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Thursday, July 21, 2011

In this lesson, you shall learn...

A tweet from Sir Tessa (not sure I should post her actual id or even her name so I shall play it relatively safe) has prompted this post.

"Protip: always confirm the presence of toilet paper committing to a cubicle"

Words of wisdom indeed.

This made me think not just of my own proclivity in trying to ensure at least some source of paper is to hand (surprising how well an old supermarket docket can do the deed), but also of one of the slightly more bizarre methods I have learned of in the past.

Back in the day, I was in the SAS (Saturdays and Sundays). That's right - I was a proud serving member of that august body dedicated to defending our right to get shitfaced in the mess, the Australian Army Reserve.

Now like all good little footsloggers, I put on my 'L' plates and toddled off to recruit camp (what the Seppos call Boot Camp). There I learned the use of the special toilet paper that came as part of the ration packs issued to you when going bush. This special toilet paper was shiny, tough and made far better writing paper than it did a bum-wiper. The number twos did not so much get wiped off as pushed around from one spot to another if used in the conventional manner.

You see, there was a special trick to using this toilet paper.

It came already folded in half. The trick was to then tear a small square from the middle of said folded sheet of toilet paper.

Now place that small square safely to one side - don't lose it as it plays a particularly important function.

Unfold the square of arse-wiper and stick your index finger through the hole so it is sticking up out of said square.

Proceed to wipe your bum-crack with your index finger. Once said crack is sufficiently wiped to your satisfaction, pull the paper back up your finger, wiping it clean.

All done.

Oh, and the little torn-out square I told you to save? Use that to wipe under your fingernail.

Ahhhh the joys of serving your nation!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Return of the cultural cringe?

Remember those 'good' old days when we Australians had this terrible cultural cringe about our own inadequacies? At least those in charge of the arts thought so. The best example was that of the theatre - a major production could not go ahead unless a 'name' was imported from the US or Britain to play the lead.

It seems those bad old days are not so far behind us as we all thought.

Not long ago, the Red Roughy aka Prime Minister Julia Gillard, embarrassingly grovelled to the US Congress, tearfully exclaiming that the US can do anything, like some sort of overly-excited six-year old having just met her favourite member of The Wiggles.

Then we had Oprah bring her show to Australia. Oh, the things this was going to do for the Australian economy. Nay-sayers were howled down. This was Oprah, people - Oprah!

Except now the figures are starting to come in.

The Australian taxpayer coughed up some $5 million to bring Oprah and her show out. Heavens knows how much Oprah, her organisation and the television network made out of it all. But it wasn't just Oprah, it was the grand lady herself along with 92 companions. Read the list of freebies handout out to them during a short, three-day visit to Melbourne alone.

But this was Oprah, people - Oprah! The tourism dollars were going to start flooding in. Why, the tourism places were going to have to start buying new wheelbarrows to be able to cart all their takings off to the bank! This was going to be the biggest tourism bonanza since Paul Hogan conned the Seppos that we all waste good shrimp by throwing them on a barbie instead of the snags and chops! Oprah - Oprah!! squeeeeeeeeeeeee

Except - US tourism has actually dropped since then.

In other words, the Australian taxpayer was sold a super-size lemon. Perhaps not quite as big a lemon as the millions thrown away on a ridiculous bid for the FIFA World Cup. But that's another rant for another time.

Now this is not a dig at Oprah. Why wouldn't she make the trip? After all, it wasn't costing her damn thing. I doubt we shall ever know exactly what the Oprah machine made out of it all. But it was Australian authorities who thought it was such a brilliant idea that they just threw money at her.

Just like the bad old days, now we are apparently unable to sell the touristic delights of our own country without someone being imported to do it for us. And now, just as then, it is a load of crap.

I am left wondering, just who on the Australian side of things made money on the deal? Obviously not the tourism industry!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The medical crap continues

Well, the medical crap still keeps going.

After the assurances that my aneurism was suitable for being treated by a far less-invasive procedure and then going through the surgeon doing nothing with the file for a full month rather than referring it to the hospital that could do that particular procedure. It turns out that the aneurism is not suited to said procedure, so all that delay was completely pointless.

When a senior hospital administrator called me to resolve the mess, almost a month ago, I made it very clear that in the event of the procedure not being suited, I wanted another surgeon. But, as usual, my wishes were ignored. I have been pretty much told I have to go see this surgeon. So I have to go for a further review in a week's time. It is only four days short of two months since I first saw this clown and frankly we absolutely no further ahead with treatment of what he assures me is a serious matter requiring attention.

I am being treated for a couple of other things as well. The doctor looking after one has been wanting to increase my medication for about two months now. But the medication could potentially increase my blood pressure which would be a rather irresponsible thing to do with an untreated aneurism in my brain. So now I have been unable to be properly treated for this other condition because of the hospital's irresponsibility.

So here's a question - who is responsible if the aneurism crashes while the wait for treatment continues? Or if the other condition becomes even worse because of the forced delay in treating it properly?