Bugging Maccas

Ice fly

Hard to tell, I know, but what you're looking at is a bug. Frozen in an ice cube. In the bottom of a cup. That I had just drained of Sprite. From a Maccas.

Now here's the thing: it's understandable that a bug might fall into the container full of ice. It happens. And it was tiny. I can understand how it was overlooked. And I'm sure it caused me no real damage - after all, we consume 6 insect legs a day in chocolate or whatever that stupid statistic is (an average of 8 legs per chocolate bar, in fact - apparently) and a bunch of spiders (more than 4 little ones).

In fact, nowadays, we're told we'll soon all be consuming insects for their protein. Although this isn't so new: a buddy told me about a trip to Thailand where a piece of corrugated metal, lit from above, was situated over a bucket of water; insects hit it all night and landed in the water; the following morning somebody sorted them into the different varieties in preparation for frying and vending.

Indeed, during one of my Melbourne Comedy Festival sojourns, the year I was producing Chris North's Bloke's Guide to Getting Married, I was in that Asian supermarket on Russell Street with Chris when we stumbled upon this:

Top of tin

Side of can

Open tin

Silkworm pupae. Yes, I have photographed it from various angles, not on the supermarket shelf. That's because it came home with me. I figured, maybe I should drain 'em, deep fry 'em - I once saw locusts cooked that way on a doco. Salted, they end up being ideal savoury snacks.

In my case, not so much.

I didn't drain them properly. I didn't use enough oil or wait until it was hot enough. They didn't taste of crisp, savoury snacks, I told Chris when asked, so much as mouldy old socks.

"I'm sorry," he said, as if he'd somehow coerced or dared me.

Anyway, point is: I wasn't really fazed by the bug on the ice. But I still wanted to kick up a stink. I'm good at that. I figured, maybe I'd get the Kramer's-lifetime-of-coffee soft drink deal out of them:



Again, not so much.

Got my money back. And a voucher for a complimentary EspressoPronto coffe or Sundae "in a size of your choice" when I visit next time. I still say there could have been a plastic card entitling the bearer to a free drink every meal forever after.

But at least the voucher was cool. Not the form letter part apologising for my "experience" not being "all it could have been today", thanking me for letting them know and assuring me they want to get it right.

It has this cool image.

Maccas logo

Long after the clown has stopped appearing in person at stores (those ads that used to end, "come to McDonald's, I'll be there/Listen carefully and we'll tell you where" were just too much of a directory for kiddy fiddlers, I'm guessing), this has to be the coolest trademark ever.

I was gonna say 'it pisses all over the Golden Arches'. But think about it: the top of that curvy yellow 'm' could be considered bum cleavage - in which case, these boots kick its arse! Or, if you live near the rural town of Yass, it's ass!





Click Frenzy? Quick Endsy!
The Downfall of Click Frenzy

The US gets some cash-flow easing the economic crisis with Black Friday. And Australia… doesn't….

And so, as Chris North rightly points out, the Downfall meme regarding Australia's continued inability to get the Interwebs right is inevitable:



But there's also this contribution - an episode of the daily dose of excellent satire know as The Roast.



So has it made you wanna go back into a physical shop? Or just back to the online retailers you always go to?

Da Doo Ron Ron de Jeremy


I don't know if you're familiar with the concept of the doppelganger. It comes from the German word 'doppelganger'. Which means 'doppelganger'.

It's just that I have one. A significant one. An actor.

Actually, when I say an actor, he's really more of a p…

Well, let me start at the beginning.

The first time anyone made the connection was on a Saturday afternoon quite a few summers ago, when I'd started growing my hair. (That's such a stupid phrase, 'growing my hair'; I didn't actively 'grow' it. It grows on its own. I stopped getting it cut regularly.)

I used to present a music segment on an afternoon 'magazine'-type radio show. I was on air after the book lady, and before the gardener and the vet. One time, during the introduction, the host suggested on air that, what with my long hair, I'd started to look a bit like… (he paused for dramatic effect)… a porn star.

"Dude!" I admonished him in mock outrage. "My mum listens to this…".

But I had no idea what he meant, to be honest.. How did having long hair make me look like a porn star?

Then, a couple of weeks later, a kid on a scooter called out to me from a across the street, insisting I was Ron Jeremy.

"Wha?" I thought.

I googled him. (I mean, I googled 'Ron Jeremy', not 'that kid on the scooter'.)

Turns out Ron Jeremy is a porn star. With quite an endowment. And I look amazingly like him. From the waist up.

Around this time somebody at work dubbed me 'Dom Jeremy', and it stuck. 

And then I started doing stand-up. Despite writing about it and interacting with the industry just about forever, judging Raw Comedy heats and finals and all of that stuff, I didn't actually start standing up for myself until 2010. And I realised I needed to write some specific material to deal with hecklers. Because often, on stage, the heckle I'd receive consisted of just two words: "Ron Jeremy!"

One time the audience consisted solely of federal police. They were on a night out. Of course they gave me the 'Ron Jeremy' heckle. Only, this time it was before I even started talking. I'd barely taken the stage, and in the split second between my getting to the microphone and opening my mouth,

My friend Hayden Brotchie had suggested I point out that I "get mistaken for Ron Jeremy 9.75 times out of ten" (because that's how big his dick is, in inches).

One time I had the good sense to announce, "Mate, if I had an inch for every time someone called me Ron Jeremy, I'd actually be Ron Jeremy."

And so it went.

Cut to March this year. The NSW Sexpo - a "sexuality lifestyle expo" - is on at Darling Harbour. Ron Jeremy is going to be there.

Yeah, whatever.

"No, but you've got to go there and meet him. Have your photo taken with him," my friend insists.

