Category: and other animals.


Dan, Heidi, mini Truter, Heaher, Reegs, Ang

Dan, Heidi, mini Truter, Heather, Reegs, Ang

In the days before tbV and Settlers of Catan, we had to find other ways to amuse ourselves, and most of those happened at a place called Highbury. Continue reading

majay

Growing up I was never the world’s greatest lover of animals. I liked dogs because they were fun and horses because well… Zorro, but most of the rest of the animal kingdom tended to inspire fear more than awe.

I remember as a kid going to the Cape Town museum and having nightmares of blue whales eating me. Later I developed a slightly irrational fear of birds and monkeys… So it was quite a surprise (to myself especially) when I turned vegetarian. What follows is mostly a journey of theology, but hopefully one that is relatable beyond theology.

My journey towards vegetarianism began when I got a bit disillusioned with Evangelical Christianity. I had grown up most of my life in an Evangelical community which emphasised salvation from the world as the greatest hope for a Christian. And this idea began to trouble me.

One of the biggest turning points for me in my faith and my thoughts on vegetarianism came about when I started reading a book by NT Wright called ‘Surprised by Hope’. I’m quite confident the word vegetarianism doesn’t even appear in the book, so I’m sure Wright would be surprised about my culinary conversion.

In the book Wright argues that many in the Church have misunderstood the hope of Christianity. Instead of God plucking us up and depositing us in Heaven (as I had been taught most of my life), the real message is that God is ushering in a New Creation. God isn’t going to throw this Creation away and build us a new home, but rather, this home which we have will be transformed (and is being transformed). And in this New Creation there will be no killing and no pain and no hatred.

At one point Wright argues that if we believe that in the future there will be peace, then why do we not think to live out that peace today. If in the future we believe the lion will lie down with the lamb, why do we not start living that future now? That, surely, is what bringing the Kingdom of God is all about.

This really got the cogs turning. NT Wright, as one of the foremost Pauline scholars, spent a good section of ‘Surprised by Hope’ talking about Paul’s view of the cosmic nature of Christ’s redemptive act. Now I can’t help but notice it in, for example, Colossians 1 and Ephesians 1 and plenty others. Plus, when you read John you can’t miss the cosmic scope of Christ’s redemption. Christ died to reconcile all things, and if that really means ‘all things’ then what about animals or the environment? Should that reconciliation not also be extended to them?

And what about when Jesus speaks about God looking after the birds of the fields. And how do we understand passages in the Bible that talk about animals worshipping God, for example, Psalm 148, Job 12, and Psalm 36? One of the final moments for me was thinking about the lines in the popular hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing ‘O Praise Him’”. How can animals join us singing about our God and King if we’ve eaten them? If Christ died to reconcile animals (as part of the ‘all things in heaven and on earth’) then surely my killing of them stops them from celebrating in that redemption.

Now I’m never a fan of throwing Bible verses around, because in the end it becomes a competition of who can find more verses to back up their point. Truthfully it’s quite easy to find plenty of Bible verses to back up any opinion.

In the end I chose to align myself with a vision of Christianity that leads to less violence and killing and leads to more creatures being able to share in the redemptive work of Christ. I believe in a coming Kingdom where the lion will lie down with the lamb, where the oppressor will lie down with the oppressed, where the hunter will lie down with the hunted and there will be peace on earth. And then, and only then, will we have a New Creation.

Perhaps if you’re not a Christian this might all seem like mumbo jumbo, I’ve also been influenced by many arguments that are not exclusively Christian.

One of the ideas that finally convinced me to become a vegetarian was thinking about evolution and my relation to other animals. If we share a common ancestry with animals that kinda makes them family. Perhaps instead of seeing myself as the master species with some right to kill and enslave animals for my personal pleasure, I could see myself as an older brother whose decisions have real impact on fellow creatures.

People like Peter Singer have great arguments from a utilitarian perspective pointing out that we should increase the overall good and decrease the overall pain. If we don’t need to be eating animals (especially such intelligent and social creatures like pigs and cows) why do we? Because we’re stronger? Because it’s nicer for us? Because they’re not as developed as we are? Well, that quickly starts to sound like arguments used to support slavery.

I’m not saying you have to be a vegetarian to be a morally good person. But rather, I want to ask the question – How does it fit in with your view of the world?

