Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 40

The robot was pointing the gun directly at Phil’s chest. His blood froze up and his focus narrowed in on the small black object. The concept of death campaigned for acceptance in his head but he could not bear the idea of being stripped of life just as his moment in life was on the horizon. All those psychedelic trips that helped understand death and accept its inevitability seemed childish now. All those movies where the sickening happy ending felt cheap and obvious – where he would have preferred a sweet irony or a true sacrifice – all this meant nothing as he learned how much he truly valued his own life. He couldn’t die now, someone would save him.

“Don’t even think about running this time, Phil.” The robot said. Phil remained rigid. “That’s right, I know your name. I know a lot more than that actually. Maybe since we are getting to know each other I should refer to you by your nickname, Hippy Flip.”

Phil was struggling to remain composed but this revelation snapped his brain into gear. “How do you know my name?” he said automatically.

“I studied the tapes of you parading through the towers. Nobody thought you were much of a threat; just some punk kid having a laugh but I knew better. Such a security breach would require more planning, more skill, and therefore more motive.” The robot spoke with a sense of pride and victory. Phil found this didn’t fit with his understanding of robotics but it certainly fit with his current situation. The longer he talked the longer Phil could live. “I found your contact at the public records office – some deadbeat stoner type – he told me your name and your website.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 39

Walter was already sitting up in his bed, but he managed to sit up a little further. His stomach fluttered and his face prickled. He felt like laughing just to shake off the sensation. The door to his hospital reopened to a wave of shouting reporters. They were being held off by at least 3 police officers as a tall, elegant figure decked out in loose hospital robes, casts and bandages limped in.

“Hi Walter!” Lucy Blues said, apparently laughing off a few of her own nerves. The door slammed shut behind her and she jumped a little before wincing in pain and grabbing at her shoulder. Lucy Blues had long brown hair - singed and a little frayed - her eyes matched the deep brown and were naturally wide and inviting. She bit at her lip as she smiled and then she walked slowly to Walter’s bedside, sitting down in slow motion and with obvious discomfort.

“I just wanted to say thank you for saving my life.”

“Anytime.” Walter said weakly. He then let out a series of coughs and struggled to stem the fit as it sliced through his throat. “Doctor said to avoid coughing,” he managed to say in a strained whisper, tensing as he fought urge to cough again. Eventually it passed and he relaxed, speaking in more normal tones, “There.”

“I’m Lucy Blues,” she said extending her left hand as the right was caught up in the cast and sling. “I never thought we would meet like this.”

Walter smiled. “So you were the one who developed the machine that picked me?” he asked though he knew that fact weeks ago.

“Yeah and now look where you ended up.” Lucy joked. There was a short silence and Walter thought up at least ten terrible attempts at conversation. “I never meant for this to happen to you.” She said, looking away from him the moment they made eye contact.

“You feel guilty?” Walter said flatly, surprised. He could see her jaw clenching as she stared out the window. “I’m fine. I’m still as happy as I ever was. Still the happiest man alive I guess...unless someone overtook me.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 38

Mark Tanenworth was enjoying himself immensely. Rarely was he in good company, and rarer still could he find time to have a drink, and never was he free from the worries of Citadel Inc. Today, however, he was with his psychologist and only close friend Stevie and already on his 3rd beer at the White Stag in Newport Haven. He tried, with surprising ease, to ignore that last little bit of information as it reminded him of the railway incident and his duty towards it – funny how alcohol works.

After his sixth beer - or was it seven? He should probably ask Stevie how many since he was buying most of them – Mark felt it was time to do some karaoke. There was no machine to sing along to but there was even less stopping Mark as he stood and bellowed out a medley of pub classics. He had Stevie, the barmen and even the grouchy old locals in high spirits – especially for a mid afternoon drink.

It would have been the only place in town that had some liveliness to it as many of the Haven natives had lost someone they knew that day. While they sought to drown their sorrows there was, for at least a brief moment, something to smile about. At this point Mark had lost the majority of his inhibitions and having come to terms with his day off from work, he began to look to more positive things, like his ability to make people laugh.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 37

Whisky made his way down through the backstreets of Newport Haven. Though he assessed it only as a minor risk, he didn’t much like the idea of pushing his way down the small town’s main street through the crowds – there was a chance that someone (aside from Chips) who could spot him leaving his post.

He had taken a quick glance at the map on his phone before exiting the van and now he was running at a steady pace towards the hospital. He estimated that Chips would return to the van after 30 minutes at the most. This gave him 10 minutes there; ten minutes back; and then minutes at the hospital. The there and back again was the easy part – he could run for days if he had to – but he was still at a loss for what his plan, or even what motivation urged him to see Walter Wallace.

He took a left at the next street, having noticed a short cut on the map that would help him reach the hospital in good time. He rounded another corner and scaled a wire fence at the end of an alley before passing through an intersection almost at a sprint. He barely had time to recognise what had happened as his peripheral caught a flash of warning. He found himself pegged to a telegraph pole, breathing steadily and listening intently for the sound of approaching footsteps.

“Believe it or not I have come up to old Newport Haven a few times in my life.” The voice of Mark Tanenworth carried down the street, revealing his jolly disposition (and his physical position also). A light doorbell tingled and Mark’s voice became slightly muffled. “This pub is a favourite of mine. Match it with some of the best in the city, I reckon. Oi! You coming or not?” There was a slight pause which even Whisky’s heart dare not interrupt before the bell tingled again.

Whisky took a steadying breath and set off again towards his destination. He was quite sure that Mark had been oblivious to him, but he was not so confident about Stevie. This matter would have to be put on hold. The slow burning rush of emotion which began earlier that day was now gaining momentum. He had no memory of this vacancy that had opened up in his stomach like the smashed window of a jet plane at altitude. He had let so many things fall outside of the bounds of his control and what was left at stake was everything that he was, everything he knew. He continued to run and at the next corner the street opened up to reveal the greying exterior of Haven Hospital.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 36

Phil was completely in his element. He may not have fit in to look at him, with his loose ragged clothing and general unclean nature – unless he was thought to be one of the passengers pulled out of the train – but he felt at home. He cruised around the hill that overlooked the wreckage at Newport Haven, slipping in and out of different TV reports. He had been on at least seven different networks already; Dad would be so proud. There was a heavy set security guard who was trying to shoo him away but it wasn’t too hard to shake this minor nuisance – Phil was a pro.

He had been having fun all afternoon. It was maybe a little callous to find joy so near to such a tragic incident but Phil was a practicing Buddhist and knew that death –even two hundred of it – was merely another passage of life that must be confronted, not feared. Now was a time of action and the best thing he thought to do was avenge the dead. And the best way to do that was to get to the bottom of this whole mess.

On the surface it may have appeared as though all Phil was doing was inflaming the reporters but he was also doing a little investigative journalism of his own. Before entering into frame he made sure to catch a little of the gist of the presentation, hoping to build a base of knowledge for his own articles that he was planning to write.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 35 (The Real 35)

Lucy Blues was in her hospital bed watching the news for the first time in what felt like years. It had only been a month since her self-imposed exile but the freedom she felt was like a planet released from the gravitational orbit of its Sun. She no longer had to care about the woes of the world and troubles of others. If not for a careless glance at the local newspaper a week ago she would still be in her father’s cottage chopping firewood or knitting a blanket. Deep down she had to admit that perhaps that lifestyle couldn’t be sustained forever but she knew it was better than her old life and as the film crews passed by the little window of her hospital door, she felt that her cottage escape was just a dream set to fade into sweet reminiscence as her real life steam rolled on like the train that brought her into town that day.

She didn’t actually remember too much from the train. Her last memory was recognising the velocity increasing dangerously. Then she felt as though she were asleep in the cottage again with Walter Wallace’s face smiling down at her gently. It was surely a dream but as she willed herself to wake up his face only became clearer. It was charred and worn. He wasn’t smiling, instead wincing and his pained expression softened into acceptance as a wave of light and noise crashed over them. Reporters and news programs were snapping at them from every angle before the paramedic crew muscled them to reasonable distance.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 35

Whisky sat in the driver’s seat of the white van a short distance down the road from all the other vans that lined Station St outside of what was once Newport Haven Terminal. Chips was away from the van doing a recon on the crash zone for Boss. Not too far down the road Whisky could see Mark Tanenworth, who was initially supposed to be surveying the area. Boss, however, never trusted his brother and had decided to use Chips and Whisky – who were in the town keeping tabs on Walter Wallace – to investigate.

“What about the mark?” Whisky had asked Boss after receiving his instructions.

“I told you, Mark is useless- you mean Walter. Look, don’t call him the mark anymore. Just call him- OK. FUCK! Look, the trains are more important than Walter for this one moment. Sure good ole’ Walt is a goldmine but he isn’t bigger than CitaRail. Find out what’s happened because we are going to need a statement on this soon and I don’t have time for your FUCKING OPINION!”

