Monday, January 30, 2012

Bad Language

Did I hear Newt Gingrich correctly? Did he really say that Mitt Romney is not a suitable presidential candidate because he speaks French? I think he did you know. It's just as well that poor old Mitt doesn't speak Russian or he'd be rounded up with the other commies and shoved back under the bed where Mr McCarthy found them in the 1950s. Funny isn't it? Mr Gingrich himself speaks passable Spanish, but that's obviously okay. He must have a subversion rating for languages and Spanish is obviously somewhere near the bottom. I bet I know which language is at the top. It starts with Arab and ends with ic. My guess is that if Newt is ever elected President his first act will be to ban all teaching of foreign languages in school. At least the top five most subversive languages.

My female staff had a few interesting times back in the nineteen eighties when she visited America. One nice lady asked where she was from and when my female staff said that she was from Australia she said "Oh my goodness, but you speak such good English." Pretty cute eh? Neither of my staff speak a foreign language, though my male staff has a smattering of gibberish when he's had half a bottle of wine or so. (Gibberish is not the language of the people of Gibraltar by the way.) Humans who speak English tend to be lazy with languages anyway because they assume that everyone speaks their language, and the British have long known that to make a foreigner understand what you're saying you simply have to English. In any case, if they didn't speak English they just pinched their country until they did.

A few years ago my staff were on holiday in Spain. In a remote village in Andalusia's Sierra Nevada mountains they stopped for a refreshing cup of coffee. My male staff, being an adventurous soul decided to try out his Spanish on the swarthy gent behind the bar of the cafe.
 "Dos cafe con leche por favor." He said in what he thought was an Andalusian accent.
 "Two white coffee's wiv milk coming up." Replied the bartender in a broad cockney accent. "Do you want sugar?" My crestfallen male staff returned to his table clutching two cups of white coffee muttering about "bloody students and their stupid holiday jobs."

Remember my staff's friend Auntie Jan? She's the one that tried to undertake a series of experiments on me to try to determine my level of intelligence. You may recall that she gave up having learned that I was too intelligent to take part in her stupid experiments. I just sat there and stared at her contemptuously as she tried to get me to do all manner of un-cavy like things. Like fetch and sit and play dead. Anyway, she's a university educated English lady and is very cultured except when it comes to Chinese people or people from South East Asia. She always reverts to a kind of pidgin English in the mistaken belief that adding a Y to the end of a word makes it easier for Chinese people to understand.
 "Please you telly me where me findy posty office." and "Me likey buy cup of tea. Please you telly me where I buy cup of tea." You get the idea. It's very embarrassing to witness.

On the other hand my male staff who is also English, but about as cultured as a Pakistani army latrine has travelled widely in his capacity as a reverse people smuggler
(See back then I called male staff Pea and female staff Chook.) but the only words he's picked up are the naughty ones. He can swear fluently in several languages. He can also say beer in many languages, mainly because it's more often than not "beer." He studied Japanese in business college and has never used it since. One phrase has stuck in his mind however. "Kono sakana wa shinsen des ne?" He says he thinks it means "Is this fish fresh?" But it could equally mean "I think your mother is a lobster's bottom." So he's reluctant to use it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Let's Go Sledging

Australia Day is over for another year, so there'll be no more binge drinking in this house. At least not until the weekend - tomorrow. I was glad that it rained most of the day because Australia Day usually means fireworks, and fireworks scare the bush chocolate out of me. Yesterday they were rained off so I didn't have to hide in my straw with my paws over my ears. Both my male staff and I are proud adopted Australians so we find it a shame that Australia Day has in part been taken over by flag waving rednecks bent on jingoism. My male staff has an Aussie friend who compares the whole thing to a Hitler Youth Rally. That might be taking it a bit too far but there is certainly an element of that about it. In one high profile case former international cricketer Rodney Hogg tweeted "Just put out my Aussie flag for Australia Day but I wasn't sure if it would offend Muslims. So I wrote Allah is a s... on it to make sure." Smart tweet Rodney, so witty.

Mind you, Australian cricketers aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer at the best of times. They frequently come of second best in a sledging contest. (For the uninitiated, sledging is the art of insulting or "getting into the ear" of an opponent in order to put them off their game.) Here's four prime examples. The two West Indian batsmen Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan were known to be very good friends. Aussie bowler Glenn McGrath was getting ratty because Sarwan was scoring a lot of runs from his bowling.
  "What does Lara's dick taste like?" Said McGrath to Sarwan.
  "How should I know?" Replied Sarwan. "Ask your wife?"
McGrath then became even more ratty and said the F word quite a lot.

