Wednesday, 25 June 2014


It must be hard being a young woman today, being constantly bombarded with images of the 'ideal' woman and being cajoled into trying to conform.
I know that this has been the norm from the mid 20th century but the pressures are becoming greater. Along with the money-making fashion, diet and make-up industries all scaring young ones into parting with cash to desperately fit in, there are new 'imperfections' being created all the time.

The cosmetic surgery industry cashed in with telling women that their breasts were too big, too small and/or not the right shape. They also told them that their lips were too skinny, their eyebrows too bushy and their foreheads wrinkled. The hair industry has for years been telling them that their hair is too straight, too curly, not blonde enough, too long, too short or too dull - enough to make it impossible to score a boyfriend.

(Teenage boys however don't see it this way. Their ideal 'woman' is something like this.):

The porn industry has a lot to answer for of course and especially when it comes to young women's body image. Apparently now pubic hair is considered disgusting and 'unnatural' so has to be waxed, shaved, plucked etc. otherwise girls won't get boyfriends.
This of course bolsters the waxing and shaving industries but also those cosmetic surgery bastards as depilation has uncovered, shock/horror - the vulva! These, previously pretty much hidden were now becoming more and more noticed. In the interests of scaring impressionable young women into parting with more cash the industries (porn and cosmetic surgery) seem to have defined what is the perfect labia.

Needless to say, over 90% of young women don't fit the 'ideal' so labial  reconstructive surgery was invented and is one of the fastest growing procedures in the cosmetic industry.

I recently read that now, in addition to worrying about their height, their weight, their breasts, their lips, their hair and their labia, that young women need to be aware of the thigh gap. They have to have one apparently because of course all the skinny 'super models' (how I hate that term) have them.

I doubt if cosmetic surgery can create this for them - perhaps a spell of horseback riding?

Girls I guess can never measure up to the 'ideal' that they are setting for themselves and being set for them and if they do I'm sure some bastard image industry gurus will invent something else for them to be ashamed of.

Average real young American on right; Barbie on left

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


When I wrote the 'It's a laugh' heading in an earlier post I was reminded of a segment from one of the excellent Young Ones British comedy series from the '80's. See in the skit above:

First copper: "it's a laugh eh, innit?"
 Second copper: "What is?"
 First copper: "That noise you make in the back of your throat when you hear something funny"

 It's a laugh.

Monday, 23 June 2014


I'll be pleased to get back to New Zealand and be surrounded by the soft (some say flat) kiwi accent, especially the women's. I'm sick of the high-pitched and strident way that women speak here. Now admittedly the Canadian accent is a hell of a lot nicer than the American one but Toronto, being close to USA has adopted many things American and now including the way they speak. That 'Valley Girl' patois that originated in Californian high schools and has spread throughout the country is particularly annoying. Somewhere along the way American women (and increasingly women in Toronto) have adopted a Minnie Mouse squeek that becomes a screech when they laugh or raise their voice.
Bloody annoying and I feel sorry for their husbands.

Perhaps I'm getting old. Certainly I'm not alone but it looks like us old farts are not going to win this one. See this link:



Cab Calloway - Reefer Man (1933) - CannabisTube

Great performance that. I like Cab Calloway.

The thing I've noticed here in Toronto is that marijuana smoking seems pretty prevalent.
Now remember, in New Zealand I live in Northland where 'the weed' grows like gorse does in Wellington and it's not uncommon for the local populace to partake but here it just seems so more tolerated.

I'm not sure what the regulations are regarding cannabis use but it really is a day to day occurrence here  to walk along the street and see or smell people smoking. a member of Canada's parliament is an avowed cannabis user and Toronto's mayor uses crack cocaine so perhaps it is normal.
The smell of burning marijuana is so distinctive and powerful that it's impossible to miss it. It makes me wonder if regular users become desensitised to the smell and don't realise that others can easily identify it both when they are smoking and afterwards. The smell clings to hair and clothing and wafts about a long time after use.

This is something that tobacco smokers become unaware of also. Do smokers know that their clothes, their hair and their breath stinks (and not of that nice cannabis smell)? I guess not and they are unaware that their cars, houses and work spaces also reek - a reek that is almost impossible to get rid of (never buy a car that someone has smoked in).

