Email me

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series 5 #1

Q: How many moles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Just one, but she and the footy team have to be really, really small.

See? It’s never too early for a mole joke.

Sorry, but that’s how I’ve chosen to start my recap of the first episode of Series 5 of the greatest post-modern televisual farce of the 21st Century. And what an episode it is. Any show that starts with the word ‘fuck’ on the runway, pauses in the middle for some hearty up-chucking and then romps towards wrapping one’s legs around a giant lipstick is like chicken soup for my soul. Except the chicken soup is deep-fried cheese, and my soul is black and empty. I can only react like a bunch of modules seeing their mansion for the first time. Oh. My. God.
And bleeeeuuurrrghhh!!

Welcome, one and all, to the 'I Dissed A Scrag And I Liked It' episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Wheeeee!

· I suppose I have to take a moment to flag the presence of new host, Saint Sarah Murdoch. In an unprecedented move by producers, I am left without an obvious speech impediment to imitate and ridicule. This decision cannot be seen as anything except goddamn selfish. Picking on someone who is gorgeous, articulate and the figurehead for two hundred and forty-three charitable organisations will not only be difficult, I’d go so far to say it’s a noy-goy area. Time will tell.

· We start at the Ivy, where Sydney’s fashion K-list are gathered to guzzle and gawk. Charlotte Dawson, Shiny Alex Perry, Priscilla Leighton-Clarke, Wayne GEEEEZAH! Cooper and various terrifying fuzzy-haired women blather to the camera about how excited they are to meet the new crop. STOP TALKING AND BRING OUT THE SCRAWNY BIMBOS ALREADY. If I wanted to see a bunch of washed-up pseudo-celebrities downing champagne and spouting platitudes, I would’ve gone to Ivy myself. In a red frock with a black belt. And I would’ve positioned myself just to the left of the judge’s table, looking sarcastic and trying to get my arse on camera. Obviously.

· The scrags wander in one by one, oblivious to the ogling crowd behind the double-doors until they shuffle through. Leah puts it best when she says “We had to walk past, like, all these famous people. I had no idea who they were”, and she does her best to stop her dictionary, bookmarked at the definition for ‘famous’, from falling out of her luggage. Shiny Alex, Priscilla and Charlotte, champing at the bitch after months of doing nothing but designing frocks, signing up previous-season leftovers and looking for blow-up dolls, let forth with a tirade of glorious vitriolic pellets such as:
“Fresh expensive – sounds like contact lenses”;
“This is the surfie girl. This is economy-class Garuda”;
“She needs to shake hands with conditioner”;
“She looks like a wild pig”;
“She looks like she’s been at Arc, rolled out, dragged something through her hair and come here”;
“There’s something spaz with her teeth”
“She’s expensive, but she’s got that look with her eyes too close together, that she could possibly knife you in the back”; and
“She’s Jon-Benet Ramsay, aged eighteen”.
Better watch out, guys, or the media might make a gigantic frothy hoo-hah about those comments. Naaah. Never happen.

· I really just have one observation at this point. Madison. Honey. What. Is with. Your hair. Two hundred homeless mermaids, Helena Bonham-Carter and a haystack want it back.

· Saint Sarah asks each girl some impromptu questions, and the deluded darlings think that personality has something to do with being a model. That’s like thinking that Rene Magritte’s Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe has anything to do with an actual pipe or, for the lowbrow amongst you, that Kerri-Anne Kennerley is actually that jazzed about bench-top grills at nine o’clock in the morning.

· After the interrogation-lite, each module goes backstage to be barked at by Jonathan Pease, who is wearing vinyl because he spent all his money making his hair foofier. Cassi Van Den Dungen Haagen Dazs instantly endears herself to me by saying to camera “When I went backstage, I meet... George. No. Not George. What’s his name... um... what was his name?”. His name is George, Cassi. Thanks to you, for the next eight years, Jonathan Pease’s name is now George. Bless you. Franky, after walking the wrong way when she first entered the room, walks the wrong way off the stage. Luckily, being able to walk in a straight line has bugger all to do with being a mod... wait.

