There is never a bad time for cake. Think about it. Whether you are at a funeral or have lost your job, a slice of sweet fluffy goodness always makes things better.
When I first started working in an office I was shocked at how awkward most interactions are.
In the hospitality industry your workmates are personable and attractive. Switch to an office environment and the pool of people who have social skills diminishes considerably. Which is why there is nothing better than cake at the office. What better way to unite a group of people who have literally nothing in common but a stomach?
It doesn’t matter how much of a bitter bitch you are, throw cake into the mix and everyone is friends. Unless you miss out. Then shit’s going to get real.
Five situations only made possible by cake:
1) Calling something moist. Seriously, it’s the only time the word moist is appropriate.
2) Everyone needs a Bruce Bogtrotter moment. Remember when Brucey was forced to eat an entire giant cake as punishment for stealing Miss Trunchbull’s prized slice? How many of us have gone back for seconds or thirds and then felt violently ill.
3) Bad cake is still cake. Someone has just had an experimental evening in the kitchen and they’ve brought in the crusty, burnt fruits of their labour. Although you tell yourself you wont eat any, you’ll hit 3pm and after speaking to Marian from finance about her tinea and you’ll need something, anything, that will make the world a better place.
4) On a diet? Not anymore! That delicious slice of lard will taste way better than your quinoa salad.
Marie Antoinette may have had her head lopped off but she was onto something. Cake does make everything better, especially in a professional environment.
Except when it looks like this…
For more hilariously bad cakes see cake wrecks.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are all human. From your manager to your grandmother there are things that most of us do regularly but would never admit to. In an endeavor to bring us all closer, create mutual understanding, and to remind you that deep down we are all just disgusting, I’ve made a list.
Picking your nose:
Whether it’s a cheeky pick and flick whilst you are stopped at the lights or in bed at night – everyone loves a good pick. It’s cathartic, gets the crusties out and saves any embarrassing snotty moments with work colleagues. There’s nothing worse than having to tell someone you can see something green congealed in their nasal hair.
Checking out your stool:
It’s an important part of your digestive health to check the bowl after you’ve “dropped the kids off at the pool”. Or maybe you just want to Snap Chat it to your mates because it was enormous!
Lied about farting:
Of course you have, you’re not an idiot.
Stalking past flings on Facebook or social media:
You didn’t even date but somehow you are 3 albums deep. Thank god you can delete your browser history.
Had an “accident” in a public place:
I’d love to say if you haven’t soiled yourself in public, you haven’t lived. If you’ve travelled anywhere with a dodgy hygiene history this has definitely happened to you.
Eaten an entire cake or equivalent of junk food – alone:
You might tell your housemates you had people over, but really you ate the entire thing… with a spoon.
Sneezed in your hand and wiped it on something in public.
You’ve sneezed and now you have a slimey slob of mucus cupped in your hands. No one will notice if you just wipe it surreptitiously on your pants, would they?
Drunk called/texted or Facebook messaged someone you don’t like sober:
If you’ve been drunk, needy and had a phone handy – you’ve done this at least once.
Pretended to be sick to get out of something:
Whether it’s work or a family dinner the list of events you want to avoid only gets longer as you get older. Of course you have faked a sickie to get out of turning up.
Can’t say you’ve done at least three? I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably a Cyborg.
Yesterday whilst on Twitter I saw this photo pop up on my feed.
It reminded me fondly of year 6 camp, long before the invention of selfies. I hate to tell you people, but the ol’ let’s put our heads together for a photo has been around a lot longer than the iPhone, in fact, I was spreading my lice infested hair all over other kids with the use of a disposable camera. Sheer brilliance.
There are a few standout memories from my childhood and almost all of them involve lice.
In Australia in the 90’s there was a KNIT NURSE who visited schools. All the children would line up (probably increasing the spread of lice – they can jump) and walk one by one into a hall. In the middle of the school hall there were two seats with two middle-aged nurses behind them. They wore hair-nets, rubber gloves and dour expressions.
You would walk forward and sit nervously in the seat, sweating. Because if the nurse found knits in your hair, you were sent home with a note to your parents in hand. The note read;
YOUR CHILD HAS LICE! To avoid a school wide infestation, we ask that you apply the following treatment to your child’s hair….
