In which our intrepid hero dreams and laughs.

The night before last, a friend and I jumped on the bus. I wasn’t looking forward to work. It was only moments later, as the bus turned on to Broadway, that I realised the bus wasn’t going anywhere near Parramatta.

I was not happy. I sat in silence for a few blocks, as the girl next to me shifted uncomfortably in her seat. I glanced at her, smiled. Dark hair. Freckles. Kind eyes.

She returned the smile, timidly, tears almost in those kind eyes. As Sydney University approached, I rose, planning to walk to Redfern station to catch a train into work. She gently thrust a card in front of me: deep brown, silver letters, Cronulla.

Last night, I felt her warmth beside me, her arm draped across me. She stirred, and her lips brushed my ear. "Wake up, my love," she whispered.

I didn’t want to leave her, rise from the warmth, but because she asked it, I did. And then she was gone.

Dreaming. Again.

And within seconds of waking, my alarm clock flickered over to 5:45 and the radio came on. I lay there for a moment, trying to clear my head. By the time I actually convinced myself to get my sorry butt out of bed, the 6am news began, headlined by a story about a new board game.

I’m not a huge board gamer, but hell, games interest me. From The Australian’s coverage of the affair:

A Monopoly-style board game has been designed to celebrate the race riots of last December in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla.

Called Cronulla 2230—Win Back Australia, the game has been criticised by NSW Premier Morris Iemma for promoting racial intolerance. […]

[From the game’s website:] "The object of the game is to become the wealthiest person in the Sutherland Shire through the buying, renting, and selling of property.

"The gaining of such wealth will enable you to fund patriotic organisations like Australia First and the Patriotic Youth League, so they can get into parliament and Win Back Australia."

Firstly, I’d like to point out that Monopoly is about as exciting as, well, watching your toenails grow. Probably less so—I never spent a day playing Monopoly whilst bombed out of my skull at uni.

Secondly, if you’re going to earn scads of cash speculating on the Sutherland Shire property market, what do you do with your ill-earned gains? Let me rephrase that: if you can’t think of anything else to do with your cash, what do you spend it on?

That’s right. You give half a crapload to Labor, and half a crapload to Liberal, and when your DA comes up for approval by Council, you might get the opportunity to make a crapload more money through, ahem, urban renewal.

Why the hell would you waste your money trying to put some pissant, single-issue minor party candidate into Parliament, be it state or federal?

Thirdly, they’re giving it away on a website. When was the last time an eight-year-old got excited by anything they could download free on the Internet? It ain’t Half-Life, it ain’t an MP3, and it sure as hell ain’t porn. Get a grip, Morrie.

UPDATE: My random wanderings through the web brought me across a review for Avalon Hill’s Class Struggle board game. Note the deleterious effects that this game had on capitalism in the 1970s and 80s… NOT!

In slightly stranger news, I noticed today that have a daily astrology reading for cats. Wondering how Maxi (my eldest) would do today, I looked up Cancer:

Today is the day to strut your stuff. Keep that tail high. Give in to those outrageous impulses. Jump on the table and sniff the flowers or try a flying leap off the staircase. Be extravagant in all that you do—more is better.

I’ll leave aside speculation as to how Maxi would actually read his horoscope (let’s face it, he’s less computer-literate than my grandmother), whether it’s wise to let him follow his impulses (most of which involve maiming humans), or even how he’d express those impulses (being 12 years old and on arthritis medication). Further down the page, however, I found a link that intrigued me.

That’s right, beneath the "All About Cancer" banner (which sounds like a particularly morbid article from, there’s a link to Anita the Phone Psychic:

Anita: Hello, I’m Anita the Phone Psychic. Will you be paying by Amex, Mastercard or Visa?

Maxi (clearly, not very impressed): Meow.

Incidentally, in the interests of accuracy, I clicked on the link, in case she had a 1-900 number and wouldn’t need my cat’s credit card details in the first place. It turns out, however, that it would be more accurate to call her Anita the Online Magic 8-Ball.

Crap. Another witty observation ruined by false advertising…