Monday, September 16, 2013

Scene for meditation

Scene: Westernized Buddhists Meditation Centre. A room full of meditators sit behind a closed door. A woman approaches the door, reads a pamphlet and checks through window in the door to see a Caucasian, western monk like figure seated cross legged at the front of the room. The meditators face the monk also cross legged.
Woman: (opening door, shyly)
Is this the beginners’ meditation? My counsellor has sent me here for generalized anxiety disorder.
Ah, wonderful! A newcomer! Yes, welcome. Please take a seat on the cushion and we will get started. (Addressing whole room) Good evening everyone and welcome to the Westernized Buddhists Meditation, my name is Guy and I’ll be leading you through the 3 stages of mindfulness meditation. What we practice here is a process of receptivity. Receptivity to a subtler state of mind to allow equanimity and peace of mind to arise. We cultivate an environment of equanimity despite what may arise within us because of outside disturbances. We don’t react to the outside disturbances, and allow equanimity to arise of its own accord so that we may grow longer and longer periods of inner peace irrespective of external forces around us. We don’t force it, we just remain aware, allowing it to arise. And, in order for it to arise, we use the breath.
In the first stage of mindfulness meditation, we place the count after the breath comes in. That is, breathe in, breathe out count 1. Breathe in, breathe out, count 2. So on and so on in cycles of 10. I will let you know when we move on to the second and third stages by the gentle sound of this gun. (Fires it into the air over his head: BANG, BANG, BANG!).
Jesus Christ!
Monk: (Disparagingly, but forgiving of a new comer. Wildly gesticulating with gun.)
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... Please refrain from talking during the meditation.
Woman: (Startled, hands on head, eyes wild)
Why do you have a gun?
Monk: (Still holding gun, staring at woman, firing it into air BANG!)
Please, a gentle reminder to members both old and new, refrain from speaking (BANG!), moving (BANG!), and keep your eyes closed (BANG!) so as not to disturb the other meditators or yourself. (Loudly empties chamber as bullet cases fall on floor)
Woman: (shaking)
Oh, God help me.
Monk: (addresses fellow monk, smiling)
Rimshaw, more ammunition. We have a guest.
(Loudly reloads. Meditates for two minutes, then BANG! BANG! BANG!)
Woman: (Shaking with fear, shrieks).
In the second stage of mindfulness meditation, we place the count before the breath comes in. That is, count 1 breathe in, breathe out. Count 2 breathe in, breathe out. So on, and so on in cycles of 10 until I gently transition us into a still more subtle state of awareness by calmly squeezing this trigger (BANG!)
(Meditates for a few moments. Fires gun: BANG! BANG!)
Woman: (Shrieking loudly)
What is going on here?
Silence! (BANG!) In the third stage of mindfulness meditation, we let go of the counting completely. Focusing only on the breath. The radiant, life giving, peaceful breath.
Woman: Breathing heavily. Someone sneaks up on her during a few moments of meditation. Smacks a pie in her face.
And finally, following the third stage of meditation, a holy pie is placed in the face of the new comer. Just as The Buddha did for his Disciples, and the Disciples of the Buddha did for their Disciples…so on and so forth from teacher to student, teacher to student, as one candle alights the wick of another candle, until that candle can go out into the world and…
Woman: (Runs out with pie on her face).
Enlighten the others.
The End

