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And then there was television

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“The Lord saw that man was as a lost sheep in the desert and that his eyes were shrouded with boredom, and his habits filled with slothfulness, so it came to pass that He sent unto his earthly children a kinescope in a box which He verily called a ‘television’.

And lo, the television fell upon fertile ground and within it grew sustenance for the soul of mankind such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s island, Bugs Bunny, John Wayne, and Daisy Duke.”

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House of GOF
December 20  2012

Dear God,

It seems you made an awful mistake.  Television is now almost a complete mind-numbing waste of time for two reasons;

1. Commercials

(a)  If I have to watch one more time that bastard (who has enough testosterone coursing around his veins to start World War 3) trying to sell me “53 stepladders in just one amazing unit’  I’ll scrape the dried blood and bovine testicular tissue off my old cattle emasculator and ensure that the twin sources of this aggravation shrivel up and drop off and render him speechless in all registers except soprano.

(b) There is a plague of funeral insurance advertisements featuring teary-eyed, whining, miserable, depressing and pathetic old actors being paid to give the impression of  “not wanting to burden the children with the cost of our funerals”.  

For God’s sake (sorry God) it is our responsibility and duty to burden them. It’s a lesson in life. We paid for their food, clothes, education, court costs and teenage abortions so the very least they can do is pay for our final barbecue. Besides, they know they’re going to get all the money back after they’ve ratted through our bank accounts and the hanging fern basket third from the left on the front porch.

2. Cooking shows

Oh shit, don’t even get me started God. Why did you allow all these idiots onto my small screen to boil, fry, bake, mash, roast, grill, saute, scramble and whisk our natural foods until they resemble something that came out of the arse end of an indiscriminately omnivorous cassowary?

Given your omnipresence and my appreciation of the finer things in life we both know that the only worthwhile cooking show is Foodie Planet hosted by journaliste culinaire Julie Andrieu.
I have included below some exquisite culinary highlights just for you, to counterbalance all the horrible things that you must see in your daily life as a deity……like pillaging and Lada cars and X factor.

Good luck with the end of the world tomorrow and I hope you will soon be able to find another job.

Yours Faithfully,


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Sermon on The Sign

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And the Lord didst descend from heaven and alight upon the crossbar of the “H” closely followed by His detachment of divine handmaidens.
He then preached a parable through his megaphone unto the distant horde of tourists milling behind the security gates with their Nikons and Canons pointing toward the HOLLYWOOD sign upon which He was standing.

He forthrightly denounced Tom Hanks as being a false prophet and spake unto the people thus;  “Life is NOT like a box of chocolates.”

“Thou shalt think of life as being like an automobile.  It begins with the coming together of a nut and a bolt in the sanctity of holy design, and from this sacred union of nut and bolt the automobile grows with every passing hour. It’s heart beats, valves open and close, and the vital fluids of it’s existence flow to every extremity, and when the time is come to full term the factory doors open wide and another brand new little bundle of consumptive joy issues forth into the world.”

“And from that very day onwards, it gets older, it deteriorates, and it falls apart until one day the entire creation dies and crumbles back into the earth from whence it came.”

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Despite the almighty amplification this message was not heard by anyone at all because it was carried away on an unpredicted forty knot crosswind.
God was not amused and declared  “Lo and behold, today’s weather forecasters will, on the Day of Judgment, pay dearly for this ineptitude.”

After reading God’s subsequent press release, the President of the American Meteorologists Association, Michael Hector-Pascal angrily responded;  “This is horseshit!  After all, the wind shear was simply the result of an Act of Himself.  If He and His flock of aerodynamically challenged angels had not plummeted from the heavens with such celestial terminal velocity as to cause a localised area of low atmospheric pressure, then these strong winds would not have eventuated.”

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Ohio, Joy Scroggs  (here on the left)  was curled up watching the television coverage. During the commercial break she unfurled her long shapely middle-aged legs, admired them, then gently ran an appreciative hand down her thigh, secretly wishing that GOF could be there to do it for her.
The news story of the moment interrupted this delicious erotic reverie, so Joy turned to her housemates and commented;
“It just goes to prove that passing wind and public speaking should be kept as two separate events.”

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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…’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… 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.


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 fate of Mr Pye

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Twenty six years ago Mrs GOF and I bought our first colour television set.

Being located off the electricity grid meant that we needed to find one which could be powered by a 12 volt battery.

The shops had a choice of one.

It was a trusted Pye brand, with an 8″ inch screen.
By today’s standards it was very heavy and bulky. And expensive!
It cost $650 in 1985, and at a time when I was earning around $100 per week it represented a major investment.

On December 6 this year, analogue television signals will be switched off in my neck of the woods.  For ever.

Mr Pye cannot be revived with a set-top box to receive digital TV because he possesses no auxuliary orifices into which I might shove some life-saving twenty-first century colour-coded cables.

Logic tells me I should throw Mr Pye out at the town dump.

No hesitation.  Just dump it GOF.