What followed was worse that the constant itch of lice. In order to remove the lice from their happy homes, a thin toothed, metal comb was raked across your scalp. You would then be covered in a variety of potions. My mother, being a hippy, attempted to use herbal remedies the first 3 times, however, the lovely Oil and Lavender concoction she made was essentially a day spa that my lice frolicked in. No, the only thing that worked on real, nuclear holocaust surviving lice was something far worse. KP24.
It seared the skull and the smell of it burnt your eyes. I was sure it was 9 parts kerosene, but it was the only thing that truly destroyed lice. The tragic part was that it had a very distinctive smell. A smell that every child was familiar with. It was the Eu de Cologne of Exclusion.
Kids are cruel at the best of times and giving them added ammunition is never a good idea. At playtime after the KNIT NURSE had visited, we would scour the school yard to spot who was missing. When we found out who was at the center of the infestation we would avoid them for weeks when they returned to school, their poor KP24 soaked skulls stinking up the corridors. Kids don’t forget and they certainly don’t forgive.
The golden rule with putrid farts is, “who ever smelt it, dealt it.” I believe this is one of life’s cardinal rules and it certainly applied to knit infestations. Despite denial at the time, I believe was responsible for 90% of the lice outbreaks in my year level. Perhaps not alone, but let’s be honest it only takes one kid with an itchy head and a passion for hugging others. I’m a hugger. I’ve always been a hugger.
Recently I was at a party, in the middle of a conversation, when I had an epiphany.
I was being boring on purpose.
It sounds like I’m making an excuse for my shitty party behaviour; alas, this was hardly the situation…
It has taken me some time to learn that there are certain people I simply don’t want to talk to at parties. At the ripe old age of 25, I can spot them coming a mile off. They are the type of person who never asks you a single question, who walks away feeling like they’ve made a new best friend and yet they don’t know anything about you. Despite the fact that they’ve been talking AT you for 45 minutes.
It’s what I like to call a bad sex conversation. One person leaves feeling satisfied and the other like they’ve just been used.
When faced with a bad sex conversation, you can use the following game plans:
Game Plan 1: The Fob Off – (This is not another way of saying hand-job)
The Fob Off is when you skilfully listen to the speaker for a few minutes, nodding and smiling, before realising you need to get a drink or go to the bathroom. You navigate the speaker within proximity to another person (the victim) and you Fob Them Off. See Example:
Egomaniac: And then I couldn’t believe he’d broken up with me in Berlin and I was like, I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!? Can you believe something like that would happen, just after my cat/dog/goldfish died!? [Stares at you, demanding a response to said horrible situation].
You: [nodding] Oh how horrible [sympathetic noise], Oh, I hope you don’t mind, but I need to run to the bathroom. This is Clarence, Clarence meet Ego Maniac.
Clarence (aka Victim): [confused and accommodating] Hi!
Game Plan 2: The Ghost
Follow game plan 1, but when they turn around/ are distracted, run.
Both of these techniques work well. but there is only so many times you can use them before you stop getting invited to parties altogether. (It’s also difficult to execute The Ghost when at an intimate dinner party.) This is where the latest addition to my repertoire comes in…
Five Tips on Being a Bore
- Have you ever spoken to a truly boring person? The chances are quite high because the world is sadly full of average people (especially if you work in customer service). Boring people are difficult to hold conversations with because they don’t offer anything. Nothing. Nada. When you are talking at a brick wall, the conversation becomes stagnant and awkward pretty quickly.
- If you are like me, awkward silences are your kryptonite. I’d prefer to blurt out something stupid rather than let the silence settle in. This fear has made me a fool. To get rid of that pesky person you need to EMBRACE THE AWKWARD SILENCE. That sweet, sweet, sweaty-palmed moment will have them leaving for a drink in no time.
- Be devoid of passion. The world is a weird place and somewhere there is a person who is passionate about picking lint out of their bellybutton. Bellybutton lint might not be your cup of tea, but if you speak to someone who is passionate about it, you might just discover a twinge of passion yourself.
- Give one-word answers. Again, this is one of my pet hates, but when used in the appropriate situation it sends any conversation into the stink.
- Don’t give away physical signs of enjoyment. Smiles, nods and raised eyebrows all express interest. Keep your face devoid of expression and you’re on a fast ticket out of there.
