Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is that a giant car in your driveway, or do you actually have a penis?

I've always found it strange that some people pump so much money into their personal mode of transport. When my father was courting my mother, her neighbours thought she had four boyfriends because he would always pick her up in one of his four luxury cars (which I believe were a BMW, a Merserati with suede interiors and a mahogany dashboard, a Datsun sports car with a stereo on the ceiling and something else I can't remember). I've been on dates with men who've boasted about their big, black, fast... cars. They didn't get very far into my pants because I just assumed their vehicle was a sustitute for an important piece of anatomy. May also be why I am currently in a long-term relationship with the owner of a beat-up, rusty 1988 station wagon that sounds like it has the car equivalent of asthma.

Realistically, a car is essentially a metal husk that will get you from point A to point B. Admittedly, some will get you there in considerably less time, and some lemons won't get you there at all (and the question may be why the fuck you are driving a piece of fruit). Yet car makers rake in the big bucks by giving people loads of add-ons: heated seats, in-built LCD screens for your bratty offspring, large cupholders for fatties and CD players that could quite possibly store your entire collection. MacDonald's tries to up-sell, and they get labeled as an evil corporation trying to make our babies fat. A car company offers you metallic paint for an extra $2K and it's the best shit ever. It's all about owning the most obscene, flashiest, shiniest toy on the block.

I don't own a car (after seven years of driving), but have always figured that my first car would probably be a hideously orange Gemini from the eighties with torn vinyl upholstery. And I'm okay with that. On my way to work the other day, I walked past a beige car. Yes, a BEIGE car.Who's up for an inconspicuous, plain car? Oh, baby. Me first.

* This blog post will probably bite me on the ass when I become a thirty-year-old yuppie with a sixties Pontiac. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to commit a crime

Hello, thieves, burglars, robbers and generally-just-plain-unsavoury people: Here's a new method to commit crime that you can add to your naughty handbook.

  1. Look up rental properties that are open for inspection in expensive areas, particularly ones with expensive rents in posh neighbourhoods with the keys waiting (alluringly) just at the real estate office.
  2. Dress up nicely, and look the part. Carry a folder with a pen and a few rental listings printed out. Turning up in a stripes like the Hamburglar and armed with a crowbar is not advised. Repeat: not advised.
  3. Ask to inspect the property. Hand over your drivers license (preferably one you stole from a lookalike or a fake) and the $50 bond money happily, but complain about the weather and having to move house. Don't do anything to make yourself stand out as particularly nice, good, bad, dodgy or special.
  4. Instead of inspecting the property, head over to a locksmith and get them to make a copy of the keys. Be sure to remove all the key chains from the real estate agency so the locksmith isn't suspicious, and if you want brownie points put them onto a personal looking keyring like you've used these keys forever.
  5. If the locksmith wants to make small talk, pretend you're getting the keys cut for your boyfriend/girlfriend and talk about the weather.
  6. Clean off the original keys in case there is any residue from being cut, and reattach it to the real estate's keyring.
  7. Return the keys within 40 minutes if possible. Be polite and just tell the receptionist that it wasn't really suitable and remember to pick up your bond and drivers license so they don't remember you as "that douche that left their stuff here".
  8. Wait 3 months, then monitor the property to see when people come and go. 
  9. Figure out the best time of day to rob the property, then go rob it. Using the front door. Yeah.
* NB: I'm not actually encouraging people to rob other people. I'm encouraging renters to change their locks.
NBBBBB: If you break into someone's property, you're a pretty scummy person.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

When in Rome... do we still celebrate birthdays?

I was born in Singapore and spent nine balmy years growing up on the island nation. Then, when I was nine, it was decided that we would move to Australia and that was that. I didn't know that much about the land down under. We visited Brisbane for a vacation when I was six, and I knew that Australians were blondes and brunettes, and had broad accents and freckles. I knew that much. And I thought they were very tall.

My parents and relatives and other grown ups told me all sorts of things about Australia to make me feel better about leaving all my friends behind. Apparently everyone lived in the hinterlands and had tennis courts and swimming pools, and it snowed and the schools were pretty and full of stain glass windows, giant lawns and winter uniforms - nothing like the concrete box institutions of Singapore. My brother also told me that the kids rode kangaroos to school, but then again my bro also set me back several months as a youngster by teaching me the vowels (which were, apparently, P, S, R and M).

When I actually started living in Australia, I was a bit scared. Things were strange. The sun came out at five in the morning in summer. The beaches were clean. People actually drove in the prescribed lanes (this doesn't happen much in Singapore). The shops closed at five thirty, and people didn't live with their grandparents. And to my surprise, the construction workers and cleaners were mostly white. That sounds incredibly racist, but kids have strange minds. I also discovered that no, most people didn't have tennis courts and that my brother lied about the whole kangaroos-as-a-viable-mode-of-transport thing.

So when I was invited to my very first birthday party, I was terrified. I remember wondering if Australians had birthday cakes and if birthday cakes here had candles and cream, and asked my mother a million times if Australians really exchanged birthday presents. I didn't want to be the dork that brought the birthday girl a present (or a "pressie") if they didn't swap gifts. And then when it came time to sing Happy Birthday I was silent in case I sang the wrong version of the song, and was very alarmed when they started cheering, "Hip, hip, hooray!" because I had never heard that in my life.

Note to adults: the things you say don't often make sense to kids.

Sad-vent calendar

I really don't understand the concept of chocolate advent calendars. I can't think of anything more sadistic than giving someone a month's worth of chocolate but not letting them eat it all at once. Hello? I want all the chocolate that's coming to me, and I want it now.