Sometimes logic can be a totally irrelevant and inappropriate commodity.  

This little television set has been a conduit for information, and a connection to the rest of my world for more than a quarter of a century.

It has entertained me, kept me company throughout the night during those times when I have been unwell and contributed to the person I have become and the things in which I believe.

It provided early literacy and numeracy skills for our little girl through the educational magic of Sesame Street.

David Suzuki spoke to me quite regularly from inside Mr Pye,
as did Peter Ustinov, Alan Alda and David Attenborough.
These people, and many others who were also much wiser and more highly educated than I taught me many things about life, our planet and the universe.

I watched the careers of Indian Sachin Tendulkar and Australian Adam Gilchrist adorn my beloved game of International cricket with the unique combination of exquisite skill, good sportsmanship, dignity and modesty that is now such a rarity amongst sportsmen of any code.

Sometimes I used to find John Denver inside my television.
He passionately and convincingly sang about the majestic beauty of  “Colorado, Rocky Mountain high…..I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”  
Less convincingly perhaps, Madonna nevertheless gyrated in a quite pleasing manner to announce that she was  “Like a vir-ir-ir-ir-gin, touched for the very first time.”

Then tragically, on days which I will never forget, John Denver died inside my little TV, as did my favourite Beatle George Harrison, and after briefly illuminating the world with a gentle ray of love and human kindness, Lady Diana also passed away in front of my moist eyes.

Nelson Mandela emerged from the darkness of racial prejudice and incarceration after 28 years, and through Mr Pye, conveyed his messages of forgiveness, equality and compassion and in doing so gave me a little glimmer of hope for the long-term future of mankind.

Unforgettably during the early years, Elle MacPherson was inside my television many times each day doing THIS!  and THIS!  In my present condition of advanced decrepitude and cardiac fragility watching these documents might prove to be life-threatening so I will therefore leave the viewing of this short historical footage for your eyeballs only.

Occasionally others would emerge from the depths of human ignorance and somehow get inside Mr Pye to begin preaching political or religious hatred and divisiveness.
Mr Pye’s “OFF” button never failed me once in 26 years.

I will not be taking Mr Pye to the dump today.

Or tomorrow.

Or ever.

Mr Pye

Smile for the camera

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1.  It is hard to avoid noticing the huge steps forward that mankind has made in state-of-the-art teeth whitening.

A varied assortment of middle aged and beyond celebrities are sporting mouths full of almost luminescent fangs with such gleaming intensity that I need to adjust the contrast controls on my television.

I become distracted and entranced by the behaviour and the magnificence of the teeth, rather than paying attention to whatever important message is being imparted by the owner.

Am I the only one who finds a certain incongruity when such shininess and brand spanking newness appears on someone who is not only just over the brow of the hill, but has almost reached Life Everlasting Creek way down on the other side?

It is almost equivalent to having a grandiose and ostentatious stainless steel picket fence constructed out the front of a vacant allotment which has been seriously eroded by time and weather, and overgrown by gorse and weeds.

I have an almost insatiable urge to grab hold of some miniature spray paint cans, get into my television, and do some serious tagging.

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A gem amongst the trash

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Commercial television in Australia lost my regular viewing presence quite a long time ago, (after Mary Murphy had broken my eardrums), with one final act of unforgivable bastardry.

It compressed the rolling credits at the end of The Simpsons down to quarter screen size where I was unable to read them, in order to fill the remaining space with one more inane advertisement.

At my age, the path of life ahead looks too short to waste it listening to MM screaming, and watching television violence and advertising, so I prefer to read books, write blogs, learn how to play the piano, or understand how the Flight Management Computer is programmed on a Boeing 767.

Once a week however, I have been coaxed back to the flickering little screen by a heartwarming and emotionally charged little program called "Random Acts of Kindness".

Ordinary struggling Aussies leading extraordinary lives of sacrifice and service to others are being recognised and given a helping hand by the television station and generous sponsors.
Recent beneficiaries of "kindness" include a Mum who has, during her life, fostered more than 300 otherwise unwanted children, a struggling animal refuge operator, and a wonderful lady who organises free surgery for seriously deformed children from third world countries, and looks after them all while they are in Australia.   

The foster Mum modestly accepted the tributes with "I'm just doing what Mums do".  
Our formal Australia Day honours and Queen's birthday honours are, every year, overloaded with politicians, businessmen and sportsmen.  Not enough recognition is given in this country to women "doing what Mums do".

Congratulations Channel Nine.  It is a superb concept, and I also compliment you on your choice of sensitive and likeable presenters.  Who would have thought the "big fella" Scott Cam would be so perfectly suited for the job.

We are told that violence in the visual media engenders replication in real life.  Now wouldn't it be delightful if television was able to spawn a wave of kindness throughout the community.

The program has certainly caused me to reflect upon my own selfishness, and know that I should be making greater contributions to those less fortunate.

