The Post Where I Finally Curtail Rumours That My Mother-In-Law Is A Romanian Prince Who Likes To Stick Spikes Up Bottoms.

Every now and then I get a little obsessed with stuff. This will come as no great surprise to anyone who’s read my insane mutterings about zombie chickens ( see.. pretty much the rest of the blog ).
Currently I’m a bit gripped by the concept of Cartesian doubt ( I’ll probably come back to that at some point ), but previous to that I was getting all thoughtful about the concept of karma.

I think a part of me *needs* to have karma at play in my universe, everything seems so dreadfully unfair otherwise, and that ticks me off a bit.
Not the traditional concept of karma – the paying for your sins in the next incarnation – but the all-new modernised instant karma that smacks you upside the head right now if you screw up. If I fiddle my taxes ( And I don’t. Please don’t report me ) I don’t want to come back as a colon-slurping tapeworm next time round. I want shit to rain down on me ( not literally – we appear to be back at the tapeworm scenario again ), and I want it to rain down on me NOW. I want to pay for my sins, and being a member of the disposable generation I’m not prepared to wait. Hit me!

And I have screwed up in the past. Some stuff I think I’ve paid for, some stuff I’m not sure I ever can, and in that respect I think I’m not so different from anyone else on this dirtball. Being agnostic I don’t have a heaven or hell in my future, so I have to rely on my own code of ethics to stop karma biting me on the ass. Fear of what comes next doesn’t motivate me, for me death is just a flicking of a switch from one state of being to another of nothingness. One minute I’m alive, minding my own business, sneaking down to the mailbox to see if the crap I ordered from eBay has arrived, the next I’m slowly cooling fertiliser. Death is a non-issue to me, I’m not scared of it. What totally terrifies me is pain and fear itself. I’m absolutely OK with being decapitated in a freak cheese-slicing tragedy, but being slowly and agonizingly grated myself…well, I’m going to have to go change my underpants just thinking about that.

For a lot of folk fear is stronger than morality. Horrifically, fear is currently fuelling the US Presidential circus. In an ideal world people would vote for whoever gave them the greatest hope instead of whoever tapped into their deepest terrors. I like to think that people are basically good. I see no difference between the darker skinned Muslim lady who lives downstairs, and my entirely paler Christian Mother-In-Law. Both have a warmth that extends to random strangers. Both like to feed my children snacks. Sure, the Muslim lady *could* be building a bomb in her dining room, but in all fairness so could my Mother-In-Law. Comparing my Muslim neighbour to a suicide bomber is like comparing my Mother-In-Law to Vlad The Impaler. It could be the truth but I’m thinking probably..not.

There is a quote from Benjamin Franklin that goes, “Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.” If peace comes from eradicating everything that we fear – and we fear everything and everyone who does not reflect ourselves – it is an acceptable price for us as a species? Of course not. And as far as Master Races go the ants have beaten us hands down anyway, so lets hope we never really piss those guys off.
Chances are even genocide will not halt the fear spiral, there will always be something that keeps us awake at night. I speculate that in a generation or two it will probably be intestinal worms.




Sign up for the New Religion. I take Paypal.

Things aren’t going well on the new religion front, and already it’s become clear that it’s going to be tough to sell the concept of undead poultry as the saviour of mankind. Strangely. A certain amount of conditioning has taken place to imprint the idea that zombies are the bad guys, based purely on the fact they try to kill and consume you.
The very same could be said for tigers, various virulent bacteria, small yappy dogs, and daytime television, yet people still love these things ( with the exception of the bacteria, who only seem to be adored by deeply unhinged scientists who’s eyes move independently in B movies ). Generally folk seem to frown on anything that doesn’t stay dead, with the exception of Jesus, who got away with it for the following 2 reasons:
1) He was a sandal-wearing hippy, and they tend not to be threatening in any way, and
2) He didn’t leap from his tomb and sink his teeth into Mary M’s forehead.

Our central deity, and I’ve decided this will be a monotheist religion, needs to be a benign figure. Poultry that attained enlightenment and achieved godly status by returning from the dead yet abstained from chowing down on grey matter. Marketing a brain-eater is way beyond my current capacity and I may have to wait until I’ve got a few more religions under my belt before I attempt that one.

