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theZEBRA
just spent the weekend at the army barracks
Is Chewing On
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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
Still A Strip Club Virgin
Sunday. 1.1.06 11:46 pm
I can hardly write this entry for the regret and sorrow choking me up. I have failed you. For I have returned home...without stripper pics.

Worse, I only have myself to blame. There I was armed with camera and moral intentions, all ready for some gawking (indignantly, of course) at muscles in thongs. But then I thought about the three whole weeks I still had left. And the looooooooooong walk to the train station in the blazing hot sun while fighting off clouds of summer flies seeking shelter up my nostrils and in my ears. So like I always do when confronted with a choice between "now" and "later", I chose "too late". When I finally got around to locating the club, I was informed that only Saturdays are male strip nights. "It's the Aussie way, luv." Bloody slackers more like.

I was crushed. Devastated. Cuz by that time, the only Saturday Strip Night I had left was Christmas Eve. Which I was to spend wearing a silly paper hat and drinking champagne with family members wearing equally silly hats and those cracker plastic rings that always land in the cranberrry sauce. And I had a feeling that it wouldn't be proper Xmas spirit to back out with a "Sorry, Uncle D. I'd rather ogle (indignantly) at men wearing only Santa hats."

Naturally, depression set in. In an effort to cheer me up, the 'tives dumped me in a car and dragged me interstate to trudge up and down walking trails and to look at countless views of sunlight glinting off palm-sized lakes. Very thoughtful of them, but the only lights I wanted to look (indignantly) at were stagelights glinting off waxed chests.

Sob sob. Now there's a reason to put "Stop procrastinating" on my New Year resolution list. Which I will. Later.

Happy morally-sound New Year you lot. Except you, Paul *nudge nudge*.

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Damnit I Just Parked Over The Dog
Wednesday. 1.11.06 11:07 pm
I was so proud of my ninja zebra.

Until I saw this.

Curses.

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Somebody's Got To Be the Winner
Monday. 1.15.07 11:11 pm
It's MONDAY!!!

I jump out of bed and run over to the laptop. I eagerly type in the url to Overheard in New York.

Did I win did I win did I win did I win?!

(The week before, I had submitted an entry for the site's bi-weekly Headline Contest. Winners get a copy of the Overheard in New York book. I'd much rather have a PostSecret book, but I'm much too gracious a Winner to snub their gift, less-favoured though it may be. Because I am, you know, a Winner I mean.)

I scan the main page. Odd, the quote's not even up yet. Then I notice the date on the most recent entry - 2007-01-14. Curses! Belatedly, I remember that New York is 13 hours behind Kuala Lumpur. Slackers.

I potter about on the page a bit. New Yorkers might be sick of always being late and decide to make it Monday. I hit the refresh button. And...no. I potter about some more. Refresh. It's still Sunday there.

Bugger this. I'm not gonna hover in front of my laptop waiting for it to turn to Monday in bloody New York. I've got uberly important things to do (e.g. give the dog a bath and take her to the vet). I shut the laptop down and go off to grace some lives with my presence.

I return at 10pm. Surely it's Monday everywhere already! I enter the OiNY site again and scroll down to the quote.

Did I win did I win did I win did I win?!

I didn't win. Curses! I'm not even a runner-up. Curses!

This means that I was wrong. I am not a Winner after all. I am a Loser.

I crawl into the Corner of Loserdom. At least The Codes will be there to keep me company.


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I Said BOLD, Not BALD!
Thursday. 2.1.07 12:40 am
I loathe going to the hairdresser.

Sitting there in a swivel chair that doesn’t swivel properly (i.e. I can’t go “WHEEE!”), putting my fragile self-esteem in the hands of someone I only just met. Trying to describe the hairstyle that I want, but it’s a total waste of breath, because the result is never the image of beauty I envisioned.

Silly girl, you might laugh. Silly girl, either go to a hairdresser who speaks English or take Mandarin classes.

Aha, that may be so, but that’s not all. You see, I’m not the sort to spend hundreds on my hair and to scream “EMERGENCY TREATMENT!” if I get caught in a drizzle while dashing across the carpark. I blow dry my hair by rolling down the car window. And hairdressers, I’ve found out, look down on this sort of thing. If they could, they would try to convince your hair to just leave because you shouldn’t stand for it and honestly darling, she doesn’t deserve you anyway.

