Monday, January 28, 2013

How To Be The Coolest Kid On The Bus

I got my driver’s licence the day that I turned seventeen. Not for the usual reasons that people get their licence; I gained enough independence from catching the bus and trains on weekends and later had a boyfriend/chauffer to get me from A to B. I rushed to get my licence because the children on the bus genuinely hated me.

I do not intend this to be a sob story in any way, their torture was retrospectively hilarious and clever and I turned out fine in the end. Plus, I would have hated me if I were them. By all accounts I was a pretentious child who entered kindergarten telling everyone who would listen what a monotreme was. I am pretty sure I didn’t improve as I got older either. This tendency to be a smart ass, coupled with my extremely tiny stature – being only about four and half feet until I was sixteen – meant that I was a perfect target. I might just have gone un-noticed had my first bus trip home from my new school in year five not been such a debacle.

Back when I was ten you used to walk up steps onto the bus (nothing was as convenient as it is these days) and on this first day home from my new school I was the last person in the bus queue. The line grew shorter and shorter until everybody, except about two people, were seated waiting for the bus to depart. Due to my aforementioned height disadvantage, the bus driver couldn’t see past these last two people to tiny little Maz at the bottom of the steps. So unfortunately, while still waiting patiently to show the bus driver my bus pass, he shut the door and began to drive away. This meant I was wedged – one arm and leg in and one arm, leg and school bag out – of the door of the bus that was making its way rapidly down the road. I was literally half in and half out of the bus as it departed the curb. All the cool kids from their back seat bandit vantage point could see me flailing and yelling and were consequently flailing and yelling themselves – with uncontrollable laughter. The driver eventually noticed me, what felt like a kilometre (but was probably only twenty meters) down the road, and let me completely onto the bus. I was all red, sobbing with fear and sporting a grimy line right down the centre of my uniform from the bus doors. It was from this day forward that the cool kids from the local catholic school hated me. And to their credit, their hatred lasted for a good six years, right up until I got my driver’s licence and stopped getting that bus.                

One of the bullies I grew to have quite a crush on, he looked like Zac Hanson with dreadlocks and piercing blue eyes. One day I offered him five dollars to be my boyfriend and he spat on me. Properly spat on me, mind you. He hocked up a big loogie and spat it right onto my winter jumper. I took it off and washed it as soon as I got home, probably more heartbroken that he spat on my jumper and not in my mouth, than anything.

Another time, the ring leader; a chubby, pretty, blonde girl, threw my wallet out the window of the bus when we were about a kilometre from my house. I had to get off the bus, walk back and gather all of my coins and cards off the road and then walk the rest of the way home because my bus pass didn’t allow me to catch the bus from where I got off. That girl was an evil genius. I looked her up on Facebook hoping to find that she had become an ugly crone with a difficult life. She was stunning and seemed to be extremely successful. Go figure.

So I got my driver’s licence at 8.30am the day I turned seventeen, and wouldn’t you know, each one of those horrible children’s houses received a drive-by egging within the month. Call it vigilante justice.

Monday, January 21, 2013

10 Ways To Catch A Cheating Boyfriend

Most of you will have had a bad relationship in your day. Some of you will have had a terrible relationship. And the smallest portion of you will have had what my friends and I call, a vortex relationship, in your time.  A Vortex Relationship is the WORST KIND OF RELATIONSHIP. It is that relationship that makes you feel bad, oh, 90% of the time and dizzyingly, amazingly brilliant the other 10% of the time. It is like a drug and sees you lose half your friends, betray the other half, and destroy all your self-esteem and good clothes with waterproof mascara. I am one of the super lucky people to have experienced this rare breed of relationship.

Of course each of these Vortex Relationships has its own unique characteristics, like the different Real Housewives series, they are all terrible – they are just each terrible in their own individual way. My VR had a bit of a cheaty boyfriend who would belittle me in varying and creative ways. For instance, I once collected him from work on a Friday (he was already drunk) and drove him to his friend’s housewarming/pot luck dinner. He hung his head out of the window for the whole trip, yelling at passers-by pretending that he had an intellectual disability. We stopped to buy a dish to take – he opted for a pre-cooked roast chicken. Upon arrival at the party he barely introduced me to the room of people I did not know, sat at the table and ate the skin off the chicken WITH HIS BARE HANDS. Then he told the host that I had my period and we had to leave (I didn’t have my period by I was certainly ready to leave). Ah, the good old days.