The more you think about it and attempt to fine-tune the basics, the more insanely convoluted and implausible the whole issue becomes. Where does the religion stand on the issue of life after death? Or the seemingly more pressing issue of devout millinery?:

Where oh where to start?

And then, almost as if people at WordPress actually read my crap, in comes today’s prompt:
“If you were God, how would you have started it all? “
… and we suddenly have a kicking-off point.

Me, I wouldn’t want to be a God. Too much pressure, no holidays, too many complainers, and I suspect beards might be compulsory. Luckily, I’m not God though, I’m merely attempting to set up a fairly rickety platform for his / her fledgling believers to achieve… erm … whatever it is we’re aiming for but haven’t decided on yet.

Being a poultry-based religion ( Hentheism ? ) I can’t help thinking that in the beginning should be vast unimaginably huge endless nothingness. And an egg. I’ll stop here for 5 minutes while you try to get the poster for the movie “Alien” out of your head. Back with me? Good.

I even think I can get away with not explaining where the egg has come from, as Logic appears to be the spandex tights-wearing nemesis to Religion’s caped superhero. And vice versa, depending on your particular leanings. Me? I’m leaning on the fridge door hoping that Hubby will return from the shops with a huge bar of chocolate, but then I’m ( as yet undiagnosed ) cocoa dependant. Show me a religion that worships at the altar of Hot ChocFudge sauce and I’ll drop all this chicken shit in a heartbeat. I’m fickle that way.

From this impossible egg hatched, in a blaze of light and funky CGI effects, our God.. who in this case I have decided is going to be female. After all, she *is* a hen and not a rooster. And she shall be known as ….. Bernard. I’ve always been partial to the name and I’m not going to let a little thing such as gender bias ruin what is supposed to be a moment of etherial beauty.

Bernard’s years were long and lonely, with no company or cable tv, and finally in an act of divine inspiration Bernard plucked the feathers from her breast one by one and set them free. Each feather became a tree, a plant, a rock, a glimmering droplet of dew upon a newly created blade of grass.
And Bernard saw that it was beautiful and reached a state of true enlightenment.

Unfortunately for Bernard, with enlightenment came the realisation that she was, to coin a phrase, totally plucked. The combination of shock ( chickens are easily startled, and that’s why you won’t ever catch one in the queue at the cinema to see any of the “Saw” movies ) and extreme cold killed our budding deity stone dead.

She fell to her newly created Earth, where after 15 minutes ( which celluloid will have us believe is a fair average regeneration time period ) Bernard resurrected into The Benign But Pulse Disadvantaged Poultrygod we shall hopefully be devoting ourselves to in a financially advantageous ( to me ) way.

As creation stories go, it has it all. Drama, pathos, beautiful imagery and a complete void where a grounding in reality should be.

Truly, what more could a religion wish for?



If it’s ok with you I’d rather go without the crap in my slippers, thanks.

Imagine, if you will, a small kitten sitting at the feet of its owner, largely going without any sort of attention. It’s small, cute, warm and furry. And it knows it ( cos cats are smarter than they let on. See a “working cat” on a regular basis? No ? I rest my case. ) And yet, despite the fact that the owner *chose* the kitten, they’re not spending 24 hours a day in adoration and they’re way behind on their daily quota of stroking, ear scrunching and sly nuzzling when nobody is looking.

Kitty isn’t happy.

Don’t get me wrong, kitty knows it’s loved. Kitty knows it will be fed, but dammit… what’s a kitten to do to get a little attention around here?
I’ll tell you what.
Kitty shits in your slippers, that’s what.
Kitty will get away with it, cos you love them. But from that moment on you’ll be keeping one eye on the cat and your slippers in the wardrobe.
The moral of this gripping tale?
Sometimes you have to crap where you shouldn’t to get the response that you should.

On an entirely related note, this is today’s prompt :
“An out of control train is about to run over a pile of happy puppies, do you…”

It made me chuckle. I can recognise kitten poop when I smell it and having had cats for a long time I keep anything I don’t want used as a latrine off the floor.

