1. All those with bourgeois faces (esp. Ted Baillieu)
2. Paul David Hewson (aka Bono) **Not coming if Paul's gonna be there**
3. Hamish and/or Andy
4. Any members of Coldplay (esp. Chris Martin) - Coldplay is the sort of music you can listen to when your parents are home and your mum would love to take you to their concert. And as for you, Chris, even if she was pretty awesome wouldn't there be a point where you'd put your hand up and go "But wait, it's Gwyneth Paltrow"?
5. Elle McPherson - the cameras have snapped her soul away. We cannot be anywhere near her.
6. Bob Brown - some people have been horrified when we say we have never liked Bob Brown. He has been a bad face for the Greens.
7. Anyone who has ever worked for or voluntarily listened to Austereo.
8. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - it would be catastrophic if we were in a social environment with these two because our strong ethical beliefs would drive us to tell them the truth: that they are perpetuating a dangerous mix of feudalism and celebrity.
We're at a BBQ at Mia's place in Brighton. All of the women have brought earthen bowls of ancient grain salads, some with quenelles of home-made labne. Jason is out the back tea-smoking farmed trout, beaming with smooth pride. A former athlete, Jason unashamedly favours a low-carb beer while Mia churns out carb-less white-spirit cocktails for 'the girls'.
We were a late addition to the evening which had been planned for months. A babysitter was looking after all of their children - except for Flynn, who was asleep in her room - so the parents could have their me time together. They shared stories of birthing, parenting, post-natal depression, teething and growing up too fast. Mia juggled advice, ancient grains, pouring glasses of Tasmanian Rain, all the while cooing into the mouthpiece of her state-of-the-art B&O baby monitor. It was like a Madonna mic with a ear and mouth piece so she can sooth Flynn remotely.
Tania, a mother of twins and mature aged student who'd returned to school to study Natropathy, is sitting next to us and keeps saying 'Isn't Mia great?', but it's not really a question. She says to us, 'You guys work online too, don't you? Mia's told me your site is really fascinating. It sounds like a terrific idea.' Before we know it, Tania is trying to sniff Sir Elton's private life out of us like a truffle pig. Throwing her off the scent, we tell Tania we make it all up and back-off towards the blokes smoking trout. We often find sanctuary in the comfortable silence of men.
Fiona ('Fi'), a grief counsellor, comes out the back and asks for a puff, she's normally not a smoker but after a few drinks... She used to smoke a lot before she had children and even when they were little babies because 'they didn't know the smell'. The talk of pregnancy segued to a direct line of questioning from Fi about Sir Elton and David's second child. Luckily Mia walked passed and we grabbed her tanned arm, asking to see the baby as we knew our wish would be granted immediately.
All the way up to Flynn's cot, Mia, who is a little bit tipsy now and unsteady on her feet, regales us with Flynn's sleep history and visits to Sleep School. 'I could never leave her with a baby sitter,' she explains, 'The separation anxiety would be too bad.' As we stand by the cot, what Mia calls the 'Love Mobile' hangs above the cradle. It is fashioned from coconut shells with photographs of Mia pulling various faces attached to them, each one a different version of 'the mother'. She lists them for us:
We have had to sublet part of our workspace due to the Global Financial Crisis which is really hitting Australia hard. Mia, an online editor and publisher of issues to do with parenting has moved in. In her application she demonstrated a vast knowledge of our site as she had noted the various ups and downs with our tenuous, volatile relationship with Sir Elton.
Mia has three children with partner Jason: Baxter 6, Atlas 4 and a little girl called Flynn who is 15 months. She's very busy. Kerryn, her personal assistant helped her set up her workstation. They've been friends for a really long time and finish each other's sentences. Kerryn is also a mother but only has her children fifty per cent shared care as part of the court order with her ex. As we watched, Mia art directed her 'Wonder Wall', a collection of keepsake images of her family. Kerryn suggested using the proof sheets of Flynn's professional shoot and Mia went with it, deciding on 'eye level, and to the right'.
On her application, Mia had ticked the box for coffee machine. We were slightly deflated when Kerryn unpacked the Nespresso, and with that we discreetly retrieved our Gloria Jean's loyalty cards from the bin. Kerryn was coming at us with Decaffeinato Lungo, we diverted the situation by popping the bottle of Bollinger we'd bought especially for the occasion. As always happens with French, one bottle is never enough. Mia gave Kerryn money to go to the shops and buy three more bottles. Before too long, we were all shouting to each other about ourselves. No one was listening. The last memory is Kerryn shouting down her mobile to her new partner Brendan saying she's maggoted.
As you guys know, The Art Gallery of New South Wales is playing host to works by one Francis Bacon.
We've been reading about him and we don't like him. We are particularly offended to hear he was 'fascinated with Marcel Duchamp' - one of the Founding Fathers of Surrealism - to the point of muscling in on Marc's schtick (otherwise known as theft). In our direct line session last night, we asked Marc if our feelings on Bacon aligned with Surrealist thought out there in the great nothingness. He used the term 'Sacred Monster' and likened Bacon to, as he said 'Your AJ Miller.' We said 'Who?' Marc took control of the keyboards and directed our computer to this site.
We were anxious to get inside, behind those concertina doors screening off the judges. It was past one o'clock - clearly punctuality is only mandatory for entrants. The show secretary did pop her head through the doors to acknowledge our arrival as we were the first ever metropolitan exhibitors, but she very quickly snapped them shut. The judges tardiness allowed us to take advantage of the two course luncheon: corned beef, mustard sauce and a selection of vegetables (not necessarily different) and apple pie.
