Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Get it here:

Biggest Loser Families – Week 8

Advertisements

Biggest Loser Families

Get it now, get it fresh.

Biggest Loser Families – Week 7

Biggest Loser Families

Yes, I keep writing these recaps. Here’s the latest.

Week 6

Just so you know, you can read my Biggest Loser Famiiles weekly recaps at Molks TV Talk.

For example:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Now that wasn’t so hard was it? So get reading.

Bloody Jerusalem

Last night I had the strangest dream.

I was a knight of the Kingdom of Albion, otherwise known as England. I was riding through the country side, as if on some urgent mission or another for the King (or Queen. I was unsure in what era this dream was taking place). I was riding in the company of another knight, or perhaps my squire, though I sense the other was my equal.

As we were riding, we would pass various people. The first group was a rowdy group of the kind you would see sitting outside of a pub on a Friday afternoon. As we passed the first group, cries of “wanker”, “arsehole” and “cockhead” could be heard. This robbed me of the sense of being an actual medieval knight.

The second group seemed to be made up of gentlemanly types, so I approached them with some sense of hope. As I passed, I heard comments such as “Jolly good show chaps”, “Tally ho” and “Gin and tonic please”. Again I left them with a sense of disappointment. They had been better than the first group, obviously, but equally obviously they were from the wrong era.

The final group I passed consisted of people dressed in filthy rags, looking downtrodden and accepting of their lowly status in life. In other words, they were peasants. As I approached one of them reached down to the ground, picked up some cow dung and flung it straight at me, so that the reeking substance penetrated my armour. “Ah” I thought. “That’s much better.”

Satisfied that the dream would now have some semblance of realism, I rode on. Eventually, my companion and I came upon a town. Which town it was I am unsure. I am not familiar enough with England as it stands today to recognise a town from its landmarks, let alone its landmarks from 600 or 700 years ago.

We rode slowly through the main street. This town had the usual stores that prevailed in this era. A glove maker. A tannery. An inn. A Video-Ezy. Another inn. However, the object of my interest was nowhere in sight. I left my companion and I rode on to a great abbey on the hill (this dream appears to be set in an era before the Reformation, then). Upon arriving I dismounted from my horse and entered the chapel. I looked around and saw a priest kneeling at the altar. “Father!” my voice boomed through the cavernous house of prayer, not because it had any great timbre to it, but because of the nature of the room provided an echo chamber effect.

The priest appeared startled and turned with a look of fear. I could not understand why until I realised that I must be in the era of Kings such as Henry Plantagenet,  Cour de Lion and John (otherwise known as Henry II, Richard I and John). The wounds delivered to Thomas Beckett were more than physical and still ran deep. The priest had a valid reason to fear a knight.

I lowered my voice to ease the priest’s concerns, for I was not on any misguided mission from my King to do away with some troublesome prelate.

“Father”, I said again, “I wonder if you could help me?”

The priest approached me, still apprehensive. “If you want me to change phone companies” he said “I’m not interested.”

“It’s nothing like that father” I replied. “I’m looking for a man who can assist me. I want to undertake some travel and I need to find someone who can make all the necessary arrangements. Do you know of such a man?”

The priest appeared thoughtful for a moment. Then his countenance changed as he realised that he did know such a man. “I do know such a man” he said, merely confirming what I had noted in the previous sentence. “His name is Thomas Cook, and he can usually be found hanging around the White Hart.”

I bid farewell to the priest and mounted my steed, heading for the White Hart. True to the priest’s words, I did find Thomas Cook hanging around it. In front of it actually. By his neck. A young boy was walking past. “What happened to Master Cook?” I asked. The young boy turned into a budgerigar and flew away. Such is the unpredictable nature of dreams. I espied an old crone who was devoid of all teeth save one.

“What has happened to Master Cook, you filthy old woman?” I asked pleasantly.

“Arrgghh. He was charged with, and found guilty of treason, he was.” replied the festering sore of a human.

“Who now takes care of his business for him?”

“His assistant was a man named Captain Stubing. He may be able to assist you, he may. He will be at Master Cook’s premises, not more than three furlongs down the main street.”

I left the disgusting wreck of humanity and headed towards my destination. The old woman, notwithstanding the advanced nature of her putrification, turned out to be an exceptional judge of distance, because almost precisely three furlongs down the main street I saw a building with a sign that read, “Thomas Cook Travel”.

