Being a tight arse and paying for it

There is saving money and there is setting yourself up for trouble. If you fly with Tiger you are going to get fucked.

In late July a trip was planned to watch Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem perform at Festival Hall in Melbourne. The bands were going to play a double headline show and when Perth was left off the touring the schedule the choice was made easy.

Unfortunately when it came time to book the flights my curiosity got the better of me. Sure I’ve heard nothing but complaints from anyone and everyone who has had an experience with Tiger Airways but a flights a flight, isn’t it? My logic was convincing. The extra $100 saved on airfares could be blown on much more rewarding things like alcohol and material possessions. Surely that would be worth a little bit of discomfort?

I imagine the convicts shipped to Australia by the British Empire in the 1800s were treated far better than we were on that plane. I doubt convicts sat around in a waiting area for hours on end with no idea what was going to happen to them next. They would be doing more enjoyable things like being whipped or imagining how they’ll never see their loved ones again.

Quickly the $100 bonus money started to be eaten away. Want to bring a suitcase? There goes $30. Your suitcase is over weight by less than 1kg, take away another $15. Don’t have cash? Sorry, make that $20. So now that $100 bender is a $50 bender, which is still good considering the flights only a couple hours, right?

Sure the scheduled flight to Melbourne is only a couple of hours. What I forgot to consider was the hours we would spend in airport lounges, also known as purgatory for the religious readers out there, or the final season of Lost for those nerdy readers out there.

First there was faulty equipment that caused all of the passengers to have to collect their luggage from the baggage carousel and recheck it back in. This happened when we were scheduled to start boarding. We then sat in silence for another hour with no idea what was going on. Once they attempted to start boarding a security alarm kept being set off, which kept us captive for longer still.

Possibly I‘m being a little bit harsh on Tiger as every airline has computer troubles, what they don’t have are regular Tiger passengers. If you put a group of arseholes together in a confined area and fill them with alcohol it doesn’t take a genius to guess what will happen.

It was raining when we boarded. The metal stairwell proved too much of a challenge for one of the alcoholically challenged passengers who tumbled down face first onto the tarmac. We sat waiting for 45 minutes while the medical crew decided if the man could fly. Once he boarded with his severely bandaged face we were ready to take off.

Well, actually no. We were then informed a passenger was missing. The pilot explained how serious a missing passenger is, though I’m not sure how much mischief they could actually get up to considering the last plane had flown out of Perth hours before. A printed list of passenger names was produced and we were checked off. It turns out we hadn’t lost a passenger, just another 25 minutes. They had printed a passenger’s name on the manifest twice.

The pilot announced we would take off once the final boarding check was completed and a minor cheer went around the cabin. Everyone was ready to go except for the passenger two rows behind me who refused to turn off his iPhone. A shouting match broke out between the passenger and the crew member who was understandably over it as much as we were at this stage. The man was threatened with being dragged off of the plane and he reluctantly relented.

With the final obstacle cleared we took off into the blustery Perth night. As the plane creaked and groaned I started to imagine crashing back down to earth and dying in a fiery explosion. I had mixed feelings as I really wanted to watch Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem but at least I wouldn’t have to endure the return trip back to Perth with Tiger Airways. Sometimes we need to put ourselves through trauma to realise some things are worth spending a little bit extra on. Take my advice if you value your sanity do not fly with Tiger Airways.

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I want! I want!

Hype, it’s why door staff let patrons into their clubs at such a slow rate. The longer the line the more curious people will be snared by its mystic beauty. It’s almost impossible to stop your mind from imagining all of the glorious things that must be going on inside, which could have caused such an impressive line to form.

I happened to trip over a big ol’ line of hype as I wandered the streets, around midnight, on a Thursday night. It was a substantial line of people from all ages and ethnicities. My brain started racing. What could be so special that it could draw such a varied line around midnight on a weeknight? Could there be secret Jay-Z concert nobody had told me about? Surely not, but I needed to know for sure.

I walked up to a turtle neck wearing gentleman and asked him what the line was for. He looked me up and down, let out a large exhale of air and turned his back. He turned his freaking back! It was if to say, “well if you aren’t cool enough to know why we’re here then I shan’t waste my precious line time educating your inferior intellect, now be off you peasantry fool!”

Feeing slightly dejected I continued on my journey. Maybe his shoulder was right? Maybe I wasn’t good enough for this epic line? My feelings of inferiority wouldn’t last for long as only one block further I came across another equally epic line. I pondered if this was the same line entangling itself around several city blocks, but that thought ended as soon as I noticed where this new line had begun. It begun at the entrance of a brightly lit Telstra T-Life store complete with live band playing songs for the patiently waiting crowd. At midnight the new iPhone was to go on sale.

