Monthly Archives: October 2007

More problems with the email feed

October 31, 2007

My apologies, but there seems to have been another hiccough with the email subscription feed here on The Word. I hopefully have it fixed now.

Although it does fall over on occasion, the email subscription is a good way to keep up to speed with things here – you’ll get a short email digest each day containing links to any new posts. Sign up if you care, in the box in the right hand sidebar.

Marijuana and the dangers of Google image search

October 29, 2007

In my day job as a Martial Arts instructor, I teach classes in various locations around Sydney. Some of those are in schools and universities, where I rent space after hours for classes. In one of the primary schools that I teach from, the younguns have obviously been learning about the evils and dangers of drugs. They’ve been taught that tobacco kills you a little bit every time you smoke (and the government gets a bit more tax revenue) and that marijuana can send you psycho (and that it’s illegal as the government doesn’t get any tax from it). The most notably absent thing on their projects appeared to be alcohol. The drug responsible for more deaths, assaults and crimes than any other didn’t seem to rate a mention. But there’s no surprise there. The government makes most of its drug related tax revenue from alcohol, so you can expect that schools are discouraged from discouraging it too blatantly.

How do I know what primary kids are doing for their school projects? Well, before you start thinking that I’m some creepy guy sneaking through the corridors at night and breaking into desks, let me just clear that up. Between the hall where I teach and the bathrooms in this particular school are various notice boards where school projects are displayed. This particular drug “education” project caught my eye.

The problem seems to lie in just letting kids do image searches to make their anti-drug posters without a detailed vetting by the teacher. For example, we have this effort:

“The message from tobacco companies is loud and clear.”

I’m not sure that’s an entirely appropriate gesture for a primary school. Then again, perhaps I’m just showing my age.

Then we move on to the entirely surreal:

“If you smoke [EVERY BURGER] You die!”

A cow with a cigar, then a burger from some Japanese advertisement (presumably a tenuous connection with the cow?) and You die! I think these kids have been on the mellow green already.

Then we come to my personal favourite. This is what happens when you don’t pay close enough attention to the images the kids have decided to use:

“Marijuana makes you crazy
You can go hyper up to six hour
And it takes months to get
chemical off.

Don’t take illegal

OK. Now this kid is well on the message, even if the grammar needs some work. Making a point to lay off the illegal drugs will score points with the local member for parliament when he visits the school, as the kid has quite rightly refused to comment on the legal drugs. But wait a minute. Let’s have a close look at that image the kid used:

“#1 fuel
#1 fiber
#1 paper
#1 food
#1 medicine

educate yourself”

That’s right, folks. Educate yourself. This is a pro-pot message brought to you by pre-teens. Ah, kids – don’t they just say the darndest things?

Caveat: I feel that I should point out that I have the utmost respect for the public school system and the people that work there. I have absolutely no respect for government drug policy. But, most importantly of all, I’m not above seeking out hypocrisy, especially when there’s a cheap laugh in it.

There’s a town in Australia called Yass

October 28, 2007

It’s true. The town of Yass is about sixty kilometres north of Canberra, the nation’s capital. McDonald’s, however, should have thought a bit harder about their sign before putting it up beside the highway.


So where’s the exit?

October 23, 2007

This is a sign made by more of those signwriting idiots that we’ve seen here on The Word before. This one truly denies all logic and any attempt at understanding.


I don’t want to go in anyway, as the place must be full of idiots.

Dumbledore’s gay and Christians are idiots

October 21, 2007

So, Albus Dumbledore is gay and Christians are idiots. I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know, I suppose.

It seems that J K Rowling has posthumously outed Dumbledore. In a fan Q and A at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Rowling was asked if Dumbledore had ever enjoyed passion in his life. She answered, “My truthful answer to you is that I have always thought of Dumbledore as gay.” She went on to explain his relationship with Gellert Grinwald, explored in the final book of the Potter septology, as a love affair. To be honest, anyone that read that particular story and didn’t pick up on the homo-erotic subtext should watch a few Carry On films and have a serious word with themselves.

