Thursday, June 14, 2007

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man...

Yesterday, while searching through childhood photos in an earnest attempt to gauge the cranium size of her unborn child by closely examining all head shots of our ancestors, my sister stumbled upon a manuscript that has shaken my identity to its very core.

Always the villian, it seems our dear old mother has been compiling a ongoing dossier of her offspring since our respective births. Amongst countless photographic evidence of her two children naked and covered in jelly (or as is the case of many in my file, milk chocolate), there were toys, all things art-n-crafts and most importantly, autobiographical confessions I had long repressed and hoped were destroyed or at least lost forever. Unfortunately, they were not. Like the savvy card player, I suspect our dear old ma' has been saving this pocket ace for the day we ship her off to Shady Acres. She's sneaky as they come and twice as cunning. Yet, by publishing some of my early work here and now, hopefully I will defuse her from destroying my career when it finally progresses from online forums to the New York Times.

It would seem that some time shortly after arriving in this sun burnt country, I produced a short novella that I hope was written in an dire attempt to make new friends out of the array of tanned, blond children in Mrs. Hooper's Grade 3 class, those who seemed so amused by the pale, red-headed kid who spoke like a character off EastEnders and called shoes "trainers" and gumboots "wellies" and that most private of private parts, "willy"; I have to believe this was the reason for this transcript, I have to believe that this earliest of my works was nothing more than fiction disguised as fact for the sole reason of making friends. I have to believe this.

Perhaps one day, when my first novel changes the face of modern literature and forces a fanatic of my work to shoot me in Times Square, this sole copy of my first book will be reproduced by Random House and seen in a different light; but alas, for now, it's remains a melancholic collection of lies bound by red cardboard and covered in clear contact.

Kind Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I give you "Football is the second best"...

Page One: Written and Illustrated
By Mark Hewitt

Page Two: "I am going to the football.
I like football."

To this day, I have never been to a sanctioned football game by the AFL.

Page Three: "I barrack for Melbourne
and the Tigers and Essendon."

So I draw people to look like Japanese throwing stars, what of it?

Page Four: "The Tigers are nice and
the Eagles are stupid."

Like I said, I've never been to game.

Page Five: "Mrs. Hooper barracks for
Richmond and the Tigers. I like
Mrs. Hooper."

While I'm now aware that these are two in the same, I think what's more concerning in this illustration is the unanswered plea from the only girl on the one dimensional field who is being attacked by the red and blue players.

Page Six: : "The cats are stupid.
They are not nice. I like the Tigers."

I have no idea what's going on here.

Page Seven: "I like football
but it is not the best."

I think a psychologist might suggest the character on the right is me running with open arms to my father on the left, who's indifference is marked by his facelessness and rejected by his "No, No" reply.

Page Eight: "when I go to Queensland,
it will be the best."


I have spaghetti arms.

"The End"

The double page here is interesting, but the ability to translate the gibberish on the left has long since left me.

It should be noted that I have nothing in particular against AFL. I tried to play it once and I know many people who love the game that I would consider all close friends, but for me, balls are and have always been round and anything else is just silly; but the revelation that I ascertain to liking not one team, but three, forces me to question that perhaps I am a fan, and to further question everything else I ever thought about my childhood that I considered true.

In any scenario, I'm placing a bid on the first Steve Karnahan jersey I can find on Ebay.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

An affair to remember...

As a cardinal rule I don't like to post pictures from my weekend: nameless people doing nameless things, where you habitually 'need to be there' to understand the joke, with the flash on or off pending on lighting but always with the same 'doesn't excessive cough syrup make us all fabulous friends' smile, fine for the photogenic, but not so fine for the bungled and bemused that make up the masses outside of the weekend nightclub photos in Beat Magazine; however I believe this series of jpegs is cause for an exception to said rule.

My dear friend for many, many a year and chairman of the Megatron basketball team, is leaving for America this week (to teach basketball to sixteen-year-old girls in Maine nonetheless) and the following is a sequence of photos taken from his going away shindig this Friday past. From what I remember, we spoke mostly of the opportunity, the amazing experience and the potential for emotional growth, to be honest though, these snippets seem to tell a different story with each viewing.

"I know this is hard for you to understand,
but it's the best thing... for both of us"

Cat Stevens' Father and Son scores the moment.

"Don't be that way, I'll write,
you'll meet someone new"

Will I though? Will I..?

"...don't...ever....let....go..."

