A response to Manscaping. From an Army Poet.

So it seems one of my written works has inspired other written works from one of the country’s serving members of military. Words much cleverer and funnier than mine.  (Is cleverer a word?)

Back in July, I wrote my column for Darwin Life Magazine on Manscaping . It was an article inspired by the magazine’s Business Development Manager, who when I asked her what I should write about (I’m ALWAYS open to suggestions by the way…) mentioned the fact that everywhere she turned there were metrosexuals.

I closely studies metrosexuals for the next 2 weeks and realised yes – they were everywhere. I followed them in shopping centres to see what they purchased and where. I checked out their shoes, their clothing, and their personal grooming.

Then shazam! There it was – the common denominator. NONE of them had facial hair. Many of them had no chest hair. I can’t say whether they had trimmed the hedges at the base of the trunk because I thought it was best that I DIDN’T follow them into the men’s room. I mean, I’ve done it before, but only when the ladies room is full. And I always knock first!

Anyway… my observation was enough to inspire the column. 

Darwin is a town heavily populated with young males so I figured the column would be relevant. Interestingly, a whopping 15%  or more of the total population are members of the military, many of whom I  noted during my weeks of stalking  research, were extremely well groomed. And the few that I am friends with are super stylish when they’re not in their khakis. But I always have this sense that they are seriously macho-hero-Rambo-ready-to-annihilate-and-not-afraid-of-a-damn-thing type of guys.

Blood and guts? Open wounds? Puh! Just another day at the office.

So when this response to my Manscaping column came to me from someone signed ARMY POET I was a little surprised. Aren’t army types supposed to be tougher than this?

Here is the poem. It’s hilarious, and you have to read it like a limerick. (eg. There once was a man from Nantuckett).

Whilst considering the issue of hair
On backs, cracks…in fact anywhere
I looked down below
And thought “Yes, have a go!”
And decided on being quite bare.

To the bathroom, I raced for a razor
Will she like it? Perhaps it might phase her
Now as a bloke I must ask
With dangly bits to this task
Would it be any safer with laser?

But now is the time to be brave
Covered in foam I psyched up for the shave
Lathered in snow
Hey where’d my balls go?
Then a frightened willy gave me a wave.

My quad blade Gillette went berserk
Like a crazed shearer I tackled the work
Foam, blood and hair
Sprayed everywhere
And I shrugged off the pain with a smirk.

Blood dripped from my arse to the floor
My dick lost an inch maybe more
From a slit in my sac
I put a testicle back
No wonder my scrotum was sore!

And now I give blokes this advice
Before shaving your privates – think twice
Just let the girls with the bush
Decide on their tush
Cos being gelded aint nice!

Army Poet

Can I consider this fan mail? Do you think?

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Faking it…. Does chocolate help?

We’ve all done it, some regularly – which if you ask me must be exhausting! I’ve done it a few times, but only really fully faked it once.  In my twenties.  Afterwards, I concluded I faked it because I wanted them to think I was good.  No not good.  THE BEST they’d ever seen! There I was assuming it was an academy award winning performance, but in the end I’m pretty certain I got laughed at. Perhaps I was jumping around a little too much…

If you think I’m discussing something I might do in private with a lover, please bend over and pick your mind up from out of the gutter because what I’m talking about faking here is very much public. No it’s not fake boobs, or any other body part. It’s not fake tan either. Neither is it fake designer handbags or fake smiles; the kind that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are renowned for. Let me elaborate:

I was working for ABC television in Sydney as a PA and had heard about some auditions for one of my favourite shows. Playschool. The audition process was simple: Send in your resume and an audition reel.

Why, audition reel you say? Ummm.  Can I use the video of my 21st speech? Because by all accounts it was rather entertaining.

Given that the PA job was my first full time position out of university; my CV included a few part time and casual positions in retail so I was left with only one option. Fake it.

I won’t bore you with the cringe worthy pile of BS I actually wrote on my ‘resume.’ Nor will I tell you about the audition video I made with my friends (as I referred to in my opening paragraph) where we transformed a room into a kiddie wonderland and I sang songs such as “Boom boom, aint it great to be crazy.” Because clearly – no.

But I will say this: Faking your qualifications and abilities to land your dream job CAN work… but mostly you get caught out.

Hopefully soon Australia will have a PM. However the problem with last month’s election was, the candidates who were applying for the job were in some ways – faking it. So we Australians, like a merciless recruitment consultant, informed them that they weren’t qualified and lacked the experience and skills required to fulfil the role on offer. However, we would keep their details on file if something suitable came up. Famous last words for the inadequate resume. 

According to SEEK, 75% of all resumes include embellishments and lies. The main components we ‘fake’ are our skills, our education records, and our current salary details. Employers must know this, yet there are hundreds of websites and articles that tell you “how to…”

The guy who runs fakeresume.com says human resource types are looking for the slightest excuse to throw your resume in the trash, but a little embellishing convinces them to give it a second look.  I’m not so sure you need to fib in order to stand out. A friend of mine used to attach a Cadbury’s TIME OUT bar and instant coffee sachet to her CV with a note reading: Thank you for taking the TIME OUT to go over my resume.

