All posts by Briana Bryon

what you need to consider before dumpster diving

If given the opportunity and the anonymity, would you dumpster dive?

It’s for a good cause, we’ve all heard the horror stories about how much food is wasted every year,  we’ve all heard that ‘best before’ dates are pretty flexible too and we all grew up being told to eat our revolting cooked carrots because there are kids starving in Africa. Although I doubt even they would want to eat my Mums attempt at cooked carrots. Yuck.

Like just about everything, it’s a good concept in theory. Like cooking carrots. Like religion. In Australia dumpster divers are called freegans. And they are still in existence which I found surprising. From the moment this movement hit the world, I thought it was going to be a fad like ecosexuality and going to church every Sunday.

It’s surprising how I often I am proven wrong.

If you decided to take up dumpster diving, not only would you be getting free food, you would be rescuing the planet. Less landfill, less consumerism. But nothing is free, even free food taken from the garbage is not free. You pay with your dignity.

In the city it would be different. You could wear a tasteful balaclava; you could buy it with the money you save from not having to buy food, and off you go. Fill those hemp bags with all you can eat. It’s an open buffet.

In the country it’s too hard to remain anonymous when you are in the supermarket isles, let alone when you are engaged in the conspicuous act of rummaging through the rubbish bins, looking for a wedge of Brie to offer your guests later that evening.  And in the country often your reputation is all you have.

There would be no balaclava tasteful enough to combat what your new reputation would be if you were caught. No amount of free Brie cheese would make up for the fact your guests have just found out you are serving food from the local Coles skip bin.

I am all for other people saving the planet. It needs to be done and the freegans are a big part of this. Personally, I don’t have the energy or legs long enough to clamber into a rubbish bin so I like to leave the whole ‘save the planet’ thing to people like Leonardo DiCaprio and my hippy friends who think soap and shampoo is a government conspiracy.

So until I move back to the city or grow longer legs, I am happy in my life of complacent consumerism. Although I detest giant corporations like Coles and Woolworths, there are some battles that are not worth fighting. And for me, that battle is freeganism.

Have you ever been dumpster diving? Do you know anyone who has? Would love to hear about it!

How coffee can change the world

Coffee is the second largest legally traded commodity on the face of the planet. After oil. I think the world would be a better place if there was more coffee than oil being traded.

 

We all know the problems oil has caused to probably every human being alive today. (And a lot who are dead too). The world would be a lot better if coffee was to surpass oil as the biggest traded commodity and I want the world to be a better place.
If we lived in a world were coffee was bigger than oil, there would be a lot more people strung out on the effects of caffeine. This is a good thing, think about it. Productivity would be through the roof and family time would be more common as people sleep less and do everything faster and better.  Robots would not have to be invented because people will be awake for twenty hours a day and get a lot more accomplished.   
Coffee grinds are great for growing roses so the world could look better and smell a lot better too. Women might get more bunches of roses from men so there would be more romance and a lot less men in trouble for not caring enough. Rose gardens could replace oil rigs so there would be less ugly constructions in the world and people in movies that work on oil rigs in the middle of the ocean that seem to always be on fire, would not die in these fires.
Oil leaks would be a thing of the past. The Gulf of Mexico would be pretty again, wild life would not die and Obama would never be in trouble for not fixing the leak. He could spend his time stopping to smell all the roses that his country is growing from rose gardens, which they would grow from invading other countries for their coffee grinds. 
The Middle East would get a break from being invaded.  Their climate is no good for growing coffee beans and the coffee they make is rubbish anyway so no one would be tempted to invade them.  Although looking at their history the poor bastards just keep getting invaded anyway so let’s be realistic here. 
Coffee tastes better than oil.  It smells better and looks fancier when served in fine bone china cups with little flowers on them.  Although it is possible to buy coffee that tastes like crude oil which makes me wonder if people do serve oil in cups and call it coffee.  If you don’t believe me, go to Japan for a coffee. It’s definitely crude oil. The liquid even dissolves the spoon you use to stir the coffee/oil. 
The world would be in a better socio-economic place if oil was in less demand and coffee was in more demand.  Farmers in Central America who currently get 2 cents from every cup of coffee sold might get 4 cents.  Actually, they would probably get even less as big corporations would move in and form unions that didn’t work and then the land would be bought out and make the farmers work for 0.5 cents per cup of coffee.  But this is about the bright side of coffee vs oil, not the dark side.  
Even those weird people who drink decaf would have to start drinking real coffee as the world would be spinning too fast for them and they couldn’t keep up.  hey would probably lose their jobs, spend far too much time sleeping and relaxing and then they would be persecuted, like the witches of Salem. Burnt at the stake for ruining the world, whether it’s their fault or not.  Decaf coffee might even have to go underground like illegal drugs and sold in the back alleys of Kings Cross. They could drink it out of bongs and start a black market movement called ‘sloths unite’ or something to that effect. 
So, I think we can all see the benefits of living in a world where coffee is grown, traded and sold more than oil. Robots would remain in Science Fiction novels and never take over the world because of their increasing self-awareness.  The back alleys of The Cross would be busy again and another series of Underbelly could be made. Everything would smell better, look better, go a lot faster and no one would invade the Middle East.   Women would be given more flowers, okay, that will probably never happen but it’s a lovely thought.  A world with more coffee and less oil sounds like Utopia to me. 

