Friday, 31 January 2014

Australian Nutritional Guidelines 2013...ha

This blog is not going to be one of the several thousand that bang on and on about my particular beliefs on nutrition. I might occasionally, but there are already many people smarter than me who can do that already, and do it very well. I don't usually give a rat's arse what people eat and don't eat. What I do give a flying duck about is certain authorities that tell the great unwashed exactly that; what they should be eating. When clearly, they have no clue. 

I have a particular disdain for nutritional guidelines - the same old boring twaddle that is trotted out every few years, like some octogenarian relative that no-one particularly likes, but for reasons not quite clear, holds sway over the whole family. I hate that old prick with a passion, and in this post I tell him to get stuffed. Him and his bullshit stories about what it was like in his day. No one gives a shit, you old bastard.

I first put this together for a close friend who was having a hard time accepting what I was putting in to my body. A fair amount of time and wading through shit went in to it, so I figure there may be someone else who gets a kick out of as well. It's by no means a take-down worthy of a glossy cover and sale on Amazon (or even a post on a half-decent blog for that matter), however it hopefully points out at least some of the madness that many people accept as truth.

To start with, the 2013 release, in all its 226 page glory is here -  http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/n55
Hold on to your pants, 'cause here we go:
From page vi (Guideline 3):
“Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.
  •  Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as many biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and other savoury snacks. (underlining, mine).
  • Replace high fat foods which contain predominantly saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with foods which contain predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado.
  • Low fat diets are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years.
Firstly, it should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that the foods they listed as high in saturated fat in the first dot point are all foods that are just as high, if not higher, in refined carbohydrates (flour and sugar) than they are in fat.

Skipping to the last dot point, I'll comment on the idiocy of infant guidelines further down.

Going back to the second dot point - this pushes the idea that polyunsaturated (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats. This is a whole other blog post, but briefly, one study done on this issue was the Sydney Diet Heart Study. From 1966 to '73 they tracked a few thousand middle aged men and told half of them to replace saturated fat with PUFAs (safflower oil and margarine). The men who were consuming more PUFAs had lower cholesterol but a higher death rate from all causes.

Taken from a review of the Sydney Diet Heart Study - “Conclusions  - Advice to substitute polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats is a key component of worldwide dietary guidelines for coronary heart disease risk reduction. However, clinical benefits of the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega 6 linoleic acid, have not been established. In this cohort, substituting dietary linoleic acid in place of saturated fats increased the rates of death from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. An updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed no evidence of cardiovascular benefit.”

taken from Sydney Diet Heart Study

So, call me deluded, but I think one could reasonably conclude from the Sydney Diet study – if you want to lower your cholesterol, eat lots of polyunsaturated fat. If you want to live longer, err...don’t.

From page 69 of the Nutritional Guidelines - “The early work on dietary fats and heart disease focused on the type of fat in the overall diet, with the fat being contributed by a wide range of foods. The evidence that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats affects serum cholesterol levels has been accumulating for the last 60 years,(36,666) and the relationship has been confirmed in a recent review of human intervention trials and other studies. (94,667-670)”

Firstly, you have to ignore the big "so what?" in your head when you read the bit about serum cholesterol levels. But once you have:

Their evidence for this statement
Reference 36 = National Health and Medical Research Council. Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults. Canberra;Commonwealth of Australia; 2003b.

Here they are using their own 2003 guidelines as proof of their argument. Brilliant.

Reference 669 = Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the associatation of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010.

Quote directly from the Siri-Tarino paper – “Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.”

Here they have used a paper that concludes saturated fat can’t be blamed for heart disease to argue that saturated fat is bad. ???????? Sneaky bastards didn't expect anyone to actually read that one, I bet.

Reference 666:
Aust N Z J Med. 1994 Feb;24(1):98-106.Review of dietary intervention studies: effect on coronary events and on total mortality.Truswell AS.Source Department of Human Nutrition, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Abstract (full version behind paywall) - “The perfect randomised controlled dietary prevention trial of coronary heart disease has never been done. The best we can do is to look at all the trials together.”