Maybe I'm just getting old.




I just watched Reefer Madness. The piano guy in the bar is a real hoot.


On Friday night I got a bit loose and smoked a couple of Djarum Blacks. The sheer intoxication of the experience sent me reeling and I blogged about the experience :


The next day I came crashing down from my 'high'. With a mouth like an ashtray I resolved not to do that again I don't think I'm cut out to be a smoker.

Saturday, 21 June 2014


I cooked one of my favourite Friday night meals - home-made fish and chips, watched The Desert Fox  and then sat out on the deck drinking a Napa Valley Chardonnay while looking out over Toronto in the dusk. Magic. What could be better?

Well, maybe this:

I smoked a Diarum Black (leaping to my own defence saying that I don't smoke, have never smoked and never will be a smoker) and must admit that it was bloody delicious. These have to be the best cigarette offering - ever.

You might have guessed at this stage that The Old Girl, my lifetime partner, is away this weekend. She is in New York/Baltimore and is in no position (well, location really) to veto my recreation choices (although, as she is wont to do, she telephoned when I was in 'mid-drag' and rumbled me).

Sitting out on the deck, sipping wine, having a puff and the occasional swig of soda water (anyone who doesn't own a Sodastream machine needs their head read) I thought that music should be added.

I listened to the exceptional Dire Straits  'Sultans of Swing' album before putting on  Kind of Blue The Miles Davis, Bill Evans, John Coltrane and others album (if you don't have this GET IT).

Mellow feelings - music, wine, outlook (16th floor of a condominium  looking over a big city) and the deliciously inebriating  Diarim Black all just lulled me away.


In the midst of Flamenco Sketches with the edgy and nicely strident  trumpet played by Miles Davis several fire engines raced down one of the avenues wailing away with their own strident solos. It could have been annoyingly intrusive but, because of the setting (sitting on a deck overlooking a city) and, more probably  due to imbibing wine and smoking unfamiliar cigarettes, the juxtaposition of the two sounds just blended together and somehow fitted.

Magic. You are never too old to experience new things.


I'm just watching The Desert Fox, the 1951 film about Rommel. It's pretty good, especially for the time it was made.
In the scene I'm just up to (oh the beauty of iPads where you can just pick them up and tap away while watching something else)' a Gestapo agent is about to follow the mayor of Stuttgart.
This Gestapo agent is dressed in the obligatory black leather overcoat and sinister hat.
You know the type.

The question that springs to my mind is why dress like that if you want to follow someone surreptitiously?   What's wrong with a duffel coat or something?

It's obvious really just like knowing that an Oik builds and maintains flugelhorns.

Thursday, 19 June 2014


The Old Girl is in New York for a few days and tonight went to see After Midnight. She phoned and said it was marvellous. Patti LaBelle was featured (and not in another fistfight with Aretha Franklin). I've stayed in Toronto as T.O.G. is heading off to Baltimore to catch up with friends on Friday. I'll probably go to NYC next month.

Monday, 16 June 2014


I've been thinking about that old 'first kiss' memory over the last couple of days.

I grew up in a Catholic household that was, from my father's side also Methodist influenced..
Conflicted? More like constricted.

I was educated in Catholic schools:  primary by nuns; intermediate by brothers; secondary by priests.
Now, while none of these kissed me they didn't exactly encourage it with anyone else either.
In the case of intermediate and secondary school this was a blessing as these were single sex boys ' schools. The primary school I went to up until Standard One (age about 8 or 9) was a co-ed school.


Well, they were a bit strange of course but I did have yearnings. My 'girlfriend's' name was Christine. I liked her. To show my feelings I used to grab her beret and throw it up on top of the roof of the school hall. This was so I could rescue it by climbing up onto the roof and be some kind of hero.
 She cried.
 She cried the second time I did this.
 She also cried the third time and I think I left the beret up there, deciding that this was a waste of time.
Plan B. Throwing stones at her.
 The problem with girls are that they just don't understand what's going on.....

Interestingly, I met up with Christine about 45 years later at a school reunion and she said that she actually liked me. Go figure.