If you believe that Christ has reconciled all things in heaven and on earth, then what does that mean about how we treat other creatures on earth? If you believe that we share a common ancestry with animals, how does that influence our understanding of our ‘right’ to exploit them? Do we want to create a world where there is less exploitation and abuse of the defenceless?

If so, maybe it would be good to take some time to think about why you eat meat?

You can read more from Majay on a variety of topics from the serious to the ridiculousical on his blog by clicking here.

[To read Bryan Hash’ story about his journey towards vegetarianism, click here]

tup

Meet Marci. Marci has a problem.

10.15am

From the moment she recovers from the second round of playing Snooze on her Nokia 6510i, Marci has one sole focus in mind. “Not to be confused with the Nokia 6510!”, she always responds with a slight giggle when people ask her what model she has, and she mouths those soundless words again as she throws on last nights clothes and heads to the bathroom for a 76 stroke brush. Not 77, not 75, just exactly, precisely 76. Per tooth. It’s the way you are meant to do it.

And while her body is putting itself through the meticulous motions of a mid-morning routine, Marci’s mind is working overtime…

“Can’t be Susan, because I asked her last time. Susan doesn’t like it when she thinks I am nagging. Must at least be another three months before I try her again. Janice is a definite. Janice always comes, even if only to hang out with me. Janice is always the first on the list and in fact I have already invited her so why am I even thinking about Janice? Go away! Mr and Mrs Stevens? Or is it Stephens? I know I got it wrong the last time and then I corrected. But now I can’t remember if my correction is in fact correcting the correction and thus returning it to its former wrongful spellingment. Oh wait, it’s the phone, so it doesn’t even matter. I will let them write their own names on the stickers. If. They. Come. They didn’t come last time. Why didn’t they come last time? Oh yes, dog issues. Stupid dog. It’s always that damn… okay, focus Marci. You overslept, the phone won again and this is not going to happen unless you PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. Why are you shouting at me? It’s me you’re talking to. So more technically why am I shouting at me? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your… my…

By this point Marci is finished in the bathroom and she sweeps by the kitchen counter, grabbing a piece of fruit as she plonks herself down on the couch and notices immediately that the ‘piece of fruit’ she so gracefully snatched in her walk by, is, in fact, her purse. My purse? How the… What is wrong with you? Me. That’s not even close. She sighs as she tosses the purse on the floor and dials the first number…

1.15pm

Marci is busy scrolling furiously down her phone’s address book and continues to talk to herself, half out loud, half with her inside quiet head voice, and she is clearly a little bit stressed. It’s tonight. It IS tonight. Tonight is the time when this thing is meant to happen and so I am really grabbing at straws now. Am I grabbing at straws? Maybe they’ll come. Maybe they’ll show up. There were quite a lot of “Maybe” and “I’ll think about it”s. Bleurgh. Bleurgh. BLEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURGGGGGH! Urgh. Stoppit! Pull yourself together. There is still time. You’ve got 4 hours. They will come. If you build it they will come. BUILD IT? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? There is not an IT to build? WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? Why are you shouting about why are you shouting? Seriously Marci, just slow down and think. Think woman! Who else? 

George. But George is a cat and stare at him as she may, she does not offer any form of help whatsoever. “Georgina! It’s Georgina! He’s a she!” she says time and time again every single time someone mistakes her for a him. “But his name is George?” “It’s Georgina, okay? It’s a long stupid name and I have resorted to calling her George and she most definitely is all completely female and please can we just let it go?” Marci snaps to attention. Realises she has been staring at the cat for a full thirty-seven minutes in a complete daze. Only the cat blinked before she did and left more than eleven minutes ago. She is staring at a yellow chair. An ugly yellow plastic chair. Why do I even have that thing in my lounge?” she asks herself, but she is done replying. Panic is leopard-crawling over the horison.

5.15pm

Marci is sitting on the floor of the kitchen building an ugly plastic fort. Her phone is lying, screen down, just under the edge of the fridge, still displaying the message received fifty-five minutes ago from Janice, letting her know that, “Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control – Michael!!!!  I won’t be able to make it tonight.” If you were watching her, and no-one is, you would notice that her body is rocking, ever so slightly. Barely noticeable really, but it’s there. Her lips are moving at a furious pace, mostly naming names, and yet no sound escapes from between them. Intermittently, she peers up at the clock on the microwave, which has been purposefully set five minutes fast, and mumbles something to herself. A dazed look betrays little emotion.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. Wait, someone is early? That is amazing. No-one is EVER early. This is going to be great. “This. Is. Going to be great.” Marci catches herself saying that a little loud. She jumps to her feet. “I don’t want to seem desperate,” she says, before realising again that that too was out loud. She combs her finger through her hair, does a quick glance into the mirror and walk runs to open the door, which she does with much flamboyance, only to be greeted by…

“Another delivery, Mrs Weare. You know where to sign. Thank-you and all the best for tonight.”

