Poor Stevie

Archive of ‘bum jokes’ category

labour pains: the finale

Exactly a week after Snorky was due, on September 21, this is what happened:

4.37am – I wake to painful cramps that pulse through my belly at regular intervals. I wait a moment before I wake J-man because this whole fake labour shiz has been going on for weeks. This could just be Thai take-out, I think. Like that scene in The Madness of King George when Helen Mirren tells Nigel Hawthorne to “try a fart”, I do just that to no avail. I wake J-man and tell him it’s on like Donkey Kong.

6am – The contractions are consistently coming every couple of minutes. In the book they give you at baby classes, it says this means the baby is imminent and get in the car now or you will have the kid in the toilet. I am thrilled at how quickly it all seems to be going and I imagine gazing at my baby over lunch.

8am – I have peanut butter on toast for breakfast, as the contractions pick up. J-man rings the hospital and they tell us amateurs to stay at home because this baby is not coming anytime soon. Hey lady, take some Panadol, have a hot shower and chew on some cement, they tell us.

9am – I set up a pain station in the lounge room, where I kneel on a pillow and put my head on another pillow placed on a chair. I cry, I scream, and I grunt. This baby is coming! J-man talks about calling the hospital again. I say if they ask whether the pain is manageable to tell them yes it is, I have a high pain threshold, and I could just as easily have this baby at home. I hear him say these words, words that will come to haunt me.

11am – Everything comes to a grinding halt. I feel like an idiot.

Noon – Oh, hang on. Here we go, something is happening. I want to keep things moving, so I get the broom and use it as a walking stick for my dicky hip and do laps of the courtyard under the hot sun. The contractions continue to come frequently and I moan and groan while our neighbours discreetly usher their visitors indoors.

2pm – Finally, I rate the pain as unmanageable and we hop in our little hire car and go to the hospital. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I distinctly remember sitting at a red light on Victoria Road wishing for death. Or birth. Whichever.

2.15pm – The midwives obviously care not about my views on life and death and send me to a waiting room in the delivery ward. Another couple – a heavily pregnant woman who is not in labour and her dude – sit across from us watching some kind of car race on the TV. I am contracting in front of strangers and it is the height of totes awkward. I squeeze J-man’s hand until it looks like a rubber chicken.

2.20pm – A lovely young midwife named Emily with a nose stud examines me and finds I am measuring – cough – three centimetres. Three. And I have to get to ten. How embarrassing is this? I can’t even take contracting to a three. She tells us to head back home, rest, have something to eat and come back at about 6pm.

3pm – This part is kind of a daze. I don’t remember being in heaps and heaps of pain, but I do remember telling J-man he should get in some nap time and a Red Dead Redemption session before things get real. I eat coconut bread with honey and an orange icy pole. Things amp up about 5.30pm and red hot, raging cramps race around my belly and back.

6.45pm – We go back to the hospital. The short trip to RPA is horrific. I cry and moan and have hand-to-hand combat with my seatbelt, which I’m convinced is making everything worse.

7pm – A kindly middle-aged midwife ushers me in to a delivery suite and shows me how to use the gas. The gas, my friends, is a con. It does nothing. But it does feel surprisingly good to just pretend. I get into a night shirt and ask the midwife whether I should take off my underpants. She laughs and says I can keep my dignity a little longer.

7.20pm – A lovely young midwife named Tori comes in and takes over. She says I now measure four. Fucking FOUR!? Will I still be in labour when they hand me a gold timepiece at my retirement party? She suggests we all get in the shower together. Me, her, J-man and the gas bottle. The shower is (obviously) huge. Tori and J-man chit-chat and discover we all went to the same uni. It’s weird. Here I am, totally naked, having a shower while my husband watches with another woman and there’s drugs in the room. This is not something I would usually be into.

9pm – The feeling of hot water on my body starts to annoy me. And this is about the time that I lose my mind. It is, I believe, the part the books and Satan himself call “transition”. At first I lean up against the bed growling and grunting like a wild animal, sucking in gas and chewing ice chips. Tori tells me to let her know when I am not coping and she will give me morphine. Soon after, I yell at J-man “I AM NOT COPING” in between hitting him on the chest as the contractions start to become just one big, awful contraction. I get the morphine. It does nothing for the pain, only makes me really sleepy in between contractions. With each one, Tori tells me “You can. You can”.

