Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Green Ant Jive

Last Tuesday my female staff had her first cataract operation. My male staff told me that the procedure involves the complete removal of the offending eyeball, which is then placed in a vice so that it can't move around. The eye surgeon (also known as "The Bloke With the Mallet") then chips away at the cataract with a chisel that he whacks with the mallet until bits of the cataract are scattered all over the operating theatre floor, so that they crunch under foot whenever the nurses move around to get the eye surgeon a fresh beer.

Once the entire cataract has been chipped away, the eye doctor pours a shot glass of vodka over the eyeball to clean it and then pushes it back into the eye socket, giving it a firm whack with the mallet to make sure it doesn't come lose. Next comes the most important part of the operation. The eye surgeon has to make sure that he has put the eyeball back in the right way. If he hasn't it means that the patient will spend the rest of their life looking at their own brain, and in the case of my female staff that would be about as stimulating as watching a lifetime of "The Bold and the Beautiful".

In any case, The Bloke With the Mallet did a good job on my female staff and she now has twenty- twenty vision in her right eye. The Bloke With the Mallet is going to have a go at her left eye next. Her vision in that eye is like looking through a steamed up glass shower door, except that you can't draw a willy on it with your finger, which is a shame. Anyway, now that my female staff can see my male staff more clearly she can see that he looks remarkably like Daniel Craig. This is because she insists that he wears a paper bag over his head with a photo of Daniel's face pinned to it. Sadly though, the illusion is somewhat shattered by my male staff's middle age spread and expanding love handles. Maybe she won't notice that until she has her other eye done.

The last forty eight hours have been rather fun. Ex tropical cyclone Oswald sneaked down from far north Queensland, turned into a deep rain depression and dumped more than twelve inches of rain on our house. There were horrible winds too. They howled all night for two nights, making my staff even rattier in the morning than they usually are due to the lack of beauty sleep; and believe me, my staff can't afford to lose any of that. Still, at least it's the Australia Day long weekend so neither of them have to work. They would be unbearable if they did. But now the fun really starts because my male staff has to venture into the garden to tidy up and prune all the damaged trees.

My female staff has promised to take Badger and I out on to the deck to watch my male staff clean up the garden. She's been barred from helping because of  the operation to her eye described above. My male staff says she might poke a branch into it or slip on the muddy ground and jar her eyeball out of it's socket, and since we live on top of a hill it's likely to roll away and plop into the dam, where it is likely to be swallowed by an eel. So we'll sit comfortably on the deck, my female staff with a cold glass of sauvignon blanc and Badger and I with a supply of cool, crispy salad while we watch the variety show that is my male staff doing his thing in the garden. We've seen it before of course, but it's always worth watching.

It generally starts fairly slowly with a bit of sawing, which fairly quickly turns to swearing. Then as the first large, hairy, and quite possibly deadly spider falls from the branch down the front of his sweat soaked tee-shirt there's a cry of "aaaiiiieeee!" Followed by an impromptu strip show whereby his tee-shirt and sometimes trousers are thrown aside.  This is generally followed by a strange ritualised dance which involves him frantically slapping at his own body with repeated yells of "Arrrggghhh! Get it off me, get it off me!" Mostly the panic dies down after a while when he discovers that it wasn't a deadly spider at all, but a leaf.

Then there's what Badger and I call The Green Ant Jive. This is our favourite. It happens when my male staff's sawing (and swearing) brings down a shower of green ants on top of him. Green ant bites hurt, apparently. At first there is a single "Ouch!" followed by "Ow, Ouch......Ow". Then as the rest of the colony of ants get stuck into him he reverts back to the "aaaiiiieeee" thing, and then he commences the Green Ant Jive. This starts with foot stamping and more body slapping, followed by another strip show. The Green Ant Jive involves doing the full monty though. Tee-shirt and trousers are ripped off and going flying with loud exclamations of what sounds like "Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck!" I could be mistaken but I assume he's warning people to get out of the way as he rips off his underpants and throws them as far as he can. I guess he's concerned about innocent bystanders copping a pair of sweaty underpants full in the face.

This upcoming performance may well prove to be his best ever because it has to be performed while wearing his Daniel Craig mask.  My female staff says she is looking forward to seeing an overweight, middle aged  Daniel Craig gyrating naked in the garden. Personally I just hope that it's not too much of a disappointment to her, oh yes, she's invited some of the neighbours around too to share the bottle of sauvignon blanc.

There's only one thing in the world I look forward to more than a pedicure and foot spa treatment, and that's watching Billy's male staff doing The Green Ant Jive.

