty morning in Belfast and I decided to blow off the cobwebs with a tramp around Stormont estate. Soon the clouds thickened and I decided to catch a bus back towards town. The 20A service pulled up at the estate gates and I got aboard.

I had no change so I offered the driver a five pound note. As she handed over the change - two pound coins and a twenty pence piece - the vehicle pulled out to pass a parked lorry. I staggered slightly and spilled the money. It rolled down the bus. A schoolboy helpfully stamped on the twenty pence to arrest its progress and I retrieved one of the pound coins by the feet of an elderly woman.

However, the other pound coin landed near a middle aged man in a business suit. As I watched, he casually bent forward, picked up my coin, and placed it in his pocket.

Well! Our eyes met for a moment. Then he took out a book and started reading it, oh so carefree. The book was called 'Crisis Management: Planning for the inevitable,' by Steven Fink.

There was an empty seat behind him and I sat down. I tapped him on the shoulder and he turned slightly, half facing me.

"I believe you have something of mine?" I enquired. Calmly.

He turned a little more and looked me in the eye from behind his glasses.

"No, I don't believe I do."

He looked familiar. His spectacles were expensive looking. He had broad shoulders and thickish black hair. He had thick, almost winsome lips, and a fleshy head, like a Beluga:

He seemed confident, even a little pugilistic, and in his business suit he reminded me of one of those rugby union players who walk straight off the playing field into the executive boardroom.

"Don't I know you from somewhere?," I asked directly.

"You may well do. I'm called Brian Cowen. I'm the current Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland. I took office on 7 May 2008, and I heads a coalition government led by my Fianna Fáil party that includes the Green Party and has the support of independent TDs.I have been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the constituency of LaoisOffaly since 1984."

"Well pleased to meet you Brian but you didn't happen to see a pound coi..."

"Nope." He cut me short before I finished the word. After the briefest of warning glances he turned round and finished reading his book.

I was in a state of turmoil, chewing my bile, but I kept my thoughts to myself. It was only a quid I'd lost, but it was the principle of the matter that galled me.

Cowen rang the bell as the bus neared the city centre. He got off on the Albertbridge Road. It was far from my destination, but I resolved to follow him.

He didn't notice as I trailed him across the street. He entered a Fish and Chip shop. The shop was called 'For Cod and Ulster.'

The place was empty, and he walked straight up to the counter. "Two sausage please," he commanded of the young girl behind the till. She passed the order to an older lady behind her, who commenced the deep frying of two fat, greasy bangers.

I made my presence felt by tapping Cowen on the shoulder. "I'm sure you have something of mine,"
I spoke softly but steadily from close behind his right ear.

He turned round. For the first time he looked contrite, though perhaps that was due to the frisson of fear I detected.

"Look friend, times are h-h-hard," he stammered.

Just at that moment, the girl brought him his two sausages, with a few free charity chips mixed in, as is the wont of such establishments.

"That's £1.30"

Cowen handed over a quid - presumably my quid - and then fumbled in his pockets for change. Eventually, he dug out a few low denomination Euro coins and placed them on the counter.

The assistant eyed them then shouted over her shoulder, "Sandra, do we take Euros?" to the older lady.

Sandra shook her head in reply.

The girl looked at Cowen. He looked at me, head tilted forward from under his glasses; like an overgrown plaintive, scolded puppy. A pleading schoolboy look.

He didn't have to say anything. I took out my wallet and placed thirty pence on the counter.

The girl took the change and asked "Anything else?"

"Could I trouble you for some tomato sauce," Cowan asked hopefully.

"We've only got sachets. They're 10p extra."

He started toward me, but I didn't wait. I slammed a ten pence piece on the board and strode out of the shop.

I made my way to the city centre. Later, I saw Cowen in the the Cornmarket. He was busking. He was singing in a Sean-nós, a-Capella style. The song he was singing was "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore" .

He had an upturned begging hat at his feet. It was almost empty. None too many German tourists around at this time of year.

On reflex, I nearly dropped a coin in the hat, but I caught myself on.

Email to Jacobs


Dear Mr Jacobs,

My boss bought me a packet of Jacobs Cream Crackers for Christmas. I was delighted when I unwrapped the package on Christmas morn, as I've always wanted to try these interesting looking savoury treats.

However, I had some trouble applying the cream to the wafer. I have a refrigerator well stocked with both single and double cream. At first, I tried pouring the cream over the surface, but it kept running off. Then I tipped some cream into a bowl and dipped the cracker into it, but I found this unsatisfactory. Finally, I hit upon whipping some cream into stiff peaks, and ladling this onto the cream cracker. This was quite tasty.

However, when I went back to work after the holiday, I told my boss what I had done and she derided me. Apparently, you are supposed to eat crackers with toppings such as cheese and butter rather than cream. I have since tried this and found the results to be delicious.

May I suggest that you change the name of 'Jacobs Cream Crackers' to 'Jacobs Cheese/ Butter Crackers'? It would end much unnecessary confusion amongst consumers.

Yours faithfully,

IS McDonald