I reverse parked my horse in the designated area and alighted. I entered the premises. “Captain Stubing!” I demanded.

“Is that you Gopher?” I heard from the rear of the store.

“I beg your pardon!” I indignantly answered.

A balding man dressed all in white appeared. “My apologies My Lord” he said. “Just a private joke. What can I do for you?”

“You can keep your tongue in check for a start you impudent fool!” (I was clearly revelling in the role of being in the upper echelons of society). “I was after your Master, Cook, now deceased, for some information. Can you assist me with my enquiries or can I expect more cheek from you, in which case I shall have you placed in stocks for a whole week?”

“When you put it like that, My Lord” Stubing replied, “I would be more than willing to assist you with whatever it is you need assistance with.”

I sat at the only chair available, leaving Stubing standing. “Your Master, Cook” I began “was known to arrange travel for people of means. I am a person of means. I wish to travel to exotic locations. What can you do for me?”

“My Lord”, replied Stubing “has come to the right place. We at Thomas Cook Travel offer travel to a number of exotic locations. For example, if My Lord wishes to offer service to the King, cleanse his soul, and see many exotic sites as well as undertake numerous adventures, My Lord could make the journey to Jerusalem.”

“Bloody Jerusalem!” I roared. I clutched Stubing by the shirt collar and pulled his face close to mine, so that our noses were all but touching. “I have been on crusade for nigh on 10 years you cretinous fool. I have stood in the city of Acre and seen its inhabitants slaughtered. I have fought at the battlements of Asruf and watched the rivers run red with blood. I have faced the heathens at Jaffa and made many a woman a widow. And I have seen the walls of Jerusalem and I know that Christendom will never, ever again claim that city.” I pushed Stubing back so that he rocked on his heels and almost fell. “I have seen so much death in the last 10 years, Stubing. I cannot face anymore.” I stared hard at Stubing and I could tell by his weasel face that he was struggling to think of a reply.

“Well, my Lord” he started “there is another option, but …” He paused and looked down at his feet.

“But what?” I asked.

“Well, the thing is, my Lord, we have many tour options here at Thomas Cook Travel. While they are all quite different and exciting, they essentially involved the same thing and should, hopefully, God willing, end up in the same place. That is, they involve killing heathens and they involve liberating some city or another which is currently in the hands of heathens but should rightfully be in the hands of God fearing Christians. Almost our entire list of tours involved those things. Except for one.”

Stubing paused and looked about the room. I couldn’t tell if he was looking to see if anyone would overhear, or if he was searching for a weapon to protect himself should my reaction to his suggestion be other than what he hoped.

“My Lord, you could go to …. Ibiza.”

“Where?”

“It is an island off the coast of Spain. It has just been reclaimed as part of Christendom by James of Aragon and we are offering summer sojourns there right now. It’s quiet. No one goes there. You could just stay there and relax and get the horrors of the crusades out of your mind.”

I mulled over the offer, before I spoke to Stubing again. “I want to get away from Englishmen Stubing. Undoubtedly all the blood and death and violence of the crusades has taken its toll. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Have you seen how English tourists behave? Disgraceful! ‘Ooh, I want fish and chips. Why don’t you serve effin fish and chips? How about a curry? A proper effin English curry! Spew here. Spew there’. It makes me ashamed to be from this country. What I want, Stubing, is to get away from the boorish, overbearing, narrow-minded thoughts and behaviour of the English. I want to go to a place where English is never spoken. I want to live in a town that is devoid of my countrymen who are willing to take of their shirts and show the flabby white bodies at the drop of a suit of chain mail. I want freedom from the kind that think they are better than everyone else because of who their Mummy and Daddy is, and I want freedom from the kind that think farting is a form of family entertainment. Can you guarantee me that Ibiza will forever be foreign to the English Stubing?”

“Ah … sure.” replied Stubing doubtfully. “I can’t imagine the English will ever want to go to Ibiza. Ever.”

When I was a boy…

Fear is a funny thing. When I was a boy, I had a fear.

I was about 10. My grandmother and grandfather, hereinafter referred to as Nanna and Pa, lived nearby and would often come over for lunch and dinner on weekends. We were very close. Occasionally, we would sit in the lounge room and watch TV, or listen to music. And this is where the fear came to life.

