Friday, March 30, 2012

Would You Eat Eggs From a Purple Chicken?

There is an open public space near Circular Quay railway station that I walk past in order to encase myself in a metal cocoon that, all things being equal, will deliver me walking distance from my home.  Like many open public spaces it is frequently occupied by various corporate publicity stunts (and the occasional melting bear).  The other week as I walked past cocoon bound I saw that it was the proud home of the Cadbury Egg Farm.

Up until this point I didn't realise that one farmed eggs.  I thought one farmed chickens (or possibly crocodiles) and the eggs just turned up.  Still as part of an ongoing campaign to educate children as to the source of the food this is pretty impressive.  Not only were there no chickens but it didn't actually look like there were any eggs.  There was a big screen that at least depicted chickens, or at least purple chicken-like things, living in what appeared to be large onions on sticks.  The almost chickens seemed pretty happy about that.

From time to time this bucolic farm scene was interrupted so that those passersby who insist on making idiots of themselves in public could perform the chicken dance.  Then the screen showed a big picture of said passersby doing the dance while the chickenish things crowded around the sidelines and flapped their, wings? (I'm guessing here) in approval.  At least one woman is going to regret not wearing a better fitting bra and possibly a turtle neck when she gets a moment for quiet reflection.

So; idiot bystanders doing the chicken dance that is broadcast on a screen liberally festooned with purple chickenish things.  I guess Easter must be coming (although what it's becoming is anybody's guess).  I may be being unfair of course.  It is entirely possible that somebody at Cadbury decided that children need to know where their food comes from and decided that having complete strangers do the chicken dance to the accompaniment of CGI pseudo chickens while pretty girls in purple overalls and white gumboots wandered around with their faces plastered in the kind of smile that can normally only be achieve by fifteen minutes in an electric chair was an appropriate way of doing this.

Now that we are safely assured that the education of our children is in good hands we can turn to the subject for which all of the preceding was merely a rather tedious preamble.  Eggs!  Aren't eggs great?  What other food comes with its own watertight packaging?  Snide jokes about the first person to eat an egg abound but I can actually see it happening.  Some caveman watched a chicken lay an egg and thought "OK, it came out of a chicken's arse but look how easy it is to pick up."  Of course I could be overestimating our ancestors.  Its possible that they just thought they'd found a convenient way of transporting chicken crap.  I wonder how many years went buy before anyone had the courage to actually eat one?  One thing I do know; if he had been confronted by a group of his supposedly evolutionarily superior successors dancing around accompanied by a group of purple almost chickens for the purposes of persuading children to eat chocolate as a form of religious observance he would probably have tossed the eggs aside and gone back to eating bugs.  Which are crunchy and full of protein.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Cruise: The Holiday You Take When Suicide is too Quick and Painless

As I left my place of employment (I'm a little too honest to call it "work") the other day and strode vigorously (yet with a certain understated style) towards the railway station my attention was captured by what appeared to be an office block floating in the harbour.  I say my attention was captured, really it was beaten across the back of the head, stuffed into a sack and dragged off to parts unknown.  A second incredulous glance reassured me that building codes in Sydney haven't been thrown completely out the window.  What I thought was an office block on its side was in fact a cruise ship the right way up which had been cunningly designed to resemble an office block.

Apparently there is a certain type of person whose idea of a good time is to slowly wander the damper parts of the earth's surface in something so outrageously ugly that it probably gives the fish a heart attack.  From time to time these modern leviathans surface in the port cities of the world where they promptly make even the most ugly and ill designed city look understated and quietly elegant by comparison.  They are the floating equivalent of a Kardashian wedding.

Cruises are, I have heard, a relaxing and peaceful holiday.  These ships therefore must be ideal for the sort of person who likes to take a relaxing and peaceful holiday while surrounded by a hundred thousand tonnes of steel, heavy duty machinery and a few thousand other people who couldn't leave if they wanted to.  It must be rather akin to holidaying in a steelworks that has been cut loose to drift on the ocean currents.

Still live on the ocean wave must have some benefits; several thousand Somali pirates can't be wrong.  Which brings to mind one definite advantage these cruise liners possess; any pirate wanting to attack them will have to provide several hundred feet of scaling ladder just to get on board.  If you spent your entire life outside territorial waters you could probably also qualify for some kind of tax exemption.  There are island nations in the Caribbean smaller than the average cruise ship and probably with a lower permanent population as well.  It can't be too long before you will be able to register a ship as your company's official headquarters for tax purposes.

Finally I think these self propelled apartment blocks are good news for people worried about rising sea levels.  As Archimedes could have told you if you place an object into water it will displace the water around it.  In other words take all of the ocean liners out of the water and sea levels will probably drop by about half a metre.  That's got to be good news for the population of Kiribati at any rate.  Unless their economy depends on tourists from cruise ships of course.