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

This has been the last episode of this current Tandem Blog Post series which mean this time 8 bloggers writing from the same topic. PLEASE take a moment to read the other posts in the series as there are some really talented people creating some absolutely stunning work. And as always, if you read something you enjoy please SHARE it with your people so that more eyes can discover them as well:

Cath: https://cathjenkin.wordpress.com

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com

Kerry: http://www.kerrycontrary.com

James: http://www.jamespreston.org

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za

Dave: http://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

[For previous series’ of Tandem Blog Posts, click here]

PearlsbeforeKilling

As you all know by now, Pearls Before Swine is my favourite comic strip and if you ever have some time to enrich, you can take a look at a whole bunch of the cartoons i have shared over here. And usually he is just random or clever or biting cynically silly fun, but every now and then he draws a strip which makes you stop and go, “Wo!” and maybe even think for a minute.

i had saved this first strip to comment on some time and then he came up with the second one and i thought they worked quite well together so here they are. Appreciate them. Stop for a second and go, “Wo!” But also take a moment to think about your relationship to meat/killing. Because it is probably something that, unless you’re a vegetarian or more, is something you don’t think all that much about.

i have thought about it a lot more over the last couple of years and think our Americaland experience and some of the people we came into contact there definitely impacted my thinking in a number of ways. But here are three that come to mind:

[1] When it comes to people i am pro life, but perhaps not in the traditional way that that phrase is used. i believe that if you’re pro life you have to be pro all of life, so from babies that are still being formed to old people, from those suffering from disease to those who are going to be born with some kind of disability we have to be pro it all.

i do realise this is a tricky, sticky and potentially controversial opinion to hold. And that sometimes there might be an individual case by case scenario where some tough decisions need to be made. There might be a situation where a doctor has to choose between saving the mother and saving the unborn baby and i think probably the doctor in that scenario is going to be the best person to make that decision after consultation with the husband/father. While i disagree with the terminology [at the very least] of ‘assisted death’ i do think there are situations where we perhaps artificially help people ‘to live’ where it is not really living at all and so i do think we probably could rethink some of our artificial life preserving methods and be okay with allowing people to die when it’s their time to do so, although again i imagine these are really difficult decisions and should be taken situation by situation.

But we should hold life preciously, and the idea that someone would consider killing a child [because that is what it is!] because tests show it might be born blind or disabled or down syndrome actually sickens me. i cannot get my mind around that.

i absolutely believe the death penalty is wrong and don’t understand how so many christians are okay with their thinking that it is right. To kill someone to prove to people that killing is wrong just seems like the most ridiculous thing ever. Much more needs to be said about this.

[2] i came home from our time in Americaland with a greater appreciation of life. Now i have no doubt that i have vegetarian and vegan friends and possibly others who think i am way too far away from where i need to be. But i am definitely better than i was and i really like the change in myself. i have no idea what specifically caused it and again it might be simply from being around a lot more people who thought and lived a certain way.

The way i have seen it manifest is particularly with insects or bugs. Not that i think i would have gone out of my way to kill them before we went to Americaland. But i now have a mindset that says, ‘If i can avoid killing a bug or insect, then i will do that.’ i realised the extent of the change in me the other day when i carefully [this is going to blow too many peoples’ minds] removed a cockroach from my house and set it outside in the road as opposed to killing it. Before i wouldn’t have thought twice about killing a spider and now i will do my best – if it needs to be moved – to get it on a piece of newspaper or in a bag or on my hand and move it to a safer place. i will avoid stepping on ants if i see them – again, a really small mindset shift and a massive one as well.

Mosquitoes? Sorry, the change has not extended there. So maybe there is still some work to do. Or maybe that’s just ok.

The change can probably best be described as don’t go out of your way to hurt or kill a living creature. And if you are able to save/protect/rescue one then go for it. In some situations i probably will still kill ants and cockroaches and possibly even spiders, but i am now leaning more strongly towards avoiding it if possible. So that might not seem particularly significant to anyone, but it feels good to me. Small steps.