Political apathy on the rise but no-one cares

 

I know, I know, elections and anything government related is boring. We are all sick to death of anything to do with politics. Sick of big promises made by little men and women. All elections are the same, the candidates never improve or change, why should we bother to care?

 

 Is it not enough that we have to give up our Saturday to number a comically large piece of paper, possibly half an acre long, then stick it in a small box only to walk away wondering why we bother?

 

I’m not going to get on my soap box to lecture you about politics and why we should all take an interest and take it seriously. Mostly because due to the collapse in infrastructure, there are no soap boxes available. I looked for a flat pack through cheap overseas labor but the phone dropped out, possibly due to the terrible mobile phone reception we have here in regional areas. Which is where I was when I attempted to make the call. I do realise that elections are an important part of our democratic society and that we should be thankful for them, but it’s all so boring.

 

Regardless of all this, politics is everywhere, in shades of white or beige. It occurs between ordinary citizens and is not just reserved for the politician at election time. As soon as you have more than a solitary human in a room, you have politics. Even if you have a split personality or two voices in your head, you have politics. Politics is about human affairs, and as far as we all know about each other we are all human, participating or attempting to, in the human experience.  PS. As tempting as it is not to care about politics and not vote, or complain about having to vote, or draw a dick on your ballot paper because you are ‘cool’, remember the government DOES affect you. It affects every part of every day of your life. It affects the ground you walk on, the roof you live under, the food you eat and the job you work in.

We could live in a country where we don’t get a say, don’t get to decide what we do or don’t support, or weigh up the good and the bad and have our opinion counted and therefore don’t ever have to vote! But if that was the case, we would likely also live a life in poverty, ill health and fear under a dictatorship we can do nothing about. 

 

Politics is a partnership between the individual and the community and part of the human condition is that we keep fighting no matter how pointless our battle seems. Drink more coffee, it should help. This should be applied to politics. With apathy churning around us any time politics is mentioned, we should still fight, we should still care. We have to.

 

Politics exists between all people. So why are we, as a society, so apathetic towards it? The answer is your own and for your own reasons. Just consider if the good outweighs the bad for what YOU consider being important and don’t be ignorant or the bad.  

 

It can be tempting to be apathetic about politics even though the government does affect you. It affects the job you have, the food you eat and the ground you walk on. We could live in a country where we don’t get a say or a vote, where apathy is encouraged. Think of Aung San Suu Kyi. If this was the case we would probably live in poverty, ill health and dictatorship, surrounded by ghastly tea drinkers.

 

As boring as it is, our freedom to vote is a privilege. Perhaps if more people were less apathetic, we could have a strong government that could change our world. Wouldn’t that be great?

 

Using a dog to find puppy love [column]

 

Image courtesy of Rasto Belan
Compared to the unending woes that often accompany being a woman, most men have it easy. They are the lucky creatures. When men have a head cold, they get to call it the flu and get more attention. Their clothes are cheaper even though they have extra rows of stitching. They don’t have to wear g-strings.

