Thursday, February 28, 2008

There's Ya Paternity Test

On Tuesday I suddenly became aware that the Noodle was being very quiet. I went to investigate and found him lying on the couch reading, to all intents and purposes, a book.

Okay, a graphic novel. Fine, a comic. Explicitly Kimmie66 which his Dad had borrowed from the library. It's about a teenage goth in the future and her adventures in virtual reality. It deals with serious issues such as teen suicide and body image. No, I'm not ashamed.

Anyway, the Noodle was just quietly lying there flicking through the pages, just like he watches his Dad do. I was so proud of my son.

Later in the same day, while I was getting his dinner ready, I again noticed he'd gone quiet. That time I found him hiding in his bedroom munging down on a half kilo block of cheese he'd filched from the open fridge. So it is also entirely possible that his real father is a giant thieving rat.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Superstition Not Foolproof Shock

Driving to the midday training session today I consciously thought, 'I could dislocate a toe today.' I do this as a superstitious charm against all the possible ills of the big bad world.
Every phone call at odd hours I think, 'That's someone ringing because something terrible has happened.' Every time I get on my bike I think, 'I could die today.' Every time I get dizzy when I stand up I think, 'There's a blood vessel just exploded in my brain.'

My reasoning is thus; bad things can happen unexpectedly. If you think about them they are expected. Therefore they can't happen. QED.


Today at training I dislocated a toe. Again. This time the little toe on my right foot. We weren't even sparring hard, I just had my leg in the wrong position, my foot twisted on the mat and I felt the toe pop. I think I heard it as well, but the mind plays tricks.
I sat there cursing, thinking about the recovery time for my previous toe, which still aches, and wondering if I could be bone-hard enough to re-locate it myself. I grabbed it and gave a half-hearted tug. It felt like a marble loose in the finger of a glove. It was also pretty bloody painful and, I decided, best dealt with under local anesthetic.

Last time Dom took me to emergency and I was seen fairly quickly. I did have the dubious advantage then of having a bone jutting out of my foot with the torn off toe flapping about like a wind sock. Today I don't think triage would have put the poor grown man with the ouch in his widdle pinky toe to the top of the list and I would have had a long afternoons wait with a dozen violent meth heads. I made a doctor's appointment at a local clinic. Our family doctor bulk bills and is generally excellent, this means you have to plan your illness weeks in advance. Today I just saw the available doctor.

Doctor: What seems to be the problem?
Myninjacockle: I've dislocated my toe.
D: Hmmm. Which one?
M: The purple swollen one sticking out perpendicular to my foot. (To be fair I have pretty wonky toes)
D: (Prodding) Does this hurt?
M: No.
D: (Prodding and twisting) This?
M: Ow, yes.

Doctor continues prodding and twisting for considerable time. The Noodle, who has tagged along, continues daubing his new blue t-shirt with a half eaten red jelly bean.

D: I'm not sure its dislocated.
Noodle: Silly.
D: Where did you learn that naughty word?
M: Can you stop twisting it then please? (Lady, you ain't heard nothing yet)
D: (Stops administering pain) You'll need to get an x-ray.
M: I'm pretty sure it's dislocated, can't you just pop it back in?
N: Bike. Helmet. Up! Baa baa row boat.
D: No, I'll need to see the x-ray.
M: Well what do you think is wrong?
N: (throws remains of jelly bean at me)Yucky.
D: Won't know for sure without...
M: An x-ray, I get it. Well what might the treatment be.
D: Oh all we can do is strap it, it'll just tell us how long to strap it for.

So she proceeded to strap it. She'd make a great horse doctor. Oh I've got just the treatment for this. Bang! As she was doing so I was reminded of a lifestyle show I saw part of a while back, with Dr Harry. A couple had a dog that was tearing washing from the line. Dr Harry came to visit, assessed the situation, gave them a long lecture on dog psychology, and finished with his curative snake oil solution; tie the dog up on washing days. Genius!

So I don't know if her, 'Toe not straight. Tie toe to other toe. Now toe straight. Straight toe good,' approach is the condensed wisdom of decades of medical study and practice, or dangerous malpractice that will leave me with a limp. I just know with the other one the doctor twisted it and I felt it all click back into place.

Can't see the point in paying for an x-ray if nothing is going to change anyway. Reckon I'll leave it strapped for a week and see if it gets any better, then see my regular GP for a second opinion if not.

