Monday, 29 December 2008

Oh, also, the three they cut after the jump!

February 18: The Businessman
Who: Alec Wildenstein, French international art dealer, ex-husband of socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein.
How: Cancer. But he was a douche.
The Legacy: A big fuck off lesson: You may know Alec as the ex of Socialite and Very Scary Person Jocelyn Wildenstein:

It turns out they had a… difficult relationship. When Jocelyn suspected Alec of having affairs, she started the plastic surgery that would eventually make her:

When she confronted him about the affairs, he threatened her with a gun, and was briefly jailed. Once divorce proceedings started, both refused to leave their New York City townhouse, so they divided the apartment (we assume with a sitcom-esque white line drawn straight down the middle). When Jocelyn discovered she now only had one servant and didn’t have access to the private jet, things got really ugly.


July 24: The Spam King
Who: Eddie Davidson, professional douchebag asshole. Just look at his fucking face:

‘I’m gonna cause grand-scale minor inconvenience!’

For spamming companies throughout 2002 to 2007, he received 21 months imprisonment, $714,139 in fines, and forfeiture of personal property. Initially, companies paid him to annoy people by promoting their watches, perfumes and miscellaneous useless crap. In 2005 he and his Minions of Unnecessary Annoyance were employed by a Texas company to promote sales of their stock, which Davidson took to mean ‘email hundreds of thousands of strangers about what a great investment this is, and maybe a few fuckwits will bite back’.

How: First he escaped from prison. Then he (allegedly) killed his wife and three year old daughter. Then he shot his 16-year-old daughter, who lived. Then he shot himself. But he didn’t harm his 7-month-old son, because even though he was a professional spammer, and a child murderer, he had principles, dammit.
The Legacy: Does, ‘don’t be a dick, because you’ll end up an escaped convict, lying dead with your family’ count?

September 20: The Mobster
Who: Frank Valenti, former boss of the Rochester crime family.
How: Natural causes.
The Legacy: ‘Hey kids, join the mafia! You won’t die in a shootout, or be locked up for life! You’ll either enjoy years of an all-carb-and-cheese diet and having a hot wife like Tony Soprano, or live to be 97!’

Read more!

Another Cracked Article!

Go Read my new one, Where Aren't They Now?: 15 Overlooked Deaths of 2008.

BUT, did you know that most of these celebs actually didn't die how it was reported? And countless others went the same way? Stay tuned in January for my series on celebrities who fought to the death in 2008. There were heaps. True story.

Also, any thoughts on the Cracked article? Read more!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

13 Music Trends Whose Return We Fear

(Update: Thefty #1 got fired from his paper. Damn straight!)


Here tis, the original article! To my consternation, the two aspects of the article that garnered the most negative comments were bits that didn't come from me; they were put in the updated version.

That is, the comparisons from Idol to Eurovision - surely Americans know what Eurovision is, Cracked already have whole articles about it?! The other is including UB40 in the 'Numbers' section. Being that UB40 are the third worse band of all time, I already know they named themselves after an unemployment benefits form.

* Worst bands:
3. UB40
2. The Fine Young Cannibals
1. Scissor Sisters.

Anyway, article after the jump! Enjoy.

13 Music Trends Whose Return We Fear

Like fashion, music goes in cycles. In the last few years we’ve suffered through fluro tee shirts, designer mullets and god-awful electro music, a la the mid 80s. Before that, Wolfmother dragged out their amazing impersonation of ‘1970s Led Zep without the passion or artistic merit’.

Popular musicians tend to hone in on a trend from yesteryear and exploit it for their own nefarious purposes. And by ‘nefarious’, we mean ‘sex with underage groupies and having the money to buy a fine crystal toilet seat’. It’s not that we have anything against people wanting to get laid and have money (though we at Cracked have chosen the more noble pursuit of writing for the love of weird internet shit and clammy hi-fives from likeminded nerdlingers). It’s just that many people creating music today are of an age where they find nostalgic comfort in the music of the 80s and 90s. And we’re about to show you why finding inspiration there might be a bad, bad idea.

Music Trend Thirteen: Child Exploitation in Rap

While you were having your first wet dreams about April O’Neil (or, in our case, Krang), some kids your age were actually making something of their pubescence. Perhaps due to the tragic post-80s decline of the Jackson Five, the world just needed children rapping. And, if possible, wearing their clothes backwards.

Examples: Kriss Kross. Another Bad Creation (ABC). Lil Bow Wow (who ran out of ‘Dog’ puns after his third album). Hanson in their seldom-seen ghetto pimp phase.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: As for children rapping now, the daughter of Steve ‘Crikey!’ Irwin’s given it a bash. Here is the face of an illin’ new generation, yo’:

[picture of Bindi Irwin]

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia:
We’re legitimately shocked that none of these acts have their own reality TV show; so we propose a fly-on-the-wall documentary about all of them preparing for a revival tour, using their old material. Cue uncomfortable scenes of re-learning lyrics about playgrounds and holding hands, juxtaposed with one rapper getting high and trying to round up three hookers for a fourgy. Really cheap, filthy hookers.

Music Trend Twelve: Dudes as Ugly Chicks

Every so often a gender-bending guy comes around, blurring the line between ‘man’ and ‘woman’… though for some reason they’re always busted messes.

Examples: Boy George. Marilyn (the Poor Man’s Boy George), Marilyn Manson (the Scary Man’s Boy George) Honourable Mention: Alice Cooper: Not a lady, still ugly, but also awesome. Sometimes.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: Aziz, a Bulgarian pop star who is so huge in s/his native country that s/he represented them in Eurovision 2006. But Transvestism? He’s kind of doing it wrong:

[Dude’s got a beard. Pictures]

How Else May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: It’s a well-established fact that 94% of contestants on reality TV singing contests are deep in the closet. Allegedly. So perhaps throwing in a few wigs and some makeup would render the show not only more honest, but make for better viewing, as the male contestants fight to be the first to perform ‘I’m Every Woman’, scratching each other to shreds with poorly-applied press-on nails. Strangely hot, once you think about it for a while. We have.

Music Trend Eleven: Warbling Diva + Menacing Dude Rapper = PROFIT

Seriously, the nineties were utterly retarded for this formula. The black Diva would sing the verses, usually about music, freedom, love in the night, passing love, or loving love, do a bit of chorus gear, and then, BOOM: the man would stomp in and do some tuff-as-guts rapping about yearning, or love, or being stern like a terminal illness. And people everywhere would go fucking nuts in their parachute material pants. Also, it helped if you were from Europe and had a fake Brooklynese accent.

Examples: The Real McCoy. Snap. C & C Music Factory. Black Box. Culture Beat. And Michael Jackson when he got a rapper in for the bridge of ‘Black or White’ you know, before things got really weird for him.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: From the bands themselves. Snap, knowing nostalgia was imminent, re-released most of their singles in 2002-03. Inexplicably, The Real McCoy are still going, and in 2007 released the single ‘People Are Still Having Sex’ (though not to The Real McCoy anymore). And Culture Beat are also still at it, with songs like ‘Can’t Go On Like This (no no)’ (…).

Warbling Divas are like the final boss on a crooked arcade game: no matter how many grenades you throw, they refuse to die. And it gives you a headache.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Some DJ will inevitably sample a few of the divas’ lines, omit the tuff rap, and do an uninspired mashup while hipsters suck in their cheeks and dance ironically while wearing ironic Vanilla Ice T-shirts and getting their hair cut into flat tops. Ironic flat tops. It’ll be the designer mullet of 2008-9, and you’ll have to deal with it.

