Saturday, September 05, 2009

Mr Potato Head can talk, and he says

Hello, is this thing on?


Okay, so anyway, I was looking at a page of webfoolery and I was thinking, hmm, I'll blog this and then I'm like, wtf, where did my blog this button go? Because it's gone. Did someone delete it or did the interminable updates of Firefox kill it in some way?

So the page I was blogging was Daniel Brandt's Wikinerd parade. OMFG. Is it like a requirement of nerddom that you must have a misshapen head? No wonder they don't have social lives.

OMG! I don't have a social life! Does that mean I have a misshapen head? Now I'm worried. I can live with being plain, but ugly! Ugly! I am suddenly feeling the urge to phone my mother.

"Mum, I'm not repulsive to womankind, am I?"
"Well son, I wouldn't go as far as repulsive to all womankind. Wasn't there some woman a few years ago who thought that you were only slightly disgusting?"

Okay, maybe not.

I have to tell you that S2 is a wikinerd of some repute, but I am glad to say that her head is not overly misshapen. Yes, I am vain enough to insist that my e-flings are attractive in reality as well as in the cyberworld.


So this afternoon, the wife's cousin's wife was round, sharing illegally acquired software with us. Obsessive readers of this blog will remember that I have something of a crush on the WCW, which Mrs Zen has noticed. She is not attractive, but hey, I'm not shallow, you know. It's her personal-- okay, no it isn't. I'm pretty sure she doesn't actually have a personality. It's because she seems dirty. She actually smoulders and I really like that.

I don't think she does it on purpose. But when I see her, I think, I am willing to put money on it that her husband (who is in many ways the anti-Zen, and I tease Mrs Zen that what she wants in this life is that I should be him -- and it's cruel teasing because it is soooooo true, because he is the epitome, the living epitome, of staid, a man entirely untroubled by thought) would not appreciate that, and I'm willing to wager that he has never, will never, could never ring her bell, light her fire, make her unable to breathe.

I could. I would find a way. I would find the secret thing that she cannot resist.

I wish there was a way to communicate that to her. But life is all about never getting to say what you think you should say. Life is about never having what you think you should have. It's about fencing yourself in and congratulating yourself on how nicely you made the fence. It's about no one knowing, no one caring, what your secret is -- and you say well done to yourself for keeping it tucked away.


By this point, maybe you are thinking, is there no other woman in Dr Zen's life who would tell him he does not have a misshapen head? Does he really have to approach his mother with that?

Well, actually, I'd like to ask B, one of the women at work, who I have the distinct impression goes out of her way not to catch my eye. I want to say, hello, did you decide on first meeting that I was a/ clearly too ugly/boring/retarded to bother with and b/ obviously attracted to you so must not be encouraged? Because I'm not kidding you, this woman is plainly not catching my eye.

(b) is true though, although she has thin legs. Why wouldn't I like thin legs? Well, here's an odd thing. I can actually trace my dislike of abnormally thin legs to a specific incident. When I was a kid, 15 or whatever -- which the observant will have noticed was a good time in my life, when I actually began to feel attractive to women -- I went on a school exchange to Germany. I was a big hit with the German women (who to this day I have rated very highly as the fine specimens of womankind they are, should any lonely German women living in Brisbane be reading this, and let's face it, fraueleins, you will not meet many halfway passable Englishmen who find a German accent sexy), but more importantly, one of the girls on the exchange was clearly interested in me. And it had to be clearly, because I really do need a written invitation. So, as you do (and we do, when we're boys, in case you were wondering), I am canvassing my friends on whether this girl is as nice as I think she is. And I think she's nice: she's quite pretty, funny, worldly -- maybe a bit scary for a gentle, shy boy (let me tell you a story -- it says it all about who I was, and who I am, let's be honest -- when I was, I dunno, 13, 14, my sister made a friend with a new girl at school, who was the only black girl in our town. There were two of them, B and A-M, and their mother, who was entirely white, but had married a Nigerian chief. A-M was quite stunning, flawlessly beautiful and erect in the way I think only black girls are capable of being -- do you know what I mean? straightbacked yet sinuous. Man, she was something! And I really really fancied her, but I was far too shy to say so. We talked a fair bit, because we were contemporaries or nearly so (I think she was a year older) and I spent some time at her house, and we got on well, although she was quite a lot more sophisticated than I was. She showed me her writing journal, and shared some of her hopes with me, and she seemed as interesting to me as she was nice. I would dearly have liked to ask her out, but that was impossible for me. So I wrote her a note. I just wrote "i fancy you". She never replied and doubtless thought I was entirely pathetic, but that was all I could ever have managed.), but all in all, nice. And one goes, omg no. Look at her legs! Her legs are sick.