Suburbia.The smoke, the garbage bins, back to the camera, sailor's hat, the garage door open. A Gus Van Sant film.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Karma Police...

Around a fortnight ago I saw the three ugliest women I’ve ever seen.

There very well may be uglier out there, but they’ve not been seen by these eyes; and more than likely they don’t live above ground if they do exist.

I understand that this is a rather obtuse statement to make, and believe me it’s one (up until a fortnight ago at least) I thought I would never declare. It should be noted that I myself take home no awards for Clooney-esque looks, and have, on more than one occasion, been mistaken for a fourteen-year-old girl - and not a pretty one at that. Furthermore, there is no greater fan of the opposite sex than I (with the possible exception of Van Damme) I’m an unconditional believer that there’s always something about a woman that will melt your face with beauty, fill your heart with must have desire and force you to write trite poetry about meadows, autumn and young milkmaids, but these women three did push the boundaries on thee. Not gifted when the eloquence to give these creatures justice in word, I can only hastily describe them in likeness:
  1. Andy Warhol/ Keith Richards hybrid – spotted frantically crewing gum in my rear-view mirror driving a Peugeot.
  2. Dolph Lungren lookalike with a mullet - spotted leaving the Eltham YMCA gym with eyes and biceps that seemed to say “I will break you.”
  3. Chopper Reed clone – spotted on dvd shelves around the country and most recently in the parking lot of the Eltham YMCA.

So, why am I blathering about three women who look like extras from Prisoner Well, mostly in warning to you all. From what I can figure, it turns out that the saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is in fact not a rule of common courtesy, but rather, the words of age old black curse.

You see, friends, no sooner had I announced to another that these three clearly fell far short of the alluring beauty of Rea Pearlman than I was punished by Fortuna by breaking down on a major Melbourne intersection during peak hour traffic some seven days later – I had to push the rig through three lanes of traffic and missed work as a result.

North Richmond Station moments before I
thought of stepping into oncoming traffic.

Now, I’ve had my boat re-tuned, re-polished and re-(insert auto mechanical term here) several times of late, and as my dear old dad threaten to murder the mechanic in cold blood, coupled with the knowledge that the car was running without bump or shudder for the last month, I can only think that his assuring words towards car’s reliability were spoken with absolute sincerity. By all estimations, the car was in as fine shape as it was the day it was driven out of the showroom. So why exactly did it break down? It couldn’t have been anything mechanical; it certainly wasn’t anything environmental, a warm 22 degrees was the Wednesday in question. No, one can only fathom it was the forsaken power of the three demons I saw out of their human masks. Announce you've seen the three roughest women you've ever seen and one week late you'll owe over $800 in automobile bills and suffer the taunts of half of the Melbourne workforce attempting to drive home from a hard day's work only to be blocked in their journey home by your self righteous self. You'll think twice before saying anything un-nice. I imagine the experience is similar to that of seeing the blighted VHS in The Ring films.

However, the curse ain't all that bad. If by chance you do name the three uncloaked demons, brake down seven days later, suffer a $220 tow and $600 repairs to a computer and distributor which your mechanic describes as "f***ed by Satan himself" you can still look forward to an enjoyable 45 minute comedy extravaganza with a Hungarian tow-truck operator named Peter who looks not dissimilar from this man and who will instantly evaporate all friezed thoughts of massive repair bills and damnation with the funniest observations from his thirty years of towing experience in an accent akin to a bad Schwarzenegger impersonation. While in the midst of all this madness, I did record several minutes of Peter's dialog (believe it or not, I kept the composure to hit the record function on my trusted mobile telephone), unfortunately the quality of the audio is a might fuzzy, so the best I can do is transcribe some of the prime moments - please read with the densest of accents, preferably aloud:

"Hahahahah...You are funny. Sunroofs are useless! The girls and poofs love them, but they're s**t. They leak, the seals break, but the poofs don't care, they love them."

(In response to my support of all models of Volvo)


"Yes, they are safe...but they are s**t too. Always brake down and are s**ts to work on. Jags and MGs are s**t too. Crazy people drive them. English people make them. They are more crazy. Take weeks to fix. All the nuts are crazy. Designed by bas**ds who want to waste my time."