Music Trend Ten: Madonna Getting Her Junk Out

For the longest time, she just wouldn’t put it away.

Examples: Every Madonna film clip from about 1992-96; her book, Sex (which was mostly her paragliding naked, climbing a brick wall naked, and some other stuff we didn’t understand then, or now).

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: Her new album’s called Hard Candy.

[picture of super-muscular, haggard present day Madonna]

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia:

[same picture of super-muscular, haggard present day Madonna]

Oh, God. See, kids? Often nostalgia’s best left in the past.

Music Trend Nine: The Swedish

Once Pulp, Blur, Oasis and Supergrass came out, everyone was talking about Britpop. Whole editions of NME were devoted to Damon Albarn’s left shin. But truly, it was the Swedes who made like Parker Louis and couldn’t lose.

Examples: The Cardigans. Ace of Base. Roxette. The Wannadies. The tallest third of Placebo, Stefan Olsdal. Eagle-Eye Cherry and his Buffalo-stancing sister, Neneh Cherry (not to be confused with Senator Craig, whose stance was more wide than Buffalolike).

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: It never left: The Hives, Shout Out Louds, The Knife, Amanda Jenssen, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Robyn, The Soundtrack to Our Lives, Jose Gonzales, Millencolin, Peter Bjorn and John, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, Eric Prydz, Razorlight. We’re forced to assume that Swedish high schools are like the ones in Fame: All singing, all dancing, all the time.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: In these current times of product placement and marketing saturation, we’re thinking some kind of Ikea-cross promoted DVD, featuring the music of Sweden’s best, re-written as assembly instructions. For example, Ace of Base singing ‘rough surfaces are demanding/if you’re under sanding’. Or The Cardigans can do ‘Alan Key, Alan Key/say you’ve an Alan Key/Assembly, Assembly/For desk assembly/I can’t make up this desk without you’.

Music Trend Eight: Charity Songs

There was a time pop artists cared about the world’s plight. And every so often, they’d look up from their gold-plated plate of gold-plated coke, turn to their busty companion, and realise that dammit, all is not right in the world. And they could do something to help: they could have a sing about it.

Examples: Do They Know It’s Christmas?, We Are the World, Feed the World.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back:
There was a whole mess of songs devoted to Hurricane Katrina, but pop stars hate each other so much these days that not even Bob Geldof could shoehorn them all into a studio to record one song. They all needed their moment, man.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Nowadays, people are so disaffected by pointless wars and continuing famine, a feel-good tune about togetherness won’t cut it. To raise awareness, we’d have to kick it up a notch. So prepare for Lionel Ritchie’s comeback track, ‘You Know, In Some Parts of the World Ten Year Olds Are Sold as Sex Slaves, For Old Western Men to Sodomize Them, And Babies Get Shot in The Eye Like it’s No Big Thing. It’s So Messed Up, Man’ featuring the vocal stylings of Will Smith, R Kelly and a cast of dozens of other celebrities eager to promote new films and albums.

Music Trend Seven: The New Romantics

The eighties loved a wussy man in a frilly shirt, fopping about the place like Oscar fucking Wilde. And you know what? These dudes got more vadge than you ever will. Well, the ones who liked it did.

Examples: Adam and the Ants, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Ultravox, Falco. God, the 80s were gay for that shit.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: So we’d need some fey men in lots of eye makeup and idiosyncratic dress, moaning about sadness and pouting for the camera… oh, hang on:

[pictures of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and 30 Seconds to Mars]

Ok, so that actually happened.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: As above.

Music Trend Six: Numbers 4 Group Names

It was a simpler time, friends. No1 askd if u wantd 2 4get ur trbls n b happy. Words were words, numbers were numbers, and never the two met. Until some record company execs thought the very definition of ‘hip’, ‘urban’ and ‘now’ was to throw a number in, parading as a word… like a low-rent he-she out on the piss in a straight club on a Wednesday night, with a new weave to ensure s/he totally passed. Numbers are whores, man.

Examples: 112, 3T, All 4 One, Boys II Men, MN8…

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: Maroon 5, Zero 7, +44, B5, Day 26. Though with all the cuts to the music industry, some bands can’t even afford numbers, and in an effort to cut printing costs, have to forgo vowels altogether. See MSTRKRFT and Fall Out Boy (Thnks fr th Mmrs).

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Ever asked yourself why there aren’t any 1337 pop groups yet? No? Well, here they come. Here they fucking come. Perhaps a girl group called Cr4zii B4b3z? Or a Christian Rock act called J3sus’ So1d|3rs? Or a DJ act named 411 Ur B34tz R B310ng 2 Us? Are your eyes vomiting blood yet?

Music Trend Five: The Supergroup.

When a group of artists from a few awesome bands get together and make music, the gods weep with the awesomosity of it. Sometimes.

Examples: Cream, Asia, The Travelling Wilburys, The Highwaymen, Bad English, Fantomas, Audioslave; and retrospectively: Genesis, Pink Floyd and Queen.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: In the mid-00s, we already had Velvet Revolver, and if the members manage to get off the gear for more than five seconds they might even tour again.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Who would be a part of the 2008 super group? Oh, god, it would be made up of American Idol rejects, wouldn’t it? Or, worse yet, the dregs of 90s boy bands, the saddest one from every group, forming one big, puffy, flaccid, quiffed a Capella act.

Music Trend Four: Handsome Black Men Roaming in Packs

In the nineties, if you were a handsome black man with a smooth set of vocal chords, you typically roamed in packs with up to four like-minded individuals. From there, you would act as a black hole for all the quality vagina in your town, forcing pasty, clammy white boys to flock to the internet in droves, and create a market for web-based pornography as they sat lonely in their bedrooms. How do we know this? We just do, ok?

Examples: Every band stated in trend #6, along with Az Yet, Dru Hill, Jodeci, Shai, Silk, Soul for Real, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Bell Biv DeVoe, and the pink-clad quarter of Colour Me Badd.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: We googled ‘Handsome Black Men’ and came up with, which, while they were indeed handsome, wasn’t… exactly what we were looking for. And ‘Black men roaming in packs’ came up with some results that are better unexplored, so we can’t really tell you. We’re going to go look at vagina and delete our histories now.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Boy bands seem to be… much more limp these days. I propose we get the smoothest dudes from Silk, Shai and Boyz II Men, and the superior Tony/i/é, put them in a room and charge people $40 a piece to learn their vadge-nabbing secrets. Then turn it into a book, and sell it on late night informercials to the same pasty, clammy boys, still looking at web porn. Which, since furries are basically the internet equivalent of the Vicar next door, has become much, much stranger in the last 10 years.

Music Trend Three: Hair Metal

The 80s were a good time to be a man who loved makeup, hair spray, peroxide, bright pink spandex and (antithetically) women; in much the same way as now, when it’s a good time to be a man who loves unlimited access to all the world’s depravity via a plastic box, and sundaes heavy with edible gold.

Examples: Quiet Riot, Mötley Crüe, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Twisted Sister, Warrant, Cinderella, Poison.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: The Darkness tried. This guy is trying.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: As we pointed out in trend #8, people are more jaded now. They have that depravity-box thing. Subtlety is dead. So suggestively-titled albums like Open Up and Say.. Ahh (Poison), Cherry Pie (Warrant) and Girls, Girls, Girls (Mötley Crüe), will have to kick it up a notch to stand out from the crowd. Expect grown men in rouge, leopard print leggins and teased hair to start selling you their glam metal revival albums, entitled Defecate Over a Glass Coffee Table as I Relax Below and Open Up And Say ‘Ooh Uncle Kevin, Penetrate Me in My Vagina-Hole Whilst Wearing a Blue Power Rangers Costume’. Thanks, internet!