As the years passed I realised that this was not the relationship of my dreams; with each subsequent lie and suspicious, drunken return home, and so I compiled this list. It is born straight from the mind of a very delusional, half mad, young Maz – so it does kind of reek of someone who needs to be committed (to an asylum, not a relationship haha). In the end it was my ticket out of that crap-box I called a love affair. So read it and use it, read it and thank god for your wonderful partner (or lack of a terrible one) or stop reading now and go about your life of denial, you poor sucker.

1.       Cast aside any pride and/or sanity you have left. Dispense with that shit like Pez. If you are not willing to do this, do not read any further and do not use any of these (brilliant) tips, you are simply not prepared to do so.

2.       Have an amazing memory and be the research king. If your memory is not amazing, keep a journal. It is hard for liars to keep track of their lies, so chances are if you keep track of everything you find dubious you will eventually come across mistakes and incongruences. Take note of things which seem odd and research them later; people, places and things are so easily checked in this day and age of social networking. Remember – a Facebook profile with loose security settings is your best friend. Back in the day I used to ring bowling alleys and bars and ask them to page my unfaithful other half; you kids these days have it so easy! Also, skills gained during this research will look great on your resume, the investigating and cataloguing I did probably add up to the equivalent of a journalism degree with honours.

3.       Do away with the illusion of trust. In order to really get all Private Eye on someone’s ass, you have to admit that you don’t trust them anymore, for you own sanity and also for the sake of your investigation. Once they know that you don’t believe anything that comes out of their mouth your Q & A sessions become a heck of a lot more fun and you can often corner them into telling you the truth. For example: I once called Mr Pot Luck and asked him where he was, I was told that he was at the newsagency, on his way home. I knew he was lying. I also knew that the devil was in the detail. I innocently asked what he was buying and was told he was purchasing the ever engaging and thought-provoking ZOO Magazine. “What’s on page 64?” I enquired further; I could hear his dry mouth through the phone along with some very long “ummmm”s and “ahhhh”s. It was so easy to catch him in that lie – he wasn’t at the newsagency, he was not buying a magazine and with three simple questions I caught him in the lie.

4.       Check their phone. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. But those who have something to hide will keep their phone away from you. This may sound like an obvious start, but here’s the twist – check it IN FRONT OF THEM. Wait until they are playing sport and you are watching, pretend it’s your phone in the car (if you have the same make of phone) and check it while they’re driving or sneak it out of their hand if they fall asleep on the couch. Maybe even connect your OWN iPhone to their computer and download all their information onto it – get creative! This way there is no element of surprise, and no possibility of being caught red handed, because when you are looking at someone while checking their phone you can see them coming. Also, be sensible with what you check – look in their notes or in their Words With Friends chat. The key is thinking outside the box if your partner’s looking to get inside someone else’s.

5.       Check their GPS. If they have a GPS in their car check their history, see where they have been and compare this with where they have told you they have been. Once I came across a discrepancy between the two and drove to the address listed in the history. It was someone’s house, so I waited outside (if you have read my previous posts you will know that my propensity to stalk is not a recent advent). A little old lady came out eventually and I found I had driven from Hornsby to Forestville for no reason. I hoped.

6.       Use sleepiness to your advantage. I think this actually a legit torture technique, but whatever, desperate times… If you feel that your partner is holding something back from you and will not share, wait until they are sleepy. Choose the one question you want to ask, and as they fall asleep consistently wake them up, asking repeatedly what you want to know. Works like a charm once they are desperate enough to sleep and they will pretty much tell you anything.

