Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh the humanity: scenes from the teenage years

The phrase "model looks" is not one with which I am regularly associated. This is for a very good reason. Whether that reason relates to my abundance of soft corners, my five-five stature or the fact that my head is the approximate size and shape of a basketball is hard to say.

But several years ago I was asked to be just that: a model.

Now, in the interests of full disclosure I should clarify that I'm not talking modelling modelling. I'm talking more like "modelling" or perhaps "modelling?". Because, you see, this was a favour for a relative of mine. In the absence of my taller, hotter sister. With profits to charity. For a random store you would never, ever have heard of. In Osborne Park.

Needless to say this was not my idea of a good time but, as I say, it was for charity and the relative was a favourite Aunt of mine so after some half-hearted attempts to get out of it I conceded defeat. And when they told me I needed to rope in a friend as well I thought I had the perfect candidate: the delightful Clowney who was not only up for anything but also had some modelling experience. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Well, yes. Quite.

Only when I turned up at the store with Clowney in tow on the big day did the flaw in the plan hit me. You see, in addition to having modelling experience young Clowney is about nine foot eleven with a body that might make Miranda Kerr stick her finger down her throat. Standing alongside her, faced with the prospect of walking down a makeshift runway with her it occured to me that I might not stack up all that well. The fact that her legs came up to my chin, for instance, could be a little distracting to the eye.

But, I reassured myself, quietly breathing into a paper bag, it was going to be okay. Sure, I might not have the sort of frame that drew envious glances from willows but I was not without assets. I had um... all the right body parts in their proper places. And boobs. And um, let me see, okay - dimples. Who doesn't like dimples? Besides I knew what sort of clothes suited me well enough. Dressed well I was confident I could look perfectly presentable. Hmm hmm.

It was just about then that I reached my changeroom to discover the outfits I'd be wandering about in and the real panic started. It was not so much that the top was white and tight and a leeeetle bit see-through. It was that it was made of lycra and appeared to be teamed with a white skirt. And, again, it was not that the brown dress was not cute, it was merely that it seemed to be suffering from some confusion about where upper thighs ended and 'naughty bits not to be taken out in public' began. Meanwhile the less I say about the plunging skimpy black singlet the better you will all sleep at night.

Disturbing twinge number two came when I discovered that my kind-hearted Aunt had been unwilling to accept my version of events as to what size clothes I wore. We'd talked about it on the phone the week earlier: she asked and I told her.

"No, I think you're a size smaller," she'd said.

"Honestly," I said in my Firm Voice, "that's my size."

Clearly the Firm Voice had not been enough because the clothes were... well I hesitate to use the word 'tight' because it doesn't quite seem enough somehow. But I do have reason to believe people in the front row had a ringside seat of my organs.

And there was more.

"What are these weird net bags for?" I asked Clowney, who was in the next changeroom.

"You put them over your head so you don't get your makeup on the clothes," she replied knowledgeably.

"Um.. makeup?"

But all that was just the warm-up: the real fun began when the show did.

To be honest I fitted in perfectly well among the other "models" who were clearly family members of organisers, recruited less for their ability to pout and pose than for their willingness to take part. Among these shuffling octogenarians (I'm not kidding: the store had a 'seniors' range) I felt, well, not half bad actually.

Until Clowney came out.

Not only did she look like a million bucks (by comparison I looked like the change from a fiver after an icrecream purchase) but she knew how to walk. I am not kidding when I say she drew gasps from the audience - Actual GASPS. Even my own family members, sitting obediently half way back in the crowd, looked like they were wondering if some sort of daughter/niece/sister exchange program could be arranged. The commentator on the mike could barely keep the awe out of her voice and only remembered to mention my presence when I practically knocked her down in an ill-advised attempt to copy Cloweny's spins. Oh yes, did I not mention she was doing the model spins?

After what felt like hours but may have been more like 40 minutes it came down to the final outfit: the motherfucking white monstrosity. I would have wept if my spirit had not already been broken. Still, as I eased myself into what amounted to a giant white condom in two parts I couldn't quite repress a quiver of fear. Was it still possible to nip out a window somewhere? Could I pretend to have broken my ankle? Could I ACTUALLY break my ankle.

No, I'd missed the moment and it was time. I took a deep breath (then checked to see if this whole "deep breath" thing had split the outfit) and went out.