Music Trend Two: Filthy, Middle-Class White Boys

If you were a socially-inept white boy who didn’t have access to IRC, then you could just moan into a microphone. If you could play three chords while you did it, bonus! You just had to remember to never wash your hair.

Examples: Nirvana, obvs. Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Alice in Chains, L7 (for the femme equivalent), The Melvins, Stone Temple Pilots.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: The genre known as ‘Post Grunge’. Still mainly middle class white boys, still filthy. Though ‘usual rock star’ filthy now, not ‘I’m a junkie who knows three chords but not where to buy soap’ filthy.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia
: As far as wangst-inspired boo-hooing lyrics are concerned, Emo has picked up the baton nicely. And Courtney Love pops in occasionally to remind us that she fucked Kurt Cobain. Pearl Jam haven’t yet sold ‘Alive’ to be used in an ad for health insurance, so that’s another way 2008 can really make things more shitful.

Music Trend One: Song-Specific Dances.

This is a trend that refuses to die. Every eight years or so a new song with its own dance pops up, and we’re not talking about the standard ‘hands in the air, chin jutting forward’ thing that frat boys do every time some shitty Nu-Metal band squeezes out a song.

Examples: The Twist. The Nutbush. The Bus Stop (though we do appreciate the ‘freestyle funk section’ at the end of the cycle). The Cabbage Patch. The Macarena. And, of course, the Lambada, which was so forbidden that no one actually bothered doing it.

Evidence of the Trend Coming Back: Besides the Ketchup Dance and Soulja Boy’s Crank That dance, most are annoying memes, namely Peanut Butter Jelly and the Hamster Dance.

How Else it May Be Exploited in 2008 Nostalgia: Girl bands are getting more and more provocative with their look: think The Go Gos vs The Spice Girls… and then look at The Pussycat Dolls:

[especially slutty picture of the PCD, or indeed, any picture of the PCD]

Actually, that’s probably what will happen. The Pussycat Dolls, or similar, will have their new song, let’s assume it will be called something along the lines of ‘I’m a Strong, Independent, Brave, Surviving, Beautiful, Self-Assured Woman’ and the dance in the film clip will entail them just showing their vulva and moving it around a little. Which every female PDC fan from here to the UK will then copy. Which, all in all, might not be a terrible thing, really.

Lisa-Skye Ioannidis is a Melbourne-based writer and editor. You can find more of her barking like a pony here.

# # #

Read more!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

What the Eff?

Here are two sites who have stolen my recent Cracked article, and put it up on their sites without crediting me. One's in Croation, the other's some BS American college paper (who has since taken it down, but not the dozen comments from Cracked readers).

Why do people do this? I don't know if this sort of thing happens to them often, but Cracked has a massive readership; how do these sites think they're not going to get caught?

By all means, spread my writing around like the filthy whore it is. But FFS, credit me and link to here. That's all I ask.

Still to come, the full version. I'll have it up next week.

Wish I could release my flying batmonkeys on them. But I hate monkeys. Read more!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Hi, Cracked Readers!

Hope you enjoyed my article in today's Cracked: 7 Music Trends Whose Return Must Be Stopped.

Have a look around at some of my writing. There will be more spoken word and writing stuff up soon so subscribe to this blog for more updates as they happen... Oooh! Also, the original Cracked draft, 13 Music Trends Whose Return We Fear. It features handsome black men roaming in packs, among 5 other new categories! Also let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is fucking sexy. Read more!

Thursday, 9 October 2008


My first ever review!

It makes me feel like sparkly rainbows inside. Read more!

More Fringe Reviews

Go see Kale Bagdanovs is Cultured, and Felicity Ward's Ugly As A Child. Both feature funny and engaging performances from entertaining, hard working comedians.

Kale's show is about cultural snobbery, set in an intimate gallery (adorned with some lovely art at the moment, from an artist whose name I didn't get). Go a little early and gawk at the pretty pictures.

Felicity's show is an unashamedly personal show, filled with swearies and an It's a Knockout-styled showdown. Ask her why she doesn't drink anymore; I promise it'll be worth it.

See them before Sunday!

There is no more. I lied. Read more!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Let Your Frange Swang Out

Yeah, the title, I don't know either. I think I just miss listening to Jonny McGovern's podcast (I've been listening to my show instead, to burn it into my human brain).

Anyway! I've not been able to see as many Fringe shows as I would have liked, what with the having my own one and all. (Have you got your tickets yet?) But here are two I've seen. Both are highly recommended.

In the Arms of a Lion is a powerful, fascinating one-man show about growing up gay in South Africa in the 1980s and 90s. Utterly heartbreaking at times, always engaging. The hour flew by; I was shocked when I felt the end coming. I knew Peter was a great writer and performer, but who knew he could act, too?

Just Me is Michael Connell's stand up show. It was great to see this after Peter Van Der Merwe left me so friggen devastated, heh. Connell is charming and I laughed continuously throughout his hour-long show. If you hated high school, this is the show for you. Also, if you grew up in the country (which I didn't, but still loled). I'll be watching out for this guy at the 2009 Comedy Festival.

So try to attend both. Garn.

I'll review the other ones I get to see when they happen.

Have you any endorsements for me? Read more!

Thursday, 18 September 2008


Look, just go to the fringe site. Or the Festival site. And get tickets.

Also, I'll be endorsing anything I see and like. But before that, I can't wait to see Peter Van Der Merwe's one man show, In the Arms of a Lion. He's a fantastic writer and great performer, so get your tickets now. More to come when I've seen them.

ps - go buy tickets for our show.

Do it, do it now! Read more!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Podcast Two: An Open Letter to Teenagers

Regarding teenagers, taken from a few of my own experiences. Originally performed at 'True Teen Confessions', organised by Jenny Lee and Shelly O'Reilly in 2006. This was my first spoken word performance, awww.

Any thoughts? Lemme know.
Read more!

Podcast One: The Posers' Guide to Sexuality

A tongue-in-cheek look at the queer lifestyle as seen by hipster posers. Originally performed while I was MCing 'Come As You Are II: Come Harder' in early 2008, so it's a short one.

Care to leave a comment?
Read more!


I've finally podcasted two of my pieces. There will be more in future, but for now, go here and press the 'Play' button. Or to download, search for me in iTunes (it may take a few days to come up since I just set it up, but I'm there).

I'll set up dedicated posts if anyone feels the need to comment. Read more!

Monday, 18 August 2008

A Link and a Quote

Here's a very interesting article about hipsters, via my friend Daniel. Well-written and well worth a read. After the jump, a quote that is so awesome in its awesomeness that I fell helplessly in love with the quoter, Tristan Taormino

'I don't really identify with the label "bisexual", nor does it feel like it accurately describes me... I see myself as queer, since queer to me is not just about who I love or lust, but it's about my culture, my community, and my politics. The truth is, even if I were with a heterosexual guy, I'd be a queer dyke.'

Amen to that. I love this woman. (And here is her NSFW site)
Read more!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Bee Man’s Diary (3,059 Words)

This is the long version of the piece in Verandah 23. It's exploring power and social mores in hetero relationships... Also, I like bees.

Bee Man’s Diary

Friday, November 16
5pm - Appointment with Dr Shrover – Get letter!

The Doctor’s office smells like wet dog wrapped in phonebooks. I wait for him to finish his phone call. The closed-back red vinyl seat strains under my stinger.