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Canberra Turns 100

Canberra turns 100
There is a little known geographical anomaly about Canberra. By some quirk, cartographers, when constructing the boundaries of Canberra, made a mistake marking the map. Classically, it is placed within the confines of the Australian Capital Territory. But there is mounting evidence to suggest that Canberra is not part of the ACT at all. In actuality, it is one of the outer dimensions of Hell.
I had been warned. When floating the idea of relocating to Canberra, the good people of Melbourne suggested otherwise. Often times their sentences incorporated strong adjectives, appropriate only for adults. Common sense suggested I only cautiously pass through this vacuous wasteland. But to consider a move there? I must be on the spectrum.
Yet when common sense says no, I say, “Maybe. “
And then I say, “Yes!” This is followed by, “I’m sorry,” and pleading, “ I should have known better.” Given enough time to simmer in Canberra, it turns into, “Please, dear God, help me.”
But God does not come to Canberra. No. Politicians, bureaucrats, public servants, and prostitutes come to Canberra.
Canberra is an adult themed AntiDisneyland, the unhappiest place on Earth. Sure, there are queues and ropes guiding you through the place, but instead of a ride at the end of a line, you find accountants. And, while I can not quantify this with any scientific studies, in my opinion, they were particularly ugly accountants.
To describe the quality of life in this town, people move here because of work. Or, reframed, the best and most alluring thing about Canberra is work.
I uncovered this fact during conversation with the locals. When meeting people, I often times ran this experiment.
“What’s your favourite thing about Canberra?”
“Well, I love my job. And the location is great! Two hours from the beach, two hours from the mountains, three hours from Sydney!”
“So, your favourite part about Canberra is work, and leaving Canberra?”
The experiment often ended badly.
Canberra’s people are mighty defensive about their little slice of Hades. A common phrase uttered is, “I’m from Canberra, born and bred.”
Why anyone would ever be proud of this sad fact boggles my mind. I heard the phrase so often that at times I would prod them.
“You’re probably going to stay here, huh?”
“So, when you die, you’ll be Canberra: Born and bred and dead.”
On the subject of death, this year, Canberra is 100 years old and is undoubtedly suffering from cognitive decline. In the preceding months up to her centenary, people around the geriatric patient wavered back and forth as to whether or not she were up to a celebration. One idea had been to outsource all celebrations to an actual city, like Sydney. There were pros and cons, however, in the end it was decided to give it a go internally. Canberra gathered all of its 100-year-old, dementia bound resources, and presented its embarrassingly simple party to the world. Like a country town talent show, every sub mediocre performer dusted off their fiddle or put on their Irish dancing shoes and was given stage time. There was even a pathetic little comedy festival memorable for…well, not such great quality, but certainly an impressive quantity of dick and fart jokes. The more bold performers added sound effects into the microphone, incorporating the armpit. And another misguided “comedian” was arrested after assuming a visual display would be a necessary addition to his reinterpretation of a classic, albeit tired, dick joke. These simple performers are now local heroes.
Like a geriatric vegetable, dripping and drooling from the mouth, Canberra is yet another example as to why euthanasia might be a viable and more humane solution than natural causes of death. In any case, we can only pray that it is soon put to rest, put out of its misery and dead before losing all dignity and shamefully embarrassing Australia.
Matthew Bulman
PS. Move the Capitol to a real city, Australia. Otherwise, History will mock you.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Paralleladox

I recently had a conversation with someone who asked, “In times of darkness, do you ever consider turning to God.”

“No,” I responded,   ”However, I have considered turning for God.  Spinning I call it.   But the act seems to make me dizzy, and does little to help the darkness.”

He said, “ I’m going to pray for you.”

“Okay, I will pray against you.  We can have the prayoffs, see who comes out on top.  You have 2 God, I have 4 God, we will know the winner because they will have 8 God.  Delicious.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense.”

“Yes, but I know that doesn’t make any sense.  That is the difference between me and you.”

“Okay.  Well then, what do you believe? What does your religion look like?”

“If I had to draw my religion, I would have to create a new shape that captures both its parallel sides and its paradoxical nature: a paralleladox.  A paralleladox has sides that seem to be parallel, but actually are not parallel at all.  In fact, they are not even there.  Yet, strangely, somehow they are.  And parallel at that.

“The paralleladox is big in the mime community.  It vanishes in the dark, and appears again in the light.  So, if ever I find myself in a dark place, I turn on a lamp. The Paralleladox appears.  On a unicorn.  What about your religion?  Does your religion ride a unicorn?”

“Of course not,” he replied.  “That would be ridiculous.”

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Decider

Sometimes I think I am indecisive.  And then I think, nah.  Then I think, “Hey, I wonder if this Chinese in the fridge is still edible?”

“Here, babe, what do you think?  Can I eat this?”

