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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Virgin drabble

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The Complete History of Planet Earth

(A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words)

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Someone or something created Planet Earth a really long time ago.

Adam and Eve emerged from the ocean, and had to cover their private parts with fig leaves to stop them getting sunburnt before they could use them.

Because they kept these parts in good condition there were eventually ten billion of their descendants on Earth spewing tons of toxic crap into the land, air and water.

In the twenty second century an enormous explosion of pollutant gases made the Earth vanish.

All that remains are fifty billion grotesque human body parts orbiting the sun.

Only one clairvoyant predicted this.

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This is my first drabble, and in the interests of good taste it should probably also be my last.
For many finely crafted drabbles please visit GOM’s blog.

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Some smiles for the week

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Welcome mat

Missed the boat

Life is so unfair

Mathematical truth

The happy cyclist

Can someone please tell me where I can buy one of these.

Black hole…..with white stripes

Too old to dance?

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Last year 43 year-old Richard Fuller was forcibly removed from a Cold Chisel rock concert in Townsville after dancing in the aisles.
A magistrate subsequently fined him $450 (it seems young Richard might have overexuberantly resisted the security guards who were hauling him out of the venue) and then dismissed him from the court with “You are too old to dance, Mr Fuller.”

(actual Video footage here)

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Well root my boots*.   I smell a conspiracy.

Older friends of The Bucket will remember that Richard is not the first ancient sacrificial dancing lamb.

Three years ago I also found myself in a spot of bother on my one-man dance extravaganza  “M. C. Screwdriver”  tour of retirement villages down the eastern coast of Australia.

M. C. Screwdriver

It wasn’t my fault that a slight wardrobe malfunction at the Gosford Senior Ladies Lawn Bowls Club resulted in twenty matronly sheilas from the front rows running squealing and gesticulating out the nearest exit with their knickers in knots down to the local constabulary.

Well, last Saturday Richard made his comeback and he was accorded hero status at the inaugural Not Too Old To Dance Comeback Concert in Townsville.  (story and short clip here)
I wish Richard a long life full of happiness and dancing.

In fact, as my two years probation for lewd and lascivious behaviour has now expired, I might resume the nationwide dance tour from where it was so rudely interrupted if Richard would like to take over as headline act.  I am no longer quite as lithe and limber as I was in 2009 so I might just play a minor supporting role this time. Something involving audience participation perhaps.

Like juggling some flaming swords and a chainsaw.

What could possibly go wrong this time.

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* “Root my boots” = Aussie exclamation of exasperation.

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Sermon; Performance enhancement

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In the beginning God created a wheel unto which man joined sticks with a receptacle on top and verily called it a wheelbarrow.

The Lord looked down upon the wheelbarrow and was mightily pleased so he rewarded the industry of man by sending two different wheels for man to build a bicycle, whereupon man himself was filled with joy everlasting and copied the wheels, and made millions of bicycles which he used to spread enlightenment further and faster all over the world wherever the land was flat, and without trees and rocks and nails and mud and rivers.

And it came to pass that the fastest rider of them all was Lance, the son of Armstrong, so the Lord interceded and spake directly unto Lance;  “Thou shalt ride over the mountains of Europe to the east for ten days and then return unto the shade of the Eiffel tree in the west. Unto thee I will provide secret potions and herbs for you to imbibe so that thou shalt be the fastest man in all the land for seven more years.”

But after seven years had passed the Lord looked down and saw that Lance was not humble and that he was filled with belligerence and untruth and greed and desire so He ignored Lance and spake instead unto a faithful disciple who was also a tabloid journalist;   “Pssst,…. God here…….unto thee alone I present this scoop of unprecedented proportions”  following which came the day of judgment for Lance, and the name of Armstrong didst stink forever after like someone elses baby’s poo.


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Please tell me why it’s so.

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A heartwarming little poem about an elder responding
to a child’s curiosity about the world.