 

Men are also luckier when it comes to dating. Australia is in the midst of a man drought and there are currently 100 000 more woman than men. All you men need to do to enter the world of dating is give a quick flex of the muscles and compliment a woman on her shoes.

 

Despite the many advantages men have over their female counterparts in the world of dating, sometimes we all need a little help. Just because there are a lot more women does not mean that they can be easy to find, lure and bait.

 

So here is a hot tip if you find yourself in need of a little help. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes (Note, crocs do not count. There is never ever a time in your life when crocs are acceptable), a non-scary looking dog and your best smile. Chicks love small animals that are cute and adorable, especially puppies. In fact, mostly puppies and these adorable little four legged creatures can be a wonderful way to strike up conversations with women.

 

It all boils down to the fact that women were once designed to have children and only have children. Now they have a whole list of other things we can choose to do with our life instead, we no longer feel the need to live our lives bearing children. Yet, it is still in our DNA to be clucky and in this day and age it is more socially acceptable and indeed more fun, to be clucky towards puppies than it is babies. Plus puppies are just way cuter – Why do all babies look like potatoes may I ask?

 

If you can borrow a puppy, then put on your manliest deodorant and start pounding the pavement.  Be gracious as hordes of woman stop to pat your puppy (or the puppy of someone else. But who cares who owns it, I’m pretty sure the devil is not in the details) and take the opportunity to strike up a conversation. Please try not to be distracted by the show of boobies belonging to the bended women but I get that men are men and sometimes you can’t help it. Just try not to get caught looking, for the love of god. 

 

The art of conversation is something that you don’t need to have mastered. Remember you have a cute and adorable puppy. If you get stuck for things to talk to the woman about, remember, you have a puppy. Make the little blighter work for his free afternoon outing. Cute does not equal free stuff in the canine world and the puppy needs to learn this sooner in life rather than later so really you are doing it a favour.

 

So where to walk your borrowed ball of woman attractor? Beaches, lakes and parks are going to be your best bet. The women found in these areas love the outdoors and that is usually linked to a love of animals. Also strips of cafes and restaurants are a good choice. There is bound to be a plethora of woman here so take advantage of it.

 

On the other hand, pacing outside gyms makes you look a little odd and most pubs are not dog friendly and not really the first choice for self-respecting women to congregate. Keep it simple and go where the women go.

 

The other thing to keep in mind if you cannot obtain a puppy is that the type of animal you choose to harness up for a walk is something to consider carefully. Whilst ferrets look like harmless fur balls of fun, rub them the wrong way and you’ll discover that they have the soul of a rabid Pitbull.

 

Crocodiles are another no no. I’m not sure if it’s even legal to take one for a walk but if you did, you would most likely attract the curiosity of small children and the local police more than you would any potential dating partner.

 

Trust me, cats do not do well on walks either. The stubborn little loveless blighters tend to collapse and fake their own death rather than be taken for a walk and unless you are trying to look like a fool, do not walk a cat in public.

 

So really it only leaves us with puppies. The babies of our best friends are your best bet to find some real puppy love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to pick a mate with your nose [column]

Image courtesy of John Holden

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Romance is rubbish and love is nothing but a letdown. We are born alone and we die alone. Most of our lives are spent with our inner most thoughts insulated from the people around us, although I’m not too sure if ghosts can hear our thoughts.

Cinderella never got to the ball and there was no fairy god mother and there was definitely no glass slipper. Seriously, a glass slipper? What is with that? Obviously designed by a man who never had to wear high heels and therefore does not know the excruciating pain that can come from a shoe made of soft and delicate and expensive satin, let alone glass. A sick fantasy by a sick man I recon.

 

There is no glass slipper, no ball, there is no romance. Just like I tried to tell you.

 

Yet we all yearn for a mate, possibly driven by some unspoken need to live in misery. Why wash clothes for one when you can do it for two? Why spend Friday nights in your pajamas getting deliciously fat eating ice-cream and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs when you could be watching your mate throw up after one too many stubbies[BB1] ?