Sure as little brown nuggets usually aren’t raisins this post is going to have the following responses :
1) Outraged bloggers are going to post their outrage to the perilous position of the puppies that don’t exist being potentially massacred by a train that isn’t there. There will be indignant blogging or a pointed lack thereof.
2) Bloggers with a conscience tempered with a sense of humour will show their displeasure at the thought of implied peril, but will blog about it nonetheless with a view to tingeing it with a touch of silliness.
3) Bloggers who like to entertain will turn it into a comedy.
4) Bloggers who take things literally will attempt a reasonable reply to make the best of the situation and thereby the least possible casualties. And will feel warm and fuzzy inside as a result.
5) Tech bloggers will invent a device that manages to save all the puppies, and the global fuel crisis as an encore.
6) Surrealist bloggers will view the scenario from the standpoint of an aubergine.
7) The PostADay team will be smug about the sudden peak in blogging caused by deliberately posting a provocative topic where some cute little puppies are going to end up pate no matter whatever way you cut it.
8 ) Bloggers who like to whip people up into a frenzy will relish the opportunity and blatantly post something outrageous just cos it’ll make them giggle.

My answer to the topic then?

“An out of control train is about to run over a pile of happy puppies. You are standing at the control switch and can pull the level to direct the train onto a different track, saving their lives. But that other track has a smaller pile of equally happy puppies on it.”

Mash those suckers, scoop them up and serve them for dinner. That way you end up with lots and lots of very happy reprieved chickens 🙂

Zombie Chicken Death Peck-O-Rama.

What would I do with a sudden and totally unexpected $1 million windfall?

3 words.

Zombie Chicken movie.

I was reminded of this by this post last night by one of my blog buddies.
So, Yes, that’s right. Today I am going to discuss the issue of undead poultry, and how the concept would make a totally kick-ass movie.

Now, before I get started I just have to say up front and with complete seriousness..
1) Do NOT Google “Zombie Chickens”
2) If you do, do NOT click on “Poultrygeist : Night Of The Chicken Dead”
3) If you’re still going to keep ignoring my advice anyway please feel free to scroll past the reviews and watch the trailer at the bottom. Go on. In fact, watch it whilst eating spaghetti and meatballs with lots of tomato sauce. That’ll teach you.

*ahem* Annnnyway…

When discussing any zombification a couple of issues always arise :
a) How did they become zombies? and
b) Exactly what sort of zombies are they?

Old school zombies are usually either a “Whoops, bit of a cock-up there, sorry.” moment by the local nuclear testing facility, some dodgy virus, a meteor, or a new and entirely plausible ( to zombie aficionados ) GM crop munching. So let’s assume a meteor has crash landed in the middle of Old MacDonald’s GM Poultry Feed And Free range Chicken farm and BAM, in the morning a shrill scream shatters the otherwise tranquil but slightly misty fields as Mrs Old MacDonald discovers her husband’s corpse buried under a mass of glassy-eyed yet slightly un-nerving hens. Yes, that’s right… death by uber-pecking. It’s a long, drawn-out, and especially irritating around the ankles way to go…

Hold on a sec though… why just the chickens? Why not all the birds? Hitchcock demonstrated quite clearly how menacing our feathered friends could be. OK, so not entirely terrifying if you’re being maliciously flapped at by, say, a blue tit, but I don’t care how much bravado you show – an undead ostrich comes hurtling towards you at top speed with the sole intention of chowing down on your grey matter and the world is going to shoot out of your bottom pretty damn fast.

But no, just the chickens this time. I may explain it in the director’s cut on the limited edition holographic dvd or something.

So, what type of zombie?

Traditionally zombies of all varieties are slow-shuffling bumbling-around-and-casually-losing-limbs-without-noticing-it creatures, which in the case of chickens lends itself more to mockery than gut-twisting terror. Imagine a flock of hens stumbling slowly towards you, none even big enough to reach past your knees, staggering around like they’ve been on a Dublin pub crawl and are all totally shitfaced. What are you going to do? Yep – you’re going to wet yourself laughing, that’s what. And then you’re going to film yourself smacking them about a bit with a cricket bat a-la-Shaun Of The Dead on your camera phone and post it on YouTube.