Dr Shrover puts down the phone and gives me a level stare. There is a dead bonsai on his desk. He sighs.
‘Well, David, why don’t you tell me why you’re here’. Resigned, as if he knows what’s coming.
‘I need another letter. I… stung someone on the train again.’
He looks at me, exasperated.
‘It wasn’t my fault! It was peak hour, the train was packed!’
‘I can’t keep writing these letters excusing your behaviour.’
‘But if you don’t, he’ll press charges. He’ll sue me for medical damage! It’s not my fault that I have this… thing.’
‘Calm down. Now, don’t you usually wear a sting guard nowadays?’
‘Well, yes, but… this man was really rude, pushing, jostling… AND talking really loudly on his phone! It wasn’t my fault that my sting guard… accidentally… slipped off, and when I bent down to pick it up, he started screaming “you stung me, you stung me!” the train was delayed because we had to get the paramedics.’
‘This has to stop…’ he takes off his glasses. ‘You know about that new procedure. Now we’re able to remove your stinger altogether.’
‘Yes, but... well, I quite like it, is all. I can pierce tricky cans with it, I can hook my shopping on it when I’m opening the door to my flat, it can, um, uh… work as a makeshift sundial if I forget my watch…’
Dr Shrover opens his mouth to speak, but just then the vinyl cover on the seat finally gives and my stinger pierces it with a muffled POP.
‘Sorry,’ I mumble.

Friday, November 16
6.30 – Meet up with Tony for dinner/drinks
I arrive at the pub at 6.42, so I can be settled and have a hassled look on my face for when Tony inevitably arrives 15 minutes late.

At 6.46, Tony walks through the door. Spotting me, he strides to my table.
‘Hey, sorry…’ He points to his watch and does a thumbs-up like a malnourished, remorseful Big Kev. ‘You weren’t waiting long, were you?’
‘Well, we did say 6.30…’ As my oldest, dearest friend, Tony must deal with my Occasional Ungrounded Huffiness.

We go to the counter and order two mixed grills and two pots from the prissy he-bitch waiter, who tosses his hair like a teenage girl as he looks at my stinger and raises an eyebrow. Fuck him; at least my pants aren’t so tight they’re giving me a mock castration. Bloody hospitality queens.
As we sit back down, I carefully arrange my stinger so it pokes to the side of the high-backed chair.

Tony takes a breath. ‘I’m gonna do it.’ He states.

‘Good’, I say, discreetly sniffing my beer before taking the first sip.
I assume that’s the end of this puzzlingly minimalist conversation, until Tony nods his head. ‘At Chelsea’s. Tomorrow night, nine o’clock. It was a spur of the moment thing, but I’ve wanted to do it for ages.’
‘Right you are, then’. I say, putting down my beer and wiping my mouth. ‘So, what exactly is it you’re doing, and do I need to care?’
Tony looks at me, grinning. ‘Stand up comedy. Chelsea’s has an amateur night on Saturdays. People are always telling me I’m funny. I reckon this’ll be the start of something huge’.
‘Who tells you you’re funny?’
‘You know, people. Girls.’ He adds, wiggling his eyebrows so they look like hyperventilating black grubs.
‘They only say that so they don’t have to fuck you. “Funny” has platonic connotations. It’s your beard. Women don’t like it. Shave it and you’ll get “charming”, which is either “you intimidate the hell out of me, let me put your man-parts in my mouth”, or “you’re creepy and I want out”.’
‘That’s total bullshit. Who told you that theory?’
Tony stiffens. ‘Oh. Well then.’
‘Well what? You do that every time I mention her. For the six-thousandth-cunting time, don’t you like her?’
‘She’s fine. Anyway, what I think is of no consequence as long as you’re happy spending time with her. So as I was saying, I’m on at nine tomorrow, you should come, give me some moral support.’
‘Cool. We’re doing wedding stuff in the daytime, but during the night we’re free.’ Tony again bristles at the use of ‘we’. ‘Fucking what?’ I say in frustration.
‘Your mixed grill, Sir’ huffs Queenie the Waiter, who has come up next to me.
‘I’ll put that in my act’ Tony sniggers.

* * *

We end up celebrating Tony’s upcoming debut by drinking too much and going to the cheesy rock bar across from the pub. Tony claps and shuffles to ‘Run to Paradise’ as I… do seventies dance moves and wag my stinger around. Tony plays air-guitar with my stinger during a Bon Jovi song. What can I say; we do stupid things when we’re drunk together. It’s the reason you have mates, isn’t it?

Saturday, November 17
More Wedding stuff with Trisha
I wake up to the crushing feel of a stack of magazines hitting my bladder and groin through the doona. I cough-moan pathetically and open my eyes.

‘Morning!’ Trisha kisses me. ‘Sorry I was so late last night. Jess and Peter are having another crisis, so we all had to go round to Jess’ to watch her eat pudding and cry.’

Tiredness bitchslapping me into an awkward shuffle-limp, I stagger to the bathroom. I misjudge the width of the doorway, and catch my stinger against it, which partially spins me and makes me hit my elbow on the other side of the doorway. I swear loudly.

‘What is it, Sweetie?’ Trisha calls from the bedroom.
‘I caught my bloody stinger on the bloody doorway’.
‘Don’t be such a sook. You don’t even have any feeling in it!’
‘Yeah, but my…’ it’s too much effort. At the toilet I stick my crotch out so I can no-hands it while I cradle my elbow. Owwww.

When I return to the bedroom, Trisha has the magazines spread out on the bed and opened on bookmarked pages.

‘So Tony’s decided to do stand up comedy, and he wants us to go to his big debut tonight.’
Trisha purses her lips. ‘Fine’. She snaps.
‘What’s wrong? You like Tony, don’t you?’
‘Yeah, he’s charming. Anyway, what I think is of no consequence as long as you’re happy with spending time with him.’
‘OK, cool’ I say, kissing her. ‘It starts at nine.’
‘Ok. As long as you don’t drink too much and do that stupid dancing thing you guys do.’
I give my best ‘innocence-wronged’ look. ‘Hmph. So! Where are we?’
‘We’re at groom and groomsmen’s tuxes. I have a few I think you’d like…’
‘That one’s nice… Jesus, Trisha. Look at the prices. Why don’t I just hire one?’
Trisha gives me that look. Where she stares at me blankly, looks pointedly at my stinger, then looks back to my face. Self conscious, I grab my stinger with one hand and a pillow with the other. I place the pillow on top of it. Trisha frowns and takes my hand.
‘Sweetie, I talked to Dr Shrover last week…’
‘Why were you at the Doctors’?’
Her hand flies to her stomach. ‘Just a check-up. Anyway, he said he was going to talk to you about… removing it.’

Hmm. Doesn’t that infringe on patient confidentiality? Well, I guess that’s what I get for going to a Doctor with an ‘every 11th visit free’ frequency card programme. Trisha takes a breath.
‘Why don’t you get rid of it? I’m sick of having to take your new pants to be altered. And buying backless chairs. And… I want to cuddle up to you in bed, without having to check if you’re facing me or not. And think of how nice the photos will be at the wedding, if we can take side shots without, you know…’ She flicks my stinger. She hardly ever touches it anymore.

It wasn’t like this at the start. When Trisha and I met (we were both drones in the same boring, soulless office) she loved my stinger. She’d scream with laughter when I’d wag it in front of people to freak them out. I once wrote ‘I Love You’ in the sand with it when we were on holiday at the beach. And she would caress it when we kissed. I loved that; even though I couldn’t feel it, it made me feel like… she accepted me.

