Thursday, 18 January 2007

Das Fledermaus

The Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel, wherein I am wont to boil my lentils, has turned into a veritable halfway house for impoverished rovers. First there was Our Hanna, Revolutionary Sister & Polyglot (1st Grade). Being both a former housemate and Max the Cat's birth-mother, Our Hanna had an obvious claim to the LLH's hospitality. As a soon to be former housemate myself, I naturally defend the rights of former housemates to flounce into the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel, find themselves a corner of mattress, sup from the communal lentil pot, and join in with the weekly festivities (viz., Extreme Flea Swatting, defence of the cat's breakfast [from the other cat], and the usual round of parlour games). Our Hanna - suffice to say - brings joy and enlightenment wheresoever she goes, and we all sighed full sore last week when she was sucked back into the vortex of Europeville.

Meanwhile, one of Hanna's German cohabitrixes has stopped by to sample old-fashioned Aussie homelife in its purest form. We at the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel comprise, of course, your typical Australian family unit, dinky-di from our Country Women's Association memberships to our kangaroo skin underpants. In return, the German cohabitrix has been assisting Max with his vocabulary, generally being a good sort, and relaying tales of linguistic misadventure in Sydneytown.

And here I come to my point: what sort of rapscallion tells an innocent tourist - wearing spectacles, no less!* - that the winged mammals hanging from their toes in the Botanical Gardens are WOMBATS? The German cohabitrix spent a good fifteen minutes last night describing the flock of wombats she'd watched flapping their way across the city. Yes, wombats, the man told me so. It took my German-English dictionary and all Comrade Emma's powers of persuasion to convince her he'd been lying. The scoundrel.

It makes me ashamed of being an Australian. Even if "Australian" is an anagram for "Saturnalia". And "German" only an anagram for "Manger". Or "Engram". Or "Rag Men". Ashamed, I tell you.

* We of the Revolutionary Sisterhood have revised the old adage, "Never make passes/ At girls who wear glasses", to the less catchy, "Never tell whoppers about fruitbats/ To tourists wearing spectacles."

13 comments:

TimT said...

a) They're not wombats? Fruitbats, wombats, cricketbats - what's the difference? Next you'll be telling me Americans don't have baseballbats hanging from their trees.

b) I thoroughly approve of your new couplet. Here's a version of my own:

"Never make passes
At girls who wear glasses
Unless it is in the context of a fully consenting adult relationship."

Hmmm, needs work.

alexis said...

a) Wombats do square poo, fruitbats do splatty poo, cricketbats are attached to Shane Warne.

b) Sheer poetry! But might I suggest:

Never make passes
At girls who wear glasses,
Unless in the context of a fully consenting adult relationship you have already shared ginger molasses.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am a Flying Fox, and have inherited my family's pedantry gene.

So I must point out that I do not have a pouch. If I did, my baby would fall out of it. Nup, I am a genuine new-fangled placental mammal, not a marsupial like some others around these parts.

I tenderly catch my furry little baby in my wings as I give birth - sort of a carefully-timed push, push, push, catch manoeuvre. Otherwise my young'un would be, like my poo, a splatty mess below.

And since this post has taken a decidedly scatological direction, you may like to know that I always try to turn myself right-side-up to do my splatty poos so that they do not land in my face. That would be really gross.

alexis said...

Dear Flying Fox,

By jingo! I think you're right! You ARE a placental mammal! Lucky you turned up to set us straight on that one. Who knows what might have happened if you hadn't -- generations of flying foxlets snuffling around for a pouch and finding nothing. Also, I'm very pleased to hear about the poo. It's been worrying me no end.

Yours in placental reproduction,

Primate Lexicon.

alexis said...

In fact, Flying Foxicon, so egregious is my error that I'm going to amend my post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Alexis.

Meanwhile, we fruitbats in the local Splatterdrop Colony shall continue to make passes at the girls below, both those wearing glasses and those whose eyes are not protected from our missiles.

Ms F Fox & family

alexis said...

Another good argument for the wearing of large sunhats.

There are some rather choice looking Morton Bay figs down at Glebe Point, by the way, which may help create your ... err ... passes.

Anonymous said...

Ah, there's nothing like a Blackwattle Bay ficus-fest! And such shiny cars parked underneath! Thanks for the tip, Ms Harlot m'dear.

FF

TimT said...

Fruitbat! Newfangled you may be, but keep your fangs away from my neck!

Alexis! Indeed, it is a very versatile line of poetry indeed:

BROWNING:
"How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways,
Unless it is in the context of a fully consenting adult relationship."

COLERIDGE:
"By thy long grey beard and glittering eye -
Unless it is in the context of a fully consenting adult relationship -
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?"

MARVELL:
"Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime:
Únless it is in the context of a fully consenting adult relationship."

SHAKESPEARE:
"No, no,
Never, never, never, never, never!
(Unless it is in the context of a fully consenting adult relationship.)"

TimT said...

(I would have included the wonderful addition about ginger molasses, but I don't think somehow the Ancient Mariner would have held truck with that.)

alexis said...

No, indeed. The Lyrical Ballads was a strictly non-ginger-molasses anthology.

Alextricity said...

Being that I am such a newbie to Blogger, I'm unaware as to whether the presence this comment will be alerted to you by Blogger [TM] management at your next login or whether it shall remain hidden in the recesses of cyberspace evermore; however, I must pause here in my backtrack-reading of your blogging efforts to commend you on bringing me to stitches on many an occasion, seemingly quite familiar in train of thought and a number of other achievements.
Aside from this, I do not advise that I be analysed by my own efforts on Blogger for they are the creativity-void [not that I have any] scribbles of a uni assessment. I'm a 17yr old Journo student on the Gold Coast and would greatly like to converse with a funky chicken like yourself. I can also confess to somewhat nerdish origins [not so far back in my instance - high school ended last yr], a keen debator, public speaker, choirmeister, etc.....
AND I HAVE ALMOST THE SAME NAME: Kudos for being Alessandra/Alexandra- depending on whether you look to the Italian or English-Irish ancestory-?
Apart from being a lover of English I accept that this and any prior writings shall be subject to your keen scrutiny for gramatical/logic/spelling flaws: please write to funky_frog03@hotmail.com

Kind regards
Alex
:)

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