School Concerts – the Agony & the Ecstasy (but mostly the agony)

The Primary School Concert – an annual event which has been striking fear into the hearts of parents, teachers and students for decades. Frankly its time somebody stood up and asked ‘Hasn’t this gone on long enough?’

Dadabulous vividly recalls being forced to play the glockenspiel in front of an audience at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre during the late 1970s. Surely this must have contravened the Geneva Convention. That he made it to middle age without  psychological scarring is testimony to his strength of character. My memories are unarguably even more traumatic. In 1981, at the Gymea Bay Primary School Hall, my 5th grade class was coerced into miming along to a medley of Rolf Harris songs. Oh the humanity!

Implement of torture.

Implement of torture.

The early 80s was an unenlightened era. We failed to recognize true perversion even when it was staring us  in the face. ‘Two little boys had two little toys’, ‘Tie me kangaroo down sport ‘ and shudder ‘Jake the peg with my extra leg’ all seemed perfectly normal at the time. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we can see how sick and twisted it truly was.  Fortunately things were better for the rest of my school – but not much. For instance a 4th Grade class was made to do a lack luster dance routine to The Captain and Tennille. Whilst love kept the whole thing together  – just, all I can say is DONT do that to me one more time. (Boom Tish)*

Won't somebody think of the children?

Won’t somebody think of the children?

Obviously Australian society has failed to learn from the mistakes of the past and the Primary School Concert baton has been handed to to a new generation. Our turn rolled around last Friday evening. It was two hours of my life that I would have otherwise spent scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and drinking Shiraz.

The anticipation had been mounting for weeks, particularly for my eight year old. Many hours had been dedicated to rehearsing and getting every detail just right. I even participated in a costume making bee – sans alcohol. It was a tough afternoon of sewing but I ploughed on, without alcohol, for the sake of the children. Finally the big night arrived and families converged en mass upon the Parade Theatres at NIDA. (Of course it was at F%#king NIDA! This is the Eastern beaches doncha know!).  The venue so reeked of artiness that all of the bar men were dressed in black and bespectacled. I spent half and hour in the queue for a champagne as one does at the theatre.

Richard Roxburgh went to NIDA and he is really HAWT!

Richard Roxburgh went to NIDA and he is really HAWT!

I barely had time to skoll my bubbles before the performance bell rang. We ambled to our front row seats to spend the next 90 minutes with our necks crooked at an awkward angle.  The show revolved around a loose narrative about two kids being swept up in a world of ‘imagination’. The storyline threaded together a series of unrelated and yet remarkably similar dance routines.

The children journeyed through the jungle where they were confronted by bear like creatures shimming to “I like to move it move it”. They evaded pirates and ended up on the bottom of the ocean where scores of jelly fish and sharks grooved away to the disco hit Working At the Car Wash. In keeping with the oceanic theme the Kindy class performing ‘Somewhere beyond the sea’ almost had an epic fail. The entire group of twenty simply stopped mid routine. The tension was unbearable for a moment or two before they rebooted and finished the number. The biggest laugh however came from a Year One class who were doing a disco version of the Oompa Loompa song. (Yes – such a thing exists). It took them several attempts to position themselves correctly before the act began. The shuffling about elicited whoops of laughter from the crowd and a mighty cheer once the music started up.

The disco Oompa Loompas were a huge hit.

The disco Oompa Loompas were a huge hit.

Finally 90 minutes passed and everybody emerged with their dignity largely intact (unlike 1981). I tip my hat to the school teachers. Getting young kids to dance in unison is like herding cats. Even with months of rehearsal they simply lack the coordination to move in time with 20 class mates. Additionally most people are not natural performers. The prospect of shaking groove thang in front of 700 parents is terrifying. The majority of the kids moved stiffly like footballers mouthing the national anthem. Around 5% relished the attention, played up to the audience and wiggled like their lives depended on it. Raw talent played no part in determining which children fell into which group.  It’s a metaphor for life beyond the school ground.

The debrief continues at Chez Abulous with my girls requiring a deconstruction of their performances. ‘Mum. Did you see me?’, Mum was I the best in my class?’, ‘Who was the best in the class?’ The only answer is of course ‘You were beautiful darling. I loved it’. Meanwhile your soul is drenched in deep relief that you dont have to endure any more of this until next year.