7.       Bluff. Make shit up. Once I found a foreign pair of shoes in the boot of the car. After my boyfriend tried to convince me they were mine (hahaha, seriously) he then told me they belonged to a friend of ours. I immediately fired back that she wore the same size shoe as me and these were huge (and hideous). Another time when he was out of the room I grabbed his phone and started mumbling, as he came back in I put the phone down and pretended a girl had just called. The terrified look on his face said it all, I nearly felt sorry for him.

8.       Be a master of minute details. I called Mr Pot Luck one morning to see where he was; supposedly he was at the beach. In the background I could hear the distinct call of an Indian myna bird. I told him that I had never seen a myna at the beach as they were generally urban creatures and didn’t really have feet that were accustomed to walking on sand. He tried to make some paedophilic, racist joke about an Indian minor. Retrospectively, I was much too intelligent for this dude. But then again, I stayed with him for years like a schmuck, so we were probably about even.

9.       Check the car seat position. I have ridiculously short legs, so anyone who is taller than Willow will likely have to change the passenger seat position. The driver will never be in the passenger seat, so this is a clever little trick if you’ve been told no one has been in the car. If you are more of a normal sized person simply move the seat forward before you get out. I’m a genius, I know.

10.   Break into their house. Keep in mind this fictional (ahem). Out at a friend’s party one night I was all pepped up on vodka red bull and had a fight with good ol’ Pot Luck on the phone. He was in the city and told me he was on the way home, but I wasn’t to see him because he was mad at me. So I did what any sensible 19 year old would do. I ran to his house and crawled in through his window, waiting for him in his bedroom. He did not show up that night. I really advise against this technique of catching someone out in a lie though. While I did trap him in an untruth, the sneaking OUT of his house the next morning was the most awkward manoeuvre I think I have ever pulled off.

This is all the wisdom I have to impart on this topic however; I honestly hope none of you are ever in the position to need it. Special thanks to my old boyfriend for the inspiration, you know who you are, I honestly couldn’t have written it without you – feel free to tag yourself in this post J


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Today I Gave Crust A Pizza My Mind

Do you know what’s good? Being the biggest pussy in the world.
I am so freaked out by confrontation that once I found a bug in a salad at Hungry Jacks (which in itself is revolting, don’t judge me) and just ate around it. When the girl took my tray away I actually said “thanks, that was great”. My clarinet teacher (and next door neighbour) called me Miriam for the whole of my clarinetting career – about 6 years. I never had the balls to correct her and was very relieved when she moved house and it became a non-issue. So I’m sure that it will come as no surprise that when Crust pizza drivers park in my driveway I just sadly drive away and say nothing. However, I do love to complain about things and am a big believer that you are not allowed to complain unless you have first complained to someone who can do something about it. Hence this letter I sent to Crust Pizza this morning about the previously mentioned driveway thief.


Dear Crust pizza,

Firstly, I just want to congratulate you on two things: your prosciutto wraps and the fact that your staff never make me feel uncomfortable when I order two starters and nothing else. Seriously, I don’t know if people do this a lot but I always feel odd asking for a starter pizza and then not ordering a middle or an end; but no one makes me feel silly and I genuinely appreciate it. Unfortunately though, the thing about firstlys, is that they come with secondlys and here is my secondly which is considerably less complimentary.

One day I came home from work and pulled up outside my house, intending on parking in my driveway. I looked over my shoulder to find that one of the Crust Pizza drivers was already parked there. I indicated at the spot to suggest to him that it was in fact my spot and he quickly thrust a hand out the window to gesture that there were spots available further up the road where I could park. I sat there for a moment, dumbfounded, thinking that he would probably realise his error (usually when parking in a driveway with a big yellow sign that says NO PARKING PRIVATE DRIVEWAY – which was specifically fashioned for Crust Pizza drivers – one would feel a little apprehensive about fellow drivers who pull up and attempt to park in aforementioned driveway). Instead he waved his hand in an even larger arc and mimed “go around!” seemingly incredulous that I had not noticed these apparent “free spots” further along the street. So I went and parked in one of those spots. Oddly, the place where I parked was only a few metres over; “what an incredibly confident young man” I thought, but his combination of bravado and complete disregard of signage and unwritten rules of parking in a suburban area made me fear him a little too. Yes, I am a massive wimp who hates confrontation, which is why I bought fluro yellow paper, wrote signs, laminated them and stuck them up on my garage door and am now subsequently hiding behind my computer screen and writing you a complaint letter, but that’s my prerogative – as is parking in my own driveway.