If there weren't exactly, well, GASPS, when I blundered into view it would be fair to say there were... murmurs. But really, when you're on stage and concentrating on not falling over, who can distinguish between "awe" and "pity" anyway? And, more importantly, who cares to? My eyes on the floor I made my way along the 'runway' while the commentator searched for something to say that didn't use the words "holy" and "fuck".

I stopped to flash a rictus grin - intended to convey both my apologies and my shame - at the horrified spectators, while they stared back, almost mute with something that might have been admiration. At what, it is hard to say. Attempting a hair flick I turned on my heel to retire to the shadows and, as I did, a comment from the old biddy sitting in the front row rose above the prattle from the commentator and the mutinous mutterings of the crowd. Even terrified and humiliated I heard it perfectly.

"will you take a look at those dimples!" she said.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An open letter

Dear Brendan,

Suck shit.

Love me

PS- Your face looks like a turd.

Things I learned from watching the truly fucking awful movie She's The Man

1. If you're going to be a "sensitive guy" and talk about your
feelings 'n' shit you'd better be prepared to beat someone up too or you are G-A-Y
2. The only appropriate expression for a dude's face if another
dude says he fancies him is disgust - otherwise he is G-A-Y
3. All girls really want is a sensitive boy who can talk like they
do. Even if he looks EXACTLY like a chick in a really bad wig
4. Wishing for death does not make it so
5. Some movies are exactly as bad as they look

Sunday, July 27, 2008

And not just in their 20s...

A friend of mine once told me a great story.

He was studying english at Cambridge at the time (of course) when a charismatic professor took an interest in him. Professionally. Okay, sort of professionally. My friend was young and nubile at the time, but presumably a bit brilliant. The professor was older and on his way to becoming a bit of a coke fiend but he was also brilliant and charming. So one night he invited this friend of mine around to "discuss his work". Naturally they ended up having a few drinks and it got a bit late and then, well, I'll draw a curtain over the night for delicate readers (thank me later, Spiteri) but one assumes you can join the dots.

Now, my friend didn't know me well enough, at the time he told me the story, to know how much it would thrill me, but I suspect one or two of you could guess. Because as you, and indeed most of the readers of this blog, have figured out over the years I have a thing for ho-yay.

Five or so years ago I had no idea what ho-yay meant. And yet I felt exactly the same. Only when I stumbled onto the term on the brilliant Television Without Pity website did something click on in my brain and I thought "holy shit, I too want to see Sylar and Peter* get together".

The reasons for my interest in all that is hot boy on hot boy action remain unclear but, if I'm honest, don't particularly interest me: it's just the way it is. Over the years I've met a (rather small) handful of people who share my enthusiasm for all that is hoyatastic, even if most people just look at me a bit weirdly or dismiss the brilliant Y Tu Mama Tambian as "soft porn" (no, I haven't forgotten and, yes, you know who you are).

Anyway my point, because I'm getting there, is that the internet has completely revolutionised the way these things are. Without the internet I would have no name to put on this strange sense I have for say, Spike and Angel to just tear off their shirts and fucking Do It Already, or my glee at the aforementioned Y Tu Mama Tambien when *SPOILER* the smoking hot Gael Garcia Bernal finally snogs the hell out of his (also wouldn't-throw-him-out-of-bed-for-eating-biscuits-hot) best friend.

Nor would I have the delight of stumbling over remarks buried in the comments section of a you tube video featuring The Smiths' very good William It Was Really Nothing like this:

"What is it about skinny fags in their 20s that makes them so fucking appealing to all genders :-)"

I mean I could live without the first f-word but I love the sentiment. And if anyone has the answer, do let me know.

(*Meanwhile, I'm rewriting history here because Heroes actually came years after this discovery, but jesus the day those two boys make a go of it will be a bloody good one. And such hot babies).

UPDATE: The person mentioned in this has pointed out both that 10 years is not just an awfully big age gap and, furthermore, that my definition of "coke fiend" may be a tad harsh. I think his ideas of what makes a CF are slightly looser than mine but one must never piss off a ho-yay provider so I have amended appropriately.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Actually the most awesome circle of all

Everyone has different methods to cheer themselves up.

