Hello everyone,

This is Mark’s mother. Although I suppose he was ‘Dirk’ to whoever is reading this.

Mark was found dead in his apartment on April 16, 2015. His father and I are trying to notify any friends that we don’t know. In his browser this was one of his most used sites, it took us a while before we realized that ‘Dirk’ was our Mark.

We had no idea he thought of taking his own life so often. We didn’t know that there were ‘voices’. We know him better now from reading this, and there can be no worse feeling.

If you knew the real Mark, please contact us.

Erica, please please contact us.


Some I Can’t Un-know

It has just been pointed out to me that saying something like “we’re on call, 24×7, 365” makes no sense. Surely you’re just on call “24, 365”. Or maybe “24×7, 52”. This phrase pops up all the time in my job (I clean the cages of four legged animals at a zoo) and I know this will now bug me for the rest of my life career, even as I progress up the corporate ladder to two legged animals. All I can do is share my pain with others until the whole world becomes so upset that we descend into a state of anarchy and/or general grumpiness which will cheer me right up.

In other news, I’m starting a charity for children with mothers who have neck tattoos. These children need your support.


Break In

Someone broke into my house, I think a few weeks ago. They didn’t take any valuables, but they replaced my good pickling vinegar with water.

Now I have a whole batch of wet cucumbers. What on earth am I going to do with wet cucumbers?


Cancel (guest post)

He cancelled on me.


And again, that dull humiliation. Ripped off. Pissed off. But this time that too-familiar brew brought with it a fresh realisation. This man does not belong on a pedestal. This is not someone special, not a once in a lifetime anything. I’m worth more than this. I’ll try not to go too far and say he’s worthless, he isn’t, he’s a wonderful man. And I certainly won’t say pathetic, but the word and its kin have flashed in my mind more than once before being guiltily dismissed.

It’s with a light heart that I abandon the idea of us. It seems eerily easy. I feel like I’ve quit smoking and realised how easy it was all along. What the fuck did I ever smoke for?

It might get harder, and that’s fine.

This is good.

I feel good.



I wonder if guide dogs brag to the other dogs that they have a person?

On another note, people who raise guide dogs, only to give them away once trained, truly are some of the unsung heroes of this world. I choke up a little whenever I picture them handing over their 18-month-old best friend to help someone else for the rest of their lives.



It was a sunny Thursday; an ordinary day. I sat at my desk, chatting with a mostly nice lady in charge of design for a website.

She is from Cameroon.

It was while explaining something about user interaction that the following took place:

“…we just need it to do a slide thing when the user clicks here. I don’t understand all the technical terms”, she said with a smile, “just do what you nerds do.”

Jesus. Christ.

“Excuse me?” I pretty much shouted. “Oh no you did not just call me the N-word.” I smacked my hands down so hard on my desk they stung, I tried not to flinch.

“But”, she stammered “I heard you call yourself a n…”

“Oh” I shrieked, “don’t you dare say that out loud again. That’s our word. I’m a nerd, I’m a proud nerd, but you do not get to call me that. For decades our ancestors fought to sit in the office with all the other people. Not out back in the server room. Do you know how fucking cold it is in the server room? We kept the milk out in the open.”

She was shaking now, the poor dear. But I was on a roll.

“We have come too far to let you take it all away by calling us” I paused for effect, “nerds to our face. For shame.”

She started crying. “It’s just … I always heard my daddy talking about the n… the n-words … at his work. I guess … I guess I thought it was OK. But I see now. I … I’m so sorry Dirk.”

God dammit if it wasn’t my turn to cry. I stood up and put my arms around her. “It’s not your fault.” I whispered. Unfortunately I had a mystery hard on and I think she felt it. Bad timing, but still, it was a magical moment.



I’m thinking of starting a two-step programme for people addicted to dance.

For people that have lost a leg in some sort of accident I might have a 12-step-rehabilitation-programme. Naturally there will only be six steps.



I’m mostly on top of the world this week. Which is pretty stupid if I stop and think about it, but I shan’t.

Anyhoo, I got lost in my apartment block hallway just now. Got out of the lift, went left. Didn’t see anything I recognised. Walked the other way, back past the lifts; didn’t see anything I recognised. Checked the number on a door, yep, it’s my floor all right. I walked back past the lifts again, it was just flat wall where my door should have been. Then time kinda jumped and I was standing in front of my door and everything was normal again.