Now you might think that all this effort to get rid of someone who is ‘just taking the time to talk to you’ is really unfair. Before you make any more suggestions, I’m going to go ahead and tell you, that this is not just an average conversation you are working to end. This is a BAD SEX conversation.
The other person does not care about you in the slightest. They have not and will not ask anything about your life, your job or what you like to do on the weekend. This person just wants to talk about themselves and that is why you are boring them to death.
These “bad sex” conversations are bad for your health. It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who are interested in something other than themselves. Conversations are about interacting with someone else, so if it’s been a while since you listened instead of spoke, you should try and do it now.
Sadly, there is always the chance that the person who is talking at you enjoys it so much that despite all your attempts, they will continue. This is the final line of social interaction and this is where the niceties end.
I work in online communication and I listen to people whine and prattle as a part of my job. Everyday. I consider it within my right to say, if I’m not getting paid to listen to your shit, I’m going to end the conversation right here.
Starting out life in a new city isn’t easy, especially when your grasp on the native language is slim to none.
In April 2013 I packed up my flat, left my full-time job and went to live in Mexico. I could lie and say I made the choice because I can’t get enough tacos, but who am I kidding. I travelled half way around the world for love. It was not lost on me that I flew out on April Fool’s day.
These are the notable things that I realised in the first month:
1) Drugs are easy to get.
On the flight to LA, the elderly man next to me offered me a sleeping pill.
“If you want a pill love, I bought a few from a doctor I know. Gives me the strong stuff”.
His wife lent over him and said,
“He’s not going to take advantage of you while you’re sleeping, I’m his wife, that’s what I’m here for”.
Touche`elderly couple. Touche`.
2) As much as I care about animals, the assumption that going to Mexico would not contribute to eating my body weight in meat products was unrealistic.
3) People everywhere love farts. Especially old Mexican women on tiny, stinky buses called collectivos.
4) Miscellaneous meat (also known affectionately as ‘misc meat’) is by far the tastiest you will ever eat. I think it’s the fear of parasites that heightens the flavour.
5) Going to a city where you are sure to be shot in some kind of drug/ gang related violence is only likely if you get involved in a Mexican drug cartel. If you are eating churros, being ripped off at fruit and vegetable stalls and visiting the Frida Kahlo museum, you are obviously not bad ass enough.
6) Mexican women wear a disproportionate amount of lyrca.
7) No matter how much of a local you think you are, you will still be known as a pinche gringa or a guerro. Don’t be offended, it’s because you are white, have blonde hair and are trying to speak spanish like a child with a learning disability.
8) Machismo is a “thing”. Machismo means that groups of older men can leer at you from street corners and call out delightful propositions like “I LOVE YOU” or “MARRY ME” or even just “SEXY” . They might also just hiss at you, which I always find quite complimentary.
9) Taco stands bring a whole new meaning to the ‘drunken munchies’. You will be munching like a drunk from dawn to dusk and let me tell you, it’s going straight to your butt. (Which is lucky, because Mexican’s love that).
10) You will start purchasing lyrca outfits and actually wearing them. Because of the enormous amount of tacos you have been eating, your butt will bulge like a tightly wrapped chorizo. You will be deluded into thinking this is the best you have ever looked due to the constant and inappropriate male attention.
Reflecting on my time in Mexico, I not only realised how generally hilarious my life was there and also that I could happily eat endless tacos and wear lyrca on my chorizo butt forever. I guess I found my true calling.
It’s Friday night and I’m standing in the line at the Fish and Chip shop. It feels about 100 degrees and I am sweltering whilst waiting to order. I’m crowded in by families, couples getting up in each other’s personal space and groups of friends gossiping about their week. I have a sweat moustache.
Fish and Chip Lady: “What’ll you have love?”
Me: “Um, do you have a small pack of fish and chips?”
Fish and Chip Lady: “That’ll be the single pack.”
Me: “Yeh, one of those please.”
Fish and Chip Lady:“Are you sure hon, that won’t be enough for you and your boyfriend”.
*winks saucily at the strange man standing behind me*
Me (face turning beetroot): “Erm… he’s not.. I mean, we don’t… I’m by myself”.
Fish and Chip Lady (staring deep into my eyes in pity): “Oh, okay. I’ll put that through”.
