Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This Sim is Unhappy!

I have just been to one of the more poorly-organised festivals that I imagine I will be attending in my life. The OzAsia Moon Festival was, at the outset, brilliantly conceived: a gentle night of family entertainment and cultural enrichment on the banks of the still-not-so-stinky-you-can’t-ignore-it River Torrens. Lanterns, music and food were promised and banners, posters and television commercials have heralded its coming for quite some time.

If you weren’t in Adelaide this evening, I also need to confirm that it was a balmy summer evening of perfection. Neither too sweaty or breezy. Perfect.

However, someone forgot to organise the festival. I counted three food vendors, including the mooncake shop and the over-priced, over-worked Festival cafĂ©. The lantern parade was less a spectacle than a school pageant. A somber announcer read out the names of each school and informed the increasingly puzzled 3000 attendees that the children had been making their own lanterns from paper and that some particular schools actually had a few students who were from Asia itself. The undoubtedly excited kiddies paraded around the edge of the park past a parental guard of honour that was just enthusiastic enough to block the view from everyone else. I did mention music. That was also provided by the junior members of local Asian music societies and was, I’m sure, brilliant for people that age.

A few dragon boats with a Chinese lantern fixed to their bows punted up and down, but mixed with the now-incredibly-attractive reflections of the streetlights from War Memorial Drive. When the martial arts demonstration began, Mele and I decided it was high time to high-tail.

I felt particularly sorry for the poor women behind us who defended every inch of their turf from the encroaching crowds. ‘Don’t sit on that jacket please!’ they would politely call. ‘We have seven other people coming!’ Saving festival lawn-space without a blanket is no picnic. Heh. Shameful jokes aside, the bitchy looks they got from every pusher-carrying dad and hamper-toting mum were enough to win a little bit of my respect. And my pity when the seven people finally turned up. They hugged, apologised for being late (the traffic was a nightmare), sat in their long-fortressed area, craned their necks to glimpse through the gloom nothing but the backs of about a hundred proud parents of primary schoolers, declared the event fucked and left.

We knew how they felt.

Jokes ahoy
The little book shall go to Jono for his multitude of number puns. Ever since embarking on this joke book I have come to two theories. 1. There is no clean joke, suitable for children that is not in some way a pun. 2. There is no lower form of joke, gag, whit or humour than the pun. It has often been posited to me that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour, but I am here to tell you now that at least sarcasm has a bit of worldliness about it. The pun, the putting one word in place of another, contains humour surely no more deserving of laughter than putting your gloves on backwards. Since reading a large collection of joke books published for children I believe that I have truly discovered the most depraved forms of humour and whimsy. I am devoid of hope for those who expected to get more laughter out of these jokes than from twisting the stalk from an apple or looking right when crossing the street. Behold:
What has fins and buzzes?
A fish gnat (fish net).
Which bugs should you hire to build your house?
Carpenter ants.
What corn do spiders make?
I see why the authors rarely put their names to these joke books. Could I do better? No - this is about as punny as it gets here in Writing.
What did the pun say to the egg?
Is this a yolk?

The point goes to River for playing on to win and playing creatively at that.


My faith is restored! While trawling joke sites for inspiration (read: stuff to plagiarise) I came across this little ripper on a site where all the jokes are submitted only by kids from around the world:

How many ADD kids does it take to change a lightbulb?
You wanna go ride bikes!?


  1. 'Fish gnat': One of my few crystal-clear memories of childhood is of being insulted by the unfunniness of jokes like that. My inner 10 year old thanks you for your commentary, franzy.

  2. How does an angel answer the phone?
    My grandchildren haven't come through with any jokes yet, they're going on holiday tomorrow to Tassie and said they might have some by the time they get back. If not, then sorry,cos I can't remember any that are suitable. I'll ask around.
    You used my favourite word!! Whimsy.
    What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea. (no eye deer)
    What do you call a monster with no ears? Anything you want, he can't hear you.
    What did one eye say to the other eye? Just between you and me, something smells.
    What did one tonsil say to the other? Let's dress up, the doctor's taking us out.

  3. The header would be a moon and a moon lantern with waving arms in between taken at the festival down by the river.

    Man one: My wife took her holiday in the Caribbean.
    Man two: Jamaica?
    Man one: No, she wanted to go.

    Girl one: Our new neighbours are Irish.
    Girl two: Oh really?
    Girl one: No O'Reilly

    What colour answers the phone?

  4. Pessimist: My glass is half empty.
    Optimist: My glass is half full.
    Detective: Dust that glass for prints and find out who's been drinking my coke.

  5. That ADD joke is brilliant. I'm going to steal it and pass it off as my own at somepoint.

    As for 'lo-fi' festivals, take solice in the fact that you weren't roped in to taking part in it.... nothing worse than being associated with a sinking ship.

  6. Opening of a REAL Festival! Fancy inflated balloon/planet thingys from the Adelaide Arts Festival opening night.

  7. Two muffins were in the oven.
    One muffin said "gee it's hot in here"
    The other muffin said "Oh my god! A talking muffin!"

  8. I've been googling. You probably did too.
    What did the teddy bear say when he was offered dessert?
    No thanks, I'm stuffed.

    When is a car not a car?
    When it turns into a garage.

    How much do pirates pay for their earrings?
    A buccaneer.

    Why did the atoms cross the road?
    It was time to split.

    Did you hear about the man who was tap dancing?
    He broke his ankle when he fell into the sink.

    Where do you find a no-legged dog?
    Right where you left him.

    What do you get if you cross an elephant and a kangaroo?
    Big holes all over Australia.

    What do you call a sleeping bull?
    A bulldozer.

    What do you call a fairy who doesn't take a bath?

    Where does the king keep his armies?
    Up his sleevies.

    What do you call the ghost who haunts TV shows?
    Phantom of the Oprah.

    What do you call a pub on Mars?
    The mars bar.

    Found a bunch of Redneck jokes too, but they're probably not suitable. You know the ones that go--You might be a redneck if...
    You wear a strapless dress with a bra that isn't.

  9. River - you're doing great and yes, I think we have been surfing around the same joke sites (they're not too ... diverse, are they?).
    Unfortunately, I completed and sent off the final 300 jokes to publisher this morning. You'll be pleased to know that I used (stole) many of the wonderful jokes you suggested - thank you very much!
    Fortunately, I am still a fan of jokes, so there will be a joke-related challenge attached to the next blog.
    I'm always disappointed by redneck jokes because they are all always from the same Jeff Foxworthy routine. I think it's his trademark or something because he's from the southern US.

  10. I used to watch the Jeff Foxworthy show way back when and that's where I first came across the redneck jokes and I still find them funny, but now there are funnier things to move on to. Pretty much if you've heard one redneck joke you've heard them all sort of thing but good for a giggle now and then.

  11. speaking of pirates..........
    where's your buccaneers?
    On your buccin head.

  12. Neil, that one made me laugh ot loud, startling my husband, henceforth known as L, and he spilled his coffee.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32