It’s a trick I used, and it worked wonderfully. Particularly when you consider most recruitment or HR professionals spend their day in a fluorescently lit office cubicle pouring over hundreds of resumes a day… many chocolate loving females who – as they came across my resume thought, ‘Ahhh… chockie. That’s noice, that’s different, that’s unusual.’ (Thanks Marns)

                             

I’m pretty certain that if either political party had sent all their eligible voting constituents their policies in such manner: the election would have been a landslide.

Oh if only I’d known the chocolate trick back when I auditioned for Play School. Vending machines were hard to come by at the ABC. Snack time was only ever at about 10am when the morning tea trolley came around – and the best they provided were day-old blueberry muffins. If you wanted chocolate you had to haul ass to the cafeteria which shut by 3pm. So there’s a good chance the producers of Play School (4 x women) would have been loving a chocolate enhanced resume.

Instead, Miss Rhym-A-Lot here decided that just incase they realised my ‘performance resume’ was a total fraud, and that my ‘audition reel’ was better suited to Funniest Home Videos: I attached to my resume a poem. Because over at Playschool, they don’t spend their days looking at poems at ALL. EVER!

And so here is the third part of a totally embarrassing experience:

When I was a little girl of three or maybe four
I first tuned into Playschool, and I loved what I saw.

Humpty and Jemima, Hambel and Big Ted
And all those snappy rhymes and verses buzzing through my head.

I was so completely mesmerised by Noni’s fun and flair
And John Walters and John Hamblyn and Benita’s thick black hair.

I could not be distracted. I loved to play along.
I’d stamp my feet and clap my hands and sing the happy songs.

For Playschool was a magic place where everything was fun.
My toys could not compete so instead I watched with mum.

The presenters and their smiles and their story telling too,
Really had me thinking…. “That’s what I want to do!”

And at the age of five or six I made myself this vow.
That I’d get onto Playschool: Somewhere, some day, somehow!

Upon making that promise came desire to entertain.
I knew to be on Playschool, I would have to train.

(Confession: Even as I type this it’s very hard for me not to cringe in disbelief….)

So I danced my way through childhood. I sang throughout my teens.
I took the art of entertaining to most extreme.

(Clearly. I mean I was way too busy entertaining to study performing arts at NIDA or WAAPA. Please insert further cringing here….)

Then fate brought me to Sydney, and to the ABC.
And to hear about auditions? What an opportunity!!!

(Obviously. Let’s all thank fate. Not Qantas or my University transfer)

Now I’ve never been to NIDA, never worked on Summer Bay.
I’ve never done commercials… but I think that’s okay.

(Here we see evidence of my superiority complex!)

My experience may be limited, but talent though is not!
SO GIVE ME A GIG ON PLAYSCHOOL – AND YOU’LL SEE WHAT I’VE GOT!!

Oh dear! It’s actually quite cathartic reliving this moment of my life because it makes me realise that with age comes perspective. As in: Good grief, how much of a dork WAS I?

So the moral of the story?
Don’t bother faking it, especially if it involves lots of words.
Fudge your way with chocolate instead.

Have a crack! Go on… They’re just fireworks!

WARNING: There are graphic images of firework injuries below….

Yesterday Territorians celebrated Northern Territory Day, marking the commencement of Self Government in the Territory on 1 July 1978. Most states celebrate the day they became independent by having a public holiday. In Darwin, we celebrate by turning the evening into a disaster zone.

Let me tell you what happens…. For 2 days, fireworks are sold to members of the public over 16 years of age, and sales must cease by 9pm on July 1st.  These people are then free to ignite and set off their fireworks.

The government and Council always have a list of guidelines when lighting your own fireworks. I have made some comments in bold italics after each point.

* The sale of fireworks will be restricted to two days. Fireworks can only be purchased between the hours of 9am and 9pm on those two days, from approved fireworks retailers. They cannot be sold to persons under 16 years of age. (Well this is basically what does happen. The firework retailers make a fortune and to have their selling license revoked to stay open an extra hour, or to sell to a minor would not be worth it for them)

  • * Fireworks can only be ignited between 6pm and 11pm on Territory Day. For all other occasions a special permit is required. (Can someone explain why I could hear fireworks going off constantly throughout the night, at one point, waking my sleeping child because it sounded like a canon)

* Unused fireworks can be handed into NT WorkSafe or your local Police and Fire stations. (Riiiiigght. Sure. Like this EVER happens. Left over fireworks get used at the discrepancy of those who have purchased them. Meaning – whenever and wherever the hell they like.)

* Strict penalties apply under the Dangerous Goods Act for breaches of fireworks regulations with fines of up to $3000. (Great, but how many people actually get fined? I would LOVE to know the stats on that one!)

Let me just say, I’m not against fireworks for celebrations. I love fireworks. Always have. What I’m against is selling them to anyone.  Because for every responsible person that does the right thing, and abides by the guidelines to increase safety, there are about 10 who don’t.

My question is:  Why can’t the government put on a HUGE display for all people in Darwin. That’s what they do in all the regional areas of the Territory. Why do city dwellers get a license to explode? You only have to go to the NYE fireworks in Sydney to understand that having one big display encourages unity, consideration and makes the night so special. Sure there are drunken idiots there too, but they’re not armed with dangerous explosives.

Having pockets of people scattered not only creates competition, “There’s are pretty big, let’s get out our big ones and blow there fireworks out of the water,” but it is also impossible to police how much those using the fireworks are drinking.  Surely after 6 beers, lighting a firework in a public place can be as hazardous as driving a car.

