- Signs Nan is getting too much heating
- Cognitive benefits for children of having an imagination Christmas and/or birthday
- Do the children really need that many school shoes?
- It’s character building – reasons to give up on civilization and live in the pop tent for four to six months
- Watching A Current Affair stories for tips on how to teach the children to steal on your behalf
- Funding the family vacation and starting a family cock-fighting syndicate in your own backyard
- Scrumping – lists of houses with apple trees and climbable fences
- Encouraging creativity – sewing patterns for fashioning clothes from potato sacks
- IKEA and Squatters rights – tips for hiding in the show room so you can sleep there after hours
- Teaching ANZAC spirit – having a war rationing themed April to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1
- Alternative birthday entertainment – why you getting drunk and dancing for the guest’s amusement is much better than hiring a clown
- Utilizing the neighbors’ sprinklers for bathing and saving big coin on your next water bill
- Alternatives for buying your teenager a phone such as two cans attached via a string
- Your next family pet – handy hints on catching a possum from the park
- The everyman guide to doing your own dentistry
- Bathroom saving hacks: manually de-plying the toilet paper and keeping the towels pristine through air-drying
- Food budgeting – getting a Dominos tattoo and free pizza for life
- Only suckers spend money on sleeping bags – saving on your next camping trip by pulling a Bear Grylls
Given the last time I wrote a childhood book drinking games post it was 2016, I feel I need to stress again to be a responsible adult and wait til the children in your care are asleep before you get the books out and prepare to par-tay!
Any of the Charlie and Lola books (Lauren Child)
- Drink anytime Lola has a whinge or is a bit of a pain in the ass
- Drink whenever a real picture is used within the illustrations or when the font is put in bold for emphasis
- Drink if at any point you start to wonder where Charlie and Lola’s parents are at
- Drink if there’s an overall lesson about sharing
- Drink any time these words are utilised: extremely, absolutely, actually
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Judith Viorst)
- Drink anytime something shitty happens to Alexander
- Drink if he threatens to move to Timbuktu
- Drink whenever Alexander says it’s a ‘terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day’
- Drink whenever the characters are wearing an outfit that’s quite seventies
Come Back, Amelia Bedelia (Peggy Parish)
- Drink anytime Amelia fucks up
- Drink if the exact way she fucks up is somehow a pun
- Drink if her job search in this book gets you reminiscing about your own periods of unemployment and you start to feel sorry for Amelia
- Drink every time she gets hired for a job she’d probably need to have proper training for – that’s why she keeps screwing things up! This isn’t all on her!!!
Any of the Maisy Mouse books (Lucy Cousins)
- Drink anytime Maisy is referred to in the third person
- Drink if Charlie and Talluhlah also rock up
- Drink if at any point you start to wonder how old Maisy is meant to be; given that in some stories she’s in the city alone or using the oven unsupervised yet in others she’s playing doctors and her bedtime’s 7.30pm
- Drink anytime she brushes her teeth or there’s an actual illustration of her sitting on the John (there’s more than one)
The Velvelteen Rabbit (Margery Williams)
- Drink anytime the Velvelteen Rabbit stresses that he’s real a rabbit
- Drink if you start to wonder why the other toys are being so shitty about the fact that he’s not a real rabbit – you’re not real either!!!!
- Drink to ease the pain when things start to get real and the kid suddenly has scarlet fever
Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown)
- Drink if there’s a rhyme
- Drink if the red balloon that appears gets you thinking about IT
- Drink anytime an animals mentioned
- Drink whenever you think ‘a bowl full of mush’ doesn’t sound particularly appetising
- Drink whenever the word ‘goodnight’ is said (yeah this is a pretty harsh rule. You probably will need your stomach pumped)
So I was listening to ‘Anonymous Club’ on the long drive back from Ballarat to Melbourne. When I’m left on my own too long – especially in the car, I’ll suddenly decide to have this big formal meeting between myself and my brain, and together we’ll come up with some diamond plans.
Anyway, whenever I hear this song it tends to spur a brainstorm on potential clubs I could start. Here is the fruit of my labour from this last trip: I give you my brilliant future book club ideas.
- If I were the leader of a book club, all the meetings would begin with me doing a heart warming interpretive dance to either Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ (possibly involving a ribbon) or Elvis Costello’s ‘Everyday I Write the Book’.
- Wookie Booky – where we all have to dress as Chewbacca and speak in shyriiwook while having a deep and meaningful about the romantic poets. (Side note, apparently all the wookie suits from the movie were made from human hair!)
- Books, Bikes & Bitches – a part book club, part biker gang. Where we all dress massively rebelliously, and we pick a nice place to cycle.