(in response to my query to the best car on the road)


"Japanese cars a the best. I love them. s**t to work on. They have small hands those Japanese, but great engineers...their trick is to steal the blueprints of German cars and fix all the stupid German problems. Great cars. Lexus. Honda. Small parts, but great cars from those Japanese

Apologies to my most loved Japanese constituency, besides your tiny mechanical hands and haunted video tapes, I love you most of all.


Waiting for my Hungarian tow-truck
driver to lift my spirits.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Things to do for your wife's birthday when a dozen roses just won't do...


Sure, I made the poster, but it was genuinely his idea to merge his pre-planned DJ show with his wife's birthday party. What you call selfish, he calls showbiz.

In the words of Snoop Dogg "it's going to be off the heezay!" Consider yourselves all invited.

Selecta!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Upon offering to take your friends out to dinner only to breakdown in the middle of the city & then again on the freeway...& once more in Bulleen...

In these situations it is always advisable to follow these few steps:

1. Check your watch, if you are sure that he may be seconds away from falling asleep then call your father and explain your plight always emphasising that it is in nobody's fault and perhaps, only if you are feeling extra daring of course, remind him how grateful you are of the Amiga 500 he bought you on Christmas 1991.

2. Have a hammer on stand by (don't worry we'll come back to this later).

3. While waiting for the cavalry to arrive enjoy a beer or two in the adjacent bar which you have broken down near.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This will render you unable to drive later, so you will need a friend with a full license on stand by, however, this drink is highly recommended after waking your father and forcing him to drive 45minutes into the heart of a city which he cruses on a daily basis. Nevertheless, take your time, enjoy your drink.

4. Be sure to exit the pub only seconds before Pops arrives on the scene. Turn your phone to silent - this is no time to bring up Sparky.

5. After connecting the jumper cables to either car and watching your father exert 51 years of frustration out on your starter motor with the hammer that we prepared earlier, try to not seem too horrified when he starts the car the first time and glances you with a look which says "no matter what you say, I know you've been at a gay club tonight and that's why your car broke down."

6. After you have broken down for the second time,
try not to appear too scared when pushing the car through a red light and your father hits the brake to avoid a fatal collision with an oncoming Holden Commodore hell bent on destroying its most bitter rival, remember, Tom grew up on the streets of Salford in the 1960s and he wants that Commodore to stop.

7. Although falling apart from anxiety, try to remember the teachings of the father Buddha that "life is but a dream which we all share as one consciousness" and with that in mind open the closest thing you can find to alcohol, take a xanax and watch as much of Monkey Magic as you can handle before passing out. Once home you can rest assured that everything will be alright in the morning, and if not, your father will probably bury your mechanic in a remote area far away from what a jury could rightly consider your involvement.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Talking blogger’s blot blues…

I know I say this a lot, but you’ll all have to forgive my absence from Blogging - especially you Max, I know how much you depend on my adventures to get you through the working day – I’ve been trying to write, believe me, in all sincerity I have, but of late nothing has been coming out. Oh, there have been adventures; there are always adventures when there’s gin in the cupboard, money to burn and you have a fondness for telling strangers your musings on why the government is holding back a cure for AIDS so they can sell more units of Blossom Season 2 on DVD, but adventuring hasn’t been the problem. Of late I’ve become completely consumed by this:

http://pepperspianoteacher.ytmnd.com/

Brian Peppers stories aside, the hypnotic tones of that talking piano have had me returning to that page multiple times a day, so much so in fact that I haven’t been able to write anything since first being turned onto it. I don’t know whether to cry, be afraid, or laugh, there’s so much going on with that dulcet voice, it’s truly the most fascinating thing I’ve ever heard and it’s rendered all my emotional responses null and void. I could have the girl of my dreams, dressed as Princess Leia, pledge her love to me evermore, but if it wasn’t voiced by a magic piano or at least imitated, she’d be better off peddling her translucent affections elsewhere.

...And it turns out that I'm not the only one in my family addicted to this either. While working in Victoria's Most Boring Town 2007 and staying in a ridiculous converted mill for what turned out to be less than two hours of actual work, I received a text message which prompted my Sparky message ring tone (uploaded here for your enjoyment) to blast forth at 128kbs from the phone's modest speaker. Yet before the piano could introduce himself my old dad turned to me in Christmas morning excitement and finished the forthcoming sentence, in perfect monotone character mind you. Turns out the old bean has been a fan from way back, and he himself had once been addicted to the original 45" record. Small world, you spend all your lives living in the same house wondering how to connect to one another and all the while there's an electronic synthesizer waiting to bring you together...suffice to say his ID in my phone has been changed to Old Man Sparky, while unfortunately, mine remains Ungrateful Bloodsucker in his.

