Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Just Speak for Yourself

Am I book slut? Hell no! No way would I ever

... go to sleep worrying whether Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughan are actually a couple, if Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud is losing too much weight and how much cosmetic surgery Teri Hatcher has really had.

No, not me - that sort of stuff is pretty much a chick thing, right, and so is

[loving] all kinds of texts equally, refusing to play favourites and treating them all with the same kind of intense but ultimately casual affection.

Isn't that just typical. You'd never catch me doing that: like any bloke, I know that there are those books you just read for fun - cultural quickies you pick up at the library, skim through overnight, or over a weekend at most, then drop casually down the return chute on your next visit - and real, serious books that are actually worth shelling out your own hard-earned (or hard-bludged) readies for. And as for those gossip mags and women's magazines, no way I'd be caught dead reading one of those. You have to wonder what the editorial staff at Cosmo and Cleo are thinking when every time they run one of those articles on "Ten great ways to be better in bed", they follow up with a half a page of sex tips for guys. Who do they expect to read this stuff? I bet you wouldn't find the editors of Ralph making that mistake. Not that I'd be caught dead reading Ralph of course.

I'll admit that I've had a few disappointments with books - like the time I bought "the best novel to come out of New Zealand this year", and decided, after finishing it, that there would have been no great loss to world literature if it had stayed in New Zealand. Some of the alleged classics have been no better - like that fat-arsed tome by some dead Russian fart that begins "All happy families are alike but each unhappy familiy is unhappy in its own way ..." - or something like that. The sort of portentous bull that gets a novelist a totally inflated rep for giving good human condition. Over time I've learnt to ignore a lot of the gossip about authors who give good human condition, just as I learnt how little substance to all that talk about Marjorie Malvern-Starr's precocious sexual accomplishments back in my Greenfields High School days (all my two bob's worth of licorice bullets from the school tuckshop got me was an angry glare and a slap in the face).

"Intense but ultimately casual affection" indeed; you won't catch me ever falling for a book that way. I've read around a bit - I'm wise to their sly little ways, their so called literary conventions. Read 'em and leave 'em, that's the way to go. OK, now and again you find one that's worth keeping around for a while, good solid works of reference and such but they're few and far between. When it comes down to it, reading books is just a pleasant way to pass the time.

Tough Guy, Me

I was just about ready to bite down - hard - on the thumb she was pressing down on my lower jaw, when she said "OK, Gummo, take a breather." While I lay there, taking deep breaths to wash away the pain, she said, "I'm sorry Gummo, but I can't let you leave here with that tooth."

I wasn't fooled by the patient tone. To make sure I got the message, the dnetal nurse grabbed a handful of shirt and pressed the muzzle of a Glock 9mm into my left nostril. "One way or another," she snarled, "That tooth is staying here. Got that?"

I got it.

"OK, OK," I shed, "Issue theel thash thongly abad it, oo can have the toosh. Ish no damn ushe to me. Lesh get thish over widge."

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Misguided Doctor and the Good Sydneysiders

(A Fable for Our Times)

A man was leaving Oxford Street after the Sydney Mardi Gras in his parade costume - a gold lamé posing pouch and he fell among poofter bashers who beat him and departed, leaving him near dead.

Now by chance a doctor was going down that road; and when he saw him he started to cross the road. But his way was blocked by a pastor who said
"That man has been brought low by sin. If you treat him he will just continue in his sinful ways. Is this what you want?"

The doctor gently pushed the pastor aside and carried on but he found his way blocked by a columnist, who said: "That man lives an unacceptable lifestyle. If you treat him he will be back here next year to promote his unacceptable lifestyle. Is this what you want?"

The doctor gently pushed the columnist aside and carried on but he found his way blocked by a politician, who said: "Perhaps you think about the importance of family values before you go any further."

The doctor gently pushed the politician aside and finally reached the injured man. He took up his hand to check his pulse, then looked at his watch He opened a side compartment on his black bag, where he kept his prescription pad and a few other standard forms. He took the form he needed and on it wrote "Pansy Doe, Time of Death 1:37" and signed and dated the form. Then he folded the death certificate in four and gently tucked it into the gold lamé posing pouch.

Postscript: this piece could just as easily have been set in Melbourne after Midsumma. If you find the plot vaguely familiar, you might like to check out the original.
Dame Nellie, eat your heart out.

(With a tug of the forelock to Anthony at spiceblog).