So I go. But my Catholic sensibilities really need pornography to be less out-in-the-open. Self-conscious as ever, just less self-assured. I don't last long. I don't encounter Ron Jeremy. Funny thing is, nobody mistakes me for him, either. I guess Sexpo is the one place where people are going to be so familiar with him that they can't be fooled by someone who happens to look a bit like him.


But I spend the whole time walking around without my glasses, assuming someone somewhere will come up to me thinking I'm Ron Jeremy.

No such luck.

It's the day-trippers who mistake me for Ron Jeremy. The people who deal with him and his product on a regular basis will know full well that I'm not him.

Then I get the phone call.

My buddy Chris North, currently working on the Merrick Watts Highway Patrol drivetime show on Triple M, says they're doing some kind of promo with Ron Jeremy's rum company, and I should rock up to one of the events and be my doppelganger's doppelganger.

So I rock up at Triple M, where Ron's been in attendance, figuring someone's gonna mistake me for him. But nobody looks at me twice. (Clearly everyone there watches so much porn that, like the patrons of Sexpo, that will not be fooled by me. Or they watch absolutely none. I reckon it's the former.)

I end up going to the first bar with Chris. Some heads turn. A staff member approaches, but realises, up close, I'm not Ron.

The rum corps appear: the Aussies importing a new brand called 'Ron de Jeremy' ("the adult rum"!) Dutch people arrive. They are the originators of this particular spirit. Turns out, 'ron' is Dutch for 'rum'. Realising the famous man with the impressive encumbrance is in fact called 'Rum Jeremy', they came up with the idea to make a 'Rum of Jeremy' - or Ron de Jeremy - figuring Ron Jeremy may well be happy to front it. And he is.

When Ron appears, he's amused that I exist, mostly because it seems to drive his minder mad. We chat. I tell him I have a 'Ron Jeremy' routine in my stand-up set. He gives me pointers. He especially gives me comebacks - that would work a treat if I was Ron Jeremy. ("Tell them, 'Ron Jeremy's dick is so big, it has it's own dick. That's bigger than yours.")

Strangers want to get into photos with me because I look like him - they figure I'm his twin brother or something.

The sort of thugs who would normally be trying to beat me to a pulp for 'looking at' their girlfriends are offering them to me. Which is weird.

Eventually I head home, utterly hammered on Ron de Jeremy (hammered on Ron de Jeremy, not by Ron Jeremy, mind). Not without some cool photos. And even a clip of Ron Jeremy giving me Ron Jeremy lessons.

The question I was asked most, after the event, was, 'did you compare willies?'

Yes. Of course. I was totally prepared to compare dick size with a renowned porn star that measures nine-and-three-quarter inches.

And let me tell you something:

Mine is precisely as long as his is.



What it is ‘I do’
(small talk at a wedding)


My classy cufflinks, purchased at op shop in Melbourne during MICF. Perfect for weddings, less so for funerals and baptisms.


So I'm at a wedding, seeing relatives I mostly only see at weddings and funerals, and someone asks me what it is I’m doing these days, which is always a fraught conversation cos at best I can say, ‘I’m a freelance sub-editor – I put pun headings on articles I’ve fact-checked, corrected for grammar and spelling, turned into much better pieces of writing than when they were submitted; I’m a broadcaster – I frequently guest on peoples’ radio shows and talk about comedy and/or music; I do open mic stand-up…’

It almost always ends up with backhanded compliments that are really just thinly veiled statements of utter disbelief that could be reduced to the question, ‘Do people actually pay you for that?’

If I’m to be honest, I’d reply, ‘Not nearly as often as I’d like’.

Actually, if I’m to be really honest, I’d reply ‘No’.

This time I was able to say, ‘I’ve just been in Melbourne for the comedy festival, producing shows’ and that’s not embarrassing at all, cos that was quite successful and people actually did pay me for that. (Thanks people, you know who you are.)

And then came the inevitable ‘what were the shows’, which is fine, cos they were both good and people came and bought tickets and watched and stuff, so even if I have to begin with, ‘someone you’ve probably never heard of because they weren’t broadcast in the Gala…’, I don’t mind making sure they’ve heard of the shows and the people now. You know. For next time.


My rather awesome design for the ARTsie fARTsie poster…

But this time I didn’t quite get to talk up Julia Wilson and Greg Parker in Julia Wilson & Greg Parker are ARTsie fARTsie; I only got as far as Chris North’s show The Bloke’s Guide to Getting Married, when a second cousin I hadn’t seen for a while – since the last wedding or funeral we were both at – said, ‘Why have I heard of that? I must have read a review… no, wait a minute – I have a friend who goes to Melbourne and Adelaide every year for Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival. He saw Bloke's Guide to Getting Married and raved about. I want to see it. Make sure you tell me when it’s playing in Sydney…’

And I was happy because I didn’t have to feel like the pitied, unsuccessful, probably gay relative (not that there’s anything wrong with that [hand gesture]™) at the wedding for a change. Well, I still fall into that demographic as far as most of the relatives are concerned, but now there was one less; one who’d come to see the next run of the show, what’s more.


Andre Moonen’s rather awesome design for the Bloke’s Guide poster

The ARTsie fARTsie Bloke’s Guide

ARTsie fARTsie_low res

I’m producing two shows at Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year: Julia Wilson & Greg Parker are ARTsie fARTsie, in which Wilson tells her jokes (or, rather, her funny stories) while Parker speed-paints the illustrations, and Chris North’s The Bloke’s Guide To Getting Married, a stand-up/sketch/musical extravaganza featuring Nick Foran alongside Chris North.

Before the Melbourne season kicks in, Julia and Greg are doing trial shows. More info imminent.