10pm – It’s time to start pushing. I won’t go into graphic detail, only to say that while it stung like a giant bee with fangs, claws, and Swiss Army knife in its pocket, it was such a feeling of relief. I look back now, imagining being naked, on all fours and grunting, as two midwives look up my clacker, and the only way I can explain it is this: I was not there for my own labour. The real me was at home watching Breaking Bad and eating cheese on the couch, waiting for Labour Steph – the unashamed and naked one – to come home with the baby.

11.37 – A little, blue being drops between my legs and starts to cry. J-man cuts the cord. I call my parents. We cry, we laugh, we freak out. We name her Cordelia.




hump day

Last night J-man and I were doing the typical Romanian thing and having a drink in an Irish pub in downtown Brasov, Transylvania.

“Happy three month anniversary,” I said, raising my glass.

“Happy anniversary – we’ve been married for three months!” he replied, then quizically looked at the date on his watch.

Yup, it’s been three months since we got on a jetplane to Thailand.  Here in freezing, beautiful, slightly scary Romania, it seems a century ago since we were sitting poolside,  sipping cocktails and gorging on seafood banquets. With countless sleeper trains, overnight buses and bouts of explosive weebum now firmly under my (tightening) belt, I would like to share with you a list of things travel has taught me about myself.

A list of things travel has taught me about myself:

– I am not normal.

Most people do the thing where they check for their passport and tickets a couple of times and arrive at the airport/train station with a little time to spare. I feel like I have cooled out a lot since J-man scolded me for dragging him to the bus stop in Amsterdam about four hours before our overnight bus to Berlin was due to leave, but I am still a total freak when it comes to pre-travel preparation. Here’s a little checklist I go through the night before moving onto a new city:

  • Check for tickets
  • Check time on tickets
  • Ask J-man to set alarm
  • Pack bag
  • Check tickets are still in bag
  • Make sure J-man has set the alarm
  • Have clothes, shoes and handbag ready next to bed
  • Make sure J-man is asleep before I check the tickets again
  • Tiptoe over to J-man’s bed to check he has set the alarm
  • Lie awake wondering what it will be like if we miss the train and have to spend the rest of our lives in a place called Cluj
  • Freak out about whereabouts of passport and rustle around trying to find passport
  • Locate passport in the place I always keep it
  • Dream about missing train/bus
  • Wake up 15 minutes before alarm goes off in order to “clear the decks”, even if not necessasry, to avoid using train/bus toilets
  • Wake up long-suffering, easy-going husband and force feed him breakfast at dawn so we can make our 1pm train/bus.

– I can read maps.

I first realised this when J-man and I were in Amsterdam trying to hunt down the Red Light District. J-man, who at this point had christened himself “Papa Compass” thanks in part to the compass on his Jason Bourne-style watch, snatched the map from me and led the way. Into surburbia we went and, upon passing several families with small children, I told him I suspected we were going in the opposite direction. “Trust Papa Compass,” he said. So I let him go, until finally he relented and I – the ever faithful wife – took us directly to where the girls in red boxes were trying to sell sex to drunk Poms.

– I DO have a bladder of steel.

There was a time in my life where I would have to stop to wizz at least twice between Lucknow and Orange. I remember once being so scared to tell my parents I needed to wee during a trip to Tuckerbag, that I snuck off to a neighbouring vacant building, thinking its “To Let” sign said “toilet”. Things have since improved, but suddenly I am the girl who can wait until I GET TO A WHOLE NEW COUNTRY before I wee.

– I am not afraid of germs aka my immune system is awesome!

Sometimes you have to do gross stuff overseas. Sometimes there’re no soap, old-looking sheets, three days of the same socks, two days of the same underpants, sharing train compartments with sickly old people, trusting fellow-hostelers to wash their dishes properly, buying food from dirty-looking bakeries and touching money so brown cavemen probably used it to buy their fur loin cloths. All of this and I haven’t even had so much as caught a sniffle (knocking on closest wood).  I rule!