I may not have had such a problem with this but this is a recurring problem. I have emailed you before, rung and spoken to the manager at Crust Annandale on several occasions (including after this specific incident) and have indicated at the drivers from the safety of my car – what more can I do?! Once I was even offered a free pizza for every time this happened, but I feel incredibly awkward about asking for it and no one ever mentioned it again during subsequent complaints, so this theoretical pizza has been of little consolation.

And it keeps on happening. My husband works in Lane Cove and it happens there too. He has a spot in a private car park and on several occasions has been parked in by Crust Drivers, has driven home and then been unable to park at home either… This leads me to wonder “is this some sort of conspiracy?” Do you somehow know about us? Have you set up this immensely successful pizza operation as some sort of front to further impede our inner-city parking chances?  So I’m writing to tell you, if this is indeed the case, you got us! Well done! Kudos! The Whiteheads are having trouble parking; your plan has come to fruition. So you can stop doing it now. Please, please, please, I implore you, stop your drivers from parking arrogantly around like they own the mean streets of Annandale and Lane Cove. To be fair, if you don’t, I will do nothing differently. I am too enamoured with your olive and feta starter pizza and some of your delivery drivers are cuties and I like to listen to their conversations while I wait for the bus. But as one road user to another (if you drive, if you personally don’t, then replace the words “road user” with “human”) I would really appreciate it if you could help a sister out.

Thanks in advance,

Marion Whitehead

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Appropriate Family Holidays

Growing up we travelled a lot, not fun beach holidays in Fiji or Coffs Harbour like lots of families but dusty driving and camping holidays where excitement meant traveling one thousand kilometres in a day. Inevitably we ended up in Coober Pedy a few times. In itself this is a pretty crappy place, no one lives above ground for a start, and a normal touristy day here involves sifting through piles of dirt. So I guess my parents were looking for something different when they took us to Crocodile Harry’s house. They must have seen it advertised somewhere as a thing to do, so we hauled our asses over to this odd ranch outside the main drag.
Littered with debris the place was surrounded with broken down cars and (surely a made up memory) tumbleweeds rolling on past. We paid our two dollars, or however much it was that he had the gall to charge, and headed into his “nest”. Inside his underground house was a wall made of old dusty bottles and, I kid you not, a wall covered in women’s bras. There must have been hundreds of them, some of them signed with ‘x’s and marked with lipsticked kisses. So after what must have been five minutes of standing awkwardly in this man’s house we left. Retrospectively, that man was just a lecherous old drunk and I don’t know what possessed my parents to take my brother and I there, I guess it was the same parenting instinct that allowed them to cover my school books in gigolos. Or perhaps it was just the nineties, when people weren’t so damn precious about their children. Either way, all these years later I think it’s pretty hilarious that he charged children money to look at garbage and some dirty underwear.
So if you’re ever in Coober Pedy, be sure to check it out, I don’t know where the name “Crocodile” came from, but it’s surely a name that delusional old man gave himself. He probably thinks he’s Paul Hogan. Hell, maybe he is, and it was all the cash from his tourist enterprise that he wasn’t declaring to the tax office.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Australian Psycho

The idea of psychopathy interests me immensely. After reading John Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through The Madness Industry*, a narrative-style non-fictional romp into the inner workings of dangerous and corporate psychopaths, I was further intrigued. After finishing the book, and equipped with Hare’s checklist of what constitutes the cold and senseless condition, I actually went around diagnosing many people I know as psychopaths. I thought I was an amateur psychiatrist (I like to appoint myself different vocations from week to week, it shakes things up – more than once I’ve decided I was a private eye, but I’ll get to that in another post). Inevitably though, I turned on myself and began to wonder if I were a psychopath. Although Ronson clearly states that if one ever worries that they are a psychopath then they are not one (this feels like a delightful riddle) I still look back at my life and think that I definitely had a lot of psychopathic promise.

