Thursday, 12 May 2016

An eight week idiot's guide on how to be a Prepper.

Week one
You don’t even know it’s started, but it has. You’re in bed having a final look at the day then you see the link, ‘Are you ready for the coming financial collapse?  “Well I’m not sure… perhaps I should click…holy shit! The banks run out of money? Marshal law! Sifting through bins for food… Really?” You mention it to your wife. She rolls her eyes. ‘It happened in Greece!’ you say, in a high-pitched voice that suggests you’re anything but prepared. She rolls over  “idiot”  sighs out of her mouth. Undeterred you stay up and watch a documentary about the Great Depression. You know, just to get a feel for what it would be like. It turns out the Great Depression, was quite the doozy.  
Week two
You start slow, buying a few extra tins at Lidl. You don’t tell anyone, especially the kids, they’ll give away your position.
Week three
Did someone order a cupboard full of beans?  Padlocked of course, you’re not stupid.
Week four
You go for walks under the cover of darkness, heading to the local ATM, where after making sure no one has followed you, you withdraw as much cash as allowed. When you get back home you stick this money in envelopes and hide it in the walls of your house, plastering over each stash for safe measure.
Week five
The plaster won’t dry and your marriage is barley hanging on.  You try and make jokes like ‘There’s plenty of money in the Banana Stand’ but your wife has never seen Arrested Development and doesn’t get the reference. Nope, she just thinks you’re a fucking psycho.
Week six
You find yourself heading down to the river to feed the ducks. ‘Finally, he’s stopped being weird.’ Have you? Or are you secretly befriending the ducks making them trust you so when the day comes, they waddle right up to the pan thinking ‘he’s a nice guy always gives us… BAM’. Two, three, if you’re quick four, dead ducks right in your duck sack. Plus you’ve been squirreling away the odd bottle of Hoisin. ‘What’s that Wifey? I’m crazy? Yeah crazy like a fox who dragged in some quack quack’s for din dins.’
Week seven
She’s gone. As have the children. They all left the same day you started wearing camouflage pants around the house. Or was it when you ordered the high-powered slingshot? It doesn’t matter, you have enough tins to get through this little hiccup. Oh yes you do…
Week eight

It does not look like she’s coming back which might not be a bad thing as the blood on your gums suggests, you’ve got scurvy. You have no electricity and that solar powered generator you spent all your money on, won’t work in a climate where there’s no fucking sun! On a sour note, you can’t locate your cash. Don’t be put off. Keep punching, you’ll find it.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Memoirs of an Australian legend.

My brother is an uncouth, breath of fresh air, salt of the earth Aussie legend. I Skyped mum the other day and asked where he was, ‘He’s out on the kayak catching squid.’ What a life. The sun’s setting and he’s yanking in calamari. But his fearless attitude towards sharks isn’t what makes him great. What’s brilliant about Nathan is his ability to back himself.
His mate was set to turf an old barbecue onto the street when out it popped, ‘you could get a carton of beer for that.’ There it was, the birth of an idea. Within hours was delivered, phone calls were made and investors were celebrating. Laconic genius at its finest, you swap unwanted items for beer. It hits the heart of every Australian. You get to de-clutter your life and are rewarded with beer. Your wife’s happy and you’re loaded. Nathan made it happen. He got it to the point where swap4beer made it on to Good Morning Australia. THE BIGGEST MORNING SHOW IN OZ INTERVIEWING MY BROTHER! ‘Look out Zuckerberg, Karl Stefanovic’s making jokes about barbecues and beer and Australia loves it. Well they did until they went to the unfinished website and were put off, and then he had to deal with the liquor licensing laws and whilst it’s all kosher now and the websites working, the idea has lost a bit of heat. Yet he’s had a crack, learnt from his mistakes and it could still take off. I mean you swap things for beer for Christ's sake, how could it not? Or does it matter?
Who could forget the time he convinced himself that somewhere in the porn industry stood a man or woman who would soon make the connection between Memoirs of a Geisha, and the new fad that involved squirting. This lead to the hurried purchase of the domain name How do you make money from this? Imagine: they wrap the final scene, someone’s mopping up, everyone’s happy when in storms the PR man ‘Someone else owns and they want a million dollars?’ You laugh maybe even scoff but part of you wonders would they pay up? I mean they’ve gone to all of the trouble to hire a gusher. I imagine they don’t come cheap (oh yes I did) so to throw it all away.... surely not? He’s yet to see a penny but you never know. The laughs have been worth it.

His latest is a doozy. He Skypes me, ‘I want to write the shitest book ever.’ Get in line I said. ‘No you don’t get it, it’s a book filled with stories about people taking their worst shits.’ There’s a market for that? ‘Come on mate, we’ve all got a funny shit story.’ I laughed not just at the idea but at the fact that he will do it, he will post off to publishers a book with the title The Shitest Book Ever and they’ll probably laugh and you never know… That’s what my brother has taught me, you have to back your ideas because no matter how shit they are, you just never know.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Going Mad

When I was a kid my dad would tell us to hop in the car and we’d be off. No questions asked except for ‘Where are we going Dad?’ Often he’d tell us ‘We’re going mad’. This was of course his little joke, made only to himself, one you’d need to make whilst bundling four kids into an airconditionless Ford shit box. Dad may have been behind the steering wheel but we were the ones driving him ‘mad’. What didn’t help his cause was four bored kids believing whole heartedly that we were indeed going to a place called Mad. We didn’t know where Mad was but we were ready to find out. We’d even practice our mad faces so we’d fit right in when we got there. We fell for the trip to Mad on many occasions but not once did we get even close to its gates, gates that we assumed were designed with fury and anger and gargoyles. Surely there’d be gargoyles? No. We’d always arrive with fading glee to some brown building that sold carpet or light fittings or linoleum. Buildings frequented by decaying men in beige suits, total fun vacuums whose only excitement came in the form of coughing blood onto a hanky because that meant it was nearly over. Ironically us kids would be, you guessed it, mad. Dad was again right all along but for all the wrong reasons. Countless Saturdays were ruined by trips like these. Yet for the brief times where we were buckled up and believing that Mad was a real and unexplored land, the times where we looked out the car windows with a sense of wonder about our upcoming adventures into the unknown, those times were brilliant. Nowadays I have to spend a lot of money to get those feelings back.

Is there a point to this one? If there is it’s this; lie to your children. Lie to them but make the lies small so they can do the rest. As for the disappointment that may follow? Well you’d be mad not to teach them how to deal with that one.