No harm no foul.

On an unrelated note, I forgot my medication this morning. Had two little spells during the day, just losing my balance a bit, nothing hilarious.


Have You Ever

Have you ever cried before getting out of bed in the morning? You roll over, look at your clock. You don’t know what time you were hoping for, but this is not it. It seems wrong that the rest of the day should even be.

Have you ever put on the smile of a happy person and wondered what grows in the gap? What’s in that void between the ‘you’ that the world sees and the ‘you’ that lurks within? What happens if they grow too far apart, will you fall in, will something be lost?

Have you ever known that if someone talks to you right now you will break? You don’t know what form that breaking will take, but you know, for the next 10 seconds, nothing must change. Your ears redden, muffling the others. Your throat hardens; you breath out, but can’t get it back. You tremble on the inside, your eyes are warm. You’re cold, it’s dark. The buzzing, oh god the buzzing. Then it all fades. The sound, the light, they come back. You breathe.

Have the voices ever become so vivid that you worry you’ll scream back? Where will you be when it happens?

Have you ever been caught up in some task, not paying attention to yourself, and suddenly realised you’ve been happy just this moment? The realisation destroys the feeling. For a second you can feel the lightness of the memory, but it soon turns to mud and slips through your fingers. You wonder if that lightness was what you used to have all the time.



I think the worst disability of all (wheelchair, blind, fat, etc.) would have to be a lack of arms. You would get tired of going to the doctor and saying “I can’t feel my legs” (although it would be hilarical to begin with). Riding a bike anywhere would be near-impossible. Ladies, sorting yourself out (you know, sexually) would be out, short of some sort of contraption. Guys are fine, we can rub up against a wall. Or a lamp. Anything, really. Although now I think about it (long and hard) I guess chicks can rub up against stuff too. OK scratch that, both sexes just fine in the masturbation stakes.

On the dating scene, asking someone back to your place after a lovely but slightly awkward* dinner is more or less saying “hey, you wanna see my arm stumps?” That’s gotta suck for both sides. I feel like I’d want to be in love with a girl before seeing her arm stumps (I’m not ever touching them). Clothed sex would be fine.

The phrase “I’d like that one, please” will never really work for you. I like that phrase.

Naturally, as a stumpy, you will get to the point where you just can’t take any more. But you wouldn’t be able to slit your wrists.

You don’t have any wrists.

I’ve got ten fingers. Ten! And I can’t get the cap off the bleach. So fuck knows how you’re going to get it off to down it in one. Fuck you evolution, would opposable big toes have been that hard?

* I never know which knife to use for what, and that’s with arms.


Monk Pranks

I totally wanna be a monk boss. I’d get all the new monks ready on their first day:

Me: “OK monks, repeat after me. I do solemnly swear …”

Monks: “I do solemnly swear …”

Me: “… to undertake a vow of silence …”

Monks: “… to undertake a vow of silence …”

Me: “… starting …”

Monks: ” … starting … ”

And then I’d walk out.

Years later, when they’re ready to graduate not-talking, I would gather them all again, wait for a hush to settle over the crowd, and continue “… now.”




I know how to cope with this world. I need one less sense. I need to be deaf.

Right off the bat I’d save $60 a month on my phone bill. Thrifty.

I’d probably watch less TV and read more. #newyearnewme

What the hell else comes in my ear holes? Other people’s words? That brings me nothing but trouble.*

People would have to write down on a piece of paper, “hey, welcome back, how was your break, yeah, did you get up to much, yeah I spent Christmas day with the family, was really great, yeah”. It would force them to think, is it really worth writing all this out. Now I think about it, if talking wasn’t so easy, the world would be a better place. If we had something implanted that spat 1 drop of blood out onto our feet for every word we spoke. a) the world would be a very slippery place, b) people would begin to ration their words a little bit, communication would be literally, more thoughtful**.

I’d miss music, but my brain would learn to play this internally. Turn down the volume. Can you hear it?