School concerts haven’t they been going on long enough? Love or loathe?





*  A bad play on Captain and Tennille song lyrics that anyone under the age of 40 probably wouldn’t get.

On second thoughts DONT!

On second thoughts DONT!





Book Week Mayhem

So, as if you didn’t know its Book Week. I could was lyrical about how this event is a wonderful way for the young and the young at heart to celebrate the magic of reading. But this is Mumabulous. I’m going to blog about how for most parents Book Week is a pain in the derriere.

I’m sure you can relate to the following scenario – You are flat out juggling your high powered career (meaning two menial part time jobs) with family and you’re ability to cope is less than stellar. Your house is a bomb site and your blog is deader than Jon Snow. (There’s a 75% chance that Jon Snow will be resurrected, Mumabulous not so much).  Worse still you’ve suffered an horrific weight gain because you cant get to the gym but won’t stop drinking to compensate. Then you skim the school news letter and discover that Book Week is fast approaching.

You think to yourself “Sod Orf School! The last thing I want to do is procure two book character costumes outta my wazoo. That would eat into the dwindling reservoir of time I have to faff about listening to Richard Fidler podcasts and googling Clive Standen shirtless. Ah Clive its been so long I can barely remember what you look like…

It's all coming back to me now. And incidentally - Errrrrmaaaaaaagaaaaaawd!

It’s all coming back to me now. And incidentally – Errrrrmaaaaaaagaaaaaawd!

You then immediately feel pangs of guilt for entertaining such impure thoughts – the ones about Book Week not Clive. You do after all want to be a “hands on” parent and your kids get some much enjoyment out of this dressing up shite. You feel like the Grinch that stole Christmas which luckily doubles as a costume idea.

You initiate a brain storming session with your eight year old by suggesting that they go as the “bum that went psycho” from Andy Griffith’s The Day My Bum Went Pyscho”. The eight year old rolls her eyes at your in horror. You are secretly relieved that you don’t have to paper mache over two balloons.  You include your five year old and gather around the book shelf for inspiration.

Of course Dadabs built it and is responsible for the art work on top.

Of course Dadabs built it and is responsible for the art work on top.

The five year old pulls out this tome and says cheekily “Here’s a good one”.

the emperors new clothes med

This once again demonstrates that P2 not only looks like me, she thinks like me. Lock up your sons now!

You suggest that they both go as Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie but this idea is regarded as “daggy” rather than retro chic.

Its an antique - just like me.

Its an antique – just like me.

The eight year old decides she wants to be the Cat in the Hat and the five year old eschews Little Red Riding Hood for Snow White. Conveniently she has a generic Snow White dress from K-mart. Easy but lame.

You wonder to myself how parents who work full time cope with this crap. When the day of the Book Parade rolls around you get your answer. Harried working parents cope in two ways

  1. They  put their child in a generic dress up from Target or K-mart regardless of whether the outfit as anything to do with literature.
  2. They throw money at the problem.

At this year’s parade our school yard was awash with Harry Potters. Iron man was out in force, as was Spiderman and Batman. I spotted one Superman and a Thor. Whilst I dont have an issue with the Comic book universe coming under the umbrella of literature, I’d hoped some of its hawter elements could be represented. The hawtest comic book element is of course Loki but Chris Pratt as Starlord is closing in fast from the rear (Oh my!!!). Paul Rudd’s Antman is also very, very hawt.  Disappointingly all three were absent.

Chris Pratt almost out hawts Tom Hiddleston.

Chris Pratt almost out hawts Tom Hiddleston

There was however, a gaggle of Darth Vaders accompanied by an army of Storm Troopers and ship loads of miscellaneous pirates. They mingled with a coven of witches with outfits recycled from last Halloween. A large contingent simply donned  animal onesies – I mean there’s got to a book about a giraffe somewhere right? Most surprising was the excess of minions. I had no idea that the Despicable Me franchise was based in literature but there were at least two minions per class. The playground was a symphony of  yellow and blue.  Strangely one girl came dressed in a black body suit with a matching face mask. She was carrying a whip. I thought she might have been from 50 Shades of Grey but its turns out she was Cat Woman. At the other end of the spectrum there were a cast of Lord of the Rings, King Arthur and Robin Hood type characters whose parents obviously shelled out the big bucks at a fancy costume hire place.