Yes, I'm still in the bath. Don't look.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Birds Of A Feather

There was huge excitement in our house today. My staff, who like to think of themselves as amateur horny-theologists (whatever they are) found a new bird in their garden. They were out on the deck with a bottle of red wine and a plate of cheese and biscuits, (Humans eat and drink the most disgusting things.) when my male staff spotted something unusual in one of the trees. Binoculars were hunted down from the dark, dank depths of wardrobes and the Field Guide to the Birds of Australia was dragged from the kitchen drawer.

My male staff had some trouble pointing the bird out to my female staff who on Tuesday is due to have her cataracts removed. "Can't you see it?" He asked with an edge of frustration to his voice. "It's right there in front of you in the big tree."
  "What tree?"
  "The big one, about ten yards in front of your eyes."
  "Well I can't see it."
  "What, the bird?"
  "No, the bloody tree."
At long last my female staff's fogged-up eyes found the tree, and then the bird, and names were bandied about as the two of them consulted the Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.
  "Clearly," said my male staff, "it's a blue boobed spangled rat cruncher."
  "Don't be ridiculous." Replied my female staff. "It's penis is far too big to be a rat cruncher. It looks more like a yellow bellied fartingale to me."
  "Actually," said my male staff indignantly. "That's the branch he's sitting on, not his penis. When's the last time you saw a penis with knots in it?" My female staff was about to say something, but my male staff beat her to it. "Don't tell me. I don't want to know. Anyway," he continued, "on closer inspection it looks more like a greater limp tailed bastard.
  "Nah." My female staff disagreed. "It hasn't got a crest."
  "Well what do you think it is then?" My female staff grabbed the bird book and flicked through the pages.
  "There!" She exclaimed, poking a large bird on the page with her forefinger. My male staff stared at the picture at the end of her finger in disbelief.
  "An emu?" He cried incredulously. "An emu? You do know you're pointing at an emu don't you? If an emu can't fly - which it can't, how's it going to get up into a tree? A ladder?"
  "I don't know, maybe someone gave it a leg up or something. ....Just a suggestion."
 "It's not a bloody emu." Said my male staff, rather harshly I thought, bearing in mind that my female staff is a blind as something that is very blind. "Actually, looking at those marking on it's wings I think it might be a greater fire-winged sausage snatcher." Thankfully, at this point my female staff's mum arrived and told them both it was a pigeon.

Talking of birds, I had an interesting conversation on Twitter with a conure last week. Conures are beautiful parrots from Central and South America. You might find this hard to believe, but this particular conure lives in the USA and is a member of the NRA. He also owns an Egyptian made semi-automatic AK47 assault rifle. He appears to be a responsible bird and locks the multi-round ammo clips away separately from the weapon. I asked him why he needed it and he said he didn't. He has it because he can, he said, and he has fun with it shooting clay pigeons and paper targets.

This kind of blew away my argument that all NRA members are fools. This particular conure is obviously no fool. However, don't you think that the NRA's suggestion that all schools should have armed guards is an admission that gun law is a free for all and totally out of control in most states of the USA. My initial argument was that a couple of million NRA members are holding the rest of the nation to ransom when it comes to gun control and that when a few powerful people impose their will on the majority it becomes pretty much the same as Soviet communism. I bet the NRA leadership hadn't thought of that. In any case, for a while the NRA website featured prominent anti-gun activists' pictures in the cross hairs of a sniper rifle with the caption "Pull the trigger". Do these people sound like the sort of responsible folk that should be allowed to own guns?

And another thing, after Australia's Port Arthur massacre the NRA were circulating a video claiming that the subsequent tightening of gun laws had made life in Australia more dangerous. It was nonsense of course. Total bush chocolate actually, and Australia's Attorney General at the time - Daryl Williams wrote the Charlton Heston stating that the video was misleading and plain wrong and asked him to withdraw it. The silly old goat didn't even have the good manners to reply. How very un-American. Say what you like about Americans, but they are almost always friendly and polite, even the more extreme members of the NRA.

I think the NRA has shot itself in the foot (Something that I would never do.) by arguing that all American schools should have armed guards. Maybe they need them, but isn't that proof that current gun legislation is too lax.
Do you mind? I'm having a bath.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Beast Of New Street

Oakham is a pretty little market town in the East Midlands of England. It is the county town of Rutland, Britain's smallest county. In the market place there are a set of stocks where petty criminals were pelted with bush chocolate as punishment for various minor misdemeanours such as poking fun at Henry the Eighth's tummy or coveting his neighbours wife's ass. The town's old water pump is there too, and when my male staff lived there it still worked. You pumped the great iron handle up and down a few times and the thing gurgled a bit before spewing a satisfying stream of dirty water onto your best shoes. It still stands in front of the post office which had a letter box in the wall. My male staff would always plead with his mum to lift him up so that he could post her letters and holler "I am a mole and I live in hole" into the letter box. The echo that this produced amused the boy no end for some reason. It was hard work for his mother though because my male staff was twenty five at the time.

