- She can see photos of you fucked up (that’s a given.)
- She can’t remember her password and will get drunk at Christmas lunch and bang on about what a stupid website it is and how she’s going to ring them on Monday and tell them to “let her back in”.
- She takes ambiguous status updates literally and will complain that your cousin’s status simply said “sigh.” (“Just sigh. Nothing else. Why is she sighing? What does it mean?”)
- She calls you and asks you how to delete things from her feed once she’s read them. (“What, you mean other people’ s posts?” “Yes, how do I get rid of them?”)
- She is giddy at suddenly being privy to so much of your personal life and comments on every single fucking thing you do.
- Your creeper flatmate tries to add her as a friend.
- She emails you asking you to explain what is a creeper?
- She posts horrific anecdotes that refer to your father and her “doing it”.
- smells bad
- nothing good to eat
- never much phone reception
Man: Based on a scale of one to ten where ten is ‘strongly agree’ and one is ‘strongly disagree’ please indicate how much you agree with the following statements.
Me: Wait, which one means agree?
Man: The bank’s customer care line staff member was able to resolve your request in a timely manner?
Me: Um.. agree. Which one is agree?
Man: So on a scale of one to ten, how much do you agree with that statement?
Man: And was the staff member able to offer you suitable advice?
Me: I don’t really think that’s applicable. I was just re-ordering a deposit book.
Man: Okay. And did you feel the staff member was able to tailor the conversation based on your banking history?
Me: I don’t know. How does that apply here? Seven?
Man: Were you satisfied that your request was resolved completely by the end of the call?
Man: On a scale of one to ten?
Man: One means disagree.
Me: Oh.. then ten.
Man: Okay, and overall, how would you rate your entire experience with the bank’s customer care line?
Man: Can you please provide three reasons as to why you have given us that score.
Man: You only gave it a nine, so I need to know why you didn’t say ten.
Me: Dude, I’m really hungover. I’m trying to eat breakfast here.
Man: I still need an answer.
Me: Fine then, change it to ten.
Me: Change my score to ten.
Man: …are you sure?
Me: Yes, I don’t want to talk to you anymore.
Man: Okay… Well, thank you for participating in the survey. If you’d like more information about any of this–
Me: I don’t.
Man: Very well. Enjoy your day.
Cabbie: Whoah.. haha, rough night?
Me: Excuse me?
Cabbie: You just look like you’ve been partying pretty hard.
Me: Right.. Can you take me to the Hills?
Cabbie: Sure. But just so you know, there’s a $60 fine if you vomit in a taxi.
Me: I’m not going to vomit in the taxi.
Cabbie: Okay, but just so you know–
Me: I’m fine.
Cabbie: You just look a little tired, that’s all. My mate rang me only half an hour ago cause some girl hurled in his cab. It’s a massive pain because you have to take the car to get cleaned, then you miss out on fares… So $60 doesn’t even really cover you.
Me: Take the motorway, please.
Cabbie: You know what the worst thing is? When people pay by credit. Man, I hate people who use credit cards. The driver doesn’t get the payment for at least two weeks.
Me: I’m sure it doesn’t take that long.
Cabbie: It does. Sometimes it takes months.
Me: I have cash.
Cabbie: Okay, but keep in mind it’s an extra $60 if you throw up.
Me: I’m not going to throw up.
Cabbie: Alright. Maybe we should stop talking and you can just concentrate on not throwing up.
Me: Sure, great.
Half an hour later.
Cabbie: Okay, so including tolls and the surcharge, that’ll be…$113.50
Me: Oh.. Do you take Mastercard? Put it through quickly, I’m feeling kind of nauseous.
Most people don’t really think about Tim Allen very much. I probably think about Tim Allen once every three years, unless I see his picture somewhere, and then I think about him for roughly four seconds before I get bored and stop. But those four seconds are filled with a vague yet certain sense of hate. And all over the world, people of all shapes and sizes, colours and creeds, religions and other silly things, all share one thing in common: we hate Tim Allen.
The average punter doesn’t hate Tim Allen very strongly, because it’s not a cause worthy of too much emotion. But we do possess a mild collective distaste for the Tool Time man. A slight wrinkle of the nose upon hearing his name. An immediate reach for the remote control. An eye roll. A head shake. A twist of the monocle and a shot of brandy. And a pinch on the bum.
So why exactly do we hate Tim Allen? Nobody knows for sure, but I have a few ideas.
The first question we should ask ourselves is this: what’s to like about Tim Allen?