So there I am, sitting nervously in my non-swivelling chair. Because I know exactly what will happen the minute the hairdresser ruffles his fingers through my hair.

“Y’know, your hair’s quite dry.” An innocent enough comment, if not for the thinly veiled condescension accompanying it.

This is where I have to make a decision. How should I respond? Do I go for abject misery, where just one more negative word about my hair will push me to lunge for his scissors and end my pathetic, empty life right there and then? Or indignant and defensive because buddy, I’m paying you to cut my hair so shut it and get to work.

I decide to go with a lofty, such-little-details-are-beneath-my-notice approach. But what comes out my mouth instead is weak denial.

“Noooooo…” I protest in the tone of someone who’s just been pulled over for doing 140km/h in a 90-zone.

“Yes, it is. Don’t you go for hair treatment?”

I scramble for an excuse. “I’m err…very busy. Busy busy busy.”

The hairdresser cocks a sceptical eyebrow as he stares pointedly at the peculiar flatness of my hair which can only be achieved by lying down for extensive periods of time. Evidently he doesn’t appreciate the huge amounts of discipline and willpower required to stay in bed all day.

There is just no winning, I tell you.

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She Told Me So
Monday. 1.22.07 8:05 pm
Phone conversation yesterday morning:

Me: Hi, mom. Can you please get me the number for dad's chiropractor?

Mom: God, you sound awful! What happened?!

Me: Did something to my back. Hurts like hell right now.

Mom: Now what have you been doing? You see! I told you not to get into kungfu! But you never listen! Look what you've done to yourself. I saw you put your rugby ball into the car. Were you playing rugby?! Why do you keep playing such violent sports?! You see, now you've hurt yourself! I told you so, I TOLD YOU SO!

//Pause//

Me: Actually, I just bent down to start the car.

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COURAGE!
Sunday. 2.11.07 3:45 pm
I am bleeding.

Horror of horrors, I am bleeding.

This, kids, is what happens when you play with knives. How foolish I was to attempt to cut a tag off my shirt with a penknife. I should have let my little sister do it for me.

And now here I am with a wounded finger. It may not be a fatal wound, but still it bleeds. Look at it...dripping,
          dripping,
               dripping.

I rummage through a drawer in search for a plaster, leaving little dots of blood in my wake. It doesn't look dramatic enough, so I smear the little dots into medium dots. I would prefer them to be large dots, but there isn't enough blood for that.

I find the plasters. We've run out of dinosaur plasters and I have to make do with a regular flesh-coloured one. Curses. I don't like flesh-coloured ones because they camouflage too well against the rest of me. If no one notices it, who will fuss over me?

MY MOTHER WILL!

I shakily make my way downstairs in search of my angel of nurturing love. I hope that I do not pass out before I get to her. The last time I passed out from a cut, I woke up again before anyone found me. That was more upsetting than the cut.

I stumble from room to room, already dizzy from blood loss. "M-mom?" I call out in a tremulous voice. How can she be playing hide-and-seek at a time like this? I try again. "MOM!!!" I bellow.

"WHAT?!" Her tender reply drifts in through an open window like music.

I slowly make my way to the window through a haze of pain and lean out. There she is, my beacon of comfort, sitting with the dog and scratching her chin. The dog's, not my mother's.

"Mommy, I cut my finger." My voice trembles with the effort of staying conscious. "Look." I shove my finger towards her.

She doesn't look away from the dog. "Mmm. Stick a plaster on it."

Duh. "I brought one. Stick it on for me."

"Do it yourself. Your dog's enjoying her scratch."

I glare at the dog. She is indeed enjoying herself. Too much. Her eyes are shut in ecstasy as my mother (MY mother, MINE!!!) lavishes attention on her. My dog (MY dog, MINE!!!) doesn't bother to inspect my wound either. Let's see how she likes it when I bleed all over her (the dog, not the mother) in bed tonight. Bitch.

I turn away from the window in rejection. In dejection. In heartbreajection. As I make my way back upstairs, I hope that my finger bleeds on the floor. Bright red blood on the cold white marble, cold as my mother's and dog's hearts, to confront them as they walk in.

It doesn't happen, my finger has stopped bleeding.

But my heart hasn't.

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KNIFE!
Monday. 3.5.07 7:22 pm
Nyeaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

Another cut! I’ve been cut again! My precious fingers, once so smooth and delicate, are now marred by another ugly scar! And now nobody will want me because ugly-fingered people are not worthy of love. My only option left will be other ugly-fingered people. Yuck.