[3] Bacon. i imagine this one will seem silly to people on all sides of the spectrum, but i’m okay with that. i enjoy bacon as much as the next person and yet somehow i have gotten this reputation of being the number 1 bacon appreciator of the world. i am aware to some extent how i have helped create this impression and so it’s not completely surprising, but i don’t think it’s true. i mean i really do like bacon, just not THAT much. And one way it has been propogated is that any time anyone sees a t-shirt or a meme or a bacon-salad picture they immediately think of me and post it on my Facebook wall and so it helps build up the picture.

But it’s not particularly true. To be absolutely honest i think i could never eat another piece of bacon again for the rest of my life and be totally okay with that. i wouldn’t particularly choose to, cos like i said i do enjoy it. But it doesn’t feel like a need for me.

The weird point i wanted to make about bacon though is this. i’m not sure when or where it started and don’t even know why. And i don’t particularly do it with any other kind of meat although i do try to be grateful and appreciate all the food we have an eat. But particularly with bacon i started in the last couple of years, taking a moment to stop and be grateful and in a sense thank the pig. To some this will be ridiculous, to others maybe hypocritical and maybe it’s just me cashing in my senility chips earlier or something. But i think it might in some ways be linked to tradition of first nation people of celebrating the life of the animal they kill before they eat it. A real sense of gratitude and appreciation. A moment of stopping to give thanks and thank the pig for its sacrifice that was made, giving me an opportunity to eat. Maybe this means absolutely nothing and makes no difference at all, but for me it is an extra moment of gratitude and appreciation and i think that’s a good step in the right direction.

i imagine most meat eaters don’t take any time whatsoever to think much about their eating of meat. Perhaps if we did there would be more vegetarians among us. So maybe take a moment to think about your meat-eating-ness or not. If you’re happy with it, then by all means keep on. But maybe even within that we can find better ways to do it…

pearlsbeforekill

[For a range of other Pearls before Swine strips, click here]

More people have cellphones than they do toilets.

A startling fact according to a recent study made by the U.N. is that out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones, while only 4.5 billion have access to working toilets. This is a deeply disturbing fact, although that was back in 2013 and so hopefully we have moved on a lot from then.

What is a far less serious misfortune is that very rarely, but on the odd occasion, you walk into the bathroom, secure yourself behind a locked door, assume the position and as you begin to do “your business” you realise that you left your phone in the other room.

Oh no! What to do, what to do? Facebook will be left unchecked, you can’t attempt another deep-sounding philosophising tweet and that Pinterest Ninja Turtle birthday cupcake recipe will have to wait. But don’t stress, because i have sourced and dreamed up some of the Top Things you can do when you forget to take your phone into the loo and with credit to @cathjenkin for the idea, here they are:

[10] Sudoku. i mean EVERYONE loves a good puzzle, right. But without your phone, how are you going to manage this one? Well, relax in the knowledge that TPWTMTOTH [The People With Too Much Time On Their Hands] have thought of of everything. Everything!

soduku

[9] T’porigami. Oh sure, anyone can come up with reasonably folded flower, heart or bow:

But it’s going to take you a couple of visits of practising before you’re quite at the point of weight-lifting man:

weight

Yes, yes…or weight-lifting woman!

[8] Dress-up. Everyone loves a good costume party and with all those spare toilet paper rolls at your disposal, why do you have to be any different? Oh sure, you can’t Instagram it for posterity cos ‘No Phone!’ but this can be a secret paradise opportunity for you to try out those costumes you never got to wear. In fact, with some good research beforehand, you could soon be an expert like Nina Katchadourian, known for recreating 15th century portraits using only toilet paper in an airplane loo.

nina

[7] Try a new position. Not something you would typically associate with your toilet time, but now with books like Toilet Yoga: Because Sometimes Sh*t Doesn’t Happen and Kama Pootra: 52 Mind-blowing Ways to Poop to help us get our creative juices flowing, you’ll be coming up with your own personalised ones in no time:

From Kama Pootra: 52 Mind-Blowing Ways to Poop

[6] Fingernail Piercing. Cos stylish yeah? But whoever has time for that? [i know i don’t!]

