Life in between losing it at the footy – Part 1: Me, the menace to society



A funny thing happened to me a few years ago while using Connex’s woefully overcrowded trains.


I was catching the 7:17 from Sunshine — a new morning service on the Sunbury line — when, just as I was boarding, I gave way to a woman who was getting on at the same time. Ordinarily, I would have given her a little bit of a hip-and-shoulder, so as to beat her to a seat, but as this new service wasn’t anywhere near packed (FOR ONCE!), I felt able to afford her what is now a sadly elapsed courtesy. I have to say, it was rather a nice feeling.


Anyhoo, later that day I wondered how this service improvement would affect me going forward, or more to the point, I wondered how it would affect my ability to dish out a hip-and-shoulder? After all, thanks to Connex’s lousy services, I had been able to develop a hip-and-shoulder that would knock Barry Hall on his ass. It seemed a shame that a life skill I’d honed would now be under-utilised.


Happily, however, I can inform you that my lament was premature. Yes, that very evening, Connex — true to form — served up another appallingly packed train, and just as I was about to mothball my hip-and-shoulder, out it came again in its magnificent former glory. Redeemingly, I just hope the elderly pensioners I poleaxed can forgive me for their trouble.




I love my Twisties, and am in a major Twisties eating phase at the moment, so it was to my great horror when I heard from a mate’s nine year old son that I should consider boycotting them. He told me that he too was a great Twisties lover, but because the company that make Twisties uses palm oil, he and his family were now avoiding them. He went on to say that palm oil production is causing massive habitat loss for Orangutans and we should avoid eating Twisties as a statement of support. After pausing for a moment, in which time I weighed up a bleak Twisties-free future, I said, “You know what? I’ll give you this: the minute they come out with Orangutan-flavoured Twisties, you can count me in”. He laughed, and in that moment I sensed a germinating thought that he’d eat Twisties on the sly. His parents don’t have me over anymore.





Jeannie, daughter of mates Mick and Michelle, loves to play board games.


When she was around four, we’d play ‘Guess Who?’ whenever I came around.


In ‘Guess Who?’, both players pick a card from a deck and you have to work out what each other has by asking a series of crafted questions. You’re not guessing for the ace of spades et al, however, as this deck contains 24 cartoons of people, and the questioning is basically to do with a process of elimination. Aiding you is a board allocated to each player with all 24 cards on it. As you ask questions such as ‘Are you a boy?’ or ‘Are you wearing glasses?’, your opponent will turn down cards which have don’t these characteristics. When you have all but one of their cards turned down, you’ve won the game.


Jeannie, like any four year old, takes her board games very seriously and gets well miffed when you don’t play properly. Unfortunately for Jeannie, I exist to get people well miffed, and after playing in the right spirit for a question or two, my mind begins to wander into the mischievous. This translates into asking subjective questions as opposed to ones designed to deal with absolutes.


“Hmm, are you someone who needs a shave?” I’ll ask.


To this, Jeannie will look me as though thinking, This guy is thick; doesn’t he get how this game works?


I’ll then try and appeal to her four year old sensibilities:


“Are you someone who has lots and lots and lots of toys, but you’d be a whole lot happier if you had more?” I’ll follow this with something like, “Are you someone who is a little sad ‘cos you don’t always get things your own way?”


It’s then that Jeannie will screw up her face, and I’ll think, Just when I thought you took after ya mum, I see a whole lot of your Dad in you, because that’s exactly the same expression he has when I’m giving *him* the shits.


About Punxsutawney Pete

Punxsutawney Pete see's a shadow: twelve more months of winter


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Love the thought of a well developed hip and shoulder on a packed tram or train and now you have given me an evil plan next time I play with my drafted grandchildren. Like your Twisteed thinking.

  2. John Butler says

    Larry David coming for dinner any time soon?

  3. Punxsu..and-the-rest-of-it Pete says

    Yvette, I’ve modeled my hip and shoulder on EJ’s. Sometimes comes off a little too much like a king hit, for it. I see you modeling yours on Carl Ditterich’s. Or perhaps something evoking a bit of Robbie Muir?

    John, you’ve got me there: channeling as charged.

  4. Earl O'Neill says

    Orangutan flavoured Twisties you say? I’ll get the marketing gurus onto it.

  5. Mic Rees says


    Is it called “Guess Who” due to the facial similarities between “Justin” (third from the left, second bottom row) and Burton Cummings?

    I eagerly await your response.


  6. Punxsu..and-the-rest-of-it Pete says

    Mic, that’s hilarious. He’s a dead ringer alright. Burton wrote ‘American woman,’ I guess you know. Great solo hit with ‘Stand tall’ as well.

    Hey Earl, yeah Orangutan flavoured Twisties would shake up the salted snacks market. I think they’d be a bigger hit than soylent green.

  7. Mic Rees says


    “Stand Tall” evokes great memories of mid 70’s Melbourne AM radio.

    Any chance you could explain Albert Flasher to me?


  8. Punxsu..and-the-rest-of-it Pete says

    Mic, I sought out The Guess Who’s ‘Albert Flasher’ on youtube. I can’t explain it.

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    Chicken Twisties as well or just the cheese ones?

    Someone at work brought in some ‘Limited Edition’ pizza twisties. We gave both them, and their pizza twisties, a firm hip and shoulder.

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