A few good signs

On the subject of entertaining signs… what, you weren’t talking about that? Surely it’s always a subject worthy of discussion. Here are some prime candidates to showcase the personality types of people that like signage:

The Bully

Work On Time

The Depressive

Dead End

The Smart Arse

German Shepherd

The Nerd

Call this number

Close up

Talking of truth in advertising

With reference to the previous post here on The Word, Debbie in England sent me this yesterday. You have to respect the plain honesty for saying just what they mean:

Turd Busters

If it’s a bit hard to read, let me clarify:

Your number 2 business
Is our number 1 business

Starting with an attempted catchphrase there, bit of comedy.

You make UM
We break UM

Not quite sure why it’s a capital UM, but we get the idea. Next comes my favourite bit:

Who U gonna call

That old Ghost Busters line is never going to get tired, is it? It’s the sort of thing you can just use again and again. Especially when you add extra letters to make sure people really get into it.

Sewage Engineer. Consultant.

Consultant? “Yes, madam, that’s definitely a turd.”

Always in the shit
Only the depth varies.

He’s just an honest working bloke. I’ve got a lot of respect for this guy. In no way does he try to sell his services by polishing a turd. Quite the opposite really.

Engender customer confidence

I was with a friend in a Sydney suburb this weekend. I won’t name the suburb – let’s just say it was north of the Bridge. As we were walking along I saw what I first took to be an abandoned, ramshackle house about three days from demolition. Then I saw this sign on the side of the house:


Can you read the sign? It says Tully’s Restorations. Restorations? Look at that house! It’s like going to the dentist only to find he has a mouth full of teeth that look like Stonehenge. Or going to the Doctor and finding yourself across the desk from an obese heavy smoker strapping up his arm for a smack hit. You have to admit that there’s rarely truth in advertising of that quality.

In a totally unrelated piece of news, a couple of people have been asking why the comments here at The Word are moderated. I know that a lot of people get annoyed about that sort of thing, but I’m afraid it’s unavoidable. Have a look at this, to help to illustrate exactly why:


It’s not very clear, but that’s a screenshot of my email Inbox. Every new message there (which goes on beyond the page boundary) is a comment awaiting moderation. That’s in one day. Out of that list, about two comments were actually relevant. The rest were all spam comments, mostly trying to sell Phenterline, Cialis and other such drugs. Plus there’s always a few from these bizarre far left wing blogs trying to incite debate about the state of the US Administration.

So I don’t want all of those going up onto the comments of various, random posts which I would then have to hunt down, so I moderate daily. You’ll have to put up with it. And if you’re one of those that are spamming me with comments about drugs and Bush’s lies, I just have this to say: “Die, you scum bag, spamming bastards!”

There’s really no point in getting annoyed about it, as there’s really nothing that can be done, but I do despair about human nature when I’m bombarded with things like this. If anyone out there has a good way to kill this stuff, let me know.

Satan-worshipping cults

The Word Quote of the Week this week goes to Ahmad Reza Radan, Tehran’s police chief.

It seems that police in Tehran are cracking down on women who “dress like models” and men that have “Western-style haircuts and clothing”. All of this is in an effort to “increase security in society” for the Islamic state.

Rather than cracking down on crime, the police seem to think that guarding fashion is the thing that will prevent the slow decay of Iranian society. Apparently women that wear clothing that is too figure hugging or short or have veils that expose hair and men with un-Islamic hairstyles, along with clothes shops and hairdressers are all being targeted.

Have a look at this shot. The woman on the right (with a face like she’s just sucked a lemon) is the police officer. The other woman in this shot was subsequently bundled into a police van where she protested for her freedom.

Fashion Police
(Photo: AFP)

Apparently offenders are initially warned, then taken for “consultation” to correct the error of their ways. “Normally the problem is resolved here,” said police spokesman, Mr Mehdi Ahmadi. “If not, and these cases are often those of reoffenders, the case is sent to the judiciary.”

Anyway, the bizarre and medieval behaviour of the Iranian theocracy aside, let’s get to the comment that’s taking out the coveted and strangely infrequent Quote of the Week award.

The city’s police chief, Ahmad Reza Radan, discussing the reasoning for the fashion crackdown, said:

“Some young people, intentionally or unwittingly, are walking advertisements for Western deviant sexual and Satan-worshipping cults.”

That’s right, Ahmad. We here in the “West” brainwash your young people in a recruitment drive for our Satan worship.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


On Saturday I went to K-Mart. The Book was sold out. Dymocks next, and they were sold out too. So I went to Borders and there was a queue like it was a music festival with only one portaloo. Sod this, I thought to myself, it’s only a fairly average children’s story! So I went home. The next day, having chastised myself for not queueing for the rest of Saturday, I slunk back to Borders. I was rewarded as there was no queue and plenty of copies left.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

So, now I’ve read the most anticipated novel of our time. I’m not going to review it in any detail or give anything away that will spoil it for those of you that haven’t read it yet, but I’d thought I’d share some overall impressions on it.

It’s more of the same, naturally, and all the loose ends that you might need tying up do get tied up. It’s dark, as all the books have been getting progressively darker, and the casualty count is high. Given where the story was headed, there needed to be a lot of fallen warriors along the way for the story to keep its integrity. There’s also a slight increase in the use of language too, so parents may want to be advised about that. Ron has taken to saying “effing”, for example. Quite tame really, but maybe not when you need to explain what it means to a ten year old. Especially when you need to tell them not to repeat it at school. “But, Sir, this effing homework was hard!” There was also one incident of “bastard” which parents may choose to edit for younger readers.

I found the pace of the book to be rather strange, with long drags in the middle that really seemed like nothing more than killing time. However, events did occur during these times that became integral. Then the end of the book was frenetic and almost rushed, slamming to a close very quickly (except the enormous pile of cheese that is the epilogue). It really seemed like the book was written under enormous pressure to get it good and to get it finished as soon as possible. It seems to suffer a little bit because of that.

There are no questions at the end concerning where allegiances lie and heroes are proven to be human after all. Everyone that appeared along the way seems to get a mention, some of them rather shoe-horned cameos, but no one misses out. New heroes are made and most questions are answered.

I do have a number of issues with it that I won’t air here for fear of spoiling it for you, but on the whole it is a satisfying read. After ten years, seven books, thousands of pages and untold speculation, I’m glad it’s over. No one can deny that it’s been one of the most phenomenal literary events of recent years, so in some ways it’s nice to have been a part of it. Read the book while it’s all still fresh and you can tell your grandchildren when they read it, “I was there, you know!”

Or, in my case, “I was there, but couldn’t be arsed to queue for an hour. So I was there again the next day.”