Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Homosexual Fish

I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain - "Horse with no Name", Dewey Bunnell, 1971

I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member - Groucho Marx

Metrosexual Flowers
I joined an online book club. I've never been a member of an online book club. Or any sort of book club for that matter.

The last online group I joined was a knitting group, and for some never-to-be-known-reason, I was chucked out. No ceremony. No warning. For god's sake, I was once a member of the Australian Labor Party, and THAT club allowed me in!

So it was with some trepidation that I joined the Facebook group - The Australians Abroad Book Club.

I recommend this club most highly. It has every quality that a good club should have.

In the first place - oh I love saying, "In the first place." It is so President Obama. Even if it is something he has said before, he loves prefacing his announcement with, "In the first place."

But back to business. In the first place, you have to be Australian. I don't think non-Australians could last five minutes in this club. You need PERSEVERANCE.

You need perseverance to use the meeting software. It has a funny name, like "nip in the bud". Hang on and I will look it up.

Back again. "Hip Chat" - that's the name of the software. I think that Hip Chat must have been written before computers were even invented. It is almost impossible to load. And then, after you have loaded it, you are presented with a vague sort of screen with nothing to click on.

Try as you might, you get nowhere. At frst I thought it was just me, and that me being a software engineer had something to do with my inability to find a hyperlink or anything 'clickable'. But no.  A very good friend, who used to live in Silicon Valley, and who I know for a fact can use more apps than anyone else in cyberspace - SHE couldn't get into the book club either.

A challenge. I cant let a challenge go by. I persevered, and sixty minutes later  I "got in". So did my ex-Silicon Valley friend.

At around the same time. Two person-hours altogether. We got in on the end of the discussion. I think the other people were Australians from Philadelphia  and Germany. That might explain it, though I can't see how.

The discussion was in full flight. About "The Slap" by Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas.

The Shining revisited - Me at my door
I joined in. No, I didn't like Rosie and why anyone would marry a guy named "Gary" I didn't know. I saw my friend ex-Silicon  Valley was still on. She didn't like Gary either, though I expect it was because he was a Chardonnay Socialist.

On and on they chatted. Giving the novel scores, and doing "what ifs". What if Harry was  faithful to his wife,  and what if Ailsa didn't sleep with the man in South Africa?

I just followed it all. Rendered somewhat numb form having tried to load the software for over one hour. I think they all forgot I was there. I had to wake them up.

And so here is my  "In the second place" thing.

Knowing our December novel is "Barracuda" also by Christos Tsiolkas,I decided to remind everyone.  I forgot how to spell Barracuda so I typed, "Don't forget December's novel,  about the homosexual fish."  Cyber silence. There's nothing like it.

A bit concerned that no one had answered, I belatedly typed, "Spoiler alert!"

A couple of people contributed smiley faces, but I remembered about the knitting group. I decided I would be on my best  behavior.

There was a discussion about what to read next. Someone in Washington DC  suggested "Rhubarb". I wrote that  was OK if it was on Kindle. Adding "I don't do paper." "Oh but don't you miss the smell of paper?" piped in someone from somewhere in Asia. "I don't sniff paper," I answered. "I don't even sniff cocaine."

Silence again. I fear my days in the book club  are numbered.

In the first place, I did the spoiler thing. And then in the first place I said the cocaine word.

Oh how I love you President Obama!

In the first place .....


Anonymous said...

Ahh Kate, yer too bloody much for most peeps. It's the edge, kid. Whom else would unnerstan' the Aust'n sense of humus. Not Australians under 50. Here in Obamaland I must constantly remind myself to NOT use the Aussie sense of humour. 'Cept the pie maker across the street. Dunno why - he's only 45 or so. Must be 'cause he's a Sydneysider. No offense, Kate, but I'm not sure Melbunites are the same. Sydneysiders are more like New Yorkers. Nah, you wouldn't agree but that's my experience. But then, I only know very oldies/bluestockings.

Anonymous said...

Re the homosexual fish. If it was in Southern waters would it be a 'homosex-you all' ?

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