Monthly Archives: October 2012

An Urban Bestiary

It has come to my attention that I never made good on my promise. Actually I don’t like that word there, that ‘promise’. It carries with it too much weight. There’s a dangerous amount of expectation heaped on a word like ‘promise’. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m not great at expectations (ALMOST A DICKENS REFERENCE), so instead I would like to use the word suggestion in its place (because ‘suggestion’ carries with it a beautiful amount of sieve-like loopholes for escaping). See I feel better already.

Air knee weighs, the suggestion in question came a few posts back. Back when I was procrastinating with fear experimentation and scaring myself shitless by playing ‘Slender’. I have since stopped playing ‘Slender’ because I know that I will never win. Ever. No it’s not for lack of trying, I have tried and I have actually improved since we last spoke. It’s more of the fakt that I can never physically complete the game as I point-blank refuse to go into that freaky, abandoned toilet-block building with the blood stains and the tipped over chairs (seriously what the fuck happened there?). It’s just not going to happen.

“Oh come on Tom, you’re being so silly, that’s not in the spirit of the game…” No. Your logic and reasoning can climb inside a parked car out the front of the pokies and slowly suffocate while its slotjockey mother (you) goes to town on Aztec Madness. I am not bending to the whims of horror tropes and have decided that I can only behave so stupidly for so long. I am willing to accept the fakt that I am wandering through a dark and spooky forest in search of some frightful entity of death and terror armed with only a flashlight for no discernible reason. And I am willing to accept that I will continue to wander through this forest and not GTFO when said entity begins stalking me while I collect really unhelpful pieces of paper telling me to do exactly not that. But I draw the line at going into a cramped space where something illogically bad has gone down, with the knowledge that if I take a wrong turn I am going to be nightmare-fuelled by Slender-man.  That, my friends, is what I call: Asking for it.

Which brings me, in a very round-a-bout way, to the aforementioned suggestion. As mentioned in that post, I wanted to discuss creatures and monstrosities at length. However I postponed that (SURPRISE THAT’S WHAT I DO) and wrote about some other shit instead. So here for your enjoyment is the first edition (and knowing me, only) of the Urban Bestiary (because I already had half the category ready to go). Essentially I am attempting to categorise and describe an assortment of weird and wonderful beasties that reside in and around the city (around meaning as far as Queenscliff and in meaning my shower). Maybe I can ‘suggest’ (not promise) to do this once a month in-between the rest of my text-based vomit. But you know…don’t hold me to it because it’s only a suggestion and I can slip out of aforementioned sieve-like loopholes. But into the breach we must go…

Entry #01: Clipboardicusci Pesteri (The Clipboarded Wasp)

The Clipboarded Wasp lurks around Universities, shopping centres, state libraries and other central locations with a high population density. They do not resemble wasps, but instead come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, however most of them resemble back-packers of varying ethnicities and possess a great deal of charisma and charm, a necessary attribute for luring unsuspecting prey. The Clipboarded Wasp live in complex social groups or ‘hives’ and wear some sort of mark to signify which ‘hive’ they represent. They travel in groups of threes or fours referred to as ‘guilt-trips’ or ‘enthusiasms’, and they use their numbers to overwhelm their prey.

Despite their ability to disguise themselves as international travellers and/or friendly University students, there are a few tell-tale signs that will allow one to identify the Clipboarded Wasp. As mentioned above they will possess some sort of marking to inform others of their ‘hive’ allegiance. This may be in the form of a lanyard, a logo on a polo shirt or an insignia on a cap. This marking is used to inform other Clipboarded Wasps that this territory has already been claimed as well as signal other members of the same ‘hive’. The other warning sign to look out for is an outstretched hand accompanied with darting eyes. The hand is used to lure someone into a handshake, while the eyes are constantly darting around to look for someone else in case the handshake is ignored by the chosen passersby. The final and most obvious thing to look out for is a clipboard clutched tightly to the chest.