Some people go in for gooey, creamily-centred chocolates and hot, salty chips, consumed en masse. Others favour lots and lots of lots of booze, consumed in a short period of time with little thought for the hangover waiting for you. A certain kind of person goes shopping.

Personally I go in for all three - I've never met a chip, drink or shop I didn't like, or at least been on civil terms with. But lately I've discovered a new weapon for the arsenal, something quite ingenious to be taken out immediately next time I'm feeling bad about myself: Morley Galleria.

Only here, in this semi-distant shopping centre is the full length and breadth of all that is detestable about humanity on display every which way you care to turn. By which I mean not, of course, that anybody's getting fed into a gas chamber or practicing racial segregation. The abhorrence of this place is nothing to do with anything Proper or Serious. There are just a LOT of improbably unattractive people. Mother. Fucking. Everywhere.

Here, among waves of undulating arm fat, screeching sticky-fingered children and obscene teenagers concealing unfortunate faces behind hoodies, ill-advised headwear and masses of over-processed hair with the all the appeal and approximate texture of steel wool, you can but stand and marvel.

Trudging in front of you are the slowest moving people in the southern hemisphere, wobbling on their over sized flesh stilts in search of a new appliance to do this or a new top to conceal that. Scampering at your sides are the doomed progeny of the slow-walkers, their faces already beginning to twist in the sneers of their parents, their sugary mouths demanding another Coke. Most disturbing of all are the teenagers: not the lithe, gaggles of sniping malcontents you remember from your own high school years but a combination of smug petulance from the 12 year old who dresses like she is a 45-year-old hooker in a music video, and sullen aggression
from the spotty white douchebag wearing a do-rag.

What the hell is this place and where have these people come from? This is what I found myself asking today when, in search of work-appropriate accouterments and only mildly hungover, I stumbled in with Lindsay.

The immediate desire was to protest: this can't be happenning, this is not normal. The impulse to check the space above the glass entrance doors for the words "abandon hope all ye who enter here" was overwhelming. I did. The sign said simply "entry". Which seemed, somehow, even more ominous.

The second impulse was to flee, to put some sort of distance between myself and the people patrolling these gleaming white corridors. Lindsay knew better. "It's okay," she said gently, taking me (figuratively) by the hand. "This is where you come to feel better about yourself."

She was right. I'm going back next week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In which I learn my lesson

Ohmigod you guys I am going to have SUCH a big night tonight. Everyone’s going to be there and it’s free booze all night. I’ve got some awesome new shoes and I’m going to do my hair all fancy and shiny – this is seriously going to be the best night of the year(!)

No it’s not and no you’re not, you fuckhead, because you’ve just doomed yourself to a night that will be the equivalent of being date raped by your physics teacher on a fun-to-fun ratio.

For a start you won’t be able to decide on an outfit because everything you try on makes your arse look tiny and your tits massive, or visa versa, depending on your inclination and the size of any junk in your trunk. I wouldn’t worry about that yet, though, because only when you arrive at your destination will the mirror in the bathroom tell you what your bedroom lighting did not – your top is see-through. And you’ve left your coat at home.

But that’s okay because by this stage at least one member of your group has cancelled at the last minute anyway, so that’s one less person to witness your shame (and your aereola). Meanwhile another friend has just had a huge fight with her boyfriend and is busily alternating between slurring drunkenly that she’s too good for him anyway and disappearing with your mobile to call him. Don’t get too worried about her, though, because she’ll ditch you before midnight to catch a taxi to his house anyway.

If you haven’t had your drink spiked by now then don’t worry you’ve probably drunk so much you’ll throw up out of the window of your own taxi on the way home anyway. That’s after you’ve spilled your kebab down the front of your top, been called a slut by a group of passing bogans and destroyed at least one and possibly both of your shoes via an ill-advised shortcut down a back alley. You’ve lost your wallet so the taxi driver has to wait for you outside your house with a highly suspicious look on his face while you ferret around the change bowl and eventually have to pay him off in five cent pieces. If not the hairy chequebook.

My point, if you can even get your head around such incredible subtley, is that SAYING you’re going to have a great night is the one thing guaranteed to NOT let you have a good night. Much like fight club, the first rule of having a good night is you do not talk about having a good night. A really good night out cannot be managed or planned, not properly. You can do your best to blow dry your hair, shore up good company and start the night off with a really quite sensationally good nip of booze but nothing you do will stop it from all falling into a shit pile if you look at it too closely.