The answer is regularly no, it is not edible, and I should take it outside right away.

Later on in the day I might shout from the couch, “Hey, Honey, what am I going to do?”    

“Today? Or Forever?” She might clarify. 

“I don’t know.  Maybe today?”

Usually, a response comes. But recently, doubts have been creeping into her answers.  She is less definitive.   Questions are sometimes met with questions; sometimes answers are met with questions; sometimes my silence is met with questions.  Or, sometimes she just pokes my head with a stick.

Perhaps I have evolved.  Like a student approaching calculus, perhaps I am becoming more sophisticated than what the keeper can answer.    While pondering the aforementioned thought, I was struck by a both a stick and a thought.  Like two atoms colliding, the smack left behind a radical solution to one of life’s riddles, and a welt.   

We, as a couple, needed a third.  We needed a decider. 

The decider can be anyone who, under normal circumstances, would never be part of a relationship.  Essentially, one’s disability can be put to use for once.  Autism, poor hygiene, physical handicaps,  homelessness or criminal records, all of which are barriers that ordinarily would prevent one from coupling, can now be utilized by normal people who are a couple.  The decider can finally be part of a couple.

How do you choose a good decider?  Well, in my experience, perhaps it is more appropriate to say, “You do not so much choose a decider as a decider chooses you.”  This addition to the coupling process occurs at something called “meetings”, which are great spectacles, like circuses from the 1920s.  The deciders are kept in their cages or pens by handlers, and couples get to wander around, holding hands.  It can even be a date. 
“Oh, look honey, that one looks interesting.  Can we get him?”

“I don’t know.  He looks a little unstable.  Can we please see his teeth?”  The handler will rattle the decider’s cage with a nightstick, prying open their mouth in some disparaging fashion.  However, this is the opportunity for the decider to do their thing.  A special trick, or a song, or perhaps a simple yet decisive stare that says, “You really need me.”

The decider is great for passive aggressive couples who never make a decision.  We bring ours everywhere.  What movie will you and your honey bunch watch? Boom!  The decider chooses Batman (again).  Do we want desert?  Quick-Smart: The decider has already ordered!  Should we have kids?  Bam!  Twins are on the way.  Our shifty little guy already has me investing heavily into accounts overseas for retirement.  I don’t do anything, just turn my finances over to him.  Apparently, I’m going to retire quite wealthy.

Better than a robot, better than an app, better than an old-fashioned algorithm consisting of complex mathematical equations.  Is a decider absolutely necessary?   Mine says yes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Best Canberra Conclusions ever?
by Matt Bulman

(This next essay is in the form of a character. It raises unpopular sentiments, which is why I have a character say it. And to complicate matters, I am going to have the character speak in the first person...So in your minds, just substitute 3rd person for the personal pronouns of I, me and my. Regards, The Author)

During my time in scenic Canberra, I have for some reason been inspired to contemplate death and suicide to no small degree. My ideas remain unpopular. Was I hoping to find the lighter side of the subject? Perhaps. Or, as is more likely, has God chosen me as some type of modern day messenger on a hitherto under discussed topic? An Angel of Death, no doubt. Or, perhaps, an Angle of Death. The reasons, labels and spellings are yet unclear, however, time will tell. My conclusions follow.

CONCLUSION 1: No one under 75 should be able to commit suicide. We are all in this thing together, and it is not fair that you should get to check out early when I still have student loans to repay. It is cheating. Sure, reach 75, and the choice for sweet release is yours. Perhaps some sort of chair could be invented, and there is a mass celebration where septuagenarians sit with sceptre and crown, and then go to sleep never to wake. Spectators chant like Tibetan Monks. Ah, at last. All of these years, and there is now a socially acceptable way out.

CONCLUSION 1a: Also, you should be able to elect this procedure for someone else, but only one person, and you must really hate them. They can be any age. The procedure is permanent, and takes place in a random basement of your choosing. And you only get one choice, so please choose wisely the person for the sleepy-never-wake-upy chair.