I’d have a t-shirt that says “I’m deaf, but I didn’t want to talk to you anyway.” Maybe another that says “I’m deaf. Go on, let it all out.” And why not “Talk to the hand. Because I’m deaf” and when I saw someone reading it, I’d hold out my hand and do sassy-black-woman-head-wobble-mmmm-hmmmm.

I’d have little cards to hand out that say “I’m deaf” on one side and a set of phrases on the other. I would circle the appropriate phrase(s) before handing a card over.

  • I’m not being rude, my ears don’t work.
  • Large cappuccino one sugar, please.
  • I’m not interested in your cause. Your sunny disposition sickens me.
  • Stop being a jerk.

I would be in danger of getting that dopey deaf person voice, but as long as I used voice recognition software, that would be enough to keep my enunciation in check (ern thek). Google will tell me “sorry, I didn’t understand that” and not worry about hurting my feelings.

Fun fact, Helen Keller had a bachelor of arts degree. That doesn’t say much about art, does it. ***

* Actually being deaf wouldn’t make much of a difference. The voices have been bad over the last week. Maybe it’s melodramatic to call them voices; no one’s telling me to kill kittens or anything, but it’s non-stop words that I can’t get away from. Every person I walk past on the street says something angry to me. People that aren’t there have something to say to me. Any thought I think upsets someone in my head and they get mad or mock me. It’s been kinda really bad this week. Sometimes the lines get blurred between what a real person says to me and what the angry version of them in my head has said and I get mad at the real-world version.

It wears thin, having everyone be mad at you for every thought you have. The inside of my head used to be a private place, but now everyone has been let in, I have nowhere to go to be alone. But I’m trying to commit suicide less often, so I guess I’ll just ride it out and quietly hate existing. Bundle of joy, I am.

** Do you think you can use literally just to add emphasis, when you really mean figuratively? Well, you are right. The secondary meaning of literally (to add emphasis, synonymous with figuratively) has been in the Oxford dictionary since 1903. This is not a recent corruption of the language by the uneducated masses. Correcting the correctors releases my special-occasion dopamine.

*** Gets less funny the more you think about it.


Why Cheating Happens, Part 2

In the first half of this particular rant I carried on about why women cheat (based on my limitless wisdom with regards to the mind of the opposite sex).

This is why men cheat.

Disclaimer: the detachment I feel from the human species as a whole is but a little brother to the detachment I feel for my particular gender. As such, I have only hypothos theories to offer*.

Did you know, our species can be thought of as only female? All that is required of the man is the tiniest snippet of DNA from the tiniest little swimmer. (This is why I am not a professional swimmer. I’d be like, I’m never going to top that first win against all the other sperm. Oh that feeling, turning round, giving the finger to all the other sperm, then bursting through my mum’s egg wall like a finish line ribbon.)

The male is only required to spread DNA around. To do that, it needs to be wrapped in a big strong body, with some specific equipment, but really that’s about all we’re required for. So reproducing is what we do. We’re also pre-disposed to liking pretty. So, since all women except Erica get less pretty as they age, naturally the heretofore monogamous male, as the years roll by, will notice his eye wandering to younger, prettier things. He will want to deposit his seed in these cute young things, not fully understanding why.

I was walking down the street the other day and a bus went past. On the bus was an attractive female. I checked her out big time, even turning my head as the bus went past. Why would my brain tell my neck and eyes to do that? What the fuck, brain? I don’t feel any pleasure from looking at a chick on a passing bus. We’re not making babies any time soon. She had headphones on! My point, I think, is that the drive to pro-create is strong, even for an asexual like myself**.

Where were we? Ha, I’ve just noticed that ‘where were we’ is like little matryoshka words. Smaller and smaller still***.

Oh this post is a rambling mess. Men cheat unless they have decided to never cheat. Men with a strong sex drive cheat. Men that don’t respect their significant other cheat. Men that fall in love with another woman cheat. Men that have no impulse control cheat. Men that meet a woman that indicates that she would like to have sex with them cheat.

So what’s a woman to do? Find an asexual.

* I don’t know the plural.

** I don’t think I’d mentioned that I was asexual up until now. Erica doesn’t believe me, probably because I give her a pretty solid rogering every time I see her. That doesn’t change the facts though.

*** Did you think matryoshka dolls were called babushka dolls? Wrong. While I’m at it, did you think those colourful little round sweets were called macaroons? Bup bow, you loose. Googling macaroon and seeing the images are what you thought they should be doesn’t prove a thing.