The Clipboarded Wasp attempts to lure prey into entering a conversation about charitable causes or livestock abuse in order to slowly draw the life-force of the intended victim. The longer the conversation goes, the stronger the Wasp becomes. The victim of an attack may suddenly feel lethargic, guilty and compelled to sign some document. If you find yourself in the clutches of a Clipboarded Wasp, do not sign any documentation. Doing this serves as an invitation for other members of that Wasp’s hive to come and feed on you. The Clipboarded Wasp has several weaknesses but the best course of action when dealing with a Wasp is to avoid making eye-contact. Just keep your head down and forge ahead. Ipods and other MP3 devices have also been shown to have an excellent neutralizing effect.

In extreme cases you can attempt some of the following:

1. Impersonation: Carry a clipboard with you when venturing near known hotspots and the Wasps may mistake you for another Wasp from a different hive. However this comes with several risks, including accidentally engaging the Wasp in a battle for territory.

2. Religious Defence: Pretend to be a member of an extremely organised religion. Wasps aren’t drawn to anything that is already a member of tight-knit community, especially if that tight-knit community borders on a religious cult. However this may make you the target of the equally dangerous Religious Mosquito (Religiata Pesteri) or Political Parasite (Socialistiscus Athesi Pesteri).

3. Fake Identity: If you find yourself trapped by a Clipboarded Wasp and about to sign some form of documentation, you can create fake details in order to get away from them. The catch with this is, if you do go down this path you may be unwittingly condemning someone else to a life of email spamming and moderately threatening anonymous texts about various causes.

Thank-you.

Treed.

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Filed under Creative Catharsis, Trivial Pursuits, Urban Monsters

The Consequences Of Motivation.

By now you’ve probably picked up on a running theme here. A theme of procrastination, of not doing things, of slowly and surely drowning in my double stacked beanbag (because a single beanbag is just fucking uncomfortable and leads to fatigue despite the body being in a reclined position) and of a general lack of oomph.  You’ve surely noticed the trend as we go through the photo album that is my daily activities: Here I am at my regular LazyArse Anon meeting, I have a name-tag and “Hello my name is Tom and I’m a lazyarse.” You know, that kind of thing. But for the first time in this blog’s short lifespan we have breaking, and possibly slightly disturbing, news; I have done stuff.

Yes. At some point during the morning of Tuesday the 16th of October 2012, I came into the possession of some ‘motivation’. I am unsure of its origin but the main theory we’re working on here is that it slipped in on a soft breeze through the open window and somehow managed to ingrate itself into the fibres of my dressing gown, whereupon it was slowly absorbed through my pores and entered my bloodstream. From this point I recall feeling a sudden, almost crippling sense of purpose. I released myself from the cuddly and intoxicating embrace of my double-decker beanbags and, seizing my laptop, took up a position on the much sturdier and forcefully motivating hard-backed, wooden, IKEA dining chair.

The results were profound. Remember that philosophy essay I hadn’t completed? The one that I had complained about not doing on repeated occasions? Well that essay was the first to fall victim to my newfound motivational attitude. I cranked out 1600 words on the contradictory nature of God and evil before watching an episode of Gravity Falls. I then proofread it, printed it out and handed it in a whole day earlier than was necessary. You’re welcome punctuality. But alas it did not stop there; I shopped for supplies and even got a start on my other essay. In fakt so ‘oomph-like’ was my behaviour that the large shark-bear currently squatting in our wardrobe felt it necessary to come out and check on me without attempting to maim or frighten me (he has since departed the premises under the excuse that, “this wasn’t what he signed up for…”).

Of course the effects of motivation are often short-lived in a master of procrastination such as myself. However, to my surprise I found that my enthusiasm had not waned when I woke the next morning. After feeding Dolores some ham and battling with him for shower supremacy (needless to say I had a tentacle free shower this morning), I set out to find a new outlet for my brimming energy and focus. You recall in our last conversation I mentioned running. Well that happened. I ran. It was not pretty. I do not resemble a gazelle in full flight. I’m more like a heron wading through quicksand, but I did it. I put on my runners (take note of my lack of land based sporting participation when I tell you I have had the same runners since I was 14 and they still only look about a year old at worst) and cranked some dub-step and ran through Melbourne like some sort of unfit, hirsute Achilles.