So, right up front they admit that their paper is inconclusive. At least they're partly honest. 

“In all trials plasma cholesterol was effectively lowered and coronary narrowing regressed a little, or progressed less in the diet group but significantly compared with controls. These angiographic trials strongly support the results of the major prevention trials. Lastly, a set of ten trials with fish oil after coronary angioplasty are reviewed. In some there appeared to be lower rates of restenosis, but not in all.”

They say cholesterol was lowered and artery narrowing was slightly less, or perhaps didn’t worsen as much as the standard control person. Sound conclusive? 

Reference 667:
Hooper L, Summerbell CD, Thompson R, Sills D, Roberts FG, Moore H et al. Reduced or modified dietary fats for preventing cardiovascular disease. The Cochrane Library 2011;July 2011
Quotes - “Dietary change to reduce saturated fat and partly replace it with unsaturated fats appears to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events, but replacing the saturated fat with carbohydrate (creating a low fat diet) was not clearly protective of cardiovascular events” and “Effects on total and cardiovascular mortality are much less clear. No evidence was found on the long term health effects of altering trans fat intake.”

Notice how they say replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats “appears” to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events. It either does or it doesn’t. They also say that replacing saturated fat with carbohydrate (creating a low fat diet) “was not clearly protective”.

Ref 668: Skeaff M, Miller J. Dietary fat and coronary heart disease: Summary of evidence from prospective cohort and randomised controlled trials. Annals of nutrition and metabolism 2009;

Quote -“Differences between populations in the amount and type of fat consumed explain much of the  variation in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases [Keys, 1980].”

And references in this paper include:
Keys A: Coronary heart disease in seven countries.Circulation 1980; 41: 1–211.
Keys A, Anderson J, et al: Serum cholesterol response to changes in the diet. IV. Particular saturated fatty acids in the diet. Metabolism1965; 14: 776–787.
Keys A, Menotti A, et al: The diet and 15-year death rate in the Seven Countries Study. Am J Epidemiol 1986; 124: 903–915.

Ancel Keys (the author of  these references) is widely known to be the father of the lipid hypothesis (that suggests saturated fats cause heart disease) and his “seven countries” study is a deceitful paper with the clear intention to show fat being evil. 

Ancel Keys is revered in some circles, despised in many others, so if you want to find out more about why I think the use of his studies is laughable, there are probably a million blogs who can elaborate. This is just one -  Moving on...
From page 71 – “Raised LDL cholesterol has been found to be a significant risk factor in at least 50 prospective cohort studies involving more than 600,000 subjects in 18 countries.712

That sounds impressive, so it must be true. But it gets really weird when you see where they got that wording from. Their reference (712) is - Baghurst K. Dietary fats, marbling and human health. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 2004;44:635-44.
If you’re confused, so was I. The paper is one written by some bloke at CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) on fat in cows (marbling referring to the marbling in beef). The quote above is taken directly from the paper and the references they use to support the statement are….well, they don’t give any. Putting the quote into a well-known search engine didn't produce any useful results either. 
In the paper, the quote follows with a statement that “Saturated fat is the strongest dietary determinant of plasma LDL-concentration”. The reference they use for this is “Keys et all, 1957”. Thank goodness for dependable Mr Keys. 

It should probably strike people odd that even if "Keys et al 1957" had any credibility, surely there would have been better and more convincing studies in the last 50+ years. 
To be clear, I personally believe saturated fat does increase plasma LDL concentration in a lot of people. But, so what? They just assume that higher LDL concentration = oh shit. Sadly, so do the majority of readers. LDL is synonymous with 'you're a dead duck'. 