I believe there are three precursors to psychopathy which can be observed in children including:  wetting the bed, having a fascination with fire and being cruel to small children and animals. During my life I had exhibit all these concerning symptoms at one time or another. I am going to immediately dismiss the first and focus just on the second two because, let’s be honest, who didn’t wet the bed as a child? To me, this one seems completely arbitrary (and I would know, as I did one unit of psychiatry in my science degree, so am pretty much the authority on all things to do with it).  

Firstly, let’s discuss my fascination with fire. Apart from having the winter chore of lighting the fire in our slow combustion stove (which is more about my parents’ fascination with being warm than my fascination with fire) I was always interested in burning things, lighting candles and playing with matches. Mostly I remember always wanting to burn the edges of my homework and stain it with tea to make it look old. I still don’t know why I would want my homework to look old, I was 8, how old could it possibly be?  This whole practice seems retrospectively hilarious; how on earth does burning the edges of a page make it seem antique? Have all documents which have reached at least one hundred years in age survived some sort of fire only to be singed around the edges, the fire miraculously stopping just before the text? And what was the cause of all of these olden day fires from which important papers where being saved just in the nick of time? Heaven knows. But there you have it, fascination with fire, check!

Secondly, cruelty to small animals is a big red flag when attempting to identify a future psychopath, and this I had in spades. When I was small (six to ten years of age) I engaged in the following activities:

ü  I once squeezed a slug to death

ü  I pulled wings off flies (but who hasn’t done this, so it doesn’t really count)

ü  I squeezed my cat George so hard and he made such a terrible smell that my dad made me ring the vet and explain what I had done (HAHA, my parents were so creative with their punishments, maybe that was why I was so creative with my torture?)

ü  I left my guinea pig in the sun and he died of heat stroke after an amazing amount of yellow stuff came out of his mouth

ü  I left another guinea pig on a chair and someone sat on him, he also died, see previous point about yellow stuff

ü  I put a lizard in a fry pan (which was on)

ü  I tied my rabbit to the kitchen table and left him there for an hour (he was eventually hit by a car in a separate incident. Obviously.)

All of these I feel horrible about now, although I feel less bad about the guinea pigs because I don’t like guinea pigs that much. What are they? Are they a really long, hairy neck with legs? Or do they have no neck at all? And just when you think they are all warm you realise they have pissed on you. Yep. I don’t like guinea pigs. Anyway, I digress.

So I have covered the fire and the cruelty to small animals, but there is the one reason which trumps all previous nut-bag behaviour and makes me feel pretty sure I was on a psychopathic trajectory as a child. Take a deep breath, constant reader, because this is bad.

When I was about eight or nine we would go to the house of a family friend who had a small child. For some reason this child irked me, I don’t know what it was about it, but it followed me around and it just had an arrogance to it that I DID NOT LIKE. The child was old enough to stand up and walk, but not old enough to speak. And so I used to pinch it. And when I say pinch, I mean hard, as hard as I could in fact – I would grab what I could between my thumb and forefinger and squeeze, if I could incorporate some fingernail action into this I was stoked. The worst part about this is that I used to pinch the kid because I knew it was not old enough to tell anyone what had happened, it would suddenly start to cry and I would look innocently and quizzically to the parents – “what on earth has happened to your darling child to make it shriek so?” my butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth face said. While really I was thinking “what a nifty game!” Unfortunately, I have never felt remorse about this (lack of remorse: another point on the psychopath checklist. TICK.)

I still don’t know if something happened in my life to stop me from evolving into the psychopath I was destined to be, or maybe I did become one – who knows. Go ahead and judge me if you want, but just know that I will come over to your house, pinch your kids and squeeze your cat until it farts.


