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Saturday, October 27, 2018

The 'Not Worth Reading' Post.

Hinze Dam

I was on duty in the playground yesterday and a five year old sidled up and tapped me on the leg.

“Mrs Poinker,” she blinked at me. “I was playing with Ophelia and we were playing cats and she said I couldn’t be a baby cat anymore. She said that Antigone could be a baby cat and I can’t be one.” She stopped and caught her breath, a tear welling in her left eye.

I wanted to say, ‘Can this please wait until I’ve finished eating my mandarine? I’m sick of you lot and your first world problems. Why are you pretending to be cats anyway? Cats are horrible.’ 

But I didn’t say any of that and instead, diligently walked her over to the accused Ophelia and had the child repeat her allegation.

Ophelia, sharpening her claws on a tree, paused and listened. At the conclusion of the lisped and heart-rending oration, she sighed, “Alright, you can be a baby cat then.”
The little girl immediately fell on her knees and began to lick her paws and happily miaow. 
Problem solved.

That, my friend, is high level negotiation and crisis management at its slickest. 
And the teacher of the year award goes to…

But I really don’t understand why seemingly nice, pleasant little girls want to pretend to be filthy, nasty cats. 

Take our cat as an example...


Scotto went to a party recently but I stayed at home because I’ve finally decided that at my stage of life, parties are horrible and there is no longer a need to persecute myself.

I pondered the revelation of this ostensible backward growth in my emotional development as we kayaked around the resplendent Hinze Dam last week.

“If our cat was a human,” I called out to Scotto as I struggled to paddle against the wind, “how do you think he’d act if he was at a party?” 

(Terrible segue I know but believe me, this is how my brain works)

“He’d be like Julian Assange,” Scotto yelled back puffing. “He’d walk into the party all snooty-like, thinking he was better than everyone else.”

I mused on the comparison. My cat and Julian do have the same white hair, same sardonic sneer and the same arctic, blue eyes that appear to reflect depraved, violent visions of the afterlife.

“I bet he’d head straight for the dip bowl and stand there shovelling it down, double dipping and ignoring everyone,” I added.

“He’d stare at people with cold, malicious eyes until they made eye contact and then he’d look away in disgust,” Scotto offered. “If anyone tried to approach him they’d be waved off with a cruel, dismissive gesture.”

“Yeah,” I smirked in agreement. “And when he went to the guest loo, he’d poop in the bathtub instead of the toilet.”

Our cat has been despicably pooping in my bathtub lately despite us purchasing an extra-large litter tray for his gigantic butt.

I’m envious of our cat’s air of self-possession. He really doesn’t give a rat’s arse about what anyone thinks about him.

I wouldn’t dream of pooping in someone’s bath tub.

I wouldn’t have the self-confidence.

I suppose if I did, it would definitely curtail any future party invitations which would be ideal… but even so…

But anyway, this is why I can’t understand why pretty, sweet little girls like to play games about being rude, narcisistic and self-centred cats? It’s decidedly weird, don’t you think? 

Back in my day we pretended to be horses; a much more wholesome activity.

What did you pretend to be?

NB: This post is not in any way insinuating that Julian Assange poops in other people’s bath tubs.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Power of One (Grade One)

A soccer ball whacked me in the back of the head on Friday when I was supervising on playground duty. It’s not the first time I’ve been hit but it’s been a while. 

Normally, I’m on the lookout for flying projectiles, marauding children who aren’t looking where they’re going and I always make a concerted effort to avoid inadvertently wandering, bleary eyed, through a rambunctious game of Bullrush.

On this occasion, however, I was discussing something with Mrs. M who was on duty with me. I can’t remember what we were discussing. I’ve lost some memories from the incident. Traumatic amnesia it’s called.

When the ball ricocheted off my head, all I saw, after the stars had settled back into my retinas, was a semi-concealed but highly amused expression on Mrs M’s face.

“Sorry, I should have told you that was coming but I didn’t see it until it was too late,” Mrs M tried to muffle her guffaws.

At next break, I complained about my injury in the staff room.

“Who kicked it?” asked one of my unsympathetic colleagues as she ate her ham and salad sandwich.

“A grade one-er,” I replied sheepishly.

Indifferent looks were passed around the table. If it had been a grade sixer I may have had grounds to whinge but a grade one-er booting a ball hardly has the power and capacity of Cristiano Ronaldo now, does he?

“But it was Seamus!” I added dramatically. “It was Seamus O’Toole who kicked it.”

A couple of staff members mumbled in reluctant acknowledgement. Seamus is definitely the toughest of all the grade one-ers. Seamus isn’t your average grade one-er. Seamus has swag. Seamus has a decent bloody kick on him.

Plus, it was at an extremely close range that my head intercepted the ball. It struck me a second after it had left the diminutive Adidas runner on Seamus’ tiny foot. The ball had lost no momentum and my head felt like one of those watermelons they use to demonstrate what happens when you don’t wear a bike helmet.

I might add that it was a morning duty and Seamus was most likely fuelled up on cake from the tuckshop, fully energised and in top form.