The concertina doors finally parted to reveal the show. The displays were so genuinely breathtaking it took us a while to get to our own creation. After getting sucked in by the bearded irises for a while we did away with politeness and pushed our way through to the Worst Arrangement section. We looked everywhere for our names but as the eyesight of the stewards was bad, the decision had been made to mark us down as 'P. Blanket.'
Reece and his staff at Mooroopna Florists did follow our instructions: make it look like shit, wrap it in newspaper and attach the filthiest card you have in the shop.
Their choice of card was magnificent - a torn piece of an envelope with a scribbled missive. Our proxy stager also showed independence with her creativity, choosing to remove most of the petals of the only actual flower and housing our arrangement in the previous evening's Butter Chicken container, label still in tact with lingering aroma.
As bad as it was, it was not worse than reigning champ, Noreen.
Noreen was obviously sure of herself in this category. We learnt on the way down she had suggested the show secretary relax the NO LATE ENTRIES rule for us city folk and had offered to secret our entry through the back door. She didn't see us as a threat. And we weren't, because she won.
We didn't even come second.
The Mooroopna Garden Club has not seen the last of P. Blanket.
We are finally in transit heading towards certain victory. We are competitors in the Mooroopna 62nd Anniversary Spring Flower, Craft and Floral Art Show, Section 19 (Novelty Section), No. 151 'Worst Arrangement'.
It's been a long and winding road. The schedule said NO LATE ENTRIES, but our train from the city was scheduled to arrive at 11.48am and all exhibits must be staged ready for Judging by 11.30am. We placed a call to the show secretary who happens to be related to us but she was categorical in her response: NO LATE ENTRIES. At first we were slightly taken aback, as we did expect some level of favouritism, but then we realised that the show secretary lives by the same moral code we do. She was doing the right thing, but nothing was going to stop us. Rather than adopt the supplier/technician model a-la Jeff Koons/Damian Hirst and employ studio serfs, we decided to be more inclusive/collaborative with regional surrealists. They were not hard to find.
The genesis of our idea came from an incident in the 1980s where neither of us were present. Our friend Randal had received an apology in the form of a bunch of very expensive roses from his frenemy, Kate. In disgust, he chopped their heads off with a designer cleaver. Our Worst Arrangement entry is titled 'To Kate From Randal' .
After confirming with the show secretary that entries in the Worst Arrangement category were exempt from Item 1 of the Rules and Definitions which expressly states that 'All exhibits must be grown by Exhibitors and have been in his or her possession for two months prior to the show', we got to work. We needed a proxy artisan and a proxy stager. We ran our remote plan by the show secretary: a local florist had agreed to assemble our work to our exacting instructions and an upstanding and capable community figure would stage our entry. The show secretary, shocked, said 'No! You have to make it yourself!' By this point we were becoming exasperated by what we perceived to be the undercurrents of a regional blockade against city entrants. We reiterated that the florist is working to our exacting instructions, we were not just buying the worst arrangement in the shop. It was OUR creation. The show secretary had bigger fish to fry. There were only 45 minutes remaining before registration would be cut off, the phone was running hot and she 'didn't want to listen to any more voicemail messages'. In a loud voice so her staff could hear she simply said 'Alright then, I didn't hear any of that,' then louder still: 'And no one here heard any of that'.
This is very difficult. Don't be at home for anyone, and occasionally, when no one has forced his way in, interrupting you in the midst of your Surrealist activity, and you, crossing your arms, say: "It doesn't matter, there are doubtless better things to do or not do. Interest in life is indefensible Simplicity, what is going on inside me, is still tiresome to me!" or an other revolting banality.
The other night we're hanging at Claire's. On our devices checking out the news because as you guys know we are addicted. Claire was possessed by the greyhounds on Pay. Anyway, we had to quickly pour another Baileys when we read about a scenario so pretentious it could not have been made up. russell crowe in Iceland singing a duet with Patti Smith.
Just letting you all know our absence online is due to fact that we are very, very busy. Working day and night developing intervention software for our television. We need a warning mechanism to recognise that the channel we are about to surf to is transmitting Embarrassing Bodies (and/or Embarrassing Fat Bodies). It needs to ask us if we wish to proceed and we have to select yes or no. It may sound simple, and it should be, but Claire keeps bursting into our space demanding that we listen to passages from Wayne Carey's book, The Truth Hurts.
As you guys know we are really good friends with Jack Elliott. He loves us. He's 70 now and had a few turns to celebrate. We didn't go to the big do at Gary Morgan's, we know what Gary's parties are like. Apparently Ted Baillieu showed his bourgeois face, what a drag. The Savage Club was more our kinda thing, it is spacious, restful and presents a civilised place of meeting, conversation and relaxation against a background of superb furnishings and appointments. The 'bohemian spirit' of the place was juxtaposed with the jazzed up working class food, roast, puddings, white bread and butter. Because Jack never drinks crook wine we had good shit.
Just before pudding Jack came and smoked between us, making his usual ribald comments about Joanne being away a lot and how we should come to his penthouse with no undies. We have known Jack long enough to recognise the pattern, he is about to lead in with a matter of deep importance to him. Sure enough, before too long Jack wants to know what happened to his album that we recorded with him. We explained again - because we'd told him before - that our house burnt down, the files were destroyed.
Jack asked us if if had one of those Smart Phones, or whatever they are called. As we did have one of those phones on our person we end up in the toilet for 'Disabled Savages and Laurie Oakes'. Jack reckons the acoustics are magnificent in there. He wants to give Joanne one of those cards that sing when you open them. He's got the perfect song for her. She works for Qantas. And with all that travel she can have him with her all of the time. He turned out the lights and told us to hit record. We did.