I imagined the following scenario:

Nanna and Pa would be sitting there in the lounge room, supping their tea. I would take it upon myself to put on a record for us all to listen to. The record I would choose would be one of the excellent albums produced by Kiss, who were far and away my favourite band of the time. I had moved on from My Abba phase. The album of choice was the 1976 classic, ‘Rock and Roll Over’.

I would put the record on the record player. I would place the stylus in the groove. The familiar scratchy sound of a 33 would precede the contents of the vinyl disc, but within seconds Paul Stanley would be belting out the tune to ‘I Want You’ in his unmistakably soothing voice. Ace Freheley’s guitar would scale unheard heights. Gene Simmons base would thump in time with his tongue hitting the floor. Peter Criss would drum like a man born never to sing. We would all sit there, me, Nanna and Pa, and whoever else was present, listening quietly, contemplating the music, the lyrics, or whatever else had struck us as contemplatable in those halceon days.

I would sit there, studying the album cover, my face obscured from their view. They would sit there, enjoying their tea, presumably. The album would play through, from ‘Ladies Room’ to ‘Mr Speed’ to ‘Hard Luck Woman’. Finally, the tenth and last song would begin. This song was called, ”Making Love’. The music would play, and at some point in the middle, Nanna would lower her tea cup, look over at me and ask:

“What’s this song called, Chris?”

Shit! This was the question that caused me untold fear. How could I answer? How should I answer? I could imagine myself, peering over the album cover, with only my eyes visible to my maternal grandmother, guilty slits, darting nervously back and forth. I would reply:

“Making Love, Nanna.”

Of course, I would say it more like

“Makin luuuuurve, Nanna!”

because I felt dirty saying it, and so I had to say it in a dirty voice.

The thought of this happening caused great knots to form and tighten in my bowel. For weeks, nay, months, I would torment myself by playing the scene over and over in my head. I knew that no matter what I did, it was unavoidable. How could I face such a question, a question that would make me squirm in my chair and inside my skin? But how could I stop her from asking that question, that probing, soul destroying, inevitable question?

“What’s this song called, Chris?”

Should I poison the tea? Not anything lethal, but maybe a laxative that would cause her to rush to the toilet just as the song started? Yet I knew that my knowledge of the workings of the digestive system was not sufficiently advanced to make that particular scenario work with any degree of success. And anyway, I didn’t want to hurt her.

Perhaps I should jump at her as the song starts, startling and confusing her before she has the chance to become curious about the name of the song being played. But then I would have to face the inevitable questioning about why I had behaved in such a manner. Being the slow thinker that I was, and am, I was bound to come clean and have to explain why I was afraid of naming the song, with such explanation by its very nature requiring me to name the song, and thus my problem would be compounded, not solved.

Could I start a small fire beneath my chair, and thus cause a diversion distracting focus away from the music? Alas, as a result of some foolish play with matches some years earlier, my access to all things incendiary was limited in the extreme. Besides which, the chair was a lounge chair, and there was barely sufficient room underneath to breath, let alone recreate the scenes in Pudding Lane around 1666.

“What’s this song called, Chris?”

It was no good. Like a man who has seen his own death, I knew that nothing I did would alter the course of fate. It may delay the inevitable, but only for so long. My fate was sealed. I was doomed. I walked around in a haze so thick I could barely see my feet. The pending embarrassment was palpable. The forthcoming humiliation descended upon me like the worst pea souper to ever descend on London.

I awaited that terrible day.

Then, one bright spring morning, a thought occurred to me. There was a way out. It was a slim chance, but it was a chance nonetheless. Its simplicity was breathtaking, yet the devil was in the detail. I would have to be careful. One false move, one misjudged step, and I was toast. But it could be done. By God it could be done. And I was the man/boy for the doing.

The thing I had to do, the move I had to make, was this: when the time came to put on a record, what I had to do was…

….not put on ‘Rock and Roll Over’.

Owens, you fucking genius!

A great weight lifted off my shoulders and I bounded with joy through the streets of Dunedoo. No more the nightmares. No more the panic attacks. No more the bed wetting. I managed to avoid putting on that record for the rest of my life. I managed to go through my existence without ever having to utter those dreadful words:

“Making Love, Nanna.”

Thus far.