However, New Wave zombies are an entirely new and scary kettle of piranhas. Imagine instead if those zombie chickens were FAST. “28 Days Later” fast. Not so funny now, eh? Im not sure at what point it was decided that the undead weren’t scary enough and that making them damn near impossible to finally kill OR outrun would be a fun adaptation, but I don’t like it. Chickens hell-bent on eating my brains is so much more amusing when they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of actually managing it.

And finally, one more issue. With your average run-of-the-mill bumbling animated cadaver you can usually stop their casual strolling by something akin to decapitation. Now think about those chickens again.

See where this is going?

Those buggers can still keep going after you lop their heads off!! In fact, whilst the average survival time with nothing above the neck is apparently a few minutes at most , the record is 18 months .

W. T. F. ?!?

Bad bad bad news if you’re mounting a counterstrike, and even more unsettling when you’re sitting down to your Sunday roast and the lemon-stuffed main meal suddenly leaps up and attempts to head neck-butt your offspring. Well, I say unsettling, but I’d probably laugh hysterically for the 12 seconds or so it took me to become a vegetarian.

Time to work on that screenplay.

In Memoriam.

I had actually made plans for this entry.I was going to go for the usual light conversational tone, though the topics evade me now, maybe make a few thinly veiled jokes at my ex’s expense and possibly pop in a chicken or two.
But then I went and did something I hardly ever do – I went online to see what news was going on in the world. I never read the daily papers or keep abreast of current affaires. Yes, I know that’s what adults are supposed to do, but No, I don’t.

In all honesty, I find the news too depressing to follow religiously. If the foul bigots are spewing forth their fetid personal vendettas to the masses today you can bet your arse they’ll be spouting the same shit tomorrow. Thousands of people will be dying for the lack of a cup of water and a handful of rice. Genocide, suffering, cruelty everywhere. An argument could be made that it’s my moral duty to know about these things and try to help if I can, and to an extent I would agree. If everyone turned away saying, “Sorry, but there’s just nothing I can do…” then the one person who could have changed it all will never get their shot. Sometimes all that’s needed is to be seen to take a stand, to put a human face to the horror. Think that’s not enough? Then think back to this image and tell me that it didn’t evoke some sort of emotion in you :

But I try to avoid it. It seems to me that every time I read another headline about the inhumanity that humans are capable of it robs the world of a little bit of it’s beauty for me. And yup, I really *am* that egocentric lol I’m scared that one day I shall be so jaded that I simply won’t see it anymore. Ever see “The Breakfast Club” ? Remember the line “When you grow up, your heart dies.”? She cared, and so do I.

However, today I decided to have a look at the science and technology pages. I generally enjoy them and it’s heartening to read about medical advances. It’s akin to cupping your hand around the small sputtering flame of hope.
Except today one of the small articles tucked away in the “You might also like to read”s brought me pretty much to a screeching halt.

“Challenger: The shuttle disaster that shook the world”

I remember it like it was yesterday, and up until now I couldn’t watch even a fraction of the footage of the disaster without the profound feeling of loss I felt 25 years ago.
I wasn’t particularly interested in space. Curious, possibly, but it was pretty much something that was going on somewhere else that had nothing to do with my life. Except this time it was different because of this one woman :

An astronaut, a teacher, a wife and a mother. Due to be the first teacher in space she opened up the idea of space travel as being something anyone could do if they truly had a passion for it. I found myself watching my first shuttle launch with genuine excitement for this complete stranger, only to sit open-mouthed and horrified when 73 seconds into the flight the Challenger exploded. The enormity of what had happened hit me right in the face. I’d just watched 7 people die.

Today was the first time since it happened that I watched the footage, and it’s still every bit as shocking.
So I didn’t blog on the 28th as a mark of respect, a 5 minute silence if you will, for the men and women who lost their lives that day. However, I shall be retroactively posting this to stand as my personal tribute.

Sorry it hasn’t been funny. Sometimes things just aren’t.

Go ahead, bite me.

It possibly wouldn’t entirely surprise you to learn that I wasn’t a conventional child. Whether that’s because of quirky genetics or being raised under a “children should be seen and not heard” regime , I’m not sure. But I was quiet, thoughtful and reflective – more loner than lonely – and to be honest that suited me just fine and dandy. I wasn’t withdrawn or antisocial either – I just liked my own company and my peculiar little interests.