I’m going to go on the paleo diet I think. The human body hasn’t adapted to eat the processed foods that are shoved down our throats today. Ya know, flour, milk, etc.

For millions of years we were hunter/gatherers and we were doing just fine. But as a modern man I honestly can’t even remember the last time I tracked and killed an impala for dinner. I’m ashamed to say I keep my leftovers at or below 4ºC to slow the growth of pathogens, reducing disease and food wastage. What a wimp I be.

So I will live like the cavemen did. Not to lose weight, not to be healthier, but because I want to die when I’m 33.



There is a fly in my apartment (new today, not a resident). It flies around for a bit then lands on the carpet and walks around. What? Right? I yell at it: “dude, you’re a fly, not a walk, get the fuck up!” It does not respond. It taunts me with its tiny walking legs. I chased it but it ran under the couch.

You win this round, fly. You win this round.

I went to the newsagent to buy a pen and paper (Bonnie and Clyde). The chap in front of me bought $30 worth of lottery tickets. “Anything else?”, said the lackadaisical youth behind the counter*.

“Umm, I’ll get a Financial Times as well.”

Oh no he di-uhnt. $30 worth of lottery tickets and a Financial Times. Are you going to check if the experts say that lottery tickets are no longer for twits that don’t understand probability? Hey maybe lottery tickets are where the smart money is in 2015? Perhaps you want to know which lottery tickets will make the best long term investment: the ones with the pyramids, or that farm-themed series that just came out. Fucking moooo.

And don’t give me that shit about lottery tickets being an excuse to dream a little; that it’s fun to imagine what it would be like to win big. Why don’t you imagine buying the fucking ticket? Dream about that, dipshit.

In fact, give me the $30. I will buy $30 worth of water and go pour it on the grass over yonder. It is a little dry now that I look at it so probably could do with a drink; but still, I think it would get my-waste-of money point across.

I was in a little corner store this morning (no, not the newsagent; yeah I get around). One of those ones that’s really crowded like they got the number of aisles mixed up with the number of shelves**. Anyhoodles there was a doddering old man or significant year, looking a little bewildered (that he was still alive), loitering by the packets of soup and cat food and sewing kit shelf. One of the staff was coming through with a big tray of breads and said “excuse me, coming through”***. Alas, Father Time’s hearing aid was set to ‘do not disturb’ and she was forced to repeat this several times. This disgruntled her from her otherwise gruntled state and led her to mutter, in her outside voice, “oh for fucks sakes, I had to ask him three times”. Seriously, this really happened. The old man looked upset. I was upset. I wish I’d had the gall to set her straight. I played it over and over in my head on the way home:

“It’s ‘for fucks sake’. Not sakes. It’s for the sake of fuck, not the sakes of fuck. Gawd.”

But I said nothing. I let it slide. And that’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life.

* Did you think it was ‘lack-see-day-see-cal’?

** “We want four aisles.” “Four shelves down the middle. Got it.”

*** What in the devil is the plural of bread?



I’ve been thinkin’ a lot about empathy recently. I’m trying to be open with people in my life apropos me not liking being near other people.

Here’s a fun game that everyone can play:

  1. Find someone that enjoys ten pin bowling.
  2. Tell them that you do not enjoy ten pin bowling.

They will simply not understand. I have tried this with pretty much everyone on earth and they’re all the same. Here’s an example conversation:

Me: Do you like ten pin bowling?

Them: Oh yeah! Who doesn’t!

Me: Me

Them: [head explodes]

You see?

Now, find another one, but don’t tell them you don’t like ten pin bowling (seriously, their heads just explode and they’re of no further use to you, you have to plan this shit out). Ask if they consider themselves and empathetic person. They will, of course.

Ask them if they are capable of feeling empathy for people just like them. “Of course”, they will say in italics. Like, duh.

Ask them if they are capable of feeling empathy for people that are not like them. “Of course”, they will perhaps say more carefully. “That’s what empathy is, right?”

“Great, walk me through the thought process of a pedophile. Leave out the actual kiddy fiddling, just how they might feel about children in general, about their desire to mess with them sexually. Walk me through how you imagine that makes them feel.”

