Sep 19

OK, I admit it, I have a sweet tooth.

But as I get older, I find myself craving the sweet delights of my youth. Some days I stare into space and pine for all the old-school ice-creams now sadly departed.

There was the Triple Treat, a glorious chocolate-coated ice-cream and marshmallow combo that is sadly missed. And the Lickety-Split, a paradigm-shattering ice-block with not one, but two sticks!

Speaking of gimmicks, does anyone remember the Rocket? It boasted a cleverly shaped plastic stick, which when collected in large numbers, could be used to build stuff. Pure marketing genious.

And those infuriating Paddle Pop “Lick-A-Prize” competitions where you had to collect and match the sticks to make a little picture. I always had the feeling that nobody ever won anything from Lick-A-Prize. In fact, I have just visited a website where someone claims to have collected 866 Lick-A-Prize sticks over several decades … and has never matched a set of sticks! I rest my case!

Incredibly, the Paddle Pop Lick-A-Scam continues to this day! In my days the big prize was a bike. Now it’s a trip to FL-O-RI-DA:

As a kid in the ’70s your choice of ice-cream was like a mini personality test. Were you a Drumstick man or a Cornetto man? Were you brave enough to walk into the corner shop and ask for a Gaytime with your mates sniggering in the background?

Of course that was a more innocent time. A time when it didn’t seem politically incorrect to have a vanilla and strawberry ice-block called a Redskin, with the requisite native American chief on the wrapper. I don’t think the flavoured ices shaped like a hand grenade would go down too well at school these days either, given modern anti-terrorism laws.

The list of fallen ice-creams continues … Monaco Bar, Choc Wedge, Billabong. May they Rest In Peace. Yeah, sure, I know some of these are still available, but they’re not the same.

And don’t get me started on the subject of price. When I was a kid, during Christmas holidays our family would go to the beach every morning. Mum would secrete a $2 note (remember those?) somewhere in her swimming costume and at around 10 o’clock I’d run up to the kiosk and with just two dollars purchase ice-creams for all. My preferred beach ice-cream was the Dixie Cup – a little cardboard punnet of creamy vanilla ice-cream that came with a small, flat wooden spoon. I’m pretty sure I was responsible for burying the wrappers and sticks in the sand afterwards too.

Anyway, my point is that things aren’t like they used to be. Now we don’t invent new ice-creams, we just have 37 flavours of Magnum. Most of the old ice-creams are gone, but thankfully we still have a few, like the Bubble O’Bill, whose bubble gum nose still takes me back to a better age. (Even if he does look like Ivan Milat.)

Perhaps my ultimate gripe is that ice-creams today are too small. In the ’70s a Chocolate Heart could feed a family of four for a week. These days it’s gone in three bites. You might say I’ve gotten bigger since those days. But to paraphrase Norma Desmond, I was always big, it’s the ice-creams that got small.

Sep 4
Snubian News
icon4 Sep 4th, 2008 | icon2 News | icon31 Comment »

So, first of all, the Sydney Morning Herald decide not to publish “A Whale Named Colin” in its Heckler column. After an unbroken run of three heckles in as many months they turn down my magnum opus!

Next thing, I discover when Googling “snubian” – being the vain bastard I am – that there is another blog with the same name! And not only that, but it’s at the very top of the search results!

I won’t include the link here, as I fear that will only increase its Google rating, but when I looked at the site it seemed to have only a single blog entry. And the blog is about the Snubian goat breed, in case you were wondering.

Actually, upon closer inspection, it appears to be some sort of page which gathers together all WordPress-hosted blog entries with the tag “snubian”. Of which there is only one. The main blog site is for something called “Bada Bing Farm”, a Nubian and Saanen goat breeding facility in Pennsylvania. Baaaa.

Meanwhile, the real Snubian blog, the original and best, wallows down in tenth position on the Google results page. You have to scroll down to see it! Even my Snubian-branded shopfront, currently hosting a range of “Chimp Eastwood” casual wear, is ranked higher at number four, and nobody’s even bought anything yet!

One other strange thing, I have noticed a sharp increase in hits to one of my blog entries about Sam Neill. I thought this was odd considering it is a fairly innocuous little snippet. But then I noticed that all the hits had originated from Google’s image search on the term “sam neill”. So in theory, you can increase hits to your blog by inserting random images of famous people.

Of course, I would never sink to such low tactics.