May 22 2013

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Once upon a time four lads from Liverpool sang a song that began “It was twenty years ago today.” That same line is appropriate for the Librarian and me because twenty years ago today she and I became partners for life.

I wanted to celebrate the milestone with something special so a couple of weeks ago I surreptitiously booked a table for two at Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant in Perth. Jamie’s Italian had opened to rave reviews not too long ago and knowing the Librarian’s fondness for pasta and Mr Oliver’s cooking skills, I suspected that she was in for a treat. I, too, am a keen on young Mr Oliver’s recipes and I knew I was also in for a treat even though I am not a big pasta fan. Luckily there was more than pasta on the menu so I was anticipating the afternoon.

The Librarian woke earlier than usual, wished me and told me my gift was on her phone. She then showed me the phone’s screen which displayed a receipt for two tickets to the matinee performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in two weeks time.I was extremely surprised and extremely happy although, for various reasons I won’t go into here (but will somewhere else Winking smile), I was slow in vocalizing my happiness. I had almost bought tickets to the show myself but, luckily, I procrastinated, so there was no awkward moment on that count. After the excitement of the tickets I was a little anxious that her present was going to be a let down, at least in comparison to what she had given me, but I told the Librarian that her present was in Perth City and that she would have to wait a couple of hours.

The “couple of hours” crawled by and we drove into Perth City where we meandered along the streets, stopping here and there and taking detours so that the Librarian would not guess the surprise. The tactic worked extremely well and it was only when we were a few metres away from the restaurant that she exclaimed “I know where we’re going.” She sounded thrilled which was a good start and was a relief for me. It was now up to Jamie’s representatives to live up to our high expectations.

Two hours later we left with the smiles on our faces and the most contented of stomachs. Jamie’s Italian more than lived up to our expectations. I will post a review of the whole experience shortly but meanwhile on with the 20th Anniversary Show.

Jamie’s was just the first part of the 20th Anniversary Show. The second part was a romantic  evening (I hoped) in King’s Park. Again, the Librarian was left in the dark as we drove away from the city centre. I pretended we were driving home but eventually turned towards the park and drove towards the centre. At that point, I think the surprise was well and truly sprung.

We parked near the War Memorial and strolled to the DNA Tower. I was concerned that the Librarian’s knees would hinder any climbing but she managed it quite well and we soon found ourselves at the top. I had timed the climb so that we would see the sun setting and I must say I got it just right. We had a few minutes to set up our cameras and shoot away.

After the sun had gone we climbed down and strolled through the gardens slowly, enjoying the view and the warm evening. We talked about the twenty years gone by and what the next twenty years would bring. I didn’t want the evening to end but end it did and we drove home where we…

But that is between the Librarian and me.

May the next twenty years be even better than the twenty gone by. Happy anniversary, sweet Librarian.

December 22 2012

Oh Maya

Err, hello? Anybody? Anybody out there? The sun is still shining and there are sounds of birds singing but that doesn’t fool me. It’s probably zombies with a musical bent. Wait a minute, I see zombies! Or…Jehovah’s Witnesses; I can never tell the difference.

Shhhhh! Quiet, quiet, I hear something inside the house. It…it…it sounds like shuffling and grunting. Oh, no, oh no, oh nooooo! Please, help! Help meeeee! Wait, wait! Never mind, that’s just my eldest son waking up.

Very strange end of the world, I must say. Could it possibly be that an ancient calendar which was truncated on a certain date is not a prophecy of the end of the world, then? Who would have thought.

December 1 2012

A Slow and Sedate Half Century

A long time ago someone decided that it would be fun to photograph my brother, the Martian, and me on top of a fifteen metre high waterfall. We were very young kids at the time so we trusted the adult that took us up there. What could possibly go wrong? Slippery rocks, a fast flowing river and an unsteady adult, that’s what. The result was an impromptu thrill ride which I still remember quite vividly. I don’t recall being scared but my parent were terrified since I remained underwater for a long time and, after a frantic search,  was given up for dead.

An even longer time ago I displayed remarkable snake handling skills to my horrified parents. I had toddled into the house with a baby cobra dangling from one hand. The cobra was very much alive but I had somehow managed to pick it up by the neck, just like the professional snake handlers do. Today I rival Indiana Jones when it comes to a pathological fear of snakes. You can join the dots any way you like.

