Check-out Chic

Let me check you out.
No, really.
Please dump your $2.50 bag of unwashed potatoes on the conveyor belt and watch as I pick it up and move it from my right-side to my left-side.

It’s a highly dangerous, high-flying job and I’ve become awfully good at it. And when I say awfully good, I mean to say is it’s an awful thing to become good at. It is of course neither dangerous nor professional, and even idiots who can’t spell RSI can do it. Trust me, I’ve met them.

I didn’t always dream of becoming a check-out chick, instead I had self-esteem and some sort of belief that things would never get that bad.

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In Year Three at school I was a superstar. I often reminisce about it; that time when I found out I was good at archery because after five attempts I actually hit something other than the giant boulder behind the board itself. I knew then that I was destined for greatness. I was going to be a successful, cashed-up archer in the manner of Robin Hood, with slightly less style and significantly less courage and intention for goodwill.

I had held onto this dream all through my schooling life and of course, like any good dream, I did nothing to aid in the actual furtherance of it, stubbornly believing that natural talent ought to do its own thing, with no discernible effort on my part.

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It’s the same old story though, isn’t it? High schooler graduates and cannot possibly foresee any future aside from living in parents basement and/or partaking in a series of menial jobs until unexpected lotto win.

Unquestionably terrified of the first option, and too impatient to wait out the second, like a natural-born businesswoman I managed to secure a casual position with a well-respected supermarket chain. ‘Well-respected’ in this instance, of course, simply means said company has a budgetary allowance so huge they can, and do, pay obscure, otherwise unsuccessful bands a nauseating amount of money to write jingles that are with you until you’re knocking at death’s door, begging for some earplugs. (Aisle five, if you’re interested).

Fast-forward three years and here I am. I haven’t changed much with the exception of a few impulsive ‘I-need-a-change-in-life’ hairstyles; however, I have been witness to most of my colleagues going through puberty right beside me and then of course, moving on to something better. Meanwhile I’ve been in charge of wiping baby vomit off the registers at least twice, but I’m not sure if that can be grouped under the same category of moving up in life.

Everyday is a revolving door of the same people buying the same things, asking them the same questions (“Are you paying by card today?”) and hearing the same answers (Most people: “Yes.” Every senior citizen: “No”). Our duty, should we choose to accept it, is to refrain from passing judgement on every transaction we process. We stand smiling politely as customers pay for their shopping even though it totals more than our weekly wage. We hand over cigarettes to people who look like they have already passed their own used-by date. We pretend not to notice your children man-handling the chocolate display we tidied moments ago, and we assume that when you can’t pay the full amount, those two bottles of Coke were obviously essential items as opposed to the bag of dog food you have asked to leave out.
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All in all, it’s not easy being customer-service-officer-in-charge-of-transactions. It’s a fast-paced job, with a never-ending queue of people desperately needing our services. Yes, you may refer to us as ‘checkout chicks’ but we are so much more than that. Yes, we could essentially be replaced by an automated computer system, but as long as there are junkies attempting to shoplift and unexpected items in the bagging area then we will continue to step up the plate to serve you. It’s a hectic place where no two days are the same.

Actually, everyday is almost exactly the same.
Have you ever stood in the same exact place for four hours straight?
I have.
It’s called being at work.

Now hand me your microwavable nuggets so I can go home.

.

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Why High Fashion Is A Bad Look

High fashion is a particularly bad look. You just know the runway models are dying inside, if not from starvation, certainly from having to wear things that don’t even resemble clothes. Lady Gaga herself wouldn’t even touch some of these. Take for instance this lovely number:

fashion 1And who wouldn’t want to be caught dead in this:

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Nipples on mannequins have also been on the increase. Please tell me why we need this. I feel very uncomfortable noticing peoples nipples poking out at me when in public, why make me see this displayed on clothes I am expected to buy? This just screams couture:
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The price tag is another thing. Why I am looking at a plain white T-shirt that costs more than I make in a day? And who is going to boutiques to buy a plain white T-shirt? Although this is definitely a must-have:
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Had a busy day shopping? Nail salons have now become a fashionable establishment. They have popped up everywhere offering pedicures for the truly lazy rich sophisticated whilst only costing you the life of one salon employer who will inevitably die from overexposure to toxic fumes. There is nothing demeaning about this scene:

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I have also never understood the obsession people have with shoes. I get that feet are ugly and I am all for not seeing anybody’s toes, but some shoes are just not worth the effort. But then again, who doesn’t need a pair of these:
fashion3And I can’t deny that I have always wanted to achieve that ‘hoof’ look:
fashion4But for now, I better get going and make my way down to 5th Ave before this sells out:

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I better run though, might put my joggers on:
fashion8Oh, and I’ll wear a hat too, just to be stylish:
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Wouldn’t want to look stupid.

fashion5

Nailed it.