Back to the "on your 2nd birthday, your brain is fully developed and doesn't require fat" bit:

From page 56 of the guidelines - "It should be noted that reduced fat varieties of milks and/or plant-based drinks are not suitable as a drink for children under the age of 2 years due to energy requirements for growth."
Page 60 -  "As children under 2 years are growing rapidly and have relatively high energy (kilojoule) needs, reduced fat milks are not recommended as a main milk food for this age, but are suitable after 2 years of age."
Page 73 -"Neurological development is particularly rapid in the first 2 years of life and restriction of the fat intake during that time may interfere with optimal energy intake and reduce the supply of essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 LCPUFAs needed by developing nervous tissue, adversely affecting growth and development.

A few comments here; it strikes me odd that they continue to use this magical age of 2, at which point the kids' brains don't require the "neurological development" that they receive from eating fat. It seems to me that these people know fat is good for the brain, however they are that shit-scared of recommending that kids eat fat - and that convinced of the cholesterol-heart hypothesis, that brain development slips down the ladder of priorities. 

Seriously, does that sound logical to you? Do you really think that it is acceptable to risk your kids' neurological development because some dickhead with a white coat says there is some vague chance you'll be setting them up for a heart attack in 40+ years time?

On what planet is that sensible?  

"Even at a young age, a diet high in saturated fats may predispose children and adolescents to the development of cardiovascular disease later in life and the evidence supports this advice on fat intake for children from 2 years of age.35,719" 

Reference 35 is the 2003 Australian guidelines for kids - http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n34.pdf

It basically mimics the adult guidelines and I found this gem particularly perplexing - "Restriction of the fat intake of children aged up to 2 years may interfere with optimal energy intake and reduce the supply of essential fatty acids needed by developing nervous tissue, thus adversely affecting growth and development". 

But again, this seems to be unimportant on the day they blow out 2 candles on a cake. Maybe that is because Mum made a low fat cake. It was full of sugar of course, but the experts say kids need that for energy so...carry on.

"A high-fat diet is likely to be energy-dense, contributing to excess energy intake and the development of obesity." I could be reading too much into this, but the fact that they've completely ignored the role of, say, sugar and refined carbohydrates, speaks volumes as to whether or not they are biased. 

Reference 719 is a paper written by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18596007

Essentially this is one big "cholesterol will kill your kids, mmm'kay" paper, which includes the fascinating proposal to put your 8 year old on cholesterol lowering meds if their LDL plasma concentration is what they consider 'high' (over 160 mg/dl or 130 if they have diabetes). 

I'll be honest, I stopped reading after that point because it was simply too depressing. 

To wrap up

Even if you still believe the nutritional guidelines work to reduce your risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes, the evidence they have used to back up their recommendations are at best, feeble, at worst, downright pathetic and misleading. 

If you want to avoid saturated fat in your diet, fine, just don't use the nutritional guidelines as an excuse, because it's not a good one. 

Conflicts of interest declared: I think the lipid hypothesis is bullshit. I think saturated fat is good for you. But I eat lots of it and have high cholesterol, so I would say that, wouldnt I? 


Bessie is hoping you take the guidelines very seriously


Thursday, 30 January 2014

What Kim Kardashian is up to ...

...couldn't give a flying fuck.
Flying Duck
The Don

I'd be more interested in what this flying duck is up to. Going by the expression on its face, it looks quite the character. I bet it has lots of friends and family who are similarly entertaining and charismatic and who don't waste their precious lives looking at themselves in the mirror, taking selfies and pretending that they somehow serve the community. 

I reckon Don the duck is a duck worth having a beer with. Someone who'd shout first round and then double up with shots from the top shelf. When the inevitable bonehead would approach and slur "what're you lookin' at, big nose?", Donnie would casually reply "quack quack" and carry on without a fuss. If that same moron were to start abusing one of Don's mates, he would swiftly defuse the situation by buying the neanderthal a beer and telling him that "we're all here for a good time and there's little need for violence".  

Don the duck is probably a loving and caring partner and father. His ducklings probably look up to him with enormous respect and devotion. 

Or he could be just a dumb duck. 

But I'd still find him more interesting than any vacuous, self-absorbed celebrity. 