I managed to survive both those events and here I am. The man in the mirror is grey and weathered and paunchy. His mind isn’t the sharp instrument it used to be and it takes a little longer to retrieve items from the memory banks. He is now prone to a more profound grumpiness at the many morons that inhabit the planet. The man in the mirror is fifty years old today.

(Raises a metaphorical cricket bat to acknowledge the polite applause.)

Thank you to the wonderful people that have shared moments in my journey through life. May you be there as I stumble through the next phase.

Get off my lawn.

October 19 2012

He’s An Adult Now

My firstborn son is excited. Not about the momentous milestone of having lived eighteen years on this planet. Not about the fact that he is now officially an adult – in fact he doesn’t like the thought of being an adult (and who can blame him.) He is excited because of the presents. And the feast. There’s much more than usual of both presents and feast in honour of the momentous occasion. Momentous for the Librarian and me, at least.

Was it really eighteen years ago? I sit here with a tear in my eye and only a small part of the tear is due to the emptiness in my wallet. I still remember that day vividly.

(Cue wavy, going back in time effect.)

He was comfortable where he was – he didn’t like change even then. The powers that be declared that he was not going to budge without a little inducement. The powers that be set a date and so the Librarian and I got to the hospital on the morning of the 18th of October. He resisted the first two attempts at inducement, a pattern that would be repeated often through the years. We waited. For hours. And hours. Eventually, late into the night, I was sent on my way home to get some rest. I drove home wondering when our first child was going to make an appearance.

The bed was welcoming and I crawled into it and fell asleep almost immediately.

The bed was welcoming but I woke up and crawled out of it almost immediately. Thanks a lot little one. You could have let me sleep more than ten minutes.

I was driving back to the hospital as quickly as legally allowed. (Honestly! Although I did make the trip in record time. Wonder how I managed that.) When I got to the maternity ward the Librarian and I were whisked away to centre stage and we patiently waited for the arrival of the star. Well, I waited patiently but elsewhere there was much pushing and pain and cursing. That was the doctor. After a lot more (and I do mean a lot more) pushing and pain and cursing, from the Librarian this time, the top of the little tyke’s head made an appearance.

But that’s as far as the little tyke wanted to go. No amount of pushing and pain and cursing could make him budge. Never fear. The doctor had a solution. Let’s just say that the rest of the little tyke appeared courtesy of a medical vacuum.

What an incredible moment. This tiny little thing. My son. I had actually become a Dad.

(Cue wavy, going forward in time effect.)

So eighteen years have gone by since that day. We have watched him grow from that little bundle into the strapping young man he is today. We have endured moments of pure frustration and basked in moments of pure joy. It still takes several calls before he answers. He still doesn’t like change. And he still fills me with pride and joy.

Happy eighteenth birthday, my dear, dear son.

June 26 2011

Music Under the Stars–Part II

In my last missive, this curmudgeon related the sorry tale of a venue sorely underprepared for a rock concert. If you haven’t read it yet go read it now – I promise I’ll wait. If you have read it then let’s press on.

The venue may have run out of food but it didn’t run out of beer thus proving that the management weren’t stupid. The amber fluid flowed as the first act – New Zealand’s Ben Merito – took to the stage. Ben’s act is a fusion of reggae and…errr…something else which has the ability to get the feet moving. In between songs he engaged the audience with some chatter. I wish I could tell you what he talked about but I couldn’t understand a word he said. Whatever he did say was accompanied by a huge grin so he was either very happy or he was telling us to bugger off through gritted teeth.

The second act – Lior – wasn’t quite as engaging. He seemed to glare at the crowd and eventually looked like he was ignoring anything and anyone off stage. In fact he seemed to pay little attention to anything that was not him and his guitar; not even his string quartet. That’s right, he had a string quartet which ranked high on my puzzlement scale. I’m not sure if the four ladies of the quartet were there merely to add some beauty to the proceedings or if they actually contributed to the music. All I could see was the occasional sweep of a bow here and there followed by long periods of inactivity. Curios! At least I had something to look at (for the first time in my life I wished I could have been a cello.)

