Jul 25
More Monkeying Around
icon4 Jul 25th, 2008 | icon2 Bric-a-Brac | icon3Comments Off

Due to unprecedented demand (not really) I have made available via my friends at printfection.com a selection of Chimp Eastwood t-shirt products.

Chimp is the new black.

P.S. Chimp Eastwood says copyright is for losers.

Jul 22

Chimpanzees are humankind’s closest living relative.

Through the work of devoted scientists such as Jane Goodall, we know that apes are highly intelligent, and share many of our human traits, such as joy, sadness and, indeed, violence:

Go ahead, make my day – Chimp Eastwood

One thing that is certain is that apes know how to act, something which Hollywood was quick to take advantage of.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 20
Mercedes Syndrome
icon4 Jul 20th, 2008 | icon2 Bric-a-Brac | icon3Comments Off

Where we live there exists a very frightening type of woman. Their personalities are a toxic brew of depression, menace and unpredictability which combine in lethal proportions, often with terrifying results.

Whenever Rach and I see this type of woman we refer to her as “Mercedes” after Mercedes Corby, who is the archetype for this previously undescribed syndrome. Characteristics of Mercedes Syndrome sufferers include oversized teeth, gnarled facial features, shrieking voice and an extremely short fuse.

Here is a brief sample of the original Mercedes, Corby family spokesperson (good choice!), as she addresses the press scrum moments after her sister Schapelle’s guilty verdict:

“Schapelle is innocent, this verdict is UNJUST! The case now enters a new phase and we’ll stand by Schapelle every step of the way. Our lawyers have done their best, and with the support of all the Australians – thank you – Schapelle will be coming home soon. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY WE HAD THE BLOODY TRIAL, THEY DIDN’T TAKE ANY OF OUR WITNESSES INTO ACCOUNT!!!”

Recently I had an encounter with a local “Mercedes” while driving through Woy Woy.

I was heading out of Woy Woy along Brisbane Water Drive, with the train station on my left. Just beyond the station there is a set of traffic lights. The light was green, but as I approached, a woman stepped onto the road and began to cross. She was talking into her mobile phone, oblivious to the danger of oncoming traffic.

I was only traveling at about 50kmh, but slowed down as I got nearer to the woman. I was maybe fifteen metres away and she still hadn’t noticed me, so I tooted the horn – just one quick toot to let her know that perhaps she might want to move it along.

The car horn must have scared her out of her reverie, because she jumped about three feet in the air, then turned and looked at me. I knew right away that I had made a terrible error of judgment.

Her face initially registered surprise, but this quickly turned to rage. She made no move to get out of the way of my car, but actually stepped towards it. I was stationary now, mere metres away from a creature more deadly than anything Africa has to offer. She took her arm back as if to throw her phone at me, then thought better of it. (I wonder what the person on the other end of the line made of all this.)

Then she started screaming at me – I heard “What the fuck … ” but beyond that all I could make out through the windshield was an inhuman, banshee-like screeching. (Refer to video above for an example.)

I came to my senses, stepped on the gas and swerved around her. As I passed she took a half-hearted swipe with her foot at my car’s front bumper. Speeding away from the scene I could see the woman in my rear vision mirror, planted in the middle of the road, still screaming abuse.

Jul 14

Something very strange happened to me one day as I was walking across the school playground.

My primary school had a large asphalt area that separated the main school building from the toilet block. On this particular day – seemingly no different than any other – I was crossing this barren expanse, having been excused from class owing to a call of nature.

I was halfway across the schoolyard when, without warning, I was hit hard in the side of the head by a heavy object. I raised my arms as protection from whatever was raining terror down onto me, but no more blows came.

Tentatively I looked around for the cause of my assault. There was not another living thing in sight. The schoolyard was empty for at least fifty metres in every direction. I looked up. The sky was a perfect, cloudless blue.

As I recovered from my initial shock I realised that my face was wet. I ran a hand through my hair, which was matted and sticky. I put my fingers to my nose and found that they had a familiar, sweet smell. Looking around I saw lying at my feet several large chunks of apple.

I had been hit in the head by a half-eaten Granny Smith.

Confused, I headed back into the school building and resumed my seat in class. I don’t recall whether my re-appearance garnered any reaction from my teacher or classmates, but I would imagine they were a little bemused when I returned only moments after having left, looking somewhat dazed and drenched in apple juice.

For the rest of the day I sat in class with my hair matted to my skull with the sickly sweet syrup. For some reason it never occurred to me to wash my hair. All I could think of was, where did that apple come from?

Looking back on this mysterious episode, I can see how several possible causes could be postulated. Maybe a bird flew over, dropping the apple onto my head. Perhaps another child – or a teacher – hurled the apple at me from an unseen position at the edge of the quadrangle. Or the apple might have been tossed unthinkingly from an aircraft passing overhead (this would explain the apple’s impact at near terminal velocity).

None of these scenarios rings true, however. What now seems most likely is that the apple arrived through a wormhole in space-time.

A wormhole is simple enough to conceptualize via the analogy from which it takes its name. That is, a worm can take a shortcut by boring through the centre of a tomato, rather than walking around the tomato’s surface. Similarly, a wormhole traveler can take a shortcut from one point in space-time to another via a “topologically non-trivial tunnel” – a wormhole.

Why exactly a wormhole appeared for a brief moment in the playground of New Lambton South Public School on a sunny morning in 1979 is something I cannot explain.

Nevertheless, I like to imagine another young boy, not unlike myself, wandering across that same playground, perhaps in the recent past, perhaps in the impossibly distant future. He carries in his hand a shiny, green apple. He takes a bite from the apple, then carelessly tosses it into the air, where it magically disappears right before his eyes.

Be more careful next time, mate.

Jul 3

1970 was a good year. I came into the world, and a film called Airport was released. This movie about an attempted hijacking of a passenger jet made $100 million at the box office, and re-ignited a film genre that would rule the big screens throughout the seventies. The modern disaster film was born.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 2

You may recall earlier posts concerning our neighbours, the Takaluas. Their little boy, Fubar, provides an interesting case study in child behaviour.

Fubar is not yet going to school, so I assume he is about four years old.  For a little kid, he is alarmingly independent. Most days he can be found wandering around the cul-de-sac or in the yard between our houses. His level of parental supervision appears to be approximately nil.

Fubar enjoys break dancing, particularly the move known as the “arm wave”. He likes to stand in the driveway and do this. He also spends about 13 hours each day on his new swingset.

Fubar and I had a run-in a while back when I yelled at him to stop throwing pebbles at our house. So he usually gives me the evil eye whenever we cross paths. One of his favourite passtimes is to run up to our door, knock, and run away, but he hasn’t done this for a while.

Sometimes he sits in the dirt, digging holes, counting quietly (I have heard him get as high as 41, which is pretty good), or having little conversations with himself.

Our houses sit at the end of a cul-de-sac, at the top of a steep hill. Each afternoon at around three o’clock, Fubar takes up his position at the top of the small cliff in front of his house. From this vantage point he has a view over the surrounding streets and fields. This is where Fubar likes to sit and wait for his sister to come home from school. He really loves his sister, and she spends alot of her time playing with him and looking out for him.

The other afternoon he was standing in his usual spot waiting for his sister. He began making loud, random noises like “Kek! Kek! Kek!” This went on for about five minutes.

I really think Fubar needs to go to school.