As is the case every year a small number of parents used the occasion to show off. We had a smattering of highly original and skillfully put together pieces from families who apparently do “have time fo’ dat”. We had the wardrobe from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the house that Alice in Wonderful exploded out of and the Magic Bus. A dozen sixth graders carried a magnificent rainbow serpent like dragon dancers on Chinese New Year.

For me the parade itself was ninety minutes of sitting in the sunlight worrying about work that wasn’t getting done. At least the music which obviously reflected the senior teachers personal taste, was completely on point. There was nary a tune produced after 1985. When AC/DCs classic “Its a long way to the top” began playing our mild mannered head master started head banging. P2’s teacher head banged harder but he’s charismatic. A daggy Dad standing behind me started singing loudly “Its a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll”.  When a boy shuffled past with a fake bald head and enormous plastic ears shuffled past the same Dad yelled out “there’s Tony Abbott’. Fair enough Tony Abbott does have his own book – Battlelines.

How was your Book Week experience? Did you enjoy it? Or did you find it just another thing to cram into an already overstuffed schedule?




I cobbled together the Cat in the Hat outfit and P2 decided to go as Anna at the last minute. I know - f%#king lame.

I cobbled together the Cat in the Hat outfit and P2 decided to go as Anna at the last minute. I know – f%#king lame.


Here's what happened 30 seconds later.

Here’s what happened 30 seconds later.


Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur is welcome at my Book Parade.

Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur is welcome at my Book Parade.


Discipline Fails

Mumabulous admits that she’s a lousy disciplinarian. She’d never be a hit (pun intended) on the BDSM scene. Let me elaborate.

Definitely NOT Mumabulous.

Definitely NOT Mumabulous.

Exhibit A for the prosecution: The punishment debacle

One would think that we could make the 3 minute car trip between Chez Abulous and the local shopping mall (the very glamorous and salubrious Royal Randwick Shopping Centre – truly a local hub of excitement) without a fracas erupting in the back seat. Unfortunately computer says NO.

I had just loaded everything and everyone into the car when it started.

P2 (aged 5): The first person to poo their pants wins. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrt. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrt!

P1 (aged 8): You’re a baby. You pooed your pants.

It is important to clarify that my youngest child was merely simulating the act of pooing her pants. I note however that various high profile footy players have lost their jobs over less vulgar actions. I thank my lucky stars that neither of them were holding a mobile phone at the time.

Anyhow at this point things escalated.

P2: Thwack!

P1: Muuuuuuuuuuuuuum. She hit me.

Meanwhile I was deep in thought, contemplating questions of great cultural significance like just how hawt Tom Hiddleston would look in snug britches*. I roused myself from my reverie to utter a half arsed “don’t hit your sister.”

P2: But she was teasing me.

Mumabs: You have to admit Wooz** you kinda walked into that one by pretending to poo your pants.

P1 looked around grinning smugly.

Mumabs: You – don’t tease your sister.

P2: But she hit me.

Much like the Sunrise program I was blaming the victim and that much like parliament the argument was going nowhere. It struck me that now was a good time to pull out the big guns which led to a mental image of Clive Standen because Oh My! Big Guns! Nonetheless I managed a coherent sentence.

Mumabs: Wooz you’re banned from Reading Eggs if hit your sister again and Grace no more ABC 3 if you tease Wooz.

Reading Eggs and ABC3 being the girls’ current obsessions. Removing them, I reasoned, would be an effective punishment.

I will encourage P2 to enter the legal profession as she is displaying a precocious talent for finding flaws in my arguments.

P2: But Muuuum, if I am banned from Reading Eggs how can I learn?

Mumabs: The thing is you’re not learning on Reading Eggs. You’re just playing with the avatars.

P2: I am learning. I’m up to Level 7.

P1: It’s not fair that I get banned from something fun and she get’s banned from homework.

Mumabs: Well none of this will be a problem if you dont hit or tease each other.  Easily solved!

I experienced the longest 3 minute car ride of my life as the two girls continued to point out the unfairness of the punishment. I counter argued that if they behaved themselves the unfairness of the punishment would be a moot point.

Later that evening over dinner the girls appealed the matter to the High Court – ie Dadabulous.

