Monday, 8 December 2008

Is This Funny?

Something happened and I wanted to check to see if I'm the only one who thinks this is funny.

Last week, the company I work for hosted a number of events this week as part of Don't DIS my ABILITY, a celebration of people with disabilities, part of International Day of People with a Disability. It was pretty cool, especially the morning when the lobby was full of puppies that were being trained to become seeing-eye dogs and helper dogs. Very impressive what these dogs can do. But I digress ...

On Friday, they were handing out goody bags at lunch time with printed information about people with disabilities (some of it I already knew about and some was surprisingly interesting) and some little pressies. For example, my boss's Disability Week goody bag had a 'safe' candle in it, a plastic candle with a battery inside it. The candle lights up when the base is turned one way and goes out when you turn the base the other way.

My Disability Week goody bag had a pedometer in it. That didn't work. So I got the battery replaced and it still doesn't work. So, to summarise, for International Day of People with a Disability, I got a pedometer that has a permanent disability.

OK, maybe I'm the only person who thinks that is funny ...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Jewish Haiku

My thanks to Shirley for these. --MG


Lacking fins or tail
The gefilte fish swims with
Great difficulty.


Beyond Valium,
Peace is knowing one's child
Is an internist.


On Passover we
Opened the door for Elijah
Now our cat is gone.


After the warm rain
The sweet smell of camellias
Did you wipe your feet?


Her lips near my ear,
Aunt Sadie whispers the name
Of her friend's disease.


Today I am a man.
Tomorrow I will return
To the seventh grade.


Testing the warm milk
On her wrist, she sighs softly.
But her son is forty.


The sparkling blue sea
Reminds me to wait an hour
After my sandwich.


Like a bonsai tree,
Is your terrible posture
At my dinner table.


Jews on safari --
Map, compass, elephant gun,
Hard sucking candies.


The same kimono
The top geishas are wearing:
I got it at Loehmann's.


Mom, please! There is no
Need to put that dinner roll
In your pocketbook.


Seven-foot Jews in
The NBA slam-dunking!
My alarm clock rings.


Sorry I'm not home
To take your call. At the tone
Please state your bad news.


Is one Nobel Prize
So much to ask from a child
After all I've done?


Today, mild shvitzing.
Tomorrow, so hot you'll plotz.
Five-day forecast: feh


Yenta. Shmeer. Gevalt.
Shlemiel. Shlimazl. Meshug anah
Oy! To be fluent!


Quietly murmured
At Saturday Synagogue services,
Yanks 5, Red Sox 3.


A lovely nose ring,
Excuse me while I put my
Head in the oven.


Hard to tell under the lights.
White Yarmulke or
Male-pattern baldness

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Obama's Loss Traced to Non-Voter

Just too funny! Thanks, Carol.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

The Dreaded ManFlu

Women sometimes feel that we are the disadvantaged ones ... we tend to earn less than men ... we carry a disproportionate amount of carer responsibilities ... we are more likely to be the victims of domestic violence. But all that pales to insignificance in the face of The Dreaded ManFlu.

I have never understood the suffering that men have to endure once they fall victim to ManFlu. My husband suffered from it from time to time, as even the strongest men will do, and I showed a remarkable lack of sympathy.

During one particularly trying bout of ManFlu, I suggested that my husband would be better off in hospital. He told me that Royal North Shore Hospital simply wasn't equipped to deal with such a debilitating and virulent strain of ManFlu. It would be safer for the staff, patients and, indeed, the general public if he stayed at home in bed. In hindsight, given recent headlines featuring RNSH in a very uncomplimentary light, I have to admit that he probably wasn't too far wrong.

Another time, after a rather prolonged bout of whinging and wimpering requests for succor, I simply lost the plot and handed him his AMEX card and the phone, saying "QANTAS flights land and take off every day. Call your mother and get her out here!"

"But, Mag," he barely had the strength to whisper, "I need your love and tender care to get me through this."

To which, I replied, as kindly as I could manage while looking him straight in the eye, "Honey, you are gonna die."

You won't be too surprised when I tell you that that marriage ended in divorce.

But the intense suffering of the victims of ManFlu was again brought to my attention recently when some of the guys at work came down with it. One by one, they fell victim to more pain and suffering than any individual outside of Guantanamo Bay or a Super Tuesday state should be forced to endure.

The fact that I've been sick with flu for two weeks and missed a couple of days of work seems to count for very little. I was informed by a particularly acute sufferer of ManFlu that ManFlu germs (or virus ... the victims barely have the strength to debate that one) are so highly evolved that they won't even try to infect a Mere Woman. It would surely kill her instantly and, if women started dying at the obviously high rates that would result from ManFlu infection, that could put the entire species at risk, including future generations of men. And where would that leave the ManFlu?

Clever bastards, these ManFlu germs.

I confess that I have been enjoying their suffering more than I should. Particularly the special kind of Male Measuring Ritual that accompanies ManFlu: the comparison of symptoms to see who is sicker or suffering more or closer to imminent and painful death. The first liar doesn't stand a chance. There is barely a dry eye in the house ... from anyone listening to them carry on.

But, from what I gather, the ManFlu germs mutate almost constantly, pushing their victims to new heights of misery and suffering. And the only way to ensure that they can survive is for we Mere Women to show them the sympathy and the compassion that they so richly deserve.

Gentlemen, you are gonna die.