Oh Grandpa GOF please tell me.
Please tell me why it’s so,
That stars twinkle in the sky
And the moon doth mellow glow.

The stars are angel’s glitter
And the moon is cheddar cheese.
These things were made to please us
Child, like scent upon the breeze.

Oh Grandpa GOF please tell me.
Please tell me why it’s so,
That whales sing such haunting songs
In the oceans deep below.

Their wailing shows the sorrow
For ancestors wise and loyal.
All murdered by us humans
For their blubber and their oil.

Oh Grandpa GOF please tell me
Please tell me why it’s so.
That flowers bloom for just a while
Then die when hot winds blow.

The inflorescence reminds us
That good things just don’t last.
But beauty always reappears
When the bad times have passed.

Oh Grandpa GOF please tell me.
Please tell me why it’s so.
That Cousin Billy comes no more
To seek wisdom you bestow.

Your Uncle won’t allow it since
Last week when I tried to nap,
Billy kept asking questions so
I just duct taped shut his trap.


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The pursuit of Marilyn

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Memories of Dookie Agricultural College 1965-67

Times have changed.  Australia no longer values agricultural education and many of it’s colleges and research stations have been closed.  I retain fond memories of my alma mater and there remains a strong bond between my classmates to this day.
We share something very special.  Australians call it mateship.

The residential college on 6000 acres of land was located 20 miles from the nearest town of Shepparton.  As 16 – 22 year-olds most students possessed drivers licences and a few even owned cars.  (Indeed the college provided driving lessons and licence testing as part of the curriculum.)

However, possession of any of the following items on campus could result in immediate expulsion.

1. A car
2. Alcohol
3. A girl, having been, or in the throes of being, or even in the vague hope of being, biblically known.

You might think that 200 young men confined in such circumstances would revolt against the system, but the 1960’s in rural Australia were much simpler times.  There were no recreational drugs.  I was not even aware that such things existed.  The only electronic devices were a communal black and white television in the dormitory common room, and our own transistor radios.
There was just one telephone for student’s incoming calls and a couple of public payphones.

Hitchhiking was our primary means of travel, to Shepparton or Benalla on weekends, or longer trips home during holidays.

Dookie College blazer…after 47 years the blazer is in far better condition than the model. Made by “Ashmans of Bendigo, The home of better suits. This garment is the work of skilled hand-craftsman”

The distinctive Dookie College blazer was recognised by motorists throughout Northern Victoria, and although it was a long walk to get to the Midland Highway, once there we were guaranteed rides to almost anywhere in the State.

There were six agricultural colleges in Australia’s eastern States
(Roseworthy, Longerenong, Dookie, Wagga, Hawkesbury and Gatton) separated by a distance of 1500 miles, and an intense rivalry existed between them in two fields of human endeavour;

A.  Inter-collegiate sports held annually.
B. The pursuit of Marilyn.

I have no idea how these Marilyn shenanigans commenced, but by 1965 they were well established.

When I arrived at Dookie there was a framed print of the famous Marilyn Monroe 1953 Playboy Magazine photograph hanging in the dormitory common room.  Junior students were instructed to guard the picture against theft because it had become traditional for other colleges to mount expeditions at unexpected times to steal the picture as a mark of collegiate superiority.

The picture vanished from Dookie soon afterwards and students at Wagga Agricultural College in New South Wales advised that they now had possession.  The only rule was that the picture had to be hung in the publicly accessible common room of each college, so a car (illegal expulsion-threatening) load of Dookie boys then drove many hours through the night, stole the picture back, and were rewarded with hero status upon their return.  We all once again basked under the warm glow of Marilyn’s magnificence until some other little bastards came and stole it once more.

During my three years at Dookie, Marilyn traveled thousands of miles around Australia in the grasp of some of the finest specimens of young Aussie manhood imaginable.

These were times of simple pleasures, many of which will come to light and be magnified tenfold at our 50th anniversary reunion in 2015.

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Dookie College staff 1965

Dookie College float being prepared for Melbourne’s Moomba Parade circa 1966.

