Wednesday
Mar272013

MICF ~ How Does One, Do One?

                       

   *This is an updated post that goes out in April. It's Comedy Festival Time.

It's that time of the Gregorian calendar again. That time of year when Melbourne's inner city is awash with Leunig Flags, a higher percentage of talented Street Performers and Desperate People thrusting hard worked for fliers at you. Fliers that you're just going to throw in the bin. Admit it. You horrible, terrible person you.

Every year I hear the same thing. EVERY year I try to shout from the rooftops.

You Guys : "Who do I go see?  There's so much on. Tickets are so expensive, the comics must make an absolute fortune!"

Me : "GO and see TWO local shows - someone you've NEVER heard of for every hardcore, heavily promoted International/National act. And, about the money thing...."

Simon Munnery, Flym-MakkerTo answer the first question, MY TOP PICK is always the same - go see Munnery, even if he's not here, go see Munnery.  Simon Munnery is not for beginners. He's an out there on his own comic, sailing through utterly uncharted waters.  He does it all with one leg in the boat, the other in an elaborate donkey suit, but this is no ordinary donkey - this donkey sells real estate while he turns ordinary household objects in to mineral rich homewares.  Or something WAY better than that. One of the most beautiful reviews of ANY comedy show I've ever read was for Munners. "If you want to see what other comedians will be doing in 5 years, go see Munnery now."  That about sums it up. (can you tell I think he's a bit ace?) 

And I'm deadly serious about the TWO LOCAL SHOW caveat. Which bring us to the money thing... There is a perception that local comedians get paid to put on a little 'skit' (my favourite word for comedy production), go drinking with their buddies all night then sit around enduring endless self congratulating breakfasts in the morning.  Let me hose the untruth off that for you.

Putting on a little skit, for a month takes a LOT of work.  A lot of work and a LOT OF MONEY. You see, the majority of the acts present for MICF are risking their OWN bank accounts, personal lives and sanity. You don't just rock up to the Town Hall in March and put a sticker on the door of the venue you'd like to play in. Although this is a policy I'd like to initiate.

Eddie Pepitone, Solo Show 5th April. (See program)

No, the work starts about October the year before. You fill out your MICF registration and find the $500 you need to register your show.

Let's keep a running tally, shall we?


Registration, $500


This is of course a show you have already written the bones of, at the very least. You need a show title and 60 word synopsis. You need good quality show images.  (I think this guy is the best. James Penlidis) Lets call it a conservative $500 for the shoot, then more to get your stuff Art Directed and on to a poster and printed... but I'm ahead of myself. A great image is going to help. You're not going to get away with that pic of you and your bestie drunk on the beach at Surfers, but professional images which relay the tone of your show. There are going to be HUNDREDS of images/posters vying for spots on lamppost, walls and cafe racks. Most of shows with a much bigger budget than yours so how are you going to stand out? 

*poster costs, assuming you've done most of the art work yourself, or you have a friend who's handy with photoshop/adobe. Let's call it $1,000. P.S., do you know the difference between semi gloss, matte, and universal gloss paper? Do you need A4 A 3 or A1 size posters?  Have you thought about postcards?

Rich Fulcher - Tiny Acts of Rebellion


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 


Now you'll need somewhere to put on your little dog and pony show and unless your Dad's got a barn, you're going to want a centrally located CBD venue. Town Hall venues are prized hubs. Being IN the Town Hall does NOT always translate to ticket sales but you're still going to want to be there. Conservative estimates for the venue and tech - oh yes, you'll need someone to run your lights, sound and whatever else you've skillfully woven into your increasingly elaborate pastiche. Conservative estimates will put that charge at around $1500 a week for one of the smaller 30 - 50 seat venues.  The bigger the room, the more the cost.


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 


Dave Callen - The Psychology of LaughterIt's getting a little flop-sweatish now, isn't it? Ooh! Don't forget your Entertainment Liability Insurance. You don't want your confetti cannons going off early and taking out a pensioners eye.  Or your mic stand to fall off the stage and kill a Seeing Eye Dog. Let's guesstimate, $350 (it's been a while and I can't find any receipts of the insurance we've had to buy) but that seems tame.