*Ronson, Jon. 2011, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through The Madness Industry. Riverhead Books. USA Buy it here -




Friday, January 11, 2013

How To Get Boys To Like You

I have been having periodic insomnia since the Hanson concert I attended last September. Strangely enough it has been accompanied by an unshakable feeling of melancholia. My stomach won’t stop churning and I just feel down. So, after another sleepless night and a bit of a google it occurred to me that I still have an immense crush on Taylor Hanson. Can this be possible? Can it be that someone who adorned my pre-adolescent walls could still be playing on my mind like the chorus of mmmbop fifteen years later? Unfortunately, this seems to be the case. As the first strains of Thinking of You floated across the aged and mostly overweight audience of the Enmore theatre I was transported back to 1997. Ah, 1997, when I was ten and an amazing weekend meant a metal slinky and a staircase, a time when a well put together outfit meant that your scrunchie and your leggings matched and “make up” meant body glitter meticulously applied to your temples; those were the days! I do however, remember this golden era of my life being tinged with sadness, the kind of incurable sorrow caused only by the most intense of crushes.

I think it needs to be said that crushes in the nineties were not the same as crushes now. Take Justin Bieber for example. Any ten year Belieber can simply youtube his name and watch endless hair flicking, hip gyrating videos. Bieber’s songs can be immediately downloaded and listened to at any time and from anywhere in the world. In the nineties a crush on a pop star was a full time job, requiring blank cassette tapes to be in your tape deck at all times so that when the songs you loved came on the radio they could be immediately captured with a synchronised depression of both the triangle and circle buttons. CD singles were purchased in the lead up to the album release (at between 5 and 10 dollars a pop) and then the full studio album was acquired for $30 – most of which you already owned in cd single form. One had to get up at 6am on a Saturday morning to watch rage in the hopes that the video clip for “I Will Come To You” would be played. This often meant sitting through hours of clips from bands you didn’t like such as Whigfield and Mousse T (who, for the record, both sang embarrassing words like ‘horny’ and ‘sexy’ which always caused me to blush deeply if either of my parents were around) in the hopes of catching four minutes and nine seconds of Hanson bliss. Yes. Nineties crushes were more involved, and therefore, better and more important.

Rewind fifteen years and my most prized possessions were my Hanson posters. This was back in the day before the advent of twitpics, google image search or cheap colour printing; meaning that each full sized poster had to be hunted down with multiple copies of TV Hits, Smash Hits, Girlfriend and Dolly being purchased. To place even more strict parameters on this treasure hunt each magazine would only have one full sized poster lurking at its centre, these were double sided (which helped a little with the odds of striking it rich). The scarcity of posters featuring the three long-haired crooners, coupled with the fact that my annual income was approximately $200 meant that each poster was priceless. In the end I had about twelve, so really I was pretty much the nineties version of a tiny millionaire. Weirdly enough I diligently applied Lipsmackers to the Hanson brothers’ lips every night before bed, which meant that the lips of all the boys on all the posters were translucent. One day my mum asked me, with a wry smile, if I had been kissing my posters. Mortified I told her that I had simply been allowing them to sample my large Lipsmacker collection and she left the room. As soon as she was gone I tried to remedy the situation and upon taking down my favourite poster (crimped hair, blue background and bubbles) discovered that a whole nest of huntsman spiders was living behind it. Maybe it was the delicious scented lip gloss, but I had a sneaking suspicion it was the lure of Taylor’s penetrating gaze, those spiders were as close to heaven as they’d ever get.

My love for Taylor was unshakable, but I was no fool. I was entirely aware that I would never have him. So I did the next best thing a girl could do – I found someone who looked similar to him and transferred all of my pre-pubescent, creepy stalker love onto them. I won’t name names but I will say that Taylor2 had flowing golden locks and caught my bus. He was a mighty high school student, while I was a mere fifth grader. I must reiterate that the nineties was an innocent time before technology, so when I say “stalk” I actually, LITERALLY mean stalk.

