30 October 2010

House of Saud and Fog

by Andre Dubus III

When King Abdullah is ousted from the Saudi throne, he moves to San Francisco and opens a bar in the closed down Fogg 'n' Sudds, the ownership of which is disputed by the deceased owner's alcoholic daughter. Everybody dies.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hype

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The horrifying tale of respected doctor Henry Jekyll who, after accepting a role in a marketing firm, transforms into the hideous, duplicitous corporate shill, Edward Hype.

Bigger than Hooligan

Dear Hotshot.

Woopie ding.  So you're a big rock'n'roll star now.  Drink champagne in limousines with Vince Neil as your chauffeur.  Forget about your grassroots fans who were there when you were sick in bed.  Change your name to The No-Goodniks.  Buy shares in Procter & Gamble.  Eat lead.  Set fire.  Solve ancient riddles.  One day you'll discover in the bottom of an old drawer the faded remains of dignity once upheld by longshoremen.  Then you'll know how much you've sold out, man.

Get fucked.

Donny Most

28 October 2010


It used to be that a word wasn't a word unless it had three letters in it. "Unless it had three letters in it" is a word-count of four. Then Microsoft Word came along and counted words such as "it," "to," "be," "in," and "a" as words.

At this point journalists and sub-editors came to blows in newsrooms the world over, and editorial departments fell into chaos in the War of the Word Count.

30 September 2010

Battle by the Scrivener

by Herman Melville

This proofreader would prefer not to, and is prepared to back it up!

Danny the Champion of the Wold

by Roald Dahl

Young Danny devises a scheme to poach every last one of Victor Hazell's pheasants, and sells Hazell's Wood to a logging company.

29 September 2010


My favourite prank I played at university was when I was on the Student Council.  The Council was angry with its full-time administration staff over an organisation consultant whom we felt was contracted without justification or approval.

We skirmished with a minority faction on the right who supported the staff, but we were at diplomatic war with the consultant herself.  Her name was Sandra, and the most memorable moment of her for us was her pounding on the table at a meeting and shouting: "Why won't you just submit?!"

The upcoming Student Union's Annual General Meeting would vote on the disputed contract.  It was scheduled for the same day as the release of "Star Trek: First Contact," about Picard and crew's encounter with the Borg Collective.  I drafted a poster and we hung copies all over campus:

   to the
Annual General Meeting
November 22 1996
Death is irrelevant!
Resistance is futile!

The right faction was furious when they noticed that the poster, read vertically, spelled "SANDRA."

Hope, BC

We are surprised by the tenacity of hope, and when we try to kill it we overdo it.

05 August 2010

A Clockwork Orang

Photograph by Helmut Newton on the cover of th...
Obscure edition of Anthony Burgess' masterpiece in the original Bahasa.

20 July 2010

Canada Provokes Condemnation

OTTAWA—An organisation of militant proofreaders marched through the streets of the capital of Canada today.  The Spelling Inconsistency Counsel (sic) called for a general strike for the failure of the Canadian government to standardise the spelling of the word "standardize."

Patrick Stewart as Locutus, the assimilated Je...They were received at the Parliament building by the Borg-collective of spellcheckers. "Resistance is futile," said the collective, the body which currently controls government. "Prepare to be assimilated."

Act II

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the middle of the blog. This blog began some years ago, and it will go on for some years to come. There will be a middle, and we've just encountered it. You may feel some slight turbulence. The middle will continue until the beginning of the end, which is still some time away, so please sit back and enjoy the rest of your visit. I will keep you notified.

03 July 2010

Fear & Lathing in Las Vegas

Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) in Fear and Loathing ...
by Hunter S. Thompson

A guide to the ins and outs of making a living as a carpentry contractor to the Mafia.

Sea & the City

Ernest Hemingway's Old Man makes a reappearance as a fish out of water on the New York dating scene.

20 June 2010


At six in the morning the early air on my harbour-side Sydney street is riven with the squall of cockatoos. At half-seven leaf blowers wail and infuriate. At half-eight the helicopters drown them out.

In Summer the thump of party boats is amplified by the harbour glass-flatness. In Winter it all goes quiet. And in Spring the street's honour guard of jacarandas cracks into lilac like fireworks.


I rearranged the house today. I put the bathroom between the two bedrooms instead of at the end of the hall. It was a great idea in principle—the plan serves both bedrooms much better—but in practice it was a nightmare. All the pipes broke and flooded the apartment, and now I'm busting to take a piss.

25 May 2010

Better to catch the bus

Getting all the way across town was a considerable distance to walk. "We're very far," I said to myself.

"Who's 'we'?" I replied. Pause.

"I'm very far," I corrected myself.

"Who are you talking to?"

This made me feel foolish, so I stopped talking.

28 March 2010

The Adventures of Tom's Lawyer

Signatures of Mark Twain
by Mark Twain

The thrilling construction of the case against Injun Joe, from pretrial hearing through to sentencing.

12 March 2010

The French Confection

Hackman won the Academy Award for Best Actor a...
by Robin Moore

Detectives Edward "Popeye" Egan and Salvatore Grosso bust a drug cartel for smuggling heroin into New York in 60 kilos of profiteroles.

Zeno and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

by Robert Pirsig

Greek philosopher takes a road trip and never reaches his destination.

10 March 2010

Bloody hat!

I am sick to bloody death of hat. Every bloody night, it's hat. Akubra hat. Fedora hat. Panama hat. Every bloody night, hat for dinner! For just one bloody night, can we not have steak!?

24 February 2010

Advances in computing

We have finally created true artificial intelligence.

Introducing... my microwave!  It talks!  Of course, it's only fitted with a small liquid crystal display and not a speaker, so it more reads than actually speaks.  Nevertheless, it not only achieves
communication but accomplishes nothing less than consistent good manners: when I prepare my meal in the microwave, every single time it says to me, ENJOY YOUR MEAL. Without fail.  Even after I've been in a foul mood and neglected my usual "thank you, microwave," it doesn't blink; ENJOY YOUR MEAL the very next time.

Equally, my DVD player.  It never fails to say GOOD-BYE to me whenever I turn it off.

Recently, I've begun a relationship with my air conditioner.

20 February 2010

The Da Vinci Coke

by Dan Brown

An anachronistic 16th-century Coke bottle is found among Leonardo Da Vinci's possessions, and an investigation of ecclesiastical intrigues and secret societies reveals the mystery of the Coca-Cola formula.


by A. A. Milne

The story of a bear that prefers twinks to honey.

Welcome to the Money House

 by Kurt Vonnegut

Collection of Vonnegut discards released by the publisher to milk the Vonnegut name.

The Caste

by Franz Kafka

K. is commissioned as a land surveyor for a mysterious village, but the locals treat him as an Untouchable.

15 February 2010

The Commonest Manifesto

Marx and Engels try to top the sales of their influential manuscript on class struggle with a follow up appeal to the masses. Unfortunately, everyone already had it.

26 January 2010

Prescription squid

I've been wearing this squid now for about three weeks, and it's starting to stink! It's really heavy and difficult to sleep in, and I can't see how this is supposed to help my back at all. I don't think that guy is a real physiotheraptist. He was selling all that fish. This thing is heavy and it's hurting my back! And I have to feed it regularly or it starts to bite my head with its beak.