But with a carefully placed candle and a handy needle, you can start creating the hole and dreaming up all manner of things to decorate it with later:

[5] Plan in advance. Why stress over your own ideas when Linda Wright has already taken so much time doing that for you? With this handy book slipped into your bag before an evening of dinner at a friends, you will be crafting the minutes away in no time. [Not quite sure what qualifies for Linda as ‘special occasions’ but i’m sure you’ll figure it out]

book

[4] Make-up. Because of the rush whenever you are having to get ready for an event, who ever has time to experiment with the colour, right? Well here is your perfect opportunity, especially in a toilet facing a mirror, and maybe even more so with the freedom that is added by one that isn’t:

Guys, note that this does NOT exclude you, although you may need to sneak some ‘supplies’ out of your girlfriend’s purse before making your way to the John.

And, of course if you do have that little bit of extra time in there, because of, #cough#, well, you know, then you have the opportunity to really put that little bit of extra effort in:

 [3] Drum. Everyone loves to work a beat and when you’re behind closed doors, no-one is policing you rhythm. If you plan ahead of time you can keep an actual djembe in the chamber, so that you play up a storm. But if you’re not quite there in the planning stage, you can grab a magazine, use the wall or your lap or even go for combination vibes to get bring that African effect to the Nature that is Calling. [This especially works well if you’re in the middle of embarrassingly loud gas bomb expulsions because, hey, “Don’t mind the drummer people!”]

drum

If the djmebe is not quite your vibe, well Derek Watts and the Sunday Blues have this informative clip suggesting some popular alternatives that may work for you.

[2] Christen your poo. We’ve all read the ‘Different Names of Poo’ lists. What? You haven’t?

So most of us will be familiar with such classics as:

WET CHEEKS POOP: The kind that comes out so fast, your butt cheeks get splashed with water.

POP-A VEIN-IN-YOUR-FOREHEAD POOP: The kind where you strain so much to get it out, you practically have a stroke.

CORK POO : ( Also known as a floater.) Even after the third flush, it’s still floating in the bowel. Oh My! How do I get rid of it??

and of course, KING KONG POO : This one is so big that you know it won’t go down the toilet unless you break it into smaller chunks. A wire coat hanger works well. This kind of poo usually happens at someone else’s house.

But what new and inventive monikers can you bring to the world of Crap-Naming?

[1] If all else fails, have a friend over. If it’s good enough for the Sochi Winter Olympics, then it should be good enough for you. This one clearly needs some foresight and planning, but before you know it you’ll be sharing sports stories, gossiping about the hosts awful ‘do and reminiscing about those good old days…

share

How about you? Have any other ideas of how to stay entertained on the porcelain palace when you forget your phone? And which of these Top Ten was your personal favourite?

If you enjoyed this, please do SHARE it around. If you read this while actually sitting on the toilet, take two moments to appreciate the irony and then pass it on to your friends. And if your favourite was ‘number 2’ well that’s just ironical as well…

[For more great lists of LOLment, click here]

Imagine waking up one morning and going online and seeing a semi-naked-sprawled-out-on-the-bed-alongside-your-Improv-friend picture of yourself circling the internet…

Cause for panic, right? You’d think so, unless the picture was this one:

ImpromptuBrettMegan

Which i woke up to a week or so ago and was like ‘Holy Crapamole, what’s my wife going to think?’

Fortunately tbV was awake and laughing at it in the other room and so we just jumped on the banned wagon and helped spread it around.

WE GOT YOU, BABE

The purpose of the poster i had previously been aware of and that was the oncoming event [which started last night] of a week of Imprompt2 shows where FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, the incredible Megan Furniss [who imported Improv to Cape Town and began TheatreSports, now Improguise, Cape Town’s longest running show and apparently best kept secret] is going to do a night of two person Improv with a different person every night from Tues to Saturday.

The shows are each going to be slightly longer than that last sentence, at 55 minutes, and will be played with the incredible Anne Hirsch, Ryan Jales, Carolyn Lewis and finished off by Tandi Buchan. aka this beautiful bunch:

Imp

55 minutes on stage doing Improv with no other backup, no members waiting on the side of the stage to jump in and save, no muso to provide background music or the base for a song, and two settings of light: mostly on and mostly off. This is Improv almost at its dangerous best [it’s absolute dangerous best would be last year when Megan performed a one-woman Improv show].

Was i nervous? Absolutely. But more that i would be too similiar characters throughout the show [didn’t happen] or that the 5 people we had booked by late afternoon would be it [wasn’t – we had a delightful audience] but for the show itself i was excited anticipationary, adrenalin-filled and just so ready to Go Go Go!

