Friday, October 3, 2008

Had something to do with a bucket ...

I hope everybody enjoyed Single Sentence September and didn't become too frustrated with the topsy-turvy standards and themes. I tried to run with a weekly theme, but then that seemed too predictable so I went down a different path which (obviously) involved no theme at all.
I seem to have failed at that theme as well.
The biggest problem I had was similar to the one experienced by Josh Hartnett's character in the modern-day tale of religious purity, 40 Days and 40 Nights. My problem was only similar in that I really had no outlet for my nigh-unquenchable desire for pleasure. In his case it was sex. Which was why the movie did so poorly. "Man goes without sex for 40 days!" is hardly somethi
ng that's going to entice movie-goers to part with their $15. I may have been single at around the time this movie came out and I can remember my initial reaction being something along the lines of "Boo Fucking Hoo. I just saw that in real life. Twice."
In my case, however, I was starved of my own natural outlet for stimulation and pleasure: writing.

If you don't have a blog and are reading this, you are probably furrowing your brow and wondering if I'm okay. You may even be considering making a casserole and popping over to do my laundry and make sure I'm brushing my teeth properly. If you do have a blog, you are probably still stuck at the end of the last paragraph,having laughed your breakfast all over the cat at the mere suggestion that I had actually stopped writing anything more than a sentence long all month
You know what I'm talking about: every blog I've visited over the last month has been subject to at least one Big Mac-sized slab of text wedged squarely in the comments section, doubling the length of the post itself and skipping off on tangents like a gay geometry teacher. Single Sentence September should have been more accurately titled: 'Blog On Other Bloggers' Blogs September', but alliteration is always awesome and that would have let everybody know that I was coming.
I like to be sneaky.

So, by way of saying 'thank you' to all the bloggers who hosted my guest-spots (or
"put up with my mutton-headed takeovers"), I will be searching back and finding a couple of the silliest examples of my blog invasions and posting them here with links to their original, more inspirational post. Yes, Writing has been reborn as an environmentalist: I am recycling my own shit.

The first one is rather special.

The formidably fantastic Poetsquib is currently hosting a competition. By a combination of luck, fate and chaos, she has acquired a free t-shirt. It's a ripper.
But she is not keeping it, she is not selling it, she is n
ot dumping it in a charity bin (lest it be burnt at a Goodwill stake) she is giving it away. Free postage. The t-shirt will go to the commenter with best reason for being given the shirt as explained in her comments section.
I went first with a mystical tale of curse and destiny and have since been both trounced, served and delivered a litany of literary smackdowns at the hands of snappy poetry and a longer, crazier sentence than I ever came up with.
I tried my hand at poetry, but it didn't really make the splash I might have been hoping for. But, since you are allowed to enter as many times as you like, I gave it another, longer go.
Bear in mind that I posted this right into Squib's comments section and what you read below is
not the entire entry. You'll have to mosey on over to poetsquib's great big blue t-shirt competition to find out what happens ...

It would have been a dark and stormy night, but Franzy had locked himself indoors with all of the lights on and the stereo tuned to out-rattle the watered-down sludge which fell from the sky as what passed for God's Great Rain these days. He was band-aid ripper kind of person, unable to put up with the tediousness of prolonged suffering before the inevitable snuff. Taking his final queues from Thomas and Cobain, he preferred to leave, not with a whimper, but a bang.

The generator gauge fell like a twirling leaf in a slow motion info-sermon explaining God’s Greatest Design Triumphs. Less-than-6000-year-old fossil fuel heated, burned, died and fled to The One True Heaven from the exhaust spire. Franzy pulled on his homemade Llama t-shirt, just to be ready when the Divination And Prayer Brigade would undoubtedly arrive to claim back his mortal soul and save him from the wickedness of scientific lightbulbs not illuminating any proper moral teachings and also from the hellish sound of decades-banned secular music lest it poison the air and ears of the Good Soldiers Of God throughout the neighbourhood.

