Archive for the 'What’s Happening' Category

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Just like that famous saying says, “better to have loved and won than ever to have lost, ever” which I think is a metaphor for life at DHMSCO. Also, relationships, maybe. Definitely life here though where winning isn’t everything but it is the best most awesome thing in the world that is literally all that matters ever and even if the only thing we’re good at is winning that’s still the best thing to be good at and means we’re good at heaps of other stuff too like taking photos and eating pies and stealing samples at fairs and writing letters to Judy Dench and writing letters to ourselves from Judy Dench and of course, beverage distribution. ”Mineral water for the win!” we shriek as we deliver water to our equally winning customers.

Sure our weekly medal ceremonies that started out as morale boosters have descended into glorified cage fights to see who can claw their way to the top of the podium first. Certain employees have started pantsing anyone who gets a leg up so now I’ve seen way more of my co-workers than I ever should have and I really don’t know why we even put the podium in a cage in the first place and yeah it was me who put mud in there but only because I wanted to see the truck drivers mud wrestle. Turns out - not as hot as you’d think. And now there’s a lot of mud in the office and there’s only a certain number of mud pies I can make before I start thinking it couldn’t hurt to eat one and who wears a g-string on a day they know they’re probably getting pantsed, Adam?!

Speaking of winning, some of our incredibly fantastico customers recently “tapped the hepburn” (not dirty, just an awesome new saying that means “won”. It’s a thing, TRUST ME). Not exactly without our help, in fact some might say in spite of it but just because I like to make suggestions to customers from time to time and just because those suggestions are always “include more superman paraphernalia in your decor” is no reason to say that I didn’t help you win an award. I’m taking credit regardless, so just keep a cape and some Clarke Kent glasses behind the bar for me, a weekly copy of the Daily Planet in your magazine rack, a makeshift phone booth in the corner and we’ll call it a team effort. The victories or “hepburn taps” I’m referring to were taken out in The Age Good Cafe Guide and The Age Good Bar Guide respectively. I don’t know how many categories there were. Frankly, I don’t care to know. I don’t need to know. I’m certainly not going to look it up or call somebody to find out. Besides, unless it came in writing from me pretending to be Judy Dench I wouldn’t believe it anyway. Still, I think I can say with absolute certainty that our customers won every single category that there was or wasn’t or will ever be or won’t be by a total landslide.

Here is a list of places where you can go to a) have an assuredly awesome time according to The Age and seconded by me b) have a guaranteed tasty local mineral water according to the whole entire universe and c) sit patiently in dark rimmed glasses, reading a fictional newspaper waiting for somebody to spill a drink or knock over their chair so you can dive into a cardboard phone booth, whip off your glasses, swoosh around in your cape and save everybody from imminent disaster yelling loudly about how Lex Luthor’s behind it all and that you were a fool for ever trusting him. But be warned: too much wine is your kryptonite in these times of heroism. As one member of our team discovered, one moscato too many can result in a very inappropriate superman throwing his disguise and harassing citizens with terrible Marilyn Monroe impressions and a truly humiliating strip tease that unfortunately involves wrapping a cape around a barman’s neck like a feather boa and ending up wearing nothing but an “S” drawn in lipstick on your chest. Sorry, Melbourne. I cannot stress enough that Lex Luthor is probably to blame (in this case Lex Luthor was disguised as a waiter who allows a grown men to order glass after glass of pink sparkling wine). Also, shot gun Lex Luthor and Kryptonite as potential cocktail names for when my bar “Metropolis” gets off the ground. Seriously, shot gun. Don’t you dare take them. And just so we’re clear, it really wasn’t me who pulled the moulin rouge routine either. It wouldn’t be fair to name names especially since the bar staff were nice enough to not press any charges despite the surprising amount of damage done with a pair of lycra tights. Let’s just say that the offending party may or may not sell our products in a representative way around town. It was Adam.

Here are our customers who tapped the hepburn:

Seven Seeds for Best Coffee and ideal location to sit alone in lensless glasses

Footscray Milking Station for Best New Cafe and nicest stitching on requested superman cape

Market Lane for Best Boutique roasters and most likely Lois Lane hangout

West 48 for the Local Hero award and Clarke Kent’s fav spot obviously

The Final Step for Best Small Cafe and most pithy comic section in fake newspapers

The Woods of Windsor for Best New Bar and staff most willing to play along with Superman guise

Gerald’s Bar inducted into the Hall of Fame and Daily Planet local

Strange Wolf for Best Bar Design and best space for running around in a cape shrieking “faster than a speeding bullet!”