I guess you can see that Christine didn't give me a snog. It was another classmate Helen that did this.
Now I'm not talking about one of those kisses you got from your mother, your aunts or your grandmother. You know the ones I mean. They are those sloppy ones on the cheek and usually accompany a spit on the handkerchief and rubbing away of dirt etc.

No. I mean a kiss. Eight years old, grown up, real kiss. On the lips. Smashing. It would have been even better but I found out that she also gave classmate Stephen a similar kiss. Hussy.

In our neighbourhood, Vogeltown, the families were all working class to middle class with nice secure values. There was the one household (very large) that was a bit riotous but we were told to steer clear of them. A couple of the daughters (there were about 15 kids there) were of interest (from afar) but they disappeared when they were in their mid teens!
Amongst the friends that I played with a couple of the kids had older sisters. I mean seriously older. I was about 10 and they were 12 or 13. As kids the games we played were usually war games in the bushes, gullies and streams that abounded before in-fill housing began. These were great and involved all the boys around. When the boys' sisters became involved the games lagged a bit because the girls got bored easily and started to change the rules. No longer were blood thirsty charges through the bushes waving wooden swords or shooting toy guns de-rigeur, no, the games had to have themes.

There were usually two settings. The first was our beloved bush and gullies. The second a big, truck-sized packing case that was dumped on a neighbours spare land and could be lifted up and entered creating an almost dark cavern. I don't remember all of the details but the inevitable outcome was of being 'captured' by one of the girls who would demand to be felt up, laid upon and kissed.  This of course was stimulating and interesting but I always felt that us boys were being 'used'. Of course I was proven right when said girls were fifteen and went off with older boys never giving us a further look. Hussies.

At the tennis club, when I was in my mid teens I had a girlfriend whom I adored. As such, given my romantic attitudes to females and family and school upbringing, I put her on a pedestal and, apart from the odd embrace or virginal kiss kept my hands (and significant other parts) off her. This went on for a couple of years until she sort of drifted away and went out with another guy. Hussy.

Interestingly this guy was a sort of doppelganger for me.

In my 6th form year, at a school dance - one of those formal affairs where our Catholic boys' school met up with a Catholic girls' school to cavort, grope and generally go mad until 11 PM or getting whacked by a ruler-wielding nun - whichever came first, I had a real good snog. Not one of those pecks on the cheek things which reminds me of the Jefferson Airplane White Rabbit song - "....and the pills that mother gives you do nothing at all...", nor the old dry kiss on the lips thing - no, I'm talking about tongues, saliva and pants-busting excitement. This was all good but unfortunately left a bit late because Girl (I forget her name) had to leave because her mother had arrived to take her home. We agreed to meet up at the next Catholic dance (there was a circuit of these) about 3 weeks later.

Which we did.

To my undoing.
I had met another 16/17 y.o., Helen at a Lower Hutt community hall dance who went to St Mary's college. The next dance was the St Mary's one. Where Girl (from a Lower Hutt college) was coming to the dance. And Helen (not the primary school one) and Tennis Girl also attended. Stupidly I did the rounds of the dance hall, dancing and chatting to all three girls and anticipated a snog-fest at the end of the evening.

Bummer. Did you know that females talk to each other? And that their friends keep them informed?
I went home kissless and a wiser man (boy really).

When I was 18, about to start my first year at university I was at a friend's party and had to leave reasonable early because I was making my first ever trip overseas. Straya. I had to be up and away early the next day. On leaving I bumped into a young woman about two years older than me who had come to the party with a friend of my brother. He was about 3 or 4 years older. This girl, when I told her I was off because I had to get up early said "not without a kiss" and snogged me. OK, hey, look at the story above. I'd snogged before and knew what it was about you know, but this kiss sent me heavenward (if there is a place). Man she could kiss. Our kissing went on for ages and she taught me a thing or two about tongues until my brother's friend politely tapped me on the shoulder. I remember my brother and other friends  looking on and laughing. This was a good memory.

Sex came later.

Friday, 13 June 2014


Today, in Richards's Bass Bag's latest post the old macho man Richard confesses to having a secret wish to be a dress designer.
In this, yet another manifestation of his many faceted ego he confeses to a wish to be known as Riccardo.

OK, whatever but some of us always suspected.....