P2: Daaaaaaaad. Mum says I’m banned from Reading Eggs and Grace is banned from ABC3.

Dadabs: Banning her from homework is a lame punishment.

The verdict was  unanimous. Mumabs is a idiot. Mind you both the girls have since sought private consultation with me in order to agree upon a more suitable punishment for the other.

Not my kids but you get the idea.

Not my kids but you get the idea.

Exhibit B for the prosecution: The tuckshop-gate scandal

Since starting school this year P2 has been quite impressed with the school canteen. I had a vague awareness that she had been pinching gold coins from my sharpa stash and using it to buy treats and lunchtime. I overlooked the very minor thievery figuring it was giving her a useful insight into the world of commerce.

One day the school Office Manager approached me and said “You know your daughter is so cute. I just adore her. She’s always offering to buy me things from the canteen and I say ‘no darling. Its alright’ but last week she bought an icy pole and gave it to me.”

At school pick up time I said to her “Wooz. I have an issue to discuss with you.” I went into a speil about how I knew she was just trying to be kind but kids don’t need to buy things for adults.

P2 (with a dismissive eye roll): Well I really don’t see what the issue is.

I thought that was an end to the matter but at parent-teacher night the tuckshop-gate scandal reared its head again. Apparently P2 had moved on from buying things for adults and was buying for the other kindy kids instead. One day she’d even brought in $30 – it was quite a party. I don’t know how she managed to get out of the house without jangling.

It was however comforting to learn that P2 was not the only one. The entire class was at it apparently. They’d organised their own crime syndicate – stealing parental coinage and buying up tuckshop contraband in bulk. I can’t say whether P2 was the ring leader but she was deeply involved. Needless to say the sharpa stash has since been moved out of reach.

A member of the kindy canteen syndicate.

A member of the kindy canteen syndicate.

Exhibit C for the prosecution: The inappropriate video

When you’re five years old and beginning to read and write a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. This is especially so when you apply your new found skills to Google. One recent evening when I was distract by housework and Dadabs was distracted by video games important business P2 typed “poo” into Youtube. The result was a minecraft animation in which the keyword was being used (very effectively) as a weapon of mass destruction.

Dadabs: Mum. Come here and have a look at this.

I entered the office to find the three of them laughing at the video of chaos and mayhem in the streets due to flying poop. Sure it was disgusting but it was also very comical and I had seen way worse on South Park.  I let out a hearty laugh.

Dadabs: Fine example you’re setting by laughing at this.

Mumabs: You knew I’d laugh. Why did you call me in here?

Dadabs: So you could apply some discipline.

Meanwhile Dadabs was having a hard time containing his own giggles.

Mumabs: Turn it off now Wooz. It’s inappropriate for kids.

P2: But its funny.

P1: Muuuuum. How are you going to punish her for watching inappropriate videos?

Have you experienced any discipline fails lately?




* Pretty darn hawt – move over Mr Darcy (but don’t move over too far Mr Darcy!)

The only problem I have with these britches is they're a bit too loose.

The only problem I have with these britches is they’re a bit too loose.


** My nickname for P2

NB: In case you are blissfully unaware Reading Eggs is an educational program for Primary School kids.



Back To Reality

I shouldn’t be blogging. I really don’t have time right now. I am the sucker who acquiesced to a slumber party at Chez Abs tomorrow night instead of simply shelling out the big bucks for Sky Zone gig. What’s more the soon to be turning 8 P1 has told everyone, and specified on the hand drawn invitation, that it’s a theme party. Not just your garden variety Frozen party – Anna and Elsa are like soooo lame once you pass the age of six. P1 is opting for a retro classic with a touch of  psychedelia – Alice in f*&king Wonderland! I suppose I should be proud. It would be a rockin’ idea for a 25th with no parental improvement.

Rest assured the bong will not feature at P1s party.

Rest assured the bong will not feature at P1s party.

Here’s the thing about theme parties at this stage of my existence – in the immortal words of Sweet Brown.

Notime med

The reason I barely I have time to scratch my toes (I sit here with itchy toes as I write) is that I have recently joined the ranks of the employed. I’ve had a hefty dose of the reality that everyone else is complaining about. To all you working mothers out there – before I sympathized. Now I fully understand.

