My day: as reviewed by Dorothy Parker

8am: read a book while eating breakfast

God, the bitter misery that reading works in this world! Everybody knows that – everybody who is everybody. All the best minds have been off reading for years. I wish I’d never learned to read. Still, if I must review the damn thing…..well, thankfully, it’s witty in parts, but it’s also frightfully dull at times. Some people are sad, others are awkward – it’s nothing more than depressing, and precisely why reading makes me nervous. In fact, I feel so nauseated I could yip.

Reading: 2/10

Dorothy Parker - The Collected Stories

11am: started (but terminated) an online credit card application 

That whole process was awfully boring! It was bad enough having to fill out anything at all, (especially when the applicant is already a customer of the bank in question – Ed.) but it asked simply sheaves of questions! By page three of the online form, the applicant was asked for a long and tedious list of the most tiresome things – income, monthly mortgage repayments, and average contribution to household expenses (weekly/fortnightly/monthly) – just for starters.

It was enough to put me to sleep. I’d rather count sheep, and I hate sheep.

Online credit card application process: 2/10

 

1pm: started (and completed) an online application to set up a Mygov online account (as of July 1, this is required in Australia before you can get a refund through Medicare for a visit to a doctor.)

From everything I’ve heard about dealing with Australian Government departments, or websites, I’m actually rather thrilled at how smoothly this went. The only glitch was on creating a password – the applicant filled out all her details, created the password, and after hitting “submit,” received one of those frightfully dull error messages. In a rather frightful fire-engine red message, she was informed that she had entered an Invalid Password. No other information to guide us as to why it was invalid. How utterly tiresome!

I was scandalised at this, especially when the applicant explained that technology exists which will alert people, as they create a password, as to whether it fulfils the security requirements of the site. I’m told it would also be easy to include instructions stating what is required in the password – for example, a mix of uppercase and lower case? Numerals, characters, dots, dashes, your favourite Gin – who knows?

However, the applicant herself, clearly used to these kinds of glitches, retained her equanimity admirably. I was assured quite calmly that as far as errors on government websites go, this instance was so tiny, it was not worth stopping to think about. She took a guess, added a few more characters to her password – and sure enough, it went through. The rest of the process went smoothly and took about 15-20 minutes.

For an Australian government website, I’m reliably told, that is the smoothest user experience you could possibly imagine.

Based on this being an Australian Government website: 10/10  because there was only 1 glitch.

If this was a commercial business: 8/10 because of the glitch and lack of support with solving it.

2pm: baked a cake

I never bake. I can’t sit still long enough for that. Baking makes me nervous. And I never seem to get good household help. But this cake is delightful, I can’t believe you made it yourself, aren’t you clever! What’s that about the centre? Undercooked? Oh, no, I didn’t think so. Gooey? Well, I hardly noticed. I mean, I thought it was some terribly clever sauce in the middle. Yes, honestly. And the other part of the cake is delicious, so it really doesn’t matter. Flavour – why…is it….lemon? Oh, orange, you say? Why, now that you mention it, I can taste that quite clearly, I don’t know what I was thinking. Goodness, it’s very filling, I must say…I don’t think I can finish off that last little bit.

Cake: 5/10

 

3pm: cleaned the bath

My dear, the bathroom looks divine, although I don’t know why you don’t hire someone to clean for you. Still, it’s nice to know that apparently your bath is white after all. It was becoming hard to tell, wasn’t it? Dust really can accumulate in a bathroom! Extra points for moving all of your teenage daughter’s hair products and soaps out of the way to do around the edges of the bath/shower and then putting them all so neatly back again. I wouldn’t have been so patient!

A bonus point, too, because you obviously hurt your back while cleaning – based on the fact that you are now lying flat on the wooden floor while I’m talking to you.

What’s that? It’s really not that bad? It really doesn’t look like you’re having much fun down there. Oh, no, don’t try to get up…..oh dear! It looks as though you are in pain. This is what comes of cleaning. Perhaps you should have been writing and left the silly old bath to its own devices.

Shall I make you a gin and tonic dear?

Bathroom: 11/10

Cleaning: 1/10

 

*

The above includes direct quotes from Dorothy Parker’s Collected Stories.