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


While searching the web for something on Aro Street I discovered  Uncyclopedia
The following is what the writer(s), seemingly some angry and homophobic Wellington region students have to say about some Wellington suburbs (note the grammatical and spelling errors – maybe Second Fiddle contributed):

SILVERSTREAM is right on the boarder of Boganville A.K.A Upper slut A.K.A Upper Hutt as some call it
Silverstream Is home to St. Patricks College Silverstream. Pupils of St. Patricks Silverstream are refereed to as 'Streamies'. This separates them for any number of names attached to students of St. Patricks College Wellington. Streamies are the schools only let down. In addition to the streamies there is the boarding hostel.
The hostel is home to a gang of fierce and moderately ruthless butt pirates called the BBB(BOARDING BUM BANDITS) who go around the showers looking for people who "accidentally" drop the soap then, well, you know the rest. SPC is the most Racist/Homophobic/Gay school in the whole wellington region because that's how saint Patrick wanted it to be. (must be a good cunt) good kids are often seen cruising in there rides with a spirit hand out the window showing everyone whos boss. passers buy also may hear chanting from the students, most chants being about being blue & WHITE!.
Silverstream is home to Subway, McDonalds, 3 dairy's, New World and about 60 fish & chip shops all of which are quite mediocre (just like the boarding Hostel). There is also a physical presence felt here. His ginger mullet and 250 kg bench pressing arms.
Silverstream is mean.

PETONE is home to people missing their 23 chromosome, many homosexuals and haemaphrodites . Many of which drive pathetically useless cars such as the honda shitty and hilux utes (well not any more because it was crashed). It is also the home to many unemployed drug addicts. The majority of the population in Petone is on the dole and has been for many years, not likely to change anytime soon. This is not to be confused with Petone Heights, (formerly Korokoro) which enjoys looking down on the peasants of Petone. To ensure that the residents of Petone are kept out of Petone Heights, a new tolled flyover is being built as part of the SH2 upgrade. Petone Heights is known for its tree huggers, drug dealers and porn stars, particularly the residents of TitsnMarijuana Road.

WAINUIOMATA is this big swamp over the hills and far far away. Home to the Wainuiomartians. The Wainuiomata social welfare offices are the star attraction of the place, as is there are always fights and ambushes on the welfare trucks even before they arrive at their goal. (Penal colony/Rehab facility) NOTE: make sure you have your passport and have had recent vaccinations, for syphilis and Chlamydia.

NEWTOWN -  Hippies and skinheads clash daily in the this suburb, which has Wellingtons public hospital and Wellington Zoo and people who smell glue. Yes, and thats about it.

WELLINGTON CITY is a shit hole, home to the countries no actually worlds worst secondary school as they are seen globally poaching runners from the slums of Ethiopia nd exploiting their assholes. Wellington High School is a fucken hole, full of faggets and man sluts. ,

To see what Uncylopedia has to say about New Zealand history click on this link here:


Sunday, 8 June 2014


I was just reading of the cock-ups and bad behaviour of the police over the years. There are the big stories of course like the Arthur Allan Thomas, Roastbusters and Louise Nicholas cases but must be thousands of others.

I haven't had any dealings with police detectives on the receiving end as I'm a good boy but have over the years had dealings with them for other reasons.

Now whilst I am a supporter of the New Zealand Police and frankly wish that government would provide more support for them (and not in the form of the duplicitous fat slag who is Minister of Police) I have to admit that a lot of them can do better.

Pay peanuts I suppose and you get monkeys.

Here are some of my encounters.

My earliest recollection of contact with the police was when I was about 10. I'd been to the 'Murder House' (Wellington's school dental clinic in Willis Street) and left my bike outside. When I came out it was gone. I walked home and my mother phoned the police. It would be unbelievable today but then (about 1962) they put out an alert and sure enough two plainclothes coppers arrived at home with my bike. They'd put out an APB and tracked down the scrote who turned out to be 14 y.o. known to them.
 These  guys are on my 'good' list.

My next encounter was when I was about 13 and, after rifle shooting practise my brother cousin and me were running across Courtenay Place when a cop car with uniformed police stopped us and aggressively grilled as as to why we were out so late etc.
I thought that these were the bad guys,

Bad Liszt
 although nowadays it would probably be good to see the police doing this.