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 
Insurance, $350


Advertising! How are you going to let people know your tiny little show is on, in amongst the throngs of Hughsies, the heavily promoted International acts and the locals being produced byToken?  To be honest, you're not. You're going to rely on Word of Mouth but you're still going to buy a little advertising space aren't you? Buying ad space translates to editorial space. (you're buying ad space, the paper are 'giving you' editorial space). A 1/8 page, a 1/4 page, a 1/2 of full page ad?  How much money have you got to burn? You can spend anything from $500 for a tiny corner in something like Beat or InPress for the run or thousands on a Herald Sun 1/2 page. We'll call it a conservative $800 for advertising and flyering - the aforementioned standing outside your venue handing out those precious posters/postcards/flyers you had printed as a way of luring people into your show after they see the show they wanted to see is sold out? You can do that yourself or pay/beg/blackmail someone to do it for you.

Debra Batton, Catherine Magill - She Knows Too Much


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 
Insurance, $350
Advertising, $800 


If you want a publicist, you can hire one now. If one has room for your show. It's gonna cost ya. $2,000 is a very conservative estimate.

 

Let's have a closer look at those locals, in particular. How many of them realistically make a living from stand up? If your guess is in the double digits, you're very probably wrong. SO, if you want to put on a show, you're going to need to take time off work. You won't have time to wait tables, or nurse, or be the funny accountant.  You've got some holiday time coming up - best use it. Insert your own lost wages estimate here. $Umpty dollars.

Frank Woodley, Simon Yates - InsideOk, so there are hundreds of shows to choose from. The tickets cost anywhere from $10, Tight Arse Tuesday tix to $45 for (example) Wil Anderson or Judith Lucy & Denise Scott.

Well, you're thinking. Let's shoot at the centre of that range and sell 20 tickets a night, that's $440! See, you guys are raking it in! TicketMaster take half that ticket cost as their fee. What?! Hmm, still $220 a night, where do I sign up! Let's also look at the guesstimated average audience size for a local (unknown quantity) show is on a good night, 10 people. 10. I'm being generous here. It's only going to be 3 or 4 some nights. Have you dampened your trousers yet?

As the MICF website says, "Producing a show involves everything from organising venue hire, marketing and publicity, travel and accommodation, sourcing props and equipment, budgeting, ticketing, obtaining insurance and licences and much more. As part of your registration, the Festival provides information packs and workshops to assist you, but it is up to you to make it happen."

Harley Breen - Some Kind of SomethingMICF is an amazing festival. If not for it, I would not have had 3/4 of the life experience I've had. I would not know who Simon Munnery was. Or Daniel Kitson. I wouldn't giggle every time I heard the words, "Rapper with a baby" (curse you, Rich Fulcher!) I would not have smeared chocolate cake on Adam Richard's head (ok, that probably still would have happened, just not in front of 3000 people) nor would I have laughed so hard at Bill Bailey that I hawked up a lung. I'd also probably not have the sight of a bare chested Sam Simmons smashing taco shells into his pigeon frame burnt into my retinas, nor would I have... ok the rest of that sentence is now redacted. You know why, Festival of 1998...

It's SO important that you get out there and support local acts. They're literally selling their souls for you.  Go see Harley Breen, go see Jennifer Wong. Go see Geraldine Hickey and why not make a night of it and see Wes Snelling and Kate McLennan - their show is held IN a hotel room!  Come on! I know you're probably already planning on seeing Wil Anderson, why wouldn't you? He is brilliant but please, take a chance and see someone you've never even heard of. 

They've got an average of $8,000-$10,000 on the line for you. Can you even imagine doing that for the love of your job? You can't, can you? And don't think, "oh I can just see them in October after all this festival stuff has died down." You can't. Festival is special. Festival is very often the only time of the year you'll see any one of these comedians do a solo show of 1 hours duration, packed to the gills with lights, props and a small Bolivan Lizard (WHAT a show!). Go. What are you waiting for?

fahey xx

(a tiny selection of those acts you really need to squeeze on to your wish-list)

 

Geraldine Hickey - Love Or A Slab Of Fudge

Jennifer Wong is Spineless Kate McLennan & Wes Snelling - Standard Double

Lessons With Luis - Famoucity

Ross Daniels - Graham Clone, The Future Is Incorrect Sam Simmons - Shitty TriviaSlutmonster and Friends

Saturday
Mar022013

Other People's Awful Children

"Aw, stop it Jayden." "Put that down, Jacksen." "Brayden! Brayden! Brayden!" "Don't throw sand at her, Quvenzhané!" "Don't hit Mummy." Or worse... "_________" Nothing.