Whisky had thought to disagree. Walter was bigger than the trains; possibly bigger than Citadel itself. He didn’t know how he knew but he knew. It filled him with a great deal of confusion. Despite everything that he felt programmed to do - everything that Chips would do in a heartbeat and that he would have done in half a heartbeat only a few weeks ago - he resisted his duty. His growing ideals of insubordination should have been reported to Boss by now, he still felt a natural inclination to do so, but his resistance continued.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

To Beard, or not to Beard

About 6 months ago I shaved my beard off. Once it began to grow back I committed myself to not shaving it again until I was married. That would mean I would go unshaven for nearly a year and a half. Well, now that I have 6 months growth I can say I'm getting a little tired of it.

Now consider the cons of a long beard. When you spill food, you sometimes dont notice, when I eat I wipe my face constantly because I cant tell whether something has attached itself to my beard. Wiping your face after every mouthful is fucking annoying. Which leads me to washing. Washing your beard like you do your hair is kinda cool, but its also kinda stupid. It's unfortunately necessary as it'll stink after a few days without a wash.

The pros? Looks pretty cool I guess. It certainly makes one look older.

All things considered, no beard - less cleaning.

I'm shaving it off.

Fuck you guys.

- Dogman

PS - To use "To ___, or not to ___" is almost a cliche nowadays. It was only a few years ago that I found out what 'to be or not to be' truly means. If memory serves me, its the opening of Hamlet's soliloquy where he contemplates whether or not he should take his own life... to be or not to be. I really should read Shakespeare one day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eden and the Shit Cat

Twas a summers night on the eve of October two
A little girl named Eden sat quietly on the loo
Then on the sill of the window just of her view
She heard a delightful sound of a pussy cats coo...

Swifly wiping her rear from front to back
(She avoids infection of her crack)
In order to glimpse this fine young cat
But just as Eden was about to flush
The cat jump in with the stinky mush

Cooing no more, the pussy cat screeched
Eden tried to save it, but it was out of reach
A sadness came over her as she realised her folly
She wonder if she'd ever be jolly...

As the sun rose brightly on October three
Eden staggered to the loo to take her morning pee
When out the window perched in a tree
She spyed the magic-cat... dripping with poo and wee

- Dogman

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Relationship Troubles

Last night I was doing some amazing farts. Like, really good farts. They weren't bassey farts, but they were long, dry, sustained, high pressure farts. A very large amount of air pushing out of a tight puckered bung.

But something wasn't right... she wasn't laughing. Apparently I do so many she just can't laugh anymore. Well fuck that, I laugh at all her farts.

- Dogman

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Walter Wallace: Chapter 34

Whisky sat in the driver’s seat of the white van a short distance down the road from all the other vans that lined Station St outside of what was once Newport Haven Terminal. Chips was out of the van doing a recon on the crash zone for Boss. Not too far down the road Whisky could see Mark Tanenworth, who was initially supposed to be surveying the area. Boss, however, never trusted his brother and had decided to use Chips and Whisky – who were in the town keeping tabs on Walter Wallace – to investigate.

“What about the mark?” Whisky had asked Boss after receiving his instructions.

“I told you, Mark is useless- you mean Walter. Look don’t call him the mark anymore. Just call him- OK. FUCK! Look the trains are more important than Walter for this one moment. Sure good ole’ Walt is a goldmine but he isn’t bigger than CitaRail. Find out what’s happened because we are going to need a statement on this soon and I don’t have time for your FUCKING OPINION!”

Whisky had thought to disagree. Walter was bigger than the trains; possibly bigger than Citadel itself. He didn’t know how he knew but he knew. More importantly it filled him a great deal of confusion. Despite everything that he felt programmed to do - everything that Chips would do in a heartbeat and that he would have done in half a heartbeat only a few weeks ago - he resisted the duty that made him naturally inclined to report his growing ideals of insubordination.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Walter Wallace: Chapter 33

Stevie sat in the back of an ambulance with his shoulders slumped from exhaustion, a cigarette hanging loosely between his fingers. He didn’t usually smoke but he had inhaled so much today he figured he may as well get some of the good stuff while he was at it. He stared back down the hill at the smouldering terminal. The building had further collapsed and now it was sealed off as all carriages had been searched for life and the dead were left as the structure threatened to completely collapse at any moment. The smoke that still rose made the setting Sun hazy in the distance, as though it were a mirage on a desert horizon. Scattered along the hill there was still a strong gathering of reporters and cameras though a sizable chunk had disappeared trailing the two ambulances that had taken Walter Wallace and Lucy Blues away.

Stevie hadn’t yet had time to decipher the whole situation. It would be a juggling act of chance and convenience. Both of which offered little to the reasonable doubt he was bound to. But more intriguing still was the presence of fate. Stevie was a spiritual man – he based his thesis on Eastern philosophy in Western medicine – but he never believed in any voodoo claims such as greater beings and destiny. But then how could he accept the fact that Walter Wallace had strode into an inferno and rescued the woman who had plucked him from obscurity. This doctor had disappeared weeks ago to the point that the network was embarrassed to admit they knew nothing of her whereabouts. Now, like some fairytale, these two meet and...and if he were to succumb to such theories then what should he make of his own chance encounter with the man in question. Was there some force drawing the two together? Ridiculous, surely. Stevie took another long drag from his cigarette and let his mind clear again.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Walter Wallace: Chapter 32

Walter jumped out of the Channel 8 van and ran towards the wreckage at Newport Haven Terminal. Angela called out to him but it was lost in the muffled cacophony of panic that sounded as though it were emanating from a seashell held up close to his ear. His vision was blurry as he dashed and ducked between the people but he felt all his senses focussed and tuned in to the exact location he wanted to be. It was similar to the sensation of anger he felt the morning after speaking to William Unston but he had no time to decipher or distinguish meaning from this connection.

Hordes of reporters were standing with their backs to the scene, facing their respective cameras and reporting on the crises. Police were still trying to seal off the area and firemen were gearing up for entry into the large complex. Walter couldn’t see any fire but a large plume of smoke rose from the rooftop. He couldn’t be sure from his vantage point but it appeared as though part of the roof had caved in. Three of train’s carriages poked out of the entry to the station, disfigured into metallic S shapes, the windows blown out.

He tried to grasp why that scene looked so peculiar but before he had a chance to consider it a policeman stopped him in his tracks, almost catching him as he flew down the hill towards the station.

“You can’t go in there!”

“We have to! There are people in there! We have to help!”

“It’s too dangerous.”

“I’m Walter Wallace! Let me past.” He didn’t know why he said it, but it seemed to have the desired effect. The officer stepped back, unsure how to react. Walter took the chance to duck by, but the moment he did an explosion went off inside the building and knocked them both off their feet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 31

The sky was clear as the Sun began to make an impression on the highest peaks of the Silver Mountains. The stars had all but bid farewell as the approaching dawn called out to the morning birds. They called back in song, relaying the pleasant wake up call to the other creatures in the nearby wood. Lucy was already awake, hugging a hot mug of tea against the lingering chill of an early spring night. The Sun would soon stretch down the mountains and bring the comfort of warmth and light, and Lucy loved nothing more than to feel it kiss her face and fill her with energy for the new day.

Every day had felt like a new day for Lucy now. She had escaped her previous life, retreating to the isolation of her father’s old cottage. He had told her so many times that she ought to take a break from her lifestyle; that the cottage might not have the flair of her inner city apartment but it would help her clear her wonderful mind. He was right about the flair: the electricity was temperamental, the only phone was a landline that had a constant buzz and the nearest town was a 30 minute drive along an unpaved road.

But in the aftermath of her break down she had known no other option. She couldn’t call her father to hear his words of wisdom; he had passed away 18 months ago. He was so capable of calming her when she became overwhelmed. All those long nights slaving over the machine and pouring her every hope and desire and sanity into it, her father had always been her rock. She could always rely on his advice so now she finally took the one piece she could remember.

Walter Wallace - Chapter 30

Walter was getting the hang of this. Like most things, being in front of an audience was daunting at first, but through persistence he grew comfortable and found himself. It was just like one of the really tough crossword puzzles where the discarded newspaper or magazine was old and tattered and had sections of the clues faded or torn out and he had to be patient and open to the possibilities. He had even used this analogy recently in the second stop on his national tour and after the show one of the producers or publicists approached him with the idea to release a crossword book with his face on the cover. He agreed and the next day a printed version was given to him as a gift. Crosswords for Cross Minds: The Happy Puzzle. He opened it up and found that he had written the foreword. It was the quote from his interview.

“We have 20,000 more printing as we speak. We expect that they will sell out by the end of the week.” The female executive/producer/crossword puzzle publisher said.

“Quick.” He replied, honestly as ever.

“The idea was brewing in me a while, I just needed a selling angle and you gave it to me last night.”

“Glad I could help,” Walter said smiling. She smiled back. Walter was becoming increasingly aware of his ability to make people smile. He supposed it had always happened; he had just never had so many chances to exact it. Sure, at the moment he was mainly just managing to make executives smile about the millions of dollars in revenue he was generating for them, but he also got to interact with millions of people and felt that was his true purpose.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 29

Frederick Torse couldn’t believe it...5:30am already. He stretched out his arm, swiping with futile effort at the alarm as it buzzed just out of reach.

