Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Meme Mia, here I go again

The venerable Terence McDanger, or MooDog, has a pants-wettingly funny blog you should visit. He’s clearly Irish (and strangely proud of it); holds a grudge against The Famous Five (who doesn’t) and, perhaps most admirably, has a ‘Farts’ category with four entries in it. Truly a top bloke. Anyhow, he’s ‘Meme-d’ me. No, it doesn’t hurt, but I’ve got to do what he says because he knows my name and probably my address and I don’t want to be knee-capped. Not even in a ‘I love your writing’ kind of way. So here goes:

Seven random and weird facts (is that all?):
1. Until I was about 19 I never knew that the writer of The Famous Five, Secret Seven, Folk of the Faraway Tree, Naughty Amelia Jane etc was ENID Blyton. All of her books were stamped with her signature which, to me, looked like GNID. Thank god I never had to say her name out loud: it didn’t feature too much in country town South Australia conversation.

2. The first time I got drunk was the night before my first day at university at the ripe old age of seventeen and a quarter. A gutful of fruity lexia cask wine imbibed in the President of Lincoln College’s rooms before flopping like a dyslexic starfish into my friend's bed. The next day I staggered down the North Adelaide hill to uni, ready to meet up with high school acquaintances Angela and Barry: we three nervous country kids needed to stick together in order to survive the scary big city…(!?). They saw my agonised walk, grey face and general reek of stale wine and gave me their best cats’ bums’ looks of disapproval. I never met up with them after that – Barry was too busy trying to pretend he wasn’t gay and Angela had a long bus ride to her grandmother’s house and could therefore never go pub crawling.

3. The first record I ever bought was ‘The Best of Abba’ in 1976, at a huge cost of $5. The second I’d seen and heard ‘SOS’ on Countdown, I was hooked. I had long blonde hair like Agnetha but the face of Benny. It didn’t matter: the disc got played and played and played on my parents’ radiogram (their 1964 wedding present) in glorious mono non-surround sound, and I danced around the pool table, annoying my brothers as Mum and Dad hid in the kitchen. Everyone got something out of it.

4. The first CD I ever bought was ‘I’m an adult now’ by the Pursuit of Happiness. I never heard about them again. I’ve learned since that naming an entire album after your one and only hit song sort of indicates that you’re crap. I have at least 20 other CDs that show it took me twenty one lessons before I avoided such albums.

5. When I was nineteen, my seventeen year old brother and I took a student job picking garlic. We had three months of summer ‘holidays’ stretching between university and desperately needed to supplement our $9 per week ‘Austudy allowance’ (apparently my father’s high school teaching salary was too huge for anything more, despite having three kids at uni at the same time); the apricot season hadn’t yet begun and I was too involved in my boyfriend to take on any babysitting jobs. The garlic bulbs were already turned out of the ground by a hoeing machine and we had to crawl on our hands and knees up and down the rows to dig them out, shake off the dirt and fling them into buckets. It started to drizzle which made things a helluva lot messier and it was deadly boring. Little brother dared me to eat a raw garlic clove. I did and nearly burned off the bottom half of my brain. Mum wouldn’t let me come inside the house until I’d stripped naked and run several laps through the lawn sprinkler and skolled a litre of Listerine. Not my most fragrant moment.
6. Alrighty, here’s the ONE and only chocolate-related factoid that Terence McDanger is letting me include in this meme. In Aberdeen, Scotland, when I was 12-going-on-13, I discovered the sickly wonder that is the Cadbury Crème Egg. I also discovered that chocolate in the UK is about half the price that it is here in Oz. We girls were all mad for them. Lindsay – who, on reflection, kind of reminded me of Porky Pig but in a much less feminine way – dared me to eat one during science class. This dare attracted me because I was about as interested in science as she was in oestrogen, and my Os-shtray-yun accent was always the source of much amusement on the rare occasion I stuck my hand up to answer a question. I unpeeled the foil and didn’t take any oozy nibbles of it during the class but shoved the whole baby in my mouth in one go, hoping like hell that I wouldn’t get nominated to speak. I then spent the next 40 minutes with my mouth firmly clamped shut, letting the chocolate and syrup melt slowly away. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in science class and that includes the time that Philippa accidentally popped the bile bag during our sheep heart and lungs dissection in year nine…..

7. The single moment in film history that made me laugh more than any other, ever, was Steve Martin (who I’m not a fan of by the way) playing ‘Ruprecht,’ Michael Caine’s rather ‘special’ brother in ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.’ The rest of the movie hasn’t dated well, but his behaviour still cracks me up. Just imagining the swinging tyre in his bedroom starts me laughing again.

I hereby tag:
Deep Kick Girl - after you've recovered from your Sydney Harbour party cruise?
Ashleigh - when the boss isn't looking over your shoulder
Franzy - when you do your next blog (which is overdue, by the way)
Naomi - after you've kicked some serious karate arse
Redcap - when you've recovered from the Fringe
Fifibelle - when your broken leg has healed
Davey - when you're back from OS
Here's how the whole thing works:
  • Post this on your blog . . .
  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog
  • Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. That’s all there’s to it . . . Oh, and have fun.


eleanor bloom said...

Hey, I think we have the same first album! It was abba anyway I recall. Also recall mum and dad's old turntable (they still have it!) and definitely the crazy dancing part. I was a star!

And can I just say I'm sooo glad that stinky garlicness was followed by a tale of lovely chocolateness.

Oh, and similar to my earlier perm comment: did anyone NOT overindulge in the ol' 4 litre 'fruity lexia' at a young age? (Or 'southern comfort' at an even younger age? ew, what was I thinking?)

franzy said...

I hereby accept your challenge and admit to busting my parents' turntable with some impromptu scratchin'.

Terence McDanger said...

Yours in appreciation and wet pants, Terence.

ashleigh said...

GNID Blyon!

Sure you are not my sister? Or some relation?

I always thought the same, I must have been 14 or 15 before find out otherwise :(

I thought only I was that stupid... I'm pleased to know I'm not the only one!

Hmm. And tanks fer nuffin fer da taggin. Now I gotta thinka stuff.

As for while the boss isn't watching... I have to be careful, at work I AM one of the bosses and a bunch of other guys there read the drivel I write.

redcap said...

Oh my Ford! I thouht it was Gind (obviously I was slightly dyslexic in those days too). I think my mother might have set me straight...

roxfan said...

Awesome! I thought it was END BULLETIN not ENID BLYTON. I suck at reading.