Lior and Quartet

The main intermission arrived and the ol’ bladder urged me to find an appropriate building. Having completed that chore I headed back to the stage only to find that the front of the venue had magically sprouted a horde of people. I got some dark looks as I pushed my way to the front – try explaining that you actually have a spot at the front, “wife’s up there, honest” to the inebriated, angry ladies who think you are robbing them of their vantage point. Luckily, not one of the tattooed hulks (the men with the ladies, not the ladies themselves, although there was one…) decided to “smash” and I was soon back at my spot next to the Librarian.

Paul Kelly was about to open his act and the crowd was buzzing. Someone stumbled against my back and I turned around to see a young lady craning her neck to look over my shoulder. She apologized profusely and seemed to be so excited about seeing Kelly and Finn that I just had to offer her my spot at the rail. She was equally profuse in her thanks and explained that she was part of a musical duo that played a lot of Kelly and Finn music. She was filled with excitement when Paul Kelly finally began his set.

I have never seen Paul Kelly in concert before and I must say I have missed out. It was magical. Paul was joined by his nephew, Dan, (I’ve seen Dan in concert a couple of times already but not his uncle) who provided guitar and high voice (courtesy of extremely tight trousers) accompaniment. The duo became a trio when Neil Finn joined them for a song towards the end of the set. The magic was so palpable it sizzled.

A short break followed the Kelly set and I became an unwitting participant in some crowd theatre. The principle actor in this play was a woman (Ms Drunk Twit) who decided that the musical gods owed her a spot at the front of the venue. She had fought her way past the couple behind me in spite of their protests that they had been waiting for hours to get that spot. Ms Drunk Twit answered that she’d been waiting for six years. Hey, don’t look at me, it was Ms Drunk Twit that said it. I hope her retort was a result of the amber fluid and not a reflection of her intellectual capacity.

The play continued as she found her path to the fence blocked by yours truly. She started whining about how much she needed to get to the front and how I was mean to block her way. Whining like that merely steels my resolve so she switched gears and whined that it was her birthday and I should let her push in as a present. Her whining continued to have no affect on me but it irritated a very young lady who turned around and asked Ms Drunk Twit to shut up. Unfortunately, Ms Irritated had dyed her hair blue and was on the rubenesque side so she became fodder for Ms Drunk Twit’s vitriol. She and her partner (Mr Moron) launched into a diatribe against Ms Irritated before turning back to me again.

“He won’t let me in,” began the whine and Mr Moron poked me between the shoulders saying, “who? You mean this guy?”

Let’s just say that she stopped her loud whining shortly thereafter. Let’s just move on to the final act of the night instead.

Mr Neil Finn looked tired, sounded tired and was tired. He had very recently been on a plane from London. Those of you have done the London-Perth plane trip know how much fun that is. So how did he manage to produce one of the best concerts I have seen? It was just him on stage and he owned us all.

Neil Finn would have to be one of the greatest song writers to have walked this planet and his live performances are worth every cent of hard earned cash. Words fail me so let me paint you a couple of thousand instead:

Neil FinnNeil Finn

At one point Neil flouted the security setup and asked for a member of the audience to join him on stage. The first one over the fence and onto the stage would win the right to play guitar with him. A mad scramble ensued while security looked on in dismay and, no doubt, a few choice words directed at Neil Finn.

The lucky winner was none other than the lady to whom I gave up my spot. She launched herself over the fence and ran onto the stage while others were falling over the fence (bloody Finn said security and management under their breath.) The lucky lady said that her name was Sue Johnson and that she plays guitar with a duo called Juliet’s Diary. Then she tuned up with Neil and accompanied him on a song:

Neil Finn and Sue JohnsonNeil Finn and Sue Johnson

Sue was the envy of many a woman, and some men if I heard the comments correctly. I know I would have loved to play guitar with Neil Finn. Unfortunately the only instrument I can play is the CD player.

So another night of musical magic ended. Thanks to Neil, Paul, Dan, Ben and … the girl with the cello for a wonderful night. The Librarian and I sat in our car waiting for the car park to clear. A few other people also found the idea of waiting awhile a lot more palatable than fighting the traffic. The view across the hills was breathtaking and we took it all in as we recalled the event we’d just seen. At least the Librarian was enjoying the view across the hills. I was enjoying a totally different view. Thank you to the couple in the red car parked a few meters from us.

April 26 2011

Music Under the Stars – Part I

“Hasn’t it been a decade or so since we saw the last sign?” I inquired of The Librarian.