So be sure to drop into these award winning hangouts. And if you see someone sitting alone in a corner wearing fake glasses and reading a newspaper written in crayon, try not to do anything that might warrant getting rescued. And if you feel like you’re being stared at way too intensely, it’s just Adam trying to activate his x-ray vision. Don’t worry, despite what he says, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t really have any.

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What’s The Password?

Trees are really important. They’re pretty and leafy and they grow and make oxygen (used for breathing) and if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have the awesome tree house out the back of the office that I go to sometimes when I’m sleepy or bored or angry because I’m hungry or that one time when somebody broke the arm off my yellow Power Ranger and tried to blame one of the truck drivers. And without our tree house where would we hold our staff meetings and come up with all our best ideas and decide what the super secret password will be for next week and who’s turn it is to be lookout and who’s turn it is to bring lunch tomorrow and who keeps forgetting that I don’t like vegemite sandwiches unless they’re cut into triangles with the crusts off? Yep, trees are important. We love trees so much that we’re in cahoots now with Greenfleet who help us love trees even more…

I’ll be honest, when I was first told that we were going to meet a new gang called Greenfleet who love trees as much as we do, I got a little bit territorial. Okay, okay, I stormed up to the tree house, put the super secret invisible force field up, raised the pirate flag and wouldn’t come down til Mum came and said I had to.  But after she gave me some sultanas and changed the dressings on my Power Ranger’s dislocated shoulder, I was willing enough to meet the new kids and see what they’re like. They. Are. Awesome. They don’t just love trees. They have forests where they plant more trees. Know what forests are good for? Playing Robin Hood.

Even though I’m pretty sure the trees in Sherwood Forest are a bit taller than the shrubs we’re prancing around in ours (a tree that you can step over doesn’t provide the best shelter from a throng of oncoming enemy arrows), we put on our Lincoln green every lunch time and set about catching all the baddies. I’ll admit there were some early disputes about who gets to be Robin Hood and who’d be wearing a ringleted wig and a petticoat as Maid Marian, but we resolved them like grown-ups once everyone realized that my dad can make the best cardboard swords. Sometimes we get the neighborhood kids in on the action and the kids from Hepburn Wind are the best because we’ve known them for ages and they’re allowed to stay out after dark on Fridays. And sure, some townsfolk seem a little weirded out with the sight of fully-grown adults running around in tunics and tights throwing sticks at each other. But we’ll see who’s weird once we’ve overthrown the monarchs, returning justice to all and there’s a big parade that we throw ourselves in the town square. Although it probably wouldn’t hurt our image if a certain sales rep didn’t insist on having his tunic quite so short.

Adam’s enviably feminine legs aside, Greenfleet and Hepburn Wind are awesome friends to have. Greenfleet are helping us to offset our carbon footprint by planting trees for every single ounce of energy we use which is super important because any good outlaw knows never to leave a footprint.  And Hepburn Wind is Australia’s very first community owned wind farm and we support them with funds to create renewable energy which we aim to be fully reliant on here at headquarters making us exactly like Robin Hood in a rob-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor kind of way. Except for none of the money was stolen and I don’t even know who the rich are in this metaphor but it’s important to keep drawing comparisons because otherwise it might be weird that I’m sitting in a tree house wearing pantyhose and a green hat with a jaunty red feather.

If you want to know more about the coolest outlaws around you can visit their websites. Or you can come ask me in person. Tomorrow is stocktake so I’ll probably have a tummy ache and be in the tree house all day. The password is littlejohn, bring snacks.

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What Do You Mean I Only Won Second Prize??

Apparently, lots of different cities have food. Which is confusing and frankly inconsiderate. As a seasoned traveler who’s owned houses in more than two (less than four) different Monopolies, I don’t appreciate having to worry about what I’ll be eating on my worldly adventures that have seen me check into eleven different places on Facebook.  My concern is this: how do I know if I will like a city’s food until I get there? And how do I know where to find the food that I want at the temperature that I like? And what if it’s too late by then because Mum forgot to pack my emergency supply of freeze-dried Doritos and canned Tiny Teddies? Nightmare.