- Grapes of Wrath – Where we all discuss books and simultaneously attempt to make homemade wine in the bathtub by stomping on grapes.
- 1984 – Where every meeting finishes with a half an hour dance party to songs from the year 1984
- I’m not sure yet what this would be called, but a book club where the members attempt to make a pair of pants out of the heaviest book they own.
- Clockwork Orange – where if a member has forgotten to read the book, everyone gets to throw oranges at them. Or it could be darker, if they’ve forgotten to read the book they have to wear the device from Clockwork Orange which stops you from blinking and they’re forced to watch something really shit – like an hour of Escape to the Country
- Robert Frost Book Club – where you have to read Robert Frost’s The Road Less Travelled as fast as you can out-loud. Every member is timed, and everyone gets to throw snowballs at whoever was the slowest.
Back in olden times – before the internet was a deeply entrenched part of our culture, and we weren’t all technologically savvy – if you wanted to do a stalking you had to rely on your own wits.
Our poor ancestors couldn’t just do a sneaky stalk of someones Facebook wall, they needed to put in the man-hours to gain valuable intel.
This is quite noticeable in older literature. Here are some examples from classics that are about as subtle as a brick to the face.
The Great Gatsby (Scott Fitzgerald, 1925)
I like to think that there was one Gatsby party that was so excruciatingly shit and awkward that it didn’t make it into the novel. One that wasn’t exactly off the chain, and everyone was in bed by 8.30pm. I’ll level with you, I only made it up to page 52 of The Great Gatsby, then I lost interest. For all I know the rest of the book could’ve just been 100 pages detailing this one crap party Jay held.
Anyway, if this novel has taught us nothing else, its that if you’re trying to win back your former lover, she’ll be nothing but massively impressed if you buy the house directly across from her and throw loud parties every single night.
Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1985)
In this book Florentino shows his lady-love that smooth is his middle name by cracking onto her at her husbands funeral. Dude! I know you’ve been waiting a really long time for her to be back on the market but maybe pick a better time.
Of Human Bondage (W. Somerset Maugham, 1915)
Look there’s no denying that in this book Mildred is a piece of human shit, BUT in fairness she did repeatedly say to the main character Phillip that she wasn’t interested. She even made a point of telling him more than once that she didn’t like having to kiss him. This doesn’t deter Phillip though, he knows that he can’t change her mind but he still can’t let go of hope.
This is actually a pretty good book, but you do feel quite drained reading about these futile feelings Phillip holds. I just wish I could give him a hug and say please just let her go.
Perfume Story of a Murderer (Patrick Süskind, 1985)
This is a pretty odd book. I think the moral of the story was virgins smell fantastic.
Anyway, I’m over-simplifying the plot here, but majority of Perfume is Jean Baptiste Grenouille lurking around French markets then secretly following around women who happen to have a nice natural scent. He’s a bit of a wrongin – there were also some blatant un-dealt with mummy issues here.
Rebecca (Daphne de Maurier, 1938)
Rebecca is about an unnamed protagonist who marries a older man, Maxim. When Maxim takes her back to his giant house (called Manderley), she is haunted by constant reminders of his deceased first wife Rebecca. Specifically, the housekeeper – Mrs Danvers, is not particularly impressed that Maxim has remarried, and throughout the book gets increasingly more passive-aggressive towards the main character.
Its very much a book of its time, in that the main character could’ve just told Mrs Danvers to fuck off if she wasn’t bound by very British conventions of social etiquette.
Anyway, while Mrs Danvers doesn’t teach you how to do a stalking, but she’s filled with diamond tips on how to do an obsession.
She loathes Maxim’s new wife only because she adored Rebecca so much; and the house is kept precisely as Rebecca had left it not because Maxim likes it that way, but because Mrs Danvers wants it preserved.
For somebody who really loves reading, I’m surprisingly terrible at keeping up with uni set readings.
There’s always the best of intentions in week one: the reader is all nice and shiny, and I’m convinced that despite previous instances where I’ve been a lazy dropkick, this will be the semester where I’ll just be a beacon of productivity.
But then out of nowhere it’s suddenly week four, and the reader is somehow reflecting my motivation levels – pages are falling out, its covered in little drawings from times I’ve zoned out, and its a bit dirty cause it did fall in a puddle. I don’t know how this happened, I highlighted the shit out of those first readings, things were going splendidly.
And its not that the topics aren’t interesting….well for the most part. I’ve narrowed it down three things that may be the issue:
- I’m just not gripped. Sometimes they really can go on and on, to the point where I genuinely start to believe that by the time I finish reading it I’ll be dead.