 

But if you insist romance is still alive and kicking and you really do yearn for a mate and I can never convince you that life is better lived alone, let’s talk about a new and exciting…wait…an ancient and smelly way to choose a mate. There is no romance in what I am about to tell you because I simply have to prove that romance is indeed rubbish. That’s how this writer feels this week anyway.

 

So, ancient and smelly. It has become a relatively well known fact that humans are more like animals than we care to admit. Furthermore, it has become widely accepted that we subconsciously choose our mates through our sense of smell. In a non-boring, non-detailed and non-scientific nutshell, if you like the way someone smells, they are a good mate for you. Apparently they smell good because their immune system and genetic coding compliments your own and that’s good for breeding and a good breeding mate means they smell good. Suffer from allergies that render you next to useless every spring time? It is guaranteed that all the potential mates who smell intoxicatingly good to you will not suffer from spring time allergies.

 

All the glass slippers and balls in the world cannot influence our choice in mate if we don’t like how they smell. It works both ways, men have to like the way a woman smells before they feel the need to choose them as their mate.

 

So, can expensive perfumes help us in our quest to attract mates? Can they make us smell better to potential mates?

 

Marilyn Monroe was the sexiest woman of her time. She was famously quoted as saying she wore nothing but Channel #5 to bed and this sex siren bagged a president. So it looks like expensive perfume can make us more alluring to even the most unapproachable men of society. As long as you are not too fussy about landing in a body bag in your late 30s after dying in suspicious circumstances. After all, we are talking about how to attract a mate, not keep one and stay alive.

 

For those of us who are up to date on the trending fashions of the modern dating world, we unequivocally know that speed dating is so 1998. Today, it’s all about smell dating. Yes, it’s a thing.

 

Men of all walks of life wear identical white t-shirts for 24 hours, the t-shirts then go into a zip lock bag and woman sniff the shirts until they find a smell they like. Simple, easy and Neanderthal. No time wasted on candles, Barry Manilow and lubrication. Straight to the smelly point.

 

For the small percentage of people who are born with Ansomia (meaning they can’t smell most things), it looks like you have no hope to find a mate that is your genetic opposite and therefore perfect for breeding. Your love life is over, possibly before it began. Maybe you could look into a life dedicated to religion. Any religion will do. Dedicate your life to P.G. porn and a god of your choosing and try to be happy with only God or Buddha or whomever as your spiritual mate.

 

For the rest of you who really want to wear the glass slipper and go to the ball, get sniffing. Just make sure that unless you are officially signed up for a smell dating evening try to sniff men in a way that does make you look crazy. Keep your nose clean and your mind open.   

 


How to be a good girlfriend [column]

 

I have had many, many relationships and even a successful one (so far), which makes me a self-proclaimed relationship expert. Whilst living in the throes of marital bliss without the marriage I wanted to share with you my sure fire tips on how to be a good girlfriend.

 

1. Insist that your boyfriend watch videos of cats doing funny things when the football is on. This works best if you have a plethora of videos and it’s State of Origin. Do not wait for ad breaks. He may pretend to be very annoyed but we all know he would secretly rather be watching cats eating ice-cream than watching Johnathan Thurstan kick another conversion. He has seen that move a hundred times, it’s boring now.

 

2. Bringing your baggage with you into the relationship is perfectly normal. The best kind of baggage, besides a troubled teenager, or rants about an ex you just can’t get over, is an old dog that gets his way 100% of the time. This works really well to improve your relationship if your partner is not an animal lover because you are introducing them to new ways they can live their life – you are teaching them new tricks, the dog doesn’t need to learn them, he’s old. I also advice that it is really healthy for the relationship if the dog sleeps in the bed, between you. That way you know your dog is feeling loved and there is no risk of any funny business taking place.

 

2. Renovate a house together. This is even better if you have a baby and your tastes in style is the exact opposite to your boyfriend’s taste. Every healthy relationship should have the pressure of a major renovation put on top of it. Building a sturdy frame for a house is a metaphor for your relationship. This will also leave little time for romance and quality time. These things are not needed in a healthy relationship.

