Monthly Archives: January 2013

What Do You Need Right Now?

A new car? A boat? Or are your needs simpler than that? Maybe you’d just like a decent coffee?

I was in a fancy bar recently. Now to be sure, I don’t usually go to places like that as I just don’t buy into the beautiful crowd (and they don’t care for me, either). Add to that, I am generally dressed like I was brought up in a sports bar and I refuse to wear sunglasses after it’s dark.

So, while this bar was exceptionally genial, I am actually more at home in down-market establishments. That’s not to say I can’t do posh because I can. Sometimes it’s lovely to be in a place that doesn’t need to be hosed out at the end of the night.

So there I was. I was dressed appropriately ‘fancy’, and as happy as a pig in poo. The wives were off in one corner, the husbands in another, as it should be.  The girls were probably discussing something mildly worthwhile – while we were discussing the strengths and weaknesses of various single-malt scotch whiskies. Disclaimer: not one of us had or has any idea, or knowledge, about scotch – good or bad.

We finally settled on one to our liking, and out they came. As well as a fancy tumbler of the golden nectar, the barman presented to us a little green medicine bottle with an eyedropper attached.

We looked at each other, searching for answers. None of us had any idea. So clearly, we needed to ask.

“Kind Barkeep, do tell: what is this eyedropper for?”

“Sir” (rolling his eyes), “It’s the Scottish spring water – for your whisky.” (Another eye roll.)

Oh, of course! How silly of me. I mean local water would not do at all! Even bottled water was clearly not good enough. If we were to drink the amber fuel from the Gaelic Highlands, by god, we needed their spring water as well!

Which brings me back to what do you need right now. The world is a funny place. For some, the thought of having a pleasant scotch without Scottish spring water just wouldn’t do. For others, maybe having their sight restored might be nice.

I have a dear friend who is doing a 50km (31 mile) walk for the worthy cause of preventable/curable blindness. And so mes amis, if you can forgo 1 night on the whisky spring water eyedropper – why not donate the money you’ll save to this worthy cause? Support Liza. Here’s a link. Come and find out the strangely satisfying feeling that comes from anonymously giving some of your good fortune back.

It will take a few minutes of your time, and a small amount of your cash, to change someone’s life forever.

You know you want to.

Hot Air Alert

I don’t understand politics. I mean, I sort of understand how government works, and I understand economics, also in a decidedly lay-mans kind of way.

What I don’t understand are politicians. The people, the way they do (or don’t do) things, and the mind-boggling childish behaviour they exhibit.

Left/Right/Centre, Tories/Social-Democrats/Liberals it’s all too hard. And how about the “Grand Old Party” – the Republicans – their mascot is an elephant: a slow moving beast that is so inefficient it digests less than 50% of what it eats… OK, now I get it.

And I won’t let the Democrats off the hook: they have a donkey as their mascot. Seriously? An Ass defines them?

So here’s what I don’t get. Let’s start with the United States. OK, so they have 2 main parties, Republicans and Democrats. The party that is not incumbent in the White House chooses their leader in an exhaustive selection process called the “Primaries”. It’s called that because all of the candidate’s time is spent “primarily” on publically destroying the other candidates.

Take Hillary and Barack. In 2008, this is what Hillary had to say about Barack:

“Shame on you”


“Alot of talk, no action”

But then he got the nod, was elected, and suddenly, according to Hillary:

“I’m a proud supporter of Barack Obama”

“We are on the same team”

“I support President Obama in the difficult work that lies ahead.”

In Australia, there is an unequivocal and clear choice of leaders – neither of them.  We have a Prime Minister who is fast and loose with the truth, and an opposition guy who is quite seriously, a ‘class A’ idiot. In Australia, parliament is no better than a schoolyard. Both sides of politics spend their days trading insults. Policy or robust debate is but a distant dream for the Australian electorate.

In Britain, politicians seem to spend equal amounts of time either in drag, or committing “sexual indiscretions” with big-breasted staff.  Invariably, of course, they are “deeply sorry” for getting caught making such a poor, isolated, moral choice.

In France, some politicians actually don’t sleep around or have multiple affairs. They are invariably sacked. That’s just not the French way. It’s also all about fashion and style. The 1.6-meter ex-President Sarkozy wore platform shoes and the incumbent First Lady (and the First Mistress) are judged solely on their stiletto choices.