You may think that I have only myself to blame. Serves me right for playing with knives. Two cuts in as many posts? That’s obviously an indicator that I need to be more careful when handling sharp objects.

But you wrong me. I didn’t do this to myself, it was the KNIFE! 22 centimetres of bloodthirsty steel, capable of lopping entire limbs off with one lop!



Scarier still, I’m not the KNIFE!’s only victim. Barely five minutes after it was purchased, it had its first taste of human blood. It cunningly slipped free of its cardboard prison, sliced its way through the shopping bag and sank its murderous point into my unsuspecting housemate’s thigh. So sudden and clean was its bite that he wasn’t aware that he had been attacked until a salesgirl directed his attention to the blood trail marking his progress through the mall. To which he reacted by falling to the ground and screaming like a little girl.

I honestly don’t feel safe with the KNIFE! in the house. It obviously hungers for warm human flesh. It’s been put away on a shelf out of my reach, but that just makes it easier for the KNIFE! to stab me in the brain. And then even ugly-fingered people won’t want me.

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Brick Shithouse
Saturday. 6.16.07 8:17 pm
Rugger!

The Super 14’s been over for a month now, but the Tri Nations start tonight!!

My friend, who’s built like a brick shithouse, is just as excited. We’re mucking about with a rugby ball outside his house, passing it back and forth, chasing it into driveways (where he leaves Brick Shithouse-shaped dents in the garage doors), and trampling over lovingly tended flower beds. He outweighs me by a good 40 kilos at least, but that means that I get to climb all over him like a jungle gym. A mobile jungle gym that smells of booze and fags.

I kick the ball into the street. He runs off to retrieve it, but the street slopes downwards and the ball rolls away…right into the path of an oncoming car. The driver honks a warning, but instead of stepping aside, BS lowers his shoulder and makes as if to meet the car head on. The car screeches to a stop in time and this time the honk’s an angry one that shouts “WTF!”. BS moves to let it pass and grins cockily at me.

Make that ‘A mobile jungle gym that smells of heaps of booze and fags’.

Pleased with himself, BS looks around for something else to tackle. He finds it.

Me.

He charges towards me with a roar, trying to intimidate me. It works. Very well. I would’ve peed in fright even without the sound effects. As it is, I’m panicking because I’m not sure if he’s sober enough to hold back. I definitely don’t want to find out, but I can’t run because he’ll easily chase me down. Ohgodohgodohgod...

I hold my ground until the last moment, then dodge under his arms and sidestep him as he passes. I feel like I’ve just escaped a train wreck.

“Wow, you’re quick. You should come play touch with us.”

No, I’m not usually that quick. That burst of speed was a combination of fear and desperation. But now that the danger’s over, I’m pumped. REVENGE!

Suddenly, his phone rings and he fumbles to answer it. Opportunity! I rush at him while his attention is diverted. The curb is just behind him so if I hit him hard enough, he’ll definitely take a tumble.

But just as I make the tackle, he swings around the other way and his elbow catches me right on my nose. I drop to the ground with a strangled cry and roll around in pain. And roll. And roll some more. Nghrkkk, the rolling’s not lessening the pain, it’s just getting my clothes dirtier. I settle for just writhing in agony, wheezing loudly and half-sobbing.

“Babe, I’m on the phone here, wha—,” BS turns to me and stops in mid-sentence, bewildered. He hangs up. “What are you doing?”

I glare blearily at him through my tears as I clamp my throbbing nose. “Wa-wad ab I doigg?! Yu elbod be id de DOSSSS!!!!” The last sentence culminates in a wail. Why did he have to hit me so hard?!! This really hurts!!

BS looks even more confused. “I elbowed you in the nose?! When?”

“JUZ DOW, WED I DRIDE DO DAGEL YU!” I wail even louder.

“Oh baby, I didn’t even know you were tackling me. I didn’t feel it. You must’ve run straight into my elbow.”

He reaches down and helps me up. Then he sits on the curb and pulls me, still sobbing, onto his lap.

“Come here, you,” he holds my face gently as he checks my nose. “You’re alright. It’s not bleeding or anything and it’s definitely not broken.”

“Id zdill urds,” I complain.

He hugs me better and points out, “Well, now you know not to try to take down a guy twice your size.”

I mumble assent, muffled from where I’ve buried my face in his shirt. Next time I’ll just push him down the stairs.

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