So anyway, last night when I realised watching television or reading a book was futile (because it sounded like World War 3 outside in my suburban neighbourhood), I do what I always do when I feel an inner cyclone coming on. I put scribble to paper and wrote this:

 

 

Right now I’m just so furious I want to punch something hard!
But that would only aggravate the blatant disregard…

of all the stupid bogans that are outdoors tonight.
No they are not drinking, neither are they in a fight.

But they are causing havoc, making trouble, being clowns.
Is this what I should just accept living in Darwin town?

I wish I could invite you now, into my Lounge Room…
And this is what you’d hear: Whistle, crack, bang, chk-chk BOOM!

We’re apparently celebrating Northern Territory Day.
But it’s really an excuse for the idiots to play.

You see in the Northern Territory anyone can buy…
as many fireworks as they like and for a price that’s high.

They sell them for a whole two days prior to tonight.
Our officials in the government think that makes it alright.

“Surely if there’s just two days to stock up on supplies..
The fireworks will be limited as will pollution to our skies.”

I guess they just don’t realise that many go to shop
For the biggest loudest fireworks that go : Snap Crackle & Pop!

So these bogans – cashed up bogans, have spent serious truck loads!
And council cleanup tomorrow will cost serious f**k loads!

photo by NT News

But you know – the government (that silly bunch of fools)
Release a statement every year about the ‘Firework Rules.’

“You must not set a firework beyond 11pm
And remember there’s exclusion zones; they’ll be policed again.”

But with alcohol flowing freely the rules are just forgotten.
I feel sorry for the fire-fighters who must think this night is rotten.

The fire danger’s always high, and every year there’s reckless flames.
Cause surely… lighting fireworks yourself is fun and games.

Yet every single year the average number is thirty five.
Those who spend the night in hospital trying to survive.

Every year there’s injuries to limbs, fingers and eyes.
And I wonder… how many idiots actually copped a fine?

  

Like the brainless twat who last year didn’t give a damn.
He sent a baby to emergency when he shot fireworks at a pram!

So the fire-fighters, paramedics, doctors and police…
…are all on hand in quantities to try and keep the peace.

And minimise the damage, and try and maintain the law.
So I’m asking now – Where are you? Cause there’s fireworks at my door!

They’re almost in my backyard, there are fireworks galore!
They’re noisy and obnoxious. It sounds like there’s a war!

I want to go outside and shout out loud: “You stupid dicks!
You careless bunch of bastards, you reckless selfish pricks!”

I should mention there are those who responsibly spend…
…the evening being careful celebrating with their friends.

They only go to areas where fireworks are allowed.
They’re cautious with their explosives and respectful of the crowd.

But sadly that’s not everyone. There are way too many jerks.
So I’m pleading with the government: Stop the free-for-all Fireworks!

Now I’d be the first to tell you that fireworks are amazing
They’re sparkly and they’re pretty just like little bits of sky bling.

photo by NT News

But with boundaries there is safety. With restrictions there’s control.
And this mess and noise and damage are starting to take its toll.

Isn’t that the reason, NT finally fell in line?
And introduced demerit points in like – 2009? ***

And changed the speeding limit so there actually was one?
Because the road tolls and the accidents were no longer any fun.

It just makes sense to me, to keep it one big show.
And no longer sell fireworks to any Tom, Dick or Jo.

STOP the Private Fireworks. That is my new slogan.
The only ones who’ll be upset are all the stupid bogans!

*** Demerit points were actually introduced to the NT in July of 2007, 2 years earlier than stated above.

Memo to all women : Get baking, get naked, or GET LOST! Footy doesn’t want you.

Right now is probably not a good time for me to be writing this. I am super furious and have just spent half an hour reporting to Facebook administration some ATTACKING, SEXIST, DEROGATORY remarks made about Kelli Underwood. Some, alarmingly made by women.  (And no, I’m not ‘one of those’ people who report others, in fact this is the 1st time I have ever reported anyone on Facebook).

If you follow the AFL, you will probably know exactly who I’m talking about, but if not – let me tell you about Kelli Underwood.

She is the FIRST EVER female to commentate a game of AFL.  Sadly, Kelli is NOT the proud owner of a penis and because she lacks this apparent MANDATORY apparatus, has received a bucket load of completely UNFAIR and outright SEXIST backlash.

(Incidentally, Kelli should totally sue for defamation. I once started a group on Facebook about getting butchered by hairdresser and me and my 5 members apparently caused $50,000 worth of damage.   I would LOVE to see how much she could get out of the MONGRELS on Facebook who are attacking not just her ability to commentate, but her personally).

Last week the Daily Telegraph reported the following:

LAST weekend a young sports commentator by the name of Kelli Underwood made her calling debut on Channel 10 in the AFL pre-season competition.

If Kelli was a bloke, that event would not have attracted much attention. In fact, if Kelli was Kel, he would have been welcomed into the fold with open arms and nobody would have battedan eyelid.

Sadly for Kelli this week, she is not a bloke. Kelli Underwood (pictured) has been subject to the sort of scrutiny that only underworld criminals and out-of-form Australian cricketers normally face.