Friday, 24 January 2014

The inevitability of tattoos

Besides iTunes,religion, veganism, facebook and okra; politics is another thing I really don't understand. Especially why people get so uptight and angry about it. For me, it's really quite simple - I've never known a politician worth voting for or that has even been worth listening to. Therefore whenever someone starts talking about politics or a politician, I tune out. I'm unlikely to even proof-read this blog post after I've finished, because if I did, I'd probably punch myself Edward Norton-style.

Regardless of any possible honourable intent before being elected, inevitably they all crumble to the overwhelming force of the idiotic majority's opinion. Intelligence and charisma are all well and good, but if your voting public don't have the foggiest about what is actually good for them, how the hell is the mythical smart politician going to effect change?

I have no ideas on an alternate system of government. Democracy is clearly the best we have available, however it has massive disadvantages - the biggest of which is that the elected leader has to maintain the approval of the majority or they don't get re-elected. Not getting re-elected means they have bugger all chance of actually changing anything that is currently broken. 

Now that would be fine if the majority of people were rational, intelligent humans, but they're not. The majority of humans, in my not-very-humble opinion, are quite frankly morons and their capability of individual thought is comparable with the average ewe. I have no other explanation for the popularity of facebook or the exponential increase in tattoos over recent years. 

For example, any national leader we've had over the last 10-20 years has decided that their voters don't like asylum seekers arriving by boat. So they harp on and on about "stopping the boats", regardless of whether they think the whole argument is idiotic. Which, when you look at the numbers of asylum seekers arriving by any other method, it is. 

But that's a whole other argument. My point is, that pollies exert so much energy spouting absolute bullshit on topics that don't matter in order to get re-elected, that they very rarely do any good. 

Politics and politicians will come and go, but the average intelligence of the population will stay the same or get worse. I have chosen not to concern myself with things that I cannot change and therefore I opt out of all politics related conversations. 

Including this one. Goodbye. 

why would you put these in your mouth?

  

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

I used iTunes...and I feel so dirty

iTunes. I don’t get it.

Firstly, I’m not one of those android “fan boys” who bag anything Apple – I simply don’t understand why people think it is totally acceptable to be forced into using a horrible program to transfer a few files on to a tablet.

I like to think I’m quite tech-savvy, though no IT geek, but it seems to me that if you want to put some movies or music or any other file on to your non-Apple tablet; you plug it in to your computer with a generic cable, copy the files you want to transfer, and paste them on to your tablet. No matter what file format they are, there should be a number of different free apps that will play or view your file with no problem.

I could be wrong, but as far as I can tell, if you want to do this with an Apple product, and the files are not ones that you bought through the iTunes store, the process of transferring files becomes some massive expedition into crazy-town, where you first have to convert said files into a format that your iPad will recognise. Which involves downloading a file conversion program. And then converting them. And then importing the converted files into iTunes. And then getting those files on to your iPad. That last step sounds like it should be simple, but the few times I’ve had to do it, I found it to be insanely complicated and a complete head-fuck. If it weren't someone else’s iPad, it would have been slammed to the ground and stomped on.

Apple people will most likely tell me I’m doing it wrong and that it is oh-so-simple and that iTunes is actually quite brilliant. I say to those people – “why the hell can’t you just copy and paste the fucking files, no matter what format they’re in, and then play/view them in a process that doesn't last any more than about 2 minutes? And why the fuck can’t this pinnacle of technology understand more than one or two file formats?”

I’ll tell you why – because society is broken. Humans think it is quite acceptable, that in return for being given (for a small fee of around $800) the latest i-thing technology, designed by very intelligent people who happen to have no common sense, we should be quite OK with being told what files we can use, how we use them, and how we can move them from device to device and with what fucking cord you can connect it to your computer with.

I say that doesn’t make any sense. I say that is completely idiotic. I say you might as well give them your fingerprints and a sample of your DNA while you’re at it, because the moment you tell a corporation that you are their bitch, you might as well turn around, pants down and take it all in. And then thank them for it.  