We were on our way to the Red Hill Auditorium where Paul Kelly and Neil Finn were due to perform in a few hours. Our GPS (a lady of the British aristocracy judging by the voice) had got us into the hills and told us we had arrived at our destination while we were still on the highway in the middle of nowhere. I think this is the GPS’s way of – very politely – getting her own back at me due to my penchant for ignoring her directions. She bow refused to say anything further so we had to look for signposts to the venue. We had seen a solitary small sign several minutes before – Red Hill Auditorium, it said, while leaning to the left.

I stayed in the left lane which gave us some wonderful views down into Perth. Picture perfect views, in fact. I declined to take any photos, though, due to the fact that I was driving (and looking for another bloody sign). The fact that I didn’t have a camera with me sealed the deal. The views on our left suddenly gave way to a clump of trees and another small sign saying Red Hill Auditorium. Aha! The turnoff must be around that bend. It was!

Except it was on the right hand side of the road.

Several figures dressed in fluorescent orange were gesturing frantically to the right as we rounded the bend. One of the figures carried a glow stick and she used it to direct us into the trees. No! Wait! There’s an almost invisible dirt road between the trees. Nice work, Red Hill Auditorium management. Larger and more conveniently placed signage is too conventional.

We had made an effort to get to the auditorium with plenty of time to spare but even so vehicles already graced several bays in the car park. The former inhabitants of those vehicles made up a queue to the auditorium that already snaked towards the dirt road. I figured that everybody there wanted to rush to the front of the auditorium so I tucked my empty water bottle under my arm and started warming up for a sprint.

What’s that? Oh, the empty water bottle! Well, you see, the management of the auditorium expressly forbade anyone from bringing food or drink into the venue. We were, however, granted permission to bring an empty water bottle each which we could fill at the taps provided inside the auditorium. Every other venue we had visited allowed picnics and water bottles but they always served great looking food at very reasonable prices so we were looking forward to buying our food this time. The water bottle “thing”, however, had us scratching our heads.

After an eternity – the sound checks were running overtime, apparently – we were allowed inside. The stampede began but the Librarian and I held our own as we ran towards the front. So imagine our bemusement when the majority of people just ran for seating somewhere in the middle of the auditorium or made a beeline towards the food stalls.

At this point I must address the Red Hill Auditorium management. Do join me again in part II where I recount the antics of beautiful people and may even get around to the music. See you then and bring a friend.

Dear Red Hill Auditorium management.

I want to compliment you on the splendid handling of food services in your establishment, to whit:

  1. the brilliantly conceived notion of forcing us to buy our meals from your incredibly tiny selection;
  2. the concept that $10 for a cheese kransky is “reasonably priced”;
  3. the concept of replacing such niceties as a bun, some onions and sauerkraut with a paper napkin thus making the kransky an “healthy” option;
  4. the provision of only two food stalls and two beer stalls to serve thousands of hungry and thirsty people;
  5. the provision of just enough food so that it runs out half an hour after the venue opens.

Yours sincerely,

Flying Saucer Jones

PS Your decision to replace grass with concrete prompts me to enclose a bill to cover my expenses in procuring a replacement arse. Please remit promptly.

November 15 2010

An Evening With Crowded House

It didn’t start off too well.

We were stuck at the traffic lights, the Librarian and I, just a stone’s throw away from the gates of Sandalford Estate. The lights cycled through their limited spectrum again and again while the traffic inched its way forward. That, my friends, is what happens when the Sandalford Estate hosts a concert – their gates are that close to the traffic lights. Still, the sense of anticipation kept growing through each light change and that was a surprisingly good feeling; kind of like the feeling you get before, err, never mind.

I can’t remember how many light cycles we endured before we got through that infernal intersection but we eventually made it through the gates and into Sandalford Estate for the first time in our lives. The attendants waved us on towards our parking spot which turned out to be close to the security stations. The queues outside the stations were building by the second so we quickly grabbed our esky, rug and jackets (in anticipation of another cool and windy November night) and joined the throngs of shiny, happy people.

Just before the station a large sign advised us on what the good little boys and girls were allowed to take into the concert area and what the naughty little boys and girls should not even think about taking in. The Librarian was pleased to see small digital cameras on the “allowed” list since she was carrying a couple of those gadgets, and I was pleased to see that same list also contained blunt metal cutlery – one does like to butter one’s bread just before eating, one does. Unfortunately, the security guard disagreed with the sign’s blunt metal clause and told me he could dispose of them for me – helpful chap.

