Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life Tips

  1. If a woman says she's upset about X, it's not about X. It dates back to Q and you don't even know what Q is.
  2. Obey the laws of mixology. If nobody else drinks Gin & Coke™, there's probably a good reason.
  3. When drinking, remove your cigarette from your mouth first to avoid ruining both your cigarette and drink.
  4. You can forget things as often as you like as long as you remember it when you actually need to.
  5. Ibuprofen + codeine painkillers washed down with tequila are your friends.
  6. It's tricky to drink while dancing in your chair to 80's pop, but not impossible.
  7. To avoid hangovers, drink enough to wake up still a little bit drunk.
  8. If you have long hair, tie it back before using a power drill. Seriously.
  9. When crossing the road, look not only left and right but down, around, and possibly up.
  10. Have just the right amount of alcohol that won't make you violent but is enough to block out reality.
  11. I forget.
  12. An empty glass is nature's way of telling you it's time to check the stuff frying on the stove.
  13. Ginger Ale makes a nice change of mixer, from Coke™, sometimes.
  14. Get pissed before you have your Drivers Licence photo taken so if you ever get pulled over drunk, they think you look normal.
  15. If you would rather that dirty old men such as myself didn't gawp at you, try tucking your genitalia up inside your "shorts."
  16. Never bullshit a bullshitter.
  17. Smiley Faces excuse a multitude of rudnesses.
  18. That thing you can't find and have been looking for everywhere is actually in the first place you looked. Look harder.
  19. Do not accidentally snort vinegar.
  20. When in doubt, cook sausages.
  21. If you ignore dentistry altogether, any problems that arise eventually fix themselves.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Thanks for the box of keepsakes Mum but it might have been nicer if you'd taken your suicide note out first

Since Dad died a few months ago, Mum's been giving me lots of the stuff she wants to get rid of, sort of like I'm an Oxfam that collects from the door. Stuff of mine from childhood, stuff of Dad's she wants out of the house, general stuff that's been cluttering up display cabinets for decades...

A few weeks ago I was given a cardboard box that even she didn't know the contents of.
"It's something I packed for you in 1994 when I was going to kill myself and was wanting to sort out things for you to have that were important", she said, as if this wasn't in any way a disturbing revelation.

I'd left it in my car boot for 3 weeks. I mentioned it to a friend, Nat, a couple of weekends ago and she referred to it as an "Emotional Timebomb". I didn't really give it much thought.

I opened it the other day, mainly because I wanted it out of my boot.

Inside are lots of things wrapped in tissue paper held together with sticky tape that has gone brown.

First I found a couple of nice coloured glass wine carafes, then a china cup and saucer with, I noticed, a bit of paper stuck to the bottom explaining that it had been given to her by a lady in the flats we lived in when I was born. "Love this Derek, it's important" it said.

Then I unwrapped a brass pot that again had a note on the base saying it had been her mothers and that there was a lid "Dad might find later when he's sorting through everything."

Inside the pot was a piece of paper, folded, which turned out to be her 1994 suicide note.

"Please don't hate me" it said. "I am with my parents now and one day we too shall be together again".

It said other things too but I don't know what because I chucked it back in the box along with the half dozen things I'd taken out and the whole package got put out in the garage.

Isn't that a pip.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How much do you expect for Sigma wagon sale?

I suspect I'll be lucky to get $2500. I also suspect it'll cost me close to $1000 in repairs before it's even able to be sold at all.

I'm not very happy about the Sigma.

Quick background for anyone else reading this. My father owned a 1983, 2.6L, 5 speed manual Mitsubishi Sigma station wagon. It only has 52,000km on it but that's because it's been sitting in a garage, unused, for about the last 10 years. It appears to be in nearly showroom condition.

Dad died about a month ago and Mum gave me the car. I collected it on Friday - had to jump start it but that's to be expected. So far I have discovered the following things in need of attention:

Tyres - plenty of tread but the rubber appears to have gone hard and cracked in places and so will need replacing.

Battery - although having been replaced a couple of years ago and never used, it now seems to refuse to hold a charge and needs replacing.

Gearbox - seems to have no synchro on 2nd.

Engine - sounds like a bucket of bolts being hit with a hammer when started. Once it gets going it sounds great but I'm worried.

Steering - Even accepting the fact that it doesn't have power steering, I'm sure it's not meant to feel as heavy as it does. It's almost impossible to wrestle around tight corners. This might possibly be related to the tyres. It also might not.

Fuel gauge - doesn't work properly.

There is also some problem that causes the car to stall when trying to go uphill, especially when the engine's cold. It just won't do it.

All of this I have discovered in only the first 48 hours of ownership. I don't feel like I've been given a gift so much as had a burden palmed off onto me. If I tried to sell it as is I'd be lucky to get $500. If I get it all fixed I might get up to $3000 if I can find some Sigma nerd. I suspect there's no such thing as a Sigma nerd.

Ask me anything. Yes, anything!

Monday, April 19, 2010

“I’m gonna frappé fuckin’ egg whites!”

I could tell from the sound of him that he had The Look.
    Usually it’s hard to tell what they really say, I’m sure he didn’t really scream “frappé” or “egg whites” but it doesn’t matter. I could just tell from the sound of him that he had it, the stare which was both vacant and intense, focussed on a thought you could see would cause him a lifetime of pain and anger. The look of being somewhere else. A scary look, one you try not to get caught observing too closely.
    I went to the window, peered out through the curtains, past the locked front gate, and saw a solitary silhouette staggering away up the road towards the pub. I could hear the word “fuck” and its variants a lot, standing out among other words I couldn’t make out as they faded away.
    They always pick me when I’m out. The person who might understand them, the person to whom they should explain, or ask to explain to them, something they have now decided is happening. The person who might give them money for a phone call or cigarettes or alcohol, who offers no threat because I’m passive looking, the person who might not judge them badly because I look like a hippy. The person who might be a soft touch because I guess I must look like one.
    There are some regulars with The Look that I see almost every day. Until recently I knew none of their names and so I gave them my own, which I would share with friends, who laughed. The Dwarf and Lurch were the most visible. I needn’t bother describing them, the names already do that.
    One evening a friend and I were having a beer, alfresco, among a group of empty tables and chairs on the pavement between a pub and a busy intersection. The Dwarf staggered around the corner, spotted me and headed straight in my direction in his own peculiar swerving way. I was, as usual, smoking while gratuitously looking like a non-threatening hippy, so I saw it coming.
    “Fuck off Milo!” came a female voice from behind me before he had time to speak. I looked at my friend Nat and knew at once that it hadn’t been her. She was laughing at something behind her. I looked further around and there, stopped at the side of the road was a police car with a young female officer leaning out of the passenger side window. She yelled, again, “Fuck OFF Milo!” as I stared at her, open mouthed and dropped of jaw. So now I know that The Dwarf is called Milo.
    He asked me for a light, I gave him one. The lights went green and the police car drove off. Milo weaved away. Nat went inside for another round of beers. I walked three doors down the road and hid the glasses from the last round on my front lawn, came back and resumed my seated position before Nat returned. The perfect crime.