Don’t misunderstand me here; I think iPads and Macs are brilliant pieces of machinery… in theory. If you could use them without iTunes I would consider buying one myself. But to my knowledge, you can't. So I won't. 




Thursday, 9 January 2014

Fly plague of 2014

We've always had a lot of flies in our neighbourhood, and the presence of our family chickens doesn't help matters in this regard. So a couple of weeks ago I bought some fly traps from Bunnings (hardware shop) and gave them a whirl. 

The result was impressive. So much so that I went and bought a jumbo version for the chook shed. 

While the fly massacre is of biblical proportions, I'm a little perplexed; is the liquid in the fly trap so enticing that we are attracting flies from miles away, or is the seemingly significant increase in our local fly population just a coincidence?

Whatever the case, there are literally thousands of the buggers just dying to drown in whatever poison we're feeding them. It's bloody disgusting, and smells awful.

Four days worth:



Mmmmm...yummy

Probably her fault:
what?


Wiping my own bum

Keeping fit and healthy has always been an interest of mine. I figure that if I want to enjoy old age and be mobile enough to look after myself and wipe my own bum, then good health is probably a pre-requisite.

I remember having to visit my great grandmother in a nursing home. I hated going there – she was in her 90s and just sat in a chair all day with an emotionless expression on her face. She may have been happy, simply not having the facial muscles to express the emotion, but to an 8 year old kid it was an intensely depressing experience. Worse than going to church, which is usually where we had just come from. Sundays sucked arse when I was a kid.

If I live to anywhere near that age, I would like to be independent enough to travel, to be able to walk at a brisk pace, move without excessive pain, and be genuinely happy to be alive. If I can’t do that then I don’t really see the point in being around.

I imagine how I choose to keep fit and healthy is probably not of interest to anyone. I do what I enjoy and what works. Luckily for me, those are not mutually exclusive. For what it’s worth, I lift heavy things on a regular basis and I’m reasonably careful about what food I put in my mouth.

The first part is easy because I enjoy doing something that provides the benefits of functional strength, while satisfying my vanity.

The eating part has taken many years of research and self-experimentation, while wading through the sea of bullshit that is expert nutrition opinion. I’m reasonably happy with ‘how I roll’ these days, i.e. avoiding sugar in all its forms and eating plenty of fat (non-PUFA) and sufficient protein. It works for me and I plan to stick with it – why that should concern anyone else is hard to comprehend.

Being strong and lean has its benefits now, and I’m hoping a future benefit is that I’ll be kicking the footy with my great grandkids one day.

And not relying on others to wipe my bum.


Best health to you and yours, random humans. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Chooks are inspiring

To make a huge understatement - I am the veritable anti-handyman. I'm capable of doing a lot of  useful things, but ask me to do anything 'handyman-wise' beyond hanging a picture frame and you can guarantee a dodgy job.

Despite this, I managed to build a chook shed out of my kids' old A frame swing set. That was almost 12 months ago and it is still standing. I am both amazed and incredibly proud. 

It goes without saying that our chooks are similarly impressed. So much so that they shit themselves with excitement every 30 seconds. Usually just outside the front door of our house.

If you are thinking about doing something similar, I can provide some very concise instructions - buy some scrap metal and chook wire from the dump shop and screw it down on to the frame. Easy.

At this stage, I'm not sure if I'm qualified to continue


that door is a fucking masterpiece

add some of these when you are finished
12 mths old and still functional

My brother reckons that owning chooks is the best feng shui you can buy, their casual pecking having a relaxing meditative quality. I agree to a point. That point is situated just before they destroy your garden.

But you can't beat brekkie made with eggs straight from a chook's vagina. 

Some things to clarify

I don't expect many people beyond spambots to stumble on to this site. But in the event that a real human does venture into my rubbish, this is a bit about me. 

I'm introverted, hate confrontation and will do almost anything to avoid it. This is why religious people, vegans, stupid people, politicians, bogans and many other easy targets will most likely cop a snide remark from me from time to time. I mean no offence, it's just fun, it amuses me and I'm not writing on this blog to make friends. 