It is with this mind that I assure you all I am going home from work right now not to have a delightful lazy night reading my book with my doona over my legs, a bottle of wine at my elbow and creamy pasta to soothe my slightly store throat. Oh no, I’m well aware that when I get home the house will be a tip, burgalrs will have stolen the entire contents of my bookshelf and young Andy will have run off with a cocktail waitress whose name is Tiffanii-with-two-is at the end. Probably.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Because my parents were pretty hazy on the birds and bees front

First question: How long do you think it takes the average person to dry his or her naked body post-shower while in the privacy of his or her own home?

Second question: How long does it take the average person to perform the same actions in a crowded work gym hangeroom surrounded by colleagues with whom they may later share a cubicle?

For most people, I should say, the answers vary somewhat. For myself, at home the drying process is a lazy one which can, when the weather permits, turn into a drip-drying affair. But put me in a work changeroom after a gym session and shower and I can do the full body dry-and-change in the time it takes the naked woman next to me to pluck out that stubborn ingrown hair from her right buttock (because, oh yes, I'm getting to her).

But if you ask this ingrown-hair-chaser (who happens to be in the changeroom more or less every time I am)the two questions above, her answer would be the same: Too Fucking Long.

I don't find naked bodies abhorent. Nor do I insist everyone, or anyone, do that high school thing of getting changed pretty much under their clothes. But neither do I dream of the days when I am exposed to the inner (and I mean INNER, inner) thigh of someone who works in my building. I don't need to admire the soft undulations of her ageing arse cheeks or admire what's going on over the other side. I can live without an in depth examination of her improbably large nipples and more probably sized boobs. Similarly I feel I have explored the depths of every crevice in her body just about as far as I care to explore them.

Again, it's not that I care about the nudity per se. It's more of a proximity issue. Because the thing is that half the time this woman stands SO CLOSE TO ME that if we both put our hands on our hips at the same time our elbows would just about touch. That is not too close to be to an elbow. It is, however, a smidgen closer than I care to be to any stranger's pink bits. I do not WANT to flinch every time she bends over to retrieve some (unseen, possibly imaginary - she may be mental) object, fearing her arse cheek will graze my upper thigh, or have to watch my every hand movement lest they slip into some dark unwanted place.

I don’t want this. Nor do I want to be the person I am right now: the prude who shudders like a tit in the wind at the thought of, well, a tit in the wind. I like tits. I like bottoms. I even like women. But so help me I'm scared that any day now I'm going to go to the gym, shower, get dressed and only realise months later I've inadvertently knocked up my changeroom neighbour. Bet the little shit would be a nudist, too. Typical.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

If she was dead she'd be spinning in her grave at the reference

If you'll forgive the use of an ugly and hackneyed phrase I have always admired people who Put Themselves Out There.

Presumably this is because it's something I just don't do. My motto, such as it exists, being do nothing now to avoid disappointment.

There have been exceptions. Why just a mere eight years ago I asked a boy out for the first (okay, and pretty much last) time. I was in year 11 and he was in year 12. Nursing an embarassingly large crush since we'd worked on the school musical together I was also achingly aware that he was beautiful, very cool and smart while I was, well... smart. Ish. My year 11 ball was coming up and a)being a pussy, and b)sporting coke-bottle-lens spectacles I'd planned to escew the boy thing all together and go with some friends. But somewhere between that plan and the ball I must have had a stroke or something because from absolutely nowhere I plucked up the courage to ask The Object of My Affection (OMA) to come with me. Remembering it now, many years and more boys on, still gives me the chills but at the time it was so simple: I found his number, dialled it and asked him to come to the balll. Fuck knows if he even knew who I was but he said yes. I resisted the temptation to ask him if he was fucking ith me. My most vivid memory of that time is drifting out distractedly to the family kitchen with a shit-eating grin on my face to find dinner: lamb chops. "What's up with you? my brother asked.

