Friday, July 11, 2008

Trivial History July 11

Suze's recent post has emboldened me to pursue a career as a crocheting brothel Madame with a black belt in Macrame , as my current profession of Possum Stirrer has grown a little stale of late.
Because I'm certain there's an untapped market out there for crocheted blankies, and macrame underwear would be sooooo popular in a brothel.....don't you think ?

 Nursing Story #19
One common thing most nurses in nursing homes have to do is deal with grieving relatives when a resident dies, the only variable in the routine is the relative.
One particular resident who passed away had dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's; she'd organised and paid for the funeral, church service, had the readings picked, written her own eulogy, the burial was all worked out, the will was water-tight and that was that.
Until the relatives descended.
This resident had often spoken her mind and hadn't endeared herself to most but when we met the offspring, nieces, nephews and various cousins we thanked the Lord she'd given them the rough side of her tongue while she was alive.
More greedy, grasping, demanding next-of-kin we had yet to meet; they rushed into the nurses station and demanded that the safe be opened so they could have the dead woman's jewellery, others were trying, unsuccessfully, to open the display cabinet to get at the contents which the resident had donated to the home, another was unplugging and collecting the sound system that had also been donated...and none of these miserable, horrid, wealthy-in-their-own-right creatures had even visited the woman in 4 years nor paid their respects to her body.
Ugly scenes ensued when they were prevented from grabbing everything not nailed down - including other resident's belongings by mistake - and when they were informed most of the antique furniture and bric-a-brac had been donated. They besieged the admin offices with phone calls, demands, solicitors; they tried their hardest to break the will.
When they knew they'd fail on every front, they got their own petty, pathetic revenge a fortnight later, at the funeral.
They stood up, read the readings they'd been picked to read but each and every one of those creatures who owned vast tracts of land, houses, businesses, etc loudly derided and belittled their dead relative , making everyone in the congregation feel sick to the stomach -proving that wealth certainly does not buy good taste, morals or happiness. 
* I think some of them have recently lost a motza on the stock market...couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch! 

 Grandma Mehitabel's Menu-
For a truly tasteless and completely bland meal, poach fish fillets in a pan of water with finely chopped celery, fennel and onion for 20 hours.
Sprinkle all the herbs and spices you like into the pan - nothing will salvage that dish. 

1836 Knowing where and how to earn an easy coin, Thomas Petty opened Petty's Hotel in York St in Sydney.

Oz Slanguage-
Mates rates = reduced prices for friends. 

1940 Petrol rationing was introduced, with motorists permitted to travel only 2,000 miles per year.
After that they had to borrow their mother-in-law's broomsticks.

Riding his pony on a bush track in Qld with a live turkey under his arm in the 1920's, Dave Williamson's pony stepped into a hole, staggered, did a somersault, landed heavily but not before tossing the young boy several yards onto sharp,jagged stones.
Dave and the horse were perfectly alright - but the turkey was ready for the pot.

1954 An England Vs NSW rugby match at the SCG became such a free-for-all brawl with almost all 26 players that the ref, Aubrey Oxford, retired from the field (and, ultimately, the job of referee) to preserve all of his limbs. For those rugby fans interested, NSW was leading 17 - 6.

Six Degrees of Separation of Skippy.
Skippy - Neil Diamond.
Don Philips appeared in several Skippy episodes, then went on to appear in 2 episodes of the tv series My Name's McGooley, What's Yours?.
Noeline Brown guest starred in many episodes of this series and recently appeared in the comedy mock-u-mentary Razzle Dazzle which starred Brit actor Ben Miller.
Earlier this year Ben Miller appeared in the TV special An Audience with Neil Diamond.
Which starred...Neil Diamond.

1979 Skylab, an American space station, took a fancy to Western Australia and nose-dived down for a closer look. Debris was found scattered from Esperance to Rawlinna, with the Shire of Esperance fining the USA $400 for littering. Fortunately the USA saw the joke and didn't pay....but they didn't have any more space stations drop down from the sky in that shire, either.

Place Name origins-
Some think Governor Macquarie named Airds in NSW after his wife's family estate to remember the address to write to....but he'd probably just run out of inspiration by 1810.


  1. I guess at least they waited for the resident to die. When PSLS's pop died 10 years ago, his children all started to divy up his belongings regardless of the fact that Nan is still alive and would need the damn contents of their home!


  2. That must have been sad for his Nan, Bettina :(
    Some people are so greedy it's sickening.

  3. I once bought goods at public auction to re-sell. A lot of it was deceased estate, and apart from furniture etc, there were cardboard boxes full of jumbled items from drawers. Among all the knives and forks, sewing items, broken pens, etc, I'd find old bills, personal letters, wedding photos (true!) and even diaries. It seems the relatives would rush through it all then fire the rest off to auction.
    When you buy a numbered lot at auction you sometimes have to take stuff like this as part of it. Most of it you'd throw out, including photos, but if a frame was any good you could sell it (along with the photo of course, as a bit of a joke).
    One thing I've kept is a 1954 diary written by a young woman describing her voyage on a ship to England. I read it carefully from start to finish, looking all the time for some hint of dalliance (she was a single woman) but couldn't quite find anything -except perhaps when she was invited up to the wheelhouse at 5am to view the lights of Gibralter.
    When all is said and done, the paper things left behind: phone bills, letters, recipes, notes stuck on the fridge -and the true story one could tell of the interested gaze from someone notable, are only worth anything to ourselves.

  4. "Mates rates = reduced prices for friends."

    How much do friends cost normally?

  5. Sadly, it's when a family member dies that we get to see what some people are really made of.
    And Jayne? Pleased to have helped you find your career niche :)

  6. It's just sad when people judge the worth of the dead person with the size of the estate Robert.
    That diary would have been interesting reading!

    What size do you take, Evyl ? :P

    2 pints of lager and a packet of crisps, Brian :P

    Too true, Suze.
    LOL Ta ;)

  7. Thanks for the tip, Grandma Mehitabel. There was a danger I was going to attempt that one.

  8. Yes, I've witnessed some of the most unbelievable greed when my Dad died - too long to write here but worthy of a post in my 'unburdening' blog. You would wonder how a girlfriend (of my Dad's) of 12 months could drag out legal proceedings for nearly two years over a will in which she didn't even get a mention!!!
    She didn't beat me, by the way!


  9. It was mentally and physically exhausting just dealing with that family so I can only imagine how drained you must have been after 2 years, G !

  10. It was hard, especially when I was pregnant with Small Man at the end. To top it off my great grandmother died two weeks after Dad - I was so grief stricken I couldn't even go to her funeral - and I was only 20 at the time. Gee I learnt lots though, more than I ever wanted to know about the law, and about how low people can stoop at such a time in someones life - hey it's her karma though eh! (the girlfriend I mean). The ironic bit is that her son was a very, very high profile, highly paid AFL football player!!


  11. Some people just won't recognise the line they shouldn't cross, G :(

  12. Maybe the 'readers' should have been forced to don macrame underwear first?