“Jesus, no! I’m not going to act out some filthy…”

“So, you don’t have empathy for pedophiles?”

“Of course not!”

“Aah, now we’re getting somewhere. You like fishing?”

“What? Like, with a rod? No not really.”

“OK, so tell me about fishermen. What do they like about fishing?”

“I don’t know, it’s stupid, just standing…”

“Stop. Shush. Shut up. You are not an empathetic person. You like people that are like you. You understand people that are like you. You have no desire to understand people that aren’t like you, and that’s just fine. You don’t need to. But you should be aware that the little gold trophy one deserves for genuine empathy does not belong on your shelf of personality achievements.”

The person has walked away now but I’m still talking.

“It isn’t too late, though. Empathy is something that can be developed. Start small, come to terms with the fact that some people don’t like your favourite food. Dwell on that, know that fact. Many many people don’t like your favourite TV show. Shit loads of people hate your cat and its stupid face. There is no good or bad in this. Just is. Once you feel you’ve got the hang of the inane stuff, step it up a notch, try to understand people that do things that you don’t like (you do what with sundried tomatoes?). Some people steal washing off of other people’s lines. Some actually, literally, club baby seals. Some rape babies*. If you can empathise with someone doing something you find utterly reprehensible, congratulations, you are a black belt empathiser.”

Yes, it was trophies, now it’s a coloured-belt ranking system**. Later I might make it a badge of some sort. Like scouts have.

But it’s slippery slope***, isn’t it? Am I sure that understanding doesn’t imply condoning? I mean, if I can imagine being in someone’s shoes, I’m kinda telling myself that this is OK. I’m in a way becoming that person. I don’t want to be that person. Best I don’t try to understand them.

Let’s get back to ten pin bowling. Or less specifically, extroversion and introversion. I’ve found that if I feel like opening up to someone about my deep dark feelings and general dislike of being in large groups of people, it’s a good idea to first suss out if they have at least some beginner-level empathy badge.

If they don’t, but I tell them how I feel, and they care about me, I’m going to get weird fake annoying empathy which goes something like “Oh we all sometimes don’t look forward to big events, but you’ll have fun once you’re there and you’ll be glad you went afterwards.”

If I hear that one more time I’ll fucking scream. “You are describing you. Not me. I will dread it before hand. Feel uncomfortable and awful during, and regret going afterwards. I am not wrong, and I am not lying to you.”

I have decided that I will offer people the opportunity to punch me in the face as hard as they can in exchange for me not going somewhere. It’s a pity it has to come down to “I don’t like 80’s themed dress-up parties in the same way that you don’t like being punched in the face.”

But I can’t say that, I can’t get mad, because they’ll feel like they deserve a gold star/badge/belt/trophy for trying to understand me. They were just trying to help.

Fucking help.

They will conclude that if the dread-before/be-fine-afterwards hypothesis is not true, I must just be weird. I will feel a little bit shitter than before, and we will all move on with our lives.

* I’ve been thinking a lot about pedophiles recently (shoots from a seed planted by Amy Lykins). For some percentage of these people, it’s an unwanted urge that they have and they try everything they can do to be rid of it. It’s really hard to even think about it without judgement. Near impossible to have a public discussion about it without judgement. Even writing this here I want to put disclaimers everywhere that it’s awful because somehow understanding is getting a little close to saying its OK. But it’s fucking not, OK?

Making it impossible to discuss a problem is absolutely the best way to hamper addressing said problem. And if you ever accuse someone of condoning a particular action just by discussing it (sex, catholics, etc.) then fuck you for making the world a worse place.

** I wonder if colourblind karate people get unexpectedly kicked in the face a lot? “Jesus, didn’t see that coming, you’re pretty good for a greyish belt!”

*** Weeeeeeeeeee!!



I’ve often wondered where the punniest place on earth would be. There are many contenders, but I think it would be at a meeting of butchers.

Because butchers are like that.


Why Gift Cards Have Expiry Dates

Recently I saw a tweet from a comedian that I otherwise respect, asking why gift cards have expiry dates.

I have an answer and a response.

Why gift cards have expiry dates.