I'll spare you the ball and skip right ahead to, by way of comparison, one of the first times I was asked out. Properly asked out, anyway, in a way that was completely unambiguous in an i-would-ultimately-like-to-have-sex-with-you fashion. I was living in London and on my way to my shitty temp job at the time. A man who looked slightly like one of those school teachers in the movies who get done for sleeping with their students was walking the other way. Apropos of apparently nothing he stopped, said hello, sort of apologised and asked if I wanted to get a drink. Flushing, and confused, I said I had to work. He said what about after work? I said I couldn't. He said what about another day? Bright red by now I managed to mumble something like "my boyfriend probably wouldn't be mad keen about it" before an awkward thanks anyway/sorry (me/him). But the net result was that I strolled off down the road feeling pathetically chuffed with what I fancied was my arresting beauty. Of course in reality the stranger was probably either a serial date rapist who, on spotting my puny arms, thought I was unlikely to be able to defend myself, or someone with a freezer full of party parts at home but in my head I was Lauren Bacall.

Why do I bring this all up now? To relieve the jaw-clenching pain of discovering my gloriously hot ball date was actually sort of a pretentious douchebag? To recall exactly what shad of red my face managed to achieve that day in London? Not so much. No, what I've assembled here is evidence, of a sort. A bit of a character reference, if you will, to try to prove that I DO in fact admire a bit of courage when it comes to putting oneself out there so I won't sound like so much of a bitch when I say the next bit.

Because THIS fucking little situation is just about killing me. I no longer CARE what it is or what he wants but I know I don't want anything to do with it. I know, I know: save a seat for me in hell, please - just don't make it two.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It is so on...

“A broken heart is a very pleasant complaint for a man in London if he has a comfortable income.” (George Bernard Shaw)

Monday, July 14, 2008


Life is a funny old thing sometimes isn't it? Sometimes you just don't know how to react to something.

Take the news that the lovely Robert Downey Junior is to play the titular role in a new Sherlock Holmes movie. On first look: awesome. I love, love, LOVE Sherlock Holmes in all his drug-taking, patronising, totally-in-the-closet glory. His smarmy deerstalker hat-wearing shenanigans have always fascinated me and the original books were completely smart and funny in a way that a lot of the movie and TV adaptations haven't been (I think Rupert Everett came the closest to getting it right, but he just can't resist hitting the 'camp' switch just one too many times).

Furthermore, as has been well documented here, I love RDJ with a similarly deep abiding passion. He charms me. He intrigues me. I think he'd be just generally really fun to hang out with. In the bedroom. Ahem.

Anyway, so, on the surface: it all sounds good, great even. But supposing you want to know more. Who, for instance, you might ask yourself, is directing this movie? And right about the time your eyes reach "...Guy Ritchie..." the heart sinks and you want nothing but to gouge out your eyes to save them the future pain.

I mean I liked Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels as much as the average teenager who had a giant crush on Nick Moran but... really? Mr Madonna? He's still getting plum work in this town, is he? Nobody ever quite made the effort to see if Swept Away was as godawful as it was supposed to be, eh?

All of this scepticism, obviously, doesn't mean that I won't see this movie at least once, assuming it gets made and all. No doubt I will see it and no doubt I will make others see it with me. It does, however mean I reserve the right to roll my eyes, cluck my tongue and say things like "Oh Mr Doyle, they have done you wrong, sir". As I shall.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


So the New South Wales Office of Liquor and Gaming has given club and pub managers a list of 39 Signs of Drunkeness. Yes: 39. Who knew?

The idea is apparently to give staff guidelines to know when someone is drunk enough to be refused service. I guess.

Of course the list is (unintentionally?) hilarious, including such gems as slurring words, rambling or unintelligible conversation, staggering, bumping into or knocking over furniture.

Then there's simple innocent ones that could happen to anyone like spilling drinks, a lack of co-ordination, offensive language and inability to find one's mouth with a glass. And haven't we all been there?

My problem with the list is not that they're all ridiculously obvious suggestions (please, why not "throwing up on your shoes, telling you they love you and then bursting into tears") but that they take all the romance out of a proper bender. Sure you can tell someone's had a few if you find them quietly vomiting into an ashtray at a crowded bar but how do you recognise a true drunk?

Well Modern Drunkard has the answer, and it's a hell of a lot better than anything the State Government's come up with. You get lost crossing the street is a good start, your blood will run a lawnmower is cute and my personal favourite: You called the cops on yourself but refused to testify because you “didn’t want to get involved."