But over the last year or so, she’s been more and more negative towards it. I told her to love me as I was. She told me I didn’t respect what she wanted and she was just trying to make me a better person. We didn’t talk for two days; I was scared of losing her. Then, on the third day of our fight, I found her in the kitchen, kissed her and turned around. There was an engagement ring hooked on my stinger. She laughed and burst into tears at the same time.

Ever since then, we’ve been at a stand-off. She tells me removing my stinger will make me a more successful person. I tell her it’s a part of me, and I like it. I used to turn it back on her, and say things like ‘Well, I don’t tell you to get bigger boobs’ or ‘If I get my stinger removed, will you start doing yoga?’ (She’s not very flexible). I had to stop doing that, though, because every time I’d make counter-accusations, she’d start to cry, and talk about how insecure I made her feel. And I’d feel like the biggest bastard in the world, making my beautiful, fragile little orchid so sad. Now I just say this:
‘I’ll think about it’ even though we both know I’m never, ever going to get my stinger removed.

Saturday, November 17
9pm – Tony’s Début!
Trisha and I arrive early to get a table. But Tony has obviously spread the news around: we spot Jess and Peter (more Trisha’s friends but Peter and Tony work together), at a table near the front, off to the side. Jess waves us over and I go join them while Trisha goes to the bathroom.

I’m nervous, since I’ve only met Jess a few times, and I’ve met Peter just once, briefly. But I try to make conversation. ‘So…’ I begin, ‘it seems everything is sunshine and roses with you guys again…’

Jess frowns at me. She’s one of those people that look like they’re always frowning, though her eyebrows lower even more and her eyes squint to little perplexed lines.
‘Well, since you had a tiff, and…’
‘No, we didn’t…’ Jess and Peter exchange looks.
‘Oh, it’s just that Trish said…’
‘Ohhhh’ says Jess. ‘Yes, yes, we did have a bit of an argument. But we’re fine now.’ She gives a heavy look to Peter, who doesn’t seem very fine.

Trish comes to join us. Peter keeps staring at my stinger, but then trying to ‘not’ stare. I poke it out of my seat a little more, so it’s ‘pointing’ at him. Hehe.

‘Well!’ Says Jess, turning to Trisha. ‘You would not believe what this one did last week!’ She flicks her head to Peter.

‘I worked late, so he said he’d get dinner. I thought he meant, like, he was going to get some Chinese or something. But when I got home – ’ she shakes her head and giggles. Trisha starts to giggle in anticipation. ‘He had the cookbooks out! Turns out, he wanted to “try” this chicken recipe. It was an absolute disaster; we ended up getting pizza!’ their giggles tumble into laughter. Peter smiles in a sheepish, ‘look at me, I’m so silly’ way. Jess kisses him on the cheek. ‘But bless him for trying’. They laugh some more.

‘You don’t mind me “trying” to empty the traps whenever we get mice!’ Peter says, all jolly good humour. ‘You should see her, David; she hides in the bedroom till all the traps are out in the bin!’ He puts his arm around her.

‘At least he tried to use a recipe book!’ Trisha tells Jess. ‘David tried to “wing it” making a stir-fry a few days ago… I ended up taking over; he had no idea, poor thing!’ She cuddles up to me and everyone laughs, playing that old Battle of the Sexes cliché. I want to join in.

‘Yeah, but when the ring came off that can of water chestnuts, who used his stinger to pry it open?’ I laugh good-naturedly, but everyone else is silent. I’m about to speak again when the lights go down.

Tony’s on first. The MC, a pedestrian local comedian, does some tired material about what would happen if his dog got drunk. Then he introduces Tony, who has abandoned his usual ‘shirt and pants’ look, and is wearing very light stonewash jeans and a white t-shirt. He thanks the audience for their applause. He looks confident. Perhaps he’ll surprise me.

‘So, have you ever noticed that, like, every food label has “may contain traces of nuts” on it? Like, what’s so special about nuts, hey?’

There’ll be no surprises tonight.

I’m about to do a big, supportive laugh anyway. But I’m distracted – a man’s voice from somewhere towards the back shouts out: ‘It’s because some people are extremely allergic, and even trace elements of nuts could kill them’.

Tony stares out into the crowd. He giggles nervously and clears his throat. ‘Well, that sucks, hey? Allergies suck. I mean, I mean…. I’m allergic to the latex in condoms, so whenever I meet a girl our first date’s always romantic. I take her to get a pill prescription and an STD check-up!’

This is grim. He’s not actually allergic to latex, and he’s told me this joke before. Again, I’m beaten to a laugh, this time by another voice around the left.

‘Why don’t you try vinyl condoms, then? You can get them shipped from Germany.’

Oh, this is bad. Bad, bad, bad. But he still has two minutes of his three-minute set to go, and I plan on being his own personal laugh track.

‘Germany, don’t get me started on Germany. I mean, do you know what the number six is in German? I was at this bar in Germany and…’
‘Excuse me,’ I whisper to Peter as I slip passed him and creep towards the bathrooms. I told Tony this was a bad idea.
Tony spots me getting up. ‘Hey!’ He says, squinting into the audience. ‘Look! It’s my good friend David McCrossin! Does anyone remember the Bee Boy? This is him! Everybody, let’s hear it for the Bee Boy!’

I look around and give an awkward little wave. I’ll kill him for this. When I was born, I was obviously a bit of a curiosity. Sixty Minutes did an annual feature on me, Bee Boy’s Journey, till I was about six. By then, I was going to school, and the kids called me Bee Boy till they got sick of my abnormality and started teasing another kid whose left arm was visibly longer than his right. Every so often, people remember me. I usually don’t mind, they’re always polite. But I don’t like Tony using me as a distraction. Especially since this means I’m going to have to sign some autographs ‘with my stinger’ later on. That’ll get Trisha all embarrassed again. Which is crazy; because even if she had, I don’t know, three extra breasts, I wouldn’t care. I would love her the way she was. Who cares if people stare sometimes? Strangers mean nothing.

Plus, three more boobs? It’d be kind of hot.

‘Anyway, people, I’ve gotta go. I’ve been Tony Motwill, and you’ve been great!’ Tony waves and runs offstage to the sound of scatter-clacky applause. I shuffle to the men’s toilets. At least if people accost me there, Trisha won’t see.

Sunday, November 18
Nothing Planned
I wake up after some… weird dreams. Mostly about chainsaws, lawnmowers; buzzing, scraping things. But I always have weird dreams after a big night. See, we had to take Tony out afterwards, buy him alcohol, and make sure we never spoke of the show again. What? You would have done the same.

I roll over and Trisha is on her side of the bed, sleeping peacefully.
Then I see it.

In the middle of the bed, between us, is my stinger.

But… it’s not on me. It’s just laying there. I feel my lower back. No sticky blood, just a flattish, jagged rough patch where my stinger used to be.

I let out a scream. Trisha wakes up and turns around. She sees my stinger. Then the horrified look on my face.

‘Sweetie, this is wonderful,’ she says. ‘Not only do you not have to make a decision about whether to keep your stinger or not, we’re finally rid of that… that inconvenience! I feel like we’ve made a huge jump forward!’
‘We have to go to the hospital.’
‘David, you’ll be fine. They said it wouldn’t get infected or need dressing. I mean, I don’t think it’ll get infected or need dressing.’