Oh, and she didn't even ask if I needed anything for the pain. It's really starting to throb now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Going Native

Knickers and I have had an ongoing gardening...discussion...on the relative merits of seedlings (cheaper, take to the soil better so will actually grow faster, more satisfaction of a job well done, long term vision) versus more established plants (expensive, will probably die, whats with people and their need for instant gratification anyway?).

Last time we went to a nursery together this came to a head and we had a fight and ended up not purchasing anything. Later Knickers suggested I do whatever I bloody want as that was obviously what I bloody intended anyway. I agreed that I just bloody would then. Who says you can't negotiate when you're angry?

Anyway today, while she was toiling away at work, I took her up on her offer. 'I'm off to buy some seedlings,' I announced, 'and I don't suppose anyone has any objections?' Turns out both the hounds and the Noodle were copacetic so the Noodle and I went up to the wonderful Belair Nursery and bought a kangaroo paw, grevillea and a poa somethingorother (native grass).

The Noodle helped me plant them this afternoon. I don't hold out great hopes for the grevillea. He tipped half a tub of fertiliser in the hole with it before I could stop him. Dug out as much as I could but it still looked like a lethal dose. ('Balls' said the grevillea,'I can take double what you can and run a mile.')


Monday, February 25, 2008

Meet the Hounds: 1

I can forgive the jokes about my weight, really, whatever. We Labradors don't have the benefit of your superior monkey society and have yet to develop poor body image.

A little bit more understanding would be nice though; do you have any freaking idea where my breed originated from? How much food do you reckon was just lying around Newfoundland in the dead of winter? My ancestors died so friggen hungry they passed it on as part of my genetic make-up. Hunger is hardwired to my brain monkey-boy.

So tomorrow night when you and the alpha-bitch monkey are chillaxing in front of the talky-box, hoovering down ice-cream and chocolate biscuits, and you spot me drooling on your precious floor; how about not yelling at me then sending me outside, but showing an ounce of compassion and actually sharing your precious food glut?

Also: get rid of the black mongrel and the shrieky, eye gouging baby monkey. They bug me.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Driving Home

Spent Friday evening at Dad's place in Strathalbyn. Drove home through the hills under the watch of the full moon, making the pools of light - pushed forward by the low-beams like the bow-wave from a ship - almost superfluous.
Knickers dozed in the shotgun seat and the Noodle chewed on Oof in the back, his eyes wide at the unaccustomed hour.
I had a wrench of nostalgia, back fifteen years, to cruising the same ancient hills under the same ancient moon (and they don't look a day older) on my slightly less ancient Suzuki GSX. I remember turning the headlight off and twisting open the throttle, flashing through the moon shadows cast on bitumen by scraggly gums and roaring past, presumably, startled motorists heading home to warm beds. I remember the adrenalin, and the smell, and the cool wind in my face.

I remember I was a bloody idiot.

I see cocky young guys, and girls, doing stupid things in their Nissans and Subarus. Fearless. Immortal. Invincible. Selfish. I fear for the lives of my family and fear the future should my son and unborn child find a world they still share with the combustion engine when they are of driving age.

Should I think, 'There but for the grace of God...'?

No. I hope the cops catch them and punish them, their peers berate them and, if nothing else works, when the axe comes down it takes only them with it.

Didn't really start this as a rant against young people

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Advice on Purchasing Aboriginal Art

You go the day after pension day
Few old gins sitting down on the beach
Out past Yirkalla
Stupid buggers have got no idea
All cashed up like Thursday millionaires
Black fucken Christmas mate
Sell it for five fucken bucks
But don't go before pension day
They'll Jew ya for fifty
Bought a goanna
And a didgeridoo
All just fucken dots to me mate
But you never know hey?


Friday, February 22, 2008


While Knickers was sleeping after night shift yesterday I took Noodle and the hounds up to Brown Hill Creek for a walk. Well the hounds and I walked, the Noodle was more in a whimsical 'carry me or I'll throw a screaming hissy fit' sort of mood.
Among the pines and olives, feral cats and rabbits that threaten to overrun the native bush, are some blackberry patches. I managed to pry the Noodle from my shoulders and pick a few ripe ones for us. Mostly for him...his repeated demands for 'more' would drive Mr Bumble to drink rather than song.

It did settle him down and he walked from that point, stopping here and there to sample various other organic items for edibility.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Love Hate Thing

I hate when I've been saving a can of something fizzy to really sit down and enjoy. Then I sit down to drink it, but I get distracted, find it finished but I don't remember drinking it.
I love when I've been distracted, see a mug of tea on the bench, and realise it's mine. And it's still hot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You're Too Old, Retire.

