Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Creative Writing 101

Today I participated in a one-day creative writing workshop. Upon arrival, we wrote our names and the suburb we live on a sticker and wore it for the remainder of the day. My fellow classmates were all female and mostly above the age of 60. To practice my creative writing skills, I documented my experience of the course in three short chapters.

CHAPTER 1

The first question came from Janine, an eager 60-something-year-old divorcée from Sylvania Waters. Despite an obvious penchant for Botox, her leathery, sun-damaged skin creases with curiosity. “Will we be covering erotic fiction today?" she asks. I immediately picture the plethora of sex toys she has stashed in all seventeen bedrooms of her garish McMansion. She looks uncomfortable in her chair; I’m guessing it’s anal bead-related.

My mind wanders off and I think to myself, "Does having a wank while holding the Bible count as erotic fiction?” The 60-something-year-old woman who’s running this creative writing workshop makes a Fifty Shades of Grey joke. The other 60-something-year-old women laugh out loud. I visualise ISIS kidnapping their loved ones. 

This certainly isn’t what I had in mind when I enrolled in this one-day course. Hopefully it improves over the next five hours.

CHAPTER 2

If you’ve ever heard a horse eating watermelon, or Rosie O’Donnell masturbating, then you know exactly what it sounds like when Vicki from Summer Hill eats pea and ham soup. Every so often, I have to remind myself that sitting next to me is an adult human being, not a bulldog with a deviated septum eating porridge. The Police’s, Every Breath You Take is playing on the café’s radio. Since her soup arrived five minutes ago, Vicki has taken three.

Margaret from Roseville and Dianne from Haberfield are talking about various cross-stitching techniques. I don’t know what cross-stitching is, but I do know that I’d rather have my testicles cross-stitched to a fire ant colony than listen to another second of their conversation. I also know that you always separate your embroidery floss into sections of two.

Bring on the afternoon session.

CHAPTER 3

There was a palpable excitement in the air as we made our way back from lunch. I think it’s time you teach us all how to write the next Fifty Shades of Grey Janine from Sylvania Waters quipped, as she walked past our tutor. I honestly can't believe Janine is divorced; she’s so hilarious and interesting. 

Our tutor writes two creative writing exercises on the whiteboard.

The idea is to complete both tasks in 15 minutes and read them out in front of our fellow classmates. Unfortunately the idea of presenting unsettled a few of the ladies. So after a vote, it was determined that we would hand our work to the tutor who would provide feedback via email. 

submitted the following...

Exercise 1:

Open the dictionary to a random page. Find a word that you don’t know how to define and write an imaginary definition for it. Repeat three times.

Demantoid: 
A person who thinks that the pinnacle of creative literature is Fifty Shades of Grey.

Mugwump: 
A fully-grown member of the human species who is yet to master the basic task of eating soup.

Waywiser: 
Something I'm definitely not after completing this fucking woeful creative writing workshop.

Exercise 2:

Describe a first. It could be something like your first bike ride, first day of school or first kiss.

You won't believe it, but all of these things happened to me on the same day. The first time I ever rode a bike was to my first day of school. I had a wonderful day learning and playing with the other children. Oh how we laughed. When I returned home, the old man next door gave me my first kiss. He also fingered me. 

I very much look forward to the tutor's feedback. I didn't want to use my real name to enrol, so I used a more creative one; the same one I wrote on my name sticker at the start of the workshop. Sadly none of the 60-something-year-old ladies commented on it.


Tutor's response:



Friday, 26 December 2014

Dear Telstra...

10th October 2014

Dear Telstra,


Anyone who watches Game of Thrones knows that a Lannister always pays his debts. I also pay my debts, and usually on time, so you can imagine how upset I was to receive a $15 late fee for failing to promptly pay my monthly internet bill.


Out of all the Lannisters, I’d say I’m probably most like the Kingslayer, Jamie - courageous, devilishly handsome, and an exceptionally skilled lover. I guess the only difference between us is that I don't have a sister to have sex with. I have a brother, but I'm not attracted to him, because he has a penis and testicles. 