“Fuck.” He cursed, and slowly raised himself to a seated position. The alarm on his phone continued to ring and with one hand furiously rubbing his eyes he mashed the keypad into submission. It hurt the skin on his forehead to keep his eyes open at this stage of his morning routine so he plodded blindly through the morning twilight, feeling for the frame of the door and the cool of the bathroom tiles. He turned on the shower and took a piss as it warmed up. He opened his left eye just enough to stare through the haze of sleep dust and tangled lashes and make sure not too much of the piss was missing the bowl.

He flushed the toilet and with the grace of the Frankenstein monster he walked back to the shower and stood under its blissful stream, motionless for 5 minutes straight. He didn’t care to wash his thinning hair or thickening body, instead using the next 3 minutes to remember some of the images from the porn he watched before going to bed. His climax was rather anti-climactic but that had become his expectation over the years. What was once his shame and joy was now neither, instead just an over worked tool at his disposal for tension release and chemical induced pick-me-ups – no caffeine shot ever matched the buzz of coming.

He dried himself hastily and cursed again as he realised he had forgotten to do his washing again. He fished out a selection of used underwear and decided on the red ones which, although going in for their third tour of duty smelt better than the remaining less experienced troops. He put on his pants and work shirt and hand ironed it over the curve of his gut. He made a large bowl of cereal which boasted to be full of energy (sugar) and thought about making a sandwich before eventually deciding to get takeaway in his lunch break.

Walter Wallace - Chapter 28

Manny Holdsworth stood over his father’s still body. It barely moved but for the slight rhythmic up and down motion caused by the machine induced breathing. The lump that was his father was almost completely covered by the white bed sheets. What part of his face that could be seen looked colourless. One could be mistaken for assuming that he had been pronounced dead, but a constant reminder beeped out of the cardio monitor adjacent to them.

Manny couldn’t unravel the tangle of his emotive state; he didn’t have much desire to do so either. The hospital room was heated but the atmosphere felt cold and vacant inside, hollow, grey. He could sense himself as a third person looking on at a still from a graphic novel; the flowers in his hand the only offset of colour or life. He threw them despondently onto the seat and took a few paces to try get some feeling back in his body. He did a few semi circle laps of the bed, rotating his head in full circles to loosen the tension. After a few cracks he stopped back in the same spot he was positioned earlier: staring at his comatose father.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 27

Walter stood up rather awkwardly from his chair in the Channel 8 studios. The show had just been wrapped. He was trying to learn more industry talk (or “Indo Lingo” as the stagies liked to call it) so he could keep up with the rapid directions that were fired from all corners of the studio. He found it all a little overwhelming at times but right now he felt a little lost as nobody was actually giving him any direction on what was to happen next.

All around him the stagies were rearranging furniture and props, the audience was being ushered out - though a few were trying to bypass the ushers and get closer to Walter – and Tony Holdsworth had disappeared the instant the red light went off not even giving Walter a chance to say goodbye. He had noticed Tony acting strange in the commercial breaks, popping more pills than regular and mumbling inaudibly to himself, but Walter assumed it was all part of his routine because he was the Tony Papa Holdsworth that everyone had known for years (or in Walter’s case, days).

“Walter! Great show!” the rushed looking headsetted girl approached Walter and used her clipboard-clad hand to gently guide Walter in a general direction of her choosing. Walter had become familiarised to this gesture and understood it was designed to rush him to a certain destination without actually transferring any nervous energy to the subject. He smiled, appreciating both the silly nature of the business and his increasing knowledge of it. He felt good; back to normal and recognised this consciously. It was a strange habit he had picked up since his conversation with William Unston but he realised he simply had to accept this rather than hide from it.

Walter Wallace - Chapter 26

The show was wrapped up at around 3pm. It was due to air at 7:30pm that night – the execs had decided to refrain from live telecasts in light of the William Unston episode. Tony was already in his office. The recording couldn’t have finished soon enough. He was pacing back and forth; his hands shaking uncontrollably and giving off a steady rattling sound. He didn’t want to think anymore and popped the lid off the bottle and poured out a handful of pills. This gave off a softer rattle as he stared at the small white objects.

“Fuck!” he said, gritting his teeth and poured them back into the bottle, a couple spilling onto the ground as his shaking hands failed to synchronise. He slammed the closed bottle on his table and continued to pace, running his hands over his hair plugged head. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck! Fuck! FUUUCK!!”

It had taken all his will and control to refrain from saying that on set. Sure it wasn’t live and they could edit and censor it, but he was a pro if nothing else and the game wasn’t over no matter what that fucking worm said.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Personal Jinx


"2 plus 2 always makes a 5" - Radiohead


In year 8 I was isolated away in the 8-2 Maths Class. I sat up the front by myself because I had no friends in that gathering of social awkwardness and thought myself much too cool to make any. On the plus side it gave me a chance to focus on the mathematics at hand and as I strolled into class late one afternoon the teacher looked up and said congratulations. The class, too, looked at me with some sense of awe. Apparently I had scored 99% on the recent test and, along with Nina Cheung, I had achieved the highest mark. The ego boost that this gave me was, needless to say, quite exhilarating. I scoured through the test and found my dropped mark - I wrote ‘cm’ on the wrong line of an equation – and from that point on I set out to score a 100% mark.

Despite my efforts, within two years my maths test average had fallen from around 96% to about 90%. Was maths harder or me dumber, lazier? Unable to accept fault I found another connection. It was for a test in year 9 or 10. I thought I aced it; I had it this time. I told all around me that it was easy and I was pretty confident of the mark. It came back. The class averaged 95% and I got 89%! I was more than a little shattered. Not only for the shitty mark, not only for my confidence heading in but more for the fact that I talked myself up to all and sundry and then fell flat on my face. I learned from that day that the secret to success was not hard work and self belief, but the ability to keep your mouth shut until you have achieved your goal so you don’t jinx yourself before the fact.

Walter Wallace - Chapter 25

Angela Beckford was walking as if in a dream. She knew what she had to do: Organise a few biscuits and coffee and take them to The Wentworthville. No rush though, Mr Tank was content to wait just a mom-

“Commercial in 15 seconds. Is guest C prepped for return?”

Angela was snapped to life. “On it,” she said rapidly, trying not to convey the panic that she was severely behind schedule. She rushed to the green room and-

“Commercial. Report on Guest C.”

-hurried Guest C out. The man was a neo-modern psychotherapist (which meant he flunked his PHD and created his own qualification) and was quite upset and flustered at being treated in such a manner.

“Miss if you simply relaxed and took your time you would be able to communicate your intention with much more effect.” He stated with the condescension of a distinguished scholar.

“30 seconds til we’re back. We are introducing Guest C off the bat. Is he prepped?”

“I appreciate your advice,” Angela said rapidly through her exhale, inhaling under her breath Try working in Televsion, you faux hippy douche bag.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“Huh?” she looked at him as she ushered (pushed) him to the stage left entrance. “I was just-”

“We’re back from commercial in 5...4- Nic, where the fuck is Guest C?!”

“Prepped and ready.”

“Nick, is it? Just try and emulate me. Innnn, one, two, three, four, five.” He illustrated the flow of breath with his hands, “Hold. And-”

“Shut up!” she hissed. “OK.” She tucked her hair behind her ears, shaking a little. “You look great. Remember not to look directly at the camera. Speak with a strong but not too loud voice, OK? You’ll be fine!”

“Send Guest C, Nic!”

“Please, Nic just re-” she spun him on his heel and pushed him forcefully out onto the stage with the soul of her boot.

“Nick, what the fuck was that about?”

“MY NAME’S NOT NICK!” she said in the loudest whisper possible. This made her remember Sam Tank and she took off her headset and walkie talkie and stuffed them into the hands of a floating intern. “Take this!”

“But.” He stared at her like a fish that just had the hook ripped out of its mouth by the fisherman. “Help me.”

“You’re Nick for ten minutes.” She stormed off towards the kitchen.

Walter Wallace - Chapter 24

Brian Smithwaite stood in the shadows of the audience bleachers at a Channel 8 studios. He was content and smiling accordingly. He had recently got off the phone with Big Boss. It was his nickname for Boss Citadel which, when said with sincerity and placed directly after an insult received, would infuriate and disarm the big guy and ultimately place him under Brian’s persuasion. Boss had just informed him that Sammy Tank was coming down to the studios to sort out the contract negotiations which Brian had, as Boss put it so elegantly, “fucked up the fucking cunt!”

“Well I assure you that everything is fine, contract or no contract. The precious Walter Wallace is broken and willing to eat poison out of my hand - in fact that is what he is doing right this minute. But if you wish to send the mouth and his third wheel muscle then by all means go ahead – you are the big boss after all.”

Boss took some short, tantrum like huffs and puffs. He could never handle layered insults and backhanded compliments so even though he had essentially won the argument he now felt as though he had lost by a large margin. “Look,” he said, trying to regain some ground after a few more grunts, “just don’t fuck it up like last time.”