I would catch Taylor2’s bus every day, and when the bus route changed so that we no longer caught the same bus I would just catch his bus anyway and walk the extra two kilometres to school. I was the only girl on a bus that went to an all-boys school. Mmm, subtle. Years passed and I entered high school (yes, this is a stalker love story that spans years; the type of crazy with which I am infected is deep-seated and patient). And still I caught his bus, patiently waiting to be more than five feet tall and to maybe, vaguely, resemble a woman. Unfortunately for me, I am still waiting for either of these events to occur, so after four years of having a crush on Taylor2 and looking no taller or more womanly, I decided that the whole thing had come to a head and I must reveal my undying love to him. So I looked him up in the phone book and I wrote him a letter. Keep in mind I am probably thirteen years old at this point and anyone who has been thirteen years of age will know that this is the most awkward and embarrassing time in a person’s life. I, for one, was constantly afraid of judgment and rejection. Enter the crazy. I didn’t handwrite (or type, which would actually have made more sense) this letter, I CUT OUT LETTERS FROM THE NEWSPAPER AND GLUED THEM ONTO A PIECE OF PAPER. Yes. I wrote, what could only be described as, a “ransom-style” secret admirer love letter. Oh dear.

But wait, there’s actually more. In the letter I included an email address for an account that I had set up at astroboymail, which was a thing at the time. If I’m not mistaken, the username was “rockstar” (which was actually a step up from my original email address, and I asked him to email me. I anonymously told him that I loved him and asked him to email me - girl’s got game! I don’t know what I expected, probably something along the lines of:

Hey! Is this that tiny girl from the bus who looks like either a giant baby or a midget adult? The one who has been staring at me for the last four years? I sure hope so, because damn! Nothing’s sexier than a lurker. From Taylor2.  

Anyway, I added him on ICQ and continued to give him cryptic clues as to who I was until he tired of me. Or MSN was invented – I’m not sure which one it was.

So there you have it, my little foray into stalking – before the phrase was a socially acceptable, harmless form of voyeurism. I’d like to say that I never did anything like that again but that would be a lie because into my teen years I committed innumerable ring-up-hang-ups (the stalker’s bread and butter) sent one boy a MIX CD anonymously (incredibly creepy) and cast love spells on people (oh god!). I still wonder if this was just some odd quirk that I had, or if other people got this caught up in crushes, but at least those people knew how I felt – even if they did sleep with a night light from then on.

Note: I blocked Taylor2 from viewing this post. So if you are seeing this via Facebook you are NOT him L.



Friday, January 4, 2013

Peter Andre Porn and Poorly Covered Books.

Yesterday I drove past a billboard advertising back to school supplies and gave an involuntary shudder. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it was that elicited this reaction. Then I remembered, perhaps the most traumatising moment of my childhood, when my mum let my dad help me with the all-important task of covering my schoolbooks…

Do you remember contacting your books in school? It was always such a difficult job; I never knew why they didn’t just make the covers of exercise books sturdier. It was such a time consuming ritual; cutting the contact, fitting it to the size of the book and then trying to coax tiny bubbles out of plastic with a ruler, a job which is surely intended for someone with three or four hands. The worst part was that the mistakes you made would haunt you for the rest of the year, as you would try (in vain) to scrape away any air-bubbly evidence of your crappy contacting abilities. Anyway, my phobia of school book contact came to a head the year that I was eight.

My mum was busy doing something and sent my dad with me to K-mart to purchase the annual contact supplies. If your dad is anything like my dad you’ll know that dads, no matter how deft at using a nail gun or doing differential calculus, sometimes fail at very simple tasks.

So I find myself in Kmart with my father trying to decide on some contact. My dad, obviously bored with this mundane task that means nothing to him, tells me I have taken too long, grabs three rolls of contact and takes them to checkout. It is only once we are home that I realised with absolute dismay that my dad has bought me the worst contact known to man. As I unroll the contact it becomes apparent that this is not the butterflies floating on a purple background that I wanted, but rather shirtless and semi-shirtless men – although to be fair the background was purple. This contact boasted hundreds of men with washboard abs, some wearing open vests, seemingly caught mid-nineties style sexy stripper dance. 
School started the next day so my mum decided this would have to do and covered ALL of my books in sexed up, Peter Andre look-alikes. Need I remind you that I was eight years old and nowhere near an acceptable age to be ogling semi-naked men? I don’t know what my mum was thinking, but I guess money and time factored in there somewhere. So I did what any self-respecting eight year old would do and slowly lost every last one of those god-forsaken, crotch-covered books and made my mum go out and buy the butterfly paper.
But it still haunts me, seventeen years later.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First World Resolutions

New Year, new resolutions. But has anyone ever, in the history of time ever kept a resolution? I’m pretty sure the safest bet is to just never tell anyone your resolutions, make as many as you want, but if no one knows about them there is very little chance anyone can hold you to them. I learnt this the hard way back in 2003 and have endeavoured to never make another resolution.