Took an absolute hammering at training on Monday. Two hours of being swept off my feet, rolled, mounted, (arm) barred up and being made to submit. All with a bunch of big, hairy, sweaty blokes; and did I mention the punching?

Driving home I could barely move my right arm to hold the steering wheel and couldn't turn my head to look in the mirror. Felt I hardly slept that night from the pain in my neck. Knickers assures me, from the snoring, that I did.

Two days on and I'm not much better and only put a very half-hearted effort in at training today. I'm a great believer in not judging age by the calendar year (more so the older I get), more of a line between maturity and experience gained versus physical decline. Today was a pretty high score on the physical decline.

Funny these habits of age that have crept up on me. Having a favoured knee to bend down on, warming up my shoulder and elbow before throwing the tennis ball for the hounds, hesitating before jumping off anything more than two foot high, celebrating if I only have to get up to go to the toilet once in a night (Though the five coffees a day may be a factor there) . These slow losses to inexorable time...

Think I'll have a nice cup of Bonox and a good lie down, or maybe call some talkback radio.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Noodle's Pool Days

I took Noodle to the Unley pool this afternoon. This, for reasons not apparent to me, isn't located anywhere near Unley.

I reckon people have this view of the seventies and eighties in which parents slopped tanning oil on their kids, slipped them into asbestos cossies and then turned back to slap another, unmarinated, steak on the barbie.

But I don't remember it like that. I recall zinc cream, terry toweling hats and Mum not letting us anywhere near the water until she'd covered us in sunburn cream. Having to have pinned the Noodle down twice today to douse him in cream I have an increased respect for all she did for us.

Possibly we go too far these days though. At the pool I applied the sunscreen, wrestled him into his knee to elbow rashie, put his hat on and then took him into the toddler pool - centred firmly under a shade cloth.

He really enjoyed himself, climbing up and down the stairs, walking in the 0.6m shallow end, jumping into my arms, blowing bubbles, learning to kick. We whiled away most of the afternoon there. I was a little worried that he was damaged goods after he fell into a pool in Cairns last year, on my watch. He's been, understandably, pretty freaked near water ever since and has done a fair impression of a goanna going up a gum tree.

I did learn, from listening to other parent's, that the ice-cream is the dangled carrot of good behaviour at the pool. I heard kids threatened with the revoking of privileges if they didn't get out of the water, back into the water, let their little siblings head up out of the water. OK, I made that last one up.

Definitely going back if this hot weather keeps up.


Post Apocalypse To Do List

  • Get mohawk
  • Move to desert
  • Engage in gladiatorial style combat with fellow survivors
  • Procure industrial music
  • Start new puritanical religion
  • Procure leather clothing
  • Spread fear and hatred of mutants
  • Locate gang of psychotics to war over dwindling supplies with

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Auld Triangle

Whenever I put the Noodle to bed I sing The Auld Triangle to him, have done so since he was born. It's fantastic to have a captive audience for my unarguably abysmal singing.

It is also wonderful to see him watching me as I sing. His breathing slows and his eyes grow heavy and occasionally close before I finish. Other times he is still bouncing 'round his cot like an over-caffeinated Jack Russell. Then I have to bring in the big guns - The Gypsy Rover.

I hope one day he'll like at least some of the music that has been the soundtrack to my life. He bloody better. Currently he is learning to sing Row Your Boat and Ring-a-Rosy. The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. In fact he has taken Knickers' and my combined genetic disinclination to musical genius and appears to be pushing the envelope to prodigious new levels. Perhaps I am too harsh but I already worry about pushing him to succeed in streets I dreamed of treading.

The song was originally written by Brendan Behan, but I've only ever heard The Pogues' cover from Red Roses For Me which differs slightly and is as follows:

A hungry feeling
Came o'er me stealing
And the mice were squealing
In my prison cell
And that auld triangle went jingle-jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

Oh! To start the morning
The warden bawling
"Get up out of bed, you! And Clean out your cell!"
And that auld triangle went jingle-jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

Oh! the screw was peeping
And the lag was sleeping
As he lay weeping
For his girl Sal
And that auld triangle went jingle-jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

On a fine Spring evening
The lag lay dreaming
And the sea-gulls were wheeling
High above the wall
And that auld triangle went jingle-jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

Oh! the wind was sighing
And the day was dying
As the lag lay crying
In his prison cell
And that auld triangle went jingle-bloody-jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

In the women's prison
There are seventy women
And I wish it was with them
That I did dwell
Then that auld triangle could go jingle-jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dear Confused

