Tuesday, 29 September 2009

...a bit o' biffo

T'was a time when there was honour in biffo.

Nowadays all honour has gone and in it's place is something insidious. In the 21st century when a man is knocked down it is merely the beginning, and the kicking of heads, stomping of ribs, glassing etc ensues. Gentlemanly restraint has died and in it's place is an unfeeling, unfettered bloodlust. Shame on us men! How did we allow ourselves to sink so low?

Put a thousand young men in a room together, add alcohol and history shows us that before the night is out, blood will be spilled. There is nothing new about that. But the fighting of yonder had a code of conduct. The taboos of fighting were important because they helped prevent serious injury and death, and the odd murder charge.
  • A bloke had to accept a challenge before fighting even began.
  • If he refused, the challenger won the (moral) victory.
  • If he accepted, then an area free of obstacles was found.
  • Weapons were strictly forbidden.
  • Kicking, kneeing, headbutting, punching below the belt and biting were not allowed.
  • The combatants didn't need to be told this, it was just the way things were done.
  • Once a man fell or conceded defeat, he would not be touched again.

To break any one of these taboos was considered 'dirty fighting' and quite despicable. A man was stripped of his honour, shamed and embarrassed in front of his peers. Today, fighting dirty is the norm, thus the brain injuries and deaths we see all too often. Of course not every fight in sepia tone was so 'civilised' (perhaps I'm romanticising all this a tad) and even with such taboos in place, people did suffer serious injuries... even the odd death, but the general incidence of such tragic outcomes was far less than it is today (citation needed - in fact I've really got no idea. I've never seen any stats or anything to back up my claims. I may be completely delusional. But hey, I am a blogger).

I actually don't mind boxing. I'm not interested in watching it, but in an historic and cultural context, it is competition in it's purest and most ancient; a battle of strength, speed and endurance stripped back to it's barest form...a couple of burly blokes in shorts thumping each other, the last man standing the winner. But despite it's primal nature, respecting the rules of the game is as important as having good technique. Perhaps the demise of boxing as socially acceptable recreation has removed the moral guidance and concept of rules in fighting that saved a lot of skulls in the past. Just a theory.

I'm not advocating that young blokes line up to clobber each other in the ring or otherwise, but it's seems some guys will have an urge to fight regardless, and it's probably safer in a controlled environment than doing so at the top of a flight of stairs at 4am after 12 bourbons, 4 Red Bulls, 2 ecstasy pills and 6 hours of sexual frustration with a piece of glass in your hands.

And we should also bring back flogging.... every Friday night 'round at my place ;o)


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Friday, 25 September 2009

...screamin' jay hawkins

Anyone who hasn't seen Screamin' Jay Hawkins peform, I urge you to watch this video (or at least the last minute of it). The man is quite the... unique individual.

There's more info here about this interesting artist.

Have a great weekend y'all, and don't forget to eat some prunes.



Thursday, 24 September 2009

...avalon airport

Being an interstate man of mystery, I recently used Melbourne's only other airport capable of accommodating something larger than a Fokker Friendship, Avalon Airport.

You know your airport is on the quaint side when you drive straight past the gate before chucking a uey to investigate if that wooden railing fence you just passed is an airport or a horse stud. And you know it's a tad no-frills as you drive up the dirt track lined with large, painted boulders that tell you in a not too subtle fashion that driving off the track for a split second would be a very expensive exercise.

I like quaint airports. I once bought a plane ticket off a kid on a BMX. I waited under a huge mango tree as I watched the tiny craft buzz over the landing strip at 10,000ft. I was cheerfully assured it would stop to pick me up on it's way back, like I was waiting for a bus or something and the driver just forgot to see me. An hour or so later, I again saw the tiny white speck zooming through the clouds... then out across the azure South Pacific and over the horizon. When I eventually tracked down the kid for a refund at a nearby village, he apologised, saying that the pilot couldn't pick me up because someone forgot to mow the grass on the landing strip. (After an unsuccessful attempt to flag down an ADF helicopter to take me to my impending connecting flight on a faraway island, I ended up having quite an adventure involving a steely-faced ex-guerilla from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, a tropical thunderstorm, two large outboard motors and a very sore arse*. Contrary to all my predictions at the time, I made it home alive.)

