Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking

Every year, our hockey club has an annual ball. A star-studded, black-tie happening. It caps off the year and formally acknowledges the efforts of those largely unsung heroes of amateur sports. It's like the Brownlows, with a dash of style, the Oscars with actual meaning. I've even hosted a few, taking up the ebony mic for the greater good of reading out names and practicing my beatboxing.

Apart from the bottomless beer jugs, the highlight of the night is always the team write-ups which appear on every table as an almanac of the year's play. Every team submits a little entry to the club's history, giving narrative to the great Australian sporting story played out every weekend. 

For some strange reason, our team always picks me to do ours. I barely barely understand the rules of the game. Let alone who does what. My mental instruction booklet on hockey is just a flash card with the words RUN! and HIT! written on opposite sides.

With that in mind, here was my round up for the Cows hockey season of 2012:

Some might say that it’s height of arrogance to get Grand Final winning shirts made up before the great match has even been played. Some might warn against the gob-smacking hubris necessary for having those shirts emblazoned with Grand Final-winning nick names like “Dream Crusher” and “Skull Fucker”. Those same nay-saying individuals would also be of the opinion that getting a “Cows Grand Final Winners 2012” tramp-stamp at the Four Roses before the season had even started was foolish, infantile, ill-judged, big-headed and just plain stupid. 

Those people have never met our coach, one Alex “Fairy” Kay-Oswald aka “Moose Jaw” aka “Stringbean Sally”. 

This was a man who, at the first training, looked his charges in the eye and declared, not “I want to win a premiership”, but “WE ARE GOING TO WIN A PREMIERSHIP”. Then he showed us this infected-looking tat on the small of his back and assured us that the Japanese characters translated into “Wagyu Kamikaze Rising Sun Karate”. This means (obviously) “Cows Grand Final Winners 2012”. 

And win we did. 

The End. 
More details? 
First, imagine PSY joined Survivor and did a cross-over mash-up of “Gangnam Style” and “Eye of the Tiger”. That’s pretty much our theme song. We trained as though our honour was at steak (intentional spelling). No one ever complained. No one ever missed a game. No one ever missed a goal. While other teams were out there talking tactics and practising their little training drills, Alex’s Cows were doing push-ups. No-handed. (Yes, that means we can all do them with our genitals.) We did sit ups when we needed to sleep. Our diet consisted of nothing but the crushed up hockey sticks of the teams we regularly obliterated on the field. Think about that, next time you’re sipping your little protein shakes and nibbling on your little energy bars. Cows eat their vanquished foes. 

Our finals campaign was nothing short of a master class in showmanship, skill, dexterity, low-altitude aerobatic stunt flying and how to really rub your victory in the sooky faces of your opposition. In the end, it was only fitting that the medal winning goal was scored in Golden Goal extra time, on the back-stick, with the sun in Hammo’s eyes and about nineteen Brave Brown Bears ready to pounce. The ball struck the back of the net with the finality of a guillotine coming to rest on the block. But, you know, with more fireworks and that. 

The Cows did indeed win the 2012 Grand Final, and all future grand finals ad infinitum amen, such was the magnitude of our triumph. But it was not without the bittersweet tang of an ending Autumnal romance (Ash, Bailey, that reminds me, did you get those shots like the doctor said?), for this is to be Supercoach Fairy’s final year with the Cows. He is going away on Secret Business in Canberra, which he thinks we think is at some flashy, big-deal government job, but we all know that it’s to live out his dream of becoming a porn auteur; writing, directing and starring in his own line of independent adult movies. He’s got the tat. Just keep an eye out for “Fairy’s Frolics” Volumes 1 to 9 coming soon to your local outlet (which, incidentally, is the tag line). 

In short, he’s an inspiration to us all and will be missed.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend round up

Sore shoulder. Persisted for some days. Went to physio. It's from leaning on one elbow for too long while devouring Cloud Atlas. You know your fightin' days are over when you get taken down by a reading injury. 
Fleshing out a repeat lecture on young adult fiction. Decided to look up some details for Catcher in the Rye. Found out that it's never been made into a movie. Had the same emotional response I did when I found out that Bil Watterson never licensed Calvin and Hobbes. It's 2-stage response that goes like this:
  1. It's wonderful that there are still some artists in the world who just want to create. Who believe in the purity of their vision, who don't want their work diluted until it's nothing more than a homeopathic representation of what they set out to achieve. 
  2. Following a brief trip to Wikipedia. Hmph. Well, it's pretty damn easy to insist on artistic integrity when you sell 45 and 65 million books respectively.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Except without the blue Camaro

Long-time readers might remember when I got excited and started posting about an old school-mate of mine who grew-up to become one of the state's most wanted criminals. Anthony John Smith, or Tony as I knew him, found fame when he ran away from the cops and hid in the sewers for three days, evading capture.
Just kidding.
He ran away from the cops and evaded capture by staying at an extremely expensive hotel in the city centre. For a month.

You can read the story in 6 parts, starting here.

The reason I'm posting again is because the comments section of the final chapter in the story has become a bit like the holiday house you forgot to lock. People got in. Interesting people. People who leave comments like:

"... the gaol workshops ... [are] a breach of the geneva convention, the poor conditions and low pay that the government capitalises on and exploits these disadvantaged people. the things they produce are then sold at an enormous profit by companies such as west coast cooler and freedom furniture."

"Brett Mcfarlane is evil to the core and needs to be eradicated from the face of the earth. I would gladly flick the switch on any electric chair.
.....and how am I qualified to make this statement ??
It was my throat he slit many years ago in Adelaide and burried me alive in the adelaide hills."

My personal favourite, arriving a few days ago was this one!
"if you hadn't had given him drugs and fucked him off he wouldnt have tryed to kill you fucking tranny."

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