Category Archives: humour

The Sheep, the sheep, won’t someone think of the sheep!!

Someone asked me what was the most embarrassing thing that has happened to me, for that I would have to go back, way back to when I was sixteen, in 1980 and in my last year of High School. One of the perks of being in Grade 10 was that in the last term, all the 16 yo grade 10’ers got to do Driver Training, driver training was split up into two sections, the first section was theory, where you learnt about the road rules and stuff like that, in order to get into the second
section, you had to pass the first section with at least 75%, being the smart arse that I was I managed a score of 100%.

So I was looking forward to driver training, which that year was being held at Baskerville Raceway, since none of us had learners permits and were not allowed to drive on public roads. We arrived at Baskerville and the road safety guys
explained how it was going to be done, in alphabetical order, which meant that of course I was waaaay down the list, last in fact, we’d each get 10 minutes pre drive instruction in the car, you know, pointing out the pedals and gears and
stuff, then we would be allowed to drive once around the circuit slowly, and then if our instructor thought we could be trusted, another turn around the circuit, at a semi decent speed.

So I waited for what seemed like hours for my turn, watching everyone else have their turn and have what seemed like a great time, then finally they got to me, so I got into the car, the instructor pointed out the go faster pedal, the stop
pedal, and how exactly to change gears, and the importance of looking in the rear vision mirror, all the important stuff like that.

Under the watchful eye of the instructor I crept around for my first circuit of Baskerville, at the stately speed of 20km an hour, I only crunched the gears a couple of time, and I thought I did really well, so did the instructor because
he said that I could have another circuit, because by this time I was the last person in the car to have ago, the rest of the students were standing around waiting for me to finish.

For some strange reason, the instructor asked three of the boys if they wanted to come in the car for my last lap, so I started around the track again, with Robert, Alan and Robert in the back seat, all giving me helpful and not so
helpful hints, since they’d all be brought up on farms, they’d been driving since they were old enough to sit on a pillow to bring them up to look over the steering wheel, I was from suburbia, and the only times I’d been in a car was as
a passenger.

The track was set up so that we were on the inside track, with a barrier of hay bales, witches hats and some portable fencing separating us from the middle of track which had the race club storage shed, and a few other bits and pieces on
it, so I was about half way around the track, going somewhat above 40km , the instructor told me that I could go faster, so I accelerated to about 55, which felt like I was speeding around the track, the boys started woohooing and
calling me the Alan Jones of BHS, then all of a sudden there was this horrible scream from the back seat.

I jumped and my foot accidentally pressed on the accelerator, and the car shot forward off the track, through the witches hats, through the hay bales and headed straight for the shed, however one thing I hadn’t noticed before, was that in the middle of the track someone was grazing a herd a sheep, the sheep scattered before the car running in all directions, I managed to take  my foot off the accelerator, and the car came to a gentle stop over the rough ground of the middle, the car was surrounded by madly baaaing sheep, covered in wisps of hay, and had a witches hat perched rakishly on the windscreen.

We all got out of the car, slightly shaken and surveyed the damage, luckily there was only a very small dent in the car and a great smear of blood, caused by a sheep, who was now deceased. It turned out that a bloody great huntsman had crawled out from the back door and that’s what made Robert scream. Robert, Alan and Robert decided to walk back to where the rest of the kids were, the instructor backed the car back onto the track, avoiding the sad sheep corpse and
I got back in the car and finished my lap.

Unfortunately by the time I got back, the three boys had already made it back and the story had spread, and it grew in the telling, funnily enough, there was very little mention of the fact of WHY we’d gone off the track, the spider
wasn’t mentioned at all, and they made it seem as if I’d just swerved off the track because I couldn’t steer properly.

By the time we got back to school, my trail of damage not only included the car, which was a write off, I’d also demolished the shed, destroyed multiple hay bales, and witches hats, but also I’d massacred a whole herd of innocent sheep, according to the story, I ploughed through the herd tossing sheep into the air as I went, their pitiful baas as I run them over, willy nilly.

For weeks after, wherever I went people would baa at me and think it was hilarious, no one believed what had actually happened, not when the three boys kept on embellishing the story.


I bet you thought I was dead!

In my wanders through the many pages of the Internets, I came across several things that really boggled my mind, now I like to consider myself reasonably well read and that I have a pretty good grasp on the English language, and only want to throttle it occasionally.

I do understand that for some people English is a bit hard to grasp hold of and that it is filled with words that look alike, but have vastly different meanings, for the average person I can understand making a mistake, but when I come across certain words on a professional business site, as well as within the confines of a published authoritative piece, I start to wonder.

The three words that have garnered my attention for the most amazing misuse within recent  memory are COMMENSURATE, COMMISERATE and COMMEMORATE.

