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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Saint Martin, The Popemobile and The Butcher

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Congratulations to Cardinal Camillio Doglione from Vatican City
who correctly identified the deliberate mistake in my last story.
A souvenir  “The Bucket …is… full of it “  tee shirt is now winging it’s way to Cardinal Doglioni.

The young lady revealed in my previous expose was of course NOT my neighbour.  She is Senior Research Fellow in Pneumatics at the University of Rome, as well as part-time aqua aerobics instructor for the Pontiff.

Today however, I would like to bore the living bejaysus  entertain you with two short stories about my REAL neighbour, Saint Martin of FOT.

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Introduction;  Mrs GOF and I live in a sparsely populated corner of the world. Our nearest, and only permanent neighbour for the last 29 years, Saint Martin of FOT, lives 800 metres away as the kookaburra flies, or 3 kilometres if the aforementioned kookaburra chose instead to walk and hop along the vehicular road.

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Story #1.

Saint Martin of FOT drives a small 4WD vehicle that, with a very small amount of modification in my farm workshop could easily be converted into a replica of the Popemobile. He almost unintentionally started this process on his previous vehicle a very long time ago when we were both young and moderately impoverished.

His ancient and severely-rusted-along-the-panel-joints Toyota Land Cruiser was vibrating and careening flat-chat down the steep dirt track heading towards civilisation when suddenly a large chunk of cabin decided to part company with the remainder of the truck.

It frisbeed upwards and backwards before crashing back onto the gravel road leaving Saint Martin of FOT speeding forth with his white knuckles holding onto the steering wheel for dear life. A howling gale was now rushing over his bald head, and his earlobe vortices generated contrails of condensed water vapour which funneled into the slipstream behind him.
 
Efficient brakes were just a long-lost memory for this old Land Cruiser and Saint Martin of FOT, during the kilometre that it required to come to a complete halt, philosophically concluded that this whole unfortunate incident was probably a sign from God that it was time to upgrade to a more reliable motor vehicle.

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Interlude;   Saint Martin is indeed almost a saint.
Whilst he does not have a particularly high opinion of himself, everyone I know holds him in high regard.
Saint Martin is a very gentle man (most of the time) and quite diminutive in stature (all of the time).

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Story #2.  One day, almost seventeen years ago now, Saint Martin of FOT accompanied me to a Bulk Meat Shop in Cairns.

Standing behind the counter was a mean-faced cleaver-meister who looked like Hulk Hogan’s twin brother whose staple diet could well have been steroids diluted only occasionally by slabs of barbecued tenderloin.  A very large man wearing a blue and white striped apron who was carrying a boning knife in a huge paw which occasionally twitched involuntarily, probably because his blood nicotine was at a dangerously low level. Either that, or he had anticipatory relief-tremors because his diet had caused him to be seriously constipated.

I asked politely for “two kilograms of rump steak please.”

The Hulk replied “This is a BULK butchery. Didst thou not readeth mine heiroglyph outside? I only dispense WHOLE rumps.”

Despite The Hulk’s almost biblical explanation of his trading terms, Saint Martin of FOT casually walked around the counter, reached up and grabbed The Hulk by the lapels of his Bulk Butchery shirt and promised him permanent physical damage if he did not immediately “supply my friend with the requested two kilograms of rump steak.”

The Hulk meekly proceeded to cut two kilograms off a whole rump before neatly wrapping it in plain white paper whilst apologising profusely to me for his previous outburst of bad manners.

Neighbours like Saint Martin of FOT are as scarce as hen’s teeth.

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One of these stories is based on fact, the other a summary of the most vivid dream which I have ever had in my life. Please take your pick as to which is which.

Occasionally dreams and real life are like two peas in a pod.

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I thought it wouldn’t go……….but……..

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THEN IT DID!!!!!

Dear Friends of The Bucket,
 
It is an astonishing world in which we live.
 
Today it is my pleasure to present this scholarly treatise detailing five examples of astonishment for your edification;
(The final one provides perhaps a little more detail than was entirely necessary in the circumstances.)