But despite the distinct lack of large mango trees, Avalon Airport has all the wonderful things you would expect from any of the world's great airports; overpriced and awful food, rude security staff, 48hrs 'discount' parking for $50, what's not to love? It even has several bronze sculptures out the front of oversized young 1940's type schoolboys playing with rockets and toy planes. They are actually kind of cute, but smack of some rich old bastard trucking magnate's fantasy, "When I gwow up, I'm gonna have an airwoport!"

Avalon Airport. 3.5 packets of beer nuts.

*the sore arse relates to the lack of conventional seating in the small, fast boat, coupled with the lolling swell of the South Pacific... not the price of the ticket.



Tuesday, 22 September 2009

...buried treasure

I heard a song on a promo for a 1980's themed cop show currently running on the ABC.

I hadn't heard it for a long time, but it's been lurking in the dark recessess of my memory ever since pushing over thousands of dominos was an international obsession and Prime Ministers were voted in on the strength of their public drunkeness.

Now I can't get it out of my head, so I thought I'd try to afflict you with it as well. It could be worse. It could be Phil Collins.



Monday, 21 September 2009

...pompeii shmompeii

So a volcano erupted and wiped out an ancient city in 79 AD.


I'm not going to spend $20 at the Melbourne Museum to see a bunch of broken pots. How much can we really learn from plaster casts of corpses and reenactments of people in togas being smothered by rivers of molten rock. It burns OK!

Far more interesting is the much less 'celebrated' 1997 eruption of the Soufrière Hills Volcano and consequent destruction of the city of Plymouth on the Carribean Isle of Monserrat. Same shit as Pompeii, but only 12 years ago, so none of the romance I guess.

The remains of Plymouth - 1997

As with the town of Rabaul on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea, 1994. Same deal, only Papuans died instead of sexy, swinging Italians, so no interest there either.

The edge of the Rabaul Caldera - 1994

The most amazing in my opinion is that of the eruption of Mt. Pelee on the island of Martinique in 1902. The eruption killed the entire population (30,000 people) of the capital city of St. Pierre. There were just two survivors - Louis August Cyparis, an Afro-Caribbean man who only survived from being locked in a poorly ventilated dungeon at the time of the eruption, and another bloke hiding on the outskirts of town. Louis went on to become an international celebrity and did all the talk shows etc.

St. Pierre after the 1902 eruption of Mt. Pelee

Sure we all like a bit of disaster porn, but if we want to actually learn something about catastrophic volcanic eruptions, we'd best fix our gaze on more recent events. We may even be compelled to help some of the victims still suffering in the aftermath of such events.

I'm Derryn Hinch.


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Friday, 18 September 2009

...a booby is a seabird

So I'm gonna be a father, like my father was, and his father before him. Must be hereditary.

It's nine weeks since cells started dividing and we haven't told everyone yet, just close family and friends, so this is just between you and me, internet.

I saw a TV show about babies once. They're easy right? Just put food in one end and keep the other end clean, right? And for the first year it'll get free food from boobies, so despite the baby's sardine breath it won't cost anything... right?

We suspect it will be a boy. Don't ask me why but Q has a sixth sense about these things. So I'll have to teach him (or her) how to be a man. Only problem is that I have to find out what that actually is first. My own Dad never bothered to tell me.

Luckily I have a book called "How to be a Man" by John Birmingham and Dirk Flinthart. It's full of useful tips for confused blokes such as what constitutes a decent suit, how to impress women by pretending you like cooking, how to show an interest in cars and how to give women orgasms (did you know they can have them too!).

The book is going to be a good dad. Any other tips are welcome. If anyone can tell me if it's cruel to call a kid Yoda McMuffin, and if you can sell them on Ebay to help get the bank off our back, I'd be ever so grateful.

Happy Friday!



Thursday, 17 September 2009

...pub daddy


To hell with the world, I can make my own people now! *cue evil laughter

EDD: April 21 2010.

I'm three exclamation mark excited!!!



Wednesday, 16 September 2009


From theage.com.au

The Crazy Horse cabaret theatre, near the Champs-Elysees and an institution since 1951, is bringing a topical flavour to its famous nude revue as part of new show by star choreographer Philippe Decoufle that launches next week.

Decoufle (...) has overhauled the traditional strobe-lit routines with numbers including a Wall Street-themed "Crisis? What Crisis?."

The number starts with statuesque dancer Fiamma Rosa, fully dressed in businesswoman attire, sitting at a desk against a backdrop of neon orange, relentlessly falling stock prices.

As she begins her strip routine, the stocks begin to rise. The prices start to turn around the more Rosa reveals, and by the end of the number they have risen some 90 percent.

Brilliant! What better way to get men and burlesque fans to ponder topical issues than by putting it in suspenders and attaching sparkly nipple tassles. But why stop at current affairs? Why not bring stories from history back to life by giving it a big, French spice injection.

How about the Fall of Rome as told by naughty talking bum cheeks, or an interpretation of Gallipoli done by two scantily clad women in a mudbath. The 12th century Great Schism of Western Christianity eloquently portrayed by Ms Lula, a chair and a horse whip has never been so interesting, and on a personal level, I'd dearly love to see the 1939 expansion of Imperial Japan into Eastern China told by the saucy Dame Vilaine as Emporer Hirohito and Evette Sensuale as the young Mao Zedong. Mmmm. Genocide has never been so sexy.

Just think of all the teenage boys that might actually pay attention in history class and the following lunchtime conversations in the locker bay...

"Geez, The Battle of the Somme was a shocking affair...but it sure had nice tits!"


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Tuesday, 15 September 2009


I had a great idea last night.

If the world is warming up because of our burning of fossil fuels, then why don't we have a world campaign where everyone leaves their fridge door open for a day, which will cool the planet by a few degrees, thus ensuring a rosy future for all humanity.

The Man at the Pub saves the world again! Why aren't I World President?

El Presidente del Publo!
There'd never be wars, just hangovers.



Monday, 14 September 2009

...i think the word is "flummoxed"

From theage.com.au

TENS of thousands of protesters carrying signs saying Obama = Socialism and Keep Government out of Health Care, descended on Washington to oppose government spending and the rising US budget deficit.

Demonstrators, wrapped in American flags, holding banners and wearing shirts condemning President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, expressed disapproval of plans to overhaul the US health-care system and place a cap on carbon emissions, as well as of the bail-out of companies.

''This tax-and-spend government wants to limit our freedom and erode people's rights,'' said Leonard Starr, 65, from Richmond, Virginia. ''We're building a giant bureaucracy headed to fascism using untruthfulness and lies.''

Are you fucking kidding me? For the last eight years the US has spent 2-3 trillion (2-3,000,000,000,000) of your money on a stupid war in Iraq that isn't even over yet and has done little except to further destabilise the Middle East. And in that time the US trade deficit has doubled. Where were you then?

Now the government wants to spend a bit of the pie, not on guns and missiles to maim poor people on the other side of the planet, but on your fellow countrymen and women, to heal your sick and desperately needy. And this you oppose?

Conservatives have strange priorities.
They are no different here in Straya, and when in opposition tend to confuse good public policy/services to the disadvantaged with communism. Well I have a question for all the conservatives tripping over each other in the quest to regain lost power; If social services should be left to the will of the freemarket, then why have government at all?

So let us all pray at the altar of the free market, for it shall be thy saviour of the great unwashed. People will no longer hunger or fall ill when the their care and wellbeing is left to the shareholders of Coles Group Ltd. and Macquarie Bank. All people will undoubtably have equal access to quality education regardless of their parent's income, if their education was the responsibility of the board of Telstra, and our elderly will be fine in the new chain of Woolworths Ltd. Retirement Homes. If we were clever, we could be a bit more like the USA, where an unbridled free market has clearly ended socialist-induced poverty and disadvantage.



Friday, 11 September 2009

...el hombre en el pub

I'm thinking of a bit of a virtual makeover. The Man at the Pub just sounds too plain these days. I'm even questioning my once borderline alcoholism. I haven't had a drinkypoo for over a week (though I have been ill).

So in order to make me sound more windswept and interesting, with an element of international appeal, I put my blog title into Babelfish to find a more exotic moniker, something suggestive of a more cultured, more laid-back lifestyle.

  • de man bij de bar (Dutch)
  • l'homme au pub (French)
  • der Mann am Pub (German)
  • το άτομο στο μπαρ (Greek)
  • l'uomo al pub (Italian)
  • o homem no pub (Portugese)
  • человек на pub (Russian)
  • el hombre en el pub (Spanish)
  • Ye olde blokke at ye Pubbe (Olde English)

Nah. It seems to me that "The Man at the Pub" is just one of those universal whitetrash phrases that looks crap in any language. VB anyone?

On a more random note, here's a video of a French woman dancing. I don't know why but I find it kind of hypnotic.