· The scrags go straight into hair and make-up for a sudden gallop down the catwalk. Lola tries to fit her size 12 feet into size 8 shoes, and her size 40 jaw into a normal-person-sized skull. The hairdressers fire up the deluxe hedge-trimmers and welding torch and head towards Madison’s hair, and Joh Bailey struggles under the weight of the extraneous letter ‘h’ in his name.

· For those of you playing at home, the Modules Who Say They Are Shitting Or Crapping Themselves Count is now at: 2.

· A number of things go wrong on the catwalk, but only one of these things matters. Leah’s foot coming out of her shoe, Mikarla circling the runway like an emaciated tractor around a wheatfield, Madison posing like she has three armpits and they all chafe, Laura T missing her step - these things all pale next to Cassi Van Den Dungen Haagen Dazs’s monumental Shakesperean soliloquy. She stumbles on the runway. She says ‘fuck’ on the runway. She gallops head-long into my heart. These girls are all stunning. They all have buckets of potential. They all have legs until next Thursday. But Cassi says fuck.

· Backstage, Saint Sarah, Shiny Alex and Charlotte give the girls a critique about their posture, not having tattoos on their foreheads, making things look expensive, and saying ‘fuck’ (PS: Cassi said ‘fuck’).They announce that Franky is the winner of the catwalk challenge and has immunity from elimination this week. Now, I know that a group discussion about walking first one way and then another should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by hydrogen.

· The girls see the Module Mansion for the first time, and marvel at the miraculous perpendicularity of the wall/floor relationship, and talk well into the night about how much contemporary architecture owes a debt to the International style of the previous century. They also totally lose their shit when they see their free shoes. Champagne and sparkling water are guzzled, Maybelline-branded lobotomy-prevention devices are strapped on, and Casi Van Den Dungen Haagen Dazs is overwhelmed and has a bit of a vommy. This girl is really developing quite the high-falootin’ vocabulary.

· The scrags are also coming up with a few choice words and phrases where Cassi is concerned – words and phrases like “loud”, “attention-seeking”, “annoying”, “never shuts up” and “shoot her in the head”. Cassi Van Den Dungen Haagen Dazs retaliates by busting out some mad breakdancing skillz, and I shrink-wrap her and put her on the front shelf in the Refrigerator Of Awesome. I’d totally reheat her in the Microwave Of Clinically Insane, but that’s just part of her charm. Franky is labelled a bitch as well, but she’s not mental, so I don’t care.

· A Sarah-Mail arrives, and the vast and stunning scope of the ANTM budget delivers it with a pile of paper parasols and some glitter. GLITTER! That’s like lobster in the prop world. Tahnee drifts off for a moment because there are sparkly particles in the air, and then guesses that the ‘Don’t be a drip at your first photo shoot’ message has something to do with fantasy. This is because she’s a tall, gorgeous girl who has a monkey playing a harpsichord as her inner monologue. It’s about water, sweetie. Water. Even your bangle knows that.