It is a different matter when Nicole Livingstone calls the swimming. You see, she was a swimmer. Liz Ellis calling netball. Fine – that’s a chicks’ sport. But heaven forbid any woman who dares to dream and cross that big thick white line into the male football domain.

Kelli will find out the hard way that the path she has chosen will be very rocky indeed. The bloggers are just the beginning. Macho radio commentators have expressed grave concern about Underwood’s future. Even sensible male journalists believe that she has absolutely no chance of succeeding in this most brutal of worlds. This has all been expressed in week one, before we even find out if the girl has talent.

I must admit I turned on the AFL last weekend and was shocked to hear a female voice calling the game. We are so finely tuned to hearing men that any female, no matter what she says, is going to sound strange and foreign.

But that doesn’t mean we should put a line through her name just yet. Underwood deserves exactly the same chance as any one of her male counterparts. From the small portion I heard, it is obvious that the girl knows and loves the game.

The mere fact that she has decided to pursue her goal shows a determination and gutsiness that is admirable. Underwood would be well aware that the female experiment lasted two minutes on Channel 9’s cricket commentary.  Kate Fitzpatrick was such a disastrous choice as the pioneering woman on the cricket commentary team that no one has ever dared to venture there in the two decades since.

Firstly, well said Rebecca Wilson who wrote the article, especially the bit about nobody batting an eye if it was a new bloke commentating.

But Kelli didn’t enter into this role blind folded. She was well aware of the attention she might receive saying, “Obviously the whole ‘woman’ thing will be a talking point and I understand it’s an issue that polarises people and a lot of people have an opinion. But I’m a woman and I’ve earned this opportunity and I’m going to go for it.”

Here is a snippet of Kelli commentating. Keep in mind it was right before the final siren.

Some complain it’s not the fact that she’s a woman, but rather – that her voice is annoying and painful to listen to.  For real?

Have any of you heard Rabs (Ray Warren) commentate a game of NRL? Talk about annoying. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, tune into Game 2 of the State of Origin on the 9th June and you’ll know the second he opens his mouth.  Because I would rather hear a recording of someone vomiting excessively than listen to him, but you don’t see many HATE groups on Facebook for him do you? 

To give you an example of some of the atrocious and abhorrent things being said about Kelli, I’ve cut some out below.

   

From the Facebook group: Operation Sack Kelli Underwood from Commentating (members 11,026)

  • F**K UP BITCH!
  • Dumb f**k she is! She is ruining the Cats vs dees game. Just f**k off biatch! You are single handedly ruining Australian Rules Footy!!!!!
  • Get in the canteen and off my f***ing tv!!!!!!! You are boring and crap!!! Women should stick to cleaning and serving food – NOT commentating!!!! What next a f***ing female coach get a grip!!!!!!
  • She’s a fu**n slag f**k her off real quick
  • Kick the bitch in the guts!!!paaaa smelly kelli get outta here C***!!!
  • Back in the kitchen BITCH, and cook me some PIE!
  • Women are good at lots of things, but leave this job to a man who knows the know. Like Dennis!

From the Facebook discussion group: Underwood was employed BECAUSE she is a woman

  • I have seen her do two games, go away girl and do a story on cooking as you are boring as a football commentator
  • I agree footy is a game played by blokes so naturally someone who commentates should have personal experience in the game! Seriously how many blokes would get to commentate netball?

His name is Luke Darcy, and he commentates netball you brain dead hack. Also, there are loads of male AFL commentators who have never played a single game.

From the Facebook discussion group:  Women in Football????

  • It doesn’t work….now we gota put up with this raspy voiced, throat clearing mess while she commentates Geelong’s finest games…any1 know of a female in the football media that’s worth knowing??? even malthouse fell by the wayside after she finished giving handjobs in primary school carparks
  • Women should stay out of footy. its only 4 men.
  • I agree with everyone and everything said – females involved in AFL is wrong – umpiring, goal umpiring, commentating, anything (only if the girl is blonde with a tiny waist and big boobs then I’m pretty sure they are allowed to be the physiotherapist)

And that’s not all. There are so many hate groups aimed at this woman, you would think she was the master mind behind the Bali bombings.  And it’s not just Facebook groups. There are TONS of on-line forums on the topic like this one that say Kelli should’ve been drowned at birth! 

So the main message we’re getting from the semi-deranged masses is that women and football don’t mix. Women should stay FAR AWAY from the game. We should instead, be venturing off the field, and into the kitchen. Yes, because The Kitchen is where ‘we belong.’

Well knock me down with a feather,  that’s a new concept!! Women in the kitchen…. and the millions of male chefs who incidentally; often get paid more for cutting the same onion.  Have you noticed on EVERY competitive cooking show, the judges are MEN? 

To those who say that Kelli get in the kitchen… are you suggesting that women should be like that of a 1950’s housewife? If so, it’s too late! Read your friggin history books. The men went to war – the women kept the rest of the world turning, and we were changed forever.  Have none of you seen the movie A League Of Their Own? 

I would like to bet my left breast that Kelli is getting paid less than her male counterparts. As do all women on TV. Koshie gets more than Mel. Karl gets more than Lisa.  It’s a sad fact.

So anyway, on Saturday after reading a comment on facebook by one of my friends, saying if he wanted to watch a chick imitate a bloke, he’d watch Ellen, I decided to watch.   Admittedly, I only usually watch my own team play, unless it’s finals, and the week Kelli was commentating a West Coast Eagles game, I was in Sydney where AFL is like honest politicians.