Australian wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh once said to England's Ian Botham. "Hey Ian, how's your wife and MY kids?"
Botham replied. "My wife's fine, but the kids are retarded."

The great, but somewhat Porky Aussie bowler Shane Warne invariably managed to get South African batsman Daryll Cullinan out very cheaply, but it had been a couple of years since they had met on the cricket pitch. As Cullinan strode to the wicket to face Warne's bowling, Warne said "I've been waiting two years for this.
Cullinan replied. "Looks like you've spent it eating." He was out to Warne's bowling for a big, fat zero moments later.

Sledging is not confined to Australians, though they are the world sledging champions. Brilliant Pakistani batsman Javed Miandad called the beer gutted Australian bowler Merv Hughes "A fat bus conductor." Moments later Hughes got Miandad out and as the batsman walked disconsolately past Hughes on his way back to the dressing rooms Hughes merely said "Tickets please."

So, what's the moral of this story? Easy. Sledging is at best a waste of time and at worst can be used against you. As Shakespeare once said. "Shut your bloody gob and get on with the game."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Scent of Eucalyptus

I do like the Sunshine Coast Daily. It really is the best newspaper around. So thoroughly absorbent. I've asked my staff not to use those upmarket glossy magazines like Vogue in my cage although I do enjoy widdling on those stick insect models. Trouble is the widdle then just sits there in a puddle with the model looking up through it at me and then I start to feel guilty. I think to myself "Poor girl. Not only is she emaciated but now she's drowning in guinea pig wee." Of course then I forget about it and it goes cold, and gives me a nasty surprise when I tread in it later. That's why I prefer the Sunshine Coast Daily. Occasionally, very occasionally, it has an interesting article to read too.

Many people now know about civet poo coffee or Kopi Luwak as it is more properly known. This is horrendously expensive coffee which is produced by feeding coffee beans to Asian palm civets. The beans then pass through the animal and pop out of its bottom passage as the finished product, well almost. Some producers remember to wash the beans first before making your morning cuppa with it. I believe I may have mentioned in a earlier blog post that I was concerned that my staff might begin forcing Badger and I to eat coffee beans too. I wouldn't put it past them, especially as civet coffee sells for a hundred and sixty dollars a pound. It's easy to imagine them scurrying around behind us collecting our bush chocolate in a coffee cup and then flogging it at the local farmers market, while we, filled to the eyeballs with caffeine race round our cages like a couple of hyperactive wind up toys, unable to sleep for weeks at a time.

Well anyway, the Sunshine Coast Daily says that the idea has spread to China where some bright spark has hit upon the idea of fertilizing his tea crop with panda poo. Panda poo is not black and white as you would perhaps expect, but it does produce the world's most expensive tea. This chap bought eleven tonnes of the stuff, though it doesn't say from whom. Maybe there's a shop in Beijing called "Turds R Us" or something. Chinese tea drinkers reckon the first batch of this panda plop tea will be the best ever and is expected to sell for - wait for it - thirty thousand US dollars for five hundred grams. If that's a little beyond your means you had better wait for the inferior subsequent crops which will sell for only three thousand dollars for half a kilo.

Here in Australia they have been selling bags of "lucky" koala poo in wildlife parks for years, and now with the increase tourist numbers from China I'm expecting to read in my favourite newspaper that someone from there has come up with a way to value add to the raw product. "Try a koala poo thickshake for that genuine eucalyptus taste. Good for the sinuses too and guaranteed to leave your breath smelling as fresh an Australian copse." That's copse - not cops. Australian cops don't smell fresh at all - more like a corpse actually. Anyway, I digress. My point is that poo has a lot more uses than you think. It just takes a little imagination. Here in Australia we never really made the most of our poo. It's pretty much left laying around where it drops, which is why we have so many flies.

