If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen some moronic updates floating through your feed lately about people going to various countries for various periods of time even though they’re not. The conversation usually goes something like this…
Idiot: I’m going to Spain for 4 months!
Curious friend: Omg really?
Idiot: Nah it’s for breast cancer lol!
Curious friend: wat.
Idiot: You choose the country that matches your bday month and then your bday date is how long you’re going for and then you change your status
Curious friend: (deletes you from Facebook because you’re a fucking idiot)
This kind of genius has been around for a while now. It usually starts with a message people forward around to their female friends that goes something like this:
Hey ladies! It’s that time of year again when we annoy the shit out of our friends and contribute absolutely nothing towards raising awareness about breast cancer!!!
This is how it works. First, choose the number that matches your IQ:
1 – blue
2 – pink
3 – black
4 – yellow
5 – red
Next, how many people would admit to being your friend?
1 – syphilis
2 – chlamydia
3 – gonorrhea
4 – the clap
5 – herpes
Then update your Facebook status with the colour and STD that match your answers! For example, “Omg my bf’s balls are red, think I have the clap?!!”
Now remember, don’t tell any of the boys what your statuses mean because we need to maximise the awareness!!! Keep them guessing so more people learn about it. Also pass this on to everyone you know so they can raise a awareness too!!!
Ugh. Just ugh.
1. Do we really need to be raising awareness about breast cancer?
If you can show me three people over the age of 12 who are not aware of breast cancer, I will start watching Glee, because neither of those things are ever going to fucking happen.
Where are these people? How often is this conversation happening?
Judy: Excuse me sir, but I’m going to need some time off work because… well, I have breast cancer.
Boss: What’s that? Never heard of it. Should we all get tested? I really don’t understand.
We’re all aware. Breast cancer gets more publicity than Kate Middleton holding her hand over her stomach in a few photos like she’s totally pregnant. Why not try and raise awareness about something that people don’t generally know a lot about, like melanoma or how to clear your cache. Or if you still want to keep the focus on breast cancer, why not aim to raise awareness about its symptoms, detection methods, treatment options or other ways to help. Or fuck, why not just really go for it and try to raise something actually useful, LIKE MONEY?
2. How does not mentioning something raise awareness about it?
Here is the other way these status updates are often received…
Moron: I’m a champagne flute so tuck it back.
Innocent friend: What are you talking about?
Moron: I can’t tell you lol.
Innocent friend: Don’t call me anymore.
The dumb bridge club president who comes up with these brainwaves and composed the original message urges people not to disclose the reason behind their mysterious status update. Now I’m no genius, and I only just found out that reindeer are real so who am I to judge, but I do have one question: how are people supposed to know what cause you’re supporting, if you don’t fucking say it?
I really want to know how the conversation went when this was decided.
Shirley: So then we get everyone to update their status to raise lots of awareness….but it’s a secret.
Tonia: Wow, I think it’s a great idea, I mean it’s definitely got legs. But how will people know that the whole concept is about breast cancer if it’s a secret?
Shirley: Because that’s the whole purpose.
Tonia: Yes but shouldn’t we mention the cause or maybe include a link to a site with information on breast cancer, maybe even a site where people could donate money?
Shirley: Nah, nah, nah. Trust me, it’s better this way.
3. Doing lame crap like this gives people a false sense of action
Telling people that they can help raise awareness about breast cancer by posting something inane on Facebook is counter-productive, because some of those people who wanted to help might have ACTUALLY supported the cause through donating things like time/money/ideas/labour/goods/etc. But instead, they will now sit back on the couch and tune in to Oprah, satisfied in the knowledge that they’ve done their bit for breast cancer.
4. It’s really annoying
Stop it. Not only is it annoying, but you might find that it actually achieves the opposite of what you were dumb enough to think you were doing. Most of the time, when people discover that a particular brand is behind an ad or campaign that they find super irritating, they feel less sympathetic towards that brand. I’m not saying I am pro-breast cancer, but I’d probably chuck my dollars into another cancer charity that wasn’t being endlessly touted by a bunch of idiots.
Of course, having said all that, there is a silver lining. If you are keen to cull your Facebook friends, little initiatives like these will help you sort the wheat from the chaff. (Checking which of your friends have liked the Two and a Half Men page is also a good method.)
I had a terrible dream last week where my friend Ryan got really sick and started coughing up blood all over the carpet in our house. I was relieved when I woke up and realised it was a dream because we had the carpets cleaned quite recently and I didn’t want to go through all that bother again.
Lorikeets are horrible, horrible people and should not be trusted under any circumstances.
I saw some lorikeets once when I was a child, and then I fell off my rollerblades and chipped my four front teeth.
I also have a birth mark on my leg that looks like a pimple.
My favourite rice crackers flavour is salt & vinegar, but not as many brands are making it lately. I am not sure why.
Buckley was born in Indiana in 1962 and had eleven children to his highschool sweetheart, Regina.
Regina began to lose her sight in the early nineties and required an expensive operation to repair the damage to her eyes.
Through a commercial radio competition, Buckley won the May Day ‘Grab as Much Cash as You Can in 8 Minutes!’ contest, but he had no arms and Regina went blind.
