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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Pourin’ One Out For The Rangas

Everybody knows that “Red Heads,” “Gingers” or, to use the politically correct term, “Rangas,” aren’t the same as regular humans. They tend to be more afraid of sunlight than Edward Cullen but without the attractiveness and superhuman strength to back it up, their skin seems unnaturally determined to turn the same colour as their hair at every mildly embarrassing moment, and I’m not sure but I’m guessing that they’re less good at all the cool things like hopscotch and Spiderman Monopoly and regular Monopoly and cartwheels and blogging. Which is probably why they’re a dying breed and will be extinct in 100 years, just like dinosaurs or Louie the Mortine fly.

Still, having once been confused for a Red Head – which is weird mostly because my hair is not red - I can identify with the underdogs of the gene pool. Life must be tough knowing that the odds are always against you. Which is why we’ve created a salute to our disadvantaged brothers and sisters with a brand spanken new Organic Ginger Beer.

Although much more attractive and awesome than its human namesakes, like them, Ginger Beer’s had to fight for survival. Sooo many obstacles that it’s had to outwit, outplay and outlast (it probably wasn’t fair that we sent it out into the jungle on rice rations and kept offering it a spoonful of peanut butter and a hot-dog in exchange for immunity and a chance to become the ultimate Survivor, but as Ron Weasley or Ginger Spice will tell you, life’s not always fair). Anyway, just like the tormented career of Lindsay Lohan, Ginger Beer built us up with the piggy-tailed innocence of Parent Trap and then tore us down with its inability to get out of a taxi without flashing its private parts and its you’re-not-fooling-anyone blonde highlights. One day I’d be promised Ginger Beer within the fortnight, the next it was a mere phantom of a thing, a ghostly whisper echoing in a licked-clean peanut butter jar abandoned in the Amazon.

It reminds me of the time my brother told me that if I pulled my tooth out and left it under my pillow I’d get five bucks from the Tooth Fairy because the market for adult teeth is much more lucrative than the fledgling baby teeth one. Well, the Tooth Fairy never came and now I’m tired because I was only pretending to be asleep last night so that I could see her and I’m also a little concerned because I googled it and it seems that adult teeth don’t grow back like baby teeth do and my brother’s not taking my calls and he said I wasn’t allowed to tell Mum or the whole operation would be a bust, which if you ask me, it is anyway and I think I’ll stick to my guaranteed cash cow  (rainbow-end hunting) from now on.

Luckily, unlike my cheque from the Tooth Fairy, our Organic Ginger Beer really did arrive this morning! And even though the newly exposed nerve endings in my gums tingle in the hurty way every time I take a sip, I can’t get enough!! So get on board the ginger train! And whenever you take a swig of the coolest soft drink going round, spare a thought for our disadvantaged fire-haired brethren, and then thank your lucky stars that you’re not one.


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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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It’s Not Rocket Science (or any other kind either)

There aren’t many perfect people out there - even Johnny Depp made The Tourist, and after reading his biography I’m beginning to think Peter Andre isn’t as perfect as I thought he was (My World: In Pictures and Words - a literary tour de force. Read it, thank me later). But we are pretty much good at everything there is to be good at…

Creating flavoured mineral water drinks… creating un-flavoured mineral water drinks… buying Star Wars figurines online… other things…. See? We’re amazing, brilliant and (trust me) sickeningly good-looking.

It’s not surprising then that it turns out we’re actually extremely gifted farmers. Would you look at the size of that egg??!! Why it’s twice the size of that other egg! Now, I don’t know much about biology or physics or nutrition or time-travel, but I do know that feeding our chickens mineral water is definitely the possible cause of their revolutionary are-you-sure-your-chickens-aren’t-really-dinosaurs? sized eggs.

There are unpopular people out there who say eggs are meant to be egg sized. To them we say, “well what if I want a bigger than normal omelette but I’m only in the mood to crack one egg?” They’re the same buzz-kills who claim that you shouldn’t eat ice-cream for dinner or that chess is a sport or that sheep can’t drink sparkling mineral water. Well we say, “why can’t sheep enjoy a refreshing bubbly from time to time?” Or at least, “why can’t we spend a day pouring milk into mineral water bottles so that it looks like they can?” We are pioneers.

