Bee spoke

December 19, 2016 at 11:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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When I was a kid, I sang Silent Night differently to most.

I thought the line was:

Sleep in, heavenly bees.

(Note the early regard for punctuation.)

Bees are a paragon of industry.

Naturally (I figured) there’d have to be at least one etherial species.

And after a year’s hard work, it seemed reasonable that they’d get to rest on xmas day.

Indeed, who needs honey with so much other food laid on by front-end loader?

My faux lyric made arguably more sense than ‘yon virgin mother’.

And so I rolled with it for several seasons.

The repeated line, especially, seemed positively soporific.

Sleee-eeep in, hea-ven-leeey, beeeeeesszzzzzz.

Try it next time you’re at carols by candlelight.

I promise no-one will notice.

You might just get a warm fuzzy.

Or even





Paper cut

March 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Cut to the quick.

In ‘Prep’ (the entry level primary school class before Year 1) we were introduced to scissors.

Safety was everything.

The plastic handles were colourful.

The blades so short and rounded, you couldn’t find (let alone sever) a vein to save your life.

Along with these scissors came craft paper.

You may recall: sheets about 25 cm square. (Ten inches in the old money.)

One side was glossily coloured.

The other, muted and matt.

The object of the game was to cut the sheets with the scissors and do various arty things with the result.

We were four and five.

So it should’ve come as no huge surprise when Linda (not her real name) on encountering scissors for the first time, tried them on her hair.

Her brown locks fell to the floor before Miss Whiting could intervene.

A parental conference followed.

For the rest of the year, Linda was banned from scissors.

She had to tear her way through Prep.

And given things weren’t heavily academic at this stage,

she did a lot of tearing.

As is the way with children, Linda was marked by the pack.

Like the boy who peed his pants, she was damaged goods.

The sad irony is that these days, Linda’s crude, hand-rendered artistic creations would very likely be considered greatly superior to the norm.

And possibly go viral in their infantile genius.

I observed Linda during the ensuing years.

A slight child to begin with, she seemed to shrink ever further into herself.

Today, I daren’t hunt for her on LinkedIn.

Lest she isn’t there.


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by Rain Rabbit.


Spewin’ chips

March 5, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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Sawn and unseen.

I recall the dust man had another role.

A role so awful it may explain why he spent so much time with his incinerator.

Our primary school wasn’t air-conditioned.

And the roof was made of tin.

We had none of today’s namby-pamby, go-home, get-out-of-jail-free temperature thresholds.

We sat and worked and ate and played and laughed and fought in the true-blue, dinky-di Australian heat.

At least, most of us did.

Some of us were of a relatively delicate disposition.

Lily skinned, slender limbed, carrot hued and/or freckle flung.

For these students, summer was a time for spewing.

I don’t know if it was the heat, the lack of glad-wrap on home-made jam sandwiches, or the highly processed tuck-shop fare.

Perhaps a combination of all three.

What I do know is that there was an awful lot of spew about.

The corridor floors were shiny with patina and polish.

When sick hit – often with considerable force – it splattered comprehensively.

Compounding the situation after the fact was the dust man.

His response to spew was to strew it with sawdust.

Appropriate, one might think.

But then,

he left it.

As the hot day wore on, the barf bouquet breached every nook of the school.

And, like so many mouse-trap-taped ping-pong balls, one emetic event could spring kindred reactions from sensitive souls.

By mid-afternoon, the halls could be decked with hazards.

Nor did it end there.

We always yearned to be out of class.

And played ferociously at every chance.

When the bell knelled a return to travail, we lingered as long as we dared, then raced back to class at the last instant.

The sad confluence of this was that one poor, speeding pupil invariably fell foul of dusty chuck.

I can hear it now …

Pounding footsteps down the hall.

The shriek of recognition on turning a blind corner.

The screech of protesting Bata Scouts.

The awkward thump and endless, hideous slither.

The scream of anguish.

The clatter of heels.

The raucous Schadenfreude.

And the wail of the victim who, tarred and feathered, had stinking hot hours to endure.

Why the dust man did it, I’ll never know.

I suppose, these days, we’d call it poor cultural fit.

The chunder down under was always gone by morning.

The scene set for another fool

to fret the stage.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by Maja Dumat.


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