- The semester goes ridiculously fast and I have other things on
- Eventually time gets taken up with reading for assessments and/or panic writing an essay
But it’s still early days into semester and all is not lost. Thankfully its still in that beautiful little period that doesn’t last very long, where the amount I have to get done hasn’t actually dawned on me yet, and the gnawing sense that I’m about to be up shit creek hasn’t arrived.
So the big plan I have to be an adult for once and do these readings on time is the same as when it comes time to writing my essay; I’m going to pretend I’m the guy from the movie Misery. My heart may not be in this reading/writing I’m doing, but I value one day being able to leave the room I’m currently trapped in, so I carry on writing.
To finish off here’s a picture of me essay time semester two 2015; as you can tell, at that point I was loving life, getting loads of sleep and not dead inside at all.
My last job interview I was asked what my spirit animal was. I’m a huge disappointment and I did not answer that question truthfully – my spirit animal is hands down Bernard Black from Black Books.
This beautiful Irish chain smoking filth wizard, who very nearly brought the world the classic children’s book The Elephant and His Balloon, is living the dream – he gets to be all witty and grumpy while surrounded by books with a red wine in his hand.
I strive to one day have my sense of shame that dead, and to be able to come up with insults that creative. If I had to narrow down my favourite Bernard moment it would be a draw between when he attempted to get himself beaten up to avoid doing his taxes, and the wicker chair incident.
He’s unsocial, childish, drunk, quite mad, slightly evil, always flailing his arms in the air dramatically, and he’s drops pearls of wisdom like ‘pineapples grow in space’ and ‘no one’s prepared to admit wine doesn’t really have a taste’.
He’s a legend, and I love his thing against children and how he does secretly care about Manny.
There’s going to be a mass dance to Wuthering Heights in a few weeks and I’m a bit over-excited about it. Anyway in between attempting to sew Kate Bush’s exact outfit from that music video, I found out a bit of trivia* – apparently its a true fact that the final part of casting the role of Heathcliff for adaptions of Wuthering Heights is you must do a perfect rendition of the Wuthering Heights’ dance in full costume! Here’s photographic evidence of actors throughout the years who have played Heathcliff nailing the choreography (apologies for my terrible photoshop ability here)
Laurence Oliver 1939
Timothy Dalton 1970
Ralph Fiennes 1992
Robert Cavanah 1998
Tom Hardy, 2009
James Howson 2011
[*I am making shit up just for the record]
[header image via proxy music]
Similar to Morrissey, there’s nothing Edgar loves more than to walk around cemeteries on sunny days.
doll from: THE UNEMPLOYED PHILOSOPHERS GUILD
I found these pictures in Catherine’s house – I gather she is not very impressed with the news that her husband Charles had been doing the nasty on her. His mistress was called Ellen though, so I don’t know whose side to take.
(that’s a cursive style font up there so you know its legit! These pictures are defs from olden times)
[No, I’m not suggesting you try these while you’re babysitting]
The Magic School Bus
- Drink every time you admire Miss Frizzle’s bold fashion choices (she truly was the Lady Gaga of the education scene)
- Drink if you begin to think about the permission slip system at this school
- Drink whenever you learn a fun fact
- Drink whenever the class finds themselves in a jam
- Drink whenever the bus shifts into something
- Drink whenever there is clear favouritism towards Madeline (yes I’m talking about you Miss Clavel)
- Drink whenever the phrase ‘two straight lines’ is used
- Drink anytime you see a Paris landmark
- Anytime when Madeline disobeys the rules (such a little shit, she needs boundaries Miss Clavel, get your shit together!)
- Anytime Pepito is a dick (if you’re reading Madeline and the Bad Hat)
- Anytime the girls brush their teeth and go to bed
Green Eggs & Ham
- Drink whenever he refuses to eat some lovely green eggs and ham
- Drink if you admire him for not bowing down to peer pressure
- Drink whenever a word rhyming with ‘ham’ or ‘them’ appears
- Drink if you begin to wonder if location of food makes it more palatable
- Drink if you wonder why Sam is so adamant that he tries green eggs and ham. Has he done something to that dish? Like spiked it with laxatives for a laugh?
- Drink whenever a different mode of transport is mentioned
- Drink whenever you judge Peter’s decision to go into Mr Megregors garden
- Drink if you begin wondering why all the rabbits in this book are walking on two legs
- Drink if you begin wondering why Mr Megregor would want to hurt a rabbit who wears clothes?
There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake
- Drink whenever the Hippopotamus stays on the roof and eats some lovely cake
Caps for Sale
- Drink every time the main character wears many a cap
- Drink every time the word ‘cap’ is used
[Even though it’s not a book, there’s also the Mr Squiggle drinking game where you have to drink every time the picture he draws is a bit shit.]