The South Africans have even invented a sport involving dung. The participants pop an impala poo in their mouths (It's only the size of a guinea pig poo.) and spit it as far as possible. The winner is the one who spits his poo the furthest. (Or as we say in Australia - the most furtherest.) There are bonus points for style and degree of difficulty. A lot depends on the contestants choice of poo. It's important to pick one that's fresh, as the moisture content makes them heavier and smoother so they fly further. The dry ones tend to disintegrate in your mouth and you're picking bits of impala dung from between your teeth for days.  Look out for it in the Olympics in London this year. It certainly makes for better TV than synchronised swimming.     

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Cage With A View

From my cage I can look out beyond the budgie's cage where Biggles is usually head-butting his mirror like a drunken Glaswegian and Paolo is normally hanging upside down like a demented blue bat.
(See my third ever blog post. )
Past the telly upon which assorted irritating commercials are broadcast at twice the volume of the actual programmes, and with ever increasing frequency, is the deck. The deck is where my staff usually have their breakfast, weather permitting. Badger and I are not allowed out here on our own because there's a four metre drop to the garden below where snakes and large birds of prey await the unwary and somewhat dazed guinea pig. We're only permitted on the deck if accompanied by a member of staff, upon whose lap we are forced to sit and endure being molested most mornings.

Hanging from the deck roof are two bird feeders and a bird bath. These are a great source of entertainment. Birds are so much like humans in the way they interact with each other. There are the rainbow lorikeets, gaudily decked out in their team colours. These are the yobby football hooligans of the bird world. They arrive raucously en masse, aggressively shoving all the other birds out of their way, while jabbering and squabbling amongst themselves. My male staff says he encountered a group of Argentinian tourists at a buffet dinner in a London hotel once. They behaved in much the same way. Obviously the Falklands War didn't teach them any manners. Then there's Mary the half tame magpie. She's a regular visitor and stomps up and down with all the arrogance of a tough cop. She strides amongst the lorikeets pecking at the ones who really annoy her, but generally she treats them with dismissive disdain in rather the same way my male staff treated those Argentinian tourists.

Beyond the deck is a view across the green valley to the conical shape of Mount Cooroy. (See photo) Yes, that's conical, not comical.  Although it was pretty funny when my male staff slipped whilst climbing it and broke his leg. He had to be airlifted out, but the helicopter crashed and he broke his other leg. Then while the paramedics were rescuing him from that they slipped on some wet grass and dropped my male staff off the stretcher and broke one of his arms. But I'm sure you're not interested in any of that. To the north of Mount Cooroy I can see a sliver of blue ocean - the Coral Sea. Sometimes I see ships in the distance and I wonder what it would be like to travel on one to my ancestral home in Peru. Then I think "Nah! Sod it! I'll stay here and eat some more parsley."

In any case what if the captain was like the courageous Francesco Schettino of the doomed Costa Concordia who sailed his ship close enough to the shore for his brother to throw him a pizza for his dinner.
It sailed across the water like a Frisbee and Captain Schettino caught it like a pro. He opened the pizza box and was about to order the ship to turn when he noticed that his brother had forgotten the anchovies. Naturally enraged, Captain Schettino forgot to order the turn and BANG! Who put that friggin' great rock there?

As the ship started to sink the good Captain made sure he was the first aboard the rescue helicopter, still clutching his pizza. There was then a much broadcast radio conversation between the Harbour Master and Captain Schettino. It was a bit crackly and in Italian of course, but I've been able to translate it for my readers. It went like this.

Harbour Master:  Schettino! Get back aboard your ship and help the passengers and crew.

Captain Schettino:  Your kidding right? It's dark and wet down there and my pizza's getting cold.

Harbour Master:  You need to get back on your ship. How many dead do you have?

Captain Schettino:  How would I know? I'm three hundred feet up in a chopper with a slice of lukewarm pizza in my hand.

Harbour Master:  Get back on board your ship................NOW!

Captain Schettino:  But my piz............................Oh alright, but send me some garlic bread.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Perforated Life

My male staff is always banging one about how stupid certain Chinese men are to believe that powdered rhino horn will make their willy stand to attention. He says that if they chewed their own fingernails it would have the same effect because it is essentially the same stuff. Something he calls keratin. He also says that those same stupid Chinese men believe that powdered tiger penis will also make their willy rear it's ugly head. My female staff wants to know why they can't put an additive into someones supply of powdered rhino horn or tiger penis that makes willies shrivel up and fall off. Word would soon get around, and that would be the end of that. It's not only the Chinese either. Rich Yemenis will pay a mint for a rhino horn which they turn into ornate dagger scabbards and give to their spoilt, rich, bratty sons upon reaching a certain age. What a bunch of bastards; bringing an entire species of animal to the brink of extinction just because they can't get it up, or because little Osama has just turned thirteen.

