Names and Faces


Published Oct. 11, 2017, 7:39 p.m.

I was in a 7/11. This guy in there looked familiar. Really familiar. But I couldn’t for the life of me remember where I knew him from. So I said nothing. Maybe he was just one of those people who have a familiar looking face, you know?

But then I notice he’s looking at me. He keeps glancing, a searching look on his face. What the hell, I thought. Let’s make this interesting.

“Do we know each other?” I asked loudly across the store.

“I think so,” he replied.

“Did you go to Monash Uni?” I asked.

“No.”

“You’re not from Warragul are you?”

“Don’t even know where that is.”

“Did you have much involvement in the Melbourne Comedy scene?”

“No,” he replied.

“Do you work at a JB HiFi?”

“No.”

“Come on, help me out here.”

“Umm... Did you go to Latrobe?"

“No.” I replied.

“Did you work at Coles years ago?”

“No.” Boy… this was a head scratcher.

“Oooh!” I said excitedly, “Have you worked on any productions at RMITV?”

“No.”

“Hmm…”

We both stood and thought for a while, but nothing else came to my mind.

“Well,” I said, “I guess we'll have to leave it there.”

I paid for my icecream and left. Still have no idea who that guy was.




Side Order of Awks


Published Oct. 5, 2017, 9:25 p.m.

I went to a burger joint with some work colleagues. One thing that set this burger joint apart from the rest is they had over 20 different milkshake flavours. Despite this, only two of us ordered milkshakes. One guy ordered a large strawberry milkshake. What an amateur! This place has 20 different flavours, flavours you couldn’t possibly imagine in your wildest dreams, and he goes for strawberry. You can get that anywhere. It’s the missionary of milkshakes.

Unlike him, I decided to seize the opportunity to forge into new milkshake frontiers. But then I decided that banana looked pretty good, so I got that instead. But not a large; I’m watching my figure.

So the waiter comes out with our milkshakes. “I’ve got a large strawberry,” he says.

“That’s mine,” says Mr Unadventurous.

“And who’s got a small banana?”

“I do,” I said.

And maybe this is a reflection on me… but it kind of felt like I had just owned up to having a small penis. It was kind of emasculating. This huge waiter asked who had a small banana, I confirmed it, and then he placed a tiny cup in front of me as if to symbolise, for all to see, that it was a small banana.

I kind of wish I didn’t say anything. Waited for him to use some different phrasing. But who knows what he would’ve said next.

“Come on guys, who’s got a small banana? Someone here has to have a small banana. Look, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, if you got a small banana that’s cool, I just need to know which one of you it is. Please don’t make me check which one of you has a small banana”




Origin Stories


Published June 18, 2017, 6:13 p.m.

You see this street?



It’s in London. It used to be called Globe Lane. And it’s a very significant street to my family. Because it was on this street, in 1838, that my great great great great grandfather murdered someone.

Yes, old Robert Emmett. Murderer. We don’t know where he was born exactly (he was an orphan, you see) but we know precisely when and where he took his first life. Well, actually, I suppose we can never be sure it was his first. But it was the first one we know of.

You can read the transcript from his trial online here, but if you want a more modern interpretation with less testimonies from carpenters and chimney sweeps, read on!

On the 5th October, 1833, ancestor Emmett and his friends were on Globe Lane. Another group of older kids walked past, and Ronald proclaimed, loud enough for them to hear, “He is a gone off!” Now, “gone off” must have been the height of offensive insults back in 1833, because one of the older boys turned around, marched right up to Emmett, and punched him in the head. Emmett fell to the ground, and the older boy kicked him in the thigh “with violence”.

If you thought “gone off” was offensive check this out: Emmett then calls the older boy a “twopenny halfpenny thief.” I like that. It sounds like something from a Dickens novel. Incidentally, Dickens was writing around the time this happened. My ancestor could’ve been reading Dickens novels as they were being released!

“I somehow doubt this guy was reading Dickens,” said my girlfriend, a little condescendingly.

But anyway, satisfied with the beating he had given Emmett, the “gone off” boy returns to his friends. That’s when my ancestor shouts out, “If you come back here, I’ll stab you.” Which, I don’t know, seems like kind of a bold claim for someone who just had the shit kicked out of him. Those sorts of threats are normally reserved for the winner. That’s like saying to a bouncer, after he’s thrown you out and beaten you to a bloody pulp, “If I ever see you in front of this nightclub again, you’ll regret it.”

But this older boy turned back around, and got ready to thump Emmett back into his place. And that’s when Emmett stabbed him. Right in the heart. You see, I come from a long line of honorable people. When we make a vow, we stick by it. Men of our words.

And so, at the age of 15, he was tried for murder, which at that time carried a death penalty. But luckily (and I’m not making this up) the head chimney sweep gave him a good character reference. Instead he was sentenced to 14 years in Australia. Pretty good deal to me.

My brother is currently living in England and was tasked with tracking the street down. He also wanted to know what the victim’s name was, in case he ran into any of his descendents and felt honour bound to carry on the feud.

“He probably hasn’t got any,” stated my Grandma. “That family line was probably wiped out.”




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