Where do I begin with this topic? Getting out of the house on time in the morning contains enough stress for the entire day. By the time I have wrangled the girls into their uniforms and implored them to brush their teeth for the millionth time I’m exhausted. I’ve discovered that children simply getting dressed is an event that defies the laws of physics. Breaking the light speed barrier is easier.  The regular catch cries in Chez Abs are “stop jumping on the bed, singing Everybody Dance Now and get dressed”, or “stop flashing your butt and get dressed” or “stop hitting your sister and get dressed”. Then when after an epic struggle they do get their basic uniform in place they refuse to put on their jacket. This is especially the case when conditions outside are Antartic. Lets hope global warming will soon relieve me of this problem.  Of course the second we get out of the door someone will have to go back and fetch some forgotten essential item like a hat or a library book.

The house is in a permanent state of disarray because household duties has fallen to the very bottom of the priorities list. More to the point I’m too much of a tight wad to fork out for a  cleaner despite the urging of many friends and  acquaintances. The hiring of domestic serfs would take a hefty bite out of my unspectacular remuneration making the whole thing unworthwhile.  First world problems – I got ’em.

Perhaps I can justify a cleaner after all.

Perhaps I can justify a cleaner after all.

Meanwhile dont get me started on childcare. I thought having two kids in school would save me some coin. Sadly what I’ve saved in long day care is being chewed up by after school care. Earlier in the week I had heart dropping moment when I say my bill for Vacation Care. Its going to cost me more than I’ll bring in for the fortnight (plus the gosh darn pupil free Monday on the first week back). Normally I could have rationalized this set back. However it came the morning after the devastating events of the Game of Thrones finale. I was despondent about Jon Snow* and the bill shock was too much for this fragile petal to bear. I would have run straight for the chocolate alas I am on a diet.

The Mummy guilt thing is kicking in. The kids often tell me that they don’t want to go to after school care although they usually appear to be having fun when I pick them up. They are constantly imploring me to collect them early. Extracurricular activities during the week are virtually off the agenda and the homework window is narrowing. I have an irrational sense that I am curtailing my kids’ potential.

Yes Mummy guilt is being felt. Luckily the guilt is counter balanced by the fact that my job isn’t exactly glamorous or high powered. Therefore I get to juggle Mummy guilt with a deep seated sense of career failure. As Hannah Montana sings “its the best of both worlds”.

Excuse me while I spend my last couple of remaining hours off this week cleaning the house.

How’s work life balance travelling for you?



Don’t read this next little bit if you care not for Game of Thrones.

* Are you butt hurt about Jon Snow? There simple has not been enough internet discussion about this very important issue over the past week. This world contains two types of people a) those who are obsessed with Game of Thrones and b) those who don’t get enough crumpet in their televisual diet.

I fall well within the first category and I am totally butt hurt by the events of the recent finale. My pain makes no sense given, as the purists repeatedly point out, Jon’s death was in the f&*king books and no one expects him to stay dead. He’s not even my favorite character for Chrissake. That honour goes to Tyrion. Anyhow I am butt hurt nonetheless.

Game of Thrones has form when it comes to killing off smokin’ hawt characters – Robb Stark, Oberyn Martell etc  however Jon Snow was exceptionally, astoundingly, ridiculously, improbably hawt. I don’t know how he could have spent so much time standing on that 700 foot ice wall without the whole thing melting and raising sea levels around WestorosHe is that darn hawt.  Really by rights the lands beyond the Wall should be a tropical paradise by now given Jon Snow’s proximity.

Secondly we’ve sat through five seasons worth of hints about Jon Snow’s parentage and potential possession of dragon wrangling power. It’s the world’s worst kept secret that Jon is really a Targaryen and hence has a direct claim on the Iron Throne.  We were all speculating that he is third head of dragon as per the prophecy yada yada yada. But gosh darn if he is really permanently dead this theory will crumble to ashes and means that someone inevitably less hawt is the real third head of the dragon.

Thirdly Jon Snow is one of the only people who has an idea of the true gravity of the white walkers situation. The very survival of the realm is at stake and Jon was critical to its defense (by virtue of his mystical powers and Valyrian steel sword). The realm will have to rely on Team Daenerys now and Lord knows they have issues.