CONCLUSION 2: Clearly, awakening from an attempted suicide must be the worst feeling in the world. Not only did you get caught trying to cheat life, but just when you think things cannot possibly get any worse, this happens. You really can not seem to do anything right these days, can you. Worst day ever? Well, try to think of it, instead, as the worst day of the rest of your life.
Also, you lose your shot at electing someone else for suicide. Sorry, but those are the rules.

CONCLUSION 3: Everyone really must start to plan their funeral from grade 10. Essays in English class will be on the duel subjects of what you want to do with your life, and your death.
Teens would say the cutest things about death. I have asked around Canberra. A few examples of their ideas follow:

The Most non-Traditional Funeral Ever?

When I die...I want a non-traditional funeral. For example, I want my remains scattered, but not cremated. Then, each of my relatives will be inherit a limb to dispose of as is their want. It will be weird, logistically, too. For example, if they get stopped by a police officer driving back from the funeral, they might find themselves saying things such as, “What’s that officer? Oh, that’s nothing. Well, it was my brother’s arm. But he’s dead now. It’s okay, officer, it belongs to me now. “ They will have to take it home and put it on the mantle, store it in an aquarium like some sort of post-modern relic. Then, when the kids get unruly, the parents will be like, “Behave yourselves! Don’t make me get down the arm from the relic-tank!”

The Cutest, most Creative Funeral Ever?

I want my funeral to be a public event. Memorable. I want to surprise people, borrow from the ancient Navaho tradition: be drawn and quartered by a thousand squirrels set off in a thousand directions. People will get the metaphor, and be torn between tears and tenderness, just like I was literally torn by such cute creatures. Because while they will be disgusted by the gore, they will also have to admit to themselves that it’s okay. I was already dead after all, and it was very entertaining. Perhaps the cutest mutilation ever.

The Most Funny Funeral Ever?

As a comedian, I want my funeral to be very funny. “Did you see his funeral? How was it?” they will say.
“Yes I did, and too bad you missed it,” Attendees will respond. “It was hilarious.”
Even other comedians and my detractors will say, “Man, that funeral was fucking funny. His magnum opus, really. It’s not even my type of humour, but I respected it,’s certainly not how I want to go. But I sure did laugh.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Higgs' Turtle at the Particle Accelerator and Other Acts of Love that Sometimes Went Wrong

Hi, I’m Doctor Clive Peters, Physicist.  And I’m here to talk to you today about the amazing world of science.

Now, many of you will be wondering, no doubt, about the most recent discovery of the elusive Higgs Boson particle, also known as the God particle.  Science has done some amazing things in recent years, but capturing God has been a breakthrough that many could not have predicted.

You see, God is like this trickster wizard with magical powers.  And he’s good at hide and seek.  Science has now captured, beaten, and forced God to tell us the secrets he holds...and we have finally unlocked these powers through chemical bonds.  Those bonds, it turns out are made up of smaller particles, which in turn, are made up of yet smaller still particles.  These are known as Bosons, after the beautiful Princess Bose, a scientist-princess of amazing abilities.  Bose was the brains.  Dr. Higgs, he just tacked his name on to the front of the particle, because he used to drive Dr Bose to the Lab every day, and do little favours like bake Bose some cupcakes, buy her coffee, or once, he bought Bose a turtle.  They got drunk and put the turtle in the particle went badly. 

Anyway, they became friends, and, much to everyone’s astonishment, lovers.  And then Dr. Bose caught consumption, and on her deathbed extended an unprecedented act of friendship and love hitherto unknown on this planet.  She was like, “COUGH, COUGH,  HIGGS, COME HERE.”

“What is it Bose?”

“Take this.”

“What is it?”

“ It is a particle.”  Cough, cough.

And he took it, kept it to himself for years because he didn’t really know what he had.  Honestly, Higgs was just a party guy more than a physicist.  He couldn’t tell you a gluon from a quark from a charm...let alone the elusive Boson that he kept in a jar at home in his refrigerator.

Then, one day last week, he ran out of sugar for his coffee and started wondering if he had anything else that might be a substitute, when he opened the jar once again.  He went to work, showed it to some colleagues, and they were like, “Hey guys, come over here, guess what Higgs found.”