I knew I was going to have to retrace my steps to get home that night and i was worried the hype would get the better of my drunker self. How would that feel, rolling over in the morning to see an iPhone laying on the pillow next to you? It would be the worst one night stand ever. Waking up with a 24 month contract. Lucky for me at 2:30am the lines hadn’t shrunk and I managed to make it home only with a bag of ice creams for company. Take that hype!

iPhone Launch Melbourne 2:30am

iPhone Launch Melbourne 2:30am

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Let’s talk about sex

Julia Gillard sits at her desk, behind her are collection of personal photographs with her smiling with her friends and her partner. The positioning of these photographs, the fact she is dressed completely in white and is sitting down are not random happenings. This scene has been carefully plotted by the Labor party so the public feels like they can relate to Ms Gillard as a person and in no way should she come across as threatening. Three weeks ago she became the 27th Prime Minister of Australia after the Labor party decided the public’s opinion of Kevin Rudd had changed so dramatically it would surely lose the imminent federal election if they went into it with him installed as their leader. Today she is announcing that we will be given the opportunity to choose if we would like to give her the chance to prove herself as our Prime Minister or if we would prefer the Liberal Party offering of Tony Abbot.

Even though Australia doesn’t operate on a two party system there really isn’t any chance a party besides Labor or the Liberals could get enough votes to form government. This year the race looks to be quite close, which means whichever minor party who manages to do well may have a major influence over the direction this country takes over the next four years.

The major parties focus their policies on who will get them the most votes and that means older generations, religious groups and big business. The minor parties potentially can reach a lot of voters who feel alienated by not being able to relate to the “important issues” that the major parties keep telling them about.

One such minor party is the newly formed Australia Sex Party. The ASP was formed in 2008 and had it’s official launch at the Melbourne Sexpo. The leader of the party is Fiona Patten, who is also the the CEO of Eros Association – Australian’s national adult retail and entertainment association. With beginnings in the adult industry and featuring the word “sex” in their name the ASP certainly isn’t going after the conservative vote. Such conservative voters would be appalled with the ASP’s policies such as introducing a R 18+ and X rating for category video games, abandoning Senator Conroy’s planned Internet filter, ending tax exempt status for religious groups and creating a national uniform law on pregnancy termination making it similar to divorce law so that women to could seek a legal, no-fault and guilt free process for termination.

Whatever the outcome on Saturday August 21 one thing we know for sure is that we are going to be seeing and hearing a lot more, more than most of us would normally like, from the main candidates. Hopefully the focus will be on what the party will be able to do for the country, if we reward them with our vote, and doesn’t just descend into a childish blame game that is all to common in Australian politics.

The election is on Saturday August 21.

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How to look like an arsehole

I spend the end of each day staring at the clock, planning my escape from the office to the very last detail. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, however once 4pm starts to approach the rest of the world melts away and my senses lock down telling me I am the only one left in the office.

Today went something like this:

15:45:05 I slowly started to pack my bag and clear my desk
15:57:36 I abruptly ended my final call with a customer (you really need to be careful not to get stuck with a “talker” that late in the day)
15:58:02 My browser was logged off and the email program was shut down
15:59:01 I stared at the clock
15:59:15 It still wasn’t 4 o’clock
15:59:46 I had my finger clicked onto the mouse button waiting for the final precious seconds to elapse
16:00:00 I released my finger and the applications shut down
16:00:59 My computer was logged off, my desk was clear and with my belongings shoved under arm and I dashed out of the security door
16:01:35 I placed my iPod earbuds into my ears setting it to shuffle so as not to waste time selecting an appropriate track, it picked a new !!! song so I was happy
16:02:14 I pressed the lift button
16:03:00 The lift arrived, I jumped on and swiped my access card to get down to the lower levels
16:03:05 I exhaled for what felt like the first time in 8.5 hours, I looked up and saw a guy walking out from the toilets, we made eye contact, the doors started to shut, his eyes widened and he started to run to grab the door, I lunged for the ”keep the doors open” button but nothing happened, he dived and slid his bag in between the doors triggering the safety mechanism
16:03:30 I looked down to notice instead of pushing the “keep doors open” button I had been ramming my finger feverishly into the “shut the fucking doors I want to get out of here” button
16:03:40 I looked up and the guy was staring at my finger, which was still pressing the button
16:03:50 I stood awkwardly next to the guy who thought I tried to shut the lift doors on him
16:03:59 I exited the lift with the knowledge that another person in the office thinks I am an arsehole

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It’s tradition

Twin 500mm blades revolving 60 times per second annihilate the grass in my backyard. The thunderous roar of the engine has brought about the apocalypse on the world of the grass. No concern is given by the hand that drives the machine about the total destruction and annihilation that goes on underfoot. In a short time it will all be over, the area once matted and overgrown will be able to flourish into a beautiful and more functional space.