 

4. Make only vegetarian meals for dinner. Men love the joy of not eating meat, it makes them get in touch with their feminine side. They only pretend to like to eat it because they think it makes them happy. Thank goodness they have us to help them.

 

5. Empty out the beer fridge on a regular basis. What you replace the beer with is up to you, but you must do it regularly. There is nothing more a man loves than coming home from a long, hot day and seeing you have taken the time to replace his cold beer with homemade cupcakes. This will also ensure the beer tastes better because it has gone from cold to hot and will eventually get cold again. Yummy.

 

6. If you cannot think of a helpful way to replace the beer in the beer fridge you could use lite beer. Not only are you helping your boyfriend with his health you are making sure he is unable to enjoy the process of drinking. Then you could show him the rest of your cat videos.

 

7. Forget to wash his work clothes. Men really enjoy getting up at 5am to start their day as the primary money person in the relationship to find they have no work clothes. It makes them feel important when they are able to remind us to do what we normally do so well.

 

8. Invite your mother, best friend, dog or grandfather along to all events that require one-on-one time with your boyfriend. Everyone knows that men love the company of your friends and family and the more intrusive and opinionated they can be, the more enjoyment you will all get out of the evening.

 

9. Spend time with your boyfriend trying on clothes for him. This could be in the way of a shopping spree in which you try on 40 different dresses in various shades of pink and ask that he help you choose one. This can also be a lesson on the difference between fuchsia and baby pink. Men love to know these sorts of things.

 

Alternatively it could be in the way of trying on at least 42 different outfits 5 minutes before you are due to go somewhere and asking him which outfit makes you look fat. His answer will depend on a) what lessons you need to teach him in the language of woman speak or b) if he will ever get laid again.

 

10. Men do not really like sex as much as they pretend to. They would much prefer to lie in bed and listen to you read chapters from the latest book you are reading, especially if it is a book on feminism or on cats. Do not let them watch porn as a substitute. Porn corrupts the mind and men must learn that sex is not to be performed until you have finished reading to him. And if it so happens you do not finish until 3am and he is fast asleep, you are teaching him about patience.

 

I really hope these tips can help you reach your potential to be the best girlfriend you are able to be. If you have any questions, I am always happy to help my fellow sisters with some sage advice.

Never offer a homemade coffee to a coffee snob. Never ever.

 Life as an infamous coffee snob is hard. Not because you are constantly trying to track down someone that can make coffee as good as you can, but because of the terrible attitude you get from the non-coffee snobs around you.

Apparently going for coffee with a coffee snob is such a trying and stressful experience that I have few friends who will still come with me. Ok, I literally have no friends who will join me. They say if I promise to not order a coffee and therefore will not spend the next hour complaining about the sub-human that attempted to put perfection in a cup but failed to do so, they will come with me. What am I supposed to do? Order a cup of green tea and not want to kill myself? Get real.

The struggle of getting a great cup of coffee is real but it is amplified when I go to other people’s houses. I am always terrified of the dreaded question – “Would you like a coffee?”

There are two ways this question is posed.

1/ “Would you like a cup of coffee – it won’t be up to your standards though.”

 

So why the hell would you offer me one? I haven’t drunk instant coffee since 1996 when I was at boarding school. Why would I start now? I like my life, I am happy, are you intentionally trying to take this happiness away from me? It looks like you are, and yet, I am the rude one.

Offering any decent human being an instant coffee is exactly like this: You have a super stylish gay best friend who is very fastidious in their attire and they only wear Gucci. He always looks sharp in his designer threads and these designer threads are his reason for living. You respect that. But then one day he comes around to your place and you say “I have a pair of 1980 stone washed jeans, complete with elastic waist band. I know it’s not up to your standards but you should wear them to make me feel better about my own lack of style.” It’s just plain rude. You wouldn’t do it in a rainbow fit so don’t offer a coffee snob some of your revolting coffee that comes out of a can.

2/ “Would you like a coffee? I have a pod machine and it’s really good, you have to try it.”

