Random Summer observations

Like many of us, I’ve spent the last few weeks getting chores done around the house (finally coming to the end of a painful house renovation), watching cricket, playing with the kids and being at the beach. In that time, a man’s mind tends to wander (and wonder) and his head is filled with even more useless topics and queries than usual. As I put shoes on for the first time this year and sadly did up the top button for the return to work, these thoughts spilled out onto paper.

They are neither insightful or earth shattering, not important or helpful, more vague and strange, and obscure and reasonably pointless. Therefore, in the interests of Almanac contributors everywhere, I feel the need to share them with you here.

  1. Flicking around the TV between Christmas and New Year, I found the movie Fletch Lives, followed the next day by The Three Amigos. I was loving this 1980sChevy Chase fest, having noticed (but sensibly avoided) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation just before the 25th. A few days later, Spies Like Us appeared and my pleasure turned to panic and feelings of guilt. Had I missed a news bulletin and Chevy was dead and all his movies were being quickly run as a tribute? Turns out, it was just the Christmas non-ratings fill in schedule. Phew.  Bring on Caddyshack.
  2. Is there a rule that A Few Good Men must be run a minimum of 6 times a year on Channel 9?
  3. On the Dandenong-Hastings Rd, about Langwarrin, there’s a house with a small sign out the front saying “Ferrets for Sale” Now, I know little about marketing and less about ferrets, and do not claim to know if this sign is the family’s only form of advertising. However, I would hazard a guess that ferrets aren’t what you’d term an ‘impulse purchase’. I don’t envisage a family driving home from a day at the beach or the Mornington Peninsula wineries capping off the day with an instant decision to bring the car to a screaming halt, realise that there’s a gap in their lives and decide on the spot to expand the family unit by one ferret.
  4. Can every AFL club really be having “their best pre-season ever” and is every new draft pick really “training the house down”?
  5. There is a definite statistical correlation and an undisputed culinary fact that the closer the BBQ is to the beach, the better the snags will taste.
  6.  There is a fun US based website called Sporcle, which has a number of excellent quizzes every day, ranging from  geography to sports, language and literature to music, films and TV. One recent  quiz asked you to guess the country by being given three examples of their national cuisine. Some were reasonably basic (Cannelloni, Gelato, Chianti or Chicken Vindaloo, Samosa and Lassi, or Coq au Vin, Croissants, Pastis), some difficult (Wat, Dabo kolo, Tej or Kotlet schabowy, Paczki, Podpiwek )* and some either stretching it a bit or having a larf (Tourtière,  Poutine, Tim Hortons coffee)**I kid you not that the three types of food for which the answer is Australia are:  Pie floater, Vegemite on toast, Farmers Union iced coffee.


7.  Loving Christmas ham on toast. Multi grain bread, bit of salt, breakfast of champions.

8. I’m convinced that, despite the fizzer that was the Myan calendar end-of-the-world saga, impending signs of the Apocalypse include:

  • Latte art (doing cute designs in frothy milk on top of a coffee) and baby chinos
  • Those stickers people put on the back of their cars saying ‘My Family’ with individual representations of the family members shown such as dad holding BBQ tongs, the various pets, son with a surf board, daughter with a netball, etc.
  • The highest paid player at the reigning ALF premier is Kurt Tippett.
  • The person seen as best to follow in the footsteps of Marsh, Border, Langer and Hussey to sing the song, thereby being a seemingly permanent fixture in the team, is Nathan Lyon.

9.  Sporting guarantees:

  • Surfers are never happy or pleased or even wrapt with their wins, they are ‘stoked’
  • Seeded tennis players never lose, they are ‘bundled out’ of a tournament
  • The more stunning the dismissal or catch in the slips, the higher the likelihood of the umpires dousing the mood and celebrations completely by checking for a no ball.

10. There are supposedly annual events that I am absolutely sure are held or run more than once a year. These include the Run against Puffing Billy and the Greeks throwing the small wooden cross off the pier.

11. Forget trying to explain cricket to someone who doesn’t understand it, try to stop them laughing and get them to take the game seriously when they see a huge Gatorade bottle strapped to a Segway being driven onto the field every hour.

12. Somewhere within Channels 9 and 7, auditions are being held for triplets who will start Prep this year to be filmed getting ready for their first day of school.

