Monday, September 15, 2008

Here's Luck

Whenever I have a fifty/fifty chance of getting something right, I get it wrong ninety percent of the time.

(possibly) someone famous

Does luck have a universal constant, like pi, from which you could - if given enough data - derive a formula to calculate, according to your own variables, your own luck quotient (L.Q.)?

The traffic lights on the intersection of Belair and Princes St are green for longer in favour of Belair Rd. I know this because I've timed them. Yet they turn red almost invariably upon my approach along Belair. Similarly Transport SA maintains a train permanently around the bend from the Wattlebury crossing, lurking in case I venture forth.

That is the only possible explanation as, statistically, in off-peak only four trains an hour pass the crossing. Each passing takes around two minutes; so asuming the north/south trains don't cross at the same time (thus increasing the odds in your favour) you have a two in fifteen chance of having to wait for a train if you use that crossing in off-peak time. Yet I seem to catch them all the time. Unless I'm actually trying to catch one of course. People that know me will confirm this statistical anomaly. I don't make this stuff up. Mostly.

So if statistics can't explain it, does that mean that there is some luck factor, and I don't have it? Certainly as far as transportation goes anyway, I'm very grateful for my luck in other respects.

Let's just assume that there is. Can you change it? Does the whole universe have a fridge like setting (but this one goes up to eleven) that we could just crank and suddenly everyone wins the lottery and no-one has to work every again and Dr Phil falls into a burning sack of rabid weasels?

Say it was recalibrated for 10% luck across the board, would that mean bank robbers would be 10% more likely to get away with it, or the coppers 10% more likely to catch them? I suppose it would come back to the original L.Q.

Until scientists et al stop wasting time on the whole cancer thing and actually solve this great luck swindle; I propose a trading scheme. I'm willing to offer a percentage of my coin toss winning and not bumping into old annoying class mates luck, for an equal share of someones no red light or trains luck.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Party of One

We attended another party today. Such a busy social calendar. Why yes, they've all been children's parties, what's your point?

The Noodle tends to pretty much do his own thing at such shindigs. Today his own thing was stuffing his face with a staggering variety of salt, food colouring, preservatives, saturated fats, carbs and sugars then gathering everything he could find at our friends' house and pushing it under the fence into their neighbour's yard. A sizeable temper tantrum followed the eventual discovery (where's so and so's hat gone? and my handbag?) and chastisement. I keep telling him the only sin is to get caught.

I tried to tempt him into playing soccer with some older boys - approaching school age - but was none-too politely informed the game wasn't for babies. The unspoken implication was that old geezers like me could just fuck off an' all too. Fine.

Then a game of pass-the-parcel was organised. Yes, some enforced socialisation should be just what the doctor ordered. I took Patrick outside to rejoin the circle of manhood and bluff my way through conversations about footy finals, leaving Knickers inside trying to convince the Noodle that, historically speaking, sitting in the middle of the circle is not the way to play.

Some hysterical screaming came from inside, but what of it? It wasn't my son and I'd just gotten into a conversation about books, and Ultimate Fighting, so was feeling much more comfortable. Then Knickers appeared, a sobbing Noddle dug chocolate covered fingers into her white coat and thunderclouds danced around her brow. She thrust him at me.

'Your son just assaulted the birthday boy and stole his chocolate.'

Noodle and J, the birthday boy, have a bit of history. When J comes to our house he plays nicely with the toys while Noodle shrieks and blusters and tries to snatch them off him. Roles are reversed at J's house. That being said they are always happy to see each other and Noodle gets excited whenever we tell him we're going to play with J and E (older sister and co-birthday haver) and they only occasionally attempt to throttle each other.

'No I didn't' howled Noodle. Apparently oblivious to the fifteen witnesses and the evidence smeared over his face and hands.

At this stage I'm not overly concerned about his behaviour, but if it continues or escalates it will be a bit of a worry. Last week at my nephew's party a bigger boy, probably nearly entirely unprovoked, pushed Noodle over and I was sorely tempted to go over and slap the kid (thump. that's for being violent!) so I can imagine what other parent's were thinking watching Noodle strongarm the birthday boy. Thank God it's not my kid for once, most probably.

Meanwhile my wife still isn't talking to me after I stole scrabble victory last night with a last gasp 'fa' (a long, long way to run). She insists it is a stupid, pathetic and cheatery word. I say, mayhap, but it is also in the dictionary.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Apples are stupid. Don't ever eat one when you're starving as all they do is stir up stomach juices making you even more hungry.

What's the point of that?


Monday, September 1, 2008

Hindley Street

the crane is big enough
to seduce the most jaded of passers by
into stopping to marvel
at the grinding wheels of industy
i'm half way past it
when i get the fear
picture its toppling bulk
crushing me like a large ripe olive
i scan the footpath
for a refuge to dive into
upon hearing the first
creak of metal fatigue
or pitched cry of alarm
i discount the metal cafe tables
and various vehicles
settling for scurrying between doorways
a baseballer stealing home