Was it the digs or his conflicted feelings
of fatherhood that bemused Tom so?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A fool's errand: adventures with Mr. McKenzie and how he came to save my life one more time....

Scanning the menu at a Thai restaurant in Camberwell. Already moderately liquored up on gin. "Everything looks so good," comments the off-duty senior constable on the opposite side of the floral centrepiece. The group agree, pointing out a variety of their preferred dishes. Not considering my pallet learned enough to make a dinner choice which will directly affect the enjoyment of my company and possibly get my car impounded if I happen to select a spice that disagrees with the two commanding officers, I renounce my dish, "I'll be honest with you, guys, I don't mind what we eat, I'm happy for you to decide, but if I don't see the alcohol menu soon I fear my jokes may seem as to dull to me as they are to all of you." McKenzie, understanding the severity of spending an evening completely dry while discussing the prices of white goods and comparative carpet colours quickly searches for the precious list. He's been in this situation before, he knows what can happen to a man when forced to give his opinion on bedside dressers in the latest Ikea catalogue while completely sober; like the Vietnam veteran, he's seen The Shit.

McKenzie's white fearful face, "I can't find it," he cries. He searches under the table in vain attempt that I know to be folly, but investigates with his know-how that has given him one of the Eastern suburbs leading arrest records. McKenzie's shaking finger pointing to the back of my menu which I've been rereading in hope it's transformed to include cocktails. The mocking laugh of the restaurant goes inaudible to the other patrons, but which McKenzie and myself hear like the Overlook hotel in The Shining when we recognise the most hurtful three-lettered curse the unprepared diner dreads they'll ever run into - B.Y.O. An oak tree that has lived for a thousand years collapses in a forest somewhere.

McKenzie showing the glazed, disbelieving eyes of a man who has just lost his only child to a rouge gangland bullet. Although air raises my chest to remind my body I am indeed alive, my heart has ceased pumping blood throughout my veins. It's all over. We're done. I don't recall seeing a bottle shop on either side of the street. I think McKenzie's about to cry when his better half consoles us, "Oh, well, a night without alcohol can't be all that bad, it'll do you both some good." Although the others can't see them, tears are rushing down the poor sap's face. I do all I can to stop myself from breaking down. We order and wait in silence for our food.

McKenzie in a burst of brilliance that reminds me why he's one of my dearest friends, "I might just take a walk and have a quick look if there's store nearby." But the mad bomber is always one step ahead of us, "I didn't see a any bottle shops on the street," she says echoing our fears. Did she plan this? Is this an ambush? Why? I'll look at your catalogue, lady, just not without at least 450mls of anything remotely intoxicating in my being first. She's an impenetrable roadblock and angry librarian with vengeance rolled into one. Her eyes scream, "You shall not pass!" McKenzie's genius counter attacks, "Oh, that's alright, Hun, I wouldn't mind getting some air before dinner anyway. Mark, you want to come?" Leading with my chin, I nod in affirmation, but my actions are translated to his ears as "I'd gladly take a bullet for you right now, sire! Let's roll."

Outside. The parked cars which line the street seem like sporadic cactus in a waterless desert. Dry cleaners. Take away Indian food marked by another F*** you on its sign - B.Y.O. A book store supporting one hundred copies of "The World's favourite Martinis" in the window. "We could always drive home, I've got a six-pack in my fridge?" I plea. "Too risky, it'd take too long and she'd know for sure what we were up to. No, we're best splitting up and hoping for the best." A fool's errand, McKenzie, but I'm all in.

Nothing. Nothing at all. I feel like one of those poor farmers you hear about in the bush who wait aimlessly for those precious rains to come, only far, far worse.

McKenzie opening the Christmas present he always dreamed he would receive, "Mark, quickly, over here." Even though I can't see him through the black forest, I follow his call and am soon standing next to him basking in the warmth of the celestial, glowing fluorescent sign that reads in capital letters WE CHECK ID ON ALL PURCHASES. "I'll get the beer, you take care of the wine," my commanding officer declares. Yes, Sir! Scanning the icy prison that is holding captive the most aggressive of poisons which my stomach is demanding like the hungry pelican. "There, that one. Written in italics," my brain commands my hands which are one step ahead and are carrying the sanctimonious beverage to the counter.