First, ‘fuck the corporations’ is so in right now; let us do away with that emotion and imagine you own a corner store. You live above it and struggle to make ends meet. You own several double-ended candles that you made yourself distilling midnight oil. And you re-use them. The last ten years have worn you down and you now look like those before/after photos of meth addicts (fucking hell, Heather!).

To quell the tide of imminent and catastrophic failure (words!), you decide to offer gift cards. I like it.

Now, I walk into your shop, give you $50, and you give me a $50 gift card.

You now have a $50 debt to me. If a bank was to value your business today, it would be worth everything it’s otherwise worth (including the $50 I gave you for the gift voucher), minus $50 for the debt.

Nothing wrong with that, really.

Let’s say you sell a thousand of these things. You’re now in debt for some serious coin but hooray, people start cashing in their gift cards. That’s product off the shelves and debt of the balance sheet (no cash in the drawer mind you). But alas, they often leave a remainder, so there’s a bunch of $10.05 debts outstanding (damn you $39.95 festive coffee mug set!). The gift cards go in the owners’ second drawer down next to their bed with the spare buttons, box of tissues and the second key to the 1986 commodore they sold when they were 23 and are forgotten about forever.

Now you, lowly shop owner, have a debt of some amount and you have no way of paying it back. Having debt that’s impossible to pay back is an insanely bad idea, right? (Question as a statement.) You go to the bank, you want a loan to extend your shop with a brothel that does ‘extra sick shit’. The bank turns you down because you have so much debt on your balance sheet that cannot be paid. Because in the worst case, all those gift cards could be cashed in tomorrow (or even worse: later today!). And it’s the worst case that the bank is interested in.

So your bank turns you down, your wife leaves you (you’re lesbian or male in this story) and you’re fucked, and not in the good asphyxiation way.

Belatedly, you start adding one year expiry dates to your gift cards. That’s reasonable, right? A whole year? There’s still cash flow implications, ideally gift card cash should be held in a separate account to offset the gift card debt, but you’re headed in the right direction.


Naturally your customers will accuse you of being greedy, but their words won’t hurt you. You’ve had enough. You barely have the emotional strength to get out of bed each morning. You long for the day that sweet sweet death will take you away from all of this.

That’s my answer, now a response.

Questions as statements.

If you’ve got a great question, a disruptive question, something that makes people think, that will instigate a healthy debate (but let’s face it, probably not actual change) then ask away like it’s a statement. I’m all for it.

Why don’t pedestrian crossing lights have an orange? Why do they call them ‘pairs’ of underpants? Why don’t petrol stations have vending machines that I can pay for with credit card at the same time I’m filling up with petrol? And why oh why don’t ATMs have a flat spot and a hook for me to put my coffee and hang my shopping bags? *

These are all legitimate questions.

Problem is, if the answer is obvious to 40% of people, 60% of people will say “Yeah! You tell ’em” with much gusto and the remainder will switch off.

So questions as statements, or worse, questions as accusations are a dangerous game.

* I could have added “Why do water bottles have expiry dates?” But there is an answer and it’s interesting. The clue is in the question. The water bottle has an expiry date. After that date, the plastic will start leeching poisonous deadly chemicals into your water and you will die.


Chickin Surprise!

I made my world-famous chickin surprise last night.


  • Chickin (boobs or upper legs will do)
  • Vegetables (orange and green look nice together, adjust to suit crockery)
  • Cream (whipped from a can or the one for cooking – whipped turns out surprisingly disgusting)

Put chickin in a mixture of water, salt and sugar and put into fridge for half a day (remember to read this recipe the day before so you see that bit coming).

Put chickin/water/salt/sugar mixture on the stove until the water is lukewarm. Leave for an hour or two, just whenever you remember it’s time to eat is fine.

Mix chickin, vegetables and cream together.


I was four-out-of-four with this recipe. The chickin comes out really juicy and soft and keeps that bird flavour that you can sometimes lose when cooking it properly.

But not last night.

It was everywhere. I swear I vomited more out than went in. At one point a bit splashed into the toilet and came back up into my mouth. This made me, literally, vomit. Which actually isn’t so bad when you’re in the middle of it anyway.

There’s plenty of leftovers so I’ll try again tonight.

OK I’ve just given this a read over and removed a few embellishments (there was originally a tyrannosaurus rex). It’s now 100% true. Gross, right?