I pick up the stinger, tears in my eyes. ‘I’m going to get it reattached’. I say. For a moment, Trisha is silent.
‘No, no, David, no you’re not. Look, this is the best thing. You’re normal now, and I can look forward to my normal life with my normal husband. Think about it. No more stares. No more ripped sheets and clothes… no more walking around with a sock on your back when it’s laundry day and your sting guard’s in the wash.’ She gets up, staring down at me on the bed. I’m determinedly cradling my stinger. ‘This is all for the best. If you get that reattached, then you’re going to lose me.’ She starts to cry. Oh god, I hate when she cries. It makes me want to do anything to take away her pain.

I get out of bed and give her a hug.

Monday, November 19
Schedule Appointment for Stinger Reattachment (Keep stinger on ice)
And I couldn’t be happier.

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Thursday, 7 August 2008

What do I Know? (1,580 Words)

This was a piece I did in Creative Non-Fiction class back in 2004. I'd already done a few elaborately-researched pieces on Islam and Autism, so I felt I could rock out lazy style. And it worked: inexplicably I got top marks. Woo... hm. Also, I submitted it in a sans serif font. GOD.

My voice has changed a lot in the past four years - here, I often found my younger self grating. I think I've become more self-depreciating, and just... better. 

Also, I never got the puppy.


‘You learn something new every day’ Usually a trite remark uttered by someone who’s sheepish about being in their mid twenties and not knowing where Cuba is. 

But is it true? I mean, how could your brain handle learning something completely new, every single day of your life? I wrote down everything I learned in a week, and found that it was. Go Team Brain! Here’s some of what each day taught me…


A Mother’s Love May Be Finite. 
My mother recently sold her shop, which was on a busy, inner-city road. I was renting the residency upstairs. The shop’s sale happened pretty quickly, so I proposed to my Mum that I move home for a month or two, so I could check out other share houses at my leisure, post-essay season. I haven’t lived with my parents for about two years, so I thought they’d snap up the offer. More time to dote on me, like in high school! Yeah, well. They said that if I move in with my suicidal, black-clad Greek grandmother, (in lieu of moving back home), they’d offer me my own private phone line. 

And a puppy. 

Despite that weird feeling in my stomach that harbingers a knowledge that my parents may not love me as much as I think they do, I’m not made of stone. I’m taking the fucking puppy. And I may even call him Gruselug, or ‘Groo’ for short. Puppy! They played me like a fiddle, my damn firstborn-hating parents did. But I’ll have my revenge. I will not be using my new phone line to call them. Ever. Hah! 

Never Get Into It With an Old, Greek Taxi Driver. 
I’m running late to a friend’s party and decide to take a taxi. The driver then proceeds to argue with me about my friend’s address, Vis, ‘It can’t be number 512 if we’re turning left, the numbers go the other way on that well-known street.’ I politely explain that my friend has lived in his house for three years. I have visited his house dozens of times. I have sent mail to his address. But no. You, Mister Taxi Driver, you know where my fucking friend lives, because you think the numbers go the other way. Even when we stopped, and I showed him the street number on my friend’s door, a stately gold 512, the taxi driver shook his head as if it were an elaborate scam. What the fuck? I get the last laugh though, since, you know, he drives taxis for a living.


Apparently, a Human Female’s Ovaries Are Quite Low (as in, below the bellybutton) and They’re, Like, the Size of Almonds. 
So… not roughly where the kidneys are, and not the size of 20-cent pieces. Don’t ask. Suffice to say, I’m an ignorant humanities student, and I’m never going to that gynaecologist again. 

Some People Really Hate the Word ‘Cunt’. 
Which, judgmental little cow that I am, really frustrates me. Because, like fuck means sex, and shit means excrement, cunt means vagina. It’s expletive slang for vagina. Yes? Yes. And what’s expletive slang for penis? Well, mostly ‘dick’, or ‘cock’. Now, the word ‘dick’ is used in playgrounds, in semi-polite conversation, even on TV. But use the female equivalent and it’s Holocaust: the Sequel. Whenever I say ‘Gretel Kileen’s a complete dick’, people laugh at how topical I’m being (well, except for Blair McDonough. He just dobs). But if I were to say, ‘Gretel Kileen’s a complete cunt’ I’d get, as always, one or two women getting all pernickety about ‘ooh, I don’t like that word’. I mean, Jesus. It’s infinitely better than ‘pussy’ and all the derogatory puns that implies. If everyone were to use the cunt-word as freely as the word ‘dick’, wouldn’t that be equality? And as for it being misogynist, oh, fuck off, you dick-wad cock-head. Do you get my point?


Suburbs – City – Suburbs = Not a smooth transition
I thought I was still a suburban girl at heart. I’ve lived in inner-city area share houses for two years, where a taxi fare from the city is still in single-figures. I’ve had over a dozen cool cafes in a 1-k radius, and three pubs but a 4-minute stumble away. But, whenever I heard Van Halen’s ‘Hot for Teacher’, I would always cough and discreetly turn up the stereo. Now, after moving back to the suburbs this week, I’ve realised it takes more than a guilty pleasure in 80s hair rock to be a suburban kid again. 

To my own dismay, I’ve unwittingly urbanised myself. I actually tut-tutted disdainfully when I saw that the Asian foods section of my new supermarket was, like, one metre long, as opposed to an entire aisle. I despaired when I found that there were no milkbars around that stocked the expensive-but-yummy gourmet fruit juices I’m addicted to. Well, at least moving to the suburbs means I get a puppy. Maybe even a Basenji; they’re small but used to hunt lions. And they don’t bark, they yodel: how cool is that? Plus, they have a wrinkly forehead like a vampire pup. Awwwww. 


Beware of Doting Grandmothers With Too Much Time on Their Hands

I do a load of washing, hang it up on the line and go to work. I come back from work, and what do I expect? That’s right, clean, dry laundry, patiently swaying backward and forward in the breeze, while an empty white laundry basket squats nearby, waiting to collect said washing to bring it inside, whereupon it shall be jammed unfolded into drawers. What do I find instead? My washing all folded and ironed. Aw, how nice of my grandmother, I think. Then I see the socks look funny. 

The socks have been ironed. 

So have my undies. 

And – I hold them up to the light - so have my bras.

Let me tell you, wearing an entire outfit of ironed freshness is… odd, to say the least. And now my bras all have a rather creative ‘conical’ shape to them; Madonna, eat your heart out. 

Next time, I’ll make laundry day my day off. 

The More Hassled You Appear, the Busier People Assume You Are. 
This is something I actually learnt awhile back, but it’s held me in good stead my entire working life. If you work in a busy office, and you wanna slack off a little, or you just want to walk around a bit, make sure you do the following: 
- Hold a piece of paper, and
- Look hassled. 
Seriously, it’s gold. If you’re just walking around smiling, well, you’re clearly slacking off. But, but, if you’re holding a piece of paper, walking up and down the aisles and office corridors with a big, put-upon scowl on your face, then you’re someone on a mission. NOTE: just use this trick sparingly, otherwise you’ll be known as That Surly Wanker in Finance. 


Basenji Bitches Only Breed in Winter

Like a dingo, they’re only in heat once a year, in May/June. It’s October now, so that means I’ll have to wait another seven months if I really want that Basenji pup. Arse. Perhaps I’ll look at getting a Tibetan Spaniel instead. They have kind, wise eyes. Plus, a fun, pretentious name. ‘Yes, well I ow-en a p-yoor bred Tibetan Spaniel.’ Oh, I can hear myself now. I’m such a wanker.  

Eating Meat-Based Meals Twice a Day, Every Day, Won’t Kill You
Or so says my grandmother. Although I think after two weeks of steak for lunch, rissoles for dinner, my digestive track might beg to differ. Mental note: avoid letting grandmother cook all my meals. And try to go veg at least thrice weekly. 