 

A Strongly-Worded Open Letter: Commercials For Sanitary Products

periodTo whom it may concern on the Advertising Regulations Board.

It is with great discomfort that I express my concern regarding several television commercials I have had the misfortune of coming across, sometimes unexpectedly in the night, over the past few years. I believe there has been an overflowing and widespread trend promoting false advertising around products for female menstruation clogging up my television screen. I refer here, of course, to the various commercials you broadcast for companies manufacturing so-called ‘sanitary napkins’.
Every time I view them I see red! I wish to have better protection from these misleading images leaking further into society. I have, rather indiscreetly, listed below the individual qualms I hold against these advertisements and the measures I feel should be taken in order to present a realistic and accurate depiction of these products and their function.

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My first issue with the plastic sponge or ‘pad’ commercials lies with the actors portraying what it is like to be on one’s period. It is evident when viewing that there is not nearly enough groaning, bloating, excessive eating, wind problems and general anger at the world shown which, I feel, makes it confusing as to when this product is needed. May I perhaps suggest showing a woman with a pronounced pimple developing on her chin, who clearly hasn’t had enough sleep, yelling “THIS BETTER NOT GO ON TV!” and then cutting to a shot of her crying. This may set up a more relate-able context for audiences as opposed to showing someone simply rubbing their forehead, slightly discomforted during a routine bike ride.

The bike-riding image in itself is very misleading. I ask you Sir(s), have you ever put your vagina onto a bicycle seat wearing what is basically a giant, post-it style nappy built for your own gushing uterus contents? Where is all the wedgie-picking footage? And why are all these white pants shown to be completely unsoiled?

post-it

Post-its: NOT a substitute for sanitary products.

There are other advertisements circulating showing a blue liquid being poured into sanitary napkins to simulate absorbency. I feel this does not allow viewers to make an informed decision on the product as I have been told by many women that in fact blood rather than Powerade is most commonly found to be spewing out of their nether region at that time of the month. In affect, by presenting the effectiveness of a pad for soaking up coloured water this rather misguided approach may mislead viewers into thinking that the much more convincing ‘ShamWow!’ is really what they need down there.

shamwow

ShamWow!: NOT a substitute for sanitary products

When promoting the addition of ‘wings’, the advertisers also fail to state that these ‘flaps’ are clearly just made to stick to the pad itself or at best, an inner thigh.

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The general public has been lied to enough and we should not be left to figure out for ourselves which particular brand of pad will crumple up and be rendered useless in the night and which will become dislodged while dancing and stick to our ass cheeks. I urge you to pass on these suggestions to the associated advertising companies responsible and see to it that these revisions are made. The failure to present actual, accurate information and instead being constantly bombarded with buzz-words like ‘body-conforming’ (ie. Shovels up into ass crack the first time bending over) and images of people at the beach (ie. Should not be attempted in conjunction with product shown) makes me feel irritable, moody, grumpy, hungry and want to curl up in bed and call in sick to work.

I don’t want to get my knickers in a knot but this whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Please rectify effective immediately.

Yours sincerely,
Iva Cramp

bike

What It Is Really Like To Be In A Band

Some people choose to follow their dreams and join a band. Others have real jobs.

band

If, for whatever misguided reasons, you have decided to become a performer in a band, you will know that it is far from the glamorous, elegant, sophisticated lifestyle that Courtney Love had us believe. Inevitably at any gig you play, no matter how good you think your band is, you will find that you encounter at least one or more of the following:

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  1. Playing to people who are too drunk to notice you playing.
  2. Having abuse shouted at you from people who have noticed you playing.
  3. Having requests to play songs that not suitable at all for the style you are playing.
  4. Having requests to play obscure songs by artists that neither you nor anybody else in the room has ever heard of.
  5. Having requests to play songs that you already performed before this person turned up.
  6. Having requests to play songs that you already performed while this person wasn’t listening.
  7. Playing requested songs and then realising that the person who requested it has left.

Rock on.

wonderwall 2

A Strongly-Worded Open Letter: Arnott’s Scotch Fingers

Dear Mr and / or Mrs Arnott,

It is with deep, choc-coated sadness that I regret to inform you of my dissatisfaction with one of your delicious, possibly wholesome biscuit snacks. I refer here to one of your self-appointed ‘favourites’, notably, the classic Scotch Finger. (Fig 1.)
I will ignore that fact that you are clearly sending jobs overseas by promoting Scottish goods instead of introducing an Australia Finger, and instead focus your attention to the dilemma which rests within the engineering of the product itself.

scotch 1

Fig 1, in case you forgot what your own product looks like.

You see, given the design of the Scotch finger, we have been misled into believing that this product can be shared and eaten in finger-sized portions. The dented middle-line teases us with a sense of wonderment as if to ensure us that yes, we can break this directly down the middle, every time.

WRONG.