We really don’t like our banks do we. We complain about the big four banks raising interest rates, not for once considering that banks are a privately run business whose sole function is to make money, even though small business owners complain when governments make laws and regulations which don’t allow them to sack anyone for any reason at any time, even though those same small business owners complain about the big banks usurious practices and want the government to make rules and regulations about how banks run their businesses, at the same time as complaining about how government passes laws and regulations that forces them to do more paperwork so that their employees are protected should some horrific accident befall them, while concurrently complaining about the anti-competitive nature of service stations and price-fixing, all the while complaining about the prohibitive costs of insurance and if you don’t like it why don’t you go to the USA where you can guarantee that soon enough you won’t have a functioning government at all and see how you like that you MORON!

Sorry about that. Back to the issue at hand.

The big banks usurious practices have been in the news this week. Notwithstanding that they make record profits, they claim that the costs of financing their lending are ever rising and they have to put interest rates up by more than the amount that the RBA has raised the cash rate. On top of that, they engage in a form of price signaling by offering warnings that their costs of funding are rising and they are operating on a super tight margin. I guess the billion dollar profits must come as a surprise then.

This bank bashing has led to some arguing that what Australia needs is a Peoples Bank. Now, before you get excited about the prospect of a bank where you can deposit your excess people, or borrow some extra people for, I don’t know, the purpose of filling out those spare seats at your spotty son’s 21st birthday party, let me explain what a People’s Bank is. It is a bank owned by the people, for the people, which, supposedly in this situation, would offer basic deposit and lending needs to those who are sick of walking into one of the four big banks, bending over and saying “Here is my bottom, please insert yourself inside!”

Now, I am not going to preach to you about the evil deed of the greedy, blood sucking, corpse rogering, big four banks, nor the merits of breaking the monopoly and creating a real and viable alternative that would lend money based on fair and reasonable trading practices as well as offer a short-term layover option for Santa Claus during Christmas. No sir. I’m impartial.

What I do want to talk about is taking the idea of a People’s Bank to the next level. We all want a place to store money, and a place from where we can borrow money that is trustworthy and fair. We also want a place where we can store ideas and borrow inspiration, a place that is easily accessible by all, and open and free. A place where we can let the world see our inspirations and a place where we can borrow the fantasies of others, to see what “turns them on” so to speak.

Now I’m not talking about art. I’m not talking about music, poetry, dancing, or your little “stories”. I’m not talking about designs and inventions. We already have depositories for those things. What I am talking about is sharing our deepest and darkest desires. A place to store our fantasies and share them with the world. A place where, bereft of inspiration, we can see what’s on offer, and maybe learn a thing or two about ourselves.

You know that phrase, when someone sees an image that they believe might be sufficient in the pursuit of some pleasurable self-gratification, but their current situation means that they can’t reach down and lend a hand, so to speak, for fear of being ridiculed and/or arrested? “I’ll put it in the wank bank!” they say. Yet how many of us have rocked up to the nearest branch of our own wank banks, or to the nearest wank bank ATM and discovered that we have insufficient funds, are overdrawn, or that our accounts have been closed because the Russian Mafia has hacked our passwords. In other words, when the opportunity arises, we have no material.

The People’s Wank Bank could change all that. Imagine a teenage boy (let’s make him 18 to avoid any accusations of child pornography) comes home, and finds that mum, dad and a number of unspecified siblings are all out. Opportunity! But, alas, he tries to tap into his wank bank and guess what? Because he has been continually withdrawing funds from the wank bank leading up to this moment, the administrative charges for each withdrawal have led to his account being overdrawn! But if he were a member of the People’s Wank Bank, he could tap into the collective “dirty” consciousness of ten thousand other 18-year-old boys and, PRESTO, plenty of material for the 20 second interlude. FTW!

I understand there are risks. What, I hear you ask, would happen if an innocent and unsuspecting individual should come across a deposit made by Justin Bieber? How, I hear you plead, could you justify someone stumbling across the image of a naked Margaret Thatcher? Why, I hear you moan, won’t you use your time productively? These are all valid questions, and I understand your concerns. But we can minimise the risks. When you apply for a loan, you can specify your needs. The more detailed the application, the better. So if you want a blond on all fours, make sure you specify human, because if you don’t you could end up with a Joel Monaghan deposit.

This is an idea with merit, but it can’t work without your input. The People’s Wank Bank must be run by the people. We can’t get out funding from the RBA. Can you imagine what Glen Stevens would give us? We can’t get our funding from overseas, lest we get Glenn Beck’s imaginings of a chained and gagged Rush Limbaugh. The People’s Wank Bank relies on YOU!

Give generously.