As I pushed through the sweaty people waiting for their orders, this is what popped into my head:
As I wiped the sweat off my upper lip, I thought:
‘So what if I’m getting fish and chips on my own on a Friday night? I like fish and chips. Sure, I probably wont finish all the chips. But fuck yeh, I won’t have to share my calamari rings.’
A week later, I ducked into a food court for a quick bite. I grabbed some delightful spring rolls and this napkin –
This is when I realised, society says; ‘it’s weird to be alone’. According to this napkin and the Fish and Chip shop lady, you should be with someone. Hanging out alone in public is a social faux pas.
The fear of being alone is real for many of us. Otherwise why would that meme be so damn popular? It probably stems from the human fear of death and the idea that we face whatever comes after life by ourselves.
And I get it, some people out there are legitimately lonely. They don’t have any friends, some of them need some loving. Perhaps they are even looking for someone to share their lives with. But that’s being LONELY. Not ALONE. And that’s why we have the internet.
The thing that no one talks about is that relationships are fucking hard work. I’m not just talking about your lover or your wrestling partner. I’m talking about spending time with your family, being nice to your average work colleague and dealing with your friends 24/7. That shit is exhausting and if you don’t get a chance to re-charge with some quality alone time, you’ll lose your mind.
Like this guy, who just wanted to eat his freaken ice-cream and didn’t feel like sharing:
The problem is, that so many of us are from the Disney generation where it’s been drummed into our brains that we need someone else to make us happy.
I’m not advocating that you get rid of your friendships, relationships and average colleagues. What I’m saying is, that people who are uncomfortable hanging out by themselves must have really shit personalities. If you can’t stand being around yourself than who the hell else will?
You know what makes me suspicious? Those people who stay in relationships that suck. The whole “I don’t want to be old, alone and get eaten by my cats” mentality.
Are you afraid of ending up alone and being eaten by your cats? Answer these 3 questions to find out:
- 1) Have you ever gone to a restaurant/ cafe or bar by yourself, on purpose?
- 2) Can you spend an entire day by yourself without calling someone to hang out with you?
- 3) Have you ever ditched a social engagement for some alone time? (Sexual and non-sexual, both count as self-love).
If you answered YES to at least one of the three questions above, you are doing alright, will find inner peace and may manage to walk on hot coals without getting burnt.
If you answered NO to any/all it’s time you invest in some one on one loving. Take yourself out for a nice meal and glass of wine. (Don’t get too comfortable drinking alone though, I hear that’s a slippery slope).
So the next time you get stood up, haven’t been invited to a party or your lover is screening your calls, remember kids – being alone isn’t the same as being lonely.
Just for reference – this is what Fish and Chips for one looks like:
Yeh, that’s right. Fucking awesome.
In Nepal and India it is illegal to kill a cow. Famous for their holy status in Hinduism, the humble bovine has pride of place in the urban pecking order. The main man of Hinduism, Lord Krishna, moonlights as a cowherd (who frolicks with milk-maids) and the bull is the badass vehicle of Lord Shiva.
Travelling through these two predominately Hindu countries, one cannot help but notice the many cows chilling out in the middle of traffic, on people’s doorsteps and street corners that stink of urine. The flip side is the many steak houses (Nepal) and leather goods outlets (India). This raises some serious questions:
Who kills the cows?
Do people in the community look down upon you, if you make your rupees selling holy rump?
Who eats the steak?
It’s hard being one of life’s inquisitive types, so I did what any obnoxious tourist would do, I pestered the locals. This is what I found out:
Even though it is illegal to kill cows, there are Christian and Muslim slaughter houses that are able to get murder permits. If you own a steak restaurant, get non-Hindu’s to do your un-holy killing or import your dead cow.
In Pokhara, Nepal, we passed 5 steak restaurants on the main street. Generally it’s tourists who eat the meat and as long as you don’t do the killing within the community, the general consensus is that you wont be ostracized for running a Steak House.
Let me add here, that with power outages daily in Nepal, I believe that eating steak will drastically reduce your lifespan and probably give you parasites.
As we walked around the bazaars of India we passed numerous leather shops. How, I wondered, can a community be against eating a holy animal, only to wear it on their feet and use it to hold their rupees?
Turns out that although Hindu’s are against killing cows, they don’t object to camels or water buffalo (essentially furrier cows).