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1.    I thought that 8 wouldn’t go into 4. At least that’s what my Grade One teacher Miss Tong Wei taught me about arithmetic. She said that 4 goes into 8 alright, but there’s no way that 8 will go into 4 because 8 is bigger than 4 and therefore it just won’t go…….

……but then it did……two years later in Grade 3, Mr Bull showed us that 8  WILL go into 4 and what we ended up with was something called a Fraction.

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2.  I thought that an incompetent nincompoop wouldn’t ever go and get elected to the most powerful and influential political office in the world……..

……but then one did and what we ended up with was something called  A Slightly Greater-Than-Normal Global Shambles.

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3.  I thought that a feral pig wouldn’t ever go and root around at night in my potting mix pile which was protected by wire mesh, sheets of iron and flashing solar lights ……..

……but then one did and we ended up with something called a Pissed-off Mad-as-frickin-hell Gun-totin’ Night-patrolling GOF.

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4.    I thought that a plucked chicken wouldn’t go and fit up the backside of a dead duck prior to both of them in turn being shoved all the way up a deceased turkey’s arse before the whole unnatural bloody mess was inserted into a hot oven to cook for 6 hours………

……but then one did and we ended up with something called a Turducken.

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5.    I thought that my neighbour wouldn’t go and fit into a minuscule bikini……..

…….but then she did, and what we ended up with was something called Excellent Viewing.

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The Undara Lava Tubes

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Another ‘Learning Through Activity’ initiative for Primary School children from The Bucket’s Education Department.

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Hello boys and girls.

Grandpa GOF here again, and today we are going to learn all about Australia’s awesome Undara Lava Tubes. When you finish reading this I’ll show you how to do an experiment at home to demonstrate how it all came about.

Handsome young man and his beautiful daughter in a lava tube

190,000 years ago in the Cainozoic Era, slightly before God was invented and well before Pythagoras discovered the lost hypotenuse, the small volcano Undara made a liar out of all the highly-paid Vulcanologists who had been pretending for years that they knew what was going to happen.

Undara suddenly spewed lava at the rate of 1000 cubic metres every second which is like, well you know, it’s like a really really awesome and cool amount of lava except that it was like really really hot, like 1200 degrees Celsius which is like enough to singe your grandma’s moustache at a really really long distance of like 5 miles or something.

In total 23 cubic kilometres of lava flowed out of the Undara volcano following one dry creek bed 90 km to the North, and another 160 km to the North-West.
As it flowed, the outer layers cooled and crusted over while the hot lava inside continued to flow out, leaving these really cool massive tunnels for us to explore today.

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Practical experiment  (wait till Mom and Dad go out first)

1. Clear the kitchen table. This will now represent the surface of the Earth around Undara.

2. Spread the best tablecloth you can find over the table. We will now call this tablecloth “granite” for the surface of the earth here was already covered with granite rock before the lava flow.

3. Find two of Mom’s best and strongest cups. Turn them upside down on the floor and place two table legs on top of them. See, now the earth and it’s granite layer  have a slope towards the North.

3. Collect all the dry ingredients you can find in the pantry.
Flour, rice, sugar, pasta, salt, cocoa….it doesn’t matter…..just empty them all out onto the table, mix them up with some water then mould them into the shape of the countryside with a volcano near the top and a valley leading down towards the bottom.

4. Somewhere near the back of the kitchen cupboard you will find a large container of Treacle or Golden Syrup. If you can’t find it then honey or maple syrup will do. Tip all the contents of the container onto the top of the volcano. See how fast it flows down the valley? Now, if you quickly grind up some ice cubes in the food processor and sprinkle it all over the top of your lava you can actually make your own lava tubes.

5. If Mom or Dad are surprised at what they find when they get home, just tell them that it was all your very own idea and that you’ve just scientifically demonstrated the plasticity of flowing lava and the creation of lava tubes.

They will be so proud of what you have just done, although it may not be immediately apparent.