It's fair to say your customer service reputation hasn't been the best over the years. Some might even say you're the Joffrey Baratheon of the telecommunications industry. Not me though, I think you’re great. I just wanted to let you know that I'm sorry for my mistake, and that even though my $80 bill was settled just days later without the intervention of a debt collector, a $15 fee is totally justified. 

So why did I forget to pay on time? Well, I'm a little embarrassed, but because I respect you so much, I'm going to be completely honest.


As you’re probably aware, nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence were leaked on 31st August - just one day before the payment of my bill was due. I can't remember exactly what happened next, but it appears as though the hypnotic images sent me into a frenzied masturbatory rage. When I woke up 72 hours later, both my hands had completely seized up.



The radiologist and entire medical team at my local hospital hadn't seen anything like it before, but the affliction has since been identified as J-Lawrius Masturbatitis. I guess the whole episode was similar to my favourite Jennifer Lawrence movie, The Hunger Games, except I was the only competitor, and the enemy was my knob.

If you think that's bad, just imagine the state of my genitals. I'd show you, but I'm pretty sure it would breach the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To get an idea of the carnage, you could either throw a handful of minced turkey on a land mine, or simply picture Freddy Krueger without his hat on.



I wish I could've paid the bill on time, but my deformed digits prevented me from using a keyboard to pay online, or drive to the post office to pay in person. I did manage chat to a member of your support team though, but was way too embarrassed to tell him about my condition. 

You won’t believe it, but without even asking why my payment was late, he said he'd waive the fee. Obviously I refused his offer, because I can think of nothing worse than dishonestly swindling my favourite company out of $15. It makes you wonder how many other people he's fraudulently letting off. 

By the way, his name is John. I think you should fire him.


Now that you know the truth about the overdue payment of my bill, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'd never ask to have my late fee waived on compassionate grounds, but it would be appreciated. I know people suffer much worse conditions than mine, so I totally understand if my severely clawed hands and blistered, cavernous genitalia doesn't warrant it. To me, the most important thing is that you now know that one of your employees is effectively stealing from you, $15 at a time. 


If you find it in your heart to waive the fee, I promise to put the money towards the ongoing rehabilitation of my fine motor skills. After numerous physiotherapy sessions, I've only managed to regain dexterity in two fingers - just enough to type this letter.


Kind regards,

Rich Wisken.



Telstra's Reply

16th October 2014


17th October 2014

Hello Telstra,

Thanks for getting back to me, but I'm a little bit confused by your response. Bullet point two states that you're unable to waive the current late fee, but bullet point three - the one directly below bullet point two - says you've agreed to do so by providing a $15 credit. Can you please confirm whether or not the fee still stands?

If it doesn't, I'd like to thank you for being the first company in the world to officially recognise J-Lawrius Masturbatitis as a serious medical condition. The social stigma attached to it makes it difficult for sufferers like myself to live normal lives. Thankfully I'm now in remission, but everyday I live in fear knowing that I could relapse at any time.


Appreciative regards,


Rich Wisken.


P.S. In case you were wondering, my hands are recovering nicely and my penis is much better. Fortunately it no longer resembles Freddy Krueger, but like a Sinaloan milk snake shedding its skin, it's still quite scabby and inflamed.



Telstra's Reply

20th October 2014


15th November 2014

Hi again Telstra,

Thanks so much for waiving September's late payment fee, but I'm afraid I have some bad news.


I forgot to pay October's bill on time and now I have another $15 late fee. However, this time I think it's more your fault than mine. You see, payment was due on October 31st. That's right, Halloween. Why on earth would you set the due date on the most fun day of the year? 


I usually love trick-or-treating, but this year was nothing short of catastrophic. To celebrate being cured of J-Lawrius Masturbatitis, I dressed up as my favourite Jennifer Lawrence character, Katniss Everdeen.



I know, nailed it. 

Unfortunately, it turns out that I'm not even close to being cured. 