Got Meme




Shite I’ve Learned From 1990s TV

There seems to be much nostalgia for the 1990s floating around the interwebs these days but none of it is coming from me. According to dictionary.com nostalgia is:

a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.

I don’t wish to return to the 1990s simply because I don’t remember them. I know I was there but seriously what happened? How can 10 years be kind of a blank? Anyhow I am scrapping the dim, dark recesses of my mind to give you this report on 1990s television.

Shite I’ve Learned From Melrose Place (1992 to 1999)

Melrose Place was a cheesily over the top drama about the tawdry lives and loves of a group of beautiful young people who lived in a stylish apartment complex on Los Angeles’ glamorous Melrose Avenue.  

Specifically this one.

Specifically this one.

The key takeaways.

1) Meet Jake. He is the leather clad, motor cycle riding bad boy with a penchant for taking his shirt off and fixing his Harley by the pool.

I could not find photographic evidence of Jake fixing his Harley shirtless by the pool but I know it happened. Trust me.

I could not find photographic evidence of Jake fixing his Harley shirtless by the pool but I know it happened. Trust me.

2) Amanda Woodward the advertising wunderkid and conniving nymphomaniac slept with bad boy Jake. Double thumbs up Amanda. Infact she slept with every male in the building regardless of relationship status except for the hawtest one.

because his character was gay.

because his character was gay. (BTW: Actor Doug Savant has aged rather well. Darned if I can remember the gay character’s name though)

3) In every group of hawties there’s always a ‘nice boy’ – the one you can happily bring home to your mother. At Melrose it was Andrew Shue  who played Billy. Billy was in a committed relationship with ‘nice girl’ Alison Parker. This did not stop Amanda from shagging him. Way to go Amanda!

Nice guy Billy succumbed to Amanda's charms.

Nice guy Billy succumbed to Amanda’s charms.

4) Everyone who lived in Melrose Place seemed to work for Amanda’s ad agency. That is not an ideal work/life balance in my book.

5) On the positive it taught me that the best way to deal with annoying colleagues and neighbours is to shag them.

6) I can’t remember whether Amanda shagged the nefarious Dr Michael Mancini who was married to the long suffering ‘nice girl’ Jane. My recollections are foggy but I am pretty sure that Michael shagged Jane’s malevolent younger sister Sydney. Sydney happened to be moonlighting as a high class call girl – an ideal career path for Amanda.

7) When I went to LA I was completely underwhelmed by Melrose Avenue.

Just how much hawtness can you cram into one apartment block?

Just how much hawtness can you cram into one apartment block?

Shite I’ve Learned From Beverly Hills 90210 (1990 to 2000)

Wholesome twins Brenda and Brandon Walsh navigate life in the fast lane when they move from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Beverly Hills. At West Beverly Hills the twins encounter  the offspring of the rich and famous like Tori Spelling. Fortunately Brenda and Brandon were both really, really, ridiculously good looking and achieved popularity in no time flat. Popularity is the ultimate litmus test of success after all?

The key takeaways.

1) Its High School Jim but not as we know it.

2) Actually the alpha chick at my high school did look alot like this.

A text book alpha female

A text book alpha female

3) Sadly none of the dudes at my school looked like this. There was a notable dearth of angst ridden, leather clad, motorcycle riding bad boys.

There were no  Dylan McKays at Kirrawee HIgh.

There were no Dylan McKays at Kirrawee High.

4) We did however have the equivalent of David Silver – the dude who started out in the dork camp but after handing out with Donna (Tori Spelling) became popular by osmosis. Our dux mysteriously became ‘cool’ by the end of year 12 after spending the preceding five years flying beneath the social radar. This proves that upward social mobility is possible. Unfortunately I am yet to experience it.

David Silver proved the upward social mobility is achievable

David Silver proved the upward social mobility is achievable

5) Meanwhile most of us wallflowers could relate to the plight of Andrea Zuckerman – the geek girl who pinned for the alpha male (Brandon). Whilst she had his  friendship, she was too dorky and unattractive win his heart or at least a date to the prom. Perhaps if Donna and Kelly gave her a makeover…….

Will the bookish Andrea ever get a date?

Will the bookish Andrea ever get a date?