I conducted a full packet of research to support my theory that this breakage line is a fallacy and the result? Only two of my biscuits successfully broke apart into separate fingers. And this was only possible after I had developed a technique, formulated throughout the experience, which involved forceful wrist movements and a set of pliers.

I put it to to you sir, or madam, that you have created a faulty product that, despite appearances, fails to deliver. Just imagine the collective embarrassment that little old ladies are facing daily across the nation as they hand over to their guests biscuit samples that look like this:

scotch 2

Fig 2. Warning: Image may be disturbing to some viewers.

I don’t often go out of my way to make complaints to companies more than once a week, but on this instance I simply could not stay silent. Like a Scotch Finger being pulled apart with both hands, I have reached my breaking point.

If I see no action has been taken in the future, I will be left with no choice but to bis-cott your products.
Please rectify this problem as soon as possible or I will left with only my own finger to dunk into my tea and you will have a lawsuit on your hands.

Although, given that you are now well over the ripe old age of 150 years at this point, I will forgive if there is a slight delay in your response. However, with the obvious urgency of this matter, I would like to see to it that this issue is prioritised at your next meeting.

Please unite to divide the Scotch Finger correctly.

Remember: There is no substitute for quality. scotch 3

 

Yours sincerely,

Tim Tam.

 

10 Things My Girlfriend Does That Pisses Me Off

They say that honesty is the best policy in relationships. And honestly, my girlfriend is absolutely the most ridiculously annoying person I have ever met. However, one must learn to pick their battles when cohabitating with another individual, so in this case I have chosen to instead air my grievances here under the guise of a somewhat amusing blog post.

And so, I present to you, the Top 10 things my girlfriend does that I choose not to have arguments about but secretly drives me nuts.

1. Writing To Do Lists:
Ok, great. Good start. A list of things you need to get done. No worries. Not so bad, right? In theory, it’s a good way to get motivated. However, pratically speaking: GO AND DO THEM.
Actually do them. Do something on that list. Do at least one thing on that list.
I have found draft copies of to-do lists in the bin and then the same lists in greater detail floating around the house. If ‘Wash Clothes’ is on your first list, stop writing and wash your clothes.
And who puts ‘Write A To Do List’ on their to-do list?


2. Never Shutting Doors:
I know when my girlfriend has been in the kitchen because EVERY SINGLE CUPBOARD DOOR IS OPEN. Firstly, how many doors did you need to open to get a bowl, cereal, milk and a spoon? Like 4 places max. And secondly CLOSE THE DOORS.

3. Talking About Money:
“But how much will that cost?” – Yes, I get it. Everything is expensive and we only have a finite number of dollars, but honestly, a dinner, once, somewhere semi-decent instead of grocery shopping is not going to financially bankrupt us. Relax. “How much more is it for a large coffee?” – Probably like 50 cents or something, who cares? If you want a large, get a large.

4. Not Looking For Things:
“Have you seen my jacket?” – It is generally understood by most that you should have had at least some sort of attempt at locating things before asking where they are. Most likely your jacket is in the wardrobe. The wardrobe where it is kept. The same wardrobe where it was the last time you saw it. As a general rule, if your jacket is not on you, then the first place to look is the wardrobe. If it is not there or on the washing line, only then you may recruit me or someone else to help look for you, because otherwise my answer is probably going to be “Have you checked the wardrobe?”

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5. Loyalty Cards:
My girlfriend owns a loyalty card for every single place she has been to even if she has no intention of buying anything from there ever again. Seriously, she has a whole wallet full of them. She must have been on some sort of high when she redeemed a free coffee once after having bought nine others previously. Apparently she thinks that by signing up and buying things she has come up with some sort of flawless scam for getting free shit.
“Sure I’ll give you my email address so you can send me annoying daily advertisements in exchange for 10% off a purchase six months from now, SUCKER.”

6. Talking About Her Own Health When I Am Sick:
Ok, this one sounds a bit selfish, but I don’t get sick often and when I do I expect some kind of help in my weakened state. Quite often though, I feel that any illness I have contracted just reminds my girlfriend about how she could also have contracted this too. It’s funny how when I tell her “My throat is really sore,” she will often respond with “Actually I think I might be losing my voice too,” after only hearing her wildly singing in the shower minutes earlier. (And to be honest after hearing it, one can only hope she really is losing her voice.) Me being sick seems to fire up some sort of competitive nature within her, or perhaps she doesn’t like being left out and wants some sympathy back. I expect that if I ever break my leg she will be more than willing to help by informing me that she, herself, hurt her knee earlier and it still hasn’t felt right since. Comforting.

7. Forgetfulness:
Ok, so this is a quality that many people have and it shouldn’t be such a big deal. Except that my girlfriend has a habit of being forgetful at very inopportune moments. It is usually after we have driven away from the house and are about to arrive somewhere like an airport, or a cinema, or at a surprise party, or at work or basically anywhere where a time-frame is important that she will suddenly burst out with the likes of “I think I left my hair straightener and possibly the stove on.”