Mum and Dad say nothing because they're either not watching or hell, hoping someone else will step in and parent their child because it's quite obvious this shit goes on and on and on at home too.

How do you deal with other people's awful children?

Other people's children are like other people's snot - there's no way you want any of that on your hands. Now that Spike and Mo are out of the house and mingling with the Mouth Breathers and Knuckle Draggers at kinder, school, Little Athletics or swimming I've been subjected to some of the most eye opening behaviour I've ever witnessed up close before in my life.

Wild Kingdom doesn't even come in to it. I can be rooted to the spot with disbelief so profound I couldn't be less shocked if some of these kids actually stuck their hands in their pants and flung their own poop.

I have smacked a mother before. Yeeeeears ago. Before I had kids of my own. Back then I could spot despicable behaviour too.

The Smacked Mother incident took place in a Supermarket. A young hellion was reeking havoc in Aisle Nine. I watched for a while, trying to line him up with my trolley, if I'm honest and I saw him approach an old lady on a walking frame. He got in her way, pushed her walker then when she straightened up, he moved around and kicked her. Kicked. Kicked her leg. Her paper-thin leg. She cried out, the mother looked over her shoulder for a nano second and barked, "Stop it, Jayden [who else!?]" He obviously knew that was the extent of his reprimand so he just turned back to the old woman and went to kick her again.  Instead, he met my vice like grip as I dragged him backwards towards what I only assume was his biological mother.

I said, "This is yours?" She scanned me up and down and hissed, "What's it to ya?" So I ran through my short list with her. "I know you saw him kick that lady." She rolled her eyes and muttered "Fuck off."  "Ah, excuse me?" She glared at me and raised her delicate finger in solitary salute.

So, I smacked her. The kid stood upright. Still. She did too. Like mother like son.

"That's for you because it's not fair to smack him. How about you forget your shopping and go home and look up some information on parenting?"  

  

The man standing behind her holding a packet of macaroni seemed poised to step in, if this escalated.  She stared at me, open mouthed. I guess I would have too if I'd be reprimanded by another adult. She finally found her voice, it was high pitched and very sweary - something I usually enjoy. "Get in the fucken car, Jayden, you shitty little asshole, this always happens..."  I wanted to follow her to her fucken car to point out that it was actually HER fault but she was busy throwing me gang signs and sharing expletives with the whole shop. The old lady was okay. Pasta Man applauded a bit. My blood pressure hit the high 200's and I think I finished MY shopping but man, all I wanted to do was follow that womb-haver out to the carpark.

I wonder today, what's happened to little Jayden?  Is he serving hard time or merely passing on the great parenting tips his mother shared with him?

Look, I get being tired. I get being sick of the mundanity that comes with having spawned upstream. I GET IT. My kids aren't angels. Ok, they are winged-up haloed angels but they can still dial it up and send me to my I Don't Have Kids Time Machine blueprints. Kids are boisterous. They're loud. The have impulse control issues. But hey, guess what - that shit doesn't go away as they get older. It just gets harder to manage.

A 2yo throwing himself on the floor because he's not getting his way can be viewed as cute. It isn't, but it can. A 6yo throwing herself down in a pitched fit, less cute. A 10yo - well, everyone, form an orderly queue to line up and smack it.  How do you think his behaviour is going to be when he's 16?

I think we take our kids to Little Athletics and swimming etc and so forth for the same reasons. (Get them out of the house!) I don't know about you but I do not like getting up at Oh Shit o'clock on a Saturday morning and I  h-a-t-e standing around in the sun while 15 uncoordinated kids in new runners and too-big t.shirts try to throw a discus (ok, THAT bit is pretty damn worth getting out of bed for!). So if you don't have a handle on darling little Brayden's shitty behaviour you and I are going to learn each others names and fast.

Tell me about his undiagnosed ADHD. Tell me about his good for nothing absent father. Tell me about your crippling depression. But tell me something. Don't just shrug as I drag your kid off a smaller, crying one. Tell me. Or you can ask Uber Mum in the Eastern Suburbs who got a smack off a riled up shopper one damp afternoon how she deals with her lot.

Remember YOU decided to have kids. Now my frilly darlings, YOU have to parent them. 

Start early. You know, at the beginning. No point throwing your hands up when he's 5 and out of control because NOW it's too hard. He's not just YOUR problem then. He's everyone's problem.  