So I trudged back to the car with my blunt butter knife. No butter on my bread then. The Librarian took the rest of the items through security without any further hassles and went looking for the best vantage point while I fumed my way back to the car – if not for that meddling security guard I could have carried out my nefarious plan to butter the patrons to death, curse him.

Butter knife safely ensconced in the car I trudged back through security only to meet the Librarian making her way out. She had found an ideal spot but one that wouldn’t allow our (apparently) large esky. It was her turn to trudge to the car while I went looking for an ideal spot.

I couldn’t find one.

There was a rope several metres from the stage and all the patrons were sitting behind this rope. There were picnic rugs as far as the eye could see. The best spot I could find was one about two hundred metres from the rope.

Several minutes later I was hanging my head in shame. The Librarian had found a spot two meters from the stage.

In my defence I swear I didn’t realize we were allowed past the rope. How was I to know that the rope was merely the demarcation between the “esky and low backed chair” area and the “rugs and bags only” area? No, really, how was I to know? But well done, Librarian. We couldn’t get any closer to the stage without imprinting the chain link fence on our bodies.

From then on the night kept getting better. Jet planes were constantly passing low overhead but the roar of their engines were, thankfully, drowned by the music of the two opening acts (The Ghost Hotel and Oh Mercy.) There’s not much to say about those opening acts except that they were fine but nothing memorable. I can’t even describe the members of the bands. Except for Oh Mercy’s bass player. I can describe her in detail.

(Err, sorry! I was reminiscing. Ahem!)

The interval between the second support act and Crowded House provided the ideal opportunity to take my bladder for a walk. Destination: portable rooms with bright orange doors. One set of doors labelled “FEMALE” was graced with a very long queue of less than happy looking women. A second set of doors labelled “UNISEX” was graced by an equally long queue of people, none of whom were men and none of whom looked happy. The third set of toilets was labelled “MALE URINALS” (note to self: look up female urinals) with no queue at all.

I walked past the long queues and smiled at the ladies. They didn’t smile back. Barely a couple of minutes later I walked back past the long queues and smiled at the ladies again. The looks they gave me told me they wanted to rip a certain part off me and beat me over the head with it.

There were many more people in front of the rope by the time I got back. The rugs were folded, the cameras were prepped, and nature provided us with a breathtaking sunset. The excitement was building. Then, suddenly, the lights on the stage blazed and Matt Sherrod ran onto the stage.

“Roarrrrrr,” said eight thousand voices.

Mark Hart and Nick Seymour appeared.

“Roarrrrrrrrr,” said eight thousand voices.

And then there was Neil Finn bounding onto the stage.

ROARRRRRRRRRRRRR,” said eight thousand voices much to the surprise of the jet passing overhead.

And then Crowded House and eight thousand of us sang. It was one of the most beautiful things I have heard. Several times during the show Neil stopped singing and stood back to listen. He even stopped to point out that we couldn’t see the stars due to the clouds so he wanted us to make our own stars. The stage lights went down and Sandalford Estate was lit by thousands of mobile phones while we sang.

Nothing spoiled the night. Not even the the woman who turned up from nowhere to rub up against the Librarian before rushing off into the crowd again (this was not even remotely arousing, not with that strange woman; it was merely bizarre.) Not even the Perth noise ordinances which ensured that the concert finished at 9:45pm (please don’t ridicule us Sydney, Melbourne…everywhere else.)

The sky was ablaze with colour (“puces, pinks, mauves,” said artist Nick Seymour; “fucking purples,” rejoined Neil.) The Sandalford Estate was awash with music. The night was alive with magic.

Thank you Crowded House.

Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery

November 6 2010

Aussies Fall Down, Go Boom

Once upon a time — in the bad old days of the early to mid eighties — Australian cricket was the laughing stock of the world. Teams queued up to play us. Spectators flocked in droves to watch their teams slaughter us. Television guides listed all our matches under the comedy section.

Until we picked ourselves up and turned ourselves into cricketing giants.

We became virtually unbeatable. Teams feared us. We had a cornucopia of talent that saw our team become better and better. Champions retired only to be replaced by new champions. Until the last round of retirements five years ago. A slew of champions left and we were left with…let’s just say that I thought a cornucopia was forever; I was wrong.