And, of course, the answer is “nothing.”
The second question is: would you accept a lift home with this man?
Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical.
I recently went to a Tim Allen support group meeting and the following are just a few of the notes I made. These are real stories, from real people.*
Tim Allen broke into my house, stole a waffle iron and left obscene polaroids on my pillow.
Tim Allen took me out for a nice dinner once, and then got what was later described as ‘mildly rapey’.
I once had to watch The Santa Clause as a child. I cannot say anymore on the subject; the rest is repressed.
Tim Allen tried to pickpocket me while I was on holidays in Thailand, but he was clumsy with Mekhong whiskey & easily foiled.
Who wedged a red crayon between his buttocks and ‘autographed’ my house? Tim Allen did.
Tim Allen attempted to have an orgy with my dogs but I managed to beat him off with a spatula.
Tim Allen is responsible for the life I’ve led; the tears I’ve cried, the blood I’ve spilt.
Tim Allen borrowed my car for the weekend and returned it with a dead hooker in the trunk.
Now I’m not a biased person, and I want to deliver balanced views on this site, so I spoke to a well-known movie critic to get his thoughts on Tim Allen. This is what he said:
“Tim Allen is a man’s man man’s man. I’ll never forget the first time I met him; I’d fallen down a hill and broken my leg, and he carried me four miles to hospital, telling me hilarious jokes and reminding me why we let him into our lives (and hearts!) as Tim “The Tool-Man” Taylor.
I think that says it all, really.
As a child, I was taught that magic, spells, séances, witchcraft, and the supernatural all invited the devil to enter your body. The hilarious sexual connotations of this seemed to be lost on my parents, who forbade me from watching Buffy and enrolled me in a private Anglican highschool. Naturally, I spent the bulk of my teenage years drinking over a ouija board inside an abandoned orphanage near my house.
Here is a picture of said house:
It was built by the Masons in 1922 and inhabited by spooky parentless children until World War II, when it was converted to a hospital where many soldiers certainly died horrible deaths. Eventually, the Council purchased the site and the main building was partially burned down by arsonists. A high fence was put around it, and as the century came to a close, I poked a hole in this fence and crawled through with a bottle of vodka tucked under my arm. Then I got blind and talked to dead people.
You can make up your own mind about whether ouija is a reliable channel of communication with the dead, but things happened inside that house and I accepted all of them with fourteen-year-old dutch courage. I was aware that I was tapping into energies I didn’t consciously use, and that alone was enough to bring me back to the Masonics on a regular basis. I was quite blasé about the whole process and did not feel threatened at any time because deep down, I thought it was all bullshit. I continued to go there, because the glass kept moving underneath my hands and I have always been drawn to old buildings, but I slept soundly at night and never worried that I was doing anything dangerous.
Five years later, I watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose and nearly wet my pants. I watched it three more times and became obsessed with the idea of demonic possession. I felt completely vulnerable and was so afraid, I began praying for protection. I told my osteopath about my fear and he stopped massaging my skull and told me to sit up.
“I have a story,” he said, closing the door. I was intrigued, because he told me deeply personal stories about having sex with underage girls while the door was open and his staff were within hearing-range. We’d never had a closed-door conversation before.
“I’m listening,” I said, crossing my legs on the table and reaching for his coffee.
“Dammit, bitch, don’t drink my coffee,” he said, slapping my hand. “Now. You know me, I’m a pretty skeptical guy, right? I don’t even believe in gravity, I think it’s a fucking scam. Anyway, I had this patient a few months ago who had recently returned from Indonesia and needed a bunch of work done on his back. I was treating him one day when I felt a presence move through his body and start to enter mine. I couldn’t move my arm, so I freaked out and fought against this presence, then it disappeared and went back into the guy. My arm was in so much pain afterwards, like it was burning, and it took days to stop hurting completely. I asked him what the fuck had happened, and he said that he had been possessed by entities overseas and he didn’t know how to get rid of them. He called them “foreign energy”. Foreign energy! What a crock. But then it happened again, the next time I treated him. This time, I allowed it to enter me and explore my body. I saw a glow around myself, and then in my head, I said Leave me alone, and it exited through my belly button.”
“Oh my god,” I said, “What were you on and do you have any left? I’m going to this festival next week and my dealer is dry-”
“Nothing,” the osteo interrupted. “I was sober as a judge. On detox. And now there are all these fucking energies floating around and I have no idea whether there might be a goddamn zombie waiting for me when I get home. Everything is possible.”
