Home » Blog » haters

Bridezilla forwards

Tuesday February 5th, 2019 in haters, narrators | No Comments »
White dress and blue undies hanging on clothes line.

Photo: Penelope Claire

I am frequently entertained by internet Bridezilla horror stories, and  it’s time for me to give back.

I’m already married, but should I be lucky enough to wed again I aim to issue instructions to my invited guests that are so outlandish that someone will post them on their socials, where they will go viral.

It will be my little gift to the internet, which has given me so much. I’m thinking karma, paying it forward and doing unto others.

To ensure invitees don’t think I’m joking and chuckle rather than becoming enraged and betraying me on Reddit, I need to keep my outrageous instructions somewhat aligned with my authentic self. These are my working notes.*

  1. Performance: All guests should learn one chapter of The Inimitable Jeeves off by heart. Don’t all learn the same chapter. That’s lazy. You will be required to recite your chapter before being allowed into the reception venue. No exceptions unless you have a medical certificate from a proper doctor (specialist preferred). I won’t be listening, as I only accept Jeeves narrated by Jonathan Cecil, but your effort will prove that you care enough to be included in my special day 🙂
  2. Dress code: Guests may wear whatever they want, but all attire must be washed and donated at the end of the evening – BEFORE you leave the venue. No spare clothes may be changed into as this would defeat the zero-waste point. My local op-shops will gratefully receive any of the items that I don’t want 🙁 If you want to be a gold-star guest, think about my size and style when you’re selecting your outfit!
  3. Gifts: Honestly, the best thing you can bring is yourself. However. I know you would feel so guilty about attending the wedding of the century and not giving anything in return. So just 10-15% of your annual before tax income donated to your local (STATE) school will make you feel better. This  is obviously not a sustainable, equitable school funding model, so please also vote as requested in the “how to vote if you love me” package I will forward to you prior to elections. Send photographic proof that you have done so if you want to stay in my life.
  4. Food: Please eat before attending the reception. Ample food will be served, but it will mainly be for me. Just to be clear, there may not be enough for you to eat. I’ve been very honest, so don’t act surprised. Let me explain my vision: I will be seated at the top table with three people I barely know and a priest. Our table will be laden with cakes and pastries. A separate table will hold half as much food for all the other guests. This is to replicate the absolutely amazing time I had at my First Communion in Grade 4. Such a spiritual occasion deserves nothing less.
  5. Honeymoon: You’re invited! To minimise our carbon footprint, we will be having a staycation. In order to differentiate this time from normal life we are requesting our wonderful friends and family create a 5-star resort experience at our home by tending to our every need (cooking, cleaning, concierge service, gentle waking if afternoon naps go over an hour). Obviously, you will pretend not to know us to avoid awkwardness. Also, I don’t want to hear about rostering issues. Just work it out people!

*Don’t worry, I’m not ruining the plan by sharing it now. I will only invite people who I’ve known for less than six months so as to maximise their unwillingness to comply with my requests.

Act like an adult

Tuesday September 8th, 2015 in haters | No Comments »

Guests on the ABC’s The Book Club have been known to give audio books a spray. I remember particularly Lawrence Mooney’s contribution, which made me hopping mad at the time.

Will Self launched into this familiar territory in the September show claiming that listening to an audio book is an anathema to literature, which is by definition words on a page. The popularity of audio books is a sign that adults don’t want to grow up and act like adults.

It’s very simple. Eyes to get words good. Ears to get words bad. People who listen to audio books need to grow up and/or grow a brain. (If you’re visually impaired? I guess you just have to accept that you can never really access literature.)

The exception to this is if you’ve come along to a public event where Will Self has been invited to read aloud from his own works, like in this video. That’s okay. In that case, he’s following in the grand literary tradition of Dickens or something.

OR maybe he looks down on everyone in the audience for being so infantile as to listen to words and then to further demonstrate their stupidity at the end by clapping. (Toddlers clap, if you’re over 18 you need to snap out of it.)

AND he doesn’t like adult colouring in books either. He thinks they’re another sign of immaturity. As if! Check this out! I did it last night while listening to a podcast.

Still Listening

Friday June 5th, 2015 in haters | No Comments »

I’ve had a few years away from this blog, but no time at all away from story tapes. Looking back over my previous entries I realised some things have changed since I last wrote.

Cassettes are over
I know they were fairly damn over in 2011 as well, but the Yarra Libraries were kind enough to keep some on hand until 2012 when they finally chucked them all out (I managed to snaffle a few). Cassettes do have some advantages. When you press stop on a cassette it stays in exactly the same spot until you go back to it. You can’t listen to a cassette on a device with a screen, so there’s no chance of getting sucked into other screeny activities. And, although it’s a heart wrenching moment, when a cassette ribbon gets chewed up by the machine, it is quite satisfying winding them back up with a pen.

Anyway, audio books will always be story tapes to me, even when I’m downloading them into my ear-chip implants. It’s too late to change.

The line between an audio book and a podcast can be blurry
Many podcasts, including some of my favourites, consist of people sitting around having a chat, and laughing too hard at each other’s jokes. But shows like This American Life often tell shorter, scripted stories. To me, it feels a lot like listening to an audio book.

However, I don’t feel the need to create hard and fast definitions anyway. ‘Listening to voices talking without pictures’ is about as narrowly as I’d be prepared to define it.

There’s no shame in it any more
For many years whenever I admitted (and it felt like an admission) to listening to story tapes I was met with either blank stares or snorts and condescending comments. I would end up feeling defensive and saying, ‘I do read books as well.’

These days I’m having lots of supportive conversations with other audio book listeners from all kinds of backgrounds.

I first realised things had changed when I was in the green room (actually it was a school library, but it still felt glamorous) at a writer’s festival last year. Someone said, ‘Who actually listens to audio books?’ I inwardly sighed and prepared myself to for a solo defence of the format, but before I could start three other people piped up, ‘I do.’

I’m not sure why this change has happened. I suspect podcasts and the availability of services like audible have helped, but I’m no expert.

To be fair, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. In 2013 I was disappointed by Lawrence Mooney’s audio book shaming comments on the ABC’s Book Club, but things are definitely improving.

So, I’m looking forward to writing about what I’ve been hearing again.