Tuesday, December 24, 2013


As you may know, when it comes to Christmas decor, I'm a big believer in following the spirit of the nativity rather than the letter of tradition.

Hence my nativity has dinosaurs.

I could claim that this is a statement of solidarity with my American Christian counterparts, or at least the ones who live in rural areas, homeschool children named Jeremiah and Hepzibah and assert that Jesus had a pet velociraptor. But we all know it's just because I'm contrary and I had a bunch of plastic dinosaurs sitting around.

The tyrannosaurus is a new addition, and it wasn't until I looked at him closely that I realised just how awesome he is.

He looks like he's throwing up his hands in rueful resignation. Like, "Women, eh? You can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. But what are you gonna do?"

Who knew that Tyrannosaurus Rex was the evolutionary starting point for Rodney Dangerfield? Although now that you think about it, it makes sense, doesn't it...

Monday, December 16, 2013


There's an old couple living just down the street from me, and this year they decided to get into the Christmas spirit and string rope lights across the front of their house to celebrate the festive season. They plugged the lights in at one end of their veranda, swagged them along the full length, then looped and swagged them back slightly lower. There was a little bit of rope light left over, so they just wound it up in a neat coil at the end. Job done.

Unfortunately, this looks less like a bright herald of Christmas cheer and more like someone has emblazoned the front of their house with a giant erect penis.

When I first saw the lights (and nearly crashed my car), I assumed that it was a juvenile attempt at humor by some of the university students who infest my suburb. But then I saw the elderly owners the other night, sitting on their veranda enjoying a nice cup of tea, giving no impression at all that they realised they were doing it by the light of a gigantic illuminated boner.

If I see them outside on another evening as I drive past, I may helpfully yell, "Oi! You're supposed to DECK the halls! DECK! WITH AN 'E'!"

Saturday, December 07, 2013


Once more this blog's blogiversary has rolled around, filling me with guilt and remorse. Averaging a post a month isn't in the true spirit of blogging. It's downright recalcitrant.

I do promise to do better next year... largely because I know I'm going on a long overseas holiday and that always fires up the blogging juices.

According to The Get On The Blandwagon! Modern Blogiversary Gifts List, the traditional gift for a ninth blogiversary is "livestock"... and frankly this could be the answer to all of our problems. Just give me a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters, and we'll have this blog churning out quality product faster than you can say, "it was the best of times, it was the blurst of times".

Thursday, December 05, 2013


The festive season is upon us, and stockings have been hung by the chimney with care... provided that by "stockings" you mean my upside down Christmas tree and dinosaur-infested nativity, and by "hung by the chimney" you mean randomly scattered about the house, and by "care" you mean vodka.

As I've been festooning the tree and Angry Johnny, I've been indulging my weakness for kitschy Christmas music. Between my Ella Fitzgerald Christmas albums (one sacred, one profane), a Very Chris Issak Christmas and various loopy Christmas burblings from Sufjan Stevens, I've been listening to a 3 CD set called 'A Nostalgic Christmas', which was given to me last year by one of the ladies in my office who doesn't like me very much.

It's terrible. There's Rosemary Clooney tearing herself away her vast collection of prescription pill bottles just long enough to belt out 'Jingle Bells' and 'Little Drummer Boy'. Then there's Frank Sinatra meandering his way through 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing', with all the reverence you'd expect from a man having an adulterous affair with Ava Gardner. There's also 'A Christmas Message' by one Charles Taylor, although whether it's the murderous Liberian warlord or just some forgotten 1960s warbler I couldn't say.

The turgid music isn't the only disappointment in this boxed set. Frankly, it was put together with about as much care and diligence as a Big Mac ordered at 3am from a McDonalds in a bad part of town. I don't see how else one can explain 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' by Rosemary Clooney being Track 10 of CD 2 and Track 1 of CD 3. Or 'Suzy Snowflake', again by Rosemary Clooney, being Track 13 of CD2 and Track 10 of CD 3.

Clearly someone had the job of churning out some product, and nobody cared much how he or she did it.

However this dull yuletide cloud does at least have a silver lining; this CD set introduced me to one of the coolest, snappiest little Christmas songs ever. Behold the the swinging glory of 'Zat You Santa Claus?' by the inimitable Louis Armstrong.

It's both Track 5 of CD 2 and Track 5 of CD 3. Sheesh.