Apparently Rowling was cheered when she revealed this revelation and was quite surprised at the adulation. “If I’d known it would make you so happy I would have announced it years ago,” she said. Well, she did announce it really, in the books. It’s actually very good that she made the sub-text apparent without actually announcing it out loud. It makes the whole subject less relevant and simply more character development. After all, so what if the Headmaster of Hogwarts is gay?

Hands up if you like men!

And then, as surely as night follows day, the idiots begin to swarm. One particular idiot is Georgia mother and anti-Potter campaigner Laura Mallory. She has been campaigning hard to have the Harry Potter books removed from school libraries on the grounds that they “indoctrinate anti-Christian values”. The irony of a devout Christian arguing that indoctrination is a bad thing. To quote the woman, “My prayer is that parents would wake up, that the subtle way this is presented as harmless fantasy would be exposed for what it really is: a subtle indoctrination into anti-Christian values.”

Well, Laura Mallory, let me riposte. I wish that you and others like you would wake up and recognise that the sledgehammer way in which your Bible is presented as fact would be exposed for the harmful fantasy that it really is: a not so subtle indoctrination into anti-intelligence values.

On the subject of Dumbledore’s homosexuality, Mallory said, “A homosexual lifestyle is a harmful one. That’s proven, medically.”

And an idiot will say anything if it fits their agenda. That’s proven time and time again, no medical required.

Margaret Thatcher is the wittiest woman in Britain

October 16, 2007

Apparently. What’s even more surprising, and surely some kind of mistake, is that the foul, arrogant and completely talentless Liam Gallagher is among the top ten wittiest men. This all comes from a digital television channel called in Britain called DaveTV, so make of it what you will.

Though Baroness Thatcher, the Iron Lady of Britain’s downfall, was the wittiest woman, she still came in at number twelve, after eleven men including Gallagher. Further proof that women just aren’t funny? Draw your own conclusions. Personally I can think of a lot of females with a sharper with that Liam Gallagher. My cat, for example. Thatcher’s witticisms include, “Being powerful is like being a lady – if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

Jane Austen was the second-placed female at 15th on the list. In her novel Persuasion she described one character as “a man who had nothing but himself to recommend him”. Regardless, fifty seven per cent of those polled thought women were less witty. Then again, they also thought Liam Gallagher was witty. Perhaps this was a poll done in Bizarro World.

The rest of the list does lend itself toward that urbane and British wit that is so incisive. Incisive like a scalpel. Oscar Wilde came in first, narrowly beating Spike Milligan. Wilde had a handle on the British anyway when he said, “to disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity.”

Oscar Wilde

Milligan should have had first spot in my opinion, if for no other reason than he was still quipping beyond death. By his instruction his gravestone reads, “I told you I was ill.”

Other Wilde quotes include:

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.

And that’s just the ones beginning with ‘A’.

Here’s the top ten from DaveTV:

1 Oscar Wilde – “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast”

2 Spike Milligan – “All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy”

3 Stephen Fry – “An original idea. That can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them”

4 Jeremy Clarkson – “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary . . . that’s what gets you.”

5 Sir Winston Churchill – “A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.”

6 Paul Merton – “I’m always amazed to hear of air crash victims so badly mutilated that they have to be identified by their dental records. If they don’t know who you are, how do they know who your dentist is?”

7 Noel Coward – “People are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what’s wrong with it.”

8 William Shakespeare – “Maids want nothing but husbands, and when they have them, they want everything.”

9 Brian Clough – “The River Trent is lovely, I know because I have walked on it for 18 years.”

10 Liam Gallagher – “She [Victoria Beckham] cannot even chew gum and walk in a straight line at the same time, let alone write a book.”

Idiots abound

October 15, 2007

Here are a few reasons to think that humanity has a limited time on this planet.