McKenzie laughing in glee with six of the store's finest ales under one arm and two bottles of a standard size which I don't recognise carried in the other. Looking over the mysterious label, it reads: Rubber Sexy Lager. McKenzie demonstrates that the baby blue swimsuit worn by the model on the bottle's side can be scratched away like a instant lottery ticket. Rejoice, for we are saved. I've never seen him so happy, he scratches away one breast to raise his spirits - a naked girl and beer together at last, I imagine he is thanking a God he didn't believe in until we walked through this church's most hallowed doors. We throw money in the direction of the cashier and return to the restaurant like two soldiers unscathed from D Day.

A moments glare as she gapes at our purchases. I sense her feeling for her mace - one of many I know she packs on her person at all times in preparation for a unsuspecting attack - but I quickly diffuse the ticket bomb by pouring a glass of my witches' brew for everyone. Our food arrives. The group toast to good health or something or other, while McKenzie and I share a private moment which only men who have come so close to death and survived can share.

Somehow four hours pass in a glorious haze of police raid stories and foundational plans for opening our own brewery. Staggering back from the fridge, McKenzie hands me my Rubber Sexy Larger while Keanu Reeves embraces a handcuffed Sandra Bullock as a train bursts through an unfinished subway on the television. Last men standing. Keanu stopped the bomb on the bus, McKenzie can't find one of his shoes and this beer tastes like a Rob Schiender movie, but I embrace it all the same...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Enlarge your penis today!

All quips about being a 26-year-old hobo without a license have officially ended.

Thanks to everyone who ridiculed me over the last year, I couldn't have done it without you!

....Just short of a decade too, so I guess you owe me $5, Dad.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Upon being spotted nude through the living room Venetian blinds by your extremely attractive European neighbour on a sleepy Sunday afternoon.

Under no circumstance waver or attempt to cover up.

Maintain eye contact.

Smile.

If you feel comfortable enough in your own skin, maybe drop in a little shoulder dance.


If she doesn’t call the police or her muscle-bound boyfriend, who constantly revs his motorcycle outside of your window on Saturday mornings and asks if you work out when you check the mail daily, then you may never need wear pants on a sleepy Sunday afternoon again.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Upon being spotted by a University Professor whom you owe 5,000 words and have cunningly avoided for 8 months

At times like these we are often tempted to call on a limp, cough or cradle our stomach in mock agony, all these techniques are valid in gaining an extension for up to seven days, but unfortunately are a far cry from justifying eight months of living on the lamb. In these circumstances, the first thing you need to do is assemble all of the excuses you may have used on said professor in the past, or professors within a one mile radius of your executioner, remember these tweed types constantly congregate with one another around water coolers with the sole purpose of destroying righteous students like yourself, so your tie off your excuses quickly. If you find you haven't used the time honoured "nursing my dying grandmother, who lives in a small Italian town with no electricity and commutes to the hospital by donkey everyday, back to health," then it is advised to call on this trump card immediately.

However, in the event that you are without pardon and sure to find yourself in front of the dean, again, then it is advised to either A) start a fight with the nearest passerby to perplex the bounty-hunting academic into believing you are certifiable and thus not worth the trouble, or B) run and don't stop running until you turn 27 and are living safely in an European village which is titled by letters unpronounceable by the English tongue.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Awesome mix-tape #6


So, as you know, part of the reason I have been absent from blogging of late is the driving, but there’s actually more to my unexplained silence that relates to the driving and I'll go out on a limb here and say it's perhaps the most difficult task that comes with the road rules: creating the virgin mix-tape.

Figuratively stacked a mile high on my PC desktop right now are records from Creedence, Cat Stevens, Stars, Spoon, Bowie and the always soothing Sufjan Stevens (along with about 10 gig worth of porn, but that that's neither here nor there), but alas, all this great music alone does not make a great mix tape. Oh, you think it does, do you? Well, i'm sad to report it doesn't, my friend, and let me tell you why.

It takes work.

It takes concentration.

It takes calling into work sick because you need more time to effectively render a smooth changeover from Side A to Side B.

I know what you're thinking, "Mark, you're crazy! Bowie and Creedence, how can you go wrong?" Well, you've got a there point, Folks, but placing great tracks next to one another, let's say "someday never comes" followed by "the man who stole the world" may seem like a nice mix, but I'm here to tell you it doesn't always work that way. It can be dangerous. People can get hurt. Sometimes two great tracks next to one another may react not unlike two positive ions placed together, and you know how crazy that can be.