One of which was death. Not “Goodness, why are all the neighbourhood cats ending up skinned lately, doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd?” psychopathically unhinged, but it didn’t scare me. Obviously though, the process of dying itself was a different matter, and something I didn’t want to dwell on. I wasn’t stupid – I knew the chances of dying by chocolate ice cream overdose were pretty slim, but I was willing to commit to giving it my best shot.

I can’t remember when I read my first piece of vampire fiction, or saw my first undead movie, but I’d put good money on it being roundabout when puberty kicked in. You can talk all you like about the neck being an erogenous zone, about domination and submission, about biting being a penetration metaphor, but bottom line … vampires are hot. They combine the beauty of eternal youth with the seductive lure of experience, and traditionally they’re raw merciless predators who are hell-bound on being sinfully hedonistic. Yum.

Om nom nom, yes please.

Erm... I'll skip on this one though, cheers.

Casting aside the all-night orgies down the blood bank, what exactly does the (un)life of a vampire consist of though? Not dying, and attempting to not die over an extended period. Hell, I’m doing that already ! Give or take 40 years or so and I’ll probably be happy to call it quits… so the thought of trudging on, albeit in a spritely and spiky-toothed incarnation, doesn’t really appeal.

Don’t I want to live forever ? Immortality is a curse, not a gift. To watch the slow decay of age in those nearest to you, to watch them wither and die and to still go on? I think I’ll pass, thanks. I imagine losing a child is devastating whether they’re 9 or 90. I believe in the natural order of things. When it’s my time and I hear the tinny jingle of the frozen dessert truck being parked outside by the grim reaper I won’t resist. I will throw open the door and serenely offer my 5 litre bucket to be filled, and yes, I would like extra nuts and a flake please.

Warning : It’s a teeny bit sweary in parts. Not to be confused with “sweaty in parts”… which hasn’t happened in this case because this post is wearing cotton underwear.

I’ve missed quite a few Topics since I started the Post-A-Day challenge. Some have been because I had nothing to say on the subject ( can you imagine? ), other times I’ve been ill and fobbed you off with a bit of light misdirection so I can get an early night. But one or two I really needed a bit of time to think about.

One such topic was this :
If you had a time machine that only let you spend one hour in a different time, what date would you go to?

There’s a quaint Dutch saying to describe someone who has an almost obsessive attention to detail and absolutely MUST have everything precise or they go doo-lally batshit … and that’s “Antfucker”. My Hubby is an antfucker, and so am I ( when I can be bothered. If that makes sense to you please explain it to me cos it makes no sense whatsoever to be hysterically precise one second and not really give a crap the next ).

So why did this question rub me up the wrong way like a sweaty executive on the London Underground during a summer rush hour?

1) There are two options… forward in time or back. Anyone with a grain of a brain will choose to nip forward, get the lottery numbers, look smug, pop back and wait to be knee deep in huge piles of cash. It’s gotta be done, hasn’t it? As the saying goes “Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it will bring you a better standard of misery.”
“Ahhhh!” say those people with more conscience than people they’re in debt to, “I wouldn’t do that… I’d go forward in time where they’ve cured cancer / AIDS / lovehandles and then come back with it… thereby saving millions of lives!”
That’s all well and good, and a nice sentiment, but you’re limited by the initial restrictions, namely “only let you spend one hour in a different time”. That’s a pretty narrow timeframe to work with… what hour are you going to choose? Will they have sorted it in a year…. 20 years? 100 years? How far ahead do you go with your one choice? Too soon and you’re buggered. Might as well write down those lottery numbers anyway and try to ignore the mocking glances of your fellow travellers when you return to your own time without the medical knowledge of how to cure chronic hemorrhoids.