Smack Dagger, Mother Wrangler ox

Wednesday
Feb132013

Who's A Pretty Girl Then?

Girls is a gutsy little show that's running on HBO in the US and on cable channel Showcase in Australia. It's written, executivly produced, directed by and stars l'enfant terrible, Lena Dunham (3rd from the left).

Lena portrays a self involved, self assured, warts and all character, Hannah. The show revolves around Hannah and her three 20 something friends all trying to live and grow up in New York City. Yawn. I know! Doesn't it sound utterly yawny? It's not! There will be NO yawning.

The New York Times wrote a beautiful piece about the show so if you're not familiar, I'll direct you here. For those already fans, lets plough on...

Since the first episode, critics have fallen over themselves and many have trampled their own mothers to wax lyrical about the bravery and the bravado of the show. "brilliantly raw and raunchy Girls [is] a true breakthrough series." "It's a raw, ironic, occasionally touching comedy of post-millennial manners." "It's raw, audacious, nuanced and richly, often excruciatingly funny."  Do you get that it's raw?  

Lena's character, Hannah gets her kit off, a lot. She's a pear shaped, dimpled ass having, tattooed minx. We see her topless, bottomless, and fully clothed in tiny shorts and midriff tops. Had I replaced the words Angelina Jolie with Lena Dunham we'd perhaps be reading reviews that contained the word "hot" instead of "raw" - but you get the idea.

The show is balls out touching, funny and really... unrefined. Everything that Sex In The City was that made me want to stab adorable kittens to almost-death (I'm SUCH a, what's the name of the uptight prissy one?) Girls is the antidote to. Honesty, Op Shop clothes and ugliness. It's virtually British! Give. Me. MORE!  

There's no Carrie's being adorably Yellow Taxi Cab splashed with mud, all over her impossibly tiny couture tutu. No, instead, there's Hannah talking disturbingly dirty to her weird [eventually endearing] fuck buddy/boyfriend who masturbates on his filthy mattress on the floor in front of her. No tutu's were harmed. She wasn't wearing [anything] one.

Series One was hoisted on to its deservedly lofty pedestal. We all stood around and admired it. Ooh and ahhed at its nakedness. The show has won Golden Globes, Emmy's and Lena won a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievment - the first woman to win, ever. 

So when did things really start to go cumquat-shaped?

Last Sunday's episode, it seems. 

Hannah, the same Hannah that has been celebrated in past episodes for being daring, brave and you know, the R word.  Well that Hannah meets hunky, rich, Doctor Joshua (as played by totally real-life handsome Patrick Wilson) in the coffee shop she works in.

 

SPOILER ALERT


He comes in to complain. Her boss, complains back. Everyone, except the boss is embarrassed. Dr Totally Hot leaves.  Hannah follows him home to expand a plot point and one things leads to another and quicker than you can say, "By jingo Mrs Abanathy, what's the attractive man doing astride that frumpy woman?," everyone's naked and doin' it.

To reiterate, this is not a new thing. Lena's Hannah is definitely NOT a virgin in any sense. Nor are her castmates, Shoshanna, played by the gorgeously ditzy Zosia Mamet. Beautiful Marnie, played by the daughter of Newsreader Brian Williams, Allison Williams. And I guess I don't need to tell you Jessa's been round the block once, nay twice? As played by the eminently bangableJemima Kirke.

I watched the episode last night (later than it's air date), I loved it. In it's face. It was awkward and fanciful. The shots were equal parts gorgeous and unflattering. The dialogue, as always, confronting, real, immensely self obsessed and ridiculous.  "Great show, you fabulous little Moll", I sighed as I turned it off and went to normal bed.

This morning I wake to find the Opinion Machine has been wacked OFF it's hinges and people are pissed!

The Why Exactly They Are Pissed plays out to be - how dare a frumpy, thick thighed fatty in bad shorts and cellulite seeking, back fat displaying shirt have consensual sexual relations with the obviously above her station, handsome, be-six packed, Doctor Stranger and expect us to believe it?!

Yes, how very dare She do that to We?

Esquire spazzed out for all of us,

Remember the episode of The Cosby Show in which Cliff, Theo, Elvin, and Martin were all pregnant? Martin fathered a sailboat, Theo a sports car, Cliff a hoagie and soda, and Elvin, well, nobody ever cared that much about Elvin. He probably had another rattail. At the end, Cliff woke up from his dream.