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It’s all gone fut

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My dear Mum, bless her soul, was a God-fearing christian.
I cannot recall one single instance where an expletive or naughty word was uttered by either her, or my Dad.
I would be proud to say the same applied to me, but should I attempt to do so, I know Globet would immediately be into the commentarios section of my blog to provide 2 gigabytes of evidence to the contrary.

The closest Mum ever came to swearing was when some household appliance or piece of machinery broke down she would let us know that it had "gone fut".

As a child I was actively discouraged from expanding my innuendo and dirty word vocabulary by an escorted trip to the concrete laundry trough for a "washing your mouth out with Sunlight soap" experience.
The most memorable of these journeys followed shortly after I returned home from a day of Grade 2 playground education and proudly began regaling Mum with my rendition of the post-war ditty;

"Hitler, had only one brass ball.
 Himler had two, but they were small,"
then, just as my tonsils were warming up nicely, and about to produce the vocal performance of my life, I was hauled out by the earlugs for oral laundering.

Now, what brought this discussion on?

Australia is presently converting its analogue television system to digital.  This required me to purchase a "set top box" to enable my 20 year old steam powered TV to understand the new language.

Pay $100.  Bring it home.  Open package.
All the components had obviously been previously remodelled in a fit of pique by some other old fart, who had then returned the whole lot to the shop.
I exchanged his rubble for a brand new plastic-wrapped-to-ensure-virginity-and- freedom-from-old-fart-vandalism model.

Two weeks later and I desperately want to locate my fellow senior sufferer to start a support group. We need counselling.
Nothing works except the on/off button, and when I turn it off it immediately switches itself back on again as though it wishes to challenge my authority in this house.
Bring it on, little digital gadget.  GOF has sledge hammer. Let's just see who is gonna be the dominant silverback in this domain.
In my world OFF means OFF you little electronic bastard.
Now I am quite happy to accept the remote possibility that it might be me who is the "gone fut" factor in the equation by connecting everything incorrectly.  I will therefore accept my responsibility in this whole depressing episode, and not be bothered returning this one to the store.

And, deep in my heart, I know that this is only the top of the "gone fut" iceberg.

The entire universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate until eventually, in around 100 billion years it will collapse.
All matter will decay, leaving cold, dark lifeless space.

The whole freaking cosmos folks has "gone fut".

So who needs some stoopid digital television anyway.

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Grand expenditure

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My second favorite television program at the moment is one of UK origin called Grand Designs. 
(top of my list is the archaeological Time Team)

Each Grand Design program follows the often frustrating progress of someone designing, building or renovating a house in a unique, innovative and grand style.

I am able to some small degree understand the enormity of the task confronting people embarking on projects of such complexity.

Mr and Mrs GOF in 1983, double-handedly built their own home.
Not grand in design. 
An $8000 budget effectively prohibited delusions of grandeur.
(As did the experience of hand digging by crowbar and spade all trenches for the concrete footings.), 
Nor was it grand in the execution of the build. 
It remains unfinished 26 years later.
Nevertheless it is a warm, cosy cottage which provides a barrier to the weather, and most of the tree snakes who would seek to share our comfort. It is filled with memorabilia and images reminding us of the achievements and challenges of our quarter century here.

Grand Designs features the top end of house architecture, often with a price tag approaching $1 million.
The way architecture has changed over the centuries reflecting different civilisations is a fascinating subject. Great architecture is like fine art.  It elevates the human spirit.  It dares to be different.
It reaches for the sublime, and occasionally achieves it.

I have admiration for those who seek to excel in all fields of human endeavour.  Respect for those who dream to take mankind on a new and different path.

The program is also enticing to me with its portrayal of human relationships under pressure.  Financial or personal. 
House building rarely proceeds completely according to plan.

As much as I love this program, it often leaves me with a feeling of ambivalence.
Various examples below from several episodes cause me to invoke thoughts and questions for ethical consideration.

1. A nuclear family of 4 builds a $3 million Georgian-replica mansion with an additional triple carport and 4 guest rooms above.

2. A single man does not bat an eyelid when his quoted $20,000 renovation of a single bedroom apartment blows out to $100,000.

3. $15,000 is spent on wallpapering the master bedroom.

4. A walk-in wardrobe large enough to house an entire family of  Rwandan refugees is built to accommodate the clothes for 2 people.

5. $18,000 for a custom designed shower stall.

6. $15,000 for a stereo sound system. (television and video system additional).

Does anyone else find questionable issues of morality here?

I rarely view ethical matters as either distinctly black or white. 
That is the reserve of fanatics. My world is a myriad shades of grey.  This dilemma for me adds another grey hue.

Does this level of personal indulgence constitute an obscenity when so many in the world, through no fault of their own, have neither food nor shelter?

Then again, perhaps ordinary people who witnessed construction of the pyramids, Buckingham palace, Windsor castle, and Hearst castle also asked similar questions at the time.

Has the jury of time handed down its decision yet in the matter of
The People vs Personal Edifices?

Note;  All figures are approximate, in Australian dollars.
           At the time of writing one $A = 70 US cents.

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