Other things:

  • I am a massive baby and miss my family
  • I am a total cheapskate and will not hand over money for anything I do not have to (case in point, both the bras I packed have lost their underwire and my jeans shrunk to kid size in the wash. I scoff at suggestions of replacements)
  • I am not yet done with Sydney
  • I have the world’s biggest appetite
  • I am brave. Sort of.

we talk

If I’m left to my own devices for too long, I end up making bum jokes and losing friends.

This week I was chatting to a very glamorous girl – there she was in her stilettos, her red, flattering Carla Zampatti skirt, teamed with a sweet striped top and vintage gold beads. I stood next to her in my beat-up shoes with my clubbed toes hanging out the end, a pair of ill-fitting black pants that have faded to Dire Straits stonewash grey and a stripy cropped jacket that makes me look like I’m a volunteer at an old folks’ home. To top it off, I had the worst hayfever I’ve had this season – eyes watering, nose pouring, loud scream-inducing sneezes at every turn.

It was probably the salt water and mucus combination pouring from my nostrils that took our conversation from awesome eBay finds (her skirt) to illnesses (my allergies/social retardation). She asked me something about getting shots.

Me:  Yeah, I don’t get them because I’d probably have to have them in my butt cheeks.

Her: What?

Me: ….. Ah ha ha? I don’t get them because I’d probably have to have them in my butt chee-.

Her: -So what’s up this weekend?

I’m sure my face turned the same colour as my candy striper jacket, but I battled on anyway and managed to tell her about my awesome plans for the weekend  – making a fort, growing a beard, wearing a rope belt, catching insects for food and staying there for the rest of my life so I never, ever have to socially interact again.

I’m actually pretty used to this kind of thing happening. I’m no good at small talk and it takes a really, really long time for me to feel comfortable enough to show you I have a sense of humour. So I think 80 per cent of people who meet me think I’m a dirty mute, in the style of Steve Buscemi as The Marietta Mangler.

It’s seriously the small talk thing that gets me the most – I’m fascinated by how it works.



1: Oh god, I hate soft apples.

2: Me too. I once got such a soft apple that I swear it could have taken out the softest apple of all soft apples in the soft apples competition at the 1997 Granny Smith fair.

1: Oh my god, is that girl wearing track pants to work?

2: Woah. She so is. I like to wear trackpants only on the weekends.

1: Me too. Or when I’m hungover and going to Maccas for some food.

2: How good is Maccas for a hangover?

1: Oh, so good.

2: Actually, let’s go eat now.

1: Totally!

See what happened there? From their mutual dislike for soft apples and trackpants at work, 1 and 2 made an everlasting connection and have gone to lunch, where they will probably meet cute guys, who will buy them matching pug puppies.


1:  Oh god, I hate soft apples.

Me: Same.

1: Oh my god, is that girl wearing track pants to work?

Me: Umm, yeah it looks like it?

1: Holy shit, is that mucus AND salt water coming out of your nose at the same time.

Me: Ah, yeah.

1: You should really get some shots or something.

Me: Yeah, I don’t get them because I’d probably have to have them in my butt cheeks.

1: What?

Me: … Ah ha ha? I don’t get them because I’d probably have to have them in my butt cheeks.

1: So what’s up this weekend?

slide show

As I walked to work a few days ago I passed a shop that was being painted. The strong smell of fresh paint transported me immediately to my Catholic high school classroom in winter. There was no particular memory but suddenly I wasn’t walking to work frowning; instead I was sitting on the crappy green carpet in my thick maroon kilt/dress, which Catholic schools enjoy because it guarantees you look so much like a sack of potatoes noone will ever love you or touch your ungodly bits.

But I just love that feeling when something – a smell, a song, a taste or a sound – makes you instantly relive a part of your life in real time. So I decided to take a little more notice of it to see where else I could time travel.