This week's Girls was a lot like that Cosby Show, except Hannah never woke up from the fantastical, implausible story she found herself in. And there's a good chance I fell asleep.

Slate Magazine fairly coughed up a lung with their, 

Was that the worst episode of Girls ever? 
Why are these people having sex, when they are so clearly mismatched—in style, in looks, in manners, in age, in everything? Why is he kissing her and begging her to stay over? Seriously.

And further, 

Hannah would not, in any world that resembled our own, get [such as] Patrick Wilson, for instance.

Don't buy now, because wait, there's more!

How can a girl like that get a guy like this? Am I small-minded if I’m stuck on how this fantasy is too much of a fantasy and remembering what Patrick Wilson’s real-life partner looks like?*

Yes, yes you are.  Infinitessimal of cranium.

Especially as, I'm fairly confident to assume, you have NEVER had a problem with how hot Kevin James' wife Carrie is in The King of Queens.  I know, it goes way back to the Honeymooners and beyond. Even the Simpson's relentlessly dull, borderline alcoholic incompetent Homer and his long suffering dutiful Marge. Sweet but definitely pudgy Mark Addy and super hot Jami Gertz in Still Standing. Or any woman with a lousy agent who gets to play wife to one of Jim Belushi's many interchangeable sitcom characters. 

Of course those [varying degrees of] catastrophic men can have uber hot wives, it's just how it's always been...

Now finally, we're getting some proper telly. Like FX's darling, Louie, written, executively produced, directed, starring and edited by Comedy's good god, Louis CK. This is another show that's very definitely the R word.
The joy of Louie is its honesty. Its warts and all vulnerability. Its complete and utter disregard for the politically correct yet, I can't recall anyone being the slightest bit miffed that Louis' Louie was bonking the much hotter, Posy Parker. The crazy but totally babealicious Maria Bamford. And as testament to the show's realism, super cute Pamela Aldon wouldn't couple up with Louis cause, ew, look at her and look at him! Exactly my point! Nope, that's never come up.

So, to my friends at Slate and Esquire. The many minions on Twitter, I'm sure you're on FaceBlech too - You go right ahead and get confused/mad. Damn that upstart, little Ms Dunham!  She has certainly flipped the table over.

You better stand back. You just know she's gonna fuck someone better then you, on it.

Watch GIRLS.

And LOUIE,

TV's not just for the pretty people.

fahey x

Monday
Feb042013

Have You Checked The Children?

I am childless.

Not in any legal sense, I believe I DO have to go and collect each of my progeny when "the bell goes" but for right now, I am childless.

These two ----> are both at their respective places of higher learning/germ incubators. BOTH could not be happier to be out of the house!

It's kinda weird. 

I'm reading similar tales from friends and friends of friends on my twitter feed. FaceBlech has a mention of it too.

There's lots of:

"It's too quiet here."

"I feel lost."

"Anyone wanna meet up for something? Anyone?! Hullo?"

Me?  Well, you are NOT going to understand this at all, unless you too have small humans in your home, but...


I just had lunch, right? Cop this, By My Self. The WHOLE thing. In ONE go!
I know!
Ridiculous! As IF that kind of thing can even happen!?

No one asked for "just one bite". No one snuck (it's a word) in a slurped up the dregs of my coffee - which as everyone knows, is the best bit. AND get this, it was still WARM!  No one complained about their cheese being 'weird", no one wanted to swap a "yucky" grape for a "rounder one". Pfff! Amazetastigals!

With full disclosure, in that time I have also ahd nine panic attacks each time my new phone (that's another story!) makes a noise because I think I'm late for picking up the smaller of my two posers. I am not. I've got another HOUR to myself. A whole human hour. Woo.

There's probably washing to do (oh shit there IS stuff in the machine I must try not to forget) and the floor could really do with a clean of some sort but, that shit can wait until Wednesday when Young Johnny Hands On Hips goes back to kinder again.

Ok, I admit it, the silence is WEIRD!

Here are MY Simple Tips To Alleviate The Weirdness

Yelling  Punctuate the silence with random, "Stop It!" and "Get OFF your brother!" and "Because I absolutely fercucken said so!" 's.  Don't worry about the neighbours. She's just WISHES she thought of it first.

Mess  Take it upon yourself to smear vegemite on your clean frock, right where everyone can see it. If you're feeling adventurous, you can spill a full glass of something sticky all over the floor. Draw on the wall, you know you want to. 