Update 14 August 2008: It has been pointed out that I have been remiss in giving credit where credit is due. I would like to thank Rob Creek for inspiring this post. Without his pain and suffering, the world would have been a much duller place.

You will be relieved to know that he has not only made a miraculous recovery from The Dreaded Man Flu, but completed the City to Surf with a very respectable time and will be running in the top group in next year's race.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Irritating Catholics

World Youth Day kicks off here in Sydney soon and the preparations are now in full swing. It is expected to be bigger than the Olympics or APEC. To keep the peace, our state parlaimentarians have passed a law that imposes a $5000 fine ($5500 including GST) for irritating Catholics. I'm not making this up ... read it for yourself.

You have to admire politicians for passing a law making it illegal to be irritating. I personally didn't think that they had it in them, especially our state premier, Morris Iemma or any one of his front benchers. Of course, the irony is probably lost on them completely. But the voters know.

And who else would citizens of a democracy so meekly give up our civil rights for? Muslims? Hindus? No, only Catholics. And, yes, we could invest that $90million in the future of everyone in New South Wales and spend it on schools, hospitals, roads, the poor, the mentally ill. But no, we'll spend it on venues and security and road closures for 5 days in July. So many young people ... so few condoms. The mind boggles.

One of my favourite stores, REMO, has set up their web site to allows anyone to design their own Tshirt to commemorate this big event and the rest of us to vote on our favourites. You can even buy one of your very own.

In keeping with that long standing Australian tradition of thumbing your nose at those in positions of authority ... what can I say, it's a convict colony thing ... some of my fellow REMO fans have taken advantage of this to create Tshirts ranging from very positive to wickedly clever. Check it out.

My personal favourites? The Pope Mobile, Annoying Catholics, Closed and Sydney Popera House. They are also some of the most popular ones, voted on here.

And, on the TV show, The Gruen Transfer, they asked some advertising executives for some slogans for the Pope's visit. And here's what they came up with.

Where are the Chasers when you need them?

Monday, 24 March 2008

7 Deadly Sins Just Aren't Enough

Ah, the good old days, when there were only 7 deadly sins according to our friends at The Vatican — lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride — regularly practices by governments, corporations and individuals alike. Life was so simple then.

Now, for the first time in 1,500 years, The Vatican has provided an updated list. After all, sin is a slow moving target and needs proper reflection and consideration. I'm not an expert, but here is my take on The New Deadly Sins.

  1. Genetic Modification. You don't have to look too far past animal husbandry and agronomy to find that, as a species, we are all guilty of this one. And the edict that Catholics can only marry Catholics hasn't helped here. Of course, this probably refers to the kind that they object to, not the other kinds.
  2. Carrying Out Experiments on Humans. Well, this one is a bit of a No Brainer. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone of good reputation who would actually advocate that. Unless, of course, they mean social experimentation which is a common theme for Church and State alike. Or polluting the local environment about an oil field or nuclear power plant or large industrial complex for years and years and then coming back in a couple of generations to see what's happened to the locals. But that, again, probably isn't the kind they object to.
  3. Polluting the Environment. Let's not take the easy way out and refer back to New Sin #2. You gotta admire their claiming the high moral ground on this one. I probably missed the announcement that the Church has completed a review of its rather diverse and extensive financial portfolio of investments around the world and moved away from financially lucrative but ecologically destructive investments into a rather impressive green portfolio. I really should pay better attention.
  4. Causing Social Injustice. I am reminded of the line from Fawlty Towers: "Don't mention the war. I did, but I think I got away with it." While there have been areas where The Church has been a strong, and sometimes lone, advocate of social justice. But their efforts are not always consistent and their record is by now means unstained. Aside from their rather questionable activites during World War II, they have supported a number of repressive governments over the years and missed opportunities to promote and reward social justice. Pretty much like the rest of us, actually.
  5. Causing Poverty. I found this one interesting because there isn't really agreement on the underlying causes of poverty, even among Catholic charities who work with the poorest of the poor. And I doubt that there will ever be agreement because that would mean that someone (government, corporation or institution) would have to take responsibility for their contribution to the problem. I do like this New Sin, because it provides a nice symmetry with the next New Sin.
  6. Becoming Obscenely Wealthy. I'm guessing that the trick here is to already be obscenely wealthy and that the sin is in the 'becoming' part. It appears that even The Church doesn't have the cajones to claim that obscene wealth is a sin. Their spin doctors get full marks for this one. You do realise that, by committing the sin of becoming obscenely wealthy, you could buy a really big indulgence from The Church and your soul would once again be as clean as the day you were born. A win-win really.
  7. Taking Drugs. I'm am, once again, reading between the lines here, but guess that they mean illegal drugs and not medicines or legal drugs like tobacco, coffee and alcohol. Again, I gotta wonder who, in their right mind would advocate taking drugs unless they were going to reap the financial rewards from drug taking. Which would bring about New Sins #2, 4, 5 and 6. And result in some of those Old Sins coming back to the fore. Maybe we needed this one to make up the numbers.
And they say that The Catholic Church doesn't have a sense of humour ...

You could argue that these New Sins are really just the present day expression of our old favourites — lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride — with a slightly self-serving spin. I guess in 1,500 hundred years, we haven't really changed all that much. And our institutions (governments, corporations and religious bodies) will never be any better than we are.