“You got it, big guy.” It was all he could do not to go into a mock radio announcer voice and he hung up the phone before Boss could reply or hear Brian laughing to himself. Perhaps he had gone too far, but Boss had gone too far as well. The studios were Brian’s stomping grounds. He ran this joint with a team of headless suits and the puppet Tony Holdsworth. But the brains behind it all was he, Brian Smithwaite. Up to now it had been fine that he received little recognition for his efforts in corrupting the news, deregulating the advertising standards and practice, filling his pockets with IOU slips from executives at the other networks, but the Walter Wallace fiasco was his moment to shine.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 23

Ricky Talk didn’t speak very much. Words were confusing. They made him want to be smart but only ever feel dumb. He liked some words, like food and sleep and red because they were easy to say and remember. Most words, though, only existed to hurt him. Right now there were lots of words being said and he didn’t know half of them and the other half made no sense even if he did know them. People could say words without thinking, like Boss always did. Right now he was yelling and screaming about the funny looking, happy man on TV. Ricky was happy it wasn’t words made for him because that was scary when Boss yelled at him and all he could do was look scared until Boss would hit him and say ‘Go Away’ in French. Ricky didn’t know why Boss liked French so much but he always spoke it. At that moment he said, “Why the fuck...fucking wallet...sign the fucking track.” It made no sense to Ricky and having so much French didn’t help.

But worse than people who say words without thinking was people who say words with thinking. At least when Boss spoke Ricky could understand his motions: Angry or not Angry. But when Sam spoke he didn’t use any motions. That was worse than French. At least Ricky knew one French word. Sam replied to Boss but Ricky couldn’t understand anything. He heard ‘water wallet’ – which didn’t sound like a very good wallet (maybe that was why Boss was angry) – but that was it. And Boss just said “Fuck!” and stormed around angry.

Walter Wallace - Chapter 22

Phil lay sprawled on his mattress. It was fairly hot outside, even for early morning (12:30pm is still morning for Phil), and so he had cast aside the bed sheets and was in the final stage of waking up. He trudged over to his door, picking up a pair of shorts on the way and hopped into them lethargically. As he opened the door he was met with a wave of fresh air, wincing his eyes a little at the bright light reflecting off the walls and tiles. He walked to the bathroom in a daze, took a long needed leak and then made for the kitchen. His mother had left a note for him in perfect bubbly cursive.

“Hi Flip, just left for work and didn’t want to wake you. Just want to say I love you no matter what. Every day is a new day to shine your light.”

Just below that note was an aggressive scrawl:

“Phil. Get a job.”

There was a series of newspaper clippings attached with part time and full time opportunities. Flip, as he preferred to be called for reasons highlighted by the two letters, rolled his eyes. He snatched the clippings off the fridge and whipped out his phone. He dialled the first number.

“Hi,” he began in perfect ‘uninterested slacker’ tones, “My name’s Phil, I’m calling about the uhh...” he took his time, exhaling heavily, “the uhh...job you guys got?” Finishing a statement in a question, he had learned, was the perfect sign of someone who can’t make decisions and should never be hired by an employer. The person at the other end replied politely. Flip cut her off, “So, I mean I haven’t really read the ad but what’s involved?” The girl started talking again. Flip cleared his throat aggressively and managed to hock up some phlegm, making no efforts to disguise the act of spitting it into the sink. “So you want me to come in for an interview, or something? I’ve never had a job so I don’t really know what to do?” The girl remained diplomatic but all signs pointed to no. “Alright I guess, I’ll from yous soon.”

Flip hung up and checked the call time: Nearly three minutes; good enough to keep his dad happy. He prepared some cereal and spoke to the next receptionist in between taking large spoonfuls of oats and bran. The third one he just called and left the hand set on the table – “Just got the machine, dad. You think they would show some professionalism?”

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 21

Walter was escorted home in the same van that picked him up outside of his work earlier that day. The drive was quiet. He hadn’t said much since the incident at the studio except that he would like to go home right away. There had been no argument from any of the executives; they were all quite supportive and insistent upon making him comfortable in any way. Brian Smithwaite was the most supportive but his eyes were still grinning that condescending grin. It was the first time Walter truly felt adverse to someone’s smile.

When he arrived home he waded through the mob of press at the entrance to his building. It had not thinned out though they seemed to have lost their bite a little and parted obligingly as Walter pushed forward. The questions they asked were a blur but he didn’t have to think too hard to guess what they were quizzing him about. He had been reliving the conversation for the last hour; trying to imagin what he could have to help the man instead of provoke him; instead of somehow giving him his blessing to take his life. Why would he want to do that? Why would anyone want to do that?

Once he entered the stud, Walter closed his curtain (that is he hung his bed sheet over the naked curtain rod). He didn’t much want a repeat of this morning’s invasion and the sight of the adjacent buildings wall wasn’t quite as inspiring as it used to be. He sat in thought with the conversation swirling around his head. He wished he had a blank crossword to help take his mind off the topic but the ones he had stored away were all thrice completed and fresh in his memory. He cooked some pasta and sauce in a rushed manner and noticed that it tasted as though it were bereft of its usual flavour. He ate it begrudgingly, using it as an outlet for the frustration that was building in his head. What if I had just said something different? He went to bed feeling no urge to sleep and for the second night in a row he lay awake in his bed long into the early morning hours.

He awoke at 6am feeling worse than when he had gone to bed and wondering if he had even slept. He sat and ate some cereal lethargically before putting on his work clothes. He left the house and the press were ready for his early bird antics this time. The little respect they had shown the night before had clearly dissipated and they seemed to be making up for lost time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 20

“Walter. Ed Hames. Pleasure to meet you. Look I’m a lawyer - not like some hot shot big leagues lawyer – but I get a decent living. But in my job you gotta lie. You gotta. And I wanted to know if it’s wrong. I mean like I feel bad about it sometimes and- Idunno...Do you lie?”

“No, I don’t think so. But I never really need to lie. Do you need to lie?”

“Like I said I’m not a hot shot lawyer, but I mean...I gotta make a living for my family, don’t I?”

“That’s true. Well do you hurt people with your lies. Do you feel guilty?”

“I-” Ed Hames sighed audibly through the telephone, “I mean...yeah I do, I do.” There was a short pause during which it seemed obvious that Ed was contemplating his existence on a deep scale. “OK thanks buddy.”

“Thank you, Mr Hames. Walter, we have a ‘Bruno’ on the line. No last name here. Go ahead Bruno.” Tony Holdsworth couldn’t help but smile. Well he could help enough not to look like a douche on TV but he couldn’t help his inner smile. This was great television. Whoever this Walter Wallace was and whether or not the silly machine worked, people were engaged by the whole scenario and Tony was perched overlooking TV history.

“Yeah so what I wanna ask you is this: Walter Wallace. You ever had sex pal?” The studio audience laughed and Walter smiled, blushing a little. “And don’t you lie to me, I heard what you said to that other poor bastard so you can’t lie.”

Walter looked a little childish as he spoke, “Yeah I have.” A few hoots and a wolf whistle came from the audience.

“And?”

“It was pretty good.” Tony could tell Walter was nervous but he wasn’t lying. Sex makes everybody giddy to talk about and guessing by Walter’s social life he hadn’t had much sex and had talked about it even less.

“Hahah you cheeky bastard. So what’d you do, have a lady or just go fuck a hooker Bruno Style.” The audience, who felt like they were sharing an inside joke over the fun back and forth dialogue, laughed and whispered excitedly but live F-bombs were a piece of cake. Tony hammed it up, freezing on the spot and then mopping his brow while giving exaggerated nervous glances backstage. By now it would have been censored on the slight delay and all he had to do now was cut the call while they were ahead.

“Alright Bruno, I have to say I wouldn’t mind hearing more of what you feel are the important questions for happiness but we’ll have to leave it at that for now.”

“No harm; no foul, Tony. Least I know them celebrate monks ain’t got all the secrets.”

Walter Wallace - Chapter 19

Whisky sat in the van halfway down the block and across the street from Channel 8 studios. He had followed Walter, undetected, into the large building and tracked his every step. He saw him being introduced to different figures within the network by Brian Smithwaite, he saw him enter the conference room and eventually saw him pushed onto the stage by a young stagehand. All the while he had kept out of sight, following the orders of Boss Citadel. Or so he thought.

“You don’t need to be here, Mr Whisker. And if you are going to tail someone, try be a little more subtle.” It was a mocking, sarcastic voice and it almost made Whisky jump. He turned and saw Brian Smithwaite with a slimy grin on his face.

“It’s Whisky, and Boss told me to trail the mark so that’s what I am doing.”

“Ooh, have a nickname now do you? But Whisker was so cute. Just like a fluffy little kitten.” He pinched Whisky’s cheek as he said it. Whisky didn’t flinch. “So they teach you how to be a robot at the academy but not how to track a mark without being sighted.” Whisky’s jaw tightened for a split second. Brian gave victorious smirk. “Listen, I run the show down here at Channel 8. This is my home court and I have everything quite under control. I don’t need some lumbering security guard raising any suspicions. What you can do is go back out and wait in the car with Mr Chips and call the Boss and tell him that Walter hasn’t signed the contract...yet.”