I couldn’t see the problem. Yes, she did a fair bit of the grunting macho voice when the on-field plays got heated or close to scoring, (as do male commentators) but she undoubtedly knows her stuff.  I can’t understand what’s so annoying about her.  

Yes she sometimes stated the obvious – but EVERY commentator does that, and I’m wondering if those who think she is annoying to listen to, are actually (consciously or subconsciously) irritated by the female voice, rather than what she is saying, or how.

These people would like Kelli – and in fact ALL women to leave their game alone, and give the job to one far more qualified. One with an Adam’s Apple and a set of testicles to boot. 

In fact, women of Australia…. let us leave football THE HELL alone. Let’s cancel our team memberships. Let’s stop watching games on TV. Let’s stop going to LIVE games. Lets’s STOP buying any merhcandise.

And you know what men – your beloved game will choke and die. Because it’s a well know fact that women make up a large percentage of memberships, of crowd numbers and TV viewers. And it’s also been documented that women are the ones who buy MOST of the team merhcandise.

So let’s stop. We should get back to the kitchen where we belong and bake pie.  How DARE we enjoy a game of footy! How DARE we be watching, let alone commentating.

I’d now like to bet my right breast that if Kelli had been sitting in the box wearing a bikini with her jugs out, men Australia wide would be saluting her. If she followed it up with a photo shoot for Zoo Weekly?  Why men would be praising her. 

“She’s a good sort” they’d say!

                                

And we’d hear all about her love of being naked, how she loves to have sex with her boyfriend during half time, how she once did it in the MCG locker rooms, and actually, how she loves it when she gets tipsy and ends up rooting the entire team – because you know, if you want to be part of AFL – that is where you belong.  Not as a contributing member of a fantastic game and a great Australian sport; but as a piece of ass.

And then they’d dedicate the legendary song “Up There Cazaly” to her but change the words as follows:

Up there Kel Underwood
Please will you quit?
Up there and at ‘em
And show ‘em your tits

Up there Kel Underwood
Keep quiet or die
You’ll get more admirers
By baking a pie

A letter I doubt I’ll be sending… to Kevin Rudd, PM

Dear Prime Minister

On the eve of your new budget, I thought I’d write to tell you some of my opinions, because everyone is entitled to my opinion – even you! 

First of all I should probably make one thing clear straight up. I didn’t vote for you because I heard you picked wax out of your ear and ate it. Sorry, but that was kind of a deal breaker for me.

To be honest Mr Rudd, the first time I had to vote, and was unsure who to vote for because I didn’t understand the policy, I referred to the dictionary, and this is what I read:

LABOUR

  1. to burden or tire
  2. the physical effort and periodic uterine contractions of childbirth.
  3. to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage

LIBERAL

  1. favoring or permitting freedom of action
  2. open minded or tolerant
  3. progressive, broad minded, charitable, unprejudiced

Actually, your ‘KEVIN 07’ campaign didn’t really give me much indication of what type of PM you’d be. Other than the fact that perhaps there’s be times when you like to rhyme.  Your campaign mantras included cliché phrases like:

  • The reckless spending must stop.
  • The Buck stops with me.
  • The best choice for working families.
  • Creating an education revolution.
  • Addressing the biggest challenge of our time… Climate Change.

I find empty words like that harder to swallow than fermented fish guts soup. So I voted for Howard, which was essentially a vote for Peter Costello.

That day we had to vote was a shambles, and I should have realised then; that if this is what DAY 1 of ‘Kevin Rudd as PM’ was going to be like, hold on to your stock portfolios because you ‘aint seen nothin’ yet.

I left my phone in the voting booth, and by the time I’d realised, and returned to collect it, the booth ceased to exist. Those volunteers at the voting stations were eager to get out.  So given that I was to be meeting friends for dinner that night at a Tepanyaki restaurant, of which I knew neither its name nor exact location…. I wandered the streets of Sydney searching for Tepanyaki where my friends were. I found them eventually – only to get raw egg thrown down the front of my brand new jeans.

Eggs are precious, and not supposed to be thrown at someone’s unsuspecting bowl. I’m telling you this because it’s a metaphor which I will explain soon.

So anyway, leading up to your election, I had only the above information, and the following understanding of what KEVIN stood for….

K – Kind of feminine looking.
E – Ever been to a strip club?
V – Very good at clichés and rhyming.
I – I eat ear wax!
N – Nasally, Nerdy and Not very old.

In the last 3 years I have learnt much more about you, and I hope you sacked your campaign advisors and speech writers because here is what they didn’t tell us. 

The reckless spending must stopreally meant: The reckless spending by the liberal government on tax cuts must stop. YOU will take a 20 billion dollar surplus and create a $50 billion dollar deficit. You will spend recklessly on other things and then frantically look for ways to recover some of that money.

The Buck stops with mereally meant: The economy stops with you.

The best choice for working familiesreally meant: The best choice for anyone who is unemployed and wants to stay that way. It was also your fave quote of the campaign and we continue to hear it in every address.

Creating an education revolutionreally meant: You are hugely ambitious with grand promises, but your game plan will be slow, and a website called MY SCHOOL will be a new way to create ‘fear and propoganda’ in ‘working families.’