Commensurate means:

  1. having the same measure; of equal extent or duration.
  2. corresponding in amount, magnitude, or degree: Your paycheck should be commensurate with the amount of time worked.
  3. proportionate; adequate.
  4. having a common measure; commensurable.

Commiserate means:

  1. to feel or express sorrow or sympathy for; empathize with; pity.

Commemorate means:

  1. to serve as a memorial or reminder of
  2. to honor the memory of by some observance
  3. to make honorable mention of.

So when I saw a business offering a sale for the ANZAC day long weekend holiday with the banner:-

“To commiserate the ANZAC long weekend, all items 20% off”.
I nearly fell out of my chair, that word, it does not mean what you think it means.

I started to wonder if this was just an isolated incident, but Google got me many hundreds if not thousands of cases where people have used these three words interchangeably, I saw lots of questions posed along the lines of :

“Is your pay commemorate with your experience?”

and even:

We gathered to commensurate the occasion with a few drinks and a song or two

If anyone feels like commiserating with me over the commensurate angst I felt upon reading all those  errors, then we could commemorate the occasion with a wild HUZZAH or two.

Ninja Grandad

For an old man well into his 70’s my Father moves surprisingly fast and quietly, his eldest granddaughter has a new nickname for him ‘Ninja Grandad’.

A couple of weeks ago I rang Dad to ask him if he could take some accumulated rubbish to the tip for me, after it was all gathered up there was about six of those big orange garden waste rubbish bags, a few smaller of the green ones and several old and decomposing boxes.

Dad called me and said he would be there on the saturday morning between 9-10, so we were all up earlyish(for a saturday) ready and waiting to help him haul the bags from near the gate to the back of his car.

Around 9.30 ish my friend went to the toilet and on his way back looked out the window, he came back in and said that either someone had stolen all our rubbish or that my Dad had been and gone.

We didn’t even HEAR anything at all, he didn’t come and knock on the door, didn’t toot the horn, made NO noise heaving all those heavy bags around, I texted him and told him that his granddaughter was peeved because she was all ready to go with him to the tip and help him carry the bags, and that she now called him “Ninja Grandad”.

I think that tickled his funny bone a bit, but seriously, how does one somewhat elderly man with a dicky knee and a dodgy hernia heave all those bags without making even the slightest noise?

He said that he wasn’t sure if we were awake or not, so he didn’t want to disturb us!

Now I am somewhat amused, bemused and slightly worried, my sister is getting a new car so she is giving Dad her old one, and he decided that he would give us his old one, it’s nothing spectacular, but it runs. Now every time I hear a car I look out the window and wonder if I’m going to see my Ninja Dad stealthily driving a car into our driveway and then just as stealthily departing, rather like the tooth fairy, or in his case the Ninja Car Dad Fairy.

I have a confession to make…

For a semi-straight female of a certain age, I have an inordinate amount of crushes on gay men, I was looking at my twitter list of people I follow and, oh dear, quite a few gay men on there. Take for example Stephen Fry, I just ADORE that man, I follow him on livejournal, read his blog, follow him on twitter and watch anything that he is in.

It’s quite embarassing really, and then we have Alan Davies, extraordinary actor and possessor of hair I want to run my fingers through, I follow him on twitter and watch everything he is in. I am in a lather of excitement that we’re finally going to see QI on television over here, so I can indulge in seeing BOTH Stephen AND Alan at the same time, sharing a t.v screen.

What more could a girl ask for,  well, ok MY best wish would be to have ALL my crushes, (and they aren’t ALL gay, just a large proportion are) on the t.v together, that would be awesome. Can you imagine the extraordinary amount of floppy hair that would be extant if they all got together.

My list of crushes consists of

  1. Stephen Fry
  2. Alan Davies
  3. James May
  4. Neil Gaiman
  5. Gabriel Byrne
  6. Tim Roth
  7. Neil Patrick Harris
  8. Hugh Grant
  9. Jamie Hyneman
  10. David Tennan
  11. Richard E. Grant
  12. Rupert Everett

My estrogen levels would explode and so would the t.v as there would be no t.v studio that could contain the sheer amount of amazingness and total YUMMM involved, the squee factor would be outstanding and I think I would die from sheer happiness.

Have I irrevocably damaged my reputation now?

An owed too my spellchequer

(found via a mailing list I am on)

Eye have a spelling check her
That came with my pea sea:
It marks in plane four my revue
Miss steaks eye due knot sea.

Aye strike a key oar type a word
And weight for it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write;
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long:

And eye can put the ere or rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Its own lee be cause u have Ben their
That u no watt eye am go in thru;

An witch of u can b sew sure
U won’t all so bee use zing it 2?
Eye ran this poem threw spell check

As eye am shore your pleased to no;
Its let her perfect awl the weigh
My check her tolled me sew.

(If it will come fort u, Yours ken dew it to! “No misspellings found. OK”)

I have not been lollygagging, certainly not.