Tibetian Spaniels Are Only Available in, erm, Tibet.


Like ‘The Customer Is Always Right’, ‘The Rostering Guy Is Always Cool’
And unless you want to find yourself working the five pm to eleven pm shift on New Year’s Eve, or the eight am shift on Boxing day, you’ll respect that, and take him to the pub often. And, when in the workplace, you’ll always ask about how his Star Wars figurine collection is going. 


Most People Just Say ‘To Hell With It!’ and Get a Golden Retriever

And now I know why. 

Don’t Sneeze In a Car of Stoned Parents.
Otherwise the following little scene may happen to you:

Scene: Inside the family station wagon. 
Characters: Father (driving), Mother (front passenger), Lisa (rear passenger). Mother and Father are stoned. Lisa is sober. 
Lisa Sneezes. 
Mother and Father whirl around, staring at Lisa. Together, they say:
Mother and Father: (shocked) Are you alright?!
Lisa: yes… I just sneezed. What?
Mother: it wasn’t a regular sneeze!
Father: No… I thought you threw up or something!
Lisa: (mildly exasperated at parents who refuse to leave the 60s) No. It was just a regular sneeze. 
Father: Whoaa….
Mother: Are you sure you’re alright?
Lisa: yes, it was just a sneeze. I assure you I’m fine. 
Mother and Father giggle. 
Lisa: Um, stop the car. I’m right to walk from here, thanks. 

So the main thing I’ve learnt this week? Some people will never grow up. And sometimes, that’s a good thing. Unless you’re driving; then it can be a safety hazard. 

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Disclaimer: My Dad is a responsible man, and actually drives quite well when mildly stoned, as that’s how he spent the better part of two-and-a-half decades. Sigh.

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Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Spoken Word!

Chris is in China doing some car chases with a guy called Benny Chan (no, really). But when he gets back, we're going to record a podcast of a few of my spoken word pieces. It promises to be at least semi-funny. Stay tuned!  Read more!

Monday, 30 June 2008

The Most Asinine Rhymes to Hit #1 on 1990s Music Charts

This piece was originally submitted to, but they had a piece from awhile back that was same, same, but better. Enjoy!

Pop music from the 90s has a lot to answer for. Like why is seeing Mark Wahlberg’s underwear bunching up out of his jeans considered sexy? And why did Bobby Brown feel he needed to forgo a shirt when wearing a suit jacket? And for the love of god, what was with Paula Abdul and that cat in the ‘Opposites Attract’ filmclip? They were fucking, right?

All of these questions could probably be answered with ‘sweet, sweet record-company grade cocaine’. But that doesn’t explain why the lyrics in 90s pop songs were so fucking terrible. Wait, maybe it does. Let’s push on anyway.

Jon Bon Jovi, Blaze of Glory (1990)

Lyric in Question: ‘I’m a devil on the run/A six gun lover/A candle in the wind, yeah.’ Also, that one in the next verse, where he compares himself to a horse.

What Makes it so Asinine?: What happens when the frontman of a popular 80s suburban hair rock bands decides to pursue a solo career? He decides to become a cowboy. And you can be his cowgirl. (Wait, wrong song).

Further Offences to Pop Music: ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, in which Jon continues to be a cowboy, but with less apologies to Elton John… by then he knew who to cling to, when the rain set in.

C+C Music Factory, Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) (1990)

Lyric in Question: ‘Peace and lyrics to make your shake your pants’, ‘I'm gonna make you sweat till you bleed/Is that ... enough, indeed’ and various other filler while we’re waiting for the Soulful Black Woman™ to sing again.

What Makes it so Asinine?: Enough indeed. If blood’s coming out of your sweat glands, either you need to see a doctor, or your some kind of really disgusting vampire. And they’ll make you ‘shake your pants’? We’re assuming the song is so fucking groovy, you'll actually ejaculate in your pants and have to shake off the gooey white residue.

Further Offences to Pop Music: Ok, so it’s not so bad per se. This was just a random choice to represent that ever so 90s genre of ‘Girl Sings Repetitive Chorus, Man Raps Menacingly in Background’ (also see Culture Beat, The Real McCoy, Black Box…)

New Kids on the Block, Step by Step (1990)

Lyric in Question: Steps one to five, in which NKOTB 1. Indicates they will have a wealth of fun, 2. Assures the girl that they have plenty of options for activities, 3. Specifies that such activities should be restricted to the girl and NKOTB, 4. NKOTB are able to provide an abundance of… ‘more’, and 5. That this is, in fact, a timely place to commence said activities.

What Makes it so Asinine?: Not since Sesame Street’s awesome song about the numbers one to twelve has counting been so important to a song.

Further Offences to Pop Music: The aforementioned M. Wahlberg Underwear sightings, and blazing the trail for bands like N-Sync, which begat Justin Timberlake, who dragged sexy, kicking and screaming, back into the domain of Michael Jackson impersonators.

Roxette, Joyride (1991)

Lyric in Question: ‘Don't need no book of wisdom/I get no money talk at all/She has a train going downtown.’

What Makes it so Asinine?: Wait… what? I know English wasn’t their first language, but… what?

Further Offences to Pop Music: From ‘The Look’: ‘Fire in the ice, naked to the T-bone/Is a lover's disguise, banging on the head drum/Shaking like a mad bull, she's got the look’ Shaking like a mad bull? Now, we at Cracked can’t say we’re choosy when it comes to Femme Fatales, but even we’d think twice about putting the word to some girl who was in the midst of an epileptic fit. Probably. Also, some unforgivable offences to hair mousse.

Prince and the New Power Generation, Cream (1991)

Lyric in Question: ‘Cream/Get on top/Cream/You will cop/Cream/Don't you stop/Cream/Sh-boogie bop’ and the inexplicable ‘Look up in the air, it's your guitar’

What Makes it so Asinine?: What will she cop? Some overly-attentive lovemaking at the hands of Prince himself? Is ‘cream’ what they called bukake before the internet? And, for the love of god, why is her guitar hurtling though the air? Is this just a bad reaction to Viagra, and Prince was sitting there tripping while his patient ladyfriend applied more lipstick and glanced at her watch?

Further Offences to Pop Music: Being four foot tall dressed head to toe in frilly purple velvet, and still getting more vagina that we ever could. More an offence to society rather than pop music, though it doesn’t make us any less bitter about it.

Michael Jackson, Black or White (1991)

Lyric in Question: ‘I took my baby on a Saturday bang/Boy is that girl with you, yes were one and the same/Now I believe in miracles/And a miracle has happened tonight/But, if you’re thinkin’ about my baby/It don’t matter if you’re black or white’

What Makes it so Asinine?: A fuzzy feel-good anti-racism message doesn’t make up for the fact that this song actually makes no sense. Go read all the lyrics. We’ll wait here. Also, the rappin’ bridge almost categorises this in ‘female vocalist/menacing male rapper’ territory.

Further Offences to Pop Music: This was just before it all started fucking up for Michael Jackson. He was on the good side of the eccentric/freakish map. Then the same album featured a song purportedly about fucking Diana Ross, and we believe that’s when the map shifted and things started getting weird with good ol’ MJ. Really, really weird.

Mr Big, To Be with You (1991)

Lyric in Question: ‘Hold on little girl/Show me what he's done to you… So come on baby, come on over/Let me be the one to show you.’