Shortly after returning home from threatening my neighbours with a long bow in exchange for candy, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My incredible likeness to J-Law triggered an instantaneous relapse, and from what I'm told, I spent the next five days staring at my reflection whilst ferociously pummelling my weiner.


I don't know how I ended up in hospital, but I'm glad I did, because my injuries were much more extensive this time.




As you can imagine, my severe wounds are preventing me from typing this letter. Thankfully, one of my helpful nurses - the same one who sponge bathes me - is typing it word-for-word whilst I dictate. Usually I'd enjoy her caressing my sensitive nipples with a lathered sponge, but every time I'm sexually stimulated, an unbearable searing pain shoots through my splintered member.

Great, now she's looking at me like I'm a repulsive sex pest. Awkward.

Anyway, I'd just like to thank you in advance for also waiving this late fee. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your compassion towards my medical situation.


Grateful regards,


Rich Wisken.


P.S. After being in touch quite a bit lately, I feel like we're becoming friends. Would you like to sign my cast?



Telstra's Reply:

13th December 2014



17th December 2014

Hi Telstra,

Why don't you care about the sufferers of J-Lawrius Masturbatitis anymore? Have done something to upset you?

The thought of us not being friends has kept me up for the past four nights. When you spend that many hours lying in bed awake, you think about all sorts of stuff - like the things you love and the things you hate.

So what do I love? The usual stuff: puppies, rainbows, and furiously masturbating to photographs of naked celebrities. And what do I hate? Mainly the violent deaths of mothers and their babies in war zones, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and people who say "Time to get a watch" when you ask them for the time.

I'm sure you're disgusted by the slaughter of civilians and the spread of deadly viruses as much as I am, so as a gesture of our friendship, I decided to donate the $15 late fee - on your behalf - to my favourite humanitarian-aid organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières.



Why Médecins Sans Frontières? Well, mainly because I enjoy saying it in an exaggerated French accent so people think I'm worldly and interesting, but also because they're not religiously or politically motivated. They don't have a selfish agenda, so you always know exactly where the money's going. Something tells me not all organisations distribute charitable donations to where they're needed most...



By the way, did you know that an Australian law firm is preparing a multi-million dollar class action against you regarding late payment fees? They claim that because the fees are technically penalties, you have absolutely no authority to enforce them. According to them, your only real defence is to prove that they're a genuine pre-estimate of the loss suffered by your company. 


It's almost like they're saying that a $15 fee on an $80 bill is not only grossly exorbitant, but against the law. I can't be certain, but it appears they think that any company that'd charge their own customers such a fee, must be run by a bunch of deplorable, 
opportunistic, bottom-feeding...


Of course, I completely disagree. I mean, without collecting $750 million in late fees over the past five years, how do those silly lawyers think you could afford to pay your CEO $33 million? Many people would think that's a disgustingly absurd amount of money. Not me though, I think he deserves every single cent - all three billion, three-hundred million of them. 

Anyway, I hope our joint donation to such a wonderful organisation has strengthened our relationship. Surely you agree they need the $15 more than we do. You do hate deadly epidemics and the massacre of infants as much as I do, right?


Humane regards,

Rich Wisken


P.S. I paid my bill early 10 times in the past 12 months, but you forgot to credit $15 to my account each time. Don't worry, we all make mistakes. The invoice below is just a friendly reminder. Please pay on time to avoid a late fee, and be sure to reference the invoice number when crediting my account.


Telstra's Reply:

19th December 2014



20th December 2014

Hello Telstra,


My apologies for assuming you'd be in favour of putting the $15 towards saving the lives of the world's most vulnerable. By the way, I don't want to make a big deal out of it, but I haven't received the $150 in early payment credits yet. When should I expect it?

I'm more than happy to pay the late fee, but after everything we've been through recently, I don't think transferring the money to you is going to help mend our relationship. So to clear the air, I decided we could do something much more fun. It's a little game I made up called, Telstra Treasure Hunt.