Seamus was noticeably upset about the incident and went all red in the face and teary. I had to give him a hug and tell him I was okay, even though I wasn’t.

I     had     to     give       HIM       a       hug!

Anyway, on Saturday my head continued to spasm and I was sure I was bleeding on the brain.

Scotto ignored my whining as soon as he heard it was a grade one-er who kicked it but he doesn’t know Seamus and his fancy footwork and the forceful thrust behind his twenty kilogram frame of steel.

This morning, the pain had moved to my neck and upper back.

Whiplash, my friend.


I’m definitely going to protect my precious watermelon from now on and ask the boss if I can wear a helmet when I’m duty… and I’ll be carrying some yellow cards around with me too.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

How to Be Thin

Happy Celine visiting Nana 

“She’s too skinny,” the vet declared as she poked around my fox terrier, Celine’s ribs yesterday.

I sighed and shrugged helplessly. “She eats exactly the same as my Chihuahua and he’s fat,” I replied. “It’s just that she never stops running around chasing balls.”

But the truth is, I suspect her lack of padding also stems from a nervous and unpredictable disposition.

Celine displays a temperament which can only be described as highly neurotic. 

At times when her unhinged, psychotic personality traits emerge, we don’t call her ‘Celine’, we call her ‘Ethel’.

Ethel is deeply disturbed.

Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if I give it to her at 2:55pm instead of 3:00pm. Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if I put it in the wrong place on the floor. Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if it is not mushed up exactly right.

Ethel slinks around petulantly if a visitor sits on her spot on the couch. Ethel will sit on a windowsill like a maniacal stalker, glaring at the visitor with a look of murderous hatred or perhaps an expression of abject forlorn, depending on her state of mind.

“What’s wrong, Ethel?” we cajole, offering her a biscuit from the coffee table. She will sniff the air wretchedly and turn her head away in disgust.

When Scotto leaves for work, Ethel’s temper surfaces in a manifestation of furious bile. She cannot stand for Scotto to leave the house. Ethel would rather kill Scotto than allow him to leave the house. One day she might even do it. 

If Scotto has the presence of mind, he will throw the nearest ball and Ethel magically disappears and Celine is once again returned to us, wagging her tail and panting like a puppy.

Ethel might appear in the morning and evening, one can never predict it. Most times, Ethel prefers her own company and buries herself in a pile of pillows. 

Ethel in a mood

Celine, on the other hand, displays great sociability. She sits between Scotto and me, following our banter with bright eyes and an inquisitive twitchy nose. If one of us happens to swear accidentally in our casual conversation, Ethel suddenly appears, growling and snarling. Ethel detests swearing with a innate revulsion. We don’t know the deep-rooted cause of this. One can only imagine.

Sometimes, Ethel frightens our visitors when she appears out of the blue. They are drawn into a false sense of affection when first meeting the affable Celine

It only takes a word, one gesture, one carelessly moved cushion, for the wrath of Ethel to materialize and poison the occasion.

According to the vet, I should buy Celine working dog food to help bulk her up a bit.

Personally, I think I should have requested an exorcism.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

My Life is Like a Movie


I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix lately and I’ve noticed there are certain clichés in movies that never disappoint.

For example, if detectives arrive at a house and the front door is ajar, they will inevitably encounter a gruesome blood bath inside and often the killer is still squirrelled in a cupboard with a machete.

If birds start dropping from the sky in a movie, there is a meteor/mini ice age/geo-electric storm on its way. After that there will be very large hailstones and the Eiffel Tower will fall down.

If a wife/husband arrives home early, they will catch their spouse in bed with someone else and then they will turn into an alcoholic or solve a murder, or both.

But you know what? I have predictable clichés in my own life. 

For example, if I receive an unexpected windfall, I know for certain one of my pets will become ill thus incurring a vet bill which amounts to roughly twice the amount of the windfall.

Last Thursday night at about 9 o’clock, I called our German Shepherd for his evening treat. Usually he waits in anticipation, slobbering and slavering at the back window, but on this occasion he was nowhere to be seen.

After a short investigation, we discovered him reeling in the shrubbery and soon realized he was unable to walk or stand and his eyeballs were flicking from side to side in a very scary manner.

“Snake!” I blurted out as I dialed the emergency vet with trembling fingers.

We loaded him in the car and sped up to the surgery, praying we would get him there before he vomited all over the back of Scotto’s car, threw a violent seizure or expired in a death explosion of diarrhea.

It wasn’t a snake bite, though. He was diagnosed with a vestibular disorder (also known as ‘Old Dog Syndrome’) and with careful nursing, he should fully recover.

By ‘careful nursing’ I mean he must be carried out to the yard to go wee-wees and poo-poos and he has to be hand fed because he can’t keep his head straight or sit up properly. As I said, he's a German Shepherd.

Before we were able to bring him home, he spent two nights at the vet surgery on a drip and don’t ask me what the bill was because it makes me feel a bit like I have a vestibular disorder.

Okay, I’ll tell you this. I just celebrated a birthday and my children gifted me with a generous voucher from Myers which I was very excited about. The vet bill was roughly twice as much as the voucher.

So that is my life cliche and it never disappoints.