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12 Comments

  1. weebluebirdie

     /  July 31, 2016

    My dear, never have I read such exquisite writing on the perils of cleaning one’s bathroom.
    May I have just the tiniest morsel of your cake? It looks divine.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you, I’m so glad you think so! I was a bit worried that my attempt to fashion a cunning little bow out of pink icing has ended up looking more like a dying carnation that’s melting down the sides of the cake, so I’m glad you like it! And if I ever have a book published, I hope I will have your permission to use your quote on the back cover, “Never have I ever read such exquisite writing on the perils of cleaning one’s bathroom.”

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  2. weebluebirdie

     /  August 1, 2016

    *Ahem* Me and Missus over at Department of Speculation up there had an idea between us. You know how it goes, a couple of gals find themselves online together and start yapping in the comments box. She’s plummeted to new heights and is making us choose numbers so that she can give us a question to ponder. Have a gander, it’s rather fun.

    Anyhoo. We’ve both been admiring your resurrection of DP. We thought you could take on the mantle and ask us questions of the ilk that DP would be enquiring on in these times. Then Missus and I will endeavour to respond in the style of DP.

    We thought this was a grand idea for lots of reasons, well two really. You like to have a purpose to write for; bollards, yoga mats etc. We can’t be arsed thinking of our own stuff to write.

    Feel free to respond in the box of Missus, there should be a couple of spaces left 🙂

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    • You’re a sharp pair alright. The pressure is on now. I fear you may have mistaken me for being far wittier than I am…..after all, when not doing bad imitations of Dorothy Parker, my expertise lies in….yoga mats and bollards, moustaches and eyeballs, brown paper packages and whiskers on kittens. Nevertheless I will pop over and see if I can meet the challenge. (If it seems like I’m really stuck thinking up something to say, that’s because it’s 10.30pm here now, so I will probably procrastinate about going to bed just a bit longer, and once I give in, I won’t have time for writing comments, witty or otherwise, on blogs until after work tomorrow night.)

      Liked by 1 person

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      • weebluebirdie

         /  August 6, 2016

        My progress report can be found over at Missus :-/

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    • I just stayed up late writing a comment and then it wouldn’t let me post it! I tried a few times but it’s now an hour after my bed time so I shall have to try again tomorrow. 😦

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      • weebluebirdie

         /  August 1, 2016

        Ah, the old technical difficulties. That’s alright, we’re a patient pair – well one of us is. Hang on, just thinking back to your other comment – do you/people actually read our meandering musings??!!!!

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  3. weebluebirdie

     /  August 1, 2016

    Grand 🙂 We hoped you’d grasp the grubby glove of a challenge!! Actually, the time zone thingy will work in all our favours; it means that none of us can be accused of procrastination. Right then, I’d better pop along to the bookshop to refresh my memory. *definitely not looking for excuses to idle away the time on first day back at work*

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  4. A clear case of what we Experts in Everything would recognize as a Literary Haunting. This is when the ghost of a writer, imprisoned (probably for good reasons) in a text, like the djinn in the lamp, is allowed to escape and then haunt or possess the hapless soul who disturbed its repose by opening the book and bringing its words into consciousness.

    This case, happily, seems fairly benign and the damage inflicted upon the victim’s mind relatively minor and perhaps even in some ways constructive: anything that inspires and exercises the imagination without causing permanent injury can be seen as beneficial.

    Further treatment is probably not required unless periods of sleeplessness ensue in which case readings from the Australian government’s Economic Statement 2015 may be prescribed, together with carefully metered doses of a suitable alcoholic beverage.

    In the meantime, Experts in Everything is in talks with the government with a view to adding health warnings to works of so-called creative literature similar to those currently placed on cigarette packets.

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    • Oh dear, I hope that THIS particular case of so-called creative literature has not given you lung cancer, or boggly eyeballs like the ones that stare balefully at me from the cigarette packets on the shelves behind the cash register whenever I’m trying to remember the PIN number on my credit card. If you suspect that my attempts at creative literature may be cancer causing, I recommend that you cut down to only one a week, and perhaps try doodling on a nicotine patch with a biro, while reading.

      Hopefully this case of being possessed by Dorothy Parker’s ghost was short-lived, as the required level of quick-thinking and wit was too tiring.

      I’m intrigued to know how, or why, you happened to have a piece of an Australian Government’s economic statement on hand to illustrate the sleep-inducing effect some documents have. I even tried to open it to investigate further, but it took so long to download that I almost did fall asleep, so gave up, but judging by the url, it appears to be South Australian, and thus may not be representative of average levels of sleep- inducingness in economic policy nation-wide across Australia.

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  5. Exquisite! You really NAILED Parker’s voice!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Thank you, that’s high praise!

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