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Now, here’s some other cool stuff you can see at Undara Lava Tubes.

Queensland bottle tree

Totally cute Antilopine wallaroos

Extremely attractive tour guide pointing out extensive savanna woodland

You can stay in 2-person or 4-person tents

Or refurbished old railway carriages

The problem with GOF (this time)

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Each year when my daughter returns home for holidays after working in that God-forsaken windblown frigid southern extremity of Australia known as Melbourne, I fritter away all my perfectly good blogging time by going bushwalking with her, visiting interesting new places, or discussing life and the condition of the planet over glasses of wine.

Furthermore, she invades and occupies The Bucket Headquarters and engages a squadron of man-hating combat cassowaries just to guard the entrance and make sure that “all this stupid blogging business of yours GOF”  comes to a grinding halt for the duration of her occupation.

The Bucket Headquarters

“Comments” for this story have been turned “off”.

We don’t want to open the floodgates for “The problem with GOF” remarks.

Do we!

Nor do we need to allow Inga the right of reply and the opportunity to modify this truthful historical record when she discovers next week what I have written today.

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The GofChef Cooking Show

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Sir Les

Today The Bucket welcomes senior English Expression students from Sir Les Patterson’s  Finishing School for Refined Young Ladies. They will be attempting to sniff out a few subtle examples of sarcasm which I have delicately and almost imperceptibly woven into the fabric of the following story.

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One of the most magnificent achievements of Australia’s technological development during the last 60 years must surely be it’s commercial free-to-air television network.

John Logie Baird and Philo Farnsworth probably whack their decomposing crania into the lids of their coffins in unison on the hour, every hour of every day, attempting to provide standing ovations for what we have done with their inventions.

101 reasons why I  love commercial television;

(Marry me if you want to hear all 101…..here’s some samples;)

#11.  Impartial political reporting.

#22.  Unbiased science-based commentaries focussing on the ecological health of our planet and an emphasis on good-news stories whilst doggedly resisting all the sensational alternatives.

#39.  Andie MacDowell is pure poetry in motion as she flounces her bouncy unreal L’oreal tresses in my face nineteen times daily……for the twentieth year in a row. She is the inspiration for my own utterly gorgeous coiffure.

#48.  The sincerity and genuine concern for my personal health shown by infomercial presenters.  For example, it is truly humbling that George Foreman is worried about the condition of my arteries and that Justin Beiber with all his worldly experience has discovered a miraculous cure for my dodgy skin complexion costing just $30 per month for the rest of my life.

#51.  The American chick with the foghorn motor-mouth who urges me to rotate myself back and forth and round and round on an AbCircle Pro machine until I’m so giddy that I will probably need to seek refuge by disappearing up into my own cloaca is such a joy to have as company in my living room every evening.

#66.  The sheer genius of modern television technicians who have the abilty to superimpose advertising graphics over critical moments in a game of football and the dirty bits of movies, along with the magic of compressing film credits down to the unreadable bottom one inch of the screen in order to fit Katy Perry and her gaping massive rampant pustular exploding zits into the top 21 inches.

#99  Shy and sensitive, quietly spoken introverted Scary Spice  hosting Dancing With the Stars and advertising Jenny Craig.

All in all I have only one tiny criticism of commercial TV stations;

They broadcast an insufficient number of cooking shows.

(At this point my dear reader, if you’re still here, it may well have occurred to you that there is a very thin line indeed which separates a higher-education tutorial for girls and………well……
just an old-fashioned rant.)

I wish to address this programming deficiency by submitting a pilot for my very own cooking show which I expect will probably be snapped up for syndication by at least one of the major Australian networks before it inevitably gains global recognition.

The script for Episode One follows…..this is my very own favourite French recipe.

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Dauphin a la Buckeť

The following quantities will serve an entire convention of my blog friends…..you are all cordially invited to gather around my garden fountain (which features a life-size marble statue of Elle MacPherson dressed up as an Eskimo) on June 31st this year.