Sure enough, it was the elusive God particle.  It was hidden in Higgs’ fridge all of these years.

What does this mean for you?  Well, it turns out that God is a lot smaller than originally hypothesized.  But there is more of him than we ever could have imagined. 

Take this jug of milk for example.   Inside this jug there are approximately 4x10^200 mol of God, or Higgs-Boson, particles.  That’s a lot of God.  Did you ever want to drink God?  Well, now you can.  A lot of him, so drink your milk. 

Or, try water.  There are more God particles in water than in milk because milk has some proteins, which prevent some God particles from bonding.  Especially if you are lactose intolerant.  Who would have thought that God was a unipolar molecule with hydrophilic properties?  HA, HA, HA...

So, I hope you found today’s explanation useful boys and girls.  And remember, if you like God in you, drink your milk.  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Canberra's Multicultural Stand

Scene: The Canberra Multicultural Festival, Iraqi stand

American (wearing a red hat, shouting): Hi, I’m an American. Name’s matt.
Iraqi Woman (startled): Oh. What brings you here? Weren’t you just at the Afghanistan Stand?
American: Actually, it’s pronounced Afghanistan. Not Afghanistan-stan.
Iraqi Woman: Yes. That’s what I said. Afghanistan Stand.
American: Stan. Afghanistan. There is only one stan in Afghanistan. Yes, I just came from it.
Iraqi Woman (confused, looks over to see Afghanistan stand on fire, suspiciously nods): Okay?
American: I just wanted to thank you for today, the food here is excellent. This is for you (presents an American flag, full sized on a pole placed in front of the Iraq stand).
Iraqi Woman: Thank you. We have an ancient heritage. Would you like some reading material to take with you?
American: No, I don’t really like to read about history very much. But I wanted to demonstrate my thanks.
Iraqi Woman: Demonstrate?
American: Yes, you see (2 large, intimidating friends gather around), we didn’t have a stand in the multicultural festival today. America that is. So, we decided can I put this...well we wanted to help liberate someone else’s stand. Take some pressure off...That could be our contribution.
Iraqi Woman (confused): Liberate?
American (Walking uninvited behind the stand with two muscle bound intimidators): Yes, you see you have all of these wonderful resources behind the stand here...Food, oil, a great position in the middle of the Festival (sweeps arm around to rest of festival, Afghanistan Stand has been reduced to cinders). We have nothing. Perhaps we could help you to distribute these more efficiently?...more democratically.
Iraqi Woman (being pushed to sideline, seated): But I don’t want you to.
American: Nonsense. (Shouting to the crowd, Step right up, Step right up Get your genu-ine Iraqi cuisine. Enjoy your mezze, Bamia, and kebab...Limited time offer of Two Dollars.
Iraqi Woman: But they cost ten dollars.
American: (addressing Iraqi) We figure you’ve been inflating the price unnaturally. Besides, look at the hype we are creating...people want to get into this Iranian stand now.
Iraqi Woman: But we are Iraq.
American: Whatever...We’re getting the wheels turning again. (Addressing crowd now) Get you’re kebab. Here, that looks dry...enjoy some oil with that (splashes olive oil on the dish, then removes spout and douses the oil all over the dish. Topples remainder of bottle, says, “Whoops,” and opens a second without batting an eye).
Iraqi Woman: We only have a limited supply of that oil. Be careful.
American: You got plenty. Look at the reserves under here (many boxes of olive oil under the table)
Iraqi Woman: But that must last us the whole festival.
American: You got plenty. Whoops. Hold on...Sorry, I’m being replaced.
Iraqi Woman: Replaced?
American: Yes, my term has ended. So long. (Grabs and gathers five jars of oil as he leaves the stand)
Iraqi Woman: What is happening?
American (same American wearing blue hat): Hi, we can’t afford to stay here. We will be leaving soon.
Iraqi Woman: Won’t you clean up? You have made a mess here.
American (counting money from food takings): Who votes that we leave (Two muscle bound men put up their hands) And stay? No one? There you have it. Today, you are independent. You are now able to stand on your own, though if you ever need our services again, we will be right behind you.
Iraqi Woman: You have brought only destruction here. What about our money that you collected.
American (counting money...) No, no, no...I’m afraid this is China’s money. We really couldn’t afford to bring all of our help with you...had to fly in from overseas and we borrowed it from them. China funded our exhibition here. We are off to their stand now to repay our debt. Where is their stand?
Iraqi woman: It’s the one over there. Past the Afghanistan stand.
American: Who’s Stan? Oh, right, the one with all of the little children. So long (grabs several jars of oil as he departs and leaves the flag behind).