· George Pease meets the girls at notorious fashion hub Olympic Park, having recently prised the front off a couple of Commodore 64 monitors and fashioned them into sunglasses. George introduces photographer Georges Antoni, and tells Georgie she’ll be up first. Modelling is confusing. The modules are told they’ll be posing in “Swimwear Ka-choo-wa” (bless you) in a fountain, and the make-up artists give them a choice of either lips or eyebrows, which sounds like a choice you might make at a Sizzler buffet. You’d be wanting a summary around now, huh. Right.
- Georgie (blue lips) has a bad tan-line, so two make-up artists smear brown stuff around her arse, because I enjoy making you think about poo. She has to pose with a highly relevant giant soccer ball, and just does an okay job, so George Pease says – wait, just putting on a girdle so my sides don’t split – “Georgie dropped the ball today”. Because she had a ball. And she dropped it. It’s a metaphor.
- Tahnee (purple lips) has a bejeweled ABC logo on her head. It’s the closest she’ll ever get to a documentary.
- Adele doesn’t get a stupid prop. Adele should’ve been given a stupid prop. That is all.
- Lola (big blue/black eyebrows) looks like the hottest 1940s pin-up since 1940. Even the way the water from the fountain collects on her jawline and cascades over it like a massive rocky precipice is enchanting.
- Mikarla (blue eyebrows) has to lean against the fountain because there’s no way her transparent legs can OH MY GOD YOUR RIBS. Did someone stretch a condom over a fork?
- Franky (blue eyebrows) has to straddle a gigantic red lipstick. I’ll just say that again: straddle a gigantic red lipstick. Outside my house there is currently a queue of puppy dog jokes, all waiting their turn to come in. She doesn’t handle direction very well, but fair enough – Georges was using high-end ambiguities like “back”, “front”, “left” and “right”. I don’t think Franky will ever get to Hollywood at this rate.
- Claire (big black eyebrows) is the girl at the front of the class who always has her hand up, asks for extra homework and doesn’t let boys put their tongues in her mouth. The whole looks-a-bit-like-Sissy-Spacek-in-Carrie doesn’t do much to endear her to the other girls either, so they bunch up in a corner to have a right bitch, including the admittedly smirk-worthy “I just told her to get out of the sun ‘cause she might get a tan and look alive”. She does, however, rock her photo-shoot, so I’m torn. I want to pick on her, but I don’t want my school prom to catch on fire. Hmmm…
- Cassi (green lips) leans back on a pink flamingo, looks stunning, and doesn’t say ‘fuck’. So, y’know – win.
- Leah (big bluey-black eyebrows) offsets the hottest red swimming costume ever with a Christmas wreath on her head and a bad attitude. George Pease gives her a stern talking-to and tries not to stare at the mole on her chin. So. Hypnotic.
- Eloise (didn’t even notice the eyebrows, or even the face, because I was too busy sobbing about not being born with her body), has a stupid good body. And a dinky children’s pool toy. Oh, the postmodern juxtaposition!
- The Lauras both lie in the fountain and frown up into the sun. This is second only to looking constipated in top-shelf couture posing, and much, much easier on the hemorrhoids.
- Madison (pink lips – cheating) has all her hair tied back, so she looks amazing. She’s also happy to be back in the water, as her gills were drying out.

· Back at the Module Mansion, a fugly runner arrives with a Sarah Mail lodged inside a budget-breaking bunch of lilies, and the modules notice that all the lilies except one are open. They take this to mean ‘impending elimination’, possibly because there’s been an elimination after every photo shoot in every episode of every series of this show across the globe, but I’m not sure. I take it to mean that there’s one virgin in the house, and that she has to be hunted down and burned.

· Huh. It’s the elimination thing after all. The scrags thunder into the Elimination Mausoleum, where they’re met by Saint Sarah, who only makes it in the nick of time after organising a lamington drive for the Friends Of The Homeless, Destitute, And Unacceptably Freckled. Without the aid of a clipboard, she lists the prizes this year, which I think include a Choc-Mint Cornetto and a Supre Gold Customer card. She introduces the judges including Charlotte “My Forehead Is Smoother Than Dean Martin’s Arse” Dawson, Shiny Alex Perry (who is dressed today as a cowboy, or at the very least a squinting polyp on a cowboy), Priscilla Leighton-Clarke, who is totally sitting next to the others, and Georges Antoni, who wants everybody to notice his chest, please. Sensing a fancy dress theme, Lola comes as a pirate.

Photos are shuffled through one by one, and the judges deliberate, with some notable quotables:
“Is it too early for a mole joke? You’ve got a nice mole. Embrace it. Just don’t be a mole”
“This is the fumble-bug that came down the catwalk and went fuck”

"Let's face it, she's climbed Rooty Hill, not Mount Everest"

“What a lump. She’s just a moose”
“Squinty McSquinty-Pants”

Also, thanks to Mikarla’s dietary information, McCain pizzas now have a new slogan: McCain. Feeding Skinny Bitches Who Say They Eat Whatever They Want And Can’t Put On Weight Since 1991. Catchy.