“That was your job,” Whisky replied matter-of-factly, “shouldn’t you make the call?”

“Do I look like I have time? I am running this operation here. Do you know how many strings I am pulling to keep this show going? And now you come in here playing spy and I am forced to untangle you before you ruin it all. Now follow your orders like you were trained to do and go back outside and call Boss and tell him the contract is yet to be signed.” The two men stared at each other a moment before Whisky turned and headed back to the side entrance he had found when he originally entered the building.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 18

It wasn’t hot at Channel 8 studios. Sure under the immediate attention of some of the lighting the temperature jumped, but this seemed to be offset by a very prominent air conditioning system. Its prominence such that most those in the audience had goose bumps, though this in turn could be attributed to the anticipation that Walter Wallace was generating. What he did know was that despite any lighting/a/c produced artificial ambience, he was sweating like he had never sweat before.

A rushed looking girl with an awkward contraption wrapped around her head came up and stood in front of Walter. She smoothed out Walter’s suit while speaking rapidly, “You look great. Remember not to look directly at the camera. Speak with a strong but not too loud voice, OK? You’ll be fine!” Walter nodded vaguely and she furrowed her brow as she tried to mop up his leaking forehead. “A sweater are you? Don’t tell me that’s the secret to happiness. I just had laser surgery on my armpits.”

Walter furrowed his own brow, trying not to think what that might mean. Instead he paused for a moment and closed his eyes and settled himself naturally. He was as deep as he had ever been but didn’t feel out of his depth. He felt a natural calm begin to trickle through his body and realised there was no need to worry he would just make sure he-

“You’re On!” The rushed girl had pushed Walter out in front of the cameras and he stumbled slightly before checking himself and walking timidly over to the chair next to Tony Holdsworth. He had met Manny’s father only an hour ago. He was seated at a long table with four other important figures including Brian Smithwaite. The men took turns as they talked of how they would approach the situation. They spoke of respecting Walter’s predicament and ensuring he was safe and comfortable at all times. They spoke of the expectations of Channel 8 and the media in general. They spoke of the public’s expectations. And in the end they came round to Walter’s response to all this. The senior most of them leaned forward, “Obviously you are not bound to any duties, Walter. You are a free man just as this great nation promises us all. You are here only on invitation to which you have so graciously accepted. We are not suggesting that you have any obligation to us, or that we the people have any right to you; we only further extend our invitation that you chat with us and share with the world your...expertise in the field of happiness.” The men all chuckled while Walter smiled politely. It was not clear where it came from or for how long it had been there but Walter could have sworn there wasn’t piece of paper in front of him a moment ago. “We will make it well worth your while, Walter.” Tony Holdsworth was standing at Walter’s right shoulder, offering him a pen. Walter glanced at it and then at Tony. He had no idea what was going on, only that he was extremely uncomfortable. He took the pen from Tony and-

“Are you still with us Walter?” Walter started, as if he had just been dozing off. Had he been dozing off? “It’s OK to get a little camera shy Walter. Even the happiest man in the World would be a little intimidated by all this equipment at first. The audience laughed and Walter again smiled politely.

“Sorry, I was-”

“No don’t be, that’s perfectly fine. What I was saying was welcome to your new home at Channel 8 studios. And might I add that you look to be making it your own rather quickly.” Another laugh; this time Tony smiled broadly, he truly enjoyed himself. “Now let’s get to the nitty gritty. Everyone wants to hear it; I want to hear it, so tell us. What’s your secret? Is there a secret? Can it be wrapped up in 25 words or less? Do you need to draw it? Are you going to tease us with it? Are you going to hide it? What I’m trying to say is: Tell us the secret!” three in a row! The audience cheered and followed it up with a round of applause.

Walter had no idea, so that’s what he said, “Well I’m just not really sure. I mean, it’s not an easy question to answer. I’ve never really asked myself. It seems...pointless.”

“Mmm, OK. We saw a little bit of this last night with Manny. You had never heard of the machine before last night had you?”

“No.”

“And you say that you don’t consider yourself happy or unhappy?”

“Well,” Walter spoke slowly, returning to his natural calm again, “like I said, I never thought to.”

“Well it is quite remarkable I must say. We racked our brains here at the studio last night trying to work out how we can unlock this secret that even you yourself seem unable to articulate. Perhaps we ought get to know you a little better first. How about a little questionnaire? What do you say folks?” The crowd cheered and Walter shrugged obligingly. “OK first question: How old are you?”

“32.”

“What do you do?”

“Like a job?”

“Yeah.”

“I clean the toilets in the South West Zone train system.” There was a murmur in the crowd and Tony nodded, feigning appreciation; hiding disgust.

“For how long?”

“12 years.”

“Do you have a tertiary education?”

“No. High school was enough for me.”

“Are you single? Remember if you feel uncomfortable about any of this it is fine not to answer.”

“No that’s fine. Yes I’m single.”

“Divorced?”

“No.”

“Any family?”

“My parents passed away around 10 years ago. I don’t have any siblings.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“No that’s OK. They had a good life. They loved me and I loved them.” Walter was starting to feel confident. He had never had anyone this interested in his life before.

“Do you have many friends?”

“Well, not really, no.” The crowd was murmuring a little louder now. Tony made to summarise.

“So what we have here, if I may be so crass, is a man, 32 with little or no possessions; a man with no friends and family, no relationships at all it seems; and finally a man who cleans toilets for a living. Tell me, Walter, what do you do for fun?”

“I like crosswords. I read; listen to music occasionally, though I don’t have many books and I only catch the radio playing in my boss’s office occasionally. I like to walk around the neighbourhood, sit in the park and get some fresh air.” He shrugged and smiled honestly. He had stopped sweating and felt rather at ease. He looked at Tony who was giving an exaggerated shrug of the shoulders to the camera as if summing up the collective reactions of everyone around the world. He had a playful look on his face which was much different to the expression Walter saw back in the dark office when he had returned Tony’s pen after politely refusing to sign the document that had been placed before him. He knew something felt wrong and decided at the last moment to trust his gut. “You’re making a mistake, Walter! A big mistake!” Tony had lost his cool. All the men did; All except Brian Smithwaite. By now Tony was all smiles and cheer for the camera, but earlier, while he and the rest were standing and yelling and insisting and pleading, Brian had simply remained in his leaned back position smiling his horrible, slimy grin.

The thought of that moment brought Walter back down a notch from his primetime high just in time for Tony to send them to commercial. “And when we come back, ladies and gentlemen, we will throw the microphone over to the studio audience and have them ask Walter a few questions to see if we can piece together a little more of this intriguing puzzle.”

Notes on the Text

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

UFC Eulogy - 128: Shogun v Bones Jones

Well what can I say?I'll just get this out of the way: Bones Jones is a freak.

OK,I'll come back to this point in a second. First I will write the review of the rest of the PPV similar to how I watched. Impatient and anxious about the main event.

It wasn't a terrible PPV. The main event was a spectacle and there was some good action beforehand, but I did find myself a little disengaged with the earlier fights. It may have just been an off day for me - tired, beers, footy on the adjacent screen - but I can barely remember the specifics of the other fights.

Cro Cop v Brendan Schaub was an entertaining fight. He did what he does best. He brought the fight to his opponent and threatened with an all round solid game but he still couldn't do what he used to do best...knock guys outSchaub landed a right hook that seemed to catch Mirko behind the ear and he dropped awkwardly and it was followed by a series of cringe-inducing replays

Marquardt v Dan Miller was a snooze fest. Sucked momentum out of the PPV and in the end Marquardt won but who cares. He is slipping down PPV ladder and might be headlining fight nights in the future.

Jim Miller v Kamal Shalorus was an entertaining fight. I haven't seen these two much if at all and Jim proved he is one to watch. I really can't get over the depth and variety of the Lightweight division. Good luck to whoever runs the ranking system for it.

My first Bantamweight bout. This would be interesting, more so because apart from the more committed MMA fans there will be plenty of UFC fans who don't recognise or buy PPVs based on the new WEC guys. So that means these guys are at a pivotal point of their careers in the octagon and how they market themselves outside of it. Faber came with plenty of hype but struggled through the first round. He did adjust and fought with plenty of flair that the little guys offer and in the end it was a decent decision bout. So I'm gonna stick to the fence before I commit to my maiden favourite Bantamweight.

So now to the big one. I was tipping and hoping for a Shogun victory beforehand but just the visual size difference alone would have been warning enough for most fans, but for me it was the first takedown that filled me with a sense of dread. Jones manhandled Shogun and then imposed himself on top and did some damage while draining Shogun of significant energy - by the first round bell he looked gassed. The stand up was a similar story. Jones' reach nullified anything Shogun could throw at him and on the not so rare occasion when Jones made a mistake, Shogun looked powerless to capitalise. At one point he had his back and dropped down to try take a leg but seemed to slide off weakly. Another was an attempted sweep or reversal that barely made Jones budge. Eventually an exhausted Rua was felled by a piercing body blow and a knee on the way down, tapping the mat as Bones Jones strode away to take in his victory.

