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theZEBRA
just spent the weekend at the army barracks
Is Chewing On
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Creation
Gore Vidal

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Everything in Transit
Jack's Mannequin
Lick Those Stripes!
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Songs of the Plains
Family Court

One would be in less danger
From the wiles of a stranger
If one's own kin and kith
Were more fun to be with.

Ogden Nash
Babel Fish
Saturday. 2.4.06 1:44 pm
I took my dog out for a walk. We went down to the lake and chased a few birds, with me barely hanging on to the end of the leash as she dragged me skidding through the mud. A very dirty walk, but a nice walk all the same.

On the way home, we met a Security Guard out on his rounds. He was an Indian, uncle-ish looking sort of guy. Very friendly too, as he stopped when he saw us and flashed me a smile (but not Pukeyface because really, who would smile at a mud-splattered Fat Lump?).

"Hullo!" I called out, waving a muddy hand.

"Hullo!" he called back, waving a stick.

The exchange over, we stood there in awkward silence for a bit, racking our brains for the next thing to say. He turned out to be the better conversationalist.

"Gong Hei Fatt Choy!"

Well, that was sweet of him, wishing me a Happy Chinese New Year in my mother tongue. So I thanked him in the same. And that must have triggered something, because suddenly, he rattled off a longer stream of Cantonese.

I was lost - I couldn't understand a word of it. And sad to say, it was because his Cantonese was so much more advanced than mine. So I did the only stupid logical thing to do.

I nodded encouragingly.

And so it went on for a good ten minutes. He said something totally incomprehensible, I did my best to look like I understood and made sounds of agreement. Back and forth, back and forth. He was starting to make me feel small and this annoyed me.

"Feh!" I mentally snarled. "You're not the only multilingual one here!"

Then I suddenly noticed a lull in the (one-sided) conversation. I dragged my attention back to the Security Guard who was looking at me patiently. He was obviously awaiting some sort of reply.

Hah! This was my chance to impress him with my knowledge of Hindi! I quickly ran through my repertoire of Hindi phrases.

"Aloo Gobi!" I blurted out. And fled.

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Knotty Bits
Monday. 1.23.06 11:28 pm
I had an x-ray done today. I've been x-rayed before, but today was the first time in my entire life that I was confronted with one of the more terrifying aspects of the medical world.

The hospital gown.

A deceptively simple garment. Loose enough to be a one-size-fits-most, yet without the potential embarrassment of poking your head through a sleeve that usually accompanies other clothes of this fit.

It started off well enough:

      Take clothes off. Check

      Take bits of metal jewellery off. Check

      Stuff everything into little basket. Check

      Admire self in mirror. Check

      Choose a (prettier-coloured) gown. Check

      Poke arm through sleeve. Check

      Poke other arm through other sleeve. Check

      And finally, tie...hang on a minute...tie...ummm...TIE...

WTF? And then I realised that the stupid ties for the gown had been strategically placed right down the spine, where I'd have to dislocate shoulders, elbows, and fingers just to lace them up. Knotting the first pair itself took me a good ten minutes of protesting muscles and agonising contorting. But with a lot of painful stretching and impatient encouraging door-hammering from the radiologist, I finally managed to get everything done up.

Right. To the x-ray machine.

      Open door and smile apologetically. Check

      Pick up basket with belongings inside. Check

      Walk ahead of radiologist. Check

      Accidentally let necklace fall out of basket. Check

      Bend over to pick it up. Check

And that was when I discovered that the knots weren't quite as secure as I had thought.

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Warm Me Up
Thursday. 2.2.06 11:23 pm
"Darling!" My father called out as he stepped through the front door. "I got you a going-away gift!"

I ran to fling myself into his arms. He bought it! After weeks of wheedling and Daddy-pleeeeeeeeease!ing, he finally bought my Stella McCartney Running Trail Fleece with handwarmers!

"Err, no. Not the jacket. It's something a bit more practical."

I skidded to a halt, confused. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE MORE PRACTICAL THAN HANDWARMERS?!


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Damian Says
Monday. 9.4.06 12:32 pm
"Do you want to see me lift this pad onto the desk without using my hands?"



"Quick, take something off!"

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Gimme Two Secs
Thursday. 1.18.07 12:16 pm
While paying for these:



Salesgirl: By the way, these are indoor shoes.
Me: What does that mean? I can't wear them outdoors?
Salesgirl: You can. But if someone tries to rob you, take them off before you start running.
Me: ...

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Fairy Princess
Friday. 2.2.07 12:57 pm
In less than a couple of hours, the Crusaders will open this year's Super 14 season with the Blues.

This game will be very interesting because it'll give us an idea of how the Crusaders will perform without the seven players they've temporarily lost to the All Blacks World Cup conditioning programme.

Closer to home though, the game's gonna be even more interesting because it'll decide who will be skipping into a gay bar on Lesbian Mud Wrestling Night, decked out in fairy wings and a tiara.

Update #1: Kick-off!!

Update #2: Half-time, score is at 19-13 with the Blues leading. Noooo!! I don't want to wear fairy wings!!

Update #3: Betrayal. Sigh...fairy up.

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Booze-proof Furnishing
Saturday. 5.26.07 7:36 pm
I take another glass of champagne from the tray being held out to me. Then I liberate a canapé from another proffered tray. Both hands occupied, I turn my attention back to my companions. They are animatedly discussing whether or not the star-shaped light hanging above our heads would look as good on their patio.

I look up and examine the object of their attention critically. It is quite pretty, even if the points do resemble nipples from certain angles. It does look dreadfully impractical though. Most of the pieces showcased at tonight’s opening don’t look like they would survive a drunken party. Then again, most of the people milling about the room don’t look like they would attend, much less host, a drunken party. A garden party, more likely, with tinkling laughter, polite conversation and smiling waiters gliding around with trays of canapés.

Mmm, canapés. I snag another one from a passing waiter.

I nudge a light globe experimentally with a curious foot. It rolls away slowly then stops short, restrained by a power cord. I can just imagine what would happen if I brought one home:

“Now we can play football in the dark!!” someone would excitedly suggest. And like drunken lemmings, everyone else would think it the greatest idea ever. A black marker would then be magically produced and the traditional black patches would be added onto the light globe. Never mind the fact that it would be tethered to the nearest power socket. After the first kick, all hell would break loose and that would be the end of $200 worth of Italian-made “enlightened use of light”.

The other pieces look much the same. Plastic, hardy enough to withstand the odd knock, but certainly not a well-aimed kick. Of course, if I bought one for those labelled prices, I’d chop off any potentially threatening foot that so much as twitched in the wrong direction. Actually, I’m not as impressed as I had expected to be. They’re basic designs which, though admittedly do look good, aren’t likely to incite awestruck gasps. They’re just, well, lighted furnishings.

Except the penguins. Adorable, lighted penguins in a little decorative huddle. There’s something about them however. They remind me of something, but I can’t figure out what that it is. I stare at the penguins as I try to work it out.

My friend notices my concentration and turns to look at the penguins. “Oh, haha!” He nudges my other friend and points them out. “Don’t you think they look like…,” he trails off, waiting expectantly.

“Dildos!” I triumphantly exclaim.

The conversation around us abruptly halts.

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