The modules wait for their names to be read out by the irritatingly articulate St Sarah, and eventually only Adele The Unremarkable and Laura The Heaps Experienced are left. Adele is told that she has strong features but she’s a bit quiezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Laura is told that with her previous modeling, the judges were expecting more. Eight days pass, and Laura’s out on her arse. Bye, Laura! Don’t forget to put the experience of walking out the door on your extensive resume!

Next week, the tension gets wound a little tighter as the in-fighting ramps up, the scrags don leotards in a physical challenge, and people fall off things. Drastic. Elastic. Spastic.

PS: You know you want to know what Petstarr knows. Y'know? Make the jump to warp speed and get your arse to Bland Canyon for her wrap-up.


Underbelly, A Tale Of Two Cities - Episode 10

Recapped By Darzelle Wixton-Smythe, Who Can’t Possibly Go To School Today Because Her Mum Won’t Let Her Wear An Adidas By Stella McCartney Onesie In P.E.

Couldn’t. Understand. An Effing. Word.
I think the script for Chris Flannery in this dumb show might just be twenty pages of wiggly lines, with the occasional instruction like SHOOT GUN IN AIR, or LAUGH LIKE YOU’RE RETARDED, or PUNCH MATE IN FACE. He’s like, mental. He needs to go to the Home For The Mumbling Mental! I just made that up.

The Mumbler has lots of meetings with the Fugly Squad and some other guys in a place where there are sluts dressed as Greek ladies, and it gets confusing – it’s all drinks and icing sugar and boobs and spas and prawn cocktails. It’s just like an episode of Gossip Girl, but with more boobs and drinks and prawn cocktails.

George Freeman takes his clothes off waaay too much in this episode. At one point he’s just standing there in his undies, and I’m all like ew, and I’m all like “Don’t just stand there in your undies!”, and then later he’s completely nude, and I’m totally reminiscing about when he was only just standing there in his undies. The Mumbler wants George Freeman to hire him, but George Freeman says “If I wanted a clown, I’d hire Ronald effing McDonald”, but I reckon he’d be too busy.

Bob Trimboli is hiding in Dublin, but I don’t think he’s hiding very well because the Dumpy Waitress and Bob’s doctor just walk into the first pub they see and go “Hi”. Trimboli is selling guns and bombs to the IRA, which I think is like the NRMA but not as good for your car.

Matthew Newton is still in England and still in jail, and he has to go to court for a trial. Lady Gaga gets Alison to testify in court, but Hot Bitch Lawyer steals her thunder by standing up and telling everyone she loves Matthew Newton like she’s in a musical or something. Hot Bitch Lawyer’s mum is there, and she asks Matthew Newton what he can offer her daughter. I suppose the same as he can offer all his other girlfriends – lots and lots of boobs-out time and a really good chance of being killed and chopped up.

The Hot Squad suspect that Dieter Brummer is leaking information, so they bug his phone, so it’s lucky he finally got some lines.

The Mumbler kills the older brother from The Castle, and the cops are pissed because they really like saying “Tell him he’s dreamin’” or something. I don’t know. I kind of lost interest in a lot of the plot since Alison started wearing her hair back. The Mumbler keeps talking about how he’s got a green light, and I’ve never seen anyone so pumped about a traffic signal.

Matthew Newton does heaps of staring this week, and reads a Norman Mailer book and throws a chair around. Pretty much anything that stops him painting in the nude is okay by me. The jury finds him guilty of bad hair and probably murder, and Hot Bitch Lawyer cries and hugs her mum and really shouldn’t screw up her face like that because it’s fugly squared.

Next week is the last episode, which is good because then I can go back to doing my homework on Monday nights. HAHAHAHAHAHA kidding. I do my nails Mondays.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beautiful One Day, Rocking Sh*t Up The Next.

If any of the following sounds like you:

1. You have taste. You have style. You are badass. (I’m assuming you’re at least two out of three if you read me. Obviously);

2. You like men in waistcoats and sneakers;

3. You live in or near Newcastle, Coolangatta or Brisbane, or will be travelling there in the next two weeks on a tasteful, stylish, badass junket;

4. You’ll do stuff just because I tell you to;

Then you should get yourself to one of the following gigs to see Sierra Fin on the Northern leg of their ‘Meet & Greet’ tour:

May 7th Thursday
The Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle
with Vaudeville & Like Alaska

May 8th Friday
The Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta
with The Gin Club, Villains of Wilhelm & Hungry Kids of Hungary

May 9th Saturday
The Old Museum, Brisbane
with Richard in Your Mind, Villains of Wilhelm, Skinny Jean, Mr Maps & Idle Cranes.