The good news is that there’s really no need to be too panicked about travelling to the exotic far-aways of Woolloomooloo or Paddington or Community Chest. Well, you can be a little bit scared but not too scared. Feel free to be Desperate-Housewives-is-in-its-final-season alert but not Terri-Hatcher-hasn’t-got-any-definitive-new-projects-lined-up alarmed. But how to avoid potential starvation and / or  culinary disaster? Um, it’s easy peasy cross my heart no duh infinity. To find out about a city’s food you can visit a “Taste Of City” show and taste all the different not to mention available food and drinks and people a city offers (yes of course people have different tastes depending on the city they are in – lick someone and then go to a different place and lick somebody there, you’ll see).

So we trooped off to Taste of Sydney to a] find out how many jars of preserved Fruit Loops and dehydrated Pop Tarts we’d need to pack on any future visits to the Bondi Vet set (a golden retriever who’s been attacked by a parrot shouldn’t be the only one allowed to lick Dr Chris) and b] to reassure the nervous crowds with the knowledge that you can depend on yummy, fizzy, fruity and minerally drinks being available in Sydney whenever you’re in town for a trip to the Sydney Harbor Bridge Club or whatever (talk about high stakes - the last game I went to my mouth went so dry I played my trump card way too early and it cost me the under 65s metropolitan final. That’s the last time I let Ira psych me out into thinking the bar’s gone dry. He walked away with the trophy and I was left licking ginger beer off a coaster, trying to convince Val and the girls to renew my contract for next season).

Ira’s impending epic and very public embarrassment at the hands of a whoopee cushion aside, knowing that you don’t have to BYO mineral water on any interstate travel saves a lot of luggage space not to mention the time and tears wasted at domestic check-in when security realizes that your hand luggage is full of glass bottles and you’re left with no choice but to chug down a long weekend’s supply of organic cola before spending a very uncomfortable 70 minutes at high altitude trying to suppress the amount of gas that can only be produced by boat-racing ten liters of carbonated soft drink. It’s really no way to make new friends (travel bingo is the way. You’ll have the whole cabin asking who the cool cat is with the plastic bingo set and the bag of Columbines. Trust me).

To borrow a term from my bridge buddies, our Taste of Sydney stand was pretty bingo-bango-bongo. Unlike the fridges at certain bridge clubs that will remain nameless, ours were well stocked and psychological warfare free. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t Calombaris or Zumbo pulling all the babes. I guess word got around pretty quickly that there was a mineral water enthusiast who’s recently won second prize in a beauty contest and collected $10 for their trouble working the water stand. And Ira said I’d never pull again in this town. Never underestimate the power of local mineral water and a fail-safe pick-up line. Now, before I go I just have to ask, is that a Columbine in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

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Change Is Fine As Long As Everything Stays Exactly The Same…

I don’t trust change. Never have, never will.  I mean, why make something different when it’s already pretty good? Name me one thing that’s been made any better by change and I’ll name you something incredulous that you wouldn’t believe because it’s impossible and totally unimaginable and could never happen no matter what and would sure teach you a lesson (note to self: think of a list of those things just in case, you don’t want to look stupid later). So, yeah, change is the worst.

Lucky for me and change-haters everywhere, all old things become new again one day. So if you can just resist change long enough, you’ll be cool eventually and you can claim you were doing it first. It’s what the hipsters do - stay ahead of the trends by looking backwards and never forwards. Good advice when you’re riding your penny-farthing down Gertrude Street, good advice when you’re deciding what length jeans to wear. And hells yeah, staying true to my lycra power suits throughout the more breathable fabric favoring naughties was hard and at times pretty awkward work. And sure, a year ago you might have laughed at my stockpile of tasseled push-down socks and water-proof stirrup pants. And yes, since getting around town on my sweet “new” one-wheeler there have been more recorded penny-farthing related accidents in Melbourne since 1880. But yesterday I saw a group of hipsters riding backwards on horseback in Brunswick so who’s laughing now?

Still, you can imagine that when I was taken aside one day last week and told that DHMSCO would be releasing not one but two new drinks, I maybe freaked out a little bit. Threats were made, my pre-colonial urban bonnet was thrown, and more than one limited edition signed Baywatch poster was destroyed. That’s when I should have known I’d gone too far - you just don’t mess with the Hoff in Speedos. I’m genuinely sorry about that. But when not even a cordless phone maimed David Hasselhoff was enough to convince a clearly delirious staff that change is how Saved by the Bell: The New Class got made, I did what any mature, cool-headed adult would do: I threatened to destroy the entire mineral water industry and then called my mum to come get me.