No. No I don’t. I won’t like it, it’s going to be undrinkable and then it’s going to get awkward for everyone. Don’t try to push your inferior product on me because I will karate chop you into next Tuesday. I know what I like and it is coffee that is ground fresh to order (beans go stale within 30 seconds of being ground, FYI) and comes out of a commercial coffee machine. I have a commercial coffee machine in my house, so don’t try to give me your pod crap. I may as well kill myself. It would be the same thing only less painful and over a lot quicker.

We are not in the midst of a zombie apocalypse so there is no excuse for this behavior. Water is fine to offer and us coffee snobs generally WANT the water when you offer your “coffee”. So when we say, ‘no thanks, water would be great.’ Believe me, the last residue of human decency just went into not killing you, so don’t push the matter. Throw your coffee out the window before I do and fetch the glass of water.

 

 

Modern man’s memory

The memory of modern man is a complex thing, mostly because it doesn’t exist.

They understand the term, they can even use it in a sentence, but empirically the modern man does not have a memory. Instead, modern man has only the ability to logically organise, in their minds, tasks that they must do in the near future. But these are only tasks they really enjoy doing or experiences or things that they need to survive and unfortunately this ability when viewed by modern woman is incredibly limited. For example;

“I must watch the football.

“I must drink this beer.

“I must not change the toilet roll when it is empty.

“I must be surprised when the toilet roll is miraculously full again.”

The perpetual battle of who should change the toilet role is a mute cause. You cannot argue with a crazy person and you cannot train the modern man because he would not remember his training from one point to another.

Occasionally this ability to logically organise their thoughts expands slightly to tasks such as: “I must mow the lawn.” But this is invariably followed by “I must drink this beer.” And when it comes to more complex aspects of human memory the modern man falls drastically short.

“What do you mean a supermarket has entire isles full of useful things besides beer and sausages? Fascinating. I will try and logically organise my thoughts to account for this new piece of information – this ‘new’ piece of information that has been relayed to modern man over a billion times. But due to a lack of memory shopping bags are consistently filled with beer and sausages, a result of simple, organised thoughts propped up by generations of genetic coding and the pursuit of pleasure disguised as needs.

This lack of memory does not equate to a lack of love or a lack of intelligence. For example;

“I can rebuild an entire motor in a day but I cannot remember to put my tools away.

“I must be surprised when they miraculously appear back in the shed.”

Modern man has a hard time configuring his thoughts to think about where a particular tool may be at any given moment. Having a memory would prove most valuable in these situations. But as keepers of the only memory in a heterosexual relationship, modern woman must help her modern man where she can and always exercise the greatest of patience.

The modern man can love deeply and faithfully but they cannot remember the pieces that form this love. For example;

“I wonder how my dirty clothes keep appearing clean and hanging in my wardrobe? I swore I left them dirty right next to the basket full of other dirty clothes.”

Instead of memory, modern man’s brain is a web of things, feelings and experiences that they like. They don’t need to try and remember these things because, unlike changing the toilet roll, they are part of them. Sex, beer, football, playing with the over tired baby well after bed time and then complaining that said baby is too cranky, these are things that naturally fill modern man’s brain. No memory is required to complete these tasks or enjoy these experiences.

A woman’s memory on the other hand, is a fully developed tangible master piece. It has to be, so one part of the species is able to help the other part of the species live a better functioning life than they would be able to live without modern woman’s fully developed tangible master piece of a memory .

It is important to note that modern woman does not use her super power for evil, despite what modern man may think. Conversations are not recorded for future training and development. What men refer to as ‘nagging’ is simply the essential repetitive reminders to help modern man organise his thoughts so he is able to live a more fulfilled life, which according to most Socratics is the meaning of life so ‘nagging’ is an absolutely vital tool for modern man.

For this reason modern woman was designed to speak more words than modern man because they have to remember and then verbally relay to modern man what he must be doing beyond his organised thoughts of pleasure and happiness. Modern man cannot remember rubbish bins need to be emptied and refrigerators need to be filled.

It is not their fault, they are simple creatures of hedonism and as much as they need us we need them. There are many tasks that need to be completed that do not require a memory. Immediate tasks that require immediate action such as disposing of the demonic spider that just entered your view point. Or producing the shiny credit card on request when modern woman walks into a shoe shop.