Because the issue is not whether you're going out and getting hammered every weekend, or indeed every week, it's whether you're doing it stylishly.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rita Hayworth never had to put up with this shit

So I knew it was going to be bad, possibly even really fucking BAD but I couldn't have guessed how godawful sad it would be. And depressing in a way that not even reading Jean Rhys after you've had a few drinks can be. So depressing, in fact, that right now I'm actually hanging myself from the ceiling fan with a pair of old stockings. And I don't even have a ceiling fan.

Yes, I'm talking about the insanly terrible TV show How to Have Sex After Marriage. Which should come with a razor blade and/or a picture of Milo Ventimiglia with his shirt off, in case you should a)decide it's just not worth it after all, b)wish to regain the desire to live.

Clearly the name of the show tells it all: This Is Shit, but I couldn't resist. I just couldn't. It had been a long day. I'd finished my book. It was on after Ladette to Lady. I was tired damnit.

What the name doesn't tell you about the program the title sequence does: all ridiculous moaning noises that nobody in the history of sex has ever made and words like 'foreplay' and 'orgasm' floating onscreen in large print with such cold precision they render both the words and the acts they describe about as erotic as a small kitten doing a shit on your chest. Permanently.

Next, and I say this for the benefit of those lucky fuckers who didn't stay up to watch it, the couple of the episode are asked to rate each other on emotion(?), sex and looks. Out of ten. And they're, well, how should I say it? They're not that nice. Coming about ten minutes in I figured this must be the worst part of the show (it wasn't) - it had to be (it wasn't). And the mind boggles because I could not imagine WHO THE FUCK would honestly want his or her partner to deliver this kind of cold hearted assessment? Psychopaths, that's who. Feeling okay about your soft bits are you? Wait until you see your partner holding up a "2" for appearance and see how good you feel then, eh. About as happy as the poor saddos in this show, actually. 0So, unsurprisingly, this spirit-crushing venture... well it crushes the spirits of the participants, rendering them soft play-do-like characters who can then be rebuilt in the image of the show's creators.

Which means it's time for the hideous life coaching bit in which a shrill hyena of a woman attempts to patronise the unfortuante bint of the couple into submission. "You're an amazing woman," the hyenna tells the woman she met twenty minutes earlier. "You are beautiful and strong and sexy". Whatev. And did I mention she has the eyes of a cold-hearted killer?

The saddest bit is that at the heart of the show there are some basic truths: men and women do often miscommunicate. Men and women do often have different attitudes to sex. Otherwise good relationships can be ruined by bad ideas about sex and a complete lack of communication. Blah blah blah. But all of that is covered with some sort of ridiculous shlock in which relationship woes are smoothed over with a bit of slap, a suit and some painful (not even like that) attempts at bondage. Uh huh.

It also has a surprisingly high Ew factor in which two guys with rictus smiles are made to watch as some random women demonstrates oral sex techniques which are, she claims "30 years in the making". Jesus Christ. I tell you, you've not lived until you've seen this woman fiddling about with a plastic model of female genitals. And again in theory, or on paper, it's not the worst thing in the world. It's even vaguely sensible and instructive, maybe, but... really? This is what we've come to is it? A plastic model? The end result is that sex, in this show, reduced to a piece of latex, two blushing men and some fake moaning of the top of some bad music is all about as much fun as watching a porno with your creepy Uncle.

And I did I mention the use and abuse of my favourite phrase in the world "make love"? Bleh. Do yourself a favour and watch it next week: your own sex life will never look so good.

And find me a white coat

I had a very weird experience on Sunday morning: I awoke without a hangover.

This is not to say (steady on, Mum) that I habitually wake with a hangover of a Sunday, though perhaps I sometimes do, but that on this particular Sunday I deserved a hangover. More than that: I deserved a whopper of a hangover.

Having supped the previous night on a concoction of champagne, white wine, red wine, mulled wine and some suspicious clear liquid that appeared in a cup by my chair sometime shortly after 2am I was prepared for the worst. I was also willing to accept the worst, having had a brilliant time at a party thrown by one of my favourite people about.

So I woke on Sunday with some trepidation. Was it here already? How bad was it? I sat up in bed. I felt... okay. I rolled about a bit. I felt... not bad. I got up to get a glass of water. I felt... quite good. A bit wobbly, maybe. A teensy bit thick headed but nothing particularly special. I felt... well fuck it I felt quite good actually.