So where do we go from here? Every sport has eras of domination; as do the weight divisions within the UFC: Silva, GSP, BJ Penn, Ortiz, Matt Hughes. When someone brings a game that is naturally a cut above the rest. Whether it is natural ability, work ethic, technique, etc. it is usually good enough to require years of training to develop a fighter to overcome it.

But one thing more common than dominant eras is making the call too early. Brock Lesnar wasn't meant to be the man atop the mountain. He was the Mountain. But in his two title defences he was rocked by Carwin and then destroyed by Cain Velasquez. Now people, myself included, are unable to see who could beat Cain but he hasn't made one defence yet either. The Light Heavyweight division for sometime now has been like hot potato with title belt; before Shogun we had Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, and Rampage Jackson who were all convincing champs. But the cream of this even playing field seemed to have risen to the top with Shogun. A man of ample potential finally exuding it in a demolition of Machida.

But now we have to ask: Who will beat Bones Jones? Is anyone physically capable? Rashad Evans is next up and good luck to him because I love him but a cynical side of me suggested that his statements about moving to the Middleweight division if Jones became champ had less to do with friendship and more to do with inside info on the next big thing. At the moment Bones Jones is a marketing dream but Dana White may be worried of Anderson Silva syndrome where the competition are so far below that the fights are tougher to market. Admittedly he is American and much more aggressive tactically, and the more I think about it the more I want to see Rashad or Rampage or Shogun rematch or Machida or even the lovable Forrest Griffin have a go. It does seem like it will be 5 easy title defences but with UFC you really never know so in the end, after the devastation, I am pretty excited about Jones' next fight.

- Eden

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 17

Stevie was in a relatively good mood. He hadn’t managed to make any inroads into the undercover job he was doing on Mark Tanenworth, but he always enjoyed chatting with the man. In fact they had become quite good friends. Mark was an oddball – harmless and quick to make a joke at his own expense. Stevie could never quite figure out why he would want to stay working in the grime of his family business when he seemed to have the makings of an artist. His obscure point of view on the world would surely capture the imaginations of a small but significant following. Were he truly performing his duties as a doctor (or even a friend), Stevie would suggest this to Mark but he had to remember why he was helping Mark in the first place – to help himself.

There were no two ways about it, and though Stevie had managed to hide from some inconvenient truths, this one was much too obvious. Stevie had had personal suspicions of the Citadel Inc empire for a long time but it was foolish for a sentry level police officer to try and undertake a case against the biggest corporation in the world – plus he had little idea as to what exactly Citadel Inc may be guilty of and even less evidence. He had decided to bypass the suppressing weight of due process and instead made it a little hobby of his to investigate the multi-national corporation in his free time. It was initially a mammoth task. He had no real foundation to build upon. But one day he got lucky.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 16

Mark Tanenworth woke late that morning. He was having some trouble setting the alarm on his new phone. He was always messing up the AM and PM so he switched it to 24 hour time, however this led to him spending 10 minutes every night working out that 2000 means 8 but it still wouldn’t go off and “It’s pointless to worry about what happened because it is already 10 o’clock,” he said as he rolled out of bed. “Oops,” he said aloud, “caught myself talking again.” He stopped and inhaled and exhaled slowly, wandering if his psychologist would be proud of his diligence – even if it was proving increasingly ineffective. He supposed that he could raise the issue this day as he was about to talk with his psychologist very soon – he had a meeting at...21:30 that very morning, which he was now rushing down the rickety fire escape to get to. He exited Citadel Towers a few minutes later and hopped in the backseat of a black sedan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things to Yell While at the Footy

So it is that time of year again: Footy season! And with record numbers in memberships and season tickets the crowds should be bigger and better than ever. Whether you are a first timer or a 300 game veteran from before the war or whether you would simply like to touch up on your vocabulary before performing your duties as grandstand coach/referee/tactician/commentator/motivational speaker/expert opinionist/bogan footy fan – this is a must read!

Here are a few of the basic phrases which will help you enjoy your first game of the season to the fullest.

Drop it – a split second before the opposition player catches the kick off.

Smash him! – When he doesn’t drop it.
*Variation – Hit him

Get off him – when dominant tackles start to get on your nerves.
*Alternate use – when your player acts like a fish out of water under the weight of the defender

Offside – when you are behind the posts with no lateral point of reference at all and are just desperate for a penalty.

Get em onside – when your team’s wingers scoot out of dummy half but only gain 3m
*For extra emphasis: Get em onside, ref!

Six again! – You saw them touch it!
*Remember to wave you fist sideways above your head. Pivot from the elbow for perfect technique

Just call it yourself, you idiot! – When you know the opposition scored but the ref goes to the video ref anyway, in effect giving the opposition fans twice as many chances to celebrate

What? – Confusion over a decision

Tackle him! – when you’re not sure if your team remembers the fundamental forms of defence

Go. Go! GO! – Line break!

What are you even here for? – Always directed at touch jud- I mean sideline official

Shepherd – I mean who actually says obstruction?

What!?- Another terrible decision. Confusion is increasing.

Benefit (of the doubt) – For learned watches of the game who can predict the video refs every decision

Run Forward – When your winger or centre covers 60m sideways

Forward – Usually said in unison with 1000 other people in the stadium (usually not including the ref)

40/20 – when you have that divine premonition of a 40/20 even before it leaves the player’s boot

WHAT! – No confusion here. The ref is a cheat.

Hold it! – The basketball carry 20m out from your own line

Ref’s Call – see: Benefit

Use it! – When an overlap develops but the front rower spots a gap

C’mon…- Deflated after 3 chances at the opposition goal line. Somehow they always seem to know the inside-ball-to-tired-prop play that was worked on all week

Intercept – When things are getting desperate. Usually after 3 consecutive drop outs

Various Expletives – This would require a second article

Would’ve won if the ref wasn’t such a [see next article] idiot – Yes that bad call in the 47th minute sparked the 30 point massacre

So I hope this has helped refresh your memory. Feel free to add a few of your own.

- Eden

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 15

Walter woke early, as he usually does, to get ready for work. It was quiet outside and he had some hope that the mob had gone home for the night. He ran a cold shower in order to wake himself up after a rather sleepless night (plus the stud isn’t exactly equipped with heated water) and by the time he was dressed and eating his breakfast he felt normal again; like it was all a dream (a very exciting one compared to the usual windows that opened out to views of sandstone walls).

As he ate he heard a faint clicking sound. At first he thought it was his jaw but he couldn’t feel it; only hear it. He turned around and saw at the window a large camera with its shutter rapidly opening and closing. “How you going there, Walt?” said the camera, “Get a good sleep then?” A youthful face popped up from behind the camera with a cheeky smile and a wave. Walter waved back uneasily. “Don’t mind me, mate. Enjoy your breakfast.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 14

Sam Tank, (or Sammy Tank as Boss liked to call him. “Sounds more like a mob name,” he had said. Tank had wanted to remark that their operation had absolutely no affiliation with any mob but decided to bite his tongue. He often did this in Boss’s company) was biting his tongue. He was on the phone with Boss who had just finished ordering him to do another pointless task. Tank begrudgingly acquiesced. He slowed his car to a stop and performed a neat three-point turn. He was barely two minutes from his home but now he was heading in the opposite direction to Phil Talley General Hospital to explain why a seven foot giant had just carried a nearly lifeless body into the emergency.

At the hospital he first encountered the numbing whine of Ms Citadel, “You wouldn’t believe what he has done! You’ve got to do something Sammy! Oh he is such a horrible man! Who would do such a thing?” Who would marry such a thing? he bit back - a the stinging sensation surging through his tongue. He was unsure if he was directing the muted slur at her or to her husband – marrying either one was a horrid thought – and as she continued to rant and rave he ignored her and strode past.

Monday, February 28, 2011

UFC Eulogy: UFC 127 Penn v Fitch

One of the more disappointing shows of the last few months, UFC 127 featured a hometown hero frustratingly trapped in a struggle against a different style of fighter, a completely uncalled for show of disrespect from Michael Bisping and a disappointing decision in the main event. But there were a few fun moments, especially from a veteran who came in with little chance and put on the best show of the night (I heard from someone who attended the show that this was the feeling in the building as well).

George Sotiropolous' problem was not that he fought horribly, he just simply couldn't take Denis Sever down. Going in to the fight, we knew that Georgie would want the fight on the ground and Sever would want the exact opposite. We heard that Sever's stand up was very good, but we weren't prepared for how good he really was, and neither was the gollywog. There was a kick in the first round by Sever that didn't land but was still insanely impressive to see. But probably more than just how much he was beating Sotiropolous up, and he was, was his takedown defense. Not one point in the fight did it look as though Denis Sever was going to down, even when George had him by one leg, also in the first round. The Australian did come back from being knocked down twice, and took it to a decision, but really he had nothing. Hopefully Sotiropolous works on a few things, because I don't feel that this ruins too much momentum, as he could still be champ. (Me hopes.)