 The stocks at Oakham, where petty criminals were pelted with bush chocolate.

Don't worry, I'm pulling your leg of course. He would have been four or five years old, rather plump and with somewhat formal manners which had been drummed into him by his mum and dad.  His mother earned a little extra money by cleaning the huge old farmhouse in New Street owned by Auntie Mary and Uncle George, while his dad was out doing mysterious things for the Royal Air Force. They weren't Auntie and Uncle at all, but my male staff was told to call them that. They were brother and sister actually. Auntie Mary was a pillar of the local community, "doing" the church flowers and acting as scorer for the local cricket team, while Uncle George took care of the farm. The house was huge and full of ghosts which lurked in its many dark corners and at the top of the wide, sweeping staircase, or so my male staff thought anyway. It was both an exciting and a frightening place to be, but the kitchen was always warm and inviting and full of delicious smells.

In the farmhouse's lounge room with a blazing fire in the grate on January 30th 1965 my male staff  sat in one of the commodious armchairs, munching chocolate digestive biscuits and guzzling orange juice while he watched Winston Churchill's state funeral on Auntie Mary's black and white television.
It was this event that inspired my male staff to give his hamster Jenny a military funeral when she passed away a few months later, as described in my earlier post.

My male staff now suspects that the hamster he buried that day was not in fact the same hamster that Auntie Mary was given to look after when the family went on holiday one summer. He thinks that Jenny escaped in that big farmhouse and was never seen again. He'll never know for sure. Why does he suspect this? It might be something to do with the fact was Jenny was white when she was left with Auntie Mary and golden when my male staff picked her up again. For a while he believed Auntie Mary when she told him that Jenny had simply grown a new coat, but now, almost fifty years later he's not so sure.  Anyway, he likes to think that Jenny is still alive, but has mutated into a monstrous white rodent from licking the lead paint on the walls in the cellar of the old house. He believes that she is now approximately the size of a leopard and at night she ventures into the street to terrorise the local cats, dogs and pensioners on their way home from the pub. Personally I think that my male staff has watched the movie "Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-rabbit" too often. He insists though that Jenny is acting in revenge for the knocking down of the beautiful old New Street farmhouse and it's replacement with a hideous supermarket and a bland housing development.
"Quite possibly the best film ever made." - My male staff.

Uncle George was a gruff, but kindly fellow, portly and always dressed in a flat cap and muddy wellington boots. Nothing else, and for this reason he was well acquainted with the local constabulary. (I'm joking again.)  One day he asked my five year old male staff if he'd like to go with him to see the new lambs. Off they toddled, hand in hand on that chilly spring morning and having inspected the lambs satisfactorily Uncle George decided that he should go and see how the chickens were doing. Big mistake! Little did he know that my male staff had an unusual phobia - pteronophobia. Yep. A fear of feathers. Into the barn they strode. A hundred or so chickens were there doing chickeny things. It was all quite peaceful apart from the soft "buk buk buk buk buk" of the birds. Unfortunately a white feather wafted on a gentle draught toward my male staff and settled on his shoulder. He let out such a sudden high pitched scream that poor Uncle George thought the boy had at the very least been pierced through the groin by a pitchfork. Not totally unsurprisingly the scream upset the chickens who started to fly about in panic, and very soon there was a veritable blizzard of white weathers. More screams from my male staff, who by now was hyper-ventilating in fear. Uncle George grabbed my male staff's pudgy little hand and led him through the blizzard towards the door of the barn, which was practically invisible through the howling storm of screams and feathers. Uncle George must have looked like Scott of the Antarctic as he fought his way to the safety of the door, which he walked into in the poor visibility and his desperation to get the screaming child away from the chickens.

I wish I had been there in the cosy kitchen with Auntie Mary and my male staff's mum when Uncle George and my male staff returned from their adventure. "How were the lambs?" Asked Auntie Mary before she looked up to see Uncle George covered in feathers, flat cap missing, red faced, flustered and with a bloody nose from the firm contact with the barn door.
 "Oh, they were fine, weren't they Peter?" He replied, looking down at my male staff. At that moment my male staff noticed on his arm a small white feather that Uncle George had failed to brush off after they'd escaped from the chicken barn. There was a sharp intake of breath, followed by a shrill scream.

I have a fear of dirty feet, but some people have a general fear of feet. (Podophobia) This includes their own feet. What a terrible affliction to have because no matter how fast you run, the bloody things will always keep up with you.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

An Afternoon Snooze

Yesterday was cage cleaning day. I always forget it, so it was quite a nasty shock when my female staff's hand scooped me up. For a second instinct kicked in and I thought I'd been grabbed by a condor or something. It sort of loosened the old bladder and gave my female staff a handful of scalding hot piggy widdle. Serves her right anyway. maybe she'll give me a bit of warning next time. A simple polite cough as she approaches would suffice. Anyway, having dried her hand on the curtain she took me into their bedroom where my male staff was trying to have an afternoon snooze. 