PEANUT BUTTER: I love peanut butter. Love it on toast, straight from the jar, mixed with chocolate, blended in milkshakes or licked off strangers’ faces. I probably eat it everyday – it goes so well with coffee. During uni I discovered another great way to eat it was smeared on those corn thin crackers. Around about this time I did work experience at a place I shall call The Lame-o Crud Face Company For Jerks (TLCFCFJ). Unlike a lot of other places I did work experience, the powers that be at TLCFCFJ gave me sweet fuck all to do. Even when I kindly asked, said I was free or introduced myself to new people – you know, all the soul destroying things people recommend you do as a work experience dweeb – I was abruptly rejected. I was staying in a town hundreds of kilometres away from my home and feeling very vulnerable, so I took it all a bit personally.

TLCFCFJ also had their internet heavily filtered so I could only really look at their intranet and ponder the mysteries of their HR protocols. Every day I would watch the clock, holding off having lunch until about 2, so that when I finished I only had 2 hours until I could leave. So I would sit in their sunny lunch room eating peanut butter on corn thins. As I discovered, swallowing peanut butter and choking back tears simultaneously is hard work. I ended up feeling okay about the experience in the end when, at the end of the two weeks, just as the boss was giving me a fairly average assessment, his mobile phone signalled he had a text message with a farting sound. Dude, I don’t need your approval. Anyhoot, I can’t eat peanut butter on corn thins now without being immediately transported to the most crushing two weeks of my life. Up yours, TLCFCFJ.

WATTLE:  The smell of wattle actually brings back a lot of memories. But the strongest memory by far is the time I pooped my pants during sport in primary school. Actually, pooped my netball skirt would be more accurate.  I was a little dramatic in Year 2 – a totally unreserved show-off, bordering on bully. But that all changed one fateful, hot Friday. I guess maybe I’d told my teacher I was nearing death one too many times because when I told her I had an enormous pain in my guts, so sharp it took my breath away, she ignored me and told me to come with the rest of my grade to a sports oval near the school for cross-country practice. She let me sit under a wattle tree with my best friend and another disturbed girl who was known for coming to school sans underpants and using … that … as her news item.

At one point I remember the pain moved further down in my guts until, I can’t put this delicately, I parped and then pooped. And let’s just say I must have had bad vindaloo the night before. Other than the telling pain, there had been no sign it was going to get to this point. I remember just looking at my friend as she looked back at me in stunned silence, we were both thinking ‘this is it, this is the end’. Worst of all really, I was wearing a netball skirt so there was no hiding my shame. My teacher made me walk at the back of the group on the way back to school and I remember looking down at my newly , umm … tanned, legs, burning with utter shame. Weirdly though, no one made fun of me. I probably pooped myself at exactly the right time in life when kids looked at me and felt sympathy, knowing it hadn’t been so long since they were in nappies. The school called my dad to come and pick me up. The poor fella took me home, put me in the shower and once I was clean, took me to his office. I remember one of the receptionists saying “you do look flushed you poor thing”, and when I looked at my dad he just had this unforgettable expression on his face, which told me I should never, ever talk about this day again.

RADIOHEAD, KID A: I love this album. But it was the soundtrack to a very painful few months of my life. At least at the time it was very painful. Now it’s just a great story to tell over and over again to my friends in group therapy. I had met the J-man at uni, fell for him hard, kissed him a few times, shared my bed with him once and pretty much did everything I could to tell him I loved the hell out of him. I more or less walked around wearing a sandwich board saying, “You will be mine”. The beginning of uni alone was a very confusing time for me. I had begun living in a dorm with about 20 others and, since that day under the wattle tree, I can be very reserved around new people. Aside from one girl, the people I lived with did not react well to this. I wasn’t freaky peer-at-you-through-the-key-hole kind of quiet, but just didn’t participate in conversations about the weirdest colour my puke had ever been (ask me about my poop and there’s an epic greater than Homer’s Illiad) and I couldn’t join them at the uni bar for a long time because I was underage. So I just did my own thing, which I think they found difficult to understand. I mean if you can play drinking games every night with your dormies, why wouldn’t you? Right? Right? Holler!