So many things are,
To me.
People say
You know?
I nod my head
It will come.
People all over
Claim to know
About things.
By the time
I read the end
Of a sentence
I've forgotten
I've forgotten
These people
That claim to know
Like counting
Freight carriages
Rolling by
A level crossing
Naming my teachers
Every street
I've lived on
With the radio blaring
Jammed between stations.
Describe colour
To the blind.
To the wind.
These people
Do they know?
Tell me
I don't know.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Faking Sincerity

I tour the country
From the comfort
Of a call centre
Occasionally speaking to people in:
Prahran, Vaucluse, Redcliffe
But more likely
Frankston, Elizabeth, Macquarie Fields
Raking in a bumper crop
Of bounced cheque and late payment fees
'Can you pay that today?'
I speak to people going through
Or divorce
People in over their heads
Or hospital
'Fuck off. Fucking bank.'
Is a frequent refrain.
Hearing people cry is worse.
Some claim
To have just emerged from comas
Others are always about to;
Clinch that deal
Receive that inheritance
Win that court case.
A lady from Coomera
Told me her son was in hospital
Badly injured in a motorbike prang
And wouldn't walk again
I battled an urge
To tell her I was in a wheelchair.
Once you can fake sincerity
You've got it made.



Returned home today to be greeted by the Noodle wearing only a pair of tracky pants.

'Hello Noodle, you're looking'

'Buff.' He said. And walked away with his pot belly stuck out, swinging his little stick arms and holding his enormous head high on its chicken neck.

Rates himself that kid.

To Catch a Thief

Simply place a 'wet paint' sign next to an object at the crime scene. Return later and dust it for the prints the criminal was unable to resist leaving when they returned to the scene of the crime.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

19 1/2 Weeks

Note: this is not largely concerned with sex.

We had the 20 week scan for the Wee Unborn One today. Learned our lesson from the previous scan and left the Noodle dropping the F bomb at his Nana's.

All is well with WUO, who may or may not look like the above image. Judging from the scan WUO would not have looked out of place as an extra on Mars Attacks, with leering eye sockets and animated chewing action of the tiny mandibles. But the Noodle looked just as horrifying and he turned out alright.

Shame they can't test for pure evil.

Mostly I'm stoked with the impending arrival, but sometimes the burden of all the future worry, stress, fatigue (Oh God the fatigue) and cost overwhelms me like cloud rolling down from the hills. It's like a dreary day that has to be ridden out, which I do with the thought that holding WUO in my arms for the first time will be like holding a precious lamp to burn away all gloom.

So I was feeling pretty good yesterday until Knickers said, 'What if it's got a birth-mark all over its face?'


Monday, February 11, 2008

Children of the Damned Corn

We've had the Noodle's name down at various child care centres for eons. Building the time machine was tricky, but you do what you can.
We are looking at a three month period, from when I start uni until Knickers starts maternity leave where we'll have to have him in care at least one day a week.

Today we had an appointment with Last Chance Child Care (sure we can cram another one in). While Knickers went through the paper work I took the Noodle into the play area for the over 2's.

I sat on a bench and observed while he climbed on the castle / jungle gym thingy. A couple of uber blonde toddlers came up to me and distracted me with their hula-hoop skills (Which were, I'm sorry, pretty average. Well they were!) while their leader ran at me from behind with a pair of scissors. Stab, she stabbed.
'Oh, hi there. Um, should you be running with scissors?' (WTF did you get scissors from?)
'Me hairdresser.' Stab.
A handler came running over to remove the weapon and was in the process of returning it when she noticed the side had fallen off the castle and a small horde of kids were trying to fling themselves from a, relatively, great height.
I'm pretty sure she moaned 'not again', before running off to deal with it.
Meanwhile three. relatively, big boys had pinned the Noodle in a corner and were trying to remove his clothes.

Knickers is deeply traumatised, I think the Noodle will be okay.

My advice to prospective parents is this:
  • Orgasm
  • Put on your pants
  • Get out of the car
  • Run across the car park
  • Hand your application to the manager as they're trying to unlock the front door.


Sunday, February 10, 2008


I beat Knickers in a game of Backgammon today. That makes around my third victory to her six gazillionth.

Tactically I'm all over the shop. Making Kevin Rudd look impulsive and reckless one minute, Brittney Spears calculated and cautious the next.

Still, mathematically speaking, law of averages, statistical anomaly, even a broken clock is right twice a day.... Blind, dumb, luck should see me win at least one in a hundred. But I don't.