Put fairly simply - the internet was designed for introverted, sarcastic and juvenile people like me. At least that's what I think. It's fucking brilliant. 

I swear quite a bit. Not for the sake of it, but I find that sometimes a good swear word like "fucking" will emphasise something better than "really really". 

The name Spittin'chips was the result of trying to think of an email address that I could remember. I realise it is pretty stupid but it has stuck and I can't be bothered finding a new one. 

For those of you who don't understand the term "spitting chips", it basically means you are outraged or mad at something. Fill your mouth full of chips (doesn't matter what kind), subject yourself to something outrageous. Spit chips. Simple.

Spell-check just told me that I spelled 'realise' wrong. No, I bloody well didn't. I speak the Queen's English and the one thing you learn when trying to teach a small child this language, is that it is filled with inconsistencies and stupid rules. To further complicate the language, as the Americans have done, makes no sense to me whatsoever. 

Anyway, I can probably be summarised as a bloke who swears a fair bit, is somewhere in the age bracket associated with Generation X, and lives in Australasia.  

That I could actually be a 22 year old multi-millionaire Norwegian lass is one of the things I like about the internet. I can tell people whatever I like and only me and the NSA know the truth. 

Did I mention I am also paranoid? And I lie a fair bit? Well, I am and I do. 

Oh, and the avatar is Sterling Archer - the funniest cartoon character in history.


Bromeliads

Bromeliaceae Sale!!

Yes, I know, right? Xmas has come early. Woo hoo!!

Avoid the madness that is your local shopping centre and buy your loved ones a bromeliad or ten at our sale this Saturday. Nothing says “I care so much about you that I didn’t buy you the latest i-thing, because that would be guaranteed to slash points from your IQ and diminish our relationship” like a bromeliad.

So…ahem…I present an opportunity to exchange cash or gold bullion for a veritable truck load of bromeliads. Just how much cash or gold, I can’t really say. You can’t put a price on the priceless. Well, you can, but like a wise man once said; “if the road to prosperity is paved with turnips, so shall yea arrive with a pocket full of promises”.

Deep, and yet totally clear in its message, I think.

Relevant Details:

You can inspect and buy from
 xxxx this Saturday 14th of December from 8am to 4pm. Bring your ute, your wheelbarrow, your truck, your horse and cart. You can contact me at xxxx@gmail.com before hand, if necessary. I’m not sure why it would be necessary, but I’m an accommodating kind of person and don’t mind emails from random strangers. Just avoid mentioning a ‘weird trick’ that will grow a certain appendage by several inches, because they end up in my trash folder.

For starters, look at my pictures. If nothing else, it should at least tell you what some of them look like. 


Prices - my house is obviously not some weird non-virtual form of eBay, but if someone were to come over and offer $10 for a plant and then another person were to offer a quarter ounce of gold, then I’d probably opt for the yellow metal. If you were to then offer me a dozen quail and an esky full of mud crabs, I’d still take the gold but it’d take me 20 more seconds to decide.

Suffice to say you will be getting a bargain -
prices will typically range between $5-$30. Depending on the plant maturity and rarity, we’ll put a price on it and if you are willing to pay that much, then a high five and an exchange of goods will conclude the deal. If a hundred people turn up and a bidding war ensues, so be it. If you’re early and have no opponents, then that may be to your advantage.

The not-so-relevant, but terribly interesting details:

Questions, I’m sure you have plenty. But forget those for now, I shall ask some and answer them immediately after. Because,.. it’s my thing.

Where did we get these magnificent pieces of prehistoric plantry? I could tell fibs and say that I picked some ‘pups’ up on my travels to Peru. Most Broms are originally from South America (yes, free trivia!). I could say that a wizened old lady jumped out from behind a stone wall at Machu Picchu, pushed a plant wrapped in a damp soiled cloth to my chest and whispered “take it, and guard it from all evil”, before fleeing in terror at some unseen pursuer.