THE SHOW

Let’s get this right out there. You had to be there. And so if you weren’t, whatever words follow are largely just for me and possibly to help you become really sad that you missed it and that besides our generous loving invested audience, no-one else will ever see what happened ever again. But i can try give you a glimpse…

We literally had NO IDEA what we were going to do. We had one light ‘rule’ that we were going to try and use, or not, which was that one way of changing scene would be to take a word, phrase or sentence that the other actor had spoken and repeat it as a way to start a brand new scene.

So we interviewed the audience. “What did any of you expect to see tonight? Or hope you would see? Or want to see?” They stared back at us. Nothing.

“Okay, so let’s bring it down a notch. Does anyone have a favourite colour?” Red.

“What does red make you think of?” Roses. [We’re getting somewhere, slooooowly]

“And what do roses make you think of?” Love. Thorns. “Ah, so we have the optimistic romantic side of the audience over here and the cynical bunch over there.” [nervous laugh]

So then Megan got bold with, “So can anyone share a story they have which involves a rose?”

No lies. From right at the back, someone [who, let’s be honest is a friend of mine] speaks out, “I once smelled a rose.”

We look at each other. Maybe we should just start.

And so we did. And without having a clue where anything would go, and with not a single accent, character or idea i’d been practising in front of my mirror all day emerging at any point [yay for that] we produced some magic and the majority of it was really pretty amazing, and some was really odd, and a whole lot of the really odd stuff was pretty amazing.

One of the oddest moments, and personal highlights of the show was an interaction between Megan and i where she from the left of the stage called out to me, sitting on a chair at the right and eventually came over to join me, clearly climbing over rows of things to get to me.

“Where’d you get all the sticks?”

“I bought them… at the hardware store.”

[pause] “Why do they have all those fingers on them?”

“To keep the badgers away.”

[pause] “But there are no badgers here?”

“Yes, they’re really effective.”

You can. not. make. that. stuff. up.

Oh, but we did, and more. [And if you heard the creepy accents we were using for that scene, just imagine it 1000 times better]

But from Megan’s Energiser Bunny skills demonstration for a secretary job interview, to pulling a Spanish guy out of the audience to interrogate him [who only said “Que?” and who i thought was taking the piss, but turned out to be really just a Spanish guy and so completely Fawlty Towers moment right there], to King of the Ice Throne [which you can’t lick!] whose bird Gabriel had to be eaten when he ran out of snacks, to the waitress at the French Cafe who offered ‘Cafe de Mime’ which is a coffee and mime combo, to being asked to dictate a 13 word poem, where each word rhymed, had three syllables and ended with X [which technically i pulled off, even if the ‘X’ was silent] to a weird strange alien creature who spoke in garbled sounds interaction, to telepathic CV’s, an on the spot song called ‘There’s a Fish in my Wine Glass’, a funeral where the roses had been made out of paper mache [by the woman, whose mom had died,’s husband’s ex] and finishing off with a Captain Jack counselling session featuring some Pilates of the Caribbean which you couldn’t really observe because it was all core.

And probably more  – it was incredible to see what we fit into 55 minutes – but it was dangerous [pulling an audience member on stage] and delightful and risky and fun and brilliant and when i walked off the stage i was instantly disappointed that Anne, Ryan, Carolyn and Tandi were playing the next four nights and not Brett, Brett, Brett and Brett. Except that they will be great and there will be a slightly different format per show and i really wish i could watch them all.

This is addictive stuff people. Be warned.

And so Big Huge Giant Tremendous thanks to Megan for trusting me and letting me go first and kick the week off. And for just absolutely diving in with everything and being so generous in both taking and receiving offers. i look forward to Impromt2 II

If you’re in Cape Town, GO AND WATCH A SHOW – Tuesday to Thursday. Do it!

So many of you will know by now that i wrote a book.

My buddy Brad went online yesterday to buy a copy from the UK Amazon store. Did i mention that my book is called ‘i, church’ and, somewhat strangely enough, it is about the church?

What was surprising to Brad, and later to me, was that alongside my book in a if-you-buy-this-you-should-probably-also-buy-this kind of way was ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, the erotic romance novel which i dare to believe is probably not about church.

Which got me to thinking? If Fifty Shades of Gray is an obvious choice, then what other books should be sold alongside mine? And these are the top 10 i came up with [with thankx to Brandon Jones for the suggestion]:

[10] Does God ever speak through Cats? by David Evans. Clearly it’s a classic and i don’t think one more word needs to be said about this. Sometimes the title says it all.