13. Apparently, but I am not sure about this, there’s another version of The Block on this year? Hard to tell, limited publicity so far.

Here’s to 2013. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

* Ethiopia and Poland

** Canada


About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Spies Like Us is one of the great films of its time. In terms of 1980s films, I’d suggest Chevy Chase’s canon is only behind Eddie Murphy and Michael J. Fox.

  2. Wonderfully funny Sean. I laughed a dozen times

  3. John Butler says

    Nice work Sean.

    I’d actually started to think The Block was the program and they were just running the cricket during add breaks.

    Is there a certificate course for latte art?

  4. Louise Francis says

    Thanks Sean, loved this.
    I lost count of how many times my daughter pleaded for a ferret addition to our family when we saw that sign!

  5. 1. Great stuff Sean.
    2. I feel left out when I have coffee. Not much you can do art-wise with a long black.
    3. Louise, did you ever succumb to your daughter’s beseeching?
    4. I completely understand Channel 9’s cross-promo – The Block is a very important part of defensive batting.
    5. Imagine if there was a “Channel 8”, that combined all the worst aspects of channels 7 and 9.
    6. If Sean lost his sight, he’d be a blind Curtain. You don’t see too many of those around.

  6. Chevy Chase has done his best work in a very under-valued sit-com called Community .

    Caddyshack is brilliant.

    There is a reason the ferret never took off as the pet of choice …

    Took is one of my favourite words.


  7. Louise Francis says

    Too funny Gigs! In answer to your third question: Final siren scores ( when we shifted from Somers) Mum 34, Daughter 0, Ferret 0

  8. Geez Louise (pardon the pun), you are one tough nut to crack! Well done.

  9. Gigz,

    There’s plenty you can do art-wise with a short black .. how about a for a ciggie butt for starters,

  10. T Bone – Thanks, but there were 13 observations, you just had to point out one red headed step child of a comment wasn’t worth a laugh, eh? Typical, juuuust typical. Reminds me of the advertising line The Housemartins put on their third (and sadly final album) in the 80s, “17 songs, 16 hits!”

    JB, not sure of there’s a course for latte art but if there is, there would clearly be an compulsory entry requirement of facial hair and tatts.

    Litza, 80s classics – Caddyshack or Trading Places? Hmm, I think I feel another column coming on.

  11. Sean,

    Yeah that one was the crap one. It had filler written all ove it

  12. Caddyshack or Trading Places? You’re joking surely. One has Ted Knight, Rodney Dangerfield and the greatest comedian of the last 40 years, Mr Bill Murray. The other is called Trading Places. Caddyshack is Tiger Woods fav movie. I rest me case.

  13. Ben Footner says

    John Candy is one of my 80’s favourites. Stripes anyone? Planes, Trains & Automobiles was on the other night too, love it!

  14. Skip of Skipton says

    I was thinking of getting some of those My Family stickers when I was out Christmas shopping, but having them represent the opposite of what we are. I was going to be the body-builder dad with the bar-bell. I can’t remember the wife and daughters ones, but the cat was going to be a big dog, or maybe a ferret if they have them.

  15. For all u Plains Trains Automobiles fans out there, u must see “Due Date” with Robert Downey Jnr and Zach G…………………..ous. It is much the superior road movie

  16. Rick, ‘that’ scene with Jamie Lee Curtis claws back some ground for Trading Places.

  17. Lord Bogan says

    I love Christmas Vacation. Watch it every year in the days before xmas. It helps me appreciate the fact that my family is not all that dysfunctional. Randy Quaid is a killer as Cousin Eddie: “Merry Christmas, shitter was full!” And Chevy’s outburst to the family is gold: ” And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”


  18. Sean’s Housemartins comment reminds me of an early-80s release from Melbourne band The Nubiles (for whom Almanacker John Weldon played bass) – it was a single billed as a “double B-side”.

    Despite that billing, I reckon both songs, “Hot Slave” and “Hawaii” were great. (And I still have the single and the free cocktail umbrella that came with it.)

  19. Peter Schumacher says

    Not “my” identical triplet grand children they didn’t, their parents completely eschew such nonsense.

  20. Exquisite Sean! Happy New Year!

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