Next encounter was when I was flatting near Aro Street. When returning from a night out we saw a burglar climbing out of our house.
I stopped the car and gave chase, tackling him to the ground and hauled him back to the house. When the police patrol came (about 1AM) the sergeant, a woman, said did we want to give the guy a belting before they took him away. I declined and thought that was a bit naff. This was 1978. I thought she was one of the bad guys.

Another was in 1983. I was managing a wines and spirit store in Manurewa. I had been called out in the middle of the night as the alarms had gone off. I got there and looked around and surprised a couple of burglars who took off. When the cops arrived (a couple of  world-weary 'Ds' I went with them in their car to trawl the streets looking for the runaways. Probably just as well that we didn't find them as these guys would have taken to them with their truncheons no doubt. Exciting though. These cops were a bit of bad and good combined.

Also in 1983 I learned that a couple of uniformed cops, in the middle of the night, crept around the back of a local electrical shop, poked a hose through a back window and flooded the premises.
It turned out that the owner of the shop was having a relationship with a woman who worked in the local newspaper shop. She had recently divorced a cop. The guys who flooded the shop were this cops pals. They were never prosecuted.
These were the bad guys.

In about 1999 in Christchurch, while driving through the Rakaia Gorge we saw a guy acting suspiciously. He had stopped his car by a rest area overlooking the gorge and when we came along he took off rapidly. We didn't get his registration number but did get a reasonable look at him. When the following week a body of a missing person was found in the gorge area I went to the police and reported our experience and a description of the suspicious guy. These cops, 'Ds' were of the useless variety. Admittedly they could have been swamped with sightings and reports but it all seemed like too much work for them. Their lights were on but no-one is home. They only took rudimentary information from me and never did a follow-up. The case is still unsolved. These guys were the bad ones.

In 2001 when my brother went missing, presumed drowned in Wellington Harbour, I had lots of dealings with the police and one detective in particular. He was adamant that my brother could not have drowned in the harbour as divers had gone down at Chaffers Marina where he was last sighted and found nothing. He refused to listen to my belief that a body could be dragged by currents. I took to going out on the harbour on a kayak, criss-crossing a probable location but found nothing (on or near the surface). Three weeks later my brother's body was found washed up on rocks at Frank Kitts Park, across the harbour from Chaffers Marina.
This detective is in my bad books.

In 2006 a uniformed police sergeant came to the door to tell us that The Old Girl's father had been knocked down and killed. He gave the news in a caring and gentle way and waited with me until The Old Girl arrived home. He was one of the good guys.

I have other stories but in general, in my experience, the uniformed police have proven to be more reliable than the detectives. In my opinion they should raise the remuneration and ultimately the calibre of these people.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014


It was so hot today when I was walking in the city I ducked into a picture theatre to take advantage of the air conditioning. The only film showing at that time was A million ways to die in the West.

If you are thinking of going to see this I'd suggest that you don't bother unless your eyebrows meet up in the middle.

This film is plain awful. It is:

and basically unfunny.

It tries to be trendy, transposing 2014 'values' into 1882 Arizona. Even though there are a few excellent and big name actors in it the principal actor (and director and producer) couldn't raise a laugh in a tank of nitrous oxide.
Sure there were some guffaws and giggles from the young people in the audience but I felt that it was a shame. They are being served up junk that has been done so much better and with a bit of class in the past. Even the broad slapstick humour of Mel Brooks in the 1974 Blazing Saddles was far superior.

I did find one segment mildly amusing though. This was in a mescalin dream sequence with dancing sheep and Dali-esque surreal images. The hero is riding a penny farthing bike down main street and collides with a whole lot of horses 'parked' outside a saloon. The horses all topple over in a domino effect like motorcycles in a biker film.

It saddens me that in 2014 film makers, with all the resources of 'Hollywood' along with astronomical budgets, cannot improve on the dubious humour of a 50's/60's 'Carry-On' film. At least those, given the censorship of the time, worked hard at using clever innuendo. This film doesn't even try at that as censorship has become so lax. The obviousness of the sexual references can only appeal to onanistic teenage boys.


I like John Oliver. His retakes of the news are insightful and very funny. Have a look via the link below at his latest review of Facebook...