At the time it was an excellent idea. Today I am cursing my past self for making me walk like a Thunderbird. Stairs are now my nemesis as my legs are experiencing such a severe case of pins and needles that I cannot bend them to climb steps without looking like I have shat myself. On a totally unrelated note the sensation has prompted me to create a 1940s periodical crime drama about a hedgehog detective and his sultry, leggy blonde assistant called “Pins & Needles”. Anyways I thought that the ‘extensivity’ of my cement legs (because there was nothing really pin or needle-like about my joints today) would cause my motivation to ebb out of me like…butter…on freshly toasted muffins? Bad analogy is bad. However my motivation was not only still present but just as aggressive as before. I ran errands in the morning, did more work on my final essay and cleaned the apartment to such a degree that I unsettled dust motes that had been set in place during the Howard years.

I have to tell you I was a little frightened that I would do something really radical with my new superpower, but it seems that motivation can only take so much. “And on the afternoon of the third day he rested.” I have returned to my double-stacked beanbags of comfort and am resting my weary legs. It seems that the motivation snuck out the open window when I was trying to air the smell of our newest monstrous resident, a big, purple guy named Clyde. It’s out there right now. Drifting on the updrafts of bus-exhausts, flitting over the heads of morose commuters and sniffing out its next host.

For motivation is not a symbiotic beast, oh no. It is a parasite. It sucks the energy from its host by making it participate in a range of various beneficial activities…and then, when it’s host has completed almost everything it has to complete (I still haven’t finished that second essay), it leaves, having had its fill. I wait in fear, that one day it will strike me down again and I will join a gym and start shaving on a regular basis.

That’s all for today. Also props to Jonathon Lawrence (Ed. I’M AWESOME) who has kindly started editing these posts in order to check for erroneous errors that I don’t notice (read: WHAT IS PROOFREADING????).

Treed…AWAAAAAYYY (slowly though, due to the sore legs).

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Procrastination Means Always Having To Say You’re Sorry

And in a dramatic turn of events I am once again forfeiting my essay writing responsibilities and doing something else with both my time and energy. It’s kind of sad. I’ve gone back through all of these posts recently and discovered that most of them discuss, at length, my inability to do constructive work. And by constructive work I mean work associated with University and getting a CAREER (which is not at all like The Sims showed me it would be…) and all that other fun stuff involved with GROWING UP, GETTING OLDER and RESPONSIBILITIES. So basically instead of sitting down and writing a philosophy essay (or have I already written my essay? Or is there even an essay question? There is. I’m just being facetious) I’ve found several other ways to occupy my allotted essay time.

The first is watching Totally Wild. It’s on TV. Right now. In front of my face. I’m not really watching it. It’s on mute and is just confusing because I keep looking up and seeing people walking along beaches and pointing at things. Anyways the point I was making with Totally Wild is that everyone on it is really awkward and does not want to be on Totally Wild. It’s a thing you only notice when you get older (see I am being relevant because I’ve mentioned my age twice now). Instead of seeing cool people talking to awesome science people, you now see a group of hip, twentysomethings looking bored shitless as a fifty-year-old suspected pedophile discusses the merits of kites. I remember I used to be repeatedly disappointed with Totally Wild as a child because they didn’t do enough stories on lizards and sharks. Lots of stories about rabbits and kids who are good at skipping though. Neither of those things were on my list of Awesome Things That Should Be On Totally Wild…

Awesome Things That Should Be On Totally Wild
By Tom Reed Circa 1999.

1. Sharks.
2. Lizards.

It’s a short list. I was pretty content as a child. Anyways the second thing I have decided to do with my time is write mysterious, stream of consciousness nonsense…you know because that’s what all the cool writers did. Shakespeare, Orwell, the guy who wrote the novelisation for Godzilla (the one with Matthew Broderick and the guy who does Apu’s voice on The Simpsons). Whatever. Now watch me proudly display my artistic endeavours like a ten-year-old’s artwork on the fridge (only I don’t have a fridge…I have a blog…it saves more energy and doesn’t accidentally freeze the milk which makes for a bad Milo cereal experience).

What Tom Wrote Instead of a Philosophy Essay…
Warning: Wankery Abounds.

You ever wonder how many people actually click those ads telling them that they’ve won a free iPhone? How often do reckon someone legitimately thinks they’ve won something? More to the point, how do the guys behind them possibly think that any of these scams are going to work? Do they sit down and go through focus group responses and analyse statistical data? Is there a testing phase for each new idea? What part of them actually believes they can pull it off? It’s sad.