I divided the $15 into $5 lots and hid them around three of Sydney's most iconic locations - Bondi Beach, Hyde Park, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 


Sorry about the small change. I did have more money, but I donated it to a worthy humanitarian-aid organisation, which you hated.

Anyway, using the red pins on Google Maps, I randomly plotted several points at each location. Under one of these completely randomly selected points, you'll find a $5 treasure bag. All you have to do is successfully uncover the hidden treasure from all three locations and you win the Telstra Treasure Hunt.




Hopefully you're as excited as I am. Treasure hunts are so much fun. If you'd like some clues along the way, you can tweet me @RichWisken using the #TelstraTreasureHunt hashtag. If you find the $15, I was wondering if you'd like to put it towards a movie ticket. The new Hunger Games film is out and I really don't think I should watch it alone.

Good luck,

Rich Wisken.

P.S. Yes I'm serious.

P.P.S. I hope you can scuba dive.


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Dear L'Oréal


Cosmetics juggernaut, L'Oréal, recently signed 17-year-old Belgian beauty, Axelle Despiegalaere, after a photo of her at the World Cup went viral. L'Oréal released Axelle just days later, when an image emerged of her holding a gun whilst posing with a dead oryx gazelle. I've taken it upon myself to help Axelle get her job back - because she's super hot, and she might shoot me in the face with a high-powered rifle if I don't.





Dear L'Oréal,


I'm very upset about your decision to cut ties with Axelle just days after signing her. This unfortunate situation has deeply affected me, because I know exactly what it's like to handle a big weapon, and be really, really, ridiculously good-looking.




I believe everyone deserves a second chance, so I'm writing to see if you could please make sure Axelle gets hers. People make mistakes, it happens all the time. To prove my point, I'd like to highlight a few of the 'mistakes' you've made over the years, all of which seem to have been forgiven by your customers.


Okay, let's start from the beginning...


L'Oréal's founder, Eugène Schueller, was an anti-Semitic fascist and well-known Nazi sympathiser, which leads me to my first question - why did you choose 'Because you're worth it' as your slogan, and not 'Heil L'Oréal'? Do you think the Führer would've made a fabulous brand ambassador?




I know what you're thinking, 'that was ages ago, we can't be held accountable for our founder being a complete asshole'. I guess you're right, but would you say the same thing if your company continued to profit from Holocaust victims for over three decades? 

The reason I ask is because a Jewish family insists that their property - which was confiscated by the Nazis during WWII - was home to your German headquarters for over 30 years. Oh I forgot to mention, the original owners died in concentration camps. I know you didn't confiscate the land yourselves, but wouldn't returning it to its rightful owners be the ethical thing to do?


Moving on to 'mistake' number two... 


In 2008, you were accused of 'whitewashing' Beyoncé in one of your cosmetics ads. How were you supposed to know that people would notice the pale skin and strawberry-blonde hair? Is it fair to assume that the makeup artists on White Chicks also used L'Oréal products? 




'Mistake' number three...


In 2009, you were found guilty of racial discrimination, for barring black, Arab and Asian women from selling shampoo produced by Garnier - a company you own. A fax sent by one of your executives declared that Garnier hostesses should be 'BBR' (blue, blanc, rouge) - widely recognised in the French recruitment world as code for French people born to white parents.


Okay, that's enough racism and xenophobia. It's time to move on to the issue that cost Axelle a future with your company. The poached elephant in the room - animal rights.


It seems everyone on social media these days like to criticise those who slaughter defenceless, and often endangered animals for their own twisted amusement.




Seeing as though you fired Axelle for shooting a gazelle, I was under the impression that you must boast a stellar animal rights record. However, after many hours of research typing 'L'Oréal animal rights' into Google, I found out that just isn't the case.

Your website states: 

L’Oréal no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others

Wow, that's really awes... HOLD ON A SECOND! What's this? 

AN EXCEPTION COULD ONLY BE MADE IF REGULATORY AUTHORITIES DEMANDED IT FOR SAFETY OR REGULATORY PURPOSES.