I promise you won't be sorry. Fit blokes. Soaring vocals. Unexpected twists and turns. Astounding mastery of a dazzling array of instruments. People hitting drums harder than ever before. Hair. Ukulele.

Tell ‘em Jo sent you.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Underbelly, A Tale Of Two Cities - Episode 9

Recapped By Darzelle Wixton-Smythe, Who Is Pissed With Ruby Rose For Stealing Four Of Her Tattoo Ideas, And Her Idea To Host MTV.

Two hours. I had to watch this for two hours. I missed like, forty-three of Demi and Ashton’s Twitter updates.

So this week’s episode was mostly about drinking, court, cops, going fishing and going to the toilet, sometimes on people’s shoes. Everybody’s telling on everybody else, nobody trusts anyone, and everyone’s hair is getting bigger. It’s like a humid day in a western suburbs primary school.

A diver finds Merrick Watts’ body in a lake, and he’s really got a face for radio. Scottish Napoleon Dynamite totally can’t have sex whenever he thinks about Merrick, which only makes him like everybody else in the whole world hahahahaha! Except for Mrs Merrick, who’s pregnant right now, but she probably only got pregnant so she could ruin that joke. Bee-yotch.

Matthew Newton accidentally spills something on Hot Bitch Lawyer and then gets arrested. He offers the British cops half a mullion dollars and the creepiest smile ever, but they refuse both and give him some overalls to wear. Hot Bitch Lawyer has to go to jail in her undies, because this show is stupid.

Bob Trimboli has to wee a lot, and his doctor tells him he has prostate cancer. I asked my dad what a prostate was, and he lied and said it was a gland near a man’s bladder that the doctor checks by putting fingers up his bum. Yeah, right Dad. Is that like you telling me there’s an Easter Bunny, or that there other members of the Jackson family? The doctor also tells Bob that he has a Lebanese contact who wants to sell hash in the Antipodes, who I think is a Greek bloke.

The frumpy waitress at the Grotty Capri should start buying her blouses from somewhere else. Mank. Bob tells her he has to leave the country and BTW he has cancer. K thx bye! He gets through customs because they’re all using Commodore 64s.

There’s loads and loads of police interviews and trials and inquests and stuff this week, and I got a bit confused. Everybody seems to go to London and then to Sydney, Alison goes from a laundromat in Miami to a crappy motel in Sydney, and one of the cops from the Hot Squad brings her some fish and chips, which I reckon is really insensitive. Like, if you want to insult a New Zealander, you just tell them they have sex with sheep – you don’t have to get all linguistically obvious with their dinner and stuff.

Fugly cop Smith totally looks like a monkey when he eats a banana, Y/N?

For some reason the older brother from The Castle is in this show now, and Bob Trimboli wants him to find a couple of trucks to transport drugs in. I bet you anything he finds them in the Trading Post.

After some interviews, phone-tapping and research, the Hot Squad find out that Bob Trimboli is the rhizomic link of criminal activity between all significant players. Like, der.

Dieter Brummer has too many lines now, I reckon. He gets a job with the Hot Squad so he can secretly report back to the corrupt guys in the Fugly Squad. If he doesn’t want to get found out, he should shave off his gross moustache – obviously to be in the Hot Squad, you have to remove all your body hair. That’s how Lady Gaga can wear so many leotards hahahahaha!

Brian the Bad Lawyer doesn’t have a very good time this week. He gets fired, punched, drunk, left by his wife, chucked out of clubs, locked out of his house, snubbed by the gangsters, snubbed by the police, and handcuffed to an oven at the bottom of the ocean. Dude should totally have checked his horoscope before he left the house, or at least listened to the soundtrack. Everybody knows that as soon as you hear Pachelbel’s Canon, you’re pretty much going to bite it. In like, slow motion.