As a fourteen year old I was a liar and I was competitive, I am neither any more, but back then these had to be the two central pillars of my little, adolescent personality. Anyway, I had one of those friends who you always end up in little passive aggressive competitions with – who could finish their maths set the quickest, who could get a razor scooter first, who knew more words to Destiny’s Child songs, you know the one. So 2003 rolled around and the clicking over of the New Year led to that inevitable discussion about what resolutions we would be making. I had decided that I was going to sponsor a child. Of course, because the best resolution for a child who DOES NOT HAVE A JOB is to make a financial commitment to another child (who is also sans job. And house. And clean water.) So that was my resolution and it was (rightly) met with a cynical snort from my friend. She didn’t believe I would sponsor a child, she thought I didn’t have the money; “I’ll show her!” I thought.

Jump forward a month and I had all but forgotten my promise to pull a poor, starving African child from the depths of poverty. I had been happily spending my five-dollar-a-week pocket money on candy ears and dolly magazines when my friend enquired about how my sponsor child was doing. What was his name? Where was he from? How old was he? So I took a deep breath, looked her right in the eye… and lied my ass off. Of course.

 “Umm… he’s from Africa, he’s eight years old and his name is Mumble Mumblington. He’s just gorgeous, you’d just adore him!” Very proud of how sincere I had sounded and completely chuffed that I had put my friend in her place I turned to leave and was confronted with every liar’s worst nightmare – a request for confirmation of your entirely baseless lie.

 “Bring in pictures, I’d love to see them!”

“Sure thing.” I responded faux-enthusiastically, and scuttled away.

Unfortunately, the same little mind that came up with this ridiculous lie in the first place forgot this whole exchange almost as soon as it happened. And so another week passed and again I was quizzed on my fictional adopted child – not only did I still not have a photo, but I had entirely forgotten the first name I had made up. To distract from the second quickly and quietly mumbled, pathetic African sounding child’s name I made up (which I am sure sounded nothing like the name I gave a week before), I told her that tomorrow was the day I would remember to bring photos.

As soon as she had gone on her way, surely not believing a word I had said, I broke into a cold sweat. My exposure was imminent. And to have lied about an act of charity? Surely, that was the worst kind of sin! I just never wanted to be proven wrong, and now my pride had got me in all sorts of hot water. I decided there was only one thing left to do. Not confess that I was a liar (HA! we’d come too far for that) no, I would have to legitimately sponsor a child. I went straight to my mum and bargaining away my future birthday present – which was eleven months away, surely this deal would be forgotten by then, I mean heaven forbid I actually sacrifice anything for this person who was essentially a prop in a lie – and was given the money to sponsor a child.

I immediately rang world vision and began making myriad odd requests. Could I sponsor a boy? About eight years old? In Africa? (He was from Swaziland. I’m still not sure this is actually a place, but it sounded like something fourteen year old Maz would tell someone, so that would do perfectly.) Then came the final hurdle; I had asked the World Vision lady to list the names of viable candidates, and much to my growing concern they were all too normal. Tom Smith, Michael Jones, Mark Peters, nothing like the names I had hastily invented, and then… Vusie Magagula. Rejoice! The gods of perjury had smiled down upon me. And that is how I came to sponsor little Vusie Magagula for six years. He did send me letters and photos, and I took them to school, all self-righteous, and showed them to all of my friends. “Look at me, Marion, the selfless truth-teller-extraordinaire” my eyes screamed.

So I learnt that it is not a lie if at some point in time it will be true and that when all else fails, bluff and make up stupid names. Dazzle people with inventiveness to distract them from the bald-faced lie you’re telling them. And sponsor a child, you selfish bastard.