He turned up the music and peered out into the street. A few curtains swayed as hunched shapes cowered behind them, praying to their Holy Candles that this last threat to True Spiritual Peace and Righteousness would be taken from their Pure And Perfect Lives Unsullied By Controversial Thought Or Deed. Divination And Prayer would arrive soon and, with the might of God, set everything right once again.

Franzy smiled and slumped into a Counsel-issued Prayer Chair which he had carefully broken and rebuilt into a normal seat that didn’t force you to lean forward and kneel and pray to almighty God every time you wanted to sit or stand. He checked the generator gauge and plugged in his most forbidden treasure, hidden all these years in a hollowed-out illustrated Holy Book which he had sealed with canvas, claiming it was untouched by Sinner’s Hands. The Web Weaver Of Satan had held up very well for something that would have been laughably out of date had The Gentle Holy Counsel allowed personal computers to continue being developed and distributed. As such, they had been declared sinful and morally diseased: the soul-raping plague rats of the mid-21st Century, spreading anti-Godist propaganda and cutting the hearts from The Pure Children Of God as they went.

Franzy plugged the old smiley-face plug into his home-made converter and plugged the converter into the now-icon-shaped electrical socket. Little green lights flickered warmed up as he turned on the laptop.

There was no point in having it on really. Just for memories. Satan’s Web had long been dismantled and banished as the Evil Cancer Which Rotted The Souls And Minds Of God’s Pure Children. There was no Blogger, no Google, no Boingboing. No electrical pulses carrying information of any sort.

But that didn’t mean that he couldn’t still look at the old cache files he had madly saved during the internet’s final days before it was bricked up in a cold tomb, along with free media, non-religious texts and anyone else who tried to stop the entire place turning into a mega-sized puritanical village run by power-mad elders and assisted by God-fearing zombies praying for righteousness and good at whatever cost.

Over the polluted rain pounding on the roof and the throbbing metal wailing from the speakers Franzy could just make out the furious pounding of horses’ hooves and rusty farming tools banging together. Out in the street somebody was singing a shaky-voiced prayer as they assembled a large wooden frame.

He scanned his old blog posts, noticing a missed plural there, a spelling error here and a bunch of absent apostrophes that had gone to join the twenty generations of floating fathers who crowded into the room with him, hands stuffed in ill-fitting pockets, plucking at poorly-cut shirts, shuffing amateur-grade chain mail and rewrapping badly tied loin-cloths. They shook their ghostly heads and peered out of the window at the chanting mob, jabbering in unison as a man stood in front of them on a make-shift stage, yelling and waving a book and a torch.

Franzy finally found what he was looking for and a couple of the ghosts gathered over his shoulder.

I command you. Go to poetsquib! Live the heightening drama!


Guess The Header - Oh yeah. You thought I'd forgotten. I haven't.

Inaugural winner is The Mighty Other, other Sam, who may now refer to himself by his Nom du Bling (or 'Rap Name'), T-MOoS. Two points. Two comments. Two points. Plus two chest thumps and a fist pound.

Is that how it will work from now on? Maybe. You'll just have to suck it up and see to it.


  1. I would write a longer and better comment on that blog to beat you, but I already have that t-shirt (in green).

  2. GTH-Franzy's hairy knees.
    Relation to the post? AB-SO-LUTE-LY no idea.

    Must be a relief to be able to finally let loose with the words again. On your own blog I mean.

  3. Does that mean when we comment here we do it in single sentences?

  4. GTH- Franzy wearing a kilt

    By the way I am open to bribery re the competition. I'm very easily corrupted

  5. River - Close. Nice try.

    Miles - Please no! I hope to lead by example.

    Squib - Closer.
    I thought my words were bribes!

  6. If you DO win the FTM t-shirt Franzy, then you must photograph yourself wearing it. In your clogs.

    GTH - please tell me it's not you peeing in a bucket...?

  7. Kath - FTM?

    What does the "T" stand for? Tagliatelle? Tortellini? Tonnarelli?

    Are FTM worshipers like Lutherans?


  8. How's this for you - I just showed Love Chunks your Fist Pound cartoon. "Oh, did he do the drawing?"
    "Er, no."
    Methinks it's time to get off the web and help LC pack up our cabin to get on the road to Whanganui....


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