Next week Alison’s hair and Matthew Newton’s stare get bigger, and The Mumbler returns. Dieter Brummer gets in a spa, which would’ve been hot in Home And Away, but not so much now. Shave, dude.

Okay, it’s school holidays, and I’ve got new shoes. Obviously I have to go and do some underage drinking. See you later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Maverick 5: The Maverick Reloaded

I’m speechless.

Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald.
I cannot BELIEVE that the same thing that happened to my friend Penny also happened to Charlotte Dawson from Australia’s Next Top Model.

I mean - what are the odds?


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maverick 4: A New Hope

Not a peep from the school after the last email. It was time to consider the possibility that Maverick had been discovered and taken home by a student, member of staff, or errant caretaker with a penchant for moustaches and under-achieving silhouettes.
Put simply, it was time to crank the search up a notch.

First, I joined the school’s facebook group, and left a pleading message on their wall. I thought it wise to include the classic amnesty phrase “No questions asked”, to encourage people to come forward. My inclusion of the phrase was, in no uncertain terms, a complete lie. I have many, many questions.

Next, I made up some posters to put around the suburb in question, hoping that someone would see them, recognise Maverick from the picture, and send him home. The barkeep at the local pub even agreed to put one up behind the bar, although she didn’t look entirely happy about it.

Bring our baby home, Universe. Bring him home.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Urban Decay 10

Part 10: Ashes To Ashes, C*nt To Country.

Oh, catch up.

I can’t believe it’s been a year.
I can’t believe he’s gone.
Mostly, I can’t believe Nicole didn’t show up. What, she doesn’t have a black frock?

On Saturday past, a few of us gathered at the Hong Kong Rock Room at the Annandale Hotel (thanks, Kristie Kristofferson) to say farewell to Keith. The dress code was formal. The atmosphere was reverent. The beer was cold. The telly was begrudgingly tuned to the Country Music Channel, which was counting down the ’30 Best Country Driving Songs’.

At one point, I was sure I saw Russ wipe a tear from his cheek, but it turned out he just had a shard of plastic in his eye from some last-gasp destruction efforts. Amazingly, when we looked closely at the shard, we noticed that it contained a special message, completely un-manipulated by Russ. Cough.

Looks like it was written by Prince, but.

It was a surprisingly touching and emotional affair – Keith has been with us through thick and thin. Through blood, sweat and tears. Through mud, toads and cake.

We thought it was only fitting to construct a shrine to Keith, celebrating our favourite moments and allowing mourners to pay their respects to his remains. Plus, they totally had a special on photo frames at my local two dollar shop.

Even though we were at his funeral, we still thought Keith was looking a little too together for someone who was supposed to be at the business end of a destruction project. So I decided to add some rip to his R.I.P, because I’m so bloody clever with words and letters and that.

Speeches were kept brief due to the intense emotion making our voices all wobbly and the tears making the words all blurry, but they included an absentee telegram poem by Shellity, and a toast with beer in chilled champagne glasses because we’re classy as all get-out.

We are gathered here today to agree that my frock is awesome.

Then it was down to business. We basically had two big shards of CD plus a whole mess of broken-and-torn-up crap. First, we took one of the shards into the ladies’ toilet.
Keith whispered “I’ve never been in here before”.
Russ whispered “I have”.

I don't think my prom date's going to make it through the night.

Like throwing a handful of dirt on the coffin.




Next, Russ took the second shard into the gents’. I think the pictures really speak for themselves when describing what happened to Keith there. Suffice to say, beer in chilled champagne glasses just goes straight through Russ.

Oh, you know what's coming.
Imagine you're the guy who walked into the gents' at this moment.

Whilst preparing for the cremation with a few more beverages, we were “entertained” by the Top Five Country Driving Songs blaring at us from the big screen. Magically, as if smiling down on us from the big S-bend in the sky, Keith was number one. NUMBER ONE. And the song was called… um… something. What am I, Glenn A Baker? Sheesh. We celebrated. We danced. We saluted.