After Mum calmed me down with a sippy cup of apple juice and a hard boiled egg with buttered soldiers, I agreed to take a look at these two “new drinks:” Organic Lemon Lime Bitters and Organic Orange Soda. Organic Lemon Lime Bitters and Organic Soda! Even despite the hyperventilating and tyrannical swearing, it was becoming clear that actually, they really weren’t as offensive as I’d assumed they’d be.  The labels are contemporary retro (yeah it’s a thing), the bottles could easily have been recycled from my last abandoned milk bar party, and the taste is frankly Hoff-in-jocks dribble inducing. Conclusion: what could be more hipster or more amazingly forwards-backwards than sitting on an upside down rubbish bin outside a roasting-warehouse-meets-nana’s-sitting-room styled café, ordering an Organic Orange Soda float? Nothing, that’s what. Unless you do it while you’re wearing a poncho as a skirt. Which would prompt me to doff my propeller cap to you. Or it would if I hadn’t already done it weeks ago. Sheesh.

DHMSCO’s new organic Orange Soda and Lemon Lime Bitters have landed. Make sure you get in before the hipsters do. Because once I’ve tied some string to one of the empty bottles and used it as a satchel, you won’t be able to get your hands on one anywhere.


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Don’t Lick That!

Do cities have a taste? Apparently, or else I don’t know what that whole Taste of Melbourne thing that happened on the weekend was about. The key thing to keep in mind when pondering this question is not to take the phrase as literally as, er, some people might be inclined. To find out what a city tastes like don’t, I repeat DON’T get down on your hands and knees and lick the steps of the State Library. Ditto that for the walls of Parliament House, double it for one of the seats in the Southern Stand at the MCG. Because they pretty much all taste the same (although I’m pretty sure I detected hints of tomato sauce at the MCG, it was right after the Hawthorn v Collingwood game, I also found half a chicken burger which was a bonus because I hadn’t had any dinner).

Anyway, it seems the seven different types of bacteria poisoning I contracted were a total waste of time and ipecac because there’s a much cleaner, less crazy-bird-lady way to go about discovering the tastes of Melbourne: you just go to the Taste of Melbourne – which is what we’d apparently planned to do all along with Keg Bike, lots of cups, and our tongues kept firmly inside our mouths.

Just quietly, being at the Taste of Melbourne was more fun than licking warm plastic benches. We made a fort out of mineral water boxes which is just like making one out of cereal boxes when you’re a kid only now we’re grown-ups, so it was bigger and more awesome and after I explained to her that it was for work, Mum didn’t make me take it down. After we stopped pretending that we were all knights and that Keg Bike was a battering  ram that we could use to siege our neighbouring stalls, we realised that hydrating the masses with rainbow coloured mineral water delights was equally as rewarding as taking pretend prisoners to feed to not-real dragons. And far from being our enemies, our next door neighbours Longrain had some serious speakers for music making which meant we could wow the crowds with our killer dance moves and enviable-yet-accessible coolness. Which we did. A lot. Ask anyone.

But if you somehow missed us at Taste of Melbs (maybe you were confused too and spent the weekend licking the platform at Flinders Street Station?) never fear! Because us, our Keg Bike, our impenetrable cardboard fort and our trademark water-sprinkler moves are heading to Master Chef Live in Sydney on October 7th.  And since we’re (ahem) the preferred mineral water partner of the event, you’d best come by to visit and more importantly, to check out what’s shaping up to be a very elaborate, highly choreographed multi-stage dance routine. Just don’t try to siege our fort or pillage our women because Keg Bike will feed you to a dragon faster than you can say, “but this water doesn’t taste anything like the Yarra.”

And dibbs on using the “oh, I thought this was Taste Of Master Chef” explanation when I’m found licking George Calombaris an hour into the event. Get your own excuse.

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To infinity, and beyond!

Once you’re a grown-up, any “toys” you may or may not own are generally not something you want to tell your Mum about. But occasionally one comes along that’s so taboo, so exhilarating, so unbelievably controversial that there’s nothing for it but to cast off the suffocating shackles of the vacuous hoi polloi and sing out its praises liberated and inappropriate to anyone who’ll listen (so… Mum then… pretty much exclusively… oh…) Like for example, the limited edition Buzz Lightyear doll with detachable cape, sensory voice activation and dual LED light rocket ship I got for a steal last week from e-bay seller AndysMom63, “Mum! Mum! Did you see how Buzz’s wings expanded on the backwards loop-de-loop? Did you? I’ll do it again – watch!!! To infinity, and beyoooonnnd!!! Well it works better if I’m wearing my cape – have you seen my cape? I’ll put it on - go get Dad!!”