Michael Bisping is a child. I find him very entertaining, but he is not acting like a professional athlete. I wouldn't mind at all, in fact I was loving the Bisping Show until he kneed Jorge Rivera in the head while the American was on the ground. It wasn't a bad fight actually, with the heavy underdog Rivera actually knocking him down midway through the fight. Bisping came away with the TKO, but he didn't come away with the respect of many people, especially Dana White, who whispered something to Bisping right before the brit apologized in his post fight interview. One can only imagine what 'Mr White' said, probably something to the effect of, "you realise your not the world champ and you don't sell that many PPV's, if I fired you tomorrow, I don't lose shit."

BJ Penn versus John Fitch was not horrible but was not a good fight. The fight was mostly even until Fitch, in the final round, started his light ground and pound that looks like it annoys more than it kills, and looked like he was going to win. We ended up with a draw. It's baffling really, because Fitch won. BJ Penn was not getting up any time soon, Fitch was in control at the end and won the fight. But it was a draw. Penn seemed disillusioned by the decision, and in a pretty awesome show of respect, also said he felt he lost the fight.

The most fun fight was Chris Lytle v Roger Ebersole. Ebersole was an underdog, an old man with not much chance. He came in with so much charisma, ability and experience, and he won the crowd and the match. I'll call him Lil Randy for now because he reminds me so much of Couture.

It was a poor show, but we move on, as next month is the big Light Heavyweight fight!

- Lee


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 13

The cameras flashed relentlessly. People were shouting from every angle. Walter barely noticed the security guards with Channel 8 polos manhandling the media mass as he was guided into his apartment. The man to Walter’s side was smiling warmly as they entered the apartment. He raised his eyebrows a little as a first reaction to the stud before saying curteously, “Take a seat, Walter.” Walter sat on the only chair in the room and the reporter hesitated as he looked around the tiny room. “Get another chair!” he barked before turning back to Walter with a warm expression.

The camera crew were hard pressed squeezing in through the door and had little room to set up the extravagant equipment. “It’s OK, you can use my chair and I’ll stand,” Walter offered. But as he had made to stand a rushed looking girl with a headset worked her way through the crowd like a mouse through a scientist’s maze and placed a small chair next to his. She took a moment to find the perfect arrangement: exactly 135 degrees and two hand lengths distance from his seat. She concurred briefly with the camera man, lighting man and sound man before exiting through a new path in the maze.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 12

Stevie was breathing heavily in the front seat of the cop car. He expected this fiasco to cause some problems for anyone who got themselves involved, and in his attempt to ignore the whole matter completely, he had landed smack bang in the middle of it. The weeks leading up to the night’s television event had been sickening. Every time he turned on the television he had been repulsed by advertising and excitement mongering; the clich├ęd “I Want you” Uncle Sam poster pointing at those vegetable-ised humans staring at the millions of screens; the slogan twisted to “Will it be you?” He assumed anyone wanting to be found the happiest person in the world would automatically be ruled out because their character is already inherently weak and dependent upon others’ approval. He also felt anyone entertained by such cheap and immoral programming would lack the depth of thought to find truth. But most of all he felt an irrepressible desire that his psychologist background would not let go: He thought, without formation or articulation, without wanting or choosing, that he deserved to be the happiest man in the world. It was a self entitlement so visceral and repugnant that it would serve as the secret weapon that any Nietzsche enthusiast could use to argue down Buddha in a debate over human nature. He was no longer out of breath from the battle with the press mob but Stevie was still breathing heavily.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 11

Boss Citadel was enjoying himself for the first time that night when he was rudely interrupted by a phone call. “What is it?” he growled into his handset.

“Hey Simommph! How you gomph?” chirped Mark in a muffled voice. “Sorry, mm just eating a pizza,” he managed, followed by a short silence as he apparently tried to swallow. Another muffled voice struggled to be heard only a few steps away. It was Not Citadel, The Boss’s lookalike. Not was currently feeling the sensation of having his eyes slowly squeezed from their socket; his cries of despair barely escaping Talk’s elbow pit. Boss smiled. “Simommphn…How you gomph?” Mark had apparently taken another bite of his pizza. Boss hung up the phone.

“OK let him breath a little,” he instructed. Talk dropped the limp body to the ground like a ragdoll. Boss walked over casually. “You think you’re still the funny guy? The cool guy? Well you’re not, Not!” Boss had been planning that line for the last two hours but it suddenly felt empty, especially since the only person around to appreciate was too dumb to acknowledge it. Maybe he should have kept Tank lingering a little longer in the house before suggesting he leave.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

UFC Eulogy - 126: Silva v Belfort


There was strong possibility going into this PPV that I was going to miss out because it snuck up on me. But after reading the card and seeing some hype footage I was hooked in. It was a strong PPV overall though not up to the standard of late -we have been blessed with some high quality events lately. As I watched the fights I got to thinking (slightly annoying now that I have started writing about each PPV I have fallen into the reviewer’s trap of sacrificing the moment for a thought) that the word freak is no longer a compliment or hype building adjective in UFC, it is almost a requirement. You have Cain Velasquez with his freakish cardio, BJ Penn and his freaky elastic joints, Chris Leben and the freakish look on his face after taking a KO punch and coming back even harder, GSP’s freaky accent, the freaky skills of some of the lightweights and of course Brock Lesnar who is a freak of nature. The sport is in constant evolution, such that the freak tag is always there being justifiably thrown around. It doesn’t just sell PPVs it is often the only way to describe some of the things that happen in UFC.

126 had its fair share of freaks. The love hate relationship that fighting fans have with Anderson Silva continues (love finding a way this round); New star on the block Jon Bones Jones displayed another exhibition of sheer athleticism and power; and even Carlos Rocha was being lauded for his freakish Ju Jitsu ability which looked like poetry in the first round (so tragically absent from the next two). Anderson’s jaw dropping kick was a special thing to see (for those who didn’t blink) and he holds onto his records and number one pound for pound tag until that awesome day when Chael is allowed back in the Octagon. Bones Jones made Darth Bader look like he was wishing he could use the force (too much?) and his natural flair inside the Octagon has won him a legion of new fans to add to the other new legion and, belive it or not a title shot in the light heavyweight division.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 10

Walter was sitting in his stud apart- in his cell. It was actually very similar to his apartment: Same size, same shape, similar furnishing. The toilet in the cell had better flush capabilities but he didn’t feel the need to exploit this advantage – or the desire, considering the company he held. As for his company, the mysterious conspiracy theorist hippy who apparently liked to remain silent and pensive in shadowy corners turned out to be quite sociable and in need of a friend even more so than a bath. He talked non stop to Walter who was sometimes vaguely engaged by a recount of a dangerous protest in Ghana or a dodgy tour of a Bolivian drug prison, but most of the time it was ramblings about the government and the vile devil worshippers (which he believed to be a diversion from other grander corruption which worshipped a greater devil – Money!!!!) and Walter tried his best to be polite by nodding occasionally (mainly as he was nodding off).

They (the hippy) talked a little more of the political issues close to home. Walter couldn’t have stayed interested even if he knew of Sitwell Towers and the evil boss. He failed to register even a single letter of the website the hippy kept referencing – though he had no real use for any information if retained. He eventually settled for apologising for his inability to focus, stating that for the first time his head felt cloudy and distorted. “That’s how you know they’re getting to you, dude.” But the hippy had some positives. He noticed Walter’s stressed state and suggested that he join him for a session of Yoga. After 30 minutes of poor balance and inflexible muscles Walter felt relaxed and at ease.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 9

Lucy Blues was sitting in the back seat of a Channel 8 limousine. Her hands had fallen limp at her sides, her neck slung to the left, her head resting against the window and her mouth hanging open. She snored rather loudly and twitched occasionally. In her dreams she was running across a long grassy plane. Long in the distance she had a goal. Something she was heading towards. She had no idea how close or far it was; only that it was glorious to run through this field. She felt light as a feather; able to cover huge distance with each bounding step. Her heart raced and instead of growing tired she felt stronger by the second. The grass was soft on her toes, but suddenly it shook like an earthquake and she tripped and fell flat on her-

“We’re here, Ms Blues.” It was the rushed girl.

Lucy was disorientated and took in a deep breath as she straightened up in her seat. “Wha- Where?” she said dreamily.

“At his house,” the girl said, “Walter’s house. Don’t get out just yet.” Lucy was about to open the door and get some fresh air. It was a clear summer night and the stars were out with a half moon. The rushed girl slid across the seat and began to tidy up Lucy’s dishevelled hair. “There are cameras outside and they are hungry. Walter isn’t at home. Nobody can find him. They are desperate to keep the show rolling. They are going to come back to you and, I’m sorry, but you look like shit.”

Lucy let the girl brush her up and imitated some of the facial exercises the girl gave her in an attempt to wake up. The girl had no mirror and Lucy didn’t ask for one as they eventually decided to open the door. The feminist and the comedian who were sitting opposite the other two hopped out first. The feminist in a foul mood apparently after Walter turned out to be a male and because the comedian had been making snide remarks about it the whole way to his house.