Modern man cannot be trained, he cannot be tamed and he should not be changed. So modern woman must be well versed on when it is appropriate to use subtle verbal reminders, exasperated shrieking, complete with hair pulling, or sex to remind modern man of the correct behavior that should be applied in a variety of situations.

Yes, memory is indeed a complex thing. Since it is expected that modern man should be able to live peacefully with modern woman despite not being able to contribute in the way of remembering the more boring facets of modern life, modern woman must keep her rage in check, help her modern man and remember they are simple creatures who are needed for things other than changing the toilet roll.

Emojo/picture thingies instead of words – not cool.

It appears, that at the age of 30 something, I have reached a point in my life where technology is getting away from me. Facebook is easy, addictive and well within my comfort zone. I like Facebook because you get to judge people without having to speak to them or interact with them in anyway if you so choose. Twitter on the other hand, is really hard – what the heck are the #’s all about and I have just discovered that I should be using Tumblr as a writer, whatever that is.

Today, modern technology just got a whole lot harder because for the first time, I attempted to use the emojo/picture thingies on my phone to express my thoughts, rather than laboriously type out words. Not good for a writer but an interesting experiment all the same. Except it wasn’t interesting. It was infuriating. This attempt was pre-coffee so I have every right to feel like I want to start killing people.

First of all, I wanted an emojo/picture thingy of coffee so I could send a text with a picture of someone getting punched which was supposed to be a quick and clever way to say ‘if you fail to bring me a coffee, you will get punched’. But of course, my phone emojo/picture thingy does not have a picture of a coffee cup. Now I don’t know what kind of world the creator of these things lives in, but it is obviously a hell dimension. No other dimension would consider a world without a need for a coffee emojo/picture thingy. I have pictures of a syringe, a hammer, and 20 million cats doing a variety of things but no coffee cup.

Needless to say I had to spend my entire morning ranting on Facebook about the absurdity of this and writing this blog rather than preserving precious pre-coffee energy.

Delving into this new world further, after seeing a clever response to my Facebook post about this issue which had deeply affected me, I spent valuable baby free time sifting through the hordes of relatively useless pictures to find one that exactly represents what I was trying to say without the use of words. It appeared to be a woman with her hands raised as if to say “Wow! Clever! Yay! Amazing!” and so forth. I pressed send, enraptured in my own brilliance, only to find that the picture changed to two blue hands. Now I look like a complete idiot.

Having a go at using these emojo/picture thingies was worth it because they may have made me look cooler than I actually am and anything that makes you look cooler is worth trying. But I think we have established that I am not very cool (two blue hands – what the hell?!). It was also worth a go because I really like Ancient Egypt and they used hieroglyphs which are pictures, not written words that come from an alphabet as such, so I figured if it was good enough for them, it might be good enough for me. It was not good enough for me.

As a writer, when did I become so lazy that I thought I could use these emojo/picture thingies rather than words? Words that I have spent years and too much money mastering? Are these emojo/picture thingies really essential to living in this modern world of technology? Do they make life better? No of course they do not. They are yet another way that multi-million dollar corporations get to take our hard earned money. When used in a text message, the message becomes a MMM and therefore costs money where normal text messages are usually free. Nice try multi-million dollar corporation but you can take your emojo/picture thingies and shove them up your (insert emojo/picture thingy of a donkey or butt here).

However in my short foray into using these useless pictorial expressions of feelings or circumstances instead of words I did find one positive use for them. If you want to imply violence towards another person, it is much safer to do so using pictures rather than definitive words. A picture of someone getting punched is much nicer than writing ‘I will punch you in the face’. The picture makes it rather funny and a little bit cute. Well, maybe not for the person receiving the threat of violence through the emojo/picture thingy, but it makes the sender feel better about being an advocate for violence when the situation calls for it.

Nope, I will not lower my standards to use these emojo/picture tingies until there is an emojo/picture thingy of someone getting punched and a coffee cup.