Toys are awesome.

So you can imagine the excitement that swept through the office when Keg Bike rolled in - it almost cost me my spot as reigning Jenga champ! Almost. But it’s going to take a lot more than the world’s most awesome mobile tap to shake these nerves of steal. And anyway, I barely care because it’s Battleships week. Still, just like the time I was given my brother’s old BMX for his tenth birthday, we just had to take Keg Bike to the streets and show off our ace new wheels to all the neighbourhood kids. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be seen getting around town on an umbrella adorned tricycle?? Nobody. And I’ll steal the playlunch of anyone who says otherwise.

Needless to say we were like the kids with the biggest conkers in the schoolyard. Keg Bike is the shiz! What it lacks in handlebar ribbons and spokey-dokeys it makes up for in its ability to serve up icy-cold mineral water, its delightfully camp (sorry, “very manly”) striped umbrella, and its general red-ness (for speed, obviously). The people could not get enough…

Just look at all the friends we made! Why there could be dozens where they came from!! Keg Bike promises to be the greatest toy we ever pooled our pocket money for - unlike the complete set of Jurassic Park dolls that I’m not even allowed to take out of their display boxes (what is the point of having a T-Rex and a Pterodactyl in the office if I can’t even pit them against each other?!!) Still, if AndysMom63 taught me anything, it’s that threatening to leave a bad review on somebody’s e-bay profile can get you 30% off a mint condish, limited-edition Pixar figurine. And that except for me and Buzz and our matching capes, Keg Bike’s pretty much the raddest toy going round. Play your cards right and maybe we’ll let you ride it to the corner shop and back. Maybe. You’d have to literally play your cards right though. Uno anyone?

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Family Ties

Spring has sprung early at DHMSCO. When we realized that bee-keeping was going to be the next big thing we just couldn’t wait the extra months to flaunt our brand new bespoke bee-keeper masks with customized GaGa-inspired netting, detachable monogrammed ear protectors and scratch and sniff honey scent patches (pair with a preppy Oxford shirt and any kind of Italian hand-embroidered soft mahogany leather loafer to take you from the office to the hive to drinks afterwards). And as is customary in Spring, there have been some new additions to our mineral water family:

Keg Bike…office windows… a blowfly named Angus that won’t stop circling my head (possibly a direct result of the honey scented apiarist mask I’m wearing)… the puppy I’m pretty sure I’m getting for my half-birthday… and of course, Lindy.

When our little bundle of joy and galvanized iron arrived we were all the proudest of parents. Certain members of the family had been lead to believe that an actual baby was on the way and had spent weeks excitedly knitting pink booties and nurturing a now redundant cabbage patch - it’s all very well to refer to your machinery as “he” and “she” until you’re on an all coleslaw diet waiting for your thriving cabbage crop to run out. Still, weighing in at a healthy 6,261 pounds, 12 ounces, Lindy arrived and she was perfect. An early bloomer who was already walking and could lift over twice her own weight, she may not quite have been the sister I was hoping for but she could hold her own at a monster trucks rally which is more than can be said for my human sister who’s afraid of monsters. And anyway, she looks like a character from Brum which is awesome.

But now that the initial excitement has worn off, I can’t help but be somewhat suspicious of Lindy. At first my contempt and my unwillingness to share my new Tron suit were dismissed as a textbook case of sibling rivalry. But I swear this is bigger than Freud and my love of dressing head to toe in sci-fi gear and thwarting imaginary attempts to destroy the Pentagon. There’s just something about Lindy that makes me think there’s more to her than meets the eye. Beneath that orange veneer is a seedy underbelly of a corrupt and troubled past I just know it!! So I did what any suspicious person wearing a Tron suit would do, I googled it.