Addressing the biggest challenge of our time… Climate Changereally meant: You’ll throw around some ideas, travel abroad to discuss these ideas, and see what happens. If it’s too hard, you’ll let someone else work it out.

Mr Rudd, your beliefs seem to be disposable. You were there at my doorstep but you have failed to deliver me anything but junk mail. A lot of people like you.  But what I look for in a PM is performance not personality.  

Your announcements lack substance like you think we’re not ready or too dumb to hear the head spinning details.

Here is what I think KEVIN stands for now.

K – Kryptonite. You may have felt like Superman giving everyone 900 bucks, and telling us you’re here to tackle the tough issues. But you’re not faster than a speeding bullet, and you can’t leap tall buildings in single bound either. When you finished saving the economy with cash hand-outs, like Clarke Kent you went back to the office with your glasses on all sheepish and told yourself “I’m such a good person” until Lex Turnbull Luther exposed your stimulus. If the debt you’ve given this country doesn’t kill you, I don’t know what will.

E – Education Revolution. I had an education revolution at my place last week. I bought a new laptop too. E is also for ETS, but I almost forgot about that because it was sitting right at the back of the shelf somewhere.

V – Vendetta. You seem to have one for WA. Is it because they’re the only state led by a Liberal premier, or the fact that they failed to sit prettily on your proposed health reform? It’s like you’re determined to destroy their economy as you have destroyed the other major states’. I wonder who helps you dream these ridiculous plots up. Do you have Dr Evil on speed dial? Did he say to you: “Hmmmm, WA economy is booming hey?  You can destroy them.  Hit them where it hurts… the Resources and Industrial Sector. Force them to pay more tax, the oldest rule in the book.  (pats his kitty) The mining companies will have no choice but to take their business oversees, leaving thousands unemployed and the state in complete asphyxiation. Aahh ha ha ha ha ha“ 

I – In flight Entertainment. You seriously must have saved so much money on going to the movies with all the films you must watch on all those frequent 12 hour flights. So tell me..What did you prefer… The Hurt Locker or Avatar? I’m envisaging you as more of an Avatar kind of guy. It might have something to do with you apparent love of fantasy.

N – NEVER. Are you ready for this one? Never salute to the most hated man in politics – GW Bush. Never arrange insulation for anyone again. Never twitter porn. Never dine in public places with Rupert Murdoch’s men on a popular strip in a restaurant owned by a movie star. You’re going to get noticed. Never criticise the air hostess. Never laugh into a microphone that’s turned on again. Please? It’s like fingernails down a chalkboard. It hurts my teeth. Never criticise the leader of Opposition for exercising instead of discussing health reforms. Actions speak louder than words Kev, and on the subject of health, Mr Abbot appears to know more than you.

  

So back to the day I voted and my metaphor.

Like my phone – you seem lost. You’re wandering aimlessly looking past your shoulder and asking yourself, “Haven’t I already been to this spot?”

You have. It’s a place you probably saw when Gough Whitlam was in charge, and you are there. You’re actually smack bang in the middle of Way To Screw The Economy Prime Minister – Highway.

Back in your election campaign you gave the promise of a Tepanyaki dinner. A good healthy meal for all ‘struggling working families.’ But some of the meal is under cooked. Some burnt to a crisp and completely inedible. We’re getting stuff we didn’t order, and you’re telling me that what I did order, you’ve not got?

I won’t be coming back to this restaurant again. Because to make it worse, you started throwing raw eggs about, and I have a feeling that tomorrow when you announce the budget, that raw egg is gonna’ fly.

Yes Prime Minister. The eggs in my metaphor are your budget. Eggs are precious.

Every year you pollies create a budget that changes the shape of our economy. Last year your budget reminded me of when I was 18 and lied about my income to get a MYER card. I had a great 6 month spending spree and nearly poo’d my pants when I saw how much I owed at the end of it. It took me 6 years to pay it off.

So I’m begging you – to stop throwing eggs around like it’s a joke yolk… You’re making a huge mess. The economy is not a big fry pan that you can make scrambled eggs in. It’s more like a Pavlova, and the egg part is delicate and central to the success of the dish.

I’m hoping that by this time next year we’ll have new leadership, and that tomorrow will be the last time I have to endure this Kitchen Nightmare.

You’re popularity is at an all time low. It’s because you lied. You sold us Dom Perignon and gave us Brut. If you want to win the next election – be honest. Tell the truth.

Because I know how much you like to rhyme, here are some ideas. (Forget “Kevin in 2011” – it’s been done, and besides, you need to call that election SOON)

There were few good men in 2010
So you might as well bloody vote for Ruddy.

I’ll travel the world in first class
My policies will be a bit of a farce

But I’ll have a laugh, I’ll give you cash
I’ll probably make the market crash

I’ll kill small business and enterprise
I’ll tax you high, and tell you lies

I’ll reward the ones who just don’t try
And healthy, hard workers will fry

I’ll talk of challenges in our time
But most importantly – I’ll rhyme.

And there you have it.  

Anyway, I must go. I’ve just seen a headline on tomorrow’s budget that is making my head spin so fast it’s giving me whiplash.

Sincerely not yours,
Cindy

PS. Has anyone ever told you – you look like ‘Smithers’ from The Simpsons?