These were his exact words. Her legs are sick! And you know, I had not even noticed her legs. But once he'd said it, I'm entirely enable to see anything but that she has sick legs.

But at least I recognise that was childish and I'm willing to forgive B her thin legs, not least becasue she has artfully sticky out hair. By which I mean, she must spend hours fixing her hair so it sticks out at angles just so. And I do admire people who take care of themselves. I used to. In my early thirties (yes, I am older than 30, but I have relatively few miles on the clock, so you need not fear that I won't go like a 17-year-old -- back, knees and heart allowing, of course), I became a metrosexual, and it suited me quite well. I used more face products than the average woman, wore contacts, kept in decent shape, dressed nicely, even bathed some.

And if you are thinking is Dr Zen really so shallow that he would have his head turned just because a woman spends some time on her hair? Well, you should know, yes, he is.

Or no. Because of course there's more to it. The thing is, a woman who tends herself wants something. And what she wants is to be admired. It is so easily done. And what sin can there be in giving someone what they want at no cost?

Also, she is pretty and has big tits for a small girl.

I know, shoot me. But it's a long seven and a half hours if you don't lust a little.


But you are paid to subedit (whatever that is), Dr Zen, are you not?

You know, I've always retained some vestige of dignity by believing that if I am hired, you are not paying for hours of my life, but you are paying me to do a job. So I feel that if I do the job as well as anyone else, I have given what I owe you, and I need not worry that I spend half my time doing something else. Yah, I would do a "better" job if I was able to focus entirely on what I'm supposed to be doing.

But how are you supposed to focus if you have a lively mind? I think this is why I never much warm to my fellow editors. To be any good at editing, you need focus. You need to carry a mass of detail, keep it in check. That's as much fun as it sounds! The better side of it is the feeling of control, the ability to know what should have been when you look at what there is, and to find the compromise between what should have been and what there is that will leave all believing that they had originally written what you left them having written.

Actually, there was a woman at the twins' kindy who I thought was attractive solely because she had artful hair, so I have to conclude that it is the hair.

(I will feel I have entirely succeeded as a writer if at least one person fixes their hair on reading that sentence.)


So after I had written about her, I googled A-M, and the only trace of her on the web is her Facebook page. This is true of quite a few people I have googled (yes, I am one of those sad fuckers who will google your name after talking to you -- lucky you use a false name, hey Gunt!) -- and I forget that not everyone spends their entire life online. Other people have lives!

So all they are in cyberspace is a Facebook page they do not bother to keep up, and suddenly I am sad, because I know that in real life I am that same presence, barely there, and I would be lucky if I could find two people who would say, oh him, whatever happened to him?

And online, I could find those two people, but a week or two later some other thing would have caught their eye, and being gone would be just not updating, and if you don't update, you are gone.


And I was thinking, the thing that I love the most about the internet is that you cannot be lonely. Because I am sure enough alone, babysitting duty on a Saturday night, but I know three people that will read this all the way to the end, and those three people have saved me from loneliness, because I could write some bullshit and know that for the five minutes it took them to read it, I kept them company. Well, me and the porn, obv.