I was also really, really  reserved around Joel at first as well. While I understand it was difficult for him, I still stand by my behaviour in those first few months of sporadic makeouts. He was a theatre student.  A loud, confident, popular theatre student. I was always nervous that whatever I had to say would not compare to whatever one of his theatre mates had just said about Bertolt Brecht. And you know, I wasn’t sure if I should be talking to him in character, singing or using symbolism to communicate. One night we sat together in dining hall with a lot of my dormies looking at me and giggling. So of course, I had nothing to say except *blush* *giggle*. And that was the beginning of the end (well, until he proposed three months ago, sucker!), he didn’t see much point continuing to hang out if I wasn’t going to talk to him. Fair enough, really. But it made me hate myself. I thought I had been so desperate and pathetic. I wished I could talk to him, show him how cool I was, listen to music with him and just be together. So every night for what felt like months, I would put on Radiohead’s Kid A and listen, discovering new things about it on each listen. I would cry, think things through, resist temptation to call him, and fall asleep to its spacey sounds.

It sounds like I’m a rock and roll preacher but with enough listens I got the strength to move on, delete his number and attempt to forget about him. Until one night, he sent me a text message about Bjork and the rest is history. I can’t listen to this album now without thinking about those nights I spent under dull light, not knowing how things would end up.

MY TAXI DRIVER’S B.O: This story might make you gag. I was certainly surprised, confused and disturbed when I got in a taxi after work a couple of nights ago, took a deep breath and rode the wave of my taxi driver’s B.O right back to a high school disco. The old cabbie’s pitts were emitting a strong scent, barely masked with what must have been the Lynx deodorant so popular among boys at my high school. Suddenly I wasn’t in a taxi anymore, there I was nervously quivering in the arms of someone I shall refer to as Barry Otter Young. I had the biggest, longest-running crush on BOY in high school. He was my first kiss, he played guitar and he was older. As appears to be a theme in my love life, I was convinced we had to be together but he was very resistant to my persistent charms. The only time BOY would ever come near me was at school discos, where he would hold me in his arms and attempt to bump and grind. I’m actually pretty sure, looking back, he liked to do it to torture me. “Here’s another taste, little lady,” I imagine him saying. Once you graduate from teenage-ship I don’t think you ever feel that same adrenaline-rushing-heart-pumping-mouth-drying-hyperventilating-headache-loin-tingle thing every single time you think about or see your crush. You get a version of it when you’re older but it’s not quite the same. But breathing in that scent the other night, I got a small replay of that feeling. I’m pretty sure if the taxi driver knew what was going on, he would buy that deodorant in bulk and set up a whole different kind of business.

 List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself.

1. The time I accidentally pooped myself in year 2 at a running carnival wearing a netball skirt still haunts me to this day.
2. I broke my nose when I fell off my trike into a ditch while chasing my sisters in the olde towne of Boorowa. The whole thing scabbed over and I still have a small scar under my nostril. My beloved Joel re-broke my nose the very first time I went to visit him in his home town of Copacabana. We were swimming together and he was playing silly buggers under the water and when I bent over to see what was going on, he leapt out of the water like Free Willy and headbutted me fair in the schnoz. He denies he broke it but I ask you what does a cracking sound, heavy bleeding, bruising and a different nose shape generally mean?
3. I have inherited my mum’s habit of throwing everything away. It used to bug me when I was a teenager and I would leave something on the table for 15 seconds only to find it in the bin, but now I am her.
4.  When I listen to my iPod I imagine a movie of my life set to that soundtrack. I have mentally nominated several songs I would like played at my funeral/wedding or convenientlyplaying when someone kisses me in the rain or murders me in an alley and I will then haunt  the killer with Whoopi Goldberg Patrick Swayze styles.
5. The other night I went out and ate heaps and heaps of ribs and it reminded me of the time when my grandpa came to visit in Orange and we went out for dinner and he had ribs. He got the sauce all over his face and hands and when the waitress asked if she could get him anything, he replied, “a bath”. Thinking about that time as I was covered in rib sauce made me really miss him.
6. After my first kiss, the dude told lots of people at school that I had tried to eat his face.
7. I lived above a shop when I was at uni in Bathurst and it was so sun-shiny and beautiful and I really miss drinking beers on our porch that overlooked a manky carpark.

I can’t tag seven people because I’m pretty sure I don’t actually have seven friends.