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Canberra is not known for its warmth or friendliness, and I must warn you that if you move here everyone will assume you are gay.

No one asks you directly. It is considered rude. Instead, the local custom is to ask friends, acquaintances and employers of the newly arrived, and then filter the information through as many people as possible, before finally passing it on to you via the grapevine.

I have not yet been in town long enough to meet a new person and mutter rumours about their sexual preferences with the townsmen. I assume I will have been accepted as one of the locals when this happens. For now, I can only take what facts I do have and attempt to reconstruct the following, likely scenario.

“Is he gay?” a person might say. “Is his name Ray?”

“No,” my friends say. “He’s not gay. He’s not Ray.”

“Since he’s not a gay, since he’s not Ray, I will say G’day and be on my way.”

“Yes don't stay go straight away.”

As is the local custom, the townsmen then shake hands with a double pump, stare each other down, and walk away. They may spit after touching hands to get any possible man love out of their system.

Clearly, Dr. Seuss has had a major influence on Canberra’s culture, as have wizards, dragons and jousting knights, all of whom the Canberrans assume are copulating with one another. The locals have a limited imagination, and they are almost always creating childish rhymes about whatever pops into it.

I will point out that I am not gay, I am American and educated, but I can understand how Canberrans could easily confuse these qualities. And it would not bother me if I were gay. It is 2012, people are gay and proud. I have many friends who may or may not be gay, but the point is that I do not spend my time making rhymes about it like Canberrans are probably doing.

I explained this situation to some gay friends, who said, “All of this is good, it will help you get over your homophobia.”

Homophobia means fear of or hatred of homosexuals. However, this really is not the right word for what has unfolded here. I am not afraid of, nor do I hate, gay people. Gay: Go for it! I am happy for you, and it certainly does not bother me. Therefore, homophobic does not describe me. I am, however, afraid of people who are afraid of gay people.

Here is my phobia: Phobo-homophobia.

Phobohomophobia is like a fear sandwich, with homo in the middle.

And if ever I attend a barbecue, I might walk into the kitchen and meet the host or their family, and the fear sandwich is right there, prepared on a plate. Canberrans see the same sandwich, but they call it by a different name: homosandwich. Or, sometimes, a homoburger.

And because of my lack of punching and spitting, tattoos, scars and Hepatitis C, along with a stubborn refusal to don the local uniform of sweatpants, Nike Shox and a T-Shirt with a misogynistic caption, Canberrans assume that I am after a homosandwich and would enjoy eating it.

This is usually when someone’s mother, drunk, will let it slip. “And there is a special sandwich for our visitor. Go ahead, we made you this to make you feel at home: it’s a homosandwich.”

"Awww, Ma,” one of the kids will convey disapproval for her letting the cat out of the bag.

“No, thanks. I don’t want the sandwich.”

“It’s okay. Everyone knows you’re a homosexual. Eat it!” Pause.

“No, really. That’s very thoughtful and confused, but I’d rather not.”

Then, during the awkward silence, one of the men folk will become righteous. “Mate, Ma went to a lot of trouble to make that. You got something against homoburgers?”

“Well, no, it’s just that-“

“Then eat.” Pause. “I said eat the fucking homosandwich.“ And they usually pull a knife, as is the local custom.

Once, to be polite, I did take a bite. I am not sure if it was so that I didn’t seem rude, or because everyone had gathered around, or to avoid being knifed. But it didn't help having everyone shout and clap in unison, "EAT, EAT, EAT, EAT, EAT."