The experts said it was a transition phase. Nothing to worry about, mate. She’ll be right, mate. A minor hiccup, that’s all.

A hiccup that lasts five years is hardly minor, is it? Mate?

The sad truth is that Ricky Ponting leads a ragtag band of mediocrity while his brilliance is fading with age. The poor guy is now in the history books as the first Australian captain to lose the Ashes twice. He was captain when South Africa won their very first test series in Australia. And last night Sri Lanka won their first ever series of anything in Australia. They lit up Guy Fawkes Day while we provided the damp squibs.

Awwwww, Rickeeeeeee. (Please don’t sue me Desilu Studios.)

So what are the problem areas? Let’s see now:

1. Mitchell Johnson and company just can’t get the last two or three batsmen out: England’s last pair held on for hours to turn an Aussie win into a draw; India’s last two wickets put on ninety odd runs to win a match that was Australia’s; Sri Lanka’s ninth wicket scored a world record to win a match that was Australia’s.

2. Our batsmen find ways of getting out, often gifting their wickets. Mid innings collapses are now the norm. Where once somebody would put up their hand and pull us out of a hole we now just dig the hole deeper.

3. Our fielding is less than spectacular. Those who saw Michael Clarke hit Shane Watson in the leg last night will know how far our standards have fallen.

So what’s wrong? Well that would be the batting, the bowling and the fielding, wouldn’t it? Fix those soon and we just might win back the Ashes.

October 17 2010

Where’s My Robot?

Dear Past Predictions.

I am writing to complain about the tardiness in the arrival of various promised items. In particular, I want prompt and satisfactory answers to the following:

1. Where is my hover car? The last car I bought barely a year ago wouldn’t get off the ground if Evel Knievel drove it (not that I want him to drive it in his current state.) As far as I know none of my family and friends own a car that flies either yet you continue to advertise hover cars on television via your spokesman George Jetson. Look, I agree we have come a long way from the cars driven in the past, especially the ones depicted in your documentary about Fred and Wilma, but we are still waiting for our flying cars.

2. Where is my holiday on the Moon? You actually promised exotic holidays on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn but you haven’t even delivered a vacation on the moon closest to our planet. I for one am impatient to listen to my copy of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece on the actual dark side. True, a Mr Richard Branson is getting ready to launch a flight into Earth orbit but that is nowhere near the Moon and costs just a tad more than I anticipate earning in the remaining years of my life.

3. Where is my HAL9000? The computer on my desk just crawled out of the primordial ooze in comparison to that psychopath (not that I necessarily desire a psychopathic computer, its splendid rendition of Daisy notwithstanding.) While HAL9000 can converse intelligently my desktop computer tells me to “try saying something” even when I’m screaming at the top of my lungs.

4. Where’s my robot? The one that…err…you advertised in…ummm…well where is it?

September 27 2010

Correspondence That Matters

Would you look at the time? I just turned around for a minute and a whole year went by. Bloody cheek, if you ask me. And here’s me with so much to do and say and…

Start with the correspondence. So many letters to write, so little time:

 

Dear Checkout Chick.

I do understand that items run out occasionally but running out of bonus chocolates at your particular checkout does not excuse you from pretending there aren’t any in the whole store. This is especially true when the neighbouring checkout is struggling under the weight of said chocolate.

Yours in chocolaty dystopia,

Saucer

 

Dear Bus Driver.

The “ding” sound you hear at frequent intervals is a signal that at least one person would like to get off your vehicle. I’m sure this concept was covered in Bus Driving 101; perhaps you were absent that day. On a related note, when I hail you from the bus stop I am not indulging in a polite greeting.

Yours unstoppably,

Saucer

 

Dear Felis Catus.

Thank you for your operatic recital outside my window this morning. Unfortunately I am neither a fan of opera nor the musical stylings of your species. Please find another venue immediately.

Yours with teeth set on edge,

Saucer.

 

Dear Adipose Tissue.

Is it absolutely necessary that you store every excess calorie I consume? At the very least you could let go of said calorie as easily as you converted it. Come now, is it really fair that what takes you a second to do takes me half an hour to undo? Fathead.

Yours roundly.

Saucer

There! That should do it for now.