Humans are very naive animals who will believe almost anything they're told. I mean really! Who the hell started the rumour that rhino horn would give you a stiffy? Is it the phallic shape of it that convinces people?
The ancient Incas had a good one too. They believed that if they rubbed a live black guinea pig all over their naked bodies it would cure rheumatism and a number of other ailments. Who thought of that one I wonder? Probably some smart arse at a stag party. Why a black guinea pig anyway? Badger is worried that a swarthy South American type could knock on our door at any moment and make an offer to my staff that they can't refuse.

In any case, my male staff himself has his eye on Badger for his curative powers. One of a raft of blood tests he had while he was in hospital recently revealed that he has something called pernicious anemia. It is a well named disease because it is indeed pernicious. Apparently it is usually fatal in less than three years if left untreated. It's caused by the body's inability to absorb vitamin B12 and is incurable. However, a life long course of excruciating intramuscular injections mean that the sufferer can live a normal if somewhat perforated  life. Alexander Graham Bell had it. He felt so ill that he invented the telephone so that he could call an ambulance. Annie Oakley had it too apparently. My male staff is blaming his lack of vitamin B12 on the fact that he's had to cut down on cheesecake because his cholesterol is up at 8.3. To me, that sounds like a pretty good score out of ten, but his doctor wasn't so impressed.

Neither Badger nor I can understand how someone so fit (He runs almost every day.) can be so unhealthy. He's never even tried a cigarette in his life, though to be fair he did spend his first sixteen years inhaling his mum and dad's secondary smoke, so there was no need for him to have his own. He doesn't even drink that much, despite being an Australian citizen and a West Ham United Football Club fan. So, where does all this ill health come from? I can only think that it must be the tablespoon of powdered rhino horn he stirs into his morning coffee every day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A German Soldier's Helmet

Not long after the last woolly mammoth closed its eyes and lay down to die in the frozen wastes of an ice age that was drawing to its frigid conclusion my male staff was born. Seven years later his father had had enough of the brat and went to Aden. He was in The Royal Air Force and insisted it was they who sent him away. Having lived with my male staff for almost two years now, I feel certain that he volunteered to go because he felt that life in a war zone would be easier than being at home with his obnoxious offspring.

In Aden the natives were getting uppity, wanting to kick out the colonials. It wasn't a great place to be. There were daily shootings and hand grenades were being lobbed about like confetti. Still, better to be there than locked in a house with a seven year old kid. Before he left, my male staff's dad asked him if he'd like him to bring him something when he returned in six months. Knowing his father was heading into a war zone he said, "A German soldier's helmet." His dad sighed and left, returning after his stint of duty with an amazing radio controlled toy car. The German soldier's helmet was forgotten.

While his father was away in Aden dodging casually chucked grenades, my male staff spent a lot of time with the next door neighbour - Mrs Hardy, a kindly old lady whom my male staff always referred to as Best Friend. One summer day Best Friend found my male staff and his his girlfriend Janet aged seven, (He's always been one for the older woman.) playing an innocent game of doctors and nurses in a quiet corner of her garden. Janet was cradling one of her dolls against her chest.
 "What are you two up to?" Asked Best Friend with not a little trepidation.
 "Janet's just had a baby." Piped my male staff.
 "Goodness!" said Best Friend. "Where did it come from?"
 "Out of her froat. Where do you fink?" Best Friend breathed a sigh of relief and that was the end of my male staff's medical career.

Not long after than his hamster died of suspected alcohol poisoning. Remember Jenny?

My male staff organised a state funeral for her. I think he got the idea from watching Winston Churchill's funeral on their black and white telly. His mum, Mrs and Mrs Hardy, Janet and her mum and dad were all invited. Everyone stood in the back garden wearing black, except for Annie his pet lamb, while my male staff with as much dignity as a seven year old kid can muster lowered Jenny's shoe box coffin into her grave, which had been dug earlier by his mum. Then he stood smartly to attention, his large plastic US army soldiers helmet crammed down over his ears. He sang a quick verse of "All Things Bright and Beautiful", saluted crisply, then turned on his heel and marched inside to make a start on the sandwiches and cakes that his mum had prepared for the occasion before the others had time to join him and snaffle all his favourites.

