The Lung Brothers

Hanging out at the extreme end of the long tail ...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Naked Truth

During my university years I remember chatting to a medical student friend about those people that you meet at parties who immediately try to take advantage of your field of expertise to score some free professional advice. It must be really annoying for doctors, software programmers, builders and investment bankers (although they deserve no sympathy) when some tedious moron harasses you over a gin and tonic about some trivial diagnosis that they want you to make on the spot.

My friend said that it happened to him constantly for years but that finally he stumbled onto the perfect solution. I say stumbled because he unwittingly blurted it out while drunkenly chatting up some tasty Doris at a New Years Eve party. Of course, once he let is slip that he was a sawbones, her face lit up like a Vegas casino and she came out with the inevitable:

‘I’ve had this reoccurring pain here in my side over the past month and a half. What do you think it might be?’

It was the combination of alcohol, horniness and exasperation that let to his epiphany. After staring at her blankly for several seconds he said:

‘Mmm, don’t like the look of those symptoms. Could be a number of things, some of them quite serious. Why don’t you nip upstairs Love and take your cloths off. I’ll be up in a sec to make a proper examination.’

Of course she immediately backpedalled:

‘Oh no no. It’s quite alright. I’m sure it’s nothing really.’

At first my friend was peeved at failing to talk the sumptuous filly out of her dress but later he thrilled at the long-term benefits of what he’d discovered and has been using the same technique to shut pedantic arseholes up at parties ever since.

Well, a couple of years ago I was at a party enjoying the soothing effects of a few Blackbushes coursing through my veins when I mentioned to a lass that chemistry was my ‘bag’. To my chagrin, she started asking me about some paint in her garage that had inexplicably changed colour over night and what she should do about it. Remembering the sage advice of my dear friend years before, I gave her a somber professional look while rubbing my chin.

‘Mmm, tricky. Why don’t you nip upstairs Love, get your kit off and I’ll look into it?’

And you’ll never guess. It worked! Stopped the conversation dead in it’s tracks. In fact she didn’t even bother me for the rest of the evening. Nor did any of her friends. He was a genius that mate of mine.

Now, I wonder would it work on a Jehovah’s Witness?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fear of a Green Planet

Thank Christ Saint Patrick’s Day is over and at a safe distance. Being Irish and living abroad, the festival of our honoured patron saint makes me want to shrivel up like a well salted slug. Curiously, almost every other Irish ex-pat that I have ever known feels the same way.

I don’t know why, but every time I think that there is someone in Kansas, Melbourne or fucking Budapest who is at some point of time on the 17th of March dressed as an oversized Leprechaun and a couple of hours away from spewing green gastric juices onto a sticky overcrowded pub floor, it makes me want to cringe into a ball of embarrassment and roll under my bed.

How to explain this sensation? If you can imagine how American feels when he sees Rambo dubbed into Spanish or watches a report about bible belt TV evangelism while in a foreign hotel. An Englishman when he sees football hooligans destroying a stadium abroad or realises how much the world loves Benny Hill. The Italian watching a Hollywood mafia movie. The Frenchman, seeing a film where a shot of the Eiffel Tower and some tacky accordion music indicate that the location has moved to Paris. The Australian every time Fosters puts out an ad showing a sheep shearer with corks hanging from his hat.

These things just make you want to go out and grab the world by the lapels, put a bullhorn into its face and shout:

‘Look, just to set the record straight. This is NOT us. It is a corny, kitsch, stereotyped image that either represents a tiny part of our culture or doesn’t exist at all. It has been hijacked by the media, the advertising and marketing industries and now we’re stuck with it. It is mostly used to sell beer, breakfast cereals and sucker tourists into coming here. If you visit our country you are unlikely to see any of it and will probably end up very disappointed. Not to say that there aren’t some cool things about our country, but this ain’t them. Got it?’

If you are Irish and live abroad, you basically do one of three things on St. Patrick’s Day:

1. Stay at home with a rented DVD and a delivered pizza.
2. Get drunk enough to overcome your embarrassment.
3. Try and get laid on the novelty of being a real, home-grown Mick.

Over the years, I have attempted all three with varying degrees of success and humiliation.

Anyway, according to the history books he was a Frog, wasn’t he?