8. Pretending To Cry:
I can tell the difference. I know when she is actually upset and when she just wants my attention or is trying to end a losing argument. It doesn’t help her case when she keeps looking up in between sniffles to see if I have noticed her display. Of course I will help because I am not a heartless beast, but nevertheless I will be annoyed and in return I will pretend to be comforting.

9. Her Fixation About Food Poisoning:
My girlfriend has a bizarre fear of food poisoning. Anytime either one of us has ever had a stomach ache she has been convinced it is from spoiled food and that things are going to be dire and possibly deadly from there. It only takes the slightest hint of a stomach gurgling for her to be in the fridge throwing out various foodstuffs that she has become convinced are hazardous because they have been in there untouched for two days straight. I have seen her throw out unexpired products in packaging that can’t be seen through because she is certain without any evidence that the contents have suddenly turned rotten.
Although to be fair, having tasted food she has prepared, her fear is probably not completely unreasonable.

10. Writing Blog Posts About Me:
Sometimes I come home to find she has written a very important draft about how lazy, obnoxious or unkind I have been that day. This rather rude shock would for most people be fair grounds for an argument, but in this case I have chosen to give her a taste of her own medicine.

However, if after reading this I am never heard from again, please assume that it was decided I had taken it too far and have been banned from the internet for life.
Send help plz

What I Have Learnt From Travelling Overseas

Living in Australia offers many benefits: welfare support; free access to public hospitals; riding kangaroos to school, etc. The idea that anyone would want to expand their horizons, have new experiences elsewhere, and learn about another ‘kulcha’ are laughable.
straya
However, if you find yourself inclined to explore above and beyond the nether regions of the planet, you may begin to notice a few things. Firstly it is really, really, expensive to try to leave the country by any means of transport, and secondly if you are looking to travel to a ‘Westernised’ country your money will be about as worthless as the paper polypropylene plasticy-stuff it is printed on.
Whilst I love everything Down Under (…that’s what she said.) I have spent some time travelling to foreign places, ie. destinations slightly further than the Gold Coast. Following these extensive journeys, I have taken the time (during my work schedule) to compile some teachings which may offer little to no help for your future travels.

Things You Should Know About The World Beyond The Mainland:

  • Not all toilets were created equal
    Have you ever wiped the contents of your asshole and then placed your dirty toilet paper in an open bin next to you? I have, and it is every bit as disgusting as your are imagining. Throw in some ‘Bali belly’ and let your mind wander.
    Or, perhaps you have found yourself looking into the abyss of a squat toilet which is equipped with all the technological features you would expect from a hole in the ground?
    Ahh, finally I can relax.

    3-ply newspaper sold separately.

    3-ply newspaper sold separately.

  • You can never be too early to arrive at an airport
    I can’t stress this enough. And if you are travelling with me you will have no choice but to turn up early to every major event planned on the trip.
    “What’s that? We should catch a bus at 6am to get to the terminal? Great. See you there at 4.”
    “Nothing to do at the airport, you say? Hmmm, how about this GIANT SLIDE!!”
May cause travel sickness

May cause travel sickness.

  • You should always clean your house before you go
    Trust me, if you haven’t you will hate yourself and your life when you get back.
  •  Economy class really is as bad as you remember.
    But that’s ok, it’s not like you or anybody else needs to stretch their legs when on a 14 hour non-stop orgy of personal space.

    Your emergency exits are located next to those bitches who get slightly more legroom.

    Your emergency exits are located next to those bitches who get slightly more legroom.

  • You probably don’t need more clothes
    So you’ve packed your entire wardrobe into a suitcase and then you decide to do a little shopping. I find that shopping on a holiday is a bit like when I visit a buffet; things can get out of control really quickly.
    Generally speaking, any shirt you buy which states the place you visited will become your designated ‘bed shirt’ in no time at all.

    My next trip was to the charity bin.

  • Relish in any of the free shit on offer
    A holiday is hardly the time when one is expected to display any sense of self-control. One place where there is absolutely no place for judgement or self-restraint is at the hostel’s free communal breakfast. After spending your money seeing all the attractions, this may be your only meal for the day.
    Just eat everything available and steal a couple of apple juice poppers for the road like everybody else does.
A healthy mix of foreign cuisines.

A healthy mix of foreign cuisines.

  • You will encounter annoying people
    As with anywhere you go, you will encounter some form of interaction with strangers.  Inevitably one or more of them will start to get on your nerves and soon you may find yourself in the presence an obnoxious, loud, disrespectful, rude person. Please note that such people are commonly known internationally as ‘Western tourists.’
Please remain seated at all times.

Please remain seated at all times.