It might be a tired cliché, but oh so true: when it comes to politics, the lunatics truly are running the asylum.

“Waiter, this coffee tastes like…”

I like coffee; I like it a lot. I like it so much that I would do almost anything for a cup. Well, almost anything.

So what’s the latest coffee craze? Is it fancy frothy designs expertly poured onto the top of an overpriced latte by a barista with clearly too much spare time? “Palm leaves are so yesterday, how about the Taj Mahal?”

Is it a new coffee variety? “Try our new double-mocha-short-cream-caramel-whisk-surprise”.

No, the latest and greatest coffee craze is this:

Elephant poo coffee. No need to re-read it, you heard me correctly the first time, (or for the pedantic – you read it correctly the first time). Elephant – Poo – Coffee.

OK, here is how it works. You take an elephant. In this case an Asian elephant from Thailand; you feed it coffee beans – and voilà, the next day you have dung coffee.  Apparently it has an “earthy” flavour. Oh really? Do tell!

Personally, I have remarkably few rules in life, but one rule I do have is I don’t consume products that have been through the digestive tracts of animals. Call me old fashioned, but it’s just how I am.

I suppose this might relate back to my youth when my brother – surely thinking I was smarter than I actually was – got me to eat a dog poo – that had been bleached white in the Australian sun. “Yep, you can eat it, it’s just a meringue”. Sadly, I did, and it wasn’t.

So maybe I’m a little sensitive, but seriously? Coffee that has come out of an animals butt? What makes it even more laughable is that it costs US$500 per pound, or, on average, US$50 for a cup.

So not only do these people want you to drink their poo beans, but also to pay for it like a prized French Truffle pig called Philippe dug it up in Périgord.

If a truffle is actually just a fancy mushroom, what can be said about an excreted coffee bean? I suppose it will become a marketing dream:

“Our coffee genuinely is shit”

The End Is (Maybe) Near

Last weeks post got me thinking. How does a person transform from snotty-nosed child, to a grown-up person – predicting the coming of an apocalyptic event? People like Harold Camping. In his CV – all it must say is “End of Times Predictor” – he should add “ 3 times loser – 4th time lucky?”

The Internet is littered with crackpots predicting their version of a religious awakening/destroying/reckoning. Many, like Harold, are multiple time losers.

My extensive research, conducted over several minutes, has revealed some intriguing facts about those of us who shun more traditional careers as, say, dentists or electricians, but instead go for more of a “Prophet of Doom” thing.

It seems you certainly don’t have to be: good looking, knowledgeable, or in any way rational – OK, I am still in the game.

But how do you start down this unusual path of destruction, so to speak? As a community service, I have decided to lower the barrier to entry by making a short list of words you just need to know to be able to accurately miss-predict the end of the world. Sure beats working at McDonalds.

The key is terminology. People all-over are impressed with long or fancy sounding words. Personally, I love to use the word “oxymoron”. Partly because some folk think it’s a clever way of calling them an idiot; “you’re not a regular moron Fella, you’re an OXYmoron!” And partly because using it makes me sound like I might have done OK at school or I am reasonably intelligent. (Disclaimer: I didn’t / I’m not).

So back to terminology. It doesn’t much matter how you use these words, just as long as you use them. It doesn’t even need to make any sense, just get them into a sentence somehow.

Portal (or “Great Portal” if you are senior in the organization)


Self-awareness (oxymoron alert!)

Astral Travel


It helps if the house where you might hold the meetings is referred to as “The Temple”, rather than “The wooden bungalow on Wilson St that needs a paint job”. Of course, the essential element for budding “High Priests” is your followers must give you all or most of their money (because you live in a dilapidated house on Wilson St that needs painting), and any women members must be prepared to jump in the sack with you (so they can be “enlightened”, of course).

So there it is – no need for a real job. My last bit of advice is just common sense, but you would be surprised how many apocalypse colleagues don’t heed it.

Please don’t predict the end anytime soon. Make it in 50 years or so. Just remember, once the house is painted, you certainly should think about the garden, and for that, you need cash. Remember, this is your job – so predicting Armageddon next week is like organizing your own redundancy.

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