My signature colour

Letter (email) to Jane
Preface: In my 20’s I spent far too long emailing friends at work, in particular my bestie Jane. I wish to apologise now to any former employees, but these emails were contributing to the stimulation of my brain, and further developing a broadened vocabulary and imagination. We often (through boredom) gave each other topics to write letters back and forth on. Here lies some of those emails. They are VERY long and VERY RAMBLY but sometimes there are literary gems within…
 

From: Jane Jackson
To: Cindy Bradstreet
Topic: Your favourite colour
Date: Wed 28 April 1999 4.27pm

Veronica
Tell me more about your signature colour.
Amelia Barnes.

From: Cindy Bradstreet
To: Jane Jackson
Topic: Re: Your favourite colour
Date: Thu 29 April 1999 11.57pm

Dear Jane (aka Amelia Barnes)

I would be delighted. I think you’ll like this one!

Red is hot, red is fire. Red’s the colour of desire
Red can mean a smiley face or warnings in a dangerous place

 
With red I think of love and sex, or a soft and velvet rose
It’s a colour often seen on fingernails and toes

 Red is like the circus: It’s exciting and its fun
It’s the colour of the sky when the day is nearly done

Red is very daring. It’s presumptuous and it’s bold
You never think of red when you think of being cold

Red gets our attention. It says DANGER or LOOK OUT.
It’s strong and it’s assured, with red there’s never any doubt.

 A woman wearing red is a woman with a cause…
Cause red is not a colour that anyone ignores.

It’s bright and it’s happy like beach balls and umbrellas.
A girl wearing red lipstick will always pick up fella’s.

Red is also sweet like cherries and toffee apples.
It’s reverent and its regal, red carpet lies in many chapels

Red has global attraction, on the flag of many nations.
And it’s also used in logos of major corporations.

Like McDonalds Coke and Sanyo, Arnotts, Colgate, Kellogs, KFC,
Mitsubishi, Planet Hollywood, Revlon, Raybans, Versace.

 The word alone is used to sell Red Rooster and Red Cross,
Red Tulip and Red Faces… it’s probably on your dental floss.

If an item is on sale, it’s always marked with red.
So you see, red is special like tomato sliced on bread.

It’s the colour of fresh blood. It is drama and it’s passion.
And you can rest assured it will NEVER go out of fashion.

It’s a colour that we turn when we’re angry or upset,
Or embarrassed or ashamed, or flustered – in a fret.

Red is also pain, like an itch or burn or rash.
Like your legs after waxing, or your face after a pash.

 Reds a contradictory colour; it’s the night and it’s the sun
It’s dangerous and it’s beautiful, brave and bold, yet fun.

It’s painful but it’s happy, adventurous and scared.
Embarrassing but confident, common but still rare.

It’s glamorous, successful; it’s the colour of the stage.
But it’s private and confidential; It’s fear and lust and rage.

It’s brazen and it’s sexy, yet royal and refined.
It’s strong but it’s romantic, it’s nasty but it’s kind.

 Red is failure on a paper. It’s eye-catching and stunning.
It’s clarity and confusion, and mysterious and cunning.

It’s the first of primary colours. It makes orange and it makes pink.
And other colours need it too, like purple, and brown I think…

It’s the colour of precious rubies; of earth and autumn leaves.
It’s spaghetti sauce and strawberries. It’s your nose when you have sneezed.

 It’s a very festive colour; Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
Imagine Santa’s suit in an ugly shade of grey!

Red is just so beautiful like bows and hearts and flowers
And though I end my tribute here, I could go on for hours!

Licinda Marni Veronica Brastreet.
xo

Ever had a hideous boss?

In the book / movie The Devil Wears Prada, we watch a girl traumatised by her boss’s requests, and see her world unfold as a result. Lauren Weisberger, author of the book denies it was autobiographical. She wants us to believe it’s a coincidence that she once worked as an assistant for Anna Wintour at US VOGUE before turning her hand to fiction? So there’s her ‘loosely based on a true story’ there….

I’ll go out on a limb here and assume that most people could tell a story about The Boss From Hell That Did My Head In And Made Work Almost Unbearable.

Thankfully I’ve only ever really had one bad boss. He was a MONGREL. Anna Wintour, (ehem I mean Miranda Priestly) would be a saint to work for compared to this guy. I won’t say his name. I could get into some scorching hot trouble if I did. (Again). So I’ll just call him *J.

*J was the Director of his own business, a clever and inventive man who established a series of expo style events, and then branched into magazines. I was hired as the Group Marketing Manager. I had a sassy little business card, my own office and was getting nicely paid.

*J was a HUGE, ENORMOUSLY FAT man. Seriously morbidly obese, but because he’s nasty, it was just all over ugly. He has diabetes, is a smoker, and drinks. Not my business. UNTIL he calls me into his office, puffs smoke in my face, ask me to empty his office bin (full of Jim Beam & Coke bottles) and sends me to the shop to get him some lollies. (Imagine his poor PA’s who usually only lasted about 2 months) And I cannot tell you the number of people I would contact that would say to me, “Sorry Cindy, we don’t want to work with *J ever again.”

You know if this was the worst of it might even be funny. “What a character!” I would say… But it was so much worse! He screamed, he belittled, he lied, he expected me to lie, and he discriminated openly. He is to this day – the most unpleasant unhappiest human being I’ve ever met, which probably explains why I sometimes think of him.