It was a mild stroke of luck that the feminist, who looked shabby at the best of times and terrible right now, exited the vehicle before Lucy and gave her a few extra points in the looks department by comparison. But Lucy was starting to come back to life after the blinding flashes of the cameras receded from her vision. Why did she care how she looked? If she looked tired and unwilling they would avoid putting her on camera; she could go home.

She was now leaning against the outer wall of Walter’s apartment with an assortment of other guests. The media circus that had set up camp was almost sickening to see, let alone to be a part of. There were 5 metre high flood lights illuminating the parking lot, as if they were preparing for an amateur street brawl – no holds barred. Cameras and microphones were pointing in all directions and headsetted individuals were racing everywhere. No one had any idea where Walter was and Lucy secretly hoped he wouldn’t show up so that the whole fiasco could come to an end promptly. How long could they keep this up before people started changing the channel?

“Well I changed the channel the moment I saw the result,” said the man in front of the camera, as if reading Lucy’s mind and answering her question. He was a chubby individual who was apparently a neighbour of Walter’s. “I mean he is a nice person and all, but if he is the happiest in the world then we have a real crisis on our hands. I mean surely he isn’t as happy as me. I have a family. I have a better apartment – he basically lives in the janitor’s closet. I’ve never seen him driving, or wearing nice clothes or-”

“Thank you Mister…uhh?” the presenter, Manny Holdsworth – son of the famed hannel 8 figurehead - said in an attempt to cut this man off.

“Cowan,” the man said proudly, trying to reassert himself after being interrupted.

But the presenter had already pivoted away from this man to face the camera directly, “I think the mysteries of Walter Wallace and his happiness may be rather complex. We will keep searching for the answers here, but for now we will be heading back to the studio with you, Tony.”

The presenter relaxed and let out an irritable moan, “This shit is never gonna end.”

“I don’t appreciate being cut short like that!” exclaimed a red faced Mr Cowan.

“Oh, I’m terribly sorry.” Manny began sarcastically. “Try not telling people to switch off the TVs because the new hope is a fraud next time you want to brag about your shitty car to an international audience. We are trying to work here so please clear off, Mister…?”

“Cowan,” he said in subdued anger.

Lucy stood, light headed in the circle of special guests. She wanted to return to her dream; to run away with that endless energy. Now she felt she could barely stand, and any fresh air was drowned out by the clouds of cigarette smoke emanating from the circle. The rushed girl was organising the group like a sheep dog arranging its herd. They were passed on to Manny one by one for more empty comments but not before a few more neighbours and the doorman were interviewed. These people also had similar doubt-inducing stories, including one about Walter regularly drying a wet two week old newspaper on the buildings ventilation system.

“Well you may be right, Tony,” Manny said, taking a lead in from the studio, “We have heard from the neighbours and the doorman. They didn’t have too many niceties to say. But it may be testament to the resolve of Walter to be so happy with neighbours like Mr Cowbell.” Manny was perhaps stepping over the line but nobody seemed to care anymore. It seemed as though everybody wanted this to end – even the home viewers – but all were compelled by some indescribable force to push forward. “So now we are going to talk with the lovely Ms Blues, the creator of this device. Without her, this whole scenario would not be possible. We will see what she has to say in the face of some recent doubts about the authenticity of the result.”

If Lucy wasn’t already feeling terrible than this was not about to help her cause. She had a stroke of luck though, because she was not there to hear this introduction. She was halfway down the street, having managed to slip the watchdog eye of the rushed girl and ran as fast as she could just as she had in her dream. But, unlike her dream, she was running on the coarse asphalt, her clothes and high heels restricted her, the dark street continued on into and endless abyss and she was fast running out of energy. She stumbled as one of her high heels gave way, grazing her knee. She got back up and kept running. She had to keep running. If she tripped as she did in her dream then she would fall and wake up from this nightmare into something even worse. Or maybe she would wake up in the dream again. And as the temptation of the thought passed over her, whether by will or pure exhaustion, her body gave up. She fell onto the harsh concrete and passed out.

Fan Rant Tennis

SIX

I love all sports but tennis has to be one of my favourites. It has so many unique features that give it a unique postion in the sporting world. Here a few of the reasons why I love it.

Scoring: Tennis games can go on forever (literally). You could win 1000 points but not even end up with one on the scoredboard. That is because in tennis you have to win to win. I know that sounds obvious, but think of most sports. Usually you can start off on a hot streak and then rest on your laurels, wait until the clock runs out. But in tennis you have to win the last point of the game, set or match to win it. Technically no match is ever over if you can win half the points and if you win the next point you are still in with a chance. The games leading to sets to matches mean that a lot of hard work can often render little reward. Losing a set 7-6 is in essence the same as losing 6-0

Psychology: It is this cool scoring system which gives way to the next cool factor in tennis. The strength of any player’s game lies in the mind games that he is playing with himself and with his opponent. The scoring means that there are certain points that become so critical and someone has to win them. A break point is a rare chance to gain a massive advantage. A set point even bigger. And a match point that isn’t taken in the fourth set of a grand slam final and ends up with a loss in five sets? That’s a killer.

The other side of the psychology is the mano e mano nature of the sport. It is one guy out there (or girl but women’s tennis sucks) versing another. They have no coach pep talk at halftime, no strategic advice. They just have themselves and a racquet (or 20). If you ever watch a match with Lleyton Hewitt you can witness the strange mental effects of momentum swings, self doubt, missing a crucial point, or firing up when all looks lost. Then you watch Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal and you see the benefits of having an insurmountable self belief. They face the big moments with strength and poise and relish any chance to crush an opponents will. Sometime they will go toe to toe with the strengths of an opponent to mess with their heads just like a ju jitsu specialist standing and striking with a boxer.

Live: I also recently witnessed how much fun tennis can be to watch live. It is a different atmosphere to most sports I have ever seen. The way the crowd will remain silent during a point and then fire up once the point is won is strangely respectful. It also has that feel that most sports do when you see them in real life. TV seems to water down contact and speed in every sport and the speed and power of the shots in tennis are no different.

Whether it is straight sets win 6-0 6-0 6-0 or deuce 15 in the 10th game of the fifth set. You gotta love tennis.

- Eden

N.B. Since writing this both Nadal and Federer have lost and I probably won't watch the Australian Open final anymore...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What a weirdo




Being Australia Day and all I think we should celebrate this great country. We are blessed with the freedom of expression and the choice to do a lot of things in life that many other countries don’t permit. Sure you could say we are enslaved by the monetary system and fed propaganda from “free” media but I am just talking in the non conspiracy sense. We can choose religion, way of life, people, jobs, study, blog subject, etc and even if it isn’t perfect it is better than just about any other societal system to date.

But how come in this freedom I still feel like a complete weirdo so often. There are always situations where I am simply too scared or embarrassed to do non harmful activities. Examples:

The other day I was walking home from the station and I saw a busker playing a mean violin and I decided to give him the $2 in my pocket. But I didn’t want to just walk past and only enjoy his playing for 5 seconds so I stopped and watched him. It was interesting to see an instrument that I have never seen played well up close; more so because I have only recently started playing music myself. But I found myself feeling awkward and eventually blushing a little as everybody else walked past.  “What a weirdo!” They all said to me telepathically. They stared at me with snide, scoffing expressions, even though my back was turned and I couldn’t actually see any of them. After about 30 seconds it was too much for my fickle self esteem and I gave the guy the $2 and left saying, “That’s awesome,” with a thumbs up. I walked off thinking of a different life in which I stayed til he finished the song and then we spoke for a few minutes about cool stuff and I left enlightened and free.

Other situations where I have felt a similar cheek flushing sensation have included doing stretches at the station in the morning. In reality everyone should use this valuable spare time to warm up and limber up and loosen up - Everybody should up themselves. But instead we stand hunched and staring vacantly at the ground. I only do vague stretching where it could be debated that I am even doing anything, all out of the ordinary for fear of…for fear of what? Some person I have never before and may never again meet will think I am a weirdo.

Kids dancing around at a party like fucking idiots. Out of time and uncoordinated while I stand with the other adults smiling and rigid. Why don’t we express ourselves more after that fateful period in which we feel the burning glare of a crowd’s silent disapproval? Does it exist? Should it exist? Should it matter? I took a shit the other day in a public toilet and I stopped myself from making too loud a fart sound or too frequent a plopping sound because someone might hear it. They are in a toilet! Who gives a fuck if they hear it?! I take longer and shit with less efficiency because the steady flow is interrupted. I am in cubicle and can’t be seen…I mean why don’t I just let rip?

I’m going to go ahead and shoulder at least 50% of the blame in all these cases, but the other 50 goes to the people who conspire in their silent groups to stare at me and judge my every move, my every air drum or obscure T-shirt. But then again, aren’t I just as guilty? I will stare at a goth for as long I think I can without them looking back. At the bar I work at, once someone gets up and dances it is the first step towards being cut off for drinking too much alcohol.

In the end I guess I just need to stop giving a shit about other people. As long as I am not hurting them then I am sweet, but I should also make sure they aren’t hurting me. It’s my choice. Now off to the tennis.

- Eden
NB This was meantto be posted yesterday but I had technical issues. I will still try and make 7 blogs in seven days.