“So what did you do?” I asked.
“I attended a three-day meditation course in the Blue Mountains,” he replied. “Now I can see the future in my dreams.”
I wasn’t sure if I believed my osteo, because he liked to party a lot, despite his recent stint of sobriety. But I was beginning to realise that maybe I didn’t have everything figured out.
Over the next few months, I tried to avoid anything vaguely spiritual. “IS THAT INCENSE?” I shouted, throwing a glass of water over my housemate’s bedside table. “Get that shit out of my house!”
I stayed away from fortune tellers, gypsies, astrology and pornography. I took care not to say the lord’s name in vain. I put a pot plant in my bedroom and slept with my mouth closed.
Then I went to my brother’s 21st, and sat next to an old church friend who had recently moved away very suddenly.
“Hi Warwick,” I said, “Where have you been?”
“I moved to Penrith and joined a Wicca clan,” he replied. “I can cast all kinds of spells.”
“Bullshit!” I declared. “If you’re so fucking powerful, do something impossible, like make me interested in you sexually.”
“Maye I will…” he replied, and took a sip from a flask concealed inside his jacket.
That night, I woke up at 3am (the Witching Hour) with a bloody nose and a pounding head. My sheets were drenched and my room was freezing. For the next month, I woke up exactly on each witching hour every morning (12:00am, 1am, 2am then 3am) covered in sweat. Eventually I drove to my osteo’s office, distressed, and burst into his treatment room.
“Do you have an appointment?” he asked, surprised.
“It’s happening!” I yelled. “I’m fucking possessed!”
“Good god,” he said, ushering me into the staff kitchen. “Wait here until I finish up with my rational patients.”
I made myself some tea and ate a sandwich I found in the fridge while I waited. When the osteo came back, I explained everything that had happened to me over the last month.
“Wow,” he marvelled quietly at the end of my story. “This is quite amazing…”
“I know, right?” I said. “Somebody is going to make a movie about this.”
“No,” the osteo replied, “I mean you are amazing.”
“Not amazing in a good way. Here, let me break it down for you: there is no demon. But you are actually so impressionable and neurotic that by pure anxiety alone, you have given yourself night sweats, nose bleeds, and the body clock of a soldier. That’s incredible. I want to experiment with you.”
“You mean, I’m not possessed?” I asked, frowning.
“No, you’re just a loose unit,” he replied. “Imagine if you could use all that mind-power for something useful, rather than annoying me with your inane bitching. That would be cool. Hey, have you seen my sandwich?”
When I was fifteen, I worked in the créche at my parents’ church. This meant I had to look after other people’s whining children and sometimes take them to the toilet and wipe their bums, but at least I didn’t have to listen to the sermon.
One Sunday, there was a new kid in the créche who seemed to take a liking to me. We played for half an hour and read some books together, then she said she wanted to draw a picture of me. I was flattered and sat on a beanbag in front of her, posing for my portrait.
“Now you have blue eyes…” she said, selecting a sky-coloured crayon. “And then brown hair… and a yellow t-shirt… and a BIIIIIG belly!”
“Church is finished,” I told her, holding in a scowl. “I’ll mind your picture until your parents are leaving. You can come back and collect it then.”
After she left to find her mum and dad, I scrunched her picture into a ball and threw it in the bin. Then I walked down to the takeaway shop and bought a large tub of hot chips. I decided I would not have children if they all turned out to be such nasty little shits.
Mum: Is that your new top?
Me: Yep. Like it?
Mum: It has horizontal stripes.
Me: Yeah, so?
Mum: You should wear vertical stripes, darling. They’re more slimming.
Most of my relatives live interstate or in France and the Sydney ones don’t like us, so my family usually spends Christmas day getting drunk in our living room and letting out all the pent-up rage that has accumulated over the year.
“Why should you get to park in the driveway while my car sits out on the street like a whore?” I snap at my brother, tearing open a carefully wrapped gift from my mother. “Oh look, more Bryce Fucking Courtenay. You know he hasn’t written anything good since Four Fires. Buy me some Tim Winton or something. Goddamn it.”
“I’m the oldest,” my brother says, slurring slightly, “I get to park where ever the hell I want.”
“You’re the ugliest,” I retort. “Besides, you sell cleaning products, you’re going nowhere in life. At least I went to uni. I tried to make something of myself.”