Time wore on, and we reluctantly headed outside for the final cremation. For those of you who want to visit Keith’s final resting place, it’s here:

Like Haight/Ashbury, but WAY more relevant.

All was silent, save for the distant sound of passing traffic and the subtle rasp of a lighter flicking furiously into funereal flame. Thanks to the help of some toilet paper accelerant, Keith was soon on fire. We watched him burn. We inhaled his seriously foul smoke. We looked outrageously attractive bathed in his infernal glow. It was touching. It was beautiful. And, admittedly, taken out of context, it was fucking weird.

And now he’s a pile of ashes. A smudge on the side-street of life. A smudge with a suspicious-looking dribble of liquid beside him. Jeez, Russ. See a doctor.

Bye, mate. We’ll miss you.
Sort of.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Maverick 3: Fly Harder

I received a reassuring email on Friday from the school, letting me know that school staff were, in fact, taking my request seriously. And apologising to me.
To Me.

> Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2009 11:02:04 +1000
> From: P*********@********
> To: ********
> Subject: RE: Lost Property Enquiry
> Dear Jo,
> thank you for your reply.Sorry for my reply as I did forward to you by mistake, no offence intended. It certainly was an unusual request.
> Despite the unusual request and my light hearted response to R**** I did take your request seriously and I am sure that if it did alight in ****** we would forward it to you. We are keeing our eyes open. Usually it would have turned up by now so I guess the strong winds may have taken it further.
> best of luck
> P*******

I was equal parts reassured and curious:

From: *********
To: **********@*******
Subject: RE: Lost Property Enquiry
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009 14:18:23 +1000

Dear P******,

Thank you so much for your reassurance. I remain hopeful that Maverick will surface eventually. If he has in fact been blown outside the school grounds, it might be a good idea for me to put some posters up around the area - I think I have a picture of him somewhere.

I do have a question, though - you say that "usually it would have turned up by now". How long does it normally take for inflatable dolls to be located on school grounds?

Thanks again,

I still think he was blown inside the school, though. They are private school girls, after all.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Maverick 2: The Mavericking.

The search for Maverick continues. Inch by inch (sorry, Maverick – is that insensitive?), we creep closer to his return.

I was thrilled this morning to receive what I thought was a response from the school in question to my lost property enquiry. Alas, the email had been sent to me by mistake – what was intended as a message to another teacher was accidentally forwarded to my email address instead. Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen:

> Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2009 07:58:14 +1000
> From: *********@********
> To: ***********
> Subject: Re: Lost Property Enquiry
> Hi R****,
> love it!! Could I get my Form class to look for it?
> (Just joking! But year 9 would love it!) Is this an April fools joke?
> cheers
> P*****

It seems the school was not giving the quest for Maverick the serious consideration we had hoped. It was time for another email.

From: *********
To: **********@*********
Subject: RE: Lost Property Enquiry
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2009 07:25:12 +1000

Dear P*****,

Your email below may have come to me by mistake?

Either way, I can assure you that my request for this item of lost property is not an April Fools' prank. I'm not sure what they teach there at the school, but everybody knows that any prank played after midday on the 1st of April is null and void, and likely to result in justified retribution by the prankee - a "wedgie" or similar - whatever the kids are doing these days.

I do appreciate your attention to my original email, however, and hope that Maverick (as the item has affectionately been dubbed) is found safe from harm. Punctures can of course be repaired, but with the normal teenager's propensity for defacement, I fear, if found, that Maverick may not have survived with dignity intact.

My apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Thank you and sincere regards,
Jo Thornely.

We all remain hopeful, yet concerned. Autumn is here, and Maverick is nude. It’s cold out, and even when you don't have any genitals, shrinkage can be a bitch.


Thursday, April 02, 2009


A friend of mine – let’s call her Penny (she understandably wishes to remain anonymous) - lives on a fairly high floor of a very tall building, and her balcony overlooks the grounds of an expensive and exclusive private girls’ school across the road.