Do you mean like the 'regulatory authorities' in China, where animal testing is mandatory for all new beauty products? Yes China, you know, the world's second largest economy; the place you just invested $843 million to expand your operations? 

Hello, are you there????

I've decided that your little blurb on animal testing is slightly misleading, so I've made some amendments. Feel free to cut & paste it.

The European Union won't let us pour or inject nasty chemicals on or into adorable little bunnies and cute little mice, but in China - where the words 'animal rights' are always followed by a question mark - we most definitely do. Yep, 100% of our products developed in China are tested on animals. Why? Because FUCK THEM IN THEIR STUPID, FURRY LITTLE ASSES, that's why!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against all scientific animal testing. How could I be? Without it we wouldn't have Mickey or Goofy, and Rafael Nadal would still be an unknown capybara, instead of a 14-time Grand Slam tennis champion.




Don't you think it's just a little bit absurd to maim and kill animals just so you can tell women that having longer, fatter lashes and fuller, redder lips makes them 'worth it'.


Anyway, I sincerely hope you'll consider re-hiring Axelle, because as I said before, we all make mistakes. Some of them - like supporting and collaborating with a regime that murdered six million Jews, discriminating on the basis of one's race, and exterminating helpless animals in the name of beauty - are much worse than others, but the important thing is that we learn from them.


Have you learnt from yours, L'Oréal?


Regards (even though you're not worth it),

Rich Wisken.

P.S. Is it true that Hitler is alive and living in Argentina? If so, can you please ask him who he's going for in the World Cup Final?


Friday, 6 June 2014

Dear Colosseum Pizza & Ribs, Part II


Last year, I had a less than ideal experience at Colosseum Pizza & Ribs. I emailed to tell them about it, but they ignored me... so I wrote a complaint letter. Before reading this follow-up, be sure to read PART 1, otherwise it won't make sense.


Dear Colosseum Pizza & Ribs,


Have you heard the expression, everyone deserves a second chance? Well, I don't believe that's necessarily true. For example, here are some people who, in my opinion, are undeserving of a redemptive opportunity.


1) The owner of Colosseum Pizza and Ribs.


2) The Colosseum Pizza and Ribs 'chef'.

3) The Colosseum Pizza and Ribs employees.

4) Anyone associated with Colosseum Pizza and Ribs.

5) Adolf Hitler.

6) Joseph Stalin.

7) Pol Pot.

8) Vlad the Impaler.

9) That Kony guy.

10) Justin Bieber

Have a look at this photo from your website.




Now look at the remains of what I ordered from you the other night.


I'm not a forensic scientist, but I've watched enough CSI to know that there's a strong possibility those bones don't belong to the same creature as the one in your photo.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no stranger to using the magic of photography to make myself look more appealing. For instance, here's my Tinder profile pic.


...and here's my actual photo.


I guess the only difference is that I'm not charging people $39.95 for my goods or services. I'm sure we'd both agree that if I did, I'd be promising one thing, and delivering another. I suppose it's like promising a meaty rack of ribs, then delivering a sinewy mass of cartilage and bone. Just so you know, it was really cold that day.

Do you remember Maximus, the little sweatshop kid I adopted after my last Colosseum experience? Well, you wouldn't recognise him now. It's amazing how much kids grow when you feed them actual food, and not skerricks of flesh from the ribcage of an unidentifiable animal.


His sewing skills are really improving too, so I can hook you up with some seriously cheap custom threads if you're interested. He loves working hard, and sometimes I think he doesn't even want that one hour off a week. I guess like any kid he can be a bit annoying at times. Since his growth spurt, he hasn't stopped bugging me for a new cage... I swear he thinks I'm made of barbed wire.

OMG, I just had the best idea. Why don't I make the best of a bad situation and build his cage out of the ribs you sent me. Genius! With DIY ideas like that, do you think I should audition for The Block?