Dookie cricketing legends….or NOT, as the case may be.

If only I knew back then……..

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Today just sorta snuck up on me disguised as one of the previous 23,375 days.

No doubt a couple of the usual suspects will fail to respect the dignity of the occasion and take the opportunity to poke fun at my senescence. The majority will however, in the spirit of generous charitable bloggery, send to me a gift from the following list to ease my misery, distress and utter despair.

Please send to GOF, c/- Church of the Ancient
and Bewildered, Queensland, Australia.


Walking cane/snake killing stick, heavy duty.
Metamucil (carton of 12 large tins)
Magnifying glass.
Anusol (pack of 24 tubes)
Voucher for funeral insurance.
Meat tenderiser.
Bib, large, plastic, preferably porridge colour.
Polident (bulk pack)
Subscription to Hot Grannies Magazine.
Bigger magnifying glass to suit perusal H.G.M.
Bladder enlarger, painless.
Neck chain for spectacles.
Neck chain for television remote control.
Neck chain for car keys.
Neck chain for wallet.
Neck chain for coffee mug.
Porsche, convertible, red.
Toupee, wind resistant to 250kph.
Pajamas, Homer Simpson print, wind resistant.

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And the following is my gift to you in return;
The Sydney Opera House Ship Song Project featuring some of Australia’s finest popular singing and dancing talent.

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P.S.  A daughter’s view of GOF’s birthday achievement may be found  HERE .

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Where did the road go?

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When Inga was an inquisitive little girl asking lots of tricky questions about life, Mrs GOF or I would occasionally answer “I don’t know.”  This response invoked criticism from the more highly educated mother next door who believed that parents should never reveal fallibility or uncertainty in front of their children.

(In this case I suspect her kids eventually discovered some previously unrevealed parental weaknesses after the family imploded shortly afterwards at Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh’s ashram in India.)

As a Dad I wish that I did always have the answers, and that whenever things inevitably went slightly pear-shaped for my children I could easily “make it all better again.”

Today my little girl is all “growed up” and recently she blogged about “How did I turn thirty without realising what I want to do with my life”(here)
(Reading through the responses warms my heart with appreciation of the quality friends we have made on Vox and WordPress.)

I suspect many people feel the same way as Inga as they travel through life. After all it’s often very difficult to be objective when selecting itineraries best suited for ourselves from the multitude of options available.

The route to happiness and contentment is rarely an Appian Way stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see. Sometimes it involves being stuck in some unfamiliar favela and trying to find a way out of the maze of alleyways into more comfortable territory.
I’ve been there myself.

When I was Inga’s age I had to put the cleaners through my own life; terminating a toxic personal relationship and making a stand against having my working life dominated by bureaucratic bullshit.
I left the job I loved in Papua New Guinea and moved to the Australian bush. Few people have bothered me ever since.

The Highway of Destiny has been good to me but as retirement age and diminished physical capacity loom ever closer I can see another confusing roundabout coming up on my horizon.

One possible solution offered by Inga for herself was that of  “Spiritual Enlightenment”.   Maybe lots of Gen X’s and Y’s will need to follow this path.  If so, I think I’ve just found a way to avoid my own upcoming identity crisis;
How does Bhagwan Sri Gof sound to you?
Would anyone like to donate my first Rolls Royce?

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Inga, you are in very good company as you search for the answers which you will ultimately find within yourself.
From John Denver’s “Sweet Surrender”…..

Lost and alone on some forgotten highway.
Traveled by many, remembered by few.
Looking for something that I can believe in,
Looking for something that I’d like to do with my life.

There’s nothing behind me and nothing that ties me
To something that might have been true yesterday.
Tomorrow is open and right now it seems to be more
Than enough to just be here today.

I don’t know what the future is holding in store.
I don’t know where I’m going, I’m not sure where I’ve been.
There’s a spirit that guides me, a light that shines for me.
My life is worth living, I don’t need to see the end.

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