I was going to add that all this happened in more innocent times, but that really wouldn't be true would it? The British, including my male staff's dad were fighting the Yemenis in their own country and the Americans were fighting the Vietnamese in theirs, having taken over from the French. JFK had already been assassinated and his brother Robert had only three years to live before he went the same way, as did Martin Luther King. It was the year that Malcolm X was shot and killed and in South Africa the Apartheid regime was at it's brutal height. Why am I telling you all this? To prove a point. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Security Cameras

I've been threatened with a haircut today. It's been hot and I've been lolling about on a freezer block which my staff wrap in an old tea towel and place in my cage. It works a treat. There's nothing like a freeze block on the old tummy to cool a piggy down. However, just after breakfast this morning my female staff strode up and said in a cheerful voice, as if it was something I was going to enjoy, "We'll give you a haircut tonight Billy, that'll help keep you cool."
  "Oh great." I thought. The Butcher of Black Mountain strikes again. Last time she gave me a "little trim" I looked like a Lady Gaga outfit for a month until it grew out again. I wish I had hair like Badger. He has a permanent number two buzz cut. He still gets a bit hot sometimes because he's black, but there's not much my staff can do about that. Except I wouldn't put it past them to paint him white. He'd look like a miniature polar bear.

Now, like most guinea pigs I've been taking great interest in the American Republican Party primary elections. The bitter infighting between candidates is rather surprising, and it's not only the Republicans that do it. The Democrats are just as bad. I half expected Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama to settle their differences during their primary elections with naked mud wrestling. I'd give up half my parsley ration to see that. Wouldn't you think that it's not such a good idea to tell the public what arseholes your rival candidates are,  (And bear in mind that they are from the same political party.) and then endorse them later. Why should the public vote for someone you've effectively called a dick head for the last six months?

You would think this attitude would be as welcome as a vuvuzela in a Trappist monastery, but the electoral system encourages it. John Howard may have been a lying rodent, but he was absolutely right when he said "Dis-unity is death." At least he was right as far as politics in Britain and Australia goes, where the political parties squabble in private before coming up with a candidate that they can put before the electorate. Then they can concentrate on smearing the other party's candidate instead of their own.

Finally today I'd like to share with you a truly inspiring story. It's a story of how our senior citizens can influence the youth of today with tales of old fashioned wisdom. My staff and I were having lunch at a local cafe recently when I overheard the following conversation at a nearby table. A thin, world worn old man was talking to his teenage grandson while sipping coffee through toothless gums.
 "You know." He said. "When I was your age, mum would give me a dollar and I'd go down to the shop and come home with a loaf of bread, two pints of milk, a dozen eggs, a pound of sausages and a bar of chocolate for myself and still have some change to give mum." He wiped some coffee foam from his trembling lips. "You just can't do that these days. Too many fuckin' security cameras."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Katter - strophic

Check out the letters page of the Sunshine Coast Daily newspaper, third of January edition. There's a letter there from one of those serial whingers who haunt the letters page of every local newspaper throughout the world. This letter is titled "Snake warnings leave out the helpful advice." Above it there is a nice picture of a large taipan. It was this photo that drew my attention to this particular letter as I was about to lower myself onto the paper (which was lining my cage) to have a wee, when Out of the corner of my eye I saw the photo. It made me jump I can tell you. There's no way Badger would suck the venom from that part of my anatomy if the thing had bitten me. I was forced to relieve myself over Hugh Jackman - or at least his photo. Please don't tell him.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the letter. Our serial whinger was complaining that an article in the previous day's issue had warned people to be wary of snakes as this is their breeding season. The article said if you see a snake "Just leave it alone." The whinger, let's call him Geoff because that's his name, wanted to know why the paper hadn't published an emergency phone number to ring in the event - heaven forbid, that he should see a snake. He said he couldn't call 000 because that number is for the police, fire brigade or ambulance. Now hold on just a cotton pickin' minute. Have you humans become so detached from nature that you need a phone number to call in the event of (horror of horrors) seeing a wild animal. For God's sake! If you're unlucky or stupid enough to get bitten by a poisonous snake ring 000 or 911 or 999 or whatever, otherwise just leave the snake alone and it won't hurt you - just as the advice in the newspaper said.