When I was in primary school, we were visited once a year by the Life Education Australia van. This was a caravan manned by chirpy women who used a giraffe puppet (Healthy Harold) and a nude mannequin (Tammy) to educate third graders on drugs and general health. I didn’t care much for Harold, but I was fascinated by Tammy and her womanly figure, which I would never develop. Her plastic skin had been shaven away on one side, exposing her plastic internal organs. I wanted to reach out and stroke her plastic liver, then tweak her plastic nipple. I was shy though.
Healthy Harold taught us about the food pyramid and advised us to exercise regularly. He then launched into an anti-drug tirade and touched on the dangers of peer pressure as well as the legal and socio-economic factors involved with drug abuse and their long-term effects on society. I spent these lessons staring at the caravan ceiling, which was covered in tiny fake stars, and thinking about my silk worms, but the message was so strong, it seeped completely into my eight year old brain anyway. If anyone had offered me a cigarette, I would have urinated on their entire packet and rang the police immediately. If thirty of my classmates had stood in a circle and chanted “CHUG, CHUG, CHUG,” I would have tipped my bottle of beer down the nearest drain and raised my face to the sky, arms outstretched, before calling out the twelve steps and giving glory to God. I was completely staunch in my resolve: I would never drink or smoke. I would certainly never take drugs. I would be healthy. I would be happy. I would be like Harold.
Four years later, my great-grandmother died. She was ninety-seven years old, and had been in a nursing home for six months. I remembered the day she was put into the nursing home, because my father was very tense and simply told me, “She fell over.” But through eavesdropping on my mother’s phone conversations, I was able to piece together all the details: Nan had gotten out of bed during the night to get a glass of water, then she had fallen over on her way back from the kitchen, breaking her hip and smashing her head against the floor, knocking herself out. Unable to get back up after she regained consciousness, she simply remained on the floor and waited for somebody to find her. By the time my grandfather arrived in the morning to take her to church, she had ripped up half the carpet in her living room in an attempt to keep herself warm throughout the night. She had torn up her hands doing this, and managed to cut her arms on broken glass. She had also shat herself and was crying with embarrassment.
This single agonising, undignified event completely horrified me. “Why couldn’t she get back up again?” I asked my mother, interrupting her phone call.
“She’s just too old,” Mum explained, “The body starts to give up and stop working after a while.”
This distressed me deeply. The idea that I could one day find myself unable to walk or wipe my own arse was the most depressing thing I had ever contemplated. And the thought of my great-grandmother lying amongst broken glass on her kitchen floor, nursing a smashed hip and a bruised face, scratching at the carpet and defecating on her own muumuu was too awful for my pre-pubescent brain to handle. In that moment, I vowed that I would die the day after my 70th birthday. Or even sooner, if possible. I would never be found covered in my own shit and lying broken on the floor, because I simply wouldn’t live that long. I would die while I still had dignity and presence of mind. Hopefully I would still have my figure too.
And so, when my time came, I said “Yes!” to cigarettes. I said yes to alcohol and pot and pills and anything else that crossed my path. I still work out and eat properly and moisturise and sleep 8 hours every night, because I am vain, but I’m not going to make any effort to extend my life beyond the ability to control my own bladder. If being healthy means dying in a puddle of my own excrement with broken hips, then Harold can eat my arse.
Editor’s note: Any teachers or parents who are interested in having Annik speak at their children’s schools can send an expression of interest via email to education [at] annikskelton.com
My brother’s friends commentating a slide show of their exploits & deliberately discussing his sex life to disturb me
“Oh god, we were so fucked up that night…do you guys remember?”
“I remember Chris getting laid that night.”
“Oh look, it’s those two fat chicks who sat on my bike! I’m pretty sure Chris went home and had sex that night.”
“And this one was at New Year, right before Chris laid some girl. Fuck, we were drunk.”
“Oh and there’s the time we ordered all the red bull and vodka jugs… Hey Annik, see what Chris is doing to that pool cue?”
“Wait, there’s the chick I used to hook up with who had leukemia… I thought I could make her feel better. Like, fuck the cancer out of her or something.”
“Did it work?”
“I don’t know, I broke up with her.”
“Hey look, it’s the biker viking party!”
“Oh yeah! Chris had sex that night.”
Me: Dad, there’s something gross on my neck. Can you take a look?
My brother: Is it your face?
Dad: It’s eczema.
Me: I’m going to my room.
My grandmother was a pretty cool lady. She made an excellent batch of honey jumbles and was the first person to nip outside whenever one of my aunts lit up a joint. Even though we shared the same name, I never spent enough time with her, but she wrote her memoirs before she died and reading them helped explain a lot about my own life.
Last year, Nanna got sick with various forms of cancer and shifted permanently into my aunt’s lounge room while she waited for the inevitable. I flew up to Brisbane to visit her and found my namesake sunken in an armchair, even thinner than usual and looking overly pale.
“How are you feeling about everything?” I asked, as I painted her nails a deep red.
“Okay, I guess,” she shrugged, “I’ve said goodbye to all my children, divvied up my stuff and had a good run. All I can do now is wait.”
“It’s a bit horrible though,” I pointed out, “Just waiting to die.”
“Nah, it happens to everyone,” Nanna replied, “Besides, I’m sick of hearing about the bloody American election.”
Cancer of the brain
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder