Almanac Life: Ten Things I Hate


Cauliflower heads on a shelf. (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)


Ten Things I Hate


1. Cauliflower – anything that is like eating a small shrub is not for me.


2. The sheep-like mentality of people, expressed in such behaviours as hoarding toilet paper during a pandemic. If everyone did their ‘business as usual’ (pardon the pun), there would be absolutely no need for this.


3. Sporting clichés, such as ‘playing a role’ and ‘learnings’ – as well as clichés in general.


4. The concept of ‘social influencer’. Almost invariably, these individuals are the kind one would not want to be influenced by.


5. Jazz music that uses a synthesizer – anytime I see a traditional jazz instrument used in conjunction with one, I immediately want to put in earplugs.


6. A bad pizza. This usually – but not always – involves a thick, rock-hard, floury base.


7. Infomercials.


8. A Test Match – or indeed a cricket match at any level – that is entirely rained out. (And if one is directly involved, waiting for the rain to stop is a kind of purgatory-on-earth.)


9. Loud noise from neighbours in the middle of the night, even if it sounds like they are having a very good time.


10. A bad beer – though after you’ve had a few glasses, your taste buds seem to go on holidays.





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Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, was published in late 2020 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Hard on cauliflower. Recently had a beaut curry-dusted/crumbed spicy cauliflower bite at the Home of Canapes (Canberra).

  2. Anthony W Collins says

    Personally, I wouldn’t feed cucumber to a Japanese on ANZAC day.
    I am obviously not a social influencer …so I guess it is OK to hate them.

  3. Jarrod_L says

    Agree with your defence of cauli, JTH – incredibly versatile veg! Parsnip on the other hand…

    Dunno if I can get behind the jazz one either KD – music is such a multiheaded beast, who knows the potential sounds that could come out?

    (All in good fun, variety is the spice of life; even a variety of dislikes!)

  4. Phillip Hill says

    I bake colli, some broc and any other vegies available, covered in Leegos tomato with some Keens curry powder mixed in.

    Tasty cheese on top with a few fried bits of bacon.

    Do it in a small pan very moist. Spread it out and get some burnt bits on the cheese

    Colli has no taste

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I avoid cliches like the plague

  6. Bad beer, bad pizza, bad jazz are intolerable at lunch, but expected at midnight!

  7. Colin Ritchie says

    One thing that really gets up my nose is people talking at concerts! I don’t know why people pay money then take no notice of the show.

  8. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for the responses, guys. I’ll do a couple at a time.

    JTH – taste is a personal thing, and your dressed-up cauliflower sounds like something that could almost “turn” me – I say almost!

    Anthony – re the social influencer point, I’m of the “hate the sin, love the sinner” persuasion. It’s the whole notion of social influencing that I intensely dislike – not the person him/herself.

  9. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for the comments, Jarrod. I might be persuaded otherwise re the jazz one, but I’m yet to be convinced by any techno-jazz I’ve heard up to now. And parsnip, well – better than cauli!

    And Philip, I do like the sound of your recipe – but it’s the texture of cauli, as much as anything else about it, that I find so unpleasant. If it has no taste, perhaps I’d prefer to put in something in its place than has.

  10. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks Swish – so do I! (Ha!)

    And Mickey, what you say is so so true about this ‘holy trinity’ of badness!

  11. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Col – I agree totally.

    It’s the same thing at the cinema – why do people pay to watch a film when they don’t appear to give a toss about it?.

  12. Luke Reynolds says

    Any rain interruption in any cricket game is on my hate list. But even worse is play stopping for bad light in Test matches at venues with lights. And slow over rates.

  13. Kevin Densley says

    Certainly fair enough to those points, Luke!

    Play abandoned for the day is an entirely different thing to a temporary – and uncertain in terms of length – rain delay, of course. In this context, I remember playing for (Deakin) University in the Southern District league one time and spending a very enjoyable afternoon in the Valley Inn Hotel in Fyans Street, South Geelong – I think we resurrected the match the following weekend as a one-dayer.

  14. I reckon I could extend this out to 100 things.
    But I’m with Luke – slow over rates give me the shits

  15. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Smokie.

    I could extend this list, too, by a fair bit – I just thought ten would do for the time being!

  16. Daryl Schramm says

    Slow over rates? Me too. Only 86 on day 1 at Lords yesterday. It is rubbish.

  17. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Daryl.

    The slow over rates issue brought up by Luke has certainly struck a chord!

  18. Americans
    All professional cricket post T20
    Goat’s cheese
    Poor spelling and gramma
    Self centred people (see Americans & Lawyers)
    Loud people (see above)
    Tannic oaky wines
    Cruise ships & guided tours & golf carts (for under 80’s)
    Pay parking & bottled water (anything that was free 20 years ago that we are now extorted for)

  19. Kevin Densley says

    That’s quite a list, PB!

    Many thanks for the contribution. (And you reminded me how much I loathe pay parking, too.)

  20. ‘Socks down’ now being the norm in footy rather the exception.

  21. I may be in the minority, but I would have day/night test cricket at Adelaide Oval on my list.
    They took a great 5 day contest and turned it into a 3 day (at best) wicket-fest.
    Plus, a player should never require a long-sleeve sweater in an Adelaide test.
    A true Adelaide test match is 5 DAYS of cricket played in 30+ degree weather. Win, lose or draw doesn’t matter.

  22. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for your comments, Greg.

    Regarding the first one, I certainly agree – I distinctly remember in those “How To Play Football” manuals around when I played Little League that one of the main “commandments” was “Look the part.” Totally fair enough!

    And I also think you’re on the money with your comments about what an Adelaide Test SHOULD be. Each test should reflect its location, including the climate, and not be some homogenized product. I have fond memories of being a teenager and young bloke and travelling from Geelong to my grandmother’s place in Largs Bay during various long-ago summers – going to the Adelaide Test and dealing with the peculiarly enervating Adelaide heat were part and parcel of the experience.

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