Do you think she could mow the lawn any louder? Strewth, women can be so inconsiderate these days. I am trying to sit here and write down my thoughts about what it means to be a traditional male and all that fills my head is her noisily mowing my lawn.

A friend of mine said he was, you know, traditional. It caused my synapses to start firing away. Well at first it was a bit of a cough, then a splutter and then with a slightly embarrassing thud the whole system came online and my brain was off and running.

My first thoughts ran towards my brain’s usual stomping ground: sex. Sex before marriage had been frowned upon for countless generations. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t like nanna wasn’t rolling around on a bed made of last weeks newspapers, trying to keep hay from getting lodged into her deep dark recesses. It’s just if something did stick then the lucky beau was going to be settling down with a wife and child a lot sooner than he wanted. Well at least there was always a World War to look forward to.

Ah ha! Maybe that was it? Maybe he meant if he had the misfortune of one of his swimmers being a persistent little bastard he wouldn’t be sending the lucky lady to the “female services clinic”? Could there really be young man out there who wasn’t pro-choice? After a bit of investigation I discovered there actually isn’t a choice. Abortion isn’t really legal in Australia at all and it is still a criminal offense. To get an abortion in Western Australia you need to prove (a) serious personal, family or social consequences will result if the abortion is not performed, (b) life or physical or mental health is endangered, or (c) the pregnancy causes serious danger. If you don’t do this then you will get prosecuted in a criminal court and face jail time, which regardless of how many awesome prison movies you’ve watched it’s actually worse than having a child. Now I know what you’re thinking; getting that girl pregnant, who you only took home because you wanted to physically express the emotions caused by your teams latest football victory, would cause more than enough mental anguish that anyone could understand, right? Well unfortunately those clauses in the law only apply to the woman who is pregnant.

I guess I really should pay a bit more attention to contraception after all. At least the gays have got it easy, they don’t have to worry about this nasty baby stuff. Well, when I say easy I mean at least they aren’t being sent to prison for trying to enjoy themselves. The act of “buggery” was illegal in Australia up to 1994, though the last man sent to prison for it was in 1984. So possibly being a traditional male could be a guy who gets freaked out about the thought of two men touching penises? However gay marriage only became officially illegal in Australia in 2004 so being anti-gay isn’t really all that traditional after all.

I decided all of this pondering wasn’t going to lead to anything of substance and the only real way I could know would be to ask him. Of course actually speaking with him in person felt like it would be such a drain on my resources. I decided a better use of my time would be best spent trawling through his Twitter and Facebook pages to get a gist of who, and what, a traditional male really was. Unfortunately that task will have to wait for another time because I have a load of washing to do and dinner isn’t going to cook its self.

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Tits on the dance floor

We had time to kill before opening so we walked to the bridge over the freeway. We pissed towards cars and watched the city pass us by. The rest of the vodka was necked and we headed in.

The night began with beers, music and discussion that wandered around the similarities in Ratatat’s discography and drifted towards the policies of disliked politicians. I had purchased a six pack of beer and a bottle of vodka shaped like a soviet rocket that had a Russian sounding name but was made in France.

There was a line but it wasn’t long. We had our ID checked and then we were finger printed. I noticed there was a lot of fat people around.

With scotch on ice in hand we walked a lap collecting people that we knew. The DJ played well worn songs to the pleased crowd.

We talked some shit and drank some more. We stood on the side of the dance floor making obscene observations of people.

I saw a girl wearing a jacket, she was not wearing anything underneath her jacket and she only had the lower buttons done up. She was not very pretty, she knew this. She was dancing with her friends shaking her tits until they popped out of her jacket, she would laugh and then pretend it was an accident shoving them back in. She was happy. She knew eyes were on her. She would have gone home alone with her friends satisfied with the knowledge that she was consumed in her leather jacket.

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Training Day

I boarded the train and grabbed the last available seat. After putting my iPod away in my pocket I looked up to see a man sitting in front of me. He was spread across two seats. His shorts were pulled up to the highest possible degree splitting his testicles in a very uncomfortable manner.

The man was covered in a fine layer of what looked like a winning combination grease, sweat and dirt. A lady climbed into our carriage at the next stop. As she walked past the man he shifted in his seats towards her, he licked his lips emitting a smacking sound, which I’ve deduced must have been his mating call. After years of masturbating over abused women on the internet this man had clearly lost all ability to control his bodily functions in front of non-payed women.

The train ride continued and my attention was caught by something else for a brief moment of time until the man, who clearly was demanding all five senses of the passengers on the train started to sing along loudly to the music he was listening too. I looked up again and the man had his shirt pulled up and he was slowly rubbing his mobile telephone across the bear flesh of his chest and stomach. He then slid his mobile phone down into his pants and lowered his shirt. I arrived at my station and left the train and the man to continue on with their journey.

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