6) When I went to LA was completely underwhelmed by Beverly Hills. I would argue that Mosman is superior (as no doubt would most Mosmanites).

So much to discuss and so little time. I haven’t even started on Dawsons Creek or Party of Five let alone the Seinfeld vs Friends debate which defined the era. This blog post will have a sequel.

Meanwhile do feel nostalgic for the 1990s? Can you fill me in on what actually happened during those ten years?

What 1990s show deserves the Mumabs treatment?












Shite I’ve Learned From M*A*S*H

Question: What was your parents’ favorite TV show?

I’ll hazard a guess and say that it was M*A*S*H. There’s a high statistical probability that your parents raved about M*A*S*H and chortled about how Hey Hey It’s Saturday wasn’t really a kids show. Infact detailed statistical analysis performed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that 95% of all parents in the 1970s and 80s adored M*A*S*H. What’s more those that did not nominate M*A*S*H as their favorite show where either a) grouchy blighters who disapproved of the TV or b) complete bogans without a shred of taste*.

The M*A*S*H bell curve

The M*A*S*H bell curve

The series which centered of the high drama and high jinks at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital” in Uijeongbu, South Korea during the Korean War ran for 11 years from 1972 to 1983. The Korean War itself only lasted three years. However the Vietnam conflict loomed large during the 1970s and the program spoke eloquently about the futility of war. It was also very well written with just the right mix of comedy and pathos with a sprinkle of crumpet. Our parents lapped it right up. It was provided something of a template for the flood of medical dramas that followed.

Despite the show ending over 30 years ago here are some of the things that have stayed with me:

1) Dear lord – over thirty years ago! Geez I feel old.

2) When someone yells “choppers” its never good news.

3) The surgeons led by Hawkeye Pierce were good engineers too. They’d set up an extremely efficient gin distillery in their tent proving that necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

4) Of course some people disapproved of this kind of behaviour.

5) Somewhat hypocritically.

6) And it was all a bit low brow for others.

7) My Mum fancied Major Charles Emerson Wincestor III.  Before you all gasp WFT Nanabulous! it must be noted that beneath Wincestor’s pompous posturing was a brilliant surgeon with a heart of gold.

8) I had a soft spot for lewdly named BJ Hunnicutt. I tend to gravitate towards second fiddles for eg I prefer Goose to Maverick in the comedy classic Top Gun.

9) The camp showers didn’t provide much privacy. Double thumbs up.

10) This resulted in much hilarity. Double thumbs up.

11) In any surgical unit there is always an Alpha-nurse who despite her hard assed demeanour and glacial exterior will erupt like Krakatoa in a moment of passion. At the 4077 it was of course Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan. Hot Lips was so called because when a tyrst with Frank Burns was broadcast to the entire camp (some cheeky scamp had planted a microphone under the cot) she was heard to utter breathlessly “Kiss my hot lips Frank”.

12) I seriously doubt Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner derived his inspiration  from Corporal Maxwell Klinger. Despite spending his war years parading a series of outfits that even Lady Ga Ga would think twice about Klinger never did get his Section 8 discharge. Instead ironically he fell in love with a Korean lady and stayed in the country he had been so desperate to escape from.

13) Who didn’t want to adopt Corporate Radar O’Reilly?

14) Oh my! Army surgeons are naughty boys.

15) Allan Alda will be Hawkeye Pierce forever. Playing an iconic role like that can be both a blessing and a curse for an actor. Whilst he was one of TV’s most popular stars at the time after M*A*S*H he faded from view largely. Over the intervening decades he showed up in various Woody Allen movies and some critically acclaimed series like ER and the West Wing but he always seemed like Hawkeye Pierce winging it.

16) I am one of those annoying people who loathes commercial radio. Whilst doing the drop offs one morning I switched on Linda Mottram’s program and happened to hear a wonderful man speaking about the importance of communicating science. It turns out the warm, familiar voice was none other than Alan Alda. At age 79 Alan is the founder and driving force behind the Stony Brook University Centre for Communicating Science. The facility trains up and coming scientists on how to best convey their work and ideas to the public. To me this is pure awesomeness. Firstly I love a non-vacuous celebrity story. It restores my faith in humanity when the privileged use their wealth and fame to do something constructive for the community. Secondly its a darned important cause. So three cheers to you Alan Alda. Hawkeye Pierce was great but I admire you much more.