Here’s an example of a typical banter.

*J: (Screaming down hallway) Cindeeeeee.
Cindy: (power walks to *J’s office) Hey *J.
*J: Have a seat. Mind if I smoke?
CINDY: Um, no.
*J: Good, because if you did then you can leave. And when I say leave, I mean forever.
CINDY: Um, no. That’s fine. (So not fine. So not fine).
*J: (pauses and looks me up and down) What’s the matter with you today?
Cindy: Nothing… Why.
*J: Are you tired. Am I keeping you awake?
CINDY: No, I’m just feeling a bit floppy.
(I realise how silly it was to say that – but he made me so nervous and I said stupid things like that all the time)
*J: (now looking directly at my chest) You don’t look floppy. In fact – if you don’t mind me saying, you’re looking nice and perky today!
CINDY: Oh…. (Eeuw, reminder to self to wear turtle necks every day).
*J: That was a compliment. You’re allowed to say thank you.
CINDY: Oh, well – you know, it’s just…. Um,
*J: It’s ok now listen (blows smoke) How you going with the sponsorship deal with ‘x’
CINDY: It’s still tentative at this stage. They’re taking it to head office before they’re 100% on board. They’ll probably come back with more questions, but I’m confident it will go ahead.
*J: Well if you were any good at your job you would have signed them up already.
CINDY: I know you think that, but I’m not a salesperson, I do marketing.
*J: (shouting) YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I KNOW! NOW GET OUT! AND DON’T COME BACK TIL THEY’VE SIGNED THE DEAL!

You know what? I just did a really long sigh from thinking about it. He perplexed me greatly.

I think deep down I stayed there for so long because there was a challenge to be had. No, not being awesome at my job – because I was. But getting him on side and making him be nice.

In the end, it proved too hard. He sent me an email one day (actually it was sent at 3.45am and I suspect it was Bourbon-fuelled) telling me he could do my job in a day, and that I had better watch out. That was it for me. I walked in the next morning with a resignation letter in my hand, marched (nervously but with much bravado) in to the General Manager’s office (who by the way, we all called Smithers), placed the envelopes on his desk, and said “There’s one for you and one for *J. Have a nice day. I know I will be.”

I walked out again shaking, and the receptionist and a couple of co-workers followed me down to say bye, and get details. I learnt that a staff meeting was called that afternoon and all staff were told I was mentally ill, and having psychological problems and needed to resign. He also gave this story to all my media contacts and the agents of celebrities I dealt with.

After a two week holiday in Thailand, I wrote this poem and sent it to everyone I ever worked with or spoke to as his employee. (Jamie Durie – are you reading this?) I even sent it to BMW where he had his car serviced and custom made seatbelts fitted. It was glorious, wonderful, cathartic and alleviating. I didn’t do it for revenge. I did it to heal. I didn’t want to bear the scars he gave me at my next job.

An Ode to *J

*J you miserable f****r. You don’t have a bloody clue.
Can’t believe I was such a sucker to work so long and hard for you.

You call yourself “Lord *J” I call that a delusion.
And we all call you dickhead with your creepy sly intrusion.

‘Company X’ called the cops when they had had enough.
Everyone calls you psycho, but I’d like to call your bluff.

For once I’d like to catch you amid all of your deceit,
Telling lies to stay in business cause the truth process you’re a cheat.

You’re a small pathetic male, but I know you have a heart.
I’ve sometimes seen it working when a new employee starts.

Which for you is fairly frequent, nearly every week or so.
Because someone’s been incompetent and that someone has to go!

Translation: Someone’s pissed you off because they haven’t been selling.
Either that, or they’ve stood up to you, and your temper, and your yelling.

You’re completely unprofessional, unhappy, un-respected.
It’s very clear in years gone by that *J, you’ve been rejected.

And that has made you angry, so you take it out on all.
You surround yourself with weak people who live in fear and crawl.

You sit there in your mighty throne, you bellow and you roar.
But your staff all roll their eyes, ‘cause they’ve heard it all before.

But it’s not the horrid atmosphere, or leadership you lack…
It’s the unhealthy conditions that would have Industrial Relations on your back.

You smoke inside the office, an act AGAINST THE LAW!
And the air-con is so freezing – we all go outside to thaw!

You just don’t really give a crap how your staff might feel.
You only care about your staff and the next signed deal.

If I didn’t know you better I’d think you were mentally sick.
But *J half Australia knows better… you’re just a nasty prick!

Yep, there’s something definitely wrong with the workings of your brain.
You have no concept of reality, no memory, no refrain.

You get in people’s heads. You cause them loss of sleep.
I wish I could just laugh it off with the knowledge you’re a creep.

But I’m a stupid fool for taking so much time.
You’ve affected me so much that I wrote this bloody rhyme.

And you’ll take this to your lawyers; try to sue for this or that.
And you might win. And you might lose. Either way you’ll still be fat.

But I will feel much better. It’s now all off my chest.
Maybe now I’ll get an appetite and have some decent rest.

And you know? One thing assures me with everything that’s passed….
Your fat arms are so short you can’t reach ‘round to wipe your arse.

What about you, got a good ‘shocker-of-a-boss’ story?