How about hedging your bets and flipping forward a thousand years? Surely humans would have got their act together by then? Well, assuming that we survive the next 2 years ( which will pretty much piss off any closet Mayans who will be spending November 2012 maxing out their credit cards without a care in the world ), who’s to say we won’t have killed ourselves by then? We’re not a terribly conscientious race in general and sooner or later the Earth is gonna go “Y’know? I don’t feel like sustaining you anymore. I’m going to evolve chickens into vicious carnivores. You’re *so* screwed…”

Alternatively a huge flaming meteor could hit us, sending us hurling towards the universal equivalent of the corner pocket. The time allowance of one hour on Future Earth becomes pretty immaterial then as you’d only have time to say “Crikey, it got a bit nippy, didn’t it?” 59 minutes later  your fellow time travellers get back a traveller ice lolly with a slightly surprised look on its face.

2) So that leaves back.
Answers on this one are more diverse, you know exactly what time ( down to the minute in some cases ) everything has happened because in some cases you were already there.
But with going back in time you encounter those Sci-Fi favourites causality and accountability, which in a nutshell state “Sure, you may well be knee-deep in shit right now, but convince Mummy Hitler to use better birth control and who’s to say someone worse won’t spring up in the festering void left by the now-not-conceived little Adolf?”

So… to cut a long long story down to…erm… just long, what would I do?

I’d go back to the day my Nan died 5 years ago and thank her for never giving up on me despite my parent’s divorce effectively shattering the family unit. And I’d hold her hand until she passed. Cos lottery wins are lovely, I’ve got nothing whatsoever against being stinking rich, but to be able to be there to repay a debt they never even considered you owed.. that’s beyond price.

Sex, lies, and unusually entertaining train journeys.

There are two schools of thought on the “hour to live” issue, the Hedonist and the Romantic. The romantic would spend that time with their loved ones, the Hedonist in a short sudden orgy of excess.

I once dated a guy whom I’d hoped and suspected was the romantic type and asked him what he’d do if the clock was ticking in the vague hope he would say something along the lines of,
“I’d rush to your side to take one last look into your beautiful eyes, and though I respect your intellect and razor-sharp wit, I’d really love to cop a feel of your frankly magnificent breasts, if that’s ok with you?”
But instead he said, “I’d spend time with the people I like most”, in a suspiciously non-committal way.
Still clinging on for at least a mention I pushed, “But what if you’re more than an hour’s travel away?”
He tossed back “Then it looks like I’d spend the last 60 minutes of my life on a train on the way there masturbating furiously out of sheer frustration.”
Romantic – 0, Hedonist – 1

I’d fall into the Romantic category. I’d want to spend those last moments with those I’d already chosen to spend my life with. That said, I’d like to go with a clear conscience. It’s not as if I leave a huge trail of deceit behind me ( I’ve actually tried it, but I lack the necessary memory to keep track of the lies, and I have very poor fibbing skills) but there are things that I would like to say before my tearful , and slightly panicked I suspect, demise. That’s assuming, of course, that it’s just me going. If it’s the entire planet that’s due to be pushing up the proverbial daisies last-second confessions are pretty much pointless and you might as well skip to the sex and tequila.
This is where Topic 2 comes in, because I think I would need to ‘fess-up to an offshoot of this little-known fact :
“I never truly loved my husband, not even on the day I married him”.
It’s kinda sad really, more so when you find out that I was aware that he didn’t love me either, and that when we used to joke with friends that we only got married for tax reasons it was to hide the fact that we really did only get married for tax reasons.
When it all came to a crashing end I was relieved. I could stop smiling and making “Oh, these sprouts are delicious!” pleasantries with my Mother-In-Law about her Sunday roasts that had the consistency of charcoal-broiled snot. I no longer had to pretend that excessive sweating and poor personal hygiene didn’t make me gag just a little bit. And no, he wasn’t funny, and yes, I had noticed.

My deathbed secret is this:
“When I found out about his affair I didn’t actually care.”
Sure, I cried a bit, but mostly I was just monumentally pissed off that he’d been dipping his noodle for months and ALL our friends knew and they all covered for him.
So, I admit it, I milked it for the sympathy. Yeah, I genuinely felt crappy, just not for the reason that everyone thinks I did. Serves me right for marrying him, though I suspect I probably wouldn’t have fared any better with Mr Intercity Impromptu Hand Job or any of the other staggeringly bad relationship choices I’ve made in the past.

Luckily I’ve now found that Holy Grail of Couples… The Good Man. And I make sure I’m wearing my best undies and he’s never more than 10 minutes travel away, just in case.