Letter to a suicidal houseplant

With Vivaldi’s Four Seasons floating in the background of Mums kitchen, I notice her houseplant is dying. Some sort of fern she bought from the local nursery. It’s sad, withering leaves have been taken over by a brownness that oozes melancholy, a mirror of his own depression. No Vivaldi allegro can lift his spirits nor bring the seemingly good-as-dead houseplant back from the edge.

Please don’t die. There must be something around me that can show me how to live in a world that is not suffocating in a thick darkness that doesn’t end because at sunrise the darkness is still there, it just changes colour.

If I can save this plant I can save myself.  

 

                                        TO:
Houseplant number three
                                    ADDRESS:
                                                    Bronze pot
                                                                                          Cement plinth in the lounge room
                                               Australia

 

Image courtesy of Page Foster
 

Suicide doesn’t end the pain. It just passes it on to those left behind.

 

 
 
Dear houseplant that lives on the cement plinth in the lounge room,

You have just discovered that you are a relatively conscious being in a relatively unconscious world. You woke up one day figuratively and literally. You opened your leaves to greet the new day and you didn’t like what you saw. After a nice morning bout of photosynthesis, enjoyed from your expensive potting mix, your world as you understood it turned to mud.

It all started when the humans took you home. They ripped you from your brethren and from that moment on you smelled the smells of a human world, which predominantly smelt like bacon. It’s a good thing you were adopted by a carnivorous family as you are safer than if you were residing with a vegan family. They could get extra hungry and make a mistake one day. No bacon eating family is going to eat the houseplant by mistake. Unless they smoked another kind of plant and got confused.

You heard the noises of the human world, Dr Pill at 12, classical music at 4, and the screaming grandson most mornings. You tasted the air of a human world which was dictated by the gas heating or the airconditioner, depending on the season and the mood of the female human. And somewhere along the way you got confused as to what species you belonged to. You were deep in a human world, all it had to offer you which was mostly water and the more than occasional cat poo. Suddenly you noticed that your feet, which were in fact not actually feet, were rooted into a pile of dirt, not the plush carpet that surrounded your potted world. At least you are not a mushroom.

It was a sad day and the sadness has enveloped you like a haze of cigarette smoke from a 1920s movie. It will not, cannot leave you and with your small understanding of consciousness, you feel that you want to die.

But stay put (like you have a choice) my little fronded friend and hear what I have to say. There are still reasons to carry on and you can carry on despite the fact you need to re-equate with yourself. Transgender people do it all the time and not only do they survive, but they look damn good whilst doing it.

You have comfort. You are indoors. Don’t be a princess, or a prince or both at the same time. There is no pea under your pot and you are untouched by the elements, all warm and cozy or light and airy whilst your tougher counterparts are outside where plants actually belong. And they are generally better at being plants than you are.

You have provisions made for you. Everything you need is provided for you. Water, the occasional bought of Bachs soothing music, pun totally intended and you get to watch Dr Phil every weekday. Perhaps this is the real reason behind your depression. You don’t have to join in the embarrassingly coordinated rain dance with the other plants if the drought persists. Your water comes from a silver container with a spout on the end of it. Since your humans prefer the American Dr Phil over the American Ellen, you probably don’t know how to dance anyway.

You are safe. You have already lived through your involuntary transition from the nursery to the blue doored house in Dean Street. And despite the three year old grandson not being capable of keeping his mittens off you, you are safe.

You must think of others. You exist on a planet shared with other beings so your existence cannot be solitary in attitude. You must exist for the pleasures of others. And your primary reason for existing at the moment is to serve as the cats preferred litter box. There is no more a noble creature to serve. Also your humans paid good money to welcome you into their family so be grateful. 

Logistics. Have you actually thought about how a houseplant might kill themselves? I highly doubt you could hang yourself from the rafters, assuming your house has exposed beams. And that’s just the start of the problems with that scenario. You are an instinctual creature, void of any real reasoning powers so I doubt you could starve yourself to death even if you wanted to.

There is no more help for a suicidal houseplant other than this letter. There is no therapy available, there is no pill you can pop that will solve all your problems. The choice to live or die is entirely your own. But the consequences of your choice rests with those around you.

Make good choices,

Boy with too much time.