Saturday, May 19, 2007

History never repeats... pfft! Who am I kidding?

Sorry to those of you who just brought up you your breakfast/lunch/evening bucket of gin and tonic at the sight of that picture. I realise that it looks like chicken bones wrapped in black cling-film and jammed into some Barbie shoes. Believe me, I feel your pain, but it was the first picture I found and in my usual fashion, I said, "Fuckitthatlldo". In any case, scrawny models, though rife, are not the reason for the big bundle of wild I'm carrying around at the moment.

The problem is leggings. Of course.

I know that in the scale of world horrors, leggings are fairly minor. I know I should be worried about human rights abuses in Dafur and people starving in Zimbabwe, and I am. But I also realise that those problems are too big for one blogger to solve with the application of some angry, even if it is applied with a shovel. Leggings, on the other hand, aren't. Or at least they shouldn't be. There's no reason why I can't rid the world of skanky footless tights if I just concentrate hard enough. ("Use The Force, red..." Oh, thanks Obi Wan! Does it matter if I'm on the Dark Side, though?)

There's also the small matter of the number of times in a day that the leggings problem is thrust under my over-large snotter. Strike me down, but I usually only think about Dafur and Zimbabwe when I'm reading a newspaper or having a thinking sort of discussion. Leggings, on the other hand, I can't seem to escape.

I wander out at lunchtime and what do I see? Leggings. On the train into work, mildly hungover and in need of a bacon and egg roll? Leggings. On the way home? Leggings. In the lift up to my unreasonably high-off-the-ground new desk? STINKING LEGGINGS!

I should point out that I have no problem with opaque stockings. I love opaque stockings when they actually hide a person's feet and are worn with a skirt of crutch-covering length. And I love knee-high boots. They're great too. In fact, I love all boots. A girl can't have too many pairs of boots.

But leggings. I was there for leggings the first time and I was rather attached to them then. Huzzah for leggings in the late '80s and early '90s. Sadly, they sort of lost their appeal after the 894th time that I saw them stretched across an arse that was wider than my fridge and attached to a tundra of rippling thigh jubbles. But then, mercifully, they vanished, apparently banished to gyms, where the sun don't shine and I don't visit.

But just when I thought we had moved on as a society, up they bobbed again like that fibresome turd that just won't flush no matter how much bum-fodder you put on top of it or how many times you jab the button. Footless tights, 3/4-length tights, tights with little bits of nylon lace, patterned cropped tights, full-length leggings that are solid enough to hide your minge if you've gone commando - damnit, they're everywhere!

Why is this happening again? Isn't this like introducing the cane toad to Queensland - didn't we learn the first time? And why are footless tights being layered up with just about every random wardrobe item anyone can think of? Formal shorts? Check. Hot pants? Check. Mini skirts. Boots. Shorts and boots. Tunicky things worn over mini-skirts worn over three-quarter leggings worn with knee-high boots and one of those under-tit back brace belts and a floppy newsboy cap thrown in for good measure. The permutations are horrifying and endless.

Apparently, every time a child claims to not believe in fairies, a fairy dies. So if we all say together, "I don't believe in footless tights!" then perhaps pairs of leggings will start to spontaneously combust on Hill's hoists all over the country.

I really hope it works. Otherwise, the only option is loading up the flamethrowers and heading for Supre and Sportsgirl and no-one really wants to do that. All those synthetic fibres could produce a firestorm on a similar scale to the Great Fire of London and I don't want to be responsible for that crap.

Oh, and while I'm venting my grouch, could all you girls with cutesy little pirate delusions please stop tucking your skinny jeans into your knee-high boots? Even if you are tiny, you do not look like Keira Knightley and you will not be shagging Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom any time soon. You just look silly. And if you are my size or larger, you will never be shagging Johnny or Orlando because skinnies make you look like a barge-arse, yet you obviously haven't twigged to this.

This has been a community service announcement in the name of fashion sanity.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Chef of the damned

This guy scares me. He's life-size and he stands at the door to a rather grim cafe that I pass several times a day. I swear I heard him sniff and murmur longingly, "Mmm, brains..." as I passed by this morning.

I presume that his hat is red because he dips it in the blood of the damned, just like a real redcap, and the latte cup is for offerings of grey matter.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's hell with fluorescent lighting

Perhaps I’m not a team player. Maybe I’m one of those people who just likes to be alone. After all, a former boss did say that she thought I would make a good sniper. I was never sure whether that was a compliment or not. Whatever the case, I can't deny having an extremely low twit threshold. But I don’t think I'm being entirely unreasonable when I say that there are certain conversations that I do not wish to be forced to overhear in the office. Inane and banal conversations are everywhere and I’m sorry to say that most of them are conducted by women. I know I’m going against the sisterhood, but it makes me realise why men have cultivated the ability to switch their ears off.