Tell me that’s not Lindy in that video!! Now I know how Charlie must have felt when he found out Coach Bombay was dating his mum. It’s not that it happened, it’s that she didn’t tell me… Still, even though I’ve just discovered that my forklift sister has a penchant for destruction, I think I’m going to give her a second chance and I might even let her play with my spankin new Tron Legacy Light Cycle later. Besides, I need to get out of the office for a while because it’s day 18 of the coleslaw diet and the ventilation in here is less than ideal and let’s just say I’ve never been more grateful for scratch and sniff headwear…



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Chin Up!

I don’t know much about cooking. I mean I can tear open a packet of mi goreng with an unnecessary amount of ceremony and knife work. And I’ve no doubt that should Matt Moran ever sample one of my cups of cold Milo, he’d hold it up triumphantly, praising my delicate balance of flavors and my bold decision to partially dissolve the powder in boiling water before adding milk. What a risk taker. And yet despite these michelin worthy skills, I’m not above sampling the culinary attempts of others. So when it came time for a mineral water family dinner last week, Chin Chin was the proposed locale and after being assured (lied to) that they would probably have instant Indonesian noodles on their Vietnamese menu, I was happy to go along and no doubt engage in some seriously heated debate with the chefs about degrees of package tear, the best ratio of red to black sauce and how long a person can realistically exist on a diet of noodles and milk before a colonial case of scurvy sets in.

Now now, I know what you’re thinking: Chin Chin is the new cool kid on campus and we, well, we are halfway through our biannual Golden Girls marathon. Still, with season 4 episode 3 on pause (Blanche and the girls are off on a Caribbean holiday - never gets old) we were out on the town and looking more Goldfinger than Golden Girl. This was not to last. If you’ve spent the better part of an afternoon eating Wagon Wheels and eagerly watching the romantic escapades of four 65 year old women unfold, there’s really no coming back from that. And besides, once you’ve decided you look like James Bond, making a pretend gun with your hands and humming the theme tune while you dart around corners and shoot at bad guys is pretty much unavoidable. Two minutes in the door and we’d just managed to blow the non-existent bullet dust off our imaginary guns and put them back into their make-believe holsters when we spotted our water in a bar fridge…

To their credit, the Chin Chins indulged our shameless product snapping in a your-lives-must-be-so-empty-there’s-biscuit-crumbs-in-your-hair-and-we-saw-you-using-your-fingers-to-shoot-at-each-other-just-now kind of way. If life was an American high school movie, they would be the cheerleaders and we are the nerds that they stuff in their lockers (or drinks fridge). High-waisted atomic-wedgie-inviting underpants and our 145 man strong Troll Doll collection aside, we got it together enough to order food and eat it and yeah it was delicious and no there wasn’t any mi goreng on the menu and I’m beginning to think there never was, and yeah it is lucky that the staff speak fluent Bad-Sean-Connery-Impressionese (it’s a Celtic dialect, you just do the voice and ask for everything to be “shaken, not stirred”) and no, apparently you can’t have duck pancakes shaken or stirred, and yes that is a rainbow-haired gem stone protector Troll Doll in my pocket, thanks for noticing.

Now if you’ll excuse us, Rose has forgotten her bathers and Sophia seems to think she’s got the solution and we still have to catch some baddies, save the world and get the girl before we can watch it.

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In Our Wildest Dreams

It’s not often you get confused about whether you’re inside or outside. I mean it used to happen to me all the time but we eliminated the problem by not building windows into our new office - a good rule of thumb: can’t see the outside = inside or night time or playing a wicked awesome game of murder in the dark. But it happened again on Tuesday night at The Forum which is weird because they were using the ol’ no windows trick themselves and I’d been sure to cancel my standing Tuesday night murder in the dark game (my MITD buddies were not happy to be losing their best ringer, especially since we were up against league favorites Zombreed and they’re having a killer season. Still, as I explained to Leron while we were playing each other in World Of Warcraft last night, I’m all about the arts). Of course, The Forum gang are their own worst enemies because they’ve gone and lit their blue ceiling up like the Roman sky at dusk. It’s enough to confuse the most discerning of inside/outsidies! So we walked in for the program launch of the Melbourne Festival confused about the time of day, arguing about who’d win in a fight between Russell Crowe and Kevin Sorbo, and concerned that our MITD team weren’t going to utilise the new plays we’d been strategising all week.

Luckily, anyone who knows us knows we’re not fussy. Stick a mineral water in our hands and we’ll happily listen to any band if they play Serbian acoustic-trance music from the post-independence Bulgarian border that was written between March 2007 and February 2008. And we’ll pretty much just veg out in front of the TV and watch whatever. As long as it’s Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. So you can imagine we’re a receptive audience to anyone announcing a festival program. Provided Riverdance and The Dixie Chicks are on the bill, what’s not to love?