Godcats

[9] Further Reflections on the Conversations of Our Time by Judith Butler which contained this award winning sentence:

The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

i should probably mention the prize it one was for worst sentence, awarded in the Fourth Bad Writing Contest held by the scholarly journal, ‘Philosophy and Literature’.

[8] Good-bye, Testicles by Anne Welsh Guy – it is like you can’t make this stuff up. Mainly because you can’t. This is an actual book and it is a travesty that when you try to buy my book online, they do not have this one propped up besides it…

goodbye

Okay, to be fair, having done quite a bit of research “just to make sure” it looks like ‘Good-bye, Testicles’ may not be a real book and is actually just a manipulated version of the well-known classic, ‘Good-bye tonsils’ which is possibly almost as bad and should be sold alongside my book and WHAT IS IN THAT BUCKET that those kids are taking to the well?

good-bye tonsils

[7] Revelation Road: Hope beyond the Horizon by Bill Salus

revelation

While it may seem to some, that the ‘Hope’ referred to in the subtitle appears to resemble a double nuclear mushroom cloud, we are going to have to trust the ‘Helpful Commentary’ that is included by Bill to make sense of this one.

[6] The book that Ali Kawashima would have written if she had completed this incredible romance novel which won the Bulwer-Lytton prize for Worst Opening Sentence in the Romance category for:

As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve, cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand – who would take her away from all this – and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had.

[5] It’s not going to get any better when you grow up – by Drew Bledsoe. Wow, Drew, bit of a downer there, but at least you are being a little more honest to us than Bill was, cos frankly that little ‘Don’t-worry-about-the-mushroom-cloud’ thing was a little bit too much.

growup

i’m not going to lie, it’s as if every day that feels a little more true. Definitely if it was called ‘It’s not going to get an Easier when you grow up’ cos Better and Worse feels a bit like a Rollercoaster but complicated is on the up. Excuse me while i go add this book to my wishlist…

[4] The Long Journey of Mister Poop by Angèle Delaunois – as stated earlier, you just can’t make this stuff up. Although the title does seem to be a bit misleading as ‘The Journey of Mr Long Poop’ seems to be a bit more on key, given the illustration. i think my favourite part of this whole book is that it is in Spanish too. And let’s be honest, the Spanish title sounds a lot more fun: El gran viaje del Señor Caca [i’m not gonna lie, i could amuse myself for hours by repeating El gran viaje del Señor Caca to myself].

poop

What’s it about? Well according to Amazon, A smart wolf in a lab coat leads kids on a journey through their digestive system – following the path of an apple that gets eaten and goes through the digestive system ending with: ‘and finally . . . well, you know. Hint: It doesn’t smell like roses here.’ A must read.

[3] Amish Vampires in Space by Kerry Nietz – words completely fail me, except to question why this book is not being recommended when people purchase mine?

amish

Although, wait now. The book description starts: ‘Jebediah has a secret that will change his world forever and send his people into space’ – last time i heard, the Amish could not even use telephones… How are they doing all this ‘getting into space’ stuff? Is Jebediah’s secret that he embraces technology? Maybe this book is more worth reading than i thought.

[2] Knitting with Dog Hair by Kendall Crolius and Anne Montgomery – This isn’t such a dramatically amazing book title but it’s the subtitle that gets me: ‘Better a sweater from the dog you know and love than from a sheep you’ll never meet.’ If you look even closer you’ll see there’s an even smaller blurb urging you to ‘Stop vacuuming and start knitting.’

dog

So there you have it. If Amazon runs out of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ copies, these are the nine books they should recommend alongside my book, which all are pretty much natural companions. Oh wait, i did say ten though. And i will be devastated if someone doesn’t find some reason to complain about this, but when i googled ‘Bad Book Titles and Covers’ and saw this, it was an instant number 1 because WHAT? WHAT? Um… WHAT?

[1] The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas by Morgan Hastings

vag

While i literally do have absolutely no words [and yes, i really seems like this is really a real book] the book itself does: 30 pages of illustrated vaginas with games such as word search, connect the dots, and an “all about my vagina” section.

Connect the dots?

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, 10 books [besides 50 Shades of Gray] that should be sold alongside mine…

Any others you would recommend?

[If you enjoyed this you might like 10 Ways to ask for a Demotion or a Pay-Cut, click here]

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