Did your parents love M*A*S*H?

What other vintage shows deserve the Mumabs treatment?

Goose or Maverick?



* Actually I just made that up. This is a blog not the New York Times.


What I’ve Learned From Happy Days

You need to read this blog post in your best old lady voice.

Back in my day….

watching the TV (or the idiot box as we called it back then) was a very different experience to what it is now. There were no DVD box sets (because the DVD had not yet been invented) and there was certainly no binge watching your favorite series. In fact in the 1970s our lives were pretty much dictated by the networks. Whole populations sat down to watch the same thing at the same time and tolerated the ads. Some even joked that the ads were more entertaining than the main programs – a sentiment rarely expressed nowadays.

People who wished to avoid commercials were forced to stand up and physically turn a nob on the the TV set in order to switch over to the ABC. Note there was no SBS and therefore no nudity. At the time the ABC was distinctly uncool – with the exceptions of Countdown and Kenny Everett. I was not  permitted view either because of their corrupting influence. Its a small wonder that I became chaste teetotaler who has never so much as cast a lustful glance at a man let alone entertained impure thoughts.

I wasn't allowed to watch Kenny Everett because clearly it was too rude.

I wasn’t allowed to watch Kenny Everett because clearly it was too rude. Paul Hogan on the other hand was parent sanctioned.

Anyhow – every night before the National Nine News with Brian Henderson – the news you could trust, we watched Happy Days – a program that accurately portrayed the 1950s as a wholesome utopia. No wonder Tony Abbott wants to go back. Here are the life lessons imparted.

1) The gentlemen’s convenience at your local diner can double as office space. When the Fonz required a man to man discussion with any of the gang they were invited into his “office” ie the bog. I am sure that unscrupulous real estate agents have since tried to push this concept.

2) The red headed valedictorian is the most marriageable member of any high school clique. This lesson sank in and I married an over achieving red head. In keeping with the theme, if Dadabulous is Richie Cunningham (in an alternative universe where Richie is a gun software developer instead of a journalist) my brother in law is Ralph Malph.*

3) Any malfunctioning electronic device can be fixed by thumping it with just the right amount of pressure.

4) Success must always be denoted by a heartfelt “Aaaaaaye” and a thumbs up gesture. Two thumbs up is the ultimate mark of respect.

5) Jenny Piccolo (Joanie’s BFF) was boy crazy. “Aaaaaaaye”  and a double thumbs up.

6) Double thumbs up also to Pinky Tuscadero, a motorbike riding bad ass in hawt pants. What a feminist role model.

7) Ditto for Pinky’s guitar playing younger sister Leather. Chix rocked decades before the Spice Girls. (Which is a moot point because the Spice Girls don’t exactly rock).

Before Grrl Power was a thing.

Before Grrl Power was a thing.

8) The leather clad bad boy is really a marshmallow on the inside.

The bad boy in leather is never really that bad.

The bad boy in leather is never really that bad.


Sorry Rollo. You're a badass!

Sorry Rollo. You’re an utter  badass! and incidentally Errrramaaagaaaawd.

9) The average middle class American housewife aspired to do the housework in heels and full makeup. Thank heavens the bra burners came along when they did. Double thumbs up Germaine Greer.

Housework all day and not a hair out of place.

Housework all day and not a hair out of place.

10) In an episode that went to air on September 20 1977, the Fonz attempted to jump over a shark on water skis. The stunt was regarded as a desperate attempt to reignite floundering ratings. The expression “Jump the shark” was coined.  When a TV program or movie franchise goes to increasingly silly lengths to keep viewer interest it is said to have “jumped the shark.”

The Fonz - the original Shark Jumper

The Fonz – the original Shark Jumper 11)

11) Richie Cunningham found his thrill on blueberry hill.

12) I recently read that the actors who played Pottsy Weber and Ralph Malph are still besties who get together regularly. It made me smile to think that Ralph and Pottsy are still hanging out. Nowadays they are probably discussing grand children and super funds rather than chicks and the Fonz’ general awesomeness.

What shows marked your youth? Did they give you valuable life lessons? How hawt is Rollo? I know I keep banging on about it but seriously how hawt is he?



* Because my BIL is known for his sense of humor.