I haven’t even mentioned the health risks that can be involved in making such a tape. Case in point, you're driving along, enjoying life, following the road rules, thinking to yourself "gee, I wonder whatever happened to Garfunkel?" and then maybe track one from Dark Side of the Moon comes on. You start feeling relaxed. You start to think about your place in an ever expanding universe, while Floyd keeps the airways at a comfortable 22 degrees. Life's good. You're calm. For a brief moment you are one with the universe and all that inhabits it. Then a soft fade out...

KABLAMO!

You hit a badly painted green Volkswagen head-on, killing the 17 nuns inside and all you can tell the officer who pulls you from the wreckage is that you're sorry, but you didn't realise the dangers of following up a Pink Floyd song with a track from Who's Next. Well, you know what? They hang people for mixes like that in some South American countries. So before you start whipping out your awesome mix tape think of the consequences, because you could end up in a TAC commercial for dangers of combining psychedelic rock with power cords of The Who one day.

You know, a dear friend of mine moved to the city around two years ago and gave up his car in the process. Sure, no need for a sedan in an urban environment, I agree; but that's not the reason he gave up his car, not at all. It was the stress. It was the health risks. Knowing the madman chances he liked to take with his mixes (The Stone Roses into Snoop Dogg) and knowing what peak hour traffic can be like on the corner of Burke and Swantson St. my friend thought it wise to keep the mix-tapes and the driving separate. Now, two years later, he's still alive and he listens to his mix-tapes everyday, but he leaves the driving to the good men and women of the public transport system, who, as a matter of interest, are all screened for mixes exceeding 60 minutes and 128 BPM before every shift.

So, with all this weighing on my mind, you can imagine the stress I've been dealing with in attempting to make my own mix-tapes. It's taking work. It's taking concentration. I finished one which I thought was perfect last week: a little dance with Daft Punk, a little nostalgia with the boys of NKOTB and the apparently harmless, Mr. Billy Joel; and within the first 10 minutes of play I hit a garbage can. Too bold. Too reckless.

Maybe I'm being too over the top about all this, but just to ensure that my new tape is road safe, I've taken the next seven days of work. Yes, because I'm lazy. Yes, because I want to get drunk on five of those days. Yes, because I may or may not have sexually harassed a female co-worker and been asked to take the week off, but also because, with lives on the line, there has to be a safe way to bridge "everything is everything" by Phoenix with the Fab Four's "when I'm sixty-four" and dammit, I'm going to find out what it is if I have to drink the rest of this London Gin to do it.

playing it safe: awesome mix-tape #6

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lessons in Driving #101

So, part of the reason I haven’t blogging like a mofo of late is that I’ve been working on my driving skills. Perfecting the art of the old hook turn, three-point turn and the miscellaneous turn, which relates to any right turn, from a left lane, through a red light, to honk at a pretty brunette as she crosses a non-residential street, which can be more difficult than it sounds, because as brown is the new blonde it’s often hard to tell the difference between a natural femme fatale and a “good for multiple washes” impostor, but I think it’s all starting to come together.

Of course, I can’t take all the credit from my unique and often improvised driving methods, most of the accolades belong to my teachers, great people with great patience, but above all others, I've probably learnt more from my pops, or as many of you who have met him already know him as the villain from Schwarzenegger’s 1985 Commando.

I was planning to provide as list of his most unique observations while in the passenger seat, but I thought I'd let you in a little more and supply an abridged transcript from several outings, which, if you're ever lucky enough to meet the old bean, can all often be heard within a five minute dialogue him.

(Upon stopping a tad too quickly when approaching a red light)

“...you know, I’d have failed you for that. No questions asked, get out of the car, ‘I don’t care where you live; you can catch the bus home’ no second chances either – that’s it. I’d even ban your kids from driving, I know I'd be their Grandfather, but if you can’t stop properly, I don’t want your kids on the road.”

(Upon being asked about the conditions of taking the driving test)

“...just keep your head and stay calm, it’s easy. Your sister passed, didn’t she, and she’s a terrible driver (simulates my sister changing lanes and cutting someone off on the freeway with accompanying sound effects). You know, I drove for two years in England before I got my license. True story, when I actually went for my license I drove to the test in my Capri, I’d had a drinks beforehand for the nerves, but the c*** instructor failed me nonetheless…so, I pulled over and kicked him out of my car (profanities altered for publication).”