But you wanna know what’s even sadder? They wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t work. They would’ve stopped and packed it in a long time ago. And they haven’t. In fact it seems like they’ve increased their output…so that can only mean one thing; it’s working. People are going into these things to redeem their iPad or ten million dollars, and then getting pissy when it blows up in their faces.

They ring some hack, telling the prick they got a story for them. It’s about a decent person being ripped off. A decent Australian, they’re very specific about that part. Very specific. Next thing you know there’re six news stories running that night about innocent people getting scammed by heartless pricks over the internet. Innocent people…fuck. ‘I swear I’m innocent I was just trying to score a free iPad that I don’t remembering ever trying to get in the first place.’

You know what I wanna say to them? The innocent people? Fuck. You. Serves you right you dumb motherfucker.

Word Count: Not My Essay….

So that happened. After that I bought the worst Subway sandwich I’ve ever had (the wind stole the lettuce and the guy who made it was a cheezewidget, who didn’t seem to understand that when I said I wanted onion that meant more than four pieces, who had entered the witness protection program and ended up tasting like bread). May be it was the universes way of telling me that I ought to start my essay. Which sent me back the apartment quick smart and resulted in me doing this instead TAKE THAT UNIVERSAL GUIDANCE! I’m still finding ways to procrastinate with the Fates involved in my destiny. Because I am dedicated to the art. Like that guy who’s taking a swan dive from space. Except there is a minimal risk of death with my dedication. I just might congeal in the corner under a layer of Snickers and socks.

The other activity I partook in was scrolling through the SPAM folder of my comments page. Apparently people think this blog is worth spamming (I feel so very, very honoured). This was the pick of the lot: Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nonetheless seriously worth taking a search, whoa did one study about Mid East has got additional problerms at the same time.

I hate it when my Mid East has got additional problerms concurrently…so frustrating.

Anyway all this talk of procrastination has made me feel guilty and sad. So, next time we speak I will have gone for a run. That way I will be forced to do something (or alternatively if you never see another post on here again you know that my laziness got the better of me and I’m trapped in a comfy sofa somewhere). Have a joyous time.

Aloha, Treed.

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Filed under Creative Catharsis, Life & Times Of, List-o-mania

Tom Is Grumpy

Someone stole my hour.  I don’t know how and I don’t know why, I just know that it was there when I went to bed last night, tucked away safe, and then this morning when I woke up…I just. I just felt deep in my loins (GROSS) that something was temporally amiss. That something wicked had transpired during the night. Sure enough my loin empathy (Why does that sound like I have small genitals? Why am I talking about genitals?) was dead on (innuendo?), someone had indeed crept in and absconded with a single hour of my time.

I can hear the hecklers already primping their feathers from the back of the bleachers: “Big deal it’s only an hour.” “Get over it.” “I heard you slept with a baby goat.” To them I say: “How dare you reduce this heinous crime to such triviality! And that last part was never actually confirmed by the authorities…” Sure it may seem like such an insignificant amount of time…but that’s not the point. It’s not the fakt that it is only one missing hour, it’s the fakt that someone took it from me without my permission. I have been struck down by temporal theft (not to be confused with temporary theft, which is where you loan someone a book and then you don’t see them for years and then they give you the book back but because it’s been such a long intermission between meetings you’ve assumed the book lost, re-purchased it and now have two copies and look like a fuckwit) and I demand justice. Or coffee. Or both. Yes. Both!

The thing that makes this truly frightening though (beyond the fakt that someone has figured out how to steal time) is that this is not the first time my hour has been stolen. Oh no. This is not just a one-off event. After sitting down to ponder this predicament, I realised that I have had hours stolen from me before. In fakt as far back as I can remember, time has gone missing from my person…which means…there are 21 hours of my life missing. That’s almost a day! An entire day…gone. Sure, if I was totally honest, I’ve probably wasted more than single days doing pointless things (like this)…but that was at my own volition. I can waste my time. Anonymous physic bandits cannot.