He was laying flat on his back and his eyes were just about to close. "Look after Billy while I clean his cage will you." Ordered my female staff.
 "Sure dearest," sighed my male staff as he sensed his afternoon nap slipping from his grasp. I was plonked on his chest, resting on a nice thick towel. I settled down comfortably and my male staff began stroking my fur. I purred a bit and then finally dozed off. Ten minutes later I woke and was about to reprimand my male staff for ceasing his stroking, when I noticed with some fascination that he had dropped off himself. By that I mean he had fallen asleep. I don't mean that he had dropped off the bed. That could have been disastrous for both of us. I could have been squashed as flat as a very flat thing and my male staff would have had his testostricles removed by my female staff with a pair of blunt pinking shears for not looking after me properly.

He was snoring softly and the breath from his nose was just enough to stir my whiskers as I edged closer to his face to get a better look. His mouth was slightly open and it took a lot of will power on my part not to see how many pieces of bush chocolate I could deposit into it before he awoke.. Instead, I gazed up his nostrils. They were like twin caves, black, gloomy and mysterious with spider webs of hair across the entrances.  I moved a little closer still and gazed into the caverns of doom. Wait! Did I see something green in there? Yes! I moved closer still, until my right eye was so close to his right nostril that I could see his nose hairs moving in the breeze of his breath. It was hanging there, attached to the wall of his nasal cavity. A piece of lettuce I thought. Or maybe even a bit of basil if I was really lucky. I realise now of course how silly that sounds, but at the time I didn't really think why my male staff would have shoved salad items up his nose. In any case it's just the kind of thing he'd do if he though nobody was looking.

Tentatively to begin with I stuck out my tongue and pushed it into the nostril of doom. Dammit! My tongue wasn't quite long enough. I repositioned myself and stuck my tongue in a little more forcefully. Still the piece of basil, lettuce or whatever it was remained frustratingly out of reach. One last try, I thought to myself, then I'll give up and wait for my dinner. I made a determined lunge and for a second I thought I was going to succeed in obtaining the delicious treat, but my male staff sneezed violently and scared the living bush chocolate out of me - quite literally.  Honestly, it was a reflex action, a complete accident, but I bit down hard on the little bit of skin and gristle than separated his two nostrils.  This apparently is quite a sensitive part of my male staff's anatomy and he woke with a shriek that brought my female staff running to see what the hell was going on. She stood in the doorway with a look of horror on her face, as if she had never seen a man sitting up in bed with a large hairy guinea pig attached to his nose, like some grotesque nose piercing, tears running down his cheeks and blood poring from his nose. It must have been quite a sight.
  "Det 'ib off by doze, det 'ib off by doze!" he kept yelling at my female staff, whatever that means. I never did get my piece of basil or lettuce.

Ah. Happy days.  Before I went to sleep on my male staff's chest I had time to consider yet another fine piece of lunacy from our good friends the religious nutters. This time it comes from a certain Suaidi Yahya, the mayor of Lhokseumawe - a city in the semi-autonomous state of Aceh in Indonesia. A state subject to Islamic Sharia law. Mr Yahya has decreed that he wishes to save women's "morals and behaviours" by banning them from sitting astride motorbikes, especially if they are sitting behind a male. What a sad state of affairs when a woman can't even sit astride a motorbike behind her own husband. What does Mr Yahya think? That they going to have sex while travelling at seventy kilometres an hour, weaving through traffic, fully clothed, with the bloke facing the wrong way. Sheesh! If they could manage that they'd deserve to win Indonesia's Got Talent. My male staff say's he's read the Koran twice and nowhere can he find a reference to how women should ride motorbikes.  I've actually chewed a few of the pages myself, but please don't tell your friendly neighbourhood Mullah or I could become a sort of rodent version of Salman Rushdie.

Anyway radical Islam doesn't have a monopoly on madness. Look at the way the Roman Catholic church perpetuates both poverty and AIDS in Africa and places like the Philippines by preaching that contraception is a grave sin, while allowing many of their clergy to rape little boys with impunity.   Orthodox Jews are not without their fruitcakes either. Take the case of the poor dog whom they sentanced to death by stoning for have the audacity to be the reincarnation of a troublesome lawyer. The following link will take you to an explantion of this sad episode from one of my earlier blog posts. Don't worry though, the dog escaped. The silly buggers took him to the park for a walk, threw a ball for him and he never came back.

That's the trouble with religious extremists, they are mostly as thick as bats' bush chocolate. I of course, worship my feet, as do Billy's staff. Billy just pees on his, which I consider to be heracy.