My apologies for my absence, but I have been up to my eyebrows in University assignments, I just finished the final one for this semester, so now all I have to worry about is exams next month.

Simple, surely.

It would have gone much smoother if I had not, in the delightful words of the Online Etymology Dictionary which by the way is MY go to place when I am looking for the antecedents of a word or phrase, been dilly-dallying, or even shilly-shallying around.

Shilly-shally “vacillate,” 1703, earlier shill I, shall I (1700), fanciful reduplication of shall I? (cf. wishy-washy, dilly-dally, etc.).

Dilly-dally;  “Dilly-dally is from 1741, a reduplication of dally. c.1300, possibly from Anglo-Fr. dalier “to amuse oneself,” of uncertain origin.”

But to accuse me of lollygagging, certainly not.

Lollygag; “dawdle, dally,” 1862, lallygag, Amer.Eng., perhaps from dial. lolly “tongue” + gag “deceive, trick.”

So I shall dilly-dally, shilly-shally and lollygag my way out of here.

One Man’s treasure is another Mum’s trash.

When I was a kid my father used to go to auctions and buy all sorts of crap, Mum would never know what he was going to come home with; boxes of old assorted kitchen gadgets, cutlery, old books it was usually all junk.

But he did have his moments. One time he came home with a box of old cups and saucers, and for once they were absolutely gorgeous, I fell in love with every single one; for they were delicate and tiny and so so fragile, I had my favourite cup and saucer, and I would use it on special occasions.

Another sterling purchase that my father made was an old old adding machine, it was amazing, there was something arcane about it, how it worked, because it wasn’t just like adding 2+2 together, you had to press a series of levers, there was a method, and I learnt how to do it, it was big and heavy and so full of wonder, I loved it.

The other purchase that I remember very vividly was a set and blow wave hair styler, now this wasn’t any normal hairdryer, it came in a pink suitcase with curlers, and a bright pink hair cap that you put over your head after you’d finished styling it. The cap had a hole where the nozzle from the tube fitted in, and the other end plugged into the case, you plugged it in and turned it on, and it was like having your own salon hair dryer at home. This one also had a nail polish dryer, a vent you could slide open and dry your nails over.

I loved this machine, I would help my mum style and set her hair, and then get the dryer out and carefully slip the cap over her head, and turn it on, and she would sit there for thirty to forty minutes, reading a book, smoking many cigarettes and drinking at least three cups of coffee. We would talk, and after she had finished I would be allowed to put the cap on and turn it on low, for some reason I just loved the feel of the warm air on my ears, and the noise it made.

A few other things come to mind, an old heavy duty mincing machine that screwed onto the table, an 1872 copy of Lambs Tales of Shakespeare, with the most amazing illustrations, which I still have, an original copy of Hoyles book of games, which my Sister and I played many many games out of.

Most of what he brought home was utter crap, and Mum used to dread the Saturdays when the auctions were on, like the time he came home with an old locked suitcase. He paid fifty cents for it, on the off chance that there was something valuable in it.

There was something in it alright, the mummified body of a long departed feline. Mum made dad burn the suitcase; he was all for keeping it and using it-the suitcase that is, not the cat, and Mum said over her dead body.

I think the final straw was when dad went one day and came home with a fairly decrepit Morris Minor that he was ‘going to do up’ and that it was ‘such a bargain at only $20’. Yes, there was a reason it was only $20, it didn’t go, was held together with rust and hope and sheer bloody mindedness.

It sat in the carport for months and months until dad managed to con a friend into buying it off him for parts.

And wardrobes, yes, yes of course, that’s where our wardrobes came from. My big old white one which was huge and perfect for hiding in, and had drawers and a mirror and a secret compartment where i hid my diary and important stuff. I remember when dad and Mr Waldie brought them home tied one on top of the other on the roof of the car.

Mum nearly had conniptions, they were so big they almost didn’t fit through the front door and dad was all for ripping the door off the hinges. Then there was the sliding doors, Mum did have conniptions then, dad came home with a set of double sliding doors and had this brilliant idea of knocking a hole in the wall between the lounge-room and the kitchen and installing them.

Mum said over her dead body, but then we went away on our annual trip up to stay with my Aunt and when we came back dad had already knocked the hole in the wall and put up the supporting beams.

I think if Mum could have killed him then she would have, he finished the beams and hung the sliding doors, and they lasted for no more than two or three months and then he ripped them down again, said they were a nuisance.

So then he ripped out the normal kitchen door and replaced that with one of the sliding doors, he did this while Mum was down at Nanny’s one Sunday, Mum was ropeable.

Then he decided, also one day when Mum was down at Nanny’s that we didn’t need the door from the lounge-room into the kitchen, so he took that down and built a very dodgy bookcase into the top half and blocked off the rest.

Mum didn’t dare go out for a months after that, just in case he decided to renovate the kitchen or something.