I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but when there’s a conversation taking place at the desk next to mine, I can’t not hear. I can sit there, silently singing “la la la!” or reciting Jabberwocky in my head to try to run interference, but it doesn’t work.

And it's not that I'm the fun police - I just hate being subjected to pointless crap. Remember, I'm trapped at my desk and there are only so many times in a day that I can get a glass of water, a Diet Coke from the machine or go to the loo.

So, on my planet, people who banged on about any of the following topics at work would have safes dropped on them.

Save it for your mums and bubs group. If you don’t belong to such a group, please find one. Quickly. I have sat at my desk, doing an internal impression of Jack Nicholson in The Shining while several mothers have discussed their birth experiences for upwards of 45 minutes. The words “and then my water broke” can send me screaming from a room. The same goes if you're pregnant. I don't want to touch your belly, see your ultrasound photo or hear about what's happening to your boobs.

Your kids
When your child has done or said something that really is funny or wise beyond their years, then that’s fine. Please do share it. But be aware that the majority of kid talk, including stories about dirty nappies (this includes colour, texture and frequency), toilet training (ditto), sporting participation, etc., is seriously lacking in entertainment value for everyone but the child’s parents.

And don’t get me started on baby photos being sent out on an all-staff email. It’s a baby. Some are cuter than others and they come in half a dozen different shades of duco, but they pretty much all look the same. It’s really only the accessories that change and who wants to look at a never-ending parade of little jumpsuits or half-sucked teddy bears?

Clothes or accessories in any detail
Nothing more is required than, “Oh, I like your boots/jacket/earrings,” with the possible addition of, “Where did you get them?” if you wish to sneakily buy some yourself. If you’re snarking a la the Fug Girls, then of course that’s a different matter, but rapturous and extended discussions of fashion make me want to do you an injury. I don’t care whether you are agonising over spending $500 on a handbag, either. Buy it or don’t buy it, but for Ford’s sake, shut up about it!

Tooth whitening, hair extensions, shades of eye shadow and Paris Hilton are all pretty much pointless. None of them is worth an extended discussion. Really. The world will not stop turning and it’s 15 minutes of our lives that none of us will get back.

It is never appropriate to have a phone argument in the office with your partner, your mother, one of your kids or even John Howard. Oh, all right, if you’ve got Little Johnny’s phone number and a gutful of angry to share around, you go your hardest. I’ll probably even cheer when you score points. But a truly banal row that goes from low but intense to loud and intense and continues for more than three seconds is putting your life in danger. And if you finish the row and then come over to recount the whole thing to someone sitting near me, you’re just asking me to crack open my barrel of Psycho Bitch.

In fact, any long personal phone conversation is pretty much guaranteed to piss me off. I don't want to listen to you have a big long "he said, she said" with your bestie. I don't care whether your brother's friend's girlfriend is being, like, a total bitch to, like, everyone. And if you ring three different people in one morning and tell them all the same thing, we're back at that barrel of Psycho Bitch again with the crow bar.

Hot beverages
Making or purchasing a cup of coffee or tea is quite a simple process. I don’t care whether you choose a skinny soy decaf latte with a twist or a spiced chai soy latte. They are both equally pretentious and deciding between them does not require a United Nations vote. JUST PICK ONE! Wistful sighing of, “Oh, I’d just kill for a (insert wanky beverage name here),” in the hope that someone will get one for you should be punishable by death.

Bread and circuses
There’s a reason I don’t watch Big Brother. It bores me. The same goes for Neighbours, Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Whatshername and most of the other crap the TV stations dish up. If I wanted to know what was happening on any given TV show, I would simply watch it myself. Radical, I know.

And boys, you can quit your snickering. You’re not off the bloody hook either.

I don’t care about Aussie rules, rugby (league or union) or soccer. My response to, “How about those Crows, then?” will always be, “Are they some sort of sporting team?” Talk about it while you’re having a slash or something. I don’t care who’s winning the office tipping comp, I don’t want to hear who you think will win the games on the weekend and I most certainly don’t want a ball-by-ball discussion on Monday morning.

They have four wheels, a variable number of doors and, if they’re working properly, go “broooom”. Like babies, they come in a number of colours. We’re done now.

Power tools
Come on, mostly they're just boy toys. I think we can safely say that most powertools are purchased, used three times and then shoved in the shed.

You went fishing. You caught fish. What, you didn't bring me any? Bugger off then.

Possibly the most boring game ever invented. You don't need to tell me what your handicap is. I already know.

Yes, I’m a grouchy bitch who should just work alone in a shed in the middle of nowhere. But did you ever doubt it?

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