Anyway, please accept my apology and disregard this complaint letter. $39.95 is an absolute bargain for little Maxi's new enclosure. He's going to love it.

I guess you did deserve a second chance after all.

Sincerely,

Rich Wisken... and Maximus


Monday, 10 February 2014

My Christian Mingle Dating Profile


Dear Christian Mingle,

As a fervent believer in the one true God, I assumed your internet dating site would be the ideal place for me to find my future wife. However, just four days after signing up, I received this email from you.


"Anything that can be considered defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, offensive, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, racially offensive, or illegal".

WTF, guys?! You just described the best parts of THE BIBLE!

God LOVES all that stuff, so why on earth would you delete it from my profile? At this stage I have to assume it was all just a big mistake. If that's the case, I forgive you.

Seeing as my original profile is no longer available on your site, I'm going to publish it here so my potential future wife can still view it.


Hi ladies (definitely not men)


My name's Rich, and I’m just a typical old school Christian dude. By old school, I mean Old Testament. Give me the wrath of God over the grace of God any day. Soft New Testament rubbish? Ain't nobody got time for that!

If you enjoy nothing more than kicking back with a copy of the good book and reminding yourself how much of a repulsive, flawed, weak and broken sinner you are, then I'm the guy for you.


Being a decent God-fearing Christian - who lives his life strictly in accordance with the Old Testament - I find it difficult to understand why I’ve had such difficulty finding a wife. I really don’t expect too much from the woman I own; just that she's a virgin, obeys my every command, and realises she's inferior to me in every way.

Anyway, if you'd like to get to know me a bit better, check out my Likes, Dislikes and Hobbies below:

LIKES:

Taylor Swift, Walks on the beach, Romantic comedies, Poetry, Murder, Genocide, Floods, Droughts, Earthquakes, Plagues, Famine, Racism, Filicide, Disease, Ethnic cleansing, Really big wooden boats full of animals, Paedophilia, Homophobia, Misogyny, Torture, Smite, Infanticide, Sadomasochism, Contradictions, Genital mutilation, Capital punishment, Self-flagellation, Polygamy, Fire, Brimstone, Incest, Rape, Slavery


DISLIKES:


Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, Spicy food, Condoms, Science, Gays, Shellfish, Mixing fabrics, Bacon, Tattoos, Trimming my hair/beard, Blasphemy 


HOBBIES:


Golf, Gardening, Bird watching, Tenpin bowling, Pilates, Stoning psychics to death, Murdering those who curseth thy mother and father, Killing those who worship other Gods, Human/animal sacrifice, Executing my neighbours for working on the Sabbath, Murdering homosexuals, disobedient children and babies


So ladies, like what you see? Do you think I could be your special someone? If so, feel free to send me a message, but please, no Beliebers, Directioners, or New Testament time wasters.


...Okay, after reading that again, I'm still struggling to understand why you found it to be unacceptable. Obviously I'm not the only one who feels this way, as I've already received a smile and an email from two eager temptresses. Knowing that real Christian ladies still exist fills me with joy.




Below is a screenshot of my profile after you removed all the good stuff. I'm posting it to educate other confused Minglers, who like me, don't know what they can and can't have in their profiles.


Okay, so just to clarify, you're saying that it's definitely NOT okay to:



  • Like really big wooden boats full of animals, or the rest of the fun, violent stuff in the Bible.

...but totally okay to:

  • View yourself as a repulsive, flawed, weak and broken sinner.

  • Own a woman - as long as she's a virgin who obeys your every command, and realises she's inferior to you in every way.

  • Dislike gays (all of them).

Whilst misogyny and homophobia are all well and good, I'd like to remind you that if the word of God isn't followed to the letter, you'll burn in hell for eternity. Please Christian Mingle, no more cherry picking.


Anyway, please ignore me if the editing of my profile was just an error on your part. If it was, I very much look forward to it being restored ASAP. If it was deliberate, I pray that you all die violent deaths for disobeying your creator.

Devout regards,

Rich Wisken

P.S. Why did you also remove my profile photo?