I purchased myself a camel handbag and every time I reach for my sunglasses I get a whiff of what Bear Grills must have smelt, that time he slept at Hotel de Camel Stomach.
The cows in India and Nepal take priority in the frenetic traffic hierarchy. Tuk-tuk, motorbike, buses, vans and tractors – all halt for the holy cow. If you kill one, it will cost you 10,000 rupees and 1-year in jail.
You have to wonder about the holy state of their stomachs though. Many city dwelling cows are strays, put out by their owners. Perhaps they don’t produce milk or offspring anymore, maybe they are too holier than thou. Whatever the reason, these cows live off scraps, the odd charity chapatti and forage in the trash for food.
This means they are underfed, ingest large amounts of plastic and probably have terrible gas.
There are a few charity animal hospitals who take the cows in, fix them up and let them back out onto the streets. But just like Lindsay Lohan, these cows will likely end up back in rehab.
Unless there is some public education about what our bovine friends actually eat or a Hospice for the Holy Horned is set up in every Hindu city, I fear that India’s cows will remain sick to their stomachs.
If you ever travel to either India and/or Nepal, do yourself and a cow a favour. Instead of being swindled by a fake holy man, buy something green and feed a living god. It’s good karma and it’ll cost you less.
Somewhere along the way someone decided that communication is the key to a healthy relationship. I can see their point but when it comes to corresponding with a lover abroad, I believe less is more.
An obvious topic, I can hear you thinking. Of course long distance relationships suck, because you are away from your lover. Well riddle me this bitches, if we all know they are the worst, why do we keep doing it to ourselves?
Most couples I know have spent at least some time apart where there has been a ocean/ continent between them. You know living your life, not holding each other back and all the rest of that smack talk.
Since we can’t all be Jay-Z and Beyonce with personal jets and a sack of expendable income, that means a long time between loving. Or does it?
For all those who haven’t been in this situation before, you will definitely speak to your distant lover. You will private message them on Facebook, Tweet them, write long pointless emails about what you had for lunch and Skype like you’ve got nothing else to do with your life other than straddle timezones.
My point is, it is the very tools you thought would make slogging out an absent romance peachy, which make long distance relationships suck. Seriously.
Oh great, what a fast easy way to keep in touch. I can even see photos of all their adventures. Wait, who is the girl/boy standing within one meter of my lover? WHO ARE THEY AND WHY ARE THEY SMILING!??! I’m going to comment passive aggressively and assert my position in their life. How totally sane and normal of me*.
No one wants to be privy to your depressing Tweets (if you are the one left behind) and if you are adventuring- Istagraming every amazing meal is blatantly rubbing it in everyone’s faces. “Oh hey, see this extreme blue filter pic of the Croatian coastline as I lounge back with a beer and some exotic croatian fare”. Let’s be honest, no one likes a show off. The only reason anyone is following you anyway is because they thought you were mildly hilarious, don’t ruin their lives with your drivel.
Emailing a lover is similar to oral sex with a selfish partner. The ‘hey I’ve given it to you, so now you are obligated to give it to me’ situation, which ends inevitably in someone saying ‘YOURS WENT FOR LONGER’.
Email is excellent in moderation (more to talk about) however, describing the contents of your fridge will leave a sour taste in any readers mouth. “I miss you so much- OMG and then I had porridge but it was too cold, so then I warmed it, but then it was too hot so I…”
Skype is the answer to every long distance relationship fear “don’t worry, we can totally Skype”. In some ways you are right. Skype dates start off fraught with passion and longing, which is great, until they become hours of your life wasted online because of international time differences.
At it’s best, Skype gives you cyber sex and the chance to see your lovers faces as they grow more tanned/hairy/dirty on their travels. At it’s worst you sit there staring at each other making conversation akin to Big Brother housemates, who’ve been chosen for their stupidity and perchance for drama.
What I’m getting at here is that technology doesn’t make it easier to be apart from your loved one. When you use it in moderation with a sane mind it is a great way to keep in touch.
But chances are that when combined with longing, neediness and too many vodka cranberries these tools will unleash the psychopath within. Write that down.
*I have made the generalisation that the people reading this will not be the type to post tragic status updates. If you are one of those people, know this. CEASE AND DESIST. EVERYONE ON YOUR FACEBOOK HATES YOUR STUPID TRAGIC STATUS UPDATES.