ABC2  Crank it. And admit it. You miss hearing the soul destroying repetitive droning of that sinister Yo Gabba Gabba.

Wipe A Strangers Ass Ok don't. If you want to get OUT of practice, be it on your head.

Drinking. Well, der!

Simple, homespun methods guarenteed to lift you out of the weirdness. 

Don't worry, school holidays are coming up again soon.

*urgh*

Viva le School Year!

Spike and Mo's Mum xxxx

"MUMMA'S COMING, BABY!"

 

Saturday
Jan192013

Jesus Had Fish Too


But he did unspeakable things with his. Tearing them gill from fin to be devoured by people he hardly knew... you know, IF you believe the story.

We are kind to our feesh.

When we bought the house we knew we had a pond but we didn't know we 'ad feesh. Not right away. 

Being suspicious city folk, we we're ever vigilant for flora and/or fauna that could kill us. It took a still night and the light catching the water just right and "Oh My Jeebus's Dad... you know, IF you believe the story, there are living creatures in that water/sludge!"  We rushed out and bought fish food and hoped for the best.

Shortly after, Pond Clean's (TM) Ken and his dad, Dave came up to the house with a giant water vacuum, a pressure hose, a bucket or two, some gloves and a fish scoop.

One. Two. Three, Four...

There's a big orange and white bugger, his name is Big OW Bugger. There's two smaller orange ones. Kamikaze (the others send him out from under the cover of plants to open water to check for food) and his pal, Keith. There's a lovely big brown koi called, Chokito Boy (he's not as lumpy and we're guessing, not as caramel'y). I'm pretty sure he's their king. Or, overlord. S'hard to tell from above.

And lastly, there's a wee orange goldfish called Upsy Daisy - she's from next door. The estranged pet of the two little girls next door. Mikayla and Ella AKA "Honey Pie". Honey Pie told me Upsy Daisy's friend "got flushed in the toilet from dead!" and that's why they'd like Upsy to live with us.

We believed her story.

Fish are, you know, fish. They swim around. They watch above their kingdom and wait for things to break the surface tension. That's when they send Kamikaze out to see, "Is it food or a trick?" Deeply suspicious and paranoid creatures, I've observed. If you've ever wondered, do fish talk? I can categorically answer in the affirmative. They tend to use a lot of urban slang and of course, are notorious for throwing gang signs. "Wassup, Dawg?"  They're kinda like tiny aquatic, long poo trailing Randy Jacksons.  Misting the top of the pond with the hose (to fill the bastard up again - you missed or created a hole, Ken and his Dad!) it must be like an all over Thai Massage for them, cause they go nuts!

There don't seem to be any pairs. We're either running a nunnery, a fetish club for single swingers or a branch of Rotary International.  Either way, they're a source of quiet amusement and quality fish poo.

B and i have always had pets, We're bona fide dog people, as is our youngest boy who's constantly walking an imaginary dog (he insists on 'swapping hands' when you take him out of his car seat so he doesn't drop or get tangled in the imaginary leash...) And he's quite often on all fours, barking and panting [insert your own 'like his mother joke' here]. I still, desperately want a couple of miniature goats to be ridiculously adorable in the backyard AND eat/keep the (dying) grass down.

LOOK AT THEM! Gird your cute gland and LOOK! I'd call one, Clarke (obvs) and the other, Chauncy or something. I'm not set in stone on that one. 

We have had preliminary, Dog Talks. Spike would love the idea too. He's also very loving of all things fluffy and feathered - perhaps not as quite as enamoured as his is with all things Spike. Morrison on the other hand is a kid who 'needs' a dog. "I will love him and pet him and call him, George."

I could also go an Alpaca. Mainly, cause they hum. You heard me! They HUM! It's a kind of nervy, "ohmygodwhyareyousoclosetome" noise. Nevertheless, it's a hum!  Who doesn't want something that HUMS in the backyard?! Exactly my point!

Remind me to tell you the "Merry Xmas! We got you a pony" story my Dad inflicted on me when I was a smaller child. Not that anything hummed, but I really could have done with a few years of therapy considering my formative years (and he wonders why I got sucked into comedy).

Pets!  What did you have? What did you want? Are you a reptile aficionado? A rodent haver? Perhaps you're fans of the dromedary?

Do you 'ave feesh?