Ingredients;

One medium-sized dauphin  (at the time of writing I recommend fresh product from the Gulf of Mexico….remove head, fins, tail and all cancerous lesions before filleting)
Seven medium knobs of rasta.
Thirty one fresh unpeeled green gumptions.
Two lacks of daisical.
One large lump of Scary Spice.
Essence of Clostridium. (often difficult to source, but try your local Indian restaurant)

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Marinate the fillets overnight in Bolivian sombrero sauce into which the knobs of rasta have been finely grated and gently stirred.

Saute the fillets lightly before popping them into a Blasco saucepan (preferably with a glaspol lid) then sprinkle the diced (6mm) gumptions and daisicals on top with a clockwise movement of your right hand. Cook in a moderate industrial blast furnace for 20 minutes.
 
While waiting, please humanely tie up that unpalatable Scary Spice   like a turkey ready for basting, stuff it in a hessian sack and send it back to the United Kingdom where it belongs.  

Plate-up the dish with gastronomic flair (four or five sprigs will do) then drizzle one tablespoon of clostridium essence over the top.

Serve with an audacious racy little Madonna Merlot.

Bon apetit.

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Now if you’ll just excuse me, I need to take a Xanax and have a good lie down.  Please wake me up when Scary Spice is safely (or otherwise) back in England.

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The Port of Life

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Queenslanders, unlike most other Australians refer to suitcases as “ports”, possibly derived from the French “portmanteau” (cloak carrier)

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The Port of Life……..a little poem by GOF

The young boy’s port of life
Was light, with just a few
Things like a pocket knife
To carve, as boys will do.

Some dreams and hope for what
In future lay unknown.
They didn’t weigh a lot,
But grew like acorns sown.

It also held some things
From fairy tales he’d heard
Rapunzel’s hair and Kings
Back then didn’t sound absurd.

God filled his port with weight
Of guilt and heavenly scorn
For sins added since the date
That little boy was born.

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The young man’s port o’erflowed
With confidence and knowledge
Deceptive seeds he’d sowed
Illusions gained from college.

Life with too much fiction,
A juvenile facade,
So with silent benediction
He dumped them… wasn’t hard.

The fairy tales went first.
No “happy ever after’
Unless you seek and thirst
Compromise and laughter.

God was the next to go.
With all His threats as well.
The world he came to know
Didn’t need a place called Hell.

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The old man’s port is worn.
Tattered from all the years.
‘Tis not something to mourn
Or shed too many tears.

The contents not to show
The public, or display.
It protects the things I know.
Wisdom gained along the way.

In secret pockets hide
Memories, some regret,
Of loved ones who have died.
Kept lest he should forget.

Old mans port overflows
With gifts from life he led.
Only he ever knows.
With his eyes only read.

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More complaints

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Primrose Cottage,
13 Gladioli Crescent,
Bristol.  U.K.
20th April 2012

Dear Mr GOF,

I find you to be a very common and tedious little man. Your gift to literature is comparable to The Duchess of York’s contribution to good taste and the dignity of our beloved British Royal Family.
I suppose some fragments of your blog may be considered mildly amusing by a minority of lower-class descendant-of-convict Antipodean readers despite my judgment that you are unrefined, coarse and extremely vulgar. What I find especially irksome is the frequency with which you choose to resolve contemporary problems by resorting to primitive instincts and the use of explosive devices.

Disappointedly yours,

Lady Penelope Mountshaft.

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Primrose Cottage.....30th April 2012

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On a much brighter note, one valued, observant, perceptive, intelligent, beautiful and impeccably well-bred close relative wrote regarding my ‘illustrations’;

(Editors note;  Another puff of air into GOF’s balloon of hope to eventually be placed into a humanely managed old folks home.)

“GOF, some of your helicopters lack landing gear”

Thank you Inga for bringing this omission to my attention.
In future, to comply with Aviation Authority operational requirements, all my helicopters will have landing gear…..of one sort or another.

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P.S.  No Lady Mountshafts, innocent bystanders, dogs, cats, sqwerls or sloths were hurt in the preparation of this story.