There are so many intelligent, artistic people out there that could help to turn humanity into something truly wonderful. Trouble is, there are that many more complete Idiots. Remember Mr Moran a couple of posts ago? He’s not so much a minority as a base average it seems.

Take this for example. This is an attempt by the Idiots to kill off normal people in their ongoing quest to take over the world.


Fortunately, the traps of stupid people are usually pretty easy to spot and more likely to catch other Idiots. But not always. There’s this one, that is a little bit more cunning than usual.


Perhaps the Idiots are hoping that normal folk will test the sign to see if it’s correct and slit their throat in the process. You have to realise, they think like Idiots. This also bears all the hallmarks of one of those Idiot Specialists that make a point of refining their Idiocy to a specific field. In this case it would be the Litigation/Occupational Health & Safety Idiot. Quite possibly this sign is actually made by a normal person as a result of the Specialist Idiot.

And then there’s this one, which is a sign trying to turn us all into Idiots. It’s an attempt to make us accept them as normal, which is the first slippery step of sliding down to their level.


Don’t become complacent. We can resist this slow and creeping Idiocy takeover if we try. Don’t just shake your head and sigh. Expose Idiots wherever you find them. Punch one if you like, but don’t tell anyone I told you to do that.

The Washington Post neologism contest

October 11, 2007

Here at The Word we know the Washington Post’s competition for creating new words by combining two existing words, such as Foreploy (n): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid; or, Ignoranus (n): A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

Well, The Washington Post has also run a competition for neologisms, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

1. a new word, meaning, usage, or phrase.
2. the introduction or use of new words or new senses of existing words.
3. a new doctrine, esp. a new interpretation of sacred writings.
4. Psychiatry. a new word, often consisting of a combination of other words, that is understood only by the speaker: occurring most often in the speech of schizophrenics.

Here are this year’s winners:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Successor to George W Bush

October 10, 2007

I think this guy shows the education and eloquence required for the White House. After the precedent set by good old Dubya, this guy has to be a shoe in.


Yeah, Go USA!

Stop signs to smile about

October 9, 2007

What’s the harm in having a little light-heartedness in traffic control? The small suburb of Oak Lawn in Chicago is tired of people not stopping at Stop signs and the Mayor, Dave Heilmann, has come up with a way to make them more noticeable. “I thought it might make people smile,” he said. Mayor Dave has written over a dozen additions to be added underneath the traditional red octagon. The addition is a second red octagon featuring cheesy continuations of the STOP theme. Some of Dave’s thigh-slapping classics are:




and apparently Dave’s personal favourite:


Dave Heilmann beside his favourite stop sign (photo: Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)

Apparently forty or fifty of these signs are going to go up, mainly around schools, costing a few thousand dollars. Mayor Dave says that if they’re successful more could follow. According to the Daily Southern newspaper:

A Broadway musical enthusiast and one of the founders of the Oak Lawn Park District’s theater program, Heilmann is well-known around town as a performer who likes to get a laugh. He’s played Cosmo Brown in “Singin’ in the Rain” and Billy Flynn in “Chicago.” After graduating from law school, he moonlighted as a member of the improv group Comedy Sportz.

“Maybe if you get a smile out of (drivers), it’ll slow them down,” he said Friday. “I think government tends to take itself too seriously.”

Not a bad approach, really. I don’t know that it’ll really make people stop though. I imagine that if you drive around ignoring signs while you talk on your mobile phone and think about what you’re going to have for dinner, then a second amusing sign underneath the sign you already haven’t seen is fairly irrelevant. But I like the concept. This would have to be my personal favourite:

(photo from Village of Oak Lawn)


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Alan Baxter, Author

Author of horror, dark fantasy & sci-fi. Kung Fu instructor. Personal Trainer. Motorcyclist. Dog lover. Gamer. Heavy metal fan. Britstralian. Zetetic.

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