Sunday, October 31, 2010


One upon a time, a long long time ago a little girl called Paula sat down and watched a film that had been taped on her families Betamax machine.
The little girl sat and watched the whole film through, not understanding that this film would change her life forever.
No matter how much she wanted to look away she could not. No matter how much she knew that she was too young to watch this film she still watched it until the end.
A new icon would come into Paula's life and with him a soundtrack that would haunt Paula every time she heard it.
His name was Michael Myers.
Now years later another film star would come into the picture with an almost identical name: Mike Myers. Yet this film star was funny and had no problem farting his way into roles such a Fat Bastard.
No, Paula was not fearful of farting and Fat Bastard but kitchen knives, navy blue King Gee overalls and a mask that once looked like Captain Kirk.
Every Halloween Paula knows that Michael Myers comes out to play. He never dies and seems to be able to walk through walls. No matter how fast you run, he can get you. No matter where you hide he knows where you are.
Paula is not entirely sure if she may or may not be related to Michael Myers (one never knows these things even if they have seen their birth certificate) and Michael Myers is always looking for his relatives to slice and dice. Even if you are not a relative you may just be in the way. So leading up to Halloween there are some very strict rules:

Don't leave the house.
Don't stay in the house.
Don't walk in the street.
Don't get in your car.
Don't look out of the window.
Don't babysit.
Don't have your boyfriend around.
Definitely don't have sex.
Don't get into spas that will burn your face off.
Don't hang around Dr Loomis.
Don't hang around Jamie Lee Curtis.
Don't wear white nighties.

Let's face it you can't do just play dead (in a coffin may even be wise) and wait for Halloween to come and go.
Paula has been following these strict instructions since she was 12 and so far so good. (She has also had three missing person's reports taken out on her but clearly worth it.)
Then just when Paula thought it was safe to watch another film on her Betamax, little did she know that this film would also change her life forever.
Lucky the rules were simple.
Don't go into the water.
And she never did again.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We're gonna need a...

Right. So decided that today something new and exciting needed to happen.
I wondered what it would be like to live in a movie and if so what character I would be. Well I would still be me but what would it be like if I was playing me? The temptation of course is to jump to the end of the film where I live happily ever after but that would be too predicable.
Instead I decided to re-enact the next best thing:
The Montage.
All the cool stuff happens in a montage. You lose weight, you get a new job, you paint walls, there is lots of laughing and water fights and all in the space of minutes. Then the montage finishes and you come out the other side ready to "get" your happy ending.
If a normal montage takes minutes then surely I can do my whole montage in a day.
Great start. Laughing heartily with cute guy making my morning coffee, opening up shop where I work and pumped up the music. Danced to music as I set up, imagining that song was theme track for montage scene. Greeted customers with big smile. Laughed. Cuddled children. Was having a blast.
Weight was coming off. Walls were already painted. I had a job. All I needed was a water fight. Maybe I wasn't clear on the brief as one of the words got mixed up.
In my happy montage state I had made a small error and gave a customer the wrong product. He came back and was VERY upset by my mistake. I apologised. He yelled.
I was starting to get confused. I don't remember bad stuff happening in montages.
Then I thought maybe this is where my Prince comes and saves me. Had to be. Because in my montage I only want fun stuff.
So then my customer says to me, "You are so lucky you are not a guy or I would punch you out."
Hello? Any day now Prince.
Dead air ensued.
So I looked into the face of a 70 year old cranky pants who wants to punch me because he had to come back (god forbid!) and I did what any montage film star would do.
I cried.
Slight distortion on montage brief with water fight turning into water works.
Oh well. Montage done. Well almost.
Will dance to Britney in cute little panties and sing into my hairbrush in front of the mirror before bed. That would end montage nicely (especially given that this is a movie and my Prince will be watching through window whilst realising he must have me.)
Okay so happy ending now please.
(Pretty please with vanilla ice-cream and sprinkles on top?)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Feeling Blue

Growing up with red hair and freckles isn't exactly a bundle of laughs.
I grew up in the era of "baking yourself in the sun to get a tan was cool". I couldn't get a tan to save my life. Sure I could go a bright shade of pink, even red, then my skin would shed itself like a snakes only to reveal the same ultra white with freckle wallpaper all over my body.
Someone told me if I lay in the sun long enough all my freckles would join together and I would have skin like a super model (I was also growing up in the era that that term was coined and Cindy Crawford was who you wanted to be when you grew up). Needless to say my freckles didn't join up. Sure I got a hell of a lot more freckles than I had before and no doubt a heavy dose of skin cancer but unfortunately none of them seemed to want to hold hands and come together.
Tan lines were something I would have put on my vision board (alas this was not the era of The Secret).
Pippi Longstocking was my bible but because she had super strength and a cool horse I decided that Pippi would never get teased about her looks and even if she did she would beat them up. Oh to be Pippi.
If only I had Lindsay Lohan (early years) to look up to but by the time I watched Mean Girls I was too old and crusty to care. Gone were the days of wearing clothes from under my chin to my big toe to cover my revolting skin.
Now before I continue I must confess something, you see I am not really a red head. I actually have mousey brown hair that I have been dying every colour known to man since I could say "Mamma".
Now it took me a long time to discover that red hair was in fact cool and it did in fact suit me and I could in fact be like Pippi Longstocking because eating pizza did give me super strength and I went on trail rides on the weekend. And as for my freckles they were there and they were like my multiple personalities - they weren't going anywhere anytime soon.
So I am work one day I serve a little girl and her Mum. The little girl is whispering to her Mum furiously until her Mum says, "Well just ask her."
"Ask me what Honey?" I say.
The girl is shy and says nothing. She would be no more than seven years old.
So her Mum speaks for her. "She wants to know if you like your hair?"
I had just chopped most of it off and wasn't sure about the new cut but looking at the girl I realise not only do we have exactly the same hairstyle but exactly the same colour. This girl could have been my daughter.
"Yes of course I love my hair. Why don't you?" I ask the girl.
She looks up at me with tears starting to well up in her eyes. "No. I hate my hair and I hate my skin. Everyone teases me. Do you have that problem? Do you have friends?"
The girl is in tears and all of my childhood floods back like I have peed myself.
"Let me tell you something," I say. "I love my hair so much. You know why? Because we are unique, there is hardly anyone like us out there and that makes us cool. The only reason people make us feel bad about our hair is because they are jealous they can't be as cool as us. Instead they have boring coloured hair like brown or blonde. Imagine that? Imagine being boring!"
The girl looks at me through her tears and whispers, "Really?"
"Really. Just remember anytime someone picks on you about your hair it is because they wish they could be as cool as you and not be so boring. Don't get upset, just be happy that you know their secret."
The girl's pink face lights up and she says to me, "You are so pretty - do you think I will look like you when I am older?"
"You already look exactly like me. So you already are pretty."
Her Mum gives me a hug and says that no one has been able to talk to her about this and she thanks me profusely. The girl is all smiles and my heart breaks for her.
Didn't have the heart to tell her or her Mum (who has brown hair) that I actually pay good money to have my hair this colour just so I can't be boring.
Regardless, Pippi would be proud and I am sure she wouldn't mind if my next book is called Paula Longstocking.