But that would obviously be a porky pie. In all honesty, I won them in a poker game in a bar in the back streets of Kiev. Upon handing them to me, the previous owner, a Bratva enforcer, whose poker face was horribly ineffective due to the 3 bottles of vodka he’d drunk and the acid I’d slipped into the 3rd one, said “Я вырос их с помощью почвы, удобренной измельченных черепов моих многочисленных жертв. Семейные реликвии.”. It would have been the start of a rewarding friendship, had he not jumped out of the 3rd story window immediately after, apparently trying to escape the clutches of an invisible axe-wielding leprechaun.

My wife has safeguarded and bred them ever since, and we’re only letting some go so someone else can experience what is an honour and burden in equal measure. If you stare at them long enough, secrets will be revealed – secrets from lost souls who’ve gone to the ‘other side’ only to come back because they didn’t find it all that interesting. Or perhaps because there was no other side and wanted to come back and spend eternity dripping invisible water on to John Edwards’ head for being such a toad-faced-liar. Quite frankly, the ones I spoke to were all whiney and boring and there’s only so many times you can feign interest in stories about how hot a blow torch feels and what burning flesh smells like. Yawn. Going by the sound they make at night, some of them may have come back as frogs, but that’s just too weird to contemplate.

If you bothered to translate the nice Russian man’s ramblings, that last paragraph will make total sense. If you’re lazy or don’t know how to use Google translate, then sorry, I am unwilling to help you.

Besides all that, my lawyer acquaintance (can you really ever be ‘friends’ with a lawyer?) says bromeliads can also be used as a tool to build character in small children. Something that he/she may feed and befriend in the same way Tom Hanks befriended that volleyball, though probably with more believable enthusiasm.

Why? Because lawyers are often weird. And also because stuffed toys are so passé. And I think it says something about humanity when you see a young child looking into the dead eyes of a toy made from polyester and fluff, and promise to be its best friend forever and ever and have twice-daily tea parties where they discuss ponies and rainbows and marrying Prince Charming.

It says even more when you re-visit that child 5 years later and see the toy cast aside and them looking dead-eyed into an i-screen, totally captivated by a world of fantasy in which they pretend to have ‘friends’ and share intimate photos and private information with several hundred people they may not have actually met. Human interaction has been reduced to a lot of giggling and speaking in some idiotic jibberish where every word in the English language has been mutilated or shortened or turned into an anagram of pure nonsense. One can only assume the feeling a parent gets in this situation is something on par with discovering your child has turned raw vegan or joined a cult. If you believe those are two different things. The temptation to grab them by both arms and scream “you’re wasting my genes, I want them back!!!” must be unbearable.

You could rightly wonder whether owning a ‘thing’ that is actually alive and attracts frogs would correct this spiral into an impersonal apocalypse, and if you do, then a trailer load of bromeliads is for you and/or your offspring. I dare you to try and tell me otherwise.

Notes:
No, I am not insane or taking any medications.
No, I do not need to be taking any medication.
Yes, I had to get a pot-shot in at vegans somewhere. Maybe I tried too hard, but I couldn’t resist. I can never resist. No offence intended, I'm sure most vegans are lovely people. Fruitarians on the other hand...




Friday, 3 January 2014

Testing, testing...

I am an intensely paranoid and private person, which begs the question - "why the hell am I writing stuff on the internet?" That's an excellent question and one which I might answer adequately one day. Just not today. 

I like to write and sometimes people like to read what I write. Those people may be intellectually disabled or just plain masochistic, but my goal in starting this isn't to entertain other people. You see, apart from being paranoid I am also extremely selfish. This is all for me. 

The goal is to provide myself a platform to vent some frustrations and potentially develop my writing style. Or like a lot of other things I've started, I may just lose interest and forget about it all. 

So basically, assuming you've stumbled on to this blog...don't get your hopes up. I'm not even sure what I'll be writing about yet. 

But whatever it is, it'll probably be crap. 

2014 is gonna be a great year. I can smell it in my bones.