The solution was obvious once I thought of it, and it made my heart sink: I was still drunk. Brilliant. Clearly my hangover was in the post and I was too dumb and still too drunk to realise it. Even so I hauled myself out of bed, padded about to the couch and returned to my napping state. I woke up later and felt... good. Rested even. Still no headache. No nausea. No sweats. No vague sense that I might the previous night have killed a man just to watch him die.

I waited for the hangover all day. I took it slowly. I half heartedly drank some water. I cooked an unnecessary hangover breakfast. Nuthin'.

The weirdest thing is that by contrast light-of-my-life Young Andy was in a bad state. He lay on the couch, groaning occasionally and napping often. But he'd been drinking water half the night before to enable him to prepare himself for an early morning bike ride. Yet while I could have ridden a quick country mile (so long as I were heading somewhere enticing, such as a country pub) he was in no fit state to do so. What the hell was happening?

Two days on my solution is simple: Somehow I gave my hangover the slip. I don't know how I did it or where it went (though Andy's head is a distinct possibility) but I managed to pull it off. Out there in the ether, somewhere, the hangover probably still drifts, having lost its way completely, searching for its rightful resting place: my body. I should feel guilty about the poor dude and how lonely he must be but, on the contrary, I feel bloody great about it - if all drinking could be this consequence free I'd do a hell of a lot more of it.

Clearly this is a discovery of some kind. Men in labcoats must be told. The CSIRO should be alerted. More importantly, the boundaries of this new-found booze immunity shall be tested. Someone hand me the mulled wine - I'm on the edge of a flipping scientific breakthrough over here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Question time

How do you tell someone you don't want to be friends with them?

In my book unless they've just slept with your boyfriend, stabbed you in the kidney or called your mother a whore the answer is you don't really. You just treat them a bit shittily: avoid them, never return their calls and constantly cancel "catch-ups". Cut to a few months later and you no longer have a friend.

Obviously there is absolutely nothing nice about this. It's shitty. It's cruel. It's also incredibly gutless. But even so it seems, to me at least, somehow gentler than saying outright "I don't really like spending time with you because you're (insert ugly truth as desired)". In my mind, at least, the person involved can believe we just drifted apart, or that I lead an improbably, ridiculously busy life with no time for them. This is also my preferred MO because, of course, I am an absolute pussy who loathes confrontation and would walk a mile in the snow before deliberately provoking a shitfight.

I find myself thinking about these things because I am currently trying to not be friends with someone (obviously not anybody who is reading this blog and mmight I add that I do frequently break appointments and not return calls for reasons entirely unrelated to trying to ditch anybody so, please, don't be offended).

The person in question is a perfectly nice guy. At least he was the one time I met him. Six monhs ago. And when I talked to him on the phone and in emails afterwards. He knows I have a boyfriend so I don't have to take care of things on that front. He is a smidgen socially awkward and a bit of conversation dominator but he is also a nice guy, friendly and smart: there is nothing at all 'wrong' with him. And yet I don't really want to bring him onto the friendship team.

There are a variety of reasons for this, and I won't bother going into them but my problem is that I have tried the methods detailed above to give him the idea and... it's not working. I never initiate contact (though I can't quite bring myself not to be friendly when I talk to him, honest I've tried, guv). I constantly break the 'catch-up' dates I am sporadically cornered into making. I leave his calls unanswered. I am, in short, a complete fucking bitch to him.

But he still calls. And messages. And emails. And I feel AWFUL but I don't know what else to do but continue to be a bitch, even more so. Today, for instance, having non-commitally said I might be up for a drink while under duress I have so far ignored about six calls and three messages. Yes: IGNORED. I haven't even given him the brush off, because I'm way too gutless. And he continues to call because he's too clueless to realise I'm not flaky, just a total cow.

Anyway, the point of all this is not to whine about my gutlessness or share my horrible, crushing guilt but to plead for some kind of advice from the readership. What do I do now? I could continue to be a bitch to this poor guy for the rest of my life. I could catch up with him to ease my guilt and force a friendship for the rest of my life. I could run away and raise goats in the wild, returning to civilisation only to stock up on soy yoghurt and festive scarves. I could suck it up and say "thanks you're perfectly nice but I'd just rather not, if it's all the same to you". But of course I never will. So... suggestions? Is there an option d here or am I just screwed?