I suffer under the curse of some petty, vengeful, backgammon deity who momentarily turned his/her back and let a shaft of sunlight through.

Then Knickers made me play two more games and equilibrium was restored. All is as it should be.

Nice while it lasted though.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

How Science Works

Your engine oil, sperm, hair conditioner, moisturiser, vitamins, midichlorians, fat blasting elf-spit, not performing at its/their peak?

Why not add a drop of SCIENCE?

And hey presto, instant money spinner.
You can't argue with SCIENCE people.
Thats why it's SCIENCE!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Punk in My Shed

Fuck you trucker cap
Hanky wearing
Ain't had pussy
Since pussy had you
You ain't punk
Like me
In my shed
Punching bag
Punk rock
Passing years
In a haze of
Sweat, and
One chord wonders
Ever get the feeling
You've been cheated?


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hurting the Car's Feelings

Spent the day catching up on domestic duties. Mowed the lawn and trimmed the edges, nearly dug some of my hole, vacuumed the car then decided to wash it. Normally, despite the drought and council blah blahs, I wash it in the driveway. I figure we do everything else right with water consumption, what the hell.

Today I thought I'd do the right thing, filled my pocket with coin, strapped the Noodle in and prepared to drive to the car wash on South Road, Tonsley. Then Knickers asked me which one I was going to.

'South road'
'Why don't you go to the one on Unley road?'
'Near the big booze joint?'
'I don't think that is self-serve.'
'I'm pretty sure it is, and it's heaps closer.' she said in the tone of one who has made a decision.

So we went to Unley road. I got flagged into a bay by a bloke with Oakley sunnies with an electronic clipboard who told me there is no self-service (I bloody knew it) and the cheapest wash is thrice what I had in coin. Red faced I guided our ageing station-wagon through a seventy-five-point turn in front of a hoard of Maserati owners.

'Bye-bye,' the Noodle called cheerily as I laid rubber, heading south to familiar territory.
Obviously the old warhorse took offence at my reluctance to fork out and chose to retaliate by breaking down at the Cross road intersection. Spiteful bitch. The lights turned green, cars started to pile up behind. A helpful lady got on the horn. Time slowly passed.

No-one stopped to help. I just sat there, panicky at first, then just stumped.
'Funny' said the Noodle from the back. But he didn't look too sure. I tried to smile re-assuringly while twisting the ignition and stamping on the pedal.
'Hilarious.' I agreed.

Eventually a lady came over from the footpath and offered to look after the Noodle while I flagged some help down. I ran her through a quick mental checklist and decided she looked more Nana than Kidnapper (you can tell just by looking at people, kidnappers have horns and swastika tattoos) and handed him over. If your Holden is going to break down the best spot is probably right next to a Holden dealer, I ducked into Clarridge and a mustachioed salesman sent a couple of minions out to give me a push. So now we are in their professional clutches.

I blame Knickers.

On the plus side I found $2 on the footpath and treated myself and the Noodle to a chocolate bar while we waited for Knickers to come and pick us up.

The above photo was taken in happier times this morning when we drove the hounds up to Brown Hill Creek to see if the recent rain had translated to running water. Apparently they hadn't and the creek is still a series of stagnant ponds. This did not deter the big fat, now stinky, hound from going for a swim.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Iceman Returneth

Back early from camping. First two days were beautiful but the following three days of howling gales, rain and wearing everything we took ground us down.

There were definitely more feathers in caps then black eyes though.

  • Laying on my brilliant new air mattresses, snug in my sleeping bag, hearing the wind pull and snap at our faithful old tent and the waves pounding on the shores of Horseshoe Bay.
  • Sitting on a rock with the Noodle and watching him point firmly out to sea and declare 'fish'.
  • Staying up way past our bedtime playing cards with old friends under a blanket of stars.
  • Disgustingly indulgent cooked breakfasts.
  • Swimming in the ocean.
  • Sleeping in the same space as the Noodle

  • Sleeping in the same space as the Noodle. The first night he just wouldn't sleep. He just stood in his port-a-cot reciting the names of our fellow campers and throwing oof, his sleep toy, away and demanding 'up'. The second night he was hysterically overtired and just settled for screaming most of the night away. Every morning he was up way earlier than usual. We tried to eek out a few minutes more sleep by plying him with books but he soon figured out throwing them at our slumbering heads was far more interactive than looking at pictures. 'Funny' he declared loudly with each direct hit.
  • The weather.
He learnt a stack of new words as well. Though his interpretation of them needs a little re-calibrating. Sorry for instance means: 'I've just punched you in the face, prepare for another.'