So what have we learnt from our trip to the DHMSCO farm? Johnny Depp is only human, our chickens might actually be dinosaurs, and sheep look adorable drinking from mineral water bottles.

And for the record, I still think Peter Andre is perfect. And I’d let him make me a two-egg-with-one-egg omelette any morning.

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Friends With Benefits

Not being much crack at maths, this equation might not be the solid stuff of Pythagoras or Archimedes, but I’m pretty sure even they would agree that:

famous customer = famous friend = famous us³

So, you can imagine we almost pie-r-squared our pants when we  saw this photo in The Age last weekend. That’s Kellie Sutherland from Architecture in Helsinki and THAT’S a bottle of our mineral water in her fridge! Woopee!! …Not that we’re excited. Famous people don’t get excited, they get new Wayfarers.

Still, as we bask in our new found fame, rocking designer shades and new you’ll-all-be-wanting-one haircuts, we have to wonder… should we quit our day jobs and just hire Rachel Zoe now, or did we maybe spring for the punk-nouveau-page-boy cuts a little prematurely?

I know, I know, when is a page-boy cut EVER a bad idea? Still, as we perfect our best paparazzi pouts, it couldn’t hurt to see whether we have more than one famous friend… I mean, if I’m calling Oprah’s people (and I am… eight times a day… or so…) to let her know she’ll defs be wanting to come out of retirement to interview us, I want to make sure we’re as famous as we think we are…

So the hunt is on! Not in the creepy, stalker, wear-this-vile-of-mineral-water-around-your-neck kind of way. But maybe you’ll see a celebrity one day. And maybe they’ll be chugging down a Hepburn water… Or maybe they’ll look thirsty and you’ll offer them one. Should you ever find yourself in either of these incredibly likely scenarios, snap that celebrity, send us the snap and then we’ll be your friend and you’ll be famous too! SNAPS!!

Just remember when you’re shielding your Ray-Bans from the paparazzi with your fashionable yet functional page-boy cut, we taught you everything you know…


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The Snozzberries Taste Like Snozzberries!

Ever had a great idea? I have.
Two words: Shoe Light (TM). A light that goes on your shoe so you can see where you’re stepping in the dark.
Here’s another: Socks With Scents (TM). Socks that smell like strawberries or pine or lemon meringue instead of like feet.

The good news for mankind and for ingenuity, is that I’m not the only one thinking up these little nuggets of brilliance. There are people out there coming up with other and maybe even better ideas! Better than Shoe Light (TM)??! Yes… Maybe. And they’re not all so unnecessarily caught up on feet…

Take the clever clogs over at Little Creatures for example: those crazy kids POUR THEIR WATER FROM A TAP!!!


Um, big deal - I’ve been doing that since I was fourteen-and-a-half years old, it’s almost as easy as brushing your teeth, in fact it’s one of the key steps involved.
Well THIS is sparkling mineral water. Try brushing your teeth with that! (you could, it would be tingly…)
It’s a little bit Wonka and it’s a little bit awesome!!
But WHERE does the water come from? At first magic - most probably powered by Oompa Loompas - was assumed. But that seemed silly.
Then a worm hole that connected the tap directly to our spring was suggested. This seemed plausible.
But then some kill-joy asked, “haven’t we been sending Little Creatures kegs full of mineral water for weeks now?”

At first this nonsensical idea was widely ignored and the physics defying worm hole was applauded with unquestioning abandon. But then it had to be asked, what had they been doing with all those kegs?A hard hitting investigation (okay, okay: we followed the copper piping to see where it leads) revealed that actually, eco kegs were the source of this ingenious new way of serving up mineral water.

And while we can neither confirm nor deny whether Oompa Loompas played any part in the construction, a garden tap that streams mineral water still seems pretty darn magical really!


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