Happy Friday!


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Monday, 7 September 2009


I have in front of me a copy of Roger's Profanisaurus, "A collection of expletives, obscenities and euphemisms" from the makers of the British schoolboy humour comic/mag Viz.

Set out like a dictionary, it is mostly concerned with copulation, ladies and men's naughty bits, homosexuality, alcohol, orifices and associated excreta...therefore it is utterly hilarious and completely brilliant. But I dare not share with you too much of it, as I fear posting this stuff online could have a van of blokes in black pyjamas raiding my house and putting me away for crimes against humanity in John Howard's secret prison for the culturally insane, and/or The Man at the Pub be banned on a Stephen Conroy Chinese-style internet control fantasy trip..... and/or you'll think I'm a sicko more of a sicko. But judge me not harshly, as inside every 34 year old Australian male beats the heart of a childish, spotty and very annoying schoolboy.

But I found some tamish ones to indulge you, and seeing as you're a bunch of intelligent adults I can tell you that...

...pace car n. Of paying a sit down visit. The slow, unaerodynamic leading turd that once out of the way, allows the fast, souped-up bastards behind it to put their foot down.

...pants 1. interj. Exclamation of dismay. 2. n. Rubbish; nonsense; arse. As in: "You're talking pants!".

...pant moustache n. The effect achieved when the map of tassie (qv) extends symmetrically beyond either side of the undercrackers; (kecks; underpants; trolleys) (qv). See also spiders legs.

...pink Darth Vader euph. Cock. From the Star Wars character with a bell end for a helmet.

...pocket frog n. A fart; botty burp, anal announcement.

...polish the lighthouse to masturbate in the bath (males only).

I may have to begin usage of number two (snigger, snigger) as I quite like it and if you disagree, well pants to you! Thats just a fraction of the P's but you can get the whole Profanisaurus here (though why would you?).

I'd better stop now while I still have a shred of kredibility and hopefully a reader left.

Uh-oh, too late...


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Wednesday, 2 September 2009

...trouble in paradise (or where has all the frangipani gone?)

Just spent two nights near Nooooooooooosa with my second cousin inlaw's ex-parents inlaw's sister and husband, Trish and Jeff.

I haven't stopped at Noosa before. Tracts of kick arse bushland and gorgeous scenery broken up by large playgrounds for extremely rich old bogans. So that's how the other half holiday. I did like the green tree frogs though... and the seafood platter, and the flowers, and as I pushed through the Antartctic gale that swept the tarmac at Avalon Airport, the weather.

It was a nice but brief distraction, albeit under gloomy circumstances. Aunty June sure made waves up on the Sunshine Coast, the 2000 people at the memorial service being testament of that. Sports stars, olympic coaches, doctors and nearly every lesbian north of Byron Bay were there to pay their respects. Kevin Rudd even sent an extremely large floral arrangement, so I'd like to thank each and every one of the tax-payers of the land for that. I didn't really know Aunty June that well, but I've learned a lot about her life, which was adventurous and full, and devoted to the wellbeing of others. She would skip meals to see sick patients. She would not sleep until she had done all she could for the people in her care. And I heard some funny stories too, which I'd like to share.

Aunty June loved Christmas, and took tremendous pleasure in setting up a magnificent Christmas tree at her home every year. And one year she found the most beautiful 7 foot pine that would make the best Christmas tree ever. The only catch was it that it was in the front yard of the local police station. But June had a personality that tended to get her what she wanted. So she made her brother in law make a distraction while pulled over cut down the tree, tied it to the top of her white MG and zoomed off into the night.

But my favourite story was of June's cat, who died age 21. One year June had to come to Melbourne for a very important event, but the night before her cat was hit by a car and suffered terrible injuries. The vet advised euthanisia but June was having none of it, so the cat had all its badly broken bones and cracked skull wired up and stitched back together, like some sort of Frankencat. But June couldn't bear to leave her beloved cat to recover with strangers while she was away, so she heavily sedated it, put it in her handbag and took it on the plane as her carry-on baggage, hoping it would keep still and refusing to stow her handbag in the overhead locker. She didn't get busted either. Q remembers June arriving to stay with a groggy, half shaved cat stitched up like a baseball poking it's lumpy head out of her Aunty's handbag and presumably thinking though a cloud of blurry pussycat thoughts, 'Where the crap am I?' A great visual, and a great woman, I'm sure you'll agree.


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