Penny’s boyfriend was away for a few days, so her flatmate thought it would be hilarious to buy a male blow-up doll and leave it, fully inflated, in Penny’s bed. The doll was a particularly cheap model, un-blessed by the inconvenience of genitals, inflatable or otherwise. The doll’s name, according to the packaging, was Maverick.

When Penny discovered Maverick in her bed, she didn’t see the funny side straight away. After recovering from the initial terror she grabbed it and, realising her flatmate had just left for a party (dressed as a pirate, mind you – not relevant – just funny), ran with it to the balcony. She saw her flatmate below, shouted to her, and waved Maverick in the air.

The wind was angry that night, my friends.
In no time at all, Maverick had leapt free of Penny’s grip, and was floating across the street. Like his Top Gun namesake, he soared, looped-the-loop and seemingly mocked the laws of physics. Over a tree he flew, gradually losing altitude. Across the netball courts of the expensive and exclusive private girls’ school he wafted, and then, tired of his naked, airborne adventures, he gently drifted behind a building right in the middle of the school.

Naturally, when Penny told me this story, I laughed up my freaking pancreas. Shortly afterwards, I decided that it should become my mission to get Maverick back. A girl can never have too many hobbies, and Blow-Up Doll Retrieval is as honourable as any.

To that end, this very morning I have sent the following email to the administrative ladies at the aforementioned school:

From: ************ @
To: **************@**********
Subject: Lost Property Enquiry
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 10:50:58 +1000

Dear Sir/Madam,

I regularly visit a friend who lives in a building very close to your school, and unfortunately recently whilst there, I lost some property that I believe may have ended up on school grounds.

On Saturday 28th March, whilst engaging in some tomfoolery on my friend's balcony, the item became caught in the wind and blew across the road, over a tree, and behind some buildings within the grounds.

Whilst the item is unusual and a little embarrassing, I assure you it has great sentimental value and I am anxious for its return.

The item is an almost life-sized male doll of caucasian appearance with brown hair, a moustache, and a surprised expression.

I realise that this may not be the kind of thing that could reasonably be announced at a school assembly, but if any of your staff or students do happen across this lost property, I would be very pleased to have it returned.

Thank you and best regards,
Jo Thornely.

I really, really hope I get a response. If not, Penny and I will be moving on to the second part of the plan. We will get him back, dammit.

It’s alright, Maverick. Mummy’s coming.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Urban Decay 9

Part 9: Can’t… Keith… Going… Much… Longer…

(See Keith’s journey here, if you haven’t already. Start at the bottom. Keith did).

Well, Keith’s time on this earth (the non-plumbing-related parts of this earth, that is) is nearly up. The Urban Decay project was always just going to be a year long, and his days, just like his twelve steps, are numbered.

We discussed this with Keith, and in between sobs and consolatory Chocolate Paddle Pops, he asked if he could write his own ‘bucket list’ – a list of things he wanted to do before he died.
We gave him a piece of paper and a pen, and he started with:

When I wake up in the mornin’ light
I pull on my jeans and I feel alri…

NO, Keith! No lyrics! Don’t make us tell you again. Now, do it properly.
We figured that since Keith has been so co-operative over the last twelve months, the least we could do was indulge him, so we got to work from the beginning of the list. We didn’t want to get in trouble with Nicole by giving him an actual drink (she kind of looks like she could shoot angry ginger lasers out of her eyes, you know?), but we did let him swim around in the swill we found in the bottom of a beer-tray.

Mmmm. Drippy. Brown.

We couldn’t really find a celebrity on such short notice, but we did stumble across Kirk Pengilly, so we split the difference.

You should look worried, mate. I’ve got a copy of Welcome To Wherever You Are somewhere that’s just gathering dust.

The hairy man-love thing was easy. Luckily, we routinely keep our hairy mate Threaders nearby for just such an emergency, and he took surprisingly little coaxing.

Tastes like denim and regret.

So that’s almost it.

We’re planning one last farewell for Keith in Sydney this Saturday. If you feel that you need or deserve to come and say goodbye, email me at the address up there on the top left of the page (cleverly hidden in the words “Email Me”), and tell me about it. If your heart is true, you can come along.

I’m not crying. I’ve just got something in my eye.