Saturday, August 9, 2008

You know you're on Bribie Island when ... (No. 3)

... getting hospital treatment for eczema is an all-weekend merry-go-round.

Comparisons: Adelaide vs Bribie Island

Fully-operational day-time outpatient dermatology clinic specialising in eczema and psoriasis. Check in at 8am. Check out at 3pm, home in time for tea and biscuits. Experienced staff, etc.

Bribie Island: Hour-long drive down to the Royal Brisbane Hospital on a Friday afternoon after being told that the best chance of securing the state's single dermatology bed (yes! One!) is to be admitted via the emergency department and weasel in from there. Wait in emergency department breathing in that sterile fug of boredom, depression and pain, scratching your skin off, while every type human being limps in with a sore foot and gets called up. Immediately. No waiting. At least half of whom seem to have your first name so that when they call out you get hopeful for about three tenths of a second. No liquids because the drink machines have been inexplicably switched off. As the evening wears on, the dregs of the Ekka start waddling in. 'Got pissed, fell down'ers start taking up the few seats with their showbags and over-sized plush toys.
Finally get an emergency short-stay bed, four hours after arriving. Walk past literally dozens of empty beds on the way to an empty ward. Restrain yourself from asking why the fuck we couldn't have had one of those beds three hours ago. Have your prescription medication taken from you without question by nursing staff. Get uneasy night's sleep while husband drives home.
Visited by husband next day and the two of you manage to convince everybody that they should probably give the prescription meds back.
Pay $45 for four days of "free to air" television to pass the time in between refusing the "food" and running eczema-care tutorials for nursing staff until Monday when all the dermatology consultants return from golf.

Did you spot the difference?

Been watching the Olympics? Have I got an amazing Olympic fact for you. Inspired and infected by Blue Milk's excellent post "
White babies saving the world, one nappy at a time", I've started watching a lot of other ads for that kind of assumption. No, I haven't even been watching The Gruen Transfer because we don't get Channel Two. Anyway, I digress. Olympic fact:

Did you know that middle-class white women are the only reason we play sports as children?

I'm sure that if you looked into it, they probably would be a driving factor behind a lot of Australian Olympic medals, but does this ad make anyone else roll their eyes and stomach linings? Where are the dads? Where are the kids who aren't too re
tarded to make their own fruit smoothies at 4am? Where are the coloured people? And when that clumsy buttface bumps his own breakfast-making mother aside while she's preparing his breakfast, why the fuck doesn't she grab him by the scruff of the neck, pull his ear off and chuck that in with the team's fresh geggies? A smile too much for an over-grown, over-indulged penis in a leotard? Let's see how hard you row with a pair of tongs up your tights.

I suspect this commercial has a lot to answer for where modern feminism is concerned. As far as I can read it, all of these mothers are the unsung heroes. However, they are heroes because of the things they are doing (preparing meals, playing taxi, putting up with insolent children) and definitely not because of the things they aren't (forging careers, sleeping in while male parent does the driving, teaching junior how to prepare their own meals, doling out some lessons in manners, actually winning medals themselves, etc). As far as Coles is concerned, women are there to cook the meals, drive the car, get trampled on and clap about it. None of the women in this film are depicted even talking. ie. "Jesus H. Christ, Charlene, it's fucking freezing out here! Let's go an get a coffee and a paper and come back when the girls have finished training."
No, according to Coles, acquiescent motherhood is the highest possible peak of achievement a woman can reach, and the only one.


In other news ... I have removed all references to my place of work (hereafter known as "CC") after a man came in on one of my days off mentioning this blog. Didn't know the guy, didn't want to. Went home, googled, deleted, prayed. Their are still a few cached pages around, but they don't return as high a search ranking as previously. I will ask all commenters to refrain from mentioning the CC by its fully searchable name from now on. Thanks.

GTH - Points go to Neil for the mental image of Mavis the Masked Midget going through or garbage and to Ninja for a) referencing The Wombats so stylishly and b) having a kid. New GTH rule: Have a kid, get a point. From now on. No retrospective children allowed.