What Makes it so Asinine?: Less asinine, more dubious: the constant references to the ‘little girl’ by the famously gender-ambiguous lead singer force us to assume s/he’s wooing a child here. Possibly one who has been recently molested by some other guy.

Further Offences to Pop Music: Knocking Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m too Sexy’ off the Billboard charts. A blow to novelty song lovers and mesh shirt aficionados everywhere. Also, ‘To Be With You’ spawned a cover by budget boy band Westlife.

Snap!, Rhythm is a Dancer (1992)

Lyric in Question: ‘I'm serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer’

What Makes it so Asinine?: And we’re as grave as blood in your come when we say those lyrics are really dumb. Also note, this is yet another woman sings/man menacingly raps song. Christ, the nineties were utterly retarded for this formula.

Further Offences to Pop Music: When they re-released the song in 2003.

Vanessa Williams, Save the Best for Last (1992)

Lyric in Question: ‘Sometimes the snow comes down in June/Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon’

What Makes it so Asinine?: Now, we at Cracked don’t need to confirm with our on-hand elite team of science doctors, since we’re pretty sure that the latter… doesn’t happen.

Further Offences to Pop Music: …Needn’t be discussed. However, it would be remiss of us not to mention the infamous girl-on-girl pics that had her stripped of her Miss America crown.

Kris Kross, Jump (1992)

Lyric in Question: ‘Some of them try to rhyme but they can't rhyme like this Go Go/Some of them try to rhyme but they can't rhyme like this Go Go… Cause I'm the miggida miggida miggida Mac Daddy.’

What Makes it so Asinine?: Actually, I’m pretty sure ‘they’ too can rhyme ‘go’ with ‘go’, and ‘miggida’ with ‘miggida’.

Further Offences to Pop Music: Oh, and ‘Don't try to compare us to another bad little fad’? Dude, you wore your clothes back to front. Thank Christ that fad never took off. Oh, also, the Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac would now be about 27 and 28 by now. With pubes and all. Sobering.

Ace of Base, The Sign (1993)

Lyric in Question: ‘No one’s gonna drag you up/To get into the light where you belong/But where do you belong?’

What Makes it so Asinine?: Um, in the light is where I belong, wasn’t that established in the previous line? But then, why ask? Hang on, what?

No, we’ll try not to be too harsh here, as again, English was their second language. But in the interest of full disclosure, ‘Life is demanding without understanding’ was the inspiration for this entire article.

Further Offences to Pop Music: All That She Wants, (‘All that she wants/is another baby, she’s gone tomorrow boy’). Seriously, that song was fucking cryptic. Was it a ‘pump your sperm in me so I can harvest your seed and use you to make child then leave’ a la Heart’s ‘All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You’? Or was it just, ‘I’m the town doorknob, everyone gets a turn, and you know? That’s awesome for me because I’ve actually got quite a few issues with my father’?

Silk, Freak Me (1993)

Lyric in Question: ‘Baby don't you understand/I wanna be your nasty man/I wanna make your body scream…’

What Makes it so Asinine?: Known as the ‘Let’s Get it On’ of the 90s by black men smoother than you, the whole ‘nasty man’/‘body screaming’ thing makes us think less of an attractive, masculine lover and more of Hanibal Lector.

Further Offences to Pop Music: …Can be found in the same song: ‘Take off what you cherish most/Cuz when I brag I like to brag and boast’ Wait… what?

Ini Kamoze, Here Comes the Hotstepper (1995)

Lyric in Question: ‘Here comes the Hotstepper, murderer/I’m the lyrical gangster, murderer/Excuse me mister officer, murderer/Still love you like that, murderer’ Also, ‘Start like a jack rabbit/Finish in front of it/On the night is jack, that’s it, understand/I’m the daddy of the Mack Daddy/His are left in gold, maybe, Ain’t no homie gonna play me, top celebrity man’.

What Makes it so Asinine?: Refreshing to see a man unashamed of his policeman fetish.

It's entirely possible that we here at Cracked are simply not funky enough to recognise the true funk-laden genius of this song, and in our foolhardy pasty nerdesque way have overlooked it for asininity. That said, the revelation in the last lyrics mean it’s at least nice to know that one of the members of Kriss Kross took on the family business.

Further Offences to Pop Music: Kamoze had the good grace to fade away into obscurity after this song, which is essentially a ripoff of the Beatle’s ‘Come Together’.

Hanson, MMMBop (1997)

Lyric in Question: You already know.

What Makes it so Asinine?: You already know.

Further Offences to Pop Music: Making us think the middle one was… well, you already know.

Sugar Ray, Fly (1997)

Lyric in Question: ‘Dance a little stranger, show me where you've been… who knows how long I've loved you/Everyone I know has been so good to me/Twenty-five years old, my mother God rest her soul/I just wanna fly’

What Makes it so Asinine?: The first part just makes me think of some girl doing a heaving Ian Curtis impression before showing the singer slides from her recent trip to historic Scotland. And the love/good to me/dead mother thing, well, that’s just plain fucking stupid.

Further Offences to Pop Music: Just the ongoing life of Mark McGrath, aka The Smuggest Fucking Fratboy on the Fucking Planet. (‘All around the world statues crumble for me’, wtf?). Fun fact: the single was succeeded by Smashmouth’s ‘Walkin’ on the Sun’ which proves the month in question was a busy time for single purchasing if you were a cocky, date raping douchebag.

Brandy and Monica, The Boy Is Mine (1998)

Lyric in Question: ‘[Brandy] Excuse me, can I please talk to you for a minute
[Monica] Uh huh, sure, you know you look kinda familiar
[Brandy] Yeah, you do too but, umm, I just wanted to know do you know somebody named you, you know his name
[Monica] Oh, yeah definitely I know his name
[Brandy] I just wanted to let you know he's mine.
[Monica] Huh... no no, he's mine.’

What Makes it so Asinine?: Oooh, awkwarrrrd. Actually, this one’s asinine more for story than lyrical phrasing. Instead of fighting over some dude who'd been double dipping both of them, wouldn't a better last verse show them deciding to do away with the 'playa' and dive at each other's ladybits? I mean, sure, Brandy's face looks like it's been melted off and sculpted back, but it’d still make for the most popular film clip amongst sweaty-palmed teen boys since pre-ravaged Brittney was in red leather.

Further Offences to Pop Music: From Monica, just a bunch of album titles too narcissistic for even an 80s hair rock band: Miss Thang, All Eyez on Me, The Makings of Me… As for Brandy, her crime is more the list of woeful movies and TV shows she’s Jim Carey-gurned her way through (what with her face and all).

Special Mention:

Snow, Informer (1993)

Lyric in Question: [indecipherable]

What Makes it so Asinine?: This is what happens when some white Canadian boy does reggae. He sings like he needs a tissue to spit out a mouthful of his cellmate’s love goo. Also, his real name is Darrin. Darrin.

Further Offences to Pop Music: The album title ‘12 Inches of Snow’.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Under Construction

Hi everyone,

Soon I'll be putting a few of my pieces on here, in spoken word form. It promises to be ever so much fun.

Other very exciting things are in the works, but I can't talk about them just yet. Stay tuned! Read more!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Lisa-Skye Ioannidis!

(Not really).

Hello, random google stalkers.

If you want to know about me, Lisa-Skye Ioannidis (aka Lisa Ioannidis) the best place to look is probably my facebook profile. Just don't go turning me into a vampire, pirate, or anything wacky.

Long story short, I'm a writer working as an editor. I live in Preston with my soulmate Chris. I'm fun to know. For anything else you'd like to know, email me at the address on the left <-- Read more!