Essentially this disturbing turn of events has left me in a daze of anger, confusion and mild aphasia. Now I’m grumpy (a word which doesn’t sound like what it means but conjures to mind, instead, images of mountains made of felt) and have decided to tread the path that many grumpy people, with access to a computer, have tread before me. I am going to vent my anger and grumpiness in list form for all of the Internet to see. Because it’s clearly a productive thing to do with the little time I have left. And after auditing my own blog I realised that I seemed to have neglected the List-O-Mania category for a while and thought now would be a good time to bring it back into use because everyone loves lists and everyone loves lists even more when they are full of things that irritate said list maker. Yes I am about to go on a rant. Brace yourself…it’s going to be cathartic and probably make you hate me…a little. You know for whinging…which let’s face it is one of this countries favourite pastimes behind racism, sport and hating politicians.

Seriously. Everyone loves a good whinge. There’s nothing people hate more than when the thing they’ve been complaining about gets resolved, thus forcing them to find another gripe outlet. Although let me clarify that this has a gradient. When things that actually need resolving are resolved, that’s okay (holes in ceilings that a gang of intelligent bears keep using to  It’s the little, annoying things that we love to complain about that we don’t actually want fixed…like trains running late for example. If the trains ran on time, there goes the conversation starter for everyone commuter everywhere. Instead you have to hit on that pretty little thang (Yes. I said thang. Sorry.) by talking about either sport, politicians you hate or by being racist.

Lists of Things That Make Tom Grumpy (A Mountain Made of Felt).

1. When people walk into the pool (where I work) on a particular quiet day and bust out the always hilarious: “I don’t think there’s any room for me” or other equally gut-busting zingers. Congratulations, you are the first person to ever say that to me. You should quit your job as a dentist/doctor/lawyer/BWM owner and become a stand-up comedian. Just kidding. Eat some nails.

2. Everything about A Current Affair. Everything. Seriously who are you guys kidding? With your dramatic music, sad children, ‘panels of experts’ carrying clipboards while the sit in front of bookshelves and type on computers…I have a suggestion for a story: SOMEONE STOLE ALL OF THE HOURS! WHERE’S YOUR INVESTIGATIVE REPORT ON THAT MRS. GRIMSHORE (SPELLING?)!!!!

3. Christmas decorations in October. Yeah…October. As in today is literally one week into October and I saw a bunch of Santa figurines and red & green wrapping paper before I’d even flipped my calendar over from September to October. Stop making me guilty for buying shit presents so early in the year, Christmas. You get a month to make me feel bad. Stop taking liberties with my emotions! (Although in true hypocritical form, I love the early arrival of hot cross buns, but that’s different because I can’t eat a reindeer coaster…)

4. People who read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and then post statuses about how they “Luv redin boox now” and that they want to keep reading more ‘boox’. Here, have my copy of Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. Eat some nails (because after reading this turd wrapped in a nice cover you’re probably into that because, hey S&M is hot if some sexy, billionaire does it but don’t you dare try it on me, mister-not-a-billionaire-with-muscles-and-gosling-face or I will call the cops).

5. People who complain or bitch or moan or whatever about the state of music/film/TV these days. It’s called progression. Yes there are things that I hate about the current trends in said fields, but I move on and go watch/listen to stuff that I like. Bieber isn’t amazing to me. But then again I really don’t think the world would be awesome if Tupac was still alive…Also most of you are like five-years-old. You can’t complain about things until you start making sound effects to accompany bending over and straightening up again (My personal favourite: Hurrrrgrrrrblaaaaahhhh…followed by shallow breathing and sighs).

6. When I run out of things that make me grumpy after only five things so I actually look content with my life…which I am…and therefore completely undermining my entire post. Gonna go eat some nails…

Thanks for joining me on this spleen vent quest. If you have problems with any of the gripes and grumbles I have raised today, may I suggest you go eat nails.

Treed loves all of the animals (but especially the ugly ones that no-one really wants to touch because he understands what it’s like to be fifteen and have braces and Farah Fawcett hair).

*Also the author would like to point out that he understands the concept of Daylight Savings and doesn’t actually think that it is going to affect him cosmically, physically and/or psychologically. You know, unlike all of the people in Western Australia that voted against it because it confused the animals and ruined the crops…*

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