  1. Oh my goodness, I saw that ad yesterday. HATED IT. I'm so sick of companies co-opting the bloody Olympics to sell their products. Have you seen Red Rooster's one with the dude painting the Great Wall red? Unbelievable.

    This one is the worst though. And you're right - we all know that the greatest thing a woman can do is live her life ENTIRELY for her child. Excellent post.

  2. Oh Poor poor Mele..... Sapphire has excesma too, but for an adult to have it as severely as Mele does and for the emergency ward to not take it seriously is f**king unforgivable. Please send her my regards - I hope that the Bribie Island move will eventually mean that she won't have to waste her time in such a hellhole that is obviously the 'hospital' up there.

    GREAT view re the ad - maybe you were listening in to Love Chunks and myself when we were 'treated' to repeated viewings of it over the weekend?
    LC: "Oh right another ad where the blokes are either invisible or total mental pygmies...."
    moi: "Why doesn't she just drop that kid off and go back to bed....?"
    LC: "Why doesn't she dong that kid over the head with the plate to snap him out of his selfish daze?"
    moi: "Why don't coles recognise that there are more helpers out there than housewives?"

    AUGH! You should send that bit in to the Age, or Traumatiser or (what's it up there - Courier Mail)!

  3. I see that CC is a Champion Show Partner of the Ekka...

    Was that coincidental or are you now employing your own subliminal advertising in your blog???

    Where will I meet you? the ethics review board, me-thinks!


    ffs, how am I EVER going to get a lifetime supply of vita brits?

  5. Audrey - Don't EVEN go there, female comrade. It's like the Olympics is this sudden excuse for the entire country to pretend it's 1943.

    Kath - Did you know that "Dopey Dad" is an actual advertising construct designed and used especially for advertising? Not only is he a way of demeaning men watching to keep out of the kitchens and bathrooms and in the loungeroom and garage (buying man things from tools to TVs), but to do this he also needs "Expert Mum" and "Precocious Child" to look on and shake their heads at his bone-headed activities. Thus, Expert Mum and Precocious Child never get to leave the kitchens, bathrooms, wherever.
    Blog post coming soon ...

    T.O.o.S. - Ha ha haaaa. Of course not! No. Noooo. Ha ha haaa. Never. Now let's all forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry ice-cream!

    Giggle - That's right. And it will be ALL YOUR FAULT for not being a DEVOTED ENOUGH MOTHER. Just telling it like is.
    Wait a minute! What are you doing on the computer anyway? Shouldn't you be out band-aiding scabs and assembling milkshakes in your designer kitchen?

  6. Mmmm Ice cream, I like Icecream...

    HEY!! Damn you, it almost worked - how did you know my only weakness (besides boobs of course)?!!

    For another GREAT example of "Got YOU, it is Advertising, Fool!" Click on my URL... very nifty way to get around those pesky ethical advertising laws... true. Also sponsors F1 team!

  7. Nothing further to add here...they've said it all.

  8. Direct my best wishes in Mele's direction also.

    That's why I shop at Woolies (actually it's because they're closer) who I'm sure are much more ethical and concerned about dispelling gender stereotypes and only add 14 ton of extra packaging to every 4 slices of ham because...hmm, well I'm sure they have their reasons.

    As someone who spends far too much of his time cleaning up other mammals' poo I find the Huggies' wipes ad offensive.

    Ooo! Look at the happy mother in her modern clean house.
    Marvel at how the grinning child isn't kicking, screaming and dipping its fingers into the poo and attempting to wipe it on mum's face.
    Gasp as the lid stays open and the wipe glides majestically from the dispenser, the perforations seeming disolving upon contact with air.
    Gape as the mum wafts the wipe in the general vicinity of arse and the poo is magically transported to another dimension.


  9. GTH:- Would that be the fiery itchiness of Mele's eczema?

  10. Oh thank God River finished her sentence with 'excesma' and not (as my brain automatically started to read) 'arse'.

  11. Yeah and why don't they show the mothers who watch their kids running last in the C class races at a school sports carnival?


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