I ended up gagging, spitting the contents out, shouting, “This tastes like dick.”

'Ha, Ha," The host announced, “Well, it’s a homoburger. What did you expect?”

“That’s right, 100% Aussie dick meat. Born and bred!” Ma seemed proud.

And someone else said, “Well he is spitting more these days. Perhaps he isn’t gay after all?”

Sunday, July 1, 2012


By Matt Bulman

This essay contains many, many ideas (fourteen). While these are hardly novel ideas, and have been tried by countless people in the past, most of these particular ideas have been collected and gathered here, in this essay, because they are unique in one outstanding capacity: they are bad ideas.

I use the vernacular version of bad, for the ideas themselves are not morally wrong, nor have they been naughty. We are not going to spank out the bad from these ideas, nor send them off to a corner to think about what they have done, nor burn them with a lighter to teach them a lesson.

Instead, I use a pedestrian version of bad, hoping to convey that the ideas herein are poorly thought out and underdeveloped. Clearly, you will see they are flawed right away. Or, if you do not, it is because you are not very clever. In such a case, it is probably best that you then discontinue reading this essay, or, as is more likely, you discontinue having someone read it to you.

Many letters of the alphabet have been rearranged into a unique order and structure to write this essay. I would like to thank these letters, and their origins, for their vital contribution, mainly that of words. This essay on bad ideas simply could not have happened without their pivotal role, and, at times, support.

Yours truly,
Matt Bulman
Bad Ideas Champion, Canberra 2012

1: Become an amateur scientist: Science is not going to be around forever, folks. In fact, there is evidence to suggest it is on the decline. If you aren’t already in the science game, probably best to stay out.

2: Put yourself out there. Bad move. Putting yourself out there just welcomes failure and ridicule, especially from friends. Double it or family. Do you like being pointed at? What about poked, tickled or laughed at? What about having oranges thrown at you? Unless you like being pelted by fruit, best to stay far away from putting yourself out there.

3: Slam your poetry, publicly, if you are over 35 and white. Jeepers, fire your therapist if this ever becomes your reality.

4: Start a Game: Most games have been around for a long time now, and they are fairly well established as far as their rule and traditions are concerned. Consider joining an established game rather than trying to invent your own. Walking up to street people, flicking their ears and saying, "You're it," is not a game.

5: Design a robot: So, you got a hold of some wire and a mannequin, huh? Well, it will take more than connecting these items intricately together during an electrical storm in order for that robot to start dancing. I tried this several times, only to melt each potential robot into a pile of burnt rubber. Take it from me: until we harness the lightening bolt’s true power, robots are fantasy.

6: Whittling: Are you serious? You want to whittle? Pussy.

7: Getting Even: If someone has one-upped you, it’s likely that they did so because they are better than you. Genetically. Do not try to get even with them. Instead, buy them a barbecued chicken, and present them with it. Do so earnestly and sincerely, presenting the barbecue chicken whilst saying, “Congratulations,” as though they have won an award. And then quickly walk away.

8: Go after your dreams: Unless you have mastered lucid dreaming, you better stay out of your dreams. Dreams are messages from God, filtered through LSD. Do you want to fall out of a window and land on the street because you think you can fly? No? Well, then stay the hell away from muddling around in your dreams.

9: Try injecting smack “Just this once”.

10: If already on smack, trying to give up again. Too late! You might as well enjoy it.

11: “Having a system” at the Casino. Good luck, schmuck.

12: Walk right up to him and tell him exactly how you feel: Tsss. If you are a dude, just punch him. If you are a chick, slice his Achilles tendon. Feelings are not facts. Violence is a fact.

13: Invest in a child: children are really not that clever an investment. Oil is a clever investment. Or robots, but only if designed by someone who knows where to put the wires (refer to number 5).

14: This one is for you: I have left this clich├ęd line for your best ideas, like the home brewed beer, or the time you cut your hair, or that tattoo you so desperately needed, or that puppy you place in the refrigerator... ad infinitum...