Does Geoff the serial whinger seriously want to call someone every time he sees a wild creature?
 "Darling, there's a spider in the bath. Call the fire brigade will you."
 "A magpie has just landed on the TV antenna Sweetheart. Better call the police."
 "Quick, call an ambulance I've just seen a bat."

How sad that some humans have come to this. Another sad human being is Maverick Queensland Member of Pairliament Bob Katter. Why do the media always call him "Maverick"? I've looked the word up in the Australian Oxford Mini Dictionary. It means unorthodox or undisciplined. There's no mention of insanity at all, of which I'd bet a million dollars to a bucket of bush chocolate that Bob Katter has a substantial dose. You can tell he's mad by his stupid white cowboy hat. No sane person would wear one. The worrying thing is that thousands of Australians vote for him every three years.

For the benefit of my overseas readers this link will take you to a photo of our friend Bob.

His good friend John Molony - the Mayor of the northern Queensland town of Mount Isa was charged with a drink driving offence on New Years eve and Bob popped his empty head up and said that police should concentrate on fighting crime rather than bothering drivers. Well Bob. For a start, last time I looked, Drink driving was a crime and secondly I think you'll find that more innocent people are killed by drink drivers like your friend Mayor Molony than by the rest of the Australian criminal fraternity. So why don't you and your mate John just resign now and do us all a favour. Meanwhile I hope there's a picture of Bob Katter in the next edition of the Sunshine Coast Daily to line the bottom of my cage.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Paranormal Piggy

Remember Paul the psychic octopus from the 2010 soccer World Cup? He correctly predicted the results of every game Germany played. Well sadly Paul is no more. He's gone to the place where all good octopi go - stir fried in a wok with coriander, basil, garlic, chili and a variety of Asian greens. However, never fear. I have found a replacement - Me. Meet Billy the Paranormal Piggy. I'm going to make a few predictions of my own for 2012 and I bet they're every bit as accurate as Paul's.

Charlie Sheen will be a surprise nomination for the the Republican Party Presidential candidate. He wins the election in a landslide thanks to a promise of free cocaine for all. President Sheen nominates Lady Gaga as Vice President. (Hey, it could happen. Look at Ronald Reagan.)

North Korea becomes the first nation to put a man on Mars. At least according to Kim Jong-un. He also becomes the first man to play eighteen holes of golf in eighteen strokes, beating his father's record by two strokes.

Great Britain invades Europe because Prime Minister David Cameron is deeply unpopular and needs some sort of distraction. Europe is so impoverished by the Euro-zone crisis that all it's armies have been disbanded, giving Britain an easy victory. A victory made easier because it was Britain's turn to have the communal aircraft carrier. Emperor Cameron then tours his new empire and commandeers all of Europe's legume farms. He returns to Westminster with the legendary statement - "Peas In Our Time."

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard falls on her sword, or to be more accurate is pushed on to it (multiple times) by Foreign Minister and former PM Kevin Rudd. Half a dozen government MPs slip on the resulting pool of blood and sustain serious injuries making them unable to take their place at Parliament House. This means that the Australian Labor Party loses it's slim majority. A general election is called and is won by the Liberal Party under Tony Abbott. As promised, his first act is to "Stop The Boats." Several cruise companies go out of business and fish disappears from menus across the nation.

Several Pacific island nations are inundated by rising ocean waters due to global warming. The inhabitants make for Australia in boats, but are met on the shore by Prime Minister Abbott waving his arms and yelling "Go back to where you came from. Just because we Australians are the world's highest per capita producers of greenhouse gas doesn't mean that it's our fault that your islands sank. Anyway, global warming is just a lefty - pinko conspiracy. Try Tasmania. Oh wait, that's Australia too isn't it? "

In the sporting world Tiger Woods wins the US Philandering Open by three holes and the Democratic Republic of Congo's all pygmy basketball team is a surprise winner of the World Championships over the United States of America, who's coach after the game sportingly praised the pygmy's tactical use of stepladders.

Both Australia and New Zealand rugby unions teams cause an upset by picking a player who was actually born in Australia and New Zealand.

There we have it then. My predictions for 2012. Keep an eye on the news to see how many of them come true, and remember where you saw it first.