(Upon driving past a school between
8.45-9.15am and 3.15-4pm)

“If you never listen to anything I teach you on the roads again, please listen to this: women drivers are crazy! Don’t be fooled, they will kill you given the chance and it’ll be your fault. Well, it’s actually not woman drivers, but mothers. They’re insane, son. They have their own system of communication on the road that is different to everyone else’s. You go to a school before and after it starts and you’ll see what I mean, it’s a whole new system of driving (again he provides audio and visual aides as he illustrates trying to pick up my step brothers from football practice). I won't give fifty yards near a school at those times, not for love nor money."

Lastly, and this is my favorite…

(Upon a random driving tip which is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a mid-twenties starlet crossing the street)

“So, the best way to stay safe is to keep in the left lane, if they want to over take you they can FUC… (catches sight of girl) - You know, if I was your age I’d go crazy. The girls in this country are magnificent. When I was growing up there were a few, but here it’s ridiculous. If I were you, I’d never stop having trying to have sex, I’d be great.”

Now, I imagine of the three readers I have out there, that one or two of you might be thinking this is a rather lucid, if not a rather indulgent, retelling. I assure you, it’s not. And if you’re still suspicious about the authenticity of my transcript, please read through it again, but this time try to imagine the following image gruffly dictating in a Mancunian accent. This is actually one of the only photos I have of my pops outside of courtroom renderings and newspaper stills:

Note the striking resemblance we have to one another.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Talking film critic blues...

No Christmas post.

No NYE post.

Yeah, well, who has the time? Especially when a daytime timetable like mine has been filled with Soprano screenings, working on the always developing “project” (which will be explained in good time) and constantly eating white chocolate cookies.

However, I have reserved some time, amidst my rapid sugar-induced weight gain and pronunciation classes to sound like a New Jersey mobster, to catch up on some long delayed movie viewing; but I've come to discover that there's no point to watching all these movies if you don’t have a guide to contextualise the films for you.

Enter Ebert and Roeper, perhaps the worst film (yet most entertaining) reviewers out there.

Why? Well, even though he looks like he’s dropped some pounds, Ebert is still consumed by dreams of cream cakes and apple strudels. At one point during a review, in which Ebert was once again ruining all point of seeing the feature by explaining every plot twist in detail, I hit the mute function on the remote, mid: “and that’s why he killed his moth…” yet, while I anticipated the movements of his bloodhound like jowls to form the female parental figure, I could have sworn he actually mimed the sentence: “I’d kill my mother for a cream cheese sandwich right now!” Turning the mute off, he continued to explain every detial of the film. Weird I know, but try it yourself, that man’s belly knows no peace and communicates on a frequency unperceivable by the human ear, but traceable by the mute function. But all that’s to be expected from a guy whose only love is ruining movies for people and eating their leftovers at restaurants when they shift their attentions away from their cutlets.

Ebert asks an assembly of film
associates "are you going to eat that?"

Now, Roeper on the other hand, oh, Roeper, now this guy is hilarious. While his reviews are more succinct and less spoiled than his picnic basket stealing counterpart, Roeper clearly doesn’t wish to be in the critic’s chair. Sure, he’s made a career out of it, but I don’t believe for a minute that it was marked first on his university application. No, after watching numerous internet feeds of their show, I’m positive somewhere along his career path Roeper must have applied for an anchor position on Sportcenter. It’s the only explanation for a man who punctuates every sentance with an explanation mark and reviews a nineteeth century period film like Marv Albert at a Lakers V Celtics game:

"...in a movie like this you really need to go 40-45 minutes of aggressive dialogue, Roger, total dedication, you can’t drop the ball, er, did I say ball? I meant camera, yeah, camera don’t drop the camera… and don’t talk to me about the three act structure! That third act can sneak up on you, baby, but with a director like this on the helm I think this movie can make it all the way to the big dance."

I challenge you, jump between any sports telecast and Roeper talking and you won’t know what station is which...

...I guess, the same can be said for Ebert and Ian Hewitson, but what do I know, I don't I can complain about these things, I've got a film degree, have spent the last week watching four seasons of the Sopranos and can't get comfortable in bed anymore because of the cookie crumbs.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Advertising wars: the beaches of Blogger.com

Have you met my lovely friend the FEMBOTanist?

Sexin' up the science like it ain't no thing