But apparently Michael Flatley left Riverdance like ten years ago and The Dixie Chicks are busy or not very good or something. Anyway, the Melbourne Festival has managed to come up with a program that doesn’t rely on recalcitrant arms or uninspiring country music circa 1999 to get our attention. Ever wondered what Shakespeare would be like if a Great Dane was cast as Hamlet? Me too! And have you ever watched a play and wished that when you screamed for the brooding male lead to “just kiss her already!” they would do it instead of having you escorted out of the theatre by an attractive but frankly curt security guard? Samesies!! And have you always dreamed of having a baby with the tail of a devil and the wings of an angel and the height of Godzilla and a head so shiny you can see yourself in it?? Oh… yeah, me either.

Still, all of our wildest dreams are coming true this October! Don’t be jealous because we got to find out before you did. Be jealous because we got to find out at an awesome launch party being all cool and artsy, casually slipping words like “uber” and “neo” and “iconoclast” into all of our sentences. But jealousies and indecipherable nonsense sentences aside, if you’re into traditional Rajasthani music performed in red-light district windows, or maybe thumb pianos playing psychedelic folk pop are more your thing, get yourself tickets to some or most or all of the festival!!

And if you’re after tickets to the highly anticipated finals season of the third annual Central Highland’s Murder In The Dark tournament, get in early because seats are limited and it’s after dinner in Leron’s mum’s backyard every Tuesday this September.


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New Kid On The Block

Unsurprisingly, image is pretty much everything in the DHMSCO office. Smokin’ hot fashionistas that we are, we always try to stay one step in front of the trends – which is easy if you just dress a season ahead. And while yes, there is a nasty bout of chronic pneumonia going around the office and a valuable lesson has been learnt about never actually hugging fire, come Spring when you’re all stepping out in open-toed jester slippers and cap sleeved Jagger-meets-Lennon anti-war military inspired peasant smocks, we’ll give you a patronisingly wry smile and say something cool and withering like, “huh, quaint smock, I think I had one like, three months ago…”

So you can imagine that when the time came to find a new face to reprezent up in the Sydney boroughs, there were a lot of criteria that needed to be met by potential candidates…

Someone who can tie their own shoes… Someone who likes post-modern indie-rap music from south-west downtown Brooklyn only… Someone who wouldn’t necessarily wear but still owns a Batman cape… Someone who’s not afraid to experiment with sock colour… Someone with a complete set of Smallville trading cards who is willing to share… You know, the usual things you look for in an employee / new best friend.

But how to find such a well-rounded specimen?? Is there really anyone out there as impossibly cool as we are? Impossible! Or so I was writing in my Backstreet Boys journal with my collector’s edition N*Sync ten pen. But as I paused a moment to gaze up at my Wham poster and come up with another word for awesome (uber-cool? totes-awes? hot-shiz? tres-mazing?) it hit me like a Take That reunion tour – Boy Bands!!! I mean if anyone’s as cool as us it’s Gary Barlow! Or Nick Lachey!! Or Taylor Hanson!!!

And so the search was on. In hind-sight, advertising open auditions for “the next big thing in pop music” was probably a bad idea. Wayyy too many Bieber lookalikes. And a lot of people were genuinely disappointed that they weren’t meeting Kyle Sandilands. Very few were interested in selling mineral water and nobody had a Season 4 Episode 13 Lex-Luther-seduces-Lana-Lang trading card. Things. Were. Dire.

But then like the soaring altos of a Human Nature harmony, there he was: Dan “The Man” Kolek.

Look at that pose – we didn’t even tell him to do that! He’s a natural! A born diva with a pop-star pout, killer high notes and a passion for carbonated water! Swoon!! I mean, when his agent faxed through a rider with Dan’s list of demands before the contracts were even signed I thought it MAYBE seemed a little much. I don’t even know what coconut infused hydraulic hair dehumidifier is, but apparently Dan won’t work without it. Also, if anyone knows where I can find fresh peonies this time of year…

Still, if you’re in New South Wales and you need style advice, vocal lessons, an autograph or maybe even a mineral water order, Dan’s your man. Get in touch! Chase him shrieking though the streets! Maybe just don’t look him directly in the eye…

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