“Yeah, tried being the operative word. Unlucky for you, there isn’t much demand for ice-queen bitch accountants with half a degree under their belt and a drinking problem. Face it, Neek, you’re a fucking failure. You have no career prospects, and no man will ever marry you because you have terrible genes. No offence, Mum.”
“You cunt, I’ll kill you,” I say, smacking his beer off the coffee table and reaching for his eyes, which were recently operated on and cost him $9,000 in medical bills.
At this point, my father rises from his cane chair and sighs. He walks over to his new electric piano and plugs in his headphones. Then he sits and plays Gershwin for three hours, until we have all passed out or gone to our bedrooms. The piano is my father’s happy place. He is an amazing musician, and people often go to my parents’ church just to hear my dad play. But at home, he plays to himself through headphones while the rest of us sit on the couch and watch television. Eventually, my mother falls asleep on the lounge and my brother goes to the garage to work on his motorbike. I walk down the road to the park with play equipment and sit at the top of the slippery-dip. I smoke cigarettes and ash onto the slide, thinking about all the local children who will now go home to their mothers with ashy, smelly pants. I think about how much I hate my family. I think about how much I hate Christmas. I think about the arbitrary cruelty of having a designated day of the year where I am forced to spend 24 hours with my family, regardless of whether I am in a good mood or have a sufficient supply of valium to see me through the holiday.
It wasn’t always like this. We used to have guests over for Christmas. Not traditional guests (ie friends and family) but random people my mother had met throughout the year who didn’t have anything better to do on Christmas day, because they were so scummy that they had failed to achieve basic relationships in life and had nobody to hang out with on the most important holiday of the year.
First there was Warwick, a thirty-something IT professional who lurked around my parents’ church and rode his bicycle everywhere. He came over for Christmas each year, and I hated him passionately.
“I think he’s a pedophile,” I told my mother as we stood at the kitchen window, looking out at Warwick in the backyard. He was sitting by the pool, supervising the neighbour’s children as they swam.
“Do any of you kids know what skinny dipping means?” he asked them, trailing his big toe through the water. “I like to skinny dip.”
Then there were the pregnant bikie trashbags. They only came once – the last year we had guests. My mum had invited Gail, a crusty woman she met at TAFE, and her daughters. They showed up for lunch at 4pm and were all wearing leather jackets.
“Sorry we’re so late,” Gail said, picking something out of her teeth. “Young Natalie here had to stop every five minutes to take a piss.”
“I’m pregnant,” Natalie explained.
“Cool,” I said, draining my wine glass.
“Not cool!” Gail shouted. “Do you know how many times I’ve driven her to the abortion clinic? She pussies out at the last minute every time and decides to ruin her life instead.”
“How old were you when you had Natalie?” I asked pleasantly.
“She was sixteen,” Natalie replied, “Just a year older than me now.”
“What a charming family tradition,” I smiled, pouring myself a gin and tonic. “I recently turned sixteen myself.”
“If that’s the case,” Gail interrupted, “Should you really be drinking, young lady?”
“Well I’m not pregnant,” I replied.
Just then Warwick entered the house, holding a dripping child under each arm. “Did somebody say something about babies?” he gasped.
“Yeah,” I said, “This is Natalie. She’s pregnant, but she’s still trying to work up the guts to have an abortion.”
“I beg your pardon!” Gail spluttered.
“I like babies,” Warwick said.
“Oh my god, we’re out of wine,” Mum whispered to me.
“I’ll get some more,” I offered. I caught a bus to the local shopping centre and smoked a joint on the loading dock. Then I watched The Ring three times because nothing short of the apocalypse would cause Greater Union to close their doors. By the time I got home, Mum was asleep on the lounge, Dad was playing the piano, and my brother had disappeared to the garage.
I was returning to the office after purchasing my daily coke zero from the Asian grocer, and as I was waiting for the elevator, I made eye contact with a group of six people entering the lobby from the street. The moment the lift doors opened, I got in and pressed “Level 2″. As I ascended to my floor, I pressed my ear to the doors and listened to the six people as they waited below in the lobby and bitched about me.
“Didn’t she hold the lift?”
“Oh my god, what a bitch.”
The truth is, normally I would hold the lift. But sometimes, I feel like if I do one more good deed, the karmic balance of the earth will implode due to my profligate saintliness. I give blood. I donate to charities. I give my coffee change to homeless people. I pick up other people’s litter when I see it. I believe in freedom of speech and same sex marriage and doing unto others and random acts of kindness. But every so often, I just need to be a cunt.