Idioms and Monocles


When I speak to people cleverer than I am, I get a little intimidated and nervous and try to cover it by using idioms like A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. Trouble is I use them in an untimely fashion thus evoking a look from the other person. I call that look the look of realisation that he’s an idiot.

It’s because I hate it that they’re cleverer than me. And I hate that they know it and I hate that they wouldn’t know it if only i had kept my mouth shut.

” So Brin that’s my take on the current political environment in Syria. What do you think?” says John.
” Well John, he who laughs last laughs longest!” replies Brin.

This tends to go on for 2 or 3 minutes.

There’s a tipping point though where I can sense that they are noticing and rather than stop while there’s still a slim chance of redemption, I up the ante. Now I don’t only draw on more meaningless cliches but (you guessed it) I proceed to mix similar ones together!

” I must say Brin, you have a lovely place here.” exclaims Mary with a smile.
” Thanks Mary and as the crow flies it’s worth 2 in the bush.” Brin replies to a look of confusion.

Conversations with these people don’t often last long because as they’re speaking to me I’m frantically trying to think of my next idiotic pearl of wisdom. I must say that speaking with smart people is exhausting!

The pain doesn’t last long as they usually walk away. But if they stay long enough they start to notice my pattern, and their look of realisation evolves into an irritating I’m amused at this guy now smirk. It’s subtle but it’s there.

I’ve become very good at anticipating this and sometimes find myself in an empty, darkened room where I feign I had to go to urgently get something.

On one such occasion the person I was speaking to followed me into the house so I unplugged a lamp and took it outside to the bbq area.

I feel so sorry for my wife because I’m sure she thought I was really smart when we first met and over the years she seems to have become much cleverer.

Lately I’ve been detecting the look of realisation  from her also. She began a conversation with me the other day about the ramifications of the new government’s policies on immigration.

Now there’s no lamp in the dining room either.


Man Flu and Silver Linings


Man Flu and Silver Linings

I have the man flu. I don’t get sick very often and I am calling it man flu in an attempt to beat any women reading this to naming it before me. It is however much, much more serious than that.

I can remember a few days ago at work sneezing a lot. I remember thinking, “That’s strange.”
Then it hit me. I have now had 2 days off and am bored out of my skull.

I often find myself preaching. I will say things to people like,”There’s always a silver lining.” Or “The flu is a sign that you’re body is fighting well.” My body is fighting alright! The silver lining? Well let me list them in no particular order or level of importance.

1. I know exactly how many channels I have on pay TV. I am paying for many unnecessarily.
2. If I turn the TV on at 630am and watch Discovery Turbo, American Chopper is on.
3. If I have the ceiling fan on in the bedroom I can follow one blade during its revolution if it’s set at number 2. (I quickly stopped that as my eyes hurt to move).
4. I swear the carved turtle I have sitting on the shelf is watching me and does “stuff” when my back is turned but stops doing anything when it senses I am about to quickly turn around to “catch” it out.
5. I must have plenty of gas left in the cylinder after all as I left the oven on all night last night and it was still burning this morning.
6. I have reaffirmed the inkling that my daughter is a hoarder as I felt good enough today to attempt a short poke around in her room to pack more of her things to take home at Christmas. I walked back out of her room bewildered but firm in my conviction to lie to her face later.
7. I clearly need to make more friends that I can text with meaningless messages during times like this. Why do we not consider a grape to be a berry?
8. I look better naked in the mirror first thing in the morning than I do as the day progresses. (This is either because my eyes are cloudy first thing or I shrink under the forces of gravity throughout the day and therefore am beautifully stretched after the evening’s slumber).
9. I possibly look in the mirror too much.
10. People don’t post on facebook nearly often enough.
11. Watching Tammy Baker on the Church channel is some of the best entertainment I have ever had. What was wrong with her followers? How can a nation be so gullible?
12. The “Cami Shaper”as advertised, eliminates back fat, belly bulge and love handles, there are a number of ways to get rock-hard abs, some of them at only 5 minutes a day and there may still be a chance I can get my hair back.

As I write this I can feel myself getting better. No doubt tomorrow will find me back to normal life which is a shame really. Surely there’s more to learn!

Was that turtle facing that way last night?




This is to be a short, yet shocking story.

Now I’m not all that squeamish really. I’ll gut a fish. I’ve changed hundreds of my children’s nappies. The sight of blood doesn’t make be feel weak. Hell I’ve even dissected cadavers at university. BUT THIS!!!

I had a comfortable half hour before I had to board the plane back to Honiara. Fast food in the Solomons doesn’t include Red Rooster. So I sat down in anticipation of enjoying a chicken strip wrap, chips and coke.

It was delicious although I wasn’t hungry in the first place. I scanned the other patrons to silently share their communal delight.

The man was about 60ish years old. A delightful fella with a twinkle in his eye and an obvious affinity for the exact meal I was devouring. A kindred spirit. A stranger I took a liking to immediately.

I’m a people watcher. If I could make a living out of speaking to nobody and silently watching people in airports all day I’d do it. I watch beautiful women. I watch teenagers getting their parents riled up. I love watching people late for a flight. I pride myself on being able to evaluate people-situations.

I watched this man.

He was so very fond of his caesar wrap that he embarked on a quite furious licking of his fingers.

I couldn’t help but watch. It was fascinating how much he loved his food. Endearing really. Lovely old guy! I liked his youthfulness. I am a good judge of character.

At that point I stopped chewing and did something I don’t believe I have ever done before. I left half of my food uneaten. Why?

He wasn’t licking his fingers. He had extracted his false teeth and was passionately licking THEM clean instead. Very clean. Top and bottom plates.

I may have misjudged him.